Posts tagged ‘Apple’

Roundup: About 4 Tech Giants, All Things Private, Social Media Stats, Maps, and Big Data!

By Mary Ludloff

Greetings one and all! It’s been a while since I posted about the more interesting articles, blogs, videos, etc., that I have come across and I thought that now is as good a time as ever to cover some interesting items you may have missed in the past few weeks. The topics are far ranging, thoughtful, illuminating, and at times, contentious, but that’s why they are interesting. So without further ado, let’s get to it!

Four Tech Giants Battle It Out

If you haven’t already, set aside some time to read Fast Company’s take on the (coming soon) great tech war of 2012. The combatants? Apple, Facebook, Google and, Amazon. The prize? Us—I think! This thoughtful piece by Farhad Manjoo looks at how these four goliaths will battle it out on the technology innovation field to, essentially, win the hearts, minds, and wallets of all of us:

“Think of this: You have a family desktop computer, but you probably don’t have a family Kindle. E-books are tied to a single Amazon account and can be read by one person at a time. The same for phones and apps. For the Fab Four, this is a beautiful thing because it means that everything done on your phone, tablet, or e-reader can be associated with you. Your likes, dislikes, and preferences feed new products and creative ways to market them to you. Collectively, the Fab Four have all registered credit-card info on a vast cross-section of Americans. They collect payments (Apple through iTunes, Google with Checkout, Amazon with Amazon Payments, Facebook with in-house credits). Both Google and Amazon recently launched Groupon-like daily-deals services, and Facebook is pursuing deals through its check-in service (after publicly retreating from its own offers product).”

(more…)

October 20, 2011 at 7:45 am Leave a comment

Steve Jobs – The man who bought style to computing

By Terence Craig

Although I never met the man – I think that I and every programmer or entrepreneur that has worked in the valley felt like we had a personnel relationship with Steve Jobs.   He was without a doubt the most polarizing technology figure in the valley – known for his brilliant design sense, ability to excite an audience, uncompromising desire to get it right, and pithy emails.

My first real computer was a Mac.  That Mac Plus with an additional acoustic coupler modem – (a blazing fast 300 baud baby!) helped pay my way through college writing other peoples programs for them uh, I mean tutoring other students. The Mac was amazing it showed us that computers could be fun, quirky, and artistic. It introduced stylistic concepts that we are still having trouble bringing into mainstream computing today.  In a world of VT220 terminals and ascii art (btw the link is amazingly cool ascii), the Mac with Steve as her father proved that the digital world could be thrilling as well as functional. For that we all, whether in technology or otherwise, owe him a great debt.

Finally, lets all remember that despite his laudable achievements, Mr. Jobs was a human being who had family and friends that are mourning a man that cancer took away from them at an early age. While we can and should honor his many achievements, let’s not forget to take a breath and send good thoughts to them and all the other families who have been stricken by this deadly disease.  Or better yet, donate to the Cancer charity of your choice.

RIP – Steve.

October 7, 2011 at 6:28 am Leave a comment

McKinsey Study: Big Data & Analytics, Talent, and the “Brand”

By Mary Ludloff

This has been a very busy month for PatternBuilders! Our engineering team is busily testing our Social Media Analytics (SMA) solution, we are looking for companies (or folks) that have a strong social media presence (translation: lots of data feeds and lots of data to work with) that would like to beta it, speaking at pii2011 and MongoSF, and in our copious amounts of spare time, Terence and I are working on our Ebook on Privacy and Big Data (yep, still plugging!). For a sneak peek at SMA, visit our beta page and if you’re interested, sign up for the beta.

Now, on to McKinsey’s study. As you all know, in a previous post I mentioned that McKinsey had just released its study on “Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity.”   Weighing in at a mere (!) 156 pages, it is a deep dive into the potential of big data and analytics across five key areas:

  • Health care in the United States (potential annual value estimated at $300 billion).
  • Public sector administration in Europe (potential annual value estimated at €250 billion—more than the GDP of Greece).
  • Retail in the United States (operating margins estimated to increase by 60%—for an industry that operates on razor thin margins, this is huge).
  • Global manufacturing (increased efficiencies in design and production, more targeted products, and more effective promotion and distribution).
  • Collection and analysis of personal location data (estimated at more than $100 billion in service provider revenue and more than $700 billion in value to consumers and business users).

