Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ASSOCHAM Report Frowns on Social Networking...Misses The Plot

Industry-body ASSOCHAM has recently released a report on the damage to business due to misuse of social networking sites during office hours. The association has arrived at a fairly precise figure of "12.5% of productivity of human resource in corporate sector is misappropriated each day since a vast majority of them while away their time accessing social networking sites during office hours."

The report, prepared by the ASSOCHAM's Social Development Foundation, has other gems to offer including this:"Almost each day, an average corporate employee spend an hour, gluing to various social networking sites such as Orkut, Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin etc. for romancing or otherwise drive (sic) some satisfaction out of it. With this averagecorporate employee's each day working is reduced by an hour from 8 hour to 7 hour."

The industry body surveyed close to 4000 employees across a fairly wide swathe of the country, covering both the metros and smaller towns. Age-wise employees profiled ranged from 21 to 60 years. Not surprisingly the survey points to a growing affinity among the younger crowd to spend more time on the networking sites (93%), while the older generation prefers to spend more time on news sites (73%). Thereport further goes on to state that companies are dealing with the phenomenon in a variety of way, including banning the sites altogether. Some other companies allow networking sites, only forbusiness...but the report is silent on how the companies monitor if the messaging happening is for business or personal reasons.

Apart from the fantastic deduction on romance this report also goes on to make the claim that "84% of Internet users in metropolitan show signs of Internet addiction - they don’t take breaks at appropriate times, they spend more than a ‘normal’ amount of time online, and can get irritable if they are interrupted while surfing." While net addiction is a workplace reality, claiming 84% of all office workers in metros to have the addiction is to state simply that it is now an epidemic. This is far from the truth. The negative bias of thereport towards social networking does not do justice to the business potential of this phenomenon.

Social networking is "the" trend of 2009. Like all trends this one too has positives and negatives. On the positive side, it has never been easier to keep in touch with colleagues going way back when. Most of us realize the need to actively network as part of our professional lives. The ability to do it and to solvebusiness problems right from your desktop should actually be viewed as a great time-saver. For example: social networking is now emerging as one of the best ways to recruit talent. Companies like Cadbury's, Diageo and others are putting the social networking phenomenon to great use in their marketing campaigns. Our sister publication Forbes India recently introduced the Twinterview--which is interviews via twitter. Corporates the world over are figuring out interesting and innovative solutions on social networking to a whole host of issues dealing with human resources, marketing, brand-building...you name it.

One big advantage with social networking is that, unlike other web and new media phenomena, it does not come with a age-restricter. Social networking cuts across age groups and appeals to the widest swath of online population. This is not something that should be frowned upon. Uni-dimensional reports like these only serve to create a negative impression in corporate minds about a phenomenon most CXO's are grappling to try and work out. This could be detrimental to the organization in the long run.

I believe social networking presents both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is unparalleled in its ability to reach out to interest groups in the shortest most convenient way. The challenge is age-old, how to get your employees to work while at work. If you take away their social networking, are you really sure they will spend that extra hour on work?

The Top 10 Sites on the web in India

Part of my job is to understand what is happening in the constantly changing world of the Internet. I spend more time online per week than most people spend working, sleeping, and having fun put together. And while this is NOT always a good thing, there are several reasons why I love the World Wide Web. Aside from constantly changing content, new ideas popping up faster than I could ever hope to find them, and the connection of people from different backgrounds, there are several websites that make me really happy.

First there are several sites I did not include in my top ten list, because they are such a part of the fabric of my existence, they hardly count. This would include Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Wikipedia.com, Google (and the 10,000 different variations on the Google theme), YouTube, and the 15 different news sites I like to peruse. The sites I chose for my Top Ten list are super extra special. They actually have an emotional hold on me for one reason or another. Some are guilty pleasures. Some just make me feel smart when I am around other technically savvy people. Others inspire me and shape my world view. Some you may know, others may be new, but these are the winners of 2009 for me.

According to Me, top 10 websites in india.

Rediff.com: India's leading website for the latest news and videos in India including Political News, Bollywood News & Movies, Indian Cricket News & Scores ...

Just Dial
Justdial Indias No.1 local search engine provides comprehensive updated information on all B2B and B2C Products and Services. Services available in all ...

BIGADDA.com - Indian Youth Networking Site which connects you with your friends. Share your videos, photos, build communities & express yourself through ...

ibibo is a place to connect with your friends, followers and contacts. Play social network games, Multiplayer Games with friends and participate in reality ...

Indiatimes: India News, Business, Movies, Cricket, Shopping, more...
Portal site; includes news stories under subject headings, and links to other information sources.

Search Jobs in India - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata. Find career openings in top companies. Post your resume and find your dream job Now!

Bollywood Hungama
Bollywood Hungama is a leading Bollywood entertainment website, Get latest bollywood news, Bollywood Films, Bollywood Hindi songs & movies ...

Tech2.com is India's Top Technology reviews, news, downloads, and prices site with information on PCs & Laptops, Gaming, Mobile Phones, Cameras & Printers, ...

Get In and get Free 10 GB E Mail, Latest Breaking News, India Music & International Music, Videos, Games, Books ,Shopping, Entertainment & more.

Send Free SMS to india. Send Free SMS to any mobile. India's First web to mobile Free SMS site. Group SMS , Free SMS Chat, Free SMS to any network ...

The Colorful Psychedelic Art of Levi Boree

Levi Boree’s LinkedIn summary states “I just want to be remembered, when I am gone”.

The 26-year-old abstract artist from Jacksonville, Florida grew up with dyslexia, making it difficult for him to communicate with words; instead he developed a great love for creating art.

He says, “I can visualize things in my mind that I could never explain in words”. Most remarkable is the fact that Boree is entirely self-taught, with no formal art training.

Boree creates mind-blowing abstract visual and digital art. He is prolific, having produced hundreds of psychedelic and color-rich creations from his highly visual imagination.

Some are juxtapositions of photographs on psychedelic backgrounds, while others are entirely abstract creations. Boree’s art blends graffiti, ocean waves, and connective patterns with an expert use of color. Here are some of his outstanding works…


Monday, December 28, 2009

How to untangle selling on the internet

Simply rewriting the tags and straplines on your home page can turn browsing visitors into paying customers

A few simple changes to Jamie Wallace’s website resulted in soaring sales for his business, Granny-jacksons.co.uk, which sells Scottish confectionery to homesick expats.

The move from a simple home-made website to a slicker retail operation was inexpensive, said Wallace. “The appearance of the original site was amateur and messy. It looks much sharper now, with more welcoming web pages, and the site is more internationally focused.”

Thanks to these changes and creative marketing, Wallace said, online sales have grown to 50% of total sales, up from 5% when he started the business in 2007. Wallace, 30, runs the website part-time from Glasgow. Sales this year should be about £20,000.

Will Sussman saw bookings rise almost overnight when he revamped the website for Meribel-skichalets.co.uk. “I made silly mistakes on the original website, such as white print on a blue background,” he said. “We changed it to black on white, made it all much clearer, got a new logo and spent money on nice images.”

The chalet holiday company, set up in 2001, saw swift results. “In less than a week I had phone calls from customers saying they were booking because they loved the website,” said Sussman, whose UK base is on the Isle of Wight.

The changes he and Wallace made show the importance of the virtual shopfront, yet many small firms are unaware of simple and inexpensive ways to boost sales, said Aneesh Varma of Fabriqate, a digital agency.

Studying your site traffic is a good place to begin to identify simple improvements, said Varma. “The most important first step is to evaluate where the customers come from. Are they arriving by word of mouth, via the search engines or from direct links through an ad campaign?”

Website analysis tools, such as Google Analytics, can help to do this as well as identify what is deterring potential customers, he said. “It will show you things such as the bounce rate, when people enter your site and then leave right away, and the abandonment rate, when they start filling the shopping cart and then leave. It may show people getting lost on page three, for example, which lets you know that you need to redesign it.”

