The Comunicano Communique for Wednesday April 13th, 2016

 
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This week is best viewed as Facebook's Week. With their F8 conference they are setting things up for their next few years of growth. This basically means now that they have attracted enough of us to be regular "users" and we're "hooked" it's really time to make money. The two big themes coming out of the event are API's to work with Facebook and Live Video.  Thus Facebook is really going after the ability to be present in your life all the time. The series of stories below are a nice primer, so I encourage you to look at what they are up to and draw your own conclusions so needless to say, "the Times, they are a changing.

So read today's Comunicano Communique and get into the news.

Yesterday on Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski, we talked about the cool apps, sites and tools to make you a better entrepreneur. The three you can watch from yesterday were:

FastLane - gets you an Uber from your Mac.

Teleport - Uber for Groups. You book. They ride. You pay.

WeLive - WeWork For Living spaces. In NYC and D.C. now...

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

 
 
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Technology to Connect the World: F8 Day One Roundup

F8 2016 kicked off today, with a packed house of more than 2,600 people and hundreds of thousands of people watching via Facebook Live. Mark Zuckerberg kicked the conference off with a keynote detailing Facebook's 10-year technology roadmap, and the ways those technologies will help bring people together and give everyone a voice.
 
 

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Facebook Bets on a Bot Resurgence, Chattier Than Ever

To browse for a pair of brown loafers on Facebook Messenger, you can now text a message to the service to begin a conversation with the mobile shopping start-up Spring. Spring will ask you for a preferred price range for the shoes and show a smattering of what it thinks you might like.

 
 

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Live, local, late breaking: On Facebook Live, news outlets take a cue from TV (but don't call it TV)

Around 5 p.m. on April 1, everyone in our little office crowded around my desk, watching a live video of baby goats roaming inside BuzzFeed Motion Pictures president Ze Frank's office - a prank by staffers for his birthday. Would Frank be angry? Would the goats escape?? Would chaos ensue?!
 
 

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Facebook Opens Up Live Streaming API to Allow Streaming from Any Device

Facebook just took video streaming on its Live platform beyond the mobile phone: CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced during his keynote at the company's f8 developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday that it is making its Live API publicly available. This will allow developers to integrate live streaming into third-party apps and devices.
 
 

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This is the first official camera for Facebook's Live Video: the Mevo

Facebook has made a huge push into live broadcasting recently, including putting a new video discovery hub right in the center of its app. And now Facebook has its first official hardware partner for live video, and it's a nifty camera from industry pioneer Livestream.
 
 

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Facebook launches "Agents On Messenger" platform with chatbots

Facebook will now allow businesses to deliver automated customer support, ecommerce guidance, content, and interactive experience through "Agents on Messenger", Facebook's term for chatbots.
 
 

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Inside Microsoft's build-a-bot strategy | ZDNet

Tomorrow, Facebook is expected to roll out new bot-related programming interfaces and possibly new chatbots of its own at its F8 developer conference. Microsoft recently used its own Build developer event to talk up our bot-centric future. In the couple of weeks since then, I've been watching recorded Build bot sessions and following various links to understand more about Microsoft's approach.
 
 

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Find time for your goals with Google Calendar

Whether it's reading more books, learning a new language or working out regularly, achieving your goals can be really hard. One day it's "I got called into a last-minute meeting." The next day it's "I have a friend in town." And before you know it, your goals are delayed or forgotten.
 
 

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Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers just went on strike

NEW YORK - About 39,000 Verizon landline and cable workers on the East Coast walked off the job Wednesday morning after little progress in negotiations since their contract expired nearly eight months ago.
 
 

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How to Find the Customers Who Need Your Product

Aspiring founders who think they've developed an amazing offering often believe that their product will sell themselves. While there are occasional instances of unique apps, software, hardware, and services that were so valuable that they instantly made their founders famous, this is rarely the case.
 
 

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Building more accessible technology

Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population will have a disability during their lifetime, which can make it hard for them to access and interact with technology, and limits the opportunity that technology can bring.
 
