Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

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If you keep seeing a bunch of ads for Nests and Google Pixel smartphones and other Google products atop your Google search results, the WSJ explains that’s because Google’s purposefully hawking those products on its own inventory.

They write:

These days, Google often pushes its growing list of hardware products, from Pixel phones to Nest smart thermostats, in the top ad spot above its search results.
– via WSJ

The Journal conducted an analysis and found that ads for products sold by Google and its sister companies appeared in the most prominent spot in 91 percent of 25,000 recent searches related to such items. In 43 percent of searches, they report, the two top ads both were for Google-related products.

Some specific examples: Google searches for “phones” almost always began with three consecutive ads for Google’s Pixel phones. And all 1,000 searches for “laptops” started with a Chromebook ad. Ninety-eight percent of searches for “watches” presented ads for Android smartwatches.

The WSJ shared its analysis with Google in mid-December, and apparently, many of the ads disappeared. For a week, before they began to reappear the week of December 22.

The innuendo? Is Google using its dominant search share to give its products an edge over competitors, who are also customers of Google?

Google says not, that when it bids on search ads in auctions, other advertisers are charged as if it wasn’t bidding. But online-marketing executives and analysts say Google’s ads can still affect the price, placement and performance of its customers’ ads, writes the Journal.

Duck Duck go, anyone?

Written by turbotodd

January 20, 2017 at 10:35 am

President-elect Trump’s New “Secure, Encrypted” Device

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Well, we’re only a couple of hours away from President-elect Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States of America.

Like President Obama before him, Mr. Trump is alleged to be “trading in” the Android phone (one that has helped make his Tweets so famous) for a Secret Service-approved smartphone.

President Obama, of course, was forced to give up his beloved Blackberry upon ascending to the presidency. Anybody remember Blackberry??

No real details seem to have emerged about President-elect Trump’s new device. It is, of course, Secret-Service issued, so the details remain secret. That’s the way that whole thing works.

I just sure hope somebody load the Twitter app before handing it over to the new president. Otherwise, we could see our first scandal of the new administration, and our first “You’re fired!”

 

Written by turbotodd

January 20, 2017 at 9:09 am

IBM Announces 4Q16, Full Year 2016 Financial Results

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IBM announced its full year 2016 and 4Q2016 earnings this afternoon.

The topline:

  • Diluted EPS from continuing operations: GAAP of $4.73; Operating (non-GAAP) of $5.01
  • Revenue from continuing operations of $21.8 billion
  • Strategic imperatives revenue for full-year 2016 of $32.8 billion up 13 percent (up 14 percent adjusting for currency) represents 41 percent of IBM revenue
  • Cloud revenue of $13.7 billion for full-year 2016, up 35 percent
    • — Cloud as-a-service annual exit run rate of $8.6 billion at year end, up 61 percent year to year (up 63 percent adjusting for currency)
  • 2017 EPS Expectations: GAAP of at least $11.95; Operating (non-GAAP) of at least $13.80

IBM CEO and Chairman Ginni Rometty had this to say about the quarter and years’ results:

“In 2016, our strategic imperatives grew to represent more than 40 percent of our total revenue and we have established ourselves as the industry’s leading cognitive solutions and cloud platform company,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.  “IBM Watson is the world’s leading AI platform for business, and emerging solutions such as IBM Blockchain are enabling new levels of trust in transactions of every kind.  More and more clients are choosing the IBM Cloud because of its differentiated capabilities, which are helping to transform industries, such as financial services, airlines and retail.”

You can see the full details here.

Written by turbotodd

January 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm

U.S. Army Enlists IBM For $62M Cloud Deal To Improve Army’s IT Flexibility

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IBM today announced that the U.S. Army has signed a five-year multimillion dollar contract with IBM to build manage and operate a cloud solution for greater IT flexibility, efficiency and performance.

Designed for the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, near Huntsville, Alabama, The solution is part of the Army Private Cloud Enterprise Program (APCE), a one-year task order with four additional one-year options under the Army Private Cloud 2 (APC2) contract. If the Army exercises all options, the contract would be worth approximately $62 million over the five years.

In addition to building the infrastructure, IBM will provide the Army with infrastructure-as-a-service services, enabling it to provision computing power on an as-needed basis for the most efficient and cost-effective IT. The Army also will begin migrating applications to the private cloud, moving up to 35 applications to the private cloud in the first year.

This project required Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Impact Level 5 (IL-5) Provisional Authorization. Information impact levels consider the potential impact of information being compromised. IL-5 gives the cloud provider the authority to manage controlled, unclassified information.

IBM is the only company to be authorized by DISA at IL-5 to run Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions on government premises. IBM announced the accreditation in February which included a condition limiting the initial number of tenants in the cloud; that condition was removed in September.

The distinction renders IBM an ideal partner for the Army as it undertakes this on-premise private cloud initiative. The Army expects IBM to achieve DISA IL-6 – the agency’s highest level – within one year, which would certify IBM to work with classified information up to “secret.”

Today’s news builds on IBM’s strong relationship with the Army, which last year adopted an IBM hybrid cloud solution for its Logistics Support Activity. Through the solution, the Army connected its on-premises environment to the IBM Cloud for greater performance, scalability and security.

Written by turbotodd

January 18, 2017 at 9:08 am

Apple App Store Price Increases

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The BBC is reporting that Apple is expected to shortly raise prices for what it charges for apps in select countries, including the UK, India, and Turkey.

The increase is about a 25 percent one over previous currency conversions, which for the UK was 79p.

Now, Apple intends to numerically match the U.S. cost, meaning a $.99 app in the U.S. will now be 99p in the UK.

9to5 Mac asserts that the rising prices for both apps and in-app purchases is due to changes in exchange rates and taxation policy. Call it “The Brexit Effect,” which has led to weakened pound exchange rate post-Brexit.

Also figuring into the equation is the UK’s 20 percent value-added tax.

Apple app developers should check the official documentation for the full details and breakdown of the app cost increases.

Written by turbotodd

January 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Posted in 2017, apple, apps, developers, iPhone

IBM And Bell Canada Partner On Enterprise Mobility

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IBM and Bell Canada today announced they are joining forces to offer IBM MobileFirst for iOS market-ready enterprise applications for iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch.

Canada’s largest communications provider, Bell will combine its expertise in mobility services with IBM’s robust suite of apps tailored to meet the specific needs of professionals across multiple industries, including energy and utilities, government, manufacturing, retail and more.

“Bell is excited to be the only Canadian provider to offer IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps, helping businesses become more efficient and productive by taking greater advantage of their mobile iOS devices,” said Nauby Jacob, Vice President of Products and Services at Bell Mobility. “Supported by secure and reliable connectivity on Canada’s largest and fastest broadband wireless network, and access to Bell’s broad suite of IoT solutions, enterprise customers can further transform their business.”

The made-for-business iOS apps are powered by IBM analytics and leverage Bell’s leading LTE mobile network to enable professionals to easily retrieve real-time data and insights, empowering them to make better and more informed decisions while in the field.

You can learn more about IBM MobileFirst solutions here

Written by turbotodd

January 17, 2017 at 8:58 am

Super Triple Discount Double Check

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Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Don’t get me started on the weekend’s football games.

As a longtime Dallas Cowboys fan, I’ve become accustomed to getting my heart broken in the postseason over these past 20 long years.

And while I’m very proud of our rookie lead team this year, I do have some sour grapes over Dallas spiking the ball so prematurely there at the end.

You can never…EVER…under any circustances…underestimate the abilities of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Super triple discount double check, game over.

Congrats to the Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots, and the Atlanta Falcons. I have a feeling we could be seeing a Pack/Pats SuperBowl in H-town, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

Now, on to the world of technology for a moment.

Recode is reporting that Walmart is broadening the roles of two of is key executives and giving them new oversight in the company’s U.S. e-commerce website and its retail stores.

Jeremy King, who was previously the chief technology officer of Walmart e-commerce operations in the US, will now oversee technology teams for Walmart’s physical stores in addition to its online stores.

Similarly, Tony Rogers, who was previously CMO for Walmart U.S. stores, will now also serve as head of marketing for Walmart.com and Jet.com.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement “We were starting to see our store as an e-commerce team solving many of the same problems and now we can remove what might have been become more duplication in the future. I know change isn’t always easy. But I’m certain that our future success is partially dependent on becoming more of a technology company in our stores and clubs and everyone everywhere else the customer sees us.”

I don’t expect this will be the last major retailer to make such moves, and in fact, could start a trend.

Written by turbotodd

January 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

Posted in 2017, ecommerce, football, NFL, retail

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