Monthly Archives: January 2014

liberty news

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telecoms

Samsung and Google in more deal talks
In an effort to reconcile their visions for Android, Samsung and Google have reportedly been hammering out a deal whereby Samsung would more prominently feature Google’s suite of apps on its mobile devices. Google was not particularly excited by the Magazine UX interface that Samsung incorporated into the Galaxy NotePRO tablet it unveiled at CES. Samsung has long added its own flourishes to Android via the Touchwiz interface, just as HTC does with Sense.
IT Pro Portal

 

Apple patents new pressure-sensitive touchscreen technology
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reveal a filing made by Apple that introduces a new kind of touchscreen technology that could be used for its future mobile devices. This touchscreen will utilise built-in pressure sensors to enable additional gestures and touch-based interactions more than those provided by current technology.
Slashgear

 

Tata Group may exit telecoms industry
Indian conglomerate reportedly in talks to sell Tata Communications, Tata Teleservices to Vodafone. Just weeks after Vodafone was reported to be preparing a takeover bid for rival Indian operator Tata Teleservices, the U.K.-based mobile giant has been named as a potential buyer of Tata Communications too. According to an Economic Times report this week, Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry is looking to exit the telecoms industry altogether, and sources claim his people have initiated deal talks with Vodafone.
Total Telecom

 

enterprise technology

Yahoo customer e-mails hacked in latest security breach
Usernames and passwords of some of Yahoo’s e-mail customers have been stolen and used to gather personal information about people they have recently corresponded with. Yahoo did not say how many accounts were affected. There are 273 million Yahoo mail accounts worldwide, 81 million of them in the United States. It is the latest in a string of security breaches that have allowed hackers to grab personal information using software that analysts say is ever more sophisticated.
Engineering and Technology Magazine

 

Microsoft board close to naming Nadella as new CEO
Microsoft Corp is likely to appoint its cloud-computing head, Satya Nadella, as its next chief executive, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, as the board concludes a five-month search for a tech-savvy heavy-hitter to lead the world’s largest software company. As part of the move, co-founder Bill Gates may step aside as chairman and be replaced by lead independent director John Thompson, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the process is private. Gates would remain a director, the source added.
Reuters

 

IMB seeks to shed SDN with billion-dollar pricetag
Only a short time after selling its server business to Lenovo, IBM is reportedly seeking to sell part of its networking assets. Big Blue is reportedly looking to offload its software-defined networking (SDN) product line for as much as $1 billion (£607 million, $1.14 billion). According to a news report  by Re/Code, IBM approached several companies, including Dell, HP, Cisco, Juniper and Fujitsu, to drum up any interest in the leftover assets. The New York-based firm, which is moving towards cognitive Big Data with Watson and also taking strides towards cloud computing, apparently sees the SDN unit as unimportant to the business.
Techradar

 

media news

Drinks brands and sports bodies endorse first UK alcohol sponsorship code
The widest ever partnership of drinks companies, retailers, rights holders and representatives of sports, music and venues have signed up to a new code aimed at regulating all new alcohol sponsorship agreements in the UK.

Alcohol regulator Portman Group, which has helped draw up the new code, claimed it carried “clear sanctions” – both through the negative publicity drinks brands risk by breaching the code and the financial cost of having to renegotiate a sponsorship agreement or having to withdraw it completely.
Marketing

 

Amazon posts Record Profits, But Shares Tumble
Online retail giant Amazon saw its share price tumble after releasing its fourth quarter results, despite posting profits of $239 million (£144.9m).Profits for the quarter jumped from$97 million (£58.8m) for the same quarter in 2012. The US firm’s figures also showed a 20 per cent increase in sales of $25.59bn (£15.53bn) for the quarter to December 31, 2013, up from $21.27bn (£12.9bn) for the same period the previous year. But the results missed expectations, and with modest revenue forecast for the current quarter, shares dipped 10 per cent in after-hours trading.
Huffington Post

 

Freesat launches BBC Sport and BBC News apps
Freesat viewers will now be able to access BBC News and BBC Sport through apps launched on the platform’s Freetime service. The apps will give viewers extra news and sports videos they can access through their set-top box. Both will have a similar look and feel to the broadcaster’s websites and connected TV apps. Satellite viewers will be able to access six live HD video streams, delivering over 650 hours of live sporting action from Sochi 2014 using the BBC Sport app.
Recombu

liberty news

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telecoms

 

Tesco Mobile shakes things up by making 4G free
Tesco Mobile is doing away with its 4G charges from January 30, and won’t be charging any extra for the faster network from now on. Previously, Tesco added a £2.50 premium for the privilege of using its 4G – customers paying that, will receive a credit on their monthly statement.
TechRadar

 

 

Lenovo’s Motorola buy out caps transformation
The news that Lenovo had agreed to acquire the Motorola handset business from Google for $2.9bn drew sharply different reactions after the announcement early on Thursday morning in Beijing. Coming hot on the heels of its $2.3bn deal to buy part of IBM’s server business, it capped a week of dealmaking designed to accelerate the transformation of the world’s biggest PC maker into a broad-based tech manufacturer.
Financial Times

 

Deutsche Telekom: NSA/GCHQ revelations an opportunity
German operator group Deutsche Telekom has hailed last year’s revelations that the US spy agency NSA and the UK’s GCHQ had been monitoring ordinary citizens’ browsing and messaging habits as an “opportunity” for operators to provide data privacy and data security services. The operator said that before the revelations, primarily from 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Edward Snowden, about the NSA and GCHQ were made, data privacy and security were never in the public spotlight as much as they are now.
Total Telecom

 

 

enterprise technology

 

Tesco and Waitrose to launch “click an collect” with London Underground
Supermarket chains Tesco and Waitrose are to begin “click and collect” services across the London Underground network after signing a deal with the city’s transport authority. The partnership with Transport for London, which provides for an average 11 million journeys each day, will enable commuters to pick up their online purchases from underground stations. Tesco and Waitrose will trial the scheme in six locations initially.
Reuters

 

Amazon plans move into physical payments
Amazon plans to offer brick-and-mortar retailers a checkout system that uses Kindle tablets as soon as this summer, people briefed on the company’s plans said. In one scenario, the Seattle company would give merchants Kindle tablets and credit-card readers. Amazon also might offer retailers other services, such as website development and data analysis, the people said.
Wall Street Journal


