Friday, September 30, 2011

Regulatory uncertainty: A false explanation for our jobs crisis

After being sidelined in policy debates for far too long, America's jobs crisis is finally at the center of discourse.  In Regulatory uncertainty: A phony explanation for our jobs problem, EPI President Lawrence Mishel juxtaposes the two prevailing explanations for the country's jobs crisis.  The evidence-based explanation pinpoints the country's depressed demand for goods and services because of the bursting of the housing and stock market bubbles. The other story, mainly espoused by Republican politicians and business trade associations, purports that business investment and hiring is being held back by uncertainty over future regulations and taxation.

The report examines what employers are actually doing and saying in private surveys regarding investments and hiring.  As it turns out, neither their actions nor their privately surveyed statements support conservatives’ “uncertainty” narrative.  Mishel notes that not only is the term "uncertainty" a misnomer, as the regulatory process is moving along and the rules are becoming final and therefore certain, but also that it is not even true that regulations cause job losses.

A comparison of investment and private-sector job growth between this recovery and the most recent recoveries suggests that future regulations and taxes are not the problem, as investment in the current recovery has increased more than it had at the same time period in the prior two recoveries and roughly the same as it did during the 1980s recovery.   What differentiates this recovery is actually the loss of public-sector jobs.  Finally, when the National Federation of Independent Business asked “what is the single most important problem your business faces?” the most common response was “poor sales.” Surveyed businesses do also report a high level of concern over regulation and taxation, but not more so than they did under  Presidents Reagan, Clinton, or either of the Bushes.

Mishel's paper is getting significant media coverage, particularly amongst noted economic columnists and bloggers, including the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, Washington Post’s Greg Sargent and Ezra Klein, Slate's David Weigel, Brad DeLong, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Jared Bernstein.

In his New York Times’ blog, Paul Krugman wrote:

“Larry Mishel has a very good piece systematically debunking the zombie claim that fears of regulation are holding back job creation. There is, literally, not a shred of evidence for this claim — not in the numbers, not in what businesses say. Yet it has been eagerly adopted not just by Republican politicians but by Chicago economists, Federal Reserve presidents, and more.”
Krugman discussed the issue further in his column, "Phony Fear Factor."

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent said: “Lawrence Mishel offers the most thorough takedown yet of the conservative idea that regulatory uncertainty is behind our economic problems.”

Slate’s David Weigel praised the paper calling it "an important, useful report out about the Republican argument that ‘regulatory uncertainty’ is depressing growth and investment.”

And from Jared Bernstein's On the Economy: "Larry Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, has an extremely useful piece up collecting all the reasons -- with evidence -- why the conservatives' ‘uncertainty’ talking point is shovel-ready nonsense."

White-collar unemployment is double its pre-recession level for almost 2.5 years

The nation’s persistent high unemployment and stagnant recovery has impacted Americans of all demographics and skill levels.
This week’s Economic Snapshot shows that the unemployment rate among white-collar workers has been 6 percent or higher for 29 consecutive months, double its pre-recession level of 3 percent in December 2007. The only other time since 1973 that white-collar unemployment reached 6 percent was a six-month period from November 1982 through April 1983. This persistent high unemployment among white-collar workers runs counter to the claim some make that our high unemployment is primarily “structural,” a false notion that there are plentiful job openings but an inadequate supply of workers with the right skills to fill them.

Internet ad revenues soar in US

New figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers show U.S. online ad revenue rose significantly again in the first half of 2011 to a record-breaking amount.

by Helen Leggatt

U.S. online ad revenues grew by 23% YoY reaching almost $15billion in the first six months of this year.
"Fueling this growth is the ability of advertisers to correlate performance and results with the dollars they are investing," said David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Almost half (49%) of revenue contributions came from search marketing, a 27% YoY increase, generating $7.3billion. Display advertising accounted for over a third (37%) of revenues at $5.5billion.
The report shows advertisers continue to favor performance-based advertising over impression-based ads - 64% of ad revenue was performance-based, 31% was impression-based and the remaining 5% was from hybrid models.
"The remarkably resilient performance of interactive advertising so far in 2011 demonstrates that more marketers are placing big bets on digital to tell their brand stories," said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB.
"This welcome news, in light of the weakness in a large part of the rest of the U.S. economy, confirms that the innovations happening in interactive marketing deliver great value to the industry and to the consumer."

