As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

Millions knocked offline in US

A fault on Time Warner Cable’s network left its 11.4 million broadband internet subscribers without a connection.

Costco phone kiosks will begin selling AppleCare+ tomorrow?

A leaked internal memo seems to reveal that Costco’s in-store wireless kiosks may begin offering AppleCare+ on iPhones and iPads beginning on Thursday, August 28. The offer applies only to devices activated at the kiosk rather than iPhones or iPads that may be offered on the main sales floor. Costco resumed selling iTunes gift cards after a nearly four-year dispute with Apple ended in early June; iPhone and iPad sales were resumed just before the end of that month.

VIDEO: Twitter's map of Mid-East conflict

How people react to Gaza on social media

TV white space could be a lifesaver

Could unused TV signal improve rural broadband?

VIDEO: 'White space' internet developed

David Grossman reports from the Isle of Wight, on the “white space” which could help remote areas access fast broadband.

On August 30th, Celebrate the Anniversary of Email and the Indian-American Boy Who Invented It

Introducing the the History of Email series

I am honored to introduce the History of Email series on HuffPost. August 30 is the official Anniversary of Email.

On August 30,1982, V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai received official recognition as the inventor of email from the U.S. government, for the work he had done in 1978.

Official US Copyright Notice for “Email” Issued on August 30, 1982, now, in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History (NMAH).

On August 30, 1982, Shiva was issued the first Copyright for “Email”, “Computer Program for Electronic Mail System.” At that time, Copyright was the equivalent of a patent, as there was no other way to protect software inventions. Only in 1980 was the Copyright Act of 1976 amended to protect software. Patent law had not even caught up to software in 1980.

To celebrate the Anniversary of Email and the Indian-American boy who invented email, the History of Email Series will include five wonderful articles that will share the facts about email’s invention, personal reflections from myself and his Robert Field, one of Shiva’s colleagues, a detailed analysis of the myths about email and its origins by world-renowned systems scientist Dr. Deborah J. Nightingale, and finally a perspective on the future of email by Shiva. The articles will be as follows:

- The Boy Who Invented Email by Larry Weber

- The Invention of Email by Dr. Leslie P. Michelson, Ph.D.

- The First Email System by Robert Field

- The Five Myths About Email by Dr. Deborah J. Nightingale, Ph.D.

- The Future of Email by Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D.

August 30th is an occasion for celebration not only for the day email was invented, but also and more importantly, the day a young 14-year-old, brilliant and determined teenager, working in Newark, NJ, invented email, at a time when experts at the forefront of technology had deemed it “impossible.”

Shiva neither sought nor received any fame or fortune for his invention. In 2012, over thirty years later, the Smithsonian acquired his computer code, papers and artifacts documenting his invention for the National Museum of American History (NMAH). When news of the acquisition went public, Shiva was viciously attacked, defamed with a clear and malicious intent to destroy his character, career, and reputation as an inventor and scientist.

Noam Chomsky, reflecting on the events, released the following statement:

“The efforts to belittle the innovation of a 14-year-old child should lead to reflection on the larger story of how power is gained, maintained, and expanded, and the need to encourage, not undermine, the capacities for creative inquiry that are widely shared and could flourish, if recognized and given the support they deserve. The angry reaction to the news of his invention of EMAIL and the steps taken to belittle the achievement are most unfortunate. They suggest an effort to dismiss the fact that innovation can take place by anyone, in any place, at any time. And they highlight the need to ensure that innovation must not be monopolized by those with power — power which, incidentally, is substantially a public gift.” (Noam Chomsky, inventorofemail.com, April 2012)

Who were behind these attacks?

This historical series will reveal that it was a group of industry insiders, former employees, alumni and partners loyal to Raytheon/BBN, MIT, and the ARPANET coterie, publicly led by David Crocker, an ARPANET researcher and veteran of Raytheon/BBN for nearly 30 years, who had created a revisionist history of email’s origin, for nearly three decades to hijack the boy’s invention of email.

Their motive was to not only to protect Raytheon/BBN’s multi-billion dollar brand as the “inventors of email”, which gave them an unfair advantage in the competitive cyber-security market against Northrup-Grumman and General Dynamics, but also to monopolize and perpetuate a false and deplorable narrative that innovation could only occur within the bastions of big companies like Raytheon, large universities such as MIT and the military such as the ARPANET.

