Thursday, November 15, 2007

Google - OpenSocial | October 30 2007 | Details Revealed: Google OpenSocial To Launch Thursday | Michael Arrington

Details emerged today on Google’s broad social networking ambitions, first reported here in late September, with a follow up earlier this week. The new project, called OpenSocial (URL will go live on Thursday), goes well beyond what we’ve previously reported. It is a set of common APIs that application developers can use to create applications that work on any social networks (called “hosts”) that choose to participate.(...)


The web is better when it's social

+ | October 30th, 2007 | Google’s OpenSocial: What it means | Posted by Dan Farber @ 11:37 pm

Google’s open social networking platform play is the buzz of the blogosphere tonight. (see Techmeme). Indeed, it is called OpenSocial in that the set of APIs allows developers to create applications that work on any social network that joins Google’s open party. So far, besides Google’s Orkut social net, LinkedIn, hi5, XING, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning (see Marc Andreessen’s post) have joined the party.


This comes on the heels of the Facebook’s dynamic growth based on opening its social graph to developers and Microsoft’s $240 million investment for 1.6 percent of the company. However, unlike Google, Facebook doesn’t open its APIs to support other social networks. The other social networking giant, MySpace, is also planning to open its platform to developers.

This openness is part of what Vic Gundotra, Google’s head of developer programs, meant when he said last week, “In the next year we will make a series of announcements and spend hundreds of millions on innovations and giving them away as open source.”

He explained the newfound openness as more than altruism: “It also makes good economic sense. The more applications, the more usage. More users means more searches. And, more searches means more revenue for Google. The goal is to grow the overall market, not just to increase market share.”


What does OpenSocial mean longer term?

It could become a kind of identity fabric for the Internet–with user profile data, relationships (social graph) and other items associated with an individual, group or brand that is used as a basis for more friction-free interactions of all kinds.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

EU Telecoms Reform - faq | EU's proposed Telecoms Reform: the Frequently Asked Questions

The proposed European Commission Telecoms Reform aims to ensure that 500 million EU citizens get easier and cheaper access to a variety of innovative telecoms services and will have, as a result of more effective competition, more freedom of choice between different operators. (...) X

For future of enterprise computing, watch consumers | November 14, 2007 4:00 AM PST | For future of enterprise computing, watch consumers | Posted by Tom Krazit

The enterprise computing industry seems like it's turning into one big utility company.


The future of enterprise computing will draw from what is being developed on the consumer side, Otellini said. "Consumers today are the No. 1 users of semiconductors; they passed over IT and government in 2004. That's a big change; prior to that period, most people developing silicon in the industry were focused on the main market--the enterprise and IT. Today, most of us are focused on the consumer market as drivers."

Not so long ago, if you were technology-oriented and wanted to do something innovative and cool that would make you rich, you wrote a new piece of enterprise software. Or you came up with a new design for a server. Or you figured out a way to link businesspeople with their offices while on the road. Of course, there are always exceptions, but enterprise computing, most believed, was where the real innovation occurred. Those innovations paved the way for the computing industry as we know it today.


However, keeping an enterprise's IT operation up and running is rapidly turning into the technology equivalent of plumbing, or maybe electricity: extremely vital pieces of infrastructure that no longer attract the type of young engineering enthusiasts who built Silicon Valley. Those people are now building Web 2.0 applications. They're designing social-networking communities or virtual worlds, not some new piece of enterprise-resource planning software that's going to set the world afire.

Perhaps that's because they can see the endgame. "We are the IPO market for the enterprise software industry," said Oracle President Charles Phillips on Monday. Hurd echoed the sentiment later that day. "In the end, math wins. When you look at the math right now, in the tech industry, there are only a handful of players that have in excess of $100 billion worth of cash," he said. Enterprise computing has turned into an acquisition race between giants like Oracle, SAP, IBM, HP, and EMC.

Consumer technology and the Web are going in the opposite direction. Sure, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are snapping up anything and everything that seems remotely interesting. But consolidation? Hardly. For every 10 companies gobbled by Google, a new powerhouse like Facebook starts forming its own little tech ecosystem, with start-ups eagerly feeding into it. You don't see that sort of thing in enterprise computing much these days.

The major trends in enterprise computing are things like consolidation and virtualization: how to do more with the stuff you've already got, or how to pare down the electrical costs of running a modern data center. Overall enterprise technology spending is basically flat as businesses work with the assets they already have.

Otellini focused his speech on his new Penryn chips and how they can save enterprises money off their data center expenses through lower power consumption and better performance. Notable goals, for sure. Consumer technology, however, is about the experience, about finding new and better ways to interact with technology.

"Computing is becoming free," Otellini said. That doesn't mean Intel will start giving away its products, but it does mean that the cost of acquiring computing power is getting smaller and smaller every year. In that kind of environment, where computing power itself is no longer the sexy technology, it's the presentation that matters.

Enterprise computing has never been about presentation: it's about getting stuff done. It's about running the payroll for Fortune 500 companies, and about analyzing and sorting huge amounts of extremely complex customer data.

Look, enterprise computing isn't going anywhere. Billions of dollars will continue to be spent on software needed to run increasingly complex businesses and the hardware that will keep it snappy. And the consumer appetite for technology could start to diminish if people have to start choosing between a new PC or HDTV and paying the mortgage or filling up the car.

But just as technology transformed the way the world does business, it's about to have the same effect on individuals, who are mostly still running desktop PCs, calling friends and family on a landline, and driving a car with an analog set of gauges. This is where the talent and the dollars are flocking, improving how we as individuals interact with technology. Not building CRM modules for the midmarket.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Long Distance Wireless | Long Distance Wireless becomes another key toolset for get Broadband to the Last Mile

November 6, 2007 at 8:36 am by jefbuder · Filed under Disruptive Tech, Wireless News

According to the BBC Intel chairman Craig Barrett has been discussing the Wireless Africa Plan on a tour of Africa:

Africa needs to embrace wireless broadband as a potential solution to the digital divide, the chairman of Intel Craig Barrett has said. “It’s cheaper, easier and more efficient to communicate wirelessly,” he told the BBC News website.

The International Telecommunications Union has predicted that the Intel-backed Wimax system could become the dominant mobile standard in Africa.

Mr Barrett, who is in Africa as part of the Intel World Ahead programme, said: “In every African country, except some of the more established economies, cell phones vastly outnumber fixed line phones.

Intel obviously sees the writing on the wall.

Barrett in the article says that once you have the basic wireless network infrastructure and the undersea cables to transport the signal to bandwidth regions such as Europe in place you can “forget about wires and twisted copper and go directly to broadband wireless technologies like WiMax.”


One Wi-Fi-enabled Laptop Per Child | One Wi-Fi-enabled Laptop Per Child | By Naomi Graychase | November 6, 2007

Nicholas Negroponte’s pet project, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), is offering a nice deal to potential donors this month. If putting a durable, Wi-Fi-enabled, energy-efficient, alternatively powered laptop into the hands of children in developing countries isn’t enough of an enticement to get you to give, T-Mobile USA announced on Friday that it will sweeten the deal. If you make a donation of one laptop ($399, $200 of which is tax-deductible) during this month’s Give One Get One promotion, then T-Mobile will reward you with one free year of access at its Hotspots (a $360 value).

The Give One Get One promotion commences November 12th and ends a few days after Thanksgiving, on November 26th. During this time, people who donate one laptop, will be sent a second identical laptop for free.

The green, plastic laptops, dubbed “XO,” were carefully designed with their intended users—rural children—in mind.

“The XO is a potent learning tool created expressly for the world's poorest children, living in its most remote environments,” says the OLPC web site.

The XO can be powered by solar, manually, or by standard electricity. On board wireless networking features include an integrated 802.11b/g (2.4GHz) interface, 802.11s (mesh) networking support, and dual adjustable, rotating coaxial antennas. It also supports diversity reception and is capable of mesh operation when the CPU is powered down.

According to Negropante, more than 7,500 XOs have already been distributed. To make a donation, visit

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Britons sending 1bn texts weekly | Monday, 5 November 2007, 00:24 GMT

Britons are now sending more than one billion text messages per week according to the latest figures from the Mobile Data Association (MDA).

The figure is 25% higher than a year ago and is set to shatter forecasts for how many text messages have been sent to and from handsets this year.

That weekly total is the same as the number sent during the whole of 1999.

Some 4.825bn texts were sent in September 2007, equivalent to 4,000 every second.

"It has exceeded our forecasts quite significantly," said Mike Short, head of the MDA.

The total for 2007 looks set to reach 52 billion, he said. This was far in excess of the 42-48 billion the MDA previously predicted would be sent this year.

Mr Short said there were several reasons for the continuing growth.

"It's convenient, comprehensive, it's on every handset and network and it is cost effective," he said.

Once despatched, a text message is stored on the mobile network until it can be delivered to its intended destination.


That effective guarantee of delivery was perfect for many messages that may not merit an entire conversation or that people did not want to trust to voicemail.

Many people were also happy to get news and updates about topics or teams they follow via text messaging.

But increasingly, said Mr Short, companies were making use of text messaging.

"It's a lot more convenient for a business now to notify lots of their employees about an urgent message using a text message," he said.

At the same time many other companies were using text messages to manage relationships with customers when deliveries, appointments or house calls were due.

"The UK text volumes show no real signs of abating and the UK sits within the top six of the global league of countries sending text messages," Mr Short went on.

"While the trend towards operators offering 'all-you-can-eat' tariffs increases, this will act as a catalyst for consumers' passion for all things mobile."

Google unveils cell phone software and alliance

In much the same way it changed the wired Internet, Google plans to revolutionize the mobile Web through its new open software platform.

By Marguerite Reardon | Staff Writer, CNET | Published: November 5, 2007, 8:13 AM PST

update | Google's cell phone strategy took shape Monday with the announcement of a new open software platform and an alliance of wireless heavyweights that will help form the development community for the planned phones.

Google has long been rumored to be working on software for cell phones that would integrate its applications. On Friday, CNET reported that Google's plans went beyond simply developing software and instead included a whole consortium of companies working to develop an open platform cell phone application.

"Today's announcement is more ambitious than any single 'Google Phone' that the press has been speculating about over the past few weeks," Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said in a statement. "Our vision is that the powerful platform we're unveiling will power thousands of different phone models."

Google is officially unveiling Android, the new mobile phone software, during a press conference Monday morning. Thirty-four companies have said they will join the Open Handset Alliance, a multinational alliance that will work on developing applications on the Android platform. Members of the alliance include mobile handset makers HTC and Motorola, U.S. operator T-Mobile, and chipmaker Qualcomm.

The Android platform consists of an operating system, middleware, a user-friendly interface, and applications. Consumers should expect the first phones based on Android to be available in the second half of 2008, Google said in a press release.


The idea is that through the developer's alliance, handset makers and cell phone operators will be able to develop more user-friendly services and devices that help bring more of the Internet's functionality onto mobile devices. And because of this open model, the companies involved also hope that by scaling the development, advanced functionality will be able to hit the market for less expensive mobile devices that will have more compelling and rich Internet services with more user-friendly interfaces.