Flurry identifies mobile app prime time

Mobile analytics firm Flurry reveals that as well as prime times for television and radio audiences, apps have their own prime time, too.

by Helen Leggatt
flurry logo.jpgBetween the hours of 6am and 6pm mobile app usage is shown to be higher than television and Internet access, found Flurry, as users are on the move.
Prime time app use occurs at 9pm but, come the evening, the number of television viewers ramps up and eclipses mobile app usage between 7pm and 11pm. This is the only part of the day where television viewing takes over from apps and Internet.
Between the hours of 7am and 11pm more than 20 million US subscribers access mobile apps every single hour. Flurry puts that figure into perspective. "That's already the equivalent of 17 American Idol finales each day, or more than 6,200 American Idol finales per year," writes CEO Peter Farago on the company blog.
Earlier this month Flurry released data that showed the app market is growing so aggressively the firm expects mobile app inventory to easily be able to accommodate the demand of a now mature Internet market in as little as six months.
There are four key reasons behind this rapid growth, says Flurry.
1. Smartphone adoption - over 350million devices in use and over 1 million more being activated each day.
2. Publisher growth - over 600,000 apps available and growing (Android + iOS).
3. Time spent with apps is rising.
4. More publishers integrating ads in apps thanks to better targeting and larger audiences and more screen real estate.

Amazon launches assault on tablet market

Online retailer and cloud services provider Amazon has launched three new e-readers and a 7-inch Android-based tablet that runs the company's Silk browser.
Jeff Bezos
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos showed off the Kindle Fire tablet as the company launched a range of new products on Wednesday. Photo credit: CNET News

Amazon announced the four new devices — the Amazon Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G and an updated entry-level Kindle — on Wednesday, alongside its new Silk browser that plugs into Amazon's EC2 cloud platform in order to speed up loading and display of web pages .
  "Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we've been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers. With Kindle Fire, you have instant access to all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, the convenience of Amazon Whispersync [and] our revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser," Amazon chief Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

The Fire brings a dual-core processor, 16 million colour (1024x600 pixel) display, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. There is no 3G option.
The tablet is based on a heavily modified version of the Google Android OS and uses the Amazon app store instead of Google's Android Marketplace. 
The Kindle Fire is a content consumption device and as such provides users — currently only in the US — with access to Amazon's online music and video download and streaming services.

Silk browser

Another key feature of the tablet is the new Amazon Silk web browser, which uses Amazon's EC2 cloud to reduce demands on the device and increase responsiveness and web page loading times.
"AWS [Amazon Web Services] has peering relationships with major internet service providers, and many top sites are hosted on EC2. This means that many web requests will never leave the extended infrastructure of AWS, reducing transit times to only a few milliseconds," Amazon said in a statement.
Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we've been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers.
– Jeff Bezos, Amazon
"While processing and memory constraints lead most mobile browsers to limit the amount of work they attempt at any one time, using EC2 frees Silk from these constraints," it added. "If hundreds of files are required to build a web page across dozens of domains, Silk can request all of this content simultaneously with EC2, without overwhelming the mobile device processor or impacting battery life."
However, security company Sophos questioned the value of faster loading web pages versus the privacy implications of a browser that temporarily stores the URL of every web address visited and caches the content of the page.
"It sounds as if Amazon will install a trusted certificate in the Silk browser allowing them to provide a man-in-the-middle (MITM) SSL proxy to accelerate your SSL browsing as well. As Amazon is a US-based company this would enable a US court order to intercept and record your secure communications," Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos Canada, said in a blog post.

Customers in the US will pay $199 (£127) and it will be available from 15 November. No UK price or availability has been given.

Fragmented Android

However, Carolina Milanesi, mobile analyst at Gartner, cautioned that another version of the Android OS serves to fragment the platform further and that the aggressive price point could be a concern for other Android device manufacturers, rather than iOS devices.
"The Fire will mainly impact Android competitors who have been struggling to deliver a compelling reason for consumers to invest in their tablets. The aggressive price the Fire is selling at plus the ecosystem will certainly impact these vendors and I expect prices to finally drop more aggressively, and hopefully a higher degree of attention to apps. Apple should only be marginally impacted in the US and mainly on the entry-level iPad," Milanesi told ZDNet UK.
"For Google I am sure the Fire is a concern as it further fragments the Android ecosystem both for the developers but also from a Google experience," she added.

Kindle e-readers

Also announced on Wednesday was an updated version of the Kindle, a Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G. All three use a 6-inch monochrome e-ink display.

The new e-reader Touch devices build on the success of the original Kindle units, but swap the keyboard for a touchscreen interface instead. Like the original Kindle 3G, which has been renamed the Kindle Keyboard 3G — wireless data connectivity on the Touch 3G version remains free around the world.

The Kindle Touch and Touch 3G  go on sale on 21 November priced at $99 and $149, respectively, in the US. However, neither has been confirmed for a UK launch.
The only device confirmed for the UK is the "all new" Kindle, which is priced at £89, or $79 for customers in the US. It is available immediately in both countries.


Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle FireKindle Fire



Kindle FireKindle Fire

Half of Domino's UK pizza delivery sales made online

Hungry Brits are increasingly turning to their computers and mobile devices to satisfy their pangs of hunger and pizzas are top of the online delivery menu, judging by Domino's latest online sales figures.

by Helen Leggatt

dominos logo.jpgNew figures released by Domino's Pizza reveal that, in Q3 2011, nearly half (46.6%) of UK delivered sales were ordered online, up from 39.7% in the same period last year.

Overall third quarter sales totaled $70.3million bringing this year's total to $203million. Last year's total was $139million.

In September, 2010, Domino's in the UK launched an app for the iPhone that enabled customers to place orders and track them from their mobile devices. By May this year, that app had generated over $16million in sales and been downloaded more than half a million times.

Mobile continues to be an important channel for the restaurant chain. "We are seeing very strong growth in mobile ordering, buoyed by the release of the iPad app," said the company. "Orders taken on one of the many mobile platforms now account for 13.0% of all e-commerce sales."

Wall Street is Responsible for Today's Economic Crisis

The same entity that caused the 1929 crisis; Wall Street

Basically Wall street speculative activities burned up at least 40% of world wealth; aftershocks such as Lehman's collapse and dubious practices such as Blackrock have lead to the present state of things which will last for at least a decade.

Wall street is now publishing silly articles trying to blame nations for the current world trials and tribulations, but the guilty party is Wall street and those that removed regulatory constraints allowing Wall street to do what it did.

Capitalism has to do with innovative production. Google is capitalism in its best form.

Wall street speculation is parasytic behaviour chewing away at the foundations of capitalism and innovation, which will have detrimental results if left unchecked.

"Wall Street, in these matters, is like a lovely and accomplished woman who must wear black cotton stockings, heavy woollen underwear, and parade her knowledge as a cook because, unhappily, her supreme accomplishment is as a harlot." The Great Crash: 1929", John Kenneth Galbraith, First Published 1955, Page 47

Wall Street in its finest hour

Nokia's N9 MeeGo phone hands-on

Nokia N9 welcome screen
PHOTO

Nokia has taken the wraps off the N9, a handset that runs the MeeGo Linux operating system developed by Nokia and Intel.
The N9 is supposed to be the only handset, apart from the developers-only N950, that will ever run MeeGo. The effective cancellation of MeeGo is part of Nokia's deal with Microsoft to focus on Windows Phones. However, the N9 appears to be a handset that could easily rival devices such as the iPhone and various high-end Android phones.
Pictured above is the first screen you see when you unlock the phone. This panel is where you get all your notifications from your social-media feeds and emails.

Nokia plans 3,500 more job cuts

Nokia is to cut a further 3,500 jobs on top of the 4,000 it revealed earlier this year, the company announced on Thursday.
Stephen Elop
Nokia boss Stephen Elop has announced 3,500 further job cuts worldwide. Photo credit: Nokia

The cuts will see 2,200 jobs go at Nokia's factory in Cluj, Romania, while 1,300 employees will be released as a result of the company's decision to close its Location & Commerce operations in Bonn, Germany, and Malvern in the US.

The Finnish firm's Location & Commerce efforts will now be concentrated in its Berlin, Boston and Chicago offices, the company said, adding that it would also "review the long-term role of its manufacturing operations in Salo, Finland, Komarom, Hungary, and Reynosa, Mexico".
"We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward," Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said in a statement. "Europe is core to Nokia's future. In addition to our headquarters, we have a strong R&D presence in Europe."

The cuts are separate to the 4,000 layoffs announced in April — 700 of which will take place in the UK. On that occasion, Elop said Nokia had "new clarity around our path forward, which is focused on our leadership across smart devices, mobile phones and future disruptions".

Worldwide cuts

The Unite union has vowed to fight the UK cuts. Nokia said on Thursday that it had was "starting consultations with employees in Sales, Marketing and Corporate Functions", relating to the 4,000 job losses.
The Romanian factory closure is apparently a result of the fact that Nokia's key markets for 'feature phones' — simpler handsets that do not have the app platforms of smartphones — are in Asia. "Nokia's high-volume Asian factories provide greater scale and proximity benefits," the company said.

The layoffs in Location & Commerce follow that unit's recent creation, which brings Navteq and other Nokia location businesses, along with the company's social location services business, into a single division.
As for the manufacturing jobs that may go in Finland, Hungary and Mexico, Nokia said these sites would continue to "play a key role in serving European and North American smartphone customers, but the plan is to gradually shift their focus to customer and market-specific software and sales package customisation".

In February 2010, Nokia also instituted round 285 job cuts at the Salo plant, ostensibly in an effort to "ensure production is focused fully on the high-value smartphone market, especially in Europe". Little more than a year before that, it closed its Turku site in Finland, shifting 220 employees to Salo.
However, these previous moves predated former Microsoft executive Elop's appointment as Nokia chief, and his subsequent decision to have Nokia drop its Symbian and MeeGo operating systems in favour of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.


Meanwhile, on Thursday The Wall Street Journal reported that Nokia's internal efforts to develop a lightweight, Linux-based operating system, codenamed Meltemi, were still in motion. Nokia device chief Mary McDowell is leading the project, sources said.

Cheap Way of ensuring Goldfish Life

This simple method ensures a cheap way to ensure goldfish longetivity without spending bucks : What you need is a tank, goldfish, a ph neutralizer, water and goldfish food

  • Ensure that the tank is large enough for the amount of fish
  • Ensure that the food is good quality and doesnt rot immediatly (in like 24 hours)
  • ensure that you have a clean basin ready for use
  1. The day before fill the basin with tap water and let it stand for 24 hours preferably outdoors; that way the chlorine and ammonia evaporate
  2. clean the fish tank before every use but make sure that you get rid of all soap; change water every 2 to 3 days ; if the fish food is low quality you'll smell it after the first day so if the tank smells change the water
  3. put the recommended amount of ph neutralizer in the basin and stir
  4. let the basin stand for about 8 minutes; put some basin water in a side container to temporarily part the fish
  5. park the fish in the side container
  6. clean the tank well with liquid detergent similar to the one used to clean kitchen plates; make sure that you rinse well and that all soap is washed away
  7. fill tank with water from basin
  8. put fish from side container to tank; feed fish assuming that the last time you fed them was 2 days ago; feed fish every two days; fish should be fed once between tank cleaning procedure so if you clean the tank every two days feed the fish every two days. This eliminates food rot effects and minimizes consequences of low grade fish food
  9. Always keep fish in room temperature and place in semisunlight place (indirect, not direct access to sunlight).
  10. Repeat routine (step 1) every 2 to 3 days
If you leave on vacation say 3 weeks to a month, find a large enough basin, fill with tap water 24 hours before you leave and leave exposed so that chloride and ammonia will evaporate, put neutralizer 1 hour before you leave and put goldfish in (ensure that the basin is at room temperature before you put fish in so if it was exposed, bring it in a couple of hours before) a couple of minutes before you split. Regarding food, go a couple of days before to your pet shop and tell 'em your leaving, mention the time you'll be away, and ask them to give you food for the duration of your absense. This kind of "vacation food" consists of a little brick which you put in the water with the fish, and which dissolves slowly thus providing ample food for your fish for the time of your departure. Once you return go to step one above which means that you'll change the water the day after you return.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tablets wars: Apple is from Venus, Amazon is from Mars

They say Apple has met its first real tablet competitor. And no, it is not Samsung or Motorola. Instead it is from a company that started out selling books on the Internet: Amazon. And while there is some truth to that assertion, I wouldn’t put a lot of weight in the argument.

Under the stewardship of Jeff Bezos, Amazon is very much like Apple. It is not afraid to experiment (Amazon Web Services), disrupt (Kindle) and be ruthless (Amazon Prime). And like Apple, Amazon is a company with infinite patience. As Bezos once said, what makes his company different is its comfort with being wrong.

But before I get too far ahead, let me recap the news for you. Today Amazon announced that sometime later this year you can buy one or more of these devices:
  • A $199 Kindle Fire tablet
  • A $79 Kindle eReader
  • A $99 Kindle Touch eReader
  • A $149 Kindle Touch 3G eReader
The key device to be announced today is the Kindle Fire tablet. Writing for the Guardian, my friend Dan Gillmor sums it up best:
…this device, at just under $200, is to the iPad (about $500 in its least expensive version) as a cheap sedan is to a Lexus SUV: functional and useful, but nowhere near as elegant or powerful.
And just because it looks like a tablet doesn’t mean it is an iPad-killer, as some would have you believe. Just on the basis of features, it looks more like a competitive reaction to Barnes & Noble’s Nook and less like competition to the iPad. However, one has to take a step back and think of the strategic importance of the device.

As we learned from folks like Erick Tseng of Facebook and Michael Abbott of Twitter at our recently concluded Mobilize 2011 conference, the Internet is increasingly becoming a mobile-first experience. Our online behaviors are changing from browsing on the web to browsing on the go, whether on tablets or smartphones. If Amazon has to stay relevant, it needs to embrace this new world. It has chosen to do so by building an Amazon experience.

