Tag Archives: Google

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City of Boston drops Microsoft Exchange for Gmail


It’s another win for Google — Boston city employees make the switch to some of the search giant’s business services.

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As Google gears up for its big week in the spotlight, it’s making another notch in its business software belt. The city of Boston has decided to switch the e-mail provider of its 20,000 employees from Microsoft to Google, The Boston Globe reported Friday.

In addition to using Gmail instead of Microsoft Exchange, Boston will also swap in Google Docs for word processing and Google’s cloud service for storing documents. The city will pay Google about $800,000 for the move but will save around $280,000 a year for dropping the Microsoft products.
Google told the Globe that about 5 million businesses use its cloud applications, including the U.S. Department of the Interior, the state of Colorado, and Princeton University.

It’s another big win for Google as the company and rival Microsoft continue to battle over the enterprise solutions space. Microsoft has been known to throw quite a few barbs Google’s way in the form of aggressive ad campaigns criticizing Google’s products, including search and Gmail. One ad that debuted Friday characterized Google Docs as a gamble on security.

Microsoft should get its jabs in while it still can, especially since Google will dominate the media’s attention during its Google I/O developers conference next week.

(VIA. CNET)

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New Google Nexus phone to replace de-stocked Nexus 4?


Some retailers are taking the Nexus 4 off shelves, leading to speculation that there could be a smartphone surprise scheduled for Google I/O.

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The Android faithful are getting giddy over what Google goodies could be revealed at next week’s Google I/O developers’ conference, and the de-shelving of the Nexus 4 at retailers has some wondering if a new pure Android phone is about to replace it.

Two U.K. retailers, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U, have discontinued sales of the Nexus 4 this week, and the number of U.S. retailers still offering the phone online also seems to be shrinking. Check Google’s official retail locator for the latest pure Google phone and the only outlets that pop up in most places (I checked New York, San Francisco, and Denver) are all T-Mobile stores.

Yet, when I checked Best Buy’s Web site and clicked on the only Nexus 4 on offer (the T-Mobile version), I got a mysterious “Page Not Found” error. It certainly appears someone thinks the Nexus 4 has run its course and is looking to make room for something new.

The mind automatically jumps to fancy-free dreams of a Nexus 5, Motorola “X Phone,” or perhaps the mighty LG “Megalodon” rumored to be the next Nexus. Few of the rumors surrounding such mythic devices actually line up with a reveal at Google I/O. The smart money for next week’s event in terms of smartphone releases is on something far more modest, like a 4G version of the Nexus 4.

Nonetheless, I’ll spend part of this weekend slumbering with visions of terrifying Megalodons and cute little Androids dancing in my head.
What do you expect to see at I/O? Take our poll here and let us know in the comments what you want in a new Nexus.

(Hat tilt to Android Headlines for the U.K retailer tip.)

(VIA. Eric Mack – CNET)

Twitter legal director to White House tech post

Twitter legal director to White House tech post


Twitter legal director to White House tech post

Chatter is that the White House is bringing in some high-powered legal talent to beef up its technology shop.

We’re told that Twitter legal director Nicole Wong, who had been vice president and deputy general counsel at Google, is to be named senior adviser to White House chief technology officer Todd Park focusing on Internet privacy and cybersecurity issues.

The expected move, first noted Tuesday by tech media Web site CNET, would fill a newly created position as the White House works on cyber threats.

(VIA. Washington Post)

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Why Facebook would buy Waze: To fight Google for mobile search


The navigation app would give the social network a way to insert itself into the lucrative mobile search business owned by Google.

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Rumors that Facebook is in late-stage talks to buy Waze for as much as $1 billion have many wondering if the social network’s next great ambition is to tackle the maps and navigation market. Maybe — but only because maps would be Facebook’s best way to route around Google and make money from mobile search.

