Monthly Archives: November 2010

Thirty-nine percent of companies block Facebook at work? Yeah right

A new study from Webroot (via NetworkWorld) dumped a lot of stats in my lap.  Most of which are companies portraying some feigned sense of security by attempting to block outside social networks.  Here are some of the stats first:

  • 39% block access to Facebook
  • 30% block access to Twitter
  • 27% block video sharing sites

    Image courtesy: Geek.com

Amazingly 21% give employees the right to view such sites before work and during their lunch hour.  Let’s be honest.  With the amount of third party tools, websitesand options for Twitter (see EverythingTwitter), you aren’t stopping employees.  Blocking access via a string on the URL or even traffic isn’t the solution.  Implementing the proper policies and controls around usage and expectations goes much further.

Most companies have an Internet usage policy, but rarely list individual sites, tools or social networks.  With the mass amounts of mobile devices in play, bothy personal and business, the tools and hooks to the sites are built in.  Native clients from Twitter for Android, Blackberry and iPhone permeate all the devices.  Facebook interfacing blurs the lines between business and personal contacts.  Heck, many have coworkers and bosses as friends on Facebook.  They are whom you spend much of your time with in the first place.

The study goes on with the concerns over data leakage, malware infections and more.  This is inherent to email and every other tool you have.  So is the site the issue and problem or is it the way the sites are used?  Have you implemented a social network usage policy?  Are there strict guidelines and governance in place?  Do employees sign off and get training on how they will represent themselves and/or company on these networks?

My guess is the companies in the survey missed the point but creates the fear.

Game Review: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

Rarely do I review video/PC games, but Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is an excellent sequel.  The addition of muti-player mode, while light in my opinion, makes it worth the wait.

It states over 15 hours of single player mode, which I imagine will be true after playing the second edition of Assassin’s Creed when it came out.  The additional weapons and features were needed to expand the game area and difficulty.  Some of the steps remain the same.  I feared boredom when we first started playing, but quickly took off into a new world and tasks as Ezio, now a Master Assassin.

An additional ability placed into the game is you can now build and command your own assassin army to help with tasks.  This adds an element of group control, leadership and strategy missing from the earlier versions.

Multi-player mode lets you pick a profile and enter into what I call a strategy session.  Special abilities are afforded to you as your ability and level increases.  We have spent many hours battling, what I imagine is teenagers from all over, in the servers.  We have experienced no lag or trouble logging in and finding a game ready to go.  The more players in a game the more strategy is needed.  Also, the hardcore “in your face” players of the shooter games will actually fare worse in this one.  It is not about running up close and shooting.  You get far more points being stealthy, blending, hiding, surprising and using skills.  A welcome change.

Lacking
The multi-player expectation was slightly met for me.  You compete against other assassins and are assigned contracts.  You skill becomes tracking, blending, silence and striking to get more points.  All the while avoiding those tracking you.  The better you are in the rounds, the more trackers you have assigned at times.  So while you hunt one, you may have two on you.

We did see a few glitches in the interface still as we ran through Rome.  Something I didn’t expect for a third version game.  Completing a step and missing the tiny text o what not to do cost us some full synchronization status, but it isn’t a show stopper at all.

Summary
For all of the parents that freak out over the idea, it is a mature rated game.  You do have the ability to reduce some of the language/violence, but go with the mature rating in mind.  I do not recommend this for younger kids, no matter how much they plead.  While it does take place hundreds of years ago in Renaissance-era Rome, some of the weapons are familiar enough.

I would definitely get my hands on Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood for any of the platforms supported: XBox 360 and PS3.  I know I hit the stores just days after it was launched and had no trouble finding it.  Or use any of the above links (they are Amazon affiliate as a disclosure).  This is a keeper.

Tungle goes Pro and adds Personalization

Tungle, my go to web based scheduling client, has added new features under the Pro banner for a monthly/yearly fee.  For $4.99 a month or $49.99 year you get the following options to what is already an amazing free product:

  • Set your favorite locations for meetings (phone line, coffee shop, whatever and ten maximum)
  • Logo and color branding for site
  • Logo branding for invitations, confirmations and updates

Tungle Personalization

I have been using Tungle and even had the chance to sit with Marc, the founder, in an IdoNotes podcast when they entered into the Lotus software arena.   It now hooks into all the main calendaring systems, including Google, Lotus, Microsoft, Apple and even LotusLive.

I quickly uploaded a logo for the free 30 days trail.  Up to a 2MB image is allowed and then you are presented with a small customization window for colors.  Not a large amount of choices, but the idea is to keep it simple and brand your page as well as your notifications.

If you want to schedule a meeting with me, always use my Tungle page.  If you need your own account, get one today.  There is no better way to share freetime openings without exposing your calendar.  Did I mention all the mobile clients they offer for free as well?

Will third party Twitter clients remove Sponsored Tweets?

With Twitter launching sponsored tweets into the stream, will the developers of

Courtesy of: Business Insider

clients such as Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Mixero and more write code to remove these from paid versions of the apps to make themselves money?  All while satisfying users of Twitter at the same time?

Third party client developers are already under fire (see previous posting on the ecosystem) with Twitter now running their own clients across mobile platforms, with the web as the preferred desktop interface.  Even with Twitter as a free product, are the consumers and users of it prepared for advertising in what was once a clean stream of information?

I know I tolerate some ads with Ubertwitter on the Blackberry for all of the advanced functionality.  I could buy a paid version to remove the ads, but they are far and few between.  But with Twitter now inputting their own, will I want to see a percentage of the stream in that format?  My guess is no and I will invest a few dollars.  I only hope that when I pay to have the ads removed from those products they can filter Twitter sponsored tweets as well.  Or will that invalidate some license agreement?