RadioShack Plans to Sell Customer Data

Radioshack is planning to sell its customer data, even with opposition from multiple US states. The bankrupt company is looking to recoup some money and has asked a bankruptcy court for permission to sell some assest, part of which are customer data.

The state of Texas is taking the lead from the opposing states, and they have found that the sale could involve as many as 117 million customers. Though contrary to this RadioShack has stated that the customer files offered for sale may be reduced to approximately 67 million. The problem is that this data contains personally identifiable information and this is what the states have a problem with. Texas is seeking with the courts to ensure that Radioshack will have to disclose what that information includes; basic information or extended information like credit card numbers or account history.

It seems that they are keen on keeping the information allowed to be sold to a minimum if they can help it. Unfortunately, we do not see that many companies upholding good moral values when it comes to making a buck and selling customer information has become a standard practice. Do you believe that companies should be allowed to sell its user data?  If so what do you think it should only cover?

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Wikipedia

Apple Expects to Sell 1 Million Watches During Opening Weekend, 8 Million in its First Year

Gene Munster, an analyst from Piper Jaffray, has stated in his recent research that Apple Watch sales could reach over one million units in the opening weekend. The unit buyers are said to be all from pre-orders and launch sales and does not include customers who are just arriving at Apple Stores and buying the gadget after its release.

Therefore, the sales figure estimate is expected to be much higher than previously anticipated, having Muster’s numbers for his predictions coming from loyal customers who are keen to get their hands on a Watch on April 10th. He also is said to expect Apple to sell about 300,000 units in the first 24 hours, having it be a 6% attach rate on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders.

Muster is said to even predict that Apple is going to sell 8 million units during the first year, adding a $4.4 billion revenue to the company. Given the prediction, 40 to 50 million units should be sold by 2017, accounting for 10% of Apple’s revenue for the first year. This will also indicate that about 8-10% of iPhone users will be wearing a watch in the future.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information

Fake Apple Watch ‘Prototype’ Sells for $260

It seems that the Apple Watch is being ripped off long before you can buy the real thing – first we saw those fake watches being sold at CES and now this, the story of a supposed ‘prototype’ on eBay that actually sold to a gullible buyer for $260.

Just looking at the pictures, most people would tell straight away that this was not the real deal. The image on the screen looks like a sticker and the bezel is massive. There’s also the hilarious giant Apple logo on the back in the place of the biosensors that feature on the real thing.

It does get some aspects correct – its shape is about right and it does have a crown, like Apple’s ‘Digital Crown’. The strap however looks extraordinarily cheap as do the rest of the materials used on the ‘device’.

The real thing is due out in the next few months, with Apple hastily tweaking the software and battery life to ensure all goes well upon launch. The latest rumours have suggested a March launch date for you to get your Apple Watch fix.

Source: Variety Report

Apple Watch Now Available… From 1995

Apple’s new watch isn’t meant to be on sale until “early 2015”, but as MacRumors points out, you can get your hands on one right now. One from 1995.

Yes, Apple has made watches before (even called “Apple Watch”) but this was no way to keep in touch or pay for your groceries. It merely told the time, in a very zany fashion. These ‘stylish’ watches were given away as a free gift to those who upgraded to Macintosh System 7.5.

Now you might be wondering why Apple would need to give away a free gift to sell something. Well in 1995, Apple was not the Apple we know today. The company was crumbling, both in terms of its product line and its finances. After years of poor CEOs (John Sculley, Michael Spindler, and Gil ‘Bozo’ Amelio) following the ousting of Steve Jobs in 1985, it’s not at all surprising that Apple felt inclined to sell tat like this to keep afloat.

The watches have now gone on sale after the distributor found he had some left over stock. You can get them for $99-$129 – with the cheapest featuring minor imperfections and the most expensive being marked as “flawless”. You can get one at originalapplewatch.com.

Source: MacRumors

 

PAX: Australia 2015 Tickets Set for Early Release!

With PAX Australia wrapping up merely weeks ago, the rumors have already started flying as to 2015’s ticket offering. It’s already been reported that PAX will continue it’s support of the Victorian market by operating for the next five years within the walls of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center (aka “Jeff’s Shed” to the locals) even before the commencement of their first installment in this particular venue, kicking off on October the 31st 2014.

The rumors were quenched in recent days, with PAX officials announcing that tickets will be going on sale for PAX Australia 2015 coming as soon as the first week of December 2014. This was confirmed by many excited Enforcers on my social media platforms singing PAX’s praise – that of positive experiences in pop culture, cosplay, gaming releases and technology.

PAX 2014 was a massive success for Australia, seeing the festival move from the relatively small Melbourne Showgrounds to the much larger MCEC venue and saw them sell out of the 3-day passes months before the commencement date. PAX has successfully provided Australians with something to do with our time and spare dollars, besides the commercialized EB Games Expo alternative.

