Business technology

March 19, 2022

Canadians pay top dollar for mobile apps

North American consumers pay much more for mobile phone applications than people in any part of the world, according to a new study by wireless consultant Chetan Sharma.

Last year, smart phone users paid roughly $1.90 per app, compared with less than 20 cents in many other regions where developers are still struggling to effectively monetize app momentum, the study says.

The good news: Between now and 2012, mobile app prices are forecast to decrease by roughly a third, Sharma predicts, largely because of the anticipated increase in volume.

The number of apps downloaded onto handsets is expected to increase to nearly 50 billion in 2012, compared to just over 7 billion downloads in 2009. 

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March 15, 2022

Attention shoppers: Please answer your cell phone

The next time your cell phone beeps, don't be surprised if it's a digital coupon rather than your mother.

Retailers are excited by the target-marketing possibilities of electronically delivering personalized offers to your phone.

Annoying? Perhaps, but if you’re so inclined using that voucher just got a whole lot easier.  

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March 08, 2022

Workplace changes to expect this year

2010 will be marked by several changes in the evolving relationship between those who work and those who pay to have work done, says Tamara Erickson, author of Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation.

The approaches companies use to respond to difficult business conditions don't only affect the company, they leave a lasting impression on the workers and their teen-age children, who draw conclusions for their career strategy based on their parents' experience.

In her view, prominent workplace trends throughout 2010 include:

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February 22, 2022

Smartphones improve productivity but not manners

Handheld devices may make workers more productive but they haven't made their offices any more pleasant, a recent Robert Half Technology survey suggests.

Asked how the growing use of mobile gadgets such as smartphones and other electronic devices is affecting workplace etiquette, 42% of Canadian CIOs said the number of breaches has definitely increased. Only 6% felt they had fallen. 

To some, the use of BlackBerrys and iPhones in meetings is anathema. So much so that nearly 20% of workers claim they've been reprimanded by their employers or fellow workers for showing bad manners with their wireless device, reports Hotjobs.

Despite resistance, the etiquette debate seems to be tilting in the favour of smartphone use, prompting Robert Half's Megan Slabinski to identify the worst types of tech-etiquette offenders.

Check and see if they remind you of anybody you know.

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February 12, 2022

Works well with others

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Fed up with working out of your living room and escaping to coffee shops with unreliable wireless and dirty washrooms? Then it’s probably time to check out that drop-in office space down the street. 

Not to be confused with fax-heavy business centers, this type of service, more formally known as co-working, lets mobile workers rent space in a more open, communal setting. Rates start at around $195 for a once-a-week drop-in slot and go up to $595 a month for a private desk.

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February 05, 2022

New debate over Facebook 'friending'

By James Havers, Sympatico / MSN Finance 

Anyone on Facebook has been faced with teems of 'friend requests' by old friends, colleagues and acquaintances. It's a natural occurrence in the social networking boom often met with enthusiasm over the prospect of reconnecting.
While everyone has been faced with the dull prospect of 'declining' such a request, there have been ethical questions raised over 'friending' certain individuals. Should you reach out to work colleagues? Business partners? Old spouses?

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February 03, 2022

Why your computer is at risk

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Hmmm, no emails today about fake Rolexes or nonexistent bank accounts that need checking. What am I going to do?

Spam levels dropped sharply after rogue hosting firm McColo was shut down by its upstream ISPs late last year. But two months later, its replacements are once again churning out even more messages from hell.

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January 12, 2022

Automakers seek their inner tree-hugger

By Deirdre McMurdy, Sympatico / MSN Finance

It's hard not to be cynical about the huge cloak of green that's suddenly enfolding the North American automotive industry.

Against a backdrop of oil hovering below US$40 a barrel, the Detroit Auto Show has opened, showcasing the new, improved models from the Big Three carmakers. Although they didn't seem to find it possible to promote green and energy-efficient vehicles when oil prices were soaring, now that prices have collapsed, electric-powered Cadillacs and cross-overs suddenly abound.

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December 17, 2021

An Apple a day doesn't keep rumour away

By Deirdre McMurdy, Sympatico / MSN Finance

How much is a human life worth? Well, if you're Steve Jobs you're apparently worth about $20 billion in the market capitalization of the company you run.

With today's new that the founding CEO of Apple will not make his annual speech at the upcoming MacWorld event, persistent rumours about Mr. Jobs' health have re-surfaced. Apple's stock was down about five per cent even before the rumours began swirling again when someone noticed that he wasn't a confirmed speaker on the agenda.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...