We've all thought of some prohibitively expensive or impractical vehicle customization that would convert our daily driver into a dream car. For example, I've always wanted to convert my Acura RSX Type-S into a midengined, rear wheel drive sports coupe, but for the money, it'd be cheaper to just buy a Porsche Cayman S and be done with it. But what happens when there is nothing vehicle on the market that fits your dream? What if your dream car is an M-Powered pickup truck? Australian golfer Stuart Appleby found himself in this situation, so he built his … Read more
Adam Sarner, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, has projected that over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies with Web sites will have undertaken some kind of online social-networking initiative for marketing or customer relations purposes. But, he added in an interview with CNET News, 50 percent of those campaigns will be classified as failures.
Sarner plans to present his results at the annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2008, which takes place October 12-16 in Orlando, Fla.
"(Businesses) will rush to the community and try to connect, but essentially they won't have a mutual purpose, and they'll … Read more
In case you're one of the millions of people who are sick of Facebook's new design, and want to change the way it looks, there's a simple solution called PageRage. It won't tweak things to look like they did before, but it will let you to do one of the things Facebook has never allowed--theme your profile.
Like competitor MySpace has allowed for years, PageRage lets you customize both the background and design elements on your profile. There are a handful of pre-sets to choose from, all of which you can browse right from the company's Facebook application. … Read more
Answer: The ability to improve on Google search in the Firefox browser. For example, does this scenario sound familiar: You accidentally click on a sponsored link and have to return to the main results page to try again?
How about this one: You wasted 10 minutes clicking through search results because you can't remember the link by name, but think you can identify it by sight (so you check them all)? Or worst yet: You stumble on a dangerous link and get bogged down with malware that … Read more
Over the weekend two new open-source startups caught my eye (and my inbox): OrecX and Transverse. The first is notable for its demonstration that open source is ready for niche applications. The second? Well, the second is notable because after reading through its website I still have no idea what it does.
OrecX is a Chicago-based company that has created the first open-source call recording software company, targeting small businesses. According to the company, "Voice recording is high in demand to create an element of professionalism and quality customer service but because of its cost, it's been out of reach for many businesses."
Fair enough. So, OrecX aims to use open source to lower the cost of tailored voice recording solutions, which are normally priced at $1,000 to $4,000. I doubt many companies will actually customize OrecX's solution, preferring instead to tap into the cost savings, but that is one valid way to leverage open-source software.
Another way is that which Transverse, an Austin-based company, has chosen. Transverse is focused on expanding revenue opportunities for telecom providers with its Customer Asset Management solution and blee(p) platform
Hmm...what does that mean? From the company's website:… Read more
Move over Geek Squad, AT&T is launching a new in-home support service that will do everything from setting up home computers and Wi-Fi networks to installing home theater systems.
On Thursday, the phone company announced the new service called AT&T ConnecTech, which will be in select markets across all 50-states. The company described the service as an "all-encompassing home services care program that is designed to take customer service, and the company's own support capabilities, to the next level."
The service, which is available only to residential customers, provides customers with a slew … Read more
Have you noticed the ever-growing number of Google-owned sites that have crept into the search giant's results? Doing a Google search for Diet Coke and Mentos will take you to a results page where half of the items are videos on Google's two video sites: YouTube and Google Video. The same goes for millions of other search queries that are pulling from the ever growing number of Google sites and services.
Is there a problem here? It depends on what you were looking for in the first place.
Next week I'm headed to Argentina to work and to ski. (Mark Shuttleworth will be joining me so I'll post pictures once I have them.) In preparation, yesterday morning (6:30 AM, to be precise) I headed over to the Sport Loft to have my Tecnica Dragon boots custom fitted.
Sport Loft does an amazing job with boots. Having gone there, I'll never go anywhere else. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth it. As Jeremy, who spent two hours fitting my boots, and I talked, he said something that resonated with me on a number of different levels, not the least of which being software:In the US, everything is mass produced. We understand volume businesses. But in Europe, they really focus on a customized product.
He was talking about how most people never get their boots custom-fitted in the US, but that it's quite common in Europe. As open-source software adoption in Europe compared to the US shows, ski boots and software may have a lot in common.
Open source adoption in the US is quite strong, but it is Europe that leads the way, as Forrester recently noted. Europe recognized the economic benefits of open source well before the US did, and Europeans (or those of recent European origin) are responsible for many of the industry's most important open-source projects.… Read more
Google's search engine gives different responses depending on the location of a person and various other factors. On Wednesday, the company said, it will show searchers exactly what those differences are.
"Today, we're rolling out a new feature in Google Web Search that will help you better understand how your search results are already customized," said Rachel Garb, a Google product manager, in the blog post. A message will appear above the search results telling how searches were customized and offering a link to share more details.
Specifically, the message will show how search changed from … Read more
I keep waiting for the day I can view my Google Calendar entries while I'm offline--without having to export the entries to Outlook or another standalone calendar program. Until that day, here are five ways to get make better use of Google's free calendar service.
Lock out unwanted viewers To make sure your calendar entries are private, click the down arrow next to the calendar under My Calendars on the left side of the screen. Choose "Share this calendar" to open that tab in your settings. Uncheck "Make this calendar public," and be sure … Read more