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Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant. If you would like to receive Telecom Daily emailed daily to your desktop, please click here: TelDailyEmail.

Thursday, October 8...

Verizon to Combine its Targeted Ad Network with AOL's in November
Verizon Communications revealed plans to begin combining tracking data of its existing advertising programs with the data of its acquired AOL Advertising Network. The announcement came in the form of a new privacy policy, in which the telecom company pegged November as the month when the changes would go into effect. This will combine the information available to Verizon's Relevant Mobile Advertising program, which includes factors such as postal and email addresses, gender, age range, and more, with the data garnered from the company's Verizon Selects program. This second, somewhat infamous, program is Verizon's well-known "super cookie" tracker that gives it information on details as specific as individual subscribers' specific Web browsing history. Although the carrier was forced to provide consumers with a way to opt out of the Verizon Selects program following FCC involvement, many customers either chose not to, or were simply never made aware of the program in the first place. These two, vast stores of data will be brought together with the information available to the AOL Advertising Network, which tracks every interaction anyone has on the Web with any of AOL's ads or services. Of course, this move is once again raising privacy concerns with Verizon's policies. For its part, the company told ProPublica that the recorded info will only be shared with "a very limited number of other partners and they will only be able to use it for Verizon and AOL purposes." Thankfully, concerned customs can still opt out by visiting the privacy choices page of their Verizon account.

Samsung Boasts of Surging Quarter in Preliminary Q3 Financials
Samsung has made a point of sharing a preliminary look at its third quarter earning results with several major news outlets due to what it is claiming was its most successful quarter since early 2014. The pre-release results show expected revenues for the period of KRW 51 trillion, or approximately $44.16 billion, resulting in an expected operating profit of KRW 7.3 trillion, or $6.32 billion. This blows away the company's Q3 2014 revenue total of KRW 47.4 trillion ($41.04 billion) and operating profits of KRW 4.1 trillion ($3.55 billion), and could represent a major turnaround for the device maker, which has seen several consecutive quarters of slipping smartphone sales cutting into its profits. Although it remains unclear exactly where the growth for this quarter was derived from, one somewhat ironic suggestion from Bloomberg is the company's semiconductor business, which makes a large portion of its income from the production of chips for both Samsung and Apple devices. The exact reasons behind the company's recent success should become more clear when it releases its full earning results.

Google Launches Initiative to Speed Up the Mobile Web
Google introduced a new technology initiative designed to accelerate the load times of mobile Web pages for everyone, regardless of location or platform. The Accelerated Mobile Pages organization wants to "dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web," particularly pages containing rich content such as video, animations, heavy graphics, or "smart ads." Google said the new project revolves around the use of AMP HTML, a new open framework that leverages existing Web technologies to help developers create lighter-weight Web pages without sacrificing any content. The search giant has already begun testing the new protocol as part of its mobile Web search results, and has partnered to test the technology with several other major players around the Web, including Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, Adobe Analytics, LinkedIn, and others. The research being performed by this group will apparently focus on three key areas: Content, such as social plug-ins and data visualizations; Distribution, focusing on making it possible for new releases to be made available for all global consumers at the exact same time; and Advertising, which will attempt to remove the extra load time often added to Web pages by current mobile ad formats. Google did not provide any timeframe for when users might see this technology being employed on the public mobile Web.

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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