Damian Radcliffe

Posts Tagged ‘tablets’

July 11: 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 July 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

1.         Apps

  • A series of smartphone apps to let disabled people contact shops, petrol stations and other locations to let them know their access needs before they arrive is being developed by Sunderland-based social enterprise DisabledAccess4All ( http://www.access4allapps.com ).

The ‘Customer Assist’ app will let users request assistance both en route and after arrival. When the user arrives, the shop, service or petrol station will have received information about the assistance he or she requires so they can have an attendant ready to help.

The app will also offer directions to accessible services, and a separate ‘Parking Space Finder’ app is being developed to work with local authorities to offer people directions to the nearest blue badge parking spaces. The parking app is due to go live for testing in October, with Westminster and Sunderland councils signed up to take part.

2.         Social Media

  • The Telegraph reported that super-injunction leaks on Twitter have driven over-50s to the site; noting: “Twitter’s UK audience jumped by a third in May 2011 following the super-injunction leaks about Ryan Giggs, which drove a huge number of female pensioners to the site, according to new data.”

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8600542/Super-injunction-leaks-drive-over-50s-to-Twitter.html

 

3.         Tablets

  • Jakob Nielsen has written a report on iPad usability. It’s the second such report from Nielsen Norman Group and it features in-depth analysis about how people are using iPads.

The iPad report, co-authored by Raluca Budiu and Jakob Nielsen, is a hefty 129 pages and available for free download. The report tested 26 iPad apps and six websites. The testers in this study were required to have at least two months experience using iPads.

There has been “good uptake of several of our recommendations from last year,” claims the report – such as apps implementing back buttons, broader use of search, homepages and direct access to articles by touching headlines on the front page.

The report reiterates a common understanding about the iPad, that it’s mostly for media consumption. Email is “the only slight exception to the rule.” Specifically, the Nielsen participants reported using their iPads for games, checking email and social network sites, watching movies and videos, and reading news.

The study tested a few tasks that were performed both on the Web (meaning via a Web browser on the iPad) and using an application. The report concludes that “our participants were always successful on the Web [but] a third of the corresponding tasks that involved apps ended in failure.” The report gives two reasons for this:

  1. The apps contained less content than the websites.
  2. The app design was confusing or the app made the user work more.

There’s also some useful analysis of how iPad usage differs from the computer. E.g.:

“From our testing of news and magazine apps, it turns out that most users read just a few articles per session, and spend most of their time scanning headlines and summaries for something of interest. That’s why it’s important to support the browsing activity better by giving it extra space, especially if there are a lot of news stories to go through.”

 

4.         Digital Switchover

  • Digital UK have published their annual report for the year to 31 March 2011.

Last year, 2.5 million homes across the UK went through switchover, with nearly 11 million homes due to complete switchover in 2011. DUK noted: “This would not have been possible without the support of our partners, including the many charities and community groups which provided practical help and advice.”  Read more about their work and watch a video here.

5.         Disability

  • The Guardian asked “Why can so few programmes document disability without grotesque fascination or patronising sentimentality?” in this article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/jul/01/born-to-be-different

Extract:

“Last week, Born to be Different – Channel 4’s long-running biopic chronicling the lives of six disabled children – drew to a close having achieved television’s trickiest feat: documenting disability without grotesque fascination or patronising sentimentality. In a disaster-laden genre, it’s a success few others can claim.

When depicting disability, mainstream broadcasters give us the good but they give us the bad and the ugly – and in the case of Bodyshock or Extraordinary People, do so while calling them exactly that. The modern day freak show, these ratings hits mix deformity, disability and obesity into a one-size-fits-all hatchet job of ignorance. Products of the school of literal titles, new specials such as It’s Not Easy Being a Wolf Boy, The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, and The Girls with Too Much Skin, emerge yearly. The damage, though, is actually diminished by the total lack of subtlety, their almost impressively brazen lack of attempt to be doing anything remotely worthy.”

 

  • Channel 4 has launched a search for talented disabled production staff. Paid placements of up to 12 months, are being offered in sport, drama, factual and factual entertainment programming.  Applications closed on Monday 6 June 2011.

Visit the Channel 4 website for more information:

http://4talent.channel4.com/extra/production-trainee-scheme-2011-disabled-people

6.         Assistive Technology

  • The Alzheimer’s Society has published a position paper on assistive technology for people with dementia, based on a literature review and a seminar of stakeholders. The paper provides an introduction to AT (low-tech and high-tech), discusses how AT can enable better care and help carers, considers how people with dementia in the UK could have better access to AT, looks at future developments and government policies in this area, and makes recommendations to address the practical and ethical issues raised. The report is here.
  • The AT Dementia website brings together information about assistive technology and other products that can help support the independence and leisure opportunities of people with dementia. The website is here
  • A free booklet, ‘Getting Equipped to Tackle Forgetfulness’, is available to download from FAST via this link
  • The ‘AT guide’, a self-help guide to how technology can help you to live well with dementia published by the Disabled Living Foundation, is here.
  • The Thomas Pocklington Trust has published a paper on telebefriending schemes for people with sight loss which is available here

 

7.         Social Care

  • The Law Commission has published proposals for the ‘most far-reaching reforms of adult social care law seen for over 60 years’. A single statute would replace current legislation, so that service users and carers would be clear about their rights and councils would be clear about their responsibilities.

