Category Archives: iPhone

Social Media Matters: Samsung pulls its controversial ad

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Nov. 23, 2012
Metro section

Samsung pulls its controversial ad

Samsung’s recent very popular viral video ad made fun of seemingly delusional Apple iPhone owners. We all laughed. Even Apple owners sheepishly laughed, likely after recognizing themselves in the parodied Apple owners shown in the Samsung Galaxy S III ad.

That ad was OK. We laughed. Even the objects of derision in the ad laughed. It was all in good fun while making a strong marketing point at the same time.

But Samsung admitted very quickly that they went too far recently with a video called Don’t Give Up on Puppy Love which depicted computers as puppies. When the computer’s owners got sick or frustrated with their computer (depicted as a computer with puppy-like features), they pretty much destroyed it in a variety of ways, leaving viewers appalled that cruelty against animals was being made light of.

The primary goal of the video was to sell viewers on the option of purchasing a new Samsung SSD 840, a solid state storage drive, instead of throwing out their computer. Instead, Samsung admitted failure after a flurry of negative comments and dislikes on the video. The video lasted only one day online before it was pulled.

It’s one step forward, two steps back for Samsung’s viral video marketing efforts.

Obama pic most popular post ever on Twitter

In the early hours of Nov. 7, shortly after he was declared re-elected, U.S. President Barack Obama’s team posted a photo to Twitter of the president and First Lady Michelle Obama hugging to say thank you to their supporters.

Almost immediately, the photo became the most popular post ever on Twitter. As of Nov. 20, it’s been retweeted more than 817,000 times and favourited nearly 300,000 times. The tweet merely said, “Four more years” and included a link to the photo. Seems like the Twitter universe was quite satisfied with Mr. Obama’s re-election.

Social media squeals on Taliban

Photo courtesy of CNN.

Four Los Angeles-area men have been arrested after their social media activity allegedly showed they were Taliban sympathizers.

According to a CNN item dated Nov. 20, the men “were allegedly on their way to Afghanistan to train with the Taliban and join al Qaeda, federal officials said. They were also plotting to kill American soldiers and bomb government installations, according to a joint statement Monday by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.”

Three of the men openly discussed their “radical leanings” on Facebook for more than a year. Unfortunately for them, however, one of the men also unknowingly took part in an online discussion with an FBI employee where he “detailed his intentions to participate in jihad.” Another man was later recruited to join the original three in their training which they hoped would eventually lead to wreaking havoc on the U.S. military and government.

The four men range in age from 21 to 34 and come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, according to the article, including Filipino, Vietnamese, Mexican and Afghani. One of them was even a member of the U.S. Air Force from 2000 until he was honourably discharged in 2001. If convicted, each faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature up to three YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Nov. 20. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver

1) Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube (56,705 subscribers): The affable British celebrity chef is just as popular in North America as he is across the Atlantic Ocean. A frequent guest on U.S. and Canadian television shows, Oliver’s back-to-basics no-nonsense style has earned him a legion of fans. One of his pet projects is bringing real food back into school cafeterias. Playlists include Jamie’s 15-minute meals, Jamie’s Great Britain, Jamie’s home cooking skills, and Jamie in the media. The channel is very popular with more than 10 million total video views. (Most popular video: Jamie Oliver’s TED Award speech – 669,648 views.)

Mott's Clamato Juice
Mott’s Clamato Juice

2) Mott’s Clamato Canada (6 subscribers): Clamato juice is the main non-booze ingredient in the ever-popular Caesar (or “bloody” Caesar) cocktail drink. Clamato juice is a mixture of tomato juice, spices and clam broth. Motts, by the way is owned by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. The channel is relatively new, having only begun in August. So far, the seven video uploaded have accumulated a total of more than 12,000 views. Many of the videos feature the brand’s new spokesman, Caesar Clint, described as the “new Mott’s Clamato Caesar Mixing Officer.” (Most popular video: Need holiday season tips? – 2,930 views.)

Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray

3) Ocean Spray (82 subscribers): I find it odd that a nearly seven-year-old YouTube channel from one of North America’s highest profile food brands only has 82 subscribers. Maybe they joined years ago and just got active lately? I don’t know. The channel features 354 videos that have a total of 36,518 views. Playlists include Taste Testimonials, and Bogs Across America. (Most popular video: Bog Guys Boast Cranberry Benefits with Ocean Spray CEO – 6,839 views.)

