Microsoft moves into the touch business

Microsoft’s problems are more and more obvious to the media, the BBC even talking of Redmond’s survival strategy. Can “Windows touch” save the day? Can new interfaces make up for years of ignorance towards customer needs? It worked for Nintendo and Apple, let’s see how IT directors react to a new Windows allowing users to “shrink photos, trace routes on maps, paint pictures or ‘play the piano’.”

windowstouch.png

Seeing all these dummy trademarked product names shows that one of the most fundamentally wrong thing at Microsoft still won’t change, and that might be the real problem.

Modalities of online mourning

Marc LAperouza on the online aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake:

The State Council (China’s top executive agency) launched an online mourning campaign: as part of three day mourning period related to the earthquake, ALL websites were ordered to take down entertainment and game sections and to redirect to ones dedicated to commemorating earthquake victims.

Link

The online world has a role to play in the mourning process, being such an effective conversation tool, now the chinese seem to take this concept to a whole new level.

In Korea, newspapers turn to online forums for quotes and opinions after a drama, calling people by their nicknames, which creates a weird mix of lightness and gravity when one reads “lovebug23 thinks that death could have been avoided”.

Makes me wonder if there is such a thing as mourning spam.

“Internet-speak” and schools

ChangeWaves links to a new Pew report:

The survey revealed that in school assignments:
64% of teens have used “informal” chat-style writing
50% of teens don’t use proper capitalization and punctuation
38% use common Internet-speak abbreviations such as “LOL” and “OMG”
25% have used emoticons–yes, emoticons, those annoying symbols to denote mood 🙁
Link

For a long time spoken language has been forked – with slang and “verlan” (the art of inverting syllabus in French) being obvious examples. People would simply adapt their language to the social context, switching back and forth depending on their interlocutor. This is now happening with writing which of course worries parents and educators.

But are we really seeing the disappearance of good writing? Aren’t kids simply considering schools more informal places where you don’t have to behave in a special way, and therefore allow themselves to use “Internet-speak”.

They get junk food and TV shows in their classrooms, so why should they act differently than at home?

Obesity contributes to global warming

Obese and overweight people require more fuel to transport them and the food they eat, and the problem will worsen as the population literally swells in size, a team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine says. […]Because thinner people eat less and are more likely to walk than rely on cars, a slimmer population would lower demand for fuel for transportation and for agriculture.

Link

Sounds very logical. What is the social impact of fast food on this planet? And with the recent 83% jump in basic food price obesity is sure to remain a rich country problem.

The social layer war is on

Google announces friend connect – widgets that anybody can put on a website to add “social” capabilities (identity, rating, commenting, etc…) – and a new war starts: the social layer war. Who will provide the friendliest system and grow their user base? Who will become the most powerful identity system, reusable on any site across the network?

Facebook (Connect) and MySpace (Data availability) had already made their moves earlier in the week, and Facebook has already pulled out of Friend Connect citing privacy concerns. Let’s hope we get a clear winner soon, and that it is the most open system of the three. The web has lost way too much time with stupid standards wars (remember html, browsers, etc…).

Event: the end of privacy? (May 19 @ TSR)

In partnership with our friends of Nouvo, we organize debates about the evolution of society and technologies. Events are free, in French, and followed by informal drinks. We simply ask you to register by emailing julie.bauer@tsr.ch.

De la carte cumulus à Facebook: la fin de la vie privée?

De nos achats quotidiens à notre comportement sur le Web, les traces que nous laissons sont de plus en plus nombreuses. Et les caméras qui nous observent sont presque omniprésentes, qu’il s’agisse de vidéosurveillance ou de particuliers équipés de téléphones portables.
Ces informations sont exploitées par d’autres: employeurs potentiels, équipes marketing ou même forces de police. Sommes-nous en train d’aller vers une société totalement transparente? La vie privée va-t-elle disparaître? Comment gérer cette situation nouvelle où nos moindres mouvements sont surveillés?

Le débat est animé par Bernard Rappaz, rédacteur en chef de TSR Multimédia.

Intervenants:

Sami Coll (Département de sociologie de l’Université de Genève). Il aborde dans son étude les risques de surveillance induits par les cartes de fidélité de type Cumulus. Le chercheur s’intéresse à de thématiques telles que la protection de la sphère privée et la protection des données.

Stéphane Koch (intelligentzia.net). Consultant dans le domaines de l’intelligence économique, la veille stratégique et la confidentialité de l’information. Il intervient dans des cas liés à la gestion de la réputation, la protection du “patrimoine informationnel” de l’entreprise et de sa marque sur Internet, ainsi que sur d’autres problématiques liées à la cybercriminalité.

Infos pratiques:

L’événement se déroulera le 19 Mai de 18 à 20h à la Télévision Suisse Romande, 20, quai Ernest-Ansermet, Genève.
Entrée libre mais inscription obligatoire par e-mail à julie.bauer@tsr.ch

Typing on your toilets (not the way you think)

Some computer keyboards harbour more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat, research has suggested.Consumer group Which? said tests at its London offices found equipment carrying bugs that could cause food poisoning. Out of 33 keyboards swabbed, four were regarded as a potential health hazard and one harboured five times more germs than one of the office’s toilet seats.BBC: Keyboards ‘dirtier than a toilet’

Eating in front of your computer leads to weight gain anyway…