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31 March, 2012

RIM Doesn’t Need BlackBerry 10 — It Needs a Time Machine

RIM Doesn’t Need BlackBerry 10 — It Needs a Time Machine
By Peter PachalOn Mashable

blackberry-broken-600
Research in Motion‘s latest quarter almost doesn’t need commentary. With revenues down 19% and posting its first loss in seven years, the company is clearly on the decline. The dismal financial news follows the revelation thatBlackBerry phones were no longer the device of choice even in RIM’s home country of Canada.
Many have used the news to pile on, saying the long-predicted implosion of RIM has finally begun. Acquisition, once the topic of idle speculation about the company, is now a very real possibility.
There appears to be one glimmer of hope, though: BlackBerry 10, the next-generation device software that’s supposed to debut later this year. Repeatedly describing BB10 as a “platform” that the company will build its entire suite of products around in the coming years (maybe), CEO Thorsten Heins said the future of RIM depends on its successful and on-time launch.
That’s not entirely true. The future of RIM has just been determined by a recent decision Heins revealed in its earnings call: that it was going to refocus on the enterprise market. He backpedaled a bit later, saying that it doesn’t represent abandoning the consumer market (the majority of its customers are everyday “consumers”), but the message from RIM was clear: We lost the consumer smartphone war to Apple and Google. We’re backing off.
This decision makes a large degree of sense — and I support it — but that doesn’t make it any less tragic. By retreating back to its core strength of enterprise devices and services, RIM may eke out a happy existence, but it will never be the smartphone titan it once was, no matter how good BlackBerry 10 is.
The reason is the smartphone market is worlds apart from where it was when RIM was king — which was just a mere three years ago, as the market share flies. The “consumerization of IT” trend is in full force — witness thestaggering number of businesses that plan to buy iPads in the coming year.
The business customer has evolved. The new species is much less tolerant of carrying two devices. It’s spent quality time with both the iPhone and Android handsets, and its pack leaders (read: executives) are quite partial to them. Finally, re-training the entire tribe on a new operating system like BlackBerry 10 just seems like a waste of time when everybody already knows how to use other platforms that are just as good if not better in many ways.
In the end, the number of businesses that really need BlackBerry — for its security, manageability and solid industrial design (RIM still makes the best keyboard phones on the market) — is fairly small. While RIM (or another company) can certainly create a viable business targeting those customers, a platform that’s based on them won’t ever achieve the kind of scale the company enjoyed in past decade.
If the outlook is so bleak with an enterprise focus, then why do I support it? Because RIM’s right — the consumer game is lost, at least as far as BlackBerry is concerned. You have two major ecosystems (iOS and Android) with a third on the rise (Windows Phone). More important, the market just crossed an important milestone with half of U.S. consumers now owning a smartphone.
Every day a new person enters the smartphone market, it declares loyalty to an ecosystem. By all counts, not many of those people are opting for a BlackBerry. By the time the new OS is an option, there will be even fewer of those first-time buyers left. BlackBerry 10 might be good, but it’s hard to imagine it being so amazing that a new customer will opt for it instead of the sexy iPhone or Android superphone on the next dias.
The time for RIM to strike back and regain its former consumer glory is long past. Really, it needed to see the iPhone for the wake-up call that it was five years ago. Or even four years ago. Or — what the hell — three. But it took until 2010, when the company acquired QNX software, for RIM to take decisive action in replacing its BlackBerry OS with something worthy of a modern smartphone.
So it doesn’t matter how good BlackBerry 10 is, or even if it comes a few months late. The businesses that RIM plans to court will use it regardless. They’ll buy it (because they’re convinced nothing else can do the job), their employees will use it (because they’re forced to), and RIM will either downsize or get bought (because what else are you going to do?). The rest of us will shrug, wonder what might have been, and go back to playing Angry Birds.
Images courtesy of Flickr, miggslives

This iPhone Platform Will Change The Way You Shoot Videos

This iPhone Platform Will Change The Way You Shoot Videos

By Emily Price On Masable


A new Kickstarter project is aiming to redefine how you shoot video with your iPhone. The Galileo is an iOS-controlled robotic iPhone platform that lets you manipulate the angle your iPhone from another iOS device, giving you the ability to adjust your iPhone to almost any angle you could possibly want.
For instance, if you were video chatting with a child who moved out of sight of the camera you could move the platform to follow her using your own device. The platform could also be used in situations like meetings so you can can follow all the action going on in the room. The platform’s inventor originally created the device in order to have better chats with his son while he was away on business.
Galileo can be controlled from another iOS device such as an iPad or iPod touch by swiping a finger across the screen, and gives you infinite 360-degree panning and 200-degree tilting. You can see everything around the iPhone and above it, with the only unavailable angle being what’s going on below.
The platform is also offering its SDK (software developers kit) for app development, giving app developers the freedom to integrate Galileo functionality into existing apps or create apps and software specifically designed to work with the product.
Galilieo has currently raised close to $270,000 on Kickstarter, and only required $100,000 to go into production. The project will be officially funded on April 21, 2012, after which the device will go into mass production and be sent out to project backers and then likely general consumers.
What do you think of the project? Tell us what potential uses you see for Galileo in the comments.

