Some industries are slow to adapt their products to meet the changing demands of today’s consumers. Home security is one of those industries. Once the first models were built, they remained virtually unchanged long enough to become ineffective.The way people live today is not the same as it was fifty years ago. Today, people frequently travel outside their homes for extended periods of time and want to know that their property is safe. They’re used to having immediate contact with friends and family through smartphone apps, and expect the same from their home security system.Home security started out as a brilliant inventionIn the 1800s, the invention of the telegraph and battery inspired hobbyists and electrical engineers to pursue ways of improving telecommunication. Around this time, a Unitarian minister from Boston named Agustus Pope began inventing the first burglar alarm. Contemplating the dilemma of how to get his electronic invention to ring a bell, he found the … [Read more...] about Is AI going to save the home security industry?
Pokemon Go has been a phenomenon since its launch earlier this month. Its popularity caused Nintendo's market cap to nearly double and the game seems could send as much as $3 billion into Apple's coffers. Pokemon Go requires players to get out into the real world; that's the only way to catch Pokemon, get needed supplies at designated PokeSpots and train or battle in places known as Gyms.The location-based, augmented reality nature of the game is having a significant impact on its players, real world communities, and a range of venues. The game has already been credited with helping kids (and adults) be more active. Some people suffering from depression or anxiety have praised the game for helping to alleviate their symptoms. Others are discovering new parts of their cities or towns. And that raises an important question: can businesses, particularly small businesses, leverage Pokemon Go to attract, engage and retain new customers?[ Digital Spotlight: Enterprise mobile app strategies … [Read more...] about How businesses can use Pokemon Go to succeed
[email protected] (Nasdaq: ATHM) was up 1/4 at 6 1/8 early Tuesday after the provider of high-speed Internet access called off plans for a joint venture with the Chello Broadband unit of Dutch broadband provider United Group. [email protected] said United Group wanted to change terms of the venture because of market conditions, but the companies could not come to an alternative agreement. [email protected] also said that the complexity of the proposed deal, which involved "multiple shareholders with differing opinions and interests," would have posed a risk to its international expansion plans. The company said it has no obligation to United Group as a result of its decision to walk away from the talks, and is free to pursue other partnerships. "We continue to regard international as a key element of [email protected]'s business," said George Bell, chairman of the Redwood City, California-based company. "We remain confident in the overseas opportunity and will continue to grow our position." Bell also said … [Read more...] about [email protected] Advances as Chello Venture Scrapped
By Andrew K. Burger Dec 23, 2006 1:30 AM PT Across the U.S., both consumers and industry have called on the government to build out an infrastructure for renewable energy sources following the latest run-up in gas prices. Part 1 of this two-part series on renewable energy reviews some of the plans industry participants have outlined to support various "green" power initiatives, along with some approaches to achieve success. With the introduction of the California Solar Initiative -- due to go into effect January 1 -- solar photovoltaic (PV) industry firms are scrambling to adjust to changes in application processes, rebate pricing, and energy efficiency and metering requirements. Some are using California as a test bed for new renewable energy projects, including solar-powered suburban communities and a large job involving California public schools. California's commercial and residential housing developers form one of the industry's long-term linchpins. They can consistently … [Read more...] about Renewable Energy in America, Part 2: Solar Powered Homes
This week's Google I/O conference ushered in an array of new and future developments from the Web search leader, touching on everything from new ideas for laptop computers to Google's own online music storage system. Google's Android mobile OS received several moments in the spotlight as well. One new Android development to make its debut was [email protected], which will let Android device users connect with, communicate with and control their home appliances. A related technology is Project Tungsten, an Android device for Google's fledgling streaming music service that will give consumers more control over music playback within their [email protected] networks. The idea of linking up home appliances to the Internet was one of the capabilities the IEEE harped on when it first announced IPv6, the next generation of Internet Protocol technology back in the 1990s. Hooking up appliances to the Internet will require some sort of radio network and sensors, making up what's called a "wireless mesh." … [Read more...] about Android’s Next Step May Hit Too Close to Home
