Posts tagged "New York Times"

This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible

Each week, there are dozens of Apple rumors, reports, and patent filings that hint at what’s coming out of Cupertino next. Some are legit, but most are totally bogus. We’ve parsed the week’s rumors, ranking them in order from “utterly ridiculous” to “duh, of course.” First up…

ASK AGAIN LATER: Apple Inventing Solar Charging Accessory Apple’s been dabbling in the solar power game for a while — at least according to its intellectual property filings. The company’s latest invention to come out of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is a solar panel accessory that doesn’t need a power converter and would work with a MacBook, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via USB or a power connector. They key part of the patent is the power management circuitry, which could be embedded in the device itself. Could we start seeing partially solar powered devices or accessories from Apple in the not too distant future? It’s definitely possible.

ASK AGAIN LATER: Retina iPad Mini Could Launch November 21 Target.com let slip in a product listing that the iPad mini with Retina display would be released November 21, a week before Thanksgiving. This particular release date is interesting — Apple usually releases products on a Friday (like the iPad Air, which just went on sale today). However, with holiday travel, Black Friday, and all that jazz, it could make sense for Apple to give iPad mini admirers some extra time before the weekend officially lands to get their hands on the new tablet. Or maybe the 21st isn’t the real date after all.

SIGNS POINT TO YES: Job Listing Indicates Apple Working on Maps’ Transit Directions It’s about time: Two job listing seem to show that Apple is working on adding transit directions to Apple Maps. The positions are “Maps Public Transit Engineering Manager” and “Public Transit Software Engineer,” and both would (logically) work on the Maps team to improve its “Transit Routing” platform. If it wants to be competitive with mapping app leaders like Google, transit directions are a must. It makes complete sense that Apple would want to beef up its team on this front.

WITHOUT A DOUBT: Apple Experimenting With Curved Glass Wrist-Worn Devices According to The New York Times, Apple is exploring a wristwatch-like device made of curved glass. Between the company’s recent wearables-related hires, other whispers from employees and suppliers, and CEO Tim Cook’s frequent teases, it’s almost a given that Apple is working on some sort of wearable device. Apple has also patented a means for bending glass, providing evidence the company is taking some time to explore the curved glass space. (Corning has been working on curved Gorilla Glass for a while now too). As for when we’ll see these devices and what they’ll look like, that’s still anyone’s guess

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Posted by plates55 - November 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

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Microsoft RAP as a Service

RAP as a Service (RaaS) Prerequisites

This download is meant for Microsoft Premier Support customers only. This page contains prerequisites documents for the various RAP as a Service programs offered by Microsoft Premier Support.

Download RAP as a Service Prerequisites – Microsoft Download Center – Download Details

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Posted by plates55 - September 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

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With Search+, Google Fires Another Shot At Facebook

LAS VEGAS — If last year’s launch of Google+ was the search giant’s first shot in the social wars, consider the new Search+ product its Blitzkrieg.

Launched Tuesday, Google’s new Search+ initiative integrates results culled from your Google+ social network connections into Google search queries, a major step into providing relevant social content into the company’s namesake product.

When you search for a term — say, “Netflix,” for example — the new product will serve up private and public instances of “Netflix” pulled from people you’re connected with on Google+, including photos, links and status updates. In addition, relevant Google+ profiles, personalities and brand pages will also be folded into results.

So a search for Netflix could yield the official site, a news story about the company, a link to a friend from Google+ talking about Netflx, and the like. Further, all of these results are tailored specifically to those friends in your network, so each person’s results will be personalized and completely different.

See also: ‘Has Google Popped the Filter Bubble?‘ By Steven Levy

It’s a huge move for Google, a company which made its bilions indexing web pages with its advanced algorithms. The company’s origins are rooted in text-based search, using Larry Page’s now-famous “Page Rank” system to create a hierarchy of relevancy for when users entered search queries. Over the years, search progressed: Google added video, images, its Instant product, and the like. The early Oughts gave rise to an age of search, so much so that “Googling” was deemed a verb in our official English lexicon.

But as the decade progressed, another phenomenon began to take over — social. Facebook grew from a small site created in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global presence, now boasting over 800 million users. Twitter sees millions of tweets pass through its pipes monthly. Social network LinkedIn is one of the most watched companies in the Valley. And social gaming giant Zynga just filed a multi-billion dollar IPO in December.

And as users flocked to the platform, a different kind of search evolved. It was a search based on items which users didn’t even know they wanted. Facebook begat “likes,” a way of notifying others that you like (or are at the very least interested in) something. ‘Likes’ spread fast, and liking became another way to find new and relevant content from friends.

And as Facebook widened its reach over time, Google fell further and further behind.

“One of the signals that we haven’t take as much advantage of as we should have is that all of [our search results] were written by people,” said Jack Menzel, director of search product management, in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). “And you, the searcher, are a unique person, looking for info specifically relevant to you.”

So the introduction of Google’s new Search+ additions ultimately serve a twofold purpose: First, Google is using the strength of its insanely popular search product to bolster its fledgling social network. As of today, Google+ has a user base somewhere in the tens of millions — far behind that of Facebook. Considering the millions upon millions of search queries entered every single day, and the implications of folding Google+ information into those results, it’s a easy way to leverage the power of Google’s existing properties into beefing up its young one.

Second, it provides Google with an entire cache of new information relevance. Google and Facebook made headlines last year after Google alluded to issues with indexing Facebook users’ individual profile data for Google’s search results. In vague terms, Google search seemed limited in how much Facebook data it was privy to. And in an age where social sharing has grown far more relevant than ever before, that’s a huge chunk of pertinent information.

