IS Magazine Blog

Anchor Has Landed On SoundCloud


SoundCloud has seen higher times and its financial distress could be signs of the end. This news is even more distressing for all the artist that rely upon SoundCloud as a platform to launch their music into the world. Anchor is one of the new startups that are delving into the endangered SoundCloud territory and offering artists a new and improved platform for their music.

Anchor is a new podcast hosting app that has new community features not available on other apps. The company makes it extremely simple to import podcasts from other sources. All a users need to do is plug in their existing RSS feed into Anchor and magically all your content will download. Anchor betters the typical hosting services by allowing users to interact with their listeners with chat rooms and "call-ins" reminiscent of radio talk shows. Fans can also get in on the action with digital applause.

Lyft And Taco Bell Testing Game Changer


Lyft is moving beyond it's original ride sharing services and they are starting to market side stops as an additional feature. Together, Lyft and Taco Bell partnered up to start a marketing campaign. Looking to the future it's a great way to ad revenue and expand the capabilities of the brand. The "Taco Mode" which recently debuted allows riders to add on a stop at Taco Bell while on their Lyft trip.

Just tap the app and make a quick taco stop. It's a great way to keep customers happy. It's already become an issue with many ride share trips. People want to make a stop at the bank, the fast food restaurant, the pharmacy market, and more. Drivers were previously limited in the services they could offer. Some customers would find themselves needing to repeatedly app a driver. Now, one drive can provide the stops the customer wants. Within reason.

Google News Has A New Look


Google News has a new look after a redesign of the company's new aggregation site. This major change updates Google News and brings it to the standard of the other Google services. The change also reduces the cluttered look of previous years. Product Manager for Google News, Anand Paka, shared that the redesign was conceptualized to reduce the clutter users see and make this product more manageable for mainstream news consumers.

To accomplish this, the Google team developed a card-based interface for the news stream which included adding tabs to separate local news headlines and the individual news feed. The long snippets of text which were prominent in the previous design have been removed; and the share buttons for Google+, Twitter and Facebook have been replaced by a trendy share button.

Business First

The New Start Up Visa


The San Francisco Chronicle has recently released a report indicating that the Trump administration may soon rescind or delay the International Entrepreneur Rule. The I.E. rule, which is intended to increase entrepreneurship and innovation, and hopefully lead to job creation, is widely regarded as a type of company startup visa. The program will be overseen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The rule was initially put in place by the Obama Administration and is anxiously anticipated by the startup community. It was set to come into effect on July 17, however, it appears that Homeland Security is now intending to push back the date into 2018 as it finalizes plans to withdraw the rule permanently.

Business FirstInternet Today

Low-cost Amazon Prime For People In Need


Amazon's Prime membership program is highly popular among consumers but the cost can be prohibitive for some. The company has just launched a low-cost version to address this issue. This new offer will be provided to US residents who hold a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer card. The EBT card is often used for the disbursal of various government assistance funds. Now it can discount the use of Prime, though not cannot be used to pay for membership or make purchases on the site.

Prime's regular cost is $10.99 per month. The card can slash this to just $5.99. Despite the discount, membership will still come with full perks such as free photo storage, content streaming, Kindle library access, and many more. The goal is to take Prime closer to low-income households, breaking the notion that the Amazon membership program is a luxury. The company believes that it can provide value to this segment of the population, particularly when it comes to shopping for essential items.

Business FirstCrime and Justice

Patent Trolls Take A Hard Hit From Recent Court Ruling


Patent trolls were dealt a hard blow recently with a US court ruling that a company can only be sued for unlawful infringement on patent rights in the country where the business resides and is incorporated. For thirty odd years, patent trolls have been making a killing by trolling after enterprises that they deem guilty of the patent infringement sin. They're a special breed of entrepreneurs cum opportunists who thrive on suing alleged errant companies in order to earn hefty rewards.

For patent trolls, the days are gone when they can run after the big fish in the pond. The new challenge that the court just added meant chasing perceived Dirty Harries in their bailiwicks where they have full access to an unlimited legal arsenal. Unless the new law were repealed, patent trolls could soon become a dying breed.

Crime and Justice

WannaCry Virus Spreads To Asia


As people logged in to their computers, the worldwide ransomware cyber attack known as the WannaCry virus spread to even more devices on Monday, bringing a halt to school operations, hospitals and businesses. Aside from this new expansion, no new significant outbreaks of the WannaCry virus have been reported thus far and British officials say that the second round of these infections they once feared have yet to come to fruition.

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt noted that the criminal activity that has occurred so far with the virus was not quite up to par with what they had once thought possible.

Britain's health service, among the higher profile victims, was targeted in the online extortion scheme that has taken over both local and worldwide news. To date, however, the new infections of the WannaCry virus have been mostly detained to portions of Asia.

Internet TodaySoftware Sensations

Paypal The J.P. Morgan Of The Internet


Paypal, the famous online payment website has expanded its services. Venmo, Paypal's newest peer-to-peer payment platform, provides an easy to use app that allows easy financial transactions.

Venmo and Paypal dominate the cyber world of peer-to-peer and b2b payments. The goal of these services, provide easy and flexibility. Today, people are using their mobile devices for all types of payments. Mobile devices, including cellular telephones, are the center from which housewives, entrepreneurs, and executives of all types conduct their business of all types.

Paypal's Venmo app allows users to request and make payments from a mobile device. The easy of use is a major key to Venmo's success.

Paypal's success started a decade ago. When consumers started shopping through websites like Ebay or Amazon they needed a secure way to ensure the transaction was both legitimate, legal, and safe.

Crime and JusticeSoftware Sensations

Have You Tried Uber Yet?


There's another lawsuit underway for the folks over at Uber. Apparently started a program they named "Hell". This program allegedly used some black-ops Uber internal software and tracked Lyft drivers, providing information to Uber execs on various statistics about Lyft drivers. Some of these statistics included how many Lyft drivers were out and about at any given time in certain local areas and a gauge as to how much the drivers were charging for rides. The software also allegedly could determine whether drivers worked for both Lyft and Uber (at the same time).

The lawsuit comes from a man named Michael Gonzales, the plaintiff, who drove for Lyft during this period of the "Hell" software usage. He's seeking $5 million in a class action lawsuit, which was filed in Northern California's U.S. District Court. The lawsuit goes directly at Uber, charging them with invasion of privacy of Lyft drivers. The California Invasion of Privacy Act as well as the Federal Wiretap Act were both cited for references in the lawsuit.

Business FirstHardware Innovations

Neuralink Company To Boost Brain Power

Neuralink Company To Boost Brain Power

World-famous entrepreneur Elon Musk has created a new company called Neuralink which will focus on developing the human brain through the power of technological augmentation. At last years' Code Conference Musk spoke about the idea of using surgical connections to the brain to allow an individual to interact with computers (including the mouse and keyboard) without having to use bandwidth. Since then, he has revealed on Twitter that progress has been made on this exploratory technology.