Health Risks of Cell Phones – Interview with Dr. Carrie Madej – Episode 30

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Emily Binder interviewed Dr. Carrie Madej about the health risks associated with smartphone use. In Episode 28, we explored the behavioral and psychological aspects of Smartphone Addiction.

We wanted to take a deeper dive into the research, safety testing, and what we can do to limit the potentially negative physical impacts of the wireless devices and gadgets that we love.

human consciousness EMF

Carrie Madej, D.O. is an internal medicine physician who operates a private practice treating patients for a variety of medical issues.

08:55 – The two most toxic (or EMF emitting) objects we use on a daily basis: microwave ovens and heating blankets / heating pads.

09:50 – Studies on qualitative quality of life measures, infertility, depression, etc. Lack of data without longer term study lengths.

11:15 – IARC Interphone study from 1999-2004. 13 countries, 14,000 subjects. Omitted data: subjects with brain tumors, subjects who died, those who were too sick to be interviewed, children and young adults, and users of feature phones. A correlation between cell phone use and brain tumors was found nonetheless.

13:00 – Health effects of smartphones and wi-fi devices on children: developing brain tissue is more susceptible and sensitive to the impact of EMFs.

14:00 – European vs. US research on cell phone radiation.

15:10 – What to do to decrease effects of the EMFs of iPhone: keep it farther away from the body, do not use wi-fi and Bluetooth at the same time when not necessary (decrease potentiation signals next to other devices). Data is inconclusive about the true safety of our phones.

16:35 – A fertility study showed evidence that after 15 minutes of having a laptop on a male’s lap, the sperm count dropped 15%.*

19:00 – A few tips for decreasing the SAR of your phone: turn off when not in use; turn off when signal is weak (searching for signal increases EMFs).

19:30 – Emily: The Digital Dive typically focuses on technology’s impact on society, marketing, and innovation, and we thank Dr. Madej for offering her medical insight in this interview.

Tips on Tap – with Guest Tipper Kevin Griggs, Photographer

negative and positive photo from negative me app by kevin griggs1. Triggertrap – “Creative ways of triggering your camera.” Photographer Kevin Griggs of Capitol Photography shares the awesome free Triggertrap mobile app. It enables photographers to trigger their phone’s camera or an external camera by various actions such as a sound (like snapping your fingers or a bang), a timer, GPS, vibration, face recognition, and more. In Wi-Fi Slave Mode, you use another Triggertrap mobile device as a trigger, connect to the master device and wait for the other device to trigger this camera. You can purchase an optional dongle  (a wire to connect the phone to the auxiliary camera) for $30 which allows you to use the app to fire a DSLR from a mobile device. Free app available for iPhone and Android. You can do a 5-10 minute exposure by setting it to manual. The app lets you get away with much more than a traditional cable release at the fraction of the cost.

2. NegativeMe app – (currently) free for iPhone and iPad. Kevin shares this gem of an app that allows you to take a photo of a hard copy negative and the app turns it into a positive. Easy, fast conversion of negative images into positives.

3. iPhone Safari tip: How to use the “Find on page” feature in Safari for iPhone. It’s basically CTRL F for mobile. And it’s incredibly simple but not terribly obvious. Just type the phrase or word you want to see highlighted on the page into the search bar. Scroll down to the bottom of the results and then tap the phrase.

Lastly, please excuse any audio quality issues with this episode. Our expert editor Melanie Touchstone was out of town this week, but she will return for Episode 31!

*Citations:
1. Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation. Fertility and Sterility. January 2012. 2.

2. BREAKING: Cell Phones Could Hurt Your Sperm. Men’s Health. August 2011.

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Smartphone Addiction: Habit, Health, Happiness – Episode 28

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Just how addicted are we to smartphones? What does it mean for our physical and mental health, and how much does it really matter?  Emily and Melanie review stats on usage, psychological research on smartphone habits, health impacts, and the unclear safety of cell phones.

Phone-Addiction1

I. Smartphone proliferation:

  1. Global cell phone subscription soared from 12.4 million in 1990 to 7 billion in 2013.
  2. 2.7 hours per day are spent socializing on our cell phones – twice the time we spend eating.
  3. The typical smartphone user spends regarding $107 monthly for wireless access-more than the typical house pays for electricity each month. –bestsmartphones.us, 10/19/13
  4. 15.7 billion texts are sent each month. That’s 363,426 per minute or 6,057 right this second. –Pong Research, 2013
  5. New moms spend more time on smartphones (their “lifelines”) than other adults. Average 37 hours per month, 20% more time than the average millennial (~31 hours). –LA Times, 10/24/13

Psychology:

  • Research shows that 73 percent of Americans would feel “panicked” without their smartphones
  • In a 2013 study, 30% of people admitted to snooping on someone else’s mobile phone
  • 12%  of people surveyed are concerned that smartphones are damaging their relationships
Why do we instinctively pull out our phones when we have a moment of non-occupation?

mother checking her phone baby stroller falls downChecking habits:

Because we use smartphones in so many different situations, and to accomplish so many different tasks, we develop a vast range of triggers and cues associated with pulling them out and looking at them.
-Scott Campbell, a communications professor at the University of Michigan
What concerns us here is that if your habitual response to, say, boredom, is that you pick up the phone to find interesting stimuli, you will be systematically distracted from the more important things happening around you. Habits are automatically triggered behaviors and compromise the more conscious control that some situations require…

-Antti Oulasvirta, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

Impacts on Health: Cell Phone Radiation

  • In May 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
  • Recall the hidden bit of legalese that comes in the safety manual for Apple’s iPhone 4: When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body, and only use carrying cases, belt clips, or holders that do not have metal parts and that maintain at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) separation between iPhone and the body.
  • Manufacturers of multiple smartphone brands place these warnings on user manuals to cover themselves in what is still a legally unclear situation. Continue reading “Smartphone Addiction: Habit, Health, Happiness – Episode 28”

