Scientists have identified bacteria that help prevent asthma. The post Your Gut Microbiome Could Put You at a Higher Risk of Asthma appeared first on WIRED.
Big cities like San Francisco and New York are digital meccas, home to many of the world’s largest technology startups — and to hordes of smartphone-toting, app-using consumers. But when it comes to making a name for themselves, many of the companies hoping to influence these techie urbanites are going decidedly analog. In these cities, and others, it’s hard to miss the… Read More
TECH AND GADGETS
When it came out in 2007, Battles’ debut album Mirrored sounded like it had been sent from the future, so it’s a little disconcerting to realize that it’s over eight years old. The band’s gone through plenty of changes since then, including the departure of frontman Tyondai Braxton and the subsequent guest vocalist-heavy diversion of 2011’s Gloss Drop. And now, for the first time in four years, they’ve returned with their most assured record yet. La Di Da Di is entirely instrumental, but the band remains as sonically diverse as they’ve ever been. Although Battles’ sample- and loop-driven take on experimental rock hits the same inventive, constantly morphing highs as their prior work, the record is bound by a renewed focus and clarity. Almost every track, from intricate opener “The Yabba” to the spiraling “Summer Simmer,” features imaginative sound manipulation and virtuoso riffing, all underpinned by John Stanier’s astonishing machine-like drumwork. It might not be as consistently surprising as Mirrored, but it’s a lot more consistent. Completely untethered from the presence of a human voice, Battles now sound both more and less like a rock band than ever. I caught up with guitarist and keyboardist Ian Williams to talk about how La Di Da Di was recorded, the ever-evolving process of their live performances, and the plusses and minuses of releasing a fully formed album in the Spotify age. Sam Byford: I thought it was interesting that the first anyone heard of this new record was that live session you put out. Is this record more interesting for you to play live? Ian Williams: There's a lot of different ways that we can tackle [performance], and it's kind of fun this time. I think that whenever there's something that's a bit of a hurdle, every technological bump in the road is an opportunity to creatively go around the bump, and that's sort of the fun part about it. You can remix vocals for the songs that had singing before, and so on. Is the new stuff more playable, easier to play? I think in some ways the new stuff's harder to play. We've probably played seven or eight shows containing the new songs and I'm pretty conscious of the fact that I'm actually having to play more intensely — I'm just playing music, I feel, instead of hanging out on stage. Given that you use a lot of samples and loops, how do you balance actually playing things live with electronic manipulation? In electronic music there's a lot of controversy over what live music actually is, and what you're getting when you see a performance. Yeah, I know, I know. So here's the thing. We set loops on stage, right. And even when you set a loop, that's like a miniature lie. Although people understand the lie — you see the person play a line and just hear the recording back, it's like a gesture that the audience usually understands and thinks "okay, that represents what you had played but you're not playing it any more" — and that's a thing that we've done all the time in this band. It brings us out of being this rock band and that mechanical repetition throws us into a spectrum that starts to feel like electronic music, even though we still have a lot of the soupy, dirty aspects of this rock band that I feel like we sort of are anyways. But how to make the loop evolve and not just be this static block throughout the whole song has been sort of a thing that I think we've always tried to wrestle with in the group, because it can just be this monolithic grey wall if it just sits there all the time. So on this record I've tried to gin up ways to make the loop shift and evolve sometimes, working on sequences that are sort of playing in real time and whether it's MIDI commanding samples to play, or soft synths to play. It's still the problem of "what the hell is live?" It's still like, "that dude just pressed a button." What does that really accomplish? The performance aspect of it is a murky world right now. "It’s like you’re riding a rollercoaster and you didn’t fully put the shoulder harness on." I just watched the documentary I Dream of Wires, if you've seen that. The whole moving away from laptops into modular synthesis — part of it was like when everything's neatly tied up in soft synths and laptops one of the problems is that the performance is dead. But I don't really think the performance is any better if a guy's turning a knob and replugging in a wire. The instrument's cooler and more interesting, that's true. But I think the fact that this is an issue shows that this is sort of [the big question] right now in 2015. If you're honestly surfing the wave of what an instrument is on a historic timeline, I think this is where it's at right now. If you were The Who in the mid-‘60s, you were working out issues of how to make your guitar loud enough when you play a large concert hall with PA systems that hadn't yet evolved to support a rock band in a room that big. And I think that this is the honest problem of 2015, of how to play music live. Because our ears are so much more used to electronic music now that it's something we almost require. Not specifically, but if you just play guitar-bass-drums from circa 1991 — I don't know, for the most part I'm pretty bored with those sounds. And you have John's drumming as a baseline. Yeah. John is the honest, acoustic aspect of the band. And you can watch it. He plays kick, he plays snare, he plays hi-hat and