The documented evidence, now in the Smithsonian, had thrown a big wrench into the false history of email that these insiders had fabricated and perpetuated over the past thirty years.

Shiva and his colleagues responded by launching the website www.inventorofemail.com to share the facts including primary sources and historical documents. When a “smoking gun” document, authored by David Crocker himself, written in December 1977, which unequivocally stated:

“At this time, no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system. The fact that the system is intended for use in various organizational contexts and by users of differing expertise makes it almost impossible to build a system which responds to all users’ needs.” (D. Crocker, December 1977, RAND Report),

was released on the site, Shiva’s detractors began to retreat, and to resort to simply calling him self-promotional. This name-calling was ironic as it was Raytheon/BBN who had spent millions on creating their false brand as inventors of email.

As M.A. Padlipsky, the eminent electronic messaging pioneer, an MIT graduate, a member of the ARPANET team, observed of Raytheon/BNN’s long history of self-promotional activities:

“[T]he BBN guys – who always seemed to get to write the histories and hence always seemed to have claimed to have invented everything, anyway, perhaps because BBN was the only “for-profit” to furnish key members of the original Network Working Group.”–Padlipsky, M.A., ARPANET contributor and author of more than 20 RFC specifications, (Essay: “And they argued all night….”, http://archive.is/dx2TK)

In 1978, Shiva had done the “impossible” by emulating the “full-scale, inter-organizational mail system”, which he called “email”, a term never used before, thus defining email, as we all know and use today, and for which he was the first to receive formal recognition by the US Government for its invention.

However, in the age of Google and Wikipedia, where sensationalism and poor journalism, can obfuscate the truth, the origin of email became confused by the deliberate work of those industry insiders.

As the Anniversary of Email approaches on August 30, it is time the world knows the real struggle that a 14-year-old boy endured and what he gave to the world. His story is not just about the invention of email, but more about who owns and controls innovation, and what that means for all of us.

Welcome to the History of Email. Celebrate August 30th, the Anniversary of Email!

The Evolution of 4 Iconic Logo Designs

A strong visual language is the best way to establish brand recognition among your audience, and your logo is the foundation of that visual identity. A well-designed logo complements a brand, oftentimes taking on a life of its own and effectively settling into the cultural consciousness. Not only that, the best logos serve as both a template and a guide as a brand evolves.

Some of the world’s most iconic logos have been refined — though never redesigned — because their design was such an accurate reflection of the brand. Here are four classic logos that have been successfully updated for the modern era yet pay homage to their original good design.


Designer: Saul Bass, king of corporate logos (including United Airlines, Quaker Oats, Minolta, United Way and Wienerschnitzel)

Source: Brain Pickings

Bass’ original AT&T logo from 1983 (nicknamed the “Death Star”) has been updated twice. In 1999 it went from its original 12 lines to a shaded version with 8 lines. In 2005 Interbrand reworked those lines into a 3D transparent “marble.” With each incarnation, Bass’ original design has remained solidly intact, while the current aesthetic communicates the company’s notable expansion into modern technologies.

Takeaway: A successful logo update preserves a brand’s well-established identity while communicating new brand evolutions.

Girl Scouts

Designer: Saul Bass

Source: Just Creative

Bass’ 1978 logo for the Girl Scouts is a brilliant use of negative space. It was reworked in 2010 by Original Champions of Design, receiving a few marked improvements without losing any of the original’s appeal. Most notable: The addition of bangs on the first figure, which creates a sense of age progression as the figures move right, and the refinement of the pointed trefoil shape, which pays homage to the original logo but provides a unified shape for future branding.

Takeaway: A well-designed logo allows for intentional refinements to increase its meaning and impact.


Designer: Paul Rand, design legend and creator of logos for IBM, ABC, Enron and NeXT computers.

Source: Logo Design Love

Rand’s design for UPS was instantly recognizable, even in 1961. His work refined the existing corporate shield for the modern era. The 2003 update by FutureBrand retained the iconic shape of the logo but ditched the bow-tied package to reflect the company’s shift toward new supply chain services.

