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  • Gerrit Eicker 14:57 on 7. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Amazon Store, , , , , , Brick and Click, , , Click and Brick, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Rumours, , Seattle, , , , , , ,   

    Amazon Store? 

    Is Amazon going to open a store in Seattle? Physical bricks around the corner? Clicks to bricks? http://eicker.at/AmazonStore

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:57 on 7. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      GER: “Amazon sources close to the situation have told us that the company is planning on rolling out a retail store in Seattle within the next few months. This project is a test to gauge the market and see if a chain of stores would be profitable. They intend on going with the small boutique route with the main emphasis on books from their growing line of Amazon Exclusives and selling their e-readers and tablets. – Seattle is where Amazon’s main headquarters is based and is known as a fairly tech savvy market. It is a perfect launch location to get some hands on experience in the retail sphere. … The company has already contracted the design layout of the retail location through a shell company, which is not unusual for Amazon. … The store itself is not just selling tangible items like e-readers and tablets, but also their books. Amazon recently started their own publishing division and has locked up many indie and prominent figures to write exclusively for the company. … This is exciting news and Amazon in a great position to make a strong go out of their retail endeavors. They are starting out local and small mainly to test the waters with the new store, but also to figure out how they’re going to avoid paying massive taxes.

      GigaOM: “The move into retail, if it proves true, would be a big turning point for Amazon and one that ultimately makes sense though the move doesn’t seem intuitive considering Amazon’s online roots. … One of the reasons Amazon has shied away from pursuing retail stores is to avoid charging taxes, something it must do in a handful of states. But increasingly, it looks like Amazon is accepting taxes as inevitable and so there may be fewer barriers to moving into a retail stores. … The upside is that Amazon can let people get hands-on with their products, and they can provide a high level of customer service, especially for its Kindle line of tablets and e-readers. … Amazon has signed deals to get Kindles in a lot of existing retail stores but having its own boutiques could be a way to really highlight its products. … I agree that Amazon needs to think about building out its whole service. It’s not an online seller, it’s a seller. And that means you work to provide the best selling experience possible. … The strategy is not going to threaten Walmart any time soon. I don’t think Amazon wants to go the big box route… It could be that the new store remains just a test and not a long-term bet. But I still think it’s likely that we might see local Amazon stores when all is said and done.

      TNW: “If Amazon is to roll this initiative out permanently and further afield, it will have to feel confident that its profits will be bolstered accordingly, so it will be interesting to see how the associated overheads of running a store will be factored in to its launch strategy. Furthermore, this will have implications on its efforts to sidestep states’ sales taxes on the grounds that it operates online. – Back in December, we reported on eBay’s first bricks-and-mortar store in the UK, a boutique that opened for only five days and saw 2,500 customers arrive through its doors. It didn’t have any tills, and it was pretty much a ‘QR code shopping emporium’, with shoppers able to browse over 350 items provided by a selection of the top-rated eBay sellers, with purchases made using mobile devices.”

      RWW: “It’s not a new rumor (it dates as far back as 2009), and it would be a departure from Amazon’s strategy thus far. In December, Launch reported the retail store rumor, adding that Amazon plans to sell its own branded merchandise. Amazon is better known for threatening real-world retail than for promoting it. But Amazon’s moves in the past few months make the strategy seem more sensible. … Amazon has avoided sales taxes by remaining a purely online retailer, giving its customers the incentive of the lowest price. But lately, sales taxes on online purchases have started to seem inevitable, as Amazon’s deal with the state of California shows. Once Amazon resigns itself to sales taxes, that’s one fewer reason not to bring its retail might into physical stores.

      VB: “Rather than being a high-inventory big-box retailer on a Target or Walmart scale, the Amazon store is said to be planned as a boutique carrying high-end, high-profit-margin items as well as the brand’s Kindle line and accessories. – In a way, it would be a bit like the Apple stores one sees in every shopping mall these days, with a few big-ticket goodies in other verticals, as well.”

