By Peter S. Vogel E-Commerce Times Part of the ECT News Network 10/10/12 5:00 AM PT
Generally open source software is free, which is a very attractive feature, to be sure. But since wiki content is often controlled by open source licenses, the ownership of any wiki content is not entirely clear. Wiki content being created in a collaborative effort by multiple authors is the norm, so the authors may be considered to have a joint copyright interest in the content they create.
Most everyone on the Internet reads Wikipedia, whether they rely on it or not, but few understand how wikis work or who owns the content. Understanding content ownership is important, because so many people freely contribute to wikis. If the owner of the wiki decides to revise or move the content, that could lead to a lawsuit.
Similarly, if the contributors move the content, that too could lead to a lawsuit. A case was recently filed on just this issue — moving content. However, it is not copyright infringement that’s alleged, but rather trademark infringement and unfair business practices.
Wikis are a critical component of social media and continue to evolve, as does social media generally. As of September 2012, the most well known wiki, Wikipedia, claimed to have 23 million articles contributed by individuals around the world in 285 languages, and an estimated 2.7 billion monthly page views in the U.S. alone.
In addition to Wikipedia, there are thousands of wikis in use today, including internal business wikis closed to public view and public wikis of all sorts.
Although wiki content is contributed by wiki members, because the development of wiki content is iterative and results from multiple contributors, ownership of wiki content may not be clear. And interestingly, there have been no major copyright infringement cases interpreting who owns what.
What’s in a Name?
“Wiki” is Hawaiian for fast or quick, which of course has nothing to do with what a wiki is. The definition of a wiki on Wikipedia is a good as any: “A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a Web browser usually using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor. Wikis are powered by wiki software. Most are created collaboratively.”
Wikis serve many different purposes, such as knowledge management and note taking. Wikis can be community websites and intranets, for example. Some permit control over different functions (levels of access).
Ward Cunningham created the first wiki software technology in 1995, naming it “WikiWikiWeb” after the shuttle bus at Honolulu International Airport, which was called the “Wiki Wiki Shuttle,” Wikipedia notes.
Open Source Is Free and Popular on Wikis
Generally open source software is free, which is a very attractive feature, to be sure. But since wiki content is often controlled by open source licenses, the ownership of any wiki content is not entirely clear.
Wiki content being created in a collaborative effort by multiple authors is the norm, so the authors may be considered to have a joint copyright interest in the content they create — except, of course, where the individual authors can separately distinguish which component parts were contributed by them as opposed to others.
The most public wikis have a team of dozens of volunteer administrators to protect the quality of the content posted, remove spam, and otherwise oversee the accuracy of the wiki and the website.
Who Owns Wikis?
While ownership of the content on wikis is one question, the ownership of the wiki itself is another. Wikis are owned by both profit and nonprofit entities.
One wiki owner is the Wikimedia Foundation, which is the parent company of Wikipedia (and many other related wikis). Unlike most high-profile social media operations, it is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. That allows people to contribute cash to the Wikimedia Foundation and get a tax deduction in the process. So, rather than make huge profits like other social media companies, the Wikimedia Foundation operates on whatever monies it receives from its annual fund drives.
In 2011, Google cofounder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki (23andMe cofounder) used their Brin Wojcicki Foundation to grant US$500,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation kicked off its 8th annual fundraiser on November 16, 2011, and raised $1.2 million the first day.
What happens if the author of any wiki content copies the wiki content they contributed to one wiki in order to create a new wiki? (This action, called “forking,” is described in more detail below.) Is such forking a copyright infringement since the author contributed to the original wiki?
Wikitravel Got Forked
Like Wikipedia, the Wikitravel website relies on thousands of travelers to post content. Wikitravel now has more than 26,000 destination guides and articles, and is one of the largest and most popular travel websites in the world. It relies on Creative Commons open source software that allows content to be created, deleted, modified and edited.
Back in 2005, Internet Brands paid $1.7 million for the website Wikitravel to commercialize its operations. Wikitravel describes itself as follows:
Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide. So far we have 26,201 destination guides and other articles written and edited by Wikitravellers from around the globe. Check out the Help page to see how you can edit any page right now, or the Project page for more information about Wikitravel and getting involved.
In 2006, the contributors to Wikitravel’s Italian and German wiki content stopped contributing to Wikitravel since they did not want to be part of a commercial site, but they left behind the wiki content they had contributed. However when they left, they “forked” the Wikitravel site, which means they copied all of the wiki content for the Italian and German destination guides and articles to a new site named “Wikivoyage.” Inexplicably, Wikitravel did not file any lawsuit for making a copy of the Italian and German wiki content.