Social Media Matters: Remembrance Day resources are online

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Nov. 9, 2012
Metro section

Remembrance Day resources are online

Looking for Remembrance Day-related resources online? In Canada, the two primary websites in the lead up to Nov. 11 are the Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada. Also, be sure to check out the True Patriot Love Foundation, an organization that supports members of the Canadian military and their families.

British resources include the Royal British Legion and the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency, while American resources include The American Legion and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

New Brunswick-made iPhone apps

Noel Chenier
Noel Chenier

Yes, there are people right here in New Brunswick who are developing smartphone applications (“apps”) that are made available to users around the world.

Saint John-based Telegraph-Journal photographer and instructor Noel Chenier is the latest New Brunswicker to throw his hat in the ring with a trio of photography-related apps for digital cameras and the iPhone and iPod Touch. Noel has created three apps that teach users how to take better photos.

According to his Facebook page, the first version is called Photography Assignment Generator and is for those with SLR advanced point-and-shoot cameras. For shooting with iPhones or iPod Touches, he’s created iPhotography Assignment Generator. There’s also a free version called Photography Assignment Generator Free.

The paid versions of the apps are only $2.99 and are available through the iTune store. The easiest way to find them, however is to link directly through to the apps via Noel’s website.

According to Noel’s website, the apps offer “over 100 individual assignments and thousands of potential random ones! Everything from camera settings, rules of composition, creative shooting techniques, photographing people, landscape and nature, and more subjects! Random objects and places, combined with techniques, environments, offer you hundreds of thousands of possibilities! The scavenger hunt assignment gives you lists of terms to find with your camera… with millions of possible combinations! You can choose from the list, or have the app give you one at random!”

Christmas music online

Holidays Radio on AccuRadioIf you’re ready to get into the holiday mood right now and can’t wait until December, be sure to check out AccuRadio, a phenomenal (and free!) online radio service that has music for every taste, including a really good holiday music selection that is broadcast year-round.

Christmas channels include classical, pop, country, easy listening, jazz, party, kids, Broadway and channels devoted exclusively to multitudes of versions of specific songs such as “Greensleeves” and “Joy to the World.” My personal favourite for relaxation is the classical Christmas channel which often plays in the background as I work.

The nice thing about AccuRadio is that you can skip the song you’re listening to if you don’t like it and can even “ban” an artist or song from being played again on your own computer if you really don’t like them. Highly customizable, as far as that goes!

AccuRadio also boasts dozens of channels for every other musical taste imaginable, including pop, country, rock, jazz, reggae, rock, metal and classical channels, among many others. It’s the perfect online resource for free music. There are periodic advertisements aired, but they aren’t overly intrusive to the free listening experience.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature one or more YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Nov. 6. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Please let me know and I may feature it here.

1) Veterans Affairs Canada (English: 686 subscribers; French: 41 subscribers): These are Canada’s official YouTube channels honouring veterans. Here, you’ll find tributes, profiles of veterans and historical videos. (Most popular videos – English: Remembrance Vignette – 23,269 views; French: Le Jour du souvenir 2009 – 2,540 views.)

English:

French:

2) The Royal Canadian Legion – Dominion Command (2 subscribers): Hard to believe that this channel only has two subscribers and 229 video views, considering it’s apparently the official YouTube channel of the Royal Canadian Legion. Here, you’ll mostly find videos promoting the poppy and the two minutes of silence for Remembrance Day. (Most popular video: Legion Youth Track & Field Championships – 161 views.)

3) Prime Minister Stephen Harper (1,395 subscribers): This is the official YouTube channel for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The channel boasts dozens of videos with nearly 470,000 views between them. Oddly enough, the most popular video on the channel isn’t political, it’s a much talked about musical performance by Mr. Harper from 2009 when he sang a Beatles tune at the 2009 National Arts Centre Gala. Actually, he’s pretty good! (Most popular video: With A Little Help From My Friends – 35,794 views.)

Social Media Matters: Facebook scams continue to pile up

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Aug. 24, 2012
Metro section

Facebook scams continue to pile up

You know it’s just a matter of time before the following scams pop up in your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds.

According to Facecrooks.com, some of the latest hoaxes currently making the rounds are: Facebook Profile Viewer: This is such a common scam and one that has been making the rounds forever. Yes, we’d all love to see who’s been checking out our profile, right?

