The Comunicano Daily for July 30th, 2015


 
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Today's a run and gun day. Already had morning meetings, errands, walked the hills of Lisbon, had an amazing burger and am now into the "second" day.

That's what's great about the concept of a WorkCation. That's where you can blend the idea of working someplace that some would want to be vacationing. I'll be writing more on that concept soon. Now into the news. T-Mobile is defying everyone, adding more customers and growing handset subscribers. The defections are coming from all other carriers, but the big war is at the bottom with Sprint and the pre-paid customers who realize the "uncarrier model" is for them. If this is sustainable is the big question....

 

 
 
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T-Mobile blows away profit expectations as customer growth surges - CNET

T-Mobile has shown it can win over customers at an impressive rate. Now it needs to prove that it can consistently make money doing so. If the second quarter's results are any indication, T-Mobile is off to a good start.
 
 

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Amazon is going Top Gear crazy, and will be rivaling Netflix and Hulu in the original net content business. Where did you go "DEN-Digital Entertainment Network..."

 

 
 
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Clarkson and 'Top Gear' presenters sign with Amazon for new car show

Clarkson was fired from the BBC for physically attacking a member of Top Gear's production staff in March. Amazon said the new show, to be overseen by the trio's long time executive producer Andy Wilman, will be available on its subscription streaming service Amazon Prime next year and run for three seasons.
 
 

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Up, up and away goes the Net if Google has it's loony way...

 

 
 
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Sri Lanka to get blanket Web access via Google's Project Loon

Sri Lanka is all set to receive blanket Internet coverage throughout the country after it penned a deal with Google to deploy its Project Loon across its territory. On Wednesday, Sri Lanka said it would become the first country in the world to provide a universal Internet service for its citizens through the deal with Google, which will do so using Loom air balloons.
 
 

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Amazon keeps it's drone idea flying.

 

 
 
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Amazon proposes drones-only airspace to facilitate high-speed delivery

Amazon is proposing that a pristine slice of airspace above the world's cities and suburbs should be set aside for the deployment of high-speed aerial drones capable of flying robotically with virtually no human interference.
 
 

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StubHub and Uber hook up..

 

 
 
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StubHub lets eventgoers call an Uber from its app

People love it when companies make things easier for them, and that's exactly what StubHub is doing today. If you use the service to buy tickets to events, like a live concert or sports game, you'll now be able to book an Uber directly from its iOS and Android apps.
 
 

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Hotel guru Bob Rauch, who is partners with pal Joe Simone in a few San Diego hotels has a really good article today on the Art and Science of hotels.

 

 
 
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The transformation of the hotel industry from art to science - eHotelier

The hospitality industry has been evolving into a much more scientific industry for several years. The combined impact of shifting demographics and new technologies are the primary catalysts for this metamorphosis. The Internet provides consumers an opportunity to think of the hotels as commodities.
 
 

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Changes at Citrix. Big changes. And Go To Meeting is on the block.

 

 
 
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Citrix Will Replace Chief, Bending to Elliott Management

The activist hedge fund Elliott Management has scored another victory in its battle with a technology company. Citrix Systems said on Tuesday that it had agreed to make several changes, including replacing its longtime chief executive and giving Elliott a seat on the board.
 
 

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Survey says...there's still many not online in the USA.

 

 
 
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A Steady Percentage of Americans Still Do Not Go Online, Study Says

For the first 13 years of the decade, Americans embraced the Internet at a whirlwind pace. The percentage of Americans who use the Internet grew to 84 percent in 2013 from 52 percent at the turn of the century, according to data from the Pew Research Center.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for July 28th, 2015


 
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My co-founder, along with Josh Baylin, in VelocityGrowth, Jeff Belk was one of the key executives who put Qualcomm on the map.

There Jeff, who rose to CMO and CSO, instilled a marketing culture amongst a group of inventors, IP attorneys and engineers. Jeff retired from Qualcomm eight years or so ago, but he remains close to many there. His perspective, as someone close to everyone from Paul Jacobs on down provides him the unique insight to author this piece on the recent news and explain why it may be the best thing to happen to San Diego in years. Now, only if the Chargers get a new football stadium....

 

 
 
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Are Qualcomm Layoffs a Disaster for San Diego---or an Opportunity? | Xconomy

After years of strong corporate and financial growth, the pace of change in the wireless industry has forced a massive global layoff at San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM. If the wireless giant had only 1,000 employees, a layoff of 150 folks would not be big news.
 
 

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As the owner and user of a OnePlus One Android smartphone I can't wait for the Two to be offered. Not only is the OnePlus One the best Android I ever owned, it may be the best value smartphone around. Give a read of the next three stories and see if you would pay more for less.

 

 
 
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How the OnePlus 2 Plans to Be More Than a One-Hit Wonder

Imagine being Dexy's Midnight Runners, circa 1982. "Come On Eileen" just came out of nowhere and is blowing up. It's on every radio station, and playing at every party. Nobody had ever heard of you; now you're everywhere.
 
 

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The OnePlus 2 pushes the boundaries of how cheap a flagship smartphone can be

The bang for your buck ratio here is pretty great There are more options than ever for getting a good, cheap smartphone, and last year's OnePlus One was a standout. For $300, you got a well-made, nice-looking phone with cutting-edge hardware and few compromises to be found (assuming its 5.5-inch size didn't put you off).
 
 

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OnePlus 2: everything you need to know

The OnePlus One was released last year Under the hood Potential buyers were required to obtain an invitation through OnePlus' website before they were able to buy it, with the first 100 handsets offered as part of a "Smash" promotion where people were invited to destroy their existing phone for a chance to buy a One for just $1.
 
 

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The Terminator movies were legendary and help put "the Arnold" on the map once and for all. Never shy about his love of the WWF, largely due to a friendship forged with Jesse "The Body" Ventura years ago, Arnold is going to be featured in a new video game, bringing back his "Terminator" character....Watch the two videos and see how the computer generated graphics look, and how good some of the WWF heels are at acting.....

 

 
 
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Arnold Schwarzenegger WWE Commercial: T2 Bar Scene Reenactment

Okay so Arnold Schwarzenegger has been revisiting a lot of his old Terminator scenes lately, not just in Terminator Genisys which resets and revisits some moments from the first film in different ways, but also in a new commercial for the WWE 2k16 video game.
 
 

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Everyone is looking to one up Uber....and here's a new spin on it.  In London to be a taxi driver you have to pass "The Knowledge." Well now aspiring drivers can learn London streets and make money doing it...

 

 
 
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Taxi app Gett to deliver champagne as Uber battle intensifies

The champagne will be delivered on motorbike by people learning The Knowledge "For the last five years, we've been moving customers around safely and now Gett Clicquot will use the same business model to bring this revolutionary new service to Londoners," said Remo Gerber, Gett's UK CEO.
 
 

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It's not taking long for changes to happen at Cisco follow John Chambers retirement. New people in key positions. Some execs leaving. A flatter, more nimble organization. Sounds like what is also taking shape at Microsoft is happening at Cisco as well.

 

 
 
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Cisco Recruits Two Outsiders as Executives

Cisco Systems Inc.'s new chief executive marked his first day in the job by naming two outsiders to high-profile management posts. Chuck Robbins, who assumed the CEO role at the networking equipment maker Monday after John Chambers' ended his tenure after 20 years, said in a blog post that Zorawar Biri Singh will serve as senior vice president and chief technology officer.
 
 

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If you're a Comcast customer you may be wondering who else is on your WiFi network. Basically Comcast has taken a page out of the European operator's mode of operation, and enabled their subscribers to latch on to other subscribers networks.

 

 
 
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Comcast Hits 10M WiFi Hotspots

Comcast said Monday that it surpassed the milestone of 10 million WiFi hotspots nationwide, including wireless access points installed in public areas and neighborhood hotspots powered by second antennas contained in WiFi gateways deployed in subscriber homes.
 
 

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Verizon has video on the brain. Their new G90 service is starting trials across the USA and is looking like it's closer to becoming a reality.

 

 
 
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Verizon Mobile Video Service Details Uncovered: To Be Called Go90 (Exclusive)

Verizon is getting ready to launch a new mobile video service called Go90 this summer, Variety has learned. Go90 promises users full episodes of TV shows from select networks as well as music videos and other shortform content, and the company will at least initially offer the service entirely free...
 
 

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Last week PayPal went public. This week Visa retorts with an investment in Stripe.

 

 
 
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Visa Invests in Stripe at $5 Billion Valuation and Strikes Commercial Deal, Too

Credit card companies think they have a found an ally in the increasingly competitive world of online payments. Its name is Stripe. Visa has inked a commercial agreement with the payments startup, and has separately made an investment in the San Francisco-based company that values it at $5 billion.
 
