Games app downloads to smartphones and tablets are set to grow significantly over the next four years, according to a new report by analyst Juniper Research which projects there will be 64.1 billion such downloads in 2017 — more than three times the 21 billion downloaded in 2012. Key drivers powering this high rate of growth are increasing numbers of free-to-play releases (aka the freemium business model), as well as more sophisticated devices and the continued global uptake of smartphones, says the analyst.
The dominance of freemium as a games app business model is very evident from the analyst’s figures: in 2017, it expects just 7% of games to be paid for at the point of purchase, across smartphones and tablets. In-app purchases and/or advertising are presumably how games developers will be mostly earning a buck.
Juniper says mobile will become the primary screen for gamers, thanks to an increase in the number of “sophisticated games, which allow for truly multi-platform gameplay through the use of cloud technology”. Growth in the quantity of memory on devices is also enabling consumers to download more games. And while Juniper is not expecting smartphones and tablets to kill off dedicated portable gaming devices, it says there’s no doubt consumer mobiles are challenging and eroding the latter market — with players such as Nintendo cutting its sales forecasts by 14% for its 3DS, and 27% for its Wii U.
Social & Casual games will remain the most popular genre downloaded, according to Juniper’s forecast — with over half of all smartphone games downloaded fitting this genre. That’s in keeping with the key characteristics of mobile devices: always-on connectivity, which means being wired in to social services; and portability, meaning these devices are suited for short bursts of casual gaming to kill time.
Looking specifically at tablets, Juniper found their users are especially keen on downloading games, with more than twice the number of games downloads to tablets than smartphones. ”Tablet games are growing so much because they are such an accessible way for all consumer segments to access games. In particular mid-core gamers, who previously spent a lot of money and time playing games but now have jobs, families or other commitments, are driving this trend,” commented report author Siân Rowlands in a statement. ”These people are really embracing the tablet form factor, and innovative gameplay devices such as the mobile based OUYA console, really appeal to them.”
Senator Jerry Moran (CrunchGov Grade: A) left his tie back in Washington, D.C., and sat down with me for an informal, yet candid discussion at the SXSW Interactive conference. The folksy Kansas representative has been one of the Senate’s few tech wonks, spearheading a bill to create a new visa for immigrant entrepreneurs, the Startup Visa Act 3.0. We’ve included highlights below. From filibustering drone policy to how to influence his fellow congressmen, we’ve included the highlights below.
“If the federal government can kill a U.S. citizen without due process of law in the United States, what can’t the federal government do?” said Moran, who helped Rand Paul on his epic 12-hour filibuster this week to protest the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director. Paul had invoked the U.S. Senate’s fire-alarm procedure, the filibuster, which permits any representative to hold up all political activity so long as he or she continuously talks (no bathroom breaks). Moran joined his Republican colleague on the Senate floor to bring attention to Obama’s ambiguous stance on being able to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil with a drone.
The filibuster was front-page news most of the day and was a big hit on Twitter (Paul’s own following swelled roughly 3,500 followers each hour he talked). Thanks the national attention the filibuster received, the Obama Administration has agreed to clarify its position and admitted it does not have the authority to kill non-combatant citizens on U.S. soil. “Most importantly, it educated the American people who are too often tuned out and tuned off of what’s going on in Washington, D.C., about an issue that I think is of fundamental importance.”
How To Influence A Congressman
While Moran admitted that lobbyist money does influence politicians, he argued that it was quid pro quo. Rather, Senators are most influenced by personal conversations, which money often buys through fancy dinners. “I think this is true of almost all humans: we kind of crave the connection with people. And if you get to know somebody, you can influence the way they think based upon that connection,” he said.
To equal the playing field between average citizens, Moran advises activists to use social media to get on policymakers’ or their staffs’ radar, which then peaks enough interest to begin personal conversations with the small guy. “The best way to connect with people still today, despite the value of social media, is human relations.
The massive online protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was especially important to Moran. “It was very appealing to me to find that there is an issue and a medium of communication that gives me the opportunity to have a relationship with a whole new set of Kansans that otherwise would not have been involved in my life.
The upshot from Moran’s talk seems to be that the influence is as much about education as politicking, if not more so. Both the public and policymakers are drowning in information. Those who can get face time, no matter the size of their bank accounts, have the opportunity to be the most important source of information upon which everyone bases their decisions.
