Browsing articles from "May, 2011"
May 16, 2011
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Is the Internet going to be the television replacement?

It is well discussed that the internet is becoming the medium for so many things, back in the day TV was all on its own. You need a TV and a bit of main power and an aerial. After some good tuning you had TV on the box and that was the only way that you could watch your favourite broadcasts, and you only got the one chance.

Many markets including the US pay market has suffered and massive drop in revenue as customers turn to the internet for their viewing thirst. However, there is question that does need to be asked, is it that the internet is demoting TV or technology? Apple and Google have both released services that allow viewers to view online content via the TV, but both companies have stated that the packages did not meet expectations. Plus, we are also watching more video and more TV than ever before so why is the TV under threat?

The main reason is that there are some many ‘on demand’ services including ‘Jigsaw’, ‘Catch Up TV’, ’BBC iPlayer’ and ‘ITVplayer’ that you then don’t need to watch the normal broadcasted channels that are running 24/7 when you can exchange this for a very personal viewing on your laptop and tablet or even smart phone and let’s be honest we know how popular these items are.

If you fast forward some years and think of a modern house, you may think of a high speed internet connection that feeds straight into a media hub. This is precisely what the experts think; this hub will complete all our multimedia services.  The TV as we now know it will change; perhaps the name will change to large screen devices.

Some large UK internet providers have all incorporated these types of services into their portfolio. BT has the ‘Vision’ service that uses the internet for its on demand programmes. Will this become the norm in the future? Will we see the TV aerial on the roof becoming a feature of the past?

May 11, 2011
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Google to Launch Cloud-based Music Service

Despite not having the backing from major music labels, Google has decided to launch its own cloud-based music service.

The service will work by allowing users to upload music to the cloud so they can stream it via an internet connection meaning they can listen to it anywhere.

At the time of the report, Google advised that they planned to announce the plans of the service at their San Francisco Google I/O conference for developers which was to be run on the 10th and 11th May.

Back in march, Amazon released their own Cloud Player which allowed users to access their music via Android apps and the web.  Google’s music service will act in pretty much the same way by acting as a remote ‘locker’ for music access.

The odd thing about this is that Google are going to launch without the support of any major record labels.  Whilst a cloud based service doesn’t always need additional licences from the record labels, Google could be restricted in what features can be added to the service.

May 10, 2011
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Skype is in demand but not from members or users.

Discussions are at the beginning and being totally specific is going to be difficult, but according to reports from good sources, Skype is hot property. There have been no public releases to its members or to the public; however you might not have to wait for long.

A partnership deal for Skype is not something that has been talked about before. This time the reports involve giant businesses. Google and Facebook are considering separate bids to get their hands on the video conferencing service.

If you were Skype what would you do (assuming that the bids were identical)? Would you take the Facebook partnership and combine the instant chat with the additional feature of running live video connection as well or the Google bid and generate more members and more business users using your services.

As we know from previous blogs, Skype has a lot of members, but the percentage of members that actually pay for Skype services is very low. This poor revenue stream may not be solved with a Facebook partnership – it could increase the number of members but not the percentage of paying members. On the other hand Google with the PPC and SEO services that are very business related, could boost revenue when offering conference video calling features to a business audience.

This deal could be very important to both parties (Google and Facebook) particularly as Google is losing ground against Bing and Facebook could continue its domination of the social network. Google could also integrate the Skype services onto its Google Android Phones as well.

As mentioned this is an early report, so we will have to wait and see. In the meant time what, would you do?

May 9, 2011
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You may have the content right, perfect images and a great customer journey on your site, but is it quick enough?

Google has bolted a speed gauge onto its ranking indicator, so how will this affect your site and your ranking position on Google? Well, the speed gauge is going to measure the time that a landing page takes to load, this speed measure is called site speed or page load time. The clock will start when a visitor lands on the page and will stop when the page has fully completed loading.

This speed indicator was discussed last year and Google stated that it would be included into its ranking indicator. Now however, this discussion has turned into practice and the page load time is being incorporated into searches. For many businesses this inclusion of speed will not be an issue, because a quick loading page makes the visitor experience a lot better.

If your landing page is slow, all will not be lost.  You will not free fall down the rankings and Google will alter the ranking of one site per two hundred. How much of a penalty the new speed gauge will produce in terms of ranking is not known.

You might think that this new measure is a bit harsh but it’s all geared essentially towards rewarding websites that provide the best service. Also you can just force your way to the top of the rank without considering the visitors experience.

On the occasional websites that you come across, they are very slow which can be annoying, but with patience you find the product that you want and decide to make an order.  During the order process you are left hanging for a page to load and that patience runs out and you start the search all over again. This is what Google wants to eradicate as it comes under pressure from Bing.

May 5, 2011
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4.3.3 is available for download, now Apple can’t track you…(for as long!)

On Wednesday, Apple released their unscheduled new software update to sort the problem that annoyed many iPhone and iPad 3G users. The problem that causes this outrage was that two British computer programmers found a folder on the iPhone that was recording your location with transmitter triangulation data and by recording the Wi-Fi Hot Spots that the handset also connected to.

Apple insists that this storage facility was designed to improve the speed and the efficiency of the apps on the phone that required a GPS location such as Sat Nav or even Google maps.  There was also many comments made that the data was then put onto iTunes during a sync, but that was not proved and Apple did deny that this did happen.

Apple has released the new iPhone software (ver. 4.3.3) that is available from iTunes. This new software version will reduce the size of the storage folder, so only very recent locations will be saved and the software will also delete all locations data when the location services are turned off. Their previous data storage folder had been recording locations for almost a whole year.

May 4, 2011
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BlackBerry exchange Google for Bing…

After being on stage at the annual RIM BlackBerry show, Microsoft announced that Bing will be providing the search facilities on Blackberry devices. This will then be a new partnership for Microsoft, with the aim to help people make better decisions with Bing on Blackberry Devices, while boosting handset sales.

The partnership will include Bing as the default search provider for the search app and the browser. However, it is unclear at this point which of the blackberry devices will be defaulted to Bing. It might be the new Blackberry Bond and also the Blackberry Playbook that is due for release soon.

This is good news for some and not so good for others. The benefits are for Microsoft and their Bing search, hopefully this will boost handset sales for blackberry.  The biggest loser in this deal is Google; as they where the default search provider on the Blackberry handsets.

Bing has been in this position before, in terms of having their search facility exclusively on a produced handset. Also, you may remember that deal that was pending between Microsoft and Nokia, which did sound very similar to the Blackberry and Bing arrangement. Perhaps Microsoft is planning a worldwide domination to be the default search providers of mobiles and Smartphone’s.

Let’s assume that both Microsoft deals happen and are completed as expected, what might happen to the market share of Google against Bing? What is known is that Bing is growing fractionally month on month, 2011 has started very well for Bing. This slow but consistent pace is worrying for Google, as it has been stated if Bing’s growth was erratic it would show that its decline just as quick as it grows. Unfortunately that is not the case which is why it could be very damaging for Google.

Specifically in the mobile search, Google have a strong hold on the Android and the iPhone devices, but if Apple that make the iPhone decided to change the default search provider, Google would be in a lot of trouble and would lose a lot of crucial market share. Having said that, Microsoft and Apple are not on best of pals anyway, so the chances are remote that these two businesses will come together.

Google is not helping itself in a number of areas because of the changes that have been made to its search results and the algorithms.  Add Bing’s increasing fortunes and we could be in for an entertaining online battle for search facilities.

May 3, 2011
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Ebay and PayPal complement their individual growth.

Internet auction site and the online payment service have seen huge growth, mainly because of their respective apps but surprisingly also because of the development of PayPal.

In the first three months of this year, the net income for eBay was up by 20%. This then resulted in revenue of $2.55bn.

EBay is coming to the conclusion of its three year business plan to achieve more and develop the business.

PayPal have also started the year strongly, partly because of the developments with eBay have boosted the number of transactions that PayPal have completed on their behalf.  The number of PayPal registered accounts also grew by 16%, which excludes their eBay motors division.

The online market place, according to PayPal has grown by 8%. Smartphone’s, Apps and better internet access are also influencing this growth.

May 2, 2011
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Demand Flattens BBC Website

The coverage of the Royal Wedding and the interest in the World Snooker Championship proved too much for the BBC Online services as there website buckled under the pressure.

The BBC did make a statement that they had received some technical issues, and were working towards a resolution. The online service could not handle the sheer weight of traffic. Many entertainment experts feel that the Wedding specifically was the media event of the century.

The crippled website resulted in putting up a holding page informing users that the service was not presently available. As a result, many comments were left on Twitter, stating their disappointment and many sarcastic comments regarding timing.

What we may be highlighting is that professional and commercial websites can’t compete against demand. When there is a new concert tour released, the websites hosting the tickets also collapse. As we walk further into this online world with more Wi-Fi points and theconstant requirement for faster broadband, online demand is going to increase and will our sites be ready?