Friday, January 24, 2014

Ford is working with MIT, Stanford to build “common sense” into self-driving cars

Ford Motor Company is teaming up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University to research the future brains of its autonomous cars. Projects like Ford’s research vehicles are putting the sensors and computing power into cars that would allow them to read and analyze their surroundings, but these two universities are developing the technology that will allow them to make driving decisions from that data.
“Our goal is to provide the vehicle with common sense,” Ford Research global manager for driver assistance and active safety Greg Stevens said in a statement. “Drivers are good at using the cues around them to predict what will happen next, and they know that what you can’t see is often as important as what you can see. Our goal in working with MIT and Stanford is to bring a similar type of intuition to the vehicle.”
In December, Ford unveiled its latest research vehicle, a Ford Fusion Hybrid equipped with Lidar (laser-radar) rigs, cameras and other sensor arrays, all intended to generate a real-time representation of the world around the car. Such a car can “see” in all directions, allowing it not only to take in far more stimuli than even the most alert driver, but also to react to that information far more quickly. That’s where Stanford and MIT come in.
The Ford Fusion research vehicle from Lidar's point of view
The Ford Fusion research vehicle from Lidar’s point of view
MIT is developing algorithms that will allow an autonomous driving system to predict the future locations of cars, pedestrians and other obstacles. It’s not good enough for a car to merely sense the location of nearby vehicles when it switches lanes or swerves to avoid an accident. It has to know where those vehicles will be a split-second later. Otherwise the car will avoid one accident only to cause another.
That means not only measuring other vehicles’ current speed and trajectory but anticipating how their drivers – or their autonomous vehicle systems – will react to the situation. Basically MIT is trying to create a vehicle brain smart enough to assess risks and outcomes and navigate its course accordingly.
Stanford is doing something a bit different. It’s trying to extend the sensory field of the car by helping it see around obstacles so it can react to dangers the driver can’t immediately see. Stanford and Ford didn’t offer any specifics on just how they would accomplish that feat, by my bet is it has to do with Ford and the automotive industry’s work on inter-vehicle networking.
Cohda Wireless autonomous car
Future autonomous cars won’t just be able to sense their surroundings, they’ll be able to communicate with other vehicles using a secure form of Wi-Fi. For instance, Australian startup Cohda Wireless is developing to vehicle-to-vehicle networking technology that would allow two cars to let each other know they’re approaching one another at a blind intersection.
Ford and other major automakers are working with the University of Michigan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to build vehicle-to-infrastructure grids that would allow cars to tap into highway sensors, giving them a kind of omniscient view of the overall road. With such technology other cars could reveal their intentions before they even take action, making other connected vehicles much more responsive. They could also share their sensor data, so even if only one of the cars far ahead of you is connected to the vehicle grid, that lone vehicle could still tell you what the other cars around it are doing.
While every major automaker is working on autonomous driving technology, Ford has been particularly aggressive. In a recent interview, executive chairman Bill Ford told me how the automaker is trying to use connected vehicle technology to propel the company into a new golden age of automotive innovation.


The internet of things needs a new security model. Which one will win?

The Target data breach occurring over compromised point-of-sale terminals. The recent news that a botnet army which sent 750,000 spam emails included a refrigerator. The discovery of a Linux worm that could infect security cameras. In the last two months all of these headlines have served to stoke fear over the vulnerability of connected devices and current security practices. Much like the cloud has allowed denial of service attacks to grow in might, the array of relatively dumb and unsecured connected devices threatens to participate in botnets, leak data or act as a weak point for hackers to target.
And when it comes to securing the internet of things, it’s likely that the current methodologies will have to change, given the characteristic of how a connected and interconnected world works. Instead of keeping bad guys out, the zeitgeist is moving toward assuming everything is compromised and working out a way to prevent attacks from becoming a success or figuring out a way to establish and then re-establish a trusted environment.
Target store
This is hard. But first, let’s focus on some of the things that make the internet of things such a challenge to secure in the first place.

