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Amazon Echo Can Now Do Some Of Your Shopping For You, Prime Members


TheBrood:

There was first the Amazon button, now the voice activated shopping devices. reducing barriers, and getting in earlier on the decision making process is good enough disruption to any supermarket out there. Now all it needs is custom offers by time of day and mood of voice to make that closer more effective. Now that is smart shopping!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Amazon’s Echo speaker/intelligent tube/listening pal revealed a bit more of its true nature today: It can now field voice-powered buying requests, translating your spoken desire for more paper towels into more actual paper towels, for instance. The catch is that it’s restricted to Prime members, it only works with Prime-eligible goods, and you need both a U.S. billing address and a U.S.-based payment method.

To command your smart cylinder to conduct commerce on your behalf, all you need do is use your Wake word, then tell it to reorder whatever item you’re after. This is designed to be an easy way to order again things you’re often already buying rep eats of anyway, so ostensibly Amazon is positioning it as a convenience feature, not a full-fledged shopping alternative.

But you can actually order something new – to an extent. If Echo fails to find what you’re asking for in…

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Hackers steal from Starbucks customers by compromising its mobile app


TheBrood:

The wonders of keeping multiple passwords is just beyond me. But then again, after looking at what these hackers did with the Starbucks app, makes me think twice about my Steam account now!

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

starbucks-info-stolenYou know how people keep recommending that you don’t repeat passwords across multiple websites, that you use hard-to-guess passwords, and that you guard those passwords instead of revealing them on television? Here’s why.

Reports claim that hackers have made their way into Starbucks’ mobile application to drain the credit card associated with that account. This nets them a bunch of Starbucks gift cards that can either be used or sold on black markets.

Bob Sullivan reports that criminals are exploiting the Starbucks app’s default behavior, which automatically requests more funds from a consumer’s bank account when it runs dry, to steal hundreds of dollars from various consumers.

Starbucks has said that the problem isn’t on its end. This means the hackers are  probably targeting people who use the same password for multiple services and don’t update that password even if one of those services has been compromised.

That’s exactly what Starbucks blames the…

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After years of false starts, Apple is finally poised to kill Spotify and take over streaming music. There’s just one catch…


TheBrood:

“Despite huge head starts from Pandora and Spotify, which today have 80 and 60 million users, respectively, Apple has 800 million credit cards on file. If it convinces only 10 percent of these cardholders to sign up for a subscription streaming service, it will already have caught up with Pandora and surpassed Spotify.” – I wonder how did he come to this conclusion that all 800 million credit cards are real!!! – minus inactive users – minus existing spottily users using a Mac.

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

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Apple’s road to building a streaming music service hasn’t been easy.

From the failure of its music-based social network Ping to the drastic retooling and rebranding of its $3 billion Beats acquisition, this journey has been fraught with false starts and failed features.

But today, on the heels of new details about its upcoming possibly-Spotify-killing streaming service — courtesy, as usual, of 9to5Mac — and with Apple only weeks away from unveiling this new subscription offering at next month’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the company’s in a fantastic position. The only entity standing in Apple’s way isn’t Spotify or Pandora or YouTube or some other competitor, however. It’s record labels.

Thanks to its size, influence, and cachet in the music industry, Apple possesses many advantages in this increasingly crowded space. Despite huge head starts from Pandora and Spotify, which today have 80 and 60 million users, respectively, Apple has 800 million credit cards on file. If it convinces only 10 percent of these cardholders…

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TV Characters That Vanished


TheBrood:

I would think this might be a fantastic idea on the whereabouts of ad-industry professionals in the next 5 years or so. Well, it might sound harsh, but reading through some of the sad endings to these fictional TV characters, I must say there are very similar nuances.

Originally posted on Funk's House of Geekery:

Every year thousands of people vanish without a trace, and some of them do it on television. Over the years TV writers write characters off, and rather than giving them a fitting end they simply stop writing them effectively causing the character to disappear. Because we as television fans do not forget here is a list of TV characters that vanished without a trace.

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“Spearchucker” Jones (MASH): When he was introduced in the first season of the legendary show, he was to be utilized by the socially conscious writers to explore race relations. But history worked against them in this instance as they learned that no African American had served in a MASH unit during the Korean War. Stuck between a rock and a hard place the production crew of MASH were forced into making Spearchucker go AWOL so to speak.

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Mr. Turner (Boy Meets World):

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Belly will run 7-Eleven’s digital loyalty program in 2,600 convenience stores


TheBrood:

Quick and dirty way to get more people to use your app. Well, I was going through this Belly loyalty application, and it does show a lot of promise. Wonder how this would pick up in Asia. It really gives me that Grab Taxi vibe of linking up commuters with taxi drivers. Simple and affordable way to get started with your own loyalty programme if you are a merchant.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Given 7-Eleven participated in digital loyalty startup Belly’s most recent $12 million funding round, you would figure the convenience store giant was bound to start installing Belly’s iPad rewards terminals in retail locations around the country. Well, that roll-out begins began this month, and by the end of this year 2,600 7-Eleven stores in North America will start awarding points and handing out free cups of coffee and Slurpees to Belly’s growing user base.