      TC: “This will also encourage the movement from the agent-publisher-distributor model of book publishing into a direct to consumer model that Amazon will spearhead. … As I said before, the Fire is Amazon’s Trojan Horse. However, rather than the wary hold-outs bringing in Amazon’s market by buying the fire, Amazon will bring the Trojans to their own branded stores.”

      pC: “The report comes at the same time as bookstore chains Barnes und Noble, Books-A-Million and Canada’s Indigo are saying they will not carry Amazon Publishing titles in their stores, though it is unclear how that boycott will actually be carried out.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:26 on 31. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , AOL Editions, , , Apple Newsstand, , , , , , , , , , , , Google Propeller, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Rumours, , Social Media Feeds, , Tablet Apps, , , , , Yahoo Livestand   

    Tablet News Reader 

    Tablets and news are a perfect match: Google and Yahoo are going to add more reader apps; http://eicker.at/TabletNewsReader

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:27 on 31. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      ATD: “Memo to Flipboard, as well as Pulse, CNN’s Zite and AOL’s Editions: You might want to make some room in the already-crowded news and social reader space, because you’re about to get some bigfoot company. – Next Wednesday, according to sources close to the situation, Yahoo will finally officially unveil its offering, called Livestand. – And perhaps as early as next week or soon after, Google will also weigh in with its version of the genre – code-named Propeller – which also might be the product’s name. Another moniker under strong consideration: Currents. As I have previously reported, Google Propeller is an HTML5 reader for the Apple iPad and Android – essentially a souped-up version of similar apps such as Flipboard, AOL’s Editions, Zite (which was just bought by Time Warner’s CNN) and Pulse. … Yahoo and Google PR declined comment.

      RWW: “Livestand is Yahoo’s take on the personalized reading app for tablets, which ousted CEO Carol Bartz announced earlier this year. Sources tell AllThingsD that the app is expected to be released next week. It was originally slated to be launched on iOS and Android during the first half of 2011. … More than Flipboard and Zite, Livestand looks and feels like AOL’s Editions app for iPad. … It’s a natural extension of Yahoo’s efforts to become a company that specializes, among many other things, in digital content. … Also in the pipeline is a project from Google, code-named Propeller. Less is known about how that app will look and function, but it’s generally understood to be the search giant’s answer to Flipboard, which Google unsuccessfully tried to acquire. … Even with the cross-platform advantage and enormous development resources behind it, products of this nature from Google and Yahoo could simply fail to catch on. The iPad has been in existence for nearly two years and applications like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse have proven very popular among consumers. To compete, the big players will need to offer something truly unique to readers, publishers and advertisers alike.”

      VB: “The tablet readers from two of the Internet’s largest technology companies has the potential to disrupt a landscape that has previously been dominated by small, nimble companies such as Flipboard and Pulse. Google previously tried to buy Flipboard, which was valued at more than $200 million in April, which is still chump change for the search giant.”

      pC: “Companies like Flipboard, AOL, Zite, and Pulse have found a lot of interest in their apps, which organize Web content through custom filters or by hooking one’s social-media feeds into the app. But given how new tablets still are to the vast majority of the population, and how as a result usage habits have yet to really settle into any established pattern, there’s still a lot of opportunity for both big companies and small startups to attract users.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:39 on 24. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Alibaba, , , , , , , , , , , , Rumours, , ,   

    Yahoo: Google vs. Microsoft? 

    Are Google and Microsoft participating in a Yahoo bidding? http://eicker.at/YahooGoogleMicrosoft

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:39 on 24. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NYT: “As a host of potential bidders circle Yahoo, several of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are considering whether to jump into the fray themselves. – Microsoft and Google are both weighing whether to participate in the bidding. … [T]here’s one thing the technology giants have in common: Not one of them wants to actually buy or run Yahoo. – Instead, Microsoft and Google are considering lending financial support to private equity firms or others weighing a bid, according to people briefed on the matter. … With a deal, Google could eventually wrest Yahoo away from Microsoft when their partnership expires. … However, it is unclear whether a Google-Yahoo partnership would pass antitrust scrutiny. … Many of the potential suitors for Yahoo have contacted Alibaba‘s chairman and chief executive, Jack Ma, looking to gauge his interest in working with them, these people said. The agreement that governs Yahoo’s 40 percent stake in his company gives Mr. Ma what some analysts have said is a kingmaker role.”

      WSJ: “Google Inc. has talked to at least two private-equity firms about potentially helping them finance a deal to buy Yahoo Inc.’s core business, according to a person familiar with the matter. – Google and prospective partners have held early-stage discussions but haven’t put together a formal proposal and Google may end up not pursuing a bid, this person said. It is unclear which private-equity firms Google has talked to.”

      WSJ: “The discussions between Google and private-equity firms are the latest indications of growing deal activity around Yahoo. … Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the China-based Internet company in which Yahoo owns a roughly 40% stake, recently said he was interested in buying Yahoo, but it was unclear whether he has made a serious move to do so. … Google has long been the No. 1 player in Web search. But in the display-ad market, Google is a smaller – but growing – competitor. In the U.S., Facebook is expected to generate more than $2 billion in net revenue from display advertising this year, with Yahoo generating $1.6 billion and Google generating $1.1 billion, according to research firm eMarketer Inc.

