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Archive for the month “March, 2014”

38 Gifted Poets on Twitter

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April marks the 18th annual National Poetry Month, a 30-day celebration of poets and poetry established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Every year, schools, organizations and individuals take advantage of this time to create a dialogue around poetry’s cultural importance.

To get you geared up for a month of verse appreciation, we’ve rounded up a list of poets you should follow on Twitter. Poets use the social platform in a variety of exciting ways, whether it’s to promote poems, disperse literary news or just as extensions of their personalities.

More about Twitter, Entertainment, Social Media, Features, and Literature

Via: Social Media

‘Breaking Bad’ Meets ‘Street Fighter’ In Ultimate Match Up

In a battle of strength and street cred, who is tougher: Jesse Pinkman of “Breaking Bad” or Ryu of “Street Fighter”? It’s an unlikely match-up, but on the Internet, anything’s possible.

U.K. animator Junior Jesman has paid tribute to Street Fighter and “Breaking Bad” by creating an awesome battle video that brings together the best of worlds. Pinkman’s got magnets and money on his side, but is that enough to combat Ryu’s crazy-strong Hadouken move?

tv show gifs

Check out the ultimate match-up to see who’s really the king of the streets.

Source: Technology – The Huffington Post

Social Media Updates from the Huffington Post

  • We all sometimes wonder about a world that might have been. Here are some bogus headlines to help us along in that fruitless endeavor. Read more: Iphone, Television, Baseball, Zombies, April Fools Day, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Facebook, Ukraine, Movies, Comedy News #
  • Social media is one of the most misunderstood marketing tools in use today. Misconceptions regarding proper usage, campaigns and associated KPIs are constantly referenced as a proof that social works–or, conversely, that it is a complete waste of time. Read more: Social Media, Business, Jay Baer, Social Media Manager, Business News #
  • I’m sitting on the terrace of my hotel room overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem… the mid-afternoon Adhan can be clearly heard coming from the Musl… Read more: Smartphones, Technology, Facebook, Android, Kids, Middle East, Middle East Peace, Technology News #
  • #ForYourSelfie is a project dedicated to reestablishing the selfie as a tool for change, and we want you to help us. By reclaiming the selfie, we can achieve a few different goals. The first? Redefine beauty. Read more: Foryourselfie, Social Good, Social Media, Selfies, Good News, Beauty, Good News News #

Source: Social Media on Huffington Post

Consumers Save $2.5 Billion A Year If A ‘Kill Switch’ Stops Phone Thefts, Study Finds

Consumers could save an estimated $2.5 billion each year if proposed “kill switch” technology significantly reduced smartphone thefts nationwide, according to a new study.

The analysis by William Duckworth, a statistics professor at Creighton University, estimates that consumers spend about $500 million each year replacing stolen phones and around $2 billion each year buying premium cell phone insurance through wireless carriers.

Introducing a kill switch feature that allowed victims to disable their stolen devices could virtually eliminate phone thefts because criminals would no longer have an incentive to steal them, law enforcement officials say.

If phone thefts were no longer a concern, more than half of smartphone owners say they would buy less expensive phone insurance coverage from third parties like Apple or SquareTrade that doesn’t cover theft or loss, according to a small survey of 1,200 smartphone owners Duckworth conducted along with his analysis.

“If theft becomes a non-issue then only the most paranoid person would pay the extra money for premium insurance to cover theft,” Duckworth said in an interview.

His survey also found that 99 percent of respondents were in favor of having a kill switch feature on their phones.

Duckworth’s analysis comes as the smartphone industry faces increased pressure to reduce the rising number of thefts. About 1.6 million phones were stolen in the United States in 2012, according to Consumer Reports.

Legislation requiring that every phone sold in the United States feature a kill switch has been introduced in both houses of Congress, but no votes have yet taken place.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have also pressed manufacturers to introduce stricter anti-theft technology. Phone robberies have become increasingly violent, with several murders taking place across the country.

“In addition to saving lives, the common sense theft deterrent features we have been advocating for will also help save consumers money,” Gascon and Schneiderman said in a joint statement about Duckworth’s study.

