Wednesday, December 20, 2006

the death of a business model

In the Social Life of Information ( p. 176-178) they write about predicted death of paper that never happened. They also mention newspapers that at the time of the book publication (200) looked rather healthy despite some competition from internet news sites.

Today we can clearly see that newspapers in their traditional paper form are dying. And the reason for that is not the technology, e.g. paper vs screen, but the business model. Advertisement that supported newspapers for four hundred years is moving on to the internet. Google and craiglist found a better way to provide relevant ads, and money followed. Cut off from their traditional source of income, newspapers started looking for different business models.
Most likely, a similar fate is awaiting broadcast TV. They are already losing ground to cable, but this trend will probably accelerate when new video-based advertisement models are created.

tags: technology evolution source prediction newspapers tv

from invention to innovation

,s the challenge in moving systemically from an initial inventon through complementarity to innovation is the challenge of coordinating diverse, disparate. and often diverging. but ultimately complementary, communities of practice. The Social Life of Information. p. 160.

Note the role of systematic approach. Also, use of reverse brainstorm can be very beneficial to flesh out various complementary needs of the organization.

tags: quote invention innovation brainstorm problem evolution

innovation failures

Ie evident failure of the Xerox Corporation to make use of the knowledge developed at PARC has well-known parallels, n in Xerox's own history. Chester Carlson, who invented the erographic process, offered several corporations, including IBM Iud A.B. Dick, his idea. None would buy it, for none could lagine how a photocopier could justify its expense when carbon paper was so cheap. The copier did not merely replace carbon paper, however. It transformed the way people used docunts to organize work-as the Web is doing once agaIn. Even innovative organizations are often quite unable to understand such transformations.

Social Life of information. p. 158

Note how Christensen's "disruption" concept doesn't work here. You can try to smuggle it in through the backdoor of "non-consumption", but it would be a significant stretch.
A typical situation when an inventor solves a synthesis problem.

tags: invention innovation problem synthesis

Innovation system interfaces

It's easy, this case ( GUI development at Xerox PARC) reminds us, to believe that scientific results provide objective measures that can show one technology to be "superior" to another. All that's needed for ideas to flow, from this perspective, is the right information. In fact, such judgement rely on subjective understanding, intuition, and evnisioning that varies from commnity to community and practice to practice. These variations are much harder to deal with.

In case of the GUI, however. when the researchers. with their new criteria, met the engineers, each side accused the other of arrogance or stupidity (or both). It's easy to blame the corporate side of such exchanges, particularly when the invention goes on to be a success. But where the GUI researchers had had the opportunity to develop their understanding incremen_ tally in practice, the engineers had to make a large conceptual leap in one go. Nature, it's said, doesn't make leaps. And it isn't n the nature of corporations, either.
The Social life of information. p. 156.

tags: quote invention innovation interfaces control source tool

Invention and Innovation

Separation that advances invention, however, creates problems for innovation, which is the implementation of invention. Invention produces new ideas. It requires inovation and organizational coordination, however, to turn these ideas into new products and processes.
The Social Life of Information, by John Seely Brown, and Paul Duguid, p. 155. "Becoming United".

Separation here means Adam Smith's separation of labor.

See also ( p. 154): As tightening the ties of formal coodination inevitably inhibits creativity, firms often loosen them to encourage it. Loosening ties this way is a well-established business practice. Lockheed did it with its "skunk works". Xerox did it with PARC. GM did it with an entire division when it set up the Saturn project, etc..

tags: invention innovation quote

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Senator: Expect data privacy and patent law rewrite | CNET

Senator: Expect data privacy and patent law rewrite | CNET "High-tech companies, some of which have voiced support for the Leahy-Hatch proposal, have levied a hefty list of gripes about the current system in recent years. They say its setup has encouraged a proliferation of bad patents, disproportionately exorbitant settlements in infringement suits, and so-called 'patent trolls,' who sit on patents in hopes of seeking a lucrative licensing deal from alleged infringers."

tags: patent law super system reform integrity

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Free flicks, art for Netflix users | CNET

Free flicks, art for Netflix users | CNET "Whether you use them as coupons or fridge art, you might want to hang on to those red Netflix envelope flaps. Blockbuster is offering free movie rentals for every Netflix envelope flap brought into participating stores December 5 through 21. In order to qualify, however, Netflix subscribers must also have a Blockbuster store membership. The membership is free and can be applied for at the store. "

Sic transit gloria munid. Blockbuster is desperate to compete against Netflix, but I don't think its strategy is going to work. Since Netflix doesn't charge per DVD, there's no advantage for consumers to exchange individual items for a rental. Internet-based distribution model favors virtual stores, not brick-and-mortar ones.
Traditional PC manufacturers lost to Dell in a similar manner.

tags: control point distribution video DVD internet

TV networks reportedly discussing YouTube rival | CNET

TV networks reportedly discussing YouTube rival | CNET "News Corp.'s Fox, Viacom, CBS and NBC Universal are in talks about creating a video Web site to compete with Google's YouTube, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

While a deal is still far off, the four media companies envision a jointly owned site that would be the primary Web source for videos from their television networks, the paper said in an online report on, citing people close to the situation.

The companies aim to cash in on the fast-growing market of Web video advertising and have also discussed building a Web video player that could play clips, the Journal said."

Another indication that YouTube business model is valid.

tags: distribution video advertisement content
The teachers of philosophy and theology in the universities [...] were the most influential intellctuals of the medieval West. They were among the grandparents, if not parents of the New Model, though they were not intentional innovators. They did not believe they they had to invent or discover wisdom, but only to rediscover it. St Bonaventure called them "compilers and weavers of approved opinions."
They constructed summaries and encyclopedias of the ancient heritage, adapting and simplifying in accordance with Christian beliefs the little they had and often, like archaelogists cataloging potsherds, becoming engrossed in mnitiae.
The difference between the scholarly effort of the two periods was the the first was an attempt to save as much as possible from a shrinking body of knowledge [], and the second was an attempt to make sense of an expanding body of knowledge as a whole hay mow spilled onto the barn floor. p. 61.
The Schoolmen had to solve the daunting problem of how to organise the massive bequest from the pagan, Islamic, and Christian thinkers. The measure of reality, p. 62.

tags: quote restructure performance source storage

University as a source

In 1231 Pope Gregory IX ussued a bull recognizing the University of Paris as a corporation under papal protection, buttressing the institution's claim of exemption from local authority.
The West had invented an enduring institution whose function was to provide employment for professional thinkers and learners.
As a reward for indulging the universities, the Church and state received generations of literate, bright, intellectually rigorous bishops, administrators, and assorted bureaucrats who had attended and often taught at univiersities.

The Measure of Reality, by Alfred B. Crosby. p. 60. ISBN 0-521-55427-6. 1997

tags: education source science synthesis

Friday, December 08, 2006

Power corrupts quote

Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg, 1st Baron Quote about power on Yahoo! Education: "Quote:
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad man.

Author: Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg, 1st Baron"

Why? What does it mean in system terms?

tags: control degradation performance


Hertz: "With this oscillator, Hertz solved two problems: 1) timing Maxwell's waves (he had demonstrated, in the concrete, what Maxwell had only theorized: that the velocity of radio waves was equal to the velocity of light), and 2) how to make the electric and magnetic fields detach themselves from wires and go free as Maxwell's waves.
Hertz thought his discoveries were no more practical than Maxwell's. "It's of no use whatsoever," he replied. "This is just an experiment that proves Maestro Maxwell was right - we just have these mysterious electromagnetic waves that we cannot see with the naked eye. But they are there." "So, what next?" asked one of his students. Hertz shrugged. He was a modest man, of no pretensions and, apparently, little ambition. "Nothing, I guess." "

Note the gap between discovery and its applications. Even the discoverer himself is hardly aware of a system that can be possibly synthesized utilizing the phenomenon he's just discovered.

tags: problem solution detection synthesis radio radar waves

100 years of Grace Hopper

100 years of Grace Hopper: "Her greatest achievement in computing was here, as she gradually evolved the idea that software should be easy to use instead of being a long string of mathematical functions and notations.

