News Aggregators

Tom Foremski writes:

Google News and the other news aggregators take the best part of the news and leave behind the least valuable. They take the distillation of the news–it’s most valuable essence.

when Google News, or any other news aggregators take and publish the headline and the first paragraph, sometime the second para too–they are taking the very best part of the news–and leaving the second best a click-away. And most readers get enough from the headline and first paragraph and don’t click through to the original story and site of origin.

The essence of news stories is copied and whisked away by the spiderbots, which offer the promise of return traffic. But that is not a fair exchange, imho.

Mobile 2.0 and Web 2.0

Oliver Starr writes that Mobile 2.0 is not Web 2.0.

Whereas Mobile Web 2.0 is all about the advanced capabilities associated with a specific subset of systems within a mobile device and particularly centered around some kind of web enabled interface Mobile 2.0 is more about the entirety of the device and its myriad and highly differentiated possibilities for interaction with the end user. In a nutshell, Mobile 2.0 is the superset of life altering functionality conveyed by a functioning mobile phone to that phones owner.

Mobile 2.0 is not device dependent. There is no measuring stick of functionality that is a determinant as to whether or not a mobile phone is or is not a Mobile 2.0 device. All functioning phones today are Mobile 2.0. It isnt what the phone does, so much as what is being done with the phone that has lead us to Mobile 2.0. This definition has the advantage of extensibility – a developing country experiences Mobile 2.0 by virtue of the changing socio economic status of those that own phones. In Japan or Korea Mobile 2.0 can be seen in the development of entirely new forms of entertainment oriented content for display on mobile devices and in the US we can see the birth of Mobile 2.0 in the roll-out of presence enabled services and phone-based navigational services.

Events and Objects

Ramesh Jain writes:

It appears to me that events may offer a concept to develop dynamic cyberworld as objects have been for the current cyberworld. Yes, event is a fuzzy concept and has multiple interpretations depending on the context; very similar to the concept object. Objects can be defined differently based on the context. Object become a lot more concrete when defined using implementation orientation approaches, or representations, in computer science or programming methods. The important thing is that some basic concepts defined around objects allowed us to represent interesting objects and concepts in different concepts in a reasonably unified way. What appears on surface ambiguity, becomes flexibility. And the same can be done with events. The difficulty we face in defining events, can be converted easily to the virtue of flexibility of representational approach.

Currently, events mean different things in different areas of computer science. By developing concrete event models and trying to apply it to different applications, one day we may be able to develop events into a basic concept for dynamic cyberworld. I believe that time has come to start making efforts to deal with dynamic cyberworld differently from static cyberworld. That will also help the static cyberworld by clearly identifying its strengths and limitations. We are taking a step in this direction in our own research.

Simplifying Desktop Management

InfoWorld has a special report. “Thin clients without internal storage or software can replace full-on PCs. That approach pushes all the patching, user-configuration, security and other management tasks upstream to server-savvy technicians in the datacenter. Thin clients cost somewhat less than PCs, but the real savings come in reducing the number of systems that need the human touch. When someones thin client fails, you just plug in a replacement and theyre back to work, because the productivity software, OS settings, and authentication all live on the server. Plus, renegade users cant download spyware-infected games or smuggle out a corporate database on a thumb drive.”

TECH TALK: India Internet and Mobile: Role of Venture Capital

What is the role venture capital can play in addressing these challenges?

Venture capital in India has to be thought about a little differently from that in developed economies. India lacks not just the ecosystem of seed (and angel) funding, but also a large base of first-generation entrepreneurs and education-industry interaction. In addition, the value chain of entities required to capitalise on the new world being created is also not there. So, how can venture capitalists help build out the Indian Internet and mobile businesses?

The focus in India has to be not just on identifying smart entrepreneurs, but on complementing them with experienced operational teams. In fact, I would go to the extent of saying that given that the Internet space in India is so underdeveloped, it makes sense to just identify people who can be CEOs of companies and give them the capital to build our the business. These people are not necessarily looking to leave their current positions as part of India Incs middle and senior management. They have to be encouraged to leave for the opportunity to build out businesses from scratch. The downside risk financially is limited. The upside can be large. What is needed is a mindset shift from working in a large company to building one from scratch.

I am suggesting this approach because Indias young entrepreneurs have limited operational experience. Passion is important and it will get a venture started. But the ability to execute is even more critical. Only a handful of companies succeed. The difference is not just in the passion of the founding team but in the way the companies execute and meet challenges. Given a couple of ventures, the entrepreneurs will learn the tricks of the trade. But time is at a premium. We have in India the opportunity to build the next Internet and mobile giants for billions like us across emerging markets. India is only the first market.

Being able to combine a passionate founding team with an experienced CEO who can build an execution machine early on will help in creating companies that are built to last (rather than built to flip). To these teams, venture capitalists should give plenty of capital frontloading the venture, rather than giving small amounts of money based on milestones. This approach helps the teams to think long-term and big, rather than focus on short-term goals. It is like building all the elements of a Disneyland together, rather than just building one or two of them.

Tomorrow: Role of Venture Capital (continued)

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