The Comunicano Communique for Thursday March 10th 2016

 
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"If you want to walk the walk, you have to talk the talk." Getting quoted is about just that. Today, once again, I was quoted by a leading media outlet. Network World. This time by their News Editor, Bob Brown on the subject of Wi-Fi hotspot blocking. Having been the victim of this in the past, it was rewarding to see how well Brown captured the story as told by facts, everyday people and experts. It's a nice read, and perhaps one of the most accurately written stories on the subject.

Beyond that story, lots of hard news is in the newsletter. I'm elated to see client YIPTV now thought of in the same stories as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. Actually, YIPTV is farther ahead than those guys in the world of OTT television, or as we call it Mobile Cable. The other news items, well, no more hints. Just READ ON..

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

 
 
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Wi-Fi hotspot blocking persists despite FCC crackdown

The FCC has slapped hotels and other organizations with nearly $2.1 million in fines since the fall of 2014 for blocking patrons' portable Wi-Fi hotspots in the name of IT security, or more likely, to gouge customers for Internet service.
 
 

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Studios, Exhibitors Consider Revolutionary Plan for Day-and-Date Movies at Home (EXCLUSIVE)

Five years ago, major studios attempts to offer first-run movies in the home months early set off a fierce standoff with theater owners. Now, a startup backed by Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame is trying to encourage Hollywood studios and exhibitors to wade back into those controversial...
 
 

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Sonos announces layoffs, refocuses on streaming and voice tech

Macfarlane says it's an inevitable change - and that's why the company is now focusing on these users over customers that are playing from non-streamed files and physical music collections. How? He's not saying, but it'll apparently involve "building incredibly rich experiences that were all but unimaginable when we started the company."
 
 

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YIPTV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now: 10 services leading pay-TV's IP-delivery revolution

Within the last 12 months, no less than five virtual MVPD services from major operators have debuted, some in the testing phase and some as full-fledged, fully available consumer products. These services threaten to revolutionize the pay-TV industry, replacing expensive CPE, truck rolls and credit checks with simple, app-based delivery of video.

 
 

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Join Friends in VR with New Oculus Social Features

Now you can experience games, videos, and more with friends in VR! Starting tomorrow, people with a Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, can create a profile and then easily search for others on the platform by real name or Oculus username.
 
 

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Nest can now use your phone to tell when you've left the house

Nest's products are about to get better at telling when you're out of the house and when you're about to come back home. An update to Nest's iOS and Android app today will allow it to start monitoring your phone's location.
 
 

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Mobile messaging giant Line now supports group voice calls for up to 200 people

Mobile messaging giant Line has announced that it now caters for conference calls with the latest update to its mobile and desktop app. Available on Android, iOS, and Windows desktop (Mac will be added soon), the new group-call feature supports up to 200 people, and is aimed at anyone from families and friends to businesses.
 
 

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Facebook will soon let you disable seeing all notifications for live videos - Digiday

Facebook will soon let you disable seeing all notifications for live videos Relief is on the way. If you've noticed an influx of Facebook notifications from brands or publishers every time they kick off a live video stream, you're not alone.
 
 

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Cisco Spark Is Here

Yes, Cisco Spark has arrived! That cool mobile business messaging app we launched a year ago has grown up. It's now a full-blown business communications service from the Cisco cloud. We are really excited about bringing this to market and are encouraged by some of the early reactions, including an analyst who said "I have seen the future."
 
 

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Skype is killing its smart TV app

Skype, the Microsoft-owned video calling service, has quietly announced that it will no longer offer an app for smart TVs from June. Confirmation of the shutdown comes via a support page - first spotted by the BBC - which explains that smartphones and tablets have proven to be a more popular platform for Skype users.
 
