Today’s young people could pay a high price pay at work or in health insurance for giving up their privacy online.
Today’s young people could pay a high price pay at work or in health insurance for giving up their privacy online.
Cats around the world can hold one paw high today, with the release of a video that shows absolute proof — or so the producers say — that felines are much more intelligent than their four-legged rivals.
The video, dubbed “Proof That Cats Are Better Than Dogs,” was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday by BuzzFeedVideo.
A description of said video purports, “Science settles the cat/dog question ONCE AND FOR ALL.”
The video claims cats are astute contributes to society, while dogs are mere window-lickers.
The validity of the study is questionable and some have attributed it to propaganda by the “Cat Army Propaganda Department.” Regardless, the video is quickly going viral and has already amassed more than 200,000 views!
For those who are looking to purchase another solid Android smartphone option from MetroPCS, then you will be pleased to learn about the new ZTE Anthem 4G. Announced earlier today, the ZTE Anthem 4G is an Android 2.3 mid-range handset.
The Anthem 4G offers 4G LTE connectivity, as its name suggests, and features a 4.3 inch WVGA touch screen display. Other specs include a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, Dolby Surround Audio, and HDMI output. Unfortunately, the press release does not reveal the RAM, on board storage, or camera(s). It is disappointing that the Anthem 4G only runs on Android 2.3, but hopefully an upgrade to Android 4.0 is in its future.
In terms of pricing and availability, the ZTE Anthem 4G will be available through MetroPCS in the coming weeks for $219 as an off-contract price.
Intel and Motorola had a special event today in the United Kingdom showcasing the latest Android smartphone to offer an Intel Atom processor clocked at 2GHz. The Motorola RAZR i is very similar to the Motorola DROID RAZR M in the United States except for addition of the Intel processor.
With the powerful 2GHz processor, Motorola claims multitasking between apps is a breeze and the camera loads in less than a second. Moreover, the processor works with greater efficiency offering 40% more juice than the competition. Other specs include Android 4.0, 4.3 inch edge-to-edge display, 1GB of RAM, 8MP rear facing camera, 8GB of onboard storage, dedicated camera button, and will be upgradeable to Android 4.1 in the near future.
In terms of availability, the Motorola RAZR i will launch in certain European and Latin markets such as the U.K., France, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico starting in October.
With a re-announcement of the LG Optimus G occurring earlier today, we now have a few more pieces of information regarding LG’s upcoming flagship device. To begin, the Optimus G will launch in Korea starting next week at the non-subsidized price of $894. In addition, Japanese consumers will get their chance at the Optimus G starting next month.
According to a report surfacing today, LG confirms that the United States will receive its own LG Optimus G sometime in November — right before the critical Holiday season. Since it is an LTE device, chances are T-Mobile will not launch a variant, but hopefully the remaining three major carriers will each launch a version.
As a quick recap of its specs, the Optimus G offers a 4.7 inch touch screen display with 1280 x 768 resolution, Android 4.0, Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz processor, LTE, 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear facing camera, 1.3MP front facing camera, 21o0 mAh battery, and 32GB of onboard memory.
There is a very good chance we will see the American introduction of the Optimus G tomorrow during LG and Qualcomm’s event.
LG’s latest Optimus G smartphone will surely make a splash around the world, but can it compete with the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III?
Today, occupying a space near enough to the front of an iPhone queue to draw media attention is a commodity with tangible commercial value.
Fans of musicals everywhere can finally rejoice, because Andrew Lloyd Webber is heading to a gaming system nearest you.
According to gaming website MCV, the famous musical director is the star of a new video game titled “Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals: Sing and Dance,” which was released exclusively for Wii today. The game features 32 hits from Webber’s popular musicals, including popular ballads like “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and “All I Ask Of You.”
A description of the video game posted on Broadway World states: “Fans of hit musicals such as ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘Evita’, ‘Cats’, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ will now be able to put themselves center stage with this new game.”
Players can pick between “Dance,” “Sing, or “Career” modes (we have no idea what that last one means), incorporating jazz hands and high-pitched solos. Plus, they can choose to belt out their songs next to Mii versions of ALW greats like Elaine Paige, Michael Crawford, and Donny Osmond.
