G is for Google
Larry Page and Sergey Brin had some important news to announce this week that is sure to shake-up Silicon Valley. Google’s parent company will be rebranding as Alphabet, a decision made in an attempt to preserve and distinguish each of Google’s collective companies (of which Google Search is the largest). The new management restructure appoints a CEO to lead each company so that Sergey and Larry can step back and concentrate on Alphabet’s direction and longevity. Rising star Sundar Pichai will become Google’s CEO; a “natural choice” according to Page, who said in their blog how ‘“very fortunate” they are to have someone as “talented as [Pichai] to run the slightly slimmed down Google”.
Make up Magazine
A Brazilian magazine offered subscribers of the Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro area a unique, interactive experience with their July 29th issue. In an elaborate stunt, Neutrogena skincare provided free packs of makeup wipes for Caras readers so they could remove the make-up from actress Giovanna Ewbank. The concept for the ad came after a study showed the more interactive an ad campaign is, the more memorable the product is to the consumer. The creative direction behind the stunt was DM9, Vice President Drian Ferguson explained “This interactive piece of press gives consumers the power to star in the campaign. They handle the product, test, prove and evaluate the outcome”.
The Windows 10 roll-out has been hindered by a bad update with many users reporting issues as the update stalled midway through download and became stuck in a reboot loop. Expectedly, Microsoft support forums were hit by a barrage of posts concerning the Windows 10 bugs. Thankfully Microsoft has already issued a new update with a patch that should fix the endless rebooting flaw, though this has brought to attention the problems caused by forced updates. Endless rebooting can be particularly stressful when users are on tight deadlines or dependent on a reliable computer.
The User is Drunk
When developer Richard Littauer isn’t working on his grant project with MIT building a PDF annotator (to facilitate scientific research), he gets drunk and reviews company websites. The concept behind Littauer’s side business is that ‘Your website should be so simple, a drunk person could use it’, therefore the perfect test of usability would be an actual drunk person with an extensive knowledge of developing. Richard is the perfect Guinea pig; he conducts his tests by getting inebriated before using a screen capture app to film himself reviewing the app or website. The User is Drunk has filmed reviews for over 30 clients such as Lovehoney, Gizmodo and Mathbreakers at $500 per site.
Inhabitants of the small Caribbean islands of Saba and St. Eustatius can finally have pizza delivered to them… by plane! When an April Fools’ helicopter delivery prank left islanders salivating, a local dominoes in St Maarten’s airport teamed up with airline Winair to schedule pizza delivery to the neighboring islands. The service takes advantage of existing scheduled flights and only sets hungry islanders back by $2.75 for delivery costs. Typical flight times take 15-20 minutes after which the islanders can collect their hot and crispy goods from their local airport. With this year becoming the year of the drones this could just be the beginning of what is to come in worldwide delivery services.