Damian Radcliffe

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

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-May 2011 to mid-June 2011

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on June 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Stats

Cisco forecast the global online population will reach almost 3bn over the next four years, with the number of connected devices growing to 15bn, or double the world’s population, by 2015.

ComScore figures for newspaper websites beyond home and work computers revealed Mail Online had 10.9m unique visitors in April, ahead of guardian.co.uk (8.98m) and Mirror Online (4.4m). The figures cover outlets including apps, mobile and tablet browsers, and PCs in shared locations.
 

Owners of ‘social magazine’ app Flipboard, which renders feeds from social networking sites alongside traditional news content in a magazine format, said downloads of its iPad app have passed the 2.5m milestone.

Homes with 3D TV sets will pass the 300m mark in 2015, according to new research.

Analysis by Kantar Media indicated the first episode of BBC One’s new series of Doctor Who was the most recorded programme on UK TV to date, with the Barb overnight viewing figure of 4.11m growing to 8.9m when time-shifted viewing was taken into account.
 

Stock Market Developments

An IPO by LinkedIn has valued the networking website at $4.25bn as demand from investors saw shares priced at $45 – raising $351m. The FT reports that 7.8m LinkedIn shares were sold, with Goldman Sachs making $39m after selling its entire stake, and that the new pricing has increased the value of the business by nearly a third in just a week.

Online coupon seller Groupon began its process of going public by filing for an IPO it  aims to raise at least $750m from the IPO. In 2010 Groupon, which claims to have 83m subscribers in 43 countries, made a $413m loss on revenues of $713m.

Russian internet group Yandex, which controls 65% of its domestic search market, raised $1.3bn in an IPO in New York, almost a fifth more than forecast.

US internet radio company Pandora raised $235m in an IPO which valued the group at $2.6bn.
 

Mobile

Virgin has announced plans to launch a Virgin Mobile-branded mobiles service across Latin America in a tie-up with wireless communications group Tribe Mobile, acting as mobile virtual network operators in markets which currently have few providers.

Facebook’s EMEA head of mobile partnerships Fergal Walker told a London conference that 70% of UK users access the site from mobiles as well as online, with the social network accounting for 50% of mobile internet minutes in this country.

Google unveiled its Google Wallet app for Android devices. The service will be offered in a tie-up with partners including Citi, MasterCard, First Data and telco Sprint Nextel, and will be preconfigured with the Google Offers daily coupon service.  Forrester analyst Charles Govlin said: “(We) expect NFC is going to increasingly become a default feature of every smartphone that is sold over the next couple of years.”

Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere announced plans to establish a mobile payments joint venture which will seek to kick-start the mobile commerce sector by establishing a cross-platform solution for banks, retailers and advertisers.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said it is his mission to see 70% of the world owning a smartphone as he predicted devices which only offer call and text services will disappear within three to four years.

Virgin Media screened its first live 3D event, in a deal with Eurosport to offer subscribers 3D coverage of the French Open tennis tournament.
 

Nomura analysts said they expect Samsung to overhaul Nokia to become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer during the current quarter, with Apple pushing the Finnish group into third place during Q3.
 

A US study by IPG Media Lab and YuMe found 94% of TV viewers polled use ‘companion media’ such as smartphones and laptops while watching programmes, saying distraction poses a greater threat to ad engagement than fast-forwarding via DVRs.

EU officials said the Article 29 Working Party, an alliance of domestic regulators, has argued location data should be considered as private, along with other customer information such as names and birth dates.

Apple

Apple’s iCloud digital entertainment service, which is due to go live in the US in September, is unlikely to launch in the UK before Q1 2012 due to rights issues. The free service, which will go live in the autumn, will allow users to store music, photos and documents across all of the group’s devices, while users will be able to pay a supplementary annual fee of $25 to access Apple’s 18m-track music catalogue, with record labels taking a cut of revenues. Jobs said: “We’re going to move the digital hub, the centre of your digital life, into the cloud.”
 

