The Promise of 5G Will Fuel Growth in IOT Devices and Streaming Video New Report Claims

The Promise of 5G Will Fuel Growth in IOT Devices and Streaming Video New Report Claims

Our digital lives have already been taken over by the smartphone. According to a Ericsson Mobility Report,  over the next decade, mobile devices and other smart gadgets will continue to grow in prominence. Both video, the internet, and mobile internet usage is expected to rise in prominence.

Between 2015 and 2021, the IoT space will maintain a hefty compound annual growth rate of 23 percent. IoT devices are set to overtake mobile in the connected devices category by 2018, according to Ericsson.

The introduction of 5G networks is part of this growth, which is expected to launch at some point in 2020.

Video is set to play an increasingly important role in our mobile lives.  Video will account for as much as 70 percent of mobile traffic, Ericsson forecasts that by 2021.

That’s hardly surprising, considering the emphasis being placed on video by internet service providers and mobile carriers.  For example, T-Mobile, offers unlimited video streaming to its mobile network subscribers on select services.

Between 2014 and 2015, video watching on smartphones went up a huge 127 percent.  Interestingly during the same period, there was a 50-percent decline in television watching among teens.

People in the 30-35 age range spend four more hours on average watching TV than do teens, something that has remained true since 2011.

What video services are people watching?  Leading the pack is YouTube, accounting for between 50 and 70 percent of video traffic.

The size of devices has an impact on the types of videos being watched.  For example, tablets are generally used for watching longer videos, while tablets and smartphones are used equally used for watching short videos.

Teens tend to use Wi-Fi more often.  They are also more willing to pay to access the internet.

The survey showed that 63 percent of teens were willing to pay more for better internet speeds, which is greater than any other age bracket.  On the flip side, they are rarely the ones that are actually paying for the service.

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Next Generation TV’s 2015 and beyond

Next Generation TV’s 2015 and beyond
 All the big TV manufacturers were showcasing the latest in television sets technology at this year’s 2015 CES show.  Here are the highlights of the latest and greatest TV technology coming to your 2015

The TV winners for 2015

4K is all the rage

1080p sets will still be out there, but TV makers want you to buy 4K sets, despite a current lack of content and marginal increase in image quality for most viewers. If you’re going to buy a TV in 2015, you will be hard-pressed to find sets that don’t support 4K resolution (3840×2160 pixels).

Consumers are going to have to evaluate whether they want to pay a premium for some of the higher-end display technology, like 4K TV technology. Samsung ssentially abandoning OLED in favor of quantum dot technology by introducing it under the moniker SUHD TV.  Quantum dots are nanomaterials that are designed to absorb light of one color and emit it as another color. By applying of film of this material to the back of the screen, TV manufacturers are able to produce an improved color gamut and saturation at a lower cost than OLED.

It is going to be at least another year or two until manufacturing costs on OLED come down and bring it in to the mainstream. OLED remains the most expensive display technology out there, and while it was at this year’s show, it was primarily LG pushing new OLED sets.

4K video cameras like the Sony 4K Handycam and other professional video cameras on display should gradually ease the current lack of native 4K content.  In order to benefit from the very high resolution of a 4K, there is a need for more content and content creation tools.

tv 2015Curved screens

With Samsung even showing a giant 105″ bendable display most TV makers are pushing curved screens as a premium option, . We believe PC users will have a large interest in curved multi-monitor setup, however we remain skeptical of the value of a curved display to the typical living room viewer.

Smart TV Operating Systems battles

CES 2015 was a bad year for Google’s Android TV operating system, with a number of big manufacturers charting their own course to prevent Google’s dominance in the living room.  TV makers are quietly fighting an OS battle for their TV sets, with a number of manufacturers diverging from Android while others double-down on it.

In the most interesting twist of 2015, Panasonic introduced the first TVs built with the Firefox OS.    Sony re-emphasized their use of Android TV, touting familiarity of Android to smartphone users. Sharp also continues using Android. LG is committed to WebOS. Samsung debuted its new Smart TV OS based on the company’s in-house Linux distribution, Tizen.

short projectorSony short throw projectors

On display in the Sony Life Space UX living room demo area, our favorite TV technology from CES 2015 were the Sony short throw projectors.  Usually a video projector needs to be 6′-8′ away from its screen to project a massive image, meaning you’ve got to mount the projector someone on the ceiling. A short throw projector is able to accomplish the same thing from a couple inches away from the wall from a tiny form factor.

