Monthly Archives: August 2012

What’s next: pens for left-handed people?

Next: pens for left-handed people!

There are no bicycles specifically designed for left or right-handed users though there are bicycles designed for women or others designed for men. Like bicycles, there are no pens designed for left or right-handed people (at least as far as I know).

Unlike bicycles, Bic thought it a good idea to release into the market “Bic for Her”. So far, it has proven a bit of a PR disaster.

The most playful, but equally trenchant comment come from reviewers of the pen on

Butch McCassidy writes:

“Oh. My. God. I’ve been doing it all wrong. There was me thinking I didn’t need to worry about whether my writing implement sufficiently reflected my gender. Thank you so much Bic for showing me the error of my ways. Perhaps Bic will also bring out a new range of pink (or purple) feminine spanners, screwdrivers, electric drills and angle grinders so that I can carry out my job as a bicycle mechanic without further embarrassing myself? Luckily my male colleagues have managed to keep their disapproval of my use of their masculine tools to themselves. I’m so ashamed. And re-educated as to my place in society. Thanks again Bic!”

Jonny writes:

“This pen is great. I bought it for all my female friends and relatives. It enabled them, finally, to write things (although they may not yet know to do so on paper; but you can only expect so much, really). I thought they were just a bit slow…

…Anyway, it’s good that BIC are finally doing something to aid the plight of women. Hopefully a range of ‘for her’ paperclips is on the horizon – my wife has an awful time keeping her recipes together.”

Along with 16,200 news articles on the matter, there is, naturally enough these days, a webpage dedicated to the pen.

So what could Bic do at this (ball)point?


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Wolfram Alpha, the “computational knowledge engine” that quietly handles a large number of queries from Apple’s Siri, launched a new feature today that allows you to quickly get an overview of all your data on Facebook. The new report, says Wolfram CEO Stephen Wolfram, expands Wolfram Alpha’s “powers of analysis to give you all sorts of personal analytics.” The company plans to expand these reports with new features over time, but they already give you a pretty deep look at your Facebook habits.

The report, for example, shows which words you use most in your status updates, who likes your updates the most, when you use Facebook the most, your app activity and how your friends are connected to each other.

The report also gathers a good amount of data about your friends, including, for example, their marital status, age and gender distribution and lists of the most…

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Data visualization company SumAll launched SumAll Social Metrics, tracking a company’s social activity against web traffic and revenue and providing insights on the company’s return on social marketing.

SumAll claims it is the first analytics tool to give users transactional, social and web traffic on a single dashboard. Users can see their full social history updated in real-time and can filter by geography and demographics or types of actions including page views and content clicks.

SumAll Social Metrics currently only integrates Facebook and Twitter accounts for social, but combines them with data from Google Analytics, eBay, PayPal, Shopify, Big Commerce and Magento.

“It’s all about having access to all your data side by side so social marketers can see the clear links between fans and followers, your website traffic and sales data,” says Dane Atkinson, SumAll’s CEO. “The new Social Metrics tool lets SumAll users see if their social…

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