A few accumulated thoughts on media

A few days back my friend Pip Coburn, who runs an investment advisory service, and his colleague Brynne Thompson asked me to discuss what I have learned about media after spending nearly 12 years on Gigaom, pretty much most of my working life in various aspects of media, and two decades on the internet. It turned out to be a fun conversation that was shared by Pip and Brynne with their carefully curated email list of friends and clients. After going over it, I thought, why not create an abbreviated version and share it online?

Top News
Iron Man superhero mashups look supercool - CNET

The Iron Mash digital-art series gives Iron Man gear to superheroes like Batman, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. Imagine the possibilities.

Check out this astronaut's-eye view of the Grand Canyon - CNET

There are at least a couple of ways to think about this image. You might pondre how taking the photo from so far above the Earth reduces the Grand Canyon to a rivulet in the dirt, reminding us how small our little place in the universe is. On the other hand, it's such a massive natural wonder that it can be seen from space and photographed so clearly in all its glory. Perhaps the image encompasses a bit of both perspectives.

Is This Amazon's 3D Smartphone?

Amazon has reportedly been working on its own collection of branded smartphones for years, and now, we're finally getting closer to seeing its first design.

New Volvos will get AT&T connectivity starting this summer

Whether these new Volvos will be among the emerging number of 4G cars in the U.S. remains to be seen. In its announcement, AT&T only said it would provide “high-speed wireless connectivity,” which likely means that Volvo is going with a cheaper EDGE/HSPA+ module, in some models at least. Basic telematics features such as remote unlock or monitoring don’t require a lot of bandwidth, but the more advanced features of Volvo’s evolving Sensus infotainment system will require a bit more juice.

Technology Isn’t The Only Answer to Digital Disruption

One of the most interesting things I found in this research is that you and I get the fact that technology is affecting us in varying ways. Yet, when we actually go to work, we become part of the machine that conducts business as usual, still seeing people the way they’ve always been. It’s almost as if we plug into a code of doing things a certain way because that’s just the way it is or the way it’s always been done.

Windows Phone 8.1: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly [Review]

Microsoft is confident that its Windows Phone devices can make gains on both iOS and Android. To do that, it's finally brought WP 8 largely up to par with its rival OSes while maintaining its own unique aspects. Now, just like everything else that the company has done to align itself with the mobile world Microsoft joined so late, Windows Phone just needs to catch on with the buying audience.

Google Play Still Tops iOS App Store Downloads, And Now Narrowing Revenue Gap, Too | TechCrunch

Android’s position as the most dominant smartphone platform worldwide is also having an impact on mobile app download growth, and now, increasing revenue. Google’s app marketplace, Google Play, saw 45% more downloads that Apple’s iOS App Store in Q1, according to a new report out this morning from App Annie. However, Apple continues to still be “comfortably ahead” in terms of worldwide revenue, the report found, generating a whopping 85% more revenue than Google Play.

Halo, Destiny music composer Martin O'Donnell fired by Bungie

After composing some of the most memorable songs in gaming for Bungie games including most of the Halo series, Myth and Oni , Martin O'Donnell tweeted tonight that he has been terminated "without cause" by Bungie's board of directors. It's not entirely common for a game soundtrack to get the album release treatment, but that's just what happened for the Halo games and many gamers have been looking forward to O'Donnell's work on the upcoming game Destiny . There's still no word on why the separation happened, although if he's still interested in working on Halo , one would think it's time for 343 Industries to make a phone call . A statement on Bungie.net confirms the move, although it claims "Today, as friends, we say goodbye." The timing and feeling reported by the two sides appear to be at odds, and while we wait for more details we'll remember better days with Marty's recent work on the Destiny trailer as well as theme songs for Halo 1, 2 and 3.

Developers, Check Your Amazon Bills For Bitcoin Miners

Never hardcode your cloud computing credentials. Even if you're using a private source-code repository, that may change in the future. You may decide to contribute code to an open-source project, for example. "After looking through my code, I see that I had hardcoded my credentials and then commented out that code, later, when I moved the credentials to a preferences file," Moreno said. But, even that isn't good enough since preferences files are usually checked into repositories with code.

Texting Driver Who Slammed Cyclist: I, Like, 'Just Don't Care'

The 21-year-old Australian woman was livid when she slammed into a bicyclist while texting late last year, putting dents in her car. The victim suffered a spinal fracture and would spend the next three months in a hospital, but Davis wasn't having any of it , The Standard reports.

