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January 2018
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Flurry State of Mobile 2017: With Captive Mobile Audiences, New App Growth Stagnates

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By: Chris Klotzbach, Director at Flurry and Lali Kesiraju, Marketing and Analytics Manager at Flurry For an industry that's seen staggering growth and disruption since the launch of the first smartphone, 2017 was the year that mobile app innovation and growth was disrupted. Stalwart industry players held and gained market position, while years-old disruptors struggled […]The post Flurry State of Mobile 2017: With Captive Mobile Audiences, New App Growth Stagnates appeared first on Adotas.

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posted at: 12:00am on 12-Jan-2018
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Kyle Hubert Promoted to Chief Technology Officerat Simulmedia; Gumas Advertising Names Craig Alexander Agency President

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Simulmedia, a company that creates data-optimized national TV campaigns for major brands, announced thatKyle Hubert, who has been the company’s Chief Scientist since December 2016, has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer. “Kyle is also a true visionary in how technology can make television advertising not only work better for marketers and media owners, but […]The post Kyle Hubert Promoted to Chief Technology Officerat Simulmedia; Gumas Advertising Names Craig Alexander Agency President appeared first on Adotas.

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Appeals Court OKs F-Bombs For Federal Trademark Protection

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The Supreme Court's decision in The Slants' trademark case is already beginning to pay off for trademark seekers whose applications were determined to be a bit too racy for the Trademark Office's (subjective) taste. Section 1052(a) of the US Code used to forbid the registration of trademarks that "disparaged" other persons or groups or anything the USPTO found to be "immoral or scandalous."That's all gone now, thanks to the Supreme Court, which found this restriction to registrations unconstitutional. The Supreme Court struck down the language limiting "disparaging" trademark registrations. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has just struck down the remaining limiting language ("immoral or scandalous"), allowing clothing brand FUCT to finally secure federal trademark protection.Marc Randazza breaks down the entire ruling at Popehat. Here are some of the highlights of the decision [PDF]:

The Brunetti court [rejected] the government’s argument that the “immoral or scandalous” prohibition of Section 2(a) was aimed at commercial speech. The primary test for determining whether a mark is “immoral or scandalous” is if the general public would find the mark “shocking to the sense of truth, decency, or propriety; disgraceful; offensive; disreputable; . . . giving offense to the conscience or moral feelings; . . . or calling out for condemnation.” In re Fox, 702 F.3d 633, 635 (Fed. Cir. 2012). The court noted that this restriction is aimed solely at the expressive content of trademarks, rather than their commercial source-identifying function, and necessarily involves moral value judgments. (Decision at 27.) The court could have stopped after this determination, since the government agreed that the “immoral or scandalous” portion of Section 2(a) could not survive strict scrutiny, but it went on to find that the restriction could not survive even intermediate scrutiny.
The decision takes even more pointed shots are the government's unavailing arguments later in the ruling.
The government’s interest in protecting the public from profane and scandalous marks is not akin to the government’s interest in protecting children and other unsuspecting listeners from a barrage of swear words over the radio in Pacifica. A trademark is not foisted upon listeners by virtue of its being registered. Nor does registration make a scandalous mark more accessible to children. Absent any concerns that trademark registration invades a substantial privacy interest in an intolerable manner, the government’s interest amounts to protecting everyone, including adults, from scandalous content. But even when “many adults themselves would find the material highly offensive,” adults have a First Amendment right to view and hear speech that is profane and scandalous.[...]Even if we were to hold that the government has a substantial interest in protecting the public from scandalous or immoral marks, the government could not meet the third prong of Central Hudson, which requires the regulation directly advance the government’s asserted interest. 447 U.S. at 566. As the government has repeatedly exhorted, § 2(a) does not directly prevent applicants from using their marks. Regardless of whether a trademark is federally registered, an applicant can still brand clothing with his mark, advertise with it on the television or radio, or place it on billboards along the highway. In this electronic/Internet age, to the extent that the government seeks to protect the general population from scandalous material, with all due respect, it has completely failed.
This doesn't end the battle. The government may decided to appeal this decision, lining up this portion of Section 2(a) for a review by the Supreme Court. Or, as Randazza points out, legislators could decide to ruin the registration of bad words for everyone with "for the children" legislation altering the contours of language eligible for trademark protection.But, for the moment, the First Amendment triumphs over USPTO prudery. Let the F-bomb gold rush begin!

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Shareholder Groups Say Apple Should Do More To Address Gadget 'Addiction' Among Young People: Should It?

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In an open letter to Apple, two of its major shareholders, Jana Partners and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, have raised concerns about research that suggests young people are becoming "addicted" to high-tech devices like the iPhone and iPad, and the software that runs on them. It asks the company to take a number of measures to tackle the problem, such as carrying out more research in the area, and providing more tools and education for parents to help them deal with the issue. The letter quotes studies by Professor Jean M. Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University, who is also working with the shareholders in an effort to persuade Apple to do more:

Professor Twenge's research shows that U.S. teenagers who spend 3 hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35% more likely, and those who spend 5 hours or more are 71% more likely, to have a risk factor for suicide than those who spend less than 1 hour.
Other quoted research found:
The average American teenager who uses a smart phone receives her first phone at age 10 and spends over 4.5 hours a day on it (excluding texting and talking). 78% of teens check their phones at least hourly and 50% report feeling "addicted" to their phones.
According to the letter, at least part of the solution needs to come from Apple:
we note that Apple's current limited set of parental controls in fact dictate a more binary, all or nothing approach, with parental options limited largely to shutting down or allowing full access to various tools and functions. While there are apps that offer more options, there are a dizzying array of them (which often leads people to make no choice at all), it is not clear what research has gone into developing them, few if any offer the full array of options that the research would suggest, and they are clearly no substitute for Apple putting these choices front and center for parents.
The Apple shareholders behind the letter admit that it is not entirely altruistic:
we believe that addressing this issue now will enhance long-term value for all shareholders, by creating more choices and options for your customers today and helping to protect the next generation of leaders, innovators, and customers tomorrow.
Building on this, they also shrewdly point out that Apple has little to fear from moves to give parents more control over their children's use of Apple products:
Doing so poses no threat to Apple, given that this is a software (not hardware) issue and that, unlike many other technology companies, Apple's business model is not predicated on excessive use of your products. In fact, we believe addressing this issue now by offering parents more tools and choices could enhance Apple's business and increase demand for its products.
That's in contrast to Facebook or Google, for example, both which want people to use their respective products as much as possible so as to maximize the opportunities for advertising.Apple has already responded with a fairly generic reply, published on the iMore site:
we are constantly looking for ways to make our experiences better. We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust.
Unless that functionality goes well beyond the perfunctory, it is unlikely to satisfy the shareholder groups, who presumably want the "full array of options" they mention. The danger for Apple is that a limited response might lead to it being swept up in the growing backlash against Silicon Valley and its products, evident in a number of recent articles. One thing Apple could do is to make it easier for third parties to write apps that address the problem in a thoroughgoing way -- something its tightly-controlled ecosystem may make harder than for Android.A broader issue is how serious the problem of gadget "addiction" in children really is -- and how it should be tackled. Clearly, the parents play a key role here, but what about the hardware and software companies who profit from it? To what extent should they provide fine-grained parental controls -- should social media, for example, offer parents the capability to limit the number and timing of daily posts made by their children, and would that even help?Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

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