 

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How to sign up for the Android Beta Program

Google on Wednesday released the developer preview of Android N. The company also went against its normal tradition of releasing only the system image files and forcing developers to install the update using command line code and developer tools, Google also announced the Android Beta Program.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Monday March 7th 2016

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

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

 
 
 

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

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

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

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

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Twilio Paves Private, Secure Paths to its Cloud Services

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

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

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

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

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

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Why You Should Put Yourself Out There and Try New Products

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

 
 

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Jeff Salway: Rise of the robots is like dotcom bubble

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

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4 principles that will shape the future of IT

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

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

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

 
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Comunicano Communique for Friday March 4th 2016

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

 
 
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Voice: The Next UI Layer

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

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

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

 
 

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Amazon's Ingenious Plot to Take Over Your Living Room

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

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

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

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

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

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Facebook Plans To Open Messenger To Publishers At F8 In April

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

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Spotify becomes first music platform to integrate with Facebook Messenger

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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

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

 
 

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Life and death in the App Store

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

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Where Have You Gone......A Look Back At Some Famous VoIP Companies

I've been covering Voice over IP for what is now going on 13 years. Along the way we've come into contact with dozens upon dozens of brands, services, idea and applications. Many are still around, some with their original names, others with new names. Some of the technology has found its way into other services, while some are simply collecting dust on the shelves...here are a few:

TalkPlus                The "originator" of the second line concept and the shadow number.

Jangle                        The "originator" of the disposable line.

Gizmo (aka Gizmo Project) The first real rival to Skype, acquired by Google, and parted out into Hangouts and Google Voice.

GrandCentral        We know you now as GoogleVoice.

GIPS                        The engine that made VoiP sound great. Now part of Google, and inside Hangouts.

Free World DialUp Started by luminaries Carl Ford and Jeff Pulver. Sometime after the loss of VON, it died.

Webley                The first voice activated phone system, doing things well before Siri and Alexa, now called CommuniKate.

CallVantage        AT&T's successful and best in class VoIP product that was put to rest due to merger mania

Jajah                    The carriers undercutting carrier was selling VoIP connectivity on the cheap. Telefonica bought it.

Dialpad                Rock solid VoIP least cost routing and fraud detection. Bought by Yahoo and sadly, not much was done with it.

AOL Internet Phone  The best rival to AT&T's Call Vantage and a Vonage killer. It was killed by internal Time Warner fighting.

Earthlink's True Voice It's sorta still alive buried inside some Earthlink PBX product, but not the consumer product it was to be.

Yahoo Voice        At one point Yahoo wanted to rival Skype. By 2013 the service, that was running on Jajah's network was off.

Simple Signal    Now part of Vonage Business

Telesphere         Now part of Vonage Business

Aretta                 Now part of cBeyond providing rapid spin up of customer services in the cloud.

My View--some of these brands have equity. Others have significant technical value and of course there's the patent and intellectual property portfolios. One thing about this tells me is that companies want to be moving forward in the communications sector should look at the past for clues, ideas and opportunities. There's gold in them there hills..

Got a service that you remember in the VoIP world that's not quite here any more, drop me a line.

 

 


The Comunicano Communique for Thursday March 3rd 2016

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

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

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

 
 

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

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

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Slack begins rolling out voice calls on Chrome and desktop

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

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

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

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

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

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Uber now lets you avoid expense reports on business trips

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

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Intel Eyes Augmented Reality Headset

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

 
 

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How to Stay Sane on a Business Trip

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

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2016 phishing trends report reveals new tricks, targets

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

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What Startup Accelerators Really Do

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

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Make Your Inbox Suck Less With These Tools

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

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The Comunicano Communique for Tuesday March 1st 2016

 
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Slice of Life Time....I penned a piece over on Medium.com all about home delivery services. It's a six minute read. As for news, we have some Google news. Some travel news. Some other news. Oh, and it turns out I'm on Business Rockstars today-prerecorded-so give a listen or watch it...as for the rest, well just read on..!!

 
 
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Home Delivery, Take 2

Living in Los Angeles means home delivery is a staple for me. I use or have used a combination of Amazon Fresh, Amazon Prime Now, Google Express, FedEx, UPS, the USPS, UberEats, DoorDash, Caviar, GrubHub, Postmates, and of course, direct from the pizzeria, pasta shop, and other restaurants.
 
