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I tend to think of my cable bill kind of like my health insurance premium. Every month, I begrudgingly pony up the funds necessary to continue this so-called “service” wondering the what the heck it is I’m actually paying for–especially since most of what I regularly watch can be found online in some form–all the while deathly afraid of the consequences should I ever stop wiring in my money.
Every month, I consider amputating cable from my bottom line once and for all. But what’s holding me back is that I think I might actually miss it.
In general, I’ve had it with paying for 1,000 channels, only one-percent of which I ever bother with. I’m tired of having to pay $11 per month for my DVR. I’m fed up with having to periodically reboot my cable box to revive life back into the thing, and I’m certainly over the ridiculous nickel-and-diming on Franchise Fees, FCC Regulatory Fees, Federal Universal Service Funds and Public Access Fees. I’m also done with being charged monthly for my remote control, too.
And now, with Hulu, high-def streams from the networks and YouTube, the upcoming Boxee Box, plus delicious rumors of an all-you-can eat monthly TV subscription to iTunes, my dream of cutting the cord and paying only for an Internet connection has never been as close to within reach as it is now.
There’s no question that it’s possible for a TV hound like myself to live happily without cable. Nearly every program I consume is readily available online. And if I could find an antenna big enough to penetrate the canyons of New York City, I could even score free over-the-air HD for live sports and news. Yet, as the paint dries on the giant “Death to Cable!” banner I plan to unfurl out my window later this afternoon, I’m starting to have doubts.
For one, TV-on-demand flips the very nature of the television-viewing experience on its head. It goes from being a passive endeavor to an active one. Yes, I can probably find any show I’m looking for online and be streaming it within seconds. But, what if I’m not actually looking for anything in particular? As life-changing as Hulu is, it can’t be channel surfed. I can’t veg out on my couch and flip around on Hulu or iTunes just to catch whatever just happens to be on.
Surprisingly, this is how I consume a lot of my television. It turns out I’m a huge fan of what I’ll lovingly refer to as “crap.” I don’t know what it is about the Discovery ID channel, but I can sit for hours and hours watching reruns of those Dateline murder mysteries. Would I ever go online and actually seek this stuff out? Not a chance. Similarly, I recently flipped by the History Channel and caught a glimpse of an Apple Lisa. The show turned out to be something called Modern Marvels: ’80s Tech and was one of the most pleasurable viewing experiences I’ve had in ages. I’d always thought Modern Marvels was about gunpowder and hydroelectric dams—not about stuff like the Apple Lisa, Pac-Man or the DeLorean. Yet despite this rather thrilling discovery, I’d still never actively search for Modern Marvels on Hulu or iTunes.
For content providers, the brave new world of on-demand television is a mixed bag. On the one hand, fewer and fewer people are likely to ever discover a show like Modern Marvels: ’80s Tech by passively stumbling upon it. “There’s no question that [on-demand television] hurts that sampling aspect,” says Mark Stern, executive vice president of original programming at Syfy. “It definitely makes it harder for programs that are one-offs or just not necessarily flagship, appointment television.”
But for Syfy and others, there are also tremendous benefits to the new consumption model. As the New York Times recently reported, many programs are experiencing ratings boosts due to DVRs. It makes sense when you think about it: More people now have more time to watch more television without ever worrying about missing an episode. According to the article, the DVR effect has been known to account for as much as 20 percent of a program’s total viewership. For Syfy, online distribution has had a similar effect on television ratings. As odd as it may sound, putting episodes up on Hulu and iTunes has actually grown the television audience, not diminished it. A major reason for that, according to Stern, is that viewers who would never consider flipping to the Syfy Channel are discovering its shows when they’re taken out of context.
OK, but surely network execs are mourning the death of the meta media experience, right? “Television as the kind of communal fireplace or water cooler is a bit of an archaic concept now,” Stern says. “An event like the Olympics or the Super Bowl is the real exception now and will continue to become the exception more and more.”
