Archive for February, 2010

The iPod Touch Is This Generation’s Tamagotchi

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/SM6HjEBs9Ok/the-ipod-touch-is-this-generations-tamagotchi

All these wonderful things we’re learning today, from data! First, we find out that Android is a guy thing. Now, we discover that the iPod Touch shares more demographics with glittering vampires than smartphones. iPod Touch: Kid stuff.

The age distribution makes a lot of sense, especially with the direct available comparison of the iPhone: the iPod Touch is a good gift, a plausible purchase, and a good investment for a young person right now. An iPhone with a $70-a-month minimum contract is a tougher sell, either to parents, or to kids mostly supported by their parents.

And these kids don’t just buy different gadgets than adults—they use them differently, too. For example, they looooove apps:
But they’re stingy little bastards, these kids:
Buying an app can be tough without a credit card, so again, this isn’t shocking. But it does poke a little hole in the idea of the iPod Touch as a massive moneymaker for Apple. Hardware sales are tremendous and highly profitable, sure, but once the devices are in users’ soft little baby hands, they don’t keep raking it in like the iPhone does. [AdMob]

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Thursday, February 25th, 2010 digital No Comments

Evian baby viral video has much higher ROI than Etrade baby superbowl ad

The Evian baby viral ad (red spike) got almost as much search volume as eTrade’s Superbowl ad of 2009 (blue spike). But Evian paid millions less by skipping the expense of airing the video on traditional media; instead they just posted it to YouTube for free. But notice that in both cases the effect was ephemeral (not long lasting) — notice the narrowness of the spike. Interest in the viral video also subsided quickly. But at least Evian didn’t waste millions on producing and airing it — thus achieving a massively larger ROI than Etrade who paid to make the ads and then air it at great expense on the Superbowl for the last 3 years.

etrade-baby-vs-evian-baby

Etrade Baby Ad

Evian Baby Viral Video

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 analytics, Branding No Comments

the American phone subsidy model is a RAZR way of thinking in an iPhone world

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/23/editorial-the-american-phone-subsidy-model-is-a-razr-way-of-thi/

The concept is simple enough — pay more, get more. So it has gone (historically, anyway) with phone subsidies in this part of the world, a system that has served us admirably for well over a decade. It made sense, and although it was never spelled out at the customer service counter quite as clearly as any of us would’ve liked, it was fairly straightforward to understand: you bought a phone on a multi-dimensional sliding scale of attractiveness, functionality, and novelty. By and large, there was a pricing scale that matched up with it one-to-one. You understood that if you wanted a color external display, a megapixel camera, or MP3 playback, you’d pay a few more dollars, and you also understood that you could knock a couple hundred dollars off of that number by signing up to a two-year contract. In exchange for a guaranteed revenue stream, your carrier’s willing to throw you a few bucks off a handset — a square deal, all things considered. So why’s the FCC in a tizzy, and how can we make it better?

Continue reading Editorial: the American phone subsidy model is a RAZR way of thinking in an iPhone world

Editorial: the American phone subsidy model is a RAZR way of thinking in an iPhone world originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 digital No Comments

Evidence for Increasing Online Use that is also Accelerating

If you sum up the total unique user sessions in Jan 2008, Jan 2009, and Jan 2010, you get

Jan 2008 – 285M

Jan 2009 – 337M

Jan 2010 – 413M

That is a year-over-year increase of 18% and 23% respectively. Assuming the population of the world does not change that much year to year, the change in total unique sessions leads to the conclusion that online usage continues to increase noticeably.

The Compete.com chart below shows nearly identical number if unique users monthly — Google at 148M uniques and Yahoo at 132M uniques. And Facebook alone achieved another 134M uniques. So while the unique visitors across these 3 sites are not mutually exclusive, there are 414M unique user sessions in the month of January 2010

facebook-yahoo-google-2-year

Well, this is strange. January 2010 numbers from Nielsen reveal Google has 66.3% of the search market, while Yahoo has 14.5% and Microsoft has 10.9% across its various properties. Google is 4x more than Yahoo and 6x more than Microsoft.

search-share-jan-2010


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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 digital No Comments

Inside Google’s Secret Search Algorithm

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/zzkIcilnJp4/inside-googles-secret-search-algorithm

Wired’s Steven Levy takes us inside the “algorithm that rules the web“—Google’s search algorithm, of course—and if you use Google, it’s kind of a must-read. PageRank? That’s so 1997.