From that point came the principle that programs should be easy enough for businesspeople to use and understand; in principle, COBOL is for the businessperson, not the scientist."

compare to Bill Gate's Basic for PCs.

tags: problem discovery domain example control synthesis

100 years of Grace Hopper

100 years of Grace Hopper: "Her greatest achievement in computing was here, as she gradually evolved the idea that software should be easy to use instead of being a long string of mathematical functions and notations.

From that point came the principle that programs should be easy enough for businesspeople to use and understand; in principle, COBOL is for the businessperson, not the scientist."

compare to Bill Gate's Basic for PCs.

tags: problem discovery domain example control synthesis

Monday, December 04, 2006

Chambers: Businesses to adopt YouTube model | CNET

Chambers: Businesses to adopt YouTube model: "Already, 25 million videos are being downloaded from YouTube every day. But that could turn out to be peanuts, compared with what user-generated content can really do, Chambers said.
'That's our children--wait till we get hold of it,' Chambers told delegates at the ITU Telecom World conference here Monday. 'We will change business models on this. In the future, it will be about producing it yourself' as enterprises start to adopt technologies such as collaboration tools.

User interaction and content sharing could be put to use particularly effectively with telemedicine, where health care information could be distributed to those in areas where medical facilities are not so common, Chambers said.
'Now we're beginning to provide health care to remote villages in China and India--that will change society,' he said.

As a result of a trend toward content sharing from businesses and consumers alike, network traffic will obviously reach new highs, Chambers predicted.

'We haven't seen anything yet,' he said. By 2015, the Cisco chief believes that 15 exabytes a month will be traveling through assorted pipes across the world. (An exabyte is a billion gigabytes.)"

tags: distribution infrastructure video content consumers

United States Patent Application: 0060268528

United States Patent Application: 0060268528: "[0017] In recent years, portable computing devices such as laptops, PDAs, media players, cellular phones, etc., have become small, light and powerful. One factor contributing to this phenomena is in the manufacturer's ability to fabricate various components of these devices in smaller and smaller sizes while in most cases increasing the power and or operating speed of such components. Unfortunately, the trend of smaller, lighter and powerful presents a continuing design challenge in the design of some components of the portable computing devices.

[0018] One design challenge associated with the portable computing devices is the design of the enclosures used to house the various internal components of the portable computing devices. This design challenge generally arises from two conflicting design goals--the desirability of making the enclosure lighter and thinner, and the desirability of making the enclosure stronger and more rigid. The lighter enclosures, which typically use thinner plastic structures and fewer fasteners, tend to be more flexible and therefore they have a greater propensity to buckle and bow when used while the stronger and more rigid enclosures, which typically use thicker plastic structures and more fasteners, tend to be thicker and carry more weight. Unfortunately, increased weight may lead to user dissatisfaction, and bowing may damage the internal parts of the portable computing devices.

tags: apple phone challenge quote dilemma problem patent

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stanley Bostitch

HurriQuake Nail

This invention demonstrates the separation principles:

different parts of the nail are working against different types of destructive load.

separation in action and space

tags: interface example invention course book solution patent dilemma

also see US Patent 6,758,018

Monday, November 27, 2006

Britain's online video viewing rises at expense of TV | Tech News on ZDNet

Britain's online video viewing rises at expense of TV | Tech News on ZDNet: "The ICM poll of 2,070 people for the BBC found that some 43 percent of Britons who watch video from the Internet or on a mobile device at least once a week said they watched less traditional TV as a result.

Three quarters of users said they now watched more TV online or on mobiles than they did a year ago.

Online video viewers are still a minority though, with just 9 percent saying they go online regularly to watch clips.

Online and mobile video is far more popular among the young, with 28 percent of those aged 16 to 24 saying they watched more than once each week. That figure fell to just 4 percent among those older than 45."

tags: cluster growth video internet user experience

Saturday, November 25, 2006

strategy - analysing competitive industry structure

strategy - analysing competitive industry structure: "Defining an industry

An industry is a group of firms that market products which are close substitutes for each other (e.g. the car industry, the travel industry).

Some industries are more profitable than others. Why? The answer lies in understanding the dynamics of competitive structure in an industry.

The most influential analytical model for assessing the nature of competition in an industry is Michael Porter's Five Forces Model, which is described below"

tags: control points strategy model competition

Charlie Munger : Art of Stock Picking

Charlie Munger : Art of Stock Picking: "His rule for all the Braun Company's communications was called the five W's ‑ you had to tell who was going to do what, where, when and why. And if you wrote a letter or directive in the Braun Company telling somebody to do something, and you didn't tell him why, you could get fired. In fact, you would get fired if you did it twice."

what - describes payload and method to process it; where, when - location and timing for delivery to the tool; why - makes explicit decision making process ( model ), i.e. control

tags: control quote

Charlie Munger : Art of Stock Picking

Charlie Munger : Art of Stock Picking: "What is elementary, worldly wisdom? Well, the first rule is that you can't really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang 'em back. If the facts don't hang together o�n a latticework of theory, you don't have them in a usable form.

You've got to have models in your head. And you've got to array your experience both vicarious and direct o�n this latticework of models. You may have noticed students who just try to remember and pound back what is remembered. Well, they fail in school and in life. You've got to hang experience o�n a latticework of models in your head.

What are the models? Well, the first rule is that you've got to have multiple models because if you just have o�ne or two that you're using, the nature of human psychology is such that you'll torture reality so that it fits your models, or at least you'll think it does. You become the equivalent of a chiropractor who, of course, is the great boob in medicine.

It's like the old saying, 'To the man with o�nly a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. 'And of course, that's the way the chiropractor goes about practicing medicine. But that's a perfectly disastrous way to think and a perfectly disastrous way to operate in the world. So you've got to have multiple models.

And the models have to come from multiple disciplines because all the wisdom of the world is not to be found in o�ne little academic department. That's why poetry professors, by and large, are so unwise in a worldly sense. They don't have enough models in their heads. So you've got to have models across a fair array of disciplines. "

tags: model facts system evolution art quote

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Official Linden Blog � Blog Archive Copyrights and Content Creation in Second Life �

Official Linden Blog � Blog Archive Copyrights and Content Creation in Second Life �: "Today I met with a large group of Residents, members of the Sellers Guild, to talk about the implications of a recently-developed LibSL product called CopyBot. CopyBot allows the user to create a replication of an object, including textures, that is fully permissive. Needless to say this product has caused tremendous worry among content creators who want to understand how its use may possibly affect their business. In particular, they are concerned about theft of their creations, and the potential for unscrupulous people to undercut their prices and essentially take away their business."

tags: virtual world economy replication system integrity control

Monday, November 13, 2006

Images: 35 years of Intel chip design | CNET

Images: 35 years of Intel chip design | CNET "The 8008 microprocessor was twice as powerful as the 4004. Released by Intel in April 1972, the 8008 could process data in 8-bit chunks.

The 8008 chip was designed for Datapoint, a terminal manufacturer in Texas that couldn't pay for it at the end of the contract. To settle, Datapoint granted Intel the rights to the chip, including the instruction set, which Datapoint developed. The instruction set eventually became part of the basis for the x86 architecture behind Intel chips today."

Another example of a control point giveaway.

tags: computer processor tool control point

Sunday, November 05, 2006

YouTube to call on your cell phone | CNET

YouTube to call on your cell phone | CNET "YouTube, the popular online video sharing site, said on Wednesday it hopes to launch a service for wireless devices within a year.

Chad Hurley, YouTube chief executive and co-founder, told an advertising conference that offering video services on mobile phones was a key opportunity for the company.

'Within the next year we hope to have something on a mobile device, it's going to be a huge market, especially for the video mind-set we're dealing with, it's a natural transition,' Hurley said."

tags: video internet mobile tool distribution

Friday, November 03, 2006

Amazon moves deeper into selling Web logistics | CNET

Amazon moves deeper into selling Web logistics | CNET " is turning its expertise running the world's largest online store into a kind of utility business that supplies Web logistics services to companies.

