Oracle’s Thinking

ZDNet.com writes about Oracle’s world of packaged software:

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Oracle helmsman Larry Ellison said that he wanted to sell a complete software stack (with an operating system and applications), just like Microsoft. It’s the new notion of packaged softwareone stop shopping for enterprises. This kind of thinking is an extension of Ellison’s notion that enterprises want simplification (such as a single database of record), even in a more loosely coupled services-oriented world, and that ‘best of breed’ isn’t good enough to trump a packaged, pre-certified all-in-one solutions.

SaaS Myths

Business Week has an article by Jeffrey Kaplan:

Myth #1: SaaS is still relatively new and untested.
Salesforce.com has been in business over five years, has more than 399,000 subscribers at 20,500 companies worldwide, and is growing at about 80% a year. NetSuite has been in business eight years, and company officials say it has thousands of customers globally using its online applications.

The oldest and biggest SaaS purveyor? ADP (ADP) — the world’s largest payroll application outfit — has been in business for nearly 60 years, generated $8.5 billion in revenues last year, and served about 590,000 clients worldwide.

Mobile Commerce

WSJ writes about near-field communications:

In Japan, NTT DoCoMo offers a mobile-payments service that allows subscribers to make purchases at a convenience store or check into the airport by waving a cellphone. Some subscribers even have their apartments programmed where they can lock and unlock their doors with their handsets.

Mobile commerce is seen as a potential driver of revenue for the cellphone companies, who already are seeing an increase in their revenue from nonvoice services such as text messaging and music and ring-tone downloads. With mobile commerce, carriers could charge a fee for each transaction. The technology would run similar to the small “speed pass” gas cards.

Why Wikipedia Works

Alex Bosworth writes:

In communities, a precept of personal motivation to work within a community is often governed by a two stage reward system. The two stage reward system works thusly: All new entrants into the community gain small but satisfying rewards for basic participation, but fanatics claim the larger rewards through elite competition.

This principle exists online and in real life. Many people play chess, and find it a stimulating and rewarding game. However to the masters of chess, motivations revolve around competitive ranking levels among other players. In massively multiplayer online games, the end game is very different than the casual game, because a certain class of player will commit vast amounts of time to play and game designers anticipate this by structuring the end game around an obsessive and competitive style of play.

Wikipedia, like most other communities, shares in this same principle.

Newspapers in the New World

Tom Foremski writes:

Newspapers need to get away from thinking that their distribution mechanism (newsprint) defines them. The distinction between print and online has to go away.

News organizations should see themselves as content creators. Print and electronic media are the distribution channels for their news content.

And there is no sense in locking up the content by asking readers to pay for it because we live in a world that is one big scramble for attention. We’ve realized that in a world with 500 cable channels, a gazillion Internet channels (web sites) and our families, friends, boss, colleagues, (and our internal) clamor for our attention is huge.

That is why if I can get two minutes of your daily attention on Silicon Valley Watcher that is great. But there is a responsibility here. Attention is a scarce resource that is why I feel a responsibility to provide something of value because I am taking time away from your family, friends, boss, etc–all these very important people in your life.

TECH TALK: Father to Son: Your Mom and You

Dear Abhishek,

There are memories aplenty. What a year it has been. It has been your mummy who has nurtured you every minute of that year. Shes given up everything so she can always be with you. It is like time has stood still for her in the world outside. The months before you were born had been difficult she had morning sickness through her pregnancy. The first couple months after your birth were also not easy given the trouble you had feeding and sleeping. But all that is now a distant memory. You wake up in the morning and look around for your mother and even call out to her loud if you do not find her. Your best smiles and laughter are reserved for your mother. Even when you are playing on your own (which you do a lot of), every once in a while youll ask for your mom. It has been fascinating watching the mother-child relationship develop.

Your mother means everything to you. Shes always around you. Except perhaps that one night when she sneaked out with my aunt and saw the only movie shes seen in the past 18 months Pride and Prejudice. (I learnt later that it was her favourite book when she was younger. And I hadnt read it yet!) Watching your mother care for you and now teach you things is such a joy. She waited long for this, and went through a lot of pain and emotional downs before you were born. The last year has consigned all those earlier memories to faraway corners of the mind as she and you have built an incredible bond.

There are times when I envy her. She gets to be with you all day! But then when I see what you make her do all day, there are times when I am just glad to be in the office! You take half an hour to eat your breakfast, an hour to eat your lunch, then another half-hour to navigate through a late afternoon snack, and finally another hour for dinner. Shes incredibly patient and determined. She will follow you from one room to the other and make sure you eat every bite of the roti and rice. It is like a daily triumph for her to see an empty plate and your full tummy. I guess you too enjoy the game now.

Your mom hasnt had uninterrupted sleep for more than a few hours at any time in the past year. I guess all moms go through this. Even when you move at night, shes there to pat you back to sleep. (I have to admit here that I have slept well almost all the nights and have to be woken up by your mom in case I am needed!)

You are the twinkle in your moms eyes. And as you grow up, dont you ever forget the first year and what your mother has done for you. When we grow up, the first few years are not necessarily what we remember. I want to make sure you never ever forget that it was your mom who has been with you and made you into what you now are a healthy, bright, smiling one-year-old.

Tomorrow: You and Me

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