The Comunicano Communique for Monday April 11th, 2016

 
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Today is a sad day in Philadelphia and all across the world of sports and philanthropy with the passing of an icon, Ed Snider. As someone who grew up in so many ways thanks to Mr. Snider, today is one sad day for just as it is for everyone who ever was a part of the very extended Snider/Flyers' family, but most of all for Ed's children whom I knew, grew up around and worked with. 

Those who know me, know I grew up in sports from the age of 14, and so much that has followed was made possible because of Edward M. Snider. It was he who offered Ed Tepper, my first boss with the Philadelphia Wings their franchise. That was a startup pro lacrosse team in 1974. Yes, 1974, the year the Flyers won their first of two Stanley Cups. May 19th of that year is a day I will never, ever forget.

Two years later, in 1976, Ed Snider along with Aaron Siegel and the late Ken Genser started something called Hockey Central, which has now pretty much morphed into Snider Hockey and other youth hockey related activities the Flyers back.

Back in September of 1976, as a senior in high school, I was one of three founding employees who started Hockey Central before the first check was even in the bank. Less than two years later, while ending my freshman year in college, I was asked to run Hockey Central, being named as Executive Director, before eventually holding the title of President when I left to go west in 1988 and join the Coors Classic and eventually the Denver Nuggets. None of that could have happened if Ed Snider didn't buy into the vision of so many ideas and so much that was created that remains today.

Along the way I held a few other roles and positions within the Flyers organization, including Office Manager and Manager of Amateur Hockey Affairs, plus almost always being to go-to exec for Special Projects like Bobby Clarke's Retirement Night while Ed's son Jay was President of the Team.

But no matter who was at the helm, the Flyers were always Ed's team, just as Bobby Clarke was Ed's other son.

RIP Ed...RIP.

There's plenty of news in today's Comunicano Communique, so grab your coffee mug, tea or chai and get on with the news.

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Snider family statement on the death of Ed Snider

Ed Snider's children Monday issued the following statement:
 
 

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Donnellon: Ed Snider invented hockey in Philadelphia

Ed Snider never played hockey as a kid, never watched the game until he was well into adulthood.
 
 

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Flyers founder Ed Snider dies at 83

Ed Snider, the billionaire entrepreneur who co-founded the Flyers and displayed more passion than many fans sitting in the nosebleed seats, died at 83 after a long battle with bladder cancer.
 
 

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Why API management is enabling today's digital economy 

APIs expose data for use by apps and the developers that create them. They make enterprise assets reachable by apps, and they're the tool that enterprises use to add a digital layer to their interactions with customers, employees and partners.
 
 

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Verizon to bring back unlimited data, but only for IoT

 
  Unlimited data plans have been creeping back into the toolboxes of some mobile operators, though usually with more stringent fair usage terms than before as MNOs try to preserve their networks from overload. T-Mobile USA and Sprint both have unlimited options, and Verizon is poised to reintroduce them too - but only for Internet of Things customers, whose usage is less threatening to network capacity.  
 

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Verizon report paints confused picture of IoT targets 

What we expected to see from Verizon's 'State of the Internet of Things 2016' market report, compiled by Oxford Economics, were some potentially insightful projections on the number of LTE devices, and perhaps even a brief mention about the US MNO's thoughts on LPWANs such as Sigfox and LoRa.

 
 

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Bessemer Venture on VC backed Companies Board Members

In case you were wondering about the stereotypical "10 Worst VC Board Members"...  click on the image #VentureCapital #startuppic.twitter.com/oz62QsZAuh

 
 

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Inside the heads of people who are always late, as explained by stick figures.

" optimistic-people-have-one-thing-common-always-late." Intriguing. Nothing's better than the headline: "The reason people are [bad quality that describes you] is actually because they're [good quality]." I got to reading. And as it turns out, according to the article, late people are actually the best people ever.They're optimistic and hopeful: "People who are continuously late are actually just more optimistic.
 
 

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How an Internet Mapping Glitch Turned a Random Kansas Farm Into a Digital Hell

An hour's drive from Wichita, Kansas, in a little town called Potwin, there is a 360-acre piece of land with a very big problem. The plot has been owned by the Vogelman family for more than a hundred years, though the current owner, Joyce Taylor née Vogelman, 82, now rents it out.
 
 

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VR headsets to generate $895M in revenue in 2016

Market researcher Strategy Analytics said it expects global virtual reality headset revenues will reach $895 million in 2016. About 77 percent of that value will be accounted for by newly launched premium devices from Oculus, HTC, and Sony.
 
 

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Brands as chatty friends: Are chatbots 'the beginning of a new Internet'?

