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Google Apps discontinues basic package, asks new customers to pony up $50 per user for premium

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/07/google-apps-discontinues-basic-package/

Google Apps discontinues basic package, asks all new customers to pony up $50 per user for premium

Looking towards Mountain View to provide a suite of digital tools for your new business? Make sure to pen per-user costs into your ledger — Google Apps isn’t free anymore. According to Google’s enterprise blog, the basic Google Apps package is being abandoned to streamline the service, offering businesses a single, $50 per user option that promises 24/7 phone support, 25GB inboxes and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Pre-existing free customers can still hum along unmolested, of course, and the standard pricing doesn’t apply to schools or universities, either. Personal Google accounts are still free too, doling out gratis Gmail and Drive access to anyone with a unique user name. The team hopes that streamlining the Apps will allow it to provide better service, possibly offering enterprise users new features on a faster timetable.

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Amazon launches Vine.com for shoppers who live life on the ‘green’ edge

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/26/amazon-launches-vine-com-website/

Amazon launches Vinecom for shoppers who live life on the 'green' edge

Love Amazon’s renowned two-day shipping? How about organic eats and other miscellaneous environment-friendly products? If so, then today’s your very lucky day. Adding to the endless list of shopping sites it already owns, Amazon has just introduced Vine.com; a site which aims to be a one-stop web store for folks looking to snag anything from organic ingredients to beauty products like all-natural shaving oils and Kiss My Face foam soaps — and yes, as we stated earlier, there’s an option to get that speedy two-day delivery service. While chatting with Bits Blog, a Vine representative said the goal isn’t “necessarily about saving the planet,” but that his team does “feel the products are useful in that regard.” Currently Vine.com is live in beta form, though that doesn’t mean folks interested can’t go browse around and order some goodies — to do that, give the source link below a quick tap.

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Amazon launches Vine.com for shoppers who live life on the ‘green’ edge originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 15:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook Will Prove You’re Alive During the Next Disaster

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5889455/facebook-will-prove-youre-alive-during-the-next-disaster

Facebook Will Prove You're Alive During the Next DisasterWhen an earthquake ravaged Fukushima and terrified all of Japan, the entire country had one reaction: is everyone OK? And if you knew someone in an afflicted area, you might’ve been thinking, is my husband okay? Now Facebook will tell you.

Facebook’s new Disaster (currently in trial for Japan only) feature is so simple and could be so very useful: if you’re in an area hit by a natural disaster (or terrorist attack, I presume), you’ll have the option to flag yourself as safe with all the ease of clicking “Like.” Or, if you’ve managed to get in touch with someone you know in a danger area, you can flag their profile as safe for them. Either way, Facebook will become a go-to source for peace of mind. It’s the kind of tool you hope you’ll never have to use, but one we might be glad to have. And one that’ll rack up ad views for Facebook the next time a crisis hits. Click! [YokosoNews via NewScientist]

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 digital No Comments

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5882209/five-best-ways-to-stream-live-tv

Five Best Ways to Stream Live TV Whether you’re looking for a way to catch the big game this weekend when you’re away from your living room, or you just like to catch live television when you’re trapped somewhere without either cable or a television, you have plenty of options to help you catch a broadcast on your mobile phone or your computer. Here’s a look at five of the best ways to tune in when you’re on the go.

Earlier in the week we asked how you tune into live television that you’re subscribed to on your mobile device or when you’re not in front of the big screen. You responded, and now we’re back to take a look at the top five, based on your nominations.

Photo by IK’s World Trip.

