At around 1:15 PM EST on Monday, Path announced it had surpassed the 10 million registered user mark. Path CEO Dave Morin revealed the new figure on Path (of course), along with an image of a counter at 10,000,006 simply titled “Users” at the top.
If you look closely, the picture depicted seems to show a browser displaying an internal website used by the team to track the figure:
A few minutes later, Path confirmed the news via its Twitter account:
10 million users and growing! We’re so excited. twitter.com/path/status/32…
— Path (@path) April 29, 2013
Between then and now, the service has added 7 million users in 10 months. Yet the real growth acceleration has only begun, according to Morin, who recently said 1 million users are joining every week. In other words, the 10 million mark is just a small part of a bigger story.
Like the last growth spurt to pass the 2 million mark, this one seems to be centered on a new version of the app. In December, Path gained a new search feature and in March, version 3.0 with messaging support arrived on the scene.
All of this combined led to people from all around the world inviting their friends to Path, and thus growth in new markets such as Venezuela, Spanish-speaking populations like Central America and Columbia, Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and then the Spanish-speaking population of the US. “We’ll usually see intense growth and then it moves on to another country,” Morin told the WSJ.
It’s important to emphasize that registered users aren’t all active users for long. Even if it’s adding 1 million users weekly, the real test for Path will be to see if it can retain a solid subset of them (and find a real revenue stream).
Top Image Credit: moniquef12
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Mobile service provider NQ Mobile today released a study of malware covering 2012, using data gathered from the company’s Security Labs. It found that malware threats in general on mobile platforms grew 163 percent in 2012, totally more than 65,000 identified distinct forms of app repackaging, malicious URLs and SMS phishing (also known as smishing). The attacks were mostly geared towards Android devices, which was the platform of choice for almost 95 percent of threats identified by NQ.
Trends indicate we’ll only see more attacks, and more creative ones, according to NQ. In February, security researchers identified a new type of malware that uses an Android device as a launch platform for infecting a target computer via USB connection, the company said. That remains limited to only a few identified infected handsets, but it’s a troubling attack vector that could pose plenty of problems down the road if it becomes more sophisticated. In a release, NQ Mobile co-CEO Omar Khans said that what’s needed is a system that can detect threats in advance of infection and prevent them, something which so far hasn’t really been widely available.
NQ Mobile’s report found that more than 32.8 million Android devices were infected over the course of 2012, up more than 200 percent from 2011. Of course, the general Android device population grew massively over the course of the year – a recent ABI Research study indicates that there will be over 798 million active Android devices by the end of the year, compared to around 300 million as of early in 2012. And the U.S., despite having a large chunk of the overall user population, is actually further down the list in terms of target countries, with just 9.8 percent of infected devices, compared to 25.5 percent in China, 19.4 percent in India and 17.9 percent in Russia.
Mobile malware infections are likely to continue to rise as it takes over popularity from PCs as a way for users to connect, and there’s little that can be done about that save ensuring that users take the same precautions on mobile that they would on those platforms. The problem may be more complicated on mobile operating systems, however, due to fragmentation, which NQ says contributes to weaker security for users running older versions of Android like Gingerbread. App sideloading and a user population that’s skewing younger every year is also contributing to a rise in potential security risks, the company says.
NQ’s data indicates that Android is a big risk for malware, but iOS has also recently come under fire for free apps that leak more personal data than on other platforms. Overall, mobile security is likely to be a growing concern, and one that could potentially become more complicated as the pace of improvements to mobile tech increases and our usage of those devices grows higher still. For now, common sense is probably the best defense against security threats, but a more unified Android platform would help to limit malware problems as well as significantly improve developers’ lives.
Continue reading here: Malware On Mobile Grew 163% In 2012, Infecting Around 32.8M Android Devices, Report Says
Eric Schmidt surprised many when he made a “private, humanitarian” visit to North Korea in January, and now, following that trip, the Google Executive Chairman is said to be preparing to visit Burma, a country that was — until recently — a similarly isolated state.
Local news agency The Irrrawaddy cites “informed sources” who claim that Schmidt “will soon visit” the country in a trip that will see him meet with senior government officials, opposition leader (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) Aung San Suu Kyi and a number of leading businessmen.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the report, but the trip is plausible given the nature of Schmidt’s visit to North Korea and existing commitments. He’s already confirmed to speak at The Guardian’s Big Tent Activate India event in New Delhi on March 21, and could maximize his time in Asia by stopping off in other countries too.
A trip to Burma — which is officially known as Myanmar – may appeal to Schmidt for a number of reasons. The country has recently opened up under the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein, formerly its Prime Minister and a military commander. A series of political reforms saw media censorship relaxed, some political prisoners released and freer elections, but concerns still remain and the adoption of technology is far from widespread.
Technology-wise, Burma is in a similar league to North Korea. Around 1 percent of the country’s near-50 million population has Internet access and — though tech companies are beginning to enter – adoption of mobile devices remains very low. Just 3 percent of the population were thought to own a phone of any description in 2011, according to The World Bank.
