As the battle for cell phone subscribers wage on between the carriers, T-Mobile has added another arrow to its quiver, encouraging Verizon customers who have an iPhone to switch networks.
As part of a new promotion starting May 31, any Verizon customer with an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, or iPhone SE can bring their phone to a T-Mobile store and the phone will be paid off by T-Mobile.
However, Verizon customers are required to pay $15 a month for T-Mobile’s Premium Device Protection Plus insurance program. The insurance program protects the iPhone from loss, theft or damage.
The offer is only available in the U.S. and customers will get the remaining amount owed on their iPhones in a digital prepaid MasterCard in approximately 15 days after they trade in their device.
T-MOBILE’S CEO IS TROLLING VERIZON ON TWITTER AFTER ITS EARNINGS MISS
“After desperately launching unlimited, Verizon’s network choked—while our network speeds surged. Today, T-Mobile has a whopping 23% speed advantage over Verizon,” said T-Mobile CEO Legere in a statement. “So, to kick off summer, we’re going BIG right out of the gate and throwing a lifeline to millions of Verizon customers. Now, you can ditch Verizon, keep your phone, and we’ll even pay it off for you!”
Analysts believe the new marketing initiative, for which T-Mobile and Legere have become known for, will keep Verizon on the defensive and may be a precursor to other announcements.
Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson said the deal applies to Verizon because of how similar Verizon’s network is to T-Mobile’s network.
“It also helps that Verizon is doing a little better lately competitively since reintroducing unlimited services – it turned around its postpaid phone net add trend in Q1 after the move – and so T-Mobile may feel it needs to get more aggressive to redress the balance and keep its positive porting ratio versus Verizon going,” Dawson said on his Tech Narratives website.
Dawson added that T-Mobile is likely to introduce “other announcements like this over the next few weeks.”
Legere has often poked fun at his larger competitors, as they lose subscribers to T-Mobile, which has been aggressive in acquiring new subscribers through its marketing tactics.
In April, Legere needled the New York-based Verizon on Twitter after the company reported first-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street estimates. It also said retail postpaid subscribers — the most lucrative for a telecom — fell by 307,000 during the period, including 289,000 phone losses.
New emoji flags for Wales, Scotland and England have finally arrived on tablets and smart phones.
It follows a campaign for the national flags by Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia and BBC Wales’ social media lead Owen Williams in March 2016.
Unicode, the authority on computer text and characters, agreed to add the three flags to the next release of emojis.
Technology companies such as Apple and Google will now be able to introduce the flags to their software.
A UK flag is already available, but Northern Ireland will have to wait as it does not have official status, although it is included in an unrelated proposal asking Unicode to adopt “regional indicator” emojis.
Other emoji flags already available include those for Ascension Island, St Barthelemy, Curacao, Diego Garcia and Djibouti.
Mr Burge said: “The Welsh flag is a great flag. I know I usually end up using the dragon emoji when talking about Wales, so it’s a big improvement.
“My grandparents in particular will be very pleased being Welsh and huge emoji users.”
Mr Burge said anyone who uses Twitter via the website will be able to access the new emojis and they are expecting more platforms to support them no later than the end of the year.E4y.net Info@e4y.net]]>
Facebook announced today it’s expanding its online fundraising tools – basically, Facebook’s own take on a GoFundMe-type service – to include support for community fundraisers as well as those for sports teams. The company had first launched its personal fundraising tools in March of this year, allowing users to raise money for educational, medical or pet medical needs, public crises, natural disasters, personal emergencies, and funerals or loss.
That launch, however, was considered a beta test. Today, Facebook says the product is publicly available for all users in the U.S. who are over 18 years of age.
With the new supported categories, Facebook users are now able to raise money for things like neighborhood services, community improvements, or environmental improvements, Facebook explains. Or, in the case of sports teams, people can raise money for equipment, competitions or team fees.
All fundraisers have to first go through a review process to ensure they meet Facebook’s policy and guidelines. Afterwards, users can promote their fundraising campaign by inviting friends to join and donate, or by posting the campaign to Facebook.
The launch of personal fundraisers follows a series of other efforts Facebook has made in the fundraising space. The company rolled out a Kickstarter-like feature in 2015 aimed at nonprofits, which allowed the organizations to set up a campaign page, explain their goals and collect cash. And in 2016, Facebook expanded its fundraising tools so individuals could collect funds on behalf of nonprofit organizations, too.
