Lots of headlines about Verizon opening up their mobile network to “any app, any device”. Yawn. In reality they are desperately trying to catchup to the US GSM networks. To give a quick example of where Verizon are coming from (warning: this might shock GSM network users) – there are no SIM cards in Verizon phones.
Sadly it continues to look likely that no mobile operator will ever willingly turn their network into a dumb pipe. After all, they openly regard it (the network/billing relationship) as a unique gift. From whom, is the question we should all be asking.
cdma, gsm, mobile, verizon, vodafone
Here’s a great comparison of two innovative products that, despite their difficult to categorize nature, are highly appealing to us geeks. Personally I’d go for the N810 though as I own a N800 I’ll just go for the free OS upgrade instead of forking out on new hardware. Maybe when the N820 appears…
asus, eee, n800, n810, nokia
The simplicity of this is striking. Here’s a great example of how a business application like an online spreadsheet can become oh-so-more-useful when it can integrate external data in interesting ways via RESTful APIs.
google, rest, xml
Marc Andreessen recently pointed to a great talk by Stephen Wolfram, CEO of Mathematica at the Y Combinator Startup School back in 2005. There are almost too many gems in this talk so I’d recommend the full read. Here are two pieces that seem to really apply in the fast paced world of web application development though:
I’m not sure if writing a detailed business plan would ever once have been worthwhile. I’m as analytical as anyone. But somehow there are always variables one doesn’t know. That can just turn numbers and things upside down.
Get-rich-quick schemes almost never work. Even if they sound really clever. It takes actual hard work to build things. And usually at the core of anything successful is something difficult. It may not be what people talk about. It might be something technical. It might be a business structure. But there’ll be something there that’s sort of a hard idea.
The first is a feature of this business that can be pretty difficult to explain to some potential investors The second is probably more important but often overlooked in practice.
(Aside, there’s a link right at the end of Marc’s piece to WolframTones – the book behind the concept, A New Kind Of Science, looks interesting…)
business, mathematics, startup, web2.0
Interesting analysis by Jeremy Crane of how web searches are distributed by user:
the top 1% of searchers performs a full 13% of all searches in a given month. If you extend this to the top 20% the number of queries increase to roughly 70%
I suspect I’m in that top 1%,
CTRL-K is probably the Firefox keyboard shortcut I use most of all. This does imply that search engine usage stats would swing dramatically if these power-searchers were to switch engines…
google, microsoft, search, yahoo
Unbelievable potential data breach in the UK:
…the names, the addresses and the dates of birth of every child in the country are sitting on two computer discs that are apparently lost in the post, and the bank account details and National Insurance numbers of 10 million parents…
This is just staggering – UK families are “urged to monitor their bank accounts”.
Instead of sticking a few secure APIs onto the HM Revenue & Customs data they courier around database backups where access to the data cannot never be logged or traced. It would seem IT departments have a long way to go to evolve their thinking…
data, government, privacy, uk
Great news – Fergus Burns, our CEO, has been recognized as IIA Irish Net Visionary of the Year and well deserved it is too! Big congrats to the big man, visionary he is, but he didn’t see that coming
Seriously, ye guys/gals don’t know the half of it. I sometimes wonder where his ideas come from (I suspect he has a time machine somewhere) but it is a fantastic challenge developing this game changing stuff – we’re all very excited about what we’ve got in the pipeline.
It’s also worth mentioning that I think Nooked are not the only beneficiaries of his efforts. Fergus does a ton of work within the Irish web start-up community and I think they are all better off for his efforts.
I for one welcome our new net visionary overlord.
award, fergusburns, nooked
Assuming the stats behind these graphs are accurate, the UK appears to have passed yet another tipping point in the relentless growth of social network websites.
- Social networks accounted for 5.17% of all UK Internet visits, compared to 4.98% for webmail services:
- Social networks referred more traffic to other websites than webmail services:
Email is truly dying a slow and painful death. (Yep, I know these figures are not including non-webmail email but…)
(Attribution: all graphs and stats are from Hitwise)
email, internet, networks, social, webmail
Three recent posts on OpenSocial that I’ve come across that all touch on points I raised in my last two posts that are worth sharing:
- Terms (Shelley Powers) – comments on the very important issue of the terms and conditions attached to usage of the OpenSocial APIs – I had completely overlooked this. T&C are normally attached to proprietary products, not open standards. So it looks like we are really looking at Google APIs, not open standards here.
- Where the hell is the Container API? (Russell Beattie). Short, to the point, and bang on the money. I’m not in a rush so I’m happy to wait for important web API specifications to be drafted, discussed, refined, voted upon and published via a credible authority. But the OpenSocial development process is not open (a newsgroup of pleading users does not make it so).
- Google OpenSocial: Technical Overview and Critique – Dare Obasanjo. Too much to summarize here, go read it.
All in all I’m beginning to think the use of the term Open in OpenSocial is terribly misleading marketing speak. I’d like to think this is an accident (after all Google care about the continued growth of an open internet right?) but there is such a monstrous gap in the process behind and the function of OpenSocial and how other open APIs and standards are developed that I can only assume that this is all a marketing exercise to misdirect attention away from Facebook at the cost of ushering out a half-baked alternative. The Campfire One video only re-enforces this – it is incredibly corny and lacking in substance!
APIs and standards are sometimes hacked together by partnerships in order to try address immediate market share concerns – this is beginning to look like yet another of these efforts. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong when the Container API documentation is published but I’m not holding my breath…
google, opensocial, social, widgets