Fire sale

“What we are doing is offering premium products at non-premium prices,” Bezos told BusinessWeek magazine. “We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service . . . Certainly this is a for-profit business . . . Let’s put it this way. We are and always have been very comfortable at operating at extremely low margins.”
A few months ago, while appearing on Leo Laporte’s TwiT Internet TV show, I argued that sometime in the future, Amazon will create a physical retail space, mostly as a means for the company to extend its virtual franchise into the real world. Unfortunately, I was limited in imagining what could be a physical retail presence in our always-on, always-connected future.
With the new Kindles, Amazon has been able to define the hybrid retail environment. In fact, this reinvention of the retail experience will help the company not only keep fighting with newer competitors such as Apple but also take on today’s leviathans like Wal-Mart.

If you look at the price points of these devices, Amazon is willing to take deep losses in order to build market share and get people using its devices — fast. It needs to do so in order to ensure one thing and only one thing: that people keep buying from it what they need. Amazon has traditionally made money by selling physical goods: books, music and movies.

Given that we are increasingly shifting away from buying physical media and are instead opting for digital goods, Amazon is smart in its introducing the new Kindle tablet. The presence of these outlets allows us to buy more things more often and more easily. And that includes everyday stuff like toilet paper, soap, shoes and toys. Given that we have a new generation of children growing up using tablets, the very idea of “toys” for them might be quite different from what you and I experienced as tiny tots.

When I think of the new Kindle Fire (and whatever comes next), I see a strategic move the mirrors the introduction of Amazon Prime, the unlimited shipping plan that made it easy for us to buy more from the Seattle-based e-commerce giant. Morgan Stanley estimates that Amazon Prime customers annually spend about to four to five times the amount of non-Prime customers. There are about 12 million global Prime customers, versus a total of 144 million active users. My colleague Erica Ogg in a post earlier this month wrote:
should Amazon do a decent job selling tablets, it’s not necessarily going to be at the expense of Apple selling a lot of iPads. And that’s because the two are coming at the business from two different angles, and their customers have different expectations.
My colleague Ryan Kim, who was at the Kindle launch event in New York, had this to say about the device:
The Kindle Fire seems geared to not only help people play their content but shop for new things. The top option is a search field that can pull up stuff from Amazon store. Also, on the various media options below, users are able to get at their own magazines, books, videos and apps but a “store” button is usually present so people can quickly add to their library. There’s also going to be a shopping application, one of four main apps included in the Kindle Fire along with contacts, gallery and email.
By bundling a free one-month trial of the Amazon Prime service (that costs $80 a year and gives you access to over 11,000 videos and thousands of music tracks via streaming) and automatically subscribing Kindle Fire owners (unless they opt out), it’s clear that Amazon is thinking correctly about the money-making potential of the tablets.

The asymmetrical war

Amazon’s primary business is selling us things  — lots of them — and getting them to us as cheaply as possible. And that includes physical and digital goods and services. That is its corporate DNA, and that DNA is going to influence all of its decisions — whether it is redesigning its website or defining new tablets.
Amazon’s revenues and profits come from selling goods and services. For Amazon, the tablet is the lure and e-commerce is the catch. Apple, on the other hand, makes money by selling hardware, lots of it. Apps and digital goods and services are a way to attract people to its hardware platform.

Apple makes a lot of money — as in real dollars — from its hardware. Amazon is going to lose a lot of money on this hardware-based reinvention of its core commerce business for a long time. This move should worry those who are already worried about Amazon’s minuscule profit margins. “At $199, we view the device as loss-making or neutral at best based purely on hardware,” JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth writes in a note to his clients.
The bottom line is that Amazon will be successful — at least more successful than Motorola or HTC — but it won’t come at the expense of Apple’s iPad or Samsung’s Android-based tablets. Or as John Gruber puts it:
Motorola, Samsung, RIM — they seem to be chasing the iPad on specs, building the best tablet they can manage at the same starting price of around $500. But they have no clear message telling people what you can do with them.

iPhone 5: 'Most Revolutionary User Interface in History'

