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TODD SMITH — Twitter scores NFL streaming deal for 2016 games



Twitter has scored a big win for streaming live NFL games next fall!

The social media company beat out heavyweights including Amazon and Verizon for global rights to stream the Thursday night games the league will host next season.

The win gives Twitter the ability to show the games to users around the world, without requiring them to sign in to the service. The company hopes that can help kick-start its slowing user growth and provide new and returning Twitter users with a feature they’ll be able to instantly appreciate.

Twitter will also be able to stream the games via its apps on platforms like Xbox game consoles, and the NFL says it is exploring ways to let Twitter stream the games via its syndication partners, including Google and Yahoo.

Twitter will stream 10 of next fall’s 16 Thursday night games – the same 10 games CBS and NBC will broadcast. The NFL network will carry the remaining six games.

While the NFL and Twitter haven’t disclosed the price for the package, people familiar with the bidding said Twitter paid less than $10 million for the entire 10-game package, while rival bids topped $15 million. Those numbers are a fraction of the $450 million CBS and NBC collectively paid for the rights to broadcast the Thursday games.

The fact that NFL games are now available on multiple platforms but with different access rules – free on Twitter, paid via Verizon’s mobile app, etc. – might baffle some would-be viewers who don’t follow social media’s daily moves. .

Last year, Twitter and the NFL signed a two-year deal to distribute highlights and other clips on the service.

3 Ways Google Predicts Your Smart Phone Will Change Work

Software powered by machine learning will help our devices understand how we operate, anticipate our needs, and pave the way for a more productive workday. Here are three ways Google sees the digital work environment transforming:

1. Keeping you on track and on time, every time.

Right now, your smartphone can tell you where there’s traffic on your commute. It can remind you about that big meeting coming up this afternoon. And it can help you sift through your hideous, overflowing inbox. In other words, it can transmit and organize information for you, to a pretty extensive but still limited degree.

What your smartphone can’t do yet, though, is reliably predict events and respond to them effectively. Imagine your phone senses that you’re running late for a meeting, so it calls a ride for you and pings your colleagues with an updated ETA. Later, you’re heading into a daily meeting, and on your walk over your device puts the relevant documents at your fingertips and automatically starts taking notes when you get there.

Or you know those expense reports your accounting team keeps emailing you about filing? What if there was a mobile app that automatically populates your monthly report and asks if you want to submit it the day before it’s due?

Your smartphone is already portable and equipped with geolocation capabilities. Building off those features, it will soon be able to not just detect where you are but deliver what you need at that time and place better than any other device can. You’ll no longer need to search or wait for information – it will find you, then let you take action in ways you probably never thought possible on a handheld screen.

So even if it isn’t that you’ll never be late or disorganized again, you’ll never have as good an excuse to be. With enough time, your smartphone might even learn how to get that hot cup of coffee delivered right to that 9 a.m. meeting.

2. Real remote work, laptop-free.

One day, we’ll look back at the workstation and the 9-to-5 work schedule and wonder how we got anything done. People travel more for work than ever before and have greater flexibility to work remotely. For better or worse, we’re “always on.” Products driven by machine learning will free us from having to choose between flexibility and productivity, from the C-suite all the way down.

Voice transcription, powered by deep learning on neural networks, will fix your grammatical errors more accurately than ever on the fly. In fact, they’ll soon let you do business entirely by speech—no need for a sprawling keyboard or even a screen. Related improvements in input capabilities across all your devices will continue to make everything simpler, from setting up meetings and preparing presentations to organizing files and posting job ads.

And let’s not forget email. Right now, it’s pretty annoying to send lengthy responses on a small screen, but what if software could automatically sort and highlight your most important messages, then predict and generate responses for you? Some of this is already possible today; further advances will let you be even more responsive and stay connected without tethering you so closely to a rectangular slice of glass.

3. Crunch those numbers for you

You use your smartphone to figure out the tip on your brunch bill and divide it up based on who ordered the extra drink. But tomorrow, we’ll use our mobile devices to perform much more complicated, high-value computations. Machine learning will make it easier to process and organize external information for work – whether that’s closing sales, generating reports, or changing your marketing budget in real time, from any device.

As machine learning unlocks valuable skills such as data analysis and makes them available to anyone, smartphones will be an order of magnitude more powerful for those closest to any business challenge. Your phone will become a much more efficient and decisive problem solver.

These changes will be gradual, and not every new development will succeed perfectly at first, but their cumulative effect on how we work will be profound, particularly on mobile. Machine learning is about to have its defining moment.

AP Solves Internet vs. internet dilemma

Is it “Internet,” with a capital “I,” or just “internet”? “Web” or “web”? Few debates in today’s digital world have raged more passionately. Now, The Associated Press – purveyor of the AP Stylebook, used by journalists through the ages to standardize mass communications – has made a pronouncement. No more will the AP insist on capitalizing either word: it has officially declaring its allegiance to the lowercase camp.

So, hey, everyone, here’s the proper way to write it – officially. It’s “internet.” And “web.”

The new styling ruling was announced at the American Copy Editors Society national conference in Portland, Oregon. The Stylebook changes will go into effect when the new print edition is published on June 1, and will include more than 240 new and modified entries.

The AP Stylebook exerts a strong influence over journalistic outlets all over the internet, which means there should be a deluge of young journalists finally learning how to style their articles and screeds and philosophical musings the right way on the web. From now on, it is web. And it is internet.

Okie Mic | Merle Haggard Connected With Audiences Like None Other

The world has lost one of the most gifted – and instantly recognizable – voices whose wrenching lyrics, soulful delivery and gifted licks on the guitar and fiddle touched the generations.

Country giant Merle Haggard, who rose from poverty and prison to international fame through his songs about outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride in such hits as “Okie From Muskogee” and “Sing Me Back Home,” recently died at age 79 after a long battle with pneumonia.

As one of the original “Outlaws” along with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson, his brand of country set him apart – and always set a powerful tone while entertaining the world. Sure, country music has had it share of brilliant songrwriters, unmistakable singers and larger-than life figures. Merle Haggard had all three. The Spin Cycle has been forever transformed by his music, and there is one less gifted voice to carry us away. We will always have the music, and for that, we are forever grateful. You are now entertaining the angels with your honey-touched and real life voice.

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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