What does a Trump presidency mean for tech? It’s complicated

Today, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. As the most powerful man in the world, he’ll be in a position to shape technology policy. The decisions Trump and his administration make over the next four years will determine whether America remains a leader in innovation and beyond; but what does this mean in practice? Immigration A cornerstone of Donald Trump’s campaign was immigration. It is this area in which Silicon Valley is most at odds with the President. During the leadership of Barack Obama, Facebook lobbied heavily in favor of immigration reform with the aim…

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Redheads rejoice! Ginger emoji might at long last be on the way

Redheads from across the globe may soon be no longer misrepresented in the world of texting as the Unicode Committee has finally put ginger-haired emoji on the agenda for its next meeting. Emojipedia reports the committee will assemble next week at the Apple campus in Cupertino to go over a new proposal from the Unicode Subcommittee and iron out the details around the possible implementation of redhead emoji. At the gathering, the committee will discuss important matters like what range of currently existing emoji will fall under the new ginger hair option as well as how widely customizable the new hair color variation will be.…

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Help sell your apps with AppLandr’s professional, auto-generated landing pages

Just because you’ve built a great app doesn’t mean people are going to start buying it. To stand out in the sea of apps flooding Apple and Google’s storefronts, you’ve got to create dynamic, engaging landing pages to show why customers need it. With an AppLandr plan, you can have that impressive online calling card ready to go in a matter of minutes. Right now, you can get AppLandr working to help sell your apps for only $59 for a lifetime subscription available now from TNW Deals. Just input your store URL, and AppLandr does the rest — generating gorgeous,…

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How to watch – or avoid – the Trump inauguration

Like it or not, Trump officially becomes the 45th president of the United States today. Whether you’re looking forward to the next four years or completely petrified, we’ve compiled a list of how to the watch the event, as well as some tips on how to hide from it. First, you need to know when to tune in (or tune out): 9:30am EST – Inauguration ceremony begins 11:30am EST – Opening remarks 12pm EST – Trump takes oath of office 12:30pm EST – Ceremony ends 3pm EST – Inaugural Parade Online In addition to normal channel coverage by NBC, CBS,…

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Award-winning film director robs grocery store to prove piracy is wrong

Irritated to find out employees of a certain grocery store have been illegally downloading and sharing one of his movies, film director Casey Tebo set out to take matters into his own hands and teach movie pirates a lesson they won’t forget. The filmmaker, who scooped an Emmy award for his work on ESPN’s Dream On: The Stories of Boston’s Strongest, raised $500,000 from close friends and acquaintances to direct a horror movie called Happy Birthday. But as it turns out, not everyone who saw the movie opted to pay for it. According to Tebo, an employee of an undisclosed grocery store torrented…

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Five most interesting search marketing news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week, Amazon is wooing Prime subscribers with a new, exclusive credit card, brand interest in Snapchat may not be as high as it seems, and the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is on the up-and-up, reaching a record of 14 million anonymous searches in one day.

Amazon unveils new credit card exclusive to Prime members

Since the launch of Amazon Prime as an express shipping service in 2005, Amazon has continued to add benefits to its exclusive subscription service in a bit to retain existing subscribers and lure new ones.

The latest of these is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, a new credit card exclusive to Amazon Prime members, which offers a hefty 5% cashback on all Amazon purchases, as well as a 1-2% cashback on other types of purchase, and a $70 gift card to new cardholders once they’re approved.

Al Roberts covered the news for ClickZ this week, looking at how Amazon is aiming to outdo major retail rival Costco with the new card, in its bid to become the go-to retailer in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, the only card that offers 5% Back on all Amazon.com purchases and rewards everywhere else you shop. (Photo: Business Wire)

More brands sign up for Snapchat, but not all are active

Snapchat is currently preparing to make an Initial Public Offering that could be the largest in the social media space since Facebook’s in 2012.

But although Snapchat has made a number of moves to tempt businesses into marketing on its platform, such as adding ecommerce features, redesigning its Discover platform to appeal to publishers, and adding Facebook-like audience targeting, a new report by research firm L2 has revealed that many businesses still don’t know what to do with Snapchat.

According to L2, many of the brands that are signed up to Snapchat have “struggled to produce content for the platform”, and the amount of active brands on Snapchat dropped from 70% to 67% between January and October. Al Roberts reported on the news for ClickZ this week and assessed whether Snapchat will be able to build up the momentum to challenge Facebook’s social media dominance.

