Sunday, June 13, 2010

Twitter milestone - 2 billion tweets in one month

I understand Twitter. Twitter is not chat or IM. Twitter is not a replacement for email. And Twitter is not the end of SMS.
For the month of May 2010, Twitter officially had 2 billion tweets per month. According to Pingdom ...
Back in December 2009, the number of tweets per month on Twitter reached 1 billion for the first time. Now in May, we reached yet another milestone: 2 billion tweets per month (or to be precise, 1.99 billion, which is close enough).
Ezra Gottheil said “... that’s promising for Twitter”, an analyst with Technology Business Research. “Fads tend to accelerate upward and come crashing down. It looks like people are finding real uses for Twitter… I don’t have the data, but I think there’s been a shift in usage.

The percentage of Twitter accounts currently tweeting with any regularity is approximately 17%. That’s a really low number. But Gottheil perhaps describes this as: “You can have a lot of people trying Twitter and lose most of them but still increase both the number of users and the level of use.” 
Pingdoms describes the 2 billion tweets as ... “Maybe Twitter won’t quite be able to reach the almost 6 billion tweets per month we’ve predicted for the end of the year, but it’s clear that the Twitter platform is still growing at a healthy pace. Close to doubling the volume of monthly tweets in the last six months is no small feat.
Twitter is still innovating - a partner ad platform and usability enhancements - my prediction (June 2010) is that Twitter will be acquired and morphed into a new Social Media platform in the next 2 years. But now it continues to grow at a fast pace.
Twitter is has gained critical mass and is going to disappear anytime soon. According to TwitterholicBritney Spears, Ashton Kucher, Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga and Barack Obama make up the top 5 most followed people in the world using twitter. These 5 people have more than 20 million people following them. Maybe Twitter will morph into something else in a few years. But this is the internet – that’s practically a given. In the meantime, I am happy to tweet every whimsical thought I have.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nokia and Yahoo team up against Google

It has been said that Nokia and Yahoo make perfect mobile partners. Countering Google and fast track the Nokia's move into web services. The two companies are expected to get closer this week, with Yahoo holding a press conference today hosted by CEO Carol Bartz. This will showcase "an exciting announcement about providing global consumers with rich online and mobile experiences, and bringing forward a new era in keeping consumers connected."

According to sources, this will be a partnership with Nokia, somewhat on the lines of Yahoo's recently extended alliance with Samsung to bring a host of mobile services to the Korean giant's phones, spanning various operating systems. In Nokia's case, the collaboration is called 'Project Nike' (after the Greek goddess of victory, not the sportswear firm) and will bring Yahoo search, email and applications to Nokia Symbian and MeeGo devices. This will see these apps preloaded on various Nokia products, and even a fully Yahoo themed handset, somewhat like Nokia's lower profile Skype and Facebook gadgets.

The opportunity to team up against Google is obvious. Yahoo is becoming intimate with the companies who control almost 60% of the world's handsets (even on Samsung's Android range, Galaxy). There is a conflict of interest between Nokia and Yahoo - in particular, Nokia wants to build up its own software brand Ovi, even while it also needs to have big name services on its phones, and become a serious mobile application player quickly. These dilemmas explain why sources say the two firms have been in on-off talks for years.
As for Samsung, the Korean firm will preload branded Yahoo apps including Mail, Messenger, Front Page, Search, Flickr and News, expanding a three-year old agreement.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The end of Flash according to Apple and Microsoft

On the same day both Apple and Microsoft made announcements that signify the end of Adobe Flash. Microsoft's Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager for Internet Explorer, announced that IE9 will use only the H.264 standard to play HTML 5 video. Microsoft seems to have become very committed to HTML 5, while Flash loses even more ground. The announcement came the same day Steve Jobs detailed why Apple does not accept Flash on iPhone and iPad.

Microsoft is taking HTML 5 very seriously. Hachamovitch stated: “The future of the web is HTML5 ... HTML5 will be very important in advancing rich, interactive web applications and site design.” Many wondered what is Microsoft going to do about HTML 5 and, if they start integrating it, what video standard is it going to use? Microsoft has already started implementing some of the HTML 5 features – history, inline editing, web database – but they still have to catch up with the other browser vendors which have many more feature implemented like Canvas, Drag&Drop, Messaging, Video, Audio, Workers and others. But IE9 will certainly contain many of these features, Microsoft being known of advancing quickly on something after they have set their mind on it. For example, the IE team demoed recently IE9 running HTML 5 video on GPU, a step in front of other browsers by using hardware acceleration.

Steve Jobs in his post on Apple said "I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven – they say we want to protect our App Store – but in reality it is based on technology issues. Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true."

He closed his discussion about the future of platforms with "Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short."

"The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games."

"New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Apple iKey - unlock you car and pay for the bus

Apple is set to revolutionize the traditional door key with introduction of a hi-tech alternative nicknamed the 'iKey'. It means people can stop carrying around a set of keys, and use a single electronic device to unlock their car, front door and gain access to their office.

The technology may require the user to enter a pin code and wave the device over an electronic pad fitted beside a door to open it. A newly published patent application, filed with the US Patent Office, contains the details of the new technology. It is speculated that the next model of the iPhone will contain this feature.

The application states: "The device can communicate with an external device to open a lock. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone.  "The external device may be any suitable electronic device such as a portable media player, personal data assistant or electronic lock that may be used to access a door, car, house or other physical area."

For safety purpose, the device may be attributed with a feature to encrypt any information that passes between the iPhone and the computer-controlled lock, preventing hackers from listening. If this is true, it is a very big deal. As well as opening doors and unlocking your car, it could also turn your iPhone into an electronic wallet and ID card.

Gizmodo have sketch how this device embedded within your iPhone could work. "At its surface, a recently uncovered Apple patent application describes a Motion Based Input Selection. But a closer look reveals that Apple wants the iPhone to become your life's omnitool." The picture below from Gizmodo shows how moving your phone can unlock your front door.

This is massive for Apple ... you could be able to pay for buses and trains, your morning coffee and groceries by swiping your iPhone on a pad, and the price is electronically deducted from your account.

If granted, the application filed at US Patent house will offer Apple legal protection from other companies copying its ideas and technology. Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, said: "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Saturday, April 03, 2010

redbubble - a quality site with real value

Yesterday I came across a new site called redbubble. A web site dedicated to promoting local and overseas artists. Amazing, simply amazing. The quality of the art work I found was as diverse and it was inspiring.

I was looking for something special and within a few minutes I found it - a card by a local Melbourne artist. Then I kept going and each click revealed a new piece of work. Some of which you can watch for sometime revealing new elements you previously overlooked.