Conan O’Brien Buys Mashable, Ousts Pete Cashmore as CEO

Conan O’Brien Buys Mashable, Ousts Pete Cashmore as CEO

By Conan O'Brien On Mashable at 1st april

Hello, fellow Mashables. It’s Conan O’Brien, and I’ve got big news. Two hours ago, I purchased Mashable.com. I’ve taken it over. Why did I take it over? Very simple reason.
I’m sick and tired of scanning the Internet looking for any news about technology: Devices, gadgets, what’s coming up, maybe even a rating system for gadgets that are out there. It doesn’t exist on the web and it’s high time it did.
I go to the Mashable see the atrocious job they’re doing. So I decided it’s time for me to take it over.
That’s why, several hours ago, I called Pete Cashmore and I told him, “You’re out! Get out! You’re through Cashmore! Through! Get out!”
Of course, keep in mind, I was screaming “Get out” from a phone call and he was speaking at home…So it wasn’t clear what I was throwing him out of. We straightened that out.
He said, “You’ll have to buy me out.” I said, “Buy you out? How about thirty-five hundred smackeroos?” He didn’t know what smackeroos were, but we talked again.
There’s going to be a lot of changes around here. So stay tuned, cause I’m in charge now. I’m going to be sending out a lot of tweets!

Who's Your Favourite? (Baby vs Parent)

Who's Your Favourite? (Baby vs Parent)

Who's Your Favourite?



It's Maddie vs Daddy as I interrogate my baby daughter to reveal her favourite parent. What takes place is a ruthless contest of cunning and skill... with one of us clearly out of our league.

G'day everyone! There have been a lot of questions about how this video came to be, so for those of you interested, here's the brief. I shot this on the eve of my daughter Maddie's first birthday. My wife had originally asked me to put together a photo montage of baby's first year (yes, I'm 'that guy' in our family) but I settled on doing an interview instead. The original idea was to conduct one every birthday as a sort of year in review to have as a digital keepsake. I just hope she gets better at taking direction when she's older...

As a final note, my wife and I are completely overwhelmed with the reception of this video. Thank you to all who offered kind words and I'm glad so many of you have found a smile, laugh or warm, fuzzy feeling through watching it. She delights us every day and I'm thrilled to know I'm not the only one who fell in love upon meeting her for the first time. Even if I'm not her favourite.
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Optimize Your Videos For YouTube

Optimize Your Videos For YouTube

Friday, November 04, 2011

One of the most popular search engines online today was actually started created by three former PayPal employees back in February 2005.  It’s not Google, Yahoo, or Bing – it’s YouTube.  The site attracts countless viewers every day and is considered to be the largest video based website on the Internet.

Developing and promoting videos is a great way to generate traffic and promote your products, services, and special offers.  The question everyone wants answered is how to get your videos ranked high on YouTube and even appear in organic search results too.  The good news is that by following a few basic optimization principles, you can quickly and easily optimize your videos for YouTube.

Let’s start with some basic YouTube ranking factors. This search engine works differently than other search algorithms.  From my experience, where you appear on the platform and in relation to specific search queries depends on a few factors.

1. Relevancy. Metadata is exceptionally important on YouTube because of the search algorithm itself as well as the role that related videos play as part of the overall video viewing experience. Your video title, description, keywords, etc. are heavily weighed as part of search queries.

2. Ratings. YouTube, just like Amazon, puts a lot of weight on user ratings.  The rating and quantity of reviews indicates the viewer’s approval of your video and tells the search algorithm that your video is ideal to promote to the rest of the YouTube universe.

3. Responses.  YouTube is also very interested in the comments and responses that others are making. When individuals take the time to submit video responses in addition to comments, YouTube gauges the additional interest as a key indicator of popularity, thus moving your video higher and higher in search results.


Optimizing your video is based on four simple, yet powerful steps.  True video optimization begins with the video itself.  It’s then followed by properly formatted titles, tags, and descriptions.

Video

When you produce your video, keep your video length longer than one and a half minutes but shorter than eight minutes.  Videos that seem to rank well both on YouTube and organically follow this general rule of thumb with regard to length.  Also, be sure to speak clearly when producing your video, using keywords in the first 10 seconds of the video and last 10 seconds of the video.  It’s believed that Google is actually indexing some of your audio.

Title

Title your video like you would a pay-per-click ad.  You want users to click through on your title to improve interactivity and views.  It's certainly believed that having a strong title and good click-through-rate can boost the rankings of your video.

When creating your title, include your most important keywords at the beginning of the title and keep the title brief.  The shorter the title the more weight you're giving to your keyword phrases.  However, you want the title to be powerful enough to encourage clicks.  Remember to use your keywords first, branding last, and encourage click-throughs.

Descriptions

When creating your description, again, be sure to use your keywords in the beginning.  You definitely have more room than you did in your title or even on conventional search engines to describe your video.  Keep in mind that you can use the description to include information about your video in general and provide specific info on products or services.

I always like to place a URL to a site I’d like to promote at the very beginning of my YouTube video description. This ensures that the URL is visible and clickable next to your video.  It’s a great way to promote third-party sites, passing authority and link juice of significant proportion.

Tags

One of the best ways to optimize your tags is to again begin with your chosen keyword phrase.  The second step is to do some research in the channel that your video will likely fit into.  What types of tags are being used by the top ranking videos?  You should integrate some of the same tags into the tags associate with your video to ensure a good ranking among similar videos that have already been posted.

Just the Beginning

Optimizing just a few features on YouTube such as the video itself, title, description, and video tags is a good starting point for improving the ranking of your videos.  There are a variety of additional techniques to further optimize videos for YouTube that deal more closely with the social aspect of the video site itself.  Views, reviews, etc. are all significant factors designed to manipulate video rankings on YouTube.  I’ll be sure to cover these additional factors in future posts.

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