In a series of projects, some announced and some in public trials this year, the company has assembled the pieces of a strategy that positions Amazon to supply underlying computing, data storage and other services to Web businesses."

from utility computing to utility logistics

tags: logistics distribution efficiency evolution

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Google shares ad wealth with videographers | CNET

Google shares ad wealth with videographers | CNET "Google has begun sharing advertising revenue with the makers of a popular video clip in a groundbreaking deal that could drive up the costs of competing in the fledgling video-sharing sector."

Related to Brin's note that search may produce video results.

tags: advertisement relevance video distribution control

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Scientific American: Brain Relies on Stepwise Activation to Make Difficult Decisions the Society for Neuroscience conference in Atlanta, David Badre, a post-doc at the University of California, Berkeley, described an experiment bolstering another emerging model, that of a "hierarchy" of control. In this view, Badre says, "we respond to increasing cognitive challenges not on a continuum, but in leaps as different areas of the prefrontal cortex activate." That is, we throw more light on a problem not by sliding a dimmer switch, but by flipping a series of toggles that successively activate chunks of the prefrontal cortex from back to front. Recognizing this is an important early step in understanding how cognition works, and it could help lead to better treatment for patients who have suffered strokes or other injury to the prefrontal cortex.

tags: neuroscience control research brain

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Symbian forecasts the death of the PC | CNET

Symbian forecasts the death of the PC | CNET "'Desktops PCs are effectively a flatlining commodity,' Clifford said on Tuesday, while conceding that laptops were eliciting 'perhaps a bit more' excitement.

Clifford suggested that the popularity of smart phones in the developed world and the 'leapfrog economies' phenomenon in developing countries--in which expensive wired infrastructures are bypassed in favor of wireless--would create a situation where there was a 'smart phone in every pocket.'

Clifford cited the rates of technology adoption in India to back up his point. In India, the PC market is growing at 5 million units a year, while mobile phones were enjoying the same growth per month."

tags: tool distribution trend evolution dynamic

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Helio introduces hybrid wireless service | CNET

Helio introduces hybrid wireless service | CNET "On Wednesday the company announced the new service, called Helio Hybrid, which allows for seamless connectivity to both free and commercial Wi-Fi hotspots as well as a nationwide 3G mobile broadband network. The company has struck a deal with Wi-Fi hot spot provider Boingo to provide access to its 55,000 commercial hotspots. And it's using Sprint Nextel's newly built 3G wireless network to offer mobile broadband service."

tags: detection control distribution trend evolution

Friday, September 29, 2006

Movie piracy costs US $20.5 billion per year-study�|�

Movie piracy costs US $20.5 billion per year-study�|� "By Lisa Baertlein

LOS ANGELES, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Movie piracy costs the U.S. economy $20.5 billion per year in lost business, jobs, wages and taxes, according to a study released on Friday by the Institute for Policy Innovation, a Texas think tank.

IPI, which describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan public-policy think tank advocating lower taxes, fewer regulations and a smaller, less intrusive government, said it paid for, designed and conducted the study.

It started with a finding from a study funded by the Motion Picture Association of America, the primary lobbying organization for major Hollywood studios, showing that major U.S. motion picture studios lost $6.1 billion in revenue to piracy in 2005."

tags: control integrity data

Monday, September 18, 2006

AOL opens video search engine to developers | CNET

AOL opens video search engine to developers | CNET "On Monday, the Time Warner subsidiary released a set of APIs, or application program interfaces, for building video search-driven applications. The APIs offer a number of functions, including advanced keyword search, tagging, rating, RSS and support for sharing videos via blogs and social networks.

AOL's video search engine is an access point for largely third-party video such as clips from the BBC and CNN. It should not be confused with AOL Video, which is a portal for viewing "channels" of online video--TV shows and movies--for a price.

AOL also started an initiative on Monday called the AOL Director Account program, which is geared not toward developers but rather toward online video creators and publishers.

tags: video content distribution
distribution-1 control-2 source-2 detection

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Switching from cell to Wi-Fi, seamlessly | CNET "T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest mobile phone company in the United States, is preparing to launch a service this month that will allow people talking on their cell phones to seamlessly switch between T-mobile's cellular network and their home Wi-Fi networks."

The next step is seamless connectivity at public Wi-Fi hotspots.

System evolution notes: Major changes in Tool functionality, e.g. ability to work with multiple distribution systesm, are usually a precursor to a significant change in the Sources and P.Payload ( content). This in turn causes changes in Control.

tags: mobile separation space time efficiency-2 tool-2 distribution-2 distribution-1

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Digital Impasse - 8/28/2006 - Broadcasting & Cable - CA6366086: "A year after ABC began offering its primetime hits on iTunes, kicking off a scramble to put network shows on emerging platforms, networks and third-party studios are still battling over digital-distribution rights, revenue-sharing and branding for their shows. While the studios are as eager as the networks to dip a toe into digital distribution, they are wary of disrupting their proven revenue streams.

“We need to be careful that we don’t allow the growth of new business models to have a negative impact on the downstream value of the content without offsetting the lost revenue from those downstream values,” says Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. Television Group, which produces NBC’s ER, CBS’ Two and a Half Men and TNT’s The Closer. At What Cost?

Downstream, of course, are the DVD and syndication sales that studios rely on to make back the millions they front to the networks to fund the shows. Putting their shows on iTunes for $1.99 a pop may offer quick money, but at what cost to future returns?"

The sticking points range from which party should pay for the rights to music used in a show to whether networks are adequately attentive to the profit participants, such as actors or writers.

Networks, for their part, are restricted by their affiliate agreements when it comes to distributing content digitally.

Touchstone Television President Mark Pedowitz sounds similarly optimistic that the current impasse will be resolved.

“Because of the radical transformation of the business,” he says, “no one’s quite sure where they’re standing on this earth for any given moment. You have to eventually step off the curb to see what the world is like.”

tags: tv video internet distribution-1 control-1 control-2 control-3 problem synthesis-tm1 short-term
Warner Bros. Launches Studio 2.0 - 9/5/2006 11:51:00 AM - Broadcasting & Cable - CA6368584: "Warner Bros. Television Group has started a digital production arm to create original programming for broadband web sites and wireless devices. The division, Studio 2.0, will be headed by veteran ad executive Rich Rosenthal and will work closely with advertisers to build content around their products. TV Group Executive VP Craig Hunegs will oversee the venture.

Studio 2.0 will cull content from both existing Warner Bros. TV talent and new players from outside. They will develop both multi-episode series and one-offs, both live-action and animated. Warner Bros., through its new Digital Distribution unit, is aiming to license the programming to web sites and wireless providers."

tags: synthesis source-1 tv television distribution-1 content video internet
Broadcasting & Cable: The Business of Television articleFlat: "Reality is cheap. An hour-long drama can sell to the networks for about $2 million; a half-hour sitcom runs $1.3 million. Only proven reality successes like Survivor or The Apprentice command fees that high.

A basic one-hour broadcast-network reality show costs $750,000-$800,000. Low-end cable shows can cost as little as $100,000-$200,000. (When Trading Spaces was a top-rated show, TLC made it for $90,000 per episode.) A daily half-hour syndicated reality series can cost as little as $50,000 per episode.

The concept of a “reality writer” seems like an oxymoron. The characters, after all, are real people who generate most of their own dialog. But that doesn't mean writers aren't called on to influence the drama, guide film crews and even feed lines to contestants.

Instead of a sitcom writers' room, reality shows have a “story department.” At the low end is a logger, someone who reviews raw video and takes notes of interesting scenes. At the high end might be a supervising story producer, who runs a staff of five or 10.

In the middle are story editors or story producers. On a show like CBS' Big Brother, a story editor might review hundreds of hours of tape looking for characters and story arcs. On another, such as Survivor, story editors are on-site, interviewing contestants and trying to draw out specific lines of dialog.

