Posted by & filed under FaceBook, MySpace, Social Media, Twitter.

Description: Social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter can be valuable assets for law enforcement agencies, helping them alert the public, seek information about crimes and gather evidence about the backgrounds of criminal suspects.

Source: NYtimes.com

Date: April 6, 2011

Most social media policies try to balance a police department’s interests against First Amendment protections for the officers. Many include prohibitions against posting any statements that could discredit or reflect badly on a department, that illustrate reckless behavior or that disparage people based on race, religion or sexual orientation. Posting crime scene photos or other evidence from criminal cases online is also prohibited by most policies.

Others go further. Albuquerque’s policy, for example, prohibits officers from identifying themselves as employees of the Police Department or posting photos of departmental insignia — badges, uniforms, cruisers — without permission. And a recent policy by the Police Department in Pueblo, Colo., bans gossiping online with outsiders about department affairs.

Police officials say that the courts have generally upheld restrictions on the speech of government employees when the speech is job related.    Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the advantages of using social nertworks to provide policing services?
  • What are the disadvantages of using social nertworks to provide policing services?

Posted by & filed under hackers.

Description: There’s an arms race in cyberspace, and a massively exploding new cyber-industrial complex that serves it.

Date: March 28, 2011


Scholars of war and human nature have long understood that, in an offence-dominant environment such as this, the pressure is on to keep up or be left behind. Fear and insecurity increase, threats lurk everywhere, and rash decisions can lead to unexpected outcomes and chaos.

While this may sound ominous for most, for those in the defence industry, it presents an irresistible market opportunity. A new cyber military-industrial complex has exploded, estimated to be between $80-billion and $150-billion (U.S.) annually. Like Dwight Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex before it, this massive cyber-industrial complex is intimately connected to militarization processes in the West and, in particular, the United States. Major corporate giants that arose in the Cold War, such as Boeing and Northrop Grumman, are now repositioning themselves to service the cyber security market.
But as the Egyptian security service files show, the market knows no boundaries. Advanced deep pack inspection, content filtering, social network mining, cellphone tracking and computer network attack and exploitation capabilities, developed primarily by U.S., Canadian and European firms, are sold to hungry buyers worldwide – many of them authoritarian regimes.

Like all arms races before it, the growing tensions in cyberspace and the proliferation of tools and services that feed it create a climate of fear and insecurity. And as Samuel Coleridge once said, “What begins in fear usually ends in folly.” A dangerous, lawless atmosphere is spreading in cyberspace. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Who does this form of warfare give an advantage to?
  • How does a country defend itself against this type of attack?

Posted by & filed under business models, e-payment, Ecommerce, M-commerce, smartphones.

Description: Instead of swiping a plastic card at the checkout counter, consumers would merely wave their phones.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: March 23, 2011


Mobile phone carriers, banks, credit card issuers, payment networks and technology companies are all vying to control these wallets. But first, they need to sort out what role each will play and how each will get paid.

The stakes are enormous because small, hidden fees that are generated every time consumers swipe their cards add up to tens of billions of dollars annually in the United States alone.

“It all comes down to who gets paid and who makes money,” said Drew Sievers, chief executive of mFoundry, which makes mobile payment software for merchants and banks. “You have banks competing with carriers competing with Apple and Google, and it’s pretty much a goat rodeo until someone sorts it out.”

In one camp are the long-established players. Payment networks like Visa andMasterCard, along with banks that actually issue credit cards to customers, want to stay at the center of any payment system and continue to collect their fees from merchants. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Why is adoption of theses ” e-wallets ” not happening at a faster rate in North America?
  • What strategy would you employ to speed up the adoption process of this new payment technology in the marketplace?

Posted by & filed under branding, business models, Ecommerce, Netflix, revenue model, streaming video.

Description: Streaming Video Without the Wait –Zediva’s secret is so outrageous, you may think it’s an early April Fool’s prank. But it’s no joke.

Source: Nytimes.com

Date: March 21, 2011


Above all, fellow cinephiles, we can’t have both $1 movies (like those you rent at Redbox kiosks) and instant access to the newest releases. You can pay $4 to Apple or Vudu the day the DVD comes out, or you can get it for $1 from a Redbox machine a couple of months later. And let’s not even mention Netflix’s streaming-movie collection, most of which seems to date back to the Carter administration.

But what if I told you that there’s a new streaming-movie service,Zediva.com, that eliminates every single one of those drawbacks? It lets you listen to the director’s commentary, turn on subtitles and change languages. It lets you enjoy your movie for two weeks instead of 24 hours, starting and stopping at will. It offers the 100 biggest movies for streaming on the very same day the DVD comes out. It sidesteps any meddling by the movie companies, HBO contracts and studio lawyers. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • IS this business model built for large growth and is it scalable?
  • Will this business succeed?  Why or Why not?

Posted by & filed under business models, online advertising.

Description: At issue was the biggest strategic leap in a generation for the 159-year-old New York Times: would readers be willing to pay to read its journalism online?

Source: Nytimes.com

Date: March 21, 2011


IThe Times announced its new subscription plan last week to widespread debate. Many readers and bloggers said they were happy to be able to finally pay for their frequent use of the Web sites, while many others — joined by some industry analysts and pundits — said that The Times was dangerously out of step with the digital age and that the approach was doomed to fail. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Why has the subscription model not succeeded in the past?
  • Will this business model for newspapers online work this time?  Why or Why Not?

Posted by & filed under business models, Copyright, digital divide.

Description: As the federal government pushes to modernize the country’s copyright laws, a new study suggests that relying on tougher legislation to stop online piracy simply won’t work.

Source: Globe&Mail.com

Date: March 16, 2011

It found that anti-piracy education has done little to stigmatize illegal downloading in emerging economies and that market conditions are directly to blame.

“The failure of legal markets to provide access to goods at prices that are affordable in terms of local incomes fuels a situation in which high piracy becomes the primary form of media access,” said study editor Joe Karaganis.

According to the study, a copy of Microsoft Office is five to 10 times more expensive in an emerging economy like Brazil or South Africa, compared to prices in the U.S. or Europe.

The council’s data shows that a decade of increased copyright enforcement has not slowed piracy. It suggests that piracy rates as high as 90 per cent will continue until better competition pushes prices down.

The findings should send a strong message to developed economies such as Canada, said Internet law expert Michael Geist. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the most effective ways to stop piracy online?
  • Are social marketing techniques the most effective ways to curb piracy longterm as opposed to legal remidies?

Posted by & filed under branding, business models, YouTube.

Description: A surprising number of people are turning their video production skills and on-screen talents into entrepreneurial ventures, providing a service and managing to make a sizable income at it via YouTube’s Partner Program.

Source: Globe&Mail.com

Date: March 17, 2011


The program allows YouTube to share advertising revenue, generated from ads that are overlaid or appear next to the most popular videos, with its most popular and successful video creators. The more the videos are viewed, the more revenue they generate. Although YouTube declined to break down the specific revenue split, it says “the majority” of sales wind up being shared with the video creator.

For some people, the partnership can be big business. YouTube recently said it is running ads on videos more than 3 billion times a week, an increase of 50 per cent over last summer. More than 15,000 partners participate in the program and “hundreds of people,” YouTube says, earn more than $100,000 annually from it.

Some have even abandoned their traditional 9-to-5 jobs in favour of managing their own YouTube brand. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • How effective is the strategy of online promotion in youtube videos ?
  • Are their any downsides to embedding online ads into youtube videos?

Posted by & filed under business models, Uncategorized.

Description: Groupon is fervently preparing for its most ambitious venture yet: the launch of a new mobile application that the company hopes will change when and how society chooses to eat, shop and play.

Source: CNN.com

Date: March 18, 2011

That’s the beauty of Groupon Now: local businesses have never really had a simple way to manage their perishable inventory, especially labor and food. Why waste those resources during slow periods when you can bring savings-savvy consumers through the doors with a highly targeted Groupon deal?”For merchants, the daily deal is like teeth whitening, and Groupon Now is like brushing your teeth. It can be an everyday thing to keep your business going,” Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason told Bloomberg Businessweek in an extensive interview on the new product.

The daily deals company has been on a tear recently — in fact it is the fastest growing company in history — but it faces stiff competition from companies with increasing muscle.   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Does Groupon have a long term competitive advanatge in this market sector?
  • What do you see as the biggest strategic threat to Groupon?

Posted by & filed under Apple, revenue model, smartphones.

Description: When it comes to supplying the coolest smartphones on the planet, Microsoft has long been an also-ran. So last fall, the software giant fired up a fresh strategy to close the gap on Apple‘s iPhones, Research In Motion‘s BlackBerrys and Google‘s Android models.

Source: USAtoday.com

Date: March 14, 2011


Microsoft’s goal is for Windows Phone 7 (WP7) smartphones to have the most useful and user-friendly applications. The company is methodically pursuing this goal by catering to the best and brightest app developers.

“The jury is still out as to whether this turns out to be a decisively winning strategy,” says software applications analyst Al Hilwa at research firm IDC. “But Microsoft has certainly begun to right its course.”

Smartphone apps have become almost as important as the phone itself. They enable on-the-go people to shop, play games, schedule their lives and connect to social media. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What is Microsoft’s strategy for software development to catch up in the App market to its rivals?
  • How would you contrast this strategy to what the market leaders do in this area?

Posted by & filed under Human Resources, IS ethics.

Description: IN early 2009, statisticians inside the Googleplex here embarked on a plan code-named Project Oxygen — What makes a good manager?

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: March 12, 2011


They wanted to build better bosses.

So, as only a data-mining giant like Google can do, it began analyzing performance reviews, feedback surveys and nominations for top-manager awards. They correlated phrases, words, praise and complaints.

Later that year, the “people analytics” teams at the company produced what might be called the Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers.

Now, brace yourself. Because the directives might seem so forehead-slappingly obvious — so, well, duh — it’s hard to believe that it took the mighty Google so long to figure them out: Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What attributes does a good manager have?
  • Do you feel that using data mining techniques is a legitimate method of doing management behavioural studies?