Silicon Valley Watcher
Collected Posts by Tom Foremski [RSS]
INXPO: A Live Video Platform For 'Social Business'
(My readers are familiar with my "every company is a media company" mantra but how do companies become media companies? They need media services and technologies to help them and this will become  a core focus here at SVW - reporting on the intersection of technology and media since 2004.) I recently met with Scott Kellner (above), Chief Marketing Officer, at INXPO, a platform that lets clients easily set up video broadcasts to internal staff, or an external audience. ...[Read Full Article]

Wired Magazine Celebrates 20th! (Rescued By Chris Anderson And Team...)
Adweek has a great article by Ted Greenwald on how Wired Magazine got its start. It has lots of interviews with the founders, including my good friend Fred Davis, a veteran senior publisher and editor at Ziff-Davis. Here are a few excerpts from: Ted Greenwald Reconstructs the Invention of Wired Magazine a Pioneering Publication | Adweek...[Read Full Article]

As Arrington's Lawyers And Defenders Step Up, His Critics Step Down
Michael Arrington and Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO, on stage at recent "Crunchies." It's taken almost a week for key supporters of Mike Arrington to publicly address allegations that he engaged in serial acts of violence against women over many years. The  support seems to be a coordinated response because it coincides with Mr Arrington breaking his silence and stating that all allegations are untrue. The statements of support come from former employees and friends....[Read Full Article]

A Great Silicon Valley Debate: Can Innovation Solve The Healthcare Crisis?
Coming up on Thursday April 11, "The Second Annual Great Silicon Valley Oxford Union Debate" co-hosted by Santa Clara University and the Churchill Club. Motion: "This House believes that Silicon Valley innovation will solve the healthcare crisis." Speakers:...[Read Full Article]

Thomas Edison: More Than Just A Bright Bulb - The Invention Of Modern America
Ernest Freeberg is the author of "The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America." He was recently interviewed at the Computer History Museum in Santa Clara on the legacy of Edison's R&D approach, its visible impact on the tech industry today, the challenges of controlling IP, and the myth of the lone inventor....[Read Full Article]

Computer Pioneer Alan Kay Says Silicon Valley Is Running Out Of Innovation
  Alan Kay is one of Silicon Valley's top computer pioneers due to his work with colleagues at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) on a broad range of technologies in the early 1970s that directly led to the creation of the PC industry -- a $35 trillion global business. In the short video clip (above) he speaks about Silicon Valley's current boom being based on innovation that was funded by the government and by private companies such as Xerox, over a span of more than 13 years beginning in the early 1960s, which helped create the Internet and modern computing....[Read Full Article]

Big Data And You: How Your 'Likes' Reveal Sexuality, Race, Drug Use, And Your Parents' Divorce
Facebook users that click "like" on a variety of cultural subjects reveal a surprisingly large amount of information about themselves even if they've taken steps to tighten up their privacy settings. A recently published study by researchers at Cambridge University in the UK and Microsoft Research, used an automated analysis of 58,000 volunteers' Facebook "likes" to make highly accurate predictions about a person's private and very sensitive personal attributes. ...[Read Full Article]

Technology And Transformation: Futurists Alan Kay And Vishal Sikka
This evening (March 26) The Churchill Club hosts Alan Kay (above), formerly of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard in conversation with  SAP's technology and innovation leader Vishal Sikka,  hosted by analyst Paul Saffo. Many people are familiar with Mr Kay's quotes such as this one from 1971:  "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."...[Read Full Article]

Intel's Craig Barrett - From Forest Ranger To Materials Scientist
Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel, discusses his 35 year career in this video. He originally wanted to become a forest ranger yet ended up studying materials science and went onto becoming a professor at Stanford university on a journey that led to running the world's largest chip maker....[Read Full Article]

Sean Maloney: The Man Who Could Have Led Intel
Sean Maloney (above) spent nearly three decades being groomed for Intel's top job then he suffered a devastating stroke. Here's his remarkable story of recovery. By Intel Free Press On the car ride home from the hospital after suffering a stroke in February 2010, Intel executive Sean Maloney insisted that his wife take him to his boat. With little use of his right arm, he could only row in circles, but he was nonetheless determined to prove wrong his doctor's prognosis that he'd never row his scull again. The same drive that got him back into his boat enabled him to re-learn how to speak and ultimately return to work to become chairman of Intel China, leading the company's largest market....[Read Full Article]