Sony’s demo showed a tiny projector that is able to create a 22″-71″ screen on any wall or even in the shower. The living room version was unbelievable. A modest pedestal just a couple inches from the wall was able to cast a giant 66″-147″ 4K image on the wall.  A ceiling-mounted version in a bedroom was no bigger than a standard light fixture and projected a giant screen right on the ceiling above a bed.

2015 Losers

3D TV is a thing of the past

3D glasses or demos were conspicuously absent from the show floor. We attended all of the press conferences from the major TV manufacturers (Panasonic, Sharp, LG, Sony, Samsung ) and didn’t hear a word about 3D. Given the huge hype that 3D TV got at CES in year’s past, I think it’s fair to say that 3D TV is dead.

What’s on the next horizon

8K teasers

Hovering in all of the major TV manufacturers’ booths were 8K sets (7680 x 4320 pixels). Little was said about these super high resolution sets, other than as exotic display pieces. While TV manufacturers may master the creation of 8K sets, it is hard to imagine the content creation infrastructure catching up to that resolution any time soon, as they are just getting started creating 4K content.

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Amazon Launches New Prime Music With Little Buzz

Amazon Launches New Prime Music With Little Buzz

Amazon launches Prime Music servie

On Thursday, Amazon launched it’s new Prime Music service.  So far, it has not been able to generate a lot of hype and excitement from the user community. As a Amazon Prime member I’m excited about the addition of the new service to my current Prime subscription.  From a business standpoint, many industry “experts” are not as positive. How do industry experts and analysts feel about this music streaming service of the e-commerce giant?

Industry Experts Reaction to Amazon’s Prime Music Service

Jon Fortt, of CNBC, was asked if the addition of music streaming to Prime package was enough to move the needle and he said that it’s enough to keep the needle from moving backwards. This tells a lot of things about the brand new launched service. Fortt went on to say that the service is only good if someone wants to listen to the music of 90s.

A joke is how Gene Munster, MD of Piper Jaffray called the Prime Music service.  Munster also said that over a period of time,, Inc. might make it better as they have done with Prime Instant video but it’s not usable currently.  He compared it’s collection of songs with Spotify’s one and said that 1 million songs don’t stand a chance against 20 million.

In contract to Fortt and Munster, Henry Blodget, Business Insider CEO & editor-in-chief was on CNBC’s Squawk Alley recently and he was looking very positive and optimistic about the Prime package as a whole. He also said that this music streaming option with the other services makes the prime package fit well and this also fits well with Kindle.  Blodget felt that the music streaming service comes free with the Prime package of, Inc. and when the company would launch the rumored 3D smartphone soon, the package would be more than handy for any books lover who has interest in movies and music too. However he said that Prime Music won’t even compete with Spotify. “It’s not intended to kill anybody else and it’s not as good if you stack it up next to Spotify, but it’s just more in the Amazon product bundle giving you value for that $99 you’re paying them”, Blodget explained.

Amazon Prime (Music) Commercial

Amazon Prime Commercial with music of ‘TUID – Morning Glory’

A lot of analysts feel that the service comes nowhere near to ITunes, Pandora or Spotify.  Prime music just has got 1 million songs and lot of popular artists like Kanye, Jay-Z, Katy Perry would be missing because, Inc. didn’t sign an agreement with UMG and hence the company loses the fans of these popular artists already.

Munster went on saying that, Inc. spends so much on its services and this launch doesn’t impact its finance much so Prime Music can be seen as an extension to the Prime story and that it would become more measurable in the next few years. Munster also said that as per Piper Jaffray’s analysis Prime grows about 40% per year, which is very good and the biggest reason for most people to get Prime is the “Free 2 Day Shipping”.

So the judgment as the analysts see it is that to launch a serious music streaming service,, Inc. should have signed all the major music labels and without those it won’t be going anywhere. Those who already like Prime won’t abandon the service as they are getting an added benefit for free, however, it’s not going to excite a new user to register for Prime just for the music part of it.

