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  • drdianehamilton 3:29 pm on July 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Company Value, Company worth, , , , , , HP, , , , , Skype, , ,   

    Value of Top Companies 

    The following is a list of the estimated value of some of the top companies in 2011.  They are listed in order of highest to lowest value.

    Apple – TechCrunch recently reported that Apple’s value is now worth as much as Microsoft, HP and Dell combined.  Valued at over $300 billion, Apple continues to grow.  For more specifics, click here:  Apple Value

    Microsoft – Recent estimates put Microsoft’s value at about $200 billion.  Skype – Microsoft’s recent purchase assessed Skype’s value at $8.5 billion.

    GoogleGoogle’s value has been estimated to be $192 billion as of January, 2011.  For more specifics on this income including Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s net income, click here:  Google ValueYoutube – Recent estimates put Youtube’s value around $1.3 billion.  Google paid $1.6 billion for Youtube in 2006.

    FacebookFacebook was valued at $82.9 billion in January and that number continues to grow.

    Amazon – In January, it was reported that Facebook passed Amazon’s value.  Amazon still showed a $75.2 billion worth.  For more specifics, click here:  Amazon Value

    HP – Recent estimates put HP’s value at about $72.8 billion.

    Dell – Recent estimates put Dell’s value at about $29.3 billion.

    Groupon – Recent estimates put Groupon’s Value at as much as $25 billion.

    Twitter – It is suggested that Twitter’s value is around $7.7 billion.

    Linkedin – Recent estimates put LinkedIn’s value at over $4 billion.

     
  • drdianehamilton 7:20 pm on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Skype,   

    Reality of Being Seen Live on Facebook, Google+ and Facetime 

    Today Facebook announced its new integration with Skype that will allow video calling and group chatting. Zuckerberg is touting “ease of use” as one of the key benefits of this system. Facebook can now compete with Google+ and their video chat service named Hangout.

    The question now becomes, do you really want to have the capability of having people see you? Recently I was having a conversation with my husband on my iPhone using Apple’s Facetime application. As my husband took his iPhone around the office and said, “say hello to so and so”, I realized that as I could see them, they could also see me in my jammies with no makeup, hair up on top of my head and wearing my reading glasses. It wasn’t glamorous.

    Many people use these video calling services when they are at home. Do we really want to see what everyone looks like when they first wake up in the morning? As we start opening up our homes to people with our video capabilities, we may also be showcasing things that may be better left unseen. Think about the dirty dishes in the sink or the unmade bed. Now more people than ever will know everyone’s dirty little secrets.

     
  • drdianehamilton 8:15 pm on May 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andreessen Horowitz, AQuantive, , EBay, , Janus Friis, , Skype, Voice over IP,   

    Microsoft Buys Skype 

    NEW YORK — Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy the popular Internet telephone service Skype SA for $8.5 billion in the biggest deal in the software maker’s 36-year history.

    Buying Skype gives Microsoft access to a user base of about 170 million people who log in to Skype every month, using the Internet and Skype usernames as a complement to the traditional phone network and its phone numbers.

    For the rest of the article see: huffingtonpost.com
     
     
     
  • drdianehamilton 4:03 pm on January 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Skype, ,   

    Top 10 Company Mission Statements 

    Image via n2growth.com

    Companies often list their vision and their mission statements on their sites. The difference between a mission statement and a vision statement is that a mission statement focuses on a company’s present state while a vision statement focuses on a company’s future.  However, some companies tend to blend these statements.  The following are some of the top technology-based company mission statements:

    Amazon:  Amazon’s vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.  (They list this as their mission as a combination mission/vision on their site).

    Apple:  Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.

    Dell:  Dell’s mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve. 

    Facebook:  Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

    Google:  Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

    Microsoft:  Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

    Skype:  Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.

    Twitter:  Twitter lists its mission as “a work in progress” as it has yet to be fully developed.

    Yahoo!:  Yahoo!’s mission is to be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses

    YouTube:  YouTube’s mission is to provide fast and easy video access and the ability to share videos frequently

     
  • drdianehamilton 2:44 pm on January 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Mobile content, Qik, Skype, SkypeJournal, SkypeNumerology,   

    2011 Another Big Year for Skype 

    With rumors of Skype going IPO and their recent purchase of Qik (provider of mobile video software), Skype is making a lot of headlines lately.  It is anticipated that this may be an even bigger year for the growing company. 