Think Rock Band for the gentler music lovers out there. That’s right, no more lonely shower singing, now you can bring your best impression of Munkustrap to, erm, your living room. That’s a step up right?
“This is a fabulous signing for us,” said Paul Nicholls, sales and marketing director at Koch, in a statement to MCV. “Andrew Lloyd Webber and his creations are a British institution that have been enjoyed by generations across the world. The chance to bring this product to market for the Nintendo Wii is both an honor and hugely exciting.”
“Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals: Sing and Dance” was published by Tubby Games and is available for Wii starting September 14th through Koch Media.
Check out the slideshow of images from the best of Andrew Lloyd Webber below.
Apple just introduced its latest line of earphones — and Apple, being Apple, couldn’t help but give them a clever new name: “EarPods.”
“They look like no earphone you’ve ever seen before,” said Jony Ive, senior VP of industrial design at Apple. “The shape of the EarPod is actually defined by the geometry of your ear, but they don’t create a seal the way other in-ear headphones do,” he stated, as reported by Engadget.
The company released information about many new products today, including details on the highly-anticipated iPhone 5, as well as upgrades to its line of iPods. The EarPods will automatically come with both of these new devices, or can be bought separately for $29.99.
TechCrunch reports on the technology behind Apple’s new headphones:
A port in the back is aimed at delivering better mid-tones, and there’s one in the stem and the primary one for delivering sound to the inside of your ear. It’s all aimed at delivering the best sound possible.
As with Apple’s last line of headphones, these Earpods will include a small remote and mic on the cord so that you’re able talk on the phone hands-free or quickly adjust volume.
Check out our rundown of everything else Apple announced, browse our gallery of gorgeous iPhone 5 photos and then take a look at our big news page for full coverage of the event.
What do smoke signals, drums, books, the telegraph, telephone, fax, mobile phones, and the Internet have in common? They have incrementally enabled us to connect with more people and access more information in more rapid, easy, and less costly ways. Each advancement changed our lives in ways manifest and subtle, direct and indirect, predictable and unexpected. This technology may be the most powerful tool in our lives today, with personal, informational, economic, social, cultural, and political impact.
What lies at the heart of this evolution is the way we perceive time, distance, and relationships. Each iteration of this technology has involved a shift in how we experience time and distance, and how each influences us. Time has shrunk (not literally, of course) as communication has become instantaneous. Distance also seems to have grown shorter (again, not literally) as we are able to connect with people in the far corners of the Earth. We are no longer bound by our physical limitations. Our relationships, because of the changes in time and distance, are no longer limited to people in our immediate surroundings. We are able to connect to, interact with, and build relationships with people as many and diverse as there are countries in the world.
These changes in how we look at time, distance, and relationships have produced a fundamental shift in our expectations about these three areas. These expectations, in turn, circle back to alter our relationship with technology. In previous generations before the Internet, mobile phones, text messaging, and Twitter, we simply knew we couldn’t be reached readily by anyone except in person or by landline telephone. The default was disconnectivity, so being disconnected was the norm. Our comfort zone was that of disconnectivity and any ability to connect beyond that was a bonus.
These days, the expectation is that we can be connected in numerous ways with anyone at any time instantaneously. Our default is connectivity, so being connected has become the norm and our comfort zone. Any break from that norm, whether a loss of Internet connection, the absence of a cellular signal, or simply forgetting our mobile phones, takes us out of that comfort zone and can create real feelings of loss and anxiety.
Children and Technology Today
“Shock” is the best word I can think of to describe my reaction when I read the results of the latest Kaiser Foundation survey of technology use by young people ages 8 to 18. The 2009 study was a follow-up to an identical survey it conducted in 2005. In the previous survey, the researchers found that, on average, young people spent more than five-and-a-half hours a day interacting with technology unrelated to school. At the time, they assumed that given the busy schedules that young people have these days, an increase in their use of technology was impossible. How wrong they were!
