YouTube Gaming: Why Twitch may not be itched a bit?

Posted by John Onwuegbu | Thursday, August 27, 2015 | |

Google's take-on Twitch.tv, YouTube Gaming is now live on iOS and Android, with purported web extension in the works. The game streaming service will offer live streaming, promotional videos, and game-play footage, with over 25,000 dedicated pages of games and live streams, alongside a number of channels from game publishers and YouTube video creators.

While, Amazon-owned Twitch.tv, is now boasting of more than 1.5 million broadcasters and 100 million visitors per month.

Twitch is all about live streaming, where gamers can use it to see footage of video games by other users as well as broadcasts. YouTube Gaming, albeit, technically equivalent to Twitch, is still much more different than it is similar.

YouTube Gaming vs. Twitch

Monetization: Live streams will be "front and center" on YouTube Gaming, with obvious improvement in live experience that makes it simpler to broadcast your game play. But, Twitch has a mass of active and engaged users, with many of the prominent game streamers most probably reluctant to leave Twitch because of the perpetual discontent about YouTube’s model, which forces creators to channel their advertising via the platform.

On-demand Video: YouTube's capability to rewind a live stream to watch anything is simply awesome, albeit, its not the only streaming service to feature this sort of built-in DVR, but it is the only one to offer it for TI5.

Utility: YouTube’s utility far outpaced Twitch, and Twitch will have to evolve or more people will have to make the switch to Google’s alternative.

In conclusion, this competitive tussle will eventually result better game streaming experience for users, and portends improved services, far better than would have been possible if Google had succeeded in acquiring Twitch.

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How has Technology changed the Shipping Industry?

Posted by John Onwuegbu | Wednesday, August 26, 2015 | |

The shipping industry is a mystery to most people. Other than paying shipping and handling costs when sending gifts or packages, how much time do you actually spend contemplating the maritime industry? If you are like most people, very little.

Yet shipping affects everyone. This is one of the largest industries worldwide. It is estimated that more than 90% of the world’s trade is moved by the maritime commercial shipping industry. This industry has done much to contribute to the expanding global economy by enabling low-cost and efficient movement of goods around the world. Nearly everything, from the parcels you send to imported motor vehicles, food and clothing, relies on the shipping industry.

In spite of this, the industry has often been criticized for being habitually conservative and slow to adopt new changes. This reputation is about to change thanks to technology. In the last couple of decades or so, the industry has embraced quite a number of changes all rooted in technological advances. These changes have come at the right time too, since the shipping market is ready for them.

A raft of improvements and new technologies has revolutionized the way things are done in the industry. These include the development of new concepts such as open-hatch forest-product ships and car carries, development of more efficient hulls and propulsion systems and even the automation of ships. Other innovations that have led to notable transformations include dual-fuel technologies, scrubber technologies, as well as the continued modifications being made in ballast water management.

A number of factors have combined to create ideal conditions for the adoption of these recent technologies. These include the enactment of new environmental legislation and regulations, as well as the need to increase efficiency in the industry while reducing costs and saving money. Stricter environmental legislation has prompted and promoted changes in engine technologies, exhaust treatment and in the fuels used by ships.

Technology, especially the Internet, has also transformed how shipping businesses trade with their clients. For instance, if you are a small business owner who ships freight every day, you can make use of the Internet to find a shipping operator who meets your business needs. You can also easily track your cargo from port to port until it arrives at its destination. This has made it convenient for businesses to transact with each other as well as with their suppliers and clients.

The maritime industry does face increased competition from air travel. Due to this, ship owners and operators have had to embrace technology in order to increase their competitive edge. Some shipping businesses still manage to fare very well and remain profitable to date. A good example is Bolloré Africa Logistics, a leading shipping agency in Africa. In addition to operating 13 container terminals across Africa, this agency also manages terrestrial container operations and customs formalities in some ports across the continent.

The industry is continuously evolving, and more technological advances are needed to increase safety and reliability of ships. It is necessary to adapt to change if the maritime industry is to keep up with the rapidly developing world.

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Mozilla has announced a major upcoming changes in Firefox add-on implementation, with the introduction of a new browser extension API, WebExtensions. Browser extension, on the other hand, is a computer program that extends a browser functionality.

Before now, the major browsers like: Chrome, Opera and Firefox are largely incompatible in terms of add-on implementation technology.

While, WebExtensions is the same technology used by Chrome and Opera and hence add-ons will now be more cross-browser compatible. This will enable Chrome Extensions to run on Firefox browser, albeit, developers will need to make major modifications to their add-ons to become compatible.

The new changes were necessitated by new Firefox multi-process methods, Electrolysis and Servo, which separates the browser into multiple processes (sandbox) and hence reduces the risk of exposing users to spyware and adware.

The new extension API will be included in Firefox 43 which is expected on December 15, starting which, all the unmodified extensions will have six months additional support.

If a developer fails to update their add-on within the period, it will no longer be able run on the new Firefox browser.

Developers are invited to the experimental WebExtensions support now available in Firefox Nightly, as the company is seeking feedback so as to fix bugs and expand the set of APIs that are currently available.

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What You need to know about YouTube offline feature for Infinix Hot 2

Posted by John Onwuegbu | Friday, August 21, 2015 | |

Infinix Hot 2 is the first smartphone on Android One platform for Africa, now available in Nigeria, and 5 other African countries - namely: Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Ivory Coast and Ghana. While, YouTube's offline feature was announced in 2014 alongside the Android One, allowing users to download videos to their device for later consumption without requiring network connectivity.

Expected to debut next few months on Infinix Hot 2, offline YouTube videos playback will make it possible for people to take videos offline to watch later during short periods of low or no internet connectivity.

The videos can be downloaded via mobile data or Wi-Fi and will be available for offline playback only through the YouTube app, accessible for up to 48 hours and are not transferable.

Install YouTube app from the Play Store, browse through videos in the apps’ window, tap the download arrow and you are presented with a number of video resolutions, simply choose the one most suitable for you.

It is recommended to download videos through a fast network (i.e, Wi-Fi), and note, not all YouTube Videos support the offline feature, so you will not be able to download all videos for offline playback.

YouTube offline feature is great for countries with slow networks and high data costs, especially in Africa, and will help users to overcome the challenges of data connection and cost to enjoy a smooth, surfing of YouTube videos.

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Alphabet is the new parent company, while the brand "Google" is now restricted to search business. Android One initiative was launched last year with the aim of making quality budget-friendly smartphones for developing markets, and first kicked off with India.

The company, yesterday launched Android One in Nigeria with a new smartphone built by Hong Kong manufacturer Infinix Mobility, in partnership with MTN Nigeria, while promising free and timely software updates for devices, including the upcoming OS Android 6.0 (Marshmallow).

Other African countries the service is expected to kick-off includes: Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Morocco.

The African expansion is seen as part of Google's ongoing plan to revitalize Android in view of the foreseen challenge Microsoft is poised to unleash with Windows 10 Mobile.

The company sets hardware specifications for third-party manufacturers in an attempt to make sure that even at a low-cost, the smartphones meets above average standards and can run the latest version of the software.

However, the Android One program failed to make much impact in India, due to the competitiveness of the market. And the reliance on a single new handset for the project was certainly unimpressive.

But with the launch of Android One in African, given the proliferation of sub-standard smartphones by Chinese companies which many are already fade-up with, may bring some level of success, even as the program's geographic horizons is widened.

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Special Report: 7 Trends Impacting How We Use Digital Assets

Posted by John Onwuegbu | Monday, August 17, 2015 | |

Digital Assets in this context includes electronic documents, audible content, motion picture, and relevant files stored on devices like personal computers, laptops, portable media players, and tablets employed in marketing. While, managing the contents, approvals, and optimizing assets in real time for multi-device viewing are just a few of the hurdles that must be overcome to maximize the value of the asset.

Nowadays, customers demand engaging visual content whenever they interact with brands - whether through traditional media such as billboards and catalogs or through mobile apps and websites.

And without the right assets, delivered in the right ways, companies can't be able to effect meaningful, personalized customer interactions pivotal to success.

What are the key considerations for creating, managing, delivering, and optimizing contents? Download this FREE Whitepaper to discover the seven trends impacting how digital marketers create, manage, deliver, and optimize their digital assets.

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Mozilla tightens Private Browsing on Firefox with Tracking Protection

Posted by John Onwuegbu | Saturday, August 15, 2015 | |

As the issue of websites evasion of browser privacy add-on, and still capable of unique tracking, even when all cookies are blocked by user and 'Private Browsing Mode' enabled, continue to rise. Mozilla has taken a step ahead in making privacy protection a serious feature in its browser.

Mozilla is testing a new privacy technology (Tracking Protection) to mitigate invasive tracking of users’ online activity by blocking requests to tracking domains.

The new private browsing mode in Firefox doesn’t just erase traces of your browsing, but also blocks online services that could track you while you’re surfing the web. It is now available starting with the Developer Edition for Windows, Mac and Linux, along with the Firefox Aurora channel on Android.

The new private mode in Firefox does not save history, and will block third-party access from monitoring users activities via cookies.

And since Firefox no longer downloads and render content from tracking domains, Tracking Protection also enjoys performance benefits of a 44% median reduction in page load time and 39% reduction in data usage.

The browser indicates when it blocks tracking elements by showing a shield icon in the location bar. While clicking the shield presents a door-hanger that allows the user to disable Tracking Protection for the given domain.

Some websites might not load properly due to the restrictions, however, there is a workaround and Firefox users can select certain websites, which can bypass these restrictions and load properly.

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