Wait! What? 5/15: Shape-shifting planes, secret agent desks, and Facebook’s controversial new feature

It's a bird, it's a plane! It's a plane. (Credit: Jim Ross, NASA)
It’s a bird, it’s a plane! It’s a plane. (Credit: Jim Ross, NASA)

Lots of big announcements this week in our beloved world of tech, but if you wanted to read about Verizon’s acquisition of AOL or the new Gmail login screen – you’ve come to the wrong place. As usual, we’re more interested in the weirder, more wackadoodle stories that you weren’t paying attention to over the past seven days. Buckle up – it’s time for this week’s roundup:

  • NASA successfully tested a plane with shape-changing wings. Will we ever get tired of futuristic space-stuff? No, we won’t – and before you say anything, ‘space-stuff’ is the term used by actual scientists.
  • Feeling less Ethan Hunt-y than usual? No problem. Introducing Sharetable, the desk that makes every other desk look like complete garbage. Its surface features a shareable screen connected to your desktop monitor, so that the person sitting across from you can see what you’re seeing. Although, he won’t be able to see the expression of total awe on his own face, since that view is reserved for you.
  • All the pretty girls love Samsung? Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea released the video for their song “Pretty Girls,” in which Iggy uses her space-alien super powers to transform Brit’s old school cell phone into a gigantic Samsung Galaxy something or other (marketing!). We don’t really have time to go through all of the problems with the video – but our main concern is that Iggy seems to think that robots and aliens are the same thing.
  • Media no-likey Facebook’s “Instant Articles.” Facebook announced “Instant Articles,” sparking controversy among media outlets. They’re concerned that the new feature will make it difficult for publishers to control their own content. They have a point, but we’re pretty sure that Facebook has been aggregating content for a while now, simply through its users. You know…because, like…cat videos.
  • If we use Waze, can we skip the rush-hour traffic out of King’s Landing? The answer is no, because you can’t just leave King’s Landing, and this totally awesome Google Map of Westeros isn’t connected to Waze.

Now you’re all caught up. Hopefully some of this will come up in your next round of bar trivia.

Wait! What? 4/17: The Great Video-Streaming War of 2015 Continues

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BigStock

It’s been a great week for television. Game of Thrones is back (our office was pretty excited), and we saw the return of our favorite nerds in Silicon Valley. HBO and Uber didn’t waste this opportunity to shamelessly exploit fan dedication to The Throne to promote the launch of HBO Now – we only wish they had brought some to San Francisco. Onto the rest of the tech news this week:

  • Reddit has gone legit, pushing its way into the publishing game by joining the likes of The New York Times with a weekly email newsletter of hand-selected content, Upvote. The hope is that this will help people better understand the “concept” of Reddit, so we’ll see about that.
  • Is Twitter cyberbullying celebs into using Periscope? According to TechCrunch, the answer is yes. Twitter’s influence in Hollywood may signal the end of Meerkat’s short-lived time in the spotlight.
  • Another day, another Snapchat scandal. The social media giant is allegedly using geotag filters to poach engineers from Uber. Where is Silicon Valley’s reality show? This is getting juicy.
  • If you’ve been living under a rock for the past two weeks, you might have missed Hillary Clinton announcing her presidential candidacy. If you’ve been off the Internet, you definitely missed the birth of “Hillvetica,” a font inspired by her campaign logo. #cringe
  • Tidal might actually be worth that $20 subscription fee. Apparently artists can log in and see who is listening to their music, and this is provoking them to make personal calls to subscribers. BRB, I think Jay Z is calling.

That’s all, folks – now go enjoy your weekend, and don’t do anything too foolish à la Twitter/Snapchat.

5 Things Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones Taught Us About Public Relations

Caution! Here be Game of Thrones spoilers.

Whether you’re trying to take over the world, or just seven kingdoms, there’s a lot to take into consideration besides your army, your claim, and your beard (although the last one seems pretty important). What do your people think of you? If they don’t like you, how can you change that? If they do like you, how do you maintain their loyalty? With PR, baby! Image is everything, and Margaery Tyrell knows that better than most. As we gear up for the Game of Thrones Season 4 finale, let’s check out five PR basics we can learn from Margaery.

 1. Adaptability

So far, she’s two-for-two on dead husbands, but that doesn’t bring her down. Margaery is always adjusting her plan and keeping her eye on the prize.

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 2. Reliability

She understands the significance of a contract, and so far she hasn’t reneged on a deal. For instance, she would never agree to marry a Frey, and then marry someone else anyway – leading to a horrific wedding with a nickname – à la Robb Stark.

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 3. Networking

She’s a networking guru who knows that every contact is potentially useful. Within days of her arrival in King’s landing, Margaery befriends Sansa Stark in order to gather information about her monster-husband-to-be.

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4. Public Presence

Little miss Tyrell captured the hearts of everyone in King’s Landing when she hopped out of her carriage on an impromptu goodwill mission. She might not have a Twitter channel or a camera crew following her around, but you can bet that her little stunt spread like wildfire through King’s Landing, skyrocketing her popularity faster than you can say “Valar morghulis.” Well played, Margaery.

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 5. Collaboration

Margaery is a great collaborator, working with a small group of people to achieve her ultimate goal of being Queen. She frequently meets with her grandmother to discuss strategy and next steps for Operation-Iron-Throne. She also understands the necessity of working with a team that shares a clear vision. Remember, we’re talking about the girl that said, “I want to be the queen.” She’s clearly a great communicator, and there isn’t anything quite as vital to the collaborative process as clear communication.

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Did we miss any PR wisdom from Margaery? Tweet us with #BandoThrones to let us know!