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Monday, November 29, 2010
Symbian Foundation Web Sites to Shut Down
MS applies for patent on 'light-induced shape-memory,' a touchscreen that could touch back
Touchscreens are selfish lovers, taking your gentle caresses and impatient taps without offering a hint of feedback to you. We've seen attempts to change that, like prototypes from Toshiba and Senseg that add a bit of texture to a touchable surface, but now Microsoft might be looking to bring such dynamic tactility to the one of the biggest touchable surfaces: Surface. A recent patent application entitled 'Light-induced Shape-memory Polymer Display Screen' describes a technique for a display that uses infra-red light to detect touch, but also to 'selectively change a topography of the topography-changing layer.' In other words: to make it bumpy or smooth. Certain wavelengths of light projected on the screen can cause areas of that topography layer expand or contract, which could finally mean all our cries for attention might finally be responded to in kind.
MS applies for patent on 'light-induced shape-memory,' a touchscreen that could touch back originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 29 Nov 2010 11:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink New Scientist, QikGlance | USPTO | Email this | Comments
CHART OF THE DAY: Windows Phone 7 Has The Least Expensive Paid Apps (AAPL, MSFT, GOOG)
Mobile analytics company Distimo took a look at the pricing across mobile apps, with particular attention paid to Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 app store.
Turns out paid Windows Phone 7 apps are the cheapest out there, costing half the price of Windows Mobile (its old app store) apps. The average price for a top 100 paid Windows Phone 7 app is $2.54. For other app stores it's $3.05.
Of course, paid apps are only a small sliver of the app market. Most are free. Regardless, it's interesting to note that the average price of a paid app is less than $4. And most people are still reluctant to pay for apps, which must drive developers crazy.
Follow the Chart Of The Day on Twitter: @chartoftheday
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Acer Announces Alive Application Store
Acer announced that it will launch its application store next month. The store is called Acer Alive and will offer a range of content types, from applications to music, movies and ebooks. The store will initially be launched in the UK and Italy this December, and will be rolled-out to more countries in the first quarter of 2011. Alive will be made available across all Acer’s consumer devices worldwide, including netbooks, notebooks, smartphones and tablets.
The store will enable Acer customers to browse, purchase, stream and download content to their Acer device. Alive will contain five different sections of content:
- in the Listen section alive will offer music, audiobooks, radios, podcasts and other types of audio entertainment content
- in the Watch area alive will provide movies, TV series, TV Channels, video podcasts and other types of short videos, like Music videos
- in the Read section alive will deliver e-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers as well as single news, articles and blogs
- in the Play area alive users will be able to find games of any kind
- in the Application section alive will offer all the most common application categories, like Business & Finance, Lifestyle & Leisure, Learning, Travel & Navigation, Productivity, etc.
Free and paid content is presented to users via real-time feeds directly managed by content providers. Content updates are as instant and discoverable as Twitter feeds. Customers can keep their content purchase history in their MyLibrary section and share them across different Acer Group devices.
Acer will pre-install the Alive store on all new devices and offer it for download online to existing customers. The store interface will be customized by device type.
To purchase applications or subscribe to content channels, users need to create an account and provide their credit card information, to which purchases will be billed.
Adobe and Intel are some of the content providers of the applications section, delivering Adobe AIR applications and content from the Intel AppUp store. We will add Alive to appstores.info when it is launched."
CHART OF THE DAY: Android Phones Will Sell Well This Holiday Season (AAPL, GOOG, MSFT)
The iPhone might not be at the top of consumers' wish lists this holiday season, according to data from a Nielsen survey of people over 13.
As you can see, more people are interested in non-iPhone smartphones than the iPhone. This could have to do with the fact that thanks to AT&T, the iPhone is only available to 1/3 of the U.S. population. Or, it could mean that Android (and maybe Windows Phone 7?) are more appealing now than ever.
Follow the Chart Of The Day on Twitter: @chartoftheday
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Welcome, Google Apps users!
Google Apps is Google’s suite of cloud-based messaging and collaboration apps used by over 30 million users in small businesses, large enterprises, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world. If your organization hasn’t gone Google yet you can learn more about how to lower IT costs and improve productivity and collaboration at google.com/apps.
For those users who have a Google Apps account, if your administrator has already transitioned your organization to the new infrastructure, you can now use Google Voice by signing in at google.com/voice with your existing Apps account. At this time, Google Voice is available in the U.S. only.
For more details, read the complete post on the Google Enterprise blog and follow all the updates on other newly available services for Google Apps users.
Posted by Michael Bolognino, Product Marketing Manager
The integrated iPad news daily: Read all about it!
When I wrote my opinion on the future of publishing (Citizen Publisher), I focused my lens on books and magazines. Published works that have relatively low time-sensitivity and hence relatively long shelf life are quite different from newspapers which package material with very brief temporal relevance.
The print-based news industry has suffered much more than print-based books and magazines. The primary cause is that “print” plays a far larger role in newsprint-based newspapers than in books.
To give you an idea of how important the printing plant is, consider that a huge proportion of a newspaper’s assets are tied up in its printing plant. That plant is so large and so demanding that it ends up causing the whole business to revolve around it: Print runs are done at night to make sure the product is delivered in the morning. That puts a hard deadline on the writers to submit stories before the product is “frozen” into a final edition. Writers and editors and advertisers need to march in lock-step to the cycle time of a big manufacturing operation.
There are 19 presses and 17 printing plants that print the two million copies of the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal. To make changes to the plant require large amounts of capital investment and that capital’s depreciation is an integral part of the financial balance of the company. So much so that one wit remarked that a newspaper is nothing more than an instrument that permits the depreciation of a printing plant.
Costs of manufacturing have been slightly offset by better technology and distributed printing but newsprint itself has soared in price so the dependence on physical product has made the economics worse over time.
That’s the cost side. But if you keep following the money from the revenue side, you realize that the situation is critical. In the US, a large part of the local paper’s revenue base was wiped out by Craig’s list. Classifieds are a fading memory. With respect to regular ads, the story is almost as bad. 26% of ad spend in 2009 was allocated to print, while only 12% of time spent consuming media was spent on it. In contrast, Internet use is at 28% of time where only 13% of ad dollars are allocated.
Source: Morgan Stanley Internet Trends Presentation.pdf
It’s inevitable that advertisers will shift their budgets to follow where the attention is going. Potentially that’s a $50 billion shift into Internet advertising. The number nearly matches the $47 billion loss from print.
This future is not far off. In fact, it’s already happening. in recent years the number of newspapers slated for closure, bankruptcy or severe cutbacks has risen—especially in the United States, where the industry has shed a fifth of its journalists since 2001.
Once the printing plant is taken out of the equation, the raison d’être of the package itself ends. For this reason, the newspaper product cannot survive on-line. Reading news is still very popular, but newspapers aren’t.
So will the iPad save this medium?
As in Citizen Publisher, I argue that for that to happen, the medium needs its Orson Welles. Furthermore, to have him emerge, the business must be architected as an integrated approach to solve a new job to be done.
The latest story from The Guardian suggests that Rupert Murdoch is working on just such an approach. In another interview Murdoch explained the project in more detail:
What is the biggest thing on your mind now?
…There are so many disruptive technologies coming all the time! [This in almost a whoop of excitement.] Pretty. Damn. Interesting! Just trying to stay ahead of the technology. I’m starting a paper in six weeks. A brand new paper. It will be a bit like the New York Post . But it will be national. Have that sort of humour and attitude like the Post . It will only be seen on tablets. It will only employ journalists – and maybe eight to 10 technicians.
What sort of circulation will you need?
At the price we are talking about, that’s $1 a week – not a day, a week – we need 800,000. By the end of next year there will be 30 to 40 million iPads. I believe every single person will eventually have one, even children.
What’s more, it’s suggested that an unreformed disruptor is mysteriously involved. One can only speculate, but the hints of autonomy, dedicated (and incentivized) creative professionals involved in a new (not re-purposed) publication with a low-cost structure bodes well.
The medium may get its Orson Welles after all."