I don’t feel that Amazon launched the Prime Music service to immediately ‘knock-out’ any of the current music streaming leaders.  I think it is another add-on to help sell Amazon Prime memberships and to keep you coming to Amazon first.  Mind-share equals wallet-share in Amazon’s bible. continues to do an impressive job at dominating the consumers mind and especially wallet share.

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How to Using a ModalPopupExtender in a SharePoint Webpart Class

How to Using a ModalPopupExtender in a SharePoint Webpart Class

Almost all of the examples on how to use the Ajax Control Toolkit ModalPopupExtender are done in ASP.Net, however in this example I’ll explain how to use this control in a SharePoint Webpart with all of the code living in the class.

For our purpose here this example assumes that you have already intergrated the Ajax Control Toolkit with your SharePoint environment.

First create the target control which is going to be used to show the modal view. In my example I made the button invisible because I plan to show the modal on page load. If you haven’t already done so, also add the System.Web.Extensions reference to your project:

Button btn = new Button();
btn.Attributes.Add(“style”, “display: none”);
btn.Text = “Show Modal”;
btn.ID = “btn”;

Next, create you ModalPopupExtender

AjaxControlToolkit.ModalPopupExtender mp = newAjaxControlToolkit.ModalPopupExtender();
mp.CancelControlID = “CancelBTN”;
mp.OkControlID = “OkBTN”;
mp.PopupControlID = “ModalPanel”;
mp.PopupDragHandleControlID = “ModalHeader”;
mp.BackgroundCssClass = “ModalPopupBG”;
mp.TargetControlID = “btn”;

Now create the main panel for your modal view as well as the DIV’s for the main body content

Panel pan = new Panel();
pan.Attributes[“display”] = “none”;
pan.Attributes[“id”] = “ModalPanel”;

HtmlGenericControlDivMain = new HtmlGenericControl(“div”);
DivMain.Attributes[“class”] = “Container”;

HtmlGenericControl div1 = new HtmlGenericControl(“div”);
div1.Attributes[“id”] = “PopupHeader”;
div1.Attributes[“class”] = “PopupHeader”;
LiteralHeaderText = new Literal();
HeaderText.Text = “<p>ALERT</p>”;

HtmlGenericControl div2 = new HtmlGenericControl(“div”);
div2.Attributes[“id”] = “PopupBody”;
div2.Attributes[“class”] = “PopupBody”;
LiteralBodyText = new Literal();
BodyText.Text = “<p>This is a simple modal dialog</p>”;

HtmlGenericControl div3 = new HtmlGenericControl(“div”);
div3.Attributes[“id”] = “PopupBody”;
div3.Attributes[“class”] = “PopupBody”;
LiteralControlText = new Literal();
ControlText.Text = “<input id=’ReviewBTN’ type=’button’ value=’Okay’ /><input id=’DismissBTN’
type=’button’ value=’Dismiss’ />”;


Now add your controls to the webpart


// I execute this on load, however it can be applied to an action on the target control button

Here are the styles I used for the modal

background-color: #666699;
filter: alpha(opacity=50);
opacity: 0.7;

background-color: #5e8cc5;
padding: 5px 15x 5px 15px;
font-family: Arial;
font-weight: bold;
font-size: 12px;
color: #FFFFFF;
padding: 1px;

padding: 5px 15px 5px 15px;
font-family: Arial;
font-weight: bold;
font-size: 12px;
color: #000000;
clear: both;

background-color: #ebf4fe;
border: 2px solid #000000;
padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px;

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Create A Simple Org Chart Using SharePoint, PeopleSoft and Google Visualizations

Create A Simple Org Chart Using SharePoint, PeopleSoft and Google Visualizations

If your organization is anything like mine, you have a collection of Org Charts from every department.  Most of them are formatted differently and all of them get out-of-date pretty quickly.  Sure, there are tons of third party solutions, but they all assume that you:

a. Keep all of your organizational information in Active Directory or

b. Don’t mind duplicating (and maintaining) your organizational information in yet another system.

Well, neither of those was true for us.

What I plan to show in this post is a simple approach to create a completely dynamic Org Chart using SharePoint, PeopleSoft, and Google Visualization.  If you don’t use PeopleSoft, don’t worry, these can be EASILY modified to use your data source of choice.

