Friday, July 31, 2009

Boost world happiness: join Richard Wiseman's mass experiment

Log-on to Science of Happiness. Fill in a short questionnaire. Watch a video that will teaches you one happiness exercise. Practice for a week. Input your email and receive another questionnaire a week later. The results will be published on the 11th of August in the Times.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Twitter: Real estate agent sues ex-tenant for tweeting

Horizon Group Management, a Chicago based real estate agent is filing a lawsuit accusing an ex-tenant of defamation after she complained of mould in her apartment on twitter. The "defamatory" statement: "Who said sleeping in a mouldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it's okay." The tenant's twitter account has 20 follower yet the company claimed that "it has severely damaged its good name". I hope they are better at real estate management that public relations. A simple Google search shows the damage. They certainly made a name for themselves although I should not tweet about that name.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Apple iPhone apps are the new Facebook apps

I bet that Silicon Valley VCs are trampling over each other to fund apps networks and the likes. Interesting figures from this Guardian article:
- Apple takes 30% of each app sale
- Some 90% of apps don't make profits for those who create them
- 54% of free apps have fewer than 1,000 users
My all time favorite is still the "I am rich" app, a glowing ruby with no functions whatsoever but showing off what you can afford. 8 people bought it at a cost of a $1,000. I still don't get why Apple banned it from its store.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Facebook to sell your pictures to advertisers?

You may have received an alarming message on Facebook stating that "FACEBOOK has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures WITHOUT your permission. Click on SETTINGS. Select Privacy. Then select NEWSFEEDS and WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACEBOOK ADS. In the drop down box, select NO ONE.Then SAVE your changes. (REPOST THIS)". Is that true? No. Facebook categorically refuted the rumor on their blog. They haven't said anything about your home address and credit card number though...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Amazon Kindle users have their very own 1984 moment

Amazon remotely deleted books from its Kindle users' library, including George Orwell's classic 1984. "It's like having Barnes & Noble sell you a book, charge your Visa and then 3 months later change their mind, credit your card and demand their book be returned". Tough especially when you are in the middle of reading it.... Beware, Big Brother is watching what you read. Guardian article.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Should TechCrunch have published Twitter's stolen internal documents?

Mike Arrington, famed author and publisher of the TechCrunch blog received 310 internal documents supposedly hacked from Twitter's internal servers. To publish or not to publish? I'll go with his judgment call: Employee data are of course a no go but financial projections and new products memos are fair game. A bit of an outcry and call of unethical behaviour from readers but his comment frames his decision nicely: "if we only posted things that companies gave us permission to post this would be a press release site and none of you would be here. News is stuff someone doesn’t want you to write. The rest is advertising".

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Teenager tells it like it is, media analysts in frenzy.

Nice PR coup for Morgan Stanley: Fifteen year old bank intern is asked to write a memo describing his friends' media habits and reportedly, his report shook the media world... Analysts should get out of their posh office more often instead of reading reports about surveys. The memo: Teens don't use Twitter. Too expensive and the average low following is not worth it (if you want to talk to a few people only, there is SMS). They use their phone to text, call or exchange files via Bluetooth. They don't like advertising ("annoying and pointless"), read newspapers or listen to radio much. They don't use iTunes as it is too expensive and music can be sourced freely someplace else. They spend time on Facebook and money on cinema, concerts and video games that allow them to chat as well. FT article (includes a link to the report).

Thursday, July 09, 2009

G8 set new global warming targets to postpone decisions, actions

"Leaders of the G8 leading industrial countries have agreed to try to limit global warming to just 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels by 2050." From BBC. What irks the cynic in me is that no roadmap on how to get there has been agreed. Today’s leaders know well that they will not be in power then, nor their protégés thus could sit on it and leave the task on how to make it happen to future generations. In the meantime, it’s business as usual.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Google to launch an operating system! I might switch back to PC then.

"We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds"... I am really excited about that. Google shook the search market when everyone thought the game was over (remember it was all about portals and entertainment...), then shook the advertising world when ad agencies dismissed the mom & pop shops using adwords (it turned out that there were a lot of them and it amounted to a lot of cash - now the big corporation have search marketing experts and big budgets that end up with Google no matter what). Talking about OS, I switched to Mac in 2007 to keep up with the Californian boys of my previous venture. Never looked back. After comparing boot up time and normal usage (how often the system crashes, usability, intuitiveness, speed...) I convinced my wife to relinquish her Sony Vaio for a MacBook. Now I love Apple but the kit is pricey and there is no Netbook in sight as of yet. A Google OS might just convince me to switch back.