Takeaway: An iconic logo can be simplified to streamline a brand’s message.


Designer: Terry Heckler

Source: Starbucks

The Starbucks logo has seen several iterations since its introduction in 1971. Heckler added the iconic green ring around it in 1987, then an internal team of Starbucks designers created the contemporary mermaid in 1992. In the latest iteration, launched in 2011, the company made a bold move: removing the ring and leaving just the mermaid on her own. With the removal of “coffee,” the logo becomes symbolic of a lifestyle brand.

Takeaway: A well-designed logo is flexible, able to evolve with a brand’s vision.


The world’s biggest brands have uniquely recognizable logos. But these logos do share certain similarities. We analyzed the logos of Interbrand’s Top 100 Brands of 2013 to find out what they have in common.

Most Common Colors Used

Number of Colors Used

Company Name Only vs. No Company Name

Whether you’re redesigning a logo or an internal report, preserving and promoting your brand’s visual language should always be a design priority.

This article originally written by Benjamin Starr on VisualNews/Visage.co.

iMedicalApps is “re-launching”

iMedicalApps will be announcing a new partnership on Tuesday!

The post iMedicalApps is “re-launching” appeared first on iMedicalApps.

MIT To Offer 'Credit For Reddit' Course Next Spring

These days, it seems like millenial-targeted college courses are springing up on nearly every college campus, from Tuft University’s “Demystifying the Hipster” course to Skidmore College’s “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media.”

You can add Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “Credit for Reddit” class to the roster. The undergraduate course, which is officially called “CMS.400 Media Systems and Texts” and offered under the comparative media studies discipline, first hit campus last year. It will be offered again next spring, taught by researcher Chris Peterson and his colleague Ed Schiappa.

It won’t be all Reddit wormholes and imgur photos, though: Peterson says the class will be part psychology, part data analysis, and part social theory.

“One of the things we try to do in this class is make sure people understand that the technology they use in their daily lives is rooted very deeply in important social issues,” he told the Vice blog Motherboard.

Despite its nickname, the course won’t be solely fixated on Reddit, either — students will be tasked with comparing the site to various forms of social media. As Peterson puts it on his Linkedin page, the course “[i]ntroduces students to central topics and mixed methods such that they can better investigate and understand emerging web ecologies.”

In a post on Reddit , Peterson explains the idea was born out of his own research on the website.

“I’ve been doing (limited) research on Reddit the last few years and had lots of undergraduate interest in my projects; as one student put it, ‘I already Reddit instead of homework, so I might as well Reddit for homework,’” he wrote.

In the same Reddit thread, Peterson put out a call for submissions to his syllabus. Judging by the interested responses, the course may delve into deciphering Reddit’s hive mentality, its “karma points” ratings system, and some sort of content analysis.

Perhaps the class will lead to even more studies like Stanford University’s examination of Reddit’s Random Act Of Pizza forum, which taught us all the secret to getting free pizza.

Landmark court cases deleted from net

Numerous records relating to civil rights cases have disappeared from the US government’s online legal archive.

$10m Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE: 10 Finalist Teams Selected

By Jon Sung

It all began with over 300 pre-registered teams, which led to over 20 competing teams. And then there were 10. That’s right. After considerable evaluation and deliberation, it’s time to reveal the 10 finalists in the running for the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. These are the select few advancing in the global competition to create an affordable, portable, wireless, Star Trek-inspired scanning device that will monitor and diagnose medical conditions quickly, easily, and non-intrusively. The winning device will weigh no more than five pounds and will provide user-friendly assessment and monitoring of five vital signs and 15 different medical conditions including diabetes, pneumonia, and the bane of every parent’s existence — an ear infection.

Congratulations to everyone who made it this far: your creativity and commitment to innovation and inventiveness has been nothing short of inspiring.

And the 10 finalists from 7 countries are:

Aezon (Baltimore, MD)

“We check the news. We check the weather. We check our texts; we check our tweets. Our email. Facebook. Amidst this wealth of information, we don’t check our bodies. With medical providers around the globe taxed for resources, we need to start taking charge of our own health.” So says Team Aezon, founded in 2012 by students at Johns Hopkins University. Under the leadership of biomedical engineering major, Tatiana Rypinski, they’ve put together sensor prototypes and version 1.0 of their smartphone-based UI. Next up will be the addition and integration of more diagnostic systems, and the continued improvement of the user experience.

