'Desktop Apps' Category

Marketing Baseball Cards: Bubble, Boom or Bust?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on October 30th, 2015 at 5:54 pm

“Say it ain’t so Joe!”

Those words were supposedly uttered by a small boy outside the Cook County (IL) Courthouse to ‘Shoeless Joe’ Jackson. He had just finished testifying to a grand jury; one of eight Chicago White Sox baseball players who allegedly took bribes allowing the Cincinnati Reds to win the 1919 World Series. Jackson was banned from baseball after the 1920 season but was found innocent in 1921 by a jury.
Debates have raged for 90+ years on Jackson’s guilt or innocence; his baseball cards, however, have stood the test of time. Currently on eBay, for example, you can buy a 1909 E90-1 American Caramel rookie for $10,999.95. If you’ve got some spare change hidden in the sofa, you can grab a 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps Rookie RC #311 for only $38,795, also on eBay (with free shipping!). And in late April, a T206 Honus Wagner card sold at auction for $1.32 million.
While the market for certain types of baseball cards is still strong, a paucity of children and even teenagers at major baseball card shows in recent years appears to be the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Baseball card prices have been falling in recent years... Read more

Emerging Technologies Showcased at SIGGRAPH 2015 Could Be Tomorrow’s Products

Posted by Neal Leavitt on August 20th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

SIGGRAPH has always served as a unique forum for an array of cool and innovative technologies and computer graphics approaches. Last week’s SIGGRAPH 2015 conference continued the trend.
This marked the 42nd conference and exhibition; SIGGRAPH reported that almost 15,000 attendees, partners and media from 70+ nations descended upon the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Kristy Pron, SIGGRAPH’s Emerging Technologies Program Chair said at this year’s conference, “we wanted to find technologies that can be applied to daily life, whether it will be tomorrow or in a few years. We also wanted to uncover practical emerging technology apps from various industries such as automotive.”
So here are a few examples that are still in the nascent stage but could have real-world applications soon:
SemanticPaint – A collaborative effort by Microsoft, the University of Oxford and Stanford University. The SIGGRAPH demo unveiled what the research team says is a “new and interactive and online approach to 3D scene understanding.” The system lets users simultaneously scan their environment and interactively segments a scene by “reaching out and touching any desired object or surface.” Users have continuous live feedback online. The researchers further stated that errors can be immediately corrected in the segmentation and/or learning, which... Read more

The Robot Swarm Is Upon Us

Posted by Neal Leavitt on June 28th, 2015 at 9:30 am

“Exterminate, exterminate.”

-Briefing warning from the Daleks before firing their extermination rays on various "Doctor Who” episodes

What is one of the most well-known catch phrases on the long-running BBC series, “Doctor Who,” might eventually be uttered by a robot greeting you at your front door to take care of your termites.
Farfetched? Maybe right now, but a robot may soon be coming to your home to spray pesticides, clean your windows, and perhaps even tutor your kids.
ABI Research expects the global market for consumer robots to top $6.5 billion by 2017. BI Intelligence says the market for consumer and office robots will grow at a CAGR of 17% between 2015-2019, seven times faster than the market for manufacturing robots.
And some other key takeaways from BI Intelligence in their ‘The Robotics Market Report’:
• Three distinct categories will dominate the consumer/office side: home cleaning and maintenance; telepresence (i.e., telecommuting to events or remote offices) and advanced robots for home entertainment.
• The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets is making it easier to develop robots for consumer and office applications. The report says mobile devices offer designers the opportunity to ‘outsource’ computing and user interface tasks to companion devices, allowing developers... Read more

Welcome Email Optimization: Why It's Important

Posted by Matt Zajechowski on June 17th, 2015 at 9:16 am

When your new customers subscribe to your newsletters or email updates, you unfortunately don’t have the chance to shake their hand and introduce yourself in person. Instead, you have to rely on your welcome email to draw them in, make them feel welcome, and let them know about your products and services.
Your welcome email is your first impression, and welcome emails have 320% more revenue per email than other promotional and bulk marketing emails. Combined with the 86% lift in unique open rate, this means that your welcome email is an opportunity for your company to greatly increase its revenue while also earning more customer loyalty. Here are a few ways to optimize your welcome emails to take advantage of this opportunity.
First, make sure that your subject line is well-crafted. Research shows that including the word “sale” can increase open rates by 23.2%, while using “save” only increases open rates by 3.4%. Other words to include in your subject line are “news,” “bulletin,” and “video,” but stay away from “report” and “webinar.”
Next, optimize the time you send the email and the address from which you send it. Send your welcome email in real time as opposed to a pre-determined bulk... Read more

Discreet Affairs Sites Generating Gobs of Revenue – and Controversy

Posted by Neal Leavitt on May 30th, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery
--Exodus 20:14

What’s considered adultery really isn’t readily defined in this Biblical passage. And for the numerous online sites that offer a chance to be anonymously naughty, that’s probably good for them – and good for their business. And it is a big business.
Earlier this year I wrote a piece on how the dating industry has become a global multi-billion dollar annual industry. Market research firm IBISWorld predicts, for instance, that it will be just under $3 billion in four years.
Data on extramarital dating sites is sparse but UK-based The Independent reported these interesting snippets back in February:
• Canada-based Ashley Madison, the 800-pound gorilla of the industry, is hugely popular in the UK, for instance; it currently operates in 45 countries with more than 32 million members worldwide. Ashley Madison (parent company Avid Life Media is now trying to raise about $200 million by listing shares for Ashley Madison in London later this year) also claims to be the world’s second largest dating site – only Match.com is bigger.
• A 2013 freedom of information request showed that Members of Parliament, peers, and their staff in Parliament had clicked on an extra-marital dating website called Out of... Read more