      Guardian: “Google is already under regulatory scrutiny from governments around the world. … [A] Google bid would trigger regulatory interest. The US government threatened to challenge an earlier proposal by Google to place ads on Yahoo’s site, causing Google to abandon the effort in 2008. At the time Microsoft was making a $44.8bn bid for Yahoo which ultimately proved fruitless.”

      TNW: “With Yahoo seemingly unable to find a solid place in today’s online landscape, a sell-off makes plenty of sense, although if Google were to be involved it would undoubtedly face close scrutiny from antitrust authorities – the FTC is already investigating the search giant in the US.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 1987, 1996, 2007, , 2016, A5, , , , Apple Futureshock, Apple Knowledge Navigator, Apple Siri, , , , Artificial Intelligence Applications, , CALO, , , , , Conversational Interaction, , , , , , , , , Futureshock, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , iPad 2, , , , Knowledge Navigator, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Natural Language Processing, , , , , , , , Personal Assistant, Personal Assistant Application, Personal Interaction, , , , , Rumours, , , , Siri Beta, , , , Spin-off, SRI, , , , , , , , , , , , , Voice Command, , , , , , ,   

    Siri: Let’s Talk! 

    Potentially Apple’s Siri changes how we interact with computers entirely: Siri, let’s talk! http://eicker.at/Siri

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “Siri. Your wish is its command. – Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it. … Talk to Siri as you would to a person. Say something like ‘Tell my wife I’m running late.’ ‘Remind me to call the vet.’ ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ And Siri answers you. It does what you say and finds the information you need. And then it hits you. You’re actually having a conversation with your iPhone. … Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. So when you ask ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ Siri will reply ‘I found a number of burger restaurants near you.’ Then you can say ‘Hmm. How about tacos?’ Siri remembers that you just asked about restaurants, so it will look for Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. And Siri is proactive, so it will question you until it finds what you’re looking for.”

      Wikipedia: “Siri is a personal assistant application for iOS. The application uses natural language processing to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to an expanding set of web services. The iOS app is the first public product by its makers, who are focused on artificial intelligence applications. Siri was acquired by Apple Inc. on April 28, 2010. – Siri’s marketing claims include that Siri adapts to the user’s individual preferences over time and personalizes results, as well as accomplishing tasks such as making dinner reservations and reserving a cab. … Siri was founded in December 2007 by Dag Kittlaus (CEO), Adam Cheyer (VP Engineering), and Tom Gruber (CTO/VP Design), together with Norman Winarsky from SRI’s venture group. … It was announced on October 4, 2011 that Siri will be included with the iPhone 4S. The new version of Siri is deeply integrated into iOS, and offers conversational interaction with many applications, including reminders, weather, stocks, messaging, email, calendar, contacts, notes, music, clocks, web browser, Wolfram Alpha, and maps. Currently, Siri only supports English (US, UK, and Australia), German and French. … Siri is a spin-out from SRI International’s Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project, described as perhaps the largest artificial-intelligence project ever launched.”

      TC: “The integration with iOS seems to be just as impressive as we’ve been hearing: you can ask it to remind you to call someone before you leave the office, and it’ll automatically create an entry in the Reminders app, complete with a geo-fence just to be sure. You can also ask Siri to read your queued messages to you and make an appointment in the Calendar app. – The worst part so far? Siri indeed seems to require the iPhone 4S’s extra horsepower, because it appears to be a 4S exclusive. The kicker? Siri was originally a run-of-the-mill iPhone app. What a shame. – Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come.

      WP: “As rumored, Apple’s doing some all-new voice-control AI stuff in iOS 5. It’s called Siri, which is the name of the app Apple bought for $200 million a couple years ago. … You can also ask Siri to look things up on Wikipedia for you, and Siri can use Wolfram Alpha to do more complicated calculations. Siri’s list of capabilities is near endless, including asking it to play genres of music for you, look up something on maps, or what the weather is. Our favorite question? ‘Siri, who are you?’ Siri responds: ‘I am your humble personal assistant.’ … The bad news? All this great stuff is only available for the iPhone 4S – Apple had to do something to force an upgrade! In all seriousness, some of this AI functionality can be incredibly processor intensive, so Siri might be leaning on the A5 chip quite heavily.”

      MLS: “Siri Search, makes use of Yelp’s business ratings, thus this makes instantly makes Yelp a strong local competitor to Google Places. Yelp is now very relevant to your small business rankings. Google Places has been the big dog in local optimization or as I call it, Local Awesomeization… And your places ranking and profile completion has become very important for your local marketing.- Now, Siri, which is a virtual assistant will be able to find you anything you want… and it is using the Yelp Reviews to rank the recommendations. … Nuture your Yelp account now. Claim it, and begin getting good reviews. Local search is a science, and you have to get that information out there.

