Consumer Electronics Show stage set for new wave of gadgets

The Consumer Electronics Show hopes to be a launch pad for a new must-have device as spending on new gadgets drops as the whole world is seem to be drowned with smartphones and tablets.

Starting Tuesday, CES promises to showcase an “Internet of Things” with users at its heart.

The technology extravaganza that held yearly in the glitz-laden city of Las Vegas has developed beyond the eye-popping television technology for which is popular, to serve as a stage for once-dumb devices given brains in the form of computer chips and Internet connections.

“You will see two types of technology here,” Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association which puts on the international show, said Sunday.

“You will see the technologically feasible and the ones that are commercially viable.”

Innovations on display except prime for market will include bendable screens.

Potentially troublesome technology that is available like 3D printers that let users print objects in a fashion alike to printing documents.

“It is still a very nascent market, but we are starting to see it grow,” DuBravac said.

The CES stage is usually a key showcase for gizmos that don’t normally get a attention.

“You will see a lot about the Internet of things; all the gadgets that are not a tablet, smartphone or personal computer but are attached to the Internet,” said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.

“Like your car telling you that you are speeding too much or door locks that you unlock with a smartphone. There are all kinds of gadgety things like that we will see.”

A driver of the hot CES trend of wearable computers like bracelets or pendants that track wearers’ activities or health is proliferation of low-cost sensors.

Sensors in cars assist drivers to park or allow cruise-control features to adapt speed depending on traffic, at the same time as Internet-linked thermostats in homes can detect when residents’ smartphones are nearing and adjust temperatures when they arrived. The door locks with wireless connectivity and sensors can open automatically for people arriving home, or be controlled remotely using smartphones.

As a result, protecting personal information gathered by sensors is “certainly on the radar for all manufacturers at CES,” according to DuBravac.

“I almost wonder sometimes if privacy is an anomaly instead of the other way around,” DuBravac said, noting that in small towns of days gone by everyone seemed to know everyone else’s doings.

“If I can get a richer experience by sharing my data, that is a fair trade-off,” he suggested.

The newest in television ultra-high definition screens will be on display, however analysts predicted them to land in the market with a thud alike to that made by 3-D televisions.

“Your television gets a zillion more pixels, but most people won’t be able to notice the difference,” Gillett said, though DuBravac expects scores of Ultra HD television announcements at CES.

UItra HD television is made to benefit from ease of use of rich content at online venues lnaming Netflix, YouTube as well as from major film studios.

The global market for technology hit a record high of $1.068 trillion in 2013 powered by uptake in smartphones and tablets, according to Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis at the Consumer Electronics Association.

He predicts that the amount would fall a little this year and level off at $1.055 trillion.

“North America is no longer in the lead in terms of technology spending,” Koenig said.

“The spending coming on line in Asia has sealed the deal in terms of leadership and America will have to settle for number two. Simply put, there is strength in numbers in China.”

Astonishingly, 43 cents of every dollar spent on consumer electronics this year was forecasted to go on smartphones and tablets.

“We are now awaiting that next wave of innovation, and that is really what CES is all about,” Koenig added.

Take pictures using Google Glass without anyone knowing

Soon everyone would be wearing glasses while surfing the net, check messages, and pretend we work at Google.

But still others are anxious that the glasses present too much opportunity to photograph or film people sneakily.

But according to the defenders of the Google faith point out that no, no, you can tell when the glasses are in use. There’s a light that beams to the world.

A perverse few find this unfortunate as they wanted to use this in a mischief way. They want to be cleverer than thou and more creepy than thou.

Then there is the very fine Google Glass 3D Printed Sunshade.

Chris Barrett is the inventor of this Google Glass 3D Printed Sunshade, a PR man who has made some hay by being a Google Glass explorer and, well, exploring the boundaries of life and taste.

It was he who was first to film an arrest using his new glasses. Then he was also responsible as the man who wandered into an Atlantic City casino beglassed. Bon Jovi’s keyboard player even wore Barrett’s goggles during a show as in what seemed then as the apogee of Glassing fame.

Barrett, though, was having personal issues with his eyepiece like according to him that he was having trouble seeing the graphics when it was sunny.

So his solution was to get together with Next Fab Studio. As one, they created the 3D Printed Sunshade.

He’d tried wearing a hat, but that didn’t really work. So he came up with the solution with the Sunshade, he’s happy, as will be those who can download the open-source code.