Lawsuit Against Wikimedia Foundation for Forking
Wikitravel filed a lawsuit in August 2012 in a California state court against William Holliday, Holliday IT Services, James Heilman, and Does 1-10 for trademark infringement, violations of the Lanham Act (palming off trademarks), and unfair business practices. It is unclear why there were no copyright infringement claims included in the lawsuit.
Wikitravel’s lawsuit states that in February 2012, James Heilman signed up for an account on Wikitravel. Heilman is a board member of Wikimedia Canada, which is a local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikitravel also alleges that starting in February, Heilman blogged and sent emails creating the illusion that Wikitravel was substantially broken and that the Wikimedia Foundation could help.
In July 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation asked Internet Brands to give the Wikitravel domain name to Wikimedia Foundation so it could run the travel wiki. Wikitravel turned down the proposal and Holliday thereafter allegedly started an email campaign to lure Wikitravel subscribers, referred to as members, to the Wikimedia Foundation on the grounds that “Wikitravel’s community is looking to the Wikimedia Foundation” to save Wikitravel, which allegedly was dying and about to go out of existence.
The Wikitravel lawsuit includes a claim that Wikimedia Foundation’s new travel wiki was created from Wikitravel content that was forked. Wikitravel also alleges that the Wikimedia Foundation travel wiki was to be managed by 38 of the 48 most experienced and trusted volunteers at Wikitravel, who would move to the Wikimedia Foundation’s travel wiki along with the forked content of thousands of articles to which those 38 volunteers contributed.
Too Soon to Know Where This Will Go
Since the lawsuit was filed in August 2012, it is still too soon to really get a sense of what will happen with the alleged claims, but it does seem like an interesting development in the wiki world regarding forking and ownership of wiki content.
Stay tuned to see where this will head, and potentially these forks may give us a clue about the future of wikis and whether there can be any copyright infringement, given the collaborative nature of wikis and the impact of the use of open source software.
“The reality is we have a person’s life at stake, so our primary concern is making sure conditions as safe as possible to get in the air.”
Posted 10.09.2012 at 3:00 pm
05/09/12 – FIRST ATTEMPT:
12:27am MDT – Thompson in response to a journalist’s question about syncing the delay with the live video feed. His answer, in essence: Engineers aren’t thinking about live feeds (at least not the ones that don’t provide data from the capsule). “The reality is we have a person’s life at stake, so our primary concern is making sure conditions as safe as possible to get in the air.”
12:22am MDT – Art Thompson on a Thursday launch: “We want early morning. This is much later than we normally launch. As it gets this late in the day the ground heat starts mixing up the air. Typically you’d launch before 11am.” The cut-off for weather of this type of balloon flight is sometime in November.
12:16am MDT – A gust of wind caused a spinnaker effect that twisted the balloon; at that point its integrity was unknown. There is a back-up, however. The earliest window would be on Thursday for two reasons: 1) weather, and 2) the crew shouldn’t work through another night.
12:14am MDT – A press briefing is about to begin.
11:36am MDT – Aborted mission. The air felt extremely still near the broadcast journalism platform, but it was high enough on the tarmac to cause the balloon to twist and, ultimately, lean over and touch the ground. When that happened, I could hear a squeal come from the porch of mission control. The balloon envelope is one of the oldest and trickiest pieces of technology involved in this project, and it’s thwarted many previous attempts in the past.
11:18am MDT – We’re told permission was granted to begin inflation but there’s been a subsequent delay. Yesterday meteorologist Don Day told us that weather at mission control can be totally different than the weather at the launch site a couple hundred yards away.
11:10am MDT – We can watch what’s happening on the tarmac on a closed circuit tv (sorry dear readers). Felix is suited up and looks calm. The door to the capsule is still open, and Mike Todd, the life support engineer, is bent over him arranging systems in the capsule. Todd will be the last person to see Felix before the capsule door closes.
10:48am MDT – Felix is just stepping into the capsule where he’ll do instrument checks and begin prebreathing in order to rid his body of nitrogen.
10:40am MDT – Guinness Book of World Records is here, in addition to the FAI. Records Felix hopes to set include first person to reach supersonic speed in freefall, freefall from the highest altitude, longest freefall time, and highest manned balloon flight.
10:33am MDT – The capsule is now suspended from the crane. As soon as the balloon becomes vertical the crane will move beneath it and release the capsule. The balloon has to be perfectly vertical when it launches or it might tear.
10:05am MDT – Balloon is spooled out and inflation will start at 10:15. Launch at roughly 11:15. The live video feed begins at 11. This will be three times the size of the largest balloon used for manned flight. Once the balloon rises from the airfield the flight train will be a teardrop 700 feet tall. It’ll become rounder as it reaches altitude, expanding to 300 feet wide—meteorologist Don Day says to think of it as a flying football field.
