Boghound's World News

A Humorous Look At News Events And Life Around The World

Archive for August, 2013

I Don’t Believe It!!

Posted by Boghound on August 24, 2013


UK Connection Speeds Increase 64% Annually

The latest research carried out by the British Internet watchdog Ofcom revealed that average speed for urban households is 26.5Mbit/s, while rural homes are lagging behind at 10MBit/s. About 20% of households can currently boast super fast broadband of at least 30Mbit/s. As such, home broadband speeds are estimated to have increased by 64% within a year, though rural households are growing not that fast.

According to the results of Ofcom’s research, the average download speed for an urban household in May 2013 was about 26.5Mbit/s, while rural areas showed almost 10MBit/s. In the meantime, the difference between the two has increased since the watchdog conducted similar research two years ago.

Despite the fact that average connection speeds were increasing in rural areas, the problem was redoubled by the lack of superfast services and slower ADSL. Ofcom consumer group director Claudio Pollack said that taking into account the fact that the average household currently owns more than 3 types of Internet-connected devices, subscribers are now demanding more than ever from their Internet service providers. The ISPs are responding by upgrading subscribers to higher speed services and launching new superfast packages.

Pollack admitted that the UK people are yet to see the full effect of government measures to improve Internet availability in rural areas, which should also help to increase speeds. Ofcom also expects that 4G mobile will also have a positive effect on mobile broadband availability across the country. It should be noted that average British connection speeds have increased fourfold since the watchdog first published its speeds data five years ago.

About 20% of households today have super fast broadband of at least 30Mbit/s, up 8% a year. The organization singled out network upgrades to Virgin Media’s cable service as a major driver of faster fibre services that had managed to double speeds for many people. Indeed, the research revealed that Virgin’s “up to” 120 MBit/s service offered the fastest download speeds with an average of 113 Mbit/s. At the same time, BT’s “up to” 76 MBit/s have shown 61 MBit/s. Finally, Plusnet’s “up to” 38 MBit/s delivered almost 34 MBit/s.

Hopefully, the United Kingdom will soon be entirely covered with fast broadband access points to make lives easier.

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Oh Dear!…Firefox Not Playing The Game?

Posted by Boghound on August 24, 2013


Advertisers Angry with Mozilla

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is not happy with the open source browser Mozilla’s anti-tracking features. Although it is perfectly normal that Internet users are concerned about companies spying on them, the outfit has been attacking Mozilla on the grounds that it insisted on defending the people’s rights to control the use of cookies on their systems.

Apparently, if your browser refuses to hand over all your personal information to advertisers then there must be something wrong with it. The Interactive Advertising Bureau is a trade organization representing marketing and advertising companies across the US and Europe. After the outfit received much abuse for its stand, one would have expected advertisers to have given up and waited for the dust to settle on this privacy debate.

However, the IAB placed a full-page advert in Advertising Age calling for users to stop Mozilla from hijacking the Internet. The ad insists that you can only find what you want online with the help of advertising cookies. The outfit believes that Mozilla is going to eliminate the same cookies which enable advertisers to reach the proper audience, with the proper message, at the proper time.

In fact, Mozilla lets users control cookies and stop them from websites they haven’t actually visited being dumped on the system. Instead of eliminating cookies, the browser is providing users control over annoying advertisements for stuff they don’t want. However, the IAB claims what Mozilla is doing isn’t in the interest of privacy but rather about helping some business models gain a marketplace advantage and reducing competition.

And this is said about Mozilla and its open source coders, dedicated to overthrowing the man with free coding. It is hard to believe that Mozilla is helping someone play monopoly, because the whole point of Mozilla was to kill off a Microsoft monopoly. The Interactive Advertising Bureau claims that Internet users already have control over whether they receive interest-based adverts through the Digital Advertising Alliance’s self-regulatory program, which is something new, as the program in question appears to be designed to promote better advertising rather than helping users out.

Apparently, this is just a huge PR own goal of the kind which is usually only tried by the entertainment industry against pirates, while the users might want to download Firefox and disable all cookies after reading the ad.

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Every Cloud??

Posted by Boghound on August 24, 2013


Apple Keeps Losing Market

It might remain invisible, but Apple keeps fast sliding towards a state where it would end up with the same share of smartphones market that it has for personal computers. Although many reports claim that Apple is the top smartphone manufacturer, such claims don’t really shine any light on how enormous or competitive the market really is.

According to the latest research, Apple accounts for only 13% of the smartphones on the market – moreover, this number keeps falling. For example, last quarter it was 16%. In the meantime, Samsung has a larger market share than Apple, while the rest of the market is mainly occupied by other Android devices. Indeed, Google’s Android OS has increased its global market share to almost 80% in the 2nd quarter of 2013 from 70% at the same period in 2012.

The worst result was shown by BlackBerry, whose market share dropped to 3% from 5% last year, falling even behind Microsoft – the latter is now number 4 in OS share. The industry observers admit that the main reason Apple is still doing so well is because its iPhones are so much more expensive than Android gear, which means a higher profit margin. If you exclude subsidies from phone companies, you will figure out that an average iPhone cost $710 last year, which is almost $300 more than the average smartphone.

On the other hand, that higher price tag is also denting mass sales, with the experts estimating that the company’s 2nd-quarter profit was $6 billion with an operating margin of 33%. Now compare that to Samsung’s profit of $5.6 billion with a 19% operating margin and make a conclusion.

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