The company then moved directly into GoFundMe’s space this March, even undercutting its rival on the fee structure. Facebook’s personal fundraisers have a 6.9 percent + $.30 fee that goes to payment processing, fundraiser vetting, and security and fraud protection. GoFundMe, meanwhile, takes 7.9 percent + $.30 for personal or charity campaigns.
Facebook touts its lower price point as coming from a desire to encourage giving and good works on its network.
“Facebook’s goal is to create a platform for good that’s sustainable over the long-term, and not to make a profit from our charitable giving tools,” the company said in today’s announcement.
However, the fundraisers have another advantage for the social network. By giving to fundraisers, Facebook is encouraging more payment transactions among its user base – and payments is an area of its business that’s still under-developed today, despite Facebook having added support for person-to-person payments in Messenger.
Access to personal fundraisers are open to all as of now, and can be found via facebook.com/fundraisers on the desktop, or from the “Fundraisers” menu on mobile devices.E4y.net Info@e4y.net]]>
Confirming a rumor that originally surfaced earlier this year, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam recently said that the company plans to launch an over-the-top TV streaming service later this year. Not to be confused with Verizon’s decent but relatively unpopular go90 streaming service which houses original content, Verizon’s upcoming service will offer viewers something similar to a traditional cable package.
According to a report from TechCrunch, McAdam’s remarks on the matter were made earlier this week during an appearance at J.P. Morgan’s Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. With Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo expected to close next month, Verizon may launch its TV streaming service as early as July, though a later launch is likely more probable.
With so many TV streaming services, it’s getting harder for any individual service to stand out. Still, TechCrunch raises an interesting strategy Verizon may ultimately implement: use content from go90 as a lure and differentiating factor relative to services like DirecTV Now.
But the interesting thing about Verizon entering the over-the-top market with its own live TV service is that it could become a home to go90’s original video output, if the company did want to shut down the go90 app. That is, instead of trying to make go90 a brand that can stand on its own, Verizon — if it was smart — could use the content that’s languishing over in that app, unviewed, to flesh out its live TV offering.
This is actually a solid idea as there is compelling content available at go90. And while nothing on go90 has seeped into the mainstream, perhaps a larger profile on a new TV streaming service will be the extra boost needed to do so.
While additional details surrounding Verizon’s upcoming TV service remain unknown, it’s a safe bet that interested users won’t have to be existing Verizon customers in order to hop on board. That said, pricing details have yet to be disclosed, but it’s also a safe bet that Verizon will aim for a pricepoint somewhere in the $30-$40 range.
Sometimes your old high school acquaintances get on Facebook Live to talk about their side business hawking random crap like leggings or vitamins. You obviously tune in, and you probably send a group text to your high school besties informing them that Donna’s involved in another pyramid scheme.
Now, Facebook is making it a lot easier to talk smack in these types of situations. The social network on Tuesday introduced a new feature called Live Chat With Friends, which lets you have a private conversation during a public Live broadcast without leaving the interface.
You can invite friends who are already watching, or anyone who you think might want to tune in. You can jump back into the public conversation at any time, should you need to share your thoughts with a larger audience.
“With Live Chat With Friends, you can be part of big moments with the wider community but also have the option to participate in personal conversations with the people closest to you, directly within the Live experience,” Facebook Product Managers Erin Connolly and Fred Beteille wrote in a blog post. Facebook said it’s currently testing this feature on mobile platforms in “several countries,” and plans to roll it out “more broadly later this summer.”
Facebook also last year started letting public figures go live with a guest, and now it’s extending that feature to all profiles and pages on iOS. Just select someone from the Live Viewers section or tap a comment from the person you want to invite. From there, the person you invite can opt to join your broadcast, or not. For more detailed instructions, head here.
“Sharing the screen with a friend can make going live more fun and interactive — for both you and your viewers,” Connolly and Beteille wrote.
Meanwhile, Facebook as of late has had to grapple with a number of disturbing incidents broadcasted live on its platform, from murders and shootings to sexual assault and teens and tweens live streaming their own suicides. The company recently promised to add 3,000 people to its community operations team to more quickly review and respond to reports.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.
The rebooted Nokia 3310 has gone on sale, nearly 17 years after the original made its debut.
