Business 2.0 on Novatium

Om Malik points to his story in Business 2.0 (subs needed) talking about Novatium, a company which I have co-founded. An excerpt:

The $100 PC has long been considered the hurdle to clear in order to reach technology’s biggest pot of gold — affordable computing for the masses in countries like Brazil, China, India, and Russia. Make no mistake, this isn’t just altruism. A cheap PC is a great business opportunity for anyone who can build a 10 percent profit margin into each device, as Jain’s company is trying to do. That’s why chipmaking goliath Intel is working on cheaper processors targeted overseas, why Microsoft has begun selling a $20 stripped-down version of its Windows operating system, why giants like Advanced Micro Devices and Google have partnered with maverick MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte to develop a $100 laptop. And long before them, Oracle and Sun Microsystems chiefs Larry Ellison and Scott McNealy tried, and failed, to market so-called network PCs.

So what gives tiny Novatium an edge over such high-profile competition? Most of those companies have focused on making traditional desktop PCs or laptops cheaper by using older, slower chips and skimping on memory and hard-drive storage. Novatium, on the other hand, has created a state-of-the-art network computer that mimics a traditional desktop machine at a fraction of the cost — and that will soon be made to run on any television, anywhere.

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Texas Instruments’ Chips

[via George Gilder’s technology Report] Forbes writes:

One way to take advantage of GSM’s huge footprint–as well as the growth opportunities for the technology–is by acquiring shares of Dallas-based Texas Instruments. While Texas Instruments develops chips for “sensor” products such as air conditioners, heaters and automobiles, its biggest business today is in wireless. Texas Instruments puts its digital signal processors and other technology inside hundreds of millions of handsets each year.

Today, TI’s OMAP processors, as they are known, and digital baseband processors (essentially modems) provide multimedia application processing capabilities which are essential to 3G networks. The company also has its stripped-down, all-in-one processor, the Digital RF Processor. The chip, which is also known as the “Hollywood Chip,” should be a real winner for use in lower-end value handsets. The chip allows for digital television service on a handheld–a service that should become available in early 2006.

While Texas Instruments is doing a great deal outside of wireless (one of its biggest growth drivers is the digital light processor,a chip for high-definition televisions), wireless remains the company’s key driver of growth, and TI expects significant growth for 3G networks in China as well as new opportunities in providing voice-over-wireless local area network service, which would allow you to make wireless calls at work, for example, over your company’s network instead of through your cellular carrier. With demand for increasingly complex modems to handle the move from 2G to 3G networks; demand for multimedia, greater image processing and the need for mass storage devices; and the requirement that cell phones be able to connect not just to a cellular network but to Bluetooth technologies and Wi-Fi networks, TI’s wireless chips should have a robust future.

OPML and RSS

Dave Winer writes:

The OPML Editor is good for all kinds of lists, directories, project planning, designs. The tool can be used by professionals and managers,
doctors, professors, lawyers, accountants, writers — basically anyone who thinks for a living.

Another way of looking at it — RSS is great for news, but not everything is news, some things, like the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or the elements of the periodic table, don’t change. Or change slowly, like the teams in major league baseball, or the top home run hitters. For information like that, knowledge, representing the relationships between nuggets is what’s important, and that’s where outliners like the OPML Editor, that’s now in beta, excel.

Here is an interesting example.

Podcasting

Mark Cuban writes:

Podcasting is hot. Podcasting is cheap and easy. Podcasting can be fun.

Creating your own podcast and trying to make a business out of it is a mistake.

Unless you are repurposing content from another medium, it will be rare to find anyone making money from originating podcasts.

Talk Radio Shows repurposed from radio to a podcast. No brainer. Its cheap and easy. Repurposing industry specific information from tradeshows, speeches, product presentations for employee or customer education or as sales support. No brainer. These are just extensions of existing content into a new low cost medium.

For those who are tying to jump on the podcasting bandwagon and create a hit podcast that you plan on selling advertising in, its cheap and easy to do, but even with Google Adsense for RSS its going to be really tough to do it as a fulltime job and make minimum wage back.

Podcasting is right where streaming was about 10 years ago. Before you dive into podcasting as the next big thing, you would be wise to do some homework on how the streaming industry evolved.

Attention

O’Reilly Radar has a post by Nat on a talk given by Linda Stone:

In 1997 I coined the phrase “continuous partial attention”. For almost two decades, continuous partial attention has been a way of life to cope and keep up with responsibilities and relationships. We’ve stretched our attention bandwidth to upper limits. We think that if tech has a lot of bandwidth then we do, too.

With continuous partial attention we keep the top level item in focus and scan the periphery in case something more important emerges. Continuous partial attention is motivated by a desire not to miss opportunities. We want to ensure our place as a live node on the network, we feel alive when we’re connected. To be busy and to be connected is to be alive.

We’ve been working to maximize opportunities and contacts in our life. So much social networking, so little time. Speed, agility, and connectivity at top of mind. Marketers humming that tune for two decades now.

Now we’re over-stimulated, over-wound, unfulfilled.

TECH TALK: Next-Generation Networks: IMS (Part 2)

John Waclawsky, part of the Mobile Wireless Group at Cisco Systems, provides some background:

Out of the wireless standards consortium called 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) comes a slow-growing and complicated collection of carrier network functions and processes that collectively are referred to as IMS, which stands for the IP (or Internet) Multimedia Subsystem. The IMS standards promise an operator-friendly environment for real-time, packet-based calls and services that not only will preserve traditional carrier controls over user signaling and usage-based billing, but also will generate new revenue via deep packet inspection of protocols, URI and content.

IMS was conceived for the evolution of cellular telephony networks, but the benefits of user signaling and billing controls have attracted the endorsement and involvement of wireline network operators and standards makers.
IMS is only a part of such a system, as defined by 3GPP. The entire 3G system can be briefly summarized in five pieces:

1. The IMS, or SIP/SDP control plane, at the core.
2. The media and signal conversion layer wrapped around the core.
3. The embedded walled garden, defined by the applications or services the operator offers to its subscribers and the limits it also sets on their behavior and signaling.
4. The billing and back office function layer.
5. An array of network, systems management and operations tools.

IMS is a result of the telephony carriers growing interest (at 3GPP) in data applications, the Internet in general and the emerging wireless Internet in particular. IMS is part of a huge 3G gamble by the mobile telephony operators around the world, with assistance from traditional telephony vendors, to obtain control of the vast new Internet medium and monetize it.

TechTip adds about SIP:

SIP [Session Initiation Protocol] is the real-time communication protocol for VoIP [Voice over IP]. SIP has been expanded to support video and instant-messaging applications. SIP is designed to perform basic call-control tasks, such as session call set up and tear down and signaling for features such as call hold, caller ID, conferencing and call transferring.

“Presence” is an all-encompassing term used to describe reachability control over how, where, when and by whom they can be contacted (reached). Presence covers any concept such as “buddy lists” (desired contacts) or the means (wireless/wireline), device (pager, cell, PDA, TV, etc.) or media (voice, data, music, multi-media) and yet-to-be-defined means of communication.

Tomorrow: The Future

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