Amazon moves causes Best Buy to lose $1 billion in market cap overnight

Recode reports that Amazon has been hiring folks to provide in-home installations for electronics and smart home devices.  The operation is up and running in 7 markets so far. Smart home gadgets are selling, but Amazon reports higher than normal return rates, in part because they can be tough to set up the first time.  … Continue reading Amazon moves causes Best Buy to lose $1 billion in market cap overnight

News organizations ask Congress for authority to collectively bargain with Google, Facebook

The New Media Alliance represent almost 2,000 news organizations, primarily newspapers.  This week, the organization starting asking Congress for some help in taking on the big internet companies.  Call it a pre-emptive strike for collective bargaining with Google and Facebook. It’s no secret that Goo-book dominates digital advertising.  In the third quarter of 2016, 99% … Continue reading News organizations ask Congress for authority to collectively bargain with Google, Facebook

Insights: Analyzing 105,000 Facebook pages for emoji’s

Facebook places weight on reactions – those love, sad, angry, lol emoji’s – when determining what to put in your news feed.  It values them more than likes.  “Over the past year we’ve found that if people leave a Reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type … Continue reading Insights: Analyzing 105,000 Facebook pages for emoji’s

Man fined $4,000 for clicking the Like button of defamatory Facebook posts

Here’s a twist.  A Swiss man has been fined roughly $4,000 bucks for clicking the Like button on Facebook.  Yup, you read that right.  Fortune reports that the man (not named in court) clicked the Like button on what a judge termed defamatory comments on Facebook. By clicking the Like button, the judge said, the … Continue reading Man fined $4,000 for clicking the Like button of defamatory Facebook posts

New study links social media use to less gray matter in your brain

Too much Facebook = less brain cells, according to a study in the medical journal Behavioral Brain Research. The researchers did MRI scans of active 85 Facebook users. “Higher daily frequency of checking Facebook on the smartphone was robustly linked with smaller gray matter volumes of the nucleus accumbens," the study said. Nucleus accumbens are … Continue reading New study links social media use to less gray matter in your brain

FTC cracks down on Zombie Cookies that track your online behavior even after you opt-out

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a settlement with Turn over its use of Supercookies (also called Zombie Cookies). The FTC has accused Turn of deception by tracking consumers for ads even after people tried to opt out.  While not admitting any wrongdoing, the settlement will prohibit Turn from misrepresenting what it does in gathering … Continue reading FTC cracks down on Zombie Cookies that track your online behavior even after you opt-out

Would you rather pay for content or put up with advertising?

85% say give us ads. 75% say they would drastically reduce their online activities if they had to pay. In fact, Americans assigned a value of nearly $1,200 per year to the array of free, ad-supported services and content currently available to them on computers and mobile devices, according to a survey conducted by Zogby … Continue reading Would you rather pay for content or put up with advertising?

Facebook’s 10-year road map includes typing with your brain, listening with your skin, and no more smart phones

Mark Zuckerberg laid out his 10-year road map at the F8 Facebook developers conference and hinted at some of the projects in the works at the social media company.  It’s either genius or madness. Cameras, Zuckerberg said, were really the first augmented reality platform.  Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist of Oculus Research, shared his vision for … Continue reading Facebook’s 10-year road map includes typing with your brain, listening with your skin, and no more smart phones

Two Huntsville, AL area companies team up to do world’s first 360-degree LIVE VIDEO of a rocket launch

This could be really cool. NASA’s doing a 360-degree video stream of a rocket launch. NASA teamed up with two Alabama companies (United Launch Alliance (ULA) from Decatur, AL and Orbital ATK from Huntsville, AL) to broadcast the world’s first live 360-degree stream of a rocket launch. You can watch the live 360 stream of … Continue reading Two Huntsville, AL area companies team up to do world’s first 360-degree LIVE VIDEO of a rocket launch

A bad idea: Congress looks at taxing advertising

The Trump administration has put tax reform on the table for debate.  There are very few people that would argue what we have right now is working fine.  One of the things under discussion, however, is eliminating the business deduction for advertising. Businesses are able to deduct the cost of ordinary and necessary businesses expenses, … Continue reading A bad idea: Congress looks at taxing advertising

Morning inspiration: 19 quick quotes on being happy

Here are 19 quick quotes to help you remember, happiness begins by looking inward: “People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain “Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” — Margaret Lee … Continue reading Morning inspiration: 19 quick quotes on being happy

Looking for inspiration? 18 quick quotes about attitude

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have … Continue reading Looking for inspiration? 18 quick quotes about attitude

Virtual advertising on windshields aimed at the driver?

