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Vivendi Decides Whether to Split Up Media and Telecom Companies

By on Sep 21, 2013 in Uncategorized |

This is usually the time of year when a lot of companies do a significant amount of restructuring in preparation for the year that is to come. When it comes to Vivendi—the French-based mass media company that features music, film, online media, the internet and even videos—that would certainly be the case because over the past several weeks, they have been receiving a significant amount of press due to some changes that they have addressed making within their company. For one thing, Vincent Bollore, the French corporate giant who was once looking to transition from being a director at Vivendi to becoming its chief executive, has actually been appointed to be the Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board. For those who have been following the updates that have been transpiring within the business, that is believed to be a huge indication that another rumored shift is probably going to become a reality in the months ahead. The shift is this. According to the Supervisory Board, there will be a new study launched to see if the media side and the telecom portion of Vivendi should split. If it does, Vivendi’s entertainment part (one that includes the largest international recording company Universal Media Group) will remain in France with ties to Africa, Brazil, Poland and Vietnam as it seeks to expand its platforms while further solidifying its presence in the marketplace. As for the telecommunications part of the business (which is known as SFR), well, it is certainly no secret that it’s not currently as lucrative as it once was. As a matter of fact, it is believed that a part of the reason why Vivendi’s market shares have dropped nearly 13 percent since last spring has been due to the challenges that SFR has experienced. However, it is the hope that by having SFR be its own entity that it would be able to somewhat rebrand itself in the effort to improve its performance while developing more partnerships that can directly assist with its company growth. All of these changes also come on the heels of the refusedd bid that the Japanese-based telecoms group SoftBank made to purchase Universal Music Group (UMG) for $8.5 billion. Being that UMG is actually the more stable and successful side of the company, Vivendi believed that selling it would be the wrong decision at this time; that UMG is a huge part of the future strategy that it plans to implement. Of course, what the outcome of all of this news ultimately means it still somewhat speculative being that there has not yet been an official announcement of a demerger and reportedly, nothing will be officially addressed until the first part of 2014. Yet as more and more telecommunications companies (ones like QuoteTelecom, Link America and CTI) are making plans to increase their profit margins over the next several months, one thing is sure: in order for Vivendi to remain a top competitor, some changes will need to be made and a split is definitely a wise...

The World of Software

By on Sep 14, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Pop quiz: Do you know what “software” is? Do you own or use software? If you are like almost anyone else, the answer to both of those question is a resounding, “Yes.” That is what prompted me to publish the following infographic. It gives you some basic statistics about the awareness of software. The reason I am so influenced by this is that if a similar pop-quiz were to be conducted as recently as 10 years ago, almost everyone would have answered with a, “No.” That is how far information technology has traveled in these past two decades. Infographic...

Is Your Company’s Marketing Technology Up to Speed?

By on Sep 10, 2013 in Uncategorized |

When it comes to being a business owner, you oftentimes find yourself removed from some of the important facets of owning a company. Sure, you know such things as how your products and/or services help consumers, what your monthly revenue intake is, and what you need to do to grow your business even more. That said, you can at times be behind on the marketing end of your business.Maybe you hired one or more people to handle that end of the business, meaning you are not as in tune with how things are going. In such cases, you may be missing out on opportunities to promote your business, something that can add up in lost revenue over time. Whether you are wanting and needing to promote new products or services, your latest mobile technology news or how your customer service beats the competition, the word must get out. So, how do you let consumers know that your marketing technology offerings are second to none when they come across your website? Among the ways to do this: * Social media – Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or myriad of other services, using social networking to promote your brand is more important than ever. As a number of reports have shown, more and more consumers are using social media to not only browse for goods and services, but also to learn more about the businesses selling them. As a result, not being actively social can certainly be bad for your business; make sure you take advantage of the different free social offerings to connect with consumers. * Blogging – By having and regularly using a company blog, your company can promote the various products and services offered by your business. Whether you offer advertising and marketing campaigns, financial services, DTS HD audio or real estate services, your blog can be a great tool for marketing purposes. If blogging, make sure your blog topics are relevant to the business, are informative, and are regularly updated. The last one is most important for two reasons – you want consumers to know that you are giving them the latest updates on topics; you want the search engines to pick up your blog posts. Having a blog that is only occasionally updated is not the way to win love from Google and others. * Videos – Lastly, use website videos to promote your products and services. While you may have interesting commentary/comments with your blog posts and social media offerings, videos can oftentimes do a better job of catching someone’s attention. Face it, some folks tend to nod off after reading a trail of copy or comments, but visual offerings tend to keep their attention. Should you decide to use videos to promote your products, by all means keep them short and sweet, likely preventing viewers from losing interest. With all you have to do to keep your business up and running on a daily basis, never lose site of the fact that your company’s marketing responsibilities are crucial to keeping consumers interested in you. If you’re not already using social media, blogging, videos and other technological means to promote your company, make it your business to do so moving forward. As a business owner, how do you go about using technology to market your brand? Photo credit:...