So Google has decided to go within for that data. User posts and data can now be searched for relevant content, and served up to individuals. While it’s nowhere near as extensive as Facebook’s treasure trove of personal data, it’s a fine start for Google’s push into social.

The new products could, however, yield a number of problems for Google. For instance, if a user searches for a recent New York Times article using Google and search results yield both the article itself and a post from a Google+ friend who shared the article, the user may click on the friend’s shared result, possibly read the headline and not end up going to the publisher’s site, instead sticking inside of the Google+ environment. That means fewer clicks for The New York Times, and few ad dollars in the long run.

Further, Google has never had much luck in the realm of privacy, and adding personal results to search queries could cause user upheaval. Privacy scares and Google aren’t strangers.

But Google insists these features aren’t going to be invasive. “With your permission, and knowing about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations, and search quality will be better for consumers,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters last fall.

The company has built a number of safeguards into the product itself to appease privacy wonks as well. First, by default all searches will be secured by SSL encryption, protecting from others trying to peep your queries. Second, it’s all opt-in. There’s a little Search+ toggle button available on the page, so you can turn it on or off depending on if you want the personal results to appear. And finally, you can completely turn it off if you don’t want the new features integrated into your existing Google searches.

In all, it’s Google’s answer to recent developments in Facebook’s expanding universe. As Facebook opened up its graph to integrate better with application developers last year, huge services and publishers have flocked to the platform, and sharing has grown exponentially. If Google has classically wielded ‘search’ as its weapon, Facebook’s ‘sharing’ was its own tool of destruction.

But with Google’s new products, social search aims to become a stronger tool, integrating Google’s past strengths with what looks to be a very social future

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Posted by plates55 - January 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

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HBO Stops Discounting Discs to Netflix, Intensifying Battle for Content

The unspoken battle between HBO and Netflixgot a little uglier on Thursday when it was revealed that the premium cable channnel had stopped offering DVDsto Netflix at a discount.As first reported by the The New York Times and later confirmed by both companies, the volume wholesale discounts that HBO used to offer Netflix are no more. The change took place at the first of the year.

Although Netflix remains committed to offering HBO titles to its rent-by-mail customers — the company can simply acquire the latest releases of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood via other retail outlets — this move underscores a trend we’ve written about before: The content battle taking place between online streaming and TV Everywhere, the initiative from content providers to offer their products directly to subscribers online.

Brad Adgate, senior vice president and director of research at Horizon Media doesn’t think HBO’s decision to refuse discounts on its discs will have much of an impact on Netflix’s subscriber base, in part because “DVDs are kind of on its way out and Netflix has moved its core business to streaming.” He describes the relationship between HBO and Netflix as “frienemies,” noting that “they are competitors but also offer the other a source of revenue.”

According to Adgate, the real challenge is the success of HBO’s streaming app, HBO Go, and the broader impact that might have on Netflix’s new core business.


HBO Go vs. Netflix


HBO’s parent company, Time Warner, has famously refused to license its popular and critically acclaimed content to Netflix (excepting early HBO programming like The Larry Sanders Show that are bound under different home-video agreements). Instead, HBO has pursued its own TV Everywhere initiative with HBO Go.

HBO Go is an app that offers subscribers access to current HBO programming along with a back catalog of original series. This content is available on iOS, Android, Roku and video game consoles. HBO Go is a huge hit, with more than 5 million downloads in 2011. Time Warner Cable and Cablevision, two early TV Everywhere holdouts, have both agreed to start support HBO Go in 2012.

As I’ve argued in the past, the success of HBO Go has shown content owners that they don’t necessarily have to bypass traditional distribution platforms like cable; instead content owners can augment their current cable deals with online/tablet/phone access.


The Content Battle Continues


When it comes to content, Netflix is in a bit of a catch 22. On the one hand, it needs a viable, robust and ever-increasing library of streaming content to keep its customer base. On the other hand, the success of Netflix — and indeed the broader success of Hulu Plus, HBO Go and online subscription in general — has made acquiring content much more expensive.

As Adgate pointed out, Netflix’s deal with Starz expires next month. When the Starz agreement ends, Netflix will lose its streaming access to almost all of its Walt Disney, Pixar and Sony Pictures content. Netflix has tried to spin the loss, pointing out its content deals with AMC Networks and DreamWorks Animation, but as Adgate pointed out, the company is now paying the same amount for a small selection of titles that it used to pay for an entire year’s worth of Starz content.

Adgate thinks Netflix’s next step will be to sell advertising “similar to the way Hulu does and what YouTube is trying to do” and in the process “create a second revenue stream” in addition to subscriber fees. Adgate argues that while many compare Netflix to ad-free pay cable à la HBO, the better comparison is traditional cable networks like FX or ESPN. As Adgate notes, “Consumers already pay $5 a month for ESPN and you get ads with that.”

It’s an interesting proposition. While Netflix might have a hard time integrating advertising into its main catalog of titles, the company is increasingly investing in original programming. Its first original series will debut next month, with future projects — including the continuation of Arrested Development to follow into 2013.

 


Viewers Still Love Netflix


Of course, even with the content growing pains, viewers still love Netflix. The company reported 2 billion hours of streaming content was consumed at the end of 2011. Analyst Richard Greenfield told Variety that by his estimations, that would make Netflix the 15th most watched network.

The real question is, what impact will new content deals (or a lack of deals) have on these viewership numbers.

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Posted by plates55 - January 6, 2012 at 7:19 am

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