Posts tagged need

Why We Need A New Word For Drones

Early on Monday morning, the Secret Service found a drone on the White House grounds. A White House spokesperson said it poses no threat. But it does—at least to the way we think about “drones.”

Ordinarily, the White House is the launcher of drones, not a target of them. The executive branch has been criticized for using Predator drones to launch airstrikes that have left more than 2,400 dead—more than 10% of those reportedly civilians.

So it seems just a little cavalier to say this new drone posed no threat to President Obama, his family or the White House staff. At least, that is, until you recall that the word “drone” has two meanings. 

In a political context, of course, the word “drone” usually refers to deadly unmanned, quasi-military aerial vehicles armed with missiles. These days, though, the word also refers to inexpensive, lightweight, remote-controlled hobbyist vehicles. These quad, hex, and octo-copters, generally weighing less than three pounds, can be operated as toys, bird’s-eye-view cameras, or aerial package delivery services.

(Later Monday morning, the Secret Service clarified that it did indeed find a quadcopter at the White House.)

No wonder Amazon is having trouble convincing the U.S. government that its potential drone delivery service, Prime Air, would be harmless to Americans. After all, its would-be delivery vehicles share a moniker with a weapon used to kill people.

See also: Amazon Tells The Feds It Really Wants To Test Drone Delivery

“Drone,” of course, has many other meanings as well. It can refer to a male honeybee, corporate sheeple or a humming or buzzing noise. It’s only in military terminology that it refers to a pilotless aircraft, giving the term its modern combatant tone.

Let’s Rename Drones

A better term for unmanned hobbyist aircraft might be “multi-rotor copters.” That’s more descriptive, since these vehicles typically need four or eight rotors to operate smoothly while hovering, taking off and landing.

And it’s a distinctive term that would help avoid conflating different types of unmanned vehicles. Predator and Global Hawk drones, designed for far more distant flights, resemble warplanes without cockpits—not tiny copters. “Multi-rotor copters” also avoids the pitfalls of a term like “mini-drones,” since weaponized drones will inevitably decrease in size, as all technology tends to.

Cases of mistaken drone identity are already cropping up. In late January, a small multi-rotor copter carrying crystal meth crashed near the U.S.-Mexico border, apparently overburdened by its illicit load. After all, the drone pictured by the Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Tijuana was designed for hobbies, not smuggling.

But the LA Times chose to illustrate its story with a photo of a Predator drone, though there is no evidence this type of drone was ever utilized. Expect more such mix-ups, given that a DEA spokesperson told a Mexican news outlet in 2012 that there have been over 150 attempts to carry drugs over the border via drone.

When drones make the news, it’s never immediately clear if we ought to be marveling at technical advancements or running for our lives. Consider this my vote for the term “multi-rotor copters,” which we can instantly recognize as mostly harmless. 

DJI Phantom and Predator drone photos via Wikimedia Commons

View full post on ReadWrite

What you need to know about SEO going into 2015 – The Next Web

What you need to know about SEO going into 2015
The Next Web
Any good marketer or business owner trying to leverage the Web to connect with more prospective customers knows that SEO is always changing. As the new year approaches, it's a good idea to to study up on current and future marketing, advertising, and …

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5 Things You Need To Know About Xiaomi

Four years ago, consumer electronics company Xiaomi didn’t even have a smartphone product. Now the former startup is worth $45 billion and has become one of the three top phone makers in the world.

If you keep up with the job-hopping antics of tech execs, then you might have come across Xiaomi when Google VP Hugo Barra left his comfy American gig a year and a half ago to join the Chinese tech titan. Now a high-end smartphone maker often described as China’s Apple, Xiaomi unveiled new devices Thursday in Beijing, including new Mi Note phablets whose high-end specs (but lower prices) seem to take aim at the iPhone 6 Plus.

Xiaomi’s meteoric rise in its home country pits it against Apple, which finds the Chinese market of intense interest. The contender has been largely ignoring the U.S., but that doesn’t mean it won’t become our own tech overlord one day. In fact, plans may already be in the works for an American tech invasion.

So if you’re not already familiar, here’s a basic primer on the company that could fuel all of our digital lives before long.

How To Pronounce “Xiaomi”

According to Barra, it sounds similar to “show me,” but the first part doesn’t take the longer “o” sound. Think “shout me,” minus the “t.” There’s an even finer distinction that the well-tuned Chinese ear could pick up, but for non-native speakers, this is good enough to get you by.

What “Xiaomi” Means

The name means “little rice” in Chinese, which is adorable and belies the big deal the company is actually becoming.

How The Company Grew

The company makes smartphones for China, Taiwan, Singapore and other South East Asian countries, but with low overhead—its devices are sold exclusively online—so it can offer bargain prices. It also uses components from an array of outside vendors instead of trying to make its own parts (or pretending to), so it doesn’t have to compromise on hardware specifications—like bigger tech companies often do. 

Xiaomi’s fans also consider it a cool local brand. The company’s product announcements come off like rock concerts, and it’s very active on social media. Yet, it also manages to convey an image of humility and care for the customer experience. That helped it overcome a potential nightmare recently: When it came to light that it collected addressbook contacts without users’ permission, Xiaomi didn’t equivocate, but apologized and changed the default setting. Taiwan investigated the matter and wound up dismissing it.

A more cynical view of its business: Xiaomi succeeds because it rips off other people’s products. (See below.)

