Sunday, 15 July 2012

What I've been reading this week

I’m of the belief that participants in the TMT industry need to read widely in order to understand the present and future dynamics of the market. To that end, this post is a collection of the articles that have caught my eye.

This week: Branson asks for more runways, launches satellites, Nokia & RIM get in more trouble, US Army gets Quake gun and EVs get overhyped.

Digital media

I love these reports: [insert tech’ company] is worth $1Tn to the economy even though it only employs 7 people and pays its taxes offshore. Shame on you, Google – you’re better than this. http://go.bloomberg.com/tech-blog/2012-07-03-how-good-is-google-for-america-funny-you-should-ask/

It’s commonplace in the most developed digital markets to have simultaneous live online streaming of premium content, particularly sports content. This press release shows that the burgeoning Turkish market is getting in on the act. Turkish football will be live streamed from later this year. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/digiturk-selects-octoshape-infinite-hd-110200690.html

18% of UK residents get news off a social media site on a weekly basis. The article makes this sound like the end of news. Me, I think social is a great thing for news broadcasters, papers and agencies as it’s a means to sustain a narrative between major events. http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/social-media-a-significant-digital-source-of-news-in-the-us-22601/

Apparently, a third of American smartphone users have made a mobile payment. Quite surprised by that, I must admit. I’ll look for more data. http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23585112

Emerging markets

Even though I live on the Heathrow flight path (doesn’t everyone in London) I have to agree with Ricky B’ – the UK needs more international flight connections. That means more runways. Unfortunate, but one of the prices of international competitiveness. http://www.cityam.com/latest-news/branson-uk-risk-joining-the-third-world

A study of malware attacks in emerging markets by Kapersky Labs shows that Russia and India are the worst places to be a surfer. http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2012/07/south-africas-malware-and-virus-by-the-numbers/

Business models

Wes Anderson is an A-List director. So his fees for commercials are probably astronomical. Watching these 10 brilliant spots, I’d suggest it was money well spent. http://www.adweek.com/news-gallery/advertising-branding/10-great-tv-spots-directed-wes-anderson-141598

Sprint have to do something to compete with the classic all-American duopoly of AT&T and Verizon. Unlimited LTE data is a good thought, but a paucity of coverage will probably prevent them making much progress in attracting price insensitive iPhone customers. http://www.rethink-wireless.com/2012/07/09/sprint-offer-unlimited-data-lte-iphone.htm

Nokia are in dire straights. A second profit warning. 10,000 job cuts. Their “partner”, Microsoft launching their own tablet. Now their share price is down to a 16 year low. Acquisition beckons. http://allthingsd.com/20120710/espoo-sinkhole-claims-nokia-share-price/?mod=atdtweet

RIM are also in trouble - $147Mn in patent damages now owed, to go with further Blackberry 10 delays. Oh dear. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/07/judge-says-rim-owes-147-million-in-patent-infringement-damages/

Kickstarter will open to UK projects later this year. Very exciting as it should capture the growing entrepreneurial momentum in the UK. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-07/10/kickstarter-uk

Virgin Galactic haven’t carried a passenger yet, but they’re already going into the satellite launch business. Be careful not to get ahead of yourself, Ricky. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-07/12/virgin-galactic-satellites

New technology

This is a neat technology – use a laser to create a channel for high energy beam transmission. A lightning gun. Turns out that Quake was actually quite prescient. http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/27/lipc-weapon-combines-lasers-and-lightning-proves-soldiers-are-a/

I’m not convinced by McKinsey’s assessment about the scale of price falls in lithium ion battery prices – the world is hardly replete with lithium. Besides, the issue with LiOn in vehicles is the lack of range they confer. Unfortunately, whether price falls or not, efficiency isn’t improving greatly at the moment. 2020 is too early for EV. Hydrogen is the long term future of vehicle fuel. But it is long term, not 8 years out. http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680115/why-theres-hope-for-widespread-electric-vehicle-adoption-by-2020

Here’s a review of a Mitsubishi electric car, just to prove the point. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/07/mitsubishis-i-miev-greener-ride-but-not-ready-for-the-daily-commute/

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