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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Planned Obsolescence A Gadget Lovers Reality

Lorraine Anthony of the Canadian Press writes, in this Globe and Mail article, of the gadget geek's dilema and the fuel that ignites their fire... "planned obsolescence". Most gadget manufactures subscribe to the planned obsolescence model where they give you just enough stuff to make their products cool, for now, but they are also planning on you growing tired of the product in a year or two. It's something that most of us wrestle with and from a business standpoint it's what keeps the companies going. Cellphones and mp3 players are prime examples of planned obsolescence, while that iPod shuffle still plays your favourite tunes, it's probably not seen much use since the Touch came along... am I right? For another view of this strategy, one that might get you thinking differently, check out The Story of Stuff. It may hit hard for the early adopters in our midst, but it's worth thinking about!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Twitter The Internet Phenom Of 2008

Ivor Tossell of the Globe and Mail has declared a winner for 2008, and it's Twitter. I don't think he'll get any arguement, certainly not from me.

"In 2004, the rise of blogs and their newfound political power gripped the public attention. In 2005, Wikipedia and the virtues of crowdsourcing announced themselves to the general public. In 2006, YouTube mushroomed into an online-video juggernaut, and ushered in a new age of user-generated cat videos. In 2007, Facebook went from college diversion to mainstream phenomenon.

And now, it's the end of 2008, and here she comes, the latest Miss Internet Hoopla. Today, everybody is facing the imperative of signing up to Twitter, the service that has just sashayed away with the crown."

While it was 2007 that I first signed up for my Twitter account, it wasn't until '08 that I really started paying serious attention to it and it's obvious by the adoption rate over the last 12 months that Twitter has become main stream.

Ivor's article here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

9 Year Old Becomes Worlds Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional

A 9 year old girl from the Tamil Nadu region of India, has passed the Microsoft's Certified Professional exam. According to Indian media reports the feat makes the child the youngest MCP in the world, beating the former record holder a 10 year old from Pakistan. Kinda puts the rest of us to shame... to think I was playing with lego at 10!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tracking Santa

Once again this year the folks at NORAD are tracking the movements of a magical flight across the globe. For those who have wee ones or for you great big kids check out It's official he's in the air... and Google has gotten in on the act becoming an official NORAD partner in 2007 Together they have Santa on the map and on "Santa Cam" arriving in several different locations around the world, with commentary in six different languages.

The Official Google Blog has more.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Most Spam Served From The US

ars technica has an interesting story about the origin of spam. Citing the most recent Sophos report, the article says that the US hosts 37 percent of all malware sites followed by China (27.7 percent) and Russia (9.1 percent). Also of note is the rise in frequency of infected e-mails. In 2007 the ratio of infected e-mails to non-infected was 1 in 909, in 2008 the numbers were 1 in 714. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Refining Your Google Image Searches

Google has just added a few new features to it's image search that allows you to narrow its returns to clip art or line drawings. This is a great little feature if you are looking for an image to add to an e-mail or presentation. Simply click the advanced image search link on the Google search page and make your selection, also available are photos only, news, and faces. You can further refine your search criteria by image size, file type, domain, and put filtering on to ensure that your searches return safe for work images. Check out the Official Google Blog for more details.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

British Media Firm Buys Bush Shoe Throwing Game For $7,818

According to G4's The Feed, a British media firm has purchased "Sock and Awe" an instant internet sensation for $7,818 on e-bay. The game developed by Alex Tew pokes fun at the incident in Iraq recently where President Bush ducked shoes hurled his way by an Iraqi journalist. The act meant as an insult to the outgoing president made news reels around the globe. Bush has since been hit in the face by more than 46,939,512 shoes.