Halfbrick buys mobile-to-web tech dev, will bring Jetpack Joyride online

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Halfbrick buys mobile-to-web tech dev, will bring Jetpack Joyride to browsers


by Eric Caoili [Smartphone/Tablet, Social/Online, Business]
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March 19, 2012

 

Halfbrick buys mobile-to-web tech dev, will bring  Jetpack Joyride  to browsers

Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride maker Halfbrick Studios has acquired Spanish firm Onan Games, which develops technology for porting smartphone titles to HTML5 and Flash for the web.

The Australian company says that absorbing Onan and its Mandreel tools will help maximize the reach of its titles. Halfbrick intends to use the tech to improve the development and distribution of titles like Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride on the web and on Facebook, and will eventually license Mandreel to its extended client base.

Mandreel enables companies to port their iOS and Android titles to online platforms like Facebook, the Chrome browser’s built-in app/game shop Chrome Web Store, video game portals (e.g. Kongregate), and other sites from one C++ code base. Updates made to the mobile editions are automatically applied to the web versions.

Shipped titles that have used Mandreel include Gameloft’s GT Racing Motor Academy (iOS, Chrome Web Store), Glu Mobile’s Big Time Gangsta (iOS, Facebook), and Rubicon Development’s Great Little War Game (iOS, Chrome Web Store). Onan has also ported several games, including several Neo Geo titles for the Zeebo console, since opening in 2011.

After developing games for consoles and mobile devices for more than a decade, Halfbrick began releasing online games last year, first with Monster Dash on the Chrome Web Store (using Mandreel), and then with Fruit Ninja Frenzy on Facebook — the latter of which currently has 8.2 million monthly active users on Facebook.

Its Jetpack Joyride title has not yet been ported to any platforms outside of iOS, but the game has already seen over 14 million downloads since releasing last August — Halfbrick saw $1 million in paid sales before making Jetpack Joyride free-to-play. The developer estimates that 5-10 percent of players spent at least a dollar in its in-app store.

  • Related news:
  • Fruit Ninja Kinect sees 1M downloads
  • Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride reaches 14 million downloads
  • Halfbrick’s Sydney Studio State-Funded, Working On New Fruit Ninja

  

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Article source: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/166452/Halfbrick_buys_mobiletoweb_tech_dev_will_bring_Jetpack_Joyride_online.php

HTML5 – a buzz term that is starting to gain traction

By Rob Phillips, Senior Front End Developer at Endava, discusses the benefits and pitfalls of using HTML5

It’s been looming on the horizon for a few years now, championed by some, criticised by others, but is HTML5 video now worth considering?
 
The competition

Currently, the majority of multimedia delivered to the user’s browser is done using Adobe’s flash plug-in. This flash plug-in method benefits from having significant coverage in the traditional desktop market, but it also has drawbacks, namely its performance and usability – which have both been critically questioned. Apple has been openly critical of flash, with their incredibly popular portfolio of mobile devices not supporting it. Instead, they advocate the use of HTML5.

Enter video

HTML5 offers us an open standard and an alternative way to deliver multimedia, using its native semantic element and associated application programming interface (API). This method is by no means perfect, but I think it’s the future and worth spending the extra time to implement. Users now expect a complete experience across a whole spectrum of devices, and with html5 video, there is now no excuse not to provide this.

HTML5 pros:

•    It is supported by the latest versions of major desktop and mobile browsers
•    It doesn’t rely on 3rd party plug-in, so there’s no need for a specialist developers
•    It has the ability to provide multiple sources, delivering different encodings to different browsers
•    It has an easy to use API
•    It uses fewer resources in most cases – especially the CPU
•    Adobe have also recently announced they will no longer be supporting the mobile version of the plug-in

About that API

As a front end developer by trade, I can’t help but get excited about possibilities the MediaElement API affords developers to help create a more elegant and integrated multimedia solution.

Essentially, the API provides all the methods and events, to do pretty much anything you want with HTML and JavaScript, all styled with CSS. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will be limited to achieving basic results – there are plenty of examples about which speak for themselves.

Those HTML5 issues

It’s difficult to get a solution which covers all your bases, without any issues and HTML5 video certainly isn’t without its pitfalls. The first issue is codec support. As the current HTML5 draft does not specify a codec to use, you will find that each browser vendor typically does not have complete support for all.

Another issue is browser support. The grim reality is that you are probably still going to need a flash fall-back, as Internet Explorer 8 and earlier have virtually no support for HTML5 video. Having said that, all the latest releases, from each desktop vendor, do support HTML5 – and many smart phone browsers have supported it from the beginning.

Conclusion

If you are forward thinking, and want to provide a great experience for your users, no matter what device they are using, then you are going to want to use HTML5 video. The waters regarding codecs might be a bit murky, but it’s worth the effort to export a few extra video encodings from Premiere.

If you add on its performance enhancements over the completion, and the ability to theme custom controls – you’ll have all the compelling reasons why HTML5 video is something you should be considering.

MI Expo

If you take marketing innovation seriously, attend MI Expo to discover:

 

  • Techniques that are delivering success for marketers
  • Digital trends driving the market place
  • Which new platforms are hot set to explode in 2012
  • The hot new marketing start-ups for 2012

Article source: http://www.utalkmarketing.com/pages/Article.aspx?ArticleID=23053&Title=HTML5_-_a_buzz_term_that_is_starting_to_gain_traction

CBU team wins big for Web design

Christian Brothers University student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers placed first in the International IEEE Student Branch Website Contest and will receive a $1,000 prize and a  certificate in recognition of their efforts. Posing with a screen shot of the winning website are Dr. John Ventura, chairman of the electrical/computer engineering department and faculty adviser of the IEEE student branch (left), Shilpa Appurubugatha, Martin Tribo and Steven Menezes.

Christian Brothers University student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers placed first in the International IEEE Student Branch Website Contest and will receive a $1,000 prize and a certificate in recognition of their efforts. Posing with a screen shot of the winning website are Dr. John Ventura, chairman of the electrical/computer engineering department and faculty adviser of the IEEE student branch (left), Shilpa Appurubugatha, Martin Tribo and Steven Menezes.


Christian Brothers University students Steven Menezes, Shilpa Appurubugatha and Martin Tribo, members of the CBU student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers placed first in the International IEEE Student Branch Website Contest and will receive a $1,000 prize and a customized certificate in recognition of their efforts.

While this marks the first time that the CBU student branch has claimed first place in the international competition, previously, in 2008 and 2009, CBU students placed runner-up in the international competition. On the regional level, they have participated in the IEEE SoutheastCon conference since the 1960s and their website won this regional competition for the past four years.

Menezes said, “I am really proud of my team and the IEEE student branch at CBU for achieving this award. The development of our website has been a team effort by all of our members in the student branch. I’d especially like to thank some of our graduates, Yuri de Souza, Boris de Souza, Russ Saliendra and Binh Nguyen, who started working on the website back in 2007 and paved the way for these awards.”

Last year, the CBU student branch attended the IEEE SoutheastCon 2011 conference in Nashville, where more than 50 electrical engineering schools were in attendance for robotics, Web design and T-shirt competitions. The website team consisting of Menezes, Appurubugatha and Tribo won first place for their Web page.

The winners of the 10 regional conference competitions advanced to the international competition that consisted of IEEE student branches worldwide and included graduate and undergraduate programs. Each website was evaluated by the Student Activities Committee judging committee, based on the criteria of content, presentation, navigability, originality, portability and load time.

For more information on the CBU student branch of IEEE and CBU engineering programs, contact Dr. John Ventura at (901) 321-3429 or jventura@cbu.edu.