Simply rewriting the tags and straplines on your home page can turn visitors into paying customers, said Varma. “Perhaps you are driving people away by asking for their date of birth or other information you don’t really need. Making the customer journey easy and obvious is important. Usability is paramount. If users get confused, you have lost them.”

Testing ideas for your site is useful. “Get family members or friends to play with the site. Are there things they can’t cope with?” said Varma.

Wallace imagined his site as a real sweet shop before he began his redesign. “I think in terms of shop shelves, not categories. I asked myself what products should I put on my shelves and which products do I want to be most prominent?” he said.

Simple improvements should not be difficult for anyone with a website built on a content management system, said Varma. “The latest systems don’t require special coding knowledge. You should not need to contact your IT guy to make small changes.”

Creating richer, more in-depth content is another way to improve sales, said Varma. “You can show all of the product label, add images and include all the information that comes on the box.”

Marketing services are getting cheaper and in some cases are free, said Wallace. “Mail Chimp is a good campaign management tool and is free to use for mailings of up to 500 customers.”

Tabitha Potts, the founder of Mimimyne.com, an eco-friendly childrenswear and toy retailer, has grown website traffic to 3,500 hits a month since launching last year.

She recommends listing a business in Google’s Local Business Centre. “It’s a good way to attract local searches. I also use Google Base, which gives you the chance to create links to your site with images and product descriptions. It’s a bit of a bore listing your products and names but it gets you up the Google rankings.”

Potts, who is based in east London, is looking at more proactive marketing: “I’ve seen discount coupons work well for other people and I am planning to introduce my own. You should be tweeting vouchers and passing them to your newsletter subscribers and Facebook group.”

Wallace recommends regular visual updates. “Having different themes — using Christmas banners, for example — shows you are up to date.”

Good salesmanship can work online as well as in the high street, he said. “The customer experience is so important. Using creativity and having fun is not something we do enough. I wrote a Scottish sweetie poem on my blog that I think reminded Scottish expats of what they were missing and gave them a sense of who I was. Over the next four weeks sales rose.”

Kidzpen: Unleash your inner author

Kidzpen: Unleash your inner author, Publishing student’s Works as a resource for education


ResellerGenie: Click Here

Picpile: millions of photos... millions of memories

Picpile: millions of photos... millions of memories, An image hosting website with the attributes that are found in the proposal.

MyCall: Teleconferencing made simple!

MyCall: We provide a simple and cost effective telephone conferencing solution

Why we can never rest: a year in the life of Twitter

ON June 15, our technicians told me to add a note to our website, writes Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter.

The note warned users of a planned maintenance session that meant our service would be inaccessible while we carried out an overdue system upgrade.

Immediately, we began to see a reaction in the form of tweets. Then came the emails. Then came the phone calls. Even the US State Department contacted us. The message was loud and clear: Twitter cannot rest while there is unrest in Iran.

However, if this maintenance was not done quickly, our operations team feared that the service might go down for days.

With the whole team on edge, my colleague Jessica Verrilli and I called our head of operations to convince him to do what was deemed extremely difficult if not impossible — reschedule the maintenance.

A few more phone calls and we had a consensus to postpone the work despite the risk. After all, this wouldn’t be the first time we had to ask our engineers to perform the impossible. In the space of a year, user accounts had grown by a factor of 10 while our 45-strong team remained crowded into a loft space in San Francisco’s industrial SoMa district.

The work was moved and the maintenance was eventually successful. In the days that followed, our service became inextricably linked to the Iranian election protests in hundreds of media reports on television, online, and in the newspapers.

Requests to discuss the tumult flooded in from everywhere but we did not engage. We chose instead to issue a simple statement on Twitter’s blog.

While it is our job to keep the service running, it was not the appropriate time or circumstance to put ourselves into the same conversation with people who were risking their lives on the streets of Tehran. The experience remains a humbling one that would define the year for Twitter and also underscore the motivation behind a decade of effort leading up to this point.

My co-founder Evan Williams and I have spent the past 10 years developing large systems that allow people to express themselves and communicate openly. We are united in our belief that software has the ability to augment humanity in productive and meaningful ways.

Although we are already a few years into our latest collaboration, this has been the year the world took note of a simple service that has profound promise. For us, it has been a year during which we realised that no matter how sophisticated the algorithms get, no matter how many machines we add to the network, our work is not about the triumph of technology, it is about the triumph of humanity.

Many people have assumed that Twitter is just another social network, some kind of micro-blogging service, or both. It can be these things but primarily Twitter serves as a real-time information network powered by people around the world discovering what’s happening and sharing the news. The Iranian election was the most discussed issue on Twitter in the final year of a decade defined by advancements in information access.

In the new year, Twitter will begin supporting a billion search queries a day. We will be delivering several billion tweets per hour to users around the world. These are figures we did not anticipate when we founded the company in 2007.

Looking back, the year is a blur, but that one summer morning remains fixed in my memory because it is a powerful reminder of why we find it meaningful to develop technology.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Twitter deal will add location services to Tweets

Purchase of Mixer Labs will show Twitter users' location as they share what they are seeing or experiencing

Twitter is buying a startup called Mixer Labs in an effort to pinpoint the locations of people posting short messages on its service.

Financial terms of the deal announced late last night have not been disclosed.

Mixer Labs, founded by former Google employees, developed a location-tracking tool called GeoAPI.

Evan Williams, Twitter chief executive, said that GeoAPI could prove helpful by showing where people are as they share what they are seeing or experiencing.

He wrote on Twitter's blog: "We want to know What's happening?, and more precisely, Where is it happening? As a dramatic example, twittering 'Earthquake!' alone is not as informative as 'Earthquake!' coupled with your current location."

"We will be looking at how to integrate the work Mixer Labs has done with the Twitter API in useful ways that give developers behind geo-enabled apps like Birdfeed, Seesmic Web, Foursquare, Gowalla,Twidroid, Twittelator Pro and other powerful new possibilities. We look forward to building features together that will make Twitter even more interesting and relevant to your daily life, no matter where you are," Mr Williams added.

About 58 million people around the world use Twitter, which accommodates messages of up to 140 characters.

Twitter, based in San Francisco, has raised about $155 million from investors since its 2006 inception.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

China issues new rules on Internet domain names

BEIJING (AFP) – China's Internet watchdog issued a new set of rules on domain name registration this week in a bid to curb pornography and illegal content.

According to Liu Jie, an official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the regulations posted on its website Sunday beef up existing rules on domain name registration.

The measures will cut off Internet services to those websites that have not registered with the ministry, Liu said.

They also aim to improve a "blacklist system" to prevent banned domain name owners from reapplying for a new domain name, he added.

It was not clear if the new rules apply to overseas websites but many such sites are already blocked by China's Internet authorities, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and a host of media and news websites and blogs.

China maintains strict censorship of the Internet, an effort that has become known as the "Great Firewall of China".

In recent weeks, Chinese regulators closed down hundreds of video sharing websites while ordering sites to delete all links to downloaded films or TV series, the China Business News reported earlier this month.

As of November 30, authorities had shut down 414 video and audio websites this year for operating without a licence or for containing pornography, copy-violating content or other "harmful" information, the paper said.

Authorities this month offered rewards of up to 10,000 yuan (1,465 dollars) to Internet users who report websites that feature pornography, a campaign that appears to have encouraged Internet users to look for porn online.

China has launched several Internet crackdowns on pornography, con artists and political activists in the past.

Earlier this year Beijing threatened to sanction major websites, including search engine giants Google and Baidu, alleging that pornography and other material that could corrupt young people was turning up in search results.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twitter finally in the money with Google link

Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter, was in the audience at the launch this week of Google’s new weapon in the search engine wars.

He was looking remarkably cheerful, as well he might. The announcement of a stream of millions of Twitter updates in Google’s results pages marked the moment when the faddish micro-blogging site truly entered the mainstream and started to make real money.

Now Google’s millions of users can see a scroll of updates, many from Twitter, in their results pages when they do a search for a vast number of popular queries.

