Google Base, Vertical Search and RSS

Bill Burnham writes that the combination means the death of walled gardens:

Much like the delusional King in the Holy Grail, many of the Internets biggest and most profitable Walled Gardens, sites such as,,, and even EBay, appear to be in denial about the ultimate destiny of their sites, which is, that they are bound to be subsumed by the larger Internet.

With Google Base fully in place (and ultimately similar services from Yahoo, Microsoft, and Amazon), why in world would anyone pay to have their listings displayed or pay to have to access to a database of listings? After all, if you publish the listing on your own site Google will automatically index it and then list it within Google Base within the next few days and if you want to make sure they get it immediately, you can just submit if directly to Google Base or register your RSS feed with them (a feature I’ll bet they are likely to add). Instead of charging you (or its end users) for the privilege, Google will make money off of the advertising it sells around the listings. Perhaps you may even be able to pay a fee to have your particular listing advertised in a preferential position.

Mobile Social Software and Wi-Fi

Rudy De Waele writes:

Technically speaking, MoSoSo is radius and proximity based software. Untechnically speaking, it finds like-minded people around you instantly. The problem with MoSoSos is that they’re not really out there yet as they should. To get accurate location data, the preferred method is GPS -but concerns about privacy and costs have kept operators to give this sensible location information out hands to some possible competitors or adventurous third-party start-ups.

Plazes is an easy to use web service that lets you articulate some basic info about internet access points wired and wireless, public and private in your area. Stefan and Felix were smart opening their API quickly integrating with new services such as Flickr, Skype, Jabber, TypePad, Yahoo, Google,, and Outlook.

Cisco Bets on Web Video

WSJ writes:

Mr. Chambers predicts the demands of video will transform the Internet over the next decade. Network traffic should increase fourfold to sixfold annually, instead of the 100%-a-year gains now seen in the U.S. and Europe, he says. Beyond the heavy traffic is the technical challenge of moving video, Mr. Chambers says. “Making work is really, really, really difficult.”

Scientific-Atlanta’s products help Cisco expand its offerings by bringing it closer to the consumer market for movies and other videos. The set-top box becomes a valuable piece of real estate as video becomes more widespread, Mr. Chambers says.

Cisco’s recent $61 million purchase of Kiss Technology AS, a Danish consumer-electronics company, was in anticipation of a push into video like the one with Scientific-Atlanta. Kiss “may have been one of the most aggressive moves we made,” says Mr. Chambers.

Kiss makes an Internet-connected device for the European market that can play DVDs on television sets, play Internet radio and download weather reports, stock quotes, and other video. Cisco says it is preparing to roll out new products for the European market from the acquisition. They include a new DVD player with an internal hard-disk drive for storing video downloaded from the Web.

Mobility and Cable Operators

Barron’s writes:

As early as next year, cellular voice providers such as Verizon Wireless will offer phones that transmit not only voice and Internet connections, but broadcast television programs.

Cable customers can’t use all three services while they are walking around — a so-called quadruple play. Cable companies still don’t even offer wireless voice communications.

That may force operators like Comcast and Time Warner to spend money on building wireless networks or taking major stakes in wireless operators, such as Sprint Nextel, which could hurt their profits and cash flow.

TECH TALK: The Best of 2005: Chindia

12. Business Week

India has been the flavour of the year even as China consolidates its economic power. 2005 saw a steady stream of investment announcements through the year as businesses see the potential of the market within. Business Week marked the shift in the balance of power to the East with a series of stories in August. It wrote in its lead story:

China and India. Rarely has the economic ascent of two still relatively poor nations been watched with such a mixture of awe, opportunism, and trepidation. The postwar era witnessed economic miracles in Japan and South Korea. But neither was populous enough to power worldwide growth or change the game in a complete spectrum of industries. China and India, by contrast, possess the weight and dynamism to transform the 21st-century global economy. The closest parallel to their emergence is the saga of 19th-century America, a huge continental economy with a young, driven workforce that grabbed the lead in agriculture, apparel, and the high technologies of the era, such as steam engines, the telegraph, and electric lights.

What makes the two giants especially powerful is that they complement each other’s strengths. An accelerating trend is that technical and managerial skills in both China and India are becoming more important than cheap assembly labor. China will stay dominant in mass manufacturing, and is one of the few nations building multibillion-dollar electronics and heavy industrial plants. India is a rising power in software, design, services, and precision industry. This raises a provocative question: What if the two nations merge into one giant “Chindia?” Rival political and economic ambitions make that unlikely. But if their industries truly collaborate, “they would take over the world tech industry,” predicts Forrester Research Inc. analyst Navi Radjou.

13. Fortune

Fortune, too, had a series of stories of India in a recent issue. It wrote in its November 4 issue: India, by contrast, is the global economy’s idiot savant. It excels at the impossible, turning out hundreds of thousands of brilliant engineers a year. Its software houses manage complex data across thousands of miles of undersea cable for the world’s most sophisticated clients. India has world-class business leaders and, unlike China, solvent banks. And yet India flubs the obvious stuff. The national roadway network is a shambles and the power grid even worse. Nearly a third of India’s populationand more than half its womencan’t read or write. India has moved grudgingly to lower tariffs and balked at turning money-losing state-owned enterprises over to the private sector. Red tape and corruption discourage foreign investment, as do restrictions on how firms deploy workers.

14. Stephen Roach

Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley captured the essence of the India success story in an October newsletter: India is on the cusp of something big. After my third trip there in 18 months, I am as enthusiastic about India as I was about China in the late 1990s. While comparisons with China are inevitable, the case for India is very different. What excites me the most is the potential for an increasingly powerful internal consumption dynamic — an ingredient sorely missing in most other Asian development models, including China. Indias constraints — infrastructure, saving, foreign direct investment, and politics — are well known. Yet on this trip, I saw visible progress on most of those fronts. Moreover, the consumption story — the organic sustenance of sustainable growth and development — casts India in a very different light Dont get me wrong — the Indian consumer is hardly a powerful force on todays global stage. As the accompanying chart shows, Indias per capita income and consumption levels are about half those of Chinas. But it is growth at the margin that always drives powerful macro and market trends. And the Indian consumption story is, first and foremost, one of accelerating growth off a low base.

Tomorrow: Entrepreneurship and Management

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