We live in a increasingly contextual, on-demand world, and this interview Robert Scoble did with Steve Yankovich, eBay’s VP of mobile, is an eye opener. I know, it’s Robert Scoble, but he does better work than most give him credit for, and I think this one’s a good example if you’re willing to give it a listen.
To start, there’s some great tidbits here, like people buy 9,000 cars every week not just through eBay, but using eBay’s mobile (primarily iOS) apps. Can you imagine buying a car from your phone? In the bigger picture, eBay’s mobile apps overall now do $10 billion in transactions per year.
The main conversation, though, centered around how eBay is merging contextual and on-demand services with eBay Now. Think: Über meets Amazon Prime.
Yankovich tossed out a good example: you can be sitting on a park bench (or at work, or out somewhere on a project), and want gadget X, but don’t have time to get it. Fire up eBay Now and a courier will get it from, say, Best Buy, then bring it to you while you’re still on that bench. Geofencing allows eBay Now to know when the courier is at the store where your gadget is, which triggers PayPal to pull funds from your account. Of course, the courier can also see where you are and bring the package straight to you.
Anything you want from the stores around you, delivered today, anywhere you are. Hot damn.
Martin Bekkelund outlines a story from his friend Linn, who found that Amazon closed her account and wiped her extensive Kindle library, then offered only boilerplate text snippets for an explanation of why.
I’ve been looking all morning for a story of Barnes & Noble breaking into someone’s home and taking back all their books, but sadly I’m not finding much.
Verizon has begun packaging and selling everything you do on your smartphone and where you do it, right down to your app usage, web browsing, and whether you own a pet.
While it will probably take months, if not years, for any sort of legal battle to stop this bullshit, Verizon customers can take matters into their own hands and opt out now. Be sure to go over the entire page, it is unsurprisingly bureaucratic.
Yes, it’s BI, but one research firm has found that overall search volume experienced a meanginful year-over-year decline last month for the first time in the six years it’s been tracking such statistics.
You likely won’t see Google comment on this unless to refute it or misdirect with an alternative stat. It’s also not a foregone conclusion that apps, largely powered by social media, are indeed the cause. But they’re certainly one of, if not the, most likely candidates. It would certainly help explain Google’s mad dash with things like Google+ and Google+ Local.
Such [e-reader and multimedia web site] technologies certainly have their place. But Secretary Duncan is threatening to light a bonfire to a tried-and-true technology — good old paper — that has been the foundation for one of the great educational systems on the planet. And while e-readers and multimedia may seem appealing, the idea of replacing an effective learning platform with a widely hyped but still unproven one is extremely dangerous.
The rest of the piece goes on to list “mixed” results from studies on the effectiveness of multimedia learning, as well as solutions to the heavy backpack problem like “just get a rolling backpack.” Not kidding.
The New York Times seems to be taking one step forward into the digital age with things like its digital subscription apps and iPad-only website, then two steps back with pieces like this that simply refuse to let go of a dying medium.
Calculated move to juice hype, or genuine partner in-fighting that won’t do any favors for the platform?
In 2010, HP’s Mark Hurd spent $1.2 billion to buy Palm, an early pioneer of the portable device market. His disgraceful replacement, Leo Apotheker, miraculously fumbles Palm’s webOS revival, rage-quits the project, gets away with far too many other asinine decisions, and destroys 45 percent of the company’s stock value in just 11 months before getting kicked out of the company with a $25 million consolation prize.
Meg Whitman, Apotheker’s replacement and current CEO, began scuttling what’s left of Palm’s personnel in fall 2011 and damned the once-great webOS to the open source community.
Now Whitman says HP has to build its own brand new mobile OS and get back into the smartphone market. I am not making this up, but I kinda wish I was.
But 7,000 high-traffic coffee shops across the entire US is taking it to a whole new level of service and exposure. Come this fall, it’ll be pretty hard for the general public to not have heard of Square.
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