Monday, 26 November 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.

A short update this week - I blame Thanksgiving, even though I live in London.

This week: More social/ Gaza news, Nokia leaves Windows (a bit), Steve hopes MS is becoming cool again, Apple UFO delayed

Digital media

After Penguin House, Harper Collins and Simon Schuster are in merger talks. Publisher consolidation is inevitable as innovation finally enters the book market via digital.

The Gaza conflict is another step in the digitisation of warfare, but it’s a two edged sword: the IDF has had to tell citizens not to tweet where rockets land to prevent social media being used for targeting by Hamas.

Here’s a summary of the broader Gaza social war. A quick and worthwhile read.

Nokia has finally clocked the fact that it needs to get off Windows... if only for applications. It has launched the ‘Here’ mapping and discovery for iOS. A new dawn in Espoo?

Businesses are all about innovation these days. IBM’s latest research says that lots of companies are using social media to enable this. Excellent, but how many of those using it are actually innovative? It reminds me of Geocities – just because you can create doesn’t mean you’re any good at it.

Young people watch 15 minutes less TV a day than they did a year ago. Interesting – a slow drift away from the platform perhaps?


My view is that wearables will be a big trend in 2013. Here’s another new device hitting the market soon – an unobtrusive movement sensor similar to Nike Fuelband, but half the price.

It’s not just wearables – drones and robots taking advantage of cheap processing, interface and detection are on the rise. This self-flying UAV can be used by non-pilots. The computer does the flying. It’s the future.

Turn your smartphone into a Star Trek style diagnostic device. Sounds good and more reliable than trying to self-diagnose in isolation.

I missed this when it was first reported two weeks ago: Canadian researchers have established two-way communications with patients who’ve been in persistent vegetative states for many years. This has huge implications, not just for the people in question, but also for device interfaces. Amazing stuff.

This analyst expects PC demand to be weak over the black Friday shopping weekend. I agree – the PC is now an item that is replaced infrequently, like the TV before it. They’re still a fixture in the home and the office. So I think they’ll cost more and last longer.

Superpower politics

I’m not sure I agree with this bloggers assertion that Microsoft is capturing public perception, but it’s a well thought out view. That said, I’m reminded of the car industry, in which the car experts will bang on about the latest Alfa Romeo ad infinitum; however when it actually comes to recommending something, they’ll never stay away from the safe, high quality, low risk German alternative... these data from Pricegrabber demonstrate, iPad is the tablet/ tech that consumers want.

Steve Ballmer, on the other hand, believes that there are four ways of making money in technology... but these all seem like customers, Steve? Where are the business models? How good are you at that?

Last week I reported how Apple sabotaged Google’s data centre with an alligator. Google, however, at least has a building – Apple’s new HQ is delayed until 2016. Poor show.

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