 

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Google adds Virtual Reality section to Google Store; starts selling Cardboard compatible viewers in the US - Ausdroid

Google has been moving into the Virtual Reality space for a few years now, ever since Cardboard was announced as a throwaway at the end of Google I/O back in 2014. They've previously left the sales of devices, including the DIY Cardboard headsets to other manufacturers but now it seems you can buy them from Google themselves, at least in[Read More...]
 
 

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Google Self-Driving Car Hits A Bus In Los Angeles And It's At Fault: Here's What Happened

For Google, Feb. 14 is more than just Valentine's Day, as it also marks the first accident that one of the autonomous vehicles (AV) of the company caused. The accident involves a public transit bus and a self-driving Lexus RX450h SUV, and it occurred on El Camino Real near Google's hometown of Mountain View, California.
 
 

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Cord-Cutting Continues: Don't Believe the Early Q4 Hype

Early in this quarter's earnings season, some industry watchers questioned the cord-cutting narrative. But despite signs of a turnaround due to better-than-expected numbers from Comcast and Time Warner Cable, it's clear that the trend continues unabated now that the last of the big pay-TV providers reported their subscriber numbers this week.
 
 

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MLB star Mike Trout is using a smart bat at spring training

Major League Baseball players are once again shaking off the winter and hitting the field in warmer climates for spring training. But this year Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout is using a high-tech bat to learn more about his swing.
 
 

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Wynn Las Vegas launches new mobile sports betting app

Wynn Las Vegas will officially launch a new mobile sports betting app today. The app was designed in partnership with technology company Miomni, and will be active for March Madness, the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The app will feature various types of wagers including straight bets, parlays and future books.
 
 

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Think leisure players aren't touching business travel, think again

The business travel community swings between denying any impact from Airbnb, Uber and the like, to worrying what to do about them. Yet there they were, at last week's Business Travel Show in London with Uber exhibiting for the first time alongside other newcomers to corporate travel such as Booking.com For Business.

 
 

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Facebook and Instagram Among Top Choices for Travel Marketing

Winter is almost over and with gas prices at their lowest levels in nearly a decade, retailers should be expecting to see a lot of travellers this spring and summer. This is great news for local retailers and travel brands, and now is the time to use internet marketing to get the most of the upcoming travel seasons.
 
 

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The complete guide to faking your own business-class upgrade

Flying business class on long flights has never been nicer, often featuring lie-flat seat-beds, large TVs, champagne, fancy meals, Japanese bidet toilets, and walk-up snack bars. Meanwhile, passengers in economy class are getting squeezed-literally, often 10 per row, in narrow seats with knee-crunching legroom and lousy food.
 
 

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The Messaging Landscape in 2016

The Messaging Landscape in 2016 There's a surge of excitement around messaging as a new platform and the idea of 'Conversational Commerce'. There are a number of great pieces and podcasts that have been published documenting and forecasting the new ways we will see messaging used in 2016.
 
 

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3 Red Flags to Avoid When Pitching Investors | Startups.co

Active investors sift through dozens of deals a week, and some hundreds a month. In order to find the gold, they need to quickly weed out the junk. The junk usually involves startups with any one of three red flags that deems the deal a "pass."
 
 

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Confessions Of A VC: Crap - Why I Passed On Uber's Seed Round

A version of this article previously appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Did I passed on Uber's seed round? No. It's worse than that. I never even bothered to listen to Travis' pitch, even though I was repeatedly offered the opportunity. I then passed on Uber's A Round as well, which I thought was valued too high, in light of the company's progress.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Monday February 22nd 2016

 
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Mobile World Congress started today in Barcelona. Usually I attend that event but the past two years I've skipped in as it's not a "startup" event really. Those take part around the fringes of it. The big stories coming out of it and from around it are really focused on two key forward looking areas. 5G which is as much a land grab as the mobile world has ever seen with patent holding giants like Qualcomm, Ericsson, Nokia and InterDigital all engaged in massive chess games while companies like FaceBook, Apple and Google look at things very differently. And the other story is the Apple vs. The FBI encryptionwar that has to have every despot led country leader just chomping at the bit for the skeleton key to emerge. Hardware and devices, which normally get the noise are less visible but wait a day, for news at Mobile World Congress is like San Francisco weather. Ask me in a minute. All that and more in today's Communique...read on..!!