8:50am MDT – Balloon layout has begun! The weather stabilized. Layout will take approximately one hour, and then inflation will begin. The live feed starts about 10 minutes before the end of inflation, so expect to see that in roughly an hour and 50 minutes. Once layout has begun, the balloon cannot be reused– its polyethylene is only 0.0008 inches thick, so packing and repacking it will stretch and compromise the plastic. There is a spare on site, but this is a very good indication of the meteorologist’s confidence in a launch.
7:11am MDT – The sun has now risen over the Roswell International Air Center, but due to developing weather patterns meteorologist Don Day reports they’ve decided to extend the launch window. There’s an indication the upper level wind speeds will drop while surface winds remain low. “We’ve got everybody here, so we’re just going to hold out a little longer and see if we can take advantage of it,” he says. “We still have about two hours of work to do to be ready to launch. We won’t make the decision to start the process until 9:30, and that would put launch between 11:30 and noon. That’s the latest we can launch today.” An unrelated issue: There are GPS jamming tests in Colorado; if they can’t work around those, that could delay the launch as well. Surface winds tomorrow don’t look good—the opposite problem as today—so the next launch window would be on Thursday.
6:15am MDT – Mission meteorologist Don Day puts the chances of launch today at 50/50. Here’s the full update he just gave us: “The surface conditions are ideal, about 2mph. The problem is the winds at balloon top level—750-800 feet. They’re 20mph. Until we see those winds up top slow down we cannot launch the balloon safely. We don’t want the launch to be more dangerous than the jump. Think of it as layers of a chocolate cake: Every layer has to be right wind direction and speed to launch the balloon. After sun-up, in about 45 minutes, the upper level winds will sometimes settle down a little bit. If they do we’ll be in a more favorable position to consider launch. If this was a smaller balloon we’d be off the ground at sunrise. We’ll take our weather hold all the way to about 8am and then make a decision.”
As I watch today’s jump by Felix Baumgartner – it’s been running non-stop on most major news channels, the same channels that gave a Space Shuttle launch about two minutes between video of a talking dog and what Kim Kardashian just ate – I’m struck by the notion that what we’re seeing, albeit in an Evel Knievel kind of way, is the future of scientific discovery.
Baumgartner is no civil servant. He’s not paid by any government agency, he’s not one of Austria’s Finest Astronauts, but he is an adventurer. He’s mostly funded by a drinks company. But like the brave, rich men who rubbed glass rods with silk cloths to discover electricity, I believe that the discoveries of tomorrow will be made by gentlemen scientists like Faraday and Musk and less like the quiet souls who now populate our government research facilities.
While I am well aware that this stunt – and it is a stunt, but a very dangerous and fascinating one – has dubious scientific value (unless Baumgartner shatters when he hits the speed of sound) it’s efforts like SpaceX and Lit Motors that are bringing us closer to an interesting future. We cannot discount all of the government-funded work that goes unseen and that clearly went into this launch, but it seems like the adventurer has fallen to the bureaucrat who, in turn, will fall to the entrepreneur.
The question, then, is whether the market incentive can drive cures for cancer and AIDS and bring us closer to the improvement of the Earth and the inevitable colonization of other planets. While I’m loath to believe that one day we’ll pay a fortune to Roche to get a general STD vaccine or life-lengthening gene therapy, I do believe these things will come out of private enterprise faster than they will come out of less market-oriented organizations.
As we watch Felix fly high above the world into the stratosphere, we realize it’s he who is inspiring our kids to study science and he who is epitomizing the new space mission – fully funded, fully branded, and fully mercenary.
Will he garner the same respect and love as Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride? I’m not certain. What I do know is that he’s the new face of scientific effort, whether we like it or not, and a lot can be said for the framers of science who, through private effort and a love of science, expanded our knowledge and took us further than we ever expected.
It’s an invitation-only event that will likely be held at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium
After much speculation, Apple is set to finally introduce its iPad Mini tablet near the end of this month.
According to AllThingsD, Apple is holding an event on October 23 for its second fall product release. It’s an invitation-only event that will likely be held at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium, since it already announced its main product launch — the iPhone 5 — at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
While there aren’t many details available on the iPad Mini, some have trickled through the cracks, such as its 7.85-inch display. AllThingsD also reported that it will likely be thinner and will have a Lightning connector.