 

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The medical world has lagged for years in the area of IT for the physician. Now it seems to be catching up.

 

 
 
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Efficient doctors need IT prescription

Whether using products such as Telehealth, which uses apps and texting to treat patients without the need to visit hospital, Sleepio, an online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme aiming to reduce insomnia, or Simman 3G, a robot that makes sure doctors are prepared to treat patients with allergic reactions, medicine is constantly changing - and GPs, running practices as small businesses, must adapt, cut costs and find innovative treatments.
 
 

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Software Turns Smartphones Into Tools for Medical Research

SAN FRANCISCO - Jody Kearns doesn't like to spend time obsessing about her Parkinson's disease. The 56-year-old dietitian from Syracuse, New York, had to give up bicycling because the disorder affected her balance. But she still works, drives and tries to live a normal life.
 
 

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I love lists of tips. Here are three to help you through your day..

 

 
 
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20 Great Podcasts for Entrepreneurs - Listen up, makers. :) by Product Hunt

A collection curated by Product Hunt, featuring products like The Pitch, StartUp Podcast Season 2, How To Start A Startup , The Twenty Minute VC (podcast), and This is PM Podcast
 
 

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15 Essential Content Creation Apps You Need Right Now

Writing is your drawcard. It's the number one tool you have at your fingertips for marketing an online business. So it needs to be good. You need to write compelling copy that engages readers, gets them to listen up and encourages them to buy.
 
 

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27 travel hacks that even frequent fliers don't know

Even the most seasoned jetsetter will learn a thing or two from these travel hacks.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday July 23rd 2015


 
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Personal note

Today I honor my late father, USMC Master Sergeant Bernard Abramson, retired. Dad served in WWII and the Korean Conflict. During World War Two he was based in Guam and staged the Marines who captured Iwo Jima and planted the US flag there. As he once said to me, I sent a lot of people away who never came home.

He would have been 102 as he was born in 1913 and was a pre-recession baby. The first in his family and the first to pass away now 24 years ago in 1991.

Dad taught me many things, but one saying from his days in the Corp will always stay with me. "The impossible we do right away. Miracles take a little longer." It's something I still live by.

Semper Fi Dad...

 

 
 

 

The market looks at guidance and sales and when you miss, they slap you down. Apple and Microsoft are seeing value in their companies dropping this morning because old school economics are being applied, and the analysts are missing the value of apps, content and the cloud.

Both Microsoft and Apple are rapidly moving into a cloud enabled customer model, much like where Google and Facebook already are. The problem is the two giants love to play hide and seek with what they are doing, where Google just goes out and does it.

Lots of coverage on Apple and Microsoft, and opinions abound.

 

 
 
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Apple Reports Record Third Quarter Results

CUPERTINO, California - July 21, 2015 - Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 third quarter ended June 27, 2015. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $49.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share.
 
 

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FY15 Q4 - Press Releases - Investor Relations - Microsoft

Press releases relating to Microsoft Investor Relations for FY15 Q4
 
 

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Ken Rutkowski and I have been on the air since 1998, first with the World Technology Roundup, and now with Business Rockstars.  Once a week I join Ken on his massively seen and heard show, now on CBS and on over 185 radio stations, plus on the web. Here's our show from Monday July 13th where I talk about new apps from Microsoft and more.

 

 
 
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3 Services that make Startup life easier

Andy Abramson, the Founder and CEO of Comunicano, Inc. Andy discusses new apps and services he loves that are coming out of the Microsoft Garage! 1. Tossup - lets you make plans with your friends and is aggregated in one place 2.
 
 

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If you can't beat them, join them. The old approach of Windows first at Microsoft is going away, and now you're seeing Office not only on iOS and Androids but the ability to use Google Drive. This will help slow down the defection to Google Apps as it will allow for more cross platform use by either set of tools. Is Apple iCloud next?

 

 
 
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Google Drive plugin for Microsoft Office lets you 'use the apps you're already comfortable with'

Are you a growth marketer? Do you want to know what it takes to be one? Join us at GrowthBeat, on August 17-18 in San Francisco. Thought-leaders from the biggest brands and most disruptive companies will share winning growth strategies on the most pressing challenges marketing leaders face today.]
 
 

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Retracing your steps, or breadcrumbs sure help recall where you were. Google is adding that feature to Google Maps so you can recall where you were, and when.

 

 
 
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Your Timeline: Revisiting the world that you've explored

Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you've been -- whether it's a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Well, starting today, Google Maps can help.
 
 

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The Microsoft Surface 3 is a sexy lightweight hybrid computer. You can use it as a tablet with a touchscreen or with a keyboard. Now it's adding LTE/4G with AT&T in the USA, with other operators around the world coming next.

 

 
 
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AT&T Will Be First Carrier to Office Surface 3 with 4G LTE in the US

AT&T Wireless announced today that it will be the first wireless carrier in the United States to offer Microsoft's Surface 3 tablet with 4G LTE capabilities. The device goes on sale Friday, July 24. Pricing is ... complicated. Which is why we love the carriers so much.

 
 

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The long expected and awaited approval of the DirectTV-AT&T merger is coming. But it comes with lots of strings attached that are good for a more neutral net and greater choice. It also comes with AT&T having to move more rapidly on expansion efforts for their fiber based business.

 

 
 
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FCC Nears Approval of AT&T-DirecTV Merger

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that he is recommending approval of the AT&T merger with DirecTV with conditions, including provisions to prevent the combined company from discriminating against online video competition. "The proposed order outlines a number of conditions that will directly benefit consumers by bringing more competition to the broadband marketplace," Wheeler said in a statement.
 
 

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The days of the connected car is here and self driving cars are not too far away. The US Senate is looking to see standards set to prevent hacking of cars and trucks that can cause serious harm.

 

 
 
 

Senate Bill Seeks Standards For Cars' Defenses From Hackers

 
  A few years ago, the notion of hacking a car or truck over the Internet to control steering and brakes seemed like a bad plot point from CSI: Cyber. Today, the security research community has proven it to be a real possibility, and it's one that at least two U.S.  
 

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The University of Michigan has built a test town for driverless cars.

 

 
 
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Inside the Fake Town Built Just for Self-Driving Cars

Motown is trying to take back some swagger from Silicon Valley. The dominance of software in automobiles these days in everything from infotainment systems to safety and the coming autonomous revolution has made the San Francisco Bay Area a hub for the auto industry.
 
 

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As a business traveler, AirBnB presents an amazing option. Now they are going to put serious effort behind that customer segment.

 

 
 
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Airbnb Overhauls Service for Business Travelers

Marc McCabe has become a familiar name among people working in human resources departments around Silicon Valley. When it's time to compile travel expenses for the month, McCabe, who runs the business travel group at Airbnb, would manually send out invoices and Excel spreadsheets breaking down how much a company's employees spent on room rentals.
 
 

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In an attempt to keep the future release features under wraps, Apple is restricting the publishing of app reviews in the iOS store of future apps and versions.

 

 
 
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Users can no longer post app reviews in prerelease iOS versions

It appears that Apple is disallowing iOS 9 beta users to submit app reviews with the latest build released on Tuesday, solving what many developers see as a , a feature that became an issue once the company released beta versions for public consumption.
 
 

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The life cycle of a CMO is rising to almost 50 months. Many aspire to be a CEO. Here's what it takes to become one, in one authors view.

 

 
 
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What Does It Take for CMOs to Become CEOs?

Overall, things are looking good for chief marketing officers. Among the trends they're enjoying: longer tenures than ever. Years in office have grown steadily over the last decade, executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart has found: Combine that with fast growing budgets and an unprecedented ability to place messaging in front of customers, and it's hard to miss the opportunity that lies ahead for heads of marketing departments.
 
 

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There are lots of tools to help startups. This 150 page report from Bowery Capital is a great reference toolkit to refer to.

 

 
 
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The 2015 Ultimate Guide To Startup Sales Tools

Here at Bowery Capital, startup sales tools are top-of-mind on a daily basis. They're core to our portfolio support efforts: we work closely with every one of our founders to build an optimal sales infrastructure from the ground up.
 
 

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We love when our clients get recognized. In this case it's our Seattle FinTech client, Finsphere. They're in the running to win the Seattle Business Magazine Tech Impact Award that gets awarded later this year. Unlike some awards, this isn't a popularity contest. Only the reporters and editors decide.  Congrats to the team at Finsphere.

