Heartbleed Exposes a Problem With Open Source, But It’s Not What You Think


heartbleed-orange(Image: Mashable)

A week after the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability wreaked havoc across the web, the conversation is shifting from reaction to reflection. The discussion is no longer about what to do now, but what can be done to prevent another Heartbleed from happening in the future. In other words, we’re entering the blame game chapter in this saga.

So who is to blame for Heartbleed?

If OpenSSL, the software package at the root of the vulnerability, were a piece of commercial software, we could blame the company behind the app. In fact, when Apple released an emergency patch for its own SSL/TLS bug back in February, the company was scrutinized by security experts, programmers and pundits a like.

But OpenSSL isn’t a commercial program. It’s an open-source project maintained by a small group of committers and volunteers.

Because OpenSSL is open source, there isn’t an immediate figure or organization to blame. Are we really going to blame unpaid software engineers who commit to a project that 66% of the Internet uses for free?

So if you can’t blame an entity — the first recourse for some — is the model of open-source software itself to blame?

Linus’s Law Didn’t Fail

Over the last 15 years, open-source software has developed a reputation for being secure and reliable. Open-source code can actually be more reliable than proprietary (or, closed-source) code because there are more users looking at it to find bugs and security holes.

In Eric S. Raymond’s seminal essay on open source, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, he defines Linus’s Law (named for the father of the Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds), which states that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” In other words. If enough users are looking at the code, bugs and problems will be found.

Raymond argues that this distinction is one of the reasons that open-source software is inherently safer than proprietary code. After all, it has more people looking at it, capable of finding and repairing bugs.

In the wake of Heartbleed and other open-source security failures, some have questioned whether Linus’s Law still holds true.

The argument is that if this was a commercially backed project with a well-funded development team of full-time professionals, rather than the volunteers and committers that currently make-up OpenSSL, the coding process and auditing process would have better.

But we can’t know that. Apple’s SSL/TLS bug (which was much smaller than the Heartbleed bug in both scope and in threat), existed for more than a year before Apple engineers found the bug and released patches. Yes, that library was also open source, but it was maintained by Apple employees, and Apple had to approve any outside contributions.

I summarized my thoughts on what Heartbleed means for open source on Twitter last week:

Captura de Tela (17)

Although I disagree with Raymond that open source is inherently more secure than other types of code, I agree with him that Heartbleed does not refute Linus’ Law. Yes, the Heartbleed bug went unidentified for more than two years, but it was caught — and caught by two different parties — because the code was open.

Heartbleed is not a failure of open source, at least not the way you may think. There is absolutely no reason to believe that Heartbleed happened because it was an open-source project powered by volunteers.

But if Heartbleed doesn’t refute Linus’s Law, that doesn’t mean that this situation still doesn’t put the spotlight on what really can hamper an open-source project: Lack of resources.

Open Source

One of the hallmarks of open-source software — in fact, a big part of its appeal — is that it is free to use and modify.

Open-source software isn’t always “free as in beer” (as Free Software Foundation leader and GNU founder Richard Stallman likes to say), but more often than not, companies don’t have to pay anything to access or implement open-source code into their projects.

In fact, it’s this “free” aspect that has led to the mass adoption of open-source in various industries. Although proprietary software (or software that is a mix of proprietary and open-source) still dominates many industries — open source has really found its place on the web.

Microsoft might be the world’s largest software maker, but most web servers don’t run Windows; they run Linux and a web server application such as Apache or Nginx. Why? Because Microsoft charges for its software. For a small business, running Linux might translate into relatively small savings. As a business grows, however, those savings can become quite substantial.

If Facebook or Google had to pay a license for every server or virtual server it operates — and another license for its web server — its business plan would be completely different.

This is even more true when open-source software — especially related to servers and security — has a track record that is as good or better than proprietary solutions.

Beyond that, the great thing about open source is that anyone can take a project or part of a project and build something else on top of it. And depending on the license, those changes often have to be shared with everyone else. That often leads to even better results.

But of course, nothing is really free. Maintaining and supporting software — open source or not — has a cost. Major (as in popular in size and in scope) open-source projects are generally funded in three ways:

  1. Donations from individuals, volunteers (by time or coding abilities) and non-profits.
  2. The project is funded and steered by a commercial entity or entities.
  3. Corporations who use and benefit from the project hire employees who are dedicated to working on the project full-time.

The Debian Linux distribution is funded by volunteers and by non-profit donations. It is one of the few completely community driven projects without a corporate sponsor.

Ubuntu, another Linux distribution (which is based on Debian), is sponsored by Canonical. Volunteers still make up a big part of the project, but Canonical ensures that full-time employees are paid.

Red Hat was one of the first companies to build a successful business off of open-source and free software. Although it makes the source code for its projects available to everyone, it sells software and service contracts for its flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other products. Red Hat also sponsors community projects such as Fedora and CentOS.

Companies including Red Hat and IBM also donate employees to work full-time on important projects, including the Linux Kernel.

The WebKit project, which is the basis for the Safari browser (and until 2013, Google Chrome), is sponsored and maintained by Apple.

Over the last 15 years, most companies that benefit tremendously from open source — including but not limited to Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, Cisco and Twitter — also give back code, employee time and money to the projects that are most important to their business and product.

But not every project gets the type of attention or funding that it needs.

OpenSSL: Used By Many, Supported By Few

As the defacto SSL/TLS cryptographic stack on the web, it might be easy to think that OpenSSL has tons of support.

After all, as we’ve learned from Heartbleed — it’s not just web servers that use OpenSSL. Routers (big, expensive, high-end routers), firewalls, smartphones and other connected devices all use OpenSSL.

If the number of people that relied on a project — and its importance to the overall web — was proportionally related to the amount of support a project has, OpenSSL would be well-funded and have a heft of full-time paid employees and maintainers.

It’s not.

OpenSSL, a project that runs on 66% of all web servers, has just one full-time employee. One.

It gets worse. In the five years since the OpenSSL Software Foundation (OSF) was created — as a way to help sustain the OpenSSL project — this important project has never received more than $1 million in gross revenue a year.

Pure donations to the project are almost non-existent. Steve Marquess, the OpenSSL contributor who handles the business aspects of the OSF, addressed the current situation on his blog. According to Marquess, the foundation typically gets just $2,000 a year in donations.

Marquess writes (emphasis ours):

Even if those donations continue to arrive at the same rate indefinitely (they won’t), and even though every penny of those funds goes directly to OpenSSL team members, it is nowhere near enough to properly sustain the manpower levels needed to support such a complex and critical software product. While OpenSSL does “belong to the people” it is neither realistic nor appropriate to expect that a few hundred,* or even a few thousand, individuals provide all the financial support. The ones who should be contributing real resources are the commercial companies and governments who use OpenSSL extensively and take it for granted.*

The rest of the money — that under $1 million figure — doesn’t come from volunteered employees or corporate stewardship or even support contracts. It comes from work-for-hire contracts.

That is, companies pay members of the OpenSSL team (there are six core committers — only one of which is able to make OpenSSL his full-time job) $250 an hour to work on a project related to OpenSSL for that company.

Even at $250 an hour, the fact that very few OpenSSL team members exist (which is partially due to the high skill requirements and lack of guaranteed income) means that existing contract work is often unstaffed, and thus, unpaid.

So what’s the solution? Well, Marquess would rather have OpenSSL funded via support contracts. In the footnotes, he writes:

Here’s a plug for one of the most effective ways your corporation can not only support OpenSSL but also receive something of tangible value in return: a software support contract. We have a formal contract with the fine print that lawyers love, and your accounts payable people won’t be all flummoxed at the bizarre notion of giving money away as they’re used to paying for expensive commercial support contracts for proprietary software. Someday you may even encounter an issue with your mission critical use of OpenSSL that could benefit from direct and prompt attention from the people who wrote that code.

He also makes mention of the fact that lots of big companies are already taking advantage of OpenSSL in their commercial products and not contributing back.

I’m looking at you, Fortune 1000 companies. The ones who include OpenSSL in your firewall/appliance/cloud/financial/security products that you sell for profit, and/or who use it to secure your internal infrastructure and communications. The ones who don’t have to fund an in-house team of programmers to wrangle crypto code, and who then nag us for free consulting services when you can’t figure out how to use it. The ones who have never lifted a finger to contribute to the open source community that gave you this gift. You know who you are.

So What’s the Solution?

On Hacker News, some commenters criticized the OSF’s approach of doing contract work as a way to fund the project. I think this is a fair assessment.

A project of the nature of OpenSSL really should be funded by support contracts or by corporate sponsors agreeing to pay the salary of cryptography experts to work on OpenSSL full-time.

With no disrespect intended towards any member of the OpenSSL team or the OSF, part of the problem also appears to be that the project lacks strong leadership — at least in the way that could put a plan in motion to ensure that resources required to keep the project running successfully (and not the part-time gig for a few individuals and the full-time job for one person) are in place.

The OSF itself could also do a better job being transparent about who its sponsors are (and the nature of the projects it works on), as well as doing larger calls for funding and support contracts.

Having said that, because this is not a commercial endeavor, its unfair to hold the project to the same standard as we would a commercial entity. Maybe if companies can’t donate employees to work on the code, they can donate people to help with some of the public-facing and fundraising aspects of the foundation.

I do hope that the largest companies that benefit from OpenSSL — especially those who use the software in their commercial hardware products and security consoles — will see Heartbleed as a wake-up call. Not to abandon OpenSSL and move to a paid solution — but to do a better job giving back to the project and community.

More support could also mean more improvements to the code itself — and to the whole process. Yes, it’s possible that even with a team of well-paid engineers, code auditors and support staff, Heartbleed could still have happened. I would imagine finding this bug would be like trying to find a typo in Ulysses.

The difference is that a better-staffed project would mean that making changes and improvements to the code-auditing and code-review processes would be more feasible. That makes for a better end product, which means that everyone using OpenSSL would have the advantages of a safer, more stable and feature-rich product.

Heartbleed didn’t happen because OpenSSL is open source, it happened because the project wasn’t given the support it needed. Let’s hope that changes. And soon. This project is too important to too many.


Source: Mashable

Escritor projeta colapso do capitalismo e afirma: o que está por vir será melhor

12357_2_LJeremy Rifkin (Imagem: Wikimedia Commons)

SÃO PAULO – As máquinas irão mudar o conceito do que é ser humano. De acordo com o teórico social Jeremy Rifkin, elas irão minar o nosso senso sobre propriedade privada, tirar os nossos trabalhos e nos tornar agentes livres de uma nova ordem global de “economia cooperativa”. Em uma boa medida, essas mudanças irão destruir capitalismo antes da metade do século XXI.

Rifkin acaba de publicar seu novo livro “The Zero Marginal Cost Society”, ou A Sociedade do Custo Marginal Zero, em tradução livre. “Se você está pensando que a sociedade do custo marginal zero pertence ao gênero futurista, que recorre a previsão de eventos extremos para atrair atenção, então você até poderia estar certo. O valor desse livro, contudo, não reside na precisão de suas previsões específicas, mas sim na extrapolação de tendências atuais que Rifkin alcança”, destaca a resenha do Financial Times sobre o livro.

Rifkin vislumbrou um novo futuro, em que o grande destaque fica para a lógica colaborativa da internet, que tomará conta do sistema quase como um todo. O autor ressalta que as máquinas, que sustentam o argumento central do livro, serão autorreplicantes, sendo capazes de produzir suas próprias peças de reposição e serão alimentadas por uma fonte de energia alternativa como o Sol.

Elas serão conectadas pela “internet das coisas”, uma rede de auto-organização que lhes permite operar como parte de uma nova infraestrutura inteligente generalizada, com as máquinas não requerendo nenhum trabalho humano para funcionar. Como resultado, o custo marginal de produção cai perto de zero e, então, tudo se torna livre. Em sua busca por lucro, as empresas terão irrevogavelmente que minar suas próprias margens.

Desta forma, o capitalismo vai ser destruído. Mas não se desespere, aponta Rifkin: em seu lugar, surgirá uma civilização baseada em um novo e mais gratificante cooperativismo. Este movimento ocorre primeiro em indústrias como de entretenimento e internet, mas também fica claro em outros campos.

Rifkin destaca que os lucros corporativos começam a diminuir, os direitos de propriedade estão cada vez mais fracos e uma economia baseada em escassez é substituída por uma economia de abundância. Cursos online e impressoras 3D já são sinais do futuro que está por vir. Além disso, o uso de energias renováveis, que responderão por 80% do sistema de geração até 2040 e de forma totalmente descentralizada, também será um fator preponderante para este novo sistema.

E esses grandes avanços de produtividade devem afetar metade da economia mundial até 2025, como aponta Rifkin.

Assim, as três previsões do autor são o avanço da economia colaborativa, que vai derrubar as maiores empresas mundiais, encolhendo suas margens de lucro, a rede descentralizada de energia e eliminação do trabalho, com as máquinas assumindo o comando. Por outro lado, a economia da abundância fará com que a vida das pessoas seja gratificante, aponta. “Livres da necessidade de ‘ganhar a vida’, as pessoas vão ter mais tempo para o que realmente importa”.

Pode-se fazer algumas contestações sobre a tese do autor. A primeira, é de que o capitalismo é facilmente mutável: quando os lucros estavam evaporando, os monopólios ganharam forças, além de outra forma de aumentar o valor dos negócios.

Em segundo lugar, está os pressupostos que ele usa sobre como a natureza humana vai mudar para acomodar à nova realidade. “Afinal, se tudo é de graça, não se levaria a um materialismo ainda maior que destrói o planeta?”.

Porém, para Rifkin, haverá uma maior harmonia entre as pessoas e o planeta. Com os padrões de vida subindo, as taxas de natalidade em partes mais pobres do mundo tendem a cair, até chegar a um nível sustentável. Futuros alternativos parecer igualmente plausíveis: os milhões que saem de extrema pobreza nos países em desenvolvimento poderiam encontrar-se em um mundo de oportunidades limitadas.

As previsões de Rifkin são polêmicas e trazem à tona diversas discussões sobre tecnologia. Como lidar com as consequências, é algo que só o futuro pode apontar.


Fonte: InfoMoney

Office politics: Microsoft comes back to reality

2014-03-26_22-57-17.0_standard_800.0Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO (Photo @ The Verge)

On his 52nd day as Microsoft’s chief executive officer, Satya Nadella took the stage to present the world as Microsoft sees it. Life today, Nadella said, is “mobile-first and cloud-first.” As Nadella tells it, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to thrive in that world — because it alone understands the needs of people, their employers, and the developers who build devices for both. “That’s where we’re headed together,” he wrote in a blog post after the event. “Into a world where the devices you love work with the services you love in a way that IT and developers love.”


Left unsaid is that the world Nadella describes is also one in which Microsoft, after years of chasing the tectonic shift to mobile devices, can lead again — by helping other businesses navigate the shift to mobile devices that threatened to derail Microsoft itself. Former CEO Steve Ballmer saw Windows as the center of the world, and the story of Microsoft was the operating system’s unstoppable march around the globe. At a small news event in San Francisco today, Nadella formally acknowledged a changed world: one where our computing is more likely to be done on a device made by a competitor than one branded with the Microsoft logo. “There is no trade-off; it’s reality for us,” Nadella said as he pledged to bring Microsoft services to customers whatever platform they use. “What motivates us is the realities of our customers.”

Microsoft’s reality check has so far been a hit with investors and consumers, who lit up Twitter in response to the event’s marquee news: the belated arrival of Office for iPad, which brings the company’s iconic productivity suite to tens of millions of Apple users. But the demonstration quickly moved on to products of interest mostly to enterprises and information-technology professionals: Enterprise Mobility Suite, a kind of Facebook Connect for businesses that manages employees’ devices and data access; and (gulp) Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium, which lets businesses create online portals for employees to download apps for work.

And after four years of other developers building productivity tools for tablets, even Office for iPad feels more like an enterprise offering than a consumer one. At $99 a year for access to Office 365, which grants you access to Office applications on any platform you like, the software is positioned as an industrial-grade tool that you’d be unlikely to purchase without a vital business need.


Julia White

But in a nod to those “realities” Nadella spoke of, you can use Office to read and present your documents for free. “We want to make sure that everyone can have a taste of what Office is great for, and why people love it,” said Julia White, Office’s general manager, in an interview with The Verge. “But we also wanted to add value for our Office 365 subscribers. We felt like that was the right balance.” It’s a move that’s both more practical and more aspirational than we have seen from Microsoft in some time: a vision of a world where Microsoft thrives even when Windows is not at the center of it, and even if its own phones and tablets remain also-rans compared to devices running Android and iOS.