The level of story editors' and writers' influence depends on the format of the show. Brian McCarthy has worked in two major reality genres: competitions and v�rit�style. At Fear Factor, the arc of each episode was dictated primarily by the stunts of the week. The hard part, he says, was establishing the six contestants as characters, giving them a little flavor."

tags: source-1 control-2 tv television production efficiency-t2 synthesis-t1 content

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Season's over, so Cuban cheers for HD | Newsmakers | CNET "Cuban: There are three questions there. One is, what devices will be in the living room? The second question is, what programming sources will be used? And the third is, how will they be connected?"

Good system thinking! Cuban misses only one important question: how the content flow is going to be orchestrated ( controlled). Also, there's an implicit assumption that HD content format is going to be standard.

tags: synthesis, system, elements, forecast, tv

Friday, September 01, 2006

Study: Movie piracy cost Hollywood studios $6.1 billion in '05: "Internet and DVD piracy cost major Hollywood movie studios $6.1 billion in lost revenue last year, according to a study commissioned by the film industry's trade group."
Web giants lure developers | CNET "Competition is forming among large Web services, Google, Yahoo, eBay, and established tool providers--to attract developers to create Web applications that run on their respective platforms.
Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of the online retail giant, last week started a beta program for a service that lets developers tap into the processing power at Amazon's data centers.

Called Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), it works with Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) and other services, such as messaging, search and e-commerce. Each is offered through application programming interfaces (APIs)--a set of instructions for accessing services programmatically.

As network pipes become more reliable, a large amount of computing becomes available remotely. The process drives standardization of interfaces between different system elements. see also Virtualization.

tags: evolution distribution tool infrastructure interface

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fourth and long for mobile video | CNET Disney-owned ESPN is going to broadcast 25 live college football games in their entirety to Mobile ESPN subscribers. But to get the games, customers have to swap their phone and service plans for those offered by ESPN, and Paul has no intention of doing that.
Supporters of mobile applications predicted years ago that by now, consumers would be clamoring for these kinds of cell phone features. But, one look at the mobile climate, and there's nothing but crickets chirping.

Rob Sanderson, an analyst at American Technology Research, said it's not yet time to throw in the towel, but acknowledged that at the very least, the market doesn't appear ripe.

"Maybe it never works, but it's extremely early yet," Sanderson said.

Analysts have noted that something is amiss when ESPN has trouble selling its bread-and-butter programming. On the strength of one of the world's most recognizable sports brands, ESPN thought it could tap into its loyal fan base to sell sports content to mobile subscribers. Instead, Disney CEO Robert Iger has acknowledged that sales have been "lower than hoped."

Merrill Lynch has issued projections that show subscribers coming in at around 30,000 by the end of the year. That's a tiny fraction of the more than 90 million households that receive ESPN's TV broadcasts.

tags: innovation distribution diffusion adoption

Monday, August 21, 2006

: "Nielsen said the company's customer relationship management software system lets him know, in real time, how many people have entered a store, who sees their advertising, and how much they're willing to spend on a home theater system, which is usually around $100,000."

If need be, said Nielsen, a salesperson will teach the customer's entire household how to operate the new home theater system. And after five days, the CRM system prompts the salesperson to handwrite a thank you card. Then, 21 days later, it reminds the store's manager to send a thank you card with a gift.

tags: interface control point
How to succeed in the gadget biz | CNET "'Companies no longer have a little lab where they invent things themselves and come out into the market and the world and expect it to be a big success. In fact, a lot of the big breakthroughs you see are coming out of companies collaborating together,' Bailey said.

The Sony Ericsson partnership, he said, is a good example of a hardware and content-provider union that has reaped benefits for both: inventive design and increased sales figures.

So far this year, Sony Ericsson has released three Walkman-branded music phones, and a Cybershot-branded 3.2-megapixel camera phone. The results are in, and they're pretty good: The partnership reported second-quarter sales of $2.89 billion, a 41 percent increase over the same quarter of last year."

tags: integration control design
How to succeed in the gadget biz | CNET "'In our industry the prices fall very quickly, unlike appliances where manufacturers can sell the same product the next year,' said Sean Wargo, director of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association. 'We've succumbed to a constant source of deflation.'"

tags: quote control points pace of innovation

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Google: No plans for national Wi-Fi service | CNET Google has deployed 380 lamp post-mounted Wi-Fi transceivers in Mountain View to make wireless Internet service available to anyone who has registered for a Google account, which is free. The company has invested a significant amount in promoting the benefits of wireless Internet access. It has held a series of tutorials, one of them drawing 750 residents.

As for new business ideas, Google will now begin experimenting in Mountain View with new local services, including advertising, he said, noting that some of Google's existing advertisers would be interested in reaching local audiences.

tags: distribution location services

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Fox, a division of News Corp., is expected to announce Monday that digital versions of TV shows such as "24" and "Prison Break," along with feature films, including "X-Men: The Last Stand," will eventually be available for download at Fox sites. Movies will go for $19.99 while TV episodes will cost $1.99.

The move is the latest sign that Hollywood studios are determined not to allow Apple Computer as much control over distribution digital content as the music industry handed over to Apple's music download site, iTunes. Apple has emerged as the gatekeeper when it comes to digital music, selling more songs than any other Web site. Movie and TV executives have said that they want a host of e-tailers offering their content.

tags: evolution control point source distribution

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Energy efficiency: synchronization of suplly-demand-use ( storage)

Pumping power onto the grid from your basement | CNET
: "a storage appliance that works in conjunction with a renewable power source, such as solar electric panels, and a back-up power supply unit. Both refrigerator-size boxes are equipped with Net-connected PCs that collect and analyze data on power usage.

Using the company's software, people can lower their energy consumption by having the system shut off appliances at certain times. Or people can power their homes from their batteries on a schedule that makes best use of changing electricity tariffs, according to GridPoint"
The idea is that the utility will purchase and install the storage units in customers' homes in a certain region. To avoid potentially expensive spikes in demand, such as hot summer days that could cause blackouts, utilities will draw on the stored electricity in the GridPoint systems, Lewis said.

Having the storage units connected directly to the electricity grid allows the utility to pull the electricity from the disparate appliances, much like servers and PCs exchange data over the Internet.

Higher resource prices force the system to improve efficiency. Synchronization of the supply-use patterns is a typical solution to this problem. Local storage is used to decouple the energy grid ( Sources) from points of use ( Tools).

tags: control efficiency synchronization coordination storage

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Popular Science | HemCon Bandage: "Half of all deaths on the battlefield are due to uncontrollable bleeding. And though gauze is often no match for spurting wounds, the bloodthirsty HemCon Bandage is: It contains positively charged chitosan molecules, extracted from shrimp shells, that attract negatively charged red blood cells. As the cells are pulled into the bandage, they create a tight-fitting plug over the wound. 'You can have a hole in your heart and 60 seconds later it's sealed,' says HemCon inventor Kenton Gregory. The bandage made its debut in the 2003 Iraq war and was FDA-approved for nonprescription use in August. At $100 for a 4-by-4-inch square, it may sound expensive, but if the situation calls for it, we're guessing it'll seem like a serious bargain. "

The blood stops itself - a good example of an ideal solution.
tags: invention effect ideal solution control

Monday, August 07, 2006

Google selected as MySpace search system: "NEW YORK, Aug 7 (Reuters) - News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media on Monday said it selected Google Inc. as's search system in a multiyear search and advertising deal that also cover's Fox's other properties.

The deal ends months of speculation about which big search company, also including Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp., would serve MySpace's popular online teen hangout.
As part of the deal, Google is expected to pay Fox at least $900 million in revenue share payments based on certain traffic and other commitments promised by Fox. These payments are expected to be made from the first quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of 2010."

