Twitter is reconstructing it’s music department. And sources are saying the music app will be sacrificed. It’s not clear when, but enjoy the app while you still can. But according to?the stats I’m reading, not a lot of people are enjoying this free app. Twitter was one of Apple’s top 10 ranked free apps. Now, as of the weekend of October 19, it’s ranked 264. Insiders say there was a lot of dysfunction about how Twitter Music was built and around the team that built it. Kevin Thau, one of the lead developers for this app, left for a start-up called Jelly?almost immediately after the app was launched. From what I’ve been reading, they don’t even know how they’re going to reconstruct their music program. They don’t even know how to shut this Twitter music app down. I hope I’m reading wrong.
In the mid-90s, the R&B group TLC had a hit called ‘Waterfalls’. One lyric said, “Stick to the rivers that you’re used to.” Maybe Twitter should take that advice. It’s great social media; that is for what it was built to do. I say when you take the music app down, don’t bother reconstruction a new one. Put that effort in making your core project better. I’ve read some comments saying people didn’t even know Twitter had a music app. That tells me this app wasn’t properly advertised. People can easily get music from plenty of other sources, but there’s only one place a person can tweet. Let’s just stick with that. Did you know a Twitter app even existed?
Between October 25 and November 1, 2013, these 2 devices will be debuting in over 25 countries. On October 25, they will make their debut in nations like Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Russia,Spain, South Korea and Thailand and other European countries. On November 1, they’ll make their presence known in Columbia, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Eremites, and other nations in South America and the Middle East. You can’t deny the positives Apple 5C and 5S, like the colors and design. They’re trying to push new features too, like free Internet radio. Prices will range from $99-$399, depending on the model. For example, a 32 GB model will run someone $399, while someone buying a 16 GB model can expect to pay $299. And of course there’s the new security craze, the Touch ID Scan.
About that touch ID craze: they’ve already proven it’s hackable. Whether it’s as hackable as a password system is, I guess only time will tell. As this become knowledge, they will put a lot of lackluster into these 5C and 5S products. Also, keep in mind many of these companies are in financial turmoil, even more so than the US. I read the unemployment rate in Spain and Greece are in the twenty percentage range. Portugal’s is in the mid-upper teen range. But also keep in mind Apple is the most valued brand in the world right now. So for a brand like Apple, people will scrape and scrap for this smartphone. So I guess numbers overseas could go either way. How do you think Apple 5C and 5S will do in these nations?
First there was the Facebook social media site. Then came the Facebook based movie. Then came the Facebook phone, or should I say, there came and went the Facebook phone. How would you like to live in a Facebook apartment?
In Menlo Park, CA, the heart of Silicon Valley, Facebook is putting up a community condo. This condo will be mostly for Facebook employees; only 15 units will be open for non-employees. This community will be called Anton Melo. The community is expected to cost $120 million to build, have 394 units, exceed 630,000 sq. foot and be close to Facebook headquarters where they work. These first class facilities will include: an outdoor pool, cafe, convenient store, sports bar, pet spa, bike repair shop, gym with personal trainers, and an entertainment area. That’s all just on the property!
My reactions to this are mixed. On one hand, the San Franciso/Oakland/Silicon Valley area is one of the most expensive areas in America. So I can see how living in this community would ease that burden. You gotta admit, you can’t beat the commute to work. It does beat fighting traffic. If you don’t believe that, come in live in my city for a while. I guess it would build up community among the Facebook work community. These are best case scenarios. Let’s look at the worst. Look at how everything is in this facility. Yes it’s convenient, maybe a little too much. It’s so convenient people may not even want to leave. Or is that the plan all along? What if an employee quits, gets fired or laid off? If they have their own place, at least they have that. In this case, they’ll lose it all. And socially, well you can make great friendships in communities like this. Nonetheless, just the opposite can be true. I remember living on campus in college, where people who couldn’t stand each other had to see each other daily. That situation was like watching a powder keg that eventually exploded, and everyone around knew it was going to. Anton Melo has it’s good and bad points. If your job offered a community like Anton Melo, would you live there?
In the last few days, we’ve learned more about the National Security Agency. And believe me, it’s more than any of us want to know, yet it’s what we need to know.
According to certain news articles, they’ve put together a sophisticated graphing system that can identify who our friends are, where we’re traveling, who we’re traveling with, and other personal information. They use phone calls and emails to graph where the person and going and who they’re associating with in the name of foreign intelligence. They can get the info from social media sites, banking systems, GPS systems, even from voter registration rolls. Of course, The NSA declined to comment on how many Americans were spied on with this system. They didn’t say if anybody doing wrong was ever caught because of this graphing system.? Here’s something else I learned: as early as 1979, the US Supreme Court ruled Americans shouldn’t expect privacy when it came to phone calls and numbers.
But just when you think you have the right answers, the questions change again. If rulings against privacy were around in the ’70s, it makes me wonder how long this has been going on? Or did the current NSA see this ruling and take advantage of it? Are you aware due to RFID technology, you can be tracked anywhere? Remember the new passports that started being issued in the mid 2000s? Those passports have RFID tracking devices in them. That’s right! When you go overseas, they can find out where you are with a flip of a computer. I wish I could be naive and say, “They’re only doing this to the bad guys”. But when you think about what we’ve learned so far this year, can we really say that?
China is one of the fastest growing powerhouses today on the world stage. But it’s also notorious for censorship. But that’s changing…somewhat.
The Chinese government is lifting the ban on social media sites Twitter and? Facebook…that is, if you’re in the Shanghai free trade zone. Hong Kong is already a free trade zone, so they already enjoy these freedoms. The three big state owned communication companies gave little or no complaint as the ruling came down. The social media ban started in 2009. But lots has changed, like revolutionary protests caught on camera in the Middle East. Heaven forbid if that kind of instability happens in China. Think it can’t happen? Well, I read it has one of the biggest economic gaps in the world. And who remembers Tienanmen Square back in 1989?
This is a huge step for China economically. It’s mighty difficult to grow globally when foreign traders can’t even get a hold of you due to censorship. One anonymous Chinese official said this. “If they can’t get onto Facebook or read the New York Times, they may naturally wonder how the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China.” And note that Hong Kong and Shanghai are the top tourist friendly areas in China.
But these free trade zones only represent a small percentage of the Chinese land and Chinese people. The Shanghai free trade zone is less than 29 square kilometers. Think about how big the Chinese populous is. There is talk that social media bans will be lifted throughout the country in the next several years. These are great steps in the right direction, but I think more needs to be done. If they’re going to continue to shine economically, they need to open up social media and cut down censorship for all. But it’s more than that. Think of the message they would send socially and globally if every Chinese citizen have the exact same freedoms we in the USA take for granted? Isn’t that even more important?
The 65th annual Emmy awards aired last night, honoring the best in television during the last 12 months. There were lots of surprises. But there was one moment that 10 years ago would have been impossible.
The drama House of Cards won an Emmy last night. It’s director, David Fincher, took home best directing for a drama series. What makes this unique is House of Cards can only be seen online on Netflix. This is the first time in history an exclusively online show won an Emmy. They also won for cinematography and creative arts. Those two were given in a private ceremony, but Fincher’s award was given during the show, putting this tremendous feat on a public national forum. Keep in mind House of Cards was nominated for 9 Emmys, and that Nelflix has over 30 million streamers, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
This is a great sign for online entertainment. And Netflix isn’t the only one. I saw a report on CBS This Morning talked about the rise of You Tube shows. I heard one You Tube producer say he wouldn’t put his program on mainstream TV unless they made him a huge offer, due to the creative freedoms You Tube gives him. You can get Netflix for a little as eight dollars a month. That beats what a lot of cable companies right now. I heard some families are hooking up their computers to their big screen TVs not to watch prime time TV, but You Tube channels! And now an exclusive Netflix show is getting Emmy awards and this kind of recognition? Is streaming online entertainment the future of visual TV?