Most liveable cities… Online vs print… World’s top innovators… eTaxi pooling

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World’s most liveable cities

Australian and New Zealand cities dominate worldwide quality of living standards, making them attractive destinations, according to Mercer’s 2007 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey.

Sydney, Melbourne and Perth remained consistent with last year’s rankings. Sydney placed ninth with 106.5 points, Melbourne was 17th (105) and Perth was 21st (104.5). Adelaide and Brisbane each dropped one place this year, with Adelaide 30th (103.1 points) and Brisbane 32nd (102.8).

Of New Zealand’s major cities, Auckland remained consistent at fifth (107.3) and Wellington was 12th (105.8).

Zurich was again ranked as the world’s top city in overall quality of living, with a rating of 108.1, narrowly out-ranking Geneva, on 108. Baghdad rated the lowest, with just 14.5 points.

Cities are ranked against New York as the base city which has an index score of 100. Mercer’s analysis is based on an evaluation of 39 quality-of-living criteria for each city, including political, social, economic and environmental factors, personal safety and health, education, transport and other public services.

Online readers linger longer than print

People read more of an article online than they do from print, according to a study by the Poynter Institute. On average, people read 77% of the story text online, compared with 62% for broadsheet newspapers and 57% for tabloids, reports ITNews.

Further, nearly two-thirds of online readers read the entire text of online stories once they had started. The results come from EyeTrack07, an eye-tracking study of about 600 subjects.

The St Petersburg, Florida-based Poynter Institute describes itself as “a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists”.

Global top innovators

Wired has come up with a list of the world’s 40 most innovative businesses. Here are the top 5:

1. Google: From search engine bit player to global giant, and still rising fast. Wired says: “Google’s power to inspire both awe and fear continues to grow.”

2. Apple: Tech+cool = one heck of a company. Now they’re moving into the mobile phone market too. Wired says: “Cell phone + iPod + social networking = marketer’s dream.”

3. Genentech: Energetic pharmaceutical company developing new drugs for cancer treatment. Wired says: “20 new drugs are set to enter the pipeline by 2010, the chances for more multiple hits are good.”

4. Samsung: The South Korean giant is riding the digital wave into homes across the world. Wired says “Samsung’s upmarket strategy protects margins, a tactic it has been using to batter Sony in home theater and camcorders.”

5. News Corp: This global behemoth a fast moving innovator? One word gives the answer: MySpace. Wired says: “King Rupert is feeding the greatest frenzy of media populism since the birth of the tabloid press. Now he needs to convert it into broadcast-style revenue.”

Sharing a cab to the airport with Web 2.0 buddies

Another smart social networking idea to save you time and money: In New York, smart travelers are planning their commute to the airport via, reports Springwise. Founded by New York attorney Terry Crawford and wife Gloria, is a combination of a social networking and a ride matching site.

Hitchsters’ software connects travellers scheduled on the same flight and living in the same area of the city so they can save money by sharing a taxi. Customers can also specify their preference for a male or female co-rider and make a new social connection.

Would-be co-riders enter their first name, cell phone number, cellular carrier and email address into the Hitchsters’ system. Hitchsters makes the match and facilitates a cell phone number and email exchange so co-riders can coordinate their trip to the airport.

Hitchsters is scheduled to launch soon in Brooklyn and Boston. The service is free, but the Crawfords hope to generate revenue by attracting advertisers to the site. They have no deals with cab companies yet, but it could be another angle for entrepreneurs in other cities to explore.


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