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Ricardo Sanchez

Looking past the glitter, big names, and big money ($3.2bn)

Looking past the glitter, big names, and big money ($3.2bn)

First, the people. Tony Fadell’s team is justly admired for its design skills. They will come in handy if Google finally gets serious about selling hardware, if it wants to generate new revenue in multiples of $10bn (its yearly revenue is approximately $56bn now). Of course, this means products other than just thermostats and smoke alarms. It means products that can complement Google’s ad business with its 60% Gross Margin.

Looking past the glitter, the elegant product, the smart people, do we believe there is a purpose in the Nest acquisition? Or is Google simply rolling the dice, hoping for an IoT breakthrough?

~ theguardian.com

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A very well written article with details on why not Apple, why Google, and why now.

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Google founders' private air terminal in California

Google founders' private air terminal in California

Google founders Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt have won approval to build a private terminal at Mineta San Jose International Airport, and CNBC has learned that construction on the $82 million facility will start in February. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Signature Flight Support, a Florida-based company that manages corporate aircraft, will develop and operate the 29-acre terminal in partnership with Blue City Holdings, which handles the personal aircraft of Google’s principals.

Signature, which operates in 115 airports, said Google’s terminal is its biggest project so far. The jet center will have a 270,000-square-foot hangar—a major amount of space for a private entity within a commercial airport.

~ Mark Berniker, CNBC Silicon Valley Bureau Chief

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The NSA is reading your text messages, daily.

The NSA is reading your text messages, daily.

The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets.

The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity.

An agency presentation from 2011 – subtitled “SMS Text Messages: A Goldmine to Exploit” – reveals the program collected an average of 194 million text messages a day in April of that year. In addition to storing the messages themselves, a further program known as “Prefer” conducted automated analysis on the untargeted communications.

~ The Guardian

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Microsoft's Vision Of The House Of The Future

Microsoft's Vision Of The House Of The Future

Microsoft has a room on its main campus, not far from where its top executives work, that represents its vision of the future of the home and work place. Harald Becker, a senior product planner at Microsoft, gave us a tour of room. It’s not open to the public. It’s normally reserved enterprise clients. He said the room is akin to a concept car. It’s informed by the research and development from Microsoft’s tech teams. It’s representative of the investment in technology Microsoft is making. Just like car companies show concept cars that never materialize, much of what Microsoft envisions will not materialize. However, this is an idea about how connected, synced devices can change how we work and live.

~ Business Insider Tech

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Nokia Welcomes Increasing Windows Phone OEM Competition

Nokia Welcomes Increasing Windows Phone OEM Competition

An interview with Nokia’s Viral Oza in The Economic Times published today details the company’s mobile strategy in India and the world at large.

Oza isn’t concerned about the potential for increased competition, telling the Times that “The entry of more players in the Windows Phone market will help the ecosystem to grow further.” Nokia’s Lumia line of Windows Phone smartphones has become the de facto brand of handsets, but there has been rumor of Sony jumping into the ring this year.

He then appears to tie the entrance of new hardware players to a more healthy application market: “Also, more developers will come on board, strengthening the ecosystem even more. In that sense, it only encourages the consumers to buy Windows Phone and broadening the ecosystem.”

~ (@alex) TechCrunch.com

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With Sony jumping to the Windows Phone platform, the increasing number of developers building Windows Phone apps and the increasing number of app downloads, 2014 might just be the year for Microsoft’s Windows Phone. I am looking forward to learn what’s unveiled at BUILD this year.

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Apple risks becoming the BlackBerry of 2014

So Apple, without a big-screen phone, risks becoming the BlackBerry of 2014 if it keeps its screens so small.

iPhone was once a great phone that offered the height of productivity in its day. But now its screen is too small, and its hostility to Android makes it too inflexible as a business device.

That’s why we believe Apple will come roaring back with a large-screen iPhone 6 launch this year.

