technology

The Top 10 Most-Shared Tech Ads Of The Year

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-top-10-most-shared-tech-ads-of-the-year-2012-12

Google employees, Googlers, holding balls

2012 has been quite the year for technology and its advertising.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve witnessed both Samsung and Apple release major products, and dueling commercials to go along with them.

As usual, Unruly Media created a list of the most-shared tech ads in social media of the year.

You may be surprised to find that Samsung made the list, while Apple wasn’t included at all.

Google wins for having the most spots on the list, with some of their April Fool’s ads being featured.

10. Google: Gmail Tap — 170,043 shares

Facebook shares: 137,232

Twitter shares: 32,532

Percent of shares in English: 83 

Ad Agency: In-house

Google released this April Fool’s Day ad introducing a fake new keyboard that uses Morse code. It even features LL Cool J, referred to by his real name, as the product lead.

9. Google: Valentine’s Day Doodle — 197,073 shares

Facebook shares: 97,534

Twitter shares: 99,183

Percent of shares in English: 62

Ad agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Google outdid itself this year with its doodle for Valentine’s day. The minute-long cartoon is a cute depiction of a boy trying his hardest to impress a girl he likes.

8. Microsoft: Surface — 316,777 shares

Facebook shares: 294,74 9

Twitter shares: 21,063

Pecent of shares in English: 66

Ad agency: In-house

Microsoft was praised for being more innovative with its ads this year, but unfortunately increased creativity has not (yet) led to a significant increase in sales. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung and Apple rule connected device share, those who snooze in mobile lose

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/11/idc-samsung-and-apple-rule-connected-device-share/

IDC Samsung and Apple rule connected device share, those who snooze in mobile lose

Most market share studies are broken down by individual categories that don’t tell the whole story of their successes and failures. IDC has stepped forward with a more holistic look that covers PCs, phones and tablets all at once — and paints a very different picture. Samsung and Apple lead the pack in the third quarter of this year with an estimated 21.8 and 15.1 percent share each, based mostly on their mobile dominance. Lenovo’s equal balance between its rapidly growing PC and phone businesses put it at 7 percent. It’s those who haven’t done well outside of PCs that have struggled: IDC is quick to point out that HP’s exit from mobile left it at 4.6 percent and sinking fast, while it’s commonly known that Sony has yet to enjoy a truly blockbuster hit with its Android-based smartphones or tablets. The situation is changing quickly, but the data shows that companies can’t lean solely on traditional computers to thrive in the broader technology landscape.

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Source: IDC

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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Paul Krugman Has Been Writing A Lot About The Ominous Threat Posed By Robots

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-krugman-articles-about-robots-2012-12

Paul Krugman

The focus of a few of Paul Krugman’s recent blog posts and his most recent New York Times column is robots and how they are fundamentally changing the U.S. labor market.

The upshot of Krugman’s argument is this: income inequality has been increasing for years in the United States, but one of the major drivers that no one talks about is the increasing use of robotics in manufacturing and other industries to do jobs traditionally done by human laborers.

One conclusion Krugman reaches is that even the highly-paid, highly-skilled workers who have dominated the share of income growth in the U.S. over the past several years will be increasingly affected going forward by the rise of the machines:

About the robots: there’s no question that in some high-profile industries, technology is displacing workers of all, or almost all, kinds. For example, one of the reasons some high-technology manufacturing has lately been moving back to the United States is that these days the most valuable piece of a computer, the motherboard, is basically made by robots, so cheap Asian labor is no longer a reason to produce them abroad.

In a recent book, “Race Against the Machine,” M.I.T.’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argue that similar stories are playing out in many fields, including services like translation and legal research. What’s striking about their examples is that many of the jobs being displaced are high-skill and high-wage; the downside of technology isn’t limited to menial workers.

Indeed, we’ve seen this taking shape even on Wall Street, where investment banks like UBS are laying off credit derivatives traders and replacing them with computers that trade off signals generated by internal algorithms.

That example reflects another of Krugman’s assertions: the robotics revolution may be a major driver of increasing income inequality.

Krugman writes in another post:

If this is the wave of the future, it makes nonsense of just about all the conventional wisdom on reducing inequality. Better education won’t do much to reduce inequality if the big rewards simply go to those with the most assets. Creating an “opportunity society”, or whatever it is the likes of Paul Ryan etc. are selling this week, won’t do much if the most important asset you can have in life is, well, lots of assets inherited from your parents. And so on.

I think our eyes have been averted from the capital/labor dimension of inequality, for several reasons. It didn’t seem crucial back in the 1990s, and not enough people (me included!) have looked up to notice that things have changed. It has echoes of old-fashioned Marxism — which shouldn’t be a reason to ignore facts, but too often is. And it has really uncomfortable implications.!