Founded in 2007, Waze makes a navigation application for iPhone and Android used by roughly 45 million people. The app’s mapping service is powered by the people who use it. Waze ingests all types of location data as shared, either implicitly or explicitly, by drivers. The app also connects to Facebook and incorporates social-networking functions so drivers can see their friends’ whereabouts on the map, share their location, and even send private messages.

Should Facebook buy Waze, the social network will send a clear message to Google: “Watch out! We’re on your tail.”

Facebook would like to be a formidable force on mobile and not just capture attention, but ad dollars. If it has to get into the maps business to do so, so be it.

Waze Chief Executive Noam Bardin inadvertently said as much when he spoke at AllThingsD’s D: Dive Into Mobile conference last month. The full interview is embedded below.

“What search is for the Web, maps are for mobile,” he said. “The searches you do on mobile that actually are monetizable, and are different from the Web, are searches that have to do with location.”

The search mechanism on mobile devices is the map, he said.

In Bardin’s view of the mobile search land-grab, which revolves around great maps, there are just two players: Google and Waze.

“Google is out there creating a new standard in terms of quality, and we feel that we’re the only reasonable competition to them in this market of creating maps that are really geared for mobile, for real-time, for consumers — for the new world that we’re moving into.”

Enter Facebook, a company that surely doesn’t want to be left behind in the race to own mobile search.

By eMarketer’s estimates, Facebook is the No. 2 mobile ad publisher in the U.S — second only to Google. The social network accounted for 9.5 percent of mobile ad revenue in 2012 and will eat up 13.2 percent of the U.S. mobile ad market this year, thanks to its strength in the display category. Google, however, will take home more than half of all mobile ad revenue in 2013, according to the market research firm.

But when it comes to making money from mobile search, the real cash cow on mobile, Google is the uncontested leader.

The search giant netted 93.3 percent of all U.S. mobile search ad dollars last year, and it will continue to maintain a suffocating hold over this particular mobile ad market through 2015, according to estimates from eMarketer. The firm anticipates that U.S. mobile Internet search ad revenue will total $7.85 billion in 2015; it pegs Google’s share at around $7.1 billion, or 90 percent of the market.

Should Facebook buy Waze, the social network will have a way to insert itself into this lucrative business and help its 751 million mobile users better find what they’re searching for on their smartphones.

Waze would also make for an attractive addition to what Bardin called Facebook’s “meta operating system” for mobile, or the growing collection of Facebook mobile applications that ensure that no matter the phone or operating system, people will find themselves inside a Facebook environment.

It’s a strategy the social network has actively pushed forward with its nascent Android Home software suite, as well with single app releases like Facebook Camera, Messenger, and Poke.

(VIA. CNET)

Ban Samsung sales in the US? Sorry, Apple- Tech titans say 'No'

Ban Samsung sales in the US? Sorry, Apple: Tech titans say ‘No’ All except Nokia, that is


A group of technology companies led by Google has asked permission to let their collective opinion be known in the long-running patent dispute between Apple and its South Korean rival, Samsung.

Ban Samsung sales in the US? Sorry, Apple- Tech titans say 'No'

The group, consisting of Google, HTC, Rackspace, Red Hat, and SAP, filed a motion with the US District Court of Northern California on Wednesday, requesting leave to submit an amici curiae brief – Latin for “friends of the court” – advising Judge Lucy Koh of their concerns regarding the outcome of the case.

In case you’ve lost track, the case in question is “the Big One” – the one in which a jury found that Samsung’s tablets and phones had infringed Apple patents and awarded the fruity firm $1.05bn in damages.

Since then, the two companies have been bickering over the amount of the judgment. First Judge Koh denied a motion by Apple to triple the damages. Then she reduced the award to $600m and ordered a new trial over the remaining $450m – and on it goes.

In the wake of the original judgment, however, Apple also requested a permanent injunction banning Samsung from selling its infringing products in the US. Judge Koh denied that request, but Cupertino appealed – and that appeal is what Google and the other tech firms would like to weigh in on.

