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Best of the Web: 9 July 2010

Best of the Web: 9 July 2010

Paul the Octopus; Here's the real reason Google is so worried about Facebook; Four presentation lessons from Larry King; Top 10 beaches of the world, airlines play no fault card.

July 9, 2010 1:31 by

World Cup 2010: 10 things you didn’t know about Paul the psychic octopus

For the uninitiated, Paul the psychic octopus “has become one of the stars of the tournament and put the TV pundits to shame, thanks to an amazing run of correct World Cup predictions,” the Telegraph reports.

And for the rest of us, duly impressed by his predictive abilities, here’s your chance to check out “10 things you didn’t know about the tentacled tipster.”

From the death wishes of his most insensed enemies, to the impressive intelligence quotient of his species, get the low down on one very opinionated octopus.


Here’s the real reason Google is so worried about Facebook

Undaunted in its attempts to “crack the social networking world owned by Facebook,” Google remains dedicated to finding its place in the web’s social networking world, the Business Insider suggests.

Perhaps “Google can’t afford to watch the web become social without it,” the report adds. But whatever the reason, Google is convinced that consumers looking to buy stuff are looking to their social sphere for counsel, lessening the impact of search ads.

For now, we might be googling the best brand of toaster or golf club, but soon enough, we’ll be polling our Facebook friends for pre-purchase advice. And Google execs are keen to get in on the ground floor of the new revolution in buying.


Four presentation lessons from Larry King

Passion, humor, and anger, are three very important traits that CNN’s preeminent TV interviewer, Larry King, looks for in a potential guest.

These just happen to be traits that business communications experts say help business leaders stand out, this story from Bloomberg suggests.

The contagious energy of passion, humor, and anger invigorate audiences, clients, and employees, appealing to the emotional side of the brain.

“It’s passion and emotion that attract and motivate others,” the report says.

Find out how our most human emotions, combined with a clear and simple communication style, can serve our professional goals.


Top 10 beaches of the world

For most, beach bumming is just another word for paradise. And just in time for the height of summer, the Guardian gives you the world’s top ten beaches, complete with rugged coastlines, pristine national parks, and more unspoiled beauty than one man (or woman) deserves. Check out the best place to let your hair down and fill in those tan lines. It’s all here: glittering sands, azure water, idyllic campsites, and towering trees. Don’t miss this line up of the world’s can’t miss beach destinations, from Europe to South America, and points in between.


Airlines play the no-fault card

If your travel schedule is anything like Kipp’s, you’ll read this story with keen interest, and perhaps a certain savvy of your own. Think the airline will help you out when your flight is grounded due to weather?

You might want to think again. Many of the airline perks we took for granted not long ago have vanished, as cash strapped airlines struggle to compete in an increasingly cut-throat business environment.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly when a cancellation is the airline’s fault, this report from the New York Times sets the record straight:

“Hardly ever. Most carriers give themselves plenty of leeway to avoid taking responsibility for cancellations or delays.” A gratis hotel room, a seat on another carrier, or a free dinner while you wait for your delayed flight to depart – these may be perks of the past, the report contends, as airlines play the “no fault card.”

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