In a recent event hosted by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Google Chairman Eric Schmidt offered an alarming prediction that governments, especially our own, could end up splintering the Internet into pieces. This, he argues, is because countries may prefer to operate their own Internet instead of allowing surveillance organizations, such as the National Security Agency, to collect data on their citizenry.
Wyden added that this would hurt American tech companies — and thus eliminate some American jobs.
Be sure to read the full National Journal article about these remarks, and watch the brief video featuring Schmidt’s comments.
It must be a sign of advancing age that I fondly recall the days of three area codes that covered the state of Indiana. Today, that number is six with a seventh set to go into effect next month and public field hearings underway now on 317 area code relief.
Indiana had three telephone area codes (219 for the north, 317 for Central Indiana and 812 in the south) from the mid-1950s until the mid-1990s.
Today, the state has six area codes with a seventh to go into effect in October 2014.
Technology brought pagers, fax machines, wirelese phones and more. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor says efforts to conserve existing number supplies and prolong the life spans of area codes have been successful, but the only way to provide new numbers in the long run has been to introduce new area codes.
The number of area codes throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean has more than doubled since 1995, with Indiana, 38 other states and eight of the 10 Canadian provinces adding new area codes.
The 317 area code was changed in 1996 with the addition of 765. Now, 317 is projected to run out of numbers in 2017. A hearing took place in Indianapolis last Friday. Four more are scheduled in Carmel (October 1), Franklin (October 14), Danville (October 29) and Greenfield (December 1).
An overlay method is being proposed. A similar procedure is being implemented in the current 812 area code with the new 930 coming into play yet this year.
Full details, including additional opportunities to submit comments.
Indianapolis resident John Green, most famous for authoring the best-selling book “The Fault in Our Stars” — and a series of notable Crash Course videos about history, among other things — gave the keynote address at ExactTarget’s popular Connections conference yesterday. Other speakers included TV writer/actress Mindy Kaling and rapper/seven-time Grammy winner Will.I.Am.
The world’s been holding its breath … the iPhone 6 has arrived.
At this point, for me at least, nothing is shocking anymore. Nothing is so new that I cannot contain myself and I MUST own the new iPhone immediately!
According to a recent article in Forbes, this will be Apple’s most challenging launch. Why? Because for once, Apple is actually late to a trend. Last week the rumors of an extra-large iPhone were confirmed when Apple announced the new design for the 6. Apparently, the latest trend in smartphones is to make them “phablet” size. This word was just recently added to my vocabulary, and the best way to define it is as what would happen if a smartphone and a tablet had a baby — a phablet.
This particular smartphone design has proven to be most successful in developing nations because it is small enough to be a phone, yet large enough to function much like a tablet for watching videos and other such activities.
The Forbes article gives some statistics, “Over 70% of Internet users in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa, 47% in Saudi Arabia and 44% in India use their smartphones to watch online video.”
I understand and appreciate the many benefits of this phablet phenomenon, but for me, I think I’ll stick with my pocket-sized iPhone 5.
Paige Ferise, a sophomore at Butler University, is interning in the Indiana Chamber communications department this summer.
A couple of nights ago, as I was idly passing time on my phone, I opened up the App Store and proceeded to download four or five new apps. Three of these were shopping-related. When asked if I wanted to receive notifications, I granted the applications permission. I quickly realized the danger of my decision. Less than 24 hours later, I was beginning to receive alerts, tempting me to view discounted items that would still inevitably accumulate to a steep amount if I made purchases every time I was notified of a sale.
This type of interactive commerce may very well be the future of shopping. An article on ReadWriteShop recently outlined three e-commerce tools that are setting the trend.
eBay’s digital shopping windows: large digital screens allowing users to view and purchase products on display
Zero Effort Commerce: an app that learns users’ shopping habits and can be programmed for different conveniences, such as making purchases before running out of a certain product or offering customized item suggestion
eBay Valet app pilot: an app designed for selling products that transfers much of the work to eBay, such as estimating a price, taking professional photos of the item and sending a shipping box and label
Apps such as these will make shopping and selling more accessible than ever. It will be interesting to see how advances in e-commerce shape purchasing trends—particularly apps that monitor spending habits and offer tailored recommendations. For a shopping-lover such as myself, a new level of self-control will certainly have to be developed, but I believe the benefits will outweigh the setbacks.
Midwest federal laboratories are exploring the opportunity to build partnerships to accelerate and move innovation to private commercialization. To address important issues and prospects involved in collaborating with federal labs, The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for Technology Transfer is hosting an event in Indianapolis August 19-20.
A number of informative sessions will cover industry trends and key technologies. Attendees will also have the chance to network with industry professionals and learn about the various challenges and benefits involved in licensing intellectual property from federal laboratories. An awards luncheon will be held Wednesday, August 20 to recognize the region’s best industry achievements.
Panels consisting of capital, entrepreneurial and technology-based economic development experts will tackle the pros and cons of working with federal labs. Sue Ellspermann, the 50th lieutenant governor of Indiana, will serve as keynote speaker.
The meeting will provide business leaders with a rare chance to learn more about Midwest federal laboratories and the opportunities partnerships could offer.
The current edition of BizVoice® magazine includes a story about the Madison County Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA), an after-school program for students in grades six to 12 that helps students learn how to brainstorm ideas for companies, present those companies to an investor panel and secure funding for their ideas.
As part of the YEA program, Pendleton Heights High School junior Brandon Boynton created an anti-bullying app called The Bully Box, which is marketed to schools and allows students to report acts of bullying anonymously, while allowing the school district to collect bullying data to help comply with anti-bullying laws and protect students.
Boynton’s app won the local contest held through the Madison County YEA program, as well as the regional contest in Boca Raton, Florida. He placed in the top six of a national competition at America’s Small Business Summit in Washington D.C. in June.
According to a press release from the Flagship Microloan Program, the app has also caught the attention of the microloan organization, which provides small loans of between $1,000 and $5,000 to businesses in a 10-county region of East Central Indiana. The program announced it will make a working capital loan to Most Beastly Studios, which produces The Bully Box app. The Flagship Enterprise Center, a technology incubator in Anderson, is a sponsor of the Madison County YEA program and is a partnership between the City of Anderson and Anderson University.
To raise additional capital for the app, Boynton is running a campaign via crowdfunding site IndieGoGo. His goal is to raise $25,000 by Sept. 24.
Also in Boynton’s toolbox is The Curfew Buddy – keeping parents and children connected quickly about where children are and when they’ll return home.
Kudos to this young Hoosier entrepreneur and the Madison County YEA program for giving Boynton and other enterprising students the experience and opportunity to change the world through their innovative products, services and ideas.
Last fall, I studied off-campus in Philadelphia. The first week of the program, they sent us out into the city to find housing and furniture. By the end of that week, I did have roommates and an apartment, but we rented minimal furniture to save money. Our TV ended up being one that we found on the street. We propped it up on a cardboard box that slowly began to sag over the weeks, and often it was a gamble whether or not the picture came through.
Though we paid for cable, I ended up turning to Netflix during those few months. It was much simpler than fiddling with the old, boxy TV, and I liked being able to watch a whole series at my own pace.
This experience has made me curious about Netflix versus cable usage. A recent article on Mashable delved into this topic; specifically, looking into usage during the summer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the article reveals that cable TV is still dominant.
Roughly 99% of U.S. households (which total about 115 million) have a TV, and 56% of those have cable. Netflix only has about 48 million members worldwide. Additionally, Netflix has not reported increased subscribership during the summer months. Its peak months are January through March and October through December. However, there is about a 30% increase in family and kids content viewing hours during the summer.
Now that I have a properly functioning TV, I am once again a happy cable TV viewer, while still a Netflix subscriber. In fact, when I returned home to Indiana in the winter, I had an entire lineup of TV shows recorded on the DVR to catch up on. So while I went a long period of time without watching cable, I know that I would not completely forgo it, either.
Step into my room at home and you’ll find a row of book-lined shelves, stacked atop one another and overflowing onto my desk. When I was younger, summers meant days filled with devouring books. And yes, I was that kid who brought books to school and read whenever a spare moment presented itself, only occasionally hiding them beneath my teacher’s line of sight so I could read during class (but only if it was a book I absolutely couldn’t put down).
As a book nerd, I’ve kept up a bit with the raging paper versus e-book war. Personally, my loyalty remains with paperback books. I enjoy physically turning the pages and have felt a sort of cold detachment whenever trying to read an e-book. On the other hand, I have nothing against e-books and believe the two forms can co-exist peacefully—someday.
But for that day to come, publishers and booksellers need to straighten out e-book pricing issues. In April 2012, the U.S. government sued Apple and five of the biggest publishers for contracts Apple made with the publishers that raised e-book prices. The agreement in these contracts involved the publishers establishing book prices and Apple receiving 30%. The purpose was to force Amazon, who often sold below cost, to raise e-book prices.
Apple has now reached a settlement in this e-book pricing lawsuit, in which it faced up to $840 million in claims. The terms of the agreement have not been made public.
This is only one example of the controversies e-books have caused in the publishing world, but hopefully this is a step in settling pricing issues.
In the meantime, as a stubborn paperback-enthusiast who has not been personally affected by this problem, my biggest hope is simply for the industry to thrive as a whole, whatever that takes.