then you're like "oh, it's real, I understand what that is." And all the other shit going on is like — I play synthesizers with my guitar now. And I resample the guitar onto the keyboard so I can play guitar notes with a keyboard. Nothing probably visually make sense when you watch it — there's a lot of flipping of roles within the electronic spectrum. And I think if you're looking for that narrative, to understand what's going on, it's probably frustrating to watch it. I think it's good, I think the performance is good, but you're not going to necessarily know exactly what's going on. "Tonto" off the band's 2007 debut When you’re first writing a song or making a loop, are you actively trying to create a sound that’s difficult to parse or that no one’s heard before? If you’ve played music for a while ... like, when I was 16 I picked up a bass guitar and was trying to learn to play Descendents and Black Flag songs, super simple punk stuff. And I was like "Oh, I can do this, great!" And from then on it’s just been another step, like "can I do this? Or this?" I at least wanted to keep myself entertained — like, I already know how to play the guitar like that so what happens if I try to play it like this? It’s just a continuing process of entertaining myself. For some reason to me it feels more honest if the process is searching, or trying to put yourself in situations where you’re not exactly sure if you’re going to be able to pull it off. And I’d say 10 percent of all Battles shows always have that element lurking above it, where there could be a lot of people staring at us going "What the fuck?" Is that because you try different things in each show, or… Well it’s just that the show still just has … it’s not fully like you’re wearing your seatbelt. It’s like you’re riding a roller coaster and you didn’t fully put the shoulder harness on. Hopefully you can hold on and you don’t die. But I sort of meant that in the larger sense, just when you’re composing and writing a song, and using a sound and [wondering] "can I faithfully reproduce this sound every time?" There’s shit I’m doing right now on the new record that I’m not totally comfortable playing on stage — I don’t think it sounds as good, I don’t think I’m 100 percent doing it right. And hopefully I can improve on those things, and I have some ideas about how I might fix it. The obvious difference with this record is that it’s totally instrumental — your previous albums have had vocals to varying degrees. Was this something you decided on going in, or was it ever an option to have vocals somewhere in the mix? "People know how to listen to instrumental music more now than they did before." We thought about certain guests on this record, but we just decided to keep it us and keep the focus simple. You know, I feel like we’ve always quite naturally made instrumental music, and I almost feel like that’s always what we’ve made. We started out making instrumental music on our EPs, and when there were vocals on Mirrored and Gloss Drop, I still actually feel like it was a minority of the songs that actually had singing. And we’re aware that you notice when someone sings on top of instruments, you go "oh that’s a human voice" and your mind reshuffles the deck and you picture the singer in front of the band or something like that. But for us, even when we have used the singing, it’s just been considered another instrument for the most part, and something just to blend in with everything. I guess I ask because I think of tunes like "Atlas," or "Ice Cream," or "My Machines," as doing a lot to expand the profile of the band, and there’s maybe not anything as obvious like that on the new record. There’s not like a catchy single, we knew that. I kind of think we didn’t really care about that this time. It’s the old "people making music that they wanted to hear," and that’s what we did. And you’re either going to like this or you're not. It is weird, where do you classify this record? If you push it into the electronic field, then I don’t know. I think there’s a large popular music tradition now of this music that doesn’t really feature vocals very prominently. I kind of just think that people know how to listen to instrumental music nowadays more than they did before. La Di Da Di is an album that particularly works as a whole. In this age of playlists and streaming music and so on, do you care about how that’s all going to get chopped up or rearranged in the experience of the listener? Yeah. I would tell you — I mean it might be a fool’s mission or something, but it’s a nice record to listen to [from start to finish]. And do people do that any more? Maybe not, I don’t know. But I would say that if you… I think every song does sound good by itself, so yeah, I don’t know. I guess now I’m talking about where we sit on the map, I’m thinking about what people expect from us, and there is this constituency that wants the "internet hit" with the singing and the catchy music video. So if there really is the person who just wants the hit and otherwise doesn’t like us, then I guess that person will be disappointed with that record. But also, like, I guess we don’t really care about those people. But I think if you are a person who already likes the things that Battles is known for, I think you would like this record. Do you think you’re always going to be interested in releasing your music in album form? For me, that’s not necessary. I would say in my art it’s really just about making good music, and whether that needs to come in a bubblegum wrapper attached to a magazine at a supermarket or not, that doesn’t really concern me as much. Making an album is almost a traditional gesture at this point. But it’s kind of fun to hold onto those traditional things and plop them down into the contemporary world and see much it works in that setting. I don’t really care about albums, but I would actually bet my bandmates would disagree.
