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Monday, August 31, 2009

Google Turning Over IP Addresses

Wikileaks says that Google is turning over information about the IP addresses of some of its users. The article says: ' ... Google has elected to keep extensive, non-anoymized records on its users, but not defend these records from disclosure. This combination, together with inequitable access to justice in Californian courts, is toxic ... ' This could mean that if you or your company is the target of a disclosure, they will have your data. Sobering thought given the amount of data that Google works with.

Feeding Local News

If has been suggested that newspapers will survive by gathering and organizing local news and markets. I still get my local newspaper. Applications like FWix on the IPhone are attempting to take this away as well. Crowdsourcing news, like Twitter, but more organized. Non-professionally, of course.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cellphone Coupons

NYTimes on mobile coupons. They are a behind in knowing this idea exists. Yet reasonably good overview.

View Of German Processus Semantic Project

Mark Montgomery sends this along:

" A video from ICE '08 on the German government/ SAP project that looks to be the closest competitor to Kyield I've seen to date. Certainly not identical, although the understanding of the need, potential, and threat to SAP if they don't seize the opportunity is similar ... ":

" ... the demand for more interoperability of data, systems and thus organizations. PROCESSUS as a particular project of the German national funded high-tech-initiative THESEUS has the objective to create an IT-based corporate system that will allow companies to compare products, solutions and details of business associates, as well as locating the complex and sometimes obscure specialist information needed by employees whose work involves high-density knowledge bases. The research teams are also aiming to develop a basic semantic platform that will integrate a company's internal planning of resources with management of the digital content of agile business processes. ... "

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two Nostrils: Sensing and Competing

It is fairly obvious why we have two eyes and two ears. We use a form of triangulation to determine direction and distance. Models in the brain fit the data and make useful conclusions. But why two nostrils? It has been suggested that binary smell was a holdover from when smell was much more important in sensing food and danger.

A new study is overviewed in Mind Hacks and in the NYTimes, suggesting that there is a competition between the two nostrils and their neural wiring which switches between them and has them compete to come to olfactory based conclusions. How might this kind of research be used commercially? Smell has always been problematical in the difficulty of focusing it to an application. You can spritz an area full of aroma, but focusing and removing it is harder. Research like this could lead to better understanding of how the nonsconscious aspects of smell can be leveraged. Previously here about smell.

Abstract of scientific article.
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Four Technologies that are Reshaping BI

From Computerworld: 4 Technologies That Are Reshaping Business Intelligence:

Next-generation BI is being formed by predictive analytics, real-time monitoring, in-memory processing, and SaaS. By Doug Henschen...' . Some good points, though predictive analytics is very broad, including lots of individually important components that could be treated separately.

Emergent Tech Ethics

A new blog I just discovered on the ethics of emergent technologies:

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies was formed to study and debate vital questions such as:

- Which technologies, especially new ones, are likely to have the greatest impact on human beings and human societies in the 21st century?
- What ethical issues do those technologies and their applications raise for humans, our civilization, and our world
- How much can we extrapolate from the past and how much accelerating change should we anticipate?
- What sort of policy positions can be recommended to promote the best possible outcomes for individuals and societies? ... "

Friday, August 28, 2009

Google Book Settlement

One of my favorite and long-time read blogs, the Language Log, has a good piece by Mark Liberman on the Google Book Settlement. There is an ongoing conference at Berkeley that he is covering about how the settlement will effect the future of information access. Have followed this for a long time and will track the Language Log blog for more details. Access to knowledge is one benefit of the reader, but another is to allow better machine access:

" .. To get the best results, you want to combine machine learning with human judgment. To what extent will the terms of the settlement allow this? Individuals and small organizations should be encouraged to cultivate the parts of the academic universe that they know best — Google books will be a big part of the resources for this, but it should be easy to combine it with other things. Does the proposed settlement inhibit this? .... "

Location-Aware Home Screen on IPhone

It is reported in ReadwriteWeb that Apple is patenting the idea of a location-aware home screen for the IPhone. Imagine a home screen that would show a map, local restaurants, weather, sights, local promotional offers based on your own personal interests that would change as you travel. Good idea, and especially that it might be chosen as a on-top page to alert you. A kind of choice-based augmented reality. Patenting does not mean it is particular novel idea, or that they will deliver it, but worth seeing.

