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The Comunicano Daily for Friday September 5, 2014

 
 
 
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A late summer cold hit me out of nowhere, and I likely got it at the gym is my best guess. I'm in the gym 3 to 4 days a week now and feeling good. Having Wi-Fi at the club makes it less stressful and I can sit by the pool or in the lounge and still get my calls in, use my iPad to get work done. IP based services really do change the world, and that's why today the theme is going to follow that meme...So On With The News.

First up is what's been happening with Tom Wheeler and the FCC. Here are a few stories that pretty much paint a picture of what's reality, what's needed and what may (or may not) happen.

 

 
 
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Is this the sound of Comcast's merger hopes dying? FCC Chairman declares U.S. broadband uncompetitive.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Thursday said what everyone who pays a broadband bill outside a few select cities already knows, that the country lacks a competitive broadband market. In a speech delivered at 1776, a startup incubator in Washington, Wheeler said, "meaningful competition for high-speed wired broadband is lacking and Americans need more competitive choices for faster and better Internet connections...."

 
 

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No Kidding? FCC Chairman Says Broadband Market Isn't Competitive.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said Thursday that Americans don't have enough choice when it comes to high-speed broadband providers and the government needs to do something about it. More than half of Americans have only once choice of providers that can offer 25 Mbps download speeds, adding, "[T]here is simply no competitive choice for most Americans."

 
 

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Most of the US has no broadband competition at 25Mbps, FCC chair says

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler today stated what is obvious to US Internet users: for broadband speeds fast enough to serve modern homes, competition simply does not exist in most of the country. The numbers are OK if you use the FCC's outdated broadband definition of 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream.

 
 

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Mike Dano at FierceWireless penned a piece the other day about VoLTE. I chimmed in to set the record straight...you need to do that now and then to keep the story correct.  Here again, IP at the core makes it all possible.

 

 
 
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After VoLTE, what is the future of the telephone call?

The introduction of IP calling technology in mobile sets the stage for real change in how and when people will use telephony. According to those in the industry, we might see some significant changes to some parts of the calling experience, but phone numbers and regular old phone calls appear to be here to stay.
 
 

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Amazon is changing the game of shopping and delivery and may end up revitalizing the US Postal Service. As the son of a former Postal Service Station Superintendant, call him the postmaster if it was a suburban town, I know full well how important the US Mail service was, and how they didn't transform soon enough. Part of it was the union but another part of it was just not seeing what was coming back when I was already on a COMPAQ PC and my dad was still doing the daily count for stamps sold by an adding machine and a paper ledger book. That was the 80s......

 

 
 
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Amazon expands partnership with U.S. Postal Service to deliver groceries

Amazon confirms that it has begun testing grocery delivery service in San Francisco with the help of the U.S. Postal service. A spokeswoman called it a "small test," adding that Amazon is "always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver packages to customers."

 
 

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USPS To Screw Up Amazon Grocery Deliveries In San Francisco

Like that desperate, failing business-owner who keeps convincing people to give them one last shot to prove that it's not yet time to hang it up and find something else to do, the U.S. Postal Service has somehow made a deal with Amazon to give it a shot at delivering groceries in the San Francisco area.

 
 

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Is that cell signal really a cell signal from the mobile operator or is the mobile version of a Man in the Middle attack about to snatch your data and more. This is a serious threat and one that some upstarts are trying to address.

 

 
 
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Phone Firewall Identifies Rogue Cell Towers Trying to Intercept Your Calls

 

 
 

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My good friend, and now head of Wireless and Operator Services at F5, Tom Carter, had an idea years back that led to the start of BridgePort Networks, now part of CounterPath. The idea was handover between Wi-Fi and mobile networks of the call.  Truphone's founder, James Tagg had a similar idea for a commercial service that did just that. Now more and more mobile operators are beginning to do just that, and as a result, supplier consolidation is afoot.