Elisa C. Marus is vice president of communications and marketing for Christian Brothers University.

Article source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/mar/18/education-cbu-team-wins-big-for-web-design/

10 Must Have WordPress Plugins Of 2012 Every Blogger Should Know About

How can you wow your readers when they visit your blog, so that they never want to leave again?

10 Must Have WordPress Plugins Of 2012 Every Blogger Should Know About

With over 900,000 new blogposts that are freshly published every day, the competition is fierce for each and every author.

Yet, making your articles the ones that readers want to come back to check out isn’t so hard. On each and every occasion I would argue that providing amazing content is absolutely key.

For this post though, I want to focus on how you can greatly improve the number of shares and awesomeness of your blog, with some of the latest WordPress Plugins.

Here are my top 10 picks for you, to increase Social Media sharing of your articles and blog performance:

#1 Digg Digg – Powerful and simple social sharing buttons

The first plugin I want to introduce is the well known Digg Digg sharing bar, which recently received a major face lift. Social Proof of sharing is one of the most important things for blogpost I found. From BrightEdge’s research, it has proven to increase Social sharing by up to 7 times if included.

Digg Digg makes it super easy to add a floating share bar to your blogpost, just like Mashable for example. You can also choose to add buttons either before or after your posts with the plugin.

Best part: Digg Digg also features the latest sharing button options such as Pinterest and Buffer.

Share Bar for WordPress

#2 Hello Bar – Convert more readers with a powerful call to action

Another very powerful plugin every blogger should know about is called Hello Bar. It adds a simple line above your articles that you can fill with any message you wish. Personally, I have been using Hello Bar to promote products, events or simply evergreen blogposts.

The plugin is used and trusted by some of the biggest bloggers out there, including Tim Ferris or Eric Ries. It also offers some great customization options, to be either displayed at the top of your page or at the bottom.

Best part: What is most impressive about Hello Bar is the analytics options, allowing you to track exactly how many clicks you are getting on your promotions.

Hello Bar for WordPress Blogs

#3 WP Touch – Make your blog mobile friendly

As we are going forward in 2012, not having your blog optimized for the millions of iPhone, Android and other smartphone users is definitely not an option I found. One of the best solutions out there is definitely WP Touch.

Within a split second of installing this plugin, anyone arriving at your blog from a mobile phone will have a wonderfully formatted site in front of them. It gives you some great customization options so you can truncate titles, hide excerpts and other things that are a pain to get working on your mobile normally.

Best part: What I like best with WP Touch is that it has advertising options built in right into the plugin, so you can capitalize more on mobile traffic.

WP Touch WordPress Plugin

#4 Sexy Bookmarks – Easy sharing of all social bookmarking sites

An awesome plugin solution to add a ton of different social bookmarking buttons to your blog is Sexy Bookmarks by Shareaholic. Especially if you are looking for a plugin that covers some not so well known buttons, this one will be providing them for you.

The plugin also comes with the option to be installed for a great number of other blogging platforms such as tumblr or as a standalone for any website. It is overall a most solid solution for your blog.

Best part: What I like best is the customization option to add a small line of text, that adds that extra amount of personalization to your blog.

w3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

#5 W3 Total Cache – Make your site 10 times faster than before

To be quite honest, I have always forgotten about the importance of performance plugins for my own blog. Yet, some great research from KISSmetrics, showing how loading times can affect visiting times of your readers. In fact, half a second of longer loading time would lead to 20% traffic decrease for Google.com.

With W3 Total Cache, you have one of the most powerful caching plugins out there, that will increase the loading time of your blog up to 10 times. It will cache each and every element of your site and readers will be able to read your posts in a split second.

Best part: What I like best is that you are able to individual turn on or off Object Caching, Database caching and other options so performance is absolutely optimized.

w3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

#6 The Slide – Suggest related posts to your readers

There have been many attempts of products that aim to keep readers on your site after they have read one of your articles. The Slide is a simple plugin that slides into your page, halfway through an article, just like the New York Times has for example.

What I like about this plugin is that the article suggested is not just any article. The Slide uses a sophisticated algorithm to pick the most relevant and related content for your readers. You can also check out a related plugin called upPrev, as The Slide is currently in private beta.

Best part: An amazing part is that the Slide also allows you to place sharing buttons right on the widget and get more social traffic for your blog.

Slide WordPress Plugin

#7 Twitter Follow Button and Facebook subscribe buttons

Of course, strictly no wordpress plugins, the Twitter follow button and Facebook subscribe button are two of the most indispensable things for bloggers still though I believe.

Although mentioning the two buttons is quite an obvious tip for many, as they are quite well known, there are still a lot of blogs, who don’t make use of them. Both can easily be implemented by copy and pasting the code snippet into a sidebar text widget on your blog.

Best part: What I like best about the two buttons is that the process of following or subscribing is so seamless and doesn’t cause the reader to leave the page.

Twitter Follow and Facebook Subscribe WordPress Plugin

#8 All in one SEO Pack – The only SEO plugin you will need

Although there exist a ton of great SEO solution out there, one of the most reliable and well maintained plugins is the “All in one SEO Pack”. Especially if you aren’t too familiar with any SEO tactics, this plugin makes it dead simple to understand the most important ones.

The plugin automatically generates Meta tags, optimizes your post titles for search engines and helps you to detect and avoid duplicate content. Even if you have very little SEO knowledge, this plugin will be of great help for you.

Best part: A goodie to mention from this plugin is that it enables you to manually include META tags (title, description and keywords) for each page and post on your site.

All in One SEO

#9 Social Metrics – Track how well your posts perform on Social Networks

Another handy solution every blogger should know about is a plugin called Social Metrics. It gives you a slick dashboard inside your WordPress interface, and allows you to track and compare how well each of your posts perform on Social Media.

By being able to track each of your posts in comparision to each other, I found that I could focus a lot better on improving my content. It is also interesting to see, that some posts perform better on different social networks.

Best part: What I like best about Social Metrics is that there is no setup involved for you and you can start tracking seconds after you install the plugin.

Social Media Widget

#10 Social Media Widget – Display all your Social profiles in one place

A lot of the times, you might want to display larger amount of your different Social Media profiles, especially as Pinterest and others are being added to the mix and official buttons aren’t available yet.

With the super easy to handle Social Media widget, you will be able to do exactly that and display any Social Networking profile you can think of.

Best part: What is super handy with this plugin, is that you are even able to create your own icons of Social Media accounts and personalize the look and feel much more.

Social media widget

Those are the 10 most indispensable WordPress plugins for 2012 I believe. Each of them has definitely given my blog a huge boost. I hope some of them are helpful for you too. Which plugin is your favorite of the above?

Image by bobbigmac

This article originally appeared on Jeffbullas’s Blog and has been republished with permission.

Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.

Article source: http://www.business2community.com/blogging/10-must-have-wordpress-plugins-of-2012-every-blogger-should-know-about-0145691

No Utley, no Howard better mean fast start for Pence

Let’s go hit.

Pence’s appetite for the spotlight had better be as ravenous as he was for the postgame spread, when Raul Ibanez’ game-winning hit prompted Pence to coin his Welcome to Philadelphia phrase.

Because, if Pence doesn’t carry the Phillies through April, a sixth straight National League East title could be lost before the team gets a chance to win it.

Chase Utley’s chronic knee issues that cost him 62 games last season and have kept him out of every spring training game so far sent Utley to a specialist today.

Meanwhile, Ryan Howard remains in a walking boot 3 weeks after an infection was discovered in his surgically repaired right foot. Howard underwent surgery in October to repair his Achilles’ tendon, that he ruptured in the final swing of the Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Like Utley’s knee, Howard had chronic issues with his right leg last season.

Howard is entering the first year of a 5-year, $125 million contract extension. Utley is owed $30 million for this season and next.

Howard is 32, and possibly could recover fully. Utley is 33 and is unlikely to be the same scampering menace who became the heart of the franchise.

For the moment, Pence, 28, making $10.4 million on an arbitration settlement deal, must replace them both.

“He pretty much proved he could do that when he came here the second half of last season,” said hitting coach Greg Gross. “He was one of the guys who turned the offense around.”

Pence arrived via trade with Houston in late July. He batted .324 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI and a .394 on-base percentage. The production numbers project to 33 home runs and 105 RBI over a full season.

However, the production numbers came in a lineup that featured Pence either batting third, in front of Howard, or fifth, behind both Utley and Howard.

Until the weather turns warm, it appears that he be will be afforded the protection of neither of them.

In his five major league seasons, it generally takes Pence about a month to warm up.

For Pence, and for the Phillies faithful, it could be a long, cold April.

Article source: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/20120319_No_Utley__no_Howard_better_mean_fast_start_for_Pence.html?cmpid=137039853

Jolicloud Me, A Personal Cloud Organizing Serivce, Opens In Beta Today

jolicloud-me-screenshot

Today marks another step in the evolution of cloud services for consumers: Jolicloud, the Paris-based company that was one of the first to move on offering users a “cloud-based desktop,” today moved on another product that extends what users can do in the cloud even further, with the introduction of Jolicloud Me.

Available from today in private beta on Android, iOS and HTML5, Jolicloud Me is a kind of uber-organizer for all of your online assets, aggregating them and automatically sifting them into categories base on file types — eg, images, music, video and so on — and what’s especially nice is that it takes them from all of the disparate places that you may currently use for these services — and even those that you may have used once but have given up on over time.

For starters, the service is launching with integration for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and Picasa. Tariq Krim, the founder and CEO, says the plan is to add more sites and services to that list — including your email, similar to the kind of service that Attachments.me offers where it automatically saves your email attachements in a cloud-based folder. He adds that, for now, having Facebook and Twitter already loops in the bulk of recent sharing, since those are the two most used today: “the backbone of sharing right now,” he how he describes it, and also because they are open to other services like Spotify.

Why the move to personal organization? Krim said that it was because of customer feedback. “Being a desktop was not enough. People wanted to have data,” he said. “We found that there was no easy access to all of our data online so we built it.”

Although a lot of cloud startups these days are likened to Box and Dropbox, Krim points out that this is not where his company competes — yet: “Our goal is not to be Dropbox, but to help maintain a relationship or connection to data that you own. Everything you liked, received or generated in one place.” In fact, the company integrates with the files you store on services like Dropbox and other “cloudifiers” (his word, not mine).

It seems very obvious, and certainly the kind of service you can imagine Apple and Google and probably Facebook are looking to develop and offer themselves — if not try to buy Jolicloud to get there a little quicker. For now, the advantage is that Krim’s organizer is here now, and it traverses boundaries across services in ways that walled gardens from the likes of Apple or Facebook (sometimes breached via APIs) may not.

Jolicloud is of the “lean and mean” startup variety: just 15 people based out of Paris. And for now the service is envisioned as totally free to use. So what will the business model, longer term, be? Krim says it will likely be around a kind of insurance policy, or way of securing data for life.

“It’s too early to talk about this, but it’s clear that there is a lot of value for people who want to keep the data forever.” He says this is the kind of thing that Jolicloud could offer “potentially with partners”, or maybe going solo… That’s one to revisit for competitive threats in the future.

Krim said today at the London Web Summit that any attendee who wanted to give Jolicloud Me a spin should email him. While I won’t start putting out his email in this post, that at least is a sign that the private beta could be a little easier than you might think to try out, if you’re interested. For what it’s worth, in my little test of it, it’s a speedy little service that I could see myself using to help organize my pretty haphazard forays into different photo services and more besides.


  • JOLICLOUD
  • TARIQ KRIM

Jolicloud is a new computing platform which makes the cloud more simple and more open. Jolicloud connects you to all of your favorite online apps, social media, videos, photos and files from any device in the world.

Jolicloud was founded in Paris, France in 2009 by Tariq Krim and Romain Huet.

Learn more

A serial entrepreneur and angel investor, Tariq has a passion for building highly disruptive new products. He is founder and CEO of Jolicloud, a pioneer in personal cloud computing. Prior to Jolicloud, Tariq founded Netvibes, the personal startpage used by millions around the world.

A thought leader and regular speaker at global technology and media conferences, he was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the world’s “Top Innovators Under 35” (2008), by the World Economic Forum as a…

Learn more

Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/19/jolicloud-me-a-personal-cloud-organizing-serivce-opens-in-beta-today/

MIH launches new online shop creator on WordPress

This has the potential to be big. It’s a new eCommerce tool that allows users to “create an online shop in minutes”.

The new service, called QikCommerce, appears to be a joint venture between US$18-billion emerging markets internet giant Naspers’ investment arm MIH and a small WordPress theme building company OBox. OBox has also been credited with building official themes for Posterous.

It’s fairly natural then that QikCommerce should run off a WordPress platform, although the team behind it claims it has been “tweaked and manipulated to present a customer experience that is unlike any other in South Africa”. Upon signup, users are asked to choose their ideal package and then asked to pay a once-off fee that “guarantees your site for life as long as you continue to use it”.

The team behind QikCommerce says that it started with six people, “cupcakes and some coffee around a wobbly table”.

The idea behind QikCommerce was to leverage several MIH brands including mobile and online payments service PayU, online product and price comparison site Price Check, and courier company Internet Express.

The developers say that they partnered with PayU and Internet Express to ensure users’ credit card and shipping facilities are set up efficiently. “It means taking 50 pages of documentation and months of delays by asking for only what is needed of you in order to go live in minutes”.

QikCommerce claims that the initial set up for a user’s online store “should take you no longer than an hour”.

The service will be competing against the likes international ecommerce player Shopify, which has been around since 2006, as well as South African services such as Ammo — built by This Army, Snaply, and ShopDirect.

The WordPress community already offers many free and premium paid-for ecommerce and shop themes and plugins to users, so QikCommerce is most likely targeted at a broader type of web user who has little development knowledge or know-how about the WordPress CMS.

QikCommerce reckons the ecommerce market in South Africa is on an upward curve, with “a reported growth rate of 30 to 35% every year” and around R2-billion being spent every year. Moreover, it says, 46% of online retailers in South Africa claim “they are very profitable”.

OBox started out in 2005 as a web development studio focussed on building complete sites using ColdFusion. In 2009, the company shifted to building WordPress themes.

Through MIH, Naspers has stakes in a number of online properties around the globe, including an indirect stake in Facebook. Its South African operations, however, still generate a significant portion of its revenue.

Article source: http://memeburn.com/2012/03/mih-launches-new-online-shop-creator-on-wordpress/

Security Benefit Corporation Launches New, Redesigned Website

TOPEKA, KS, Mar 19, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) –
Security Benefit Corporation, a Guggenheim Partners Company, today
announced the launch of its upgraded and redesigned

www.securitybenefit.com website.

“Today’s business world requires access to instantaneous information
with clear and compelling Web navigational tools,” said Dave Clauson,
2nd Vice President, Marketing Communications, Security Benefit Life
Insurance Company. “Our new website features a cutting-edge design
with intuitive navigation and clear paths so financial advisors,
consumers, and employers can get the information they need when they
need it.”

