Too Many Magazine Apps Are Still Walled Gardens http://gigaom.com/2010/10/09/too-many-magazine-apps-are-still-walled-gardens/ the app economy marks — for now at least — a return to the good old days when the walled-garden approach to publishing was the norm, and the Internet was just some pesky chat room for nerds. Wired’s app provides a slick interface to the magazine, but no way of actually sharing it, or of linking it to related content somewhere else — not even to Wired’s own website. It’s like an interactive CD-ROM from the 1990s. (
“most, if not all, of the growth in employment comes from the 300,000 high-impact firms in the economy over any four-year period. Depending on the time period studied, this is about evenly split between firms with fewer than 500 employees (the SBA definition of small business) and firms with more than 500 employees. Therefore, it would appear that both small and large firms contribute about equally to employment growth.”
– Ruth Marcus – The little engine that can’t – The myth about
small businesses and jobs
“We have yet to take Google’s measure. We’ve seen nothing like it before, and we already perceive much of our world through it. We would all very much like to be sagely and reliably advised by our own private genie; we would like the genie to make the world more transparent, more easily navigable. Google does that for us: it makes everything in the world accessible to everyone, and everyone accessible to the world. But we see everyone looking in, and blame Google.”
– Op-Ed Contributor – Google’s Earth – NYTimes.com
last.fm trending around a given track
"When we’re holding a GPS-enabled device, our identity isn’t a question of “who, what, where.” It’s a…"
“When we’re holding a GPS-enabled device, our identity isn’t a question of “who, what, where.” It’s a question of “where, what, who.””
– Steven Levy on How Foursquare Melds Real and Digital Worlds
But here’s a secret early adopters know: You can’t. It is impossible to water everyone’s Farmville, coo over everyone’s puppy pictures or get annoyed by every inane status update.
Eventually, Facebook will fade into the background of your life, no longer new and perhaps actually boring — about as remarkable as a ringing telephone.
"On the assumption that strangers may not make it easy for us to escape our pasts, Acquisti is also…"
“On the assumption that strangers may not make it easy for us to escape our pasts, Acquisti is also studying technologies and strategies of “privacy nudges” that might prompt people to think twice before sharing sensitive photos or information in the first place. Gmail, for example, has introduced a feature that forces you to think twice before sending drunken e-mail messages. When you enable the feature, called Mail Goggles, it prompts you to solve simple math problems before sending e-mail messages at times you’re likely to regret. (By default, Mail Goggles is active only late on weekend nights.) Acquisti is investigating similar strategies of “soft paternalism” that might nudge people to hesitate before posting, say, drunken photos from Cancún.”
“Now, consider this. If I sound like I’m harshing on Apple — I’m not. Apple’s perhaps one of the economy’s most radical companies and one of its most explosive outperformers. Here’s the point: It’s still not good enough — not enough to create jobs, meet the needs of tomorrow’s generations, give back to the natural world, spark higher-order innovation, or fuel a more authentic prosperity. If that’s the best that our economy can do, well, we’ve got to do better.”
– Apple’s Real Achilles Heel – Umair Haque – Harvard Business Review
New Hotness: overlay tutorials
“The English-speaking world tends to worry more about the semantics of the unspeakable place—is it a…”
The English-speaking world tends to worry more about the semantics of the unspeakable place—is it a toilet, a loo, a lavatory, a lav, a bog, a restroom, a bathroom or a WC?—than its aesthetics. But never mind what it’s called, the loo is a hugely important part of a restaurant. It’s central to what marketing-speakers call the “total customer experience”: it tells you what the restaurateur really thinks of you; it’s a proxy for the kitchen (if the loo’s dirty, the kitchen will be too); and it is the acid test for the success of the overall look. If, as you leave the dining room and head off down the corridor, you find the decor regressing from Absolutely Now to Last Refurbished When Reagan Got In, the whole brand will be compromised.
Smart restaurants are now as fashion-driven in their loos as front of house, maintaining the brand statements and keeping the design magic going all the way to the flush…
“The parallels between what happened to cities like Chicago, Detroit and New York in the 20th century…”
The parallels between what happened to cities like Chicago, Detroit and New York in the 20th century and what’s happening on the Internet since the introduction of the App Store are striking. Like the great modern American cities, the Web was founded on equal parts opportunism and idealism. Over the years, nerds, students, creeps, outlaws, rebels, moms, fans, church mice, good-time Charlies, middle managers, senior citizens, starlets, presidents and corporate predators all made their home on the Web. In spite of a growing consensus about the dangers of Web vertigo and the importance of curation, there were surprisingly few “walled gardens” online — like the one Facebook purports to (but does not really) represent.
But a kind of virtual redlining is now under way. The Webtropolis is being stratified. Even if, like most people, you still surf the Web on a desktop or laptop, you will have noticed pay walls, invitation-only clubs, subscription programs, privacy settings and other ways of creating tiers of access. All these things make spaces feel “safe” — not only from viruses, instability, unwanted light and sound, unrequested porn, sponsored links and pop-up ads, but also from crude design, wayward and unregistered commenters and the eccentric voices and images that make the Web constantly surprising, challenging and enlightening.
Interesting to think about the UI which would communicate the policy to travellers > Still, for all of its sophistication, Komanoff’s plan remains imperfect. Komanoff himself admits that an ideal system would track drivers wherever they went, charging by the mile and the minute, with rates determined by location. He calls this “the holy grail of congestion pricing.”
