Archive for September, 2010
You can already do a lot with PayPal on your phone: pay for Android apps, bump handsets to send money. And according to PayPal exec Laura Chambers, you’ll soon—this week soon—be able to take a picture of the front and back of a check and deposit it into your account. Only iPhone was mentioned; it’s not clear if Android devices will get the same functionality right away.
As TechCrunch notes, some banks are already allowing this, but it’s a great fit for PayPal given its already strong mobile presence. I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I’m still a little squeamish about not handing money directly to a cashier. But I’m working through it, okay? [TechCrunch]
Did You Feel It is an earthquake monitoring project from the United States Geological Survey that not only gives you zipcode-by-zipcode data on earthquake reporting but encourages you to participate in monitoring seismic activity.
You can visit Did You Feel It simply to take a peek at earthquake reporting around the world but where the site really shines is in active participation. If you are in an area that experienced an earthquake they encourage you report in (even if you’re reporting that you felt nothing). If you did feel something you can report it by answering a series of simple questions like whether or not it woke you while you were sleeping, if it knocked free hanging objects were swinging, how difficult or easy it was to walk when the event was occurring, and other questions designed to gauge the intensity of the quake A few hundred people checking in after an earthquake generates data in a matter of minutes that normally would take the USGS months to compile and provides a rapid picture of how, on a street level scale, the earthquake impacted the region.
If you like the idea of contributing to a scientific pursuit you’ll definitely want to check out previously reviewed MoonZoo (you’ll help identify interesting features on the Moon) and our guide to putting your computer to work while you’re sleeping (check out the section about sharing your computing power with researchers).
With new offerings from Roku and Apple, and the grand impending entrance of Google TV, the crowd of little plastic boxes that all want to stream your video is getting packed. And confusing. But we’re here to help you compare.
While you know an MP3 player will play MP3s, and a DVD player will do its thing, the new breed of boxes don’t wear their functionality on their sleeve. Set-top boxes, media boxes—we know they’re boxes, yes, but what’s inside? What are these boxes going to do for you? Some want to make renting movies a cinch, some want to help you stream the movies you already have—and some seem like they want to try to do it all. So take a look below, and see what matters most to you. (And remember to click to expand)
It might feel like comparing apples to oranges to turkey legs, but every device listed on the plate wants to help replace your TV. It should also be mentioned that the devices listed above are far from being the only ones of their kind in a swamped playing field—there are many, many others—these are just our highlights
That’s the question that Sunrise, Florida had to ask itself because the city didn’t exist on Google Maps for nearly a month. Whenever anyone searched for Sunrise, FL they were re-directed to Sarasota, FL, a city that’s 200 miles away.
Shockingly, this is the 3rd time that Sunrise, FL has disappeared from Google Maps. For a small, unknown city like Sunrise, that’s no good. The local businesses in Sunrise, FL have felt the aftereffects of not being searchable on Google saying that business was down during the month because quite simply, no one could find them. If you searched for a plumber in Sunrise, none existed. If you searched for a florist, you’d be directed to drive 200 miles to Sarasota.
It’s an odd problem that, though fixed now, speaks to our heavy reliance on the Google. What’s the first thing that people do to find local shops these days? Google ‘em. How do we get there? Google will tell us. And it’s so easy! I’m just as guilty, I blindly follow whatever it is that the G tells me to do. I mean, I’m certainly not leafing through yellow pages and thomas guides to figure it out, that takes time.
So as funny (and scary) as it may sound, if you (as in your city, business, store, etc.) don’t exist on Google, you pretty much don’t exist to the general population. [BBC]
The first reviews of the new Apple TV are starting to appear and we’re rounding them up for you. Here’s a look at the early impressions:
The new Apple TV is small — hockey-puck small. That’s impressive, but we all know size doesn’t matter, whereas speed does. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it connected to the iTunes library on my desktop computer. The Apple TV does this noticeably faster than its ancestor using a ‘home sharing’ option, which connects with any iTunes account in your household — Mac or PC.
The biggest new thing about the Apple TV is the feature my mom will like the most: If you’re a Netflix subscriber you can watch movies instantly on it. Every web-enabled TV component can do that these days, including game consoles like the Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 and dedicated boxes from Roku and Boxee, so it’s an expected feature. But on the new Apple TV it’s fast, easy to set up, and easier for consumers like my mom to appreciate.
The new Apple TV is very promising, but it won’t amount to hill of beans if Apple markets it the same way they did the last one — basically not at all. Apple can jokingly call it a ‘hobby,’ but if the company wants it to be a successful hobby they need to educate consumers the same way they did with the iPad.
PC Mag’s Tim Gideon had both praises and hesitations when it came to the gadget’s features, but he went as far as to name it PC Mag’s new Editors’ Choice media hub anyway:
Compact design. Intuitive user interface. Streams video, music, and photos from your computer, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. 99-cent TV-show rentals. Streams Netflix Watch Instantly content, YouTube, and content from iOS devices to Apple TV.
No hard drive. Can’t purchase content-streaming only. Can’t rent a show on Apple TV and watch it on other devices or your computer. Limited rental content available. Connects via HDMI-not compatible with older televisions without purchasing adapter. Doesn’t ship with an HDMI cable.
A lower price, a more compact design, and the ability to stream content from iOS devices and rent 99-cent TV shows makes Apple’s latest Apple TV set-top box an excellent option for iTunes and Netflix users.
Those are the earliest reviews to hit the web. We’ll update as more become available.
Microsoft’s search engines (MSN/Windows Live/Bing Search) have 13.9% share of the search market versus 13.1% share for Yahoo. Google is still considerably larger than either with 65.1% share.
For what it’s worth, comScore has not seen Bing overtake Yahoo, yet. According to the latest comScore data from July, Bing is still number three, trailing Yahoo by percentage points.
Last night, Twitter said users send out 90 million tweets on a daily basis, up 450% compared to the year before. Annualized, that’s almost 33 billion tweets.
Below, we’ve annotated Twitter’s tweet growth. For all you techsters out there, take note. Oprah is a much bigger deal than South by Southwest.
We all know the American government is spending more and consumers are spending less, but the level of deleveraging in the household sector has picked up pace significantly, according to the Federal Reserve’s flow of funds report (via Zero Hedge).
Approximately $300 billion in household debt was paid down in Q2 2010, according to the report. This is the 9th quarterly decline in a row in household debt, and was at an annual rate of 2.25%. The severity of the debt-slashing hit a new record.
Household wealth fell by $1.5 trillion overall in Q2.
That’s government borrowing in purple, and negative household borrowing in blue.
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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