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MAKE IT MODERN
Email marketing presents a whole host of opportunities (and challenges) for companies that want to engage prospects and customers on an ongoing basis. You may have found that creating quality email content on a consistent basis can seem like a lot of work. Which leads you to question if it’s really worth the effort. In 2014 eMarketer found that email marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States. With research like that backing up the usefulness of email marketing, it’s a tactic you can’t afford to ignore. If you’re tired of seeing your unsubscribe and spam rates increase at a steady pace, incorporate these 7 steps to connect with your email audience on a more engaging level. #1 – Personalize the Message Imagine if you received a letter in the mail and the opening read “Dear Customer” or some other sort of generic greeting. Chances are you would quickly toss that mail into the recycling bin. Emails can be personalized in a few ways. The simplest include adding the recipient’s name to the subject line or greeting. Another option (which often requires the use of marketing automation) is to personalize the message based on different trigger points. For example, if someone signs up for a demo of your service or made a purchase, you can then set appropriate trigger points for them to receive a welcome or thank you email with additional next steps or information. #2 – Let Readers Know Right Away What the Message is About Consumers today are busy. One way to help them cut through the clutter and is to clearly let them know what your email is about right away. The subject line offers a great opportunity for them to understand at-a-glance what you’re offering. If you send different types of emails (newsletters, offers, etc.) on a consistent basis, you can call those out right away. #3 – Create Exclusivity Who doesn’t want to feel like they are appreciated and part of something special? Now there is a difference between asking your readers to “Act Now!” and saying “We Have Something Just For You”. The latter helps reiterate to your customers that they’re important to your business. While the former creates urgency, and sometimes anxiety for readers. Here are 4 ways that you can help create exclusivity for customers with your email marketing: Offering deals or incentives that are only available to a select group Sharing updates or new content to this group prior to releasing to the general public Bonuses for referring other people Sneak peeks into new products, or even ask them to provide feedback #4 – Send Updates from the Founder/CEO/President From time to time, it’s good to include special announcements and thought leadership content from leadership within your organization. These types of messages are typically meant to engage and inspire readers. This approach can be especially impactful if there is a well-known person within your organization that is associated with the brand. #5 – Include Compelling Imagery Hubspot found that 88% of subscribers prefer to receive HTML emails from companies versus the 12% that prefer plain text. Additionally, 65% prefer emails that contain mostly images while 35% prefer mostly text. When delivered properly, well-designed emails can be very impactful. However, all email clients render HTML and CSS differently. SendGrid provides some helpful do’s and don’ts for marketers designing email campaigns for multiple email clients. #6 – Make it Easy for Your Audience to Take the Next Step Any calls to action within your email campaigns should be very clear, compelling and visually appealing. There should be no question in the customer’s mind what step they should take next. Email calls to action should: Be succinct Tell your audience what to do Stand out from the rest of your content Another best practice to follow is that your email message should typically only include one call to action so as not to confuse the reader. #7 – Above All, Offer Valuable Content All of the tips above will help you create a more impactful email marketing campaign, but this step is the most important. It doesn’t matter how great your email looks, or how clear your call to action is if your content is not high-quality it will not provide value to your customers. Don’t send email campaigns just for the sake of meeting a monthly quota, make sure that you are always offering something valuable that readers can’t get somewhere else. Where do you think the biggest email marketing opportunities lie within your organization? Header image via Shutterstock Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to theTopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter. © Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2015. | The TopRank Marketing 7 Point Email Marketing Engagement Cheat Sheet | http://www.toprankblog.com The post The TopRank Marketing 7 Point Email Marketing Engagement Cheat Sheet appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.
