Personal Computing Future

Mark Cuban writes:

Google is in a unique position with their datacenters and infrastructure to dominate thin client computing and everything they are doing seems to point in that direction.

If you arent famliar with Virtual Machines, you need to be.

Virtual Machines are exactly what they seem to be. The ability to create a virtual computer on which any and all personal computer applications (as well as higher end apps) can reside. VMs are more ideally suited for applications that dont chew up alot of bandwidth, which is why the seperation of multimedia applications to consoles is critical to VMs becoming popular.

If the heavy bandwidth apps are on gaming consoles, then why wouldnt consumers just connect to the net and use Google Office apps, or MicroSoft Live Office Apps, or any other provider of online apps ?

Which is exactly what I think Google is trying to accomplish in the future.

Computing Demand

Nicholas Carr writes about a presentation by Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos:

Papadopoulos shows that the traditional big driver of computing demand – basic business computing – has lost its force. The growth in computing power through Moore’s Law now far outstrips the growth in demand from traditional business computing. That means, in essence, that businesses will need far fewer computers in the future to fulfill their demand – a fact already manifesting itself in IT departments’ emphasis on server consolidation and virtualization. The big opportunity here is simply to improve your utilization of existing capacity.

But, argues Papadopoulos, there are three new drivers of computing demand that far outstrip the expansion in supply guaranteed by Moore’s Law:

1. Rich multimedia content delivered through the broadband Internet (think YouTube and VOIP).

2. High-performance supercomputing (think weather modeling and drug development).

3. Software as a service (think Salesforce.com, Webex and Office Live).

In combination, these three sources will produce an exponential leap in demand for computing – Papadopoulos calls it the “Redshift” – that will far outstrip the increase in supply produced by Moore’s Law alone.

Search vs Relational Databases

From The FASTForward Blog:

At Merrill Lynch, a single search and discovery portal was employed to replace SQL-based queries to multiple silos of data across various units and services across the globe. SQL was not ideal for searching it was too slow, said Zach Friedland, vice president of enterprise data solutions for Merrill Lynch. The firms EDS Search portal (for Enterprise Data Solutions) links against messaging across the enterprise. We have no data warehouse at all here, since were processing the same messages that we use to send to our systems, he said. Friedlands team did, however, build a data warehouse off of the navigators used for the search and discovery portal. We built a warehouse off of the search engine, which is the reverse of the way its usually done. he said.

Is the traditional relational database dead, then? No, said INGs Longo. Not for companies with lots of legacy systems.

India Superpower?

Fortune writes: “ndia should put aside pride about its growing economy and concentrate on improving the lives of average citizens.”

India is not a superpower, and in fact, that is probably the wrong ambition for it, anyway. Why? Let me answer in the form of some statistics.

* 47 percent of Indian children under the age of five are either malnourished or stunted.
* The adult literacy rate is 61 percent (behind Rwanda and barely ahead of Sudan). Even this is probably overstated, as people are deemed literate who can do little more than sign their name.
* Only 10 percent of the entire Indian labor force works in the formal economy; of these fewer than half are in the private sector.
* The enrollment of six-to-15-year-olds in school has actually declined in the last year. About 40 million children who are supposed to be in school are not.
* About a fifth of the population is chronically hungry; about half of the world’s hungry live in India.
* More than a quarter of the India population lives on less than a dollar a day.
* India has more people with HIV than any other country.

(Sources: UNDP, Unicef, World Food Program; Edward Luce)

You get the idea.

Geography Matters for Innovation

The New York Times writes:

Googles astonishing rise and Apples reinvention are reminders that, when it comes to great ideas, location is crucial. Face-to-face is still very important for exchange of ideas, and nowhere is this exchange more valuable than in Silicon Valley, says Paul M. Romer, a professor in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford who is known for studying the economics of ideas.

In short, geography matters, Professor Romer said. Give birth to an information-technology idea in Silicon Valley and the chances of success seem vastly higher than when it is done in another ZIP code.

TECH TALK: A Tale of Two Covers: Time

Last week, one of the companies I co-founded, Novatium, was the subject of a Newsweek cover. It is not often that a two-year-old company makes it to the cover of one of the most respected and largest international news magazines. This is the second time in my life that something I have done has been the subject of a cover story. In March 2000, Time’s Asia edition had a cover story on the dotcom boom and featured me as one of the six dotcom entrepreneurs. Here is an excerpt from what Time wrote in a story entitled: the sellout [dot] com AN INDIAN PORTAL TURNS INTO A QUICK CONVERSION TO CASH:

Rajesh Jain made one of India’s biggest business deals of 1999–and ran. Before the score that netted him $115 million, Jain, 32, operated a website known as IndiaWorld, which posted local news and sports scores, primarily for Indians living overseas. His 20 staff members were squeezed into a 970-sq-ft. warren in downtown Bombay. Profits were minimal. But last fall Jain hit a cosmic payday when he sold his portal company, IndiaWorld Communications, to Satyam Infoway, an Indian Internet service provider listed on NASDAQ. The $115 million deal–one of the biggest Internet transactions involving two Asian companies–gave Jain instant celebrity, a whopping bank account and a desire to leave the Internet rat race, at least for a while, to enjoy his winnings.

Jain taught Asia what Silicon Valley has known for a long time: though going public is a fabulous way to cash in on the Internet, selling out to someone else can be a sure-fire moneymaker too. Satyam Infoway wanted content popular with overseas Indians to complement its own domestically oriented portal. IndiaWorld was pulling most of its 13 million monthly page views from outside the country. Jain got an unusual windfall because Satyam Infoway is paying the entire purchase price in cash, not in stock, which is more typical in such deals. His initial investment was $50,000.

The first two years [after starting IndiaWorld in 1994] were spent persuading advertisers to take a flyer. Typically, IndiaWorld managed to grow handily in terms of hits while its profit last year was an imperceptible $58,000. But IndiaWorld earned buzz, and Jain suddenly found himself courted by angel investors, foreign venture capitalists and banks eager to lend. In the end, he decided to get out of the game entirely by selling to Satyam Infoway, one of the largest Internet service providers in India, which doesn’t allow foreign competition in the field. “We already have a substantial audience in India,” says chief executive R. Ramaraj, “and with IndiaWorld, we have acquired an India-interest audience globally.”

Tomorrow: Interviews