UK introduces new Digital Public Services

The UK government unveiled a plan to introduce new online services which are expected to offer cumulative savings of £1.2bn. During Sprint 14, a showcase for digital government, five new services were showcased which claimed to offer a simpler, clearer and faster process for users, and offer better services for PAYE tax, prison visits, electoral registration, driving records and visa applications. With the launch, the government expects to save about £1.2bn through the digitisation of public services and also expects the savings to increase to £1.7bn a year after 2015.
Computer Business Review

 

 

media news

 

IPTV to lead global pay-TV growth to $270BN
Worldwide video service revenue, including cable and satellite pay-TV and telco-based IPTV, grew again in the first half of 2013, to reach $110 billion says the latest report from Infonetics Research. This would represent a 2 per cent uptake over the second half of 2012 with most of the growth driven by IPTV services. Telco IPTV and satellite revenue both continue to rise, thanks to new subscribers and increased ARPU in the critical regions of North America and Western Europe.
RapidTV News

 

Last.fm plots streaming music comeback with Spotify and YouTube
Last.fm remains the biggest digital music company to emerge from the UK, if judged by the $280m that US media giant CBS paid for it in 2007. Since then, though, the company’s profile has slipped as newer services like Spotify have come to prominence. Last.fm’s co-founders left the company in 2009, it shut down its ability to play tracks on-demand the following year, and moved its personal radio service behind a paywall in the UK, US and Germany in 2012, scrapping the service altogether in most countries.
The Guardian

 

 

Time Machine app calculates lost days, hours and minutes spent on Facebook
A new app coinciding with the tenth anniversary of Facebook has been published by Time magazine which promises to calculate how much time people have wasted on the social networking site over that period – down to the nearest minute. When activated the app scuttles through a user’s timeline, logging timestamps on posts until it reaches the earliest, from this the app outputs a screen displaying the total number of days, hours and minutes spent interacting with the site since joining.
The Drum

liberty news

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telecoms

 

Carphone to partner Samsung on Europe stores
Carphone Warehouse, Europe’s No. 1 independent mobile phone retailer, has signed a deal with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd that will see it operate over 60 Samsung stand-alone stores across the continent, it announced today.
Reuters

 

 

Three UK confirms data loss for users
It looks like Three’s network has gone wonky this morning, as many users are finding they cannot access internet on their smartphones and tablets. Three UK tweeted: “Some customers are having internet issues. We’re sorry for any inconvenience. We’re working on fixing this quickly. We will update you here.”
Tech Radar

 

 

AT&T swings back to Q4 profit but wireless net adds fall
AT&T late Tuesday announced it swung to a healthy fourth quarter profit but its wireless net additions trailed significantly those of closest rival Verizon. In the three months ended 31 December 2013, AT&T added 809,000 new mobile users, of which 566,000 were lucrative contract customers.
Total Telecom

 

enterprise technology

 

Yahoo’s revenue keeps sliding
Marissa Mayer‘s attempt to turn around Yahoo is stuck in neutral. Yahoo on Tuesday reported its revenue fell 1.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, minus commissions paid to partners for Web traffic, the fourth straight quarter without growth. The company’s closely watched display-ad revenue, which makes up about 41 per cent of the company’s total, fell another 5.6 per cent even as the overall market grows quickly.
Wall Street Journal

 

 

UK government plans switch to open source from Microsoft office suite
Ministers are looking at saving tens of millions of pounds a year by abandoning expensive software produced by firms such as Microsoft. Some £200m has been spent by the public sector on the computer giant’s Office suite alone since 2010. But Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude believes a significant proportion of that outlay could be cut by switching to free ‘open source’ software such as OpenOffice and Google Docs.
The Guardian

 


IBM launches digital customer experience consultancy
IBM today announced it has created a special arm dedicated to improving the customer experience through technology in a way that blends attractive and intuitive design with ease of use. Dubbed IBM Interactive Experience, it will bring together design gurus and UI experts to help organisations blend strategy and analytics to make the cultural and technological changes needed to embrace a world that moves away from group relationships to 1:1 interaction and engagement.
IT Pro

 

media news

 

Amazon may launch an Android gaming console/set-top box in 2014
According to recent reports, it looks like Amazon is planning to launch an Android-based gaming and entertainment device. And it will be affordable at a price of under $300. We can expect it sometime in 2014. The as yet unnamed device will offer access to entertainment for music, movies, and television, as well as have gaming capabilities. The device is designed by Amazon’s technical subsidiary, Lab 126, which is also responsible for the company’s Kindle devices.
Geeky Gadgets

 

 

Tesco first to trial Weve’s real-time mobile display ad targeting service
EE, O2 and Vodafone’s mobile marketing and wallet joint venture Weve has kicked off its first ever display ad targeting service with Tesco as its beta partner. The supermarket giant is the first of six beta partners to trial the new service, which will let it run highly targeted mobile campaigns across the combined opt-in customer base of the three mobile network shareholders, which currently totals 22 million.
The Drum

 

 

Ofcom sets out to maintain pay-tv subs’ value and quality
UK broadcast and TV regulator Ofcom has set out on a programme to ensure that consumers receive value for money and good quality of service from their communications providers, including pay-TV. Even though it stresses that in general UK customer satisfaction with communications services is high, it still feels compelled to focus on further improving consumers’ experience across the sectors it regulates.
Rapid TV News

What did we learn from Davos 2014?

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As far as major events go, the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos is as big as they come.

 

 

For a few days in January every year, business, political and academic leaders, as well as other leaders of society gather to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It is an opportunity for the movers and shakers of the world to gather to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.Technology plays a big role at Davos, with many tech leaders using the platform to share concerns and ideas with the world.

 

Top of this year’s list of concerns was the ongoing controversy with the NSA, with the likes of Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Cisco’s John Chambers adding their thoughts on the debate. Most of the calls were for more openness from the US government on the extent of surveillance, setting new rules and rebuilding trust.

 
Apart from NSA, other tech companies used Davos to share some news and thoughts. In case you missed any of them, we’ve put together a short list of the most exciting tech stories to come out of this year’s event.

 
1.       The Internet of Things will be worth $19 trillion by 2020

According to Cisco CEO John Chambers, the internet of everything will be worth a staggering $19 million by 2020. He claims this will be the result of people buying more connected possessions as well as the savings created when systems and infrastructures are more efficient.

 

 

2.       Yahoo: We will have more mobile traffic than PC traffic by the end of 2014

According to Marissa Mayer, 2014 will be a tipping point in the evolution of the internet. Mayer said: “when you look at mobile, when you look at the bandwidth, when you look at the Internet of things, it’s going to change everyone’s daily routines really fundamentally.”

