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Archive for the ‘Global’ Category

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoins, the fast trending online currency, is become more ubiquitous by the hour.

Virgin Galactic accepts bit coins for space flight. Sir Richard Branson extends support.

http://mashable.com/2013/11/22/virgin-galactic-bitcoin/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link

The University of Nicosia announced it will be the world’s first to accept bitcoins as tuition payment.

http://mashable.com/2013/11/21/bitcoin-tuition-payments/

GlassPay, a Google Glass app that lets you pay with Bitcoins.

http://mashable.com/2013/10/17/google-glass-bitcoin/

The price of bitcoins surpassed $600 on Monday as the Internet-based currency’s value jumped 60-fold over a year ago.

http://mashable.com/2013/11/18/bitcoin-600/

Cyprus Gets World’s First Bitcoin ATM

http://mashable.com/2013/03/26/cyprus-bitcoin-atm/

What exactly is Bitcoin?

Watch this 1:43 min video for a quick overview:

bitcoin-logoTo start with, Bitcoin is a digital currency. That means that if two people would like to conduct a transaction (like buying a watch online for instance) so long as the buyer has the number Bitcoins the seller requires for the good or service, a transaction can be conducted. Using a digital wallet, users can securely and privately transfer a Bitcoin in a transaction. Many have simply described it as “cash for the Internet.

Where do they come from?

Knowing that it is a form of digital currency, the next logical question is, where did it come from? Bitcoin proof of concept was first published in 2009 and has been in circulation ever since. Bitcoins are found through an elaborative discovery process known as “mining.”

The mining process involves harnessing computing power to process the Bitcoin transactions and ensure the system runs smoothly. Bitcoin operates through a complex set of mathematical equations and formulas that ensure each transaction is verified and secure, and needs a wealth of computer power to operate. In order to incentivize users to assist in the mining process, users who are involved in the mining process are in turn rewarded when their systems find new Bitcoins in the encrypted computer program.

Currently, about 12 million (and growing) Bitcoins have been found, but Bitcoin itself notes that the number of Bitcoins created each year is halved until Bitcoin issuance is completely halted when supply reaches 21 million.

How much are they worth?

Like any other currency, Bitcoin has a value that is set by supply and demand. However, very uniquely, unlike any other currency, it’s not regulated by any central authority, so it can be subject to rapid changes in price. As of the most recent check, a single Bitcoin is worth about $700, but users can also have fractional amounts of them. At the beginning of November, a single Bitcoin was worth right around $200 — but the currency has seen incredible fluctuation in value.

Some more news:

 Order a pizza with Bitcoins

http://mashable.com/2013/02/06/pizza-bitcoins/

Why Bankers Want You to Fear Bitcoin

http://mashable.com/2013/04/14/bitcoin-banking-comic/

$1.3 Million in Bitcoin Stolen in Major Online Robbery

http://mashable.com/2013/11/08/bitcoin-theft-tradefortress/

These Startups Are Betting Everything on Bitcoin

http://mashable.com/2013/04/12/bitcoin-startups/

Can the Internet Replace Big Banks?

http://mashable.com/2013/03/24/douglas-rushkoff-digital-economy/

The Bitcoin Taxman Cometh

http://mashable.com/2013/06/18/bitcoin-taxes/

Bitcoin Goes to Washington: The Case for and Against Digital Currency

http://mashable.com/2013/11/18/bitcoin-senate-testimony/

8 Vendors You Didn’t Know Accepted Bitcoins

http://mashable.com/2013/03/29/bitcoin-vendors/

Time for eCommerce folks to review their payment options, maybe?

Awesome? Scary? or Simply Brilliant? :)

The weekend has been pretty interesting. I saw rebounds regarding Google and its shenanigans all across social networks and the Internet in general, and then woke up this morning to read more in print. Led to some light thinking on the matter, and I tried breaking these thoughts into three distinct and debatable trends that I have noticed about the BigO.

