WikiLeaks cut off?

This screen shot is from Apple News this morning.  Note the alert box that the story is unavailable.

It raises several questions.

  • Did The Guardian spike or remove the story?
  • Has Wikileaks internet been restored?
  • What alternative distribution resources will WikiLeaks be using now?

It is sources like WikiLeaks and Project Veritas that allow us to Fight Back.


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Fruit I like and one I don’t?

Fruit I like and one I don’t, brings us to day 10 of the 30-Day Writing Challenge.

I like most all fruit.  This is a great thing as we now live in an area that has plenty of Apple 21888397000_7077f9f84c_oOrchards and other fruit bearing farms.  When in season we can get all types of berries, and then in the fall, we have plenty of apples to go along with our local AppleFest.

I would say that there isn’t a fruit I don’t like.  I don’t care for some fruits, so when in the produce section I’ll skip them.  Watermelon is one of the fruits on my, don’t care for list.  I’m certain there are other fruits, and without making a laundry list here I’ll leave it at that.

I’m looking forward to getting a new Ninja food processor/Juice machine, in time for berry season to make fresh smoothies.

How about you and fruit?

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50 Best Productivity Apps For iPhone.

Of course you need more apps for your mobile devices.


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One Thing Every iPhone owner should do…

One thing every iPhone owner should do to stretch battery life.

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Samsung Announce the Galaxy Gear Smartwatch; The Perfect Companion to Your Galaxy Smartphone |

Samsung Electronics Introduces GALAXY Gear and...

Samsung Electronics Introduces GALAXY Gear and GALAXY Note 3 at Samsung Mobile Unpacked in Germany (Photo credit: samsungtomorrow)

Samsung Announce the Galaxy Gear Smartwatch.

This will get me wearing a watch again.

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Near Field Communication (NFC) and Direct Marketing.

English: An NFC (Near Field Communication) poi...

English: An NFC (Near Field Communication) point at a Peet’s Coffee for use with Google Wallet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Near Field Communication (NFC) and Direct Marketing is making a comeback. Ok, so maybe it hadn’t really gone anywhere and yet wasn’t in the focus of any direct marketing folks.

What is NFC?

NFC builds upon Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) systems by allowing two-way communication between two endpoints. Earlier systems such as contactless smart cards were one-way only. Since NFC “tags” can be read by NFC devices, it is also capable of replacing those earlier one-way applications.

NFC in Commerce

NFC devices are used in contactless payment systems, similar to those currently used in credit cards and electronic ticket smartcards. NFC devices also and mobile payments to replace or supplement these systems. Google Wallet allows consumers to store credit card and store loyalty card information in a virtual wallet and then use an NFC-enabled device at terminals that also accept MasterCard PayPass transactions. The countries of Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy and New Zealand, assessed the suitability of NFC ticketing systems for public transport. India is implementing NFC based transactions in box offices for ticketing purposes.

If you’d like to see just how unique and versatile NFC and QR codes can be in your enterprise I recommend you take a look at makes creating, managing, and tracking Short URLs,QR Codes®, and NFC Tags simple.


How NFC Could Revitalize Direct Marketing: ”


NFC – near field communication – is a relatively new technology that has the potential to revitalize the direct mail marketing sector. It enables marketers to deliver content via an embedded NFC chip that allows wireless communication when a user touches a smartphone or mobile device to a piece of marketing collateral or brings the device into close proximity with an NFC tag.

Although NFC technology has been around since the 1980s and marketers are increasingly using it today, the technology was slower to catch on in marketing than QR code technology. QR codes – two-dimensional matrix codes that are often printed on direct mail marketing material – have found a ready user audience in the marketing realm for several years now. QR codes appear on everything from movie posters to fast-food restaurant drink cups to ketchup bottles. With QR codes, consumers can scan the printed code with their smartphone’s camera to be connected to online digital content.

Both NFC and QR codes serve a similar function: They are a bridge between the physical and digital worlds. NFC codes create a digital bridge to physical collateral, and unlike calls to action that require consumers to type in a URL or scan a code to get redirected to an online message, with NFC, all the consumer has to do is touch their smartphone or mobile device to the collateral for an instantaneous connection. It’s a unique way to connect the physical and digital spaces. This makes both technologies highly attractive to marketers.

