Link roundup June 17, 2013

  1. The Curse Of The Network Effect | TechCrunch

    • Marketplaces where either the buyer or seller expects to choose from an exhaustive listing – so-called “complete” marketplaces – typically give-up far more value than they are able to capture.
    • Unless they facilitate the transaction itself, these businesses often find themselves in a bind.

    Insightful about monetizing services or marketplaces that rely on being complete from the founder of an event listing service.

  2. Facebook Made Me Do It –

    In a study of social exchange systems like Facebook, when people were told that their networks liked the content they were sharing, they shared more. But when they were told that people in their network did not like their shared content, they actually shared even more to figure out what their network might like, and “come up with more content that was edgier,” he said.

    I think that this is true in lack of approval/disapproval (if we don’t get likes or comments at all). If we get active disapproval my guess is that we’d be prone to share less rather than more. Interesting nonetheless.


  3. How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers?

    But the devices were far less reliable in tracking the energy costs of light-intensity activities like standing or cleaning, often misinterpreting them as physical immobility. Only the calorie cost of typing was overestimated, and only by the armband monitor, which considered the arm movements involved to be far more dynamic than they actually are.

    That wrist worn devices are bad at detecting when we bike isn’t a surprise, but that they’re bad at detecting standing is news to me.

  4. Fertile Ground –

    I don’t think most developers of mature, non-trivial apps are going to have an easy time migrating them well to iOS 7. Even if they overcome the technical barriers, the resulting apps just won’t look and feel right. They won’t fool anyone.

    This is another side of the coin of iOS7. It remains to be seen if Marco is right (I hope so). And if he is, I wonder if Apple did this as a conscious choice, or if it’s a (lucky) circumstance. This is an interesting post nonetheless.


  5. Did Apple Just Ally With Microsoft Against Google?

    It’s a huge win for the giant of Redmond, which has long been hunting for more fronts to open up on Google in the search wars.

    This isn’t a win for Microsoft, it’s a huge loss for Apple users. Have you seen the Bing Challenge? It claims that most people choose Bing’s results when compared to Google’s. However, asking people to “just search for anything” makes it hard to evaluate the results. I did the challenge, but with with five searches that I actually needed results for. Result? Google won 4 of the rounds. Twice. There’s a reason people don’t use Bing, and it’s not “habit”.

  6. Microsoft Has Hired People To Make Positive Comments About Xbox One On Reddit, Contractor Says

    Obviously, we can’t confirm this story. We asked Microsoft for comment on if they have people on their payroll using Reddit and will update when they reply.

    This is sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t story. It doesn’t matter what Microsoft says here: they obviously can’t confirm it. However, the fact that this story can be born says a lot: the Xbox One is receiving a lot of negativity. Had it not, there would be no need to even fabricate a story such as this. So in the end, it’s still a product that (mostly) sucks according to people.

  7. The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror

    we aren’t trading civil liberties for security, but a sense of security. We aren’t empowering the national-security state so that we’re safer, but so we feel safer.

    This isn’t happening only in the US. It’s happening in the EU and in Sweden. Everyone should read this, and realize that it’s time to say NO. Politicians gain from giving us a sense of security (not actual security) as it gives them more power.

  8. Smartphones vs tablets vs traditional PCs – and how iOS changed the world
    I love this visualization of smartphones vs tablets vs “traditional PCs”. And the post in itself contains a lot of insights about how iOS changed the world of computing, and also the challenges ahead. Note that this was written way ahead of the release of iOS 7 (and that Apple missed delivering on key features, such as “being able to choose another default app than Apple’s own”)

    Read the whole post here: Fraser Speirs – Blog – The iOS 7 Power User Challenge


  9. “It was the perfect search engine,” Singhal said. “You could ask it a question and it would tell you exactly the right answer, one right answer—and sometimes it would tell you things you needed to know in advance, before you could ask it.”

    I recently switched to an HTC One and after trying out Google’s voice control in it, I really see how it could in just a few years become something akin to the Star Trek computer. It’s much more intuitive than Siri on my iPhone (and I did ask her lots of stuff). After having used Google’s voice control on Android, I’m even more agog about trying out Google Glass.