Apple’s plans to introduce the iPhone 5 on Oct. 4 have spawned a huge wave of the typical informed speculation, trendy rumor, and uninformed innuendo that precede every Apple announcement, but I want to share the most-intriguing report I’ve heard.
What makes it worth repeating is that it comes from an Apple follower and investor named Jason Schwarz, whose commentary over the past few years about Apple and its strategy, products, and financial performance have been exemplary. Not long after the original iPhone debuted in 2007—and this was way back in the days before Apple had become the most highly valued company on the planet—Schwarz was perhaps the first advisor to proclaim (and he did so loudly and repeatedly) that Apple’s breakthrough smartphone was triggering an enduring wave of mobile innovation that would push Apple’s stock price up to and past $300.
With that backdrop, I’ve come to place a fair amount of trust in Schwarz’s analyses of Apple, which this time around include some jaw-dropping claims about the power of the iPhone 5’s new voice technology (and before I insert this excerpt from Schwarz’s analysis, bear in mind that this guy is an investor and investment advisor and that he holds long positions on Apple):
At the original iPhone event in January 2007, Steve Jobs stated, ‘We are all born with the ultimate pointing device-our fingers-and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.” Well, I would add that we’re also born with the ultimate communication tool-our voice-and iPhone is about to create the most revolutionary user interface in the history of technology (emphasis added). I expect that this voice assistant will quickly make its way into laptops and desktops as well. Apple’s competitive advantage is widening by the day. (End of excerpt.)
That’s quite a claim. And Schwarz makes such an audacious forecast because he believes the iPhone 5’s new capabilities will create for Apple a breakthrough level of competitive advantage in its battle with Google: “Voice search, rather than browser based search, could prove to be a real threat to Google’s dominance,” he writes. And here’s how that could play out, thanks to Apple’s acquisition last year of the Siri voice-assistant technology:
The Siri voice control system allows users to instruct the iPhone to ‘send a text message to Jason Schwarz asking him meet me for lunch’. Think about this capability in terms of safety. We all know that too many drivers send and receive text messages, now they will be able to safely operate an iPhone in the car. The voice assistant adds a layer of intelligence as well. If I ask my iPhone to ‘call Dad’ it might ask me whether it should dial his home phone or his mobile. It is also able to perform Web based search functions such as ‘book a table for two at 9:00 tonight’ or ‘send a taxi to my house’. Siri worked with Citysearch, Opentable and Taxi Magic before the Apple acquisition.(End of excerpt.)
For CIOs and the mobile workforces trying to deliver real-time insight and decision-making to the point of the customer, any additional layer of intelligence can truly be a game-changer as rapidly growing numbers of professionals begin to rely on smartphones and tablets as their primary computing device.
In fact, with these reported new capabilities for the iPhone 5, we shouldn’t be surprised if Apple, during its earnings call on Oct. 18, is able to report that it’s come even closer to having 100% of the Fortune 500 testing or deploying its mobile products. The most-recent corresponding numbers reported by Apple in late July were in the mid-80’s.
But even having made his claim that iPhone 5 will include “the most revolutionary user interface in the history of technology,” Schwarz made yet another remarkable forecast in his piece called ‘Let’s Talk’ iPhone 5 Is a Game Changer. After touting the iPhone 5’s implications for Apple’s iCloud business and highlighting how trends in mobile retention rates are favoring Apple over its competitors, Schwarz says he expects Apple to double the total number of iPhones it sells in the fourth quarter of this year compared to last year’s Q4:
After witnessing 142% unit growth for the iPhone in Apple’s most recent quarter, we believe that the upcoming iPhone 5 will command a similar growth trajectory in the holiday quarter. Last year Apple sold 16.24 million iPhones, this year we expect they will sell at least 32.48 million units. (End of excerpt.)

And That Maniac Jeff Bezos

By Jason Calacanis

Four days ago I wrote:
[
http://www.launch.is/blog/whats-your-primary-consumption-device.html ]
"How to Beat the iPad?
If Microsoft, Sony, Google, HP and Samsung want to make an impact in the tablet space, there is a very, very simple solution: lose money.
If I was running any of these companies, I would simply create a $99, $199 and $299 tablet and lose $10B getting 100M of them out there. Seriously, Apple will lower the cost of this overpriced device only when some maniac enters the market with a stunning price."

Well, that maniac has arrived, and his name is Jeff Bezos.
Today the highly underrated innovator dropped a huge bomb outside of Tim Cook's newly polished CEO suite: a $199 tablet called the Kindle Fire that by all accounts is going to be a very, very viable competitor to the $499 iPad.
This is a stunning, stunning move and exactly the type of competition we need to see in the tablet space.
HP's debacle of a tablet effort, powered by Palm's WebOS, was a complete disaster, selling only about 25K units of Best Buy's 270K total inventory -- until the company announced it was liquidating them for $100 each. Then they sold like hotcakes.
Think about that: HP's discontinued tablet sold like hot cakes, proving that price is the biggest hurdle in tablet space.

Why Amazon's $199 Move Is So Important
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
You see, the tablet market has been artificially held back by Apple's squeezing a delicious almost 40% margin out of the product (there's $200 in profit in every iPad).

