Google, oh Google, what would we ever do without you?
One may suppose that this question is addressed to the Google founders: Sergey Brin and Larry Page. While one question is fairly rhetoric, the other has a genuine sense of foreboding attached to it.
Larry Page has lost his voice. Don’t fret, people. According to the various sources at Google, he still continues to lead the company. Now, whether this condition of his is serious or not is unclear. He missed Google’s annual meeting and is going to miss two further engagements.
While Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, is making light about Mr. Page’s illness, there are few in the Silicon Valley who seem to think anything about this matter is funny. The reason, you ask? The demise of Apple CEO, Steve Jobs is fresh in their minds for the reason that very little information was disclosed by Apple about his condition. We wish Mr. Page a speedy recovery and hope that his voice is heard again soon.
Let’s get to the rhetoric bit now. Two words: Google Glass.
It is an augmented reality head-mounted display. It is a hands free display of information that is currently available to all smartphone users and it allows for interaction, via natural language voice commands. Project Glass is under development at Google X Labs, which has worked on other futuristic technologies such as the “Self-driving car”.
Though not a new idea, the very good thing about this product from Google is that it is smaller and slimmer than previous head-mounted displays. Future designs may allow integration of the display into people’s normal eyewear.
Sergey Brin, the showman that he is, decided that the best way to unveil the wearable computing device to the world was by showcasing a live sky-dive by an employee sporting the device. Everyone at Google seems to be pretty excited about the potential of Glass. It isn’t expected to be on sale soon, but when it does, it may soon take the world by storm.
On the other, lighter side of things, Gmail has finally overtaken Hotmail in terms of number of active users. This was long coming and inevitable.
Interestingly, according to ComScore, as far as home and business use of email services is concerned, Hotmail remains at the top with 325 million unique visitors and Yahoo follows with 298 million and Gmail comes third with 298 million. The ComScore numbers do not take into account, smartphone and Internet café users, which cause a discrepancy. And it is this discrepancy that makes Gmail the #1 email client in the world. Good times these, for Google, it seems.
Lastly, Google Maps now goes in-door in the UK. This means that once you are inside the location, you can use Google Maps to find what you are looking for, like in a museum for example, you may find where a certain display is put up. Pretty darn amazing, we say.
While the overall trend suggests that the dominating style of running your company is now passé, and that cooperation and integration is the new ‘in’ thing, looking at how Google is going, one could really say that they still look to dominate our very lives with their revolutionary ideas.Share
Jon Lord, Janne Wirman and Jordan Rudess – what do these names have in common (besides the fact that their first names begin with ‘J’… seriously)? The answer is that all three are legendary musicians from the bands Deep Purple, Children of Bodom and Dream Theater, respectively, with their instrument of choice being the synthesizer. Today’s Google doodle is in the memory of the father of the instrument that makes the above said names simply awesome – Bob Moog.
About this doodle – it’s a synthesizer! Also, it’s not just any synth; it’s probably one of the first. If that wasn’t already innovative enough, it has recording capabilities!
Being a musician myself, the doodle holds a lot of appeal for me because at first I thought it was just an image. Then I pressed one of the keys and – bravo! There was music!
Now I have exceeded my quota of exclamation marks for this post, so I have to pretend to be calm for the rest of it.
Anyway, here are a few facts related to the recent-most doodle by Google:
- The doodle celebrates the 78th birthday of American electronic music pioneer, Robert Arthur “Bob” Moog (pronounced ‘Mohg’).
- He was born on the 23rd of May, 1934 (which would be pretty obvious given that today is his 78th birthday right? Or were you really wondering along those lines?). He passed away on August, the 21st, 2005.
- He is best known as the inventor of the ‘Moog Synthesizer’ (Yes that is what you call the doodle.)
- His innovative electronic design is employed in numerous synthesizers including the Little Phatty, Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, Moog Minitaur, the Animoog iOS app, and the Moogerfooger line of effects pedals and all that jazz.
- Moog earned his bachelor’s degree in Physics from from Queens College, New York (1957) and also did a PhD in engineering physics from Cornell University.
- For his exceptional work he was conferred with several awards including an honorary doctorate. In 1970, he received the Grammy Trustees Award.
Oh, did I mention that the doodle has recording capabilities?! Wait, yes I did. Must. Stop. Now.
Sources for info: wikipedia.com, timesofindia.comShare
So many of us have created pages on facebook with a motive to either raise awareness or promote a band, or a short film, or a famous personality, the list goes on and on.
Don’t you wonder what is it that brings people to your page and keeps them interested? When is the iron hot so that you may strike it? Not once, not twice, but as many times as necessary?