Facebook Privacy, Shared Endorsements, and Online Mugshots – Episode 27

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I. Facebook Gets Rid of Privacy for Profile Search

Anonymity on Facebook is a thing of the past. Facebook has changed its rules, making all users’ profiles searchable. The “Who can look up your Timeline by name” feature formerly allowed you to limit who could find your profile photo and basic info (friends, friends of friends, or no one). Facebook nixed this feature in December 2012 for anyone who was not using it (i.e. the majority of users). Those who were using the incognito setting were grandfathered in until now: every profile will be searchable. Granted, before this change, you could still be searched via graph search or a non-friend could locate your profile from your activity that showed up in their news feed. While this change may be useful for users trying to locate someone, in the long run, this could hurt Facebook because the reduction in privacy could cause less sharing of personal data, opinions, photos, and content, which is how Facebook generates ad revenue.

II. Google Shared Endorsements

Google Shared Endorsements example screenshotsGoogle has announced shared endorsements, in which user data and activity will be fair game to appear in ads. Much like Facebook sponsored stories, in which advertisers may use the likeness, name, or image of a user who has Liked or engaged with a brand, starting November 11, 2013 Google will display Google+ users’ profile photos and/or reviews in ads on the more than 2 million websites on the Google display network.

Users who have commented on a YouTube video, recommended a product or service, posted a Zagat review, etc. may see their name, photo, and/or comment in an ad. Fortunately, Google is being transparent about the change (unlike Facebook was last year):

To opt out of Google’s shared endorsements, click here, and scroll to the bottom of the page. Uncheck the “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.” option and hit the blue Save button. It is currently unchecked by default, but Google will set this option to checked by default on November 11, so make sure to come back and uncheck it if you don’t want to participate. –thenextweb.com

Users under 18 are automatically excluded, and if a Google+ post was shared only with a Circle, it will not be fair game for ads.

We all enjoy using the free services provided by Facebook and Google. Is it fair to expect these companies not to use us in return?

III. Online Mugshots

onlinemugshots.com online mugshot searchMugshot websites are increasingly becoming an issue. They started popping up in 2010 and now over 80 websites such as Mugshots.com, BustedMugshots.com, and JustMugshots.com, etc. do heavy advertising and SEO. They can easily be the first results that pop up in searches and image searches of people’s names. The owners of the mugshot sites argue that these images are public record and provide the service of a quick background check. But critics argue the sites border on extortion. Most states have no legislation passed to control mugshot websites, but Oregon, Georgia, and Utah require sites to remove mugshots if a person either provides proof of an expunged record or innocence and/or if they pay a fee. In many states, you can pay anywhere from $30-400 to have your mugshot removed (but at the discretion of the site admins).

Mugshots imply an arrest, not a conviction. Considering that many employers research applicants online, is this easy access to proof of arrest unfairly damaging to people’s reputations? Time and again, the Supreme Court has upheld that mugshots are in the public domain. Emily argues that nothing has changed about the legality here; the Internet is simply making mugshots more accessible instead of having to go to a sheriff’s office in person. Melanie proffers that these mugshot sites can extort innocent people and destroy their chances at success by ruining their reputations online. Also, we consider that class and socioeconomic status enter into the equation of being able to afford a removal request in most states.

Tips on Tap

1) Hugecity – Atlanta startup currently housed at The Goat Farm. Hugecity app places Facebook events on a map and shows where your friends are going. Much love to Atlanta’s startup scene.

2) Nectar app for Blackberry, Windows Phone, iPhone, and Android: This free app gives you bonus points for shopping online and sends your mobile offer reminders when you’re near your favorite store. You can spend your points at various retailers. Related: Moves activity tracker app for iPhone and Android tracks activities like run, cycle, walk etc. and now integrates with 15 other apps like Earndit.

3) PocketEarth – App publisher GeoMagik has a series of travel apps for specific cities that contain offline maps and quick area guides (complete with a brief history of sites). For iOS and available in English, Spanish, French, German, and Russian. Very useful when trying to avoid cell phone data roaming charges abroad.

Sources:

  1. Facebook Gets Rid of Privacy Option And Makes All Users Searchable – ABC News, 10/11/13
  2. Google to Sell Users’ Endorsements – NYTimes, 10/11/13
  3. Mugged by a Mug Shot Online – NYTimes, 10/5/13

You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and/or leave us a review (some stars, if you will).

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Native Ads and Wearable Technology – Episode 25

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Video: Native Ads and Wearable Technology – The Digital Dive Podcast – Episode 25 (Vimeo)
–>Watch on YouTube

1. Instagram Ads: Native Advertising (0:55-7:20)

What will it take for a successful native ad to work on Instagram? Hear which brands are succeeding now and why (Timberland, Redbull, Marc Jacobs). The Instagram community is sensitive and accustomed to an intimate app experience, so how IG rolls out advertising is crucial. Emily’s advice: Don’t be irrelevant and don’t be creepy.

Skinput arm - The Digital Dive Podcast- Native Ads and Wearable Technology

2. Wearables and Google Brain (07:20-12:39)

Mother wearing Google Glass holding baby wearing Google GlassWearable technology: it’s the future. We are so over interacting with our devices on hard surfaces in the physical world. How will the rules of social etiquette adjust for a bunch of Glassholes (10:39)? Emily likens our smartphone addiction to cigarette addiction: both compel the addict to remove themselves from the moment (15:05-15:20). Google Glass can take away the physical barrier – maybe it will bring us back to being present.

Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve new Apple VP black and whiteFashion meets technology: (16:40) On July 2, 2013 Apple recruited Yves Saint-Laurent CEO Paul Denève to work on a “special project,” (presumably the iWatch), reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Denève’s career is known for fashion, but this will actually be his second foray with Apple; he was a European marketing and sales manager in the 90s, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Modern memory: The phenomenon known as Google Brain isn’t as bad as it sounds – we hope. Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow et al published key findings in Science (August 2011): Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips: “…when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it.” Maybe that isn’t so bad: if the world has changed and made information more readily available, why shouldn’t our brains adapt to locate it faster instead of work on remembering it? It’s all about efficiency, as Melanie will tell you.

3. Alone Together (12:39-14:00)

Digital natives (13:02-13:27) are losing the art of conversation. What’s wrong with the statement, “I’d rather text than talk”? Emily recaps psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk and book Alone Together. Turkle poses the question: what are we losing by using technology to communicate when we want, how we want, and in an abbreviated and controlled manner? “As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other?”

(13:30) Melanie reminds us that as humans, we have historically had trouble accepting changes in society, in language, and in our bodies. Here’s our Death of the English Language episode (read: Emily’s head in Downton Abbey): U-Turn Into a Tech-Speak Future – Episode 5

Two great Sherry Turkle quotes:

-The feeling that ‘no one is listening to me’ make us want to spend time with machines that seem to care about us.

-We’re lonely, but we’re afraid of intimacy. And so from social networks to sociable robots, we’re designing technologies that will give us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.

 

Fun/weird: The Intimacy 2.0 Dress: High-tech wearable: clothing responds to your heartbeat. “The ‘Intimacy 2.0’ dress, designed by Daan Roosegaarde, is getting a rise out of the fashion world because its opaque fabric becomes transparent when you get aroused.”

Tips on Tap (20:40-25:12)

  1. Tile App (20:45-22:16) – Tile, the world’s largest lost and found. The Tile App on your phone makes it easy to find anything you have placed a small plastic Tile on. Keep track of your stuff. Preorder now for $18.95. “Works with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad Mini, iPad 3rd and 4th gen, and iPod Touch 5th gen. New iOS devices will be supported as they become available, as long as they have Bluetooth 4.0 support.”
  2. Closet+ app (22:17-23:56) – “The Swiss Army Knife of style assistants.” Catalogue your wardrobe with phone pix to plan outfits easily. Free on iTunes.
  3. Drinkify.org (23:57-25:10) – Drink and cocktail recommendations based on the music you’re listening to.
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Note: The two videos at the top and bottom of this post are the same, we just wanted the Vimeo option to appear first.

Gmail’s New Inbox Threatens Email Marketing; Gamer Dads Hack Away Gender Roles – Episode 23

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Website update 7/16/13: We are having some theme/layout issues. Will fix them soon. Thanks.
I. New Gmail Layout Threatens Email Marketing As We Know It
Email is one of the original eCommerce platforms, and it is also one of the most effective for merchants. 83% of small and medium-size businesses say email is critically important to their overall marketing strategy.
So, what happens when the world’s most used email service, Gmail, introduces a new tabbed layout that automatically hides automated marketing emails? Email users rejoice. Marketers cringe. Melanie and Emily weigh in on why this is good news for consumers, but potentially catastrophic news for digital marketers.
Gmail vs EmailMarketing
Reports/Statistics cited:
II. In-Car Navigation Technology Moves to the Windshield
  • GPS navigation company Garmin has developed the HUD for drivers (heads-up display). It’s a portable device that displays navigation information from a smartphone onto the car’s windshield.
  • How: a transparent film affixes to the windshield, or an included reflector lens attaches to the device. You can see real-time navigation information in daytime and nighttime driving situations. The HUD supports iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 8 devices when used in conjunction with the Garmin StreetPilot1 or Navigon app. HUD cradle: $129.
  • Question: When will mobile phones have the native/quotidian ability to beam onto windshield? This would negate the need for a separate one-trick pony Garmin dock.
III. Dads Hack Video Games to Reverse Gender Roles and Inspire Their Daughters
Some very cool parents who also happen to be developers wanted to make gaming more of an inspiring experience for their young daughters. Examples: Donkey Kong and Zelda were hacked to change up gender roles and make the girl characters heroes.
  • Mario was now under Donkey Kong’s control
  • Pauline was tasked with rescuing the plumber in distress.
Following his successful DK character role reversal for Donkey Kong for NES, father Mike Mika’s YouTube channel shows the hack and lets you download the patch.

Another awesome dad: Small business owner and gamer dad Mike Hoye spent a few weeks hand-tweaking the text in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker so that the main character was referred to as a girl instead of a boy. “I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero.” –“I am no man”: For Zelda-playing daughter, dad gives Link a sex change 11/8/12

Big ups to these dads!
Tips on Tap
1) Clapmera – So simple, so genius. Instead of relying on the often frustrating camera timer or someone else to take images from afar, this app takes a picture when you clap. Free camera app for iPhone and iPad.
Free for iPhone and Google Play, FxCamera is a cross between Instagram and Vine.
Just by sharing a single photo taken with FxCamera on Facebook or Twitter, FxCamera will donate a penny for a photo (up to $10,000) to Japan Water Forum.
3) ecorner.stanford.edu – If you’re a fan of TedTalks and other informative, often inspiring video tools for personal growth, take advantage of ecorner.stanford.edu. Melanie recommends one in particular: Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard on leadership, distilling information.

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and/or leave us a review!