What You Need:

  1. Access to a view of the PeopleSoft data that contains the ID of each employee and that of their manager.
  2. SharePoint Designer
  3. Ability to create a Stored Procedure.
  4. Basic knowledge of XSL, Javascript, and CSS won’t hurt.


  1. Create a stored procedure to recursively retrieve managers and their staff, accepting a parameter for the Employee ID of the top level manager you are looking for and Level <= 2 means give me 2 levels below the top level manager:
    WITH DirectReports (Name, ReportsTo, Position, JobTitle, EmployeeID, Level)
           0 AS Level
        FROM [PeopleSoft].[WhoReportsToWhoView] AS rtw
        WHERE EmployeeID = @EmployeeID 
           Level + 1
        FROM [PeopleSoft].[WhoReportsToWhoView] AS rtw
        INNER JOIN DirectReports AS d ON rtw.ReportsTo = d.Position
       dr2.EmployeeID as ReportsTo
    FROM DirectReports as dr
    DirectReports as dr2 ON dr.ReportsTo = dr2.Position Where dr.Level <= 2
  2. From SharePoint Designer create a SQL DataSource for the Stored Procedure above, passing in the EmployeeID paramter as a querystring parameter. You should be able to Google that, it is pretty well documented.  Sorry, I can’t hold your hand forever.
  3. Download this XSLT file and add it to your SharePoint Style Library:
  4. From SharePoint Designer add a Data View WebPart to the page. Set the XSLT path to that of the newly uploaded file.
  5. Viola! You should end up with something similar to the image below.  Just click on any employee to drill down into his/her organization.

To learn more about the inner-workings and various options of Google Visualization, check out Google’s documentation.

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How to Embedding a PDF Object in a SharePoint 2010 Web part using C#

How to Embedding a PDF Object in a SharePoint 2010 Web part using C#

Recently I was assigned the task of displaying a PDF in a SharePoint Web part. I figured it’d be easy enough to display it in an <iframe> or simply embed it on the page, but unfortunately my assumption couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Attempting to load the PDF in an <iframe>

Quite simply, and by default, SharePoint does not allow users to automatically open documents within a browser window. There is a setting on the web application called Browser File Handling, which if set to Permissive is supposed to allow documents to open within the browser. Alas, this setting does not afford the ability to view PDFs within the browser window. Also, within the Document Library, there’s a setting called Opening Documents in the Browser, which defaults to opening files within the browser anyway… So SharePoint is working against us.

Using the <embed /> tag

The <embed /> tag was deprecated for XHTML in favor of the <object> tag, so it’s not “supported” in Visual Studio. There is however a way around this; create a Literal control in C# and then write it to your page at run-time to avoid any compile errors. Upon assigning the src attribute, this strategy proves fruitful as it simply embeds the PDF in the window as desired. This is great, except for the fact that this strategy is completely invalid. I wanted to do one better.

Using the <object> tag

The <object> tag is a not only a valid XHTML control; it’s also supported in Visual Studio. Unfortunately, it requires a Class, ClassID, or ProgID attribute. I wasted hours scouring the web for this specific ClassID, and in the end, I could not locate it. This drove me to create a new strategy; a hybrid of the <embed /> and <object> strategies. This way I can ensure maximum browser support while doing my best to implement valid code.

//Create your URL to the pdf file, including path and URL variables
string url = web.Url + “/” + “DocumentLibrary” + “/” + CurrentMonday.ToString(“MM-dd-yyyy”) + “.pdf” +
//Establish Literal control
Literal l1 = new Literal();
//Write the Object code to the Literal
l1.Text = “<object id=’AcrobatFrame’ type=’application/pdf’ classid=’clsid:CA8A9780-280D-11CF-A24D-444553540000′ width=’711′ height=’956′><param name=’src’ value=’” + url + “‘ /><a href=’” + url + “‘>Click here to download “ + CurrentMonday.ToString(“MM-dd-yyyy”) + “.pdf</a></object>”;
//Add the Literal to the Page

Acrobat URL variables

In the code above you can see that I am passing URL variables to define what application components are visible and the zoom of the pdf. This way I can set a static height and width for the object because I know the size of the document will always be the same. See a list of all URL variables.


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