blog

TWiT episode 99

Hey. I’m on TWiT.tv

Jason Howell and Mika Sargent invited me on to their show last week Thursday to chat about Hong Kong, technology, and my Bridgefy story. That story tells how Hong Kong protestors are using technology to communicate while avoiding China’s censorship. You can catch the episode in video here or as an audio podcast via Apple

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Apple’s 6 Consumer Subscription Services Will Cost You $100/month

Apple just announced TV+ and Apple Arcade at its September Apple event. Now, getting all of the company’s consumer subscription services will cost you around $100/month. And that doesn’t include AppleCare. Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Apple Hints China Behind ‘Billion Device iPhone Hack’ That Google Reported

Apple, Google, and China are all bound up in the news this morning, thanks to an Apple statement released this morning. A week ago, Google released details of a hack that could essentially own your iPhone, just by visiting a website. Never mentioned by Google: which websites, where they were, or who they impacted. But today, Apple

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Alleged Global Google Privacy Leak: ‘GDPR Workaround’ Could Incur $5.4B Fine

Startup browser maker Brave has filed new evidence with the Irish Data Protection Commission stating that Google has created a GDPR workaround that is sharing the personal data of billions of people to thousands of companies globally. If upheld, this could cost Google $5.4 billion. Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Internet advertising growth is slowing. Here’s what’s changing … and why

Read this sentence slowly: pre-movie ads at the theater will grow faster than internet advertising next year. You got that right. Ads shown for 10-20 minutes to a paying audience waiting for the real show to start will grow faster than the fastest, most modern, most digital advertising ecosystem ever created. The most annoying part of going

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A modern marketers’ survival guide to the data explosion

CMO’s biggest priority in 2019 is getting actionable insights from data. We know this because they’ve told us. “With the exponential growth of data over the past decade and into the new year, it’s becoming harder daily to turn information into action,” says SurveyMonkey CMO Leela Srinivasan. “While more data has the potential to deliver more

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Growth loops: How to win the $5.6 trillion digital commerce market

E-commerce and m-commerce are hard. Retail in general is challenging, and digital commerce has both giant international competitors like Amazon and Alibaba. Plus, there are hugely successful direct-to-consumer startups like Dollar Shave Club (now owned by Unilever), Casper in the mattress industry, Allbirds in shoes, and Bonobos in clothing. So how do you scale profitable growth?

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CGO-led brands are 65% more likely to invest in new marketing technology

A CGO is a growth catalyst who brings together almost every department in a company to stimulate growth, including product development, customer support, sales, and yes — of course — marketing. But how do they drive growth? And, how different is a company with a chief growth officer than one without? Here’s three key differences that our recent survey of 700

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Singular releases breakthrough deterministic Android Install Validation for mobile app install fraud prevention

Mobile marketing is a high-stakes game of cyber warfare, and the fraudsters are winning. Advertisers will lose as much as $42 billion in 2019 to digital ad fraud, according to Juniper Research. To fight back, Singular has built a team of cyber-security experts with roots in Unit 8200, the elite Israeli intelligence division that has

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Bridgefy

Hong Kong Protestors Using Mesh Messaging App China Can’t Block: Usage Up 3685%

How do you communicate when the government censors the internet? With a peer-to-peer mesh broadcasting network that doesn’t use the internet. That’s exactly what Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are doing now, thanks to San Fransisco startup Bridgefy’s Bluetooth-based messaging app. The protesters can communicate with each other — and the public — using no persistent

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5G

Global First: Korea’s SK Telecom Breaks 1 Million 5G Subscriber Mark

SK Telecom in South Korea announced today that it has surpassed one million 5G subscribers in just 140 days after launching service. That’s twice as fast as its LTE uptake in 2011. The big difference with 5G? People are using 65% more data on 5G than LTE. Get the full story in my post at

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Apple Card Launches For Everyone. Now Credit Is As Private As Cash

Apple Card is launching this morning to every Apple customer in the U.S., the company announced this morning.  With the launch Apple takes one more step away from the old Apple Computer, or even the Apple mobile company that has become of the most valuable companies in the world, and another step towards technology-mediated services. And now

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Amazon Boosts Spending 300%: Now Outspending Netflix As Top Streaming Advertiser

Amazon Prime Video is now outspending Netflix as the top streaming or over-the-top video advertiser, according to a new study by MediaRadar.  And not just by a little. Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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State Farm: 15 Keys To Successful Digital Transformation (Learned The Hard Way)

State Farm is almost the opposite of a tech startup. It’s a 100-year-old company with 58,000 employees, 19,000 independent agents, and 84 million customer accounts. State Farm is #36 on the Fortune 500 and has been the #1 insurer in the United States for the last 70 years. But three years ago, State Farm executives

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Internet advertising growth is slowing. Here’s what’s changing … and why

Read this sentence slowly: pre-movie ads at the theater will grow faster than internet advertising next year. You got that right. Ads shown for 10-20 minutes to a paying audience waiting for the real show to start will grow faster than the fastest, most modern, most digital advertising ecosystem ever created. The most annoying part of going

