Overheard: Word of the Day

A Whatis.com blog


November 26, 2007  6:55 PM

Overheard: Kindle



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Amazon, e-reader, Kindle
kindle.jpg I’ve tried to narrow down why I think it will fail to once sentence: It solves problems that don’t really exist.

Why the Kindle Will Fail with Business Book Readers

At first I agreed with Ed Kohler, but after shopping for books this weekend on Amazon, I’m not so sure. The problem Kindle solves is instant access. With Kindle you can think of a book, order it and start reading it within three minutes. Doesn’t get much better than that.

November 26, 2007  6:31 PM

Overheard: Beacon alerts may be controversial, but they’re the future of advertising



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Beacon, Facebook, Privacy, Technology
richard-waters.jpg Known as Beacon, the feature was one of several money-making ideas Facebook launched this month to try to turn its users’ actions – such as their online purchases and their stated preferences for certain brands – into recommendations that might influence the buying habits of their friends.

Richard Waters Privacy fears over Facebook feature

Facebook rejected the claims [of violating privacy] and said that its users are given two chances to opt out of sending a Beacon alert to their friends. It claimed, “Information is shared with a small selection of a user’s trusted network of friends, not publicly on the Web or with all Facebook users They also are given multiple ways to choose not to share information from a participating site, both on that site and on Facebook.”


November 26, 2007  6:09 PM

Overheard: Internet brown-out



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Infrastructure, Internet, Technology
grant_gross.jpg Consumer and corporate use of the Internet could overload the current capacity and lead to brown-outs in two years unless backbone providers invest billions of dollars in new infrastructure according to a study by Nemertes Research Group, an independent analysis firm.

Grant Gross, Study: Internet could run out of capacity in two years

 Internet users will create 161 exabytes of new data this year, and this exaflood is a positive development for Internet users and businesses. An exabyte is 1 quintillion bytes or about 1.1 billion gigabytes. One exabyte is the equivalent of about 50,000 years of DVD quality video.


November 26, 2007  5:59 PM

Overheard: Telecommuters please report to the office



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
AT&T, Technology, Telecom, Telecommuting
att_logo.JPG AT&T is in the process of reconciling the human resources policies of the legacy AT&T, SBC Communications, which acquired AT&T in 2005; BellSouth, which was acquired in late 2006; and the former Cingular wireless operation, previously co-owned by BellSouth and AT&T.

Walter Sharp,  AT&T calls teleworkers back to cubicle life (story by Ann Bednarz)

Is there any irony in a telecommunications company suddenly frowning on their own workers telecommuting?


November 26, 2007  5:39 PM

Overheard: The New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year for 2007 is “locavore”



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Buzzwords, Technology
new_oxford_american_dictionary.jpg The New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year for 2007 is “locavore.”

What the heck?

“Locavore” was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius.

Runners-up for the 2007 Word of the Year that made more sense to me:

bacn: email notifications you sign up for but probably leave in your inbox unread

cloudware: online applications, such as Adobe Buzzword

social graph: the network of one’s friends and connections on social websites such as Facebook and Myspace


November 26, 2007  5:11 PM

Overheard: P2P content distributors are nothing more than freeloaders



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
P2P, Technology
mark-cuban.jpg As a consumer, I want my internet experience to be as fast as possible. The last thing I want slowing my internet service down are P2P freeloaders. Thats right, P2P content distributors are nothing more than freeloaders.

Mark Cuban, An Open Letter to Comcast and Every cable/Telco on P2P


November 26, 2007  3:33 PM

Overheard: Tim Berners-Lee on social graphing



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Semantic web, social graph, Social networking, Technology
tim_berners-lee.gif So the Net and the Web may both be shaped as something mathematicians call a Graph, but they are at different levels.

The Net links computers, the Web links documents. Now, people are making another mental move. There is realization now, “It’s not the documents, it is the things they are about which are important”. Obvious, really…

I called this graph the Semantic Web, but maybe it should have been Giant Global Graph! Any worse than WWW? ;-)

Tim Berners-Lee, Giant Global Graph


November 26, 2007  1:38 PM

Overheard: Social graph is just geekspeak for social network



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Buzzwords, Facebook, social network
davewiner.jpg So if you don’t want to sound like an idiot, call a “social graph” a “social network” and stand up for your right to understand technology — and make the techies actually do some useful stuff instead of making simple stuff sound complicated.

Dave Winer, How to avoid sounding like an monkey

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg says that “News Feed” is not just a feature on Facebook. It’s the infrastructure for what he calls the “social graph.” Other people, including Dave Winer, think social graph is confusing and we should just say “social network.”

I kind of prefer the term “social map.” We’re going to need a map once Facebook’s Beacon starts to change the advertising model as we know it.


November 20, 2007  3:17 PM

Overheard: Does your laptop burn your lap?



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Laptops, Mobile, Technology
aerogel.jpg Aerogel starts as a silica dioxide gel, similar to the gelatine dessert you might make at home. Then the liquid in the gel is removed without collapsing the gel.

Tony Boon, Aerogel

Aerogel has gotten some amazing press. According to the U.K. Times Online:

It is expected to rank alongside wonder products from previous generations such as Bakelite in the 1930s, carbon fibre in the 1980s and silicone in the 1990s.

LapLogic, Inc. announced the release of a new line of LapDesks featuring Aerogel Insulation. This is the part of the press release that caught my eye. “Most laptop users are only able to work for an hour or so until the bottom of their laptops become too hot to hold comfortably. Many will place a pillow under the laptop, blocking the cooling fans, and decreasing the life of the system.”

There’s nothing like curling up on a cold snowy evening with a warm laptop, I always say. You can buy the aerogel lap pad at Amazon. I’ve got no interest in the company.


November 20, 2007  2:43 PM

Overheard: Be thankful for the little things, like ringback tones



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Cell phones, Mobile
colin_gibbs.jpg [I'm thankful for] ringback tones. I’ve never actually spent money for them, and there’s always the risk I’ll have to suffer through some awful tune by The Pussycat Dolls when I call a mobile number. But hearing what my friends and colleagues are listening to almost always makes me smile.

Colin Gibbs, A time to be thankful: Mobile content is rarely dull


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