Why isn’t the internet of things secure yet?

  • Promiscuity across networks. Because devices are not only expected to talk to the internet, but also with each other that means that every node on the network is a potential weak point — and depending on whose numbers you believe those devices will number in the 30 to 50 billion in the next five or six years. You aren’t only securing the internet of things from dangers that might attack it over the public internet, but because most connected device networks are mesh networks, you must secure a bad node from attacking or co-opting other devices on the same mesh.
  • Connected devices are stupid. As this post from Gartner points out, not all connected devices are like smartphones or even packing the computational power of a 32-bit microcontroller. That means tasks like encrypting data are going to be impossible and any type of security must be lightweight.
  • The owners of connected devices are stupid. Fine, they may not be stupid, but they certainly aren’t using password generators or even making sure their hardware is up to date or changing the admin password on the devices. Many consumer connected devices have to be dead simple and have security to match. And of course, if the trade-off is between security and convenience (two-factor authentication? No way!) security will lose.
  • The great unknown. We haven’t figured out how we’re going to get devices to talk to each other and to automate our workplaces and lives yet. It’s really hard to secure an amorphous concept, which is pretty much what most implementations of the internet of things looks like today. Sure, there are closed systems that may feel more secure, but if we accept that the goal here is to build services on top of hardware and software that shares its data, then those closed systems are going to look like relics of a quaint and forgotten past. But so far, we don’t know what will evolve, what protocols it will use and what ways to build out the system will win.

Which framework wins out?

There are many, many more issues some of which are subsets of these and others that are just crazy, like the idea of denial of power attacks by which an attacker sucks an essential sensor battery dry. So how will we secure this?
One idea gaining ground is that we will accept that the system is insecure and then develop software and procedures to determine what we can trust on the fly. I have no idea what it might look like, although my friend Jason Hoffman at Ericsson likened it to a Turing test for security that devices might perform. It has the same underlying assumption that influences Netflix’s Chaos Monkey concept, which is to assume systems will break and prepare for it in all manner of ways.
In a related concept, perhaps instead of stopping data breaches we’ll stop those who profit from them, from actually making money. This week, Shape Security, a startup founded by some ex-Googlers, launched a product that tries to prevent people from mass-charging goods at online retailers. Shape’s magic is that it can generate a dynamic and ever-changing version of the HTML, CSS and Java on a web page while still keeping the front-end looking the same.
The benefit of this is the hackers who have stolen credit card information can’t write scripts that automatically fill out the order forms on web sites like Amazon or Wal-Mart. When you’re trying to monetize 30 million stolen credit cards, you aren’t entering that data by hand.
And finally there’s the concept of designing with security in mind, which is of course a lot harder than it might seem. But this is the approach most security researchers are advocating, with some even encouraging government agencies to impose fines of CE companies if their products are hacked. This might involve using chips that have trusted zones to store sensitive data or rewriting the firmware for these devices with far more secure code. Many attacks on security cameras and routers are hacked via the firmware.
It’s not an area that gets much investment because, until now, it was something the user doesn’t see. It’s like not dressing up for a conference call taken from the home office — it doesn’t matter until suddenly the conference call becomes a Google Hangout or video conference. Once these embedded devices started connecting to the internet they were switched from voice to video and everyone could see their flaws.
Other elements of designing for security might be limiting access, or securing how the device talks back to the cloud and making sure the servers it talks to are secured. It might be the locked-down version of security we’re familiar with today, or it might mean implementing that type of Turing test to ensure it’s secure before transmitting information.
Basically, security models change over time in the IT realms and, as we enter a new realm with more nodes, differing interconnections, normal users and dumb devices, we’re going to have to adapt. Let’s talk about how.

Anatel is preparing a regulation to backhaul wireless high speed

Anatel will put on public consultation a standard for the use of 70 and 80 GHz bands for new applications in telecommunications. In practice, it is a little late movement, at least on a piece of spectrum that is already used in the deployment of wireless connections for high speed.