 
 
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5G Is a New Frontier for Mobile Carriers and Tech Companies

On the outskirts of this sleepy commuter town just south of London, plans are underway to build the fastest cellphone network in the world. The work is being done at the University of Surrey, where a leafy campus is dotted with rundown brutalist-style buildings.

 
 

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Facebook wants to do to 5G what it has already done to the datacenter

Facebook wants telecoms operators and manufacturers to work with it on open designs for the next generation of wireless networks. Facebook's users are increasingly sharing their cat photos, videos, and other updates over wireless rather than wired networks.

 
 

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Ericsson, Nokia offer contrasting timelines for 5G network upgrades

BARCELONA Ericsson (ERICb.ST), the world's top supplier of wireless equipment, said on Monday it expects 150 million users to be on next-generation 5G networks five years from now, steering clear of an industry debate over whether network upgrades could start far earlier.
 
 

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Dean Bubley's Disruptive Wireless: Google + GSMA announcement on RCS is no gamechanger

As widely hinted in recent months, GSMA has tried to re-animate the RCS corpse once more, this time with Google playing the role of Dr Frankenstein. My initial take: Its announcement this morning ( link) is a bit of a damp squib.
 
 

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Wireless's Future Belongs to VR and Cloud, Some Say

The "Extreme Submarine" is a colorful installation at the booth of South Korean telecom operator SK Telecom here at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
 
 

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How the U.S. Fights Encryption-and Also Helps Develop It

Agencies are developing encryption tools for secure communications, even as the FBI battles for access to an encrypted iPhone Researchers in London last year discovered an online jihadi handbook with instructions on sending encrypted instant messages that would be indecipherable to law enforcement.

 
 

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Amazon Echo As A Medical Device?

My initial impression of the Amazon Echo was that this is simply a Bluetooth speaker that looks like a portable humidifier with a little bit of artificial intelligence. The next thing I discovered is that the Echo always needs to be plugged in for it to work.
 
 

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96% of Australian hotels offering 'free' Wi-Fi

An industry wide survey of 3, 4 and 5 star hotels and serviced apartments by Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) has revealed that 96% of Australian hotels surveyed* offer some level of free Wi-Fi to guests.Tourism Accommodation Australia represents the interests of hotels, motels and serviced apartment
 
 

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Rogers customers reporting WiFi calling is now enabled on the iPhone

With the release of iOS 9 on September 16th, Rogers promised to launch WiFi calling, which was a long-awaited feature for iPhone users. However, upon updating the new OS customers were faced with errors when attempting to connect.
 
 

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Cable could be losing its grip on your set-top box

The Federal Communications Commission wants to liberate you from your cable company's set-top box. You probably didn't even realize you needed to be freed from this tyranny. But that's the message from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who is on a mission to make sure that consumers have choices when it comes to their set-top box.

 
 

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The Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns of 2015 - Crowdfund Insider

Regulation A+ crowdfunding rules were released by the SEC in June of 2015, three years after these rules were initially introduced in the 2012 JOBS Act. The debut of the long-awaited regulations led to a flood of companies rushing to capitalize on this new method of funding.
 
 

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The Untold Casualties of the Drone War

Early one evening in November, Brandon Bryant, a former Air Force officer and perhaps the world's most famous drone program whistleblower, sits on the sofa in a Manhattan hotel suite, writing a letter to President Obama. A grey hoodie is pulled over his baseball cap, the sleeves half-covering a red dragon and Nordic tribal tattoos on his arms and hands.
 
 

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Journalists under threat, from within

Journalism is under threat from all sides. The last few years have been some of the most dangerous in history for journalists around the world; they have been killed, injured and detained in record numbers. But journalists are under threat from within as well, as some media companies seem content to eat their own.
 
 

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Blogging Ain't Sexy But It's A Marketing Workhorse

Blogging ain't sexy but it a rock-solid marketing workhorse. I recently got a pretty good lead from a company that I highlighted in a late-2014 blog post. In many ways, it was a much-needed shot in the arm about my commitment to blogging.
 