Given this information, you’re extremely likely to see these 3-day passes sell completely within a few weeks – but it’s a little unfortunate given no companies have made or announced proper plans for exhibiting in 2015. Are you willing to grab a ticket without knowing a single sliver of information about the contents of this show? Or are you confident that PAX will put on a good show, no matter what the issues may be?

At eTeknix we’ve been told some insider info from exhibiting companies that they may not be interested in attending PAX Australia 2015. It’s an amazing branding opportunity, as they have stated, but it’s a rather expensive ordeal without an easily traceable return on investment calculation.

Image courtesy of Kotaku

Huawei Reported To Be Selling High-End Smartphones Via Messaging App

The increased competition of smartphone manufacturers in China has apparently resulted in companies approaching unique marketing techniques. For example, Xiaomi is said to have success with its ‘Hunger Marketing’ technique, having customers pre-register their interest in a handset in order to grab the e-mail addresses of potential buyers. As soon as the particular handset hits the spotlight, a limited number is manufactured and sold. This is how the company recently sold an estimated 10,000 Xiaomi Redmi Note phablets in less than a second.

Networking and telecom manufacturer Huawei apparently has its own tactics. Sources indicate that the company is apparently using popular messaging application WeChat as a channel to sell its Huawei Honor 6 handset. The device is said to boast an Octa-Core processor, a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920, as well as a 13 MP back camera and 5MP front camera.

The company previously used only local carriers to sell its handsets, but due to the increased competition, it is hoping to widen the distribution of its products using the WeChat app. The application, which is said to be in partnership with Chinese e-commerce company JD, has apparently hosted a competition in which the lucky winner was awarded with a Huawei Honor 6. The rules appeared to have been simple as well, having competitors guess the price of the handset in question. The winner would have had to answer ¥1999 / $322, the actual price of the Huawei Honor 6 handset.

Huawei is said to have 8% of the Chinese market, placing it on the 6th position in the country. This is due to change in the future, providing that the partnership between the company and WeChat app is successful. WeChat is said to have over 400 million users, having it be used as a text and voice messaging app, a gaming app and even a cab hailing app. Reports show that an update last year has even added a payment system, something which Huawei is attempting to exploit. Also, Huawei might have been the first to use this type of marketing camping, but it most certainly will not be the last.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Graphics Card Sales Reported to have Dropped Significantly in Q2 2014

Graphics cards are apparently not on the list of shopping items for gamers or even cryptocurrency miners. Studies show that a decline in sales has been noticeable in Q2 this year. While graphics card sales have been going down for a long time, the aforementioned quarter seems to be the worst.

The reports show that sales in Q2 have dropped by 30-40% compared to the previous quarter and according to Jon Peddie Research, the Q1 total shipments of graphics cards dropped to 14 million units, it being a decline of 0.8% compared to the same quarter last year. The drop in sales is said to be the worst in recent years.

Sources from Taiwan have apparently noted that the drop in sales could be due to cryptocurrency miners who have previously used AMD Radeon cards to mine in recent years and have now turned to more advanced ASIC chips or gave up the mining business completely.

The consequences are then reflected in graphics card sales, having the previous users not purchasing new graphics cards and selling their old ones on eBay or similar auction websites.

In the meantime, graphics card manufacturers are said to have asked both AMD and NVIDIA to cut Radeon and GeForce GPU prices in order to make current graphics cards more competitive. However, the response gained from the GPU manufacturers consisted of simply reducing their shipments.

No confirmed figure of graphics cards is known to be on the market. If the figures prove to be high, local retailers are said to be expected to cut graphics card costs eventually. However, people who are thinking of buying a new graphics card in the near future should not rely on a price drop since retailers have a high chance of not cutting prices if the figures turn out to be in the supply demand balance range.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

User Location Shared To Advertisers With The Help Of An Android Flashlight App

People nowadays depend on smartphones in their daily life, whether to check their e-mails, go on social media applications or even pay directly with them. That’s why most of this information is encrypted or it’s done via user discretion. Sometimes though deceptive developers employ backdoors in their seemingly harmless apps to steal user information. That is what GoldenShores Technologies, the developer for Brightest App for Android did to its users, and yes, unfortunately the application had a so-called backdoor in it.

The app transmitted precise user location to third-party advertisers along with a unique device identifier. Thankfully though the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against the developer who has agreed to settle charges.

“When consumers are given a real, informed choice, they can decide for themselves whether the benefit of a service is worth the information they must share to use it,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC bureau of consumer protection, in a statement. The app has over 50 million users.

GoldenShores Technologies will be forced to give a way for users to have more control over how their location and the feature to share it. The strangest part is that the app would have stated the location sharing feature upon installing it. Who would have used such a flashlight application with geo-location sharing features attached to it?

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of efinancialcommunications.com