The article also correctly and critically points out that many of the IPhone's own applications, like weather and maps, are not automatically location-aware. This could be a first pointer in that direction.

Pointing also to a concept we demonstrated in mock-up for a long time, you could make such a system location-aware in the sense that it has information about the particular layout of a retail store you are in, and provide a map and search capability there. Not a new idea, but powerful. Now that IPhones have a considerable market share, it could be profitable to have retailers subscribe to such a service.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Social Media as Mass Marketing

The Tom Peters blog posts on Social Media as Mass Marketing ... Not the Future. A critical and historical view of the topic.

TV vs Internet Advertising

From Progressive Grocer and GMA, on a new report:

' ... Early results of studies from comScore, in partnership with dunnhumbyUSA, indicate that advertising on the Internet may boost retail sales better than television-based campaigns do. Online campaigns with an average reach of 40% of their target segment grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9%, while TV ads provided an average boost of 8% ... '

Open Source BI Solutions

Mike Cristiani sends along a link to a whitepaper by Tableau Software: factors to consider when evaluating open source bi solutions '... This paper discusses the major issues and factors to consider when evaluating open source business intelligence software .... '

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Unilever Crowdsources Ads

Unliever is going to the public for new ad ideas. ' ... Unilever is offering $10,000 (£6,087) in a competition to find ideas for its next TV campaign for snack food brand Peperami, using its quirky Animal character, as it decides to drop its ad agency of 16 years and turn to crowdsourcing for creative ideas ... '

Pioneering Study in Neuromarketing

Comments on work by Martin Lindstrom described in his Buylogy book: ' ... A pioneering study on Neuromarketing will change forever the way marketers and advertisers promote their goods and services. The field of "Neuromarketing" provides a scientific basis on which to make sound advertising decisions, using research about what we know works ... ' . Previously on Lindstrom here.

Yale Summer Math Program

The summer math program for Economics Phds at Yale. Nice mix of practical math topics.

Mining the Web for Feelings

In the NYT: Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts. The article is a bit thin, but worth reading. Another favorite topic of mine since the early days of linking directly to consumers with what was then called 'content analysis'. What we have now is many more consumers engaged and they ability to talk back if we want to. More statistics indeed. The algorithms are progressing, but are not very much more advanced.

Free Antivirus Software

Computerworld looks at a number of options. Useful.
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Complexities of Virtual Makeover

In Storefrontbacktalk, this was an area we looked at in some detail. And several different times with different technologies One of my favorite technical experiments. These methods fail because of relatively simple things, like the ability to reproduce colors accurately on a computer screen. Or the location of a device in a store aisle. Even when you do that well it is hard to create much additional demand using a system, either at home, or even in a carefully calibrated store kiosk.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Augmented Reality on the IPhone

The idea continues to creep forward. I had an accidental introduction to it recently at the beach doing some star watching. An application called Star Walk lets you take the an image of the constellations and raise it up to the sky. The accelerometer adjusts the position of the stars, and the compass direction you are pointing. You can then line the images up to individual stars and planets. Then click-through to much more information ... living in a richer, augmented reality. Brought a smile to my face ... what I had wanted for many years was on the threshold.

That's an almost trivial example, but imagine the same thing in retail linked to other kinds of sensor data ... GPS, wifi triangulation, RFID, etc. The idea of really augmenting your personal reality with data and interaction becomes richer. I am also working with some clients with related problems that could use this same kind of application for public safety capabilities.

Newspapers Colluding, Surviving

In Techdirt. Interesting piece on the survival of newspapers. Including the use of acts of congress to remove collusion penalties and the use of payment walls. For a while I thought that local news could allow them to survive, but I doubt that now. It is getting increasingly bleak. Certain aspects of quality focus, used by the WSJ, have been successful. That perhaps can work, but only for a time. Focus of need and opinion at zero cost cannot be beat.