The companies’ motion, obtained by Groklaw, doesn’t say exactly what their position is, but its wording strongly suggests that they think an injunction should remain off the table:

Amici are all innovative technology companies that develop and provide a variety of products and services that, like the mobile devices at issue in this appeal, incorporate a wide array of features. As such, an issue presented in this appeal – whether a court may enjoin the sale of innovative and technologically complex products based on the incorporation of trivial patented features without evidence that the accused features drive sales of the products – is a matter of great concern to amici.
Apple, naturally, would prefer Google and the others to keep out of it, and has filed its own brief arguing that Google, in particular, has no business trying to influence Judge Koh’s ruling:

The lead party on the brief, Google, Inc., admittedly has a direct interest in the outcome of this appeal. As the motion explains, Google is the developer of the Android operating system running on the Samsung smartphones that Apple seeks to enjoin in this case. That interest conflicts with the traditional role of an amicus as “an impartial friend of the court – not an adversary party in interest in the litigation.”
Despite that argument, however, it’s likely the companies’ brief will still be accepted, even if it has to be entered without Google’s name on it. HTC competes directly with Samsung, but none of the other companies involved is even in the mobile phone business.

They do care about patents, though. Rackspace, in particular, has been on the warpath of late, challenging patent trolls in court and urging other companies to join its quest to reform patent laws.

Meanwhile, Nokia has already filed an amicus brief in Apple v. Samsung, only the Finnish firm says it doesn’t support either side. Instead, it argues that Judge Koh got it all wrong when she denied Apple’s request for an injunction, and that her decision should be reversed “based on the application of the wrong legal standard.”

Confused yet? In a nutshell, Nokia claims that by requiring Apple to prove that Samsung’s infringing features were the main reason consumers were buying the Korean company’s kit, Judge Koh’s ruling made it too difficult for companies to obtain injunctions – something that apparently concerns Nokia a great deal.

“The district court imposed an overly-strict and undue burden on the patent holder and invented new law out of whole cloth, which threatens to turn the traditional purpose of patent law on its head,” Nokia’s attorneys write.

If you’re thinking that sounds an awful lot like Nokia would like to see Apple’s request for an injunction granted because it’s planning to sue for similar injunctions of its own, we’d tend to agree.

And so, the slowly turning wheels of the seemingly endless litigation between Apple and Samsung trundle ever forward. Judge Koh is expected to rule on Google & friends’ motion to submit an amici brief in the coming days. The trial over the remaining $450m in damages that’s still in dispute is set to begin in November. ®

(VIA. The Register)

Top Mobile Issues Right Now – An Overview


People everywhere are increasing the time they are spending on their mobile devices, according to Visually, Inc. We are using our phones to browse the Internet, stay on top of emails, check in on social networks, play games, read news, listen to music and much more. In fact, we are adopting new uses for our mobile devices daily. Research firm Gartner estimates that in 2013, we will use our mobile phones more than our PCs to access the Web.

In the article, “Mobile growth is about to be staggering,” Forbes notes we are consuming wireless data at spectacular rates. In 2012, smartphones made up 16 percent of wirelessly-connected devices, using 44 percent of total traffic. By 2017, Forbes estimates, smartphones will make up 27 percent of connected devices, eating up nearly 70 percent of data.

Mobile Trends

Because of this increase, businesses are striving to make their products and services more mobile-friendly. Some of the trends already being spotted include:

  • Businesses are finding news way to utilize mobility, opting for specialized apps to create more efficiencies in running the business.  
  • Hot mobile areas that are socially stylish and interactive are helping to drive up the desire for new mobile cooperation
  • More business are using mobile accessibility for payments for products like Mother’s Day flowers and services like marketing consulting.