What High Design Can Do For Neglected Black Consumers

I'm sorry, I feel that while it's great that this young man has developed a high-quality product, I think that he's creating two different negatives by going the route that this article describes. I understand that African Americans still, to this day experience prejudice and racism, and I don't think that is right. However, I think that marketing this as an "African American Shaving kit", first of all, this only furthers the "Us and Them" attitude, which can only be a negative. But also, by doing this, you have immediately cut your market significantly. As I read the article, it would make a lot more sense to me, to market this as a kit for people with sensitive skin. Sure, put a picture of an African American man using it on the package, proudly show Tristan Walker, and laud his accomplishments on the company website; but don't purposely limit your potential clients. people of all races have sensitive skin, and experience the irritation that this article describes.

LinkedIn's New App Is Here: SlideShare for Android

is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 34 million unique visitors worldwide and 15 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

Early Stage Startups: The Biggest Killers

Fascinated by what drives start ups to succeed, I look at the entire process from inception to fundraising and everything in between. I was previously an editor at Global Security Finance, a London-based newsletter covering security and defense for the finance community which meant uncovering start ups with exciting technologies as well as interviewing VCs, government officials and defense giants on their financing, funding and M&A strategy. As a Columbia Journalism School student I delved into an eclectic mix of city politics, struggling Harlem businesses and the interactive theatre scene. Although I’m British, a childhood spent in Malaysia has meant a lifelong addiction to Asian food. I continue to hunt down the perfect bowl of noodles in NYC, Sriracha sauce bottle in hand.

We Hope This Is A 366-Year-Old Emoticon And Not A Typo

So it’s possible, I’d say likely, that the parenthesis in the poem was inserted by a modern editor. Not that parentheses weren’t used in verse in Herrick’s time — they were — but not as widely as we use them today and not in the same situations. Punctuation in general was unsettled in the seventeenth century.

Candy Crush is A-Coming to China

There’s no definitive launch date for the Chinese version of Candy Crush — both companies only say it will arrive “soon” — but when it does land, it will be a major coup for Tencent which has secured a country exclusive. Chinese gamers on iOS or Android devices will need to visit Tencent’s Mobile QQ or its Weixin Game Center to get hold of the title.

Google embeds camera in smart contact lens (Wired UK)

While the project might seem a bit "out there", the technology isn't all that far off -- smart contact lenses with displays have already been tested in labs, although they've been a little clunky up until now. One of the key benefits of having a camera embedded in a contact lens rather than attached to the side of the head like Google Glass is that the camera frame would follow a person's precise gaze without obstructing their view (by being placed along the edge of the lens, away from the pupil).

Anti-Glassholes: Understanding the growing movement against Google Glass

It’s easy to shrug off these issues as barriers to the advancement of technology, but no one really wants to be recorded without their permission. If you imagine someone sitting in a bar holding their smartphone up and pointing it at you, it’s not hard to see how it might make you feel uncomfortable or even angry. Right or wrong this is how some people feel about Google Glass right now.

Ride a 'Tron'-style light cycle via Oculus Rift - CNET

The old-school video game is getting a next-generation update in the RiftCycles Project, thanks to Facebook-owned virtual-reality headset Oculus Rift and a particularly dedicated fan with a DIY streak.

The design decisions behind the tech industry's beloved anonymous Secret app

The Secret app might be fueled by gossip, scandal, and salacious secrets, but it’s soared to popularity (at least in the Valley) because it’s used a no-UI concept and utter simplicity to just get out of the user’s way.

Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit Review

Its Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches have a lot of potential, but the tricky bit is making sure all the features are relevant enough for general consumers to want to pick them up. Perhaps it could be positioned more as a device highlighting important notifications for those who have to keep their phones away (at meetings or while driving), and less of a fitness-tracker, since the Gear Fit already caters to fitness bunnies. I’m also hoping to see future iterations of the Gear smartwatches feature apps that have been modified for better usage and not just being adapted to a smaller screen.

With Gnip, Twitter Is Ready To Sell Your Tweets

Together we plan to offer more sophisticated data sets and better data enrichments, so that even more developers and businesses big and small around the world can drive innovation using the unique content that is shared on Twitter ... And with the help of Gnip’s Boulder-based team, we will be extending our data platform — through Gnip and our existing public APIs — even further.

LIVE: Yahoo Soars On Earnings

The rest of Yahoo continues to move sideways, however. This was, notably, yet another call on which Mayer trumpeted her editorial and mobile app moves while moving swiftly past the elephants in the room: The fact that topline GAAP revenues actually declined 1%, and the fact that the company still can't announce any revenue from Tumblr, the social media platform it bought for $1 billion a year ago. In the earnings release there is — again — no mention of revenue from Tumblr . At some point it would be nice to see a financial logic for that deal to appear in Yahoo's numbers.

