STATE OF AMERICA
Free-Phone-For Data Project: A Look Into How The Next Generation Views Privacy – For four years, nearly 200 high school students in Dallas voluntarily allowed every text, email and IM to be monitored in exchange for a free BlackBerry. Despite being fully aware of being monitored, messages ranged from completely innocent or contained swearing to sexual references and even drug deals among the half a million texts researchers received every month. While it is shocking to some that kids would so willingly allow their most intimate conversations to be mined for data about everything from bullying to suicidal thoughts, it’s loud and clear that privacy does not mean the same thing as it does to older generations.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
A Look Into Why Gen Y May Believe Owning A Car Is “Not Cool” – Millennials are often viewed as “game changers” in the auto industry. Over the next 10 years, it’s anticipated that 40% of new cars sold will be purchased by Gen Y consumers. That’s assuming Gen Y consumers actually wind up owning cars at all. Perhaps that’s not the safest assumption to make. While the decline in interest has been blamed on the recession, rising costs related to auto insurance and gasoline, and even on the Internet, texting and smartphones, Millennials have very different values than their parents when it comes to cars. Waiting to buy their first Beemer is now said ironically than excitedly. The car is no longer viewed as a luxury status or a ‘look at me’ symbol as it is for Boomers. Their consumption of cars is much more economical and less egotistical as the options for getting around a city and the highway (sans car) multiply. Driving, it seems, is being seen as a high cost that is becoming easier to cut out.
Walmart Entertainment’s Disc To Digital Program – Want to turn your bulging library of digital video discs into high-definition video streams that you can access anytime without spending a fortune? Walmart has the answer. The company has rolled out its disc-to-digital movie store conversion program as a way to promote use of their new digital content delivery service, Vudu.com. This program allows people to bring DVD or Blu-ray discs to any Walmart store and unlock access to a streaming version of the video through Vudu.com. Here’s how it works: Bring in physical DVDs or Blu-ray discs to a participating Walmart store, then pay $2 per disc to access the streaming equivalent through Vudu on supported devices, including computers, tablets, smartphones and game consoles–basically anything that supports Vudu. Out of the gate, the service offers over 4,000 titles, and it’s available in about 3,500 stores.
Instagram Producing Insta-Artists –
Seemingly unrelated, Instagram-powered art shows are popping up around the U.S. In New York City, Brian Difeo, head of the Instagram NYC community, recently put on an exhibition of Instagram images. His aim was to elevate the Instagram image to new heights. The show included images culled from six of Instagram’s most popular NYC photographers voted on via a social media contest sponsored by the W Times Square. In Fort Lauderdale, Joshua Miller, the executive director of C&I Studios, also put together an Instagram art show. Using a hashtag, Joshua ran a photo-a-day contest for 25 days. Every day people submitted photos based on a daily theme which culminated into an exhibit. In providing amateur photographers access to creative tools, once only accessible in the professional world, Instagram is disrupting the notion that only ‘true’ artists can create gallery worthy art.
ON THE RADAR
Read This: Next Issue is a Netflix-style service that offers a buffet of magazines for your tablet device. Available now on Android tablets, and coming soon to iPad, Next Issue is a collaboration between five big magazine publishers including Condé Nast, Hearst, News Corporation and Time Inc. For a flat monthly fee of $9.99 users can access unlimited monthly and biweekly magazine issues.
Know This: These days, it’s all about instant access and gift registries are finally catching up. MyRegistry allows users to add gifts from any site on the Internet onto one universal gift registry. After adding a “MyRegistry” button to their bookmark bar, users can easily add items to their registry from any site they visit. There is also an option to sync pre-existing store registries and even register for cash.
Try This App: Cupidtino, an online dating service designed specifically for people who love Apple products, released an iPhone app to complement their dating website. The app is free and lets users search and browse profiles and send ‘heartbeats’ to members that interest them. When it comes to dating, it’s always good to start with a common interest.