Damian Radcliffe

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links: mid-March 2011 to mid-April 2011

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on April 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Tablets

US cable operator Cablevision Systems has launched an iPad app allowing subscribers to its Optimum package to watch some 300 TV channels via the tablet device at home. Content is delivered via the group’s cable network, offering access to owners of non-web enabled iPads.
 

Carphone Warehouse is scaling back laptop sales, with the devices likely to be dropped completely from some stores as the retailer increases its focus on tablets.

iPlayer streaming requests via the iPad were up 22% month-on-month in February at 2.1m following the launch of its dedicated app.
 

Mobile

Android handsetsare the most popular smartphones in the UK. A survey for digital banking provider Intelligent Environments found that some 28% of smartphone users in the UK own an Android, while 26% have an iPhone and 14% rely on a BlackBerry.

Samsung, the world’s second largest mobiles maker, said it aims to become one of the top three network equipment manufacturers by 2015, forecasting the global market for 4G LTE equipment will grow four-fold from $3bn this year to $12bn in 2014.
 

Global smartphone shipments will grow 50% this year to pass the 450m units mark.

Smartphones using the Windows Phone 7 platform predicted to surpass the iPhone by 2015. IDC said Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia will see the Windows Phone share of the market jump from 5.5% this year to 21% within four years.

China Mobile user numbers climbed to 584m by the end of last year, including 20.7m 3G customers. Full-year profits climbed 3.9% to US$18.2bn, on revenues up 7.3%.
 

iPhone vs. Android – 45,000 Tests Prove Whose Browser is Faster  Key Findings: Android 52% faster on average, iPhone slower on 84% of sites, Android even faster on non-mobile sites.

Spend on mobile media grew 116% year-on-year in 2010 to £83m.

 

News

Five must-see presentations on digital news

New York Times‘ New Paywall vs. WSJ and Newsday

The best infographics for understanding the crisis in Japan

The percentage of people who say they get news online at least three times a week surpassed newspapers for the first time. In December, 41% of Americans said they got most of their news about national issues on the internet – up from 17% a year earlier. The report, by Pew, also revealed that newsroom staff numbers have fallen by 30% since 2000.
 

Google

Google is to start using more private data on Gmail users’ interests in a move towards “interest-based advertising”. Google said the use of behavioural targeting will allow it to establish profiles of users and serve more relevant advertising, users who do not want their emails scanned will be able to opt out of the system.
 

Google has been named the most successful digital media company in the US in a list compiled by paidContent. The top 50 list, which is based on digital sales, has Yahoo! next and Apple third. Microsoft and Netflix made up the top five companies bringing in the most money from online content and advertising.

 

Social Media – General

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media – Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda.

Social media most popular UK online destination – according Experian Hitwise.

 

Social Media – Facebook

Experian Hitwise figures showed Facebook was the most commonly searched-for brand in the UK last year, ahead of eBay and Amazon, with the BBC fifth and Sky seventh.
 

Social media service GetGlue has struck a deal with NBC Universal for users to receive virtual rewards when they alert friends that they are watching its shows via Facebook.

15 Most Engaged Pages On Facebook

Facebook is launching a site for creative ad agencies to discuss ideas and campaigns.
 

Social Media – LinkedIn

LinkedInsays new members are joining at a rate of one per second, it now has more than 100m users.

 

Social Media – Twitter

Twitter celebrated its fifth birthday, saying users send an average of 1bn tweets per week, with daily activity up 180% on a year ago.
 

TV & Video

YouTube has almost tripled session time over the past few years after working on its recommendation technology to improve relevance.

Research group In-Stat said it anticipates about 100 linear 3D channels will have been launched globally by 2014, with competition between pay-TV groups proving the driver.
 

US online video consumers was up just 3.1% year-on-year in January, however average viewing time was 45% higher than the previous year at 4h 39m, driven by the increasing popularity of long-form content.

 

Technology

A study by network measurement firm Epitiro found web users relying on home WiFi connections achieve significantly slower speeds than from fixed broadband, but appear willing to sacrifice performance for flexibility.
 

Using carbon nanotubes rather than metal wires to access digital memory in mobiles and laptops could cut power consumption and boost battery life by up to 100 times, raising the prospect of handsets that can run for months between charges.
 

BBC World Service is to receive a “significant” sum of money from the US government towards helping stop the blocking of internet and TV services in countries such as Iran and China.

Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence argued increasing data volumes can be a hindrance to business leaders attempting to establish a clear picture of industry trends. He said: “The amount of data is obscene. The managers that are going to be successful are going to be the ones who are prepared to take a knife to the amount of data… Otherwise, it’s like a virus.”

links for 2011-04-27

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2011 at 2:02 am
  • Facebook will unveil its group deals program tonight in 5 US cities according to an embargo-breaking slip-up by the New York Times caught by TechCrunch. Facebook Deals launched 3 months ago in Europe. Tonight, according to reports, the feature will go live in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco. This, after learning from the early rocky roads traveled by competitors and Facebook's own tests in Europe
    (tags: facebook lbs)
  • A growing group of privacy advocates in the U.S. and abroad want the Internet to be written in pencil.
  • Localmind, the iPhone app that lets users engage in Q&A based on their location and Foursquare check-ins, announced the availability of an API last week. Right now, the app lets users ask questions of each other that could only be answered by someone on the scene and the API will bring that functionality to other apps.

    According to Localmind co-founder Lenny Rachitsky, the move is part of its plan to become the "platform for knowing what's happening anywhere in the world, right now."

    (tags: lbs hyperlocal)

links for 2011-04-20

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2011 at 2:02 am
  • Today, Facebook announced the launch of several new tools aimed at making the social network a safer and more secure experience for everyone involved. Some of the tools, like the redesigned Family Safety Center and social reporting buttons, are designed to combat the ongoing issue of cyberbullying, which primarily affects the younger Facebook population. Meanwhile, other new tools will be helpful to everyone, like the option to enable an advanced security feature called Two Factor Authentication and the improvements to HTTPS.
    (tags: facebook)
  • The Internet Age: an era of unprecedented freedom in both communication and culture.

    However each major new medium, from telephone to satellite television, has crested a wave of similar idealistic optimism, before succumbing to the inevitable undertow of industrial consolidation. Every once free and open technology has, in time, become centralised and closed; a huge corporate power taking control of the 'master switch.'

    Today, as a similar struggle looms over the internet, increasingly the pipeline of all other media, the stakes have never been higher.

    Tim Wu is a Columbia Law professor, author, policy advocate, who first coined the phrase "net neutrality". He visits the RSA to deliver an essential review of information technology history and to share his unique insight into the next chapter of global communications.

  • On certain days, Twitter can feel like the world’s biggest, fastest echo chamber. Since we tend to follow people who are similar to us, we often see our own views reflected back at us — meaning a gloomy cloud of irritation can rapidly swirl into a cyclone of outrage as we hear from other people who feel the same way that we do.

    But while this may be the case in some instances, a group of computer scientists have discovered the opposite may also be true: Perhaps Twitter can be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  • Cities are trying to tap into information generated by mobile phones, but that approach threatens to leave poor people behind.

links for 2011-04-19

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2011 at 2:02 am
  • AOL Inc. (AOL), seeking to revive sales growth after buying the Huffington Post, is hiring as many as 800 full-time employees at local-news operations across the country and reducing the use of freelancers.

    Arianna Huffington, the Huffington Post co-founder who became the editor-in-chief of AOL’s media operations, said she intends to increase content at the company’s Patch websites covering about 800 local markets nationwide. AOL may hire as many as one full-time journalist per Patch site, though the final number hasn’t been decided.

links for 2011-04-13

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2011 at 2:02 am
  • There are few things journalists like to discuss more than, well, themselves and the long-term prospects for their industry. How long will print newspapers survive? Are news aggregation sites the future? Or are online paywalls — such as the one the New York Times just launched — the way to go? As media organizations plot their future, it’s worth discarding some misconceptions about what it will take to keep the press from becoming yesterday’s news.

links for 2011-04-12

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2011 at 2:05 am

links for 2011-04-11

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2011 at 2:02 am
  • The fabulous collision between social networks and search engines is the most important change to the Internet in the last ten years. And it’s changing the Internet forever.

    Before the rise of social networks search engines like Google sent their robotic spiders around the Web and indexed Website content. That content was then ranked against keywords, and when we typed a search term in, like “grilled chicken marinade,” Google displayed, in order of importance, links to content that most likely would satisfy my query.

