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Cloud-based collaboration tools are becoming increasingly popular, but as Heartbleed not-so-gently reminded us recently, convenience can come at a trade-off with information security. The bug hit both Box and Dropbox, and their users’ sensitive information may have been compromised. To the chagrin of IT managers everywhere, many employees are using the same file-sync-and-share platforms at home and work. Consumer file synchronization and sharing tools are cause for serious concerns about data breaches and loss of control over sensitive enterprise documents. The prevalence of mobile computing and the BYOD trend only compounds these security risks. Recognizing this need for secure collaboration tools at the enterprise level, RR Donnelley has developed Roundtable,™ a cloud-based document management platform that offers unparalleled security. The platform’s built-in security includes dynamic watermarking, instant reports of exactly who is accessing which files, encryption of all data communication, code access security and communication protocols like SSL, protective software to inhibit print screen operations, and the ability to revoke rights to a document even after it has been downloaded to the user’s desktop. RR Donnelley has a deep background in the world of financial services and deal management, which means the company knows how to protect highly confidential information. Industry-leading AT101/SOC2 Type II compliance under three AICPA Trust Principles: data security, data confidentiality and data availability. Other vendors and consumer heritage platforms may audit only their data center and only against the data security trust principle or, in the case of an SSAE16, against no trust principles. Collaboration-first tools are great but more easily compromised. With Roundtable, security is the No. 1 priority.

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Struggling games company Zynga announced more executive shifts Wednesday during its Q1 2014 earnings report, as co-founder and former CEO Mark Pincus will step down from his role as CPO. Pincus moved to the role in 2013 after hiring former Xbox guru Don Mattrick to take the reigns at the company. According to the press release, Pincus will continue his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The announcement comes as the company exceeded Wall Street’s dismal expectations for performance for Q1, reporting $168 million in revenue — 38 percent decrease since 2013.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Noteworthy mobile developments from the third quarter 2013Social 2013: The enterprise strikes backListening platforms: finding the value in social media data

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Apple on Wednesday reported second-quarter revenues of $45.6 billion and profits of $10.2 billion, which works out to $11.62 per share. The revenue figure is slightly higher than Apple’s results from the second quarter in 2013, and profits continued to rise year over year. Here are the device sales numbers: 43 million iPhones, as compared to 37.4 million sold a year ago. 16 million iPads, down from 18.1 million sold a year ago. 4 million Macs, which is about the same as last year’s reported figure of 4 million Macs sold in the 2nd quarter. Apple’s board of directors also announced a stock split: Apple shareholders of record will receive six additional shares for every share held on the June 2nd. Split adjusted trading will begin on June 9th. The results surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts were expecting earnings per share of $10.19 on sales of $43.5 billion. An important number to watch is Apple’s gross margins. Gross margin was up at 39.3 compared to 36.7 percent in the first quarter and 37.5 percent at this time last year. This story is developing and was updated several times Wednesday as more information became available.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.The impact of mobility on enterprise software developmentThe rebirth of hardware demands new definition of designHow new devices, networks, and consumer habits will change the web experience

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Facebook released its earnings report for Q1 2014, posting revenue of $2.5 billion – an increase of 76 percent since 2013 and ahead of Wall Street’s expectation of $2.36 billion. In addition, Facebook CFO David Ebersman has announced his intention to step down, to be replaced by Facebook VP David David Wehner. Ebersman will remain at his position through September of this year. “David has been a great partner in building Facebook, and I’m grateful for everything he’s done to help make the world more open and connected,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a press release. “David set us up to operate efficiently and make the long term investments we need, and built an incredibly strong team including Dave Wehner, our next CFO. I look forward to working with Dave in his new role.” Ebersman joined Facebook in 2009 after spending 15 years with Genentech, where he was executive vice president and CFO. He said in a press release that he will return to the healthcare industry, where he started his career. Incoming CEO Wehner joined Facebook in 2012, where he served as CFO through the company’s IPO, and currently handles Facebook’s Corporate Finance and Business Planning department.   As for traffic, Facebook reported 1.28 billion monthly active users as of March 31, a 15 percent year-over-year increase. Mobile is also growing, with 1.01 billion mobile MAUs as of March 31. The company is turning those users into income: the company reported net income of $642 million, up from $219 million for the first quarter of 2013. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.34, up 183% compared to $0.12 in the first quarter of 2013 and beating analyst’s expectations of $0.24 per share.   Facebook has had a busy quarter, particularly in the acquisitions department. Not only did it purchase SMS alternative WhatsApp for $16 billion, but it also acquired VR technology company Oculus for $2 billion. The company is also doubling down in its efforts to increase accessibility to the Web, forming the Facebook Connectivity Lab to experiment with drone technology. Additionally, the company will be putting on its first F8 developer conference since 2011 — when it debuted the Open Graph and Timeline — later this month.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Listening platforms: finding the value in social media dataConnected Consumer Q3: Netflix fumbles; Kindle Fire shinesWhat today’s companies need to bridge the sales automation-to-CRM gap