Mobile for Email

Survey after survey has confirmed that checking e-mail has become the most common mobile activity. Experian Marketing Services notes that 23 percent of mobile users spend time checking e-mail via their phone rather than through a desktop or laptop computer. Marketers are seeing a renewed emphasis on using email to reach their target audience.

Mobile for Social

The number of apps designed for both mobile and desktop use is growing. LinkedIn’s new app helps users stay in touch with important contacts, bringing together contact information spread across a range of devices. Facebook has created a new look for mobile users, making it easier to utilize options like messaging.

The rise of content marketing is also driving more mobile adoption. Approximately 91 percent of business to business (B2B) marketers use content marketing, and 87 percent use social media to share it, notes ÜberFlip.

Mobile for Budgets

One of the great uses for smartphone apps is the ability to manage your business (or personal) finances from your hands. Budget and banking app allow you to check your debt, spending and savings. Here are a few:

Mint – Smartphone users like Mint because it connects your banking and credit card accounts, while checking real-time spending patterns. You can set up categories for different business expenses (like entertainment, auto, food, etc) and you Mint account will synch this data across all platforms. This app is a a free download in both the Apple Store and Google Play. 

Pageonce – Another popular, free mobile app is Pageonce. It can pay bills, organize your spending and track your cash. The app also services users with notifications and email reminders to avoid missing any monthly payments. Pageonce charges users to pay bills with a credit or debit card, but there is no fee for paying bills via your bank account. 

Quicken – This free app needs to be set up once you have Quicken on your corresponding desktop/laptop. When you synch the two together, you’ll have your finances at your fingertips anytime, anywhere. Quicken speeds up your online budgeting easily and dependably. 

In the end, your business will have to weigh the benefits and the disadvantages of mobilizing all aspects of your operation. But mobile development for businesses is here to stay and it may be better for your company to move sooner rather than later. Find your company’s sweet mobile spot and start your ascent. 

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The Importance of Silence in Business


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Silence has been a trait of every one of my mentors. When you don’t have a response or haven’t formulated your thoughts pausing and saying nothing can be the best and most honest choice. This can be uncomfortable for both you and the person you’re engaging with but it is a must.

Silence prevents you from stating an ill formed or incorrect thought. It also gives others with possible solutions and ideas a chance to step forward. Even in a one on one conversation, just not responding, if you don’t have a response can be the most powerful statement of all. It lets the other person know in a way even the words “I don’t know” can’t achieve that you in fact do not know or haven’t cemented your thinking to the point of making a statement.

In a pitch or sales meeting, it gives your audience a chance to give feedback and move the conversation forward. If you just keep talking, they won’t respond, you’ll conclude and they’ll just thank you and you’ll leave. This is the worst of all pitch meetings.

Less is more. Say more with fewer words. Drop the mic and wait for responses. Keep your meetings tight, pause and ask questions, and allow for silence for them to respond into. One of my partners at BuzzFeed Andy Wiedlin, our Chief Revenue Officer, uses the phrase, “give people the gift of time.” People love salespeople who are short with their pitches, ask a few questions, and end the meeting after 30 or 40 minutes with a thank you and some action items.

My father, a leading New York City residential real estate broker, is also fond of the phrase “cut and run.” When you’re talking to someone at an event or cocktail party, be the one to “cut” the conversation and “run.” After a few minutes of talking say, “it’s been great catching up, I’ll let you get to other people I know you want to say hello to.” The person will appreciate this, they’ll be happy to see you in the future, knowing that you’re not the kind of person who corners them and won’t stop talking.

Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com

(VIA. Jon Steinberg – LinkedIn – President and Chief Operating Officer at BuzzFeed)

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Joakim Noah defends Derrick Rose


MIAMI — Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah had an impassioned message for critics of teammate Derrick Rose after the Bulls’ impressive 93-86 win over the Miami Heat on Monday night.

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Noah took a question regarding how much pride he and his team feel being able to win without Rose while so many pundits count them out, and he went off on an emotional defense of his close friend.

