Thursday, February 28, 2013

Windows 8 now up to 2.79% market share as Windows 7 stabilizes after its first decline

1330874 26875050 520x245 Windows 8 now up to 2.79% market share as Windows 7 stabilizes after its first decline

Two months into 2013, and Windows 8 continues its slow but steady growth. Windows 7 posted growth after suffering its first depreciation in market share since its launch in 2009.

The latest market share data from Net Applications shows that February 2013 was a decent one for Windows 8, which gained 0.43 percentage points (from 2.36 percent to 2.79 percent) while Windows 7 regained 0.07 percentage points (from 44.48 percent to 44.55 percent) after losing a sizeable 0.63 percentage points the previous month.

In January, Windows 7 lost market share for the first time since its release, just a month after passing the 45 percent mark. It looks like it may never reach that point again.

windows february 2013 730x494 Windows 8 now up to 2.79% market share as Windows 7 stabilizes after its first decline

While Windows 7 slightly regaining share is not too surprising (there are still PCs being sold with the operating system), Windows 8 isn’t growing as quickly as some would have hoped. Windows 8 grew 0.66 percentage points in December, meaning both January’s and February’s gains were smaller.

With the Windows 8 upgrade deal for $15 expiring at the end of February, it will be difficult for Microsoft to avoid a slowdown in sales. It will be up to the students to take advantage of the $70 price tag and of course for OEMS to draw in consumers with great hardware.

It’s still not clear if Windows 7 did indeed peak at the 45 percent mark, but we’ll know that for sure next month. As already mentioned, January was the first time Windows 7 lost share since its release (or rather since a beta leaked on BitTorrent in December 2008) and everyone will be looking at March to see what happens next.

Windows Vista meanwhile slipped 0.07 percentage points (from 5.24 percent to 5.17 percent) and is largely expected to fall under the 5 percent mark soon. Windows XP lost a solid 0.52 percentage points (from 39.51 percent to 38.99 percent), so there is definitely some good news for Microsoft there.

At the end of 2012, Windows managed to increase its market share after six months of losses, mainly thanks to Windows 7 and Windows 8. In 2013, however, Windows is back to losing share.

Between January and February, Windows lost 0.09 percentage points (from 91.71 percent to 91.62 percent). This was to the benefit of OS X (up 0.09 percentage points to 7.17 percent) while Linux remained flat at 1.21 percent.

Net Applications uses data captured from 160 million unique visitors each month. The service monitors some 40,000 Web sites for its clients. StatCounter is another popular service for watching market share moves; the company looks at 15 billion page views. To us, it makes more sense to keep track of users than of page views, but if you prefer the latter, the equivalent data is available here.

Image credit: Robert Linder

from The Next Web Feed

Portable Bluetooth Speaker Lets You Listen to Emojis

Sometimes a smiley just isn't enough. If you've ever wanted to send a sound to express anger or delight -- or you just love cat noises -- the creators of TeleSound have got you covered.

TeleSound, a portable sound messenger, allows people to send more than 1,000 sounds from a smartphone or tablet. The device connects wirelessly via Bluetooth and uses a free iPhone or Android app to send emojis.

Each icon is linked to a corresponding noise, from clinking coins for a money bag to a surprised gasp for the shocked face. Check out the video, above, to see how it works.

SEE ALSO: Read 20 Great Books in 2 Minutes, Emoji Style

Once you send an icon, it automatically plays on your frie…
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More About: bluetooth, emoji, Gadgets, Mobile, technology

from Mashable!

Surreal photos: Dennis Rodman watches basketball with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

vice11 520x245 Surreal photos: Dennis Rodman watches basketball with North Korean leader Kim Jong un

Here’s something you don’t see every day. Former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman hanging out and watching basketball with Kim Jong-un, the leader of isolationist state North Korea.

Talk about surreal — check out the rest of the audience kitted out in standard issue uniforms.

vice2 730x485 Surreal photos: Dennis Rodman watches basketball with North Korean leader Kim Jong un

vice1 730x483 Surreal photos: Dennis Rodman watches basketball with North Korean leader Kim Jong un

vice3 730x486 Surreal photos: Dennis Rodman watches basketball with North Korean leader Kim Jong un

Rodman is currently in the country on a visit coordinated by Vice Magazine, which flew him and members of the Harlem Globetrotters over to the Asian country.

The duo sat together to watch an exhibition basketball match in Pyongyang. Google President Eric Schmidt was unable to meet with Kim during his recent trip, but it is said that the North Korean leader’s love of basketball — which he discovered while at boarding school in Switzerland — has given Rodman this unprecedented access.