The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming app. New to Stitcher? Please sign up with our link:

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Banning Bikinis and Booze – Advertising, Censorship, and Sexism – Episode 21

Vintage print ad Del Monte ketchup - "You mean a woman can open it?"
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Vintage print ad Del Monte ketchup - "You mean a woman can open it?"This week, discussion centers around advertising, censorship, sexism, and the media. Where should we draw the line between free speech and offensive content? Does controversy and banning empower the content or spark an important dialogue? Enjoy the heated debate.
  1. Flickr announced in late May that every user will get a free terabyte of space
  2. Windows 8: Less talking, more doing commercial for Asus Vivo Tablet mocks the iPad using Siri’s voice. The Windows tablet at 64GB is $449 vs. $699 for a 64GB iPad. Windows jabs the iPad for not being able to multitask (in the desktop sense of the word) and lacking Powerpoint (which is a weak point).
  3. Censorship and Sexism in Advertising – At Home and Abroad:

3.1 Turkey to ban alcohol ads

  OOH advertising - bus shelter ad space "No Alcohol Ads Here"
  • The Turkish Parliament passed legislation on May 24, 2013 to ban advertising of alcohol and to outlaw sales of alcoholic drinks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. except in tourist zones.
  • Claim from government: protect youths
  • Sparked riots and protests in Istanbul and Ankura
  • Not unheard of: Los Angeles City Council considering a city-wide ban on alcohol advertising on municipal property; already prohibited on bus benches
  • Philadelphia already operates such a ban
  • San Francisco bans alcohol advertising on public transport
  • Alcohol ads are already mostly banned in Sweden, Malaysia, and Russia
  • US standard: alcohol ads can only be placed in media where 70% of the audience is over the legal drinking age (21)
  • Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) has called for a review into existing rules – which ban alcohol ads from airing in shows that appeal to under-18s – after finding that between 2007 and 2011, number of alcohol commercials seen by children rose almost 19%

3.2 “Sexist and degrading” Pamela Anderson commercial for Crazy Domains banned in UK

Videograb of Pamela Anderson in Crazy Domains banned commercial (deemed sexist and degrading)

The Australian commercial was first broadcast in 2010 and was banned shortly thereafter. Much like the notoriously sexist GoDaddy Superbowl ads in the US, this ad for another web hosting company depicts females as sex objects to be consumed… but this time they are in a business setting. We’re not going to embed the video but you can view it at the Huff Post link below.

“Australian Advertising Standards Board decided the bikini sequence was sexist, exploitative and had “no relevance to the product.'” –Huffington Post

Last week, the Crazy Domains commercial was allowed to air in the UK after 9PM. A few days later on 6/5/13, the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned it but with slightly different reasoning:

“We considered it gave the impression that he viewed his female colleagues as sexual objects to be lusted after. Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some viewers.” -ASA

“Crazy Domains’ parent company Dreamscape Networks insisted that the dream sequence was not “gratuitous or pornographic”, saying it portrayed the women as ‘attractive, dynamic and confident business people.'” Dreamscape Networks is based in Dubai…
Emily and Melanie discuss censorship in advertising, the media’s portrayal of women, and argue over whether marketing and media inform culture and shape our minds, or gain their power from the attention society gives to controversial content.
  • Startling statistics about lack of female leaders (the US ranks 90th in terms of number of women in legislative positions, behind China, Iraq, Cuba and more). 67 nations have had female presidents or prime ministers. The US is not one.
  • Who is responsible for perpetuating stereotypes? Should we blame an ad for misrepresentation of women, or the society that makes the ad successful?
  • 2010 documentary film Miss Representation “exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.” (Updated 10/7/13 – film is no longer free on YouTube.) Watch: Miss Representation on Netflix. Or rent on YouTube- $1.99Trailer:

Thanks to Digital Divas Atlanta for the March 2013 screening.

TIPS ON TAP

  1. Sort Gmail inbox by sender: Go to your inbox and hover over the sender’s name. In a second or two a window will pop open. Now choose “emails” near the bottom. Your inbox will now be sorted by the sender you hovered over. You can now read, delete, or move all those emails at once. Quite a time saver!
  2. Tips to Keep Your Mac Running Like New:

    2a) Restart your computer somewhat frequently. Restart can help flush out some old gunk that’s slowing it down.

    2b) Keep desktop clean of files. Place them in folders and Finder will be faster.

    2c) Restart your browser and clear the cache.
  3. FrontFlip is a mobile loyalty and engagement app for businesses. Get customers to scan to win prizes and gifts from restaurants, shops, bars, salons, etc.

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and/or leave us a review!

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Google Now for iOS, Amazon vs. Netflix, & Surprising Twitter Study – Episode 19

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Netflix vs. Amazon punching bagsTopics

  1. In response to Netflix‘s exclusive programming featuring their hit series House of Cards, Amazon announced in March 2013 that they were creating a Zombieland pilot. On April 19, 2013 they released Amazon Original Series as fourteen original pilots available free to Amazon Prime members. Users vote on their favorites and Amazon will likely produce two winners as full series. Emily gives the run-down on both House of Cards and a couple of the Amazon pilots: Those Who Can’t and Betas. Follow-up from Episode 14. P.S. Downton Abbey fans, by the end of 2013, Prime Instant Video will be the only paid streaming service to offer Downton Abbey. Hulu Plus and Netflix are out.
  2. Google_Now_iPad_and_iPhone_610x414Google Now comes to iOS.  Available since July 2012 for some Android users, Apple device owners now have access to the clairvoyant Google Now by signing into one’s Google account in the free Google app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
    The nascent Google Now is a savvy digital assistant in ways that Siri can’t compete. Because Google records its users’ actions in all of its products (from web search to Maps to Gmail to Google+ and more) it has access to massive amounts of data and the ability to triangulate personal information, behavior patterns, calendar events, contacts and more. The potential for Google Now is quite exciting. Some users have concerns over privacy issues. However Emily is happy to benefit from the data she is already sharing with Google in exchange for predictive, personalized assistance. How will Apple and Facebook compete?
  3. Instagram app update: 5/3/13: Now users can tag other IG users in photos like you tag friends in Facebook photos. Tags must be approved.
  4. Best Brands on Twitter: Social Media startup Nestivity released their list of the top 25 most engaged brands on Twitter – we look at the top 10 and why they are successful.

