If your at-home DSL wi-fi service is slower than a turtle’s pace, then Google may soon have a better option for you.
According to the Associated Press, Google plans to expand its ultra-fast internet service to 34 additional cities. “Google Fiber” spokesperson stated at a recent press conference that fiber-optic driven service may soon be available for installation in cities such as: Atlanta, various areas in and around San Francisco, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Portland, Oregon.
What makes “Google Fiber” so much faster? The use of fiber-optic cable instead of the copper lines that transmit online data. With Google Fiber, customers will be able to surf the internet up to 100 times faster than most broadband services. They even praises its ability for customers to download an entire movie in less than two hours.
As of now, Google Fiber is only offered in Kansas City and Provo, Utah. The cost of the service is currently $70 per month for high-speed internet service. Package bundles, which include 100 high-definition cable channels, costs $120 per month.
A final announcement of its expansion is due later this year. But, it can take at least two years before the service is actually offered in those cities.
via press release…
As part of its ‘Re-Fun Your Refund’ program, GameStop announced today that it is offering customers a chance to get more with their IRS tax refund check than ever before. Starting today, through March 23rd, customers can get great deals on new and pre-owned video gaming systems, tablets, game titles, and accessories.
PowerUp Rewards members, 18 years or older, who spend at least $75 will be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a Toyota of their choice, MeMO Pad HD 7ASUS tablets, a next-generation Turtle Beach headset, one of thousands of PlayStation® Plus memberships and Xbox Live gift cards, and more.
“We know our customers work hard for their money and we look forward to offering them fun ways to put their tax refunds to good use,” said Ashley Sheetz, chief marketing officer for GameStop. “With ‘Re-Fun Your Refund,’ we want our customers’ refunds to go further by offering them a chance to win exciting prizes and great deals on the video game products and accessories they want.”
GameStop is partnering with Toyota to offer one lucky grand prize winner the chance to take home a 2014 Toyota vehicle of his or her choice between a Sienna LE, Highlander, RAV4, Camry, Prius, or Corolla. To enter the sweepstakes, PowerUp Rewards members, who are legal residents of the United States, Guam or Puerto Rico, who are at least 18 years old, must make a purchase of $75 or greater at any GameStop store, or at www.GameStop.com/refunyourrefund between February 17 and March 23.
“We have a strong relationship with GameStop because of their sponsorship of the No. 20 GameStop Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. We are happy to extend this partnership beyond the racing program to other opportunities such as the Re-Fun Your Refund campaign,” said Paul Doleshal, motorsports marketing manager for Toyota.
Trade-in to Help Trade Up
To help customers make the transition to a next-generation console this tax season, GameStop is also offering a 50% extra in-store credit when customers trade-in any video game systems toward the purchase of a new Sony PlayStation® 4, Microsoft Xbox One, or Nintendo Wii U. Customers can also receive 30% extra in-store credit when they trade any items toward the pre-order or purchase of some of the hottest next-generation games coming in March such as Titanfall, Infamous: Second Son and Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.
For more information on GameStop’s “Re-Fun Your Refund” program and all the great exclusive deals and sweepstake prizes, visit a local GameStop store, or go to www.GameStop.com/refunyourrefund.
In 2011, the IRS entered into new territory with the launch of their very own smartphone app. The IRS2Go app gives taxpayers (or users of the app) the ability to stay updated on tax-related information, refunds, and more. Of course, however, there’s always room for improvement with any app. Therefore, earlier this month, the IRS announced that the IRS2Go Version 4.0 app had undergone a makeover of some sort. According to the IRS.gov website, some cool updates have been added. Check out what’s new below:
- Refund Status. Taxpayers can check the status of their federal tax refund through IRS2Go. People simply enter their Social Security number, which will be masked and encrypted for security purposes, then select their filing status and enter the amount of their anticipated refund for their 2013 tax return. A new refund status tracker has been added so that taxpayers can follow their tax return throughout the process. Users can check their refund status 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an e-filed return, or four weeks after mailing a paper return. The IRS reminds taxpayers the tool is updated just once a day, usually overnight, so there is no reason to check more than once a day.
- Free Tax Prep Providers. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. This brand new tool on IRS2Go will help taxpayers find the nearest VITA site to their home by simply entering their zip code and selecting a mileage range. By clicking on the directions button within the results, the maps application on the device will load with the address, making it easy to navigate to your desired location.
- Tax Records. Taxpayers can request their tax account or tax return transcript from IRS2Go. The transcript will be delivered via the U.S. Postal Service to their address of record.
- Stay Connected. Taxpayers can interact with the IRS by following the IRS on Twitter, @IRSnews or @IRSenEspanol, watching helpful videos on YouTube, signing up for email updates or by using the Contact Us feature.
Pretty cool stuff! Since the app launched, there’s been over 3 million to download the app. If you think you may need some assistance this tax season, take advantage of its convenience by downloading IRS2Go Ver. 4.0 on your smartphone, iPad, and other compatible device(s) today.
Beginning in Spring 2014, the RoomSync app will use Facebook (online and via mobile) as a tool to help students choose who they want to be roommates with.
RoomSync is partnering with Campus Apartments LLC, the largest student housing company in the nation, to offer this unique experience to college students attending school in the U.S.. This innovative way of picking a roommate will cut out the middleman [the school] and give the student a personal opportunity to choose who is the best fit for them.