The new statute would establish that the ‘overarching purpose of adult social care is to promote or contribute to the well-being of the individual’ based on the ‘individual’s views, wishes and feelings’. Other recommendations include: giving carers new legal rights to services; placing duties on councils and the NHS to work together; building a single, streamlined assessment and eligibility framework; and placing Safeguarding Adult Boards on a statutory footing. 

  • According to Age UK, 800,000 people who currently need care receive no formal support from either the state or private sector agencies. The charity’s report is here.
  • Spending on long-term care in OECD countries is set to double, even triple, by 2050, driven by ageing populations. Governments need to make their long-term care policies more affordable and provide better support for family careers and professionals, according to a report from the international economic organisation, which is here.
  • A BBC survey of 76% of councils in England research suggests a North-South divide in spending on adult social care. Spending will fall by an estimated 4.7% to £3.4 billion in the North in 2011/12 and rise by 2.7% to £3.33 billion in the South. More here.

8.         Older People

  • UK Older People’s Day is on 1 October. The theme for 2011 is staying active in later life. More information, including resources to support local events are available via this link

9.         Third Sector

  • The government has published the ‘Giving White Paper’ to encourage charitable giving and volunteering. Commitments include:
  1. a £30 million fund to improve the effectiveness of infrastructure organisations that support front line organisations;
  2. £700,000 to support Philanthropy UK connecting wealthy people with charities that need their support;
  3. trial charity promotions on the public service website Directgov.
  • The banks have also agreed to enable giving through all their cash machines in 2012. The white paper is here.

 

  • 2011 is RNID’s centenary year. On their 100th birthday on 9th June, RNID changed their name to Action on Hearing Loss to better reflect what they do and the hearing check is an important element of their activity.  Around 4 million people who experience hearing loss could benefit from hearing aids but it takes, on average, 10 years for someone to do something about their hearing loss.  
  • The Media Trust have announced a recent package of funding which will enable the Community Channel to continue to broadcast for another couple of years at least, and will enable them to re-launch Community Newswire, the charity news distribution service run in partnership with the Press Association.

The funding will also enable us to support a network of community-led news hubs and citizen journalists across the UK, supported by our media industry mentors, and Media Trust’s wider package of training and online advice, mentors and story-telling.

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

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on June 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Social Media: General

Social Pr Guide Series – Set of articles / user guides on Facebook, YouTube et al.

How Twitter Could Bring About World Peace

People have twice as many virtual friends as real ones

Twitter said confirmation that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed had generated the “highest sustained rate of Tweets ever”, with an average of 3,440 messages posted each second on the micro-blogging site between 10.45pm on Monday and 12.30am on Tuesday.
 

YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are buying web bookmarking service Delicious from Yahoo! for an undisclosed sum.

Yahoo!has bought US start-up IntoNow, a TV “check-in” specialistwhich lets users identify and share TV shows with their friends.

Social Media: Facebook

Facebook admitted it had hired a PR firm in the US to generate news stories questioning Google’s stance on consumer privacy. 

Half of UK teenagers are not aware of location-based social networking services such as Foursquare and Facebook Places, with 58% of those who had heard of them saying they “do not see the point” of sharing geographic information.
 

An Enders Analysis report said Facebook is poised to leapfrog Google and Yahoo! to become the largest online display ad group by revenue, with its revenues on track to grow 95% to $3.5bn in 2011.
 

US websites including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post have added a new Facebook ‘Send’ button, which enables users to privately forward stories to groups, individual friends, or email addresses.

Loaded founder James Brown dubbed his Sabotage Times web venture, which takes content from about 300 contributors, many from outside the media, as part of the “democratisation of written media”, adding: “I do think we will get to the point where everyone will be on Facebook. Everyone. It will just be like being in the phone book in the Seventies.”

Google

Google announced the launch next month of its new range of so-called Chromebooks – laptops running its Chrome OS software. The machines, which offer access to cloud-based applications, will go on sale in seven countries including the US and UK from June 15, and will be available to businesses through a $28-per-month subscription fee.

Google showed off technology dubbed Android@Home, which allows the mobile device operating system to control appliances such as light switches and washing machines, at its I/O developers’ conference. The platform’s head Andy Rubin said: “Everything should be Android-ified. We should just take it to new levels. It’s no longer something that people will go to the store to buy and then bring to their home or bring to their office. It’s something that will actually bridge those things.”
 