About the List:

  • Brands were selected based on the results of a study that examined how brands cultivate relationships with influencers, customers, and advocates on Twitter.
  • Primarily using push marketing on Twitter doesn’t work (obviously)
  • Conducted by Evolve Capital Inc. (private equity firm) and UCLA Anderson School of Management, the study looked at the top 100 most-followed brands on Twitter, analyzing over 739,000 tweets over one month.
  • Significant: study was backed by a private equity/venture capital fund. Investors are paying attention and putting money into researching the success of brands on Twitter. Investor attention is often a barometer of the times; the players who have a major say in the lifespan and  ultimate success of companies and industries are making a real connection between brand engagement on Twitter and a company’s bottom line.
  • High follower count also did not necessarily mean an engaged audience: “While all of the 25 most engaged Twitter accounts had over a million followers, so did the bottom 70% of the same.”
  • 76% of content that was shared (RT’d) had a photo attached, and 18% had a video as part of the message.

Top 10 Brands on Twitter:

  1. Notebook of Love
  2. Disneywords
  3. ESPN
  4. Playstation
  5. Disney
  6. Chelsea Football Club
  7. BBC Breaking News
  8. NASA
  9. CNN Breaking News
  10. Instagram

Tips on Tap:

  1. Twitter Keyboard Shortcuts:
    M = new direct message
    N= new tweet
    R = reply
    T = retweet
    GR = Mentions
    GH = Home
    GM – Messages
    . = load new tweets
  2. Tips to resize and optimize layout of web images:
    A. Two free tools to resize web images: Picresize and Resize Your Image
    B. When resizing, c
    hoose small file sizes: Upload a PNG or JPG not too much larger than your desired image size. Choose PNG or JPG over BMP as the file format. Your site load times will benefit.
    B. Have subjects (people, animals, products, etc.) facing in toward the block of text instead of outward and away from the text.
  3. Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones
    Sex sells. This thermoplastic skin slips on and stretches to fit and protect your iPhone 4/4s/5 or Galaxy S3. Water-resistant plastic wraps retain touchscreen and call functionality and 98% camera clarity. Note that neither headphones nor cables can be used with Smartskin. Up to three uses per tab/pack. Smartskin from Firebox costs $18.50.

Show Notes:

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Tracking Clicks, Eyes, and Bodies – Episode 17

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eye-trackingTechnology (read: customer or user tracking) is providing marketers with more data to effectively target ads and better plan brick and mortar store layouts. The improvements in customer tracking both online and offline can lower advertisers’ CPA and improve the shopping, browsing, or Facebook user experience. Emily and Melanie consider the accompanying privacy issues this episode.

I. Samsung Galaxy S4 and T-Mobile Update

Features a five-inch screen, 13 megapixel camera, Eraser on camera to remove photobombers, eye control, smart audio settings, instant translation tilt to scroll, and more. This might be Emily’s next phone.
T-Mobile announced that it will offer iPhone 5 beginning April 12, 2013 with no contract and an option for a monthly payment plan. This is a major contrast from other major carriers like Verizon and AT&T with two-year minimum contracts. Power to the people sort of!

II. Facebook Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences, Facebook hashtags and the new News Feed.

Recently launched Facebook Lookalike Audiences expands upon Custom Audiences. Advertisers can target ads to users similar to those in their Custom Audiences, which contains data like email addresses, phone numbers, and user IDs.

III. Facebook Exchange (FBX)

When it launched FBX in Sept 2012, Facebook was home to 25% of the Internet’s display ads.  In February, Facebook announced it was partnering with data brokers Datalogix, Acxiom, Epsilon, and BlueKai so that FBX program advertisers could get even better data about their target audiences. FBX takes users’ general Internet browsing history and uses cookies to target ads on Facebook. Here is a dizzying visual of how FBX works.
Retail customer traffic heatmap
Retail customer traffic heatmap. cnet.com 3/7/13

IV. Smart Retail Customer Tracking Using Security Cameras

San Francisco startup Prism Skylabs has developed sophisticated technology that helps business owners track and analyze customer behaviors in their retail stores. Store owners can create timelines and heatmaps showing areas of the store where customers gravitate. Officially launched in late November 2012, Prism Skylabs has dozens of major retailer clients who pay $50/month per store.

Tips on Tap

  1. After changing your Facebook password: How to reestablish the permission between Instagram and Facebook on iOS so that you can post directly to Facebook from Instagram. Apple’s instructions are not clear or complete — you will think you’re stuck in an infinite reset loop.
  2. Babbel app – “Learning languages online made easy.” Available in any browser and as an app for iOS, Android, KIndle Fire, and Windows 8.
  3. System Util: an app to monitor iPhone performance and CPU: System Util

Show Notes

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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

CAS Internet Piracy Crackdown and Outlook.com’s War on Gmail – Episode 15

MPAA Anti-Piracy PSA
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Melanie Touchstone and Emily Binder are back this week for lucky 15 covering the Center for Internet Security’s new Copyright Alert System, an ISP-backed online piracy crackdown plus Microsoft’s launch of Outlook.com email.

I. The 6 Strikes Copyright Alert System – MPAA Got Time For That

MPAA Anti-Piracy PSA
Appearing before your DVD feature film, the much-loved PSA from MPAA’s “Piracy — It’s a Crime” campaign c. 2005

The Copyright Alert System –  A collaboration between the Center for Copyright Information, the MPAA, RIAA, and Internet service providers aimed at curbing illegal downloads of copyrighted content. Watch the CAS Process video.

  • What it means for users, peer to peer downloads, online piracy, and your home Internet account status and speed. Remember, email and Dropbox etc. are safe from the CAS monitoring. However, MPAA and RIAA got time for that when it’s P2P.