I’ve started to wonder if we’re putting too much tech in front of drivers. As they navigate down the road, there are an awful lot of things that can add to your distracted driving. My new car has a screen that shows current radar and weather forecasts. I’ve found the find-the-nearest-gas-stations and display their current … Continue reading Virtual advertising on windshields aimed at the driver?

Now ransomware is showing up on a Smart TV?

Wow.  Just wow. Darrn Cauthon is a software developer.  On Christmas day, he says, a family member was using their Smart TV and downloaded an app to watch a movie.  The TV set froze up. When it rebooted, this notice appeared claiming to be from FBI Director James Comey. Full of grammatical errors, it said … Continue reading Now ransomware is showing up on a Smart TV?

Key insights in examining a trillion social media posts

When you can comb through data, trends emerge.  When you can go through a trillion social media posts, you can gauge the conversation well. Crimson Hexagon is in the business of providing business insights, such as turning a data analysis of social media into strategy.  Crimson Hexagon mined its own data repository from six years’ … Continue reading Key insights in examining a trillion social media posts

At what point does new technology become mainstream?  

Commercial mobile telephones were actually invented in 1949 by AT&T, but it wasn't until the early 70's that phones were truly mobile - not tethered to vehicles.  I remember when neighbor kids would want to ride in my car so they could call Mom at home and tell her where they were calling from. They … Continue reading At what point does new technology become mainstream?  

A place where writers write, and readers read

Medium is the platform you may not know about, but you should.  It was started in 2012 by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and has become a place for people to debate Trump, Clinton, and Brexit – amazingly in logical, rational debate (for the most part). Medium is a place where writers write and readers read.  … Continue reading A place where writers write, and readers read

Four times people were threatened or sued for leaving bad reviews on Yelp… and won

Put a bad review on line and you risk not just making the business mad, but maybe lawsuits and fines. You may not even know you’re doing something that could get you in trouble, but buried in the TOS (term of service agreements) you never read, or buried in some small type on a contract … Continue reading Four times people were threatened or sued for leaving bad reviews on Yelp… and won

Cord cutters are cutting cable AND broadband internet at home

First it was cutting landline phones for mobile.  Next, cord cutters dropped cable TV and opted for streaming devices.  Now, in what Ovum researchers call “triple cord cutting,” we’re seeing people start to trim their broadband connections at home and use cell phones to do their online viewing. “Cord-cutting started in landlines and gave way … Continue reading Cord cutters are cutting cable AND broadband internet at home

Talking cars could help make roads safer, help the environment

If you’ve bought a new car lately, you know there’s an incredible amount of tech going on that has nothing to do with driving.  My new car has weather radar maps, sports scores, movie times, and even Open Table available on the touchscreen.  But a proposed rule from NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) would … Continue reading Talking cars could help make roads safer, help the environment

Proof that Facebook users live longer (says Facebook)

Ok, you have to consider the source, but Facebook is now reporting that using Facebook can extend your life. Follow the logic here:  People with lots of friends tend to live longer.  BTW, Facebook calls these “strong social networks offline.”  Social relationships, they say, are as predictive as smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.  So, does … Continue reading Proof that Facebook users live longer (says Facebook)

The dirty little secret of digital ad networks

In the rush to move to digital advertising, there’s been an awful lot of ad dollars wasted because people didn’t really know what they were buying. Remember the early days of the world wide web?  People reported “hits” – which we then learned equated to server calls and could be as little as a pixel … Continue reading The dirty little secret of digital ad networks

A symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, group charges copyright fees to use “We Shall Overcome”

Should the song be Public Domain? The same law firm that succeeded in getting “Happy Birthday” into the public domain is now trying to get “We Shall Overcome” released from copyright.  This week, a federal court ruled to let the case move forward. The song became a galvanizing force in the civil rights movement during the … Continue reading A symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, group charges copyright fees to use “We Shall Overcome”

Media, Pollsters get failing grades

There’s no question it was a nasty election season.  The losers?  According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, just about everyone. The press got blasted… even more than the candidates themselves. When voters were asked to grade how different people/groups conducted themselves in the campaign, Donald Trump got a D or F grade … Continue reading Media, Pollsters get failing grades

Were the Presidential polls really wrong – or was it just the way they were interpreted?