It’s known that Google constantly updates the algorithm, with 550 improvements this year—to deliver smarter results and weed out the crap—but there are a few major updates in its history that have significantly altered Google’s search, distilled in a helpful chart in the Wired piece. For instance, in 2001, they completely rewrote the algorithm; in 2003, they added local connectivity analysis; in 2005, results got personal; and most recently, they’ve added in real-time search for Twitter and blog posts.

The sum of everything Google’s worked on—the quest to understand what you mean, not what you say—can be boiled down to this:

This is the hard-won realization from inside the Google search engine, culled from the data generated by billions of searches: a rock is a rock. It’s also a stone, and it could be a boulder. Spell it “rokc” and it’s still a rock. But put “little” in front of it and it’s the capital of Arkansas. Which is not an ark. Unless Noah is around. “The holy grail of search is to understand what the user wants,” Singhal says. “Then you are not matching words; you are actually trying to match meaning.”

Oh, and by the way, you’re a guinea pig every time you search for something, if you hadn’t guessed as much already. Google engineer Patrick Riley tells Levy, “On most Google queries, you’re actually in multiple control or experimental groups simultaneously.” It lets them constantly experiment on a smaller scale—even if they’re only conducting a particular experiment on .001 percent of queries, that’s a lot of data.

Be sure to check out the whole piece, it’s ridiculously fascinating, and borders on self-knowledge, given how much we all use Google (sorry, Bing). [Wired, Sweet graphic by Wired's Mauricio Alejo]

Additional Information on Real Time Bidding

http://go-digital.net/blog/2009/09/rtb-real-time-bidding-may-make-ad-exchanges-more-efficient-but-it-still-wont-save-display-ads/

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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 digital No Comments

Apple, Android, and RIM winners in 2009 smartphone growth, Nokia and Symbian still dominate

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/23/gartner-apple-android-and-rim-winners-in-2009-smartphone-os-g/

Gartner just released its annual numbers for worldwide mobile phone sales to end users in the year known as two thousand nine. Looking at smartphone OS market share alone, Gartner shows the iPhone OS, Android, and RIM making the biggest gains (up 6.2%, 3.4%, and 3.3% from 2008, respectively) at the expense of Windows Mobile (down 3.1%) and Symbian (down 5.5%). Although Gartner says that Symbian “has become uncompetitive in recent years,” (ouch) it concedes that market share is still strong especially for Nokia; something backed up by Nokia’s Q4 financials and reported quarterly smartphone growth of 5%. Regarding total handsets of all classifications sold, Nokia continues to dominate with 36.4% of all sales to end users (a 2.2% loss from 2008) while Samsung and LG continue to climb at the expense of Motorola (dropping from 7.6% to 4.5% of worldwide sales in 2009) and Sony Ericsson. See that table after the break or hit up the source for the full report.

Continue reading Gartner: Apple, Android, and RIM winners in 2009 smartphone growth, Nokia and Symbian still dominate

Gartner: Apple, Android, and RIM winners in 2009 smartphone growth, Nokia and Symbian still dominate originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 05:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 digital No Comments

"We Are Not Prepared"

Source: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-02/washington-war-games-simulate-crippling-cyber-attack-us

Washington insiders recently sweated out a real-time war game where a cyberattack crippled cell phone service, Internet and even electrical grids across the U.S. The unscripted, dynamic simulation allowed former White House officials and the Bipartisan Policy Center to study the problems that might arise during a real cyberattack emergency, according to Aviation Week’s Ares Defense Blog.

The Policy Center’s vice-president reports “”The general consensus of the panel today was that we are not prepared to deal with these kinds of attacks.”

The nightmarish scenario that unfolded represented a worst-case example. As former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff noted, many cyberattacks can be stopped if individual cell phone or Internet users simply follow the best practices and use the right tools. Similarly, another participant pointed out that private Internet companies would not sit idly by as a virus ran amok.

A collapse of power across the U.S. also only took place when the simulation brought in factors such as high demand during the summer, a hurricane that had damaged power supply lines, and coordinated bombings that accompanied the cyberattack and subsequent failure of the Internet.