Smartphone customers in the U.S. want bigger screens on their devices, according to a study from T-Mobile. The phone provider, along with Kelton, polled more than 1,000 U.S. consumers starting last May and found that 77 percent of smartphone users prefer a device that has a 4.5-inch or larger screen over a smaller display. T-Mobile highlighted the results of the study in a blog post announcing the availability of the Samsung Galaxy Note, a phone with a particularly large screen. Samsung's 5.3-inch device is meant to be a smartphone-tablet hybrid, with some tablet-like capabilities such notepad functionality. The product is sometimes referred to as a "phablet." T-Mobile relies heavily on sales of smartphones from manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC, since it is the only major U.S. provider not to offer Apple's iPhone. "T-Mobile's lack of an iPhone was probably a motivating factor for this study," Colin Gibbs, analyst at GigaOM Pro, told TechNewsWorld. "The carrier continues to … [Read more...] about Consumers on Smartphone Screens: Go Big or Go Home
Microsoft and HP announced the availability of the HP MediaSmart Server running Windows Home Server. The new class of server enables consumers to protect, connect and share digital media and documents. "Digital devices and content are everywhere in our day-to-day lives, and they are important all the time," said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. "With the launch of Windows Home Server, Microsoft and its partners are creating a new consumer product category that will help people keep their digital media safe and make it easier for them to enjoy it with friends and family." The HP MediaSmart Server will begin shipping later this month. The 500 GB version is priced at US$599. For consumers with greater storage needs, there is also a 1 TB model for $749. Are You Being Served? Designed principally for homes with several personal computers, the MediaSmart Server provides consumers with powerful sever technology similar to that found in the workplace. It will automatically back up … [Read more...] about HP, MS Aim to Tidy Up Digital Clutter With New Home Server
Is it damning with faint praise to say that Windows 7 is definitely not Windows Vista? Probably. After the misfire that was Microsoft's previous operating system, those words alone may be enough to push consumers off the computer-buying fence -- when you couple them with the bargain-basement deals that await PC shoppers over the next few weeks. However, it just so happens that after seeing demonstrations from Microsoft officials and getting a couple of days alone to play with the software, I've decided that Windows 7 is a better operating system than Vista or, for that matter, Windows XP. It's free of goofy widgets and show-offy features, stripped of some of the more annoying endless security warnings and dialog boxes that popped up on your desktop like weeds following a good spring rain. I couldn't test every single device and application in the tech universe with the 2006-era Dell D620 laptop chosen for this review, but it did pass compatibility tests with a printer, another Windows … [Read more...] about Windows 7 Gets Rid of the Gimmicks
DaisyDisk, a Mac app from the company of the same name, is available for US$19.99 at the Mac App Store. Hard disk drives have a tendency to fill up with all sorts of useless files. I try to keep up on the small stuff by using the trash often and frequently, but there's always some large files lurking deep within the bowels of your Mac. And inevitably, I look at the bottom of a folder and realize I've got just 10 GB left of my 320 GB hard drive. I could certainly solve the problem, at least temporarily, by buying a new 7,200 RPM 500 GB MacBook SATA drive, but without paying attention, I'll fill that one right up, too. No, the answer is either having time and a solid strategy for managing your hard drive space ... or you need a tool. Enter DaisyDisk While perusing the App Store for Mac OS X, I ran into DaisyDisk, which is a utility that helps you find and identify large files on your Mac. The idea, presumably, is that if you find a lot of large files, you'll realize that you don't … [Read more...] about Heavy-Duty Hard Drive Weeding Machine Drives a Hard Bargain
In addition to the flagship Samsung Omnia 7 Windows Phone 7 smartphone, AT&T will be offering up the HTC Surround, and LG Quantum. CEO Ralph de la Vega calls them "game changers." That's exciting and all with the Windows Phone 7 floodgates now open, but we'll just have to wait and see them first hand before we start "changing" anything. HTC Surround (aka HTC Trophy) is the first to integrate Dolby Mobile and SRS surround sound speakers. It's rocking a 3.8-inch touch screen, a bit smaller than the Omnia 7, and has a kickstand integrated to prop up on your table for movie watching. The LG Quantum features a slide-out keyboard, Office Mobile, DLNA technology, and an app called Play To, that allows you to stream videos, music, photos to the phone wirelessly to a DLNA-enabled device. We're not being told much more than what we have here, other than they'll cost about $199 on-contract. AT&T to Offer Leading Portfolio of Windows Phones New Exclusive Windows Phones from HTC, LG and … [Read more...] about AT&T offers LG Quantum, HTC Surround to Windows Phone 7 line
