The Future of RSS

Read/Write Web writes:

RSS usage has since spread beyond simple news delivery. Companies like, Flickr and YouTube added another dimension to RSS – i.e. they made it an integral part of the Social Web (social networking, photos, video, etc). Also Google built Google Base, its Craigslist competitor, entirely on RSS. Other companies too are beginning to extend RSS, sometimes with proprietary extensions.

In short, because of RSS ubiquity it is now a very attractive delivery medium for all kinds of content. However because the basic format is simple and primitive, there is no way to encode semantics without building an extension. So in this post, we look at RSS today and ask if RSS is evolving into a tool for delivering complex, semantically rich information.


Fortune writes:

For a while it was assumed that Google wanted to operate a vast wireless network itself as part of its global-domination plan. Looking at Meraki, it’s clear that so long as Google can help spread free Internet access – and get its lucrative search box in front of grateful users – it’s not so particular about who provides the service.

Meraki is a small but interesting vessel for Google’s ambitions. Founded a year ago, the company grew out of research into so-called wireless mesh technology at MIT by its three founders, led by Sanjit Biswas, Meraki’s 25-year-old president and CEO. Wireless mesh allows cheap routers, or repeaters, to form a network by connecting themselves to a high-speed Internet source like a cable modem or DSL line. Meraki sells a $50 router about the size of a bar of soap that allows its user to sponge off nearby connections.

Doubleclick’s Ad Exchange

The New York Times writes:

The new DoubleClick advertising exchange will bring Web publishers and advertising buyers together on a Web site where they can participate in auctions for ad space.

David Rosenblatt, the companys chief executive described the exchange as a mix of eBay and Sabre, the airline reservations system that travel agents use. The service will let advertisers see information about what competitors bid for particular ads, in the same way that eBay shows visitors past bids. And it will let publishers try to ensure that they sell their ad spots at the highest possible price, the way that airlines try to do with the seats they sell.

Mobile Ecosystem

MocoNews has a commentary by Ely Ousmane Fall: “Isnt it 2007? You would think that by this time it would be common to use your cellphone to pay for your parking tickets or groceries or to start your car before leaving the office etc The possibilities are endless. The first purpose of a mobile phone was to communicate freely, regardless of your location, with humans. Now the purpose extends to communicating with our environment. In India, some users even send daily prayers to their temple by SMS. Now the purpose of mobility is to make your lifestyle easier and integrate with most of your repetitive activities…So what is slowing the evolution from Human Only to Environment Also?”

Video and Mobile Search

SearchEngineWatch writes about a recent conference:

The buzz around video throughout the marketplace has largely been driven by the awareness and popularity that YouTube has brought to the medium. But this has more recently reached a local level, with an ecosystem that is beginning to form around the production and automated distribution of video advertising for small businesses.

The challenge [in mobile search] will be pushing out mobile local search applications given the fragmentation of mobile services, and the carrier control present in the US mobile market that makes it difficult for mobile search providers to get applications in front of consumers.

TECH TALK: Creating Indias New Cities: Think Big

By Atanu Dey

There is something in the nature of the world that it is sometimes paradoxically more difficult to make small changes than to make big ones. Logically consistent big changes are more likely to succeed because of the interconnectedness of the world.

At times, big changes are forced on the system from external shocks which make the transition unavoidable because the old order is destroyed. It is suggested that around sixty-five million years ago, the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction (referred to as the K-T event) where 70 percent of all living species disappeared was the result of an external shock which was delivered by a 10-km diameter chondritic asteroid slamming into the earth. That extinction destroyed the dinosaurs but cleared the land for the rise of the mammals we belong to that class. Less dramatically but more palpably, India was forced to liberalize its economy when the external shock to the system arrived in the form of an external balance of payment crisis.

India is unlikely to face an exogenous shock to the system large enough to force it to build the cities that it needs for the hundreds of millions who are currently trapped in villages. The existing cities are dying and although the situation within them is dire and unbearable, it is the result of continuous adjustment to gradually worsening conditions over a sufficiently long period. These cities will not collapse in the next few years but if if present trends continue, in a decade or so, they will be dead. It is better to consider alternative plans now rather than when the collapse eventually happens.

In this series on the need for the urbanization of India’s population, I have explored the idea of deliberately building new well-planned efficient beautiful livable cities. I am convinced that it is possible to do so even in the face of the obvious challenges that such a gigantic undertaking would entail. I believe that the resources that are required will be created during the process of building the cities.

Cities generate wealth. That is, they produce stuff. That wealth itself can be used to produce the cities that generate even more wealth. With only a relatively little amount of resources but with a lot of gumption, one can start a process a self-catalytic process which can most certainly engage the considerable talents and resources of the country. Like the vision which impelled a nation to seek political freedom, the time is high that a bold vision was outlined for the nation for economic freedom. It is time to think big because the Indian people have what it takes to make a big vision a reality. We have done it in the past over two and a half thousand years ago with cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-daro.

I conclude with the words of a great visionary and urban planner, Daniel Burnham (1846 1912).

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.

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