Category Archives: Technology

Strategy Analytics: Mobile Data Traffic to Grow 300% by 2017

“With smartphones and tablets replacing PCs as the default computing device for many consumers, so, too, is data traffic shifting from fixed to wireless networks. The analysts at Strategy Analytics believe that this movement, combined with the wider trend for increasing time spent online, is going to translate to a huge increase in wireless data traffic — which is set to rise by some 300% by 2017 to a peak of 21 Exabytes, from just 5 Exabytes in 2012. Driving that rise are services like streaming video, but interestingly not apps.

Up to now the rise in smartphone usage has seen traffic “doubling annually,” according David MacQueen, executive director for Apps and Media at Strategy Analytics, although in coming years, as markets get more penetrated, this will slow down somewhat to around 32%.

MacQueen tells me that these figures include all data services covering all kinds of handsets globally, but it excludes tablet traffic. Most of this traffic, needless to say, comes from smartphone usage rather than more basic handsets. Low-end services like SMS messaging, he notes, fall into that smaller “other” category.

While a lot of the buzz today has to do with apps — and indeed in 2012 we saw a tipping point in one leading market, the U.S., where apps started to outweigh mobile websites in terms of usage — when it comes to actual data consumption, it’s a different story.

If you look at the table below, you’ll see that the growing popularity of data-intensive services like video streaming will be what drives this boom in mobile data traffic, which will grow by 42% by 2017. And even though mobile websites are often not as popular as apps, they are more intensive when it comes to network usage, and so when looking at mobile data traffic, mobile web browsing plays a much stronger role. It will grow by 30% until 2017. That’s also a good counterpoint to why apps remain popular today: they may simply just be easier and more efficient to use as a result. Interestingly, in Strategy Analytics’ table below, apps get lumped together with games — a huge activity on mobile devices, but also often as a “native experience” — and they still are a small part of activity compared to browsing and video. And in a sign of how prominent music streaming services are and will become, this, too, will remain a small piece of the pie….”

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Chip Sales Hit Three Year Highs

“For all the news that sales of personal computers (PCs) and laptops are declining, chipmakers are doing all right, thank you very much. Semiconductor sales rose 4.6% in May to post their largest month-over-month gain in three years.

Sales totals come from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), which said that total sales reached $24.7 billion in May. That was up 1.3% from the $24.4 billion in sales toted up in May 2012. Year to date, chip sales are up 1.5%.

Monthly sales growth was highest in the Asia Pacific region, up 5.9%, followed by the Americas, where sales rose 5.6%. Sales in Japan grew by 0.9%, while sales in Europe rose just 0.3%.

Year-over-year Japanese sales fell 18.4%, but they rose 5.8% in Asia Pacific. Sales in the Americas rose 3%, and European sales rose a scant 0.1%.

On the basis of a three-month moving average, Asia Pacific sales were up 9.8%, European sales rose 5.5%, Americas sales rose 2.9% and Japanese sales fell 3.6%….”

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Tech Darlings Remain in Investor’s Spotlight as They Cap Their Best 10 Weeks of Relative Performance Since 2009

“Shares of technology companies are rallying as investors see capital spending for their products strengthening along with the economy, consistent with the Federal Reserve’s latest growth forecasts.

Tech stocks capped their best 10 weeks of relative performance since 2009 last week, and the Guggenheim Standard & Poor’s 500 Equal-Weight Technology exchange-traded fund has outpaced the Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal-Weight ETF (RSP) by 4.8 percentage points since April 19. The gains show a “hand off” is starting, as investors move into industries that could outperform benchmarks later in the economic expansion, said Brian Jacobsen, who helps oversee $221.2 billion as chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

“If the Fed is confident enough to begin taking the training wheels off the economy, then that should benefit tech stocks,” he said. Wells Fargo maintains an overweight recommendation on the sector partly because capital spending on these products would improve with increased assurance about the durability of the expansion, he said.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Tech Pulse Index, which tracks the health of the U.S. information-technology industry, is showing an improvement in investment, consumption, employment, industrial production and shipments. The index rose to 98.96 in May, the highest since 2008.

Unprecedented Stimulus…”

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Private Clouds are All the Rage

“Scrappy online startups were among the first to realize that renting computing power from cloud providers like Amazon Web Services was an excellent deal. For some, it was the only way they’d get off the ground. What investor would pay millions to build a data center for a new game or service that might not take off?

Now, enterprises are following the little guys’ lead and embracing cloud computing. But because of security concerns, custom requirements, and in some cases, sheer scale, a number of big organizations are doing it with a twist: They’re creating their own private clouds….”

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Algo’ Trading in Your Underwear

“Do you have a computer? Good. Now you can be a quant trader.

For years, complex algorithmic trading has been a major profit generator for Wall Street banks and hedge funds.

It has also been a source of employment for programming prodigies — and a source of stress for regulators.

But thanks to the new Manhattan-based startup EquaMetrics, average Joes can now quant trade from the comfort of their own homes.

CNN Money reports…”

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Gartner: Server Sales Fall 5% in Q1

“Gartner Research reports worldwide server sales are down 5 percent for the first quarter of the year, with IBM, HP and other members of the top five taking the biggest hit. Server shipments declined 0.7 percent.

But the drop in server sales is not at all surprising. Cloud apps are popping up by the thousands across the market, as the developer movement speeds up. But these apps are not surfacing from that souped-up x86 server made for big workloads. Developers instead are turning to the cloud. Enterprise companies are buying fewer of those high-priced machines that customers once bought when IT budgets were plentiful.

According to Gartner, x86 server shipments were flat during the quarter, with revenues up 1.8 percent. Server revenues reflect the problems that the vendors face. All of the top five vendors suffered revenue declines in the first quarter of 2013 except for Dell which grew 14.4 percent.

gartnersource

RISC/Itanium Unix servers had a 38.8 percent drop in shipments and were down 35.8 percent in vendor revenue compared to the same quarter last year. Mainframes showed a 3.6 percent increase in worldwide revenue. They will never die….”

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Soon Come: Charge Your Phone in 30 Seconds

“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…”

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Documentary: Web Warriors

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…

Social Media and Mobile Continue to Grow China’s E-Commerce Market to Over $190b

“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…..”

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An App to Help You Invest Like a Billionaire

“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.

See: MarketWatch’s hedge-fund tracker

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….”

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Samsung Takes The Cake in the China Cell Phone Market

“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…..”

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Minor Security Flaw Found in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2

“Hackers can get past the Galaxy Note 2′s lock screen — if their fingers are fast enough.

A minor security vulnerability has been found in Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 2, which leaves the door open to fast-fingered ne’er-do-well types.

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….”

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The Booming Industry of Apps

“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.

For every Instagram, the wildly popular photo sharing app that Facebook Inc.FB -0.40% bought for $1 billion last year, there are hundreds of thousands of apps that don’t catch on.

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….”

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Rassmusen Report: Interwebs Knocking TV Out of the Box for News Source

“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….”

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Tech Savvy Entrepreneurs Launch “Virtual March” To Pressure Congress to Fins a Solution to Immigration Reform

“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…..”

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