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Friday, January 28, 2011

LinkedIn The Social Network For Business Networking Files For IPO

In the good ole days a businessman's social network meant a lot of "pressing the flesh" and if you worked your network just right there might be a payoff. In today's world business folks are making connections by reaching out to their online network, mostly via LinkedIn an 8 year old Mountain View, California based social network for grown ups (and by grown ups I mean anyone who has, wants, needs a job, sales, or an introduction from an acquaintance or colleague... past or present).

Yesterday LinkedIn filed papers with the Securities Exchange Commission regarding it's intent to make an initial public offering (IPO). According to it's filing LinkedIn managed sales of $161.4 million in the first nine months of 2010 equaling profits of $10 million. I guess you could say that a down economy is probably not a bad thing for growing a user base for a service like LinkedIn, and a turn around will do it a great deal of good as 41% of it's revenues come from it's "hiring solutions".

What will make this one an interesting IPO to watch is that it's coming in advance of some other expected offerings and will undoubtedly test the waters and set investor expectations.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Fun Theory

Here's a little extra this morning. You have to check this out!

2 Minutes Of Nothing

From Alex Tew, the guy who sold 1 million pixels for a buck a piece on the Million Dollar Homepage, comes a new project that simply asks you to do nothing for two minutes. "Just relax and listen to the waves," and "Don't touch your mouse or keyboard." reads the text on the site, in the background is an ocean vista with the sun peering through the clouds and the sound of waves. Also on screen is a countdown timer set to 2:00, if you are impatient and move the mouse or click on screen the timer turns to a nice red "FAIL" and the exercise starts again. Unfortunately my attention span this morning would not allow me to wait out the two minute exercise so I can't tell you what happens when the clock strikes zero but I can tell you that there is a lot of chatter on techcrunch's comments and that Alex Tew himself is weighing in "I did this project just for fun. Some folks should try and stop looking into things too much :)"

I guess if you've made a million dollars in four months and have plenty of time on your hands a website that plays the sound of waves and counts down from 2:00 makes a lot of sense... why didn't I think of that? Perhaps the fact that I haven't made a million dollars is my stumbling block?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Volvo Testing Automobile Train Concept - SARTRE Project

Volvo and a handful of other companies are testing a system known as SARTRE (Safe Road Trains For The Environment) which would allow commuters to line up behind a lead vehicle and create an autonomous train, well autonomous for everyone but the lead vehicle. The benefits are said to be environmental, in safety, and in productivity / time savings as the riders in the trailing cars can leave the driving in the hands of the lead vehicle's operator and focus on other tasks.

I'm in awe of the technological achievements displayed in the following video, and at the same time have a bunch of questions and concerns, many of which the researchers are already considering as demonstrated.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Will It Send?

A very small, 30cm-long, satellite is going to be sent into orbit by a team at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited of Guildford U.K. The satellite is going to be powered by a smartphone using the Google Android operating system, though the precise make and model have not been disclosed.

SSTL project manager Shaun Kenyon says "They come now with processors that can go up to 1GHz, and they have loads of flash memory. First of all, we want to see if the phone works up there, and if it does, we want to see if the phone can control a satellite." The company's goal is to find an inexpensive, off-the-shelf solution that can aid in lowering it's cost of design and development.
"We're not taking it apart; we're not gutting it; we're not taking out the printed circuit boards and re-soldering them into our satellite - we're flying it as is," Mr Kenyon explained.
"And, in fact, we're going to have another camera on the satellite so we can take a picture of the phone because we want to operate the screen and have some good images of that as well."
You see Apple? This is why an open platform is far superior to your closed model... just sayin.