Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twitter - The Beak Speaks And Delivers

Twitter Logo - Image Credit: Twitter

Twitter - The Beak Speaks And Delivers

The beautiful thing about New Media is that it defies control yet exemplifies what can be done in an atmosphere of freedom and creativity.

Take Twitter for example; a free communications service that has just a couple of simple rules framed in a social connection portal designed with very little complexity other than member connection and “hash tag”.

Working the tools provided inside of this atmosphere becomes a little like gold mining with a pan in hand based upon what the desire of the “network initiator” is when one enters into this world of micro-messaging (limit: 140 characters known as "tweets") through answering the truly dynamic question - What are you doing?

Image Credit: Venture Beat

This excerpted and edited from Venture Beat -

Twitter has made Dell $1 million in revenue
MG Siegler, Venture Beat | December 15th, 2008

Everyone loves talking about Twitter’s business model — because there isn’t one yet, and they’ll keep talking about it until there is one. But it’s becoming more clear that while a business model is of course important, Twitter is perhaps the perfect example of a company that can afford to take its time in finding the one that is perfect for it. That’s because other businesses are building so much on top of the micro-messaging service and using it for their own services. If worst came to worst, and Twitter had to sell, there would probably be a bidding war of a magnitude that would make it seem like this country wasn’t in the midst of a recession.

InternetNews has a good rundown of the Twitter/business phenomenon. Buried in it is this gem:
Less altruistically, some businesses have discovered that Twitter is an effective way of communicating with consumers. Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) says Twitter has produced $1 million in revenue over the past year and a half through sale alerts. People who sign up to follow Dell on Twitter receive messages when discounted products are available the company’s Home Outlet Store. They can click over to purchase the product or forward the information to others.
While a million dollars may not be much to a company like Dell, for some smaller companies that are also using Twitter as a sales/promotional tool, it is no doubt invaluable.

Reference Here>>

Understanding a service like Twitter is probably more of a matter of, again, understanding the nature of that question - What are you doing?

Image Credit: Twitter_Tips

This excerpted and edited from InternetNews -

What Keeps Twitter Chirping Along
By David Miller - December 10, 2008

It's practically impossible to find a story that doesn't darkly point out that the microblogging service Twitter has no revenue model, yet despite that concern, all the complaints about unreliable service, the rants about the exceptionally high noise-to-signal ratio, the outright attacks that accuse the company of "top-to-bottom incompetence," Twitter keeps on tweeting and seems likely to continue doing so into the foreseeable future.
"We're using Twitter to get info out to the public and the media," said Claire Sale, an interactive media specialist with the Red Cross. "Twitter offers a single stream of information, and it's been most successful in disaster response, like the recent wildfires in California.
You might check a blog or an RSS feed once a day, but people tend to follow Twitter constantly." The Red Cross has 3,000+ "followers," people who have signed on to view their tweets.
Dell started experimenting with Twitter in March of 2007 after the South by Southwest conference, an annual tech/music festival in Austin, Texas. Conference attendees could keep tabs on each other via a stream of Twitter messages on 60-inch plasma screens set up in the conference hallways. There are now 65 Twitter groups on, with 2,475 followers for the Dell Home Outlet Store.
Good for customer service: Discount airline Jet Blue also uses Twitter to offer real-time discounts, sometimes even offering tickets or adding flights when large numbers of people are Twittering sadly about the lack of transport options to a conference or festival. JetBlue also monitors Twitter for comments about the company, responding quickly to compliments and complaints, and following its customers.

"Asking when Twitter will end is like saying, ‘When will the cell phone fad end'?" said David Spark, founder of Spark Media Solutions, a storytelling production company. "The value of cell phones can't end, it only can be replaced by something that provides the same value and more. Once we have a capability, we never want it taken away from us."
Of course not everyone is a fan. Google "I Hate Twitter" and you'll see plenty of gripes, mostly about the banality of tweets and peoples' increasing belief that everyone in the world is their very own '50s sitcom mother, endlessly fascinated by every single one of their thoughts and actions.