On the other hand, while TV on-demand is certainly killing the notion of a singular television community, something much more powerful is filling the void. The communal fireplace has gotten smaller and much more intimate. “In my office I find people forming affinity groups,” Stern says. “People come in talking about last night’s Sons of Anarchy or Mad Men and if someone isn’t watching, it becomes this thing where they try to recruit them to watch the show. In a world where there are more shows on than ever, word-of-mouth and what my friends are watching is more important. So we’ve still got community. It may not be national discussion per se, but it’s more of a micro-community discussion about must-see TV.”
Maybe I won’t miss cable, then. But, I’m still very wary of a future without it. If any one player can spur a mass abandonment of cable, it’s Apple. And there will most definitely be collateral damage caused by a large-scale shift to online television viewing. The first casualty would be the price of broadband. If swaths of cable subscribers begin canceling their service in favor of a just an Internet connection, the Comcasts of the world will have to make up for lost revenue somehow. The second casualty could be programming itself. If you can imagine a world in which most people are actively downloading shows instead of passively watching whatever happens to be on, then you can imagine that the kind of shows getting the green light for production in this new environment will be equally new. Can I kiss shows like Modern Marvels goodbye, or will I be able to wallow in its complete archive of episodes online?
And what about new shows? Will niche audiences be pursued ruthlessly with ever-more specialized programming, or will they be cast aside altogether for safer mainstream hits that tap into the new consumption model in unforseen ways?
What do you think? Are you ready for life without cable TV?
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Social media has much older roots than you would think. When the first computer was built in 1940, scientists and engineers started to design and build networks, which led to the creation of the internet.
Social Media apps on a smartphone
There are several social media networking platforms available nowadays. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. have become addictions for every one of us.The good of social media
The positive impacts of social media are so much more if people use it positively. Let’s have a look at some well-known positive outcomes of social media that are useful in daily life.
Better and Speedy Communication − On the phone, simply saying what you intend to say, then hanging up, is not okay because it is considered insulting to do so. However, on social media, you can leave direct msg for any purpose without any pleasantries before and after. Moreover, Social media is renowned for generating fresh debates. You can share your opinion on any issue with your friends and relatives on social media.
Fastest way of News − People did not know what was happening in the world before the development of Social Media technology. Now people have access to current events and can keep themselves updated. You can rely on this platform to provide you with accurate information and facts.
Helpful in finding jobs − To understand more about job applicants, it is now common practice for businesses to go through their social media profiles. In this way, it aids in deciding whether or not a person is appropriate for a given position. Additionally, job seekers may deliberately design their social media postings to make them seem like the perfect fit for any firm. They can showcase their pursuits, successes, ideas, principles, and more! This can improve their chances of landing a job.The bad and ugly sidex of social media
Addiction towards social media is one of the major side effects of social media usage
Privacy loss − It’s quite evident that privacy and the internet don’t get along, whether it’s due to social media apps or websites that store and sell your personal information, i.e. NSA incident, which involved improper access by the government to private data including Skype calls, emails, and more. This is a significant privacy warning.
Unhealthy Sleep patterns − One of the most common negative impacts of social media is sleep deprivation. Teens who are using social networking sites more frequently had poorer sleeping habits, according to research. Along with Sleep deprivation, there are some other problems such as headaches, eye strain, and social withdrawal, experienced by people who are addicted to social media. It’s producing more sadness than happiness.
Scams − On social media, there have been several reports of frauds and scams where victims were manipulated into believing someone and making a purchase only to discover afterwards that it was bogus all along. It is very difficult to distinguish between influencers and bloggers who give genuine involvement and those who are simply bright fraudsters since there are so many of them on Facebook and Instagram.Conclusion
If used appropriately and cautiously, social media can be a great way to interact with citizens when face-to-face meetings are not possible. However, t is indeed essential to be aware of the negative consequences of social media if you want to avoid being drowned in the online space. Limit your screen time and wander back into the physical world.
