THE SHARING ECONOMY

Sharing your car, couch and kitchen are all part of the so-called “sharing economy.”

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NUMBERS REPORT: STREAMING

Consumer research outfit NPD.com projects that within two years, 40 percent of households will get TV, movies and apps from a streaming stick plugged into their TV. So far there are five: Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Walmart’s new Spark. This is a hot area for innovation and we can expect fast and wide development; basically, everything is going to come from the Internet.

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THE AGE OF CRYPTO CURRENCY

BitCoin is a much bigger deal than we thought. In the new book, “The Age of Crypto Currency,” by Vigna and Casey, two veteran Wall Street Journal reporters, we learned that Bitcoin is used all over the world where banking is a problem. An Afghani teenager, for example, traded her Bitcoins for an Amazon gift certificate and bought her first laptop. Without Bitcoin, her earnings would have disappeared into her father or brother’s bank account. In Mali refugee camps, people receive Bitcoins as text messages on $5 phones. Without crypto currency, workers often have to depend on strangers to carry money back home to relatives. “The Age of Crypto Currency,” $28 from St. Martin’s Press, also gives us a concise […]

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WATCHING PEOPLE PLAY

In our favorite non-violent action game is Peggle, a kind of cartoon pinball game. We once made a move so cool we would have liked to share it with others. Now the instant replay feature of the free game service “Raptr” lets you save video clips of your game play in any length up to 20 minutes. You could use your clips to start your own video channel online. There is a surprising large number of people who like to see video game replays.

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THE NUMBERS REPORT

American homes gained a billion more electronic gadgets between 2010 and 2013, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, but national electricity consumption declined by 12 percent. New electronic devices, including TVs and computers, use less energy then older models. So buying new equipment is “green,” as they say. Meanwhile … all those devices are clogging up something else: Smart phone apps account for 25 percent of all Internet traffic, according to a recent report by Kleiner Perkins. An increasing amount of that traffic is for shopping: buying things from your cell phone will reach $100 billion this year, according to Forrester Research.

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“MORGS” PULL IN 190 MILLION

More than thirty years ago, when you bought a home computer it was to play games. You could write on some — Bob wrote his first book on an Apple 2 — but basically they were used to play games.

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THE NUMBERS REPORT

We’ve never started a column with a “Numbers Report” before. This is a frequent subject in our column but always placed well down. But some numbers have become so extraordinary in recent times, that they are worth talking about right up front. Such is the case with web sites.

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SMILE

Pretty soon we’ll all be on candid camera. Facebook users upload 350 million photos a day. That’s over 200,000 pictures a minute. It’s running about 120 billion a year currently and accelerating constantly. In the two years since the company went public, they’ve accumulated 250 billion photos, one-fourth of a trillion.

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THE NUMBERS REPORT

BitWage.co  surveyed 150 companies to find out how they felt about paying employees in Bitcoins. Thirty eight responded. Half said they’d considered it. Four are doing it.

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NO DRONING IN THE PARK

The National Park Service has banned the use of drones in Yosemite and Zion National Parks. Bob wonders if they can legally do that? If even the FAA hasn’t decided on drone restrictions yet, what gives the Park Service the right to make laws?

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