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