BetaNews Staff

Top 3 ways apps can monetize

smartphonedollarB

The app market has exploded but only a few apps will survive in the long haul. The ability to monetize will be the defining factor. Fortunately, innovations in mobile technology have emerged to make monetization possible with in-app advertising and in-app purchase models.

There was a lot of hullabaloo around Snapchat recently when its founders declined a US$3 billion buyout offer from Facebook. That raised the question of whether it was being grossly overvalued given its revenue deficit. Other popular apps make revenue but are losing money: music apps Pandora and Spotify are prime examples. Why, then, are the valuations so astronomical? It’s because they have an audience. But is that good enough?

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Wearables in the enterprise, the software development dilemma

google glass

Google Glass is about to end its prototype phase, yet popular opinion and the device’s app ecosystem are struggling.

This coming spring will see widespread consumer access to the much-hyped wearable computer, which will hopefully lead to an increase of intuitive apps. Analysts have stated that such technology will have trouble in the consumer space due to the lack of selection at the moment. Surprisingly, counter to the common progression of technology from consumers to the enterprise, wearable technology will potentially be more successful as a business tool than a consumer gadget.

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Is Bitcoin the future?

Bitcoins

There has been a lot of talk lately about Bitcoin, a digital currency that aims to provide the security of cash and is more convenient than a credit card. Just under a year ago, the "cryptocurrency" -- so named for its reliance on cryptography in order to operate -- was traded somewhere between $13–14. However, one year later, Bitcoin is now trading for over $800, with a peak somewhere in the $1,200 range.

Bitcoin’s rise to popularity has been sparked by its many advantages: it claims to be inflation-free; have low or zero transaction fees; anonymity for transactions; totally transparent transaction history; irreversible transactions (no chargebacks); protection from fraud; freedom from exchange fees; and does not require the acceptor to be PCI Compliant.

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2014: The year of the enterprise app store

BYOD

While not every company has technologically embraced the massive influx of multiplatform, multi-network mobile devices taxing its network, the inevitable power they give employees to access enterprise resources in any location and manage their own technology systems -- a phenomenon known to some as "the consumerization of IT" -- will undoubtedly dramatically and permanently change the face of the enterprise as we know it today. And while it is widely recognized that the continued consumerization of IT presents countless challenges for IT departments, I see 2014 as the year IT views these changes as opportunities and empowers its employees with the tools they need to maximize the incalculable power of their devices.

One of the major tools to which I refer? The enterprise app store.

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Moto X comes to Europe -- without the customization options (for now)

Moto X

A few minutes ago, I finished listening to a presentation in London by Andrew Morely, vice president and general manager of Motorola Mobility (UK), in which he announced details of the European version of the Moto X phone which was, until now, only available in North and South America.

The main difference from the North American version is that in Europe the phone comes only in two colors (black and white) and the Moto Maker service, which allows buyers to customize the front/back/accent colors as well as add a personalized message to the back of the phone, is not available here (at least for now).

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Journal Communications: media takes off into the cloud

Rocket cloud

Journal Communications, Inc. (Journal) is a successful century-old media company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Our company owns and operates 34 radio stations and 15 television stations. We produce 20 print publications including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. For many years, our IT infrastructure for all of those media stations and papers functioned as separate entities. Our small team relied on long personnel-hours, hard work and dedication to keep everything running -- and functioning on time. As the company grew, however, we realized that this was not a sustainable model.

Originally, we had 17 implementations and multiple versions of Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint with multiple servers for each of our locations, most of which were not backed up or redundant. The company managed for years without significant problems, but we knew there was a better way.  As a newspaper and media company, it’s important for us to maintain the highest levels of efficiency and accuracy in all of our IT and business processes. To accomplish this, we needed the most effective operational approach we could use -- for total reliability across a disparate infrastructure.

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SOASTA reveals 5 technology predictions for 2014

predictions

It was a great 2013 for SOASTA. Out of the global $1.2 trillion dollars’ worth of business conducted online in 2013 across the globe, SOASTA, an established leader in website and app testing through the cloud, is trusted with protecting 10 percent of that figure -- or $150 billion. Based on the hundreds of brands SOASTA worked with and the challenges faced last year, here are five predictions that are pretty clear as we go into 2014. Hint: Simplify, the User Experience, and M-commerce will be buzz words for successful enterprises and e-commerce vendors.

My top five predictions for 2014 are as follows:

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Happy holidays from all at BetaNews

reindeer santa claus christmas tree gift

We're all ready for Christmas here at BetaNews. The "Santa Stop Here" signs are in place, all the last minute panic shopping and wrapping is complete, and the eggnog is flowing.

Hopefully you're all similarly prepared for the big day tomorrow, (even if you don't celebrate Christmas, we trust you've got something fun in mind to do) and we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas, and are crossing our fingers that you receive all the tech treats you're hoping for.