 

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Homer Simpson: Disruptive Innovator

On the May 15th broadcast of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson will be broadcast live for three minutes. It's not clear exactly what he'll say or do, but it will take place in real-time. More precisely, the actor who plays Homer, Dan Castellaneta, will be connected to motion-capture technology.
 
 

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8 Startups Changing How Payments Work

Join us in a city near you at Entrepreneur's Accelerate Your Business event series kicking off Feb 23. View cities and dates " Back in the day, making a payment as a business or a consumer was pretty straight-forward. You could pay by cash or check. Then came credit cards followed by debit cards.
 
 

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The Full Dataset on What VCs are Thinking About Funding in 2016 | Bothsides of the Table

Every year at Upfront we try to analyze the venture markets. We try to look at the sources of capital, the valuations, exits and trends. We use this try to draw some context that informs our funding decisions. Of course we fund companies in good markets and bad.
 
 

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The Sunday Paper Edition- The Comunicano Communique for January 31st 2016

 
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Happy Sunday.....Facebook is going to disrupt sports and entertainment as we know it.  Forget TMZ. Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood. ESPNs SportsCenter.

Facebook with live, streaming video is now a live new outlet for real time news, sports and entertainment. How are they a news outlet? First, with their move to Stadium, they have set themselves up as a news outlet in sports. By becoming a news outlet that affords them protection in the USA by the First Amendment.

Next with photos and now live video, and their ability to aggregate and share content, they are going to be able to use their massive audience delivery platform to be a NETWORK, just like FOX, ABC, the BBC, etc.

Third, their source material, at least in the USA can't be blocked, jammed or otherwise intercepted, thanks to the Communications Act of 1934 and 1996 with regard to unlawful intercept and blocking. That means all the money which stadium and arena operators have put into networking their venues so the "fan experience" is able to be one that's both "connected" and "socialized" also means they can't stop the content from leaving the building.

As someone who grew up in pro sports and entertainment, Facebook is going to really toss a monkey-wrench/spanner into the whole rights issues game as today, anyone with an iPhone with those sharp and clear add on lenses, a good seat at a game and a steady hand, a cool voice, and knowledge of the sport will be a net caster......

Next is Instagram, another Facebook property. It's become the engine of endorsement. Think commercials, but with the power in the hands of those with followers. Given the whole "never corders" as YipTV founder Mike Tribolet calls them, and their growing up digital without cable tv or landlines, Instagram + Facebook video will be how the sub 20 year old generation of today and tomorrow gets their news, shapes trends and defines "cool."

So if today's Communique has a "times are changing" or is all about "Changes", it's only fitting to bring some videos to the forefront about David Bowie, who was so much a driving force of change, not only in music, but as an icon for change in society.

David Bowie's passing touched many. As someone who grew up in the many phases and faces of David Bowie era from the 60's to today, to see and hear the comments and performances by so many stars is touching and endearing. I've been collecting these the past few weeks, and have been moved by the performances of Madonna, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Rick Wakeman and the comments of Jimmy Fallon. Having also seen all of the musical stars perform in their own right, it's always fun to watch and hear artists do cover versions of other artists material. Madonna's may not be safe for the children, or for some workplaces, but between hers and Elton's  and the Boss' comments about going down to Philly on "Greyhound bus" the historical impact of Bowie can't be better expressed....so kick back, and enjoy some good old fashioned "rock and roll" this Sunday morning.

Have a view on the news today? Please let me know what you think....Andy Abramson

 
 
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Expanding Live Video to More People-News From Facebook

In December, we started testing the ability for people to share live video on Facebook, and it has been inspiring to see all the ways that people have used Live to connect with their friends and family. Today, we're excited to expand the ability to share live video to everyone in the U.S.

 
 

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How Instagram Changed the Celeb Crush

My back is turned, and I'm probably 12 years old, so the only thing I can imagine them doing is some sort of tight-lipped smooching. Maybe his hands are resting heavily on her shoulders. I'm resigned to my empty little corner of what must be a bed or a couch when I feel Joey's hand reach over and pinch my butt.
 