IPad Mini production reportedly began on October 3, and Apple is looking to produce 10 million of them in the fourth quarter of this year. If anything, this shows that Apple is confident about the upcoming potential success of its iPad Mini, considering this is double the number of Kindle Fire’s that Amazon made in Q4 2011 — and that was the hot holiday item of last year.
iPad Mini rendering [Image Source: Martin Hajek]
Apple is dipping into the 7-inch tablet arena after years of sticking with the traditional 9.7-inch iPads. The reason is clear: 7-inch tablets are smaller and cheaper, and consumers want them.
Other tablet makers like Amazon, ASUS and Samsung have created popular 7-inch tablets over the past year. Amazon’s Kindle Fire was the trailblazer for others like Google’s ASUS-built Nexus 7 tablet, which, like the Kindle Fire, is a 7-inch tablet for $199.
The 7-inch tablet market is getting a lot more interesting lately, with Barnes & Noble releasing a new refreshed version of its 7-inch Nook with HD and HD+ models.
Beyond that, Amazon of course had to make a comeback with newer, more powerful models to stay competitive. It recently announced its Kindle Fire HD line, which includes an updated 7-inch Fire for $199, an 8.9-inch Fire for $299 and a 4G LTE model for $499. On top of that, Amazon is offering a generous data package for only $50 per year.
Apple wants to strike the iron while it’s hot in terms of the 7-inch market, and the iPad Mini is geared up for a holiday release that could help uphold the tech giant’s current tablet dominance.
It’s true that the undertaking of devops and polyglot support today entails more of a DIY mindset than a vendor or platform-provided approach, but there are many interesting ventures with many smart people focused on doing just that. Over time, perhaps in two or three years, some of them will succeed, particularly as customers and users get more proficient with cloud, mobile and other resources.
The prominence and pervasiveness of open source software in cloud computing is something I’ve researched and written about quite a bit. I’ve also discussed how open source software is a key component and catalyst for the devops trend that blends application development and deployment via IT operations. Now I’m seeing the same effect from open source software yet again in a disruptive trend: polyglot programming.
Polyglot programming is the use of many different languages, frameworks, services, databases and other pieces for individual applications. The trend takes today’s developers and IT shops beyond .Net and Java to node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby, Spring and further still to Erlang, Scala, Haskell and others.
Also in the mix are widely used API Web services such as JSON, REST and SOAP, which are increasingly significant to building applications, as well as developer and user communities.
There is also polyglot disruption present at the database layer with MySQL still being popular, but with ample use of the growing number of alternatives (NoSQL, PostgreSQL, NewSQL, etc.), including virtual and cloud-based services.
I’ve also made the point about the significance of those API pieces, which frequently emerge as critical as open source software when customers, developers, partners or others hook into software applications.
The bottom line is that openness remains critical in most facets of today’s enterprise IT — open source software, open standards, open clouds, open APIs, open data, etc.
Open Source: The Common Denominator
As important as APIs are, open source software is the most common denominator among the many, sometimes disparate, pieces of polyglot programming. Similar to its role in devops, open source software is a catalyst in polyglot, delivering its usual benefits of availability and flexibility to fit with other technologies.
Nearly all of the polyglot programming pieces — languages, frameworks, databases, application servers — are open source software. Nevertheless, there are also significant pieces from the likes of Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware and others that remain proprietary.
Polyglot and devops, as well as open source software, are also being driven by today’s users, whether enterprise employees, mobile device owners or general consumers. Expectations of speed, quality and uptime demand use of multiple technologies for optimal performance.
For example, many applications are written in Java or C but require additional languages and frameworks for back-end scalability and performance. The same applications may also need different user-facing technology for ease of use or presentation.
Another driver of devops and polyglot, and thus open source, is the deployment of applications in various environments, including datacenter, cloud computing, Web, mobile and converged uses.
Additionally, organizations are wisely adapting their application development and deployment processes wholesale, rather than for specific applications, in order to deal with the latest changes technology. This further drives polyglot programming because these different application development and deployment models require different tools for optimal and effective releases.
Putting It Together
The biggest challenge of polyglot programming is that it involves the mixing of different languages and frameworks, and although they are commonly used together for today’s applications, they are still separate software development projects. The most consistent element of all the different pieces is, once again, open source software.
There’s no question that integrating these technology pieces, federating management of them, and adapting to the confluence of software development and IT operations remain big challenges. However they also present opportunities for vendors and users to get more out of their technology, people and processes.
There are those who say it is not realistic to think any product or vendor, including evolving PaaS platforms, will ever be able to truly support polyglot programming and the blending of different technologies and communities for single applications.
It’s true that the undertaking of devops and polyglot support today entails more of a DIY mindset than a vendor or platform-provided approach, but there are many interesting ventures with many smart people focused on doing just that. Over time, perhaps in two or three years, some of them will succeed, particularly as customers and users get more proficient with cloud, mobile and other resources.
