Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stories I Found Of Interest (weekly)

    • Under the deal, which would have settled a year-old lawsuit, Facebook agreed to give its adult users the right to “limit” how the social-networking site uses their faces in ads under Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories” program. Minors have the ability to completely opt out.

      Sponsored stories basically turns the act of pressing the Facebook “Like” button into a potential commercial endorsement. If a Facebook user clicks the “Like’ button for a product or service with a Facebook page, that user’s profile picture and name may be automatically used in advertisements for that product or service that appear in the their friends’ Facebook pages. Facebook also reserves the right to show such ads on sites other than Facebook.

      We reported last month that the deal provides a glimpse into the dark side of large class-action settlements: The plaintiff’s lawyers get rich, class members get little and non-profit groups often reap millions by urging judges to approve the deal regardless of its merits.
    • Bright Lights is Wall Street's only disruptive technology conference, focusing exclusively on companies MDB believes can transform their industries with game changing technology.

    • A federal appeals court on Thursday revived its decision to uphold Myriad Genetics Inc's patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, after the U.S. Supreme Court told it to take another look at the hotly contested case.
      A 2-1 panel of the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. upheld the biotechnology company's right to patent "isolated" DNA molecules, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, while denying its effort to patent methods directed to "comparing" or "analyzing" DNA sequences
    • NFC in general, meanwhile, is placed firmly in the Trough of Disillusionment with a time to plateau of two to five years
    • Dunkin Donuts is following in the footsteps of rival Starbucks with the launch of its first mobile app, allowing users to pay for coffee and donuts with their smartphone. The app, available for iOS and Android, creates a virtual Dunkin Donuts card, which can be filled by transferring the value of an existing physical Dunkin Donuts Card or it can funded through a credit card or PayPal transaction in the app.
    • Perceptive media” is video or audio content that customizes itself based on data collected about the person or people experiencing it, one way in which we could see Hyper-Personalization
    • Possible uses for the technology include a TV set that would automatically identify a viewer and deliver relevant content, and radio and TV shows that tailor music to individual preferences.
    • a few stand out as tipping point technologies including natural-language question answering and NFC
    • This scenario envisions a cashless world in which every transaction is an electronic one. This will provide enterprises with efficiency and traceability, and consumers with convenience and security. The technologies on the 2012 Hype Cycle that will enable parts of this scenario include NFC payment, mobile over the air (OTA) payment and biometric authentication methods.
      Related technologies will also impact the payment landscape, albeit more indirectly. These include the Internet of Things, mobile application stores and automatic content recognition. The tipping point will be surpassed when NFC payment and mobile OTA payment technologies mature.
    • Analysts predict that 3D printing will take more than five years to mature beyond the niche market
    • Bring your own device (BYOD), 3D printing and social analytics are some of the technologies identified at the Peak of Inflated Expectations in this year's Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle
    • On the 2012 Hype Cycle, Gartner has included autonomous vehicles, mobile robots, Internet of Things, big data, wireless power, complex-event processing, Internet TV, activity streams, machine-to-machine communication services, mesh networks: sensor, home health monitoring and consumer telematics. The technologies and trends that are the tipping points to success include machine-to-machine communication services, mesh networks: sensor, big data, complex-event processing and activity streams
      • Now we’re entering Web 3.0, which is mobile, and we are in the thick of it.  The Mobile Web 3.0 has elements that build upon prior eras, but it also has several distinct and different elements from what’s come before.  Some of these distinct elements of the Mobile Web 3.0 era include:
        • real-time
        • ubiquitous (always connected, always with you)
        • location aware
        • sensors
        • tailored, smaller screen
        • high quality camera and audio
         These elements have two key implications for today’s leaders and tomorrow’s disrupters.
    • Web 2.0 ushered in the social wave.
    • With Mobile Web 3.0, the user experience opens the door for another level of innovation in advertising and promotion. Now technology services have the ability to leverage not just the social graph data from Facebook, but even more real-time / real-world information
    • Downloads and streaming music services such as PANDORA and SPOTIFY are set to pass CD's as the music industry's biggest U.S. revenue source, finds a study from STRATEGY ANALYTICS INC
    • Retail giant Target may consider using bar codes and/or the "near field communication" (NFC) that enables radio communication between phones and other devices that are in close proximity, says Terry Scully, Target's president of financial and retail services
    • t sounds like consumers who utilize the MCX wallet will be able to use it at all the merchant partners, though we’ll have to hear more details to be sure. So far, there is little information about how the actual system will be deployed and how it will work with the current hardware in use with the retailers
    • Google, for example, is trying to get at the purchase data through Google Wallet. But no merchants want to willingly give that up that information.
    • The Police Department itself, for example, just last week unveiled a new “domain awareness” system, developed with Microsoft, that links 3,000 cameras, 2,600 radiation detectors and dozens of license plate readers in six locations and mounted on cars. If officers spot a suspicious package in range of a video camera, for example, they will be able to quickly track who put it there. If a terrorist suspect’s tag number is known, the network will scan passing cars to find it.
    • Walmart, Target, 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Publix, Sears, Shell and Sunoco are amongst a dozen major merchants that have formed a new company called Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) that will provide an alternative to services like Isis and Google Wallet.
    • the founders see MCX becoming a full competitor to mobile payments services like Isis and Google Wallet.
    • the Company continues to explore all strategic alternatives with respect to its majority interest in Medicsight Limited, including the sale or licensing of its global patent portfolio.
    • The Company is also analyzing potential acquisition opportunities in healthcare marketing and technology, as well as various intellectual property assets.
    • Wired magazine says it represents no less than “the next Industrial Revolution.”