  10. Facebook is just fine — How to use the internet — Medium

    My newsfeed is almost all signal. This is, in part, because I am ruthless. If you are overtly negative (which is different than having opinions differing from my own), you get hidden. If I don’t find value in your postings, you get hidden.

    As much as I criticize Facebook for their shortcomings, it’s also good to give credit where it is due – and Facebook does have an amazing service at its core, just like Craig Mod writes here. The key is, just as mr. Mod writes, to hide everything that isn’t relevant and teach Facebook what you like and what you don’t. I do this a lot.

Link roundup February 25, 2013

  1. Body Suit Gives You Real-Life ‘Spidey Sense’

    He blindfolded his suited-up subjects, asked them to stand outside and “feel” for approaching attackers. Each subject was given cardboard throwing stars to tap into their inner ninja and use whenever they sensed someone approaching.

    This is very cool: a suit that gives you a sense of when something or someone is approaching you. A real life Spider-Man sense. Hello world of cyborgs!

  2. Seth’s Blog: Should you work for free?

    Well, you’re certainly not working for free if you get some cash at the end of the night. But what about a nine-minute segment on 60 Minutes about your new project, or a long interview with Krista Tippet on her radio show? Should you get paid for that?

    Sometimes, there’s a reflex to say “no” to this questions, and I get that reflex when it comes from an industry burdened with “do this for free” (like designers). But if you want to see the grey areas, read this very interesting post from Seth Godin.

  3. PepsiCo took a chance and gave iPhones to 4,500 hourly employees — and it’s paying off

    In my tour of the field, people would come into work with their iPod, they were texting, they had all these devices. Our strategy was to give them something so that they’d leave those other devices home.

    this is an interesting read, not because it paid off (of course a digital way of organizing information compared to paper will be more effective) but because of the reasoning about why they didn’t choose a cheap Android phone and went for the more expensive iPhone.


  4. The Super Supercapacitator

    The name “super supercapacitator” sounds like something from a parody of Mass Effect. But this is one of those videos that makes you go “WOW”. If this is true, and you can come up with a battery that you can charge in a very short time, then it will change a lot.

  5. Researchers say AI prescribes better treatment than doctors — Tech News and Analysis

    They claim a better than 50 percent reduction in costs and more than 40 percent better patient outcomes.

    This is based on big data. And this is not taking into account the era of quantified self. It could well be that in the future, your second opinion will come from an artificial intelligence, and not a human doctor.

  6. Apple iWatch vs Google Glasses and the Next UI Battle

    Google plasters extraneous information across all their products and services because their business model demands this. Crossing that ‘intrusive’ line will likely become too enticing for them, I suspect, pushing more and more users to Apple and its “expensive” hardware. Apple, however, needs to understand that sometimes, in some cases, intrusion is good.

    This is a brilliant piece explaining in detail why Apple’s more expensive hardware model is the best for consumers, as long as Apple starts understanding context better. And why Google needs someone at a high level, with a mandate to veto stuff, to be the consumer’s advocate if they really want to succeed.


  7. Paralysed people could get movement back through thought control | Science | The Guardian

    Because light travels so fast, the feedback from the artificial limbs would be even quicker than normal nerve impulses and the person using the prosthetic would simply “feel” the movement of the bionic limb as a different type of touch.

    Remember how one of the characters in Neuromancer had enhanced reflexes? This is the real life version of that. If this becomes a reality, I wonder how long it will take before losing a limb will actually make you more eligible for the army? Having faster reflexes is definitely an advantage. And imagine how much more exciting the Paralympics would be than the traditional Olympics.

  8. Like Elephants, Search Engines Never Forget | TechCrunch

    An employer, a girlfriend or boyfriend, or a neighbor will find out about what they once did years ago. Whatever the context, their past will be very hard to escape.

    This is an interesting dilemma. I think that people might turn to name changes to escape stupid things they’ve done in the digital realm – but technology will catch up with them.  Facial recognition will mean that you’ll also need plastic surgery.

