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Acquiring and Retaining Customers in an Era Without Brand Loyalty
January 7, 2021
E-commerce is now at an all-time high, with global sales figures projected to reach $4.1 trillion in 2020, almost doubling since 2015. While the spectrum of global customers has broadened, so has the scope of competition. As the need for customer support grows, there is a golden opportunity for brands to capitalize on the changes fueled by the pandemic and emerge from the crisis with a newfound customer base.
Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Issue Safe Gaming Manifesto
December 15, 2020
The Big Three makers of video gaming hardware have announced a united front to make online gaming safe for all their players. "We can accomplish more when we work toward the same goal, and so we will each continue investing in, evolving, and amplifying our approaches to user safety," stated Dave McCarthy, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Xbox operations.
Qualcomm's Powerful Preview of 2021's Premium Smartphones
December 7, 2020
Qualcomm last week launched its Snapdragon 888 platform which will show up in premium phones next year. This promises to take the high-end of Android smartphones to levels of performance they've never seen before. Let's talk about what is coming to market in Android phones -- and likely iPhones -- next year, because you've got to believe Apple watched this launch and is now furiously working to create similar functions.
VR Consumer Spending Growth Driven by Headsets: Report
December 1, 2020
For years the consumer virtual reality market has failed to fulfill the hype surrounding it, but that's going to change according to Omdia. The market analysis firm has released a report that predicts the value of the virtual reality hardware and software market to reach $10 billion by 2025, up from $3.2 billion in 2020. Standalone headsets appear to be leading the growth curve for VR.
Tech Gift Ideas to Help Tackle Your Holiday Shopping List
November 30, 2020
Today is Cyber Monday, which doesn't mean as much this year because the related sales have been going on for much of November as retailers try to bring in every available dollar they can. This week, let's look at some of the best deals or products that stand out as game changers in their segment.
Apple Takes Chipset Matters Into Its Own Hands
November 11, 2020
Apple pulled the wraps off its first computer models based on its new Apple Silicon chip at an online event aired Tuesday. The Mac Air, Mac Mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro are all being refreshed with the company's new ARM-based M1 chip. The move is the beginning of a transition, expected to take two years, away from Intel chips and to Apple Silicon.
Cloud Gaming Revenues to Soar to $12B by 2025
September 22, 2020
According to gaming experts, 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for cloud gaming. When markets grow, it can be at the expense of others in the market. That won't be the case for cloud gaming, at least for the next five years. A proliferation of cloud gaming services will be launched next year, which is projected to brighten the sector's revenue picture.
Apple, Microsoft, Facebook Rumble Over Game Streaming Apps
August 11, 2020
Apple's "Walled Garden" was built to protect consumers from malicious applications, but it can also protect the company from competition, as Microsoft and Facebook discovered recently. Late last week, Apple refused to allow Microsoft to offer its xCloud streaming gaming app for iOS and iPadOS at the Apple App Store. At the same time, it approved a scaled-down version of Facebook's gaming app, sans streaming gaming, into the store.
US Cloud Gaming Subscriptions Target $3B
July 22, 2020
Consumer interest in cloud gaming could boost annual subscription revenues to nearly US$3 billion, according to Parks Associates. There is renewed interest, the research firm's report noted, in gaming services that can stream over the Internet and deliver games to multiple platforms without downloads and without taxing local processing power.
Nintendo to Retreat From Mobile Gaming: Report
June 24, 2020
Nintendo seems to be uncomfortable with the dominant business model in the mobile-gaming market, which allows players to download and start playing a game for free, then entices them to spend money on the software through in-app purchases. Those tactics have come under the increased scrutiny of regulators, which also concerns Nintendo, a brand with a family-friendly image.
Jack Dorsey and the End of Twitter
June 1, 2020
I'm a member of what is likely a reasonably sizable informal group of people who trained to be a CEO but declined the job -- in my case, several times. So I don't envy the position that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is in as he tries to figure out a way to do the right thing concerning the spread of false information and defend his company against an attack by the designated leader of the free world.
Oculus Quest Production Stymied by Pandemic
May 6, 2020
The next generation of Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets is in the works, but pandemic-related product development and supply chain problems may delay market arrival. Oculus reportedly has multiple potential Quest successors on the drawing board. Smaller, lighter versions with a faster image refresh rate for more realistic rendering are in the advanced testing stage.
Facebook Gaming Powers Ahead With Live Streaming
April 21, 2020
Facebook has launched a free standalone app for creating and watching live video game play on Android devices. Some 700 million users already engage in gaming on the platform, but with its dedicated app Facebook is locking horns with the leaders in the market -- Amazon, Google and Microsoft. "Live streaming was a growth opportunity before the pandemic," noted Strategy Analytics' Michael Goodman.
Living in the COVID-19 World: TV Hosts Struggle at Home
March 30, 2020
While stuck at home, many of us are burning through online content very rapidly. One of the things that's become painfully apparent is that TV shows that typically have live audiences suddenly have become almost unwatchable. In the context of the COVID-19 virus and our sudden need to view events remotely, coming up with ways to make audiences feel engaged has never been more critical.
COVID-19 Outbreak: Thoughts From the Stay-at-Home Front
March 23, 2020
Steps can be taken to mitigate the threat of spreading the coronavirus to folks who are sheltering at home. In many cases delivery drivers don't seem to have any protection, and if it's necessary to sign for something, customers are expected to touch a stylus or a screen that has been used by others. Drivers should be practicing social distancing, setting down packages at least six feet away.
