Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Will Google Upset The Apple iPhone Cart?


This story covers the rumors I keep hearing with the upcoming Google phone.

In my opinion, the mobile phone has three functions: (ranked in priority)

1.Communication
2.Informationgoogle phone
3.Entertainment

The iPhone seems to focus on the entertainment function, which ones do you think the Google Phone will prioritize?

Here are 10 things I want on the Google Phone

From Rediff Forget the iPhone, the GPhone is here

Google, the nearly $13.5 billion search engine major, is believed to be a fortnight away from the worldwide launch of its much-awaited Google Phone (Gphone) and has started talks with service providers in India for an exclusive launch on one of their networks.

The Wall Street Journal too had reported that Google had invested "hundreds of millions of dollars" in the project and was involved in discussions with US-based T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Sources close to the development said a simultaneous launch across the US and Europe is expected, and announcements would be sent to media firms in India and other parts of the world. US regulatory approval, which is expected soon, is the only hurdle that Google is waiting to cross, they added. Google plans to invest $7-8 billion for its global telephony foray.

Could we be seeing Iridium Part 2?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Comcast Initiates Coverage Of BitTorrent, And Their IPO, With A "Hold"


Comcast is essentially initiating coverage of the BitTorrent IPO with a "hold" rating.

Will more ISPs put a hold on BitTorrent traffic?

Is it false advertising if your ISP advertises x speed, but only delivers y?
Comcast
Besides BitTorrent, what other methods allow faster Internet downloads?

The Street.com discusses BitTorrent as the next gigantic tech IPO.

CNN calls peer-to-peer file sharing service BitTorrent the Next Big IPO

Much of BitTorrent's popularity is due to its ability to break the download bottleneck.

"Rather than load a file from a single server to any and all PCs that want it, BitTorrent's software divides up a file so that users essentially download it from each other. Not only is BitTorrent faster and less taxing on bandwidth resources, it's also cheaper than conventional downloading".

I wonder, could BitTorrent's future, and IPO, already be in jeopardy?

TorrentFreak discovers Comcast throttling BitTorrent traffic.

"Over the past weeks more and more Comcast users started to notice that their BitTorrent transfers were cut off. Most users report a significant decrease in download speeds, and even worse, they are unable to seed their downloads."

"ISPs have been throttling BitTorrent traffic for almost two years now. Most ISPs simply limit the available bandwidth for BitTorrent traffic, but Comcast takes it one step further, and prevents their customers from seeding."

Here's an interesting take from the ISPs.

"One of the ISPs that joined our discussions said: “The fact is, P2P is (from my point of view) a plague - a cancer, that will consume all the bandwidth that I can provide. It’s an insatiable appetite.”, and another one stated: “P2P applications can cripple a network, they’re like leaches."

"Just because you pay 49.99 for a 1.5-3.0mbps connection doesn’t mean your entitled to use whatever protocols you wish on your ISP’s network without them provisioning it to make the network experience good for all users involved.”

Are we looking for more bandwidth, or just bandwidth efficiency?

Click here for your Internet speed.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Daily Disruptions


The Pondering Primate is adding a new feature called "Daily Disruptions".

The Pondering Primate was created to discuss the disruptive effect a mobile phone and a physical world hyperlink would have. I coined the term "Physical World Hyperlinks" and have spent the majority of this blog discussing Physical World Connection.

Daily Disruptions will be a weekly post will highlight news stories and technologies that in my opinion, could have a disruptive impact and lead to tomorrow's "killer app". Daily Disruptions will cover all industries and include breakthrough technologies, mandates, current events.

These are stories that make me ponder as I look for the next great investment.

Speed of light broken

Gene turns cancers off

Computing breakthrough could elevate security to unprecedented levels

Electronic fields kill tumors

Dramatic chip-cooling potential for future computers

Making deaf ears hear with light

Friday, August 17, 2007

Veritec, Launches Tickets via Cell Phone


Veritec Launches Tickets via Cell Phone


Veritec, Inc., announced their launch of a revolutionary new products named PhoneCodes(C) that allow consumers to buy and receive tickets, as well as gift(s), or customer-loyalty rewards via an electronic media using Veritec's 2-D barcode technology.Veritec

The Saint Paul (MN) Saints baseball club and their ticket processing company, Glitner Corporation (NY), in conjunction with Veritec, Inc., has become the first organization to employ the new technology.