The phone, which has a two megapixel camera and relies on 2.5G connectivity to offer only limited internet access, is being sold for £49.99.
The battery is claimed to offer up to 22 hours of talk time, and up to a month in standby mode.
One expert said its success depended on how much people would be willing to pay for a device that “oozes nostalgia”.
“For someone like me, it’s an exciting day,” commented Ben Wood, from technology consultancy CCS Insight.
“If you put this in the hands of a millennial who’s addicted to Snapchat, of course it’s the wrong phone.
“But with over 20 million mobile phones in the UK, approximately one million are feature phones, or ‘dumb phones’ if you want to call them that. This is still a sizeable market.
“This is a premium version, so the question is how much are people willing to pay for that?”
Youtube technology vlogger Safwan Ahmedia was one of the first to buy one.
“The interest shown for this reimagined classic has been backed up by incredibly strong levels of pre-registration, and we have already sold out of very limited stock online”, Carphone Warehouse’s Andrew Wilson said.
And a spokesperson for Vodafone told the BBC: “We are delighted to be stocking the phone as demand has been really high”.
EE is registering levels of interest in the device, but O2 and Three said they had no plans to sell the handset.
|Nokia 3310 specifications|
|Operating system||Nokia S30+|
|Connectivity||2.5G, Bluetooth 3.0|
|Storage (internal / removable)||32MB, microSD up to 32GB|
|Battery life||22 hours of talk time, up to a month on standby|
The new device was announced at February’s Mobile World Congress technology show in Barcelona.
It is being built under licence by the Finnish start-up company HMD Global, which also makes several Nokia-branded Android smartphones.
Nokia produced more than 126 million of the original 3310 handsets between 2000 and 2005, when they were phased out.
But it has not made mobile phones since 2013, when it sold its handset business to Microsoft.E4y.net Info@e4y.net]]>
A video from noted conspiracy theorists SecureTeam 10 describes what it calls “leaked” footage of an alien craft at Area 51 in Nevada.
The video, which has racked up over 200,000 views on YouTube, appears to show a flying object hovering in the sky, then flying in a way that known aircraft can not currently do.
Light emits from the craft as it moves side to side then up and down.
Here is the video in its entirety:
On the video, Tyler Glockner, who runs SecureTeam 10, described the clip as a “hidden gem,” noting it was alleged to have been filmed in the 1980’s or 1990’s.
UFO SIGHTING? VIDEO PURPORTEDLY SHOWING MASSIVE LIGHTS OVER PARIS RAISES QUESTIONS
“It’s one of the mysterious pieces in UFOlogy,” Glockner said of the footage.
SecureTeam 10, which openly states that it runs conspiracy theory-based videos, has more than 900,000 subscribes to its YouTube channel.
Area 51 has become a hot topic for extraterrestrial enthusiasts, due to the U.S. government never acknowledging its presence until 2013.
The National Security Archive at George Washington University declassified CIA documents in August 2013, thanks to a freedom of information request (FOIA) by Archivist Jeffrey Richelson, which confirmed the existence of the Nevada military base.
The famed U-2 spy plane, as well as the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird are both confirmed to have been tested at Area 51.
Google is planning to track billions of credit and debit card sales to compare online ad clicks with money spent offline.
Google Attribution will allow advertisers to see whether online ad campaigns generate offline sales.
Announcing the service, Google said that it captures around 70% of credit and debit card transactions in the US.
Critics said it represented another blow to privacy.
Google announced the new product in a blogpost, saying: “For the first time, Google Attribution makes it possible for every marketer to measure the impact of their marketing across devices and cross-channel – all in one place.”
Google has vast amounts of data on net users, from services such as AdWords, Google Analytics and DoubleClick Search which combine details about the ads displayed on devices with what has been searched for in Google.
Google can also collect location information from phones, allowing it to work out when a user has seen an ad, and whether they have searched for the product advertised and gone to an offline shop to buy it.
It introduced store visit measurements back in 2014, using the location data on mobiles to track when people visited a store.
“In under three years, advertisers globally have measured over five billion store visits,” it said.
It added that Google’s “third-party partnerships” already capture approximately 70% of credit and debit card transactions in the US, but did not reveal who the partners were or how information was captured.
Google will not have access to the details about what individuals spend – instead they learn the value of all purchases in a certain time period.
