Esdena: Social Marketplace
Friday, September 21, 2012
  Google Extends Street View Service
The Street View service of Google had been met with a lot of adulation and criticism over the years. In reality, the street view service has created a lot of peppy news during the time it has been there rather than offering any constructive utility. Google’s street view service has also been criticized citing reasons such as involuntary participation and invasion of privacy.

As of now, the Google street view service is limited to exterior views of a building or some places and given the resources, a user can easily view 360 degree images of a place, personal property or a commercial building.

The extension of the Street View service which is a pilot project of the search engine giant Google now allows people to peek inside businesses found on its maps. Essentially, the new feature is an extended version of its Street View technology and is being promoted as a completely voluntary feature. One can also see this development as an extension of Google’s Art Project which took Street View technology inside 17 acclaimed museums.

A Google spokesman said that “this project is another creative implementation of Street View technology, to help businesses as they build their online presence. We hope to enable businesses to highlight the qualities that make their locations stand out through professional, high-quality imagery”.
There are speculations already in regards to the scope of this feature since popular opinion does not see much use of the latest feature. Unless a business is into retail or intends to promote its infrastructure, there is virtually no requirement of street views popping into the interior of a commercial place. Moreover, live images do not really sound like a very good idea for any business.

Last week, meanwhile, Google confirmed that it is set to remove some features from its Reader in order to boost its new social networking site. The search engine giant said that the sharing features on its RSS news reader would soon be removed.

Well, considering the way things are shaping up for Google Plus, the social network of the search engine giant, Google certainly needs to find unique ways to create some movements in those verticals. Although, trend watchers are not certain if the revamped Street View service would help Google to create a stir which it can then capitalize on their social networking platform. However, one can certainly expect that the two verticals to merge at some point of time.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
  Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in stocks
I am sure a lot of you have already heard about this, Google officially acquired YouTube yesterday with $1.65 billion in stocks and other consideration. This act slaps Mark Cuban right in his face. Read his blog post about

His prediction about Youtube's failure prior to the acquisition:
His thoughts on the acquisition before it went down:
His thoughts on the acquisition after it happened:

Being in the industry of internet development, I really don't know what to think of this. Mark Cuban did raise a great point about potential detrimental law suits regarding copyright infringements and how "Gootube" is actively sorting out deals with various media companies to allow pretty much their contents to be pirated in return for sharing of revenues. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Anyhow, here's a video of the 2 founders, Chad and Steve, of YouTube sharing their thoughts on the acquisition.

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Monday, September 25, 2006
  Bill Clinton on FOX bashing Chris Wallace
If you have not already saw this on TV, you need to see it. Whether you like Clinton as a president/husband or not, you have to admire his analytical skill and his courage to admit mistakes and address important issues. Enjoy!

Part I

Part II

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006
  Northwestern, Evanston, and Chicago
Hey welcome back NU students! Hope y'all had a great summer either chilling at home with friends and homies, filling up your resume with internships or volunteering stuff, or travel abroad to do some touristy/not so touristy stuff.

When I was Evanston at May earlier this year to visit my sister, NU gave me 3 impressions:

1. Cold
2. Cold
3. Cold

For real, it was May and it was maybe 40-50. I was freezing even with my long sleeves and jackets on. What do you guys do in the winter!?

Anyhow, welcome back guys, and if you want to steer away from getting ripped off by Norris, come check out our site at where you can buy/sell directly from/to other NU students!

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Saturday, September 16, 2006
  Social bookmarking, Social Marketplace
Social book marking has gotten more and more popular in the internet world, companies like technorati,, Digg are the pioneers of this movement and others like Google, Tagworld, MySpace are jumping quickly on the bandwagon.

As more and more users engage in social bookmarking and internet marketers make their websites "social bookmarking friendly", many speculated that social bookmarking sites are going to take over search engines as the dominant place where web users find their websites.

The question is, will they?

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006
  Welcome back MIT! and Why Do People Hate Corporations
First of all, welcome back MIT students! Good luck with your 1st day of class and all that!

Anyhow, I don't know about elsewhere, but at least here at Rice, people HATE corporations. Businesses and extreprenuers are seen as mercenary, greedy pigs that care only about money.

These people just never seem to remember their own parents probably will not have a job if it werent for these businesses, the very school that they go to is probably funded by an entreprenuer, and the TV, A/C, car... that you "can't live without" are probably invented, materialized, and promoted by corporations.

There are several questions I want to ask:
Did Greenpeace invented Hybrid cars? Or did Toyota?
Did Friends of the Earth revolutionized the energy industry by introducing more efficient fuels? Or did BP?

My point here is, I believe for-profit corporations are more effective than non-profits organizations in achieving social means.

Why? Because of tax breaks provided to companies when they make donations.

What? Yes, because of the tax breaks, very often, a company almost HAVE to donate some money. I mean, financially, they will have to pay anyway, they might as well build a good rep by donating those money they would otherwise in paying in form of tax. Therefore businesses will always donate to non-profits which fit the following criteria:

1. Have close connections with the corporations
2. Throw a good (by good, I mean luxurious most of the time) charity event
3. Able to create good PR for the business

Ok, so NONE of these 3 says anything about the non-profits ability to achieve their social goals. My point is, because non-profits are removed from direct force of the market, they are NOT as efficient as for-profits to benefit the society.

Because lets face it, you will only buy a coke for $1 if you think it worth more than $1 to you. What is a better prove of contribution to the society than that?

You can disagree with me, but this is what I think.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006
  New Features + More Satisfied Customers
Hi, just a quick update here, after this week of hectic transactions, we acquired some valuable feedbacks from y'all and made some changes to the site accordingly.

First off, we recognize that many of you do not use your school email as your primary email address, and thus offer you to add a secondary email address on your account. To add one, please go to "my account" and then "my profile".

Also, there was a little confusion about what the buyers and sellers should do after the sale online, we therefore included more instructions on our sales emails and emails confirmation, including the contact info of both the buyers and the sellers. We will also add more instructions throughout the sales process to ensure seamless transactions.

We have also compiled a list of ideas you guys gave us and will implement it soon, so check out our site at often!

At the mean time, here's another list of happy customers of! (Thanks Cole, Pradyna, and Gilbert for giving us permission to post your picture here!)

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