A search for “Tiger Woods” produces a page with a new “Latest Updates” box. In it there is a constantly refreshing and scrolling list of tweets, blog posts and news stories, all flowing on to the page in real-time within seconds of their publication to the web. Designarchives tweets: “Holiday shopping is officially in full swing, kinda like Tiger Woods was.”

While not everyone will want up-to-the-second delivery from the globe’s virtual water-cooler, Twitter’s partnership with Google, and a similar deal struck with Microsoft and its Bing search engine, give the three-year-old company a solid revenue stream.

The deals are each worth several million dollars a month to Twitter, industry insiders said. The cash marks the first tangible evidence that the service can make money after months of monetisation promises from Twitter executives.

Twitter has seen explosive growth in the past two years to more than 50 million users, driven in part by celebrity endorsements but also by the service’s ability to deliver breaking news, sometimes ahead of traditional media, such as the plane crash on the Hudson river in New York. The Treasury used the service this week to deliver summaries of the Pre-Budget Report as Alistair Darling was addressing the Commons.

But while Twitter has become established as a cultural phenomenon, critics have pointed to the lack of a business model and questioned its longevity. Analysts said that Google’s exposure of tweets to a wider audience — the search engine processes billions of search queries a day — will help the company to cement its position as a window into the world’s conversations.

Greg Sterling, analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence, said: “The value is the institutionalisation of Twitter that comes from the deal with Google. The inclusion in the search results will make it more visible.”

He said that Twitter was difficult for many people to get started on. “Twitter can seem ridiculous to those who are not using it to get commercial offers or information from sources that they value. There will be some education for parts of the market from this,” he added.

Twitter’s real-time insight into what people are discussing has huge value to marketeers and companies that want to reach consumers and understand how their brands are perceived, according to experts.

That potential has seen venture capitalists pile into the company. Twitter has gathered $100 million in funding to finance its operations, valuing the company at $1 billion.

The latest stakes were sold in October to three of Twitter’s existing investors — Benchmark Capital, Institutional Venture Partners and Spark Capital — and two new shareholders, Insight Venture Partners and T Rowe Price.

The cash has given Twitter breathing space. Executives have said they are in no hurry to introduce advertising to the site, which may put off users. They have also said they will remain independent despite rumours of overtures from Google and Microsoft. Last year they turned down a $500 million offer from Facebook.

Mr Stone said last month that 2010 would be Twitter’s “revenue year”. The company will capitalise on corporate use of the service by introducing fees on accounts primarily used for commercial purposes. A report from NeXt Up Research forecast that Twitter would have about $140 million in revenue a year by 2014. A new poll of 1,200 UK businesses using Twitter found that 22 per cent would be prepared to pay for additional services. Nearly half the companies surveyed by Accredited Supplier said Twitter would be the world’s largest social media property by 2020.

Computer maker Dell said it had pulled in more than $6.5 million from its (free) Twitter accounts.

Tweets will push up profits: Analysis by Murad Ahmed

Google’s desire to obtain real-time information — such as the deluge of messages that come out of services such as Twitter every second — is in keeping with its mission: “To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

These tweets are a cash cow waiting to be milked. Google executives have never been shy in explaining why they want more and more information to be searchable. The better and more relevant data that they can offer its users, the more advertising they can sell next to these search results.

This billion-dollar revenue stream is the driving force behind almost everything Google does. Whether that is Street View, which gives people a pedestrian-eye view of roads around the country, or Google Books, an attempt to scan and digitise millions of texts — the aim is simple: make Google the indispensable holder of the world’s information.

Realising this, Microsoft, with its Bing search engine, and this week, Yahoo, have also announced similar deals to contain real-time search information within search results.

But why is real-time search valuable? Because it is instant. Whereas news articles take hours and days to prepare, and blog posts take minutes, tweets and micro-blogs can be tapped out and published in seconds.

Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, once explained that he first saw the power of the service when the first he heard about an earthquake a few miles away was through people tweeting about it. He felt the tremors a few minutes later.

Some worry that people will tweet less, or more privately, now that these messages are just a Google search away from being discovered.

Yet analysts said there is little evidence of that happening. Twitter has thrived because of its openness, just like other social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. People seem happy to trade in privacy to be part of these communities. Tweets will continue to grow. Google, Microsoft and others believe that their profits can follow suit. Twitter finally in the money with Google link

Friday, December 18, 2009

Google introduces landmarks on India maps

In India people rely more on landmarks than on road names to get around by John Ribeiro

Google Maps has started offering driving directions in India using landmarks, rather than road names alone.

The feature may be rolled out in other countries, as there appears to be a need for it in some other countries as well, Manik Gupta, product manager at Google India, said on Thursday.

Using Google Maps from their desktops and mobile phones, people can navigate around locations in India following landmarks like petrol stations, banks, schools, railway stations, bus stops, local businesses, traffic circles and signals.

The new feature in Google Maps addresses a peculiar requirement in India, as roads in the country are often not properly marked, or the markings are not visible, Gupta said. People in India are also culturally inclined to navigate using landmarks rather than road names, he added.

"We found that the way we offer directions globally on Google Maps is probably not the best way to do it in India," Gupta said.

Google's competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft, already offer maps with both landmarks and road names in India. Google took more time to release the feature as it wanted to get the user interface and the structure of the data right before launching it, Gupta said.

Yahoo's landmark information is supplied by map providers, though it has a provision for users to suggest corrections to landmark and other map data.

Google collects landmark data through "Points of Interest" created by users in Google Map Maker. Google sees user created data as more accurate because of the strong moderation system, including peer review, in Map Maker, Gupta said.

Yahoo did not comment for this story.

Google's new algorithm determines which of the landmarks are most useful for navigation, based on importance, and closeness to the turns that the user is making, and other available signals, the company said.

Following the launch of the new service, Google will now combine landmark data, counted turns such as "the 2nd right", intersection names, and road names, and try to use whatever information is most relevant and useful, the company said.

Google is providing two kinds of landmarks - to identify where users need to turn, and to provide confirmation that they're on the right track, it added.

What is Web 3.0?

The Next Generation Web: Search Context for Online Information

The war of words between technology evangelists about Web 3.0 continues and, in particular, a series of blog posts were exchanged between Tim O’Reilly and Nova Spivack about the merits of Web 3.0.

What Is the Difference Between Web 3.0 and Web 2.0?

While O’Reilly believes that Web 3.0 is an extension of Web 2.0, Spivak - regarded as a champion of the term Web 3.0 - believes it will be a third generation web approximately between 2010 and 2020. In order to understand Web 3.0, we must balance it against the existing Web 2.0. In the Web 2.0 universe, searching Google for “Gary Price” will yield a plethora of unrelated hits. Web 3.0 solves this problem by providing context to searching for online information.

Intelligent Web

Web 2.0 is about social networking and mass collaboration with the blurring of lines between content creator and user whereas Web 3.0 is based on “intelligent” web applications using:

* Natural language processing
* Machine-based learning and reasoning
* Intelligent applications

The goal is to tailor online searching and requests specifically to users’ preferences and needs. Although the intelligent web sounds similar to artificial intelligence, it’s not quite the same.


Web 3.0 is about openness. By “opening” application programming interfaces (APIs), protocols, data formats, open-source software platforms and open data, you open up possibilities for creating new tools. Although Unlike openness can result in identity theft, Web 3.0 attempts to remedy this through:

* Open identity
* OpenID
* Open reputation
* The ability for roaming portable identity and personal data.


By opening up access to information, Web 3.0 applications can run on any device, computer, or mobile phone. Applications can be very fast and customizable. Unlike Web 2.0, where programs such as Facebook and MySpace exist in separate silos, Web 3.0 allows users to roam freely from database to database, program to program.

A Global Database

Conceptually, Web 3.0 should be viewed as one large database. Dubbed "The Data Web", web 3.0 uses structured data records published to the Web in reusable and remote-queriable formats. XML technologies such as RDF Schema, OWL, SPARQL will make this possible by allowing information to be read across different programs across the web.

