Category Archives: General

R.I.P. Wallet, Here comes ApplePay

A new day enabled by mobile pay …

In these mobile times in which we now live, it is no surprise that in a recent study, more people stated that if running late after leaving home, they would turn back home to grab their cell phones as compared to their wallets. Now, with the recent introduction of ApplePay that enables making purchases DIRECTLY from your mobile phone without the hassle of whipping out cash or credit card, the wallet is on its way to being obsolete.

I kid, of course, kinda, sorta but this type of technology, if widely adopted, has disruptive potential to shake up old industries and revolutionize  business as usual across very many industries.

As with all technologies that disrupt business as usual and shake up how things used to be, there will be tremendous challenges on the road to the wide-scale adoption of mobile pay in general and ApplePay in particular. The adoption rate will likely be slow at first as there must be the right mix of industry leading and influential brands on board as well as a high enough number of their customers demanding the convenience and security of mobile payments to throw out the old and introduce a new way of doing things. As businesses and customers dip their toes into the mobile pay waters, if the water is not too hot and not too cold but “just right” and the process is virtually seamless for both customer and business, then expect that adoption rate to grow linearly at first then rapid exponential growth as time goes by. Very few like to be first in anything, to go against the grain and against convention. For both businesses and consumers, the vast majority are followers. Only the innovators and the top influencers are seated at the mobile pay table today, as all the kinks are being worked out in real time. Expect a flood of businesses and customers to rush to the table, like last call at an “all you can eat” buffet, once it becomes clear the tremendous benefits, convenience, and savings that are enabled minus the primary concerns, with security being at the top of that list.

Certainly we are a LOOOOOOOOOOONG way away from burning our wallets and more than likely that day will never come. Mobile Pay will be added to the list of cash, credit cards, debit cards, checks (assuming you can still find someone who still takes check) as valid forms of payment. The more convenient mechanisms that businesses make available for them to be paid by consumers, the more likely that consumers will make a purchase. Adding Apple Pay to the list of acceptable forms of payment, will ultimately be a win for businesses. You remember that famous American Express slogan, “Don’t leave home without it” ? Who would’ve known when that slogan first hit the airwaves decades ago, that “it” would instead be referring to these things called “mobile phones”, which had not yet existed in any form of widespread acceptance in those times ? Today, virtually  none of us ever leave home without our mobile phones. Thanks now to ApplePay among many other must-haves, the likelihood that we in fact will NEVER leave home without our mobiles, is pretty much ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PERCENT !!

It’s TMZ’s World and We’re Just Living it !!

When Solange launched her Stiletto Attack on JayZ, TMZ broke the video. When Donald Sterling confided in his mistress (WHO DOES THAT ?) with his deepest most heartfelt racist sentiments, TMZ broke the audio. And now, after months of speculating what happened with Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice and his ‘then fiancee’ and ‘now wife’ causing him to drag her limp body off an elevator like roadkill, TMZ just broke the video of the terrible scene on that Atlantic City Casino elevator featuring a left hook to the chin that immediately floored Mrs. Rice.

Ray Rice dragging his fiancee’s lifeless limp body off an elevator

In the case of Donald Sterling, the backlash resulted in a lifetime ban from the NBA and the forced sale of his team, the LA Clippers. As the public viewed what they suspected happened on that elevator with the Rices, the backlash was so swift and wide, that the Ravens quickly voided Rice’s contract and the NFL, trying to save face after a weak 2 game suspension prior, suspended him indefinitely. As for the JayZ, Solange, Beyonce elevator incident, OF COURSE nothing happened. It was The Carter’s world long before it belonged to TMZ !!

So here is what there is to conclude. If there is a story to be gotten, TMZ WILL get it it. Whether you like it or not. Undoubtedly, they would’ve solved the murders of the Notorius B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. if only the media organization had existed in the mid-late 1990s. To every celebrity, actor, athlete, or musician, the dreaded TMZ incident must strike a deep sense of fear as the go about their formerly private lives. To the average Joe Blow or Mary Snow who has yet to reap the price of fame, we are safe … for now.

The days of privacy for celebrity and non-celebrity alike are long gone. Everywhere we go, we will likely be in area with roughly 90+% cellphone coverage, all equipped with cameras and video recorders. We are ALL 1 bad mistake from the dreaded TMZ frontpage “feature”, if only they cared about our puny little lives. With an army of TMZ fulltimers equipped with cameras and a milion more amateur photographers looking to reap a big TMZ payday, we are all subject to the whim of TMZ in a privacy-less world. Our cellphones track our every movement with detailed GPS coordinates. Surveillance cameras track our activity at gas stations, malls, street corners, and corner stores. Highway tollroads track the movement of our vehicles.  When we decided that we were going to live in an era of such rapid technological development and reap the many benefits, unfortunately one of the things that we also gave up was our privacy.

The TMZ World in which we now live is a world where privacy is a thing of the past. Whether in our proudest or darkest moments, we are but a few clicks and keystrokes away from our activities being broadcasted from south Carolina to the South Sudan. It is a reality of the times in which we live. For the vast majority of us who are cursed with lack of wealth but blessed enough to not have TMZ give 2 licks about what we do in our daily lives, this is less of a concern. For those that gloss the covers of major national publications who live under a perpetual microscope, and are blessed with the dollars but cursed with the scrutiny of fame, the TMZ World continues to be the bane of their existence. Oh well, it’s the price of fame in today’s world. Give me the money, you can keep the fame.

