2 hours of talk that matters from the Middle East. Monday it is CarTalk and TechTalk, Tuesday it is DocTalk and GetFitRadio, Wednesday it is Question Period and The ME Indie Jukebox. Fun, informative, irreverent and always topical. Join James Piecowye and friends Monday through Wednesday from 9pm to 11pm or online always at www.dubaieye1038.com/nightline.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
TechTalk November 15, 2016
Andrew Thomas joins the show to talk about the latest tech news and developments.
This week we review the Samsung Gear 360 and Galaxy S7 Edge.
Samsung has acquired Harman International Industries, an auto parts supplier best known by consumers for its Harman Kardon audio division. The $8 billion, all-cash deal is the largest in Samsung's history, and an unusual move for a company that normally develops tech in-house. It instantly makes Samsung a much bigger player in the connected and autonomous vehicle industry dominated by Google, Apple and automakers like Tesla, GM and Volvo.
Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal says that Samsung's displays, connectivity and processing tech is a good fit with his firm's automotive products. "Samsung is an ideal partner for Harman and this transaction will provide tremendous benefits to our automotive customers," he said in a press release. Samsung Vice Chair Oh-Hyun Kwon added that Harman has an "unmatched automotive order pipeline" and a "strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform."
Samsung's largest previous acquisition was a deal to buy AST for $840 million back in the '90s. If you don't remember AST, that's because Samsung was forced to close the division shortly after purchasing it. That failure is the main reason Samsung decided to do its own research rather acquiring companies to gain new technology.
1. A new version of Google Sites is now available to everyone who has a G Suite for Education or Work account. The caveat being that your domain administrator must enable it. Google teased us with this update back in June and finally rolled it out this week. The new version of Google Sites provides a new drag-and-drop editing platform, enhanced collaboration features, and new responsive design templates. If you have sites made in the current version of Google Sites, don't worry because they're not going away and you don't have to change anything on them until 2018.
2. Android users who have the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps installed will now receive notifications within those apps as well as within in the Google Drive app. (If that sounds like too many notifications for your liking, you can turn them off in your phone's settings).
3. The Gmail and Google Calendar iOS apps were updated this week. The Gmail app will now allow you to use the undo send function just like on a desktop computer. The Calendar app now supports viewing weeks and months in landscape mode. The Calendar app also now supports non-Gregorian calendars.
SnapChat is crazy cool with how they are getting Spectacles out!
The next Spectacles vending machine location is on again, with a little under 24 hours to go as of this writing on Monday morning. The next location is still a secret, of course, but the first two have been LA and Big Sur in that order, so there’s precedent for both a big city or a small town scenic spot.
Snapchat’s launch strategy with the Spectacles, a pair of video-capturing sunglasses and its first hardware product, has been heavy on the hype – one bystander at the most recent Big Sur pop-up Snapbot vending machine locale overheard someone from the Snapchat side describe it unabashedly as “viral marketing.” But just because it’s hype-heavy doesn’t mean it isn’t also successful, and smart.
The whole approach to Spectacles has been light and breezy, at least to all outward appearances, with the company treating the whole thing as a toy. Its Twitter account has been RT-ing insults and praise alike, and everything about the launch, the vending machine sales and its reception has kept up the good times vibe, with an IDGAF undertone that fits pretty perfectly with Snapchat’s existing brand identity.
On launch day last week in downtown LA, there were plenty of Spectacles to go around, but then at the second location in Big Sur the machine sold out quickly and wasn’t restocked, unfortunately. The smaller launches, which seem to involve getting people out of the house and to scenic spots for a little adventure, will probably be the model going forward if I had to guess, with smaller batches sold overall. There was some disappointment when they sold out at Big Sur, but again maybe because of how they approached the launch overall, a lot less than you might expect if this was done, by, say Apple with a new product launch.
