John C. Abell

Apple in miniature

October 24, 2012

This week Apple faces two significant tablet challengers. The first is Microsoft, which is releasing its long-awaited Surface tablet on Friday. The second is… itself.

The tracks of my fears

October 19, 2012

Advertisers say that if they can’t track you online, your favorite websites will die. They’re wrong.

EBay’s buyer’s remorse

October 12, 2012

How do you know if you’re in a buyer’s market, or a seller’s?

Offline it’s pretty easy to know. There’s price pressure, abundance and not too many people vying for the same house, commodity or mint condition Pee-Wee Herman doll at the yard sale. In the land of the real, markets aren’t terribly efficient. Before the Internet changed everything, retailers were bound by geography and the ability (and willingness) of people to range. That’s why gas costs a lot more right off the highway exit than it does less than a mile down, where strangers would rather not venture. (Now, of course, there’s an app for that.)

Facebook’s billion: Are you being served?

October 4, 2012

Facebook has reached an almost unimaginable milestone: 1 billion people are active users. It is hard to get your head around that number, which represents one-seventh of the world’s population (and not every one of us even has Internet access). It’s almost half the total number of people estimated to be on the Web at the beginning of this year.