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The days of futzing with television remotes are slowly coming to a close as Siri may be joining the ranks of personal assistants to change your channel. Code in Apple’s iOS 7.1 software suggests the company is at least considering voice support for the set-top box. Spotted by 9to5 Mac, the code snippets for Assistant — the iOS name for Siri — clearly show Apple TV alongside the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, all of which already support Siri. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this does happen sooner rather than later. Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox already supports voice control; it works so well for me, I actually added a new Verizon FiOS box to my house solely for the Xbox One. Siri hasn’t learned many new tricks of late either, so it’s about time Apple took advantage of the software. Since Siri arrived on the market, Google and Microsoft have quickly caught up with similar voice assistant services, first with Google Now and more recently with Microsoft Cortana. And one of the newest features on Amazon’s Fire TV is a Siri-like voice search for content. In fact, I’m more surprised that Apple didn’t bring Siri to the Apple TV earlier. In late 2011, I suggested Apple had a huge opportunity to turn Siri into the invisible interface for our homes. That hasn’t happened yet, but adding Siri to the Apple TV would be a good start for the company’s billion dollar hobby. The addition of Siri to Apple TV would likely mean a new model of the small set-top box. Why? Currently, Apple TV hardware has no way to hear you, so a new edition with an integrated microphone — or a microphone in an Apple TV remote, similar to the Fire TV — would be needed. It’s possible that Apple would use an iOS device on the same network to add ears to Siri, but I think a new Apple TV box is the more likely scenario.  Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.The living room reinvented: trends, technologies and companies to watchHow mobile will disrupt the living room in 2014Development strategies for the app-developer community

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Nearly two years ago, U.S. regulators proposed opening up 100 MHz chunk of federal airwaves for commercial use, creating a shared spectrum band between the government, mobile carriers and the ordinary public. The proposal languished as carriers weren’t too hot on the idea of sharing the airwaves, but the Federal Communications Commission seems to be making it a renewed priority under new chairman Tom Wheeler. The FCC on Wednesday approved a new notice for proposed rulemaking to establish how the 3.5 GHz spectrum could be used. The main difference between this proposal and the last is that the FCC wants to expand the shared band to 150 MHz, good news for companies like Google and Microsoft who are eyeing the band for possible wireless broadband use. The rules would basically create a three-tier plan for prioritizing access to the airwaves, favoring incumbent government and military users first, then hospitals and public safety groups, and finally everyone else. That “everyone else” includes the carriers who are considering using the spectrum to power new small cell deployments to supplement increased capacity for their 3G and 4G networks. In other business, the FCC approved T-Mobile’s purchase of Verizon’s spare 700 MHz spectrum, giving it the low-band spectrum T-Mo has promised to use to improve its LTE coverage outside of cities. The FCC also voted to shift $9 billion over the next five years from traditional telephone subsidies to programs that would help pay for rural broadband access.        Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.What happened in mobile in the fourth-quarter 2013A look back at mobile in the third quarterIn Q3, the Tablet and 4G Were the Big Stories

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Windows Phone  just joined the platforms that Microsoft supports with a remote control app for accessing a PC from a handset. The company quietly introduced the free Remote Desktop Preview software in the Windows Phone store on Wednesday and ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley spotted it. Microsoft first brought a secure remote access app to competing platforms — namely iOS and Android — last year, so this new preview app closes the circle by giving Microsoft’s own Windows Phone users the same functionality: Full, secure access to a remote computer for viewing data or running apps on the small screenRelated research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.What happened in mobile in the fourth-quarter 2013Gigaom Research predictions for 2014Noteworthy mobile developments from the third quarter 2013

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Next up to take a page from Sony’s Crackle playbook is… AOL: The internet company has struck a deal with Hollywood heavyweight Miramax to stream movies from its library on its AOL On video website, as well as through its connected TV and mobile apps. Neither company would commit to listing any specific titles that will be available, but Variety helpfully reminds us that the Miramax catalog includes movies like Pulp Fiction, Chicago, Cinema Paradiso and Reservoir Dogs. The movies will be made available free of charge and will feature advertising, which makes this yet another move for AOL to expand its video ad business. AOL streamed 3.8 billion video ads to U.S. viewers in March, according to comScore, which makes it the second largest domestic video advertising platform. Adding more longform content to its library could help AOL get viewers to stick around longer, and have them consume even more ads. AOL isn’t alone in its embrace of ad-supported movie content. Sony has been making some of its titles freely available through its Crackle site for years, and connected app and advertising startup Adrise recently launched Tubi TV to deliver ad-supported videos to Amazon’s new Fire TV and other connected TV platforms. Hulu has also been offering some movies, including Miramax titles, to the users of its free web offering, and recently started to surface some of these titles as part of monthly staff picks.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.What new identity management solutions can offer today’s enterpriseGigaom Research predictions for 2014A look back at the third quarter of 2013

