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November 30th, 2011

Listen with Auntie: BBC Science

Listen with Auntie: BBC Science

BBC Broadcasting House

Apologies in advance for such a hugely indulgent post, but if you have similar weaknesses for the more geeky wing of the Big British Castle, then you at least will appreciate the links!

Earlier this week I sent a tweet out for @promptlondon which said: “Really enjoying @BBCRadio4 ‘The Life Scientific’ and ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’ science programming: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/science-on-radio4″

I’ve always been a massive, unashamed fan of Auntie, but as I grow older I find that I click or tune-in to the comforting familiarity of Radio 4 with increasing regularity. BBC iPlayer Listen Again and podcasts just serve to feed the addiction further.

Recently I’ve been spending much more time than I’d like driving along dual-carriage ways, pacing corridors and sitting in waiting rooms. On the plus side, I’ve had my iPhone with me packed with the Radio 4 science shows I mentioned in the tweet. Of all the shows ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’ is probably the most accessible, fronted as it is by everyone’s favourite contemporary physicist Prof. Brian Cox and comic raconteur Robin Ince. I was hooked from the first show I caught around this time last year, when Alexei Sayle was roped in to discuss whether philosophy is dead. If that sounds appealing and you think you’d also enjoy hearing Tim Minchin talk about probability, or John Culshaw defending the north of England, then tune in.

Once your latent geek has been unlocked by humour, it’s time to tap in to ‘The Life Scientific’ (worm DNA this week!), Stephen Fry delving inside mobile phones, ‘Material World’ with Quentin Cooper, or if you’re feeling really brave, ‘A Brief History of Mathematics’.

You can imagine how pleased I was to receive a tweet from @BBCRadio4 which asked “@PromptLondon – What do you think of our #science @BBCRadio4 collections page then?”

Well, what do you think? Radio 4 Collections is the hub of all Radio 4 factual content sorted by genre. Not only has this tweet helped me discover ‘Saving Species’, it’s also a useful launchpad for great programming such as ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’, ‘Bookclub’, ‘Desert Island Discs’ and more.

So what’s my point? There isn’t one really, other than a simple reminder of some great ways to expand your horizons, feed your head and pamper your techy soul with huge archives of great content. You’ve undoubtedly paid for this stuff already with your licence fee, and it’s all just sitting there waiting patiently to keep you company when you need a friendly voice or two to fill your wandering mind with baffling science.

Hook yourself up – tell us what you think.


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November 24th, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Prompt Communications!

Happy Thanksgiving from Prompt Communications!

Prompt PR Happy Thanksgiving

Photo Courtesy of Brooke on Prompt's whiteboard

It’s that time of year again to give thanks and share happiness with loved ones. We wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Here at Prompt are thankful for all the support from our clients and all the hard work our team puts forth. We hope you enjoy time spent with family and friends while eating a delicious home cooked meal.

And during your relaxing holiday, don’t forget to download and read our newsletter on Friday!

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November 23rd, 2011

Prompt media morsel: Grooveshark in trouble?

Prompt media morsel: Grooveshark in trouble?

Popular music streaming service Grooveshark was already threatened by free streaming services such as the just released Google Music and Spotify, but this week, its life expectancy dropped considerably. Universal is suing the site for every song its sharing, over 1,900 , at $150,000 each. At $15 billion in fines, it’s a safe bet Grooveshark won’t be around much longer.

 

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November 22nd, 2011

The Cambridge Innovation Center Thanksgiving pie day

The Cambridge Innovation Center Thanksgiving pie day

Cambridge Innovation Center and MIT host Thanksgiving pieAs we’ve written before, the Cambridge Innovation Center is a great place to work. As a small high-tech copywriting and public relations firm, we appreciate all of the amenities that come along with being a CIC tenant—Venture Café, meeting rooms, massages, events, and more—but one of our favorite perks about the building is the food. We have beautiful kitchens, stocked with enough food to keep any small or start-up company motivated.