Well, if you’re friends with someone on Facebook, it’s pretty normal for them to check out your profile from time to time, right? Right!

The problem is that there are no legitimate applications out there that allow you to see who’s been looking at your profiles in the past 24 hours. They just don’t exist. All the Facebook Profile Viewer does is to urge you to download a rogue Facebook application to satisfy your ego and see who’s been checking you out. It then randomly posts a message supposedly telling you who’s looked at your profile in the past 24 hours.

It’s a scam. All they want is access to your account and to get you to fill out surveys. The application also tags your friends in an effort to get them to download the application, as well. Resist the urge to take the bait! Delete the tag or ignore it.

While the Facebook Profile Viewer has been around for quite some time, the Free iTunes Card Codes scam is a new one. In this hoax, the scammer wants to get you to fill out a survey by promising non-existent free iTunes codes. And honestly, if you fall for this, you’re practically asking for the dunce cap!

The same goes with free Walmart, Costco, Tim Hortons and other scams that regular people keep propagating ‘just in case it’s true.’ What can it hurt, after all, right? I’ll tell you: your credibility.

Also keep a look out for the following hoaxes: 1) Robert Pattinson of TWILIGHT Died becuase (sic) nervous breakdown due of emotional stress; 2) [VIDEO] Giant Snake EATS MAN WHOLE!; 3) Warning: We received from other users that your account has violated a policy that is considered to disturb or offend other users; 4) My total profile views today (followed by the number of male viewers and female viewers). See your total views and who is viewing you here; 5) Facebook is having a promo! I just went shopping and spent like $1000 for free!

All fake, of course! As I’ve said before and will say again: Stop the insanity! Don’t spread too-good-to-be-true Facebook hoaxes just because they may look legitimate.

If it looks too good to be true, it likely is. And when in doubt, Google a few key words. If it’s a hoax, it will show up right at the top of the results.

Twitter may be banned in India

TwitterThe Indian government is no fan of Twitter these days after the social media giant didn’t respond quickly enough to demands that it reveal the sources of hate propaganda aimed at citizens in northeastern India. Similar misinformation was spread via text messages, Facebook and YouTube, but Facebook and Google (YouTube’s parent company) have offices in India, so the government can crack down on them easier. Twitter has no corporate presence in India.

According to an Aug. 21 report in The Times of India, “a senior government official has said that Twitter has already been told that legal action may be taken against it as it had failed to cooperate with the Indian government in its efforts to find the source of and curtail the inflammatory messages against north-east citizens.” The article explains that Facebook and Google admit the offensive messages originated from Pakistan.

The Indian government is seeking Twitter’s co-operation in blocking the objectionable content that it considers to be hate speech against its citizens.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature three YouTube channels for you to check out. Have a favourite channel? Let me know about it and I may feature it here! Statistics are current to Aug. 21. (Editor’s note: Due to a publication error on this website, the videos were updated on Feb. 17, 2013. Statistics and videos are current to that date.)

1) Dave’s World of Fun Stuff!!! (7,763 subscribers): Dave is a Canadian whose YouTube channel focuses on ‘music, comedy, cooking, guitar repairs and other funny stuff.’ There’s a large amount of content here: 761 videos with more than 3.4 million total views. If you’re into guitars, you should enjoy this channel. Many thanks to Alan Cochrane for suggesting this channel. (Most popular video: This Taylor Acoustic Guitar is Crap – 174,231 views.)

2) National Geographic (740,479 subscribers): No introduction is needed for this iconic magazine’s sister television network’s official YouTube channel. There’s lots of great content here – much of it absolutely fascinating. And as far as content goes, there’s lots of it – 3,675 videos with about 778 million views! The videos are organized into a number of playlists, including National Geographic Channel, Locked Up Abroad, Amazing Animals, Dog Whisperer, and Nature’s Fury, to name but a few! (Most popular video: Cobra vs. Mongoose – 44,027,522 views.)

3) Adam Sacks (1,161 subscribers): Adam makes funny YouTube videos that he hopes entertain people. With more than four million views, he seems to be succeeding! Check out his website at adamthinks.com and his Twitter feed at @AdamSacks.His iPhone commercial parodies are especially popular! (Most popular video: The iPhone 5 is For Food Photography – 8,257,498 views.)