The iPad does not replace a computer or a smart phone, so if you're getting an iPad, you are rich or you've got a really dangerous technology addiction that you need to get help for. Casual users are not going to spend $1,000 on a laptop, $1,200 a year on an iPhone (with their dataplan and initial outlay), and then drop another $599 + $300 a year on a second dataplan.
Folks in our industry will waste big money on these tech toys, but the rest of the country is going to make rational decisions like, "Why would I spend $499 on a tablet when I can use my laptop or smartphone to surf the web and play 'Angry Birds'?"
They don't know the power and beauty of tablet computing -- but now they will.
Clearly the visionary, Bezos realized this opportunity and decided Amazon will go all in: giving the product away at cost -- or perhaps even at a slight loss.

About the Fire
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
The Fire's marketing is brilliant: it's all about content. It's not about specs, or Flash or even the App Store. It's about books, movies and TV shows.

It's about Amazon's free movie and TV streaming service for Amazon Prime subscribers (if you don't have Prime already, spend the $70 -- it pays for itself after four or five orders).  Ever more so with its streaming service.
As I wrote, the tablet will be your -- and everyone else's on the planet -- primary consumption device in the next three years.
To market this as an extension of Amazon's book and DVD business is just so, so, so brilliant.
Included in the announcement is the promise of a little geek heaven: faster web browsing. How? Amazon has a new "Silk Browser" technology which is, actually, not new at all. It's client-server and link-fetching to speed up the delivery of your web page.
This means if you're on the NYTimes.com they have, in their cloud and possible already on your device, the next five pages you're going to click on. They know this because the last five folks to hit the NYTimes.com's homepage opened those pages.
These kind of caching services have a ton of privacy implications, as they are now sitting between you and your favorite p0rN site... I mean, political activism site! Not only do they have an entire history of which URLs folks are downloading, they have the actual download.
I wonder if Amazon will allow users and webmasters to turn this feature off or not?

How Apple Will Respond
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
This epic release ensures that Apple will speed up the following efforts:

1. Release a smaller footprint iPad for $299. Something you can hold comfortably with one hand like a Kindle Fire.
2. Reduce the price of the full-sized iPad to $399 -- perhaps even $349 -- after Christmas or in the spring.

How Will Google and Microsoft Respond?
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Google and Microsoft are both going to push hard into this space in the coming years, and I fully expect them to look at tablets as a loss leader that will push their search engines, email services, applications and app stores/marketplaces.

Look for subsidized devices from both players in the next year, as Google and Microsoft will be in serious, serious trouble if Amazon and Apple control the primary consumption devices -- and their marketplaces.
Chromebooks? Netbooks? Garbage! They are not important. Folks don't want underpowered, crappy laptops. Give them high-powered tablets with zexy, zexy screen resolution.
In fact, if Google and Microsoft don't get their act together and get really solid offerings in the market, they might have an impossible task of catching up.
Jeff Bezos is a disruptive maniac and he's causing massive agita inside of Apple right now.
Could anyone out there 10 years ago have predicted that Apple's biggest concern would be Bezos and Amazon?
I love this game!!!
Love it!
I ordered two Amazon Fires.
Tablets are going to change everything.
I really do love this game!
best,
Jason

PS - The tablet event we're hosting on Oct. 21st in Mountain View just got a LOT more interesting. I'm going to reach out to Bezos and see if I can talk him into coming down for a fireside chat. Join us at LAUNCH 'PAD: The Tablet event: http://www.launch.is/launch-pad-tablet-conference

Hide n Seek

Snow White and Rose Red play hide n seek with Bear.
For the Sketchbook.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mausam :Shahid Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor In Mausam Pics ,Photos, Images,stills, Romance, Affair Mausam release date and reviews

Mausam :Shahid Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor In Mausam
Pics ,Photos, Images,stills, Romance, Affair

Mausam release date and reviews











Ra one Shahrukh Khan SRK & Kareena pics, Shahrukh Is ROBOT in Movie ra one, Ra One Movie Release date and Reviews

Ra one, Ra 1,Ravan 
Shahrukh Khan SRK & Kareena pics, Shahrukh Is ROBOT in Movie ra one,
Ra One Movie Release date and Reviews












Tseng
Tseng
Facebook has their sights locked on mobile. We know that. This afternoon at GigaOm’s Mobilize conference, Facebook Mobile Chief Erick Tseng touched on just how crucial mobile is to them — and more importantly, how crucial it will be.
Just how crucial are we talking about? Within 1-2 years, Tseng sees Facebook becoming as much of a mobile company as it is a desktop/web company.
“It’s interesting that if you take a look at our top line of growth, we’re getting to the point that the countries we’re getting into now are ones that don’t really use computers at all. The predominant ways people are connecting in Africa, in India, is through their mobile devices. As Mark touched on a few days ago, we now have over 350 million mobile users. Within another year or two, we’ll be a mobile company, with 1/2 mobile users.”
It’s kind of funny to think that Facebook might not already think of themselves as a predominantly mobile company. They’re already the most popular app on nearly every smartphone platform, are deeply integrated into countless Android devices, and 43% of their active user base of 800 million is using mobile on a regular basis. What else can they really hope for? Oh, thats right: to take over the mobile world with a development platform of their very own.
Oh, and as for that iPad app:
“Yeah.. the iPad app. The iPad is great. It’s a fantastic device.. (pause).. but nothing to announce at this point. If you want to get the Facebook fix, there are a number of [iPad] apps that weren’t developed by us.”