      The Economist says it will “disrupt every field in touches.”

      Business Insider calls it “the next trillion-dollar industry.”

      And I personally think it will put an end to seeing so many “Made in China” labels...
    • As a testament to how seriously Bezos takes 3D printing, Bezos, along with two other venture capital groups, helped MakerBot, a seller of consumer 3D printers and the accompanying necessary materials, raise $10 million
    • Users will be able to download a Computer Animated Drawing (CAD) file and print the desired product in their home, or maybe print the product at a regional center kitted with more heavy duty printers capable of printing more complicated objects.
    • The first step would probably be to buy up companies such as Shapeways which are already allowing users to upload designs and customers to then print these designs. Amazon can also create in-house 3D printing and tools on its site to embellish conventional products using its in-house 3D printing. 
    • So my advice: buy stock in Amazon.  Not only did its CEO redefine the book industry; he is also heavily involved in the privatized space industry.  When it comes to 3D printing, which has been hailed the next trillion dollar industry, I would not be surprised if Bezos has already pounced.
    • Nielsen: More Teens Now Listen To Music Through YouTube Than Any Other Source
    • Google’s YouTube is now a more important source of music than radio (54%), iTunes (53%) and CDs (50%)
    • The plaintiffs will seek to prove in court that Hulu violated their privacy by letting third-party companies track their movements across the Internet without their consent. To do so, Hulu allowed an analytics company, KISSmetrics, to place a “cookie” or code on their computers that included names, location preferences and programs watched. That information was in turn conveyed to other companies, from advertising networks to analytics companies to Facebook. “As to Facebook, Hulu included their Facebook IDs, connecting the video content information to Facebook’s personally identifiable user registration information
    • The case could have repercussions for other video streaming services. For instance, Netflix, which allows users to stream movies online, wants to team up with Facebook to allow its users to share what movies they watch with their Facebook friends. Both companies have acknowledged that the Video Privacy Protection Act presents a hurdle. Both are lobbying to overturn the law
    • Big Data is a shorthand label that typically means applying the tools of artificial intelligence, like machine learning, to vast new troves of data beyond that captured in standard databases. The new data sources include Web-browsing data trails, social network communications, sensor data and surveillance data.
    • For concerts, Samsung is working on a system that will let concert goers access shows and events using NFC instead of traditional paper tickets.
        In the auto industry, BMW has built an NFC-enabled car key that can not only unlock an automobile, but also eventually help you book and access hotels room while you're traveling.  
        NFC may be an emerging technology, but it is emerging at a rapid pace. Over the next five years, expect NFC to transform the way we travel, purchase goods and communicate with each other.
    • users with NFC phones can quickly wave their devices over NFC-enabled flyers, advertisements, billboards or movie posters to instantly collect additional information on products or service.
        Businesses can place NFC tags in the entrances to their stores so users can check-in automatically on social networks like foursquare or Facebook, or share details or "Likes" with friends
    • NFC can also be used as a short-range technology to beam files and other content between devices that are close to each other. The functionality could be great for collaboration in corporate environments when sharing documents or for multiplayer gaming.
    • NFC technology could let bus travelers pay for their commutes to work with their mobile devices. Commuters who drive to work could access parking lots and pay for parking with their smartphones. And city residents could get access to public facilities, such as swimming pools or libraries, with a tap of a tablet.
    • a combination of wireless coupons, loyalty cards and payment options
    • NFC tags placed on product shelves will enable consumers to access more personalized information about products when scanning them with an app that integrates their personal profile; for example, if you're allergic to nuts, the product scan could automatically detect if the product contained nuts and alert you...Tap-for-information, tap-to-add-to-basket, tap-for-coupons, and other new usage scenarios will have an increasing impact on the retail industry
    • Here's a look at Forrester's predicted NFC uses along with examples of current, real-world ways that's NFC is already employed by enterprises, governments, academic organizations, marketers, retailers and consumers
    • NFC is currently being tested by a variety of organizations who want to use smartphones as next-generation access cards, which would be an ideal use of the technology in the enterprise
    • Employees could also use NFC-enabled smartphones and other devices to access staff parking areas or cafeterias and pay for services, Forrester says. NFC tags could be placed inside meeting or conference rooms, and attendees could tap their compatible devices to silence them or to turn on Wi-F
    • Chinese companies pull out of US stock markets

      Chinese firms leave US stock markets amid complaints about price, accounting scrutiny

    • "Probably all these companies have some questionable accounting, so they may prefer to move out of the U.S., not to come under too much scrutiny," said Marc Faber, managing director of Hong Kong fund management company Marc Faber Ltd.
    • Aside from tracking the spread of web rumors, the team also successfully tested the algorithm against a cholera outbreak in South Africa (analyzing its spread across both water and human networks) and the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Both times, it was able to identify the sources (among a small list of possibilities, at least) using only a fraction of the publicly available data on those events. Thankfully for Vanilla Ice and others concerned with the spread of information over the web, Pinto’s system has an easier time with that type of data because it’s usually time-stamped, which makes it easier to figure out who was “infected” first.
    • That’s because Pinto and his colleagues at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have developed an algorithm for finding the source of such rumors, as well as viruses (physical and digital) and other maladies, even across highly complex networks.