 

 
 
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Taqua on Kineto Purchase: Carrier VoWiFi is Set to Take Off

One telecom vendor is so convinced network operators are about to embrace voice over Wi-Fi that it has acquired another vendor to better position to capitalize on that opportunity. Taqua, provider of software underlying cellular networks, said this evening that it has purchased Kineto Wireless, provider of software for smartphones that enables the phones to support VoWiFi.

 
 

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Cable consolidation plays into the theme around the FCC too. Time Warner and Comcast, Charter are there peas in a pod. Brand names aside, they are just all horses of a different color.

 

 
 
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If Comcast swallows Time Warner Cable, we'll get a new cable company called GreatLand Connections

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. The newly formed cable company that is set to be created from parts of Comcast as it seeks federal approval for its merger with Time Warner Cable will be known as GreatLand Connections Inc.

 
 

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WebRTC is happening. As a long time VoipWatcher, I see the same business themes happening that we saw with VoIP, SIP and all things real time comms....

 

 
 
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WebRTC-Reality Check 2014

What a difference a year makes. And sometimes not. Both apply to WebRTC, which, even as it builds market share, still lacks the reliability and support from Internet Explorer that many enterprises require. Net Applications says Internet Explorer has a 58 percent market share on desktops using any OS.
 
 

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How WebRTC Could Disrupt the Hospitality Industry

Chad Hart | September 04, 2014 | How do you leverage Web technologies to rapidly disrupt an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars? I'm not talking about WebRTC and the telecom industry; I'm talking about rising sharing economy star Airbnb and the hospitality industry. I am an Airbnb host.
 
 

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Will WebRTC video blow up the network?

Initiating a video chat should be as easy as making a phone call and WebRTC video is getting us closer to that But could the network become a victim of WebRTCs success
 
 

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The cloud is everywhere. It's not foggy either. It's clear as day and touching everyone in business and even your personal lives. As we see the shift from only the enterprise to mom and pop business, the opportunities are massive for all.

 

 
 
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Mom-and-pop shops drift to cloud computing

Welcome to a new era of computing, where silos are giving way to standards. Rather than having to worry about how software from Oracle or SAP will talk to other programs from Microsoft or IBM, businesses can buy cloud products that were created to work together.

 
 

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And to close the week, here's two stories about startup ideation and creation to get you thinking about how change is afoot in that world too.

Have a great weekend.

 

 
 
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Here's a radical idea: Let startups choose whether to pay for mentorship

Business incubators have become ubiquitous in the technology startup world. Some are generalists, some are niche. Some are thought of as kingmakers, some as bottom feeders. In almost all cases (including on the fictionalized HBO show Silicon Valley), they have the same basic value proposition: We will provide your startup with expert mentorship, services, and connections, and in exchange you will provide us with equity.

 
 

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How to Make Your "Uber for X" Idea More Than Just a VC Pitch

As a venture firm, we see entrepreneurs routinely pitch companies as " Uber for X," where X can be any number of mobile-enabled services. We agree that Uber is just the tip of the iceberg and apps that orchestrate physical services (" mobile-enabled on-demand services ") are disrupting dozens of industries, including groceries (Instacart), car sharing (RelayRides), dry cleaning (Washio), and parking (Zirx).

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday September 3, 2014

 
 
 
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Today's humpday so it's time to look at what's happening around the technology news world. We'll start off with a Huffington Post item about Customer Disservice something most of us have felt from some PC brand, utility, airline, hotel or car manufacturer over time.  Next we're seeing the IRS looking at those who feed their staff and how that can be considered income vs. an expense..The Celebrity Photo Hack is making the news cycle, this time with the tools that can make it possible..Microsoft is everyone's target it seems these days, not just Apple or Google...all this and more today, SO ON WITH THE NEWS...

 

 
 
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Why Is Customer Disservice Becoming the Norm and What Can We Do About It?

Posted: "The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity." - Peter Drucker If you haven't yet heard the 8-minute diatribe leveled by a Comcast customer service rep to a customer and his wife who were trying to cancel their cable service, tune in here.
 
