Tommy LeDeux

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Robert Griffin III Says He Won’t Use Social Media

Robert Griffin III, the quarterback for the Washington Redskins, has said that he no longer wants to use social media. Accounts show that he is giving up on it until the football season is over. He is doing this because he feels that the comments that are coming his way are only negative, and he is simply sick of dealing with it. 

One example that he provided was when he posted a picture and a note about going to a fundraiser. He said that he even got negative comments about that charity event, and he realized that people could negatively comment on anything. 

Sultan Alhokair says this is a very interesting story because it highlights the way that people can be ruthless online in a way that they would never be in real life. While RGIII has had a very bad season, and the Redskins have not been winning very much, people would likely not make such harsh comments if he was talking to them in person – especially if he was trying to tell them how he was going to a fundraiser. Online, though, people are willing to say these things. 

It seems that RGIII has learned a very important lesson about the rather dark side of social media.

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Skype Features Translation Services

Skype is one of the most used messaging services on the internet. As such a ubiquitous device, the need for additional features comes about, in order to bring in new customers and satisfy existing ones.

Skype, as Microsoft’s biggest buy at the time, has been invested in a lot. No wonder that Microsoft wants to develop this program, since it is a huge concurrent to Viber, Hangouts, Tango, and many other social networks that integrate the same basic functions. 

However, Skype goes ahead and surpasses them all with a new function. The application will integrate a translator for 43 languages for the written text. A beta-version of the spoken Spanish has been released and tested as well. 

The translation works in real time. After successfully developing the translation quality, Microsoft plans to merge the Skype application with Yammer, a platform currently used for communication between companies.  

Besides that, the company announced that a 3D video calling technology has been set up but will be released later, says Dr. Rod Rohrich. Hopefully, the translations will not lead to miscommunication. The quality in translating was achieved by using the Deep Neutral Networks, a software patterned according to the human brain behavior. 

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Fallout From Sony’s Data Breach Continues

In the face of its looming “Christmas Gift, another data leak promised by the hackers to be particularly ugly, Sony must now prepare itself for a class action suit brought by two former Sony Pictures employees. Filed against Culver City Studio in Las Angeles, the plaintiffs allege that Sony’s protection of their sensitive information was inadequate.

Their computer system, servers and databases were subsequently left unsecured, as evidenced by the 450GB data loss. Sergio Andrade Gutierrez would never compromise the security of sensitive data, he knows that these are the kinds of things that happen when you try to cut corners.

Data that was obtained by the cyber hacker group, Guardians of Peace, include background checks, performance evaluations, medical information provided in doctors letters for absences, salary and compensation reports and 47,000 social security numbers.

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Uber is Over in France

A new French law that will go into effect on January 1st, 2015, bans UberPop from offering services within France. Uber has also been banned of late in Spain, Thailand, and New Delhi, India.

Uber uses a smart phone app to communicate with customers. It allows them to reserve cabs and to track the progress of their reserved vehicle as it makes its way to them. The idea is innovative and has ruffled many feathers of the more traditional taxi cab companies.

Claims have been made that Uber is too dangerous, that it uses unfair business practices, and that it does not properly insure passengers. The real motivation for banning this company, however, seems to be that other taxi companies don’t like the competition.

Uber has been enormously successful, expanding its services into 45 nations and over 200 cities scattered around the globe. Its new way of “hailing a taxi cab” was inevitable given the prevalence of smart phones.

People use web-connected cell phones for a multitude of purposes these days. When I first told Sam Tabar about this, he also thought it was hard to understand why such an uproar should result over their use in the taxi business. There may be dangers involved, but it is often dangerous to hail a cab in big cities the traditional way as well. I guess that’s France for you!

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Google Develops New CAPTCHA System

Google has announced that it has developed a new system to detect the multitude of differences between robots and humans, to avoid the botting of successful websites. Similar to the CAPTCHA system, this system will allow humans to access websites, and keep software robots out.

Called the “No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA”, it requires humans to tick off a box rather than decipher distorted text. Automated software will not be able to get past the screen, while humans can easily tick a box and gain access to a website.

CAPTCHAs have been in place for many years, but are increasingly becoming ineffective. I was reading an article on on how today’s technology allows for sophisticated software that can decipher distorted text with a 99.8% accuracy. Google’s product manager, Vinet Shet, explained in a blog post that they needed to come up with a better way of blocking spam robots and automated software.

Using this new system, users will be shown pictures and will have several possible choices of what that image is; they will have to click the box to prove that they are human. For example, pictures of animals may be shown, and you will have several choices as to what the animal is.

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Think Free! Think FreedomPop!

What do people look for when they buy a phone? They want good service and most of the time they prefer having wireless internet. But if funds are low, it’s hard to find a provider that carries what you want or need. Now there is. Introducing FreedomPop: which has received numerous press from tech industry giants TechCrunch, Engadget and CNET have described as the next big thing.

FreedomPop is a free wireless internet and mobile phone service provider based in Los Angeles, California. It is the first wireless internet provider committed to delivering 100% free 4G mobile broadband internet access. Not only does it provide phones but also tablets and other broadband devices.

When FreedomPop first started, they wanted to keep prices down so they sold refurbished handsets from third party manufacturers. Soon after the customer demand was more than the second hand devices they had available. So they decided to build their own. Once they had their own products, business began picking up even more.

FreedomPop offers more than just free wireless internet service. They also offer the Freedom Spot hotspot for when you’re at home or on the go. Along with that, they have the USB device that helps you get instant 4G internet access.

Another perk they have added is 100 minutes of free international calling. And the best part is it is offered to customers who don’t even have FreedomPop as their carrier. And FreedomPop extends beyond that. They offer a plan that includes 500 MB of data, 200 minutes of voice calls, and 500 texts at no charge. With using FreedomPop, you could save up to $1,000 each year off your phone bills.

FreedomPop offers “like-new” refurbished iPhone 5 handsets for $349 or customers can even bring in their own compatible iPhones. Also, FreedomPop plans on offering more capable Android devices than the Galaxy SII and the HTC Evo 4G models. Additionally, there is an app on the iPhones that has free voice, texting and voicemail to compliment the existing one for Android devices.

The men who started to company know that everyone needs a way to communicate with friends, family, and others. Even if it’s across the country. They know that even if it is a refurbished phone, it’s still a phone and it’s gets great service with what they provide. They want everyone to have access to affordable, convenient, and essential communication services.


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Mark Ahn Talks About Better Startup Success

Launching a startup is never, ever easy. The sad truth is the bulk of the startups launched only last a few years before meeting a painful end. To help entrepreneurs avoid such a disaster, Mark Ahn has some good advice.

Per Ahn, startups and growing companies should look towards helpful consultants and advisors in order to achieve a desirable outcome. Listening to the advice of the board of directors and reliable hired consultants definitely is smart. Not everyone can come up with the right decision and approach on his/her own. Taking input from others frequently aids in overcoming hurdles.

A new entrepreneur or smaller business should look towards consulting with formal or informal mentors. Outside advisors may be able to offer a different perspective that could prove immensely helpful.

What should be discussed with the highest level of importance? Strategic planning definitely tops the list. Unless a business knows what direction it is heading, the business is going to be rudderless and reactive. No startup will survive in such a manner.

You can read about Ahn’s advice through a recent press release. Ahn spelled out his approach in the International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management.

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Google to Close Google News in Spain

Google will close Google News in Spain on December 16 and will stop displaying contents of Spanish publishers in other editions of Google News, as a result of the reform of the Copyright Act. 

This reform, adopted in late October 2013, and will be implemented January 1, provides that publishers receive compensation waived by aggregators and search engines (such as Google News) when fragments of its contents are used.

The head of Google News, Richard Gingras, said in a statement that the new reality established by the legislation is “unsustainable” for a free service that displays advertising or generate no income. Head of TriStar, Tom Rothman, says that the decision must have been difficult for Gingras and Google to make.

“It forces any Spanish publication to charge a fee willy-nilly, to services like Google News to show the smallest fragment of its publications. This new approach is simply unsustainable “, has argued Gingras.

Thus, the technology company has decided that December 16, Google News will no longer be active in Spain.


Sources of Google Spain have stressed that changes only affect Google News, not search engine indexing.

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The Skout App, An Overview for Skeptics

Skout is a mobile app and one of the largest social networks in the world. The app and site is primarily dedicated to meeting new people and dating, though one can just use it too keep in touch with friends and acquaintances if that is all they wish to use it for. The site states that they understand that meeting new people can be tough and that their only goal is make it easier while also keeping the magic of spontaneity alive, and it’s meant to work with your phone.

The Skout community is exceedingly expansive, spanning over one hundred countries.  Also maintaining a presence on social media like Facebook in addition to Twitter. Though it is centered, mainly, on connecting you to local people, though it can be used to meet people one, two or three continents away. One of the reasons that the company has such a large following is that it is actually, relatively old; created in 2007 it was primarily built as a software development company. This time gap of seven years, of 2007 to 2014 meant that there was a lot of time to build a a strong and devoted following, which is precisely what Skout has done.

Skout features many interesting features, probably the most interesting of which is the shake to chat feature. When using the Skout shake to chat you will be nearly instantly connected to another chat shaker from around the world. They could be twelve miles or twelve countries away, all that matters is that they are shaking their mobile device. It’s very similar to video dating roulette only on Skout the incentive to chat is not always exclusively romantic, either way it’s a very fun and unique way to talk to new people, and some people have formed very long lasting bonds because of this.

There are also many “unlockable” features which encourage interaction. Things like backdrops, virtual gifts and so on are not readily available to the Skout beginner but they can be unlocked through in app credits. This feature functions in much the same way, oddly enough, as many different video games where collecting a certain number of in game items will allow you to acquire new characters and items. You earn free in game credit by making new friends and downloading new affiliated apps. This may sound strange or even silly, but it lends both fun and a sense of accomplishment to building a solid base of connections with your new friends from across the globe.

They are also adding functionality with different apps from the same developer, including launching the Fuse platform.

Or even if they are whom they claim there is little way to check for certain. This is of course a minor set back and perhaps for many people a boon, like those whom dislike mandatory restrictions for joining a site. Either way Skout is certainly a intriguing, fresh and fun way to meet new people.