I read an interesting article in Businessweek today about a new high-speed fiber cable network that is being laid down along the Canadian shelf in the Atlantic ocean to connect mainframe financial networks in London & New York. The current top-speed transatlantic network is Global Crossing’s AC-1 which clocks 65 milliseconds round-trip – the new cable known as ‘Project Express’ (and funded by Hibernia Atlantic) will provide round-trip speeds of as little as 59.6ms. Of course your average internet user won’t notice this difference but high-frequency computer trading strategies require absolutely minimal latency and additional milliseconds can cost millions during a trading session. Ultimately, this may be interesting at a technical level but there will only be a few select individuals who are able to use this network as Hibernia Atlantic will charge a fortune to access it. This quote was interesting in regards to how these super-networks are viewed in the industry:
Some trading firms question whether these high-speed networks are worth the expense. “Nobody’s making extra money because of them; they’re a net expense on the industry,” says Manoj Narang, founder and CEO of Tradeworx, a firm that also operates a high-speed trading platform that handles more than 3 percent of the U.S. stock market’s daily volume. Narang says the only firms that can afford access to the faster cables are already among the fastest trading firms. “All they’ve done is impose a gigantic tax on the industry and catalyze a new arms race.”
Instead of using your data solely for marketing purposes, Google is offering more tools to allow users to view their personal usage trends across many of their services:
- Designed to offer you transparency and control
- Summarizes the data associated with each product you use when signed in to your account
- Provides links to change your personal settings
Google’s dashboard (which can be found here) shows you a ton of information ranging from popular Gmail contacts, models of Android devices associated with your account, metrics on Google Voice usage, search information, Google Finance portfolios among many other things. For hardcore Google service users, this could prove to be a very valuable tool.
A more recent tool launched by the search giant is known as “Account Activity” which you can view here. Specifically, the tool shows account sign-in activity (including country, ISP, browser & platform), number of monthly emails and most contacted addresses, Youtube video statistics & Latitude history. Lifehacker had a good example which you can see below. The Google user recently planned a trip to Italy, so the most contacted email address was a hotel and most frequent web searches related to the trip as well.
The surge in mobile software and other apps has also led to a surge in jobs, almost half a million just in the U.S., estimates a study out today from CEO network TechNet.
All of the must-have applications available on iOS, Android, Blackberry & other smartphone platforms translate to literally thousands of jobs for programmers, designers, managers, marketers etc. The jobs the Technet study looks at a range from development roles at companies who specialize in applications (Zynga) to internal app developers at companies such as Bank Of America.
Check out the size of the “app economy” as well as this awesome infographic about mobile applications:
Via CNET and FrugalDad
I didn’t want to write a lot about the over-covered iPad 3 launch, but I found the energy consumption aspect to be of interest. The “new iPad” may promise similar battery life as the iPad 2, however performing most tasks it uses twice as much energy. Apple increased the size of the batter and due to engineering magic, managed to pack it inside a thin slab along with powerful hardware and an impressive 2048 by 1536 display. The “hot tablet” has been reported to reach external temperatures of 116 degrees Fahrenheit which has drawn some bad press shortly after launch. Apple and experts have downplayed the issue and attributed it to how the device is used which varies greatly from user to user.
The statistics behind the increased battery size are interesting to say the least. In tests performed by Anandtech and Displaymate, the impressive display increases power draw from 2.7 watts on the iPad 2 to 7 watts on the new iPad. That’s not all:
In other types of tests conducted by various tech publications, the new iPad consistently performs more poorly than the iPad 2. Anandtech, for instance, found that the new iPad draws 4.58 watts while surfing the Web over Wi-Fi while the iPad 2 draws a mere 2.48 watts. DisplayMate found that the new iPad at maximum brightness sitting idle draws 7.32 watts. The iPad 2? Only 3.47 watts. CNET found that the iPad 2 draws 1.76 watts at 150 candelas per square meter (cd/m2) brightness for 720p video playback. The new iPad draws 3.32 watts. These results show that there is approximately a doubling of power consumption, yet the new iPad’s battery increased in size only 70%, from 25 watt hours to 42.5 watt hours.
As a happy iPad 2 owner, I am not compelled to upgrade at this point. The battery and heat issues, larger form factor and in my opinion, unneeded specifications, it isn’t worth it. The 2nd generation iPad has cameras for Facetime and can handle any GPU-intensive task I throw at it with ease. The battery life is great and it’s my best friend while traveling (on business at least). I am intrigued by the high resolution of the new model but for such a small screen, I think the original resolution does the job just fine. When apps have been reported to be twice the size for the retina-display based iPad and Apple still offers 16GB in the $500 wifi model, I think it’s a touch decision. My personal recommendation is for original iPad or non-iPad owners to get the new model and those with the 2nd generation to wait for next March. The $400 base-model iPad 2’s Apple sells directly are also worth looking at for those on a budget who don’t need all the bells and whistles.
This incredible infographic depicts what happens on the internet each and every day in 2012. Take a look below for specifics but think of the sheer amount of unstructured data that this amount of activity must generate. It’s only a matter of time before the Googles or Facebooks of the world master the art of turning it into cash. From studies I have read, data growth is a huge issue for enterprises who struggle in implementing good policies & strategies to curb infrastructure spending. A Cisco white paper I stumbled upon estimates global mobile traffic to rise to over 10.8 exabytes per month by 2016. Downloading roughly 1GB per month on my iPhone, this is an astronomical number. Oh, and for those looking for a definition of exabyte, here’s a link to Wikipedia – I looked myself…
Via MBA Online
I have read some interesting things lately in the browser space. A report from December deemed Google Chrome the most secure browser out of the big 3 where Internet Explorer ranked second and surprisingly, Firefox in third place. The study was lead by Accuvant and commissioned by Google but don’t worry, they have provided all of the testing results to back up the claim. The tests themselves incorporated a series of vulnerability & penetration security tests to see how tough each browser is. Testing examples include vulnerability patching, safe browsing API, sandboxing, JIT hardening and plug-in architecture. The results are largely attributed to the fact that Chrome has the sandboxing & JIT hardening down pat where IE lags & Firefox lacks the functionality altogether.
There are some other numbers floating around recently on browser marketshare. IE and Chrome are on the slight decline while Firefox is slowly rising. Looking at the chart it looks as though Chrome and Firefox will intersect in the near future. Reports such as Accuvant’s as well as tight integration with popular Google services is sure to raise Chrome’s marketshare in the coming months. Furthermore, Google has been active with improving the Android Chrome browser as well which will surely boost their numbers.
Via PCWorld and Ars Technica
So Apple has announced a media event where it’s certain the iPad 3 or iPad HD will be announced. A refreshed Apple TV 3 is also rumored to be announced with 1080p HD capabilities and eventually, Mac OS X Mountain Lion airplay mirroring support. From all I’ve read on these topics, the following are the most popular ones I’ve heard:
iPad 3 or iPad HD
- High-definition “retina display” similar to that of the iPhone 4 & 4S. Resolution is expected to be 2048×1536.
- LTE mobile broadband support as an option
- Faster, potentially quad-core CPU with improved graphics
- More RAM, 1GB likely
- Potentially higher pricing, up to $70 per model
- Siri compatibility
- On sale by March 16th
Apple TV 3
- 1080p HD support – Apple apparently requests 1080p copies of digital video sold and rented by the App Store so this is likely.
- A5 dual-core CPU or better
- Different form factor
Let’s see what happens on the 7th at Apple’s launch event, be sure to check back for updates.
Via PCMag & Forbes