One champion for your business

On Saturday, Steve Rubel interviewed Jeff Jarvis’ about his new book, What Would Google Do? In the book, Jarvis breaks down Google’s practices into 12 distinct rules and then applies them to aging industries like media and advertising. Denuo/Publicis’s Rishad Tobaccowala points out how Google served an entirely new population of advertisers who didn’t have agencies and that enabled it to set new rules. Google sells performance instead of scarcity (a lesson the rest of media must learn in this post-scarcity economy). Because it rewards relevance, it encourages better, more effective advertising.

One number in your life

I picked up today’s newspaper and there’s Google again with its mega plans to unify the masses. Launched on March 5th, Google Voice is all set to revolutionize telephones.It unifies your phone numbers, transcribes your voice mail, blocks telemarketers and elevates text messages to first-class communication citizens. And that’s just the warm-up. Google Voice began life in 2005 as something called GrandCentral. It was, in its own way, revolutionary. More on it here.

One fellow to help you out on the web

If search wiki wasn’t enough, Google now has made available the “preferred site” option to all its users. The service allows users to overweight certain web sites in the search engine result pages. Once you sign up, Google recommends pages from your history that you tend to visit when searching. You have the option to make these sites (or any other) a preferred destination.

Without even getting into the whole business/ SEO/ SEM discussion, I can only hope that you can turn it off – Half the fun about search is the fact that you can find the “unexpected” and stuff you haven’t seen before. I mean what is “search”, if you know what you’re gonna get?

One person who knows you better than you yourself!

So you worried just about how your search data was painting a DNA of who you are? Google  released 11 software applications for mobile phones that spell a fundamental change in our lives. Among the applications were functions such as text messaging, web browsing, a diary, Orkut – the company’s social networking offering – and Latitude, a GPS-based service that tracks you wherever you go. Innocent enough, perhaps. But combined they would allow Google to know what you are doing all of the time. A truly Orwellian development that has been described by privacy campaigners as “a catastrophic corruption of consent”.

Far-fetched? Not at all. The mobile phone industry has for years seen the potential for a rich market to develop in location-based services if only it could get its customers to agree. Google, on the other hand, has decided to take advantage of that market and it has sought to do so by appearing to be helpful. The rationale is simple – offer a service for free and the customer will not notice that they have given a company the right to know where they are at any time.

So now – considering the above, what do you think?

  1. Google is well on its way to create the “Empire
  2. Google is doing what all enterprises should do – consistently better their offering
  3. Google is retrograding the whole “Internet” story it fed on by killing basics like “free spirit”, “openness”, “surprises”, “sense of wonder” et al

Mumbai Terror and the role of new media

Mumbai suffered one of its worst terror nightmares these last 3 days when armed terrorists took over strategic spots in Mumbai, leading to a bloodshed yet unparalleled in its gruesomeness.

While the terror attacks received worldwide media coverage, it was no less covered extensively by citizen journalists and common people who used a host of digital mediums to add to the story. Internet, and new media tools, came on the forefront as reliable tools to track the terror drama.

wiki_mumbaiA wikipedia page was constantly updated by vigilant users, providing a single point of reference.

Many twitter feeds contributed to real-time reporting & status update, which were utilzed heavily by the administration, media as well as citizens to get regular updates as well as channelize real-time help.

image

Twitter feed for Mumbai

Twitter-fed list of useful local numbers

Post the attacks, these feeds have become the buzz-ground for discussions, opinions and to plan next steps to solve the problem at its roots.

image A google maps page also became a ready reference guide, especially for people outside India to get a real-life perspective of where and how things were happening.

image Vinu’s photostream was picked up by Fox News & CNN as well as multiple channels to provide real-time updates on all that was happening.

image Over 2000 videos have flooded youtube post the attacks.

image The MumbaiHelp blog has updated lists of all relevant helpline numbers as well.

30% of Leisure time being spent Online: TNS

via audiencematters

A TNS global survey entitled Digital
World, Digital Life, probing online behaviours and perspectives shows
that, on average, people across the 16 countries surveyed are spending
close to a third (30%) of their leisure time online.

It appears we like our 30% digital time regardless of how much free
time we have.

Digital World, Digital Life found that respondents with
up to 2 hours leisure time each week day, spent the same proportion of
their leisure time online as respondents who had between 7 and 8 hours
of leisure time on a week day.  This means there is no direct link
between the amount of leisure time we have and how much of it we spend
online.

