Archive for March, 2012
Does it seem like this massive Mega-Millions jackpot is attracting a lot of Lottery players that you wouldn’t normally expect?
It’s not an accident.
In a 2002 Senior Honors Thesis at Harvard titled: Dreaming Big: Why Do People Play the Powerball?, Emily Oster produced these two great charts.
The first looks at per-capita sales of lottery tickets in poor neighborhoods. Each dot represents one drawing.
The second look at the same jackpots, but instead focuses on per-capita sales in rich neighborhoods.
It is clear from these graphs that the poorest zip codes purchase more tickets at the lowest jackpot levels. However, at the highest jackpots the sales are about the same (slightly over $16 per capita in the poorest zip codes and around $17 per capita in the richest).
Basically, the poor play all the lotteries. The rich just go for the big ones, but when the big ones happen, they do it at the same level as the poor.
- The 10 States That Make The Most Money From Sin
- Obama Gives A Huge Gift To The Online Gambling Industry
- 900 Euromillions Tickets Sold Per Second, As Mania Builds Over $266-Million Jackpot
Global Payments, a major credit card processing company, has reportedly been hacked. That means each of the four major credit card companies, and according to reports, as many as 10 million customers are at risk.
The story has been developing throughout the morning. Right now, it goes like this: Hackers gained access to an administrative-privileged account at a New York City taxi company and, over the course of several months, stole 10 million credit card numbers. They’ve been sitting on them, waiting to spend all at once to maximize the time before they’re shut down.
The Wall Street Journal puts the number of compromised accounts around 50,000, which is a far cry from 10 million. The massive number had originally been sourced to a post from a Gartner analyst, and while it seems a little far fetched that a cab company would have millions of numbers, we’d still err to caution.
Visa and Mastercard have both issued statements explaining the breach, but stressed that their networks were not specifically breached. Though that doesn’t really matter if you’re affected by the hack of “third-party processor” Global Payments. No word yet from American Express or Discover, but both are accepted by official NYC cabs.
Third-party processors like Global Payments or PayPal simplify accepting credit cards for small or spread out merchants. So a cab using GP is about the same as an eBay seller using PayPal, and this hack affects users the same way a PayPal hack would. Which is to say, very seriously.
Everyone seems to be scrambling to figure out what’s going on here, including credit card companies. What we’re going on right now is that this is probably based out of New York, and probably confined to those who’ve paid for a cab with a credit card. If you fit that description, think about preemptively checking in with your card company to protect yourself. [Gartner, PhysOrg, CNN, WSJ]
Update: Bank of America and Chase have apparently been alerting their customers about this breach for weeks, but not providing specifics beyond their individual accounts. And in some cases, alerted customers received fraudulent charges even after a card had supposedly been shut down.
Thanks Lauren & iomegaman5
Today Best Buy announced layoffs and store closures, as results continue to disappoint.
None of the businesses are too hot, but there’s one are that REALLY stands out as bad.
Entertainment (which is games, DVDs, etc.) is getting crushed. After falling 14% YOY last Q4, it then fell another 20% this Q4.
One bright spot is actually a very bright spot for the total economy and that’s appliances. This is a sign of more housing activity, and everyone should be happy about that.
As to the key point, anyone who has ever been into a Best Buy knows how much floor space was devoted to entertainment media, and area that seems to be on the permanent decline.
- CITI: Trade In Your Best Buy Stock For One Of Their Cheap Big Screen TVs
- Citi: We Checked Out The Shopping Malls, And This Is What We Saw
- Best Buy Misses Q2 Estimates
Red Hat announced $1.13 billion in annual revenue, up 25 percent from a year ago.
This officially marks the first time a company that makes 100% of its living from open source products topped the billion-dollar mark.
For the quarter ending February 29, Red Hat posted revenue of $297 million, up 21% year-over-year, and GAAP EPS of 18 cents, up 6%. Its quarterly non-GAAP EPS was 29 cents, up 12% from last year.
Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 27 cents per share on revenue of $291.2 million.
Shares are up over 7% to about $55 in after hours trading.