Team Aezon

CloudDX (Mississauga, Canada)

Attending physician, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, former astronaut candidate and Chief Medical Officer of Biosign Technologies, Dr. Sandeep “Sonny” Kohli certainly didn’t start Team CloudDX out of boredom. A tight-knit group of programmers, software architects, and biomedical engineers, CloudDX is poised to take some of Biosign’s existing solutions, including its Cloud Diagnostics™ tech and Pulsewave™ health monitor, and run with ‘em. “Our software can already assist doctors to screen for hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart arrhythmia. So, competing for the XPRIZE takes us further down our technology road map — we hope all the way to victory!”

CloudDX’s health monitor

Danvantri (Chennai, India)

Team Danvantri derives its name from the god of Ayurvedic medicine who also serves as physician to the Hindu divine. Led by Sridharan Mani, Danvantri’s members have over 200,000 man-hours of experience in IT and embedded systems. “We hope to create a platform for transforming healthcare, making health a part of individuals’ daily lives, and helping everyone to stay healthy and fit independent of visits to clinics.” Their current device, which incorporates all-in-one blood pressure, temperature, and pulse oximetry, is awaiting clinical trials; the next phase will see the integration of ECG and blood chemistry analysis, among other things.

Danvantri’s AMI Vitals Fit

DMI (Cambridge, MA)

Though it’s not strictly part of the requirements, Team DMI’s rHEALTH sensor has already been tested in space. Dr. Eugene Chan, founder and president of the DNA Medicine Institute and holder of over 40 patents, may simply be thinking ahead. “We believe that fundamental change in medicine needs to be driven by advances in technology. In particular, we share the vision that consumers are the best advocates for their own health, and when empowered, will be able to take care of themselves in ways that we have yet to imagine. This will ultimately lead to lower healthcare costs, better care, and longer lives.” The current version of the rHEALTH sensor is designed to assess hundreds of clinical tests using a single drop of blood or other bodily fluid.

DMI’s rHEALTH sensor

Dynamical Biomarkers Group (Zhongli City, Taiwan)

The Dynamical Biomarkers Group hails from the Center for Dynamical Biomarkers and Translational Medicine at Taiwan’s National Central University. Their leader, Chung-Kang Peng PhD, happens to be the NCU’s Dean of Health Sciences and Technology, and has been working at the intersection of statistical physics and biology ever since grad school. Over the years, he and his collaborators have developed “several useful concepts and computational techniques, including the theory of physiologic complexity, and proposed the concept of dynamical biomarkers that can be utilized for disease diagnosis. These new approaches have a wide range of applications in multiple disciplines, such as mathematics, physics, economics, biology, and clinical medicine.” Appropriately enough, the Dynamical Biomarkers Group includes a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, medical researchers, physicists, applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers.

Team Dynamical Biomarkers Group

Final Frontier Medical Devices (Paoli, PA)

A surprisingly high percentage of patients in an emergency room aren’t in imminent danger; they’re just looking for a timely diagnosis and advice on what to do next, and they’ve got nowhere else to go. As an ER doc with a PhD in engineering, Dr. Basil Harris and his team, Final Frontier Medical Devices, is ready to do something about that. Their solution is called DxtER (pronounced “Dexter”) and combines a handheld sensor array with a tablet-based user interface and AI diagnostic engine capable of analyzing data, requesting further input, and arriving at a diagnosis. “I’m an ER doc; what I do every day is make diagnoses. That is my job boiled down to its core. I figure out, or at least try my best to figure out, what a patient’s symptoms mean and what has to be done. Our device is smart and simple, giving people the help and answers they need when they need them the most.”

