Tag Archives: mobile

Summary of Matt Mullenweg’s – State of the Word 2012

In early August, 2012, Matt Mullenweg delivered his sixth State of the Word, giving us an update on all things WordPress. An interesting talk because WordPress is the dominate platform for bloggers, it powers 17% of the internet, and is the software I use for this blog.

Unfortunately, there are no summaries of the talk, only the raw video, slides, and a live blog. Which is very strange considering how important this software is. Not to worry, I’ve included a summary below pulled together from personal notes and various blogs:

 

Summary – State of the Word 2012 – Matt Mullenweg

  • WordPress is 9 years old, 6th State of the Word
  • WordCamps – in 2006 there was 1 – in 2011 there were 52, and in 2012 there are 75 planned.
  • Single greatest change of the year – Plugin Headers – which are pictures on plugin pages
    • Matt talked a lot about how small changes are the most requested features
  • Forums linked to plugins allowing thousands of answered questions.
  • Improved rating system for plugins. Like Amazon, allowing readers to see individual reviews and authors to respond.
  • NUX – new user experience improved, welcome page might become permanent homepage – dashboard is too cluttered
  • WordPress 3.5 – coming Dec. 5
    • Matt wants updates to work more like Chrome (i.e. automatic and in the background)
    • Speed updates from 2/year to 3/year
    • 3.5 includes Retina Support – Matt says it’s the next big thing
  • Many topics about getting involved
  • Improve parity between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
    • JetPack.me offers all the best plugins from *.com for *.org users
    • 2.3 million JetPack downloads
  • Mobile
    • 5 million mobile downloads
    • On 6 platforms
  • Apps are the future
    • First 4 years blogging, next 4 years content management (CMS), next are apps
    • More people use WordPress for CMS than for blogging
    • App examples: running maps, interactive graphics
  • 20,000 people make $$ from WordPress (writing or developing) – in 2011 it was 13,000
    • Average cost to develop a WordPress site: $2,000 gov/non-profit – $2,500 small biz – $4,200 corporate

 

That’s the summary in 26 lines or less! If you’re looking for more WPMU has a minute-by-minute breakdown.

 

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Facebook goes native! Releases new apps that are twice as fast

Facebook has finally answered the question that’s been bugging Wall Street and the rest of us, “when are you going to get mobile?”

Yesterday, the answer came as Facebook launched major upgrades to their iPhone and iPad apps. From the N.Y. Times Bits blog:

Those who have suffered from the sluggishness of the current apps can breathe a collective sigh of relief: these new versions are much faster.

The apps look nearly identical to their predecessors. The main difference is that most of their old Web-based code has been replaced with the native programming code used for iOS

Even more, Facebook has gone all Google Plus on the issue (you know Google making social everyone’s responsibility):

In recent interviews, Facebook executives said they have retooled the organization so that every product team is working on mobile, and the company holds weekly training courses on programming for Apple and Android devices.

 

The Verge is reporting that these updates make the apps twice as fast:

In building a native Facebook app for iOS, the company looked at improving three key places, “the app’s largest pain points” all relating to speed: launching the app, scrolling through the News Feed, and tapping photos inside the News Feed. “We’re twice as fast in all these areas,” Mick Johnson says.

 

I’ve been playing with the app and the claims appear to be true. This is good news for Facebook fans (and stock holders) because slow apps can be killer for growth.

 

**Sorry for the “native” joke, but I couldn’t resist :)

 

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Starbucks turns to venture capital, invests big in game-changer Square

I’ve been a big fan of Square from the beginning, mostly because I hate the cashier’s line. I even gave a talk at Ignite DC called, “The Future of the Queue”, though I spent all my time bashing the very old, and expensive technology that cashier’s use:

 

 

Lol, $300+ dollars just to read a credit card! Did you know that Square gives away this technology for free?

I repeat “gives it away for free.” It’s no wonder that the company is rumored to be valued at $3.2 billion.

How do they make their money, through fees, of course. From Square:

 

Transparent Pricing

  • 2.75% per swipe.
  • Free app, free Square Card Reader and free shipping.
  • No merchant account, monthly fees or set-up costs.