But despite the current popularity of QR codes, many analysts believe that NFC technology is poised to replace QR codes as the marketing tool of choice. That’s because NFC is generally easier to use: Depending on the scanning application, QR codes can take seven or more steps to direct users to the digital marketing content. NFC codes don’t require any action on the part of the user other than bringing the device into close proximity to the tag.

However, QR codes got a huge head-start over NFC, mainly due to the fact that popular smartphone manufacturer Apple has been slow to embrace NFC technology. But other tech giants like Google have recently rolled out new products that use NFC, such as the Google Wallet, which uses NFC to transmit payment details to merchants for wireless transactions. Additionally, Samsung and other mobile smartphone makers have paved the way by incorporating NFC technology in their smartphones since as early as 2006.

NFC and Direct Mail

The use of NFC as a marketing tool is on the rise, but it’s not yet pervasive. That means marketers who use it now are early adopters. This is a unique opportunity for marketers such as direct mail specialist to get ahead of the curve. It is also an opportunity to build a digital bridge for consumers with a tool that eliminates the need for the target audience to take multiple steps to reach online content.

In the past, one obstacle to widespread NFC adoption was the need to embed chips or tags in the call to action material, which could take many forms, including letterhead paper, poster stock, business cards and virtually any other material on which a marketing message can appear. However, the development of NFC-enabled papers and plastics eliminate this barrier, opening up many new NFC applications, including use of the paper to create direct mail pieces of all types.

Developments like NCF-enabled paper, creating cheaper methods of tag production and technology adoption will help push NFC usage rates higher, as will Apple’s embrace of the technology since it is becoming more commonplace. The technology’s applications are practically limitless. Proximity marketing applications can allow merchants to convey messages to any smartphone within range of a particular product, allowing marketers to precisely target messages to consumers and gauge reactions to offers in real time.

Marketers who are early adopters of this emerging technology tool can differentiate themselves from competitors by developing analytics around the technology. This can provide a major strategic advantage. Marketers can also use NFC to improve their tactical approach by eliminating the need to create short URLs, relying instead on proximity to complete the connection between the direct mail marketing piece and the online offer.

By giving marketers a new way to bridge the physical and digital gap, NFC technology offers unprecedented opportunities to brands that want to convey a tech-savvy image while delivering valuable offers and collecting vital consumer insights. NFC is positioned to revitalize the direct mail marketing sector, enabling instantaneous delivery of relevant messages affordably and effectively.

This guest post was written by Jacob Beckley, vice president of Innovation at Fusion92

(Via Adrants.)

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Google to open retail stores to compete with Apple Stores.

Google to open retail stores to compete with Apple Stores. Only to compete with Apple Stores? They completely ignore the Microsoft Store’s across the country. The best thing about Google and their

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

entry into the retail arena, is that there are plenty of empty store fronts in the shopping malls across the country.



Google to open retail stores to compete with Apple Stores



Google is launching retail stores by the end of the year to sell its own products we’re reporting over at 9to5Google. Will Google try to squeeze into the local Mall between the new Microsoft Store and the existing Apple Store? Will they be able to supplant some of Apple’s MacBook sales with their $249 Chromebooks? iPhones with Nexuses? Find out more.


(Via 9 to 5 Mac.)

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Email Accounts.

Mail icon

Mail icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Email accounts are a necessity and we often have a love/hate relationship with them. Some challenges are with the account, ie: the company or developer of the email program. Other challenges are with the email program itself, ie: Apple’s Mail App.

For the past week or so I’ve been working with the fine folks at my blog hosting service to set up an email account associated with this blog. This is part of a longer term goal of branding myself in a more specific way as a journalist/writer.

I have a version 4.6 (1085) of the Apple Mail App on this desktop. My hosting service has very well written and easy to understand instructions on setting up a blog specific email account. And they offer details on how to set up an account using the Apple Mail App. They even go so far as to offer a downloadable apple script to automatically set up the new account in the Apple Mail App.

Being as it’s Monday, I decided to quit banging my head on the desk and pass on setting up the new email account for the time being. I’ve presumed that due to the older version of the email app and of the current Mac OS I’m running that in the larger scheme of things, maybe this is the issue. I’m well aware that I’m behind the times regarding the Mac hardware and software I’m currently using, which brings me to the following.

