People have been changing places within the open-source ranks of late, and I figured I'd note a few that have recently come to my attention:Charlie Martin, once of Ximian (Novell) and then MuleSource, has landed at Red Hat as Western Regional Sales Manager. Well done, mi amigo! Erica Brescia was recently named CEO at Bitrock, an upgrade on her former role as vice president of Business Development. Yes, I did try to hire her once. And yes, she did reject me :-) ; Martin Musierowicz became vice president of Alliances at Alfresco, changing from his previous role as senior … Read more
Sometimes I feel like people might think we talk the talk, but don't walk the walk when it comes to using some Web services. Believe me when I tell you we use this stuff every day, and over the last month, nothing has been more useful to me than Craigslist. Why? I was moving, and I did 95 percent of it using a single service to find movers, boxes, people to buy and take away old furniture, and most importantly--a place to live.
After having just finished, I know I could have done some things better, and I thought this would be a good chance provide a focused collection of tips and tricks for each stage of a move. Something useful for any would-be movers who have never used the Web to hunt for a new place, then get the job done by selling excess junk, and finding the right equipment to get from point A to point B. I've also nixed using just Craigslist, as a balanced attack using several best-of-breed Web services will save you time and money.Finding a place
Mash Maker (review) from Intel is a very slick tool for parsing through Craigslist's myriad of listings and making the data accessible in ways that Craigslist does not provide for. There are a few "plug-ins" for Craiglist in the Mash Maker gallery. The most useful ones are the tables plus maps one that will let you see pricing, move in dates, and more in an easy to use chart that can be sorted. There's also a great one that will give you the price versus subregion that will tell you the average price of apartments based on each neighborhood you're looking at.
Another mash up that existed before Mash Maker, but that's still accessible without the installation of the plug-in is HousingMaps, which mashes up Google Maps with Craigslist housing listings. You're not going to find some of the most up-to-date listings from just an hour or so ago, or be able to search through them like you can on Craigslist, but using the filters it's simply a fantastic way to check out a bunch of places with less text and more topography.
If you're trying to buy a house, there are some even better services that bring a lot more depth to the table. Trulia and Zillow offer simple and deep services that give you a lot of information and put you in touch with real estate folks or homeowners without you even needing to leave your house.
Trulia has the most eye candy of the two, with a time line viewer called HindSight that will show you growth and other housing trends by geography. It's really only useful in a few cities, unlike Trulia's core service which will let you hunt for houses with a high level of ease. Fellow housing search tool Zillow is also great for potential homebuyers, and ties in things such as a mortgage finder and a great map tool that includes homes for sale, recently sold homes, and even places people are just thinking about selling and just waiting for the right offer to get out.
Continue reading to learn about research tools, finding movers, and what to do if you find yourself temporarily homeless...
Microsoft made its leadership changes official on Thursday, promoting more than a dozen executives and confirming the departure or pending departure of three top executives.
As expected, Windows VP Mike Sievert, online services senior VP Steven Berkowitz, and Windows Mobile head Pieter Knook are all leaving the company. Knook is heading to a new post at Vodafone, Sievert plans to start his own company, and Berkowitz will stay at Microsoft through August, as his duties transition to other executives.
Microsoft promoted several executives to fill the departures. Bill Veghte moves from VP to senior vice president and adds responsibility for … Read more
Updated 10:30 p.m. with comments from Mike Sievert.
I'll say it again. Microsoft has a lot to learn when it comes to celebrating Valentine's Day.
A long-anticipated Microsoft executive shuffle will be formally announced on Thursday, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.
The move will see three top executives--including two prominent outside hires--leaving the company. Exiting Microsoft are: Senior Vice President Steven Berkowitz, the former Ask.com CEO who had been heading Microsoft's online services unit, and Mike Sievert, the former AT&T Wireless executive brought in to run Windows marketing. … Read more
Speaking as someone whose political views are decidedly left, I never thought I'd say this, but would Moveon.Org just put a plug in it already?