Next-Day Deposits

  • Payments in your bank account the next business day
  • Payments automatically sent for deposit to your bank with email confirmations.
  • No limit to the number or amount of payments you can take.

 

I’ve done some small business transactions and I know that these fees are big business. If you think about skimming off nearly 3% from every credit transaction we are talking about billions of dollars. In 2006, a study found that we spend nearly $1 trillion on credit each year (pdf).

That may explain why Starbucks, a coffee company, is playing venture capital by investing in Square. Though, many are speculating that the reason is to improve the “Starbucks experience” which I guess means giving baristas iPads and smartphones like the Apple Genius have.

It’s possible, but I’m very skeptical, it’s more likely that Starbucks is looking to cut back-end costs associated with credit transactions and that is something Square does very well. A few pennies per transaction is a lot of money for the big corporation.

Not to mention that Starbucks already has a strong mobile payment solution that “about 1 million people a week are using” out of 60 million transactions a week. 

It’s definitely an interesting story and one that spells big changes for the payments industry. Some good articles on this topic:

 

 

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Crowdsource the launch of a nano-satellite into space – Kickstarter

We are developing a nano-satellite, and mobile apps to go with it, as the focus for a global education and public outreach campaign. The satellite, called SkyCube, is a 10x10x10 cm “1U” CubeSat intended for launch as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2013. Orbiting more than 300 miles up, on a path highly inclined to the Earth’s equator, SkyCube will pass over most of the world’s inhabited regions.

SkyCube will take low-resolution pictures of the Earth and broadcast simple messages uploaded by sponsors. After 90 days, it will use an 8-gram CO2 cartridge to inflate a 10-foot (3-meter) diameter balloon coated with highly reflective titanium dioxide powder. SkyCube’s balloon will make the satellite as bright as the Hubble Space Telescope or a first-magnitude star. You’ll be able to see it with your own eyes, sailing across the sky. But SkyCube’s balloon isn’t just for visibility. It will – within 3 weeks – bring SkyCube down from orbit due to atmospheric drag, ending the mission cleanly in a fiery “grand finale” that avoids any buildup of space debris.

 

PLEDGES

$1 - Sponsors 10 seconds of the mission. You can broadcast one (1) 120-character message from the satellite.

$6 - Sponsors 1 minute of the mission. You can broadcast six (6) 120-character messages from space, and request one (1) image from the satellite.

$100 - Sponsors 15 minutes of the mission. An ideal family pack – we’ll send you two (2) SkyCube mission T-shirts! And you can broadcast one hundred (100) 120-character messages from the satellite, and request twenty (20) images from the satellite at any time during the mission.

$1,000 – Sponsors 2 hours of the mission – a great high school or university classroom sponsorship package. We’ll send you a radio receiver which you can use to detect transmissions from SkyCube and other satellites already in orbit! You’ll also get a flying SpaceX Falcon 9 model rocket, and twenty (20) SkyCube mission T-shirts. You can broadcast one thousand (1000) 120-character messages from space, and request up to two hundred (200) images from the satellite.

 

Learn more, join the project - SkyCube: The First Satellite Launched by You!

 

 

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United States loans three satellites, worth $1 billion, to Mexico – MEXSAT

Did you know that America had an Export-Import Bank?

 

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) approved a $922 million loan guarantee to support the export of three satellites and related equipment to the Mexican government for the MEXSAT regional mobile satellite system. Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation will purchase the satellites from Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems in El Segundo, Calif. Boeing will produce two satellites with mobile service satellite (MSS) capacity and will subcontract a third satellite with fixed service satellite (FSS) capacity from Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Va.

The three satellites will be used to deploy the MEXSAT system, a next-generation, space-based communications platform that will help support social and economic development within Mexico. Various sectors will benefit from MEXSAT, including programs focusing on education, health care, disaster relief and rural telephonic service.

Mexico is one of Ex-Im Bank’s nine key markets and accounted for $8.3 billion of the Bank’s worldwide credit exposure at the end of FY 2011. In FY 2012 to date, the Bank has authorized approximately $1.8 billion in financing for U.S. exports to Mexico.