At the very least, polyglot programming highlights how open source software continues to have a pervasive and profound impact on enterprise IT innovation. An upcoming report on polyglot programming by 451 Research will more deeply explore these drivers and impacts, including the role of open source software.
LinuxInsider columnist Jay Lyman is a senior analyst for 451 Research, covering open source software and focusing primarily on Linux operating systems and vendors, open source software in the enterprise, application development, systems management and cloud computing. Lyman has been a speaker at numerous industry events, including the Open Source Business Conference, OSCON, Linux Plumber’s Conference and Open Source World/Linux World, on topics such as Linux and open source in cloud computing, mobile software, and the impact of economic conditions and customer perspectives on open source. Follow his blog here.
According to media reports, the data provided by the iPhone mobile application Ratemizer, compared with October 2011, the number of text messages sent by iPhone users in Finland in August 2012 fell by 14%. This data is a proof of the theory of “iPhone is extremely effective in eroded messaging applications”. Mobile data traffic grew 68% over the same period.
In the past few years European countries mobile phone users sending text messages show different trends. The number of text messages sent by mobile phone users in Spain, the Netherlands and other countries has began to decline, the number of text messages sent by mobile phone users in France, Finland and other countries continued to grow in 2011.
Ratemizer data shows that the period between October 2011 and August 2012, the number of the randomly selected 400 Finnish iPhone users sending text messages reduced at an average of 14%, among which the hignest is the 111 messages in November 2011, only 89 in August 2012. It is worth noting that Nordic have tradition to send SMS greetings to friends on Christmas Eve and New Year’s, but December is not the month when SMS are sent most, this tradition has gradually been forgotten by iPhone users, they may, in turn, greet to friends via Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
In the same period, the mobile data traffic grew 68%, the growth rate is roughly equal to European smartphone users of mobile data traffic growth. However, taking into account that the number of messages sent by the Finnish mobile phone users in 2011 were still in the growth, 14% is still a considerable decline.
Editor’s Note:Glenn Solomon joined GGV Capital as a Partner in the Menlo Park office in 2006. Glenn led GGV’s investments in Pandora, Focus, SuccessFactors, Isilon and QuinStreet, helping the latter three through the initial public offering process. You can find him on Twitter @glennsolomon.
The successful public market debut of Workday this past week was breathtaking. The initial filing range of $21 – $24 was raised to $24 -$26 while the company was marketing on its roadshow. The IPO was ultimately priced at $28, and amazingly closed on its first day at $48.69, up 74 percent from the IPO price and up 116 percent from the mid-point of the initial filing range. As I’ve discussed earlier, hot IPOs don’t always perform well in the months and quarters after pricing, but public investors believe in Workday enough to have priced it at over a $7 billion valuation.
Although most entrepreneurs don’t have the benefit of having started one of the most successful enterprise software companies earlier in life like Workday’s co-founders, David Duffield and Aneel Bhusri, did at PeopleSoft, there are several relevant lessons from Workday’s IPO for all aspiring entrepreneurs. Here are three:
In their post-IPO interviews, Duffield and Bhusri said they believed the investment bankers did a great job pricing the offering, even though it popped in the aftermarket, because they stuck to the company’s intrinsic value. Duffield and Bhusri didn’t push the bankers to price the IPO up at the price the market was willing to pay. Instead they chose to set the deal at a price they feel they can justify based on the company’s current prospects and metrics. Although by pricing this way they raised less money, they clearly like this trade-off. Regardless of what gyrations the stock price encounters over the coming months, Duffield and Bhusri believe they can continue to grow Workday from its IPO price, hence rewarding and attracting patient IPO investors.
When fundraising, too often we see entrepreneurs opt to “let the market decide” the price. When demand is high, this approach can lead to bubble-like valuations. These super high prices limit dilution in the short term but can cause challenges over time, especially if a company is unable to sustain the froth. A few seasoned entrepreneurs have approached us recently with a clearly defined valuation maximum. This has forced GGV and other venture firms to differentiate on factors other than price and, by taking froth out of the equation, has ensured the entrepreneur feels comfortable he or she can drive to a higher price in ensuing rounds. Like Workday, these entrepreneurs want to see their investors profit from their investment, which, I’d argue, is a great starting point for a good relationship with your VCs.
Great Growth With Margin Improvement
Unlike some of the fast-growth tech IPOs of the past few years that have had trouble in the aftermarket, such as Groupon and Zynga, Workday makes a very strong case that its business model is getting better even while its growing over 100 percent annually. Each of R&D, Sales & Marketing and G&A as a percent of revenue are all steadily declining. So, while the company is investing rapidly for growth, investors are confident that predictable profitability is on its way. Despite the grow-at-all-costs venture environment prevailing today, entrepreneurs would do well to remember that, in the long run, public investors care about profits and reward business models that get more profitable with increased scale.