Content Marketing World is the largest content marketing conference in the world. To say that the team from TopRank Marketing was excited to attend, is putting it lightly. Lee Odden, Alexis Hall, Josh Nite and I made the journey to Cleveland to learn from some of the best and brightest content marketing minds in the industry. In a perfect world we would have been able to attend every session, but we consumed, live blogged and shared all that we were physically able to do. Below are some of what we considered to be the top takeaways and best speaker quotes from Content Marketing World 2015. Top Content Marketing World Takeaways Lee Odden – Participation Marketing Must Have’s TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delighted a packed room of marketers by providing inspiring and actionable advice on how to successfully approach participation marketing. Lee assured marketers that if they wanted to produce quality and scalable content, without having to scale marketing budgets, this was the place to be. So, how can we get some relief from all of the hard work it takes to create a truly impactful participation marketing program? To find out, read: Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing Michael Brenner – How to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy NewsCred Head of Strategy Michael Brenner knows the challenges facing content marketers. Consumers no longer accept that content has to be ad supported. They–or, rather, we, since we’re all consumers–no longer tolerate interruptions. Not only that, but the best content we as marketers create still has to compete for attention with pictures of babies and puppies. For Michael’s solution to these problems, read: Michael Brenner’s Tips, Tools & Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy Ian Cleary – Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing RazorSocial Founder Ian Cleary is passionate about using tools to make content marketing better. At RazorSocial, he trains companies to use technology to increase their reach, search ranking, and audience relevance. Ian took us on a whirlwind tour through 15 common content marketing problems and the tools he uses to solve them. For our five favorites read: Ian Cleary Discusses Essential Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing Erin Monday – Achieve Greater Social Visibility Traditional SEOs have long obsessed over how to hack the Google algorithm to move to the top of SERPs. Now the new kids on the blog, social platforms like Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, each have their own algorithm. Improving the visibility of your content within social media can be as calculated as your SEO efforts. Erin Monday, marketing manager at Lenovo, shares tips to hack the new social algorithms in her presentation at #CMWorld. To learn Erin’s 5 steps read: 5 Step Algorithm Hack to Achieve Greater Social Visibility Complete List of TopRank Marketing’s Coverage From CMWorld Ian Cleary Discusses Essential Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing 5 Step Algorithm Hack to Achieve Greater Social Visibility From Erin Monday Michael Brenner’s Tips, Tools & Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing Creating a Content Galaxy: How to Save Time & Improve Quality with Repurposing John Cleese: Creativity, Imagination & Tortoise Enclosures How Blackberry is Activating Employees as Brand Ambassadors with Content Marketing 4 Ways Brands Can Use Creativity & Comedy to Create Award-Winning Content Marketing 5 Tips to Help You Become a Prolific Content Creator Break the Cycle of Content Marketing Addiction: Turn Regular Content Into Extraordinary Success 10 Snackable & Inspirational Speaker Quotes CMWorld eBook Triple Feature If you were unable to attend Content Marketing World but want even more tips on everything from content marketing strategy to measurement, check out the content marketing triple feature that TopRank Marketing and Content Marketing Institute co-created with speakers from this year’s event. If you attended Content Marketing World 2015, what was the most impactful thing that you learned? If you weren’t able to attend this year, we hope to see you next year! Images via Shutterstock: 175004480, 129337454, 186754508, 258971675, 168984014, 269602226, 113406331, 132238457, 156350636, 105031898, 53739760 Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to theTopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter. © Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2015. | TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Speaker Quotes from Content Marketing World | http://www.toprankblog.com The post TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Speaker Quotes from Content Marketing World appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.
