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RIM Weakens Faster Than Previously Thought, Delays The BlackBerry 10.

While much of the news in the mobile phone industry is usually about mergers and new products, the rise of a new company or the influence of a new technology in smartphones, the days of excitement for the company Research In Motion may be behind them.  Despite having bold plans for the BlackBerry 10 operating system that RIM executives have been promoting as the product that will turn around the company’s cash flow problems, there have been signs that RIM may be too weak to survive until the BlackBerry 10’s release. Read more »


Feel Sorry For Companies And Buy More (Please).

There is a troubling psychology to the business end of the technology and entertainment industries at the moment.  Both the electronics and computers (tech) sector and the entertainment industry are manipulating consumers and it is troubling how long their behavior has gone unreported. Read more »


Before The Release Of BlackBerry 10, RIM May Be DOA

Businesses that endure in the marketplace, by and large, weather trends that are cyclical.  No company has an unfettered ascent; there are adjustments, products that fail to launch the way the company anticipated they would, and economic events unrelated to the particular business that nevertheless impacts the business.  In the tech sector, companies that were once leaders suddenly find the niche they dominated crowded by competitors who devour their market share.  That is where smartphone manufacturer Research In Motion, inventor of the Blackberry, now finds itself. Read more »


RIM Is Making Inexpensive Smartphones Vital In India!

There are, essentially, two ways to sell new technologies in a new market.  The first is to create a device that is entirely indispensible.  Creating a product that consumers feel they absolutely need is a great way to sell millions of units of a product.  The other way to sell new technologies in an emerging market is to reduce prices to move inventory.  It is that approach that Research In Motion is taking in India. Read more »


What You Should Know When Donating/Selling Your Cell Phone!

Like so many industries, the consumer electronics sector has a vibrant secondary market.  Thanks in no small part to Alpha Consumers frequently upgrading and the consumer culture that fosters the mindset that this year’s new products will be obsolete or uncool by next year, the used electronics market has grown in recent years.  Buyers who are more interested in substance than style or who are simply thriftier than their peers can enjoy significant benefits from buying their electronics in gently used condition.  One of the biggest sectors in the electronics secondary market is in cell phones and smartphones.

However, just like when you are considering purchasing a used car, there are some good rules to live by when purchasing a used cell phone or used smartphone.  Both as a buyer and a seller, you should consider the following:

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Teaching Physics (Whether Players Know It Or Not): Cut The Rope Is The Logical Successor To Angry Birds!

Puzzle games are exceptionally popular among casual computer game players.  The rise of smartphones has made video games accessible to a much larger audience. Puzzle games like Hexic and Angry Birds have effectively captivated smartphone users and opened entirely new markets up in the video game industry.  But while Angry Birds has remained comparatively static – Rovio has effectively merchandised Angry Birds beyond the popular game, but not released any new expansions for some time – a new game has come to dominate the puzzle game niche.  That game is Cut The Rope.

Cut The Rope is a physics-based puzzle game similar in several ways to Angry Birds, which might be why it so easily took over the same niche.  Developed by Chillingo, Cut The Rope features bright colors and simple animation that makes it ideal for playing on a smartphone or tablet computer, where one does not need the most advanced monitor to get the most out of the game.  When Chillingo released Cut The Rope to the Apple App Store during the fourth quarter of 2010, it sold three million downloads before the end of that year!  Since its initial release, Chillingo has continued to release Cut The Rope for different video game platforms, as well as a new expansion, Cut The Rope: Experiments.

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The NPD Group Needs A New Methodology

Virtually anyone can manipulate statistics in so many different ways that it is sometimes funny what passes for news using statistics.  As the annual Consumer Electronics Show launched in Las Vegas this year, the NPD Group (formerly National Purchase Diary Group) came out with what appeared to be ominous financial statistics for the technology sector.  This was treated as potentially devastating news among many members of the technology press, most of whom were off covering the Consumer Electronics Show.