Someday, technology will probably help fulfill this promise. Skymeter, a Toronto-based company, has developed a GPS-based metering system that can track and bill cars in even the densest urban areas. With such a system, Komanoff says, he could adjust congestion prices on a block-by-block basis. Cities could do away with parking meters and simply track how long cars sat at a curb. Insurance premiums could reflect the habits of individual drivers instead of relying on crude proxies like age. Drivers could be rewarded for taking the roads less traveled—not having to pay, and sometimes even getting paid, if they chose to commute on less congested routes on particularly busy days. “It’s going to happen,” Komanoff says. “Cities will charge per mile or per minute according to your exact location and the type of vehicle you’re driving.”
– The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic
“A second set of provisions applies to both credit and debit card transactions. Visa and MasterCard…”
A second set of provisions applies to both credit and debit card transactions. Visa and MasterCard impose an all-or-nothing requirement on businesses, requiring them to accept cards even on small transactions, and prohibiting businesses from offering discounts based on the method of payment. The amendment strikes those rules.
Many small businesses already violate the rules. The National Federation of Independent Business reported in a 2008 survey that 13 percent of respondents required a minimum purchase before a customer could use a card, and 14 percent offered a cash discount. The amendment would provide legal shelter for chain stores to adopt similar policies.
“In a reversal, America’s suburbs are now more likely to be home to minorities, the poor and a rapidly growing older population as many younger, educated whites move to cities for jobs and shorter commutes.”
“creativity not only involves coming up with something new, but also with shutting down the brain’s…”
“creativity not only involves coming up with something new, but also with shutting down the brain’s habitual response, or letting go of conventional solutions”
– [The Mind Research Network and Charting Creativity – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/books/08creative.html?pagewanted=all
“It’s just shocking that kids have access to all these things on the Internet and we don’t even know about it,” Mr. Stern said. “And it’s disturbing that what goes on there will influence how somebody behaves. How do you block it? How do you monitor it?” http://nyti.ms/aeWPNr
“For today’s teenagers and preteens, the give and take of friendship seems to be conducted increasingly in the abbreviated snatches of cellphone texts and instant messages, or through the very public forum of Facebook walls and MySpace bulletins.”
– How Does Technology Affect Kids Friendships? – http://nyti.ms/aa3tUA
“All of this led to the revelation that we’ve begun a new age of “communal computing.” The desktop…”
“All of this led to the revelation that we’ve begun a new age of “communal computing.” The desktop revolution centered around empowering individuals: this new revolution will extend that empowerment to groups of people. The iPad was naturally passed around amongst the partygoers. Many people interacted with it during the evening, and I lost track of who had it at any given time. And therein lies a fundamental problem. My iPad has a lot of personal information on it: email, business documents, and financial data. When you pass it around, you’re giving everyone who touches it the opportunity to mess with your private life, whether intentionally or not.”
– furbo.org · Communal computing
“A small but vocal subculture has emerged on Twitter of grammar and taste vigilantes who spend their…”
“A small but vocal subculture has emerged on Twitter of grammar and taste vigilantes who spend their time policing other people’s tweets — celebrities and nobodies alike. These are people who build their own algorithms to sniff out Twitter messages that are distasteful to them — tweets with typos or flawed grammar, or written in ALLCAPS — and then send scolding notes to the offenders. They see themselves as the guardians of an emerging behavior code: Twetiquette.”
– On the Twitter Patrol – NYTimes.com
“Halfway through, I was mortified. I realized why the Tillman story has stayed in my gut. Dannie Tillman did what a nation full of high-paid, overblown journalists should have done. She went after the real story while the beautiful people on TV and the nerds with notepads broadcast and wrote morality plays. She got in the military’s face, in the government’s face. She didn’t let up. She was doing journalism while journalists were doing what we mostly do now — chase Web hits and take short cuts to higher profits. A housewife got the real story, or as much of it as anybody probably will. Professionals trained to do so gathered moss and wrote slop.”
– Pat Tillman film a haunting blindside
“Progress may, for a time, intersect with one’s own personal ideology, and during that period one will become a gung-ho technological progressivist. But that’s just coincidence. In the end, progress doesn’t care about ideology. Those who think of themselves as great fans of progress, of technology’s inexorable march forward, will change their tune as soon as progress destroys something they care deeply about. “We love the things we love for what they are,” wrote Robert Frost. And when those things change we rage against the changes. Passion turns us all into primitivists.”
– Nicholas Carr’s Blog – The iPad Luddites
“In Park Slope, Brooklyn, for example, drivers looking for a parking spot are said to account for 45…”
“In Park Slope, Brooklyn, for example, drivers looking for a parking spot are said to account for 45 percent of street traffic”
– Parking-Spot Finding in New York Gets Digital Aid, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/nyregion/11critic.html
From The New York Times: Branding Comes Early in Filmmaking Process More writers and producers are cutting branding deals before the movie is cast or the script is fully shaped. Manufacturers can stipulate that a clothing label must be tried on “in a positive manner,” or candy or hamburgers have to be eaten “judiciously.” A liquor company might sponsor a film only if there is no underage drinking or if the bar where its product is served is chic rather than seedy. http://s.nyt.com/u/HKa