Author Archives: Pete

Kick up the Behind

This morning’s Indiegogo newsletter:

Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 08:18:20 -0500 (EST)
From: Indiegogo <newsletter@indiegogo.com>
Subject: Put the Backside of Your iPhone to Work

Oops.

Meanwhile, the Guardian also had an editing problem.

This article was amended on 8 March 2016 to remove a paragraph that referred to a memorial fund left by South African Jan Smuts to Christ’s College. There is no such fund.

I was really hoping there would also turn out to be no such person as Jan Smuts, but no such luck.  He’s real, it’s just his fund that isn’t.

Survey Monkey

Last week I asked for guesses about the value of Survey Monkey.  The value is $2bn, according to the Wall Street Journal.  (It’s not quoted on any stock exchange, but this is the value implied by recent investments in the company.)  Well, it’s a nicely designed website I suppose.

While I’m in this cynical mood, I noticed something funny about Facebook.  If you remember, a while ago I said that the number of searches relating to Facebook had fallen dramatically.  It’s also possible to find out the countries where people are most likely to search for Facebook.  They are (in order) Turkey, Tunisia, Venezuela, Algeria, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia.

Is the implication that Facebook is going out of fashion in the rich Western countries, while remaining popular in poorer countries that got Internet access more recently?  If so that’s worrying for Facebook: poorer customers mean less advertising revenue, and because technology trends tend to start in the West, the problems may spread.

Don’t forget to Pear your Apple

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was recently spotted with an Apple Watch.  Only problem was, it hadn’t been paired with his iPhone and so couldn’t even display the time.

Now we get to speculate about who paid whom.  Did Karl pay for his watch like anyone else?  Or did Apple pay him to wear it, but forget to insist that he set it up first?

Choosing a Smartphone

According to the Guardian:

The [Samsung Galaxy] S6 is 6.8mm thick and weighs 138g, which makes it thinner but heavier than Apple’s 6.9mm thick, 132g iPhone 6 and thinner than most other top-end smartphones, including the 7mm thick S6 Edge.

Which are you going to go for?  Are you going to save yourself a tenth of a millimetre—100µm—or six grams?  At least you could measure six grams with ordinary kitchen scales, even though you wouldn’t be able to feel the difference.  You’d need a micrometer to measure 100µm, and how many people have one of those at home?

Have we Reached Peak Facebook?

When a website is trendy, people search for it. Some people just want to find the website itself; other people are looking for background information about the website such as press articles. Because Google publish statistics about searches, we can get a clue how trendy a particular site is.


Facebook’s traffic was still growing at the time of their last annual report (which covered 2013). Interest in the site, though, has been falling since mid 2011. Does that mean that traffic will soon start heading downwards too? Will there be an unpleasant surprise in the 2014 annual report, once it is made available?