Clauson said that whether it’s an individual looking for account
information or exploring career opportunities, or it’s a financial
advisor managing or building a book of business, the company’s new
website provides unparalleled ease to access information.

“Beginning today, our online visitors will enjoy a much more vibrant
Web experience, one that engages them with bold new colors, full-page
graphics, and a clean, uncluttered design,” said Michel’ Cole, Vice
President, Corporate Communications, Security Benefit Corporation.
“Our new Web features exemplify our commitment to helping investors
reach their retirement goals.”

Security Benefit’s new Web design is consistent with the firm’s
vision to be America’s thought-leading retirement savings and income
company, positioning the firm as a leading provider of savings and
income solutions for America’s pre- and post-retirees. Security
Benefit targets multiple wealth segments and channels of distribution
through an independent merit-based distribution structure.

“Security Benefit’s website provides all the in-depth information and
access necessary to quickly and effectively educate the visitor on
all aspects of the company’s financial products and services,” said
David Harrelson, Acquity Group, who helped in the website redesign.
“The website has a sophisticated new look and feel that appeals to
multiple audiences and provides a cohesive architecture and framework
for telling a compelling Security Benefit story.”

The site will retain existing account and reporting functionality.
The Group Trading Platform and
www.securitybenefit.com will not
change and the same URL may be used for all sites. Financial
representatives and clients retain their existing account
information, passwords, and user IDs to access the site.

About Security Benefit Corporation
Founded in 1892, Security Benefit
Corporation, a Guggenheim Partners Company, is a leading provider of
savings and income solutions for America’s pre-and post-retirees.
Security Benefit Corporation targets multiple wealth segments and
channels of distribution through an independent, merit-based
distribution structure. By leveraging Guggenheim’s superior general
account management capabilities into highly competitive products,
Security Benefit Corporation focuses on the retirement savings market
providing a full range of services to independent distributors
including broker/dealers, IMOs and other financial service providers.
Security Benefit is indirectly controlled by Guggenheim Partners,
LLC. To learn more about Security Benefit, visit

www.securitybenefit.com .

About Guggenheim Partners
Guggenheim Partners is a privately held
global financial services firm with more than $125 billion in assets
under management. The firm provides asset management, investment
banking and capital markets services, insurance, institutional
finance and investment advisory solutions to institutions,
governments and agencies, corporations, investment advisors, family
offices and individuals. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in New
York and Chicago and serves clients around the world from more than
25 offices in 10 countries. For more information, please visit

www.guggenheimpartners.com .

Services are offered through Security Distributors, Inc., a
subsidiary of Security Benefit Corporation (Security Benefit).


        For more information, please contact:
        Michel' Cole
        Security Benefit Corporation
        (785) 438-3396
        Email Contact

        Laura Parsons
        CSG-PR
        303-887-2911
        Email Contact

        One Security Benefit Place
        Topeka, KS 66636

SOURCE: Security Benefit


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Copyright 2012 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/security-benefit-corporation-launches-new-redesigned-website-2012-03-19

Apple to Pay Dividend, Buy Back Stock to Return Some of Its Cash

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Apple

Apple

Apple

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple’s dividend may provide a short-lived economic boost to some pockets of the economy, said Richard Sichel, CIO of Philadelphia Trust Co., which manages $1.6 billion and holds Apple in some funds.

Apple’s dividend may provide a short-lived economic boost to some pockets of the economy, said Richard Sichel, CIO of Philadelphia Trust Co., which manages $1.6 billion and holds Apple in some funds. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Cook Says Apple Dividend to Broaden Investor Base

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks on a teleconference about the company’s plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and buy back $10 billion of stock and talks about the benefits of the moves. (This is an excerpt. Source: Bloomberg)

Apple Initiates Dividend, Authorizes Share Buyback

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Apple Inc., the maker of the iPhone and iPad, plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and authorized a $10 billion share buyback, moves that return some of its $97.6 billion in cash and investments to shareholders.
Dominic Chu reports on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Bespokes Hickey on Apple Dividend

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Paul Hickey, co-founder of Bespoke Investment Group, talks about Apple Inc.’s plans to pay a dividend and buy back $10 billion of its stock, returning some of its $97.6 billion in cash and investments to shareholders.
He speaks with Betty Liu, Dominic Chu and Josh Lipton on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Apple Dividend May Change Investors, Abramsky Says

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Mike Abramsky, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, talks about Apple Inc.’s announcement today that it plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and authorized a $10 billion share buyback.
Abramsky speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Biggs on Apple Dividend, Buyback Announcement

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Barton Biggs, managing partner and co-founder of Traxis Partners LP, talks about Apple Inc.’s announcement today that it plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and authorized a $10 billion share buyback.
Biggs speaks with Betty Liu and Dominic Chu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Apple Dividend, Buyback `Significant,' Kessler Says

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Scott Kessler, head of technology equity research at Standard Poor’s, talks about Apple Inc.’s plans to pay a dividend and buy back $10 billion of its stock, returning some of its $97.6 billion in cash and investments to shareholders as demand for iPhones and iPads boosts earnings.
Kessler speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Apple's Cash Moves `Appropriate,' Haverty Says

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Lawrence Haverty, a portfolio manager at Gamco Investors Inc., talks about Apple Inc.’s announcement today that it plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and authorized a $10 billion share buyback.
Haverty speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)


Enlarge image
Apple to Pay Dividend

Apple to Pay Dividend

Apple to Pay Dividend

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple’s cash pile has swelled amid surging demand for its products, such as the iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s cash pile has swelled amid surging demand for its products, such as the iPhone and iPad. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. (AAPL) will pay its first
dividend in 17 years and buy back $10 billion in stock, heeding
investors who urged it to return part of the $97.6 billion in
cash amassed by robust demand for iPhones and iPads.

Shareholders will receive a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a
share starting in the period beginning July 1, Cupertino,
California-based Apple said today in a statement. The buybacks
will begin in the fiscal year starting Sept. 30 and happen over
three years, the company said.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is showing more
willingness than co-founder Steve Jobs to channel part of cash
and investments directly to investors. The move will cost $45
billion over three years, Cook said, and may broaden Apple’s
shareholding base by attracting fund managers who only hold
dividend-paying companies.

“It was high time to do this,” said David Rolfe, chief
investment officer of Wedgewood Partners Inc., which holds Apple
shares.

The dividend will cost Apple about $10 billion a year and
represents a yield of 1.8 percent on the stock’s March 16
closing price. The company generated $16 billion in cash in the
first quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended in December. Shaw Wu,
an analyst at Sterne Agee Leach Inc., predicts that Apple will
generate about $75 billion in cash this year.

Apple rose 2.3 percent to $599.06 at 2:53 p.m. New York
time.

Record IPad Debut

“This is something that large shareholders have been
asking for,” Wu said before the announcement.

Including instances where a company has scrapped and re-
established dividends, today’s was the largest initiation for a
company in the Standard Poor’s 500 Index, surpassing Cisco
Systems Inc.’s announcement of a $1.3 billion dividend in March
2011. Apple’s move pushed the dividend yield of the benchmark
gauge of American equities to 2.14 percent, from 2.06 percent,
Howard Silverblatt, SP’s senior index analyst, said in an
interview.

Apple’s dividend may provide a short-lived boost to some
pockets of the economy, said Richard Sichel, CIO of Philadelphia
Trust Co., which manages $1.6 billion and holds Apple in some
funds.

