Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bidwar for C-Block Well Underway

Taking wireless technology to a whole new level.

Google is the alleged front runner with Verizon, possilby AT&T nipping at its heals (the bids are anonymous). Interestingly, the article mentions Alltel as a potential buyer...I don't see that happening.

For more information on the auction for the 700 Mhz wireless spectrum known as C-block, check out:

EU Court: Downloaders Can Stay Private

The EU's stance on p2p sharing; who can and can't be blamed

The MPAA's 300% Error

Monday, January 28, 2008

What is autonomy?


Memetracker for Twitter - love it.

Khoi: The Road to Registration

Subtraction: Bought and Paid For
The pathway from pirate to prosumer in the design world

Is the Tipping Point Toast?

One of the core tenets of New Marketing is challenged. Guy Kawasaki's comments are right on:
In contrast to influential marketing, Watt’s believes the key factor is the readiness of the market: “If society is ready to embrace a trend, almost anyone can start one—and if it isn’t, then almost no one can.” There will be first movers, but almost anyone can be this first mover—and therefore what Watts calls an “accidential influential.”

(via Guy Kawasaki)

Hubdub - social news prediction engine

Hubdub seems to be the first prediction market for news stories.  Coupled with a memetracker (like on a rudimentary evel Google News or the fantastic Memeorandum and its tech-centric cousin TechMeme) this could be amazingly powerful.
Lazyweb: Memeorandum+Hubdub mashup

I could have used this last Saturday while I was tracking the spread of the Bill Clinton / Jesse Jackson story and making calls on which papers would put it on A1.

Free Song Downloads

Well once again another free music file sharing services is having trouble. Qtrax is an online file sharing service that supposedly had the blessing of the music labels to offer 25 million songs that could be downloaded and put onto digital music players even Ipods Apparently after the press release for the service on Sunday the New York-based Warner Music corporation denied the claim. The chief executive of Qtrax reacted saying that "the deal with Warner Music had not been signed, but said he expects to reach an agreement on terms "shortly."
Something interesting about this is that the songs will work on Ipods only until April 15th. It doesn't say how this works because I would think that once it is on the device it wouldn't be able to be destroyed unless you chose to do this). The chief executive and president Allan Klepfisz commented that apple had nothing to do with making the files work on their products.
To offset the costs of giving away this free music the service will rely on advertising profits.

From today, feel free to download another 25 million songs - legally

The major music industries have signed on to a plan which legalizes "peer-to-peer" music file sharing, using the advertising on the site to make money. The music downloads will not be compatible with iPods, but the site has said that by April they will announce an "iPod solution."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Twitter journalism

Myspace's Strategic Plan

Facebook Flashback: The Original Zuckerberg Interview

The Short Version:
Thought Mark Zuckerberg said nothing of consequence during his 60 Minutes interview - it doesn't matter because his October '05 interview at Stanford with Jim Breyer of Accel Partners says more about the state of Facebook today and its vision for becoming a social utility (in a time where it was a glorified directory for college students) than you thought possible. Whoever said Mark Zuckerberg lacks vision clearly hasn't heard this.

The Big One:

We learned several new things from Mark Zuckerberg's big network TV debut on 60 Minutes last Sunday; namely that he still sleeps on a mattress on the floor of his apartment, plays Scrabulous with his grandparents, spends 50% of his time on "business operation type stuff" (which presumptively means he still spends some time working on the codebase - respect, Zuck).

However, all the way back in October '05, a 21-year old Zuckerberg gave a fantastic interview at Stanford about TheFacebook (brings me back) for a series on technology entrepreneurship. Unlike the 60 Minutes interview, which seemed more about explaining Facebook to everyone not on it (the opening explanation was perhaps the most accurate portrayal of Facebook I've heard from one of the networks), Zuckerberg's Stanford interview gives incredible insight into the vision, operation, and culture of Facebook. What's truly impressive is that Zuckerberg's vision of Facebook two years ago is what it has m

To set the stage, TheFacebook had just expanded from colleges to high schools, was in the process of rolling out its photos application (yes, Zuckerberg referred to it as an "application", as in something built on top of Facebook). It had just reached the major milestone of 5 million registered users (for reference, there are over 61 million active users at present). There was no Facebook Feed, no Facebook Applications, and almost no adults.

While Zuckerberg begins the interview referring to Facebook like directory for students, he soon lays out his vision of Facebook as a social utility and platform open to all comers.

As for corporate culture, Facebook is clearly determined to be a social company. Taking a jab at Google's 20% time policy, Zuckerberg said that he had his employees socialize instead. They didn't necessarily have to be the best of friends, but Zuckerberg thought it integral that everyone at Facebook didn't become so consumed by the minutiae of building this "social utility" that they forgot how people genuinely socialize, and lose sight of how people would use and react to the final product.

When I got the opportunity to speak with Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer, Chris Kelly, several months ago, I complemented him on ultimately coming up on the right side of user privacy in just about every circumstance to that point (this was before the Beacon debacle), and noted that it was the userbase that ultimately embraced and championed many of Facebook's more controversial changes, including the opening of Facebook to all registrants and the introduction of the Feed. Kelly's response was that in every privacy-related decision, their criteria was always "is this good with respect to how our users actually use the site" (paraphrased). It's easy to lose sight of how a product will eventually be used, but at Facebook, keeping that in mind and facilitating social communication seems to be a part of the company's DNA.

Many of the details mentioned in passing included several not-so-veiled hints at Facebook Platform (mentioned opening development on Facebok saying: "think of if you've taken Operating Systems classes or that sort of thing (confirm)" and his reference to Photos as an "application", which may indicate that it wasn't substantially rewritten to run on the publicly available system) hints as to the development of the feed (aggregation of changes, and designing ways to find the most relevant information from the people most relevant to you, an early program he wrote that aggregated people's AIM status over time).

Other fun tidbits Zuck discussed were systems to compute the "realness" of any given user, based on usage patterns which they could determine after about 20 pageviews (at the time), and an internal toy they built that could compute with 1/3 accuracy, based on two people's profile information if they were in a relationship, whether they would still be in that relationship one week later.

Can we glean what's next for Facebook from this interview - probably not, as most of what Zuckerberg said has come to fruition, but it does paint a broader picture of the inner workings of Facebook and of Zuckerberg's vision for he company. If what we're seeing emerge now is what Zuckerberg was thinking of over two years ago, I'm excited to see what he's thinking about now.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

David Bowie for President

Interesting example of youtube's political satire.