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Jan. 21, 2014
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Here are my current real estate listings as of January 21, 2014. American Fork, Utah (House) Eagle Mountain, Utah (Condo) Thatcher, Utah (Land) If you would like to see / buy any of these properties, please call or text me (Patrick) at (801) 874-7717.
Jan. 2, 2014
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In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about: The Perfect Poo City Councilman resigns in Klingon HP slashing jobs in 2014 Bigger iPhones and iOS adoption The NSA and Apple products The Microsoft CEO search…continues Top 10 most pirated movies of 2013 Banished words and phrases of 2013 Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Digital Zone 293: The Perfect Poo ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— In May 2012, Hewlett-Packard announced that it would be cutting about 27,000 jobs through fiscal year 2014 in a move expected to save the company as much as $3.5 billion. That number ticked up to 29,000 by July 2013. However, the company released its annual report and said they will be cutting an additional 5,000 jobs, for a total of 34,000 cuts by the end of fiscal 2014. As of the end of October 2013, HP employed 317,500 people. This is down from almost 350,000 in May 2012; by the time the layoffs are over, HP will have shed at least 10 percent of its total workforce. HP cites “continued market and business pressures” as the reason behind the creeping layoff numbers. HP’s 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission also shows that the company ended the year with a profit of $5.1 billion. HP lost about $12.6 billion in 2012, but made just over $7 billion in 2011. Apple will reportedly launch bigger iPhones this year, with displays that measure both 4.7 and 5.7 inches diagonally, according to Chinese social network Weibo. The information apparently comes from unnamed Foxconn executives, who supposedly said that Apple will make a “one-time exception” this year by launching two new iPhones with bigger displays. The bigger iPhone models should also come with biometric features such as the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that’s already found in the current iPhone 5s flagship. Apple’s iOS 7 launched in September and is now installed on 78 percent of all iPhones, iPads, and iPods, according to Apple. That leaves 18 percent for iOS 6 and 4 percent for earlier versions. The stats were measured by the App Store during the seven-day period ending this past Sunday. The new numbers show continuing growth for iOS 7. In mid-October, iOS 7 was installed on 64 percent of all iOS devices. And earlier in December, Apple’s App Store data noted 74 percent adoption. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— The Wall Street Journal wrote that unnamed sources say CEO candidates are worried about the potential influence of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, both of whom are likely to remain on the company’s board of directors even after the new CEO is chosen. Specifically, one source says that CEO candidates “know that part of what they are negotiating for is the level of engagement” that Gates and Ballmer will have with the company after they’re hired. The Journal’s sources also say that “some candidates for the top post at Microsoft seem to be particularly uneasy about Mr. Ballmer,” who has made “several recent decisions that have altered the company’s strategy and generated controversy among managers and investors.” The NSA could access almost all data stored on an iPhone, including location, text messages and contact lists – including the ability to activate both microphone and camera, according to a presentation by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum at the Chaos Communication Conference in Hamburg, Germany. Appelbaum showed what he said were leaked NSA documents in which the agency claimed to have a “100 percent success rate” at installing spyware on iPhones. The documents date back to 2008, at which point the NSA needed physical access to an iPhone to install the spyware, but a remotely-installable version was said at the time to be in development. Even needing physical access to the phone was seemingly not a barrier to the NSA. An earlier leak described an NSA team known as Tailored Access Operations, whose job was to intercept technology shipments between supplier and customer in order to install spyware and reseal the packaging in a way that would be undetectable to the recipient. Reportedly the NSA could even install spyware in the firmware of hard drives, so that even reformatting the drive would not protect it. Appelbaum says it is unclear whether Apple cooperated in allowing the exploit on which the spyware relies. Either [the NSA] have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce, and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— According to TorrentFreak, here are the world’s 10 most pirated movies in 2013 based on “several sources,” which includes download statistics from public BitTorrent trackers. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 8.4 million downloads Django Unchained: 8.1 million downloads Fast and Furious 6: 7.9 million downloads Iron Man 3: 7.6 million downloads Silver Linings Playbook: 7.5 million downloads Star Trek Into Darkness: 7.4 million downloads Gangster Squad: 7.2 million downloads Now You See Me: 7.0 million downloads The Hangover Part 3: 6.9 million downloads World War Z: 6.7 million downloads Lake Superior State University’s 39th annual list of banished words: — Selfie — Twerk/twerking — Hashtag — Twittersphere — Mr. Mom — T-Bone — On steroids — -ageddon — -pocalypse — Intellectually/morally bankrupt — Obamacare — Adversity (as a sports reference) — Fan base ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— Dog owners are familiar with the sight of their dog sniffing, hovering, rotating, and then finally settling in to do their business. It may seem like quite a production, but the pup may actually be getting into proper alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field. A team of scientists is behind a new study published in Frontiers in Zoology and titled “Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field.” The researchers started off by observing dog behaviors such as resting and feeding, but soon zeroed in on excreting as the main focus. The study concludes that, “Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm MF [magnetic field] conditions.” When the magnetic field isn’t calm, that directional behavior evaporates and the pooches aim any which way. The Earth’s magnetic field is only calm for about 20 percent of the daylight period, so you may have a hard time replicating the study’s findings with your own fuzzy test subject. The study shows a high level of dedication, with the researchers logging 1,893 dog-defecation observations using breeds ranging from beagles to mutts. The data was collected outside in open fields so dogs wouldn’t be biased by routines established during regular walks. The study reads, “alignment during excreting was apparent under conditions of quiet magnet field, irrespective of the time of day or month.” If the scientists’ discovery of magnetoreception in dogs holds up, then dogs could start to play a new role in research, perhaps even in the biomedical sector, the study suggests. It may also help impatient dog owners come to a new understanding of why it takes so long for their pet to complete their business. It takes a special kind of politician to end his term by signing a resignation letter “chaq DaHjaj QaQ jaj paj.” That’s “maybe today is a good day (to) resign.” In Klingon. David Waddell, a city councilman for Indian Trail, N.C., decided to send his resignation letter to Mayor Michael Alvarez written in Klingon as an inside joke. The politician used the Klingon translator on in case the mayor wasn’t fluent in the well-known “Star Trek” language. In fact, Waddell didn’t just write his resignation using standard Klingon, he chose the beautiful, pointy-looking written Klingon language of Kronos. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ————————————————————————————————————
Dec. 26, 2013
In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about: The Uncarrier Amazon Prime hits prime time Amazon steps up, #UPSFail iPhone 6 in May? Digital assistants An erasable internet Christmas shopping: iOS or Android devices Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Digital Zone 292: The Uncarrier ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— Amazon said they added more than one million new Amazon Prime members in the third week of December alone as shoppers rushed to finish their Christmas shopping. Amazon said it had to limit new Prime signups during peak periods to ensure existing members were not affected by the surge. Amazon offered the free 30-day trial of the service, which users can cancel at any time to avoid paying beyond the free trial, so it’s likely that at least some of those 1 million new members intend to cancel now that Christmas is over. In the US it costs $79 per year. In total, Amazon said it shipped enough items using its Prime service this holiday to deliver at least one gift to every household in America. Amazon said that the holiday period overall had been its most successful ever, and that on Cyber Monday 426 items were ordered every second, making a total of 36.8 million orders. More than half of all customers carried out their shopping from a mobile. In a related story, Amazon will give you a $20 gift card if UPS or FedEx failed to deliver your package by Christmas, The Wall Street Journal reports. An Amazon spokesperson said customers are eligible for the $20 credit if their order was fulfilled in time but couldn’t be delivered by Christmas day. The credit should automatically appear on your account. Amazon will also refund shipping charges for the delayed orders. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— People were more likely to use an iOS device over an Android device to shop online this holiday season . While the majority of online shopping took place on traditional computers, 48% of shopping traffic came from mobile devices, up 28.3% from last year, according to IBM. As a percentage of total online sales, iOS was more than five times higher than Android, driving 23 percent vs. 4.6 percent for Android. On average, iOS users spent $93.94 per order, nearly twice that of Android users, who spent $48.10 per order. iOS also led as a component of overall traffic with 32.6 percent vs. 14.8 percent for Android. IBM also found that while smartphones are more popular when it comes to finding gifts, tablets actually drive more purchases. While phones we’re responsible for 28.5% of shopping traffic compared to 18.1% for tablets, tablets saw 19.4% of sales, with smartphones accounting for just 9.3%. Tablet users also spent a bit more, with each tablet order averaging about $95.61 per order, compared to $85.11 per order for smartphone users. Unnamed sources tell Reuters that Sprint is already in talks to buy a majority stake T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom for $20 billion. In a related story, T-Mobile is about to announce an initiative that would pay off subscribers’ early termination fees if they switch from a rival carrier to T-Mobile. Specifically the source said that the company is planning “a project codenamed ‘Houdini’ which will give switchers up to $350 in credit when they switch to TMO” with a particular emphasis placed “on families switching up to 5 lines regardless of contract end dates.” Digitimes‘ supply chain sources claim that Apple is “rumored to be planning a larger size iPhone for May 2014, using a 20nm processor. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ————————————————————————————————————
Dec. 19, 2013
In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about: iPad Pro Amazon’s secret weapon Sprint making waves Most downloaded apps of 2013 USING CAPITAL LETTERS!!!!!! Text about the cabin James Bond’s drinking problem Google+ ghost town Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Digital Zone 291: USE CAPITAL LETTERS!!!!!! ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is working on the iPad Pro, a new larger version of its iPad tablet that sports a 12.9-inch display. One recent report even suggested Apple has two iPad Pro models in the works, one that will debut early next year and a second that will launch sometime in the second half of 2014. In addition to the Wall Street Journal, International Business Times says they have details on Apple’s upcoming larger iPads. They report the first version will have a quad HD (2K resolution) display will reportedly debut in April next year, and Apple will follow it up with an ultra HD (4K resolution) version in October. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— A new report from market research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reveals Amazon’s Amazon Prime is big business for the company. According to the study which surveyed 300 Amazon Prime subscribers who made purchases over a three-month period ending in November, Prime account holders shop on Amazon twice as often as non-Prime Amazon customers. More importantly, they spend more than twice as much. Their research found that Prime customers spend an average of $1,340 per year with Amazon while non-Prime shoppers spend $650 annually. This means that Amazon Prime customers are almost as valuable to Amazon as Amazon Visa cardholders, who spend an estimated $1,530 annually on The study says Amazon currently has about 16.7 million Prime members. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said that 2014 was his company’s time to make waves. With that said, The Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint is preparing to make a bid to buy off T-Mobile from parent company Deutsche Telekom in the first half of 2014. The Journal’s sources say that Sprint’s proposed deal “could be worth more than $20 billion, depending on the size of any stake in T-Mobile that Sprint tries to buy.” If Sprint were to successfully acquire T-Mobile it would leave the United States with just three nationwide wireless carriers. A combined Sprint and T-Mobile would have an estimated 53 million postpaid subscribers, which would still be substantially fewer the subscribers held by AT&T and Verizon. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— So, what was the number one game on Apple’s app store…Candy Crush…of course. It was the most downloaded free app for the iPhone and iPad in 2013, according to Apple’s Best of iTunes list. It was also the No. 1 paid app for the iPad, while Minecraft was the No. 1 paid app for the iPhone. Apple’s list, released Monday evening, also includes year-end top 10 charts for most downloaded or purchased songs, albums, books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, as well as Apple’s picks of best of the year for each category. Beyonce’s new “Beyonce” album, which was released on iTunes over the weekend, was second behind Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience.” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had the top-selling song with “Thrift Shop.” “Skyfall” was the year’s top-selling movie, and “Breaking Bad” was the best-selling TV show. Dan Brown’s “Inferno” was the best-selling book in fiction, while Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In,” encouraging women to achieve leadership positions, was the No. 1 nonfiction title in 2013. Have you ever wondered how to get more retweets? Research performed by TrackMaven, a company that says it’s involved in “competitive intelligence” looked at 1.7 million tweets from more than 1,400 accounts to gather insights into what sparks retweets and what doesn’t. If you want to get more retweets, YOU SHOULD USE MORE UPPERCASE LETTERS. Apparently, people pay attention when being shouted at. Direct marketers have known this for some time, as have pitchmen on every single ad with a phone number at the end. Another conclusion, Sunday is the best day of the week to retweet. Another conclusion, placing six or more exclamation marks at the end of your tweets will incite more retweets. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— Southwest Airlines announced earlier this week it will begin offering passengers with iOS devices the ability to use iMessage, from gate to gate. The new service, which will be available to anyone with a device running iOS 5 or later, will cost $2, and work throughout the flight. The airline said it plans to expand the service to Android devices next year. Southwest offers passengers in-flight Wi-Fi for $8, but it clearly feels that some people want to stay connected with friends, co-workers, or family, but don’t want to spend that much. The airline is able to offer the service gate to gate because of a recent decision by the Federal Aviation Administration to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet. Last month, Southwest said it would begin offering Wi-Fi from gate to gate, making it the first carrier to do so. According to British researchers, James Bond has a drinking problem. British medical experts read 12 James Bond novels and determined that agent 007’s copious alcohol consumption would have impeded his ability to drive Aston Martins to chase villains. It also likely would have killed him by his mid-fifties. The researchers concluded that his martini that’s “shaken, not stirred” may have been his socially acceptable way of coping with tremors caused by alcohol-induced brain damage. The researchers said James Bond consumed more than 1,150 units of alcohol in 123.5 days of face time in the novels. Factoring in days he was unable to drink — such as when incarcerated by an evil genius or hospitalized — that worked out to roughly 92 units of booze each week, about four times more than the 21-unit limit British health officials recommend. All that booze likely meant he was over the 0.08 blood alcohol legal limit each time he got behind the wheel to chase criminals. A new study performed by GlobalWebIndex looked into how much Google+ is being used. They found it is used most by people who work in IT. Other top user types include senior “decision makers,” company owners, people who are self-employed and people living with friends or who are single. Since nearly a third of Google+ usage is tied to IT workers, Google’s social network is to engineers what Facebook is to moms and Twitter is to journalists. Who isn’t using Google+ as much? Full time parents, support level employees, financial services employees and people with ages between 55 years and 64 years are the least likely to use the Google service, according to the study. The two-year-old Google+ social network has more than 540 million registered users, according to data released this October, however Google+ engagement and sharing may still be unimpressive. A Marketing Land study from July said that Google’s social network only accounted for 2% of social shares, just under LinkedIn and well below competitors including Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest. Similarly, AdWeek on Monday reported that Google+ social engagement is still low for the July to September period. A Gigya study found that only 3% of all social sharing went to Google+ during the period, with the same Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest and Linked surpassing it in social activity. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ————————————————————————————————————
Dec. 12, 2013
In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about: Smartphone secrets Window 7 sales back on Windows 8: back to the future Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 sales The Yahoo / Microsoft search relationship iOS 7 and Android adoption rates iBeacon Curved smartphone displays Taxidermy chess How the Digital Zone podcast is produced Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Digital Zone 290: Taxidermy Chess ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— Microsoft’s Xbox One is now on pace with Sony’s PlayStation 4. Microsoft said today it has sold 2 million Xbox One units worldwide since the console launched last month. Microsoft reached the milestone in 18 days. The Xbox One’s sales news comes a week after Sony said that it has reached 2.1 million PlayStation 4 unit sales. That company took 15 days to reach that milestone. Microsoft said the Xbox One has so far sold more quickly than the Xbox 360, adding that the company is producing Xbox One units as quickly as possible to keep up with demand. Windows 7 sales are coming to a close. As of October 30, 2013, Microsoft ceased selling boxed copies of Windows 7 at retail sores. OEMs can continue to sell PCs preloaded with Windows 7 until October 30, 2014. In a related story…Microsoft is now saying that date was posted in error. The new official word is that Microsoft still has yet to determine when the Windows 7 preload cut-off date will be. A spokesperson supplied the following statement explaining the mix-up: “We have yet to determine the end of sales date for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled. The October 30, 2014 date that posted to the Windows Lifecycle page globally last week was done so in error. We have since updated the website to note the correct information; however, some non-English language pages may take longer to revert to correctly reflect that the end of sales date is ‘to be determined.’ We apologize for any confusion this may have caused our customers. We’ll have more details to share about the Windows 7 lifecycle once they become available.” In a related story, and as we’ve talked about on the podcast, Windows 8 is a very polarizing operating system. While many Windows users find it much faster and more stable than earlier versions of Windows, other users simply hate the Metro UI and wish it would go away forever. Paul Thurrott reports some good news for desktop users who feel spurned by Windows 8 and aren’t satisfied with the changes made with Windows 8.1: Microsoft is working hard to appease them. The most important change, as Thurrott hears it, is that Microsoft will finally be bringing back the full Start menu to the Windows 8.2 desktop mode. Unlike the current Start button that Microsoft added to Windows 8.1, the new Start menu will be much more like the one Windows users have known and loved since Windows 95. Thurrott also says that the new version of Windows will allow for Metro apps to run as floating windows on the desktop screen, something that users can only do right now if they’ve installed third-party applications such as ModernMix. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— Looks like Yahoo is more dependent on Microsoft than it lets on. Both companies are in the middle of a 10-year search partnership wherein Bing handles the Web crawling capabilities for Yahoo’s home page, while Microsoft gets to brand each Yahoo search results page as “Powered by Bing.” A US Securities and Exchange Commission filing recently made public showed that 31 percent of the company’s revenue last quarter was generated through its partnership with Microsoft. Current Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer inherited the deal put in place by former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, has indicated her dissatisfaction with the search partnership even though a significant percentage of Yahoo’s revenue came via Microsoft. The deal, according to the terms, has certain “outs,” allowing each company to terminate it if it doesn’t meet certain financial expectations. Apple has officially confirmed three-quarters of iDevices are now running iOS 7. Apple’s data is coming from visits to the App Store during a 7-day period ending on December 1. The numbers are in sharp contrast to Android, where the latest KitKat version (Android 4.4) is at just 1.1 percent and the previous 4.3 version of Jelly Bean at just 4.2 percent. Apple will start using the iBeacon feature built into iOS 7 to be a personal shopper for customers on Friday at its 254 stores across the US. As long as you have Apple’s official Store app installed and allow the program to track your location, iBeacon can tell you about the products you’re near in the store, and provide order updates that can be shared with sales staff on the floor. One of the more interesting tools Apple has built into iBeacon is the ability to determine upgrade eligibility on the iPhone. When near an iPhone, Apple’s app will see if you’d like to upgrade to the newer version. The app will also check upgrade eligibility to determine if it’s a feasible move right now. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ———————————————————————————————————— The next set of iOS devices could come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but the latest Apple patent published on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website is the best evidence yet that the iPhone 6 will feature a curved display. The USPTO awarded the patent to Apple this past Tuesday, just over three years since the company originally filed for a “curved touch sensor.” In the patent, Apple describes its proposed method to form a curved touchscreen display while eliminating many of the current inadequacies of the process. By affixing a thin film to the flat, flexible substrate before applying heat and curving it, Apple believes it can strengthen the display and avoid warping the substrate all at once. A study performed on behalf of Clean Master — a KS Mobile product – says they know what type of information people keep on the smartphones. It asked 1,000 apparently honest Americans what was the one thing on their smartphones that they hoped no one else would ever see. You would think it would be ‘very personal’ pictures of oneself. However, their research suggests that Americans have an even greater personal taboo: their bank information. A full 25 percent of respondents said they would be mortified to have this information be seen by someone else while ‘very personal’ photos only came in at 8 percent. The three groups of people who represent the greatest threat to cause the greatest embarrassment if they happened upon your smartphone are — in order — friends, children, and co-workers. Strangers and criminals are on the list but come much later. ———————————————————————————————————— YOUR CALL TO ACTION If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717. ————————————————————————————————————
Dec. 9, 2013