Craving a taco for lunch? No need to go to your nearest Taco Bell or even download the app. You can just summon TacoBot on messaging platform Slack and even get recommendations while you place your order. Microsoft's recent chatbot PR disaster notwithstanding, brands are on the cusp of a bot explosion.

 
 

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This Agency Is 30% More Productive Since It Started Using Chat Software to Connect With Clients

Chatbots are coming to digital marketing, and they're also shaking up the agency-brand relationship. Since it starting using Slack in April 2014, digital shop R/GA has gotten 1,500 of its 1,800 staffers across 15 offices on the project-management platform.
 
 

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57 Ways To Sign Off On An Email

One day last fall, my colleague Miguel Morales received an email with a sign-off that was so strange, it has stuck in his mind for the last year. It came from Melissa Geisler, who works in digital sports programming and production at Yahoo. Below Geisler's title and above her cell [...]
 
 

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How technology can improve the guest experience before arrival

Using technology to own the digital conversation has become the most important aspect of most hoteliers' jobs. It leads to increased direct engagement with guests, an influx of guest conversion from unknown OTA bookings to real known guests, and ultimately, an increase in future direct bookings.
 
 

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How Apple is grooming the iPad to take over the Mac

As Apple's first truly new tablet in years, the iPad Pro is every bit the beast it was rumored to be. Built around a gorgeous 12.9-inch screen, it doesn't skimp on the pixels or the power. With its eye-popping 2732-by-2048 resolution and the cutting-edge A9X chip, the big iPad Pro drew a clear line in the sand between it and the Air.
 
 

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Hidden Cell Phone Contract Perks You Should Be Taking Advantage Of

There's a reason why they don't want you to know about these.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Friday April 8th 2016

 
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Good Morning. It's Friday and it's been a busy week. Our big client news was YipTV joining T-Mobile's BingeOn. For the New Jersey based company this is a major milestone and likely a harbinger of things to come......The news cycle this week has also been fast and furious as next week tax day looms on April 15th, so it "usually" slows down. We'll see.

What company is hot? Facebook. Why? Start with pal Stephan Rust's blog post from last Thursday and then read the following few stories about the social network giant and I think you'll agree that we all can begin to drop "social" from the description of Facebook. They are really cresting into an all everything company.

Then there's the "let's buy Yahoo" news. I bet shareholders are wishing they took Steve Ballmer's offer a few years ago now.....What is it about Pigs and Hogs? Of courseencrypted communications remains in the news. What'sApp did it this week (read what the EFF has to say). Signal is available to more now via the desktop (as announced on their blog). The Amazon Echo remains the hottest product on the market ,and as I have all three, I can say that first hand, having been a user and raving fan since the Beta over a year ago. Talk about a daily experience changer, the Echo is just that, all of which rolls nicely into the talk about Bots...yes Bots. Not Bats..

There's all that and more in today's Comunicano Communique, so grab your coffee mug, tea or chai and get on with the news.

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Facebook leading the way in Mobile disruption

After digesting some of the insights from Barcelona during Mobile World Congress, it's becoming more and more apparent that Facebook, not Apple or Google, nor Ericsson or Cisco, and especially not Vodafone or China Mobile, is leading change in mobile.
 
 

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Facebook Messenger now lets you start a chat by scanning profile codes

Becoming friends with someone on Facebook Messenger just became a lot easier. In a new update that started to roll out Thursday, Facebook's chat app now has Messenger Codes - circular patterns around a user's profile photo, which can be scanned to start a chat with that person.
 
 

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Facebook Messenger may soon have more bots

Facebook Messenger will soon have more bots. According to a leaked slide deck, the company will announce a bot platform for its chat service at next week's F8 conference. According to TechCrunch, Facebook is seeding APIs to developers that allow them to build bots for Messenger and Web plugins for Live Chat.
 
 

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When do bots beat apps? When context and convenience matter most

 
  There's a question I've been asking founders when they pitch me their bots: "Why is this a bot and not an app or a website?" I've been fascinated by the explosion of developer interest and startup activity around chatbots and am pretty bullish on their potential as both a user and an investor, but it's important to take a step back and think about why we're all so focused on conversational interfaces.  
 

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Video game Olympics announced for Rio

A new eGames international gaming tournament will make its debut in Rio during this summer's Olympic Games. The event, launched as part of this week's London Games Festival, offers medals and national pride rather than cash prizes for the winners. The competition, backed by the UK government, will be run by the new International eGames Committee (IEGC).

 
 

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Verizon to Proceed With Yahoo Bid, Google Weighs Offer

Verizon Communications Inc. plans to make a first-round bid for Yahoo Inc.'s Web business next week, and is willing to acquire the company's Yahoo Japan Corp. stake to help sweeten the offer, according to people familiar with the matter. Google, the main division of Alphabet Inc., is also considering bidding for Yahoo's core business, a separate person said.
 
