mobile commerce

eBay, PayPal Bring Mobile Commerce to Wearables at SXSW

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2014 02:03 PM

The wearable technology train has logged quite a few miles so far this year, making big stops at CES, Mobile World Congress and now SXSW, where two more unlikely players are entering the space. 

“Wearable devices are the next frontier,” Steve Yankovich, VP innovation and new ventures at eBay, wrote in a blog post. “Personalization will be key for the future of mobile—creating seamless experiences for shoppers on the go." The e-commerce company, which also owns PayPal, hopes to be a portal for mobile payments on every type of screen, whether its on a smartphone, smartwatch, or other wearable device. 

eBay and PayPal—who are at the center of an activist investor tug of war—were busy touting their smartwatch apps at SXSW for both Pebble and Samsung's Gear line, which was recently announced at Mobile World Congress and now includes the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, as well as the Gear Fit. The apps were launched on Samsung's original wearable device, the Galaxy Gear, last year, so the apps have achieved a coveted spot as a "featured app" on the latest editions.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Audi, McDonald's, P&G and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 11, 2014 09:28 AM

In the News

Audi passes BMW in global luxury-auto sales race and predicts record sales.

McDonald's introduces Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich as US same-store sales decline for fourth month.

P&G and ConAgra sideline rivalry to promote end to childhood hunger.

Birds Eye touts its recipe-readiness.

Bud Light extends Super Bowl promo to March Madness.

Chobani may file for IPO, report says.

Draftfcb rebrands for integrated future, will just be called FCB. 

eBay rejects Carl Icahn's board nominees.

GM faces congressional hearings over ignition-switch recall.

Google discloses $9.5 million in top-exec bonuses.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Under Pressure from Activists, Facebook Vows to Filter Firearms Posts

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 6, 2014 11:53 AM

In the aftermath of a revealing investigation and an outcry from Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the nationwide Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America group to stiffen its policies around weapons sales and postings, Facebook and Instagram have announced that they will take down posts from gun sellers and traders that do not block the posts from those under 18. 

Calling the action “a series of new educational and enforcement efforts for people discussing the private sale of regulated items,” the social behemoth outlined four commitments to address the growing problem:Continue reading...

brands under fire

Facebook Comes Under Fire for Lax Gun Policies

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 3, 2014 10:14 AM

It takes just 15 minutes to buy illegal weapons on Facebook, according to a report from VentureBeat. The investigation uncovered "dozens of pages on Facebook where guns are for sale, including semi-automatic weapons, handguns, and silencers."

Listed under Facebook pages like "Guns for Sale," "I Love Guns," "Guns, Ammo & Blades"—all of which have thousands of "likes," users can purchase various weapons and accessories with no ID or paperwork needed. “While the transactions don’t actually happen on Facebook, the social network is a remarkably easy way to find shady people willing to sell you a weapon—no questions asked,” VentureBeat notes. “The illegal transactions then take place in diners, dark parking lots, and isolated country roads—away from the prying eyes of the feds and local police.” 

Now, a Change.org petition is circulating asking Facebook and Instagram to "get out of the gun business." With nearly 93,000 signatures, the petition is backed by Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group co-founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Boeing, Volkswagen, Adidas and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2014 09:28 AM

In the News

Boeing designs self-destructing "Mission Impossible" smartphone.

Volkswagen cuts European worker bonuses on slump in demand and recalls almost 600,000 vans. 

Adidas to stop selling sexually-suggestive World Cup T-shirts after outcry. 

Barnes & Noble swings to profit on cost-cutting. 

Best Buy posts sales decline but returns to profit with cost cuts. 

Bitcoin falls in crosshairs of nations' regulators. 

eBay leads $133.7 million investment in Indian shopping site Snapdeal. 

European Union bans e-cigarette ads. 

Ford gets Mustang tie-up to Need for Speed and improves convertible top to take on German rivals. 

GM now faces federal investigation of its handling of recall.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

Lululemon Tried to Ban Customers from Reselling Clothes, Because That's Going to Go Over Well

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2014 07:19 PM

Yoga apparel retailer Lululemon has stepped it in again, and this time even they're calling their bluff. 

Numerous consumers said they were contacted by Lululemon representatives by phone after trying to sell used Lululemon clothes on eBay, with the embattled retailer going as far as to shut out some of those customers from their Lululemon e-commerce accounts. 

And for some reason, it's not surprising as the company has had one PR debacle after another in what has been a roller-coaster year for the Canadian brand. It all seemed to go downhill after Lululemon recalled thousands of pairs of its most popular yoga pants for being too sheer last spring. The incident, which is reportedly still causing issues for some customers, opened up the floodgates to poor consumer relations, from excluding and offending plus-size consumers, bashing unrelated philanthropy efforts, nonsensical window displays and continual gaffes from eccentric founder Chip Wilson

Lululemon issued an apology for the threat after inquiries from the media once again shined an unfavorable light on the brand.Continue reading...

viral buzz

The Death of Flappy Bird Spawns Outrageous Auctions, Clones of Viral Hit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 14, 2014 10:33 AM

Hundreds of thousands of mobile gamers have spent the last few weeks staring at their screens trying to maneuver a flapping bird through various obstacles. It turns out that their obsession with the free game “Flappy Bird” is what ended up killing the viral hit. 

Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen gifted his game to the world but decided earlier this week that it had to come down based on its addictive qualities. “I just wanted to create a game that people could enjoy for a few minutes,” he told the Wall Street Journal. And so on Sunday, the free app was pulled from the App Store and Android market to the dismay of late bloomers hoping to get a few plays out of the simplistic video game. 

But just because Flappy Bird isn't available for download anymore doesn't mean there's no way to access it. In the days since it was pulled from the market, tablets and smartphones containing Flappy Bird have appeared for sale on Amazon and eBay—for a pretty price, of course. An iPad Mini with Flappy Bird was going for more than $10,000 while and iPhone 5S with the app was priced at over $1,000. 

eBay, though, was not amused, as the sale of such mobile devices is against its policy. Mobile devices can only be sold on the site once they are reset to factory settings—aka no Flappy Bird.Continue reading...

now hear this

Minneapolis' Iconic 400 Bar Will Live to Rock Another Day at Mall of America

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 12, 2014 10:47 AM

Hank Williams Sonoma. Cinnabon Iver. Bananarama republic. For a brief period last week many on Twitter wondered what the nationally trending hashtag #400BarAtTheMall was all about.

The hashtag's "400 Bar" is the iconic Minneapolis bar and music venue that closed its doors at the end of 2012. And "The Mall" is the same city's iconic-in-a-different-way Mall of America.

Coming later this year, the 400 Bar, as first reported in the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, will relocate to the nearby Mall of America as a 25,000-square-foot concert venue, museum and restaurant. The announcement marrying the antiseptic Mall of America with one of Minneapolis' most historic, gritty music venues may have caused confusion for many who remember the old 400 Bar at the bohemian corner of Cedar Ave. and South 4th.Continue reading...

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