.sucks Domain Coming Soon
Mar26

.sucks Domain Coming Soon

The day where you’ll be able to dedicate an entire website towards your dislike of a brand, your love of a sport, or your obsession with a country is finally on the horizon. Come June, you’ll be able to purchase a domain name that’s specific to the intended purpose of your website. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) released a list of 500+ top-level domain names under which the public can register their websites. That list includes everything from .sucks and .porn to .news and .Budapest, with more domain names added daily. We can’t wait to see what these new domain names bring to the Internet world – the creative potential is endless – but some options will be spoken for. ICANN is giving trademarks and celebrities first dibs on any possible sites that could be registered using their names. Celebrities like Taylor Swift and entities such as Harvard and Microsoft are taking advantage of the early access period and have already registered for certain domain names to protect their brands. There’s some chatter from companies suggesting that these domain names are a form of extortion, compelling firms to buy them so others don’t taint their brand. Logically, it makes sense that some people would be ticked off but still scoop up the negative domain names to be safe. What they don’t see is this is also an opportunity to address customer complaints and see how they can improve their brand. It’s one of those glass half-full, glass half-empty instances where the situation really depends on your perspective. For those of you who can’t wait for these new domain names to be released to the public, start saving your money (each domain registration is around $250) and start counting down until June. We’ll be on the lookout for the sad, funny, and outrageous...

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The End of Internet Explorer Draws Near
Mar25

The End of Internet Explorer Draws Near

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to say our goodbyes. Here she lies; very few knew her worth – the late, formerly great browser of Microsoft – and we celebrate her inevitable end. Rejoice, speedy and secure web-browser-lovers, for Microsoft has announced the phase-out of Internet Explorer. For those of you who still swear by the formerly flawless, currently ill-fated browser, we express our condolences for your loss, but it’s time to move on. At the Windows Convergence conference in Atlanta, Microsoft announced Project Spartan, the code-name of its next generation web browser and it addressed plans to phase-out Internet Explorer. First released in the mid 1990s, Internet Explorer dominated the browser market and peaked in the early 2000s. Since then, it’s commonly associated with slow loading times, security risks, and poor compatibility with other browsers. Microsoft plans to rebrand its image in terms of web browsers around Project Spartan. While much is still to be determined, including the final name of the browser, current features that are supposedly set in stone include: Cortana – Microsoft’s personal web assistant, Annotation tools that are compatible with keyboards & pens, A streamlined layout, and A reading mode Internet Explorer will still exist in some versions of Windows 10 and Microsoft will make sure its new model is compatible with the software that operates solely on Internet Explorer. But for the most part, it’s gotta be going to that Best Buy in the sky, where it will be join long-time pal Clippy in Internet heaven (or hell, depending on your perspective). Farewell, Internet Explorer. Note: The beginning of this post is inspired by the creative genius that is “La Vie Boheme” from the Broadway production RENT, to which we do not own the rights, but hold in the very highest...

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HBO Go Passwords: Hand it Out, For the Time Being
Jan21

HBO Go Passwords: Hand it Out, For the Time Being

Getting the best of TV has always been hard. You have to pay more money to get the extra channels. If you don’t want to have cable, then you have to pay in order to gain access to the streaming services that are available with sites like Hulu Plus and Netflix. In many cases, there are easy ways around all of this, and it’s a very simple answer. Just share your login and password. HBO Go, the newest of all the streaming services, has run into the oldest problem in the streaming book. People have begun to share their login credentials to let others who don’t pay for the subscription-only channel access the backlog of shows and movies that HBO has produced over the years. Unlike other services, HBO has actually acknowledged this practice of account sharing. The odd thing is…they don’t seem too worried about it. In an interview with BuzzFeed, HBO CEO Richard Plepler discussed how they aren’t ignoring password sharing; instead, they are “looking at different ways to affect password-sharing.” Take a look for yourself. Since Netflix started, the sharing of passwords to friends, family, strangers, and whoever else was looking for the streaming service was common. Netflix cracked down on the people doing this, supposedly, but has since allowed for up to five “viewing profiles” to be added to one account. Hulu Plus is still competing with those who pay for cable. Aimed more toward people trying to save money each month, relying on Hulu to provide them with their favorite shows so a cable company does not. What makes HBO’s stance such a new and refreshing one is that they have always been a “paid” service. HBO Go is linked to your cable provider and can only be accessed if you log in with that provider, which is unlike any of the other services. But what exactly does Plepler’s statement about “looking at different ways to affect password sharing” mean? Are they looking to crack down and eradicate it? Do they want to separate HBO and the Go platform? Do they want to encourage users to hand out their passwords to friends and family? The answers are unclear. For now, HBO and HBO Go are one. With one, you obviously have the other. Well, maybe you have the other. Extra Links: BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, The Verge Image via: HBO Go...

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Personalized Google Maps?!
Nov07

Personalized Google Maps?!

