Latest Posts

Readers share some advice for Starbucks

After I wrote about Starbucks' internal announcement that it is launching a Digital Ventures business, I received a good deal of mail from readers about the company. Amazingly, even though Starbucks is a high-profile company, only a couple business publications picked up on the story of a new division being created.

April 5, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Starbucks launching Digital Ventures business

Starbucks is turning its eye to the digital world for part of its recovery strategy, according to an email Howard Schultz sent to partners on Friday. Shultz wrote that Stephen Gillett, who has been the company's CIO, will take on a new line of business, Digital Ventures, to "expand Starbucks reach in the digital space in a way that is profitable in the current business climate – organizationally nimble, small and focused on creating new revenue streams for the company.

March 15, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Let’s talk about the economics of great journalism

Responding to various recent postings about journalism, including Ethan Zuckerman, Seth Godin, Dan Gillmor, Amy Gahran and Lisa Williams. I think the economics of journalism and ethics are deeply related and we tend to talk about them separately, emphasizing the dying channels for distribution at the expense of understanding the net loss of reporting.

January 19, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Twitter authority frenzy led to Twitter phishing meltdown

Folks like to know where they stand, and in recent weeks people on Twitter have been, well, all a-twitter about the idea of Twitter Authority. They want to know who is most influential—a repeat of the phenomenon that swept the blogosphere a while back.

January 5, 2009 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Amazon's "Remembers" feature needs to go further

Several of my ZD Net colleagues noted the launch to Amazon's iPhone app this week. The feature that is most interesting, in my opinion, is the Amazon Remembers, which lets users snap a photo of a product with their iPhone and upload it refer to later, when shopping, and so that Amazon can attempt to match the image to products in its catalog.

December 5, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Thanks to Google, writers' lives may be even more thankless, unless....

The announcement that Google has settled its book scanning lawsuit with The Author's Guild raises all sorts of hopes for digital use of new and previously published books. But without some radical changes in the publishing industry, the results of the settlement are not going to make it easier to be a writer for a living.

October 28, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe

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eBooks: The first step of a long change

After polling all of you about the right price for an eBook device and the kinds of documents you are buying, as well as doing a lot of research over the last couple months, it's clear that the eBooks market is growing. It's also clear that there are huge hurdles to overcome before we, as readers, migrate away from paper.

September 21, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


LHC, Genomics and the era of massive data sets

The world won't end when the Large Hadron Collider makes its anticipated first collision of high-energy particles later this month, but it will produce an explosion of data. The LHC will produce as much data in a single day of experimentation as many scientists dealt with in a lifetime only a decade ago.

September 11, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe