Category Archives: Technology
“Eesha Khare, who is only 18 years old, just created the device of our dreams.
It’s a tiny a gadget that fits inside cell phone batteries, and allows them to fully charge within 20- to 30 seconds. Typically, it takes several hours to get a full charge.
We first saw the news over on SF Gate.
Khare demoed her “super-capacitor” last Friday at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair…”
It has become increasingly clear that web crime, hacking, and general mayhem is being unleashed via the web.
This documentary shows just how vulnerable the interweb is and why you should be extremely careful of what you use a computer for.
Cheers on your weekend!
If you did not get enough from the above documentary here is another documentary to chomp on…
Many great things are developing in the nano technology world. Here is a bit of fun with atoms….
Animated visualization of the markets roller coaster ride….
“China’s e-commerce market racked up a whopping 1.3 trillion RMB ($190 billion USD) worth of transactions in 2012, according to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) (linked article is in Chinese), an increase of 66.5 percent over 2011′s total.
Last year, 242 million Internet users purchased goods online, and e-commerce transactions accounted for 6.1 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods.
The growth was driven in large part by mobile users: during the last half of 2012, 40.7 percent of online shoppers used a mobile device to browse e-commerce merchandise. More than half–53.6 percent–browsed a merchandiser’s mobile app instead of accessing its main Web site through their device’s Internet browser. 53.3 percent of the respondents who used their mobile devices to shop said they did so while at home, and many stated that their smartphones had begun to replace their home PCs. 26.2 percent said they browsed items on their smartphones while at work or school, and 10.6 percent said they spent their commutes or time waiting in queues to shop.
In addition to mobile, social media platforms also drove e-commerce sales. 41.8 percent of shoppers said they had first seen information or promotions for a product on a social media site before deciding to purchase it…..”
“The iPhone has made a fortune for Apple, and turned a handful of app developers into instant millionaires, but a new app aims to help average investors be more like Warren Buffett.
Available for download starting next week for $1.99 a month, iBillionaire promises to let investors follow moves of a roster of 10 billionaire investors, such as Buffett, Carl Icahn and hedge fund poobah’s like John Paulson, David Einhorn, and Bill Ackman. The app will compare a user’s portfolio to—at least in a small way—see what the billionaires are doing and offer advice accordingly.
“When you get these 10 people together, there is a lot of insight,” says iBillionaire co-founder Raul Moreno. “They think alike.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission requires large investors to disclose their holdings once a quarter in so-called 13-F filings—the raw data used by the iBillionaire. The app then shows the holdings of each billionaire and charts how well the portfolios perform against the S&P 500.
When users can then plug in their own holdings, the app offers suggestions based on what the billionaires are doing.
iBillionaire is the product of a pair of serial entrepreneurs. Moreno, 29, previously co-founded Kinetik, an app recommendation service. His partner Alejandro Estrada, 44, is a co-founder of Dineromail, a Latin American version of PayPal, acquired last year by South African media company Naspers Ltd. NPSNY +0.57% .
Among the most popular stocks among billionaires are Apple AAPL -0.15% and GoogleGOOG -0.18% , each owned by four billionaires. Perhaps a bigger surprise: Delphi Automotive DLPH -0.67% , an auto parts maker that emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, is held by five. And its stock is up 37% over the past year.
Investing like a billionaire isn’t necessarily as easy as winning at Angry Birds, however. These financial superstars get insight, sway over management decisions and trading opportunities not available to those playing along from home.
Just one example: Einhorn, one of the five billionaires that owns Delphi, was involved well before the company’s initial public offering, the first time small investors would have had the opportunity to buy….”
“Samsung Electronics topped China’s smartphone market for the first time in 2012, according to data from Strategy Analytics (reported by Yonhap News Agency). The Korean tech behemoth nearly tripled its sales in the world’s largest market for smartphones: in 2012, it sold 30.06 million smartphones in China, up from 10.9 million handsets a year earlier. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung now holds a 17.7 percent market share–an astonishingly rapid climb considering that the company only started selling mobile devices in China in 2009.
Chinese company Lenovo took the second spot with market share of 13.2 percent, up four percent from 2011, while Apple came in third with an 11 percent market share, followed by China’s own Huawei Technologies with 9.9 percent and Coolpad with 9.7 percent. Samsung’s fast ascent mirrors Nokia’s quick plummet–the Finnish company is now number seven in China, with 3.7 market share, compared to 29.9 percent in 2011…..”
3D printing is changing the world…no?
“Hackers can get past the Galaxy Note 2′s lock screen — if their fingers are fast enough.
The flaw, first discovered by Terence Eden, finds select apps and widgets can be briefly accessed with a few taps from the lock screen. Somewhat tricky to accomplish, it requires the user to press the “Emergency Call” icon, then the ICE (in case of emergency) button, and then hold down the home button. With success, one could tap a direct dial widget or select applications.
Not all apps will open in this manner; the video shows that Google Play does not respond. Reportedly, Eden contacted Samsung roughly five days ago but has yet to hear back. CNET has also contacted Samsung and will update the article when the company responds….”
“Nearly five years after Apple Inc. kicked off the mobile-apps craze, the industry is booming.
App stores run by Apple and Google Inc. now offer more than 700,000 apps each. With so many apps to choose from, consumers are estimated to spend on average about two hours a day with apps. Global revenue from app stores is expected to rise 62% this year to $25 billion, according to Gartner Inc.
The apps industry has matured in some respects. Some of the Wild West tactics of five years ago—like scams to accrue more downloads—have given way to more order as Apple and others tighten their rules. App developers are more methodical about marketing their apps and focusing on the few apps that work best.
As the battlefield shifts to new geographies, new categories and new devices, developers are still trying to figure out which business models are the most profitable….”
Unless airlines can figure a way to replace business travel, I’m afraid there will be long term earnings issues.
“Bye bye Walter Cronkite, Brian Williams and Scott Pelley. Hello Google, Yahoo and Drudge.
A new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that traditional network news continues to fall as the nation’s source for news. The internet now is a bigger source of news for Americans than network TV, by a point, 25 percent to 24 percent.
Cable TV is still king, with 32 percent of the 1,000 likely voters Rasmussen polled getting their news from that source. Newspapers barely register a 10 percent, and radio is the source of news for 7 percent of the country.
The poll gauged how well the public trusted the media and if they see a bias. On both fronts, it is bad news.
Just 6 percent of the nation considers the national media “very trustworthy,” and nearly half believe reporters are more liberal than they are, said Rasmussen….”
Something to remember if this company reaches a point o IPO. Cool tech for sure.
“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a handful of Silicon Valley’s top technology investors are planning a nation-wide social media campaign to pressure congress to pass immigration reform. The so-called “virtual march” will attempt to galvanize thousands of netizens to email, tweet, and facebook their leaders to come up with a solution that solves the industry’s looming skills shortage.
“Usually in Washington when you try to push an issue, people knock on senators and congressmens doors, they hire paid lobbyists,” says Jonathan Feinblatt, policy advisor to Bloomberg, “but what we’re doing is actually using the tools of the technology trade–email, and facebook, and social networking–too actually raise the voice of the innovators in this country.”
To be sure, both Republicans and Democrats are bound together in a rare bi-partisan lovefest over the need for more high-skilled immigrants. They differ in how low-skilled and undocumented workers should be let into the country, and have been unable to separate low-skilled and high-skilled reform into different bills.
There’s no guarantee that congress will find a compromise…..”
“Illustrating how very, very hard it is to have a breakout hit in today’s mobile app stores, a report from app store analytics firm Distimo released today finds that only 2 percent of the top 250 publishers in the iPhone App Store are “newcomers,” versus just 3 percent in the Android store, Google Play.
In smaller countries, the share of new publishers tends to be slightly higher – 6 percent for both Google Play and the App Store for iPhone, Distimo found.
Also indicating how tight the current market is, only 0.25 percent of the total revenue from the top 250 applications goes to new iPhone app publishers, while 1.2 percent reaches new Android app publishers on Google Play.
And if you’re a newcomer, it seems you have a better chance at making money – at least initially – on Google Play. Again, that speaks to the possibility that we’re starting to run at full capacity here. The iOS Store is a bit older, and is home to more apps than Google’s Android-focused counterpart.
To reach these conclusions, the company examined the trends in the iOS App Stores and Google Play from October 2012 through January 2013. Unfortunately, having a time frame that occurred over the holidays slightly skews the data, as it means that some Christmas-related apps were doing well, too, and that’s certainly a temporary situation. For example, Find the Elves from The Elf on the Shelf and ElfYourself from OfficeMax did well – something which also indicates the effect of the holidays on app sales.
Above are the top 10 new publishers by app store (iPad, iPhone and Google Play). As expected, adoption reflects the prevalence and popularity of games. The handful of non-game apps tend to be photo or video-related, with the exception of Snapchat, which took the top spot in Google Play….”
UBS, VMW, CRM, AAPL, FB, LNKD, HPQ, NTAP, FIO, IBM, EMC,
“Nassim Taleb is well known for his work as a trader and professor, as well as the author of the book “ Black Swan.” He often concentrates his work on market volatility and the likelihood of extreme situations or occurrences that can radically move stock prices. The 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center were a black swan event, devastating and totally unpredicted. His new book “Antifragile” focuses on things that gain from disorder. Are there tech stocks that can gain from disorder as well?
The tech analysts at UBS A.G. (NYSE: UBS) decided it would be interesting to apply some of the principles of Taleb’s book to tech stocks they cover. They point out in their report released today that Taleb advises using optionality to your advantage in finding situations with limited downside but undetermined upside. What matters is not the frequency of being right but the magnitude when you are correct. Also, to favor a barbell approach, both in specific companies that avoid the mushy middle of markets and in your portfolio by mixing low and high-risk assets.
Fragile things hate volatility and uncertainty, while the antifragile thrives on it. The UBS team believes that technology stocks, especially large caps, are inherently fragile, given that the industry structure changes every 15 years or so. They looked for companies riding emerging trends, and point to VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) and Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) as examples.”
“In its quarterly report on estimated e-commerce retail sales released today, the U.S. Census Bureau said that adjusted online sales jumped 15.6% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2012. On an unadjusted basis, sales rose 15.8%.
Adjusted e-commerce sales of $59.5 billion comprised 5.4% of total retail sales of $1.1 trillion. That is the highest percentage since the Census Bureau started keeping track of online sales in the fourth quarter of 1999, when e-commerce retail sales were just 0.6% of total retail sales. The fourth-quarter total is also the highest since 1999.
For the full year, e-commerce sales totaled $225.5 billion, up 15.8% from 2011. Total retail sales rose 5% year-over-year….”
“(MoneyWatch) Even as the volume of spam in our inboxes appears to be receding, other threats are looming. According to cyber-security company Kaspersky, for example, about 200,000 new malware samples are appearing in the wild every day. And last year, a staggering 91 percent of businesses experienced some sort of IT security event.
Perhaps the most frightening statistics are related to the rise of botnets. Stuxnet — the first known state-engineered cyber-weapon — was uncovered in 2010, and since then about a half-dozen more have been found. Gartner’s Research Director, Lawrence Orans, contends that as many as 5 percent of corporate PCs and 30 percent of home computers are already infected
Most of us — at home nor at work — have the resources of an enterprise class IT department to protect our computers and data. So is there any hope for protection? Indeed, there is. As I recently explained in a blog post for eHow Tech, you can mitigate a vast amount of your risk by following five simple and inexpensive security rules….”
“Stanford’s student startup accelerator, StartX, had its eighth demo day tonight in Palo Alto, showing off the latest class of 11 companies* to go through the program. The accelerator, whichjust raised another $400,000, has already had about 100 startups go through, raising $100 million along the way between them. This next batch is hoping to follow that lead.
