By TMCnet Special Guest,
04/17/2014

One year after the FTC gave the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) regulatory teeth, many companies remain myopically focused on the law-at the expense of genuinely robust privacy protections for children. Real privacy protection occurs when a company genuinely cares about children's rights and bases important decisions on privacy considerations as it architects its products and conducts its business.

By Tara Seals, TechZone360 Contributor
04/17/2014

Online video streaming startup Aereo is gearing up for its trip to the Supreme Court next week to defend its right to exist after facing lawsuits from nearly every major content company and broadcaster for copyright infringement. The Barry Diller-backed startup has launched ProtectMyAntenna.org, an educational and advocacy site that aims to provide basic information about Aereo and the legal claims before the Supreme Court. The site also features court briefs, amicus briefs and court decisions.

By Tara Seals, TechZone360 Contributor
04/17/2014

The business of broadcast is like any other enterprise vertical, in that the rise of mobility, social enablement and all-digital, all-IP transactions are creating a level of complexity hitherto unknown. And like other enterprises, content and media companies and their distribution partners are looking to boost productivity, optimize resources and cut costs, by embracing the cloud. But the challenges include the rapid growth in the amount of multiscreen video content and a dizzying proliferation of options at each stage of the video processing workflow.

By Bob Wallace, Founder, Fast Forward Thinking LLC
04/17/2014

The continually pondered future of TV will be determined largely by a sea of teenage “cord-nevers” who are taking hands-on training classes in video production, broadcasting & digital media in high school and in organizations like the Girl Scouts - not by their parents, grandparents and media conglomerate CEOs.

Immersed in hands-on courses well before high school graduation, this generation, which grew up viewing video through almost every outlet on most every device (and perhaps traditional pay TV) will take on the roles of creators and consumers that know how to make what they want to watch.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/17/2014

Make no mistake, linear (scheduled) TV is still overwhelmingly the preferred method for watching television, with 84 percent of U.S. adults who watch TV watching live, in real time, according to BroadStream Solutions.

But there are signs of change. A separate study by Experian Marketing Services confirms that watching streaming or downloaded video on any device is connected to higher rates of cord-cutting, the abandonment of linear TV.

By Joe Rizzo, TechZone360 Contributing Writer
04/17/2014

Fon Wireless Ltd. is a company that operates a system of dual access wireless networks, with one of the largest Wi-Fi networks in the world. In July 2013, Fon had over eight million hotspots; today, that number has risen to almost 13 million around the world.

Members, whom the company calls Foneros, agree to share a part of their bandwidth as a Wi-Fi signal, so that they can connect to other members' hotspots. Consumers that choose not to share their Internet connection can buy Wi-Fi access passes or credit from Fon. Fon members whose hotspots are used to access Wi-Fi by a paying customer can receive part of the revenue.

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/16/2014

In case you were not aware, although it appears many if not most IT security professionals know this up close and personal, SQL injections are a vector of vulnerability those with malicious intent unfortunately love to exploit. A new first-of-its-kind study by security research firm Ponemon Institute, done in conjunction with DB Networks, a provider of behavioral analysis database security solutions, is out and deserves to be on your “must read” list.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/16/2014

One might argue that will happen. The traditional argument--for at least a decade--is that neither AT&T nor Verizon can grow the video portion of their triple-play services much more than incrementally without acquiring more video share now held by the satellite providers.

No matter how effective the telcos are at marketing video services, they are hampered for a couple of reasons.

By Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst, Enderle Group
04/16/2014

You would think that a company being pounded for privacy issues and facing a competitive marketing effort that made fun of those issues (Scroogled) would pull back and circle the wagons at least with regard to privacy. But Google isn’t built that way. They sat back and figured the way to get people to stop accusing them of a crime was to implicate their fan base and making those fans pay $1,500 for the privilege of buying a product that makes Google’s past spying seem trivial by comparison. It seems folks aren’t all that upset if Google is spying as long as they are doing the spying, go figure?

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/15/2014

The headlines always like to focus on the sensational when it comes to data breaches. The Target breach (an estimated 70 million accounts affected) and Nieman Marcus (1.1 million credit and debit cards hacked) are big news. And in just the past few days, the Heartbleed Bug, which has the potential to compromise almost one-third of active sites on the Internet and according to recent reports successfully exploited the Canada Revenue Agency, has cast a pall across the trustworthiness of virtually every place we like to visit online.

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/15/2014

It should come as no surprise to anyone in the technology industry, be you buyer or seller, that inside of enterprises IT departments are being buffeted by unprecedented changes that are reshaping expectations, roles and responsibilities. All of the buzzwords come into play: “Shadow IT,” “Consumerization of IT,” BYOD, cloud, mobility, virtualization, big data, security, risk management, ad infinitum and ad nauseam.

