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The Week We Searched For – December 11, 2009

Posted By Camille Canon On December 11, 2009 @ 11:08 am In Featured,News | 1 Comment

New iPhone App Released: Gateguru A new iPhone app was released this week [1] that could help you pass the time during your next air travel delay. Gateguru takes the idea of Yelp [2], which compares local restaurants, bars and shops through user reviews, and applies it to airport businesses. The application is currently available for 87 domestic airports, at $1.99, but is expected to expand, considering the $6 billion spent annually in airports. [3] Facebook’s New Privacy Policy Facebook introduced a new privacy policy this week, seeking to better its chances against the micro-blogging site Twitter. The redesign has caused quite the backlash from users and bloggers alike [4], who complain that the new policy sets users to the “everyone” mode, which exposes more user information [profile pictures, friends, city, gender, networks and fan pages] to the public. It will be interesting to see if these modifications change Facebook’s culture or whether user complaints prompt Facebook to scale back their privacy policy. Facebook and Twitter Influence Shopping According to a ComScore Inc. survey released this week, social media sides, like Facebook and Twitter have influenced 28% of holiday shopping decisions this year. Digital word of mouth is apparently quite potent. Most interestingly, this statistic offers a rare, numerical insight into the role social media can play on purchasing decisions and even commerce at large. To read more, check out W. David Gardner’s article from InformationWeek. [5] Need a break from Facebook? Check out Seppukoo. Something interesting to check out this week: Seppukoo.com, a site that conducts the often painful deactivation of Facebook accounts for users who cannot muster the strength themselves. The website was started by an Italian ‘group’ called Les Liens Invisibles (‘The Invisible Links’ in French), which does not seek to sabotage Facebook, but rather "to help people discover what happens after their virtual life and to rediscover the importance of being anyone, instead of pretending to be someone." [6] So, if you are tired of the burden of Facebook or the responsibility of Farmville, you can join the 20,000 others who have committed ritualistic Facebook suicide. AOL’s First Week as an Independent Company This week marks AOL first week as an independent company, after a ten year marriage to media giant Time Warner. Timothy Armstrong is taking the reins as the new chief executive with aspirations to re-brand AOL as the leader in internet content. AOL has quite a journey ahead, but Armstrong hopes their plan of investing in freelance editors will generate deeper, more targeted content. To read more about Armstrong’s plans to re-launch AOL as an independent company, check out Karen Nye’s article. [7] Twitter Adds Italian to their List of Languages Twitter launched an Italian version of their service this week [8], meaning that German is the only language left, from its initial plans to support the  “FIGS” languages (French, Italian, German and Spanish.)  For those who are fluent in Italian, check out Twitter’s official "annuncio". [9] Google Backed Super-Speed Internet Cable Google announced their  plans to help build the highest capacity telecommunications system- ever. The Southeast Asia Japan Cable will run 3,000 miles across Southeast Asia, from Singapore to Japan, with pit stops in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Guam. The system is designed to give a whole new meaning to the phrase "high-speed internet." According to The Guardian [10], “The SJC is set to break records by allowing up to 17 terabits of data to be sent every second - the equivalent of around 250m telephone lines, and large enough to allow the contents of every single book in the British Library to be transferred 20 times per second.”

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URLs in this post:

[1] A new iPhone app was released this week: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-iphone-app-helps-you-navigate-us-airports-2009-12

[2] Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/

[3] considering the $6 billion spent annually in airports.: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/apples-modest-addition-to-the-upper-west-side/?ref=technology

[4] The redesign has caused quite the backlash from users and bloggers alike: http://www.examiner.com/x-13207-Generation-Y-Examiner~y2009m12d10-New-Facebook-privacy-settings-questionable

[5] To read more, check out W. David Gardner’s article from InformationWeek.: http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/retail/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=222001300

[6] "to help people discover what happens after their virtual life and to rediscover the importance of being anyone, instead of pretending to be someone.": http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/12/facebook-social-media-seppuku.html

[7] check out Karen Nye’s article.: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8407756.stm

[8] Twitter launched an Italian version of their service this week: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/10/AR2009121003210.html

[9] check out Twitter’s official "annuncio".: http://blog.twitter.com/2009/12/ed-ecco-litaliano.html

[10] The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/dec/11/google-undersea-cable-asia

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