 

 
 
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Finsphere is named a finalist in Seattle Business Magazine's Tech Impact Awards

I am pleased to announce that Finsphere has been named one of Washington's top 3 security companies of the year in the 2015 Tech Impact Awards. Finsphere is a small company and I recognize this accomplishment as a team effort from all of our employees, our partners, and our investors.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday July 21st, 2015


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The rain and humidity in San Diego wasn't the only thing causing the locals to be irritable. Employment giant, sponsor of the football stadium and pretty much the heart of the county's economy, Qualcomm announced there are going to be changes. I am not surprised as the writing has been on the wall since Paul Jacobs moved out, or was moved out of the CEO role about two years ago. The company has been in transition, laying off people in San Diego, offering exit packages to some senior folks, and then hiring on people elsewhere, where costs are lower. This is going to be an ongoing story so I suggest reading the writing locally of Bruce Bigelow of Xconomy once San Diego's media wakes up to the story.

 

 
 
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Qualcomm to Conduct Strategic Review, May Consider Breakup

Qualcomm Inc. is expected to conduct a sweeping strategic review that will look at the possibility of a breakup, among other options, after an activist investor pushed for change at the chip maker. Qualcomm, the world's largest maker of chips used in mobile phones, may announce it is considering that and other options-including returning more cash to shareholders-when it reports fiscal third-quarter results Wednesday, according to...
 
 

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When big brands make moves you have to watch the impact. Chase Bank is making a whole series of moves. First, they are going mobile first. Second they are adopting a very user experience focus. Third they are becoming masters of their own content. This is all happening as the upgrade their services and become more customer friendly online.

 

 
 
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Chase Reboots Online Banking to Resemble Mobile Experience

JPMorgan Chase refreshed its online banking homepage for the first time in three years yesterday. The result looks a lot like the bank's recently revamped mobile site. All the buzz is around mobile banking these days, but online banking still serves more people. Chase has nearly 40 million online users, vs.
 
 

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I read the proposed telco to VoIP story and not much has changed in 12 years since I started VoIPWatch when it comes to the issues. The only difference is now we actually have an FCC Chairman who will see things through.

 

 
 
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FCC Chairman proposes rules for telco transition to VoIP

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a set of guidelines that start the process to regulate telephone companies as they transition from a legacy TDM voice infrastructure to IP-based real time communications. Wheeler's rules will be up for consideration at the Commission Open Meeting on August 6.
 
 

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There is no question text is replacing many things. One of the keys is customer relationships and service. But text is more than just a "message" these days. And, with IoT (Internet of Things), sensors, beacons, big data analytics, faster networks and smarter apps, we're going to see things that are all about what pals Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote in the "The Age of Context" and which client FollowAnalyticsunderstands with their mobile first approach. In app communications with alerts, notifications and messages is why text is replacing many things.

 

 
 
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Brands Are Using Text to Strengthen Customer Relationships

Chat offers a direct line of communication for timely and personalized interactions A customer walks into a store in search of a black jacket and a new pair of jeans. With so many brands, sizes and styles available, they seek out the nearest sales associate for some help with recommendations.
 
 

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As an AirBnB dweller off and on the last year in various cities (Miami, Seattle, San Jose and now Lisbon) I tend to do one of three things when it comes to meals-shop and cook, go out to dinner, order in.

And, when it the past the idea of ordering in was usually pizza, except in New York City where everything was available by phone, online ordering was a rarity. In the AirBnB era it has exploded.

Now you can order food of all kinds, and either the restaurant or a third party service like Doorstep Delivery or GrubHub will get it to your door. This though is just the start. Watch as pharmacies resume home delivery, see how house calls from doctors return and watch as Amazon with their same day delivery becomes even more finely tuned. But there's going to be one more sector that feels the winds of change. Hotel room service. Why order from a limited menu when you can order from anywhere in town and have better food.

 

 
 
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Online food delivery ordering is about to overtake phone ordering in the US

Getting your dinner to your door is now easier than ever, and thanks to the internet, almost no human interaction is required. While phone orders dominated delivery only five years ago, the balance between meal orders placed over the phone versus those placed online have nearly switched, with internet orders on track to surpass phone orders any minute...
 
 

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There's a reason why cable is losing, and YouTub is just the start. The cable industry knows it which is why they are going mobile. But there's a whole group of "never corders" as YipTV founder Mike Tribolet calls them, and they are causing the shift, and YouTube, which has been around and mobile ready longer, is the early winner.

 

 
 
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YouTube Is Crushing Cable TV, According To Google

Credit: Lionel Bonaventure via Getty Images YouTube is giving cable TV a run for its money. The popular video-sharing platform -- which was acquired by Google in 2006 -- reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds in America than any U.S. cable network, said Google's chief business officer, Omid Kordestani, during an earnings conference call on July 16.
 
 

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If you are part of the world of startups, the next few stories are so, so, so focused on you. First is where the growth is. Second is all about how to hire a marketer. Third is some real pearls of wisdom from Brad Feld about being a "founder" and last is the difference between your lawyer and the company's lawyer.

 

 
 
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The Fastest Growing Areas of Startup Investment in 2015

Earlier this week, we examined the trends in the major categories of startup investment including eCommerce, Software, Social Networking and Education. But which lesser known startup sectors are starting to raise venture dollars? Where are founders finding unique opportunities to innovate?
 
 

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Marketing Shouldn't Be a Dirty Word in Silicon Valley

You could say that I got into marketing (or "growth", if you prefer that euphemism) mostly by accident. It was a right time, right place kind of thing: Upstart had an awesome product and killer team, but they needed a growth strategy.
 
 

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Do We Need A New Word For Entrepreneur? - Feld Thoughts

 
  Has the word entrepreneur become too trendy as to have lost its meaning? I'm hearing it and the word entrepreneurship being used in so many conversations incorrectly. Here's a simple example. On a daily basis, I have an email exchange with someone who says they are an entrepreneur.  
 

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A Startup Lawyer is Not a Founder's Lawyer - Silicon Hills Lawyer

 
  TL;DR Nutshell: It's extremely important to hire independent counsel who isn't incentivized to favor, because of existing relationships, the interests of your investors above those of the company. But it's also important to understand that company counsel represents the best interests of the company, including all stockholders, and that can often conflict with the personal interests of individual founders.  
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Monday July 20th, 2015


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Hello from Lisbon where the temperature is 84 degrees/29 degrees Celsius and sunny. The weekend was one of those "catch up" weekends flying back from London Gatwick to here, finding the apartment A/C was off but getting it to work as the breaker had blown, and having to contact the owner vs. calling the front desk is an example of the difference between AirBnB and a hotel.

The net result was the same. It was fixed, but that's why planning where you stay when using AirBnB is so important, and establishing up front, a dialogue with the property owner and their on the ground contacts are so essential. In my case, it's the owner's mother, a very together, poised woman, who cares. Also being in a security/concierge building, where the staff are super friendly and attentive, proving doing your homework matters as the desire was to be able to have all the comforts of home, while being a stranger in a strange land.

Sunday was lots of catching up on my reading and writing for work. One of my new way's of staying current on news related to our client base is to incorporate RSS feeds into Slack. I pipe in the sites feeds as appropriate to each agency client, and then can decide what needs to be shared outside of the team working on that piece of business. 

Once that was done, I explored more of Lisbon by wandering through some of the more colorful neighborhoods of the city, in this case a walk through the Chiado on my way to dinner..

 

 

 
 

 

The summer news slowdown is in full force and you cant tell by the amount of feature content that's in today's news. One story that I felt compelled to share was about compensation and the questions today's graduates are asking about it. If you're an HR person, your life is going to change as stock options are starting to be looked at as employee benefits with questions being asked that were previously more recruiter level, then HR level oriented.

 

 
 
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Employees Wise Up

This week, a Bay Area founder was taken aback when an engineer being recruited by his startup asked for both its cap table and information regarding the liquidation preferences of its venture backers. The candidate presumably "worked somewhere where he discovered that these things matter," says the founder, who asked not to be named in this story.
 
 

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Balance is something we all want in our life. Working from a different country, in a different time zone over a sustained period versus a few short weeks has taught me a lot more about my own work habits, traits and efforts. In reading the post from Upfront Ventures Mark Suster, I realized just how much I can relate to his life, and how apropos it really was. His blog is a great read and one worth keeping on your short list.

 

 
 
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How the Hell do I Prioritize Work, Blog & Find Balance? | Bothsides of the Table

I noticed this post today from Ezra Galston titled " Dear Brad, Fred & Mark: How The Hell Do You Do It? " The premise is that either I have some magical solutions that allow me to produce a lot of content or I'm super human.
 
 

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The succession planning at Cisco is now almost through the top level changes,  and John Chambers is now the Chairman on a farewell tour, but he's clearly leaving a mark on the company and setting things up for the next ten years.

 

 
 
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Cisco's John Chambers on two decades as chief: 'You have to let go'

Speaking to The Telegraph in his last interview before relinquishing his role to long-time protégé Chuck Robbins and becoming chairman, Chambers was steadfast in his assertion that ever-increasing connectivity, between both humans and machines, will be a catalyst for growth and employment over the next decade.
 