 

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Silicon Valley Cafeterias Whet Appetite of IRS

There is a grumpy new face in line at Silicon Valley's lavish freebie cafeterias: the Internal Revenue Service. Staffers at technology companies such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. long have enjoyed free gourmet meals, courtesy of their employers.
 
 

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The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple's iCloud 

As nude celebrity photos spilled onto the web over the weekend, blame for the scandal has rotated from the scumbag hackers who stole the images to a researcher who released a tool used to crack victims' iCloud passwords to Apple, whose security flaws may have made that cracking exploit possible in the first place.
 
 

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We're just finally seeing 4G/LTE and LTE-A (for advanced) rolling out in more places in the USA and around the world and so it's no surprise the 5G is making noise, this time in Finland.

 

 
 
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Nokia to build 5G test network in Oulu

While a commitment-in-principle has already been made, a formal decision on construction of the high-speed 5G network won't come until autumn, said Nokia technical director Juha Määttä. When asked about the construction schedule for the network, Määttä said that it could begin early in 2015.
 
 

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WiFi speed displayed directly onto booking and travel websites

Hotel WiFi Test has launched a browser extension that displays information about a hotel's WiFi speed and quality onto the most popular booking and travel websites: Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
 
 

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Office by the Month. Not the kind you physically use, but from Microsoft has debuted for iPad as an in-app purchase. In my view this is two years or more too late. Google Apps is gaining momentum and already is far more integrated. 

 

 
 
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Microsoft adds monthly in-app subscription option to Office for iPad

Summary: Microsoft Office for iPad users now have the option to subscribe to Office 365 monthly and from inside Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Microsoft is now allowing Office for iPad users to pay monthly, rather than only annually, for their Office 365 Home or Personal subscriptions.

 
 

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If you don't use Evernote, your working too hard when it comes to storing and finding notes, pictures, videos and more. And, like Google and others, the company is taking aim at Microsoft Office at the right time. While Microsoft has OneNote, Evernote has users, lots of them who are raving loyalists.

 

 
 
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Evernote's Phil Libin Has Come to Bury Microsoft Office, Not Praise It

What about OneNote? It's a question that Evernote CEO Phil Libin gets asked all the time, especially after Microsoft made the note-taking app free earlier this year. But, Libin says, it's the wrong question. Libin makes no bones about having Microsoft in his sights, but it is Office he wants to dethrone, not OneNote.
 
 

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While Evernote takes aim at productivity Google is going right after the jugular of Office and Exchange by developing a strategy that looks to displace Microsoft Outlook.

 

 
 
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Google's New Strategy to Unseat Microsoft Outlook

Google executive Amit Singh must persuade companies to ditch Microsoft Outlook for business-focused versions of Gmail. But pioneering driverless cars may be easier than changing the way people send email at work.
 
 

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Who comes after the Millennials? It's Gen-Z, not Jay-Z. And, Gen-Z seems to be more like those who came before GenY....at least that's what one study says. We really won't know for a few more years though..

 

 
 
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Are You Prepared for Gen Z Tech Workers?

Millennials and their quirky work habits get all the attention these days, but the younger Gen Z is turning out to be even more of a mystery.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday September 2, 2014

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Welcome back to reality. Labor Day weekend signifies the end of summer and the day after Labor Day is always a tough news day. Most of the news is a retake or remake of last week's news or items that "broke" over the weekend. But there are some gems hidden out there. Most noteworthy are the continued dance card being played by T-Mobile where interested buyers come along and kick the tires, look under the hood and make an offer. Don't be surprised to see USA private equity come in along with, or without Illiad, and some sort of John Legere management led buyout or even a consortium that involves Vodafone in some way....Apple gets knocked around for the Celbrity Photo Scandal but will survive....but in their own way just served app developers notice about health and fitness data and how it relates to marketing...Uber has to fight the Germans as the courts are looking to slow them down.. All this and more, SO ON WITH THE NEWS...

 

 
 
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Iliad in Talks with Third Parties About Possible Fresh Bid for T-Mobile US

French telecommunications company Iliad SA said it isn't giving up its pursuit of T-Mobile US Inc. and is considering teaming up with partners possibly to make a better offer for the U.S.'s fourth-largest mobile operator by subscribers. Iliad saidMonday that it was in talks with several potential partners-industrial and financial...

