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Archive for Publicity – Page 2

IHOb Inspires Internet-wide Facepalms

Full disclosure: I am a Waffle House man. I like my diners with a bit of grit—its character on full display in the form of well-worn booths from late night sustenance, the loud clatter of skillets on the stove, the sizzle of frozen beef hitting the cook top. It’s a southern staple, and it never lacks for personality—or personalities. Never change, Waffle House.

But change? Well, IHOP certainly did that yesterday. The company has been teasing a rebrand to IHOb for weeks now, and on Monday The International House of Pancakes finally announced its conversion over to the International House of Breakfast Burgers. Burgers?

Burgers. If you feel like you’ve been duped, you’re not alone. Pancakes are the marquee food offering at IHOP, but it’s always offered a wide variety of omelets, waffles, and French toast. The transition over to the International House of Breakfast seemed like a natural extension to feature its other items. But alas: we got burgers.

And we’ve bone to pick, as well. For us serious about our late-night breakfasts, we don’t like surprises. We want our staples, we want them piping hot, and we want familiarity. Waffle House has offered burgers for decades, but they never felt like an interloper or a feature that outshined the company’s namesake. IHO(b) had to know this was going to go poorly, but it may have gone worse than they presumed.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

The inter-brand Twitter roasting continued from there. It’s important to note that this is only a temporary rebrand—essentially a PR stunt to highlight IHOb’s new burgers—but one has to question the damage done to your brand when your new rollout is laughed off the internet. I guess we’ll see. If you’d like to discuss this further, I’ll be up at Waffle House.

Facetime Party Time

How do you feel about organized chaos? Like shouting over people? If so, you really enjoyed Apple’s WWDC 2018 event yesterday where it announced the marquee feature coming to iOS 12: Facetime for up to 32 people.

Sounds like a multimedia mosh pit.

Apple’s WWDC event announced several new improvements and features, but the headline addition was the ability to video chat with an elementary school classroom’s amount of participants. Apple is famous for adding functionalities previously available on other platforms, and this update to Facetime draws a direct parallel to Google’s Hangouts—one of the few remaining facets of the now-defunct Google+.

Organized chaos aside, the ability to add a boatload of participants to Facetime calls does have an immediate benefit for businesses with staff on the go. In a work environment that now features many remote employees, it makes a lot of sense for Apple to adjust its Facetime app so it functions as a conference call client. Staff meetings in Uber rides are about to be a thing.

Looking at the personal side, as much as it sounds like absolute pandemonium, Facetiming multiple people all over the globe at the same time will be a lot of fun. As someone who has made friends through my travels, I appreciate the prospect of getting the whole group together for a digital reunion.

Apple’s annual WWDC event continues to make headlines, and this year is no different. When iOS 12 is released, you can discuss future WWDC announcements over Facetime with 31 others.

Shhh…Alexa is Listening

In today’s edition of Computers are Creepy: is your smart home device spying on you?

Sounds ripped from a Bradbury novel, right? Well, it appears some “glitches” have affected Amazon’s Echo, and one report details a couple’s private conversation being recorded and sent to contacts in their phones. The conversation was sent without their consent or any notification, mind you.

In this current age of hyper-paranoia (for good reason) with our online activity and security, Alexa capturing conversations and forwarding them along is pretty terrifying. As an Alexa owner who is still trying to find a use for it in my non-smart apartment, it has me debating whether I should pull the plug for good.

I’ve personally experienced my Amazon Echo respond mistakenly to the television and begin spouting off random facts or news stories, which is discomforting, to say the least.

Amazon has placed the blame at the feet of Alexa being activated by words that sound similar to “Alexa” (which doesn’t really ease the paranoia) and has said they will look into the problem. Until then, consider me unplugged.

This Memorial Day, Keep Those We’ve Lost in Mind

Memorial Day is one of the dates on the calendar that every American earmarks at the start of the year. It elicits thoughts of cold drinks, beach days, pool parties and barbecues. But not lost on many (hopefully all) Americans is the reason they’re enjoying their day off: those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Since the Revolutionary War there has been hundreds of thousands of deaths in battle. These brave souls shed their blood and died defending the United States of America—its values and its vision. It’s imperative that when we celebrate Memorial Day on Monday that we keep them in mind; those that laid down their lives to give us the freedom to do things like barbecue, hang out by the pool, and enjoy a beer or two. These are the things we most often take for granted, and if it wasn’t for America’s brave military, we may not be doing them this coming weekend.

So as you kick off your Memorial Day plans, please keep those we’ve lost in battle in mind.

Supreme Court Overturns Gambling Law

If you’re the wager-happy type, you started your week with some great news. On Monday the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision, voting 7-2 in favor of striking down a law that banned sports gambling at the federal level. Essentially, this will lay the groundwork for individual states to begin allowing legal sports betting.

Do you suddenly feel that walkaround cash burning a hole in your pocket? You’re not alone.

Sports gambling is a major industry, even though Nevada is the only state in the union to formally permit it. The void has been primarily filled with your stereotypical bookmaking, offshore betting sites and sketchy transactions. It’s been estimated that nearly $150 billion is illegally wagered in the United States annually.

To say that states may want to (gambling pun incoming) get in on the action is an understatement. It represents a massive chunk of tax revenue for state governments, and with Monday’s decision, you’ll begin to see the dominoes start to fall regarding sports betting laws.

Opposing the decision were the major sports leagues—of course—citing the impact that legalized gambling may have on the integrity of their games. The cynic in me thinks there’s a money issue that’s secretly fueling the opposition.

There’s no real timetable for states to begin to rewrite their gambling laws, but this is a major breakthrough in the United States. Sports gambling is ubiquitous around the world, with many top flight leagues being sponsored by wagering outlets. We’ll see what state is the first to enact new laws.