Posts Tagged ‘Orlando’
Monday, January 28th, 2013
While business travelers have endured economic and other challenges these last few years, 2013 seems as if it may be the turning point that will influence where, when and how business executives and others meet in the future.
This, according to 2013 Predictions for International Business Travel, Meeting and Events, a report released by BusinessTravelDestinations.com.
“Business travelers are placing a greater emphasis on why they need to travel, and that is helping them to better demonstrate a clear return on investment,” says Rob Hard , publisher and editor of BusinessTravelDestinations.
Many countries around the world – including the U.S. – are also showing signs of recovery in their business tourism sectors, and they are preparing to attract greater numbers of international business travelers.
Hard says that these factors are coming together at the same time to create an optimistic environment. 10 travel industry predictions for 2013 include:
1. Business travelers will travel more than ever and meet globally.
2. Barcelona, Berlin, Las Vegas, London, Orlando, Shanghai and Singapore will be top cities, among others.
3. Business travel will have a greater focus on content and purpose.
4. Technology will complement travel, not replace it.
5. Business travelers will focus more on wellness when on the road.
6. Local experts will enhance the travel and meeting experience.
7. Air fares will remain reasonable, globally.
8. Hotel prices will increase the most in North America.
9. Business travel will be recognized as a revenue generator.
10. Business meetings and events will contribute to the creation of new travel industry jobs.
“It also helps that there is now a greater level of acceptance by local and national governments that business travel is favorable for communities and their economies,” Hard adds.
In 2012, more people traveled internationally than ever – surpassing one billion travelers. That was an important milestone. Industry data also shows that travel will continue to expand each year through 2021.
The full report is free and available at BusinessTravelDestinations.com.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
Technology salaries in the U.S. saw the biggest jump in more than a decade, according to the 2013-2012 Salary Survey from Dice, the leading career site for technology and engineer professionals. Tech professionals earned a greater than five percent increase in average annual wages to $85,619, up from $81,327 in 2011.
The increase in wages comes at a time when the vast majority of tech professionals (64%) are confident they could find a favorable new position in 2013 and when employers are stepping up to the plate to retain and motivate staff with more interesting or challenging assignments, increased compensation and the ability to telecommute, according to respondents.
“Employers are recognizing and adjusting to the reality of a tight market,” said Scot Melland , Chairman, President and CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc. “The fact is you either pay to recruit or pay to retain and these days, at least for technology teams, companies are doing both.”
Bonuses down slightly, but more get them
When asked the primary reason for changes in compensation, 36 percent of technology professionals tagged company actions, like merit or company-wide raises and internal promotions, as the root cause. Meanwhile, another 19 percent of respondents changed jobs during the year which brought a salary increase along with the move.
After a considerable jump last year in both size and frequency, average bonuses were down a touch to $8,636 from $8,769 in the previous year; however, slightly more tech professionals 33 percent vs. 32 percent received the extra payout in 2012.
“In the early stages of the recovery, companies were staying flexible by using performance pay to reward their top performers,” added Mr. Melland. “Now, companies are writing the checks that will stick. With a 3.8 percent tech unemployment rate, no one wants to lose talent.”
In fact, tech professionals just starting out, those with two years or less experience, earned their first year/year increase (8%) to $46,315 in three years. And, there was a milestone at the other end of the spectrum. Average salaries for tech professionals with at least 15 years of experience topped six-figures for the first time, growing four percent year/year to $103,012.
While Silicon Valley is still the only market were tech professionals average six-figure salaries ($101,278), seven markets saw double-digit increases in average tech salaries year/year – the most ever registered by the Dice Salary Survey.
Leading the surge with an 18 percent year/year increase to $76,207 are Pittsburgh-based tech professionals, followed by San Diego ($97,328) and St. Louis ($81,245) each garnering 13 percent year/year increases.
Phoenix ($83,607) and Cleveland ($75,773) had strong gains, up 12 and 11 percent year/year, respectively.
