Inside Amazon’s EC2

ZDNet (Dan Farber) writes:

Call it “utility computing” or “Web-scale computing” or “on-demand infrastructure.” Whatever the case, Amazon is hoping that its new EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloudwhy not just S4?) Web service (in the larger sense, as both an interface and an on demand platform) will turn into a big business. In effect, Amazon is leveraging its massive infrastructure investment, providing it as a publically facing service for a variety of applications, first with S3 and now adding the server component.

I talked to Peter Desantis, director of EC2 about the target market for the service. “EC2 is aimed at developerseveryone from the developer in a dorm room rapid prototyping and wanting access to highly scalable computing capacity to see if an algorithm scales to 1,000 node to the fledgling startup without capital to pre-buy capacity for a spike that may happen or the established company looking for a novel way to increase flexibility of using computation or storage and to reduce cost,” he said.

Fortune on MySpace

Fortune writes:

MySpace is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. For those who haven’t logged on, the site is the online equivalent of your high school lunchroom, your college quad, your favorite bar. Except it doesn’t sell much of anything, at least not yet. It’s simply a place to hang out and express yourself. The users, the hardest core being teens and twentysomethings, post profiles and decorate them with photos, music, videoclips, blogs, and links. The site is home to 2.2 million bands, 8,000 comedians, thousands of filmmakers, and millions of striving, attention-starved wannabes – 100 million, actually. MySpace passed that number of registered users in early August, and on a typical day, it signs up 230,000 – roughly the population of Scottsdale. A year ago it passed Google in terms of traffic, and now MySpace ranks second to Yahoo in page views, with one billion daily, according to comScore Media Metrix. While there are hundreds of “social-networking” sites – Facebook, Friendster, Xanga, Bebo, Cyworld, to name a few – MySpace, the most risqu and chaotic of the majors, accounts for 82% of traffic in the category, according to Hitwise, a leading Web site tracker.

Education in India

Ramesh Jain writes: “The higher education system can not grow without the elementry education system. India needs education system for masses at every level. India does have excellent Institutions for higher as well as early education, but they are all only for a small fraction of population. It will be great if the current momentum takes India to build the infrastructure, including education infrastructure, in India.”

Sony and Grouper

Bob Cringely writes about Sony’s acquisition of video-sharing site, Grouper:

Grouper has 1-2 percent of the video sharing market, so it isn’t like Sony is making some grab for market share like Rupert Murdoch did buying MySpace. Sony is actually doing something a lot smarter than Murdoch: the studio is buying market research.

Something is wrong with the movie business. Its core market of boys and young men have stopped going to the movies and are, instead, surfing, texting, SMSing, gaming, and making and watching these stupid videos. Time and money previously spent at the multiplex is being spent at home and online and Hollywood is hurting as a result — hurting not just because of revenue and profit shortfalls, but because the industry no longer has confidence that it knows for sure what its core market wants to see on-screen.

Sony is trying to join the enemy. For very little cost, Grouper will help them see what works and what doesn’t in this new medium. Grouper can be used to promote Sony properties and, if a real business model emerges, even to sell those properties in some form.

TECH TALK: The Now-New-Near Web: Introduction

One of the ideas I had discussed in my previous Tech Talk on the mobile Internet was about the Incremental Web, or what I had described as now, new and near. In this series, I want to elaborate on that because I believe that this Web is fundamentally different from the one we have. It is a Web which will come into being in emerging markets like India where the legacy isnt that deeply embedded.

Take a look around some of the hoardings in Mumbai and you will see ads from two Internet companies Rediff and Yahoo. Both have a common theme email. What struck me as amazing is that after more than 11 years of the Internet in India, the two leading portals are fighting a battle around email. Thats how frozen in time we have become!

On the other hand, many entrepreneurs in India are a few steps ahead of the pack. The buzz is around Web 2.0. In a country where Web 1.0 hasnt become part of peoples lives, we are already talking social networking, user-generated content and the like. One key facet is forgotten amidst the hoopla about the 40 million Indians on the Internet that for most of them access to the Internet is limited to barely a few minutes a day. Or, put another way, since cybercafes are the way most Indians access the Internet, they spend time every few days on the Internet. The reality remains that the Internet is still not central to the lives of Indians.

My belief is that the Web that we have come to see around us is mostly built around reference, global information. The Web that is to become relevant to the lives of Indians needs to be focused on the now, new and near. I think of this as the N3 Web.

Here is a small excerpt from what I wrote recently: Think of the reference web as the one that has already been created for the PC world and for which Google has become the window. This web has been created for the big screen of the PC. The incremental web is about the present and future it is the real-time web. This is the web which will be increasingly built more for mobiles because it is a device through which access can happen anytime and from anywhere. Suddenly, it makes sense to create real-time information because there are users with two-way devices which can access this information with near-zero latency. I think of the incremental web as being about now, near, new.

The N3 Web is a web that will be available primarily via mobiles. It is a Web that doesnt exist. It is a Web that has to be built.

Tomorrow: Reference and Incremental Webs

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