Mobile Internet browsing on smartphones and tablets will continue to be a major priority that companies and advertisers must address in 2015 - but trying to make a successful transition has largely proven difficult. Facebook, the No. 1 social networking website, has ensured it was ready for mobile users and advertisers, but Google has struggled.
"I think most of us thought Google made the leap, but I think there are some real question marks facing them in their business," said Eric Jackson, founder and managing partner of the Ironfire Capital tech-focused hedge fund, in a statement published by CNBC.
Google still controlled more than 40 percent of total mobile advertising revenue in 2014, but lost six percent year-over-year - and competition will only increase, industry experts believe. The company has a large team dedicated to capturing mobile advertising revenue, and is making changes it believes will woo advertisers, while not frustrating mobile users.
Chinese electronics company Huawei saw its smartphone shipments increase more than 40 percent in 2014 - an impressive figure, but still below internal estimates - as Huawei tries to keep up with Xiaomi.
Huawei saw global shipments reach 75 million, coming in shy of its estimated 80-million unit mark, with growth rate figures also dropping year-over-year. However, continued growth helped Huawei revenues increase 30 percent to $11.8 billion.
Much of the attention in the smartphone market is captured by Samsung and Apple, but Chinese smartphone manufacturers have a lot to be proud of. Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo help make up the top six global smartphone manufacturers - mainly contributing to China and emerging markets with low-cost handsets.
Fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A reportedly suffered a data breach at retail locations in the United States, confirming "potential unusual activity involving payment cards" at restaurants in Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas and Maryland before the holidays in December. Up to 9,000 customers could be at risk following the incident, cybersecurity experts confirmed.
"We want to assure our customers we are working hard to investigate these events and will share additional facts as we are able to do so," according to Chick-fil-A, in a statement sent to Krebs on Security. "If the investigation reveals that a breach has occurred, customers will not be liable for any fraudulent charges to their accounts - any fraudulent charges will be the responsibility of either Chick-fil-A or the bank that issued the card. If our customers are impacted, we will arrange for free identity protection services, including credit monitoring."
Trying to compromise retail locations, collecting payment information from point-of-sale (POS) machines, continues to be a popular target among cybercriminals. Despite many of the records being safe from attack, as banks and credit card companies are faster to disable accounts and reissue cards - breaching POS systems has proven easier than direct attacks.
A New Zealand man suspected of fighting for ISIS in Syria accidentally revealed his location, because he simply forgot to turn off geotagging. Mark John Taylor, also known as Abu Abdul Rahman or Mohammad Daniel, realized his mistakes and turned off Twitter location services - while also deleting 45 tweets - but screenshots were already captured. The account in question, @M_Taylor_Kiwi, has been suspended.
Using Taylor's own tweets, iBrabo, a Canadian open source intelligence research firm, was able to track the militant's locations from Kafar Roma, into the desert, and into the Al Tabqah ISIS safe haven. As Taylor posted messages such as: "I've abandoned all international laws and only practice Islamic shariah laws! NZ laws are the worst of time. Sorry Johny, here to stay in IS," he was also revealing what house he was staying in.
"Taylor eager for the fame of being a violent jihadist took to Twitter to get attention for his exploits," iBrabo noted in a statement. "His statements and Twitter missteps have solidified his involvement with ISIS and will provide the evidence should he ever try to return to New Zealand."
Just a few days before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a new website at mynewpalm.com indicates the company could be ready for a new emergence in the smartphone market. The website teases "coming soon," and "smart move," when a user visits the website.
The company was eventually acquired by Hewlett-Packard and essentially disappeared from the public world - but there are reported links to Alcatel, a Google Android phone manufacturer, behind the new Palm website. It would be a curious move if HP decided to quietly sell the brand to Alcatel, as the company apparently wants to try new marketing techniques to win over Android users.
Considering the ongoing struggles that BlackBerry - a longtime smartphone king - has endured trying to claw back into the smartphone market, it seems hard to believe Palm will be able to have much success.
Used for displaying in-design automobile models, Chevrolet's affectionately named "Power Wall" consists of a 240 square-foot, read projected glass screen matched up with two Christie Mirage 4K25 DLP3D projectors - creating a 2D or 3D image for viewing.
In previous years, car manufacturers would build their carve their upcoming models out of wood or clay, sometimes even constructing a metal object - now it's simply beamed onto this massive wall for all to see quickly and easily. The images displayed on this screen are rendered thanks to eight workstations, of which are assisted by two external video processors - this whole ordeal requires five people to operate the beast, consisting of three visualization specialists, an IT technician and a Christie hardware engineer.
Joe Guzman is Chevrolet's group manager for Global Virtual Design Process & Operations, in a press statement he said "that's the beauty of this kind of high definition. Using the maths data, we can render the vehicle as the customer will see it in the 'as manufactured state. Designers and engineers can then scrutinize every detail to make sure they are spot on."
Tesla Motors' CEO, Elon Musk, has just unleashed a Tweet to his awaiting fans, hinting that his company is working on a robotic charging system that will automatically connect and charge your car.
Instantly it makes you picture something out of a sci-fi film and that's exactly what it seems like is going to happen. Recent reports have shown that robot snake type products are actually a very real thing - OC Robotics has just shown off their Series II - X125 system snake bot, said to be used for 'a number of practical purposes' and the Carnegie Mellon University Biorobotics lab have been working on their own versions of these devices for quite some time.
There is no information currently pointing to any possible designs that Tesla may use for themselves, however the two above examples may give you a rough idea of what to expect.
Smartphones to Smartwatches and now Smart Rings, when will the downsizing of technology stop? Is it really worth developing and working on a tiny ring that's only real purpose is to inform you of a missed call or text message?
There's been a few different campaigns to get smart rings off the ground, with the MOTA: SmartRing even achieving $41,740 - well over its $35,000 goal.
Cybercriminals are having a field day targeting US companies, financial institutions and government agencies, with numerous campaigns in recent years. However, some frustrated victims, instead of solely focusing on improving cybersecurity defense, are interested in trying to get vigilante justice on hackers.
It doesn't matter the motives behind revenge hacking, it's still illegal - and the FBI is investigating a report by J.P. Morgan that target Iranian servers following a 2012 cyberattack. As the FBI improves its ability to determine what country or group could be responsible for attacks, they don't want banks and other victims to try their hand at launching attacks.
"Right now the situation is that companies are on defense," said Bloomberg News reporter Michael Riley. "They have to try and keep hackers out of their networks, and the hackers only have to win once. They are incredibly frustrated, they are incredibly vulnerable, and they are looking for other options, and some of those options may be going after the hackers."
Usually seen as competitors, Samsung and Sony are now banding together for the benefit of the consumer - seeing Samsung's Smart TVs released in 2015 include PlayStation Now compatibility.
It's expected to see this feature be presented at CES 2015 in Las Vegas, which is set to kick off in a only few days time - just as PlayStation now was originally announced at CES 2014.
With the announcement of the partnership happening just before Christmas day, North American consumers will be among the first to receive this offer. As with other PlayStation Now compatible devices, the Samsung TVs will contain an app to connect to Sony's Gakai-powered games service, allowing customers to chose from a list of games that they can rent - picking as they wish and playing them almost instantly.