Category Archives: General

Osteoarthritis

Helpful iPad and iPhone Apps for Managing Arthritis

A smart phone or pad is a common everyday commodity in almost every home today. With that, did you know that your iPad and iPhone can help you measure, maintain and track pain, symptoms and arthritis activity so you can live a more normal lifestyle. Arthritis tracker app on your iPad and iPhone will give you the freedom and the help to be on top of your arthritis with the touch of your finger tip.

Yes this app does exist on your home or pad for you to access. Some apps are free while other can be install on your system at a minimum cost to you. Some of the more popular apps available to you for helping you with your arthritis are listed below.

DAS Calculator is available for you to install for free. (DAS stands for Disease Activity Score.) This tool helps track and analyze your rheumatoid arthritis activity. It also tracks tender or swollen joint counts (TJC or SJC), your general health and your C-reactive protein through a blood test (CRP). These information is the same information doctors and researchers use to help you maintain and control your arthritis disease. This app makes these information available to you through your smart system.

My Pain Diary is an app that can be purchased or a lite version is available to you to install for free. This app allows you to chart your pain describing the type of pain, its location, its triggers and its remedies that you experienced on a particular date at the touch of your finger tip. No longer do you have to painstakingly write down significant dates and information of your pain, this app will let help you chart the information simply and conveniently without added pain to you. It will summarize the information for you and your rheumatologists so they can better help you. Paying for the full version just make the charting easier for you.

Joy Bauer Food Cures is also another free app that focuses on nutritional information that will better help you manage chronic arthritis and other conditions. Daily tips, recipes and nutritional information are made available to you so you are able to control pain and inflammation due to arthritis. This resource will help you maintain a good diet to reduce pain and inflammation. This app was created by a nutritional expert and registered dietician featured on the Today Show.

Another free app available for your iPad is Bones, Joints and Muscles. This app gives you information about bones, joints and muscles and the medical term or condition in relation to them. You can get the information and this app for free quickly with a touch of a few buttons. Educating yourself about your body can help you with dealing with pains and conditions you have due to the arthritis disease.

Rheumatology – Tendons and Joints is a flash card app that is design to educate you about arthritis in a fun and easy way. You can purchase this flash card app for arthritis for your smart instrument. Understanding the details of your disease can help you avoid unnecessary pain and issues and help you ask key questions and finding poignant solutions to dealing with the disease.

Pain Killer 2.0 uses binaural beats to relieved pain naturally. This app can be purchased to help your brain to release endorphins which help kills the pain caused by arthritis. You must use a headphone for this app and find a fairly quiet environment for it to work properly. There is a warning that comes with this app for people who struggle with seizure.

Smart phones and pads are created to help you manage your life more efficiently and easily. Now they have created apps that are easy to download and use to help you fight against arthritis disease. Though there is no cure yet for the many aspect of arthritis disease, but these app can help you maintain and control the disease so it does not debilitate you further. These app will give you more freedom and simplify tasks in everyday life so that the disease does not run you over. These helpful tools are available to you at the touch of a finger tip. Let it help you make your life easier and help you manage the symptoms and pain that it creates in your life.

Image source: Health 365

8091234505_e1879eba36

An Overview of Technology trend for 2013

2012 captured so much of our imagination in technology that now we are expecting more for this year 2013.

Now we can anticipate techs to be much lighter for mobile and laptops, much bigger for tablets, much faster for internet, more memory for chips, much innovative, and much much more novelties than we can imagine. You name them now; tech companies will devise it tomorrow.

Digitally Conquered

Everything we do, every move we take takes a digital counterpart. We became the digital era, the internet generation. Technology comes but it never goes, it only improves, by the hour.

2012 paved way for tablets and smart phones. The world has been mapped. There is no turning back.

2013: What Tech Savvies can expect

As foreseen, 2013 will be a hub of technology trends. I for one expect much for this year. So let’s see an overview of tech trends this year. Each trend goes with bullets and alliterations for fun.

• Tablets Take Over. As IT stats projected, tablets will get bigger this year. And it will get more audience too. More features and much better interface. There will be a lot of versions too. The cheaper version, the costly version, the high quality version and the low quality version. The truth is, quality is the only choice here. Better quality, better experience. Let’s see it this year.