As an Internet phenomenon, MoveOn certainly demonstrated how to mobilize public opinion. Indeed, the organization, founded in 1998 by a married couple of nouveau-riche techies, Wes Boyd and Joan Blades, acquitted itself well during the Monica Lewinsky uproar.
Unlike a sadly servile mainstream media, which insisted upon playing to the lowest common denominator, a spunky MoveOn appeared seemingly out of nowhere to rally online opposition to the sham taking place in Washington.
But … Read more
When you think of the words "hydrogen highway," your mind tends to conjure up images of silent cars whizzing down the road in an environmentally friendly manner.
You don't think about trying to squeeze into a seat between a 300-pound man and a woman with 18 grocery bags. But this scenario might be more realistic.
CalStart, an alternative-transportation advocacy group, has signed five contracts with bus companies to develop and study fuel cells, as well as other components for making hydrogen buses. The $24 million project is partly underwritten by federal grants.
Today on the Facebook Blog, Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for the mistakes Facebook made in rolling out Beacon, and announces that the company is "releasing a privacy control to turn off Beacon completely."
This is a clear victory for consumer backlash and protests. MoveOn.org spokesman Adam Green responds to today's development:
"Sites like Facebook are revolutionizing how we communicate with each other and organize around issues together in a 21st century democracy. The big question is: Will corporate advertisers get to write the rules of the Internet or will these new social networks protect our basic … Read more
Whether or not Facebook kills its much-derided Beacon program, the controversy surrounding intrusive marketing surveillance deserves to flourish.
You remember the old story about the frog placed in a pot of water that was slowly heated up, until it was cooked? When I read the about Facebook's reaction to the anti-Beacon protests, my first impression is that Facebook's concessions are essentially along the lines of, "OK, we turned up the heat a bit too much on this one, so we'll turn it back down a little bit--for now." Are marketers counting on the fact that we'll get used to the warm bath, then the hot tub, calibrating their fine-tuned ability to stop just short of the lobster pot?
CNN.com contributes a story, "Ad targeting improves as Web sites track consumer habits," which covers the Facebook issue among other case studies. Marketers are studying the sensitivity level of consumers to intrusive advertising and adjusting their programs accordingly. For example, CNN.com reports, "Most Web sites and marketers have been shunning the ultimate targeting--ads that greet you by name. Yahoo could easily do that using registration information, but 'I'm not sure people would like that or not,' said Richard Frankel, Yahoo's senior director of product marketing."
The CNN story continues:"Users' comfort with data profiling has indeed shifted over the years. Google faced criticism when it introduced an e-mail service that paired ads with the words inside private messages. Millions of people now use Gmail with scarcely a blink.
Users will eventually embrace the latest tactics, too--and by then, they'll complain about even deeper levels of intimacy yet to be invented, said Tracy Ryan, professor of advertising research at Virginia Commonwealth University
'You want to have enough targeting that a consumer notices the message and pays attention, but you don't want it to be so obvious that they are thinking (there) is targeting,' she said. 'That would be scary.'"… Read more
Facebook's "Beacon" advertising program nearly ran aground this week.
First, the liberal activist group MoveOn.org tore into the strategy, which shares members' activity from third-party sites on their Facebook "news feeds," as an invasion of privacy. Then MoveOn upped the ante earlier this week over the program's lack of an opt-out control. Then, on Thursday, reports began to surface that the program was close to being heavily altered or even cut altogether. The advertising program continues to be scrutinized by legal experts, and several advocacy groups have already filed complaints to the Federal … Read more
This post has been updated to clarify the names of companies participating in the Beacon program.
Facebook has altered its controversial "Beacon" advertising program, following complaints by users and protests from activist groups like MoveOn.org. The Beacon ads, which project Facebook users' activity on third-party partner sites--retailers like Blockbuster and eBay, for example--to their friends' "news feeds," are a key part of Facebook's much-hyped new social-advertising program, but they hadn't received the friendliest of reception.
It's a situation reminiscent of the one last year when the initial launch of Facebook's News … Read more