Rounding out the double-digit debuts is Orlando ($81,583) and Milwaukee ($81,670), both up roughly 10 percent year/year.
“This recovery has been particularly hard for employers in non-traditional tech markets if they want to grow their staff,” said Mr. Melland.
“With mobility down, the pool of available talent isn’t as deep which pushes salaries up and makes companies scramble to come up with creative solutions.”
The top 10 market with the greatest year/year increase: Boston, up seven percent to $94,742. That just edged out Atlanta where tech salaries average $87,556 and Los Angeles with a six percent gain to $92,498.
For additional market information, an interactive map of average U.S. tech salaries for the 48 continuous states and key metropolitan areas is provided on Dice.
“Mad Skills, More Money”
Out of the big three, mobile, cloud and data, there’s one that is having a disproportionate impact on salaries – it’s big data.
Salaries reported by those who regularly use Hadoop, NoSQL, and Mongo DB are all north of $100,000.
By comparison, average salaries for technologies closely associated with cloud and virtualization are just under $90,000 and mobile salaries are closer to $80,000.
“We’ve heard it’s a fad, heard it’s hyped and heard it’s fleeting, yet it’s clear that data professionals are in demand and well paid,” said Alice Hill , Managing Director of Dice.com.
“Tech professionals who analyze large data streams and strategically impact the overall business goals of a firm have an opportunity to write their own ticket. The message to employers? If you have a talented data team, hold on tight or learn the consequences of a lift-out.”
Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Interior of the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida, the number one meeting hotel in the U.S., according to Cvent in a different ranking list. Orlando is number one on Cvent’s just released list of the top meeting cities in the United States.
Cvent, the leader in cloud-based event management solutions, has ranked the top 50 cities for meetings and events in the United States, according to meeting and event booking activity in the Cvent Supplier Network.
Cvent operates the number one marketplace for group meetings business in the world, expecting to source $7 billion of meetings business in 2012.
TechMedia does digital media conferences in several of these cities, such as the upcoming Digital East conference near DC in October, annual events in Atlanta, and new this year, a digital conference slated for Dallas.
The top 10 cities are:
- Orlando, FL
- Washington, DC
- Las Vegas, NV
- Miami, FL
- Chicago, IL
- San Diego, CA
- Phoenix, AZ
- Atlanta, GA
- Dallas, TX
- New Orleans, LA
To see the full list of the top 50 cities, see: http://www.cvent.com/en/sem/top-50-meeting-destinations-us-2012.shtml.
Cvent evaluated 1,000 cities and 200 major metropolitan areas (MMAs) in the U.S. on the Cvent Supplier Network to create the list. Activity was tracked between July 2011 and June 2012, and the ranking was then determined by a set of qualifying criteria, some of which included:
- The number of total room nights booked through the Cvent Supplier Network;
- The number of unique electronic request-for-proposals (RFPs) sent through the marketplace to venues within the city;
- The total value of the RFPs submitted;
- The actual awarded value for meetings booked.
In addition to ranking top cities, Cvent also ranked the top MMAs to represent select markets where notable meetings activity takes place near, but outside the limits of the city core. To see the list of the top 50 MMAs, see: http://www.cvent.com/en/sem/top-50-meeting-markets-us-2012.shtml.
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
Interior of the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida, the number one meeting hotel in the U.S., according to Cvent
Cvent, the world’s largest cloud-based provider of event management and venue selection solutions, has named the top 100 hotels for meetings in the United States, according to meeting and event planners in the Cvent Supplier Network.
The Cvent Supplier Network is a free online marketplace that connects meeting planners with over 200,000 venues worldwide; it generated $4 billion in business for hotels in 2011 and projects more than $5.5 billion to be generated in 2012.
In addition, over 100,000 meetings were booked on the Cvent Supplier Network in 2011 alone.
