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Archive for the ‘Industry Stories’ Category

Why your inbox is being flooded by LinkedIn

Monday, May 13th, 2013

What’s up with LinkedIn? Suddenly it’s everywhere. Last week, as I finished up teaching a dozen masters students in publishing, I told them to keep in touch. Nobody called. No one emailed. Seven of them requested to connect with me on LinkedIn.

What’s more, lately my inbox has been teeming with social notifications beyond the simple “please join my network” request. Friends and colleagues are “endorsing” me for skills I haven’t even thought up or “congratulating” me when I add a new job (“adjunct professor”) to my profile. And then there’s LinkedIn Today, a social newsreader that provides some a better-cultivated deep-read of the pertinent news in my industry than the soon-to-be-defunct Google Reader I once curated myself.

I’m not imagining things; the numbers prove it: In the past year, LinkedIn has seen a 24% grown in number of monthly visitors in the United States to 46.3 million — and that’s not counting the increasing number of folks who use the service on mobile devices. Even more interesting, the service has seen a 52% spike in time spent on the site — in March, users spent an average 1,072 minutes on >more

IT Outsourcing

CNET News : Video leak of rumored new Chromebook – Inside Scoop

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Dell Buyout Rumors Spark Stock Surge

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Dell shares surged following a report that the personal computer maker is in talks with private-equity firms over a potential buyout.

The stock jumped sharply before tripping a single-stock circuit breaker, causing its shares to be halted on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Dell’s stock has now resume trading and was last 14 percent higher.

Dell declined to comment to CNBC on what it called “rumors or speculation.” The report first emerged on Bloomberg TV.




2013: The year of the Ubuntu Linux tablet and smartphone?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
Countdown to the Ubuntu smartphone and tablet?

Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, is hinting in big, bright letters that’s its about to release a fully touch-enabled version of Ubuntu Unity. The site’s banner headline now reads “So close, you can almost touch it.” with a clock counting down to 1 PM Eastern time, January 2nd. If this is indeed what Canonical is planning, can Ubuntu-powered tablet and smartphones be far behind?

Canonical has been planning to bring Ubuntu to tablets since it first introduced its controversial Unity interface in 2010. Then, in conversations with Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu’s founder, I was told that Unity was meant to be Ubuntu’s master interface for desktops, netbooks, and tablets.

At the time, while a tablet version of Ubuntu wasn’t in Canonical’s immediate plans, Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager, told me that “all the pieces are in place to create an Ubuntu tablet.” Even then, before Unity was launched, I was shown the first baby steps to multi-touch Unity. >more

IT Services Houston

Three reasons a Windows 8 laptop leads, MacBook lags

Monday, December 10th, 2012

This week Hewlett-Packard offered a few good reasons to consider a Windows 8 laptop over a MacBook.

Those arguments are embodied in an upcoming 3-pound HP EliteBook Revolve business ultrabook “convertible” that was announced this week.

The MacBook Air is a fine design (I use one every day) and the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is an even better design. But the Apple way isn’t the only way. Here are three features that the MacBook ain’t got.

Built-in 4G: The EliteBook Revolve offers built-in 4G LTE or HSPA+. Wi-Fi-only MacBooks are getting a bit stodgy. It’s almost 2013. 4G should at least be optional on a MacBook.

Let’s put it this way, if 4G is an option for the iPad, why not for a tiny 2.4-pound MacBook Air? And if HP is including it in an ultrabook like the Revolve, you can bet there’s a reason: some of HP’s business customers are demanding it.

And sharing plans make it feasible to share 4G data across multiple devices now.

Touch screen: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Touch is de rigueur for any mobile device now. And two years from now, a portable device without a touch screen will be an anachronism. Like a keyboard without a mouse.

Fact is, HP offered a touch-screen tablet long before the iPad. Unfortunately, it was saddled with Windows XP. And HP (and Microsoft) could never see beyond the stylus as an input medium.

Docking station: I used HP docking stations for years (which the Revolve includes). They were a godsend. When you need to pick up and run, it’s just a matter of popping the lappy out. No disconnecting and reconnecting cables.

And good docking stations (like those from HP) offer every port under the sun. So by plugging into the dock, you get the range of ports typically found only on desktops.

Yeah, there are plenty of third-party docking stations out there, but nothing beats a dock spec’d by the PC maker.

Why? Because the dock’s design starts on the laptop: high-speed, well-placed docking connectors must be conceived first on the laptop, then the dock design follows.

