Latest Posts

Social design advice for Starbucks

Starbucks announced today it will begin a daily "Good Sheet" of news about politics, health care and other issues that it will distribute in its stores as a way to start conversations. According to a Starbucks executive quoted by The Motley Fool, the company is looking for "conversation starters.

September 8, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Should political postings stay or go? A survey.

I've been blogging for ZD Net for several years, writing for ZD publications for almost 20 years. I've always found readers to be intelligent and thoughtful, which is why I continue to do this while doing other things as "work.

September 4, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


A virus in our genes, think about that....

Really fascinating news: Virus is passed from parent to child in the DNA. Researchers found that roseola, an infection that everyone apparently gets but only 20 percent of children develop the characteristic rash that gives it its name, is actually in our DNA.

September 3, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Attention Craig Newmark: Citizens aren't customers

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, has offered a thoughtful but misguided palliative at CNN to the shortcomings of the age of networked democracy.... if you know how Americans use the Net to talk, you can easily stay in touch with real people.

August 27, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


eBooks volume 3: What is the right price for a device that holds 100s of books?

Over the past couple weeks, I've been conducting polls about ebooks as I think about doing some publishing. The overwhelming response to the polls has been that there is not a sufficiently broad selection of books available in e-formats, regardless of what format, whether for Amazon's Kindle, the Sony Reader or in open formats, such as ePUB, an XML-based format.

August 19, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Cerf's call for simple pricing: Net Neutrality all over again

Vint Cerf, one of the co-inventors of the underlying technology that makes the Web work, now Google's Internet evangelist, has issued a call for throughput-based pricing by ISPs. This in response to the Comcast ruling by the FCC, which ordered the cable carrier to stop interfering with certain kinds of traffic, including P2P application data.

August 5, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


Kindle, Sony and eBook readers: How many a month?

I'm doing a bit of research on the question of ebooks and the appropriate formats to use in publishing some research and archival content I have. Do you have an Amazon Kindle, Sony Portable Reader or another favorite eBook format (Please add your comments on devices and formats in TalkBack)?

August 4, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe


TeachStreet: Starting something big in lots of little places

TeachStreet's launch of a Portland, Oregon, version of its teacher-student connection services has a lot to teach us about the evolution of Web services. The service, which lets students search for local teachers and teachers to offer classes to local and national student audiences, is where education is going: Toward increasingly customized one-on-one learning.

August 4, 2008 by Mitch Ratcliffe