Final Frontier Medical Devices’ DxtER

MESI Simplifying Diagnostics (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Straight out of Ljubljana, Team MESI Simplifying diagnostics combines members from Gigodesign, DLabs, the Jozef Stefan Institute, the University of Ljubljana, and MESI to form a Slovenian health technology powerhouse. Team leader Jakob Susteric founded MESI two years ago with the goal of creating medical devices that were reliable and easy to use, soon delivering a solution for diagnosing peripheral arterial disease. “We are proud to be one of the most successful startup companies in Slovenia and to be the youngest company in the country that has received ISO9001 and ISO13485 certificates. But we are the most proud of our goal to simplify diagnostics and bring it to a primary healthcare level, when there is enough time to react.”

MESI Simplifying diagnostics’ prototype

SCANADU (Moffett Field, CA)

“Scanadu believes that our generation will be the last to know so little about our own health.” Led by former MIT Media Lab sponsor and One Laptop Per Child exec Walter de Brouwer, Team Scanadu operates out of NASA’s backyard in Moffett Field, nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley. The crowdfunding campaign for the Scanadu Scout broke Indiegogo’s “most funded project” record at the time, and Scanadu has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, Forbes, and Fast Company among others — many, many others. You’ve probably heard of Scanadu. ‘Nuff said.

Team Scanadu

SCANurse (London, England)

Drawing on 20 years of experience working with pharma, biotech, healthcare, and diagnostic companies all around the world, Anil Vaidya founded Team SCANurse with the belief that “the time is right for a change in the way personal medical diagnoses are handled.” Holder of a Master of Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers, Vaidya is current life science advisor to the office of the Mayor of London and has a unique understanding of how global partnerships can help bring his vision of the future of medical diagnostics to life.

zensor (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Team zensor has been developing wireless, wearable, non-intrusive health monitors for a decade. Based at Intelesens in Belfast, Northern Ireland, zensor is led by chief technology officer Jim McLaughlin and has various partners in clinical diagnostics and cardiology. “Consumers have become more and more informed on their own health — wearable fitness technology has established a firm niche — however, to date, technology has not been capable of supporting true consumer healthcare needs. The zensor team is passionate about delivering cutting edge technology tested for both accuracy and safety to support this demand.” Team zensor’s current device incorporates ECG, motion, and respiration algorithms; their next version will measure blood oxygenation.

Congratulations, finalists! Now the real work begins. We’re expecting the first prototypes by next March at the latest, after which we’ll start the six-month consumer-testing phase. We’ll be checking in from time to time right up until the final judging and validation. Then, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, we’ll award the prize in early 2016. See you in sickbay! Remember, that’s deck 12, section 28. Good luck!

Jon Sung is a contributing writer for XPRIZE and copywriting gun-for-hire to startups and ventures all over the San Francisco Bay area. When not wrangling words for business or pleasure, he serves as the first officer of the USS Loma Prieta, the hardest-partying Star Trek fan club in San Francisco.

STAR TREK, TRICORDER and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. Used under license.

California court denies Apple injunction against Samsung products

The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP — including the famous “slide to unlock” patent — the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn’t show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is related to one of the post-trial motions stemming from the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. Koh also denied any injunctions on products found guilty of infringing from the first

5 Traditionally Male Jobs You Didn't Know Women Pioneered

Today, women make up nearly half of America’s workforce, and counting. But even as women achieve new levels of success at work, some fields remain heavily male-dominated. Many of these occupations are seen as stereotypically “masculine” work, yet some of the gentleman’s club-type jobs we see today had early female influence.

These five occupations actually have long, often-forgotten histories of women helping to pioneer their early days:

1. The first computer programmer ever was a woman.

Today’s tech world is notoriously male-dominated, with women holding less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and math jobs nationally. And yet, the gentlemen of Silicon Valley owe a lot to the 19th-century founder of scientific computing: Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, or “Ada Lovelace.”

Lovelace collaborated with Charles Babbage, the so-called “Father of Computers,” and wrote the world’s first computer coding algorithm. Byron wasn’t the only foremother of computer science, though. During World War II, six women mathematicians, nicknamed the “human computers,” did most of the programming for one of the world’s first all-electronic computers. Women remained prominent in computer programming throughout the ’40s and ’50s, but their numbers decreased as the industry adopted a number of recruiting techniques that favored men in the late 1960s.

