Friday, 9 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. Just to warn you, this week I’ve been feeling particularly sarcastic.

This week: the week of fear: cord cutting rife, consoles dead, apps will kill films, Galaxy smashes iPhone, China hacks Coke, LeBron kills NBA videogames & scientists laser paper FOR FUN!

Digital media

Panic! Cord cutting is rife again. Or perhaps not.

An interesting use of images from Instagram to create an NBC news microsite on the US elections. This kind of thing certainly won’t replace mainstream news broadcasting, but it does add colour around the main HD editorial. Powered by Chute, by the way, which is an interesting little technology that enables social media content to be managed in the backend systems of broadcasters.

This guy is a prize tool. He doesn’t mind that consoles are dying. Well, hell they aren’t ya’ doofuss! Seriously thinking about replacing consoles with the web in a living room that over the next couple of years will see 4K resolutions become commonplace is pretty nutty. Where’s the bandwidth coming from, Don? Where’s the bandwidth? Tool.

The app revolution in film making – aka apps are the way to break the “content is king” mantra that the big content companies have espoused for some years. The writer’s argument is based on the assertion that distribution channel has defined the content distributed on it to this point. Therefore old content on new network won’t create as much value as new/ new. I can’t decide what I think of this idea.
I know that I don’t think apps can be monetised with the same degree of concentration as a major Hollywood movie – the risk portfolio strategy inherent in the former is much harder to execute when there are tens of thousands of competitors. Basically, the ideas in the article interest and confound me. So I need to think about it some more.

Twitter beats Facebook on election night. Is this a surprise, given the target audience of the two media? How many kids are interested in the election?

Here’s a succinct post on the engineering behind Twitter on election night and the reason why the fail whale didn’t make an appearance.

And a damning article about how the conservative media failed the Republican Party in 2012. Be careful, Atlantic, they have guns!

Great essay on how the NBA super-team didn’t kill the NBA, but is killing NBA videogames.

Computing and smart technology

I love this kind of stuff – according to an IBM funded study, most executives think that Big Data is helping them win in the market, but there’s basically no correlation to the definitions they give to describe what Big Data actually is. Emperor’s New Clothes? I think so.

Two bad news stories for RIM this week, the first probably more serious at this stage: the defence department has ended its exclusive contract with RIM, opening up competition with Apple and the Android vendors. Since RIM has a monopoly here, this can only mean share decline for them.

Meanwhile, another analyst has jumped on the RIM bashing bandwagon, joining a host of others expecting the critical BB10 launch to be a flop. I have to agree with the analyst community on this one. BB10 is 5 years too late and RIM are in serious trouble.

As you may know, I’m really excited by the potential of wearable computing, a field that’s really got going in 2012. If you can get past the first 4 or 5 paragraphs of garbage about sci-fi, the rest of article is well thought out.

50% of the tablet market is now Android. In truth, I’m never sure whether or not to trust IDC numbers as their methodologies are a little... hazy... however, it makes sense to me that in a world waking up to tablets and where they can be had for under $50 in the two biggest markets, Android is now taking big chunks of share off Apple. I suspect that latter doesn’t care a jot – its numbers are way up too.

I definitely don’t trust Strategy Analytics and this article about the Galaxy S3 outselling the iPhone 4S is totally misleading. iPhone 5 was launched part way into the quarter and sold out completely, taking 4S sales and reducing them in the run up to launch. Let’s see what the numbers look like this time next year.

Digital paper has reared its head again in the last couple of weeks. A great technology, other than requiring a high powered laser to erase content from the sheet. Very practical.

Hello Citeworld and welcome to 2012, a magical year where it isn’t news that data can be contained within a wrapper on a device to make it secure and thereby enable BYOD. 2012 welcomes you Citeworld, and hopes you enjoy our hospitality.

Business models

I’m big on the idea of incubating digital within a larger business. Here’s 4 guidelines for “intrapreneurship” as it’s apparently now known.

I’m compelled to put this in “business models”, although it really isn’t... because it’s an article about professions in which you’re most likely to find psychopaths. Number 1? CEO. Not a surprise.

Amazon is increasingly willing to use its vast infrastructure to enter niche markets – this week it launched a wine shop. Cheers!

Square and Starbucks is the only mobile payment/ coupon/ loyalty business model that I find in any way compelling. This is a great article about it.

Emerging markets

African businesses require African software solutions. Simple message really, but at the moment the continent will have to make do, given the paucity of developers available. Perhaps smart device proliferation will change that by putting a base of computers into markets.

China hacked Coke. Not a surprise is it, really? They hack everyone else.

Real technology

I was just thinking, wireless charging like this from Qualcomm would be essential for law enforcement and public service robots. Interesting.

Superpower politics

Microsoft are well on the way to messing up Surface. This story exposes that fact that a 32GB version of the Microsoft tab actually only has 16GB of usable storage. Sigh.

Apple, it turns out, has made the iPhone 5 quite complex to assemble. That makes Foxconn sad. Poor Foxconn, it must be hard being you.

Just for fun

Why we love retro media. 7:42 of your life well spent.

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