Veritec's new TicketCode(C) (a 2-dimensional bar code) allows cell phone owners to purchase an event ticket and have the ticket (TicketCode(C)) sent to their cell phone. The day of the event the gate attendant will scan the TicketCode(C) from the cell phone, validate its authenticity and admit the patron once validated.

the Veritec's 2-D Barcode, PhoneCodes(C), not only work for the distribution of tickets (TicketCode(C)) but can be used to send gift certificates, GiftCode(C), for birthday, anniversary, graduation, or whatever else, as well as coupons, CouponCode(C), for customer loyalty rewards such as two-meals-for-the-price-of-one at restaurants, discounts on purchases exceeding a certain dollar value at retail stores, and as a receipt when purchasing products over the Internet, a ReceiptCode(C) can be sent to the customer's cell phone as proof of purchase.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Software...Dancing On The Hardware?


There is a dominant theme in the technology space.

Software that does the "heavy lifting" for hardware, is in great demand.pondering primate

Om Malik has been spot-on with his call on hardware guys buying software companies.

"Bottomline: While Web 2.0 companies may get acquired by Google (or Yahoo), specialized software start-ups with products that enhance hardware will find buyers more often. Expect this trend to continue, and in fact gain momentum."

Hewlett Packard recently acquired Opsware, a datacenter automation software company for $1.6B. "Opsware unlocks the promise of technology by accelerating IT to zero latency".

Is a zero latency Internet possible?

Are there software companies that can do this?

BMC bought RealOps , a developer of software for automating IT processes, ranging from applying software patches to provisioning servers.

VMware, which sells software that makes servers more efficient, went public Tuesday and is now the 5th largest publicly traded software company. Only Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Adobe are larger. VMware dominates the virtualization market. Their software creates multiple "virtual" servers within a physical server.

The next day Citrix Systems acquired virtualization software player XenSource for $500m.
" The deal will combine the California start-up's open-source virtualization technology with Citrix's extensive reach in computer networking."

What space is next for software to do the heavy lifting?

Price wars are kicking in for the content delivery network (CDN) players (Akamai, Limelight Networks etc) at the same time the explosion of Internet video continues. Software that can enhance content delivery network (CDN) hardware will be sought after to maintain an edge on competitors and increase profit margins.

Software companies that can resolve the upcoming Internet video boom are ripe for the picking.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Microsoft Offers Audio Hyperlinks For Ads


Dynamic audio hyperlinks for advertising?

From MediaPost Microsoft and Activated Content Offer Embedded Audio Hyperlinks

Activated Content has developed audio watermarking technology through a new license agreement with Microsoft announced Wednesday.

The technology lets advertisers connect with consumers on a variety of mobile devices and Internet protocol television (IPTV).

Audio watermarking plays an important role in tracking digital content or protecting media files from piracy, but Activated Content will offer the technology to advertisers that want to connect with consumers through broadcast, streaming or downloadable media.

It could mean a cultural change that requires consumers to seek out the advertisement for more information or to buy a product or a service.

An early advertising model might let consumers purchase a song heard on the radio with a click of a button.

The technology listens to the audio, recognizes the encoded watermark and directs the listener through a link to an advertisement or promotional offering without interrupting or disrupting the audio or video content in movies, videos or high-definition radio on mobile devices, laptops or IPTV.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Will The Infrastructure Allow The Next Big Thing...Video Internet

From WSJ Pessimists Say File Swapping Is Creating Traffic Jam

Researchers have long warned that rapid increases in Internet usage could strain the capacity of the data lines and gear that make up the network, severely slowing traffic and even knocking out service.

Prompting the latest concerns is the rapid growth of bandwidth-hungry applications like online video, file-sharing programs and Internet telephone service. Transmitting a minute of video can require 10 times the bandwidth of audio -- or more, depending on the quality. Already, peer-to-peer video swapping -- most of it illegal -- is estimated to represent in the range of more than one-third of all Internet traffic this year.

bandwidth stats
U.S. Internet video sites alone transmit more data per month than was carried over the entire U.S. Internet backbone monthly in 2000, according to network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc.

"One of the key possibilities for 2007 is that the Internet could be approaching its capacity," analysts at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu wrote in a January report

Robert Metcalfe, a venture capitalist at Polaris Venture Partners who helped build the early Internet as an engineer, thinks online-video traffic could cause slowdowns in Internet service for consumers, but that could lead them to use online video less, resulting in a sort of equilibrium.
"I've been talking about the next big Internet thing, 'the video Internet,' for years now,"

Monday, August 13, 2007

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Refiles Patent Exam Request Of NeoMedia's "Bogus Patent"


The ongoing saga with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and NeoMedia continues.

Back in April the EFF asked the US Patent office to review NeoMedia's mobile barcode patent.mobile barcode patent

The EFF took aim at a bogus patent threatening innovative technologies that enhance consumer awareness, requesting a reexamination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Apparently the EFF incorrectly filed the review and the Patent Office rejected the request for review in late July. This is completely different from the Patent Office approving the patents, as some have suggested.

Just a few days later, the EFF refiled a request to review NeoMedia's patents.

It was also confirmed on page 43 of NeoMedia's latest 10Q filing

"Also on the patent front, during July 2007 the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected an application by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to invalidate the Company’s patents and intellectual property on how camera phones read, translate, and process images and codes. The Electronic Frontier Foundation refiled their application in August 2007"

I couldn't find a separate press release from NeoMedia announcing this.

ScanBuy and NeoMedia have an ongoing lawsuit regarding this intellectual property and a Markman hearing is scheduled for November.

Here's what I ponder.

Would, or should, a judge render a decision in a case on a patent that is currently being reviewed by the US Patent Office?

If the Patent Office does decide to review the patents, who has the most to lose, NeoMedia or Cornell Capital?

iPlayer Threatens The Internet

Is this the first specific incident where a video application could strain the Internet?
bandwidth
Some of the largest broadband providers in the UK are threatening to "pull the plug" from the BBC's new iPlayer unless the corporation contributes to the cost of streaming its videos over the internet.

The likes of Tiscali, BT and Carphone Warehouse are all growing concerned that the impact of hundreds of thousands of consumers watching BBC programmes on its iPlayer – which allows viewers to watch shows over the internet – will place an intolerable strain on their networks.

As more consumers access and post video content on the internet – using sites such as YouTube – the ability of ISPs to cope with the amount of data being sent across their networks is coming under increasing strain, even without TV broadcasters moving on to the web. Analysts believe that ISPs will be forced to place stringent caps on consumers' internet use and raise prices to curb usage.

Do we need more bandwidth, or do we need more bandwidth efficiency?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Physical World Connection..A Nirvana For VCs And Ponderers



Digital Video Editing has a nice summary of the investment opportunities coming with the Internet Of Things
Internet of things
This "Internet of Things" or the "pervasive Internet" is a new paradigm that describes a world where inanimate objects of every conceivable type - from toothbrushes and toasters to environmental monitors, motor vehicles and industrial machines - will communicate effortlessly through a network that - thanks to wireless and fiber optics - is beginning to bathe the planet.

"When data is being gathered from everywhere in real time - whether it's a farmer's field, a machine in a manufacturing facility, a stream of financial transactions, or even from your refrigerator," says Opdendyk, "it puts demands on the hardware, network, and software design that are not accommodated by current technology.

The sheer scale of data involved is huge.

Add to this the opportunity for creative, new applications that can feast on all of this new data, and you suddenly have a need for an entirely new set of companies to lead the revolution.

It's Nirvana for VC's - a new technology application wave.

When pondering, the opportunities I see for the next technology application wave are:

1. software/hardware (solution) that resolves any type of physical world hyperlink

2. a "registry" for domains that will be issued for every device (that will dwarf the number of website domains)..like Verisign

3. a network provider that can ensures a secure network for these devices (it's one thing if your website is hacked, it's something completely different if your machinery is)

4. a delivery system/platform that can move any sized data from a physical object through the network (what good is having objects connected and providing data if they cant transmit and receive it)

What applications/investment opportunities do you see with the Internet of Things?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Physical World Connection Used To Nab Colombia Drug Kingpin


Speech, retinal scans, DNA (hair,blood,saliva) along with fingerprints, are considered human physical world hyperlinks (PWH).

Scan the PWH, and make a match with an online database.

A reputed leader of Colombia's biggest drug cartel, his features radically altered by plastic surgery, was identified by Brazilian and American anti-drug agents using advanced voice recognition technology, the suspect's lawyer said Friday.

The recording was compared in the United States to other tapes of Abadia's voice, leading to a match that allowed Brazilian police to identify him so he could be arrested, Alambert told The Associated Press.

Web 2.0...The Downfall For Microsoft?


Think of how many more applications are being created and utilized online, versus on/for the PC.

The Internet has transformed the functions of the PC and operating system (OS), from being "the" processor, to just a conduit.

As a conduit, has the PC been reduced to a storage device?

VNUNet highlights Gartner's report on how Web 2.0 could erode Microsoft's dominance.

"The growth of Web 2.0 technologies will challenge the company's position, says the report published last week."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

FCC Flunks Prototype Internet Device


What other emerging technologies could be used instead?