Is it possible the technology reporters and bloggers did not actually read the NPD report?  Is it possible that the mainstream media that picked up the story did not understand it?  Either way, the tech sector ought not to be reeling from the NPD Group’s assertion that holiday consumer electronics spending dropped six percent during the holiday shopping season in 2011.

This would actually be news . . . if it were true.

The NPD Group’s methodology in determining that consumer electronics sales dropped is a flawed one.  In fact, they use methodology so flawed as to make the results meaningless.  The NPD report states that total consumer technology sales “excluding cell phones, tablets, e-readers, and video games” dropped.  What?!  Why is anyone taking the report seriously when it excludes some of the biggest consumer spending items of the holiday season?!  Every major poll in every single respectable publication put the Amazon Kindle Fire at the top of both “most wanted” and “most purchased” gift lists.  The Apple iPad was also a highly sought-after and delivered gift.

Saying that consumer electronic spending is down without including tablets, e-readers and video games, is like saying that cars are being pulled over less by police . . . when red and black cars are excluded.  Given that red and black cars comprise the greatest number of cars on the road in the United States, any statistic correlating cars and car color is worthless without including them.  So, too, is a statistic about holiday spending on consumer electronics that omits the most popular consumer electronics of the holiday season!

Why did the NPD release such a worthless statistic?  To be fair, the data is virtually impossible to come by.  Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped about how many of its e-readers have sold, and, with the Kindle Fire, they have been characteristically opaque.  Apple is also less eager to release its sales figures on tablet computers, though it is widely predicted that when you consider tablets a personal computers, Apple is now the largest PC manufacturer on Earth.

Regardless of what the NPD wants consumers to think, ten days in the 2011 holiday shopping season saw billion dollar sales, which is more than any other holiday season ever before.  To think that consumer electronics like tablets, e-readers and video games did not contribute tremendously to that is naïve.

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit https://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


Mobile Commons: The Short Message Service Of The Future!

As the United States comes into another election year, political activism is once more on the rise.  But for those for whom politics is more than just an every-four-year event, new technologies are making their political activism more effective.  One of the relatively new technologies used by activists is the Short Message Service.  Among the various Short Message Services, Mobile Commons stands out for its effectiveness.

Mobile Commons is a marketing platform designed for smartphone users.  The Internet-based application acts as a social network that allows you to connect your smartphone to the smartphones of all of your friends.  Then, when you have an important issue that you need transmitted through your networks, the Mobile Commons application acts as a Short Message Service.  As an SMS, Mobile Commons helps transmit both messages – via the phone portion of your smartphone – and text documents to everyone with whom you have a relationship.

The benefit of the Mobile Commons application to political activists is almost self-evident.  As soon as you learn of an issue that affects the people in your network, you may inform them all simultaneously using Mobile Commons.  But as important, as a leader of a group, you may help guide the group to a specific course of action using Mobile Commons.  Using Mobile Commons, you may draft a form letter to your Representative or Senator (or any person you need to get a message to) and send it with your voice message.  As a result, within minutes of learning of a bill, news event or other political controversy, you and your entire network can spread the word and tell those people in power exactly what you want them to do!

Mobile Commons is not limited to just political activism in its usefulness as an application.  Large families may benefit from using Mobile Commons.  For example, if your large family is in the process of becoming even larger, Mobile Commons can be an invaluable tool.  You may use Mobile Commons to send everyone in your family network announcements about new births or other vital family events and attach photos of the new baby.  Using Mobile Commons, members of your family network may then spread the good news and pictures with people in their lives.

There are many applications that allow networking and sharing, but Mobile Commons puts it together in a very effective, easy-to-use platform that has a proven record of success.  That makes Mobile Connect very cool for activists and genuinely social people.

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit https://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


Can Dwolla Become The New PayPal?

The odds are good that if you have done any sort of financial transaction on the Internet, you have a PayPal account.  The spin-off of eBay has helped make eBay even more money than the auction site was making on its own.  By charging anyone who received money through PayPal, the financial company has generated enough revenue for itself to make PayPal a multi-billion dollar company.  PayPal has become the online financial powerhouse it has by taking money out of small businesses – like independent vendors who sell on eBay – and from the multi-billion dollar banking and credit card industries.  Now, Dwolla is entering the market to take a bite out of the credit card companies and PayPal.