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We’ve been starting to hear more about an LTE-Advanced technology called carrier aggregation lately, as mobile operators in South Korea, Australia and the U.S. start rolling out new supercharged networks capable of doubling download speeds to the device. But with an exception or two, carriers are making very little noise about these new capabilities. I recently reported that AT&T already has carrier aggregation up and running in Chicago and other cities, capable of boosting its speeds by 50 to 100 percent. But AT&T has publicly made little fuss about it, and it’s only revealed a single device — a 4G hotspot — that can tap the network. We’re starting to take the first steps into LTE-Advanced networking, but the normally self-promoting mobile industry is staying mum. What gives? Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg The explanation, according to Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg: We’re in a nebulous transition period in mobile networking, and all of the pieces necessary to make the technology commercially viable haven’t yet fallen into the place. Those pieces aren’t just technical, they’re political and economic. Carriers can’t simply flip a switch and turn carrier aggregation on — they need to feed those networks with new spectrum, and they need more advanced smartphones that can actually tap into that increased bandwidth. “It is a vital component to meeting mobile data demand,” Vestberg told me an interview on Wednesday. “We’ve started with carrier aggregation, but we’re definitely still in the beginning.” Carrier what? First, let me explain how carrier aggregation works. A single LTE cell is called a “carrier” in telco parlance, and it transmits on a specific block of frequencies. That LTE carrier can only be as big as the amount of the contiguous spectrum an operator has access to. So if you’re AT&T and have 10 MHz of 700 MHz downlink spectrum, you can get a maximum possible capacity of 75 Mbps out of your network. But AT&T also owns 4G spectrum in the Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) and PCS airwaves at the further end of the spectrum map. It can deploy separate LTE networks at those bands, but they function like separate networks. A device can connect to one or the other, but not both. Carrier aggregation allows those networks to bridge that spectral divide, transmitting on both channels to a single device and creating a big fat bandwidth pipe in the process. The HTC One M8 contains a baseband chip supporting 10×10 MHz carrier aggregation. (Source: HTC) That’s exactly what AT&T has started doing to its networks in Chicago and other places, but it’s been quiet about it. That’s likely because, as Vestberg mentioned, not only does the network have to be configured for carrier aggregation, but also the device. In the U.S., two smartphones I know of have the requisite chips: the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8, both of which launched this month. AT&T offers both devices, but I’m still waiting to hear whether it’s actually switched on the capability in either device. That leaves the vast majority of smartphones, tablets and other data devices unsupported, and even those exceptions are limited in their capabilities. The GS5 and M8 both sport early generation carrier aggregation chips that can’t tap the blazing 300 Mbps or higher speeds that LTE-Advanced promises. It’s all about the spectrum While U.S. operators like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have alternate spectrum in the bank — or have picked up more through strategic acquisitions — not everyone has that luxury. Even in Europe, where operators do own LTE spectrum in different bands, many of them haven’t deployed their second LTE networks. In order to launch carrier aggregation, you need more than one carrier to aggregate. Source: Shutterstock / Max Krasnov That’s going to be the biggest limiting factor facing many countries in moving to LTE-Advanced, Vestberg said. Until operators get new 4G spectrum, they’re limited in the kinds of networks they can build. While it’s a matter of debate whether carriers need more spectrum to serve their customers, there’s no question that carrier aggregation requires lots of frequencies to thrive. As for network technology, Vestberg said the industry is almost there. Ericsson has been supporting the few individual deployments of LTE-Advanced technologies out there on a one-off basis. But in September it will release a major update to its LTE networking platform that will upgrade its networks from core to tower with carrier aggregation capabilities. Soon, almost every Ericsson LTE network in the world — and, given Ericsson’s market lead, there are a lot of them — will be carrier aggregation–ready, Vestberg said. But operators will still have to wait for devices and spectrum to fall into place before they can turn it on.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Why LTE in the iPhone mattersIn Q3, the Tablet and 4G Were the Big StoriesA look back at mobile in the third quarter

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With all the money being spent on, and all the futuristic talk about about big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and all things in between, it’s easy to forget that Microsoft and Google — two of the companies leading research in these technologies — still have large businesses in web search. So as cool and potentially life-altering as AI might be in fields such as medicine, we’ll probably continue to see the signs of things to come in search engines first. It’s big business and a great testing ground. Take, for example, Microsoft Bing’s new predictions feature that tries to predict the outcomes of popular fan-voting show such as The Voice, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. Bing does this by analyzing a number of signals, including searches, Twitter and Facebook data, and, presumably the outcomes of previous episodes. (Hat tip to Search Engine Land for spotting this Bing blog post, as well as the following one.) Microsoft is also boasting about how Bing’s image search — which includes filters for all sorts of variables — is superior to Google’s image search. A blog post explaining the differences reads like an homage to advances in computer vision and object recognition (and, very possibly, deep learning) without ever mentioning those terms. Google, of course, has been using these technologies to power new image search features, too. Images of George Clooney filtered by those showing head and shoulders. Might improved machine learning someday give us better teleconferencing, better office software and a Terminator-like view of the world around us, or help doctors better analyze cancer cells? Sure. But first it will make sure we don’t waste our time looking at poor-quality celebrity pics or betting on reality show losers. For more on the importance of machine learning and AI research at companies like Microsoft, check out this talk from Stucture Data with Microsoft Research machine learning manager John Platt. Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Why we must apply big data analytics to human-generated dataSector RoadMap: Social customer service in 2013How to use big data to make better business decisions

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After opening up its Power PC architecture last August, IBM on Wednesday unveiled a new line of servers built to challenge Intel’s x86 architecture inside the data center. IBM said it will deploy those servers in its SoftLayer cloud. IBM and other members of the OpenPower Foundation, which will manage the Power architecture, also showed off a white box server built by Tyan that was running firmware and an operating system developed by IBM, Google, and Canonical. Taken together, these and other announcements made today around the OpenPower Foundation are an effort to keep the Power architecture relevant and to provide a piece of silicon that IBM is hoping can handle big data — the next generation workload everyone’s salivating over in the infrastructure world. With that in mind, IBM’s new line of Power Systems servers were built on an open instruction set — much like what Facebook has built with its Open Compute efforts for servers and storage, but at the chip level. It’s a similar strategy to what ARM has done by making its IP cores available for license, only IBM is even giving up the licensing revenue. This means any chipmaker could build a processor using the Power instruction set without paying for the underlying IP. The new silicon, called the Power8 processor, is a massive 12-core processor that has an open interconnect so it can run with other processors, such as graphics processors (Nvidia is member of the OpenPower Foundation) and FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays). This concession to a heterogeneous computing environment is a significant one, especially as large webscale providers such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft look to customize their hardware for their data center workloads. The fact that Google is participating in the OpenPower Foundation is a significant publicity coup for IBM. Should Google actually use the Power architecture in its data centers, that publicity coup could turn into a business win, as Google is one of Intel’s largest customers. (We’ll make sure we check in with IBM at our Structure conference held June 18 and 19 in San Francisco.) This isn’t some newfangled chip design. The Power architecture has been around since 1990, appearing in servers, Apple’s computers until it made the switch to Intel in 2005 and other machines. However, the question before IBM and its partners in the chip industry is whether it can become a viable server for the market. People trying to build on the Power8 architecture will need chip design expertise that goes beyond a CPU, such as incorporating networking on-chip and between chips, other components found on a motherboard and then manufacture them. Any company building a box would also need to build firmware and a link between the Power architecture and today’s data center software. The Tyan box is a good start to this effort, and IBM’s own servers are using the technology. IBM said the new IBM Power Systems are capable of analyzing data 50 times faster than the latest x86-based systems. However, benchmarks are the most fungible of stats, and I’m sure Intel could find a use case and workload to dispute IBM’s data. But this new architecture and business model around Power is not just about trying to build a chip that processes data faster. Other companies from Tilera to Intel are all trying to market chips and architectures that can analyze data faster or within a lower power envelope. Demand for workloads including everything from storing data in Hadoop clusters to analyzing it has infrastructure vendors all rushing products to market. But in opening up the Power architecture IBM’s not just trying to get in on a hot workload, it’s trying to save a more than twenty-year-old processor design from obsolescence. And according to IBM, it has spent $2.4 billion in the last three years to do this. As Patrick Moorhead, from the analyst firm Moor Insights and Strategy wrote in a paper: However, IBM historically has been able to translate their supposed speeds-and-feeds advantage into additional market share in the vital Linux internet-scale market. IBM now is pinning its hopes on adopting an ARM-like open development model with partners to foster more innovation, competition and adoption. IBM hopes to save the POWER processor from the fate suffered by SPARC, Itanium, DEC Alpha, MIPS and other proprietary architectures.” The question is whether opening up Power and signing up some powerful friends can propel the architecture into the mainstream for data center customers that need to crunch data. Today’s news is a great start, but it’s the follow on from IBM’s customers and its partners that will determine the Power architecture fate. Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Big Data, ARM and Legal Troubles Transformed Infrastructure in Q4How the mega data center is changing the hardware and data center marketsThe Structure 50: The Top 50 Cloud Innovators

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Google can’t stop investing in clean power. Earlier this week they announced they’d inked their largest clean power contract to date to buy energy from a wind farm in Iowa. And now on Wednesday Google has announced that it’s teamed up with solar panel maker and project developer SunPower to provide funding for installing solar panels on home rooftops. Google will put in $100 million, and SunPower $150 million, and the combined $250 million will provide financing for leases for thousands of solar panel systems for home and building owners. SunPower launched its solar lease program in 2011 and says 20,000 homes have opted for the leases. Photo by Katie Fehrenbacher/Gigaom This isn’t the first time that Google has invested in solar financing for home owners. It also put $280 million into a solar rooftop fund run by SolarCity, and another $75 million into Clean Power Finance’s home solar roof fund. Google has been investing in clean power in a variety of ways, including putting financing into these types of funds, buying equity in individual clean power projects, and contracting to buy clean power from utilities and power companies to run its data centers (both directly and indirectly). Putting money into a rooftop solar fund, can provide returns to Google over time, so Google is actually making money on these deals. Rooftop solar panel systems in the U.S. are booming. Almost a third of new electricity in the U.S. last year came from solar, and solar was the second largest source of new electricity last year after natural gas. In 2013 there was 4.75 gigawatts of solar energy systems installed, including 2 gigawatts in just the fourth quarter alone.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.A 2011 Green IT ForecastWhat first-quarter 2014 meant for the mobile spaceWhat today’s companies need to bridge the sales automation-to-CRM gap

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Unless you’re on the PGA Tour, Swingbyte might be just the thing to help correct that nasty slice. The $169 device attaches to any golf club and records swing data for viewing on a phone or tablet. If you have Google Glass, you can now get that feedback in real-time after each swing because Swingbyte is now available in the Glassware app store. Once installed, the free app will show important swing data such as swing speed, club face angle, and swing path, which is helpful for understanding why you aimed one way and the golf ball went in another direction. Swingbyte for Glass wirelessly syncs directly with Google Glass and the software will also send swing information to the cloud. Using the richer Swingbyte app for iOS or Android, you can then view actually swing planes to see what your swing looked like. Sports information from sensors such as the Swingbyte seems like a good application for Glass to me. I’ve previously used similar golf apps to track my score, shot information and other bits but none of them worked in a hands-free mode. By sending data to the small screen of Glass, there’s little or no technology to get in the way of the experience. And yet, you get useful information at a glance that can help lower your score; something my golf game sorely needs. Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Applying lean startup theory in large enterprisesWhat we expect for wearables in the near-term futureWhy design is key for future hardware innovation

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On-demand ride-sharing service Uber announced on its blog Wednesday that, since the launch of a limo service now in Beijing, users can hail an Uber from 100 cities worldwide. It’s a big number that shows Uber’s dominance in its expansion — nearest competitor Lyft serves just 30 cities. But Uber’s widespread advantage doesn’t mean it has a lock over the competition, as the company continues to spend time and money to fight regulations in cities like Seattle. It’s putting lots of work into expanding to cities that have never had something like Uber before — but once its there, competition will have no problem strolling in.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Flash analysis: lessons from Solyndra’s fallA look back at the first quarter of 2014Applying lean startup theory in large enterprises

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Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab 4 line of tablets on Wednesday, just one month after photos of the 7-inch model leaked online. A 10-inch, an 8-inch and a 7-inch version will be available in the United States on May 1st. The Galaxy Tab line is Samsung’s low-end tablet offering. All three tablets have identical specifications aside from screen and battery size: each is equipped with a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM. The Galaxy Tab 4 runs Android 4.4 with 16GB of built-in storage and an option to add more via a microSD card. The 7-inch version will cost $200, the 8-inch version will run you $270, and the 10-inch model starts at $350. Like the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, the weakest included component is the screen itself: Samsung has opted for 1280 x 800 panels in all three tablets, bringing the 10-inch version’s pixel density to a paltry 151 pixels per square inch — a far cry from the pixel-dense screens on other Android tablets such as the Nexus 10, which was also built by Samsung. The Galaxy Tab will eventually come in an LTE-enabled version sold by carriers, with AT&T offering all three models, Sprint carrying the 7-inch model, T-Mobile opting for the 8-inch tablet, and Verizon carrying both the 8 and 10-inch versions. While pricing is not yet known for the LTE-equipped models, presumably the tablets will be discounted when signing up for an LTE data plan with contract. Judging from the suggested retail price, these tablets do not represent a good deal, unless you value Samsung’s software and services or need LTE connectivity. While Google’s year-old Nexus 7 has a superior screen and similar performance, the least expensive model only costs $30 more than the entry-level Galaxy Tab.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.What happened in mobile in the fourth-quarter 2013Mobile Q1: All Eyes on Tablets, T-Mobile and AT&TWhat first-quarter 2014 meant for the mobile space

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A confluence of major changes in computer hardware is disrupting a three-decade equilibrium in the design of SQL database management systems (DBMSs).  Memory is no longer precious compared to disk, and CPUs can now scale out much further without requiring a cluster of servers. By optimizing a database to run in memory and exploit all 64 virtual processor cores on a commodity server without locking up, the industry has reached a tipping point. It’s now possible to accelerate many OLTP applications by ten to 100 times without having to partition data across a cluster or migrate applications to specialty databases. In this webinar, our panel will address these topics: The trade-offs among the approaches taken by software vendors to deliver this technology Example applications that showcase the sweet spot of each approach The likely medium-term evolution of in-memory OLTP technology within the broader data management marketplace Speakers include: Andrew J. Brust, founder and CEO, Blue Badge Insights George Gilbert, partner, TechAlpha William McKnight, founder and president, McKnight Consulting Group Eron Kelly, general manager, SQL Server Marketing, Microsoft Register here to join Gigaom Research and our sponsor Microsoft for “Taking in-memory OLTP mainstream,” a free analyst webinar on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at 10 a.m. PT.

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It isn’t free, but it’s pretty darn close. iDrive is now offering iPhone and iPad users 100GB of storage for 99 cents per year. Apple iCloud users get 5GB for free, but Apple charges $100 for 50GB a year. The small print is that this deal is good for in-app purchase only. The company already offered a free tier of storage, up to 5GB, for its regular (not-necessarily-mobile) users. The next tier after that is $34.75 per year for up to 300 GB of storage. This is just the latest in what seems to be a race to the bottom in cloud storage and file-share pricing. Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive trade price cuts. Most of the major players, including market leader Dropbox, continue to offer some level of free storage — although Dropbox’s free tier includes just 2GB of data. Here’s the thing, though: IPO-bound Dropbox has a ton of VC money to pour into customer acquisition. The idea is to get people in for free and convert them to paying customers. And Google and Microsoft obviously have huge cash troves from their other businesses to carry freeloaders. But for other, smaller companies, there has been retrenchment. Earlier this month, for example, Canonical killed its Ubuntu One service and and SugarSync and Droplr recently ended their free tiers of service as well. You have to wonder how many other, smaller companies will have to review the freebies or near-freebies going forward. Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.A look back at the third quarter of 2013Cloud and data first-quarter 2013: analysis and outlookHow the mobile-first world will transform the data center

