zondag 31 oktober 2004

For the Blind, a Welcoming Web

"Web accessibility can be tricky, and guidelines have to constantly be updated. For the visually impaired, it's really all about making sure that the programming code used to build the site is friendly to screen readers. That's why many banks now have login information on the top right-hand corner. Before, a blind user would have to listen to everything on the page before they could log in to check account balances. Advocates say they want Web site usability, not mere compliance."

Come to Daddy

This is the future of TV for people who will never be satisfied with Basic Cable. A couple years from now, it will be a huge driver of broadband sales to ethnic communities, allowing Grandma to watch her favorite soap operas from the old country. This and Tivo-like recording devices are going to change TV (right down to the business model) as we know it. Some people get this, some people don't. Rupert Murdoch gets it and his DirecTV investment is all about preloading pay-per-view movies on satellite player hard disks. Most American broadcasters don't get it, and this is going to hurt them."

vrijdag 29 oktober 2004


"Wikinews would be to journalism what Wikipedia is to encyclopedias. Reports and articles would be written by a community wiki-style and would follow the Wikipedia rule of Neutral Point of View (NPOV). There would be controls in place to decide when an article was 'finished' and a lot of thought has gone into the workflow of how this would work. The idea of accreditation of contributors has also been proposed."

dinsdag 26 oktober 2004

Microsoft's Worst Nightmare

"It's a roundabout way to challenge Microsoft's Windows monopoly -- attempting to refashion the Web itself as an operating system where every bit of software is controlled through the browser. If that sounds hauntingly familiar, it's because you've heard it before: Ross's wunderkind forebear, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, boldly predicted in 1995 that his browser would make Windows obsolete. Of course, it didn't quite work out that way, and Microsoft used its lock on the operating system to crush the upstart."

Alexa web services beta

"Jeff Barr of Amazon/Alexa recently announced that Alexa has launched a web services platform much like what Amazon has. This will allow skilled users the ability to use Alexa's data to provide new and different ways to view and parse Alexa information. This is a smart move by Amazon and Alexa, because getting sophisticated APIs out to users seems to be one area of significant innovation on the net recently."

zondag 24 oktober 2004

Men talk to Google not girlfriends

"A poll conducted by MSN Search found that search engines are the first port of call for nearly half of men seeking advice. Family are consulted by a third, while partners are the sounding board of choice for only one in four men. In comparison, the study into gender search patterns reveals that women still opt for more traditional advice options, with one in three rating family as their number one choice for help and information."

The Web's Father Expects a Grandchild

"Say you're looking for a photograph in a certain state. And you have another photograph somewhere with a ZIP code. The machine understands that we're talking about location, and a Semantic Web search engine could actually go out and learn, find the logic on the Web, and then know that when something is in a given ZIP code, it's also in a given state. So, a search by state would also be able to find things categorized by ZIP code. "

This Travel Search Site Could Go Far

"Still, optimism abounds among its backers. "This whole industry is going through a transition," says Anand Rajaraman, founder of venture firm Cambrian Ventures, which participated in Mobissimo's seed round. Rajaraman's bet is that a broader, more ubiquitous search tool will prevail in travel, vs. merchant sites of today that offer fewer possibilities and handle everything from billing to customer service. "It's not the right industry for merchants to dominate," says Rajaraman."

Wizard of the Wireless Future

"That's how technology usually comes about. The obvious things aren't as successful as the unobvious things. When they invented the microprocessor, no one was thinking of the cell phone, of digital-signal processors, or global-positioning satellites. They were thinking 'O.K., I'm going to do calculators, and I'm going to replace logic controllers in things like traffic lights.' The same thing is going to happen in the brain business. "

Rereading McLuhan

"While subscribers can read a week of Journal stories for free, they normally have to pay to read archived stories. Not so for a selection of telecom stories handpicked by advertiser British Telecom, which is making the older stories available on a page it sponsors. That's a neat way for the advertiser to engender goodwill and tie its ads to appropriate content. Could this point a way to realize McLuhan's paradox -- to make information simultaneously expensive and free?"