    However, I think that this is a passing thing. We often forget that although the young generation today is the first growing up with ‘digital’ they’re still influenced by the largely analogue parental generation. As our society integrates digital and analogue and realizes that they’re not separate worlds but just different ends of the same spectrum digital behavior will be more integrated with analogue.

  9. Western Carolina University – WCU researcher: sexist humor no laughing matter

    “The acceptance of sexist humor leads men to believe that sexist behavior falls within the bounds of social acceptability.”

    And there you go: research proving that sexist humor leads to sexist environments. Next time you hear it, point it out for what it is: sexist and not acceptable.

  10. Google Ads and the War on Free Clicks
    A very informative infographic about Google SEO vs Google SEM.



Photo Credit for header image: Julia Manzerova via Compfight cc

Link roundup February 4, 2013

  1. Your own camera drone

    A camera that hovers and follows you, filming video or shooting photos. I’ve been waiting for this product since the Swivl was first introduced. Coming in 2014, read more at Always Innovating’s website.
  2. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook say they require warrants to give over private content

    Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook all say that they require full warrants in order to provide the contents of emails and messages to government entities, The Hill reports.

    There are still uncertainties about this, as it hasn’t got the full support of the law, but this is good news for all users and for our privacy. However, we will see if this is just lip service or if they’re prepared to fight for it when it gets tried under law, which could cos a lot of money.

  3. Internet Explorer Must Get With The Program – Doktor Spinn

    2. I smell a rat. Why wouldn’t they want to hear what people say? Sure, Internet Explorer isn’t exactly the most popular browser around, but if the browser is truly better, than why not let those who would sing its praise do so?

    Jerry Silfwer points out exactly how Microsoft fails again with Internet Explorer. I have to give credit to the advertising agency for coming up with the nostalgia commercial, or “Internet Explorer Sucks Less” but in the end this points out the problem for all agencies: if the client’s product is a turd, you can come up with all kinds of clever ways of selling it. But in the end, it’s still a turd and people will point that out. If you find yourself stuck fearing “social” campaigns for a client, it’s most likely because the products suck. You and the client either have to be fine with non-social campaigns, or the client has to change the product.

  4. Dear Tim: Open Letter from an iDAD, Apple iOS Parental Controls Needed

    Also, while the ratings on games, apps, movies and TV shows are great, could you amp up your music ratings controls? I want to lock his device down to age-appropriate lyrics.

    I’m sure that the dad who wrote this plea to Apple to “give him more control of his 11 year old son’s iPod” means well, but the results will be less fortunate for his kid. What will this dad do about Safari on said iPod? It can be used to reach any part of the Internet. I can give you URLs that you can surf to that would make even the most horrific “song lyric” look like a Sunday sermon. Remote spying and control don’t inspire trust from the kids. This is just another version of the horrible, horrible “contract” that a well-meaning but totally clueless mom made her son sign to get him an iPhone.

  5. HowStuffWorks “Caterpillar Metamorphosis: The Magic Within the Chrysalis”

    Think of it as recycling — if you drop a plastic bottle off in the recycling bin, it can be melted down into an entirely different shape. This is what happens inside the chrysalis.

    When caterpillars become butterflies, they melt into a pool that’s used to build up the butterfly. If this single fact wasn’t awesome by itself, then get this: they retain memories acquired as caterpillars.


  6. Facebook Brings Back Tag Suggest Facial Recognition For Photos In U.S.

    Facebook’s controversial tag suggest feature for photos, which was temporarily suspended last year amid concerns over the use of facial-recognition technology, is being re-enabled in the U.S.

    This feature was turned off when the EU started probing into it and it was found to be very hard to implement and comply with EU’s privacy regulations. Facebook turned it off completely, for the US too, but now they’re re-enabling it in the US.

  7. Errata Security: Risk analysis v. Downtime

    Thus, when there is a downtime for an hour, you can measure the next few hours to see if customers are coming back to try again later. Even if the effect is only slight, like 5% additional traffic, you’ll tease the signal out of the noise.