Apple has become a top-five UK PC vendor for the first time, according to Gartner, growing sales 15.9% year-on-year to leapfrog Samsung. The top four sellers remained Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell and Toshiba.

An Imano Digital Agency survey found almost 70% of UK iPad owners said they use the tablet to read newspapers and magazines, with 98% using it for web browsing and 94% for email. The study also found the Apple device is regarded as domestic rather than mobile technology, with 95% of respondents using it in their living rooms and 89% in bed.
 

US publisher Bonnier said analysis indicates that about 95% of iPad subscribers to its Popular Science magazine are new customers, with spokesman Gregg Hano saying the device has given them access to a “totally new audience”.
Google

Google unveiled its ‘Music Beta by Google’ service. When fully rolled-out the ‘online music locker service’ will allow users to upload up to 20,000 songs which will be stored and accessible via an online library and not on their hard drive. The service will be free for a limited time to US applicants.

Google said its AdMob network doubled the number of video ads it placed on partner sites over the past year.

YouTube said global video views are up 50% in the last six months, at more than 3bn per day, attributing the spike to its decision to secure long-form content from broadcasters including Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Facebook

Privacy regulators in a number of European countries are probing Facebook after it rolled out facial recognition software to the site without first seeking user permission.
 

Facebook accounts for almost a third of all online display advertising in the US.
 

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the educational benefits of using the social network were so great that young children should be able to join, adding it would challenge the current 13-and-over age limit “at some point”. The limit is enforced by US law, while in the UK it forms part of Facebook’s terms and conditions.

Facebook is recruiting a cadre of ‘ambassadors’ to represent the group’s interests outside the US, focusing on countries where attitudes and regulations covering privacy and personal communications contrast to its home market.
 

The number of people using Facebook in the US and UK reportedly fell in May for the second month running, a move the Guardian said could suggest the social networking site has ‘hit the limits of expansion in the countries where it was first successful’. User numbers in Canada, Norway and Russia were also down, according to figures from monitoring site Inside Facebook. But globally the site is still climbing towards 700m users. In the US Inside Facebook said the site lost 6m users, to 149.4m by the end of the month. In the UK, more than 100,000 Facebook users were lost. Inside Facebook’s Eric Eldon said the key to further expansion lay in China.

Facebook moved quickly to dismiss Inside Facebook’s findings, throwing doubt on the monitoring site’s metrics tool. “From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions… Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn’t designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook. We are very pleased with our growth and with the way people are engaged with Facebook. More than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day.”
 

Attorney General Dominic Grieve has begun contempt proceedings against a juror who allegedly contacted a defendant on Facebook, prompting the collapse of a multimillion-pound drugs trial. Criminal Bar Association chairman Christopher Kinch QC said: “The situation is a potential timebomb for the jury system. Left unchecked, we could move towards trial by X-factor-type online polling; or jurors might find themselves put under pressure by correspondents online.”
 

Twitter

Groups including the Telegraph, CNN and MTV have partnered with Twitter to add a ‘follow’ button to their websites, allowing users to monitor accounts on the micro-blogging site without having to return to Twitter’s home page.
 

Twitter has acquired UK third-party software provider TweetDeck in a deal believed to be worth about $40m.

Gaming

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told the FT he believes the group’s Wii U console, which it showed off at last week’s E3 trade show, can “fundamentally change the structure of entertainment” by blurring the distinction between TV and gaming.
 

Entertainment Software Association research showed that the average age of UK video game players is 37, with the average game buyer aged 41.
 

UK child-facing social network Moshi Monsters announced it has passed the 50m user milestone three years after launch.

Piracy

WPP-owned agency GroupM has ‘blacklisted’ more than 2,000 US websites to prevent its clients’ advertisements appearing on those carrying pirated content.  GroupM’s US arm spends $3.5bn annually buying up ad space on sites on behalf of clients such as AT&T, IBM, Ford and Unilever.
 

Google’s Eric Schmidt has spoken out against anti-online piracy laws, warning that government legislation to block access to illegal filesharing sites would set a “disastrous precedent” for free speech.
 

Culture minister Jeremy Hunt used the same platform to say government plans to ban access to illicit filesharing websites remained on schedule. But he did concede that deciding which specific sites would be blocked remained a “challenge”.
 

Other stuff

AOL is moving into what Reuters called a ‘crowded space’ with its launch of AOL Industry, a division designed for business professionals.

Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5bn cash from the consortium of investors who bought the VoIP provider from eBay in 2007.

BBC Global iPlayer is to begin its international roll-out, launching as an iPad app in a number of western European territories charging users about £6 per month for an “editorially curated” service.

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.

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 May 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm

 1.         100% accessibility of all digital broadcasting platforms by 2020… in Canada

  • The Canadian broadcasting regulator, CRTC, has included establishment of the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund among conditions attached to its approval of the takeover of Canada’s largest TV network, CTV, by BCE ( http://www.bce.ca/en/ ), owner of communications company Bell.

 

BCE will be required to put forward 5.7 million Canadian Dollars to establish the fund, which will work to ensure 100% accessibility of all digital broadcasting platforms by 2020. Its work programme will focus on “innovation that provides platform-neutral solutions to ensure accessibility of all broadcasting content.”

 

The proposal had initially been put forward by the Access 2020 Coalition  an umbrella group led by the non-profit body Media Access Canada.

 

In its ruling (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-163.htm ) the commission said that at least two-thirds of board members of the fund must be “persons with disabilities, representatives of disability organizations and/or other parties with relevant expertise in developing or implementing accessibility solutions.”

 

The fund will also be empowered to raise further funding from other sources, such as annual contributions by other broadcasters or broadcasting distributors.

 

Beverley Milligan, CEO of Media Access Canada, said: “This latest ruling by the CRTC makes them the first regulator in the world to take an alternative approach to ensuring 100% accessible content by 2020. They have empowered us to bring it about and now it is time for us to get down to work.”

 

2.         Assistive Technology

  • An ‘ideas marketplace’ for new open source assistive technology projects has been launched by a group of academics and developers with funding from JISC, the technology agency for UK colleges and universities.

 

The REALISE project ( http://www.realisepotential.org ) is an open, three-stage tool for creating new software technologies to make it easier for people with disabilities to use the internet, computers and mobile devices.

 

The first stage is an ‘ideas’ area, where anyone can ask for help with a problem or offer a theoretical solution. If there is enough interest in an idea and someone wants to take the lead, it can be moved to the second stage: the ‘incubator’, where a team of developers is assembled. Finally, the best ideas will move to full ‘project’ status, the third stage which will involve funding by non-profits or private companies.

 

According to the project’s brief, “At any stage commercial companies or researchers can become involved and may lead at the incubator or project stages. In the end companies may make money out of a project but will need to keep to any agreements during the development stages.”

 

  • The government’s ‘Plan for Growth’, which accompanied the Budget, includes a commitment to improve the take up of assisted living technology. The Plan commits the government to help establish a code of practice that sets a framework for services and technology, provides quality assurance to customers, and increases uptake, and to work with the Technology Strategy Board on developing assisted living solutions.  Read more: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ukecon_growth_index.htm

 

3.         Apps & Software

  • A website dedicated to exploring apps, programs and advice for blind and visually impaired users of Android– Google’s operating system for mobile devices – has been launched by the online assistive technology store AT Guys.

 

Android Access features a list of accessibility apps by topic; a ‘getting started’ section, with information on choosing an accessible Android phone; and links to accessible Android news, blogs and forums: http://androidaccess.net/

 

  • There is a free open source version of Linux designed for the blind and visually impaired. It is called Vinux, and it is available at: http://www.vinux.org.uk

 

  • Great 7 minute video from AbilityNet’s Robin Christopherson explaining how his smartphone has transformed his ability to communicate and carry out a host of everyday tasks. Robin is blind, but this video shows how technology need not be a barrier to an active working – and personal – life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stZfcy7FV-0&feature=youtube_gdata

 

4.         Use of social media by disabled people to get results

  • BT has joined Twitter as BTCare – see www.twitter.com/btcare – and is responding to tweets from other users that mention difficulty in accessing with BT services.

