Google Commodifies Everything

Jeff Jarvis writes about the impact:

The leveling that the internet and Google enable is what makes it possible for a mere blogger to swim alongside Big Old Media.

But in that process, lets note that the unique identities, brands, qualifications, interests, relationships, and values we have as publishers, citizens, users, or marketers the very values the internet enables! are lost. Were commodified.

The real conclusion one should come to with this is that we are presented with new opportunities to find new definitions of brands and new ways to bring them to the surface and highlight them and find value in them.

I believe, for example, that there will be a need to put together trusted networks of distributed content for advertising.

Searchable Conversations

Charlene Li writes:

I was thinking the other day that one of the things you can do with VoIP is to record it, using shareware like SoundStudio to record them to your hard drive (look at all of the podcasting interviews being done over Skype). Once its on the hard drive, you could then run speech recognition against the file and create an index that can be searched by, yup, youve got it, Google Desktop Search.

Kinda spooky, isnt it. But think of the real-world applications, ranging from cheaper call center management (theres some software today that does this, like Witness Systems and VoiceLog), to eliminating the need to keep detailed notes from conference calls. My personal dream application: archiving all of my voicemails and being able to search through them, just like my emails.

$100 Laptop

The Economist writes:

The idea is as audacious as it altruistic: provide a personal laptop computer to every schoolchildparticularly in the poorest parts of the world. The first step to making that happen is whittling the price down to $100. And that is the goal of a group of American techno-gurus led by Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the fabled MIT Media Lab. When he unveiled the idea at the World Economic Forum in January it seemed wildly ambitious. But surprisingly, it is starting to become a reality. Mr Negroponte plans to display the first prototype in November at a UN summit. Five countriesChina, Brazil, Egypt, Thailand and South Africahave said they will buy over 1m units each. Production is due to start in late 2006.

How is the group, called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), able to create a laptop so inexpensively? It is mainly a matter of cleverly combining existing technologies in new ways. The laptop will have a basic processor made by AMD, flash memory instead of a hard disk, will be powered by batteries or a hand-crank, and will run open-source software. The $100 laptop also puts all the components behind the screen, not under the keyboard, so there is no need for an expensive hinge. So far, OLPC has got the price down to around $130.