Roof Tile Solar Panels

A nice idea, no mention of cost. Would like to see the idea played out broadly.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stone Skipping at the Shore

Recently had a delightful week at the beach. As I have a number of times I took along James Trefil's book: A Scientist at the Seashore. Its a fun book if you want to know explore a number of physics 'whys' about the beach. One topic he covers is stone skipping on the sand and on the water. He mentions a 1968 article on the topic that had been published in SciAM. I tried to look it up in Google Books, but it was not there. I assume Sciam has not given permission for old issues. Probably could have found that in the library or in an old bookstore. Too bad, could quickly find a good article on stone skipping in the Wikipedia. Things have changed.

HEMA Product Page

A colleague sends along a link to the Dutch department store HEMA. A fun bit of flash. Wait for it to develop.

Virtual Worlds for Training

An area that I always thought made lots of sense, yet I have yet to see an example of where it works effectively. Using Virtual worlds for training, a case study. Makes sense to have something remotely deliverable and that can adapt to the needs of the student.

DotSpot and the Wisdom of Crowds

Interesting Piece out of Knowledge@Wharton:

Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Farhad Mohit: DotSpots and the Wisdom of Crowds
Entrepreneur Farhad Mohit is hardly resting on his laurels, although he could. In 1996, he launched BizRate, a consumer rating site, and then in 2004, Shopzilla, a shopping search engine. His latest venture is DotSpots, a service that lets people update the news in real-time with dots, or distributed objects of thought. These could include mini-blog posts containing text, videos, images, documents, perspectives from the blogosphere or eye-witness accounts from the scene. Mohit talked with Knowledge@Wharton about DotSpots, the publishing industry, the wisdom of crowds, what he learned from his previous successes and the importance of finding the right team, among other topics.... '

Sunday, August 23, 2009

CTO Discussion on Cloud Computing

CACM Queue holds a very good CTO round table discussion. Plus lots of good links. While I believe I have a good understanding of what cloud computing means, no full view of what its implications and its unintended consequences ... 'The age of cloud computing has begun. How can companies take advantage of the new opportunities it provides? ...'

Gartner's Hype Cycle Indicators

Mark Montgomery points me to this image of the Gartner Hype Cycle Chart. Just something I was looking for a while back. Thanks.
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Optimism Bias

Dan Ariely on The Curious Paradox of Optimism Bias. Also in Business Week.

Pushing 3-D TV

From Knowledge@Wharton. How do you push 3D TV? Use an upcoming 3D movie that the studio says will be a blockbuster. Still, the technical quality has to be there.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Now You See it

In the midst of reading Stephen Few's: Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis. So far very nice, reminds me of Tufte's work, with a more practical and better focused direction. The last chapter covers trends in visualization, many mentioned here, well worth exploring. See also his blog, which always links to new visualization ideas.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Semantic Web and Kyield

Jennifer Zaino writes in Semantic Web. Plus more about KYield.

' ... Is your enterprise getting smarter? Shouldn’t it be? Mark Montgomery, founder and CEO of Kyield, argues that the semantic enterprise is emerging, motivated as much as anything by the recognition brought on by the financial crisis that our corporate institutions ain’t as smart as we thought they were.

When the increasing load of data within organizations and their partner chains lacks embedded intelligence, and is neither interoperable nor interchangeable, it’s easier to avoid accountability, assume credit improperly, and of course spend massive amounts of time searching for information, connections and expertise rather than delivering innovation for the organization ... '

Video in Paper Magazines

Much in the news, the addition of chips in paper magazines which can present up to 40 minutes of images or videos on a small cellphone-size display. Appears to be a waste, a kind of inversion of book readers ... a single purpose image presentation. Cost unclear, likely high. Recall Esquire magazine's first e-ink display. Like that, an attention-getting splash.

