It is with great, great sadness that we note this week as one ending in horrific and unimaginable tragedy. Friday morning took a turn for the worst when news quickly spread about a shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In heartbreaking news, the Associated Press has confirmed 27 are dead, including 18 children. This is the worst school shooting in U.S. history. The TechZone360 team’s prayers and thoughts go out to all of those involved. We are a long way from learning about many unanswered questions about this tragedy, but stay tuned to the sources provided in our article for the latest information.
It’s difficult to segue into much else following such disconcerting information. We will note that new technology is at least helping to significantly reduce fatalities on U.S. highways, which dropped in 2011 to the lowest they have been since 1949. There are other dangers lurking on the highways, especially if your mapping program isn’t completely reliable. Recently Apple’s Map App was found to be misdirecting people in Australia about 50 miles out of the way and out to an apparently desolate, potentially dangerous and overly large park environment, where getting lost (possibly for days) was not unheard of. Fortunately, Google has jumped in to save us from such tragedies by releasing earlier this week its own brand new version of Google Maps for iPhone 5 and iOS 6 – a stellar product in every regard.
It isn’t too much of a stretch to jump from map apps to, say, apps for flagging down those yellow cabs in New York City. It seems a match made in heaven to be able to do so, but not all is well here. There is some controversy over whether or not such apps should be made available. We wonder if it will make sharing cab rides (and their ever increasing costs) easier to pull off.
Speaking of sharing, most people these days love sharing their photos, and Imgur, a company that makes image sharing easy to do, has released a new platform API that gives Web, desktop and mobile developers an easy way to use Imgur’s hosting and image distribution infrastructure for their own image-based apps. On another imaging front, Facebook had asked its users if they wanted Facebook to integrate Instagram into Facebook. Sounds very democratic, so why did Facebook decide to go ahead and do so after 88 percent of over 550,000 voters asked Facebook not to? A good question!
As the end of 2012 approaches, the good folks over at Google and Twitter thought that people might be interested in what people are most interested in tweeting about and most interested in searching for. Over a year that’s an awful lot of “stuff,” but both Twitter and Google have managed to come up with some very interesting insights. Also looking back over the year, we are apparently now beginning to see the complete shutting down of the eBook reader market after several years of fairly substantial growth. Turns out the tablet is killing the eBook. Why is that? It may be useful to understand what drives tablet usage.
It’s always fun to take a look back at what was, but we will close our week by taking a look at what we are likely to see tomorrow, so we’ll dig into a few predictions. First, what is that new iPhone we all know is coming next year going to look like and deliver? We’re now starting to get a preliminary sense of it, and it looks like it will be quite a colorful new iPhone on the way.
Meanwhile, leave it to some Russian ingenuity to perhaps provide eBook technology with another way to live – a cool, new dual screen LCD-electronic paper smartphone! It’s due out next year. And did you know that according to a recently conducted survey of a fairly substantial number of people that more than half of these folks would actually prefer to receive a new Samsung Galaxy Camera rather than a tablet as a gift?
The Enterprise Side
The week brought with it some interesting security-focused issues. Are you aware that VoIP phones may now become a key target for hackers, with Cisco the primary target? That credit card fraudsters are out en masse and that retailers must take special precautions? Finally, on the security front, research firm Infonetics has some very interesting insights to share on network security appliances and content security gateways.
We do also have some predictions to share.
Let’s start with enterprise IT dollars. It appears that 2013 may prove to be a much better tech spending year than 2012 turned out to be. Some of those dollars could be heading to the cloud. What’s going to happen with mobile cloud services? How about cloud-based telephony? And how will the cloud focused MSP (managed services provider) market go in 2013? Finally, what should we expect to see on the general telecom side of things? Research firm Ovum provides some good clues.
Those are the week's mobile highlights. For much more make sure to scope out TechZone 360 directly.