Finally, Krugman offers a few alternative explanations for the increasing shift of income distribution toward capital and away from labor that don’t feature robots so prominently. One is the idea that monopoly power – made more ubiquitous by growing business concentration in the United States which allows big producers to control prices more effectively – may be a bigger culprit.

Krugman thus concludes by writing that “the starting point is to realize that there’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear, but it’s potentially really important.”

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Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

The Six Biggest Patent Deals Of 2012

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/most-lucrative-patent-sales-of-2012-2012-11

casino dealer

Tech patents have become a huge commodity in America.

Why buy a patent? Well, you’ll be able to sue anybody who infringes it.

You could also license it, and use the technology it covers all you want.

With these lucrative possibilities in mind, tech companies typically buy patents in big bundles.

And these patent bundles can go for jaw-drawing amounts.

Patent brokerage firm IPOfferings has now provided a glimpse into exactly how much a company will buy for the right to somebody else’s invention.

7. Adaptix’s $100 million sale to Acacia Research

In January, Adaptix sold Acacia Research 230 patents covering 4G technology, according to IPOfferings.

The deal was Acacia’s first major move to buy its own patent rights, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. Previously, Acacia partnered with universities and other organizations to help them enforce patents.

Acacia has been criticized as a “patent troll,” or a company that makes most of its money from licensing patents or filing patent lawsuits.

However, Acacia CEO Paul Ryan previously told BI that people who use that term are just “name calling.”

6. Fujifilm Corp.’s $105 million sale to Universal Display Corp.

Fujifilm sold 1,200 patents covering OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology to Universal Display Corp. in July, according to IPOfferings.

The deal doubled the patent portfolio of Universal Display, a lighting and display company based in New Jersey, according to Fujifilm.

OLEDs are used to make increasingly popular high-contrast, low-energy screens, Science Daily has reported.

5. Real Network’s $120 million sale to Intel

In January, Real Network sold 190 patents to Intel covering technology for media players, according to IPOfferings.

The deal also included 170 patent applications (patents that haven’t been approved) and some video streaming software, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

The patent acquisition built Intel’s portfolio for technology that allows streaming on smartphones and laptops, according to the Journal.

 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

How the US Air Force Wasted $1 Billion on a Failed Software Plan

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5967081/how-the-us-air-force-wasted-1-billion-on-a-failed-software-plan

How the US Air Force Wasted $1 Billion on a Failed Software PlanThe US Military makes its fair share of mistakes when it comes to technology—but over the weekend, the New York Times revealed that even upgrading a single software system can go horribly wrong for it.

The New York Times describes the situation:

Last month, [the Air Force] canceled a six-year-old modernization effort that had eaten up more than $1 billion. When the Air Force realized that it would cost another $1 billion just to achieve one-quarter of the capabilities originally planned – and that even then the system would not be fully ready before 2020 – it decided to decamp.

You might expect the project to be exotic and experimental. If that were there case, the expense and failure might be understandable, if not desirable. But in fact the project was the implementation of commercial off-the-shelf software. Known as the Expeditionary Combat Support System, the plan was to improve the management of logistics using software from Oracle. Four years of development—and over $1 billion dollars—later, and neither Oracle nor the Air Force have anything to show for their labors.

So what went wrong? According to the New York Times, the plan was scuppered by constant redesigns, poor time management and lack of accountability:

[The System] was restructured many times, including three separate times in the last three years, Ms. McGrath says. “Each time, we chunked it down, breaking it into smaller pieces, focusing on specific capabilities.” But this was not enough to save the system, she says, because program managers did not succeed in imposing the short deadlines of 18 to 24 months that the department now requires for similar projects…

[A] report cited many concerns, but the main one was a failure to meet a basic requirement for successful implementation: having “a single accountable leader” who “has the authority and willingness to exercise the authority to enforce all necessary changes to the business required for successful fielding of the software.”

If anything, we should be grateful that the Air Force decided to kill the project before it haemorrhaged more cash. If you want more detail, you should definitely read the Times piece. [New York Times]

Image by expertinfantry under Creative Commons license

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Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nano-sized authentication methods (video)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/04/ibm-brings-the-fight-to-counterfeiters-with-nano-sized-authentic/

IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nanosized authentication methods

As counterfeiters continue to up their game, technology’s quest for the ultimate method of proving authenticity goes on. We’ve seen ideas at the nano level before, but IBM thinks its latest research might be so difficult to reverse engineer, that it’s impossible for forgers to reproduce. IBM scientist Dr. Heiko Wolf explains that the basic principle involves using the surface tension of water to orient nanorods on a stamp, which can then be printed onto any surface. These nanorods are so small that gravity alone isn’t enough to place the particles into predetermined patterns, such as corporate logos. IBM’s researchers have also patented a related nano-patterning method that uses fluorescent spheres that can take the color red, blue or green. These then arrange themselves in a completely random order, which is mathematically so difficult to replicate it’s known as PUF (physically uncloanable function). Both methods can be applied to a broad selection of objects, making them ideal candidates for anti-counterfeit detection for everything from diamonds to passports — all that’s needed to verify authenticity is an optical microscope. Don’t get your Picasso out of the vault just yet though, as it’s estimated that it’ll be another five years or so before the technology will find its way to market.