II. Outlook.com

  • If you are a user of Hotmail, MSN or other Microsoft email services you will (if you haven’t already) notice a major change: When you sign in, you’re sent to a new service called Outlook.com.
  • “Outlook? As in what I use at work?” Yes. But Microsoft is now adapting the Outlook brand for personal, web-based email services as well. It’s part of a broad makeover that includes the company’s overhaul of the Windows operating system and the Office software suite.
  • Outlook.com is a challenge to Gmail in several ways, including the touted benefits:
    • Email content will not be used to target ads (something many users don’t like about Gmail)
    • Outlook integrates with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter
    • Users can alternate email addresses without signing up for additional accounts
    • Customizable filters like “shipping updates”
    • Clear the trash can and still have a chance to recover deleted emails from the server

Tips on Tap

      1. Slice – this free app “keeps track of what you buy, effortlessly” using your email inbox. Slice tracks your shipments, online orders, and triggers alerts when items you have recently purchased go on sale. For iPhone, Android, and web.
      2. Blackl.com – a “green” search engine powered by Google, Blackl is essentially Google search in your browser on a black background. AMOLED screens use a lot less power displaying black instead of white. (AMOLED = Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode, the technology used in most smartphone screens.)
      3. How to Evade the Copyright Alert System (CAS): The most obvious solution: Stream, don’t download. Jared Moya offers four more workarounds including Usenet, upgrading your residential account to a business account, and using a VPN. – zeropaid.com, 2/26/13

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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Fraley v. Facebook: A User Win? – Episode 13

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In the news:

1) Coca Cola addresses the obesity epidemic

2) Spam email hits a five-year low, but is still two-thirds of all email.
Considering how prevalent spam is, it’s no wonder many people who recently received the legal notice Fraley v. Facebook email were suspicious:

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. Lawsuit – Sponsored Stories

If you’re an eligible Facebook user in the U.S. or UK, you may have already receiveFacebook sponsored story with gavel Fraley v. Facebookd an email (or may get one soon) from legalnotice@facebookmail.com titled: “Re: Legal Notice of Settlement of Class Action:”

You are receiving this e-mail because you may have been featured in a “Sponsored Story” on Facebook prior to December 3, 2012…

What are sponsored stories?

“Sponsored stories are messages coming from friends about them engaging with your Page, app or event that a business, organization or individual has paid to highlight so there’s a better chance people see them.” -Facebook

Who is the lead plaintiff, Angel Fraley? If the Fraley v. Facebook goes cy pres, which not-for-profit organizations will receive what’s left of the $20 million settlement? Why does this all smell fishy? What does the average user stand to gain (besides $10 max)?

Tips on Tap

1) Prevent cell phone frostbite: Keep your phone in your pocket in cold temperatures to prevent decline in the lithium ion battery when it’s below freezing.

2) Fashism.com – A fashion crowdsourcing website and app for iPhone and Android. “Post a photo, ask a question, get advice.”

3) Electronics buying guide – When to buy:

  • Computer monitors: January-February
  • Cell phones – Valentine’s Day (look for BOGO deals)

Show Notes

  1. “Spam hits a five-year low (but it’s still two-thirds of all email)” –NBCNews – Technology 1/25/13
  2. Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. – fraleyfacebooksettlement.com/
  3. Citizen Media Law Project- Fraley v. Facebook

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Facebook Fake Accounts, Timeline Changes, and Your Digital Legacy – Episode 12

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1) Passing Down Digital Assets After Death
Emily and Melanie argue about whether acknowledging your digital footprint in your last will and testament is ridiculous (and what is at stake).digital footprint social media

  • What happens to your email, social media, blog, photos, cloud documents, financial, professional, and gaming accounts when you die?
  • Why online accounts matter after death:
  • 1) Wishes of the deceased: do they want the FB account up as a memorial? for how long? who should be trusted with the emails, records, photos, videos, messages, etc.?
  • 2) Money: U.S. consumers value their digital assets, on average, at nearly $55,000. 2011 McAfee Survey. That includes MMOG (massive multiplayer online game) assets, photos, projects, hobbies, personal records, career information, entertainment, and email.
  • “Online companies face a ‘patchwork of state laws’ and are usually cautious when it comes to granting access to a deceased user’s account.” -via nbcnews.com
  • U.S. General Services Administration recommends you set up a social media will
  • Only five states’ estate laws include digital assets: CT, RI, OK, IN, and ID. Some statutes only relate to email. Just OK and ID clearly include social networking and blogging as part of an estate (well done, y’all).
  • How to: digital estate planning – Consider using a paid service on this list: thedigitalbeyond.com/online-services-list/

2) Fake Facebook Accounts – Categories, Prevalence, Issues Like Fake Clicks

  • The “bad actors” that Facebook targets are people with many fake accounts
  • As of 8/1/12, CNET reports 8.7%, or 83.09M accounts are fake: “Facebook estimates that 4.8% are duplicate accounts, 2.4% are user-misclassified accounts, and 1.5% are undesirable accounts.”
  • We want to ensure that one of the core tenets of Facebook is that you have your unique identity on Facebook.” -Facebook’s Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson to Business Insider

3) Facebook to roll out more Timeline changes

  • In New Zealand and parts of Europe, FB has started to roll out new changes to Timeline. Changes to expect for profiles (and probably brand pages eventually):
  • Boxes below your cover image will be replaced with a simpler, tabbed design. Posts in single wide column on the left as opposed to being randomly split into two columns.
  • New “collections manager” lets you drag to reorder your collections (e.g. maps and friends)
  • Nods to Twitter: 1) Subscribers will be called followers. Subscribers/followers are different from friends.
  • 2) Your name will appear in white over the bottom of your cover photo. Basic info including location and job will be located to the right of your profile pic instead of below.