Apple
Apple has leapfrogged Google to take top spot in the BrandZ Top100 survey, with the iPad maker ascribed a brand value of more than £153bn, up 959% since 2006.
Apple almost doubled its year-on-year quarterly profit to $5.99bn, a 95% rise, on revenues up 83% to $24.67bn.

Apple has pledged to fix a ‘bug’ that meant data on the rough location of iPhone users was being stored for a year.

Privacy

Will There Ever Be An “Internet Erase Button”? – a growing group of privacy advocates in the U.S. and abroad want the Internet to be written in pencil.

Facebook Launches New Safety and Security Tools

Sony is contacting the 77m global users of its PlayStation Network to warn them hackers may have accessed their credit card details. The Japanese giant this morning said that personal details, including names, addresses, dates of birth, passwords and security questions had been stolen.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, a security and data protection service, said: “This certainly ranks as one of the biggest data losses ever to affect individuals. This is not just a nightmare for Sony, but also worrying news for the millions of people who use the network. Once again users will have their confidence shaken by a major company losing their personal information.”

TV

Microsoft is in talks with TV networks about the possibility of delivering live channels via its Xbox games console in the US.

Research specialist IHS iSuppli predicted the global 3DTV market is set to grow more than five times this year, with shipments climbing to 23m units from 2010’s 4.2m. It expects 159m units to be sold in 2015.
 

ITV is to widen distribution of its ITV Player, adding an app for Google Android phones in the next few weeks before launching on Apple’s iPhone in Q3.
 

ITV has relaunched its website homepage as the “first step” in its overhaul of online services.

Video

YouTube has revealed that about 30% of videos uploaded to the site account for 99% of total traffic, implying the vast majority of content generates minimal ad revenue.
 

Tesco has acquired an 80% stake in UK VoD group Blinkbox.

Google is closing its Google Videos website, advising existing users to switch their content to YouTube.

US DVD sales plummet 20%

Vevo, the online video service backed by music labels Universal and Sony in a partnership with Google, has launched in the UK.

Technology

Worldwide shipments of WLAN-enabled devices will reach 1.2 billion in 2011, up over 35 per cent from 2010’s 880.4 billion units. By 2015, a study published by IHS iSuppli predicts that 2.2 billion of the devices will ship.

Cisco is to close its Flip video camera business. Flip was the biggest-selling camcorder in the US last year. Cisco also said its Umi video conferencing equipment would no longer be offered direct to consumers.
 

Personalised iPad magazine Zite, which aggregates content based on user interests, has released a new version of its app following a cease and desist letter from groups including Dow Jones, Gannett, and the Washington Post Co.

A YouGov survey found price remains a barrier to mainstream adoption of tablet devices, with mass-market sales likely to take off when devices retail around the £250 mark, the research suggested.
 

Spotify has halved the amount of free music available to its 6m UK and Europe users to 10 hours per month, with non-subscribers allowed to listen to individual tracks a maximum of five times, from May 1.
 

China has announced the formation of a new agency to supervise the internet. The State Internet Information Office will “direct, co-ordinate and supervise online content management and handle administrative approval of businesses related to online news reporting,” state news agency Xinhua said.
 

Gartner claimed that “digital media will cannibalise print media” after a study of consumers across six countries, including the UK and US, found more than half of tablet users preferred reading text on screens to print, with older demographics expressing the most attachment to paper products.
 

Mobile

45% of FT.com subscribers access FT content on mobile devices.

One in five smartphones NFC-enabled by 2014, Juniper research has predicted. The analyst claims that mobile operators will drive the sales of NFC-equipped smartphones up to the 300 million mark by 2014.

Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett told analysts that the group has been conducting tests of wi-fi technology, with a view to establishing its own network to launch a mobile TV service.

Nokia announced plans to cut its global headcount by 4,000, including 700 jobs in the UK, as part of plans to cut operating expenses by €1bn over the next two years. The group also announced it was outsourcing development of Symbian, transferring the 3,000 staff working on the operating system to Accenture, with the consultants in turn becoming a key smartphone development partner.

An Ofcom survey found 16-24 year olds no longer view TV as the most important media, with 28% citing mobiles and 26% the internet as the media they would miss most, against 23% for television.
 

Vodafone is launching a service in London enabling smartphone owners who are short of cash to pay black cab fares by texting the car’s licence number to a central database. The group is also installing chargers for devices including the iPhone and BlackBerry in 500 Vodafone-branded cabs.
 

Using Data to Design Government Services – Cities are trying to tap into information generated by mobile phones, but that approach threatens to leave poor people behind.

Newspapers

Newspapers and a changing audience – blog post mapping ABC newspaper circulation figures, ABCe online circulation figures and social media fans and followers of named publications

Slimmed-down Independent spin-off i launched i Saturday, a single-section weekend news digest selling for 30p, from May 7.

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.”