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The iTunes Music Store Rumoured to Hit Latin American Market

The iTunes Music Store might be heading to Brazil. An iTunes spokesperson declined to comment, but many executives from different areas of the music industry say the retailer will definitely open shops in Argentina and Brazil and probably in several other countries in the region. Some sources say the Brazilian store will open as early as mid-December.

Brazil has shown its willingness to buy music online, with most of its digital track sales coming from online sources; by some estimates, the Sonora subscription service alone has some 500,000 paying subscribers. However, customers are restricted to using international credit cards and have to pay in US dollars. Veja, a Brazil-based magazine, stated a local currency solution should be available within the next six months.

According to Alejandro Duque, director of sales and business development for Universal Music Southern Cone, the music market is a digital market that is growing and has an interesting revenue equation. Apple appears to be taking significant steps to increase its presence in Brazil and the broader Latin American market, working with manufacturing partner Foxconn to launch iPhone and iPad production in Brazil in order to avoid high import taxes that have so far hampered adoption of Apple’s products there.

By | December 8th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Japan Launched Latest Train after the Earthquake

The new luxury Japanese bullet train is called Hayabusa, or Falcon. This cutting-edge green, pink and silver train was launched in March 2011, and it is the fastest train currently operating in Japan, travelling at speeds of 198 mph.

Mutsutake Otsuka, chairman of the East Japan Railway Co, said: “To the best of our ability, we will strive to improve Hayabusa’s passenger comfort, safety and environmental friendliness, not just its speed.” Japan said its trains boast a strong safety record, despite running in an earthquake-prone country. No passenger has ever died due to a Shinkansen derailment or collision.

Falcon passengers can enjoy journeys along straight stretches and tunnels cut through Japan’s mountainous countryside. But those keen on spoiling themselves can pay £200 for a one-way trip in the comfort of a ‘GranClass’ car. They will enjoy deep recliner leather seats and a cabin attendant at their disposal for serving food and drinks.

A network of cutting-edge Shinkansen train lines has been built across Japan since the 1960s. But as the island nation struggles with a shrinking population and falling domestic demand, the government and industry are seeking to promote the train abroad. Japan has sold Shinkansen technology to Taiwan and hopes to capture other overseas markets, including Brazil and Vietnam. The biggest prize is a future high-speed U.S. rail network that President Barack Obama has promoted, set to be backed by $13 billion in public funding.

By | December 7th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

The More Global, the More Local

The small world experiment was comprised of several experiments conducted in the ’60s by the social psychologist Stanley Milgram and other researchers. The project examined the average path length for social networks of people in the United States. The research suggested that human society is a small world type network characterised by short path lengths.

To be more precise, according to the idea of six degrees of separation, everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth. Researchers at Facebook and the University of Milan reckon that the degrees of separation between any two people in the world have now been reduced to 4.7. The new research is based on an analysis of the friend networks of 721m people who use the social network regularly.

Another research project has shown that for 84% of users the mean number of friends of friends is always greater than ones own number of friends. Why? Scott Feld wrote about this phenomenon in his 1991 paper Why Your Friends Have More Friends than You Do. This is a classic paradox regarding social networks. The same phenomenon dictates that college students typically find that their classes are larger than the average class size and that an airplane will be more crowded than the average occupancy. The explanation is that if people, classes and flights are popular, you are much more likely to choose them.

The researchers also found that while Facebook makes it easier to connect with people anywhere on the planet, a user’s friends are most likely to be of a similar age and origin. Looking only at links between people within the same country, the researchers concluded that folk are separated from one another by an average of just three connections. We can say that it is still a very small world and becoming smaller all the time!

By | December 5th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments
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