Through this partnership, Campus Apartments’ residents will be able to browse potential roommates through the RoomSync app based on a variety of topics, including interests, mutual friends and academic majors. This specially-designed tool empowers students to choose a roommate whom they feel best fits their living environment, rather than relying on the traditional process of site staff manually assigning roommates based on questionnaires. Once a resident selects a compatible roommate on RoomSync, the property’s leasing office receives a full roommate report, eliminating the paper process entirely. The matching service will be available to Campus Apartments’ owned properties and a portion of third party managed communities. Each property will have a Campus Apartments-branded app with complete RoomSync functionality and support.
Not only will this help students gain a better living experience overall, but it will also “lower percentages of room transfer requests, improve student academic outcomes and decrease the severity of roommate conflicts,” says Robert Castellucci, co-founder and president of RoomSync.
To learn more about the app’s latest feature, visit www.RoomSync.com.
About Campus Apartments
Campus Apartments, LLC, the oldest and one of the largest privately held student housing companies in the nation, is a leader in the development and management of university-affiliated real estate. The company has more than $2 billion worth of assets under management with more than 34,500 beds in 25 states. For more information on Campus Apartments, please visit www.campusapts.com.
RoomSync provides roommate matching software to more than 150 student housing communities, on-campus housing departments, internship programs and conferences. RoomSync empowers residents to find roommates by mutual Facebook friends, common interests, lifestyle questions, academic majors and more. RoomSync also offers whitelabeling services, which allow clients to have a custom-branded environment with all the same RoomSync functionality. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in Gainesville, Florida. For more information, please visit www.RoomSync.com.
Google Glass is taking its hands-free computer/internet product to the next level. Originally created as a lense-free frame, the Glass will now function with prescription lenses and sunglasses.
The new and improved gadget will be Google’s first version of the product offered to the general public. Initially, Glass was only given to product testers and select users who create apps. Now, if you own a pair of prescription glasses or shades, you can purchase the small gadget for $1,500. If you wear a prescription but do not own frames, you can purchase one of six styles from Google. For $150, you can pick from two selections of sunglasses. For $255, there are four different frames you can chose from and get prescription lenses added at your vision care provider.
Glass is pretty dope. For one, the gadget offers wearers the convenience of being hands-free. It works the same as a handheld smartphone. Internet, email, apps, and access to GPS are included. People can also take photos and videos with Glass. Additional functions the consumer will find valuable are Glass’s ability to share photos/videos to Twitter and Facebook, language translation, and recognition of basic voice commands.
The health coverage benefit of wearing Glass is Google’s partnership with Vision Service Plan (VSP) insurance. If a persons’ provider accept VSP, they will receive an allowance ranging from $80 to $160 and an on-site training session. Eye-care providers will train patients on how to properly use Glass.
IS THIS ANOTHER DISTRACTION FOR CONSUMERS, SPECIFICALLY FOR THOSE THAT DRIVE?
Fashion designer, Marc Jacobs, will feature an unique aspect to his brand during the upcoming Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week.
News outlets are reporting that Jacobs debut a socially interactive pop-up shop, ‘Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop’. The shop will feature the Daisy fragrances, accessories, lounge, photo booth, and offer drinks to it’s customers. But, here’s the twist. The patrons will have to do a little social media work before acquiring these great giveaways.
Using the #MJDaisyChain hashtag on your Instagram and Twitter posts will be rewarded with freebies, and Marc Jacobs accessories will be given away throughout the day. It’s not yet clear how much your tweets will be worth, or whether they’ll be more valuable for the number of subsequent re-tweets you manage to generate.
Pretty dope idea!
Biz Stone, the Twitter co-founder, has developed a new way people exchange information. His new app called “Jelly” is a platform which expands how we ask questions and receive answers.
Developed for use on the iPhone and Android, the Jelly app allows users to ask questions using photos. The user snaps a picture with their camera phone and immediately post it along with a question. Someone in their network (or within the app’s community) can then immediately answer the question. The photo gives the person added clues as to what it is they what to know. Some may view this app as being in the same realm as Twitter and Facebook. But, Stone’s says it’s much more.
“In a world where 140 characters is considered a maximum length, a picture really is worth a thousand words,” Stone wrote in a post on Jelly’s blog. “Images are in the foreground of the Jelly experience because they add depth and context to any question.”
Stone’s passion for helping others is why he created Jelly. After asking himself, in a connected society, what is the true promise, the notion of “helping one another” made sense. The concern, however, is how this app will prosper in the future. In order to secure privacy of shared information, there will have to be some form of setting options to block other users (or social networks) to see questions and answers. Also, will Jelly become another form of Wikipedia? What will the app do with all of the information it will collect over time?
Jelly has been in development for over a year now. Ben Finkel is the cofounder.
Tech News: 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Introduces the Latest In Innovation (Jan.7-10, Las Vegas)
On Monday, January 6, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) kicked off their annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The week long event has made an outstanding reputation for itself as the “go-to” event to learn, see, and explore all things new in electronic innovation. Companies, industry representatives, and high-tier consumers all travel to Las Vegas in order to find out what’s next in electronics, digital media, clothing, and every thing in between.
This year, CES started with an official all-day press conference (Jan. 6), held at the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center, along with exclusive hour-long conferences hosted by YouTube, fitness gear merchandisers, television manufacturers, and more. The remaining 4-days will consist of various sessions that attendees will find very informative and beneficial to their innovation needs.