 

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Our mobile phone is more than just a phone. This article paints a very good picture of what they mean to us, and more what we do with them.

 

 
 
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My mobile: so much more than a phone

My mum came back from a party when I was little and told me about a conversation she'd had with somebody who worked for BT. "In the future, we won't phone a family," he'd said to her, to our general 1980s bafflement, all Rubik's Cubes and CND badges. "We'll call a person."

 
 

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Drones are going to be big business. First in the NBC news story we can see how they will benefit society, especially with health care related activities. The second story shows how they will benefit the "amusement" economy, with Drone racing.

 

 
 
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First FAA-Approved Drone Delivery Drops Medicine in Virginia

The first government-approved drone delivery took flight on Friday, in which an unmanned aerial vehicle successfully dropped medical supplies to a health clinic in rural southwest Virginia. Several hundred people including Gov. Terry McAuliffe came to the fairgrounds in the coal-mining region of Wise County, Virginia, to see the delivery, county officials told NBC News.
 
 

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Drone racing: Teenagers are being lured away from screens and outside to fly their aircraft against each other

It seems certain that he will achieve his goal. Ask anyone in the tight-knit drone racing community and they will tell you that the teenager from Somerset is already an accomplished - some would say prodigiously gifted - aviator. Luke flies a type of aircraft known as an FPV racing drone.
 
 

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Machine learning is one of those topics that are en vogue right now. And for good reason. Give a read over a cup of coffee or tea of today's item from the Financial Times.

 

 
 
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We are data: the future of machine intelligence

I look at apps like Grindr and Tinder and see how they've rewritten sex culture - by creating a sexual landscape filled with vast amounts of incredibly graphic site-specific data - and I can't help but wonder why there isn't an app out there that rewrites political culture in the same manner.

 
 

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Our next item deals with address book management, and an eerie side of it.

 

 
 
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My Digital Cemetery

MY digital address book lists 2,743 contacts. This is not because I'm popular or extroverted; I'm neither. It's because this collection of names stretches back two decades, the oldest contacts tracing to a 1996 Palm Pilot and preserved through transfers involving more devices than I care to remember.

 
 

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A phone without a SIM is where Apple and Samsung want to take you. This would mean more unlocked devices, and likely more freedom for the global worker and the global workforce. The phone and an app would be your key to more options as you travel or even while you're at home.

 

 
 
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Apple and Samsung working on a standardized e-SIM card

If it all goes according to plan, you could soon be able to switch mobile carriers by going to the settings page on your smartphone. On Thursday The Financial Times (paywall) reported that Apple and Samsung are in "advanced talks" with telecom operators from all over the world to launch new electronic SIM cards.
 
 

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Back in San Diego, I use Amazon Fresh and have since it opened up that market. Now I saw it's coming to the UK, which means it takes on the established players there who long have offered home delivery. 

 

 
 
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Amazon Preps Fresh Grocery Delivery Launch in U.K.

Amazon's grocery delivery service is still only available in a few markets in the U.S., but the e-commerce company is already planning to launch the service outside of the country. Multiple sources tell Re/code that Amazon is prepping to launch the Amazon Fresh service in the U.K.
 
 

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If you didn't know it by now, I love wine. With the help of master winemaker and friend Doug Margerum, I'm now producing wines ever other year-really when there's enough grapes to go around-and enjoy having a wine to call my own. Our favorite designer, Bobby Buchanan of San Diego's Buchanan Design, designed the Comunicano Wine Company labels, which are very non traditional in the wine world so when I saw this story, I had to share it, not only with Bobby but with everyone who likes a good bottle of wine, but hates the label.

 

 

 

 

 
 
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A Winery With a Young Visual Indentity

Djurdjic Winery is a Serbian wine producer set-up in 2004. Peter Gregson's task was to create a new and memorable visual identity. Djurdjic Winery is a relatively young winery so in that context they don't have a strong heritage background which allowed the designer to create a simple design that represent the winery as new [...]
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Thursday July 16th


 
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Yesterday was a day in motion. Meeting with clients as early as 830 AM in Paris. Getting packed, and out of my hotel, over to lunch to catch up with uber Wine Bar and Restauranteur Mark Williamson of Willi's and Maceo fame, then literally a mad dash to Gare du Nord to catch the 1423 (243 PM) Eurostar to London so I could be back on west coast calls starting at 9 AM there and 5 PM here in London for what I call my second day of the day, a fast Indian dinner in London at 830 PM (what else do you eat here as it's the best food around) followed by more work, calls and conference calls with colleagues and friends and finally some 20 hours later than when I started - SLEEP.

A few observations about staying connected.

First is mobile coverage in France LTE/4G and 3G on the Eurostar has dramatically improved. I was able to stay connected on either of my two iPhones and iPad most of the way to and more importantly THROUGH the Chunnel. Coverage on the UK side was patchy but survivable. 

Second is retail merchant supplied Wi-Fi.  After all the time in France, UK, Belgium and Portugal this summer the percentage of retailers offering free Wi-Fi access with very good, fast and responsive throughput is outpacing the USA. And, I can see how it's affecting my consumption, where I'm using less "mobile operator data" when I'm out and about. 

Third is hotel broadband.  In Paris, and in London, this trip and last, my hotels have clearly upgraded to 802.11ac and N, boosted broadband capacity and increased speeds in the rooms. I have had perfect conference and Skype calls all trip.

The fourth and last observation is the iPad Air 2. This is rapidly becoming my main device for comms and work on the go. The SkypeGoToMeeting and WebEx experience is better than on a MacBook, Sunrise and Google Calendar, Gmail and apps are far better than a web browser to access and manage my daily interactions and avoid distraction, but most of all is the Brydge Air keyboard that I added which gives me an almost Mac Book experience for typing and audio.

Now..on to the news.....

 

 
 

 

Today's news lead ins will be brief.

Obama wants the low income housing crowd to have the Internet.

 

 
 
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Obama unveils ConnectHome to get low-income households online - CNET

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a broad-based initiative designed to get low-income households online. Dubbed ConnectHome, the new initiative will bring high-speed broadband access to over 275,000 low-income households across the US. According to the White House, the pilot program will launch in 27 cities across the US, including New York, Boston, and Seattle, as well as the Choctaw Tribal Nation.
 
 

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Further proof traditional media is on the way out comes from the Pew Foundation.

 

 
 
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New Pew data: More Americans are getting news on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook and Twitter users across all demographics are increasingly using the social networks as news sources, though they are seeking out different types of news content on each platform, according to a study out Tuesday from the Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation.
 
 

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Facebook and Twitter Really Are Where People Get Their News

More People are getting news from Facebook and Twitter than ever. In a new report out today, the Pew Research Center found that more than half of all Facebook and Twitter users get news from the sites, a significant increase for both services since 2013.
 
 

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Amazon turned 20 yesterday, had a sale, ran into some snags and has invaded Los Angeles to develop more original content.

 

 
 
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20 years of Amazon: 20 years of major disruptions

In July 1995, Amazon.com sold its first book online, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies by Douglas Hofstadter. Now you can hop online from your phone, download the e-book version, bid on a vintage couch on which to read it, and hire someone to explain the concepts to you - all with one click.
 
 

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Despite Complaints, Consumer Demand For Amazon Prime Day Was Huge

Consumer demand was there for Amazon Prime Day, but the deals did not deliver. At least, that's the sentiment being shared online about Amazon's first-ever attempt at creating its own sales holiday - one which the company had promised would feature "more deals than Black Friday."
 
 

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Amazon's Jeff Bezos on Hollywood Strategy: "When People Join Prime ... They Buy More Shoes"

When Jeff Bezos launched Amazon.com from his garage in 1995, creating television shows was far from his mind. But in January, the wiry billionaire (his estimated net worth is about $40 billion) could be seen mingling at the Golden Globe awards as his Amazon Studios won two statuettes for Transparent.
 
 

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Netflix may have missed their financial mark, but they are growing.

 

 
 
 

Netflix earnings miss Wall Street forecasts

 
  Netflix Inc. on Wednesday reported second-quarter net income of $26.3 million. On a per-share basis, the Los Gatos, Calif.a-based company said it had profit of 6 cents. The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 32 cents per share.  
 

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Verizon is going over the top and adding more new and different content.

 

 
 
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Verizon Adds Vice to Internet TV Lineup

Verizon today revealed the next partner for its Internet TV service: Vice. Vice content-including original programming-will be available on Verizon's upcoming mobile service. In March, Verizon said it will also air 200 hours of original content from AwesomenessTV each year.
 
 

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Get ready for beacons to enable apps to know more of what you want, where you are and why you should be offered things that are more relevant to you.