 

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Is That Email Really From Your CEO?

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) this week warned about a "dramatic" increase in so-called "CEO fraud," e-mail scams in which the attacker spoofs a message from the boss and tricks someone at the organization into wiring funds to the fraudsters.

 
 

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Taking Alexa for a ride

Alexa, the ever-present voice control assistant living inside Amazon's Echo, Echo Dot and Tap products, has been a useful addition to the CNET Smart Home -- our spot in the Kentucky countryside for testing out all sorts of connected gadgets and gizmos (the Echo, Echo Dot and Tap included).
 
 

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Amazon expands free same-day delivery to 11 mid-sized cities, increases coverage in existing metro markets - GeekWire

Amazon continues to increase the value of its Prime membership, this time expanding its network of free same-day delivery options for members. The retail giant announced today that same-day delivery options are available to Prime members in 11 new cities, bringing the service's footprint up to nearly 30 metro areas across the U.S.
 
 

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Reddit launches official iOS and Android apps

Remember when, in October 2014, Reddit bought the unofficial Reddit mobile app Alien Blue? Even though the app was quickly relaunched, that was the first step towards Reddit launching its own official apps. That moment has finally arrived. On Thursday, the official Reddit apps landed on Android and iOS (iPhone only).
 
 

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Now's your chance to try Signal's desktop Chrome app

The desktop version of Edward Snowden's favored end-to-end messaging system, Signal, is now available to anyone who wants to check it out. Open Whisper Systems announced the desktop version back in December, but until today it was invite-only.
 
 

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Tesla Proclaims Early Model 3 Demand A Victory For EVs

A week after the Model 3 unveiling, and Tesla is in the endzone doing a touchdown dance. A blog entry on the official Tesla blog boldly states that this past week was "The Week that Electric Vehicles Went Mainstream." Elon also couldn't contain himself and let the good news from the summary of reservations for the week overflow onto Twitter.
 
 

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Most Airbnb hosts flout SF laws, city report says

More than a quarter of San Francisco homes listed as vacation getaways on Airbnb violate the city's 90-day annual limit on such rentals, while the vast majority of Airbnb hosts have yet to register their properties, flouting a law enacted last year, according to a report released late Thursday by the San Francisco Budget and Legislative Analyst's Office.
 
 

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YipTV Joins 'Binge On' Mix

YipTV said it has joined Binge On, T-Mobile's controversial optional service that delivers mobile video in 480p resolution and zero-rates the streams of its growing list of OTT partners. YipTV is a no-contract OTT-TV offering launched last May that's focused on Spanish-language video and features plans from more than 100 international and domestic live TV channels.

 
 

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YipTV, Dailymotion, others bulk up T-Mobile's Binge On streaming ...

International-focused streaming service YipTV and OTT provider Dailymotion are among a block of over-the-top providers and TV networks that have signed on to T-Mobile's ( NYSE:TMUS) streaming service, Binge On, setting a challenge to its primary mobile-first video streaming challenger, Verizon's ( NYSE: VZ) Go90 service.
 
 

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StubHub Will Use Virtual Reality to Let You Preview Your Seat

Like many companies, eBay is convinced virtual reality is the next big thing. But also like a lot of companies, eBay is trying to figure out just what that means for its business. On Thursday, the company is announcing its first small foray into the VR arena, as subsidiary StubHub offers Final Four ticket buyers the option to get an immersive, 3-D view of available seats.
 
 

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Regis McKenna's 1976 Notebook And The Invention Of Apple Computer, Inc.

At first blush, it appears to be an utterly unexceptional spiral-bound notebook. Manufactured in the U.S. by the National Blank Book Company of Holyoke, Massachusetts, it's got a light green cover and 80 sheets of narrow-ruled 8-by-10-inch paper. The first sign that its contents might matter is a request haphazardly rubber-stamped on the front: "RETURN TO REGIS McKENNA HIMSELF."
 
 

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The Hidden Economics of Porn

A gender-studies professor explains how the industry works.
 
 

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Andy's App of the Week - SENDERS

Back in the day, Rapportive was a great go to app to discover more about the person you were engaged in an email conversation. Then it was acquired by LinkedIn and its usefulness waned. Fortunately a new service has come out and it's awesome. I'm referring to Senders, which I talked about on Thursday's BusinessRockstars. Senders does for social and contact information what USA Today's bite size round-up stories did to the news. Makes it easy to know all you need to about someone in one place with their LinkedIn, Twitter, About, Angels List data and a quick search on Google all baked in.

Senders is still in beta, so expect a bug here or there, but after a day of using it, I can't live without it.

