Twitter To Acquire Twitpic

Twitter will acquire Twitpic, a website that allowed users to post photos to the microblogging site.

Same-Sex Marriage Now Recognized In Six Additional States

The United States federal government will now recognize same-sex married couples in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Saturday.

A Nurse Recounts Her Nightmare Experience In An Ebola Quarantine

Kaci Hickox, a nurse, has been caring for Ebola patients while on assignment with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone. Upon her return to the U.S. on Friday, she was placed in quarantine at a New Jersey hospital. She has tested negative in a preliminary test for Ebola, but the hospital says she will remain under mandatory quarantine for 21 days and will be monitored by public health officials.

Twitter will buy Twitpic’s photo archive

Twitter will buy Twitpic’s photo archive

The photos you’ve posted on Twitpic are safe, for now.

Twitpic found itself in a trademark dispute with Twitter back in September, which caused the much smaller Twitpic to shut down. Twitter threatened to cut off Twitpic’s API, which was the service’s sole source of content.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett said in a blog post today that Twitter will buy the Twitpic domain and photo archive. So all the Twitpic photos now on Twitter, and links to them, will still remain active.

However, Twitpic’s service remains shut down, so users can’t post new photos to the site.

“As you know it’s been quite the roller coaster ride,” Everett writes. “We weren’t able to find a way to keep Twitpic independent.”


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Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »

Googler Alan Eustace breaks parachute jump record from 25 miles up

 

eustace_jump_01A senior vice president with Google, Alan Eustace, parachuted from about 25 miles above Earth to break the world altitude record for a parachute jump, breaking the speed of sound during his descent in the process.  The jump by Eustace differed in many ways from the successful attempt of Felix Baumgartner from 128,100 feet in 2012, not the least of which may be the relative secrecy surrounding Eustace’s attempt.

Eustace was taken aloft via a helium filled balloon that ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute. Eustace dangled below the balloon, eventually cutting himself free through the use of a couple small explosive devices. While the ascent took a little over two hours, the fall back to Earth took just 15 minutes. During his fall, Eustace’s speed peaked at 822 miles per hour, creating a sonic boom that could be heard on the ground. Eustace says he did not feel or hear the sonic boom.

After verification, the final altitude submitted to the World Air Sports Federation as the official jump height was 135,890 feet.

The previous record was set as part of a big publicity spectacle by Baumgartner who was carried to altitude in a special capsule backed by millions of dollars in sponsorship money. Eustace chose instead to embark on the three year project and the jump itself in secrecy aided only by a small group that helped design his spacesuit, life-support systems, parachutes and the balloon. Eustace even decided to forego financial support from his employer out of fear that Google may want to turn it into a PR event.

According to Eustace, “it was amazing. It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.” He also said it was “a wild, wild ride.” Mark Kelly, a former astronaut who viewed Eustace’s ascent, said “there is an incredible amount of risk. To do it safely is a testament to the people involved.” Although Eustace is seen as a risk-taker by his co-workers, they also indicate that he is very passionate about details.

James Hayhurst with the United States Parachute Association says attempts like Eustace’s establish “a little lookout tower at the edge of space that the common man can share.” Would you like to visit the edge of space for a fall back to Earth?

Eustace dangles from a balloon during his ascent. Eustace lands 70 miles away after falling 25 miles in 15 minutes.

source: NY Times


Come comment on this article: Googler Alan Eustace breaks parachute jump record from 25 miles up

Twitpic Data Will Stay Alive “For Now” Thanks To An Agreement With Twitter

twitpic And in a somewhat happy turn of events, Twitpic has announced that it has reached an agreement with Twitter to keep Twitpic photos and links alive, giving Twitter control over the domain and the full photo archive. However, the agreement also states that Twitpic will no longer be taking any new photos or data and will only exist in a read-only mode. Apps on the App Store and Google Play have… Read More

13 Ferocious Hybrid Animals to Creep You Out

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The first scientist to examine the platypus believed it to be a hoax, but the creepy animal was not a hybrid of a duck, beaver and otter — it turned out to be real.

Despite the living, breathing freak of nature, there are plenty of fictional hybrid animals dreamed up by digital artists with too much Photoshop skills.

We're big fans of the subreddit based around hybrid animals, so when artist Sarah DeRemer sent us her animal food mashup, we were excited to learn that she had a stockpile of more "traditional" hybrid animals — especially these creepy, yet strangely adorable creations Read more...

More about Lists, Art, Photoshop, Weird, and Watercooler

2014’s Brashest Rap Duo Comes Back From Oblivion

Drugs, money and falling off drove veteran boastaholics Killer Mike and El-P close to the brink. They found their way back, found each other and found their biggest success yet.

Iran Hangs Woman Convicted Of Murdering Alleged Rapist

Iran hanged a woman on Saturday who was convicted of murdering a man she said was trying to rape her, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Chasing Bayla

Biologist Michael Moore had waited all day — really, all his life — for the whale to surface, the suffering giant he thought he could save, that science had to save. It had come down to this.

The World Series: A Marathon on the Field and Online

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SAN FRANCISCO — In the bottom of the second inning of Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night, Hunter Pence of the home team Giants smacked a pitch from Jeremy Guthrie of the Kansas City Royals into the infield. He sprinted toward first base

"That's a base hit," Bryan Srabian muttered reflexively from far up in the stands along the left-field line. Sure enough, Pence beat the throw by the blink of an eye. Srabian sprang into action

With a percussive burst of keystrokes on his MacBook Pro, he sent this message out to the Giants' 680,000 Twitter followers: Read more...

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Did the Nexus 6 already visit the FCC?

nexus_6_fcc_antenna_diagram_possible

A new posting on reddit linked to an FCC filing that many people think is the new Nexus 6. Opinions are not unanimous though as there appear to be some discrepancies between the information in the FCC filing and information that Motorola and Google have published about the Nexus 6.

In favor of the device being the Nexus 6 are the dimensions shown in an antenna diagram that are very close to what has been advertised. The FCC filing lists the device as 83 x 159.4 mm in size while the Nexus 6 product page lists the Nexus 6 as 82.98 x 159.26 mm.

On the other hand, there are quite a few differences in wireless bands listed on the FCC report compared to the published bands that Google is advertising. Google lists LTE bands 3 and 29, while neither of these show in the FCC filing. However, LTE band 3 is not used in the U.S. and band 29 is a downlink only band that the FCC may not be concerned with. The FCC filing also fails to list GSM bands 900 and 1800 that Googles lists the device as having, nor do WCDMA bands 1 and 8. Finally, Google and Motorola indicate the Nexus 6 has Bluetooth 4.1 while the FCC listing indicates the device has Bluetooth 4.0.

Whatever the device is in the FCC reports, it has been approved and should be showing up soon. The Nexus 6 is scheduled to go on pre-order in the U.S. starting on October 29th, so the timing does seem to be consistent.

On a slightly related note, UK tech writer Paul O’Brien tweeted earlier this week that U.K. buyers interested in the Nexus 6 will have to wait until at least December to get the device.

source: FCC
via: Ausdroid


Come comment on this article: Did the Nexus 6 already visit the FCC?

Two major druggists ‘just say no’ to Apple Pay

Two major druggists ‘just say no’ to Apple Pay

Above: Apple CEO Tim Cook showing off Apple Pay

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi/VentureBeat

Reports today are saying the pharmacy chain CVS has shut off the NFC-based contactless payment option at point of sale terminals in thousands of stores. The move will make it impossible to pay for products using Apple Pay, or, for that matter, using Google Wallet.

The reports started showing up on Twitter earlier today, and posts on the MacRumors forums claim that CVS headquarters sent an email out to stores ordering them to shut off NFC at the terminals.

Rite Aid and CVS are both members of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a rival contactless payment platform started by a group of large retailers. This may be the reason for the chains discontinuing support for Apple Pay.

MCX’s payments technolgy — called “CurrentC” — would do away with credit cards altogether. The user would pay by showing a QR code on their mobile device at the point of sale, and the funds would be pulled directly from a bank account. Retailers like this because it rids them of having to pay credit card fees on all transactions.

Other retailer members of MCX include Gap, Old Navy, 7-Eleven, Kohls, Lowes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sam’s Club, Sears, Kmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Banana Republic, Stop & Shop, and Wendy’s.

Slashgear reports that Rite Aid sent a memo to employees instructing them to explain to customers that Apple Pay is not supported but that MCX’s solution will be available next year.

The biggest pharmacy chain in the U.S., Walgreens, is going full steam ahead with support for Apple Pay.


VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Chime in, and we’ll share the data.

23 seldom-used ideas for how to utilize Twitter lists

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This post originally appeared on the Twitter tips, whether for experts, you’ve likely come across the common advice to use Twitter lists. Twitter lists are useful, helpful, and effective for managing and optimizing your Twitter experience. There’s also a number of unique ways to go about them. I researched the topic and found 23 popular and outside-the-box ideas for what to do with your Twitter list. See what I learned in the post below, and add your favorite uses in the comments. 1. Staff directory for your team Find all your employees who are on Twitter, and collect them into a list....

This story continues at The Next Web

How I’m Coping With Life Inside The Ebola Bubble

When Ebola takes away the ability to touch, you have to reinvent the language of compassion.

In Cable Ebola Coverage, It’s The Story Versus The Facts

As the disease comes to New York City, 24-hour news wavers between science and sensationalism. But what does Gene Simmons think?

China’s Lost and Found Hero

A soldier's battlefield bravery in China's darkest hour was lost to history when he defied the Communist party line. Eight decades later, the government resurrected this ninety-two-year-old's story, while whitewashing his true beliefs.

Rounding up the newest protective cases & keyboards for your iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3

Though Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 just launched this week and many protective cases have yet to hit the market, there are still a handful of early case options available for purchase in addition to Apple's. Here are some of the first options available to protect your brand new iPad.






New Jersey Health Care Worker Tests Negative for Ebola in Preliminary Test

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A health care worker with a recent history of treating Ebola patients in West Africa, and who was quarantined, has tested negative for the disease in a preliminary test, the New Jersey Department of Health announced Saturday.

The patient arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday. The individual had no symptoms upon arrival, but later developed a fever while quarantined at the airport. The New Jersey Department of Health said the patient was transferred from the airport's quarantine station to Newark's University Hospital for "evaluation and isolation."

Doctors at the hospital "continue to monitor the patient and consult with the Department of Health and the CDC on patient evaluation and any potential need for additional testing," it said, adding that the individual will remain "under mandatory quarantine for 21 days and will be closely monitored by public health officials." Read more...

More about New Jersey, Us World, Us, World, and Ebola

Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Dead At 71

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bassist "died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family," his publicist confirms.