It is, to say the least, a challenging time to be a CIO or work for one. You are being asked to do more with less, do a better job of risk management and improving the customer experience, and do so in an environment where caution is seen as weakness and therefore invites circumvention. The end result has been the creation of tension between IT and business leaders that is driving significant adjustments as to the role IT can and should play in delivering technology that supports the business going forward.

By Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst, Enderle Group
04/15/2014

Google is bringing out Project Ara shortly and while the idea of a modular phone is interesting, the concept of building modular things is hardly old. IBM had a project called the Modular Computer and it was actually manufactured for a time in Europe but it didn’t survive. Chrysler had the K Car, a largely modular design and it didn’t work out either (mostly because the cars were ugly). Now that doesn’t mean modular can’t work and there is a compelling core benefit to the idea. Let’s chat about Project Ara this week.

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/14/2014

In the wake of the Heartbleed Bug revelation last week, there has been a blizzard of advice - myth busting articles, companies saying “Not Us!” regarding being susceptible to compromise and even a denial by the N.S.A. that it was not aware of the bug and therefore contrary to reports in Bloomberg was not exploiting it.

By David Gutbezahl, TechZone360 Contributing Writer
04/11/2014

We all love cute cat pictures, snarky comics about society, and inspirational spiritual quotes, but the real reason we use Facebook is to connect with our friends and family. When we open up our News Feed on Facebook, we go see updates about our friends, yet so often the News Feed is actually filled with those posts we don’t necessarily want to see. Facebook has become a breeding ground for spam. In an attempt to bring Facebook back to its original purpose, the company said that it has made moves to curtail these sort of posts.

By TMCnet Special Guest,
04/11/2014

Look at the buzz around Box's IPO filing and you'd think the company was going down the drain.

The big headlines have revolved around Box's net losses and the fact that wunderkind CEO Aaron Levie sold off a majority of his equity to keep the company afloat. So far, the picture painted is one of a company filing out of desperation, but there's something missing - the basic fact that Box is running away with the race and is in pole position to dominate the nascent cloud storage and content collaboration market.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/11/2014

Three individuals have been indicted for their alleged roles in an approximately $32 million fraud against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Lifeline telephone service program designed to provide discounted telephone services to low-income customers.

It does not appear that fraud and abuse in the Lifeline program are unusual.

About two million fraudulent accounts were uncovered by the Federal Communications Commission in 2013 alone.

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/11/2014

It is always intriguing to look at data, and for those readers in the U.S. in particular, you might wish to download the latest study from NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, by economist Rick Schadelbauer in the paper titled “Conquering the Challenges of Broadband Adoption.” In the report, which provides details on how the U.S. stacks up in terms of broadband adoption to other countries and documents the difference in rates between rural and urban America (a major part of the so-called digital divide), Schadelbauer highlights that three in 10 U.S. adults do not use the Internet at home – and getting them online will be considerably more challenging than connecting the first seven.

By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor
04/10/2014

One idea gaining volume these days is having the U.S. government adopt HD voice as a standard for IP communication. Given the poor track record of government standard-setting promoting anything, I'm not a big fan.

Example one for why this won't work is the adoption of IPv6 -- the next Internet protocol. Back in 2005, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandated that U.S. government agencies go to IPv6 by June 2008. The date came and passed, followed by a new mandate for IPv6 support and then Federal CIO Vivek Kundra sending out a September 2010 memo declaring all public federal web servers be IPv6 running by September 30, 2012, with internal computers IPv6 capable by September 30, 2014.

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TechZone360 Writer
04/10/2014

It's a situation most of us has been in at one time or another: work's not going well, a boyfriend or girlfriend just left, a promotion fell through, an argument with a family member didn't end well at all, and so we turn on the Internet and watch funny cat videos until we feel better.

For some, this can be accomplished in just three or four videos, though in some cases this only helps a little. But the phenomenon of turning to the Internet when depressed or bored is nothing new. Now, a new study from the Phoenix Center suggests that it may actually work well for the elderly too, reducing healthcare costs and improving quality of life.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/10/2014

It is by now no surprise that older people use new technology less than younger people, a pattern seen in pre-Internet days by the adoption of cable TV, which likewise featured adoption resistance among the oldest age deciles.

So, lower use of personal computers, smartphones, or the Internet among older deciles of U.S. consumers is not a surprise. Neither is it a “permanent” fact. Over time, as younger users become older, their technology habits will naturally lead to high levels of technology use across the board.

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