For years I longed for a dog, but career, travel and commitments didn’t allow me the time. Then last year I decided I’d do it, and found an amazing little maltipoo I just loved at first sight.
We’re not exactly sure what to make of this, but it’s interesting.
Jana, a mobile rewards program focused on emerging markets, surveyed 2,500 smart phone owners in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, The Philippines, and Vietnam about their smart phone purchases.
Its survey revealed that the number one phone that people want in these markets is the iPhone.
The problem, of course, is that they’re not willing, or able, to afford the iPhone, which goes for over $600 in these places. The majority of people surveyed are paying $200 or less for their phones.
We’re not sure how/if Apple deals with this dilemma. It’s unlikely to lower its prices to meet demand in emerging markets.
But, we suppose this is a good sign overall for Apple. It isn’t losing its “cool” around the world.
The FT’s Tracy Alloway reports today that the U.S. Patent Office has published a filing from JP Morgan regarding a payment service that some have some are saying bares a striking resemblance to Bitcoin.
But the filing was submitted in August, meaning it significantly predates that digital currency’s breakout success.
And when you dig into the patent itself, you discover that there are really very few similarities between Bitcoin and JP Morgan’s system.
The system is basically a form of repackaging the electronic credits you already use to pay for stuff online. The only new wrinkle is a Payment Portal Processor that will be tied to a digital wallet that can hold your electronic credits. The “PPP,” as its referred to in the patent, will be able to “store miles, coupons, sweepstakes or other marketing incentives associated with use of the accounts linked to the PPP.” It will also "[enrich] the consumer e-commerce experience by eliminating the tedious process of tilling [sic] out lengthy payment and shipping fields as this is done automatically."
This, in turn, will help merchants, “since research indicates that most e-commerce purchases are abandoned at the [point of sale] due to consumers’ unwillingness to complete lengthy forms or provide personal credit card numbers. Furthermore, the automatic form filling features of the PPP enhanced Wallet reduces shipping errors, as the ‘ship to’ address is automatically filled in, eliminating manual entry errors.”
Under JP Morgan’s system, your account will still be tied to your credit or debit cards, and your payments will still be processed by the same Electronic Funds Transfer network used to process payments today. Bitcoin, on the other hand, relies on peer-to-peer exchanges, meaning it’s completely decentralized. And it uses souped-up encryption, which makes both parties in a transaction anonymous and makes the entire system difficult to hack. JP Morgan’s system does nothing for security enhancement. To authenticate the payment from the user, a bank can require, “ a software certification, an encrypted PIN, or the mother’s maiden name of the consumer.”
JP Morgan’s system wants to turn this:Into this — but there is nothing truly novel about all the other boxes you see:
We’ve reached out to Denis O’Leary, the first name on the patent, for comment, but have not received a response.
In short, we don’t really know what if anything JPMorgan is thinking with this patent or if they end up rolling it out at all (mot patents go nowhere).
And there’s evidence that this patent was collecting dust somewhere and some lawyer believed it might be a good idea to file: for instance, the patent references “Netscape Navigator” and “Palm Pilot.” Its “related patents” section reference documents submitted more than a decade ago — like this one for a, “Method and system for processing Internet payments using the electronic funds transfer network,” filed in 2000.
Whatever it ends up looking like, it won’t be Bitcoin.
Nintendo’s iconic hero plumber has appeared in over 200 video games since his 1981 debut.
On Wednesday the FDA’s Circulatory System Devices Panel will once again review Boston Scientific’s Watchman left atrial appendage closure device for the prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation patients (click here for the meeting materials). The panel will be the latest chapter in the long and contentious story of the Watchman. In 2010 the FDA issued a complete response letter and earlier this year a scandal broke out when the American College of Cardiology cancelled a prestigious late-breaking clinical trial presentation of the PREVAIL trial after the company broke an embargo by giving trial results to investors.
The final moments of ‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’ are surprisingly moving.
Location-based social network and mobile app Foursquare couldn’t quite pinpoint why its audience of 40 million users had dipped and why remaining users weren’t as engaged. In general, the percentage of U.S. adults who reported using local social networks to “check in” had decreased through 2013.
This fall, Foursquare launched the most significant overhaul to its app in the history of the company, and this overhaul also proved to be its most crucial — Foursquare says that user engagement has jumped 60% and users are spending 30% more time within the app.