“More than anything, it’s a psychological boost,” Sichel
said.

At 1.8 percent, the yield on Apple’s dividend would be the
tenth-highest among U.S. technology companies with market values
larger than $10 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Intel, Microsoft Higher

It’s lower than that offered by Intel Corp., which yields
3.03 percent, based on the March 16 closing price, and Microsoft
Corp., which yields 2.45 percent on that basis. It tops Cisco’s
dividend yield of 1.6 percent and International Business
Machines Corp.’s 1.46 percent yield.

After today’s announcement, Google Inc., owner of the most
popular search engine, is now the only technology company with a
market value of more than $100 billion that doesn’t offer a
dividend.

The growing amount of money on Apple’s balance sheet
followed the introduction of the iPhone, the best-selling
smartphone, and the iPad, the leading tablet computer. The
company last week began selling a third-generation iPad, which
comes with a high-definition screen and faster processor. Apple
had a “record” weekend with the new iPad’s debut, Cook said on
a conference call today, without elaborating.

“It’s literally become a cash machine,” said Charlie Wolf, an analyst with Needham Co. in New York.

Contrast With Jobs

Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray Cos., said
Jobs, who died in October, resisted efforts to get Apple to
return money to shareholders.

“It would have been unheard of under Jobs’s watch,” said
Munster. “This is just finance 101, but it looks like rocket
science next to what they’ve done in the past.”

Of Apple’s $97.6 billion in cash and investments at the end
of December, about $64 billion was overseas. Oppenheimer said
Apple will only use money held in the U.S. for the dividend and
buyback to avoid tax consequences.

A dividend is a boon to shareholders, including Apple
employees, who have already seen the company’s stock rise more
than 45 percent this year.

Fidelity Management, Apple’s largest shareholder, will make
$128.81 million each quarter from the dividend, based on its
holdings as of Dec. 31. Vanguard Group Inc., the second-biggest
shareholder, will receive $98.54 million and State Street Corp.
will make $92.12 million.

‘War Chest’

“We have used some of our cash to make great investments
in our business through increased research and development,
acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments
and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out
our infrastructure. You’ll see more of all of these in the
future,” Cook said in the statement. “Even with these
investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic
opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business.”

On the conference call, Cook said adding a dividend will
expand Apple’s investor pool. Some investors will only buy
shares in companies that pay a dividend.

Apple last paid a dividend in 1995, before Jobs returned as
CEO and led the introduction of top-selling products including
the iPod, iPhone and iPad. The final dividend, of 12 cents a
share, was suspended amid leadership upheaval and dwindling
computer-market share. According to a company filing, Apple’s
cash, equivalents and short-term investments dropped by about
half, to $491 million, in the year through Sept. 29, 1995.

Highlighting its turnaround since that period, Apple has
surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) as the world’s most valuable
company. The iPhone maker’s market value is $545.97 billion,
based on its closing price of $585.57 on March 16. That compares
with $407.4 billion for Exxon Mobil.

– With assistance by Sarah Frier and Inyoung Hwang in New York
and Peter Burrows in San Francisco. Editors: Tom Giles, Jillian
Ward

To contact the reporter on this story:
Adam Satariano in San Francisco at
asatariano1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tom Giles at
tgiles5@bloomberg.net

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-19/apple-to-pay-dividend-buy-back-stock-to-return-some-of-its-cash.html

Joomla jumps to the enterprise



A new and more diversified technology focus for the Joomla open source CMS is making waves in the enterprise

Today, Joomla — the name is a phonetic spelling for the Swahili word “Jumla,” which means “as a whole” — is one of the most popular open source content management systems (CMS), claiming that 2.7 percent of the Web is Joomla-based sites.

If you were to drop Joomla on a straight line with other popular open source CMS projects, it would fall somewhere between WordPress and Drupal. Joomla, which is offered under the General Public License (GPL) version 2.0, is more robust than WordPress, while Drupal is usually favored by those with a developer background.

[ Discover what's new in business applications with InfoWorld's Technology: Applications newsletter. | Get the latest insight on the tech news that matters from InfoWorld's Tech Watch blog. ]

“Joomla really fits nicely between WordPress and Drupal,” says Ryan Ozimek, president of Open Source Matters, a nonprofit organization that provides organization, legal and financial support to the Joomla project.

“We’ve built a community and have a focus on reaching out to the average user and administrators of a website, but we also give under-the-hood tools to the developers and engineers trying to do something more complex,” he adds.

Joomla powers the Children’s Hospital Boston social intranet, providing a “Facebook-like” social environment and handling more than 2,500 concurrent users.

Joomla jibes with small to mid-size businesses
With such a large community and abundance of products and services, the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market is where this open source CMS is a strong contender. Small businesses like having access to thousands of add-ons that make it easy to extend basic website functionality.

“We’ve encouraged an economy around being able to productize add-ons. A small business can install a Joomla site by following a five-step tutorial on the Web, download the add-ons in a single zip file and end up with a professional site,” said Ozimek.

Ozimek said that small businesses typically use Joomla-based sites for standard brochure-like websites, to add functionality to communicate with customers using support ticketing or for ecommerce.

The SMB market is where Joomla earned its reputation, but now all eyes are on the enterprise and what Joomla can do there.

Joomla makes strides in the enterprise
This year, the enterprise is the big picture evolution for Joomla. It’s still a core CMS offering but new focus gives developers tools to build any sort of Web application that goes well beyond the good old-fashioned Joomla site.

In the enterprise, open source CMS software is highly visible. Kathleen Reidy, Senior Analyst at 451 Research, said acceptance and availability of open source CMS projects has grown. Ten years ago open source CMS projects existed, but there wasn’t many options for a commercial entity for an enterprise to partner with for development and support. Today, this isn’t the case.

Reidy said that open source software in the enterprise does have benefits over proprietary software. “One benefit with open source is that you can download and try it on your own instead of going through a vendor-led process of RFP, proof-of-concept and demos,” she explains.

For Joomla, its enterprise push is backed by support from companies like Microsoft and eBay who have significantly enabled the Joomla community to push the boundaries beyond the SMB market.

Article source: http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source-software/joomla-jumps-the-enterprise-188986

VMware’s WSX Does Virtual Desktops With HTML5

VMware WSX

Accessing a virtualized Windows XP desktop from a tablet with VMware WSX. Photo: Christian Hammond

By Ryan Paul

VMware is developing an impressive new feature called WSX that will allow users to access virtualized desktops remotely through any modern Web browser. VMware developer Christian Hammond, who worked on the implementation, demonstrated a prototype this week in a blog post.

According to Hammond, WSX is built with standards-based Web technologies, including the HTML5 Canvas element and Web Sockets. The user installs and runs a lightweight Web server that acts as a relay between the Web-based client and the virtualized desktop instance. It is compatible with VMware Workstation and ESXi/vSphere.

arstechnicaWSX, which doesn’t require any browser plugins, is compatible out of the box with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari on the desktop. It will also work with mobile Safari on iPads that are running iOS 5 or later. Hammond says that Android compatibility is still a work in progress.

The performance is said to be good enough to provide “near-native quality and framerates” when viewing a 720p YouTube video on the virtualized desktop through WSX in Chrome or Firefox. Users who want to test the feature today can see it in action by downloading the Linux version of the VMware Workstation Technology Preview.

Although it’s still somewhat experimental, WSX is a compelling demonstration of how far the Web has evolved as a platform. It also shows how the ubiquity of Web standards make it possible to deliver complex applications across a wide range of platforms and device form factors.