 
 

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Lawful intercept by authorities, hopefully with a proper search warrant issued by a judge, is being challenged across the USA as mobile networks upgrade to LTE/4G and refarm their 2G spectrum. Technology that makes it possible is now on the market, but municipalities need to upgrade.

 

 
 
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Cities scramble to upgrade 'stingray' tracking as end of 2G network looms

Documents released last week by the City of Oakland revealthat it is one of a handful of American jurisdictions attempting to upgrade an existing cellular surveillance system, commonly known as a stingray.

 
 

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Google has entered the game of crowdfunding via YouTube. This creates a whole new way to build audience, grow followers and supporters all at the same time and likely will either compliment or put some additional competition towards sites like Tilt, KickStarter and Indiegogo but as pal and cofounder of Velocity Growth Jeff Belk (ex Qualcomm CMO/CSO) likes to say, "crowdfunding is like the Gold Rush and everyone's panning for gold."

 

 
 
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YouTube launches fan funding for independent content creators 

Google-owned YouTube has launched a donation feature for YouTube channels, which could act as a crowdfunding tool to get entrepreneurs off the ground. YouTube's bread-and-butter is content created by independent channels worldwide, and to further encourage this business branch, the company has now launched fan-based donations.

 
 

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Somtimes building a better mousetrap can lead to comparisons that aren't fair. Other times starting a crowdfunding campaign can be problematic or overly frivolous.

 

 
 
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Kickstarter users fundraise for products already sold on Amazon

What do crowdfunding Web site Kickstarter and online retailer Amazon.com have in common? Too much, critics charge. Kickstarter fans, who have become a bit prickly over what they feel are too many frivolous campaigns, are seeing another worrisome trend crop up: entrepreneurs turning to the fundraising Web site to develop products that are already available elsewhere.

 
 

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Apple is laying out some rules about information and apps. In doing so Apple is being both industry consistent and also setting a new line in the sand to insure the development of mHealth technology.

 

 
 
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Apple Bars Developers From Sharing Health Data

Apple has warned developers that they must not provide advertisers with personal data that they collect from applications built using the company's health software. The policy-consistent with the standards of companies such as FitBit-establishes a higher standard of privacy for health monitoring devices.

 
 

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For years developer have been asking Apple "why didn't my app get approved" only to receive mostly non answers. In a move towards greater transparency Apple has put out a checklist. Is this the complete story? No way, but it's a start.

 

 
 
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Apple Developer Rules Made Clear

Before you develop your app, it's important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps. We've highlighted some of the most common issues that cause apps to get rejected to help you better prepare your apps before submitting them for review.

 
 

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Funny how the iCloud Celebrity Photo hacks occured just before the iPhone 6 launch..hmmm. The conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one. Net net, nothing is really that secure.

 

 
 
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Nude celebs on iCloud? The timing for Apple Inc. couldn't be worse.

The story had everything going for it. Hundreds of nude photos (some real) of Jennifer Lawrence and other A-list Hollywood celebrities. A security vulnerability (since closed) in Apple's iCloud. Hackers armed with a new "brute force" attack script. False accusations by the amateur detectives on the Internet.

 
 

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Poor Skype. Everyone wants your users. And someone will get them is my guess. Of late Skype's performance has been having issues but the service is also now in its second decade of life and upstarts in technology can come along at any moment and change the game. Here's one.

 

 
 
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Out in the Open: Hackers Build a Skype That's Not Controlled by Microsoft 

The web forum 4chan is known mostly as a place to share juvenile and, to put it mildly, politically incorrect images. But it's also the birthplace of one of the latest attempts to subvert the NSA's mass surveillance program. When whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that full extent of the NSA's activities last year, members of...

 
 

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Uber is facing a challenge in Germany. My guess is eventually this all ends up at the EU level not at the country by country level as a battle for consumer's choice vs. monopoly control of the taxi and limo industry.