Recently Facebook confirmed that it is experimenting with recruiting features. The company is running a test for Page admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates. This move comes after the company saw a large number of its business page owners using the social media network to post jobs and find candidates. While social recruiting is on the rise, and this feature – if rolled out on a broader scale – could compete with LinkedIn, we believe it is in line with Facebook’s efforts to make its platform a “go to” place for small businesses. There are more than 50 million business pages on Facebook, and these businesses are potential advertisers on its platform. Apart from promoting their products and making actual transactions on Facebook, in addition to using the messenger app for handling consumer queries, Facebook is looking at providing these businesses with a tool to advertise open positions and collect job applications. This initiative could increase engagement of small businesses on Facebook, and – once they are converted into advertisers – drive revenues for the company.
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Adobe on Thursday said it would acquire TubeMogul, Inc. in a deal valued at nearly $540 million, net of debt and cash. The news comes just one day after TubeMogul, a video advertising platform, announced its Q3 earnings.
Adobe is seeking to sweeten the deal for shareholders, offering $14 per share, a price that TubeMogul’s stock hasn’t seen since April this year.
In terms of how Adobe will use TubeMogul--the company said that the acquisition will help it transform Adobe Marketing Cloud into the “first end-to-end independent advertising and data management solution that spans TV and digital formats,” according to a statement. The deal also gives Adobe a demand-side platform capability.
Adobe will pay $14 per TubeMogul share and expects to close the deal in the first quarter of 2017. "Whether it's episodic TV, indie films or Hollywood blockbusters, video consumption is exploding across every device and brands are following those eyeballs," stated Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager, digital marketing, at Adobe.
Commenting on the acquisition of TubeMogul by Adobe, Michael Collins, CEO of Adelphic told Real-Time Daily that it's "further evidence of the enormous growth video advertising has experienced, as well as the shift to a cross-channel, audience-based buying. The combination of these companies will provide a media-neutral, data-rich alternative to Google and Facebook for brands looking to execute their ad buys with transparency and the power of programmatic."
Of course, Instagram is planning to add live video to its existing app.
It’s owned by Facebook, after all, and as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a recent earnings call: “We’re putting video first.”
As Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom tells the Financial Times, “I think [live video] can enhance what we’re doing.”
In the meantime, Instagram rolled out some new tools on Thursday, including Boomerang and mentions.
In its Stories section, users can now employ Boomerang to send their videos into an endless play and rewind cycle. Until now, of course, Boomerang has existed as a standalone app. Now, users can simple swipe from “normal” to Boomerang mode to achieve the desired effect.
Additionally, content creators can add URL links to their stories, which viewers can explore without actually leaving Instagram.
With mentions, meanwhile, users can now share who they are with -- or who they are thinking of -- by “mentioning” them in a story.
Mentioning people in stories works the same as it does in captions and comments. When people add text to your story, they can now type “@” followed by a username, and select the person they would
Hoping to get consumers’ attention? Good luck. More or less, that’s the conclusion of some fresh findings from Google.
Among other challenges, consumers are increasingly splitting their focus between multiple screens.
In fact, about half of users now rely on more than one type of gadget in an average day, while a fifth report using another device while concurrently using a computer.
“Fluid movement between devices changes our approach to marketing,” according to the search giant’s new report. “Consumers now interact with your brand concurrently on more than one type of device, making it critical to provide the same great experience across screens.”
Of those who browse the Web in an average day, almost half do so on multiple devices, while more than seven in 10 users browse the Web on their phones or computers.
In addition, marketers can no longer count on consumers to make room in their busy lives for large screens.
Indeed, in an average day, more than a quarter of all users only use a smartphone, which is nearly two times as many as those who only use a computer.
What’s more, among those who search, nearly 4 in 10 search only on a smartphone in an average day.
As a result of this broader shift to mobile, Google is now seeing more searches happening on smartphones than on computers.
Among those categories experiencing the most growth in mobile searches, home and garden has seen increase of 45% year-over-year, while apparel and consumer electronics each experienced a 40% bounce.
The data in Google’s new report is based on findings from a behavioral measurement of a convenience sample of nearly 12,000 opt-in Google users. The data was then calibrated to reflect a U.S. demographic of 18- to 49-year-old cross-device users.