Posts tagged happen
If you were to guess how many people logged in to Facebook in a single second, what would you say? 10,000? 100,000? According to a new infographic posted by Intel, it’s a staggering 277,000 logins every second, even as six million Facebook pages are getting viewed in that same second.
The scale of the Internet is something that most of us have trouble understanding, because the numbers are so staggeringly big. That’s why infographics like the one Intel put together are so helpful — by breaking down the Internet into what happens in one second, the numbers are at least a little more manageable.
And it will do nothing but grow. By 2015, Intel estimates, the number of Internet connections will double that of the world’s population.
Get out the popcorn and take a look at the infographic for more figures that will stretch your perception of what can happen in a single second. (Click the image for a full-size version.)
Images courtesy of Intel.
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For its “Mobile Search Moments” report, Google and Nielsen also found that 59 percent of mobile searches occurred after 3 p.m., with 22 percent taking place from 8 p.m. to midnight, when people are more likely to be at home or on the go.
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Large numbers of people believe that the majority of mobile search activity happens “on the go.” However according to an extensive new study from Google and Nielsen, the overwhelming majority (77 percent) of mobile search happens at home or work — even when there’s a PC nearby and readily…
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People are buzzing about a supposedly leaked video (below) that supposedly shows the Chromebook Pixel, a touch-screen laptop supposedly designed by Google. It’s gorgeous. And coming on the heels of the Nexus 4 smartphone, and the very slick work that Google did with Jelly Bean, this product furthers the impression that Google has started to get really good at design, as some people have been noticing lately.
TechCrunch has the whole story of where the video might have come from and how it made its way accidentally onto YouTube. It’s not worth repeating other than to say that there’s a company in Mountain View, Calif., that seems to be run by a former Google engineer and maybe makes videos for Google, and apparently they got hacked and this video got leaked.
Who knows and who cares. Our own Jon Mitchell believes it’s a real product, and he’s a leading authority on Google. Check out the video of a world “where all your things are always wherever you are, and your computer actually gets better over time.” If this thing is for real, I want one.
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A lot of people write about the difference between SEO and PPC, and how pay per click advertising can come in to strategically boost traffic. When a previous SEO’s efforts have run amok because of shady tactics, PPC can keep a business running while Penguin and Panda recovery efforts are advanced. Nonetheless, the two strategies [...]
The post Getting Indexed by Google Using Only PPC: It Could Happen to You appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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Why do I like the hardware industry?
It’s the melodrama. One day, you’re an unheralded company with clunky, me-too products. (We’re the first company to deliver a smartphone specifically designed for bass fishermen!) Three years later, a few analysts and reporters note that your company has moved from number 27 to number 8 in market share. A year later, BusinessWeek prints a breathless account of the danger sports—windsurfing, bull baiting, extreme whittling—the CEO enjoys to keep himself tuned. You’re number one in your chosen markets and your company is expanding!
And then comes the final act: excess inventory, bloated product lines, tight margins and feature stories bemoaning your big bet on those touch screens.
Look at Packard-Bell, Compaq, Palm, AST, Digital, Acer, and all those people that made Internet Appliances back in the late 90s. These companies weren’t stupid or mismanaged. In most cases, they touched the Golden Fleece… right before sliding off a cliff.
And now comes Vizio. It’s one of the great success stories in digital television. At the Consumer Electronics Show this week Vizio unfurled smart phones, tablets and Windows 8 PCs. (Vizio started trickling out the PC strategy in 2012 but this year’s CES has been the launch pad.) The desktops will have large 24- and 27-inch screens while the laptops will emphasize thinness. Still, even with the accent on design it can be seen as a strange move. PC sales are flattening out and most phone companies are struggling in the shadow of Samsung and Apple. Given a choice between trying to interest consumers in Windows 8 or trying to earn a living giving massages at street fairs, you might be temped take Option B.
