Start up: more PC decline, apps for 2016, the OLED iPhone delay, cars that snitch, and more


Discover the epidemiology of the people who support him. Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, on Flickr

A selection of 11 links for you. See how they shine! I’m charlesarthur on Twitter. Observations and links welcome.

2013: Back to where they came from » number23

Nigel McDermott, writing in December 2013:

The iPhone spawned the iPad which spawned numerous other tablets, and we now live in a world where an iPad will do 90% of the tasks 90% of home PC users. This is not to say that the PC is dead. Far from it. The PC is the best tool for many, many tasks, but the majority of those tasks are associated with work, not leisure. The PC is the ideal tool to be used in many workplaces for years to come. And yes, I’m talking about Windows PCs with mouse and keyboard input: this paradigm is actually fantastic for many productivity tasks, that are just horrendous when carried out on touch screens or machines held in one hand. Even the ecosystem that has grown up with them, the enterprise market, is in many ways a mature and solid setup, that like the sub-optimal “design” of the mammalian eyeball, is actually quite fit-for-purpose.

The thing is about the PC: we just don’t need one at home anymore. Consoles and set top boxes provide us with amazing gaming and entertainment. Tablets and smartphones provide us with much better ways to consume news, knowledge and information, and to communicate and remotely socialise. These devices all do what they were designed to do where for years the poor PC had to limp along, doing it’s best. It’s time to give it a break.

I’m not calling time on the PC: I’m just saying it’s time for the PC to go back to the office.

Now read on…
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Worldwide PC shipments will continue to decline into 2016 as the short-term outlook softens » IDC

“Despite the substantial shift in spending and usage models from PCs toward tablets and phones in recent years, very few people are giving up on their PC – they are just making it last longer,” said Loren Loverde , Vice President, Worldwide Tracker Forecasting and PC research. “The free upgrade to Windows 10 enables some users to postpone an upgrade a little, but not indefinitely. Some consumers will use a free OS upgrade to delay a new PC purchase and test the transition to Windows 10. However, the experience of those customers may serve to highlight what they are missing by stretching the life of an older PC, and we expect they will ultimately purchase a new device. As detachable systems become more compelling (including attractive new Wintel designs), some volume will go to detachable tablets rather than traditional PC form factors, which will cut into the PC growth rate, but still supports the PC vendors and ecosystem.”

While detachable tablets are expected to grow quickly, they are still a relatively small part of the market. As a reference, combining detachable tablets with PCs would boost growth by roughly 3 percentage points – this would result in a trend of declining volume from 2012 to 2015, followed by about 1% growth in 2016 and slightly higher gains in subsequent years.

The balance is shifting toward commercial buyers again. But the forecast is for a 10% drop compared to 2014, to about 277m shipped (excluding Surface Pro and similar).
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Google will show live orchestra, opera, and theater performances in 360 degrees » The Verge

Now you can watch your next opera from the comfort of your couch. The Google Cultural Institute today announced that it is partnering with 60 global performing arts institutes to bring live, 360-degree performances to desktop and mobile users worldwide. Partners include the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK, and the initiative should help make the arts available to those who would otherwise never have the opportunity to see such great work.

It’s not quite VR, but it’s like a stepping stone towards it.
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Dailymotion hit by malvertising attack as perpetrators ‘up their game’ » The Register

John Leyden:

Malicious adverts spreading malware managed to make their way onto popular French video streaming site Dailymotion. The infection involved a rogue ad and JavaScript that ultimately directs surfers to sites harbouring the Angler Exploit Kit (EK).

The practical upshot was that Windows users running out-of-date software, such as older versions of Adobe Flash, would be infected with either the Bedep trojan or ad fraud malware, or maybe both.

The attack was spotted by security software firm Malwarebytes, which reports that the bogus advertiser behind the attack took great pains to disguise its origin and purpose.

So familiar now, it’s like hacking of sites. (Thanks “Arthur Arkwright” in comments on an article here.)
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Top app predictions of 2016: from tvOS and Google Now on Tap, apps are eating the web » App Annie Blog

Every company that has an app is a publisher and apps are the new normal to deliver content, entertainment, utility, productivity, commerce, transportation, etc. 2016 promises to be another exciting year of developments and launches.  Our analysts predict the top 10 app trends to watch for in 2016:

• Google Now on Tap: Deep linking and contextual discovery to ease app discovery
• eSports: Set to become an emerging revenue stream for game publishers
• Messaging: Cultural factors to maintain messaging divide between the East and the West
• Online-to-Offline (O2O) Services: Asia primed for a wave of consolidation because of challenging unit economics
• Productivity Apps: New input methods to spur app innovation
• Financial Services: Retail banks face “death by a thousand cuts”
• tvOS: Set to unlock the smartphone as a powerful second screen device
• YouTube Red: Catalyst for indie long-form content
• Wearables: Watch for vertical-specific and enterprise use cases
• Augmented And Virtual Reality (AR/VR): Major content players to spur initial adoption, but still more hype in 2016

There’s a report you can download too.
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Apple’s long, winding road to OLED and what it says about the next four iPhones » Forbes

Mark Rogowsky:

Back in 2013, when CEO Tim Cook was trash talking OLED, essentially the only supplier worldwide was Samsung. At the time, Apple and Samsung were in a blood feud over patents and even if the two companies weren’t at odds, the Korean giant lacked the production capacity to supply even the then smaller iPhone market. With the iPhone 6 due in 2014, there was simply no way Apple could offer OLED with just one realistic volume supplier — and one it didn’t much care for.