I'm not sure how I missed out on National Cyber Security Awareness Month -- I know I have the press release around here somewhere. Then again, when I see the word "cyber," I usually set my brain to "ignore" -- it must be linguistic principles that cause me to react as I do to the never-ending misuse of perfectly good Greek. On top of that, I'm so over National This-or-That Month. I've always believed that designating a month for promoting a particular cause was a nice way to focus the staff of industry associations and other interest groups, while to the rest of the world it seems to trivialize a real problem. But I digress. The most meaningful thing to come out of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which was brought to us by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), was a study of 329 home computer users that the alliance conducted with America Online. (I have to stop watching cable TV -- the small-business and home-user makeovers suddenly sound really appealing.) [ Give … [Read more...] about Home users still the weakest link
With all the speculation surrounding Windows 7 and its ever accelerating launch schedule, I found the following quote from an "official" Microsoft email to be most intriguing: "We are still in the planning stages for Windows 7 and expect it will take approximately 3 years to develop." The above quote comes from a message supposedly received by the folks over at winvistaclub.com. I say supposedly because the site is clearly a Vista "fanboi" endeavor, and I wouldn't put it past such people to go and fabricate such a Microsoft "response." However, I also think it's worth taking another look at the evidence both for and against an early Windows 7 debut: As far as the enterprise is concerned, Vista is a disaster. No matter how Microsoft tries to spin the numbers, the fact remains that they dropped the ball with "Windows NT 6.0." Too much "fat" for the masses and not enough "meat" for corporate IT. And the blame rests squarely with Jim Allchin, a guy who to this day still doesn't have a … [Read more...] about Windows 7: Will they or won’t they?
Microsoft today touted the five themes of the upcoming Windows 7 client OS and made a pre-release version of the software available for developers at the company's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles. A full, API-complete beta release that developers can begin using for app development is planned for early 2009, said Debby Fry Wilson, senior director of Windows product management at Microsoft. General release is planned for early 2010. Microsoft's five key themes for Windows 7 are: [ Will the new Microsoft OS be better than Vista? Join the Windows 7 conversation in Randall C. Kennedy's Windows Sentinel blog. | See Tom Yager's first look at Windows 7. ] [ The Windows 10 developer’s dilemma: Go Universal or stick with the desktop? The choice won't be easy. | Stay up on key Microsoft technologies with the Enterprise Microsoft blog and Windows Report newsletter. ]Mobile computing. This includes improvements in energy efficiency, security, and the ability to move … [Read more...] about Microsoft previews Windows 7 client OS
A post-beta version of Windows 7 that has leaked to Internet file-sharing sites includes an updated version of Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), according to searches at several BitTorrent trackers. With Microsoft halting new Windows 7 beta downloads on Tuesday, and blocking all downloads as of noon (EST) Thursday, users are again turning to illegal sources to get the new operating system. [ From InfoWorld'sTest Center: Windows 7 benchmarks unmasked | Special report: Early looks at Windows 7. ] [ The Windows 10 developer’s dilemma: Go Universal or stick with the desktop? The choice won't be easy. | Stay up on key Microsoft technologies with the Enterprise Microsoft blog and Windows Report newsletter. ]A search on the Pirate Bay tracking site, for example, found multiple versions of Windows 7 Build 7022, an .iso disk image date-stamped Jan. 15, making it the first leaked build that was completed after Microsoft launched the public beta. People who downloaded and installed Build 7022 … [Read more...] about New post-beta Windows 7 build leaks to Web
Netbooks are starting to look like ultraportable laptops, while some ultraportables are beginning to resemble netbooks. In a tight economy, the question arises: Should you keep costs low by buying an inexpensive netbook, or spend a few hundred dollars more to get a full-featured lightweight laptop? Here's a quick rundown of three recent product introductions, along with some guidance on which direction to take--laptop or netbook? [ Stay ahead of advances in mobile technology with InfoWorld's Mobile Report blog and Mobilize newsletter. ] [ iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro vs. Pixel C vs. Galaxy TabPro S: The "tabtop" tablet/laptop hybrids compared. | Get deep into Windows: Subscribe to the InfoWorld Windows Report newsletter. ]But First, the Back Story A netbook is a small portable computer, usually with a screen between 7 and 10 inches in size, compared to the 12-inch to 17-inch screens on most laptops. Netbooks are often just a bit bigger than a standard hardcover books, but noticeably … [Read more...] about Netbook or Ultraportable for the Job?