But, ahh… the history. Vizio has defied the odds before. Founded in 2002 by LCD veterans William Wang, Ken Lowe and Laynie Newsom, the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company started as a consulting firm serving PC makers trying to break into the TV market. It helped Gateway release a 42-inch plasma TV system. It cost $2,999, but comparable systems at the time sold for upwards of $6,000. Although Gateway’s momentum in TVs petered out, it enjoyed a surge of sales. Gateway sold 4,000 in the first month.
Soon after, it joined a new crop of new-name TV manufacturers like Westinghouse, Polaroid, and Syntax-Brillian – HP and Dell even thought they could make it big in TVs. Vizio’s strategy was to produce the lowest price TVs in the mid- to high-price bands, a plan which allowed it to compete on price while avoiding the most challenging segment of the markets. It also specifically targeted what then were new channels for TV makers: Costco, Sam’s Club and home shopping channels. Electronics retailers, at the time, insisted on gross margins of 25 percent or more. Big Box retailers only demanded ten percent. Vizio used the strategy to undercut prices without undercutting margins too much.
It also kept headcount low. Vizio outsources nearly everything. When it overtook Samsung and Sony for the first time to become the number one LCD TV brand in America, it had only 85 employees.
“We don’t have highly paid executives or fly around on corporate jets. The efficiency of the company is not hiding any kind of latency,” Wang told me back then.
The momentum hasn’t ended: Vizio is still regularly in the top spot with Samsung in the U.S. Now reviewers like Dave Katzmaier often give their TVs high marks. Compare that to Sony or Sharp: Sharp, one of the most innovative companies in LCD technology, is this week seeking an infusion of cash from Intel and Dell.
With that in mind, let’s look at the new products. Vizio’s tablet runs on AMD’s Z60 processors. That means it is compatible with virtually every computer program on the market, unlike Microsoft’s own Surface, which runs on an ARM chip. AMD is also a company on a mission to rebuild itself and so will likely go out of its way to help Vizio make sure it succeeds. The products are attractive, different and Vizio doesn’t carry baggage like HP or Dell.
In phones, Vizio will target the Chinese market, still a new frontier for smartphones.
Then again, it won’t be easy. Vizio did try to sell phones in the U.S. a few years ago. In the summer of 2011, Lowe told me during a panel discussion that Vizio was going to come out with a line of LED light bulbs. Taiwan would produce them and Vizio would sell them. LED prices dropped and I haven’t seen the light bulbs. The company’s breakthrough channel strategy is no surprise anymore.
If these new products don’t sell well, expect Vizio to back of its commitments quietly. But if TV sales begin to flatten, Vizio may decided that its future does indeed belong in portable entertainment and computing. An effort will be made to bring a new definition to form factors. And then someone will suggest…
Image courtesy of Vizio.
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The European Union appears to be closer to agreement with Google about anti-trust concerns relating to search, and action seems likely to happen in January. Meanwhile, the expected US Federal Trade Commission ruling that was supposed to happen before the end of this year now looks delayed into at…
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The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) makes some very important people mad as hell, while other companies we trust with our personal info every day are cheering it on. Both sides paint a pretty gruesome picture of what happens if it passes or fails. But how bad will it really get, in either case? And is the protection CISPA gives us worth selling out our freedom?
The Murky Basics
NOTE: If you haven’t already read Dan Rowinski’s excellent overview of CISPA, start there.
CISPA starts off strong, with a goal “to provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities.” Unfortunately, the sentence doesn’t stop there, finishing with “and for other purposes.” The last four words are the beginning of the confusion, and it just gets worse. The bill leaves a lot to interpretation on some very important topics, such as defining exactly who constitutes a threat. According to the bill, a cybersecurity threat is someone guilty of “misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.” That gives government a wide berth, and it terrifies civil-rights activists.
A Slippery Slope
Rebecca Jeschke, media relations director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), thinks the bill’s ambiguity could have catastrophic results: “CISPA gives companies a free pass to bypass all existing privacy law, with vaguely worded provisions and no oversight. It’s a situation ripe for abuse.” How far down the rathole could that abuse go? “If this legislation is passed, Americans will always have the spectre of government surveillance over their online activities – no matter who they are or how private their activities,” Jeschke says.
