Emerging Technology

Marketers mis-read over-55s… Is ad blocking illegal?… Overseas students’ new visa… In-car internet kills radio star

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Marketers miss empty-nester opportunity

Over-55s represent a third of the population and have disposable income of more than $100 billion, but most marketers are ignoring them, reports The Australian Financial Review.

Their share of discretionary spending is growing, but marketers are reflecting society’s obsession with youth in their pitches. Some are arguing that the accepted wisdom that you win a customer when they are young, and keep them for life, is wrong.

There is a lot of money at stake. Access Economics has estimated that discretionary spending by people aged 55 to 64 would rise 51.7% between 2003-04 and 2008-09, and spending by people aged 65 and over would increase 52.4% over the same period.

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Ad blocking and the law

Some observers of trends in the interactive world believe ad blocking tools such as the Firefox browser plug-in Adblock could provide a basis for litigation for advertisers who don’t want web users obviating their ads, reports CNET.

Web browser add-ons that let people avoid advertisements are growing in functionality and popularity. Firefox’s Adblock plug-in is probably the most prominent way to configure web browsers not to display advertisements.

It lets people block ads from individual web sites such as Doubleclick.net or through configurable directories, like “/banner”. Similar plug-ins are available for Opera, Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Any lawsuit would likely invoke two arguments – that copyright infringements are taking place (through derivative works), and that the website’s terms of service agreement is being violated.

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New visa for overseas students when they graduate

A new “485” class of temporary visa has been introduced by the Australian Government, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

It allows overseas students to stay an additional year and a half after completing their course, and is designed to alleviate labour shortages in a range of skilled areas.

However, critics note that due to intense lobbying by tertiary education institutions relying on the foreign students market, the variety of occupations has been widened to encompass many fields where no under-supply exists.

Australian graduates from courses such as journalism, fashion design or sports administration are therefore likely to face increased competition for the available jobs. Forecasts say some 30,000 extra foreign students may seek employment under the new scheme.

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Study: In-car internet can drag down radio listening

In-car internet service will pose a “significant threat” to broadcasters and satellite radio when it arrives, according to a new study from Bridge Ratings. At the same time it will impair radio listening, which will decrease faster from an average weekly listening of 21:36 hours to less than 19 hours a week in year five and below 18 hours a week by year eight, after in-car wireless internet arrives, says Radio Ink.

Bridge surveyed 2200 people aged 16 and older and asked those who defined themselves as “innovators” or “early adopters” of technology how likely they’d be to buy a car with a wireless internet device or install a device in a current car. Based on their answers, Bridge projects that 1% of the US population will have in-car WiFi in the first year after it becomes available, rising to 10.5% by year five and 53.2% by year nine.

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