Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pew: More Consumers Use Cellphones to Make Shopping Decisions


Finding the right gift during the holiday season requires some challenging decisions, but connected consumers are taking advantage of their devices to help them shop. Nearly six in ten cell owners used their phone in a physical store to make purchasing decisions, a new study says.

The study, conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that more than half of adults used their mobile phones to call someone for advice, look up reviews or compare prices. According to Pew, more cell owners (46%) called a friend or family member compared to 27% of those who used their phone to compare costs.

Young adults ages 18-29 are much more likely to online price match and seek product…
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More About: cell phones, Mobile, Pew, shopping, smartphones, Tech



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50+ Events in Social Media, Online Marketing, PR and more


Check out the latest events to find opportunities for learning, networking and leading your industry.

More About: Events, Events Board, Feature, mashable, mashable events



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Co-founder Jeremy Allaire Will Step Down As CEO Of Brightcove, David Mendels To Take Over

Brightcove co-founder Jeremy Allaire plans to step down from his role as CEO, according to the company’s fourth quarter earnings report.

Allaire will continue to serve as the CEO during the “transition period” of the first quarter of the fiscal year, and will then become executive chairman of the board, where the company says he will “continue to be actively involved in the company’s strategic planning, product development and key customer relationships.” David Mendels, who’s currently the company’s president and chief operating officer, will take Allaire’s place as CEO.

In the earnings press release, Allaire says:

As a founder of Brightcove, I couldn’t be prouder of the company’s accomplishments over the last eight years, which has put us in a position to cross the $100 million in revenue milestone during 2013. One of the pillars of our success has been the strength of the team that we have put in place, including David Mendels, who has played a critical role in leading Brightcove’s sales, marketing and product development processes as our President and Chief Operating Officer. David is the right person to lead Brightcove into its next stage of growth and I am thrilled to have an executive with his background and experience succeeding me as CEO. I look forward to continuing to work with David.

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The BlackBerry Diaspora

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I’ve tried to avoid chiming in on BlackBerry 10 but the past few days have brought us an excellent set of reviews and assessments of the platform and, now that I’ve had the chance to play with the device first-hand, I’m ready to say it: BlackBerry did a great job, but it won’t be enough.

On the one hand, BB10 is a beautiful effort. It’s evocative of webOS and some of the best skeuomorphism I’ve seen in a long time. The swipe UI takes a while to figure out – there are few onscreen cues – but once you get the hang of it sliding around the interface isn’t hard. The built-in apps are creative and imaginatively done and the messaging, as expected, is excellent. The browser isn’t the best in terms of actually navigating full web pages, and selecting text in entry fields and other places is finicky, but overall it’s a strong debut for a new mobile OS.

And yet… the operating system is derivative and so far from the original BlackBerry OS environment that it will scare off casual BlackBerry fans. The value of a phone with a keyboard is diminished by arguably more powerful and full-featured Android phones, and iOS is a safe moneymaker for app developers.

Much has been said about the coming glut of apps and the pledges made by major developers to make software for BB10. This is fine, but Microsoft has much more money to convince developers to drop cool apps on its platform than BlackBerry and, in the end, that’s what drives adoption in untested waters. I’ve spoken to many developers who have been wined and dined by Microsoft and who, in turn, made apps for Windows Phone. The same can be said of BlackBerry, but what small dev house wants to support apps on four platforms, let alone on just Android and iOS?

Another argument hinges on security and IT. However, as any enterprise IT guy will tell you, we’re in the age of BYOD. Why run BES and an IMAP server and whatever is necessary for a small business when Google Apps does the same just as easily for a small business and other cloud services based on secure standards are available to IT fleets? I know that it isn’t all perfect – there are still plenty of hoops Mac owners have to jump through to get into secure file systems remotely and many enterprise apps aren’t available for Android or iOS but, if I’m an in-house app builder, what will I spend my time learning? It’s not BB10, especially when the boss is clamoring for a custom iOS financial dashboard she can use on a daily basis.

In short, BB10 isn’t built for the way business is done today. When RIM was in its ascendance there weren’t many options for an IT guy. You could install Exchange, sendmail, or Lotus and wait for a crash. BES was a godsend. Now that’s no longer true. 99.9% uptime is the rule, not the exception, and there are hundreds of cloud service providers that can turn a single founder into a mobile powerhouse from the comfort of her phone – her iOS phone.

There will be three players in this game and their market shares will remain fairly constant. Android will lead due to install base, iOS will come second, and Windows Phone will sit solidly as a roadblock to potential rivals. As odd as it seems right now, Microsoft is about to win a major seat at the mobile table, a seat that once belonged to BlackBerry. Windows 8 will become the norm and the new UI will become as familiar to us all as Windows XP.

The biggest problem? Blackberry fans are scattered. Years of relative stagnation have forced the company to rethink its entire strategy and, while there was once amazing value in building a great phone with a great keyboard, that time has passed. The fan who clung desperately to his Bold over the intervening years will be off-put by BB10 and countless workers forced to use BlackBerrys at their jobs have finally rattled the cage enough to be allowed to bring any phone at all to the office.

Two days ago, RIM became BlackBerry and promised the next generation of messaging smartphones to a fan base that has moved on. In March, I wonder how many of those fans will head to stores to pick up the latest from this largely irrelevant company.




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Google Glass FCC Filing Shows First Official Diagram


Details and diagrams for Google Glass just hit the FCC.

The filing -- originally discovered by the eagle eyes at Engadget -- arrives just days after the first Google Glass Foundry developer event in San Francisco.

Developers at the event were forbidden from talking to the media and had to sign an NDA to participate, so the FCC filing is our best look yet at the technical details behind the project.

SEE ALSO: Google Glass (And Sergey Brin) Ride the NYC Subway

The filing is for the Explorer Edition hardware -- which is what Google will provide to developers who pre-ordered devices at Google I/O last summer. Certification details for the Bluetooth module included this diagram:…
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The 10 Worst Super Bowl Ads of All Time


1. "Tibet" (Groupon)


What looks like a sincere plea for the plight of the Tibetan people turns out to be a crass pitch for Groupon. It was a risky attempt at humor that backfired in a major way. After an outcry against the ad, which ran in the 2011 Super Bowl, Groupon pulled the campaign a few days later.

Click here to view this gallery.


While most advertisers rise to the occasion and produce at least serviceable ads that are designed to run before 100 million or so people, a surprising number of them belly flop.

That's not such a bad thing. Too much caution with your Super Bowl ad and you have nothing but boring, formulaic pap. Try too hard to copy the winning ads of last year and you wind up looking too derivative.

SEE ALL SUPER BOWL COVERAGE HERE

However, there are cases where you'd think somewhere down the line someone in the room might have said, "No, seriously you want to run this?" but no one did. That's the head-scratching conclusion behind this list of some of the worst Super Bowl ads of all time. Note we…
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More About: Advertising, features, mashable, Super Bowl ads, Super Bowl Ads Series



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Watch Beyonce Stunningly Address Her Lip-Syncing Controversy


Beyonce opened her press conference about the Super Bowl halftime show with a performance of the national anthem and finished by asking, "Any questions?"

More About: beyonce, celebrities, Entertainment, Music, Super Bowl



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This Gadget Can Charge a MacBook and iPad Anywhere on the Planet


Charging iPad and MacBook Pro at the same time




Photo by Mashable/Charlie White

Click here to view this gallery.


Traveling is tough, especially when you can't find enough outlets to charge your MacBook and iPad at the same time. PlugBug World comes to the rescue, incorporating itself into the top of the MacBook Pro charger, and letting you plug in up to five different types of electrical outlets around the world.

The $44.99 PlugBug World from Twelve South can handle any device that charges using a USB port, not just those from Apple. You can configure the PlugBug as a stand-alone USB charger with enough power to charge up your iPad.

Or you can connect it to your MacBook charger and use one outlet to charge both MacBook and any other device that uses USB to charge. This is especially important fo…
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More About: accessories, chargers, ipad, Macbook Pro



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12 Cats That Don’t Want to Star in Your Stupid Vine


Finding actors to star in your six-seconds of Vine movie magic can be challenging. Crafting brilliance in a few quick moments requires an enchanting star. Unfortunately, you're probably just Vining from your futon without access to a Hollywood Rolodex.

SEE ALSO: Vine Mania! 10 Creative Vines on Twitter

While it might be tempting to let your cat play the leading lady, don't bother because she's not interested. She has a full schedule packed with sleeping, coughing up hairballs and ignoring you. Well, wait -- maybe cats are more like starlets than we thought.

First vine post! Add me on vine.co #cat #face #bowtie vine.co/v/bJMM3diZFbw— Xtian Bretz (@xtianbretz) January 28, 2013
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More About: cats, cute animals, Vine, Watercooler



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SXSW 2013 Film Lineup Highlights Digital Culture


The 2013 SXSW feature film lineup was announced on Thursday and amongst the big name premieres are a number of projects that speak directly to digital audiences and communities.

From documentary focusing on the history of Napster, a profile of Improv Everywhere and Shakespeare performed by the Whedonverse, 109 films will screen at SXSW between March 8-16, 2013.

We've perused the full film lineup and here are some of the titles we'll be watching at SXSW 2013:

Downloaded
Director: Alex Winter
A documentary that explores the rise and fall of Napster and the birth of the digital revolution. It's about the teens that helped start this revolution, and the artists and industries who…
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More About: downloaded, napser, sxsw, sxsw 2013, sxswi



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Amazon’s Home Page Comes Back After Outage


Amazon's homepage, amazon.com, was unreachable for around an hour. During the outage, a user trying to reach the online store's main page would only see a white page with the message: "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable."

On the other hand, navigating directly to other pages on the website, like Amazon Books, worked perfectly. It's not clear what was causing the outage, and Amazon hasn't responded to requests for comment yet. We'll update this story as soon as we have more information.

One of many Twitter accounts linked to Anonymous has claimed responsibility, although there is no way of confirming if this is indeed an hacktivist DDoS attack.

This is what happens amazon when you support…
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