 

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Techiest Super Bowl ever: Silicon Valley's stadium girds for the big game

Levi's Stadium is one of the most high-powered venues in sports. On Super Bowl Sunday, we'll see if its network can handle the data-storm caused by throngs of smartphone-wielding fanatics.
 
 

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Media Trends in 2016: Why I'll Be Watching the Underdog

Forecasting the future is usually a fool's errand - especially in a fast-changing industry like media. But I recently recruited two brave colleagues to make their 2016 predictions for a new internal GE podcast, Marketing Decoded, and I loved our conversation so much, I wanted to share it.
 
 

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The Best TV is Korean TV: A Guide to Awesome K-dramas

Game of Thrones isn't on, you've finished Orange Is The New Black, and fall TV hasn't kicked in yet. You need something to get obsessed with. Allow me to suggest a Korean drama, or K-drama, as they're called.
 
 

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Jimmy Fallon Pays Tribute to David Bowie

Jimmy takes a moment to remember legendary entertainer David Bowie.
 
 

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Madonna's Tribute To David Bowie

Houston, Texas, January 12, 2016.
 
 

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Elton John Tribute to David Bowie

Private concert at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles Jan 13, 2016 to promote his new LP Wonderful Crazy Night. Elton describing hearing Bowie's 'Space Oddity' for the first time and his desire to have the same producers work with him in the early days.
 
 

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Bruce Springsteen: David Bowie Tribute (Pittsburgh)

Opening night of The River Tour 2016. Bruce performs Rebel Rebel as a tribute to David Bowie. Instagram: dustinjohns Twitter: dustinjohns
 
 

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Rick Wakeman's Tribute To David Bowie - Life On Mars

Rick Wakeman, pianist on the original Life On Mars, performs the song at Radio 2's piano in memory of David Bowie.
 
 

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Obama Pledges $4 Billion to Computer Science in US Schools

President Obama today pledged $4 billion in funding for computer science education in the nation's schools.
 
 

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The worst thing about driving is about to change

If you drive out to visit Disney's Epcot center in Orlando, Florida, you will arrive at one of the biggest parking lots in America. With room for 12,000 cars, it sprawls out over 7 million square feet-about the size of 122 football fields.
 
 

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Amazon's rent-a-Buddhist-monk service causes controversy in Japan

YACHIYO, Japan - In Japan, where communal ties to local Buddhist temples are fading, families have in recent years been able to go online to find a Buddhist monk to perform funerals and other rituals.
 
 

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Five Leadership Tips During Executive Turnover

This week hasn't been short on major corporate changes. On Sunday night, Twitter announced that four senior executives are leaving the company. It's the biggest leadership shakeup since CEO Jack Dorsey took over in order to breathe life back into the social media company.
 
 

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The Comunicano Communique for Thursday January 28th, 2016

 
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Check out today's stories.......lots of good reading that's thought provoking. And not ONE about the Trump-Fox feud. You can read that everywhere else.  Lots of really well written pieces on a variety of subjects that are relevant to many of you in different ways. Start Up? Got a few. Growing a business.. Yup there's some. Tools? Sure got 'em. What's coming up from the big players? They're there...and much, much more...so have a read, over coffee--yes, that's included.

Have a view on the news today? Please let me know what you think....Andy Abramson

 
 
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F.C.C. Proposes Changes in Set-Top Box Market

WASHINGTON - The cable set-top box, long a scourge of consumers and a moneymaker for cable companies, appears set for a makeover. The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced a proposal that would make it much easier for subscribers of cable and satellite television to pick the boxes they use to watch programming.
 
 

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Aussie startup signs US deal worth up to $100 million

Chief executive and co-founder of Unlockd Matt Berriman in New York. Photo: Adam Lerner A Melbourne startup which offers a "freemium​" ad supported phone plan has signed a deal with Boost Mobile in the United States which it expects to be worth over $100 million in revenue.
 