The latest survey revealed that in 2009 this same age group spent more than seven-and-a-half hours a day involved with non-school-related technology. That’s an increase of more than one third in just four years! Speaking of shocked, the researchers themselves were astounded at the increase as, between school, homework, extracurricular activities, socializing, eating, sleeping, and family time, there simply didn’t seem to be enough time in a day. When multitasking was included, meaning the time when, for example, young people were watching YouTube videos, listening to music, and text messaging, the total time immersed in technology rose to ten-and-three-quarter hours. That didn’t even include the use of technology for school.
Let’s look at what specific technology consumed so much time: 1) television: 4:29; computer: 2:31; video games: 1:13; reading: 0:28 (reading isn’t dead yet!); and movies: 0:25. Of the time spent on a computer, social networking made up 25 percent, playing games accounted for 19 percent, video sites counted for 16 percent, and instant messaging 13 percent. I find it surprising that, despite being oh-so-20th century, the “idiot box” is still much beloved and much used by this generation. The survey revealed that 64 percent of families watched TV during meals, it was left on when no one was watching by 45 percent of families, and, remarkably, 71 percent of children had TVs in their bedrooms.
Other research has found that 97 percent of children ages 12 to 17 play video games. Contrary to the perception held by many that video games are a solitary pursuit, almost two-thirds play video games with family and friends, and more than a fourth play with people on the Internet. Here’s a eye-opening statistic: The average young person spends up to 10,000 hours playing video and online games by age 21. That’s about the same amount of time that they devote to their middle and high school years!
The research also reported that almost a quarter of teenagers access social media sites at least 10 times a day, and more than 50 percent use social media once a day. Additionally, 75 percent of teens own mobile phones (up from 45 percent in 2004), texting was a dominant form of communication for children and teens with girls, on average, sending 80 text messages a day and boys sending 30 a day. Fifty-nine percent of girls text their friends many times a day “just to say hello.” One girl sent more than 2,000 messages in one day. Additionally, 83 percent take photos and 64 percent share them with their friends using social media. Finally, 50 percent of the teenagers with driver’s licenses indicated that they sent and read text messages while they were driving.
The impact of technology on studying and grades was significant. Thirty-one percent of children said they multitasked while doing their homework most of the time and another quarter indicated they did 25 percent of the time. This despite a growing body of evidence that multitasking interferes with learning. Additionally, 66 percent of light users reported good grades and only 23 percent indicated fair or poor grades. With moderate use, the percentage with good grades stayed about the same (65 percent), but there was a substantial increase in the percentage of students with fair or poor grades (31 percent). The effect of heavy use of technology was even more pronounced, with only 51 percent of heavy users reporting good grades and 47 percent indicating fair or poor grades.
Now here is where it gets really shocking. How much has technology taken over the lives of children and their parents’ priorities today? A study by AVG, the Internet security company, found that young children are more likely to master tech skills than life skills. For example, while 58 percent of 2- to 5-year olds can play a computer game, only 43 percent can ride a bike. Of children in that age group, 10 percent can use a smartphone application, while only 9 percent can tie their shoes. Here’s a scary statistic: more young children can open a web browser than swim.
This post is excerpted from Dr. Jim Taylor’s new parenting book, Raising Generation Tech: Preparing Your Children for a Media-fueled World.
Do you hear that shimmer of guarded excitement on Twitter today? Did the bespectacled hipster on your commute seem unusually chipper? Did you iPhone’s battery just suspiciously fall apart in your hands?
That’s because today is Apple Day – when the Cupertino, California, company reveals its latest and greatest iPhone.
Apple’s event takes place in San Francisco at 6pm UK time, and HuffPost UK will be on hand to report every new device as it’s released – and hopefully get to play with one.
Among the expected announcements are a new iPhone and updates on iOS 6, the next-generation of Apple’s mobile operating system.
Possible surprises include a smaller iPad ‘Mini’, new Apple TV updates, a new iPod Touch and – there’s always hope – ‘one more thing’ that nobody expected.
Leaks of the new devices have been hitting the internet almost daily for about the last three months, with every blurry photo and supposed ‘factory leak’ leading to speculation that the new iPhone will be – outwardly at least – very similar to the old one.
