Virtual Skinny: Wednesday Wisdom


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. 


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).


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 … 


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. 


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: Did You Hear?


Good to Know: It’s that time of year again … Valentine’s Day is coming up. Dating apps are changing this up.  Here’s 5 of them


When You Listen to Kanye West who took advice from “50”…

Twitter’s switchin’ its style up to hopefully watch its money pile up.

When You Make Things Easy … 

Following reports last week from BuzzFeed, the micro-blogging site is in fact making changes to its timeline.  But, it’s not what you think. To clear the air, no Twitter isn’t turning into Facebook so we can all cool it with the #RIPTwitter hashtags.

When You Step away for a hot minute … 

Some Twitter users follow many, many people. But, who really has time to check tweets all day? Twitter doesn’t want its users to miss the good stuff so it’s making two very similar but different changes. First up, the company will start placing more tweets at the top of users’ timelines (personalized, of course). And second, when users launch their Twitter apps, they’ll be greeted with the “best” tweets right out the gate. Confusing, but we’ll figure it out.

Keep ‘Em Coming Back For More …

Turns out CEO Jack Dorsey couldn’t do much to up Twitter’s user numbers (305 million monthly users) at the end of 2015. The company knows that it needs to make the platform more user-friendly, but it’s a work in progress.



When Cam Newton Isn’t The Only “Sore Loser…”

The Indian government dealt Facebook a blow earlier this week when it put the kibosh on the social network’s Free Basics program.  The effort was intended to help spread Internet access across India by offering a bare bones version of the Web (the technical term is zero-rating). Civil societies in India opposed the program and turns out that their advocacy game is strong. Ultimately, the Indian government essentially banned the program. The Zuck put out a statement expressing his disappointment in the decision but also his commitment to the country. Reports speculate that this decision could potentially negatively impact the company. But before we even get there, the Zuck had to put out yet another statement distancing himself from one of his board members, Marc Andreessen. What did Andreessen say? Let’s just say he referenced colonialism in a tweet convo … Yikes! Many people were understandably upset … Andreessen has since apologized …


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When You Don’t Play By The Rules … 

Parker Conrad, Co-Founder and CEO of online HR software company Zenefits, is back in the market for a new job. The company grew pretty quickly and became a $4.5 billion in almost no time.But turns out, things don’t work out when you cut corners. The startup operates in the highly regulated industry of insurance, but the company wasn’t exactly on the up and up with compliance, licensing, etc.  The company wants to get right with its paperwork and processes so now Parker’s out, and the company’s Chief Operating Officer David Sacks is in


FBI Director James Comey wants people to know that the U.S. government doesn’t want special access to your devices. No, not at all.  Comey said they’d rather just have companies like Apple, Google and Facebook to keep your encrypted data just in case the government needs it. *Head Tilt* While we’re talking encryption, two members of the U.S. Congress just introduced a bill that would ban states from passing laws, which would prevent manufacturers from encrypting smartphones. New York and California have already seen these type of proposals. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) don’t this is exactly feasible so they’re trying to stop the madness.



HBO came out with its HBO NOW streaming service for all you cordcutters, but things aren’t picking up like people thought it would. The service only has 800,000 subscribers.

Verizon Communications is in the market for another Internet company.  Looking at you, Yahoo.

Unlike Kenya’s government, Hungary is showing ride hailing app service Uber no love. The country’s considering banning the app.

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Wanna step your selfie game up to Kardashian status? Easy … Just pony up US $55 for a Lumee lighting phone case.

Seems like everyone and their moms is on WhatsApp. But, Pope Francis does want he wants. He’s opting for messaging app Telegram to reach out to young peeps during Lent.