Here are a few pointers that should help you maximize the number of people checking in to your page, and getting engaged.
We all know how important it is to get likes and comments on our Facebook page. The reason for that is to keep a good EdgeRank. Facebook admits that the average Facebook page reaches only about 17% of its fans, and since less than 1 to 2% of fans go back to your page, EdgeRank and newsfeed visibility are critical. These statistics are of course based on an average.
Once you get a new fan, if your page makes him happy or intrigues him, he will continue to come back to your page, otherwise he would simply stop.
Now you need to know who you are appealing to and when these people are most active. Therefore, it is necessary to know which days of the week your fans are most and least responsive. This factor differs with every company and industry.
For instance, recent research indicates that the most responsive day for high fashion brands is Wednesday, while the same for outdoor clothing brand pages is Thursday. So, even if you post every day, you should make sure that your most engaging posts are kept for the most responsive day of the week. It’s true that there is no sure way of determining how any post will be received but data from past experiences really helps one to trace a pattern of sorts that works for him/her.
Facebook provides you with methods to study this data for strategic planning for your page. Here are the steps:
- 1. Go to your Facebook page insights and click on likes.
- 2. Click on export data. Choose post level data, and then select at least a two-month range so you have a good sample.
- 3. Save it and open it in Excel.
- 4. There’s not a quick way in Excel to group dates by day of week, but with a bit of manual work, you can find the average lifetime of engaged users per post, per day of the week.
Now you know what happens and why it happens the way it happens, and how to change what happens to something you want should happen. You get it right? That’s good, you’re smart.
Credits: mashable.com, edgerankchecker.comShare
Driving in India is quite often not a pleasant experience.
But would you mind it too much if you could catch up on your favourite book while being stuck in a jam? Or if you could, say, watch a movie? Or have an engaging conversation with a friend without having to worry about concentrating on the road? Let the car drive itself! Yes, it’s true! Have a look:
Credits: youtube.com, mashable.comShare
Have you guys heard about Pinterest? What is Pinterest? The name definitely invites some interest. Oh look! It happened again.
At first glance, the home page of Pinterest looks like a tasteful collection of eye-catching images put up by users from all over the world. The images range from a picturesque location to a small piece of equipment, from pets or animals to works of art, from landmark events in history to latest trends in fashion, to name a few. Of course, a lot of these categories often tend to overlap one another, making it a more memorable experience.
Pinterest is a pin board style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme based collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users have the option of browsing other pin boards for inspiration,’re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting”. Obviously, once it gets put up, it’s not interesting anymore, its ‘Pinteresting’ now!
Founded by Ben Silbermann, the site is managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and inventors. It draws our attention for the following reasons:
- It is one the fastest growing social services in the world.
- It drives more traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn, combined!
- It is extremely viral. Over 80% of pins are re-pins. This means your content goes on autopilot.
- You do not need to repost your articles over and over like on some social sites because your pins can be posted and re-shared over and over.
- It is driving more traffic back to websites than Twitter.
Here’s an info graphic, which will do the rest of the detailing. After all, the site is about images, and writing more about it will spoil the fun, honestly.
Credits: wikipedia.org, mashable.com, socialmediahelp4u.comShare
The Earth’s resources are dwindling every day. The planet will soon dry up and sustenance of human life on earth may soon be questionable.
The conservation group WWF said on Wednesday that the Earth’s natural resources are being depleted so quickly that “two planets” would be required to sustain current lifestyles within a generation.
The world’s global environmental “footprint” or depletion rate now exceeds the planets capacity to regenerate by 30 percent.
But, wait a minute. We are only talking about the planet’s capacity here aren’t we? What if our natural resources were not limited to the ones obtained from the Earth? What if we found a rich supply of these natural resources elsewhere other than the Earth?
No, we are not talking about Mars. While possibilities of sustenance of life on the red planet continue to be examined vigorously, the focus this time is on NEA.
Near Earth Asteroids have orbits that lie partly between 0.983 and 1.3 astronomical units away from the sun. An astronomical unit is the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun.
Planetary Resources: This is the name of a company that we may just hear a lot in time to come. The reason is that Planetary Resources is theasteroid mining company that was launched in Seattle, Washington, USA, on the 24th of April, 2012 with backing from Google’s co-founder Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt, famed director James Cameron, Peter Diamandis (X Prize) and Microsoft billionaires.
A new brand of spacecraft, known as the Arkyd series will be used to launch new space telescopes that will in turn be used to identify Near Earth Asteroids that are particularly rich in water (for rocket-fuel) and precious metals such as Platinum.
Just to estimate the potential of this business venture, here’s an instance:
Below is an image of the asteroid Amun 3554. It’s a little more than a mile wide and is one of the smallest metal bearing asteroids yet discovered. But here’s the catch: It contains $8 trillion worth of platinum, another $8 trillion in iron and nickel, and a mere $6 trillion worth of cobalt. So that’s a total of $20 trillion. Numerically, that is 20,000,000,000,000 dollars!
These estimates are based on observations by John S. Lewis, professor of planetary science, author of Mining the Sky: Untold Riches from the Asteroids, Planets, and Comets, and now a consultant to Planetary Resources.
And what’s more? Amun 3554 is just one of the few asteroids submitted for rigorous chemical analysis. Another mile-wide NEA, known as 1986 DA, is said to contain 100,000 tonnes of platinum and 10,000 tonnes of gold, making it worth another couple of trillion. Not bad, one would say.
We are aware of the existence of 9,000 NEAs. And a rough guess is that this is about 1% of the total. One thing surely seems to be certain now – we will never be out of money now!
The asteroid retrieval and mining process will be done by robotic aircraft. That much is obvious, given that the project is funded by all billionaires. However, after getting a whiff of the figures above, that does not sound like too much now.Share
They say that ugly rumours generally have the propensity of coming true. This implies that the good ones generally don’t.
Not true! There had been rumours about the launch of the much awaited Google Drive for some time now. Some rumours suggested that the launch was going to happen in the first week of April and that Google was offering 1GB of storage space for free, while others claimed that the interface for Google Drive looked a lot like the one for Google Docs.
One might ask, though: “All this information sounds interesting. But, what is Google Drive?”
Here’s the answer: Google Drive is a full-featured cloud storage service, which will allow you to access your files from anywhere and collaborate on documents with colleagues. The good news is that Google Drive offers you 5 GB storage capacity as opposed to the rumoured 1GB and the 2GB provided by the ‘Basic’ version of Dropbox. The upgraded version of Drive offers 25GB at $2.49/month, 100GB at $4.99/month and even 1 TB at $49.99/month! The interesting thing is that when you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage also goes up to 25GB.
The features offered by Drive can be summarized as follows:
• You can work with others in real time on documents, add and reply to comments on all files and receive notifications when other people do so.
• Store everything safely and access it anywhere. All you require is the Drive app.
• Smart tagging – You can tag items stored on your drive for easy recollection.
• Image recognition – If you drag and drop photos from your recent vacation into Drive, you can later search for locations you have visited and those photos will show up.
• Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – This impressive feature enables Drive to recognize text in scanned documents. This means if you have scanned a page from an old book, for instance, you can search for words in that document.
While the list of features makes for a strong first impression, Drive has been launched as an answer to Dropbox. So, here is a small list of the pros and cons of Drive over and under Dropbox:
• Linux users do not have access to drive as they have to Dropbox.
• No desktop support: Drive forces you to go to the webapp as opposed to the right-click file sharing system of Dropbox in the Windows Explorer itself.
• Dropbox has a LAN sync feature, enabling it to transfer files quite quickly on a computer on the network. Drive has no such feature.
• More free space: Drive offers 5GB as compared to 2GB offered by Dropbox.
• Google’s powerful and intuitive search trumps Dropbox.
• Drive makes use of OCR, whereas Dropbox has no such feature.
• Paid versions of Drive are a lot cheaper than the same for Dropbox.
In conclusion, one would say that Dropbox still has the edge over Google Drive, but then those who share a warm relationship with Google Docs will have a ‘love at first sight’ experience with Drive. If one were to ignore the fact that Google has been a late comer in this field, the app is pretty solid for something that has just launched and should do well in the coming days.
So the guy who invented the zipper, the simple object that has caused both great convenience and a lot of suppressed discomfort to the masses, is more popular than the cricketing legend who has diligently served his nation for over twenty years.
Gideon Sundback (April 24, 1880 – June 21, 1954) was not so popular till today, but for the latest Google Doodle, now every Google junky, which is virtually every one of us, knows his name.
Gideon Sundback was a Swedish-American electrical engineer. Born in 1880 in Sweden, he eventually immigrated to the United Stated in 1905. Sundback improved Whitcomb Judson’s 1851 patent for the Clasp Locker, working for Judson at his Universal Fastener Company in St. Catherine, Ontario.
While we wish a very happy birthday to Sachin Tendulkar, the little master, the master blaster, the living legend, and the very lifeline of Indian cricket, the inventor of the zip is simply too hard to ignore now that he has been highlighted by Google. So here we delve into some interesting facts about the simple ‘zipper’.
• Wait a minute, simple? Wrong! The development of the zip happened over a period of 8 years, from 1906 to 1914.