But today’s event took the cake, err or…pie. To kick off the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the CIC and MIT hosted their annual Thanksgiving Pie event in our building’s lobby. For an hour, we were able to mingle with other tenants, get out of the office, and eat as much pie as we wanted. With six different types of pie and unlimited servings, how can you go wrong?

Our holiday spirits are in full swing, and some Tuesday afternoon pie was just the trick to curb our pre-Thanksgiving sugar cravings. Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

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November 19th, 2011

Prompt media morsel: Guinness World Record holder waves goodbye to American TV fans

Prompt media morsel: Guinness World Record holder waves goodbye to American TV fans

Prompt Communications media news: Regis and KellyToday American television audiences waved goodbye to Regis Philbin. An American TV icon and much-loved personality, 80-year old Philbin is famous for co-hosting the morning chat show ‘Live! With Regis and Kelly’. His current co-host is Kelly Rippa. He show was previously co-hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford.

Kelly Ripa will host ‘Live with Kelly’ working with guest co-hosts, including Jerry Seinfeld, as a permanent replacement is searched to fill Philbin’s chair.

Philbin has hosted the chat show for 28 years and between the chat show and appearances on other shows including ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ and ‘America’s Got Talent’ he has spent a whopping 17,000 hours on TV – in 2008 he broke the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera.

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November 18th, 2011

Shooting Daguerre's

Shooting Daguerre's

Louis Daguerre, 1787 – 1851

Did you notice today’s Google Doodle by any chance? It celebrates a man born in 1787 who had a direct influence on the evolution of many of the gadgets and tools all around us today, from photography to PhotoShop, megapixel smartphones to CGI, and even (some might argue) the Open Source movement…

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, French artist and phycisist, invented the Daguerreotype – a process of transferring photographs onto silver-coated copper plates that gave photos the gift of long life for the first time. The plates were exposed to iodine, creating silver iodide that was then opened to light and coated with mercury vapour before a fixer of salt water.

After he had perfected the Daguerreotype process in 1839, the French government acquired the patent and announced that the invention was a gift “free to the world”. Daguerre made no money from his world-changing invention and received just a state pension in return.


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November 18th, 2011

EuroSTAR Conference selects Prompt Communications as video content provider

EuroSTAR Conference selects Prompt Communications as video content provider

Leading software testing event tasks Prompt with video capture for online channel

Prompt Communications, a technology-focused PR, copywriting, video creation and social media marketing firm, has been appointed as the video content provider for Europe’s leading software testing conference, EuroSTAR. Prompt will provide multimedia content for EuroSTAR’s TV channel, capturing interviews, discussions and exclusive coverage of the event for viewers across the globe.

EuroSTAR will be held from 21-24 November at the Manchester Central Convention Complex in Manchester, England. The event is now in its 19th year and attracts software testers and QA professionals from across Europe.  The four-day event provides a key forum for learning, networking and discussing developments across the software testing community. EuroSTAR’s sponsors include IBM, and Microsoft, along with a host of other leading software development companies.

Nicola McCombie, Conference Manager of EuroSTAR said: “EuroSTAR TV is an important component of our event. That’s why we need a professional video team capable of capturing the excitement and energy of the event.  We want our online audience to see all that EuroSTAR has to offer, even if they can’t make it in person. EuroSTAR 2011 is shaping up to be another memorable event and we’re glad to have Prompt on board to help us showcase this year’s highlights.”

Prompt is a digital PR communications consultancy with offices in London as well as in the United States in both Boston and San Francisco. The company has gained an enviable history of experience in the technology industry since it was founded in 2002. Prompt’s PR, copywriting and marketing initiatives are in demand with clients such as Dell Compellent and Oracle Corporation, as well as with many emerging and early stage technology companies seeking to build brand recognition and increased sales.

Hazel Butters, CEO of Prompt said: “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to capture and manage video content at this year’s EuroSTAR conference, and to build on our previous successes in providing rich video creation services for our clients. We completely understand the importance of online video to high-tech organisations and look forward to capturing the buzz and excitement at this important event so that it can be shared with those unable to attend, as well as anyone wishing to revisit key moments at a later date. ”

For more information about EuroSTAR Conferences visit the event website at: http://www.eurostarconferences.com/

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November 14th, 2011

Complexity, calamity and control

Complexity, calamity and control

Source: dan @ freedigitalphotos.net

We are all increasingly reliant on the internet. This probably doesn’t come as much surprise to you, because you’re online right now, reading blogs, gathering information, communicating and conducting business.

