Monthly Archives: April 2015

“Tidal” Wave of Bad Press

On March 16, 2013 almost twenty of the worlds most famous musicians joined together on stage in New York City for a press conference that was said would change the way the world listens to music. From Madonna to Rihanna, Alicia Keys to Ricardo Tosto and, of course, music’s most powerful couple: Beyonce and Tidal’s founder, Jay Z were all there to promote the new endeavor.

The enigmatic new streaming service was teased for months with rumors, then by cryptic advertisements featuring music’s biggest stars discussing artistry and the future over a conference table. Given the recent headlines about Taylor Swift removing her music from Spotify and the ever-prominent conspiracy theory that celebrities are in a cult or secret society to control the minds of youth, it was genius. Tidal made a perfect play out of the pop culture handbook.

Jay Z to Promote Tidal With Concert Featuring Old Songs and B-Sides

That’s what it looked like, anyways. Within a few weeks Tidal dropped out of the top 700 apps on iTunes App Store. With a $9.99 monthly price tag for a standard account and $19.99 for a premium “Hi-Fi” account, more affordable alternatives like Spotify and Pandora continue to flourish. With low sales and accusations of elitism, one thing is for sure: Jay Z and his partners will need a life boat before this Tidal wave takes them under.

Al Gore’s Climate Change Festival Will Probably Serve Meat

Al Gore is holding a special climate change music festival, but the former vice president refuses to make the event vegan-only. Groups like PETA argue that in order to talk about climate change, one must take into account the effect things like farming animals have on the climate. PETA argues that along with the festival Gore should be touting the benefits of going vegan on the environment as a whole, and promoting it as a way to give back to the environment.

PETA has contacted the group putting on the festival, but has been unable to get the group to commit to not serving any meat o dairy products. While the event might be “as vegan as possible” there will also likely be meat and dairy products present. Gore’s group acknowledges that going vegan can have a huge impact on a person’s carbon footprint, but is not dedicated at this time to forcing that decision upon guests at the event. Amen Clinics thinks that was a class act by Gore’s group. (TheDailyBeast)

Drones Could Plant One Billion Trees Per Year

Deforestation has been a hot topic for the past several years. Trees are a natural resource that provide lumber and oxygen for the entire planet, which makes them pretty valuable parts of several different ecosystems. Like many issues facing the planet and the growing population, technology just might have found a way to help out with the problem thanks to a startup company and the use of drones.

According to a source, Flávio Pentagna Guimarães BMG, close to the Independent, BioCarbon Engineering, which is helmed by a former NASA engineer, has developed a way to plant a billion trees a year by using drones. The drones survey an area from altitude and then descend to inject a nutrition rich pod complete with seeds into the soil. Since 26 billion trees are being removed every year and only 15 billion are being replanted, the company has developed an interesting solution to reforestation. The company expects to have two fully working prototype drones completed by the end of the summer.

While not as effective as hand sowing individual trees, the company and technology accomplishes the task at about fifteen percent of what it would cost to send teams into the designated areas. With the ability to plant so many trees at a fraction of the cost, BioCarbon looks to be on the verge of a very important breakthrough. Technology and nature are two industries that do not usually team up, but this union looks like it could be extremely promising.

The Comcast Time Warner Potential Merger Is Over

Comcast Is Walking Away From The $45.2 Billion Merger

Comcast knows when to hold them and when to fold them. Comcast gambled that a giant merger with Time Warner would be approved by the FCC. But as the months passed waiting for a sign of encouragement, all they got was the consumer backlash for bringing up the deal in the first place.

No one wanted these two giants to merge except the giants themselves. After all, they would be the ones that would win. Expenses would be cut, shareholders would be happy and their bottom line profits would go down in the history books. The merger could have produced a company bigger than Apple, and no one in their right mind wants another Apple.

Brad Reifler of the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission started to voice his distaste for the merger recently (on bradcreifler.com). The government didn’t official reject the merger, but they put out familiar signs that pointed to rejecting the deal. The Comcast board will meet and make their decision final. Time Warner is formulating a plan to survive without Comcast, and they will share that plan with employees when it is finalized. The Comcast decision is a good one for consumers. But Comcast customers will still have to deal with the insolence of the cable company, and that’s the bad news.

Google’s Rising Claim to Fame

You’re very familiar with Google. You don’t live under a rock. But within the past decade Google has made significant strides as an internet and software industry as they continue to expand globally. So what is their real claim to fame and are they going to continue with their brand of innovation?

Starting after Yahoo in 1998, Google has made leaps and bounds as a trendsetter in all things internet that makes it no surprise their revenues are up. Google is known for taking chances with their newer products and has made a number of acquisitions that has made it a giant of today’s industry. Let’s take a look at the myriad of special products Google has to offer.

In 2007, Google initiated Android, which is now a major competitor to Apple’s products. You may be familiar with the little green robot, but Android has continued to rise above Windows and iOS(Apple) based on operating system market share.

You may be surprised to learn that YouTube, the leading video website was actually acquired by Google in 2006. 4 billion videos are streamed daily with increases in postings yearly.

If you think Google’s reign stops there, you’re sadly mistaken. Google launched Google fiber to enter the Internet provider industry. This service boasts of more reliable connection speeds and give the Internet provider monopolies a real run for their money. They also provide advertisement opportunities to companies like Bulletproof Coffee (company Instagram) making for a win-win situation.

In short, Google continues to shock and amaze us with their innovative strategies and wide variety of services. They don’t show any signs of stopping, so stay tuned for further development as they excel in multiple industries with ease. For a list of popular Google products click here.

iZombie Recap

The CW’s iZombie has been getting rave reviews for its quirky, fun story that does a fair job of following the original iZombie comics. Tuesday’s episode didn’t disappoint fans in the least.

