The Time Has Come: This Is The First Ad On Instagram

The fateful day has come: Ads have officially entered your Instagram news feed. 

We knew they were coming and what they would look like for a while now (and even how to get rid of them), but this Michael Kors advertisement is the first loose in the wild. 

Below is the actual photo, though when you see it on your feed it will be clearly marked “sponsored.”

Although the picture has a lot of likes, the most recent comments are telling… Instagram users aren’t happy to see advertising in their feeds (even if it does look pretty).  

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YouTube Isn’t Playing Nice With TV Networks Anymore

TV on fire

Last week, we told you about Publicis Groupe’s big deal to purchase tens of millions of dollars in YouTube advertising and how the move was a harbinger of how the online video platform might steal bigger slices of television’s advertising revenues in the future.

Now, Ad Age is reporting that YouTube will no longer offer television networks and movie studios the so-called “sweetheart deals” that gave the networks 70% of the advertising revenues YouTube made from ads placed on content from ABC, NBC, and the like.

Instead, YouTube is offering a deal by which networks will have to settle for the 45% split YouTube offers online-only content networks like Machinima and AwesomenessTV.

The terms can be seen as something of a power move by YouTube, evidence that the company’s ad sales department feels it has enough leverage over traditional video content producers to twist their arms into giving up some of the guaranteed money they once received simply for gracing YouTube with their premium content.

Now, YouTube is saying it no longer needs mainstream television’s stamp of authenticity, forcing the networks to compete on the same playing field as the rest of the platform’s users and professional content providers.

The new terms are not quite take-it-or-leave-it for the networks, though. While YouTube has lowered the percentage networks it will get when it sells ads at the baseline price, Ad Age reports that YouTube is lowering that baseline and offering the networks an opportunity to keep 100% of the revenues they receive beyond those minimum prices.

By doing so, YouTube is betting that the 35% increase in its slice of the baseline revenue pie will amount to more money than whatever revenues the television networks can get from advertisers by charging them higher prices.

If television networks accept the terms YouTube is offering, the only way they can avoid giving up another sliver of the advertising pie will be to convince advertisers that their inventory is of significantly higher quality or easier to purchase than that of other YouTube content providers. Otherwise, the advertisers might not be willing to pay more money per view than they would have to elsewhere on the site.

In short, YouTube appears to be betting on the following theories:

  1. That viewers no longer associate the traditional broadcast television networks with a higher level of quality than made-for-online video.
  2. That advertising buyers will recognize this fact and be unwilling to pay higher prices to have their ads placed beside content from the traditional television networks.
  3. That even if the new contract terms YouTube is offering give the networks less money than the old ones, its growing viewership will require the networks to continue posting content on YouTube.

At present, it looks like the networks will have at least a healthy shot at commanding the higher advertising they’d need to win the deal. As Ad Age points out, the networks have the advantage of packaging YouTube media buys with television ad purchases.

Since major media buyers are still spending around 60% of their advertising budgets on television, they might be willing to pay the networks higher prices for YouTube ads in order to avoid the headache of having to make a separate, smaller, YouTube-only ad buy.

Either way, YouTube has placed its cards on the table and pushed a couple chips into the middle. Now it’s television’s turn to decide whether to call. 

SEE ALSO: Publicis’ Big Ad Deal With YouTube Is Broadcast TV’s Worst Nightmare

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Analyst: iPad Air Sales May Top 3 Million This Weekend



There may not be quite as many people waiting outside Apple stores for an iPad Air as there has been for other recent Apple launches, but the device may still have a very successful opening weekend.

Gene Munster, a top Apple analyst with Piper Jaffray, said in an investor note Friday that he expects Apple to sell 2.5 million to 3.5 million iPad Air devices this weekend. If sales came in at the high end, that would be more than the 3 million devices sold during the opening weekend when Apple introduced the iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad

Unlike last year, Apple is staggering the launch of the two iPad devices by releasing the Retina iPad Mini later this month, which Munster argues accounts for the smaller lines. Read more…

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Oracle Shareholders Say Larry Ellison’s $78 Million Paycheck Is Way Too High (ORCL)

Larry Ellison from Reuters

At Oracle’s annual meeting on Thursday, shareholders told CEO Larry Ellison and Oracle’s other top execs that they makes too much money, reports Reuters’ Noel Randewich.

Shareholders took part in a non-binding ‘say on pay” vote, where they could vote in favor of the pay packages awarded to executives, or against. More than 2 billion votes were cast against, compared to more than 1 billion in favor, Randewich reports.

However, in a mixed message, they also voted to retain all of Oracle’s directors.

Activist investment group CtW Investments, which owns 6 million shares of Oracle, started lobbying for a pay cut for Ellison and other execs in September. They wanted shareholders to vote “no” and also vote out three board member on the Compensation Committee: Bruce Chizen, George Conrades and Naomi Seligman.

“The board should tie his compensation to some kind of revenue target or strategic initiative, not just throw options at him in such a huge amounts,” Michael Price Jones, CtW’s senior governance analyst told Business Insider at the time.

Oracle’s board didn’t see it that way. Oracle’s top attorney, Dorian Daley, responded to CtW by saying

As best we can decipher, your position seems to be that Mr. Ellison’s compensation package is approximately $50 million too high against a backdrop of $13.6 billion in free cash flow delivered under his leadership. In other words, we are spending approximately 36 basis points of our free-cash flow (less than one-half of one percent) too much to ensure the continued services of one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs and technological visionaries.