Clouds Clout. So it doesn’t mean that cloud you see over your head during a sunny day. It was such a hard term to fully appreciate in layman’s term. Cloud is, according to Wikipedia, a computation, software, data access and storage services. It has been quite a choice for COO’s and CEO’s today. With cloud one can virtualize everything to run an office, synch Ipad to Mac to IPod, store in a private infrastructure or database with security and more. This has been introduced a while back but has been predicted to come out better this year.

Mobile Mob. Smart phones now grow much faster than our hair. Seems like every month last year we get to see more updated version of our current mobiles and much more newer units that make our year old phone look jurrasic. And for this 2013, the year of the snake, we are expecting more cunning innovations in this field. Aside from the launch of iphone5, we should see the windows phone and watch out for other phone providers too.

Mobilize and Monopolize. So with everyone going mobile, there is this big internet takeover in mobile browsing. More smart phones means more chances of web access through phones. Thus, there is a bigger market for mobilizing your websites too to meet current mobile needs of users. Mobilizing will get to many web developers and web owners this year because if they don’t, they’ll be taken out of those trending topics.
Application Army. More of mobile talk. Now, again, with mobile dominance there will be more application demands too. If there will be more application demands, then there will be more app stores out there. And that goes for every mobile platform and os.

Big-data beat. We’ve heard of 2.0, but 2013 will have it big for the web 3.0. For now, it shifts its focus to enterprises and its information architecture. So this will lead more business orgs out there for some changes. Let’s watch out for its mainstreaming.

TV Trade. So it’s one tech industry out there that never gets tired of innovations. Trend is, it will keep getting bigger, if not, then better. Gesture and voice sensors gets the best of television now especially with the launch of a certain company’s 56 inch OLED screen. Now you’ll get the picture, in a bigger screen and better features.

Sensor Stake. So everything gets to sensors. Chances are you’ll detect more or be detected or do less work in the future. These sensors will do the job for you, for personal use or to help you in your business endeavors.

Education —Extraordinaire. So everyone get education online today. Seems to be education will be the next field internet is targeting. More enrollees get to these online schools, education to get a degree or training. Better stat for it this year.

Imaging Techniques. So I guess this is where my alliterations fail me. 3D imaging seems to be the future. It is in architecture, security, medicine, manufacturing and entertainment. It is so helpful and keeps its real life application very usable.

Internet of things. Another alliteration fail. Anyway, IoT will be seen through this 2013. Everything or everything that developers and programmers can touch will get to have internet. Appliances for example.

Facebook Friendly. Now that everybody’s unto developing network sites, it seems that everybody or every social media wants to get a like in Facebook. They get this cross platform thing that makes your post or content appear in another social media especially Facebook. That’s a better chance of being seen or followed.

Virtual Network Versatility. So this goes with device continuity too. Having watched a video in your phone and want it in your pc won’t require you to transfer file anymore. This top tech would let you watch it at the same part where you stopped.

Social Platforms Plans. So there will be more innovative social media to be seen this 2013 that would be a lot different than what we have now. The rise of these content platforms should be watched out for this year. Now the question is, will it rival Facebook or will it reach Pinterest’s growing network? That would be for us to see.

***
We can always predict trends every year, but there will be those which will took us by storm. Now, which TV or phone or tablet or software will make it? We never know. So the above trends aren’t that complete or as detailed, it’s just an overview. You might want to add something to that minus my attempt for alliterations. 

Image credit: Flickr

pinterest

How Small Businesses Are Using Pinterest to Grow Their Audience

pinterest-logo

I used to tell my friends once that I know this three little verbs which would help make a starting venture flourish (though I’m not a business expert); create, innovate, market. But that was before Pinterest then.

Making Quite the Statistics

Until 2011, I decided to make it four. I added the word “pin”. And that is to give credit to the newest social media and content sharing site that took the world unexpectedly. From its first launch back in 2010, the site now has over 25 million visitors per month and is now valued at more or less $1.5 billion.

For getting those 25 million visitors per month, pin interest grew wildly saturating the business world for the most part.

With its staggering growth, it became a hub for small business. The idea of pinning and re-pinning became the new marketing trick to attract more customers and generate more audience which would likely spawn more potential buyers too.

How do these small businesses use the site to grow their audience?