How To Earn The Right To Buy Ferrari’s Most Exclusive Hypercar

So you’ve won the lottery and gotten your big check. Now you’re ready to make your first purchase: the most expensive Ferrari they make. Problem is, one does not simply walk into Maranello and buy the LaFerrari supercar. There are certain requirements that must be met and certain expectations fulfilled before Ferrari will allow you to write it a check for more than a million dollars.

The Spotify Effect

How did Sweden – a nation of 10 million people – become the streaming capital of the world and the crystal ball for the future of the music industry?

How Much A Bottle Of Whiskey Costs In Every State

Inspired by The Awl's quest to catalog the cost of cigarettes in every state, we decided to hunt down the price of a bottle of liquor in every state so you can know exactly how much more or less that stiff pour is costing you than neighboring imbibers.

Fallen Canadian Soldier’s Emotional Journey Home

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The procession for the body of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo traveled from Ottawa to the fallen Canadian soldier's hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, along the Highway of Heroes on Friday

Renamed in 2007, the highway is a stretch of Ontario's Highway 401 that runs from Trenton, Ontario, to Toronto, and commemorates Canadian soldiers who have died, according to CTV News

Crowds of people, many carrying Canadian flags, gathered on overpasses Friday to pay their respects to Cirillo. Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot and killed Cirillo at Ottawa's National War Memorial, before firing shots inside a Parliament building on Wednesday. Read more...

More about Us World, World, Ottawa, Canada Shooting, and Nathan Cirillo

Social Media Jobs: Allure.com, Aeon Media, SNH

This week, Allure.com is hiring a freelance social media editor, while Aeon Media needs a social media manager. SNH needs a digital content writer, and The Dodo is on the hunt for a social community manager and analyst. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional social media jobs on Mediabistro.

allure130

Find more great social media jobs on our job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented SocialTimes pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Fitbit’s new ‘Surge’ fitness watch — blunderfully announced by Brookstone

Fitbit’s new ‘Surge’ fitness watch — blunderfully announced by Brookstone
Image Credit: Fitbit

Only yesterday I met the nice people at Fitbit to check out their new fitness watch, the $250 Fitbit Surge. I tried it on. I punched some buttons. I liked that the screen tilts up at me from my wrist.

I liked that it had a GPS radio inside (more room was created for that by the tilted screen — good job). I liked that the fitness watch deftly steals some features away from the smartwatch category, and that it has new heart monitor sensors on the back.

But it was all a secret.

Well, one of Fitbit’s partners — Brookstone —  blew that idea out of the water earlier today by previewing the watch on its website, notes the Verge. I’d share the link with you, but Brookstone has already taken the page down.

Fitbit calls the Surge a “super watch.” That may be going a little far, but I suppose you could call it a super fitness watch. More and more fitness watches are landing in the $200-$300 price range, and new entrants into the category are piling on new features (like GPS and notifications) to better compete.

The GPS bit is cool because it allows runners and bikers to map their routes without having to carry a smartphone. Heartbeats can also by counted, and reported to an app at the end of a run. The watch carries no barometer, but it does use an altimeter to detect when you are running or biking up hill. I want credit for that.

It also adds some cool features that are commonly seen in full-blown smartwatches like the Apple Watch or the Samsung Gear. Using a Bluetooth connection with your phone, it displays caller ID and text messages, and can control the music player in the phone.

The “super watch” is said to last for seven days without needing a charge.

Fitbit says the Surge integrates with 120 Apple, Android, and Windows mobile devices. It will finally become available in 2015.


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.


Fitbit inspires people to exercise more, eat better, and live healthier lifestyles. The ultra-compact Fitbit device automatically tracks data about a person’s activities, such as calories burned, sleep quality, steps, and distan... read more »

40 Hidden Messages in Famous Brand Logos

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A killer logo design is clever but subtle. From FedEx's famous purple and orange logo to NBC's colorful peacock, successful branding often features clever hidden within their minimalist designs

And while the price to design a trademark symbol varies between companies (Nike famously paid only $35.00 for its iconic "swoosh"), design that cleverly conveys the brand's identity is at the core of every great logo.

Oomph analyzed 40 logos with hidden messages that reveal key details about brand histories, products and motives.

cool

Image: Oomph

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more...

More about Business, Brands, Logos, Advertising, and Marketing

Jack Bruce, Bassist for Supergroup Cream, Dead at 71

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Jack Bruce, the bassist for legendary rock supergroup Cream, has died. He was 71

Bruce's family announced his death via Facebook and the musician's official website.

"It is with great sadness that we, Jack's family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad and all-round legend," the statement said. "The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts."

More about Music, Cream, and Entertainment

[Webinar Recording] Cutting-Edge Tactics To Spy On Your PPC Competition

Competitor research is important in the ever-changing and highly competitive world of PPC and should be a part of your process. Not only is it wise to have a strategic …

Read more at PPCHero.com

Amazon, Facebook And Our Sick New Economy

The "sharing economy" makes Silicon Valley rich and takes from the rest of us. We ignore this at our imminent peril.

Body Of Hannah Graham Identified In Virginia

The 18-year-old University of Virginia student disappeared on 13 September and her body was found by police five weeks later on derelict property in Albermarle county, near to where she went missing in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Origin Of Quarantine

The Texas and New York City Ebola cases have put the concept of quarantine back into the American lexicon.  A period of mandatory isolation, of people and/or animals, quarantine is an extreme measure taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Such forms of enforced isolation are referenced as far back as the Old Testament, while the word “quarantine” itself dates to the late medieval Plague.

Living With an Ocelot. In a Manhattan Apartment.

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Photographer Al Fenn Visited the Manhattan apartment home of Si and Meg Merrill. Fenn was on assignment for LIFE magazine to do a photo essay on living with an ocelot. More correctly a tree ocelot, also known as a margay, a smaller, lighter, tree-dwelling cousin of the true ocelot.

The Merrills had bought "Montezuma" - or Monte - a little over a year before as a kitten. Exotic pets, like leopards, chimpanzees, other monkey species and kangaroos, were very popular in the 1960s.

Monte's diet consisted of beef or turkey heart with the addition of a little watercress. Margays eat grass and other vegetation in the wild. They also hunt and eat small mammals and birds Read more...

More about Pets, History, Cats, Us World, and Retronaut

The Inevitable Rise Of The Artificial Womb

If ectogenesis, a fancy word for the use of artificial wombs, ever happens in the real world, it will be a more banal next step from the technologies that already keep premature babies alive.

The Making Of The Warrior Cop

It's the largest first-responder training in the world; now in its eighth year, it has drawn teams from places as far-flung as Singapore, South Korea, Israel, and Bahrain. Each group would go through 35 tactical scenarios over 48 hours, with no breaks except the occasional catnap. An airplane was lined up for busting a gun smuggler, and a cargo ship would be seized by a terrorist after a make-believe earthquake. A "militant atheist extremist group" would take hostages at a church.

Jehovah’s Witnesses: A Case Study In Viral Marketing

Jehovah's Witnesses are like a SaaS company that requires its customers to recruit or they get their subscription canceled. But if the end of the world actually happens, it will probably disrupt our models.

Sharing economy series: 5 metrics management teams focus on

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Sharing economy series: 5 metrics management teams focus on
Image Credit: Vadim Ratnikov / Shutterstock

As marketplaces within the sharing economy continue to emerge all over the globe — Bridj and Kinnek are a couple of the most recent — their management teams will find themselves consistently challenged by a handful of key performance indicators. They include:

  1. Balancing supply and demand
  2. Speed of engagement
  3. Gross profits and 80/20
  4. Retention rate
  5. Correlation and dependence

One of the most difficult challenges of a sharing-marketplace business is generating the coveted “hockey stick growth curve” like an Airbnb or Uber, but the way to achieve said growth is oftentimes the result of mastering these five concentrated areas of focus.

1. Balancing supply and demand

All marketplaces have buyers and sellers, and a core challenge is balancing the two sides. If you have too much supply, your suppliers will be less likely to engage consistently. Too much demand though, and your customers won’t be satisfied with their experience.

To channel my inner “Field of Dreams,” what the industry has found is that if you can successfully grow one side of a marketplace, the other side will come (they will come, Ray, they will come). For some businesses, that means growing your supply side, and for other it’s demand. For instance, Handy is in exceptionally high demand; however, an area of opportunity for them continues to be supplying a large enough workforce to meet said demand faster. Conversely, take a newer marketplace that might have plenty of supply but only nascent demand. The challenge there then becomes implementing a user acquisition model to keep up with supply.

2. Speed of engagement

The opportunity for marketplaces is providing on-demand services to potential customers. Selling and delivering on the promise of “on-demand,” however, is quite real, and user behavior reflects the importance of delivery. At HourlyNerd for instance, we see engagement trends change drastically when customer projects are bid on by our consultants within 5 or 10 minutes, same day, same week, etc.

Another example of this is when I recently needed a ride to the airport, and the only thing that mattered to me was the time it would take to get from my home to the airport. I checked both Lyft and Uber. The wait time for Lyft was 15 minutes compared to Uber, which was 5 minutes. I opted for Uber. Now, had Uber taken more than 5 minutes to arrive (without notifying me) and I’d missed my flight, I would have unleashed verbal backlash and, moving forward, would have tested other services like Lyft or EasyTaxi for their ability to deliver on promise.

3. Gross profits and 80/20

Marketplaces often generate revenue by charging a percentage of the transaction fee between the supply and demand sides. Most often, we see this number between 10% and 25%, depending on the value of access being provided and the customer willingness to pay for supply. The best advice is for marketplaces to test price elasticity within these percentages. The goal for price testing is, of course, to find the right balance between the supply-side compensation rate satisfaction and the demand-side satisfaction rate dependent on value.

Pricing implementation needs to be either flexible or customizable and based around choice in order to avoid the dreaded 80/20 rule. Marketplaces by nature try to be everything to as many people or businesses as possible within a target market, so the more evenly dispersed the activity, the better.

For instance, here at HourlyNerd we offer consulting on-demand. If we had 20% of our consultant base executing 80% of the demand, that wouldn’t be scalable and also shifts the pricing leverage too much in the favor of a few suppliers. On the other hand, if 80% of our demand-side revenue is coming from 20% of customers, then we’ll be at too high of a monthly revenue growth risk and may not have found the right mix.

4. Retention rate

Acquiring customers is a challenge every marketplace faces. Whether it’s growing to your first 1,000 customers, 10,000 customers, or your next million customers, it’s a challenge for marketing teams everywhere. Once users have been acquired, managing retention rate becomes crucial to revenue forecasting and company growth. For instance, if you acquire 1,000 new customers per month, understanding what percentage of that 1,000 will be repeat business and at what frequency will substantially help you set realistic growth goals.

