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General Business

Hollywood Celebrities Point Out Irregular Net Neutrality Comments

Net Neutrality

FCC head Ajit Pai recently denied allegations that his federal agency had been at all under the influence of Russian agents. Mark Ruffalo and Alyssa Milano accused Chairman Pai of being connected to automatic IP addresses in the Russian Federation. These addresses were allegedly used to influence the FCC comment system.

The two Hollywood celebrities referenced the fact that the FCC received over 440,000 individual comments about net neutrality from email addresses registered to users in the Russian Federation. They claim that these comments are being used to influence the debate on net neutrality.

Computer scientists have found that several million emails received by the comment system were sent from mysterious sources. Another 444,938 were sent from Russian accounts. Researchers aren't sure if they were authentic messages or sent by automatic scripts, but they were technically valid comments about the net neutrality debate.

General BusinessOnline Marketing

Cyber Monday Is Stacking Up

CyberMonday

Cyber Monday figures are looking impressive as the day starts off to the tune of $840 million in sales. The day is supposed to end with figures exceeding a staggering $6.6 billion making it the most profitable day in online sales history.

All of these impressive figures have originated from Adobe. Adobe extrapolates the information from information provided by online transactions from the top online retailers. As expected, Amazon sales account for a large percentage of all the Cyber Monday sales. The projections for the 2017 holiday season exceed those for 2016 by more than $10B.

With such impressive figures at hand, it is interesting to note how people are making online purchases. According to a report by Adobe, up to half of all visits are coming from mobile devices. Almost 40 percent of all sales are originating from mobile devices, a figure larger than ever.

General BusinessWeb Development

Trump Wants To Increase Computer Science Education For K-12 Schools

StemEducation

President Trump wants the Department of Education to focus on computer science education. He suggests that the department spends $200 million annually on STEM education.

It is speculated that he will order the department to spend a total of $200 million annually on STEM education for children in grades K-12. According to Recode, the president wants the department to set aside this amount from its grant funds.

According to Hadi Partovi when interviewed by TechCrunch, this is a huge win for Code.org because this is a cause that the organization started four years ago. Their goal was to get more women and minorities exposed to and involved with computer science programs.

President Barack Obama wanted $4 billion for state funding to make sure that everybody had the opportunity to get computer science training. Sadly enough, Congress did not agree with President Barack Obama and did not approve the initiative. But maybe this administration can obtain funding for more STEM programs. Thus, even if you hate Trump, you have to agree that numerous American children could benefit from an increase in computer science programs.

General BusinessOnline Marketing

Young People Prefer Snapchat And Instagram To Facebook

Snapchat

Youth Prefer Instagram and Snapchat over Facebook

Some interesting facts have emerged from eMarkter's most recent mobile forecast regarding how the young are using social media sites. The most important finding is that younger social media users prefer Instagram and Snapchat over Facebook.

Facebook has 14.5 million users in the 12-17 year old demographic, but Snapchat has 15.8 million in the same age group. Instagram lags behind both with about 4.2 million users in this age group. However, among 18-24 year old users, Instagram has almost the same number as both Facebook and Snapchat with Instagram having 22.1 million, Snapchat 24.4 million, and Facebook coming in at 23.5 million. These statistics are for U.S. users of these social media sites only.

General BusinessOnline Marketing

The Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing For Publishers

AffiliateMarketing

Publishers claim that affiliates give them more revenue than any other type of advertising

A recent study indicates a prosperous future for affiliate advertising and social media promotion.

The advertising tech sector has been changing over the past few years. Lots of publishers have looked to other advertising methods to generate revenue.

Vendors are trying to find an alternative to display marketing, because the online content landscape has been impeded recently by advert blockers.

Viglink, the content monetizing portal, wanted to understand what vendors and publishers thought about affiliate advertising services, with regards to value, spend and sentiment.

It asked 100 vendors and 500 publishers that presently use affiliate advertising programs.

General BusinessOnline Marketing

Facebook Tests Breaks For Ads In Live Videos

FacebookVideos

Facebook tests breaks for ads interrupting on-demand videos on their platform, and video creators get a 55 percent cut on the revenues.

Facebook has announced it is testing the concept of ad breaks during on-demand videos in collaboration with a limited group of partners who will garner 55 percent of the ad revenue generated by the plan. Facebook keeps the remaining 45 percent. This could create changes in how video makers make videos, causing them to create content that keeps viewers hooked through ad breaks and drawing more video creators to Facebook.

As Facebook tests breaks for ads, they are allowing video producers to pick where they want the ads to appear in their video, as long as they come on no sooner than 20 seconds into the piece and are a minimum of two minutes apart.

General Business

2017 Deadlines For Tax Filing

IRSTaxReturns

For 2017, the tax filing deadlines for 2016 tax returns has been extended to Tuesday, April 18, 2017. If needed, you can ask for a six-month extension but this only defers the filing date because all estimated owed taxes have to be paid by the April 18 deadline to avoid penalties.

You can request an extension easily by filing Form 4868 via your chosen tax software, IRS e-file or through the mail. You can submit payment via debit or credit card, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, Direct Pay or at any 7-Eleven which participates in the PayNearMe program (daily payments cannot exceed $1,000). With an extension, your return has to be on its way to the IRS by October 16, 2017. If you pay income tax in the state that you reside in, the federal extension simultaneously gives you an extension for the state return.

General BusinessOnline Marketing

Black Friday 2016 Breaks New Records

black-friday-sale

Black Friday sales online to hit an unprecedented $3 billion, more than $1 billion on mobile devices

Black Friday Internet shopping is still growing, and last Friday was a case in point. A recent report by Adobe, that tracked ecommerce transactions over the sales period, showed that Black Friday broke records by exceeding $3 billion in turnover. Also, it is predicted to be the only day in American retail history to generate more than one billion dollars off of mobile devices.

With $3.05 billion predicted by the close of the day, Black Friday 2016 has surpassed Black Friday 2015 by 11.4 percent, according to Adobe.

General BusinessSocial Media

Omnifone Employees Move To Apple?

omnifone

Ahead of its time in the unlimited music streaming industry, Omnifone briefly enjoyed some high profile success in the early 2000s, but recently filed for bankruptcy (August 2016).

Now, TechCrunch has revealed that Apple has picked up some of Omnifone's assets, including some 16 members of staff, and probably some technology to go with it.

A quick analysis of the employee's LinkedIn profiles shows that they have changed employers to Apple, and are working in various roles, including some in iTunes and app development.

While Apple has a history of acquiring technology companies for their assets, this is not a standard acquisition following their usual processes. However, Omnifone does possess a number of patents which might be of interest to Apple, which fuelled speculation that they might have bought out the company for 10 million.

General Business

New Google Android Add-ons Make Mobile Working Easier

Google Docs and Sheets

From today, using 3rd-party services on your mobile device in conjunction with Google's office programs became that much easier. Google Docs and Sheets now have available Android add-ons within the Google Play web storefront or directly via GoogleSheets and Docs. Simply download them and instantly have the capability to do a whole range of extra jobs such as preparing a contract for e-signing or importing CRM data.

The first batch of add-ons have been produced with several partners. For example, CRM data is incorporated into Google Sheets via ProsperWorks. A signing process is completed in Docs or Sheets via DocuSign's add-on, while one can use data in Sheets to create mobile apps through AppSheet. Finally, Scanbot uses OCR to first scan business documents and then recreate them as editable text within Docs.

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 Patrick Stevens
 426  245486  12/5/2017

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