If you are a die hard Techie and want to know what’s next in the future of electronics, this is definitely the spot to be at. To peep the full schedule and/or find out how to become apart of CES next year, please visit www.CESWeb.org.
Most people celebrated Christmas yesterday surrounded by family and close friends. This time of fellowship allows everyone to enjoy their blessings and give unto others. This is one reason why gifts are such a big deal at Christmas time. And who doesn’t like to receive presents?!
So…what did Santa Claus (or family) give you for Christmas this year? Hopefully, it was something you really wanted and not one of those dreadful holiday sweaters. Although clothes are a always a great gift to give, for the past few years, electronics and tech gadgets have made the top of the list.
According to the Associated Press, audio equipment topped the holiday gift list this year. They say Americans purchased more items relating to music this year than in past years. Electronics such as headphones, speakers, and other audio gear made up approximately 13 percent of the $8 billion in sales made. Headphones like Beats by Dre, SMS Audio, etc rose about 14 percent in sales. Also, sales of the wireless sound bar speakers rose about 80 percent from last year.
Analysts believes Americans want a better listening experience, which is why dollars are being spent on high-quality sound gear (i.e. ear buds). With most Americans using their iPhones, Androids, tablets and such to listen to music and videos, no one wants to rely on the crappy ear buds you normally get with the phone. It’s all about the clarity of the sound, the bass, the surround sound, and overall audio quality. This has become of great importance to American consumers.
In addition to audio gear, analyst says tablets were a big hit again this year.
Tablets are not only purchased for adults any more. We now see a trend where more and more tablets are being purchased for seniors and kids. Kids, in particular, are using tablets at ages starting around 3 years old nowadays. Companies like Samsung, are designing tablets and apps that cater to a specific audience. For children, these tablets can be navigated through much easier. The tasks of scrolling through photos, playing video, playing games, and more are easy to do. And parents are quick to purchase tablets because it has taken place of the television, which was once the best way to keep a child preoccupied.
Corporations and brands have been known to use third party firms to collect consumer data. But, those days are soon long gone.
According to a recent video on WSJ.com, there’s a new app that will allow consumers to rate products directly through their iPhone or Android. The app is called Rewardable. It is a data collection app that helps brands determine the marketing strength of their products. Most third party consumer survey companies are known to pay individuals $25 to $200 to participate. Now, through the Rewardable app, people can earn money on the spot, while shopping in their favorite store.
The money earned goes directly into your PayPal account. This totally cut out the middle man.
To learn more about the app, watch the video below:
Tumblr, the blogging site that attracts an eclectic group of 35 and Unders, was recently purchased by Yahoo for a cool $1.1 billion. The attraction to the site was due to its hip and wildly witty demographic. Of the 170 million Tumblr users, half of them are under 35 years of age. On any given day, you are liable to see the quirkiest of comments, humorous posts, and even some risky images. These are just a fraction of what attracts certain people to the site. This internet hub has become one of the hippest of social media sites.
With all big acquisitions, the ability for the company to make money is what lingers in the balance. So of course, Yahoo is now pressuring Tumblr to sell more ads. As part of Tumblr’s “Year End Roundup” event, Yahoo will highlight the best ads that appeared on the site in 2013.
On HTTP://YEARINREVIEW.TUMBLR.COM, there will be an exploration of 20 categories ranging from the most popular musical groups to the most interesting architecture of 2013. Boasting a plethora of images, the review will continue through December with daily posts spanning 40 more categories that will culminate on New Year’s Eve with the best fireworks displays featured on Tumblr during the year. – AP
A very progressive move was made today with the release of One Direction’s new album, Midnight Memories. The Sony/Columbia label partnered up with one of the tech world’s most popular social media apps, Kik. With Kik’s ability to reach over 95 million users, One Direction’s new project was able to reach new plateaus in global marketing abilities.
Fans across the globe was introduced to a 1D Kik Card, chat with friends, and unlock exclusive content from an unique “unlocking” program designed for the music group. The card has the ability to let fans share videos, photos, news and their own exclusive One Direction content.
“We believe that messaging tools will be dominant in millennial communication, and that music will be a prominent vertical in that space. We’re excited to help Columbia get out there early to take advantage of this growing marketplace, and we’re confident other labels and brands will follow their lead.” said David Rosenberg, managing director, IPG Media Lab.
he IPG Media Lab connected Kik with Columbia Records and designed an exclusive community-driven opportunity for fans to get first looks, and connect to each other and the band. The card also gives One Direction a 24/7/365 presence on Kik and a new channel to drive engagement, making it a strong indicator of where music and brand marketing are heading in the space.
“We’re excited to provide One Direction with a fun, authentic new way to reach millions of their fans,” said Kik CEO Ted Livingston. “Brands and marketers are beginning to realize that messaging is the killer app in mobile, and we’re looking forward to working with IPG Media Lab to help more incredible brands like One Direction connect with their audiences.”
To access the 1D Kik card: Download and install Kik, available at Apple App Store or Google Play Store. After downloading Kik, go to www.1dkikcard.com on your iPhone or Android smartphone.
One Direction- Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson formed in 2010 and have since amassed a loyal fan base and fame all across the globe. With two albums to date, UP ALL NIGHT and TAKE ME HOME, they have impressively sold over 36 million records worldwide and have achieved a total of 67 number ones. It’s been an incredible year for One Direction as they took home a BRIT Award, 3 Billboard Music Awards, 6 Teen Choice Awards and received a moonman for Best Song Of The Summer at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. This summer, One Direction made their movie debut with their massive hit 3D concert movie and documentary One Direction: This Is Us. The film has been a phenomenal success, topping the UK and US box offices and grossing an incredible $67 Million worldwide. The band will release their third studio album MIDNIGHT MEMORIES on November 25th which includes the worldwide smash hit “Best Song Ever” and the current single “Story Of My Life.”