    If you make a revenue of $5 million per hour, like Amazon, and you’re down for an hour – will you make it back in the following hours? Obviously not. Thus downtime is extremely expensive.

  8. The Good Night Lamp won’t be KickstartedGood Night LampI was very happy when I found the Good Night Lamp on Kickstarter. This is a product I’ve been waiting for someone to create ever since I saw a prototype to a similar product at The Interactive Institute in Stockholm. However, the sad thing is that this project will most likely not succeed in raising the funds. £360,000 (~567,000 USD) is a very high amount, and it’s always better to start small and then add stretch goals if you reach your first. If people see that the project isn’t likely to succeed, I think they’re less likely to pledge, too.I like the thought behind requesting such a large sum: creating a sustainable company that will survive the first initial boom, making sure that all the backers can buy additional small houses in the future. And maybe it can be done, but you need a different strategy than this.I has a sad, but the team behind the Good Night lamp let me know that Kickstarter was just the first attempt and that they’re set to make this happen. I’m really rooting for them!
  9. Pew Internet Research: 21% Self-Track with Technology
    • 69% of adults track a health indicator for themselves or others.
    • 34% of individuals who track use non-technological methods such as notebooks or journals.
    • 21% of individuals who track use at least one form of technology such as apps or devices.

    This means that 14.5% of American adults use some kind of “new” technology (apps or devices) to track their health. This is a higher number than I’d have guessed. Quantified self is really about to explode.

  10. Why Not Windows?

    Realizing Java represents the wave of the future, Microsoft tried to corrupt it – to lure developers into programming in a “Windows only” version.

    It’s always interesting to read future predictions from the past. This is from 1998, someone who predicted that Microsoft wouldn’t succeed. He was right, but at the same time he bet on the wrong horse. Java died faster than Microsoft.


  11. Do A Bit Of Research On Kickstarter Projects Before You Hand Over $100 For A $15 Watch – The Consumerist

    Fifteen people paid at least $175 for higher levels of sponsorship and additional watches. But as folks on Reddit noticed, the images on this project page look an awful lot like the ones for this watch that you can buy for $29.60 — for two of them. That’s right, these stunningly beautiful watches are going for $15/each.

    You can’t hide from the collective conscience embedded in the hive mind that is the Internet. This scammer var especially stupid, as you don’t get money until the campaign is over – and you’re bound to get busted in a few days if not hours if you try this on big sites like Kickstarter.

  12. E-commerce will make the shopping mall a retail wasteland

    Recent figures indicate that retail space in over 200 shopping malls across the United States are suffering 35 percent vacancy rates or higher.

    Very interesting about how e-commerce is changing, and killing, brick-and-mortar stores and malls. I realized that I’m guilty of this too: the other day I was about to buy a TV. I went to two physical stores, but ended up buying a TV online after researching prices on Swedish price comparison site Prisjakt because it a) was cheaper and b) got delivered to my home for $10 more than a cab ride from the store would have cost me.


  13. Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Results – Facebook
    • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.06 billion as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 25% year-over-year
    • Daily active users (DAUs) were 618 million on average for December 2012, an increase of 28% year-over-year
    • Mobile MAUs were 680 million as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 57% year-over-year
    • Mobile DAUs exceeded web DAUs for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2012

    Facebook’s report for the 4th quarter 2012 shows a very interesting break: more mobile daily active users, than web daily active users.

  14. YouTube Set to Introduce Paid Subscriptions This Spring

    As of now it appears that the first paid channels will cost somewhere between $1 and $5 a month, two of these people said.

    Youtube is about to launch paid subscriptions, at least for a select amount of channels. Interesting!

  15. Samsung’s future?

    Arthur C Clarke said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” There’s long been talk about flexible screens, and we’ve seen lots of different concept videos – but here is something real being showcased. It’s also interesting to see that the first flexible screens will not be flexible as in “you can bend it anytime” but flexible as in “it has round corners”. This could be Samsung’s salvation in the smartphone battle.


Photo Credit for header image: Julia Manzerova via Compfight cc