 

This isn’t specifically a disability service but we have noticed some discussions with disabled consumers via this medium. The nature of this type of social networking site means that the correspondence usually takes place in public and anyone can read it.

 

5.         Telephony

  • BT has just published a new brochure about nuisance calls.

You can download the brochure or visit web site at www. bt.com/unwantedcalls

6.         Accessible products

  • BT has launched ‘Including You’ (here), a new website offering a range of accessible products and services for those who need extra help with communications.

 

Designed and developed in conjunction with AbilityNet, the national charity that enables people with disabilities to access technology and the internet, the site is the first to achieve the new AbilityNet accreditation mark. For more details, follow this link.

 

  • FAST has launched a booklet to help friends and family understand how equipment and technology can support the independence and safety of people with the early symptoms of dementia.

 

‘Getting Equipped to Tackle Forgetfulness’ was developed in partnership with Innovations in Dementia and Trent Dementia Services Development Centre, with funding from the Department of Health’s Reaching Out to Carers programme.

 

The guide provides information and tips on the equipment available, how to make decisions as a family about equipment and technology options and how and where to get hold of gadgets and other devices. The guide can be downloaded here.

 

  • The Stroke Association has launched a retail outlet to ‘help people in need of disability aids and mobility products find the correct equipment at a competitive price’. Details via this link. To visit Strokeshop go to www.strokeshop.org.uk.

 

7.         Telecare / Telehealth

  • According to an update on the WSDAN (Whole System Demonstrator Action Network) website, it is estimated that there are around 1.7 million people using telecare in England.

 

Local authority expenditure in England in this area during 2009/10 was over £83 million.

 

The current estimate for telehealth remote monitoring installations is around 6,000, which should increase during 2011. The update is here.

 

  • The Scottish Government and the UK’s Technology Strategy Board have announced that a large-scale telehealthcare demonstration programme involving at least 10,000 older and disabled people will run over four years from April 2012. Details via this link.

 

8.         Transport

  • The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is calling for buses and coaches to be forced to offer passengers the same audio-visual information already required in trains.

 

The ‘Talking Buses’ campaign is urging the government to expand the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations to require buses and coaches to offer both audible and visual journey information, including next stop and final destination, making them more accessible to blind and visually impaired users: http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/helpus/campaigns/talking-buses/

 

9.         Older People

  • Life expectancy has been growing for over half a century and the UK has now reached a point where there are more people over state pension age than children.

 

In 1950, a man aged 65 could expect on average to live to the age of 76. Today, he can expect to live to 87, and by 2050 to 91.

 

Today there are 10,000 people aged 100 or over, by 2050 there will be 275,000, and by 2030 people over 50 will comprise almost a third of the workforce and c. half the adult population.

 

10.       Disability

  • The Disability Benefits Consortium, a coalition of 41 charities and organisations, is warning that disabled people will be hardest hit by the welfare reforms. The Hardest Hit campaign website is here.

 

  • The Disability Alliance has published the latest edition of the ‘Disability Rights Handbook’ which is available via this link.

 

  • The Department of Health has published tools to help local authorities support people with learning disabilities into work and invest in supported employment, which evidence suggests can save money for social care. More details here.

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.”

Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links: mid-Jan 2011 to mid-Feb 2011

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on March 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Material I bookmarked in the last month and that I thought worth sharing.

 

Apps

Apple’s App Store hits 10 billion downloads

Android Market growth rate outstrips Apple App Store

App Tells Your Friends What You’re Watching – iPhone app analyzes sound to determine what’s on your TV.