Hammond also said he was working on tapping the new iPad’s higher resolution:

“The most talked about feature of the new iPad is, of course, the shiny new retina display (a 2048×1536 resolution). A few apps really show this off, and text is certainly crisp, but a few people wondered aloud, ‘Is it really that big of a difference?’ Yes, it is.

Naturally, I had to play around with getting WSX to show a retina-friendly desktop. See, by default, everything is scaled up 2x to simulate the resolution of the original iPad (1024×768), but they have some support in there for loading higher-resolution images. Turns out, with some tricks, you can also make the canvas retina-friendly.”

What say you of VMware’s new WSX? Also, what of the new iPad’s new real estate in this and every business context? I’m thinking virtual or not, the resolution makes the new iPad much more appealing as a work device.


In other HTML5 news

The VMware demo was one of the most impressive HTML5 demos that we saw this week, but there are a few other newsworthy items that we want to share in this roundup.

  • jSFiddle is a handy tool for prototyping, saving, and sharing JavaScript snippets. It’s a bit like pastebin, but it allows you to define separate blocks of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and then see the rendered output in a pane.
  • One of the developers behind Google’s abandoned Wave collaboration tool has published a JavaScript framework for building real-time Web applications with Operational Transformation. The framework can be used to add live concurrent editing to a textbox in a Web page with only a few lines of code.
  • The HTML5 Rocks blog has a great tutorial that demonstrates how the Web Audio API can be used in browser-based games. It provides some good tips for implementing background music, sound effects, and 3D positional sound.
  • The official Chromium blog has published several videos that demonstrate modern Web features and how they can be used.
  • Firebug, a popular Firefox add-on for Web developers, has been moved to GitHub. This will make it easier for people to join the project and contribute improvements.

Crumbs from the cookie jar

If you missed our Web coverage on Ars this week, be sure to check out our hands-on review of Firefox 11, which introduced a new built-in stylesheet editor and 3D DOM viewer. You might also be interested in ourreport on Mozilla’s proposal to support H.264 video playback in mobile Firefox.

Article source: http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2012/03/vmware-wsx/

Apple to Pay Dividend, Buy Back Stock to Return Some of Cash

You need to enable Javascript to play media on Bloomberg.com


Enlarge image
iPad

iPad

iPad

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

iPads at an Apple store in San Francisco on March 16, 2012.

iPads at an Apple store in San Francisco on March 16, 2012. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple's Cash Moves `Appropriate,' Haverty Says

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Lawrence Haverty, a portfolio manager at Gamco Investors Inc., talks about Apple Inc.’s announcement today that it plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and authorized a $10 billion share buyback.
Haverty speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Apple Dividend May Change Investors, Abramsky Says

March 19 (Bloomberg) — Mike Abramsky, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, talks about Apple Inc.’s announcement today that it plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and authorized a $10 billion share buyback.
Abramsky speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)


Enlarge image
Apple to Pay Dividend

Apple to Pay Dividend

Apple to Pay Dividend

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple’s cash pile has swelled amid surging demand for its products, such as the iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s cash pile has swelled amid surging demand for its products, such as the iPhone and iPad. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg


Enlarge image
Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook fueled speculation an announcement might be coming when he said this year that Apple had “more than we need to run a company,” and that the board was considering its options.

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook fueled speculation an announcement might be coming when he said this year that Apple had “more than we need to run a company,” and that the board was considering its options. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to pay a dividend
and buy back $10 billion of its stock, returning some of its
$97.6 billion in cash and investments to shareholders as demand
for iPhones and iPads boosts earnings.

Investors will receive a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a
share starting in the period beginning July 1, Cupertino,
California-based Apple said today in a statement. The buybacks
will begin in the fiscal year starting Sept. 30 and will take
place over three years, the company said.

Apple’s cash pile has swelled amid surging demand for its
products, such as the iPhone and iPad. Investors had urged Apple
to return some of the balance in the form a dividend. Chief
Executive Officer Tim Cook fueled speculation an announcement
might be coming when he said this year that Apple had “more
than we need to run a company,” and that the board was
considering its options.

“We are extremely confident in our future and see
tremendous opportunities ahead,” Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said in the release. Apple said the company plans to
pay out about $45 billion over three years.

The dividend will cost Apple about $10 billion a year and
represents a yield of 1.8 percent on the stock’s March 16
closing price. The company generated $16 billion in cash in the
first quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended in December. Shaw Wu,
an analyst at Sterne Agee Leach Inc., predicts that Apple will
generate about $75 billion in cash this year.

Apple rose 2 percent to $597.31 at 9:30 a.m. New York time.

Record IPad Debut

“This is something that large shareholders have been asking
for,” Wu said before the announcement.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase Co. (JPM) and Mizuho
Securities USA Inc. also had predicted that Apple would
institute a dividend. The dividend is in line with estimates
from at least four analysts.

The growing amount of money on Apple’s balance sheet
followed the introduction of the iPhone, the best-selling
smartphone, and the iPad, the leading tablet computer. The
company last week began selling a third-generation iPad, which
comes with a high-definition screen and faster processor. Apple
had a “record” weekend with the new iPad’s debut, Cook said on a
conference call today, without elaborating.

Of Apple’s $97.6 billion in cash and investments at the end
of December, about $64 billion was overseas.

‘War Chest’

A dividend is a boon to investors who have already seen the
company’s stock rise 45 percent this year. Apple co-founder
Steve Jobs, who died in October, long resisted calls to return
some of the money to investors.

“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in
our business through increased research and development,
acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments
and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out
our infrastructure. You’ll see more of all of these in the
future,” Cook said in the statement. “Even with these
investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic
opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business.”

On the conference call, Cook said adding a dividend will
expand Apple’s investor pool. Some investors will only buy
shares in companies that pay a dividend.

Apple last paid a dividend in 1995, before Jobs returned as
CEO and led the introduction of top-selling products including
the iPod, iPhone and iPad. The final dividend, of 12 cents a
share, was suspended amid leadership upheaval and dwindling
computer-market share. According to a company filing, Apple’s
cash, equivalents and short-term investments dropped by about
half, to $491 million, in the year through Sept. 29, 1995.

Highlighting its turnaround since that period, Apple has
surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) as the world’s most valuable
company. The iPhone maker’s market value is $545.97 billion,
based on its closing price of $585.57 on March 16. That compares
with $407.4 billion for Exxon Mobil.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Adam Satariano in San Francisco at
asatariano1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tom Giles at
tgiles5@bloomberg.net

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-19/apple-to-pay-dividend-buy-back-stock-to-return-some-of-its-cash.html

Mobile Apps May Soon Have Their WordPress Moment

Derek Walter for RedOrbit.com

Just as the popular blogging service WordPress simplified web site creation, building iPhone and Android apps can now be done with no coding skills.

While these online tools do not yet provide the same kind of complexity that one can produce by building a mobile app with code, they have surprising capabilities that let the programming-impaired build strong apps.

Red Foundry Studio

One example is Red Foundry Studio. The company recently revamped its app builder to add many advanced features while maintaining a fairly user-friendly interface. Even better, the service is free.

By signing up for an account, users can add images, widgets, maps, text, or pull in content from a web site or blog. The interface does not require any programming language, but it is not for complete novices. Many of the application’s elements require some knowledge of working within a visual editor. Yet for those willing to persevere it can create professional apps.

Its most impressive feature is the ability to test the app on your phone. By downloading the Red Foundry VIZ app users can play with the features and tools they have built into their app. It gives a far better experience than just an artificial simulator, which is used by many other services. Users can also send push notifications, and test how they look, using the line app builder.