3D Web & Beyond

Web 3.0 will use a three dimensional model and transform it into a series of 3D spaces. Services such as Second Life and the use of personalized avatars will be a common feature of the 3D web. Web 3.0 will extend beyond into the physical; imagine a Web connected to everything not only your cellphone but your car, microwave and clothes, thus truly making for an integrated experience.
Control of Information

Where Web 3.0 is about control of information web 2.0 is about information overload. The most obvious example is in the sheer explosion of programs and passwords on the Web which claim to encourage networking and socialization. Web 3.0 attempts to bring order and allow users to be more accurate in searching and finding precisely what they want.

Semantic Web versus Web 3.0?

What is most confusing is the difference between the Semantic Web and Web 3.0 – both are conceptual entities. However, rather than competing spaces they should be viewed as successive layers that are developing. By adding the semantic web to Web 2.0, we move conceptually closer to web 3.0. The underlying technologies of the Semantic Web, which enrich content and the intelligence of the social web, pulls in user profiles and identities, and must be combined for Web 3.0 to work.


Nova Spivack’s Twine is one of the first online services to use Web 3.0 technologies. Its goal is to organize, share and discover information about a user’s interests in networks of like-minded people. Using semantic technologies, and powered by semantic understanding, Twine automatically organizes information, learns about users’ specific interests and makes recommendations. The more users use Twine, the better the service gets to know its users and the more useful it becomes. Twine is an example of Web 3.0 at work, combining the social elements of Web 2.0 with user-specific Semantic Web tools.

Read more at Suite101: What is Web 3.0?: The Next Generation Web: Search Context for Online Information | Suite101.com http://internet.suite101.com/article.cfm/what_is_web_30#ixzz0a28aKu2B

Web 3.0 and beyond: the next 20 years of the internet

Silicon Valley has painted a picture of the web in 2030, and it is very powerful – and very smart – indeed

In the heart of Silicon Valley, at what is referred to, somewhat romantically, as the 'web's edge', something is stirring.

A new type of internet is being imagined, far more powerful that the one which lets you link up with your friends or watch a video uploaded by a stranger.

Facebook, YouTube and the other social networks and blogs that fall within the scope of 'Web 2.0' may be beginning to penetrate the mainstream, but to those whose Cassandra-like vision lets them see the web in 2020 and beyond, they are but a pixel in a much larger picture.

In a little over a decade, according to the engineers building the internet of tomorrow, the web will be able to connect every aspect of our digital lives - be it a website, an e-mail, or a file on our PC - to every other aspect. It will know, for instance, when you are typing an e-mail, what the subject of the e-mail is, and be able to suggest websites and books as well as documents, photos and videos you have saved that may be relevant to that topic.

It will be achieve this by virtue of the inherent 'intelligence' in the underlying architecture of the internet, they say. In other words, the web is becoming smart.

Nova Spivack is an evangelist of the next phase of the web's development - what Silicon Valley, with its expansionist zeal, has taken to calling Web 3.0, or 'the semantic web'.

Broadly speaking, Mr Spivack says, Web 3.0 refers to the attempt by technologists to overhaul radically the basic platform of the internet so that it 'understands' the near infinite pieces of information that reside on it and draws connections between them.

If Web 2.0 was all about harnessing the collective intelligence of crowds to give information a value - lots of people liked this story so you might too (Digg.com), people who like Madonna also like this artist (last.fm), lots of people linked to this site so that makes it the most relevant (Google's basic PageRank algorithm) - then Web 3.0 is about giving the internet itself a brain.

For those still a bit lost, Mr Spivack, the founder of Radar Networks, a leading Web 3.0 company, says it's useful to think about the web's development in ten-year cycles.

"We have had the first decade of the web, or Web 1.0," he says, which was about the development of the basic platform of the internet and the ability to make huge amounts of information widely accessible, "and we're nearing the end of the second decade - Web 2.0 - which was all about the user interface" and enabling users to connect with one another.

"Now we're about to enter the third decade - Web 3.0 - which is about making the web much smarter."

Each decade in turn corresponds to an engineering focus on either 'the front end' or 'back end' of the web. Web 1.0 was a back-end decade, focusing on the web's basic platform, its link structure and navigation system. Web 2.0 was front end, with a heavy focus on users and usability, clean-looking sites, and people making connections with one another.

In Web 3.0, the emphasis will revert to the back end, with a renewal of the web's key index - the essential data that is catalogued by search engines like Google. That in turn, Mr Spivack says, will make way for Web 4.0, another 'front-end decade', only with more advanced programs than the likes of Facebook.

A prime example of a Web 3.0 technology is 'natural-language search', which refers to the ability of search engines to answer full questions such as 'Which US Presidents died of disease?'. In some cases, the sites that appear in the results do not reference the original search terms, reflecting the fact that the web knows, for instance, that Reagan was a US President, and that Alzheimer's is a disease.

"Our engine reads every page of the web sentence by sentence and returns results by drawing on a general knowledge of language and what specific concepts in the world mean, and their relationship with one another," said Barney Pell, chief executive of Powerset, which is developing natural-language technology. The firm, based at the prestigious Palo Alto Research Centre, in California, is sometimes talked about as a Google-killer, should its offering - which is not yet widely available - become popular.

It's not just search that will be overhauled in the web of the future, however. One of the recurrent themes in the presentations at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco was 'open platforms', the idea that a website or device, like a mobile phone, should be able to accommodate whichever features or applications its user wants. Think of the iPhone as a folder into which an owner could 'drag and drop' any application - a weather forecaster, an e-mail service - without Apple having to approve such an action.

Some of the world's largest technology companies - Nokia, Apple and MySpace - all made announcements embracing the idea of open platforms, suggesting that the web will become a place where much more mixing and matching of different services will be permitted.

Alongside this will come more mature virtual worlds, or what Silicon Valley's faithful - perhaps to get away from connotations of the computer game - have started referring to as 'immersive environments'.

"The web is going to be a much more immersive, a much more multi-dimensional environment," said John Doerr, one of the founding board members at Google and a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which invests heavily in the tech sector.

Mr Doerr's presentation touched on a range of areas that would be affected by the web, in particular green technologies and the energy sector, as well as disease therapy, and he gave stark warning to any firm that was not willing to embrace emerging trends. "In any real revolution there are winners and losers. The internet wasn't some kind of 'kum ba ya' thing," he said.

When the time came to pack up the projects and exchange the last business cards, there was a sense - as there was seven years ago - that Silicon Valley was riding a wave of seemingly limitless investor confidence, begging an obvious question.

"Are we officially in a bubble yet?" one of the conference moderators asked, repeatedly.

No one was willing to answer. In the meantime, the vast sums of money to be made and the new services to change people's lives, radically and everywhere, were both things to be celebrated.

Source By: Times Newspapers Ltd

Facebook Privacy Complaint Ignites War of Words

A high-profile electronic privacy group filed a federal complaint against Facebook on Thursday now Facebook is lashing back. by JR Raphael

A high-profile electronic privacy group filed a federal complaint against Facebook on Thursday -- and now, Facebook is lashing back.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) called upon the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook's recent changes to its users' privacy options. The changes, rolled out earlier this month, have been criticized by some for opening up previously masked personal details to the public eye.

"These changes violate user expectations, diminish user privacy, and contradict Facebook's own representations," EPIC's complaint (PDF) alleges.

EPIC's Facebook Complaint

The EPIC complaint -- supported by the Center for Digital Democracy, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and seven other advocacy organizations -- takes issue with Facebook's newly "public" treatment of such data as users' names, genders, cities, and profile photos. By default, EPIC points out, this information is now disclosed to search engines as well as to third-party Facebook applications.

The concern, according to EPIC, revolves around how this information could be used against a user's interests.

