The big news coming out of Cyber-Duck this week is the launch of the new retirement planning website from Retire Easy.
The web application is the first and only comprehensive online tool that gives those in or nearing retirement peace of mind by empowering them to take control of their retirement lifestyle. The RetireEasy LifePlan service is an innovative and intuitive application which takes data including desired income in retirement, assets, investments, debts, loans and pensions, along with any other income and expenses and produces clears and user friendly charts and alerts.
Make sure you tune into Channel 5 tonight at 8pm as you should see the ducks make their TV debut. That’s right; the ducks are to take to the small screen this evening on the Gadget Show as part of this week’s Gadget Show challenge. Cyber-Duck were asked to produce an interactive Dracula comic as part of a challenge to bring 20th century literature up-to-date with presenter Ortis Deley. Make sure you watch it tonight or later in the week online, and let us know your thoughts. We’ll try and get a video of our appearance up next week!
Three ducks are celebrating some landmark birthdays this week. Duo Tom Hicks and Harry Clark have now been working with the Cyber-Duck marketing department for 2 years and 1 year respectively. The third duck, Cyber-Duck’s Development Director, Sylvain Reiter is celebrating a remarkable 5 years at the company this week; here’s to another 5!
Tom, Siji and Harry went into the big city to attend a Meetup on ‘Social Proof and the Zero Moment of Truth’. The event featured Nick Garner, Head of Search at Unibet who spoke about the importance of engaging users during the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ and Mike Essex and Samantha Stratton from Koozai who spoke about how to create positive brand search results and the best practices to prevent cyber-squatters from tarnishing your brand with negative search engine terms.
Danny, John and Tomasz have become the latest Ducks to become certified ScrumMasters after successfully completing the course run by the Scrum Alliance last weekend. The guys attended two days’ worth of lectures and tutorials on all things Scrum and Agile before taking and passing an online exam. They now join the long list of certified ScrumMasters from Cyber-Duck including Matt, Gareth, Sylvain and Lee.
After finishing its Beta ‘invite only’ phase, Google’s new social media platform; Google+, has officially been launched this week to the entire web. The platform has earnt praise for features which include multi person “hangout” chats, sharing computer screen content with friends, the integration of search within Google+ and a friends “Circle” list. Reports have suggested that interactivity with the website is slowing, but it remains to be seen whether Google can finally become a force to reckoned with in the social networking market.
Facebook have been very quick to respond to the Google+ launch as they announced their new music initiative this week. Facebook have partnered with a host of music companies including Spotify, SoundCloud and Vevo enabling users to stream music via an open graph Spotify app. Facebook also launched a host of interface changes and updates this week much to the contempt of many users, with comic artist ‘The Oatmeal’ satirising the trend brilliantly.
That’s not all Google launched this week as they also announced Google Wallet, a mobile payment system. The new app has been released in partnership with Citi-Bank and MasterCard and works with thousands of PayPass merchants. The new payment system essentially scans your phone using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, enabling you to make a quick and hassle free purchase. It only works with a small number of phones at the moment and only in the US, but we are excited to see NFC starting to take off. Currently the wallet holds offers, loyalty cards and credit cards with plans to introduce transit cards, boarding passes and tickets in the future.
Bad news for Microsoft this week as they announced their dedicated search engine Bing, has cost the company $5.5 billion since its launch in June 2009. Bing has been trying to compete in a market dominated by Google, however they claim they are not trying to “out- Google” but just change the way search is used.
Finally we are pleased to announce we have two new ducks on board this week. Gil Ben Horin is now working with us as our new Strategy Director and Ben Speakman joined us as a Junior Web Developer. We would like to offer them both a warm welcome to Elstree House!