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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The Comunicano Communique for Monday March 21st, 2016

 
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Today is the APPLE SHOW..Live and Uncut. Apple, which loves to stream their new product shows, basically uses their own iTunes infrastructure to sell first to their already owning customers. But that also means a lot of the news today and tomorrow is Apple related news....But there's more. Today you can read Micrsoft's own reaction to their massive mistep with "Schoolgirl Skirts" at the Game Developers Conference, what is really new at Facebook and more all in today's COMUNICANO COMMUNIQUE..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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Facebook's Messenger Bot Store could be the most important launch since the App Store

If Facebook announces the "Messenger Bot Store" at F8, as many predict, it would be arguably the most consequential event for the tech industry since Apple announced the App Store and iPhone SDK in March 2008.
 
 

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Where to watch the live stream for today's Apple smaller iPhone event

Apple is holding an event today in Cupertino, and the company is planning once again to live stream the event. At 10 AM PT (1 PM ET, 5 PM GMT, 6 PM CET), you'll be able to watch the event on all Apple devices.
 
 

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The Behind-the-Scenes Fight Between Apple and the FBI

On June 2, 2014, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook took the stage at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco to tout the iPhone's latest mobile-operating system, iOS 8. With more than 6,000 developers and technology enthusiasts cheering them on, Cook and other executives showed off new text messaging features, a health-tracking tool and an updated photo app.
 
 

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Live, on Facebook, It's Something Like TV but Not Exactly TV

Facebook likes video and Facebook likes live video. So Facebook is going to get what it wants. Here's the latest example: The E! Entertainment cable channel is going to start streaming a daily infotainment show via Facebook, starting today at 12:30 pm ET. "Live From E!"
 
 

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Dancing 'schoolgirls' damaged the brand, Microsoft execs say

The dancing has stopped, but the gyrations of anger have not. After Microsoft and Xbox were heavily criticized for presenting dancers dressed as "sexy" schoolgirls during its Thursday night party at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer sent an email to his staff expressing his intense disappointment.
 
 

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Why Your Home Wi-Fi Is Lousy

If you think your home Wi-Fi is annoying now-flaky, slow, riddled with dead zones-just wait until your streaming 4K TVs are battling phones, laptops, game systems and connected gadgets for the available bandwidth. The future depends on your home network, but even today's best home networks aren't ready.
 
 

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When M.L.B. Broke the Ice With a Game in Havana

ANGELOS "We landed in a darkened airport. We were coming in on a commercial flight, but they cleared us to land. Everything was dark. There was a bus there and an official from the Cuban government welcomed us very heartily, and we got on a bus and drove into Havana.
 
 

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Medium spins off Matter into new company owned by Ev Williams

Tweet Share on Facebook Print The self-publishing service and social network Medium is spinning off a prominent web publication that it has owned and hosted for the past three years.
 
 

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Google Chromecast

Chromecast has a long list of superpowers that Apple TV doesn't.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Friday March 18th 2016

 
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The news in the tech world continues to be a bit SLOW. Perhaps its all the Trumpeting about our next president that's causing the news to slow in the business side of things, or perhaps it's all just the post CES, Post MWC, Post SxSW or Post whatever hangover, but most of the news this past week felt to me as being more manufactured than real...so that's why there hasn't been a newsletter all week...So as for today, take a read and see what's new and in the news all in today's COMUNICANO COMMUNIQUE..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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Smartphones are ruling our lives and killing our imaginations

One study found the average person looks at their smartphone 221 times per day - once every 4.3 minutes. Photo: Eddie Jim It wasn't too long ago that smartphones were a novelty, something the ardent tech-heads would queue up in the street to buy.
 
 

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Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2016 Results

Every 8 seconds or so, a developer asks a question on Stack Overflow. This year, 56,033 coders in 173 countries answered the call. We asked them 45 questions. Key highlights include the following: For the first time, more developers are using Mac than Linux as their primary OS.
 
 

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Virtual reality girds for test in marketplace

Broomstick flying or red-light ping-pong? Gadgets at German fair Hanover, Germany (AFP) March 17, 2016 - Virtual reality and 3D printing are among top technologies showcased by thousands of IT companies attending this year's technology show CeBIT in the northern German city of Hanover.
 
 

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First Click: 10 virtual reality experiences you can try this weekend

Our exclusive virtual reality interview with First Lady Michelle Obama on how she mastered social media. It's our first ever 360 video and a glimpse at how storytelling will evolve with VR.