The use of the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz bands was approved by the regulator of telecommunications in the United States, the FCC, still in 2003, from an order of the equipment manufacturers. Here, the FCC was also caused by the market.

"These studies are the private sector, where the Telefonica / Vivo and also by manufacturers, who proposed a regulation for use of these bands. The proposal is for any telecommunications services in point-to-point applications, on a primary basis without exclusivity, "summarized The draftsman, Marcelo Bechara.

As the advisor explains, this band is used for connecting fixed points, serving as wireless backhaul, "utility that can be considered the most important of the present moment," Bechara said, noting ongoing deployment of 4G services.

"Regard to the recently auctioned the 4G radio and the need of transmission rates at the output of the high ERBs are, it implies that the backhaul should be implemented preferably with fiber. But in some cases it is not possible or feasible, and these bands 70/80 GHz are presented as an alternative, "he explained.

In fact, neither surprising that the application has been forwarded by Telefonica. It's that the band is used exactly for these wireless high speed in big cities, where the cost for grounding optical fiber can derail some investments.

  The very high frequency has some technical difficulties - like the use of microwave - but has been adopted in the U.S. since at least 2006. In essence, are devices that can be placed on top of buildings and in need of-sight to the transmission.

In general, the difficulties with implementation leads to higher bands to cover distances of about 3km, but the result appears to work, as there are different equipment suppliers. In the next 1.5 km distances, this system comes to achieve transfer rates of 1Gbps. The public consultation Anatel should be open next week and receive contributions for 45 days. The agency also plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal in Brasilia.

Virgin Mobile signs agreement with Vivo and asks MVNO license in Brazil

In a press release distributed on Thursday, 23/​​01, the VMLA - Virgin Mobile Latin America - in short, announces the launch of its operations in Brazil and Mexico. The company already operates in Chile and Colombia.

In Brazil, the operation, the MVNO (virtual network) model, the service provided will be possible after the network share with Vivo / Telefonica agreement. Virgin Mobile today announces that come with Anatel in order to act as MVNO in the country. There is no official forecast for the start of operations.

It is worth remembering the MVNO business in Brazil bump, exactly, the difficulty for companies interested in close network usage agreements of major operations. First MVNO market in Vivo, this is the third contract sharing operator in the country - the other two were signed with Claro and Nextel for 2G and 3G services.

As a MVNO, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Mobile Mexico Brazil will use local networks Vivo / Telefonica in each country, in addition to controlling the entire customer relationship. Virgin Mobile is the creator of the MVNO model in which the brand currently has more than 18 million customers in 10 countries. Here, the company will face Porto Seguro and Datora Telecom, which already have consolidated MVNO operations.

Apps let the 'confinement' of tablets and smartpthones

The mobile application will reign among the tools of computing in 2017. The expectation is that Gartner will be downloaded over 268 billion applications in five years, which will generate revenue of more than $ 77 billion. Also according to the consultancy, mobile users provide custom streams to over 100 applications and data services everyday.

While Facebook and Twitter have had a great influence on the willingness of users to share personal information with others, companies in emerging areas such as health screening, "smart" technology for residential applications and cars will drive a new world of apps that can take our data and analyze them in depth, "argued the consultancy study.

"In the next three or four years, the apps will not simply confined to smartphones and tablets, but will impact a larger group of devices, from residential applications to cars and wearable gadgets (wearables)," says research director at Gartner, Brian Blau. "By 2017, Gartner predicts that wearable gadgets will drive 50% of all interactions of apps."

Since appliances such as refrigerators and thermostats, or bracelets do not have a screen or central interface in them, apps and other programs are needed as drivers for exchanging data between users and the company or the product, pointing to Gartner. "As users continue to adopt and interact with applications, their data is - what they say, what they do, where they go - that are transforming the paradigm of interaction with apps," adds Blau.