 

 
 
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German court orders Uber to suspend services across the country

Uber is banned across Germany, at least for now. It emergedon Tuesday that the Frankfurt Regional Court imposed a preliminary injunction on Uber last week, ahead of a full court case over the service's legality. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, the court said Uber was illegal because its drivers do not carry the appropriate permits.

 
 

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How to Make a Drone Delivery: Google's Winging It 

Google on Thursday introduced Project Wing, a drone-based delivery project it has been working on quietly for the past two years. Members of the Google[x] team - aka "Moonshots" -- recently held field tests of the technology in Australia.

 
 

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Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar relax PED rules

Australian carriers Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar have all relaxed their rules on the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) in-flight following a change in policy by the country's Civil Aviation Safety Authority. The development means passengers can use their PEDs from gate-to-gate, whereas previously they had to switch them off during taxiing, take-off and landing.

 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Monday September 1, 2014

 
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 I've been remiss in publishing so over the past few days I've started to write again. Onmy blog, in the new LinkedIn Pulse (have you noticed how much LinkedIn has gotten into content?) and now again, here in the Comunicano Daily.

This month will go down as one of the most memorable in Apple history, and already the hype machine is in full gear. Venture Beat is calling it current CEO Tim Cook's Waterloo in so many words, casting doubt about him and saying the iWatch is a make or break play for him as the successor to Steve Jobs (I think its not make or break given how well Apple is doing as a company under Cook's reign.) For starters, moves are already underway to make Apple a major player in payments the same way they have disrupted mobile devices and content as the second and third news items surrounding Visa, MasterCard and American Express all will prove out.

So, let's have at it...and here's the news.

 
 
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September 9: The beginning -- or the beginning of the end -- of the Tim Cook Era

It's going to be a big show in Cupertino September 9th. We'll see at least one new phone. But most importantly we'll see what could be called the first product of the Cook era, an Apple smartwatch. The unveiling will be held at the Flint Center in Cupertino, the same venue where the world got its first look at the Mac.
 
 

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Apple Said to Team With Visa, MasterCard on IPhone Wallet

 
  Apple Inc. plans to turn its next iPhone into a mobile wallet through a partnership with major payment networks, banks and retailers, according a person familiar with the situation. The agreement includes Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and American Express Co. and will be unveiled on Sept.  
 

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Apple Partnering With American Express On New iPhone Payments System

Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on its new iPhone payments system, according to sources familiar with the talks. American Express is one of several partners Apple will need to sign up before it can launch its new payments plan, which sources say it plans to announce at its September 9 product event.
 
 

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How dominant is Apple? Just look at how the iPad is walloping the rest of the devices when it comes to email. It's even eating into the iPhone's share but what's eye opening is that Windows is not doing that well either when you realize Microsoft has tried tablets too.

 
 
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How Europeans email

As email turns 32 years old tomorrow, US-based email delivery service provider SendGrid has done a global study on email engagement. Today, the company is releasing Europe-specific data on 'email opens', based on an analysis of 8 billion unique emails sent by over 125,000 companies (including the likes of Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Foursquare and Pinterest) over two 10-day periods in 2013 and 2014.

 
 

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The FCC under Tom Wheeler will be controversial. Figuring out what side of the fence they are on will be a wait and see, but one things for sure, big telco isn't exactly sitting on their hands waiting. Regulatory work, lobbying and supporting political campaigns is running at a fever pitch, and with it, the Internet economy.

 

 
 
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Can the FCC clear the way for cities to build broadband? Legal fight heats up over agency's powers

Gripes about internet speed are common across the country, but in certain towns the complaints have a special twist: the fact that local utilities want to offer faster broadband infrastructure, but state governments - at the apparent behest of the telecom industry - have passed laws to prevent them from doing so.

 
 

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How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

State Sen. Janice Bowling, a Republican from Tullahoma, Tennessee, says she was surprised by AT&T's adversarial reaction to her bill to allow cities to expand their broadband networks. Janice Bowling, a 67-year-old grandmother and Republican state senator from rural Tennessee, thought it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits.

