2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brands with a cause

Google, Microsoft Team Up to Fight Child Exploitation on the Internet

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2013 05:54 PM

Following a Canadian sting operation last week that resulted in 348 arrests and over 380 children rescued, Google and Microsoft have teamed up to take substantial steps to block the exploitation of photos and videos containing child pornography on the Internet with modifications to more than 100,000 search terms.

Instead of delivering content associated with child sex abuse, such searches will now trigger a warning that said content is illegal. Content that steps over the boundary will be assigned a unique digital fingerprint that speeds detection and deletion. YouTube has created similar technology to identify videos of the same nature. 

"We've listened, and in the last three months put more than 200 people to work developing new, state-of-the-art technology to tackle the problem," Google Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote. "We've fine-tuned Google search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results. Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for developing and sharing its picture detection technology."Continue reading...

market movers

Twitter Flies High on Better Than Expected IPO Debut

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2013 05:56 PM

Twitter made a strong public stock debut this morning in what was the most anticipated IPO since Facebook's 2012 bid. Unlike its rival's glitch-riddled debut on NASDAQ, Twitter’s coming out party under ticker symbol "TWTR" on the New York Stock Exchange Euronext went better than expected.

Twitter's stock opened at $45.10—73 percent above its $26 IPO price—valuing the microblogger at more than $31 billion based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that will be available after the IPO. Shares traded at a high of $50.09, and closed at $44.90. The narrow price range indicated that people felt it was "pretty fairly priced," JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade, told the Associated Press, while the stock's immediate surge "clearly shows that demand exceeds the supply of shares," commented Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

With a user base of 232 million and 500 million tweets sent daily, the social service that changed communication looks like it's here to stay.

But while Twitter's debut went "pretty flawlessly" and was "pretty fair priced," according to TD Ameritrade strategist JJ Kinahan, some are saying the internet company could have made a lot more money had it sold more shares for a higher price. All in all, selling 70 million shares $26 per share, Twitter raised about $1.8 billion, while Facebook, despite its first-day flop, raised $16 billion. That gives Facebook a significant advantage over rivals when it comes to acquisitions and operational costs, Mashable notes. But from the start, it seemed like Twitter was looking to make its IPO the anti-Facebook.Continue reading...

masters of their domains

ICANN Announces New gTLDs as Brands Battle for Naming Rights

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 24, 2013 12:41 PM

ICANN has announced four new gTLDs (generic top-level domains) designed to help organize the expansive internet. The four new non-Latin strings—in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic—signify ICANN's move towards globalizing the web.

The new URL suffixes: Arabic for "web/network"; Cyrillic for "online"; Cyrillic for "site"; and Chinese for "game(s)" are just some of the estimated 1,400 new gTLDs that the organization plans to add to some of the Web's most common suffixes, including .com, .org and .net. 

"In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined. It's this type of innovation that will continue to drive our global society," Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Generic Domains Division, said in a press release.Continue reading...

tech talk

Tech Giants Turn Focus to Affordable Internet Access in Developing Countries

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2013 07:22 PM

A common conversation for those who have home Internet access is the insanely-high sum they are paying to have that service, but whatever the amount, it doesn’t come close to what people in developing nations pay. According to the International Telecommunication Union, households in developing nations can shell out about a third of their monthly paychecks just to be online.

As it is, about two thirds of the world’s population can’t get online, and pricing remains one of the biggest hurdles. So Google and a number of major brands including Yahoo, Cisco Systems, Facebook and Microsoft have teamed up to create the Alliance for Affordable Internet, otherwise known as A4AI, InfoWorld reports

"Imagine a world where you spent 30 percent of your monthly income on basic Internet service," Jennifer Haroon, Google's Access Principal, wrote on Google’s Public Policy blog. "Could you pay? What might you have to give up? For billions of people, these costs—and questions—are an unaffordable reality that stops them from accessing the Web."Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

Intel Aims to Spread Digital Literacy to African Women

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on October 2, 2013 07:27 PM

Intel is turning research into action with its "She Will Connect" initiative—a program born out of the company's "Women and the Web" report that showed the gender gap between men and women in developing countries concerning digital literacy. 

The program aims to reach five million women in Africa beginning this year, with the help of local and global governments and NGOs, according to MarketingDaily's MediaPost. 

The task will be tackled two ways: with a mobile gaming app that will teach digital literacy skills, and with a partnership with World Pulse, which will help create a peer network for the platform's digital training software.Continue reading...

web watch

Google, AT&T Face Off Over Ultra High-Speed Internet in Austin

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 1, 2013 02:58 PM

Like modern day cowboys engaged in a dual, AT&T and Google are facing off over ultra high-speed internet in Austin, Texas—a city that has become a key battleground for ground-breaking technologies. 

While Google is planning to launch a high-speed Internet and TV service in the tech-friendly Austin area—home of the South by Southwest festival—next year, AT&T is now answering back, saying it will speed up its Internet service in the area in order to keep customers, Reuters reports.

Google has promised Austinites that their new service will bring them 1 gigabit-per-second—a claim that AT&T says it will match by the middle of next year. With those kinds of speeds, you could download a full-length HD movie in two minutes.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

At 15, Google is Just Getting Started

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 27, 2013 11:56 AM

Happy birthday, Google!

The fabled internet company got its start 15 years ago when then Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin conceived what is now arguably the world's most relevant tech company, moving beyond the web into mobile, automotive, and even health care. 

Topping $50 billion in sales last year, Google lays claim to a host of revolutionary projects and services that have changed the world and the way we live our lives. YouTube is the largest video site on the planet; Android is the dominant mobile phone operating system with 80 percent market share; Google X is crafting ‘moonshot’ projects like Google Glass and Project Loon; and just-announced startup Calico is set to address the biggest health concerns that challenge mortality.

How does one celebrate such remarkable achievements? With a homepage animation, of course.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

YouTube Cuts the Cord with Offline Video Playback

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 18, 2013 10:57 AM

Not one to keep users waiting, YouTube is readying to feed the insatiable hunger for more video with an update that will allow users to download videos to their devices for offline playback. 

In a blog post, YouTube explained that users can watch ad-supported videos on-the-go without an internet connection, "So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.” 

The new feature allows videos to be saved on devices for up to 48 hours. The videos will remain free, and contain Google ads. The service already generates more than one billion views per day via mobile, with this newest feature to be released in November only augmenting that.Continue reading...

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