The massive success of that model, though, had the ironic effect of ensuring there’d be no OLED in the iPhone 7, what we’re calling the model due in the autumn of 2016. In the time since 2013, LG has emerged as an important OLED supplier, both in televisions and smartphones but not at iPhone-like volumes. To supply the iPhone 7 with OLED screens, Apple would need to know that somehow more than 50 million could be ready by the upcoming spring — just a few short months from now. They’d need at least that many more before the year was over. While Apple might have been ready to switch to OLED, which has now surpassed the quality of its still-excellent LCD screens, it couldn’t until the supply chain caught up.

Rogowsky explains really well why the gigantic supply chain Apple relies on simply can’t move quickly enough to just put OLED in right away. Which ought to be a problem for Apple – yet it managed to ride out not having larger screens for at least one year, and arguably two.
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Apple fixes iPhone battery life – at a price » One Man & His Blog

Adam Tinworth:

The battery case, which charges with the phone, claims to over double double the talk and data life of the device – which mobile journalists who work in the field regularly will recognise as a huge boon:

Charge your iPhone and battery case simultaneously for increased talk time up to 25 hours, Internet use up to 18 hours on LTE, and even longer audio and video playback.* With the Smart Battery Case on, the intelligent battery status is displayed on the iPhone Lock screen and in Notification Centre, so you know exactly how much charge you have left.

Of course, it would be nice if the phone itself lasted longer, but this isn’t a bad solution for £79. It’s certainly more practical than the external battery bank I’ve been using up until now.

Twitter said OMG FUGLY – and it’s certainly not an aesthetic marvel (but battery packs tend not to be). I doubt Apple cares; this is meant for people who just want more battery life. (Though if it came in colours, it would sell even more.)

Entertainingly, Apple doesn’t specify the power capacity of the case.
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Car turns driver in for hit-and-run » WPBF Home

Becky Sawtelle:

Police responded to a hit-and-run in the 500 block of Northwest Prima Vista Boulevard on Monday afternoon. The victim, Anna Preston, said she was struck from behind by a black vehicle that took off. Preston was taken to the hospital with back injuries.

Around the same time, police dispatch got an automated call from a vehicle emergency system stating the owner of a Ford vehicle was involved in a crash and to press zero to speak with the occupants of the vehicle.

The person in the vehicle, Cathy Bernstein, told dispatch there had been no accident, that someone pulled out in front of her and that she was going home. She said she had not been drinking and didn’t know why her vehicle had called for help.

Police went to Bernsteins’s home on Northwest Foxworth Avenue and saw that her vehicle had extensive front-end damage and silver paint from Preston’s vehicle on it. Bernstein’s airbag had also been deployed.

Oh, but that isn’t even the best of it. Read the rest. So, will self-driving cars use automatic numberplate readers to tell on vehicles that hit them? Add in dashboard cams, and that should be the end of disputes over crashes.. shouldn’t it?
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The smartphone is eating the TV, Nielsen says » Fortune

Mathew Ingram:

Nielsen calls its report the Comparable Metrics report, because it’s the first time the measurement company has tried to combine equivalent ratings for usage of traditional TV and radio with the use of streaming services like Netflix, mobile devices, and web services like YouTube.

The company also takes pains to point out (PDF) that many comparisons of video viewing online through services like YouTube or Facebook confuse the measurement of actual audiences — in the sense of people watching a video for multiple minutes at a time over an hour or more—with the measurement of transitory viewers who are only present for a few seconds or more.

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Why do Donald Trump and others get away with lying? » CNN.com

A number of writers were asked about this, and Douglas Rushkoff’s answer resonates:

no matter how fact-filled the Internet gets, without context there’s no way to really evaluate any of these supposed truths. A purported fact will spread more for its ability to inflame than its relation to the truth. On the Internet, information streams can be isolated, almost meaninglessly decontextualized triggers — or, worse, as elements in a feed algorithmically configured by a social media platform to keep users clicking and spreading.

Where news organizations may be trying to assemble a version of truth for their readers, social media platforms care only about views, clicks, favorites and retweets. And in such an environment, the most inflammatory triggers – the most outlandish claims to truth – easily surpass the boring old truths we need to address. A video of a decapitation gets more play than the exodus of a million desperate refugees. The unfounded accusation that Jersey City Muslims cheered the collapse of the World Trade Center spreads further than the real fear Muslims have of an America increasingly hostile to their existence here.

That’s because without anyone else to contextualize these claims, we fit all these loose facts into our personal, almost dreamlike mythology for how the world works. It’s a disorganized, impulsive and unconscious set of connections we draw – and the perfect palette for those depending on the darker side of human nature for traction and their personal gain.

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Who is the average Donald Trump supporter? » Medium

Rob Leathern, who has lots of experience in using data for ad targeting, used Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to figure out the detail. (Obvious underlying assumptions: that Facebook is representative of the US population, and Trump supporters, and that these are the right queries to use.)

Here are some selected characteristics of the 10–15 million people that Facebook identifies as fans of Donald Trump, or his campaign. I compare the incidence of each row with the overall incidence across the entire US Facebook population and show a red negative score if Trump fans are underrepresented in that population, or a green positive score if Trump fans tend to overindex for that characteristic. Take a look below:

There’s much, much more; it’s a strange rabbit hole. But the broader idea – using Facebook Audience Insights to analyse presidential candidates’ support – is very clever. (You can do the same for technology devices, of course.)
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