In response to Netflix‘s exclusive programming featuring their hit series House of Cards, Amazon announced in March 2013 that they were creating a Zombieland pilot. On April 19, 2013 they released Amazon Original Series as fourteen original pilots available free to Amazon Prime members. Users vote on their favorites and Amazon will likely produce two winners as full series. I share my thoughts on House of Cards and two of the Amazon pilots: Those Who Can’t and Betas. Follow-up from Episode 14. P.S. Downton Abbey fans, by the end of 2013, Prime Instant Video will be the only paid streaming service to offer Downton Abbey. Hulu Plus and Netflix are out.
Google Now comes to iOS. Available since July 2012 for some Android users, Apple device owners now have access to the clairvoyant Google Now by signing into one’s Google account in the free Google app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
The nascent Google Now is a more predictive digital assistant in ways that Siri can’t compete. Because Google records its users’ actions in all of its products (from web search to Maps to Gmail to Google+ and more) it has access to massive amounts of data and can triangulate personal information, behavior patterns, calendar events, contacts and more. There is major potential for Google Now. Some users have concerns over privacy issues. But personally, I’m happy to benefit from the data I’m already sharing with Google in exchange for predictive, personalized assistance. How will Apple and Facebook compete?
Instagram app update: 5/3/13: Now you can tag other Instagram users in photos like you tag friends in Facebook photos. Tags must be approved.
Best Brands on Twitter: Social Media startup Nestivity released their list of the top 25 most engaged brands on Twitter – we look at the top 10 and why they are successful.
About the List:
Brands were selected based on the results of a study that examined how brands cultivate relationships with influencers, customers, and advocates on Twitter.
Primarily using push marketing on Twitter doesn’t work (obviously)
Conducted by Evolve Capital Inc. (private equity firm) and UCLA Anderson School of Management, the study looked at the top 100 most-followed brands on Twitter, analyzing over 739,000 tweets over one month.
Significant: study was backed by a private equity/venture capital fund. Investors are paying attention and putting money into researching the success of brands on Twitter. Investor attention is often a barometer of the times; the players who have a major say in the lifespan and ultimate success of companies and industries are making a real connection between brand engagement on Twitter and a company’s bottom line.
High follower count also did not necessarily equate with an engaged audience: “While all of the 25 most engaged Twitter accounts had over a million followers, so did the bottom 70% of the same.”
76% of content that was shared (RT’d) had a photo attached, and 18% had a video.
Top 10 Brands on Twitter:
Notebook of Love
Chelsea Football Club
BBC Breaking News
CNN Breaking News
Tips on Tap:
Twitter Keyboard Shortcuts: M = new direct message N= new tweet R = reply T = retweet GR = Mentions GH = Home GM – Messages . = load new tweets
Tips to resize andoptimize layout of web images:
A. Two free tools to resize web images: Picresize and Resize Your Image
B. When resizing, choose small file sizes: Upload a PNG or JPG not too much larger than your desired image size. Choose PNG or JPG over BMP as the file format. Your site load times will benefit.
B. Have subjects (people, animals, products, etc.) facing in toward the block of text instead of outward and away from the text.
Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones Sex sells. This thermoplastic skin slips on and stretches to fit and protect your iPhone 4/4s/5 or Galaxy S3. Water-resistant plastic wraps retain touchscreen and call functionality and 98% camera clarity. Note that neither headphones nor cables can be used with Smartskin. Up to three uses per tab/pack. Smartskin from Firebox costs $18.50.
Emily’s app recommendation for recording a podcast on iPad: Voice Record Pro (free app to record unlimited length with conversion to MP3 and share to Dropbox, Google Drive, soundcloud, email, Facebook etc.)
Lucky episode 15 of The Digital Dive Podcast covers the Center for Internet Security’s new Copyright Alert System, an ISP-backed online piracy crackdown effort, plus Microsoft’s launch of Outlook.com email which could wage war on Gmail.
I. The 6 Strikes Copyright Alert System – MPAA Got Time For That
The Copyright Alert System – A collaboration between the Center for Copyright Information, the MPAA, RIAA, and Internet service providers aimed at curbing illegal downloads of copyrighted content. Watch the CAS Process video.
What it means for users, peer to peer downloads, online piracy, and your home Internet account status and speed. Remember, email and Dropbox etc. are safe from the CAS monitoring. However, MPAA and RIAA got time for that when it’s P2P.
If you are a user of Hotmail, MSN or other Microsoft email services you will (if you haven’t already) notice a major change: When you sign in, you’re sent to a new service called Outlook.com.
“Outlook? As in what I use at work?” Yes. But Microsoft is now adapting the Outlook brand for personal, web-based email services as well. It’s part of a broad makeover that includes the company’s overhaul of the Windows operating system and the Office software suite. Office.com is set to rival Google Drive, and with the other fully integrated features of Microsoft Outlook and Office on the web:
Outlook.com is a challenge to Gmail in several ways, including these touted benefits:
Email content will not be used to target ads (something many users don’t like about Gmail)
Outlook integrates with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter
Users can alternate email addresses without signing up for additional accounts
Customizable filters like “shipping updates”
Clear the trash can and still have a chance to recover deleted emails from the server
Tips on Tap
Slice – this free app “keeps track of what you buy, effortlessly” using your email inbox. Slice tracks your shipments, online orders, and triggers alerts when items you have recently purchased go on sale. For iPhone, Android, and web.
Blackl.com – a “green” search engine powered by Google, Blackl is essentially Google search in your browser on a black background. AMOLED screens use a lot less power displaying black instead of white. (AMOLED = Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode, the technology used in most smartphone screens.)
How to Evade the Copyright Alert System (CAS): The most obvious solution: Stream, don’t download. Jared Moya offers four more workarounds including Usenet, upgrading your residential account to a business account, and using a VPN. – zeropaid.com, 2/26/13
I. Kindle Fire HD vs. iPad 2
I am a longtime Apple fan. Listen to my surprising review of my newest device: Kindle Fire HD Tablet. Find out how it measures up against my beloved iPad 2.
II. Mobile in 2013
As we turn the corner into the New Year, we share our predictions for the mobile industry in 2013.
III. Fake Online Reviews
Bogus online reviews are becoming an area of increasing concern as more and more studies reveal just how prevalent they’ve become. We explain how to spot a fake review. Gartner predicts that by 2014, 10-15% of online reviews will be paid for by companies.
Tips on Tap
This highly acclaimed app works as a shopping tool that allows you to scan barcodes while shopping to compare costs at nearby locations and online. redlaser.com
3. How to Hide Your Last Name on Foursquare
Emily and Melanie are embroiled with their technology this week:
The Death of the English Language?–
Is internet/text slang (tech-speak) destroying English as we know it, or is it part of a natural progression toward more efficient communication?
U decide who’s rite: Melanie Embracing Change or Crotchety Hoverboard Granny Em.
Google Shopping– Melanie sounds off on the degradation of Google Shopping. What’s worse– that Google Shopping replaced natural search results with paid ones, or the terrible excuse they’ve given for doing so? Why Etsy sellers and small businesses will lose.
The Notorious Apple Maps– Not since Antennagate has Apple made such a blunder in user experience. Get ready for a lot of u-turns.
Tips on Tap:
1. iPhone Texting Shortcuts
2. VoterHub – voter information and social network website and app
3. Gmail tip: Send mail as multiple non-Gmail email accounts without the pesky “On Behalf Of” giveaway.