“Manufacturers and carriers need to put public safety before corporate profits and stop this violent epidemic, which has put millions of smartphone users at risk,” they said.

The CTIA, the wireless industry trade group, did not respond to a request for comment about the study. The group has opposed a kill switch in the past, arguing that a hacker could exploit the feature to shut down the phones of consumers or law enforcement officials.

Gascon, however, has argued that the industry has opposed a kill switch because reducing phone thefts could hurt their profits from selling phone insurance. The top four carriers earned an estimated $7.8 billion last year in insurance premiums from their customers, according to Warranty Week, an industry trade publication.

The major wireless carriers offer cell phone insurance through a third-party provider called Asurion, which pays them for each policy they sell.

In an emailed statement, Asurion spokesperson Bettie Colombo said company data shows Duckworth’s analysis, which partly relies on statistics from Consumer Reports, underestimates the number of phones stolen each year. [Duckworth says he did not have access to insurance company data.]

Colombo also said about 60 percent of insurance claims are due to lost phones, which can’t be prevented by a kill switch “and still results in tremendous cost for the consumer without appropriate coverage.”

“Asurion has no objection to properly implemented kill switch technology,” Colombo said, but added, “there is no solution that will totally eliminate the theft of smartphones as there are other values in the black-market for the phones, such as parts.”

Phone insurance plans typically cost between $7 and $11 per month, and require consumers to pay deductibles as high as $200 for a replacement phone — which is often refurbished, not new. Asurion also doesn’t guarantee customers will receive the same model as the one they lost.

Last year, Apple responded to the growing pressure from law enforcement by announcing a new security feature that the company said would allow consumers to render their devices useless once stolen. Apple’s new Activation Lock was introduced in September.

Law enforcement officials say it is too soon to determine whether the feature is effective at reducing iPhone thefts. Other smartphone manufacturers have yet to introduce new anti-theft measures.

Meanwhile, thefts of smartphones and other mobile devices increased in several major cities again in 2013, including New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

Source: Technology – The Huffington Post

Teen’s Science Fair Font Project Could Save Government Millions

What began as a middle-school student’s science fair project could save the federal government millions of dollars — and all it would require is a switch to a different font.

Fourteen-year-old Suvir Mirchandani has adapted his sixth-grader science fair project from Dorseyville Middle School in Pittsburgh — a study of the cost savings incurred by switching the font in his school’s paper handouts — to show exactly how much money the bigwigs in Washington, D.C., could save if they followed suit.

Spoiler alert: It’s a lot.

His project showed that switching the school’s paper font from Times New Roman to Garamond would save his school about $21,000 a year in ink costs. Spurred on by a teacher, Mirchandani submitted his research to the Journal of Emerging Investigators, which publishes the work of high school and middle-school students, CNN reported.

The journal’s editors encouraged Suvir to see if the font switch would result in similar savings for the U.S. government, which according to the Office of Management and Budget has an estimated $1.8 billion printing budget for 2014.

“We were so impressed,” Dr. Sarah Fankhauser, the journal’s founder, told Forbes. “We really could see the real-word application in Suvir’s paper.”

Suvir tested his font theory with five documents from the Government Printing Office (GPO) and concluded that switching the government documents’ fonts from Times New Roman and Century Gothic (used on all government documents) exclusively to the more space-efficient Garamond would greatly cut costs in ink expenditure for both state and federal governments. The font point size remained the same in the study. He predicts the federal government would save roughly $136 million a year, and state agencies could collectively save up to $234 million annually.

suvir mirchandani font project

The GPO in recent years has reduced its reliance on printed documents and is working to continue the switch to digital, Suvir told CNN he’s confident his proposal is still relevant.

“They can’t convert everything to a digital format,” he said. “Not everyone is able to access information online. Some things still have to be printed.”

Source: Technology – The Huffington Post

This Chain Reaction Of 150 Mousetraps Is A Lesson In Pain (VIDEO)

Every good experiment starts with a question and a hypohethesis. That’s the scientific method! So here’s to The Slow Mo Guys for posing this important question:

Question: On a scale of “ow” to “OWWWWWW,” just how painful would it be for a human arm to come into contact with a chain reaction of 150 mousetraps?