    Then a few hundred million of us began creating social messages in Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Yammer, Yelp, Yahoo chat, and on and on. Often our messages referred to content on the Web, by name and sometimes by linking. In fact some sites like Digg and Delicious explicitly ranked Web content, crowdsourcing the function of the Google spiders.

links for 2011-04-08

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2011 at 2:02 am

Stories and issues relating to older and disabled people which have caught my eye in the last month

In Monthly round up: Older People and Disability issues on April 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

1.         Disability

  • Dr Rachel Perkins has been appointed by the Minister for Disabled People to the Chair of Equality 2025. She will take up her role from 1 April 2011 for a three-year term.

Equality 2025 is a non-departmental public body of publicly appointed disabled people, which was established in December 2006.   The group offers strategic, confidential advice to Government on issues that affect disabled people. It reports to the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller.

See: http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/docs/abo/eq2025-chair-110328.pdf

 

  • Disability and ICT charity AbilityNet has launched the first Technology4Good awards. The awards scheme aims to  celebrate the hard work of the many charities, businesses and individuals across the UK who use digital technologies to help change our communities for the better.

 See: http://www.technology4goodawards.org.uk/

Nominations are open until 5pm on Monday 9th May, with the winners announced at an Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 7th June.

 

  • The British Stammering Association welcomed the success of the Oscar winning movie ‘The King’s Speech’, calling it ‘a golden opportunity to talk openly about stammering’. See the views here: http://www.stammering.org/kspoints.html

 

  • Scope’s latest Disabled People’s Panel survey focuses on the attitudes and behaviours that disabled people experience in everyday life. They are asking for people who are disabled or the parent of a disabled child, to participate in a short online survey. The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete and responses will remain anonymous. To take part visit: http://www.scope.org.uk/news/attitudes-towards-disabled-people

 

  • Monday 2nd May to Sunday 8th May 2011 is Deaf Awareness Week.  This year the week will ask you to ‘Look At Me’ aiming to improve understanding of the different types of deafness and the many different methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading.

Supported by over one hundred deaf charities and organisations under the umbrella of the UK Council on Deafness, Deaf Awareness Week involves a UK wide series of national and local events. More at: http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk/daw/index.htm

 

  • Writing in the Observer, Aleks Krotoski, asked how the internet affects society and the way we live today, with a focus on disability. She noted:

 “The web has transformed the personal experiences of disabled people by creating a playing field for empowerment with access to information, connections and a platform for change. Yet we must reflect on our social attitudes to disability in the offline world instead of ignoring what we can’t see online. Only then will the web’s effect on disability become truly clear.”

See the full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/06/untangling-web-aleks-krotoski-disability

 

 2.         Third Sector

  • The Media Trust has closed their Community Newswire service as a result of changes in their funding following the Government spending review.

 

  • The Public Sector Equality Duty came into effect on 5 April. The Duty replaces the three existing public sector equality duties covering disability, race and gender. It also extends to other protected characteristics covered in the Equality Act 2010.

 

3.         Public Sector

The Duty has three aims. When developing or implementing policy, it requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
  • advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups
  • foster good relations between people from different groups.

This means that public bodies need to consciously consider these three aims when making decisions that will affect the public. For example, the Duty covers how a public authority acts as an employer, how it develops policies, how it designs and delivers services and how it procures services.

‘Due regard’ means to consciously consider these three aims when making decisions about policy or practice which would affect people.  For example, the duty covers:

  • how a public authority acts as an employer
  • how it develops policies
  • how it designs and delivers services
  • how it procures services.

 

If a public authority fails to give due regard to the duty, it could be challenged through a judicial review made by an individual or by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

For more information visit: http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/disabled-people-and-legislation/disability-equality-duty-and-impact-assessments.php

  • The Department of Health’s Care Networks are being closed and the last telecare e-newsletter went out in February which is here (pdf – 902Kb) or here (doc – 1.22Mb). The DH Care Network’s telecare website will close by 31 March and the Telecare LIN website will be hosted by Telecare LIN Ltd here.

The Department is exploring how it can help ‘third parties communicate latest policy and practice information on telecare and telehealth in the future’.

In the meantime, the WSDAN (Whole System Demonstrator Action Network) website hosted by the King’s Fund will continue. This provides a portal to the latest news on three large-scale telehealth and telecare pilots and the evidence-base on telehealth and telecare.