4) Facebook Ads, Mobile, and Stock

  • Facebook shares are way up ($30/share).
  • Mobile has gone from being perceived as a challenge to Facebook toa huge opportunity.
  • Mobile revenues predicted to make up 20%-24% of Facebook’s overall top line in Q4-2012, up from 3% in Q2-2012.
  • Analyst Anmuth says mobile will generate $2.13 billion for Facebook in 2013, up from his previous $2 billion estimate.
  • FB mobile revenues to surpass desktop in 2014
  • Ads in the Newsfeed are much more effective than ads on the right side
  • Facebook Gifts – predicted to contribute $1 billion+ by 2015, and 5% of Facebook’s profits in 2013.
  • Advertisers love Facebook’s ad exchange, which has tons of room to grow. –Business Insider 2/2/13

Tips On Tap

1. Home Inventory: As we begin a new year, here’s a life admin tip to ensure that your home or renter’s insurance really will cover you if disaster strikes. With camera phones and free online storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox, you have no excuse not to make a video documenting your possessions and store it in the cloud. Try CNET’s recommended WhatYouOwn – home inventory software. Free trial version for Mac OS or Windows 8. Why create a home inventory:
  • Purchase enough insurance to replace things you own.
  • Get insurance claims settled faster.
  • Substantiate losses for income tax return.

2) AppGratis is a free iPhone app that recommends a new app each day that’s free for that day. It is available on Android in France and should be coming to the US soon. Emily downloaded the super skeuomorphic Daily Weather app. Its merits are discussed.

3) Digitally Imported App– http://www.di.fm/ “Digitally Imported – Addictive Electronic Music 24/7”

  • A free music streaming app with premium membership option.
  • Great for serious electronic and progressive music fans because it is genre-specific and very extensive in sub-genre channels
  • Social: Community tab displays Facebook and Twitter conversations
  • Radio shows can submit demos to be on the dozens of stations
  • They air popular shows like Armin Van Buuren’s A State of Trance, Carl Cox Global with Carl Cox and Friends at scheduled times, otherwise you can stream Channels

Show Notes

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us an (authentic) review!The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming app. If you’re new to Stitcher, please sign up with our link below.Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

Zoroaster Interview: Dan Scanlan on Digital Music Distribution – Episode 9

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Melanie and Emily interview Dan Scanlan, drummer of psych metal band Zoroaster, about the changing landscape of music in the digital age.

    1. Distribution – pros and cons of reaching a wider audience through digital, loss of control
    2. Revenue sources for musicians – mysterious compensation algorithms on YouTube and Pandora
    3. Internet radio – Spotify, iTunes, streaming services
    4. MP3 downloads, CD sales, merchandise, touring, and ticket sales
    5. Amazon, CD Baby, and outlets selling physical albums
    6. Why Dan loves vinyl and 8 tracks

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Emily’s favorite song by Zoroaster- Odyssey (off Matador)

Tips on Tap

  1. Excel – how to open a new instance:
    If you or your company are still using antiquated versions of Microsoft Excel, you’ve likely discovered the frustration of not being able to open two Excel documents in two separate windows, and thus compare side by side in the same view.
    How to get around it:
    Open up the first Excel document
    Create a new shortcut for Excel on your desktop and open Excel using the shortcut
    You should now have two separate windows open for Excel
    In the blank worksheet, use File>Open to open the second document.
  2. How to clear the “other” space on iPad – the yellow bar can take up gigabytes of memory, with phantom files, email attachments, duplicate music files, corrupt data, notes, contacts, unfinished downloads, etc. First try this: Turn off the iPad, plug in to your computer, sync to iTunes. Try using iExplorer. iTunes will not display all the files that will take up “other.” Check your app usage in Settings -> General -> Usage and look for apps with unusually large memory usage. Otherwise, do a backup then full restore. Forum: Apple Support – Yellow Bar “Other” Capacity
  3. Wanelo shopping app and website – This very simple app shows a Pinterest-style mosaic of product images that you can endlessly scroll through. What sets Wanelo apart from Pinterest is that it provides a much easier shopping experience. Every image you see includes the price of the item. A simple tap will take you to the site where the image can be purchased. Yay for mobile commerce! Click here for the web version…be warned, it’s addictive.

Show Notes

Rob Zombie Woolite Commercial (correction: it was Woolite, not Tide):

Thanks Zoroaster for all the swag! We love the Matador posters with cover art by artist Brian Mercer. Zoroaster’s new album, Century of Light, will be released in early spring 2013, also with cover art by Brian Mercer. And thanks Jordan for the fantastic electronic refillable Tagger lighters from NBSP INC.
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You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review! The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below.
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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Xbox Music, Microsoft Surface, and Avoiding Death-by-Cubicle – Episode 6

The Digital Dive Podcast - Melanie Touchstone - Emily Binder - Atlanta skyline
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This week we dive into Pinterest’s new privacy features, Xbox Music and Windows 8, Microsoft Surface, and LinkedIn Endorsements.

I. Mobile Payments– After another Atlanta festival, we follow up on Murder Kroger and Mobile Payments (Ep. 3)– Adventures in trying to pay with mobile while ducking under a funnel cake vendor’s oil vat to reach a power strip

II. Pinterest ups their privacy settings; stalkers wince

III. Microsoft launches Xbox Music, Windows 8, and announces the Microsoft Surface tablet: game changer or another “me too gadget”?

IV. M is crushing on Spotify–but will an upgrade to a Premium account put an end to the honeymoon? (stay tuned)

V. LinkedIn Endorsements – How it works (and why we don’t like it)

 

Tips on Tap:Mother In Law's Tongue plant

1. Dolphin browser for mobile: A fun alternative to your smartphone or tablet’s native browser. Based heavily on gestures. An excellent free app for iOS and Android.