Forensic linguistics study names Nick Szabo as author of original bitcoin paper

“Our study adds to the weight of evidence pointing towards Nick Szabo. The case looks pretty clear-cut. Szabo is an expert in law, finance, cryptography and computer science. He created ‘bit gold,’ a precursor to Bitcoin, and was looking for collaborators in 2008. Did Nick Szabo create Bitcoin? We’re not sure, but we think he probably wrote the paper so it’s certainly worth a closer look,” said Grieve in the release.

Google’s New Street View Image Recognition Algorithm Can Beat Most CAPTCHAs | TechCrunch

Here is an interesting conundrum for Google: it has created an algorithm that’s significantly better at reading street numbers in Street View images, which helps it give you more accurate directions. At the same time, though, it turns out that this algorithm is so good, it can decipher 99 percent of CAPTCHAs (those squiggly text puzzles you often have to solve to prove you are human).

How To Edit And Delete Emails Even After You Send Them

The free program syncs with your inbox and lets you accomplish four specific tasks: set expiration timers on messages, unsend emails, add read receipts and edit sent messages before someone else opens them.

Microsoft Announces New Tools Bringing The Cloud To The Internet Of Things, Uniting Hadoop And SQL | TechCrunch

This morning in San Francisco, Microsoft announced several new data-focused tools in front of a cadre of customers and partners, not to mention a decent-sized grouping of press. The two new tools worth noting are Azure Intelligent Systems Service and Analytics Platform System.

Atlassian's Geeky Software Carves Out A Big Home With Developers

Ultimately, Atlassian succeeds not because it's the best tool among a bad bunch, but because it respects developers' time and concerns. Tools like JIRA are intentionally not flashy. They're utilitarian, not because Atlassian lacks creativity, but because the company cares more about what developers want than what marketing or sales or other groups within a company may want. This shows not only in the software itself, but also in how it's sold: Atlassian is salesperson-free, over-the-web, and costs a reasonable amount of money.

Healthcare Marketing Report Card

With over 70% of Internet users using online resources to discover health information, now is the time to invest in creating a website that delivers on the patient needs end-to-end.

Confirmed: Zebra Tech Is Buying Motorola Solutions For $3.45B | TechCrunch

In fact, he says they have a cloud-based platform called Zatar, which has been built to take advantage of the Internet of Things. Gerskovich says when you combine Zebra’s ability to generate RFID and bar codes, Zatar’s platform to build applications and Motorola’s smart handheld scanning capability, you have an ideal platform for building and and deploying applications to take advantage of the data being generated by the Internet of Things.

10 Tips for Optimizing Facebook Ads with Incredible Images

Images have never been more important in the world of social media, and even more so when talking about social advertising. When you’re investing in social media advertising and looking for a return on that investment, it’s vital to use the best images to engage your audience.

Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone fingerprint sensor hacked

But the researchers pointed to what they said are "additional concerns" about Samsung's security system compared with the iPhone's, because a would-be hacker can make an unlimited number of attempts at spoofing the fingerprint, and because it can be linked to payment systems such as PayPal - which could then be used to wire money to the attacker's account.

First Heartbleed hacker arrested

A 19-year-old Canadian became the first person to be arrested in relation to the Heartbleed security breach.

This anarchist collective is demanding $3 billion from Google

Around 7AM on January 21st, 2014, a small group of protesters gathered in the driveway of an understated $1 million four bedroom family home in Berkeley and unfurled a hand-painted banner that read "GOOGLE’S FUTURE STOPS HERE."

LIVE: Google Misses And The Stock Is Falling

Analysts kept asking about costs and expenses, and Pichetti said Google was very comfortable with its cost structure. Its total costs and expenses totaled $11.3 billion, up from $9.2 billion the year earlier. The reason Google's costs are all over the place is that the buying and divestiture of Motorola Mobility, acquisitions, and "moonshot" projects such as Wi-Fi balloons and driverless cars. 

Google's stock Android KitKat camera app arrives on Google Play with new Lens Blur mode - The Next Web

You’ll need Android 4.4 KitKat or later to install the app, but the good news is that you can now get camera updates directly from Google Play now instead of having to wait for your phone maker and carrier to send over an update.