      GigaOM: “Apple’s intent when it bought Siri was rumored to be building a search engine, though Jobs defused that speculation by saying, ‘We have no plans to go into the search business. We don’t care about it – other people do it well.’ But Jobs also said earlier last year: ‘On a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on the desktop. They’re (consumers are) spending all their time on these apps – they’re using apps to get to data on the internet, not generalized search.‘ – With Siri, Apple doesn’t have to get into the search game if it can use Siri to direct people to the apps, services and information they need. That’s probably not a big money-gainer for Apple, but it could put a hurt on rival Google, which relies on search advertising.

      TUAW: “Curious about the iPhone 4S’s new voice assistant feature? So were we. – [We] tracked down a set of example phrases that the new Siri voice assistant is capable of understanding. It turns out that Siri can handle many categories of voice interaction. – Without further ado, here they are, ordered by interaction category, along with Apple-supplied examples of using each category.”

      FC: “Don’t let her dulcet voice and easygoing, eager-to-please manner fool you. Behind Siri, the voice-controlled personal assistant app destined to power Apple’s iPhone 4S, lies the heart of a hardened combat veteran. That’s because the technology was spun out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s high-tech research and development arm. … For now it can only respond to simple commands, but the technology underlying it is anything but. The problem with most speech recognition technology has been that it has a hell of a time with all-too human variations in speech – accents, dialects, intonation, enunciation, and slang. Tell it you want to hide under ‘a rock’ and it might tell you about ‘Iraq.’ Like the dream of the paperless office, which the advent of the personal computer was supposed to herald, speech recognition often makes more work than it saves. Siri promises to change all that, and you should thank the wizards at DARPA. While they didn’t create the technology, they incubated it. … I can’t wait to tell that to my Siri-powered iPhone, although I doubt it’ll know how to respond – not yet, anyhow.

      TC: “The most talked about element of … Apple event had to be Siri. The new feature of the iPhone 4S, born out of Apple’s purchase of the company by the same name in 2010, looks amazing. But one thing never mentioned during the keynote was a key piece of technology behind Siri: Nuance. – We first reported that Siri would be a key part of iOS 5 back in March. As we dug deeper, we learned that Apple and Nuance were involved in negotiations to make sure this could be a reality. You see, Siri does not work without Nuance. … So, is Nuance a part of Apple’s implementation of Siri as well? Yes. Though, don’t bother trying to get anyone to admit that. …Nuance is powering Siri. But Apple clearly struck a deal with Nuance which precludes them from talking about it. This is Apple technology, this is not about Nuance, is how I imagine Apple may put it. Apparently, Nuance is happy enough with Apple’s undoubtedly large check for this licensing agreement that they are willing to keep quiet.

      RWW: “Apple finally introduced the availability of the voice-command personal assistant app it paid $200m for today, called Siri. The military spin-off technology was both widely loved and often panned when it was available independently; it was either lovable Skynet or a fish on a bicycle, depending on who you ask. I tended towards thinking it the latter, myself. … But what do I want as a user – on my iPhone? I want Swype! Swype is a keyboard program available on almost every smartphone in the world except the iPhone. … It’s the fastest way to provide input on a mobile device. It’s fabulous and it’s incredible that Swype isn’t on iOS yet. I assume it’s because of Apple’s strict control over interface design and unwillingness to provide options in design. … Time will tell, but I don’t think Siri is going to be a killer app on the iPhone. Will it be used more than the current iPhone voice control? We’ll see.

      TUAW: “Since the iPhone 4S features the same A5 processor as the iPad 2, owners of Apple’s current-gen tablet have wondered if it’s possible that Siri, Apple’s new voice assistant, might be offered on the iPad 2. … Voice Control as it now exists on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 doesn’t function on the iPad or iPad 2, but there’s a reason for that: the existing commands would be essentially useless on those devices. … On the other hand, Siri’s commands would be immensely useful on the iPad. … In fact, we’ve done some digging into Siri and found that most of the actual work of understanding voice commands gets offloaded to external servers. In essence, the iPhone 4S and its built-in processing functions determine what you said, while Apple’s servers translate that into what you meant and send that information back to your iPhone. … For the time being, Siri remains an iPhone 4S exclusive and one we have yet to test for ourselves. We look forward to putting this innovative feature under our interrogation lights once the iPhone 4S is released on October 14.