With Pinterest quickly catching up with Facebook for generating traffic referral and finally surpassing Twitter, more businesses opt to pin it rather than tweet or make a page of it. But for real time, what do these small businesses do in order to pique interest and gain profits? And for you who’s about to start it, what to do? Let’s do the math:

  • They Signed up, Made boards, Pinned it. So as one can see, these three steps can be categorized in a single bullet since it can only take you 7 minutes max to do it. That is if you already have your pre-existent product or website and is now ready for that small business venture novel advertising approach in digital sense. Though it doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a pre-existing business site you can’t do well with it, Pinterest can be a great way to start. Make sure though you signed up for a business account but if you haven’t, you can always convert it. Boards are like albums and your pins are your content such as pictures.
  • They identified their boards. Identifying means defining it into simple and understandable categories. Be straight in defining the products and services that you offer. Build it for long term goal and not for the spur of the moment interest. Use different boards as much as possible to distinguish one product from another and to avoid your audience from being confused too. If you’re unto photography, make boards like single portraits, family portraits, weddings, black and white or commercial photography instead of flocking them all together in a single board.
  • They invited audience and tried to know them.  It doesn’t mean though that you have to do some detailed demographic study of your audience. Just take note of the specific board or pins that they pinned, re-pinned and what they bought from you in the past. That’s as much as personality study. So the next time, try making more innovative but of the same quality as the last time which has drawn the most viewers.

  • They cross promote. Make your pins be seen in Facebook and Twitter too. That’s additional traffic for your friends who haven’t heard of Pinterest yet. Plus it gives you wider audience possibility. So if you posted your new book’s cover in Pinterest, it would surely appear in Facebook and Twitter and that would be likely shared or you would be likely followed.
  • They injected some creativity in it. You can post promotional and artsy vid promoting your products. They don’t only have to see them; they need to hear it from you. Inject coolness and creativity; base it on your target audience and your products too. Example, do a promotional vid on your restaurant or your new site. Keep it short but ingenious.
  • They used clear, high quality images. Grainy and low quality photos would look like it has been grabbed from the web. Plus great photos and higher resolution would look nice and would be more compelling. It conveys your message in a no nonsense way. Like a chocolate cake in blurred photo looking like it has been frosted with ah, bad chocolate, you get the picture.
  • They linked it. This one is the beauty of it all. You can link it to your personal business site. That’s the way of redirecting your audience back to you site for more details. It’s as simple as putting a link to your descriptions.
  • They utilized the “pin it” button. They put that pin it button in their original site for added appeal and to amass more audience too. How? Pinning it means one will have the chance to be on the pinner’s board and be seen by the pinner’s audience.  They can opt to follow you too.
  • They hosted some little contest.  Now that’s what I mean of engaging your audience. A little novelty like that with one of your product as the price would likely to give you followers and audience too.
  • They went for hashtag. Hash tags weren’t only for Facebook, Twitter and the likes. Pinterest has it too. That makes it your product more discoverable with keyword search, you can use SEO here. For a designer can use #dress, #fallcollection, #whatever your pin is all about.
  • They added fun insiders. So what makes business a little fun is this little peek at the people behind it. Post a picture of your product on the making, yourself working or your business partners. It’s like a little humanizing and won’t just make you that man/woman/robot behind the cupcake recipes.
  • They measured their traffic stats. After you’ve got a stable account and starting to get audience, you can now start this. It means analyzing which of your site’s product gets the most traffic from Pinterest. You can start with the figure and go all the way.

***

The above mentioned ways were, as much as possible given with details and examples. And I can say that Pinterest will see us through some more years. Will it topple Facebook? That’s for us to see.

For an end though it’s not how much “how to” blogs you followed, creativity and inner drive plus great products will still be your means to success. Now pin it.

myspace

An Introduction to the New MySpace

MySpace

I was glad of the idea that after a string of muffed jobs to save MySpace from decline and a series of reshuffling and resignation from its top people, MySpace is on for a revamp and a deliberate reentering in the world of socials.

Now that’s a bit of nostalgia for everyone who literally started their internet and music life with MySpace, left it for something like Facebook and now is trying to come back to it for its newer and slicker interface.

MySpace over the years

MySpace started in the social network world with a flag saying “nothing can beat us” and it’s safe to say that they took the world by storm through its features I.e. focus on music and social networking. But with emergence of Facebook later, the once king of socials slowly faced a series of depression and was eventually upstaged by the coming of Facebook, Twitter and other newer sites.

Following several more bad reviews, the company which was once a hype, was bought by no other than Justin Timberlake with visions of what’s it’s going to be after.

Classic and New MySpace

The classic site was bombarded by so many blunders that the company overlooked such as chaotic profiles, spam accounts and NSFW posts and contents. With such blunders, users overlooked some of it’s once nice features like the mail, the Instant Messenger, the mood sharing, bulletins, school connect, blogs and music.