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U.S. mobile industry group CTIA has named former FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker its new CEO and President. She will replace retiring CTIA chief Steve Largent on June 2, and brings a pretty long CV working on both the government and lobbying side of telecom policy. She served in the Obama Administration’s Federal Communications Commission from 2009 to 2011 before controversially resigning to become to become SVP for government affairs for Comcast-NBCUniversal. Before that, she worked as Deputy Secretary of Commerce under George W. Bush and acting head of the National Telecommunications of Information Administration, which manages federal airwaves.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.How public policy affected the consumer tech space in first-quarter 2014What happened in mobile in the fourth-quarter 2013How consumer media consumption shifted in the second quarter

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Declara, a Palo Alto, Calif., startup that  aims to help individuals in large professional networks learn new information, has raised a $16 million series A round of venture capital. GSV Capital led the round, with participation from Data Collective, Founders Fund and Catamount Ventures. Declara’s product is like a social network platform, often connecting large national organizations, and like any good social network it uses a variety of machine learning techniques to cater recommendations to individual users. However, because it’s focused on education, Declara connects members to other members, outside experts and content related to the areas they’re trying to learn. Rather than relying solely on users’ stated interests, the platform studies their online behaviors and makes suggestions accordingly. Here’s how Declara Founder and CEO Ramona Pierson (pictured above) — who has a triumphant personal story, too — described the company on the Structure Show podcast in March: “We really try to personalize around preferences and validate those preferences. So, if someone says I’d rather learn through video or rich media, but yet we actually start to validate the system going, ‘Oh, they actually do best when they’re trying to help others. When they’re an expert in helping others, they’re actually learning faster.’ So we’ll take in the preferences and things that people declare about themselves — thus [calling the company] Declara — but then we also validate with our programs.” You can listen to the whole interview below. Pierson also spoke at our Structure Data conference, where she discussed her experience recovering from a horrific accident and how that inspired her future work in trying to help adults learn — a career arc in which Declara is just the latest endeavor. Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Why we must apply big data analytics to human-generated dataSponsored Research: How story-driven video is poised to take offThe internet of things: a market landscape

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It’s not exactly a household name, but Quibb — a content-sharing social network aimed at professionals — has built up thousands of dedicated fans since founder Sandi MacPherson launched it in San Francisco a year and a half ago. Now those fans can help support the growth of the service in the most direct way possible: by buying an equity stake in the company, thanks to a plugin from Alphaworks and the micro-financing features of the recently passed JOBS Act. In a nutshell, the JOBS Act enables small companies like Quibb to ask their users or members for venture funding directly, instead of having to go through the expensive process of lining up traditional VCs or doing a traditional equity issue. Alphaworks — a unit of New York-based incubator betaworks, which has given birth to companies like Chartbeat and Bitly — is designed to help companies like Quibb automate the process of getting tiny amounts of venture funding from their users or fans. All they have to do is embed a “card” or widget on their site where users can express an interest, and Alphaworks takes care of the rest. MacPherson said that she already tapped some of her users for support in a more informal way late last year, by writing a blog post asking for outright donations, and she has also lined up a seed-funding round with some traditional institutional investors and angels. But she says she wanted to set aside some of her funding round for the experiment with Alphaworks, because it fit with the way she thinks about her service and the members who use it. “In theory I could have done this all the regular way, but I feel really strongly that Quibb only exists because of the content that people share and the support and feedback they’ve given me, so I wanted to work with them on a more formal level. It just really fit with how I’ve run the company from day one.” MacPherson, a Canadian ex-patriate whose background is actually in geochemistry, designed Quibb to be a tool for professionals from various sectors to share content that was relevant to their work. Unlike most social networks, it has virtually no bells and whistles and is rather plain-looking design-wise (which some fans see as a benefit). Its main interface is a daily email filled with useful links, which MacPherson says has a greater than 50 percent open rate. The other thing that makes Quibb unusual is that MacPherson herself personally vets and approves every new member of the invitation-only network — and is proud of the fact that only about 40 percent of those who apply are accepted. The Quibb founder says the problem with many mass-oriented social networks like LinkedIn — which would seem like a natural competitor for Quibb — is that their social graph almost inevitably becomes too broad, and therefore the content recommendations aren’t useful enough. Quibb takes the opposite approach, and tries to make a user’s social graph as tight and professionally connected as possible. Those kinds of connections are what made it easy to find angels and VCs to fund the company, says MacPherson — but they are also what convinced her that she should give the service’s users a share in the equity at Quibb, since without them the company literally wouldn’t exist. Post and thumbnail photo courtesy of Thinkstock / Marc DebnamRelated research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Applying lean startup theory in large enterprisesThe importance of putting the U and I in visualizationDid We Really Learn Anything From the Dotcom Crash?