Those with more technical knowledge can edit their applications using the custom coding language the company has built. It also could serve as a good way for someone who is attempting to learn to code to sharpen their skills before building more complex mobile apps.

Infinite Monkeys

Those looking for a less technical option should consider Infinite Monkeys. The company’s online app builder uses a straightforward drag-and-drop tool in a clever interface. Creating the app is divided into a series of many steps, with each one paired with tutorial videos.

A professional look is pretty easy to achieve by uploading icons and images for the launch screen or background. Those who have more technical knowledge can import their web site or blog’s RSS feed. Infinite Monkeys makes it very simple to link to content from social media: just plug in Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous or other account information.

Users can also monetize the app if they sign up for an AdMob account, which is a large mobile advertising company run by Google. By default Infinite Monkey ads are placed inside with the free version.

Users can build an entire app at no cost, until it is time to decide where to send it. Users can publish it to either the Apple App Store or Google Play (formerly Android Market) for $49. For an additional $5 it will be submitted to both app storefronts.

“We are letting small business owners, musicians, doctors, and schools build their own mobile app,” co-founder Jay Shapiro said. “It’s all drag-and-drop with no coding.”

MIT App Inventor Beta

If Android is your thing, consider the App Inventor tool from MIT. This project was originally built by Google, but was then closed as the company shut down a number of projects last year. It was picked up by MIT, which is now converting it for public use.

The interface is very user-friendly, as users just drag the tool they want onto the mockup Android phone screen. It is not as complex as previous tools, but MIT has promised to ramp up development to make it an effective app building platform. As the product is in beta, expect some hiccups while using it.

The beta project is open to anyone with a Google account. Once the app is complete it can be downloaded to your computer and run on your phone. Getting it from there into Google Play takes some additional steps.

While these tools are little to no cost, there are additional fees when it comes to formally submitting an app to Apple or Google. It costs $99 per year to enroll in the iOS developer program. Google charges a one-time fee of $25 to register as a developer for Google Play.

Also, Apple apps may take longer to formally appear in the App Store as they must be tested and approved by the company. While Google reserves the right to pull apps that do not conform to guidelines, they generally will go live very shortly after they are submitted.

Article source: http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112495905/mobile-apps-may-soon-have-their-wordpress-moment/

ZDK = Zigfu Development Kit = Commercial Kinect Development library for … – Microsoft

This is a commercial (though you can try it free) development kit that looks like a cool way to help you speed your Kinect development projects forward.

Zigfu

Zigfu is the easiest way to make and play Kinect apps. Download the plugin, hook up your sensor, and enjoy the future now!

The Zigfu Development Kit is the easiest way to make cross-platform, motion-controlled apps with Kinect in HTML5/Javascript, Unity3D and Flash. Applications made with the ZDK are portable across all operating systems, web browsers, computer vision middlewares, and 3D sensors

ZDK For Unity3D

The ZDK supports both Unity native and WebPlayer builds for motion-controlled apps. The Unity package included with the ZDK Unity bindings comes with several fully functional sample scenes so you don’t have to start from scratch with your game. Like all the ZDK offerings, the ZDK for Unity3D works with both Mac and PC, with OpenNI/NITE and the Microsoft Kinect SDK, and with all consumer-level 3D sensors.

ZDK For JavaScript

Make your website motion-controlled with a few lines of JavaScript and HTML! The ZDK JavaScript bindings give you access to the depth, image, and skeleton data from the Kinect as well as control over the type of user engagement and some higher-level abstractions for user interface components. Written in idiomatic JavaScript, it interacts seamlessly with most popular JavaScript frameworks, including JQuery, prototype.js, and MooTools.

Project Information URL: http://zigfu.com/en/

Project Download URL: http://zigfu.com/en/downloads/browserplugin/

Project Source URL: http://zigfu.com/en/documentation/recipes/

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Article source: http://channel9.msdn.com/coding4fun/kinect/ZDK--Zigfu-Development-Kit--Commercial-Kinect-Development-library-for-Unity3D-and-JavaScript

An End-to-End Windows 8 Metro Style HTML5/JavaScript Game Sample – Microsoft

We’re going to start mixing in some new items in our Monday posts. Given the recent release of Windows 8 Customer Preview and Visual Studio 11 beta we’re going to start mixing in some new “M’s”, such as today’s Metro Monday project…

One of the promises of developing for Windows 8 is that you can build locally installed and executed HTML5/JavaScript based applications. These are not “web” pages morphed into an app somehow, or a link to a page running on a server somewhere, but a fully fledged app. One way to think about it is that HTML5 is the UI language (i.e. like XAML) and JavaScript is the programming language (like C++, C#, VB.Net, etc).

So what would such a game or app look like? Lets take a peek at a recently released “end to end” sample that’s released by Windows SDK team…

Metro style JavaScript and HTML5 game sample

This sample shows how to design a basic casual game in HTML5, from end-to-end. The game included in the sample is deliberately simple to minimize distractions from game logic intended to be replaced.

Specifically, this sample covers:

  • Setting up draw and update loops
  • Handling snapped view
  • Suspend and resume behaviors
  • Asset loading and audio playback
  • Roaming application data and settings
  • Handling touch events

This sample also demonstrates App Bar integration, accessed by swiping up with a touch gesture from the bottom edge of the screen. The main navigation elements of the sample are available there. Additionally, when on the game screen there are game-specific commands for starting a new game or pausing the game. It also demonstrates integration with the Share Contract, accessed via the Charms Bar when you select a score on the high scores table. Lastly, settings for the sample are available via integration with the Settings Contract via the Charms Bar.

This sample is written in Metro style JavaScript and HTML5.

For more information about the concepts and APIs demonstrated in this sample, see the following topics:

Note The Windows Samples Gallery contains a variety of code samples that exercise the various new programming models, platforms, features, and components available in Windows 8 Consumer Preview and/or Windows Server 8 Beta. These downloadable samples are provided as compressed ZIP files that contain a Visual Studio solution (SLN) file for the sample, along with the source files, assets, resources, and metadata necessary to successfully compile and run the sample. For more information about the programming models, platforms, languages, and APIs demonstrated in this sample, please refer to the guidance, tutorials, and reference topics provided in the Windows 8 documentation available in the Windows Developer Center. This sample is provided as-is in order to indicate or demonstrate the functionality of the programming models and feature APIs for Windows 8 and/or Windows Server 8 Beta. Please provide feedback on this sample!

To obtain an evaluation copy of Windows 8, go to Windows 8.

To obtain an evaluation copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Beta, go to Visual Studio 11 Beta.

So lets see a few snaps of this Project. Here’s the Solution;

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The project the debugging capabilities you’d expect, break points, etc.

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Here’s a snap of the UI language (i.e. the HTML page).

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One feature that’s pretty neat is that you can run this app on the local machine, i.e. it installs and runs on the machine, using the resolution, etc. of that machine. Or the cool part is that you can run it in the simulator, where you can control much more of the runtime environment. For example, you can easily change the simulator screen to portrait;

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You can tweak the simulator screen resolution, the location services, take screenshots, simulate touch, and more.