Microsoft Releases 'Mind Blowing' Xbox Specs
February 25, 2020
Microsoft whetted demand for its Xbox Series X product line with the revelation of some impressive specs for its next-generation gaming console. "It's really going to be a kick in the pants for the industry," said Mark N. Vena, senior analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. "It should provide quite a bit of adrenalin because the specs are really mind blowing."
Simplicity Does More Than Simplify Linux
February 14, 2020
If you want a Linux distro that caters to gaming, check out the Simplicity Linux Gaming release. If you prefer a general-purpose computing platform without a gaming focus, try Simplicity's revamped release. Either way, you will experience a no-nonsense Linux OS that requires no assembly. Simplicity Linux is a Devuan-based distro with Cinnamon as the default window manager desktop environment.
Rumblings in the Cloud
February 10, 2020
One of the old sayings is that there are "lies, damned lies and statistics," with the implication being you really can't trust most reported numbers. Still, we've often thought, at least with major vendors, that you could trust rankings. One current set of rankings involves cloud providers. The general impression was that Amazon was first, Microsoft second, and Google third.
Is Icahn Attempting a Hostile Takeover of HP? Figuring Out the Backstory
January 27, 2020
When it comes to any merger, you often can't trust the reason the firms are merging, particularly if financial rather than operational managers are driving the process. When it comes to hostile takeovers, you can bet you are being misled, because the rhetoric will address synergy, but the folks driving the effort know the more likely goal is to destroy the acquired company.
Few Households Have Taken the Gigabit Broadband Leap
January 7, 2020
Increasing numbers of connected devices in the home and greater consumption of streaming media are driving consumer demand for faster broadband speeds. In recent years providers have introduced greater service speeds, bundles and pricing models to address widespread consumer churn. The service speed average among U.S. broadband households has increased steadily over the last four years.
Should Discord Be in Your Incident Response Toolbox?
December 11, 2019
Cybersecurity incident response teams have choices when it comes to communication tools: Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom and numerous others. Some require a subscription or commercial license -- others are free. Some are niche tools specifically designed for incident response. Some are generic business communication tools that IR teams have adapted for use during a cybersecurity incident.
Early Reviews Suggest Google Stadia Needs More Time in the Oven
November 20, 2019
Google just raised the curtain on its Stadia streaming gaming platform, and the early reviews are mixed at best. For $129, gamers can get the hardware they need to take the service for a spin -- a Stadia controller, and a Chromecast Ultra for playing games on a TV. The package includes access to one game and a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro, which supports 4K 60 frames-a-second gaming.
Nvidia's New Shield TV Models Add Dolby Vision, Atmos
October 29, 2019
Nvidia has introduced two new versions of its Android TV-based Shield streaming product. Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are replacements for the last generation of Shield video streamers, which Nvidia introduced in 2017. The Shield TV Pro retains the form factor of its predecessors -- the box-like form favored by the industry generally -- while the lower priced Shield TV is cylinder-shaped.
EA Rewards Battlefield V Fans With Expansive Pacific Chapter
October 25, 2019
There's a new trailer for Battlefield V, the World War II first-person shooter Electronic Arts released last year, highlighting the game's Chapter 5: War in the Pacific. The trailer previews team-based gameplay in settings ranging from Europe to the South Pacific. War in the Pacific is a free download that will be available on Oct. 31.
Apple Touts Games, Music, TV in macOS Catalina
October 9, 2019
New versions of operating systems are usually about slick interfaces and improved performance, but that's not what Apple was flogging about macOS Catalina upon its release. One of the hot new additions in the OS is Apple Arcade, a game subscription service featuring a batch of new, exclusive games. Also bolstering macOS Catalina's entertainment chops are new music, podcast and TV apps.
Apple Debuts Triple-Cam iPhone, New iPad, and Aggressively Priced Game and TV Services
September 11, 2019
Apple raised the curtain on its latest iPhone models, introduced a new iPad, refreshed its watch, and announced pricing for its subscription game and premium TV services at an event in Cupertino, California. The highlight of the presentation was the new iPhone lineup: the iPhone 11, the 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 comes in six colors -- black, green, yellow, purple, red and white.
Drauger OS Makes a Capable Linux Game Console Platform
August 29, 2019
Drauger OS is a relatively new Linux distro for users with a penchant for games. Several design elements make this Linux gaming platform different from typical distributions that merely pack digital titles. However, it lacks a few productivity tools that otherwise would make it a daily computing driver out of the box. This is a distro targeting game players who want good desktop performance.
Qualcomm Gives Speed Boost to New Mobile Gaming Platform
July 16, 2019
Qualcomm Technologies aims to push the speed limits of mobile gaming with the added features in its Snapdragon Mobile Platform. The Snapdragon 855 Plus Mobile Platform, its newest processor, performs graphics functions 15 percent faster. It will show up in new devices later this year. Snapdragon 855 Plus is an update to the flagship Snapdragon 855, released earlier this year.
Winners, Losers and No Shows at E3 2019
June 13, 2019
E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, was in full swing in Los Angeles this week. The annual trade show for the video game industry was not without a few surprises, a few disappointments and as usual a few companies that opted to forego the whole thing. Sony was among the companies that chose to skip the event, while rival Microsoft was present only via its annual press conference.
Xbox Gamers Will Give a Damn About This 'Scarlett'
June 11, 2019
Microsoft whetted the appetite of power-hungry Xbox gamers at its E3 preview, with new details about its next-generation gaming console code-named "Project Scarlett." Expected to arrive in time for the 2020 holidays, the new Xbox will have a custom-designed AMD processor based on the latest Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA technology. Scarlett also will have high-bandwidth GDDR6 memory and a next-gen SSD.
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