Five Best Ways to Stream Live TV

Orb/Orb Live

When you need to stream audio or video around the house, to your mobile device, or across the globe when you’re away from home, Orb can certainly deliver. We mentioned Orb several times, and it’s still a great way to stream your media from your computer to other devices in your home, or, if you’re willing to pay for an Orb appliance to connect to your cable box or HTPC, stream live TV or recorded TV to any other device on or off of your home network. Orb supports video up to 720p, and gives you the flexibility to watch live sports, prime time TV shows, or anything else that’s currently airing in your living room on your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop over Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G when you can’t be in the living room to enjoy it. Pricing varies depending on whether you need hardware (between $79-$99 for the set-top box) to connect to your TV and home network, or you already have a TV tuner in your HTPC (the Orb Live and Orb Caster software are both free, but the mobile apps are $9.99.)


Five Best Ways to Stream Live TV

Slingbox

Where other live TV streaming solutions offer complexity, Slingbox offers elegant simplicity. The Slingbox from Sling Media is a set-top box that connects to your TV and your cable or satellite receiver that makes it easy for you to effectively log in to your TV at home and watch live TV on your computer or mobile device as though you were sitting in front of your TV. You can change channels, browse TV listings, and even set your home DVR to record TV that you won’t make it home in time to watch. The Slingbox comes in two flavors, the Slingbox Solo and the Slingbox Pro-HD (which predictably supports HD and additional devices connected to it) and will set you back $179.99 to $299.99 (not including extended support options). You’ll also need to drop $29.99 for the SlingPlayer app to control your Slingbox from your smartphone or tablet, but the price buys you one of the most feature-rich and hassle-free live TV streaming solutions on the market.


Five Best Ways to Stream Live TV

EyeTV

Elgato’s EyeTV line of TV tuners and live TV software were, for a long time, the only option for Mac users who were looking for an easy way to use their Macs as TV tuners or HTPCs. They’re not the only options anymore, but they’re certainly one of the best, and if you plug a TV source in to an EyeTV and then the EyeTV into your Mac via USB, you want watch live TV right there on your computer screen. Combine an EyeTV tuner or DVR with the EyeTV app on your mobile device, and you can stream live or pre-recorded TV on your mobile device when you’re out of the house. The EyeTV app will set you back $4.99 in the iTunes App Store for any iOS device, and the tuners vary in price from $99 to $199 depending on whether you need a DTV tuner, a DTV and HD tuner, a tuner with a DVR inside, or a Wi-Fi enabled tuner that can wirelessly stream TV to other devices in your home.


Five Best Ways to Stream Live TV

Vulkano Flow Box

The Vulkano Flow may not be one of the most well known set-top tuners on the market, but it’s definitely one of the most powerful. For $99.99, the Vulkano Flow is an easy to install and set up device that connects to your cable or satellite tuner, supports HD video, and your home network to allow you to wirelessly watch live TV on your iOS or Android device on your home network or when you’re away via 3G or 4G. You get complete control over your home TV, so you can switch channels, browse a built-in programming guide (that you don’t have to pay extra to view), and even connect to other video inputs like a DVR or HTPC and control that as well. Vulkano offers desktop players for Mac OS and Windows (Free), and mobile players for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry ($12.99.)


Five Best Ways to Stream Live TV

Hauppage WinTV

Hauppage is an old name in TV tuners, and the company is still going strong by offering a range of products to HTPC enthusiasts who want to build their own devices to stream, save, and watch live and recorded television and to people who would rather buy a set-top box to handle the streaming for them. Those of you who nominated the WinTV mentioned that you can easily install a WinTV tuner in your HTPC and download the WinTV application on your HTPC and iOS or Android device to stream TV from your HTPC to your device. Pricing varies depending on which tuner you’d like, whether you want HD video, and whether you want an internal or USB tuner to install at all or you’d just prefer a set-top box like the Hauppage Broadway ($199), but the WinTV Extend app you’ll need to stream from your Tuner will set you back $9.95, and the mobile apps are free (although they only support Wi-Fi.)


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all out vote for the winner.

What’s The Best Method to Stream Live TV?

Honorable mentions this week go out to streaming TV sites like Justin.tv, which many of you said you use to stream your own TV shows to the web so you can catch them when you’re away from home, and to The NFL’s website, which many of you noted is indeed streaming the big game on their own. Finally, since we mentioned that the Department of Homeland Security had shut down FirstRowSports‘ primary domain, many of you made note of the fact that the site is still up and running on a different URL.

