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.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 9.51.37 AMScreen Shot 2016-09-07 at 9.53.58 AM

 

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.’

The Virtual Skinny: Happy Holidays from Us to You!

12.22.2015

Good to Know:  See here for our our end of year note to you! Yesterday, we branched out a bit and released the first newsletter of our new financial technology (FinTech) weekly series.  2015 has been great, and we’re looking forward to an even better 2016! We’ll see you back here on Tuesday, January 5, 2016! Happy New Year! 

THE SKINNY


In 5, 4, 3,  2, 1…

Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Falcon 9 rocket yesterday after the rocket launched 11 satellites into space.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

After some failed attempts in landing Falcon 9 over the past year, SpaceX dusted itself off and tried again. This isn’t a case where we can say “NBD” because it is in fact a very big deal. It marks the first time that a rocket of the Falcon’s size and complexity has shot deep into space then made a safe and controlled return back down to Earth.  The usual outcome? Rockets launched into orbit are usually either destroyed or lost. Huge step for reusable rockets, which could mean major cost-savings for space travel.

#FunShade or #ShadyShade? 

People celebrated the occasion, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns his own space startup called Blue Origin, chimed in with a tweet. Bezos tweeted “…Welcome to the club.” That was a reference to what Blue Origin did about a month ago, which was very similar to Falcon 9’s mission.  Differences being that the Blue Origin effort was a trial (not a real mission), and Blue Origin’s rocket was on a “suborbital” flight (i.e., it didn’t go quite as high as Falcon 9). On that note, we’re gonna say #FunShade.

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?


You’re Not Hearing Us … 

Tech companies’ rejection of governments’ requests to gain more access to their users’ personal info is fast becoming their least favorite pastime.  The latest? The United Kingdom (UK) now has a bill known as the “Investigatory Powers” bill that would take things a little too far. Internet and tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo want no part in hacking their own users’ information on behalf of the UK.  These companies are speaking out against the bill because it has potential to violate other countries’ laws where they operate. The UK wants everyone to chill as it simply wants to make sure things like child sexual exploitation and crime cartels are handled. The struggle continues …

Lawyer Up! 

Google’s experimenting with its driverless cars and turns out that following traffic rules isn’t always safe. Since human drivers don’t always play by the rules on the road, there are more traffic accidents with the driverless cars than expected. Humans are to blame, of course. But, what happens if there’s a computer glitch and an accident occurs? If driverless cars go commercial, plaintiff lawyers may have a field day. The possibilities of whom to blame for accidents involving driverless cars could be endless … One more thing: Google’s said to be partnering with Ford on making the driverless car thing happen by 2020.

When You Mess up, But Not As Badly as Miss Universe Host Steve Harvey …. 

Facebook’s effort to bring Internet access to the entire globe, Internet.org, is under fire in India. The issue is whether the program goes against net neutrality since it offers only a few select apps for free to participants and not the whole web. FB’s been sending out notifications to users in India to express their support of the program to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRIA). U.S. users received similar notifications, which people found strange. FB said “our b …” It was a mistake. BTW, whatever TRIA decides about Internet.org is a big deal. For one, India is a massive growth market for FB, and other emerging markets like Brazil and Indonesia will be watching. #NoPressure

THE STREETS ARE TALKIN’ 


Short videos are the new selfies if Apple and Facebook have anything to do with it.  Look for that feature on FB in 2016.

Word to the wise: Don’t let people waste your time and be strategic about how you spend every minute of the day. That’s how Jack Dorsey is able to be the boss man of Twitter and mobile payments company Square at the same time. Jack definitely needs more sleep.  Being the boss is hard…

Twitter just filed a patent for “messaging with or from” drones … Interesting …

Operating system Android is still killing it in the U.S. market (sorry iOS).

Apps can be used for good and not just games. Social entrepreneurs are trying to figure out how to use apps to fight human trafficking.