According to Wired, Foursquare’s own lead engineer Anoop Ranganath and data scientist Blake Shaw cracked the code to allow Foursquare to finally utilize a geofence. Meaning, whenever a Foursquare user enters the boundaries of a location that Foursquare tracks, the app could send that user a notification.
Early returns have been encouraging, as nearly 40% of the 1 million notifications Foursquare has sent have been opened.
But now even after a bit of resurgence, it still enters a crowded app economy filled with similar apps looking to move beyond just targeted geofencing. Foursquare was once the bellwether social-local app. But in the future, Foursquare will have to move beyond check-ins and targeted geofencing. It may look to the models of apps like Waze and and Life360, which provide useful location-based services that are highly conducive to social sharing. (Wired)
In other news…
New data from StatCounter shows that mobile devices accounted for 21% of total global web browsing during November. This is the highest share that mobile web browsing has ever accounted for. (GigaOm)
There is a new mobile payments app for iPhone that facilitates peer-to-peer payments via Bitcoin. (Bloomberg)
The Linux Foundation, in conjunction with companies like Qualcomm, LG, Panasonic, Haier, Silicon Image and TP-LINK, has announced the formation of the AllSeen Alliance to help facilitate swift adoption of the Internet of Things. (The Verge)
Microsoft has officially released a proprietary social networking app for its existing desktop social network, Socl, across all Windows Phone 8 devices. (WMPoweruser)
According to mobile analytics firm Mixpanel, global adoption of the iPhone 5S has reached 10% worldwide, and is outpacing adoption of the cheaper iPhone 5C by an almost 4-to-1 ratio. (TechCrunch)
According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, the Future Privacy Forum claims nearly 1,000 retailers in the U.S. have equipped their shops with sensors along the aisles in an attempt to monitor and quantify the behavior of shoppers. (Wall Street Journal)
What you may have missed this week on BI Intelligence…
The alleged operator of a “revenge porn” website that posted naked photos of people without their consent has been arrested in California, state attorney general Kamala Harris announced.
Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, allegedly facilitated the posting of 10,000 graphing photos online and extorted victims for as much as $350 each through his website ugotposted.com.
Bollaert, a San Diego, Calif. resident, has been charged with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft, and extortion, and he faces possible jail time.
“This website published intimate photos of unsuspecting victims and turned their public humiliation and betrayal into a commodity with the potential to devastate lives,” Attorney General Harris said in a statement.
Like other “revenge porn” sites, ugotposted allegedly allowed users to post intimate photos online that were typically obtained from exes before a breakup, according to Harris. Unlike many other sites, though, Bollaert allegedly required people to post the subject’s entire name, location, age, and a link to her Facebook profile.
Bollaert allegedly made money by charging women up to $350 to have their photos removed.
Over the past week shares of Twitter (TWTR) have been on fire. The social media company’s stock price has soared from $40.69 one week ago to $52 at the time this article was written on Tuesday.
Last week Twitter rolled out an improvement to one of its marketing features to help advertisers to better target its 230 million+ users.
The new addition helps advertisers do a better job of reaching users who have previously displayed interest in their products based on web-browsing histories. Twitter’s massive base of users and improving monetization has hedge funds and independent analysts thinking that revenue will grow at a much quicker pace than Wall Street does.
The sell-side analysts that make up the Wall Street consensus have been notorious for underestimating the growth rates of social media companies. The information below is derived from data submitted to the Estimize platform by a set of Buy Side and Independent analyst contributors. You can share your own estimates as well by visiting www.estimize.com.
As displayed above the consensus from Estimize has been more accurate in forecasting Linked In’s (LNKD) earnings-per-share 6 out of the past 7 quarters. Over the same timeframe Estimize has been more accurate every single time in predicting Linked In’s revenue.
The table for Facebook (FB) tells a similar story. The community consensus from Estimize has been more accurate in forecasting EPS 4/7 times and more accurate on revenue 6/7 times. So why can’t Wall Street get social media right?
Part of the problem is a misalignment of incentives, the primary motivation of a sell side analyst is NOT to be accurate. The accuracy of Wall Street earnings expectations are crippled by a “don’t stray from the herd” mentality. As long as they keep their estimates in-line with one another, then no one can be singled out for poor performance. They face a bias where accuracy is sacrificed for job security.
