Archive for November 6, 2018

Salesforce Releases 2018 Q3 Holiday Data/Shopping Index Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2018 by itnerd

Salesforce’s recently released 2018 Q3 Holiday Data/Shopping Index Report, as the busiest shopping season of the year approaches.

The report shows regional data and global insights about consumer’s online shopping habits.

Canadians are spending on social media:

  • Canadian shoppers are the most social compared to their peers abroad. Six per cent of digital traffic in Canada came from social channels in Q3, a 118 per cent increase since last year.
  • 42 per cent of Canadian shoppers in Q3 placed an order using a mobile device (slightly below the global average of 45 per cent.)

Shoppers continue to go digital:

  • In Q3, global digital revenue growth accelerated to 17 per cent, driven by growth in traffic (11 per cent) and shopper spend (6 per cent.)
  • In Q3 Canadian retailers grew 30 per cent year over year, seeing the second most digital growth globally.
  • Buying signals were the strongest ever for a non-holiday period, as 22 per cent of shoppers searched, created a cart, or began a checkout this quarter.

Online searches are driving shoppers to sites:

  • Use of site search increased from 9 per cent to 11 per cent of all visits over the past two years.
  • Revenue contribution from site searches remains flat at 25 per cent, indicating a need for brands and retailers to fine-tune their search and advertising strategies.

The report is very much worth reading as it gives some good insights to shoppers as Black Friday approaches.

UAG’s Announces Rugged Lightweight Cases For Huawei’s Mate 20 Series

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2018 by itnerd

Urban Armor Gear has announced three new styles of reliable protection for one of the most highly anticipated smartphone series of the year, the Huawei Mate 20 series

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.Designed to protect the Huawei Mate 20 series’ sophisticated and powerful technology, UAG has released their acclaimed Monarch, Plasma, and Outback series to keep Huawei’s latest technology unharmed from daily drops and shocks.

Providing effortless protection for the Huawei Mate 20 series, each case features an impact-resistant core and an armor shell with 360-degree protection. Offering protection that meets or exceeds U.S. Military drop-test standards (MIL-STD 810G-516.6), UAG’s Mate 20 series presents Huawei users with one of the best rugged cases on the market.

Monarch Series – Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Available colors: Black
Price: $59.95

●     Top grain leather and alloy metal hardware

●     Soft impact-resistant core & honeycomb traction grip

●     Oversized tactile buttons & protective screen surround

●     Wireless charging compatible

●     10-Year Limited Warranty

●     Meets 2X Military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

Plasma Series – Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro
Available colors: Ash
Price: $39.95

●     Feather-light composite construction

●     Armor shell and impact resistant soft core

●     Oversized tactile buttons and non-slip ruggedized grip

●     Easy access to touchscreen and ports

●     Scratch resistant skid pads and screen surround

●     Wireless charging compatible

●     Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

Outback Series – Huawei Mate 20 Lite
Available colors: Black
Price: $24.95 

●     Feather-light construction

●     Traction grip exterior

●     Impact resistant rubber

●     Oversized tactile buttons

●     Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

OpenText Brings Enterprise-grade Customer Communications Management to Salesforce AppExchange

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2018 by itnerd

OpenText today announced that OpenText Exstream for Salesforce is now available on Salesforce AppExchange, offering users a powerful solution for personalized, consistent customer communications management.

OpenText Exstream is an industry-leading platform for managing multi-channel, global customer communications. With sophisticated workflow automation, compelling design and branding features, and options for infinite personalization, OpenText Exstream allows business users to easily manage their customer communications programs and campaigns without intervention from technical experts.

This expanded collaboration builds on the success of OpenText Extended ECM for Salesforce, which delivers sophisticated and secure content services. OpenText Extended ECM for Salesforce is available on Salesforce AppExchange.

OpenText Exstream for Salesforce is available on Salesforce AppExchange immediately.

A Hint That Apple’s iPhone Pricing Strategy May Be Failing…. Production Of iPhone XR Reduced In Favor Of The iPhone 8

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2018 by itnerd

Last week I had a very interesting exchange on Twitter with author Sueanne Pacheco about the pricing strategy of iPhones after I posted my review of the iPhone XS.