Belly started out in Chicago as a rewards program for small businesses that didn’t have the resources to create their own amenity programs. Instead of joining a bunch of individual loyalty programs, customers just signed up for one, [company]Belly[/company], using its app to check into iPad terminals at any participating business. Each check-in accrues a certain number of points, which can be exchanged for goods or services determined by the retailer that awarded them, for instance…

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5 Reasons Why I Can’t Get Shit Done In The Office


3 months of working up an appetite for destruction is enough for me to realise why I can’t function in an office environment. Ok, wait a minute, that might be a little harsh. What I meant was, why I can’t function in office environments, today.

I’m a freelance contractor, yes you can say that I am hired to fix people’s problems. I don’t ask, I just get it done. It’s been a good time thus far, but I just find it harder getting shit done in the office. Here’s 5 of my own reasons.

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The 10 things I am taking away from Hyper Island


So, it’s been quite a while since my last post. And there is good reason for it. I’ve just finished the major portion of my MA course at Hyper Island. Yes I have this picture to prove it!

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The journey however has not ended. And just to add to my collection of experiences that I’ve been through, I am taking these important points to share with those that are thinking of taking the plunge as well.

Get Ready To Be “Wronged”
Yes, at HI there is no wrong or right, so if you think you are coming into this school to show people what a hot-shot you are? You are sadly mistaken! In fact, be ready to have some pretty good answers in your first two weeks, and you would soon realise how uninformed you are.

Forget Books
So this is what I picked up on. Don’t bring note books! Half the time, the slides from the presenters are given, but its all visual aides and that’s about it. The secret to this, is for you to come up with your own notes, in your HEAD! Yes, the coursework is designed for you to question it. So don’t go thinking HI is going to feed you answers.

Enjoyment In Reading
So this is where I found my calling. Read the books that inspire you, not what your friends or New York Times say is a best seller. I found myself struggling in the past to finish books. But at HI, the coursework recommended readings are one of the most interesting and eye-opening. Forget Seth Godin!

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Referencing & Organisation
I spent a lot of time at the library and online resources finding for journals and articles. Something I thought was all academic fluff in the past. This however opened up my view on how to approach desktop research more accurately, which helps in my own day to day work.

Mobile Tech
If i said forget notebooks earlier on, perhaps two key assets in your MA journey that might be better are “Evernote” and any E-Reader. Lots of the recommended journals and supported reading for coursework projects comes in PDFs and HBR styled articles. Using a simple mobile device and application to capture and read anywhere is very important, especially if you are lying in bed at night after a long day at work, and have to catch up on some reading.

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Be ready to answer your questions
If you are going to ask a question, perhaps a better way of approaching it, is to provide your point of view as your question instead. And then discuss it!

Group Dynamics
HI promotes massive amounts of group collaboration. So if you are an introvert, you might want to be better prepared. The coursework however does cater for individual contribution. Just be ready to be bombarded with open talks, coaching techniques, speaking and lots of hugs!

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A space to call your own
There is no such thing as a classroom, its your home. HI is a space where you get away to think, ideate and collaborate. It’s how the students change and evolve with cohorts, that the space evolves as well. For us, this is truly a home environment with a family of people who cares how you progress in your MA.

Celebrate Underachievement
If you think you did badly in school, well think again. HI is a place that rewards you for mistakes. It simply means you need to tell them what you learnt. Being Asian, most of us are not comfortable with this. So a great incentive for those who are feeling less confident of getting through and MA.

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Your own agency of friends
You will soon realise that most students who are working, end up not! This is simply how HI works. It shows you your true potential and how, as an individual or cohort, do better things within the digital space.  So be prepared for an unprepared career shift.

I hope this little list might be incentive enough for you to make that change in your life as well. The real learning is actually subjective, and like that paper trail of life experiences seen in that picture above, they are all different for each individual. Its how we bring our own spice of life to it, making it an adventurous journey.

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Pirate Radio, YouTubers And Video Games


TheBrood:

Brilliant article by Tadhg Kelly. The question remains, if YouTubers should really be paying game developers for using their content? Well they are earning a potential 4m/year doing humorous game walkthroughs. How harmful is that?

It’s just another business model created from the games industry, just like development, design, publishing, brokering, licensing, etc. Everybody wants a piece of that small pie, and now when the industry extends to the use of games within the branded content segment, it goes back to the stone age of copyright infringement, as the best source to earn money? Come on!

They forget that some of these creators of content, are not being watched because of the games, but the delivery of the content by the creators themselves. In that case, shouldn’t they be doing these developers a service instead? Some of the games or horrendous, in fact I don’t understand how they even make it on STEAM to be honest.

If you have a say this, re-blog this and share your view.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Tadhg Kelly writes a regular column about all things video game for TechCrunch. He is a games industry consultant, freelance designer and the creator of leading design blog What Games Are. You can follow him on Twitter here.

PewDiePie, TotalBiscuit, Vegetta Gaymer, TheDiamondMineCar, VanossGaming. These and many more represent the new frontier of gaming media. They are “YouTubers”, channels on YouTube that record lengthy (known as “Let’s Play”) gameplay videos and use them as footage for episodic, usually comedic, shows.

YouTubing (and similar through services like Twitch) has been gaining momentum for a while, but this year it seems to have broken through into the wider consciousness. Some channels have attained enormous followings and are starting to exert huge influence. Many indie developers report, for example, that YouTubing is far more successful in driving sales than the traditional PR/press machine. Many attribute the initial flocking of users…

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