SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- In the television category, the big trend at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will be 4K LCD TVs, a technology also called ultra HD. Last year, the focus was on OLED TVs – but the high cost of producing large OLED displays continues to hamper their wide adoption.
The market research firm NPD DisplaySearch asserts that 4K LCD TVs will outsell OLED TVs through 2015.
“This is a result both of the delay in commercialization by OLED TV makers, as well as increased promotion of 4K LCD TVs by several brands,” the research firm said in a statement on Friday. “In addition, many Chinese TV brands are currently in the process of launching 4K LCD TVs in the domestic China market. OLED TVs are still expected to launch in 2013, but volumes are expected to be low and prices expected to be very high. 4Kx2K resolution is not exclusive to LCD TV and 4K OLED TVs are also expected to be introduced at some point in premium TV segments.”
Meanwhile, the overall TV market remains weak. According to NPD Display Search, the overall TV market was down 6% in units in 2012, and is likely to be flat in 2013. Plasma TV shipments were down 24% last year, NPD estimates. “Looking forward, the market is expected to be flat in 2013 on persistent economic uncertainty before entering a period of gradual growth as conditions improve and as price declines in the TV market accelerate,” NPD says.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- If you're reading this blog post at work, it probably means you're distracted. Don't worry. You're not alone. Rachel Emma Silverman of the Wall Street Journal reports that academic studies have found that office workers go off-task—either because someone distracts them or they, well, distract themselves—about every three minutes.
Silverman explains that companies are complaining that distraction is causing problems, but "modern workday seems custom-built to destroy individual focus," what with open-plan offices that are good for talking with co-workers, plus internal emails, and that dreaded social media. That said, Silverman adds that some distraction can be good because workers will work more quickly if they know that some point they will waste time. And the Internet isn't always the source of problems: "occasional, undemanding distractions" like looking around on the Web can make people more creative and alert.
But, boy, is distraction a time-suck. Gloria Mack, a professor at University of California, Irvine who studies "digital distraction," says that getting back on track can take about 23 minutes. We tried to count how many times we got distracted when writing this post, but failed. The count was just too high.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on a conference call that the social network will be focusing more on mobile opportunities and further building out its platform. On the heels of the company’s latest earnings report, Zuckerberg said that there is incredible opportunity for building out a mobile presence — something that he felt was its Achilles’ heel in a filing to the SEC prior to the disappointing IPO. Not only that, he believed that the platform has potential to generate incredible revenue for the company.
On the topic of mobile, Zuckerberg believed that it has more opportunity than the desktop. There are billions of smartphone out in the market right now and Facebook’s mobile app is widely downloaded. Mobile usage even continues to drive growth for the company, up 61% from last year and it has become the largest mobile ad platform in the past eight months. With 14% of the company’s ad revenue coming from mobile, this is something that Facebook would like to leverage. The number of people who return to Facebook is staggering when you compare the desktop to the mobile experience. Zuckerberg said that there’s a 40% chance of someone using the service compared to 70% when they’re on the mobile.
Facebook intends to make mobile advertising a strong revenue generator for the company. The advertising model one sees on the desktop isn’t going to work on the mobile ads — something Zuckerberg believes should work like it’s on a TV and be more integrated rather than something on the side. To that end, he’s directed each of the company’s product groups to be responsible for developing their own monetization strategy. And he says that Facebook is just getting started with mobile product development.
With respect to the platform, Facebook is going to spend the next 5-10 years focused on getting people to interact more with the company. There are more and more applications already tied into the social network. Zuckerberg says that 8-10 of the top iOS apps already integrate with Facebook and eventually, the best product in every category will be social — we’re already seeing it with media and games. Simply put, Zuckeberg believes that as more apps get built and industries get transformed, as Facebook provides more support for these apps, the more revenue the company will receive.
Social gaming is one area that has typically been beneficial to the social network, but it’s not entirely perfect. Zuckerberg believed that social gaming on the network isn’t as great as he had hoped it would be — right now, payments received from Zynga have decreased 20% this year compared to last, but the monthly payment revenue it saw increased 40% this year from last.
Zuckerberg is excited about the potential of its mobile app install product, custom audiences feature, and Facebook Gifts. He believes that these three services will help lead the company forward and drive revenue to build a better and successful company.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — There have been strong suspicions in the minds of many Arabs and others about the circumstances under which veteran Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died on November 11, 2004. Doctors in France, where Arafat was being treated in his last days, could offer no concrete explanation for his death. Many believed he was poisoned by Israeli intelligence. This theory gained momentum after the Al Jazeera news channel aired a documentary in July on the issue, for which they commissioned a lab analysis of Arafat’s personal effects, with the permission and support of his widow, Suha Arafat.
Now, a Swiss radiology lab has received the go-ahead from Suha Arafat to test his remains for poisoning by polonium, a highly radioactive element. Darcy Christen, a spokesman for the lab at the Lausanne University Hospital Centre, told AFP they were waiting for a formal lawyer’s letter before travelling to Ramallah to carry out the probe. “Time is of the essence, you could say it’s a question of weeks, not months, because the traceability of polonium diminishes by half every 138 days,” Christen said, noting that this has occurred 20 times since Arafat died in 2004.
The Palestinian National Authority has approved the probe. A statement from French lawyers acting for Arafat’s widow and their daughter Zawra welcomed the PNA’s comments.
“We are glad that the position of the Palestinian [National] Authority is to accept the exhumation of the body of Yasser Arafat,” Pierre-Olivier Sur and Jessica Finelle wrote.
“However, we consider that this act of enquiry should be in coordination with the French investigating system... which should appoint an investigating judge to conduct the necessary enquiries,” the statement said.
Speaking to Gulf News, Abdel Bari Atwan, editor in chief of the London-based pan-Arab daily Al Quds Al Arabi, said that France must investigate the case as Arafat died on French soil. “I don’t believe that the Palestinian National Authority is capable of investigating this matter. It is the responsibility of the French. If the French authorities argue, as they well might, that Arafat was brought to France after the alleged poisoning, then it is the responsibility of the international community to investigate this issue. What we need is a UN investigation, along the lines of the tribunal set up to look into the assassination of [former Lebanese premier] Rafik Hariri. The French should at least push for this to happen. It is also the responsibility of the Arab League to take it to the Security Council.”
Asked about the reaction of the PNA, Atwan noted: “The PNA is extremely embarrassed that it was Al Jazeera, a news channel, which did the job that the Authority should have done a long time ago, as it was very clear from the beginning that Yasser Arafat’s death was not by natural causes. Arafat was the symbol of Palestine and the Palestinian National Authority. The PNA has now been pushed to the corner by Al Jazeera … they have been embarrassed into action.”
Atwan said that he did not expect the results of an investigation to have any impact on the Middle East “peace process.” “The so-called peace process is already dead. Initially, the Obama administration had raised hopes … but in the end, it surrendered to Israeli orders.”
After a nine-month investigation, Al Jazeera found that Arafat was in “good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004.” The tests it commissioned revealed that the personal belongings he used in his final days — clothes, toothbrush, even his kaffieyeh — “contained abnormal levels of polonium.” The tests also indicated there was a high level of polonium inside his body at the time of his death. Dr Francois Bochud, the director of the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, which analysed the samples, said: “I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids.”—www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Gulf News