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The popular messaging and VoIP calling service Viber is overhauling its messaging app for iOS 7, bringing the operating system’s characteristic clean, flat look to its user interface as well as several new features. Viber also created a version of its app for BlackBerry’s newest operating system BlackBerry 10. The iPhone enhancements include the ability to send multiple photos and videos at the same time, send lengthier videos and to create block lists of unwanted numbers or contacts. Viber’s new multi-photo feature on the iPhone (source: Viber) The BlackBerry 10 app will support all of the core Viber features from its older BlackBerry versions, but it also adds some new services. Notably BlackBerry 10 users will be able to tap Viber Out, which lets users call outside of the app network, and Viber’s Sticker Market, which sells visual customization features that have become all the rage in Asia. Japan’s Rakuten bought Cyprus-based Viber for $900 million in February kicking off what could become a big wave of acquisitions among the over-the-top messaging apps. Most notably Facebook is shelling out $16 billion for the global messaging leader WhatsApp. Viber for BlackBerry 10 (Source: Viber)Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.The state of the converged-mobile-messaging marketForecast: the converged mobile messaging marketTakeaways from mobile’s second quarter

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It has become pretty standard to hear about patent licensing deals between Microsoft and Android device makers. Motorola Solutions is the latest to sign one but it’s not just about Android; the deal also covers Chrome OS devices. Interestingly, Motorola doesn’t make any Chrome OS devices so this could lay the groundwork for the company to change that. Taking things one step further: Motorola tried to create a new market for phones that power laptops. Remember the unsuccessful LapDock that used an Android phone to run Linux on a shell computer? Instead of just having a Linux partition and custom user environment on such a phone, perhaps Motorola adopts Chrome OS for a second take on its LapDock concept. We discuss that in detail and hit more of the latest Chrome OS news on this week’s podcast, so tune in and join us! Download This Episode The Chrome Show RSS Feed Subscribe in iTunes SHOW NOTES: Today’s Chrome Show episode is sponsored by New Relic. Hosts: Janko Roettgers and Kevin C. Tofel First look(s) at the Samsung Chromebook 2 You can now Chromecast Google Play Music to an Apple TV via a doubleTwist hack “Five Years after Their Inception, the Browser-Based Laptops Inch Toward Replacing PCs and Macs” says the WSJ Chrome OS Dev channel gets new graphs to see CPU frequency state changes Google Play Music app gets a small but useful tweak: option to be “Always on top” It’s a hit: Chromecast gets MLB.tv Chrome Remote Desktop for Android goes public Is Motorola planning to make Chromebooks? It signed a patent licensing deal with Microsoft for Android and Chrome OS devices. App / Extension of the week: WikiTubeRelated research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.The No. 1 Way Chrome OS Will Woo Consumers to the CloudGoogle Chrome OS: What to ExpectWhat defines the key players of the IaaS industry

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The world is still sucking down bandwidth like it’s an elixir of the gods, with global bandwidth demand reaching 138 Tbps in 2013, a 4.5 fold increase from the 30 Tbps of capacity from five years before. But it’s the mix of that growth that’s worth noting, according to a report out Wednesday from Telegeography. Traffic on private networks owned by Facebook, Amazon, Google and other web giants is driving the majority of that growth — about 55 percent of it averaged over that five-year period between 2009 and 2013. The remainder comes from public network traffic operated by carriers like AT&T, Comcast, Level 3 and others. Those public carriers still make up most of the traffic, however. From the report: Internet backbones remain the primary users of international bandwidth, accounting for 75 percent of demand in 2013. However, the drivers of international bandwidth demand are changing. As private network operators, including large content providers like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, expand their internal networks, their bandwidth requirements increasingly exceed those of the largest carriers. Last year a quarter of international bandwidth was used on private networks, as companies try to figure out how to expand their reach and lower the costs they pay for networking. This has led to a shift in how the internet operates, from connecting users to users to the newer model of linking users to data centers, and data centers to each other, according to Alan Mauldin, a research director at Telegeography. This trend is driving decisions such as Facebook’s leasing of fiber in Europe and in the U.S. as well as Google’s decision to invest in submarine cables. It’s also leading to economic shifts, as ISPs who play in the transit market like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast attempt to use their singular access to last-mile subscribers as a way to drive big companies to pay for network interconnections or transit. We’ll discuss this topic in greater depth at our Structure conference in San Francisco June 18 and 19th when Craig Labovitz of Deepfield Networks shares some of his data on how the structure of the internet is changing.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.What you missed in cloud in the third quarter of 2013What the shift to the cloud means for the future EPGWhat the shift to the cloud means for the future EPG

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OnePlus announced its first flagship smartphone on Wednesday morning. Confusingly named the One [MENTION WHY - HTC ONE], the handset is the first mass-market Android phone to ship with CyanogenMod preinstalled and will retail for $299 when it goes on sale in May. OnePlus is the hardware company founded by former Oppo executive Pete Lau. Shortly before Lau resigned, Oppo released a limited edition handset with CyanogenMod preinstalled. It’s not surprising his new company has decided to continue with CyanogenMod as its primary version of Android. CyanogenMod is a open-source operating system based on Android that started as a community-driven project but is now a fully-fledged startup with $9 million in funding. The OnePlus One packs in a lot of great components: Snapdragon 801 quad-core CPU, 3 GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch 1080p display. The camera is made by Sony, clocks in at 13MP and should be able to record 4k video. The specs are very competitive with other high-end handsets, especially for the sub-$300 price. There are no deals with carriers at the moment, but all signals from the Chinese company indicate that is by design: this handset is meant to be sold unlocked. Like all CyanogenMod handsets, the OnePlus One does not come with Google Apps installed, although it’s not too difficult to install them separately. That means no Google Play out of the box, which could limit the phone’s widespread appeal. The OnePlus One will launch in May in sixteen countries, including the United States. If you’d like one the day it launches, you’ll need an invite.  Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Noteworthy mobile developments from the third quarter 2013What to expect for the mobile OS market in 2013How companies can grow by moving into newer, bigger markets