Why It’s Considered China’s Apple

Though Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun hates the comparison, it exists because there are some striking similarities between products from the iPhone maker and Xiaomi devices. Superficially, the latter’s Mi Pad tablet was a dead ringer for the iPad mini, and some say its latest Mi Note phablets take cues from Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, not to mention some rather iOS-like software, complete with bright colors and flat design. 

For all that hand-wringing, though, what’s less clear is that consumers actually care. For far less than what Apple or its rival Samsung charges for flagship devices—full price, the base model iPhone 6 Plus costs close to $1,000 U.S. dollars in China—customers will be able to pick up the new Mi Note for about $370 (base model) and $520 (pro version).

The 5.7-inch phablet measures 6.95mm in thickness and comes with a 3200 mAh battery, curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and high-megapixel cameras in the front (4 MP) and rear (13 MP), with wide aperture and optical; image stabilization. Users can pick from a choice of Snapdragon processors, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, 16GB or 64GB of storage, and a 1080p or 1440p display.

The pro model just might be the best smartphone to hit the market yet. Its hardware specifications look even better than the iPhone 6 Plus, with photo-taking abilities as good as the HTC One and other coveted features—such as high fidelity audio quality, super-fast LTE support and dual 4G-SIM support, in a nano SIM and a micro SIM, to cover more networks.

Why You Won’t See The Mi Note In The U.S.

The Mi Note launches in Taiwan in the next quarter; after that, it’s off to other non-U.S. markets. However, Xiaomi does want to reach American consumers, and this year, it will begin work on devices and dealing with the LTE bands in use here for a product roll-out later.

Xiaomi faces some significant challenges in doing so, though. Not the least of these is the fact that smartphone components and designs are heavily patented—and Xiaomi doesn’t hold many such patents itself. That means it would need to spend huge sums on licensing before it can sell in the U.S. or Western Europe. For a company that mostly sells its products close to cost, that’s a big hurdle.

Smartphones, however, look like just one piece of Xiaomi’s larger puzzle. The company has big ambitions and the underpinnings of a broader smart home play already in place. The company sells connected electronics through its Mi.com website, and it all links up by Xiaomi’s software, a variation on Android called Miui, notes Stratechery’s Ben Thompson, a Taiwan-based technology consultant and writer. 

… you could argue that Xiaomi is actually the first “Internet of Things” company: unlike Google (Nest), Apple (HomeKit), or even Samsung (SmartThings), all of whom are offering some sort of open SDK to tie everything together … Xiaomi is integrating everything itself and selling everything one needs on Mi.com to a fan base primed to outfit their homes for the very first time. It’s absolutely a vertical strategy—the company is like Apple after all—it’s just that the product offering is far broader than anything even Gene Munster could imagine. 

Those products have limited reach, though, since they live only in Xiaomi’s existing Asian markets (where patent law is somewhat less strict). For now, anyway. 

Images courtesy of Xiaomi

View full post on ReadWrite

7 Clues You Need to Hire an SEO Company – Small Business Trends


Small Business Trends
7 Clues You Need to Hire an SEO Company
Small Business Trends
There are many differing opinions on whether or not you need to hire an SEO company to help you, but ultimately it all boils down to timing. There are times in a company's life that an SEO agency isn't necessary, and in fact it could do more harm than

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Constant Algorithm Changes One Reason Businesses Need Expert SEO Help – Mobile Marketing Watch


Mobile Marketing Watch
Constant Algorithm Changes One Reason Businesses Need Expert SEO Help
Mobile Marketing Watch
Constant Algorithm Changes One Reason Businesses Need Expert SEO Help Fewer and fewer companies are unaware of the value of search engine optimization (SEO) — that process of increasing visibility and reach on the web. But most businesses are …

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What CROs Need to Know About SEO in 2015 – Business 2 Community


Business 2 Community
What CROs Need to Know About SEO in 2015
Business 2 Community
No longer are we in a world where building links or a ton of SEO friendly content leads to top rankings. In today's post penguin, post panda world, one must earn their rankings and it certainly isn't easy to do so. Fundamentally, it's obvious that

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SearchCap: Yahoo Search Losing Firefox Users, Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Local Algorithm & More

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Yahoo Search Losing Firefox Users, Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Local Algorithm & More appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Local Algorithm, Pigeon

Columnist Neil Patel provides a summary of what we know about Pigeon, Google’s new local search ranking algorithm that was rolled out in July 2014.

The post Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Local Algorithm, Pigeon appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

10 Essential LinkedIn Tips, Tools, and Strategies You Need to Know by @kikolani

When it comes to LinkedIn, you know you need to complete your profile, participate in groups, create company pages, and create showcase pages to get results. So, this post is going to skip over the basics and dive right into the tips, tools and resources you need to take your LinkedIn experience to the next level. How to Unsubscribe From Blog Posts There’s nothing worse that being subscribed to notifications that you didn’t opt-in to voluntarily. LinkedIn’s notifications of new posts by people in your network aren’t so bad if you have a small network. But when you have 10k […]

The post 10 Essential LinkedIn Tips, Tools, and Strategies You Need to Know by @kikolani appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Top of Google, Top of Mind: 2015 SEO Trends You Need to Know – Business 2 Community

Top of Google, Top of Mind: 2015 SEO Trends You Need to Know
Business 2 Community
Local SEO has already gained one update in 2014 via Pigeon and as mobile searches increase, local searches are going to increase as well. Making sure that your site is listed and optimized to show in Google's local results will be key to maximizing

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