 
 

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Drip Joins Kickstarter

We're excited to announce that Drip is joining Kickstarter today. Drip is an inspired community of independent artists, record labels, and audiences who support their work directly.Launched five years ago by Ghostly International founder, Sam…
 
 

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So Much Streaming Music, Just Not in One Place

In the old days, you never knew which CDs the record store would have in stock. That limitation of physical media was supposed to be solved by digital. Back in the 1990s, technology evangelists and music fans alike began to talk about a " celestial jukebox " - a utopian ideal in which every song ever recorded would be available at a click.
 
 

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Let us loop you in: What to expect from Apple's March 21 event

Apple's having an event next Monday. We're going to be on the ground to cover everything the company has to offer, but as usual leakers and rumor sites have outed most of the biggest potential announcements. To get you prepared for the big event, we've rounded up the most likely rumors and added our own educated guesses and commentary.
 
 

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T-Mobile Binge On adds YouTube and more as some changes are made for video providers

Today's a big day for T-Mobile and Binge On, as more services are being added to the free streaming portion of Binge On, and there's on in particular that's a major add. YouTube is now included with free Binge On streaming, meaning that you can watch all of the videos on Google's popular video streaming service (including John Legere's announcement below) without touching your high-speed data allotment.
 
 

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FBI warns car makers and owners about vehicle hacking risks

WASHINGTON (By David Shepardson, Reuters) - The FBI and U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a bulletin Thursday warning that motor vehicles are "increasingly vulnerable" to hacking.
 
 

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Crossing borders: Uber takes San Diego riders to Mexico

Your next trip to Mexico could be just a push of a button away. On Friday, Uber will launch Passport, its first cross-border service, offering one-way transportation from San Diego across the San Ysidro border to anywhere in the northern Baja California region, which extends as far south as Ensenada and as far east as Mexicali.
 
 

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The Return Of Voice-And That Means I'm Watching

I have to admit, the voice space has been, well, rather boring the last few years. And, with it, VoIPWatch has become less and less a VoIP focused blog and more and more a news blog featuring stories that I find interesting, and which I've started to share here and within the Comunicano Communique (which you can subscribe to HERE). 

Thankfully, over the past few weeks, a few Voice related services and apps have renewed my enthusiasm for voice as it is clearly alive (as it has always been) and inventiveness is far from dead.

Let's look at a few of the more interesting activities in Voice that I'm now closely VoipWatching:

Dialpad - The company formerly known as SWITCH.co Perhaps this should be named Dialpad 2.0 as veterans in the voice world will recall the original company, then the acquisition by Yahoo, the creation of Yahoo Voice with it, and then its demise.

The New Dialpad is reminiscent of the line in the The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" ---"Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss" -- as it's almost the same team as the old Dialpad as Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet were two thirds of the Dialpad team that sold it to Yahoo, with YIPTV founder Mike Tribolet (original President of Vonage) being the other executive.

With an updated logo (see the d and p) and new apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, a kick butt plug in for Chrome, and most of all, VoIP calling over Wi-Fi and mobile broadband, Dialpad may very well be the first real carrier scale provider of mobile PBX services. With extension dialing coming soon, an app for the iPad around the corner, enhancements to all types of enterprise services, the new Dialpad is a major upfit to Switch.

Telzio - It's always fun to be part of growing an innovative start-up. Telzio is one of those.  About a year ago I became an advisor to the L.A. based VoIP company aimed at bringing really big ideas to small company communications. Now that I'm living here my friendship with founder Peter Rank Schroder has only boosted that engagement. A few weeks ago Telzio rolled out integration with the Amazon Echo, an idea I first proposed after really getting a lot out of the "must have" device while traveling across Europe last summer. First up was the integration with CounterPath's Bria. Next on the innovation front is an native iOS app that's in beta now, as is their Zapier integration (you need to be a customer and invited into the beta) so I have Telzio working with Slack very nicely now. What's so cool about Telzio is the simplicity, speed and elegance of all their integrations, which rivals their insanely low price offer, of $1.00 a month for phone service.

Wire- Started by pal Alan Duric and many of the Skype ex-pats led by Jonathan Christensen, Wire has been steadily evolving over the past year or so into a Skype replacement for many of the Voice Comms Mafia members who are also regulars on the VUC. Now with encrypted communications, upgraded video capabilities, Wire is picking up where Skype left off after its acquisition by Microsoft. The big benefits are the services elegantly clean UI, a fast set up and a HTML5 version that works within the browser (Chrome for sure) and the end to end encrypted comms.

Slack - One of the most used productivity apps around, Slack is now testing in beta Voice calls. What's neat? Well for starters, they have it working in both within the browser and inside their native apps. More importantly is the integration going on with Slack by others.  