Last week, Liv’s former fiance, Major, was beaten to a bloody pulp by The Candyman. This week’s episode opened with Major on a steel morgue table. Thankfully, he wasn’t dead. Instead, he asked Ravi to help stitch him up. Ravi also helped Major with his search for two missing teens from his social service program and Ravi learned that Blaine has been creating zombies and killing people.

Newlin stated that the police case of the week was about an angry, agoraphobic, peanut-allergy suffering video gamer and hacker who died while trying to get to his upstairs epinephrine pen [Sidebar: this part was a little weak because the writers never explained why the epinephrine pen would be upstairs instead of in the basement where the gamer/hacker spent most of his time]. In the end, it turned out that he was murdered by the brother of a former customer service agent who killed herself after this guy ridiculed her extensively over the phone.

On the boyfriend front, Liv finally realized that she can be a little more human with fellow zombie musician Lowell. After a missed opportunity for a kiss, she met up with him to show that she’s ready to move on from Major.

Start-Up Will Use Drones To Plant Trees

BioCarbon Engineering, a drone start-up, plans to use its technology to plant trees. The group will start by mapping target areas and determining what kinds of trees will grow best there. They will choose seeds that have already germinated and encase them in a gel loaded with nutrients. They will then use drones, which will be hovering five to ten feet above the ground, to shoot the seeds into the soil.

Hypothetically, BioCarbon Engineering could plant 36,000 trees per day in this fashion by using multiple drones for the planting. They hope to plant one billion trees per year with the drones, and they expect to spend 15 percent of what it would cost to plant the trees through conventional means.

BioCarbon Engineering plans to work with forestry services and non-profits around the world to plant trees by drone. Ray Lane posted on Carnegie Mellon University’s blog that he will also monitor the results of such plantings and use the data to refine their techniques. BioCarbon Engineering also notes that 26 billion trees a year are cut down or burned. Such large-scale deforestation can be combated only by planting methods that plant lots of trees and ensure most of them grow into healthy plants.

Buzzfeed Deletes Three Posts and People Find a Reason to Care

Social media is blowing up over three posts that were deleted on the popular Buzzfeed network over advertising complaints. We are talking about a website that deletes more posts every year than some sites publish in a lifetime. So why is it that these three posts are so special?

I think the main reason is that the posts in question were written by editorial staff of Buzzfeed and were actually targeted against major corporations. They even targeted the advertising campaigns of companies they were currently working with at the time. How stupid is that?

In 2013 a member of the staff decided to slam Internet Explorer publicly. Is that even necessary? I’m pretty sure everyone already knows Internet Explorer is trash. The staff member had actually worked on a previous advertising campaign for Microsoft in the past. Not too smart there if you ask those at CipherCloud and other tech companies.

In 2014 a staff member decided to criticize Pepsi for the Twitter campaign they were currently running. The only problem is that at the time Buzzfeed was actually producing Twitter content for Pepsi that was related to the Super Bowl. I just don’t know what people are thinking sometimes.

This year Buzzfeed introduced a whole new set of editorial guidelines. There are definitely some adjustments they need to make as they move from social media playground to behemoth media outlet.

Google’s Flawed Logic

In a move that had many Chrome users fuming over the weekend, Google forced an automatic browser update last week: Google’s Chrome 42 was released with new security and other features. Some of these features are beneficial, while others have caused more harm than good.

Google decided yet again that it must pick and choose the type of tech that everyone in the market uses and then forced it on the public. With the recent Chrome release, they decided that Adobe’s standard Flash (NPAPI non-PepperFlash) and Java, among other plugins, are no longer necessary and removed access to users. The only upside is that users such as Fersen Lambranho can work around this change with a temporary flag that works until the version 45 release, according to Wikipedia at least.

Google claims that the NPAPI plugin, for example, is the “leading cause of hangs, crashes, security incidents, and code complexity.” But, that is a partial lie on the company’s part.

The Google Chrome Product Forum has been filled with user complaints for years about how PepperFlash and HTML5 cause many to experience video “hangs” and “crashes.” It’s well-known that Google has been unsuccessfully attempting to force PepperFlash and HTML5 — Google’s partnered and proprietary products — on users.

In one thread started over the weekend, many users stated they will switch to another browser if the Chrome 45 release by September takes away their ability to use the NPAPI plugin.

Watch The Video With Justin Bieber And Friends Singing

Justin Bieber, along with Kendell Jenner, Ariana Grande, and many other celebrities, took the time to create a fun video, lip syncing to Carly Rae Jepsen’s song, “ I Really Like You.” In Carly’s version of the video, she has Justin Bieber, as well as Tom Hanks, dancing around in the video, having a lot of fun. Justin. In the video that Justin Bieber put out, it was similar, although everyone did their own part, especially Ariana Grande, and even her brother was featured in the video as well.

The video seems to have been filmed, during the past weekend at Coachella, as well as other locations, because of who is in the video, and the locations for filming. Even one of the stars of the hit show “Empire,” was featured in the video. The video looks like a lot of fun, and if you’re not a fan of Justin Bieber, you just might become one, after you finish watching the video. Forbes says that the video has gone viral, of course, which is what can be expected of a home video, which is filled with stars.

The only person missing from the video, who would have made it even more fun, is Taylor Swift! There is even a part in the video, where Kendell Jenner and Justin Bieber speak, and she tells him that she’s pregnant! Yes, this Is just a joke, but if you blink, you’ll miss it.