It gets weirder though…

The Telegraph reports that Rodman and three Globetrotters and the Vice crew headed back for a party at Kim’s palace after the game.

“Apparently, he had a blast at the game,” Smith said, after speaking by phone with Ryan Duffy, a Vice Media correspondent who was on the trip. “So he invited them back to his home for a party, and they had a grand old time. Speeches were made — Dennis made a very nice one — and they were met with rounds of applause.”

And weirder still…

A tweet from Vic producer Jason Mojica that claims Kim got the crew drunk:

Robin is said to have told Kim — who used translators to communicate with the former Chicago Bulls player during dinner — that he has “a friend for life”. That’s obviously pretty divisive stuff, given that North Korea is under global pressure for the treatment of its people, nuclear weapons etc.

For his part, Rodman has tried to ignore politics, but obviously his visit has stirred plenty of opinion and criticism:

Related:Instagram makes its way into North Korea after mobile data services are opened

All images via Vice

from The Next Web Feed

Online Gaming Giant to Buy Atlantic City Casino

After being drummed out of the U.S. two years ago, the parent company of several of the internet's biggest online gaming sites is looking to reestablish itself with a brick-and-mortar toehold on the Jersey shore.

Even before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law this week a bill that would let the state's casinos offer online gaming, the parent company of Pokerstars and recently acquired Full Tilt Poker had already sought initial approval to buy the floundering Atlantic Club Casino.

The proposed deal represents the first time a virtual casino company would join with a physical gambling location in the East Coast gaming capital of Atlantic City. But the prospective buyer will h…
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More About: Full Tilt Poker, gambling, New Jersey, online gambling, online gaming, poker

from Mashable!

Like, You Will: Star Wars Nesting Dolls

Images courtesy of Andy Stattmiller.

Click here to view this gallery.

J.J. Abrams might have been tasked with bringing the Star Wars characters back to life on the silver screen, but artist Andy Stattmiller is trying to shrink the whole franchise.

Stattmiller has created an entire set of nesting dolls replicating the galaxy far, far away. Everyone, from Han Solo to Obi Wan, C3PO to Vader, makes an appearance -- just much smaller than we've seen them before. The R2D2, Stattmiller says, is just three-quarters of an inch tall.

SEE ALSO: Star Wars Spinoff Movies: Which Character Should Come First?

The set of dolls took about three weeks to paint, Stattmiller tells Mashable.

"I had previously made a Ghostbusters set, followed by a Simpsons set. For…
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More About: art, Star Wars

from Mashable!

FCC To Investigate Cell Phone Unlocking Ban

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Following an online uproar over a law banning the unlocking of cell phones, the Federal Communications Commission will investigate whether the ban is harmful to economic competitiveness and if the executive branch has any authority to change the law.

The “ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told me last night at a TechCrunch CrunchGov event at our San Francisco headquarters.

Until earlier this year, consumers were free to “unlock” their smartphones, which permitted them to switch carriers and download unofficial apps. For six years, the Library of Congress exempted cell phone unlocks from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans “circumvention” of copy protection schemes. The decision was reversed during the last round of triennial reviews.

Now users who dare to modify software on the devices they own are subject to legal penalties.

Genachowski isn’t sure what authority he has, but if he finds any, given the tone of the conversation, it’s likely he will exert his influence to reverse the decision. “It’s something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones.”

from TechCrunch

Venture Capitalist Tip: Shake Up Traditional Markets

The behind-the-scenes impact of Uber on the taxi industry and AirBnB on the hospitality trade are just two ways startups have innovated stagnant markets.

More About: brian solis, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, revolutiontv, venture capital

from Mashable!

Take a Look at Facebook’s Redesigned Timeline

Facebook is testing a new Timeline design. Currently live in New Zealand, the new look brings a slimmed down toolbar to the top of profile pages and repositions other content.

First spotted by Read Write, we got a friend in New Zealand to grab some screenshots of the update for us so we could take a closer look.

Check out the two photos below. The top is the new design, while the bottom is the older version:



The toolbar at the top of the page is where the most drastic of the changes takes place. Where there is currently a large photographic tile, there are now just text buttons for your About information, Friends, and Photos.

Maps and Subscriber information…
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More About: Facebook, timeline

from Mashable!

The Evolution of a Coffee Addict

It started with one cup when you were 17 years old. You probably didn't like the bitter taste, but you just needed a boost to finish that sociology paper before your 8 a.m. class.

Nowadays, you finish your second cup of coffee before even stepping foot into the office. (Or maybe you're on a whole new level, like this this guy who ordered a $50 Starbucks drink.)

