Virtual Skinny: Wednesday Wisdom

9.7.2016

Good to Know:  Here’s your Wednesday Wisdom. Working on a startup? Look for venture capital money? At the very least, avoid these 11 things to up your chances of success. 

THE SKINNY


When Christmas Comes Early …

Today is Apple Inc’s annual product launch event in San Francisco.

When You Know What to Expect …

Ever since Apple sent out its “See You on the Seventh” invites, the blogosphere’s been abuzz about what’s likely to go down today. One word: iPhone 7. The latest iPhone is said to have minor changes from the ‘6’ version with things like a touch sensitive home button. The major change: No headphone jack. Apple has gone wireless so you can listen to your jam or watch your fave show without wires getting in the way. 

When You Don’t Know It All …

Unclear how much the ‘7’ will go for in terms of price. Other than the phone, there’s rumbles about a new Apple Watch version but not much has been leaked about it. Gotta keep some things close to the vest …

When Patience Is Still A Virtue …

With no major changes to the ‘7,’ analysts are feeling underwhelmed. They suggest that you wait it out till next year for the ‘8.’ Next year’s the 10th anniversary of the iPhone so they’re predicting major changes like ‘a wider display that reaches from one edge of the device to the other.’ In the meantime, the new iOS 10 software update is bringing us less text and more visuals in iMessage (i.e., stickers, funny faces, animated balloons, etc).

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?


Summer’s Over …

Time to get serious.  Twitter’s board of directors is huddling up this Thursday. On the agenda? To sell or not to sell. Twitter’s been struggling to perform well. In other words, it’s trying to grow its user-base and bring in more dolla bills. Co-founder and board member Evan Williams said the company needs to “consider the right options.” Looks like the options are selling to whoever can afford an US $18 billion company (Google, Apple, 21st Century Fox or News Corp. could be potential buyers). Option B? Another round of staff layoffs. The struggle is real …

This Was Not Part of the Plan …

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg surprised everyone when he headed to the continent. And by the continent, we mean Africa. The Zuck’s first stop? Lagos, Nigeria where it was biz mixed with a bit of fun: He visited a kids coding camp called the CcHub, had a Q&A with local entrepreneurs, sat down to dinner with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, and even crashed a Nigerian hip hop video set. Zuckerberg said ‘Nigeria’s tech story is “under-appreciated across the world.” But, some local techies aren’t buying it. They are unimpressed by Zuck’s visit and want FB to build a true partnership with Africa’s tech community.

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Please Tell Me More…

Looks like Zuck’s got big plans for Africa, but he learned during his trip that he had a f*@# problem. Back stateside in Florida, a SpaceX rocket ship exploded and took down one of FB’s satellites used to beam high-speed Internet to Africa. Yikes!

It’s Not Translating …

According to reports, “democracy,” “human rights,” and “hunger strike,” are not in the Cuban government’s vocabulary. The government’s been blocking people’s text messages containing those words. Unclear how long this alleged filtering has been going on … 

THE STREETS ARE TALKIN’


Snapchat’s ditching its ‘local stories,’ the features that let’s you see what’s happening in big cities. It’s cut the ‘small team’ responsible and is now eyeing live events as a replacement. 

You’ll soon be able to search the Google machine by outfits. The upcoming feature, “Shop the Look,” will pull up outfits published by fashion bloggers in search.

Pandora plans to launch two new music services (US $10 Spotify type service so you and your tunes will always be together whenever and wherever & US $5 that’s a slight upgrade from its free web radio). Still waiting on when the official public announcement will go down since Pandora’s still trying to finalize things with music label partners. 

Box (the business version of DropBox) just worked on a collabo project with IBM called Box Relay to custom build work processes. 

WOD (WORD OF THE DAY)  


Demonetization: Think YouTube. The process of not allowing certain YouTube videos to make money off of ads because of its ‘unfriendly’ content. The company’s been in the demonetization game since 2012, but YouTube video makers didn’t know about it until last week. Turns out YouTube’s software isn’t perfect, and some legit and friendly videos got caught up in the mix. Unfortunately, some YouTube video makers haven’t been making their ‘pay-pah.’

Virtual Skinny: Netflix and …

1.22.2016

Good to Know:  If you’re in the Northeast U.S. (NE), here’s what you need to binge watch on Netflix while taking cover from #WinterStormJonas.  And if you’re not in the NE, then lucky you! 

THE SKINNY


When You’re Not Captain Planet … 

Turns out that sending that one line e-mail is bad for the environment – right up there with printing multiple pages … Single-sided.

What Now? 

Social media researcher Danah Boyd is making the case at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.  Boyd says it’s easier for people to associate cutting down trees for paper and delivery trucks’ exhaust emissions with things that are probably destroying the environment. But, it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around their online activities’ environmental impact.

It’s Not Much Ado About Nothing … 

People’s online information is stored in the “cloud” aka a network of Internet servers located around the world, and these servers eat up a ton of electricity.

What Are We Going To Do About This? 

Already, tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook are letting us know what their doing to remain environmentally friendly. To go one step further, Boyd suggests “branding apps and tech services with the same sort of certification that the U.S. Green Building Council provides to eco-friendly structures.”

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?


When Hate Doesn’t Drive Out Hate … 

Facebook is encouraging its users to fight hate speech with positivity. The company’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told an audience at Davos that countering negative comments with positive messages is the way to go.  It’s what she calls “the Like Attack.” The platform’s got some other things up its sleeve to combat extremists and terrorism (e.g., partnering with the U.S. government to urge college students to kick off anti-terrorism campaigns, teaming up with the German government on id-ing and taking down hate speech, and playing Switzerland with its News Feed algorithm when it comes to hate speech v. positive speech).

That’s Different… 

Home-sharing service AirBnB is getting serious about its intentions with cities all across America.  The company’s so serious that it’s asking the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a group of political heavy-hitters, to impose taxes on its service.  No joke … the company says it’s already paying about $42 million in taxes to 16 cities and is prepared to do the same with 50 of America’s biggest cities.  AirBnB legit wants show cities that it’s committed to making things right and paying their fair share.  Hotels and home-sharing platform AirBnB have been at odds since day one. Unsurprisingly, hotels aren’t buying it.

When You Have A Rough Week … 

Twitter and Square’s stock took a dive this week along with the rest of the stock markets. Each company’s poor performance bumped their CEO Jack Dorsey down a notch from billionaire to millionaire status. If that’s not bad enough, now rumors are cropping up again that the micro-blogging site may be up for sale. Oy!

THE STREETS ARE TALKIN’


The Facebook Sports Stadium is a thing now for all you social media-loving, sports fans. The feature will let you keep up on posts and comments from your friends, celebs, and journalists on the latest sporting events.  Just in time for NFL playoffs and March Madness.

Happy Birthday, WeChat! The Chinese mobile messaging app turns five.  It’s been through a lot in that time. We’re talking an upgrade from just simply chatting with friends to being able to buy stuff, watch videos, and make voice/video calls, etc.

Lots of Twitter rumors. Reports are saying the platform is thinking about expanding its 140-character limit to 10k characters. In the meantime Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, has already confirmed its plans.  The Chinese site is expanding its character limit to 2k.

Switzerland could be the new hot spot for early-stage startups.

Indian e-commerce company Snapdeal could be going public in its home country.