    In a recent article explaining how company names are becoming used as verbs, companies like Google and Facebook were used as examples.  Skype is now being added to that list.  The Wall Street Journal reported, “Making audio and video calls between computers over Skype is now so common that the company’s name has become a verb. People ask others to “Skype me” or say they are “Skyping.”

    With the recent announcement that Verizon will be offering the iPhone, apps are becoming the topic of many a conversation.  Skype is now going to be available for use with Verizon’s new service.  WSJ reported, “A couple of weeks ago, Skype introduced free mobile video calling to its iPhone app and has plans to extend the same functionality to certain Android-based phones running on Verizon’s new high-speed 4G network later this year. And, last week, at the Consumer Electronics Show, it launched a paid service it had been testing that allows for group video calling on computers.”

    Universities, including one where I work, have required professors to have a Skype account. Video-conferencing is the way of the future.  What is nice about Skype is that you can connect between computers and cell phones now.  In fact, “Group calling, which can handle between three and 10 people, is a feature of the latest Windows version of Skype, and of the latest beta version for the Mac.”

    Skype does face some competition with Tango and FaceTime. FaceTime is video software developed by Apple for the iPhone.  Tango enables anyone with an iPhone or Android phone to make free mobile video calls over 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi to their friends and family around the world.

    How big is Skype?  According to SkypeNumerology, over 27 million people were online using Skype this week.  SkypeJournal reported that “Skype maintained 20% of all international minutes in 2010.  Skype will be reporting about $1 billion in revenue this year.”

    photo

    Skype’s International Market Share 2010

     
  • drdianehamilton 3:25 pm on January 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Skype, , U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,   

    Why Companies Are Not Going IPO: Are Skype, Twitter and Facebook Projected IPOs in 2011? 

    There is a new trend for companies to remain privately owned.  Why have mega-companies like Facebook yet to go public?  The New York Times reported recently, “An I.P.O. used to be a rite of passage for a company, a sign that it had arrived. But even before the financial collapse of 2008, some entrepreneurs and financiers worried that America’s markets were somehow losing their edge. That would be bad news not only for Wall Street but ultimately the entire economy.”

    Investors are frightened due to the recent stock crash.  Will the economy suffer if there isn’t an infusion of new companies in the stock market?  The numbers are definitely down.  According to The New York Times, “The annual rate of I.P.O.’s peaked in 1996, when around 756 American-based companies went public, according to Dealogic. That figure fell to a low of 36 during the financial crisis in 2008. It picked up to about 50 in 2009 and, so far this year (2010), it is running at about 100, excluding G.M.”

    There has been talk that IPOs will pick up in 2011.  There are some major companies that have hinted at going public in 2011.  Here is the latest on some of the most discussed possible entrants into the IPO market:

    • SkypeTMC News reported, “Skype originally filed an S-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission back in August, but have made several major moves since that may have pushed back the company’s timetable.”
    • Facebook – Although it is possible they could go IPO in 2011, recent talk has indicated it will probably not happen until 2012.  ComputerWeekly stated, “Facebook is preparing to sell stock through an initial public offering (IPO) in 2012, according to a document published by the social networking company. The document revealed that the number of Facebook shareholders will increase above 500 this year, forcing the company to go public or disclose financial information.”
    • Twitter – Some have speculated Twitter would be going public but ReadWriteWeb reported differently.  “According to CEO Costolo, Twitter has grown quickly recently, with 100 people joining the company in Q4. While the company recently raised $200 million in funding, Swisher wondered what Costolo saw as the company’s future – would it sell or would it go public? Neither, said Costolo.”

    Companies go public to get money.  There are other advantages.  According to Investopedia.com, other reasons to go public include:

    • Because of the increased scrutiny, public companies can usually get better rates when they issue debt.
    • As long as there is market demand, a public company can always issue more stock. Thus, mergers and acquisitions are easier to do because stock can be issued as part of the deal.
    • Trading in the open markets means liquidity. This makes it possible to implement things like employee stock ownership plans, which help to attract top talent.