      Waxy: “In 1987, Apple released this concept video for Knowledge Navigator [the rest of the video is newer, probably circa 1996 or so, but the Knowledge Navigator part is from 1987], a voice-based assistant combined with a touchscreen tablet computer. … Based on the dates mentioned in the Knowledge Navigator video, it takes place on September 16, 2011. The date on the professor’s calendar is September 16, and he’s looking for a 2006 paper written ‘about five years ago,’ setting the year as 2011. – And … at the iPhone keynote, Apple announced Siri, a natural language-based voice assistant, would be built into iOS 5 and a core part of the new iPhone 4S. – So, 24 years ago, Apple predicted a complex natural-language voice assistant built into a touchscreen Apple device, and was less than a month off.

    • katrce 05:21 on 10. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      hi siri

    • Baby 00:16 on 27. September 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi siri

    • Yo Mama 06:02 on 27. October 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

    • Adrianna 00:56 on 7. March 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes she has a little attitude

    • Doll 01:09 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey siri.

      how you doing today.

    • bigL 22:36 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:27 on 8. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Imaging, , , , , , , , , , , Predictive Texting, Rumours, , , , , , T9, , , , ,   

    Nuance Acquires Swype 

    Nuance adds Swype to its speech and imaging applications, brings Swype to iOS? http://eicker.at/NuanceSwype

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 8. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      UC: “Nuance has acquired Seattle-based startup Swype for something more than $100 million, says a source with knowledge of the deal. – I’m a big fan of Swype, and this is a brilliant acquisition by Nuance. … Nuance already has T9, a predictive text application first developed in the 90s, and T9 competes directly with Swype.

      TC: “Swype has been blowing minds since it first launched at TechCrunch 50 back in September of 2008. For those unfamiliar, Swype is the maker of an awesome app that allows users of touchscreen mobile devices to type messages with one swipe of the finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard. The alternative (and patented) input method has proven to be super speedy, allowing data entry at over 40 words per minute, and has swept across Android devices. … The speech recognition giant has also been in the news of late, as it is has been in negotiations with Apple over licensing for Lion OSX. What’s more, while Apple did not confirm, MG held that Nuance is also a large part of the technology behind Siri, which will be native on all iPhone 4Ses.

      ATD: “As touchscreen phones became more popular, the predictive texting that eliminated triple-tapping became less necessary, as new forms of input on a piece of glass became mandatory. Nuance bought the technology from AOL. … The importance of voice and text entry became even more prominent this week after Apple unveiled Siri, a voice-activated assistant.

      TC: “Earlier today, I spoke with Swype CEO Mike McSherry, who explained the thinking behind the deal. ‘The broadest vision,’ says McSherry, ‘is we want to be the input for every single stream. You talk to your refrigerator and in-car navigation, you want your language models to follow you around.’ – When he puts it that way, Swype seems like a much more strategic acquisition for NUance than one which simply fills a hole. … Yes, Nuance is powering the new Siri Assistant in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4S with its voice recognition technology. So does that mean that Swype could be coming to the iPHone as well? ‘I’d love to be able to see that,’ says McSherry, adding, ‘There are certainly lots of requests to see Swype on the iPhone.’

      RWW: “This could be the first steps to bringing Swype to the iPhone. We lamented after the iPhone 4S announcement that Siri, the voice input “assistant” coming in iOS 5, should have been Swype. Apple was a good working relationship with Nuance and if the parties can figure out a good graphical interface for Swype on the iPhone, it may be the next important feature in iOS. … Even if Swype never comes to the iPhone, Nuance has made a very astute acquisition. Nuance was already the leader in speech-to-text technology, ahead of others like Vlingo, The acquisition gives Nuance the clear lead in input methods for mobile devices. With Swype as part of the team, Nuance has planted its flag to be the leader in the vertical for the foreseeable future.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:34 on 24. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Rumours, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus Growth 

    Google Plus is joined by millions of new users since its opening, according to Paul Allen; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusGrowth

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:34 on 24. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Allen: “My team just completed a new round of counting Google+ users by surname. And I have updated my model. Our sampling of 400 uncommon surnames in the U.S. also reflects usage in many other countries, since the list of 400 includes names that are popular in India, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, and many other countries. … On September 9, our model showed 28.7 million users – This morning, our model shows 37.8 million users, with most of the growth coming in the last 2 days – By adding a fudge factor (see below) to account for private user profiles and for non-Roman surnames (both of which are totally overlooked by our surname counting model), my current estimate is 43.4 million usersMy earlier model… which proved to be very accurate in the first 2-3 weeks, did not address either private profiles or non-Roman alphabet. According to FindPeopleOnPlus.com, there are substantial numbers of users from countries like Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, and many other countries, which my surname counting approach does not include. So I have decided to add a 5% privacy fudge factor and a 10% non-Roman alphabet fudge factor in my Google+ model. I’ll need to develop a way to actually calculate those percentages somehow, rather than just guess on them.”