Hypothesis: It would be pretty painful.

Results:

Just check out the video above (top) to see the whole procedure in super slow-motion.

And if you’d like to know more about the physics of mousetraps, see Drexel University’s helpful mousetrap page.

Source: Technology – The Huffington Post

10 Things Most Exceptional CIOs Never Do

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The list below is from over two decades of observations in first, second and third person. Before publishing I asked over 50 Fortune 1000 CIOs and CTOs to review and comment; their feedback is included.

At the core of everything below is going against the grain and the herd, and embracing counter intuition. Whether you embrace counter intuition systematically, or selectively, most of the items below are suggesting in their cognitive DNA counter-intuitive thinking.

  1. They do not try to define innovation – It’s difficult to define innovation, and if you do define innovation it means that you will set up a single process to do or capture it the way you define it. Wrong — most exceptional technology leaders learn that innovation comes in many flavors, inside-out, outside-in, evolutionary and revolutionary. If you define it you have one process, if you do not, you learn there are many processes needed to do or capture the many types of innovation.
  2. They never have secret projects – The knee-jerk reaction is to have little secret projects, or “black ops” type projects. Exceptional technology leaders will tell you that you need to do innovative projects in the open, allow folks to see, smell and marvel in its artistry. What you want is for everyone to copy the behavior of the few innovating. If you lock them in a secret room, no one knows, and no innovative behavior gets copied.
  3. They are never surprised by failure – Certain percentage of technology projects fail, it is the nature of the beast. Exceptional technology leaders set these expectations for failure with their operating committees, and investment governance stewards early in the process. When failure happens, it is never a surprise; it is usually “well that one falls in our failure bucket we prepared for“.
  4. They never start projects themselves – Folks that want/try to build a prototype usually struggle to wow business stakeholders. This is because you have to get the business stakeholders involved before you can build anything. Some leaders I know do not even draw a project in PowerPoint before engaging the customer. Every project is started by the customer, whether on the customer’s own conscious accord, or the customer unconsciously prompted (but technology leadership) to do so.
  5. They resist the need for PMO – Certain processes in large organizations do not thrive with the presence of the project police, while others do. Most exceptional leaders I consulted agreed that a PMO in the wrong place at the wrong time can be catastrophic. Some processes need low rigor, some mild, and only some the high rigor that comes with a PMO presence.
  6. They do not break projects into phases – Large phases (one, two and three) are logical “kill points” for projects. Most projects get killed after phase one, and very frequently this is because phase one is a minimally viable product that does the least that can be done, but does it well. Two things happen, the business stakeholders see no reason to fund phase two and/or three (I mean they already saw something that kind of works), and the technology leader never gets to build phase two which would deliver efficiency; and phase three, which would create business value. So large phases leave you always delivering phase one only which unfortunately only kinda works. Have 24 phases, not three.
  7. They never worry about a target state – We can barely predict what our families will do in a year, yet we try to predict what companies of thousands of employees should be like three to five years out with a target state. Worst once there is a targets state, the “target state police” start invalidate changes to the market place and new innovations by activating the “well it does not fit into the target state” card essentially locking the company away from the world for three to five years at a time. Exceptional technology leaders create a governance culture to enable an evolving model, not a target state.
  8. They do not try to build hero products – Very rarely can you build a single product that solves all of your customers ailments in a vacuum. You cannot build standalone solutions; you have to build a product that works with others. The days of platforms with stocks of information are over; exceptional technology leaders build ecosystems with flows of information. Most folks suggested that they build as little as possible, instead they orchestrate like a maestro of other products instead of a builder of a hero product.
  9. They never wait on innovation – Exceptional technology leaders do not wait to see what happens to new innovations, they disdain being a fast follower, they are habitually enterprise early adopters. They buy innovation commercially (and many times invest in the startups) early in the innovation cycle and way left of the theory of diffusion of innovation bell curve. Waiting to see what happens to an innovation means paying more for it, and being late to the party.
  10. They do not read leadership books – There are almost a million books on leadership available for purchase on Amazon.com. All noise, an echo chamber if I may. Exceptional leaders systematically and pragmatically go against the status quo. They thrive in counter intuition. As technology commoditizes, the herd gets larger and larger, go in the opposite direction.