      Their method, according to an abstract of a paper just published in Physical Review Letters, is ideal for situations where there is relatively little data to work with, and is “based on the principles used by telecommunication towers to pinpoint cell phone users.” Essentially, the algorithm starts by looking at a small collection of points within a network and working back from there to determine the origin, kind of like how investigators can zero in on a cell phone’s location using triangulation. The more connections, or observers, a particular point has, the fewer that are needed to track down the source point.
    • Google Beefs Up Patent Portfolio with Wireless Patents from Proxim
    • Google acquired 58 patents from Proxim Wireless Corporation in an assignment noted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as having been executed on July 9th, 2012, and recorded on August 7th, 2012. The USPTO doesn’t include any of the financial details of the transaction. Proxim Wireless still has a number of patents left in their portfolio, and the Proxim Wireless website is still online.
    • Some say 3D printing will be “bigger than the Internet” and this is probably true. Transportation, parts manufacturers, and a host of other industries will need to adapt, and quickly. Maybe one day auto parts stores will simply be able to print many of the parts you need. This of course leads into the realms of copyrights and patents. How can a manufacturer of an object protect their patents if the object can scanned then printed?  What will governments think about the very real possibility of insurgents or terrorists printing special weapons designed for specific situations?
    • a concrete-style material could be used to "print" structures and walls three times stronger than standard concrete in a process he calls Contour Crafting.
    • costly, slow and labour intensive construction processes will become a thing of the past
    • Printing" concrete works in much the same way as household 3D printers print shapes out of plastic: a pool of raw material is layered into shapes by a "print head", allowed to set quickly, then another layer applied
    • The application of NFC technology with the smartphone will be limitless in the near future. The medical, automotive, military and aerospace industries will benefit greatly,
    • the rectenna can harness power directly from radio waves given off by a mobile phone, converting AC into DC
    • The big advantage over QR codes is is that the tags contain a small computer chip or digital information, operated by DC power
    • The Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout. That's 15 percent higher than its previous forecast.
    • The government still holds 500 million shares of GM stock and needs to sell them for about $53 each to recover its entire $49.5 billion bailout.
    • Even if the Chinese automate their factories with AI-powered robots and manufacture 3D printers, it will no longer make sense to ship raw materials all the way to China to have them assembled into finished products and shipped back to the U.S. Manufacturing will once again become a local industry with products being manufactured near raw materials or markets.
    • In the future manufacturing will thus be relocated to the demand or resource point
    • Cash-strapped and floundering, manufacturers are faced with two real options: embrace China’s new position as a low-cost manufacturing leader and move production lines of superior goods there, and thus improve profitability — or, give in to fully automated production lines which undercut production costs almost everywhere else
    • Low-cost production techniques could soon become so advanced and so low cost — thanks to developments like 3D printing — that even the tiniest salaries in Africa will not make it worthwhile to employ human beings at all.
    • One example of these new technologies is kiosks - similar to airport scanners, that will do a free 10-second body scan for customers. These scanners, available in many U.S. shopping malls, take about 200,000 measurements in 360 degrees using low-power radio waves. The numbers are translated into personalized shopping guides for body size and shape. The kiosk then prints out a list based on the style, size or brand a shopper is interested in. The retailer pays a fee each time they show up in a personalized recommendations list.
    • The confluence of smartphones, 3-D printers, parametric technology and other digital technology will change retailing dramatically, eliminating traditional fitting rooms, check-out lines and expensive inventory and returns
    • As better technology increase the possibilities of online shopping, in-store experiences will likely focus on "touch and feel" experience and leave shipping and payment to the Web. That could mean smaller staff, smaller spaces and smaller inventory.
    • By using an LCD monitor and parametric technology, the Magic Mirror will be able to take clothes you pick and contour them to the shape of your body. Called "augmented reality," this kind of technology aims to put a layer of Internet images and information over your real-world sight
    • With the advent of payment methods such as Square, shoppers will need only their smartphones. Near-Field Communication is a growing technology that allows single taps with a phone to perform certain actions
    • downloading data from the Internet. In the future, they could create "towels, utensils and clothes" as the printers become more sophisticated
    • Predictive data mining: Before you even walk into the store, the clerk may someday know what you are looking to buy based on stats from your tablet and smartphone and from your purchase history.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Want to see what stocks I find that have the competitive advantage in these waves?

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