Amazon product review design, map fun, BlackBerry purges, and many more!

Plus the question of business model longevity, Enderle’s Twitter chat, and many more,


BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins at the launch of the the BlackBerry 10 in January. Now he’s gone, and so are his appointees on the board.

A burst of 7 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team

The Amazon Whisperer >> Fast Company

Jason Feifer:

Chaim, it turned out, was Chaim Pikarski, an Orthodox Jewish man with a wispy red beard who seemed amused at my attempt to understand his business. He also knew his Hipe speaker would appeal to me, because that insight–knowing what people are searching for on Amazon–is at the core of what he does. He has an entire team of people who read reviews on Amazon, looking for moments when people say, “I wish this speaker were rechargeable.” Pikarski then makes a rechargeable version. Hipe exists, in essence, because enough people think like me.

Clever: turn the factory inside-out so the demand creates the supply.

Time & Relative Dimensions In The Internet of Things >>IBM Insights on Business

Paul Brody:

We have a problem that probably only the Doctor can fix: our quarterly EPS-driven attention spans do not last for years. Not so for most enterprise and public infrastructure. The average car lasts for more a decade. The average smartphone lasts for about a year.

While it is GM’s wildest dream to get everyone to replace their cars every year, that’s not going to happen. Instead, companies will need to re-think how they design their business models for longevity and endurance.

Here’s who (probably) did that massive $150m Bitcoin transaction >> Washington Post

I asked Sarah Meiklejohn, a computer scientist at the University of California, San Diego, for her thoughts. She’s the author of a recent paper demonstrating that sophisticated analysis can reveal a lot of information about who is responsible for Bitcoin transactions. She has compiled a large database of Bitcoin addresses tagged with their likely owners.

While she says she can’t be sure, Meiklejohn says that that 194,993-bitcoin transaction was probably done by Bitstamp, the world’s second-largest exchange for trading dollars for bitcoins:

Essentially a bit of shuffling around of the coins.

Trap Streets >> Twelve Mile Circle

If you search for “Heterodox View Avenue” on Google Maps, you get five hits in different states in the US. But you can’t actually find them. Are they “trap streets”, designed to trap copyists?

Mistakes happen. I’ve also observed numerous cases of “paper streets,” including entire subdivisions, which were planned at one time and never constructed. Let’s also not discount the possibility of pranks intended as harmless insertions by bored or playful cartographers.

Were the appearances of various Heterodox View Avenues sufficient evidence of genuine trap streets in Google Maps? It seemed more plausible than finding several unrelated, unintentional errors having the same exact name, or paper streets overlaid upon actual streets, or a not particularly clever prank. I doubt Google would ever admit to the existence of trap streets even if they were true so we will never know. It will be interesting to watch what happens now that Heterodox View Avenue has been outed.

Announcing Twitter chat with Rob Enderle, Tuesday 10th December >> Inside BlackBerry for Business Blog

On Tuesday, December 10th we’ll be hosting #EMMRealities Twitter® chat from 6-7pm EST! @BlackBerry4Biz is teaming up with guests of honor Rob Enderle to discuss BYOD (Bring your own device) and where does it fit within your corporate policy. We will also be focusing on emerging trends and key issues in a BYOD corporate environment.

That would be the Rob Enderle who explained “Why 2013 is RIM’s BlackBerry year” which included the memorable line that “BlackBerry 10 is based on an OS that is used to operate machinery”.

BlackBerry ousts three key executives >> AllThingsD

Quite the executive purge. Orchestrated by interim CEO and executive chairman John Chen, it says a lot about the company’s view of the leadership put in place by recently ousted CEO Thorsten Heins. [Chief operating officer Kristian] Tear and [chief marketing officer Frank] Boulben were both Heins appointments, brought in from the outside as BlackBerry geared up for the launch of its next-generation mobile platform, BlackBerry 10. They’d been in their respective roles for just a year. Sacking them so soon after Chen’s hire suggests that the former Sybase executive is moving quickly to do what he can to right BlackBerry and shore up its crumbling business.

How Afghan amateur mappers unintentionally punked Apple >> UN Dispatch

January 2013:

Wall Street Journal Kabul bureau chief Yaroslav Trofimov noticed something strange when he loaded Apple’s map of Afghanistan’s capital city on his iPad today –the existence of a street named “Bad Monkey.” Amused, Trofimov tweeted his odd find, appending his tweet with a screenshot. Then he noticed a street near the upscale and heavily fortified Serena Hotel labeled “MoJo Way.”

Had the municipal government adopted an irreverent approach to naming its thoroughfares while no one was paying attention?

The reason is surprising.

Posted By Mantosh Pal


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