All posts by Alan

Flickr sheds the Yahoo login requirement



Flickr has become one of the top photo sharing services online since its founding in 2004. It’s extremely popular with pro photographers and bloggers. The company was sold to Yahoo and began requiring a Yahoo account to log in, but since April of this year, it has been owned by Smug Mug.

There was a problem there — many people don’t have a Yahoo account, especially the younger ones. More importantly, many didn’t want one.

Now that Flickr is out from under that umbrella, it is doing away that requirement. The photo-sharing service says it had many complaints about the proprietary login even stating the CEO had been locked out during some confusion.

“Here at Flickr, we’ve long wanted a simpler login solution that would allow each member to use the email address of their choice. And since SmugMug bought Flickr from Yahoo, we’ve been working toward this goal,” says Flickr

This won’t roll out until early 2019 and it will work Amazon AWS to add an extra layer of security to your account.


iHeartRadio takes a trip south



When it comes to streaming music services, there’s no shortage of ones to choose from. Only a few have become big names – Pandora, Spotify and those run by major companies like Apple, Google and Amazon. Another popular one is iHeartRadio.

Now iHeartRadio is taking a trip south of the border, as the company announces its foray into Mexico. This is a team effort as the company is working with Grupo ACIR,.

“iHeartRadio México is available now in beta and will officially launch November 3 at the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina so get excited! To listen now, music lovers across México can download the iHeartRadio app via Apple App Store or Google Play Store and listen online at iHeartRadio.mx“, the steaming service claims.

To celebrate the launch of iHeartRadio Mexico, Grupo ACIR will award a lucky music fan a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience at the fifth annual iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina in Miami on November 3, Good luck in the contest.


Today is the last day to get your free week of YouTubeTV



YouTube
YouTube

If you are a YouTubeTV user then you likely recall that the service was down for a week last month. In fact, I doubt any of you forgot, you may have been among angry, frustrated customers calling.

Well, recently YouTube had heard enough complaints and announced that it would offer a one week credit to each customer who applies. There is a catch, you have to sign up to get this credit.

We’re unsure exactly how much that will be since there are different pricing tiers, but you should see somewhere between $8-$10 in credit on your account.

In order to apply, you need to visit here.


Google Maps will help charge your car



Electric cars are catching on. After starting off on the high end of pricing, the market is leveling off and openinh up to more customers, The biggest hindrance now seems to be charging stations, or lack of them.

The problem is slowly shrinking and now Google Maps would like to help out current and future users. “We built Google Maps to help people get where they need to go no matter what mode of transportation they use. Our newest feature brings helpful information about electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the Map, so you can be confident that your car will be charged and ready for your ride, wherever you’re headed.”

Now you’ll be ablt to tryp in things like EV charging or EV charging station. Businesses with charging stations can also become involved.


The holiday season in perspective [Infographic]



It’s that time of year. While thoughts should turn to things we are thankful for, they seem to more often turn towards what we lust for or want for our loved ones. It’s a bit petty, but it has been slowly ingrained in us over the years. Black Friday kicks everything off with near riots as those present fight for what they want – sometimes taking extreme measures.

But what does all of this mean for the retail business? Google took a look at it, mostly, as it could have been guessed, from an adsense perspective. In other words, not just what it means to consumers, but what it means to their bottom line.

The company expects staggering numbers with an 18 percent increase in spending over last year’s $21.6 billion. It then proceeds to lay out a plan for companies to get noticed.

It isn’t something the average consumer sees on a daily basis, but it provides some insight into what is behind the purchases made – the driving force that powers the wallet.


Roku announces Element Ultra HD 4K smart TV



The new generation of tiny set-top boxes have opened up a whole new world of entertainment in people’s living rooms, or whatever room has a TV. There are several models on the market, but Roku is perhaps the best known.

Recently Roku opened up its platform to TV manufacturers allowing them to create their smart TVs based off of it.

Now Roku is announcing a brand new TV that will be hitting the market very shortly. “Element will first offer a 50-inch screen size featuring 4K Ultra HD picture quality enhanced with HDR for lifelike clarity and contrast technology enabling deeper blacks and brighter whites. And as with all Roku TVs, the new Element Roku TVs will run the Roku® OS which gives customers access to 500,000 movies and TV episodes through 5,000+ streaming channels”.

The TV will automatically be upgraded to Roku 8.0 when it’s released later this year. The new version will contain an upgraded guide that integrates Roku offerings plus over-the-air channels. The TV will hit Wal-Mart on Cyber Monday, November 27th. Pricing has not been announced.


Alexa and its Echo product line come to Japan



If you have not used an Amazon Echo, better known by the moniker of Alexa, then you’re missing out on countless cool things. Listen to music, find out when your favorite sports team plays next, check the weather, satisfy your curiosity by asking a trivia questions, you name it and Alexa can probably do it.

But, the Amazon line isn’t available everywhere, it has some geographical restrictions. One more place in this great big world has now made the list for availability of both the Alexa app and its associated devices.

That newest location takes the setup on a trip to the far east as the whole product line is debuting in Japan.

“Tens of millions of customers already love Alexa and we’re thrilled to introduce her to our customers in Japan today, with an all-new experience designed from the ground up for Japanese customers, including a new Japanese voice, local knowledge, and over 250 skills from Japanese developers”, says Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “We’re also excited to expand the Alexa Skills Kit and the Alexa Voice Service, so developers and hardware makers around the world can create Alexa experiences for our Japanese customers”.

The Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus are all available now just waiting for your voice to bring them to life.