But even the self-proclaimed luddites and technophobes that enjoy teasing you about your technology addictions have wittingly or otherwise also become users of and contributers to the unstoppable juggernaut of information we now take for granted. They may not use Facebook, email or cheat in their local pub quiz, but they do have bank accounts, taxation commitments, interactions with local government, cause to use the health service, and so on.

A very interesting article in the NY Times this weekend (which I naturally read online) discussed the life works of two exceptional computer scientists who founded datacentre connectivity specialist Arista Networks. As well as tracking their successes, the article also commented on this contemporary concept of internet reliance, the question of just how unstoppable these networks really are, and to what degree we as individuals, businesses and nations really do take for granted its ubiquitous and continuous presence.

The two guys at the heart of the feature are David Cheriton, a computer science professor at Stanford and Andreas Bechtolsheim, a founder of Sun Microsystems. Arista Networks itself offers a portfolio of network architecture switches and is at the forefront of cloud networking solutions for large, high-performance data centres. So you might think that two visionary technologists on the cutting edge of internet technology would have a great deal of confidence in its future? Actually, according to the NYT, Cheriton and Bechtolsheim actually believe that the ‘promise of having access to mammoth amounts of data instantly, anywhere, is matched by the threat of catastrophe’, and that ‘the vastly greater number of transactions among computers in a world 100 times faster than today will lead to a greater number of unpredictable accidents’.

“We think of the Internet as always there. Just because we’ve become dependent on it, that doesn’t mean it’s true,” Mr. Cheriton asserts, while Mr. Bechtolsheim admits that because of the Internet’s complexity, the global network is impossible to design without very dangerous bugs capable of halting commerce, destroying financial information or enabling hostile attacks by foreign powers.

From a technical point of view the article is interesting enough. It discusses the evolving global threat of cyber security attacks of course, but also gets back to basics by talking about the 100 gigabit plus connections now being deployed as standard for datacentre interconnects, as well as an emerging standard for terabit per second connectivity expected ‘in the next seven years’. But perhaps more fascinating are the juxtapositions of the differing opinions of the architects that glue our internet together; their predictions for its future, their views on its vulnerabilities, and their visions of the next steps the industry must take to curtail complexity, avert calamity and retain control over such a dominant force in all our lives.

Have a read while your connection is serving you well.


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November 11th, 2011

November 11: Veterans' Day and Armistice Day

November 11: Veterans' Day and Armistice Day

Trafalgar Square poppies 11 NovemberAs two days of remembrance coincide, here at Prompt, we’re left thinking just how precious our freedom is.

Only one week back, Prompt Boston participated in writing letters for service men and women overseas, an event hosted by the Cambridge Innovation Center and IPM (Integrated Project Management). While all we had to do was take the elevator down a floor, write a few letters expressing our gratitude to soldiers, and snag a piece of pizza, we found ourselves struggling with what to say in these letters. How do you express your appreciation and gratitude to someone while you’re sat in the saftey of a chair in Boston and the person you’re writing to is in a hostile environment in a far away country?

It’s a daunting feeling that hasn’t quite gone away. As the holidays approach and we make plans with loved-ones, we should all take a moment to think about those who have missed the holiday season before or will have to miss it this year because they’re fulfilling their duty to our countries and to our freedom.

Meanwhile in London, our colleagues are honoring Armistice Day – which marks the end of the First World War – with the tradition of poppies, worn as a sign of respect and part of the British Legion’s annual campaign. In London there was a service at the Cenotaph, as well as a ‘silence in the square’ event on Trafalgar Square and the fountains were filled with poppies as an act of remembrance.

With those thoughts and sentiments, all of us at Prompt would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of those that have fought and are fighting for our freedom. You are the true heroes in our world. Thank you.