Pollsters have gotten a lot of grief over getting the election results wrong.  There’s reason to criticize, but I think some people are placing blame when it’s not as clear cut as they might think. First, it appears that although Trump won the electoral college, Clinton won the popular vote.  The national polls aren’t tracking … Continue reading Were the Presidential polls really wrong – or was it just the way they were interpreted?

Are newspaper endorsement irrelevant in today’s world?

USA Today is the most-circulated newspaper in the country and until this election year, had never taken sides in a Presidential election.  In 2016, it asked readers not to vote for Donald Trump.  The Arizona Republic supported Hillary Clinton, the first time it had endorsed a Democrat in 126 years. In 143 of publishing, The … Continue reading Are newspaper endorsement irrelevant in today’s world?

Should internet providers be held liable when its users illegally download content?

“In this copyright action, the putative owners of more than 1,400 musical composition copyrights seek to hold Cox Communications, Inc. and Cox Com, LLC (collectively, "Cox") contributorily and vicariously liable for alleged copyright infringement taking place over its high-speed internet service." With those words, the court’s opinion in the case against Cox Communications for copyright … Continue reading Should internet providers be held liable when its users illegally download content?

Copyright, Fair Use, Free Speech, Prince, and the case of the Dancing Baby

Stephanie Lenz thought it was kinda funny when she saw her baby dancing back in 1984. She took video and posted a clip of less than 30 seconds on YouTube. In the background, amid a fair amount of ambient noise (and another child screaming), you can make out “Let’s Go Crazy,” a song by Prince. … Continue reading Copyright, Fair Use, Free Speech, Prince, and the case of the Dancing Baby

Is Facebook allowing illegal, discriminatory advertising practices?

Facebook ads lets you exclude users from ads based on race When you're as big as Facebook is, everything you do is going to be under the microscope - from what stories you feature in the Trending section, to what pictures you allow to be published, to how you count video views, to the nuances … Continue reading Is Facebook allowing illegal, discriminatory advertising practices?

What’s on your ballot? Easy way to find out before going to the polls

OK, so you know who's running for President and maybe the local school board (maybe). Do you know what statewide initiatives are on the ballot and what the language means?  It might help to look at the info ahead of time so you're not trying to decipher legalize in the voting booth. Some states publish … Continue reading What’s on your ballot? Easy way to find out before going to the polls

Say goodbye to Vine, which once had 100 million active monthly users

At one time, Vine had 100 million users. That’s 100 million active monthly users. But those times are long gone. The looping videos with a six second limit were a novelty and created critical mass. It was a popular way to share sports clips and spawned an amazingly creative user base. After all, it takes … Continue reading Say goodbye to Vine, which once had 100 million active monthly users

Is the #BoycottNFL movement actually making a difference

The Sunday night NFL game this past weekend had another bad outing. OK, so Houston-Indy isn’t the best game going, but it drew the smallest number of viewers in about five years. So far this season, NBC’s games — run in primetime — are down 17% from last year. Through six weeks of the season, NFL games in total are down … Continue reading Is the #BoycottNFL movement actually making a difference

The incredible number of people making $100,000 or more a year that have nothing in the bank

40% of Americans earning $100,000-$149,000 a year say they have less than $1,000 in savings!  18% say they have NOTHING saved. How much money do you have in the bank right now?  If you answered more than $1,000, you’re in the minority.  That’s both crazy and sad. It’s true though, according to a new survey … Continue reading The incredible number of people making $100,000 or more a year that have nothing in the bank

Children suing Parents for posting pictures on-line

If you share an embarrassing picture of your kids on Facebook, you might get sued. An 18-year old woman in Austria is suing her parents, saying they posted more than 500 images of her without her consent. Dad says he took the pictures so he has the rights.  The daughter disagrees. It's not just an … Continue reading Children suing Parents for posting pictures on-line

Olympic rule 40 prohibits athletes from marketing themselves during the Olympics

Yet many Olympic athletes live below the poverty line Despite the TV glory, a surprising number of Olympic athletes live below the poverty line. They typically self-fund their training and efforts, scraping together an income from limited prize money, part-time jobs, and sponsor contracts. Selling sausages to train for the Olympics We hear about the $8 … Continue reading Olympic rule 40 prohibits athletes from marketing themselves during the Olympics