2. For most of human history, women brewed those ever-so-manly barrels of beer.

Today, women make up less than one percent of workers are employed in beer manufacturing. But evidence from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics suggests that women were originally responsible for brewing beer, which was considered a feminine, domestic task for centuries.

Throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, women were masters of brewing, and many of these so-called “ale-wives” or “brewsters” used their talents to earn pocket money. With the industrialization of the 17th century, beer became a large-scale factory business, and those factory jobs were given to men.

3. From 1916 to 1923, American women had more power in the world of moviemaking than in any other domestic industry.

For decades, women have been completely outnumbered in nearly every aspect of the film industry. Yet, in the early days of silent film, moviemaking was one of the most female-friendly fields. Indeed, hundreds of women worked as writers, directors, producers and editors in the early-20th century, and many of their stories were only recently uncovered by Harvard professor Jane Gaines.

Gaines determined that, from 1916 to 1923, women actually held more power in the film industry than in any other industry in the United States. (Unfortunately, 90 percent of American films made before 1929 were not properly preserved, so much of their work cannot be enjoyed today.) In fact, in 1923, more independent studios were owned by women than by men, a phenomena that Playboy dubbed the “her own company epidemic.” Then, as the industry became centralized, a few powerful, male-owned companies took hold, and women were pushed out of most of the available jobs. Meanwhile, several authors of important important early film history books ignored women’s films and achievements, and many of these influential women were nearly forgotten.

4. Women were the original drummers.

Today, percussion instruments are typically seen as “masculine” — associated with military marching bands or rambunctious rock stars. Yet, ancient artifacts and paintings reveal that ancient women were the original drummers.

According to Layne Redmond, author of When The Drummers Were Women, the first-known drummer in history was Lipushiau, a Mesopotamian priestess. Drums carried connotations of birth and fertility and were sacred to women. Women played drums during religious rituals for about 3,000 years of human history. That all changed when the Christian church banned women from singing or playing instruments. Public performance of music increasingly became the turf of men.

5. While the medical field excluded women doctors for hundreds of years, women were some of early mankind’s most prominent healers.

Many women were highly-respected medical experts in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. Throughout Europe’s early history, nuns frequently worked as healers, and some, like Hildegard of Bingen, wrote influential records of their cures and treatments they used, often in the fields of gynecology and child-birthing practices.

Then, in the late Middle Ages, the church decreed that all doctors must obtain a university education. At the time, women were banned from attending university, and thus could not practice medicine legally. Those who practiced medicine were frequently prosecuted for witchcraft. After that, the medical establishment often ignored women’s contributions or attributed their achievements to men. For example, historians wrongly assumed that Trotula, a renowned 11th-century female professor of medicine, and author of a classic book on medicine, was a man — simply because they couldn’t believe a woman had written such an influential medical book.

Even when women faced social and educational barriers to enter the medical field, they continued to heal those who could not afford doctors. In recent decades, women have made incredible progress in the medical field, though sexism still lingers.

How Magazines Are Shifting to Digital for Huge Revenue

For Ed Loh, editor-in-chief of one of the most popular men’s magazine’s in the country, making the switch from being known as Motortrend magazine to just “Motortrend” wasn’t a conscious strategic decision, it just happened. And it happened because their audience asked for it.

Loh didn’t start his career as a car guy, he was high school science teacher who had a passion for photography. With a little luck and a lot of desire for creating engaging content, Loh landed at a small car magazine until he worked his way up and into his current Motortrend gig.

Two years ago he (and Motortrend) decided to dip a toe into the original content creator pool on Youtube. With all of their reader analytics and magazine knowledge they knew that cars like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord were the best selling and most popular consumer cars. Thinking that they could build huge interest and attention around these icons they set out to develop an online web series around the concept. It failed miserably.

They went back to the laboratory and started creating content experiments that they tested on Youtube and tracked performance. What they discovered was that their fans wanted to see eye candy. In other words, aspirational cars like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and BMW drag racing against each other.

The spark of success soon ignited into a bigger flame. Soon original shows like WOT (Wide Open Throttle) were created and Motortrend’s Youtube channel gained thousands, then millions of subscribers in a very short period of time. Their shift from paper to digital was gradual but now that they are in high gear online, there’s no slowing down in sight.

