I’m using about 10 Gmail Plugins from the “Labs” section (just enabled Canned-Responses, eg) and am thinking about 10 more features that I want to have. I know 3rd party developers can develop gadgets for Gmail, but these are pretty well sandboxed right now.
Gmail needs to open up deeper access with the plugin architecture and create a marketplace for developers to sell plugins. The inbox is one of the focal points of my online activity, and I’d be willing to pay real money for tools that—even incrementally—increase my email productivity. A lot of the current 3rd party plugins are kind of crappy, and to do really interesting things 3rd parties resort to Firefox Extensions (xoopit). Creating a marketplace for paid apps would drive innovation and build up quality of apps.
Same for igoogle, Brit, though I personally spend much more time in gmail than in igoogle.
“AT&T is increasing the downlink capacity on its high-speed packet access (HSPA) from 3.6 megabits per second to 7.2 Mb/s through software upgrades at the base station, said Scott McElroy, AT&T Mobility vice president of technology realization.”—AT&T doubling 3G network capacity | Telephony Online
One of my favorite examples of the powerful urge to conform with the majority comes from an experiment [Robert Cialdini] ran at Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park. Conformity theory suggests the park service was sending exactly the wrong message when it posted signs saying:
Your heritage is being vandalized every day by theft losses of petrified wood of 14 tons a year, mostly a small piece at a time.
We gained permission from Petrified Forest National Park officials to place secretly marked pieces of petrified wood along visitor pathways.
Over five consecutive weekends, Cialdini and coauthors varied the signs seen at the entrance to each path. Some weekends, visitors saw a sign that, like the original park-service sign, emphasized the wrong norm:
Many past visitors have removed petrified wood from the park, changing the natural state of the Petrified Forest.
This wording was accompanied by pictures of three visitors taking wood.
Other weekends, visitors saw:
Please don’t remove the petrified wood from the park, in order to preserve the natural state of the Petrified Forest.
This wording was accompanied by a picture of a lone visitor stealing a piece of wood, with a red circle-and-bar symbol superimposed over his hand.
Sure enough the “many past visitors” framing lead to more than four times the amount of pilfering of petrified wood (7.92 percent vs. 1.67 percent). But what’s truly amazing is that putting up no sign at all did a better job than putting up a sign suggesting that “everybody does it”:
In a finding that should petrify the National Park’s management, compared with a no-sign control condition in which 2.92 percent of the pieces were stolen, the social-proof message resulted in more theft (7.92 percent). In essence, it almost tripled theft. Thus, theirs was not a crime prevention strategy; it was a crime promotion strategy. (Yes!, p. 22)
Apparently you would jump off a bridge if everyone else did it.
“Next time you start to hear about the oncoming rush of 4G, here are a few data points to put it into perspective:
• Over half of all base stations shipped in 2008 were 2G.
• In 2012 LTE base stations will be less than 1% of all base station shipments for the year. Shipments of 2G base stations, primarily those using EDGE, will be 25 times greater than those with LTE in 2012.
• In 2013, of the over 1.5 billion handsets In-Stat forecasts to ship that year, only 1.7% will be LTE. The rest will consist of 2&3G technologies.
• Looking at mobile data revenues, 3G service revenues will not overtake 2G revenues until 2012.
• While 2G in total generates more revenue, on a per user basis, 3G has higher average revenue per user.
• The top markets for 3G are North America, Western Europe, and the developed regions of Asia.”—Some interesting tidbits from In-Stat’s “Generation Data – Global 3G Market Review”
The gap of confidence between small companies and big ones is growing. We used to rely on the security of big companies. That’s why we worked for them. And hired them. And put our money in them. But with the virtual collapse of AIG, Lehman, Citibank, GM, Chrysler, and many more — now even GE is in trouble — all that’s changed. Now it’s a risk to do business with the big ones.
We simply don’t trust companies anymore. We trust people. And in big companies, it’s hard to even find a person to trust as we scream “operator” into our telephones only to get transferred to another menu whose options have changed.