Monday, October 26, 2009

The WINDOWS 7 Pepsi Challenge

By Kristina Molfino
It recently occurred to me that the Mac vs. PC debate is similar to that of Coke vs. Pepsi. There are few products competing head to head that illicit such a stark division among consumers of the two. Coca-Cola drinkers turn their nose up at Pepsi, similar to how Mac users glare at PCs. Is there really a difference, or is this just branding at its finest?

Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with a “blind taste test” for the operating system, but I highly doubt that the release of Windows 7 will cause Mac users to return to a PC. You know the expression: once you go Mac you never go back.

I think that Mac vs. PC and Coke vs. Pepsi are ways of life and, aside from all of the hype, they are rarely affected by product upgrades. After the buzz has silenced, it will be interesting to see if consumer preferences really have changed. But for now, I will sit back in front of my Mac and enjoy my Diet Coke!
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Friday, October 16, 2009

A Wild Week on the Web & the SideKick Debacle Hits Home

By Tami Casey
I heard a scream from my daughter’s room, “it’s gone, it’s all gone.“ As I poked my head in the door I saw her standing holding her most prized possession—a slightly battered, well used Sidekick phone.

My husband (the techie) tried restarting the phone and resetting the battery, but nothing worked. As tears welled in her eyes, my husband called T-Mobile and learned the servers had a technical glitch that caused “widespread data loss.” A few days later we learned that a large number of the 1 million+ Sidekick users were also affected.

My daughter fell into in a state of shock. How could it all be gone? She had lost 500+ contacts, 200 pictures, 300 mp3s and 20 songs she spent countless hours writing. She’s been a “Sidekick Girl” essentially her whole life, and all 13 years of accumulated information on the phone was gone in an instant. Fortunately the word on the street is she may get her data back.

Being a communicator in the tech industry I found the whole episode interesting. Why did it take Microsoft four days to provide any kind of a response? While on Thursday they said they would be able to recover the data, they were way too quiet for the first few days. Any good communicator understands that lack of comment causes a void which leads to speculation, which is exactly what happened as the blogosphere went wild developing theories of what could have gone wrong along with fantastic stories of internal sabotage.

Will Microsoft recover from this misstep or will the incident provide fodder for those that love to hate Microsoft? I have my own theory—I think Microsoft paid Balloon Boy to pull Thursday’s stunt to draw the blogosphere’s attention in another direction. What’s your theory?
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Monday, October 12, 2009

How do you define ‘Cloud Computing?’—Seeking video submissions

By Julie Tangen
There is so much hype and confusion around "the cloud." People are talking about it everywhere, but what exactly does cloud computing mean? Our client, Appirio, is seeking the best viral video that explains cloud computing to the masses. The winning videos will be screened on the floor of Dreamforce—the premiere cloud computing event which draws about 12,000 people—and promoted on Appirio's Dreamforce Central site. Oh, and the company is also giving away $5,000 to the winning submissions.

To enter, first create your original "cloud computing" video (no more than 2 minutes in length). Somewhere in the video, you must include "submitted for the Appirio Cloud Computing Video Contest." Second, upload your video to the YouTube group called "Appirio Cloud Computing Video Contest." You need to be a member of YouTube and to sign up for the group to submit it. If you're not already a YouTube member, don't worry, it only takes a second to sign up.

Entries are due November 3rd and finalists will be announced starting November 9. The final prize winners will be announced on Appirio's Dreamforce Central site ( on November 18.

For more information please click here.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy National ! ; : ( ) ? . “ - … Day

By Danielle Salvato
Yes, you read it right. Last Thursday, September 24, marked the “6th annual National Punctuation Day.” Each year this day celebrates “the lowly comma, correctly used quotes and other proper uses of periods, semicolons and the ever-mysterious ellipsis.” The goal is to get people to pay attention to not only their p’s and q’s, but also their commas, semicolons and ellipses, parenthesis, apostrophes, exclamation points, dashes and hyphens.

Former newspaperman and copy editor, Jeff Rubin, founded the annual day and successfully bid for September 24 to be listed as a holiday in Chase’s Calendar of Events in 2004. Since then, the Web site has received worldwide coverage. Although the day came and went without a lot of notice this year, even among those working in the journalistic field. It is no wonder given the casual approach to punctuation these days. With Twitter, text messaging, Facebook and other forms of social media, people have taken liberties in forming their own casual dialogue and language, aka slang.

We can all do our part to keep the English language grammatically correct by taking the following vows:

“I will use the apostrophe to show possession, not to pluralize a word.”

“I will promise not to use the apostrophe to show possession in the word its.”

“I will not abuse the use of the exclamation point.”

“I will promise to always put periods inside of quotation marks.”

“I will promise to spell out numbers one through nine, and use figures for 10 and above.”

For questions, please refer to the Grammarians’ bible, “The AP Stylebook,” or test your punctuation skills by taking a quiz. If you are serious about changing your habits and keeping yourself grammatically correct, you can receive newsletters from the Grammar Girl, a friendly way to improve writing skills, every day with her “Quick and Dirty Tips.”

We will revisit this again next year and all take the vows together. Period.
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