Finally, social networking is more of a curse than a benefit, especially for teens. We still have time to turn things around for the better, but we need to act quickly before our style of living is utterly altered.Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How many people use social media all over the world?
Ans. According to the data for 2023, there are a total of 3.81 billion people use social media.
Q2. Which court resolves social media crime in India?
Ans. Cyber Appellate Tribunal Established Under S-58 Of The IT Act, 2000 resolves social media crime.
Q3. What is phishing?
Ans. Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which attackers uses any method to reach the target in order to get the passwords, PIN, or other essential information for the theft of data and money.
Why the Death of CES Isn’t Really A Bad Thing
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is right around the corner, which means all of us in the technology world are gearing up to see all kinds of new devices. From televisions to smartphones to Ultrabooks, just about any major product category (and some that have yet to be revealed) will be making a showing at CES.
But in recent weeks, it’s becoming clear that the industry’s most important event might not be so important any longer. Just this week, Verizon said that its CEO Lowell McAdam won’t be making an appearance at a keynote he was expected to attend.
That news follows Microsoft admission that this year’s CES will be its last. Meanwhile, Apple has once again balked at showing up at CES, leaving some of the most prominent companies in the business turning their backs on the show.
Those troubles have prompted some to speculate on the future of CES. Will it survive? Is the business model of allowing any and all consumer electronics companies to attend, as well as well over 100,000 people really the best move? Can CES attract other large companies to make up for those that have left, or are at least considering leaving?
I have a better question: who really cares?
Look, I’m as guilty as anyone else for loving all the excitement surrounding CES. We get our first looks at some of the latest and greatest ideas tech companies have to offer, and along the way, we can decide if any of those products are something we’re going to buy.
[aquote]CES has become bloated[/aquote]
But in recent years, CES has become bloated. Too many companies attend the event, and in far too many cases, what they show off isn’t all that impressive. What’s worse, they’re all vying for limited attention, and more often than not, they get lost in the shuffle. For most companies, the upside of going to CES is not all that great.
The show’s Microsoft loss is huge. Microsoft was a staunch supporter of the event for years, and now that it’s leaving, what other big company can really lead the charge to help it attract attention?
Apple certainly won’t line up for that duty and considering Google seems so against being viewed as a hardware maker, it’s unlikely the search giant will carry the banner either. And as much as I’ve tried, I can’t think of another top newsmaker that would hold a keynote address that the vast majority of consumers would care about.
CES is in trouble. And although I believe it’ll hold on for at least the next few years, unless some drastic changes are made, I’m not sure it can survive beyond that.
But then again, who cares? The show is fun, but if we lose it and the countless other shows the industry has succeed because of it, will we really be missing out? I don’t think so.
One of the biggest shifts we’ve since seen in the last year for social media marketing has been the increasing use of international campaigns. This is not very surprising when you consider how globalized our economy has become and the fact that US companies are voraciously spreading their brands to new territories for easy profits. Mirroring this trend is the online move for social media to spread people’s awareness in new territories as well as handle support and complaints efficiently overseas.
The statistics are clear: Around 80% of Facebook’s users are outside the US and Canada and roughly 70% of Twitter’s user base too. This just goes to show how many people are currently being left out in the cold.
The real challenge here is to tackle the situation exactly the same way you would back home; with people deep inside your organization who speak the language and understand the culture. This is essential to build social media trust and will prevent anyone on the receiving end of your messages feeling like they were just an afterthought in a cold, corporate strategy drummed up in a board meeting.
Perhaps most importantly, you need to ask yourself whether or not your campaigns should even be ported overseas at all. Not every country or territory is going to be receptive to your brand, product, message or service. So be selective and make sure you can dominate the space before you enter it. This can be a daunting process since campaigns launched in the States not only have to be localized for each market, but sometimes they have to be scrapped and thrown out altogether. If you are doing a Super Bowl social media promotion for example, how would you translate the term ‘Super Bowl’ from English to Swahili so people will know you’re talking about a sporting event and not some amazing dish you’re dying to cook for them?
Then there’s the challenge of meeting them on their own home turf. While Facebook and Twitter seem to be popular in most countries, others are dominated by completely different platforms like Orkut, Tuenti or VKontakte. These will have to be leveraged, and, in some cases, even learned to meet your target demographics where they are.
Of course many products have strange crossover appeal too. For example, video games are mainly popular with younger boys in the States, but in many Asian countries certain games are just as popular with girls. Can you be sure your product will be accurately represented in each territory?
The Topic of Translation
Here are some examples how Starbucks and Uniqlo are doing all this and dominating with their campaigns…
Starbucks is one of the undisputed kings of social media. They have such an authoritative brand presence that they don’t necessarily need the social media to enhance their brand but they still use it as an effective tool to communicate with their customers. Interestingly enough, most of Starbucks’ tweets start with an apology. While other companies like to sweep problems under the rug to look good, Starbucks goes out of their way to encourage customers to tweet their problems so they can solve them.
A very mature approach.
They even have their own mini social network if you will, called My Starbucks Idea. This is a stroke of pure genius. It allows anyone to post ideas they would like to see incorporated into the company and then everyone can vote on them. Starbucks then follows up on the ideas with their blog to keeping people informed about what they’re doing with it. This not only gives the chain priceless ideas and feedback, but it also fosters a culture of customers feeling appreciated.
A huge win/win!
Starbucks is the benchmark for how everyone should be using social media.
While Starbucks is the king in the food world, Uniqlo is making big strides in the clothing industry. For each country they have a presence in, they have dedicated unique social media accounts for each. They want to ensure that each territory’s profile is a tailored, accurate reflection of the needs and issues that come up. In the US for example, they have 528,000 Google +1s, while in the UK their numbers pale in comparison with only 270. In China they have a strong presence on Renren because it is so incredibly popular. They keep their content very local and highly relevant and their levels of engagement vary drastically from country to country too, which is to be expected.
The Challenges Ahead
Like any new space, technology or undertaking, there are bound to be some major hurdles and perhaps even disastrous mistakes ahead – just like we’ve seen with so many big brands in the last year.
So the questions that need to be addressed are: how do you plan to meet the varied needs of people speaking different languages and spread across multiple time zones? How do you align your social media marketing strategies as per the needs and priorities of different markets worldwide?
This is something many brand managers and social media marketers are thinking about right now. So any brave entrepreneur out there that wants to tackle the space with a smart solution, now is your time to dive right in. I’ll applaud you and most probably be one of your first customers.
Key Points to Keep in Mind when Handling Social Media on a Global Scale:
1. One account vs. Multiple Accounts – Should you have one social media account to cater to your global audience or should you create different accounts based on the country you’re present in? Should these accounts be handled centrally or should you appoint native account managers for each region? Native account managers have more of an inkling of what would and wouldn’t work in their geography. Organizations thus need to create a flexible framework that’s practical and mentions clearly who needs to do what and when.
2. Being Careful With Translations – There have been quite a few marketing blunders committed by companies when promoting their products. Pepsi, KFC, Coca Cola in China, Parker Pens in Mexico… the list is endless. You do not want to depend on literal translations or translations that have not been proofread by a native of that language.
When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years back, they translated their slogan, “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave.”
KFC experienced some real problems when its phrase “Finger Lickin Good” came out in Chinese as “Eat your fingers off”
Parker Pens tag line – “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you” when translated in Mexico came out to be – “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”.
Important Tip for Marketers – Be aware of the nuances and differences in each culture. A small mistake can turn out to be a huge blunder and embarrassment for the company worldwide. Avoid relying too much on Google Translate to create local language content.
3. Fragment your Markets – Treat each market individually; don’t assume reactions and responses will be the same to a common campaign you may decide to run. A campaign that’s successful in UK may not succeed in Spain, Portugal, France or Belgium. Understand the traits and act accordingly.
