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Friday Briefing: Data Demand Alert and Intel Ultrabooks on the Way

Happy Friday! Time for another round of the week’s top technology stories.

Wall Street Daily readers were very clear about which story they liked most last week, so I expanded the topic into a regular post. Before you sign off, be sure to select your favorite tech trend in the survey below and I’ll make sure to write another article if one piques your interest!

Here are this week’s topics of interest…

Tech Trend #1: Data Spike Imminent

We’re already seeing a huge demand for digital data. As Louis Basenese pointed out in MarchWal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) alone eats up “more than 2.5 petabytes of data – the equivalent of 167 times the number of books in the Library of Congress!” Then there’s Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), which currently stores in the neighborhood of 100 petabytes of data from photos and videos.

And that staggering demand is growing at an alarming rate. A new report from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) projects that global internet traffic will rack up a whopping 1.3 zettabytes by 2016. That’s 1.2 million petabytes (or 1.3 trillion gigabytes) and four times as much data as we consume right now.

According to The Verge’s Bryan Bishop, “The largest reason for the shift is expected to be an increase in device adoption. The study reports that there are currently 10.3 billion internet connections, used in computers, phones, tablet and other devices. That’s set to explode, with the report estimating we’ll be using 18.9 billion such connections by 2016 – an increase of over 83%.”

And recall that Louis just pointed out last Friday that “analyst, Chetan Sharma, shows more people now have mobile phone subscriptions than electricity and safe drinking water.”

As data demand continues to build, consider investing in companies that help make data transmission more efficient. Fusion-IO (NYSE: FIO), which Louis recently alerted Wall Street Daily readers to, is a good place to start.

Tech Trend #2: Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks Hitting Store Shelves

I’ve discussed the benefits of Intel’s (Nasdaq: INTC) new Ivy Bridge processors before. Essentially, Ivy Bridge is the world’s first 3-D transistor that allows the company to get more speed out of its microprocessors than traditional 2-D chips, while taking up less space and using less power.

Ivy Bridge is the main reason I recommended that value investors take a close look at Intel back in September, since the company was on track to replace processors in all PCs with Ivy Bridge by mid 2012. (Since then, the stock has climbed 38%.)

Right on time, this week the company announced that over 110 different laptops (now known as “Ultrabooks”) equipped with Ivy Bridge are on the way.

And better yet, VentureBeat’s Jolie O’Dell reported on Wednesday that Intel has partnered with Devicescape to integrate the smaller company’s software into Intel’s Ultrabooks. Devicescape manages a massive network of Wi-Fi hotspots that will allow future Ultrabooks to stay connected to the internet at all times.

Needless to say, that’s certainly going to be a popular feature with consumers and investors, alike.

Tech Trend #3: Inkling Stepping Out of Apple’s Shadow

In January, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) put digital textbooks on everyone’s radar with the debut of iBooks 2. This essentially “reinvents the textbook” by allowing publishers to develop new interactive textbooks to boost student engagement.

Of course, the idea wasn’t exactly new. Inkling, for example, teamed up with McGraw-Hill and Pearson back in March 2011, giving the company the ability to digitize 95% of higher education publications. But once Apple came out with its own e-textbook offering, things looked bleak for competitors. Like I said in January, “Sadly for Inkling, though, with a name like Apple behind the iBooks 2 initiative, it doesn’t really matter who broke ground first.”

However, the smaller company might have just turned the tides by offering Inkling on a web application, instead of just an iPad app. This allows Inkling users to access content on any internet-connected device, which balloons the company’s market by 10 times over, according to CEO, Matt McInnis.

And considering that Apple doesn’t like to give up its vice-like control of its products, you can bet that it won’t be offering a similar feature for iBooks 2. Am I right?

Cast Your Vote!

Let us know which topic interested you the most…

[poll id=”10″]

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend!

Good investing,

Justin Fritz

Justin Fritz

, Executive Editor

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