Tag Archive | "still-something"

Apple’s Reported Time Warner Cable Deal Great For Extending Provider Reach, But Not For Real Change

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Apple is said by Bloomberg to be working on a deal that would bring Time Warner Cable content to its Apple TV set-top streaming box, for subscribers to TWC’s existing cable packages. Which is nice, for those people, and something that’s like the iOS apps which allow cable and satellite subscribers to view content they pay for access to on devices other than their TV, but in the big picture, it’s a minor update, not a revolution.

The update would offer subscribers access to content in the same way that the recently-introduced HBO GO app does on Apple TV – if you’re already paying for it, you’ve now got one more window to watch it through. Time Warner also owns HBO GO, so it isn’t surprising to see a relaxing of content rules from TWC. Nor is it a completely novel deal, since TWC already has similar agreements in place with Roku, Xbox and will soon integrate some of its channel line-up into Samsung smart TVs.

The news that more content is potentially coming to Apple TV is good for the ecosystem, good for Apple and good for device users. Apps on Apple TV are great, even when Apple is metering them out carefully instead of opening up the platform the way it has on iOS. And another channel, even if limited to subscribers, is still better than that content not being made available to Apple TV users, for sure. But at the same time, this sounds like a deal that will further the goals of cable providers more than it will prompt any kind of real upheaval in the way we consume and interact with TV.

An actual Apple TV is an exciting prospect because at one time it held the promise of doing something different not just with interfaces or with content vehicles, but with actual content divisions, packaging and pricing. Apps for existing subscribers who still buy plans based on the old way of “here’s a bunch of stuff, some of which you need,” is all well and good, but what about a la carte content? What about the possibility of cutting out the middleman and only paying for what you want to see?

It makes sense for Apple to play ball with legacy providers, especially after so many years have passed with so many reports of it being frustrated when working out broadcast right with media providers. That’s probably why Apple is poaching Pete Distad, an ex-Hulu exec, to come on board and smooth out media co. negotiations. But the world doesn’t need another Hulu, or another extension of the type of “TV Everywhere” campaign that cable companies are fond of putting forward as true change – it needs to be upended, so hopefully that’s still something in Apple’s sights.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

You’re 37% More Likely To Date Someone If You’ve Got Facebook Friends In Common

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Date Mutual Friends

“Oh you know Johnny? Then let’s get naughty.” Whether it’s for one night or forever, we’re more likely to choose mates who have Facebook friends in common with us. This comes according to a new study by Coffee Meets Bagel, a startup that shows you a suggestion of someone to date each day and connects you if you both fancy each other.

Out of Coffee Meets Bagel’s 44,000 matches, people with mutual friends are 37.2% more likely to both give each other the thumbs up. Women are much more influenced by the mutual friends effect. And there’s even a magic number of acquaintances in common that makes you 90% more likely to want to get frisky…

Turns out four is the ideal number of mutual friends, almost doubling the chances two people will dig each other. Any number still increases your chance of crushing on someone, but it seems like less than four and someone might be sketchy, more and things could get messy if your date is a disaster.

One caveat: all these findings shared exclusively with TechCrunch are just trends, not necessarily statistically sound data, but they’re still something singles should think about.

For guys, being linked by the social graph isn’t too big of a deal. It only makes dudes give the go-ahead 10% more often. But the effect is much stronger for women, who may be more concerned with safety and comfort. They’re 29% more likely to give someone a shot if they have friends in common.

But since it takes two to tango (or do Da Dip) matches where both people approve of each other 37% more frequent if they’ve got mutual friends. All this data is good news for the slew of social dating services that purposefully pair you people you’re one-degree removed from, like Yoke, TheComplete.me, and Circl.es.

So next time you’re gonna head to the bar in search of that special someone, you might actually be better off doing some Facebook friend of friend stalking. But please, message them. Don’t just creepily Like their vacation photos.

If you happen to live in New York City, you could also give Coffee Meets Bagel a shot



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Study: 37% Of U.S. Teens Now Use Video Chat, 27% Upload Videos

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Video chat is still something many people don’t feel comfortable with. For U.S. teens, however, it is quickly becoming a pretty routine way of communicating with each other. According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 37% of teens now regularly use Skype, Apple’s iChat and startups like Tinychat to video chat with each other.

There are significant differences between how many boys and girls use video chat, though. Only a third of boys use video chat while 42% of girls said they have video chatted. Maybe unsurprisingly, those teens who use the Internet more frequently also use video chats more often than their peers who only go online a few times per week. The same is true for teens who text and use social media more often than their peers.

The Pew study also looked at how often kids upload video to the web. A quarter of the U.S. teens who were interviewed for this study also said that they record and upload video to the web. This represents a 100% increase since 2006. Just 14% of adults, by the way, upload video to YouTube and similar services.

Despite the gender gap in video chatting, though, boys and girls are equally likely to upload video these days. That’s quite a change from 2006, when Pew last asked this question. At that time, boys were twice as likely to say that they regularly uploaded video they had taken.

Streaming video over the web, however, still remains a bit of a niche activity among teens. Only 13% of respondents said they stream video live online. Interestingly, 3% of teens with dial-up connections manage to stream video to the web – one postage stamp-sized picture at a time.

