November 26 – December 2, 2012

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This week’s headline story: The holiday cyber shopping season has begun!

The holiday shopping season has officially begun, and more and more shoppers are avoiding traffic by shopping online. Cyber Monday’s online sales broke records this year, clocking in at 30 percent higher than 2011. Mobile commerce was the star of Cyber Monday making up 13 percent of the total $1.5 billion in online sales. Referrals from social networks played a much lesser role, resulting in only 2 percent of online sales. “We are seeing a surge in online shopping and traffic as [all types] of online retailers compete and promote heavily,” Brian Walker, senior vice president at Hybris.

Mobile Makes Its Mark on $1.5B Cyber Monday [Ecommerce Times]

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • South Korea prides itself on being on the leading edge of technology use, and being one of the most wired countries in the world. While the high level of technology has served South Korea’s economy very well, it may be taking a toll on its citizens. Across the entire population, South Korea’s government estimates that 2.55 million South Koreans have become addicted to smartphones, using the devices for 8 hours a day or more.
    Wired South Korea To Stem Digital Addiction from Age 3 [NewsFactor]
  • Conflict in Syria has reached a fevered pitch as rebels have been trying to push their way back into the capital city, Damascus, and opposition fighters are battling government troops near the city’s international airport. In an effort to regain some control, and disrupt rebel communication, the Syrian government shut down cellular networks and the Internet for two days this past week.
    Amid Turmoil, Syria Cuts Internet Access Nationwide [NewsFactor]
  • General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, told a crowd at a tech conference in San Francisco, that 2013 will be the year “when manufacturing becomes sexy again.” Immelt predicts that 3-D printing and additive manufacturing will revolutionize manufacturing by reducing the cost and time it takes to make products. As manufacturing becomes increasingly digitized, GE intends to become much more active in software development to run the new generation of sophisticate manufacturing devices.
    Immelt: 2013 Is the Year Manufacturing Gets Sexy [MIT Technology Review]
  • In somewhat of an endorsement of Immelt’s prediction, Staples has announced that it will soon roll out an in-store 3D printing service. The service, which is called Staples Easy 3D, will allow customers to print colored, photo-realistic 3D printed products by uploading electronic files to the Staples Office Center. The 3D output can be picked up at a nearby Staples store, or shipped to a customer’s address. Customers are expected to create 3D customized parts, prototypes, art objects, architectural models, medical models, tools, machine components, robot parts, or 3D maps, among other purposes.
    Staples Will Offer In-Store 3D Printing [NewsFactor]
  • Were you one of the millions of Facebook users who copied and pasted a disclaimer on your Facebook Timeline to enhance your privacy rights? If so, you were taken in by a hoax. While it wasn’t an especially cruel hoax, and actually served to show Facebook how serious some users are about privacy, posting the legal notice does not provide you with any legal power. Users are legally bound by Facebook’s privacy policy which they agree to when they join Facebook. Facebooks policy states that Facebook users own their own data, subject to their privacy policy settings, and when they delete data, Facebook no longer has any control over it.
    Facebook Addresses Privacy ‘Disclaimer’ Hoax [NewsFactor]

and in Information Security news this week…

  • Georgia Tech has released its cyber threats forecast for 2013. Researchers there predict that the year ahead will feature new and increasingly sophisticated means to capture and exploit user data, escalating battles over the control of online information and continuous threats to the U.S. supply chain from global sources. More specifically they predict that hackers will begin co-opting cloud resources to serve in botnets, also that browser search history tools will be hijacked to spread malware, that mobile browsers and mobile wallets will become a primary target for hackers, and that malware will become increasingly difficult to detect and eradicate.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Consumer Reports has concluded its survey of the telecom market and has found that Verizon has the largest LTE footprint, covering 300 million users – twice that of AT&T. AT&T, however, has the best LTE service, and Consumer Cellular, popular with retired subscribers, has the best overall standard service.
    Consumer Reports Grades Wireless Carriers [NewsFactor]
  • The success that Microsoft has found with its Surface tablet, has the company considering a phone. Foxconn International Holdings, manufacturer of the iPhone, has reportedly received orders from Microsoft for handsets that will be released in mid-2013 and will bear the Microsoft Surface brand.
    Microsoft Not Sitting Still with Win 8, May Intro Surface Phone [NewsFactor]
  • Nokia’s Lumia 920, the most popular Windows Phone 8 handset, is growing in popularity. Both Amazon, and AT&T are having difficulties meeting customer demand for the handset.
    Nokia’s Lumia 920 an Apparent Hot Item, Selling Out on Amazon [NewsFactor]
  • Apple’s personal assistant app Siri, is getting a driver’s license. Siri will be integrated into the in-dash MyLink “infotainment” system of the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic models. Drivers that own a iPhone running iOS6, and link it to their car, will be able to press a button on the steering wheel to ask Siri a question.
    Apple and Chevy To Take Siri on the Road [NewsFactor]
  • Google isn’t the only big company experimenting with augmented reality smart glasses. It was recently discovered that Microsoft submitted a patent for digital glasses that overlay information on top of the user’s view of the world, back in 2011. The patent describes how the eyewear could be used to bring up statistics over a wearer’s view of a baseball game or details of characters in a play.
    Microsoft files patent for augmented reality smart glasses [BBC]

and finally….

  • Google wants to improve its mobile search services by automatically delivering information that users wouldn’t’t think to search for online. In order to discover what users search for offline, Google has recruited 150 individuals who are queried randomly by mobile phone throughout the day to find out what they are thinking, and wondering. By learning what activities these individuals are engaged in throughout the day, and what kinds of questions arise in those contexts, Google hopes to develop services that anticipate the users needs and provide information that is relevant.
    How Google Plans to Find the UnGoogleable [Technology Review]

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