"More than 100 million people in the United States subscribe to the Facebook service," Marc Rotenberg, EPIC's executive director, said in a prepared statement. "The company should not be allowed to turn down the privacy dial on so many American consumers."

(Rotenberg was not immediately available to speak via phone for this story.)

Facebook's Response

Facebook, in response, says it's already spoken with the FTC and other regulators about the changes. A representative from the company notes that the revised privacy policy also adds a series of more detailed options for users, including the ability to specify different settings for every photo, link, or status update posted onto the social network.

"We've had productive discussions with dozens of organizations around the world about the recent changes," Andrew Noyes, Facebook's manager of public policy communications, said in a prepared statement. "We're disappointed that EPIC has chosen to share their concerns with the FTC while refusing to talk to us about them."

Privacy Perspectives

Other members of the privacy community are divided when it comes to EPIC's complaint. Berin Szoka, a senior fellow with the Progress and Freedom Foundation, questions whether getting the government involved is the right step to take.

"I think we're already seeing the marketplace pressures that Facebook faces move us toward a better balance between the benefits of sharing and granular control," he says. "We're concerned about the idea that the government would be in the driver's seat about these issues."

Larry Magid, the co-director of ConnectSafely.org, sees both sides of the debate. He does, however, question why it's necessary for Facebook to make certain types of information -- details such as genders, cities, and profile pictures -- publicly accessible without an option.

"This is a private company -- it's not the government, and nobody has an obligation to have a Facebook page," Magid says. "But on the other hand, Facebook does have a responsibility to protect its members' privacy, [and] while it has provided really good tools to give you more control over some aspects, it has also taken away your ability to hide other things."

This isn't the first time EPIC has taken issue with Facebook over its privacy policies. In February, the organization prepared a federal complaint over changes that would have given Facebook eternal ownership of user data, even if a user deleted his or her account.

Within a day of EPIC announcing its intent to pursue the case, Facebook agreed to revert to its old terms of use and allow its users to have input on future alterations.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bing and Google Both Growing, at Yahoo's Expense

According to the latest data from comScore, Microsoft's search engine continues to gain ground -- but so does Google. by Jared Newman

Even with the threat of Microsoft's Bing, Google continues to take a greater share of the search engine market. But Bing is growing, too; it's Yahoo that is losing ground.

According to comScore's November statistics (via eWeek), Google and Bing are essentially having a feeding frenzy on Yahoo's lost market share. Yahoo's share fell by 0.5 percent last month to 17.5 percent. Bing grabbed most of those searches, rising from 9.9 percent in October to 10.3 percent last month.

Google took the rest, bringing its total market share from 65.4 percent to 65.6 percent in November. It is, however, a slower gain than the previous month, when Google gained a half percentage point.

Oddly enough, comScore's numbers show a different trend than those from Hitwise, released a week ago. Hitwise claims that Bing actually lost market share in November, staying well below the double digits at 9.3 percent.

Google and Bing have engaged in a bit of a search arms race lately. Both search engines have integrated Twitter results, with Bing's Twitter search and Google's real time feeds of Tweets. Last week, Google introduced "Google Goggles," which lets Android phone users perform Web searches based on camera photos. Bing has a different kind of visual search that shows results as graphics. Microsoft is also building out its Map features with Bing Maps Beta, and just released an iPhone app akin to Google's Mobile app. I doubt the impact of all these new and experimental features is reflected yet in market share.

Meanwhile, Yahoo is flailing, its market share down 2.9 percent since November 2008. The company lost toolbar deals with Acer and HP, the two biggest computer manufacturers in the world, and simply isn't innovating on search anymore.

All the better for Google and Microsoft, but with Microsoft finalizing a deal to power Yahoo Web searches with Bing, I wonder how long Microsoft can tolerate Google eating up Yahoo's losses.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Join now My Linkedin Group

Since you’re here why not learn a little more about the Group. Here’s what you can expect to see from us:

My name is Ram Singh Mehra. I’ve been a GUI & UI Designer for 3 years now. As a designer I’ve learnt a lot over the years, and feel ready to share some of my knowledge, as well as learning from my group visitors. I’ll be the guy posting tutorials, news, sharing & jobs here for the near future, and I’m really keen to get a good community of design-addicts going!

We will discuss on these points:
- Role of GUI (Graphical User Interface) Designer in projects
- Role of UI (User Interface) Designer in projects
- GUI Tutorials, Tips, Designing Standard
- UI Tutorials, Tips, Designing Standard
- GUI vs UI
- Web 1.0
- Web 2.0
- Web 3.0
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Dreamweaver
- Adobe Flash
- Adobe Flex
- Ideas Sharing in GUI & UI Designers
- Problem Sharing in GUI & UI Designers

Join Now: http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=2587917

How to Change Hair Color in Photoshop CS4

How to Change Hair Color in Photoshop CS4 - Amazing videos are here

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Interview with Chris Spooner

Chris Spooner Offical Site

1. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview Chris. If you remember we actually published an interview with you roughly a year ago. It’s great to see that you’re still very much active in the design community! Today I would like to ask some different questions, and focus on what you’ve been
up to over the course of the last year.

Some designers and bloggers seem to have a habit of fading out of the public eye, and enjoying a very short-lived popularity. You’ve been regarded as an important figure in the design community for some time now. Could you share some insight into how you maintain your activity and ‘personal brand’ if you will, within the design community?

Thanks for having me back, Tom!

Whenever I offer advice on blogging I always recommend doing it out of passion, rather than purely for fame or fortune, as it’s the early days that are the hardest. There will be months of churning out topics and it seeming like no-one’s reading, there’s no revenue and it takes stacks of time! I think this is a big reason as to why some blogs fade away, as the owners might lose faith or interest. I’ve basically maintained my activity because I have the same interest in all things design as I did on day one of setting up my blog. I’m still reading the same old feeds (with a good selection of new ones!) and still being inspired by the work of others. I think personal branding just tags along for the ride; if you’re posting out design topics or design tweets, it’s only natural that you’ll be associated with the subject.

Since the last interview I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my site more than double in RSS subscribers to over 27,000, so this is a great incentive to keep it up. I also moved more into blogging as it started bringing in a revenue alongside client work, which is when I started Line25 (which we talk about later!).

2. Could you give us a sneak peek into an average day for you?

An average day usually starts with me struggling to wake up and get out of bed. I love getting up early, but it never works out! Lately I’ve been getting into my home office for 9:30 after the short commute upstairs. I’ll then check out a bunch of my sites and online profiles for new comments and updates, these include Blog.SpoonGraphics, Line25, ChrisSpooner.com, Twitter, YouTube, and DailyBooth. Depending on my work load I’ll either continue on with some client work, or start work on an upcoming blog post. Either way I’ll usually have a hand-written to-do list controlling my daily activities. After my first job I’ll usually brave my email inbox and clear out a few messages, although sometimes this is a scary scene and I’ll immediately close it to deal with later! The workflow tip from Tim Ferriss (I think?) of only checking email once a day has been an awesome productivity boost for the year or so I’ve been employing it.

I’ll work through jobs on my to-do list throughout the day, combined with random tweets and getting sidetracked by following interesting links or intriguing YouTube videos. I’ll usually work into the evening before leaving for food, after which Laura and I either watch some TV, head out to the Cinema or do a session at the Gym.

That pretty much sums up an average day, although with myself and Laura having the freedom of being self-employed we often make last minute decisions and take the day off to go to the theme park.

3. Your blog, attached to your portfolio Spoon Graphics continues to publish quality, unique content month after month. Could you give some advice for people wanting to maintain high standards in blogging and design?

Thanks for the kind comments! It’s always hard creating new content, especially with tutorials. I think I’ve almost given away everything I know! Not sure how many ideas I’ve got left! It has become easier over time in a way, as it’s just part of my weekly routine to create a few blogs posts, so I’ll be constantly thinking of new topics. If I spot something on or offline that could be worked into a tutorial or article, I’ll note it down.

