Since late last year, luxury technology brand Vertu has been quiet. The last we heard, the company had been sold to a group of investors known only as Godin Holdings, and CEO Massimiliano Pogliani had stepped down. In the meantime, mobile tech with a luxury twist has bloomed, and new players are arriving to take advantage of the opening in the market.“If we’ve been quiet, it’s just part of the process after coming out of a successful sale.”Is the British brand in the midst of a critical change, or is it simply emerging from a winter’s hibernation, ready to lead the lux-tech charge? We spoke to new CEO Gordon Watson and Head of PR Jon Stanley to find out.“If we’ve been quiet,” Jon Stanley told Digital Trends, “it’s just part of the process after coming out of a successful sale.” Originally part of Nokia, this is the second time Vertu has found itself under new ownership, but it sees the change as a great opportunity. … [Read more...] about The oldest name in luxury tech is ready to ride the wave it created
How to launch the right mobile development strategy
Microsoft released a flurry of gaming announcements on March 1, so many it’s hard to keep them straight. In addition to an extensive game preview, the company revealed it’s working to unify the Universal Windows Application platform between PCs and its consoles, and hinted it may adopt a new strategy of incremental console upgrades that mimics a computer’s expandability.These efforts sound great, at least on paper. While some entitled Xbox One owners have whined about the loss of some Xbox games exclusive to the PC, most gamers on both platforms will enjoy greater compatibility between the two. The strategy could greatly expand the appeal of Xbox, which has struggled since the release of Sony’s PlayStation 4, and also bring new games and features to the PC.But I’m skeptical. As great as all of this sounds, Microsoft has a tendency to announce big plans that ultimately come to nothing. And even if the company follows through, it will have to resolve a … [Read more...] about Microsoft’s plan to unify the Xbox and PC is doomed
In the age of online entertainment, consumers get virtually unlimited choice of content and unlimited means to entertain themselves. They can stream their favorite episode of "Lost" from ABC.com, watch full-length movies on Hulu or even download episodes of shows like the "The Office" from NBCDirect, and they can do it all for free.These choices offer consumers an unprecedented amount of control over their entertainment experience, which is bad news for incumbent content aggregators: cable, satellite and IPTV (Internet protocol television) companies. The incumbents have to create a way to deliver increasingly sophisticated entertainment to consumers for free.Amy Banse, the president of Comcast Interactive Media, alluded to some of thesechallenges during her keynote at the Parks Associates Connections event in JulyComcast is a great example of an incumbent provider working hard at establishing new entertainment avenues for consumers. In 2006, it launched Ziddio, a user-generated portal … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS Is Comcast Barking Up the Right Tree?
The company that made its billions selling ads for Web searches is now officially in the telecommunications business, as Google demonstrated Tuesday with the launch of its branded Nexus One smartphone. However, can the same success that saw "Google" become a verb be translated to the burgeoning mobile market? Is there anything in Google's unusual retail strategy that will have consumers saying "Nexus me" when asked what smartphone they want next?Will consumers respond to a phone in which the choice of carrier is secondary, and that can't be test-driven in a network operator's store? The Nexus One is only available online, and the unlocked version is only slightly cheaper than unlocked versions of iPhones, Palm Pres and Motorola Droids.It just raises the question -- "Why?" -- according to 451 Group Research Director Chris Hazelton. "It's not a device that's really notably different than any other Android device," he told the E-Commerce Times. "They say that they tried to build an … [Read more...] about What’s Behind Google’s Strange Nexus One Sales Strategy?
Facebook on Monday announced it was acquiring Onavo, a 3-year-old company that has developed a data compression technology for smartphones, among other things.Based in Israel, Onavo will give Facebook a foothold in a market known for its advanced tech talent base. Onavo's Tel-Aviv office will become Facebook's new Israeli office.While Facebook is clearly interested in global expansion, the driving focus behind this acquisition is most likely Onavo's technologies and the expertise of its 40-some employees. In addition to its mobile utility app, Onavo has launched a mobile market intelligence service based on real engagement data."Our service helps people save money through more efficient use of data and also helps developers, large and small, design better experiences for people," CEOs Guy Rosen and Roi Tiger said in a blog post about the deal. It is a given that most social media companies could benefit from advanced mobile analytics, and that is especially true of Facebook, which is … [Read more...] about Facebook to Set Up Shop in Israel’s Tech Hub
As netbook sales continue to grow, hardware and software vendors are battling to exploit this relatively new market.Intel released a beta software development kit (SDK) in early December for developers who create applications for netbooks based on its Atom chip. These apps will run in the Microsoft Windows and Moblin operating systems. Meanwhile, Google has promised a new netbook operating system (OS) in time for holiday sales next year, while computer vendors such as Asus, Dell and Lenovo are jostling to get their slice of the networking pie.Generally, vendors are positioning the netbook as a second computer -- not as powerful as one's main desktop or hefty notebook, but certainly less expensive and easier to tote around while on the go. Google is also positioning it as a gaming device. Will consumers accept a "less is often good enough" proposition, or will they demand more?In what directions will the netbook category go over the next few years? New features will be driven by … [Read more...] about The Imminent Netbook Explosion
Contrary to popular misconception, Creative Labs was the first company on the market with a hard-drive-based digital music player, the original Nomad Jukebox, which came out initially built around a 6 GB 3.5" hard disk. The Jukebox looked like a portable CD player, which could account for its initial popularity, but the form factor that would later prove to be most popular was the player built in the shape of a notebook computer's smaller hard disk and then later the form factor that Apple and iRiver built their respective players around: the 1.8" drive, slightly smaller than a standard 2.5" laptop drive.When Apple's iPod came out -- the first hard-drive-based player on the market to come in a form factor not much bigger than the hard drive itself -- and quickly dominated the media-player space, Creative Labs, iRiver, Diamond Rio and several other consumer electronics vendors responded with their own versions, like the iRiver iHP-120, a media player that quickly garnered several awards … [Read more...] about EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW iRiver President Jonathan Sasse on Creating the iPod Killer
The death of online privacy had already been proclaimed long before Edward Snowden landed in the international spotlight, but if it wasn't confirmed back then, Snowden's NSA revelations surely must have extinguished the last vestiges of hope in even the most die-hard optimists."We're in a predicament," Phil Zimmermann, Pretty Good Privacy creator and cofounder and president of Silent Circle, told LinuxInsider. "Everything we do on the Internet is being captured in a vast database -- it's a kind of Panopticon."We have to do something about this," added Zimmermann, an Internet Hall of Fame inductee. "We have to push back in policy space as well as use countermeasures like encryption."Public policy changes rarely happen quickly, of course. In the meantime, those countermeasures are looking more and more like users' best bet. "I'd recommend making phone calls with Silent Phone," Zimmermann suggested, and "for email, PGP, GnuPG or something like it."As for other online activities, "there's … [Read more...] about Wiliest Ways to Keep the NSA at Bay
The next iPhone will likely have a fingerprint scanning feature through iOS 7, iOS developer Hamza Sood has tweeted.The tweet has a link to an image that shows several folders, including one titled "BiometricKitui.axbundle."Sood further posted this Vine video showing an iPhone running iOS 7.He is the creator of the free app SiriToggles, a jailbreak that lets Siri launch apps and access the iPhone's Settings app. It's available in the BigBoss repository of the Cydia app store.Apple did not respond to our request to comment for this story.Fingerprint scanning "adds another factor to the authentication process ... [which is] a net good thing" because this makes accounts more secure, Tom Kemp, CEO of Centrify, told MacNewsWorld. "This is, of course, assuming the scanning technology works."Further, fingerprint scanning "combats a major source of security risk associated with passwords, namely password re-use," remarked Brendan Wilson, director of product management at Nok Nok Labs.However, … [Read more...] about iOS 7 May Bring Fingerprint Scanning to the Mainstream
Think iOS 8 is just an expanded version of iOS 7? Take a closer look, and you might think again. For owners of iPhone models from the 4s to the 6 Plus, Apple has introduced not only improvements to familiar features but some altogether new -- and cool -- functionality.Best of all, it's all free.There's something for everyone in this version. Even if you're not quite ready to trade up to the iPhone 6, iOS 8 will make it seem like you have a new phone again.Here's your guide to the most useful and welcome iOS 8 changes to Safari, Spotlight, Notifications, Siri, Find My iPhone and more. Most mobile smartphone users have run into a so-called "mobile" version of a Web page that lacked links, functionality, or just plain sucked. In iOS 8, Apple makes it easy to request the desktop version of the website.All you have to do is tap the URL at the top of the page, then swipe down (in the middle of your screen works well) to reveal an Add to Favorites option and the Request Desktop Site option. … [Read more...] about How to Turbocharge Your iOS 8 Web-Surfing Experience