Here’s the next class of Stanford StartX companies, in the order they were presented:
Pixlee. This startup wants to use user-generated photos to help brands market themselves. The idea is not just to collect and curate photos that will resonate with consumers, but also to present them in a personalized fashion. The idea is that everyone will get a different experience, not just see all the same photos. The company had been chosen by the 49ers for a fan-engagement campaign around the Super Bowl, which had more than 50,000 photos submitted. It’s also being used by brands like Yamaha, Major League Soccer, and the NBA.
Distinc.tt. If you’re gay and new to an area, how do you find out where gay people hang out? And how do you find out whether or not someone hanging out in one of those places is also gay. That’s an overly simplistic description of a very complex problem that Distinc.tt hopes to solve. The mobile app shows nearby places based on the measured popularity among the gay community, and allows its users to check in and help identify other gay patrons in those locations. In just a few weeks, the app has garnered about 40,000 users, who log in twice a day on average. The company has also attracted Peter Thiel as an investor in its seed round.
VipeCloud. This startup provides a “video business in a box,” allowing independent content creators, B2B companies, and other niche video producers to quickly get up and running with video distribution. VipeCloud not only provides a platform for sales, but also customer relationship management, enabling clients to build relationships with their audiences and determine what’s working and what’s not, what’s selling and why.
Insynctive. This startup seeks to give companies a better way to do HR, providing the connective tissue between various payment and benefits systems. It’s all brought together by a single, usable, user interface that employees, as well as in-house and outsourced HR, can all use while simplifying the usual crazy HR application stack.
Spot On. Spot On provides time-based search which will give its users more actionable information. The idea is to match the right activity to the right person at the right time, therefore becoming a user’s personal concierge. The app works by pulling temporal data starting with the start and end time, matching items based on location, and then filtering by a user’s personalized preferences. The first market the team hopes to go after is families with kids to help provide activities that parents and kids will both love when they’re free…..”
“A few months ago, the Federal Communications Commission fined Google $25,000 for taking its sweet time to give information to the FCC about an interesting project Google had been working on.
Most of you are probably familiar with Google Maps, where you can search for directions to wherever you need to go and even get a street view of the area. Google literally paid for trucks to go around with cameras on them in order to record this information. Not a big deal, right?
Well it wouldn’t be a big deal if those trucks didn’t include technology on them that could swipe all of your personal information off unsecured Wi-Fi connections.
Just in case you don’t know what that means, if you have Wi-Fi in your house and it didn’t have a password on it to protect it, odds are that Google has all of your personal information.
What do I mean by personal information? Everything. Passwords, websites you’ve visited, financial records, absolutely anything that you have ever done on your home computer, Google now has.
Think about it this way: If you can’t live without the Internet, odds are that Google has your life.
The FCC Did Nothing
Apparently, according to the FCC, Google did nothing wrong. That’s right. According to the government (which, by the way, has millions of dollars’ worth of contracts with Google), the company had a right to spy on you.
Actually, that’s not quite right. Google did do something wrong, according to the FCC, it delayed the information it gave to the FCC.
The world’s leading search engine said that searching its own employees’ emails and getting statements from them “would be a time-consuing and burdensome task.”
The company can gather all of your personal information in a nanosecond from the air outside of your house, yet it said it would take too long to get the information about why it did it.
For delaying a Federal investigation, Google, of course, was fined heavily and people were sent to jail, right? Wrong. For all of that, the company was fined $25,000.
What does that “hefty” fine mean to Google?
Take all the money you have out of your pocket. Now take the lint out of the bottom of that pocket. That lint has the same value to you as a $25,000 fine does to Google. It’s not even a slap on the wrist; it’s more like an endorsement.
When contacted, Google’s employees refused to make statements as to why they were recording this information. That sounds like they have something to hide, doesn’t it?
Oh, and don’t think Google has pulled this trick off just in America. It did the exact same thing in 29 other major countries. Google doesn’t just spy on U.S. citizens; it spies on the world.
No one has rights in a Google-run world. And our government (which, let me remind you again, contracts Google to supply it data) is doing nothing to stop it.
It Isn’t Just Google…”