Originally posted here: Senator Moran On Filibustering Drone Policy And How To Influence Congressmen
The donkey lives! Apparently, Google did not kill a donkey with its Street View car in Botswana, after all. Donkeycide would totally go against Google’s whole “do no evil” credo, the company said. Okay, just kidding. But Google did take the time out of its busy schedule to respond to the accusations of donkey hit-and-run on the official Google Maps blog this morning, in a post hilariously titled “Never ass-ume.”
Ass-ume. Get it? Get it?!
Seriously though, if you haven’t been following this story – and, well, good for you for having a life – it started when some Caltech theoretical physicist styling himself as “the real Sheldon Cooper” on Twitter (@TheRealSheldonCooper) tweeted a link to a Google Street View image showing what appears to be a dead donkey lying in the dirt road, presumably behind the Street View car.
Why a physicist was spending his time browsing Botswana’s Street View remains a mystery. Maybe he had outsourced his job to China and was looking to kill some time surfing the Internet?
In any event, it was one of those little observations people make on Twitter all the time, but for whatever reason, the image went viral. Fox News even picked it up, because, well you know, they like to cover the news that matters.
Um, as do we.
(Dismounts from high horse).
Google, at least, cares enough about its reputation to respond to these outrageous claims of donkey murder. Reads the company blog post on the matter:
Over the last 24-hours concerned members of the public and the media have been speculating on the fate of a donkey pictured in Street View in the Kweneng region of Botswana.
Because of the way our 360-degree imagery is put together, it looked to some that our car had been involved in an unseemly hit and run, leaving the humble beast stranded in the road.
As our imagery below shows, the donkey was lying in the path - perhaps enjoying a dust bath - before moving safely aside as our car drove past. I’m pleased to confirm the donkey is alive and well.
Google’s post shows that in images 1 and 2, the car was driving on the left side of the road and approached the donkey, which was lying down, taking a breather.
In image 3, the donkey gets up and moves aside.
Image 4, taken from the back of the vehicle also shows the animal on its feet.
Unless…of course, well….this could all be just some sort of massive coverup to hide the fact that Google is testing its self-driving cars out in the wilds of Africa, and it has discovered a bug in the system: robots don’t brake for wildlife. I don’t know, that could happen, right? Did anyone check the photos for evidence of Photoshopping?
Video quality keeps getting better, and nowhere is that more apparent than at CES where major consumer electronics manufacturers are showing off 4K TVs and OLED screens – with some even showing off 8K. That’s great for traditional TV, but what about streaming video?
One thing Rovi Product Management Director Charles Dawes is excited about is the ratification of H.265 or the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) format, which will provide higher-quality video streams over the Internet while using less bandwidth. After the standard gets ratified, you can expect content owners to start pushing even high-quality video files.
H.265 is designed to allow for 4K-like streams at about the same file size as today’s 1080p videos. That’s good news for consumers, who could soon be able to watch streaming video that’s indecipherable from traditional TV. And doing so won’t kill the network.
At first, the videos will be decoded in software, according to Dawes. But over time you should expect more devices to ship with hardware-based decoders, which will provide better performance and improved battery life. Check out the video above to learn more, as well as to find out what Dawes and Rovi are looking forward to at CES.
Warning: Clicking through to see the top 20 most watched TEDTalks is akin to finding a new show on Netflix. It will kill your day. If you must (and you really do) see the top 20 talks in TED six-year history, clear your calendar, shut off your email, go to the bathroom and open your mind. You’re about to learn something.
TED tabulated data from its top sources including TED.com, YouTube, Hulu, iTunes, and several others. Sir Ken Robinson’s 2006 talk about how schools kill creativity tops the list with 13,409,417 views. It’s followed by brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor’s epic story about suffering a stroke — and documenting her body shutting down. Next is Pranav Mistry, David Gallo and then again by Pranav Mistry and Pattie Maes with an astounding demo of SixthSense, a wearable projection computer. Further down the list is Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawkings, and Mary Roach’s talk on 10 things you didn’t know about an orgasm. It’s an impressive collection of fascinating lectures.
The TED blog links to the top 20 list published last year. It’s very similar, in fact, with the notable addition of Steve Jobs’ genuine 2005 talk on how to live before you die.
The rest is here: TED Reveals Top 20 Most-Watched Talks, Sir Ken Robinson Tops The List