Still, the war game highlighted crucial issues about the government’s own reliance upon communications that might go down during a real-life scenario. One of the biggest problems was how the President ought to respond to a situation that caused damage like warfare but lacked an immediately identifiable foreign adversary. Smaller-scale cyberattacks have already complicated real-world diplomacy, such as the alleged Chinese cyberattacks on Google and other U.S. companies.

Ares Defense Blog questioned a curious missing element from the simulation, in that there was no mention of what happened to phone or Internet service in the rest of the world. Surely a nation that decided to launch cyberattacks against the U.S. would take safeguards to protect its own crucial communication services, which would possibly help U.S. officials narrow down the list of suspects.

Another question seemed more mundane but equally important — how would the government activate the National Guard with cell phone service down?

The Pentagon’s DARPA science lab recently pushed for a “Cyber Genome Program” that could trace digital fingerprints to cyberattack culprits. But identifying whether a cyber attack came from individual civilians, shadowy hacker associations or government cyber-warriors has proven tricky in the meantime.

[via Ares Defense Blog]

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Friday, February 19th, 2010 digital No Comments

WTF Is Google Doing? [Google]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/hPdshh1OwAQ/google-shopper-visual-search-app-officially-confuses-me-wtf-is-google-doing

I don’t understand Google Shopper. Not because the function—searching for books, CDs, DVDs and more by using the cover art or barcode—is confusing. But because they already have a visual search app built into new Android phones, Goggles.

Goggles does the same thing: You take a picture of something, like a book cover, and it searches for it. I get that Shopper is slightly different, with more of a direct Amazon-competitive slant, since you can bookmark products to buy them later (presumably through Google Checkout).

But why not just integrate that into Goggles? Why the hell does this separate other product exist? Like Fake Steve says, WTF is going on over there? Android and Chrome OS? Wave and Buzz? (Okay, Buzz and Wave aren’t an entirely fair comparison, though try explaining them to a normal person.) Now Goggles and Shopper? Am I just missing something? [Google]

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Friday, February 19th, 2010 digital No Comments

Windows Mobile’s Incredible Death Spiral

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/YplxNHBy8r0/windows-mobiles-incredible-death-spiral

Before Windows Phone 7 was even an embryo of a concept, Windows Mobile was king: It powered nearly half of smartphones in use, a led the industry in features. Then, in 2007, things started to go wrong. Very, very wrong.

Silicon Alley Insider has charted Windows Mobile’s platform share, which is to say the proportion of users who were using it at a given time, over the last four years. For showing decline, figures like these are more telling than sales—they mean that, for years now, people haven’t been buying Windows Mobile phones nearly as fast as they’ve been ditching them.

More interesting than what it shows is what it projects: Windows Mobile 6.x phones have been collectively kneecapped by Microsoft’s announcement yesterday, and rendered spectacularly unbuyable outside of enterprise circles. In other words, that line—the one that dragged down past RIM in 2008, and that dropped past Apple last year—is going to keep plunging for the rest of this year, until Windows Phone 7 tries to haul it back up. And until then, it’s only going to get steeper. [Silicon Alley Insider]

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Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 digital No Comments

Twenty-four telecom operators unite to form Wholesale Applications Community

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/15/twenty-four-telecom-operators-unite-to-form-wholesale-applicatio/

Big doings over in Barcelona today. Twenty-four telecom operators, with the support of the GSMA and three major hardware manufacturers, have formally announced they will come together to form the Wholesale Applications Community. Essentially, the goal of the alliance will be to create a viable, cohesive and open industry platform for mobile app developers. Members of the Community will include AT&T, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, TeliaSonera, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone among others, and they’ll be supported in their endeavors by LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. The total customers of the group is about 3 billion, giving WAC (our name) some considerable — albeit theoretical for the moment — power. The group plans to work on coming up with a standard for working across platforms over the next twelve months. WAC’s website just went live a bit ago — there’s a link to it below — and the full press release is after the break.

Continue reading Twenty-four telecom operators unite to form Wholesale Applications Community

Twenty-four telecom operators unite to form Wholesale Applications Community originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 05:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, February 15th, 2010 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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