At least 60 percent of households in the United States with broadband Internet access also have at least one connected television, according to information released from The Diffusion Group (TDG) Research. Broadband adoption is slowing due to a mature, stable market, but connected TVs are on the rise, with that trend expected to continue moving forward.
In broadband households with at least one Internet-enabled TV, average ownership totaled 1.6 units, and it's possible that number will increase in 2014.
"Whether net-to-TV video will somehow topple traditional pay-TV service models has been a red herring from the beginning," said Michael Greeson, TDG president and director of research, in a press statement. "The real debate is the extent to which the growing availability and expanding use of 'OTT TV' services will have on the time viewers spend watching traditional pay-TV given the growing array of sources at their disposal."
The majority of new HDTVs have some type of connected features - so it might not necessarily be consumers showing great interest - as opposed to simply purchasing a new TV that allows Internet access.
The Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One are engaged in a fierce battle in the console market, though it looks like the PS4 outsold the Xbox One by a hefty 2-to-1 margin in January. The NPD Group didn't release specific sales figures, only saying that the PS4 led the market in hardware sales, but Sony executives claimed that its console "nearly doubled" that of the Xbox One.
Game hardware sales in January 2014 were down 21 percent compared to the same time last year, though January 2013 had five weeks. Microsoft's reliance on restrictive DRM - or gamer perception of intrusive anti-piracy efforts has caused gamers frustration. In addition, cross-platform gamers are playing better on the PS4 than the Xbox One, along with the lower price tag of the PS4.
"Overall retail video game sales would be down only 1 percent instead of down 21 percent, if sales were normalized to account for the five-week January 2013 compared to the four-week January 2014," said Liam Callahan, NPD analyst, in a statement.
Next-generation consoles blend gaming and Web-based apps to keep consumers engaged in the living room.
Using a smartphone can lead to an easier time for medical experts to offer remote medical consultations with patients, according to JAMA Dermatology.
Since many hospitals don't have inpatient dermatologist services available to patients, it can be difficult for patients to receive treatment frequently. Using the term of "teledermatology," in-person doctors and remote specialists can work together to more accurately determine possible medical issues.
"Triage decisions were as follows: if the in-person dermatologist recommended the patient be seen the same day, the teledermatologist agreed in 90 percent of the consultations," according to the study abstract. "If the in-person dermatologist recommended a biopsy, the teledermatologist agreed in 95 percent of cases on average."
Doctors and patients could find one day easier methods to diagnose medical issues such as skin disorders without being forced to visit the office.
Enterprise IT spending will mainly focus helping companies move forward with cloud computing and mobile-based services, while overall budgets are increasing. Mobile app development should see a strong boost in 2014, with decision makers hoping to keep users productive and customers happy.
"One of the learnings we had early last year when we were starting to play with cloud technologies was that there was always a risk of something like this happening," said Hugh Scott, Energy Plus CIO, when speaking of a recent Amazon Web Services outage. The downtime hit Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and countless other services that had to deal with upset customers.
Both Google and VMware recently announced a joint effort to accelerate development of corporate desktops, powered for the "Mobile Cloud Era." The service is designed to provide businesses and enterprises with access to a secure cloud on desktops, smartphones, and mobile devices.
New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella plans to spend a large portion of his early days at Microsoft moving the company forward in the mobile and cloud markets.
The underground Silk Road 2.0 website was reportedly hacked and those responsible ran off with an estimated $2.6 million for their efforts.
"I am sweating as I write this... I must utter words all too familiar to this scared community: We have been hacked," Silk Road 2.0 administrators posted on a forum. "Our initial investigations indicate that a vendor exploited a recently discovered vulnerability in the bitcoin protocol known as 'transaction malleability' to repeatedly withdraw coins from our system until it was completely empty."
Although Defcon, the admin who posted a message on the Silk Road 2.0 forums didn't post an exact figure taken, security experts believe 4,400 coins - the equivalent of close to $2.6 million - was taken.
The original Silk Road successfully operated in the shadows before drawing federal attention, though Silk Road 2.0 never had the same luxury. However, the bitcoin exploit also recently ravaged several bitcoin exchanges, showing the digital currency has significant security issues.
Target management received numerous warnings related to the company's cyber security issues, with at least 60 days notice before hackers stole information about millions of accounts. Despite concerns from security experts, Target may have ignored security warnings in favor of installing a new system and making sure it was in place prior to Black Friday 2013.
Target, along with other major retailers, received memos written and distributed by security companies and the U.S. government warning of potential security concerns. Furthermore, a Target security analyst wanted to take a closer look at the company's point-of-sale and other payment, though it doesn't appear that took place.
Fallout from the Target breach continues to ripple throughout the industry, as several other retailers have also been affected from data breaches.
Companies receive a large number of security warnings, so it can be difficult to try and realistically figure out which ones to take seriously.
Smartphone maker Nokia has partnered with fashion designers to create the world's first interactive skirt, using Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphones, which will be shown off during the London Fashion Week.
Designers used programming languages Python and C# to help with software development, and then used 3D printing and laser cutting to put together the first designs. The phones are able to load static images, or adjust to the wearer and the type of day she has had, using live video streams.
"This unique project is about exploring the possibilities of smart technology and fashion coming altogether, as well as supporting new talent to create something special using the beautifully designed Nokia Lumia 1520," said Annie Kearney, Nokia Brand Lab, in a statement.
Technology is finding a bigger presence in the high fashion world, with augmented reality and virtual reality also making a splash. Expect to see 3D printing also hit the runway at a larger frequency in 2014, though cost effectiveness will still scare some designers away.
Auto maker Ford has teamed up with 3D specialist 3D Systems to print edible chocolate models of the 2015 Ford Mustang. The American auto company plans to make both chocolate and sugar candies of the car, which started with a CAD rendering that was then sent to a 3D printer.
"We wanted to create something fun to show that while 3D printing made these edible Mustangs, manufacturing-level 3D printing was used in the development of Ford's all-new sports car," said Paul Susalla, 3D specialist at Ford.
Depending on consumer reaction, it's possible Ford will provide 3D-printed chocolate and candies for general purchase.
Ford already has worked to integrate 3D printing into its business, using 3D printed parts that engineers can tweak and test, for example, in an effort to remain competitive. The 2015 Ford Mustang will hit the auto market in fall 2014 for U.S. consumers, with other markets receiving the vehicle throughout 2015.
When Lenovo purchased Motorola from Google in a deal worth $2.91 billion, it had the industry talking. But, those talks didn't seem to extend into LG boardrooms, with the South Korean giant not phased by the deal.
Head of Product with LG, Kim Jong Hoon, said: "There are many talks over Lenovo and Motorola in the media right now and how it affects LG, but internally, we aren't discussing much about it". One would think that LG would be scared of the deal, as it will make Lenovo quite the player in the market, but LG has plans of its own for 2014.
LG plans to get back its third place in the global smartphone market before the year is wrapped up, moving itself from position #4. LG has just launched the G Pro 2 smartphone which will help it get there, and we're sure it is working with Google on the Nexus 6 - which should be based off of the bigger G Pro 2 and its very delicious internal specs.
Another patch for Battlefield 4 on the PC is being pushed out from EA DICE, which should improve general stability, Mantle performance, and the usual bug fixes.
The latest patch for the game will fix a few problems gamers were having with gunner seat changes in an IFV/MBT that would cause the game to crash, a bomb carrier would be permanently spotted in Defuse mode, missing grass physics and an incorrectly placed invisible wall on the map Zavod 311. The PC version is being patched up first, with console versions receiving the update in the near future.