Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #208
March 30th, 2008

Organizations considering Web 2.0 strategies should look to disaster management for inspiration

Disaster management and homeland security consultant W. David Stephenson said Tuesday that “businesses and government agencies in all fields to should watch disaster management closely as a harbinger of what will happen when more organizations provide workers and customers with the freedom and the Web 2.0 tools to play an active role in management and decision-making.”
Source: W. David Stephenson, Stephenson Strategies news release, March 25, 2008

Spy-in-the-sky drone sets sights on Miami

Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime. A small pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International, capable of hovering and “staring” using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to make its debut soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades.
Source: Tom Brown, Reuters, March 26, 2008

Joocing the Next Billion Internet Users

Paris startup Jooce has an idea: Instead of one laptop per child, why not many virtual desktops per public computer? It’s catching on.
Source: Jennifer L. Schenker, BusinessWeek, March 25, 2008

Social Networking Hits the Genome

If you’ve ever wanted to know just exactly how much DNA you share with your ridiculously tall brother or doppelganger best friend, you’ll soon be able to find out. 23andMe, a personal genomics startup in Mountain View, CA, is about to unveil a new social-networking service that allows customers to compare their DNA. The company hopes that the new offering will encourage consumers to get DNA testing, potentially creating a novel research resource in the process.
Source: Emily Singer, Technology Review, March 26, 2008

Corporate employee blogs: Lawsuits waiting to happen?

A recent libel lawsuit filed against Cisco Systems over one of its employees’ personal blogs could spur companies, many of which have encouraged workers to share their writings publicly, to reconsider how much latitude to give them. […] Cisco’s legal trouble stems from a Blogspot-hosted blog called Patent Troll Tracker, which Rick Frenkel, who directs the company’s intellectual property department, launched last May. His posts focused on patents and patent litigation–an issue that Cisco has pressed Congress to address by overhauling what it views as a broken U.S. patent system.
Source: Anne Broache, CNET’s News Blog, March 26, 2008

Facebook’s goes hyper-viral with ‘People You May Know’

Facebook has about 67 million members. With the new “People You May Know” feature, the number of connections per member will skyrocket, extending the reach and stickiness of Facebook’s social graph. People You May Know finds people within six degrees or so of separation and suggests them as potential friends. It appears that the threshold is set at four, meaning you are connected to four of the same people as the suggested “friend.” FriendFeed has taken a somewhat similar approach for recommending new people to “follow.”
Source: Dan Farber, CNET’s Outside the Lines blog, March 26, 2008

Program your cellphone to avoid speeding tickets

First, the highway patrol set up radar guns. Then motorists who hate speed limits got radar detectors. And now a California inventor is proposing a new wrinkle – a cell-phone social network that aims to share information and help members avoid getting speeding tickets by issuing real-time cellphone warnings when they approach speed traps. The California inventor is Pete Tenereillo, and his firm,, partly relies on Skyhook Wireless, a Boston company that provides location-based positioning services based on WiFi access points.
Source: Chris Reidy, The Boston Globe, March 28, 2008 (Free registration)

City Subpoenas Creator of Text Messaging Code

When delegates to the Republican National Convention assembled in New York in August 2004, the streets and sidewalks near Union Square and Madison Square Garden filled with demonstrators. […] These tableaus and others were described as they happened in text messages that spread from mobile phone to mobile phone in New York City and beyond. The people sending and receiving the messages were using technology, developed by an anonymous group of artists and activists. […] Last month, however, the New York City Law Department issued a subpoena to Tad Hirsch, a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who wrote the code that created TXTmob.
Source: Colin Moynihan, The New York Times, March 30, 2008 (Free registration)

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