We couldn’t let this one go past without sharing it. Apparently, the Sicilian village of Canneto di Caronia has experienced three weeks that could have come from a Stephen King novel. Their cyber-appliances such as refrigerators, toasters and televisions have been mysteriously exploding, for no reason whatsoever. If the explosions were isolated incidents or had only happened in one home, there might be an explanation for the things that go boom in the night, however, twelve houses have been ravaged by fire and the entire town has been evacuated. Read more…
Some watch the Super Bowl for the excitement of a winner-take-all battle of gladiators. Some people watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. As almost everyone knows, those of us who watched the Super Bowl this year got to see something a little more revealing than the lingerie bowl. During the MTV organized half-time show, singer Justin Timberlake tore Janet Jackson’s top off, exposing her right breast on live TV. Read more…
Google Going Portal? That’s how it looks from the outside as Google announced it is thinking about introducing a Google Email feature along the lines of Yahoo, MSN and Lycos. Google has taken the concept a step further however and will likely use the new offering as a delivery vehicle for paid advertisements. This move might disappoint long-term Google users who have become accustomed to the clean interface that characterizes Google for many. Given the battle between Google, MSN and Yahoo however, it should come as no surprise that Google is looking to ensure brand-loyalty from its users.
Q. What is more annoying than hearing Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyrie played in midi music style on a website over and over again?
A. Hearing it come from your friend’s pocket over and over again. Read more…
it is 12:15 on Friday the 19th. As of 15 minutes ago, the holiday season started for StepForth staff. Here is our holiday schedule in case folks want to get a hold of us:
StepForth will be closed for holidays during the week of Dec. 22 – Dec 29. We will be operating with a reduced staff from Dec. 29 to January 5th. We will be closed for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
From all of us at StepForth, have a happy and safe holiday season and thanks for an excellent 2003.
Please understand that this poem is tongue-in-cheek and that our staff is working harder than elves on a deadline. I needed to take some liberties with reality to make the poem work. It’s Christmas and my friends got together and bought me an artistic license. I thought I’d use it… Happy Yule y’all!
As far as an easy to use tool goes, Google has just given itself and the massive courier firm Fed-Ex a wonderful Christmas present with the introduction of Fed-Ex package tracking features from Google’s front page. Within two easy clicks, we were able to trace a CD-Rom being shipped to us from a client in Iowa. The same trace on the actual Fed-Ex site took four steps, cutting a significant amount time.
Try it yourself. If you have a package currently in transit through FED-Ex, go to Google and type “fedex (and your tracking number)” into the keyword window. The results are extraordinary and fast.
AOL is taking aim at one of the underbelly areas of the Internet, SPYWARE. Also known as scumware, spyware is often unknowingly downloaded piggybacking on other pieces of software such as file sharing software, Kazaa. Machines infected with Spyware transmit their every move to the maker of the spyware which often uses the information to serve pop-up advertising based on the topic being looked at. Bundled in AOL’s new “9.0 Optimized” package is a feature that will allow users to identify and eliminate advertising and other forms of spyware. This indicates a growing awareness among computer users and programmers who are demanding to be free from an unscrupulous industry that according to industry watchers has grown by 13% over the past 12 months.
Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in the United States. American Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the end of the previous year and the start of the holiday season. It is the perfect time to kick back, visit family and friends and reminisce about the year gone past. It is also a great time to look forward to the coming year and have a little fun. That’s what our staff wanted to do today so here is our predictions for the State of Search, 2004.
* Google will issue an IPO in March (odds = 99%) via the Dutch Auction format. (odds = 50%) Google will make billions on the IPO and will purchase the financially strapped Calgary Flames Hockey club, move them to the Silicone Valley and rename them the Silicone Flameouts. (odds = 5%)
* We will see a continuance of large mergers, takeovers and buyouts until the end of the first quarter of 2004. More of the smaller players will be absorbed by the larger ones including at least a portion of ASK.Com. (odds = 60%). Jeeves himself will be found drunk in an alley behind the Stardust Lounge on Rodeo Dr. slumped over his friend, that other unemployed mascot from Pets.Com (odds = 5%)
* Yahoo will become the dominant search service in China (odds = 85%) and will become known as the “Portal to the World’s Largest Marketplace” (odds = 65%)
* Terra Lycos will surprise the search world with successful innovations and services. (odds = 99%) Furthermore, Lycos will become one of the top international search tools with a strong focus on European and Spanish Language search technologies. (odds = 55%)
* Contextual Advertising opportunities will expand, allowing more opportunities for the advertiser to become the advertising medium for other ads. (odds = 85%)
* Asian language SEOs will be a driving force of the SEO industry as the focus of the international economy continues to move from North America to Asia. (odds = 75%)
* The Toronto Maple Leafs will finally win the Stanley Cup. (odds = .05%)
* Google will be officially labeled a weapon of mass destruction based on the recent Florida update. (odds = 99%)
* Non-Spammy results will be found at Google very soon. (odds = 10%)
* Every major search engine will introduce their own tool-bars. (odds = 90%)
* MSN will make a major purchase, possibly ASK.Com’s TEOMA (odds = 50%)
* StepForth Placement will expand to double it’s current size and staff (odds = 80%+)
* StepForth Placement will add a new division (details pending, odds = 100%)
LycosUK has introduced an extraordinary tracking service allowing users to shop between various financial services in a partnership with MoneySuperMarket.Com. The service promises savings of up to 10% of a users annual salary, if used properly. Users can check different rates, move money between credit cards, see different loan and credit opportunities and track bonus offers such as loyalty points and programs. This looks like an excellent tool for individual users and small businesses. If successful in the UK, Lycos will expand the program to Europe and North America sometime in 2004.