Google Maps is going to know more about you than, well, you do. It is perhaps one of the most used services offered on the internet.  Google Maps allows users to search for directions, look what’s nearby, and creep on their neighbors from space. Now they hope to add a new level of customization, making your experience even better.  With the use of personal data they collected, Google Maps will be able to provide users original, customized, maps. The customization will come in the form of recommendations to; restaurants you may enjoy, places you will find interesting, the scores to the sports around your area, and anything thing else that they believe you will find interesting. You might wonder, where do they get this information? It is from your searches, items you have reviewed and even what your friends like.  They use it all to give you the best, most personalized, experience. Bernhard Seefeld, product management director for Google Maps, has high hopes for the future.  At GigaOm‘s conference on Tuesday, November 5, he said that they “can build a whole new map for every context and every person,” and that it will be “a specific map nobody has seen before, and it’s just there for that moment to visualize data. For example, if you were really into seeing America’s National Parks, and were on a vacation near one that you did not know about, Google Maps would be able to provide you directions to it without you having to search for it.  Pretty crazy huh? The change will not be immediate and will probably take a few years to get perfected.  Right now they are working on better software to be able to understand the surroundings around peoples’ searches. Will you embrace this new level of customization, and use its capabilities to enhance your experience.  Or, do you feel violated and believe that this is just pushing it too far?    ...

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3MM Adobe Users’ Information Compromised
Oct04

3MM Adobe Users’ Information Compromised

Every paid user of any device, app, service or creative suite worries about the information that they put online. We thrive on knowing that a site is run through “https://” instead of “http://”. Knowing that what we are doing is secure is a big part of feeling comfortable and happy online. Unfortunately for 3 million Adobe users, there worst fears were met last night when their accounts were hacked, compromised and eventually stolen. Now, this sounds as though that all they lost was access to their account, but this is not the case. For these 3 million Adobe users, however, their secure and encrypted credit and debit card information, expiration dates, names, etc. were stolen. Well known for the Adobe Creative Suite; which includes Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver, to name a few, the popular design suite is one that many designers, freelancers and agencies purchase in order to have the most up-to-date and best software available. Adobe has always been one of the leaders in this market and has built a large following along the way. With this most recent hack of personal information, Adobe could be in hot water not only with current users, but with potential new customers as well. If you didn’t know already, the Adobe Creative Suite does not run cheap. Programs such as Photoshop can set you back about $600 for just that one program. If you were to purchase the entire Creative suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator) can cost over $1,000. This comes into play with the fact that people who are spending this much on Adobe programs want to know that their money is not only safe, but secure on the back end of their servers. With this hack, many are bound to either consider jumping ship, or actually do so by moving towards either Apple made products or just something else in general. Other companies have come back from security breaches like this, and some have even been bigger than Adobe, but for many this could be more than just a red flag. Hopefully, this is the last of the security breaches for big companies. If not, there could be a large scale exodus from expensive programs downloaded...

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Yahoo! Gets A Facelift
Sep06

Yahoo! Gets A Facelift

What’s exactly does a logo do? Does it bring customers to your website? Does it create a sense of happiness in you? Does it separate you from the others out there? To answer all of these very simply: yes. A logo is a defining marker of a company and brand. It is the only way to keep your self different from other people and to make sure that when people talk about you, they talk about you alone. Customers become more at ease the longer you have a single look, and when it gets changed, things start to fall apart. Fortunately or unfortunately, Yahoo! is beginning to run into this “problem”. For 30 days, Yahoo!’s CEO Marissa Mayer put together 30 different variations of the famous Yahoo! logo, all in anticipation of one being chosen. It seemed that when the whole 30 days of changing logos began, fans of the popular news and search engine site were OK with what was going on. There had been grumblings of a new logo to come, but nothing more. It was just going to be 30 days of Mayer playing around with the logo all to just drive traffic to the site, right? We were all, very, very wrong. Response for the logo has come back to Yahoo! and it hasn’t been as promising as Mayer, and the company as a whole, was hoping for. In this Mashable story, they show a graph that portrays how people felt when shown the new and old logos. Of all participants, only 21% liked the updated logo with an almost horrifying 79% opposing it. For Mayer, who was brought in last year to rejuvenate the company, this will be seen as her first “misstep”, at least in the eyes of those outside the company. Mayer knows that the only way for Yahoo! to survive is by adapting to changing times, and by coming from Google, she knows that better than anyone. This could very easily be just another “Facebook Newsfeed” redesign. NO ONE, especially consumers, like large scale changes to websites that they have been going to since the Internet started. For Yahoo!, the first major change to their logo in almost 18 years is bound to come with a little bit of hesitation. That’s not to say that things won’t get better, though. Especially with all of the buyouts that Mayer has completed in her first year at the helm of Yahoo!. This is only the next step. Here’s a look at the video Yahoo! put out on how they put together the new logo....

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