 


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Today on Business Rockstars

Today, along with Ken Rutkowski, the host of Business Rockstars, we spoke about:

Amazon Echo and all its siblings and what you can do with it.

Pipedrive, a very slick and easy to use CRM service.

Cloutex, a super easy to use plugin for Chrome that makes adding LinkedIn info to Pipedrive

Senders, a new in your email service that tells you all you need to know about the person sending you email

Here's the link.


The Comunicano Communique for Thursday March 31st 2016

 
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Good Morning. It's Thursday and as I wrote earlier in the week, the NEWS is happening. Today there is more than double the usual number of news stories you'll receive, with 18, and also far less feature content.....so grab the coffee and get ready to read.

In technology we'll go well beyond the FBI iPhone Hack and all the news surrounding that, much of which is more speculation than fact.

The tech news is from the usual and some unusual suspects. Microsoft with their Build 2016 Conference is dominating the tech press with stories surrounding their Hololens, API's, Bots, Cortana, their new Edge browser and how it deals with Ad blocking, Skype and more. To parry Microsoft's news a bit, Google is coming out with news about their efforts in Virtual Reality, with an update on their cardboard viewer with 360 degree viewing. Then there's news on Tesla's new car debut and how the tax credits for buying one may not last...

Of course Apple has well timed news around their Major League Baseball sponsorship all based upon the iPad going in the dugout and getting mentioned on air.  There's more news about their "New" iPhone, the SE with a strong review leading the way for that and the better way to charge iPad Pro 12 inchers...

Oh, and Uber announces how they are improving customer service by moving it into the app which makes things easier and also lets the world know how they have expanded what they are doing with Hilton. In the world of "what's old is new again", we have AOL's Tim Armstrong, who is now working for Verizon, with access to their war chest, going on record on wanting to buy Yahoo which some may remember used to power the telcos DSL, now he wants to power their ad network with their platform. 

There's all that and more in today's Comunicano Communique.

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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BUILD 2016: Microsoft talks Cortana, Skype, bots, and intelligence APIs

On March 30th, during the BUILD 2016 keynote presentation, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked about "Conversations as a platform." That means conversations between two or more people, between people and digital assistants, and between people and bots, which are intelligent applications that humans can converse with.
 
 

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Microsoft launches HoloLens emulator so developers can test holographic apps, no headset required

As promised, Microsoft today started shipping its $3,000 HoloLens development kits. In addition to sharing that bots are coming to the new platform, the company also released a HoloLens emulator, which lets developers test holographic apps on their PC without the need for a physical HoloLens.
 
 

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HoloLens, A Year Later: A New Demo At Build 2016

A year ago at Build 2015, we got our first demo of Microsoft's HoloLens. At this year's event, we got a second crack at seeing the augmented reality device in action, and it was a completely different experience. Or, we should say, Microsoft took a completely different approach.
 
 

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Microsoft plans to build ad blocker into its Microsoft Edge browser | ZDNet

One of Microsoft's biggest gambles in Windows 10 is its decision to turn Internet Explorer into a legacy product, primarily for enterprise customers. Its replacement, Microsoft Edge, has been developing slowly since its version 1.0 release with the first release of Windows 10.
 
 

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Skype is getting Cortana and crazy bot messaging

You'll soon be able to use Skype to books trips, shop, and plan your schedule, just by chatting with Cortana. During its Build conference, Microsoft demoed how Skype users will soon be able to start a chat with Cortana and get things done just by having a conversation.
 
 

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Google makes it really easy to embed 360-degree VR experiences

You've tried out Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR, you've seen those nifty virtual reality experiences, and now you want to create your own and put it on your website. Well, Google just made that a pretty simple task.
 
 

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Google tackles simple 360 content embeds with VR View, introduces Cardboard SDK for iOS

Virtual reality is great for gaming and movies, but when it comes to real-world use cases there's still quite a bit of room for VR to prove itself. Google is hoping to kickstart this process by making 360 VR content a bit more simple to implement and, in the process, way more spontaneous for users to discover and view.
 
 

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AT&T moving away from Social Security numbers for customer security, will use pass codes instead

AT&T ( NYSE:T) is asking its customers to use pass codes rather than Social Security numbers when dealing with the carrier in an apparent effort to better protect users' sensitive information. "Previously, we required the last four digits of your Social Security Number as part of the process to access your account when calling Customer Service or visiting some Retailers," the carrier recently wrote in an e-mail to subscribers.

 
 

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Meet The iPhone Dream Team Hackers: FBI, Japanese Pinball Machine Maker, Israeli Cyber Firm

FBI Director James Comey leads a dream team which pulled off the iPhone hack.
 
