Google has published its monthly numbers for Android version adoption, with Jelly Bean climbing 3.4 percent to 28.4 percent of active devices, while Ice Cream Sandwich fell 1.8 percent to 27.5 percent.
After dropping beneath the 40 percent mark last month, Gingerbread slid even further to 38.5 percent. Meanwhile, Froyo and Eclair came in at 3.7 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, and Donut held on at 0.1 percent.
In April, Google changed the way it reports this data, taking snapshots for devices where the user intentionally visits the Google Play Store during a given period instead of just checking in to Google servers. While the move is meant to help the figures more accurately represent users who are “most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem”, it leaves out data from regions, such as China, that use alternative app stores. The Chinese market has been flooded with low-end Android handsets, many of which are forked from the official versions, so actual worldwide Android adoption would likely look quite different from the numbers Google comes up with.
Gingerbread, which was released in December 2010, still makes up the largest portion of Android devices on Google Play, but Jelly Bean, which first hit the market in June 2012, is set to overtake it in a few months if the current trend continues.
A new version of Android is likely to arrive at Google’s I/O developer conference, which takes place later this month. Current rumors suggest that the update will be another version of Jelly Bean (presumably version 4.3) instead of Android 5.0, also known as Key Lime Pie.
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Is it still possible to do something new with online forums? The answer is yes, according to Patrick Clinger, founder of ProBoards — he’s launching a new version of the company’s forum-building software today.
Clinger told me that today’s launch is the company’s first big update since 2008. The company was founded in 2000, and in the beginning, he said ProBoards “actually did have the best software,” but he said that over the years it has been overtaken by other companies (one of the latest competitors is the recently announced startup Discourse).
“It’s been a little bit of a game of catch up,” Clinger said – and he argued that with ProBoards version 5 (which was already in public beta testing), the company has taken the lead again.
During a recent trip to San Francisco, Clinger gave me a demonstration of the major new features. He seemed proudest of a new “live search” feature, which brings up search results as you type. That might not seem like much more than a nice tweak, but Clinger said, “One of the biggest problems with forums right now is search” — a clunky search experience makes it tough for users to find conversations that are relevant to them.
There’s also a dashboard that allows users to track their activity across multiple forum accounts, a new theme system for administrators to customize the look of their forums, a WYSIWYG editor that makes it easier for anyone see what a post will look like before they hit publish, and notifications to track any thread that someone has participated in — users can get someone’s attention via notifications by using the same “@USERNAME” tagging that we’ve become so accustomed to on social networks.
Speaking of social networks, I asked Clinger if they’ve taken the place of forums in some ways. He said they have, but “it’s been for the better,” because most of the general conversation among friends has moved to Facebook and Twitter, allowing forums to become more focused on “very topic-based discussions.”
ProBoards has been used to create 3.5 million forums, Clinger added, and he estimated that about 1.2 million of them are still active, in the sense that they’re still getting “a pageview every now and then.”
As for today’s update, Clinger said all new forums created on ProBoards will be on version 5, and admins of existing forums can also sign-up to be placed in the upgrade queue.
See the article here: ProBoards Upgrades Its Forum-Building Tools With A New Dashboard And Live Search
Jolicloud, which last October pivoted yet again – to become Jolidrive: a “entry point”/dashboard for accessing third party cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and also social accounts like Vimeo, Instagram and YouTube — has taken the next obvious step on this new product path and added a search function to flesh out its role as a cloud content (re)discovery service.
With the plethora of different cloud services consumers can now tap into to store stuff getting visibility on all that disparate content via a single dashboard with the ability to search across multiple services makes plenty of sense. The new search function can also be used to throw the net wider, and hunt down new content on social services, be it on YouTube or Instagram or Vimeo — so it’s designed to facilitate cloud content discovery too.
In an email notification sent to subscribers (a part of which is shown below), Jolicloud said search has been one of the “most requested features” for its new offering.
Amazon has claimed that Redshift will increase the speed of query performance when analyzing any size data set, using the same SQL-based business intelligence tools analysts use today. Hapyrus Co-Founder Koichi Fujikawa says their service, a big data router, makes Redshift even more effective and an alternative to Hadoop and Hive, the most widely recognized combination used for processing and analyzing data.
After setup, FlyData runs in the background, moving the data to Redshift. Fujikawa said Hapyrus sets up a virtual private cloud on AWS. Customers can integrate their own virtual private network to transfer the data.
Hapyrus competes against the likes of Informatica and Talend. Its current focus is on integrating with AWS, but going forward it will integrate data from a variety of sources. Fujikawa said in an email that Informatica and Talend provide complex data-integration solutions for big enterprise customers — mainly for on-premise systems. “We provide our data-integration service for cloud components like Redshift for any size of companies, from startups to relatively big organizations,” he said.
Fujikawa says Redshift can be 10 times faster than Hadoop and Hive. Customers he hears from say they are seeking alternatives for the everyday kind of work that needs to get done. They can get stymied by the time and the expense that a query takes when using Hadoop and Hive.
But there are also complexities with using Redshift, as Airbnb discovered:
First, in order to load your data into Redshift, it has to be in either S3 or Dynamo DB already. The default data loading is single threaded and could take a long time to load all your data. We found breaking data into slices and loading them in parallel helps a lot.
On its nerd blog, Airbnb said Redshift lacks some of the features that come with Hadoop. But data analysts are liking it so much that they want to use it pretty much exclusively. The Airbnb nerd blog makes the point that, in the end, Redshift and Hadoop may be more compatible than anything else.
“Redshift, as a data warehouse, should be compared to Vertica, Greenplum, AsterData, Impala, Hadapt, and CitusData,” said Drawn to Scale Co-Founder Bradford Stephens in a recent email interview. “They’re just different things.”
The smallest of startups take the tiniest bites out of the profit margins of the enterprise giants. But time and again we see companies like Hapyrus emerge with new, novel ways to use Amazon Web Services architecture in a fashion that gives them access to a customer base that can eat by the morsel instead of a gluttonous software feast.
Hapyrus is a 500 Startups company with angel funding from a group of prominent Japanese angel investors, including Shogo Kawada, co-founder of DeNA, a $4 billion Internet company.
Originally posted here: Hapyrus Launches Service For Amazon Redshift, An Emerging Alternative To Hadoop And Hive
Reporters Without Borders, the France-based NGO that advocates freedom of information, has announced its annual Netizen of the Year Award which seeks to honor a Web-based blogger or cyber-dissident who has fought to defend freedom of expression on the World Wide Web.
However, this year it’s taking a slightly different approach, with the public being enlisted to help select the winner.
Nine netizens from Bulgaria, Egypt, Honduras, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mali, Russia, Senegal and Vietnam have been nominated, and each one has their own video which tells their respective story.
The award has been supported by Google for the past few years and, well, this year is no different.
“Around the world, bloggers and cyber-dissidents are jailed for expressing their views,” says Florian Maganza, a Google Policy Analyst based in Paris.
“Reporters Without Borders makes sure their struggles are not forgotten,” he continues. “We believe in a free and open Internet where everyone can express their opinions and learn from others.”
So, while the initial pool of candidates has been curated, the actual winner will be based on votes from the general public, and will be announced on March 7. Votes can be placed below each video here.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock