Paid applications market growing at healthy rate

Your app store needs more developers. According to the analysis firm Canalys about half of the money paid out is to about 25 developers both in the Apple and Google worlds. Given that there are over 700,000 apps to choose from this means that most people miss out. Most of the top earners are game developers like Rovio, Electronic Arts and the like. The stand out non-game developer was Pandora selling the obviously popular Pandora radio app that supports the personalised music experience. So as usual it is the developers with the brand name behind them that get the money and it is difficult for a new player to break into the market. Not unexpected from the survey is that the demand and associated market for paid apps is growing at a very healthy rate so give it a go, you have a chance of making something for yourself in the future.

In the rapidly expanding world of digital data it is easy to get lost simply because of how big things are. In the really early days we just talked about bytes or eight bits of data at a time. By the time the first PC came out it was all about kilobytes i.e. 1024 bytes. A few years later we were putting the first megabyte or 1024 times 1024 bytes into our computers. Why 1024? Well computers work in powers of 2 and the closest to 1000 is 2 to the 10th power. Megabytes were OK until a few years back when we started talking about terabytes being of course 1 megabyte times 1024. For many that is as far as it goes right now, but behind the scenes the story is a little different. The CERN supercollider for example generates about 1 petabyte of data every second during testing, being 1 terabyte times 1024. At the next level up there is about 1 exabyte of data generated on the internet each and every day, equivalent to about 250 million DVDs. Up one more level as we find the zettabyte and it is expected that the network traffic by 2102 will be a bit over 1 zettabyte. The total amount of data that has been collected by the FBI and the NSA combined is estimated at around 1 yottabyte, being about 10 to the power 24 bytes, or about 250 trillion DVDs. By the time your children are a little older they will be reading about brontobytes of data being a yottabyte times 1024 and that is a lot of DVDs. All of this is of course good news for data storage manufacturers. I want my yottabyte drive.

Who'd have thunk it? According to a report a university student in China failed a job interview because he had an iPhone. It wasn't so much that the firm didn't like Apple, or the iRange of products, but that owning one was a symbol of the elite and thus those who tended not to work so hard. Note to Chinese applying for a job, get an Android instead.

If your password is one of the following: password, 123456, 12345678, abc123, qwerty, monkey, letmein, dragon, 111111 or baseball then congratulations that you have one of the top 10 passwords and a slap on the wrist that your account is so easily cracked. Password selection is a combination of safety and memory. In general include at least one capital, a couple of digits and where possible a special character. P@ssw0rd is still not recommended but it is better than just Password. Numbers are better in between letters than say at the end. The longer the better but longer ones are hard to remember. If you speak a non-English language then use this to your advantage e.g. Ns3sh6jp9s is an example based on the first letter in English of counting to 10 in Thai with every third one as the number itself.

Finally for this week the humble SMS has been around for 20 years but only for about 15 in terms of real usage. The first one was sent by Neil Papworth and read simply "Merry Christmas" .These days there are so many they clog up telecommunications networks. SMS implementation is almost free for service providers as they are sent along the background channels that interconnect networks.

This of course hasn't stopped Telco's from making a fortune off them, especially in the value-added markets where you pay extra to vote on something, or enter a competition or any other business related purpose.

Microsoft has a habit of slipping in changes that affect what you have done, without telling you. I had one such issue this week that could potentially affect anyone who uses database calls from an Office add-in or VBA. What Microsoft did as part of a recent critical update was split out the record set handling from the rest of the ADO model used to access databases like SQLServer and the like. All this requires to fix it is the addition of one extra Reference in the Office VBA but I imagine it will be causing problems all over the place about now.

James Hein is an IT professional of over 30 years' standing. You can contact him at

About the author

Writer: James Hein
Position: Database Writer