"I find Twitter incredibly annoying, both as a user and bystander," said Trisha Creekmore, interactive executive producer for ''There's nothing more annoying than trying to enjoy an event with a bunch of Twitter geeks and having to stop every five seconds for them to tweet into their mobile device. If you're at an event, BE at the event. Or leave."

Reference Here>>

When communication is more important than control, Twitter’s micro-communications platform delivers a multitude of functional enterprise options upon which any effort might be aided by understanding and using that basic question, “What are you doing?” … operative word - DOING!

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Mouse Passes One Billion Sold

Mice, mice, mice - Logitech celebrates the production of it's billionth mouse. Image Credit: Logitech

The Mouse Passes One Billion Sold

This is a campaign that is beginning to rival fast food giant, McDonald’s.

Announced during the same week the invention of the computer mouse turned forty, Logitech passes a milestone with shipment of its billionth mouse.

The billionth mouse production line. Image Credit: Logitech

According to a report by Gartner Consulting, more than a billion people are currently using computers worldwide, with another billion expected to by 2014.

Since the development of the computer mouse in the late 1960s, Logitech has been the leading innovator in mouse technology beginning in the early 1980's.

The one billonth mouse. Image Credit: Logitech

In celebration of its billionth mouse, Logitech is launching a worldwide contest that invites people to follow the travels of this notable mouse, to be chronicled on Logitech's blog,

BLogitech at

The original mouse - Invented by a team of researchers led by Doug Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute in California in 1968, computer’s most dynamic input device, the “mouse”, has entered into its 40's on Monday, December 1, 2008. Image Credit: SRI

So, it all comes down to this … from humble beginnings as a block of wood, a button and movement tracking wheels hooked to a computer, to a blog entry at a mouse manufacturer’s website.

Happy birthday and happy billionth to you … Mouse!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

This Week, The Mouse Turns Forty

Invented by a team of researchers led by Doug Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute in California in 1968, computer’s most dynamic input device, the “mouse”, has entered into its 40's on Monday, December 1, 2008. Image Credit: SRI

This Week, The Mouse Turns Forty

Just when you feel you have this age thing figured out, along comes an event that sets you right back on you heels and makes you feel OLD again!

On Monday, the invention of the computer mouse happened forty years ago. The first mouse was crafted out of wood, had a click-button built into the top and had a dual-wheel tracking movement mechanism on the bottom surface.

The mouse combined with Graphical User Interface (GUI) software ARE the computer to most users of the computer.

Today, the Mouse may incorporate a 2D imaging camera to read printed symbologies for automation, motion sensing gesture control for gaming (as found in the Wii and iPhone), and user identification security.

ELECOM won Good Design Award 2008 in 4 series of products! - Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization announced the award winners for this year’s Good Design Award on October 10, 2008. ELECOM CO., LTD. (Head office: Chuo-ku, Osaka; President: Junji Hada) won the award in 4 series of products (including the EGG MOUSE). /// EGG MOUSE is a simple but expressive shape of mouse with comfort grip. It focuses on only basic functions which are required by most users. It features the natural shape of an egg which is familiar with everyone: sleek and rounded surface. Once you see an EGG MOUSE, your sensory experience appeals to you intuitively and you feel like touching it. Image Credit: ELECOM CO., LTD.

This excerpted and edited from News:Lite -

Computer mouse is 40 years old today

news:lite - December 1, 2008 3:57 PM

The chances are your hand is on one right now, if so look down and wish your mouse a Happy Birthday.

While the odd device above looks like it would be more at home in a tool shop, this is actually the world's first mouse which was unveiled to the world 40 years ago today.
The cable which hung from the back [of the wood block] gained it the name 'mouse' from researchers.

