Thumbnail for 63170

Salesforce Is A Platform Company. Period.

You can bet what would have happened if Salesforce.com had not focused on becoming more of a platform company than a CRM provider. It would have faced a market with more modern CRM vendors, putting it in a corner as a legacy provider.

Instead, the company today hit a milestone of sorts, with 2 million apps downloaded and installed on its AppExchange, making it clear that Salesforce is now a platform provider more than anything else.

There is really no doubt about it. Look at all of the company’s efforts over the past 18 months and it’s possible to project what it will be focusing on through 2014. The company is doubling its efforts on developing its app platforms and using its acquisitions to build out its marketing cloud.

The company has spent $3.5 billion in acquisitions for its marketing cloud. This past spring, Salesforce.com announced Social.com, which pulls data from a customer’s CRM environment to craft campaigns. Through its acquisition of Radian 6, the expectation is that companies can also get a view of the social stream with its CRM data. With ExactTarget, Salesforce.com added an email-marketing platform that it can use with Social.com.

In essence, Salesforce is using its CRM platform as a data source with apps serving as data-integration packages, which it makes available on its AppExchange platform. This data can then be integrated with third-party apps from companies such as Dropbox, Marketo and Evernote, its latest partner.

Salesforce.com launched AppExchange in 2006. In 2011, the company reached the 1 million installation mark, and with today’s totals it is growing at a pace that reflects the broader adoption of mobile in the enterprise.

The market for enterprise apps first emerged with the iOS and Android app stores. These are still core channels for developers, but more recently, third-party marketplaces have emerged that provide a different avenue for developers to sell apps.

As more apps were developed, apps marketplaces emerged that have served as hubs for both end users and developers. Google Apps was one of the first to offer a marketplaces. In recent months, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) providers have started offering application exchange environments. Heroku, for example, has a diverse add-on marketplace. AppDirect now offers Cloud Foundry developers with a way to connect with channel reseller partners that are using the platform.

Other companies such as Bitnami, which helps power the Amazon app marketplace, are finding success as well in helping companies build out app marketplace environments.

Salesforce does get criticized for its closed-platform environment. That’s true to some extent but notice that the conversation is about the platform, not about Salesforce’s CRM strength. It’s about Salesforce as a platform company. Period.

Grand Theft Auto Online launch Tuesday could see server melt-down

Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer gaming environment for billion-dollar title GTA5, could encounter launch day hiccups given a greater-than-predicted crowd eager to take part, developers Rockstar North has warned. The online arena, which will allow up to sixteen players to compete against each other simultaneously, could well be swamped with gamers after sales of […]

Thumbnail for 63173

Must See HDTV (September 30th - October 6th)

As we begin to experience the post-Breaking Bad era, there are a few other options to check out on TV this week, including the start of Major League Baseball playoff games. That said, the series finale was good enough that we wouldn’t argue if you just kept replaying it every night this week. It’s fall premiere season, so new shows continue to arrive including CBS’ We Are Men and The Millers as well as NBC’s Ironside, Welcome to the Family and Sean Saves the World. Low Winter Sun wraps up its premiere season, along with finales for Hell on Wheels and The Bridge. Blu-ray and videogame highlights include NBA 2K14 for current-gen systems, The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Edition and This Is the End. The biggest name that’s not on our list? GTA V‘s online features, which will debut tomorrow. Look after the break for our weekly listing of what to look out for in TV, Blu-ray and gaming.

Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD

Comments

Thumbnail for 63175

Visualized: a hydrogen bond seen for the first time

Chalk one up for atomic force microscopy. As detailed in a paper published recently in the journal Science, researchers in China have used the imaging technique (as opposed to scanning tunnelling microscopy) to capture an image of a hydrogen bond for the very first time. As io9 explains, hydrogen bonding is common in nature — responsible for the properties of water and the link between the two strands of DNA’s double helix — and it’s something that chemists have long been able to visualize, albeit only on a theoretical level. According to Chemistry World, while there remains much to learn about the nature of hydrogen bonds, the researchers hope that this latest development will help lead to atomic force microscopy (or AFM) being used as a routine tool to examine molecules and offer a clearer picture of them.

