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April 30, 2013

Technology News Briefs — April 30, 2013

Microsoft Pokes Fun at Samsung, Apple With Lumia 920 Ad

Microsoft is using a little humor in its new ad that not only promotes the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows phone, but pokes fun at chief rivals Samsung and Apple.

The ad is set at a wedding, seemingly with iPhone users seated on one side and Samsung Galaxy users on the other side. The trouble starts when a Samsung user stands up to take a picture of the bride and groom exchanging vows.

“Excuse me, would you mind moving your enormous phone,” one of the Apple fans quips.

From there, insults are tossed back and forth and then an all-out brawl erupts that destroys the wedding cake and hors d’eouvres table.

Meanwhile, two members of the waiting staff (a man and a woman) stand in the middle of the melee looking perplexed.

“Do you think if they knew about the new Nokia Lumia, they’d stop fighting all the time?” the man asks.

“I don’t know. I think they kind of like fighting,” the woman replies as the pair take pictures of the brouhaha with their Lumia 920s.

The ad ends with the message: Don’t fight. Switch.

This is not the first time Microsoft or Nokia has bashed the competition with their advertising.

While the commercial will give most people a laugh, it is unlikely to have a huge impact on Windows Phone sales.



QR Scanning No Longer Domain of the Young

QR scanning — once most popular with the younger set — is gaining popularity with older adults.

According to data released by ScanBuy, the 45 and above age group is the fastest growing group of scanners. Since 2012, the 45-54 group has risen to an 18 percent share of all QR scanners, from 12 percent, while the 55 and older has jumped to 14 percent from nine percent. Those two groups, combined with the 35-44 age bracket, were responsible for 57 percent of all scans in the first quarter of 2013.

The only dip came from the 25-34 crowd. In the first quarter of 2012, that age group comprised 35 percent of all mobile barcode scanners —a number that has since dropped to 25 percent.

ScanBuy also noted that QR code scanners continue to be predominantly male — 65 percent. For operating systems, 57 percent of scans are done with Android devices and 41 percent with iOS devices.

Path Surpasses 10M Member Mark

Path may be all about privacy, but the firm’s CEO and co-founder Dave Morin has gone public to share its latest milestone with the world.

More than 10 million people are now using the private social-networking iOS and Android apps.

Path, which made its debut two years ago, is described as “the modern journal for the modern age” — in other words, users can keep a journal while on-the-go.

The app also supports member-to-member messaging with words, voice, photos and stickers by artists such as David Lanham, Hugh MacLeod, and Richard Perez.

Path also allows users to post from its app directly to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr.

Path, which is headquartered in San Francisco, is currently the sixth most popular app in the U.S., according to Apple’s App Store.