The year so far has been rather light on major news in my view. CES sucked up a lot of air, the two teams heading to the Super Bowl in New York are not from large TV markets which will drive down the value of the commercials that millions are paid for-and which get more viewing online these days.
Crowdfunding thanks to the Jobs Act is gaining momentum. This is a major benefit to the startup world as more and more companies will deploy the MVP (minimal viable product) model to get off the ground and begin delivering services.
Google continues to make bold moves with the NEST acquisition-which may be the biggest tech news of the year so far. So does T-Mobile, not so much for crashing AT&T's party, which was bigger news than AT&T had on their own at CES, but for steadily changing the way mobile companies operate in the USA.
All in all, the winter weather has to be the story so far...so with that, lets get on with the NEWS!!!!
In 2013 the big story in mobile was over the top messaging services like WhatsApp and Line taking revenue away from the mobile operators. It was only a matter of time before the big boys fought back. Now Verizon Wireless is in the USA offering a $5.00 a month International Text unlimited add-on, while pricing calls as low as 1 cent for those outside the USA.
Verizon made a lot of noise with its Q4 earnings on Tuesday, but it also quietly introduced a new international messaging plan. The carrier's $5 monthly World Messaging Unlimited add-on gives customers unlimited international text messaging, as well as per-minute international voice rates for as little as 1 cent.
Google's Chromecast brings all kinds of content to any HDMI equipped monitor but has only been available in the USA (legally). Now the big G is beginning to take the small plug in device outside the USA to other markets, aiming to disrupt and further make Android tablets and smartphones more connected inside the home.
As Google continues its push to invade living rooms the world over, the company bets big on Chromecast: tiny, affordable, and effective at hitting our sweet spot. (Credit: Seth Rosenblatt/CNET) MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- The Chromecast was never part of Google's [X] division, but that doesn't mean that the company will let you see the living room test lab set up here for Chromecast testing.
The old Blackberry leadership was following a consumer direction and it wasn't working. The new leadership is playing it very smart heading towards the enterprise market and leveraging the most important assets of the business-security and its QNX technology which is big in the connected car market.
By On January 21, 2014 Is it over for BlackBerry yet? For so long the consensus has been yes that you half expect to hear funereal organ music on the company's earnings calls. Which makes it somewhat surreal to hear more contrarian voices arguing that, here in BlackBerry's darkest hour, the company is finally lining up the pieces to turn things around.
John Malone was very big in the 80's and 90's in the USA cable market. He took his efforts outside the USA but is now back stirring up things as only he can. Malone is a force of nature and will make things very interesting this year as cable consolidates and as content continues to need ways to be delivered.
Last week, Charter Communications formally offered to pay $37.4 billion for Time Warner Cable. It was the third time Charter had placed a bid for TWC, and it was the third time in a row it was harshly rejected. Charter is the nation's fourth largest cable company, while TWC is number two.
T-Mobile is moving into banking. After a successful test in Miami where demand exceeded their expectations, the mobile operator wants to serve the underbanked crowd, and make the mobile device the hub of their financial services. Given how banks are getting more expensive, and how services can be deployed quickly, this could be a very interesting play for them.
The carrier's Mobile Money program is designed to go after customers who haven't traditionally had bank accounts. (Credit: T-Mobile USA) What's the next stop for T-Mobile's Uncarrier train? It's the world of mobile banking.
Back when I was in Australia in 2013 I noticed that startups there raise money not only from the usual VC route, but using a modified form of Crowdfunding with unaccredited investors. This type of approach, thanks to the JOBS act will be making its way to our shores shortly. We're already seeing lots of rewards based programs like CrowdTilt, KickStarter and Indegogo alive and well, as are equity based groups likeOurCrowd and AngelsList so the space is HOT.
Even before crowdfunding became a global phenomenon on the rise, investors in Australia had already been funding startups through equity investments that work a lot like crowdfunding. And they've been doing it for almost eight years: long enough to learn quite a lot about what works.
Statistics may say Windows 8 is a flop but, contrary to popular opinion, Windows Phone is far from down and out in the battle for our mobile affections. In fact in many parts of the world sales are rocketing past the iPhone. This month Microsoft broke these areas down country by [...]
Bitcoin is a rising form of payment. Mark Andreessen has a really detailed and well penned piece on why it matters.
Why Bitcoin Matters
Editor's Note---Marc Andreessen's venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has invested just under $50 million in Bitcoin-related start-ups. The firm is actively searching for more Bitcoin-based investment opportunities. He does not personally own more than a de minimis amount of Bitcoin.
Combine Homeland Security and the MPAA and introduce Google Glass and watch the follies. Not only are the Homeland Security people challenged by the rapidly changing technology going through airport scanners, but they are undertrianed on what technolgy can do what, so they are forced to do what they know, not what they should know. I don't blame them, as much as recognize they need better training and more common sense vs. brute force tactics when they are confronted by new technology.
Feds Question Man For Wearing Google Glass In Movie Theater
Federal authorities say they questioned an Ohio man they suspected of recording a movie in a theater with his Google Glass computer-in-eyeglass device. The government says no action was taken after the man confirmed the Google Glass was also a pair of prescription glasses with the recording function inactive.
If you ever wondered what a FANBOY/FANGIRL is look no farther. The Verge has a wonderful (and long) article today on just what they are, what motivates them, how they behave and delves into their psyche. It's a very good, but long read.
Anytime anybody in the universe says something negative about Microsoft, Brad Thorne* loses it. He fires up Twitter: "You're fucking pathetic!... You have your head so far up your ass!... I can't wait until you eat your smug words!" Thorne, a fortyish IT manager with a preppy wardrobe and shy grin, is actually a nice guy in person.
Skype is doing a lot to reducate theri user base while also expanding their communication to their customers with their blogs. They've been at this for a while and candidly, it's the best source of what's up with Skype these days as they are far less PR oriented, and have become more customer centric in their approach. Of course, there will always be news around the business aspects of the service, but more and more of what matters to users is not in the news as much as it's in their blogs.
The debut of Skype video calls forever changed how the world communicates. But, at Skype, we were never satisfied with just being able to make a video call. As people were still marveling at the "Wow, I can see you on my computer" moment, we had already set out to pioneer an ever richer and...
This age of information we find ourselves in is nothing if not wonderful. Whatever your interests and whoever your friends are, they're never any further than the tips of your fingers. Sometimes, though, the flow of information can all become a little too much to handle.
Apple's 1984 commercial is timeless. It's a cinematic work of art as much as it was a defining moment for the company, setting them up as "cool" and "trendy" and separating them from the rest of the PC business...forever.
Apple's Iconic 1984 Commercial Turns 30 Today
For any longtime Apple fans, it's amazing to think that today marks 30 years since the January 22, 1984 airing of the Nineteen Eighty Four-inspired Macintosh commercial, directed by Ridley Scott. Not only did the commercial usher in Apple's most famous desktop computer brand, but it also served as a perfect articulation of the Apple identity: an identity that continues along the same lines three decades later.
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Of late I've been helping contribute to other blogs, sharing my knowledge and insight after years of going on the road. By sharing these tips I'm helping those who have yet to go through the whole process of staying connected on the road.
In addition to being a news source for reporters, I've been contributing to the Gigsky Blog, with two posts, one on "staying connected" and the other on how to travel lighter and not lose your luggage.