    There are some disadvantages to going public.  According to Findlaw those disadvantages include the following.  I recommend going to Findlaw’s link to read the full explanations behind each of these disadvantages:

    • Time and Expense 
    • Disclosure
    • Decisions Based on Stock Price
    • Regulatory Review
    • Falling Stock Price
    • Vulnerability
     
  • drdianehamilton 10:47 pm on December 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , AppStore, , iPodTouch, Skype, Videophone, ,   

    Skype Brings Video Calling to iPhones 

     

    Image via google.com

    Press Release:

    30 DECEMBER 2010, LUXEMBOURG – Skype today announced the new version of its iPhone application that brings video calling to millions of mobile users around the globe over both 3G and WiFi networks. Available to download from the Apple App Store today, the new Skype for iPhone App allows iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners to make and/or receive free* Skype video calls for the first time. Users can now see their family, friends and colleagues around the world while talking to them. With approximately 25 million concurrent users logged into Skype at any given time**, the new Skype for iPhone makes it easier than ever to share moments wherever you are.

    Video calling significantly enhances the user experience of Skype for iPhone, which is one of the top five free iPhone apps in 2010 according to Apple. Now, users can make and receive free Skype-to-Skype calls, call mobiles and landlines around the world at very low rates, and now share more moments together with video on Skype for iPhone.

    “With video calling representing approximately 40% of all Skype-to-Skype minutes for the first six months of 2010, our users have been eager to get Skype video calling on their mobile phones,” said Neil Stevens, general manager of Skype’s consumer business. “By bringing video to mainstream users at their home or work via their desktops, on the go with their mobiles, or into their living room via their TV, Skype has made it possible for millions of people to share video moments wherever they are.”

    A video call evolves communication beyond transactional experiences to a shared experience where people can share any occasion with others wherever they are. Whether this is a military father watching the birth of his child while deployed abroad, loved ones communicating via sign language or work colleagues collaborating around the globe – the opportunities are endless.

    Users can place Skype video calls with their iPhone over both a 3G data connection* or WiFi. The new Skype for iPhone app is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4th generation with i0S 4.0 or above. Video receiving capabilities are available on the iPod touch 3rd generation and iPad. Calls can be made between devices using the new Skype for iPhone app and desktops including Skype for Windows 4.2 and above, Skype for Mac 2.8 and above, Skype for Linux and ASUS Videophone.

    The Skype for iPhone application is available for free download from the App Store or at http://www.skype.com/go/iphone.

     
  • drdianehamilton 12:39 pm on November 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Mark Rush, , Skype, , , , University of Florida,   

    How Online Learning Compares to Traditional . . . Continuing the Debate 

    The New York Times recently reported, “An analysis of 99 studies by the federal Department of Education concluded last year that online instruction, on average, was more effective than face-to-face learning by a modest amount.”

    However, in this same article, they noted that not all results have shown this to be true.  Mark Rush of the University of Florida’s researched students who watched lectures online vs. traditional students who attended regular live in person lectures. Their study showed more online students let the lectures pile up and got behind.  To find out more about this study, check out the New York Times Article.  

    While I find this to be an interesting study, almost none of the online classes I teach include recorded lectures.  Therefore I don’t find this data to be representative of the online experience that I have witnessed in my over 5 years of teaching for many different online universities.

    Although many people find the lecture experience a big part of education, not everyone finds this to be the most effective way to learn.  When I attended a traditional college, I personally did not enjoy having to sit through long lectures.  Perhaps that is why I was drawn to online learning later. 

    I am more inclined to look at the 99 studies from the Federal Department of Education than one study that looks specifically at how well students keep up with watching lectures in determining the effectiveness of online learning. I personally think that people are drawn to the type of education that fits their needs.  For those that enjoy long lectures, traditional universities may be the best optino for them. For those who don’t, online has a lot to offer.

    For those considering taking an online education, check out:  The Online Student’s User Manual:  Everything You Need to Know to be a Succcessful Online Student.