Why the world’s major brands are making the switch to their own web extension

To date, more than 550 of the world’s largest brands have applied for their own Top-Level Domains, or TLDs – the part of a URL that appears after the dot (e.g. .com or .net).

Given the sizeable application fee of almost $200,000 USD, it stands to reason that most of the brands using these TLDs are big hitters like Apple, Google, Walmart and Nike, using them to create more simplified and memorable navigation that harks back to the days of Windows 2000. Tereza Litsa looked at how the new extensions work, and what the benefits are for both marketers and consumers.

A bunch of colourful road signs bearing custom top-level domains such as .music, .nyc and .club.

Image by felixart05, available via CC BY-ND 3.0

eBay to launch authentication service for high-end merchandise

eBay is one of the web’s foremost ecommerce pioneers, facilitating the purchase of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods every year. But one of its biggest sources of friction relates to the sale of counterfeit goods, particularly high-end and luxury goods such as jewellery, fashion and handbags.

For years, eBay has offered a Verified Rights Owner programme which lets brands report suspected fakes, but late last week it announced that it will be launching a new programme, eBay Authenticate, which is specifically targeted at sellers of luxury items. Due to roll out later this year, eBay Authenticate will allow high-end sellers to have professional authenticators evaluate their items for an as-yet unspecified fee. It also promises, subject to certain terms and conditions, to refund buyers twice the cost of the original item if merchandise they purchase is found to be counterfeit during the eBay Authenticate process.

DuckDuckGo hits 14 million searches in one day

The privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo yesterday announced two major milestones to its blog: at the end of last year, it surpassed a cumulative total of 10 billion searches served, with more than 4 billion of those carried out in 2016 alone. And earlier this month, DuckDuckGo reached an all-time high of 14 million searches in just one day.

A novelty rubber duck wearing scuba diving gear.

DuckDuckGo hailed this news as a success for the spread of privacy online, pointing out a Pew Research Study which reported that 40% of users believe their search engine shouldn’t retain information about their search activity. It’s definitely a huge achievement for a small, independent search engine like DuckDuckGo, which doesn’t retain any information about its users or sell it on to advertisers, and whose features are largely community-created and crowdsourced.

Its presence mostly spreads by word of mouth, and yet DuckDuckGo’s traffic is growing faster than ever, which could indicate that more and more people are starting to take an interest in privacy and anonymity online.

Retro Patents let you decorate your wall with the world’s greatest ideas

If you’ve got a drab, white-washed bit of wall in desperate need of something eye-catching, you might want to check out Retro Patents. As you might expect, this lets you to order gorgeous, minimalistic prints of patent designs from the comfort of your own sofa. For just $25, you can adorn your wall with the idea behind the iPhone or the BlackBerry, or services like PayPal or Stripe. And really, they’re gorgeous. A photo posted by Retro Patents (@retropatents) on Jan 6, 2017 at 11:08am PST Craig Watson, the founder of Retro Patents, explained the inspiration behind the idea: “I think…

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Japan is testing USB phone charging stations in public transport buses

As someone who’s been walking around with a beat-up iPhone 5 and a battery ready to die on me any moment, having access to more public phone charging stations is something I can absolutely get behind. It seems Japan is sympathetic to this need. According to Japanese news outlet IT Media, a public transport bus in the Tokyo area has introduced, and is currently testing, USB charging stations for commuter phones and tablets. While the local Bureau of Transportation hasn’t formally announced or confirmed the trials, numerous passengers so far have reported seeing the charging ports. The service runs free of charge, with at least…

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The world’s smallest camera drone can be yours for just $27 right now

We love finding great deals for our loyal TNW friends — and we get even more excited when we can get you something cool at the cheapest price possible. So imagine our joy at being able to offer you the world’s smallest camera drone for just $26.99. Yep, we’ve got a batch of these cool little quadcopters available from TNW Deals for nearly half off the retail price. The Cheerson CX-10C is less than an inch high, less than two inches across, and weighs just over an ounce. Yet somehow, this mini-beast still packs a camera in its tiny frame,…

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Instagram is crashing for some users – here’s how to fix it

Twitter has been abuzz over the past several hours with many users complaining that Instagram’s Android and iOS apps are crashing when they try to upload photos and Stories. The bug appears to have cropped up with the latest update. We haven’t been able to replicate it on version 10.4.0 for Android or on version 10.4.1 for iOS, but users have reported that tapping the + button to upload content causes the screen to go black for an instant, after which the app crashes. If you’re experiencing this issue as well, you can follow Instagram’s suggestions from this help page:…

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