Long before we get to fully autonomous devices, there are many “halfway house” applications that are really Internet of Things applications in waiting, which use humans for one or more parts of the entire system. When you understand that the general pattern of #IoTH applications is not just sensor + network + actuator but various combinations of human + network + actuator or sensor + network, you will broaden the possibilities for interfaces and business models.

AT&T Threatens Boycott if TV Airwaves Auction Rules Aren’t Changed

It’s not a bad argument to make with the FCC, which needs AT&T and Verizon Wireless to bid if it wants to raise the billions of dollars Congress told it to make from the auction. But it’s also hard to imagine AT&T sitting out an auction this important, which would allow its competitors to scoop up airwaves that would help make their LTE networks a stronger competitive threat.

Crossed up! Anki Drive unveils new cars and first new tracks - CNET

The first of the new tracks, both of which will be available May 6 and cost $100, are the same size as the original, is known as Crossroads. For the first time, this offers Anki players a track with an intersection, meaning that players will have to learn how to navigate their cars through the crossing while avoiding others cars, yet without losing position against opponents. But, said Anki president and co-founder Hanns Tappeiner, cars will collide, and success will come from learning how to navigate the new challenge.

After Heartbleed, "Forward Secrecy" Is More Important Than Ever

Perfect forward secrecy is an encryption technique that prevents people from “unlocking” your private information history, even if they get their hands on the server’s private key. With forward secrecy, a new temporary session key is created each time you access a secure website, instead of relying on one master key. Essentially, it creates ephemeral encryption—where the keys disappear—so hackers can't decrypt your data like they would with HTTPS. 

The Super Mario Bros. theme played on 48 wine glasses

The Super Mario Bros. theme song is one of the most recognized songs ever created. Whether you played the original game when it launched in 1985, or just heard it in one of its various incarnations over the years, it’s a criminally catchy tune.

How Apple’s CarPlay could save the car stereo industry

CarPlay — which is currently only available in new models from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo (though it is expected to expand to other manufacturers soon) — will allow drivers to control music and certain phone functions with either Siri or built-in infotainment controls. Phone calls, text messages, and voice mails can all be handled through Siri, which will operate through verbal prompting. Apple maps is also part of CarPlay, so Siri will offer turn-by-turn directions in conjunction with a map displayed on the car’s center-stack screen. The system is expected to be able to anticipate potential destinations and routes, based on prior trips, contacts, and email information. Of course, an iPhone’s music catalog can be navigated using the system, as can iTunes Radio, iHeartRadio, and Spotify.

Apple said to partner with Shazam on song-ID tool for iOS - CNET

The Cupertino, Calif., electronics maker plans to release a feature in iOS 8 that identifies a song and its artist via an iPhone or iPad, Bloomberg reports.

Here are 3 ways Aereo will tell the Supreme Court that it's legal

Aereo’s side of the story, set out in a 100-page Supreme Court brief filed last month, is a double-barreled appeal to both the past and the future. The brief (embedded below) casts its technology as a natural evolution of the VCR, which the court declared legal three decades ago, while also claiming kinship with the emerging cloud computing industry — an industry Aereo says will suffer if the broadcasters prevail. While making those appeals to policy principles, Aereo also makes a third argument about the letter of the law and companies’ right to rely on it when building their business.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Preview - CNET

One of the oddest tech convenience features is the available Smart trunk. Like the system offered on the Ford Escape , this trunk lid will automatically open without the driver having to reach for their keys. However, where previous systems required a foot to be wiggled beneath the rear bumper to pop the boot, Hyundai owners will simply need to need to approach the rear with the key fob in a purse or pocket and wait three seconds. On one hand, this sounds incredibly convenient. On the other, I can see the potential for annoyance due to accidental activation. We'll have to wait to test the 2015 model to decide.

‘Glow in the dark’ road lights the way to energy savings in the Netherlands

Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan). As far as electronics are concerned, he's in the right place, with the East Asian country continuing to produce a plethora of gadgets and gizmos for tech addicts around the world. When not writing for Digital Trends, Trevor can be found out and about taking far too many photos, or in front of his computer trying to sort them all out.

Lavabit held in contempt of court for printing crypto key in tiny font [Updated]

Levison reluctantly turned over his encryption keys to the government, although not in a manner that the government deemed useful—he provided a lengthy printout in tiny type, a move the authorities said was objectionable. “The company had treated the court orders like contract negotiations rather than a legal requirement,” US Attorney Andrew Peterson, who represented the government, told  PC World .

Hacker From China Wastes Little Time in Exploiting Heartbleed

For those who don't feel the urgency to install the latest security fixes for their computers, take note: Just a day after Heartbleed was revealed, attacks from a computer in China were launched.

