Masala Digital

Marketing Masala in the Digital Age

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.

Launched: India’s own Laptop Community

Through the years, Indian consumers have gotten used to the fact that if they want to find out more about laptops, they only have two options:

1. Read international reviews & opinions, a lot of which may not be applicable to India

2. Tread the dusty Nehru Place (New Delhi) or equivalent lanes in the city and dodge the dodgy hardware shops and hope to get a good deal

Both are impractical and unfriendly options, and more often than not, the only savior is the IT department admin at your place of work or Word-of-Mouth via friends. The only problem is that these routes can only yield limited info and hence, limited results.

Thankfully, India now has its own laptop review site – with Indian content, products that are available in India, best laptop deals and more.

image

http://laptopcommunity.com/ is a community review site designed purely for Indian audiences and their needs. Still in its infancy, and hence beta (!), the site already has 100s of laptop models reviewed including the latest hp laptop, Dell, Apple & Acers of the world..and a list of models rated prominently basis their popularity with users. There is also an integrated discussion board (PhPBB based forum), product videos, Q&A, latest India-specific news & new launch info and some well written & regularly updated articles relevant to the site’s content.

Users who consider themselves laptop experts can join the community as experts to guide others. I am joining for sure…think I have had enough of providing gyaan to all & sundry, and it wont hurt to spread my wings a bit! Brands can look at the site as a niche opportunity to advertise their products to a bang-on TG…makes sense.

Try it out..and do leave a comment here about how you find the experience!

John Roach
for National Geographic News

September 12, 2008

A multibillion-dollar atom smasher on the Franco-Swiss border may help scientists treat diseases, improve the Internet, and open the door to travel through extra dimensions, according to physicists.The first half of the inner tracker barrel for the Compact Muon Spectrometer, an experimental device at the Large Hadron Collider, is seen in an undated image. In addition to solving big mysteries of the universe, the massive atom smasher—which was "turned on" September 10, 2008—may help treat disease, improve the Internet, and open the door to faster-then-light travel, scientists say.
On Wednesday scientists cheered and champagne flowed as the first beam of protons lapped around the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) 17-mile (27-kilometer) underground tunnel at the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, was designed to solve big mysteries in science, such as the nature of dark matter and what the universe was like just after the big bang.
The massive machine could also lead to medical and technological advances, some experts argue.
Such potential breakthroughs are often an “ancillary benefit” of big science projects like the LHC, said Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and author at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Still, Krauss said, these benefits are a misguided way to justify building the atom smasher.
“It’s like trying to argue that manned space missions were useful for Tang,” he said, referring to the powdered drink mix popularized in U.S. households by NASA in the 1960s.
“Our job as scientists is to explain that these esoteric things [such as dark matter] are not completely unrelated to humanity,” he added. “Ultimately, we address the questions of how we got here and what we’re made of.”
Already Providing Benefits
In the months ahead, scientists will use the LHC to ramp up opposing proton beams to nearly light speed and smash particles together, breaking them into smaller components.
Monstrous detectors will pore through the detritus, helping scientists examine the conditions of the very early universe.
The computer network set up to process the mountains of data generated by each collision is already inspiring spin-offs, noted Andy Parker, a professor of high energy physics at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, who helped design the grid system.
Parker is also involved with a Cambridge-based company that is using the grid technology, which links together thousands of computers, to better index images on the Internet.
Such a system determines the task to be done, the processing power required, checks for availability, sends the task out, gets it done, and ships it back to the scientist—all while the person sits at a desk.
“I don’t have to do anything to achieve [all] that,” Parker said.
Technologies developed for earlier atom smashers—such as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider that booted up in New York in 2000 and the Fermilab Tevatron started in 1987 in Illinois—are today ingrained in mainstream society, Parker noted.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scans, for example, are common at most major hospitals to make images of the insides of patients’ bodies, often to look for cancerous tumors.
The technique stems from general studies of antimatter and the use of particle detectors, Parker said.
And more medical professionals are turning to proton beams similar to those used in the LHC to blast away tumors deep inside bodies.
“What you can do there is send a beam of protons into the patient, which does essentially no damage at all to the tissues on the way in,” Parker explained.
“All the damage is done at the point where the protons stop. And by tuning the energy of the protons, you can make them stop inside the tumor.”
As scientists working with the LHC learn to better focus and control proton beams, the improvements will likely trickle down to the medical profession, he added.
Faster Than Light
Future spin-offs from the LHC are less certain.
“We don’t know what we’re going to find out,” Parker said.
Though admittedly far-fetched, one sexy idea is that the LHC may find extra dimensions of space/time. If so, the discovery could open the door to technologies that allow people to travel faster than the speed of light.
In a sense, Parker explained, scientists may discover an ability to move chunks of space-time from one place to another through those extra dimensions, effectively bypassing the known laws of physics.
“If you went to the 23rd century and there were people flying around faster than the speed of light, you would say, What is it you found out that enabled you to do this?” Parker said.
“And the answer might be, It all started when we discovered there were these extra dimensions.”
Krauss, of Arizona State University, said that even without such advances, curiosity-driven research is fundamental to maintaining our current standard of living for generations into the future.
“It will help create innovation and enhance the economic future of our children in ways that we don’t know,” he said, adding that the chance to work with machines such as the LHC often attracts students to the sciences.
Krauss added that the big science questions being probed with the LHC are also personally relevant and practical for all members of society.
He explained that just as people are made of stardust, the origins of those particles in stardust stretch back to the beginning of the universe.
“If it all works out, you’ll get a better understanding of what you’re doing here,” he said. “And, to me, that is the greatest benefit of science.”