For example – If your target is Singapore you need to take care of the fact that Singapore audiences are made up of people from India, China, Malaysia etc. Hence keep a check on different races, religions and beliefs. You don’t want to put up any content that’s offensive in nature to any of those communities.
4. Dealing with a Crisis – Make clear guidelines on what action to take in times of a crisis. Define issues that can be handled by the social media team or if it has to be escalated to the top management. Ensure you have a Plan B ready always.
5. Connect With Your Audience – Make your audience a part of your conversation. Ask them for suggestions, creative ideas, tips and tricks on how you can make your offerings better. While this would apply to even a local social media campaign you run, it’s even more important to do when operating things on a global scale because it’s very easy to get lost and carried away with your own assumptions of what your audience is looking at without really connecting with them and finding out directly.
6. You will make mistakes, learn and adapt – It’s difficult to handle the intricacies of international social media campaigns without making a blunder or two. Accept that it might just happen and be ready on to quickly recover/adapt.
While it’s still a big mystery and very little is known about international social media marketing, there’s an exciting future ahead for sure. But either way the same rules apply with complete transparency and honesty being the name of the game. When in doubt or if someone makes a mistake, just politely own up, say sorry and move on. It works just as well in any language.
How we tested the UX
Without doubt, the KEYone is one of the most unique devices on the list as it’s the only one to offer a full QWERTY keyboard. A throwback to a previous era, the KEYone offers pretty impressive specs – at least for a BlackBerry – but other than the keyboard, there’s not a lot that stands out about the KEYone. The large bezels, slow updates, older OS, and otherwise lack of standout features mean the KEYone scores bottom of our overall UX rankings with 33 points.Razer Phone
A newcomer to the smartphone space, the Razer Phone is a smartphone designed for gamers and while it looks great on paper, we’ve found the phone doesn’t quite deliver on all of its promises. However, features such as an outstanding variable refresh rate display – which is the first smartphone to go all the way up to 120Hz – help the Razer Phone score a little higher than the BlackBerry at 40 points.OnePlus 5T
Next up is the OnePlus 5T, and OnePlus’ latest smartphone takes the excellent OnePlus 5 and makes it a little better with a taller display and smaller bezels. A higher screen-to-body ratio helps differentiate the 5T from its sibling but other than this, there’s not a lot that stands out about OnePlus 5T. A score of 42 points is indicative of its overall UX placing.Moto Z2 Force
Next up is Google’s latest smartphone and while the rest on our list have a feature or two that some consider gimmicky, the Pixel 2 XL offers the Android experience as Google imagined it. Unfortunately, as far as wish-lists for smartphones go, the latest OS and speed of updates only go a little way towards addressing the lack of features that we feel should be present in all flagships, such as a dual camera and expandable memory. A score of 48 points puts the Pixel 2 XL firmly in the middle of the pack as far as the UX goes.Nokia 8
Nokia’s back, or at least in some form. Finnish company HMD bought us the first Nokia Android phones earlier this year and the company’s first flagship, the Nokia 8, has certainly surprised all of the team here with its overall experience. The dual camera, splash-proof IP rating and great front camera help the Nokia 8 score 49 points overall.Sony Xperia XZ1
Sony might release a lot of smartphones but its latest flagship, the XZ1, is definitely an interesting smartphone. It offers a lot we’d expect from a flagship including expandable storage, excellent camera features in the form of the 3D scanning, latest Oreo OS and all-round impressive hardware help the XZ1 score 52 points overall.HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro
Now to the top 3 and where these phones stand out from the rest is that they tick a lot of hardware boxes we’d expect from the best smartphones. The Mate 10 Pro is the first of these with an excellent Leica dual camera, supremely small bezels, high base storage and HDR 10 support in its display. Slower updates compared to other devices and duplicated apps somewhat detract from the overall experience, but the Mate 10 Pro comes third with a score of 58 points.Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Galaxy Note 8 is next up on the list and firmly splits the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro and the overall UX winner, the LG V30. Samsung bounced back from a horrendous late 2023 with some outstanding devices this year and the Note 8 has blown away a lot of the competition thanks to its S-Pen, outstanding display which also supports HDR 10 and features such as the edge screen. The biggest let downs in the overall experience are that it’s not running the latest OS version and there are quite a few duplicated apps. A score of 61 points is indicative of an overall very good smartphone.LG V30