 

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Apple strikes deal with MLB to provide every team with iPad Pros

Apple and Major League Baseball have signed a multi-year deal that will see every team receive iPad Pro tablets for use in the dugout, reports The Wall Street Journal .
 
 

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iPhone SE review: It's a pocket-size powerhouse

The SE is the little iPhone that could. With a 4-inch screen and the body of an iPhone 5s, it fits in my pockets better than my iPhone 6s, and it's easier to use one-handed. But it doesn't compromise much over its bigger, more expensive siblings.
 
 

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Testing Apple's 29W USB-C Power Adapter and iPad Pro Fast Charging

When Apple refreshed its online store with a new USB-C to Lightning cable with support for fast charging through a 29W power adapter on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last week, the addition immediately caught my interest. You can also use the cable with an Apple 29W USB-C Power Adapter to take advantage of the fast [...]
 
 

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With Model 3, it's make or break for Tesla

On Thursday night, at an invitation-only, Hollywood-style premiere on his SpaceX campus in Hawthorne, Elon Musk and his Tesla team will unveil their latest creation: the Model 3, Musk's long-awaited electric car for the masses. Few details have been revealed so far, but the car is essentially a...
 
 

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Report: AOL's Tim Armstrong wants Verizon to acquire Yahoo to build an ad powerhouse

AOL, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong has grand plans to turn parent company Verizon, Inc. into an ad powerhouse, and acquiring Yahoo, Inc. may be a part of that plan, according to a new report Wednesday.
 
 

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Drone Startup Airware Raises $30 Million, Adds Former Cisco CEO To Board

A drone powered by Airware technology inspects the roof of a home. (Photo courtesy of Airware) Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration projected in a report that 7 million drones will be sold annually in the U.S. within four years. Some 4.3 million, the FAA forecasted, will be bought and operated [...]
 
 

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Checking Your Uber Rating Or Getting Your Purse Back Just Got Much Easier

After years of forcing customers to use email to complain about anything, Uber is now committing to more updated technology. On Wednesday, the ride-hailing giant announced it plans to roll out globally its in-app customer service support features, which it has been quietly implementing in the U.S. since late 2015.
 
 

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Hilton Deepens Its Uber Relationship in New Loyalty Push

Hilton may not have been the first hospitality company to partner with Uber - that distinct honor goes to Starwood - but it is the first hotel company that's allowing its loyalty members to view their hotel stay information and be able to check-in from the Uber app, all while they travel to their hotel in the very Uber they were reminded to book from their Hilton HHonors app.
 
 

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Why Do the Feds Usually Try to Unlock Phones? It's Drugs, Not Terrorism

Until the FBI backed down from its battle with Apple over accessing the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, it seemed the agency had chosen a near-perfect case on which to make its stand against encryption.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Wednesday March 30th 2016

 
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Good Morning. It's Tuesday and it's the kind of NEWS day I love. That's when there is actually NEWS to read. What's happening? Lots of new features in apps and from services. It's the storm before the Tax Time lull so expect lots of "we have something new" to be coming out the next week or so. Take a look. See which companies are actually doing something NEW....All that and more in today's Comunicano Communique.

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Digital Asset Holdings signs deal Depository Trust & Clearing Corp for Blockchain repos trial

Blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings, LLC has signed a new deal with the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. to trial the company's Blockchain technology at the firm.
 
 

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AT&T to Add an Unlimited Data Option for Home Internet and Will Better Enforce Overages on Other Plans

On May 23, the company will introduce a new unlimited data option for its U-verse home Internet subscribers. AT&T customers who have only the U-verse home Internet service can add unlimited data for $30 more a month.
 
 

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Introducing Fiber Phone

Whether it's calling mom or ordering take-out, we rely on our phones to help reach the people and things that matter. And while mobile phones have pushed us toward the future, home phone service is still important to many families. Landlines can be familiar, reliable and provide high-quality service, but the technology hasn't always kept up.
 
 

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'Burner' phones might be made illegal

Burner phones might be about to be banned in the US. A Congresswoman has proposed that everyone buying a phone in the country would have to register with personal ID, to stop criminal activities being planned with handsets that can be bought anonymously and then thrown away. Forcing shops to require customers to give over identification when buying cheap phones or pre-paid SIMs could be one of the most important ways that terrorists are able to communicate, according to Ca...
 
 

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Facebook's Messenger lands first airline as chat app pushes into commerce

SAN FRANCISCO - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines passengers will soon be able to check in, get flight updates, make travel changes and talk to customer service reps straight from Facebook's Messenger chat app. KLM is the first airline and the first major European partner for Messenger, which is used by 800 million people around the globe.
 