Numenta: Modeling Based on the Neocortex

I was prompted by client discussions to look again at the Numenta site recently. I previously wrote about Jeff Hawkins' book: On Intelligence and Numenta's early work. They seem to have taken a stronger approach towards doing predictive modeling based on a model of the human neocortex. (An image of a section of this is at the right) An adaptive rather than a procedural technique that appears to be applied to the same areas that 'artificial neural networks' had previously been applied to. Continuing to explore.

' ... Numenta is creating a new type of computing technology modeled on the structure and operation of the neocortex. The technology is called Hierarchical Temporal Memory, or HTM, and is applicable to a broad class of problems from machine vision, to fraud detection, to semantic analysis of text. HTM is based on a theory of neocortex first described in the book On Intelligence by Numenta co-founder Jeff Hawkins, and subsequently turned into a mathematical form by Numenta co-founder Dileep George.

Numenta is a technology tools and platform provider rather than an application developer. We work with developers and partners to configure and adapt HTM systems to solve a wide range of problems ... '.

Update on WolframAlpha

Stephen Wolfram gives an update on the evolution of WolframAlpha. Played with it for a while and did see some interesting results at times, but too often it just did not understand my simple queries. I am an explorer so I have patience, but I suspect many others will abandon its use quickly. The post outlines some of the new directions they are taking and is well worth reading and continuing to follow. I will.

Kroger, Unilever Partner for Digital Coupons

Kroger is promoting a partnership with Unilever in which shoppers can browse an online catalog of exclusive coupons and download offers identified by their loyalty cards.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Generational Privacy Views

In The Japan Times, privacy honcho Bruce Schneier talks about the generational gaps in the perception of privacy. He also as usual does a good job of pointing out how very little privacy we really have.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On Network Influences

In MyVenturePad, Good article on the subject: Influence research: what are the real influence networks within Twitter and social media? Via Stan Dyck. Pointers to previous useful reports and posts about this topic. We following some of these influence networks before the advent of social media as it exists today. Connectivity of the networks were always interesting, but it was rare that we could leverage the specific architecture of connectivity.

GIS Becomes Mainstream

Good interview with the president of ESRI on the mainstreaming of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I agree, much has changed and there is a bright future:

' .... There will be lots and lots of services available both inside the enterprise and on the open Web. We're already seeing this, and the services will be standards-based, open and interoperable and mash-able. People will orchestrate multiple services to support new applications, and this orchestration will include things like integrating ERP databases with maps or embedding maps inside of ERP applications using SOAP and traditional Web services architectures. Multiple kinds of data sets, map layers and database tables will be brought together dynamically in these lightweight applications as rich Internet applications ...'

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shopper Path to Purchase

ARF Chief Research Officer Joel Rubinson posts about shopper path to purchase:

' ... Understanding “Path to Purchase” will change marketing and media priorities. In most cases, it is likely to increase the budget for search, comparison shopping, and particularly in-store shopper marketing vs. using a media habits approach because those places don’t have a big share of media time but they are where the “lean-forward” action is. Shopper insights research shows that, for many products, 50% or more of purchases and brand choices are decided on right in the store. For such products, to put it in terms that media planners can relate to, shopper marketing is like recency on steroids ... '.
Also be sure to see the first comment on the post, where Dave Katz of ClientOne describes the solution that he has developed for exactly this kind of problem. Have pointed to this approach here before, it is worth another look.

More on Coke Smarter Soda Machine

More details about Coke's smart Freestyle cola machine, now in test. ' ... The smart-machine collects extremely detailed information about drink choices (the dispenser can mix up to 100 different soft drinks) and continually relays it to the company ... '.

Retailers and Mobile Commerce

From Storefrontbacktalk, an excellent overview of the use of mobile commerce by retailers and the potential privacy and standardization 'minefields'. ' ... the U.S. M-Commerce space is floundering as merchants drag their feet deploying purchase-capable mobile sites or find their mobile initiatives stalled by an avalanche of obstacles beyond the anticipated mountain of incompatible platforms and mobile browsers... '

Monday, August 17, 2009

Influential Logos

Roger Dooley looks at the non-conscious influence in corporate logos. He mentions the infamous P&G logo and satanism rumor that started back in the 70s. I experienced this example first-hand back then, and was amazed by the level at which it existed in the mind of the populace. Regrettably calls it subliminal, which has its own associations with tests that were done (or not done) before the 70s. Also discussed broadly in Martin Lindstrom's recent book: Buyology.