Websites and apps for bargain hunters

The Apps Are Here: World Bank Apps for Development Challenge Now Open For Voting The World Bank is giving its data away for free using a contest challenging developers to build apps on top of the data. Apps have come from 30 different countries and more were built in Africa than in Europe.

Creator of Instant Messaging Protocol to Launch App Platform for Your Life – The Locker Project, an open source service will capture  data from users’ activities around the web and offline via sensors, put it firmly in their own possession and then allow them to run local apps that are built to leverage their data.

Mobile App Market: $25 Billion by 2015 – according to a new report from World Mobile Applications Market. The mobile app market was $6.8 billion this year, the report says, but will grow steadily over the next four years to reach $25 billion. Out of that $25 billion, Apple’s App Store will account for 20.5% of total revenues.

 

News and Journalism

Hands On with The Daily – report on the launch of Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad-only newspaper ‘The Daily’.

The Guardian Launches Its New Subscription-Based iPhone App

The Newsonomics of 2011 news metrics to watch » Nieman Journalism Lab »

Washington Post to Launch Free Personalized News Site  – The Washington Post Co. is to launch a free news-aggregation website, called Trove. It lets readers build their own news site based on topics they choose. By sifting through more than 10,000 news sources,  delivering articles to a personalised page using algorithms that take into account articles a person has read and personal interests. Trove apps for devices like the iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry are also in the pipeline.

Paper.li Raises $2.1 Million To Open Operations In The U.S. And Asia

 

America

FCC To Reshape Phone Subsidy Program to Help Boost Rural Broadband – Plan to convert the $8 billion fund that subsidizes rural telephone services into one that will help pay for broadband in underserved areas. The plan will involve reshaping the Universal Service Fund, a decade-old subsidy which is paid for by fees added onto most consumers’ phone bills. That money is then distributed among phone companies to help subsidize the costs of providing services to rural areas.

Vocus Releases Annual Study: State of the Media in 2011 – report sees the US media industry stabilizing; layoffs and closures slow, digital and mobile see growth, Patch.com sites pressure competitive local news

 

Developing World/Middle East

U.S. Military Can Restore a Country’s Internet – Whether It Likes It or Not – The U.S. military, it turns out, can force a country that has disconnected itself from the Internet back online.

Vodafone Forced to Send Pro-Government Text Messages in Egypt – Vodafone says it was forced to send pro-government messages to its subscribers in Egypt during the country’s recent protests.

Middle East unrest according to Glenn Beck and friends … – Guardian curated round up – with video clips – from US rightwing commentators on recent upheaval in the Middle East.

 

Advertising

Super Bowl 2011: Christina Aguilera and Groupon fluff their … “The history books will say that the Pittsburgh Steelers lost 2011’s Super Bowl XLV – but on the night the biggest losers were the pop star Christina Aguilera and the cut-price internet site Groupon.”

Why Groupon’s Super Bowl Ad Was So Offensive

Group-buying – does it deliver? | Money | The Guardian

Foursquare Launches Business Pages

 

Mobile

Smartphones Outsell PCs – According to IDC, smartphone manufacturers shipped 100.9 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2010, while PC manufacturers shipped 92.1 million units worldwide. Or, more simply put, smartphones just outsold PCs for the first time ever.

 

Social Networking

Social Media Marketing By The Numbers [Infographic]

Everything (almost) that you need to know about social networks -Infographic crib sheet with facts about Facebook and Twitter as well as social networking around the world.

Social Network Ad Outlook Is Modest And Unclear – Deloitte predicts that in 2011 social networks are likely to surpass the milestone of one billion unique members. They may deliver over 2 trillion advertisements.

A Question for Quora – Technology Review – “Quality of content and community is diametrically opposed to mass market success,” says Burbidge. “Having worked on Answers, I can tell that the level of quality is going to drop from the very high level it is at now as more people sign up.”