The list of hotels was compiled from a pool of 80,000 hotels in the U.S. on the Cvent Supplier Network. The ranking was then determined by a set of qualifying criteria, some of which included:
- The number of electronic request-for-proposals (RFPs) the property received from the Cvent Supplier Network in 2011;
- The hotel’s average response rate to the RFPs sent through the marketplace;
- The number of meeting rooms available;
- The total square footage of meeting space offered at the hotel; and
- The amount of business the property was awarded in 2011 by meeting planners through the Cvent Supplier Network.
The list is comprised of venues from a variety of locales, spanning 17 states and the District of Columbia. Florida represents the largest number of meeting hotels in the top 100, taking nearly one-fifth of the list at a total of 19 properties.
Nevada comes in second with 14 properties, and the state of Texas takes third place with a total of 13 hotels on the list.
Top 10 Meeting Hotels in the U.S.
1. The Peabody Orlando, Orlando, Florida
2. Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center, Nashville, Tennessee
3. Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
4. Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, Florida
5. The Venetian and Palazzo Resort, Hotel & Casinos, Las Vegas, Nevada
6. Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland
7. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
8. The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, Georgia
9. ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter, Las Vegas, Nevada
10. MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
For the complete list of Cvent’s Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the U.S. visit http://www.cvent.com/top100hotelsus.
Friday, March 16th, 2012
John Sikaitis, SVP of Research, Jones Lang Lasalle
Recent economic and real estate factors indicate that most of the Sunbelt geographies have already hit their cyclical lows and during the next six to 12 months are likely to surpass national growth rates, according to a special office report issued by Jones Lang LaSalle.
Many of these areas are also hotspots for the digital economy, particularly San Diego, LA, and South Florida. This is also more evidence for something we have pointed out repeatedly at the TechJournal – the resilient U.S. economy is climbing out of its recessionary doldrums.
Although nearly all areas of the U.S. were negatively impacted by the recession, some of the hardest hit were the Sunbelt markets of Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orange County, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa and West Palm Beach.
“The Sunbelt markets witnessed substantial drops in their overall economies in 2007-2009 with relatively no recovery in 2010-2011. However, despite ongoing negative perceptions, most of these markets are undergoing a resurgence and poised for dramatic changes in 2012 and beyond,” said John Sikaitis, Senior Vice President of Research at Jones Lang LaSalle.
“These economic upswings bring much optimism for future office and employment levels, as well as investor interest for the capital markets.”
Sunbelt office recovery indicates future gains to surpass national levels
Currently nearly all Sunbelt markets posted substantial upticks in occupancy, experienced declines in vacancy and moved closer to seeing office rents and concession levels hit bottom.
In 2011, occupancy gains in these beaten-down housing economies totaled nearly 6.0 million square feet and provided evidence that, as we move forward in 2012, most of these geographies will start to outpace the national recovery.
This resurgence is due to strengthening employment, migration and housing market shifts with absorption rates in the 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent range across most the Sunbelt geographies.
Sunbelt-wide employment gains outperforming national averages of late and picking up speed month by month
Markets such as Jacksonville, Miami, Orange County, San Diego, Tampa and West Palm Beach have surpassed the national average in total non-farm, private and professional and business services (PBS) job growth.
Floridian markets have dominated the jobs recovery of late: Jacksonville’s 5.9 percent annual increase in PBS jobs is among the largest in the nation, whileTampa’s 2.5+ percent annual growth in all measures shows signs of revival and diversification. Miami also surpasses both national expectations, increasing at around 1.9 percent overall annually.
Sunbelt migration trends starting to turn positive
In terms of domestic migration, the majority of Sunbelt cities display a common pattern: a net loss of residents in 2007, shifting to an inflow of residents in 2008 or 2009 and then stable, yet increasing, population growth in 2010 and through 2011.
Nearly 75 percent of the Sunbelt markets are now, once again, showing significant positive migration with Florida reporting the largest increase of at least 20 percent. As the hub to Latin America, Miami and Fort Lauderdale are leading the charge due to strong immigration trends from Latin America that drive population, business and economic growth.
