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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

xtra wired march 3

Posted: 03/3/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0


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Groupon fires CEO

GROUPON, a coupon service that allows you to save big money on daily deals, was incredibly popular as late as a year ago, but it has been bleeding since then.

In December 2012, the Internet giant Google apparently wanted to acquire Groupon for $6-billion. Groupon said no. Andrew Mason, who founded the once hot startup was ousted as CEO on Thursday due to the company's poor financial earnings.

When Mason was fired, he bluntly told his former employees: "I was fired today. If you're wondering why... you haven't been paying attention." Since the company went public in 2011, stock prices have fallen more than 80 per cent.

When Groupon launched, the hype was so big, many other companies popped up who did the exact same thing and the market got incredibly saturated quickly. Not to mention the daily deal bargain often seems "fishy" to consumers. Can't wait to see how this pans out.

Facebook's new look

FACEBOOK has been working on a new timeline that is set to roll out March 7. At first glance, the new timeline looks pretty similar to the current design.

In one of the changes, when you share a story on Facebook, if the company that created the story has a Facebook page, a button will appear that allows you to like their page.

This is good for brands that maintain an online blogging presence. The new timeline is very elegant and refined. I quite enjoy the look. Facebook users often complain Facebook is too busy and spammy. With this new timeline, the popular social networking site has tried to de-clutter and make the user experience more enjoyable.

Good move, Facebook.


ON Twitter, if a user is following you, and you are following them, you can send each other a DM, which stands for direct message. On Instagram there is no built-in messaging service. Did I ever see this as a problem? No. However, a new app has popped up and has made quite a splash called InstaDM. The way InstaDM works is, you log in through Instagram, and begin asking users to be your friend. Once the user accepts your invitation, you can now communicate.

The app has quite a clean interface and looks similar to the way the iPhone's text message app works. Push notifications are used so you know when you receive a message. The service is funded by user donations. I have to say the service isn't necessary, but provides a nice new alternative to message internet friends. InstaDM is exclusive to the iOS platform.

Samsung Galaxy S4

SAMSUNG has announced it will be holding its Unpacked event on March 14, when it will announce the Galaxy S4. With the event approaching quickly, rumors have been flying. What's going to be new with the Galaxy S4? Well you can expect a bigger, 4.99-inch, 1080P display. I use the S3 and am amazed with the display quality; I can't even imagine how nice the S4's screen will look.

Another feature you can expect is wireless charging. Techies use the term "wireless charging" loosely. It's not really wireless, it just means you don't have to plug in your device -- you can simply drop it on a charging pad.

One thing the S4 will not come with is an SPen. The S4 is meant to be a daily driver, not a novelty device -- there will be no stylus. Another thing to expect with the Galaxy S4 is it will have a quad-core processor. This is the expected feature that absolutely blows my head off. I remember when I saved up all my money to buy my first MacBook and it only had a dual-core processor. Now smartphones will have four cores? That's crazy.

The S4 is also rumored to have a major camera upgrade. We can expect the device to be sporting a fancy 13-mega-pixel camera. This will allow you to take point-and-shoot camera quality pictures.

The phone's RAM will also be upgraded to 2GBs and the phone will be available in a 16/32GB storage options. Tell me, are you excited for the Samsung Galaxy S4? I'd really like to know. From what the tech sites are broadcasting, it seems like this phone will be quite badass. Send me a tweet @thedavidbell or start a conversation with me: db@thedavidbell.com.

David Bell (@thedavidbell) is a young entrepreneur in Winnipeg. He specializes in emerging technology and online aspects of business, including web and social media consulting. Access his company online at iBXMediaGroup.ca. He is an active member of the YouTube community (http://www.TheDavidBell.com), with more than two million views and 5,000 subscribers. He was also a Dragons' Den contestant. Email: db@thedavidbell.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 3, 2013 ??65535

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