News Online

The New York Times writes:

A new research paper seeks to answer a riddle for publishers, editors and even readers: when does new news become old news?

In the case of a news article on the Internet, the answer is surprisingly long: 36 hours on average, according to the paper, The Dynamics of Information Access on the Web, which appeared in the June issue of Physical Review E, the journal of the American Physical Society.

More precisely, 36 hours is the amount of time it takes for half of the total readership of an article to have read it, the paper found. The physicist who led the research, Albert-Lszl Barabsi of the University of Notre Dame, said that the papers conclusion should give journalists hope, even in the era of instant news.

Co-operatives

Strategy+Business writes:

The membership-based governance structure of a cooperative is the feature that distinguishes it from an ordinary corporation and the feature that lies at the core of its success. The organization is run by its members: one person, one vote. Members elect representatives, who are directly accountable to the members. Depending on the internal structure and operations of a particular cooperative, members may also participate actively in making decisions and setting policy. Some cooperatives admit individuals, typically either employees or customers, as members. Other cooperatives are composed of smaller businesses and organizations. Rabobank and COOP are examples of both; they are consortia of local cooperatives that in turn have individual members.

Although the companies that make up a co-op may see profits, in most countries, the co-ops charter requires that profits be put toward the co-ops promotion or invested in its growth and functioning, not taken as dividends. In general, co-ops are more financially successful than observers may realize, but their real value comes from their ability to keep alive the social contract of communities. They are set up to ensure the continued viability of jobs, promote entrepreneurship, and improve quality of life without sacrificing competitiveness. Co-ops could be an even more powerful economic force for communities and for economic regions during the coming years.

Broadband Video Challenges

Mark Cuban discusses the various challenges. Among them: Bandwidth.

DVd quality at 1mbs is fine today, but have you noticed you cant do live consistently for any size audience at even this minimum bandwidth level ?

If someday the internet can support live delivery of 1mbs unicast streams, the cost will be prohibitive (every live stream requires a direct stream from source to end viewer), It adds up very fast. 1 stream per person. X number of streams per server. All the routing and internal backbone equipment to get it on the net. All the monitoring equipment to make sure it gets to the viewer in some semblance of decent quality. All the people to make sure that all works. Thats big bandwidth and overhead and hosting costs. Which is why 350k simultaneous streams at 300k quality for march madness and a concert were considered huge events in 2006. Every single incremental user for a 300k stream of a 2 hour event can cost more than $1 PER USER. (Dont think so ? call a broadband video provider and ask them how much they will charge to stream a live 300k stream to 350k simultaneous viewers with TV level quality of service).

GData

[via Vinu] Nat writes:

I had a great lunch with Chris DiBona and Mark Lukovsky at Google. There’s a huge move within Google away from SOAP and even REST-style ad hoc APIs and towards GData instead. The big point for me was that GData is just Atom/RSS for reading, Atom Publishing for writing, and A9 stored queries for searching. They had to specify a bit of glue around sync and so on, but the whole thing is that simple.

The big thing about GData for Google is that it’s extremely simple to build into the server-side, so they can offer APIs very easily. This is important as they offer APIs for lots and lots of new stuff.

River of News vs Folders

Nick Bradbury discusses the two approaches: “While I believe the river of news approach is a great way to quickly scan for interesting articles, I agree with Chip Camden that it’s often more useful to group new articles by their source feed. I need to put each article into context, so a steady stream of articles from different sources doesn’t work for me.”

TECH TALK: Video on the Internet: The Indian Opportunity

Business World wrote recently about the various IPTV services being launched this year in India: Reliance, Bharti, BSNL, MTNL and HFCL Infotel are spending a lot of money to find the answer to a tricky question. What will make you buy television signals from their existing phone lines instead of your traditional cable or DTH (direct-to-home) operator? To find the answer, pilot projects have been launched across the country to test various permutations and combinations of price, technology and content. Sometime this July, MTNL will become the first to launch Internet protocol television (IPTV) service (See How IPTV Stacks Up Against The Others). By the end of the year, other telecom operators will follow. And early in 2007, the Andhra Pradesh and Goa governments will launch broadband projects that include IPTV.

The article also provides a wider context:

DTH has already stolen some of IPTVs thunder. Think about the IPTV differentiators the ability to offer TV on demand, telephony and Internet. DTH already offers TV on demand and consumers have taken to it. Since its launch in 2003, DTH has hit over 4 million homes going by the numbers that Zees Dish TV and DD Direct+ provide. Traditional cable operators like Siti Cable are offering boxes that will continue providing video through the cable wire and other services through an IP or broadband wire. Others like Hathway have had modest success with digital set-top boxes and are offering broadband Internet access.

Why, then, would you buy an IPTV service? IPTV operators answer: triple play HFCL will offer a package deal at Rs 699 a month an IPTV connection, 100 free calls and 500 MB of free data download at 512 kbps. MTNL, on the other hand, will offer two packages a bundled service as well as a pay as you use package.

There is a lot of friction between content owners (broadcasters, music companies or film firms) and telecom companies over the money the latter make from selling these to subscribers. Telcos have simply bulldozed content companies to retain 70 per cent of the revenues against the international norm of about 30 per cent.

Rajshri Media, a company I have invested in, is planning to offer video content over broadband networks in India and internationally. The same issue of Business World carried a preview of the plans: Rajshriis looking at the four screens that dominate our lives the TV, cinema, the PC and the mobile phone and ways to make money from themRajshri is focusing on content across these screens, plus that of the iPodsThe companys new digital media arm, Rajshri Media, has made some bold moves. It now has the Internet and telecom rights to 300 films (including 90 from its own library). Blockbusters like Amar Akbar Anthony, Kashmir Ki Kali or Anari are now available for downloads from the portals of 10 major telecom operators and two mobile aggregators (Indiatimes.com and mauj.com). Although Rajshri has the rights to the entire film, only clips lasting 30-40 seconds can be downloaded because of bandwith limitations. Rajshri also owns the rights to Mahabharata, Baba Ramdevs yoga programmes, Oshos discourses and Barbie movies. In the next three months, the group aims to have its own broadband portal with all these available online.

Tomorrow: A Personal View

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