Continue reading IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nano-sized authentication methods (video)

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Source: IBM Research

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

1,000 Jobs Gone At Groupon And LivingSocial; Can The Daily Deal Sector Turn It Around? (GRPN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/layoffs-at-groupon-and-livingsocial-2012-11

Daily deals title image lifehackerThe daily deal world is in turmoil.

LivingSocial just announced the firing of 400 employees, which is about 8.9% of its total workforce.

What’s more unnerving is that over the past six months, Groupon reduced its workforce by 648 positions.

More than 1,000 reductions across both businesses is a huge deal. Those reductions aren’t all layoffs; some are through attrition.

To cap it all, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s job was in question all week, and he only received his board of directors’ seal of approval late Thursday.

If this was happening at Facebook or Twitter — or any other major tech brand — people would be freaking out.

So why isn’t anyone freaking out yet?

Arguably, this is a recession in the daily deal business.

It’s the industry’s first, given that it didn’t exist until about four years ago.

LivingSocial told Business Insider via email about the job cuts. “After two years of hyper-growth from 450 to more than 4500 employees, these moves will align our cost structure against our 2013 plans and will help us set the company on a path for long-term growth and profitability. Specifically, they will allow us to invest more in critical pr! iorities like marketing, mobile, and the hiring of additional technology staff.”

LivingSocial told CNNMoney that it is moving much of its customer service from its headquarters in D.C. to Tuscon, “so some job openings will be available in that area.” Sales and editorial, however, have simply been “streamlined.”

The job losses reflect the shaky economic underpinnings of the daily deal business, which Groupon and LivingSocial have yet to wrestle into control.

LivingSocial posted a net loss of $566 million in Q3 2012. $496 million of LivingSocial’s loss stems from a huge writedown of some of its acquisitions from 2011, the Washington Business Journal reports. LivingSocial’s revenue also fell to $124 million in the three-month period, down from $138 million in the second quarter.

As of market close today, Groupon’s stock price is currently sitting at $4.54, according to Yahoo Finance. The 52-week range is shocking: it reached a high of $25.84. That followed six months’ of shrinking total billings at the company. (Its American business is robust; the international arm less so.)

A Groupon spokesperson tells us that its layoffs were largely due to new technology the company invested in that made those jobs irrelevant. In fact, we’re told, Groupon has 200 job vacancies open across North America right now.

And, of course, the job cuts don’t mean that Groupon and LivingSocial are going to vanish tomorrow. They’re huge businesses after all. But they are cause for concern as they illuminate potential weaknesses in the daily deal ! business model.

The main problem is operational scale.

Both companies are dependent on large salesforces. It is very difficult for them to leverage operation scale: To sell more, they need to employ more people. Groupon historically has prided itself on the long-term relationships its salesforce builds with its merchants. They have struggled to leverage self-serve, turnkey sales the way Facebook has.

In fact, Groupon and LivingSocial aren’t even tech companies. Rather, they’re email companies. Although email is here to stay for a long time, the tidal shift among consumers is away from email to instant messaging, social media messaging, and mobile phone messaging. They need to pivot into alternate methods.

Groupon is trying just that, with Groupon Goods, which so far has been a success. And both companies need to do what Groupon says it is trying to do, which is replace human-to-human selling with tech that can increase each individual worker’s selling power.

Lastly, the downturn ask whether the daily deal business has hit one of its natural ceilings: new merchants. Both companies need a fresh supply of new merchants to offer more deals, or to re-up on repeated deals. It’s an open question that both Groupon and LivingSocial now have to prove: Is there enough new merchants or incremental repeat business from merchants for the sector to continue to grow?

A thousand-plus layoffs suggest that, for now, the question lacks a satisfying answer.

Don’t Miss: Groupon CEO Andrew Mason Keeps His Job!

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Friday, November 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Enterprises Are Spending Wildly On ‘Big Data’ But Don’t Know If It’s Worth It Yet

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/enterprise-big-data-spending-2012-11

Big data is already big business, with companies collectively spending billions on it.

But most of them don’t know if big data is worth it—yet. And they’re not even sure what it means, with the “big data” label applied to all kinds of data-intensive projects.

Most companies said that “big data” meant scooping up large quantities of information, often from nontraditional, server-busting sources like Web traffic logs or social media, and then using it to make business decisions in real time. These include things like watching competitors, monitoring their own brands, creating new services that they can sell, and tracking product and pricing information.