Here’s the checklist of iPhone 5 features that may or may not be announced:
A larger screen – both physically (about 4-Inches?) and in terms of resolution (longer by about one row of home screen icons)
A two-tone, lighter design with a studier, aluminium back
4G LTE data connection – handy since the UK just got its first 4G network
A better camera (as ever)
redesigned, smaller dock connector
Updates to Siri, Apple’s voice assistant feature
And here are a few we’ll just throw into the mix, with no basis in fact at all:
Near-field communications (NFC) for touch payments
Whatever happens make sure to check back here later for all the details, pictures and hands-on previews of the new devices.
Although today’s digital natives have grown up immersed in technology, many do not know how to use technology tools efficiently in the workplace. Almost every job now requires basic technology skills, at a minimum including typing, key business applications, and a basic understanding of how a computer works.
We are in the midst of a growing jobs crisis. In order to solve the associated skills gap both in the United States and worldwide, every worker must start with this set of essential digital literacy skills to function in today’s business world. I have long said the illiterate of the future will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot efficiently use a computer.
Most college graduates list skills like “types 60 WPM” and “proficient in Microsoft PowerPoint” on their resume — but does that mean they are prepared to use technology in the workplace, and besides, what is the benchmark for proficient? Entry-level office employees still struggle to create formulas in Microsoft Excel, or edit a company logo in Adobe Photoshop. They may have used these programs at home or in school, but they don’t know how to use their full feature set and apply them in the workplace.
When should we teach digital literacy skills? Middle school is the ideal age, high school is essential, and a program at the community college or four-year college level will catch those who have slipped through the cracks. Truly, the younger the better so youth grow up knowing how to apply technology in real-world business situations, not just for playing video games or chatting with their friends online.
Teaching digital literacy skills should include three key areas: key applications (such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc.), computing fundamentals (how a computer works, what to do if you get the blue screen of death), and practical use of the Internet. Studies show that youth still trust most of what they read online, and are unable to discern between valid Internet sources.
Teaching digital literacy skills ultimately falls on parents and educators, and foundational industry certification programs are a real solution to this issue. They help students and workers master digital literacy skills and key application technologies and then validate those skills with an assessment that actually means something to employers. In the modern world, earning a degree to demonstrate competence is not enough anymore — workers have to prove they have the specific skills to fill job openings. Certification is arguably the single best solution for verifying skills attainment and mastery.
IT certification isn’t just for IT workers — every worker in the world can use a basic technology certification to validate their skills. Office managers, retail clerks, even trade workers in industries such as construction can benefit from basic digital literacy skills. If hiring managers can trust that an applicant has basic technology skills and can almost guarantee they won’t have to train them on those skills, that individual is more valuable and will be more productive on the job from day one.
Fundamental IT certification is easy to implement, and it is affordable. As I mentioned, middle school is really the ideal place to begin. Warren County Middle School in Warrenton, N.C., is one such school that successfully implemented a digital literacy training and certification program for their young students. Every student takes digital literacy courses as required electives, including a Key Applications course for 7th graders and Living Online and Computer Fundamentals for 8th graders. Most of these students achieved the Internet and Core Computing Certification (IC3) from Certiport at the end of the class. Warren County Business Education Teacher Debra Clayton says,
“The advantage of having the digital literacy certification is that when these students apply for jobs and colleges, they can have a digital portfolio and show proof of their knowledge. It makes them a little more marketable and tells employers and colleges that they know a more about computers than other candidates.”
At the high school level, Jefferson County Public School District (JCPS) serves more than 100,000 students in Louisville, Kentucky. They recently made digital literacy certification part of the required Computer Applications course at each of the 22 Jefferson County high schools. In only two years, JCPS has awarded more than 1,200 IC3 certifications to students and teachers.
Basic technology skills training can be even more powerful at the college level in helping students enter the workforce. We can even look to Iraq as an example. Iraq is working to come back from a period of extreme technology isolation. Dr. Ammar Hasan, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, championed digital literacy skills and the country of Iraq made the Internet and Core Computing (IC³) exam a requirement for all postgraduate applicants. In 2011 and 2012 there were more than 25,000 postgraduate applicants who earned digital literacy certification in Iraq, and as a result their population is improving its job prospects.
There is an increasing skills gap between those who have a firm grasp on technology and those who are struggling to keep up in today’s workforce, but it is so easy not to get left behind. I have seen foundational industry certification programs fill the gap to help students and workers master basic computing and key application technologies. When individuals earn an industry-recognized credential, they become more college and workforce ready, arming themselves to succeed in today’s economy.
Ray Kelly is a global advocate for digital literacy and the value of technology-enabled education in raising economic and social standards. He currently is the President and CEO of Certiport, the world’s leading provider of computer literacy skills training and credentialing programs.
It’s hard to imagine a less satisfactory jobs report at this stage of President Obama’s term. The economy is dead in the water. Obama has no plan but to wait for the upturn. Mitt Romney’s plan to cut taxes would be disastrously worse, plunging us into a deep financial and social crisis.
It’s long past time to face basic facts. America’s economic problems are structural and will not be solved by more tax cuts, quantitative easing, or short-term stimulus. Neither party offers real solutions, though the Republicans’ policies would drive us much faster to ruin.
The big mistake of Obama and his economic team from the start was to treat the downturn as a temporary recession, albeit a very big one. A temporary recession requires a temporary fix. A structural crisis requires long-term strategies. Here we are in 2012 without any long-term strategies except to wait out the crisis.
Real solutions require fresh strategies to break free of vested interests in energy, healthcare, education, and infrastructure. In other words, in today’s political environment, real solutions won’t happen any time soon. We are stuck.
All of this was reasonably clear at the start of the Obama Administration. In 2009 I argued against Washington’s reliance on short-term Keynesian stimulus:
[T]he stimulus tools of standard macroeconomics are spent. Interest rates are near zero but debt-ridden, unemployed, and frightened households can no longer pick up the pace. Keynesians urge even greater budget deficits, though the $1.4 trillion hole in fiscal year 2009 must give pause. The federal budget gap is now so large that the deficit has itself become a major source of anxiety and uncertainty. Another tax cut would be more likely to frighten than stimulate the economy. Anybody who adds across budget columns will realize that the federal
budget is at the breaking point, and needs higher rather than lower tax revenues.
The Federal Government collects a mere 18 percent of GNP in revenues, which
are fully swallowed up by spending on health and retirement, the military, and
interest payments on the debt. The rest of government, including infrastructure,
science, education, climate, energy, poverty reduction, and public administration,
is financed by borrowing, with China the largest creditor.
The situation is worse today. The tax system has been so gutted by a series of “temporary” tax cuts, agreed by the White House and Congress, that revenues for fiscal year 2012 are below 16 percent of GDP, the lowest rate in forty years.
In the meantime, the job market is stuck. Today’s unemployed and under-employed workers do not have the skills that businesses are seeking. Broadly speaking, those with a bachelor’s degree are faring much better than those without. Employment for those with a bachelor’s degree and above has increased by 1.75 million jobs during the past year (August 2011 to August 2012), while it has declined by 330 thousand jobs for those with at most a high-school diploma. Even many new college grads are having trouble finding work, since their college education did not give them marketable skills and since we have few school-to-work job training programs (as in countries like Germany where youth unemployment is at very low levels).
None of this is going to change any time soon. The lack of federal budget revenues means that there is no funding for education, job skills, training, apprenticeships, and public investments in infrastructure. Yes, President Obama repeatedly calls for all of these good things, but the Administration has no plans to fund them. Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the top income earners is good policy but very small, resulting in less than one percent of GDP in revenues. The scary truth is that Obama’s budget plans call for a continuing cut of civilian government programs relative to GDP through 2021. If Romney is elected, taxes will be gutted further, so that spending cuts will be far deeper, enough to cripple the economy and create massive social unrest.
A true recovery should be investment led rather than consumption led. We need long-term investments in human capital (skills) and in key infrastructure such as low-carbon energy systems, smart grids for cities, cutting-edge information and management systems for low-cost integrated healthcare delivery, and inter-city fast rail. These investments are inevitably a mix of private investments and public investments, with the mix differing according to the sector in question.