2. Standing desks, dimming your monitor, and other ways to not slowly kill yourself in an office environment. Ergonomics.

3. Emily tells you how to literally clear the air with your Mother-In-Law’s-Tongue…yes you read that correctly. (The best low maintenance, worker-friendly office plant that removes pollutants.)

Listen or subscribe in iTunes

 

Show Notes – Links

1. Pinterest Blog – Announcing Blocking & More Controls 10/17/12

2. Microsoft launches Xbox Music: What you need to know – PC World, 10/14/12

3. More Time Spent Sitting Linked to Higher Risk of Death; Risk Found to Be Independent of Physical Activity Level. Science Daily, 7/23/10

The Microsoft Logo Infographic mentioned in Ep. 6:


You can download or stream this show at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review! The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below.
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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Ask Forgiveness, Not Permission: iOS 6, Futuristic Hiring, App Privacy Pitfalls – Episode 4

The Digital Dive Podcast - Melanie Touchstone - Emily Binder - Atlanta skyline
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iOS 6 update: Apple Maps, user data privacy in apps; future hiring and Big Data- talent management; LinkedIn iPhone app security, Facebook iPhone integration.
Topics:

iOS 6 update

  • Do Not Disturb feature
  • Improved Calendar and Contacts privacy settings
  • Facebook integration, now native:
  • How to turn off syncing your Facebook friends contact info and birthdays into your iPhone
  • The shift toward native iOS control over user data sent to apps
  • Apple Maps vs. Google Maps
  • Passbook and mobile payments
  • iPhone 5
  • Lightning dock connector

Big Data and Future Hiring Practices:

  • Talent based hiring allows employee screening, questionable?*
  • Psychographic profiling

Ask forgiveness, not permission app developer culture

  • LinkedIn iPhone app privacy issues

Random: Emily’s continued “In the Future” theories: inter-vehicle communication

The Sass: Who would seriously put their mobile phone number on Facebook?

Tips on Tap:

1. Windows: How to rename a batch of IMG_xxxx photos with a category name such as Beach_Day_043

2. Employee online monitoring at work: packet sniffers and how to hide your activity using a VPN. (Or just don’t do anything you know you shouldn’t do.)

3. iconfinder.com is a free graphics website with royalty free .png images useful for infographics, chiclets, and blog images*

Listen or subscribe in iTunes

*Show Notes – Links

1. Your iPhone calendar isn’t private—at least if you use the LinkedIn app | The app scrapes subject lines, meeting times, participants, notes, and more. 6/6/12 (Note: the app has since been updated, but for context see article)

2. Meet the New Boss: Big Data | Companies Trade In Hunch-Based Hiring for Computer Modeling. 9/20/12

3. iconfinder.com


You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please leave us a review!

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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Murder Kroger and Mobile Payments- Episode 3

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In Episode 3 of The Digital Dive PodcastTM Emily and Melanie complain about current mobile payment technology holding them back in the slow lane of life, forcing young women to stand at cashless ATMs on Ponce near Murder Kroger. Apologies for any sound quality issues on this episode – it was our third. Enjoy the wonky first edition donut as well.

Topics:

  • Apple and Samsung patent lawsuit
  • 05:10-07:33  Effects on Pandora stock after announcement that Apple is in talks about an ad-supported radio network to be native on iOS
  • 07:34 – Mobile payments and banking apps, NFC, QR code and barcode scanners, Paypal, LevelUp new NFC dock
  • Future of FinTech (financial technology)
  • McDonald’s French Paypal payment experiment
  • 16:10  Walmart, Target, and Best Buy retailers joining to create mobile payment app Merchant Customer Exchange
  • 20:45 – Tips on Tap:
    • Google Maps enhanced directions with Pegman to duplex screen
    • Digital Color Meter app on Mac OS – graphic design or web dev useful app
    • Uber taxi service – mobile app

    Note 9/16/12: Clarification — Bump does not use NFC. iPhones do not have NFC.

Fun stuff we mentioned:

Ping (fail)
Bump (what ever happened to it?)
public libraries
Emily’s suggestions for GA PeachPass to be more friendly to car rental companies (20:05)


You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please leave us a review!

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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Facestagram – Episode 2

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Topics: The 8/16/12 Instagram update, pros and cons of Instagram Photo Maps, Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, and Facebook’s mobile app update. Listen for the frightening third Tip on Tap at the end.

Listen or subscribe in iTunes

We promise this will be the last episode for a long time in which we focus on Instagram. We do know about other topics. Thanks for listening. Episode 3 will be posted between Monday 9/10/12 – Tuesday 9/11/12.


You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please leave us a review!

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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Sense of Entitlement – Episode 1

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The long awaited first episode of The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Emily Binder of emilybinder.com and Melanie Touchstone of missmelt.com discuss a smattering of digital topics from social marketing to search, Facebook, Pinterest, Google, and Instagram, to user psychology and more (in less than 23 minutes!)
What you need to know about technology… without ever fully giving in.

Listen or subscribe in iTunes

This twenty-five minute bi-weekly podcast quickly hashes out and ties together what’s happening in digital that matters: social media, marketing, emerging technology, and guilty tech/app/ego pleasures.

Topics:

  • Instagram
  • Sense of entitlement and privacy demands
  • Facebook
  • Like button / +1 button
  • Google. Social search.
  • Pinterest
  • Social bookmarking. Twitter – favorite tweets.
  • Tips on Tap – 3 Things to Know This Week

Bear with us as we get this thing rolling. Questions or comments? Write below or tweet us @thedigitaldive_ or @emilybinder or @misssmelt

You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory –> If you like the show, please leave us a review!

Follow us on Twitter @thedigitaldive_  and Like us on Facebook. (Really, help us spread our seed!)

On Vimeo: The Digital Dive Podcast

The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in