Tag Archives: internet

The Rise of the Asset-Light Generation

Every year, Mary “Queen of the Net” Meeker releases her must-read “State of the Internet” report, gleaning insight from predominant internet trends, with almost prescient accuracy.

In this year’s presentation, one of the major themes she identifies is the rise of the “sharing economy” or as Mary calls it, a shift to an “Asset-Light Generation.”

Mary-Meeker-2012-Internet-Trends-Year-End-Update-Business-Insider

A simple translation of this term is: Americans buying less stuff. It is a trend that should not only inspirit sustainability advocates, but Americans all-around. Asset-heavy consumption has led our country to experience a rise in obesity, a rise in pollution, and a rise in debt, with a net impact of a decrease in quality of life.

So cheers to the rise of the “Asset-Light Generation” — there’s hope for us yet.

Third Industrial Revolution – led by renewable energy and the internet

Jeremy Rifkin is a renowned economist on the environment, author, and advisor to the European Union. And he has a theory about the next great movement of the world – The Third Industrial Revolution.

From Omega:

The great economic revolutions in history occur when new communication technologies converge with new energy systems. New energy revolutions make possible more expansive and integrated trade. Accompanying communication revolutions manage the complex new commercial activities made possible by the new energy flows.

Ushering in the First Industrial Revolution during the 19th century, cheap steam-powered print technology and the introduction of public schools gave rise to a print-literate work force with the communication skills to manage the increased flow of commercial activity (which was made possible by coal and steam power technology).

That was followed by electrical forms of communication in the 20th century – mass media – and energy powered by oil and the combustion engine. And now we are at the beginning stages of the third step, with renewable energy and the internet as the drivers of change.

Read his full piece – Five Pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution – to learn more, or watch this short video from CNN:

 

Is there sugar in toothpaste?

There can’t be sugar in toothpaste. The dentists wouldn’t allow it. Indeed, the American Dental Association (ADA) says:

No ADA-Accepted toothpaste contains sugar or any other ingredient that would promote tooth decay.

But notice the qualification, “or any other ingredient.” This refers to sweeteners and toothpaste does contain sweeteners. From the preceding sentence, toothpaste includes:

Flavoring agents, such as saccharin and other sweeteners to provide taste.

The other sweeteners are sorbitol, aspartame, cyclamates, and glycerin. And, yes, they are the sweeteners linked to cancer in rats, aspartame and saccharin.

For further reference, from the ingredient list of the toothpaste in my home:

  • Colgate – glycerin, sodium saccharin
  • Burt’s Bees – glycerin, stevia extract

There’s the answer, toothpaste does not contain sugar, but it does contain sweetener.

And if sugar is horrible for our teeth what about sweeteners. If they perform the same function can they cause the same problems? No direct answer was found, but two alternate explanations are available.

First, tooth decay comes from plaque which is the build-up of bacteria on teeth. Any food item promotes this build-up, sweetener included. Therefore, sweetener does cause tooth decay. But it is added for some purpose?

Second, sweetener does nothing for our teeth it is only added for flavoring. From a periodontist:

What most people dont know is that plaque is removed by the mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles against the teeth and gum whether toothpaste is used or not. Much to the toothpaste manufacturers chagrin they have never been able to prove that using toothpaste increases plaque removal, it simply makes for a better experience by adding some flavor.

He then goes on to recommend using baking soda with fluoride, or “use whatever you like” since toothpaste does nothing for your teeth.

An interesting thought, is toothpaste really useless? Here is an article from a mother who, with her dentists approval, stopped using toothpaste - No toothpaste, No cavities. It said her family has greatly improved teeth and fewer cavities.

Another article challenges the other toxins in toothpaste, the abrasives and detergents. Saying they are products pulled from “engine degreasers” and other industrial products. But that is written with the hope of selling you an herbal toothpaste.

In conclusion, there is sweetener is toothpaste but only in small amounts. Most articles say it is less than 2% of the product and maybe that’s why it causes no harm? Either way it is only a flavoring and does nothing to help our teeth. Indeed there is some doubt about the value of toothpaste altogether. So be wary the next time you buy a toothpaste for its cavity fighting protection or sensitive relief technology. And if you’re feeling adventurous consult your dentist, quit toothpaste, and enjoy trying the alternatives.

 

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Summary of Matt Mullenweg’s – State of the Word 2012

In early August, 2012, Matt Mullenweg delivered his sixth State of the Word, giving us an update on all things WordPress. An interesting talk because WordPress is the dominate platform for bloggers, it powers 17% of the internet, and is the software I use for this blog.

Unfortunately, there are no summaries of the talk, only the raw video, slides, and a live blog. Which is very strange considering how important this software is. Not to worry, I’ve included a summary below pulled together from personal notes and various blogs:

 

Summary – State of the Word 2012 – Matt Mullenweg

  • WordPress is 9 years old, 6th State of the Word
  • WordCamps – in 2006 there was 1 – in 2011 there were 52, and in 2012 there are 75 planned.
  • Single greatest change of the year – Plugin Headers – which are pictures on plugin pages
    • Matt talked a lot about how small changes are the most requested features
  • Forums linked to plugins allowing thousands of answered questions.
  • Improved rating system for plugins. Like Amazon, allowing readers to see individual reviews and authors to respond.
  • NUX – new user experience improved, welcome page might become permanent homepage – dashboard is too cluttered
  • WordPress 3.5 – coming Dec. 5
    • Matt wants updates to work more like Chrome (i.e. automatic and in the background)
    • Speed updates from 2/year to 3/year
    • 3.5 includes Retina Support – Matt says it’s the next big thing
  • Many topics about getting involved
  • Improve parity between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
    • JetPack.me offers all the best plugins from *.com for *.org users
    • 2.3 million JetPack downloads
  • Mobile
    • 5 million mobile downloads
    • On 6 platforms
  • Apps are the future
    • First 4 years blogging, next 4 years content management (CMS), next are apps
    • More people use WordPress for CMS than for blogging
    • App examples: running maps, interactive graphics
  • 20,000 people make $$ from WordPress (writing or developing) – in 2011 it was 13,000
    • Average cost to develop a WordPress site: $2,000 gov/non-profit – $2,500 small biz – $4,200 corporate

 

That’s the summary in 26 lines or less! If you’re looking for more WPMU has a minute-by-minute breakdown.

 

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Inside Barack Obama’s visit to Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything”

Peter Kafka got a chance to ask Reddit founder, Alexis Ohanian, “How Reddit Got Obama”:

There’s not a lot to it. I’ve gotten to know quite a few folks in the WH & Obama campaign team over the years and it was always something I brought up when I got the chance. There are quite a few redditors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and at the campaign HQ — given the prominence of reddit, it’s an easy sell.

 

I’ve met Alexis and that’s really how he is, but there has to be more to it than that. Read the rest of Peter’s article for the answer (hint: nope that’s really it).

***

Here are my two favorite question/answers from the whole event:

What’s the recipe for the White House’s beer?

Obama: It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.

The most upvoted link, 1604 votes, shows this picture -http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3qop0b/

Redditor: This may be the most appropriate use of this meme in reddit’s history.

 

 

Who’s your favourite Basketball player?

Obama: Jordan – I’m a Bulls guy.

Redditor: damn right you are

edit: …sir.

 

For a complete listing of the session visit Alex Howard’s rundown on Google Plus.

 

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“Text 62262 to contribute $10 to Obama” – both campaigns launch donations by text message

If you want to be a politician then you have to get online. Not just with a website but a million social media personalities and a smartphone app. To put it another way, you have to be cutting edge.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Obama campaign is open to accepting donations via text message:

Marking the beginning of what could be a revolution in U.S. campaign finance, the Obama campaign said on Thursday it is wrapping up agreements with (all major carriers) to open the floodgate for donations by text this week.

In the coming days, voters are likely to start seeing a message on video screens at Obama rallies, at the end of ads or on fliers, encouraging them “to contribute $10 to Obama for America, text GIVE to 62262.” The numbers spell out “OBAMA.”

Don’t worry Republicans you too can join in the fun, by texting 466488 or “GOMITT”.

If you ask me this could be the ultimate strategy for Obama. Have you seen how crazy people get at his rallies. They will pull out pop starts and hip hop artists, add a little punk artwork, and then boom, Obama is on stage. People will be texting away their life savings before they leave the place.

 

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Google Chrome now owns the internet – most popular web browser in the world

The Next Web is covering the massive rise of Google’s web browser, Chrome:

 

Remember when Google’s Chrome browser overtook Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser for a week back in May? And next, for a full calendar month?

 

Now, it’s on top and looking to stay…

 

For July 2012, StatCounter pegged Chrome’s global market share at 33.8 percent, up from 32.8 percent in June and from 22.1 percent in July 2011.

 

That’s a pretty meteoric rise in one year, or a precipitous drop by the others. Rankings by market share:

 

  • Chrome – 33.8%
  • Internet Explorer – 32%
  • Firefox – 23.7%
  • Safari – 7.1%

 

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How change.org was turned into the internets biggest tool for social change

“The idea was to build every possible tool for nonprofits, social fundraising, skills based volunteerism, a blog network…really big, unobtainable objectives,” said Ben Rattray who, at 22-years-old, founded Change.org. “We failed.”

Rather than giving up, he pivoted. Instead of attempting to provide every technological service to anyone trying to make an impact, the business narrowed its focus, developing on online platform for concerned citizens to start petitions. And he started to see real changes.

Bank of America dropped its $5 debit card fee after more than 300,000 people signed a petition started by a 22-year-old Molly Katchpole. The Sanford neighborhood watchman who allegedly shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was arrested and charged after his parents gathered more than 2 million signatures. South Africa convened a task force to address rapes meant to turn lesbians straight after citizens organized to protest and collected 171,000 signatures.

 

Source: Fast Company - The Pivot That Changed The World

 

 

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People are pulling the plug on cable television by the hundreds of thousands

People are pulling the plug on cable television by the hundreds of thousands.

Comcast’s Q2 2012 earnings show the cable company is relying heavily on its high-speed Internet service subscribers.

Though the cable giant reports a total Q2 increase in customers of 138,000; the cable company also lost a massive 395,000 television subscribers in the last year.

This number is huge, considering Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Anninger previously predicted 200,000 fewer subscribers would pay for television services this year.

 

Source: Business Insider

 

Specific numbers:

In Q2 2012:

  • Lost 176,000 cable subscribers.
  • Gained 156,000 broadband.
In Q2 2011
  • Lost 238,000 cable.
  • Gained 144,000 broadband.

“While Comcast continued to rack up new broadband subscribers, it is still losing basic video subscribers quite fast — both to cord cutters and satellite/phone company rivals.” – GigaOm

 

 

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As Digg rebuilds – thinks differently & innovates by scoring all shares – tweets, likes, and diggs

The early Digg was brilliant and honest and democratic. Each digg was a vote and each vote counted towards the ultimate objective: moving a story closer and closer to the top position on the Digg homepage.

Today, we vote on Facebook with every share and on Twitter with every tweet, and conversations take place across loads of different sites, apps, and networks. So how do we surface “what the Internet is talking about,” when the Internet is talking beyond the walls of Digg.com? We tear down the walls. When we launch v1, users will continue to be able to digg stories, but Digg scores will also take into account Facebook shares and tweets. Roll over any Digg score to see the breakdown. We’re excited to see how this new data can help us identify the best stories on the web.

Here’s an early wireframe of the new Digg score:

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