In this edition of the Business Fuel Podcast , we talked with: Dick Cross – Author of ‘Just Run It’ and CEO of Battery Solutions Retirement is a dumb idea Employee turnover as a positive company catalyst Employee evaluations is complete bologna Rubber meets the road character traits Courage from the keyboard Courtesy, humility, unselfishness The unnatural natural Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Business Fuel #106: Courage From The Keyboard
Dec. 5, 2013
In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about: Amazon Prime Air Bigger screens, more data Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors Facial password Windows 7 over Windows 8 Facebook news Sprint LTE coming to Salt Lake City iPad Air or iPad Mini with Retina display? Cameras, cameras everywhere Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Digital Zone 289: Amazon Prime Air Amazon is testing a delivery service that uses drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes of an order being placed. Dubbed Amazon Prime Air, the service uses 8-propeller drones about the size of a remote-controlled airplane to transport shoebox-size plastic bins from fulfillment centers to customers’ homes. The service, which still requires more testing and clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration, could take to the skies as soon as four to five years. The little unmanned aerial vehicles rely on GPS to deliver their cargo. Owners of smartphones with larger screens consume considerably more data on their devices than do the owners of smaller devices like Apple’s iPhone. The finding comes from new figures out from The NPD Group, which looked at monthly Wi-Fi and cellular data consumption among American consumers. For the three months ending July 2013, NPD found that the owners of smartphones with screens sized 4.5 inches and larger used 44 percent more data than those with smaller devices. Owners of devices with screen sizes smaller than 4.5 inches used about 5GB of data per month on Wi-Fi and cellular connections. Those with larger devices used around 7.2GB of data per month The Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature a metal unibody design when it debuts in 2014, according to Japanese Web site EMSOne. The most recent rumors suggest that the device might be offered in two versions: the traditional plastic design, and a metal body. You may one day be able to unlock your iPhone using your face. Apple was awarded by the US Patent and Trademark, a patent called “Personal computing device control using face detection and recognition” which envisions a method to access your iPhone and other devices based on facial detection and recognition. As such, your face would act as a password, allowing only you to answer a phone call and perform other tasks. The technology would start by scanning your face in order to record all of its unique features, such as texture, color, size, and shape. You could run the same process for any other person whom you want to use your iPhone. In response to an incoming call, your phone would scan your face to make sure it matches that of an authorized user. If so, the call goes through, and your iPhone displays the usual incoming call screen. If not, the device remains in lock mode with only the ringtone chiming away. The same security could apply for incoming e-mails. Looking at the iPhone would alert you to and display an e-mail. An authorized face would prevent the e-mail alert and hide or block the actual message. Even with the return of the ‘Start’ button, Net Applications finds that Windows 8 growth has stagnated as the combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 grew by only 0.05 percentage points in November. In contrast, Windows 7′s market share grew by 0.22 percentage points, which means that users upgrading to new PCs still seem to prefer Windows 7 to Windows 8. It also seems that Windows 8.1 growth is almost entirely driven by current Windows 8 users who are eagerly upgrading their PCs to take advantage of the latest software, as Windows 8.1′s market share grew by 0.92 percentage points and Windows 8′s market share shrank by 0.87 percentage points. In October, a Pew Research Center report was released showing that 30-percent of American adults on Facebook get at least part of their news through the social network. That number may grow in the coming months, with Facebook announcing that it will be showing more news links, particularly for those who are accessing the social network through a smartphone. Facebook says in its announcement that this is to further refine the News Feed so that it gives users what they want to see when they want to see it. Facebook says that it will be targeting high-quality content, and that users on smartphones will be seeing those links appear in their News Feed a tad more often than they do on the desktop. Memes are getting the short end of the stick, and will be showing up less, being lower-quality content that the social network has identified as less wanted by its users over news content. The news links will be related to users various interests, and Facebook says that it noticed that individuals prefer to see content about their favorite sports teams, high-quality current events news, and shared interests, among other things. Now when users click on a link, they may be served up to three related links beneath it following the update.