SEE ALSO: More Comics on Mashable

In the comic below, H. Caldwell Tanner of Loldwell maps out the Pokémon-inspired evolution of a coffee addict. Are you still in the Roastyke stage, or a full-on Brewking?

Evolution of a Coffee Addict, Loldwell

Comic illustration by H. Caldwell Tanner, Loldwell. Published with permission; all rights reserved.

More About: comics, humor, Loldwell, Watercooler

from Mashable! increases its developer incentive plan by 50%, now pays out $30k per month increases its developer incentive plan by 50%, now pays out $30k per month, the social network started by imeem and Picplz founder Dalton Caldwell, has made its first change to the ‘Developer Incentive Program’ that was introduced last September to reward its top developers. Chief of which sees the total bucket fund that is distributed to app-makers rise to $30,000 per month from an initial $20,000.

Ad-free encourages its users to provide feedback on the large number of apps that have been built for the service. Based on the cumulative scores and a weighting algorithm, the funds are distributed out to developers each month to provide an additional revenue stream — although most developers already make money by charging users to download their apps.

“The stated goal of the Developer Incentive Program is to incentivize the creation of applications that people love…It’s been amazing to see the progress the developer ecosystem has made during these few months,” Caldwell wrote in a post on the blog.

The weighting algorithm also takes usage into account, and it has itself been tweaked since the service recently introduce DM-like messaging (via Omega) and file storage (via a new API). Now usage of these two features has been added to ensure that user activity is accurately accounted for when sharing the pot of money.

In addition to increasing the amount of cash to be shared by its developers — which Caldwell says is “recognition of both the increased number of participating developers and the increased number of paid accounts” — is stipulating that all apps participating in the program must include a privacy policy and terms of service. The team is reaching out to developers to make that happen, while each app must also be used by at least 50 users and should be listed in the directory to qualify. began allowing users to join the service for free if invited by a paying users last week. Although free users have certain restrictions — they can only follow 40 people, for one — they will be solicited for feedback on apps, but their responses will not count towards the divvying out of the money.

The move looks to be a response to the growth in the number of developers and users, particularly since the free tier was opened. While many developers already draw income by producing apps that are not free, it is likely to be a welcomed addition that further incentivizes their efforts.

I briefly caught up with Bill Kunz, the man behind popular $4.99 iOS app Felix (our review), who gave a brief insight into the change and the value of the program from a developer’s perspective:

I’m thrilled by the changes, which are a part of a sound path forward for the development ecosystem surrounding ADN. Dalton’s description of the program as a “bonus” is how I perceive (and plan for) it too, so I’m encouraged to see that point reemphasized.

“We said that there was a lot to learn and that we would revise it in the future so the fact we revised it in the various ways we did was based on what we learned,” Caldwell told TNW.

While he didn’t reveal the number of developers involved in the program, the directory currently lists 116 apps for all devices. It seems likely that, given the additional funds in the kitty and the increase in members following the new free user tier, we can expect that number to continue to rise.

from The Next Web Feed

Google Launches Zopfli To Compress Data More Densely And Make Web Pages Load Faster


Google just launched Zopfli, a new open source compression algorithm that can compress web content about three to eight percent more densely (PDF) than the standard zlib library. Because Zopfli is compatible with the decompression algorithms that are already part of all modern web browser. Using Google’s new algorithm and library on a server could lead to faster data transmission speeds and lower web page latencies, which would ultimately make the web a little bit faster.

The new algorithm, which Zurich-based Google engineer Lode Vandevenne created as a 20% project, is an implementation of the Deflate algorithms – the same algorithm that’s also used for the ZIP and gzip file formats and PNG image format. Zopfli’s output is compatible with zlib, but uses a different and more effective algorithm to compress data.

As Vandevenne writes in the announcement today, “the exhaustive method is based on iterating entropy modeling and a shortest path search algorithm to find a low bit cost path through the graph of all possible deflate representations.”

There is, however, a price that needs to be paid for this: it takes significantly longer to compress files with Zopfli (decompression times are virtually the same, though). Indeed, as Vandevenne notes, “due to the amount of CPU time required — 2 to 3 orders of magnitude more than zlib at maximum quality — Zopfli is best suited for applications where data is compressed once and sent over a network many times, for example, static content for the web.”

Image credit: Volvo

from TechCrunch

Shocking New Adidas Basketball Uniforms Invite Mockery Online

An unveiling of some, uh, creative new Adidas basketball uniforms Thursday was widely -- and hilariously -- panned by the online peanut gallery.

More About: college sports, Sports

from Mashable!