Tag Archives: Fast company

Saudi Arabia is investing $100 bn in renewable energies

Ariel Schwartz at Fast Company reports that “[…] Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, may not be panicking quite yet about its ever-declining oil supply–but the country is certainly concerned. Consider: in February, a Wikileaks document revealed that Saudi Arabia might be overstating its oil reserves by 300 billion barrels, and the country recently asked for a slice of the UN’s $100 billion climate change fund to help diversify to other energy sources (a galling request from such a wealthy country so dependent on other people not diversifying to other energy sources). And now the kingdom has announced that it plans to spend $100 billion on solar, nuclear, and other renewable energy sources. They haven’t announced over what time period they will spend it, but that’s a lot of cash. Private investments in Chinese renewable energy projects equalled$54.4 billion last year, which was the highest of any country.[…]” (full article here).

I think that despite concerns on oil ending up, moving to renewable energies is a wise move. Is not the problem of having easy access to oil, but rather to think of the future of the planet and ensure an effort to reduce emissions.

On the “simple” economic side, in the more or less near future, oil will be less available, increasing costs. Going renewable ensures Saudi Arabia a future predominant position in energy also when oil will end.

This post as a comment also here.


Norton’s Cybercrime Index: good thing or scary threat?

Austin Carr at Fast company (http://www.fastcompany.com/user/219225) reports that Symantec started a service called Norton’s Cybercrime Index (http://nortoncybercrimeindex.com/) aimed at advising users on threat level of cyber crime (full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/1729217/scare-tactics-nortons-cybercrime-index-tracks-internet-dangers-in-real-time-frightens-old-fo).

I think that could be useful in some way, but I I’m not quite sure of the final objective of the service, because of course is a matter of commercials and marketing.

I don’t think the average user could understand and interpret the level of threat he’s exposed by watching the site, but I’m sure that the below the average user will be scared by titles he cannot understand.

So at the end I would have expected a different approach from Symantec, but let’s see how the service evolves.

This post as a comment also at http://www.fastcompany.com/1729217/scare-tactics-nortons-cybercrime-index-tracks-internet-dangers-in-real-time-frightens-old-fo


iPhone applications tracking your habits

David Zax at Fast company (http://www.fastcompany.com/user/253232) reports that “[…] reveals that over half of all iPhone apps gather and share the device ID code–and they do it without the users’ knowledge. The study, [was] conducted by Manuel Egele […]” (full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/1720580/which-iphone-apps-are-tracking-you).

I’m quite surprised that Appple, that has a so strict approval policy on application sold through App store, omits checking the data monitored by applications.

This post as a comment also at http://www.fastcompany.com/1720580/which-iphone-apps-are-tracking-you


Mr Z way of life

E.B. Boyd at Fast Company (http://www.fastcompany.com/user/263893) reports Mr. Zuckerberg last coming out: “[…] Users are asking Facebook for more control over their data, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the Web 2.0 Summit today, but the company leans toward making things more open. “Mediating that tension is challenging,” he said. […] Facebook’s core philosophy is: “Facebook doesn’t ask for permission. It just asks for forgiveness.” Zuckerberg said company staffers debate the issues of who should have control over which pieces of data “every day.” Because Facebook is on the forefront of these issues, and because it’s venturing into new areas, “The correct answer isn’t completely obvious,” he said. And philosophically, the company tends to “err on the side of opennes […]” (Full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/1703183/mark-zuckerberg-web-2-0).

Hey Mr. Z! You’re running a company, and a big one, with lot of sensitive datas. You’re not working anymore at University or in your backyard with only test datas.

Would be so difficult to have a more adult approach?

Web is based on ideas, but those cease to be the only driver in the moment that they meet business and involve other people. From this point on you need to follow some rules and  security is one of this, despite your “openess”.

This post as a comment also at http://www.fastcompany.com/1703183/mark-zuckerberg-web-2-0


Yahoo 3 year plan is more a make up than a breakthrough

Dan Nosowitz at Fast company  reports that “[…] Yahoo Chief Product Officer Blake Irving today announced an ambitious three-year plan to update pretty much every service Yahoo offers–plus some new ones. […] Yahoo Mail. There’s a new interface, which looks suspiciously similar to Gmail, […]. Yahoo Mail does let you update Twitter and Facebook from within the web app, which is new, and Yahoo claims its spam filtering system is second to none. Yahoo search is also seeing an update, […] Yahoo TV, a widget-like connected TV platform that gives access to BlockBuster, CBS, Pandora, and a few others, will be expanding. […] ”  (full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/1689525/yahoos-three-year-plan-to-bring-cool-back). Same does Mike Halsey at ghacks.net (http://www.ghacks.net/author/mike/), (full article at http://www.ghacks.net/2010/09/18/yahoo-bids-to-get-its-cool-back/).

Ok is a starting point but 3 years in this fast paced context is an ethernity and brings a lot of unpredictability in a 3 years plan. On the other side I think that only a real innovation or technological breakthrough can enable Yahoo in getting more market shares.

This post as a comment also at http://www.fastcompany.com/1689525/yahoos-three-year-plan-to-bring-cool-back and at http://www.ghacks.net/2010/09/18/yahoo-bids-to-get-its-cool-back/comment-page-1/#comment-1189523


IE9 a wind of change

Austin Carr at Fast Company (http://www.fastcompany.com/user/219225) reports some of the characteristics of IE 9. Among them, one of the most interesting is “[…] Thanks to the power of HTML5, many of these partners from Amazon to CNN are taking advantage of IE9’s optimized platform to create immersive app-like experiences. Rather than opening IE9 and punching in an address, users may soon be pinning these “apps” to their taskbar. Redbull, for instance, will offer an interactive social media page complete with music and video. IMDB’s app will show off high-def trailers, only now possible in HTML5 with IE9. And Amazon has created a page that feels like a virtual bookstore, with access to daily deals and other features through Windows 7’s jump-lists. […] ” (full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/1689097/microsoft-brings-apps-to-windows-7-with-internet-explorer-9).


Why ewallets are bad news

Dan Macsai at Fast company (http://www.fastcompany.com/user/8) reports that “[…] Later this month, Visa will release an iPhone case (developed with Dallas-based Device Fidelity) that makes the handset compatible with tap-to-pay consoles. This follows MasterCard’s similar entry this summer, when it started marketing tags (developed with Atlanta-based First Data) that stick to phones. “Consumers already use phones for online payments,” says Josh Peirez, MasterCard Worldwide’s chief innovation officer, referring to downloaded songs and software. “The goal is to get them comfortable doing the same thing in the physical world.” […]” (full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/148/pocket-change.html).

Every innovation as one (or more) good sides and one (more) bad sides.

This one is tricky. The convergence between mobile phones and payments is usefull, and could increase commerce, by getting people spending as fast as a bullett.

But gives you also everybody the capability to automate a gesture (paying) without having the capability of understanding if they can afford the buy or not.

We need to stimulate economy, but, definitely we don’t need people having more debts than they have now.

This post as a comment also at http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/148/pocket-change.html


Paul Allen move a little bit out of time

Austin Carr at Fast Company (http://www.fastcompany.com/user/219225) reports, among the others, that Microsoft co-fpouder Paul Allen has sued Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, YouTube because of an infringement of patents he owns (full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/1685423/microsofts-paul-allen-sues-apple-google-facebook-yahoo-aol-youtube-and-more).

I don’t question on his supposed rights. I only say 20 years have passed (because patents are from the 90’s) and companies are well known and of same secto Mr. Allen is working form the beginning. Isn’t a bit surprising and late in acting at this time?

This post as a comment also at http://www.fastcompany.com/1685423/microsofts-paul-allen-sues-apple-google-facebook-yahoo-aol-youtube-and-more


Google again in the business of voice calls?

Dan Nosowitz at Fast Company, Arcamax, NPR, Kit Eaton from Fast Company, Michael Calore at Wired (http://www.wired.com/epicenter/author/howto_admin/) and Rosa Golijan at Gizmodo report a CNET source on “[…] an as yet unconfirmed rumor that Google is testing a voice calling service, to be embedded inside Gmail and thus a web-based VoIP product. The service will, according to the rumor, be launched from the Google Chat window where contacts reside, and will be a sort of combination of Google Talk and Google Voice.  Google Talk, launched a few years ago, is a combination of instant messaging and VoIP, while Google Voice consolidates various phone numbers into a single one, along with other services like voicemail transcription. But what CNET is reporting is a bit different: true web-based phone calls, for free (or very cheap). Users won’t even be required to have a Google Voice number to use the upcoming service. […]” (full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/1684840/google-reportedly-taking-aim-at-skype-with-voice-calling-in-gmail and original at CNET at http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20014617-265.html at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129440019&ft=1&f=1001 ,at http://www.fastcompany.com/1684961/googles-next-assault-on-the-phone-biz-call-phones-from-gmail and at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/08/gmail-gets-dialed-up-a-notch-with-new-calling-feature/comment-page-1/#comment-55101).

I think Google will be a great competitor for Skype and MSN, because of some important factors:

a) Broadness of services offered

b) Potential integration of services

c) Reliability

d) Capability of service visioning

The hope is that they don’t go too far in imagination just like they did with Wave and do something simple and effective like they did with other service (Docs, Mail,…)

This post as a comment also at http://www.fastcompany.com/1684840/google-reportedly-taking-aim-at-skype-with-voice-calling-in-gmail , at http://gizmodo.com/5621146/soon-youll-be-able-to-make-phone-calls-from-your-gmail-inbox, at http://www.arcamax.com/businessnews/s-770638-840175#posts ,at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?verified=true&storyId=129440019&ft=1&f=1001#commentBlock and at http://www.fastcompany.com/1684961/googles-next-assault-on-the-phone-biz-call-phones-from-gmail


Bye bye Google wave

Many sources reported the end announced death of Google Wave: among them Dan Nosowitz at Fast company (http://www.fastcompany.com/1677794/google-wave-poorly-understood-and-underused-is-officially-dead), Ryan Paul at Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/08/wave-cancellation-google-gives-up-on-next-gen-messaging.ars), Matthew Ingram at GigaOM (http://gigaom.com/2010/08/04/google-pulls-the-plug-on-google-wave).

Well, is the end of Google in social networking? I don’t think so, but is a big stop for Google on this area.

Of course the Big G is telling that can reuse part of the work done and that is part of company culture to learn from failures.

But a failure like this is difficult to understand, because ruins in part the quite perfect track record held by Google.

It is difficult to explain why those who created Google mail, Google Docs, Google earth and so on where not able to create something usable and appealing.

When I first tried Google wave I really had difficulties to understand what was the real use and potential: this is uncommon in Google applications which are often brilliant examples of “do something and do it well”.

I think the problem could have been in trying to put everything in one place, creating some confusion.

I hope that Google reenters in social networking market with something more attractive and understandable, because can be a good player against Facebook predominance.

This post as a comment at http://www.fastcompany.com/1677794/google-wave-poorly-understood-and-underused-is-officially-dead, at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/08/wave-cancellation-google-gives-up-on-next-gen-messaging.ars?comments=1&p=20685642#comment-20685642 and at http://gigaom.com/2010/08/04/google-pulls-the-plug-on-google-wave/?go_commented=1


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