Filed under: Science, Alt

Comments

Via: io9, The Verge

Source: Science

NASA details plans in event of government shut down

A government shut down has been warned as possibly taking place tomorrow in light of budget agreement troubles within Congress. If such a shut down does take place, a myriad of individuals and agencies will feel the effects, not the least of which is NASA. On Friday, the space agency detailed plans it has in […]

Thumbnail for 63179

With Weak Back-To-School Sales, The PC Market Is Now Microsoft's To Save

Splat. That’s the sound the PC market just made. According to Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh, back-to-school computer sales were “virtually absent.” Put in other words: The traditional September bump that students provided to PC OEMs as they headed back to classrooms failed to generate a meaningful sales delta.

It’s like missing spring for the larger PC market.

The best way to view this news is that consumers are repudiating traditional PC form factors (desktops and laptops) for other devices at a quicker pace than expected – see the first few quarters of 2013′s stunning decline in unit volume – and that among younger folks (students for example), the trend has accelerated.

What hardware does the Windows-OEM community have in place to combat the market shift? That thundering silence you just felt is music in Cupertino and Mountain View.

You probably had at least guessed at all of that. The kicker is that Microsoft is the only PC OEM that is selling a device that transcends the traditional PC OEM market. The Surface tablet lineup has never fit cleanly into any product category, period.

If consumers – students, especially – are moving away from laptops and desktops at a faster pace than we expected, they still have to produce. Given that, they will need a device that meets that need and satisfies their desire for mobility and touch. The Surface 2 could be that device.

At least in my view, there is no tablet quite like the Surface 2 in terms of its focus, capabilities (Office, Touch Covers, etc.) and price point. The new Touch Covers are too expensive, but the cheaper first generation Touch Covers fill that void somewhat.

Don’t get too excited, though; the Surface line still has a weight around its neck by the name of Windows. Windows 8 was one cause of weak first-generation Surface sales. Windows 8.1 is a material improvement on its predecessor. Whether it can work through the now year-old legacy of Windows 8 isn’t clear.

Summing briefly: Students appear to have forgotten to show up and buy new PCs for the school year. This underscores rapid transformation in their computing desires. Still, everyone has to get work done one way or another, and Microsoft’s Surface line might have backed into a market trend that can be harnessed to its advantage. The Windows 8.1 question remains open, but Microsoft could have built the device with the largest chance to bring back wayward sons and daughters to the Realm of Windows.

The sales will tell the tale. Microsoft has promised to break out Surface revenue each quarter, so we’ll know by the end of the year if Microsoft’s entrance into the OEM wars will grow the pie, or merely fight for a slice as the desert shrinks around it.

There is a bit of Come To Jesus for Microsoft’s hardware hopes in the next 12 months. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 need to put points on the board to illustrate that project’s first financial year in the market was more growing pains than an indicator of market indifference and failed internal forecasting. The Nokia smartphone division needs to continue growing the Windows Phone market, as its unit volume is roughly 90 percent of the platform’s aggregate total. Microsoft will own that asset in early 2014.

I’d say that by this time next year, we’ll have a good handle on whether the devices side of Microsoft’s business transformation can reach the volume and revenue marks needed to be meaningful to the company’s future profits.

That’s in keeping with the Ballmer Rule: “The ultimate measure has to be what happens with profits. It’s got to be the ultimate measure of any company.”

Court: website alleging police corruption shouldn’t have been shut down

Lafayette, Louisiana is known as the capital of Cajun culture—and it’ll now also exist as a reference point in First Amendment case law.

On Monday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that previously allowed a website created by current and former members of the Lafayette Police Department, describing allegations of top-to-bottom corruption, to be shuttered. (City officials denied the site’s allegations.)

Initially, the Lafayette Police sued the owners of the site and got a magistrate judge to order that the site be “closed and removed immediately.” This was a way for that court to avoid influencing a prospective jury pool in a related civil case.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

iPad close to takeoff and landing approval

Restrictions on using electronic devices during takeoff and landing could be lifted, after a regulatory committee told the FAA to loosen its guidelines on when gadgets like iPads, Kindles, and other hardware can be turned on. The recommendation by the Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which comes after a year-long investigation into the potential safety issues, is […]

Thumbnail for 63184

VorpX turns BioShock Infinite, Mirror's Edge (and more) into Oculus Rift-ready games

Irrational Games’ blockbuster BioShock Infinite and EA DICE’s Mirror’s Edge weren’t built with the Oculus Rift in mind, but both are part of a huge list of games supported by a new piece of software available today: VorpX. The still-in-beta, $40 application promises to convert a variety of games from monitor-exclusive experiences to Oculus Rift-ready VR games, including the aforementioned two and a lengthy list of others.