While that might seem harsh, the EFF isn’t alone. The American Civil Liberties Union claims “this broad legislation would give the government, including military spy agencies, unprecedented powers to snoop through people’s personal information – medical records, private emails, financial information – all without a warrant, proper oversight or limits.”
If CISPA passes, though, we probably wouldn’t notice a thing, at least initially. Unlike SOPA, which outlined more specific, direct (and ultimately, useless) consequences of being labeled a bad guy, CISPA merely removes legal and procedural barriers and adds a veil of anonymity for companies that choose to share customer data. But CISPA is a two-way street, allowing the government to share information about cybersecurity threats with businesses, and who wouldn’t want access to that? “Voluntary” might not be when the government is dangling your company’s security like a carrot on a stick.
Civil-rights organizations aren’t the only ones worried about government leverage. Microsoft, an initial supporter of the bill, recently withdrew its backing, citing concerns about violating existing privacy agreements with its users. Since information sharing remains optional under CISPA, many see Microsoft’s waffling as a tacit acknowledgement that government strong-arming is inevitable. President Obama has cited similar concerns and threatened to veto the bill if it comes across his desk. CISPA will not turn the country into a police state overnight, but with the president and some of the industry’s biggest players backing the EFF’s claims, there’s little doubt that over time, the bill would erode some amount of personal freedom and privacy in the name of security.
Our Only Hope?
Lost liberty has always been the cost of security, and many believe society will give up its freedoms if the reward is great enough. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), one of CISPA’s two sponsors, isn’t shy about what he feels is on the line: ”We weren’t ready for 9/11. But we have an opportunity to be ready for [a cyberattack].”
Comparing a hack to the greatest tragedy in American history may be extreme, but Ruppersberger has a point. Foreign hackers have already disrupted satellite operations, and they steal as much as $400 billion in trade secrets each year. An organized attack on a traffic grid or power plant could absolutely lead to real-world deaths. Clearly, we’re underprepared, and we need to do something. If CISPA doesn’t pass, are we screwed?
According to Paul Sweeting, principal at Concurrent Media Strategies, not really. To Sweeting, there’s not a lot of upside to the bill. His evidence? The people most familiar with CISPA don’t seem to believe in it. “I think it’s fair to assume, in light of President Obama’s threatened veto of the bill, that the White House, at least, does not believe the bill as written would be particularly effective,” Sweeting says. “This administration has not exactly been shy about putting its paws on the Internet in the interests of ‘national security,’ or about aggressive measures to protect the intellectual property of U.S. businesses. So if the White House is willing to torpedo CISPA, I think we can assume that its impact on cybersecurity would be limited, even if it passes.”
And what about the coalition of business backers, including Facebook, AT&T, Symantec and other tech heavyweights? Sweeting thinks they’re just in it for a free pass. He claims they’re “mostly interested in the liability exemption and don’t really believe it would have much effect on security. That’s why I think you see some of them going wobbly on their support now (e.g., Microsoft), as the opponents of the bill have gained some traction in the committee for tightening the exemption.” It’s worth noting that nearly all of the CISPA supporters were against SOPA, which would have forced tech companies to police their own content.
If that’s the case, a more specific bill that everyone can support might be worth the wait. After all, as the EFF points out on their website, CISPA does nothing to reduce the number of exploitable vulnerabilities that facilitate the vast majority of exploits, so with or without CISPA, the bad guys aren’t going away any time soon.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Research In Motion, the BlackBerry pioneer that lost its way, finally admitted last week that it’s in need of a major transformation. After falling way behind rivals Apple and Google in the smartphone industry, RIM must reinvent itself or else.
The possibilities for RIM range from a quick sale to a slow, successful rebuilding process. There isn’t a single, obvious outcome. And it doesn’t look good: Almost all signs point to RIM reducing its staff significantly.
Option 1: Drop It Like It’s Hot
One option is for RIM to sell itself right now for the highest amount it can get. While the BlackBerry phone platform isn’t competitive anymore, and the once-iconic brand isn’t worth much, there are parts of RIM that could be useful to someone.