You will notice if you’ve not already the donate box at the top of the blog column on the right hand side of this screen. In order to bring me back to some modicum of being current with my hardware and software and tools of the trade the donate box is one vehicle I’m using to reach that goal. Items I’ve put on the wish list can be found on making the entire process easy. No it’s not Staples, and yet easy.

Thanks in advance for your readership and your ongoing contributions to this enterprise.

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Got a new iOS device for the holidays? Try AppHero to find apps

Got a new iOS device for the holidays? Well if you were one of the fortunate ones an ongoing issue is where to find useful apps. You might want to try AppHero to find those elusive apps.

Got a new iOS device for the holidays? Try AppHero to find apps: “


Over the holidays, the iOS device user base surely grew to new heights with many gifted new iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches. With the growing App Store, it is important for new iOS device users to know which of the many applications are right for them. We have been pointed to AppHero’s free iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch application, which uses multiple methods to recommend App Store applications to its users. We spoke to AppHero’s Jordan Satok who explained that AppHero primarily uses a user’s Facebook and Twitter data in order to serve application recommendations.

AppHero uses your Facebook data such as things that you have ‘Liked.’ For example, if you liked a set of sports teams, TV shows, movies, or places, AppHero can use this information to recommend applications related to your favorite sports teams, TV programs, and apps that are region-specific to places you ‘liked’ or have been to. Of course, access to your Facebook information must be explicitly approved by you. Satok assures that this is done securely and that only information relevant to creating application recommendations is scanned.

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‘Everyone has different songs on their iPod, different movies in their movie collection, different books on their bookshelf, but because discovering apps is so difficult, most people just have the most obvious and generic apps, and that’s sort of crazy to us,’ Satok told us.

Like with Facebook, AppHero is able to scan through your public Twitter tweets in order to find applications pertaining to your interests. For instance, if you actively tweet about a certain sports team, it is likely that AppHero will recommend applications pertaining to that team.

Another important aspect of AppHero is how quickly its scanning engine functions. Additionally, Satok tells us that the application’s simple user-interface was built with a mainstream user base in mind.

AppHero’s personalized recommendations also improve as the application is used. Additionally, the application has features that allow you to easily recommend applications to friends.


(Via 9 to 5 Mac.)

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You just got a new iDevice for Christmas, where to offload your old crap.

For those fortunate, of You just got a new iDevice for Christmas, where to offload your old crap?

You just got a new iDevice for Christmas, where to offload your old crap: ”


It’s now the day after Christmas, and so you’ve had a full day to play with your new iPad Mini, or some other shiny iDevice, and you’re finally ready to chuck all the ole’, dusty Apple products piling up in the living room.

On the other hand, maybe you were not so lucky. Perhaps you were gifted a non-iOS smartphone, and now you quickly want to trade.

Well, 9to5Mac has you covered, for whichever situation you find yourself inas we have compiled another list of the top trade-in places for cash or credit. There are many retailers and websites that offer trade-in programs, and most accept a wide range of used and new electronics, offer automatic quotes, and provide free shipping.

Check out the top 12 list below.


Related articles

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1. Amazon: Amazon offers one of the best trade-in programs for books, video games, movies, music, and electronics. Trade-in submissions ship via U.S. Postal Service Media Mail or UPS Ground and may take up to six or 10 business days to arrive before the submission is processed. Once the item is received and verified, you’ll receive an email notification within two business days informing whether the items were accepted or rejected.  Unfortunately, Amazon only offers gift cards as credit. Once the trade-in has been paid, you’ll see the amount when viewing your gift card balance. Even more unfortunately: gift cards cannot be used on AmazonWireless. Get more details on the program at Amazon.

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2. eBay Instant Sale: As the world’s most renowned online garage sale, it make sense for eBay to provide a decent trade-in program for electronics with cash dispensed through PayPal. eBay Instant Sale is a tool for folks to get cash for their smartphone, laptop, iPod, GPS, or other electronic device in three easy steps. They just need to select the condition of the device, print off the free shipping label, and mail it in. The e-commerce service also provides free shipping and automatic quotes. Once the device is received and assessed, the money will be deposited in your PayPal account within five business days. Get more details at eBay.

