Monday, 8 October 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: X-Com returns, social policies attract grads, Microsoft take device fight to Apple, comes to blows with Nokia, Google accuses Apple of trolling

Digital Media

A dumb Guardian story. How dare Jeremy Clarkson make money out of selling his Top Gear rights? It’s not like the BBC isn’t making much more money off Top Gear... http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/sep/27/top-gear-jeremy-clarkson

The FCC is about to embark on a reclaim and sell-off of broadcast spectrum in the US. I think this’ll be the scenario that plays out in many major markets as the value of mobile broadband grows and the inefficiency of terrestrial broadcast (versus satellite, for example) becomes manifest in the face of increasing TV resolutions. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/29/technology/fcc-approves-auction-process-for-spectrum.html

I loved X-Com games as a kid: now the series back (and still turn based). Interesting how game developers are increasingly mirroring film companies by re-making old series. http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/xcom-strategy

Foursquare and Opentable have announced a partnership to enable Foursquare users to book tables within the app. The local ecosystem has been stuttering lately; perhaps this will be the start of a resurgence, particularly if local loyalty can figure in the decisions of national brands. http://blog.foursquare.com/2012/09/28/foursquare-and-opentable-just-made-it-even-easier-to-plan-your-perfect-night-out/

Here’s another article on Foursquare’s plans for revenue growth. http://gigaom.com/2012/10/01/how-foursquare-is-building-a-revenue-strategy-around-local-search/

Having featured bad social media advice last week, here’s some better thoughts, from Forbes. Social media enables companies to become more personal, but don’t overstretch... http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertjordan/2012/09/28/how-to-avoid-the-big-5-social-media-mistakes-corporations-make/

A third of graduates say that a potential employer’s social media policy is a key factor in their decision to take up a job offer. In my day (when all this were fields) graduates took any job they could get and they didn’t complain, even though all jobs were down ‘pit.
http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2012/09/27/social-media-vs-salary/
Emerging markets

Iran better get used to this kind of major cyber attack. Cutting themselves off from the rest of the Internet will make them ever more vulnerable as their technology falls further and further behind the rest of the world. Just the sort of return to the dark ages the regime would love. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/03/us-iran-cyber-idUSBRE8920MO20121003

I have to agree with the slightly scary message here regards Huawei. However cheap they are, they wouldn’t be coming anywhere near my company if I had IP or strategic assets to protect. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/675c1dd4-1074-11e2-87cc-00144feabdc0.html

Open data could be a massive enabler for governments in emerging markets as a way of investing the private sector in public service reform. Here’s an open database of Kenyan population statistics. https://opendata.go.ke/Population/Population-By-Age/rjrk-enge

Technology

Nokia have launched a beta of their server-side compression technology that reduces data use by phones up to 75%. Very smart and I’m sure operators will thank them... not so sure it’ll be much of a differentiator to the average Lumia buyer, however. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/04/lumia_xpress/

Also in Nokia news, some former employees have managed to raise $250m to revive Meego under a new guise: Jolla. Finnish for sailing boat, and also where the investors should have put their cash. Chances of success? Nil. http://gigaom.com/europe/jolla-the-market-wants-an-alternative-to-ios-and-android/

Slashgear have lots of nice things to say about Blackberry 10... but there’s nothing revolutionary here. I’m afraid it’ll be another bad year for RIM unless they start to actually innovate rather than endless iteration. http://www.slashgear.com/c-u-l8r-blackberry-10-03250210/

Your weekly robot news. Dot Robot is the trend of 2013 imo. http://www.fastcompany.com/3001661/week-bots-and-robotic-tuna-will-lead-us

Some vignettes about the future of human enhancement, in case you want to go bionic with the above. http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/10/start/what-is-the-future-of-human-physical-enhancement

Superpower politics

Apple is a patent troll, says Google. Probably true, but unfortunately you have to act like that in this day and age in order to compete in the multi-national, multi-category competition of 2012. http://9to5mac.com/2012/09/27/google-chairman-on-apple-patents-there-are-plenty-of-prior-arts-and-patents-shouldnt-be-used-to-block-sales/

Troll or no, iPhone 5 has been a storming success, with record sales and impressive market share implications. https://research.canaccordgenuity.com/_layouts/researchnoteviewer.aspx?pubid=82537

A nice little article about the 27 years it took Steve Jobs to bring the iPad to market. http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/10/02/rare-full-recording-of-1983-steve-jobs-speech-reveals-apple-had-been-working-on-ipad-for-27-years/

But Apple have killed Ping, their music social network service. Inevitable. http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/1/3439168/ping-apple-music-social-network-closed

Microsoft takes that first step in unifying the Windows, Windows Phone and XBOX ecosystems for real, with the forthcoming launch of an XBOX music streaming service on all platforms. http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/microsoft-to-launch-xbox-music-on-october-26th-04-10-2012/

They’re also taking the fight to Apple on the highstreet, with 32 pop-up stores to support the launch of Windows 8. They’ll need to get the experience spot on... http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-to-open-its-holiday-pop-up-retail-stores-on-october-26-7000005113/

...also on a rumoured Microsoft mobile phone. Bye bye Nokia. It’s been nice knowing you :(. http://www.wpcentral.com/microsoft-does-indeed-have-their-own-windows-phone

Mobile telephony mergers continue. This week it’s T-Mobile USA and Metro PCS creating a marriage of turkeys, just in time for Thanksgiving. http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/02/t-mobile-metropcs-merger/

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