As none of the supported games are meant to work with the Rift, a variety of workarounds are implemented by VorpX. Clicking in and holding down your mouse wheel, for instance, allows you to “edge peek,” which allows users to look freely at the edges of their field-of-view instead of it moving with the headset’s movement. Additionally, since rendering two distinct views of high-def, modern games is taxing, VorpX uses a workaround called “Z-buffer,” which is apparently “the highest performing” of the two available options, but not as pretty. You can also choose “Geometry 3D,” which does render two distinct feeds and, well, we’re jealous of whatever system you’ve got that’s running that smoothly. Not every game supports both modes, but a fair number do (there’s a list right here comparing both). Head below for a handful of video demonstrations of VorpX in action, as well as the full list of supported games.

Filed under: Gaming, Peripherals, Wearables, Software, HD

Comments

Source: VorpX

Thumbnail for 63183

VorpX turns BioShock Infinite, Mirror's Edge (and more) into Oculus Rift-ready games

Irrational Games’ blockbuster BioShock Infinite and EA DICE’s Mirror’s Edge weren’t built with the Oculus Rift in mind, but both are part of a huge list of games supported by a new piece of software available today: VorpX. The still-in-beta, $40 application promises to convert a variety of games from monitor-exclusive experiences to Oculus Rift-ready VR games, including the aforementioned two and a lengthy list of others.

As none of the supported games are meant to work with the Rift, a variety of workarounds are implemented by VorpX. Clicking in and holding down your mouse wheel, for instance, allows you to “edge peek,” which allows users to look freely at the edges of their field-of-view instead of it moving with the headset’s movement. Additionally, since rendering two distinct views of high-def, modern games is taxing, VorpX uses a workaround called “Z-buffer,” which is apparently “the highest performing” of the two available options, but not as pretty. You can also choose “Geometry 3D,” which does render two distinct feeds and, well, we’re jealous of whatever system you’ve got that’s running that smoothly. Not every game supports both modes, but a fair number do (there’s a list right here comparing both). Head below for a handful of video demonstrations of VorpX in action, as well as the full list of supported games.

Filed under: Gaming, Peripherals, Wearables, Software, HD

Comments

Source: VorpX

Libratone Loop wireless speaker unveiled with wall-mounting option

Libratone, maker of the column-shaped portable Zipp speaker we reviewed last year, has unveiled another wool-covered speaker option: the Libratone Loop. With the latest speaker, users are again provided with a wireless connectivity option, but wall-mounting has been added into the mix, allowing the speaker to be fixed to a wall in addition to being […]

Libratone Loop wireless speaker unveiled with wall-mounting option

Libratone, maker of the column-shaped portable Zipp speaker we reviewed last year, has unveiled another wool-covered speaker option: the Libratone Loop. With the latest speaker, users are again provided with a wireless connectivity option, but wall-mounting has been added into the mix, allowing the speaker to be fixed to a wall in addition to being […]

Verizon brought back unlimited data plans—but it was an accident

Verizon Wireless did away with unlimited data plans last year, forcing monthly limits onto all customers signing new contracts. Customers with unlimited plans before the switchover could keep them indefinitely, unless they decided to sign a new contract in order to get a cheaper (subsidized) phone.

That was true until a tiny miracle occurred this past weekend. Customers who went to Verizon’s website to purchase a new, subsidized phone found that they were able to keep their unlimited plans, Droid Life reported Saturday.

Verizon admitted its mistake and won’t force the customers onto limited plans. Some customers apparently had trouble completing their orders for unlimited data plans, but those who did not run into trouble can keep the unlimited data. A statement Verizon sent to Droid Life today reads as follows:

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Verizon brought back unlimited data plans—but it was an accident

Verizon Wireless did away with unlimited data plans last year, forcing monthly limits onto all customers signing new contracts. Customers with unlimited plans before the switchover could keep them indefinitely, unless they decided to sign a new contract in order to get a cheaper (subsidized) phone.

That was true until a tiny miracle occurred this past weekend. Customers who went to Verizon’s website to purchase a new, subsidized phone found that they were able to keep their unlimited plans, Droid Life reported Saturday.

Verizon admitted its mistake and won’t force the customers onto limited plans. Some customers apparently had trouble completing their orders for unlimited data plans, but those who did not run into trouble can keep the unlimited data. A statement Verizon sent to Droid Life today reads as follows:

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Thumbnail for 63192

gdgt's best deals for September 30th: Fujiilm FinePix JX650, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80 Cameras

Ready to save some cash on your tech buys? Then you’ve come to the right place. Our friends at sister site gdgt track price drops on thousands of products every day, and twice a week they feature some of the best deals they’ve found right here. But act fast! Many of these are limited-time offers, and won’t last long.