 
3.       Total privacy is impossible

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson caused a bit of a stir when he suggested that telecoms customers cannot expect total privacy. Although he admitted that there needs to be an overhaul of what information national security agencies can access, he also said that people recognise that they have to give up some of their privacy to be protected.

 

4.       Lenovo buys IBM’s low-end server business

Lenovo has said that its decision to buy IBM’s low-end server business for $2.3 billion instantly puts the company into the top ranks of the sector. Despite speculation that the deal indicates a move away from the PC business, Lenovo claims the agreement advances its so-called PC Plus strategy of becoming the biggest computer maker in the world, whether the device is a laptop, a smartphone, a tablet or a server.

 
5.       Huawei to continue European push

After spending $3.4bn buying components, engineering and logistical services from Europe last year, Chinese IT giant Huawei has reported that it expects to continue increasing its spending in Europe. According to Huawei deputy chairman Ken Hu, “With full confidence in the future of Europe, we will continue to invest in this region, [and] co-operate with European industry players”.

 
In the words of Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, “it is usually the Nobel laureates at the World Economic Forum doing the economic review and we took their spot this year because technology is really important.” The tech space has never been as exciting as it is now and it is good to see that this is being reflected beyond tech circles and onto the global space.

 

 

liberty news

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telecoms

 

Ericsson and Samsung agree patents deal
Samsung and Ericsson have settled their patent dispute and struck a new licencing deal for wireless technology in smartphones, televisions, tablets and Blu-Ray disk players, reports Bloomberg. The multi-year, cross-licensing agreement relates to GSM, UMTS and LTE standards for networks and handsets. The pact will increase Ericsson’s fourth-quarter sales by 4.2 billion kronor ($652 million) and boost net income by 3.3 billion kronor initially. The deal includes continuing royalty payments to Ericsson.
Global Telecoms Business

 

Brazil added 10 million mobile connections in 2013
Vivo ends 2013 as market leader with 28.49 per cent share; landscape could look very different this time next year. There were 271.1 million mobile connections in Brazil at the end of last year, taking the country’s mobile penetration to 136.45 per cent, according to new statistics published by Anatel on Monday. The regulator noted that Brazil added more than 580,000 connections in December alone and 9.92 million during the course of the year, an increase of 3.55 per cent.

Total Telecom

 

Huawei and Imperial College London collaborate
Huawei and Imperial College London have announced they are to collaborate and jointly-invest on a data science lab. The Imperial College – Huawei Data Science Innovation Laboratory will bring together experts from across Imperial’s faculties and Huawei researchers to harness data science research and develop new applications in fields such as smart cities, energy and healthcare.
Comms Business

 

enterprise technology

 

Microsoft forced to rename SkyDrive as OneDrive by UK court
Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud service will soon be known as OneDrive after Redmond lost a trademark case against the UK’s British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB). “We believe the new OneDrive name conveys the value we can deliver for you and best represents our vision for the future,” Ryan Gavin, general manager of consumer apps and services, said in a blog post.
IT ProPortal

 

Apple shares drop despite reporting record iPhone and iPad sales
Apple has revealed that it sold a record number of iPhones and iPads in the last three months of 2013. Despite shifting 51 million iPhone handsets and 26 million tablets, the Cupertino firm’s earnings remained flat, causing a 5 per cent fall in shares in after-hours trading. Apple’s revenue increased to $57.59bn in its Q1 2014 earnings report, up 5.7 per cent from $54.51bn during the same period last year. However, profit at the company fell slightly, from $13.08bn last year, to $13.07bn at the end of 2013.
Digital Spy

 

Smart clothing and cancer research tools: eight UK academics get £85k to launch startups
The Royal Academy of Engineering has awarded eight UK researchers up to £85,000 of funding to help launch startups that promise, among other things, to help slash the cost of cancer research and protect the elderly with smart clothing. The Academy is offering the grant, funded by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and designed to promote the economic benefits of entrepreneurial engineering in the UK, for the third time this year through its Enterprise Hub.
Wired UK

 

media news

 

Lovefilm adds more children’s TV shows to collection
Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends from other children’s TV shows are huffing and puffing their way onto Lovefilm. Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam and Chuggington are arriving on the platform. The firm is also retaining rights to other classic characters such as He-Man and Postman Pat. Lovefilm stuck a deal with HIT Entertainment, Ludorum and DreamWorks Classics for various kids shows. Favourites such as Where’s Wally, Bob the Builder and Kipper and over 50 episodes of Thomas & Friends will be available to stream.
Recombu

 

Google patents Robo-Taxis to ferry punters into advertiser’s shops, restaurants, etc for free
What’s holding you back from online shopping? Not being to touch or test drive the thing you desire before splashing the cash? What if someone were to drive you to the store, dealership or wherever, to seal the deal for free? Great idea, huh? Well, Google just patented it. The web ad kingpin, which designs self-driving cars and acquires military-grade robots, has come up with a system to ferry punters to advertisers, door to door, and work out who picks up the fare.
The Register

 

Twitter mobile update bubbles trending events to the top of the timeline and adds photo editing
Twitter has just released an update to its Android client (coming soon to iOS) that brings new photo editing tools to the service, which are likely meant to make it easier to share photos direct and keep people out of competitive apps like Instagram. The second change adds a significant element of event discovery and real-time trend monitoring to user timelines. The event surfacing is the more interesting element, since it marks a considerable attempt by Twitter to meddle with the straightforward chronological nature of that part of its service (besides promoted content).
TechCrunch

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telecoms

 

BT invest a further £50m in commercial fibre
BT will invest a further £50 million into its commercial fibre broadband programme over the next three years, it was announced last week. The money will benefit more than 30 cities, helping to make high speed broadband available to more than 400,000 additional premises. BT is spending more than £3 billion on deploying fibre broadband and its open access fibre network already passes more than 18 million homes and businesses. That footprint is set to grow rapidly as various rural fibre programmes are delivered.