One feature of the Sunshade is that it hides the light that tells you Google Glass is in use. Making you free to shoot whatever you like, whenever you like, and from whatever angle you can get your head around.

Accused of encouraging sneakiness, Barrett repeated that his only motivation had been poor visibility during sunny days. He said: “I did not create the Sunshade to be sneaky. The 3D printed Sunshade does make Glass less noticeable. Less people ask me what I’m wearing when they can’t see the prism light up.”

Every new technology creates aspects that the good-hearted wish didn’t exist. It sometimes as though it is otherwise whether the good-hearted are so enamored of the technology that they choose to enjoy a little denial.

Barrett insisted: “With any new technology like Glass or a wearable watch with a camera, it’s up to the user to decide how and when he or she will use the camera to record video or take photographs.”

Google Glass is not a stingy invention except Barrett’s Sunshade has now given a eyeful of glee to those whose core interests might upset many.

Samsung Fined For Paying People to Criticize HTC’s Products

HTCIf you are planning to buy a new smartphone or laptop, you look up internet reviews and customer ratings to check out what device is best for you. But remember not to always believe everything you read on the internet. Samsung was fined $340,300 by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission for paying people to post messages online that attacked HTC products at the same time as they flattered Samsung’s.

The site lists almost 4,000 examples of these kinds of assaults, with a lot of instigating on the Chinese message forum Mobile 01. People on Mobile 01 are permitted to state their love of Samsung or detest of HTC, but Samsung openly paid them to make these types of posts, in spite of. This approach is also known as astroturfing because it emulates a grass-roots campaign, but is completely fake and unnatural.

Sun Lih-chyun, a spokesman for the Taiwan FTC, said that Samsung’s astroturfing was the first case of its kind in the country. “The deceitful behavior has negative impacts on market order and violated the fair trade law,” he said, as reported by the wire news service AFP.

“We are disappointed that the Taiwan FTC has decided that we have violated the Fair Trade Act based on online marketing activities,” said a spokesman for Samsung. “Samsung Electronics Taiwan is carefully reviewing the decision and will take all necessary steps to protect our reputation as a company which values its customers.

Astroturfing doesn’t only take place with companies overseas. Lately, the online reviews site Yelpsued the McMillan Law Group in San Diego for astroturfing when it shaped fake positive reviews from nonexistent clients.

Sinan Aral, an associate professor of IT and marketing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the effects of those fake reviews might be felt long after they’re removed. His research found that positive reviews, regardless of whether they’re fake or genuine, snowball into more positive reviews. “It has this kind of insidious effect,” he told ABC News. “Yelp might go and pluck those fake reviews out, but all of the subsequent reviews are influenced to be more positive.

If a business in the states gets caught astroturfing while Yelp instituted its own policies, customers can also choose to report it to the Better Business Bureau.

“Online reviews may represent a new medium, but the principles of honest advertising are longstanding,” said Katherine Hutt, a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau. “The Federal Trade Commission has had guidelines in place for nearly 40 years that make it clear that astroturfing is an unacceptable business practice. Ultimately, only businesses that meet our standards can remain accredited by the Better Business Bureau.”

While Aral’s research also says that fake negative reviews don’t spiral into more negative reviews because of an online community’s tendency to neutralize negative feedback, he says that it’s important for all reviewers to be honest. “The bottom line is that ratings and consumer feedback is a centerpiece of e-commerce,” he said. “We have to be really attuned and sensitive to detecting fraud.

Samsung Aspires 20nm-Class DDR4 at the Data Center

This month of September, Samsung said it is now mass producing DDR4 memory based on 20nm-class process technology, this means that the process tech node is somewhere between 20 and 30nm. The objective of these high-density modules is enterprise servers in next generation, large scale data centers and other applications. This enterprise service relies on higher performance and reduced costs stemming from lower power consumption.

The adoption of ultra-high-speed DDR4 in next-generation server systems this year will initiate a push toward advanced premium memory across the enterprise,” said Young-Hyun Jun, Executive Vice President, Memory Sales & Marketing, Samsung Electronics.

Samsung said early market availability of the 4 Gb (512 MB) DDR4 20 nm-class chips will facilitate demand for 16 GB and 32 GB memory modules/sticks. For a further analysis of its viewpoint, it supposed to be taking 64 of these new 4 Gb chips to produce a 32 GB stick of DDR4 RAM — 32 chips for the 16 GB modules.

