Smartphone Satellites

smart phone sateliteNASA has deployed three smartphone satellites (PhoneSats) into orbit. PhoneSat is a nanosatellite, categorizing the mass as between one and ten kilograms. Additionally, PhoneSat is a 1U CubeSat, with a volume of around one liter. The PhoneSat Project strives to decrease the cost of satellites while not sacrificing performance. In an effort to achieve this goal, the project is based around Commercial Off-The-Shelf electronics to provide functionality for as many parts as possible while still creating a reliable satellite.

The satellites will send information about their health via radio back to Earth in an effort to demonstrate they can work as satellites in space. The spacecraft also will attempt to take pictures of Earth using their cameras.

PhoneSat satellites are emitting packets on the amateur radio spectrum to report different types of message. Amateur radio operators around the world can participate in the mission by monitoring transmissions and retrieving image data from the three satellites. Large images will be transmitted in small chunks and will be reconstructed through a distributed ground station network. More information can found on the on the PhoneSat website.

Anonymous takes down GoDaddy

dns denial of service attackI guess Bob had it coming .. Yesterday domain hosted on GoDaddy’s DNS as well as GoDaddy hosted email accounts where taken down by a  denial-of-service attack (DoS attack). In computing, a DoS attack or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack; dns denial of service attack) is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the efforts of one or more people to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet.

A member of Anonymous known as AnonymousOwn3r is claiming responsibility via Twitter, and makes it clear this is not an Anonymous collective action.

Google: YOU are the product

what is googleDo you think of yourself as a Google user? Well, think again .. to Google YOU are the product! With pretty much all of Google’s revenues coming from its Pay-Per-Click program Google is an  advertising company selling you to its customers – the advertisers. Google’s model is to sell (your) clicks on sponsored ads. The company sells more than one thousand of these actions per second. With the cost per click hovering around $1 Google made more than $1,000 in revenue per second which translates to more than $4.3 Million per day or close to $40 Billion for 2011 (see Google’s Income Statement). The more qualified the product (YOU) the more Google can charge to its clients. Fun Fact: The top pay-per-click term ‘auto-insurance-price-quotes’ generated almost $55 per click in 2011.

In 2011, 96 % of Google’s revenue was derived from its advertising programs. For the 2006 fiscal year, the company reported $10.492 billion in total advertising revenues and only $112 million in licensing and other revenues. Google has implemented various innovations in the online advertising market that helped make it one of the biggest brokers in the market. Using technology from the company DoubleClick, Google can determine user interests and target advertisements so they are relevant to their context and the user that is viewing them. Google advertisements can be placed on third-party websites in a two-part program. Google’s AdWords allows advertisers to display their advertisements in the Google content network, through either a cost-per-click or cost-per-view scheme. The sister service, Google AdSense, allows website owners to display these advertisements on their website, and earn money every time ads are clicked.

Of course Google is not the only company that turns its users into products it just happens to be the most successful in doing so ;-)

Photo Blog

photo blog - my photo bookWhat to do with all the photos you are taking? Set up a Photo blog? There might be an easier way to store your photos. Check put Photobin let’s you create your own photo book. No more ‘photo mania’ – don’t ever hunt for your photos again on different hard drives, mobile devices and flash storages.  Create an easy photo diary without ever loosing any of your precious memories. Simply upload your photo using any mobile device or pc and upload it to Photbin. Or scan your photo to a computer and save it. Don’t have the time or equipment? Simple mail your photos to Photobin and they will do the work for you.

Did you know .. ? Originally all photographs were monochromatic, or hand-painted in color. Although methods for developing color photos were available as early as 1861, they did not become widely available until the 1940s or 50s, and even so, until the 1960s most photographs were taken in black and white. Since then, color photography has dominated popular photography, although black and white is still used, being easier to develop than color.

Marketing On Facebook And Twitter – Worth The Effort?

facebook and twitter marketingIs marketing on Facebook and Twitter actually worth the time? Naturally the answer is ‘it depends’ ;-) But seriously, it depends – like anything in marketing – if you can actually measure it. To me that means: measuring it in terms of its effect on the bottom-line of your business (see also my article on Social Media ROI).

But first let me dispel a typical ‘Facebook Myths': It is very unlikely that Facebook indeed has more than 900 Million active users (as claimed on their WikiPedia page (May 2012)). It’s more likely that the site has about 215 Million active users. You can easily extrapolite this from the statistics (the site seems to be off by about 40% on average (based on the sites that I control)).

Another myth is that user actually read your wall post. They don’t .. at least for the most part. The same holds true for tweets (see more Twitter stats here).

OK, so with that out off the way, ask yourself what do you know about your customers (users, etc.). Do you even measure the engagement on your website and how it translates into revenue? If not, marketing on Facebook and Twitter should NOT be your priority.

Finally, a (well meaning) warning: nothing is worse than starting something and than abandoning the effort. What do you think if you are looking at a blog, Facebook Page or Twitter account that has not been updated in months? (Chances are “this person/company must have died).