Archive > November 2010

Despite FDA Warning, Avandia Use Varies Across U.S.

admin » 30 November 2010 » In Defective Products, FDA, Legal News » No Comments

Despite FDA Warning, Avandia Use Varies Across U.S.

Using the controversial diabetes drug Avandia as an example, new research finds that doctors’ prescribing patterns vary across the country in response to warnings about medications from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The result is that patients may be exposed to different levels of risk depending on where they live, the researchers said.

“We were looking at the impact black-box warnings for drugs have at a national level, and, more specifically, at a geographical level, and how these warnings are incorporated into practice,” said study lead researcher Nilay D. Shah, an assistant professor of health services research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

In 2007, the FDA required that Avandia come with a “black-box warning” — the strongest warning possible — alerting consumers that the drug was associated with an increased risk of heart attack.

Before the warning, Avandia was widely prescribed throughout the United States, although regional differences existed. “There was about a two-fold difference in use before the warning — around 15.5 percent use in Oklahoma versus about 8 percent in North Dakota,” Shah said.

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Companies yank cord on residential phone books

admin » 17 November 2010 » In Internet, Marketing, Tech News » No Comments

phone-book

Companies yank cord on residential phone books

What’s black and white and read all over? Not the white pages, which is why regulators have begun granting telecommunications companies the go-ahead to stop mass-printing residential phone books, a musty fixture of Americans’ kitchen counters, refrigerator tops and junk drawers.

In the past month alone, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania approved Verizon Communications Inc.’s request to quit distributing residential white pages. Residents in Virginia have until Nov. 19 to provide comments on a similar request pending with state regulators.

Telephone companies argue that most consumers now check the Internet rather than flip through pages when they want to reach out and touch someone.

“Anybody who doesn’t have access to some kind of online way to look things up now is probably too old to be able to read the print in the white pages anyway,” joked Robert Thompson, a pop culture professor at Syracuse University.

Phone companies note that eliminating residential white pages would reduce environmental impact by using less paper and ink. It also can’t hurt their bottom lines to cut out the cost of a service that rarely gets used and generates little beyond nostalgia.
The first telephone directory was issued in February 1878 — a single page that covered 50 customers in New Haven, Conn. That sheet grew into a book that became virtually a household appliance, listing numbers for neighbors, friends and colleagues, not to mention countless potential victims of prank calls.

Fewer people rely on paper directories for a variety of reasons: more people rely solely on cell phones, whose numbers typically aren’t included in the listings; more listings are available online; and mobile phones and caller ID systems on land lines can store a large number of frequently called numbers.

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Baidu & Yahoo! Fight for Market Share as Advertising Budgets Continue Shift to the Internet

admin » 15 November 2010 » In Search Engines, Tech News » No Comments

Baidu & Yahoo! Fight for Market Share as Advertising Budgets Continue Shift to the Internet

With the global economy beginning to show some signs of stability, analysts are anticipating an increase in advertising spending. Corporations are committing more and more of their advertising budgets to the Internet, as internet marketing offers notable targeting and data-focused return-on-investment capabilities. In order to gain market share, internet information providers continue to develop new capabilities. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Internet Information Providers Industry and provides research reports on Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU – News) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO – News). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

http://www.bedfordreport.com/2010-11-BIDU

Market share is a stat that gets a lot of publicity in the search engine industry. While Google is the clear cut leader in North America — presently Google has 66.1% of US market share — it is a different story in China. iResearch recently released reports claiming that Google accounted for 24.6 percent of China’s Internet search-engine market in the third-quarter, dropping from 26.8 percent in the previous quarter. Baidu remains the dominant search engine leader in China, accounting for nearly 73% of Chinese market share according to iResearch. Recently Alibaba — which is 40% owned my Microsoft and Yahoo — made a move to challenge Baidu for more market share. Alibaba launched a new Chinese search website aimed at driving traffic to Alibaba’s retail website, Taobao.com.

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7 Deadly Web Design Sins

admin » 11 November 2010 » In Marketing, Social Media » No Comments

7 Deadly Web Design Sins

Designers, are you guilty of creating information-overload homepages or building the “unwelcome screen?” The experts are here to save you.

Flash is cool, right? And that lovely welcome screen and information-rich homepage your client wanted are just perfect. Or are they? We talked to six top designers and creative directors about their Web design pet peeves. What makes these pros cringe might surprise you.

1. Putting your brilliant design first.

“Whether or not the site is designed elegantly, what really matters to me is whether the navigation is intuitive, and whether the information is organized well. Design, for as much time as we spend on it, if it’s all about the visual elements, that can quickly get someone out of that site. I always try to focus on making sure the information makes sense before putting mouse on screen. Plan ahead. Get the answers before laying anything down. Get together with your project manager and design team, and get all the info from the client before start designing. It’s also important to get the navigation in front of people to make sure everyone can get that information quickly. Be constantly testing. Only then should you build the beautiful elements, the design of the site, around that. If that’s not there the site can be considered a failure. ”

— Andres Orrego, associate creative director of Chowder Inc. in New York

2. Going overboard with Flash.

“Flash is certainly a pet peeve. It has its place, for sure, but since the dot.com bust we’ve come a long way. Today our customers want to be found – they expect to be found – but what does that mean for us? We need to set the stage for search engine optimization, so we need to stay away from Flash. When I see a site overly done, you ask yourself, does it really make sense for you to do that in Flash? No.”

— Antonio Navarrete, president and creative director of SilentBlast in Toronto

3. The unwelcoming welcome screen.

“I hate everything about welcome screens. By clicking a link, I’ve already said that I want to go to visit your site, so there is no need to show me a ‘welcome’ screen with a quote. In fact, it is almost insulting to call it a ‘welcome screen’ – I’d almost respect it more if it was called a here-is-an-ad-so-we-can-make-money screen. As it is, this intermediate screen just delays users from accessing your content and gives them an opportunity to leave before they ever arrive.”

- Andrew Cafourek, co-founder and digital lead of A022 Digital in New York

4. The boggling homepage.

“People who are using your site, buying from your site, are not going to stay there or buy from you due to your awesome design. Most homepages are completely overwhelming. There is so much there – people try to communicate everything to everyone, and the real content gets lost. That’s a design disaster. It should tell people in three to five seconds who you are and what you do. That’s it. We have a design philosophy that we take from architecture: form follows function. When you are building a building, you want right angles and perfectly usable space. If you go to our homepage, you will see cleanliness and simplicity. I say this left and right, and my designers say it left and right: Websites have to breathe.”

- Marvin Russell, creative director of The Ocean Agency in Chicago

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New In Social Media: Facebook Introducing Deals

admin » 08 November 2010 » In Social Media » No Comments

New In Social Media: Facebook Introducing Deals

Everyone likes getting a good deal, but it’s not always easy to find the right one at the moment you could use one. Imagine that while you’re looking for a new place to try for lunch, you could see offers from restaurants nearby on your phone. On the other hand, I already love Zachary’s Pizza, so imagine if I were rewarded for coming back there every week with my friends.

Starting today, local businesses will be able to offer you deals when you check in to their place on Facebook. Deals will be rolling out over the next few days and will only be available in the United States at this time.

We launched Places to let you share where you are with your friends and see who’s nearby. Now with Deals, you also can see what offers are nearby and share those deals with your friends.

Finding deals near you is easy. On touch.facebook.com or the latest version of Facebook for iPhone, touch “Places” and then touch “Check In.” Nearby Places with deals have a yellow icon:

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