Reporting for the New York Times Claire Miller and Stephanie Clifford address Gmail’s new inbox interface and its effect on retailers.
For Google, it’s another moneymaking avenue (note the ads that look like e-mails that now appear at the top of the promotions folder). Also, the company says it wants to fix e-mail overload.
Yet any tiny change that the Internet giant makes has cascading effects for businesses across the Web.
“I don’t like it,” said Ada Polla, chief executive of Alchimie Forever, a skin care brand. “My guess would be that you might log on to your Gmail 20 times a day, and look at promotions once a week.”
Hamish McKenzie writes at PandoDaily:
Given its young demographics, its location-responsive functionality, its ability to exploit the power of its host devices, various revenue options, and its personal quality, mobile chat makes email look staid and inflexible. Those factors won’t be enough to kill email. Indeed, as a delivery mechanism for in-depth written interactions, it’s hard to imagine what could beat email. But when it comes to online communications, mobile chat’s advantages are perhaps significant enough to one day thrust email into second place.
“With just two tweets, Carl Icahn raised the value of the Apple empire by $17 billion. That’s $8.5 billion per tweet, and about $62 million per character — including spaces,” writes Cade Metz of Wired.
Indeed, the Securities and Exchange Commission has recently said that companies can use social media to disclose financial information — provided they warn investors that it might happen. Icahn’s investment outfit, Icahn Enterprises, did warn the market, saying — in a notice filed with the SEC a day earlier — that he intended to “use Twitter from time to time to communicate with the public about our company and other issues.”
And even that may not have been necessary. With his Tuesday afternoon tweets, the only thing Icahn revealed about his own company is that it owns some Apple stock. You could argue that such a basic disclosure didn’t require formal notice with the SEC.
Venessa Wong reports at Businessweek:
Online training technology company Mindflash on Tuesday announced a new feature called FocusAssist for iPad that uses the tablet’s camera to track a user’s eye movements. When it senses that you’ve been looking away for more than a few seconds (because you were sending e-mails, or just fell asleep), it pauses the course, forcing you to pay attention—or at least look like you are—in order to complete it.
In an opinion piece at WIRED, Clive Thompson discusses the distinct lack of sound in networked technology.
Arguably, we haven’t seen a lot of innovation in audio online. Video, photography, and the written word have been transformed: Oodles of clever tools let us use them for thinking, talking, analyzing, and cogitating. But this hasn’t happened with sound. Sure, we’ve got endless apps for collecting and listening to music, but nothing for the enormous universe of nonmusical sound.
Adam Mann writes at Wired:
Unlike our nice round moon, Mars has two lumpy potato-shaped satellites, named for twin Greek gods who personified fear (Phobos) and terror (Deimos). Phobos is the larger and closer moon to Mars, with an average radius of 11 kilometers. Its companion, Deimos, is seven times less massive and three times farther away from Mars, which is why it appears so much smaller. Both bodies are quite tiny as far as moons go — each is about twice the size of Mount Everest. In fact, Phobos and Deimos are so small and have such weak gravity that going more than 25 mph on their surfaces could launch you into space.