Size of the Opportunity
Workday compellingly argues it can become a very large company over time given the enormity of its market potential. Although the company may be best known for its human resources management solution, Workday has been growing its suite over time, and its mix of early customers suggests the software will appeal to companies across many industries. As a result, public investors are paying less attention to Workday’s size today and instead are more focused on the size Workday will achieve over time.
Commonly, entrepreneurs fall into the trap of believing that achieving $100 million in revenue is the key to an IPO. Rather, as we see with Workday, reaching the $100 million milestone is far less important than having a sizable addressable market to grow into for many years after an IPO. Entrepreneurs who focus on building big businesses in large markets that can continue to grow rapidly well past the $100 million revenue threshold have a great chance to achieve public market success like Workday.
Investors are certainly excited about Workday. Duffield and Bhusri have done an amazing job building Workday to where it is today, and investors are betting the best is yet to come for the company. Entrepreneurs should learn from Workday’s success.
■ For the physical media types: Users can reserve a packaged DVD of Window 8 Pro for $69.99 at Amazon, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Microsoft stores and other retailers.
■ For the downloaders: Users can upgrade their devices on Oct. 26 — the day the system officially launches — for $40.
Both of those offers run through Jan. 31.
■ For the computer buyers: Users can also get Windows 8 with the purchase of a new PC or other devices. Sony, Asus, Acer, Dell and HP have all announced new computers that will run the upgrade.
■ For those who worry they missed the boat: If you just bought a Windows 7 PC, don’t despair. Users who purchased or will purchase an eligible PCs between June 2 and Jan. 31 can upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.99. To take advantage of that deal, users should register their qualifying PC at Microsoft’s Upgrade Offer Web site. Microsoft will then send a promotional code that gives access to the special price.
Microsoft: Shifting to ‘devices and services’
Microsoft, Research in Motion sign licensing deal
Google, Microsoft vie for title of second-most valuable tech company
We’ve got some new and interesting numbers to share about iOS 6 adoption three weeks after launch, from a couple of different sources, both of which show users continue to update to the new mobile OS from Apple. There are also some interesting differences depending on region, with some countries lagging far behind the U.S. in terms of adoption and some surging far ahead.
First, from Chitika, the news that iOS 6 adoption has climbed to just a hair shy of 68 percent on iPhone devices, based on a snapshot taken October 10 of the traffic coming through millions of ad impressions on Chitika’s network. The iPad is at 51 percent running iOS 6, passing the tipping point of more than half of all users, and the iPod rose to just over 42 percent. Chitika thinks that part of the reason behind the differences might be the overabundance of older devices still in use in the iPod segment that can’t upgrade to iOS 6, whereas all but first-generation iPads are currently compatible, and iPhones enjoy a quicker turnover cycle with consumers thanks to carrier upgrade incentives. Overall, iOS 6 adoption sits at 58.88 percent, according to Chitika’s data.
The numbers from Chartboost paint a slightly different picture. Overall, they see iOS 6 adoption sitting at just under 50 percent. That’s still an improvement from when it showed growth nearly stalling last week, but considerably under Chitika’s picture. But both continue to show an upwards trend.
In addition to looking at overall OS version adoption, Chartboost also broke down country-by-country uptake, and that showed some interesting variances depending on where users are in the world. Top iOS 6-adopting nations include Italy (65 percent), Germany (62.3 percent), the Netherlands (60.6 percent) and the UK (57.6 percent). On the other end of the spectrum, China is among the lowest adopting countries, with just 24.5 percent on iOS 6. You can see a number of other nations in the chart below.
One more chart from Chitika below shows how various countries stack up relative to the U.S. The geographical iOS 6 adoption breakdown provides an interesting look at where users are more eager to be on the latest version, but other factors like device distribution and access to reliable Wi-Fi connections could be at play.
Only about 40 percent of Best Buy shoppers leave the store with a purchase in hand, but the retailer wants to bump this percentage up a bit this holiday season
Brick-and-mortar retailers have been battling with online stores for years, but Best Buy is looking to reclaim a place in shoppers’ hearts (and wallets) this holiday season with online price matching and free home delivery.
Best Buy announced that it will match the prices of online competitors like Amazon in order to attract more customers. This is huge for Best Buy, considering it has lost a significant amount of business to Amazon alone. With e-tailers like Amazon, customers can shop from the comfort at home, receive lower prices and quick delivery.
