January 26, 2013

TechZone 360 Week in Review


We’ve all heard the following: Sit a monkey down at a typewriter or piano and given enough time (say a million years) the monkey may eventually string together the world’s greatest novel or the equivalent of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Well, let’s move that into today’s world – in that orangutans at the Smithsonian National Zoo are now using iPads apps to learn and play.Meaning that they’ve actually learned to use the iPads themselves – Apps for Apes is the program they study under. The National Zoo’s orangutans have used touch screen monitors as part of a cognitive study that tests orangutan memory, tool use and social learning since 1994 – so maybe we’re too impressed with them. Still, that is less than 20 years and a far cry from a million.

If that isn’t amazing enough, how about Pearl Media and Creative i got together to make an entire building disappear. How did they manage to pull off such a feat? Simple, through the power of 3D Technology. In an effort to promote LoopNet.com, an online marketplace for commercial real estate, the Pearl Media/Creative i team set out to prove that if a commercial property isn't advertised on LoopNet Premium Lister, it might as well be invisible. It then took a 12 story building on W. 9th Street, between South Olive and Hill Street, and made it disappear.

Here is another potential disappearing act. We all know Foursquare, the “checkin” and let the world know where you are social site. It has been massively popular, but now the investors are asking for a little something in return – a return on their investments. But Foursquare’s fortunes, or actually lack thereof nowhas a lot of people doubting Forusquare can live on.Is it a harbinger of things to come for social media?

It may be true for Foursquare, but then we have Facebook to consider, which has now hit the charts as the No. 1 App on Planet Earth. At least if the most recent findings from comScore, an Internet technology measurement company, are to be believed.

It is now so prevalent, in fact, thatFacebook posts may actually provide insight into suicidal mindsets.There are those who feel that we can leverage the power of Facebook to intervene in the lives of depressed and hopeless people before they take their own lives. Ironically, there is an interesting side issue we need to point out - Facebook envy, where users begin to feel dissatisfied with their lives compared to others. Although Facebook provides a platform for information to be shared, it also produces a basis for social comparison on a very high scale. And it can get ugly.

Perhaps the solution is to follow the Pope’s recent example of getting on Twitter. Did you know that the Pope is now urging Catholics to tweet their faith and feel good about themselves. The Pope says that social networking sites are not a virtual world that Catholics should ignore, but instead, a real world they should engage in if they want to spread their faith to the next generation.

Or perhaps we should just drop all of this social networking stuff, get ourselves a creative resume suitable for the digital ageand get a great new job. That would make anyone feel great. Recently, someone by the name of Philippe Dubost did just that, customizing a resume for Amazon down to every last detail, including, “Only one left in stock – Order soon.” Appropriately dubbed “An Amaz-ing Resume,” Dubost has taken full advantage of technology and the Web today. Go grab yourself some cool tips and make yourself a happy camper!

We’ll even give you a head start on where to look. Have you ever noticed that Apple’s ever helpful assistant Siri is sometimes lacking in the humor department? Well apparently so has Apple.Recently, the MIT Technology Review found a job posting from Apple on LinkedIn. The job called for writers to help Siri find and sharpen her comedic edge. Customize that resume and go get the job.

Perhaps there is another job waiting to be had – CEO of Microsoft. Steve Ballmer won’t make it easy for you, but it may be worth a shot, especially if you are finely attuned to the mobile consumer mind.Microsoft reported its fiscal Q2 2013 earnings this week – they get an A for effot on the consumer front, but a C or actual delivery.

With the holiday quarter now behind us, Microsoft's earnings for this key quarter clearly reflect that Microsoft remains first and foremost an enterprise vendor, and only secondarily (or perhaps not at all) a consumer player. This suggests that efforts to get those floodgates that support Apple and Samsung - smartphones and tablets - to open for Microsoft continue to fail for the most part. It’s why Microsoft’s stock is stuck forever at $27 per share.

We’ll sign off for the week with that thought.






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