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November 8th, 2011

Prompt wins gaming account with VistaCloud Ventures and PR, media relations, social media and content creation for iOS game Squigs

Prompt wins gaming account with VistaCloud Ventures and PR, media relations, social media and content creation for iOS game Squigs

Prompt to drive compelling social media and media content including news, review programme, Facebook, blog and Twitter to increase profile and sales of re-release of 90s computer puzzle game

Bristol, UK and Boston, Massachusetts – 8 November 2011 – VistaCloud Ventures has appointed Prompt Communications to manage its social media outlets and media relations for its newest project, Squigs, an iOS game where players stack falling creatures on top of each other.

Originally released for the Amiga Personal Computer in 1993, Squigs is a puzzle-based game. The new version, available on iOS and via Apple’s App Store from 7 November updates the game play with high-definition visuals, improved sound, streamlined controls and social features, including achievements and global leader boards through the Apple Game Center.

Squigs challenges players to line characters of the same colour vertically, horizontally or diagonally in order to eliminate them and avoid filling the play well, which causes the game to end. Players must manoeuvre and rearrange the falling Squigs as well as take advantage of power-ups and achievement awards.

VistaCloud Ventures works to develop and support innovative, cutting edge marketing technology solutions through consulting services. VistaCloud helps small and medium-sized companies compete against larger institutions for equal and tangible consumer attention.

Chris Underhill, director of Vista Cloud Ventures Limited, said “We needed a comms company that would effectively create content across all outlets, including social media and traditional print, as well as handle our media relations regarding the release of our latest project, Squigs. I’ve worked with Prompt before and have confidence in the team’s ability to understand our messages, create compelling content, aggressively target relevant press and maximize our visibility in appropriate markets. I look forward to working with them again.”

Prompt will work to create print and online content as well as communicate with press, industry influencers, and players of Squigs to encourage engagement and interest in the game.

Hazel Butters, CEO of Prompt Communications, said, “To me there’s something thrilling about bringing a revamped retro game back to a new and different market. We’re really looking forward to working with Chris and the Squigs development team and sharing news, updates and tips to the iOS gaming community. ”

About Prompt Communications

Prompt is a digital and PR communications consultancy with offices in the UK and North America. Formed in 2002,  Prompt provides emerging and early stage technology companies as well as industry leaders such as Dell Compellent and Oracle Corporation with PR, copywriting, social media and marketing initiatives to improve brand recognition and drive sales. The company’s How To series, including ‘Making Twitter work for you’, ‘Ten Ways to Boost your Tech Company’s Profile’ and ‘How to Get Real Value from a Company Newsletter’, provide tips to increase visibility and expand customer base.

www.prompt-communications.com


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November 4th, 2011

‘Do a barrel roll’ sounds like a failed dance craze

‘Do a barrel roll’ sounds like a failed dance craze

We’ve written before about the benefits HTML 5 brings to the web. Google has demonstrated the unique features of HTML 5 through its daily doodles. One such feature debuted yesterday. At the urging of my colleagues, I Googled ‘do a barrel roll’ in the Chrome web browser. A white page appeared and lo and behold, the Google search page “rolled” into view. It was a nice trick, but entirely useless. Wake me when HTML 5 can aggregate the best shopping options online for a bicycle on one screen so I’m not jumping around from page to page.

That was just one news item that caught our attention this week. Here are some others we think you should be aware of:

– Do we call this ‘Battery-Drain-Gate’? Apple’s iPhone4S has battery issues, and blames iOS5

– Why did CBS turn down a deal with Apple TV? Doesn’t CBS know that Apple basically prints money?

– Right before the glut of big holiday game releases, GameStop launched its own tablet based platform this week

– I’m sure you saw the tweet, but in case you missed it, AOL somehow added 200,000 users to its existing 3.5 million dial-up user base.

– The top 25 US newspapers in September

– New internal memos might mess up James Murdoch’s ignorance claim about phone hacking

– On our way to Thanksgiving, here are some food myths that have been debunked by science

Follow us on Twitter in the US and UK for more stories like this that we find throughout the week.

 

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