New app lets you fight parking tickets with your smartphone

Most urban drivers will recognize the unpleasant sight of a parking ticket tucked under the windshield of one’s automobile. But San Francisco drivers are also beginning to see a curious bright orange handbill tucked within that ticket. And you can rest assured that handbill was not placed there by a meter maid. “Stop. Don’t pay this ticket. We got this,” the little handbill says. “We help people get their parking tickets dismissed.” These people who help people get their parking tickets dismissed are behind an ingenious app called Fixed, a new way to beat City Hall using just your smartphone.

By Joe Kukura

Business

Rude, crude Johnny Manziel: Obscene punk or marketing genius?

NFL rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel flipped the bird on national television during Monday Night Football. Depending on who you ask, this was either the most awesome thing ever in a boring exhibition game or it was the decline of Western civilization. Either way, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is the dominant topic of watercooler and hashtag discussion across the US and worldwide with his nationally televised simultaneous flipping-the-bird-and-giving-a-thumbs-up gesture that will s

By Joe Kukura

Science & Tech

Could a big screen be the tablet's savior?

After meteoric growth in the past three years, it appears that the table market is slowing. Or, for the glass-half-empty crowd, crashing. “The tablets boomed and now are crashing,” said Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly in an interview with Re/Code last month. “The volume has really gone down in the last several months. But I think the laptop has something of a revival because it’s becoming more versatile. So, with the two-in-ones, you have the opportunity to have both a tablet and laptop, and that’s app

By Barry Eitel

Business

Five great sessions to look forward to at ad:tech NY 2014

Now that the complete agenda for ad:tech NY 2014 is available, it’s time for all of you marketers out there to take a look at the 30 sessions being planned for the event and choose the ones that you’d especially like to attend. This year’s sessions at ad:tech NY will cover topics relating to five broad marketing themes (experiential, creative, results, Hollywood and eRetail), and having gone through the entire list, we have picked five sessions (one from each of the above tracks) that we think a

By Aby Sam Thomas

Business

Facebook rolls out cross-device reporting for ads

Facebook rolled out cross-device reporting for ads that are run on the social media network Wednesday, a feature that will allow advertisers to see how consumers are moving between their mobile devices and desktop computers before they finally buy a product. While this tracking of user behavior across devices can be worrying for those of us already uncomfortable with Facebook’s handling of user data, this new feature will be extremely useful for marketers wanting to understand and measure how th

By Aby Sam Thomas

Business

Robin Williams: A retrospective of his best adtech commercials

Robin Williams (1951-2014) was a transcendent funnyman, a comedian whose work touched four generations and a longtime industry pitchman for the online advertising, broadband and telecommunications platforms that we now call the adtech industry. Wait, does one of these homage statements not sound like the others? Should we be remembering Robin Williams for his few corporate telecom commercials rather than his more substantial body of cinematic work? Yes, one could argue that we should. Robin Will

By Joe Kukura

Business

Toyota backs off 'on-field advertising' during NFL games

Last week's preseason opener between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens featured a new advertising gimmick. As seen in this image, TV viewers saw the words "Toyota Red Zone" projected onto the field of play whenever one team got inside the 20-yard line. The concept is called on-field advertising, and the words are not really on the field. The graphic is digitally projected onto the field for TV viewers as a nifty new way for NFL teams to make a bit more money on their television br

By Joe Kukura

Business

American Apparel faces child porn backlash over latest online ad

The latest back to school ad from American Apparel is so sexist, offensive and borderline-pedophile that we cannot even include it in this article for fear of ending up on an FBI most wanted list for child pornography charges. It's bad, you guys. As part the clothing brand's "School Days" campaign marketing their back to school line of attire, American Apparel's latest online ad features a female model in a 'Catholic school girl' plaid miniskirt made to bend over in distinctly compromising fashi

By Joe Kukura

Business

Getting ready for ad:tech NY 2014: What you need to know

There are still a few months to go for this year’s edition of ad:tech New York, but if the number of companies that have been declared as registered exhibitors for the event is any indication, the buzz about ad:tech NY 2014 has already begun in earnest. Here’s a quick rundown of all that you need to know about this yearly event, which has been designed especially for the digital marketing community: ad:tech NY 2014 will be held from Nov. 5-6, 2014 at the Javits Center in Manhattan, New York City