Nevertheless, it’s now in for some good future with its fresh and innovative edge. Seeing the new MySpace block format would have left you nostalgic for the past yet be amazed too of what it became now.

Look Overhaul—New MySpace Features

I for one like several things about it. Aside from like at first sight, the new MySpace offered new experiences to its old loyal users and new users. Below are the few:

  • Logo. It was the first step that any revamp should do. Old name but new face, new identity. Old name inhibits familiarity and new face exhibits changes. The logo which sometimes puts a blank after the word My (My______) at times contains a picture too or sometimes the word space itself.
  • Slick New Look. With the look I mean it’s the page that meets you after logging in. You can choose to view your news feed in it through three ways, stream view, grid view and playback mode. It’s lay out is clean and doesn’t gets you slap with bloated design of the old site which included 152 templates and 81 buttons. The new MySpace only boasts of just seven templates plus two buttons. Imagine the visual pollution you saved your eye from.  “Minimalist” seems to be their word at this moment.
  • Left to Right Horizontal Navigation. Though this wasn’t new (Google+ has it), still it come out as more novel compared to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Evoking Imagery. If you haven’t been to the new MySpace yet, you’ll be compelled to see its simple options, big visuals, receptive and intuitive design and big fonts. Your pictures may take up the whole browser which would prompt you to use your own high quality pictures than infringing some photos from the net. It gives you the chance to pair your photo albums with your playlists (mixes) too. Though it was said to be inspired by Pinterest’s large photos, it can’t be denied that the latest site is crafted with art.

justin timberlake myspaceMusic Focused. Music, mixes. You can get all of it with its audio controls at the bottom of the screen which is always present and requires you only to hover the mouse beneath the page. It becomes easy to navigate and to find artists, genres and stations to connect with wherein one can create and publicly publish a mix. With the sites new focus on entertainment, it gather’s more fans at its feet. There was a sense of purpose for the integration of music art and photography.

*And try its radio button too. Gets you some live streaming from FMs.

  • Artists-Fans. There is a new look with the artists pages too. The way to knowing some of your legitimate artist account is the blue chain, which means it has been verified by the site itself. With the site’s focus on linking fans and artists, there will be lots of connection and interaction between the two. Pilot release, which would hopefully be followed by other artists, was made by Justin Timberlake with his new single that was exclusively released in the site.
  • Just type. This one is nice among its other feature. You can type in an idle page and voila you’ll get to see what you are searching and what you are typing in large fonts too. Saves you time from looking for that search button and diving for your eyeglasses.
  • Cross Posting. If you can’t beat them join them. The new MySpace allows you to cross post in Twitter and Facebook whether it’s your status update or your photos or music. You get the idea.
  • Trending and Topics. There is a new Topic Pages—which has a display of information around a specific topic or artist or music and a Trending feed too which shows popular music, artists, videos and events. These can be dragged and dropped into your own folders.
  • User Friendly. That should go for all other social media. The new MySpace can take you where you wanted to be in two or three clicks. Plus it plays its videos nicely, may take the whole browser window but the navigation site can reappear at the move of the mouse. It can play back continuously too if you choose to do other things.

***

These new MySpace is on its beta stage and would take more tweak to finally take it to its final form. For now, it eggs on old users to see it for themselves and to add more invites. If Justin Timberlake made the perfect investment and if the new MySpace will pave better with its artsy and minimalist look, it’s all to be seen in the future. As for now, all is well.

 

google-search

Google Search Options

searchologyI really like the new Google Search Options (as noted by Matt Cutts reporting on the Searchology press event this week). VentureBeat and others also covered the event in detail. I’ve only focussed on the search options in this post.

Now in your Search results, there’s a bunch of additional filtering options in the Options panel on the left (default it doesn’t show and you click a link to display it).

The ability to filter by timeframe has had plenty of interest, and I personally can see this being a major game changer in terms of SEO. Many have alluded to this being a strategy of pushing towards real time search, and I certainly can’t disagree. But to me the main benefit is being able to filter out irrelevant information, and hence I’ll likely be limiting my timeframe to the ‘Past year’ category.

I’m not so interested in the very latest (unless of course it is a breaking story), rather I’m interested in knowing that when I view results on say ‘top wordpress plugins’ I’m not seeing pages from 4 years ago that are likely irrelevant.