Sunbelt’s housing crunch on the verge of stabilizing
Since their pre-recession peaks, housing markets within the Sunbelt have experienced drastic reductions in price and sale volume, far greater than any other region of the United States. In most cases, these housing markets have yet to begin recovery.
However, as a result of positive office demand growth, employment and migration indicators, there is a strong chance that most of these geographies are hitting their market low and will soon begin to recover, if this has not begun already.
Since employment and other indicators point to recovery while housing prices are only beginning to stabilize or in some cases are still decreasing, continued economic, employment and office sector growth will lead to gradual, but steady, gains in the housing sector moving forward.
2007 levels far off but future gains are on the horizon
Vital to the continued improvement of most Sunbelt geographies in 2012 will be consistent gains in employment across multiple sectors with emphasis on diversifying economies.
Since job performance has remained either constant or accelerating in these metropolitan areas not only among themselves, but also outpacing national results, it is probable that most Sunbelt markets will recover faster than the U.S. as a whole in 2012 and 2013. They will see rebounds in their housing markets as well, driving even further office demand from the housing-sectors (i.e. homebuilding, mortgage companies, etc.)
Sikaitis added, “Whereas migratory patterns drove the Sunbelt to unprecedented growth in the pre-recession years, those patterns will now be reflective of recent strong office recovery in these markets, being more economically sustainable and diverse than before with the potential to surpass the rest of the country.
“Even with these positive shifts, most of these geographies are two to three years away from returning to pre-2007 levels; so, while we are upbeat about the recovery for these markets, we remain realistic and guarded in the fact that we are not yet back to 2006 territory and likely will not be until the 2014-2015 timeframe.”
Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
Gartner Inc. analysts warned IT managers that they see a second recession on the horizon and that IT managers face a period of “unprecedented uncertainty,” according to a Computerworld report.
Speaking at the annual Gartner Symposium/IT expo in Orlando, FL, the Gartner analysts told IT managers they may need to “reimagine” their departments for a post-modern world of information, collaboration, and mobility, all of which will lead to users seeking higher levels of interaction with companies.
Peter Sondergaard, the firm’s head of research, said, “The second recession is about to hit.”
The Gartner analysts suggested that IT managers consider “creative destruction,” by knocking down organizational walls so companies can innovate together. Analyst Tina Nunno urged, “Embrace calculated risk.”
Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Be proactive and take measures to protect your mobile devices
With app security breaches in the news, this new report by Orlando-based Panda security on the current and future state of smartphone malware is very timely. Panda also offers seven tips on how to keep your mobile devices secure.
Panda Security , the Cloud Security Company, has released the report in participation with other members of Spain’s National Cyber-Security Advisory Council(CNCCS) on the history, current state and future of mobile malware.
Now available for the first time in the United States, the “Smartphone Malware Report” aims to raise awareness of the threats affecting mobile devices as well provides tips individuals can follow to avoid falling victim to mobile threats.
“One of the major challenges security vendors face is user mobility,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “Enhancing the security of cell phones — through anti-malware, data protection, management and security audit functions — is a major challenge for any security department, and we must tackle this threat as soon as possible in order to help protect users’ information and businesses.
“Even though cell phone malware is not a priority for cyber-crooks yet, we are starting to see the first major attacks on these platforms. We predict that the next few months will see significant growth in cell phone attacks, especially on Google’s Android operating system.”
“Security vendors have long warned about the fact that cell phones would overtake PCs as the primary cyber attack target, and 2010 has showed the first signs of that. We believe 2011 will really mark a turning point in this field,” explained David Barroso, director of e-crime at Council member S21sec.
Smartphone Malware Report Overview:
Key topics covered in the report include:
- The history of mobile devices, and the evolution of the smartphone market from its onset to the present day
- Mobile device security issues and threat vectors
- The history of threats targeted the platform, including Cabir, WinCE.Brador.A , Skulls, Pbstealer, CxOver, Ikee.A and Ikee.B, Droid09 and modern Man-in-the-Mobile attacks
- Predictions for the future, including schemes that target mobile banking applications and capture sensitive information, programs that track users’ locations through GPS, advanced social engineering attacks, and mobile worms that scan all devices connected to WiFi networks and exploit vulnerabilities to transmit malicious code to other system.
How Can You Protect Your Mobile Device?
Lack of security awareness among cell phone users and carelessness are two of the most important risk factors for smartphones. It is extremely important to understand that a smartphone is far more than just a phone and should be treated more like a computer due to the valuable information it stores.
To protect your mobile device, the CNCCS offers a series of best practices. These include:
- Enable access protection measures such as a PIN or password
- Configure the smartphone to automatically lock after a minute or so being idle
- Disable features not in use such Bluetooth, infrared or WiFi
- Before installing or using new smartphone apps or services, check their reputation and only install applications from trusted sources
- Keep your operating system and software applications up to date
- Be wary of any files, links or numbers received from unsolicited email or SMS messages
- Avoid using untrusted WiFi networks
Friday, May 6th, 2011
ORLANDO – Row Sham Bow Inc., an electronic game developer startup, has raised $1.5 million of an equity financing aimed at $3 million, according to a regulatory filing.
Row Sham Bow – a name derived from the Japanese term for the game Rock–paper-scissors, says its mission is to “create fun games anyone can play.”
Former Electronic Arts Tiburon VP Philip Holt, CEO and president, founded the company in March.
The company has asked Orlando for $114,000 and the state for $570,000 in economic development incentives. It says it will create 60 high-paying jobs.
The company disclosed the financing in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:
Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com
Digital East: www.digitaleast.com
Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com
Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
By Allan Maurer
ORLANDO, FL – FindVenture.com, an Orlando-based Internet company has just launched its site, which connects entrepreneurs and startups with investors, but already has five deals in term sheets and expects to see its first deal close by the end of the first quarter.
Founded in 2010 by David Bayer, CEO of DataBanq and of ChamberofCommerce.com and a founder of Chamberperks (2002), a web-based group buying program in Flordia, and Seth Ellis, managing partner of the $450 million Florida Mezzanine Fund, the site is free to both investors and entrepreneurs. DataBanq and the FMF funded the project.
Investors can pay a membership fee for increased deal flow and more sophisticated deal matching/searching features.
“Entrepreneurs and CFOs are turning to the web to find investment and lending resources,” said Bayer, managing partner of FindVenture.
“What they are finding is that most investors are still operating offline and seeking deal flow by utilizing traditional methods. FindVenture.com brings both the investor, or fund, and the business owner or entrepreneur into a more efficient marketplace exchange.”
Using a sophisticated matching algorithm, FindVenture connects investors with individuals and organizations. “Eliminating the need to filter through investment opportunities that don’t fit the core criteria of a fund saves both the investor and the business a tremendous amount of time,” said Bayer. FindVenture.com provides detailed profiles of both funds and prospective investment companies, in addition to a platform and subscription model similar to Monster.com, where like employers; investors have access to view prospective investment opportunities.
Bayer tells us, “Our focus is on creating enough deal flow that we can attract a senior management team and raise money to deploy to the deal flow as a venture fund. Similar to what Lending Tree has done by starting off in mortgage lead generation and then eventually becoming a mortgage underwriter themselves.”
The five-employee firm has more than 50 funds/investors registered on the platform in just its first 30 days.
We asked Bayer what differentiates the company from others in the space.
“We are in a unique position,” he said, “in that we have no immediate need to make money off of our customers. Our model – instead of needing to make money off of investors, entrepreneurs or the connecting of the two – our focus is simply deal flow.”
He added, “In partnership with Acxiom and ChamberofCommerce.com, we have a direct communication channel to more than 14MM businesses. Using a sophisticated algorithm we are able to identify those businesses which are likely to need and qualify for funding and approach them directly to participate in our platform. The net result, higher volume and quality of deals in the system and a fraction of the cost of most other companies in the space.”
. When a business posts a funding request on FindVenture.com, they put their idea and business plan in front of thousands of investors and funds. Additionally, FindVenture provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources and education to find the fund that’s the right fit.