Scarcity power moves from Search Engines ( Tool) to "Query Providers"( Source). In Ricardo economic model $900M would be equivalent to rent.

tags: system evolution source rent control

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Warner Music looks to DVDs as alternative to CDs | | CNET August 4, 2006 6:26 PM PDT

Warner Music Group is planning to start releasing music on DVDs, bundling songs with extras such as videos, ring tones and photos, according to a published report.

Record companies are trying to find an alternative to CDs, which are losing ground to digital recordings and online music stores such as Apple Computer's iTunes.

tags: media packaged payload format problem

Monday, July 31, 2006

Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation: Library of Economics and Liberty

The natural tendency of profits then is to fall; for in the progress of society and wealth, the additional quantity of food required is obtained by the sacrifice of more and more labour. This tendency, this gravitation as it were of profits, is happily checked at repeated intervals by the improvements in machinery, connected with the production of necessaries, as well as by discoveries in the science of agriculture which enable us to relinquish a portion of labour before required, and therefore to lower the price of the prime necessary of the labourer.

tags: trend control point cycle
Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation: Library of Economics and Liberty

It is through the inequality of profits, that capital is moved from one employment to another.

Control point - one's ability to maintain inequality of profits, e.g. know-how in a specific area.

tags: quote control point
Patent application for Seamless Ad | CNET "Video game developer and marketing company Nightlife Interactive has filed for U.S. patent protection for its brand of game advertising, known as the Seamless Ad. Created in conjunction with online marketing firm In Touch Media Group, the Seamless Ad allows players to click on advertisements without interrupting the game. Instead, an e-mail from the advertiser is sent to the player's in-box.

Nightlife Interactive is currently developing 'Nightscape,' a role-playing game that incorporates Seamless Ads into a virtual world of urban bars and clubs. Nightlife Interactive CEO Bob Cefail described the game, which is scheduled for a summer 2007 release, as 'a cross between MySpace, Second Life and' Video game advertising has recently been recognized as a potentially lucrative market, and big technology companies have begun to take note--including Microsoft, which bought in-game advertiser Massive in May."

tags: patents example virtual control signal
Heavies float data center standard | CNET "Computing industry heavyweights on Monday announced a plan to create a standardized way for computing resources to 'talk' to each other, a move they say will lower the cost of running corporate data centers.

The initiative calls for the creation of an XML-based standard, called Service Modeling Language (SML), and its adoption in commercial products, including systems management software, hardware, and application development tools.

The companies involved--BEA Systems, BMC Software, Cisco Systems, Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems--published a draft SML specification on Monday and pledged to support it in the future.

The goal of SML is to establish a lingua franca for computing resources--servers, networking gear, applications and the like--to exchange operating information, such as security requirements or performance problems.

The language will allow vendors to create a model that encapsulates and communicates performance information to network monitoring programs, according to its backers. In addition, software developers can use modeling tools to specify the computing resources, such as the number of servers and databases, required to put a newly developed application into use."

tags: packaged payload control standardization scale

Friday, July 28, 2006

Real estate's Net turf war | CNET "
By matching buyers and sellers more efficiently, the Internet has whittled away at the influence of those middlemen. Not only have companies like eBay, Expedia and E*Trade Financial upset established industries, but they've delivered lower prices by axing once-lucrative fees and commissions.

The Internet "has not put us out of business," said David Liniger, founder and chairman of Re/Max International, the largest real estate agency in the United States and Canada. "It will not put us out of business."

Even more important has been real estate brokers' stranglehold over their local Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, a database of homes up for sale. Unlike securities or commodities exchanges, an MLS is not regulated by state or federal authorities. In addition, local brokers tend to restrict full access to the database to members of a professional association such as the National Association of Realtors."

Justin McCarthy, Google's partner development manager for real estate, tried to assuage the audience's concerns. "The proposition is to drive people back to you, the MLS who is supplying us with data," McCarthy said.

tags: control point scalability scarcity information

Thursday, July 27, 2006 - Amazon ambitions: "In its first feature-film venture, Amazon has optioned screen rights to Keith Donohue's bestselling novel 'The Stolen Child.' Amazon will move to secure a filmmaker and then a studio partner to turn the fantasy into a live-action feature."

A very important development. Amazon moves from content distribution to content creation. When movie theaters are gone nobody needs Hollywood heavyweights to create and distribute video content.

tags: control distribution source

Sunday, July 16, 2006

New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - Brain-implant enables mind over matter: "Electrodes implanted in Nagle's brain measure the neural signals generated when he concentrates on trying to move one of his paralysed limbs. Software trained to recognise different patterns of neural activity then translates imagined gestures into the movement of an on-screen cursor or a robotic arm at Nagle's side.

'The fundamental findings are that you can record activity from the brain years after injury, that thinking about movement is sufficient to activate the brain, and that we can decode the signal,' says John Donoghue of Brown University in New York, who led the work."

tags: control interface brain example

Monday, July 10, 2006

BitTorrent inks licensing deal with studios | CNET "Under the deal with the independent movie studios, the titles will be for sale as part of a subscription service. This differs from the pay-per-title service that BitTorrent plans to use with Warner Bros.

BitTorrent is building a video store from which customers can download movies at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, according to the company. The store is expected to launch sometime in the fall, company executives said."

tags: video distribution infrastructure

Saturday, July 08, 2006

With Checkout, Google is ready to take your order | CNET "Last week, Google introduced Google Checkout, an online checkout system that lets people make purchases from participating merchants using a single sign-in system. Google gives its AdWords paid search customers a discount to use the service. An icon on their ads tells shoppers they can make a fast purchase from that store.

It's a similar idea, but a different company, different time and no privacy hubbub--at least not yet. It begs the obvious question: Does the world really trust Google--the company with the 'Do no evil' motto--that much more than Microsoft, the company sued by the Justice Department on antitrust grounds?"

Microsoft was creating a payment/identity system from scratch, while Google just adds a yet another service to its package. To majority of customers Checkout looks like an incremental step, it doesn't exceed sensitivity threshold ( cf frog that gets boiled incrementally).
In reality this is a much stronger play than Microsoft ever envisioned. It closes search-advertisement-sale loop, which enables Google to fine tune its "lead generation" engine and lock its customers within a walled garden.
Another product that is targets customers' control sub-system, thus creating a strong control point within internet-based marketplace.

tags: control point google microsoft multi

Friday, July 07, 2006

New game trades wizards, elves for barflies, bouncers | CNET "The game, announced Wednesday by online marketing firm In Touch Media Group, drops players into virtual versions of real-life nightclubs, where they party and schmooze with an eye toward climbing the cyber social ladder and 'owning' the clubs themselves.

tags: virtual world advertisement distribution

'We found that individuals over 25 are very interested in this,' In Touch CEO Laura Betterley said, referring to surveys of more than 4,500 potential game users, who voted on everything from the game's objective to its name. 'It shows that people want to meet people but may not want to go through the pressure of going to a (brick-and-mortar) club to do so.'

And as you might guess--with a game being developed by a marketing firm--there's another objective, at least for the game's makers. In Touch has filed a patent application for a form of 'seamless,' in-game product placement that lets players click on items and receive an e-mail from the advertiser, with no interruption in the game.

'In-game advertising is huge,' Betterley said, citing phenomena like the ad-skipping TiVo that may be driving advertisers to market online rather than through more traditional media."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Digital music sales on a crescendo | CNET "Looking at the entire sales picture--comprising physical albums, digital albums and digital tracks--overall sales to date this year have gained about one-tenth of a percentage point over the first six months of '05.

A total of 270.6 million physical albums were sold domestically through the end of June, representing a drop of 12 million units from last year's six-month total of 282.6 million.

Digital albums improved by 8.2 million units, with 14.7 million units sold since January compared with 6.4 million units in the first half of 2005. Digital tracks gained by 122 million units; 281 million tracks were sold in the first six months of the year versus 158 million in the same period last year."

tags: trends packaged payload distribution mature
Later still, there was a further innovation: several lines of writing, added at the end of the text on the back surface, identifying what the text contained, more or less as a table of contents does today. This acquired the term colophon, derivded from the Greek kolophon, meaning "finishing touch". .. The colophons were numbered, and recorded how many tablets the text was comprised of.