    Recommended Articles:

    How Employers View an Online Education

    Online Schools using Skype, Tinychat, Video Conferencing, Wiki and Other Technology

    How are Online Degrees Perceived

     
  • drdianehamilton 1:25 pm on October 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Skype, , Webcam   

    Employers Using Skype for Interviews 

    If you are looking for a job right now, you may be surprised to find out that your interview could occur through video-related software such as Skype.  In order to reduce costs, many employers are doing more and more through the use of video.  It works out well for both parties.  The prospective employee may actually be able to do their job interviews from home. 

    If you are going to be interviewed in this manner, be sure you are prepared.   For a great article on how to prepare for your interview on Skype, check out the following by e.how.com:

    Succeeding in a Skype interview takes as much preparation, if not more, than a regular interview.

    Succeeding in a Skype interview takes as much preparation, if not more, than a regular interview.
    Skype.com
    User-Submitted Article

    With companies slashing expenses in every which way these days, many are now preferring to interview job candidates online using applications such as Skype. With face to face interaction still intact, hiring managers can eliminate the costs associated with flying out candidates while maintaining the considerable benefits of having a face-to-face conversation.

    Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

    Instructions

    Things You’ll Need:

    • A computer equipped with a webcam, microphone, and Skype
    • Appropriate interview attire
    • As isolated room with adequate lighting, lacking any distractions
    1. First, remember this is a REAL interview! Do not be tricked into thinking that preparation is not required since the interview will be done online. Though there are some tricks to Skype interviews listed below that are not available in an on-site interview, hiring managers will still be choosing individuals that they perceive as most qualified for the job. Thus, PREPARE for the interview in advance. Call the company or asking the hiring manager what would be the appropriate dress for the interview for you to best fit in with the company’s culture (if you do not know already).
    2. If possible, test out your computer set-up days before the interview is set to take place. If possible, use an ethernet cable to access the web; relying on Wi-Fi during an interview is a risk that should be avoided at all costs. Also, make sure there is plenty of lighting in the room, so that the hiring manager can clearly see your face. Free the room of any unnecessary distractions (for instance, a red umbrella or green coat hanging in the background), but it is okay for there to leave non-distracting objects up (such as a clock, a table, etc.). Test the call with another friend to make sure no minor details need to be adjusted (such as the distance between you and the screen).
    3. Try to get the computer’s webcam high enough so that it is eye-level with you. Some laptops naturally require the user to look down at the camera, and that look is typically not as flattering for an interview as the eye-level approach. This can be achieved by a variety of creative means, but if you have some sort of laptop or computer stand, that would be best.
    4. Get there early! Log onto Skype approximately 15 minutes before the interview start time. If the hiring manager is already online, they will be impressed that you have shown up for this virtual interview early. If not, they will still notice you were already online when they got on.
    5. Be professional, but be yourself! Don’t get nervous; demonstrating confidence can sometimes be one of the deciding factors to who the company chooses for the job. Try not to refer to notes (see tip below), however, feel free to write down anything the interviewer might say. Also, it is appropriate to look at the video feed of the interviewer while they are talking, however, it is imperative that you speak to them by looking at the webcam. This will give the impression of eye contact, which is a major selling point in any interview.
     
  • drdianehamilton 2:19 pm on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: asynchronous, , collegefinder.org, discussion boards, , , , , , Internet forum, , , pbworks.com, Skype, , social media in the classroom, , synchronous, , , , , ,   

    Online Schools Using Skype, Tinychat, Video Conferencing, Wiki and Other Technologies 

    Recently one of the universities where I work sent me an email stating that they require that I have a Skype account.  I was curious to see if other schools were using Skype and did a little research.  I found an article which I found interesting from informationtechnologyschools.com.  In the article, they mention 10 ways to use Skype in the online classroom:

    1. Videoconferencing
    2. Tutoring
    3. Live Lectures
    4. Guest Lectures
    5. Global Projects
    6. Student Presentations
    7. Classroom Discussions
    8. Announcements
    9. Oral Examinations
    10. Virtual Field Trips

    For the complete article, click here.

    I can see that Skype would be extremely useful in synchronous classrooms.  Click here for another article about online learning using Skype from collegefinder.org.  I like that they are finding new and unusual technology uses for the classroom. Click here for an excellent article on 100 inspiring ways to use social media in the classroom from onlineuniversities.com.