Today’s top deals include a pair of well-regarded cameras that help casual photographers get professional-looking pictures with ease. The Fujifilm FinePix JX650 is a bargain-basement option, while those looking to spend (and receive) a bit more can opt for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80. Hoping to grab one or the other? Join gdgt and add the gadgets you’re shopping for to your “Want” list — every time there’s a price cut, you’ll get an email alert!

Comments

Thumbnail for 63191

gdgt's best deals for September 30th: Fujiilm FinePix JX650, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80 Cameras

Ready to save some cash on your tech buys? Then you’ve come to the right place. Our friends at sister site gdgt track price drops on thousands of products every day, and twice a week they feature some of the best deals they’ve found right here. But act fast! Many of these are limited-time offers, and won’t last long.

Today’s top deals include a pair of well-regarded cameras that help casual photographers get professional-looking pictures with ease. The Fujifilm FinePix JX650 is a bargain-basement option, while those looking to spend (and receive) a bit more can opt for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80. Hoping to grab one or the other? Join gdgt and add the gadgets you’re shopping for to your “Want” list — every time there’s a price cut, you’ll get an email alert!

Comments

Thumbnail for 63196

All public Facebook posts ever made are now searchable

Breaking Bad may be gone, but the debate over whether Skyler was an annoying character will rage on forever.

Facebook Graph Search now includes posts and status updates in its results, according to a Facebook blog post Monday. Such searches will accept modifiers like time—“All of my posts from 2012” for instance—location, or people who participated.

This new aspect of Graph Search will take advantage of Facebook’s recently announced hashtags. One intended purpose is for users to search posts among different social groups for topic matter, e.g., “posts about Breaking Bad by my friends.” Graph Search will also allow searches based on tagged locations (“Posts from the Empire State Building”) or involvement of other users (“Posts my friend John Smith has commented on”).

The search is still subject to privacy controls, so users won’t be able to see results they couldn’t view otherwise. But this opens up all public posts ever, as well as any posted shared directly to each user, to aggregation, and it’s worth noting that Facebook updates are set to be public by default. Ostensibly, Facebook hopes that this will create a Twitter-like feed of activity that users can view and interact with.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Thumbnail for 63195

All public Facebook posts ever made are now searchable

Breaking Bad may be gone, but the debate over whether Skyler was an annoying character will rage on forever.

Facebook Graph Search now includes posts and status updates in its results, according to a Facebook blog post Monday. Such searches will accept modifiers like time—“All of my posts from 2012” for instance—location, or people who participated.

This new aspect of Graph Search will take advantage of Facebook’s recently announced hashtags. One intended purpose is for users to search posts among different social groups for topic matter, e.g., “posts about Breaking Bad by my friends.” Graph Search will also allow searches based on tagged locations (“Posts from the Empire State Building”) or involvement of other users (“Posts my friend John Smith has commented on”).

The search is still subject to privacy controls, so users won’t be able to see results they couldn’t view otherwise. But this opens up all public posts ever, as well as any posted shared directly to each user, to aggregation, and it’s worth noting that Facebook updates are set to be public by default. Ostensibly, Facebook hopes that this will create a Twitter-like feed of activity that users can view and interact with.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google Web Designer targets easy HTML5 animation (and Tumblr will love it)

Google has launched Google Web Designer, a new beta app for creating animated online content such as adverts or other moving graphics, all in HTML5. The Windows and Mac app aims to streamline the post-Flash online world with the option of code or graphical animation creation, for those of differing comfort levels with CSS and […]

Thumbnail for 63200

Bang With Friends hugs it out with Zynga, settles on new name “The Next Bang”

The Next Bang

Two months ago, Zynga sued Bang With Friends, a smartphone app company that helps Facebook friends find out which one of their friends they’d like to do the hibbity-dibbity with. (Cupid’s target doesn’t alert that person unless they have chosen you back. Tricky!) Unsurprisingly, the makers of “Words with Friends” charged the younger upstart with trademark infringement among other allegations.

On Monday, the two companies officially settled their differences.

The Next Bang’s CEO, Colin Hodge, e-mailed Ars to say that the dispute has been swept under the rug.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments