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[February 18, 2014]
Boot up: flood data wash?, Apple v WebRTC, the mouse question, and more
(Guardian Web Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A burst of 10 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team #Floodhack and opening up Environment Agency flood data >> mapgubbins Owen Boswarva isn't impressed by the data made available by the Environment Agency for the floodhack day: this very limited release of open data does not represent a significant "opening up" of government resources. The arrangements for river-level data are slightly more flexible than release of the data under a three-month developer licence would have been, but the effect is broadly similar and presents no erosion of the Environment Agency's strongly commercial stance on licensing of flood data.
There has been a good effort to pull together existing open datasets that might be useful to #floodhack developers. However most of the EA's flood-related datasets remain subject to restrictive licensing.
Decoding Apple's VoIP, WebRTC, UC and VoLTE strategy >> Disruptive Dean Dean Bubley: In other words, Apple might try to reinvent and enhance category-a primary telephony, using a combination of FaceTime, CSFB, VoLTE etc, in order to make the experience of calling better. It could develop FaceTime Audio with "interruption controls" for the user, rejig the awful voicemail experience (remember the original Visual Voicemail?) and try to tune the device-based user-experience of telephony, which is something that GSMA, OMA and others have woefully failed to attempt.
Not a simple analysis, but useful even if just for his dissection into a 3x3 matrix of messaging, voice and video, and of standalone call/send, standalone "other", and embedded/in-app - and where the big and small players fit into it. Also explains - perhaps - why Apple has joined the WebRTC group.
Chart: China lags 12 years behind the US in terms of internet adoption >> Statista According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, internet adoption still varies widely from country to country. Take China for example: according to Pew, only 55% of Chinese adults use the internet at least occasionally. The US had an internet adoption rate of 55% 12 years ago in 2001, which is an eternity in technology.
Apple's emerging market emergency >> Jana Mobile At the beginning of a new quarter, Jana surveyed users in India, Indonesia, and Brazil to see where they plan to spend their mobile budget in 2014.
"What brand of mobile phone will you buy next?" While Samsung and Nokia retain their appeal in the minds of consumers, the niche appeal and high cost of the iPhone makes Apple particularly vulnerable to the rise of cheaper producers, such as Micromax in India.
Possibly, though it's worth scrolling through to see what people actually said about Samsung, Nokia and Apple.
interaction design - Why is the mouse cursor slightly tilted and not straight? >> User Experience Stack Exchange Yes, why? I want to root my Android HTC One, but I need your help | CITEworld Chris Nerney: I'm particularly pleased with the HTC One, which is one of the most beautiful phones on the market. But there are issues, mostly stemming from how the device has been loaded up with bloatware from HTC and Verizon.
The extra software that manufacturers and carriers load on to smartphones both slows down my phone's performance and eats up data. Most people are willing to make this tradeoff in exchange for getting a $600 device from their carrier for $200 plus a two-year contract.
I've always been one of those people. Until I reviewed the Motorola Nexus 5 last November for CITEworld. It was the first time I had used a "pure" Android device - one unencumbered with useless carrier and manufacturer software – and I was immediately hooked.
He wants to root his phone, but has various concerns.
Asustek Computer expects third-largest global notebook market share in 4Q14 >> Digitimes As some competitors have withdrawn from the market or seen decreasing business operations, Asustek Computer expects its global notebook market share to continually rise to the third largest in the fourth quarter of 2014, CEO Jerry Shen said at an investors conference on 14 February.
Asustek launched the 10-inch notebook/tablet hybrid T100 in the fourth quarter of 2013 and has shipped 500,000 units. The company will launch the 11.6-inch T200 in May-June and aims at shipments of 4m for the two in 2014.
Through cooperation with Google, Asustek will launch two Chromebooks, the C200 and C300, in March-April, and an 8-inch Nexus 8 in May-June. In addition, Asustek and Google have launched a Chromebox for use in video teleconferencing.
Asus is one of the more profitable PC makers (in stark contrast to Acer). But does a notebook-tablet hybrids like the T200 count as a tablet, notebook, or both for PC-counting purposes? Publisher transformation with users at the center >> Mozilla blog Directory Tiles will instead suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users. Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla's pursuit of our mission. The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy.
We are excited about Directory Tiles because it has inherent value to our users, it aligns with our vision of a better Internet through trust and transparency, and it helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable as a project.
1) You can tell this is written by a marketing person because it's obfuscatory yet celebratory, and they use two spaces after a full stop; 2) the 'inherent value to our users' line is nonsense. It's got inherent value to Mozilla and advertisers. Users just get more visual noise. And to the suggestion that "Mozilla needs to make money somehow" - it already does: Google pays it handsomely to be its default search provider, providing 90% of its revenue in 2012.
Five stages of data grief >> Open Data Institute Jeni Tennison: In our last ODI [Open Data Institute] Board meeting, Sir Tim Berners-Lee suggested that the data curators need to go through was something like the five stages of grief described by the Kübler-Ross model.
So here is an outline of what that looks like.
T-Mobile tries to coax BlackBerry users to upgrade to the iPhone 5s in its latest mailer >> CrackBerry.com Christopher, the T-Mobile customer who forwarded me the email, "felt this was a real kick in the pants to BlackBerry users." It definitely illustrates the challenge BlackBerry currently faces in the USA with carrier support. T-Mobile already phased out carrying BlackBerry phones in-store (you can still buy them and receive via mail), so it's not a total surprise that they'd look to upgrade existing T-Mobile customers to another device they are more actively supporting.
The Crackberry denizens aren't pleased, as you might guess. T-Mobile may be trying to hit a sales target.
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