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brands with a cause

Google Hangout's Social Experiment Helps Push Same-Sex Marriage in France

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 29, 2013 06:51 PM

Google and Ogilvy Paris would like to take partial credit for France recently passing a law legalizing same-sex marriage. Their contribution, the "first social same-sex marriage" initiative for gay couples allowed partners to get married via Google Hangout, which was created with the help of non-profit Tous Unis Pour L'Egalite (United for Equality).

The team produced a series of  “social marriages” through a video-conferencing event presided over by a mayor in Belgium—not to mention a unique showcase of Google Hangouts' feature that lets up to 10 computers connect on a single call—providing witnesses for the joyous event and participation by family and friends not in attendance.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Google Offers Close-Up Look at Glass as Security Debate Heats Up

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 1, 2013 02:53 PM

As with any device that ups the ante on usage and reach, added security risks and vulnerability come hand-in-hand—and in this case, fashion issues as well.

Google has been busy hyping Google Glass, as it unleashes the futuristic specs on developers and journalists to test drive. It released a tutorial video this week, demonstrating how the glasses work. 

But as developers pour over the specs of the device, several security loopholes have been discovered, causing already existing security concerns to rise. Jay Freeman, iOS and Android developer discovered that an Android hacking technique could compromise the Glass headset, gaining complete control of its operating system and potentially allowing the installation of surveillance malware. 

This “Explorer” version of Glass that developers received doesn’t have a PIN code or authentication protection, so when left on and unattended, the device is vulnerable to hacking. A USB cable could be attached to the headset and used to gain full "root" access to the device, which could allow surveillance programs to be installed. Such programs could upload a user's photos, video and audio to a remote server.Continue reading...

Google Returns Frommer’s Back to its Rightful Owner

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 4, 2013 04:32 PM

Google has sold the rights to the eponymous Frommer's travel guidebook series… to Arthur Frommer, the creator of the brand. Frommer initially sold his rights to Simon & Schuster in 1977, and several brand changes later, Google snapped it up in 2012 amidst speculation that the search giant might fold it into Zagat, which they bought in 2011, with aspirations of owning the SEO on geo-location-travel.

Travel website Skift broke the news that Google would stop publishing print editions of several Frommer's series just seven months after it acquired Frommer’s from John Wiley & Sons for a rumored price of $25 million, however the sale of the naming rights will now allow Arthur Frommer to continue to publish print guide books and content on Frommers.com. 

A Google spokesperson told Skift, “We’re focused on providing high-quality local information to help people quickly discover and share great places, like a nearby restaurant or the perfect vacation destination. That’s why we’ve spent the last several months integrating the travel content we acquired from Wiley into Google+ Local and our other Google services. We can confirm that we have returned the Frommer’s brand to its founder and are licensing certain travel content to him.”Continue reading...

brand evolution

YouTube Reinvents Streaming with New Partnerships, Projects

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 19, 2013 01:43 PM

With four billion hours of viewership a month, YouTube’s leaderboard position in the evolving stream of video is more secure than ever, but the web video world has radically changed since YouTube first hit the scene in 2005, which is why the streaming giant is busy evolving its platform and creating new partnerships. 

YouTube today works hand in hand with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to make videos trends like the "Harlem Shake" (with various versions scoring tens of millions of views apiece in weeks) a viral phenomenon.Continue reading...

social media watch

Netflix, Others Turn to Social for Expansion

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 15, 2013 03:17 PM

If you remember when social integration meant how well you played on the playground or lined up for lunch in second grade, you’re probably an analog native.

For the digital native, it means the growing integration of social networking on sites heretofore not inherently social. At the front of the pack? Netflix. 

Netflix has finally debuted Facebook integration for U.S. subscribers, who can now opt to see what their friends have been watching and like the most, as well as post films or TV shows to their Facebook wall and comment on viewing activity.Continue reading...

digital marketing

Google Reimagines Advertising, Invites Brands Into Art Copy & Code Digital Lab

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 8, 2013 11:36 AM

Google’s latest project, Art, Copy & Code, is an experiment in creativity and technology to re-imagine advertising with some of "today's most iconic brands and innovative marketers,” such as Volkswagen, Burberry and Adidas.

In addition to well-known brands, the project will also collaborate with filmmakers, creative directors and technologists, leveraging the full range of digital tools from ads and mobile apps to social experiences.Continue reading...

getting by with a little help

Michelle Obama Brings Let's Move to Schools With $50 Million Boost From Nike

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 28, 2013 01:51 PM

Critics feeling that Michelle Obama has been overexposed lately, from presenting at the Oscars to mom-dancing with Jimmy Fallon, will have a hard time critiquing her latest move. The First Lady is expanding Let's Move, her three-year-old initiative to get kids moving and combat childhood obesity, and she's tapping one of the world's leading brands in the "get moving" space—Nike. 

NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker joined First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Chicago to announce Nike’s $50 million, five-year commitment to help launch a new Let's Move program for schools, an extension of the brand's involvement in the organization's Designed to Move study that found that only one in three American kids are active daily.Continue reading...

tech style

Project Glass is Now in Session: Google Wants You to Try Out High-Tech Glasses

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2013 02:47 PM

Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page said in 2004, "Imagine your brain being augmented by Google." It’s no longer imagination.

Google has released its second teaser video for its augmented reality specs rumored for release later this year. Shot from the POV of the Google Glass wearer, the video shows skydivers, ice skaters, ballerinas, skiers and pilots enjoying the augmented-reality and photo-capturing capabilities of the glasses. 

While the first video, released last year, followed everyday errands on a New York City day, the latest one showcases the functionality and feeling of Google Glass, which accompanied by a small suspended screen shows images, messages, translations, mapping information and video chats as users snap photos, record video or broadcast a live video feed of what's in front of their eyes—with the capability to add spoken messages as well.

Now Google is opening up its explorer testing program for its wearable high-tech specs to anyone (within the U.S.) who impresses the company with their application and has $1,500 to spare. Looking for "bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass,” Google will extend invitations to the top 8,000 applicants with the highest scores.Continue reading...

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