What are the top 5 activities that people undertake while online?
TNS asked people to identify a range of activities in the month before
they took the survey.

A total of 81% had used a search engine to find
information; 76% had looked up the news; 74% had used online banking;
65% had looked up the weather; and 63% had researched a product or
service before buying it. These activities are all inherently very
practical.

The highest ranking classic leisure activity – “watching a
video clip” – only came in at number 8, with half (51%) saying they had
done this in the past month. Another leisure activity – “listening to
an audio clip” – came in at number 10 (44%).

Arno Hummerston, Managing Director, TNS Global Interactive, said:
“If our leisure time is so precious, then why do we on average spend
almost a third of it using the internet? We believe it is because we
are making more efficient use of our valuable time, specifically by
using the internet – thereby allowing us to fit more into our lives.
Being online helps people fulfil certain tasks and activities quickly
and efficiently. By spending productive time online, we are actually
making more time for leisure. With more social and entertainment
activities available online, it is also easy to understand why our
lives are becoming more digital.”

Who and where are the most avid onliners in the world? Younger
people under 25, as might be expected, are seriously engaged with
online life. The under 25s surveyed in the report say they spend well
over a third (36%) of their time online. On average, Chinese
respondents under 25 spend half (50%) of their leisure time online.

If the world is to take its lead from Japan and Korea – countries
that are seen as being innovative and pioneering in the online world –
then we can expect to spend even more time online. In those countries,
respondents say they currently spend on average around two-fifths of
their leisure time online.

There are particular groups of people that are more avid users of
the internet than others. For example, across the 16 countries
surveyed:

students spend 39% of their time online.

US Housewives spend 38% of
their leisure time online while in the UK, this was even more pronounced
with almost half (47%) of housewives spending their leisure
time online.This might be explained by the rapid expansion of online
food shopping, particularly in the UK where online shopping expenditure
in general now tops £1 billion per month (Source: Mintel 2008).

The Digital World, Digital Life survey also underlined that mobile
handsets are frequently used to connect to the internet.

Worldwide, 1
in 10 respondents surveyed say they connect to the internet once a day
via mobile handsets. But Asia’s adoption trends imply significant
growth prospects. Among the Japanese and Chinese respondents to the
survey, for example, over a quarter of people access the internet over
mobile connections at this once-a-day frequency.

Gmail goes video

Here’s the deal as I see it with Google..

These guys have taken the idea of “disruption” to an all-time high…having turned it now into a web-statement of sorts.

First it was gmail…launched in a market where hotmail & yahoo were kings, usa.net had gone paid, rediffs of the world were trying hard to get attention….basically a very crowded & highly competitive market. So google walks in & “disrupts” the proceedings – 1GB mailbox, by invite only.

2 propositions that turned cult in 5 minutes…EVERYONE wanted one, EVERYONE wanted to have those invites to give out..

So email was great, beating IM was next to impossible, with nearly ALL of us active on either Hotmail or Yahoo messengers. The solution – Disruption again.

Suddenly IM was on email…made sense, didn’t it? You logged in to check mail and logged in your IM around the same time..by combining the two, gmail made Internet communication one seamless experience, and NOBODY has been able to replicate that! And then they even went voice – along with the two other biggies, but essentially kept up with the user experience expectations.

Oh and then there are these 1000s of other benefits – POP access (yahoo pay attention..msn burnt their hands), easy UI..all that & more, that basically started settings standards.

Finally, they have probably put a huge big nail in everyone else’s coffin (not the last one I presume) by going video (MSN/Skype had it)…within Gmail..disruption all over again. And great timing too, considering webcams cave become standard pre-installed accessories only recently!

It makes sense to visit the church of google, I say!

About MD

Masala Digital is not just about Digital Marketing - it's about marketing in the digital age. The defining lines of marketing that segregated ATL, BTL & Digital hardly hold any water in the age of integrated marketing that assimilates effective practices across all available mediums to create truly integrated ideas. Masala Digital is the platform for sharing, collaborating and participating to add wings to these thoughts. You too can contribute..check out the "Contact Us" page for more information.