Friday, 17 May 2013

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 (short) post is a collection of the articles that have caught my eye in the last week.

This week: Yahoo! tumbles into random buying spree, 3-D printed firearms, hacking vehicle networks & USSR's space laser near miss...

Media

Can YouTube's paid channels succeed? This blogger thinks so... I'm not so sure, but I guess they've got as much chance as NetFlix from a user experience point of view and perhaps the federated model that enables brands to set their own prices and packages within a familiar user interface will work. I'm not convinced, but I doubt it cost much to set up, so it's worth a try! http://paidcontent.org/2013/05/11/pay-to-play-can-youtube-succeed-with-its-paid-channel-subscriptions/

An interesting perspective on the future of gaming. Arguably the writer has a vested interest in his world of small software developers dominating the industry coming to pass; personally I think AAA titles will continue as they are, likewise consoles. They remain relevant for a subset of the audience, in the same way movies do relative to TV. The real question is how large the casual gaming market can grow. http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/12/what-games-are-there-is-no-iron-throne-of-games-any-more/

Google's game services APIs will doubtless help in that endeavour... http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/05/how-googles-game-services-api-will-convince-devs-to-make-better-games/

A fascinating look at the most popular brands on Facebook in Asia - Blackberry in Indonesia; Nescafe in Philippines. Shows how different user desires are country-by-country. http://wearesocial.sg/blog/2013/05/top-facebook-pages-asia-apr-2013-part-1/

Sigh. Yahoo!'s absurd, scatter-gun acquisition strategy looks set to claim another victim. I like Tumblr and I can't see it's brand of unregulated stream of consciousness photo blogging fitting into Yahoo!'s cleaner-than-thou corporate image. http://gigaom.com/2013/05/16/yahoo-wants-to-buy-tumblr-will-facebook-swoop-in-at-the-last-minute/

Technology

I wonder whether Microsoft has an operating system strategy anymore. If so, they could have fooled me. The Start button is allegedly reappearing in the next update for Windows 8. It's a shame. Win 8 is pretty good. I mean, I'd never buy a PC, but it's still not bad. Like a Mac from 2005. http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/maybe-they-should-just-call-it-windows-78

That said, Microsoft are still a really innovative company - witness their work in machine learning - they just struggle to bring things to market. The transition from disrupter to institution has been very hard for them. Google and other glamorous tech' leaders will soon go through the same challenges. http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/24/4260614/microsoft-research-rick-rashid-smartwatches-contact-lens-display

I'm very bullish about field of vision computing, and, since I've recently taken up swimming after a 20 year hiatus, I'd probably be in the market for a heads up display to monitor my training. http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/16/instabeat-is-revolutionary-hud-for-swimming-goggles-you-can-back-on-indiegogo/

A Google Glass imitator. It looks dumb though. Fail. http://www.slashgear.com/recon-jet-hands-on-15282311/

Vehicle networks and self-driving are other areas I believe will shortly revolutionise society. But they aren't without their challenges. The US Government is investigating the area of vehicle cybersecurity. Good plan. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/17/usa_car_network_security_research/

Americans 3-D print a gun. It was only a matter of time I suppose. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22421185

Business models

Invention and innovation have been sadly lacking from education for many years. This MIT open innovation pilot that enables kids to build stories and games online is a small but exciting way of changing the paradigm. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/scratch-two-released-0514.html

I'm a cracked record when it comes to the fact that people and organisations must (and are compelled to) live their brand all the time. Here's 30 business cards that suit their owners. Some great ideas! http://mashable.com/2013/05/16/crazy-business-cards/

Just for fun

Nice article on the space arms race that never was... thanks to one line of erroneous code! http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/05/the-soviet-response-to-star-wars-that-never-was/



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