Social networking under fresh attack …

Facebook ‘friends’ did not act on suicide note …

 

Social Media Tools

Training Handouts « Claire Wardle, PhD – Six terrific ‘slideshows’: Google Advanced Search, Delicious, Aggregators and RSS, Facebook, Twitter and Image & Audio tools: Flickr, Picfog and Audioboo

YouTube – First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy – fun video with a social media message

5 Ways to publish your social media messages – 10,000 Words

 

Twitter

Who are the top UK journalists on twitter?

100 Most Influential UK Journalists on Twitter

Twitter’s Advertising Revenue May Triple to $150 Million

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn plans to float this year | Technology | guardian.co.ukLinkedIn plans to float this year – Private shares in the company changed hands at an implied valuation of $2.5bn (£1.6bn).

LinkedIn Said to Be Worth Almost $3 Billion in Secondary Sale …

5 things you didn’t know you could do with LinkedIn – 10,000 …

 

AOL

LEAKED: AOL’s Master Plan – Leaked slides and editorial summary of AOL’s vision for the next couple of years.

Huffington Post to be sold to AOL for $315m

Huffington Post sale: who gets the $315m?

 

Everything Else

Microsoft Ships 8 Million Kinect Devices, to Add Hulu

Google, Microsoft Added Internet-Search Market Share in December

10 per cent of users take 90 per cent of mobile data …

The State of the Blogosphere 2010 ” – Brian Solis

Chancellor crowdsources for budget ideas – No 11’s ‘online portal’ where the public can submit ideas for the March 23 budget.

Can We Crowdfund Our Lives? – “What do a chipped tooth, a world record and the relocation of a popular café in downtown Oakland all have in common? Each needed money to achieve a goal and, rather than going the usual routes of taking out loans or operating on credit, each found funding through crowd funding.”

7 Innovative online maps – 10,000 Words

MC Hammer Is Just Another Tech Geek – the 90’s rap icon MC Hammer made a fortune, lost it, and is now an investor in 8 different tech companies.

links for 2011-01-26

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Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links: mid-November to mid-December 2010

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on December 31, 2010 at 11:15 am

Stuff I bookmarked in the last month, and wanted to share lest it be useful. Comments, feedback and suggestions welcome. Like the Murphy’s, I’m not bitter.

 

General

The 101 most useful websites of the year 2010. –  a list which primarily highlights the lesser-known or undiscovered websites, so doesn’t include IMDB, Wikipedia or others you probably already know.

10 Predictions for the News Media in 2011 – the focus on mobile will continue, whilst the shift from searchable news to social and share-able news, as social media referrals close the gap on search traffic for more news organizations, will continue.

The 10 Hottest Private Companies in Tech

Internet Hijackings Prove Hard to Stop – “For 18 minutes in April, one-seventh of the Internet was routed through China— a major problem with no ready solution.”

The French government is to introduce a 1% tax on online ads from the beginning of next year.

Home Internet with Anonymity Built InA router that runs the Tor software prevents Web tracking.

Research from the US indicated the proportion of TV ads which are fast-forwarded is likely to plateau at 13% as the rate of DVR penetration slows. Meanwhile, fast-forwarded commercials still make a brand impact, as DVR users pay close attention to the screen to spot the end of ad breaks. 

Virgin Media’s new TiVo set-top box remote features ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ ratings buttons, allowing the device to build up a picture of viewer preferences and automatically record content. 

 

Social Networking

17 Things You Didn’t Know About Twitter

http://yearinreview.Twitter.com/trends/  – great list of Twitter trends from 2010

Sources claim Twitter has raised $200m in a funding round that valued the micro-blogging site at $3.7bn, up sharply from the estimated $1bn last year.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge has ruled there is no statutory ban on the use of Twitter in courtrooms, but stressed courts “must be satisfied that its use does not pose a danger of interference to the proper administration of justice in the individual case”.

Twitter revealed it signed up 100m new users to the microblogging platform over the past year, doubling its user base.

YouTube users watched more than 700bn videos in 2010, up 50% on a year ago, with 13m hours of content uploaded to the site.