I’d ideally like to see a ‘Past month’ filter option also.

Here’s what it looks like when searching for this blog’s title:

Google Search Options

BTW I think the Wonder Wheel is pretty useless – can anyone point out a good use for it?

(via Matt Cutts)

torrent

Music Piracy and Purchasing

Music Piracy I initially missed this story last week about recent research that found that those who download music illegally are also 10 times more likely to pay for songs than those who don’t. Thankfully TorrentFreak pointed me to it.

The research findings are welcome news I’m sure to all modern day pirates :-), and for me also (as I get closer to succumbing to piracy). TorrentFreak attempts to explain why this finding might be the case:

The real reason is in fact very simple. The true music enthusiasts simply want to consume, sample and discover as much new music as they possibly can, and the most straightforward and convenient way to do this is through file-sharing networks. Music pirates are just regular consumers really, and they love music just as much as anyone else.

I’d like to delve further into the whole discussion about the findings, but I have to pull myself up, because once again this is a case where the research referenced is difficult to check. The source (UK Guardian) doesn’t link to the research, nor even to the BI Norwegian School of Management that they claim it came from (and I couldn’t find anything on their site about the research either). The Guardian does state however that the study was based on 2,000 users and asked for proof of purchase from those who said they purchased, so it seems to have some information about the study.

So this raises the issue of credibility (again). I’d really love to learn more about the behaviours of music pirates, and join the conversation about  how piracy can be better understood. But sadly I just don’t have access to real, credible information. Admittedly there are credible studies like this one from Industry Canada (see here for a summary) but it is close to 3 years old now – I’m sure habits have changed dramatically since then.

Chief Technology Officer of America

Aneesh ChopraYep, big title. Big job. Everyone will have an opinion of today’s announcement that Aneesh Chopra has agreed to serve as America’s Chief Technology Officer (see also The Washington Post article). TechCrunch for example doesn’t seem too excited with the choice, and there’s been plenty of discussion on FriendFeed (example, example).

Here’s some interesting grabs from the White House press release:

In this role, Aneesh will promote technological innovation to help achieve our most urgent priorities – from creating jobs and reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure.

and further (italics mine):

Aneesh and Jeffrey [Zients] will work closely with our Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, who is responsible for setting technology policy across the government, and using technology to improve security, ensure transparency, and lower costs.  The goal is to give all Americans a voice in their government and ensure that they know exactly how we’re spending their money – and can hold us accountable for the results.

I don’t know anything about the process, requirements, or candidates that were considered, so what can I possibly offer on the topic? Not much, except to point you to Tim O’Reilly’s excellent post covering the decision. In it he covers the reasons why Aneesh is a great choice.

Why piracy gets more attractive

Computer says No!Yesterday’s news about the clowns at The Pirate Bay being found guilty should come as no surprise. Justice has been done. Sure, many will make hair-splitting arguments about how they didn’t break the law (the letter of the law), but to me it is the spirit of the law that has been upheld (although perhaps not for long if they win their appeal).

What they’ve done is built a service that allows you to take an ‘experience’ (eg watching a movie) that you are legally required to pay for, and get it without paying. In the spirit of the law, that’s wrong. So, The Pirate Bay is wrong.

But here’s the bigger question for me. Should laws be changed to allow prosecution of companies who disrespect their customers? Take media companies who persist in locking down distribution channels as an example.

The frustrations of being disrespected as a customer are common. Here’s a few examples:

  • There’s a TV show or movie I want to watch. I can buy it on Amazon, but only if I live in the US
  • There’s an audio book I want to buy but it is not available outside the US, even though the book is
  • I want to watch Hulu but they can’t stream outside the US
  • There’s a new movie showing in the US but it won’t open here until next month
  • There’s an alternate version of the movie but I can’t get here because they are only selling the theatrical release here
  • There’s a new Xbox or PC game released in the US but not available here until next week

The rise of piracy

Whilst piracy has always thrived as a way of avoiding payment, I suspect much of its surge in the last 3-5 years has been due to the need for instant gratification. Consumers want the content, and they want it now. And they’re usually happy to pay for it as anyone who has experienced the following will attest:

Sucks to be me

Technology is an enabler, and it is now simple to enable access to anything, anytime, anywhere.

Thus, you have consumer demand. And you have technology to meet that demand.

What possible reason could there be for blocking it anymore? Especially considering it is more difficult and requires more complex technology in order to block the access.