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Smartphone Shipments: Apple Down 12%, LG Down 18.5%, Samsung And Huawei Both Up

Clearly, smartphones are the new PCs: global shipments are down for the seventh straight quarter. Globally, smartphone shipments dipped to 360 million in the second quarter of 2019, down 1.2% or 4.3 million devices from the same quarter in 2018. But Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, Xiaomi, and Vivo bucked the trend. Get the full story

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The EU Just Threatened Facebook’s Biggest (And Least-Known) Advantage

Most tech companies know about you when you visit their websites or use their apps. Some however, like Facebook, know about you on virtually every important site on the planet … and the majority of top apps as well. But the European Union just threatened that massive data source. Get the full story in my

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Facebook Fined $5B? Big Deal … Last Quarter’s Revenue Was 3X More

Facebook was fined $5 billion by the FTC today. Good thing for Zuckerberg and company that its latest quarter racked up $16.6 billion in revenue.  The fine was a new record for the FTC, almost 2000% more than the next biggest: Equifax. It’s for Facebook’s violation of user privacy in the Cambridge Analytica case and other breaches of privacy

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Amazon Antitrust Inevitable? 71% Of Retailers Fear Its Pricing Power

Almost three-quarters of U.S. retailers fear being outpriced by Amazon, according to a new study of 500 retail executives. That compares to just under half being concerned by traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. The question is: why aren’t the other 29% worried? Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Controversy Good For Business? FaceApp Downloads Jumped 561%

Controversy must be great for business. Face-altering entertainment app FaceApp, which claims rights to your face for the privilege of aging you, changing your look, or making you look younger, is blowing up. How fast? Over 500% in just the last six days. Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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So my FaceApp story was shared over 1.25 million times (!!!)

I’m speechless … Here’s MuckRack’s post about trending news on that day (search for Forbes on that page to find their note) and here’s the page that shows total shares … Pretty safe to say that with about 3 million views and over a million shares, this is my most popular story of all time.

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Viral App FaceApp Now Owns Access To More Than 150 Million People’s Faces And Names

Everyone’s seen them: friends posting pictures of themselves now, and years in the future.  Viral app FaceApp has been giving people the power to change their facial expressions, looks, and now age for several years. But at the same time, people have been giving FaceApp the power to use their pictures — and names —

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AI and marketing: 1500 mobile marketers’ top 10 goals for AI

We already know that actionable insights are CMOs’ top priority in 2019. AI is a big way they’re planning to get there. One big reason: the need for performance at scale. One of Singular’s customers, N3twork, tests 50 new videos a week. Another, Yelp, needs to analyze hundreds of campaigns and even more creatives … in real time. Ilyon already had

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CGO-led brands are 65% more likely to invest in new marketing technology

A CGO is a growth catalyst who brings together almost every department in a company to stimulate growth, including product development, customer support, sales, and yes — of course — marketing. But how do they drive growth? And, how different is a company with a chief growth officer than one without? Here’s three key differences that our recent survey of 700

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Why Amazon Ranks Best And Walmart Ranks Worst: 7000-Consumer Study

Amazon’s mid-summer consumer extravaganza is almost over, but the fact that the company has managed to invent its own shopping holiday speaks volumes of its dominant position on top of the retail landscape. Which is probably why Amazon was rated “best” by 21% of American consumers in a mammoth 7,000-person study for the second year

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Zoom Surrenders: Removes Ability For Hackers To Remotely Turn On Your Webcam

Zoom just released a software update that removes an open web server that it used to install on Mac users’ computers. The web server was open to malicious attacks which could enable hackers to remotely turn on your webcam and record you in your home or office. “We are discontinuing the use of a local web server

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Facebook’s Oculus Quest Fixes VR: This Is A Game Changer

Facebook’s Oculus Quest is a game-changer device that puts us back on track for Ready Player One experiences. Of course, a full Spielberg’s Ready Player One experience is still in the far future. But now it’s easy to see the path forward, mostly because Oculus Quest has fixed the single biggest problem with VR: the

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10 reasons marketers fail (and how they can start outperforming the competition)

Why are you not reaching your maximum level as a marketer? Your goal as a marketer is to drive your company’s growth performance. That might be user acquisition. It might be customer retention. It might be share of wallet, revenue, or some other metric that is critical to you. WHATEVER. Your goal is to beat

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Shoot-out at the EV charger: Three critically injured in Alabama conflict over charging time

This is the eleventh chapter of Insights from the Future, a book I’m writing about technology, innovation, and people … from the perspective of the future. It is a collaborative exercise, and you are invited to participate. August 17, 2025 Three Alabama men are in hospital today after a woman opened fire at an electric vehicle charging

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Click & Drag AI: Salesforce Releasing New Commerce Tools, Promising 3X Faster Development

CRM vendor Salesforce is releasing new AI-powered shopping experience design tools today, along with updated email marketing tools and new messaging tools that will allow companies to communicate to customers on virtually any messaging channel customers prefer. The result? Three times faster development, according to Bobby Amezaga, Salesforce’s senior director of product marketing. Get the full

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