Designer, Douglas Engelbart came up with the idea in the early 1960s while exploring the interactions between humans and computers at California’s Stanford Research Institute.

In 1964 his team came up with the first prototype but it was four years later when the mouse was revealed to the world in a 90-minute public multimedia demonstration at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco.
The first commercial mouse was released in 1981 with the launch of the Xerox Star computer, but it was only in 1984 after Apple acquired the technology, it became popular with the launch of The Apple Macintosh.
Reference Here>>

Monday, December 01, 2008

2D Barcode Boarding Symbology Tested By The TSA

Ones next set of secure ID documents … discarded! Image Credit:

2D Barcode Boarding Symbology Tested By The TSA

An automatic identification barcode symbology that has been in use for well over a decade and adopted for use in advertising messages for cellphones is now being tested as a way to speed up and verify boarding procedures.

Photographic image driver’s license numbers, passport and fingerprint image information is captured and digitally encrypted as squares within a square on boarding passes that can be decoded and verified in milliseconds at stations throughout an airport to confirm identity. What has worked for packages being sent and tracked through our nation’s major shipping service companies appears to be a benefit to humans shipping themselves to their desired destination with security and safety within the Transportation Security Administration managed environments.

The TSA is non-committal when it comes to a possible implementation timeframe, however, so be prepared for long lines and repetitive strip searched for now and the foreseeable future.

Datastrip is a leading provider of 2D bar code software, hardware and biometric verification devices. Datastrip’s products include the 2D Superscript Software Developers Kit (SDK), Datastrip 2D (public domain) SDK and the DSVerify 2D card/passport reader with associated DSVerify Win CE SDK. Both 2D Superscript and Datastrip 2D symbologies are ideal for bar code storage of photographs (both color and grayscale), multiple biometrics and text. Image Credit: Datastrip Group Inc.

This excerpted and edited from Security Director News -

TSA tests boarding pass technology
By Leischen Stelter, SECURITY DIRECTOR NEWS - 11.25.2008 - MINNEAPOLIS

An independent testing body for the Transportation Security Administration in late October completed a 45-day test of Laser Data Command's PassPro system, an automated airline passenger boarding system, which encrypts passenger information on boarding passes.
The system was tested at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport using law enforcement officers as the test group. Officers were issued letters with PassPro barcodes giving them permission to carry weapons aboard commercial airlines. Officers presented the letters to airline security officers who scanned the encrypted barcode and confirmed the officers' identities.
"We put the system into an operational environment at the Minnesota airport," said Gary Murray, manager of access control and biometrics testing for National Safe Skies Alliance. "We go in and set up the system exactly as it would potentially be set up in airports, and we try out the system to measure how useful it could be in the future."

Miometric Security - Eyes and fingers airport security. "Lufthansa and Siemens has successfully tested a biometric process for check-in and boarding at the Airport [2005]. The system identifies passengers from their fingerprints. After a passenger’s finger is rolled over an optical reader unit, the system converts the fingerprints’ characteristics into a 2D code which the reader prints on the boarding pass. Just before boarding, the fingerprints are again scanned by a reader and compared with the barcode. The data is erased after the passenger checks in. " Caption & Image Credit:

The outcome of the testing is confidential, said Murray.

However, John Barclay, president and CEO of Laser Data Command, told Security Director News that he expects to receive a positive report from the TSA when an official report is released at the beginning of next year. "We've been told by the testing principles that all went flawlessly."

Barclay said PassPro is intended not only to increase aviation security and eliminate the possibility of fake boarding passes, but also to speed up passenger travel times. "We see it as a convenience to passengers, but also as a way for security to know about passengers and have done a threat assessment on them," said Barclay.
"It's entirely up to the TSA now that they've proven its use," he [Barclay] said. "It's quite scalable and has a variety of uses. The outcome of the trial will enable it be QPL (Qualified Product Listing) with the TSA and then it is applicable for anything they want to use it for."
Reference Here>>