Social Media Matters: Google, Facebook top online draws in 2011

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Jan. 6, 2012
Metro section

Google, Facebook top online draws in 2011

On Dec. 28, Nielsen announced its rankings for the most popular websites, social networks, blogs, video websites and smartphone devices among U.S. users for 2011.

Top 10 U.S. web brands of 2011:

1. Google (average 153.4 million unique visitors per month)
2. Facebook (137.6 million)
3. Yahoo! (130.1 million)
4. MSN/WindowsLive/Bing (115.9 million)
5. YouTube (106.7 million)
6. Microsoft (83.7 million)
7. AOL Media Network (74.6 million)
8. Wikipedia (62.1 million)
9. Apple (61.6 million)
10. Ask Search Network (60.6 million)

Top 10 U.S. social networks and blogs of 2011:

1. Facebook (average 137.6 million unique visitors per month)
2. Blogger (45.7 million)
3. Twitter (23.6 million)
4. WordPress (20.4 million)
5. MySpace (17.9 million)
6. LinkedIn (17 million)
7. Tumblr (10.9 million)
8. Google+ (8.2 million)
9. Yahoo! Pulse (8.1 million)
10. Six Apart Typepad (7.8 million)

Top 10 U.S. online destinations for video of 2011:

1. YouTube (average 111.2 million unique video viewers per month)
2. VEVO (34.6 million)
3. Facebook (29.8 million)
4. Yahoo! (25.3 million)
5. MSN/WindowsLive/Bing (16.6 million)
6. AOL Media Network (13.3 million)
7. Hulu (13.2 million)
8. TheCollegeHumor Network (12.5 million)
9. CNN Digital Network (8.3 million)
10. Netflix (7.4 million)

Top five smartphone device manufacturers of 2011:

1. Apple (29% market share)
2. HTC (21%)
3. RIM Blackberry (17%)
4. Samsung (11%)
5. Motorola (11%)

Why did they unfriend me?

If you’ve been unfriended on Facebook Nielsen recently released the results of a study on the reasons why people choose to unfriend someone on the social network.

First, though, here are the top five reasons why people are friended in the first place:

1. Know in real life (82%)
2. Mutual friends (60%)
3. Business networks (11%)
4. Physical attractiveness (8%)
5. Increasing friend count (7%)

As far as unfriending goes, here are the top five reasons why you were dumped:

1. Offensive comments (55%)
2. Don’t know well (41%)
3. Trying to sell me something (39%)
4. Depressing comments (23%)
5. Lack of interaction (20%)

Also mentioned were too many updates, not enough updates, divorce/breakup, political comments and “they add too many people.”

Union warns Scottish teachers about social networks

Teachers in Scotland have been warned by their union that using Facebook and Twitter may be bad for their careers.

According to a BBC report published Jan. 1, the Scottish Sec­ondary Teachers Association has told its members to stop sharing so much personal information on social networks, including details of their social lives, work, employer and teaching in general. ‘The union also fears they could become overly familiar with pupils,’ the report stated. The General Teaching Council of Scotland is currently developing new guidelines for teachers who choose to be on social networking websites. According to the BBC report, several cases have been brought before the Council regarding teachers’ postings on social networks.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I offer three suggested YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current as of Jan. 2.

1. www.cartoons-forum.org (97 subscribers): This YouTube channel specializes in the opening credits of retro animated shows such as Yogi Bear, Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks, The Huckleberry Hound Show, Snagglepuss, Atom Ant, and The Flintstones. For those who love old-school television animation from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, this is a great trip down memory lane. (Most popular video: The Yogi Bear Show (1961) – Intro (Opening) – 16,316 views.)

2. TotalRandomness512 (10,202 subscribers): There are only two videos posted to this channel owned by the late Ben Breedlove of Austin, Tex. Ben, 18, suffered from HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), a very serious heart condition that left him (and everyone who knew him) wondering when he would die suddenly. His family’s worst nightmare came true on Christmas Day, exactly one week after the channel’s only two videos were uploaded. Afterwards, his family discovered his YouTube channel and the heartfelt videos – both of which talk about his life, dying and how at peace he was with it. The last few seconds of Part 2 are particularly touching and brought great comfort to his family, according to media reports. (I’ll let you watch it for yourself.) (Most popular video: This is my story (Part 1) – 3,416,704 views.)

(Here are both of Ben’s videos since he only posted two before he died.)