But Best Buy isn’t betting on price matching alone. It’s heating up the competition with free home delivery of products that are out-of-stock as well.
Right now, only about 40 percent of Best Buy shoppers leave the store with a purchase in hand, but the retailer wants to bump this percentage up a bit this holiday season.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to increase that close rate,” said Matthew Furman, Best Buy spokesman.
Best Buy isn’t alone in its holiday efforts to beat Amazon. Wal-Mart is currently testing a same-day delivery service for customers that who buy popular items off of the Wal-Mart website during the holidays. Toys “R” Us is another brick-and-mortar that is working to speed up delivery and offer price matching — however, its price matching will not include Amazon, only brick-and-mortar competitors.
An interesting aspect of the holiday season is that a growing number of shoppers have started using brick-and-mortars for showrooms — or checking out products in person — then going home to buy the products online.
While this is another hurdle that brick-and-mortars must overcome, strangely, they’re embracing this model.
“Let’s be the best showroom,” said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart CEO. “Let’s be the best place where customers want to go and get the experience.”
According to the brick-and-mortar stores, they can still offer things that Amazon can’t. For instance, human customer service and options for purchase like online and brick-and-mortar stores. They added that Amazon now must collect sales tax in many U.S. states, so prices are not quite as low on the site as before.
To further hinder Amazon’s sales, Wal-Mart and Target have stopped selling the e-tailer’s Kindle Fire tablet.
For example, the company said that apps should no longer be able to publish updates to users’ news feeds as soon as they view an app’s content. Instead, the app developers will have to comply with certain standards for publishing an update automatically. In the case of reading an article, for example, developers could program the app so that it doesn’t send an automatic update unless someone has been on an article’s page for at least 10 seconds.
Responding to user feedback, Facebook also said it would disable a feature that let apps publish stories to friends’ walls. The feature had “high levels of negative user feedback,” the company said, with users hiding the updates or marking them as spam.
Facebook is also encouraging developers to experiment with maps and images in Open Graph apps, saying that users get more information out of these kinds of posts and are more likely to click on an update with an image or map.
All the moves are aimed at helping Facebook improve the overall quality of apps on its network, and may indicate that the company will be giving more careful review to newly submitted applications in the future.
“We’re excited by the increased quality of apps we are seeing and look forward to helping you grow,” wrote Facebook product engineer Henry Zhang.
(Washington Post Co. chairman and chief executive Don Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)
For tech companies like Facebook and Google, ‘acqui-hiring’ present latest management challenge
Facebook tests ‘Want,’ ‘Collect’ buttons and muscles in on Pinterest’s turf
Irritated by news of “soon will receive orders for Apple’s iPhone”, Foxconn shares again rose 10% on Friday.
Daiwa Capital Markets released a report on Thursday, the Foxconn will soon get the iPhone orders. The report said: “Our research shows that, due to the iPhone capacity planning, FIH may start producing the iPhone at the end of this year or early 2013.”
Foxconn International is the world’s largest mobile phone OEM companies, whose customers include Nokia, Huawei and ZTE. Apple iPhone was major OEM by Foxconn parent company Hon Hai.
Daiwa Capital Markets refers that Foxconn also get involved in the tablet computer foundry, and it just got first-line products OEM orders from Amazon Kindle Fire.
Daiwa Capital Markets thinks Foxconn remains its core competitiveness, and it’s believed Apple and Amazon orders is capable to reach Nokia, Motorola weak demand.
Affected by the message, Foxconn International stock rose 10.2 percent in Friday morning, trading at HK $3.35, the highest since June. On Thursday, Foxconn shares have gained 17%, marking the biggest one-day gain since mid-2009.
Foxconn declined to comment, but said later today they will release a statement.
The new iPad is displayed during an Apple product launch event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7.(Photo: By Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)
10:06AM EDT October 12. 2012 – With the iPhone 5 now available on store shelves, the rumor mill shifts focus to another potential Apple device: the iPad Mini.
Apple will reportedly unveil a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet during an invitation-only event on Oct. 23.
According to the report from All Things D, the event will likely take place at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The announcement is also three days before the launch of Microsoft’s Surface tablet.
Although most of Apple’s product announcements take place in San Francisco, the company has revealed several notable devices on its campus, including the iPhone 4S.
Rumors of an iPad Mini have picked up momentum as more competitors roll out smaller, more affordable tablets. The iPad Mini has been reported to feature a screen measuring under 8 inches and a price tag between $200-$250, which falls in the range of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus tablet.
Among the other iPad Mini rumors making the rounds: it will only support a Wi-Fi connection, and it will feature a 7.85-inch display with a lower resolution than Apple’s latest iPad.
“contenttype”: “story pages “,
“pagename”: “Report: Apple may unveil iPad mini this month”,
“seotitletag”: “Report: Apple may unveil iPad mini this month”,
“taxonomykeywords”:”Prices,Products and services,Financial performance,San Francisco”,
We’re sorry, it seems that your machine is making requests to our servers too quickly. ECT News allows a maximum request rate of 2 page(s) per second and maximum of 4 concurrent connections. Once this rate has been exceeded, your computer will be blocked for 20 minutes from accessing ECT News properties.
To remove this block, please enter the following code into the text box below and press the “Continue” button to continue on to the page you were requesting.
Reviewed.com says the Kindle Paperwhite has 25% more contrast and 62% more pixels than its predecessors.(Photo: Reviewed.com)
5:12PM EDT October 12. 2012 – Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Mourn the death of the paper book if you must, but those who truly love the written word appreciate the eReader’s contributions to preventing the death of literature. Since 2007, the Amazon Kindle has encouraged reading with its unique paper-esque screen and instant bookstore. The newest Kindle model, the PaperWhite, stands on the shoulders of the giants that came before it adding a 25% more contrast, 62% more pixels, new fonts, and a back light into this fantastic eReader.
2012 Flagship TV Showdown
As we trot towards the home stretch of 2012, our TV gurus get down to it and decide what flagship TV rules them all. We tested all the tremendous competitors, but the Samsung E8000 plasma took them all down, including its more expensive and newer LED brother. Scoring well in almost every category, it’s an incredible TV. But how much better is it than the competitors? We break it down, punch for punch, picture for picture.
STORY: Samsung and Spotify partner to bring music streaming service to Smart TVs
Mini Fridge Roundup
Yes, you may be able to pick up a mini-fridge for free on the side of the road after move-out day, but, uh, we wouldn’t recommend it. If you’ve made the mistake of arriving at college sans fridge, we’ve tested and compared a handful of compact beer de-warming machines using the same scrupulous care we give to the full-figured fridges. Adding an icebox to your office, dorm room, or garage is easier with guidance, and we are here to guide.
STORY: Appliance Advice: Which setting should I use on my dishwasher, and when?
Samsung EX2F Digital Camera Review
The Canon dominance in advanced compact camera category ended when the Sony RX100 came on the scene. With the Samsung EX2F, it’s now clear that the advanced compact camera segment has plenty of worthy options, even if most are a peg below the new leader. At $499 (a healthy $150 cheaper than the spectacular RX100) the EX2F showed super-sharp images, a great swiveling LCD display, and WiFi connectivity. An improvement over its predecessor, the EX1, we give this camera our stamp of approval.
California Headphone Company Laredo
Funded on Kickstarter by the endless generosity of the interweb, the California Headphone Company’s slick Laredo is a good looking headphone with an interesting back story. Unfortunately, its looks are superior to its sound. Despite big audio issues (the high end of guitars and pianos might sound strangely muffled, for instance), the $100 Laredo isn’t all bad. It’s durable, handsome, and does still work. Depending on how you use your ‘phones, this may not be the headset for you, but keep your ears open to this new audio company in the future.
For more product reviews, go to Reviewed.com, a division of USA Today.
The companies haven’t disclosed how much Apple is paying
Apple has decided to pay up for an allegedly stolen clock design in its latest iOS 6 mobile operating system.
IOS 6, which was released last month only days ahead of the iPhone 5, featured a new clock design for the iPad that seemed pretty basic. Just a white face with black, rectangular notches representing the numbers, black hour/minute hands and a red seconds hand. No big deal, right?
Wrong. The iOS 6 clock was nearly identical to a clock design developed by a railway company in Switzerland called Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). SBB said its company created that clock design back in 1944.
SBB’s clock [left] and Apple’s iOS 6 clock design (right)
[Image Source: IBN Live]
When SBB became aware of the stolen design, it immediately contacted Apple in hopes of some sort of licensing agreement.
“We are proud that this icon of clock design is being used by a globally successful company,” said Reto Kormann, SBB spokesperson. “We’ve approached Apple and told them that the rights for this clock belong to us.”
Now, Apple has agreed on licensing terms for the clock design with SBB. However, the companies haven’t disclosed how much Apple is paying.
It’s interesting to see Apple on the losing end of a copyright infringement claim; especially after the hell it has put Samsung through over mobile patent lawsuits. After a lengthy battle with Samsung around the globe, a U.S. jury found Samsung guilty of copying the iPhone/iPad for its Galaxy line. Not only was Samsung ordered to pay $1.05 billion USD in damages, but a court date on December 6 may lead to more product bans for the South Korean electronics maker. Apple is also looking to boost that $1.05 billion fine to $3 billion.