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Circle Of Interest

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Remember when we were younger, we'd cut up magazines and newspapers to pull together scrapbooks and posters of things we liked? These scrapbooks and posters were all about who we were, whom we identified with and who we aspired to be. Cut to 2012… who'd have thought scrapbooking would suddenly be the hottest buzzword on the web? Only this time, it's called Pinterest —a virtual pinboard where you can share and organise and images online that you find interesting. You can ‘pin' these images on customised themed Boards, and boards can be on just about any topic imaginable — anything from custom Harleys to wedding themes. If you browse through some pins, you'll realise that they are largely made up of interests people pursue in everyday life, right from food, artwork, animals, fashion — you name it, it's there. Pins often end up being the virtual embodiment of a person's lifestyle!
 
But that's once you're on Pinterest, that is. It is invite-only for now, so you can sign up for invites on the site (be prepared to wait!) or if you already know a Pinner, they can easily invite you onto the site. Once you sign in, do install the handy browser extension – that way, when you come across an image you like, you can just click the button, select the picture, assign it to a board and you're done! Want to add some text to remember this image later, or maybe add a price? Pinterest lets you do that as well, and Pinners with iPhones can take pictures on the go and add it to their boards with a mobile app.
 
But surely there's more to Pinterest than pinning pictures of cute cats (or whatever tickles your fancy, really!). It's handy to organize your thoughts visually as well. For example, if you want to redecorate a room in your house, you can create a board of pictures of all the stuff you want to do for that room. You could store inspirational images to get you going each morning. Or you could keep pictures of things to buy – a visual shopping list. Boards can have multiple people collaborating, so Pinterest can just as well be used by students to quickly assemble project materials on a wide variety of topics. Any which way, Pinterest delivers on its mission statement to connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting.
 
In a world (wide web) of words, Pinterest is a welcome visual break. While it borrows from existing social networks – it's open like twitter in that you can follow anyone, you can comment on a pin, Like it or Repin it – it appeals to mothers, amateur cooks, home decorators and others who are not usually known to obsess with startup trends, aka the rest of us!
 
Top Reasons for Businesses to Consider Pinterest:



  •  Users, Users, Users: Pinterest is where a lot of folks are. A LOT. Millions already and the numbers just keep going up. Getting your business on Pinterest early will give you a head start in a social network that is showing significant growth potential.

  • Exposure: Imagine the exposure – your brand gets seen by a staggering number of eyeballs, and you can direct traffic via the pins to your own catalog. Pinterest gives companies a free service to advertise their brand and products to millions.

  • It's easy: Pinterest has learned from Twitter and Facebook by incorporating an easy way for businesses to drive images and traffic to its site. A very simple to install "Pin it" button makes it easy for someone browsing your website to quickly add something to their Pinterest page. For example, a wedding gifts or confectionary site can add "Pin It" buttons to quickly let brides. From there, everyone else can see it, and the chances of it getting shared increase. People can also click on it and be directed back to your site


URL: http://bit.ly/wV4fhd
Also see: The Marketer's Guide to Pinterest: http://mashable.com/2012/02/28/the-marketers-guide-to-pinterest-infographic/











Intelligent Enhancements
Near field communication (NFC) products are finally getting past the cutesy movie posters and moving onto practical everyday applications, and the first couple of NFC products I got to play with were the Nokia Luna headset and the Play 360 Bluetooth speaker. The Luna looks nothing like any headset I'd seen so far, but the interesting bit was the fact that it packed in NFC hardware. When it is used with an NFC-equipped phone, the Luna can tell the phone to switch on its Bluetooth connection and pair with the headset, turning it all down again once you hangup and return the headset to its futuristic looking dock. All this is as easy as simply tapping the devices together.
 
And if you thought this was impressive, check out the Play 360, a Bluetooth speaker that streams music from your phone, laptop or MP3 player. Use it with an NFC phone, and it takes just a tap to get the tunes flowing. Music quality is pretty good for a portable, wireless speaker, and what's neater is that the Play 360 senses if there is another Play 360 in the vicinity and switches the sound from mono to stereo!
 
Rating: 7/10
Price: Luna (Rs. 4530), Play 360 (Rs. 9,350)
URL: http://nokia.ly/wReAnK

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 











The Lure Of The Dark Side
Don't pick up The Darkness II if you're looking for a light casual game. In this game, mafia don Jackie Estacado is possessed by an ancient force known as the Darkness(and has an aversion to light, hence the title) and he's out on a mission to rip the New York underworld apart. As a first-person shooter game, the game delivers on many fronts, especially the stylised environments that look straight out of a graphic novel. The control and shooting mechanism does leave a bit to be desired, as are the mildly unimaginative enemies, but you tend to forget that with the tight storyline and pretty spectacular voice acting. I still prefer my Call of Duty though.
 
Rating: 8/10
Price: Rs 2,799 (Xbox 360, PS3), Rs 999 (PC)
URL: http://bit.ly/xZYGjm

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


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