Using Google to Predict the Future

Elegantly simple proposal to measure economic confidence in The Economist’s search for other quirky indicators: searches in the U.S. on Google for “gold price” in the piece Alternative indicators: Behind the bald figures But the hottest tip came from Edward Ritchie, an investment analyst in London. He tracks Google searches for the “gold price” as an …

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Why We Work in Starbucks

(this is a copy of my Loose Wire Service column, syndicated to newspapers; hence no links.) By Jeremy Wagstaff Why do we work in Starbucks? It’s a question I ask myself every day, because I usually find myself in one at least once. This despite having an excellent home office replete with cappuccino machine, music, …

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Concentration in the Public Space

By Jeremy Wagstaff Why do we work in Starbucks? It’s a question I ask myself every day, because I usually find myself in one at least once. This despite having an excellent home office replete with cappucino machine, music, ergonomic chair and, most importantly, sofa. But lo, every day I wend my way to a …

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A pale white man shows us what journalism is

My weekly Loose Wire Service column. Is the Internet replacing journalism? It’s a question that popped up as I gazed at the blurred, distorted web-stream of a press conference from London by the founder of WikiLeaks, a website designed to “protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public”. On …

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Why Hotels Should Avoid Social Media

By Jeremy Wagstaff (this is a copy of my column for newspapers) If The Wall Street Journal is to be believed—and as a former contributor I’ve no reason to doubt it—the best way to get decent hotel service these days is to tweet about how bad it is. And reading the piece made me realize …

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Hoodiephobia, Or We Don’t Lie to Google

Does what we search for online reflect our fears? There’s a growing obsession in the UK, it would seem, with ‘hoodies’—young people who wear sports clothing with hoods who maraud in gangs. Michael Caine has just starred in a movie about them (well, a revenge fantasy about them.) This Guardian piece explores the movie-making potential …

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The Problem With Memory Sticks

… is that you forget you have them in your pocket. According to Credant Technologies, a Texas-based security company, about 9,000 USB sticks have been left in people’s pockets in the UK when they take their clothes to the dry cleaners. This is based on a survey (no link available; sorry) of 500 dry cleaners …

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Pure Web 2.0 – Music Collaboration

Via one of my musicial heroes,  Thomas Dolby, here’s a great example of how Web 2.0 really works—for musicians. A very timely piece of software has become available for me to use on my album. It’s called Virtual Glass and it’s a plug-in you download from a web site/service called eSession.com. The subscription-based eSession site …

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