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 500 million users.
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskowitz and Chris Hughes to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks.
The original idea for the term Facebook came from Zuckerberg’s high school (Phillips Exeter Academy). The Exeter Face Book was passed around to every student as a way for students to get to know their classmates for the following year. It was a physical paper book until Zuckerberg brought it to the internet.
With this success, Zuckerberg, Moskowitz and Hughes moved out to Palo Alto for the summer and rented a sublet. A few weeks later, Zuckerberg ran into the former cofounder of Napster, Sean Parker. Parker soon moved in to Zuckerberg’s apartment and they began working together. Parker provided the introduction to their first investor, Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and managing partner of The Founders Fund. Thiel invested $500,000 into Facebook.
With millions more users, Friendster attempted to acquire the company for $10 million in mid 2004. Facebook turned down the offer and subsequently received $12.7 million in funding from Accel Partners, at a valuation of around $100 million. Facebook continued to grow, opening up to high school students in September 2005 and adding an immensely popular photo sharing feature the next month. The next spring, Facebook received $25 million in funding from Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital, as well as previous investors Accel Partners and Peter Thiel. The pre-money valuation for this deal was about $525 million. Facebook subsequently opened up to work networks, eventually amassing over 20,000 work networks. Finally in September 2006, Facebook opened to anyone with an email address.
In the summer of 2006, Yahoo attempted to acquire the company for $1 billion dollars. Reports actually indicated that Zuckerberg made a verbal agreement to sell Facebook to Yahoo. A few days later when Yahoo’s stock price took a dive, the offer was lowered to $800 million and Zuckerberg walked away from the deal. Yahoo later offered $1 billion again, this time Zuckerberg turned Yahoo down and earned instant notoriety as the “kid” who turned down a billion. This was not the first time Zuckerberg turned down an acquisition offer; Viacom had previously unsuccessfully attempted to acquire the company for $750 million in March, 2006.
One sour note for Facebook has been the controversy with social network ConnectU. The founders of ConnectU, former classmates of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard, allege that Zuckerberg stole their original source code for Facebook. The ordeal has gone to court, and has now been resolved.
Notwithstanding this lingering controversy, Facebook’s growth in the fall of 2007 was staggering. Over 1 million new users signed up every week, 200,000 daily, totaling over 50 million active users. Facebook received 40 billion page views a month. Long gone were the days of Facebook as a social network for college students. 11% of users are over the age of 35, and the fastest growing demographic is users over 30. Facebook has also seen huge growth internationally; 15% of the user base is in Canada. Facebook users’ passion, or addiction, to the site is unparalleled: more than half use the product every single day and users spend an average of 19 minutes a day on Facebook. Facebook is 6th most trafficked site in the US and top photo sharing site with 4.1 billion photos uploaded.
Based on these types of numbers, Microsoft invested $240 million into Facebook for 1.6 percent of the company in October 2007. This meant a valuation of over $15 billion, making Facebook the 5th most valuable US Internet company, yet with only $150 million in annual revenue. Many explained Microsoft’s decision as being solely driven by the desire to outbid Google.
Facebook’s competitors include MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, LinkedIn, Tagged, Hi5, Piczo, and Open Social.

Milestones

Videos

Above: This video was originally published on Beet.TV
Added: 8/5/08
Above: This video was originally published on Beet.TV
Added: 4/9/09

invite: tablet/ipad event in Mountain View on Oct. 21st

Friends,

I'm hosting a one-day event on October 21st in Mountain View about the iPad (and other tablet computers) and I wanted to make sure you knew about it.

Bunch of details here:http://www.launch.is/launch-pad-tablet-conference

If you know of any developers they can attend as my guest here:http://jc.is/pfxrXB

Everyone else can signup here and use the discount code 'tablet' for 20% off.http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1715429897

We're looking for 20 companies to present, so if you know anyone doing cool tablet stuff let me know by just hitting reply.

Do forward this to anyone you know doing interesting tablet work.
best, Jason

jason@calacanis.com