 

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Snapchat Wants You to Video Call Your Friends and View all their Stories

Snapchat has taken to the official blog to announce new features that allow users to place audio and video calls. Over 200 stickers have been added to the mix, allowing you to send stickers of things such as aliens, Snapchat's ghost, and walruses to your added contacts.
 
 

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Instagram Increases Video Length From 15 Seconds To 60

Users will soon be able to record and post Instagram videos that are as long as 60 seconds. Instagram has increased the video limit on posts because users have been watching more videos on the service. "In the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent," the company said on its official blog.
 
 

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SoundCloud Starts Subscription Plan, Taking On Spotify and Apple

Two weeks after signing its final licensing deal with a major record company, the online music service SoundCloud has introduced its long-awaited subscription plan. The new program gives customers access to a much wider range of music than is available on competing services like Spotify and Apple, and it offers artists and their labels the promise of royalties.
 
 

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Spotify raises $1 billion in debt with devilish terms to fight Apple Music

On-demand streaming music is inevitable, so Spotify is taking whatever fuel it can get to win the race against Apple. Whoever can sign up customers faster to consume their data and network effect could earn money off them for a long, long time.
 
 

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Waze rolls out speed alerts to tell you when you're driving too fast

Google-owned GPS driving app Waze is making it easier to avoid speeding tickets today, with the launch of a new speed alerts feature. Now when you're driving on unfamiliar roads, or perhaps find yourself somewhere where the speed limit isn't clearly signposted, you can set up alerts for when you're moving too fast.
 
 

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Lyft wants to make 'casual carpooling' a thing again

Ride-hailing service Lyft is launching a new carpooling service in the Bay Area today that it insists is entirely different from all the other carpooling services out there, including its own Lyft Line.
 
 

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Plot twist: I'm working for Google

So that's a headline I never thought I'd be writing. But it's true. I recently flew out to Mountain View for orientation, meetings and my first visit ever to Google HQ. To clarify though, I haven't earned one of the Noogler hats that my son has coveted for so long.
 
 

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Business Rockstars: Apps For Entrepreneurs

Yesterday, on Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski, as one of their group of "Insiders," I highlighted three apps to help entrepreneurs operate their business better:

The first was GetAccept. This is a cloud based solution that helps with proposal management and closing.

Next up was SIFT, a way to sort through all the comments and suggestions made to companies via customer support and comment pages using Natural Language Processing.

Last was Cabalot, an iOS app that compares the current rates where you are between the different flavors of Lyft and Uber so you save money.

Catch me weekly on Business Rockstars, usually at 1:45 PM on Tuesdays, but possibly at other times.

The video is here, and I'm on at about 15 minutes into the program.

 
 

Do Uber Drivers Have The Right To......?

Today as I was assembling the Comunicano Communique, I came across a story about an Uber Driver chronicling his passengers in his car during a one night photo safari over on Vice.com. It got me thinking about the passengers' right to privacy, what permissions are granted and who has the right to capture your image and then promote, publicize or use it. To take it one step farther, who gave drivers, car services and transportation companies the right to videotape or record you without your express written permission.

More and more we're seeing cameras pop up. In taxi's you have the dash mounted web cam that records the driver and the passenger in case there's an accident, so there's an actual record of any injury or damages incurred. That's all well and good, but the use of the video footage, and the implied permission being granted to others to make use the footage in case of an accident is far from correct. It's not. Thus to record someone having a make out session in the back seat, or the passenger having a conversation with someone either in the vehicle or on a phone is not being granted to anyone as it's the passenger's right to privacy that rules the day.

To go one step farther, while we grant Uber and Lyft the right to know where they picked us up, and where they dropped us off for billing purposes, that data is not meant to be used, shared or otherwise utilized by anyone but Uber, and solely to determine fares, rates and offers.  For example, if I frequent a certain restaurant regularly, it's not Uber's data to sell to competitors who may offer me some form of an inducement to go to their restaurant--such as a free Uber ride to and from for my first visit unless I opt into those offers. And that data is certainly not Uber's to sell to any other group without first asking me if it's ok. 

Today, I posed this question to Uber Support:

How do I make sure, that unless required by law, no Uber contractor  (driver) or employee takes photographs, videotapes, records or otherwise capture my image, in transit conversations, retains any information heard, makes or keeps a written or digital record of my rides, pick up locations, food orders, etc.

I recognize that Uber drivers are independent contractors, and do acknowledge that Uber will use certain ride related data to make rides more convenient for passengers, I am concerned in light of recent press coverage about drivers taking photos of passengers, that the privacy of passengers may be put at risk and am seeking to understand what Uber is doing to ensure its customers rights and requests are being honored.
 
 
 
Please let me know what will be done to maintain and protect your customer's right to privacy in an era where privacy is being challenged at every turn.
 

As someone who is a fan of Uber and Lyft, as someone who uses TaskRabbit, FancyHands and other shared economy resources that are data driven and create new economies, I'm all for what they do, but I am wondering how in the arms length world of "contractors" vs. employees, Uber and by proxy, Lyft, are working to make sure customer privacy is being maintained by their drivers and others they "hire" to do the fulfillment of the ride.

Here is Uber's Reply--

Hi Andy,

I understand how this would make you feel uncomfortable. Partners are expected to follow local regulations regarding disclosure of any recordings they may do.

We aim to keep the Uber experience comfortable and seamless so, again, I appreciate you taking the time to write in to us about this.

We take the security and privacy of the personal information we collect and store seriously, and we use industry-standard security practices, such as firewalls and SSL (Secure Socket Layers), and encryption of data in transit, to help protect information. We also do not retain the full 16 digits of your credit card information.

You can learn more about our Privacy Policy here, and can learn more about our payment processor's security practices here.

If I can help with anything else please let me know.

Best,

Alvin

 At no time have I ever had an Uber driver tell me they are recording or taking photographs. As in the Orange County case that has gotten very litigious on all sides, the key is consent and how the laws in each state applies. Perhaps when riding in a shared ride service the right to 'not be recorded' should be the law, and permission granted, be the 'opt-in' vs. not being offered privacy at all.


The Comunicano Communique for Monday March 28th 2016

 
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Good Morning. It's a Monday and the stories today are going to help you do better business.  Take the changes going on in Social Media. Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. News about each of them leads things off. Then there's growth. Netflix and Spotify both are changing the ways we consume entertainment. All that and more in today's Comunicano Communique.

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Snapchat users now spend 25 to 30 minutes every day on the app, and it's trying to attract the TV money because of it

Snapchat's photos and videos are famous for disappearing after a few seconds, but its users are spending as much as a half-hour every day playing with its app. The company is touting the time users spend on the app in its efforts to lure big brand advertising dollars away from television.
 
 

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Instagram is changing - here's how to make sure your posts still get seen

Rumour has it that Instagram 's new algorithm will be dropping tomorrow, resulting in a big change to the way posts are displayed. Rather than presenting users with a chronological list of posts, the algorithm will sort posts based on "the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post".
 
 

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Facebook's Safety Check malfunctions after Pakistan bombing

Facebook activated its Safety Check tool to help people stay in touch after a deadly terrorist attack Sunday in Pakistan, but the feature strayed far afield from the carnage. Safety Check automatically sends Facebook users in an affected area a note asking if they're safe.
 
 

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Spotify hits 30 million subscribers

Spotify has 30 million paid subscribers, CEO Daniel Ek announced today in a tweet. This is the first subscriber update Spotify has given out since it announced it had 20 million subscribers days before Apple Music hit the market last June, and shows the increased competition has had little to no effect on Spotify's growth.
 
 

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Netflix's Grand, Daring, Maybe Crazy Plan to Conquer the World

Late into the night on St. Patrick's Day, Netflix hosted a makeshift "war room" at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters. Engineers and product wranglers sat loosely around a long, U-shaped formation of desks, monitoring diagnostics and Hipchat conversations. Linguists and translators patrolled a ring of television sets to check subtitles and dubs in a dozen languages.
 
 

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Google To Open A Dozen New Data Centers To Take On AWS

Google is planning to open 12 new data centers over the next 12-18 months. This has come just weeks after Google nabbed Spotify and Apple as its cloud customers. The huge cloud push by Google could see Google Cloud become its biggest growth engine a few years down the line.

 
 

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Forget the Small iPhone. Is Apple Going Charger-Free?

Apple might be ready to ditch some of its charger cords by 2017 with a plan to charge next-generation smartphones through the air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a track record of solid Apple hardware predictions, told 9to5Mac over the weekend that he thinks next year's iPhones will charge wirelessly.
 
 

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Enterprise IoT rollouts still need outside assistance, but new software can help

The industrial Internet of Things doesn't just show up in a box at the door ready to use. It takes integration to deploy IoT systems and get the maximum benefit. That's because IoT isn't one thing, but many linked together in pursuit of a business objective.
 
 

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Japan's NTT to Buy Dell Systems for $3.055 Billion

 
  NTT Data Corp., a unit of Japan's former telephone monopoly, agreed to buy technology services businesses from Dell for $3.055 billion. The acquisition was announced by the unit of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday. The company didn't give a date for when it will acquire the Dell units.  
 

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The Inside Story of How Oculus Cracked the Impossible Design of VR

Palmer Luckey has never used an Oculus Rift. That's what the founder of Oculus keeps telling himself as he unboxes the commercial version of the virtual reality system he invented. Opens the package. Takes out the few elements-the headset, the single cable that connects it to a computer, the small cylindrical infrared camera that tracks it in space.
 
 

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Searching For Google CEO Sundar Pichai, The Most Powerful Tech Giant You've Never Heard Of

The Consumer Electronics Show, universally known as CES, is a riot of technology. Held annually in the bleak Nevada desert town of Las Vegas, it is a great blinking din, jammed with screens, speakers, automobiles, whirling drones, blooping robots, e-cigs and e-cigs and ever more e-cigs, plus some 170,000 people bumping around inside a disease-ridden convention center.
 
 

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Why the Most Talented People Copy - ReadThink (by HubSpot)

We have an insatiable thirst for the new. In business, we want new products, new campaigns, and new ways of reaching consumers. The shiny object syndrome isn't just about being easily distracted. It's also the result of thinking that what is new - and seemingly unique - is better.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Sunday March 27th 2016

 
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Happy Easter..Somehow The lead didn't save. So sorry. In today's COMUNICANO COMMUNIQUE we have lots of lists, easy to read news. Stories about Apple, Microsoft, HubSpot and more.....READ AWAY

By the way, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Microsoft demos 'Holoportation' with real-time holograms straight out of Star Wars

Microsoft has shown off a lot of concept projects in the last year related to HoloLens, its $3,000 augmented reality headset, but this one just might be the crown jewel of them all. Dubbed " Holoportation," Microsoft Research's latest demonstration is the ability to view a live hologram of a person in another location.
 
 

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Forget the New iPhone. For Apple, It's All About the Dollar.

Don't obsess about the svelte new iPhone or the price cut for the Apple Watch. Don't worry too much about Apple's courtroom battles over privacy and national security, at least not now. Those issues moved to the back burner on Monday when the Justice Department said that it might not need Apple's help to break into an iPhone connected to a mass shooting.
 
 

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Some users reporting iPhone crashes on iOS 9.3 when tapping links in Safari and other apps

Readers are reporting a strange bug with iOS 9.3, primarily affecting the latest Apple devices, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The issue has also been reported on older phones and some iPad as well....
 
 

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Inhabitat's Week in Green: Toyota's new Prius, and more!

In clean energy news, General Electric just announced that America's first offshore wind farm will be completed by the end of this year. China kicked its environmental initiatives up a notch with plans to triple its solar power capacity by the year 2020.
 
 

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Scotts Miracle-Gro Pioneers The "Connected Yard"

Scotts Miracle-Gro wants to bring your yard into the digital age. The giant of lawn and garden care is set to release an Internet of Things platform called Connected Yard that will give consumers plant care guidance through a smartphone app called Gro, which will make recommendations based on data about local weather conditions and input from connected sensors and water controllers.
 
 

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Amazon Updates Alexa Voice Services: App Enhancements, Timers And Alarms And Other New Features

Amazon has announced that it has given its Alexa Voice Service (AVS) a major update, bestowing developers working on the Alexa platform a multitude of new features, ranging from volume and media controls, timers and alarms, and more.
 
 

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The 50-year digital relationship

I occasionally meet people who think the Internet is going to go away someday. Yes, some of its pieces do move around a bit. Bye, Friendster! Hello, Peach!* But its core benefit - your ability to find any information, any time and to build relationships around common interests at any distance - aren't going anywhere.
 
 

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What is a Marketing Stack?-And How AdRoll Designed Ours

That's not just a huge number; this figure gives us insight into how marketers think. We don't use one big software provider for every marketing function-we actually use the best point solutions available to address specific marketing problems. The sum total of all these point solutions is called a marketing stack.
 
 

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The book HubSpot never wanted you to read

If you think working at a startup is as glamorous as what's portrayed in "The Social Network" or even in HBO's "Silicon Valley," then you might be mistaken. For veteran journalist Dan Lyons, his experience wasn't exactly a smashing success and he's written all about it in a new book called "Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble."
 
 

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Make a Plan: How to Outline Your Ideas with 20 Powerful Tools

It doesn't matter how many ideas you have if you can't connect them. To turn those scattered concepts into a finished product, you're going to need a coherent plan. That's what outlines are good for. They're the blueprint for what you want to write, say, present, or create.
 
 

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100 Ways to Save a Ton of Money When You Travel

To help you plan your next trip on the cheap, we compiled a list of our best money-saving travel tips. From rental car steals and…
 
 

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Sleep deprivation is not a badge of honor - Signal v. Noise

Forgoing sleep is like borrowing from a loan shark. Sure you get those extra hours right now to cover for your overly-optimistic estimation, but at what price? The shark will be back, and if you can't pay, he'll break your creativity, morale, and good-mannered nature as virtue twigs.
 
 

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