Like I said, I like my MacBook — a lot. But its limitations can feel claustrophobic on days. Especially when compared with some of the emerging Windows 8 competition.

But that’s what competition is about. Apple is only one company. The Windows 8 crowd comprises scores of companies with plenty of good ideas of their own.


Houston IT Services

Microsoft launches new Windows 8 operating system

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

LinkedIn for Marketers: 4 Easy Ways to Find Content for Your Audience

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

LinkedIn’s 175 million professionals worldwide are considered a goldmine for marketers: According to the social network, its audience is one of the most educated, affluent and influentialon the Web.

But taking advantage of that audience can be challenging—and overwhelming—if you’re new to LinkedIn Marketing and its portfolio of features.

LinkedIn’s newly redesigned Company Pages is the hub for businesses, featuring a Careers section that’s updated with job postings, a Products tab with information on what’s new and upcoming, an Employee Insights page and an Overview section with updates from the company.

Company Updates, according to Alison Engel, LinkedIn’s global marketing director for Market Solutions, is one of the most important features for marketers.

“This is where you engage with your audience,” she says. “These messages that you send out show up on your company’s page and in the news streams that are front and center in a member’s user experience. It’s the pulse professionals are taking throughout the day.”

One challenge many marketers struggle with, she says, is finding enough meaningful content to post to their audiences regularly.

“I’m always asked about editorial calendars and whether they need a staff producing content for social purposes,” Engel says. “The answer is no, you don’t. Companies sometimes don’t realize how much existing content they already have at their fingertips.”

Tapped for time and resources? Here’s a look at four types of content that LinkedIn users crave. A bonus: No content creation required. >more

Houston IT Services

TechShop” A workspace for inventors

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Apple’s Sept. 12 iPhone 5 event: What to expect

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

iPhone 5The wait is almost over.

Apple has officially announced a September 12 press event in San Francisco, confirming months of rumors. And the invitation (reproduced above) leaves little doubt that the event will be the rollout of the iPhone 5 (or whatever name Apple chooses for its sixth-generation iPhone).

Rarely has a product ever been so analyzed, so rumored, and so leaked as Apple’s next-gen phone. Not a day, or even an hour, goes by without a new picture of the rumored case, screen, connector jack, even headphones. Has all the excitement already been spilled, or is there something completely different yet to come? Here’s a rundown, all rumors aside, of what to expect.

The name: iPhone 5 or New iPhone?
If the name of the most recent iPad is any indication — “The New iPad” — that would be the easiest way to settle the naming convention for Apple’s next handset. Then again, look at the looming “5″ in the invite photo above. Unlike last October’s iPhone event, where camps were split over whether there would be an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 (or both), this year it’s unanimous that the look and feel of the next iPhone will finally take the design and feature leap many expected in 2011.

A new design
Remember how big a deal the redesigned iPhone 4 was? Expect a similar amount of focus on the engineering required to take what was already an incredibly compact phone and make it even slimmer. Of course, the pictures and rumors gathering thus far show a taller (if not wider) phone.

The two-tone color scheme and a return to a metal back could give the iPhone a look it hasn’t had since the original model in 2007, but the overall look of the iPhone pictures seen thus far are more evolutionary than revolutionary, akin to the iPhone 3G’s shift away from the iPhone.

The screen: Longer, thinner
A larger screen size seems all but certain, and all indicators say that the 4-inch screen — increased in size from the existing iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen — will sport a different aspect ratio. A 640×1,136-pixel-resolution screen would enable an extra row of icons on the home screen, apps with extra visible screen space above the virtual keyboard, and HD videos with less letterboxing in landscape mode.

This screen could be manufactured using “in-cell” technology, a method of creating an even thinner all-in-one touch screen without any added layers. Or, it could be a new process. The resulting screen would allow for a slimmer iPhone, improve picture clarity, and even possibly extend battery life.

Most importantly, a larger screen would help the new iPhone keep pace with the wave of supersize Android phones that have become popular in recent months. Right now, the current 3.5-inch iPhone looks downright tiny in comparison to phones like the 4.65-inch Galaxy Nexus or 4.8-inch Galaxy S3.

A new dock connector (it’s about time)
Recent images and mock-ups show what’s been rumored for months: a totally new 8-pin connector, ending the reign of the trusty old 30-pin iOS connector. It’s high time for a smaller standard: the wider, dust-collecting 30-pin port on the bottom of iPhones and iPads is an old legacy connector, and many connections are now made via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or AirPlay. A new 8-pin port will take up less space, which could possibly be used by more battery capacity without adding to the phone’s overall bulk.