I suppose the best advice to maintaining high standards in blogging is to always try to post something that people are going to find useful or interesting. That way you’re more likely to get a better return on the time you’ve invested because people enjoy sharing what they find online. A consistent schedule of interesting posts is more enticing to subscribers. The higher traffic levels you’re getting, and the higher revenue, the more time you can and want to put into it. This also tends to help me out with my design skillset, as I’ll use blogging to experiment in new areas or put ideas into practice that would otherwise go unused.

4. Not too long ago you redesigned your portfolio Spoon Graphics. Firstly let me congratulate you on an excellent job, I certainly know how much work can be involved in a major redesign! You mention in your blog that you wanted to give the site a more ‘personal’ feel. How did you work to achieve this, and what other goals did you have for the redesign?

With my blog continually growing, it’s become a far more superior source of clients and work than my portfolio. Plenty of past clients never knew about the spoongraphics.co.uk site! On the flip side the leads I was getting from my portfolio were of lower quality, usually people stumbling onto my site from a Google search for freelance designer. These were the typical clients with huge demands and low budgets!

The aim of the new spoongraphics site was to give more of a personal touch that gave more info on my background and my interest in blogging, rather than promote myself as a freelance designer. To do this I typed out the whole content as if I was saying it aloud, which loses the whole ‘professional’ image, but has helped tailor the types of clients I enjoy working with. Now I receive emails like: “Hey Chris, love your work, how do you fancy designing our site” rather than: “For the attention of Mr. Spooner. Proceed to sign the enclosed NDA. Upon completion you shall provide design concepts for our website”.

It was also about time I gave the design and code a refresh, after time we all learn new things we’re looking to put into practice, and discover more streamlined ways of working.

5. I couldn’t publish this interview without of course mentioning your newest blog ‘Line25′. Despite only being a few months old I’ve seen plenty of great content published there. Could you tell us a little bit about the blog, and your experiences running it so far?

Line25 has been awesome to grow over the past few months, it has been great going back to square one and establishing a new blog, although I did have a head start with the already established userbase on Blog.SpoonGraphics. Still, there were slow times in the beginning, but it seems to have picked up nicely and recently surpassed 13,000 subscribers in the 7 months it has been live. It has also been nice to have a standalone site, unlike Blog.SpoonGraphics which is attached to my portfolio. This has given me a little more freedom creating some types of posts that just didn’t feel right on my portfolio-blog. Although saying that I’m now ditching the whole ‘Oh, I can’t post that on my ‘business’ site mentality’ and looking at posting whatever I fancy on there.

I’m looking forward to developing the content on Line25 and kick up the traffic stats to the next level. I’m also considering opening up the site to more guest posts, both to ease off my workload and to offer another platform for people wanting to get their name out there alongside their content.

6. Do you have any more projects lined up for the near future?

I’m currently working off a few client projects with an aim to take a little break and concentrate on refreshing my blog designs. They’re both due a few little tweaks here and there. I’m also considering taking a direction with Blog.SpoonGraphics that’s similar to a couple of other big design blogs and offering a membership scheme. Here source files would be supplied, exclusive content would be posted and a range of discounts from some top companies would be offered. I don’t have any plans set in stone as yet, but it would
be cool to gather some initial opinions – What do the PSDFAN readers think?!

Otherwise, I’ve been enjoying experimenting on the video blogging side of life over at ChrisSpooner.com. This has been a great way of developing myself personally by building confidence in uncomfortable situations. Anyone who’s tried to talk to themselves while holding a camera to their face will know the feeling! Now video content feels natural, I’m considering creating a video version of my Blog.SpoonGraphics weekly favs. Video content seems to be the hottest thing on the web, so I’m up for jumping onto the bandwagon!

Interviews by Tom
Source by: PSDfan

Multi-Activity Holidays

Advertising site, affiliate and lead generation site for adventure sport holidays.


Image optimization is an art few have mastered. Useful image editing tools exist that allow images to be edited to reduce their file size while retaining image quality. Using these tools is a good start for optimizing images, but more can be done using advanced tools like Smush.it.

Smush.it uses optimization techniques specific to image format to remove unnecessary bytes from image files. It is a "lossless" tool, which means it optimizes the images without changing their look or visual quality. After Smush.it runs on a web page it reports how many bytes would be saved by optimizing the page's images and provides a downloadable zip file with the minimized image files.

more info

Wikipedia Redesign: What’s in Store?

Wikipedia is currently undergoing a much needed redesign to improve the user experience.

Anyone can preview this redesign by creating an account, logging in and then clicking the “Try Beta” link at the top right of any page.

The “Wikipedia Usability Initiative” has been divided into two phases. Phase 1 was the prototype phase, and it ended in the summer of 2009.

The project team is currently in the second phase, which is the development and testing phase.

The project has also been separated into four releases; as of the writing of this article, the second release (Babaco) is currently in development.

In this article, we’ll discuss Wikipedia’s design changes and the reasons behind them.

The Wikipedia Usability Initiative is scheduled to be ready in the spring of 2010. More information about the project can be found here.

The redesign is focused on usability. Although no drastic changes have been made, the overall look and feel of the website is much cleaner and more modern. The revamped editing interface is a major upgrade that Wikipedia editors will surely get excited about.

Like many small-scale operations, Wikipedia does not have the budget to systematically test how visitors use the website. Instead, it relies on feedback from users to pinpoint and address issues.

Cleaned Up

Our first impression of the beta redesign is that it looks quite sharp and tidy. The layout is still fundamentally the same; this redesign likely won’t cause the same outrage that Facebook stirred with its redesign back in March 2009.

The most obvious change is that the various components on the page are no longer confined to their own box. The navigation and main content areas are not closed in, and they extend all the way to the edge of the browser window.

The other obvious change is that Wikipedia has retired the background image of the open book. This cleans up the design significantly and makes the logo look much sharper.

Old design:

New design:

more info

Gamer Lounge: I Play… I Live…

A console gaming centre for gamers.
more info


Enviroseek.com is a search engine site committed to helping the environment. As the site gains popularity and more searches are conducted, Enviroseek.com will grow its efforts in supporting charitable organizations in their missions to help the earth's environment. The primary source of funding for our endeavors will come from advertisement from the normal use of the search engine. Our goal is simple: as Enviroseek grows, so will our reach to support environment based efforts around the globe. We are not a charitable organization, we do profit from this site and our otheroperations, but our intentions are to better the world around us while doing it.
more info

Introducing Photoshop CS4

Monday, December 14, 2009

I am big fan of XBHP.com

xBhp is pan India biking club.

‘x’ amount of Braking Horse Power. Where ‘x’ is any algebraic variable. Some prefer to say it is ‘x’tra braking horse power.

We have slogans to go with the name as well. ‘Anybike, Anyone’, ‘Bikers’ Haven’, but the most famous of them all ‘BHP, More is never enough!’

The xBhp Motto:
xBhp is committed to make biking a lifestyle in India and to take the Indian biker and youth on global level by harvesting it’s young talent in travel writing, photography and passion for bikes. And it is always ready for the next step...

More info: http://www.xbhp.com/

My New Honda CBF Stunner

The pemium 125cc segment has recently seen new additions like Bajaj XCD, Gladiator SS and RS and TVS Flame. Manufacturers are increasingly turning to the (so called premium) 125cc segment for profit. With a strategic move by Honda (HMSI) to augment the 12% market share it holds in this segment, the company is like to introduce an all new motorcycle in125cc segment in addition of its existing 125cc Shine.

The CBF stunner was the Honda’s attempt to attract young customers who love performance and style. In a similar bid, Bajaj had earlier announced it would launch sporty version of XCD 125cc. Honda India has succeded well with the Stunner CBF. Honda showcased the CBF stunner concept at the Auto Expo and since then the enthusiasm of bike lovers have raised anticapting its launch. Now, Honda Bikes India has come up with the Fi variant of CBF Stunner. Honda CBF Stunner Fi has been priced at INR.51,129 (ex-showroom, Delhi) & On-Road Price at INR.53,518(Delhi).


