Alberta bans keystroke logging

The director of the Parkland Regional Library in Lacombe, Alberta, had some doubts about the productivity of one particular employee. Being the progressive manager that she is, she decided to assess the worker’s productivity by installing keystroke logging software. This application does just what its name suggests: It records an employee’s every keystroke so it can be reviewed later by Big Br…er…the employee’s manager.

The employee found out and filed a complaint with the province’s information and privacy commissioner, who ruled that the action violated the Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act. The Globe and Mail has… Read More »

The Hobson and Holtz Report - Podcast #48: July 7, 2005

Content summary: The London bombings; communication plan for new media available for download; listeners’ comments (on mixing a real CEO blogger with a fake blog; explaining open source marketing; critical analysis of Virgin’s New York podcasts; political PR in the US and EU; a new podcast browser); report on raising awareness in the UK about new media; Technorati tags, Expression Engine and no answer from Technorati support; social media, trust and what’s now on/off the record; last words on the length of this show.

Show notes for July 7, 2005

download mp3 podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 66-minute conversation… Read More »

Skype introduces Outlook toolbar

I just got through installing the Skype toolbar for Microsoft Outlook, and I’m impressed. (That’s not saying much; I’m impressed by pretty much everything Skype does.) The toolbar, among other things, associates an active email message with your Skype contacts so you can dial directly from Outlook. You can also initiative SkypeOut calls to any contact phone number within Outlook. The web page for this beta application lists a number of other features I haven’t yet tried, but so far, I’m thrilled. I can Skype a contact instantly after getting an email from him without having to switch apps. Very nice.

Study reveals negative PR impact of Google searches

As if we need further proof that organizations no longer control their messages, Market Sentinel has released the results of a study that spotlight the negative PR implications of Google searches. The study involved Google search results for the 50 top grocery brands in the UK. Of those searches, two out of five included negative messages in the top 10 search results. The negative messages might be insults, misinformation, or organized campaigns.

According to Robin Langford, writing in NetImperative,

Mark Rogers, CEO at Market Sentinel said that brand-owners need to pay more attention to online detractors.  ???Corporate PRs and brand…

Read More »

Skype dominates VOIP

Most people have heard of Vonage, but Skype—which still causes eyebrows to lift when I mention it to audiences—dominates the Voice Over IP (VOIP) market in North America. According to an analysis from Sandvine, which tracks 1,100 VOIP service providers, Skype accounts for 42.6 percent of VOIP minutes in North America and 40 percent of bandwidth.

Thanks to Om Malik for the pointer.

MP3 phones are coming

Back in May, I posted an item here agreeing with Bill Gates’ assessment that cell phones will eventually displace digital media players like the iPod. That post was greeted with derision, most aimed at the current limitations of cell phones (battery life key among the reasons for dismissing the notion). Some of the posts pointed to the fact that Apple and Motorola were working on an iTunes phone, which only supports the argument that phones and media players will converge. (I don’t care who does it.) An item in Business Week Online today notes that Apple and Motorola are ready to launch the iTunes phone after a delay of about four… Read More »

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