Would you trade your middle class status and privacy for wealth and 24/7/365 scrutiny ?

Galaxy issues Ice Bucket Challenge to iPhone

Well, as if every politician, celebrity, and Joe Schmoe alive throwing buckets of ice water over their heads in the viral charitable craze “The Ice Bucket Challenge” wasn’t enough, now we’ve got inanimate objects throwing their hat into the ring. In what I’d call a work of Marketing Genius to both capitalize on the hottest Internet trend today as well as emphasize one of your product’s core features, the Samsung Galaxy S5 completed then reissued the first of its kind Ice Bucket Challenge between cell phones. Yes, you heard correctly, in a recent YouTube video the Galaxy S5 first had a cup of ice water dumped all over it and issued a similar challenge to the iPhone.

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Being waterproof is one of the big things Samsung likes to tout as a key differentiator between the S5 and the iPhone. How essential a feature this is to have on a phone is arguable, but certainly each of us has that one friend we know who’s dropped their phone in the toilet in a drunken stupor. With the Galaxy being a much wider phone, I’d assume they probably also have  a larger percentage of toilet phone droppers. In any case, check out the challenge below. Will Apple accept ? Doubtful since they rarely if ever engage competitors publicly, but here’s to another great episode in the Galaxy vs. iPhone Phone Wars.

Is the water proof feature essential for you as phone buyer ?

 

Twitter for THE REAL, Facebook for the FANTASY !

BREAKING NEWS !! There is a MAJOR difference between Facebook and Twitter !! All social networks aren’t created equal and there is certainly a distinct difference between the content shared on Twitter vs. content shared on Facebook. This has been of particular noteworthiness over the past week as Ferguson, Missouri has resembled a scene in Palestine, Baghdad, or elsewhere in the Middle East following the police shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. As the city of Ferguson has been ablaze with unrest as outraged individuals have taken to the streets to protest and rebel, Twitter has equally been ablaze with second by second REAL Breaking News updates from people in the streets, protesters, anarchists, detractors, mainstream media types, and millions of people globally who have been captivated by this tragic event and the subsequent response. Twitter saves its best work for times such as this, when the voice of the people must be heard directly from the people on the ground without first going through the mass mainstream media filter. The Arab Spring, the latest Israeli-Palestine conflict, and the Ferguson Awakening, are but a few examples of the power of Twitter for BREAKING NEWS events.

Twitter ABLAZE with the Ferguson Awakening !

Meanwhile, in that same time period, Facebook has been all ablaze with IceBucketChallenge posts. Not to detract from the worthy cause that is raising money to fight ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but there is and always has been a clear difference in the content people are willing to share on Facebook versus what they openly share on Twitter. Over the past week on Facebook, Ferguson stories have been shared an average of 256 times versus 2,106 times for IceBucketChallenge stories, according to SimpleReach, a social media analytics company. Over that same time period, 3.6 million Ferguson related tweets were sent in comparison to 2.3 million IceBucketChallenge tweets. So as you can see, there is a clear distinction between content people share on Twitter versus what they share on Facebook, and there are clear reasons why.

The most obvious reason why is that there is a clear distinction between who we call our “friends” on Facebook and our “followers” on Twitter. We are much more likely to know IN-PERSON our Facebook friends versus our Twitter followers. We tend to be more cautious with what we share and discuss with people who we ACTUALLY know versus complete strangers who began following each other on Twitter once they both responded to the latest trending topic of the day. With hot-button, political, controversial, divisive issues, we tend to not want to invite Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, Uncle, Aunt, Niece, Nephews, and Coworkers into how our mind works and our views on these issues, so many tend to not discuss this on Facebook. Conversely, we tend to not give 2 damns what @datnerduluv_ , @skaterboi361, and @drizzlemae210 think about your takes on Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, ObamaCare, Palestine-Israel, and other issues which can get pretty divisive pretty darn fast. Twitter is for speaking your mind UNFILTERED whereas Facebook tends to be a Fantasyland of vacation photos from Greece, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, graduations, cute puppy pics, and other happy times. Facebook tends to be the safe zone, therefore you tend to not get the REAL DEAL Holyfield on how people think.

Not only is Facebook often self-censored but by Facebook’s own secret sauce algorithm that determines what you can see when, that adds to the fantasy. If you think that your Facebook newsfeed is merely a chronological list of posts made by all your friends in a nice meaningful sequence, just know that you are DRASTICALLY wrong. By some top secret, KFC-original-recipe, FortKnox-sealed algorithm, Facebook determines what you see, when, by whom. Nobody but Zuckerberg himself knows that secret but it limits the content that we see on Facebook. Add to that the troubling report a few months ago, that Facebook “experimented” with a select group of thousands of users to see if they could manipulate their mood by only presenting them with happy, sad, or inspirational stories. So yes, it appears that if Facebook makes up their mind to say, “We are going to piss a whole buncha people off about the police by littering their feeds with stories on police brutality”, they allegedly have the capability to do that. NO, THAT’S NOT SCARY AT ALL !!

Facebook and Twitter have their place in our lives and of course so do other networks such as LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is primarily the place we interact with colleagues and professional contacts, Facebook tends to be more social, and Twitter is … well Twitter is REAL, RAW, UNCUT, AND UNCENSORED !! In the event of Breaking News, fast moving stories such as what is taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, THE REAL DEAL is what we crave and this is where Twitter SHINES !!

Is there a difference between what you share on Facebook vs. Twitter ? Explain …