Here’s some snaps of the game itself (remember it’s supposed to be simple to allow the focusing on what was being shown in the sample and not on the game itself);

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If you’re looking for a functioning Metro game, a sample written with HTML5/JavaScript, something to check out the sharing contracts, looking to see how touch and drawing loops work, this sample is just a download away…

Article source: http://channel9.msdn.com/coding4fun/blog/An-End-to-End-Windows-8-Metro-Style-HTML5JavaScript-Game-Sample

Pharmaceutical Marketing Still Lacking in Responsive Web Design

Mobile platforms are a growing trend among consumers. Of the US population, 63% have mobile phones, as compared to 27% of the world that now own smartphones. With this quickly growing trend, the biggest challenge for pharmaceutical marketing pros is staying up-to-date on how this new technology affects their websites. It makes responsive web design – using a single set of code to provide a customized experience across multiple platforms – more important than ever. Using responsive web design, you can create a website in which the design changes depending on the device being used to view it. That way, your website always provides the visitor with the best user experience based on their viewing capabilities and ease of use.

So how are businesses keeping up with this quickly changing environment? To be frank, pharmaceutical marketing is still lagging far behind in this responsive web design arena. Only one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies has a mobile-optimized website. This means the company has effectively designed its navigation and content to be easily displayed on mobile devices. The leading pharma company’s content also varies between its mobile-optimized site and desktop site, with key messages and actions well defined on the mobile version and additional information – like patient videos – available on the desktop version.

This need for the pharmaceutical marketing industry to embrace responsive web design is quickly becoming more important, especially considering this study by Manhattan Research Cybercitizen. Surprisingly, researchers found the most common place for consumers to use a mobile device to obtain health-related info is in the home. Yes, you read that correctly: the majority of people would rather research pharmaceutical-related information on their smartphones rather than use their desktop or laptop computers that are probably on the table right in front of them. This implies being ‘on the go’ isn’t the only reason consumers turn to mobile devices first for research purposes. Think about some of the mobile apps you regularly use on your tablet or smartphone – they appeal to your specific and direct needs and are free of the excess, unwanted clutter that oftentimes comes along with websites. In other words, they’re usually quicker and easier to use. There’s no reason your website can’t be equally useful. But when designing your website, it’s important to keep in mind this aspect of responsiveness to consumer needs and the context in which they are using and accessing your site.

Pharmaceutical marketing pros should seriously consider getting on board – and soon. Current web design trends have moved from a focus on the fluid movement that the technology allows, to focusing on the user’s needs, or task-based. Pharma brands that hope to succeed with implementing a responsive web design should develop strict interface guidelines for their mobile experience and understand the consumers’ needs to determine how information and services differ between a desktop and mobile-optimized site.

This article originally appeared on Asking Smarter Questions and has been republished with permission.

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Article source: http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/pharmaceutical-marketing-still-lacking-in-responsive-web-design-0145416

The Distinction and Proportion between a Web Creator and Web Computer Expert

The idea of web designing derived from the disposition and accelerated progress of the Internet is nothing to brag of any more. This is as a result of the enormous number of websites issued to the Internet daily, so as to advertise one’s existence and supremacy on the World Wide Web. You may question why this is so, well, the so plain response is the degree at which technology is developing.

An illustration is demonstrated with the famous Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia’s Flash. These are two unlike web designing application software which has the identical chief operation (to build a reciprocated website). After all, a person who has utilized the two programs would notice that Microsoft FrontPage, which has been staying beyond a great period of time, deals primarily with HTML codes. No processing language or information is included, that’s why I decide to label its use in the league of web designing. Approximately, everyone who has a computer with the Windows Operating System parallel to Microsoft FrontPage set up in it understands how to create a simple website. This is as a result of its layout which does not need programming abilities, but only needs the end user to transcribe the word, copy and paste, even move and drop an image to the applicable website. After all, Macromedia’s Flash, that was issued years after Microsoft’s initial delivery of its FrontPage, exhibits it’s betterment in effects, animations and graphic illustrations. This dominant also exhibits betterment in web creating technology. You’re possibly thinking, “howirrelevant”. Well, I want you to perceive that programming and designing is absolutely couple of various things. Although designing has been explained about using Microsoft FrontPage as a sample, let us research programming on the Web.

Today, unlike Microsoft FrontPage, Macromedia’s Flash constructs a more inspired and presence-filled website that Microsoft FrontPage. Nevertheless, it needs programming abilities to boost its use and place it to work. So as a human with prime knowledge of Microsoft FrontPage would address himself a web designer/creator, the other with Macromedia’s Flash would address himself a web programmer/web computer expert so as to separate himself to a an alleged ‘neophyte’, who may have known web creating through the commonly believed ‘light-to-use’ Microsoft FrontPage. Still, whichever way a website is made, it is significant to mark that its principal function is to provide knowledge about businesses, commodities and other functionaries. So, even if a web computer expert or a web creator has been given the same task like building a website, still they represent oneness, in the point that in any case the site may be created, or how related one’s task may be, contrasted to the other, they still exchange the identical knowledge to the guests of the website, thus producing them both innovative in the manner of ‘web designing’, which nearly every secondary kid can do. Still as one, who is a computer web expert, I do not perceive much of unlikeness between the web designer and programmer, except that a far more developed form of web programming than us (web computer experts) have now, is made. Yet, until then the so-mentioned web computer experts would persist to reach on their unlikeness from the web creator, with regard to their likeness.

Web Layout Drafting Tips, Ideas – Details to Keep in Mind for the Finest Website Layout SEO Account UK

  1. Location where you can look for an agency/ professional advisor/ proficient for your website drafting and processing job as per w3c approved.

If you have a short allowance then go for freelancers, the only problem with them is that they frequently escape when they can’t accomplish the projects. You may be out of period here. So we recommend employing a competitive Website Layout Agency who will be suitable in your allowance at freelancers’ charge. If you are thinking out to outsource your job then you can employ full-time, part-time personnel for your website layout or improvement demands. You can also employ assets on proposal basis as well and get a fast and acceptable web layout quote.

  1. Establish your website at a superior-classified hosting business provider:

If you have formerly invested in your website layout then why should you compromise on hosting businesses? It’s similar to selecting a model of a car with excellent engine condition. If the model is excellent and the engine has been used or previously owned then the performance is not moving at the top of the mark and it’s not valuable. Similarly the layout is excellent but website hosted server is not excellent then it will definitely affect your website’s function. The public and businesses have dealt with difficulties like the hosting firm got crashed down or bad server performance or website crashes down for hours and there is no one to fix your dilemma and manage – there are numerous excuses for not working with cheap businesses.

  1. Be careful before practicing anything handy for free: i.e. Illustrations for your Website

Nothing is complimentary in this world. So be certain that you make a payment for all the graphic illustrations that you utilize or be sure that you are the administrator of this graphics. Some firms use supremacy free graphics for your website and at the last minute you may get imposed chiliad of dollars for those as they are supremacy free for a definite period of time. So be certain that the details are very smooth with your graphic maker when you outsource your web layout job. A costless graphic valued £5 or $5 has finished paying up 5000.

  1. Website must be SEO – Search Engine Optimization Friendly:

Your website must be very SEO friendly. There should not be plenty of illustrations on your website as they go through a lot of time to load.

Technically speaking, a website filled with graphic illustrations and bulky images go through a plenty of time to loadwhen it is scribbled by search engine. This might prosper huge time annoyance in getting your website pages scribbled on search engines equivalent to Yahoo, Google, Altavista, etc.

  1. Keep up 80:20 distribution of Details and Representations on your website:

Search engines such as educational websites. Be certain that you don’t imitate your website details from anywhere as there are forms handy to get this captured one day and you might finish up with sudden results. Search engines like the indicated websites which has exclusive and appropriate details for guests.

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Article source: http://prwire.com.au/pr/27851/mobile-web-design-can-play-a-crucial-role-in-expanding-business-reach-says-sigma-infotech