Tech links: 2013-06-04

I have started a new practice for the links: I am going to comment more on what is in the link when I have something to say about it rather than just recap the salient highlight in quotes. The reason I think this is important is because I can’t get to all of the issues covered in the links with my posts and so this is a good way of updating you on my view on those issues. I hope this is helpful.


5 Myths of Two-Factor Authentication | Innovation Insights |

“There has been a lot of hype about two-factor authentication, and as a result several misconceptions about it exist. Here are five common myths associated with two-factor authentication”

Server Sales Are Down As Cloud Apps Abound At The Expense Of IBM, Enterprise Giants | TechCrunch

IBM looks to be another loser from the switch to the cloud. We should also see Google’s moves into the enterprise space as a threat to IBM and Microsoft.

How Samsung Got Big | TechCrunch

This is a must-read history of Samsung for anyone interested in the company

Mozilla Readies Major Firefox Redesign As It Ponders What The Browser Of The Future Should Look Like | TechCrunch

Yahoo Shuts Down Mail Classic, Forces Switch To New Version That Scans Your Emails To Target Ads | TechCrunch

I don’t have a view on this. Clearly there is a monetization/privacy trade-off here. Yahoo had tried to get people to buy email access but I am guessing they found that form of monetization insufficient given Gmail’s free offering. Gmail has basically stolen the email market from Yahoo and Microsoft and they are monetizing it by search. SO now Yahoo is joining them.

How To Setup Two-Step Verification For Your LinkedIn Account

LinkedIn Upgrades “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” Section With New Look, Better Analytics | TechCrunch

Another way LinkedIn is monetizing its platform. Now Facebook could probably never do this because of privacy concerns. ANd ultimately the fact that LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network works in its favor in terms of monetization.

Neelie Kroes unveils Net Neutrality plan for Europe, aims to end mobile roaming fees in 2014 | The Verge

I support net neutrality and it’s clear that the EU is more supportive of it than the US. Call it corporatism or whatever you want, the reality is that US mobile telcos have convinced the US government that net neutrality should not be extended to them.

What’s the best Android phone as of June 2013?

Five phones which are generally considered the best Android has to offer.

How To Enable, Disable & Use The New Gmail Tabbed Inbox

I agree with this:

“Gmail is rolling out a tabbed inbox for its users and if your initial reaction to this is panic, then you’ll happy to know that the new interface is opt-in, and should Google decide to make the change permanent for everyone, you don’t have to worry because firstly, it’s just awesome once you start using it and secondly, you’ll still be able to choose one of the older views if you want.”

Google Updates Gmail Inbox With Categories for Better Organization – Bonnie Cha – Product News – AllThingsD

“Google announced an update to its desktop and mobile versions of Gmail with tools to help users better organize all the messages they receive throughout the day.
Now, Gmail offers the ability to sort mail into five different categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. The sections are pretty self-explanatory, but Primary is dedicated for messages from friends and family. Social is reserved for emails from your social networks, media-sharing sites, online dating services and so forth. Promotions is for all the junk — err, I mean deals and promotions from retailers. Updates include bills, receipts and confirmations. Finally, Forums are for messages from discussion boards and online groups.”

Official Google Enterprise Blog: New mobile Admin app

Google is increasingly making a push into the enterprise business. Microsoft more than anyone should view these moves as a threat.

Judge orders Google to comply with FBI’s secret NSL demands | Politics and Law – CNET News

“A federal judge tells the company to comply with the FBI’s warrantless National Security Letter requests for user details, despite ongoing concerns about their constitutionality.”

Nokia Lumia 928 review | The Verge

This review basically says the new Nokia phone blows. If true, this is very bad news for both Nokia and Microsoft.

The best keyboard apps for Android phones and tablets

If you use an Android phone or tablet, here is a rundown of the five best/most popular keyboards for Android. I use Swype and SwiftKey
Note that Apple does not have an alternate keyboard for the iPhone. Many people think this is a key place where Apple needs to innovate.