Do you have others to add?

What are some of the traits you see in exceptional technology leaders?

Source: Technology – The Huffington Post

Candy Crush Brings Inflated IPO Market Back To Earth

By Nicola Leske

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In the weeks leading up to the IPO of King Digital Entertainment, the company’s bankers scrambled to persuade investors that the maker of popular online game “Candy Crush Saga” was more than a one-trick pony, according to a source familiar with the situation.

As the debut approached this week, the bankers’ job only got harder. On Tuesday, Facebook Inc said it would pay $2 billion for Oculus VR, a two-year-old virtual reality startup that has yet to put a product on the market. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the deal as the social media giant’s desire to bet on “the platforms of tomorrow.”

But for some investors, the deal brought back memories of the Internet boom and bust in 1998-2001, where profitability and other financial fundamentals of companies took the back seat to a raging fad about anything with a dotcom identity, according to the source.

Bankers underwriting King Digital’s offering had to call in favors with investors who had received large allocations in previous successful IPOs, the source said. As a result, King Digital priced the offering at the mid-point of its range of $21 to $24. But its shares tanked in Wednesday’s debut, falling 16 percent and fell further on Thursday and Friday. King Digital could not be reached immediately for comment.

Wall Street bankers are now looking at the disappointing opening as a sign that investors are getting more cautious about the IPO market, especially when it comes to technology and biotechnology stocks. Although bankers said companies waiting in the wings so far seemed to want to forge ahead with their IPO plans, the realization is likely to moderate expectations on the size of offerings and valuations.

“You realize that people are going to be a little bit more cautious. You realize that the valuation needs to be reflective of that cautiousness,” said Sam Kendall, global head of equity capital markets at UBS AG.

That would mark a sharp turning point for the IPO market, in which investors have been fed a steady diet of new public offerings this year from companies yet to turn a profit. More than 50 IPOs have priced in 2014, and two-thirds of those are unprofitable, according to Renaissance Capital, an IPO investment advisor.

Still, companies that have gone public this year have seen their shares rise 33 percent on average from their offer prices, according to Dealogic.

NEXT TEST

“The market has gotten ahead of itself, and you’re seeing a pause in speculation, especially for biotech and some of these new tech names,” said Eric Green, senior portfolio manager and director of research at Penn Capital Management in Philadelphia, which oversees $7.5 billion.

“Other issues, like Ukraine or whatever, end up being an excuse to take money off the table, but the fundamentals behind these companies haven’t changed, just the valuations over them. Those are coming back to earth,” he added.

The next test for the market could come as early as next week, when a series of technology companies are due to list, including online food delivery service Grubhub.com, healthcare IT company IMS health, and software maker Five9.

Bankers said the investor caution is more of a correction rather than a sign that the market was shutting down for new offerings.

While investor worries about frothy valuations is giving pause to some companies in the technology and biotech sectors, companies in other industries are still forging ahead, betting that there will be enough demand for their stock.

In financial services, for example, the U.S. Treasury announced plans to sell nearly 23 percent of Ally Financial Inc through an initial public offering to raise as much as $2.66 billion.

One source familiar with the situation said by buying Ally investors would pay for “a value story,” unlike “the growth story” sold in technology and biotech IPOs.

Still, both the Treasury and Ally would have liked to be able to sell the entire government stake in the bank in one go, sources have previously said. The Treasury will still be left with a stake in the bailed-out bank after the IPO.

A spokesman for the U.S. Treasury and a spokeswoman for Ally declined to comment.

Separately, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday that aircraft lessor Avolon was preparing for an IPO this year as it looked to take advantage of a recent boom in aircraft finance, driven by an expectation that air travel will continue to grow.

Even in the technology sector, bankers said companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the Chinese e-commerce company, are likely to find sufficient demand when they come to market.

Alibaba is expected to file for a listing in the United States as early as April with IPO proceeds that could exceed $15 billion.

“All kinds of industries have been represented in IPOs, but it’s the splashy Internet ones that have been in the news,” said John Carey, portfolio manager at Pioneer Investment Management in Boston, which has about $220 billion in assets under management.

