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Saturday, December 29, 2007

YouTubes big hits of 2007

YouTube used criteria such as the 'most shared, most discussed, top rated and general popularity" to determine it's list of clips that people were thinking and talking about most and released the results on Thursday. The most viewed clip " Battle at Kruger" was viewed more than 21 million times! Others include the Obama Girl video and Leave Britney Alone with 4 million and 14 million respectively. With classics like these, who needs TV? The Globe and Mail has more.

Google Zeitgeist 2007

Google has released the top search terms for 2007 in it's annual Zeitgeist. The top ten list depicts the fastest raising terms and the fastest falling terms from those popular in 2006. It never ceases to amaze me why terms like Facebook, YouTube, and Club Penguin make the list... isn't it easier just to add a dot com to the end of these in the address bar? or is it that people are actually searching for news or other stories about these sites? I guess I just don't get it... then again we all use search engines differently.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Netscape Navigator comes to an end

The BBC News is reporting that AOL will cease support of Netscape Navigator as of February 1, 2008. The browser once owned 90% of the web market, but numbers have dropped to just 0.6% in recent polls. "While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer," said Tom Drapeau on the company's blog. It was certainly my choice of browser when I first found my way onto the net, but I abandoned it for Internet Explorer myself, only to abandon IE for Firefox.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gamers see promise in writer's strike

There is an old saying that goes something like this... "it's an ill wind that doesn't blow someone some good" and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences is feeling something like that with respect to the current writer's strike. According to the Globe and Mail, Joseph Olin, president of the Academy is quoted as saying "If you're a fan of network programming, maybe seeing another repeat of ‘Pushing Daisies' or ‘Cold Case' will inspire you to finish that level of ‘Ratchet and Clank Future' instead". The relationship between gamers and writers has been a bit rocky in the past, as The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists both voted to strike against game publishers over compensation for voice talent, two years ago. "My hope is that people who are used to watching new programming on TV discover gaming as an entertainment alternative," says Dan Connors, CEO of Telltale Games. "Obviously, it will have to be a pretty prolonged strike for that to happen, but I think it's a definite possibility."

Blogging for business and personal promotion

Here is an interesting NY Times article that discusses the virtues of blogging to promote your business or yourself. There's not anything terribly new here, but it's an interesting read all the same.

With Clarity Comes Charity

Here is the heart warming tale of Tom Williams, who at 25 had the world at his feet with a six-figure-income and a dream job at Apple, only to brush it all aside to find more meaning in his life. The Globe and Mail tells the story of Williams, a teen aged whizkid who left his British Columbia home for Silicon Valley at age 15 only to return 10 years later burned out and questioning life. Williams decided to put his skills to use to shake up the charity industry and created “The big charities are continuing to get a disproportionately large amount of donor dollars and the smaller organizations who are sometimes doing grassroots work in communities across the country, and other ones, are starved for cash, having to literally consider shutting down their operations,” said Williams. The site is all about giving and Williams says 100 cents of every dollar goes to the project you sponsor. It's not about big business giving large amounts, but rather the average citizen contributing what they can to causes large and small. It's a great story in time for Christmas...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NYPD tests electric scooters

CNN is reporting that the New York Police Department is road testing an electric scooter for use by officers on certain beats. "Police effectiveness comes first, but where we can combine environmentally friendly vehicles without compromising the mission, we do," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The Vectrix scooter tops out at more than 60 mph and is recharged by plugging in to a standard outlet for two hours. The electric motor also affords the police with the element of surprise as it is apparently very quiet.

Universities utilizing social sites

It's time to start the recruitment drive for next year and Canadian Universities are finding the social networking sites to be a good place to start. “We are on Facebook because our incoming students kept asking us, ‘Why are you not on Facebook?' ” explained Bailey Daniels, assistant director of MBA recruitment and admissions at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, in this Globe and Mail story. Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick has existing students who work closely with the school's admissions staff and besides operating a Facebook group, there are student-produced YouTube videos and blogs, all commissioned and paid for by the university.

This is quite possibly the best quote from the article: “The ongoing challenge for any university is that there is a massive generation gap between the people that do recruiting and the people you are recruiting,” said Rob Steiner, assistant vice-president of strategic communications at the University of Toronto. “Every recruiting team and every marketing team is trying to find a way to stay on top of this stuff.”

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Companies embrace e-greetings this Christmas

According to this NY Times article, corporate America is embracing technology and abandoning paper greeting cards this year. The move comes about because the e-greetings are said to be "cheaper, greener and more versatile than traditional cards". While some find the ease of generating an e-greeting appealing it seems that their are still those who expect the personal touch and some experts are suggesting that you be careful in your selection, especially when you are sending seasons greetings to paying customers. I for one prefer the e-version but then again I'm a geek!

Ten Startups to watch in 2008

As the year winds down, Wired brings us a top ten list of Startups to watch over the next year. Though some of these companies have been around for a while, it seems the list represents those that the Wired folk think will make big moves over the next 12 months. From VOIP to DNA, there are plenty of buzz words and lots of Venture Capital funding represented. My money is on 37Signals, I've always been fond of their keep it simple attitude and I like the fact that they have kept things modest... and I'm a fan of Basecamp!

Monday, December 24, 2007

NORAD keeps tabs on Santa

It's been a few years since my children have followed Santa's global trek, but if you have young ones who are anxiously awaiting a visit from the spry old elf you might want to fire up this link. The good people at NORAD (North American Air Defense) keep an eye on Santa and according to them he's currently located at Mahajanga, Madagascar. If your little tykes want to speak to a NORAD Santa tracker in person they can call 1 (877) Hi NORAD or 1 (877) 446-6723. By e-mail they can be reached at

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Are we there yet!

This Disney animation from 1958 is a great look into our past and what the visionaries of the time thought life would be like. It's interesting to see how some of the ideas have become reality, more or less, while others were really far off the mark! Credit to Laughing Squid for this find.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Queen Elizabeth creates her own YouTube channel

Buckingham Palace has created a special Royal Channel on YouTube to which archived video of the Queen is being posted and over which the Queen's 50th Christmas address to her nation and the colonies will be delivered. According to The Globe and Mail, the palace said, “She has always been aware of reaching more people and adapting the communication to suit. This will make the Christmas message more accessible to younger people and those in other countries.”

I recall watching the Queen's addresses as a child but have not viewed one in years... perhaps this year I'll check out the 50th online.