Android firmwares for May: Jelly Bean 33%, ICS 25.6%, and more

The so-called fragmentation problem is becoming less and less of an issue for Android. The reason so many devices still use Gingerbread is because Android has iterated so much so quickly to catch up with iOS, Apple’s OS. And many of the phones using  Gingerbread don’t have the processing capability necessary to make the leap to the next iteration. Going forward, this will be less and less of a concern, especially now that the iteration speed has slowed.

If media is being disrupted like the car industry, then who is the Tesla Motors of media? — paidContent

This article says that BuzzFeed is the new disruptive force in media the way the Huffington Post used to be. It’s an interesting storyline. Take a look.

Feedly is listening: the roadmap you helped us shape | Building Feedly

This is the RSS feed reader that I use now. So it is good to see they are helping to transit people out of Google Reader. I also use Reeder for the Mac and NewsRob for Android. Supposedly, Apps like these will be able to tap into Feedly’s API the way they once tapped into Google Reader’s. I have been trying to get a hold of what the revenue model is for Feedly but I don’t know yet.

Zynga to cut 520 jobs: the CEO’s letter to staff – Telegraph

For me, Zynga represents the Web 2.0 IPO ‘bubble’ just as Groupon did. These companies came out at ridiculous valuations that it was easy to see were drive by speculation and hope. Facebook, which was much bigger and therefore more legit, was part of that same co-hort. The business is solid but valuation was always a problem.
“Zynga plans to slash 520 jobs, or nearly one-fifth of its workforce, the San Francisco-based online game maker has announced. Here is CEO Mark Pincus’s letter to employees.”

Zynga slashes work force by a fifth, shares dive | Reuters

“Zynga said it will cut about 520 jobs, or roughly one-fifth of its work force, and close some offices in the United States.
Analysts said the latest warning on quarterly bookings, a measure of sales, boded poorly for the “FarmVille” developer, which began trimming staff late last year.
Zynga’s shares slid as much as 15 percent in frantic trade before closing down 12 percent at $2.99, near its four-month low.”

How Halsey Minor Blew Tech Fortune on Way to Bankruptcy – Bloomberg

“How do you sell the technology company you founded for $1.8 billion and five years later file for personal bankruptcy? For Halsey Minor, it may have been a fascination with houses, hotels, horses and art.
Minor, 47, who sold CNET Networks Inc. to CBS Corp. in 2008, says he owes as much as $100 million and only has, at most, $50 million to pay his debts thanks to bad bets on real estate and other ventures that took him out of what he calls his technology comfort zone.”

Amazon workers in Germany set for third one-day strike | Reuters

“Workers at internet retailer’s German operations are set to hold a third one-day strike on Monday in a dispute over pay and benefits.”

Killer cloud: report says Amazon Web Services threatens all IT incumbents — Tech News and Analysis

“New Morgan Stanley research expects AWS to hit $24 billion in revenue by 2022 and to put the hurt on legacy IT providers in the process.”

Why Solar Stocks Need to Chill; Advice from Mary Meeker –

“The volatile shares are running a little too hot for comfort, and the famed Internet analyst’s choice of a role model for Web companies.”

Mary Meeker is Back With Her 2013 Internet Trends Report Slides – Jason Del Rey – D11 – AllThingsD

Mary Meeker’s full presentation here

The Best of Mary Meeker’s 2013 Internet Trends Slides – Liz Gannes – D11 – AllThingsD

Good overview of most important technology trends

Meeker: The next ten years will be about wearable computing and personal data – Tech News and Analysis

I’m not so sure about this. I don’t see it. But Meeker is a tech guru.
“If the last ten years were about mobile computing, the next ten years will be about wearable computing. And as a result, the type of content we share with the internet will also change.”

Mary Meeker’s 2013 Internet Trends: Mobile Makes Up 15% Of All Internet Traffic, With 1.5B Users Worldwide | TechCrunch

The numbers below tell you that more dollars will have to migrate to mobile as companies increasingly understand how to better monetize mobile. Right now the problem is monetization. But the traffic is increasingly headed this way so getting to grips with monetization is key. I think tablets will play a big role in the future, so there should be increased focus here.
“Total Internet ad spend was $37 billion, while mobile ad spend was only about $4 billion. Meanwhile, people spent about 12 percent of their time on mobile devices, which accounted for just 3 percent of ad spend. That compares to the 26 percent of time spent on the Internet, accounting for 22 percent of ad spend.”