Italian Startup Comes To SF To Launch Crowd-Sourced TrendWatch Service iCoolHunt
I had the recent pleasure of meeting brothers Alessio and Luca Morena (above)  who are co-founders of iCoolHunt, an Italian startup hoping to break into the lucrative $36 billion market for providing corporations with reports on what's trending in their markets....[Read Full Article]

Your Chair Is Trying To Kill You - The Best Way To Sit Is To Slump
  There's been a lot of research over the past couple of years about the life-shortening effects of sitting. Your chair really is trying to kill you, the more you sit the earlier you will die. It might be best to avoid a stylishly comfortable Aeron chair and choose the most uncomfortable chair you can find so as to discourage prolonged sitting....[Read Full Article]

British Criminal Investigation Into HP's Claims Against Autonomy
The British Serious Fraud Office is investigating the claims of Hewlett-Packard that it was deliberately misled in its acquisition of Autonomy, the British software firm it acquired for $10 billion in 2010. HP revealed the inquiry in a regulatory filing Monday, reported on The PC maker reported an $8.8 billion write-off in the value of Autonomy last year....[Read Full Article]

WeekendWatcher: Fantasy Island - UK Columnist Julie Burchill Stranded On A Desert Island
Julie Burchill is a unique journalist, she has a finely tuned sensibility in being able to push society's face just far enough into the gutter to draw blood and snot, but not hard enough to cause grievous bodily harm. And she doesn't hide her pleasure when she shreds society's buffoons in a verbal wood chipper. Julie Burchill stranded on a desert island with no hope of return is a fantasy that many would love to come true....[Read Full Article]

Rupert Murdoch Compared With Saint Augustine In Interview On WSJ
  It's strange to see the Wall Street Journal running an interview with Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, its owner....[Read Full Article]

Where Is Intel's New CEO? Should There Be Two?
Paul Otellini (left), succeeded Craig Barrett (center) as Intel CEO. Sean Maloney, right, was expected to be the next CEO. With just weeks to go, Intel, the world's largest chipmaker has yet to name a new CEO even though it's had nearly four months since Paul Otellini made a surprise announcement that he would retire in May 2013. This is a very unusual situation because Intel has a long tradition of providing a clear CEO succession path well ahead of any changes....[Read Full Article]

Augmented Realities: Google Glass With See-Through 'X-Ray' Feature
Surely it is just a matter of time before Google Glass, or other similar walk-and-talk Internet browsers, add a pseudo X-ray feature?...[Read Full Article]

WSJ Confirms SVW Scoop On NASDAQ Private Shares Market
In October 2012 I spoke with Robert McCooey (above) NASDAQ's senior vice president of capital markets and new listings, who told me about plans to enter the private shares market....[Read Full Article]

The Million Dollar Power Of Big Math
 Karl Kempf, Intel Fellow and director of decision engineering, Intel Architecture Group By Intel Free Press During his 25 years with Intel, Karl Kempf has helped solve problems in its manufacturing and supply chain and make product design and development decisions. He's done it using mathematics....[Read Full Article]

Yahoo! Says It's Not A Media Company... But It Is
Colleen Taylor at Techcrunch, reports that Yahoo! has changed the way it describes itself in its latest 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Yahoo is now labeling itself first and foremost as a “global technology company,” in the place where it used to call itself a “digital media company.” She writes that it's a small change but symbolic....[Read Full Article]

NobleProfit.Org Launches, Seeks Major Sponsors had a formal launch event earlier this week. Founded by Amy Seidman (above) it aims to promote companies that are taking an ethical and sustainable approaches to making money. At its core are videos of execs at large companies explaining what they are doing and trying to achieve. SVW has been publishing some of these interviews on Fridays, our guest post day....[Read Full Article]