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3. Gazelle: Gazelle is like any other trade-in program, but it offers multiple ways to collect cash either through a check, PayPal, or gift card. The gift card option will grant 5 percent more than the quoted value, but, as we said above, it is no good at Amazon Wireless. Oh, and Gazelle features free shipping. Gazelle also accepts everything from Nokia phones to old iPads. Get more details at Gazelle.

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4. NextWorth: Along with all the other get-a-quote, send-it-in, and get-paid setups, NextWorth offers a trade-in program with cash via PayPal, check, or Target gift card. The service also partnered with Target online to extend the same program to those online shoppers. NextWorth does not display prices up front, and it requires a questionnaire about a device’s condition before giving quotes, but it has a $20 refer-a-friend bonus for each new customer (friends will also get an extra 5 percent bonus for their completed trade, too). Aside from devices, NextWorth accepts game consoles, cameras, calculators, GPSs, DVD players, etc.  Get more details at NextWorth.

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5. GameStop: GameStop is a bit more troublesome, because folks need to visit a physical store to swap their electronics, but just print off the online quote, go to the store, and then a store associate will examine the device and offer cash or store credit for an exchange. Values dip drastically, however, if you choose cash over stored credit as a payout option. Fortunately, though, there is no shipping to cause a headache. GameStop accepts trades of phones, tablets, and MP3 players from several manufacturers. Get more details at GameStop.

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6. Best Buy: BestBuy is one of the more simpler services for trading video games, smartphones, computers, MP3 players, cameras, camcorders, home audio, home theatre, GPS, and even musical instruments. Simply select the product, choose its quality, and add it to the cart. The retailer warned that actual trade-ins would vary according to condition, accessories, and other factors, but folks can get full trade-in value plus a $50 Best Buy gift card when they upgrade their mobile phone. They can also visit stores to utilize the program. Get more details at Best Buy.

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7. RadioShack: RadioShack touts in-store and online options for exchanging an everything from HDTVs and Digital SLRs to eReaders and tablets. In fine print, on the bottom of the website, however, the retailer said trade-ins are subject to applicable processing fees and must include chargers, cables, or other accessories. Like most trade-in programs, RadioShack will pay for shipping. RadioShack also said values for in-store trades will apply as credit toward a purchase, but online traders can get a gift card. Get more details at RadioShack.

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8. Apple’s Recycling Program: Apple’s Recycling Program issues an Apple gift card by mail that works at any Apple retail store or the Apple online store. The company even grants free shipping and packaging for the trade-in process generated by PowerOn. It currently accepts iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC, and it recycles old iPods and cellphones. To recycle, just bring the device to an Apple Retail Store and get 10 percent off a new one. Get more details at Apple.

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9. PowerMax: PowerMax does not show quotes on the website. It requests a questionnaire about the product, and then it will contact prospective traders within minutes. ‘By trading in, you have a seamless transaction with the trusted folks at PowerMax, who have done this for nearly two decades. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s secure,’ contends the e-commerce service. PowerMax said consumers can receive a check or credit for the agreed-upon amount, but a response email from the website indicated it only permits trades for store credit. The full process also takes four weeks to six weeks, but it allows you to trade old MacBooks, iPods, and more Apple products toward the purchase of anything it sells. Get more details at PowerMax.

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10. Verizon Wireless: The Verizon Wireless Trade-In Program determines the value of Wi-Fi and Verizon-enabled devices in just four simple steps, and it offers a Verizon Wireless electronic gift card via email. It accepts everything from LG products to Apple. Get more details at Verizon.

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11. Glyde: Glyde is not a typical trade-in program, because it makes it easy for consumers to buy and sell practically any used electronic device. It also essentially provides consumers with ‘unique insight into the resale market for used electronics,’ with up-to-date and accurate pricing for old devices with trends and geographical data. Glyde even offers ‘speed sale’ and ‘set reminder’ options for the streamlining process, as well as additional tips and advice on the best time to sell devices to make the most money. Cash is deposited into users’ Glyde accounts about 48 hours after delivery to their buyers, and then they can transfer the cash from their bank account for free. Paper checks will cost about $2, though. Get more details at Glyde.

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12. Craigslist: This is not a trade-in program, but it works. It is easy and free to quickly post the specs of an unwanted Christmas gift, with a desired asking price, but some may whine over the packaging and shipping hassles involved. Nevertheless, Craigslist is a popular website perfectly capable of matchmaking sellers to potential buyers.

(Via 9 to 5 Mac.)

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