LOGGING OUT OF THE ‘DIGITAL DECADE’

30 Dec skinetrin

With internet boom and gadgets like iPod, 2000-09 has turned out to be a dizzying period of innovation Catch me Patch Me

While it got off to a rocky start with the overhyped Y2K bug and dotcom bubble, the era dubbed the “Digital Decade” by Microsoft’s Bill Gates has turned out to be a dizzying period of innovation. Make Lash

“It’s been an amazingly vibrant decade for the internet and for digital things in general,” said John Abell, New York bureau chief of Wired magazine, which has chronicled the technological leaps and bounds of the past 10 years. “People simply don’t exist in a non-digital world at all,” Abell said. “Even grandmothers and Luddites all have tools and devices – even if they don’t realize they are using them – which connect them to a digital world.” make lash

David Pogue, personal technology columnist for the New York Times, points to Apple’s iPod, introduces in 2001, as among the most influential devices of the decade. “It really revolutionized the way music is distributed and marketed,” said Pogue. Catch Me Patch Me

Pogue also gives a nod to the GPS navigational unit “which changes the way we drive and also has environmental considerations because millions of people spend less time driving around lost.” http://saintlegiere.de/

Touchscreen smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone featuring thousands of applications are also high on Pogue’s list. “It’s become a tiny computer in a size and shape no computer’s ever been before – and mobile and connected to the internet all the time,” said Pogue. “That’s a revolutionary set of circumstances.”

What’s more, he added, “It’s only two years old. The iPhone came out two years ago.  Imagine what the iPhone and the Android phones and the palm phones are going to look like in 5years? They are going to be smaller, thinner, much better battery life, many more features, much faster.” “Right now we are looking at the stone age of these phones,” Pogue said. “We think they are modern but they are not.”

Another groundbreaking device high on the lists of technology analysts is Amazon’s kindle electronic reader, which made its appearance in 2007 and has spawned a host of rivals.

The past decade has, of course, also seen seismic shifts in the web with the explosive growth of social networking sites, wireless connectivity and the rise of internet based cloud computing.

Web search and advertising giant Google has become “central to our lives,” said Wired’s Abell. In the late 1990s, Pogue said, “creating a webpage took skill, talent, special software – it was still only for the geeks.”

The internet has become accessible to all in the years since, giving birth to sites such as Wikipedia in 2001, MySpace in 2003, Facebook in 2004, YouTube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006.

Astronauts gear up for ’space sushi’, Twitter aboard the ISS

20 Dec

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BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan: Astronauts from Russia, Japan and the United States blast off to the International Space Station on Monday, bringing with bringing with The astronauts will lift off aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket at 4:00 am (2200 GMT Sunday) from Russia’s historic Baikonur cosmodrome on the Kazakh steppe, the same location from which Yuri Gagarin first rocketed into the cosmos.

They will hurtle into low Earth orbit and then make a gradual ascent to the station over two days, docking on Wednesday to bring a dose of holiday cheer to the station’s current bare bones crew just two days before Christmas.

Although their mission is to continue the station’s high-tech work, the crew seemed most animated by Japanese crew member Soichi Naguchi’s promise of sushi and US astronaut Timothy Creamer’s plans to update his Twitter page from the ISS.

“Yes I plan to be twittering from space. I tried to mention that announcement a couple of days ago in twitter version,” Creamer told reporters during a press conference.

“I thought that if I could give you status of what I am doing — what we’re hoping for, what we’re looking forward to seeing — those would be good little teasers.”

Twitter, a service which allows users to pepper one another with messages of 140 characters or less and provide links to the Web, exploded from relative obscurity to become one of the most talked-about web phenomena of 2009.

Creamer, who holds a masters degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a self-described “tech guy”, has twittered regularly during the run-up to the launch.

Equally tantalizing was the promise by Naguchi, the first Japanese astronaut to launch to the ISS from Baikonur, to prepare fresh sushi for his crew mates during their long sojourn aboard the space station.