Rethinking The Cloud - The Need For Cloud-Jumping Enterprise Applications
Google-funded CliQr helps enterprises move any application to any cloud. Turning cloud providers into commodity services. By Gaurav Manglik, CEO CliQr Technologies For many businesses the promise of cloud computing has been the ultimate paradox. What company can argue with having access to almost infinite, third-party supplied and staffed information technology resources on-demand, topped off with a utility billing model that allows companies to only pay for what they use?...[Read Full Article]

The Value Women Bring To Startups: Higher Revenues And Capital Efficiency
Here is a fascinating guest post infographic sent by Muhammad Saleem from the blog on[Read Full Article]

Groupon's Group Discount On Tech Sector - Yet It's Not A Tech Company
Groupon CEO Andrew Mason was fired today after more than 4 1/2 years during which he managed to cash out $30 million and holding more than 46 million shares of the public company, valued at nearly $1.4 billion at its peak. In January, estimated his net worth had crashed to about $230 million. Groupon's share price has continued to fall since January. 5 Tech CEOs Who Have Lost A Fortune In The Last Year | Celebrity Net Worth Foremski's Take: ...[Read Full Article]

Yahoo! Home Work Edict Is All About Rebooting Its Notorious Company Culture
There's been much written lately about Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer pulling back workers from their home offices as if it's an attack on telecommuting and the productivity of home-based workers. It's neither, it's Yahoo! trying to reboot its company culture, which has been kindly described by one observer as, "notoriously dysfunctional and disorganized." It's been going on for years and it's time to press the reboot button....[Read Full Article]

Father-Daughter Software Engineers Compete In Robot Cage Fights
By Intel Free Press The contestants competing in “Robot Combat League,” the new Syfy reality series featuring 8-foot-tall, 1,000-pound robots doing battle in an arena, include a father-daughter duo confident that their shared software engineering background gives them a competitive edge. They are up against formidable opponents: a professional MMA fighter, a NASA robotics engineer, an Olympic athlete, and a Mattel toy engineer. ...[Read Full Article]

From Big Data To Chief Of Data - The C-Suite Opens Up
Skytree, a vendor of business analytics software, commissioned a survey that found nearly one in five companies have opened up their C-suites to Chief Data Officers, and about one quarter have created data science departments. The survey also found that even though many companies have data scientists, more than 60 per cent of them have a poor knowledge of advanced data analytics techniques. The full survey is here: 2013 Big Data Analytics Report | Skytree – Machine Learning on Big Data for Predictive Analytics - - - Automated data analysis is certainly cheaper than paying a salary but, there's no one to fire if the box gets it wrong....[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Remains King - Schadenfreude Festivities Postponed Yet Again
1 Hacker Way, Facebook HQ - It acquired 16 startups in 2012. Silicon Valley reported 226 private company acquisitions in 2012, well ahead of New York with 100 deals, and leagues ahead of any other US tech hub, reports PrivCo, which tracks such deals....[Read Full Article]

Hyperlink-free SABEW Announces Winners Of 'Best In Business' Reporting
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) announced this year's winners in its 18th annual Best in Business competition, which "honors excellence in business journalism across all news platforms." Awards will be presented Friday, April 5, at the Marvin Conference Center at George Washington University. SABEW's 50th annual conference and gala runs April 4-6 and features Federal Reserve vice chair Janet Yellen, AOL chairman Tim Armstrong, former Office of Management and Budget chief David Stockman, and business TV personality Jim Cramer. More than 200 working journalists and academics served as judges, sifting through the record 1,120 entries from 195 news outlets across 68 categories. Here's the list of 134 winners. But there's not a single hyperlink to any of the winning entries.  It's a sad example that mirrors the sad state of the US newspaper industry that there is no recognition by SABEW of the connected digital world we live in. The web is a publishing technology yet it is being largely ignored by this august body. Surely, hyperlinks improve reporting of all types, including business reporting?  The hyperlink is the single most defining element of the world wide web. It's precisely why it's called "the web."  SABEW and the term "hyperlink" originated in the same year: 1964. Maybe by its 50th anniversary in 2014 SABEW will recognize its importance. ...[Read Full Article]