 

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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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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.

 
 

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 Monday March 7th 2016

 
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Over the weekend my Switch app Switched to Dialpad. Long time voice over IP mavens will recall the company that was one of of the pioneers in VOIP competing with DeltaThree, MediaRing and Net2Phone for Voice traffic as an alternative to the PSTN. This weekend, pal Craig Walker and the team at Switch changed their name to Dialpad after purchasing the name from Yahoo, the company which bought Dialpad back in 2005. My blog post is the first story today. Read that and more...

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

 
 
 

Switch Makes the Switch to Dialpad, Kicks off Massive Mobile Enterprise Push

 
  Craig Walker may quickly be finding his face on someone's "Most Wanted List." Given his most recent move at his GV (Google Ventures) and A16Z backed startup, he'll possibly be thought of as the this Internet era's Willie Sutton, Clyde Barrow or John Dillinger after what he just pulled off this weekend.  
 

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Android Co-Founder Rich Miner Joins Board at Dialpad, The Former Switch.co

Rich Miner, a co-founder of the mobile operating system Android, the company that gave birth to Google's mobile operating system, has joined the board of Dialpad, a cloud-based office phone and communications company that until today had been known as Switch.co.
 
 

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Twilio Paves Private, Secure Paths to its Cloud Services

 
  Michelle Burbick | March 07, 2016 | The public Internet is no longer the only way to connect to the Twilio cloud. The cloud is great for communications, as I'm sure you've all heard from the legions of providers. But, as I'm sure you also know, the cloud, in its public form, doesn't work for businesses of all shapes and sizes.  
 

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Tech Companies, New and Old, Clamor to Entice Cloud Computing Experts

SAN FRANCISCO - Amazon Web Services, a globe-spanning cloud computing network that is part of the online retailing giant Amazon, has rapidly become one of the most powerful forces in technology. It has also become a target for poachers.
 
 

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Spotify is using 50,000 anonymous hipsters to find your next favorite song

Spotify's personalized Discover Weekly playlist has won millions of fans with its uncanny ability to find music based on your musical preferences. But what if you're tired of the music that it feeds you? The music streaming giant is taking a new approach with the expansion of its Fresh Finds playlists.
 
 

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Why You Should Put Yourself Out There and Try New Products

In 2006 I started using Facebook and most of my friends & colleagues thought I was strange. They thought it was like MySpace and why did I need a MySpace page? In 2007 I started using Twitter and most of my friends & colleagues wondered why people would care what I ate for lunch.

 
 

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Jeff Salway: Rise of the robots is like dotcom bubble

AT THE end of the last millennium I worked for a large publishing company that assumed, as they all did, that websites were a licence to print money. That's why I spent a year trying to sell internet advertising to food processing companies. It was mostly in vain.
 
 

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4 principles that will shape the future of IT

Over the past year, I've had the opportunity to attend a number of conferences, ranging from the most establishment events you can think of all the way to highly technical yet informal meetups. The dress at the events ranged from suits and ties to t-shirts and shorts.
 
 

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You Didn't Notice It, But Google Fiber Just Began the Golden Age of High Speed Internet Access

Its "dark fiber" project in Huntsville creates a model that might finally thrust US Internet access into the 21st Century T his week, Google launched what amounts to a religious war in American telecom land.

 
 

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Here's Where Startups Raised In The US During 2015 - Mattermark

tl;dr: Everything you thought was true actually is, and we put it on a cool map. Where did companies raise venture dollars in the United States during 2015? If your first gut reaction was to say New York and California, you are correct! But there is more to the picture.
 
 

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Switch Makes the Switch to Dialpad, Kicks off Massive Mobile Enterprise Push

Craig Walker may quickly be finding his face on someone’s “Most Wanted List.” Given his most recent move at his GV (Google Ventures) and A16Z backed startup,  he’ll possibly be thought of as the this Internet era’s Willie Sutton, Clyde Barrow or John Dillinger after what he just pulled off this weekend. That and adding Android co-founder Rich Miner to his board, further linking the company to a mobile enterprise first strategy.