That’s why we launched Estimize where analysts can share their earnings estimates publically or pseudonymously and compete to be the best. By crowdsourcing earnings estimates the Estimize community has built a data set that is up to 69.5% more accurate than Wall Street. Rankings and confidence ratings for each user are calculated through algorithms developed by our deep quantitative research which look at correlations between analyst track records and tendencies as they relate to future accuracy. Here is what our community is expecting from Twitter’s FQ4’13 earnings report in mid-January.
The verdict from our community is that Twitter will experience accelerated quarter over quarter revenue growth this period. The Estimize consensus which was extremely accurate in predicting revenue last quarter is expecting Twitter to report FQ4’13 earnings of $212.65M while Wall Street is forecasting $208.06. The Estimize community is predicting continued quarter over quarter growth throughout the next 6 months while Wall Street is expecting a revenue decline in FQ1’14. The magnitude of the difference between the Wall Street and Estimize consensus numbers often identifies opportunities to take advantage of expectations that may not have been priced into the market. In this case because of the difference in expectations we are seeing a much larger delta than usual for revenue in that quarter. For more information about alpha generating strategies utilizing the Estimize data set to find pre-earnings drift opportunities check out our whitepaper.
The analyst with the highest confidence rating for next month’s report is princebhojwani who is ranked 35th overall among 3328 contributing analysts. princebhojwani is expecting -3c EPS and $212.00M revenue which is very much in-line with the Estimize community consensus.
Our community seems to agree that like other social media companies this year, Twitter will exceed the Wall Street expectations. If Twitter can continue to improve the effectiveness of advertising to its 230 million+ users we can only expect its revenue to continue to grow.
Get access to estimates for Twitter published by your Buy Side and Independent analyst peers, and register to create your own estimates by heading over to Estimize now.
Employees at Pfizer really love their jobs.
The pharmaceutical giant was voted the happiest company in America by its own workers for the second year running, according to an annual survey from job site CareerBliss. Health care company Kaiser Permanente took second place, followed by Texas Instruments.
To come up with its ranking, CareerBliss evaluated thousands of employee-submitted reviews across hundreds of companies. Workers were asked to rate their employers on several happiness factors, including work-life balance, company culture, compensation, and growth opportunities.
Each employee review was given an average score between one and five. These scores were tabulated to produce a company’s overall rating, or “bliss score,” with a higher score indicating happier employees.
Here’s a look at the happiest companies in America, as well as each business’s bliss score, average employee salary, and ranking on last year’s list.
What it does: An American Comerica TV network that broadcasts everything from news to home entertainment to sports coverage
Bliss score: 3.974
Average salary: $78,000
Last year’s ranking: No. 48
What it does: A diversified technology company that services the health care, lighting, and consumer lifestyle sectors
Bliss score: 3.975
Average salary: $78,000
Last year’s ranking: No. 25
What it does: A multinational company that provides technology services, management consulting, and outsourcing
Bliss score: 3.979
Average salary: $80,000
Last year’s ranking: No. 24
CCP Games CMO David Reid talks to Forbes.com about EVE Online’s cut-throat capitalist sci-fi, the Rubicon expansion that allows players to (Rearden) steal a march on their rivals in the exploitation of new world, and how to extend a huge online world onto consoles and into virtual reality.
Hon Hai’s 19% month over month revenue increase is another indication that Apple could generate over $60 billion in revenue for the December quarter.
Google eventually wants to put microphones in every ceiling and put microchips in our heads.
The microphones would listen to our conversations and chime in with relevant information so that you don’t need to pull out your phone.
“Like a great personal assistant, it will interrupt you and say ‘ you’ve got to leave now’,” Google’s engineering director Scott Huggman said in a recent talk with The Independent. “It will bring you the information you want.”
Down the road, Google envisions that typing search queries will become obsolete. It also envisions implanting microchips into a user’s brain to better fulfill our constant need for information.
We’re not there just yet, but five years from now, Google wants to be able to respond to you the same way a person would answer.
“Google will understand context in conversation but it’s not an armchair psychiatrist,” Huffman said. “You can’t have a conversation about your mother. Google can’t talk to me about how I feel about things until it understands factual ‘things’. We’re just getting started understanding ‘things’ in the world.”
SEE ALSO: Google’s Smart Watch Is Just Months Away
Huge business opportunities?if they can pull it off.
Business doesn’t happen face to face as often as some would like. With so many workers worldwide now working in virtual teams, many business relationships depend on technology. And that’s not a bad thing — as long they’re using the right technologies in the right ways.