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Search Marketing: Where it Pays to be Young

July 5, 2011

There is a crisis of unemployment in the US and those aged 16 to 19 are being hit with unemployment rates of 24% or almost three times the rate of adults. Worse yet, minority teens are seeing rates of unemployment as high as 41%.

There are a number of factors at play here - burst bubbles in credit and housing as well as margin compression due to price discovery on the Internet. The trend has gotten even worse as price discovery is now taking place via bar codes read by cellphones allowing consumers to buy from Amazon instead of the brick and mortar shop where they happen to be shopping and doing product comparisons.

Even worse, the Internet allows jobs to be outsourced with a mouse click and IP communications allows call center agents and other BPO jobs to be anywhere in the world. And these jobs are flowing to where there is less regulation and lower costs.

The good news is where the Internet takes away it also gives back.





Leaked RIM Letter: Apple Nailing us, Our Apps Suck

June 30, 2011

A leaked letter from a RIM worker discusses how the company is getting beat by Apple and how its apps are sub-par. Suggestions on how the company can improve include focusing on the user experiance, recruiting senior software leaders and enable them to make critical decisions. Moreover the suggestions include cutting projects to the bone - focus more on end-users and less on carriers. The video below was used as reference.



The letter goes on to say to say there needs to be more marketing to drive consumer demand and Canadians are too nice - get rid of the dead wood and non-performers.



Swiffy From Google: Convert Flash to HTML5

June 28, 2011

Slowly but surely the tools to enable Flash animations to become HTML5 are being introduced and as they become more refined, it will be far easier for developers familiar with SWF files to figure their way around HTML5. Google recently announced Swiffy as part of Google Labs - a cloud-based converter which uses a compact JSON representation of the animation, which is rendered using SVG and a bit of HTML5 and CSS3. ActionScript 2.0 is also present in the JSON object, and is interpreted in JavaScript in the browser. The company says the result are files which are almost as compact as the original SWF files.

Verbalizer: Bringing the Power of Google and Voice to Hackers

June 28, 2011

Microsoft, Apple & Twitter News June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

It’s been a busy day in tech and communications news – so far these are a few of the stories worth knowing about:

Microsoft needs to get larger? Scott Rothbort at TheStreet gives us eight companies Microsoft should buy – and you know what, some of these make great sense such as Adobe & Netflix but in reading the article, I wonder if Yahoo! makes sense anymore.

Where Google is Vulnerable to the FTC Probe

June 24, 2011

Google has responded to the FTC probe regarding its potential monopolist practice of directing users to its network of sites and in a blog post from Amit Singhal, a Google fellow they explain that their focus is primarily on users. A salient excerpt follows:

It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow.

Avaya's Support Strategy Emulates Successful Cancer Diagnostic Systems

June 23, 2011

It is an unusual occurrence for me to receive a call from any company to discuss their support. Generally the media gets all warm and fuzzy about tangible things like new product launches – scoops and items you can put in the category of breaking news. Ironically though if you ask most companies what differentiates them from the pack, service and support is typically the most common answer. Yet, I can’t remember other companies asking me to meet their new head of global services.

New Google Antitrust Probe and the Obama Connection

June 23, 2011

I asked in January of 2009 if Eric Schmidt was intentionally cozying up to candidate and then president Obama to protect a Google monopoly. The same year I brought the question up again as a response to an article in the Chicago Tribune on the matter.

We may or may not ever find out if my theory on this relationship are accurate what we do know is that today the FTC has served Google with civil subpoenas related to how the search engine directs searchers to its own growing network of sites like YouTube, shopping, local, and numerous others.

There is absolutely no question Google is massively powerful and can destroy companies and industries by directing users to its services. There is no way the company can deny this. The interesting arguments we will likely hear as a result of this case are whether Google is a force of good or bad in the market.



Now You Need to be a Lawyer to Understand Tech?

June 23, 2011


It seemed to start off slowly but now the trend is gaining momentum - lawsuits over patents in tech are everywhere and its tough to make decisions which are best for your company when you aren't sure if the products and services you are purchasing are infringing on the patents of others.

I must say that when the number of stories of tech patents gets to the dizzying level we are seeing today, it isn't good for anyone. Well except lawyers of course. Sure it is great to protect peoples' inventions but at the same time there are some very silly patents out there which are being used to "extort" money out of companies who have successfully put together a suite of products and services consumers want.

Solving the problem is beyond the scope of this entry but to get an idea of what set me off take a look at some recent stories in the patent space:






Are Critics Too Pessimistic on RIM?

June 22, 2011

Obviously RIM has stumbled and the iPhone instantly changed the world of smartphones making fixed-keyboard devices less attractive. Moreover, the fact that the iPhone was more computer than email device opened up the market for serious web browsing and app usage on the go. And until recently, the Blackberry browser experience was awful.

But the PlayBook has changed all that and its interface is slick and its form factor is impressive.

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