Apple’s iTunes U hits the 1B download mark

Gigaom

Apple’s(s AAPL) iTunes U education initiative hit 1 billion cumulative downloads, the company said Thursday. The service, which provides free access to lectures, videos, and course materials to teachers and educational groups, has been around since 2007. But it got a boost a year ago when Apple introduced a dedicated iTunes U app to go along with its iPad-oriented educational initiative, which included an iBooks authoring tool that would help textbook companies and educators create learning material.

Compared to some of Apple’s other software, 1 billion downloads in nearly six years may not seem like such a big deal. (The iOS App Store hit 40 billion downloads this year, less than five years in.) But the service is picking up steam. Apple released some other numbers as well that illustrate the size and scope of iTunes U:

  • More than 1,200 colleges are using iTunes U
  • 1,200 K-12 “schools and districts”…

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Gartner: Public cloud services to hit $131B by 2017

Gigaom

Trying to assess the size of any or all of the cloud computing market is like tacking Jello to the wall so thank God someone — Gartner(s it) — attempts it.

gartnerlogoIn a new report, the big researcher estimates that the public cloud market overall will grow 18.5 percent, to $131 billion, in 2017 from $111 billion in 2012. Under this broad umbrella term for public cloud services, Gartner includes the usual suspects — Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) a la Amazon(s amzn) and the growing crowd of OpenStack-based public cloud providers.

The public cloud IaaS and file and storage represents the fastest growing part of public cloud services, growing 42.4 percent in 2012 alone to $6.1 billion. With growth accelerating to 47.3 percent, it’s expected to hit $9 billion in 2013. Gartner research director Ed Anderson said that’s happening as more companies go beyond the usual development and test…

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Why Marissa Mayer has it wrong

adventureswiththepooh

Once again, Marissa Mayer disappoints me. Yahoo just announced that employees would no longer be permitted to work from home as of June.

This signals a major step backwards for working parents. If a typical male technology CEO made this decision, there would be outrage, of course. But to come from a new mother  who is a CEO? It feels like a sucker punch – and hardly believable. Yet there it is.

There are many industries where you must be at work in person, but technology is not one of them.  As a marketing consultant to an international software company, I have worked both remotely and in the office. There are definitely professional and social benefits to being in the office, but I have found that the physical location of my workspace does not affect my productivity or creativity.

Today, I work exclusively from home. I use my time efficiently…

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Provocative or just inappropriate? Ad campaign takes Hennessy down a rabbit hole.

Gods of Advertising

HEN_2961_WR_GQ_DPS.indd
“if you go chasing rabbits…you know you’re going to fall.”

“What’s your wild rabbit?” is the enigmatic question posed in Hennessy’ ad campaign from revered agency Droga5. I’ve seen these ads for some time now on marquee billboards, in national magazines, even as films. And while I admire agency and client for going all-in with a high concept (clients typically insist on showing drinkers drinking) I don’t get it. Not really.

Yes, of course, on a poetic level I know what the copy is saying: that the “wild rabbit” is a metaphor for your passion. And, because liquor ads are never wrong about these things, we’re supposed to find ours. Masculine icons like filmmaker Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver) and fighter Manny Pacquiao reveal what their wild rabbits are. In some ads the body copy overtly describes what the “wild rabbit” is: “It’s the voice that keeps…

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