May 26, 2013

Google Music All Access: Should It Be Your New Streaming Service?

Google unveiled Google Play Music All Access, a subscription music and internet radio service that opens the door to millions of tracks, all intermingled with the music you already own. Sounds great, and the price is competitive, but should you ditch your current streaming service for it? Let's take a look.

What Google Music All Access Has to Offer

Google Play Music All Access is a subscription music service that opens the door to the 20 million songs that Google Play Music has to offer for a monthly fee. You can listen to or download (for offline playback) any of the millions of songs available at Google Play, get recommendations of artists to listen to or purchase based on the music you own and the music you've already listened to, and create internet radio stations based on any song anywhere at Google Play. If you really love something you hear, buy it from Google Play to own it, free and clear, with no DRM.

What makes All Access really special is its approach to streaming radio. The songs you hear are personalized, meaning they're added to your playlist based on their similarity to the artist or song you used to start the station. That's normal, but what's really special is that you can peek at the songs coming up in the playlist, and swipe away any that you already know you'd rather not hear. You can even drag and drop songs in the playlist to reorder them. If you just want to lean back and enjoy the music, you can do that too—but if a song comes up that you don't like, you can skip as many times as you like. You're not restricted to a certain number of skips per day or hour, or a certain number of hours of streaming, all of which is unusual for a streaming radio app, and what makes All Access unique.

Read more: Google Music All Access: Should It Be Your New Streaming Service?

The Growth of Crowdfunding: Risks and Rewards | Fair Observer°

The success of the "Veronica Mars" Kickstarter campaign has illustrated that crowdfunding is a reliable source of capital for both start-up businesses and established firms.

The campaign to front a movie based on the cult television show "Veronica Mars" through crowdfunding broke records for the fastest project ever to raise $1 million on Kickstarter. It was the website's biggest film project so far, and it has the most backers of any project to date.

What it probably didn't do, Wharton experts say, is throw open the doors of crowdfunding to major motion pictures. But that's OK: Crowdfunding is successfully helping entrepreneurs raise capital without the need for them to go Hollywood.

Read more: The Growth of Crowdfunding: Risks and Rewards | Fair Observer°

Restaurant learns online reviews can make or break - The Denver Post

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—It was the customer service disaster heard around the Internet.

An Arizona restaurateur, fed up after years of negative online reviews and an embarrassing appearance on a reality television show, allegedly posted a social media rant laced with salty language and angry, uppercase letters that quickly went viral last week, to the delight of people who love a good Internet meltdown.

"I AM NOT STUPID ALL OF YOU ARE," read the posting on the Facebook wall of Amy's Baking Co. in Scottsdale, Ariz. "YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW GOOD FOOD."

Read more: Restaurant learns online reviews can make or break - The Denver Post

LinkedIn looks to build on its impressive resume | Green Bay Press Gazette

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — LinkedIn and Facebook will celebrate the anniversaries of their IPOs just a few days apart this week. But their experiences as publicly traded companies couldn’t be more different.

LinkedIn Corp. promotes its service as a steppingstone to a more enriching career. As it turns out, the professional networking company’s initial public offering was a great place to start a rewarding investment portfolio, too.

LinkedIn’s stock has nearly quadrupled in value from its $45 IPO price on May 20 two years ago. On Monday, it closed at $175.03 a share. In contrast, Facebook’s stock is hovering around $27 a share, down 29 percent since it debuted May 18, 2012 at $38.

Read more: LinkedIn looks to build on its impressive resume | Green Bay Press Gazette

ATM hackers stole $45M in '21st century bank heist,' feds say | Fox News

NEW YORK – A worldwide gang of criminals stole a total of $45 million in a matter of hours by hacking their way into a database of prepaid debit cards and then draining cash machines around the globe, federal prosecutors said Thursday -- and outmoded U.S. card technology may be partly to blame.

Seven people are under arrest in the U.S. in connection with the case, which prosecutors said involved thousands of thefts from ATMs using bogus magnetic swipe cards carrying information from Middle Eastern banks. The fraudsters moved with astounding speed to loot financial institutions around the world, working in cells including one in New York, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said.

She called it "a massive 21st-century bank heist" carried out by brazen thieves.

One of the suspects was caught on surveillance cameras, his backpack increasingly loaded down with cash, authorities said. Others took photos of themselves with giant wads of bills as they made their way up and down Manhattan.

Here's how it worked:

Read more:

Mystery Charges on Your Phone Bill | Consumer Information

You’re looking at your phone bill thinking someone must have made a mistake. How can you be charged for web hosting when you don’t know what web hosting is? Why does your bill list a couple of international calls when all your friends and business contacts are stateside?

Chances are you’ve been crammed.

Cramming happens when a company adds a charge to your phone bill for a service you didn’t order, agree to, or use. Cramming charges can be small, say $2 or $3, and easy to overlook. But even when the phony charges aren’t small, they may sound like fees you do owe. That makes them tough to pick out, especially if your phone bill varies month to month.

What can you do?

Read more: Mystery Charges on Your Phone Bill | Consumer Information

The U.S.-China Showdown Over Cyber Attacks Heats Up - Businessweek

There will be plenty to talk about when U.S. National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon arrives in Beijing on May 26. North Korean threats, Iranian nuclear development, trade disputes, and the worsening situation in Syria will no doubt be high on the agenda. But perhaps more than any other subject, cybersecurity is likely to dominate discussions during the three-day visit, coming just before Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to meet President Obama on June 7 in California.

Cyber espionage has become an even more fractious issue following the May 6 release of a Pentagon report to Congress that for the first time officially links the Chinese government to widespread hacking directed at the U.S. “China is using its computer network exploitation capability to support intelligence collection against the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors,” the report said. “In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military.”