 

 
 
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Why Google Eddystone Looms as an Apple iBeacon Killer

Google Eddystone provides open source Bluetooth LE beacon technology that greatly expands on what Apple's iBeacon system can do for location-based applications. Google rolled out this week a new Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) beacon technology that competes directly with Apple's industry-leading iBeacon offering and also does a lot more than iBeacon.
 
 

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GigaOm Research is back. Pal Stowe Boyd is in the middle of it, and tells us more about new features for Google Apps that gives you more security and peace of mind.

 

 
 
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Google takes first steps toward finer-grained access in Google Drive

Google Drive has provided a simple but powerful model for file sharing. The creator of a file can invite others to share it, as readers (read-only access), commenters (read and comment access) or editors (read, comment, and edit access). But this opens the door to all sorts of issues, like being able to make a copy...
 
 

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You can now disable downloading, printing, and copying for any file stored in Google Drive

If you're not reaching, engaging, and monetizing customers on mobile, you're likely losing them to someone else. Register now for the 8th annual MobileBeat, July 13-14, where the best and brightest will be exploring the latest strategies and tactics in the mobile space. Google today rolled out a small but significant change to Google Drive.
 
 

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Founder Institute founder Adeo Ressi tells us what makes for a successful entrepreneur.

 

 
 
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What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur? Circumstance, Genetics, and Perseverance

Recently Adeo Ressi, founder of the Founder Institute, was asked, "what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?". In Adeo's opinion, his answer was successful entrepreneurship is a combination of three things: genetics, circumstance and perseverance. Let's go through all three. 1.
 
 

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NASA proves that somethings don't happen overnight, but you have to have faith in what you started.

 

 
 
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NASA Breathes Sigh of Relief After New Horizons Passes Pluto

It was a moment nearly 10 years in the making. But for more than 13 hours, NASA scientists didn't know for sure whether the Pluto flyby had actually occurred. The suspense ended just after 8:50 p.m.
 
 

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The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday July 8th 2015

 
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It's always fun to watch the moves in big business. A few years ago Microsoft acquired Nokia, largely to help them with their hardware business. At that time, Nokia then was also partnered with Siemens to form NSN on the infrastructure side of the house. Now NSN is all owned by Nokia, and the handset division is owned by Microsoft. But as our first story tells us, that's coming to an end or sure looks that way.

 

 
 
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Major Job Cuts Expected at Microsoft

Microsoft plans to announce a major new round of layoffs as early as Wednesday, as the company seeks to further cut costs amid a shifting technology landscape. The layoffs are in addition to the roughly 18,000 employees that Microsoft said it planned to let go a year ago, according to people briefed on the plans who asked for anonymity because the details were confidential.

 
 

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But there's more to the Nokia story. One of the bright light divisions that got lost in the transition at Nokia was Maemo, a next generation Operating System (OS) that was to be the flagship to replace Symbian. The team there went off and formed Jolla, and in turn built the Sailfish OS. Yesterday we learned the company is being split into two. The reason? Smart money has Nokia snapping it up to reenter the handset business.

 

 
 
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Mobile Maker Jolla Splits In Two, With Sailfish OS Its First Order Of Business

Software or hardware? Finnish mobile device and Sailfish OS maker Jolla has always intended doing both. But that could be changing. Today the company announced it's forking itself, splitting its business into two. One of those businesses will be fully focused on pushing its Sailfish software platform forward.
 
 

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Years back pal Tom Carter, now at F5 Networks, co-invented and successfully patented the concept of the Wi-Fi network being an extension of the mobile/cellular network. That technology, called Voice Call Continuity (VCC) was first brought to market by former client BridgePort Networks is now owned by CounterPath, whose advisory board I sit on. Well Tom and Bodie Wilhoite's vision is now coming to fruition as more and more mobile operators embrace Wi-Fi calling, but the real vision of disruption is coming from elsewhere, namely Google with ProjectFi that is so close to the original vision that I recall hearing from Tom that's it's very eerie to see it all unfold.

 

 
 
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Project Fi Review: Google Masters Wi-Fi Calling, But Needs Better Phones

For millions of us, Google is the backbone of our digital lives. So it's a little incongruous that to get to its many services, we generally go through carriers such as Comcast, Verizon or AT&T. In a few towns across America, Google has eliminated the middleman and started providing broadband service.
 
 

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GigaOm Research is returning. And not soon enough. In an era where there's never enough insight, perspective and opinion, GigaOm's cadre of analysts always provided a very timely perspective. Sadly with the shuttering of GigaOm as we knew it, the last few months have left a void. Thankfully, the new owners are going to refill that void as pal Stowe Boyd shares the news with us.

 

 
 
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Rebooting Gigaom Research

On March 9 2015, Gigaom ceased operations because of the insolvency of Giga Omni, the corporation behind the scenes. As part of that cessation of operations Gigaom Research also closed its doors, and the network of analysts, editors, researchers, and other staff - built over years - was disbanded in one day.
 
 

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Ever wonder how a company's story gets told?  We at Comunicano like to call it the "Brand Narrative" and today's piece in Medium provides a very insightful read on just how the company rises, falls and rises again to be sold another day. It's a great read if you are a marketer or communications pro or junkie.

 

 
 
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How the Tech Press Forces a Narrative on Companies it Covers

The tech press moves like clockwork, fitting company narratives into a predictable arc. Here's how pros deal with it. I don't remember who told me company narratives were like a clock. I was at Google, where I'd taken a job on the communications team despite zero experience in communications.
 
 

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With the movers and shakers of content, media and technology all in Sun Valley for the Allen & Co. annual soiree, rumors will always abound. One that seems to be making th rounds is FaceBook buying Twitter. Given Twitter is searching for a new CEO, the time could be ripe for an acquisition, but given the current climate in D.C. on M&A and how consolidation of growing markets is viewed as bad it may not be as likely.

 

 
 
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Will Facebook buy Twitter?

Will Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey get caught huddling at the Duck Pond? That's a hot question as Allen & Co.'s annual Sun Valley media conference kicked off Tuesday - and some of Facebook's key investors are hoping and praying that the answer is "no."
 
 

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Over in Europe the right to be forgotten in search engines is available. But not so in the USA. A consumer group is advocating that the Federal Trade Commission looks into why Google isn't offering that same opportunity to those domiciled in the USA.

 

 
 
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A consumer group wants Google to give Americans 'the right to be forgotten'

A consumer advocacy group is urging the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate why Google has not given American internet users the "right to be forgotten." In 2014, a European court mandated that Google remove search results from individuals when asked, if the results are irrelevant, outdated, or otherwise inappropriate.
 
 

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Every Monday, I join long time pal and tech media star Ken Rutkowski on his dailyBusiness Rockstars 'cast (now video and audio) that is heard on CBS's Play.it and over 180 radio stations across the USA. During my weekly appearance I highlight a few new apps or services that can help business people do their job better or run their business more efficiently. So, in that tradition of "finding something new" today's app is "Telegram" a messaging app that works cross platform and adds some neat features like enhanced privacy.

 

 
 
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Telegram: the best messaging service you're probably not using

Every week or two a new update brings another new feature to Telegram. Photo: Telegram What Messaging App do you use? I've tried them all, settling on Telegram as my favourite cross platform chatting client. But what is the point of a great chat service if none of your friends are there?
 
 

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Working Anywhere Isn't Hard. It Just Takes Planning

Over the past five weeks I've gone from living in beach community of Solana Beach, just outside of San Diego, to go on a quest to be a truly global nomad, working from anywhere and functioning, time zones aside, as if I was still there. This working elsewhere mode includes traveling through nine airports in seven countries and staying in 12 different "residences" or hotels, including three AirBnBs, two winery hotels, and seven traditional hotels.

I can safely say that with planning and research, it's not hard to be working anywhere, but having experience sure helps. By experience, I mean traveling to the places you know well enough, but more importantly have the broadband infrastructure and other essential services in place to make sure that "working anywhere" is possible. But after ten years of being a global road warrior so much is changing I figured it is time again for a refresher and some tips on "living like a local" are now more timely than ever.

Here are a few observations:

1. Hotel broadband is never as good as residential broadband except in certain circumstances. Case in point. The Conrad St. James prior life as an Intercontinental provided Royal Ambassadors with 100/100 in-room Wi-Fi and Wired connectivity. Now the best I could get was 50/20. It was still very good, but a shock to have been "slowed" down. Still this is far better than most hotels.

On the other hand, whatever MamaShelter in Paris has been doing with Wi-Fi since I started staying there years ago continues to get better. I don't remember what my speeds were, but an in-room iMacs serving as an access point and entertainment center makes life easy. Speeds are awesome, and the bandwidth is always stable.

As for my experience in Prague, the Courtyard by Marriott was far better than the Four Seasons where the speeds even when upgraded were never more that 6/6 while the Courtyard was 20/20 or greater. In Vienna, the new Renaissance was fine with speeds at 10/10 but the Intercontinental in Vienna the Internet was far better and more stable, all over the hotel using a very solid Swisscom installation.

