Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
Google and Anonymity Reviews
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 04:43 Written by admin Tuesday, 30 April 2013 04:43
Google Now was introduced last year as part of the Android Jelly Bean update. It is often referred to as the future of search, or at least the future of Google Search. It pushes information to users when they need it (or when Google thinks they need or want it) without the user having to search for it.
The majority of Android phones still don’t even have it yet, but as time goes on, that will change. I only recently upgraded my own device to one that has access to the feature, and have only begun to learn first-hand just how powerful Google Now can be. The more it learns about you, the more it has to offer.
One of the things Google Now has to offer is a flow of suggestions for places that are near you when you spend any considerable amount of time in some location. For local businesses, this can be a great thing.
What’s not so great for a business, is when Google pushes negative reviews in front of any number of users.
Negative reviews are one thing, but anonymous reviews allow people to say whatever they want without being held accountable. Businesses are already suing people for defamation over some of the things they say in online reviews, when they are saying things they can be held accountable for. Anonymity just lets people say whatever they want. Even if they’re trashing your business. And anonymous reviews are still appearing right in front of Google Now users curious about what place Google is telling them is nearby.
I noticed this the other day. I took a look at the Google Now “Places” card and saw that the Lock & Key cafe was nearby. Here, you can take a look at their page. The top reviews from real people have “Very Good” and “Excellent” descriptions across the board. Then it gets into the anonymous “A Google user” and the rating is “Poor to fair”. This is followed with another anonymous review, also with a rating “poor to fair”.
At least Google is showing the positive reviews from users with names at the top, but are they always doing this? Sure, not all anonymous reviews are negative, but many are.
Google has actually moved away from anonymous reviews in policy. When they made the move from Google Places to Google+ Local as the format for local business pages, users were supposed to be required to sign in with their Google account to leave reviews (they’ve adopted a similar policy for Google Play). When I have tried to leave a review while not logged into mine, I’ve been prompted to sign in. But as we’ve seen in recent months, this isn’t always working for some reason.
Old anonymous reviews from before the change are staying on business pages. That’s nothing new, but a few months back, we looked at an example where even new reviews were coming in from anonymous users. One user complained about this in a Google help thread. The Google representative acknowledged the problem, and indicated they were looking into it.
I checked back on the page in question today, and those anonymous reviews are still there. It’s unclear whether they’re still accepting new anonymous reviews. I’ve seen no indication from Google that they have corrected the problem.
When I looked at that Lock & Key page that Google pushed to my attention, it dawned on me that Google is likely pushing a whole lot of anonymous negative reviews to a lot of Google Now users. Then this week, they greatly expanded the user base for Google Now by launching it for iPhones and iPads.
Life Is Good
Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 03:02 Written by Matthew Monday, 18 June 2012 03:02
Bert and John Jacobs designed their first t-shirts in 1989 and hawked them on the streets of Boston and at colleges along the East Coast. But for five years, success eluded them. Then, in 1994, they struck upon the idea to use a design of a cartoon figure called Jake and the motto “Life is good.” People seemed to embrace the simple message of optimism — the shirts were a hit at a local street fair and retailers soon became interested.
Now Jake’s face and motto are on more than just shirts. You can find him and other characters smiling on products from towels and totes to coffee mugs and dog leashes. And life sure is good now for Bert and John Jacobs. Business is booming, with 2011 sales coming in at about $100 million.
Twelve Dead Tech Phrases
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2009 02:06 Written by Matthew Thursday, 27 August 2009 02:06
We’ve put together a list of outdated tech terms, phrases that you shouldn’t be using at work anymore because they will make you seem old. This is especially true if you’re looking for a new job. For example, on an interview, you should be talking about “cloud computing,” not “ASPs” even though they are basically the same thing.
This list is useful for 20-somethings, too. Now when the senior person in the office uses one of these terms, you’ll know what he’s talking about.
Popular in the mid-90s, the term “intranet” referred to a private network running the Internet Protocol and other Internet standards such as the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It was also used to describe an internal Web site that was hosted behind a firewall and was accessible only to employees. Today, every private network runs IP. So you can just use the term virtual private network or VPN to describe a private IP-based network.
An “extranet” referred to private network connections based on Internet standards such as IP and HTTP that extended outside an organization, such as between business partners. Extranets often replaced point-to-point electronic data interchange (EDI) connections that used standards such as X12. Today, companies provide suppliers, resellers and other members of their supply chain with access to their VPNs.
3. Web Surfing
When is the last time you heard someone talk about surfing the Web? You know the term is out of date when your kids don’t know what it means. To teens and tweens, the Internet and the World Wide Web are one and the same thing. So it’s better to use the term “browsing” the Web if you want to be understood.
4. Push Technology
The debate over the merits of “push” versus “pull” technology came to a head in 1996 with the release of the PointCast Network, a Web service that sent a steady stream of news to subscribers. However, PointCast and other push technology services required too much network bandwidth. Eventually, push technology evolved into RSS feeds, which remain the preferred method for publishing information to subscribers of the Internet. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.
5. Application Service Provider (ASP)
During this decade, the term “Application Service Provider” evolved into “Software-as-a-Service.” Both terms refer to a vendor hosting a software application and providing access to it over the Web. Customers buy the software on a subscription basis, rather than having to own and operate it themselves. ASP was a hot term prior to the dot-com bust. Then it was replaced by “SaaS.” Now it’s cool to talk about “cloud computing.”
6. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
Coined by former Apple CEO John Sculley back in 1992 when he unveiled the Apple Newton, the term “personal digital assistant” referred to a handheld computer. PDA was still in use in 1996, when the Palm Pilot was the hottest handheld in corporate America. Today, the preferred generic term for a handheld like a Blackberry or an iPhone is a “smartphone”.
7. Internet Telephony
You need to purge the term “Internet telephony” from your vocabulary and switch to VoIP, for Voice over IP. Even the term VoIP is getting old-fashioned because pretty soon all telephone calls will be routed over the Internet rather than the Public Switched Telephone Network. It’s probably time to stop referring to the PSTN, too, because it is headed for the history books as all voice, data and video traffic is carried on the Internet.
A blog is a shortened version of “Weblog,” a term that emerged in the late 1990s to describe commentary that an individual publishes online. It spawned many words still in use such as “blogger” and “blogosphere.” Nowadays, few people have time to blog so they are “microblogging,” which is another word that’s heading out the door as people turn Twitter into a generic term for blasting out 140-character observations or opinions.
9. Thin Client
You have to give Larry Ellison credit for seeing many of the flaws in the client/server computing architecture and for popularizing the term “thin client” to refer to Oracle’s alternative terminal-like approach. In 1993, Ellison was touting thin clients as a way for large organizations to improve network security and manageability. Although thin clients never replaced PCs, the concept is similar to “virtual desktops” that are gaining popularity today as a way of supporting mobile workers.
In 1984, the U.S. government forced AT&T to split up into seven Regional Bell Operating Companies [RBOCs] also known as Baby Bells. Customers bought local service from RBOCs and long-distance service from carriers such as AT&T. Telecom industry mergers over the last 15 years have formed integrated local- and long-distance carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and Qwest. This makes not only the term RBOC obsolete, but also the terms ILEC for Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier [i.e., GTE] and CLEC for Competitive Local Exchange Carrier [i.e., MFS].
11. Long-Distance Call
Thanks to flat-rate calling plans available from carriers for at least five years, nobody needs to distinguish between local and long-distance calls anymore. Similarly, you don’t need to distinguish between terrestrial and wireless calls because so many people use only wireless services. Like pay phones, long-distance calls — and their premium prices — are relics of a past without national and unlimited calling plans.
12. World Wide Web
Nobody talks about the “World Wide Web” anymore, or the “Information Superhighway,” for that matter. It’s just the Internet. It’s a distinction that Steve Czaban, the popular Fox Sports Radio talk show host, likes to mock when he refers to the “Worldwide Interweb.” Nothing dates you more than pulling out one of those old-fashioned ways of referring to the Internet such as “infobahn” or “electronic highway.”