November 24, 2012

TechZone 360 Week in Review


It's a short, turkey-filled week, but we've certainly had a busy three tech days. Let's get to the biggest issue of the week – Hewlett-Packard’s $8.8 billion write-off, $5 billion of which coming from its "meticulously evaluated" Autonomy deal. HP infuriated a lot of investors this week, but in truth all of us should be mad at HP for conducting itself so poorly over the last decade.

Also, we want to get an important issue on the table: Enough already with the Windows 8 User Interface’s hard-to-learn nonsense!

The FTC this week also made news, striking yet another blow in the confrontation between Apple and Google. This blow came in the form of a $22.5 million dollar fine against Google, representing the largest FTC penalty in history. Apple, HTC and Samsung, meanwhile, may be embarking on a new merry-go-round ride of patent infringement issues.

Apple also made news this week of a different kind, postponing the launch of its new futuristic circular headquarters complex due to changes in design considerations.

Speaking of futuristic, as technology goes, phone booths are about as retro as they come. But City 24/7 is set to be a bigger part of the operation than it likely wants to admit, as it began deploying a network of public information touchscreen billboard displays throughout New York City, making the outdoor information connection popular again. They may not be phone booths in the classical sense, but the city’s 24/7 SmartScreens may remind more than a few people of them.

MetroPCS has achieved a number of "firsts" in the U.S. wireless market, including being the first carrier to launch voice over LTE as well as the first – and only – carrier to launch rich communications service (RCS) capability, a standard created to enable network operators to offer advanced services such as video sharing and file transfer, and most importantly, to do so in a manner that would be interoperable with other networks.

Here's an interesting twist: Over the past decade, telcos have been bemoaning a continued decline in wireline services and voice minutes. The price on voice minutes has been steadily decreasing, be it a local call, long distance call or a conference bridge. Phone companies need to wake up to the fact that voice is data and there's money to be made in next-generation value-added services – if they can get to that realization in time. And perhaps 5G networks will get us there.

Following in the wake of the General Petraeus scandal, you may want to ask yourself: Will the government be able to read my e-mail (as boring and SPAM-filled as it may be) without a warrant? It's a good question to ask, but what's the answer? Another question you may want to ask: Can my Twitter posts make me a criminal or get me arrested?

It’s a hell of a question, but its best to know the answer.

On the business front, it’s vital that as companies move mission-critical applications to wireless networks and increasingly rely on wireless, they must be more intelligent in how they control that data. Now add in potential cyber attacks with the increasing pressure brought by the BYOD and conzumerization of network trends, and these companies will quickly realize they need a tool which can ramp up visibility into every application occurring within their corporate infrastructures. Xirrus may have the answer to doing so.

Continuing the business thread, while small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) are aware of potential security threats, it appears they underestimate the damage security threats can cause their business, according to a new study of U.S.- and U.K.-based SMBs. The top three threats to their organizations listed by U.S. respondents included “proliferation of unstructured data,” (69 percent), “unsecure third parties including cloud providers,” (65 percent) and “not knowing where all sensitive data is located, (62 percent),” according to the Faronics-commissioned study, “State of Cyber Security Readiness,” conducted by The Ponemon Institute.

Finally, businesses need to know that SAP's in-memory database – SAP HANA – is quickly building up steam in handling a growing range of large scale enterprise issues.

That's it for the short week. We hope your Thanksgiving Holiday and extended weekend proves to be a fantastic one!

Those are the week's mobile highlights. For much more, make sure to scope out TechZone 360 directly.






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