Motortrend is leveraging their newfound digital presence by partnering with brands to do integrated content and sponsorship, like their series Road Kill with Dickies or Holley brands. There’s a lot more under the hood to discover.

Get Behind the Brand and watch the entire episode to learn more about building a community, creating awesome content that gets shared and more.

As usual, Subscribe! to my Youtube channel to ensure that we can continue to bring you inspiring and insightful content for free. Tweet me @BryanElliott or leave a comment below to join the conversation. Thanks for watching!

How the Ferguson Protests Convinced Me We Don't Need Cell Phone Kill Switches

California Governor Jerry Brown just signed a bill that requires all smartphones sold in California to come with mandatory “kill switches.” A few weeks ago, I thought the bill was a seemingly harmless piece of legislation that might decrease the number of smartphones stolen every year. I even wrote a blog post in support of the bill. I’ve since changed my mind.

The events in Ferguson, Mo. that followed the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown made me rethink my view.

What’s the connection between Ferguson and kill switches? Let me explain.

As the executive director of CALinnovates, I advocate for the tech creators and users in California. When there’s legislation that would either help or harm my members, I make our voices heard in Washington and Sacramento. SB 962, the bill that mandates kill switches, seemed like a no-brainer at the time. Introduced by San Francisco-based State Senator Mark Leno, the bill requires smartphone makers to include technology in every phone sold in California that makes it possible to disable the phone remotely. If a thief steals your phone, you’ll be able to easily lock it down and the bad guy won’t gain access to your email, credit cards or passwords. As I wrote at the time, “The California law, while state specific, sends a strong message to would-be thieves… that curtailing smartphone theft is a priority.”

As California goes, so goes the rest of the country. It’s absurd to think that smartphone makers will only include the technology in phones sold in California — so now, hardware manufacturers will essentially have to make the technology available on all future smartphones. The California bill states that users must be given the option to activate (or not) the kill switch technology. Similar bills in Minnesota, New York, Illinois and Rhode Island don’t offer users an option to make the kill switch inactive.

There’s no doubt that mandatory kill switches will ease cell phone theft. As stolen phones lose their value on the secondary market and no private information can be gleaned, thieves will cut back on swiping phones. Even companies like Apple and Samsung support (or at least don’t oppose) the new law.

So why do I now oppose it?


Like the rest of the nation, I watched in horror over the last two weeks as protestors and police clashed in the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed teen, Michael Brown, was killed by police. Yes, there were some protestors who acted criminally and agitated for violence. But for the most part, the protests were amazingly peaceful. Images of men, women and children walking towards police with their hands up have left a powerful impression on those of us viewing the situation from afar.

It’s easy to understand why the people of Ferguson – where 63 percent of the community is black but make up 92 percent of all police arrests – are fed up. It’s harder to understand the reaction from law enforcement. Using military tactics including tear gas, armored trucks and assault rifles, police helped turn Ferguson into what looked like a war zone.

Journalists, who have every right to cover police actions, have been harassed and 11 were arrested. Police demanded reporters turn off their phones when they were lawfully trying to cover events as they unfolded. The situation got so bad that 48 news organizations signed a letter to the local and state police departments demanding they stop harassing journalists who were just doing their jobs. Social media via mobile phones is what pushed Ferguson onto the front page in the first place. CNN was still doing Lauren Bacall tributes when Twitter exploded with #Ferguson as people tweeted from the scene.

The government’s quick willingness to shut down communications is what got me (and others) thinking about the kill switch. It makes it very easy for police to simply shut down all cell phones using the technology to stifle coverage and communication – basic First Amendment rights – in Ferguson.

And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen police jump to shutting down communications in the face of lawful protests. In 2011, protestors were planning to stop subway trains in San Francisco after police there shot and killed Charles Blair Hill, a mentally ill homeless man who was armed with a knife. BART officials later admitted that they shut down the train system’s underground cell phone network when the protest was scheduled to take place in order to stop people from organizing.

In the wake of that incident, Gov. Brown signed a bill last year requiring a court order before the government can shut down communications. The new California bill acknowledges that the law enforcement needs to abide by these rules before using the kill switch. To obtain a court order there has to be probable cause that mobile service is being used for unlawful purposes and that without shutting down communications, there would be an immediate threat to public safety. The communication interruption has to be narrowly tailored and it can’t last longer than necessary.

