Daily Archives: February 15, 2008

Look out Craigslist, Kijiji Is the belle of the ball

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It’s not yet a Craigslist killer, but eBay’s free classifieds site Kijiji is taking off in the U.S. eBay, of course, is also an investor in Craigslist, but its 25 percent stake doesn’t give it a controlling interest and the other 75 percent is not for sale. So in March, 2005, eBay launched Kijiji as its own competing free classifieds site overseas. Then last summer, it launched a U.S. version of the site.

Since then, the U.S. site alone has grown from 362,000 visitors in July, 2007 to 1.8 million in January, according to comScore. (If you count U.S. visits to Kijiji’s international sites as well, the number is 2.3 million). In comparison, Microsoft’s classified site, Windows Live Expo, attracted only 176,000 visitors in January, Yahoo Classifieds attracted 97,000, and neither Google’s classifieds site nor Google Base even registers on comScore.Kijiji’s visitor stats are still less than 10 percent of the 26.7 million people in the U.S. who went to Craigslist in January, but comScore puts Kijiji as the sixth most visited classifieds site in the U.S. (after Craigslist, sites owned by Dominion Enterprises like Homes.com, AutoTrader, Cars.com, and Apartments.com). Kijiji is ahead of classifieds sites like Oodle (No. 9, with 1.3 million U.S. visitors in January) and Vast (No. 20, with 444,000).

eBay is obviously doing something right with Kijiji. But can it ever catch up to Craigslist?


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Barcode Bins Make Recycling Fun For Nerds

[Yanko Design]
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for recycling, but it’s the process I’m not so thrilled about. For bottles and newspapers things are fairly simple, but there is a whole grey area that makes knowing what is appropriate for recycling more complicated. The Barcode Trashcan offers a high tech solution that utilizes the product barcode to help sort and separate items.

Many recyclables feature a number value that denotes whether it can or can not be recycled. When scanned, these bins read that number and the corresponding can opens for your convenience. Unfortunately, the only real benefit I see in this concept is that I would spend less time thinking about which bin to throw my beer bottles into. The real tough recycling questions generally don’t have a barcode slapped on the side. So, it appears that I will have to continue utilizing the woods and trash dump runs under the cover of darkness to deal with those issues.4D500946-8296-400A-933B-8B934384F78F.jpg

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A few more thoughts on Apple TV “Take 2″

A few more thoughts on Apple TV “Take 2″

(Via Apple Gazette.)

Last night I got a chance to spend a little more time with the AppleTV ‘Take 2″, and there are a few things I want to point out.

1. There is no ‘watch it after it expires’ for rentals – We’ve talked in the past about how Apple had a loop hole in the rentals where if you left your movie open you could watch it after it had expired as long as you didn’t do anything else. Well, I left a rental open to see if this would work, and when I flipped back over to my AppleTV all I got was a message that ‘this media has expired and is no longer available for playback’. No extension here.

2. The Podcast section not nearly as awesome as it should be – I sincerely wanted the podcast section of the AppleTV to be the thing that brought Podcasting to another level – and it almost is…it’s just missing some REALLY important things. Like, for example, SUBSCRIPTIONS to podcasts!! Why I can’t subscribe on the AppleTV to my favorite podcasts is beyond me. Sure, I can save them as favorites, but that doesn’t download them to my AppleTV automatically – it just bookmarks them. The idea of ‘streaming’ them from their respective host servers is a great idea in theory, and works ok on some SD or smaller podcasts, but if you want to watch ANY of the HD podcasts you have to download them. Streaming those is just flat out impossible unless you have a super fast connection.

As a result, watching the shows is not nearly as convenient as it should be, and people checking them out for the first time may not mess with having to remember to go download every episode. I thought I was going to be able to stop downloading podcasts on my Mac and syncing them – but I can’t do that if I can’t subscribe to the damn things, I have no interest in getting up every morning and manually downloading all the podcasts that I want to watch for the day.

I’m really bummed about this – plus there is some SERIOUS lag time now when I try to watch an HD podcast. By lag time I mean, I press the play button, and it starts, I press the pause button, and it pauses, I press the play button again – and maybe it starts back up after 10 to 15 seconds. I didn’t do that before the update.

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People WILL buy music! who knew?


Report: iTunes more popular than illegal file sharing: “iTunes has become more popular than illegal file sharing according to a new report from market research firm NPD.”

(Via Apple, Mac, iPod and iPhone News.)

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Not a “people person?” Get an iPhone

Anthropophobic* iPhone users have something to look forward to. You may remember that Apple filed a patent for an iPhone-based payment system back in December. The system would not only allow payment without interaction, but could be used as a full ordering and fulfillment notification system. But even before the patent was publicized, Phil Lu was already figuring out how to minimize any human contact with a system concept called QuickOrder.

Phil’s proposal is designed around Starbucks purchasing, and it would allow ordering and payment from your iPhone. QuickOrder uses Semacode barcode technology to link iPhones to coffee orders; as he told Gizmodo, this would allow payment using your iTunes account and bypass the credit card transaction entirely. You could order from afar, pay with a finger swipe and — if it’s anything like the Starbucks I’m used to — pick up your coffee without saying a word. For those not inclined towards being near other living beings, you’re in and out with your coffee fix and nary a ‘hello.’ I feel palpable levels of anticipation emanating from hermitic sects of iPhone users everywhere.

And yes, despite a certain amount of sarcasm, I do think it’s a very cool idea, even though I actually enjoy my daily chats with baristas.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

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