Amazon: Web Site To Web Services

"The flexibility of Web services means that developers can create custom interfaces to the Amazon product catalog, leaving the order processing to Amazon. It also means that online retailers that were once Amazon's competitors can become its partners instead, setting up shop online without having to duplicate Amazon's technology platform, distribution infrastructure, or customer service facilities. For Amazon, it serves as a long-term strategic lever, connecting the company as directly as possible to sources of innovation and creativity all over the world."

zaterdag 23 oktober 2004

A ton of VON

"Many speakers have talked about the "IM generation", kids who have grown up with IM as their primary means of keeping in touch with their friends. There have been repeated references also to the blurring between home and work, and the diffusion of the work environment away from the office. A world of geographically dispersed teams, and collaboration between suppliers, customers and partners. Doesn't anyone see the contradiction here with smart networks of gateways and proxies? A closed enterprise messaging system doesn't let me IM with my customer. My personal professional support often comes from other bloggers and former colleagues who are outside the traditional employee domain. Yahoo IM is a business tool, not a kid's toy. But at Sprint I could only access Yahoo IM via a secret and illegal SOCKS proxy someone had installed in the IT department. Doing real work at work is verboten; your job is to be present, not use presence. The only way to get quick advice from your personal knowledge network was to break corporate security rules. This is horribly broken."

In game advertising for videogames

"The new technology developed by Massive Inc. allows advertisers to simultaneously reach an aggregated audience of gamers through real-time delivery of advertising across an entire network of top-selling video games. The world's first video game advertising network, provides a new opportunity to deliver dynamic advertising campaigns across a network of titles and genres to reach the 18-34 year old male audience that is increasingly difficult to reach through television and other existing advertising channels."

Pirated Halo 2 won't stop sales

"The URL www.ilovebees.com has been flashed up in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it manner at the end of Halo 2 trailers preceding some of this summer's highest-grossing movies. Those who log on to the web site each week find a list of clues and the GPS coordinates of public pay phones that ring with live and recorded messages from actors elaborating on the story line. The final show is conveniently scheduled for the same day as the official release of Halo 2. The movie AI did this a couple of years ago, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. "ARG [Alternate Reality Gaming] is intended to spur interest in games, movies, and products to give more buzz around the launch. It's getting a lot of interest in the marketing world and I'd say it's definitely starting to pick up," said the spokesperson"

zondag 17 oktober 2004

How Retailers Are Turning to Tech

"What's behind this shift to technology? With consumers growing more accustomed to the quick convenience of shopping on the Internet, bricks-and-mortar retailers are having to hustle like never before. They increasingly find that new technologies are often the only way to keep costs down while offering customers a better shopping experience. Buyers appreciate kiosks that can suggest the perfect recipe to go with white wine. And a self-checkout that halves the time spent waiting in line can be a big draw."

Google Drops The Other Shoe

"As I intonated before, Google is playing to its strengths, leveraging its power as the defacto interface for finding things on the web over to the desktop. Once it begins to know more about you (recall that John Doerr hinted at this just last week at Web 2.0, saying 'Google will become the Google that knows you'), expect a hell of a lot more innovation from Google on this front. Yup, that means, eventually, lessons learned from millions upon millions of aggregated individuals' search histories (and desktop usage patterns) will start to inform Google's overall approach to relevancy. How could it be otherwise?"

A culture of feeds: syndication and youth culture

"Melora Zaner did some great research into why youth are throwing away email for IM. In my blogging research, i was only able to validate her findings. Youth use email to talk with parents and authorities (including corporate emails like from Xanga); it's where they get the functional stuff. They check email once a day. They get notices there, but they're mostly disregarded. IM is where the action is. Youth see this as their digital centerpiece, where they communicate with their friends, thereby maintaining their intimate community. They use the Profiles in IM to find out if their friends updated their LJs or Xangas, even though they are subscribed by email as well. The only feed they use is the LJ friends list and hyper LJ users have figured out how to syndicate Xangas into LJ. [Remember: blog is not a meaningful term to youth culture.]"

Wiki wars

"The stakes in these online disputes are high. Wikipedia has become a popular online reference for students, academics, and even journalists. Its articles can be among the first results returned by search sites such as Yahoo! and Google. New search site Clusty.com, launched earlier this month, even features an "encyclopedia" page dedicated to helping users comb through the free encyclopedia's content."

Howard Stern, Satellite Radio and Freedom

"How big is this news? It's huge. I don't care for Stern's crude humor, but I care a lot for his free-speech rights. And with luck, his move represents the beginning of the end for the traditional radio oligopoly, and the end of the beginnining for the alternatives that one day will make the Clear Channels of this world irrelevant."

