Predictions: Internet Trends for 2013

Posted by Unknown | December 29, 2012 |

It has become a tradition on Questechie to highlight what we believe will be the dominating technologies on the internet for the New Year. Indeed, technology is very dynamic and the big players are always on their toes in terms of innovation. Again, the system is such that innovations follow on what is already on the ground, more reason it can be accurately predicted. Below are our Predictions for 2013.

Cloud Computing: Earlier in the year, Google debuted its Cloud Storage service, Google Drive to augment the growing cloud computing technology, with the promise of reliability and security which hitherto had been the bane for the general adoption of the emerging technology by enterprises. And with the increasing emphases on web applications, even as Microsoft have included the web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on its revolutionary webmail service Outlook.com all based on Cloud storage, may mean a broader adoption of cloud computing by enterprises.

Smartphone Wars: The mobile web is currently the new power zone, with Microsoft haven repositioned its operating system, Windows 8 to embracing mobile devices and the growing advances of the Google open-source OS, Android; also not forgetting the purported comeback of RIM with its BlackBerry 10 devices, will be turning the mobile terrain into a battle ground.

Web Applications: With the HTML5 specifications attaining "feature-complete" status and Canvas 2D standardization in sight, developers will become more daring in churning-out innovative web applications.

Mobile Web: Already a great chunk of internet traffic is credited to the mobile web. The coming year will witness more activities via that platform with the plethora of mobile devices been released. Therefore, the current social networks battle will be decided on domination on the mobile platform and the most innovative will definitely rule.

Real-time Analytics: Driven by the social web, real-time analytics that will translate to actionable ideas for businesses will become a focal point. And businesses that have embraced such analytical concept will flourish.

The list is nonetheless inexhaustible; so we would like to know your own predictions in the comment section below.

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Chrome 25 Feature Extensions Option

Posted by Unknown | December 27, 2012 |

Bogus applications and malware have had a way of infiltrating users systems through silently installed browser extensions. Google Chrome, starting from version 25 will enable users have control over external extensions, allowing their permission before external browser extensions are installed by third-party applications.

Before now, external extensions can be silently installed into Chrome on Windows using the registry mechanism for extension deployment.

The Chromium blog post, stated that since browser extensions can sometimes influence Chrome's functionality and performance, it's important for users to know what extensions they have installed. And that all extensions installed by third-party programs will become disabled by default.

The new features in Chrome 25 will allow users run only the extensions they approve, and want to use. Whenever an external application install an extension on Chrome, the menu will become badged and user can click on the Chrome menu to see a dialog with an option to enable the extension or have it removed from their computer.

While Windows application developers have been enjoined to recommend to potential users to install Chrome extensions related to their applications from within Chrome store.

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Happy Holidays & 2012 Recap

Posted by Unknown | December 24, 2012 |

Folks, the yuletide is here again and the sizzles in technology trends is far from over. The year in review tends to explore the biggest flop and ingenuity in the internet technology landscape.

Microsoft indeed has demonstrated genuine desire to reposition and overhaul its product offerings in line with users demands and better overall experience.

And the result have clearly shown in the classic Outlook.com, which is email revolutionized - featuring next generation seamless integration to popular social networks and Cloud storage, also with spotting the web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. On social networking technology, Microsoft So.cl (pronounced "Social") is perhaps one of the most innovative cook-up since the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest revolution. So.cl is rather the unification of the three top social networking hubs, and not a blatant copy of any.

Google as it seems can never been relegated to the background, the technology giant is ever visible in all arrays of internet technologies. Albeit, the search engine and contextual targeted advertising remains its strongholds.

The scrapping of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync by Google may mean more than is currently envisaged. Google Drive as a business proposition is the next  line of action for the technology giant and 2013 will see the fruition of the fundamental game plan.

The Open source community is well, no threats from the incumbencies, as the open web is an ideal that must be pursued, even Microsoft is beginning to agree.

Mobile web and the emerging technologies will see more actions in the coming year, thanks to HTML5 and Canvas 2D specifications.

What more can we say than to thank you our dear readers for an awesome and eventful year in internet technology coverage. Wishing you happy holidays and a prosperous 2013.

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Windows 8 Previews Expires in 3 Weeks

Posted by Unknown | December 23, 2012 |

Microsoft launched Windows 8 previews: Developer Preview, Consumer Preview and Release Preview are all billed to expire January 15, 2013. While users will be given a three weeks grace period to upgrade to a paid version or face hourly service disruptions.

The previews once expired will automatically restart hourly, making messages to pop-up letting users know of the need to upgrade.

The company had earlier warned on the fate of using the Windows 8 previews; stating that "from the expiration date, you may not be able to access unsaved data used with the software. Any applications you receive from the Windows Store will also cease to be available to you in the future versions, unless they are made available for re-download and you re-acquire them. You may not receive any other notice".

Microsoft support document, however, noted that to continue using Windows Developer preview or Windows Server Developer preview, you must install the update before the expiration date.

The discounted upgrade to Windows 8 pro is fixed at $39.99, which last through to January 31, 2013. Then the cost could go as high as $199.99.

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Special Report: Microsoft Office 2013 Guide

Posted by Unknown | December 21, 2012 |

Microsoft in line with the Windows 8 design have also presented a new incarnation of Microsoft Office suite which is now in its seventh version, compared to what users are accustomed. The new Office 2013 comes with all the usual component applications, but most of them sporting complete new features.

Again, Microsoft Office 2013 compatibility with Windows is limited compared to previous Office versions.

Definitely, users will have an uphill task getting round the new Office 2013 with the touch screen capability which is alien to previous Office suite. The touch screen support is available for Tablet devices and smartphones, while the native SkyDrive integration means access to documents from anywhere.

Interestingly, Microsoft is offering several different flavors of Office 2013, with notably two subscription-based versions.

Also present is the tile-based user interface, which is peculiar to Windows 8. This free guide will familiarize you with the new capabilities of the world's most popular productivity suite, Microsoft Office. Download the FREE Complimentary Manual Now.

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HTML5 "Feature-Complete": What that Means?

Posted by Unknown | December 19, 2012 |

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) had on Monday released the report on HTML5 Definition Complete, Interoperability Testing and Performance - stating that the HTML5 and Canvas 2D specifications are feature-complete and that developers now have a stable target for implementation and planning.

Jeff Jaffe, CEO at W3C revealed that stakeholders demanded a stable standard with the broader reach of web technology, and that with the complete definition developers now know what skill to cultivate, while businesses can be assured that they can rely on HTML5 in the years to come.

Although the specifications are not yet W3C standards, the next round of standardizations are already in view as it also announced the first draft of HTML 5.1 and Canvas 2D, level 2 simultaneously.

The open web platform presents a full programming environment for cross-platform  applications with access to device capabilities, video and animations; graphics, style and other tools for digital publishing.  And the community continue to enhance existing HTML5 features and also developing new ones; including extensions to complement built-in HTML5 accessibility and adaptive streaming.

However, fragmentation in users agents (e.g browsers) remains a great constraint, as it increases the cost and complexity of using the technology.

The W3C now embarks on the stage of standardization devoted to interoperability and testing (tagged Candidate Recommendation) to reduce browser fragmentation and extend implementations to the full range of tools that consume and produce HTML.

And the final adoption of HTML5 specification as an W3C standard is perhaps anticipated in 2014, while Canvas 2D could be earlier, 2013.

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Open Protocols Displace Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync

Posted by Unknown | December 17, 2012 |

Google over the weekend announced the discontinuation of its Sync service which allow access to Gmail, Calender and Contacts through Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync on mobile. Google had earlier in September  commenced support for CardDAV - an open protocol for contacts, joining other open protocols: IMAP and CalDAV (open protocols for mail and calendar respectively) already supported.

Google Sync will ultimately come to a halt, starting January 30, 2013 for new users. But, Google Sync on its Apps for Business, Government and Education will continue to be supported.

While, the company have recommended that users should avails themselves of the new seamless experience by using the open protocols.

However, for those users who already have the Sync connection running would have nothing to worry about, as existing Google Sync will continue to function as normal.

The main reason behind the change according to Google  is to enable third-parties build seamless Google Sync experience. As the open protocols, combined with the options to access Gmail, Calender and Contacts with your desktop or mobile browser, also via native apps on iOS and Android, ensures great seamless experience regardless of device used.

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Zeitgeist 2012: Search Trends

Posted by Unknown | December 13, 2012 |

Google as its tradition goes has on Wednesday released Zeitgeist List 2012, top searches on Google for the year. What makes research into the list interesting is that it holds the key to important social patterns to popular world events through the trending searches.

Information indeed is the most sort after factor on the internet, however, it does not in itself lend any satisfaction except when applied in solving problems.

The year in review presented great social moments: with the Olympic Games, U.S election and perhaps the natural disaster Sandy taking a large chunk.

The "Consumer Electronics" search trends really caught our attention, even more the "Trending Events" category. That the Cupertino behemoth still hold its sway in the smartphone and tablet top list is not a surprise, but how the Korean tech giant, Samsung has become a great force in the smartphone sector is indeed remarkable.

With its flagship smartphone brand Galaxy S3 at number two (No. 2), Samsung have truly done the impossible, beating generation favorites BlackBerry and Nokia down the lane.

Hurricane Sandy at number one on the events trends goes to show emotional pool in social engagement. The social web invariably rides on people and people responds more to emotions, especially the stronger ones: love and danger.

But, how the social web responds on our collective aspiration cannot be questioned, as it has the capacity to bond humanity and harnessed intelligence can serve a stronghold in challenging any opposition to freedom. And that possibility has been demonstrated on state levels, the world outlook is still pending and may soon become a reality too.

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Microsoft Beefs Up Security On Its Webmail

Posted by Unknown | December 11, 2012 |

Microsoft debuted Outlook.com earlier in the year as a modern web-based email service, replacing Hotmail and incorporating next generation technologies like direct integration of the popular social networks, cloud storage facilities and inclusion of web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

The company now features core security standards in the new webmail service. According to the Outlook blog,  DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) and EV Certificates have been included to boost security in Outlook.com.

DMARC is a standardized specification on email recipient systems authentication. It authenticates incoming message using SPF and DKIM technologies, which helps to check phishing and SPAM mails.

Phishing has become a growing online security concern, leading to notable internet companies devoting enormous resources in combating the menace. Google and Facebook are amongst those who have canvased the implementation of DMARC in cutting down phishing attacks successes, which spoof legitimate addresses to trick unsuspecting users into clicking malicious links.

The EV (Extended Validation) Certificates support will help ensure that users are not tricked into entering personal details on fraudulent websites. EV Certificates on Outlook.com follows the high standardization minimum of 2048-bit encryption, and validated by displaying green bar on the browser, which means the website is legitimate.

The new security features indeed goes to show that Microsoft is really ready for serious business, even as it plans to extending same to its Cloud Storage service, SkyDrive.

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Google Apps For Business: What the Changes Imply?

Posted by Unknown | December 09, 2012 |

Google on Thursday announced the discontinuation of the FREE Google Apps for Business package, which changes start-ups watchers have termed "Big Blow" for small businesses. Google Apps comprises web-based software services offered by Google to enterprises, which invariably runs on its Cloud storage service.

According to the official Google Enterprise blog, the adoption of the basic version (which is FREE) has shown that the experience is not right for both individuals and businesses as they quickly outgrow the package.

The cases of 24/7 customer service and larger storage facilities were specifically cited in favor of the changes.

Clay Bavor, Director of Product Management, offered the straightforward recommendations that: Individuals who intends to use Gmail and Google Drive should create a free personal Google account. While Businesses will have to make-do with the one version, that is, Google Apps for Business: which includes 24/7 customer care, 25GB storage, and priced at $50 per year.

Also, note that the changes does not apply to existing users, including those running the basic version.

However, Google Apps for Education will be available for schools and universities for free. Guess Cloud business is now a really serious business.

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Open And Free Internet: Users' Perspective

Posted by Unknown | December 05, 2012 |

The on-going conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Dubai, which commenced on 3 December and through to December 14, is one in which the future of the internet is at stake. It's a proposal to make changes to a decades-old treaty, in which only governments have a vote.

Google's Vint Cerf, Chief Internet evangelist, in a blog post iterated the original proposal that involved protocols designed to make the networks of the internet non-proprietary and interoperable, and allowed for contributions from many sources. It avoided lock-in, which openness is the reason for the great value of the internet today.

The free and open internet has brought unprecedented freedom to billions of people world wide; to create and innovate, organize and influence, and to speak and be heard.

But all that could change; as a closed-door meeting of the world's governments is right now in progress. The agenda is to regulate the internet, and some proposals could allow governments to justify the censorship of legitimate speech, or may even cut off internet access in their countries.

However, you can join thousands upon thousands of internet users who are standing up for a free and open internet right now. And perhaps our collective voices could be all that is needed to save the Internet; our web from the impending tyranny. Join us at: google.com/takeaction and sign the petition.

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