 

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(Un)folding a virtual journey with Google Cardboard

A year and a half ago we introduced Google Cardboard, a simple cardboard viewer that anyone can use to experience mobile virtual reality (VR). With just Cardboard and the smartphone in your pocket, you can travel to faraway places and visit imagined worlds.
 
 

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Google reveals Cardboard virtual reality numbers, and VR films are the surprise winner

Just one day after we highlighted Google's apparent interest in creating virtual reality hardware, the company came out on Wednesday to refocus attention on Google Cardboard by revealing some numbers around its adoption rate.
 
 

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Mexico is having the grown-up conversation about marijuana that every country should have

Mexican lawmakers this week launched a national debate on a topic that officials around the world have been struggling to address: marijuana legalization. Over the next three weeks, the Mexican Congress is holding a series of public hearings (link in Spanish) on whether and how to regulate marijuana.
 
 

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Apple likely to debut iPad Air 3 at March event; new Apple Watch models revealed

Apple is planning to introduce new iPad hardware at an event in mid-March, according to sources, with the most likely device being a new iPad Air. This new iPad with a 9.7-inch screen, presumably to be called the "iPad Air 3," will be launched alongside the a new 4-inch iPhone known as the " iPhone 5se" and a series of new Apple Watch models.
 
 

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Siri, Alexa and Other Virtual Assistants Put to the Test

WHEN I asked Alexa earlier this week who was playing in the Super Bowl, she responded, somewhat monotonously, " Super Bowl 49's winner is New England Patriots." "Come on, that's last year's Super Bowl," I said. "Even I can do better than that." At the time, I was actually alone in my living room.
 
 

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New cloud storage options for Office mobile and Office Online - Office Blogs

Today, we're making Office even easier for customers to use with cloud storage providers by adding real-time co-authoring with Office Online for documents stored in partner cloud services, extending our Office for iOS integration to all partners in the CSPP, and enabling integration between Outlook.com and cloud storage providers Dropbox and Box.
 
 

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Box, Dropbox users can now edit Office documents together in real time

Business users who rely on cloud storage providers like Dropbox and Box now have some improved tools in their collaboration arsenal, thanks to a set of integrations that Microsoft announced Wednesday. Starting Wednesday, Office Online users can work in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations shared inside Box, Dropbox, Citrix ShareFile and Egnyte.
 
 

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Why are the elderly ignored by the tech industry?

The tech industry needs to stop being so dunderheaded about technology for the elderly. For the past decade, the industry has been laser-focused on transforming life and work for one rocketing market segment: 25-year-olds with money. It has routinely avoided, underestimated or remained ignorant about the world's other rocketing market segment: old people and the family members who take care of them.
 
 

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The end of app stores as we know them - Inside Intercom

Uber isn't just killing the taxi industry. Its relentless approach to distribution and scale is also putting a nail in the coffin of app stores. Smart companies like Uber are rewriting the app distribution rulebook. Instead of being a bland icon lost amongst millions of others,... Read more
 
 

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The Other Kind of Traction You Need to Get Funded

One of the earliest lessons a new VC learns is about building consensus within a firm. No matter what the voting structure is in your partnership, I think every VC can think of a deal that they got completely excited about, only to have the deal crash and burn when they showed it to the rest of their team.
 
 

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Coffee may not be as bad for your heart as you might think

Drinking coffee regularly does not cause the heart to beat more, a new study has found. The findings go against previous studies which suggested that drinking coffee raises the heart rate, and have prompted the research team to call for clinical recommendations against caffeine to be reconsidered.
 
 

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Food Testing Start-Up Looks to Stand Out With a New Wrinkle

Nothing unnerves consumers more and drives them away from a restaurant, food or beverage faster than a flurry of headlines about people being sickened by dreaded bacteria like E. coli or listeria. Just ask Chipotle Mexican Grill, which has been scrambling to recover from a multistate E.
 
 

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Every Imaginable Damn Startup Podcast Reviewed

As a long-distance commuter, I listen to a LOT of podcasts. And given the explosion in podcasts on tech startups, it's hard to keep track of them all. There really isn't a good discovery source, although Product Hunt and The Podcast Wire come closest. So here's the survey we've been missing.
 
 

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