“Derrick’s a brother,” Noah said. “And to see him go through this is tough, but at the end of the day it’s really funny how quick people are to judge. But people don’t know what it’s like to lead a team, especially after you tore your ACL.

“If you tore your ACL and you have to be the starting point guard and have the expectations that Derrick has, then maybe you can judge, but everybody who hasn’t been in that situation before should really shut up because I feel like it’s just so unfair to him and to this team. We’re fighting, and everybody’s going to just s— on somebody who’s been giving so much to this organization. It’s crazy to me.”

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Rose has been at the forefront of much criticism, especially on Twitter, as the Bulls have continued an impressive run through the postseason. A growing number of fans believe that Rose should be back on the floor as he continues his rehab from ACL surgery.

Rose admitted on Monday that his status for this series was “still up in the air. I might have a chance,” despite the fact that he has yet to play this season.

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Noah did not acknowledge whether he has spoken to Rose about the criticism, but it was clear he didn’t like what he has been hearing. Rose said on Saturday that he hasn’t paid much attention to the criticism, but Noah and the rest of his teammates have made it a point to stand up for Rose’s decision not to play.

“He can say that he doesn’t [listen to it],” Noah said. “I think he’s dealing with it unbelievable. He’s tough as nails, man. He’s not budging. He doesn’t let none of that affect him; whether it’s praise or people judging him about his decision, he’s the same. He’s the same, and I really respect that because I don’t think a lot of people could deal with the things that he deals with on a daily basis.”

(VIA. ESPN)

Ads Invading Your Twitter and Facebook Streams? Here’s Why

Ads Invading Your Twitter and Facebook Streams? Here’s Why


Ads Invading Your Twitter and Facebook Streams? Here’s Why

In July 2011, social media users began to see a mysterious new breed of messages show up in their Twitter feeds: 140-character paid ads dressed up to look (apart from tiny disclaimers) just like regular Tweets. Fast forward two years, and these Promoted Tweets—along with equivalents from Facebook and other social networks—are officially one of the fastest growing sectors of online advertising.

Does this upset you? Were your Facebook and Twitter accounts your last sacred online grounds—free of pop-ups windows and annoying animated banner ads? Is there no end to marketers invading your world?

The truth is—for better or worse—paid social media advertising isn’t going away anytime soon. After all, social networks are where the consumer lives. Facebook alone currently has a staggering 1.11 billion users, while there are 200 million active users on Twitter. In 2012, Americans spent an average of 6.5 hours a day on social media. Meanwhile, having a social media company like HootSuite, I’ve had a front-row seat on the trend.

Here are a few more reasons why inconspicuous advertising on social networks is taking off, and—just maybe—isn’t as bad as it seems:

The numbers don’t lie. More and more businesses are using Promoted Tweets and Facebook posts because they work. While traditional banner ads are now pretty much ignored (clicked on 0.2 percent of the time), Promoted Tweets show engagement of one to three percent— up to 15 times as effective.

The need for speed. Promoted social media ads are also proving to be more agile for businesses. Companies hoping to leverage this week’s viral trend can simply log into social media at any time, create a message and instantly push it to a global audience as a promoted post. There’s no need to invest thousands of dollars and weeks of time into producing a TV or print ad campaign.

Idiot-proof advertising. The other perk here is that creating and managing promoted ad campaigns on social networks is getting easier, with constant improvements being made to the platforms, No special skills or training are required to log into Twitter or Facebook, create a promoted post and target it to your audience. If you use a social media management system like HootSuite, you can even do this directly from the dashboard.

Social media ads are crowd-approved. With the viral nature of social media, the more people who find and like something, the more it will be shared and seen. So the promoted Facebook and Twitter messages you end up seeing in your private feeds have probably been vetted by friends and peers. All in all, for consumers this means fewer annoying low-quality ads and more content that’s actually worthy or interesting. (Marketing and advertising majors, take note!)

