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CES 2014: a look back at what mattered

TechHive

Innovation certainly was on display at CES 2014—4K HDTV hardware reached affordable prices, there was a tsunami of wearable fitness and health tech, 3D printers popped up everywhere, and smart cars made their mark, just to name a few of the major trends we spotted.

Our team patrolled the International CES show floor all week at searching for the devices and services you need to know about. In the process, we chose 10 winners for our Best of CES awards.

We also had our usual fun selecting other gear, trends, and innovations that caught our interest, which we showed you in our Picks slideshow. And we poked some gentle fun at some of the weird items displayed at this giant trade show in our Pans slideshow.

Here are some of our comprehensive slideshows about International CES 2014…

World Tech Update – 12/12/13

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Instagram announces a new direct messaging service, a robot fights crime and PC World offers its top 5 products of the year.

Great Gifts Under $200

TechHiveLogo NEW Great Gifts Under $200

Holiday Cheer for $200 or Less

It can be hard to find the right present for that geeky someone special. To help, we’ve uncovered some great gift ideas for the tech nerds in your life–whether the designated recipient is a tablet obsessive or an old-school record collector. Best of all, each gift here can be had for under two Benjamins.

Mozilla, Samsung collaborating on the browser of the future

TechHive

Experimental engine for next Web coming to Android, ARM processors

SAN FRANCISCO  - Mozilla can see the future of web browsing, and it lies in multi-core computing. Today’s quad-core processors will be quaint compared to the massive CPUs of the future, which are expected to contain 16, 32 or more cores.

With that in mind, the maker of Firefox announced Wednesday that it’s teaming up with Samsung to create a next-generation browser that will be built from scratch and will be based on a new engine, Servo, as well as use a new programming language, Rust.

“Mozilla’s mission is about advancing the web as a platform for all,” Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich wrote in The Mozilla Blog Wednesday.

“[W]e’re supporting this mission by experimenting with what’s next when it comes to the core technology powering the Web browser,” he wrote. “We need to be prepared to take advantage of tomorrow’s faster, multi-core, heterogeneous computing architectures.”

Continue reading… 

YouTube joins Facebook in the 1 billion users club

TechHive
Thanks to the generation of Americans, age 18 to 34, who watch YouTube on multiple devices and enjoys video creation and sharing
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TechHive

SAN FRANCISCO – The Internet’s obsession with cats has finally reached a tipping point. Late Wednesday, YouTube announced that it has more than 1 billion unique users every month. That puts YouTube in the same club as Facebook, which surpassed 1 billion monthly users last October.

YouTube has long been the most popular video site beginning in the days when it was mostly user-contributed videos and premium video sites—such as Hulu—had yet to appear. These days, YouTube is the go-to site for movie trailers, music videos, the occasional pirated TV episode, as well as cats fighting printers and skidding across linoleum floors.

The Google-owned site attributed its large growth to Generation C, a term coined by metrics firm Nielsen to describe American aged 18 and 34. “Born sometime between the launch of the VCR and the commercialization of the Internet, Americans 18-34 are redefining media consumption with their unique embrace of all things digital,” Nielsen said in an early 2012 study. On YouTube, Gen C are the folks watching YouTube videos across multiple device types including smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Not coincidentally, this crowd also happens to be big on video creation, sharing, and curation of favorite YouTube clips.

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TechHive Fuels Up on Car Tech Coverage through Partnership with Edmunds.com

News release


The consumer tech site, from the publisher of PCWorld and Macworld, forges a partnership with car-shopping resource Edmunds.com to expand car tech coverage

SAN FRANCISCO – TechHive, the newest consumer tech media brand from IDG, has struck a partnership with popular car-shopping resource Edmunds.com to expand its car tech coverage and help its audience find their automotive sweet spot.

“Automakers realize that today’s drivers want cars that work well with their personal technology,” notes Jason Snell, SVP, Editorial Director for IDG Consumer & SMB, the division that manages TechHive. “As important as smartphones, tablets, and always-on Internet connections have become to all of us, it’s become far more important for our cars to fit into our digital lives.”

With the unique, collaborative editorial partnership, Edmunds.com will bring their auto tech expertise directly to TechHive’s audience to help them get the most out of their devices. TechHive editors will bring their consumer tech expertise to the Edmunds.com audience of car shoppers to help them make the best tech choices. Content produced together will appear on both TechHive.com and Edmunds.com as it’s created, with the first feature length story, Best Tech-Friendly Cars of 2013, slated for this spring.

 For the full release click here

IDG Calls On ‘Hero’ Display Ad Units To Save The Banner

Adexchanger

In the two months since tech publisher IDG finished a major redesign of its PCWorld, Macworld and TechHivesites, the company is ready to expand the centerpiece of that effort: the “Homepage Hero” box.

The box is intended to serve as a front door for each site, displaying a large slot called the “Content Hero,” where editors display the biggest stories for each day, with one section saved for sponsorships sold by the IDG Consumer & SMB division, which operates the sites. The Hero units seems like yet another bid by a publisher to “go beyond” the 728×90 banner ad to attract lucrative brand awareness dollars. But IDG Consumer & SMB CRO Brian Gleason is quick to tell AdExchanger that while the redesign does reduce the number of ad units on a page in favor of the larger, higher priced Hero unit, the format is ultimately being used to complement regular ad spots, not replace them.