Facebook Soars To $59.4 Billion Valuation

2010 Memology: Top Status Trends of the Year

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was  named person of the year by Time magazine in the US.

South Korean regulators have given Facebook 30 days to submit details of plans to improve its privacy settings after officials said current arrangements are “inadequate”.

 

Convergence

Searching for the Future of Television  – “ Google and the geeks from Silicon Valley aim to revolutionize the 70-year-old TV industry. Conquering the Internet was easy in comparison.”

iPlayer stats for Nov continue to amaze – up 32% over year – 13% watch live – http://bbc.in/gr55U6

The BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service received more than 1.3bn programme requests during 2010,  with Doctor Who attracting the biggest VoD audience. The service also reported a record high of 141m programme streams during November.

STV and 4oD have added their catch-up service to Sony’s PlayStation 3, in the past month.

Apple said it expects sales of its Apple TV platform in the US to pass the 1m mark this week. iTunes users are currently buying or renting more than 400,000 TV shows per day.

The Sun published an iPad-only edition on Christmas Day, with editor Dominic Mohan saying: “Throughout the Sun’s 41-year history we have always respected the agreement amongst newspaper publishers in not publishing a Christmas Day edition of the Sun. However, this year we have seen dramatic innovations in the way that we deliver news to our readers and couldn’t resist the opportunity to break with tradition and produce this dazzling digital edition of the paper – direct to readers’ sofas on Christmas Day.”
 

 

Mobile

Microsoft said more than 1.5m mobiles running Windows Phone 7 have been sold in the six weeks since the operating system’s launch.

Users of Google Android handsets consume more data services than other smartphone subscribers.

 

 
Music

Sony has launched its cloud-based Music Unlimited streaming service in the UK and Ireland, offering access to 6m songs through the company’s internet-linked TVs, Blu-ray players, PS3 consoles and Vaio computers for either £3.99 or £9.99 per month.

A Spotify spokesman told the Telegraph that it “can’t commit to a specific date” for its launch in the US.

BSkyB’s music-streaming service Sky Songs is to close down after little more than a year, with the company admitting it had failed to establish a “large enough customer base”.

Industry body the BPI said three out of every four music tracks downloaded in the UK this year was done illegally, equating to 1.2bn tracks. The BPI estimated the total cost to the industry was £984m in lost retail sales.

Last.fm has dramatically narrowed its pre-tax loss, announcing a £2.8m loss for last year, compared to a £17m loss the previous year. Revenues climbed 74% year-on-year to £7.3m, although net liabilities climbed from £19m to £22.2m. £5.4m was earned in advertising and £1.3m from subscriptions. It makes 55% of its revenue from the UK, and 33% from the US.

 

Companies

Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz has said the group’s “greatest competitor probably is Facebook, more so than Google”, arguing social features are becoming more important to web users than search.

A Yahoo! spokeswoman said the group is “cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation”, confirming the AltaVista search site has been earmarked for closure.
  
 
Meanwhile, in a blog posting, social bookmarking site Delicious confirmed rumours that it is seeking a new owner, but denied claims that Yahoo!, which acquired it in 2005, plans to close it down.

Japanese regulators have given the green light to Yahoo! Japan’s search tie-up with Google, despite complaints by Microsoft and domestic online retailer Rakuten that the deal would be uncompetitive.

AOL has acquired US start-up About.me, which allows users to create an online profile linking their various social networking sites, for an undisclosed amount.
  
 
 
Emerging Markets 

Youku founder Victor Koo told the Telegraph that the Chinese online video site, which is valued at close to $5bn following its US IPO last week, has been able to achieve rapid growth by exploiting the country’s “hugely fragmented market”. He added: “In the US, search engines are king. That is because everyone already knows what they are looking for. Brands have been around for a long time. But in China that is not the case. This is the first generation of people buying cars and fridges. Video is much more important. You cannot transmit the branding through text banners and pictures. On our site, we show one minute of advertising per hour, compared with the 12 minutes shown on Chinese TV. Imagine how we can scale that up.”