Dropoff in PC Sales Is Accelerating and Tablets Are the Culprit – IDC – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD

This shows you that the tablet market or the hybrid tablet/laptop market is the big market to fight over. Most people are concerned with mobile handsets right now. But the computer industry’s future is going to heavily depend on how the hybrid laptop/tablet market shapes up and which operating systems develop large user bases in that market. PC makers are going to move into this arena as a defensive strategy.

PC Makers Fight Back Against Mobile Devices –

“Rocked by the mobile-device movement, personal-computer makers and their partners are planning a counterattack that leans heavily on two weapons: lower prices and power consumption.
The companies, gathering for the big Computex trade show in Taiwan this week, are maneuvering to win back consumer spending that has shifted to smartphones and tablet computers by emulating more of those devices’ features and prices.”

PC Makers Unveil Hybrid Devices at Asia Trade Show –

This is from Asia’s big computer trade show. PC makers are very much interested in moving into the PC/tablet hybrid market now that mobile has become the latest trend. It isn’t clear which form factor will win here so they are trying to see what sticks.

PC makers’ revolt against Windows continues as Acer preps all-in-one Android desktop

This an interesting development, Acer, a Taiwanese PC maker that had tried its hand in mobile, is looking to start making hybrid devices that run Android instead of Windows. That is a big threat to Microsoft that shows you why the tablet and PC/tablet hybrid market is so important to Microsoft’s future. Microsoft needs to stop this from happening. The interesting bit is that this is a DESKTOP Android computer too. Big.

Google set to pass Apple as app platform –

Android is bigger than Apple so this should come as no surprise. It has been a long time coming. Soon, App developers will start shifting even more resources to Android because that’s where the consumers are, especially outside of the US.

Biggest Irish companies paid tax at eight times Apple’s rate –

The pressure on Apple and Ireland about the tax status is immense. Here, we can see that the fact that Apple’s international Ireland subsidiary is not domiciled anywhere means they have much lower taxes than firms based in Ireland for tax, which had an average 16.5% tax rate. If I had to guess, I would say Ireland gets rid of the domicile loophole that is creating this. Look at this as a contingent tax liability for future Apple profits.

Apple Radio Service Secures Warner Music Streaming Rights –

Time Warner is a big player in music, so it is a big deal that Apple has got the streaming rights. Everyone knows they are looking to launch a Spotify/Pandora competitor to add to iTunes. Google has already done so Apple needs to get this sorted ASAP.

Apple’s timely bond sale saved company $724 million

When Apple issued its bonds, Treasuries yielded nearly 50 basis points less, meaning that they locked in a ridiculously low yield. Good for them.

Apple two-factor security efforts “half-hearted,” says security researcher — Tech News and Analysis

“Like many large tech companies, Apple has recently introduced a two-step security measure for Apple users. But Elcomsoft software finds that iCloud data and device backups are left unprotected, and that the company needs to do more to improve user protection.”

Apple’s Cook explains ‘one-a-year’ iPhone strategy, hints at future models at variable price points

At D11, Walt Mossberg asked Tim Cook why Apple didn’t have a wider range of iPhone products like it did with the iPod. I think this is the right question because Samsung is doing this and taking share. Cook said it has a lot to do with resources for development and he also said there are trade-offs with building niche products for different user sets. I don’t buy it. I see this as a fundamental problem for Apple.

Google takes on Apple: and only the phones may know what will happen | Technology | The Observer

There’s a lot of hype in this whole thing about Google building an iPhone killer. I don’t buy it. At a minimum, the made in the USA moniker should be a compelling point for the US market. Let’s see how it looks and works before we say it’s an iPhone killer.
“The internet search company is setting up its first factory to build a device reportedly so clever that the iPhone may come under serious pressure”

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