Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Braylon 2This year’s Super Bowl saw Microsoft investing heavily with two 60 second spots promoting its ‘empowering’ campaign, in addition to an on-the-field sponsorship with the Surface tablet. Their best ranked ad was the heartwarming story titled ‘Braylon’. You see a young boy running happily with prosthetic legs, grateful parents close behind, all made possible through Microsoft technology. While the ad didn’t carry the typical shock-value that makes for interesting conversation the next day, USA Today ranked ‘Braylon’ 4th in the overall popularity of this year’s Super Bowl ads.

Microsoft’s history in the big game goes back only one year. In 2014 it had one 60 second spot about technology empowering humans to achieve. Among a montage of clips is a young boy running on prosthetic legs. Sound familiar? ‘Braylon’ and the empowering theme were repurposed into the ad this year. To most brands, the big game provides a once-a-year opportunity to be creative, competitive and sometimes even risky and provocative. Apple with ‘1984’ or Google with ‘Parisian Love’ demonstrated how a technology company might use the opportunity. But with repurposed content, Microsoft appears to have another agenda.

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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

Big news-packed week, with President Obama delivering the State of the Union (complete with full-scale digital coverage from the media and the White House), where the president seemed to close the chapter on the economic downturn and upturn the focus on helping the middle class by taxing higher earners; some pundits said the delivery was more of a end-of-term victory lap one year ahead of schedule.

Elsewhere:

  • The King of Saudi Arabia died, raising uncertainty in the relatively stable nation;
  • The US-backed Yemen government collapsed; raising uncertainty in a highly unstable nation;
  • Europe is launching a QE program, proposing to buy $58 billion in bonds a month;
  • The Dow rose a bit last week, up 0.9 percent to end Friday at 17,672, helped a bit by the Eurozone stimulus announcement;
  • “American Sniper” was a box-office winner and fodder for red and blue commentary on combat, guns and war all week;
  • Google’s going cellular, planning to offer wireless service;

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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

Hack Attack: If you don’t want it read (because it will likely be hacked and made public), don’t email it.  So learned Hollywood bigs this week, as Sony head Amy Pascal and others were victims of the work of Guardians of Peace, an anonymous group that targeted Sony Corp email accounts, which led to pretty juicy headlines (read The New York Post for some of the best coverage especially on pretty racial comments about President Obama’s assumed movie tastes and everything nasty about Angelina Jolie).

Elsewhere:

  • Crude-oil prices continue to sink, sending stocks sharply lower, a positive for consumers at the pump but a drag on oil-producing companies and an increase in talk of deflation on the overall economy;
  • That led to the markets biggest weekly loss in three years, with the Dow plunging 3.8 percent for the week and some 315 points alone on Friday to end at 17,280;
  • Bloomberg, the terminals chief, seems to be cleaning house, making some terminal decisions for at least one long timer, with News Editor-in-Chief Matt Winkler stepping down, replaced by John Micklethwait from The Economist; Winkler will assume the new role of emeritus editor-in-chief;
  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year;
  • Ebola fighters were named Time people of the year;
  • Congress passed a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown; and
  • In a win for Bitcoins, Microsoft will allow the currency to be used to pay for certain products. End of Story
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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

The “national hyperventilation” (NPR) over the “scream-fire-in-a-crowded-theatre”  coverage (me) of Ebola continued as a viral virus, with a doctor now contaminated in New York moving to center stage with surprisingly swift action taken by those in charge here amid lessons learned from Dallas no doubt.  The coverage will continue with big precautions no doubt put in place and HazMat costumes a Halloween rage (so not creative).

Elsewhere:

  • The markets continued a volatile path with the broader indexes boasting their biggest weekly gains in more than a year, and the Dow up 2.6 percent on the week to end at 16,805;
  • Apple posted record year-end results and Microsoft revenue increased as Amazon recorded steep losses and saw its stock tumble;
  • Normally peaceful Ottawa witnessed a gunman kill a Canadian soldier;
  • Consumer giant P&G announced senior-management changes in a bid for a more focused company and amid talk on CEO succession plans;
  • Washington Post Editor and “Watergate Warrior” (NYT) Ben Bradlee died, called in memorials the last of “lion-king” newspaper editors;
  • The Sunday New York Post columnist Terry Keenan died, a pioneering financial journalist who was the first to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for CNN; and
  • And outside of media circles but a media celebrity himself, Oscar de la Renta, fashion luminary, died. End of Story
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icon_iThoughts

Type:
Productivity

System:
iOS & Mac

Cost:
$9.99 & $47.99*

One might not be able to tell from my desk, but I’m actually kind of an organization freak. Not necessarily a neat freak (though I do love myself a good rug vacuuming), but instead I just like to put everything in its place. No no, this isn’t some deep-rooted psychological issue. (This time.) Life can be . . . hectic. But despite how fast-paced things are, and how I’m being pulled every which way, I continue to cultivate projects, ideas, and goals up in the vast reaches of my cerebral cortex. But how do I find time to manage the results of all my firing synapses?

Enter iThoughts, a fantastic mind mapping App available on iPhone/iPad, and also on the Mac. Sorry PC pals and Droid dudes (and dudettes), but since most of you have an iDevice, I think you’re covered, and if you’re not . . . well that’s irrelevant, isn’t it? Oh, but what is a mind map?

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added.

The beauty of iThoughts is that it allows someone to create a series of customizable mind maps, each with a multitude of connected thoughts, media elements and research. But what makes this specific mind mapping App so great?

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