Dec. 2, 2013
In this edition of the Business Fuel Podcast , we talked with: Tom Gazaway – Founder and CEO of Hawkeye Management Business credit scores and profiles The idea of credit scaling Looking at credit as an asset The impact of good and bad credit Small business trends / solopreneurs Top five places for getting a business loans Formalizing the business loan with friends and family Preparing to get a business loan Top three reasons why businesses fail The swinging credit pendulum Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Business Fuel #105: Will Work For Chocolate
Nov. 27, 2013
In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about: Xbox One and Playstation 4 sales Touch enabled PC sales down Top smartphone complaints Apple’s impact on smartphone market Apple and Foxconn’s relationship Despite selling more than a million Xbox Ones in less than 24 hours after launch, Microsoft is not going to make money off the console anytime soon, according to Barron’s, saying Microsoft stands to lose more than $1 billion this year from its Xbox venture. Barron’s says Microsoft will sell around 4.2 million Xbox One units, although the number may be too optimistic considering existing competition from the PlayStation 4, early supply problems, and competition from the iPhone, iPad, other smartphones and tablets that can be used for games and media consumption. In a related story, Microsoft is rewarding Xbox One buyers who encountered issues with the console right out of the box with a free game for their troubles, in addition to a replacement console. The news comes straight from Xbox customer care, which has notified some Xbox One owners via email that they can choose one of four titles including Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome and Zoo Tycoon to download for free on their Xbox One. Microsoft’s hope with Windows 8 was that it would create demand for touch-enabled PCs that would revitalize PC sales. New data from NPD DisplaySearch estimates that touch-enabled notebooks will account for just 11% of all notebooks shipped in 2013. If you don’t own one of the most popular smartphones on the market, have you ever wondered what users complain about the most? According to Fixya, they have created this latest report by sourcing data from its 30 million users and 8 million product problems and solutions: Top 5 Samsung Galaxy S4 Issues: 1. Overheating – 25% 2. Battery Problems – 20% 3. Screen Issues – 20% 4. Phone & Text Issues – 15% 5. Other – 20% Top 5 Moto X Issues: 1. Storage Space – 30% 2. Screen Quality – 20% 3. Camera Quality – 20% 4. GPS Problems – 15% 5. Other –15% Top 5 iPhone 5s Issues: 1. Battery Problems – 25% 2. Fingerprint Password – 25% 3. Display Size – 15% 4. Apps Crashing – 15% 5. Other – 20% Top 5 HTC One Issues: 1. Battery Life – 30% 2. Audio Issues – 20% 3. Camera Quality – 20% 4. Blinkfeed Feature – 10% 5. Other – 20% According to a report in AllThingsD from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Apple stores sell 25% of all iPhones in the United States and 11% of all retail phones overall. While the carriers still sell the majority of all cellphones, Best Buy also accounts for 13% of cellphone sales, and big-box retailers Walmart, Costco, and Target account for 12% of cellphone sales. Of course, Apple stores only sell iPhones, whereas Best Buy and other retailers sell phones from all carriers and platforms, including the iPhone. A WSJ piece on Foxconn, ramping up production of the iPhone 5s to meet demand provided an interesting glimpse at some of the numbers involved. Foxconn operates 100 production lines, which are now operating at maximum capacity 24/7 to turn out 500,000 iPhones 5s handsets per day according to the report. Each iPhone represents the combined work of around 600 people. The unnamed Foxconn source said that this amounted to 100 people more than for the iPhone 5c due to the increased complexity of the high-end phone. For the iPhone 5C or the iPhone 5, we only have 500 workers per production line as the assembly procedure is less complicated. While the relationship between Apple and Foxconn is a crucially important one to both companies, each side is reportedly looking to reduce its reliance on the other – Apple looking to diversify its supply chain, and Foxconn keen to retain capacity for other clients. Apple currently represents around 40 percent of Foxconn’s revenue.
Nov. 25, 2013
In this edition of the Business Fuel Podcast , we talked with: Ross McGarvey – Founder and Owner of Avant 8 a consulting, marketing, and design firm. The Bluetooth project Learning new business skills Don’t wait for the handout Overcoming the obstacle of “I don’t know how to do it” No credit, no problem Thinking and solving business problems The problems with getting a loan from a bank Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Business Fuel #104: Ghost in the Machine