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Facebook CEO promises 'something awesome' to launch next week

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised the company will "launch something awesome" the week of July 4, with insiders speculating the new feature is optimized for mobile or tablet devices. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Zuckerberg said the project was developed at Facebook's 40-person Seattle office, the source of previous mobile initiatives including the unified mobile website introduced in March. A Facebook spokesperson declined to offer further details.

TechCrunch speculates Facebook will introduce a new mobile photo sharing application in the vein of services like Instagram or Path. Based on roughly 50 MB of images and project documents obtained by TechCrunch in mid-June, the app--known internally as either "Hovertown" or "WithPeople"--is built on top of Facebook's social graph, and it appears to exist as a standalone solution. Screenshots indicate users will be able to tag friends and locations.

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TechCrunch adds Facebook will not unveil its much-discussed HTML5-based mobile platform optimized for Apple's iPhone and iPad but designed to circumvent the App Store distribution channel, giving Facebook far greater control over the user experience. Known internally as Project Spartan, the platform will initially target Apple's mobile Safari browser, but over time will expand to other operating systems, including Google's Android. The mobile web solution will include a drop-down menu featuring various Facebook and partner applications--clicking an app loads it from the appropriate server, complete with a Facebook wrapper that integrates key social media functions. Sources say Project Spartan is still weeks away from completion and was not developed in Seattle.

Insiders say it is also "highly unlikely" Facebook will introduce its social networking application optimized for Apple's iPad. Last month, The New York Times reported Facebook's free iPad app has been in production for over a year, evolving through a series of design iterations. People who have seen the app say its user experience is tailored for the iPad's touchscreen interface, with revamped Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features. Facebook also will unveil new full-screen photo and video-sharing tools. Sources indicate that Facebook additionally plans to retool its mobile website to accommodate the iPad form factor--one person said the site is not intended to compete with Facebook's iPhone and iPad apps, but will "supplement these experiences."

Enterprise 2.0 – Drop The Web 2.0 Myths

Dr.Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director

Enterprise 2.0 – the dawn of a new organizational age?
When Enterprise 2.0 first hit the radar, many of us were excited by the new social collaboration tools and their power to usher in new collaborative behaviors.

Some of this promise has indeed been realized. The market for Enterprise 2.0 software is strong and growing, with social computing functionality such as profiles, wikis, blogs, microblogs, tagging, and presence now widely available, both in specialized Enterprise 2.0 products and embedded into office productivity and unified communications suites.

Organizations that are happy with their Enterprise 2.0 platforms find that they actually do lubricate interactions in ways that earlier, more rigid, groupware and content management solutions did not.

Sustaining participation in Enterprise 2.0 is harder than it first appeared
While some organizations naturally embrace the collaborative paradigm that lies behind Enterprise 2.0, others remain recalcitrant. Participation in Enterprise 2.0 platforms can be slow to take off and fragile once the initial burst of enthusiasm from the passionate is over. It is becoming apparent that many organizations find it more difficult than it first appeared to sustain an architecture of participation in the workplace in the way that it appears to happen naturally in the Web 2.0 world.

Challenge the myths
One theme that is emerging more clearly is the folly of assuming that innovations and behaviors that work in the consumer realm will simply self propagate in the enterprise. In the consumer realm anything goes, and whatever survives and prospers is deemed to be “good”.

The enterprise realm, however, is more constrained in its purpose and population. Enterprises exist to pursue their mission, and are rife with processes and behaviors that stifle the social dynamics that exist in the wilds of the Internet.

It is time to confront some common myths. Enterprise 2.0 is not just about appealing to “Generation Y” and digital natives – we must engage workers of all ages. Not all people will leap to Enterprise 2.0 platforms without training and support. Not everyone in the workplace loves hyper-transparency. It is not OK that 1% write, 9% comment, and 90% passively consume; workplace collaboration needs more pervasive participation to be useful. Not everyone is naturally collaborative – collaborating, or not, is a learned behavior at work. Collaboration doesn’t necessarily “just happen” when a platform is provided.

Web 2.0 is a survival-of-the-fittest jungle, where people opt in to sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn for their own self-actualization and entertainment. Enterprise 2.0 is a designed, purposeful space, where particular behaviors and activities need to be created and nurtured.

Think like a gardener, not an engineer
Enterprise 2.0 requires a different approach to traditional IT systems implementation. Implementing a transaction processing system can be viewed as an engineering task because the users really have no choice. They must use the system to do their jobs. User participation in Enterprise 2.0 platforms, in contrast, is entirely voluntary. People choose to collaborate, or not.
Organizations that are experiencing disappointing outcomes with Enterprise 2.0 need to take a fresh look at how they are going about it.

Thinking like a gardener rather than an engineer is helpful. Choose the right business problem to solve, create the initial structure sensitively, seed the conversations, moderate them carefully to stimulate engagement and shape behavior, show commitment to “feeding and weeding” the collaboration, acknowledge good behaviors, and manage the lifecycle of topics and threads to keep things vibrant.

Successful implementation of an Enterprise 2.0 initiative is a social thing. It is all about changing people’s behavior. Enterprise 2.0 platforms are simply the gardener’s tools – if the garden dies it is seldom the tool’s fault. Ovum/pr

Google, eBay in Talks to Add PayPal Option to Android Market

By Jason Ankeny

Google is in talks with eBay to incorporate the online auction giant's PayPal digital payment service into its Android Market application storefront in an effort to simplify the software purchase process. Citing multiple sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports Google may introduce a PayPal option as soon as this year--at present, consumers must pay for Android Market downloads via credit card or Google's Checkout service.

Conventional wisdom suggests a more popular and user-friendly Android Market purchase option would galvanize developer interest in creating apps for the Android platform--last week, research firm Gartner reported that Android is now the third largest smartphone operating system worldwide, edging past Apple's iOS, but Apple's App Store boasts more than 225,000 applications for the iPhone and iPod touch while Android Market features about 70,000. PayPal boasts 87 million active accounts, and continues to add roughly a million new users per quarter.

In late June, Google updated the terms of its Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement in advance of introducing new application payment mechanisms, strongly hinting it will expand the storefront's operator billing options. Writing on the Android Developers Blog, Android developer advocate Tim Bray stated the DDA changes impact Section 13.1, adding "authorized carriers" as an indemnified party, as well as the new Section 13.2, which covers indemnity for payment processors for claims related to tax accrual. The updated DDA "is in preparation for some work we're doing on introducing new payment options, which we think developers will like," Bray wrote. [FierceWireless]

Survey: iPad Surpasses Print as Preferred Reading Option

  • Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: iPad

By Jason Ankeny

Just months after the iPad first hit stores, early adopters already prefer the Apple tablet device to traditional print media formats, according to a new study conducted by media agency Cooper Murphy Webb. Among 1,034 U.K.-based iPad owners surveyed, 31 percent cite the tablet as their preferred method for reading newspapers and magazines, ahead of laptops/PCs (26 percent), print (21 percent) and mobile phones (12 percent). Thirty seven percent of respondents also cite the iPad as their preferred gaming device, outpacing traditional game consoles (35 percent), computers (22 percent) and mobile phones (6 percent).

However, laptops and PCs remain the preferred web browsing device for 55 percent of respondents, with 38 percent favoring the iPad and 7 percent citing mobile phones.
Twenty eight percent of iPad owners use the device between 10 and 20 hours a week--15 percent use it for more than 20 hours each week, and 24 percent use it between five and 10 hours. Although 33 percent of respondents say their PC or laptop remains their primary entertainment device, the iPad is now the leading entertainment destination for 24 percent, ahead of mobile phones (22 percent) and television (19 percent). [FierceMobileContent]

Publishing Platform for Digital Comics Launched by Finnish Startup Epuuk

Easy-to-use publishing format guards copyrights, Aims to change the market for digital comics

Epuuk, a supplier of digital comics for mobile devices and browsers, has launched its service in Finland and is set to expand to other geographies. The service guards copyrights and brings a new model of distribution for digital content. Epuuk is currently in the public beta phase and features content mostly in Finnish. The current selection varies from well-known international titles to Finnish indie comics, with more comics in the English language to come.

“Digital music became wide-spread on pirates’ terms, and damages done by illegal distribution have proven difficult to fix”, said Jarmo Kylmämaa, Managing Director of Epuuk. “Like record collections before, book collections are now going through a phase of digitalization and book publishers must move quickly to keep the development on track from the start. Our aim is to create a digital platform that serves the interests of readers, comic artists and publishers alike.”

Epuuk features both individual comic strips and whole comic albums. Comics bought from the service are saved in the user’s own digital comic shelf, where they can be read anytime and anywhere with a mobile device or web browser. Epuuk comics are kept undamaged, in order, and safe - even if users change their computers or lose their phones.

Epuuk is used with an app suited for most mobile phones or with any web browser by logging into the service. Users can also save one offline copy of their comics to be read on a mobile device. The content format used in Epuuk can be read with various devices, but is best suited for newish mobile phones equipped with large screens. The content does not require large amounts of memory or capacity, unlike PDF or JPG files for example. In the future, Epuuk’s content will also be made available on wireless reading devices.

“Our distribution channel guards copyrights, boosts the utilization of digital publishing rights, and offers a new publishing channel for indie comic artists”, explained Lauri Gorski, Business Development Director of Epuuk. “The web helps artists find their audience and serve the long tail that make publishing profitable also for niches titles. With Epuuk, artists and publishers have the means to distribute their content in a controlled way and collect small payments without excessive processing costs.”

Adapting content into Epuuk’s distribution format is a light and fast process. Epuuk’s affordable pricing and easy-to-use technology reduce comic artists’ need to offer free samples of work. The service lowers artists’ thresholds for bringing works onto the market and offers a way to test demand before printing an album on paper, as readers can be reached anywhere in the world online. [NetProfile Tech News]

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