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How Can a 'Tech President' Be So Tech-Backward?
June 16, 2014
Like a lot of people in tech, I was really excited to see President Obama get elected. It seemed like he got technology, and he used it brilliantly in two campaigns. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to use it well in actually running the government. From the Affordable Health Care Act to the Veterans Administration, the Obama presidency has been a tale of dumb and dumber when it comes to tech.
Facebook Plunges Into Online Ad Mainstream
June 12, 2014
Facebook on Thursday announced it will soon move to interest-based advertising, almost three years after archrival Google, and well after other major players such as Yahoo and Amazon. It also will introduce "ad preferences," a tool accessible from every ad on Facebook that will explain why users were served an ad, and let them remove interests that form the basis on which that ad is served.
Conspiracy of Culture: 5 Contributors to CRM Failure
June 12, 2014
Most companies of any size have a CRM application. Every company says it wants to build great relationships with its customers. Almost as many businesses say they want to be "customer-centric." However, as any customer can tell you, the companies that attain these goals are few and far between. What is it that's keeping businesses from doing what they know they need to do? It's not one thing.
Amazon May Set Up Neighborhood Services Market
June 12, 2014
Amazon reportedly is planning to test a local marketplace that could make it a one-stop shop for local services. Those services could include anything from dog walking to a plumbing. Backed by Amazon's already established ratings and recommendations infrastructure, the service could take on sites like Yelp, Angie's List and Craigslist. It might also threaten home improvement chains.
Apple's Crucial Marketing Challenge
June 12, 2014
Apple grew from a small Microsoft competitor in the 1990s, to the tech giant of the 2000s. However, since Steve Jobs' passing a few short years ago, Apple has changed. At the same time, the industry has changed. Today, Google and Samsung offer strong competition. Apple now has to do something it never had to do before: market. Let's roll the camera back for a minute. This sounds familiar.
Google Buys Skybox in Move to Democratize Space
June 11, 2014
Google's acquisition of Skybox may be a small step for the search giant, but it could be a giant leap for the Internet. Google on Tuesday announced its intention to buy the satellite imaging startup for $500 million. The move not only would enhance Google's satellite imaging resources, but also provide it with some top talent for its blue-sky plans for space.
Free Speech vs. Internet Privacy and the 'Right to Be Forgotten'
June 10, 2014
The conventional wisdom of the Internet is that everything posted, whether on social media, a website or anywhere else, will be on the Internet forever. That conventional wisdom was just challenged successfully in a recent ruling handed down by the EU's highest court. A new conventional wisdom may arise from that ruling -- that we have a "right to be forgotten."
New Treehouse Tools Gauge Marketing Campaign Success
June 09, 2014
TreeHouse Interactive has rolled out an enhanced version of its Marketing View application, infusing it with advanced reporting and analytics features and a spruced-upped user interface. The point of the upgrades, said Erich Flynn, CEO of TreeHouse Interactive, was to provide and display all the necessary campaign-related statistics a marketer would need to judge the performance of a campaign.
Coupang's on Fire in Korea's Hot M-Commerce Climate
June 09, 2014
Sequoia Capital recently led a US$100 million round of funding for South Korean retailer Coupang, suggesting that the rapidly growing Korean e-commerce market is the hot new scene for investors looking to capitalize on a country full of mobile shoppers. Founded and run by the Korean-born, Harvard-educated Bon Kim, the site has grown to become Korea's leading online retailer.
Apple vs. Microsoft Marketing: Spark vs. Spork
June 09, 2014
During Apple's WWDC keynote event last week, it became exceedingly clear that we won't be seeing a converged iPad/MacBook device anytime soon. Unlike Microsoft, with its Surface Pro 3 effort, Apple doesn't seem at all interested in forcing iOS and OS X into a single unified operating system. In fact, Apple doesn't seem to be interested in making OS X touch-based or touch-enabled.
Cloud Providers Profit by Serving Nonprofits
June 06, 2014
One of the sure signs of a maturing company, or even an entire industry, is the ability to offer free services to nonprofit organizations in order to demonstrate benevolence. However, such charitable acts aren't just about being altruistic. As a growing number of cloud providers are discovering, there are plenty of new revenue and profit opportunities in the nonprofit sector.
Google Releases Email Encryption Tool Alpha
June 06, 2014
Google this week released the alpha version of source code for End-to-End, a Chrome browser extension that encrypts email. End-to-End uses the OpenPGP standard to encrypt, decrypt, digitally sign and verify signed messages within the browser. "We're just sharing the code today so that the community can test and evaluate it, helping us make sure that it's as secure as it needs to be," Google said.
Subscription Economy Gold: Retention
June 05, 2014
The idea of the subscription economy is not new -- at least not to anyone who's familiar with the idea of software as a service -- but it's an idea that can sneak up on businesses. Many in the SaaS space started as more traditional vendors that saw subscriptions as simply a different delivery mechanism and a way to reach customers who couldn't afford massive upfront cash layouts.
Apple Sinks Its Teeth Into Bitcoin
June 05, 2014
Apple this week updated its App Store Review Guidelines with a change that signals a loosening of its restrictive policies against bitcoin and other digital currencies. The change now allows apps to "facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions."
EU Smacks Google Upside the Head Over Right to Be Forgotten
June 05, 2014
I think the European Union often goes overboard, and I typically don't agree with its rulings. However, when the EU declared Google invaded privacy, it seemed to have struck a nerve. Countless users worldwide agreed. So, what impact will the EU have on Google with respect to a citizen's right to be forgotten? This struggle is all about protecting privacy online.
Full HD 360-Degree Camera Screams Past Kickstarter Goal
June 04, 2014
A small French team claims to have created the world's first full HD 360-degree camera -- the 360cam by Giroptic. The 360cam is currently one of the hottest Kickstarter projects, blasting past its modest $150,000 goal to rack up nearly $800,000 in crowd-based funding with 29 days to go. The 360cam is a small, portable pear-shaped device that has three 185-degree fisheye lenses mounted on the top.
John Oliver Explains 'Net Neutrality' With a Few Choice Words
June 03, 2014
Sectors of society ranging from public interest groups to Google and Facebook oppose the FCC's mid-May passage of new Net neutrality rules. However, they're going about the issue all wrong, comedian John Oliver said in a rant on Net neutrality. "The cable companies have figured out the great truth of America: If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring."
Spammers Quick to Exploit eBay Breach
June 03, 2014
If you're a spammer, big news like the recent breach of eBay's computers is like striking oil in your back yard. Spammers live for headline-grabbing events that they can use to separate gullible Web wanderers from their money, so the eBay breach is a perfect vehicle for a scam. In this case, they try to convince recipients their eBay credentials could be used to give them a criminal record.
PCI 3.0, Part 4: Documenting Your Compliance
June 03, 2014
Summer is almost here, and that means many of you probably have made significant headway laying the groundwork for your 2015 PCI audit. However, one important aspect of 3.0 preparations that doesn't always get the attention it should is documentation. If you've tackled PCI compliance in the past, this is probably an area where you'll have a few questions.
Hachette Banished to Amazon's Woodshed
June 02, 2014
Hachette -- whose best-selling authors include J.K. Rowling and James Patterson -- remains at loggerheads with Amazon over renewal of a book distribution deal between the two. The stalemate has slowed the flow of books from the publisher to the online retailer to a crawl. Negotiations have been going on for more than a month, but the snag between the companies has just recently come to light.

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