Comms Business

 

AT&T has no plans to buy Vodafone
An enquiry by the UK’s takeover panel has, following months of speculation learned that AT&T has no plans to acquire Vodafone, sending the UK operator’s shares down 6 per cent, reports Reuters. Speculation had arisen that AT&T could be interested in a deal with Vodafone after its chief executive Randall Stephenson said there was a huge opportunity to invest in mobile broadband in Europe. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, AT&T denied that it was planning a bid. However, it could come back under certain circumstances, including if a third party enters the fray.
Global Telecoms Business

 

Bye bye BlackBerry, it’s software not hardware that will secure mobility, says Good CEO
A quick perusal of BlackBerry news stories so far this year reveals a generally optimistic picture, especially compared with 2013’s headlines. Supporters point to new CEO John Chen’s determination to get back to basics with a fresh focus on the enterprise rather than trying to please the fickle consumer, the pursuit of which many believe was instrumental in the Canadian smartphone vendor’s dramatic fall from grace. Indeed shares in the company have risen this year as investors bet that the company has at last hit the bottom and is beginning to extract itself from the wreckage.

Computing

 

enterprise technology

 

Government IT contracts to be limited to £100m
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has announced that going forward no IT contract will be allowed to be worth over £100 million in value – unless there is an exceptional reason to do so. A number of “red lines” for IT contracts have been published for departments to follow, in a bid to increase competition in the sector and free departments from longstanding inflexible contracts with IT providers.
ComputerWorldUK

 

Workday launches new desktop experience
Workday, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for global human resources and finance, has unveiled a new desktop experience for its users. Designed in partnership with customers, the new user experience combines a redesigned visual interface built on HTML5, along with new features to enhance the usability. Workday also announced immediate availability of its latest update, Workday 21, which includes more than 240 new HR and finance features, approximately 65 of which were customer suggestions.
CBR

 

 

Israeli defence computer hacked, claims security firm
Hackers broke into an Israeli defense ministry computer via an email attachment tainted with malicious software that looked like it had been sent by the country’s Shin Bet secret security service, an Israeli cyber security firm said on Sunday. Aviv Raff, chief technology officer at Seculert, said the hackers earlier this month temporarily took over 15 computers, one of them belonging to Israel’s Civil Administration that monitors Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territory. Raff told Reuters that Palestinians were suspected to be behind the cyber-attack, citing similarities to a cyber assault on Israeli computers waged more than a year ago from a server in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

IT Pro

 

media news

 

China’s Baidu testing search engines for Brazil, Egypt, Thailand
Baidu is testing new search engines for users outside China that will target markets in Brazil, Egypt and Thailand to start with. The search pages for the three markets have appeared online, although Baidu has not formally launched the services yet. “It’s still in internal testing,” said company spokesman Kaiser Kuo on Monday. The three sites can be found at www.baidu.com.eg, www.baidu.co.th, www.baidu.net.br and are designed in the local language of each market. In addition to a search bar, the landing pages to the sites offer direct links to popular services such as Facebook, YouTube, as well as Hao123, Baidu’s own local Web directory.
TechWorld

 

BBC CTO sacked over failed digital project
BBC chief technology officer John Linwood (pictured) was sacked without a payoff six months ago when the corporation axed the failed Digital Media Initiative (DMI), the corporation has confirmed. Linwood’s departure occurred in July 2013, but could not be made public until now for legal reasons, the BBC reported on Friday. A BBC spokesman confirmed that Linwood is no longer employed by the corporation.
TechWeek Europe

 

Google acquires artificial intelligence startup DeepMind for more than $500M
Google will buy London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind. The Information reports that the acquisition price was more than $500 million, and that Facebook was also in talks to buy the startup late last year. We’ve emailed Google and DeepMind for comment. The acquisition was originally confirmed by Google to Re/code. Google’s hiring of Deepmind will help it compete against other major tech companies as they all try to gain business advantages by focusing on deep learning. For example, Facebook recently hired NYU professor Yann LeCunn to lead its new artificial intelligence lab, IBM’s Watson supercomputer is now working on deep learning, and Yahoo recently acquired photo analysis startup LookFlow to lead its new deep learning group.
Techcrunch

liberty news

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telecoms

Apple to release iOS 7 patch to stop random iPhone shutdowns
Apple said today that an upcoming software update will fix a problem that has resulted in random iPhone and iPad shutdowns. “We have a fix in an upcoming software update for a bug that can occasionally cause a home screen crash,” an Apple spokeswoman said. In the wake of the September release of iOS 7, users started reporting that their phones would shut down despite having battery power in the double digits.
IT ProPortal

 

BT and Alcatel-Lucent create the fastest broadband
Researchers working for BT and Alcatel-Lucent have managed to test a broadband technology which can hit 1.4 terabits per second.  That is enough to send 44 high-definition movies in just one second and it can all be done on the existing fibre network in London. The researchers used what is known as “flexigrid” infrastructure, creating an “alien super channel” made up of seven 200 gigabits per second (Gbps) channels.
TechEye

 

Telstra sets up network services JV with Telcom Indonesia
Australian operator Telstra has formed a joint venture with Telkom Indonesia to provide network services in South East Asia. The two have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the joint venture become the exclusive provider of network applications and services in Indonesia for the two operators. It will also offer managed network and security packages, cloud and unified communications services across the region.
Telecoms.com

 

enterprise technology

Microsoft shares up on better than expected results
Microsoft has reported revenues of $24.52bn and net income of $6.56bn for the financial quarter ending 31 December 2013, up 14 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively compared with the same period the year before. In response to the better-than-expected results, Microsoft’s shares rose nearly 4 per cent in after-hours trading, according to the BBC.
Computer Weekly

 

Schools don’t think Android tablets are secure enough
Schools buying tablets for education are nervous about security on Android, manufacturers have told PC Pro. While more schools are considering bringing tablets into the classroom, security worries mean many question whether Android is the right choice. Samsung’s education business manager, Ben Brown, told PC Pro schools often raised the issue.
PC Pro

 

Snowden speaks: NSA spies create ‘databases of ruin’ on innocent folks
Ex-NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden used his first public Q&A to call for the US to lead a global initiative to ban mass surveillance of populations. He also wants governments to ensure that intelligence agencies can protect national security while not invading everyday privacy.