By the way, you should buy her book Mrs. Langlois House which is a really great read. But I am digressing. At the time I pointed her towards this AppleInsider article which indicated that Apple was relying on higher selling prices to make money. Which pretty much confirmed what she was saying. As well as my feelings on this subject:

However, this strategy seems to be backfiring on Apple as VentureBeat is indicating that Apple is cutting back on iPhone XR production in favor of iPhone 8 production for this reason:

Just before Apple’s September launch of the iPhone XS, pundits recommended that potential customers wait until the iPhone XR arrived in October to pick a phone — a suggestion that could have boosted sales of the less expensive model. But a new Nikkei Asian Review report suggests the XR is instead seeing “disappointing demand,” leading Apple to scuttle plans to increase XR production. The surprising reason: Users are gravitating toward the more affordable iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

And there is precedent to this:

Apple reportedly made last-minute rush orders for iPhone 7 devices after the iPhone 8 and iPhone X launched at higher price points, suggesting that some consumers aren’t as concerned with the latest technology as they are with more reasonable pricing. The size of that price-sensitive customer base could impair Apple’s ability to keep raising the average selling price of its devices, a strategy it appears to be testing with the more expensive iPhones, iPads, and Macs introduced this fall.

I should also note that Apple stock dropped on the news which took its market cap out of trillion dollar territory. Plus Apple when they reported their quarterly numbers announced that they would not be reporting on the number of iPhones and iPads that they sold anymore. Someone out there will say that Samsung doesn’t do that either, and that’s true. But you have to admit that the timing of that announcement relative to this news is curious.

Now when I reviewed the iPhone XS, I said that my main criticism was price. According to my wife, it costs more than my monthly mortgage payment. Even the XR is insanely expensive despite being the best value for iPhone users who want a new iDevice. Pricing phones at those lofty levels is a risk and you had to figure that this strategy would hit a brick wall at some point because it simply isn’t sustainable over the long term. But I don’t think that the brain trust at Apple Park envisioned that it would hit a brick wall this quickly. Now I get that they are a company that is out to make money. But with the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, they have created the impression that they are simply out to extract as much cash as they possibly can any way that they can. And based on this report, it’s starting to fail them. Thus I would suggest that they need to do a very quick rethink of their pricing strategy. As in right now.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Strix GL10CS

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the Strix GL10CS gaming desktop, a new member of the Strix family that brings together gaming essentials with the extensive ROG experience in high-performance gaming, to deliver an intelligently-configured gaming powerhouse that won’t break the bank. GL10CS fits full-size power into a compact 27-liter case that uses futuristic armor and the ROG obsession with speed as design inspirations. Customizable Aura Sync RGB lighting can be controlled from Armoury Crate, a single utility that provides all-access configuration and monitoring of GL10CS.


Smooth gameplay ahead

GL10CS is equipped with up to a six-core 12-thread Intel® Core i7-8700 processor, capable of handling multiple concurrent workloads such as gaming, streaming and running voice communication for teammates. With up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, GL10CS effortlessly switches from productivity tasks to the more demanding workloads generated by the multithreaded applications typically used by content creators.

The NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 10-series GPUs supply the pixel-pushing power for GL10CS. With up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of video memory, GL10CS offers amazing performance for today’s favorite games such as Fortnite and Overwatch, capable of pushing triple-digit framerates at FHD resolution. GL10CS can also be used with all major virtual-reality (VR) headsets, providing gamers with totally new environments and experiences.

Speed kills

GL10CS is equipped with processor and graphics muscle capable of serious speed. To build on and complement this foundation, GL10CS comes with up to a 512GB M.2-based NVMe® SSD, providing ample storage capable of loading games and applications at warp speed. For larger game libraries or storage needs, GL10CS is also available with a 1TB 7200rpm mechanical HDD. Furthermore, this drive can be turbocharged with Intel Optane Memory, which caches frequently accessed data to reduce load times and improve responsiveness.

Gigabit-class networking is delivered in two varieties by GL10CS. The gigabit Ethernet connection at the back provides gamers with a low-latency wired connection for when a millisecond is the difference between spawning yet again or being the newly crowned champion. GL10CS also offers blazingly-fast Wi-Fi speeds thanks to Intel’s 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi card, supporting 2×2 MU-MIMO and capable of faster-than-gigabit speeds when paired with a compatible router. 