Anatel attempts to accelerate review of 'relevant markets'

Front of "several" requests for the Anatel to reassess the definitions of the relevant markets, the Board of the agency, at a meeting held on Thursday, 23/​​01, ruled that the Superintendence of Competition accelerate studies on this subject to be possible to have the review completed by next November - deadline for any changes in PGMC (General Plan competitive).

"We will include the Competition Superintendence immediately begin examining reassessment of offers in the relevant markets, especially in regard to undertakings with significant market power. We'll leave the finer PGMC until November, which is the limit of the revision of the assumptions placed on it, "explained the president of Anatel, Joao Rezende.

 In PGMC, the agency adopted rules of asymmetric regulation, which in practice means giving greater weight on the obligations of those operators that have significant market power, ie, are large to the point of influencing the functioning of the market in certain localities.

According indicated Igor de Freitas, who is the rapporteur of the particular case that prompted a discussion of the collegiate advisor companies have good chances of success. "The technical department says that in some cases there is evidence of improper characterization in certain relevant markets. It is prudent to prioritize these processes that asked revaluation "he said.

The Standard took two years term for these "relevant markets" were reassessed. Then Rezende address the demands as "a moment of reaffirmation of PGMC". "The Superintendence of Competition is with the number of requests OI, TIM, Telefonica, on review of the relevant markets", amended president.

As an application of CTBC has reached the Board, the case was used to provide guidance to the technical area. What happens is that the operators do not agree with the indications given by Anatel and therefore have applied to several cases of "relevant market" are reviewed - the geographical locations where this or that operator has the Significant Market Ruling.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

VMWare does purchasing on enterprise mobility

VMWare reported on Wednesday , 22 / 01 , which will buy the security company AirWatch Mobile for about $ 1.18 billion in cash and approximately $ 365 million in payments in installments . According to the statement, AirWatch will become a unit of VMWare and its employees will continue to respond to the founder and CEO of AirWatch , John Marshall .
Specialty es corporate mobility, AirWatch was attentive to the Latin American market , despite having no office in Brazil . The company was conducting business in the region from Miami . "In the last two years , we have grown rapidly in Latin America. We have over 25 employees serving customers and partners in the region exclusively in their local languages ​​, " says Cesar Berenguer , director of new business for the AirWatch Latin America.
" There is a great demand for mobility throughout the region . Companies are choosing AirWatch for the development of their mobile initiatives due to our ability to accelerate the growth of business and the services we offer in different languages ​​. We opened a new office in Miami , the current hub of Latin American business , and we can offer our clients a unique service and support in Spanish and Portuguese . "

Phablets: OTT content boosts sales

The phablets - which are the devices with mobile phone capabilities, but with screens from 5.6 inches, reaching up to 7 inches, smaller size of a tablet - will win a share of the market, suggests Juniper Research. Segunod consultancy, in 2013, 20 million units were produced worldwide phablets. In 2018 will be 120 million, which will mean a boost of over 500%.

The reason for the growth is the demand in East Asia, in countries such as South Korea, where there is desire for large screens to run games, and in China, where values ​​a better screen quality for streaming content over-the-top (OTT).
With all this, Juniper says the market phablets can become a growth area for suppliers of smartphones already established with target consumers passionate about technology, citing recent launches from companies such as Nokia and Alcatel.

As there is not, at least so far, no representative of Apple in this niche market phablets will be dominated by two operating systems: Android and Windows Phone. Notably, the system will be promoted by Microsoft Lumia line, Nokia, Juniper and believes that this player will have better performance particularly in developing countries. The side of the Google system, the leadership will be the series Galaxy Note, Samsung.

Alcatel-Lucent and BT test transmission to 1.4 Tbps

Alcatel-Lucent and the British operator BT announced that they had reached in test performed in London, speeds of 1.4 Tbps in optical fiber transmission with spectral efficiency of 5.7 bits per second per Hertz. According to the companies, would be 'the fastest connection ever reached in commercial real hardware environment'. The speed would be equivalent to the transmission of 44 movies in high resolution in one second.

The field test was done in a link of 410 km between the BT Tower in the English capital and the company's research campus in Suffolk fiber. By expanding the density of channels, the experience would have enhanced the efficiency of transmission by 42.5% compared with existing networks.

According to a statement from Alcatel-Lucent, "the increase in capacity occurred with existing optical fiber, potentially reducing the cost of deploying more fiber with the increasing demand for bandwidth."

Lenovo purchase IBM servers largest acquisition deal in China's IT

BEIJING, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Lenovo Group, the largest PC maker in the world, has agreed to buy a unit of IBM servers in a deal expected long ago and valued at $ 2.3 billion, the largest acquisition ever taken by a Chinese technology company.

Lenovo will pay 2.07 billion dollars in cash and the remainder in shares of computer maker based in Beijing, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday.

The agreement goes beyond the acquisition by Baidu's 91 Wireless, formerly owned by NetDragon Websoft, for 1.84 billion dollars last year, according to Thomson Reuters data, and highlights the growth of the country's tech companies as they evaluate international expansion.

The acquisition will enable Lenovo to diversify its revenues beyond the distressed segment of PCs and to refashion itself as a growing force in mobile devices and data storage servers.

The sale enables IBM to get rid of your x86 low margin business, which sells less powerful and slower than the offerings of higher margin company servers, and focus on the shift to more profitable software and services.

The acquisition by the Lenovo ThinkPad PC business of IBM in 2005 for $ 1.75 billion became the springboard for the company to reach the top of the world ranking of manufacturers of PCs

The market is betting that Lenovo will have a similar success with his new acquisition, which is partly reflected in the valuation of 9.44 percent in its stock this year.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Google wants to run your home with Nest