      SEL: “A Google+ post by Paul Allen, founder of ancestry.com and a self-proclaimed ‘unofficial Google+ statistician’, shows significant growth of Google’s social network since opening to the public. These growth rates were only first seen during the first few weeks of field testing when the user numbers were very low. In terms of the current growth spurt Allen states: ‘it is clear that Google+ is absolutely exploding – 30% growth in just 2 days and with a base of nearly 30 million members already.’ … So what does this mean? Google+ may be cementing themselves as a credible social network, but the mass exodus from Facebook just isn’t happening.

      eWeek: “Facebook now has 800 million users. Grumble as they might at the privacy and UI changes Facebook makes every few months, the users that comprise the vast social network stick around. – That’s user engagement, and by extension social advertising opportunities, Google can only aspire to at this stage.

      UG: “With Facebook’s recent introduction of the Timeline profile, the two networks are going to be quite different from one other – which is a good thing in my opinion. After all why would anybody want to use two of the same thing? Google is keeping it simple and minimalistic, while Facebook seems to be going in the opposite direction by letting users add even more about themselves on the network. Both services have their merits, so I guess we’ll continue to see users using Facebook and Google+ instead of completely migrating to one.

  • Gerrit Eicker 16:21 on 21. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Facebook Listen, , , , , , , , Facebook Read, , Facebook Video, Facebook Watch, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Rumours, , , , , , , , , Social Music, Social Music Services, , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook: Read, Watch, Listen 

    Will Facebook F8 fully embrace multimedia? Read. Watch. Listen. Coming soon; http://eicker.at/FacebookReadWatchListen

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 16:21 on 21. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      ATD: “Facebook will unveil its next massive initiative to socialize the Web at its f8 developer conferenceon Thursday. A key focus of this year’s annual event has been well reported: Content. – And that’s the way the social networking giant will play it at the confab, using the basic phrasing, ‘Read. Watch. Listen.‘ … Many of the implicit and explicit content sharing tools at f8 will have a precedent in those Facebook has built for gaming, according to sources familiar with Facebook’s plans. For instance, look for a live-updating sidebar of friends’ content consumption activity, just as the site offers for games, and separate from the news feed wall.”

      TC: “The cat is out of the bag that Facebook is going to launchsomething big at its developer conference f8 this week. We’ve heard about the social music services that could be debuting in a few days, but as the New York Times conveyed this past weekend, Facebook is planning for ways to surface personal content better. And we’ve heard from a source that Facebook will introduce new buttons on the wall that will begin introducing some granularity to the ‘Like’ concept. We’re told these new buttons are ‘Read,’ ‘Listened,’ ‘Watched.’ The network will also soon launch new social commerce buttons like ‘Want‘ following the introductions of the aforementioned buttons.”

      RWW: “According to reports, Facebook’s f8 developer conference this coming Thursday will have the motto ‘Read. Watch. Listen.‘ Other than reminding me of a certain tech blog’s name, this motto excites me because of the promise it holds that Facebook will fully embrace multimedia. But that has some major implications, which will affect many in the Web ecosystem. In this post we highlight 3 of the biggest potential implications. … Given my recent posts about the battle between Facebook and Google Plus, the ‘Read, Watch, Listen’ services look set to one-up Google Plus. Although who better to implement their own ‘Watch’ button than the owners of YouTube? Also Google has its own services that cover reading and listening – Google Books, Google Reader, Google Music and others – so they have a great opportunity to integrate all of those into Google Plus.”

      RWW: “Facebook’s recent release strategy provides a good road map. Since the release of Google Plus, almost all of Facebook’s new features have been to counter Google’s push into its territory. Those are just reactionary moves, blips in the road. Content is going to be heavily featured at f8 and the true ground shaking updates will be announced this week. … The ‘Read‘ portion of Facebook’s announcement is perhaps the most mysterious. Yet, it has themost precedent in what Facebook has rolled out in previous years and may be tied closely with the platform’s social graph. … Facebook is already one of the top destinations for video on the Web. Most of that is shared content from the likes of YouTube, Vimeo and local news. This is going to be rolled out even further and it will likely to two-pronged – content sharing from outside of Facebook and consumption from within. … While we do not know the specific details of the ‘Listen’ products, we have clues. The primary indicators are MOG, Rdio and Spotify, all of which have been tied to Facebook over the summer. ‘Facebook Music‘ will likely be a conglomeration with MOG, Rdio and Spotify that will allow users to use Facebook as an iTunes-like streaming platform. … What does this all point to? Well, a major profile redesign could possibly be in the works to feature all of this new content. Mashable is reporting that Facebook will announce a redesign at f8 and the idea is to become ‘stickier.'”

