PayPal Mobile

Carlo Longino writes:

The problem with PayPal is that by trying to be more than just a payment mechanism, theyre adding complexity in to payments. Their separate accounts and systems adds in an additional layer between users credit cards and bank accounts and the people theyre trying to pay. Thats why paying via reverse billing is so popular with consumers its incredibly easy. No new account, no extra bill, they just pay.

The breakthrough this market is waiting for isnt PayPal sorry, folks at least not in this incantation. Its still a touchless IC platform that supports both physical and online purchases. Whats holding back mobile payments currently, for the most part, is that operator revenue share.

City Wi-Fi Networks

WSJ writes:

Cities and small localities across the country have started offering their residents cheap or even free access to the Internet either because their areas aren’t reached by regional telecom providers or because the available offerings in their areas are too pricey.

More than 50 municipalities around the country have already built such systems, and a similar number are at some stage in the process, including Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston, according to Esme Vos, founder of the Web site www.muniwireless.com, which tracks such projects nationally. By 2010, ABI Research forecasts a $1.2 billion market for the wireless technology used in the city systems.

Tellme’s Success

Business Week writes:

Tellme’s software and network help users search for information via wireline and wireless phones. Its technology powers automated voice-directory assistance on more than 1 billion calls a year placed via the wireless networks operated by Verizon (VZ) and Cingular.

Tellme’s speech-recognition technology helps E*Trade (ET) customers navigate voice menus for stock quotes and automates American Airlines baggage claims. Want ringtones? Movie tickets? Tellme helps you do that too — all over the phone. Tellme “has matured and demonstrated its ability to handle large accounts successfully,” says Forrester Research analyst Elizabeth Herrell.

World Wide Event Web

Ramesh Jain elaborates on the themes we are building on in SEraja:

Visualize a web in which each node represents an event. This event could be an old event, may be live at this time, or a future event. Also, this event is not only someones description of the event or some statistics related to it. It is the event, brought to you by one or more cameras, microphones, infrared sensors, or any other technology that lets you experience the event. Of course it could also be text reports or previews of the event. For each event, all the data and information from sensors, documents, and other sources is united and available to the user independent of the media. The user then experiences the preferred parts of a particular event in the preferred medium.

In this vision, following true Web philosophy, all events are treated equally. The archived video of a News event, such as President Bush announcing the start of the War against Terror, is accessible in the same way as your sons first soccer game. The source can be anything from CNN to a local elementary school in Tibuktu whatever or whoever generates an event and considers it worth hosting on the Web will be able to do that. We believe that this EventWeb will be of great interest to current web users for many applications. Many sporting events, meetings, lectures, concerts, and numerous other events that are currently captured using only a few photos and sparse text pages, will use rich media and provide rich experience to users. If you see how fast poscasting is progressing, then you know that the mobile camera is likely to become a rich source of eventcasting in a few years. We see the beginning of this vision already. Sensors are now being connected to form networks for various Internet applications. And Webcams are putting live experiences from a sushi bar in San Francisco to an ant colony in Lansing, Michigan. In short, we are witnessing the beginnings of the EventWeb, just as about a decade ago we saw the DocumentWeb emerge.

TECH TALK: A Presentation at PC Forum: The Pitch

Monday came and I was ready. At about 11 am, all the fourteen speakers gathered on stage. Christina called them up one by one. As I waited, the heart beat faster. As I heard the others, the importance of the practice done the previous day became all too clear. A two-minute pitch is so much harder to do than just talking for, say, ten or fifteen minutes. You have to grab the audiences attention in those two minutes. I had chosen to do it with the magic of words rather than PowerPoint.

When my turn came, I walked up to the podium, with the Nova netPC and a printout of my speech in hand. I had asked Jezra the previous day if I could have a printed copy with me I did not want to repeat what I did in school as a teenager! She had said, absolutely fine. As it turned out, I did not need it much. With a heart beating faster and faster, the words flowed with passion and confidence. When I was done, I realised I had made the pitch well and Jezra agreed whole-heartedly! It was the practice and hard work of the previous day which had made for a successful pitch.

Later that afternoon, I did the longer presentation. I had also worked hard on getting the flow right. I did not work too much on the delivery, which I realised I should have. But, overall, it went off fine. Talking for tens of minutes is so much easier. I had about 40-odd people in the audience and fielded questions through the presentation. All in all, I think it went well. It was a wonderful personal experience for me one which I will remember for a long time to come.

Here is the two-minute pitch that I did:

This story begins thirty years ago, with four Americans. Bill had a vision of a computer on every desk and in every home. He worked hard with Andy to make that a reality. Today, with 750 million computers, theyve reached 10% of the world. No mean achievement, but what about the rest of the world?

Meanwhile, Scott and Larry had the idea of network computing on the emerging Internet. But they were a decade too early, and focused on the wrong markets.

A couple years ago, a professor from India (Ashok), a dotcom entrepreneur (myself), an auto industry executive (Alok) and a chip maven from the U.S. (Ray) came together to take computing to the other 90% of the world. And thus, Novatium was born.

Our focus would be on the next billion users in the emerging markets. We would provide a desktop-like experience to run all existing Windows and Linux applications. Our business model would be based on the great success story of the past five years, the mobile phone industry. This meant, $100 for the network computer… and the complete computing, connectivity and applications bundle for $10 a month.

We started by building the hundred dollar network computer. What you see in my hand is that computerthe Nova NetPC.

At 2:15 this afternoon, I will demonstrate the Nova NetPC… and tell you how Novatium is taking it to the worlds next billion users.

So, be there!

Here is a copy of the presentation (PDF 385 KB; PPT 562 KB) that I did later that afternoon.

I may not meet Jezra again, considering she lives in New York and I in Mumbai. But the lessons learnt during the few hours she spent coaching me will last a lifetime. All I can say is: Thank You, Jezra. Youve helped me grow. And to Esther and Christina too, Id like to say what a delight it was to be a PC Forum. It has to be one of the highlights of my life. Novatium is off to a good start, but we have a long road ahead. As we start our journey to take computing to the next billion users in the world, I will look back one day knowing that those couple days in Carlsbad and the trio of Esther, Christina and Jezra will have played an important part in making the future happen.

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