Obsolete Tech

An interesting PCWorld piece on forty obsolete technologies and technology related processes. Directionally it is useful to understand both what is new and what is no longer relevant. The latter also shows the way to new value niches.

Many of these are obvious, but some are surprising ... things we did very recently that have just slipped away, replaced by new tech and new expectations of what we do at home and in business.

Army Suggests that Field Manuals be Wikis

From Slashdot: In some ways this is not surprising. The US military is very good at standardizing input. And yet, a Wiki is a means of doing this in a very non-standard way. The combination of these two directions might be a way to get wikis to be more common in the enterprise.

' ... The NY Times reports that the [US] Army began encouraging its personnel — from the privates to the generals — to go online and collaboratively rewrite seven of the field manuals that give instructions on all aspects of Army life, using the same software behind Wikipedia .... '
Update: Related, on open source textbook production.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Can't You be Original?

Got a recent e-mail that made me think ... asking me why I almost always use a link to an external source and comment on that instead of writing original pieces. It has certainly been my way in the half dozen blogs I have written over the years. The Web is an unprecedented means of linking together human knowledge and commentary.

So since what you do is always based on the work of others, your teachers at very least, why not? Standing on the shoulders of many giants. I know some who minimize linking so as to keep people at their site. The point here is not to market my knowledge, but to demonstrate how it fits in with my other thoughts and the work of others.

Not Interested in Lugging Another Device

People like me who read a lot but are not interested in buying, maintaining and lugging yet another device are interested in multipurposing our smart phones as readers. I have now seen many Kindles being used, but still don't want one.

E-Commerce Times writes about the increasing use of smartphone apps as reading platforms. The result has been, finally, a considerable increase in the sales of e-books. Good stats in the article about the topic. Despite my dislike of the small format, I find myself reading this way more often.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Business Theories are Useful?

Are business theories all a waste of time? A book review in the HBR blog. I agree in the sense that theories cannot be used directly as blueprints for success. They are best used as studies of operation, not as predictive models of outcomes. Good as a tale of caution but with the irony that this book positions a theory about books about business theories. Please no deeper recursion.

Target-Amazon Divorce

An interesting look at the recent Target-Amazon divorce in Storefrontbacktalk. Suggests that the reasons are to maintain Target's unique identity. I would think it results in far less presence for Target online.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Physicist Looks at Time Travel

In Slate: Time-Traveling for Dummies, A physicist looks at The Time Traveler's Wife, By Dave Goldberg. Also a favorite subject of mine. I have read the book but have not seen the movie. See also Niven's laws, which also take an intriguing view of this subject. Via Instapundit.

Single Screen Measurement

From Adage: Many of the big players mobilize to create a single measurement across all marketing screens. An excellent idea, the devil will be in the details. No response from AC Nielsen as yet.

Articulated Flapping Wing Aircraft

Another one of those long talked about developments. Using the means that insects and birds use to fly. The world's first successful test flight of a nano air vehicle. As they usually say, much work still to be done. With video.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

GS1 DataBar Implementation Extended

The GS1 DataBar final implementation for coupons has been delayed until January 1, 2011. A polling of retailers indicated that required hardware and software would not be ready until then. More on GS1 DataBar.

Wireless Sensors: Motes

New on networks of wireless sensors. Notably IBM's Mote runner. More on motes. The idea has been around for some time. It has been suggested that artificial intelligence applications should be leveraged by large networks of sensors, as our own intelligent neural systems rely on many sensory inputs and convert these into decisions to be delivered by muscle activators. The concept continues to develop and slowly move forward.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is Branding Dead?

Interesting Roger Dooley post on the relevance of branding? Do our brains say that branding is still very relevant? Not dead? I would also say so, our intelligence uses all sort of short-cuts and complexity decreasing means to classify and shortcut our thinking. Many of these methods don't necessarily work as well in our current environments, but they are still in place. So branding, marketing and merchandising will work better to the extent that we use some of these sometimes ancient methods encoded inside our heads.

A and P Introduces Clipless Coupons

One of the oldest US retail grocery companies has introduced digital coupons.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meijer Using Online Games

Meijer is using online games

' ... Meijer tries out online games to attract back-to-school shoppers
Midwest chain retailer Meijer Inc. launched an interactive game on its web site, dubbed Back To School Scramble that it credits with helping to boost the conversion rate on related items 18%, as well as improving brand perception.

“There has been a great increase in brand exposure since the launch of the game. Our web site has remained stable with an average of five minutes per visitor and we`ve added the additional 6.3 minute average exposure time in which customers are interacting with our products in this game,” says Catherine Antkoviak, Meijer project manager ...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wiring You Up

For what useful reasons might you allow your brain to be wired up with a neural implant? A poll gives some answers.

Bing vs Google

From Knowledge@Wharton: Bing Gives Microsoft a Boost, but Can It Compete with Google?. I have been using Bing occasionally, even comparing the two at times, but it is not enough of a difference to capture me.

' ... Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader, who co-directs the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative with Bradlow, says the hand-off from attracting to retaining customers is often difficult. "Marketing officers don't do a good enough job of generating trial versus repeat customers. It's easy to get people to try something -- you just shout at them enough -- but the traditional aspects of marketing are useless in getting repeat customers. The product has to deliver the goods or people will just go back to Google." .... Thus far, Microsoft has been modestly successful at attracting traffic to Bing. According to comScore, which measures web use, Bing drew 8.4% of all Internet searches in June, a gain of 0.4% over Live Search's performance in May. Google had 65% of the June search traffic, while Yahoo drew 19.6%. ... '

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Federal CIO Dashboards

Steve Few examines the design of existing Federal CIO dashboards. He makes some excellent points. I believe that DBs should show the right data for a given responsibility ... plus easily allow the extension of the revealed data into useful insight. It is a design art.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Learning Through Games

From the ACM:

Learning Through Games
Electronic games can inspire players to explore new ideas and concepts. By gaining a better understanding of the dynamic between player and game, researchers hope to develop more interesting and effective approaches ... '

Friday, August 07, 2009

Roambi BI on the IPhone

Always thought there was a place for good interactive Business intelligence visualization on the IPhone. For example in retail where I had to get lots of supporting data while in the aisle. Now from the developers of Xcelsius there an application called Roambi that was just pointed out to me. I had looked at Xcelsius earlier. See the Roambi site.. Nicely done, still exploring, more later, certainly worth a look.

Brain Waves and Ad Effectiveness

Sands Research releases a new article, good details. Particularly useful here, a comparison to more traditional methods.

What can measuring brain waves tell us about an ad’s effectiveness?
Two research firms, one specializing in copy testing, the other in brain wave measurement, teamed up to examine a series of fast-food TV ads to compare and contrast findings from their respective diagnostic approaches ... '.

Selling into the Right Ear

Years ago, when I did experiments with sleep learning, this was part of the process, emphasize use of the right ear. I had thought all of that was debunked, but here it is again. Minus the sleep learning. At the end of this review the author says he likes the experiments because they are in natural rather than lab settings. Yes, perhaps, but it also removes any controls that might be included in a lab. And masks confimation bias that can slip in. Be careful in the application of these results. Does anyone have other evidence?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Asia Innnovation

Asia Poised for Innovation, in the World Flattener.
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You are Approaching the End of the Moving Walkway

Moving walkways. You have seen them in airports, Vegas and in limited ways in transit systems. Why have they not taken off more broadly? They have a surprisingly broad history. At one time looking like they might be widely implemented in large cities. Do they have a future?

Virtual Worlds in Business

Building, Populating, and Interacting with Virtual Worlds. I continue to believe this is something to figure out, though I have yet to see a solution that does it effectively.