In 2012, companies worldwide spent $4.3 billion on software for big-data projects, market research firm Gartner reports. Most of that was for software running on company-owned servers.

But in a survey of over 800 business and IT professionals commissioned by big-data startup Connotate, 60% said it was too early to tell if a given project was successful and returned a decent value for its investment.

That won’t stop companies from spending even more on big-data projects next year. They’ll be buying new servers and software and hiring experts. Add it up, and big-data projects will drive $34 billion of technology spending in 2013, Gartner predicts.

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Don’t miss: Big Data Is The Hottest Thing To Hit The Web In Years: Here’s Why

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 news No Comments

6 Brilliant TED Talks That Every Business Leader Should Watch

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/6-ted-talks-entrepreneurs-must-watch-2012-11

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TED.com is just about the best place to hang out online if you have a few minutes to kill.

That’s because it offers free recorded lectures given by brilliant people doing amazing things in areas including technology, entertainment, design, business, science, and global issues.

And what’s cool about it is the talks are tagged so if you’re in the mood for something inspiring or funny, for example, you can get just the kinds of videos to do the trick.

Here are a handful of insightful TED talks posted this year that every entrepreneur should check out.

Shawn Achor explains how to change your perception of reality to produce better work.

Psychologist Shawn Achor doubles as a comedian in this talk, during which he says the lens through which your brain views the world shapes your reality.

“And if we can change the lens not only can we change your happiness, but we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time,” he says in this highly entertaining video.

Drew Curtis discusses how he defended his business from a patent troll.

When Fark.com was sued by a patent troll “…for the creation and distribution of news releases via email” alongside companies such as Yahoo, MSN, Reddit, AOL, and TechCrunch, the eight-person company stood its ground.

“I had hoped to team up with some of these larger companies and defend against this lawsuit but one by one they settled out of the case even though not one of these companies infringed on the patent,” says Drew Curtis, founder of Fark.

The reason? The average troll defense costs $2 million and takes 18 months if you win. He proves that little guys don’t have to let themselves get bullied with ! frivolou s lawsuits.

Julia Burstein gives 4 lessons in creativity.

In this inspiring talk, radio host and book author Julie Burstein gives voice to several interviews with remarkably talented people who found that creativity grows when you pay attention to the world around you, learn from challenges, push against the limits of what you can do as well as the hardest thing of all—embrace loss.”

“We have to stand in that space between what we see in the world and what we hope for, looking squarely at rejection, at heartbreak, at war, at death,” she says.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 news No Comments

How Burberry And Caesars Took Different Approaches To Dominate The Competition Online

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-burberry-and-caesars-went-digital-2012-11

burberry Instagram

“It’s all very nice being a digital leader, but do you make more money?” According to a recent study from Capgemini Consulting and MIT’s Center For Digital Business, the answer is yes, to the tune of a 26 percent increase in profitability.

According to Didier Bonnet, Capgemini’s Global Practice manager, what distinguishes these companies is an intense focus on transforming in one area that they’re best at, getting it right, and then applying those lessons and data throughout the rest of the business.

These companies see digital technology as the thing that sets them apart, not just another tool. It’s not an experiment, but an intensely focused program based on getting business results. 

“They were very focused to start with in their investment,” Bonnet says, “so rather than just going all over the place and investing in, you know, people, collaboration, customer experience, and operations, they had a pretty clear starting point.”

But that starting point can be very different depending on the company, as Bonnet highlighted with these two digital outperformers from the report

Burberry: Starting with the customer

“For example, Burberry, the fashion retailer, really started with customer experience, they first tried to get their shop sorted out very well, they put screens in that connected all of the shops to the head office. From there, they moved on to slightly more sophisticated social media applications where they actually launch their collection on soc! ial medi a first before they’re at the Milan or Paris shows. From there they moved on to mobility, and now they’re right in the middle of using all of the data for analytic purposes that they’ve managed to gather from connecting their organization. But it started from the customer experience.”

Burberry took the customer experience, invested heavily, then used that data and experience across every channel. Bonnet says “it’s the difference between sticking a technology in an existing process, substitution if you will, versus really transforming the process with the power of what the technology can do.”

Caesars: Using data to make everything personal

“Caesars has really started on analytics, so they tried to really work on how to personalize the experience for the customer. Once the analytics were sorted out, they moved into mobility with location based marketing, eventually reaching a point where you can get recognized when you walk into a store and get preference based coupons and advice on what you can do in the resorts and the casinos. Now they’re moving more and more into the operations side.” 

Caesars’ business encompasses shopping, restaurants, casinos, and more. Starting with data from their customers allowed them to take every other tool digital technology has to offer and use it to boost performance across all parts of the company.

Though the paths were very different, the lessons are the same.   

Find the report here

NOW READ: Digitally Mature Companies Significantly Outperform Everybody Else 

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 news No Comments

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