Yodel -A team from Austria, with an aptly named app, have begun to use WebRTC, dial up numbers for inbound and outbound calling. Now in beta.

Ottspott - brought to us by the Apidaze team out of Paris, they know WebRTC rather well and as a result have come up with a more elegant and complete solution than Yodel for now where calls are placed and received using Slack. 

In both cases, Ottspott and Yodel are showing what's possible with WebRTC, apps and services that start outside the browser in an app.

With these new developments, I'm happy to say my VOIPwatching is back..

 


The Comunicano Communique for Friday March 11th 2016

 
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A dozen stories today, and some themes. Also a shout out to my friends at L.A.'s own Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and their story in the WSJ. Ironically, it comes at a time where L.A. (see below) is rapidly becoming one of the most expensive places to visit--which is why I'm glad I live here. The reason..Messaging, encryption and bots. They are also hot topics, as is VR (Virtual Reality)...and the declining attention span, how to counteract that and more....today, all in the COMUNICANO COMMUNIQUE..READ ON

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

 
 
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Gannett Plans First Regularly Scheduled News Show in Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is coming to local and national news. While media outlets have experimented in recent years with one-off reports for viewing on a VR headset, Gannett Co. Inc. is going a step further. Its USA Today Network announced Thursday it will launch a regularly scheduled VR news show this spring.
 
 

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A new system from MIT called Polaris claims to reduce web page load times by up to 34 percent. Yow!

It's hard to find anyone who'd argue that websites load too quickly. Mobile pages constantly creak under the weight of complex visual elements and ad networks. It's led to an ad-blocking boom, boutique speed-boost solutions from Google and Facebook, and now, a system from MIT that its creators claim trims page-load times by up to 34 percent.
 
 

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Slovakia Wants Its Own Hyperloop

The hyperloop's first stop? Maybe Slovakia. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. said Thursday it agreed with the Slovakian government to explore building a hyperloop there, the first formal sign of interest from a federal government in building the futuristic tube-transport system.
 
 

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Mobile Use, Attention Spans and How to Reach the Next Generation of Social Customers

The average human attention span is reducing. That's no big surprise - researchers have been talking about it for years, using the inevitable comparison to a goldfish as the benchmark. But how much have our attention spans actually declined? And, importantly, what does that mean for how we optimize our marketing and advertising messages for best effect?
 
 

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Wire, the messaging app backed by Skype's Janus Friis, gets video calls and message encryption

It's been more than 15 months since Wire entered the competitive messaging app fray with the promise to build a Skype for the modern age - a promise given real credence by the backing of Skype cofounder Janus Friis. Available for Android, iOS, and desktop, Wire is making good on that promise today by introducing video calls to the messaging mix.
 
 

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Confide confidential messenger gets $1.6 million, launches premium message retraction

Confide, the messaging platform that keeps everything confidential, has today announced the close of a $1.6 million extension to their seed round, bringing total funding to $3.6 million. Investors include existing investors such as WGI Group, First Round Capital, SV Angel, CrunchFund, Marker, Howard Lerman and others.
 
 

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Cola App Paves The Way For More Interactive Text Messages

Instant messaging can be said to be a compulsory life skill in this day and age, but as with the many different kinds of personalities in which we see in humans, so too, will such nuances of personalities spill over to the interactive text messaging world.
 
 

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Conversational Banking; from branches to bots.

As chat platforms and bots replace browsers and apps, the way we access bank services will change. This is a good thing. It's Christmas 2015 and I am in Delhi for my friend's wedding. He's French and naturally his parents have flown in (smelly) cheese and (good) wine for a little pre-party.
 
 

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Ask Amazon Alexa to pay your bills, with new Capital One app

Amazon Echo is on a roll. From being named the top choice for consumers looking to automate their home, to adding two new voice-activated companions , Echo's latest collaboration makes it more useful for financially conscious users.

 
 

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Companies Assessing Business Value of APIs 

Application programming interfaces can extend the reach of an organization's core assets, allowing them to be shared, reused, or even resold as a new source of revenue. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are moving from tactical development technique to business model driver.

 
 

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L.A. jumps up to world's 8th most expensive city for travelers and expats, study says

Los Angeles is now the eighth most expensive city in the world for tourists and foreign businesspeople, a study released Thursday said, as a rising U.S. dollar has pushed the City of Angels ahead of pricey metropolises including Tokyo and Shanghai. L.A. - which ranked 27th last year - is now only...
 
 

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21 hot programming trends -- and 21 going cold

Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. Skirt lengths rise and fall, pigments come and go, ties get fatter, then thinner. But in the world of technology, rigor, science, math, and precision rule over fad. That's not to say programming is a profession devoid of trends.
 
 

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