Category: Digital Life


“This data is 90 days old, but that’s okay.”

When was the last time you heard a C-level executive say that? My guess is it’s been a while, because these days, if you don’t have real-time access to the data that drives your business, it’s all but impossible to arrive at meaningful results that help you grow and compete.

Unfortunately, this problem is all too common in enterprises today, where enterprise performance management (EPM) platforms fail to produce actionable insights from current and relevant data. On top of that, most EPM implementations remain complex and difficult to manage requiring power users that serve as data gatekeepers. Not exactly a recipe for success. [Read the full article]

 

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Not long ago, there was this multi-billion dollar company called Groupon that was going to revolutionize the business of bargains, whose founders turned down a $6 Billion offer from Google.  Yet the revolution never came.

To turn its fortunes around after a long period of performing below (admittedly inflated) expectations, Groupon changed a core element of its business model sometime last year.    The discounts available through Groupon coupons used to be subject to a host of restrictions, (e.g., “the deal is ON if at least 100 customers subscribe”), but now most Groupon coupons can be used any time, any day. [Read the full article]

 

The iPhone 5s, Google Glass, the Moto X, the iPad Air, the explosion of SnapChat, Samsung’s Galaxy S4, Twitter’s IPO, Instagram Video. The year 2013 was a big one for the technology industry.

But not every company had a hit this year. Some products were plagued by poor user experience while others just didn’t seem to resonate with the regular people. The following are some of the biggest tech losers of the past year. [Read the full article]

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Social news hub Reddit snagged an interview with Barack Obama last year. The big get for 2013 was reaching 90 million unique visitors a month, according to the company, on par with the likes of eBay. This season, even Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates joined its Secret Santa gift exchange.

Now, the self-dubbed “Front Page of the Internet” is going for a milestone it has been trying to reach since its founding in 2005: profitability.

After years of fitful experiments with paid subscriptions and display advertising, Reddit, with just 28 employees, has begun pouring resources into building an electronic bazaar. [Read the full article]

 

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

 

There are plenty of reasons to block certain acquaintances from your Facebook feed. Maybe it’s that former colleague who shares nothing but feel-good emotional porn from Upworthy. Perhaps it’s that ex who wasn’t athletic when you dated but somehow manages to run a Tough Mudder every weekend. Maybe it’s your quiet stand partner from high school who turned out to be kinda racist. Go ahead! Give ’em the ax.

Except de-friending someone on Facebook is about as easy as unsubscribing from relentless email spam — and that’s by design. You have to go to the offender’s profile page, find a not-all-that-obvious drop-down menu, and scroll down to “Unfriend.” [Read the full article]

 

English: M in blue square (similar to seen on )

 

It looks like Microsoft was right to worry about Google’s Chromebook project. According to the latest numbers from NPD, Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all laptop sales and almost 10 percent of all computer sales to businesses in 2013. That’s up from virtually nothing in the year before. Given that Apple is irrelevant in commercial channel sales (it commanded a whopping 1.8 percent of sales), Chromebook’s increased share is coming at the cost of Windows.

A few years ago, Chromebooks were a bit of a laughing stock. They were underperforming single-purpose laptops that weren’t even good at the only thing they could do (that is, surf the web). Nobody really warmed up to them, despite their low price. Early sales were more than disappointing, and even Google’s few hardware partners looked like they were only doing this as a way to court Google’s favor. The whole project seemed doomed from the start. [Read the full article]

 

This past year has seen two important developments in the world of social media. Its users are getting older, and the media content is increasingly being accessed from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Social media has often been thought of as a platform for young people. But the demographics are quickly changing. For instance, the fastest-growing group of Twitter users is aged 55-64, while Facebook and Google+ see the most growth from the 45 to 54-year-old cohort. [Read the full article]

 

English: Bing_Brand_Logo,Microsoft

 

In light of Google zapping Rap Genius, I’ve been wondering this week when we’ll start seeing more robust calls in the United States for serious antitrust scrutiny of Google. That’s become a fairly mainstream idea in Europe already, but in the United States where we love American high-tech companies it’s not really on the radar.

But one reason it’s not on the radar is that Google isn’t really much of a search monopoly at the moment. If it did anything to seriously compromise its usefulness for Web surfers, we could easily hop over to the inferior-but-totally-good-enough Bing from Microsoft. The problem, for both us and for Google, is that it’s by no means clear that Bing will be around for all that much longer. Steve Ballmer’s run as Microsoft CEO hasn’t been great for Microsoft’s shareholders, but it’s been a boon to the world since his determination to pour money into an Online Services division that competes with Google on several fronts has given Mountain View a dose of competition. But Ballmer’s been more-or-less fired, and Microsoft’s board is supposed to appoint a new CEO next year. [Read the full article]

 

The lyrics site Rap Genius no longer appears on the first page of Google results for its own name after Google decided it was done with the site’s algorithm SEO tricks.

As of Thursday morning, a search for “Rap Genius” produces a series of news stories on Google’s move, the company’s Twitter handle, a Wikipedia page about Rap Genius, and at least five pages more of links before it links to the company’s domain. The same goes for virtually any relevant lyrics search, including searches that contain the term “rap genius.” [Read the full article]

 

Intellectual Ventures, a multi-billion-dollar firm that virtually invented a new market for patents and inventions, has curtailed its patent buying in the past few months, according to sources familiar with its patent market activity, as it seeks to raise new funds.

Created in 2000, Intellectual Ventures to date has raised about $6 billion and acquired 70,000 patents and other intellectual property assets.

The company is currently attempting to raise $3 billion more, according to an investor presentation reviewed by Reuters. Its last major investment fund closed in 2008, and it can no longer use that capital to buy new patents, say three sources with direct knowledge of that fund’s terms. [Read the full article]

 

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