Microsoft under Nadella appears poised to remain a highly visible consumer brand, driven by customer loyalty to products like Office, Xbox, and Skype. (Next week, at the Build conference, we’ll hear more about the future of Windows — and perhaps more about where Nadella’s strategy leaves Windows 8 and Windows Phone, which can no longer rely on exclusive Office access to lure customers.) Notably, in his first major address as Microsoft’s CEO, Nadella scarcely mentioned any of those things. Instead he focused on Office and enterprise tools, a sign that this company will increasingly make its profits from selling tools to other businesses. There may not be a lot of excitement around “enterprise mobility,” but there are significant profits to be made there — and Microsoft, with the products it announced today, is primed to reap them.

Nadella appeared calm and smiling throughout the event, and in a further show of confidence, hung out for a few minutes afterward to take questions from journalists. (Most of them wanted to know why Office for iPad had taken so long.) When a reporter asked how all these changes would affect Microsoft’s bottom line, Nadella said he “would leave it to Wall Street to do the analysis.” But make no mistake — Nadella has already made his analysis. More than its peers, the company’s future lies in the intersection of work and play. And if it’s still not totally clear how Nadella will get Microsoft there, he may have at least identified a winning direction.


Source: The Verge

A ‘crisis’ in online Ads: One-third of traffic is bogus

MK-CK997_MARKET_ER_20140323181354Ilustration: David Plunkert

Billions of dollars are flowing into online advertising. But marketers also are confronting an uncomfortable reality: rampant fraud.

About 36% of all Web traffic is considered fake, the product of computers hijacked by viruses and programmed to visit sites, according to estimates cited recently by the Interactive Advertising Bureau trade group.

So-called bot traffic cheats advertisers because marketers typically pay for ads whenever they are loaded in response to users visiting Web pages—regardless of whether the users are actual people.

The fraudsters erect sites with phony traffic and collect payments from advertisers through the middlemen who aggregate space across many sites and resell the space for most Web publishers. The identities of the fraudsters are murky, and they often operate from far-flung places such as Eastern Europe, security experts say.

The widespread fraud isn’t discouraging most marketers from increasing the portion of their ad budgets spent online. But it is prompting some to become more aggressive in monitoring how their money is spent. The Internet has become so central to consumers, that advertisers can’t afford to stay away.

Digital “is too important,” says Roxanne Barretto, assistant vice president for U.S. digital marketing at L’Oréal SA, which recently uncovered evidence that an online ad purchase was affected by fraud and other problems. “Slowing down spend represents a missed opportunity to connect with our core audience.”

Spending on digital advertising—which includes social media and mobile devices—is expected to rise nearly 17% to $50 billion in the U.S. this year. That would be about 28% of total U.S. ad spending. Just five years ago, digital accounted for 16%.

The big question is whether attitudes will change if signs of fraud increase. Many people in the ad business are worried. Ziff Davis Inc. Chief Executive Vivek Shah, the chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, said at the group’s annual conference last month that Internet advertising was facing a “crisis.”

Several big advertisers—including L’Oréal, General Motors Co. and Verizon Communications Inc. —have found that some of their online ad purchases were affected by fake traffic, people familiar with the situation say. Such examples threaten advertiser confidence in the effectiveness of digital compared with traditional media, such as television.

“When you bundle bots, clicks fraud, viewablity and the lack of transparency [in automated ad buying], the total digital-media value equation is being questioned and totally challenged,” says Bob Liodice, chief executive of the Association of National Advertisers trade group. Advertisers are beginning to question if they should increase their digital ad budgets, he says.

“The clients we work with would love to spend more money in digital,” says Quentin George, a co-founder of ad-technology consulting firm Unbound. “But until we give them more control and transparency on how the money is being spent, they will continue to have questions and hold money back.”

Given how much time consumers spend on mobile devices, social media and the Web, digital outlets should be drawing a much higher percentage of marketers’ ad budgets, he says. Many factors affect the size of digital ad budgets, including, not just fraud, but difficulties in measuring audiences as well, executives say.

Many ad executives only now are coming to grips with the reality of fraud. Part of the problem is that estimates of online ad fraud are difficult to nail down. Ad-fraud detection firm White Ops last year reported that fraudsters had stolen some $6 billion in the U.S. alone.

Few marketers say they plan to cut back on digital advertising. Instead advertisers are getting more aggressive in monitoring what they are getting and in demanding reimbursement if fraud is uncovered.

Verizon Wireless and L’Oréal, among others, in recent months demanded free ad space to make good on ad spending that was inflated by fraud, executives say.

Marketers also are making deals in which they pay only on concrete evidence that consumers signed up for their products or services.

And advertisers are turning to online-ad auditing firms to check for fraudulent traffic.

Telemetry’s investigation of Verizon’s ad purchases found more than $1 million in fraud, people familiar with the matter say. Verizon has asked major ad exchanges and ad networks for free ads to make up for the fraud, the people say.

Verizon is the eighth-largest advertiser in the U.S., spending $1.2 billion on ads last year, according to research firm Kantar Media.

“We do use many different methods to ensure fraud does not occur, not only to ensure our dollars are well-spent, but to ensure our messages are reaching the right customers,” a Verizon spokeswoman says.

L’Oréal, which uses Telemetry and other firms, says it found that some of its digital ad placements purchased through exchanges and in some cases directly from Web publishers were seen by bots. It also discovered other issues, such as ads being seen by people that don’t live in the U.S.—that is, beyond the ads’ intended target.

(Not all bots are used for fraud. Google Inc., for example, uses bots to find information on the Internet.)

Verizon and L’Oréal have reworded their media contracts to ensure that the companies are protected from online-ad scams, such as video ads that play without volume, and pitfalls such as bot traffic.

“In partnership with our agency, DigitasLBi, we put those types of mandates into our contracts so [publishers and exchanges] are held accountable,” says L’Oréal’s Ms. Barretto. The cosmetics company says such contract language has allowed L’Oréal to get free ad space as reimbursement for fraud and other problems.

Advertisers hope that demanding make-good ads will pressure ad exchanges and ad networks to ensure that their inventories are properly vetted. Marketers also keep lists of sites that have fraudulent traffic and ask that when the free ads are given, they be placed on high-quality sites, which have low fraud rates.

GM recently hired White Ops to audit some of the auto maker’s online ad purchases, people familiar with the matter say. GM found evidence that some of its ads were served to bots, one of the people says.

“We’re aware of the concerns within the industry about ad fraud and are working to address those concerns as they pertain to our business,” a GM spokeswoman says.

Coca-Cola Co. is about to enlist White Ops to conduct a test of the beverage maker’s U.S. ad purchases and is trying to determine how it can do so in other markets, a person familiar with the matter says.

Lenovo Group Ltd. also is talking to ad-technology outfits about conducting a test. “Ultimately, this is about waste reduction,” says Gary Milner, director of global digital marketing for the computer maker.

—Mike Shields contributed to this article.


Source: Wall Street Journal

Revistas e quadrinhos migram para o universo digital

nanotecnologiaem02(Foto: Henrique Kugler)

Em 1959, quando Mauricio de Sousa esboçou os traços de seu primeiro personagem, o cãozinho Bidu, os quadrinhos e as tiras de jornais eram os únicos palcos para as brincadeiras da Turma da Mônica. Passados pouco mais de 50 anos, Mônica, Cebolinha e toda a turma estão encontrando novos espaços para suas coelhadas e planos infalíveis: as telas de computadores, tablets, smartphones e TVs conectadas. Mais que um caso isolado, essa mesma trama simboliza uma tendência. Em meio ao avanço da internet, empresas e personagens que marcaram a infância de diversas gerações estão migrando para o universo digital.

“Hoje, as crianças estão muito concentradas nesse ambiente. Nós percebemos que era preciso atualizar a nossa marca para manter a relevância”, diz Marcos Sousa, responsável pela divisão digital da Mauricio de Sousa Produções.

Segundo dados da Nielsen IBOPE, a faixa etária de dois a 11 anos representou 12% dos internautas brasileiros em fevereiro. A média mensal de navegação das crianças brasileiras nesse intervalo foi de 15 horas e 28 minutos.

“Os meninos preferem os jogos de disputa e as meninas preferem os games que simulam o dia a dia de um adulto”, diz José Calazans, consultor da Nielsen IBOPE. “Ao mesmo tempo, as crianças da Classe C consomem mais games, músicas e vídeos. Já nas classes A e B, a navegação é mais voltada aos conteúdos relacionados a TV e aos jogos de avatares”, observa.

Atenta a esse cenário, a Mauricio de Sousa Produções criou uma divisão digital há dois anos. As primeiras iniciativas foram a reformulação do site da marca e a criação de um canal oficial no YouTube, que hoje contabiliza 19 milhões de visualizações. Ao lado da Lojinha da Mônica – loja virtual da Turma – o canal é a principal fonte de receitas da área, que concentra ainda iniciativas como uma série de aplicativos para iPad, dispositivos Android e para o serviço de vídeo sob demanda Vivo Play, da Telefônica/Vivo, que já conta com 400 mil assinantes.

20032014_Turmadamonica_PatriciaStavisPara 2014, a área programa a segunda temporada da série “Mônica Toy”, veiculada no YouTube, e o lançamento de um serviço de assinatura que dará acesso a todo o acervo digital das revistas. “Vamos lançar até 15 aplicativos. Em um ou dois anos, essa será a maior divisão da empresa”, diz Sousa.

Outro nome tradicional, a Disney também vem seguindo essa trilha. Uma das iniciativas foi a compra, em 2007, do Club Penguin, por US$ 350 milhões. A plataforma reúne jogos e princípios de redes sociais, como a criação de avatares e a interação com outros usuários. Esses recursos contam com filtros de segurança, com a possibilidade de bloquear palavras inapropriadas e o fornecimento de dados pessoais.

Grande parte do serviço é gratuito. Para ter acesso a alguns conteúdos, o site oferece planos de assinatura. “Crescemos mais de 4.000% desde o lançamento no Brasil, em 2008. Mesmo antes do site em português, muitas crianças brasileiras já acessavam o serviço em inglês”, diz José Carlos Rodrigues, diretor da Disney Interactive Brasil. “Outro dado interessante é que, globalmente, o Club atinge a faixa de seis a 14 anos. No Brasil, já temos muitas crianças de quatro anos entre os usuários”.

Com um aplicativo para iPad, a rede estuda agora as parcerias com fabricantes de tablets destinados a esse público e vai reforçar também os acordos com varejistas para a distribuição de cartões pré-pagos que dão acesso ao serviço.

Os mesmos recursos de acesso, criação de avatares e chats filtrados compõem o “Mundo do Sítio”, da Editora Globo e da Globo Marcas. O portal reúne jogos e conteúdos como livros animados do “Sítio do Pica-Pau Amarelo”. No ar há três anos, o site tem quatro milhões de crianças cadastradas e 400 mil usuários ativos. “O portal é fruto de uma vontade de apresentar os personagens para essa nova geração, que tem raciocínio rápido e um outro tempo de concentração”, diz Simone Coelho, supervisora da equipe do “Mundo do Sítio”. “Eles interagem muito mais. Chegamos a ter posts com mais de dois mil comentários”. Depois de lançar um aplicativo para iPad, o serviço planeja reforçar a migração de parte do conteúdo para os dispositivos móveis. Uma das frentes são as parcerias para embarcar jogos do “Mundo do Sítio” nos tablets e smartphones de diversos fabricantes.


Fonte: Brasil Econômico

A new way to pay: waving your wallet at the computer

WalletImage: Dan Kitwood

Forget Google Wallet. A London-based startup has created object, pose and gesture recognition technology that could let you merely wave your wallet at a computer screen to initiate an online payment.

That’s just one of many possible applications for Seemove, a technology from Seeper. As the video below illustrates, Seemove can be used for Minority Report- and Iron Man types of pose and gesture-recognition that will let you pretend you’re Tom Cruise or Tony Stark. Only here, as well as manipulating a computer with hand and arm movements, you can also train the system to recognize any object, like your smartphone allowing you to then literally “pull” photos and videos from your device.

Evan Grant, the founder of Seeper, says the video is designed as a demonstration of what the technology can do and may or may not reflect how consumers ultimately use Seemove. The technology will be released as Middleware for developers. Such developers can use Seemove to create apps and other software that are controlled by physical gestures, poses and objects.

The latter distinguishes Seemove from other technologies in the market, most notably Microsoft’s Kinect, which recognizes gestures but not objects. That said, the team behind SeeMove has succeeded in tracking greater complexity with the Microsoft Kinect camera than Microsoft itself has demonstrated. When asked what developers will do with Seemove, Grant said that there are load of things, from healthcare to education to retail. In addition to letting you wave a wallet at the screen to initiate payment, Grant says you could also use it for interactive kids toys, controlling home entertainment systems, gaming and even sign language.

Founded in 1998, Seeper is a self-styled interactive arts and technology collective. Grant says that Seemove will soon spin off of Seeper as its own company as is actively looking for investors and interested developers.


Source: Mashable