It’s understandable then, that when confronted with barriers to accessing content legally, consumers find other means. The easiest path being piracy. Jump on a torrent site and download what you want to watch/listen to/play/etc.

The media companies have their reasons (outdated copyright and distribution deals are the usual patsy), but surely they realise the angst they create.

So why persist? Is it just a case of Old habits die hard, and no amount of trying to convince them they are actually losing revenue will change their minds.

Perhaps.

Taking action?

What if we could take legal action against the media companies for their attitude. What if we could argue that their approach is actually an abuse of technology. What if we could prove that their outdated practices are actually degrading society. What if we could prove that the rise of piracy and the associated illegal practices is a direct result of the media companies and their distribution policies? Should our laws be changed even?

Sadly, I doubt it would make a difference. After all, the claim would be likened to consumers suing a book store just because it was closed at night. It’d never fly.

It’s a shame really. The giant media companies should be embracing technology with vision and initiative, not persecuting the response to their lack thereof. What a wasted opportunity.

The obvious response

So what should consumers do?

Yes, we could perhaps take the attitude that downloading music should be declared legal, and then progress it to other formats, but there little chance that will be happening anytime soon.

I suspect we are left with little choice…

Which is why, for me, piracy keeps getting more attractive.

Does anyone use email these days?

Controlling your email Sometimes I have to wonder. With the SPAM stats growing all the time (Microsoft recently pegged email as being 97% spam – download the report here – the 97% stat is on p12) and the number of communication mechanisms such as Twitter and IM now considered mainstream, I’m beginning to think that traditional email has lost its place.

And for those of you with nothing better to do than read spam news, you’ll be riveted to know that Symantec releases a monthly State of Spam report (April PDF report here) which outlines the latest spam topics (mortgages, terror alerts are hot this month) and the sources (by far the largest is the US with 28% of spam originating there).

But then you see some little enhancements such as Gmail’s time zone indicator and you realise there’s still life left in the old-school ways yet. Perhaps email will be with us a little longer.

It’s perhaps ironic that most social networks by default will notify you by email when you have new followers, DMs and messages. Far from replacing email, they’re likely a major source of email increase.

(via Ars Technica)

Google and the mob

Run for your lives - it's the Google Street View carThis just in from the department of paranoid and illogical: Buckinghamshire village has managed to thwart the evil plans of Google by stopping the Street View car from taking pictures of their streets. Residents joined forces after one of their members got the mob mentality going with gems like the following:

“I was upstairs when I spotted the camera car driving down the lane,” he said. “My immediate reaction was anger; how dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent? I ran outside to flag the car down and told the driver he was not only invading our privacy but also facilitating crime.”

Yes, apparently the street has had 3 robberies in the past 6 weeks (all before the Google car turned up mind you!) and the villagers think that having images of their homes on the web will increase crime. Lucky they’ve managed to put a stop to it though. Whatever will burglars do now?

And I thought it was only the Asia-Pacific nations that need to be worried about Google.

Note, there are legitimate privacy concerns of course, and Google will remove images upon request. Just use the ‘Report a problem’ link on the bottom of the Street View page.

Removal request from Google Street View

google-prank

April Fools Day roundup

I’ll keep a list of April Fools’ Day pranks here. In no particular order. Add a comment with your favourite and I’ll update the post.

UPDATE: TechCrunch has an awesome list of pranks happening today, as does AprilFoolsOnTheWeb.

