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SVUGA logoThe listing of Silicon Valley User Group Activities is now included as part of this SVCS.NET website.  You may still reach the listing at SVUGA.ORG or by clicking on either the logo at the left or on the 'Meetings' tab above.

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SVCS has temporarily ceased active meetings due to a lack of SIG leaders. If you are interested in leading any of the SIGs please contact us. 

20th Annual Parks Connections Conference returns to SF Bay Area May 24, 2016

I have covered Parks Connections Conferences since the 2000 Comdex, in Las Vegas and on the SF Bay Area.

After a long absence from 2009, Connections returned to SF Bay last year, and is celebrating their 20th year.

Previous Event coverage may be seen at:

Register today for CONNECTIONS

The 20th-annual CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference, hosted by international research firm Parks Associates, will take place May 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport.  

CONNECTIONS™ is the only connected home event to focus on the use cases and emerging business models that will successfully engage consumers and grow revenues in the converging IoT industries - including smart home, connected entertainment, and mobile ecosystems.

Event Sessions

Tuesday, May 24

Engaging the Connected Consumer

Disruptions, Engagement, Technology Integration, and New Partnerships for IoT

Business Models to Engage Consumers: Health, Energy, and Smart Home Offerings

Differentiation in IoT: Use Cases for the Smart Home, Kitchen, and Car

Disruption in Interfaces: Evolving Cloud Services and Content Access

IoT: Smart Home and Connected Health Applications

IoT: Protecting the Consumer Experience

CE Innovations to Navigate VR and Personalize the Content Ecosystem

Connected Cars: Innovation and New Consumer Experiences

Entertainment at Gigabit Speed: The Future for the Connected Home

IoT and Smart Home Devices: Privacy and Security

Wednesday, May 25

Meeting Current Consumer Demands and Expectations

Connected Entertainment in the IoT

OTT and the Transformation of Pay TV

Risky Business: Piracy and Protecting Content in an OTT World

New CE Experiences in Voice, Gesture, and Control

Smart Home Devices: Changing Business Models

Smartphone Apps and APIs: Lifeline for the Connected Consumer

Expand the Smart Home beyond Safety and Security

Personalizing Connected Entertainment: Metrics and Big Data

Reinvention of the CE Industry

IoT: Wearables and Smart Home Use Cases

Thursday, May 26

Innovations to Capture the Future

Energy, IoT, and Smart Home Partnerships

Seamless Interoperability: IoT and Smart Home

Support Strategies to Integrate Smart Devices in the IoT

Consumerization of Healthcare: Trends and Technology

IoT Channel Strategies: A New Consumer Experience

Growth and Investing in the IoT and Smart Home






Comcast Users: Change Your Password

comcast hack

Comcast hushes, minimizes serious hack

 Summary: Opinion: Comcast took a page from Snapchat's playbook to hush and downplay NullCrew FTS' successful hack on dozens of Comcast's servers — from an unpatched, easy-to-fix vulnerability dated December 2013 — which most likely exposed customer data.

Jerry White - IN MEMORIAM

Jerry WhiteIt is with sadness that we report that our long time member, Jerry White, passed away on June 4, 2013. After he retired from his career in clinical chemistry at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, he and the late Tom Wilson ("Tom and Jerry") volunteered much of their time at senior centers helping seniors with computer problems. His caring manner and sense of humor will be missed by all of us in the SVCS and SPAUG community.

UPDATE: A memorial service was held on September 21, 2013. A copy of the tribute to Jerry's life is available.

NAB 2013 Revisited

Most meaningful conventions can't be covered in one shot.  NAB is certainly no exception, especially this year when the industry is struggling to get people all the content they demand on all the devices they use and still monitize all their investment, their work.  It was drama on the screen, on the stage, on the show floor.  People are watching more of the content on all of their screens.  Doesn't matter if it's available on the huge HD set in the family room they'll watch it somewhere else in the house or watch a different show on their device while they're watching the big screen.  But the goal for industry players is the same regardless of what, when, where you watch it.  Making money...that's getting trickier.  Read more...  

NAB 2013 Wrap

Every time I come away from a big show I have to give myself a reality check and recall it was only a few years ago I waxed on and on about 3D TV and netbooks. Saw where that went right? Right. But NAB this year was freakin awesome. Cameras are getting to the point that any indie can afford them. The industry fatcat days are gone and they ain't coming back so the people who will survive are working harder/smarter. Broadcast folks welcomed the telcos in with forced smiles and there were some who weren't happy with competition at all. But with all the 4K-8K content it is still all about storage and that cute thing called "the cloud." We'll tie up all the loose week.
  Read more... 

Barlow's Newsletter

Moving from a HDD to a SSD
Gene Barlow, User Group Relations

Gene Barlow photoA couple of years ago, I bought a new laptop computer that I just love. It is a small Lenovo ThinkPad X120e computer, about the same size as a tablet, but it has a full keyboard and runs familiar Windows software. This lightweight unit does everything I want it to do in a portable design, and was fairly inexpensive (less than $400) to purchase. As I said, I love this small laptop computer. The only bad thing is that it is slightly slower than I wanted. At the price I paid, I expected this to be the case. Now, a couple of years later, I wish it were a bit faster. I looked at the newer ThinkPad models that were similar in size to this model. Yes, they are faster, but to buy one would cost me over $900 today. I will live with the slower speed to avoid this major expense at this time.

Social Chaos

Social media is a great way for 1:many conversations/sharing. It's a great marketing/service support tool. It's a great way to get into a verbal brawl. Face it, it's fun to watch the drama unfold as long as it isn't you that's being hammered. You know, "she beats her significant other," "I don't beat my significant other." And now you're wondering if there's some truth and who's right, who's wrong. The discussion gets so heated that the opponents forget the whole world is watching/listening. Need a good example just see what happened at the end of a very successful game developer conference. Maybe that's why most publicists/communications/marketing folks only send messages out and if you ask a question...silence.  Read more... 


The picture for new PC sales doesn't look bright and the estimates are that new tablet sales will also slide. PC sales were down 1st time in years and tablets took a breather  Smartphones are still going strong and we're eagerly awaiting the new smartwatches.  But maybe the constant quest for a new thing is reaching the end of the line with everything being "in the cloud."   Don't explain it to us because everyone (including me) has an idea of what it is...including your friendly government agency.  It's OK as long as you don't think about it too much!   Read more... 


The content (entertainment) industry is going crazy. It's all coming at you by cable, satellite, Internet, smart TV, computer, tablet, phone. There are only a couple of problems: 1) I don't really watch that much; 2) I sorta am used to it being free or cheap; 3) somehow ads look bigger, more intrusive on my device; 4) who and how is any money going to be made; 5) I like Over The Top viewing but gawd finding one thing you want is like drinking from a firehose. NAB should clear everything up but I'm pretty busy playing games!!!    Read more... 


GDC  2013 was the dramatic rise of indie developers, smartphone/tablet apps and a whole lot of social media/session ego matches.  Forget the last item because it was only a distraction to what was a very informative, enlightening learning opportunity for a whole lot of men and women.  There are opportunities everywhere for young and old to show off their creativity and gaming expertise.  Soon there will be no time to watch TV...anywhere.   Read more... 

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