Automattic raising more than $100 million - Fortune Tech

FORTUNE -- Automattic , the company that runs blogging platforms WordPress.com and WordPress VIP, is out raising between $100 million and $150 million in new venture capital funding, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

Twitter Acquires Longtime Partner And Social Data Provider Gnip | TechCrunch

Twitter has acquired Gnip , the social data provider that has long provided access to public Twitter data, and that has deepened its relationship with the social network over the years through a series of product and partnership announcements. The acquisition will lead to Twitter offering even more of its data to Gnip’s customer base, and existing customer relationships with Gnip will continue unchanged.

51 Apple joins other smartphone manufacturers in adopting anti-theft measures
52 The Coolest Spaceships Ever Built, Compared by Size | Science | WIRED
53 Cult of Mac Deals
54 Lab grows blood for human trials - CNET
55 They may be filled with trolls, but comments still have value -- and they could have even more
56 Microsoft concedes Chromebooks are work-worthy
57 Spotify Starts Shutting Down Its Massive P2P Network | TorrentFreak
58 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Trailer Reveals Mystery Mutant Enemy
59 Watch How Google X Employees Deal With Failure
60 Mike Judge And The Stars Of HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Will Join Us At Disrupt NY | TechCrunch
61 Frontback brings two-sided selfies to Android - CNET
62 Banish Game of Thrones Spoilers With This Chrome Extension | Gadget Lab | WIRED
63 Google I/O To Elevate Focus On Design | TechCrunch
64 This is Amazon's smartphone
65 Samsung And Amazon Team Up For Custom Galaxy Kindle E-Book App | TechCrunch
66 Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass Seven Million Units - Digits - WSJ
67 Welcome Kif Leswing, Gigaom's newest mobile writer
68 Netgear adds BitTorrent Sync to its network-attached storage drives
69 Google Misses in Q1 With Revenue Of $15.42B, EPS Of $6.27 As Its Cost-Per-Click Fell 9% | TechCrunch
70 Transform furniture with a wave of the hand - CNET
71 LaCie Warns Hackers May Have Customer Info, Credit Cards After Year-Long Breach
72 Weibo’s IPO May Underwhelm, But Don’t Discount Other Chinese Tech Stocks | TechCrunch
73 Report claims Sony’s Xperia Z2 smartphone may face months of delays
74 NYTimes Exec Editor Jill Abramson on Tattoos, Anita Hill & Nate Silver
75 Mobile Control In The Cloud: ItsOn Raises $12.5M From Tenaya And Andreessen Horowitz | TechCrunch
76 Google Actually Sells Out Of A Google Glass Model | TechCrunch
77 PlayStation 4 Sells Over 7 Million Units - IGN
78 Vice President Biden joins Instagram - CNET
79 Mayer aims to persuade Apple to choose Yahoo over Google: Re/code
80 Exclusive: Turmoil at Symantec luring activists, buyers - sources
81 Why 'Bandwidth As a Commodity' Could Be a Huge New Market
82 Fired Yahoo COO Henrique De Castro’s Severance Totaled $58M | TechCrunch
83 Bing Home Page Gets Some Of Cortana’s Smarts | TechCrunch
84 Website-Building Platform Squarespace Raises Another $40M | TechCrunch
85 Teardown Shows Samsung's Galaxy S5 Costs About $256 to Build
86 This Google App Lets You Control Your Computer From Your Phone
87 Dodge Floats One-Year Car Lease For Short-Attention-Span Consumers
88 The Americans: "New Car" Review - IGN
89 http://trycaviar.theresumator.com/apply
90 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Joining Someone Else’s Startup
91 A Breathtakingly Simple Computer Stand That Helps Organize Your Desk | Gadget Lab | WIRED
92 Microsoft Rolls Out Personalized Cards on Bing.com
93 Twelve South's BookArc Möd Is A Gorgeous Mid-Century MacBook Stand [Review] | Cult of Mac
94 MTV2's "Jobs That Don't Suck" Gives Millennials a Real-World Look at Finding Their Dream Job
95 YouTube’s Big Plan to Turn Its Stars Into Real Celebrities | Business | WIRED
96 Cult of Mac | Breaking news for Apple fans
97 Amazon’s Smartphone To Feature Unique But Limited 3D Effects | TechCrunch
98 Piggybacking: Marketing for The Age of The Network Effect
99 Google misses revenue target, ad prices slide
100 These Game-Changing Ringtones Bring The Symphony To The Streets