Gamers wanted

GL10CS comes equipped with gamer-friendly features and customizations. The unified Armoury Crate software provides quick and easy access to all parts of GL10CS. There are multiple profiles available that strike different balances between performance and noise, allowing users to easily cater to their environment and preferences. The diffused RGB glow that cuts across the front of GL10CS can also be customized in just a few clicks, choosing colours and effects with the capability to synchronize with other Aura-compatible peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and headsets.

The ROG team knows that gaming is social and sometimes computers have to travel. GL10CS was designed and tested to survive drop and vibration tests that simulate the rough handling of trips to LAN parties and esports tournaments, as well as to survive temperature and humidity extremes, and voltage and frequency fluctuations that may arise from unreliable power sources.


ASUS ROG Strix GL10CS will be available in early 2019 in Canada, with a starting MSRP of $999.

Paysafe Group Announces Global Hackathon Winners

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2018 by itnerd

Paysafe Group, a leading global payments provider, has awarded Kamil Dębowski, a Polish developer, a US $25,000 cash prize for being the ultimate winner in its recent global hackathon. Dębowski beat over 850 developers who participated in the event which took place across three Paysafe offices in Sofia, Hyderabad and Calgary.

The hackathon consisted of two stages: firstly, an online qualifying challenge followed by an in person, Paysafe hosted event. The final top three winners were chosen by an experienced panel of Paysafe judges based on the speed and methods they used to solve complex challenges.  The two runners up for the on-site challenge were Vikram Singh Panwar from India, and Lewin Gan from the US, who both won US $5,000. Before that, Paysafe also awarded cash prizes to the fastest three developers to crack the online challenge. This was Scott Wu in first place, who won US $3,000 followed by Neal Wu who won US $2,000 and Steven Hao who picked up third place and US $1,000. All three winners were based in the US.

Dębowski, joined the global event via the local Paysafe Sofia office.  As the company’s largest office, the team in Sofia recently celebrated reaching 1,000 employees and plays a critical role supporting Paysafe’s global business operations and technology development.

As well as participating in the event, developers also had the opportunity to discuss career opportunities and the developer job vacancies at Paysafe, a sought-after employer in payments with multiple employer awards and a Glassdoor rating of 4.2 globally.


ASUS ROG Phone Is Officially The Fastest Phone On The Planet

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2018 by itnerd

The game-changing ASUS ROG Phone has been crowned the fastest phone on the planet, topping the industry-standard Antutu ( global benchmark rankings.


Achieving an average Antutu Benchmark V7 score of 299706, ROG Phone clearly demonstrates the world-beating potency of its speed-binned 2.96GHz octa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 Mobile Platform with gaming-optimized Qualcomm® Adreno™ 630 GPU and innovative GameCool vapor-chamber cooling system. The blistering performance, high-efficiency cooling and unique gamer-centric ergonomic design ensures that gamers can enjoy marathon mobile gaming sessions in total comfort.

A range of exclusive and innovative expansion accessories — including the TwinView Dock, Mobile Desktop Dock, and Gamevice controller with WiGig® Display Dock — sets ROG Phone apart from all other gaming phones, adding exciting new modes of play for a truly epic gaming experience.

ROG Phone: Epic Performance. Unbeatable Visuals. Total Control.

ROG Phone is a game-changing 6-inch smartphone designed specifically for high-performance mobile gaming. With pure ROG gaming DNA at its core and powered by the world’s fastest speed-binned 2.96GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with gaming-optimized Qualcomm Adreno™ 630 GPU, ROG Phone breaks every rule to go where rivals fear to tread. Its unique GameCool vapor-chamber cooling system — with detachable AeroActive Cooler for an extra cooling boost — sustains blur-free high frame rates in the heat of battle, while its no-compromise AMOLED display blends a blazing 90Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time with gorgeous HDR visuals.

The ultra-comfortable design of ROG Phone includes unique side-mounted ports, and the enhanced, ultra-responsive game controls — including two programmable ultrasonic AirTriggers and advanced force-feedback haptics — let gamers focus all their skills on the game, giving them the edge they need for total domination. A unique range of powerful expansion accessories further enhances the ROG Phone gaming experience: the optional TwinView Dock for dual-screen handheld mode; the Mobile Desktop Dock for desktop-style gaming; and the Gamevice controller with WiGig Display Dock using 60GHz Wi-Fi for big-screen gaming. Other ROG Phone innovations include ASUS Aura RGB lighting and Aura Sync support, plus ASUS HyperCharge direct-charge technology for faster, safer and cooler battery charging.