Around the IT Industry 9/2-9/6

by Modis on September 6, 2013

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Android 4.4 to be Named ‘KITKAT’

In the tradition of naming all Android distributions after various desserts and sweets such as Eclair, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Cupcake, Google has revealed that Android version 4.4 will be named ‘KitKat’.  In collaboration with Google, the Nestlé Corporation will be creating a limited number of Android-shaped Kit Kat bars for sale in retail stores following the release.  Through this unusual collaboration, both Google and Nestlé are counting on a massive boost in exposure and marketability.

Motorola’s US-Made Smartphone Just as Cheap as Imports

Motorola’s new Moto X smartphone is the first such device to be manufactured in the US in mass quantities in spite of the overwhelming market trend towards overseas production in the industry.  What is surprising, however, is that the US-made Moto X costs only a few dollars more to produce than similar devices manufactured in Asia.  Additionally, US customers will be able to order customized versions of their device to be made without the considerable wait time needed for the device to pass through customs inspections.  Needless to say, in addition to providing jobs to American workers, Motorola stands to gain a considerable amount of public endorsement for the new line and may prompt other manufacturers to follow suit.

Cable TV’s Decline Continues

The number of consumers with paid cable television subscriptions is falling off faster than ever before with an unprecedented 1.8 million customers abandoning their subscription plans in the second quarter of 2013.  With streaming video services like Netflix and widely-used file-sharing services offering a virtually limitless array of entertainment for less than 30 cents a day, the cable TV subscription plans just are not marketable anymore.  Despite the decline of cable TV, however, broadband Internet use is growing as fast as ever and shows no sign of letting up.

Netflix Caching Service to Provide Superior Streaming

Many ISPs have controls in place to limit or re-route bandwidth to high-traffic sites such as YouTube or streaming services like Netflix.  Netflix, however, is offering a free caching service to ISPs that will enable their customers to stream Netflix content faster, smoother, and in higher definition than ever before.  Unfortunately, many of the major providers have not accepted that offer to date, opting to continue using their own routing and traffic-management measures for flow-control to various sites.  Some smaller providers, though, have taken Netflix up on the offer and the results are beginning to show.

HDMI 2.0 Announced

Just in time for the impending arrival of new Ultra HD televisions which support 4K resolution, HDMI 2.0 allows the familiar HDMI input jack to accommodate those resolutions as well as 18Gbps memory transfer, multiple simultaneous video streams, 32 audio channels, and additional extensions as well.  The connectors and cables will all be reverse-compatible with the current generation of HDMI, which means that users who purchase these next-generation devices can still use their Blu-Ray players and game consoles with their existing cables but they will not be able to take advantage of the higher resolution images without the new cable.

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