Recent publications include: 

  • an update on telecare users and expenditure
  • PCT weblinks for telehealth and the telehealth Google map
  • Evaluating telecare and telehealth interventions

The Kings Fund website is at: http://www.wsdactionnetwork.org.uk/

A blog on the King’s Fund website looks at how local authorities and the new GP commissioners can be convinced of the need to invest in telehealth and telecare. Find out more: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/the_future_of.html

 

4.         Accessibility

  • Writing in Computer Weekly, Robin Christopherson -head of digital inclusion at accessibility charity AbilityNet – talks about his love affair for Apple and how , in some cases mainstream technology is replacing specialist devices designed specifically for disabled users.

He cites Apple’s mobile operating system, which features screen reading – the VoiceOver function – and magnification, or Zoom. Noting: “As the first gesture-based screen reader, VoiceOver merely requires the user to touch the screen to hear a description of the item under their finger, then double-tap, drag, or flick to action a command. VoiceOver also features an innovative virtual control called a rotor. Turning the rotor – by rotating two fingers on the screen as if you were turning an actual dial – changes the way VoiceOver moves through a document or a web page based on a setting you choose. For example, a flick up or down might move through text word by word, by header, link or image.

It is also easy for a blind user to memorise the layout of screens and commonly-used applications. A quick tap confirms you have hit the right control and then a double-tap activates it. It really is almost as if you could see the screen.”

He later adds that “an iPhone can do as much as a specialist talking portable computer developed for blind users that costs between £1,000 and £2,000, and much, much more besides. With the addition of free navigation software an iOS device can replace bespoke talking GPS devices that are priced at around £750. Similarly, with the addition of an app costing a few pounds, they can replace a specialist communication device for those with a speech impairment; Proloquo2Go retails for around £100 and can transform an iPad into a fully functioning communication solution previously costing a prohibitive £2,000.”

“People who find the touch-screen difficult due to a physical impairment are not excluded either. The iOS devices also have in-built connectivity via Bluetooth or a cable dock to allow peripherals such as an external keyboard to be used. There is also free voice-recognition software to enable you to dictate your documents and e-mails. This way the blind touch-typist can have the best of both worlds and use an iPad or iPod Touch much as they would a laptop.”

The article is also available in Third Sector magazine: http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/Article/1060183/technologies-I-use-support-people-impaired-vision/

 

5.         Mobile

  • Richard Cappin of DialToSave.co.uk, one of the UK’s first-ever mobile phone price comparison websites, recently published a report which states that smartphone users are set to rocket from 20 million to 50 million by 2015.  As a result, he has argued that the mobile phone industry is missing out on a “multi-million pound market” by ignoring the needs of users who are over the age of 55. This group is now the second-fastest growing Internet user group and 45-64 year olds are now the second largest group of mobile phone users.

 

  • Cappin said, “Mobile companies need to look to Silver Surfers for inspiration and ideas because their needs are being ignored. Smartphones are mainly targeted at tech-savvy youngsters and despite growing interest from older people they are often perplexed by jargon like Android, Symbian and 3G HSDPA.”

See the press release here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/03/prweb5127504.htm

 

6.         Older People

 

  • A report by the Centre for Policy on Ageing gives examples of councils investing in low-level support and practical assistance to help older people maintain their health, well-being, social engagement and independence. Services highlighted include telecare, handyperson schemes, housing adaptations, falls prevention, home safety checks, and information projects.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation commissioned the report, which is available at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/local-authorities-better-outcomes-older-people

 

  • According to the Alzheimer’s Society, in 2021 over half a million people will be living with dementia that has gone undiagnosed. Dorset has the lowest rates of diagnosis with only a quarter (26%) of people really knowing they have dementia. In contrast, two thirds (69%) of people living in Belfast with dementia have had a diagnosis.

 See: http://www.alzheimers-tesco.org.uk/news/56_over_half_a_million_people_will_have_undiagnosed_dementia_in_2021

 

  • Stephanie Flanders, the BBC’s economics editor, looks at the rise of the older worker, noting that “at the end of 2010 there were 870,000 people over 65 in formal employment in the UK. That number has more than doubled since 2001. This age group now makes up 3% of the workforce, up from 1.5% in 2001.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2011/03/older_workers_make_their_mark.html

Her article was in response to new data from the ONS on ‘Older people in the labour market’:  http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=2648

links for 2011-04-06

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2011 at 2:05 am