But if the police decide that there is a real risk of “death or great bodily injury” and there isn’t time for a court order, then a unilateral communications shutdown is allowed.

The intention here is clearly to stop communications between terrorists who are plotting an act of violence. But intentions can go wrong. I can see how police in a situation like the one we watched in Ferguson could have argued that there was enough danger to warrant shutting down cell phones.

It’s too easy for the government to curtail our civil rights using the kill switch, even if that’s not what the state legislature had in mind. Governor Brown now needs to make sure the new law is used only for the right reasons – to deter theft. Hopefully, we’ll never see the police use it to suppress free speech.

FBI Said to Be Probing Whether Russia Tied to JPMorgan Hacking

Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe.

Nobody Is Buying Amazon's Fire Phone

Amazon’s Fire Phone does not appear to be on fire.

According to an estimate by Charles Arthur, technology editor at The Guardian, the world’s largest online retailer sold fewer than 35,000 of its new smartphones in the first 20 days it was on the market.

To put that in perspective: Apple sold 9 million iPhone 5C and 5S devices within three days of the phones’ release last September. It’s not an entirely fair comparison, because iPhones are the most popular smartphone in the world and are available in more stores, in more countries and on more carriers.

But 35,000 is indeed a very small number. Amazon itself has 132,600 employees, according to the company’s latest public filings.

Amazon’s entry into the smartphone market comes at a time when the company is under intense pressure from shareholders to make a profit. Shares of the company plummeted after Amazon reported a loss of $126 million for the three-month period ending June 30, and the company told investors it could lose as much as $810 million this quarter. Just this week, Amazon said it would buy Twitch, the live-streaming video game network, for about $1 billion.

Amazon would never actually give figures for how many phones (or tablets, e-readers or streaming media players, for that matter) it has sold. Arthur’s estimate, which he bases on an analysis of the phone’s web traffic from Chitika, an online ad network, and numbers from comScore, the analytics company, should be taken with a grain of salt. As Arthur himself writes, “Lots of caveats apply: this is a calculation based on two non-congruent sets of samples, though both are large enough to be robust.”

Still, Amazon, which did not respond to an email requesting comment, doesn’t have a lot going for it when it comes to the Fire Phone.

It got tepid reviews, at best. For starters, it’s just as expensive as a new iPhone or premium Android device, and not nearly as good. Although it’s based on Android, it has its own operating system. Therefore, many apps — such as Google’s popular suite that includes Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube — aren’t available for it. It’s also only available on AT&T, and unlike the iPhone, when it first came out and was only available on AT&T, the Fire Phone is not a product most people would switch carriers for.

As I wrote in my review, Amazon is asking customers to sacrifice a lot to switch to the Fire Phone.

Amazon also got into the smartphone game late — the majority of Americans already have smartphones, and 94 percent run on either Android or Apple’s iOS. Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, which gets good reviews, has just 3.4 percent of the market in the U.S., according to comScore.

That said, Amazon has put its huge marketing muscle behind the Fire Phone, hawking it on its highly trafficked home page as well as sealing delivery boxes with colorful tape promoting the phone.

But even the power of the world’s largest online retailer doesn’t seem to be enough to sell the Fire Phone.

Are you a Fire Phone owner? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Let me know at timothy[dot]stenovec[at]huffingtonpost[dot]com.

GoPro Fetch Camera Harness Lets You See From Pooch's Point Of View

Ever ask your dog how his day went and not get a satisfying answer?

Now you can know exactly what your pooch has been up to by outfitting it with a GoPro Fetch harness, which enables a camera to be mounted on the dog at two locations.

The device lets you capture every lick, fetch and sniff from your pet’s perspective. And you thought there were already plenty of dog videos on the Internet. Now we’ll have pups making the clips!

The harness sells for $59.99 on GoPro’s website. The Hero3 camera attachment will cost you about $200.

The harness fits dogs from 15 to 120 pounds. Sorry, chihuahua and Yorkie lovers.

h/t Laughing Squid

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