Read more: The U.S.-China Showdown Over Cyber Attacks Heats Up - Businessweek

Radar love: New design for flying car | The Tennessean

Even though its first flying car is still at least two years away, a Massachusetts aerospace firm has unveiled a new design for a future product after that, one more akin to a helicopter than a plane.

Like its winged Transition flying car, its first product, which is now scheduled for delivery in 2015, Terrafugia’s TF-X would drive like a car on the ground, then take to the air like a plane. But instead of requiring drivers to find a runway, they could merely head to the local helipad — or a parking lot — and take off using tilt-rotor technology.

The car would lift off nearly vertically using propellers on its stubby wings. The props would then rotate from a vertical to a horizontal position for regular flight. It’s the same kind of technology that is found in the Marines’ V-22 Osprey, a transport now in common use, though it got off to rocky start with a series of accidents during development. Plans are for the car to use a “plug-in hybrid electric” powerplant.

Read more: Radar love: New design for flying car | The Tennessean

GoDaddy Global Technology Center Breaks Ground in Tempe - Go Daddy

TEMPE, Ariz. (May 7, 2013) – GoDaddy, the Web’s top platform for small businesses, today with Governor Jan Brewer, and representatives from Arizona State University Research Park, Ryan Companies, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), announced plans for a major Arizona expansion with an unusual groundbreaking for its GoDaddy Global Technology Center in Tempe. The ceremony featured the Governor and GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving "cementing" their footprints at the property as a representation of the tech giant's "expanding footprint" in the valley and around the world. Their footprints are destined for display in the new building.

The GoDaddy Global Technology Center is a planned two-story, 150,000 sq. ft. facility. It will provide a creative new space for 1,300 employees, including engineers, developers and customer care representatives. GoDaddy currently employs more than 3,400 people worldwide, with a significant portion of the personnel based in Arizona. GoDaddy's Tempe expansion creates 300 new jobs to start with room for further growth.

Read more: GoDaddy Global Technology Center Breaks Ground in Tempe - Go Daddy

Virgin's Social Media Secrets Revealed - Business Insider

Virgin's planes are decked out. So is the company's business plan. Virgin Group founder and chairman Richard Branson uses social media to make them that way.

A small example: In 2011, Richard Branson blogged a question: "keep Virgin's iconic shiny salt and pepper shakers, or replace them with cheaper versions?" Overwhelming support for the accessories by Virgin's social media followers elicited an enthusiastic response from Branson a year later, also on his blog: the shakers would stay. "Thanks social media!" he quipped.

"We have one of the highest growth rates on Twitter and Facebook out of any domestic airline," says Jill Fletcher, a content and social media manager for Virgin. The success of the airline brand's Twitter hashtag sales, Groupon deals, and Foursquare partnerships have generated a lot of interest in exactly what Virgin Group's social media strategy entails.

Read more:

May 17, 2013

Google Panda Update 25 Seems To Have Hit

There are many webmasters and SEOs believing right now that Google has released an update to their Panda algorithm late yesterday.

We've reached out to Google to confirm or deny the Panda update, as we've done 24 times previously; but this time, Google told us they are unlikely to confirm future Panda updates since Panda will be incorporated into their indexing processes.

It would not be surprising if this was indeed a Panda update since Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, did say at SMX West that a Panda update will be rolling out this Friday through the weekend. Matt then said although an update is expected this weekend, don't be surprised if you don't notice it because the Panda updates are going to be more integrated and less noticeable in the future.

I am not sure if this last push was the last manually updated Panda refresh or if it is already fully integrated into the normal Google indexes process. I think this was Google's last manual push and they will, from now on, most likely not do manual pushes of the algorithm in the future.

The last Panda update we had confirmation on was Panda #24, so this one would be coined Panda version 25.


May 14, 2013

Ian Bremmer: Bitcoin won't last but virtual currencies will - May. 14, 2013

Bitcoin is getting a lot of attention right now. But someone will eventually build a better virtual currency, says global risk strategist Ian Bremmer.  

May 7, 2013

Senate passes bill letting states tax Internet purchases, siding with traditional retailers - The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Senate sided with traditional retailers and financially strapped state and local governments Monday by passing a bill that would widely subject online shopping — for many a largely tax-free frontier — to state sales taxes.

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 27, getting support from Republicans and Democrats alike. But opposition from some conservatives who view it as a tax increase will make it a tougher sell in the House. President Barack Obama has conveyed his support for the measure.

Read more: Senate passes bill letting states tax Internet purchases, siding with traditional retailers - The Washington Post

Viagra Online: Pfizer To Sell Popular Erectile Dysfunction Pill Directly To Patients On Its Website

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Men who are bashful about needing help in the bedroom no longer have to go to the drugstore to buy that little blue pill.

In a first for the drug industry, Pfizer Inc. told The Associated Press that the drugmaker will begin selling its popular erectile dysfunction pill Viagra to patients on its website.

Read more: Viagra Online: Pfizer To Sell Popular Erectile Dysfunction Pill Directly To Patients On Its Website

May 4, 2013

Nevada leads online gambling with poker launch

RENO, Nev. -- Nevada led the nation into the world of legal, real-money Internet gambling with Tuesday’s launch of a Las Vegas-based online poker site. dealt the first hand to in-state gamblers in what its operators, as well as industry observers, see as a watershed moment.

Read more: Nevada leads online gambling with poker launch

Google's virtual assistant invades Siri's turf | Fox News

SAN FRANCISCO – Google is trying to upstage Siri, the sometimes droll assistant that answers questions and helps people manage their lives on Apple's iPhone and iPad.

Read more: Google's virtual assistant invades Siri's turf | Fox News


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