But this is where AirBnB for the business traveler wins hands down. In the three AirBnB apartments, I have been in so far my speeds have been 100/15, 10/2 (for a one-night weekend stay) and 100/12 consistently. Why? I'm asking each owner if they have fiber or ADSL. If it's fiber, and right to the dwelling it's going to rock, and it does.

Rule of thumb is thus, put yourself on a fiber (broadband) diet where you can. In every case so far, I've been able to get AirBnB hosts to verify their broadband connectivity and where it's available, have them switch to a Fiber connection from ADSL. This type of broadband means a world of difference, as working from apartments, is the same almost as if I was working from my own home.

2. Mobile Devices, Data, Voice, and Text.

Rule number one. Never roam. Rule number two. Have an unlocked phone. Rule number three. Have enough credit on your last country SIM that lets you log on when you land. Rule number four-buy local SIMs.

This is where it can get complicated so follow along closely. If you're simply making a series of one-day visits to countries, then none of this likely applies to you. In those situations the time involved will be costly, but if you are spending three or more days in a country, or visiting the same countries over and over again in short duration and live a data intensive life like me, consuming over 100 megs of data a day when not on Wi-Fi (which is essential to use) you will need a local SIM on your smartphone and tablets or you will pay the price.

For many this is where Truphone will help as their plans work in 66 countries but its not LTE/4G (yet) in many, and it doesn't matter, though I have a need for speed as I use data side communications services more and more for calls over WebEx, GoToMeeting, Skype, Wire for voice and Google Voice, WhatsApp and iMessage for text. Those apps/services and 4G/LTE makes communications often as good or better than wired broadband in some places.

To use mobile broadband like a local, or to get as much speed and high-grade connectivity, you do need the latest models of iPhones, iPads and Android devices, but when you buy them, make sure they are not "operator editions" but are truly "world phones."

My iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, along with my iPad Air2 have all the radio bands needed to work around the globe at the highest speeds available (with China being a slight exception). Buying these saves hassles, and prevents being on slower networks. For example, the T-Mobile USA unlocked editions lack the 4G radios that work at 4G in Europe except in a few situations. Once you have the real global devices, the speeds you expect all become available. Android devices require you to read and see what they have, but the OnePlus One is my chosen Android mobile solution.

When choosing a wireless operator you have to take in two network factors-speeds and coverage. To do this use Google Search and enter the mobile operator's URL and the words "coverage map." That will show you where they offer coverage and what speeds (GPRS, EDGE, 3G, 4G/LTE)

This means as time goes on things change. For example, in the Czech Republic my initial research showed that T-Mobile would be my best choice. Then as I did more reading, I learned how Vodafone, when they came into the market, went LTE, and sure enough Prague speeds and network were super reliable.

In Vienna Austria, I quickly learned that no one sold 4G mobile phone service for smartphones on pre-paid, but that Telekom Austria sold 4G/LTE for tablets. That meant my iPad was going on A1. What I also found out from the research was that the best network outside the major cities was also going to be A1 from Telekom Austria. Where again I thought either T-Mobile or 3 (Drei) would have been good for me, I would have been on 3G on the iPad and given I was in the wine country half the time I was in Austria, and where the wineries are not always as tech savvy, the LTE/4G on the iPad more than a few times saved my bacon when it came to conference calls and one on one calls using Skype or a variety of Voice over IP providers.

In France, I was a fan of SFR for many years, but the winner these days is Bouygues Telecom. For starters in Paris, they have really good coverage but in Bordeaux I never didn't have 4G/LTE. I've got a SIM from Orange also but while they have the biggest network, much of it is still EDGE in the wine regions. The bottom line for me in France is you have to look at the coverage maps and decide which carrier is for you where you will be. In my case, I hedge and have SIMs with both Orange and Bouygues in my SIM pack.

In Portugal, Vodafone has gone from number 3 to number 1 in speeds on 4G. It used to be Optimus (now NOS) on my iPad but the past year my two trips have shown that research pays off, and the coverage in Cascais has been improved and all along the train ride. That said, if I end up in the Alentejo or Algarve and coverage falters I'll just grab SIMs from MEO (Portugal Telecom) if the Vodafone coverage is sparse and pre-paid SIM's are available everywhere.

In London, 3 used to be my favorite and they remain my steady choice as they started from an all 3G network, however with the merger of Orange and T-Mobile into EE and EE's commitment to LTE-A (a for what they sell as Double Speed, their service has become my first choice. Both provide easy online management, with the key being to buy what you need and not oversubscribe to more than will do the job. Even Vodafone has improved their coverage, so when it comes to the UK, look at the coverage maps and drill down on what speeds are offered where, and then decide who has what you need.

While many may think that T-Mobile USA's global roaming is a good deal, the speeds are variable across the globe. For a quick email check in, and simply map usage it does the job, but if you are heavy app user or plan on making VoIP or Skype calls, forget it, and go local. 3 in London has a "feels like home" program with free roaming. That is enough of a reason to grab a few SIMs and keep them topped up with credit and use them in countries when I first land if I'm not sure I can roam with others before buying local SIM's and I need to check email.

As far as staying connected to the folks back home, pointing a Google Voice number to your Skype In and then forwarding Skype Out to your local number works well. So does Switch.co. And since both offer Do Not Disturb modes you can turn them off when you're sleeping.

3. You Gotta Have Wi-Fi and you need Boingo

Finding Wi-Fi access these days is pretty much like locating running water, but like running water, you need to locate it, and sometimes, even pay for it. That's where Boingo comes in. Having a Boingo Mobile account is a very useful addition to the mobile arsenal. For $9.95 a month (first month is only $4.95) you can connect two mobile devices. Boingo also provides an instant log-on feature called PassPoint in the USA, and a free VPN service as well. All in all for the price the amount of access around the globe, especially at International airports, makes Boingo a very good option. On top of that there's a global plan, a North American one, and specific offers for different parts of the world.

4. Make The Network Yours

In my AirBnB apartments, I've made them "mine." At least when it comes to technology. Given I'm on extended stays I brought along my Apple Time Capsule which has 802.11ac in it. While I also carry an Apple Airport Express, which lacks 802.11ac (as of now) so while that's good for hotels, given properties can get speeds up to a Gigabit, it makes sense to have the gear that works that fast. What you need to do usually is either wire in directly to the router or if you don't have hardwired access, extend the existing wireless network. Be sure to use DHCP to the cable or fiber modem, and then go into bridge mode, that way you avoid IP address and NAT conflict issues.

5. Make Your Place Feel More Like Home

I love Apple TV and the ability to watch the programs I want, and honestly, TV in foreign countries other than news is often lacking. Connect the Apple TV to your wireless or wired network and the content you already have is with you everywhere. To get around geographic restrictions on content from Hulu and Netflix, use MediaHint. What's great about this is you change your DNS settings on your devices and then it opens up your universe to the content you're already paying for anywhere you are. This is far better than a VPN as it doesn't slow down the traffic to your devices either plus it works as either a browser plug-in or a setting. Another great gadget in your bag to carry along is a Google ChromeCast. This lets you have a big monitor wherever you so don't forget the HDMI cable. In some cases, hotels lock down the ports and the ability to add on your devices but here is where being in an AirBnB location changes the game. It's more "open", and you don't have to Hack the House like you often have to "Hack the Hotel."

My favorite "gadget" along for the ride is the Amazon "Echo." It has become my virtual assistant. I use it as an alarm, as a temperature and weather reporter and most of all as a music source. You see, like using MediaHint, Amazon has it configured in such a way as it still thinks it's back home in California. Once you overcome the fact that you can't use any time zones outside the USA, it all becomes easy. For example, just add or subtract the time zone differences when you ask what time it is. But if you ask "specifically" what time it is in your current city by name and country, or make a similar request for weather, you get your local information. What I like is the ability for the Echo to provide me a verbal overview of my calendar for the day, plus to add things to my ToDo List. And with an IFTTT recipe, I can easily have entries populated onto my ToDoIst To Do list. I can also create similar "recipes" to add to my "shopping" list and then have that emailed to me as well or simply review it on my mobile ToDoIst apps.

6. You Have to Have an Office Address

If you're going to be residing somewhere for more than a few days and it's not a hotel, don't get in the trap of the post office being confused. In my case in Lisbon I'm in a security guard/concierge building, so I have someone who can receive packages (and provide local advice as needed) but delivery people and postmen are not always up to date on things. For that reason, I took a "local" office address in one of the Regus locations. I had my Luggage Forward shipped baggage sent there, and knew from both Regus and Luggage Forward when it was received, thus not burdening the AirBnB hosts or worse, my bags not being delivered because someone wasn't home or worse, a different guest was in the property that would have been very confused, and possibly declined the delivery.