Microsoft has yet to ship its first HoloLens holographic imaging device, but it is moving swiftly on to the next generation of development nonetheless. TechCrunch has confirmed that Microsoft has dismissed 60 people in Israel who work on the HoloLens — 30 full-time staff and 30 contractors. The plan is to wind down work on its VR headset and platform in the country and shift… Read More
Time and time again, B2B marketers have heard, “Facebook doesn’t work for B2B”. That statement could not be further from the truth. What B2B marketers should ask themselves is; am I truly engaging my Facebook audience by sharing things they want to see and interact with? Facebook can be an incredibly powerful tool, if used correctly. In fact SteamFeed found that 60% of all social media traffic to B2B websites comes from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. So, there is proof that Facebook for B2B marketers works, but now it’s time to figure out how to create better engagement and make more meaningful connections. Last week at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, Andrea Vahl took the stage and shared some fantastic insights into how B2B brands can improve visibility, track leads and improve Facebook Ad targeting. Below are some of her best insights. Is Organic Reach Dead? While organic reach is not completely gone, it is on the decline. Additionally, your reach and interactions are out there for the entire world to see. So, when something is performing badly, everyone knows. Before you eliminate Facebook from your strategy, know that B2B marketers can still get organic reach. Andrea ran some experiments by posting a similar message on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. What she found was that the messages on Facebook had a much longer shelf life than those on Twitter and LinkedIn. What Does Work For Brands? There is no denying that cats, dogs and babies rule Facebook. People love to be entertained by dogs falling down stairs and feel a connection with a heart-warming image. As a B2B brand, you can post a video of a dog falling down the stairs, as long as your message allows you to relate the content to your audience in some way. Along with humor and entertainment, eye-catching images work really well for brands. Below is an example that Andrea shared of a B2B company grabbing the attention of their audience with bold images and succinct messages. Image via Andrea Vahl Native Facebook videos can also be very powerful. If you have a video, you need to be uploading it directly to Facebook to get more views, reach and engagement. YouTube typically doesn’t get the reach and exposure of native Facebook videos. Also, the ideal length for a video is 30 seconds, keep it under two minutes. You’ll see a drop off in the length that people complete for. General Electric is an example of a company that uploads some unique videos that are entertaining and bring people in. Image via Andrea Vahl Remember that you can also include a call-to-action at the end of your video to drive your audience directly to your website. Tools for Facebook Marketing There were a few different tools that Andrea recommended for creating visuals and producing quality videos to share with your Facebook audience. These include: Visual Tools PicMonkey Canva Snagit Video Resources Camtasia Jing 3 Recommendations for Facebook Advertising #1 – Transfer Fans to Your Email List Don’t build your company on the rented castle that is Facebook. Move them to your email list so that you can continue to nurture the relationship on a more 1:1 basis off of Facebook. #2 – Plan on Ad Spend Facebook has very much become a pay-to-play model that does require some sort of investment. Within Facebook, you can use highly targeted ads to convert your target audience. Where you should spend your focus (and funds) is on email conversions, website clicks and website conversions that only target your warm leads (those that have already liked your page). #3 – Measure What Matters Beyond reach and engagement, you’re going to want to measure the actual number of conversions from Facebook. In order to do that, you’re going to need to put a Facebook conversion pixel on your website. That way, you can see which ad sent that conversion to your website. In order to utilize the conversion pixel, you must have: A website where you can install the conversion pixel A thank you page that indicates the desired action is completed Facebook is still flush with opportunities for B2B marketers, but it may require that current strategies be adapted to meet the needs of the audience. What tactics on Facebook have worked best for your organization, or what are some great examples that you’ve seen out in the wild? Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to theTopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter. © Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2015. | How B2B Marketers Can Use Facebook to Drive Engagement & Generate Leads | http://www.toprankblog.com The post How B2B Marketers Can Use Facebook to Drive Engagement & Generate Leads appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.
Online Marketing News: LinkedIn & Instagram Get The Message, 1 Billion Facebook, Google Penalizes...
United States Of Emoji – The Most Popular Emoji in Each State [Infographic] – Which emoji does each state use more than others? SwiftKey put together an interactive infographic that allows you to see which emojis are used more or less in each state and compare your state to any other. SwiftKey Instagram Direct Messaging Features Get Significant Update – Facebook’s focus on messaging has trickled down to Instagram, which announced several enhancements to the Instagram Direct messaging features it introduced in December 2013. SocialTimes Top 100 B-to-B Advertisers Spent $4.8 Billion on B-to-B Ads – The 100 largest business-to-business advertisers spent an estimated $4.8 billion on U.S. b-to-b ads last year, up 0.9% from 2013, according to Ad Age Datacenter’s analysis of measured-media spending from Kantar Media. Ad Age Study: Google’s New Local Pack Shows In The Number One Spot 93% Of The Time – Now, with the new 3-pack local results box, you are way more likely to see them in the number one position. Search Engine Land New Study: The Average Worker Spends 30 Hours a Week Checking Email – For most workers, simply checking to see whether they’ve got a new email