Google gBallGoogle gBall
Google can always be relied upon to come up with something good. This year was no exception. Their GPS tracked gBall for AFL games is a must.
And kudos to News for going along with it.
imageThe Guardian is switching to Twitter
One of the better (if not more obvious) pranks, this one has The Guardian (one of Britain’s longest running newspapers) switching to Twitter for news distribution.
It's personal OK!Michael Arrington match making
A nice guest post from Carol Kravitz (see here for her CrunchBase edit history) about her project to find Michael Arrington (founder of TechCrunch) a partner.
Conroy dumpedSenator Conroy dumped
One of the better pranks (it even had me wondering) this one announced the sacking of Australia’s Senator Conroy.
Internet full by 2012Internet to be full by 2012
This disturbing piece outlines the grave danger we face if the internet continues to grow at its current pace. The article outlines a strategy for deleting David Hasselhoff Facebook pages in a bid to stay the tide.
Tax TwitterSecret Government plan to tax Twitter
Twitter has featured in a few pranks this year, but this is one of the better implementations. Taxing Tweets is pretty funny. And it might stop the silly practice of trying to get as many followers as you possibly can.
Internet Explorer 8.1Internet Explorer 8.1 released
A great example of how an April Fools prank should be played. Starts very realistically and then gets progressively implausible. By the end you’ve enjoyed yourself, but don’t feel duped.
Includes support for Firefox plugins and Server-side code de-compiler. Classic.
Internet reboot todayInternet Reboot today
Great post from the Sitepoint team, explaining how the internet (which has been running continuously since the ‘70s mind you) will be rebooted today. The story goes on to explain how the results of the reboot will include greater stability and less viagra spam.
Microsoft buys AppleMicrosoft buys Apple
The New Zealand Herald reported this gem, along with an in-depth analysis. The product strategy is classic, and the CrackPot transcoding software a master stroke. The news was announced by Microsoft spokesperson Avril Foule.
Xbox 360 Alpine LegendAlpine Legend Xbox game
Another classic, this time from the Xbox team announcing their new Alpine Legend game, where players compete with yodelling and horn blowing skills. The add-ons are wonderful, including the Limited Edition tri-horn pack.
.NET 4.1.NET 4.1 Futures
Scott Hanselman and Eilon discuss the potential improvements coming in .NET 4.1 – but probably only funny if you are developer.
Google Chrome in 3DGoogle Chrome in 3D
This one actually made me laugh out loud. It’s probably my favourite for the day, and is much better than the lame CADIE prank on its own.
imageWolfpigeon
This is amazing – some people put way too much time and effort into a prank. The Qualcomm prank covers their plan to provide wireless coverage using tiny transmitters in wolfpigeons, all kept in check by Sharkfalcons and Crocodeagles. 10/10 

 

 

Would you give bit.ly $2M?

bit.ly gets $2MI have to admit when I first read that a URL shortening service managed to get $2M in funding I was bewildered. How on earth will the investors get any return on that I wondered? But the article (on ReadWriteWeb) goes on to explain why very convincingly (although most of the people commenting on it totally miss the point).

You see, doing the shortening bit is the easy part. The real value is in analysing all the URLs that people are shortening. There’s a massive amount of information that can be gleaned in terms of trends, hot topics and overall traffic. And the kicker is that bit.ly are aiming to provide this in real time. That’s very powerful and very valuable.

Take a look at the bit.ly Tools page for some ideas. Also check out the bit.ly Search page – this is what people are linking to right now.

The ability to adapt quickly is going to be a key differentiator for companies. And by adapt quickly we mean within minutes. No more waiting days to study analytics. Companies – especially media companies – will be wanting to adapt immediately to behaviours on social networking sites, and the Twitter impact is only going to get larger. This is just the start.

I’d be surprised if Google isn’t already implementing some kind of reverse algorithm against URL shortening services. If millions of people (for example) were all linking to a single page using a shortened URL I think Google would consider that an important factor in the pages’ favour.

UPDATE: My misunderstanding here. Most of the shorteners (bit.ly included) do 301 redirects (see this excellent article from Danny Sullivan for a full rundown), so this last point is moot.

$2M. I think they’re worth it.

Bracing for April Fools Day #aprilfool

April Fools' DayAs I write this it’s less than an hour until April Fools’ Day starts here in Sydney, Australia. I’m actually looking forward to the inevitable batch of lame jokes. Everyone knows (well, almost everyone) that anything odd sounding is likely to be a prank, and so the enjoyment is in who can come up with the funniest prank, as opposed to the one that actually fools people.

The days of actually fooling people are over. Or they should be at least.

You see, the problem with April Fools’ Day is that with the instant connectivity of the internet, time-zones no longer mean anything. So whilst it might be April Fools’ Day here, it might not be where you are for another 8 hours. And thus getting ‘fooled’ is just as meaningless as if you were ‘fooled’ in a months time.

#aprilfool

So, here’s an idea. We want to enjoy the jokes, so how about we make it clear to our readers.

Simply flag your prank as an an April Fools’ Day post, and perhaps on Twitter (where the ‘keyword density’ of April Fools tweets is likely to be high) with a hashtag. How about tagging them with #aprilfool

Oh, and to be clear, Rickrolling isn’t funny at the best of times. Rehashing it as an April Fools’ joke is just sad.

If you have some time to kill, check out this list of the Top 100 April Fools’ Day hoaxes.