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Jul 22, 2008

Ultrasonic frogs discovered in China

When I was a kid, my mother would complain that I'd tune her out whenever it came to taking out the garbage or mowing the lawn. In other words, when it came to all the stuff I didn't want to do.

"You have your own radio frequency in your head," she would say in mock--and sometimes, real annoyance.

Odorrana tormota lives in a noisy environment on the brushy edge of streams in the Huangshan Hot Springs, in central China, where waterfalls and rushing water create a steady din.

(Credit: Albert S. Feng, University of Illinois.)

Turns out I wasn't so special after all. Researchers from the University of Illinois and the University of California, Los Angeles have turned up a frog in central China whose ears can shift to different sound frequencies. The analogy offered by the researchers, who also included scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (at Harvard Medical School), is that of a radio tuner.

Their work appears this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What is the frequency, Kenneth?

(Credit: Albert S. Feng, University of Illinois)

The findings appear this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The University of Illinois and the University of California, Los Angeles spearheaded the research team, which also included scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (at Harvard Medical School)...

Publicis Buys Third Asian Digital Shop, South Korea's Portfolio

French ad holding company Publicis Groupe has bought South Korea's Portfolio, which describes itself as a full-service digital agency. In keeping with last year's formation of its network of international digital agencies, Publicis Modem, the latest acquisition will be rebranded as Portfolio Modem. The "Modem" brand is related to Publicis' $1.3 billion Dec. 2006 purchase of Digitas and its subsidiary Modem Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Portfolio is Publicis' third Asian buyout. In May, Publicis bought Shanghai-based digital marketer EmporioAsia and last July, Publicis bought China's Communication Central Group, one of the country's largest online marketing agencies.

As the general ad market in the U.S. and Europe becomes increasingly constricted amid a wider economic downturn, the continued rise of Asian economies makes a strong presence their critical, Publicis Modem CEO Martin Reidy said in a statement. South Korea's ad market, in particular, has been thriving over the past year. According to ZenithOptimedia, online ad spend grew nearly 40 percent in 2007 to take a 13.7 percent share of total ad spend of $10 billion. The buyout of Portfolio is also meant to complement existing Publicis agencies in Korea, including Publicis Welcomm and Publicis Dialog, Leo Burnett, Publicis Events Worldwide (Emotion), Saatchi & Saatchi and Starcom MediaVest Group (SC Seoul). Release (PDF)

Converged CE Products Will Be Popular ‘Net Devices In China

When keyboards, or virtual keyboards via a touch screen, are added to most PMPs and game consoles, converged Consumer Electronics (CE) devices will be widely adopted as Internet devices in China due to to their reasonable price and large screens. In-Stat consumer research in China shows that potential users have enough discretionary income and are willing to buy higher-priced CE devices that feature their favorite functions, such as Wi-Fi or mobile TV.

In-Stat also found the following:

  • Wireless Internet via Wi-Fi is the most important trend in the converged CE market, and multimedia playback is now a basic function. Mobile TV reception and GPS functionality will be increasingly integrated into CE devices in the very near future.
  • Potential users have strong purchasing power with regard to converged CE and favor mid-range or high-end devices that feature their favorite functions, such as Wi-Fi or GPS. More than half of the converged CEs currently on the market cost less than US$286, but 31.8% of potential users said they were willing to buy devices costing between US$286 and US$428.
  • Current users have varying brand preferences in this market. Among potential users, Apple(38.6%), Aigo (20.5%), Sony (17.4%), and Newman (9.1%) are the most popular brands.

More Information > 

WAP Ads Will Lead Mobile Advertising Growth In China

Chinese consumer acceptance of mobile advertising is lower than with other advertising methods; however, ads that are related to topics of interest to consumers are likely to be very successful. Spam and traffic costs are the primary barriers for consumer acceptance of mobile advertising. Currently, short message services (SMS) advertising is the most widely used, and in 2007, represented an estimated 40%–50% of mobile advertising revenue. These ads, however, are widely regarded as spam, and both the government and China’s mobile carriers have begun to take actions to forbid them. As such, SMS advertising will likely decline significantly in the next several years, but will not disappear.

In-Stat also found the following:

  • In 2007, China’s mobile advertising market grew 97% over the previous year, and the total market size reached US$92 million.
  • Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) advertising, especially sales-oriented WAP advertising, will lead market growth.
  • Revenue for China’s mobile advertising market will reach US$478 million in 2012, representing a CAGR of 38.7% between 2008 and 2012.

More Information > 

Mobile Linux Will Grab Significant Market Share In China

Google’s Linux-based Android, TD-SCDMA, and mobile Linux's open-source features will be big drivers to mobile Linux in China. Compared with Symbian and Windows Mobile, Mobile Linux has some key advantages. Because Linux is an open source platform, non-recurring engineering (NRE) and royalty costs are low. Mobile Linux can offer more flexibility to design houses and handset vendors to achieve product differentiation. However, lack of applicable third-party applications and competition from Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Apple’s OS X are barriers to mobile Linux in China. The popularity of the iPhone in China may also hamper the growth of mobile Linux in China.

In-Stat also found the following:

  • In 2007, Symbian commanded a market share of 66.7% of the Chinese smartphone market; the market share for Linux and Windows Mobile was 19.4% and 10.3% respectively.
  • Google’s Android and TD-SCDMA will be big drivers for mobile Linux in China.
  • In 2012, total shipments of mobile Linux smartphones in China will reach 8.4 million with a 21.9% CAGR from 2008 to 2012 and will account for about 25.4% of total shipments of smartphones in China.

More Information > 

TD-SCDMA Will Hit Turning Point In 2009 In China

The development of TD-SCDMA in China will remain in its infancy throughout 2008. In 2009, following a possible network expansion to tier-two and tier-three cities, the Chinese Mobile market will move in TD-SCDMA's favor, and 2009 will be the turning point for TD-SCDMA's growth rate, which will reach 617% that year. However, the number of subscribers will not pass 10 million until 2010.

In-Stat also found the following:

  • Total TD-SCDMA subscribers will reach 600,000 in 2008 and then increase rapidly to 4.3 million in 2009 and 15.7 million in 2010.
  • The process of telecom restructuring and TD-HSDPA maturity are the most important factors affecting the progress of TD-SCDMA commercialization.
  • Total capex on TD-SCDMA network equipment will peak at US$5.3 billion in 2008.

More Information > 

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