“We had a training in Japan this summer and I was stupid enough to train them to be sushi lovers,” he said with a laugh.

“(Now) both of my crew mates really love sushi so I am going to make for them a couple of different flavours of sushi,” he added to smiles and nods from his fellow astronauts.

The ISS, which orbits 350 kilometres (220 miles) above Earth, is a sophisticated platform for scientific experiments, helping test the effects of long-term space travel on humans, a must for any trip to distant Mars.

A huge new solar array was installed earlier this year to provide more power which, together with a newly installed European laboratory and a hi-tech Japanese lab, Kibo, has significantly boosted the station’s capabilities.

The Soyuz is set to become the sole means of reaching the ISS for a few years as the United States is due to take its aging shuttles out of commission in 2010.

Creamer drew attention to the ISS’ role in preparing astronauts for the future of space exploration, with its long voyages and physical travails.

“We are setting the stage to do the operations for the long-term to go farther away. This is an important step on our way to the Moon, to Mars and beyond,” he said.

But playing on the jovial mood, Creamer prefaced his description of the mission’s technical aspects with a nod to the holiday season.

“Almost immediately the first thing we’re going to do when we get into orbit is see Santa Claus on his test flight for this year’s Christmas delivery and that just starts off the rest of the expedition,” he said.

Why Background Checks Are Important

15 Dec

written by Jen Carpenter

on behalf of EmployeeScreenIQ

url http://employeescreen.com

Post powered by Sponzai.

excerpt If you’re an employer, chances are you’re already performing background checks on potential job candidates. If you’re a job seeker, chances are you’ve had to undergo some type of background check during the job search process.

Background checks have become commonplace because they allow an employer to learn about a candidate before offering them a job, therefore reducing the chances of making a costly or bad hire. Employers typically hire an outside company to perform the background check, which consists of looking up official and commercial records about an individual.

Background checks can include everything from a job seeker’s social security number and employment history to their driving records and credit history. The information that legally can and cannot be included in a background check is dictated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Items that can be part of a background check include: driving records; bankruptcy; property ownership; past employers; vehicle registration; education records; character references; military records; personal references; credit cards; court records; neighbor interviews; state licensing records; incarceration records; criminal records; workers’ compensation; medical records; drug test records; and sex offender lists.

All of that information is capable of giving an employer a very good sense of exactly who they’re hiring. However, there is some information that an employer may never find out, because it becomes confidential after a certain amount of time.

The FCRA states that the following information may not be included in a background check: bankruptcies after 10 years; civil suits, civil judgments and records of arrest after seven years; paid tax liens after seven years; accounts placed for collection after seven years; and any other negative information, excluding criminal convictions, after seven years.

It is easy to see why background checks are an important aspect of the hiring process for both employers and employees. In the end, they allow employers to gain some insight about who will be working for them and to feel confident about their hiring decisions.

Safe sharing: Networking site lets users boost privacy

14 Dec

San Francisco: Facebook, the world’s No.1 internet social network, took a step towards opening up parts of its site to outsiders on Wednesday by introducing more options for user’s privacy settings.

The changes will make it easier for Facebook’s more than 350 million users to limit who sees their musings, videos, photos and other personal information. But will also give them the opportunity to expose a wider swathe of their information to a broader internet audience.

The move comes as internet search engines like Google and Microsoft are increasingly showing interest in incorporating the growing trove of user-generated content from social media websites into their search results.

“We certainly want to respond to the requests of people to be able to share information in all sorts of different ways,” said Elliot Schrage, Facebook Vice President of Global Communications and public policy.

Schrage said Facebook users will be greeted with a message on Wednesday presenting them with new options to customize privacy settings and directing them to a new simplified overview page of all their personal privacy settings.

The changes will not, in any way, alter Facebook’s policies governing the kind of user information that is shared with adverstisers.