Crowdsourcing Electronic Design Automation

In IEEE Spectrum, a good example of mixing the pattern recognition capabilities of humans and complex simulations. Essentially a game and an excellent example of crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing the Complexities of Electronic Design Automation
'Researchers develop an online game that may one day help chipmakers improve their designs .... '

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Web Squared: an Internet of Things

Good piece in the ReadWriteWeb on the the concept of WebSquared, or the intersection of Web 2.0 and the Internet of things. Commenting on the O'Reilly - Battelle paper on this topic. I was introduced to the internet of things at MIT maybe ten years ago and always thought it was one of the cleverest and potentially powerful directions. Yet it seems to have slipped in its implementation over those years. Yes, there are good examples out there, but just not that many 'things' have been wired up to the Internet as yet.

Only with decision-making people, with time on their hands and a general device to use like a laptop or phone, have we seen an explosion of connectedness. We still need our intelligence, however limited, to engage and further this broad linkage. Perhaps this will require an AI application to drive it home.

Can we make the things involved want the connection?

Fee-Based WiFi Dying?

I found this article interesting. While there may be fewer fee based WiFi options out there. I also find, when traveling that it is often not that easy to log into free WiFi. I use both my laptop, when I can find a stationary location and my IPhone when more mobile. In buildings in the big city you don't often get open WiFi connections. At restaurants they ask you to go through a sometimes detailed sign in procedure. I am not willing to do that only if I am very likely to be back there. So while things have become more free, they are still not as ubiquitously available as everyone said they would be just a few years ago. Meanwhile Wimax still does not seem to be getting closer.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Whole Body Nervous System Scan

In Mind Hacks, a link to a form of form of MRI scan which does whole body nervous systems scans. Unclear if this has ever been used to understand any type of human decision making, but worth looking at.

Ad Supported Mobile

Good case study of ad-supported mobile in AdAge: Where Blyk Went Wrong. Mention in particular of L'Oreal's use for consumer engagement which got a 70% response rate. Apparently its downfall was its inability to scale after getting about 200K members. See also their active blog.

Mapping the Mind

Finished reading Rita Carter's Mapping the Mind. A good easy to read introduction to the links between brain function and internal brain location. If you are new to neuromarketing ideas, this is a good start, though the term is used nowhere in the book. Also a bit dated, originally published in 1998, but covers much useful territory.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Quickline in Grocery

Always wondered why the 'Quick line' used for a long time in banks and elsewhere, had not been tried in grocery. Now Hannford Bros is trying it out. The obvious reason why it is harder to apply in grocery is that people often have a big cart with them, so the single line may get too large to place.

Samsung Smart Cameras

Samsung claims that it will soon revolutionize the way that people take pictures with their smart cameras, called tap and take, to be released later this month. More here. Also at a Samsung teaser site.

IBM and Predictive Analytics

More on IBM's acquisition of SPSS. IBM has always been known for its analytics work. As early as the late 1960s we used IBM optimization software to improve the operation of warehouses, and the architecture of supply chains. Afterwards they seemed to disconnect themselves from this kind of work. Then in recent years they reconnected with the business, producing some very impressive results. This new step forward will be worth watching.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

American Time Use Visualization

From Junk Charts ... a good example of visualization. Pointing to the NYT's visualization of US consumers use of time. ' ... (Apparently, thousands of people recalled what they did every minute of an average day.) The amount of data collected is massive, and this graphic allows readers to explore the data in intuitive ways ... '. As the title of the blog suggests they are usual critical of visuals, but have found this one to solve some of the problems of stacked proportional representation. With mouse-overs ... which I thought was fairly obvious.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Drilling in Deep Sea Fault Zones

Scientists Drill a Mile Into Active Deep Sea Fault Zone. Not for oil, but for science. Trying to understand subduction zones and earthquakes. Reminds me of project Mohole, which I followed with fascination. Another pundit suggests that this headline makes a great opening scene for a disaster movie.