Tech Trends

Chicken Tax and Tesla, the Native Invasive Species

With increased tariffs – real and threatened – by the current administration, there’s more mention in the media of a five-decade-old tariff called the Chicken Tax. However, something I’m not hearing much about is that the Chicken Tax will likely provide a significant competitive advantage to Tesla in the very near future.

Tribeca Film Festival explores tech with virtual reality, immersive screenings

DRAW ME CLOSE, a 2017 Tribeca Storyscapes selection. Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival.

DRAW ME CLOSE, a 2017 Tribeca Storyscapes selection. Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival.


From virtual reality experiments to social media misadventures, the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival tackled technology as a key theme, winning high marks for its ambition and scope. 

The 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) welcomed visitors for the first time into Tribeca Cinema360, a VR theater featuring four curated screening programs of 360-degree mobile content. The new VR theater and the TFF programming brought a futuristic vibe to lower Manhattan during its 11-day run in late April.

The festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

One of the first festivals to champion virtual reality “as a dynamic form of storytelling,” this year’s installment included 33 innovative virtual reality exhibitions and experiences.

Forbes found that several offerings delved into the metaphysical, reporting that a post-apocalyptic vision anchored several of the festival’s virtual reality projects.

“From coming-of-age dramas such as ‘Battlescar’ that tells the story of a Puerto Rican runaway, to ‘Campfire Creepers,’ a VR look at sadistic camp counselors, the Festival curated a number of rich pieces.”

“But perhaps one of the most compelling items to come out of the Festival, in terms of technology, was a provocative talk that was part of the IBM salon series during the TFF,” Forbes reported. “Entitled ‘Blockchain: Can Blockchain Breed Blockbusters?’ the panel included such professionals as Mitzi Peirone writer/director “Braid,” the first-ever feature funded entirely by cryptocurrency, and CTO for IBM’s Media and Entertainment industry Peter Guglielmino, where they discussed the disruptive power of blockchain as applied directly to the business of filmmaking and the entire industry.”

Other programming created virtual worlds where viewers could swim with sharks (“Into the Now”), care for a baby elephant (“My Africa”) or experience first hand the bombing raid of a town square (“Hero”), reported press materials for the Tribeca Film Festival.

"Each year, we're seeing creators push boundaries and explore new ways to tell stories through VR,” said Ingrid Kopp, co-curator of Tribeca Immersive. “As the technology improves, so does the storytelling, and with that we are able to use VR to tackle new issues, experiences and narratives and invite new audiences to experience these projects."

For more about VR, read our article: What is AR and how can it help my business?

(Note: Tribeca Enterprises is a long-time customer of Sinu and we are proud to share the recent national news coverage they have earned for their use of new technologies at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.)

Internet of Things: A convenience-risk balancing act

There is a subtle but profound paradigm shift occurring in technology. Cloud-connected hardware is becoming the preferred standard, replacing self-contained hardware. It’s the Internet of Things and it’s happening in just about every industry across consumer and enterprise solutions..

Privacy and convenience: Is it a CLEAR choice?

Whether it’s convenience-oriented apps, electronic tolls, or even pre-ordering your latte at Starbucks, consumers are seeking solutions that moves them through their day faster and easier. People want to think as little as possible about basic tasks, and companies are leapfrogging through technology to be that “frictionless” solution.

Internet Speed: Are you getting what you are paying for?

Internet Speed: Are you getting what you are paying for?

With Internet costs rising and broadband speed increasingly important for day-to-day business operations, more people – including the government – are questioning whether consumers are receiving the broadband speeds they are paying for. Sinu can do something to help you negotiate faster Internet speeds now. If your business has had the same Internet contract for years, you may be paying too much for too little speed.

After two years of planning, NYC begins converting phone booths to free Wi-Fi kiosks

It's been nearly two years since New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio and CityBridge announced a project called LinkNYC to transform public pay phones in New York City into digital hubs. And while we have been following this story and blogging about in during that time (see: New York City to have the “Fastest Free Wi-Fi in the World” and From Waste To WiFi: New York City’s Innovation Shows No Signs of Slowing), we can finally report that we should soon see some of these Wi-Fi kiosks popping up around the city.

What small business can learn from the Verizon-AOL deal

Verizon is betting on online content and distribution with its $4.4 billion AOL acquisition. According to the New York Times, with the purchase of AOL, Verizon will add a layer of entertainment, advertising and services to its vast network of smartphones in order to attract more customers and find new sources of revenue. The deal is expected to close this summer, pending regulatory approval.

New Google mobile algorithm changes search rankings, 40% of businesses affected

It's been coined "Mobilegeddon" because it caught many small businesses by surprise. On Tuesday, April 21, Google – which is used for approximately two-thirds of online searches – made a major update to its search algorithm that changes how websites are ranked when users search for something from their phone.

Will the Apple Watch do for wearables what the iPad did for tablets?

Will the Apple Watch do for wearables what the iPad did for tablets?

Apple Watch Sport, Image from April, Apple will launch the company’s first all-new product since the iPad debuted five years ago – the Apple Watch. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Apple ordered more than 5 million watches for its initial run. The report notes that the orders for the smartwatches are similar to early sales of the iPad launch, when it sold 7.5 million. USA Today reports that research company CCS Insight expects the number of Apple Watches shipped to be 20 million in the first 12 months. 

Global Leaders Predict the Future of Technology at Wall Street Journal’s First Tech Conference

Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live Conference attracted some of the most recognized global leaders discussing where technology is headed ­– from Apple’s Tim Cook to filmmaker James Cameron and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

So what is virtual currency and why should businesses care?

If you have followed the growth of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies over the years, the concept of e-money may have seemed more of an interesting experiment used by hitmen and malware developers – like the much-publicized Cryptolocker (see Sinu blog, 12/1/13).

A "neutral" look at net neutrality

There is quite a bit of discussion about net neutrality these days, as the FCC is expected to set new policies for Internet use that may allow cable and telephone companies the right to charge content companies like Netflix, Google, or Facebook for speeding up transmissions to people’s homes.