Cos analyse tweets for feedback

9 Dec

TWITTERLYTICS

Call it Twitter Analytics, or simply twitterlytics. A number of companies are beginning to analyse twitter feeds to understand what consumers are saying about their products and brands. 24/7 customer has already got some 200 clients for a twitter research and strategy tool that it launched barely two months ago. The clients include companies like Adobe, Symantec, Barclays, Time Warner, British Gas, JP Morgan Chase, Vodafone, Citi, Plaxo and T-Mobile.

The Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) says it has been using Twitter extensively as feedback channel to continuously improve services. Silicone Valley venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki talked in Bangalore recently about how companies like Comcast are scanning Twitter to identify problems customers are facing and resolving them before they become big issues, and how Virgin America uses it to engage with customers.

Twitter has become the most handy tool for people to convey their feelings to the rest of the world. So, if a laptop you are using suddenly crashes, you can fish out your mobile phone and tweet angry message about the laptop brand. If you find a restaurant serving amazing food, you can immediately pass on that info to all your twitter followers, many of who may retweet it to their followers.

And that’s exactly what millions are doing, which is why companies see it as a great tool to understand what proactive steps they need to take to ensure a problem does not get worse, or how they can sustain a successful brand. “These (tweets) seem to be the most genuine feedback which we can act upon due to the format and objectivity on services and amenities,” says Anjana Kher Murray of BIAL.

V Bharathwaj, chief marketing officer of 24/7 Customer, echoes that: “The consumer voice is most dominant on Twitter, far more than in facebook or any other social media.” Murray says BIAL realized from tweets that people often missed the airports laptop charging points. So we made those signs more prominent. “Social media also helped us to address issues like cheating by taxis and touts,” she says.

“It can give you the number of times you are mentioned in tweets for any period of your choice and help you see how these numbers are changing. You can see which geographies the tweets are coming from, and from which source whether desktop PC or mobile or some other. Companies also get an insight about the overall sentiment about their product/ brand on Twitter, both in terms of positive and negative tones,” says Mohit jain, chief innovation officer of 24/7 Customer, one of India’s leading BPOs.

Postbox

5 Dec

NY gangs tweet to arrange fights

3 Dec

The notorious street gangs in New York are using the Twitter microblogging service to arrange fights and antagonize rival groups. The New York Daily News reports that a boy who was shot in the leg last month in New York might have been attacked as a part of an ongoing spat between Harlem gang Original Young Gangsters and rival factions.

Lieutenant Kevin O’Connor of New York police department’s gang intelligence unit said the situation is “horrible”. However, they are actively monitoring the public Twitter accounts of suspected gang members. “It’s another tool, just like old phone records,” said one police officer. “We can go through them (tweets) to track these guys.”

Many of the gang messages can be found through a simple Twitter search for phrases such as OYG, the original young gangsters. One tweet, from a girl with the username LickSumIishaHun, read: “I knoe b*tches from oyg that would dead mob yah sh*t in Harlem”. Police say it was aimed at drawing out a rival for a fight.

A 15-year-old member of the 28 Gunnaz crew, said tweeting was like any other “form of communication”, with the added advantage of everyone being able to follow the conversation.

He told the New York Daily News that this could fuel disputes, with tensions escalating when other gang members heard what rivals were saying about them.

Another 15-year-old gang member of rival firm The New Dons, said Twitter was useful for “setting up the fights” and making plans.

He said that gang members took steps to protect their Twitter profiles from the police, using complicated slang to throw investigators off the scent, and setting profiles to private so they could not be followed by just anyone. “We got our own page,” said The New Dons gang member. “Our page is private.”

Youth workers in New York are using Twitter to try and keep peace on the streets. Vernon Williams, a church pastor in Harlem, said he and his staff at the perfect peace ministry youth outreach used the microblogging service, and other social-networking sites, such as MySpace, to keep tabs on 4,000 at-risk teenagers, reports the Telegraph.