Many-to-Many: Blog Explosion and Insider's Club: Brothers in cluelessness

"I can't tell whether to feel happy or sad that I've sat through this movie so many times that I can mouth the words, but seeing the idea of web rings and that old "Now you can have direct access to world leaders -- through e-mail!" meme run through the "Now with new Blogs!" treatment does suggest we've entered the phase where first-mover advantages are being sold to Nth movers, where N is large. Next stop, exposes airing the disappointment of people who started a blog and worked on it all week and still didn't become famous."

zaterdag 16 oktober 2004

Visionaries outline web's future

"Experts at the event said the next generation of the web will come out of the creative and programming communities starting to tinker with the vast pool of data the net has become. Despite the hype surrounding the dotcom era, many believe that the vast potential of the net to change society and business remains largely untapped."

RSS advertising

"This really goes to show how quickly things can change in the on-line world. Two years ago RSS was still under the radar for most publishers. One year ago nobody was talking about advertising in RSS feeds. They were often just headlines and excerpts--teaser content used to get traffic back to your site. But with RSS really gaining steam this year, everyone's looking for ways to work ads into feeds. Keep an eye on this one. I expect to see a lot of rapid innovation in the next year from all over the industry. Entirely new companies have already popped up in this market. And at this point the technology, the business model, and even the ad formats are up for grabs right now."

maandag 11 oktober 2004

Mike Liebhold conference talk (New Geography, Day 2)

"Context aware computing: Today, most computing takes place in a kind of blank space without regard to geographical context. That will change. Sentient landscapes: We won't just access information or computational power stored in central servers and accessed over wireless networks. Instead, there will be information and intelligence embedded in things and places. Devices for augmented perception

Smart phones and PDAs: These have been getting more powerful, and 'there's no question that we'll be carrying a device... perhaps something like a Blackberry or a Treo... [supported by[ a wide range of enterprise systems.'"

zondag 10 oktober 2004

Open source, no-plugin, rich GUIs for the Web

Lazlo does was Java was supposed to do -- let you run desktop-app-like applications within a browser window. But Laszlo doesn't require any plugin on its own, or flaky, slow Java. Instead, the Laszlo compiler turns Lazlo code (which is written in very fast, flexible, human-readable XML) into Flash apps. Pretty much everyone has Flash installed, so users can run your apps without installing new software (but since the Lazlo code is compiled down to Flash, it could also be compiled down to something else -- IOW, if Macromedia gets to rank with you, you could compile your apps to Java, to C++, Mono or whatever)."

Measurements That Count

"I would hope that Wired can afford its own measurement tools. But the right question is: Why should anybody care? Mass numbers are a holdover from the old century, an anachronism in an age of precision marketing, targeted advertising, and sophisticated audience management technology. Whether CNN.com is ahead of MSNBC.com, or vice versa, should make no difference to an advertiser. Nobody buys full-run advertising on a site like that; major ad purchases are based on cost per thousand measured advertising impressions."

The Long Tail

"Fantastic article in Wired by Chris Anderson titled The Long Tail. You MUST read it. Physical distribution limits the number of titles of books, music, DVDs that can be stocked. He explains that online sales show that the market size of stuff below the break even threshold for physical distribution is often larger than the market for the 'hits' that make it into stores. He calls this 'The Long Tail'. We can essentially double the market for most content by figuring out ways to help people find the stuff they are looking for in the long tail and deliver it online."

Self-spreading news

"From a news organization's perspective, then, the opportunity is to package the news not in a way that simply attracts more readers, but to be easily disseminated outward by those readers. As the E-Media Tidbits article notes, for the news of Hazes death, a news organization could have sent: 'Here is a message to forward, a picture, and part of a Hazes song attached,' and then just let the power of social distribution take over."

Sling-ing in The (Money) Rain

"The SlingBox Personal Broadcaster extends a user's LIVE Cable TV, Satellite TV or personal video recorder (PVR) experience to any of his or her connected personal devices. SlingBox delivers a complete personal TV experience to networked PCs, WiFi-enabled laptops and PDAs, and even video-enabled mobile phones. Any device. Any network. Anywhere in the world."

zaterdag 9 oktober 2004

To Blog or Not to Blog?

"What he does attempt to be is fair -- acknowledging the other side's arguments whenever possible. Gillmor said he's intrigued by the possibility that blogs will give rise to a new kind of journalism, drawing facts and opinions from all directions and presenting them in a way that doesn't simply reflect the establishmentarian views you'll see in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Of course, in that new world of competing media streams -- some big, some small, some attempting objectivity, others unabashedly biased -- it will be incumbent on readers to get their news from a wider variety of sources, Gillmor argued. As he put it: "Anyone who gets their news from a single source -- whether it's a single newspaper or a single TV news show -- is a fool, in my opinion. Or least a very shallow person."

Need a New Job? Check Out a Blog.

"Job seekers use blogs to establish a strong online presence, display their skills and advertise their availability. For many just out of college, the blog is an essential networking tool because it is common for bloggers to link back and forth to others with recent posts. Corporate recruiters, in turn, use blogs to draw in qualified candidates, and they search for potential hires by reading bloggers who write about topics relevant to a particular industry. "

RSS Penetration Among Online Publishers

"Only 7% of the sources Topix.net crawls have XML feeds. I'd estimate that only a few hundreds of the top 3,000 newspapers we crawl have RSS support. The rest we obtain with a news crawler which is good about finding articles on news sites, leaving behind the ads and navigation sidebars. It's low maintenance so we don't have to change anything everytime a site redesigns its html. "

Gone Fishing...

"While there have been similar games elsewhere (like Mogi), it looks like location-based gaming is coming to North America with the introduction of a new location-based "fishing" game, called Swordfish. The idea is to find a school of fish via the phone's GPS system, and then head to the physical location where the virtual fish are located and try to catch 'em. Players compete against others for the highest score. Right now, it's only available in Canada, but it should be interesting to see whether or not it catches on. It's sometimes simple games like this that first catch on, and, as Russell points out in the original story, whether it generates developer interest in creating more sophisticated offerings."

zaterdag 2 oktober 2004

DIY radio with PODcasting

"The key virtue of traditional radio is its immediacy: the fact that it's live. They key virtue of this new breed of radio is that it's Net-native. That is, it's archived in a way that can be listened to at the convenience of the listener, and (this is key) that it can be linked to by others, and enclosed in an RSS feed. It's because of that last feature that Adam could create iPodder, which automatically routes a podcast to an iPod (it's what Adam calls 'an iPod filling station'). Note, as I said Sunday, that this does not need to be limited to iPods. iPodder is just one implementation that addresses the device that has become the modern equivalent of the transistor radio (the first truly personal portable radios, which not coincidentally made rock & roll happen in the 50s and 60s). What matters is that all the standards we're working with here are open. They're the new and growing infrastructure for a new class of 'casting. It won't replace old-fashioned broadcasting, just as FM didn't replace AM, and TV didn't replace radio. And it's not narrowcasting, which is conceived as broadcasting for fewer people. It's podcasting. I'll create an acronym for it: Personal Option Digital 'casting."

Internet fails to shine for 'silver surfers'

"The Web also represents one of the technologies most rapidly gaining adoption by the older generation. 'Silver surfers,' or Internet users older than 60, continue to come online in growing numbers, representing 15 percent of the nation's online population, according to AARP estimates."

Building The RSS Platform

"To fill in the details, Bloglines is offering web services to let other RSS readers pull from Bloglines, rather than directly from the RSS feed itself. This does a variety of things. Most importantly, though, it could help get rid of the biggest complaint many people have with RSS: that it acts like a denial of service attack on servers -- removing the pain from individual websites (since Bloglines only picks up the feed once per hour). Combine this with Carlo Zottmann's bootleg RSS feed service, where he creates RSS feeds for sites that don't have any for a (very) small fee, and you have solved most of my complaints concerning RSS. This also shows how web services involving RSS are getting more useful, and more creative every day. For example, I've been playing around with (also from Zottmann) Watchcow, a new site for watching Amazon prices as they change via RSS. Combine all of this, and you begin to realize that RSS is about a lot more than just a simple way to read the news."

Point. Shoot. Kiss It Good-Bye.

"And this may be the key to the future of photo management: Rather than locking pictures away, we'll make them public. Technology will imbue our images with a broader, deeper sense of shared memory. Our ways of finding photos will change - and with them, our ways of remembering."

Getting Closer, Yet Farther Away

"I think we get ourselves into trouble when we believe that what happens online is somehow 'other' or 'outside' our 'real' lives. We have this idea that we can segment ourselves, keeping aspects of our lives in separate compartments: work/play, spouse/lover, day job/art. It's an idea that predates the internet, and we can't blame it on the technology. "