Have a favorite method that didn’t get the nominations needed to make the top five? Want to make a case for it, or for your favorite of the nominees above? Sound off in the comments below.

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Affiliates Pining for Pinterest

Source: http://blog.compete.com/2012/01/05/affiliates-pining-for-pinterest/

AUTHOR: Lindsey Mark, Compete.com  — January 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

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Image from: akva / Shutterstock
Pinterest is the new popular kid on the Internet, getting featured in media outlets like celebrity gossip does on tabloids. What people aren’t talking about however is the opportunity that exists for more ‘behind the scenes businesses.’ Those amazing symbiotic or parasitic relationships where third parties benefit from Pinterest’s new hype, sort of like Entourage™ with a cast of publishers, affiliates, and merchants.

There are a few smart blogs out there talking about these trends, some are funny, like Regretsy.com’s compare and save section that features sellers that are ripping off buyers by reselling manufactured products for higher prices. Classic and often humorous examples of parasitic relationships.

Laughs aside, let’s take a look at one affiliate that’s been seeing some positive lift from Pinterest’s new-found fame. SkimLinks, an affiliate marketing technology with a “sweet twist” helps content creators and curators automate. Most publishers spend a majority of their time working on content and selling ad space. With SkimLinks, connecting affiliate links to content seems* like a snap and appears to be popular amongst monetized ‘pinners’ as a good option outside of the Amazon Affiliate Network. If November is any indication, the Pinterest & SkimLinks relationship is budding with Pinterest beating out Twitter as their number one inbound traffic referrer with a 9.47% Share of inbound traffic to the site. On the converse, SkimResources.com (a SkimLinks url) is ranked number 10 with 0.94% of outgoing traffic from Pinterest.com, just behind large networks like Etsy.com, Bing.com, YouTube.com, and Live.com. I anticipate that merchants that work with SkimLinks will have good things happen for them if Pinterest continues on the upswing, particularly as it’s often been framed in the context of wishlists & gifting.

Incoming Traffic to Skimlinks.com

Outgoing from Pinterest


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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 news No Comments

The problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/11/editorial-the-problem-with-bad-product-names-and-what-we-can-le/

Product names generally fall into one of four different categories: good, safe, meaningless and bad. There may be better categories to group them in, but we’ll use these for the purpose of this editorial. In the first category I’d put something like Kindle, arguably one of the best new product names of the last ten years. iPhone and iPad, and their subsequent suffixed versions, are in the safe category. They’re perfectly fine names for a cellphone and a tablet, but they’re not as original or distinct as iMac or iPod were, which I’d consider good (iPod nano, shuffle and touch, on the other hand, are all safe names).

In the meaningless category are things like the MSI GT683DXR or ASUS XU6280, one of which I just made up. Some meaningless names can also be good in their simplicity — like the Nokia N9 or Nikon D3S — but they are still basically nothing more than differentiators. This is an acceptable option.

The names aren’t just bad — they’re noise.

In the bad category are the majority of smartphones released in the past few years. Rezound. Rhyme. Vivid. Epic. Sensation. Thrill. Skyrocket. Conquer. Triumph. Enlighten. Infuse. Prevail. Arrive. Can you name the company behind each phone? And those are just a few examples from this year. The names aren’t just bad — they’re noise. Some names might fall into a fifth, slightly murkier okay category, but there are certainly more phones (and, increasingly, tablets) in the bad category than any other, and I’d argue that’s a sign of a larger problem.

Continue reading Editorial: The problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it

Editorial: The problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Nov 2011 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 news No Comments

A Look at Smartphone Search

Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/10/21/picking-blackberries-online-a-look-at-smartphone-search/

Lasse Kristensen/Shutterstock

I once owned a Blackberry.  I liked BBM, that blinking red light and being able to tell everyone that my messages were “encrypted.” That was until I owned an iPhone. Now we have all heard the debate, Mac or PC, iPhone or Blackberry, Firefox or Internet Explorer… everyone has their reasons and I have mine.

