Coffee Talk is a resource for businesses, IPD partners, designers, and students of online business to learn more of practices within our field of interest. Within CoffeeTalk, we discuss issues in the field of web design and development, contemporary issues of business, give advice and suggestions, provide articles and topics of further discussion, and helpful hints, clues, and free things.
 
 
Windows 7 To Allow Users To Turn Off IE and Other Microsoft Tools
 
A post-beta build of the coming Windows 7 OS offers a feature to allow users to easily disable and delete the Internet Explorer 8 browser. Such functionality (the disable and delete options) exhibit an increasing flexibility by Microsoft regarding users personal choices and attitudes. This may lighten the resistance by the European Commission for using Microsoft, as well as, their "statement of objections," accusing Microsoft of illegally tying IE to Windows. 
Keyterms: internet, web browsers, Internet Explorer 
Read more about Microsoft's browser upgrades
 
Google Boosts Green Initiative
 
Google's PowerMeter initiative as well as other contests and funding initiatives demonstrates Google's zest for a greener industry. In essence, Google is extending it's product offering to promote energy conservation to both consumers and business. It's latest initiative was a video contest called Power Down for the Planet sponsored by the Climate Savers Computing Initiative ( Google owned ).
 
Craigslist Classified Ads Gain Negative Attention
 
Craigslist is one of the largest local classified and forums platform on the web. Craigslist users will do everything from debate politics, search or list job postings, sell their car, rent an apartment or discuss art. One facet of Craigslist that has been gaining negative attention as well as a federal lawsuit is erotic services. Law enforcement agencies argue that Craisglist is the largest platform and source for prostitution in America--and helps enable human trafficing and child prostitution. In 2008 ( and earlier ), Craigslist announced teamwork with law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for crackdown on illict sex ads. The effort contained three parts: 1.) technical advancements with the site's screening and tracking mechanisms, 2.) changes to the ad policy of Craigslist's erotic services section, and 3.) an aggressive legal approach. Such efforts did not seem to be enough, since this year Craigslist will be facing a federal lawsuit initiated by an Illinois Sheriff in the Cook County. Statement by the Sheriff: "This has to stop. This cannot continue to go on," Dart said. "We're talking about charges we have for human trafficking, arresting for juvenile pimping, for prostitution -- we have all of it here." The core goal of the lawsuit is to force Craigslist to remove the "Erotic Services" section from their "Services Offered" section. 
Keyterms: internet security, web forums management, Web 2.0 security, forum abuse
 
Apple Speeds Up Safari
 
Safari 4 chocked with new features and better speed rolled out into Beta. Browser wars are picking up momentum with Google's Chrome making its way into the market. Apple called the new Safari browser “the world’s fastest,” saying that its underlying Nitro engine runs JavaScript (4.2 times) faster than Safari 3. The importance of browsers cannot be understated today with ever more software and office tools migrating to the web environment and trends in cloud computing pick up steam.
Keyterms: browsers, web software, Apple, Safari, web business, web 2.0
 
PC Microprocessor Market Looks Bleak
 
The fourth quater of 2008 contained a sharp decline in shipments of microprocessors for PCs. The PC microprocessor revenue declined 18 percent while unit shipment declined 17 percent.
 
Two Giants, Google and IBM, Improve The Systems For Online Medical Records
 
Google and IBM worked jointly on a software that will help consumers uploading health care data such as heart rate and blood pressure to their Google Health records. These medical records will help medical professionals study a condition without the patient needing to show up in person for an initial office visit.
 
Oracle Acquires mValent
 
Shares of Oracle climbed $.49, or 2.87 percent, to $17.54 in morning trading after acquiring mValent in an optimistic buy. The deal is expected to be complete in mid 2009. The two companies will operate seperately untilthat point.
 
Obama Gets To Keep His Blackberry
 
President Obama, like many tech savvy managers, is used to the rapid communications afforded by mobile devices. Blackberry's and iPhone's has undoubtably changed business culture for good ( and as some argue...for bad ). Blackberry's increase one's propensity for multitasking and dealing with assorted issues rapidly and from one location. Nevertheless, President Obama fought to keep his blackberry and the NSA has built some high level encription along with usage restraints to grant his request. Who will be able to communicate with the President via the Blackberry?....senior staffers, family members, and close friends--of course. And they are not able to forward his emails..which is part of the security device installed on his machine.
 
Facebook Developer Platform Management Mix-it-up
 
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some changes to its third-party developer projects program. The new head of platform and Facebook Connect engineering is now Mike Vernal, who takes over from Charlie Cheever. Platform marketing responsibilities will now be handled by Ethan Beard, instead of Elliot Schrage whose background was in law and not programming.
 
Google Notebook To Be Discontinued
 
Google is discontinuing development on its Notebook service: google.com/notebook. There product description was: "Google Notebook is a simple way for users to save and organize their thoughts when conducting research online." Google notebook could be accessed as a website or as a web service through installable apps such as in the notebook add-on for Mozilla Firefox browser.
 
Video Game Gets Blammed For Raise In College Drop Outs
 
The Federal Communications Commission blames Blizzard Entertainment, the makers of the incredibly popular video game, World of Warcraft for a raise in college drop outs. The statement reads in part: "You might find it alarming that one of the top reasons for college drop-outs in the US is online gaming addiction - such as World of Warcraft - which is played by 11 million individuals worldwide." The FCC states that the games are "inherently" addictive.
 
Government of Vietnam To Use Linux Over Microsoft
 
According to a new law, 100% of the government of Vietnam's servers must run Linux by June 30, 2009, and 70% of agencies must use OpenOffice.org, Mozilla Firefox, and Mozilla Thunderbird by the end of 2009. Vietnam has a population of 86 million. Vietnam has 4 million more people than Germany, and is one of the world's fastest-growing economies. This move expands the scope of Linux--greatly furthering its usage in an aggressively competitive arena: government networks.
 
Cell Systems Will Be Overloaded On January 20th 2009
 
It is expected that hundreds of thousands of people likely all trying to call or text their friends at exactly the same moment, when Barack Obama finishes his oath of office and formally becomes president. This could mean that service will be slow or, for some networks, service may drop out entirely immediately following the ceremony. Carriers ( like Sprint and Verizon ) are preparing for the day with mobile cell towers. Each mobile tower can only handle a total of 1,500 additional callers and 60 simultaneous calls. 
Topics: Phones, Mobile, Networks, Communications
 
Canada May Bail Out Nortel Networks
 
Nortel was once Canada's largest publically traded company, attracting massive investment dollars and holding 90% of its market cap. In the midst of this economic panic, the Canadian government will defend against the bankrupcy of its once champion giant. “Nortel could restructure and assume a lower debt profile but if that can’t be achieved a government bailout is certainly an option. Canada has a long history of bailouts,” said Joe Nordgaard, director of wireless consulting firm Spectral Advantage. Topics: Business, Mobile, Networks, Communications
 
iPhone To Become A 99 Dollar Walmart Favorite?
 
Apple's consideration of pushing the iPhone into the clutches of superstore behemoth, Walmart, could be a stroke of pure brilliance or the dumbest move they ever made. Rumors spread of Apple planning to market a 4G low-end version of the iPhone through Walmart. ' High design...everyday low prices". 
Topics: Mobile, Design, iPhone, Business B to C
 
YouTube To Display Google Ads
 
In November of 2006, Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube. In an apparent attempt to recoup the cost and turn towards building profit, Google has begun to show its ads within YouTube. 
Topics: Web, Web advertising
 
Online Advertising Is Strong In The Q3
 
There was an unexpect increase in web ad spending in the third quarter of eleven percent, or $5.9 billion and a that represented a two percent increase over the previous quarter.
 
IBM Creates Testing Mechanism For Cloud Computing Service Providers
 
IBM's new product, Resilient Cloud Validation program, will test services based on stability of their systems, potential for outages, trustworthiness, security, and resiliency. IBM does not offer cloud computing services directly to businesses. Instead, IBM has become a strong hardware and middleware dealer and a facilitator of the cloud computing market.
 
Nokia Gives Up In Japanese Markets
 
Nokia is the number one mobile phone producer in the world. The Finnish company just decided to back out of Japanese markets, which is one of the most sophisticated mobile phone markets in the world. "We have judged that we cannot continue to invest in product development just for Japan amid the current tough economic conditions," Nokia's EVP Timo Ihamuotila told Reuters. Japanese manufacturers have been thoroughly tough competition to the Nokia company in their local market ever since they entered that market in 1994.
 
Facebook Beats Spammers To The Tune Of 873 Million
 
Spammers targeted Facebook users with pitches of sex, porn, gambling and drugs. A US District judge awarded 873 Million dollars in damages to Facebook, which happens to be the largest award in a civil suit so far under the CAN-SPAM Act. The damages were awarded against a Canadian man who tricked users into giving up their password so that he could send out more than 4 million messages that included promotions for marijuana. This case builds precedent for future anti-spam cases.
Source: Associated Press
 
Teen Broadcasts Own Suicide As Onlookers Crack Jokes
 
On a popular video casting website, Justin.tv, a teenager stated that he wold commit suicide and 12 hours later the teen dies with camera rolling. The video website also emdedded related chat adjacent to the video, so that users can comment in real time. Some users made jokes and some discussed whether he was taking a dose big enough to kill himself, but no one reported the incident to moderators, perhaps believing it was not real. Some users told investigators they did not take him seriously because he had threatened suicide on the site before. As the police entered the room the chat was filled with: "OMFG," one wrote, which is shorthand for "Oh, my God," while other users either not knowing/believing what they were witnessing, or not caring, wrote "lol," which means "laughing out loud," and "hahahah." This incident will become a highly debated and discussed topic surrounding the internet and teens--perhaps becoming an item to find its way into policy discussion as well in the future.
 
Does Social News Affect Democratic Reporting?
 
Thoughts:
As the news becomes more and more driven by direct and immediate user response and interest, does the quality of news become less: either less investigative or more homogeneous? In the sample image below, news is filtered or given a more prominent feature the more users click or interact with it. Convenience of accessibility and immediacy, will basically drive more traffic to the top results--thus fueling a perpetual circle of few, highly trafficked results. However, if this feature is nested along-side other news aggregation systems or human selected news, then the news becomes multi-perspective and quality is highened through choice.
Marketing and design agency New York