Want Free Software for Windows, Mac, iPhone, or Android? Here’s How

By on Aug 27, 2013 in Uncategorized |

If the only thing standing in the way of you starting up your own online business is the cost of software, then I am about to strip away that last excuse. Time to do some bootstrapping. Time to outfit yourself with all the necessary tools – without spending a dime. Pick and choose software or go on a downloading frenzy at Insofter.com. Insofter is catalog of free software downloads. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find something useful through Insofter. Search for numerous downloads in a variety of ways. If you know exactly what you need, you can search for it directly on this free software download site. If you’re not quite sure, or just feel like doing a little browsing, you can peruse by Windows, Mac, iPhone, or Android availability and more. Insofter has you covered if you’re looking for desktop or mobile applications. Just about any business or office need that you’re likely to encounter, Insofter can help you find the appropriate tools. Here’s a breakdown of some of the other category heading you can use to filter your search: browsers and plugins file sharing messaging and chat file transfer office and news developer tools anti-malware firewalls and security system tuning compression and backup networking and admin audio and video cd and dvd tools desktop photos and images drivers Free? If you’ve ever gone looking for something free online, you’ve probably grown frustrated by bogus offers, illegal temptations, and bad software. Insofter looks to avoid those hassles, those drains on the patience and wits. Click on any product listed and you can read either a layman’s description or a technical analysis. Insofter also states clearly whether or not software is available because of a free trial period or because it has limited functionality. This should eliminate a lot of disappointment and aggravation. What’s more, Insofter let’s users rate download links. In this way, the community is in charge of quality control. So before you download, you have a clear sense of what the software will do, how you can expect it to perform, and just how pleased others have been with the delivery. Who doesn’t like or need something shiny and new? Insofter displays options according to the latest and greatest. There’s also a running list of the Top 20 software downloads, so you can be sure to stay up on what is being used the most. Entertainment, check. News readers, check. Spyware, check. Developer languages and editors, check. Data encryption, check. Image editors, check. Remote desktop access, check. Insofter has the goods. No matter what you need for personal use or for your business, save money by downloading free software. It’s all available, and all in one...

