As the markets closed this Monday, Google (GOOG) shares are at $249.1 billion, much higher than Microsoft’s ($247.2 billion). Despite Microsoft’s healthy performance over the past year, in which shares are up nearly 20 percent, it is reporting it’s first ever quarterly loss since going public.
Industry experts say that although Windows 8 is debuting this month, the Windows platform is waning in popularity. Microsoft has been slow to pick up mobile, and now has come forth claiming that the new oeprating system will translate well from PCs to mobile devices.
A mobile app developed for the city of Omaha, Neb. allows citizens to contribute videos and photos of potholes, fallen tree limbs, or things that pertain to zoning, and can identify or plug in location, etc.
At Hexagon 2012 held in Las Vegas this past week, the opening of the Hexagon Online Marketplace, Hexagon’s Internet-based store, was announced. To many industry watchers, this is unprecedented. According to the press release, “the Hexagon Online Marketplace signifies the first ever Hexagon-level, direct-to-customer venture, and provides customers with a simplified method of purchasing select Hexagon products and services.” Those of us who have watched Intergraph, recently acquired by Hexagon, for many years, would not have thought this type of direct-to-customer marketing venture possible.
It is a sign of the times, however, where an online store allows customers of various professional backgrounds to explore high end offerings that have traditionally been the province of government and big commercial contracts.
A bevy of new “consumer” customers fueled by the mobile, social and cloud platforms may be behind Autodesk’s financial success for 2011.
The Autodesk Media Summit held in San Francisco two weeks ago trumpeted news of the latest Autodesk 2013 product suites and products launch. CEO Carl Bass opened the Summit with some business results, big trends, followed by specific product information by Amar Hanspal. There is a video and partial transcription available on AECCafe Today
To reiterate what was covered in the opening keynote, last year Autodesk finished 2011 with revenue of about $2.2 billion. Bass said that in forecasting the economy he had predicted they would grow by about 10 percent last year, “I got a lot of grief from financial community because they didn’t think we could grow by 10 percent,” he said. “People were still worried about what going on with financial matters in the U.S. as well as in Europe. There was a sense the financial world was coming to the end – as it turns out we finished the year with 14 percent. Business was robust around the world, particularly a resurgence of economy in the U.S.”
WASHINGTON — Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.
The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.
Residents of Longview, TX (reported on earlier this week – “There’s an app for that – citizen pothole reporting”) with smartphones can get a new mobile app called “CitySend“ created by CitySourced (didn’t credit that company in the first blog) to inform public works officials of their public issues. The mobile app, unveiled by Longview GIS Manager Justin Cure, allows users to take photos, record video and audio of a problem, and automatically provide GPS coordinates. After the report is submitted, users can track all reported problems on a map as well.
Mladen Stojic, vice president Geospatial, Intergraph, talked about their new Live Link product which integrates Intergraph GeoMedia objects into ERDAS IMAGINE. Intergraph is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hexagon acquired in 2011. What this product offers is what customers have been asking for – an integrated approach to desktop workflows, combining the desktop GIS capability of GeoMedia integrated with the raster remote sensing and image processing capabilities of ERDAS IMAGINE.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) membership has voted to adopt the candidate OGC Open GeoSMS Standard as an official OGC standard.
What the OGC Open GeoSMS Standard provides developers with is an extended Short Message Service (SMS) encoding and interface to facilitate communication of location content between different LBS (Location-Based Service) devices or applications. SMS is an open text communication service most commonly used in phone, web and mobile communication systems for the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices. According to the press release issued today, the lightweight and easy to implement Open GeoSMS Standard facilitates interoperability between mobile applications and the rapidly expanding world of geospatial applications and services that implement OGC standard interfaces, encodings and best practices.
Recently TomTom introduced the WEBFLEET Mobile Smartphone App, which gives an overarching view of a customer’s fleet to the PC in the office. This can be accessed on any device from anywhere drawing data from the cloud and is particularly useful to small business owners. In an interview with Michael Geffroy, Vice President of Sales, North America for TomTom Business Solutions, he outlined the exciting features of WEBFLEET:
In November a gathering of 150 GPS engineers convened in Stanford at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to discuss the $110 billion GPS market for military and commercial aviation systems, consumer mapping services in cars and automated agricultural machines, among other related industries at the fifth annual Stanford University symposium on Position, Navigation and Time.
A big topic on the table is that GPS is no longer the only navigation and tracking system on the planet any more. According to a November article in Wired, there are four things threatening the future of GPS:
Next-generation mobile broadband services angling for a piece of the electromagnetic spectrum relied upon by GPS
Cheap GPS jammers flooding the highways, thanks to consumers worried about invasive police and employers surveillance;
Cosmic events, like solar storms
Future location technology that will ultimately push those services to places where GPS hasn’t been able to go.
What’s on the horizon is the new mobile broadband company, Lightsquared, that has been said to threaten GPS signals with interference from a neighboring spectrum. Lightsquared appears at first like it will solve a lot of problems to broadband, by offering cable – like bandwidth to mobile customers through LTE, a next generation wireless service. What’s more, the Obama administration has endorsed Lightsquared – which resides in the same spectrum that runs GPS, which is lower power and gets interference easily.