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Bin Laden's Death, Mobile and Social

May 2, 2011

In the wake of bin Laden's death it is worth reflecting on how consumers learned about the incident which was first live reported by Sohaib Athar - an unsuspecting bin Laden neighbor who tweeted the fact that he heard a helicopter and a subsequent window-shaking bang - a rare event as he called it.



Later, a commenter @naqvi on Twitter made the connection to these events and the Obama press conference which confirmed what had happened.

Of course later - the hard news and analysis did come from the mainstream media (MSM) - with lots of commentary from the social world. GigaOm has thoughts on how social and the MSM are connected.

What is most interesting to me however is the cheering which took place at a baseball stadium when the crown learned about the bin Laden news - specifically there was TV coverage of how people in the crowd were scanning their cell phones for the news and sharing it with others in the crowd. The video below gives you a small idea of other coverage I have seen.

The concept of news circulating via social faster than TV is not something we haven't discussed before - but this this stadium example of a large group learning about an important event via people at the center of informal social circle shows you how news dissemination and the web has evolved over the years.











Duh - Tech, Winning!

April 27, 2011

The Silicon Valley real estate market is going through a boom and you can thank the cloud, Google, Facebook and a slew of start ups for the latest wave of hiring and growth. This lends credence to my points last week that politicians should not be bashing technology like the iPad for killing jobs but instead they should be bowing down to tech leaders who allow them to live the awesome lifestyles they have. Its better than bowing down to foreign leaders - that's for sure.

I have been consistent in my concerns about how America is becoming a divided nation of people who finish high school and college and are skilled enough to hold a job in the information age and those who made it through life swinging a hammer or doing some other job which is more easily outsourcable. These jobs which rely on physical strength or are entry level factory jobs will continue to be at huge risk of elimination.

In the information age, where a replacement worker is a mouse-click away - we need America to be the best educated country in the world if we expect the entire nation to have a shot at living at a standard of living we are used to.

Oh, and just how good is the real estate market in northern California?





Is Apple Telegraphing A Tablet Market as Large as PCs?

April 21, 2011

I'm Predicting 500,000,000 tablets sold by 2015 (updated - an eagle-eyed reader noticed I left out 3 zeros for the various iPad estimates throughout!)


Through informal research I have seen iPad owners not giving up on their PCs – in fact they generally use both machines at different times for different purposes. For example, website surfing to sites which utilize Flash often requires a PC or laptop as they may not work on an iPad. Moreover, iPads and iPhones require PCs which they must plug into to receive software updates, etc. Many people find that they need to type large amounts at one time or another and they often choose a PC or laptop for this task – either not realizing they can purchase a keyboard for their iPad or just not caring.

Another important point I have noticed is iPads are being utilized by younger users more often than comparable laptops or PCs because they are so easy to operate and the App Store makes it a breeze to try new software. And another plus for tablets is they also act as a book replacement - as Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. reminds us.




eBay Buys Where.com for Hyper-Local Deal Offers

April 20, 2011

In the race to become a leader in the local deal market – companies seem to be tripping over one another. This includes Google who is working organically while making an unsuccessful bid for Groupon. Twitter and Facebook play in this market as well and eBay just acquired Where.com, a Boston-based local-deals and location-based services company for $135M.

PayPal’s Amanda Pires explains they plan to integrate PayPal into the WHERE mobile app to make it even easier for customers to take advantage of the local deals.

New Research Explains Why There is no Tech Bubble

April 16, 2011

VC funding analysis says we aren't repeating the dotcom-era funding environment of the last cycle

Here is the good news – venture capital investments are not increasing at rates which are typically commensurate with bubbles... At least according to a MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association which is based on data provided by Thomson Reuters. Although quarterly investment activity increased 5% in terms of dollars, it fell 11% in number of deals compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 when $5.6 billion was invested in 827 deals.

More ammunition for those who say we aren’t in a bubble - the quarterly deal count represents the lowest number of deals in a single quarter since the third quarter of 2009.



Photobucket Outage

April 13, 2011

Updated 4/14/2011, 4/15/2011 and 4/19/2011 - see below.

Originally posted 4/13/2011

Apparently my Photobucket account is one of the ones unavailable due to maintenance. I have come to rely on this cloud-based photo sharing service more and more as it works on iOS and the Sony Dash. There is an Android app as well which I have found doesn't display photos as well as it does on other operating systems. Here is the message the company gives when I try to login via the web.



Update 4/14/2011: Its been more than 24 hours and the site is still out. This is without a doubt one of the challenges of moving to the cloud - but that doesn't mean as a customer of a free service I feel I have such a strong right to complain.

Jim Goss, the company's VP of Operations expressed his apologies (see below) for the site being inaccessible via the Sony Dash, the web and iOS - I've tried all three.









Bing For iPad: You Can Check Out But You Can Never Leave

April 8, 2011

Bing for iPad Home Page


The iPad gained a very valuable information portal today in the form of a new application from Bing which has impressed me a great deal. What is different about this software is it borrows from other well-designed apps and isn't afraid to throw in its own improvements and graphically appealing glue to tie it all together.

When you enter the app you are presented with the Bing image of the day and underneath the graphic are widgets which give you information about the weather, news, maps, movies, trends and finance. Many of these areas update, making this program a truly functional portal.

Bing for iPad Movies


You also have access to other information presented when you click at the top right of the menu. Some of these are repeats of the bottom widgets but items like images, shopping and history are unique.

Bing for iPad Map of TMC HQ Building


I've always been a fan of the Bird's Eye view of Bing Maps and you can use your iPad to pinch and zoom your way around the map like you would a mouse on a PC.














Facebook Opencompute.org Disrupts Data Center Market

April 8, 2011

And just like that, the vanity server gets decapitated



Google continues to suck the life out of profits in industry after industry for the benefit of consumers. For example, sure Garmin is worth $7B but it was once worth $25B! Why? In-part because you can now get free turn-by-turn GPS of excellent quality with your Android phone.



Leading SIP Client Bria Gets Upgrade to 3.2

April 6, 2011

Will Government Inventory Flood the Local Ad Market?

April 6, 2011



Cash strapped state governments and agencies are beginning to experiment by showing ads to visitors to its websites in order to try to bring in revenue to offset budget deficits. While it is unclear if this concept will be successful enough to become widespread, it presents us with the potential for some new and interesting pairings of services with messages. For example, might we see ads for abstinence on websites associated with family planning? Could we see ads promoting smaller government all over the sites of state agencies?

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