Z10 Not Setting the U.S. on Fire in Early Going – AT&T’s Lack of Promotion for New Phone Could Be a Factor, News Report Hints

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BlackBerry’s Z10 hit the U.S. market today with AT&T being the first carrier to launch the touchscreen Smartphone.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), however, unlike the Z10’s successful launch in Canada and the U.K. early last month, there appeared to be little interest in the device powered by the new BlackBerry 10 platform.

Although there did not appear to be a ton of customer interest in the Z10, that could, at least partly, be AT&T’s fault.

The WSJ said AT&T doesn’t appear to be highlighting the Z10 or giving it prominent shelf space at any of its stores.

“At two AT&T stores in Manhattan, there were neither special signs nor floor displays to highlight the Z10,” the WSJ report said. “Apple on the other hand, still had its own space on the wall prominently displaying three different iPhones in the stores.

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10

“At a downtown San Francisco AT&T store, when a customer asked to see the Z10, the store’s representatives had to retrieve it from the back. The device hadn’t been put out on display at the store’s opening due to difficulties setting it up, a store employee said. The device was eventually installed on a display at a back corner of the store, away from a large sign advertising the iPhone 5.”

According to The Washington Post, while BlackBerry is excited about the U.S. launch, the company also has realistic expectations.

CEO Thorsten Heins told the Post his expectations are simple: to keep BlackBerry’s current customer base, convert those who are looking for a change from an iPhone or Android-operated device and persuade former BlackBerry fans to give the Z10 a whirl.

Heins said he has no illusions about overtaking Samsung and Apple, which hold first and second place respectively in the Smartphone market. The goal, he said, is to make modest gains to secure third place.

“The expectation is to gain market share,” Heins told the Post. “We’re not content with where we are today.”

The Specs:

The device has 3G and 4G LTE connectivity and features a 4.2-inch display — larger than the iPhone at four inches, but smaller than Samsung’s Galaxy S III at 4.8 inches.

The Z10’s display boasts 1280 x 768 resolution at 356 ppi pixel density. Only the Droid DNA has a higher density at 440 ppi. The device is 0.35 inches thick and weighs in at 0.3 pounds, which makes it comparable to Galaxy S III.

The device is made of plastic and metal with a rubberized back. The back comes off easily allowing access to the battery. Its display features an all-glass panel fitted into the metal frame. While it is not made of Gorilla glass, it has similar properties and boasts an anti-grease coating.

The Z10 is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core processor and has 2GB RAM — double that of the iPhone or Galaxy S III. It offers 16GB of storage, but will accept cards up to 32GB.

It features a USB 2.0 high speed port, allowing charging and data synchronization of the device with a USB cable and a micro HDMI for connection to HDTV or a projector.

The battery has up to 10 hours of talk time and up to 13 days standby time.

The Z10 features a standard eight-megapixel camera on the back that snaps 1080p HD videos and a two-megapixel camera in front with 3x digital zoom and is capable of 720p HD video.

The top three items of the BlackBerry 10 platform are Hub, Flow and Balance.

Here is a breakdown:

• BlackBerry Hub — a single place to manage all conversations whether personal or work in e-mail, BBM messages, social media updates or notifications.

• BlackBerry Flow — enables features and apps to “flow seamlessly” together, helping the user complete the task at hand. “For example, you can tap on an attendee listed for a meeting to see their latest tweet or LinkedIn profile,” a BlackBerry press release reads. “Or tap the thumbnail of a picture you just took to launch the Picture editor and quickly apply a transformation or filter, then instantly share it with your contacts.”

• BlackBerry Balance — technology that separates and secures work applications and data from personal content on BlackBerry devices.

Where to Buy

The BlackBerry Z10 is available now for pre-sales to business customers and for pre-registration to consumers with T-Mobile. It is also available for pre-sale from Verizon Wireless. Besides AT&T, the BlackBerry Z10 is also available from Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile beginning today, and is expected to be available from Verizon Wireless on March 28, and from T-Mobile by the end of the month. The BlackBerry Z10 is expected to retail for $199.99 with a two-year contract, however, pricing may vary by carrier.

The BlackBerry Q10, a more traditional looking BlackBerry complete with a Qwerty keyboard that offers “the absolute best typing experience in the industry,” according to Heins, is to launch in the U.S. in April.

 

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Z10 Not Setting the U.S. on Fire in Early Going

Does Your Website Have Video? If Not, You Could Be Missing Out

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Many people wouldn’t think there is a link between SEO and videos on your website. In fact, the two are very much related. Especially with the popularity of YouTube, video is more important than ever in getting your message across. Search engine crawlers see multimedia elements on a webpage as more diverse, as opposed to just text, so this helps to boost your SEO efforts. Of course, the video description, tags, and title all need to keep your site’s SEO in mind, too. Another benefit of this is that your website and your video could show up in the results, giving you two spots instead of just one.

Reading a website can be cold and impersonal. Even with the most descriptive of text, it can be hard to convey emotion through words. Video allows you to speak your message on your site your way. It will be as if your clients already know you before they even officially become clients. While most people don’t like seeing themselves on video, no one knows your business like you do. Be your brand ambassador, don’t be afraid!

What if I Can’t Afford Video Production?

Videos don’t have to cost a lot of money to produce. Most computers today come with a built in camera and some sort of basic editing software. Or better yet, try and shoot your video in one take and no editing will be necessary. Smart phones and digital cameras also have the ability to shoot video, and small flip-cams are becoming more and more affordable.