7. Credit Cards and Your Addresses

Nothing is more challenging than being out of your hometown and using credit cards these days as the banks are all getting more security attentive. Visa is deploying its Mobile Location Confirmation technology powered by Comuncano client Finsphere which uses your mobile phone as the validator that you're where your card is, but that's just getting rolled out by Visa member banks so it will be a few more months before that is the salvation. For now here are a few tips that are very helpful:

Notify your card issuing and online banks of your travel plans. Most now have (finally) an online form to do that. Provide dates and countries of your travel plans. In the case of American Express, you can provide "alternate addresses." This is a big boon as some service providers locally in theory won't accept foreign country issued credit cards, but what it seems to be is the "lookup" that occurs. I've found using a local address on file with Amex works around some, but not all of those situations. Plus it lets AMEX know where you will be.

8. Getting Around

Being spoiled by Uber in the USA isn't just a hometown thing. In most cities I've been in of late I've used Uber far more than local cabs, but when there's no Uber using the taxi or metro is a good thing. Buying local bus, rail and train passes or local rechargeable cards for transportation is far easier than fishing for cash or fumbling with a credit card, plus it makes you less vulnerable to pickpockets which in tourist areas is always a problem.

Uber can sometimes be a challenge so remember to do the following:

  • Make sure you have your local mobile number up to date. You can do this from the app or the Uber website. If you can't just email their support team.
  • Don't expect the maps to be accurate.
  • I make a point of calling the drivers or sending them a text with specific details on where they can find me or what I am wearing.
  • Surge pricing. In some markets when UberX is in Surge Uber XL or Black isn't. For about the same price you can get a better ride.
  • If at an airport, confirm where the pickup location is with the driver. Often it's not the same place as the taxi's or Limos for UberX. I like to use the "departure" level as there's usually less chaos and confusion.

There are also local apps usually for taxi services. Just know that your costs are higher than Uber but in most cases outside the USA the fares are far better (Paris is a challenge as the fare starts when the driver goes to pick you up.)

9. Living Local

I miss Amazon Fresh. Seriously. Order what you want and the next day, or even the same day it's at your door. Well, in Lisbon El Cortes des Ingles' SuperMercado which happens to be the best market in the city delivers. And while I'm not residing that far from the store, carrying bags of groceries without a shopping cart in 88-degree heat isn't my idea of fun.

Enter their app and web shopping page and their delivery. I'm finding this type of grocery shopping, and delivery service is available in more places like London, and there are a rising number of multi-merchant services like Hubbub that are spawning globally. But just as I've found home delivery in Lisbon it's thriving as well across France with Intermarche and in the UK with Waitrose amongst others.

10. Staying Connected to The Team

It doesn't matter anymore where you are. Crossing time zones is the same as crossing the street. Using services like Slack, HipChat, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, UberConference, Yammer, Skype keeps me connected.

Having a great headset is a key for calls. Invest in NOCS or a high-quality brand. Don't go cheap.

Using music services like Pandora on the Amazon Echo, Spotify, Apple iTunes and even YouTube music keeps me jamming along. Operating the business on Google Apps for Work or Office 365 solves the "I need the file now" problem when everyone else is asleep. You can also make great use of workforce collaboration tools like DropBox, Box, BaseCamp and others. Automating processes with Zapier and IFTTT makes things faster and eliminates manual labor. Services like 99 Designs and Fiverr, plus FancyHands give you a virtual workforce army allowing you to get work done while your team back home is asleep.

12. The Work Day

You're out of the usual time zone, so setting up your day with your calendar focused on maximizing the day is key. I take my dinner 8 hours later than the west coast is at lunch. So 130 there is 930 in Lisbon and London. When I'm in Paris or anywhere on CET, I work it 8 or 9 hours apart. If I know I've got a call scheduled for after dinner, I just eat a bit earlier. Living in an AirBnB apartment means cooking in or having a delivery for those times. The mornings are my writing time and then around 11 or so I split for a few hours. Grab a workout, go for a walk, run errands (laundry) or just grab an early lunch or late breakfast.

Working across time zone is never easy. Add in Daylight Savings Time and when that arrives and ends in different parts of the globe is confusing to even the most experienced traveler. I make extensive use of the paid version of World Time Buddy. It helps me know what time it is where and allows me to easily suggest times for calls. You can also add time zones to Google Calendar and set up your smartphone or tablets with clocks for the more frequently looked up time zones but by having all the times in front of you in World Time Buddy life is simpler.

I'm also making great use of Assistant.To to get one on one meetings set up for either face to face or via a conferencing service. By choosing times that work for you, it then sends out the options and loops into Google Calendar, notifying everyone that the meeting is set up.

13. Gear Up to Go To Work

Recently I bought a new 12" MacBook, choosing the CTO edition with the biggest and fastest solid-state drive, memory and processor. It was the best move I could have made. It's as light or lighter than my iPad, fits in my snug and functional mini Tumi shoulder bag with the iPad, cables, chargers and backup battery for my iPhone, and more importantly has enough horsepower to get me through the work day, The 12 inch screen is bright and the audio is amazing. The key is the weight and power combination. It's fast and light and for people on the go, it is the best Mac out there and since I don't work on heavy graphics or any complex spreadsheets, what this has is more than enough.

14. Airports, Airlines, and Lounges

I am not anti-EasyJet or RyanAir, but I do admit that cutting costs has its challenges, but in reality the best United or American Airlines experience isn't much different than flying the discount airlines of Europe. But there are options so using SkyScanner.com or their mobile apps has given me all kinds of visibility into local routes and flights, plus the airlines own websites. The key is to find the routes and days they fly, and where they go head to head, often the mainline carriers are only a few dollars more, much like Southwest and JetBlue force in the USA.

As for getting work done, investing in Priority Pass is a given. While some lounges are accessible via the American Express Priority Pass relationship, not all are. Armed with their card and the app on your smartphone puts you in striking distance of lounges all over the world. Just learn what it means to be airside or pre-security side as the difference can mean a made or missed flight. Inside you'll find the usual amenities like hot coffee, snacks, drinks and of course Wi-Fi, and often it's better than the airport's own.

Signing up for programs like the UK's new Registered Traveler programme means getting into the country faster. While in the EU a USA chip passport carriers no sway, it will now in the UK with the start of Registered Traveller. Much like Global Entry in the USA, getting in the program takes more time than getting in the country. But once you're in, you're getting in much faster, without any long lines making this an essential for the frequent flyer into the UK.

Apps like TriptIt and FlightBoard as well as FlightStats keep me sane with alerts and flight options. There's no worse feeling when you're flights late, and you have a connection. With these apps you not only know what's going on, you end up finding your options faster, allowing you to go to the gate not wait for some customer service person to get to you in line.

Wrapping It All Up

The bottom line is that it's not really that hard to be working from anywhere. And as the on-demand economy, the app economy and the virtual workforce all merge, being local in a foreign land won't be as hard in the near future as it was as recent as ....yesterday.

 


NFL to Stream A Game is a Big Deal

The National Football League is going to stream a football game next season. On face this may seem more like an experiment as the game will originate in the UK as part of the NFL's global marketing effort. But OTT delivery of sports content will mean much, much more to the league and the broadcasting world which is why new startups like client, YIPTV are poised and well positioned for a new era of how sports is broadcast.

That's why I think there's more to this, a point that is called out in the Wall Street Journal story. The "more to it" deals with the NFL looking to emulate what Major League Baseball is already doing with with their app based delivery, and really what is being done by the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) which took less money from USA Networks for the broadcast rights in exchange for creating their own WWF Network.

Already more content is being produced and viewed, plus the control of the entire telecast that the WWF produces is not regulated by the USA Networks Standards and Practices. It also means that all sponsorship and ad revenue, after selling expenses, remains with the WWF.

For the NFL and their current broadcasting partners (the networks like Direct TV, NBC, CBS, ABC/ESPN, TNT) this is a big deal because sports ad revenues and sports related advertising represents a proven advertising delivery method to reach the adult male audience. At the same time, a web or app OTT streamed telecast, completely owned and managed by the NFL means they get to keep the ad revenue vs. get paid for the games rights by one of their partners and that's where it gets very interesting.

The NFL will then know exactly who is watching the game. You may need to log in, or you may have to register the app. There will be a cookie dropped on your laptop or smart device in the browser. This means targeting advertising can be delivered to you as it becomes very easy to drop a commercial into the stream just for you vs the same commercial that's seen by everyone watching a game on television where localization is more difficult beyond the local market area vs. the national television spot.

Then there's the interactivity that you don't have with over the air or cable, which the webcasting provides. Imagine you're the ad manager for State Farm Insurance and you spend millions a year buying commercials with the NFL but you don't easily know which new customers came in as a result. Add a link, have a prospect trigger a call back from their LOCAL agent, and not only will the ad manager know which ad did what, they will know what the outcome was (call, followup, insurance policy written) and then be able to allocate the costs and the revenue to the specific commercial.