As I pointed out in 2009, the tools to promote such investment-led growth are not the Keynesian tools of short-run stimulus:
Macroeconomists trained in the past thirty years believe that demand increases depend mainly on interest rates and deficit or tax levels. Yet increased spending on renewable or nuclear power plants, a robust power grid, carbon-capture and sequestration, wastewater treatment facilities, fast inter-city rail, higher education, urban co-generation of electricity and heat, green buildings, and countless other new sustainable technologies, will depend on establishing a policy framework that harmonizes regulations, land use, public financing, and private investment. Large-scale stimulus, in other words, requires the nitty-gritty of public-private planning, technology assessments, demonstration projects, and complex project financing.
We have wasted the past four years trying to revive the economy by turning macroeconomic dials without paying attention to the real economy. We have no serious strategies. Our energy strategy has become “Frack, Baby, Frack.” We are going nowhere in advanced transport, renewable energy, or breakthroughs in lowering health care costs.
The question for America is how we are going to break free of this low-level trap. First, we will need a government that is not subservient to the status-quo corporate interests blocking innovation in key sectors such as health, transport, and energy. Second, we need a government that can strategize, not just improvise. Third, we need to end the nonsensical bluster against government. Our specialist scientific agencies are still doing amazing things right before our eyes this year: exploring Mars and unlocking the complex mysteries of the human genome. We could be doing a lot more to solve our social and economic problems and to re-establish our prosperity if we put our confidence back into science, technology, advanced training, and public-private partnerships.
Good news for Samsung Captivate Glide owners as your device is now able to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. AT&T announced the software update earlier today through a blog post. Owners of the Captivate Glide will need to download and install Samsung Kies software in order to pull the update and install it.
Some of the new changes and enhancements from the Android 4.0 update includes improved browser, face unlock, unlock direct to apps from lock screen, and improved notification management. Overall, the update from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich will bring stability and several new features.
First-time entrepreneur Charlie Kroll opened the doors of his startup, Andera, in June of 2000 — two months after the Nasdaq stock index reached its apex and subsequently began its long descent.
“The dot com bubble was busting around us as we were opening,” says Kroll, 34, of Providence, R.I.
Kroll founded Andera with the original intention of building and designing websites. Though Kroll’s background as a freelance web developer put him in a good position to start such a company, “It wasn’t great timing,” he said.
But instead of giving up and pursuing opportunities with more stability, Kroll decided quitting was not an option. “Being a first-time entrepreneur, the stakes seemed really high,” Kroll recalls. “A serial entrepreneur on his fifth company might have thrown in the towel. It was my first company, my first time with employees and benefits to pay for.”
So Kroll and Andera weathered the storm until an opportunity developed. “We bounced along the bottom for a couple years,” Kroll says. “But we ended up building a software product for one of our clients that ended up becoming a product to allow us to get out.”
That software product is the core of what Andera does today.
Kroll and the Andera team developed an online platform to open up a checking account without wading through piles of paperwork. The service was originally intended for a small community bank, Bank Rhode Island, which wanted an easier way for students to open student checking accounts.
Kroll soon realized, however, that the platform could be useful in a lot of banks. “We were just coming out of college and we didn’t understand financial services,” Kroll explains. “What we found is that every bank almost without exception makes you visit a branch or download forms and fill them out. There is no reason for it to be that way.”
The product was so popular that Andera started adapting the online platform for other small banks looking to get a technological edge. “We thought there was a problem we could fix,” Kroll explains. “So we transitioned out of the web design business into the software business. By 2006 we were firing on all cylinders.”
Kroll’s ability to persist despite the challenges by adapting to the market circumstances was a big part of Andera’s success. Now the company helps over 500 small banks across the country with account opening and lending technology, something Kroll believes is important for smaller lenders.
“We help small banks compete against the big guys,” Kroll says. “Small banks don’t usually have the resources to develop great technology.”
In addition to saving time and hassle, the Andera banking platform produces another result — one not often associated with technology: increased human interaction. For banks with tablet technology, the Andera platform allows for the whole transaction to take place easily between the account manager and the client. “If you think about the last time you opened an account, you had to fill out a lot of paperwork, the banker had to scan the document, take your signatures, walk back and forth a lot,” Kroll says. “We turn it from a very transactional experience to a very collaborative experience. No big banks are doing that today.”
Kroll started Andera while still a student at Brown University, a school he believes fosters the entrepreneurial mindset. “It is all about students who are trying to figure out how to walk that path,” Kroll says.