“There’s certainly a place for a banner, even today,” Gleason said. “There’s just not a place for nine units on a page. Otherwise, it starts to look like Nascar – a logo placed everywhere. That’s part of the reason we did this — there’s more breathing room for both consumers and advertisers.” Within the past few weeks Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, Brother and TrendMicro have tried out the Hero units, which IDG has claimed to have yielded average click rates of between 2 and 4%

Continue reading… 

America’s most tech-friendly cities

TechHive

Albert Filice, Leah Yamshon and Mike Homnick contributed to this feature. Special thanks to OpenSignalSemiocastOokla and the U.S. Census Bureau for contributing data and expertise to this feature.

What makes a “tech-savvy” or “tech-friendly” city? It may be a combination of public and private amenities that are available to those people who spend a significant amount of their time online, whether they’re at home or out and about. It could also mean the availability of such services at prices that don’t make it difficult to live the digital lifestyle. A tech-savvy city might be one where a significant part of the local economy is driven by information technology or by the production of the machines that allow people to create or access information.

TechHive developed a set of ten measurements to reveal the extent to which the country’s largest cities possess those tech-friendly traits, or, put a different way, to show which cities are the most and least hospitable places to live for the tech-inclined.

Specifically, we looked at the number of IT jobs, the computer sciences graduate programs in the area, the availability of public Wi-Fi, the speed of 3G and 4G cellular services, the number of LTE wireless services to choose from, the speed and cost of home broadband service, the number of tweets that originate from each city, and the availability of city-government apps. (More about each of these measurements below.)

The most tech-friendly cities

After we had gathered and crunched all the numbers, San Jose/Silicon Valley, Atlanta, and Boston emerged as the most tech-friendly and tech-savvy cities in the land. The winner, San Jose/Silicon Valley, is not so surprising, since that Northern California area has long been considered ground zero for the computer industry. As such, personal technology is a deeply ingrained part of the local culture.

San Jose and the surrounding cities of Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale have by far the largest proportion of computer pros of any place in the country. More than 52,000 IT jobs—or about 3.7 of them for every 100 residents—are based in the area. That number put San Jose/Silicon Valley well ahead of the city with the second-highest IT jobs per capita, Seattle, which has about 2.5 IT jobs for every 100 residents.

Continue reading… 

IDG Consumer & SMB Sees Ad Performance Rise With Redesigned HTML5/Responsive Sites

Business Wire

PCWorld, Macworld, and TechHive, get a big boost in click-through rates with high-impact ad placements

SAN FRANCISCO—   Two months after the launch of redesigned HTML5/responsive websites, IDG Consumer & SMB is seeing encouraging results from its changes to PCWorld.com and Macworld.com, along with newly launched site TechHive.com. Overall, ad placements are delivering an average click-through rate (CTR) around 80% higher than pre-redesign levels.

IDG Consumer & SMB’s sites are also performing well against industry benchmarks. Ad units scheduled as run-of-site are delivering an average 0.38% click-through rate, compared to the tech industry average of 0.11% (MediaMind Global Benchmarks 2012). All three sites have better than average click performance with content and user targeting as well.

“We’re very pleased with these metrics,” notes IDG Consumer & SMB Chief Revenue Officer Brian Gleason. “We focused our redesign efforts on giving users visually-rich and intuitive websites that work across devices. We also wanted to make sure our advertising partners had a prominent place among our content. We’ve hit the mark for both readers and marketers.”

InCaseHero Macworld 0912 300x281 IDG Consumer & SMB Sees Ad Performance Rise With Redesigned HTML5/Responsive Sites         SamsungHero TechHive 0912 300x285 IDG Consumer & SMB Sees Ad Performance Rise With Redesigned HTML5/Responsive Sites

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IDG’s Stab at the ‘Premium’ Banner Ad

Digiday

Banners aren’t going anywhere, but publishers are busy trying to remake them into something more interesting — and that advertisers will pay more for them than the rock-bottom rates available in programmatic ad buying.

For some sites, that means rethinking the page. Gannett, for example, eliminated 47 percent of its ad slots in its September 2012 redesign of USAToday.com. At the same time, IDG Consumer & SMB took a “less is more” approach, removing two to three standard display ads per page. It instead rolled out what it’s calling “the content hero” on TechHive, PCWorld and Macworld. The oddly sized unit, which is 1130 x 500, takes over the site on the homepage and highlights the advertiser’s offering. The unit sits on top of editorial content for the first eight seconds of the user’s visit. It then reduces in size and leaves the brand logo on the site.

“By taking fewer ads, we thought it was risky because eliminating ads means we may lose money,” said Brian Gleason, chief revenue officer at IDG TechNetwork and IDG Consumer & SMB. “But [this] proves larger units, more impactful units that can fit in with the design of a page without taking away from the user experience is being welcomed on both sides.”

Continue reading…