With analytics the ad manager will be able to determine which commercial spot works best with which demographic audience. The ad manager will also be able to determine which agents closed the highest percentage of leads that were delivered. With things like call recording the ad manager can then listen to the actual sales calls and analyze the selling technique, language used that led to a successful or failed close. And due to analytics, the entire process using CRM technology means from impression to closing can be tracked for ad delivery effectiveness.

This also has implications to the local teams in the NFL markets.

Right now broadcast revenues are divided evenly between each franchise, but as revenue begins to be tracked for everything sold via the NFL that happens on the Internet, the ability to assign actual revenue creation by franchise area creates a whole new model that doesn't currently exist.

Who wins? Who Loses?

The NFL and the franchise owners will be big winners over time. The more the league's NFL Properties division can control, the less money that will go to the rights holders. The more the NFL can sell in merchandise for their licensees without having to go through a retailer, means greater margins for both the league and the brands selling things like jerseys and caps for starters.

Thus while Apple, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are likely thought of as the next bidders for rights, you can't rule out Amazon either. As a matter of fact Amazon with their delivery and logistics operations could end up being the ideal partner for the NFL.

Amazon with FIRE could deliver the content easily. With FRESH the customers could order in advance their Sunday Tailgate at Home Food package. With same day delivery or next day delivery Amazon customers could order replica uniforms, caps, program books, highlight reels, etc. And because all of this is analytics based, the ability to predict and produce changes the paradigm of everything from production to delivery, thus making Amazon a significant potential partner for the NFL.

For current Internet related companies that have skin in the game like Verizon Wireless and Comcast/NBC/Universal, there has to be a lot of wonderment. Clearly they both win on the data side, but in the case of NBC, they'll lose on the ad sales side but I suspect they, being in the position they will be in, will find a way to create a sales consortium with other cable operators and the likes of Google to develop new sales and delivery traffic reporting models to insure they still make their 15 percent.

So, while this may be just one game, don't be deceived. It's a big deal and one that will be looked at as truly game changing.


The Comunicano Daily for Tuesday February 4th, 2014

 
 
 
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Well, the Wait is over. Microsoft has named a new CEO, and with the news, also announced that Bill Gates will be more involved in the decisionmaking. There's lots of news coverage on the web and you can expect to see more perspectives over the next few days. This is a move that will be questioned and challenged. 

 
 

 
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Nadella's the one: Microsoft names new CEO, Gates stays on board, Thompson is chairman

Well, it's finally over. After five months of cloak and dagger and dueling leaks, Microsoft has named Satya Nadella, its cloud chief, as its third-ever CEO, replacing long-time veteran Steve Ballmer. Company cofounder Bill Gates will remain on the board - and act as counsel to Nadella, as rumored - but will cede his chairman slot to director John Thompson, who led this slow-motion search process.

 
 

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Microsoft’s Bill Gates “Steps Up” To New Role As Technology Advisor: Was He Pushed Or Did He Jump?

Along with the news today that Satya Nadella will be the next CEO of Microsoft, another big change in the executive ranks: Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, is leaving his role as chairman of the board and is taking a new role as "Founder and Technology Advisor".

 
 

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The new FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler is making moves. He's pushing more money into the eductaion channel to bolster broadband, taking an early position on the potential T-Mobile/Sprint merger and will have to have a hand in shaping net neutrality.

 
 

 
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Tom Wheeler: Broadband Internet Needed for Education Tools, FCC to Invest $2B

The Federal Communications Commission is set to invest $2 billion over the next two years in the broadband network connections of U.S. schools, National Journal reported Monday. "In the Internet age, every student in America should have access to state-of-the-art educational tools, which are increasingly interactive, individualized and bandwidth-intensive," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, according to the report.

 
 

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FCC chief reportedly skeptical on Sprint-T-Mobile deal

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is the latest regulator to pour cold water on a potential merger between the third and fourth-largest wireless carrier. (Credit: Lynn La/CNET) Regulators do not like the prospect of Sprint buying T-Mobile.

 
 

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New bill would restore net neutrality pending FCC action

A new pair of bills have been introduced to the Senate and House to protect Net Neutrality after a circuit court ruling struck down the FCC's previous rules earlier this month.

 
 

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Over the weekend, I penned a post for the Gigsky blog about the ChromeCast. Today lots of news came out from Google about the release of an SDK for ChromeCast. For app developers this is a big opportunity as is it for web sites as now it becomes very easy to send more content from more devices to HDMI monitors. When you combine this with the Internet of Things (everything) it's a big deal

 
 

 
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Google Developers Blog: Ready to cast: Chromecast now open to developers with the Google Cast SDK

Back in July we announced the developer preview of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), the underlying Chromecast technology that enables multi-screen experiences across mobile devices (phones, tablet, laptops) and large-screen displays. Starting today, the Google Cast SDK is available for developing and publishing Google Cast-ready apps.

 
 

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Get ready for tons of new Chromecast apps: Google releases Cast SDK

 

Countless apps could become Chromecast-compatible any day now: Google officially released the Google Cast SDK Monday, which allows developers to add Chromecast integration to their Android, iOS and web apps. Chromecast PM director Rishi Chandra said during an interview earlier this week that he could eventually see millions of websites and mobile apps add support for Google Cast: "Our opportunity set is fairly large."

 

 
 

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AllCast works with Chromecast again, streams local media from Android to TV

With Google releasing the official Chromecast SDK to developers on Monday, we can expect an influx of Chromecast apps to follow. And among the first is AllCast, which actually had and later lost Chromecast support last year because the SDK wasn't yet final. The Android app was quickly updated on Tuesday morning in the Google Play store.

 
 

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Asus unveils $179 Chromebox, coming in March

Asus on Monday announced a new Chromebox. The Google Chrome-based machine starts at $179 and is powered by an Intel Haswell-based Celeron processor. Geared towards stationary use - like business, home and school - the Chromebox measures just 4.88 by 1.65 inches, which makes it comparable to the size of a Roku streaming box.

 
 

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APIs are hot and will be the focus of the upcoming TadHack in Madrid which is very relevant to telcos and telecom execs. Zapier is one of the service providers we use at Comunicano, and their news of 28 new API's in 28 days is very important to their growth. Using Zapier, like IFTTT makes a lot of repetitive tasks automatic.

 
 

 
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28 days, 28 APIs: Zapier adding an app a day to its integration library this month

February is now the month of API integrations, in addition to Black History Month and the month of love. Zapier is a buzzy Y Combinator company that simplifies the process of connecting web apps and APIs. The company announced that February is the "28 days of integration love," meaning it will release a new integration every single day this month.

 
 

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It looks like Apple is going to move towards operating their own Content Delivery Network (CDN). This is a very important step as Apple wants to control the end to end user experience and be able to better deliver content and integrate it more into iCloud.

 
 

 
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Apple Building Out Their Own CDN To Deliver Content To Consumers

Over the past year, there has been speculation of when or if Apple would build out their own content delivery network for the purpose of delivering content to consumers. To date, all of the CDN deployments done by Apple have been for internal purposes only, but that's about to change.

 
 

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Facebook is developing apps. First we saw the release of Messenger. Now we're seeing what could be THE new generation of Facebook on mobile. It's called Paper.

 
 

 
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Paper Now Available For iOS In The US, And It Could Be A Facebook Replacement

Facebook's new standalone app Paper is now available for download on iOS to everyone in the US, and it's more than just a content reader. Paper has messages, notifications, search, and a completely redesigned profile. When I asked the team leaders behind Paper if they still used the old one, product manager Michael Reckhow diplomatically responded "mmhmm, yeah", but designer Mike Matas just smiled coyly.

 
 

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Uber, the car service, not the conferencing service, is launching a Lyft competitor called UberPop in Paris. Having already come under scrutiny by the French regulators, it will be interesting to see just how long this goes unchallenged.

 
 

 
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Look Out Lyft, Uber Is Getting Serious About Ride-Sharing With UberPOP In Paris

Urban transportation company Uber just announced a brand new offering for Paris called UberPOP - and it looks a lot like Lyft. It's a cheaper ride-sharing service built right into the Uber app. Everybody can become a driver.

 
 

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And just when you thought you knew what Google search was they are changing it.

 
 

 
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The Morning Download: Google Planning New Kind of Search

Good morning. Google Inc. engineering chief Ray Kurzweil said Monday that he's helping his company change its search algorithms to do a better job of understanding queries and providing answers people actually need. Mr. Kurzweil is working on a more human-like approach to search that will not only understand the content of Web documents, but remember queries and return answers when new information comes to light.

 
 

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