- The Secret to Red Hat’s Billion-Dollar Success: Everyone’s The Boss
- Red Hat Rubs Its Billion-Dollar Year In Bill Gates’ Face
- Cisco Is Back: Beats Expectations And Stock Jumps
The promise of free energy is an enticing one — that’s free as in renewable source, not cost. (This is capitalism, after all, someone’s got to foot the bill.) Economic gripes aside, research outfits like M.I.T. are getting us one step closer to this cleaner fuel future with the creation of three dimensional photovoltaic cells. The team’s findings, recently published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, demonstrate how these computer-modeled structures, rising upward in an unfolded accordion shape, have been proven to increase their energy yield over contemporary flat panels by up to 20 times in field and theoretical testing. This capacity gain, made possible by an efficient harvesting of sunlight during less optimal hours of the day, could be especially helpful in powering regions prone to overcast or wintry climates. The tech is still far from consumer friendly, though, with the actual price of the associated juice exceeding that of traditional solar tech. With continued improvements to the manufacturing process, however, residential and business customers could very well look forward to a future outfitted with solar towers only a Cubist could love.
MIT’s 3D solar cells take cubism to new energy efficient heights originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 28 Mar 2012 03:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The past fourteen or so years have been a great run for flat-panel TV sales, but according to IHS (formerly iSuppli), that run is finally going to turn in the down direction in 2012. The expected drop off is predicted to be five percent, which still leaves the total TVs sold in 2012 at 37.1 million, more than a few dollars for sure. The fact that last year saw a modest one percent raise is as good of an indicator as any that the good times are over. Of course this is but a single prediction from a single analyst firm and we’ll all have to wait until the year is over and earnings are announced to know anything for certain.
Flat-panel TV shipments to fall for the first time ever in 2012? originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 28 Mar 2012 07:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Know that gadget you’re currently using to read this article? It may be one of 916 million “smart connected devices” that shipped in 2011, with global revenue totaling some $489 billion last year. But the IDC expects that figure to jump to 1.1 billion for 2012, with a total of 1.84 billion new web-connected gadgets hitting the market in 2016. Those numbers include most devices that connect to the internet, such as tablets, smartphones and x86-compatible PCs — the latter of which now represent 36.9 percent of the market, but will slip to a 25.1-percent share in 2016. Android’s piece of the pie will grow from 29.4 percent to 31.1 percent by 2016, while iOS will make the jump from 14.6 to 17.3 percent in the same timeframe. IDC reps say that Asia will be partially responsible for increased smartphone sales, where mobile operators in China are subsidizing purchases to make devices more accessible to consumers. Do you plan to take possession of one of the 1.1 billion gadgets that IDC expects will ship this year? Jump past the break and let us know in the comments.
IDC: nearly 1 billion ‘smart connected devices’ shipped last year originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 28 Mar 2012 16:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of fee! ds.< /p>
Plyfe is a New York startup that rewards people for engaging with brands on social media. Fueled by $1,000,000 in funding from General Catalyst and the Playfish founding team, it launched 10 days ago and has 17,000 users.
Plyfe is a platform that creates games for brands and helps them interact more with the users they already have. When users play the advertiser’s games, they’re rewarded with tangible gifts. Current prizes include a free trip to Las Vegas via the Tropicana resort.
Brands can create games for free; their task is to encourage users to join Plyfe and play them. Overtime, the Plyfe network will grow and brands will gain access to new engaged users too. Plyfe plans to generate revenue through research products and lead generation campaigns for advertisers.
Co-founder Jeff Arbour has been in the social media business for a decade. He was the first US employee at The Hyper Factory before it sold to Meredith Corporation. Now he’s helping consumers get rewarded for all of the data they’re producing online.
A lot of social media rewards companies exist, like CrowdTwist and Badgeville, but Arbour says those are made for the advertisers. Plyfe is a platform that puts consumers first.
“People are giving up a lot of information about themselves online, like where they are, for free,” says Arbour. “We want to give back to them. We reward users for sharing and producing data.”
Next week, the United Nations Foundation and a major animation company are creating Plyfe promotions. Ten more brands will be launching on Plyfe over the next month.
HAULERdeals is currently running a Plyfe promotion. Arbour says it has tripled their Facebook user engagement numbers and grown their total Facebook fans by 10,000. Users have already answered 13,000 questions and viewed videos 3,000 times on Plyfe.
- Wait, Did CNN Just Lose HALF Of Its Viewers?
- A Major Source Of Free Money For Americans Is Starting To Disappear
- Google Scared This 27-Year-Old Entrepreneur Into Changing His Idea — Now His Company Is Worth More Than $500 Million
“The power of ‘the people’ can now be rapidly and vigorously expressed through social media, to the point that big huge corporations are forced to cave and retract planned actions. Look for more of this and notice the impact on traditional advertising where brands can no longer just tell customers what they should think .. “
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
Collaborators – Digital Profs
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- Coke vs Pepsi vs Dr Pepper
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