- Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 03:21
Verizon Wireless already sells its customers' mobile data to marketers. Now European enterprise-software giant SAP is taking things a step further by testing a service that will sell data collected by a number of wireless providers.
SAP announced its Consumer Insight 365 mobile service Tuesday at the CTIA 2013 wireless show in Las Vegas. The service will, the company said in a release, pull data from SAP's "extensive partner network" including "over 990 mobile operators;" aggregate and analyze it "without drilling down into user-specific information;" and make results available to subscribers through a Web portal.
The data could, for example, combine information on where mobile users are, with info on what links they're clicking in those places.
In a report earlier today, The Wall Street Journal offered up one potential use scenario: "Retailers worried about 'showrooming'" -- or customers handling products that they'll later buy via the Web -- "can find out what Web sites people visit on their phones when they're in their stores." The Journal said SAP will share profits from the service with the mobile operators that provide data. The paper also reported that SAP hasn't said which mobile operators, specifically, it's working with.
SAP says in its release that "this market intelligence will ultimately allow brands to strengthen relationships with consumers through more targeted and context-specific marketing efforts.
- Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:04
Power utilities in the U.S. are constantly under daily cyberattacks, according to report (pdf) released Tuesday by Congressmen Ed Markey and Henry Waxman. Out of about 160 utilities surveyed in the 35-page report, more than a dozen reported "daily," "constant," or "frequent" attempted cyberattacks on their computer systems.
"Grid operations and control systems are increasingly automated, incorporate two-way communications, and are connected to the Internet or other computer networks," the report says. "While these improvements have allowed for critical modernization of the grid, this increased interconnectivity has made the grid more vulnerable to remote cyber attacks."
U.S. lawmakers have been ramping up public attention over the past few months about to the need to protect the country's power grid from hackers. If power utilities, water infrastructure, or transportation networks were taken down in a cyberattack, the country's day-today operations could be crippled.
According to the report, power disturbances and outages already have major economic ramifications. Currently, power failures are estimated to cost the U.S. between $119 and $188 billion per year.
In January, the head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that she believed a "cyber 9/11" could happen "imminently." Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has also echoed these words -- during his first major policy speech on cybersecurity last October, he said that the United States is facing the possibility of a "cyber-Pearl Harbor" perpetrated by foreign hackers.
- Published on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 19:10
REDMOND, Wash. -- Perhaps the most telling detail of Microsoft's media event to unveil the new Xbox One was the fact that the company didn't even get around to talking about gaming until halfway through the presentation.
It's hard to overstate the significance of that. Microsoft sees the Xbox One, more than any other version of the Xbox, as a device for everyone, not just hardcore gamers. There's no doubt Microsoft was pushing into that direction, even with the original Xbox that debuted in 2001.
But Microsoft's focus during the Xbox One event demonstrates the company's bid to secure a digital hub in living rooms from which consumers will use all sorts of other Microsoft technologies. It's the centerpiece of Microsoft consumer devices and services strategy.
When Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business group, took the stage today, he talked first about the company's efforts to "harmonize" the living room, where technology remains "fragmented." Those are the marching orders for the Xbox One.
"Team Xbox is on a new mission," Mattrick said, adding that the console is the "ultimate all-in-one-home entertainment system.
- Published on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 18:03
The Xbox One may primarily be a gaming console, but one of the major focuses of Microsoft's press event was OneGuide: the Xbox One's new interface for navigating your live TV content.
By including an HDMI input, The Xbox One can integrate cable TV content right into the Xbox Dashboard, serving up a prettier grid of channels than what your clunky cable box offers. It's not all that different from Google's major living room initiative -- Google TV -- and the Xbox One faces some of the same challenges if it truly wants to be the "One" box to rule your living room.
1. What cable/satellite providers are supported?
Comcast got a shout out during the press event, but otherwise Microsoft hasn't gotten specific about what cable and satellite providers are supported with the Xbox One's TV functionality. Microsoft's current response in its list of Xbox One FAQs isn't inspiring either:
Q: Do I need to have a specific cable or satellite TV provider to watch live TV on Xbox?
A: Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that's television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box (as is the case with many providers in the US).
- Published on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 18:02
It's the most golden hotel perk since gold-bar vending machines: gold iPads.
As if the Rolls Royce and helicopter services weren't enough, guests at Dubai's opulent Burj Al Arab now have access to gold-plated iPads.
The 24-karat tablets are engraved with the property's logo on the back, which also features a black Apple logo. Ironically enough, the hotel chain's slogan is "Stay different."
The iPads, meant to act as "virtual concierges," are loaded with Interactive Customer Experience (ICE) software that gives guests information on services such as dining options at the landmark property.
The iPads were produced by Gold & Co. of London, which made a 24-karat rose-gold iPad for the hotel last October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"The Gold & Co. London 24-carat gold iPad is the ultimate in luxury accessories, hence we wanted it to be paired with Burj Al Arab, the world's most luxurious hotel," Amjad Ali, CEO of Gold & Co. London, said in a release. "The symmetry is obvious, as both the gold iPad and the hotel are unique in terms of extraordinary quality and design."
The glittering iPads will be on sale for about $10,200 in the hotel's boutique, which also sells a gold iPad mini, gold iPhone 5, and gold BlackBerry Q10.
Gold & Co. of London has produced a number of eye-popping uber-luxurious gadgets with the yellow metal. Check them out in the gallery below.