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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

News>Hardware: Creative needs niche markets for recovery...!

Singapore-based Creative Technology will need to turn to niche segments to boost its bottom line as the market it has traditionally competed in has become mature and saturated, say market observers.
Commenting on Creative's 14 consecutive quarters of losses, Ng Kian Teck, lead analyst at SIAS Research, told ZDNet Asia in a phone interview that the company needed to restructure its business, whether it is by cutting costs or removing business units that are loss-making. He added that the company will also need to look for new products to boost its bottom line.
Concurring, Jayesh Easwaramony, vice president at Frost & Sullivan's Asia Pacific ICT Practice, said Creative has to look for niches that it can be profitable. He pointed to the portable speaker space as an example where competition is lower and unique products can have good consumer appeal.
"Creative is struggling because most of their product categories are mature,"
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Microsoft removes start button in Windows 8...!

Microsoft is removing the familiar start button for the Consumer Preview of Windows 8.
Microsoft is removing the familiar start button for the consumer preview of Windows 8.
(Credit: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET)
Say goodbye to the Windows start button. Microsoft has gotten rid of it from the latest build of Windows 8.
Hitting the Web over the weekend, screenshots of the new Windows 8 build display the "super bar," but without the start button orb on the left, according to The Verge. Build 8220 will be the final version released before the beta, now known as the Consumer Preview, debuts before the end of the month.
Until its untimely (or timely) death, the Windows 8 start button located in the Metro UI offered access to the search, share, devices, and settings panels. The Windows start button in the desktop simply returned you to the Metro UI.
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News>Communications: RIM can look to Asia for recovery!

Attracting third-party application developers, making devices more user-friendly, and expanding beyond the U.S. and European markets are some key areas the new CEO of Research In Motion (RIM) should focus on to reinforce the company's position as an enterprise smart device vendor.
After taking over the reins just last week, Thorsten Heins revealed that he was planning "significant" changes for the BlackBerry maker but did not elaborate on what these would be.
Heins did single out the U.S. market as one where the company lost substantial market share and "something we have to address".
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Multi-deal Monday: Save big on tablets, speaker docks, and more!

I learned a lesson last week:BlackBerry PlayBook owners are a passionate bunch! My mere suggestion that the tablet was not long for the world (along with a couple forehead-smacking factual errors) elicited a response that I can only describe as fanboy-esque.The Panasonic SC-H55 is a CD player, AM/FM radio, iPhone/iPod dock, and Bluetooth speaker.

The Panasonic SC-H55 is a CD player, AM/FM radio, iPhone/iPod dock, and Bluetooth speaker.

(Credit: Panasonic)

Even a RIM rep reached out to insist, "RIM remains committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook." Time will tell, of course, but I'm glad to see the product has such a vocal fan-base. I'm going to see if I can get some hands-on time with a PlayBook so I'm better informed about it next time there's a deal.
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News/Security: Idea of cyber peacekeepers premature, 'redundant'!

Cyber peacekeepers might be an interesting and useful idea, but such a deployment would be difficult to envision and repetitive of the efforts currently made by governments and advocacy groups, observers noted.
John Ong, regional director of South Asia at Check Point Software, described the concept of cyber peacekeepers as similar to a governmental employee working for the Internet regulatory authority. Their job scope would be to define, observe and legislate to maximum compliance, and provide regulatory recommendations to improve existing laws to curb and minimize breaches, he added in his e-mail.
However, he felt that deploying such peacekeepers would be "redundant". This is because there are already peacekeeping efforts in the form of inter-government cooperation to curb Web breaches,
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Apple TV for $1,499? Would you buy it?

Worth a mortgage payment (OK, a quarter of a monthly payment for you San Franciscans)?
An apparent Best Buy customer survey mentions a possible Apple 42-inch HDTV for $1,499. That's up three times as much as current 42-inch models; could it be worth the price?
Before we go any further, let's disclaim the idea that there's proof such a product actually exists or is even in the pipeline. In fact, it seems fairly likely Apple had nothing to do with the list of hypothetical specs cited by Best Buy, which includes outdated branding like "iSight" for the system's camera (Apple has long since taken to referring to cameras like those in the iPad as "Facetime cameras").
Further, the survey goes on to say the camera can be used for Skype, a statement Cupertino isn't likely to have signed off on given that the platform is owned by Microsoft
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Hackers wanted $50,000 to keep Symantec source code private!

As part of a sting operation, Symantec told a hacker group that it would pay $50,000 to keep the source code for some of the its flagship security products off the Internet, the company confirmed to CNET this evening.
An e-mail exchange revealing the extortion attempt posted to Pastebin (see below) today shows a purported Symantec employee named Sam Thomas negotiating payment with an individual named "Yamatough" to prevent the release of PCAnywhere and Norton Antivirus code. Yamatough is the Twitter identity of an individual or group that had previously threatened to release the source code for Norton Antivirus.
"We will pay you $50,000.00 USD total,"
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