“The tech industry is, frankly, being greedy. They are going back and asking for changes to language they helped write and blatantly trying to roll back requirements that give high-skilled American workers a fair shot at getting a job,” said AFL-CIO legislative Representative Andrea Zuniga DiBitetto about new proposals to ease the hiring of high-skilled foreign workers.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly called Senator Orin Hatch to push more tech-friendly changes to the comprehensive immigration reform bill. Among Hatch’s most contentious suggestions is an end to a 90-day wait period before companies can solicit applicants with a foreign work visa. According to Reuters, under Hatch’s amendment, employers would only have to make a good-faith effort to hire Americans.
While, conceptually, comprehensive immigration reform has strong bi-partisan support, its passage is far from certain. Reuters could not report whether unions would support the bill, should Hatch’s changes go through.
Many unions have been long-time opponents of high-skilled immigration reform. Most recently, the union-backed Economic Policy Institute published (and criticized) a study on why the need for high-skilled immigrants was a myth.
Should the unions lose this latest battle in the Senate, it will demonstrate their decline relative to the tech industry.
How do you market a hot new TV show without the benefit of commercial space that you can fill with network promos? Just ask Netflix. The company has come up with a number of clever marketing stunts to get the word out about the upcoming premiere of Arrested Development ranging from Easter eggs on Netflix.com to this month’s live frozen banana stand in New York, which was visited by hundreds. It even sent around jokey emails to the media, reportedly from “Dr. Tobias Funke.”
The latest to get in on the action is Seamless.com, which has partnered with Netflix to offer an ordering page for “Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana.” If you don’t know what that is, then go watch the show, I guess.
The menu, which went live on Monday, is filled with food and drink items referencing the Bluth family, including the option to buy a double-dipped frozen, or a nice martini to accompany your snack. Unfortunately, the delivery minimum is $250,000.00, so you probably can’t afford to eat there.
Oh ha, ha.
Though these publicity stunts are funny, they do in fact have a serious purpose – Netflix needs to make original content work, and part of that is making sure its users (and potential users) know that content is out there. With a cult classic like “Arrested Development” on its hands – a show with the potential to top Netflix’s most-watched program, the original series “House of Cards” – it’s important to get the word out.
A study from February of this year suggested that Netflix’s quality, original programming has the potential to not only bring in new subscribers but keep current ones from canceling. About 86 percent of those surveyed said they would be less likely to cancel after watching “House of Cards,” for example.
“Arrested Development” was a critical darling and beloved by many, but it didn’t have the numbers to keep it on the TV airwaves. However, Netflix doesn’t need a TV-sized audience to make this model work. It only needs the niche audiences surrounding this show and others who, combined, can make up a significantly sized viewer base. That leaves the network (we’re calling Netflix a network now, right?) the wiggle room to have a little fun with its promotional stunts, instead of having to spend big on mass-media campaigns.
Here is the original post: Now Netflix Is Promoting “Arrested Development” On Seamless.com
Google sadly scrapped its plans to introduce a plastic “universal” credit card that works at point-of-sale as a way to use its Google Wallet service out in the real world, but the company has not given up on its NFC-powered payments solution just yet. The company announced Wednesday evening that the Google Wallet app now works on more phones: the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note II and HTC One on Sprint and the Samsung Galaxy Note II on US Cellular.
As you may have noticed, there’s a looming problem with Google Wallet, and no, it’s not international support. It’s that Google still can’t roll the app out across the U.S. Of the big four mobile carriers here, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile, all but Sprint are backing a competing NFC-based payments initiative called Isis. Though this program is only in pilot trials in Austin and Salt Lake City, it’s clear the carriers are hoping to delay and impede progress of competitive solutions when they can, using regulatory red tape and any other legal loopholes they can find.
In Verizon’s case, the company skirted around the FCC’s 2012 decree which said it couldn’t block applications from download, with a few exceptions. (Initially, the carrier blocked the installation of the application from Google Play entirely.) According to Verizon, the secure element being used in Google Wallet is the issue. The carrier told the FCC that the app requires integration with the secure element on the device – something that makes it different from other m-commerce apps like Square or PayPal. And this is a “secure and proprietary piece of hardware” that’s “fundamentally separate from the device’s basic communications functions or its operating system,” said Verizon.
“Verizon has a straightforward process under which Google or others could launch devices on Verizon’s network with Google Wallet included,” Verizon responded at the time of the FCC inquiry.
In a sense, the carrier is positioning the Google Wallet app as something that requires additional oversight and control because of the way it integrates with phone hardware. Nevermind that the Verizon-backed Isis solution works in almost exactly the same way. (More on that here - specifically, see the amended complaint the site links to for a discussion of technical issues.)
So Google Wallet’s app continues to be non-functional on Verizon today.
Meanwhile, other carriers like T-Mobile don’t even seem to be bothering to try and hide the fact that they’re actively stopping the app from working on their devices because of their involvement with Isis. Take T-Mobile for example, which in response to a question about why Google Wallet doesn’t work on the Note II, May 16, 2013 “>posted on Twitter today:
— T-Mobile USA (@TMobileHelp) May 16, 2013
Oh, Isis is the “standard” now, not NFC? Nice try, T-Mobile.
Looking for someone who can easily convert a Joomla template into a wordpress theme to work flawlessly within wordpress but remain the same look. Must work 100% when completed within WP.
Category: Design & Multimedia > Emails & Newsletters
Type and Budget: Fixed price (Less than $500) Escrow
Time Left: 59 d, 23 h (Ends Jul 15, 2013 13:52 pm ET)
Start Date: Start Immediately
Client Info: 2 jobs posted, 0% awarded, $0 total purchased, Payment Method Verified
Client Location: , United States
Preferred Job Location: Anywhere
Desired Skills: Adobe Photoshop CSS Graphic Design Web Design joomla
Job ID: 41620046
Pinterest works best on the web, with its big images and pinning from other browser tabs. But mobile is the future and Pinterest needs to play catch up there. Today Pinterest mobile added search suggestions to make single screen pinning easier. Its iOS and Android apps also got basics like notifications and mentions. Pinterest will need to add value, not just port its website, to win on mobile.
The problem with Pinterest on mobile is that it’s fundamentally a collection site — and you need other places to collect from. That’s a breeze on the web with its bookmarklet for pinning, or quick multi-window browsing so you can add things onto your boards. But on mobile with just one screen visible, finding content can be a chore.
Pinterest is trying to fix this with a few updates today. First, search suggestions, also known as a typeahead, can quickly find you people or things when you just type a few letters. Instead of having to dream up what kind of apple-based recipes other users are pinning, typing “apple” now reveals a drop down of suggestions like apple pie (expected) and apple cider vinegar (now that’s discovery).
Pinterest’s iOS app, but not Android, also now allows you to type in URLs within the app by hitting the ‘+’ sign at the bottom of the screen to bring in outside content. However, most people don’t know the exact URLs they’d want to pin from, so this may work better with cut and paste. Still, you’re going to have to jump back and forth between your mobile browser and Pinterest to make it work. That’s a lot more friction than on the web.
Finally, both of Pinterest’s core apps got some fundamentals added. Somehow there were not in-app or push notifications before, but now there’s both. You can also now tag people with @mentions from mobile, which feeds in nicely with the new notifications.
Pinterest is one company I’m honestly a little worried about when it comes to mobile. I feel like the nesting instinct is very natural on the desktop that you’re often using from home, your real nest. On mobile the desire to collect and arrange seems both less natural and inherently more difficult with the small screen. Pinterest might flourish on the tablet, but it will have to work hard to make its phone experience as alluring.
It needs to add unique value on the platform that takes advantage of mobile. Pin suggestions based on nearby businesses and board suggestions based on nearby users. Instant uploads from your camera roll to a private board might be a bit aggressive, but some way to more easily pin photos you’ve taken on the go would be great. Whatever is does, it needs to go beyond cramming its website into a smaller box.