The country’s new constitution has heralded an influx of major international brands — including Coca Cola, Hilton, Ford and more — and it is equally as promising for tech, with Research firm IDC calling it an “unpolished gem”. Schmidt could help impart valuable advice and influence — his comments led to North Korea’s mobile operator opening mobile data services — to aid the democratization of the Web there, but equally there are still issues around Google services in Burma.
Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that several journalists who cover Burma received warnings from Google that their email accounts might have been hacked by “state-sponsored attackers”. That suggests that previous issues of government intervention are continuing despite the changes.
Headline image via Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images
Kodak has already gone the way of the dodo, more or less, while Wikipedia is credited as killing Britannica’s print-based encyclopedias earlier this year. And just this week, Haynes started selling its first eBooks.
With that in mind, Collins – an imprint of HarperCollins UK – is one of the world’s most prestigious atlas publishers, and is seemingly intent on remaining so. Founded in 1819 on the principle of “creating knowledge for all,” Collins’ publishing now covers everything from astronomy to zoology in print, eBook and app formats.
Collins has now rolled out a very neat atlas for iOS devices, rather imaginatively called Atlas by Collins, letting users explore the world through a collection of interactive 3D globes, displaying visual data about the world.
Coming in at a rather punchy $9.99 (£6.99), this 620Mb monster will likely deter a lot of people from downloading, especially those with limited space on their iOS device.
But moving beyond these minor (?) points, what we have on our hands here is a beautiful, immersive app that’s likely to appeal to people of all ages. I only wish I had an iPad to enjoy this on.
As it stands, Atlas is optimized for the new iPad and iPhone 5 on iOS6, though will work on iOS5+ on iPad 2+, iPhone 4+ and iPod Touch 5th Generation+.
When you first launch the app, you’re straight into the action. You swipe to rotate the globe, pinch to zoom and any feature you move underneath the ever-present compass in the middle will be shown in the location bar at the top.
Interestingly, Atlas contains seven themed globes that present data using beautiful interactive maps, color-coded data layers and graphics. You can change the view of the world with one swipe to see which countries consume the most oil or which have the highest Internet uptake.
Additional globes are already in development and will eventually be made available as in-app purchases. We’re also told that future app releases will allow users to create customized globes, which sounds intriguing.
Atlas includes more than 200,000 locations, such as cities and landmarks. The globes can also be downloaded for offline use.
You can click on key points of interest for more information relating to them, such as the Himalayas.
Want to know some of the fascinating tidbits unveiled by Atlas? Here’s a few: Apparently, just ten countries are responsible for 67% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, with China and the United States accounting for 39% of all CO2 emissions in 2008.
Also, Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world, with the average woman giving birth 7.1 times. And, due to the number of rivers flowing into it and its low evaporation rate, the Arctic is the least salty of all the oceans. So there you go.
The full range of themed globes are:
Collins partnered with London development agency The Other Media, developers of Wonders of the Universe app which we covered back in March, to design and build Atlas by Collins using custom-made 3D technology.
“Working with a publisher with such a great heritage – and great data – and being given the freedom to reinvent the atlas for this app was a fantastic opportunity and one that we relished,” says Chris Harris, app director at the Other media. “We are very proud of Atlas by Collins and are looking forward to working closely with Collins to develop this revolutionary data platform in the years ahead.”
Indeed, its this kind of app that one suspects the Retina display on the new iOS devices was built for.
Image Credit – Thinkstock
The world has paid for the luxury of Angry Birds with its health and looks: a new report finds a strong link between technological advancement and expanding waistlines. According to economic think tank, The Milken Institute, a country the size of America will add 4.2 million Spanx-wearing citizens for a 10% growth in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). “The main culprit is the knowledge-based society,” states the report, “more processed foods, a greater amount of ‘screen’ time (watching TV, using computers, playing video games, etc.), decreased energy expenditure, and/or higher consumption of snack foods have all played a role.”
Around the world, obesity rates have shot up higher than the population’s blood sugar. China’s has more than doubled (2.5 to 5.7) in 6 years; India’s has almost tripled (0.7 in 1998 to 1.9 in 2008). But, that doesn’t hold a bacon-flavored candle to American exceptionalism: the U.S. is the Burger King of global obesity at a whopping 33.8% of the population.
The economic and human toll is astronomical. 2.8 million adults die each year from Obesity and weight-related diseases. It accounted for $147 billion in medical costs (or 10% of total spending).
The impact of technological advancement, however, is an average effect. The slender French are only mildly affected by iPhones and Xbox’s because they eat much smaller portions (even though they eat a higher proportion of fats).
Over the past 15 years, consumption has been supersized by 150-250 calories a day, and 300 calories in the U.S. Calorie consumption was dramatically more predictive of obesity than information technology investment. Controlling for calories, exercise, and type of consumption (booze, fat, veggies), Milken estimates about a 1.4 percent increase in obesity for every 10 percent increase in the share of the economy invested in ICT.
Exercise as simple as walking can make a big difference in reducing obesity. But, why stop there? Be ambitious. Go for a six-pack and have your whole business join a CrossFit gym. Or, you can just always order the growing line of mainstream Spanx-wear from the comfort of your well-worn chair.
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