FindVenture’s resources section provides insight into the fundraising process with articles written by industry leaders such as Karen Klein – an expert in small businesses and entrepreneurship who has appeared in Bloomberg Business Week and the Los Angeles Times for more than a decade.
TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:
Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com
Digital East: www.digitaleast.com
Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com
Friday, March 4th, 2011
ORLANDO, FL – You don’t often hear good news about online security, but here’s some. Malware infections fell 11 percent last month, according to Orlando-based Panda Security.
Panda Security, a Cloud Security Co., says that during the month of February, data gathered by Panda ActiveScan, the company’s free online scanner, found that only 39 percent of computers scanned in February were infected with malware, compared to 50 percent last month.
Trojans were found to be the most prolific malware threat, responsible for 61 percent of all cases, followed by traditional viruses and worms which caused 11.59 percent and nine percent of cases worldwide, respectively.
Personally, I’ve noticed that Trojans targeting java have been prevalent.
These figures have hardly changed compared to similar data collected in January. A graphical representation is available at: press.pandasecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/FEB-Malware-ENG.jpg. The most prevalent malware specimens detected this February also remained consistent with last month’s findings. The CI.A, Downloader.MDW or Lineage.KDB Trojans continued to spread and infect systems in approximately the same numbers.
China, Ukraine, Thailand and Taiwan held the top four highest rates of infection (more than 50 percent of cases). Other countries such as Italy, the U.S. or France recorded rates below 40 percent, but ranked higher than last month.
Friday, February 18th, 2011
By Allan Maurer
ORLANDO, FL – Getting airline profits off the ground is tougher than one might expect, considering how essential air travel is to our business and personal lives in the modern world. But airlines large and small have gone belly up because they couldn’t land enough paying passengers. Radixx, a software firm in Orlando, puts some jet fuel in airline profits.
Ron Peri, founder and CEO of Radixx, tells us that building an advanced airline passenger service system is a complex endeavor that defeated several major players who spent hundreds of millions and years trying. “There have been a lot of attempts to build this type of software that failed,” says Peri.
Radixx itself only succeeded by doing it incrementally over many years, he says at a cost of about $50 million.
A myriad of problems have to be solved: chief among them, getting the airlines specifications and working with legacy software systems, but the whole thing is complex, Peri says. The air industry business model is in a rapid state of change. You must find a way to compete profitably in an environment where low cost structures and non-traditional business models are now the rule not the exception.
Presenting at SEVC
Radixx, spun out of a previous airline focused company in 1998, is among the 50 innovative firms presenting at the fifth annual Southeast Venture Conference in Atlanta March 2-3. And what a story Radixx has to tell.
“We have a variety of airline clients who will state emphatically that implementing Radixx Air made them profitable, more profitable, or kept them in business,” says Peri. Great Lakes Aviation, for instance, stated in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Radixx was the reason for the company’s first profitable quarter.
Air Iceland made its first profit in 40 years of operations after installing Radixx software.
Another airline saw a 250 percent increase in bookings using the software. Go Air, which had never had more than 100,000 passengers in a month leaped to 147,000 the month it first used the product and moved to 250,000 a month.
“It’s had a tremendous impact,” Peri says. “It’s just a more effective and better way of selling.”
The Internet changed everything
The Internet changed everything for airline ticket sales just like it disrupted publishing and music sales and many other aspects of modern business. In the old days, Peri says, a travel agent would book you with the airline that gave them the best commission and you took what you got. Now, on the Internet, “Airline fares are obvious to everyone,” Peri notes.
To deal with that new transparency, which lets people find the cheapest fares quickly, airlines sell everything they can sell as services, from baggage fees to meals or better placement in line. That requires a software system that can handle constant adaptations.
Radixx has about 30 airline clients now and no two do things the same way, Peri says. “But we are at a point now where we have a product,” which he notes was far from easy to create. Now the company is looking for venture backing to help it build out its brand and sales channels.
Radixx Air charges on a transaction basis. It allows selling through any distribution channel, e-ticket or ticketless, legacy or modern.
“There have been many attempts to build this type of software that failed,” says Peri. “We’re kind of the little engine that shouldn’t have been able to but did, little by little.”
He says that if the company lands funding, the lessons it has learned creating its product give it some insight into what’s coming out of the clouds. “We could do some things along the lines of breakthroughs,” he says.
TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:
Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com
Digital East: www.digitaleast.com
Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com
Monday, January 31st, 2011
ORLANDO, FL – Our vigilant friends at Panda Security have discovered two new security exploits taking advantage of popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter. In the last several days, two new malware strains have been wreaking havoc on Facebook users.
The first, Asprox.N, is a Trojan delivered via email informing users their Facebook account is being used to distribute spam and that, for security reasons, the login credentials have been changed. The email includes a fake Word document attachment, supposedly containing the new password, with an unusual icon and the filename Facebook_details.exe.
Deceiving victims by opening a .doc file upon opening the attachment, this file is really a Trojan that downloads another file designed to open all available ports, connecting to mail service providers in an attempt to spam as many users as possible.
The second new malware strain, Lolbot.Q, is distributed across instant messaging applications such as AIM or Yahoo!, with a message displaying a malicious link. Clicking the link downloads a worm designed to hijack Facebook accounts, blocking users’ access while informing that the account has been suspended.
To “reactivate” their account, users are asked to complete a questionnaire, promising prizes such as laptops and iPads. After several questions, users are asked to subscribe and enter their cell phone number, which is in turn charged a fee of $11.60 per week. Victims can restore access to their Facebook account only once they subscribe to the service and receive a new password.
“Once again cybercriminals are using social engineering to trick victims and infect them with malware,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “Given the increasing popularity of social media, it is no surprise that it is being exploited to lure victims.”
To avoid security threats such as these, PandaLabs recommends users be wary of any unexpected messages with unusually eye-catching subjects and avoid clicking on external links, running executable files or entering personal data into unknown applications or web forms.
Thursday, January 6th, 2011
ORLANDO, FL – Summit Broadband, parent company of Orlando Telephone, has closed a $6.4 million offering, and Orlando Telephone an $8.4 million equity round, according to regulatory filings.
Summit Broadband sells Internet, phone and TV service in Orlando, boasting speeds as high as 50mbs, increasing to 100mbs in 2011, which it says is “the fastest in the US.” It competes with larger Internet, phone and TV providers in the Orlando market.
Orlando Telephone had its beginning in 1982 with Orlando Business Telephone Systems. In 1985 it launched Brevard Business Telephone Systems, then 1997 started Gulfcoast Business Telephone Systems and Orlando Telephone Company.
The companies disclosed the fundings in filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Email TechJournal South Editor Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournal South dot com.
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
ORLANDO, FL- B2B buyers are more frugal than ever, so Alinean, a creator of value-based interactive sales and marketing tools for B2B vendors, has listed five predictions on B2B sales enablement and marketing strategies for 2011.
“In the face of the recent economic downturn, B2B buyers are more frugal than ever. Even with recovery predicted for 2011, a new ‘age of austerity’ keeps buyers seeking bottom-line impact and value from every investment,” states Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean. “At the same time, B2B buyers are taking advantage of information available via the Internet and social media to become empowered, taking charge of the buying cycle.”
From Alinean research and best practices work with leading B2B sales and marketing groups, here are the Company’s top 5 predictions for 2011:
1. Internet Fueled Buying Cycles on the Rise – Similar to the B2C buying revolution where the Internet fundamentally changed how goods are bought and sold, B2B prospects are taking charge of the buying cycle using online content marketing, resources and tools to drive research, comparisons and purchase decisions. Savvy B2B marketers will recognize the “consumerization” of B2B, significantly increasing content marketing investments in 2011 to deliver the right content and interactive decision support tools at the appropriate right step in the buying cycle.
2. The Death of a Salesman? At the same time as buyers are becoming more empowered, sales professionals are seen by these buyers as less valuable in the decision making process. As a result, sales professionals are being invited later in the buying cycle, often coming after key decisions have already been made. In 2011, many organizations will go to a direct Internet model and “buy it now,” while others will redefine the sales role and invest in making sales professionals relevant again with important content and tools.
3. It’s Only a Matter of Trust – B2B buyers will rely more on online presence to make judgments as to whether they will do business with a company. So, online presence needs to overcome typical vendor skepticism, convey credibility and gain trust. In 2011, significant investments in content and tools will be needed to create a “circle of trust” with skeptical buyers, including independent endorsements, peer and analyst reviews, success stories and validation.
4. Information Overload – Even though B2B buyers are relying on the Internet to fuel purchase decisions, these buyers are inundated with marketing messages over diverse channels, leading to information overload, confusion and stalled decision making. Significant investments in better content, targeting and personalization will be made in 2011 to end “carpet bombing” B2B marketing techniques, evolving to create a dialogue with buyers to guide them through the decision making process and buying lifecycle with personalized one-to-one advice.
5. Fight Frugalnomics – Today, B2B buyers are focused more than ever on what solutions are available to enable “doing-more-with-less,” driving savings and realizing quantifiable bottom-line impact. To fight Frugalnomics, savvy marketers will need to make even more investments in content and tools for 2011, aimed at helping buyers assess and quantify the economic impact of implementing the proposed solutions, quantify the cost of “doing nothing” and prove competitive cost advantages and value.
“B2B sales and marketing are fundamentally being shaped in 2011 by the Internet empowered buyer, increased skepticism, information overload and Frugalnomics, driving the need for key investments in content marketing, personalization, interactive tools and sales enablement,” adds Pisello.
“The savvy marketing and sales enablement professional will proactively recognize the issues that the frugal and empowered decision maker creates, using 2011 to reshape the strategies and investments to better engage, dialogue and sell to ever more empowered, skeptical, overloaded and frugal buyers.”
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
ORLANDO, FL -Did the Internet feel like a more dangerous place this year? PandaLabs , the Panda Security anti-malware laboratory, reports that one-third of all malware in existence was created in the first 10 months of 2010. The average number of malware threats created every day, including new malware and variants of existing families, has risen from 55,000 in 2009 to 63,000 in 2010 – a rate increase of 14.5 percent.
The research lab also revealed that the average lifespan of 54 percent of malware has been reduced to just 24 hours, compared to a lifespan of several months that was more common in previous years.
We’ve noticed there is a constant, ongoing battle between security providers such as Panda and the malware makers.
Panda’s Collective Intelligence database, which automatically detects, analyzes and classifies 99.4 percent of the threats received, now has identified 134 million separate files, 60 million of which are malware (viruses, worms, Trojans and other threats).
According to PandaLabs, 34 percent of all active malware threats were created in the first ten months of 2010. Approximately 20 million new strains of malware have been created already this year; the same total for the year of 2009 in its entirety.
This shortened lifespan of malware and increased number of variants is proof of a significant shift in the cybercrime landscape: many malware variants are created to infect just a few systems before they disappear.
As antivirus solutions become able to detect new malware more quickly, hackers modify them or create new ones so as to evade detection. The quickly changing malware strains make it incredibly important to have protection technologies such as Collective Intelligence, which can rapidly neutralize new malware and reduce the risk window to which users are exposed during these first 24 hours.
A graph depicting malware growth is available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/5198720136/.
“Since 2003, new threats have increased at a rate of 100 percent or more. Yet so far in 2010, purely new malware has increased by only 50 percent, significantly less than the historical norm,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “This doesn’t mean that there are fewer threats or that the cyber-crime market is shrinking.
On the contrary, it continues to expand, and by the end of 2010 we will have logged more new threats in Collective Intelligence than in 2009. It seems hackers are applying economies of scale, reusing old malicious code or prioritizing the distribution of existing threats over the creation of new ones.”