It's the best of times if you're a lover of operating systems, with the nearly simultaneous release of Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" (available right now) and Microsoft's Windows 7 (available Oct. 22). This leads to the inevitable debate: Which is the better operating system, Windows 7 or Snow Leopard? To help determine that, I've put both operating systems through their paces, selected categories for a head-to-head competition, and then chosen a winner in each category. And at the end, I summarize the scorecard. [ Discover the key Mac and Apple tech trends for business users. Read InfoWorld's Technology: Mac newsletter. ] [ InfoWorld's deep look: Why (and how) you should manage Windows 10 PCs like iPhones. | The essentials for Windows 10 installation: Download the Windows 10 Installation Superguide today. ]For testing Windows 7, I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition RTM on a Dell Inspiron E1505 notebook with 1GB of RAM and a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo processor. To … [Read more...] about OS deathmatch: Snow Leopard vs. Windows 7
Microsoft last week patched nine vulnerabilities, five marked "critical," in Windows 7, a move that will require users upgrading to the new operating system starting Thursday to download a security update to keep their PCs secure. The patches were the first for Windows 7's final build, dubbed RTM for "release to manufacturing," that has been in some customers' hands, primarily enterprises with volume licensing agreements, since August. [Get InfoWorld's 21-page hands-on look at the next version of Windows, plus deployment tips on security, Windows Server 2008 integration, and Windows XP migration, all from InfoWorld’s editors and contributors. ] [ The Windows 10 developer’s dilemma: Go Universal or stick with the desktop? The choice won't be easy. | Stay up on key Microsoft technologies with the Enterprise Microsoft blog and Windows Report newsletter. ]Windows 7's patch count, however, was significantly less than either Windows Vista's, its immediate predecessor, or that of … [Read more...] about Microsoft issues first Windows 7 patches
As soon as September, we may see the first smartphones based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" release, the OS update with what CEO Steve Ballmer says has more than 500 new features. The first version of Windows Phone 7 had a compelling UI but fell far short of the iPhone and even Android devices in many areas critical to business users. It was a flop in the market, but Microsoft asked everyone to give it a second chance. "Mango" is that second chance, and Microsoft sent the final "reboot" OS to smartphone makers a month ago. Does "Mango" address the many gaps in the first version of Windows Phone 7? It's hard to say, as working versions of the OS are not yet available for people like me to test. And although Microsoft has been dribbling out information for months on "Mango," there's little meaningful detail yet -- especially on the core business capabilities that the first version lacked. When I asked Microsoft for what "Mango" added for business users, it was unable to tell … [Read more...] about Windows Phone ‘Mango’: Ripe or rotten?
Building and maintaining a wireless network at home is no easy task, especially if you're not tech-savvy or otherwise inclined. This presents a problem, since many people rely on Wi-Fi in their homes in order to get the most out of smartphones, tablets, laptops and a quickly increasing number of other products. Then you get into the issue of internet dead zones in your home and adding Wi-Fi boosters, or using other means to get a better signal. It's all pretty confusing. So, let's take a look at what you need to know about a home wireless setup. Wireless Networking StandardsThe first thing that you'll often run across when looking at wireless routers is how quickly they can transfer data between your device and the internet. This is known as the theoretical data rate and is often measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps). How much a router can handle is largely dependent on the wireless standard that it's using. As wireless technology progresses, new … [Read more...] about What Makes a Home Network?
At this writing, it’s Wednesday morning after the U.S. election. None of my friends is sober, probably including my editor.I had a different article scheduled originally, which made the assumption that I’d been wrong all along, because that’s what everyone said. The first article in which I mentioned President Trump posted on Sept. 10, 2015, and covered data analytics in the marijuana industry. Shockingly, both Trump and marijuana won big.[ Download the InfoWorld quick guide: Learn to crunch big data with R. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]I thought I was being funny. Part of the reason I was sure “President Trump” was a joke was that Facebook kept nagging me to go vote. First, it wanted me to vote early; eventually it wanted me to vote on Election Day. It wasn’t only Facebook—my Android phone kept nagging me to vote. … [Read more...] about Could Google or Facebook decide an election?