(via press release)
ATLANTA – (November 12, 2013) – Publik Trust, a new, evolved street wear clothing line launching in Spring 2014, that incorporates the changing look and demands of its consumers to provide a fresh modern edge to its fashion designs, today announced its partnership with Konsole Kingz, effective January 2014. Through this unique partnership, Xbox gamers around the world can purchase items from Publik Trust’s fashion lines through Ultrafresh, a virtual, urban fashion boutique available on the Xbox Live Marketplace, and deck out custom avatars in trendy looks that match gamers’ personal fashion styles. Since launching on Xbox in 2007, Konsole Kingz has sold more than 1.3 million virtual goods globally.
“Publik Trust’s partnership was coordinated to launch at the same time as our debut fashion line drops in stores,” said Demetrius Tatum, founder of Publik Trust. “This virtual licensing agreement is great for a new brand like Publik Trust because it helps us cross into the gaming industry where we increase exposure and build brand recognition with a massive global audience.”
To date, Xbox has sold more than 67 million consoles worldwide, and has several top fashion and accessory brands available in the Xbox Live Avatar Store, including: Adidas; Beats By Dre; Burton; Skull Candy; and more. In addition, Publik Trust has plans to create Xbox lounges within the stores of its key retailers for consumers to virtually dress and mix-and-match items from its collections while physically purchasing product. These lounges create a unique atmosphere for consumers and retailers to shop in a cutting edge environment where products can be selected and ordered or purchased on demand, and it’s as simple as a click.
Publik Trust is positioned to become a global brand and is launching in 75 retail stores including: DTLR; City Gear; Wish Atlanta; Walters; Shoe Gallery; Fly Kix; Dope; and many others. The brand is a forward thinking company that creates unique designs ahead of emerging trends while preserving the fundamental street wear looks and movements that are a favorite amongst young adult males. Much of its inspiration is derived from Mumbai, India, which is known for vibrant colors, movement and chic shapes.
“Through our early previews at industry related events and trade shows, items from the brand’s first collection have been well received,” added Tatum. “We’re ready to get our product in stores and available through Xbox’s Ultrafesh virtual boutique. This is a really exciting time and partnership for the Publik Trust brand.”
Please feel free to reach out to Nicole Kazak, President – Kazak Media, directly via email, or at (813) 966-4314, to learn more about Publik Trust, its partnership with Xbox and Konsole Kingz or to receive images from the Spring 2014 collection.
About Publik Trust
PUBLIK TRUST, scheduled to launch in Spring 2014, is an evolved street wear clothing line that incorporates the changing look and demands of its consumers to provide a fresh modern edge. PUBLIK TRUST is a forward thinking company that creates unique designs ahead of emerging trends while preserving the fundamental street wear looks and movements that are a favorite amongst young adult males. Founded by fashion industry veteran, Demetrius Tatum, and headquartered in Atlanta, GA, the brand will have six collection drops per year. The brand’s inspiration is derived from Mumbai, India, which is known for vibrant colors, movement and chic shapes. PUBLIK TRUST’s brand icon, the elephant, symbolizes strength and power – two fundamental characteristics the clothing line strives to convey to its consumers. For more information visit: www.publiktrust.com (website coming soon).
About Konsole Kingz
Konsole Kingz is the leader in connecting the followers of the hip-hop lifestyle to the videogame world. Konsole Kingz has been a part of the Xbox LIVE® Marketplace since 2007 and has delivered content that revolves around celebrity gamers, the urban gamer lifestyle and Konsole Queenz. For more, please visit: http://konsolekingz.com
Konsole Kingz, Konsole Queenz, and UGR are trademarks of Konsole Kingz, LLC, in the United States and/or other countries. Xbox® and Xbox 360® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Yesterday was a great day for owners of the “TWTR” stock. The messaging app opened up publicly and instantly created gigantic wealth for many as the stock closed at over 70%.
When Twitter opened the doors for a selective few to purchase at $26, analyst had no idea the stock would soar to $44.90. This instantly created the flood gates for individuals to quickly sell their $26 shares and turn a complete 100% profit. A lot of millionaires (and some billionaires) were born yesterday. But, Twitter has to now figure out how it will maintain a $31 billion market value. Experts believe this is where they will suffer in the long run.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter hasn’t been able to turn a profit. It’s advertising revenues aren’t generating the money many thought it would. Several reasons could be that advertising on Twitter lacks visual appeal. On Facebook, you can see a picture of the product instantly. You do not have to, literally, “click-thru” an url link in order to see and fully understand what product or service is being sold. Also, Twitter 140-characters only policy can ruin a company’s ability to impact the consumer through words. So, advertising is clearly a troubled area for Twitter.
Another area of concern is the global impact of Twitter. Although 232 million of Twitter users are internationally-based, their global ad sales are far from stellar. The numbers don’t add up. Therefore, Twitter tells the Associated Press that it plans to hire more sales representatives in various locations across the globe (i.e. Australia, Brazil, and Ireland).
Do you believe Twitter will maintain its leverage? Let us know what you think.
When you are riding in a limousine, the last thing on your mind is invasion of privacy. Well, it’s 2013 and things have changed. No longer will we only worry about guarding your personal information at work or at home. Now, online hackers can retrieve your information from anywhere…including a limo.
The Associated Press reports that an limousine software company was hacked and there’s potential exposure of sensitive data belonging to celebrities, athletes, executives, and some politicians. The company affected was Corporatecaronline. The company sells software to limousine companies that helps streamline reservations, pick ups/drop-offs, and payments. It boasts over 1 million customers. The potential for breached information to be leaked to the masses is overwhelming.
Dan Leonard, the owner of Corporatecaronline, was told of the breach over a month ago by Alex Holden, chief information security officer of Hold Security. Holden informed Leonard that credit card numbers and other personal info had been stolen.
No response made by Mr. Leonard as of yet.
“When your mom, grandmother, auntie and all the rest of your older family members joined Facebook, it’s time to find another social media outlet to congregate.” – Teenager
This is one of the reasons why Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his team are trying to figure ways to get this age demographic back interested. According to reports, Facebook has seen a slow drop in shares and their missing teenagers are one of the causes. With apps like Twitter and Instagram, Facebook doesn’t allow a friendlier outlook for the younger generation. Other apps are just more “hip” in comparison to Facebook. Also, the issue with privacy is a biggie for kids too.
Research shows teens’ growing interest in other social apps like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, and a recent Pew study found more than half of teens have avoided certain apps because they’re worried about privacy.
Twenty-six percent of teens have uninstalled an app after learning it was collecting their personal information, according to the study.
Zuckerberg was livid this past summer when critics called Facebook “not cool”. But, honestly, Zuckerberg must be living under a rock because Facebook isn’t cool. You can ask anyone under 35 that.
It may be time for the Facebook staff to go back to the drawing board and come up with a creative way to make the app/site fun again. Because sometimes kids just want to stay away from family and old classmates…aka people who may judge them.
What do you all think? What can Facebook do to regain its younger members?
For those of us who keep up with technological advances, we sort of knew that this day would come eventually. As people rely on their Androids and Apple iPhones to do almost any and everything imaginable, there would come a time when television would no longer wait to be seen in the comforts of your home.
In the last 5 to 10 years, there has been several companies that offered equipment and/or apps that transmits cable television to your mobile device. For instance, Slingbox is one that offers people the opportunity to watch their favorite TV programs from anywhere outside of the home. All you do is simply connect the box to your cable TV and then set up the connection on your phone. If you’re on the road going on a family vacation, just turn on the Slingbox connection and watch any channel of your choice. The product also has the capabilities to save your favorite channels, use a touch screen remote, etc. It’s pretty awesome.
Nowadays, the idea of watching television on your phone is becoming more common. Most people are rarely at home anyways, which is why cable companies probably began offering DVR boxes. Whether you are working or taking your kids back and forth to practices, finding time to sit down and watch television is rare. Networks are beginning to recognize this due to lack of viewer ratings. When ratings are low, advertising dollars start to decrease. So, how can networks prevent viewership from falling? Or, at least, track viewership to see where improvements can be made?
One way is to make sure that Nielsen is adjusting to the changes in how people watch TV. Well, that is exactly what they will be doing.
Nielsen recently announced that they will begin tracking mobile device viewership. All shows watched on a mobile phone or tablet will be accounted for. In order to get this done, Nielsen will embed a code into each network. The data received will be included in their traditional TV ratings.
As of now, Nielsen doesn’t believe these ratings will have a major impact on the overall ratings calculations. But, they do feel that it is important to capture this due to the younger viewing audiences who are more prone to watch on their phones.
The United Way of Greater Atlanta is now offering an innovative way to help people become financially fit. The new mobile app called the “Money Game” is an unique way to keep users engaged about a subject (money) that is otherwise considered a bit drab. The app selects financially-driven trivia questions for users and offers small prizes. This new innovative educational tool provide users with the necessary information to become financially independent – in the present and future. To help users maintain a positive outlook on money, United Way offers free mentors to each user.
The Money Game is available on Apple and Android smartphones. For more information or to download the app, visit www.UnitedWayAtlanta.org/MoneyGame/ .
OtterBox® is making more advances in smartphone protection. As the no. 1 selling case for smartphones, OtterBox will now sell indestructible cases for Apple iPads. The new Defender Series® for iPad® mini (with Retina) and Defender Series for iPad Air will feature many of the same elements that safeguard iPhones.
“Apple’s tablet lineup continues to change the way people connect around the world,” said OtterBox CEO Brian Thomas. “When OtterBox designs for the latest iPads, we complement the Apple design intent and functionality and ensure these devices are protected from physical harm. Our category-leading cases provide consumers the confidence to know that their tablets are functional virtually everywhere they go.”
The Defender Series is manufactured with the same polycarbonate shell and shock-absorbing slip cover. The iPad case will also come with a removable screen shield which protects the Retina whether it is in use or not. The shield will also double as a media viewing stand with landscape and portrait modes.
Pre-orders are being accepted now with an estimated shipping release date of October 31. Clearly Protected™ device guards will be coming soon.
To find out more about these new products, visit www.OtterBox.com.
Microsoft released its latest operating system on last Thursday, Windows 8.1. The system is the next step up from the Windows 8. However, many users of Windows 8 criticized the operating system for its failure to bridge the tablet and PC world together as planned. Therefore, Microsoft made a few tweaks and updates and now one year later Windows 8.1 is here.
Windows 8.1. contains the same updates as 8, but features some additions to make the user experience more functional and exciting. According to the Associated Press, The features that Windows 8.1 offers are as follows:
START ME UP – The Start button is back in desktop mode, although not the way it was before Windows 8 came along. In Windows 7 and before, a click on Start would have brought up programs and important folders in a list. Now, one tap on Start flips you back to the new tile interface, where you can click or tap tiles to open programs. A long press brings up crucial settings such as the Control Panel.
BOOT TO DESKTOP – You can now start up the machine in desktop mode, bypassing the tiles for a short time. That removes some of the headache for companies that want to use Windows 8 but don’t want to buy a touch-screen monitor for every employee.
TOUCH AND GESTURE UPDATES
ONSCREEN KEYBOARD SWIPES - The onscreen keyboard now includes the ability to type numbers or punctuation marks by swiping up or away from certain keys on the standard “QWERTY” layout, eliminating the need to toggle between numeric and alphabetic layouts. You can also select from suggested words mid-stream using side swipes and taps on the virtual spacebar.
GESTURE-ENABLED APPS – You can now wave in the air in front of the front-facing camera to get a response. For example, in the new app Bing Food & Drink, a right-to-left wave in “Hands Free Mode” flips through pages of a recipe.
QUICKER TILE ORGANIZING - You can tap and hold Windows tiles with your finger to move them. Another couple taps will allow you to resize them in one of four sizes. In the previous version, you had to go back to the mouse or touchpad and right-click on tiles to do this, and you were limited to two sizes.
EASIER APPS ACCESS - Finding all your apps takes just a swipe up on your start screen, as long as you don’t do it from beyond the bottom edge. Before, you had to swipe up from the bottom edge, then tap on the All Apps button.
AUTOMATIC UPDATES – Apps update in the background, replacing the constant reminders to go to the Windows Store to update the apps yourself.
SMALLER TABLETS – Windows 8.1 now has a home screen that looks good in portrait mode on screens measuring 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally.
LOCK SCREEN ACCESS – You can now answer Skype calls or take photos from the lock screen without having to log in. Just swipe down. You can also set other apps like Twitter to send notifications when the screen is locked.
BETTER MULTITASKING – In Windows 8.1, you can run up to four apps at once side by side, double the previous amount, though you need a large, high-resolution monitor to do so (On their own, Microsoft’s Surface tablets are not big enough for more than two). You can resize panes using a slider that moves side to side, instead of being limited to one larger window and one slender one. This is still not as capable as Windows 7 or in desktop mode, where you can open dozens of items in windows that can be resized horizontally, vertically and diagonally. And many app makers have yet to adapt, meaning some apps still appear as a thin sliver, even if you want them to take up half the screen.
GLOBAL SEARCH - Typing while on the tile-based start screen will pull up multiple search results – if applicable – from your computer, the Web and the Windows app store. If you’re searching for a musician, you’ll see a list of popular songs you can play using Xbox Music, and if it’s someone famous (like President Barack Obama) you’ll see biographical details, videos and other information. Before, you had to choose where to search: in apps, settings, computer files or on the Internet.
EMAIL UPDATE – The standard-issue Mail app now has a “power pane” on left-hand side with folders for updates from social networks like Facebook, messages from favorite contacts and newsletters. Some of these features work only with Microsoft accounts such as Hotmail and Outlook.com, though. A new “sweep” command deletes multiple messages with a couple taps.
BETTER BROWSING – No longer are you limited to 10 open tabs in the tile version of Internet Explorer. Before, Web pages automatically closed without prompts when you try to open more. You can open as many as you want now. Better yet, you can have two different websites displayed side by side, the way you’ve long been able to before Windows 8 came along.
XBOX MUSIC REFRESH - The music streaming app now optimizes playback over discovery with a layout that has more lists and smaller photos. It also adds the ability to create playlists from any website with a couple taps. When on a website featuring artists, swipe in from the right edge and tap the Share button followed by the Music button. It will create a song playlist based on those artists, which you can then stream for free.
PICTURE EDITING – A picture editor with pre-set effects comes with the update, allowing for photo touchups, cropping, contrast changes and other features.
XBOX ONE INTEGRATION – You can pick up where you left off if you start playing a video purchased on Xbox Video on a tablet and then watch the rest on Microsoft’s upcoming game console, Xbox One.
Despite the new updates, Windows 8.1 caught a lot of flack for several glitches it contained. Complaints came in about the system crashes the new OS has caused once downloaded.
As of Sunday, Microsoft quickly pulled the free download from their website. They issued an apology and promised users that they will update everyone when the issues are resolved.
“RT 8.1 is an operating system for tablets and light, thin personal computers. It only runs built-in apps or apps downloaded from the Windows Store.” – Microsoft
Want To Go To Space? Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson & NBC Team Up for ‘Space Race’ Competition Show
Billionaire owner of Virgin Airlines, Richard Branson, is ready to take his Virgin Galactic spacecraft to the moon. But, he’s willing to fly one person for free when the first flight take place. However, there is one kick. That lucky person must become the winner on a new competition show titles “Space Race”.
Branson and television producer, Mark Burnett have partnered up to develop the competition show for NBC. The first flight to space is rumored to occur sometime in 2014. The space craft has been going through rigorous testing at a Virgin Galactic facility.
Virgin has been testing its rocket-powered space vehicle this year, with pilots reaching a height of 69,000 feet on a Sept. 5 flight that landed in the Mojave Desert near Virgin Galactic’s facility there. Virgin has said the goal is to begin commercial flights next year, with Branson and his family taking the first ride.
The first flight into space is almost booked up. Branson has already received seat reservations from 640 people totaling $80 million. Wow! So, if you are eager to take that trip into space, make sure you have no less than $125,000 to spend.
No word yet on when “Space Race” will air on NBC. If we hear of any auditions dates or when its scheduled to premiere, we will let you.
Secret “EBay For Drugs” Website ‘Silk Road’ Generated $1Billion In Sales; Its Mastermind Captured By Feds
At some point in this digital age, someone was going to take their drug-dealings away from the streets and into the cyber world. So, this story below shouldn’t come as no surprise.
Ross William Ulbricht, also known as Dread Pirate Robinson, was recently captured and charged for running a billion dollar illegal drug website. The website ‘Silk Road’ was a secret community of users who used the site to purchase and/or distribute illegal drugs (i.e. heroin, marijuana, psychedelics, stimulants, etc). The site had over 1 million users registered worldwide. Its popularity was fueled by the fact that an user could register and browse through the catalogue of drugs anonymously. Federal authorities claims that Ulbricht brokered over $1 billion in transactions on Silk Road and ordered a failed murder-for-hire on a former employee.
After two years of investigation, the Feds captured 29 year old Ulbricht in a quiet library in San Francisco, California. Ulbricht is originally from Austin, Texas but took up modest living in San Fran with two roommates.
Ulbricht first came to the attention of federal agents in 2011 when they figured out he was “altoid,” someone who they say was marketing Silk Road on other drug-related websites the FBI was watching. In October 2011, “altoid” posted an advertisement for a computer expert with experience in Bitcoin, an electronic currency, and gave an email address.
From there, investigators began to monitor Ulbricht’s online behavior closely, according to the court records. Investigators said Ulbricht was living within 500 feet of a San Francisco Internet cafe on June 3, 2013, when someone “logged into a server used to administer the Silk Road website.”
Court documents show investigators slowly connected Ulbricht to Silk Road by monitoring his email and picking up on some slipups, including using his real name to ask a programmers’ website a highly technical question about connecting to secret sites like Silk Road.
His final mistake, according to the court papers, was ordering fake identification documents from a Silk Road vendor from Canada. One of the nine documents was a California driver’s license with Ulbricht’s photograph, birthdate but a different name. The package was intercepted at the border during a routine U.S. Customs search.
On July 26, Homeland Security investigators visited Ulbricht at his San Francisco residence. He “generally refused to answer questions,” the agents said.
The investigators left that day without arresting Ulbricht, who holds a bachelor’s of science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas and a master’s degree from Penn State University.
They returned Tuesday and arrested him at the library. He faces the prospect of life in prison if convicted of all the charges. (AP)
We’re in the wrong business…clearly.
In just one day, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc (the makers of Grand Theft Auto video games) stacked up over $800,000 in sales from the release of the latest GTA series 5. The series was launched on Tuesday, September 17 for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and the XBox 360. GTAV launched worldwide with the exception of Brazil and Japan.
“All of us at Take-Two are thrilled with the initial response to Grand Theft Auto V. Once again, the team at Rockstar Games have outdone themselves, setting the entertainment industry’s new standard for creativity, innovation and excellence,” said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two. “Beginning at midnight on Monday, consumers around the world gathered in anticipation to be among the first to experience the evolution of this remarkable series. In North America alone, more than 8,300 stores opened their doors at midnight to welcome fans whose loyalty and enthusiasm were rewarded with what The New York Times called ‘the most immersive spectacle in interactive entertainment’. We are incredibly proud of Rockstar Games’ creative achievement and could not be more pleased with the success of this launch.”
GTA V will also be accompanied by the first worldwide online gaming experience. Grand Theft Auto Online is included with the purchase of GTA V and can be accessed for free starting October 1.
For more information on GTA, please visit www.rockstargames.com/V .
The very popular SoundHound mobile application will soon give Android users an extra special experience. The “sound search company” has added a new feature to the app. With the help of WhoSampled, SoundHound users will now be able to find out who sings a song, but also find out which records were sampled, remixed, and covered and by whom.
“Remixing and sampling has grown in popularity over the years in all genres of music from contemporary to urban,” said James Hom, Vice President of Products for SoundHound. “Working with WhoSampled’s data to power the ‘DNA of Music Project’ gives our fans the opportunity to delve deeper by exploring the roots of the song they have just discovered.”
The SoundHound app is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, or at http://bit.ly/SoundHoundiTunes. On Android devices, SoundHound is available at http://bit.ly/SoundHoundPlayStore. Windows Phone users can download SoundHound at http://bit.ly/SoundHoundWindowsPhone. On BlackBerry 10 devices, SoundHound can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/SoundHoundBlackBerry.
SoundHound is the most frequently downloaded app amongst Apple, Google Play, Windows, and Blackberry users.
WhoSampled is the world’s largest database of sample-based music, remixes, and cover songs.
See this is the type of thing that can happen if you make a promise and then decide to not keep it.
Producer/singer/songwriter Ryan Leslie has made millions in the music industry for quite some time. So, it’s not like he doesn’t have the money. But, a couple years ago a laptop holding a catalogue of some of his best works went missing in the U.K. Ryan made a plea to the anyone that finds the missing laptop he promised to give them $1 million. Well eventually a man name Armin Augustein found the laptop and unselfishly returned it to Leslie.
Thinking that Leslie would keep his promise, Augustein was soon surprised when Leslie refused to pay. Leslie refused to fork over the money because he stated that there were music files missing from the laptop. Augustein wasn’t too fond of that explanation and turned over his aggravation to the court system.
A judge found Leslie guilty of not paying his promised finders fee and ordered him to pay Augustein what he was owed. To-date, Augustein has only received $5,000. Well, recently New York authorities reposed Leslie’s 2010 Cadillac Escalade. The vehicle has now been put up in auction and its proceeds will go towards remaining payment owed to Augustein.
No word yet on it other personal items of Leslie’s will be seized.
In case you missed Leslie’s interview (several months ago) with Power 105.1′s The Breakfast Club, check out his explanation of what happened here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpxSN-dHoHU .
Ryan Leslie got to be feeling some type of way now. If he’d only went ahead and paid the man $1 million for finding his laptop, he wouldn’t be the laughing stock of the industry right now. And isn’t he an Harvard or Yale graduate! You would think he’d be a little bit more smarter than this. All he got to do is set up a payment plan with the courts, if he’s unable to pay it all in one lump sum. SMH…get it together Leslie!
CEO Yang Yuaqing is being extra friendly with his annual bonus this year. As the owner of Lenovo Group, he made $14.6 million in 2012 and has decided hand over some of it to his hard working employees. According to reports, Yuanqing will give $3.25 million of his bonus to 10,000 employees. Of course after dividing it up, that only amounts to $325 per worker. Some may see this as too little of an amount. But, at his headquarters in Beijing, this equates to a month’s salary.
Over 20 offices scattered across the globe will receive these bonus payouts. Yuanqing says his kind gesture is to reward his employees for having a huge impact on the company’s survival as the world’s largest PC maker. Therefore, the majority of the bonus money will be given to his employees who work in the manufacturing plants.
via press release…
The Rich Dad Company, founded by personal finance expert Robert Kiyosaki, today announced Rich Dad Interactive, a digital-focused brand that will provide the always-online generation with new ways to learn financial literacy. Most well-known for Rich Dad Poor Dad, the top-selling personal finance book of all time, Rich Dad will bring the time-tested lessons that have helped millions find financial freedom to new audiences via apps, games and interactive learning tools. Rich Dad Interactive’s first product, Clutch, a new take on the e-book format with a focus on visual and interactive elements, is planned for release on the Apple App Store in September 2013.
Millions of Americans and people around the world, especially young people who face intense financial challenges today, haven’t been taught how to take control of their financial future,” said Robert Kiyosaki. “Through Rich Dad Interactive, we’ll provide powerful, fun, new ways to gain financial literacy.”
“We’ve successfully spread the Rich Dad message through books and lectures around the world,” said Shane Caniglia, entrepreneur, President of Rich Dad and head of Rich Dad Interactive. “Studies show that as many as 80% of all online Americans aged 18 to 34 now have smartphones. Online-enabled devices have provided a great platform through which we can reach large audiences and distribute Rich Dad’s lessons in highly effective, interactive forms that are proven to increase retention.”
To learn more about Rich Dad Interactive and view the “Open Your Eyes” trailer, please visit: www.richdad.com/interactive.
Youtube founders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen have created a new app that allows users to create videos from their iOS. And…how does it differ from the other DIY video apps? Well, according to Fortune…
MixBit joins contenders like Vine and Instagram, the latter of which branched out into video this June, which are vying for a chunk of users’ ever-increasing mobile time. But where Vine and Instagram only allow a maximum of six- and 15-second clips respectively, MixBit lets users capture up to 16 seconds and stitch those snippets together into a larger video project over one-hour long — or a maximum of 256 clips. They can then share the final result on Facebook (FB), Twitter, Google (GOOG) Plus, or the Mixbit Web site, also launching this week.
But where MixBit tries to one-up its competition is in its ability to let users edit and collaborate with other users on content. Vine for instance, is so simple it offers no editing tools, while Instagram’s remain more basic. In comparison, MixBit members may crop, duplicate, import photos and outside clips not even taken with the app. (Indeed, they don’t have to record any original clips at all and instead create projects with clips from other Mixbit members.)
The iOS version will be launched first then Andriod will follow.
Do you think MixBit will be the a hit amongst techies??
In two weeks, Madden NFL 25 will be released. With the NFL pre-season games underway, what better time to release the new Madden game. If you are a gamer and one to get the one-up on the competition, EA Sports has released an official playbook via Facebook. The playbook offers tips on offensive/defensive plays. And if that’s not enough, an official Madden 25 Demo will be released on August 13th, which will allow you to relive the Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers 2012 Super Bowl game.
Madden NFL 25 will cost $65.
To download the playbook, visit Facebook and search “Madden NFL 25“.
When Instagram rolled out the capabilities to embed photos, this was a relief to many bloggers and news sites. Twitter posts can be shared as well. Now, Facebook is following suit with its sharing capabilities.
If you are a blogger and would like to post someone else’s Facebook message on your site, you can go to that post and click on the “Embed Post” option. You will then be able to copy the code and then post/message, photo, videos, or other random content to your website. But, the embed option only work if that Facebook member has a public page or their security settings are open to nonsubscribers or nonfriends/fans who have access to the page.