Top proxy advisor firm, Institutional Shareholder Services, agreed with CtW. It recommended that shareholders vote against Oracle pay packages and vote “withhold” for eight of Oracle’s 11 directors, Reuters’ Ross Kerber reported. A withhold vote is a non-binding way for shareholders to express disapproval.

This is the second year in a row that shareholders have voted against executive pay packages. And Ellison did give up a $1.2 million cash bonus for fiscal 2013, which ended in May. His annual salary is a token $1. But the board still showered him with stock options.

CtW pointed out in a research report that in 2013 that Ellison was paid about $78 million in cash and stock, mostly stock, compared to an industry average of $29 million. In 2012, it was $96 million, compared to an average of $43 million. And in 2011, it was $76 million, compared to $22 million. CtW also wants lower pay for Oracle’s five top execs. In 2012, they were paid $253 million, compared to an industry average of $90 million, it said. 

Larry Ellison is a self-made billionaire, one of the founders of Oracle and the Valley’s longest-running CEO. He’s the heart-and-soul of the company and his pay reflects that. Year after year, Ellison lands on the lists of the highest paid CEOs. 

But his company is struggling to grow as smaller cloud computing players rise up to bite his ankles. And his grand vision of moving Oracle into the hardware business hasn’t yet paid off.

This chart explains the problem:

Oracle sales growth

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Drive This Car With Your Mind — Like a Jedi



Thanks to EEG sensors, controlling objects with the mind has leaped off the pages of science fiction and into reality. Recently, we’ve told you about people controlling drones, exoskeletons — even other people — simply by putting on their thinking caps.

Alejo Bernal, a recent graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, has developed a similar project by designing a toy car that can be driven forward with thought, as long as users wear a NeuroSky EEG headset.

While it’s easy to imagine Bernal’s car being the slickest remote-controlled toy on the block, the car wasn’t designed so much for play as it was for improving concentration skills, especially for those diagnosed with attention deficit disorders. When users focus on moving the car, the vehicle lights up to indicate neuronal activity. Read more…

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7 Productive Things You Can Do When There’s No Internet Access

It is amazing how much we depend on the internet. Whether it is for business or play, we expect our connection to be available 24/7. I have no doubt that a lack of connectivity would stress you out, but you need to remember that you do have a life beyond the online world. An interruption from the internet could offer a powerful boost to your overall productivity. Here are 7 productive things you can do when there’s no internet access.

1. Clean Your Computer Clutter

Let’s say you have computer access but the internet is just down. When is the last time you checked your computer for spyware or malware that could be dragging down your computer performance? Go ahead and start up your program of choice and let it make sure you don’t have any viruses. If you’re looking for a suggestion, I’d recommend CCleaner, Malwarebytes, and Microsoft Security Essentials. While that is running, scan through your Downloads and Documents folders. Trash anything you don’t need and organize the rest in folders so you’ll be able to find it with ease. If you have to spend a full minute looking for a file you need, this might not seem like a big deal, but those minutes can add up to a lot of wasted time in the long-haul. Get organized now so you can be more productive in the future.

2. Call a Friend

When is the last time you actually spoke to a close friend? Texting doesn’t count. Dial up a contact, ask how they are doing, and invite them out for lunch. You will come back feeling refreshed and ready to work.

3. Perform a Workout

There is no reason to stare at your computer screen while it cleans up your files, so go ahead and get a workout in so you’ll have more energy when it’s done. You could do a quick body-weight workout including squats, lunges, and push-ups or you could go outside for a run. Have a dog? Treat it to a nice walk at the park if you want to make its day.

4. Read a Book

Are you fired-up and ready to work? Grab a self-help book that will offer valuable insight and motivation to keep your momentum building. Are you a bit exhausted and burned-out? Zone out with some leisure reading that will provide a much-needed distraction.

5. Catch Up on Real Life

When I get caught up in work stuff, my home reflects that fact. Piled-up dishes, a floor in dire need of vacuuming, a car full of random stuff, an empty refrigerator hungry for groceries, a work desk consumed with distracting clutter, and so on. Neglecting these general things builds up mental stress so take this opportunity to take care all of those things you have been putting off.

6. Make a List

If your internet is down and you’re freaking out because you’re already behind, plan ahead to increase focus and alleviate stress. Write down everything you need to accomplish in order of importance. Decide how you will get the essentials done and delay anything that is non-essential. If you’re on a significant time-crunch, you could take your laptop to a coffee shop or library with Wi-Fi so you can get the important things done ASAP and take care of the rest later.

7. Reflect on Recent History

A lack of internet could boost your overall productivity by interrupting your daily schedule. When we get caught up in the hustle of living, it’s easy to forget to think about how effective we are really being. Grab a notebook and write down your thoughts. Could you eliminate unnecessary tasks that offer little benefit to your business? What would happen if you grouped similar tasks together so you could complete them all when you’re in the right frame of mind? Do you have any strengths most responsible for your success that you could use more frequently? Are there any new ideas you’ve been meaning to pursue but haven’t got around to yet? Have you stayed true to your original purpose or have you strayed off the path along the way? A little mindfulness will go a long way to achieving more success.

How do you stay productive when you wake up to discover you have no internet access? 

You can be productive when you’re watching TV too: 25 Productive Things You Can Do While Watching TV

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This Is Why You Should Stop Thinking About Learning Languages But Start To Learn Now

If you’ve been wanting to learning new languages but have never really started picking up any yet, go and learn it now! Studies have shown that learning a language the earlier in life, the more proficient you can achieve. Read on in the infographic below:


Language And Your Brain | Voxy

Just pick a language and start to learn: Here’re The Hardest Languages For English Speakers To Learn

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