(more…)

May 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm 5 comments

On Social Media: The Real Marketing Transformation

By Mary Ludloff

We are going to be releasing the beta version of our Social Media Analytics solution in the near future and as a result, have been steeped in what I like to call the social media monitoring versus analytics debate. As a B2B marketer I have some thoughts on this topic as do some of my B2C marketing colleagues (hah! I feel a metrics faceoff in the making) but I am going to save that discussion for our beta announcement post. That being said, the whole topic of social media got me thinking about marketing in general and how the advent of social media has had a profound effect on the way we communicate.

In the “olden” days we B2B marketers were focused on the message as in “be on message.” We spent a great deal of time on the message platform, carefully crafting messages that articulated the pain of our targeted audience and spelled out our value in words that would resonate with them. To begin the process, we’d throw a bunch of executives, our top sales performers, and one or two product marketing folks into a room and begin with this simple exercise: if our company was a car, what kind of a car would it be? Pretty silly huh? And what has this to do with messaging? (more…)

April 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm 1 comment

Location Tracking: Why You Should Care (Hint: It’s All About the Aggregation)

By Mary Ludloff

Recent update added to the end of this post.

Do you ever read tweets or Facebook walls and say to yourself, “TMI?” Do you ever wonder why people check in to Foursquare? You know, I have developed quite an affection for Twitter as an information source (and it did not begin well). In fact, it has replaced my Google news alerts and Feedburner news feed as my primary source of news and information. That being said, I find myself marveling at how some of the people I “follow” feel the need to tweet their every move:

  • Having coffee at Starbucks on name-of-street, in name-of-city.
  • Shopping at name-of-mall in name-of-city, in name-of-state.
  • Name-of-airline flight number delayed. Stuck in name-of-airport at gate number.
  • Off to name-of-city for a 5-day conference.

And I worry about them. Not about their egos (that’s another post) folks, but more about their safety. Maybe it’s because I am a woman (I can hear some of you crying “sexist”), but letting someone know where I am or where I’m not seems like I am inviting trouble. For example: if you know I am not at home, I could be burglarized or if you know where I am, I could be followed. Paranoid? Maybe, but if you’ve ever been stalked or otherwise threatened you know what I am talking about. (more…)

April 19, 2011 at 9:47 am 9 comments

Mobile Apps: Be Really Careful Out There

By Mary Ludloff

Although Terence and I have been “knee deep” in preparing for the launch of our latest vertical analytics solution (PatternBuilders Social Media Analytics) and our Ebook (on Privacy in the Age of Big Data), I came across an article recently that sent up red flags for me and should do the same for you, if you’re a smartphone user. Yes, it’s all about data privacy and your cell phone and yes, I’ve talked about this previously but this time it’s not about what you can do to protect yourself, but what you might not be aware of regarding all the mobile applications you’re using.

What do I mean when I’m talking about mobile, or smartphone applications? Well, they’re all the “things” you use to do something on your phone: search for a restaurant, play a game, read an Ebook (like ours—shameless, shameless plug!), or get directions. Behind each of these actions is an application that makes “it” happen. Now, there are thousands of mobile applications out there and apparently, many of them are hijacking your personal information without your knowledge or consent. According to the Wall Street Journal:

“The Wall Street Journal reported in December that popular applications on the iPhone and Android mobile phones, including Pandora, transmit information about the phones, their users and their locations to outsiders, including advertising networks.

…The Journal tested 101 apps and found that 56 transmitted the phone’s unique device identifier to other companies without users’ awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone’s location in some way. Five sent a user’s age, gender and other personal details to outsiders. At the time they were tested, 45 apps didn’t provide privacy policies on their websites or inside the apps.”

(more…)

April 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm 1 comment

Data Security and You: There’s Got to Be a Better Way

A non-rant rant on data security.

By Mary Ludloff

Have you ever had one of those days when you throw up your hands and simply say, “There’s got to be a better way!” Well, this is one of those days. Recently, Jenn Webb, in an O’Reilly Radar piece, asked the following:

“How much convenience are you willing to give up for security?”

Webb was talking about Google’s 2-step verification process (I remembered reading about this a couple of months ago) which essentially “jumps” the user through a number of “hoops” to ensure more secure access to Google applications. I ended my comment on the article with the following: “Google, could you have made this any more difficult for people operating in the real world to use?” And once I clicked Submit, I thought I was done. Nope. The more I thought about this, the more I felt a rant coming on. I mean, really, how hard is it for companies like Google (and many others) to come up with a user-friendly way to ensure secure access? They certainly have the money to do it and by all accounts, they definitely have the engineering talent to do it. So what’s the problem? (more…)

April 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm 1 comment

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