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Be yourself… but be all you can be!

Thumbs up

I believe that every individual possesses within them the innate ability to be great. To me, being great means being yourself... to the power of 10. It means tapping into your full potential so that you can be all you can be.

In today’s digital era, there are a myriad of opportunities for expressing your inner greatness and allowing it to shine forth for all the world to appreciate. Self-publishing has become easier than ever, whether that be via personal blog, social media, website or ebook.

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How Kodak and Polaroid fell victim to the dark side of innovation

dark road

With an early start into the digital technologies, Kodak was able to create industry leading technologies and digital cameras ahead of its competition. It took another ten years before the digital cameras became the largest segment of the camera market. Total sales of digital cameras surpassed those of analog cameras for the first time in 2002. In hindsight, Kodak had had over twenty years to respond to an existential threat. Given the extraordinary time Kodak had, and the massive and decisive action it took, we would expect Kodak to have easily handled this major technological change in its industry. Unfortunately, the reality was something else. By 2003, Kodak was only one of five large players in the digital camera arena and was losing money. Its market share in digital cameras was less than 25 percent, and within the next few years it continuously lost market share and profits. On January 19, 2012 Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, marking the end of a 131-year history as one of America’s leading companies.

This failure was not due to a difficulty in technological transition, or to getting blindsided by a disruptive innovation, or to the speed of the change.

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Top business and IT process automation trends for 2014

the future

Enterprise technology as we know it is changing. Several years ago, significant improvements in IT were viewed by the business as "nice to have" but not essential. Today many companies use their IT enterprise to deliver differentiated customer service, business intelligence (BI) and a more efficient supply chain. Still, some organizations lag behind. In fact, many businesses continue to rely on a loose federation of siloed applications and disconnected manual tasks to support their most critical operations.

Smart businesses recognize the short-sightedness of this outdated approach. These companies view IT infrastructure as a source of important competitive advantage core to business development. They use their enterprise to maintain -- and enhance -- their market position. Today IT success is business success. They are inevitably connected.

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Data Defined Storage: creating business value from Big Data for financial services organizations

Data

Financial services organizations (FSOs) generate huge volumes of unstructured data -- volumes that roughly double every two years according to an IDC report. To the innovators this signifies increased opportunity for better business insights. However, mass volumes of data, although promising potential value, can also pose as a substantial challenge if the appropriate underlying infrastructure is not in place to enable organizations to store, protect and understand data, unlocking the value of information as a strategic business enabler.

Ever-increasing amounts of electronic data, growing standards of accountability, new rules governing data use and security have resulted in a need for a new approach for managing digital assets that support business policies and ensure long-term preservation of data -- without compromising quick discovery and access, should the need arise.

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Open source takes eCommerce global

eCommerce global

As online retailers in the US attempt to benefit from the opportunities of global eCommerce, they must rethink their business requirements and systems from the ground up. To successfully conduct business across borders and cultures, there are several considerations that US-based entities must acknowledge, including variances in taxes and regulations, content and process localization, and seamless experiences for mobile customers.

To fulfill the requirements of these issues, they must also choose the right technologies to manage them all.

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App hardening emerges as a key component of mobile security strategies

Apps

The consumerization of information technology (IT) takes many forms, but the three technologies that employees have become comfortable with in their role as consumer and now wish to leverage in their role as employee are mobile devices, cloud services (for example, file storage), and social networks. All three technologies raise security and compliance concerns for enterprises because of the difficulties surrounding control of their use. The loss of control experienced by IT teams regarding enforcing IT and security policy is a result of employees’ ability to use these technologies to create shadow IT operations on their own.

While each of these three technologies is having a far-reaching impact on enterprises today, the use of mobile devices is most impactful because it allows employees to more easily access both cloud services and social networks. Securing the use of mobile devices is therefore an absolutely critical requirement for businesses today. Actually securing a device that might be owned by an employee and will therefore be unmanageable is, however, a tall order. A better strategy is to assume the device is in fact untrustworthy and to decide that trust is better established at the application level. Secure mobile apps can be built that are isolated from the rest of the device.

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What's next for tablet technology?

tablet tech

The iPad wasn't the first tablet on the market, but it was certainly the first to capture the public's attention in a big way. And now, we live in a world where predictions tell us nearly weekly that the reign of the desktop PC is coming to an end.

That may or may not be true, but the fact remains: the tablet is here to stay, and it’s one of the fastest-selling electronic devices in recent history. While the newly unveiled iPad Air and iPad mini Retina are bringing people in droves to local Apple stores, Google continues to impress with its Android-powered Nexus tablets, and Windows-based tablet computers like the Surface 2 are gaining traction in an increasingly crowded market.

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