consumes as much time as they spend doing productive work. Inc. Twitter Faced SEC Questions on Changing User-Engagement Metrics – Twitter has regularly changed its own metrics for success, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is noticing. Ad Age Facebook Hits One Billion Users in a Single Day – For the first time ever Facebook recorded one billion daily active users this past Monday, August 24th. Facebook CMOs to Invest More in Brand Experience with Content Marketing – New research from The CMO Club and IBM shows that 57 percent of CMOs expect their marketing budgets to increase over the next two to three years, and content generation will be their biggest expenditure. ClickZ LinkedIn Launches New Messaging – The wait is over. We know people love to message each other, and now it’s easier than ever to do so on LinkedIn. If you’re like me, you’re probably having more and more short-form and casual conversations with your professional peers every day. See what has changed when messaging on the social site. LinkedIn Google to Penalize Sites That Prompt You to Download Their App – Google has come out fighting against app download interstitials — those prompts you get from some websites that want you to download their mobile app. Search Engine Journal Report: Ad Spending on the Mobile Web Doubled Last Year – Smaato, a global advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers, has released its Global Trends in Mobile Programmatic Report, which analyzed data from billions of mobile ad impressions served on its exchange in the first half of 2015. The report found while apps still account for the most overall ad spending on mobile devices, spending on the mobile Web increased by 100 percent over last year. SocialTimes Only 14% of Marketers Integrate Campaigns Across All Channels – A new Econsultancy report in partnership with Adobe found that companies are still struggling to embrace multichannel marketing. Econsultancy From our Online Marketing Community: On How to Improve Influencer Engagement? Avoid These 50 Fails, Muba Mi said, “Wonderful list of fails on influencer marketing. A few of them even make one never be in connect with a targeted influencer. They are the people who don’t have time to review their decision and once they de-friend someone never add him again. Thanks a lot for sharing this epic post. Have a great day mate.” heidicohen commented, “Lee–Thank you for including me. I love how fun you make this piece to read. Every PR professional should print it out and post it in front of their computer before they call or email. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen” And tompick responded, “As outstanding as this list is Lee, I think you missed a big one (or am I the only person this happens to?) – completely off-topic pitches! (Which show the PR flack really has no idea who you are.) I blog about b2b technology marketing and related topics – yet I’ve received pitches about fast food restaurant videos, new menswear brands, Hollywood movies tie-ins to food brands, and pet care products (just in the last few days). Ugh.” What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week? Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! Infographic: Express Writers Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to theTopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter. © Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2015. | Online Marketing News: LinkedIn & Instagram Get The Message, 1 Billion Facebook, Google Penalizes Pop-Ups | http://www.toprankblog.com The post Online Marketing News: LinkedIn & Instagram Get The Message, 1 Billion Facebook, Google Penalizes Pop-Ups appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.
Following the attacks on Paris, Donald Trump this week suggested the United States would have to "take back the internet" from ISIS, which he says has been effectively using the web as a recruitment tool. "They're literally brainwashing people." "They're using the internet, and they're recruiting people," Trump said on a trip to Massachusetts, according to The Washington Post. "We've got to take back the internet because they are taking people. They're literally brainwashing people. They're brainwashing our youth... We can't let that happen. We have innocent youth, and they are misguided." Trump — although not unveiling any specific plan — isn't far off from what US officials are already saying about ISIS. To fight the group's online propaganda machine, officials have reportedly been attempting to counter ISIS's messaging through its own social media campaign, albeit with limited success. More than 350 State Department Twitter accounts, as well as other accounts, have been coordinating to turn the tide of propaganda, as officials post messages around the web. But Trump, in another interview this week given to New Hampshire Today and spotted by BuzzFeed, suggested the US wasn't doing enough to stop ISIS. "They’re using the internet better than we use the internet," he said. "And we just don’t have a clue. I mean, our people don’t have a clue." Trump, although effective at employing social media, is not always the savviest tech user: he reportedly doesn't have a laptop in his office, and gets his emails printed.
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Sony left most of the PS3's flaws behind when making the PlayStation 4, but there's no denying that one little inconvenience came along for the ride: you can't control the console with a standard remote control. That's because the PS4, unlike everything else in your A/V stack, doesn't have an infrared sensor. And that's a problem if you want to sit back and watch a Blu-ray without a game controller in your hand. Now, you can spend $30 to fix that problem. Sony has announced its official PS4 Bluetooth universal remote, which will let you control and watch Blu-rays or videos from streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and HBO Go. Unlike the PS3 remote Sony sold years ago — which inexplicably doesn't work with the PS4 — this new remote can also control three other devices, like your TV and receiver, over IR. That makes it a "universal remote" by name, but it sure won't beat nicer options like Logitech's Harmony Elite, which can control Bluetooth devices like the PS4 (thought it won't power it on or off). Sony's PS4 Universal Media Remote will be available later this month for $29.99.