Posted by & filed under Digital Policy, EXAM ARTICLE, Google, industry analysis, IS ethics, SEO.

Description: Every company wants to be the first listing in a Google search. Some spend thousands of dollars making sure their websites are search accessible. This process is called search engine optimization (SEO). It’s certainly legal and quite common.

Source: USAToday .com.

Date: Sept 16, 2011

Big problems arise when you employ illegal tactics, often referred to as “black hat SEO.” It’s usually masterminded by outside firms to lift your company to the top of the search results.

J.C. Penney was on the receiving end of a lot of bad publicity earlier this year when they were accused of black hat SEO. It wasn’t Google that exposed the alleged scheme but the New York Times, following an investigation.

How had JCPenney.com been able to show up as No. 1 in organic search rankings — meaning those that occur naturally — for hundreds of items ranging from dishes to dresses?

Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  1. How can you optimize your position in Google search?
  2. What are the benefits of employing a SEO strategy for an organization?

Posted by & filed under Business Intelligence, business models, Cloud Computing, e-payment, Ecommerce, M-commerce, revenue model.

Description: We’re one of the few ecommerce companies that gets to connect with each of ourcustomers in person. They tell us where they will be at a given date and time, down to the exact seat location. So enhancing the event with geosocial is a cool part of the evolution of the experience and part of our roadmap ahead.

Source: Forbes .com.

Date: Sept 15, 2011

Are there certain venues or types of concerts for which you’re seeing heavier useof the interactive seating maps?

Nathan: So far, we’re seeing the most tagging activity in concerts and sports games, but theater and family shows are definitely getting their share of tags as well. Some of the most
tagged events have been the US Open games, NASCAR, and college football. But the most tagged event to date is actually Bone Bash XII with Judas Priest at Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord, CA.   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  1. Does this interactive technology give Ticketmaster a long term competitive advantage?
  2. Which of Porters generic strategies does Ticketmaster employ?

Posted by & filed under branding, Business Intelligence, business models, Ecommerce, EXAM ARTICLE, industry analysis, M-commerce.

Description: Is it plausible to expect that Best Buy’s sales clerks will offer better advice than the many expert reviews on the Internet, augmented by the hundreds or thousands of customer reviews for Best Buy’s bread and butter products?

Source: Forbes .com.

Date: Sept 15, 2011

My friend, Paul Carroll, is peeved at Best Buy.  It stems from the time his daughter’s puppy chewed up her laptop’s printer cord. Paul knew he could get the really simple cord for $2.50 on Amazon, but he had to buy it at Best Buy for $30 because she needed the cord immediately.  Best Buy extracted a tremendous premium that day, and lost Paul’s good will forever.

So, for Paul and many other observers, it came as no surprise when Best Buy announced that sales had dropped for a fifth-consecutive quarter.  Profits took an even bigger hit, as they dropped 30 percent.  It was a surprise for many investors, however, who had the audacity to hope for a trend reversal.  But that hope vaporized, and investors drove shares to their lowest level since 2008.   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  1. Is Best Buy doomed? Why? Or  Why Not?
  2. How might Best Buy survive and win in this industry?

Posted by & filed under Cloud Computing, operating system, Security, Software, Uncategorized.

Description: Windows 8 is coming soon — and it looks nothing like the Windows you’re used to.

Source: CNN .com.

Date: Sept 14, 2011


Microsoft formally introduced Windows 8 on Tuesday to thousands of software developers gathered at the company’s annual Build conference in Anaheim, Calif. The software giant said it reimagined Windows for the “changing world of computing.”  Windows 8 has a completely new visual interface, optimized for touchscreens on mobile devices like tablets.

The result is a computer that operates as a kind of hybrid PC and media tablet, with all the functions of a standard PC operating system but the user experience of a tablet. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you feel that this new OS from Microsoft will “change the world of computing”? Why?  Or Why not??
  2. What will make you upgrade to Windows 8?
  3. Do you see business adopting this OS or being laggards in adopting this technology?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Business Intelligence, Copyright, education, EXAM ARTICLE.

Description: A Sunday business column in The New York Times looked at the work of a start-up, Narrative Science, that combines computer science and journalism. Its software takes data and converts it into stories — short summary-style articles so far, but ones that don’t really read as if they were written by a machine.

Source: NYT .com.

Date: Sept 12, 2011

The technology Narrative Science is pushing raises Internet-era concerns. “The worry is for a company like Google,” said Oren Etzioni, a professor and artificial intelligence expert at the University of Washington. “If the production of increasingly diverse and high-quality text becomes automated, how will Google be able to detect search spam?”

Search spam typically refers to Web sites, usually with simple answers or lists, that seem to be tailored to try to get high rankings from Google’s search engine, and thus attract ads. Google periodically tweaks its algorithms to drop the rankings of such sites, but it is a never-ending arms race.

In that digital arms race, Mr. Etzoni added, Narrative Science could be a “nuclear weapon.”

Narrative Science says it has not sold its technology to such sites, often called “content farms.”  Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you think this story was written by a machine? Why?  Or Why not??
  2. What do you see as the top four positive applications of this technology?
  3. What do you see as the top four negative applications of this technology?

Posted by & filed under Business Intelligence, business models, data analytics, Google.

Description: New analytics technology is predicting behavior—and building businesses.   In the early 2000s a wave of startups made it possible to gather huge volumes of data and analyze it in record speed—à la SecureAlert. A retailer such as Macy’s (M) that once pored over last season’s sales information could shift to looking instantly at how an e-mail coupon for women’s shoes played out in different regions.

Source: BusinessWeek .com.

Date: Sept 12, 2011

Past technology worked with data that fell neatly into rows and columns—purchase dates, prices, the location of a store. Amazon.com (AMZN), for instance, would use traditional systems to track how many people bought a certain type of camera and for what price. Hadoop can handle data that don’t fit into spreadsheets. That ability, combined with Hadoop’s speedy divide-and-conquer approach to data, lets users get answers to questions they couldn’t even ask before. Retailers can dig into not just what people bought but why they bought it. Amazon can (and does) analyze its website logs to see what other items people look at before they buy that camera, how long they look at them, whether certain colors on a Web page generate more sales—and synthesize all that into real-time intelligence. Are they telling their friends about that camera? Is some new model poised to be the next big hit? “These insights don’t come super easily, but the information is there, and we do have the machine power now to process it and search for it,” says James Markarian, chief technology officer at data specialist Informatica.

Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  1. How is new analytics technology predicting behavior different from traditional databases such as oracle?
  2. If an organization adopts this technology , what roles and goals of technology can be achieved by the organization

Posted by & filed under business models, Cloud Computing, Data storage, Ecommerce, industry analysis, M-commerce, Uncategorized.

Description: Wal-Mart Stores, struggling to translate its brick-and-mortar success to the Web, is using free software named after a stuffed elephant to help it gain an edge on Amazon.com in the $165.4 billion U.S. e-commerce market.

Source: BusinessWeek .com.

Date: Sept 7, 2011

With its online sales less than a fifth of Amazon’s last year, Wal-Mart executives have turned to software called Hadoop that helps businesses quickly and cheaply sift through terabytes or even petabytes of Twitter posts, Facebook updates, and other so-called unstructured data. Hadoop, which is customizable and available free online, was created to analyze raw information better than traditional databases like those from Oracle (ORCL).

“When the amount of data in the world increases at an exponential rate, analyzing that data and producing intelligence from it becomes very important,” says Anand Rajaraman, senior vice-president of global e-commerce at Wal-Mart and head of @WalmartLabs, the retailer’s division charged with improving its use of the Web.

Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is Hadoop’s competitive advantage against traditional database vendors such as Oracle.
  2. What is unstructured data and why is it such a large concern for companies to find a way to manage it?

Posted by & filed under education, Hardware, industry analysis, technology-centric classroom.

Description: The digital push here aims to go far beyond gadgets to transform the very nature of the classroom, turning the teacher into a guide instead of a lecturer, wandering among students who learn at their own pace on Internet-connected devices.

Source: NYT.com

Date: Sept 8, 2011

This conundrum calls into question one of the most significant contemporary educational movements. Advocates for giving schools a major technological upgrade — which include powerful educators, Silicon Valley titans and White House appointees — say digital devices let students learn at their own pace, teach skills needed in a modern economy and hold the attention of a generation weaned on gadgets.

Some backers of this idea say standardized tests, the most widely used measure of student performance, don’t capture the breadth of skills that computers can help develop. But they also concede that for now there is no better way to gauge the educational value of expensive technology investments.

Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  1. What are best arguments in favor of investing in the “classroom of the future”?
  2. What are best arguments in  against investing in the ”classroom of the future”?
  3. Should Canada have a policy of creating the classroom of the future in all our public schools?

Posted by & filed under Cloud Computing, Google, Green Computing, Green Tech, YouTube.

Description: Google released what was once among its most closely guarded secrets on Thursday: how much electricity its enormous computing facilities consume.

Source: NYT.com

Date: Sept 8, 2011

“The company said that its data centers continuously drew almost 260 million watts — about a quarter of the output of a nuclear power plant — to run Google searches, YouTube views, Gmail messaging and display ads on all those services around the world.

Though the electricity figure may seem large, the company asserts that the world is using less energy as a result of the billions of operations carried out in Google data centers. Google says people should consider things like the amount of gasoline saved when someone conducts a Google search rather than, say, driving to the library. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Why did Google maintain a wall of silence worthy of a government security agency on how much electricity the company used?
  • Comment on the statement :“When we hit the Google search button,” Mr. Horowitz said, “it’s not for free.”
  • Does this story of Google promoting its “being greene” make a difference on you view of google or other tech companies?
  • Posted by & filed under Business Intelligence, cyber terroism, cyber war, Digital Policy, Social Media.

    Description: Source:   British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that the government should impose limits on the “free flow of information” when it’s “used for ill.” “When people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them,” he said then.

    Source: CNN.com

    Date: Sept 8, 2011


    “Instead of detailing plans to block criminals’ access to networks, police and government officials solicited advice from those in attendance about how to monitor the sites, the organizations said. Spokeswomen for the Home Office and for Facebook described the meeting as “constructive.”

    “We welcome the fact that this was a dialog about working together to keep people safe rather than about imposing new restrictions on Internet services,” the Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. She noted that Facebook already has rules in place to punish illegal activity on the site.

    A Twitter spokeswoman said that governments and police rely on its service to distribute alerts. “We are always interested in exploring how we can make Twitter even more helpful and relevant during times of critical need,” she said in a statement after Thursday’s meeting. Read rest of story

    Questions for discussion:

  • Are social media the cause of these riots?
  • What are the risks of government controlling social media in the name of security?
  • Should law enforcement be able to monitor social media in order to prevent crime and other risky behavior?