It is about time.

Dwolla is using new technologies to provide its users with direct access to their bank accounts while protecting their private information.  The stated goal of Dwolla is to provide the flexibility of cash for the virtual world of the Internet.  Your Dwolla account is intended to give you a common source of payment online and in the real world without ever having to touch cash again.

What makes Dwolla different is its security and transparency.  Dwolla has unprecedented security controls that prevent identity theft by keeping your account numbers from ever getting to identity thieves.  In this way, Dwolla is very much like PayPal.  Unlike PayPal, Dwolla’s privacy controls allow users to restrict how much information is available to those they pay through the service.  With PayPal, you have access to quite a bit of information – at the very least e-mail address, name and address – of the person with whom you are doing business.  While that makes sense for virtual transactions that involve physical items shipped between two people, it makes less sense for charity donations and person-to-person transactions.

The real difference with Dwolla is in its fee structure.  Users pay $3.00 a month for their Dwolla account, which gives them access to a $500 line of credit and instant access to their own bank account.  If you use credit money and you do not pay it off by the end of the month, there are fees.  However, Dwolla encourages the small sales.  By eliminating transaction fees on all purchases less than $10, Dwolla fosters support for the small transactions that have been becoming more costly with each passing year.  The CEO of Dwolla argues that transactions like paying for a cup of coffee with your credit card are forcing vendors to charge more for their products and services.

Dwolla wants to turn that tide and help users get the most out of the money that should, by rights, be theirs.  The $.25 transaction fee on all charges above $10 is minimal when compared to PayPal’s oppressive fee scheme.  That is probably why eBay will resist incorporating Dwolla for as long as it legally can.

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit https://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


Privacy or Progress: Where Should We Draw the Line?

Yet again, big names in the technology world are getting heat for wandering into the still grey area of online privacy. As most of our communication rapidly shifts into the cyber medium, and as we continue abandoning communication methods that can’t keep up with the powerful, interconnected nature of smartphones, tablets, and computers, we might as well get used to constantly hearing about privacy and Internet security issues.

In a milestone step in the debate over data collection and transparency, Facebook recently reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission about how Facebook now has to clearly ask users to opt-in to its new programs, as opposed to changing privacy settings without anyone knowing. The move doesn’t affect the social network giant’s past actions, but it does threaten to fine the company $16,000 a day for future violations. Well, that’s a relief, at least partly. It’s good to know that someone in the government is looking out for us. Similarly, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s office is currently subjecting the company’s international headquarters in Ireland to an audit based on user concerns over the amount of information that the company stores on users. Once, again, good on you, Irish authorities.

Android developer Trevor Eckhart recently exposed an equally serious threat to user privacy. The threat comes in the form of a built-in app called CarrierIQ that runs on most Android, BlackBerry and Nokia devices. The app records immense amounts of data on smartphone users such as keystrokes and locations without asking permission first. The supposed aim of the app is to provide carriers and developers with data to better manufacture their products, according to The Atlantic Wire.

After an intense back-and-forth between Eckhart and the app’s developer in which the latter denied Eckhart’s claim and ordered him to cease-and-desist from discussing the app in the blogosphere, Eckhart finally showed in detail how the company was violating users’ privacy. So now we are faced with a new problem; not only are companies spying on people under the guise of product development, but they’re also denying it. This adds a whole new level of eeriness to the increasingly powerful technological big brother.

In many ways, the invasion of our Internet and technological privacy is necessary for the continued development of technology based on user trends and the likes. Atlantic Wire’s article presents a very interesting dilemma that we now face. The question, then, becomes, where do we draw the line? Do we stop now and slow down technological advancement, or should we let Facebook, Google, apps likes Carrier IQ, among many others to read us like open books, all in the name of progress? You see, there’s no easy answer.

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit https://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


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