• Sundback filed for a patent for the design of the zipper (or the Hookless No.2 as it was known then) in 1914. It was issued to him in 1917.
• The name “zipper” was created in 1923 by B.F. Goodrich.
• Before the name ‘zipper’ was coined, the device was called “Hookless No.2”.
• Initially, boots and tobacco pouches were the primary use for zippers; it took another twenty years before they caught on in the fashion industry.
• About the time of World War II the zipper achieved wide acceptance for the flies of trousers and the plackets of skirts and dresses.
• Thousands of miles of zipper are manufactured daily.
The inventor of the zipper was pretty much an unknown entity until today. We verily took for granted the existence of the zip and the essential role it has been fulfilling for us for such a long time.
But when Google decided to do a doodle on the zipper, the whole story was suddenly brought to the forefront and everybody took notice. This, folks, is the power of social media to bring to light something that was obscure, to influence minds and to cultivate opinions. Don’t let it pass you by.
After having launched the Timeline feature for personal pages, Facebook recently announced that brand pages on Facebook will follow suit. All brand pages will automatically convert to the timeline layout by the 30th of March, but they have also been given the option to convert as and when they feel like before the end of this month. This time period has given brands a good opportunity to research and experiment with the new timeline scheme. It could be a big game changer for brands on Facebook as this, quite visibly, is a radical change in the layout for brand pages. A big disadvantages, many brands would agree, is that the Facebook Timeline is compulsory for all brand pages from the 30th of March.
On the other hand, a few brands have already embraced the new Facebook Timeline feature, meaning greater interaction with fans and more controlled branding on pages. Here are some of examples –
There are a number of key changes regarding the Facebook Timeline, which will prove to be beneficial to the brands. Here are a few of them –
- Aesthetics – One of the biggest changes, quite literally, will be the cover photo for the brand. Facebook Timeline now allows brands to have a huge horizontal cover photo instead of a tiny vertical one earlier. This gives them an opportunity make an impact the instant anyone lands on their Facebook page.
- Brand History – Timeline allows brands to highlight their history in chronological form, giving their page a more personalized feel.
- ‘Pinning’ posts – Once the Timeline is implemented, brands have an option to ‘pin’ their important posts to the top of their page for greater visibility.
- Personal Messaging – Brands will now be able to send private messages to their fans. They do not necessarily need to answer of communicate with their fans publicly on their brand page, instead they can send a more personalized message directly to the concerned fan.
The Facebook Timeline is bound to revolutionalise they way we have been seeing brand pages on Facebook. It has given brands a huge opportunity to better enhance consumer interaction with their brands. Brands that constantly create engaging content for their consumers and share important milestones with them will stay ahead in the race to grab a consumer’s attention.
So how have you or your brand devised of a strategy for your page on Facebook? Share your views.Share
Freelancing is often a good option for people looking for flexible working hours, ability to work from home, more control and more creative independence. It is great for anyone who’s looking to work independently, and not in a 9-to-5 corporate job, and one who cannot start his/her own business. But, on the other hand, freelancing also poses a lot of risks for anyone choosing it as a career option.
One of the biggest hurdles for freelancers is a guaranteed payment from their employers. According to a survey by MastersDegree.net, a surprising 80% of freelances have, on more than one occasion, dealt with a client who did not pay once the freelance job was done. Clients often act smart with freelancers and hence a regular job, at times, looks better with a steady paycheck, a stable employer among other benefits.
The survey also suggests that the world of freelancing is dominated by women as 60% of freelancers are females. Another interesting finding of the survey is that freelancing is popular across all generations, among all age groups. Since freelancing does not require one to work full time with anyone in particular, and one does not really need to go to a workplace, the only qualification one needs is the quality of work, which can be found in any age group. And most of the freelancers are highly educated, which again makes sure that age is no barrier for a freelancer.
Currently, tech dominates the world of freelancing. The top 10 in-demand freelancers are as follows –
- PHP Programmers
- WordPress Programmers
- Article Writing
- Graphic Design
- HTML Programmers
And the IT freelancers also earn the biggest chunk of the money.
In spite of all the advantages, freelancing has got its pitfalls as well. There are many times when a freelancer does not get enough work, even if he/she is a highly experienced one. Often they also need to dig in to their savings during the down times. Also, they miss out on benefits which a regular corporate job can provide, like health insurance among other things. But, as has already been said, one of the biggest drawbacks of freelancing is to deal with nasty clients, who, at times, do not pay after a job is done.
But, ask any freelancer, and they’ll all tell you that freelancing is one job that is worth all these risks.
So, what do you think about freelancing as a serious career option? Have you had any bad experiences with a client while on a freelance job? Or maybe you are currently having a good time freelancing? Share your views with us.