Ad-Supported OS

XYZ Computing has an article by Sal Cangeloso: “The ideal of ad-supported Windows makes perfect sense under a number of different circumstances. While it most likely won’t be appearing in any offices, it would be ideal for libraries, internet cafes, and in the homes of casual users. The Windows kernel would probably not need much work judging from how well some spyware/adware manages to integrate itself, though users would have to ensure at least occasional internet connectivity in order to allow Microsoft to track advertisements and make new ad units available. This tracking would certainly open the doors to some privacy question, but this would probably be a sacrifice users are willing to make in order to get a cheap, or free, OS. The question of privacy will become enormously more important as advertisers want increasing amount of targeting information about users in order to make their advertisements more effective.”

Read India Books has a post by Sujatha Bagal:

My search for Indian books for N was proving to be hopeless. That is, until I found Read India Books, quite by accident. I found Indian stories with Indian characters set in Indian households, towns and cities. The language was excellent, not childish but definitely child friendly.

If you’ve been looking for high quality children’s books in Indian languages with Indian stories told well but have been disappointed so far, I say your search has ended.

Beyond Ads

Dave Winer writes:

“Targeting” customers is the wrong metaphor for the future. Instead make it easy for the people who lust for what you have to find you. How? 1. Find out what they want, and 2. Make it for them and 3. Go back to where you found out about it, and tell them it’s available.

User-generated content is actually on the road to nirvana, but it’s not a sustainable model in itself. In all that content, which today’s companies view as frankfurter meat, undifferentiated slurry, a medium for unwanted hitch-hikers, is the idea for the next iPod, or the formula for peace in the Middle East, the campaign platform for the President we’ll elect in 2012, perhaps even a solution for global warming. You just have to believe that intelligence isn’t concentrated among the people who rose to the top of the 20th century’s ladders to believe that there are nuggets of wisdom waiting out there for the taking, among the minds that created all that UGC.

Web 2.0 and Silicon Valley

Business Week features’s Kevin Rose on the cover and writes:

Who are some of the new geek elite? Besides Rose, there’s his pal and Wall Street transplant Joshua Schachter, who recently sold, a Web site to exchange favorite links, to Yahoo for an estimated $31 million; gaming whiz kid Dennis Fong, a.k.a. Thresh, co-founder of gaming company Xfire, which sold to Viacom Inc . in April for $102 million; Mark Zuckerberg, who started the social networking site Facebook in college; and Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons, co-founders of, a consumer review site. The elder statesmen of the group are Hot or Not founder James Hong and his best friend, Max Levchin, who sold his company PayPal to eBay Inc. for $1.5 billion at 26 and is now engrossed in, a startup that delivers images to computers in a slick slide show format.

Digg is emblematic of the ethos of Web 2.0, new consumer and media sites revolving around social networking and do-it-yourself services.

Mobile Content

ContentSutra has a discussion from Mobile Monday Delhi about the challenges:

One content provider, who did not want to be named, listed three main hurdles that they face during the entire content delivery process:

1. Bureacratic functioning of the service operator – delays in testing, deployment and offering clarifications and/or technical guidance
2. Business model inordinately skewed in favour of the operator, and a short term, revenue focused approach
3. Delays in processing payment which hinders innovation and creates a barrier to the entry of relatively smaller players.

Another issue that came to light was that service operators do not authenticate the number of downloads that mobile content receives, thus hampering further business development, especially in the branded content space.

The other overwhelming sentiment that pervaded the day long mobile conference was a need for a convergence of a different kind – the mobile space lacks uniformity both in device usability and software platforms. This inhibits a single minded focus on innovating on the content and software fronts since developers have to choose platforms, or modify their softwares accordingly. Also, since different mobile phones have different features, user adoption will be limited to only the tech-savvy.

TECH TALK: Mobile Internet: Views (Part 3)

Jason Fry wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal: Too many of the Internet’s more-advanced functions still aren’t truly mobile. Sure, the Net is exploding with wonders and is increasingly good at offering local information — but for our purposes those wonders remain largely caged in PCs and laptops. Sit at your computer and you can study up on bars in the West Village, Revolutionary War landmarks in lower Manhattan or Chelsea antique stores. But take that knowledge out into the real world and you’ll probably be stuck with scrawled notes or a sheaf of printouts — which instantly become useless if there’s a change in plans or you come across something unexpected in your travels. After researching and planning online, being cut off from the Net is painful: It’s as if your home and office PCs are air pockets you wind up swimming between, hoping you can hold your breath long enough.

This is what the International Herald Tribune wrote in December 2005:

The mobile Internet – or, the World Wide Web that you can get on your cellphone or handheld device – has had an incredibly lengthy and labored gestation. Around the turn of the century, it was widely heralded by the telecommunications industry, only to be widely derided by consumers for being slow, cumbersome and generally useless.

Today, it is still sometimes slow and occasionally cumbersome, but the portable Internet is no longer useless. On a recent-model mobile phone, you can navigate to almost any Web site at an almost-reasonable speed and a not-too-outrageous cost, once you sign up for a data plan with your phone company. You can get and send e-mail from your regular accounts. For consumers, it is convenient and cool; for business users, it can be a critical mobile tool.

But it is still a far cry from using the Internet on a personal computer.

Carlo Longino provides insights on how to build the mobile Internet: First, users should be empowered to access whatever they want. This means no walled gardens, and powerful browsers that can access full HTML sites. Second, operators should focus on adding value to users internet experiences by recognizing that mobile browsing is different than browsing from a computer and add to (not replace) the open access with more customized services and sites for users that want them. It should be an additive strategy that takes full browsing capability as a starting point, then builds on top of it, not a plan that throws the Internet that people know and love out the window, then opens up tiny holes to let only particular content through.

Tomorrow: Views (continued)

Continue reading TECH TALK: Mobile Internet: Views (Part 3)