3. Freerunning.Parkour (37 subscribers): This Moncton-based channel is owned by Remi Doucette, a gymnastics enthusiast, juggler and freerunner. Check out his channel to see his various tricks and antics. A photo of Remi was also recently featured on a Jones Soda label! (Most popular video: craziest stunt ever no joke check it out!!!!!!!!!! – 825 views.)

Social Media Matters: Sales of 3G-enabled tablets in the toilet

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, July 22, 2011
Metro section

Sales of 3G-enabled tablets in the toilet

If you’ve purchased a new iPad or other brand of tablet device recently, chances are you bought the Wi-Fi version without investing in a 3G version that would allow you to surf the Internet from anywhere. This, of course, would also mean you would incur extra charges from your telecom provider since data-sharing plans with cell phones are pretty much non-existent.

If so, you’re not alone. Apparently, there are warehouses full of 3G-enabled tablets that no one wants to buy for that very reason: they don’t want to pay for another data plan. If they want to surf the Internet on their tablet, they’ll do so from home or elsewhere where there’s a Wi-Fi connection. In a July 11th article by Matt Hamblen posted to ComputerWorld (www.computeroworld.com), analyst Bob O’Donnell of IDG suggests that U.S. carriers will end up having to change their data plans so that various devices can share one plan, i.e. a smartphone and a tablet.

Personally, I find no reason for carriers to do this. Why should they? It will only allow customers to max out plans that aren’t already at their limit, something that will only cost carriers money. Also, carriers will likely have many angry customers on their hands because some of them won’t change their data plans at first, only to receive monumental bills in the mail before having a chance to change their data plan.

In these days of social media and extreme levels of competition between carriers, this could actually turn into a public relations disaster for carriers. Besides, what’s it to Bell Aliant or Rogers if Apple, Samsung or Blackberry have warehouses full of unsold 3G-enabled tablets? Consumers don’t want them and aren’t willing to pay for another data plan. Isn’t that the manufacturers’ problem?

It’s clear that consumers have spoken. They want to use tablets like laptops. They’ll access the Internet where there’s Wi-Fi – either at home or in a coffee shop – but they aren’t willing to dish out another $30 (or however how much) just so their tablet can access the Internet when the smartphone they have with them can do the same thing on a plan for which they’re already paying.

This problem is clearly with the manufacturers, not the carriers.

Bass players upset

I’m hearing rumblings that bass players are upset that a favourite resource website is no more. It appears that Bassmasta (www.bassmasta.net) has been taken over by Songsterr (www.songsterr.com).

Bass guitar players used Bassmasta as their niche online resource for researching tabs for them to use for playing various songs. (Tabs are basically the notes they need to play to accompany a certain song.) While there are various sites and resources for guitar players, the niche market for bass guitar players was being pretty much being served by only one website – Bassmasta – and now that’s gone.

If you were a fan of Bassmasta and want to mourn with your fellow bass guitar players, there’s a Facebook group you can join to share your grief called R.I.P. Bassmasta.

Facebook group honours Pete King

Local music fans were left shocked and saddened recently by the untimely death of popular bass guitarist Pete King in a tragic motorcycle-moose collision.

A Facebook group has been set up to honour King called “RIP Pete King of Neon Highway.” So far the group has more than 400 members. That will likely only grow over time. If you were a fan of Rik Reese and Neon Highway – the country band for which King played bass – or are just a lover of music in general, be sure to visit the group to read some of the heartwarming messages left by King’s friends and fans.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I feature three YouTube channels that you may want to check out.

1) Sesame Street (128,000 subscribers): Whether you grew up with Sesame Street or saw snippets of the show while your children or grandchildren were enthralled with the antics of Bert and Ernie, Elmo and Big Bird, you’ll love the recent and retro clips found on this fun and family-friendly channel.

2) AbbaVEVO (unknown number of subscribers): If you’re a fan of Swedish music superstars Abba and want to see some of their old videos, this is the channel for you! For some reason, the channel’s creators have hidden the number of subscribers, which is odd. With that said, however, several of the videos have millions of views each, with Dancing Queen having more than 10 million.

3) Bank of Canada (300 subscribers): There aren’t many government organizations with YouTube accounts, so it’s nice to see that the Bank of Canada has opted to spread the word about our money via video. Particularly enthralling is a video with nearly 325,000 views describing the new $100 bill made out of polymer. Fascinating!

On Google+?

Let me know how you like it. I’m still not biting.