Last week, the group was able to diffuse a potentially violent situation when it saw chatter on Twitter that suggested gang members from The New Dons and rivals Get Money Boys were arranging a fight. “They were threatening to go and hurt two people,” said Pastor Williams.

Twitter named ‘top English word’

Twitter, the popular phenomenon of social networking, has been named the top English Word this year in a survey. Texas-based Global Language Monitor put together a list of the top words and phrases and found that the word was more popular than Obama and H1N1, which is commonly known as the “swine flu”. Wrapping up the top five words were ‘stimulus’ and ‘vampire’, reports the Telegraph newspaper.

NEW SOFTWARE TO START PC IN 7 SEC

25 Nov

New Google Inc software will start up a computer as fast as a television can be turned on, the search company said as it showed off its Chrome operating system designed for PCs that do their work on the web.

Google gave the first public look at its Chrome four months after declaring its intention of developing the PCs main software, a move that puts it directly against Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc.

True to Google’s internet-pedigree, the Chrome OS resembles a Web browser more than it does a traditional computer operating system like Microsoft Windows, matching Google’s ambition to drive people to the Web – where they can see Google ads.

The software will initially be available by the holiday season of 2010 on netbooks that meet Google’s hardware specifications, such as using only memory chips to store data instead of slower hard drives.

Sundar Pichai, vice-president of product management for Google’s Chrome OS, said computers running it will be able to start in less than seven seconds. “From the time you press boot you want it to be like a TV: You turn it on and you should be on the Web using your applications,” he said.

18 Button Mouse Brings 18x the Boredom

23 Nov

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.asylum.com.au/media/2009/11/oomouse_small.jpgAnd we thought the Steel Series World of Warcraft 15-button mouse was excessive.

This click-tastic monstrosity drops 18 buttons up front on an otherwise traditionally boring mouse design. And it’s branded with OpenOffice, the free office application suite. Just imagine – using 18 buttons to work on spreadsheets, word processing documents, and the odd presentation. Click. Clack. Click. Click. And when you’re done clicking, there’s a joystick. Nope, no idea what it’s for.

Somehow the OpenOffice.org marketing lead worked the words “cool” and “stunning” into his quote on this beast. Not the first thoughts that leap to mind. Stunning, maybe. Just not the way he probably means.

Ad.ly on Twitter

18 Nov

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Ad.ly, is a brand new advertising network only very recently launched that inserts ads once a day on your twitter account. The ad network seeks your approval first so you would basically be “indirectly” tweeting the ad. Its almost as if you’d be “endorsing by approving” their ad. Interesting…

This sort of control is great to have on advertising right? As the publisher so you’re technically deciding very directly what your followers see. This is great in comparison to something like Adsense where the ads are more based on bids than on the content and much less approved by you (what control you do have is choosing who you DON’T want to advertise!).

This could be counted as a win-win for both the advertisers and the users on twitter. On the one hand, ad.ly “enables advertisers to reach the highly sought after Twitter audience by connecting brands with the most influential people in the community”. And on the other hand, the publisher gets to choose which ads they think their followers might actually benefit from! It’s like an affiliate marketing and advertising hybrid!

When you sign up as a publisher you can actually set your required weekly price from the advertiser, which is another great level of control. That being said I would probably go with the recommended amount or a little less, to get maximum benefit from it. It’d be a shame to lose out on advertisers because you set your price too high right!?

On a side note, you can actually donate a part or all of your earnings to a charity of your choice. Excellent! I hope that someone like Bono will use their sea of followers to feed the hungry instead of simply adding to their millions…

Over all ad.ly seems like an excellent addition to the world of Twitter. Who wants to start a bet that Google will buy it!?

By the way, ad.ly is currently holding a competition for who can get the most users to sign up using a custom referral link. The winner gets a Macbook Pro!