From Boston Globe FCC Rejects Net Device Service

The government gave a failing grade to a prototype device that Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Dell Inc., and other technology companies said would beam high-speed Internet service over unused television airwaves.

n an 85-page report, the Federal Communications Commission said the devices submitted by the coalition could not reliably detect unused TV spectrum and could cause interference.

The FCC's chairman, Kevin Martin, on Tuesday said the agency still would like to find a way to transmit high-speed Internet service over the unused airwaves.

Edmond Thomas, who represents the coalition, said the companies are convinced the spectrum can be used without causing interference to TV and wireless signals

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Next Google Is The "Pipe" Gatekeeper


Last week I posted a story called Who Or What Is The Next Google?

A simple infomercial allowed me to ponder what the Next Google will be.

Google is great at delivering relevant ads when we search for content online, but they can only analyze (for now) one stream in our "pipe" and only when we actively use their site on it.Express101

The Next Google will be able to analyze all content coming in and out of our "pipe", from ALL devices, whether it is used actively or passively.

Using a recent incident, I can envision what the Next Google is and how valuable the info it generates is worth to many industries.

This past week I was doing the old surfing(besides the Net) through TV channels and came across an infomercial for the Express101 Meal Cooker, a waffle-like contained George Foreman cooking device.

For 39.95 I thought I would try it out, so I called the 800 number on the screen to order. They use a speech recognition system to take orders. After a couple of "I'm sorry if that isn't correct" responses, I decided to go online and buy the device. In order to confirm the order, I had to give them my email address.

After I received my purchase confirm email, I realized what the Next Google is or does.

The Next Google will be able to determine and utilize the following info:

- how "sticky" that Express101 infomercial was
- what ad I WAS watching when I started surfing
- how long it took me to watch the ad before I called to order,
- the/whose speech recognition application did not work
- the phone number I used to place the order
- how long after failing to get a response from speech recog did I go online
- what website is my home page and what browser I use (more info to come with ipV6)
- did I type in the specific URL or did I use a search engine to find the product site
- if I used a search engine, what keywords did I use
- what credit card I used to buy the product
- what my email address is
- did I click on any of the ads on that site
- did I continue to watch the infomercial after I bought the product

Think of how much more relevant and targeted advertising can be on ALL of your connected devices when ALL of your "pipe" behavior is take into consideration.

Software is going on millions of set-top boxes and collects all of this data. In my opinion they will be the "Next Google".

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wall Street Journal Highlights Mobile Bar Codes And Physical World Connection


The Wall Street Journal has a story called All The World's A Page (free for 7 days) that discusses how mobile barcodes and camera phones are making everything "clickable".

Semapedia
The article highlights three of the companies on the Physical World Connection company list, Semapedia, Mobiqa, and ZapCode.

"What you'd be looking at is a Semapedia tag, a printout containing something called a QR bar code. Software on your camera phone will read the bar code just as one of those scanners in a supermarket would, but instead of a price it would decode a link to a Web page on the peer-produced online encyclopedia Wikipedia".

American Alexis Rondeau, 28, one of the duo who dreamed up the nonprofit Semapedia project in 2005, puts it "kind of like turning the world into a clickable Web page."

"Keith Russell, Hong Kong-based business development manager for Scottish mobile ticketing company Mobiqa , says his company has seen the bar code take off in the U.S. as a device to deliver event tickets to cellphones. Singapore Press Holdings has launched a service in the city-state called ZapCode that allows people to access information via a colorful bar code"

This is the second major story highlighting Physical World Connection

MobiTMS Lands Nike And Nescafe As Mobile Bar Code Clients


Physical World Connection player MobiTMS have been busy landing major brands for mobile bar code campaigns (Physical World Connection).

In one of their biggest wins to date, NIKE launched the first “Mobile 2.0” Ads campaign in ASIA using TMS, the suite of Internet Mobile Services. For the first step of this campaign 4 NBA stars (Lebron James, Kidds, Pierce, Soudemare) will be associated to a barcode linked to mobile goods to download.

Nike barcodeHow cool is seeing Lebron James with a 2D barcode? The campaign is showing in outdoor billboards (8 / 11 feet) and in magazines like FHM and in NIKE stores.


Video

Nike bar code




Nescafe Philippine decide to use one of the TMS Ads program “Sponsoring link” to launch a Ads campaign targeted at teens.

The TMS barcodes inside Game Magazine (one of the most popular teens magazines) will be associate to Nescafe for an interactive relationship with the readers. Nescafe will offer a direct download of Ring Tones and videos.

