Alibaba Dominates E-Tail in China But Fails to Thrive Abroad

In its last fiscal year, which ended in March, Alibaba Group’s 654 million customers bought $835 billion worth of goods, with revenues of $56.2 billion, cementing the company’s credentials as the world’s largest e-tailer. Put another way, the company handled more business than Amazon and eBay combined. Notably, 66 percent of Alibaba’s revenue — $36.9 billion — came from China. But translating that success to other countries has proven elusive — a mere 5 percent of the company’s revenue came from international locations. Continue reading Alibaba Dominates E-Tail in China But Fails to Thrive Abroad

ARM to Enhance IoT Management With Purchase of Stream

ARM announced that it has acquired Stream Technologies in a deal that will bring Stream’s connectivity management capabilities to ARM’s Mbed IoT Device Management Platform. The integration of Stream tech is expected to provide customers with greater efficiencies and cost savings while managing connected devices regardless of location or network (Stream supports connectivity across wireless protocols including cellular, satellite and LoRa). ARM also recently announced a new processor designed to prevent attacks and tampering with IoT devices. Continue reading ARM to Enhance IoT Management With Purchase of Stream

Zappos Holacracy Management Strategy Roils its Employees

When Zappos chief executive Tony Hsieh began to implement a radically different management strategy — Holacracy — he knew it would take some getting used to. The system, which is based on self-management, with the idea that the abolishment of hierarchy will promote collaboration, has proven to be a mixed bag. Although some employees are enthusiastic, most are confused. As of now, says chief operating officer Arun Rajan, 18 percent of the company, which equates to 260 people, has taken the generous buy-out package. Continue reading Zappos Holacracy Management Strategy Roils its Employees

Google Details Network Challenges, Seeks Academic Feedback

In an unprecedented move, Google revealed the details of how it developed and improved software-defined networking (SDN). In a paper presented at the ACM SIGCOMM 2015 conference in London, Google described the steps taken over a ten-year period, moving from third party vendor switches in 2004 to, a year later, building its own hardware and shuttling data among servers in its own data centers. The company is describing its network in part to share its experiences and seek assistance from the academic community. Continue reading Google Details Network Challenges, Seeks Academic Feedback

Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Google has unveiled its new Chrome operating system designed for business customers, which includes changes aimed at allowing companies to operate many of their legacy software applications. Dell has announced new Chromebooks and management software designed to work with the new operating system. After years of pushing cloud-based systems for improved security and management, Google has learned that many companies require custom upgrades or rely on virtualized systems to address the multitude of applications that cannot easily move to the cloud. Continue reading Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Twitter Reassures Investors with Plans for Upcoming Features

Twitter recently announced that it would launch several new features within the coming months designed to improve functionality and increase usage by loyal and casual Twitter users alike. The company plans to improve its private messaging function by the end of this year. The ability to shoot and upload videos, a display to show top tweets that users missed, and other helpful new features are expected to roll out next year. Twitter’s shares rose sharply following the announcements. Continue reading Twitter Reassures Investors with Plans for Upcoming Features

Hootsuite Takes Customer Service from Twitter to Phone Calls

Many consumers have found that the fastest way to get a response from a company is to send a tweet, but the 140-character length and the public nature of the social network limit the conversation. Hootsuite Media, the maker of the popular social media management app, is rolling out a solution: a feature that allows businesses to initiate calls with their customers via Twitter. Consumers who send the company tweets will get a reply with a phone number so that they can talk offline. Continue reading Hootsuite Takes Customer Service from Twitter to Phone Calls

YouTube Stars Hire Agents, Managers in Traditional Media Push

More than 20 talent agencies and management companies are vying to represent some of YouTube’s biggest celebrities with the promise of growing these stars’ online audience and traditional media presence. Agents often negotiate endorsement deals, acting gigs, music deals and book deals. They can also help the young-adult and teenage stars navigate licensing contracts. YouTube stars have started attracting traditional media companies, and now traditional management companies. Continue reading YouTube Stars Hire Agents, Managers in Traditional Media Push

VocalIQ and GM to Make Vehicle Voice Control More Intuitive

VocalIQ, a UK-based company that works on software to enable voice control of devices, is collaborating with General Motors to take vehicle voice control to the next level. The intuitive system would learn the driver’s vocabulary and intentions to create more precise responses, without the need for specific wording. The dialogue management system would be integrated into the car’s dashboard navigation. GM’s Israel-based Advanced Technical Center is overseeing the development. Continue reading VocalIQ and GM to Make Vehicle Voice Control More Intuitive

Apple and IBM Tackle Mobile Enterprise with Exclusive Venture

Apple and IBM announced a joint venture that the tech giants have been working on for several months. The exclusive partnership will focus on mobile and data analysis tech in the corporate world by developing more than 100 business software programs intended for use on iPhones and iPads. Applications will be tailored for banking, healthcare, insurance, retail, telecommunications and transportation. Apple CEO Tim Cook described the venture as “a landmark partnership.” Continue reading Apple and IBM Tackle Mobile Enterprise with Exclusive Venture

36 Million Smart Homes Coming to U.S. and Europe by 2017

Analyst firm Berg Insights forecasts that the number of smart homes in the U.S. and Europe will reach 36 million by 2017, with sales of $9.4 billion per year. The second edition “Smart Homes and Home Automation” report indicates the U.S. had 3.5 million smart homes at the end of 2012. Berg defines smart homes as those with connected products that work in conjunction with apps or a Web portal. However, most of today’s smart homes simply include products such as a Nest thermostat. Continue reading 36 Million Smart Homes Coming to U.S. and Europe by 2017

Kaleidescape Settles 10-Year Legal Battle with the DVD CCA

DVD server manufacturer Kaleidescape has ended its lengthy legal battle with the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), the not-for-profit organization that governs copyright protection of DVDs. The organization sued Kaleidescape in 2004 for creating DVD servers that encourage users to illegally rip copyrighted movies. Shortly after a joint notice of settlement was filed, the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara, noted a “voluntary dismissal” of the case, and determined on Monday, “Case complete.” Continue reading Kaleidescape Settles 10-Year Legal Battle with the DVD CCA

Verizon Seeing Tremendous Growth in the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things produces significant amounts of data from objects embedded with sensors and machine-to-machine communications. According to Verizon’s VP of Connected Solutions Mark Bartolomeo, the Internet of Things is growing over 100 percent a year. Companies are using this technology to improve the management of supply chains, equipment and customer demands. The energy, transportation and digital cities units are the fastest growing sectors in Verizon’s Connected Solutions. Continue reading Verizon Seeing Tremendous Growth in the Internet of Things

VUDU Allows UltraViolet Users to Share Movies with Friends

Walmart announced that its VUDU media delivery service will introduce a new feature that allows customers to share content from their UltraViolet collections. The “Share My Movies” feature will enable users to share movies and TV shows with up to five friends or family members by simply entering their email addresses (they also need to be VUDU customers). The company hopes that the ability to share libraries will encourage more consumers to sign up for the service. Continue reading VUDU Allows UltraViolet Users to Share Movies with Friends

Warner Bros. Exec Discusses Moving Studio Archive to the Cloud

As part of the “Media Management in the Cloud” conference running at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week, Brian McKay, executive vice president of production operations at Warner Bros., discussed the challenges and opportunities of moving the studio’s archive into the cloud. In one of the final sessions of the conference, which concluded late Wednesday, McKay appeared onstage with David Cohen, senior editor at Variety, for a one-on-one conversation. Continue reading Warner Bros. Exec Discusses Moving Studio Archive to the Cloud

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