The Register

 

media news

Phablets to make big splash in Asia – but research finds appeal in Europe limited
“Phablet” smartphones with large screens will see rising demand in the Far East over the next five years, says a new report – though data from Europe suggests their appeal here is limited.  According to Juniper Research, phablet sales (which it defines as having a screen of between 5.6in and 6.9in measured diagonally) will hit 120m annually in 2018, compared to just 20m this year. Around half of those – 60m – will be bought in the Far East and China, the company forecasts, while about 20m will be sold in North America and 20m in Europe, it forecasts.
The Guardian

 

Associated Press and Streamworks International expand live streaming deal
The Associated Press and Streamworks International have renewed their contract to provide live streaming of AP’s award-winning content to AP Video Hub. AP Video Hub’s live service provides a 24-7 stream of breaking news, as well as access to pre-planned news events, which enables online publishers with limited editorial resources to quickly access and create rich online content.
The Drum

 

Facebook uses dodgy data to prove the world will run out of air by 2060
It’s becoming rarer and rarer that we Like something Facebook does but it recently responded to a Princeton study that the social network will lose 80 per cent of its users by 2017, by using the exact same data to come up with a number of interesting findings. By using the same Google Trends search score, which were published by TechCrunch, that bravely said Facebook would have a dangerous decline they found by 2021 Princeton would have no students at all.
TechRadar

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Telecoms

Telstra buys 02 networks for $60m
Australian operator Telstra has acquired O2 Networks, which is not related to Telefónica’s European operator brand O2, in order to strengthen its cloud computing business, reports Telstra. O2 Networks designs and builds networks for financial institutions and government agencies across Australia. The company says it has over 350 clients and 100 staff.
Global Telecoms Business

 

T-Mobile launches mobile money to help do away with excessive fees

It seems almost ridiculous that people have to pay others just to use their own money, but that is how the world currently turns. T-Mobile, however, is of a different opinion and is introducing Mobile Money as a way to keep those check cashers, payday lenders and withdrawal fees at bay.
Slashgear

 

South Korea to invest $1.5b to build 5G network by 2020
South Korea will pump 1.6 trillion won (US$1.49 billion) through 2020 with local firms to build the fifth-generation network (5G) in the country, according to Yonhap News. Authorities have been in talks with the country’s three mobile telcos, as well as tech firms such as Samsung and LG since last May, to draw up a blueprint for the country’s mobile network technology, said South Korea’s communications technology ministry.

ZDNet

 

enterprise technology

IBM’s shares slip after its Q4 revenue falls on weak hardware performance
IBM has reported its fourth-quarter financial performance and was greeted with raspberries from investors with period revenue of $27.7 billion and earnings per share excluding items of $6.13. Using GAAP, IBM earned $6.2 billion, or $5.73. Off nearly a per cent in regular trading, IBM eased another 2.5 per cent in after-hours trading. Investors had expected IBM to earn revenue of $28.25 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share of $5.99. So IBM beat on profit, but faltered on the top line question.
TechCrunch

 

eBay sets rules on bitcoin sales in the UK
eBay UK has revealed plans to allow its customers to buy and sell virtual currencies including bitcoin via a dedicated channel on its website. The online retailer is launching a ‘virtual currency’ category on its classified advertising platform, which allows users to buy and sell directly to one another without intervention from eBay. The advertising platform has been compared to Craigslist in the United States.
Daily Telegraph

 

Windows Azure receives management boost
Windows Azure’s management capabilities have undergone a refresh to help users with websites on the platform manage them better. The new features include improved support for staging and monitoring, as well as validation of Microsoft’s public cloud for compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.
Cloud Pro

 

media news

Amazon internet TV service rumours denied
Amazon has denied reports that it is in talks with broadcasters and media companies with a view to launching an internet television service. The online retailer was rumoured to be developing a pay-TV platform, but has now clarified that its plans in the sector involve expanding its Prime Instant Video service in the US.
Digital Spy

 

Mobile Ad spend to hit $18bn this year, says Gartner
Mobile ad spend will reach $18bn (£10.9bn) globally in 2014, according to Gartner forecasts. From 2013′s estimated total of $13.1bn, spend will grow at a CAGR of 33.7 per cent over the next four years, reaching a projected $41.9bn by 2017.
Mobile Marketing

 

Facebook news feed tweak downgrades brands’ text-only posts
In a blog post, Facebook news feed ranking product manager Chris Turitzin said while users are more likely to write more status updates themselves when they see text-only updates from their friends, the same effect was not true for text-only status updates from Pages. As a result, Facebook will now rank text status updates from pages in a lower category to text status updates from friends – meaning Page owners will see a decrease in the amount of visibility and engagement they achieve from these types of posts.
Marketing Week

The (digital) future of jazz

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As a technology-focused consultancy we spend a lot of time talking about our industry specifically but in reality, communications and the use of technology touches every industry and everyone. There’s no escaping it.

 

 

So, to look at things from a different perspective, I decided to talk to Michael Linney, AKA The Hedonist about digital channels and all that jazz. After all, the world of entertainment is built solely on communications – where better to start. Here’s what he had to say:

 

Q:  I understand that you are a Jazz DJ in your own time, can you tell me about that and who you DJ for?

I’m a radio show host for UK Jazz Radio which airs my weekly programme known as “Hedonist Jazz”.  I’m also an active cloudcaster on Mixcloud where I hold the title of Jazz Embassador.  In that role, I promote and encourage the jazz category which is really bringing the genre of jazz to a whole new online and digital audience.

 

Q:  So, tell me how your passion for jazz music came about?

Initially my passion was fuelled by my father who loved the 1950’s-style crooners (Frank, Dean, Sammy etc) as well as others like Buddy Rich, Cleo Lane and Johnny Dankworth.  But really it was the jazz funk scene of the 1980’s – I was listening to bands like Brass Construction, BTExpress and Ohio Players and the roots for me began from there.  I was always frequenting the clubs in London and the occasional weekender at Caister when I could afford it.  This introduced me to the CTI and Blue Note labels – and then the seeds were truly sewn.

 

Q:  So, what does the future hold for jazz music – it always sounds so old fashioned?

I believe the future of jazz music lies in innovation and improvisation.  The answer is in its own history.  Mixing jazz with RAP, hip-hop and spoken word is updating things for today’s audience.  I don’t like to think as jazz as a sound, it’s more than that.  It’s a feeling.

 

Q:  What have the new digital channels done for Jazz and why did you choose to work with an alternative outlet for your music?

It’s now so much easier to mix and sample digital music than it ever was on more traditional things like vinyl.  For live gigs, I no longer need to load a small mini bus with crates of vinyl, I simply turn up with my MacBook and USB connected turntable and can perform. At live gigs I also use Mixlr for live broadcasting across the net. Today, for sampling tracks, I use WhoSampled which identifies the track used for sampling so I can recognise an artist in a track.  For new mixes use Audicity for building a mix which I do by adding samples and loops over traditional jazz tracks which gives the track an updated sound.  So, it’s become so much easier.  I no longer have to dig for music in second hand shops because sites like iTunes, JunoRecords.com and others allow me to source rare tracks which would have eluded me or caused me to spend hours searching in the past.

 

I build my shows via Audicity and upload my shows to the MixCloud platform where I have amassed over 20,000 unique followers in the last three years.  I usually promote the shows via Twitter and Facebook and MixCloud provides automatic links to do this so that each time I upload a new show, my followers are notified and can listen, share, leave comments, favourite my shows etc.  For me, that makes all the effort that goes into building a show worthwhile.  I regularly receive positive comments from my listeners around the globe which inspires me to continue and challenges me to be even better at the quality of mixes and shows I put together.

 

In addition, I voice over the tracks on the show and this has helped me to build a digital personality – otherwise it would just be playing records which anyone can do, without the added value of the information on the music I provide.

 

Q:  Do you think this is the way forward for music generally?

The digital channels and internet radio stations are definitely the way forward; the traditional FM channels are being replaced.  We’re seeing music hosting sites being created on an almost weekly and real-time basis.  I’m excited by this as it’s really helping to move jazz music and the new jazz pioneers to a younger and more dynamic audience.

 

Q:  Do you have a brand and how have you established and built that brand?

Yes, I thought it would be good to promote that feeling I talked about.  The pleasure is all in the mix.  So my brand, The Hedonist, is a nod to that.

 

Through digital channels and this brand I’ve managed to befriend established, well known artists and bands such as Greg Foat, Nialah Porter, Jessica Lauren & Empirical to discuss their work, receive exclusive promo copies of their work and wherever possible meet up for interviews.  In terms of variety of artists that I’ve worked with, I’m proud to promote the ecosystem of the industry too.  People like B.Lowe (a rapper), Christopher D Sims (spoken word), Jazz Jousters (music producers), Gary Reader (a saxophonist) and Ian Chalk (a trumpeter) are all part of my world.

 

Q:  What’s next for 2014?  Tell me about your idea for a New Jazz Collective?

For 2014, I’m involved in something called “The New Jazz Collective”.  Over the last 3 years on MixCloud I’ve met (virtually) some amazing, like-minded jazz DJ’s / broadcasters who share my passion in its many shapes and forms.  Julian in the US, Max in Italy, Dick in Belgium, Jake and I in the UK have recently launched this collaborative project where we regularly record sound clashes between us and other invited guests.  We also recently added our recordings of interviews with established and up-and-coming artists to attempt to get under their passion for jazz.  This collective is all about what we believe to be the future of jazz and these shows are also available via MixCloud to our collective followers and fans.  What we are doing is bringing jazz up to the minute.  It’s not just for the passionate few – together we have over 100,000 followers and our objective is to build a wider and deeper audience and recognition for this incredible music genre.

 

The potential for us lies in promoting new artists and eventually launching our own digital recording label.

 

Q:  How popular have channels like MixCloud become?

I could probably list about 100 channels to upload your music to, but unless you have a dedicated promotional team working for you then you’re not going to have much time available to keep 100 different sites updated with your latest news and latest tracks.  In my view the top 10 places that are essential for hosting a web presence for your music are these. From our collective digital experience, we have gained the most listeners from this list of sites and therefore we believe they are a must for uploading your tracks.  From the top and in no particular order;

  • SoundCloud – This site has some great looking widgets which allow you to paste your tracks elsewhere and we especially love the comment system where you can comment on a specific point in a track. Upload up to 10 tracks on a standard free account. If you want more you have to pay. But the free account is pretty decent.
  • ReverbNation – While you cannot directly upload your music on Facebook, by using ReverbNation you can easily post your music to your Facebook account using their Facebook Apps. You will probably get some listeners through ReverbNation too and get to use lots of their cool features.
  • TheSixtyOne – Upload your music and the name of the track stays hidden for 24 hours. Members of the site will spend their credits on liking your track, if lots of members like your track you’re going to get on the front page. This site is a great way to get listeners and ultimately new fans.
  • OurStage – Upload your music into their monthly contest and you will be paired up randomly with other tracks for people to vote on which one they like the best. More votes get you to the top of the leaderboard and ultimately to win prizes at the end of the month.
  • Jamendo – This site lists tracks that have been released under a Creative Commons license, if you’ve made yourself an album there’s no reason why you can’t upload a few tracks to promote your other music. Maybe place some of your older tracks on there to draw in some new fans.
  • MySpace – I doubt that anyone with an internet connection hasn’t come across this site. It is almost essential to have a web presence here. Upload your tracks into the MySpace player, design your page and keep the MySpace blog updated with important news about your music.
  • Imeem – Create an artist account here and you can upload your tracks into their huge database of music. It is also a very social site allowing people to share music with each other.
  • Last.fm – People who have the Last.fm application installed can share with friends what they’ve been listening to, but if you sign up for an account you can upload your music and it will appear on your artist page and be discovered when people search for similar musicians to ones that they already like.
  • SoundClick – Upload your music to the SoundClick community and you’ll be placed into the charts for each genre, you’ll also get an artist page to link to your other social network accounts.
  • iLike – Allows you to upload your music and more, apparently there is 50 million people using the service so it’s a place you can’t ignore. Also allows you to paste your music into Facebook like ReverbNation does above.

 

Q:  How compelling is social media in raising your profile and following for the music?

Digital communication channels have revitalised my love for my passion, I’ve been able to share my work and my feeling for this wonderful music in so many new ways and generate real interest, following and finding new friends through the medium of the Internet.  I’m not sure what my Father would think about it all if he were alive today, but I do know that if he’d been able to influence a wider audience and educate them to the magic of jazz, he too would be joining me at my virtual digital decks.

 

To follow The Hedonist, visit MixCloud or log in to UK Jazz Radio – you might find that jazz isn’t what you thought it was!

 

 

Is Google trying to build Iron Man?

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In the last three months alone, Google has acquired intelligent thermostat makers Nest Labs, military robot-maker Boston Dynamics and human gesture recognition start-up Flutter.

 

 

All of these, as well as the seven other robotics companies it acquired in the last 12 months and Motorola in 2011 have led to some  speculation about what Google is trying to do.

 

To the untrained eye, the logic behind the acquisitions might not be immediately obvious but a deeper look and consideration of ongoing trends in the tech space might shed more light.

 

One phrase that is doing the rounds this year is “Hardware is the new software”. Many commentators are predicting that 2014 will see a surge in demand for intelligent hardware in the same way 2012 and 2013 saw a surge in demand for intelligent software.

 

According to Joi Ito of MIT Media Lab (last year): “hardware start-ups are looking like the software start-ups of the previous digital age. The whole ecosystem around hardware has increased in viability”.

 

It is also worth bearing in mind that hardware can also be a great way to sell software. As the Apple App Store and Android Market have shown us, getting people to pay for software andapps can be quite difficult. But with hardware, as games consoles and mobile phone sales have shown, the mentality is different. Consumers are happy to pay for hardware and developers are perhaps seeing a move towards hardware development as an opportunity to shift software if they can include the cost as part of the overall sale.

 

In addition,  it’s important to consider the minds behind the acquired ventures and what they could potentially bring to Google. Nest Labs was founded by Tony Fadell, who was previously head of Apple’s music division until 2008. He is widely known as the ‘father of the iPod’ for his work on the first 18 generations of Apple’s music player. He was also involved in the hardware design of the original iPhone. Boston Dynamics was founded by a former MIT professor with the whole project overseen by Andy Rubin, the co-founder of Android.

 

With all this in mind,  one thing is for sure, Google can no longer be referred to as simply a ‘search engine company’. I believe the search engine and social media offering will always be there, (doing most of the same things it is doing at present) but in the same vein, I am sure that Google will continue to introduce new products and services – just look at contact lenses it showed to the world last week. There’s no doubt the company  has been very tight-lipped to date on what its plans are long term and why it is making all these acquisitions but one thing is for sure, this is just the beginning. With the money and brains available, maybe they might build Iron Man after all.

 

Broadcasters – the dam to free online TV streaming

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Illegal online TV and music download sites suffered major crackdowns in November last year, as the UK High Courts demanded that they get blocked by the UK’s major ISPs – BT, Sky, O2, Virgin Media and TalkTalk.  Websites affected include Project Free TV, BeeMP3, Primewire and WatchFreeMovies.

 

 

It all started back in 2012 with Megauploads, when all its torrent websites were shut down by the United States Department of Justice on January 19, 2012. Since then, the entertainment industry has waged legal war on the perpetrators.  But previously where they targeted torrent websites, it is the first time that action has been taken against illegal online streaming.

 

The entertainment industry has welcomed the decision with John McVay, chief executive of PACT stating that “Protecting producers’ IP rights is vital to the continued growth and success of the independent television production sector. We therefore welcome the news that Motion Picture Association [MPA] has succeeded in blocking these illegal sites in the UK.”

It’s a big achievement for the entertainment industry – but are they winning the battle against online TV streaming?  Clearly, the illegal activity is a sign of the times and how broadcasting needs to change. Viewers are turning to these illegal services because no one wants to abide by restrictive TV schedules, or wait six months for shows already airing elsewhere.

 

Broadcasters are already instigating changes, with on-demand services now run by major channels such as 4oD, Demand5 and Sky On Demand. Still, broadcasters need to be innovating better and newer services ahead of the illegal site providers. Providing, quite rightly paid-for, legal versions of the same thing isn’t enough to get viewers back.

 

Blocking access will not solve the problem either, for in the months it takes to shut one site down, another will pop up elsewhere in days if not hours.  What’s worse, consumers are now online, sharing with each other ways around the blockages.

 

It is important to remember that not all online streaming websites are illegal. Independent legal paid-for services are growing in popularity such as LoveFilm, Netflix and Tesco’s Blinkbox. The availability of what you can stream online is better, but still they are restricted by release schedules and permissions. However, so far, they are the acceptable middle ground between online broadcaster services and illegal tv streaming sites.

 

Understandably, it’s still frustrating for those working in entertainment with their viewers turning to illegal services because broadcasters are not innovating fast enough.  But until broadcasters catch up to provide what illegal streaming sites cannot, it’s all just a big game of ‘Whac-A-Mole’ and these illegal sites are going to keep coming back.

Get better connected!

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About 4 years ago now,  a few digital entertainment gurus got together with their respective little (virtual) black books and launched a VIP industry networking group called the Centurions.  Today, the network has a global footprint with chapters in London, Istanbul, Munich and New York with other cities being planned for 2014 including a Silicon Valley chapter.

 

 

Unlike other gatherings of this sort, it’s purely all about meeting in a relaxed environment in an urban and hip venue to share news and views from the industry.  There’s no sales talks, no name badges and no hidden agenda, it’s all about bringing like-minded people together and allowing them to make of the occasion what they will.
Today, the membership (you simply have to be recommended and then register via the website) is still growing in popularity and the bi-monthly social get-togethers are over-subscribed with the great and the good of the digital industry.  It’s not just people from the big industry corporations although they attend too, it’s the entire landscape of the digital world from VCs and PE investors, the legal profession, entrepreneurs – from music, gaming, mobile, internet companies and more.  Quite simply, it’s one of the best mixers I’ve ever been to and that’s why I became part of the founding team and have provided free support to help market the Centurions and make it even more successful.

 

Despite the advantages of social networking sites, Centurions proves that there is still a real need for people to connect face to face – to enjoy a community of peers and actually TALK to each other in real-time in a physical environment.  This is how I’ve built my agency over the years – I certainly subscribe to the “who you know” theory of business.  People still buy from people.   The Centurions is also online, we’ve got a LinkedIn group, we tweet and we’re on Facebook, but the popularity and growth of this networking model would not be the same without the meet-ups and the bond we’ve created with our members.

 

Business is now being done.  Deals are being talked about.  People are being introduced and talent and information is being shared.  And it’s a showcase for how generous this industry can be to each other.  I’m really proud to belong to the founding team and I’m looking forward to getting the next chapter off the ground.  For more information about Centurions events and to register your interest, visit www.centurionsconnected.com and get involved.  Happy networking!

What will 2014 hold for the tech industry?

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It’s that time of year again – a time when we regret the excesses of Christmas and stumble forwards, insistent that we will do things “better” this year!

 

 

But before we worry too much yet about failed New Year resolutions, put them to one side for a moment to take a read of our top 10 predictions for the world of tech this year! Will they be right? Only time will tell but we’ll make sure we go back to them this time next year and let you know!