One of Kroll’s professors at Brown was Barrett Hazeltine. Kroll describes Hazeltine as a major inspiration to many Brown alumni. Though his courses were focused on engineering and management, Kroll says, his rhetoric and presentation fostered the entrepreneurial spirit.
Though Kroll can’t pinpoint exactly when he became interested in starting and running a business, his passions and interests mirror those typically held by fellow entrepreneurs.
“I like creating things, I like solving things,” Kroll says, “and I like being around people who like creating and solving things.”
This profile is part of a series featuring innovative small-business owners taking part in The Huffington Post’s Entrepreneurship Expo in Tampa and Charlotte, in conjunction with the 2012 political conventions and HuffPost’s “Opportunity: What Is Working” initiative.
During Motorola’s event today in New York City, the manufacturer not only announced three new devices, but it reaffirmed its commitment to Android and Android enthusiasts.
Motorola made three promises to those in attendance as well as the rest of the world. Those promises include Developer edition devices, Jelly Bean, and Upgrades. To begin, Motorola understands the need for devices with unlocked bootloaders and will launch the Motorola DROID RAZR M, DROID RAZR HD, and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD in developer editions. These will presumably be sold from Motorola’s developer portal and they will charge the full retail cost of the device.
Secondly, Motorola promised an upgrade to Jelly Bean before 2012 is over for the three devices launched today. Almost as important, most devices since 2011 will also receive an upgrade to Jelly Bean. However, if Motorola is unable to run Android 4.1 on the device because it degrades the user experience, Motorola will send you $100 credit to purchase any of the three devices announced today.
It’s great to see Motorola be up front with its fans and customers about its devices. It’s also great to see them take responsibility for Android upgrades. The $100 credit promotion is a nice idea since it will keep customers as Motorola device owners for at least another two years.
As we fully expected, Motorola announced the mid-range Android device known as Motorola DROID RAZR M. It is a 4.3 inch device with an edge-to-edge display that runs on Android 4.0. It will receive an Android 4.0 update before 2012 is over and it goes on sale for pre-order starting today. At a price point of $99 on a two year contract, the 4G LTE DROID RAZR M will officially launch on September 13.
In terms of specs and features, the DROID RAZR M is actually a solid smartphone option, despite being marketed as a mid-range handset. It offers a tight and compact design, Chome browser pre-loaded, Android 4.0, 4G LTE, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8MP rear facing camera, front facing camera, Kevlar casing, and NFC.
Again, the device will be available for pre-order with Verizon Wireless at 5PM EST today. It will officially launch on September 13 for $99 on a two year contract following a $50 MIR.
Good news for T-Mobile customers or those thinking of switching to the carrier: its Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data service goes into effect starting today. Current customers can simply upgrade their pre-existing data package and new customers are eligible to sign-up for service with unlimited data.
T-Mobile’s unlimited data service is the first for a nationwide 4G network and does not have any speed throttles, data limits, or overages. As a special promotion to introduce the unlimited data plan, T-Mobile will discount the HTC One S for users who sign up for unlimited data. In terms of costs, the unlimited data costs $20 a month on a Value Plan and $30 a month for the Classic Plan.
As we previously expected based on numerous leaks and reports, the Samsung Galaxy Stellar is now going to launch on September 6. Verizon Wireless provided the official word earlier today as the carrier introduced the mid-range device featuring a Starter Mode.
The Starter Mode is offered in conjunction with Standard Mode, however, the main difference is the fact that Starter Mode will appeal more to those unfamiliar with smartphones. Verizon wants to make the experience of upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone as simple and smooth as possible.
In terms of other features and specs, the Galaxy Stellar offers a 4 inch touch screen display, Android 4.0, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 3.2MP rear facing camera, 1.3MP front facing camera, 4G LTE connectivity, and several Amazon apps come pre-loaded.
The Galaxy Stellar is going to launch in two days on September 6 for free on a two year contract following a $50 MIR.
Facebook’s stock — the largest IPO in history, and without doubt the most hyped and histrionically heralded — is now half the size of its debut. Just about everyone has an opinion about what happened and what’s next, and we’ve heard them all.
Well, almost all. We haven’t heard what Mark Zuckerberg has to say.