“While we developed the concept for this product years ago, it required years of effort to develop a solution that could meet our stringent user privacy requirements,” a spokesman said.
“To accomplish this, we developed a new, custom encryption technology that ensures users’ data remains private, secure, and anonymous.”
“What’s really fascinating to me is that as the companies become increasingly intrusive in terms of their data collection, they also become more secretive,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center told the Washington Post.
The measurement of store visits will be aggregated and anonymised and no location data will be shared with advertisers.
Users can opt out of the service by going to their ads setting page and unchecking the box that says: “Also use Google Account activity and information to personalise ads on these websites and apps and store that data in your Google Account”.
Users can also disable personalisation for all Google ads. And they can pause or delete their location history.
The service is currently limited to the US and is likely to hit barriers when it is rolled out in Europe later this year, privacy campaigners say.
The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation aims to tighten the ways online firms use and collect data and will require online firms to get explicit consent from consumers about data use.
“The one thing people regularly state as ‘creepy’ online is when an advert follows them around the internet. These plans appear to extend ‘creepy’ into the physical world,” said Renate Samson from Big Brother Watch.
“If people want to avoid having their shopping habits monitored on the high street by Google, by shops or by banks they should restrict the amount of data they hand over.
“Companies track and monitor in order to advertise to us. If we don’t want them to do that, take control; don’t give your email address for a digital receipt, check the terms and conditions, avoid using loyalty cards and where possible choose to pay with cash.”E4y.net Info@e4y.net]]>
Parents don’t need a poll to tell them their teenagers are addicted to smartphones. After all, smartphones are a permanent fixture rather than accessories on the visages of kids of all ages these days.
Even so, polls move these everyday observances from anecdotal to official problem when the numbers tilt in that direction — and a Common Sense Media poll hit full tilt.
The fact that 59 percent of parents said their teens were addicted to mobile devices was not surprising. However, the fact that 50 percent of teens admitted they were addicted was shocking.
While parents feel uneasy about their kids constantly being tethered to a device, most are not sure what real harm tech addiction does to teens. It turns out that it has multiple ill effects.
Empathy, the ability to understand and appreciate the feelings of other people, is a trait that is essential to the well being of society. Empathy is the reason people are kind to each other, donate to helpful causes, and avoid harming other people and their possessions. When empathy is diminished or absent, the opposite often occurs — and criminal behavior can spike.
Preteens who were deprived of screened devices for five days dramatically improved at reading people’s emotions (nonverbal skills) compared to children who continued using screens, according to a UCLA study. Reading someone else’s emotions correctly is a function of empathy.
Without empathy and human connection, young people can become cold and cruel to others. Then, when they encounter cold and cruel responses from other young people, the cycle perpetuates itself and grows.
“Lack of empathy seems to be a forerunner among cellphone users,” suggested Chantale Denis, a clinical social worker and sociologist.
“Whether users are addicted or not, cellphone use can perpetuate a lack of accountability, breed irresponsible behavior, feed malevolence, and retard the ability to effectively nurture social skills inherent in our civility to be kind, thoughtful, caring, loving and understanding,” she told TechNewsWorld.
Smartphones summon information and entertainment on demand. Thus, instant gratification becomes a constant expectation on and offline.
“Smartphones and computers socialize us into a pattern of communication that then carries over to our everyday non-tech communication lives,” observed Psychsoftpc CEOTim Lynch, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology of computers and intelligent machines.
“We expect answers right away, become impatient, use shorter sentences, get right to the point instead of engaging in small talk, and can ignore feelings of others in expressing ourselves,” he told TechNewsWorld.
This lack of soft skills, which include people skills and critical-thinking skills, can interfere with getting a job and with getting promotions.
“Socializing and building authentic relationships in real life with others is a muscle,” said psychologist Wyatt Fisher.
“The more we use it, the better we get at it,” he told TechNewsWorld. “The reverse is also true. Therefore, as teens interact primarily with people through a screen, they often lose the skills needed to connect in person.”
Smartphones offer young people more access to the world, but they also give more of the world access to young people. Without buffers and filters, teens and preteens can be influenced in all the worse ways.
Researchers reported a strong association between heavy Internet use and depression in a National Institute of Mental Health study.
They also observed a link between heavy Facebook use and depressive symptoms, including low self-esteem.
