Asking the experts |

The economy

Our admittedly unscientific poll offers cheer to both candidates

BARACK OBAMA and Mitt Romney have spent many months and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to convince the public that electing the other man would lead to economic catastrophe. They have fought to a draw: voters today are almost evenly split over which man would do a better job on the economy.

But whom would the experts pick? To find out, The Economist polled hundreds of professional academic and business economists. Our main finding should hearten Mr Obama. By a large margin they rate his overall economic plan more highly than Mr Romney’s, credit him with a better grasp of economics, and think him more likely to appoint a good economic team (see chart). They do not hold the perpetually disappointing recovery against him; half of respondents graded his record as good or very good, compared with just 5% who said that about George Bush in our poll four years ago. “It all depends on the counterfactual,” said Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, referring to how bad things might have been without the president’s emergency measures.

But Mr Romney can take heart from a deeper dive into the numbers. The Economistpolled two groups: research associates of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the country’s leading organisation of academic economists; and the outlook panel of the National Association for Business Economics. The academics gave Mr Obama much higher marks than Mr Romney, which may in part reflect partisan preference: fully 45% of them identified themselves as Democrats, and just 7% as Republicans.

By contrast, the forecasters, a much less partisan crowd, consistently assigned Mr Romney higher scores. Democrats and Republicans were equally represented in this group, at 22% each. Roughly half of both groups were either independent or declined to state an affiliation. Among these independents, and these are probably the most compelling numbers, Mr Obama’s platform still got a higher grade than Mr Romney’s, but by a much smaller margin than in the group as a whole. The independents, by a slim margin, thought Mr Obama would name a better economic team, but also believed that Mr Romney has the better grasp of economics.

While we cannot claim that this is a scientific sampling of economists’ opinions, our sample is reasonably large: 312 of the 902 NBER research associates responded, as did 51, around half, of the NABE forecast panel’s members. Leer más “Asking the experts |”

Strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learn |

The Drum takes a look at the key ingredients for creating a successful app strategy that will deliver.

Top tips for applying app strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learnTop tips for applying app strategy: know your customer, release early,

With the exponential growth of mobile comes the wealth of opportunity for brands to enhance consumers’ lives by providing useful or relevant information, entertainment, or simply enabling them to complete concurrent tasks more seamlessly. This is where apps come in.

But with over 700,000 apps in Apple’s app store alone, and apps to inform, educate and entertain, it can be difficult for brands to understand how to implement an effective app strategy. Here, The Drum speaks to individuals from the app development sector to determine their top tips for applying apps successfully.


At the heart of an app is its user, therefore it is crucial for brands to understand their customers. “As with all marketing, it’s essential that the consumer is always at the heart of the creative idea,” says Mark Hadfield, senior planner, Weapon7. “This ensures relevancy and gives the app a real role in their lives.”
Kevin Galway, business development manager, bss digital, stresses the importance of understanding customers. “What do your customers want and what technologies do they use? Will they be prepared to pay for the app or do you need to deliver a native app and a web app to reach more users? Ultimately an app needs to be useful, enjoyable and informative to the customer – this is paramount to keep them coming back for more.”

Grapple CSO Adam Levene also emphasises the importance of harnessing the potential of mobile to make their lives easier. “It’s all too easy to borrow from what a brand is doing online. The smartphone is the most personal device in the world, always with customers and always on. As such, brands must get into the mindset of providing a first-class experience that provides ongoing value, solves customers’ pain points and makes their lives easier. More than any other channel, mobile has the potential to build deeper connections between a brand and consumers.” Leer más “Strategy: know your customer, release early, listen and learn |”

Want Your Message To Stick? Tell A Story | by Sean Blanda

Ilustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco
It’s the reason Steve Jobs sold millions of iPods by skipping the technical specifications and simply stating that one thousand songs could now fit in your pocket. It’s the reason trial lawyers appeal to a jury’s humanity as much as the letter of the law. It’s the reason political candidates fight to define each other’s narrative. When human beings need to persuade people about ideas, we tell stories.

Telling A Great Story
In 2007, the American Association of Advertising Agencies published the results of a two-and-a-half year study“For the most part, ads that tell stories and engage and involve consumers create stronger emotional relevance than product-centric ads,” the study concluded. that charted the effectiveness of two types of ads: ads that told a story and ads that appealed to rational reasoning. The result? Leer más “Want Your Message To Stick? Tell A Story | by Sean Blanda”

Getting to the heart of Frankenweenie


As odd as Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie looks, it clearly has the makings of a hit. Yes, it’s in black and white, which many would consider outdated by today’s standards.

Yes, it’s also done in stop motion animation, which has been long outdated, but thankfully it’s now retro-cool and coming back.

Maybe Burton’s going back to his childhood with ‘Weenie, because as he explained toMoviefone, many kids of his generation made little movies on 8mm cameras, where you could do stop motion shooting one frame at a time. Burton also loved the classic Universal monster films growing up.

“That’s also why I like black and white,” Burton said. “There is something very inviting and exciting and strange and beautiful about black and white, which is the reason I wanted to do it that way.” Leer más “Getting to the heart of Frankenweenie”

This Ultimate Toolbox helps customize your Android ROMs

Software modders know all too well that customizing an Android ROM can be a time consuming process – even for veteran users.

Fortunately, Despotovski01 of XDA Devs has coded the aptly named Ultimate Toolbox Pro to help fellow Android enthusiasts simplify their quest for the perfect mod.

As FallenWriter of XDA Devs notes, this utility helps eliminate the more tedious steps involved in customizing a ROM.

Key features include:

* creator
* signer
* Flash kernels
* Flash recovery images   >>> Leer más “This Ultimate Toolbox helps customize your Android ROMs


How To Watch The U.S. Presidential Debates Online

ReadWriteWeb | 

We’ve come a long way since 1960. That was the year of the first televised debate between two U.S. presidential candidates. Fifty-two years after Kennedy and Nixon verbally sparred onstage, this political traditional continues, but with more ways of watching than ever before.

Much has changed even in the last four years. In 2008, watching the debates without a cable subscription involved streaming them from a clunky player on CNN’s website, which could kinda-sorta be full-screened to fit onto your television, if you were so ambitious as to plug your laptop into your HDTV. Good news: This year, things are going to be much easier. (And not just for watching online, but also for interacting with other political junkies.)

On October 3, October 16, and October 22, CNN will stream presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney live on its website, just as it did last time around.

In a new interactive twist, the network’s Web interface will allow viewers to select specific clips from the debates and share them over Facebook and Twitter.CNN’s livestreams will also be available on many of the connected gadgets we’ve all spent the last four years purchasing.

Most live feeds in CNN’s mobile apps require a cable subscription to access, but the debates will be freely available on iPads, iPhones and Android devices.

Leer más “How To Watch The U.S. Presidential Debates Online”