Oct 032012


So many good things appeared in September that Mark Penfold couldn’t bear to cut the list down to the traditional 10. Here are 11 top utilities for building on the web

It’s a real mixed bag this month. IDEs, prototyping tools, visual effects, slide shows … there doesn’t seem to be any obvious connection. But the tendency for tools to incorporate some degree of playing-field levelling remains evident.

For example, a mobile framework that enables you to ‘code once’ – and in JavaScript, no less. Prototyping tools with components for multiple platforms, IDEs that facilitate rather than getting in the way of fluid development. An important goal for each of these projects is to iron out some of the web’s wrinkles so you can focus on solving real problems not re-inventing the wheel.

Stand-out performance though, has to go to Microsoft for WebMatrix 2. Not just because it’s a strong piece of kit but because it puts so much of the PC giant’s other output into sharp relief. And yes, IE, that still means you.

MORENew tools for web design and development: September 2012 | Feature | .net magazine.


Oct 032012

Apple’s Asian suppliers have started mass production of the smaller version of Apple’s iPad tablet, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Two sources claim the iPad mini — as it may or may not be called — will have a 7.85-inch screen with a lower resolution than the current iPad model.

The device’s screen is made by South Korea’s LG Display company and Taiwan’s AU Optronics, claim WSJ’s sources.

MORE: The iPad Mini Already in Mass Production in Asia [REPORT].


Oct 032012

The city of Seattle is taking its police blotter to Twitter.

Called “Tweets-by-beat,” the Seattle Police Department has started 51 hyper-local Twitter accounts, based on officers’ beats, to keep residents up-to-date about the happenings in their neighborhood.

The digital program started the last week of August, and will supplement the department’s online blotter. Anyone can read these feeds — even people who aren’t on Twitter, says Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the department’s Public Affairs office.

“We made it super easy,” he tells Mashable. “All you need is an Internet connection.”

The idea behind the new Twitter accounts is to raise public awareness of personal safety and to prevent crimes.

“Maybe people will take the time to use some common sense to reduce the likeihood of them being victims of crime,” Whitcomb says.

The department has used its main Twitter account @SeattlePD for several years; it tweets about topics ranging from breaking crime news to a lost pet snake in a local park.

MORESeattle Police Crime Blotter is Now 51 Hyper-Local Twitter Feeds.


Oct 032012

So has being “liked” become just a popularity contest for brands? Consider that while Crest has 182,912 “likes,” Slim Jim has 1,066,138 “likes.” Does that mean that Slim Jim has five times more sales than Crest? Not even close, as Slim Jim has approximately $200 million U.S. sales vs. Crest’s $400 million U.S. sales. Does it mean that Slim Jim has spent more resources to have more “likes” than Crest? Probably. Why would a brand do this? Because it is the “in” thing to do.

For those of us who are old enough to remember, in the late ’90s the “in” thing for every brand was to rush to build a website. Large amounts were spent out of marketing budgets for this “strategy.” Then once these sites were built, featuring a brand’s history, maybe a static coupon, a recipe or two, and some other features that quickly became dated, brands realized that a website without constantly updated information had no stickiness and thus became a non-factor for consumers. The technology to change content didn’t come for years, so brands sat with these big, beautiful, static websites that drew little traffic and did virtually nothing to drive sales.

Back in high school, the most popular kids did not automatically make the football team, score the highest on the ACT, or graduate at the top of the class just because of their popularity. Kids (popular and unpopular) achieved those accomplishments by working harder than the others.

Brands should think the same way. To put forth resources to solely be “liked” is not the best strategy. Is it more important to be “liked” or to generate sales?

MOREWhy Facebook “likes” are useless to brands – iMediaConnection.com.


Oct 032012

Clicks aren’t the right metric for brand advertisers, Facebook Head of Measurement and Insights Brad Smallwood told the audience at the IAB MIXX Conference in New York today.

Smallwood shared results from recent campaign studies that indicated impressions, reach and frequency were more valuable than clicks. Specifically, 99 percent of sales came from users who saw an ad but did not interact with it. Campaigns that optimized for reach were 70 percent more effective at driving ROI, and campaigns that optimized for frequency had a 40 percent increase in ROI.

MOREFacebook says impressions, reach and frequency matter more than clicks.


Oct 032012

Apple makes a big fuss when discussing the razor sharp images of the iPhone’s Retina display, but now there’s a new resolution champ that tops Apple’s offering by a solid third.

Sharp’s new 5-inch screen is the first display to offer 1920×1080 “full HD” video resolution in a size small enough to use in a smartphone. Compare that to the iPhone 5’s 1136×640 4-inch display, and it becomes clear that this is a pretty big step. Crunch the numbers, and you’ll find that the Sharp screen manages to cram in 443 pixels per inch, compared to the iPhone 5’s 326 ppi.

MORESharp’s 1920×1080 phone screen makes a Retina display look fuzzy | DVICE.


Oct 032012

The new Like Pages option should drive more active fans to your Facebook Page.

After eliminating fake fans and deleting thousands of duplicate and user-misnamed accounts, Facebook decided to suggest more active and engaging fans to brands. The social network added a “Like Pages” option on the left-hand side in the Pages section, proposing users pages they should Like based on the user’s interests listed in their profile, the pages they have already Liked and their recent check-ins.

MOREFacebook Offering Brands A More Active Fan Base – Socialbakers.


Oct 022012

The CW Television Network is promoting its fall lineup with a first-of-its kind print insert in the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly. The insert contains a small LCD screen that features looping video and the six latest tweets from @CW_Network beneath the words, “Follow Us Now.” It appears in 1,000 copies distributed across New York and Los Angeles.

“We’re always trying to look at things that are first to market, that are really going to let people know that we are a digital network and that digital media is part of our DNA,” Rick Haskins, executive vice president of marketing and digital programs at the CW, said in a phone interview. The network’s media agency, OMD, pitched the idea to CW, and then Twitter was brought on board to help execute it.

Per Haskins’ description, the ad is powered by a custom-built, smartphone-like Android device with an LED screen and 3G connectivity.




MORELive Twitter Feed Appears in Print Ad [VIDEO].


Oct 022012

LinkedIn doesn’t want you to think of it as a mere list of who has what gig, and where they’re going next. It wants to be the site you come back to again and again to find out what the people in your industry are up to, thinking, and writing on a daily basis.

The professional social network on Tuesday launched a “follow” feature that will allow the site’s users to follow one another’s posts without having to officially connect (something the site recommends you do only with people you know). More interestingly, LinkedIn is also rolling out a long-form publishing tool — basically a blogging tool — so people can post lengthier, media-rich updates to their profile pages. Both tools will be available on the desktop site and LinkedIn’s mobile apps.

“We think that content is one way that we can make users more productive and successful on LinkedIn. When you come on LinkedIn, we show you stuff that you need to pay attention to, to be better at your job,” LinkedIn Head of Content Products Ryan Roslansky told Wired. “We see this as a natural evolution. You can follow a company, an industry, a publisher, etc. — being able to follow other members and what they say on LinkedIn is just the next step.”

In essence, these new features mean LinkedIn users can now generate and consume original content on the site.

MORELinkedIn Gets Serious About Content, Launches New ‘Follow’ and Blogging Features | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.


Oct 022012

Aimed at medium to large businesses, the ThinkCentre M78 comes packing AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units APUs rather than Intel Ivy Bridge chips. The decision to build around AMDs APU platform should save businesses a bit money in upfront costs, though Lenovo touts other reasons.

“Professionals in medium to large businesses need dependable, productive and secure desktops to meet the day-to-day rigors of workplace demands,” said Su Lijun, executive director, global desktop marketing, Lenovo. “We built the ThinkCentre M78 to last, equipping it with great performance, security and energy-saving features in one device.”

MOREMaximum PC | Lenovo ThinkCentre M78 Desktop is All Business.