links for 2009-07-27

  • Getting credit to small business owners is Job One for former venture capitalist Karen G. Mills, who was confirmed as Administrator of the Small Business Administration in April.
    BusinessWeek SmallBiz Staff Writer Jeremy Quittner spoke with Mills recently about her agency’s efforts to help small companies during the recession, how the federal stimulus package is affecting entrepreneurs, and ways to boost innovative small businesses.
  • In its ongoing effort to figure out how to make money, Twitter has launched a new search tool and an online manual for businesses.
    The idea is that businesses will learn to use Twitter to market themselves and possibly pay for services that Twitter could roll out later.
    (tags: Twitter)

  • Every day, millions of people use Twitter to create, discover and share ideas with others. Now, people are turning to Twitter as an effective way to reach out to businesses, too. From local stores to big brands, and from brick-and-mortar to internet-based or service sector, people are finding great value in the connections they make with businesses on Twitter.
    (tags: Twitter)
  • Think your credit card information and other data stored on your iPhone 3GS is safe? Think again. Even though the latest version of the device is the first to be encrypted it’s pretty much useless against hackers, according to a security expert.
    In fact, it’s so easy to crack encryption on the iPhone 3GS that information can be had for the taking in just two minutes, Jonathan Zdziarski told Wired in an interview.
    “It is kind of like storing all your secret messages right next to the secret decoder ring,” Zdziarski told the Wired. “I don’t think any of us [developers] have ever seen encryption implemented so poorly before, which is why it’s hard to describe why it’s such a big threat to security.”
    Zdziarski knows what he’s talking about; he’s been hacking since the age of 8, is an iPhone developer, and a research scientist who specializes in mobile device forensics.
  • Palm Inc.’s Pre phone can again connect to Apple’s iTunes software — just a week after Apple Inc. shut it out.
    A software update delivered automatically to the phones re-enables the transfer of music, photos and video from iTunes, according to a Palm blog post made late Thursday.
    The $200 Pre launched in early June as a competitor to Apple Inc.’s iPhone, and became the first non-Apple device that could connect directly to iTunes. Apple crippled that function with an iTunes update last week, saying Pres were “falsely pretending to be iPods.”
  • Nokia is the number one mobile phone brand according to 112,000 teenagers, across 30 markets, who took part in the Global Habbo Youth Survey Brand Update 2009 (GHYS).
    Despite a third consecutive year at the top of the chart, Nokia has lost teen support year-on-year. In 2009, 21 per cent of teens named Nokia the number one favorite, compared to 29 per cent in 2008. Nokia’s recently announced drop in market share becomes even more apparent when looking at specific markets. Nokia is number one in only 13 countries(1), down from 15 last year.
    Sony Ericsson is number two globally and number one in nine countries(2), including Austria, Germany and the UK, up from eight countries(3) last year. Sony Ericsson’s overall lead has also dropped. In 2009, 18 per cent of the world’s teens listed Sony Ericsson as their favorite, compared to 21 per cent the previous year.
    (tags: nokia Mobile)
  • It’s been 100 days since Tim Armstrong, 38, leapt from Google to become CEO of AOL, charged with spinning it off from Time Warner and redefining it as a stand-alone entity. He’s spent the better part of those days on various planes, visiting the company’s offices around the globe as part of a crash-course in all things AOL.
    (tags: aol Innovation)
  • With software-development tools readily available – and with seemingly insatiable demand among consumers for easy-to-use applications for smartphones – it continues to be easier, and cheaper, to start up an Internet or software business.
    fotki_E_20090723144316.jpg
    Fotki.com, a profitable photo-sharing site with 1.4 million members, built without venture capital
    At the same time, global financial troubles have made it harder than ever for new companies to get funding from venture capitalists – who are, in turn, having trouble raising money from their limited partners.
    This good-news-bad-news scenario for entrepreneurs has prompted some to ask the question: Do these start-up companies still need venture capitalists?
    “VCs and founders are like two components that used to be bolted together. Around 2000, the bolt was removed,” wrote Paul Graham, a partner at start-up incubator Y Combinator in a December 2008 blog post.
  • Macs are great computers. One of the best things about them is the wealth of inexpensive applications available to help you get more from your investment.
    Third-party Mac apps can help you keep track of your to-do lists, manage text and passwords, run Windows on the Mac, recycle old computers for use as displays on new computers, and more.
    And you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get these applications — many of them are surprisingly cheap.
    We’ve put together this list of 19 of our favorite cheap and free Mac apps, to help you get more done with your machine.
    (tags: mac apps)

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