Name: CBF STUNNER Self-Disc-Alloy
Type: Commuter
Top Speed: 112kph
Fuel Consumption: City(52.00)
Fuel Consumption: Highway(65.00)

Displacement: 124.7cc
Engine: 4 Stroke, Air Cooled, OHC Single Cylinder
Maximum Power: 11 Bhp @ 8000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 11 Nm @ 6500 rpm
Gears: 5 Speed
Clutch: 0
Cooling Type: Air Cooling
0 to 60: 5.20 sec.

Length: 2012.00 mm
Width: 734.00 mm
Height: 1113.00 mm

Thursday, December 10, 2009

SAP planning to open up on-demand development platform

Executive: But developers won't be forced into a single programming method by Chris Kanaracus

SAP is hoping to build a platform of third-party SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications to complement its own emerging wave of offerings.

The vendor has been building a series of on-demand products with a Java-based platform it acquired through the 2006 purchase of Frictionless Commerce, maker of e-sourcing applications.

At some point, SAP plans to allow others access to the Frictionless platform, according to John Wookey, the SAP executive vice president heading up the company's on-demand software strategy for large enterprises.

But SAP has no desire to force those developers into a proprietary box, Wookey said in an interview this week during SAP's Influencer Summit in Boston.

"Our intent is not to go out and be a tools provider. We want to build good tools to build great applications and we want to open those up to third parties to use," he said. "But we're not going to actually prescribe that you have to use those tools."

"One of the biggest things people want to be able to do is to connect to our data sources or to connect to [SAP] Business Suite data sources," Wookey added. Therefore, SAP is developing the platform as a set of on-demand services, he said. "So you want to go connect to a certain customer's implementation of the Business Suite ... you can use these on-demand services to connect to it, get access to master data, and so on."

"People may choose to build on [Frictionless] which would be great," he continued. "But they may also decide they want to use Python or Ruby or anything else. We still want them to connect to our system in a standard way. So packaging up those services to get access to Business Suite, our data and our services is really what we're focused on in terms of when we talk about a platform."

SAP won't open up access to the platform right away. "We want to focus on getting our own applications out before supporting other people," he said.

The company's large enterprise on-demand strategy initially targets SAP's own customers, with applications positioned as extensions to an on-premise installation of Business Suite. An initial wave focuses on areas such as expense management and HCM (human capital management).

But down the road, SAP plans to also market its on-demand applications as stand-alone offerings, Wookey said.

"The first thing we have to do is win over our installed base and then use that as the right launching pad to go more aggressively into the open marketplace," he said.

Meanwhile, the periodic but high-profile service outages suffered by some SaaS vendors over the past couple of years have not been lost on SAP. The company has developed a "ramp plan" for scaling up its technology and support infrastructure as SAP adds more on-demand customers, according to Wookey.

"I worry about [reliability] all the time, but I get good answers to all my hard questions so I think we're in a good position to serve our customers," he said.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

6 Reasons Why Designers Should Code

I know, I know…none of us creative types want anything to do with coding past the very basic HTML/CSS we need to know to get our designs to the developers.

Doing development is something for those programming grunts, those code jockeys, those geeks.

Why should we enter the trenches of development when it’s so nice up here with the Photoshop brushes, afternoon tea, and MacPros? 

Because you’ll be a better designer for it.

Skeptical? Read on and discover 6 reasons why designers should code…

1. Better XHTML

I’ve worked with and known many designers who knew only the bare minimum needed to get their designs out of Photoshop and into a web format. Oftentimes they would make use of a software program or plugin like SiteGrinder. While these programs keep getting better and better at making compliant code, they still don’t match the human-produced variety.

Knowing how to write your own standards-compliant XHTML will make you a valuable addition to any web team (emphasis on the standards-compliant part). With all the fuss about PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby, and many other languages, people tend to forget that everything ends up being HTML in the end, because that’s what your browser has to have in order to render a page. The more you know about the medium you work in, the better you work in that medium.

2. Better SEO

And while we’re talking about standards-compliant code, we should mention SEO. This is a big buzzword, though not quite as much as it has been in the past. However, what this means is that SEO is becoming a much more commonplace idea of what a website should strive for, instead of just an added special feature for big business sites.

If you can learn to write your own code, you’re much closer to being able to list “SEO Compliant Designs” on your sheet of available services. That means you can charge more, and it’s another badge on your hat.

3. Better Accessibility

Better code and better SEO = better accessibility. Part of of the job of any designer is to present information in a clear and coherent manner, and on the web that means not solely in a visual manner. A shoddily-coded website can be a nightmare to navigate if you’re blind, or even if you’re using a mobile device.

Learning the ins and outs of developing code for accessibility not only allows you have that knowledge as part of your production skillset, but it will also help you to better understand the considerations you should take when designing for accessibility.

Accessibility is a mandate for all government websites, nearly all education sites, and businesses are starting to see the value in it as well. The more people you can reach via your site, the more chance you have of accomplishing your goal, whatever it may be. And that has to be reflected in any successful design.

4. Better Left Side

Being a right-brained creative is great, but giving your left side a workout can spur on creativity of a different nature. The motto at the bottom of the WordPress website is “Code Is Poetry”, and this is because translating a written language to something that can be visually seen is truly an art form.

Learning to write your own code opens up whole new avenues of expression. Developing your technical and analytical abilities can improve your information design, developing wireframes, and create a pathway to work with interaction design. And who knows, it may even improve your math skills!

5. Better Communication

It’s easy to get lost in the techno-jargon used by developers, simply because you may not have been exposed to the type of things they are discussing. Digging in and working with code yourself will allow you to become familiar with the terminology that is used when conversing about the construction of a site.

Being able to speak the lingo will help when you need to communicate with a developer or project manager about how a design should be implemented.

6. Better Design

You can only do so much knowing the fundamentals of design. Typography, color theory, composition, etc. are all fantastic and extremely important skills to know (and know well)…but eventually if you want to excel in your creativity, you must learn the tools of the trade. Painters learn about canvas types, paint compositions, and bristle qualities. Web design is no exception. Learn to code: you’ll be better for it.

Written exclusively for WDD by Ryan Burrell.

Wikipedia Redesign: What’s in Store?

Wikipedia is currently undergoing a much needed redesign to improve the user experience.

Anyone can preview this redesign by creating an account, logging in and then clicking the “Try Beta” link at the top right of any page.

The “Wikipedia Usability Initiative” has been divided into two phases. Phase 1 was the prototype phase, and it ended in the summer of 2009.

The project team is currently in the second phase, which is the development and testing phase.

The project has also been separated into four releases; as of the writing of this article, the second release (Babaco) is currently in development.

In this article, we’ll discuss Wikipedia’s design changes and the reasons behind them.

The Wikipedia Usability Initiative is scheduled to be ready in the spring of 2010. More information about the project can be found here.

The redesign is focused on usability. Although no drastic changes have been made, the overall look and feel of the website is much cleaner and more modern. The revamped editing interface is a major upgrade that Wikipedia editors will surely get excited about.

Like many small-scale operations, Wikipedia does not have the budget to systematically test how visitors use the website. Instead, it relies on feedback from users to pinpoint and address issues.

Cleaned Up
Our first impression of the beta redesign is that it looks quite sharp and tidy. The layout is still fundamentally the same; this redesign likely won’t cause the same outrage that Facebook stirred with its redesign back in March 2009.

The most obvious change is that the various components on the page are no longer confined to their own box. The navigation and main content areas are not closed in, and they extend all the way to the edge of the browser window.

The other obvious change is that Wikipedia has retired the background image of the open book. This cleans up the design significantly and makes the logo look much sharper.

More Information:
click here

Free Christmas Icon Set

large preview: click here

Christmas is coming and, of course, it’s just the right time to provide you with some nice freebies to fresh up your designs. To celebrate the holidays, our friends from IconEden designed “Smashing Christmas”, a free icon set, dedicated to the design community and released especially for Smashing Magazine’s readers. The set contains 39 beautiful, well-crafted icons with warm and welcoming color scheme.