Each phone has their unique features, but no matter which device is actually better, people are continuing to buy Smartphones.

Looking on compete.com I searched the keyword “smartphone”. My search showed that the top 25 search referrals are:

Sites referred to by smartphone from 07/19/2011 – 10/17/2011 Industry Category Volume Paid Share Natural Share Avg. Site Referrals
11 wikipedia.org Dictionary/Thesaurus/Encyclopedia 1.46% 0.00% 100.00% 198,529,152
12 facebook.com Personal Networking 1.44% 0.00% 100.00% 525,556,662
13 toptenreviews.com Mass Merchant and Department Store 1.37% 0.00% 100.00% 873,586
14 blackberry.com OEMs 1.32% 28.75% 71.25% 889,982
15 youtube.com Videos 1.13% 245,958,844
16 wirefly.com Wireless Agent 1.12% 100.00% 0.00% 679,820
17 walmart.com Mass Merchant and Department Store 1.09% 16,755,011
18 zdnet.com Technology 1.08% 0.00% 100.00% 573,968
19 samsung.com OEMs 1.08% 1,247,624
20 apple.com Electronics 0.88% 100.00% 0.00% 11,020,105

Looking at the top 25 search referrals we find that Blackberry.com sees more visitors searching for smartphones, than Apple.com does. Apple.com has 100% paid search referrals for the keyword “smartphone” and Blackberry.com has 28.75% paid search referrals.

Looking at Average Site Referrals we see that Apple.com sees approximately 11 thousand site referrals and Blackberry.com sees approximately 900 thousand.

With such a large number of people searching for smartphones, the competition is as fierce as ever.

Looking at Average Stay and Pages/Visit for Apple.com we can see that people stay on the site for about 6 minutes and look at about 5 pages.

Looking at Average Stay and Pages/Visit for Blackberry.com we can see that the average stay is higher at about 8 minutes and look at about 7 pages.

Are people spending more time on Blackberry.com because there are more options? Do people know what product they want when visiting apple.com spending less time?

While I love my iPhone and have retired my Blackberry, Smartphones are the smartest option for people who want to be connected wherever they are.


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Friday, October 28th, 2011 news No Comments

Netflix spins DVD-by-mail service off into Qwikster, says it’s ‘done’ with price changes (video)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/19/netflix-spins-dvd-by-mail-service-off-into-qwikster-says-its/

Over on Netflix’s official blog, company head Reed Hastings has announced in a surprisingly humble blog post and video (embedded after the break) that it’s splitting the DVD-by-mail business away into a new venture dubbed Qwikster. While the recent price changes already split the cost for each service, when this takes effect in a few weeks it will result in two different websites, two different sets of movie ratings and queues, and two different charges on customer’s bills. He admits two separate sites may make it more difficult to manage a presence on both, but says dropping the need for compatibility between the two will enable new features to balance that out. Another change? Netflix Qwikster (is there anything good about that name?) is getting into video game rentals, available for an extra charge similar to the existing Blu-ray disc option.

While the blog post blames a lack of communication for much of the backlash (and obviously cancellations), it’s about to become very clear that Netflix is “primarily a streaming company.” Also mentioned is “substantial” additional streaming content coming in the next few months. Whatever the company calls itself, charges, or changes on its website, if Netflix wants to talk its way back into subscriber’s good graces, starting with something new to watch is the way to do it.

Continue reading Netflix spins DVD-by-mail service off into Qwikster, says it’s ‘done’ with price changes (video)

Netflix spins DVD-by-mail service off into Qwikster, says it’s ‘done’ with price changes (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 19 Sep 2011 00:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, September 19th, 2011 news No Comments

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.

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