Social media ads are relevant. We’ve learned to tune ads out because even when they’re executed well, they tend to offer us things we aren’t actually interested in: sugary soft drinks, diapers, giant, gas-guzzling SUVs. With Promoted Tweets and Facebook posts, companies can drill down to microtarget users based on literally hundreds of different interests, everything from adventure travel and reptiles to Bollywood and tech start-ups. So the ads you see are for stuff you’re actually interested in.

Spending on native social media ads is forecast to nearly triple from $1.5 billion this year to $3.9 billion in 2016, according to a new report by market analysts BIA/Kelsey. Nielsen reports that three-quarters of all advertisers have jumped on the paid social media bandwagon, pulling funds out of traditional banner ads and other online channels.

In other words, love them or hate them, those Promoted Tweets in your favorite social network stream may be here to stay.

For more social media insight and to learn more about my company, follow HootSuite on LinkedIn.

(VIA. Ryna Holmes – Linkedin – CEO at HOOTSUITE)

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Is it Ever Worth Pulling an All-Nighter?


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The other day a meeting cancelled and I decided to dedicate the 60 minutes to cleaning up my email inbox. That was until I opened Outlook and saw that I had accumulated 20,346 emails. It wasn’t getting done in an hour.

In a similar moment, Teresa Coles and her partner Cathy Monetti at the marketing agency Riggs Partners, joked that they should just pull an all-nighter and finally make a dent in their to-do list. They recalled how in college the all-nighter was the go-to play in this situation.

Teresa slept on the idea and had a breakthrough the next morning in the shower. The number one thing on her to-do list that was nagging her every day was the inability to make time to do pro bono work for nonprofits. As a marketing agency they got many requests, but there just wasn’t time in the day to do a fraction of the work for the community that she and her team wanted.

As soon as she got into the office she shared her idea with Cathy. They would do a 24-hour marathon session as an entire agency, focused solely on pro bono work. They would start at 8 am one morning and finish the next morning at the same time.

There were a million reasons the team feared it wouldn’t work. They were too small. They were too busy with client work. They could never do great work for nonprofits in 24 hours with no budget.

With some trepidation, the firm got behind the idea. It was outrageous but they all shared Teresa’s desire to find a way to be smarter about how they did work in the community. By consolidating their pro bono efforts to a 24-hour block of time, it could streamline the process for their team and nonprofits. It could be easier and potentially even allow them to say “yes” to a few more nonprofits.

Their impact exceeded their expectations. They developed a campaign for Palmetto Aids Life Support Services which enabled them to secure grant funds for a full-time staffer to manage their HIV testing program. In another all-nighter they created a game to support parents in teaching their kids about the importance of giving.

What they didn’t expect at all was the incredible power this all-nighter would have on their business. As Teresa now believes, your company is at its best it when embraces the outrageous.

They knew they could do some good, but they didn’t expect to see the best work of their careers emerge out of nowhere. The agencies first award came from work done during one of these all-nighters. It became the agency’s calling card not just for nonprofits but to attract the best talent and differentiate them when pitching clients.

They called it CreateAthon and it became an annual event. Soon, they were being contacted by other agencies around the country who adopted the same model. Then design schools began to replicate the model. In the last few years even large companies have begun to use the model to engage their employees and focus their pro bono work.

CreateAthon did something priceless for Riggs Partners. It gave the whole team the confidence to believe in themselves and the agency. From that moment on they knew that no idea would ever be too big for them.

This Pro Bono Week (October 20-26) dozens of universities, agencies and companies will be joining Riggs Partners in doing a CreateAthon. They are using the free CreateAthon toolkit to help them do something outrageous that will forever change their team and organization. They have certainly found an all-nighter that is worth it.

You can request a CreateAthon toolkit by visiting CreateAthon.org.

Photo credit: Up All Night on SideReel.

Posted by Aaron Hurst – LinkedIn)