Google is knocking at your front door. It wants to come inside, make itself at home, and quietly turn all of your boring home devices into "smart" connected gadgets that learn about your patterns and preferences, talk to each other, collect data about your habits and make life easier by assisting with daily tasks.
On Monday, Google announced it was buying smart-device company Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash. This is Google's first major foray into connected homes, and news of the deal ignited a flurry of speculation about what the Silicon Valley giant really wants from Nest, as well as some privacy concerns.
Nest currently only sells two products: a smart thermostat that learns your habits over time and adjusts the temperature accordingly, and a personable smoke and carbon monoxide detector that doesn't panic when you burn toast.
While the devices have been popular, on the surface they don't seem like they move enough units to be worth such a hefty investment, even at $130 to $250 each. It's what's behind the scenes and inside the gadgets that makes Nest a coveted get for Google.
Nest makes impeccably designed hardware powered by clever algorithms. Its staff comes from major companies like Apple, Sling and Logitech and is experienced in machine learning, product design, artificial intelligence and robotics.
Nest is a standout in the increasingly crowded connected-home market. It may only have two products, but those devices are considered some of the best in the field.
Test-driving a $3.2B thermostat
Does Google know too much about us?
The house that Google and Nest built
For now, Nest is expected to continue operating as its own brand headed by co-founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, but down the line Google could tap the team's expertise to help with its own hit-and-miss attempts at creating and selling devices (remember the Nexus Q?).
The Nest thermostat uses motion, light, temperature and humidity sensors to collect information about what's going on in the home and uses that information to control heating and cooling and predict patterns. The end result is a customized, more energy efficient home. Like any good smart device, it can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet so your house can be prewarmed before you get out of bed or return from work.
"It's amazing to see how they have taken important but unloved devices and made them beautifully simple and useful," said Google CEO Larry Page in a brief post announcing the deal.
Aside from the financial windfall, there's a lot Nest could gain from having Google as its parent company. Nest has been slow with product releases so far. The first thermostat came out in the fall of 2011, and the company didn't release a new product for another two years, when it announced the Nest Protect smoke and CO detector.
With Google resources, Nest can ramp up its design process and develop more projects. New products will come faster and roll out in more locations globally.
Google also wants to be a player in the connected home. The trend of connecting previously "dumb" devices to each other and the Internet is sometimes referred to as the "Internet of things." As regular objects get connected, they gain the ability to collect information about mundane happenings around them. That data can be used to learn about a person over time and offer a customized, automated experience.
At home, that can mean a refrigerator that knows what food is inside and when it expires, or security systems that send your smartphone a push notification when they detect anything unusual.
Google has cultivated a diverse and seemingly random set of interests since starting out as a search engine and advertising company. It dabbles in e-mail, smartphones, self-driving cars, social networking, smart glasses, television and robots. Nest is the latest in a string of intriguing acquisitions, following a handful of robotics companies.
In the near future, these interests may not seem so disconnected. Today's emerging technologies will eventually blend together. The divisions between smartphones, home automation, cars, smart glasses and watches and fitness trackers will fall away, and our gadgets and data will work together for a seamless experience.
All of your devices will communicate with each other. Where one drops off another will pick up. Your self-driving car will share push notifications from your smartphone, turn it over to your Google Glass when you park and start walking, and then a smart home can take over when you walk through your front door. (Thanks to GPS on your phone and car, the house knew exactly when you were arriving and turned on your favorite TV show.) Streams of data from all these devices will be collected in one place where a company like Google will analyze it and learn about you over time, programming hardware and software to meet your unique needs.
The Nest Protect is a smart smoke and CO detector.
The Nest Protect is a smart smoke and CO detector.
A few years from now, you might even connect your smart devices to your brain. Dean Aslam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University and a senior member of IEEE, is working on miniaturizing single electrode devices that can be placed in your hair and read electrical activity from the brain through a technology called electroencephalography, or EEG.
"It can read the brainwaves which determine the state of our minds, like whether we're healthy or unhealthy. A lot of information can be obtained [from EEG]," Aslam said.
He says in the future, smart homes will pick up on cues from the body and brain to adjust things like temperature. It if detects you're in a deep REM sleep, a home might increase the level of security. The technology wouldn't be limited to smart homes and could expand to include personal heath care systems.
If this is the future, it's no mystery why Google would want to get into the business now.
Google owning another tool that would allow it to gather more data immediately triggered privacy concerns. Fresh off of an unpopular decision to allow Google+ contacts to contact people in their circles through Gmail, Google already has users who are unsettled by the vast amounts of data the company can collect. Google has access to a person's data through the Chrome browser, Gmail accounts, Google search terms and the many advanced sensors on an Android smartphone.
That wide reach is actually a good reason not to worry about a smart thermostat. Google can collect most of the same information through an Android phone. It already knows your location and your daily schedule. Samsung's Galaxy S4 Android smartphone even has a built-in temperature sensor.
Google has access to much of your data. Now it wants to put it to use connecting your home, work and mobile life.

Wi-Fi Alliance survey says consumers will embrace the ‘internet of everything’

By connecting ordinary devices to the internet, the tech world is creating the “internet of everything.” And the Wi-Fi Alliance, a collection of companies that make wireless networking devices, believes that Wi-Fi will be the way to make it all happen.
WiFi will connect the internet of everything, says the WiFi alliance.
WiFi Alliance
WiFi will connect the internet of everything, says the WiFi alliance.
Wi-Fi will connect the internet of everything, says the Wi-Fi Alliance. The alliance said that it conducted show that 93 percent of smartphone and tablet users think the “internet of things” (which the alliance wants to rename the internet of everything) will positively impact their lives. 72 percent think it will make their lives better. That pretty much means that consumers are poised to embrace big changes in the way they use technology.
One out of four males want to have on-demand video and gaming in the next car they buy. To make this happen, we’ll need a sea change in connectivity, according to Wi-Fi Alliance president and chief executive Edgar Figueroa.
“The internet of everything is not just a discussion for insiders,” said Greg Ennis, technical director of the alliance, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Consumers are well aware that it is coming and they see it as a positive thing.”
While Wi-Fi consumes a lot of power, Ennis believes it can evolve to the point where it will be easy to install in connected devices without draining the device’s battery life.
“That was an issue when it was first put into smartphones, but it has been successful as the technology has moved forward,” he said. “Wi-Fi has demonstrated that it is flexible and expandable.”
The survey found that 77 percent of smartphone and tablet users think Wi-Fi connectivity will be an important purchase consideration for at least one item in their home when they next have to replace it. 90 percent of consumers are more likely to buy products for their household if they can sync everything to their existing WiFi network.
They also expressed concern about products that aren’t compatible with their current Wi-Fi networks.
“These devices will be used for five to 15 years, so it’s important they be compatible,” Ennis said.
They also want connected products to be easy to use. About 84 percent listed these issues as concerns about smart technologies in their homes. Ennis said that users are also concerned about privacy, as they don’t want their smart devices to be used to spy on their habits.
“You don’t want your neighbors to control your devices or find things out about you by monitoring your devices,” Ennis said.
Among the applications people want are smart appliances, home security, smart energy, and in-car entertainment. They want smart lighting, thermostats, irrigation devices, personal health devices and appliances. 63 percent of respondents said that within ten years, the majority of devices they buy will have smart technology.
Wakefield Research conducted the survey for the alliance by interviewing 1,000 smartphone and tablet users via online means between Nov. 25 and Dec. 4. The Wi-Fi industry has sold more than one device for every person on Earth.


WiFi survey results

Vivo decides to enter the prepaid market

Vivo decided to fight for the prepaid customer. Harassed by rival TIM, Claro and OI - we are centralizing their strategies accordingly subscriber profile - the carrier announced on Tuesday, 21/01, the Vivo Tudo product, where the customer has prepaid for 100 minutes weekly links mobile Vivo throughout Brazil, Unlimited SMS to customers of the operator and 75 MB for Internet access. All this in one package for U.S. $ 6.90 per week, which is automatically debited from the customer's balance.

The turn of Vivo for prepaid no explanation. Throughout 2013, the operator - the market leader, saw its market share fall - ended 2013 with 28.71% = while the TIM and Claro rivals rose respectively to 26.99% and 25.23% 

The proposed prepaid also becomes interesting to live with the migration of cellular 2G (GSM) to 3G. Much of the subscribers are buying smarpthones with Internet access, but there is still a portion that does not carry data packets. Pre-paid shall be an alternative to postpaid plans to 'ensure' market leadership and increase revenue with data.

But reveals a change in profile. Late last year, President of Vivo, Antonio Carlos Valente, joked competitors by stating that 'Vivo was not selling chip in the square, "a clear reference to the OI, you want to leverage your business mobile prepaid strategy . the operator even celebrated the good performance in the postpaid market with market revenues (26%) and the highest EBITDA (29%) -. between national mobile telcos in November, according to data from Anatel, Vivo totaled 77,661 .206 million active accesses.

Google gets winning in the Brazilian justice

A search site on the internet, like Google, only focuses and organizes the content offered by other pages under the folder selected by the user without any interference on the information available on the network. Nor is there any value judgment regarding the results of the search, since Google only shows the sites where the desired content can be found. Thus, it is infeasible to determine that the site is required to remove certain content that keeps the search system.

This was the understanding of the 9th Civil Chamber of the Court of Rio Grande do Sul to the judge request for preliminary injunction in an action for damages brought by a woman against Google. She alleged that her computer was hacked by a third party who released videos and photos that have sex with her partner, and asked for preliminary injunction having been removed from the search site links to the videos. The application was dismissed at first instance, with the sentence based on the judge Lisete Lokschin Brod, the 2nd Civil Court of Pelotas.

 Google appealed, claiming that its search system only organizes the existing content on the internet, making it impossible to edit or delete the content in question, as this is hosted on third page, without connection with the company. The lawyers also said that creating filters in the search system could reach other content available in a lawful manner, before informing the author of the racing action aiming the page address you want to block, so that the location of these links is possible.

 Draftsman of the case, Judge Miguel Angelo da Silva cited the Google Search, search engine company, just organizes and focuses the results without value judgment or interference on the information available on the internet. It played similar decision of the Superior Court that, when analyzing the Special Appeal 1316921, pointed to the fact search engines identify only "web pages where certain data or information, even if illegal, are being freely aired. Thus, although their search engines facilitate access and the consequent dissemination of pages whose content is potentially illegal, the fact is that these pages are public and make up the world wide web and therefore appear in the result of the search sites ".

 The Supreme Court held, in this case, the providers can not be forced to eliminate in search results for a particular term or phrase, "regardless of the indication of the URL of the page where it is inserted." Regarding the request for identification of the responsible dissemination of images, Michelangelo da Silva pointed out that Google does not have the technical capability to identify users' personal data, only the IP number, which is the information that must be passed to the woman. His position was accompanied by Judge Tasso Caubi Soares Delabary and the federal judge Iris Helena Medeiros Nogueira.

IT equipment manufactured Brazil win margin of up to 20% in public procurement

The government released on Monday, 20/1, Decree 8.184/2014, which provides preference margin of up to 20% of information technology equipment designed and manufactured in Brazil. The margin applies to desktop computers, laptops, printers, fax, drives, memory, optical disk players or recorders, magnetic cards, barcode readers and scanners.

These products, as listed in the Decree, will lead the buying public before foreign competitors. Ie, prices may be higher than those of imported products and still win auctions. The size of the margin depends on two circumstances. First, the product in question must be manufactured in Brazil - which in practical terms means counting on Basic Productive Process. In this case ensures margin of 10%

 If the product is also developed in Brazil, as provided by Ordinance 950/2006, the Ministry of Science and Technology, will be entitled to an additional 10% margin. Means that if one of the products - as listed in the Annex to Decree - is manufactured in Brazil and still have development in the country, it can be up to 20% more expensive than imported and winning bids.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Teles lost the 'battle' against WhatsApp and Skype

Prediction from Informa Telecoms & Media, released on Monday, 20/01, says that operators lost the 'window of opportunity' to compete with the OTTs as WhatsApp and Skype. Also according to the consultancy, 2014 will be a decisive year for the future of Joyn, OTT service, launched as a counter attack to free OTTs and low global membership. In Brazil, for example, only Claro joined the global network.

According to the forecast of consulting, operators - aware that the battle is lost and there is no way to recover the users of free systems communicators - should not create more service to compete directly with the OTTs. The layout for this year, maintains & Media Informa, will be able to create offers profit from the use of these services OTTs. And the consulting projects that the Joyn - an initiative created by the GSMA, the body that brings together telcos, to combat the loss of revenue in the SMS and MMS with the OTTs communication - will have a decisive 2014.

The idea with the GSMA Joyn was to create a common and interoperable multimedia messaging service, something like Skype or WhatsApp operators, which act as the evolution of SMS and MMS services. But the initiative had poor adherence. Late last year, a survey conducted by companies and Mobilesquared Tyntec with 40 operators - showed that only 7% of respondents consider that Joyn as the solution to combat the threat of message and called over-the-top services (OTT) .

The impact of free OTTs services like SMS and MMS mobilizes businesses. Futurecom 2013 Acision released a study showing that Brazilians would be willing to join the Joyn, 80% of respondents in Brazil would use such a service since it was free. In Argentina, 60% would use, while Mexico is the least responsive, with the acceptance of 40% of their respondents.

Also in Brazil, the study also showed that SMS coexists with instant messaging services, as consumers use each application according to the groups of interaction and the needs of the moment. At the time of the study, 77% of respondents reported using SMS and instant messaging apps and in addition, 84% have two or more of these applications installed on the phone.