Ideas, by Peter Watson. p. 89

tags: control, scale, metadata, search, quote

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

YouTube challenger offers to pay for video | CNET "The latest challenger to video-upload powerhouse YouTube, Eefoof arrives at a time when more than 150 such companies are trying to figure out how to make money by hosting homemade movies on the Web.

More than a year since its founding, YouTube has not yet fully disclosed what its revenue model will be. Other video-sharing companies, such as Guba, say they are profitable but aren't generating much cash. Guba expects to see $12 million in sales this year, according to Thomas McInerney, the company's CEO.

Analysts will want to know whether eefoof can sustain itself by cutting videographers in on revenues. But at a time when many video-sharing sites are looking for compelling content, the payment offer could give Eefoof an edge in attracting superior videos."

There's no control point in this model, as long as authors can take their content elsewhere.

tags: source distribution control point
Anaheim opens Wi-Fi network | CNET "He expects 95 percent of the outdoor area and 90 percent of the indoor area of Anaheim to have access to the network, even if indoor use will require the use of signal-enhancing hardware.

Residents can sign up for $21.95 per month, and Anaheim's 20 million yearly visitors--attracted mainly by Disneyland--can sign up for shorter sessions.

No free service will be provided. The network is entirely subscription-funded. EarthLink expects 15,000 to 20,000 of the 340,000 residents to sign up for what it calls an 'Open Access Model.'

'We are opening a new chapter of broadband competition in the U.S.,' said Betty, pointing to the fact that other Internet service providers will be allowed to sell access on the EarthLink network."

tags: distribution scale infrastructure

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Buffet on economy and poor people

Freakonomics Blog � Warren Buffet Swats the Invisible Hand: "The $31 billion gift will make a lot more noise, and for a lot longer. Surely everyone in the non-profit world is wondering how this will reshape things. Politicians too.

But I was particularly captured by one sentence that Buffett said last night on The Charlie Rose Show. He was explaining why he wanted to give so much money to a foundation that mainly tries to alleviate poverty. “A market system has not worked in terms of poor people,” Buffett said.

Coming from Buffett, this statement isn’t much of a shock. But it certainly is an indictment—of the free-market system that has made so many people like Buffett very, very rich (though not as rich as him), of the system that so many economists and businesspeople and politicians and journalists believe in on so many dimensions, including its ability to help poor people stop being poor. Note that Buffett didn’t say that the government hasn’t worked for poor people (although I am guessing he wouldn’t disagree with that statement either). It was the market system directly, even with Adam Smith’s wonderful invisible hand, which is meant to correct, to police, occasionally to lift someone up."

very simple: no money, no influence.

tags: control distribution buffet economy

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Scientist Breaking News - Overconfidence is a disadvantage in war, finds study: "Players who made higher-than-average predictions of their performance – those who had higher confidence - were more likely to carry out unprovoked attacks. These warmongers ranked themselves on average at number 60 out of the 200 players, while those who avoided war averaged out at the 75 position.

A further analysis showed that people with higher self-rankings ended up worse off at the end of the game. “Those who expected to do best tended to do worst,” the researchers say. “This suggests that positive illusions were not only misguided but actually may have been detrimental to performance in this scenario.”

Men tended to be more overconfident than women. But the study found nothing to back up the popular idea that high testosterone causes confidence and aggression. Saliva tests showed that, within each gender group, testosterone level did not correlate with how participants expected to perform in the game."

This is an interesting experimental data that confirms psychological predisposition for loss of "control", i.e. transition between having a control point and haos. It could be related to reduced efficiency of the control (decision making) system that gets accustom to relatively easy solutions, and loses its edge.

tags: control point chaos decision evolution transition

Friday, June 16, 2006

Google to focus on London for next phase of growth - Markets - Times Online

Google to focus on London for next phase of growth - Markets - Times Online: "Google is reorganising the way it presents search results on the internet to conform better with mobiles, according to Deep Nishar, the company’s director of wireless products. It is also testing dozens of new search-related products to be used solely on mobile phones and other pocket-sized wireless devices.

“You only have to look at the global trends for mobile use and PC use to see where our business is going,” said Mr Nishar. “In India, mobile-phone ownership outweighs PC ownership by a ratio of two to one. And there are five million more mobile-phone users coming online every month. By the end of this year there will be more mobile phones in India than in America.”

Mr Nishar added that China also presents a massive untapped market. “In China there are 3.6 million mobile-phone users, but very few homes have a PC.”"

The next step is mobile web with one-click purchase. Google and PayPal would make a great combination, but it looks like Google will have to develop its own transaction system.

tags: evolution scalability efficiency payload

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Scientist Breaking News - Gene tests shed light on what triggers birth

New Scientist Breaking News - Gene tests shed light on what triggers birth: "To identify which genes get switched on during labour, Bukowski’s team compared levels of RNA in tissue samples taken from the cervix, fundus and lower segment of the uterus from women who had gone into labour, and from those undergoing caesareans before the onset of labour. All of the women delivered their babies at full term.

Of 500 genes identified as having big changes in activity, 14 sets of genes were common to the fundus samples and another 14 sets of genes were common to the lower segment of the uterus, including genes associated with muscle contraction.

A further 12 sets were found in cervical samples, including those that modify collagen, a protein that influences tissue elasticity.

These gene sets are likely to represent key gene pathways that allow for birth, says Bukowski, although he stresses that it is unlikely that a successful labour relies on a single gene. “If delivery was dependent on one gene that would be very dangerous,” he says, since a mutation in that gene could spell disaster."

tags: detection control example problem

Are virtual worlds the future of the classroom? | CNET

Are virtual worlds the future of the classroom? | CNET This summer, as many as a million virtual kids could catch an infectious virus known as Whypox, causing them to break out in red welts and spout 'Achoo' whenever chatting with friends.

In educational circles, Whyville's private universe is known as a multiuser virtual environment, or MUVE, a genre of software games created to inspire children to learn about math and science, among other subjects. Unlike most game software and social networks, which elicit negative associations for some parents and teachers, MUVEs are structured environments with rules for behavior, yet no pat formula for action. Designed to provide problems to solve that don't involve slaying monsters, MUVEs compel kids to figure out the issues to succeed in the environments or have time to socialize.

Learning-based virtual worlds are growing more popular in schools and among children, thanks to ongoing efforts by universities and private companies.

tags: environment synthesis learning

Google's Gbuy nears launch | CNET

Google's Gbuy nears launch | CNET "Google's payment system, as a result, holds the potential to monitor which paid-search results users click on and of that group, which ones turn into actual sales. With that information, Google may find itself in the enviable position of being able to identify which categories bring in the highest return on investment for advertisers, Rohan stated."

Google gets itself into a position from which it can fine-tune search-to-buy ratio. It also embeds its product into customers' control process, which provides a long-term competitive advantage over other lead generators ( search engines).

tags: control integration strategy performance

Thursday, May 11, 2006

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Egyptians look to Islam for answers

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Egyptians look to Islam for answers: "But these days Egyptians are increasingly seeking religious rulings on all aspects of life.

Islam Online

Fatwas are proliferating in the newspapers, on the internet and on satellite channels.

Islam Online is a phenomenally successful website which aims to present a comprehensive view of Islam to the world.

Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies
It runs a very popular fatwa section.

'We have a section called 'Ask a scholar' where you can find different fatwas on issues from laser surgery to correct eyesight down to April Fools Day,' said Sayed Mohamed Amin, an editor on Islam Online."

tags: chaos navigation tool evolution

Blueprinting the human brain | CNET

Blueprinting the human brain | CNET "SAN JOSE, Calif.--A 3D computer simulation of 10,000 neurons firing in the human brain produces a terabyte of data--a fraction of what it would take to map the brain's billions of neurons in algorithms.