It’s not just the constant barrage of posts, texts, and messaging from peers and bullies on smartphones that can have a negative effect on the mental health of young people.
“Social media is now a space for advertisement and influencing the masses, and teenagers are the most susceptible and vulnerable to these marketing campaigns,” said clinical psychologist David Mitroff, founder of Piedmont Avenue Consulting,
“Teens are in the stage of development where they still do not have a strong sense of identity, so by constantly being on social media, they are effectively exposed to ads and models that promote unrealistic bodies or body weight,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Ultimately, these ads negatively affect younger people’s mental health due to the skewed representation of beauty or lifestyles that align with the products and services of many companies.”
Most experts advise parents to encourage their children to limit the time they spend online. “Put down the phone” has become the new “go play outside.” The key is to help kids find balance in their activities.
There are specific steps parents can take to achieve that balance, said Lynette Owens, global director of Internet Safety for Kids & Families.
Technology is not going away. If anything, it will become more pervasive. The key is to ensure that tech remains a tool — a servant and not a master. By staying aware of your and your kids’ use patterns, you can keep tech tools in their rightful place.
Pam Baker has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2007. Her main areas of focus are technology, business and finance. She has written hundreds of articles for leading publications including InformationWeek, Institutional Investor magazine, CIO.com and TechTarget. She has authored several analytical studies on technology, as well as eight books, the latest of which is Data Divination: Big Data Strategies. She also wrote and produced an award-winning documentary on paper-making. She is a member of the National Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists and the Internet Press Guild. Email Pam.
Pinterest is adding another ad to its array of products, now allowing advertisers to publish video advertising that will automatically play in the home feed and search, as it continues to bulk up and woo advertisers with a different pitch from Facebook and Google.
Pinterest has had to make the argument to advertisers that its 175 million users behave differently on Pinterest when compared to Facebook and Google, or even Twitter and Snap. Pinterest users come to the site and dig through products and recipes, among other things, for ideas. They then search deeper into topics, save them, and then eventually in theory acting on them later — either by cooking the dish or buying a product. Pinterest’s pitch is that unlike Facebook and Google, which can offer a compelling ad product for one point of that part of a customer’s buying life, it can offer products across the whole timeline.
The ability to catch those possible customers early on and follow them all the way to the final buying process is something that might entice advertisers, but it still has to ensure it has the advertising products to back it up. Today’s announcement, which opens up autoplay video ads to all partners, gives it yet another argument that it can offer something competitive to Facebook — which has shown that video can have greater engagement and offers a potentially lucrative new source of customers.
“The main difference we notice is that some users watch more content direct in their feed,” Pinterest product lead Mike Bidgoli said. “Previously they’d see the preview, and now they’ll take that action. In general, video is a little higher up the funnel [generating brand awareness] activity. We’re trying to bend the curve between that discovery to [taking an action] on our platform.”
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Pinterest may indeed have an additional edge in its pitch given that Facebook has had some problems in reporting its numbers. As newer ad products emerge it’s critical to build up that trust with advertisers in addition to showing that the ads can be effective. Pinterest is partnering with Nielsen and Moat to give its advertisers accurate measurements on their ads and the results that they can deliver. That’s going to be important as Pinterest tries to show advertisers that it can tap into multiple different kinds of user behavior on its service, like search.
“That’s a place where people have a lot of intent [to act],” Bidgoli said. “We think we have a shot bringing people both to top of funnel as well as bottom. That would allow us to play with some performance advertisers. They can pair a video with a set of pins that they want Pinner to take action on. That’s still a big part of it. The “do” component, people are on Pinterest to get inspired and then they do that.”
In general, autoplay is the direction that mobile video is headed as a default — and that will extend to advertisers as well. There’s the question around data consumption, but Bidgoli said even though the company obsessed about it initially but found through testing that it “wouldn’t rip any alarms.” Users will still have the option to turn autoplay off in settings if they see fit.
Video offers a new kind of engaging content that users can find when casually browsing around the app, but beyond that Pinterest is trying to diversify its range of products to tie the experience of Pinterest closer and closer to the real world. That might look like its Lens product, which allows a user to point their camera at a product to execute a search, to watching a video for how to cook a dish. But either way, the sum of all these products is an advertising pitch that is an effort to move the company away from those experimental advertisement budgets to a mainstay ad purchase with bigger brands.E4y.net Info@e4y.net]]>