The IE8 concerns around the Chrome fever…

In the midst of the Chrome Launch, Adage has this interesting viewpoint on Internet advertising and the implications that new browsers bring on to the table…

Latest Microsoft Browser Fuels Fear

IE8 Gives Web Surfers More Power to Block Ads and Cookies

By Beth Snyder Bulik
Published: August 28, 2008

YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) — Microsoft’s newest bro

wser is still only in beta, but it already has the advertising world in a tizzy. Its “InPrivate” set of features on Internet Explorer 8 out this week has publishers, marketers and industry advocates worried that it could block their ability to distribute, track and even monetize what the Interactive Advertising Bureau values as a $21.2 billion-plus internet-ad industry.
But Microsoft Internet Explorer general manager Dean Hachamovitch advises to remain calm. “The point isn’t to block content or ads. The point is to put users in control of what they’re sharing,” he said, adding he has read and heard many misconceptions about what InPrivate can and cannot do.
Stealth surfing
For instance, the InPrivate Browsing feature — already slang-termed “porn mode” — only allows a user to hide single browsing session activities from “over the shoulder” viewers such as family members. It does not block ads from being served to the user or from advertisers counting views or clicks.
It works, and got its nickname, by letting users surf porn sites (or any other content, for that matter) without caching any content such as a list of URLs visited, cookies or other data. That could mean no cookies on your computer — as well as no cookies for future use by marketers or publishers, although only during selected InPrivate sessions.
However, it is the InPrivate Blocking feature that seems potentially more worrisome for advertisers. InPrivate Blocking acts to inform users about sites that consistently track and collect browsing histories. In fact, when a user opts into an InPrivate session, it will automatically block third-party content if it detects that the third party has “seen” the user more than 10 times. So, for instance, if the third party is advertising.com and it is serving ads across 10 sites a user has visited during an InPrivate session, it will begin to block advertising.com tracking codes and possibly content on the 11th website.
Cause for concern
Mike Zaneis, VP-public policy for the Internet Advertising Bureau, said while he is encouraged that InPrivate is never a default option on Internet Explorer — meaning that users have to manually opt in each time — he still has concerns.
“With IE’s market share, will so many people activate that so that it could affect the revenue side of the industry?” he asked. “Any content from anywhere that appears as third parties, whether advertising or stock tickers or news feeds, all appear as third parties, and in theory their content could be blocked.
“And if you’re blocking all third parties, you’re also going to block all analytic companies,” he said. “You’d be blocking the companies that do the auditing of ad delivery.” He’s particularly concerned about the potential disruption to the entire accounting system of internet advertising.
Mr. Hachamovitch concedes that IE 8 has no way of knowing if the content is an ad, a stock tracker or a newspaper column. It can only tell if it is third-party content. So that does mean that any content, say, ads, analytics and more, can be blocked. However, he repeated that the user must select InPrivate every time. And users can create “allow” and “block” lists, so-called whitelists and blacklists, to always allow content from trusted sources. Consumers can also subscribe to lists of acceptable content created by others.
Microsoft itself has tips for publishers and advertisers on how to get third-party content and ads seen. Publishers, for instance, can serve the ads directly from their site (making them first-party content) or they can make third-party content look like first-party content, he said.
Letting consumers decide
Ultimately, the point of InPrivate is not to block anything, but instead to give consumers control of the online information they chose to share, or not, Mr. Hachamovitch said. “In a world of well-informed consumers who expect choice, we all need to be thoughtful about how we conduct business,” he said. “To me, this really starts the conversation. IE8 Beta 2 starts us thinking about the expectations people should have about what they share and how.”
Of course, Microsoft is hardly anti-advertising, and in fact, depends on ad-servicing revenue from its own sites like MSN. In May 2007 it purchased for $5.9 billion aQuantive’s three businesses — Atlas, DrivePM and Avenue A — as a means to build out a massive ad platform, and it had pursued Yahoo in a bid to gain more display-ad leverage. Microsoft, moreover, is a longstanding member of the IAB.
“From the Microsoft perspective,” said a spokeswoman, “we’re right there with the rest of the crowd in that we think there is a lot of benefit in targeted ads. We just believe consumers have the right to know it’s happening and to opt in.”
JupiterResearch analyst Emily Riley said the industry upheaval may be moot soon enough anyway, as ad targeting has come under serious scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. She said she believes the many different industry factions will come up with — by force or free will — guidelines and standards that are acceptable to consumers and regulators.
“In the short term, though, I can understand how it could be scary for advertisers, because ad targeting is so valuable,” she said.

Photonic Integrated Circuit.

                     Photonic Integrated Circuit.

 

 

Overview

Scientists have developed what they claim is a small scratch on a piece of glass, which could make the internet nearly 100 times faster and give users unlimited, error-free access anywhere in the world. Lead researcher at the University of Sydney Ben Eggleton while making the announcement said, initial testing of the technology showed it was possible to achieve Internet speeds 60 times faster than the current Telstra network. But if developed further, the circuit could reach speeds 100 times faster, he added.

 

What is ‘The Scratch’ all about?

“The scratched glass we have developed is actually a Photonic Integrated Circuit. This circuit uses the ‘scratch’ as a guide or a switching path for information – kind of like when trains are switched from one track to another – except this switch takes only one picosecond to change tracks…this means that in one second the switch is turning on and off about one million times. We are talking about photonic technology that has terabit per second capacity, we [now] use electronics for switching and that has been okay, but as we move toward a more tech-savvy future there is a demand for instant Web gratification,” Eggleton said.The University of Sydney has developed the scratch in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and financial support from Australian Research Council.

 

How it works

The new device, called ‘scratch’, uses tiny scratches on a piece of glass to guide information along optical fibers rather than using electronics’ to do the same job.

Information travels through the internet coded through a series of light flashes which are generated by lasers.

These flashes are then converted into electrical signals which the computer uses to form what is seen on the screen. But there is only so much information the electrical components of a computer can deal with at any one time.

To get around this obstacle the researchers created a filtering device which uses tiny narrow lines to filter the light into 64 channels, delivering much more information in a way which doesn’t overload the electronics of the computer.

Scratch circuits would be installed where information is served from, such as on the computer of an internet service provider.

 

General view

 

According to the Centre for Ultra-high bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) at the University’s School of Physics, the scratch will mean almost instantaneous, error-free and unlimited access to the Internet anywhere in the world. Eggleton said that up until now information has been moving at a slow rate, but optical fibers have a huge capacity to deliver more. The scientists have claimed that this ‘small scratch on a piece of glass’ is a critical building block and a fundamental advance on what is already out there.

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies “could revolutionize society…with this kind of computing power, future generations can collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,”

Conclusion.

The general opinion about the Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) is of a positive revolutionary turn in the world of internet. Networks that are potentially a hundred times faster than the already existing services without costing the consumer will positively change the face of the internet across the world.

. This ‘Scratch’ gives the world an opportunity to get a lot done in less then a second and can take business on the internet to sky rocketing levels, especially online marketing.

 

Resources

http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/jul/10net.htm

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/HealthSci/A_scratch_to_make_net_100_times_faster/articleshow/

www.techworld.com.au/article/252361/photonic_switching_beckons_100x_internet_speeds

www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23995523-948,00.html

www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=2411

kooladda.wordpress.com/2008/07/12/a-scratch-to-make-net-100-times-faster

 

 

 

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.