This may be a little bit of an overstatement, but from the talk of nearly EVERYONE over theFriendfeed Logo last two weeks, Friendfeed is the next big thing. So far I’ve noticed Robert Scoble, Dave Winer, Fred Wilson, and Techcrunch comment on it, and I’m sure I’ve missed or dismissed many other bloggers commenting on Friendfeed.

What my understanding of Friendfeed is, is a one stop shop for all of your information needs. Tired of having to check out your Twitter, RSS reader, delicious, etc. accounts to get all of the latest news? Now all you have to do is join friendfeed, which amalgamates all of your friends twitter/blog/everything else together so you can get updated on everything they are doing, but in the same spot.

Besides the incredible benefits and A-lister recommendations, why is Friendfeed so good? For many reasons really. One of which, is their commitment to the user. Fred Wilson had a little bit of beef with a few aspects on Friendfeed, and so created a list of things they would like changed. Shortly after he received an email from one of the founders of Friendfeed saying he had passed the list around to the employees of the company, and they liked them and immediately began working on them. Now that is customer service.

Also, Dave Winer has been very impressed with the fact that Friendfeed has done a lot of work, and relatively quickly, dealing with Twitter users on Friendfeed. Although Twitter may be an acquired taste, people who use Twitter demand that it works well on Friendfeed. Friendfeed has worked very hard in making this possible.

Thats all for now I guess.

Cheers,

David McKenna

I was reading TechCrunch and I came with this article “Fynanz: How Student Spell Peer-to-peer Loans”. What is a student peer to peer loan? Student Peer to Peer loan (peer to peer lending) is a way to borrow and lend money using the internet as the marketplace between person to person. The idea is similar to ebay for loans. Check this out for more about on peer to peer loan.

The peer to peer (p2p) lending continues getting better day by day in the world. Fynanz is launched on last Monday and it is the latest among of them which is devoted solely to P2P student loans. Fynanz is an innovative marketplace and its offers student loans with the lowest interest rate on private student loans. Most of the lenders are individual such as family, friends, alumni and others who believe that “Education is the Best Investment”.

CEO of Fynanz Chirag Chaman (former banker) initially has invested $500,000 and said that:

We looked at 15 years worth of data to create an underwriting model specific to student loans. We now what are the factors that reduce default rates. I was doing structured loans at Citibank.

You can think of it as securitization for the masses, but I am removing investment banks from the process.

How does it work?

 

  • First of all, students have to sign in.
  • State the details of their loan (how much they need, desired interest rate, desired payment term, etc)
  • Fynanz then rates each potential borrower based on credit history and information gleaned from historical student loan records.

Right now it is only available for resident of Florida and New York. But that will expand to the entire country later this year and anyone can become a lender. Check this out for more about on Fynanz “an interviewed of Fynance CEO, Chirag Chaman about Fynanz”.

I think student p2p lending is a very good idea which will give the opportunity to the middle-class students to fund themselves to study in a private university even in an expensive university. This idea may come out as a solution to the ever increasing number of the successful students. Then the student may be able to stop depending on government student loan. Other advantages could be avoid banks and other middleman, anonymous transaction, a whole new asset class, optional rates and loan amount, lower interest rates for borrowers, higher returns for lenders, faster and easier process, increased transparency and control, and satisfaction.

On the other hand, peoples want to supports students but they always worried about will student be able to repay to them. People scared to lend their hard-earned money because of huge risk involvement. Interest rate could be another issue for the businesses like Fynanz, Prosper, Zopa, Kiva, Lending Club, Loanio . Because of now interest rate on student loans is tend to be very low which will give them tough time to attract students. Also for traditional student loans borrowers have the option to defer payments. But many investors don’t allow delaying payments or they might charge high interest rate.

–Romiz

 

As we all are aware, WordPress is a blog publishing website which we(Bus 442) are currently using to post our blogs. According to Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch, Co-founder Matt Mullenweg of WordPress hinted that WordPress may be headed in a new social direction. Mullenweg stated that;

The world doesn’t need another social network, it needs a thousand networks that let you own your data and interconnect using open standards. We invest countless hour giving our data to networks like MySpace, essentially sharecropping on their land for the privilege of being able to connect to our friends. It’s our friends, our time, our connections, our data — it should be our software.

This is similar to the open platforms that have become very popular like Linux that is a free open source operating system that has become very popular and allows people to use, change, and improve the software. Social networks are an important cog in Web 2.0.Latest figures released by Compete show;

competefeb082.jpg

As shown in the above, some of the figures are astounding. Fubar one of the newest social networks has grown by 3 million % in one year. Can WordPress compete with heavyweight giants like Facebook and MySpace?  Facebook jumped from 60th to 7th in one year. In this new Web 2.0 age anything is possible. But would  an open source  social network really work. According to Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch says;

It is easy to dismiss this as completely unnecessary given the abundance of social networks already out there, as well as application development platforms like OpenSocial. But an open-source social network does present some intriguing possibilities. New apps and features could be added simply by creating new plugins. And there would be no lock-in to any proprietary code or development environment.

With the success of Linux, I would only think that an open source social network would be just as successful.

Google map + Cell phone photos + Dumpster diving = Awesome

Last night I was reading TeachCrunch blog and I found this article interesting Google Gears Goes Mobile. This article has talked about Google’s various tools and techniques, but I feel interested about Google Map in handsets and I decided to bring it here.

Recently Google has introduced version 2.0 (v2.0) of Google Maps for cell phones. This mobile mapping and local search is a beta version of Google “My Locations”. It is a device with GPS built and a new feature which uses data from cell phone towards to provide an approximation of your location on a Goolge Map. But it does not work for every cell phone unfortunately.

Which phones does Google Maps support?

Google Maps works with the following devices:

Visit here for How do you start using Google Maps once I’ve installed it onto my phone?

Another one: Take the power of Google Maps with you on your mobile phone.

Is it free?

Google is providing free of cost for Maps for cell phones. It is free of cost if you have Windows Mobile and then just visit the site and download the CAB file. But you have to pay the costs of contract net. So to make sure you have to contact with cell phone provider about your plan and monthly fees.

Does Goolge Map work everywhere?

Currently Goolge Map for cell phones is available for just over 20 countries. They are still working on to spread it all over the world.

I think it is really cool and easy to install. It is a great innovation from Google and so much better than map search function anyone have it before. In overall, Goolge Map for mobile is a pretty efficient program, it’s free and very simple to use/settings and there is no reason you should not have it on your phone.

I was reading TechCrunch and found this article interesting “Yahoo to Shut Premium Music Service, Redirect Users to Rhapsody”. At first Yahoo was thinking to shut its premium music service back in September 2007. They were planned to shift Yahoo Music Unlimited to the Rhapsody service. It would transfer customers to Rhapsody over the coming months, while allowing subscribers to access their music library from a new Rhapsody account. Yahoo Music Unlimited plans came in at between $5.99/ month and $8.99 /month, compared to Rhapsody’s $12.99/ month charge.

Recently they have said on Monday that Yahoo music service will be now handled by Rhapsody America, an on demand subscription service run by RealNetworks Inc and Viacom Inc. “This really works to make Rhapsody much more available to a much wider audience,” said Sheeran, a senior vice president at RealNetworks

The acquisition was acquired after announced Microsoft Corp made a $44.6 billion bid on Friday to take over Yahoo. As a result it raises a question that… whether RealNetworks and Yahoo will be able to execute their new partnership if Microsoft succeeds in buying Yahoo. The reason is relationship between Microsoft and RealNetwroks were locked in a bitter and stretched anti-trust difference of opinion for eight years until Microsoft agreed to settle with RealNetworks for $761 million in October 2005. Also RealNetworks founder and chief executive Rob Glaser, is a previous Microsoft executive. Furthermore, Microsoft already has developed huge choices of digital music products and services, which include an online music store and its Zune digital media players.

Yahoo will now focus on ad-supported streaming music and music videos. RealNetworks and Verizon Communization planned to create a digital music service called Rhapsody America, which would be able to compete with Apple Inc’s successful iTunes Online Store.


—Romiz

Facebook is a social networking website and it is being very popular to everyone. But the problem Facebook is having now, you have to visit Facebook website to access. On the other hand, look at Google, it supports its social network application (OpenSocials) initiative which will let people develop applications that can run on any website.

Recently Facebook has taken another step to becoming the defector operating system of the web 2.0 world. Facebook recently updated and releasing a JavaScript client library which enables you to add Facebook application to any site. Now you can use Facebook as a toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Wei Zhu from Facebook explains the benefits:

Since the library does not require any server-side code on your server, you can now create a Facebook application that can be hosted on any web site that serves static HTML. An application that uses this client library should be registered as an iframe type. This applies to either iframe Facebook apps that users access through the Facebook web site or apps that users access directly on the app’s own web sites. Almost all Facebook APIs are supported.

Check the following guidelines… how can you use Facebook toolbar into your browser?

Facebook Toolbar for Internet Explorer:

http://mashable.com/2007/12/18/fbtoolbar/

Facebook Toolbar for Firefox:

http://developers.facebook.com/toolbar/

 

More about Facebook application: http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/JavaScript_Client_Library

I have not seen yet anyone to use Facebook as a toolbar into any browser. But I think it is a great move by Facebook and it will enable Facebook to get competitive advantage.

—Romiz

 

Since I’ve added Techcrunch on my RSS Reader I’ve read a lot about politics, which I’m not overly interested in, but I was interested in how Mike Arrington from Techcrunch asked each presidential candidate 10 key questions in technology, and posted the results online. After these questions were posted, they than asked the online community to do a poll on which candidate will do the most for technology.

The 10 questions were dealing with net neutrality, internet privacy, mobile spectrum rules, the digital divide, education (in technology), internet and taxes, immigration and H1B visas, intellectual property, China, and renewable energy.Mike Gravel

I’m actually really impressed with some of the answers that the candidates gave. If I was asked some of these questions I don’t know what I would say about questions like internet and taxes (the internet has taxes?), the digital divide (the what?), and mobile spectrum rules (something to do with phones I’m assuming). I can’t imagine what these presidential candidates, such as Mike Gravel, could possibly know about the digital age and technology (mainly because Mike Gravel looks like he’s my grandfathers great, great grandfather).

The outcome of the poll can be seen here, which was taken from December 18th to January 28th. On the democratic side Barack Obama was way ahead with 60% of the votes and on the republican side Ron Paul was way ahead with 73%. I think because these two candidates are leading in the technology sector they will gain a lot of votes that the non-computer savvy candidates won’t have.

If anyone wants to view the questions and answers here are Barack Obama, John McCain, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, Mike Gravel, and Dennis Kucinich’s answers.

I was wondering if Canadians politicians use the internet much during elections, and if they do, who are the prominent leaders in this area. Like I said, politics don’t really concern me much so I have no idea.

Thats all for now.

Cheers,

David McKenna