TechStop


February 26, 2013  4:47 PM

Apple Easier to Deal With



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Apple

Hi all, traditionally Apple has been difficult to deal with. At least that is the implication by the headline below. The French telecom is happier with the less arrogant Apple. I am not sure what this means for consumers though.

http://www.tuaw.com/2013/02/26/france-telecom-ceo-apple-now-easier-to-deal-with/

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)

February 26, 2013  2:48 PM

Top Market for Apps



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Apple, BlackBerry, Google, iphone

Hi all, it is obvious that China has awoken from his slumber and is now a capitalist market to be worked with. The new found wealth of the population combined with the more open nature of the government has allowed many previously closed trade routes to open for business. One of those businesses is the app markets that are allowed world wide.

WIth the iPhone/iPad App Store and the Android Play markets being two such examples everyone wants to know how big of a market is China actually. A report by Flurry has recently revealed that China is the hottest place for apps these days. Any developer looking to make apps for an emerging market should definitely take a look at that area of the world since it is looking very busy these days.

Flurry Blog: http://blog.flurry.com

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


February 25, 2013  2:45 PM

Tablets Still Gaining Ground



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Apple, Samsung

Hi all, the tablet revolution is on the rise. The iPad mini, not surprisingly, is gaining the most ground in the space. As the newcomer to the 7″ market Apples first product is fairing well. Android tablet’s are taking over more and more spots on the lists that are generated these days.

The Kindle Fire is popular but Samsung took the Android producer award (not a real award) with its tablets. With all of the competition out there what will Google do with their own Android products? Are they going to become like Microsoft and start licensing the OS?

http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ipad/tablets-on-the-rise-ipad-mini-kindle-fire-top-the-charts/

Until next time
TechStop (JW)


February 24, 2013  2:43 PM

FixYa – Apple’s Phones 3 Times More Reliable Than Runner Up



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Apple, Samsung

Hi all, when you buy a SmartPhone you want to tell yourself that it will work without issue for the next 10 years. You know that isn’t reasonable but you do think it is reasonable for it to last at least the next 2 years. These devices are small and are meant to be handled in a way that will almost promote you dropping them. So which vendors have the highest rating for durability?

Apple took top spot in FixYa’s comparison. They not only took top spot but out did Samsung in second place by 3 times the reliability. That is the kind of scores you want to see if you own an iPhone but definitely not the kind that you want to see if you work for Samsung. The top reported issues for Samsung devices was the microphone at number 1 and speaker issues at number 2.

Motorola came in third with a very poor rating putting at almost half of what Samsung’s rating was meaning that you definitely don’t want to keep that phone for very long. Not that you would be allowed to with a score like that.

FixYa Blog: http://blog.fixya.com/pr/feb2013/smartphone-manufacturer-report.html

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


February 23, 2013  2:43 PM

Square – Mobile Register



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Microsoft Windows

Hi all, Square’s mobile payment system has been gaining speed in the point of sale (PoS) space. The idea is simple and the costs are low when compared to traditional systems. Given that today there are so many small businesses the need for a simple and inexpensive method of accepting payment is needed.

What Square has come out with recently is a cash register in a box (link below). It allows you to get up and running with a register for less than $1,000.00, it is simple to use and is quick to setup. There are side benefits as well such as a low per-transaction cost which is often lower than traditional PoS systems. Another side benefit is that it tracks your sales in real time for instant reporting on stock/inventory.

In the video article below a coffee shop uses Square in order to easily and quickly process transactions. This particular company was forced into this situation due to a failure in their old system and was up and running with Square in about a day. If you have ever worked in a small business space with a traditional PoS system you know getting up and running on a new system in less than a week is a miracle.

Square: https://squareup.com/register/hardware
Video Article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/tech-news/video-so-long-old-cash-register-its-hip-to-use-square/article8963735/?cmpid=rss1

Until next time
TechStop (JW)


January 29, 2013  9:31 PM

Apple – Slips in Trusted



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Apple

Hi all, Apple has usually ranked high in the list of companies that the general public feel that they can trust. With their product becoming more mainstream the company has worked to keep the image of trust positive. The company has slipped off of the top 20 list of trusted companies in 2012. It only just missed the mark by being rated at number 21 but that still shows that their image is taking a negative bruising over the last year. 2013 will show if they can effectively recover from the negative image.

http://www.ponemon.org/local/upload/file/2012%20MTC%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


January 29, 2013  9:24 PM

Apple – 128 GB iPad



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Android, Apple, Microsoft

Hi all, the newest iPad from Apple hasn’t been on the market that long and just days before the release of the Surface Pro Apple has released an iPad with 128 GB of storage. That is more than a coincidence considering that most would see the Surface as a direct competitor to the iPad. While the Surface does have some appeal most people would rather use one of the more established players in the market by opting for either an Android or iOS device. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over this year.

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/01/29Apple-Increases-iPad-with-Retina-Display-to-128GB.html

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


December 25, 2012  4:10 PM

Netflix Outage



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Microsoft Windows

Hi all, if you were trying to watch Netflix on Christmas Eve evening with the family you were likely unpleasantly surprised to find it offline. Netflix tweeted that their service was offline due to an Amazon cloud services issue. There weren’t many details on what caused the issue or if it is likely to happen again.

As of early Christmas morning the service was restored. Lets hope that the outage wasn’t caused by load otherwise we may see another outage very soon since more people will likely be turning on new subscriptions since it can and has been given as a gift.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


December 25, 2012  4:03 PM

Smartphone Release Cycle



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Android, Apple

Hi all, the Christmas season is winding down and tablets have been a huge part of the electronics market this year. Rumour has it that Apple has sold over 6 million iPad minis and that Android phone from Samsung are moving into market space at record breaking rates. Now everyone is starting to look forward to next year and what lies ahead particularly in the tablet and smartphone markets.

Well, iPhone 5(s) is rumoured to be released around March of 2013 along with a new full sized iPad that will be thinner and lighter than the current generation. It looks like Apple has moved to a release schedule of twice per year in order to smooth out their sales cycle particularly in the smartphone market.

This makes a lot of sense given the pent up demand for a new iPhone that we saw with the iPhone 5. It also makes it so that they can release incremental versions of their phones. I would expect Samsung to play on this and move their release dates in order to be competitive with the releases that Apple has tentatively scheduled.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


December 20, 2012  11:16 PM

Forensic Access to Encrypted Files



Posted by: Joshua Wood
Microsoft Windows

Hi all, a lot of people rely on encrypting data on the hard drive in order to keep the files that they want private, well private. There is a new tool in the arsenal of those that would want to prevent you from keeping those files secret using TrueCrypt or BitLocker or similar. The tools creator claims some big items such as “Extracts all the keys from a memory dump at once” and “Zero-footprint operation leaves no trace”.

If even half of what they are claiming is true that would be an amazing and scary tool to have out in the wild. It does say that it recovers the keys from memory dumps so making those secure couldn’t hurt.

Tool: http://www.elcomsoft.com/efdd.html

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


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