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Android Ad Requests up 2182% Since January, Now Tied with iOS
For the first time ever, Android has tied with Apple's iOS platform in terms of mobile ad impressions on Millennial Media's mobile advertising network, according to its latest monthly report. Android's mobile operating system has seen rapid gains over the course of 2010, and has increased its ad requests by 2182% since January, growing at a rate of 65% month-over-month.
Android now has a 37% impression share, as does Apple's iOS, says Millennial Media.
According to the new data, Apple is still the leading device on Millennial's network, representing 25% of the top 15 manufacturers by impression share during the month of October. Samsung is the number two manufacturer, with 17% and Motorola has now become the number three manufacturer, with a nearly 15% share.
Two new Motorola devices - the Droid 2 and the Droid X - also made their way onto the charts this month, appearing in the #18 and #11 spots on the top 30 Devices list, respectively.
RIM devices were found in six spots on the list, with the Blackberry Curve in the number two position, forcing the Motorola Droid down to the number four spot. The iPod Touch was also added to the list this month, and now comes in at #3.
Of all manufacturers, Samsung grew the most (around 3%) mostly due to its new devices the Vibrant Galaxy S, Samsung Smooth and Samsung SCH-R451.
Now Tracking 'Connected Devices' Too
For the first time, Millennial has begun tracking 'connected devices' - which includes any 'non-phone' with a Wi-Fi connection. This is why the iPod Touch suddenly appeared at the top of the list, for example. The company also tracked the iPad, reporting that it has seen ad requests increase 112% month-over-month.
Clearly separating out the iPad and iPod Touch from the iPhone should help deal with some of the confusion (see also: All Things D's analysis) surrounding Millennial;s data, like what we saw last month when the report included figures comparing the iPhone to Android, saying Android generates more revenue. It seemed odd, given that a chart elsewhere showed iOS's dominance in impression share.
This month, we can easily see Android's jump: iOS vs. Android was 46% to 29%. Now it's 37% to 37%, even. You can compare the difference in the two charts below. The top chart is September, the bottom chart is October.
Plus we now have a better understanding of where the iPad (#9) and the iPod Touch (#3) fit in with the rest of the mobile landscape, which we believe is a change for the better. Connected devices may not be 'mobile' in some people's eyes (see Mark Zuckberg's comment: 'iPad isn't mobile'), but for those interested in tracking ad share and impressions, they're still important items to analyze.
MeeGo 1.2 will require minimum specs – 600 MHz CPU, 512 MB RAM
You MeeGo fans out there will be happy to know that the 1.2 version will have minimum requirements of 600 MHz CPU and 512 MB of RAM. This means your new MeeGo device should have some decent horsepower but do these requirements go far enough?
If you don’t know, MeeGo is a smartphone operating system which is backed by Nokia, Intel and now AMD. It is essentially a modern platform which is being built with touch in mind and it will likely be Nokia’s strategy in the high-end space.
According to the My Nokia Blog:
Recent tweets and announcements from the MeeGo conference follow on twitter here minimum specs have been confirmed to be a minimum of 512MB RAM, 600MHz+ Arm V7 or x86 processors (Snapdragon, A4, OMAP,ST U8500 all fall into this category) 512 Mb internal ROM and GSM/HSPA. Unfortunately for those living in certain regions, CDMA is looking unlikely to be supported until version 1.3. In addition, the official releases for 1.1 and 1.2 DO NOT include support for LTE
The MeeGo 1.2 OS isn’t expected to hit until April 2011 and it may take more time before this actually hits the market because that release will be for developers and handset maker. That’s a long time for a new platform trying to gain traction and that’s why I don’t think the minimum specs go far enough.
Microsoft also included minimum specs for its Windows Phone 7 devices and this includes a 1 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera and all the connections you’d expect from devices like this. By establishing this baseline, Microsoft is ensuring that its Windows Phone 7 devices will be competitive with what’s out there.
We’re actually not too far from dual-core processors being the standard, which will also make the MeeGo minimum specs look a generation behind, especially if it tries to compete in the top-shelf category.
[Via My Nokia blog]
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