Walker, the co-founder of GrandCentral, which is now known as Google Voice, as well as UberConference and Switch.co just made the steal of the year, harking back the kind of stolen base memories of Cardinals’ baseball great and demon on the basepaths, Lou Brock that made him a legend. Walker just stole one of the most valued brands in telecom away from Yahoo...DIALPAD, a brand ironically mentioned last Thursday in the post, Where Have You Gone...A Look Back At Some Famous VoIP Companies.

Dialpad_LogoJust about 10 years ago, Dialpad was acquired by Yahoo after raising some $68 million in venture funding. Walker, and his partners in crime, Vincent Paquet who like Walker started Google Voice as GrandCentral, and now YIP TV founder, and former Vonage President, Mike Tribolet, rebuilt Dialpad from an ad driven telephony service into a telephony arbitrage and fraud prevention platform that allowed for least cost routing of international calls. In its heydey Dialpad was a competitor to Delta Three and Net2Phone in moving voice traffic over the Internet long before Skype and Vonage, and was turned by Yahoo into their Skype competitor, Yahoo Voice.

Fast forward ten years, Dialpad was a mothballed asset for Yahoo, collecting dust as a company name and a domain. Along came Walker with an offer and over the weekend Switch switched in name to Dialpad. The price, which Walker said, “was clearly minus a few zeros from what we sold it for,” was undisclosed.

As part of the weekend’s makeover Dialpad has also launched a new logo with the d and the p conjoined logo and the name as a logotype.

In addition to the new name, Dialpad released new native apps for Macs and Windows users, updated their browser extensions and mobile apps for iOS and Android. The apps include Dialpad’s first true mobile VoIP integration, allowing users to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi or broadband mobile networks. An iPad version is expected soon and video, which has been in beta for a while, and which I've tested with Walker as far back as August, is likely also just around the corner.

Given the integrations with Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps for Work, Salesforce and social applications LinkedIn and Twitter for context about the caller, ala Rapportive and Crystal Knows, Dialpad has more that’s relevant today than other Enterprise calling solutions. Add in their global, carrier-scale approach, with 7 data centers around the world, plus a war chest of $53 million in funding, Dialpad has enough to attract global business type customers, as they have done with Motorola, who need many thousands of people supported. Other VoIP companies like 8x8, Vonage and RingCentral focus on the smaller size, mid-market companies further pitting Dialpad against Microsoft's Skype for Business, Mitel and the incumbent telcos like BT, AT&T and Verizon.

Based on my trials of the mobile app the VoIP service works very well over AT&T. Verizon and T-Mobile’s LTE networks, as well as Wi-Fi with HD like quality due to the use of the SILK codec on Peer to Peer connections (P2P) and G711 for calls that end up on the PSTN.

Overall, the change in name is a great move for the company, but the real win is for the customers as the service and app upgrades are the real news.


The Comunicano Communique for Friday March 4th 2016

 
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It's no surprise that this week the Amazon Echo is the darling of the news this week or that my pals at Telzio announced their start of integration with the Echo. Now we're seeing more and more reasons coming out about how voice is the next UI, of new line extensions to Echo. As someone who has been using the Echo since its beta stage, I've seen first hand how it makes my life easier. I'm turning lights on and off with the sound of my voice, ordering items from Amazon, scheduling an Uber. Over the summer while in Portugal, "Alexa" was keeping me abreast of the weather, the time and I was even able to stream Pandora due to the way Amazon has structured their network. The new additions to the line up are interesting, but what is really neat about the Echo platform is the voice control. If Amazon really opens up the Echo API, developers to include it in their apps, all of a sudden we may finally be free of the keys....Speaking of which, don't miss the API event of the summer in Las Vegas. "All About The API"......

 
 
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Voice: The Next UI Layer

Lately, I've been obsessed with the power of voice. Not voice as in self-expression (though important!), and not voice as in voice calls or - worse! - voicemail, but rather voice as the next major UI layer for software in the living room and beyond.
 
 

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Amazon's Echo Dot, Tap, Alexa equate to Amazon Everywhere strategy

Amazon is putting Alexa, the brains of Amazon Echo, in more places via the Tap and Echo Dot and now has formed a comprehensive smart home strategy that links up with e-commerce. The Echo was Amazon's surprise hit last year. Simply put, Echo has become the platform Amazon will use to jump further into the Internet of things.

 
 

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Amazon's Ingenious Plot to Take Over Your Living Room

When Amazon released the Echo in late 2014, people didn't quite know what to make of it. It looks like a speaker, but it listens to your voice, talks back, and can play songs, radio broadcasts, or podcasts on demand. It can also do some other, seemingly unrelated tasks, like telling jokes, checking your calendar, and buying stuff on Amazon.com.
 
 

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Meet tech's new odd couple: the CIO and CMO

When Akamai was laying the foundation for its digital business back in 2010, CMO Brad Rinklin had a relationship with IT, but it wasn't exclusive. Because the content delivery network provider had no CIO, Rinklin might call on IT for help tweaking a website or deploying a sales-enablement tool, but the marketing group often turned to cloud tools or outside service providers for the heavy lifting.
 
 

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Instagram starts blocking 'add me' deeplinking for Snapchat, Telegram

Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram is flexing its platform muscle by shutting down 'add me' deeplinking for some other social media services within its apps. Previously Instagram users were able to include 'add me'/'follow me' links in a website section on their profile page, directly linking out to any other profiles they had on third party social services' apps.
 
 

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Facebook Plans To Open Messenger To Publishers At F8 In April

Mobile messaging apps are usurping social networks as the shiny new platform through which publishers can distribute their content. Now Facebook is looking to join the fray with its own uber-popular messaging app. Facebook Messenger will soon let publishers distribute their content automatically through the social network's messaging service, according to three people familiar with the company's plans.
 
 

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Spotify becomes first music platform to integrate with Facebook Messenger

Music has arrived on Messenger. Facebook announced today that its mobile messaging platform now integrates with Spotify. The new feature, which is rolling out to iOS and Android users, is the first music integration for Facebook Messenger and allows people to share their Spotify songs or playlists directly within a chat box.

 
 

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Yahoo exploring sale of $1 billion-$3 billion in 'non-core assets': CFO

Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) is exploring the sale of $1 billion to $3 billion in patents, property and other "non-core assets," its chief financial officer said on Thursday. Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman told the crowd at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that a committee created to explore alternatives to the company's plan to spin off its core business is looking at quick sales of assets.

 
 

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B&N is Shutting Down One of Its Top Three Digital Blunders on 15 March

Barnes & Noble announced a slew of of closures on Thursday, including Nook Video, the UK Nook Store, and what had to have been one of B&N's greatest digital mistakes. B&N sent out an email on Thursday which informed users that the Nook's own branded app store was going away: Effective March 15, 2016, NOOK will no longer offer third party applications (Apps) for sale from the NOOK Store™.

 
 

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Life and death in the App Store

As last year began, the app developer Pixite held its company retreat at a converted Old West movie set outside of Palm Springs. They spent a few days dreaming about the future while eating barbecue and sipping whisky in the sun. But 2015 was not a good year, and by last month the company's dreams had narrowed to survival.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Thursday March 3rd 2016

 
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Another Slice of Life Time....Yesterday local L.A. startup, Telzio announced details of their efforts that integrate their telephone service with the red the red-hot Amazon Echo. Seems their timing was spot-on as today Amazon has two new devices that are Echo focused. Check out pal Rich Tehrani's account on just how exciting what Telzio is doing is....On other fronts, Los Angeles folks will appreciate the flat rate Uber Eats delivery for $5.00 that starts today. As someone who has used Uber Eats the last few months, no service delivers better, faster or cheaper...Also, news about Virtual Reality, some business tips, and more...so read away..