The winner of the UX section is the LG V30 as LG’s flagship ticks more boxes than any of the competition. Although not running the latest Oreo OS, the V30 hits all boxes as far as display and audio features go, as well as having above-par shock protection, dual cameras, expandable storage and a lot more. Although it’s not running the latest OS and the interface won’t be for everyone, the LG V30 stands out with 64 points, especially thanks to the excellent features it has in its camera!Conclusion
Recently, Microsoft fulfilled its promise of releasing the Windows Copilot to testers in June. The latest Windows Insider Dev Channel build (23493) includes early access to Windows Copilot, native support for RAR and 7-Zip files, a new settings homepage, and a much better volume mixer.
Windows Copilot was first announced at this year’s Build event. And the version that testers can access today works as a sidebar docked to the right hand side of Windows 11. Unlike traditional pop-up windows, Windows Copilot runs unobstructed alongside open app windows. Enabling users to interact with it whenever needed. According to the Windows team, the feature won’t overlap with the desktop content, making it a more seamless experience for users.Microsoft’s Windows 11 Update: Introducing Windows Copilot, Native Support for RAR and 7-Zip Files, and More
The AI-powered Windows Copilot is designed to respond to both commands and questions, similar to Bing Chat. Users can ask the feature to change to dark mode, take a screenshot, turn on do not disturb, or ask anything that Bing typically answers. Additionally, Windows Copilot can summarize web content and generate AI-generated images and text.
However, since Windows Copilot is still in its early preview phase, it only controls some basic Windows settings. And there’s no third-party plug-in support yet. However, Microsoft plans to add more features and refine the experience based on feedback from Windows Insiders.
In addition to Windows Copilot, Microsoft has also added native support to RAR and 7-Zip files, including tar, gz. And many other archive formats using the open source project libarchive. With this improvement, users can finally access these file formats without having to install third party software. However, Microsoft warns that there may be some initial performance issues with this new support. The company is working to improve this in future Windows Insider builds.Gizchina News of the week
Microsoft announced that this improved archive format support will be available to everyone in September, with plans to add support for creating files in those formats in 2024, according to Sharla Soennichsen, a product manager at Microsoft.Exploring the Latest Features and Improvements in Microsoft’s Windows 11 Update
The new volume mixer UI was discovered earlier this year and seems to be inspired by EarTrumpet. It’s a popular app for Windows that was built nearly five years ago. This addition is a much needed improvement to Windows 11. As the previous volume control interface was widely criticized for being hard to use.
Moreover, Microsoft has added a new Settings homepage to Windows 11. It provides an overview of the device you’re using with essential settings. The new homepage is less jarring, with up to seven cards of information. Including Microsoft 365 or Xbox subscriptions, Bluetooth device management, wallpaper customization, and OneDrive cloud storage.
Finally, Microsoft is testing a new suggestions feature for Snap Layouts in Windows 11. When you hover over minimize or maximize, app icons will appear based on what apps would work best snapped next to each other. This feature aims to help users maximize their productivity by suggesting the best app combinations for multitasking.
In conclusion, Microsoft has added several new features and improvements to Windows 11, including the highly anticipated Windows Copilot, native support for RAR and 7-Zip files, an improved volume mixer UI, a new Settings homepage, and a new suggestions feature for Snap Layouts. With these updates, Microsoft continues to enhance the user experience of Windows 11. Making it more seamless, efficient, and productive for users.
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