 

Source: Embassy of the United States in Mexico

 

 

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In the United Kingdom texting is now more popular than making phone calls

People in the UK are now more likely to text than to make a phone call, according to new research from Ofcom.

While 58% of people communicated via texts on a daily basis in 2011, only 47% made a daily mobile call, said the country’s communications industry regulator.

It said the shift away from traditional ways of keeping in touch was being led by young people aged 16-24.

The average UK consumer now sends 50 texts per week while fewer calls are being made on both fixed and mobile phones.

For the first time, there was a fall in the volume of mobile calls – by just over 1% – in 2011, while landline calls were down by 10%.

 

Source: BBC - Texting overtakes talking in UK, says Ofcom study

 

 

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R&D spending by the big three in smartphones – Nokia, Google, Apple

A fascinating graphic and the article it is pulled from.

 

 

Nokia led the wireless revolution in the 1990s and set its sights on ushering the world into the era of smartphones. Now that the smartphone era has arrived, the company is racing to roll out competitive products as its stock price collapses and thousands of employees lose their jobs.

This year, Nokia ended a 14-year-run as the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, as rival Samsung Electronics Co. took the top spot and makers of cheaper phones ate into Nokia’s sales volumes.

Nokia is losing ground despite spending $40 billion on research and development over the past decade—nearly four times what Apple spent in the same period.

Instead of producing hit devices or software, the binge of spending has left the company with at least two abandoned operating systems and a pile of patents that analysts now say are worth around $6 billion, the bulk of the value of the entire company.

 

Source: Wall Street Journal - Nokia’s Bad Call on Smartphones

Venture capital investment had its biggest quarter (Q2 2012) of the decade

U.S. venture capitalists put $8.1 billion into 812 deals in the second quarter of 2012, their single largest quarter in more than a decade, according to CB Insights.

It’s clear that factors like the greater American economy and the bumpy tech IPO market don’t necessarily have a direct and/or timely correlation with venture capital spending.

Funding was up 37 percent from the first quarter, and 5 percent from a year ago. Number of deals were up 3 percent from the past quarter, and 4 percent from the past year.

Photo and video start-ups accounted for 29 percent of mobile funding dollars.

 

Keep reading: All Things D - U.S. Venture Capital Has Its Biggest Quarter Since Dot-Com Days

 

 

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NBC releases iPhone/Android apps for the Olympics – live-stream events on the go

NBC Sports and Adobe Systems have teamed up to give fans two apps that stream the Olympics live on mobile devices, record footage for playback, and share the experience through social media.

The apps — a live-streaming app for the more than 3,500 hours of content, and a companion app loaded with additional content launched today. The apps are now available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch via Apple’s App Store, and select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play. (For Apple users, the apps seems a bit hard to find in iTunes. Get them here and here).

The NBC Olympics Live Extra app features the streaming of all 32 athletic competitions and the awarding of all 302 medals, while the NBC Olympics app provides content like interviews, news stories, highlight videos and live results, according to a joint press release from NBC and Adobe. (It may be confusing because the “Extra” app is actually the live streaming app, while the one with the extras is call the “NBC Olympics” app.)

 

Keep reading- c|net: NBC Olympics to stream games live on mobile devices

 

 

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Google Maps update – bicycle legend now shows bike lanes, shared lanes, and bike-friendly roads

If you’re looking for new ways to get around for fun or to work, or might be trying to live a greener lifestyle in 2012, why not try biking? In March 2010 we introduced biking directions and since then Google Maps has been sharing biking directions with cyclists across the U.S and Canada.

Since no bike path is the same, many users have requested an easier way to differentiate the different types of bike routes that are available. Starting today, a new legend feature can help you understand what the different colors on the bike maps symbolize.

  • Dark green is for dedicated trails and paths
  • Light green is for roads with dedicated lanes
  • Dotted green is for roads that are friendly for cyclists

 

Look for the biking legend in the upper right hand corner of the map.

 

You can view this legend by clicking on the widget in upper right corner of Google Maps and selecting the Bicycling layer. You can also access biking directions on your Android device or by going to maps.google.com on your mobile browser.

 

Source: Google Lat-Long Blog - New Biking Directions Legend