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Friday, January 21, 2011

Wanting To Get Back To It's Roots Google Turns To Page

Google has announced that chief executive Eric Schmidt will be returning the position to co-founder Larry Page whom he had taken the reigns from a decade ago. Schmidt will remain executive chairman of Google that has grown from a pre IPO valuation of $27 billion to $200 billion at markets close yesterday. The handover will happen in April.

“One of the primary goals I have is to get Google to be a big company that has the nimbleness and soul and passion and speed of a start-up,” said Mr. Page in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Eric Schmidt wrote in a twitter post: “Day-to-day adult supervision is no longer needed.”

Google, it seems has become less agile and less attractive to first string engineers and executives while Facebook and Twitter have become the places to work and have threatened growth at Google. I have to say, speaking from experience, that work at a startup is far superior to getting bogged down in stagnant products and the bureaucratic thinking that seems to take over as companies grow and age. No doubt, Mr. Page has gained a great deal of education observing Mr. Schmidt over the years and I'm betting that we see some new and exciting things from Google.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beating Traffic With Substitute Drivers

Living where I do, it is hard to fathom the type of traffic that would cause hours of delays. In China however, the population of 1.3 billion is rapidly acquiring vehicles, and the capital city Beijing has tied with Mexico City in a 2010 IBM study of the worlds worst traffic jams.

So what is a time conscious or impatient driver to do if they are stuck in one of the worlds worst traffic jams? Place a call to a car service.  Huang Xizhong is quoted by Yahoo as saying  "those with urgent dates or business meetings to go to, and those who have flights to catch and can't afford to wait in a traffic jam for too long," and thus his company employs substitute drivers to wait in traffic on your behalf while another driver on a motorcycle zips you through the congestion in a so called "traffic jam rescue".

Seriously! You can't make this stuff up folks...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Starbucks Larger Size And Payment Via iPhone

Not only has Starbucks introduced the Trenta, a super sized drink some 300ml larger than a Venti (U.S. stores only at this time), but the company has also "today announced the launch of mobile payment in all U.S. company-operated stores, allowing customers to pay for in-store purchases with select smartphones."

The company's press release states:

To experience mobile payment at Starbucks, customers just need to download the free Starbucks Card Mobile App for select BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone or iPod touch mobile devices. More than one-third of U.S. Starbucks customers use smartphones, of which nearly three quarters use BlackBerry smartphone or iPhone mobile devices. In addition to the mobile payment capability, the app allows customers to manage their Starbucks Card account, check their card balance, reload their card with any major credit card (iPhone users can also use the PayPal feature), check their My Starbucks Rewards status and find a nearby Starbucks store with the store locator feature.
Customers can pay with their smartphone by holding their mobile device in front of a scanner on the countertop and scan the Starbucks Card Mobile App's on-screen barcode to make a purchase. Customers have successfully adopted this technology in test markets in Seattle, Northern California, New York and more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target stores.
I fear nothing good can come of this... :)

You can download the app via

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Can Haz Your Millions?

Cheezburger Networks the company behind I Can Has Cheezburger, Fail blog, and Engrish Funny has announced a $30-million round of funding from venture capital firms Foundry Group and SoftBank Capital, amongst others.

The company plans to use the money to beef up staffing and take the blog network into "new directions" according the Mathew Ingram's GIGaom post. This only goes to prove that all of those Jr. High School teachers were wrong when they said "...nothing good will come of this" or " are headed for a life as a garbage collector!"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is Your iPad Changing Your Television Watching Habits?

It seems that I am not alone in my iPad / TV watching habits and my transition away from the big screen to the one I can hold in my hand. As reported by Kit Eaton, Fast Company,  a new study is showing that reading online is cutting into prime time TV watching. I for one am finding that the iPad accompanies me in front of the television as I catch up with email, search IMDB to find out who that actress is and where do I know her from? In my case, I am also short circuiting TV altogether at times by downloading and enjoying commercial free episodes from itunes or audio books from Audible. If it weren't for the other members of my household and perhaps live sports in HD, I'd probably scrap my cable subscription all together in favor of downloaded content to my iPad.

Truth is that my iPad is much more convenient, I can take it with me to my favorite chair, which isn't even in a room with a television, and it remembers where I was when I shut the device off. In my experience interruptions are also less frequent as their is less desire to interrupt someone when they have their ear buds in.

What are your findings?