For example: Its back-end service infrastructure and business. Its millions of subscribers around the world. Its patents. Its large corporate contracts to outfit companies with thousands of devices. Or its direct access to promising engineers in Waterloo, Ontario, graduating from Canada’s biggest engineering university.
The trouble with this scenario is finding a buyer willing to pay an acceptable amount of money for the company, knowing its assets are declining in value and the company is in disarray. Any acquirer would be forced to quickly reduce headcount, with the baggage that comes along with that.
Why buy RIM today for an amount you know will shrink as time goes on? When I first wrote in 2009 that Microsoft should buy RIM to jumpstart its mobile business, it would have probably cost $35 billion to get the deal done. Today, the market values RIM at less than $7 billion. Anyway, Microsoft – still the most logical acquirer – is busy with Nokia right now. That may or may not be the right long-term bet, but adding RIM to the mix just adds more chaos.
Other buyers could potentially include Facebook, Amazon, Google or even Apple. But none is likely to spend more than the bare minimum for whatever scraps it finds useful. That doesn’t give this scenario much hope. So I’m assigning a 20% probability to RIM selling itself within a year for $7 billion or more.
Option 2: Control-Alt-Delete
Rebooting RIM may be the best long-term strategy to keep the company independent. This concept has been successful for IBM, famously. But it’s a lot easier said than done.
The move that makes the most sense now is getting rid of RIM’s handset business and trying to make the BlackBerry platform something that corporations and governments can’t live without, regardless of their choice of devices. Selling handsets still represents the majority of RIM’s sales – 68% last quarter – but it’s a money loser.
Still, this means shedding a huge number of employees and betting on a software and services platform that might never catch on in the open market. (Pulling out of the handset business, then, would have to be a carefully calculated move.)
This means RIM will shrink in all metrics and may never become as big as the RIM of 2008. But that’s reality, and you can’t recreate the past.
This is a bold strategy, but RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins may finally be ballsy enough to do it. I’d say that there’s a 40% chance RIM will announce plans to widely open its platform within a year. (It’s already starting.) And there’s perhaps a 10% chance it’s wild enough to also announce plans to wind down the handset business. (This may not make sense right away, though it would be the strongest way to proclaim RIM’s new mission.)
Option 3: Slip and Slide
Another strategy – the one that RIM’s old bosses had been using for years – is to stick with the status quo, pretend everything is fine, and assume that whatever RIM will be able to ship next year will be better enough.
Under this model, RIM would likely continue to lose market value and financial viability, until it’s either sold in a fire sale or goes out of business.
Given RIM’s history, there’s perhaps a 30% chance that sticking with the old plan will also be the new plan. But it does sound like Heins actually knows he can’t do that.
Option 4: Miracle Comeback
One last possibility is that RIM will orchestrate one of the world’s greatest all-time comebacks. This is admittedly far-fetched and probably less than 1% likely. But it’s not completely impossible.
It would require creating a product or service that leapfrogs Apple, Google and the rest of the mobile industry, and becomes an immediate must-buy. Something so amazing that I’d drop my iPhone and run to the Verizon store to buy RIM’s new toy.
This sounds unlikely, especially given RIM’s track record. The iPhone was truly an unbelievable product when it launched, but Apple had that capability in its DNA. Even before Steve Jobs came back to rescue Apple, it was still shipping the best computers in the world. Apple just wasn’t moving in the right strategic direction or thinking about the future in the right way, and Jobs changed that.
It would be tough to argue that RIM has the right recipe of talent, leadership and vision to make this reality. But it’s not completely impossible. And it would make for a truly amazing story.
More likely: A modest push toward becoming primarily a mobile service provider and away from hardware sales. This is probably the safest and soundest bet.
Previously: The End of RIM As We Know It
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Last week, millions of Americans flocked to buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket or ten, each hoping for their own personal miracle. This strategy worked for all of three people. Yesterday, in their annual homage to the April 1st prankster’s holiday, Google announced the miracle of a new ad…
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