That's according to Henry Markham, a scientist working on the Blue Brain project, a collaboration of IBM, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, or EPFL, in Lausanne, Switzerland, and others. The project is an attempt to create a blueprint of the human brain to advance cognition research."

Analysis of system evolution patterns shows that mapping is a precursor to route building. For example, 15th century voyages opened up the New World for future commercial exploitaion. This project is a clear indication that human brain has become the next frontier for bio-computational research.

tags: evolution mapping indicator trend maturity

Friday, May 05, 2006

The coward dies a thousand deaths

Dread lights up like pain in your brain: The feeling of dread lights up the parts of the brain linked with pain, making the experience so uncomfortable that people choose to end the wait for an unpleasant experience sooner, even if it means incurring a penalty.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of participants (84%) preferred to get the electric shocks over with quickly rather than endure the delays. But 28% of the subjects dreaded the delays so much that they were willing to endure stronger shocks simply to avoid the wait.
“Waiting, in itself, may have either a value or a cost”

Only this, Socrates, replied Crito: the attendant who is to give you the poison has been telling me that you are not to talk much, and he wants me to let you know this; for that by talking heat is increased, and this interferes with the action of the poison; those who excite themselves are sometimes obliged to drink the poison two or three times.

Then, said Socrates, let him mind his business and be prepared to give the poison two or three times, if necessary; that is all. (
Phaedo, by Plato.)

I wonder how it compares to other types of anticipation, e.g. waiting for something good to happen. It's well known that people, especially children and teenagers, prefer instant gratification, but it is not clear whether the same brain region is responsible for the behavior.

tags: psychology effect anticipation time

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Applied buys Applied and gets into solar | CNET

Economy of scale is being brought to solar panel manufacturing tools: "Applied Materials has signed an agreement to buy Applied Films for $464 million, a move that puts the world's biggest maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment into the energy business.

Longmont, Colo.-based Applied Films specializes in equipment for physical vapor deposition--complex machines for layering thin, uniform layers of materials onto surfaces. Solar panel manufacturers, LCD makers and producers of energy efficient glass buy equipment from Applied."

The acquisition underscores Silicon Valley's growing interest in alternative energy. In 2005, the amount of silicon used in solar panels exceeded the amount used in semiconductors, according to Nick Parker, founder of the Cleantech Venture Network. Several VC firms such as Mohr Davidow Ventures have plunked money into energy start-ups.

The same way high horse feed prices triggered invention and manufacturing of bicycles, high energy prices stimulate development of scalable manufacturing tools for solar panel production. It would be interesting to see if this technology domain follows Moore's law:'s_law

If it does, we are about to witness a major technology and business shifts in the energy industry.

tags: scale poly tool control efficiency problem

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Is there a way to milk Social networks

Social network - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "A social network is a social structure made of nodes which are generally individuals or organizations. It indicates the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds. The term was first coined in 1954 by J. A. Barnes (in: Class and Committees in a Norwegian Island Parish, 'Human Relations'). The maximum size of social networks tends to be around 150 people and the average size around 124 (Hill and Dunbar, 2002)."

Tonight, after a VLAB planning meeting where we pitched the idea of a systematic innovation talk, a guy came to me and suggested an interesting problem to solve: "How to monetize a social network?". He also mentioned that the value of ads on social networking sites are ten times less than of those generated by Google search.
A good entry point into a problem space.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The battle for searching eyeballs

Google accused Microsoft of not playing fair in its quest for a bigger share of the $10 billion online advertising market on Monday and revealed that it has shared its concerns with antitrust regulators in the United States and Europe.

Google's gripe: An upcoming release of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser will contain a search box that in some cases defaults to the MSN search engine."

Google's protest puzzled some observers, who noted that the objectionable feature was nearly identical to the search box of FireFox, an open-source browser with 10 to 13 percent of the U.S. market. manufacturers are free to set the default to any search engine they choose in accordance with deals they have struck with companies like Google and Yahoo.

While Microsoft remains the undisputed leader in operating system and browser software, its MSN search engine lags both Google and Yahoo, handling only 11 percent of U.S. searches in March, compared to Yahoo's 22 percent and Google's 49 percent, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Samir Patel, president of SearchForce, a San Mateo company that runs Internet advertising campaigns also said customers are finding ads delivered along with search results powered by Microsoft's newest search technology are significantly more profitable, as more shoppers who click on them buy products.

Search-driven ads bring about 80% of Google's revenues, so there's no surprise the company is very sensitive to "where and how" search requests originate. If Microsoft convinces advertisers that a) it can bring click-through volume; b) it's technology for converting clicks into sales is better than Google's, then Google faces a major disruption of its business.

Wrt system analysis, Explorer's search box is a Source with a pre-set Distribution Route. This configuration allows Microsoft to have a degree of control over the flow of search requests [Payload] to a link generation engine [Tool]. The goal is to increase the overall performance of the system by increasing the number of Sources.
The next stage is conversion of ad links into sales. Destination web site is the Tool, responsible for sales. Search site, where click originates is the Source, Links with pre-set destinations is the Control.

tags: source distribution

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Russo-German gas [distribution] deal irks Poland

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russo-German gas deal irks Poland: "energy security is now one of the principal issues driving international diplomacy.

Russia's emergence as an energy superpower, ready and willing to use its market strength as a diplomatic tool, makes less powerful countries like Poland worried, he says.

The Baltic pipeline episode underscores the difficulty of separating energy diplomacy from old-fashioned power politics, our correspondent says. "

Russia is actively looking for ways to leverage its valuable energy resources into a strategic control point. Modern industrial and financial technologies enable her to overcome geographical disadvantage, which used to limit access to high-profit markets. The "death of distance", which people usually associate with distribution of information over the Internet, is now happening in geo-politics.
Major infrastructure changes, such as global networks, railroads, power lines, volume shipping, and etc., require time and investments. But when they actually happen new opportunities and threats arise en masse, because suppliers[sources] and consumers [tools] can be added [connected] to the system almost at will. Chaos ensues, therefore, changes to the "control" sub-system, i.e. trade relations, politics, treaties, wars, emerge (eventually) as well.

Russia now has a chance to create an energy "Operating System" of EuroAsia.

Could be an interesting chapter in "control points" book.

tags: distribution control points

New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - 'Bug-eyed' lens takes a broader view

'Bug-eyed' lens takes a broader view: "developed an artificial compound eye consisting of a moulded polymer resin dome filled with thousands of light-guiding channels, called waveguides, each topped with its own miniature lens.

The artificial eye could be used to create surveillance cameras, cellphone cameras, and surgical endoscopes with a much wider field of vision, the researchers say. The whole eye is 2.5 millimetres in diameter. Each artificial ommatidia consists of a lens attached to a polymer waveguide that directs light towards the centre of the eye."

Another example for the segmentation principle. Inventors create multiple receptors to capture a wide-angle image. A typical early invention, where focus on just one part of the system. In this case it's Source, i.e. something that captures image and supplies it to other elements. Distribution, Control, and Tool not defined yet. A synthesis problem.

tags: course example segmentation poly source tool synthesis

New Scientist News - Subliminal advertising may work after all

Priming desires
"Priming only works when the prime is goal-relevant," says Karremans. The researchers are now planning to study just how long-lasting these effects are.

Could be interesting to use in local search application.

tags: effect psychology

Windows Mobile vs Simbian; US vs Europe

Mobile Operating system trends: "Windows Mobile and Symbian are emerging as the operating systems of choice as large companies bring multimedia applications down to phones and handhelds."

"Windows Mobile has a lot of momentum, with the 3G compatibility and devices that have both 3G and Wi-Fi," Jaquet said. In addition, Sling Media was already working very closely with Microsoft in developing its applications for Windows PCs, so it was already familiar with the Windows Media Player, he said.

Google chose to develop its Google Maps for Mobile application in Java so it could run on as many devices as possible, said Deep Nishar, director of product management for Google.