 

  1. Looking at the telecoms space, LTE will continue to be a big topic in 2014 with wholesale LTE networks being launched in mature markets. Voice and SMS revenues will continue to decline and although data revenues will grow, the additional cost of carrying data will not be enough to offset the decline in voice revenues. As our friends at Coleago Consulting predict, this will lead to more operators sharing networks in 2014 to reduce costs. In some cases this will also lead to mergers and acquisitions.
  2. Smartphone growth will continue to be dominated by China – but India could be close on its heels with millions of people set to receive their first smartphone in 2014.
  3. With 2014 being the year we will see the app store for Google Glass open, it looks set to be the year wearable, immersive technology takes off. From an entertainment perspective, 2014 also looks to be the year gaming goes galactic! Three interesting space exploration titles (Star Citizen, No Man’s Sky and Starbound) will launch this year – promising ventures into new, unexplored galaxies.
  4. The physical world we live in is also set to become even more tech savvy. Hot off the heels of this year’s CES, 2014 will mark the start of what Cisco’s John Chambers has termed the “internet of everything” ie a new wave of innovation driving the connection of people, devices and things. While this wave will be powered by an explosion in the number of connected devices it will be about far more than that. Cities will become smarter with more and more authorities and councils using technology to better enhance the environment and how we live in it. Whether its street lighting switched on via Twitter or bins emptied via text message, 2014 will be the year social media connects with infrastructure. I’d like to see 3D printing really take off this year too with uses that go beyond the novelty to the useful and practical.
  5. One trend I won’t pretend to understand but will continue to no doubt increase, is the growth in crytpocurrencies. Whether it’s bitcoins, altcoins or dogecoins, their popularity looks set to continue. I’ll continue to watch in amazement!
  6. If 2013 was the year of Edward Snowden, 2014 will be the year people look to tools and services to help them keep their online lives more private. Expect a new set swathe of privacy companies and services to cater to a growing consumer need.
  7. Every year seems to be the year cloud computing really takes off but in 2014 expect consumers to finally truly embrace cloud storage. The push for more personal cloud technologies will also lead to a shift toward services and away from devices. The type of device people own will be less important – the personal cloud will take over.
  8. 2014 won’t be the year of 4K but it will be close. 4K TV prices will continue to drop and whilst we won’t yet see an explosion in availability, it will rise steadily. Who knows, by next year Christmas films in 4K may even be top of our children’s wish lists!
  9. The rich landscape of advertising looks set to get even richer with advertisers embracing more ways to connect with consumers. Whether it’s through pop artists singing about their favourite brand in the next number one or TV programmes integrating product names into their scripts, 2014 could be the year advertising takes traditional product placement to new levels.
  10. Perhaps the most fascinating area of technology for me has been its use in healthcare. 2014 will no doubt continue to astound me as breakthroughs in cancer, Alzheimer’s and vision and hearing loss don’t look too far off.

Anything for an easy life

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The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off this week in Las Vegas, designed to showcase the very latest innovations in technology.

 

 

While not all of the gadgets showcased at the event are destined for success, the show has been heralded as the platform for innovators and breakthrough technologists for the last 40 years – and this year, experts are expecting to see wearable technologies and connected devices take centre stage.

 

From health trackers, smart watches, socks, hats and glasses, reports suggest that wearable technology has gone from a futuristic fantasy to a mainstream occurrence, with many exhibitors set to unveil new and exciting devices to capitalise on the interest in this type of technology in 2014.  In an attempt to stay ‘always on’, consumers are eager to get their hands on the next piece of kit that enables them to browse, socialise, bank, buy and book on the go.

 

Not what you’d call an early adopter, I’m not expecting to don a pair of Google glasses for my morning commute this year – I’ve only just joined the tablet revolution, and still feel uncomfortable carrying the high ticket item in public – however, the evolution of the connected device does intrigue me.

 

Fast becoming a mainstream term, the internet of things will see every day devices and electronics connected in an internet-like structure.  The ease of being able to turn on the shower or kettle from my smartphone before I get out of bed in the morning, turn on the washing machine so clothes are clean and dry when I get home or turn off the lights I forgot to while I’m on the bus to work all sounds very appealing.  Some of the devices set to be unveiled at CES this year will allow users to do just this.

 

Connecting multiple devices in this way, won’t come without its challenges though, with many already questioning the security implications of a breach of this much personal data.  This is true of many new technologies though.  With my own desire for an easy life aside – a connected world also facilitates a cheaper and more efficient operation of devices, not to mention the advantages of being able to accurately and remotely monitor health and fitness.  Early adopter or not, this is a technology I’ll be keeping a close eye on in 2014.

Marketing your mind up!

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I love it when I read articles that concur with my own thinking – well, don’t we all?

I was particularly chuffed to read a predictions piece by Nicola Kemp in November’s edition of Marketing entitled Forward 50 which stated that while we’re in a brave new digital world, the ‘always on’ environment it has created is actually distracting us from what really matters when planning a strategic and creative plan for success. (In many ways, this blog is proof of that as every time I’ve sat down to write it I’ve been distracted by a time sensitive email or critical tweet I just had to respond to!)

Going through the trends Nicola highlighted, there were three which really stood out for me as they play such a critical role in the ethos and approach of Liberty:

  1. Post-Digital Behaviour – This first trend calls out the need for marketers not to fear being out of date or behind the times with digital innovation; instead they should be focused on the needs of the audiences they market to.  I loved the fact that this very first paragraph reverted to remind us that we shouldn’t forget the business drivers and what audiences need. These differ between one business and another and can’t be met with a ‘one size fits all’ solution.  Post-Digital Behaviour does mention big data and how having this information at our digital fingertips can be helpful, but what I really like is that it reminds us that there are also emotional drivers to any sale too.
  2. The role of brands as curators and its growing importance –  This is so dear to my heart that I actually caught myself smiling as I read.  Really, it’s similar to the above point in that it focuses on the need to remember consumers’ needs must come first and providing services that they love, will breed that brand loyalty companies crave.  I also remember thinking that this is something I’ve understood for an age and being an avid consumer of brands or those services that give me a great feeling,  is almost too basic to need to list as a marketing trend in 2014. Yet, despite my feelings on the matter, it’s so very true that so many products or companies try to sell what they want to sell rather than appealing to the consumers’ needs.
  3. The Analogue Revival – I think this is my favourite future trend. It details exactly what it says on the tin, a revert to more traditional physical elements of marketing that not only look good, but feel good and yet again – appeals to the senses.   So in a world where the digital storefront seems to have almost wiped out the high street as we knew it, isn’t it good to know that something well made, good to touch, smell and feel still has a place in brand marketing?  To that end, I’ll continue to collect physical copies of Vogue magazine – each edition filled with all the things that make me want to own them.  Smart marketing I’d say!

What do you think?