 
 

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Between the FCC and patent trolls, those delivering service have to watch over both shoulders. Now AT&T is exercising its war chest taking on a former large shareholder, Cox Communications, over some very fundamentally basic functions that appear to have patents in place. 

 

 
 
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It's made-for-TV patent war, as AT&T sues Cox

The majority of patent lawsuits today are brought by "patent trolls" that do nothing but sue-but suits between actual competitors do still happen. Case in point: AT&T has sued Cox Communications, saying that Cox has infringed seven AT&T patents covering everything from DVRs to methods for hiding "packet loss or frame erasure" over a network.

 
 

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I'm a regular user of UBER, the car service that makes life easier to get around. Of late they have been in the press with a war between they and rival Lyft over driver poaching and alleged trickery. The bottom line is just as there is Coke and Pepsi, there's going to be Lyft and Uber. Competition is good for the consumer, otherwise you end up with what we have in the way of "public transit."

 

 
 
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Uber and Lyft Have Become Indistinguishable Commodities

If you need a ride, pull out your phone and load up the Lyft app. Or try Uber. Really, it doesn't matter which you pick. Though the two ride-sharing giants have carried on like the bitterest of enemies recently, their services have become pretty much indistinguishable.

 
 

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We're big believers in the concept of "the story" as part of positioning and messaging. Telling the story is changing marketing communications and how it relates to the brand. and, it's all changing.

 

 
 
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From Storytelling to Experiences: The Next Chapter in Marketing Communications 

The past decade has seen the marketing communications industry increasingly emphasize the importance of storytelling as a way for brands to better communicate with their audiences. From logo and corporate colours, to website content and advertising campaigns, to staff members and business cards, everything about an organization is now considered a part of its overall brand story.

 
 

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Do you give a kick? Web sites like KickStarter and Indiegogo are making it easy to help get startups off the ground. 

Here are a few I'm supporting or have supported:

SparkAerial (note this is being supported by my other venture, VelocityGrowth)

Smart Wallet

The Return of the Upcoming

Dart-The world's smallest laptop adapter

Gramofon-the smallest jukebox from FON

Stand Desk

Tight-A new kind of wallet

TrackR

 

So here's the deal. I'm using Gramofon in my living room to play music, much the same way I can use Chromecast or Apple TV, but I'm also sharing WiFi without letting guests onto my primary network as it is built by FON. My wallet that I use everyday is from Tight and I carry a TrackR in it. What I'm finding is that like my LinkedIn post of a week or so ago, I'm finding products I can use every day, not at the store, or even in Amazon but in the world of startups in the rewards funded universe. Go find your next product there today, or better yet, come up with an idea and float it and see what happens.

 

 


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Checking Out The On Demand Society-Fiverr

We live in a era where "right now" and "immediately" are pretty much common place. In Las Veags and New York you can have breakfast or dinner at any time, day or night. Services like UPS, FedEx and even Amazon are delivering the goods you want overnight and even same day in some markets in the USA. Companies like UBER and Lyft make it easy to get reliable transportation in an ever growing number of major metropolitan areas around the world. And, thanks to the Internet, services that used to take days or weeks are now available to us in an instant.

Over the past week I've been experimenting with Fiverr, a service where for $5.00 or more people all around the world will deliver basic entry level or better work almost immediately. Pal David Coleman and I are working on a new project together and we needed a logo. And we needed it now. For $85.00 I secured two logo concepts, source files and finished art all in less than one day. We needed letterhead but the logo designer wasn't available so for $5.00 plus another $10.00 for one day and source files, plus a Word template for Letterhead. Total cost, $100.00 all in less than 48 hours. Is the work as good as what I see from a longtime graphic designer I work with? No. But we're getting what we need to have an MVP level presentation off the ground and looking far more professional than if either of us had tried our hand at graphics.

In an era where services like 99Designs and eLance provide a range of professionals new arrivals to the world of the On Demand Society are flourishing. My next trial will be with TaskRabbit....so stay tuned.