By Aby Sam Thomas

Business

The fight between Google, Apple and Microsoft to stream live NFL games

Thursday, Friday or Saturday night will begin the NFL preseason for all teams. (Except the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills, who played Sunday. Non-New Yorkers are forgiven for not having noticed.) Streaming your choice of live, out-of-market NFL games online without a satellite TV dish is the Holy Grail of football fans nationwide — but only a tiny percentage of fans around the US even has this option. The NFL is handing out streaming privileges in miniscule, stingy and piecemeal fashion, and

By Joe Kukura

Business

Apple appoints a digital marketing director for retail

Apple has poached Nike’s global senior director of social media and community, Musa Tariq, to become its new digital marketing director for Apple Retail, according to a report published by 9to5Mac earlier this week. Given that Tariq is known for his prowess in social media marketing (Tariq, who has worked at Burberry before Nike, was the man behind Burberry’s Tweetwalk campaign for the London Fashion Week in 2011), his appointment has caused a lot of speculation on whether Apple is looking to (f

By Aby Sam Thomas

Science & Tech

Apple may unveil new iPhone Sept. 9

Get out the calendar app: Apple will probably unveil the new iPhone 6 Sept. 9. Re/Code has learned that Cupertino has scheduled a “big media event” for that day, although invitations have not been sent out yet. Apple prognosticators are guessing that the company will follow a pattern set last year and release two new phones. Last fall, Tim Cook gave us the flagship iPhone 5S and the cheaper, more plastic-y iPhone 5C (the “C” stands for colors, and it came in many). They also believe the 6 will b

By Barry Eitel

Science & Tech

Sosh disrupts your dinner with new Concierge app

Sosh, the go-to app when you have nothing to go to, is now attempting to disrupt your dinner reservations. Today, the startup launched Concierge, which, according to TechCrunch, is the “Uber of Restaurant Dining.” Sosh built its reputation on providing users with the coolest stuff to do in their city. “When we started a handful of years ago, the basic concept was to use technology to help people break their rut and try amazing things out in the real world," Sosh co-founder Rishi Mandal told Busi

By Barry Eitel

Business

19-minute Facebook outage cost them roughly $426,000

Sorry, something went wrong to the tune of $426,607 when Facebook experienced a 19-minute outage early Friday. Facebook was unavailable from roughly 12:08 p.m. until 12:27 p.m. ET Friday, or earlier Friday morning depending on your respective time zone. It was a brief outage, purely technical in nature and quickly resolved by capable Facebook engineers. But just for kicks, The Wire's Polly Mosendz did some freakonomical calculations to estimate how much money Facebook lost during Friday's outage

By Joe Kukura

Business

Move over, Darth Vader: The Force is stronger in Shakira

After having seen more than 5 million social media shares since its release in May, Shakira’s “La La La” music video-cum-commercial for Activia has been declared the most shared advertisement of all time by marketing technology company Unruly. This hallowed title was previously held by Volkswagen’s 2011 commercial, “The Force,” which featured a child dressed as Star Wars’ Darth Vader trying to emulate the Sith Lord’s amazing capabilities in manipulating The Force. It was a cute commercial, yes—b

By Aby Sam Thomas

Business

No profit yet, but Twitter's revenues rise

It may not be as impressive as the revenue raked in by Facebook in the last three months, but Twitter’s performance in the year’s second quarter has proved to be a shot in the arm for the company’s share prices at least. The social media company’s share prices rose by more than 30 percent following its announcement Tuesday about its Q2 2014 revenue of $312 million, which is a 124 percent increase from its values for the same period in 2013. "Our strong financial and operating results for the sec

By Aby Sam Thomas

Business

David Lynch has directed a nail polish commercial

Surrealist, artsy filmmaker David Lynch is known for his memorable and bizarre works like "Blue Velvet," "Twin Peaks" and "Eraserhead." But the director's latest film will really polish up his resume. Lynch has just released a nail polish commercial — not a feature film, not a documentary about architecture, not a collaboration with Werner Herzog — a nail polish commercial for the French shoe designer Christian Louboutin, who is now going into the nail polish business. You can watch the David Ly

By Joe Kukura

Science & Tech

Facebook's summer of love

According to the numbers in Facebook’s second quarter earnings call, the company may finally be coming into its own as an investing powerhouse. Facebook earned 42 cents a share on $2.91 billion in revenue. Revenue from advertising was $2.68 billion, a 67 percent increase year over year. Mobile advertising revenue rose 41 percent year over year, accounting for 62 percent of total advertising sales, coming in at $1.66 billion—a huge success for the company’s mobile push in recent years. "We had a

By Barry Eitel