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While dozens of startups pour time and money into developing mobile health devices for the young, hale and hearty, they might be better off going grayer. The opportunity to sell technology to senior citizens is huge now and will only get bigger as more of us age into that segment. Which vendors will be best positioned to capitalize on this opportunity – a handful of early movers that are already in the market, or vendors like Fitbit (see disclosure) or Jawbone that focus on younguns? “Developers making technologies for the 20- and 30-somethings are missing a huge opportunity to supply the 100-million-plus people aged 50 and over in this country,” Laurie Orlov, an analyst with Age In Place Technology, said in an interview. She estimates that this market is worth $2 billion now and will hit $20 billion by 2020. Semico Research puts the number higher, forecasting that the market for gear like remote health monitors, oximeters, glucose monitors, medication reminders, heart rate monitors, safety alert bracelets, etc. will hit $30 billion by 2017. How big is big? You want more evidence? Research released in October conducted by Oxford Economics for the AARP said that Americans over 50 spend $4.6 trillion annually, with the ripple effect of that spending hitting $7.1 trillion per year. These are very big numbers. If you have an elderly relative, sooner or later you’ll find out how important technology can be in keeping that person involved and connected with the outside world — perhaps even enabling her to “age in place” as opposed to moving into an assisted-care facility or senior home. One early mover in this field is Lively, which provides a home monitoring service pairing sensors with a wireless hub. It discretely notes when Grandma leaves the bedroom, opens the fridge or her pill bottle, etc., and alerts family or health professionals if, say, she doesn’t leave the bedroom for 10 hours or fails to take her pill (or at least open the bottle). A keyfob sensor can track when and if the house or car keys are used. Competitors include BeClose and GrandCare. There is a tradeoff here. Nobody wants to feel surveilled, but if the choice comes down to this — with appropriate privacy measures in place — or having to leave the home, most seniors will opt to stay and be monitored. Tech for senior citizens: Keep it simple The key to success will be ease of installation and use, which is why Ovum Research analyst Mike Sapien said he hopes the drop-dead simple Fitbit/Jawbone model can be adapted for new purposes. A pill bottle with an alarm on it may seem cool, but if a user is old enough, she might be on five or six different medications and have vision and hearing problems which could make an array of beeping bottles more a puzzle than a solution. “This stuff has to be incredibly simple,” Sapien  said. Devices like Fitbit may not be able to fulfill all these functions but can certainly do more than count steps and log mileage. They are great because users put them on and forget about them. “They tell you via your computer when the battery is low. You don’t have to worry about starting an app when you go out, then hitting a button if something goes wrong,” he said. Chad Jones, the LogMeIn VP in charge of the company’s Xively Internet of things business, agreed. the whole quantified-self category needs to be expanded from athletes and healthy young people to the geriatric population, he said. “There isno reason such devices can’t watch a person’s heart rate as they co through they day to see if there’s a spike that might indicate they’re off their meds,” he noted. Lively CEO Iggy Fanlo sees wearable devices as an adjunct to his company’s home monitoring service. Within the next few months, Lively will add an accelerometer-equipped pendant that will report the wearer’s movement, including falls, back to the caregiver or family. “The problem with pendants now is that people often don’t push the button even if they should because they’re disoriented, unconscious or just embarrassed,” he said.  The accelerometer will detect that fall, but to avoid false positives, it will wait a “non-critical amount of time” to see if movement resumes before alerting help. That product will compete with existing personal emergency response systems (PERS) like Lifeline and MedicAlert, which are adding capabilities — GPS-assisted map locations, for example — atop their standard emergency-call-buttons. Great Call, which makes easy-to-use Jitterbug phones, is also a contender in this race, according to Orlov. The phones are designed with big displays and big buttons for the sight impaired and also come with additional services, like the opportunity to talk with a nurse or a doctor as part of the package. As more device-savvy adults join the ranks of senior citizens, they will bring their skills with them, but there are still huge hurdles among what the MetLife Maturity Institute (now sadly defunct) used to call the “old-old.”  These are the oldest of the senior citizens — people in their 80s, 90s, early 100s, most of whom are not computer-literate. Many don’t even type. For that demographic, the notion of logging into something and remembering passwords, is beyond foreign. So vendors have a lot of work to do to make technology useable for these people. While there is wiggle room in all these market-size estimates, there’s no doubt that there’s huge demand for technology that helps seniors stay in their homes as long as possible. Added bonus: there are two sets of prospective buyers. First, there are the seniors themselves, who may, as discussed, submit to monitoring if it means staying home. Second are their guilt-riddled (and also aging) adult children, who may live far away and who want to keep their parents happy. Not a bad market at all. For more on Lively, check out Fanlow’s appearance on Gigaom’s Internet of things podcast: Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Connected world: the consumer technology revolutionThe top 10 cloud trends for 2014Analyzing the wearable computing market

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