 
 
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Telzio Customers Can Now Talk To Their Amazon Echo From Anywhere and Alexa, the Voice of The Echo, Talks Back

Telzio has announced the successful integration between its cloud­based, business grade Voice­Over­IP telephone service and the Amazon Echo. The Echo is Amazon's Internet of Things (IoT) speaker device that reacts to voice commands like answering questions, playing music and controlling other smart devices, and Telzio customers can now talk to their Echo from anywhere.

 
 

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Amazon's Echo Dot lets you put Alexa inside any speaker

Alexa, meet my friends Bang and Olufsen Amazon's newest hardware product might look like a compressed version of the tall Echo speaker, but its place in your home will likely be very different. Today the company unveiled Echo Dot, which is basically an Echo without the big speaker housing.
 
 

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Slack begins rolling out voice calls on Chrome and desktop

Voice calls are coming to Slack, and they begin rolling out in beta today. Testing will start in Slack's desktop apps and in Chrome. Someone with administrative privileges has to enable them, but once they're turned on, a phone icon should appear throughout the app, allowing anyone to start a call with a specific person or with a group.
 
 

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Now even your streaming TV and music will come in bundles like cable TV

"There's only two ways I know of to make money: Bundling and unbundling." That quote was uttered by Jim Barksdale, then CEO of Netscape just before the company launched one of the most successful IPOs of all time and ushered in the first dot com boom.
 
 

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Uber's GrubHub killer is finally in the US: The inside story on Uber's big bet on food

Ordering food from UberEATS used to be a limited experience. You had seven choices during the lunch hour, not the full restaurant menus you'd see on competitors like Seamless or Postmates. Uber offered just one salad, one sandwich, a juice, a pasta dish, or other entrees depending on the day.
 
 

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Uber now lets you avoid expense reports on business trips

Uber is making it easier for you to use its service for business. The company has launched an auto-expense feature that's part of your business profile. With this feature, you don't need to worry about paperwork - Uber will automate the process and send a ride receipt to your expense provider.
 
 

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Intel Eyes Augmented Reality Headset

Intel is reportedly developing an augmented reality headset based on the company's RealSense 3D technology. Citing anonymous sources, the Wall Street Journal suggested the California tech titan will compete with products like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens. Unlike virtual reality, which places the user into a computer-generated scene, augmented reality (or mixed reality) superimposes data onto the real world via a headset display.

 
 

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How to Stay Sane on a Business Trip

A specific condition afflicts business travelers: Call it hotel gloom, an amorphous melancholy that seems to thrive in the perfectly serviceable hotel rooms of the $200-a-night-and-under variety. Al Jackson has experienced it many times. Mr. Jackson, 38, a stand-up comedian who has been touring for more than a decade, has stayed in Red Roof Inns and Wyndham hotels across this land.
 
 

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2016 phishing trends report reveals new tricks, targets

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is the type of spear phishing attack that saw the biggest increase in 2015. Here are 3 ways that the report says companies make it easy for scammers to pose as executives: Posting full names, titles and email addresses for executive team members on company websites Posting personal names, email addresses, and direct numbers in accounting/billing contact information Using consistent schemes for email addressing How many of these does your company do?
 
 

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What Startup Accelerators Really Do

The well-advertised boom in startups and venture capital in recent years has coincided with the emergence of new players in startup ecosystems. One of these, startup accelerators, has received a great deal of attention but also little scrutiny. Moreover, they are commonly misunderstood or mistakenly lumped in with other institutions supporting early-stage startups, such as incubators, angel investors, and early-stage venture capitalists.
 
 

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Make Your Inbox Suck Less With These Tools

Make Your Inbox Suck Less With These Tools When was the last time you heard someone say, "I love cleaning out my inbox"? Exactly. But, since we can't live without email, we might as well make the process as optimized and painless as possible.
 
 

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