Volvo Reveals New Self Parking Car Prototype

By on Jul 6, 2013 in Uncategorized |

You knew that Google wouldn’t be able to steal the autonomous driving thunder entirely away from the rest of the automotive industry. As with most things Google takes on, they became known as leaders of the field. Their search engine may not be the best one out there, but it’s the only one that’s a verb in everyday language. No one else has virtual reality technology as exciting as the Google Glasses. And the Google/Toyota partnership on a fleet of autonomous Prius hybrids has become enormously successful, having logged hundreds of thousands of ‘driverless’ driving hours without a single accident or setback. But Volvo, the Swedish automaker known for constant innovation and putting the safety of its drivers first is now getting into the act, having revealed a new self-parking car prototype. All that’s known about their future applications is that the first Volvo that will become available to consumers with any amount of autonomous technology will be an upcoming release of the XC90. According to the company itself, this should hit the market by the final days of 2014, certainly in enough time to compete with Toyota’s efforts. And Volvo has been working on ways of integrating an autonomous experience for several years now. It’s called the Safe Road Trains for the Environment project, or SARTRE for short. With those efforts, Volvo has been able to link four following vehicles together into a digital ‘train’ connected to a lead vehicle. This creates serious efficiency and minimizes the chances of a car accident. And it seems there won’t be many limitations. The lead truck in the program has been clocked going at speeds well above 50 miles per hour. The concept vehicle that Volvo is now announcing is part of a separate program entirely. The goal is autonomous parking, something the company feels is more useful to its customers in the near term. According to the manufacturer a driver will no longer have to be involved in parking his vehicle, whether it’s simply parallel parking at a meter on a busy urban street or scanning the jam-packed levels of a huge parking lot for the last open spot. The driver will step off at the curb and manage and navigate the entire process using the vehicle’s keyfob and a new app available for his mobile device. Once his chores are complete, the driver can call the vehicle back to him and drive off, completely avoiding the stress and frustration of parking. However impressive the technology in this concept vehicle may be, it won’t be possible as a real world application unless the proper infrastructure is in place. The car will be built with a series of hidden sensors, and those sensors need to connect with their partner units built into the road itself. It’s called Vehicle 2 technology, and while it isn’t found widely yet it will expand as autonomous driving becomes a reality. When the driver comes to a parking area or structure with Vehicle 2 technology in place, the car will alert him. He’ll step out, the sensors will connect and the car and the road will do the rest of the work. The car will be able to find a parking spot on its own and avoid any potential difficulties, be they people walking by, cars backing out into traffic or random detritus blocking the lane. When these sorts of features become readily available you can expect to receive a far reduced auto insurance quote the next time you hunt around for a new policy. Minor accidents happen all the time while people try to park. This takes human error out of the equation, hopefully saving millions of dollars in repairs and a countless amount of grief and...

Google’s New Streaming Music Subscription Service

By on Jun 5, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Whether you’re an artist or a consumer, “thanks” to the internet, the music industry has changed drastically. Take streaming music subscription services, for instance. For the consumer, in many ways, it’s the best thing to happen in recent years to music fans. That’s because for a cheap monthly fee, you can add a mind-boggling amount of songs to your personal music library without doing a lot of cataloguing or waiting. All you basically have to do is go to one of the websites, search for the genre or artist that you want to listen to and click “play”. Plus, being that Wi-Fi access is only continuing to grow and smartphones are the “new black” for cell phone service, it appears that streaming music services are here to stay. For the artist, in some ways it’s a bit like an Achilles’ heel in the sense that it does pose some real challenges as it relates to generating income from their music releases, although some experts say that it could prove, in time, to be somewhat beneficial. How? Well for one thing, streaming music subscription services for the artist could end up simplifying their income tracking and accounting while increasing their fan base and making their distribution challenges much easier. So perhaps these are some of the reasons why Google has gotten into the music streaming music service industry. As they join the ranks of iTunes, Spotify, Xbox, Amazon Cloud and Sony Music Unlimited, it would only make sense that one of the top search engines in the world would further expand its market base. However, being that there are several options for consumers to choose from, is there really a need for one more? In time, that is an answer that Google is hoping to provide thanks to many of its features including its (current) 15 million song track listing; its cloud storage for 20,000 tunes (although it does bear noting that any songs that you buy and store from Google Play does not actually count towards that total); its amazing audio quality (some say that it’s currently the best in the market) and its All Access for Play Music that is very similar to Spotify in the sense that it is an unlimited streaming service for Google Music (although that particular feature is currently only available in the United States). And, then there’s the price; one that is also fairly competitive with the other services on the market. If you obtain a subscription to Google Play Music All Access before June 30, the cost is $7.99. After that time, it’s $9.99. So while iTunes is the oldest stream platform in the game, Spotify is still the most popular choice and Sony and Amazon continue to be rivals in their own right, whether you’re an artist, consumer or even if you’re a music journalist, manager or one of the top music promoters on the scene, if streaming music is your thing, the Google is definitely one to consider. Especially if you are going to test it out before June 30 (because that price is pretty...