    I’ve seen that some schools are using TinychatPBworks.com claims, “Tinychat delivers dead simple video conferences without the extraneous ad-ons and inconvenience, making video conferencing an accessible, uncomplicated experience. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux; with Firefox, IE, Safari, and Chrome; and there is a version available for iPhones. You can have up to twelve people in a room with HQ video, protected by passwords and moderators, share your desktop with them, and your conferences can be recorded and embedded on your website.”  – Check out this tutorial on how to use Tinychat by clicking here.

    When it comes to video conferencing, though, one of the advantages I see for online learning is that it can be completed in asynchronous format.  In other words, users can log on at any time of the day and not at a specific time.  As an instructor, I find this to be extremely helpful to me.  I do my best thinking at around 5:00 am and I doubt my students would want to log on for a lecture at that time.

    Asynchronous video is still an excellent option for online courses. It may not have the interactive abilities that programs like Skype have, but it may also avoid some of the confusion and problems that come with understanding the technology as well.  There is also the blended learning option that some schools embrace.  Some schools have parts of the classes offered synchronously and parts asynchronously. 

    There are tools for both types of learning.  There are advantages and disadvantages with both.  Chronical.com stated the following about synchronous online tools, “If using the “same time, different place” model of communication, some common barriers to implementation of synchronous tools are cost and bandwidth—not only cost and bandwidth on your end, as the individual teacher or the institution, but also to the students. This is especially true with conferencing systems; video/web conferencing requires equipment to deliver but also to receive. Although the benefits of real-time video conferencing are clear—it’s as near to a physical classroom environment as you can get—the software, hardware, and bandwidth necessary on both sides can be more cost-prohibitive than actually physically attending a class.”

    That same article addressed asynchronous online tools, giving the following examples of technology that can be used in this asynchronous online setting:

    • Discussion boards: whether integrated into your online learning environment or not (such as Google Groups), well-managed discussion boards can produce incredibly rich conversations about topics at hand.
    • Blogs: my personal favorite, as not only are the students discussing with one another (and the instructor), but they’re learning something about writing for a wider audience whomay or may not be listening in.  The open nature of blogs also allows for communication between students in other classes at other institutions who are studying the same topics.  You might have to make “comments on blogs” count for a grade in order for some students to do it, but such is the nature of  the beast—those students probably wouldn’t talk in class, either.
    • Social Networking Site:  Facebook and Twitter can play important roles in your asynchronous communications strategy.  Facebook pages for a class can be the destination for up-to-date information about the course, without your students having to friend you (or even one another).  Twitter, and Twitter lists, can be useful sites of asynchronous discussion, although not in the threaded format that one is used to seeing in a discussion board setting.
    • E-mail/Listservs:  Some people consider mailing lists to be quaint relics of a previous technological age, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that they still work: an e-mail based discussion list does afford one the ability to carry on threaded discussions in a private environment, yet outside the confines of a managed system (for discussion boards).  In fact Google Groups (referenced above) is a threaded discussion board that can also take place via e-mail, putting a different twist on the typical concept of the listserv.

    I personally often use my blog in my online classrooms.  I teach many courses where students are researching specific topics such as entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, etc.  By adding links to my blog where I have written about many of these topics, it helps add content to the discussions.  I have not had students create their own blog as the above author mentions, although I like the idea, but I have taught classes using a wiki.

    For those of you not familiar with what a wiki is, think of Wikipedia.  That is the ultimate wiki where information can be added to a site by multiple sources.  When classes are taught on a wiki, it is a bit more complicated as students need to write some code-like information.  It worked out well in the school where I taught it, because it was a technology-based school where students had more technology training.  One advantage of a wiki is for group-based projects.  In the course I taught, students were able to work together on one big project where they could all enter information onto the wiki.  The problem with any group project, wiki-based or not, is that you still have those students who do not participate as much as others.   

    As with any technology, there will always be some obstacles to overcome.  However, I embrace technology and look forward to the next new product that helps increase student involvement and retention. For more information about online learning, check out my book:  The Online Student User’s Manual.

     
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