Okay. Today is Cyber Monday. So let's do a little Wikipedia recap:
The term "Cyber Monday" is a neologism invented by the National Retail Federation's Shop.org division, and was never in common use within the ecommerce community before the 2005 holiday season. According to Scott Silverman, the Executive Director of the organization, the term was coined based on research revealing that 77% of online retailers reported a significant increase in sales the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2004. While the term "Cyber Monday" was created in November 2005, the mainstream media picked up the term and reported as if "Cyber Monday" had been a long-running concept, much to the surprise of the Internet community (who were quick to dismiss the claim). "Cyber Monday" is often associated with the unfounded belief that it is the busiest (highest sales volume) shopping day of the year for online retailers, because people would continue shopping while at work from the company's computer. (This is related to a similar unfounded belief for Black Friday, which is often misstated as the biggest "brick and mortar" retail sales day of the year.)
Ecommerce sites report that the busiest shopping days usually fall between December 5-15 in a given year. In 2005, the year the term Cyber Monday was coined, the busiest online shopping day of the year in the U.S. was actually December 12, two weeks after "Cyber Monday".
Personally, my busiest cyber shopping day will be the last day I can get expedited shipping in time for Christmas. But who asked.
According to Gizmodo, NTT DoCoMo has created a cell phone (P930i) with the ability to recognize your face and lock down should someone else try to use it. You'll need to store three or more snapshots of your mug on the phone before it can "recognize" you, but once it's set it'll prevent thieves from using your phone. The phone can also lock itself down if it gets separated from you in a bar or in a cab. It's only available in Japan, but if face-tracking is more your thing. . .
FotoNation is bringing Face Tracker to camera phones. Face Tracker is an app that can follow a person's face and pick out the best camera settings before you take your picture.
According to the WSJ: Detroit's beleaguered Big Three auto makers face a new risk to their turnaround plans: After a string of strong years, U.S. auto sales are slowing and an increasing number of forecasts say sales could fall next year to their lowest level in nearly a decade.
Slowing growth in the overall U.S. economy and the slump in the housing industry, particularly in big markets such as California, are hitting at a bad time for General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group. All three are losing money in North America at current sales volumes. A downturn in vehicle demand would make it even more difficult to regain profitability -- and to clear out bulging inventories of unsold vehicles without costly production cuts or discounts.
The impact of the housing slump is likely to be hard on the Big Three because slower housing starts cause builders to defer purchases of pickup trucks, which are Detroit's most profitable models.
An Australian site reports: After rummaging through her long history as a self-styled icon of beauty, Imelda Marcos launched a line of costume jewellery on Saturday recycled from the less expensive bits of her own collection...Mrs Marcos has said her line of accessories, which include a few bags and shoes, will be affordable to the masses.
But for now it is not being sold in stores. The Web site http://www.imeldacollection.com offers a glimpse for interested buyers, who must make an appointment.
The collection is being produced by her daughter Imee Marcos, a congresswoman, with youthful input from her grandson Martin "Borgy" Manotoc, an underwear model and possible candidate for mayor of Manila in elections next May.
Ad Age reports: Amid declining sales, Sears, Roebuck & Co. is shifting strategy in a holiday push from WPP Group's Y&R, Chicago, to promote it as a speedy shopping destination for the harried mother. It's offering a program in which customers can order online and pick up the merchandise at Sears five minutes later. The service is being hyped by a spot in which a mom pulls her station wagon up to the store and grabs packages as an infant cries in the back. "Five minutes," says the voice-over. "Enough time to move a shopping mountain."
But boy the consequences if Sears can't deliver within those five minutes. Moms are tough customers to win back, especially once they've given you a second chance.
This month AKQA will open the virtual doors of its newest office in Second Life. AKQA will use the location as a hub for recruiting, hosting 'AKQA Insight' seminars and collaborating with Second Life residents on creative projects.
We were skeptical with Joe Jaffe and Crayon on the topic of Second Life. But at least with Crayon there is some meat to play with. We know that a passion that exists there. It's no fun to engage a tug of war if no one bites back. This move by AKQA just leaves me wondering--Why?
"The Second Life community is full of early adopters, trend setters who are the first to embrace new ideas and that's the kind of people that we want to hire," said Ajaz Ahmed, Chairman at AKQA. "We will use our space to invite the Second Life community to join us when we host events like gaming nights, video nights and afternoon tea. We want to give it more of a relaxed clubhouse feel where everyone is welcome to hang out."
"With this virtual hub AKQA will have the opportunity to connect with digital talent all over the world," said Tom Bedecarre, Chief Executive Officer at AKQA. "Additionally, our 'AKQA Insight' seminars will serve as an open forum to share thoughts on brand building in our second lives."
You can't just jump in. You have to start by being these things--relaxed and welcoming--in your everyday world. Is AKQA holding open house nights in its urban offices where everyone is welcome to hang out? And if they did, would that bring the most talented through their doors? Maybe. Maybe not.
Another goal of AKQA's journey into Second Life will be to collaborate with artists, musicians, and content creators on creative projects with AKQA and its clients.
According to UK news and the NY Post : The Metropolitan police have permitted the beginning of a decontamination process at the London restaurant where former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko is believed to have received a fatal dose of a radioactive material.
Following "extensive tests by forensic toxicologists", doctors found traces of polonium-210 (Po-210) in ALexander Litvinenko, who died on Thursday evening after a three-week illness.
Small traces were identified in several locations at the Itsu sushi restaurant in Piccadilly, central London, which police combed looking for evidence throughout most of yesterday. Their search of the restaurant finished yesterday afternoon, the Met confirmed.
Those individuals who dined at the restaurant on November 1st, together with those at the Pine Bar or restaurant of the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, where other traces were found, were asked to call NHS Direct direct yesterday. The helpline was flooded with hundreds of calls from anxious patrons of the Itsu restaurant, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, across the river that is the Atlantic Ocean, a new Itsu restaurant with a tagline of "health & happiness" awaits opening in the World Financial Center at Battery Park. Kind of ironic...
According to Time Magazine: Sensible calculation of real-world risks is a multidimensional math problem that sometimes seems entirely beyond us. And while it may be true that it's something we'll never do exceptionally well, it's almost certainly something we can learn to do better.
Which risks get excessive attention and which get overlooked depends on a hierarchy of factors. Perhaps the most important is dread.
For most creatures, all death is created pretty much equal. Whether you're eaten by a lion or drowned in a river, your time on the savanna is over. That's not the way humans see things.
The more pain or suffering something causes, the more we tend to fear it; the cleaner or at least quicker the death, the less it troubles us. The more we dread, the more anxious we get, and the more anxious we get, the less precisely we calculate the odds of the thing actually happening.