“People are exercising caution, and I’d be more concerned if they were willing to pay anything at all,” Carey added. “If demand was robust for anything that came down the pike, that would trouble me.”

(Additional reporting by Peter Rudegeair and Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Paritosh Bansal, Martin Howell)

Source: Technology – The Huffington Post

Mozilla Hires Anti-Gay CEO

Earlier this week Brendan Eich, the co-founder of the Mozilla Foundation and creator of the JavaScript language, was named the new CEO of the company. Back in 2008, Eich personally donated $1,000 in support of California’s Prop 8, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in the state.

So now the question becomes: Should a man who openly opposes gay marriage — and even donates money in an attempt to deny basic human rights — be the face of an entire corporation that, among other things, provides Internet service to more than a billion people?

Two Mozilla developers say no. They have chosen to boycott Mozilla upon hearing the news that Eich would be CEO. They are taking the apps they have built off the market, will not develop any more, and refuse to update existing apps.

“As a gay couple who were unable to get married in California until recently, we morally cannot support a Foundation that would not only leave someone with hateful views in power, but will give them a promotion and put them in charge of the entire organization,” says Hampton Catlin on his blog.

My opposition to the hiring of Eich comes down to the fact that as CEO, he represents the people and policies of Mozilla. Even though opposing gay marriage is a personal view politically, actively promoting the idea that two people who love each other cannot marry does not sound like equality. His actions and beliefs shape the company and its image. To me, Eich isn’t only bigoted but a man who feels it is his right to dictate how others should live their lives. And a person like that should never be in charge. Never.

Source: Technology – The Huffington Post

Joe Budden, Hip Hop Artist, Posts Anti-Sikh Photo On Instagram, Twitter Reacts

Joe Budden, an American rapper and member of the hip hop group Slaughterhouse, is receiving some social media attention, and it’s not because of his music.

On Friday, Twitter user Fateh Singh (@FatedDOE) posted a photo he came across on Budden’s Instagram account depicting a man wearing a turban and standing in an airport security line. Budden’s accompanying caption read, “Not on my watch Homeboy!”

Racism and ignorance at its finest @JoeBudden pic.twitter.com/LgDwfBbY9l

— Fateh Singh (@FatehDOE) March 28, 2014

Many Twitter users joined in the dialogue, expressing their anger over Budden’s photo.

.@JoeBudden fails to understand that “stereotypical terrorist” jokes have gotten innocent sikhs killed, post 9/11, purely off of ignorance

— Raginder ‘Violinder’ (@Violinder) March 28, 2014

PLEASE RETWEET: Tell Rapper @JoeBudden: Posting a picture of Indian Sikh man insinuating he’s a terroist is not cool! pic.twitter.com/tNzdne3tMA

— Arsalan Iftikhar™ (@TheMuslimGuy) March 28, 2014

One user addressed Budden directly, challenging him to take a serious look at his actions.

@JoeBudden you are a human just like everyone else. Same blood runs in our veins. Your ancestors know about racism. Shouldn’t I know better?

— Jaskaran Dhanoa (@JaskaranDhanoa) March 28, 2014

Budden and Dhanoa subsequently entered into a Twitter discussion.

@JoeBudden lighten up to a racist joke? Would you lighten up if I dropped the “N” word to you? Think about it, seriously. Read ur comments b

— Jaskaran Dhanoa (@JaskaranDhanoa) March 28, 2014

@JoeBudden So that makes it OKAY to make racist jokes? Two wrongs don’t make a right Joe. C’mon man, you’re still defending your pic/cmnt?

— Jaskaran Dhanoa (@JaskaranDhanoa) March 28, 2014

@JaskaranDhanoa I’m taking off, i’ll erase it cuz I like u, ok ?! Great. ✌️

— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 28, 2014

Budden’s response may fall short of what Reddit user “european_douchebag” did after posting a mocking photo of Ohio State student and observant Sikh Balpreet Kaur. The Redditor offered an apology, saying, “Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post.”

Budden did, however, remove the post from his Instagram account, though the rapper’s publicist did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

The photo may be gone, but it appears the damage has been done.

Source: Technology – The Huffington Post

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