Many lawyers have begun using videos on their website, since they are in a competitive industry. For example, when I searched for “south Florida personal injury attorney” I came across this video. It was done in one take, with very little post production.  I found his video which contained a link to his website.

Keep your video short, around 2 minutes or less. It is ok to reiterate information that is already found elsewhere on your site. The chances that every person who visits your site will read every page and watch your entire video is pretty slim. Don’t overestimate the attention span of the average internet surfer. Even if some of the information is repeated, then it just further engrains the message into the viewer’s head.

I Made My Video, Now What?

A lot of companies that specialize in SEO are already aware how to optimize videos. If you are using a web marketing company, they should be able to help you with embedding the video as well as optimizing your video. Most web companies have SEO experts and web design experts working side by side. A web designer will be able to advise on the best placement of the video, and adjusting the size of the video player if necessary. SEO experts will optimize the video’s title, description, tags, and permalink if applicable.

If you do not employ a web marketing company, search for YouTube videos in your industry. For example, if you are in shoe repair, type “shoe repair” into the search box. Several shoe repair companies have created videos. The Delmar Bootery in Albany, NY has this video on YouTube, which also appears in a Google search for “Albany shoe repair,”. When I visit their website, I see that they have the same video on their homepage.

More than Just YouTube

There are several websites available for hosting videos to embed on your website. Viddler, Vimeo, and Flickr are just a few sites that also provide video hosting. Facebook also hosts videos, and this could be used to drive traffic to your social media site. 

The Friday Traffic Report blog has compiled an impressive list of video hosting websites. Not only is this list exhaustive, it provides the page rank of each site. There are also additional links that can help you to further market your video, if you are so inclined.

With these tips, your website will be a more personal, multi-media experience for visitors. This will also increase your chances of showing up in search engine results. 

Author information

LeslieDuncan

LeslieDuncan

Leslie Duncan is Orlando SEO Content Developer

The post Does Your Website Have Video? If Not, You Could Be Missing Out appeared first on SEO Chat.

Microsoft Received 75,378 Law Enforcement Data Requests in 2012 – Software Firm Releases First Transparency Report

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Microsoft received 75,378 law enforcement requests for customer information in 2012, but released the requested “content” in only 2.2 percent of all cases, the software giant has revealed in its first-ever transparency report.

Microsoft, which is following in the footsteps of Google and Twitter by publishing the report, said the 75,378 law enforcement requests affected 137,424 accounts for its major online services: Hotmail, Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Xbox Live and Skype.

“While it is not possible to directly compare the number of requests to the number of users affected, it is likely that less than 0.02 percent of active users were affected,” the report said. “The data shows that, after a careful review of each request by our compliance teams, 18 percent of law enforcement requests to Microsoft resulted in the disclosure of no customer data.”

In the report, Skype stats are reported separately from the company’s other services because, prior to being acquired by Microsoft in late 2011, Skype collected data in a different format. Skype received 4,713 requests for information while the other services combined received 70,665.

In the portion of the report detailing stats for Hotmail, Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Xbox Live, Microsoft complied with 79.8 percent of requests seeking non-content data. Such data includes an account holder’s name, gender, e-mail address, IP address, country of residence and dates and times of data traffic.

Britain, France, Germany, Turkey and the United States accounted for 69 percent of the 70,665 requests Microsoft received in 2012, the report revealed.

The firm, meanwhile, complied with only 2.2 percent of requests for customers’ content. Content includes e-mail subject lines, the contents of e-mail messages or pictures or documents stored on SkyDrive.

Content of communications was disclosed in 1,544 cases to American law enforcement agencies and in 14 cases to officials in Brazil, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

“It’s insightful, I believe, to look at the governments to whom customer content was disclosed,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice-president of legal and corporate affairs. “Of the 1,558 disclosures of customer content, more than 99 percent were in response to lawful warrants from courts in the United States.”

Despite receiving 4,713 requests for user content, Skype did not release any of the requested data to law enforcement.

“Skype produced no content in response to these requests,” Microsoft said, “but did provide non-content data, such as a SkypeID, name, e-mail account, billing information and call detail records if a user subscribed to the Skype In/Online service, which connects to a telephone number.”

In the cases of non-content data, the top five countries — the U.K., U.S., Germany, France and Taiwan — accounted for 81 percent of all requests.

National Security Letters

When it comes to National Security Letters (NSLs), Microsoft can offer only vague information, according to government regulations.

“The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other senior FBI officials are authorized to issue National Security Letters to electronic communication service providers, such as Microsoft, to obtain ‘the name, address, length of service, and local and long distance toll billing records’ of our users if it is ‘relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities,’” the report said.

Below is a table with data detailing the NSLs received by Microsoft since 2009:

 

Year

Number of NSLs

Identifiers

2012

0-999

1,000 – 1,999

2011

1,000 – 1,999

3,000 – 3,999

2010

1,000 – 1,999

5,000 – 5,999

2009

0 – 999

2,000 – 2,999

 

Smith said although Microsoft is obligated to comply with legally binding requests from law enforcement, the company “strives to follow practices that are clear and straightforward.”

They are:

• Microsoft requires a valid subpoena or legal equivalent before we will consider releasing a customer’s non-content data to a law enforcement agency.

• Microsoft requires a court order or warrant before we will consider releasing a customer’s content to law enforcement.

• Microsoft takes a close look in each instance to ensure that the requests we receive for a customer’s information are in accord with the laws, rules and procedures that are applicable to requests for customer data and content.

Additional detailed information on Microsoft’s policies and practices can be found here.

Microsoft will release a transparency report every six months.

 

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Microsoft Received 75,378 Law Enforcement Data Requests in 2012