According to the company, its new 4 Gb chip is the smallest and highest performing device yet, providing transfer speeds up to 2,667 Mbps. It is an increase of 25% over the top speed on an equivalent DDR3 model currently offered on the market.

The company said, the new DDR4 device also consumes 30 percent less power than DDR3, making it the ideal solution for the rapidly expanding data center sector. Thus, by adopting DDR4 memory technology early, OEMs can minimize operational costs and maximize performance to provide more favorable returns on investments.

The 2012 issue of DDR4 standard is dissimilar from DDR3 that being said, instead of using a multi-drop bus that permits several memory sticks to sit in the same memory channel. This new tech uses a point-to-point bus to the controller, limiting one stick to one RAM channel. Therefore, a dual-channel setup should only physically allow for two DDR4 modules, one in each channel.

After providing cutting-edge performance with our timely supply of 16 GB DDR3 earlier this year, we are continuing to extend the premium server market in 2013 and will now focus on higher density and added performance with 32 GB DDR4, and contribute to even greater growth of the green IT market in 2014,” Jun added.

Revenue down in Q2 2013 while Worldwide Server Shipments Up

IBM leads the worldwide server market in Q2 2013, claiming a 25.6 percent share with a revenue of $3.156 billion USD, Gartner reports. As per the same quarter in 2012, that number is actually down 9.7 percent from a 27.2 percent market share and a revenue of $3.496 billion USD. Both HP and Oracle saw a decline year-over-year while Dell, Cisco, and another of others saw growth.

Whereas the general server market revenue drops to 3.8% in the second quarter, worldwide server shipments actually elevated 4 percent year-over-year. Inspur Electronics saw the most shipments, up 211.8 percent with 20,960 shipments in 2012 and 65,350 shipments in 2013. Only with distant second, Cisco came next with a 58.5 percent increase year-over-year then followed by “others” (14.4 percent) and Dell (1.7 percent). IBM shipments fell 8 percent year-over-year and HP dropped 13.6 percent.

Despite HP’s drop in server shipments, the company remained the worldwide market leader in Q2 2013 with a 23.9 percent market share and 586,857 shipments. Dell with a 22.4 market share came in at a close second followed by IBM (8.5 percent), Cisco (3.2), and Inspur Electronics (2.7 percent). According to Gartner reports that Inspur entered the top five thanks to a significant High-performance Computing (HPC) deal that it won in its native China during the quarter.

In terms of server form factors, x86 blade servers declined by 3 percent in shipments and 4.5 percent in revenue for the quarter,” the firm said. “The x86 rack-optimized form factor climbed 3.9 percent in shipments and 2.4 percent in revenue for the second quarter.

Server shipments decline 5.9 percent in Q2 2013 weigh against to Q2 2012, with server shipments reaching 550,537 units particularly in the European, Middle Eastern, and African regions (EMEA). HP led the server market in this region, shipping 222,016 units and owning 40.30 percent of the market. Dell followed with 114,057 shipments as well as IBM (47,550), Fujitsu (24,325) and Cisco (14,484).

Regarding the revenue during the same quarter, HP is still leading the pack with $1.045 billion USD, then IBM with the raking in $834.8 million USD followed by Dell ($434.9 million), Oracle ($193.5 million), and Fujitsu ($175.8 million) — revenue for all others combined was $426.5 million USD. From the top five to show revenue growth, Dell and Fujitsu remained the only two vendors. The EMEA market lacks the hyperscale segment growth that other regions benefit from, Gartner said.

In the second quarter of 2013, x86 server revenue decreased 4.7 percent in EMEA, while RISC/Itanium UNIX revenue fell 22.6 percent,” the firm said. “Revenue for the ‘other’ CPU segment grew 44.3 percent. The RISC/Itanium UNIX segment continued to suffer from migrations to alternative platforms as users sought lower cost alternatives and more flexibility. The ‘other’ CPU category, which is primarily driven by mainframes, saw a double-digit increase thanks to platform refreshes.

Adrian O’Connell, research director at Gartner, said that weak enterprise demand, combined with consolidation and platform migration, continued to dampen the EMEA server market during Q2 2013. Recognized vendors like HP, Dell, and IBM were also gradually more challenged. These challenges are relatively-new vendors such as Cisco and local OEMs like Huawei and the current worldwide PC market leader Lenovo. ODMs selling directly to large end-users also posed as a problem for the larger companies.