As far as I can find, he hasn’t given a single interview on the subject. He’s spoken about it internally, as the Wall Street Journal reported, and has moved from reluctance to talk about the price, to an acknowledgment that it’s “painful” to watch. He’s expressed sympathy for employees who were counting on their equity. But that’s it.
I find it exasperating and even cowardly that he has been so publicly invisible about what’s been happening, about the way his baby has been treated in the public market. After all, Zuckerberg has made it clear from the outset that Facebook isn’t your ordinary company with a purely financial mission. The first sentence of his letter to potential shareholders make it clear that this is a sui generis organization:
“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.”
Doesn’t this social mission also involve a social obligation?
His own words compel him to discuss — openly and with full candor — the stock collapse, his view of where Wall Street isn’t getting his story and what Facebook’s disappointing revenue numbers mean for his vision of the company as an engine for social change.
Read in today’s context, every corporate value that Zuckerberg reels off in the letter are arguments for him to emerge from hiding. They include “Move Fast,” “Be Bold” and “Be Open.” In other words, move fast to address Wall Street’s lack of confidence in your stock. Be bold in willingness to recognize the situation and be open in the way you discuss it. None of this has happened. It’s not enough to ring the bell on the day of your IPO; you need to answer the charges of those who say that the bell is now tolling for you.
Most importantly, perhaps, Zuckerberg’s letter articulates a philosophy which argues that profits can emerge from socially responsible behaviors. (That’s a particularly ironic perspective today given how Ayn Rand — the anti-Zuckerberg — has once again been brought back into the conversation by Paul Ryan’s nomination.)
He makes it abundantly clear that profits follow mission:
We’ve always cared primarily about our social mission, the services we’re building and the people who use them. This is a different approach for a public company to take, so I want to explain why I think it works… Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.
This argument has been shaken, if it is not in shambles, and Zuckerberg needs to be visible in its defense. Not only that, he also needs to be visible in his own defense. He needs to show poise, maturity and a well-articulated strategy for growing revenue. There’s a growing argument that Zuckerberg should step down as CEO — that he’s “in over his hoodie.” Gigaom nicely summarizes the Mark-Must-Go debate.
Another subject that Zuckerberg needs to address is the Peter Thiel bail-out. Thiel, a member of Facebook’s board and the company’s first investor, dumped almost all his holdings — 270 million shares — as soon as the lock-up permitted. To be fair, Thiel committed to do this before the stock skid; he arranged for the dumpage on the day of the IPO — regardless of the stock price. But that story hasn’t been told. The media has spun Thiel’s sale as a vote of no confidence. That’s another reason Zuckerberg needs to get out there. Fast.
Think about it. The founder and CEO of a company that encourages more than 900 million users to share every detail of what goes on in their minds, is unwilling to share what’s going on in his. I’m asking for Zuckerberg to act on the very ideology he describes as being core to Facebook:
“People sharing more — even if just with their close friends or families — creates a more open culture and leads to a better understanding of the lives and perspectives of others.”
Mark Zuckerberg is dangerously late in entering the conversation about Facebook’s future
It’s time, Mark. Let the Sunday morning shows know that you’re ready and willing to talk about Facebook and you’ll instantly become a member of the elite Full Ginsburg club. It’s fine if you wear your hoodie, as long as you unhood your analysis. You have an obligation as not just founder and CEO, but someone who maintains control over the company to begin the conversation. Back to your letter:
We’re going public for our employees and our investors. We made a commitment to them when we gave them equity that we’d work hard to make it worth a lot and make it liquid, and this IPO is fulfilling our commitment. As we become a public company, we’re making a similar commitment to our new investors and we will work just as hard to fulfill it.
There are just too many open questions about your ability to deliver on that promise for you to remain silent about it. It’s also the smart thing to do for your valuation and future. You need to rally your users. There’s a meme already out there about Facebook fatigue. Just about everyone on Facebook is well aware of what’s happened to the stock price. That debacle has to unconsciously rewire — to use one of your favorite words — their perception of the Facebook brand.
Imagine if we start to see the exodus from the platform that skeptics have been forecasting. Even the intimations of an emerging “Zuck you” would be catastrophic.