MediaFile

Did Google inspire Facebook Groups?

ZuckGroupsIt’s no secret that Google has struggled to make its mark in the fast-growing social networking market. (Witness Google’s string of stumbles, including Buzz, Orkut and the recently-euthanized Wave).

So you wouldn’t expect Facebook, the 800-pound gorilla of social networking, to take any cues from Google when it comes to product development.

But in the wake of Facebook’s newly-unveiled Groups feature, some are pointing to an interesting presentation this summer by Google’s Paul Adams, who focuses on user experience research and social networking.

In a presentation published by various media online, Adams explains the problem of social networking sites like Facebook, in which a person’s various real-life cliques and social circles (college buddies, co-workers, family members) are inelegantly lumped into one homogeneous group of “friends.”

He uses the example of Debbie, a swim instructor in San Diego whose ten-year-old swim students “friend” her on Facebook, and are thus able to view the photos that her friends in LA, who work in a gay bar, have posted of some of their wild nights.

Do US Open organizers really think the iPad is dangerous?

venuswilliams The organizers of the US Open pride themselves on using technology to help tennis fans enjoy the sport more both inside and outside the stadium.
But, as far as iPad is concerned the tournament’s tech love affair only goes so far, as the grand slam organizers appear to have banned the device from the stadium itself.
Some visitors to Arthur Ashe Stadium learned about this the hard way; by being turned away from the gates when security guards found them carrying the offending gadgets.
Given that the event organizers take space on their website to boast about their iPhone app, it was not immediately clear why its bigger cousin the iPad should be forbidden.
One security worker explained to a disappointed fan of both tennis and the iPad that the ban was due to concerns about  terrorists.  “They’re  using iPads to detonate things.”
Really?  A US open official was not immediately available on Wednesday to verify this was the tournament’s official stance.

Hidden in the security section of the visitor’s guide to the US Open website is a list of items prohibited from the event including computers and laptops as well as video recorders.

But the irony was not lost on tech reporters and executives attending the game on Tuesday night because US Tennis Association has been reasonably forward looking when it comes to technology.  The event’s tech boasts include an augmented reality iPhone app that IBM developed for the USTA. That  app promises to warn you about the quickest bathroom lines or   off what’s happening in other courts if you point your phone  in the right direction.
You could also enjoy the action of simultaneous matches by flicking between video streams on devices such as iPad.

from Summit Notebook:

More or less fun in a recession? It’s a tough call

EA_Jens_Uwe_Intat_SVP_Reuters_Summit_Paris_2010_17_May_30pctStill unsure whether economic recession is good or bad for video-games sales, more than a year in? If so, you're in good company -- neither does the world's biggest games publisher. Electronic Arts' head of European publishing says the company still hasn't figured out whether people cut spending on big items like housing and cars first, or whether those kinds of decisions are just too hard.

"We really wonder, hmm, in economically difficult times would people in order to have SOME fun actually play more games or less games, and then, would they spend more or less?  It's really, it's impossible to say," Jens-Uwe Intat told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris.

In the early days of the downturn, the industry was widely thought to be recession-proof as people chose cheap stay-at-home entertainment over pricey nights out. That assumption was later turned on its head.

from UK News:

Jeremy Hunt unveils Tory technology platform

Jeremy HuntAs the three main UK political parties vie for positioning ahead of a general election to be held by June, the Conservatives unveiled their "Technology Manifesto" on Thursday in London outlining the key issues they would address if they form the next government.

Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude presented ideas on everything from improving broadband speeds to making government data accessible online.

Boosting broadband speeds would play a crucial role in stimulating growth by providing new areas of financial competitiveness, they said.

from The Great Debate UK:

Growth of mobile commerce taps touch Web users

Picture shows Steve Ives, CEO of Taptu. REUTERS/Julie Mollins

As the mobile phone industry puts more emphasis on marketing hand-held smartphones, consumers are finding ways to dodge restrictive model-compatible applications by using Web-based programs.

Unlike single-device applications, mobile touch websites run on most mobile browsers freeing users from reliance on a specific operating system.

A recent study by Taptu suggests that the mobile touch web will play an important role in expanding mobile commerce.

Technology Earnings

What Apple’s “iTablet” could mean for Asia

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs walks through the crowd after a special event in San Francisco September 9, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

global_post_logoJonathan Adams serves as a GlobalPost correspondent, where this article first appeared.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Here comes, maybe, Apple’s “iTablet.” Or “iSlate.” Or “iWhatever.”

Apple’s so-called “Jesus Tablet” has been described as the ultimate gadget: A netbook, e-book reader, movie player and games platform all in one. It’s going to revolutionize publishing, and education. No mention yet on solving Middle East peace, but surely it’s only a matter of time.

from The Great Debate UK:

Are publication bans outdated in the Internet era?

IMG01299-20100115-2004The debate over freedom of expression and the impact of social networking on democratic rights in the courts is in focus in Canada after a Facebook group became the centre of controversy when it may have violated a publication ban.

The group, which has more than 7,000 members, was set up to commemorate the murder of a 2-year-old boy in Oshawa, Ontario.

The breach of a publication ban could lead to a mistrial, a fine and even jail time. Violating a ban could taint the opinions of witnesses or jurors, and the news media must wait to report information protected under a publication ban until after the trial is over.

The end of the story…

……is the cash cow for Chinese company Shanda Literature Ltd, a
subsidiary of Shanda Interactive Entertainment.

The company’s business model is simple: read the first half
of a book online for free, and if you want to know the rest
(which usually is the case if you have read that far) you need
to pay for it. Revenues are split with the stories’ authors.

In China, this proves to be successful. According to Shanda
Literature CEO Hou Xiaoqing, the company now has cash reserves
of $1.8 billion, with 800,000 authors creating up to 80,000 new
pages of content per day, he said at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

from The Great Debate UK:

The end of .com, the beginning of .yourbrand

Joe White-Joe White is chief operating officer at Gandi, an Internet domain name registration firm. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Despite the importance of domain names for companies and the extraordinary amount of money many have paid for them, the vast majority of businesses are unprepared for imminent changes to the Internet.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international body that oversees the structure of the internet, is liberalising the market for domain name extensions – the .com or .net part of a web address – from the beginning of 2010. This means that anyone, in theory, can apply to operate an extension. So alongside .com, .net, and .org, we will see .whateveryoulike.