Emerging Technology

YouTube stock tips?… Snoop on your staff’s computers… Businesses rated on ‘social performance’

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Get your stock tips … from YouTube?

You can now get your US stock information in three minute downloadable videos produced by market advice company Wallstrip, according to online trend site Springwise. Wallstrip focuses on analysing high-performing stocks with a view to working out whether they’ll continue to increase in value.

The stock tip vids, which are informal and hip productions hosted by US actress Lindsay Campbell, have been voted one of the top podcasts on ITunes, and are popular on download sites like Revver and YouTube.

But do they have credibility? Wallstrip was founded by Howard Lindzon, an American who runs an investment firm and hedge fund. Have a look and judge for yourself.

The SnoopStick: Sneaky PC tactics

Employers wanting to keep an eye on what’s happening on their employees’ computers will just love a new gadget called a SnoopStick revealed by Ohgizmo.

On the outside, the SnoopStick looks just like a flashdrive, but it is much, much more. When inserted into a computer’s USB port, the SnoopStick downloads an invisible program into the computer’s hard drive in 60 seconds flat.

Once the program is installed on a system, it is possible to watch the online activities of that computer anywhere in the world.

All you have to do is plug the SnoopStick into your own PC and you can find out which websites have been visited, to whom and where emails have been sent and what conversations have taken place by instant messenger.

This one will surely appeal to the voyeur in many of us, but it could be worth checking with your lawyer on privacy issues before getting started.

Do the right thing

In the web world, naming and shaming is a powerful force. Here’s a Web 2.0 site that is giving the public a say on whether companies are doing the right thing.

Dotherightthing.com reports that Ikea in the United States will charge customers five cents per plastic bag. Then it asks: Is Ikea “doing the right thing?” Readers decide.

The good news for Ikea is that readers have said “yes”. They give this story a rating based on its positive or negative impact. Currently, it’s showing a 2.2 positive impact rating. Ahead with a positive rating of 5 is Apple’s Steve Jobs for lambasting teacher unions in the US.

Trendhunter.com explains how it works. Members suggest stories, and the community rates the positive or negative impact of the story on society.

This “social performance rating” becomes a parameter of evaluating the company. The focus here is not just on “bottom-line,” but on the impact that the companies being examined create on the society.

Is this something we could use in Australia to keep companies honest? Email [email protected] with your view.

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