OS works as an interface between applications and hardware. It plays the role of distribution/control "default routing" for applications and provides a control point wrt evolution of applications/innovation on a particular platform.
Microsoft is trying hard to position its mobile OS as a
platform of choice for software developers. It's an evolutionary approach: the more applications the greater the chances that somebody will come up with a hit.

Tags: distribution control points interfaces mobile

Thursday, April 27, 2006

quality of information

In an information society quality of life is directly linked to quality of information.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

tags: distribution add sources control point poly

Skype strikes deals with music publishers | CNET "Skype, the free Internet calling service owned by eBay, has struck deals with three major music publishers to distribute hundreds of thousands of songs as ring tones.

"We won't be selling full songs," said Erica Jostedt, a spokeswoman for Skype. "There are no plans for selling music online other than in the form of a ring tone."

Additional sources and distribution channels are coming up live with digital content downloads.
As we predicted, internet infrastructure is slowly changing to accomodate a/v as the main payload.
I wonder who is going to win the DRM war, Microsoft or Apple? I would bet on Microsoft, because, firstly, they are more desperate for business, and secondly, they love playing the deverticalization game.
Whoever gets a foothold in the mobile phone/player market is going to not only reap major profits, but also build a system-level strategic control point.

tags: evolution contradiction control poly

Hotmail's new address | CNET "Off the back burner
Microsoft was early to spot the potential of free e-mail. Back in late 1997, it opted to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy Hotmail. But after that, the service remained essentially the same for a decade. Microsoft invested in more servers and additional data centers as the service grew, but Hotmail itself only saw modest, incremental changes.

As many as a fifth of the users in some test groups were opting to go back to the old version.

"It could have completely derailed the train," Schackwitz said.

Instead, Microsoft found a compromise. In its latest build, Microsoft decided to add back a "classic mode" option that essentially stripped away most of the new features. The classic mode uses the new architecture behind the scenes, but to consumers, it looks like the same old Hotmail.

"Frankly, we didn't think we were smart enough to predict what people want a year in advance," Craddock said. Instead, Microsoft's new mantra is to get new ideas out quickly, see which ones stick and then make tweaks on the fly. "We changed the way we develop software. We now ship a new service to the site every eight weeks," he added.

Consumer opinions can be very humbling, Sim said. "You feel like you've got...the best engineers building really world-class software," he said. "When you really begin to get user feedback on it, you begin to realize that some of the assumptions that you have were wrong."

With Gmail, Google managed to launch a service that is "sexy," Radicati said. Hotmail hasn't had anywhere near the same allure.

tags: tool integration distribution growth multi

Microsoft plans to buy videogame-ad firm | CNET "There are high expectations for in-game advertising, because it offers the promise to again connect advertisers with the desirable young male audience, which has been abandoning television and other traditional media in favor of the Internet and video games."

The new generation of in-game ads offered by Massive and rivals like Double Fusion allow advertisers to run campaigns for specific periods of time, rather than buying a slot that is hard-coded into a game. That means billboards and storefronts in games can change over time to more closely resemble the real world that some games attempt to recreate.

In an effort to close the gap on online advertising leaders Google and Yahoo, Microsoft plans to roll out a new advertising system called adCenter that sells ads across the company's Web content and services.

Massive provides ad placement Tool to complement similar technologies inside Microsoft's MSN, Live, and upcoming Vista Search properties [Tools].
Microsoft scales ad sales and Distribution.

tags: example storage source home network synthesis

Yahoo's free software turns PC into DVR | CNET "Yahoo has released a beta version of software that turns a PC into a digital video recorder.

The software, Yahoo Go for TV, is free to download. After the software is installed, people plug their computer into their television's video and audio input connections. The computer can then record and play back shows on the TV just like with a standalone DVR. Consumers can also play DVDs, music, photos or other downloaded content."
Emergence of free video content in the home is a precursor to a major shift in media consumption. It follows the "MP3 patter", when collections of ripped audio stimulated development 1) of new play-out devices, including iPod; 2) networking (Wi-Fi) incl. P2P; 3) DRM; 4) content management software, e.g. iTunes, MusicMatch, etc.
The only missing piece of the puzzle is mass adoption of PCs with TV cards. Intel could make it happen using Viiv reference design, and maybe even integrating tuner into Viiv chipset.
After that, owning a powerful media server in the home becomes an no-brainer option for consumers. Digital media interoperobility technologies, such as DLNA, further enable distribution of the content from the server to TVs, monitors, mobiles, and other play-out and/or storage devices.
Abundance of HDTV content further drives adoption of the new generation of digital video technologies, including broadcast, reception, storage, and etc.

Friday, April 21, 2006

tags: control source distribution scale unknown

Patent firm Intellectual Ventures linked with prominent inventors.

The company is filing patents, but also buying patents from defunct companies, independent inventors and others. It has amassed a portfolio of over 3,000 patents, according to some sources--an extremely large number for a company with only a handful of employees.

Langer indirectly indicated that the company is trying to develop the broad type of patents that spook established companies the most.

"They are more concept type of patents. It is a very blue sky kind of thing," Langer said of the patents that Intellectual Ventures is trying to develop.

While patent suits aren't the goal, Myhrvold acknowledges that lawsuits are a chronic factor of life when it comes to the IT industry. Historically, IT companies have taken a damn-the-torpedoes approach toward patents, brushing off patent holders and requests for royalties.

As a result, licensing deals that might cost a company a few million dollars can lead to multimillion dollar verdicts. EBay, for instance, could have licensed patents for its "Buy it Now" feature from MercExchange for a few million dollars years ago, but decided to risk the lawsuits, said Myhrvold. A court eventually awarded MercExchange $25 million.

Myhrvold's firm adds another type of high quality sources to its patent accumulation system. By definition, a patent provides its owner with the right to exclude others from using the underlying technology. A large scale portfolio of high quality patents enables its owner(s) to create a number of strategic control points in different industries. Depending on the maturity of the industry (system), patents can be used in several ways:
1) Traditional licensing/litigation in mature, yet still growing, environments, where commoditization has already started, but has not reached its peak.
2) High quality protection against competition in early markets, which allows for leveraging of the "first mover" advantage. This approach could provide defense against large companies, that would try to neutralize "disruptors". See, e.g. Microsoft's tactics wrt Borland, Netscape, RealAudio, Google, and etc.
Reduces startup risks, increases VC value.
3) A valuable insight into emerging technology trends. A large scale portfolio, properly analysed, can yield understanding of the order arising from the inventive chaos. This approach would allow to pick and direct inventive talent into promising areas way before the industry becomes aware of major paradigm shifts. It's quite possible that Myrhvold's latest recruits are a part of this strategy.
4) An Innovation Rights Management system, where rights, i.e. patents, are exchanged/traded/executed separately from the underlying content (products). This approach would signal emergence of a real IPR market and associated with it business models. The major transition would be from registration/classification (USPT) to active management and use.

Very interesting. I will use this article as a class problem in my seminar at Berkeley.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

tags: example control filter performance contradiction separation

New Scientist Breaking News - Watching the brain 'switch off' self-awareness: "Self-awareness, regarded as a key element of being human, is switched off when the brain needs to concentrate hard on a tricky task, found the neurobiologists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.
The team conducted a series of experiments to pinpoint the brain activity associated with introspection and that linked to sensory function. They found that the brain assumes a robotic functionality when it has to concentrate all its efforts on a difficult, timed task – only becoming "human" again when it has the luxury of time."
Introspection seems to be a very "expensive" process. There must be a control mechanism in the brain that does signal switching between simple and complex tasks. It also appears that it is triggered by emotions by default, but can be activated by one's own mind after extensive training.

A good illustration of the "separation upon condition" principle.

The core contradiction looks like this:
1) The brain needs to perform complex processing that require a lot of capacity in order to evaluate and predict events;
2) The brain does not need to perform complex processing in order to react to immediate danger and/or opportunity.

Evolution solves this contradiction by creating at least two separate processing areas, which are selectively activated upon an environmental condition. Most likely, events are filtered through a experience-dependent evaluation sub-system.

I wish I could draw diagrams here