Because otherwise, tiny iPhones will end up looking like dumbphones, or BlackBerrys, for business users.

~ – BusinessInsider Tech

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I believe this and unless Apple does something super interesting with the iPhone, then Android phones and even Windows Phones and Blackberrys will regain some of the market share and profits they lost to Apple’s iPhone years ago.

Mark Gurman tweeted this same headline from @SAI, but the moment I tried to copy the tweet’s link it was gone, apparently he deleted it but kept his following tweet shown below:

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Bing’s Heroic Woman of 2013

Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, aired a deeply strange commercial during the Golden Globes spotlighting heroes of feminism. These include Malala Yousafzai (who, per an onscreen caption, “stood up to educate us all”), Diana Nyad (“who persevered”), Janet Yellen (“who shattered the glass ceiling”), and  Margaret Thatcher (“for blazing a trail”).

Why, exactly, is Bing spotlighting here, in terms of their product’s actual utility? And Margaret Thatcher’s relationship with feminism was complicated at best

~ (Salon.com)

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Really? it is a great video and I will also argue that it IS a great Ad as people are talking about it and even Daniel D’Addario from Salon.com took the time to explain all of us what Bing.com is – thank you.

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Apple Debuts new iPad Air Ad during NFL game while Microsoft's Surface is used in half time

Apple Debuts new iPad Air Ad during NFL game while Microsoft's Surface is used in half time

During Sunday’ NFL game between San Francisco 49ers and North Carolina Panthers Apple aired some TV ads showing the iPad Air as some sort of poetic, artist’s tool that can do everything from taking professional video of the Niagara Falls and working under the ocean to helping tornado chasers track a thunderstorm. Here is the video:

It is not a secret that most media outlets react to everything Apple does, and while this ad played during the NFL game there were also ads showing Microsoft’s Surface and Windows 8 on other laptops and tablets – but not many people seem to be interested about it. Then I noticed the following, all the Fox Sports NFL commentators where using Microsoft surfaces during the game’s half-time analysis – instead of iPads. This is very cool, I wonder if all the hype about Apple products is about to follow the same luck that some of their first products did when they were very popular and had awesome ads but eventually lost to Microsoft and PC manufacturers.

Surface_on_NFL

 

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Android in a Microsoft Phone

Microsoft is in the process of a huge push into the cloud. Almost every Windows Phone user will sign up and use some of the features. If Microsoft was to release Nokia’s still to be substantiated Android handset, I would assume that it would be tied as tightly to their online services as the Nexus handsets are tied to Google’s. That’s a win right there for Microsoft.

Windows Phone is established as the third player in the smartphone market. With some smart marketing, decision-making, and focus during 2014, Microsoft can consolidate that position and reach a 10% share in the US and world market. Windows Phone may carry on steady growth over the next few years, but most analysts are pegging the potential share in the 15%-20% range over the next four years. Without some disruption, ‘comfortably third’ is going to be Microsoft’s final destination in the market.

~ Ewan Spence Forbes.com contributor

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Why not.

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iPhone 6 Rumors

On Thursday, The China Post (via MacRumors) cited an analyst from Nomura Securities who asserted the iPhone 6 will continue to use an 8-megapixel sensor. Despite several minor upgrades the camera will likely receive, he believed it will not gain a higher-resolution sensor.

Also on Thursday, rumors made the rounds that Apple will be increasing its reliance on Pegatron for the next-generation iPhone production. Taiwan’s Liberty Times said Pegatron might land a contract to assemble half of the iPhone 6 supplies.

This would be a substantial upgrade for the manufacturer. Pegatron is currently responsible for the assembly of Apple’s iPad mini and iPhone 5c, while Foxconn assembles the iPhone 5s.

~ Daniel Sparks

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Daniel Sparks also writes in The Motley Fool article that investors would be wise to listen to Tim Cook’s advice on reading into supply-chain rumors – really? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

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