All icons are designed in 3 different style: realistic 3D style, simple shape style and button style – hence the icons are extremely versatile. This set is available in both vector and pixel format and available for free download and use.

download the icons (.ico, .incs, .png, .tif)
(.zip, 7.6 Mb)

download the vector sources (.eps, .ai) (.zip, 16.3 Mb)

Source By:
Smashing Magazine

Yo, Google: Take a Page from Apple's App Store Playbook

Apple does the right thing in banning Molinker and all of their applications -- but will Google continue to ignore the issue?
Zack Urlocker, InfoWorld

Yesterday Apple took the extreme step of banning a developer, Molinker, for posting bogus reviews on iTunes.

No doubt, there's some number of bogus reviews on any product review site, whether iTunes, Amazon, or elsewhere. But in this case, the developer had posted dozens if not hundreds of bogus reviews across their product portfolio.

The company had over 1,000 different related apps on iTunes. I don't know how well these applications were selling, but Apple was getting 30 percent of the revenues.

Despite the fact that Apple was making money off Molinker, the company didn't hestitate to do the right thing: It banned Molinker and all of its applications. It looks like Apple gets "Do no evil" maybe even better than Google does.

As I reported two weeks ago, Google's got plenty of bogus review sites that it promotes through its AdSense program. As far as I can tell, Google is still ignoring the issue. Maybe it will take the FTC to crack down on scam review sites using Google ads.

It's nice to see a tech company do right by consumers and ensure a level playing field. Apple, good on ya!

For more IT analysis and commentary on emerging technologies, visit InfoWorld.com. Story copyright © 2007 InfoWorld Media Group. All rights reserved.

Source By:

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco

Now in its fourth year, Web 2.0 Expo is for the builders of the next-generation web: designers, developers, entrepreneurs, marketers, business strategists, and venture capitalists. We look not only for the hot new thing, but for the failures to learn from, the innovations and inspirations, the successes that will surprise you, and the practical applications of all of the above. Read more about Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco.

O'Reilly and TechWeb are prepping our program for 2010, featuring the best and brightest in the Web 2.0 universe showing the world how the next Internet Revolution is being designed and delivered. Are you an alpha geek? A design rockstar? A black hat SEO? The best web ops engineer money can buy? A once-burned twice-shy dot-commer, now battle-tested? If you know how Web 2.0 works, we'll put you in front of the biggest stage in tech to learn from and network with your peers.

Whether you're an expert in Ajax, Ruby, tagging, Facebook, user experience, meta-programming, search engine marketing, community building, web operations, user-generated content, building startups from scratch, or “Web2.0-ifying” the enterprise, save a date to be at Web 2.0 Expo May 3-6, 2010.

Web 2.0 Expo happens May 3-6, 2010 at Moscone West in San Francisco. General registration will open in January 2010. Sign up for the Web 2.0 Expo newsletter to be notified when attendee registration opens.

Important Dates
Speakers will be notified by: January 2010
Registration opens: January 2010

Source By:

Photoshop CS4 Bible

I have purchase a new book...

The ultimate comprehensive reference to Adobe now updated and revised to cover the CS4 release!

* As the industry-standard image-editing software for print and digital media, Photoshop has a phenomenally broad reach and, if you’re a user, then you’re anxious to get started with CS4!
* This authoritative guide to Photoshop CS4 shows you how to retouch, color correct, manipulate, and combine images
* Sheds light on optimal ways to create cutting-edge special effects for digital or film-based images, and then use them on the Web or in print
* More than 1,200 pages are packed with advice that demystifies even the most complex Photoshop tasks
* Covers everything from image-editing basics to techniques for working with camera raw images
* Also discusses the file browser, histogram palette, lens blur, customizable keyboard shortcuts, and more

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

Table of Contents:
About the Authors.



Part I: Welcome To Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Chapter 1: Working with Digital Images.

Chapter 2: The Photoshop Workspace, Preferences, and Tools.

Chapter 3: Finding and Processing Images with Bridge.

Chapter 4: Camera Raw Work Area.

Part II: Working with Images.

Chapter 5: Creating New Images, Resizing, and Adjusting Resolution.

Chapter 6: Undoing Mistakes.

Chapter 7: Saving Files.

Part III: Layers, Selections, Channels, and Curves.

Chapter 8: Layers, Layer Masks, Blending Modes, and Smart Objects.

Chapter 9: Histograms, Levels,and Curves.

Chapter 10: Selections and Channels.

Part IV: Paths, Shapes, and Text.

Chapter 11: Working with Paths.

Chapter 12: Working with Vector Shapes.

Chapter 13: Working with Text.

Part V: Enhancing, Correcting, and Retouching.

Chapter 14: Lightening, Darkening,and Changing Contrast.

Chapter 15: Color Correctionand Color Changes.

Chapter 16: Transparency, Opacity, Silhouettes, and Image Collages.

Chapter 17: Noise, Grain, Dust, Pixelization, and Jagged Edges.

Chapter 18: Retouching and Restoring Digital Images.

Part VI: Painting and Special Effects.

Chapter 19: Painting.

Chapter 20: Filters and Layer Styles.

Chapter 21: Distortion Effects.

Chapter 22: Text Effects.

Part VII: Color Management and Workflow.

Chapter 23: Color Management.

Chapter 24: Designing for the Web.

Chapter 25: Digital Workflow Overview and Automating Processes.

Part VIII: Video, 3D Images, and Technical Images.

Chapter 26: Working with Video.

Chapter 27: Working with 3D Images.

Chapter 28: Working with Technical Images.

Part IX: Appendixes.

Appendix A: Charts.

Appendix B: Professional Resources.

Appendix C: What’s on the CD?


Author Information:
Stacy Cates has been in the graphic design and printing industry for more than 20 years. She has been teaching Adobe Photoshop since 2001 and holds Adobe Certified Instructor and Comptia Certified Technical Trainer certifications, as well as a Georgia Institute of Technology Certificate in Web design. Her teaching experience ranges from one-on-one training to teaching college-level computer art courses. Stacy is experienced in a wide variety of practical applications for Photoshop and specializes in preparing images for printing, color correction, and retouching images. Stacy has earned numerous awards for publication design and an award for Web design from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Contact Stacey at stacy@stacycates.com

Simon Abrams was smitten with computers ever since the day his dad gave him his first Commodore 64 back in the late ’80s. It wasn’t until he took a class called Intro to Microcomputer Graphics in college that he discovered that the intersection of computers and art was where his true love was to be found. He later attended the Savannah College of Art & Design, where he studied 3D Modeling and Animation. Upon graduating with a BFA in Computer Art, Simon moved to New York City. After a brief stint at Tekserve (New York’s premier Mac repair shop), he got a job working as a designer at an interactive advertising agency during the heady dot-com boom of the late ’90s. Along the way, he discovered his second love: photography, which he pursues vigorously as a serious amateur around the streets and subways of New York. His photography has been featured on various sites, including Yahoo! News, Gothamist, and Panasonic’s Digital Photo Academy. Simon is an Adobe Certified Photoshop Professional and regularly appears as a guest lecturer teaching Photoshop at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He has also led workshops in the theater at Apple’s flagship retail location in SoHo, New York. Simon currently lives in Brooklyn, with his wife Stephanie. He recently became a student of karate and works as a Flash developer at an advertising agency in New York City.

Dan Moughamian began exploring Adobe Photoshop in 1993 and never looked back. His passion for digital imaging ultimately led to a career in fine art photography, which continues to present day and has evolved to encompass not only still photography, but video and motion graphics as well. Dan is an accomplished instructor, teaching digital photography and Photoshop classes for Chicago-based venues such as Mac Specialist. Dan is also an Adobe trainer for designProVideo.com, authoring titles such as Photoshop CS4: Digital Photography Workflows. Dan lives outside of Chicago with his wife Kathy.

Source By: