Since the advent of the Internet, its users have been able to hide behind a certain vail of anonymity. So I wonder how can one use the web accurately to research market trends? Some of this will make sense, other times it will be a brain dump. Bear with me, this is a long term project in the making.

3.30.2005

Reading 3/30/05

The weekend flew by leaving me with no time to read up on my weekly blogs, so I will knock them down throughout the week.

Starting things off, checked out Chad Dickerson's column over at InfoWorld that he posted last week. He discussed his views on supporting Macs in an enterprise environment. He is a Mac user so he is not setting out from the start to squash the idea of running Macs in an enterprise, he actually lays out a policy that is spelled out in many IT departments. Mr. Dickerson tells of the extra hoops that IT personel must jump through to support and maintain Macs. He did not outline every detail, but he did highlight how slow Virtual PC is and how it opens that system to all of the problems a Windows machine is suscceptible to in a connected environment. One thought though as we move towards delivering more applications via the web and something is moving at Google in the direction of hosted applications (my personal hypothesis), will the type of operating system connecting the box to the network matter less? Has Apple actually taken us back in time to the terminal days? I'll be interested to see what Google does with all of their computing power and applications smarts, I realize advertising is their first line of business, but what else could they create? How will virtualization play in this market?

Next up, persistent search is being talked up by the WSJ and on Paul Kedrosky's blog. Mr. Kedrosky links up to an article that discusses using tools such as Pubsub to monitor and scour the web for watch words and phrases. This makes the web a more effective tool for finding unique bits of information or not so unique anymore as more people adopt this push versus a pull methodolgy of searching the web. No longer will we jump our on computers and stare blankly at the screen in the future clicking link after link to try and hone in a single golden nugget of info, we will have what we are looking for pushed to us. The next step as I see it will be developing a system that pushes the web to you, like Pubsub, but then allowing the user to rate the quality of the data pushed to them in order to build a more intelligent push system. Food for thought for all of you developers out there.

Finally, it looks like there is another player entering the push email solution environment, Eudora. Remember a company by the name of Qualcomm? Remember their email solution we all used back in college in the 90s before Outlook became the defacto POP3 email and contact manager? I do and boy what a hoot to see Eudora back in action and this time mobile. I was alerted of this development by checking out the CTIA's blog postings. The service will send a text message to the email addressee and let them "preview" the message before jumping online to view the entire message. Looks like you have to use Eudora's desktop email solution to use their mobile service as well since you have to forward mail to the Eudora Mobile site. On the blog it mentions Verizon Wireless will be offering Eudora Mobile to its customers, wonder if we will see any Eudora specific Smartphones anytime soon?

Well that's it for this posting, as always, the lines are open for your comments. Thank you for reading.

3.19.2005

Weekend Reading 3/19/05

Nothing beats a weekend morning, the sun, the fresh orange juice and a lot of blogs to read. Today I set out to review what has happened in the blogosphere since my last posting this week.

Starting out, I always hit up slashdot.org to see what the geeks are saying. Today I was sent over to an article on PBS.org discussing VoIP telecom strategies. The jist of the article is that the traditional telecom providers and MSOs are getting ready to squash the VoIP operators (ie Vonage and Skype) by prioritizing IP traffic. Quick example, my broadband Internet is provided by Comcast, so if I was also using Comcast as my voice provider they would tag my voice traffic traveling over their IP networks as being important traffic. If I were to use Skype for voice calls over the Comcast IP network the 1s and 0s would not carry the tag of importance. This could cause the quality of my Skype call to degrade and me to throw my arms up in disgust. This is legal and could be effective, but what about all of the other traffic on the IP networks, will traditional data be prioritized as well? The solution proposed by this article seems to simplistic, you ultimately would have to block the Skype traffic to have an effect because only prioritizing Comcast VoIP traffic would not improve say my overall web surfing experience and knowing how much growth this has provided Comcast I would not want to turn my back on those web surfers.