Retention rates are evaluated by management teams but are impacted by various teams, including marketing, sales, and product, and stem from keeping both sides of a marketplace interested, engaged, and satisfied. One nice example of delighting customers on the supply-side comes from Uber: The company rewarded its top 7 drivers by sending them to the World Cup in Brazil earlier this year. On the demand-side, it’s important to consider customer councils, trust and quality assurance, badges/gamification, product automation, and a rock star hire to run your product marketing (one of the harder hires to make). 

5. Correlation and dependence

In the most simplistic form of a question, what impacts what? That’s the question to ask consistently and about every aspect of a marketplace.

There’s a reason Airbnb offers professional photography to its supply-side. The reason is that when users are searching for places to stay, they’re more likely to engage with high quality imagery than they are with amateur photos (usually taken by the owner with a smartphone and zero knowledge of photography) of someone’s apartment. While this is a seemingly obvious insight, it wasn’t so obvious when Airbnb was trying to grow. Paying attention to the smallest details and making calculated shifts can often lead to the most sizable results.

The only way to identify trends around correlation and dependence is to consistently present data and have open cross-departmental discussions. Presenting insights and thoughts, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, is a culture trend that is a staple for growth. The literal ideas won’t always be beneficial and at times will seem amateurish, however, it’s the mindset of questioning, exploring, and identifying that you want to instill in your company culture.

The Bottom Line

Are these the ONLY five metrics that management teams focus on? Of course not. They are, however, trends that we are continuing to see arise time and time again in meetings, at industry events, and across the media. They represent core areas of growth as well as challenges that can determine the success or failure of a sharing-marketplace business.

Always keep in mind and evaluate what’s going on behind the curtain to make the trains run on time and how you can improve process. This is the behavior that separates the elite teams from the mediocre. As always, it’s an exciting time in the sharing economy!

Dan Slagen is currently the CMO of HourlyNerd, a marketplace that connects MBA alumni and students directly to businesses all across the globe. 

Drones Are Now Helping Fight Malaria in Malaysia

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In a remote area of Southeast Asia, drones are fighting a battle — not against terrorists or insurgents, but against infectious disease.

Researchers on the island of Borneo are using flying robots to map out areas affected by a type of malaria parasite (Plasmodium knowlesi), which most commonly infects macaque monkeys. In recent years, public health officials in the Malaysian state of Sabah have seen a rise in the number of cases of humans infected with this deadly parasite, which is spread, via mosquitos, from macaques to people.

By mapping the communities where these cases occur, researchers hope to figure out why the parasite is spreading from monkeys to people with greater frequency, said Chris Drakeley, a professor of infection and immunity at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom, and one of the researchers involved in the project Read more...

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Rogers activates its LTE-A service in 12 new markets

 

Rogers Wireless Logo

Rogers has broadened its horizons by upgrading and expanding its LTE-A connectivity services to an additional twelve new markets in Canada. The announcement was made in a press release on the carrier’s website, where it lists the benefits that new subscribers of the service are likely to receive, in addition to download speeds of up to fifteen times faster than the standard 3G network.

The newly announced locations to receive the LTE-A service starting today are as follows:

  • Vancouver
  • Edmonton
  • Calgary
  • Windsor
  • London
  • Hamilton
  • Toronto
  • Kingston
  • Moncton
  • Fredericton
  • Halifax
  • Saint John

If you’re a Rogers customer in one of the locations where you have the ability to access the LTE-A network, why give the operator a call today to upgrade to one of its very reasonable 4G plans?

Source: Rogers


Come comment on this article: Rogers activates its LTE-A service in 12 new markets

Latest Google Maps update brings better Android Wear navigation notifications

 

maps android wear

Google is currently rolling out a pretty hefty update for its official Maps application. In terms of added functionality, the upgrade brings Android Wear users “improved navigation notifications” for when they’re using the service on-the-go, in addition to the usual multitude of stability improvements, speed optimisations and bug fixes.

Hit the break below for the full changelog.

  • Hindi now supported, including voice navigation
  • Improved navigation notifications on Android Wear devices
  • Bug fixes

To install the update, simply open up the Play Store on your device, toggle the hamburger menu by swiping in from the left-hand side of the screen, select ‘My Apps’ and click on GoToMeeting. Next, hit the update button and the application will instantly start to download and install the upgrade from the Google Play servers. Alternatively, you can scan the QR code below to initiate the procedure.

qr code

Play Store Download Link


Come comment on this article: Latest Google Maps update brings better Android Wear navigation notifications

Why Pandora’s new analytics tool is a winner for both the music company and musicians

Why Pandora’s new analytics tool is a winner for both the music company and musicians
Image Credit: Screenshot via Pandora/YouTube

Try as they might, music services have yet to come up with a universally preferred method for artists to track listener data about their work.

Spotify started offering its version of music analytics for artists last year. Apple inherited musician analytics through the Beats Music acquisition of Topspin. And, finally, “YouTube of audio” service SoundCloud rolled out its own analytics tools along with a new ad platform back in August. All of these analytics tools were marketed as providing musicians with better information they can use to earn more money. Now it’s Pandora’s turn.

The company may have arguably been first in the rise of digital radio services, but it was among the last of the big players to start tracking artist data with the launch of Pandora AMP earlier this week. But just because it is late to the analytics party doesn’t mean it wasn’t planning for it.

Pandora cofounder Tim Westergren told VentureBeat in a phone interview that the company has been working on AMP for “literally years.”

“There is nothing more central to why Pandora exists than what AMP is really tackling,” Westergren said, adding that there’s good reason the company didn’t launch something like AMP sooner. “I’ve been grinding my teeth for a long, long time now, anxiously awaiting launching it. But we wanted to make sure that it didn’t disappoint.

“I think there have been a lot of promises made to musicians over the years, and this is one that has to be fulfilled,” he explained in regards to services touted as a solution for “working” (aka relatively unknown) artists looking to make enough money to justify music as a real source of income.

“Ultimately, we would very much like it if the first thing musicians did when they woke up in the morning was to log into Pandora and have a look at AMP.”

Screenshot of Pandora's new AMP dashboard.

Above: Screenshot of Pandora’s new AMP dashboard.

Image Credit: Pandora

See, Westergren gets it. At least I think he does. Music services are all starting to provide audience analytics because creating relationships with musicians is valuable. It’s akin to Facebook’s hold on the average U.S. citizen. When your music platform becomes the tool that guides tour decisions, creates perfect set lists for concerts, shows which fans are enjoying what songs, and makes musicians more money, then your platform wins.

If Pandora’s AMP becomes essential enough to the very creators whose work sustains all streaming services, it can change how music is measured, how artists are paid, and maybe even how musicians promote new music — in the same way news publications can pay to promote a link on Facebook, for example.

I’ve seen how addictive audience-tracking tools can be from a content creator’s perspective. At any given moment, you can track how far your content — your art — reaches its audience outside your news organization. You can see how long people spend consuming it and view various other behavioral and social metrics. I once gave a battle-hardened veteran of the newspaper business a glimpse of real-time audience tracking tool Chartbeat, and he was blown away. The truth is, it’s exciting to see who is checking out something you created and watching hard data showing incremental progress on the path to becoming a well-respected creator among strangers.

Right now, musicians don’t really have something like that. Sure, there are plenty of services offering tools like it, but musicians haven’t yet collectively become aware. I say this having grown up in “Music City” — Nashville, Tennessee — where a lot of my friends and acquaintances were either aspiring musicians or liked to think of themselves as such. Those people — musicians — are inspired by the music, not data, so they measure incremental success in different, more traditional ways, like the crowd reaction at a live show.

“This [AMP], I believe, will help artists understand the scope of our platform and what’s possible given its size. I don’t think people realize how large or connected Pandora is. This will connect some of the dots,” Westergren told me. The music service has over 75 million active users per month that listened to nearly 5 billion hours of music in its third quarter alone. Westergren said that the listener data provided through AMP will make the service as indispensable to artists as it is already for users now personalizing their experience and connecting with music in a way that wasn’t possible on terrestrial radio.

“It’ll be equally important to artists because [Pandora will] now become a new form of communication with listeners that’s never existed before,” Westergren said. This is an aspect of Pandora that no one has fully understood up until now, which he hopes AMP will eventually change.

The AMP platform provides analytics to over 125,000 artists with music in Pandora’s vast library of songs. About 12,000 of those artists have more than 100,000 unique listeners and, with AMP, can now get a clearer understanding of their relative successes. One thing Westergren was quick to point out is that the “unique listener” stat the company uses to show traction is the number of Pandora users who either actively added or created stations for a particular artist or thumbed-up a song from that artist, not the number of people who passively listened to a song from a particular artist.

So the larger question is, how is Pandora’s AMP going to stand out among other listener analytics tools?

Screenshot of artist analytics from Pandora AMP.

Above: Screenshot of artist analytics from Pandora AMP

Image Credit: Pandora

Well, at first glance it doesn’t seem like AMP is much different, and it might not be in terms of appearance. What is different — and a main point that Pandora is trying to drive home — is that the company’s music platform has almost 10 years’ worth of listener data powering song recommendations and how people uniquely want to experience music. And that listener data has been carefully applied to Pandora’s audience measurement data, which the company smartly tied to the same standard measurements the billion-dollar terrestrial radio ad industry uses.

That said, the music business community trusts Pandora’s listener measurements, so in theory they should be superior in showing what music fans like/dislike — at least when compared to listener measurements offered by rival music services. It remains to be seen if this will actually prove true for Pandora’s AMP platform.

Also, Pandora’s AMP might not translate directly to artists making more money from Pandora (in fact, Pandora’s having a hard time making money itself, as Thursday’s Q3 2014 earnings report shows), but that’s really not something new or specific to Pandora. (See also, Spotify.) Even moderately successful album sales a decade ago didn’t bring in huge paydays for artists. But if artists can use this tool to enhance other areas of their career that do generate significant amounts of money — such as live shows and merchandise sales — then AMP is still very valuable.

“For working artists, the ability to tour and market themselves effectively is sort of the whole ballgame. I mean, you really need to figure that out,” Westergren said. “So if you’re going to do 12 stops on a two-week tour, AMP can help you do them in just the right spots. And, of course, it’s also going to help artists recognize which of their songs people are connecting to.”

Still, AMP’s launch, Westergren told me, is only laying the initial groundwork for much larger plans Pandora has for the future, which he declined to elaborate on.

“What we’re putting out today with AMP is sort of the basic building block for everything that comes next,” he said. “We’ve got a laundry list of ideas.”



Pandora gives people music they love anytime, anywhere, through connected devices. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single "seed" – a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply deta... read more »

Doctors Transplanted ‘Dead Hearts’ Into Three Patients, And It Worked

Two months ago, doctors in Australia transplanted a "dead heart" — a heart that had stopped beating inside a donor's chest — into a 57-year-old woman. The operation, which has been deemed success, was unlike any other, because for the first time, it didn't involve a brain-dead donor who's heart was still beating.

The Costume Designer For ‘The Walking Dead’ On Dressing Women For World’s End

Life during a zombie apocalypse can get pretty grim. Between roving bands of undead walkers trying to snack on your grey matter and feral humans roasting each other into lunch meat, there's precious little time to think about how you actually look. Eulyn Womble, the Costume Designer for "The Walking Dead," is charged with creating unique character statements out of clothing that has to appear weathered or scavenged.

One Year Later: ‘Gravity’

In one year later, we look back at the most hyped and heavily discussed movie of this month one year ago, consider its reception at that time, and examine how it holds up today, free of expectations.

WHO: Number of Ebola-Linked Cases Passes 10,000, Nearly 5,000 Dead

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DAKAR, Senegal — More than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola, according to figures released Saturday by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread.

Of those cases, 4,922 people have died.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest-ever outbreak of the disease, with a rapidly rising death toll in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There have also been cases in three other West African countries, Spain and the United States.

The United Nations health agency said Saturday that the number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases has risen to 10,141. Its figures show about 200 new cases since the last report, four days ago. The WHO also said 450 health care workers have been infected with Ebola as of Thursday Read more...

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5 Hard Truths From the Person Reading Your Resume

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Resumes are very personal documents. In fact, whenever I'm reviewing a resume, I always ask permission before I mark it up. Who am I to edit your life's work?

That said, I can almost guarantee you that the way your career counselor handles your resume is not the way it will be handled once you submit your job applications. After speaking with many, many recruiters, here are some hard truths I've learned.

1. If your relevant experience, education, or skills are hard to find at a glance, your resume might as well be blank.

It's understandable to want to make your resume stand out a bit from the typical resume, but getting creative in InDesign isn't the way to do it. As the head of Google's HR states, "Unless you're applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible." Read more...

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The Old College Try

Gonzaga coaches traveled to Spain and Turkey to sign freshman forward Domantas Sabonis. But that was nothing compared with what LSU coach Dale Brown went through in 1986, when he tried to lure Domantas's father, Arvydas, from behind the Iron Curtain to Baton Rouge.

How The Rom-Com’s Focus Shifted From The 1% To The Poverty Line

Here’s a look at the evolution of the rom-com, via your wallet.

Why We Gossip

New research from the Netherlands finds stories we hear about others help us determine how we’re doing.

How The Meme Went Mainstream

"Internet culture these days no longer has any claim to being niche. We coddle our memes, nurturing them like children and applauding when one picks itself off the ground and goes viral."

Weekend Favs October Twenty Five

Weekend Favs October Twenty Five written by John Jantsch read more at Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr or one that I took out there on the road.

Chris Guillebeau

My friend Chris Guillebeau visited Kansas City this week.

Good stuff I found this week:

Kapost – new feature allows you to do a complete audit of the content on your site

Spruce – design tool that allows you make Twitter ready visual content in a snap

Charge What You’re Worth – free online course on value based pricing

When Hipster Style Meets High Fashion, Everything Is Ironic

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Irony is so chic these days

Over the past few years, streetwear designers have created an influx of items that make fun of high-fashion overlords. Brands like Comme des Garçons, Chanel and Prada are on the receiving end of countless parodies in the form of hats, shirts and hoodies. Mocking everything from the brand's name to its logo, ironic fashion items are really having a moment

While some people might not like the flood of Féline shirts fashioned after French label Céline, or the Burrrr beanies that poke fun at Burberry, silly, chic imitations are here to stay Read more...

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Making The World’s Fastest Wheels

To travel at 1,000mph, you need to ride on some special wheels. David Robson discovers how the Bloodhound SSC project is cracking a dastardly design problem.

Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s Rooms and The State of Anonymity Apps

There are a few factors that seem to predict the relative success of a social media app. One of them is the app’s popularity among college students. Another indicator is whether Facebook makes their own version of the app, or attempts to acquire the original service provider (think WhatsApp and Instagram).

This week, Facebook unveiled a standalone anonymous messaging app called Rooms. The app’s concept is based on the chat rooms of the early millennial Internet, where users can skip the lengthy process of identity verification. You don’t need a Facebook account to log in: just enter your email address, pick a desired username, and start chatting. What makes the Rooms app different from chat rooms of the Internet past is the ability to change text, colors, customize images and member permissions.

The app’s chat rooms are based on different interest topics. To join a conversation in Rooms, a user must be scan in a unique 2D QR code associated with each chat room. The QR code can be shared by other chat room guests via text message, Instagram, or even by printing out a physical copy. The app is currently available to download for free to iOS users in “US, UK, and several other English speaking countries,” according to Facebook’s News blog. The Guardian reports that an Android Rooms app is expected to arrive in early 2015.

Facebook Rooms Anonymity app

TL;DR

What: A standalone anonymous messaging iOS app from Facebook’s Creative Labs
Why: To let users discuss their topics of interest incognito
How much: Free
Where you can get it: the App Store in select countries

The Rise of Anonymous Messaging

Facebook’s Rooms is the latest addition to a constantly growing family of anonymity apps, a new way of messaging that has exploded in popularity among users since the Whisper app first took stage in 2012. Earlier this year, Kevin Roose of New York Magazine counted and reviewed 25 major releases in his Complete Guide to Anonymous Apps. While the apps’ monthly active user numbers are a lot more difficult to track due to the anonymity factor, and therefore don’t match those of messaging giants like WhatsApp and Snapchat, new apps are released and funded on a regular basis.

Anonymity and the Social Web

The growing popularity of anonymity apps raises a question: is anonymity good for the social web? We discussed the question in March, when two major anonymous messaging apps, Whisper and Secret, each raised several million dollars in funding rounds.  In a way, anonymity brings back the early days of Internet, yearned after by many—pre-Facebook, pre-Foursquare days where it wasn’t so easy to find everyone, pre-Google days before plugging your name into a search engine became a common practice.

After Whisper’s debut into the app store, anonymity apps available now have a variety of media and anonymity levels to choose from. There is an anonymous video messaging app, and an app that only lets you see secret messages left in that particular location. There are anonymous and “anonymish” apps: some apps are location-based, some only go to your friends on Facebook and Google+, some let you pick your own friend circles, some only send anonymous messages to people in your phone’s contact list. In short, whatever level of secrecy you prefer, there is probably an anonymity app for that.

The Sensitive Issue with Secret-Sharing Apps

The dark side of anonymous messaging lies in the users’ ability to assume no responsibility for things they post. The ability to communicate back and forth makes these apps different from sites such as PostSecret, where users can post comments without a guarantee they will reach the person who shared the secret. As a result, anonymous messaging apps often make the news for cases of cyberbullying and harassment, making technology reporters and bloggers—and users!—wonder if the benefits of anonymity outweigh the potential for emotional distress.

As Rachel Metz discovers in her article on anonymous apps in MIT Technology Review, app developers are well aware of the potential for abuse of anonymity, and take preventative measures to address the issue. Secret, for example, anticipates the risks by reminding users to “say something kind” and “keep the community safe” throughout the posting and commenting process. The veteran of the anonymous app world, Whisper, has multiple options for flagging an inappropriate message or comment; it also uses software to detect the use of real names and delete messages that contain them.

Newer anonymous apps also take drastic measures to avoid being an inadvertent harassment platform. After a location-based anonymous messaging app Yik Yak, which earned popularity among high school students, was used to send fake bomb threats to high schools, the app’s developers made the decision to cut off access on school grounds.

“We want to grow and we want to be huge, but we also want to make sure that we’re creating sustainable, good communities, too. That’s number one [on] our list. We didn’t create Yik Yak so that people could target other individuals,” one of Yik Yak’s creators Brooks Buffington told TechCrunch after the incident. Even though high school students made up a large portion of Yik Yak’s user base, the app is far from struggling after their radical decision—as a matter of fact, it has expanded into an even bigger market with post-secondary students.

What’s next for anonymity apps?

Online marketers are always looking for the next big social platform to incorporate into their strategy, and this year’s growth spurt for popularity apps have placed them on the radars of social media specialists everywhere.

There are questions being raised about ways brands can reach out to audiences on anonymity apps, which are primarily designed as peer-to-peer platforms. And developers are listening: Yik Yak creators have talked about using the app for real-time updates on breaking news and other location-centric messaging. Forbes published an article outlining how brands can gain consumer insights from Whisper. Stay tuned, because once we find a way, you can be sure we won’t hold it a secret.

Do you think the future of social messaging is anonymous? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter or in the comments below!

The post Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s Rooms and The State of Anonymity Apps appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

How to Lead Your Team Through a Crisis

leadership_introvertsThis post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

It’s relatively easy to lead a team when things are going well. But what separates good leaders from great leaders is how they guide their teams when the chips are down. READ MORE »

Clueless about social media? Here are 17 clues for getting started

Ultracool clues
Barry Feldman is a content marketing consultant, copywriter, social media advisor and more. This post has been adapted from an original version on his blog, Feldman Creative. Just four years ago, I felt like you do. Social media was another language. Foreign. Frightening. Your insecurities are natural. Will I look lame? Am I too late to the party? Will anyone care what I have to say? Let ‘em go. Relax. Social media is a conversation. You can join any time. Join now. You’ll be welcomed. Social media is not a trend, it’s essential. Just as your customers rely on the phone and email, they rely on...

This story continues at The Next Web

The Internet Is Not The Enemy

Global efforts to stop the Islamic State should not come at the expense of online freedom. Let the world see the depravity of their ideology.

Facebook Rooms: This Week in Social Media

Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week? Facebook Introduces Rooms: Rooms is “a new app that lets you create places for the things you’re into, [...]

This post Facebook Rooms: This Week in Social Media first appeared on Social Media Examiner.
Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

The Problem With Veggie Burgers So Real They Bleed

An array of startups are seeking to replicate the specific sensations of meat using only plant matter. But is plant-based trickery really the path to a healthier planet?

Why I’ll Never Call Myself A ‘Gamer’

A brief history of my flirtation with a subculture, one-sided affair with Zoe Quinn and decision to quit gaming before we got too serious.

Where Does The Word ‘Gamer’ Come From?

Tracing the origins of the word, it's heavy male connotations and if it can be rescued.

Vine Personality Curtis Lepore Dropped From Rainn Wilson TV Project After Backlash

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Rainn Wilson's SoulPancake has severed ties with well-known Vine personality Curtis Lepore after backlash surrounding Leopre's casting in an upcoming TV project from the Office alum's production company.

Earlier this week, Wilson announced plans for the first scripted TV comedy featuring an ensemble cast of Vine stars. The half-hour show, titled Hollywood and Vine, was set to star Jerry Purpdrank, Lele Pons, Simone Shepherd, Christian DelGrosso, and Lepore as social media stars who are struggling to break into mainstream Hollywood

Lepore's casting, however, caused an uproar

In January, Lepore pled not guilty to charges of rape after his ex girlfriend, fellow Vine star Jessi Smiles, brought accusations against him Read more...

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Fall TV’s First Cancelled Show Is…

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It turns out love was not in the air between ABC and the fall TV season's first axed show, Manhattan Love Story

The network's decision to ax the show, of course, comes as no surprise

In just four airings, Love Story, starring former America's Next Top Model contestant Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman, shed nearly half of its 4.7 million premiere audience, with the most recent episode pulling an anemic 2.7 million viewers. Combine that number with a general lack of buzz for the rom-com and a sad DVR ratings boost and you have a bonafide TV bust

The show shouldn't sulk, though. Someone had to be first, and four weeks into the new fall TV season, everyone was wondering when the first freshman series would fall Read more...

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Why Do Americans Pray?

It depends on how you ask.

Online Companies Using Discriminatory Online Pricing

online-shoppingIf you enjoy online shopping (and who doesn’t?), you need to hear this news. A study of the most popular e-commerce websites done by computer scientists at Northeastern University found that price steering and discriminatory pricing is more widespread than any of us thought.

Since you might be a little confused about what this all means, let’s define our terms. Price discrimination happens when a company charges consumers more for a product when purchased online or from a certain device. Price steering happens when a consumer is directed towards expensive products when, based on his or her needs, is more fancy than necessary. The study done was adjusted for legitimate discrepancies in pricing, like location.  That being said, six out of sixteen popular e-commerce sites engaged in these practices.

Some of the biggest offenders for price discrimination were travel-booking sites like Orbitz or Cheaptickets, where potential customers are routinely charged $12 more per night if they don’t have accounts with the sites. Even worse is Travelocity’s $15 increase for users of mobile operating systems other than iOS. (That’s you, dear reader.) Orbitz is considered a repeat offender, since in 2012 it was caught charging Mac users up to 30% more than PC users for their services.

Other sites like Home Depot, Expedia, and Hotels.com were directing users to products that are pricier than the consumer needs. Home Depot was found to be showing mobile-device users products $100 more than those shown to desktop users.

The issue with these discriminatory pricing and price steering practices is that they are not telling users about these practices, and taking advantage of a customer’s ignorance to earn an extra buck at mobile shoppers’ expense. Hopefully, the work done by the folks at Northeastern University will inspire some change in these business practices, or at least promote some transparency. Now that the public knows a little more about the issue, maybe we can try to convince companies like Orbitz or Travelocity to change the way they work on mobile to create a fairer, more enjoyable online shopping experience.

Source: Wall Street Journal

 


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Ghosts Of My Youth

There's a lot of paranormal activity in my family. Whether it is more than most other families is hard to say, but we seem to have more than most. During holidays and family events, after the adults wander into the kitchen to drink coffee or head off to bed, us cousins gather in some remote part of the house and talk about the things that go bump in the night.

A Natural A/B Test Of Harassment In Gaming

Emily Greer, founder of gaming platform Kongregate, did a simple analysis of the online comments she's received and those of her husband.

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for October 24, 2014

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Guides

How to beam files and photos from one phone to another with the new Android Beam in Android Lollipop

Accessories

Montblanc introduces premium accessories for the Note 4

Apps

Get in the fall spirit with Google Calendar’s new seasonal wallpapers

Google Inbox users can now invite three friends to use the service

Amazon launches App Store in main Android app

Carriers

MetroPCS offering entry-level Alcatel Onetouch Pop 7 tablet

Chrome

Inbox by Gmail shows up in Chrome Web Store

Google

Google reassigns Sundar Pichai to oversee all of its products

Hardware

LG debuts NUCLUN processor in the G3 Screen, a Korean exclusive with a 5.9-inch screen

Home Automation

Nest thermostats add compatability with third-party home automation products

Phones

LG debuts NUCLUN processor in the G3 Screen, a Korean exclusive with a 5.9-inch screen

New OPPO teaser hints at second device

Samsung confirms the Galaxy A7 will ship with a Full HD display and 64-bit processor

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 now available in India

Galaxy Note 4 destined to be Samsung’s best-selling smartphone yet

Montblanc introduces premium accessories for the Note 4

Samsung Galaxy S 5 to get Android 5.0 Lollipop in December

Tablets

MetroPCS offering entry-level Alcatel Onetouch Pop 7 tablet

Sony reportedly launching 12-inch tablet in 2015

Updates

Samsung Galaxy S 5 to get Android 5.0 Lollipop in December

Miscellaneous

Deezer acquires Stitcher to broaden streaming content


Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Daily Dose for October 24, 2014

Nation’s First Non-Profit Supermarket Is Picking Up Steam

About one year ago, food justice advocates tuned in to a promising remedy for food deserts in the city of Chester, Pennsylvania. Could Fare & Square — the nation’s first non-profit full-scale supermarket — be a sustainable model in a 34,000-resident city where there hadn’t been a supermarket of any kind in 12 years?

The Secret History And Uncertain Future Of Comics Character John Constantine

There's never been a comics character like John Constantine, DC Comics' trench-coat-sporting magician and wisecracking righter of wrongs. Astoundingly, he's remained largely unchanged since he first took to the page in 1985 and throughout 26 years of constant publication — a kind of character consistency that's unheard of even among icons like Superman or Batman.

Google reassigns Sundar Pichai to oversee all of its products

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Sundar Pichai is no longer the face of Android, Chrome, and Google Apps. He is now the face of every Google product there is. The company has reorganized its staff and CEO Larry Page gave Pichai expanded leadership over just about everything offered by Google. According to a staff memo released internally on Friday, executives will begin reporting to Pichai rather than Page.

The reassignment of Pichai to oversee all of Google’s products is to push innovation. Having someone new at the helm of everything can inject new life into the company. Pichai is not just some random pick, though. He has been a part of the merging of Android and Chrome, bringing together mobile and web experiences.

One product that Page will not hand over to Pichai is YouTube. The video streaming service will continue to run on its own and CEO Susan Wojcicki, a longtime Google employee, will report back to Google when necessary.

Even though Page is handing over some power, he is not going anywhere. The co-founder of Google will according to Re/code, “continue to directly manage business and operations, including access and energy (a new unit run by Craig Barratt), Nest, Calico, Google X, corporate development, legal, finance and business (including ad sales).” Page will also continue to monitor the grand scheme of things for Google.

For now, Sundar Pichai’s role on paper will not change; however, that is expected considering the new wave of responsibility he is taking.

Source: Re/code


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Seattle School Shooting Gunman Was Homecoming Royalty

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MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A student recently crowned freshman class Homecoming prince walked into his Seattle-area high school cafeteria Friday and opened fire, killing one person and shooting several others in the head before turning the gun on himself, officials and witnesses said.

Students said the gunman was staring at students as he shot them inside the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. The shootings set off a chaotic scene as students ran from the cafeteria and building in a frantic dash to safety while others were told to stay put inside classrooms at the school, 30 miles north of Seattle. Read more...

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Jack-o’-Lanterns: They’re Just Like Us

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Pumpkin Comic by Lance Ulanoff

Not even your average Halloween pumpkin can deny the allure of social media or online dating. It's hard out there for a gourd. Read more...

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Sweden Has Its Own Font

But they’re worried it’s maybe a little too nationalistic (at least for them).

4 big threats native advertising faces in 2015

GUEST POST

4 big threats native advertising faces in 2015
Image Credit: HBO

Recently I’ve been hosting roundtable discussions over dinner in New York and London with publishing executives who are betting big that native advertising will drive major revenue growth in 2015 for their businesses. We often end up debating what the biggest threats to the industry are, and there are four notable threats I wanted to share.

Readers reject native advertising

Those of us who are in the industry buy-in to why native advertising makes sense; However, when I explain what I do to friends outside the publishing industry, the first response is always “so you are basically tricking users into clicking on ads?”

Point being, perception matters. For example, John Oliver’s take on native advertising last month generated a lot of attention for our industry. It also served as a not-so-gentle, sobering reminder of the importance of disclosure and trust.

Earlier this summer, IAB and Edelman released new research on what consumers actually think of native ads. Results of that research showed that well-executed native advertising can boost the credibility of a publication’s site, and that site’s credibly can, in turn, boost the perceived credibility of sponsored content it features. More specifically, sites saw a 33 percent lift in perceived credibility of native ads when those ads appeared on news sites considered to have a high level of credibility. Also, 54 percent of respondents from the research stated that they look favorably on news sites if its sponsored content was relevant to the content they were already reading.

FTC may regulate native advertising

Likely the biggest threat native advertising faces for content marketers could be federal interference — such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introducing a set of regulations for the industry. In December of 2013, the FTC hosted a workshop to discuss the impact of native ads, which produced some mixed results. They said some native ads are unlawful, which gives me reason to pause. This is a big reason for why self-regulation within the industry is so critical, and the IAB’s native ad playbook is a good place to start.

Let’s take a page out of the search marketing industry’s playbook. When Google released its first search ads over a decade ago, they were 100 percent native — meaning a user would not have been able to tell those ads apart from organic search results. What later happened in search advertising is that the big players (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft) have all self-regulated, and done so successfully. This strategy has avoided regulators from stepping in and bringing their industry to a grinding halt.

The lowest common denominator wins (again)

I have written at length about why I’m not building a native ad network as I think it’s the wrong move for the industry. “Advertisers we work with at Quartz are interested in having genuine impact with highly sophisticated audiences – there’s not necessarily a commodity solution to that equation,” says Jay Lauf, SVP Atlantic Media at Quartz. The threat remains, though, that as publishers become more desperate for revenue, they offer their highly-premium native inventory to networks that will generate a few bucks short-term but also commoditize that inventory forever.

What makes content marketing successful today is when clients and their agencies have a direct, one-to-one, relationship with the publisher. The best content programs are built based on the client’s objectives as well as what the publisher’s audience is receptive to. Every publisher’s site is different, or at least that’s the promise given to readers who spend hours consuming content. I think the moment the same sponsored content appears across multiple publishing sites, that site now risks to lose the trust and uniqueness they first touted when building their audience.

Publishers forget to invest in a distribution model

Every business needs a distribution model. Whether you are Samsung, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Coke, Apple or Polar (my business), everyone has a distribution model. VP of Gawker Media Erin Pettigrew puts it well when she says:

In a world where users are bombarded with information and can discover news through many channels, publishers can’t forget to invest in their own distribution model. At Gawker, we have successfully built a large audience that marketers are keen to engage with, frequently. This is thanks to a focus on distribution and developing unique approaches, ones that I expect will continue to evolve.

The last point she makes is key: the approaches and tactics will continue to change. How does this relate back to native advertising? Well, content marketers choose to work with premium publishers not only to create great content, but also to drive great distribution to it. Anthony DeMaio, associated publisher at Slate, often reminds clients that “content may be king, but distribution is queen”. Slate has served 100M native ads in the past month alone and is marrying strong content with strong distribution.

***

In closing, 2014 has been an exciting year for those of us in the publishing industry. My company in particular, Polar, has delivered 2 billion native ads alone for premium publishers. Those are impressive numbers that I hope will continue to accelerate, provided that together we can mitigate some of the threats facing our industry in the coming year.

Kunal Gupta is CEO of Polar, which provides a native advertising platform to premium publishers. You can follow him on Twitter (@kunalfrompolar).


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The 9 Most Absurd Political Ads of the 2014 Election Season

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With midterm elections less than two weeks away, the number of campaign ads being played on national television is heating up

Spending on advertising is set to surpass $1 billion for this election cycle, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, with interest groups accounting for an all-time high of senate airings

As candidates enter crunch time for the races, let's take a look at some of the bizarre, controversial and ridiculous advertising that has popped up this election season

1. Bob Quast, Iowa

An ad from Bob Quast, who is running as a third party candidate for one of Iowa's U.S. Senate seats, became an early contender for most bizarre when it ran in April Read more...

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WP Engine adds disaster recovery to keep your blog alive during natural disasters & zombie uprisings

WP Engine adds disaster recovery to keep your blog alive during natural disasters & zombie uprisings

Above: The WP Engine team

Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeat

WP Engine, a Texas startup that hosts websites based on the open-source WordPress content-management system, is closing out quarter after quarter with new business. Now it’s introducing a feature that big businesses should dig.

Today WP Engine is telling customers about a new disaster-recovery option for automatically sending web traffic to an alternative data center in the event of a catastrophe at the data center they primarily use.

It’s not the sexiest feature. But it could help WP Engine assure companies, colleges, and other organization that it’s up to the task of delivering sites all day, every day. And that’s important, with well-funded Automattic, IPO-bound GoDaddy, and Pantheon, among others, also hosting WordPress sites.

WP Engine claims more than 23,000 customers running more than 200,000 domains. That means its customer account has shot up 130 percent in the past year. New customers include Etsy, Arnette, the Humane Society of the United States, and VentureBeat. (Yes, you read that right.)

“WordPress has really reached this kind of tipping point where much larger businesses are adopting WordPress as a core technology for their content,” Heather Brunner, the startup’s chief executive, told VentureBeat in an interview. “Just seeing that adoption, we’ve been able to really benefit in terms of providing a platform and service and really creating kind of an enterprise-scale solution for businesses who want to adopt WordPress.”

That doesn’t always mean winning business from WordPress hosters like Automattic’s WordPress VIP (which doesn’t disclose its customer count but says it served 2.7 billion page views in the past 30 days). Rather, WP Engine has been picking up revenue by taking websites from what Brunner called “generic hosts,” including BlueHost and GoDaddy, as well as cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. That’s where having a “WordPress specialist” is desirable, Brunner said.

And this summer, WP Engine startup established WP Engine Labs, where it’s researching the Facebook-developed Hip Hop Virtual Machine, mirroring in Amazon’s S3 public-cloud-storage tier, and methods of improving resiliency, speed, and caching.

“We’re innovating both on the core and innovating on what’s new,” Brunner said.



WP Engine is one of the most mature premium managed hosting platform for websites and apps built with WordPress. WP Engine powers tens of thousands of websites, delivering the fastest, most reliable, and most secure web experience. Bus... read more »

New iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 incorporate NFC chip for Apple Pay in apps, but not in-store tap-to-pay transactions

Apple's newest iPads feature one of the same chips used by iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to handle tap-to-pay NFC transactions, but the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 only support Apple Pay within apps, sparing users the embarrassment of carrying around a gigantic alternative to their credit card.






An Interview With A Captured ISIS Fighter

The power was off in the Western countryside of Aleppo, as is usually the case since the start of the revolution. "Do you have any ISIS prisoners right now?" I asked. The Sheikh nodded. "Can I interview one?" The Sheikh nodded again.

Google Exec Breaks Space Jump Record With Nearly 26-Mile Free Fall

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Alan Eustace, a senior vice president at Google, broke Felix Baumgartner's two-year-old world record for highest altitude free-fall jump on Friday morning when he parachuted from a balloon near the top of the stratosphere, free-falling from a height of nearly 26 miles and breaking the sound barrier in the process.

The New York Times reported that Eustace, 57, ascended to the edge of space in a balloon filled with 35,000 cubic feet of helium from an airport in Roswell, New Mexico. He then cut loose using a small explosive device and plummeted towards Earth at speeds of up to 822 miles per hour. Fifteen minutes later, he landed safely on the ground. Read more...

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Benedict Cumberbatch Trying to Walk Like Beyonce Is the Best Thing You’ll See Today

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Prepare to have your love for Benedict Cumberbatch grow ten folds

Because what is a REAL man, if not one who attempts to walk like Beyoncé on a television show?

Yes, that's exactly what happened on an episode of The Graham Norton Show after comedian Miranda Hart began giving the panelists — Cumberbatch included — a lesson in walking, from the awkward course correction to the pop star walk. While showing off the latter of those, Hart, our new hero, prompted Cumberbatch to join in

This is what happened.

BennyCumberbatch

The best. Read more...

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India On A Birdsong

Even with $5.5M in funding, Ello’s future looks unclear

Even with $5.5M in funding, Ello’s future looks unclear
Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeat

So the Ello saga continues, and this time with $5.5 million more in the bank, and a new kumbaya-esque charter and legal status that’s leaving us with more questions than answers.

Yesterday, the hip alternative — and ad-free! — social network announced that it has raised a lot of new funding, and that in the name of staying true to its promise of keeping ads and data-brokering off its minimalist, black-and-white piece of the Web, it’s filing to become a public benefit corporation (PBC) in the state of Delaware.

And yet, there are still so many unclear parts of this story — despite the fresh documentation and investor blog posts to explain it all.

Making money

From the get-go, Ello said it would stay away from ads and selling users’ data to third-parties — basically, being the anti-Facebook. It’s also said the entire time that it would monetize through paid premium features, “for power users” or users that wants particular capabilities.

When Ello got all its initial buzz, it had only taken about $435,000 in funding. With that sum, we could all squint our eyes a bit and believe they could eventually generate a return for their investors without doing anything too flagrantly commercial.

Aral Balkan wrote a fiery post at the time, warning us and Ello that taking investors meant an exit was coming, some day. But let’s choose to believe Ello could get enough power users to make that initial investment turn into a valuation worth the risk.

But now it has an extra $5.5 million in funding — and that brings with it much, much larger expectations of a big payday somewhere down the line.

Are there really going to be enough of these “power users?” When we spoke to cofounder and chief executive Paul Budnitz early on, he said that the team built Ello for themselves and some friends. Getting the entire world connected — Facebook’s mission — is not their goal.

The math is a bit scary now.

With that said, Foundry Group partner Seth Levine told VentureBeat, “We’ve talked about paid features as one thing we will do.”

That implies that while it’s established what Ello won’t do, there’s still room for more revenue sources along with paid features. He also said that while connecting everyone is not the goal, “growing a large network” is.

And to be fair, there have been many successful “freemium” companies in the past. And the new money is to help give Ello time and space to finish building out its product, Levine said.

A public benefit… what?

As part of its new financial rejuvenation, Ello also filed for registration as a public benefit corporation in Delaware.

Delaware PBCs, which came into existence last year, are essentially for-profit companies that have a legal obligation to do social good. Their main characteristics include having a corporate purpose to create a positive impact. Directors’ duties include taking into consideration non-financial stakeholders. And PBCs need to report their performance using an independent, credible, and transparent third-party standard.

Ello has apparently written its charter, but as GigaOm has pointed out, this means a few additional things, such as the ability of shareholders to sue “if the directors of a corporation fail to uphold the public benefit that is described in its charter — just as shareholders of a regular corporation can sue if directors breach their financial duties.” And in order for someone to trigger one of these lawsuits, they must control two percent of total shares or $2 million if the company is public.

But if all the shares are held by investors and not Ello users or an independent party, who can use that legal check here?

VCs and LPs

Ello’s main institutional investors in this round, Foundry Group and Techstars’ Bullet Time Ventures, have both issued long blog posts explaining their investment in the startup.

They both clearly stated that they’re fully on board with Ello’s status as a PBC and support the pledges it has taken (no ads, no data selling). They both also write that they are backing the company as investors, not seeing this as “charity.”

To be honest, I believe them.

“Our belief is that we will make money on Ello,” Levine said. He also said that he believes that generating revenues and being true to a company’s ethics can “exist in harmony,” and that detractors of this possibility are shortsighted.

But what about their limited partners (LPs)?

When LPs put their piles of money into a VC fund, they trust that the managing partners will put it in places where eventually it will turn into much larger piles of money.

Did these limited partners sign up for this investment in a PBC with unproven ability to yield a whole lot of cash?

Levine says yes, sort of.

“We didn’t talk about B-corps or PBCs specifically when we were raising our fund,” he said. But he and his partners did invest in a B-corp with their previous fund, and Foundry Group’s LPs know Levine et al. and the things they believe in and are interested in. This shouldn’t be a surprise to them.

“At the end of the day, our investors have hired us to be good stewards of their money and we have some latitude to do that,” he added.

And then again, the old rule of thumb around Sand Hill Road is that nine out of ten VC investments will be duds, and that the tenth one will make it up for the rest. So even if doing well by doing good is a long shot, this might just be part of the overall portfolio.

Levine himself said, “The reality of my business is that a lot of businesses don’t work out.”

And, he said, he’d rather “fail than compromise [their] values.”


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Ello was originally built as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use. Ad Free Ello doesn't sell ads. Nor doest the company sell data about it... read more »

Brand Social Media Faux Pas: Paying For Likes, Hiding Negative Comments And Overselling [Video]

John Constantine’s LinkedIn Profile Touts His Demonology Expertise Ahead of Premiere

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Looking to hire a demonologist with a rock background? Look no further than John Constantine.

The self-proclaimed "master of the dark arts" has taken a page from the post-college guide to employment and set up a LinkedIn page, in which he touts his, ahem, points of expertise. This, of course, is a move by NBC to publicize the Friday premiere of Constantine, based off the Hellblazer comics.

Despite his obvious skills in fighting the underworld, however, Constantine could actually use a little help from a career counselor

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A screenshot of John Constantine's LinkedIn profile. Read more...

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MLB, Homeland Security And The Great Undercover Underwear Sting

On Tuesday, undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security entered a tiny boutique lingerie store in Kansas City called Birdies. The shop was selling cotton panties that bore the phrase "Take the Crown" and an artistic rendering of the Royals logo designed by one of its co-owners, Peregrine Honig.

What We Now Know About New York’s First Ebola Case

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New York City reported its first case of the deadly Ebola virus on Thursday, when a health care worker who volunteered in Guinea fell ill upon returning home in the U.S.

Dr. Craig Spencer, 32, is now in isolation at Bellevue Hospital.

Spencer had traveled to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders, before returning to New York on Oct. 17. He went about his normal life in the city, even riding the subway, taking an Uber car and going bowling in the days before symptoms emerged

On Friday, health officials in New York revealed additional details on Spencer’s activities, including a detailed account of his movement around the city on Oct. 21 and 22 Read more…

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Social Media Predictions For 2015, The Twitter Mullet And More: Here’s Our Connect via Hootsuite NY Recap

It may have been stormy in New York this week, but our Connect via Hootsuite event was a blazing success, with @CvHNY trending in New York City and 170+ social champions joining us.

Connect via Hootsuite NY Hootsuite Campaigns

If you missed out, never fear! We’ve put together a short-and-sweet recap of the presentations. And don’t forget, you can always tweet your questions at #CVHNY

Excited to be at Connect via Hootsuite! A social media lover’s paradise. #cvhny

A photo posted by Emmelie De La Cruz (@emmeliedelacruz) on

Hootsuite’s very own Jeanette Gibson, VP of Customer Experience at Hootsuite, shared the exciting news about our Social Business Benchmark, and our social media predictions for 2015. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Empowered organizations where employees can socially connect with the audience will edge out the competition.
  • Companies facing disruption by digital/online business models need to undergo a digital transformation, for market leadership—or their survival.
  • Coordination and security across an organization won’t happen without IT’s support.
  • Think globally and be relevant locally. Social media to become a brand unifier.

Rob Begg, VP of Enterprise Social Strategy, “kicked off” a live demo of the new Hootsuite UI and our new Hootsuite Campaigns feature using Major League Soccer as his example. Learn more about Hootsuite Campaigns or request a demo to see it in action for yourself.  


We learned that even the Queen photobombs in selfies when Amanda Farrell, Twitter’s Director of Retail, talked us through moments and momentum in social media, and shared some great examples of using data to understand audience behavior.

Michelle Lockett, Director of Social Marketing at Wiley, inspired us with stories about reinventing the mindset of a 207 year old company with custom education, and understanding that marketing happens outside of marketing by empowering employees and other brands advocates with the skill set to be successful.

Martha Norrick, NYPD’s director of citizen/workforce engagement, spoke about how impactful social media has been for police work, by amplifying information about missing persons and most wanted criminals.

Edelman’s EVP/Global Strategy and Insights Steve Rubel chatted with Rob Begg from Hootsuite about the role social plays in the larger ecosystem of audience engagement and attention—a great reminder that organizations are not just competing with competitors for attention, but competing with every sliver of time people have.

Lastly, a big thank you to our panel of experts who joined us on stage to cap things off, and made CvHNY a trending success.

Connect via Hootsuite NY panel of experts

The post Social Media Predictions For 2015, The Twitter Mullet And More: Here’s Our Connect via Hootsuite NY Recap appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Deezer acquires Stitcher to broaden streaming content

deezer_acquires_stitcher

Today, Deezer announced its acquisition of radio streaming service Stitcher. The deal allows Deezer to label itself as a global on-demand audio provider. Prior to this, Deezer was primarily involved in music streaming rather than mainly carrying radio shows and podcasts like Stitcher. There will be no changes made to Stitcher on behalf of its customers. The service will continue to operate as it currently does.

The amount Deezer paid for Stitcher was not disclosed.

Hit the break for the full press release.

Deezer Acquires Stitcher, the Leading Talk & Entertainment Radio App

Deezer to integrate talk and entertainment into streaming experience, leveraging Stitcher¹s 35,000+ shows and prominent auto presence

OCTOBER 24, 2014 ­ SAN FRANCISCO ­ Deezer, the premier global digital music streaming service, today announced it is acquiring Stitcher, the leading provider of personalized Internet talk radio and award winning mobile products.

The acquisition allows Deezer to become a truly global on-demand audio provider, offering consumers over 35 million music tracks and 35,000 radio shows and podcasts. Stitcher currently carries eight out of the top ten terrestrial radio shows and features content from over 12,000 content providers, including NPR, BBC, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, This American Life, Marc Maron, CBS Radio News and others.

Streaming talk content continues to grow in the US, with approximately 39 million Americans having listened to an audio podcast in the past month and 30 percent of Americans having listened to a podcast according to Edison Research.

“Almost every music listener listens to some form of talk radio, whether it is news, entertainment or sports,” said Daniel Marhely, Founder of Deezer. “We see the ability to deliver better talk streaming solutions in the same way that we are doing in music to super serve the needs of our global audience of 16 million users and growing. The acquisition of Stitcher helps us realize this opportunity.”

Deezer will further expand its distribution into the automotive entertainment market where Stitcher is already enabled in more than 50 models, including BMW, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar and Mazda vehicles and was an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto launch partner. “Deezer has become a market leader by meeting the different and unmet needs of music consumers around the world,” said Noah Shanok, Chief Executive Officer of Stitcher.  “We look forward to continue to evolve our leading offerings and deliver the most complete and best digital audio experience for listeners everywhere.” Deezer will continue to support Stitcher’s award winning mobile products, where Stitcher has the number one rated podcast app on Android and the second most popular app on iOS behind iTunes.

About Deezer

Deezer is the first truly worldwide digital music streaming service in over 180 countries, with 16 million monthly active users and 5 million paid subscribers worldwide. Deezer is at the forefront of a music revolution, allowing fans instant access to the largest music catalogue in the world, with more than 35 million songs and 30,000+ radio channels on any device. Combining the best of man and machine, Deezer¹s global editorial team searches for the best music around the world and its algorithmic recommendations help fans discover music they will truly love.

Deezer is available on your favorite device, including smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop, home sound system, connected car, smart TV or Xbox.  Launched in 2007, Deezer is a privately-held company, headquartered in Paris with offices in San Francisco and around the world.  Deezer is currently available as a free download for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows devices or on the web at deezer.com globally outside the US.


Come comment on this article: Deezer acquires Stitcher to broaden streaming content

First-week OS X Yosemite adoption rate outpaces Mavericks, now at 12.8%

According to recently published statistics, Apple's latest OS X Yosemite release is seeing slightly better take up rates than last year's OS X Mavericks launch, with current North American distribution pegged at 12.8 percent as of Wednesday.






Nest thermostats add compatability with third-party home automation products

Nest privacy

It was only a matter of time before the now Google-owned Nest Learning Thermostat (and smoke detector) became even more integrated in the “Internet of things.”

Now, the device can be paired and controlled with other home automation products, including Pebble smartwatches (to check and control the temperature in your home), ivee (voice-controlled home manager) and Life360 (an app used to check the location of family and friends and can adjust the temperature when people enter and leave your home).

WallyHome, a device that checks for water leaks, is also on the list of compatible products, as is Rachio, which controls sprinklers in the house for fires. Expect more and more products to become compatible with Nest, as Google is looking for more partners to expand the capabilities of its device.

Source: Engadget


Come comment on this article: Nest thermostats add compatability with third-party home automation products

Lost in Translation: How to Drive Traffic to Your Website When You Go International

A few months ago, Gal Nissani published an article about converting your international audience. The article makes the point that translation is the most important step you can take to attract potential clients. Translation also makes browsing your website more convenient for visitors.

I would like to go further and explain how to drive traffic from foreign markets to your website, depending on whether your website is solely in English, already has translated content, or is available in different languages with ccTLDs. You can drive traffic from foreign markets through simple steps of adaptation and marketing as a native, with a little help from social media.

1. English Websites

First, we will see how to drive traffic to your English website when you go international. The first thing you have to do is determine where you want to increase your traffic from. You should not pick a country based on a personal preference.

Instead, you should choose the right country based on the results of a market study. Indeed, English will not get you anywhere. But if you are planning on keeping your website solely in English (assuming you are based in the United States), you will have more chance to drive traffic from other English-speaking countries and other countries open to the Anglo-Saxon culture.

Find the Right Country with Google Analytics

Unfortunately, market studies take time and require a lot of work. A first step, though, could be taking a look at your Google Analytics reports and considering countries with significant percentages of traffic.

When targeting English-speaking countries, you should look at places such as Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. For countries open to the Anglo-Saxon culture and language, you should look at countries such as Sweden or Norway. People in the northern part of Europe and Scandinavia learn English at an early age, and their languages are mostly Germanic.

Let’s imagine that the following is a country report from Google Analytics for your website. You can clearly see that European countries, India, and Oceania bring many visits to your website. This could be a big opportunity for you. To drive even more traffic from this market, you should focus your marketing efforts on these countries.

world map off traffic

Offer These Countries a Little Translation

So, now that you have picked a country based on your Google Analytics report, it’s time to take some action on your website. As explained earlier, these countries are either Anglo-Saxon or welcoming of English.

Let’s assume you picked a country like Sweden. According to the European Commission’s Eurobarometer of 2012, 86% of Swedes speak English so they won’t have any problem browsing your website. But, wouldn’t it be nice and convenient to offer your content in their language? They sure would appreciate it.

Action #1: Add the Google Translate bar to your site. The Google Translate bar and widget offer translation in 60 languages. It’s easy to add to your code and visitors can choose to translate your site to their convenience. To add the widget to your site, head to Google Translate. Note that you can monitor your widget’s statistics with Google Analytics.

But, isn’t it a little intrusive? Yes and no: the widget appears only when required, and if the user’s browser is in English, it will not suggest any translation. You also can limit the widget to the few languages you are targeting so it does not get too crowded. Also, it does not alter any links.

Action #2: Make yourself available to foreign users. There are several ways to make yourself more available to your foreign audience. First, if you are using a live chat, activate the translation feature. It will benefit both the visitor and yourself. They can write in their mother tongue, and you can write in English; both will be translated. Services such as Zopim (now part of Zendesk) offer automatic translation and detect the user language.

zopim chat

Adapt Your Product

If your website is converting only on the American market, it may be because your product is not entirely suiting the destination country. A solution to this issue would be to adapt to the local culture.

A classic example of product adaptation is the establishment of McDonald’s in India where cattle are considered sacred to the 80.5% Hindu population. Beef and pork are nowhere to be found in their diets; therefore, it is unthinkable to serve a Big Mac. So, if you would like to sample the local cuisine there, try an authentic Chicken Maharaja Mac.

3-big-mac

Chances are you’re not running a fast-food empire. But, for example, let’s say you run a fashion website. You may want to cater warmer weather clothes to your Indian audience, instead of bombarding them with winter fashion. Perhaps, testing and tailoring your experience by country could offer big wins.

2. Websites with Translated Content

Now, let’s assume your website already has some translated pages and content. This section is also for those of you who have a website where you can switch languages from the menu thanks to translated content. Taking the time to translate your content is a great first step! Let’s see how you can drive international traffic to your site with social media features.

Translate on Social Media

There are many ways to get your content translated on social media so that it reaches out to foreign audiences. You can, of course, use services such as Google or Bing Translation to share your messages in different languages.

If you are highly active on social media, I have good news for you. Facebook and Twitter offer automatic translation based on the user’s browser language. This service, coupled with Bing Translation, does not require anything from you, and it will automatically offer users the ability to translate your content.

obama on facebook

le monde tweet

Use Linguistics Options to Reach Your Target

As Gal Nissani explained in her KISSmetrics blog post, translating your website (or at least the main pages) lifts a huge barrier to potential customers. As the Harvard Business Review article quoted in the post stated, 72% of users spend most of their time on websites in their native language.

If you want to reach your target through social media and do not have time to manage several language-focused accounts, use Facebook. With Facebook’s PowerEditor, you can choose the language and country where you’d like your post to appear.

To do this, go to Facebook’s Power Editor, select your Facebook Page, and create a new unpublished post. You can choose to publish a link, a picture, or a video, just like you would from the regular posting box on your Page. Select “This post will be published on the Page.” Then, the languages and location options will become available.

Thanks to this trick, your posts will be available only to the country and language you have selected.

create unpublished page post

Go International with SEO

As Gal Nissani explained in her article, there are some SEO aspects to consider. You do not necessarily have to set up a new domain name to be a “native” in the markets you are targeting. But, a subdomain or a new directory should be considered. Make sure you also are adding value to your content with the right keywords strategy.

6 essential seo tips for international marketing

3. Websites Available in Different Languages with ccTLDs

This last section is for those of you who have a website available in different languages and want to go further to drive international traffic.

Be Local

If you are planning on doing social media in another country, it is possible that what we consider “classic social media platforms” (such as Facebook and Twitter) are not available in the market you are targeting. If we take the example of China, Facebook was banned in 2009. Another example could be the current situation of Turkey and YouTube.

Working around a censorship problem is not the only reason to consider expanding your strategy to local social networks. As obvious as it sounds, choosing a local social network will allow you to market your brand exactly where your target is. Here is a list of social networks to consider according to the targeted countries:

  • Xing: Germany’s social network for professionals
  • Viadeo: France’s social network for professionals
  • Weibo: China’s Facebook
  • Orkut: widely used in Brazil
  • VK: widely used in Russia

Use Language-focused Accounts

With social media, you can easily reach people all over the world, including the markets you are targeting. People spend hours on social networks, and that presents an opportunity to create a great community to drive traffic to your website. From a social point of view, you should offer your services in the desired language to reach the market and the customers you are targeting.

Take the example of Kaspersky Labs and their community management strategy. Their Facebook pages are available in several languages, so each community manager serves and understands their community around the same product, in different languages.

why cybercriminals target smartphones

Learn more about Kaspersky’s social media efforts and how it helped the company engage social media communities in foreign countries.

Study the Culture: Go beyond Translation and Social Media

Marketing abroad cannot be generalized throughout the world. Each country is specific. As research by Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars, and Edward T. Hall show, there are several aspects of culture you have to understand before doing business with a foreign market. These cross-cultural aspects of management can also be applied to the way you do marketing abroad. Hofstede explains there are two sides of a culture. Like an iceberg, there is the part you see, the obvious, above the water, and then there is the part you don’t see, the deeper unconscious beliefs, under the water.

visible and invisible parts of culture

This is why a simple translation won’t do the trick. So, if you want to drive traffic from foreign markets, you definitely should “be there” beside your potential customers. Understand their core beliefs.

If you are looking to raise awareness of your product in Spain, for example, in addition to translating your content to Spanish, you should promote your product through blog posts to be published on well-known Spanish blogs, just like a Spanish copywriter would do.

If you would like to drive organic traffic from foreign markets without the use of advertising, I strongly recommend blogging. Blogging gives you the opportunity to naturally drive traffic through content. As mentioned earlier, you should post your content on well-known local blogs, and foreign traffic will naturally come to your website.

Know Your Competitors

Competition is everywhere and the entry barrier is especially high for a foreign company trying to establish a reputation in another country to drive traffic. Michael Porter’s 5 forces model is made of:

  • Threat of new entrants
  • Bargaining power of buyers
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Threat of substitute products/services
  • Rivalry among existing firms

potential entrants

When you look at the market you are trying to drive traffic from, consider yourself a new (foreign) entrant trying to get established among the rivalry of existing local firms. Now, you understand why the competition is going to be especially tough for you, the foreign company.

Therefore, to drive traffic from a foreign market, the solution is to not only market there “as a native,” but to become a native yourself. Promoting your business through channels like social media, SEO, and content is the greatest way to actually “be there.”

Conclusion: When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

Just like any strategy, driving traffic from foreign markets takes time. It requires a lot of work and research, from the translation of your website to the SEO aspects. To implement your strategy through content and social media, you should take time to build your strategy and brand image.

What is important to remember is that whatever state your website is in, you can easily drive traffic from foreign markets. Work through each step. First, choose wisely what country you should go to. Then, adapt your marketing strategy to the targeted market. Keep in mind that it involves much more than language and translation. And, make sure you have diversified sources of traffic driving foreign visitors. To do so, reach out through social media. The more localized your strategy is, the better.

Driving traffic from foreign markets requires a lot of work, but when you adopt the right strategy, you can expect impressive results. Remember, the key factor to multicultural sources of traffic is do not market from your home country as an American adapting to the targeted culture, but instead become “a native” and actually be there!

About the Author: Anji ISMAIL is CEO and co-founder at DOZ, a marketing platform that helps websites to grow their traffic by organizing the work of vetted marketers around the world. DOZ’s campaigns are focusing on Search Engines, Social Media and Content; and have a unique Cost Per Click model.

No Switching for You! AT&T Locks the Apple SIM to Its Network

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If you use your LTE iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 with AT&T, you'd better be prepared to stay with the network. AT&T will lock the Apple SIM card in the device, even though the card is intended to allow users to switch networks at will.

Users began reporting the SIM lockdown as the iPads went on sale Friday, MacRumors first reported. When a user first activates the iPad on AT&T, a message will appear warning them that once they connect to the network they won't be able to switch to another. To switch networks — even while traveling — a user will need to purchase a new Apple SIM. Read more...

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MetroPCS offering entry-level Alcatel Onetouch Pop 7 tablet

Alcatel onetouch

If you’re a MetroPCS customer and in the market for a new, cheap tablet, there’s a pretty good deal available available for you right now.

The prepaid carrier (through T-Mobile) is offering the Alcatel Onetouch Pop 7 tablet for $149 (plus tax) on a pretty inexpensive data plan. For $10/month, you can get unlimited data, which siphons off 1GB  of data to the Pop 7 tablet. If you add the device to an existing plan, you’ll get a $5 monthly discount off your bill. Here are the rates for current subscribers, straight from MetroPCS/T-Mobile’s press release..

  • $10 / month: Unlimited data with first 1GB of high-speed data at up to 4G speeds
  • $20 / month: Unlimited data with first 3GB of high-speed data at up to 4G speeds
  • $30 / month: Unlimited data with first 5GB of high-speed data at up to 4G speeds

The tablet itself isn’t much in itself — a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 7-inch display, 8.9 mm thin, Wi-Fi/4G/Bluetooth and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean — but it still isn’t a bad deal for prepaid customers looking to expand their tech arsenal.

Hit the break for the link to the press release.

Source: MetroPCS/T-Mobile


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An American Drug Dealer In China

In China’s capital, drugs are surprisingly easy to obtain, often sold in alleys surrounding Sanlitun, a popular bar area, just blocks away from a police station. Beijing officials have been trying to tackle the city’s growing drug problem for years, often targeting foreign dealers and users.

Sony reportedly launching 12-inch tablet in 2015

Sony_Logo_01_TA_CES_2014According to sources to DigiTimes, Sony will be launching a 12-inch tablet in quarter 1 of next year. Several other vendors are also developing large-size tablets for launch in the first or second quarters, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. The sources say that Sony’s tablet will be high-end and come with a stylus. 

Large-screen tablets are all the rage these days, with Samsung releasing its 10.1-inch Pro series earlier this year, and Microsoft releasing its Surface Pro 3.

Source: DigiTimes


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Samsung Galaxy S 5 to get Android 5.0 Lollipop in December

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When Android 5.0 Lollipop launches soon, Nexus devices will be the first to receive the latest version of Android. From there on out, it is up to hardware manufacturers to work on updating devices. Owners of flagship devices should expect to see a software update before anyone else. HTC is committed to pushing Android 5.0 to within 90 days of its launch, but Samsung has not given a timetable.

A new report claims that the Galaxy S 5 will get the software update in December. This would be for the global version of the device; therefore, United States owners of the Galaxy S 5 should expect it early in 2015. If you are eager to know what Samsung has in store for TouchWiz with Android 5.0, take a look at this leak.

Source: SamMobile


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Amazon launches App Store in main Android app

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Before now, the only way to download apps from the Amazon Appstore was to download the apk for the Appstore online, and then download apps. Last month, however, Amazon launched the functionality to download apps through the official Amazon app. All you have to do is head to “Shop by Department,” and you’ll find a new category called “Apps & Games.”

Source: TeleCrunch


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Sprint expands ‘iPhone for Life’ plans with new 12-month lease option

Adding to its iPhone-specific incentives program, Sprint on Friday announced a new 12-month lease option for its "iPhone for Life" plan, which lets subscribers "rent" a new iPhone for a preset period instead of buying it.