Of course, while a smaller connector may have its advantages, it has one major drawback: the long list of 30-pin accessories and cables will be instantly rendered obsolete (at least until there’s an adapter available).

4G LTE: The biggest no-brainer of the bunch
The lack of 4G LTE wireless in the current iPhone is its most glaring feature deficit, and it’s time that got rectified. The third-generation iPad’s move to 4G was a milestone, not only for the iPad’s lightning-quick access speed, but for the battery life while on 4G, too. The quality and availability of 4G LTE service makes this a clear-cut, long-expected upgrade, and one of the chief features likely to get detailed on September 12.

Of course, 4G LTE could dramatically affect the iPhone carrier equation. T-Mobile doesn’t yet have an LTE network, making it even less likely that the fourth-place carrier will be getting the iPhone anytime soon. Sprint’s nascent LTE network remains sparse as well, limited to just a few cities. As a result, look for AT&T and especially Verizon to no doubt use their much more-robust LTE networks as a selling point.

A new processor?
The iPhone has seen processor upgrades every generation since the iPhone 3G. An A6 processor could be quad-core; if it is, it’ll be a more advanced CPU than what’s used in the third-gen iPad, which has an A5X processor (with a dual-core CPU and quad-core graphics). Would that happen, or is there a chance that the new iPhone will have a shrunken-down A5X processor — the same power, but in a more compact (and possibly more energy-efficient) package?

iOS 6
Apple’s latest version of iOS is a feature in itself for the next iPhone, although some previous iPhone models will share in many of the spoils. Detailed at WWDC 2012, iOS 6 has plenty of new features available to the iPhone 4S and some older iPhone models. But Apple has already indicated that — like Siri — some of the primo features of the new iOS (such as turn-by-turn navigation) will only be available on the latest iPhone and iPad models.

The official launch of iOS 6 should be detailed at this event, and odds are it’ll debut a few days before the new iPhone goes on sale.

Expect the new Maps app with turn-by-turn navigation to be a highlight of this new iPhone event once again.

Siri, again
The latest generation of Siri will have more hooks in apps. Will it be easier to use? The capability to launch apps via Siri might suggest better in-car capabilities. Apple discussed Eyes Free, a technology being built into cars to take advantage of Siri connectivity over the next 12 months, at WWDC. More concrete details on Eyes Free with the new iPhone could emerge at this event.

NFC? Don’t count on it.
Apple’s Passbook, a new app in iOS 6 that works like a mobile wallet, has led some to believe that NFC, or Near-Field Communication, a technology increasingly showing up in other smartphones, will make an appearance in the iPhone 5. Odds are slim this will happen; the latest indications are that the new iPhone’s slimmer design might make NFC inclusion unlikely. Also, NFC in mobile-wallet tech is still embryonic, and hasn’t gained much traction yet.

A new camera? Unclear.
The iPhone has made three successive leaps in camera technology with the iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S; few people have any more complaints about the quality of the iPhone’s camera. Instead, there could be additional camera modes or tweaks: multiburst, improved multifocus, or a better flash. With all the other new iPhone features, advancements in camera tech could take a year off.

iPad Mini or new iPods?
The original consensus was that Apple would use its September event to carpet bomb the competition with a slew of new products: iPhone 5, iPad Mini, new iPods, and the new iOS. Recently, however, the rumor mill has indicated two separate events: an iPhone launch in September, followed by the iPad Mini launch in October.

I agree with the latter assessment. Odds seem historically slim that Apple will allow anything else into this event. iPads, iPods…my gut tells me that these won’t be around or even spoken of. Based on what we think we know so far about the new iPhone, the entire event could be spent discussing the new phone and its features (an iOS 6 recap). That would follow the game plan of the iPhone 4S event, where the legacy iPods were barely mentioned.

Meanwhile, rumors of the iPad Mini, with its alleged 7.85-inch screen, are growing at a daily rate. That device, should it emerge in 2012, seems destined for its own event sometime in October, along with long-overdue refreshes to the iPod Nano and Touch, both of which haven’t been updated since 2010. Two events would allow Apple to double-dip in the news cycle as well, so a cheaper, smaller iPad — a major product in its own right — wouldn’t get overshadowed by the new iPhone.

One thing’s for certain: we’ll know a lot more by the afternoon of September 12.


Video: Next iPhone to sport larger screen?

Monday, September 3rd, 2012