      Mashable: “Facebook plans to roll out a major redesign of user profiles at its f8 developer conference this week, Mashable has learned. – Details about the redesign are sparse, but two sources familiar with Facebook’s plans (who have asked to remain anonymous) have told us that the redesign is ‘major’ and will make Facebook profiles nexuses for consuming content.

      IF: “Strengthening Broad Category Interest targeting could produce big revenue gains for Facebook. As we discussed earlier today, the Facebook Ads marketplace is inaccessible to many small businesses because they don’t have the know-how to effectively use the self-serve tool, or big enough budgets to use many of the tools and services built on the Ads API. As Broad Category Interest targeting is far easier to use than Specific Interest targeting, an improvement of the feature thanks to the ‘Read’, ‘Listened’ and ‘Watched’ buttons could help Facebook recruit this long-tail of advertisers.

      TNW: “Read: Facebook is assumed to be partnering with large online publishers like Yahoo, CNN, the Washington Post andThe Daily. – Watch: The platform will be merging with several online video hosting sites, Ooyala rumored to be one of several. – Listen: Facebook Music is coming with companies like Spotify AB and Rdio Inc. publish user activity on Facebook pages. … The Google+ vs Facebook war seems more heated than ever with Facebook putting up a good fight to maintain its lead in the world of social networking. It remains to be seen how Google+ will keep up with the seemingly impressive features Facebook has up its sleeve, and we can only watch and wait to see how it all turns out.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:52 on 18. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Diaspora Commits, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Rumours, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Diaspora’s First Year 

    Diaspora: from 4 to >100K users, from 0 to >7K commits, from alpha to beta soon? http://eicker.at/DiasporasFirstYear

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 18. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Diasporial: “[September 15th] is a very special day for the Diaspora project. It has been exactly one year since the guys released the Diaspora source code! For a year now, people have been able to contribute to this project and set up pods. And so they did! Till date, 7371 commits have been made by the contributors and the four founders. In only a years time, the amount of Diaspora users has grown from 4 to over 100.000, spread over lots of pods! … It is rumoured that Diaspora will hit beta in November, on its Alpha release anniversary.”

      Diaspora: “We know that if you’re not a contributor and don’t follow us on Github, it’s hard to see Diaspora grow and evolve. Now that Diaspora is moving into its second year and a new phase of development, here are some numbers on the progress we’ve made. … Our developer community is growing. Diaspora has had over 100 unique code contributors and countless others have edited our wiki and updated Diaspora’s translations in over 51 languages. We have over 4,600 followers and over 840 forks, which means that tons of developers are checking out our code. That makes us the sixth most popular project on GitHub, right behind great open source projects like JQuery, Ruby On Rails, and Node, just to name a few.”

      Diaspora: “There’s been big news in the social networking world recently, and we can’t help but be pleased with the impact our work has had on two of the biggest developments. We’re proud that Google+ imitated one of our core features, aspects, with their circles. And now Facebook is at last moving in the right direction with user control over privacy, a move spurred not just by Google+, but more fundamentally by you and tens of thousands of community members, as well as hundreds of thousands of people who’ve lined up to try Diaspora* – that is, by all of us who’ve stood up to say ‘there has to be a better way.’ We’re making a difference already.

      RWW: “There are things about Diaspora that still are unique among its competitors. Not only is it open-source, it’s decentralized and distributed. Users are encouraged to set up their own servers. But these are not features for normal human users. In that category, the social networking superpowers seem to have Diaspora cornered. … Diaspora has been called the anti-Facebook for its strong privacy stance, and it had ‘aspects’ before anyone knew about Google Plus and its circles. … If Google Plus has taught us anything, it’s that normal people don’t feel like leaving the social networks where they already feel settled. … Is there anything Diaspora can do? I think so, but it’s a departure from it’s current incarnation, which is an awful lot like Google Plus (or vice versa, or whatever). It’s unrealistic to expect a mass exodus from one social network that works to another of which no one has ever heard. Diaspora’s potential is in its ability to syndicate to our other services (currently Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr) while still allowing us to own our data. … If Diaspora is built as a publishing platform that lets us own our content and direct it to our existing networks – and especially if we can read from them, too – it would be an awesome, welcome tool that even Dave Winer could love. But if the launch of Google Plus wasn’t splashy enough to start a mass Facebook exodus, a later launch of a service that looks the same is not going to do it.