Last month TMS provided mobile barcodes for Christina AguileraChristina Aguilera and had MTV as a marketing partner.

MobiTMS (www.mobitms.com ) is the provider of the wireless TMS suite of Internet Mobile services - the SMS 2.0 - a mobile solution allowing consumers to Find, Access, Chat, Surf and Buy contents or products with mobile phones in 1 click.

TMS is “SIM card OPEN” and can be used everywhere in the world. The worldwide TMS Platform associates international & standard 2D barcode technology to a management mobile contents & M-Payment solution.

TMS is using Scanbuy's mobile code scanning platform.

See all of the campaigns and stories related to TMS.

Expect to see a major announcement from TMS.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Aviation BroadBand Space Heating Up


The aviation broadband space is heating up.

Lufthansa and American Airlines launch broadband initiatives. In addition, a new aviation broadband technology player emerges.

Lufthansa adding in-flight broadband by 2008

Lufthansa is apparently continuing the airborne scramble to get customers connected, announcing that with the help of T-Mobile it will be reinstating its broadband service (formerly from Connexion) to its long-haul flights by 2008. Connexion was a $600m plus aviation broadband project from Boeing that was scrapped due to cost and demand issues.

In a related story, Panasonic Avionics said it was ready to pick up where Boeing's Connexion left off. Executives with Panasonic said they have a new business model that will allow them to go forward with as few as 50 planes -- and to expect an announcement from airlines within the next few months.

Some of those first airline customers for the Panasonic system will be ones who had Connexion installed.

Today, AirCell, the leading wireless data and voice communications provider in business aviation, announced it is teaming with American Airlines to test broadband services with passengers across the U.S. beginning in 2008.Aircell

AirCell's new Broadband Internet service will allow business and leisure passengers to check e-mail, surf the Web, tap into an office network and stay current on the latest news, using their own Wi-Fi enabled laptops, PDAs, iPhones(R), BlackBerrys(R) and portable gaming systems -- while in flight.

Passenger testing will be conducted on American Airlines fleet of Boeing 767-200 aircraft that primarily fly transcontinental routes. As the first to launch in-flight broadband capabilities, American and AirCell are pioneering the last frontier of domestic Internet service.

This high-speed broadband Internet service is made possible by AirCell's unique air-to-ground network, which uses the latest technology to transmit and receive data between the ground and the aircraft.

Pricing will mirror what you would pay at any ground based Wi-Fi hotspot, and speeds will be similar to what you experience in your home or office with DSL.

While this is a step in the right direction to tap into the millions of potential customers, I can't help but think that a couple hundred surfers on this one Wi-Fi connection will be disappointed with their surfing experience.

There are other technologies being developed, that could allow much faster speeds and disruptive pricing for aviation broadband.

A different method that is a contender in this space is Adapt4. Adapt4, is a supplier of efficient cognitive radio solutions that exploit unused frequency bandwidth in an FCC-certified manner. They are partnering with a bandwidth-efficient modem chip to offer a cost-effective and fast aviation broadband solution.

A multi-billion dollar market awaits for companies that connect and deliver relevant content to millions of captive consumers.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Who Or What Is The Next Google?


Will the "triple play" to the home, become a homerun for advertising?

Who or what is the "Next Google"?

What device in the home produces more data about us, and will allow timely and relevant advertising?...with a commerce application.

There is one big pipe that comes into your home and a gatekeeper acts like an enormous "search box" for your searching, surfing, TV, VOD, and soon mobile.set top box

Even when you're sleeping your interests are being documented.

It seems pretty obvious.

Google is/has done a great job of delivering relevant ads when you use their search box. They know what we're doing when we are searching, but that only delivers information when we are actively using the Net using a PC.

The "next Google" will collect and deliver information in real-time about our interests (passively and actively) on ALL devices that use the "big pipe" coming into our home.

Jeff Bewkes, President COO of Time Warner gives a great interview called
The Next Google And More.


I think the "Next Google" is a software company or application, that acts like the "digital Nielsen" of ALL Internet activity and delivers real-time information to advertisers. Because this information is collected AND delivered dynamically, the advertisers can provide targeted and relevant ads.

Here are just a few things the "next Google" can offer advertisers.

What sites do you visit most often and at what times.
How long after, or do you even visit a website after seeing a TV ad.
What TV shows do you watch or TIVO. When do you play those recorded shows.
What TV ads do you skip through.
How much time is your GameStation playing.


Oh yeah, this application will also be able to tell what you were searching for on the Internet too.

Software, in the set top box, that analyzes all activity from the "big pipe" coming in your home. There is a company that is doing this now.