The Pew study also noted that 95% of the 799 teens it interviewed said that they use the Internet. This number has not changed over the last few years. It’s worth noting – and somewhat odd – that this data is based on interviews that were conducted between April 19 and July 14, 2011. Given how quickly these trends change, chances are these numbers are actually a bit higher today.



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Survey: Consumers Increasingly Concerned With Products’ Origins And Rate Of Release

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A large survey of consumers and manufacturers from around the world has found a number of interesting statistics, though some are interesting not in and of themselves, but in what they imply about those surveyed.

For instance, 57% of consumers say they’re “always or usually” aware of a product’s country of origin. This seems rather generous, considering how incredibly complex the supply chain is, and how a given high-tech product might include pieces from 10 or 20 different countries, depending on how deep you want to dig.

And while 67% of people said that product quality is better today than it was 5 years ago, 75% think manufacturers don’t use the best-quality materials and don’t follow environmentally friendly procedures.

Perhaps most entertainingly, 97% of manufacturers consider themselves “ahead of the curve” in safety and reliability, and nearly that many think the same regarding sustainability and innovation. They can’t all be above average.

The full survey can be read here. The NY Times takes a few of the stats to suggest a “global gadget fatigue.” A generalization that isn’t really supported by this survey, but probably is true nevertheless. The amount of money and research going into consumer electronics has made product turnover much faster, and the nature of PR demands that products not be released all at the same time. So the results is a new “revolutionary” phone, TV, laptop, tablet, or what have you pretty much every week.

It’s a major shift from the slower-moving world of the 90s, when much common wisdom was established about computers and mobiles among the population at large.

The study also suggests that environmental concerns and consumer interest in the origin of their devices is going to be playing a major part in brand and marketing over the next few years. This may have to do with the simple flattening of the world that is the result of the internet and globalism in general. More products are being manufactured internationally, yes, but more people are aware of it, perhaps partially because of the continuing decline in manufacturing jobs in the US. But the 57% figure cited above is globally; in the US, only 46% say they’re aware of the country of origin, compared with 70% for India and 66% for China. Still, the number is probably far higher than it was ten years ago.

As I have argued, it’s unlikely that people will agree to an increase in price for “ethical” devices, as much as we would like to think so. And although labeling and regulation should be established regarding the country of manufacture, component manufacture, and material sourcing, that’s still something of a fantasy. But it’s a good thing that consumer interest in such things is growing.



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Money To Spend: Apple: $75.876 Billion. U.S. Government: $73.768 Billion.

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15 years ago, Apple was on the verge of default. Today, the United States government is. Let’s hope that in 15 years, our government will have been able to turn it around the way Apple has.

As is being reported by just about everyone, following their massive third quarter, Apple now has more cash (and cash equivalents) on hand than the U.S. government has for its entire operating balance. Apple has $75.876 billion. The U.S. government has $73.768 billion. Wow.

Does this mean Apple could buy the U.S. or bail us out? Well, no. The U.S. gross domestic product is still something north of $14 trillion. That’s a bit rich, even for Apple’ blood. That $73 billion and change is actually just the amount of breathing room the U.S. has before they reach the debt ceiling, which Democrats and Republicans are fighting over raising right now.

Still, the fact that Apple has more cash than the U.S. has financial headroom is amazing. There are several companies that Apple could buy right now that the government could not — if the government were in the business of buying businesses, of course. If the U.S. defaults, Apple will also likely have much better credit than the government does.

After hitting $400 a share earlier this week, Apple’s stock has since settled back into the $390-range. This puts their market cap at around $365 billion — again, well behind the U.S. GDP. Apple is the second most valuable public company in the world behind Exxon. Interestingly enough, while Apple’s stock has sunk a bit in recent days, Exxon’s has been tanking. Their market cap is now below $400 billion. Apple is now less than $35 billion away from catching them (something we predicted could happen this fall).

Catching the U.S. GDP will be trickier (not the least of which is that Apple is a part of that GDP). But the way things are going now, who knows? Maybe after a stellar iPad 14 launch, Apple secedes, and they’ll be neck-and-neck — if the U.S. exists at that point. Perhaps Apple COO Tim Cook should be the next Treasury Secretary?

Information provided by CrunchBase



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

HeyZap Launches Support For HTML5 Games

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HeyZap, a startup that offers game developers a distribution platform and a variety of social tools, is looking to stay ahead of the curve: the company, which has been focused exclusively on Flash games until now, is adding support for HTML5 games.

HTML5 is still something of a novelty when it comes to gaming — we’ve seen demos like Quake running in the browser, but the vast majority of popular social games are still Flash-based. But HeyZap cofounder Immad Akhund thinks that’s going to change in the future, as more games are ported to HTML5 for compatibility (iOS doesn’t support Flash) and as browsers support more HTML5 features.

Akhund also says that they’re seeing demand for the feature already: HeyZap has had ten established developers ask for HTML support, and there are plenty of more basic casual games that are HTML-based (think Vampire Wars, Mobsters, etc.)

HeyZap’s HTML5 feature suite includes support for authentication of users through Facebook and Twitter, the ability to share/tweet your in-game achievements to your social networks, and payments through PayPal and credit cards.

Information provided by CrunchBase



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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