      TNW: “Diaspora has never pitched itself as direct competitor to the likes of Facebook – more an alternative model for how social networks could be designed. However, it’s gained a reputation from observers as ‘that quirky Facebook alternative that never quite made it.’ Whether there’s a need or desire for its product or not, it seems there’s life in the Diaspora team yet.

      Some ‘historical’ Diaspora posts here on Wir sprechen Online:

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:04 on 16. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Rumours, , ,   

    AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo vs. Google 

    AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo have agreed to sell each other’s display advertising inventory to challenge Google; http://eicker.at/AMY

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:04 on 16. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      ATD: “AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft compete for ad dollars. But a new pact calls for the rivals to cooperate on ad sales, too. – The three companies are going to start selling ad inventory on each others’ sites, in a plan they hope will make them more competitive with Google. … Executives from all three companies briefed a group of top Web publishers and ad buyers about the plan at a dinner presentation last night in Manhattan. … The three companies will share revenue on the ads, and supposedly they’ll pocket more than they would have if a third-party ad network sold their stuff.

      Guardian: “The potential tie-up comes days after reports that AOL and Yahoo, fallen giants of the first age of the internet, were discussing a merger in the wake of the firing of Yahoo’s chief executive, Carol Bartz. … The advertising hook-up, in the meantime, could help slow the fast growth of Google and Facebook in the lucrative online display advertising market. – Google has long dominated search advertising – or online classified advertising – but overtook Yahoo in display advertising in May this year in the US, according to research firm IDC.

      pC: “All three of issued statements to the effect that there have been some ties before and the portals are exploring ‘future’ collaborations. … But ultimately, it’s hard to see what the value of the three combining sales efforts would be. There is a tremendous amount of similarity in terms of reach among AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft. So where’s the complement? … The reason Google and Facebook are eating away at the portals’ display dominance is easy: the users that advertisers want to reach are more and more easily reachable through social media sites like Facebook, not through general content offered by portals. At the same time, Google’s tight relationship with the agencies, through its demand side platform Invite Media and the Google DoubleClick ad exchange, make it a more efficient funnel for online ad dollars.”

      VB: “Since the three companies will be sharing revenue from the display ads, the real challenge will be in convincing each of their separate sales teams to start selling their competitors’ ad inventory. – The partnership, scheduled to begin by the end of the year, doesn’t require that each of the companies exclusively work with each other, according to the report.”

      TNW: “The ad pact will start at the end of 2011 and will not require exclusivity so each company is free to work with any ad network, even Google. I imagine it will still require a bit of training to get their internal sales teams to start selling competitors’ inventory. By banding together in Musketeer style, the three companies will share ad revenues in hopes of increasing their total earnings in Google’s shadow. The online advertising world is one of the most competitive landscapes and as companies go head to head in the language of CPM, CPC, DSP and conversion tracking pixels….it’s like the wild west for geeks out there.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:06 on 1. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Adobe Edge, , , , , , , , GIF, , , , , , JPG, , , Motion Design, , , PNG, , Rumours, , , , , Timeline Editor, , , , ,   

    Adobe Edge: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript 

    HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript interaction design tool Adobe Edge: the beginning of the end of Flash? http://eicker.at/AdobeEdge

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:07 on 1. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Adobe: “Adobe Edge is a new web motion and interaction design tool that allows designers to bring animated content to websites, using web standards like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3. – Edge will be updated regularly to add new functionality, stay ahead of evolving web standards, and incorporate user feedback to provide the best functionality and experience possible. This is an early look at Edge with more capabilities to come. – This version of Edge focuses primarily on adding rich motion design to new or existing HTML projects, that runs beautifully on devices and desktops.

      RWW: “So does Edge’s launch mean that Adobe caved and ceded the battle to HTML5 over Flash? Adobe doesn’t see it that way. Although battles make for good headlines here in the world of tech journalism, it’s not really an either/or scenario when it comes to the ‘Flash vs. HTML5’ conundrum in the professional world. For today’s Web designers and developers, both technologies are still used. – ‘HTML5 is an opportunity for Adobe,’ explains Devin Fernandez, Group Product Manager for Adobe’s Web Pro Segment, ‘that’s not to say there aren’t opportunities for Flash.’ He contends that Flash will continue to push forward, and, as we have reported previously, it will focus on areas that HTML5 cannot yet address as well – like 3D gaming for example.”

      VB: “Edge isn’t meant to replace Adobe’s existing web design tools like Dreamweaver or Flash – instead it’s just another option for developers. Adobe is making the software free during its initial testing period, and it’s encouraging feedback from developers. The company says it will update the software faster than anything it’s released before to keep up with the rapidly changing world of HTML5.

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