Moving on, there are some interesting comments made by one of InfoWorld's columnist pertaining to Cisco's move into the storage virtualization space. The piece lays out the discussion of where virtualization brains for storage should reside. Well it appears that Cisco is stepping up and doing instead of discussing where the brains should be with its new Storage Service Module (SSM). This is going to be an interesting area to watch going forward in the network world as Cisco has storage listed underneath its Advanced Technology division. This is the segment where the company expects to see lots of growth, we'll have to watch and see how this plays out.

Next up, the EuroTelcoblog put together by James Enck of Daiwa Securities SMBC Europe Ltd. Some timely comments as I was talking about crossover in the tech industry that I cover at work with my media coworker. My words exactly where, "we'll be see more and more of tech crossing over into media." In Mr. Enck's post on Friday he puts up some figures for online advertising and then eludes to the fact that the carriers providing the web surfers the ability to view the increasing number of online advertisements have not capitalized on the changes in the marketplace. This plays into the VoIP blog I read over at PBS. The carriers have provided these pipelines for communications, but have not figured out how to increase revenues while decreasing the costs for its most valuable user, the web surfer. Granted, if there was not good content on the web we would not have a want or need to get online, but I think we are past that scenario. It will be interesting to see how tech adopts to its new position in the marketplace as it is shifting more towards consumer tech instead of enterprise tech. What is Comcast going to do with Tivo?

In closing, I spent too much time writing and not enough reading today with a number of blogs left on the table. I'll try to do some more catching up on Sunday, for now it's time to attack the day.

3.15.2005

Changing Gears - 3/15/05

I decided to change gears for a while as my efforts to explore the world of open source research are being put on hold or slowed in the secondary research phase.

In place of open source research I am going to be placing what some might term a blogroll here for the next couple of weeks. The blogroll will be highlights of blogs I visited during the day with comments and thoughts, which you the reader are encouraged to discuss with me. This is another way of me saying that I needed a simple way of managing my daily intake of blogs and this appeared to be the best solution, so here goes nothing.

First off, I saw some comments about Microsoft's next IE browser version on Slashdot.org linking over to Mary Jo Foley's Microsoft Watch site. What is most interesting in the mention of features is not the Firefox similarities, but the possible threat this browser and Microsoft's anti-spyware product might pose for companies like Symantec or Trend Micro who are just really starting to ramp up for the mainstream user.

Next, the guys over at Gizmodo never cease to amaze me with all the gadgets they get their hands on or discuss, "where do they get those toys?" Anyway, as if we have not been inundated with the news of cell phone viruses being spread on the Sybian mobile platform on Nokia phones running the Series 60 operating system, get ready to purchase anti-virus software for your iPod. Gizmodo is showing off a new accessory for your iPod that will allow you to enable Bluetooth on your iPod.

Moving on, Fred Wilson, writer of "A VC" blog puts down his thougths in response to a NYTimes article about Landmark Theaters move to using digital projection systems as opposed to the traditional film projection systems. It is no surprise to me that Mark Cuban (he is sort of an HD angel) is behind this venture and I support Mr. Wilson's belief that this will provide Landmark Theaters with many benefits, but who really benefits in this market? Who is behind the technology of the projectors offering a better picture than the current technology? Also, how will this change the delivery of the production itself, will Boeing's pipedream (they sold the venture) of sending up satellites for digital movie distribution finally come to fruition? If it costs $100,000 to convert a theater and there are roughly 36,000 screens according to the National Association of Theater Operators (NATO), the dollar opportunity across the United States could total over $3.6 billion. More thoughts on this later, I'll have to look at who provides the projectors.

Final post for the evening, I was checking out John Battelle's Searchblog and came across Yahoo! Research's newest project called Buzz Game. The game is tied to search requests on Yahoo!'s search engine. The site gives a simple example that I won't explain here. Why is this interesting, well really it is just entertaining. Being someone that watches the markets daily action, I am seeing an increasing number of market simulators entering the web. This is great because soon one day instead of holding an election for mayor, a city will hold a SimCity tournament and the winner will become the next mayor. I kid you not, simulations done enough times will enable us to better model what will happen or someone's capacity to perform.

Well that is a wrap for the first session here. More to come I promise.