Fulfilling Steve Jobs' Dying Wish
The Los Angeles based Esotouric podcast has a interesting interview with Brian Kaiser, who salvaged rare tile from The Jackling House, a two-storey 18,000 square foot Mansion in Woodside. Episode #6: Steve Jobs' Great White Whale & Funky Folk Artists of Slab City | Esotouric He tells a fascinating story (around 28.30 mark) of Steve Jobs determined to demolish the house even though he is terminally ill. There were thousands of very rare Islamic tiles in addition to other unique architectural features. Steve Jobs had owned the property since 1984. He couldn't get the demolition permit unless he could get the valuable tiles out following a 12 year legal battle trying to prevent the destruction of the historic house. The #1 environmental history book in the country shows "Daniel Jackling was the man who wired America" and thus Jobs' direct indebtedness to Jackling, compared in the book to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.  Friends of the Jackling Jackling House - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Apple CEO Steve Jobs Can Finally Bring The House Down the #1 environmental history book in the country shows "Daniel Jackling was the man who wired America" and thus Jobs' direct indebtedness to Jackling, compared in the book to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. ...[Read Full Article]

GOOG Wants Your Eyeball - $1500 Goggles Coming Sooner
Eric Mack, reporting on CNET, writes that Google has accelerated its rollout of Google Glass (see above at "The Crunchies") and will introduce them by the end of this year. Google originally targeted 2014 for a consumer release when it revealed Project Glass last year, but the time frame has seemingly sped up in recent months, what with developer hackathons in San Francisco and New York and this week's announcement that people looking to put Glass to creative use could go through an application process to preorder the augmented reality specs for $1,500. Some early users have mixed reviews. There are some reports that they cause headaches as users try to focus on the heads-up display and look where they are walking. I used Google Glass: the future, with monthly updates | The Verge Eric Jackson: Google Glass Isn't Very Good Yet - Business Insider Google is reported to be planning to open its own retail stores in a bid to let the public experience Google hardware before buying. With fewer electronics retailers there are fewer opportunities for companies to showroom their products. It follows Apple's successful retail strategy. However, radical new concepts such as Google Glass also require quite a bit of evangelism and Steve Jobs was superb in the role of showing all the ways that people could use Apple technologies, he emphasized the cultural aspects of the products far more than the technology itself. Google doesn't have any charasmatic senior executives to evangelise Google Glass or its other products. As its product family grows Google will find it challenging to sell its gizmos and gadgets to a general public. Geek love (see above photo) is important but it is a tiny market....[Read Full Article]

Disqus: The Importance Of Trolls And Anonymity In Comments
Daniel Ha  (above) is the CEO and cofounder of Disqus. By Daniel Ha To some, the idea of improving internet comments may provoke flashbacks to the war on drugs or overcoming gridlock in Washington. Some problems are too pervasive to fix, so why even bother? But comments matter for the simple reason that we read them and they shape our perceptions of daily life. And we’re commenting more than ever. As one of the leading models for large scale discussion, The Huffington Post set a record last year with over 70 million comments. Our own data at Disqus shows that nearly half of all article page visits include a trip to the comments.And a growing body of research demonstrates that reader comments shape news perception. ...[Read Full Article]

SAP: Using Supply Chain Technology To Raise Living Standards In The Developing World
  Guest post by Amy Seidman - Noble Profit Jennifer Scholze, Senior Director, Sustainability Solutions Product Safety and Stewardship, explains how SAP is working with women in Ghana as part of the Ghana Shea Value Chain Initiative. SAP is using its supply chain technology to minimize the number of middle men necessary to get supply to purchasers. The goal of the initiative is to increase the income for women that are harvesting shea nuts. Scholze discusses how SAP demonstrates their commitment to supporting communities and improving lives in disadvantaged areas of the world.  Follow Noble Profit on Register at Noble Profit to gain valuable insights in related topics....[Read Full Article]

The Steve Jobs Way: Intersecting Psychedelics And Technology
The Psychedelic Society of San Francisco and Bay Area Software Engineers (BASE) hosted a talk earlier this week by John Markoff (above), Senior Science reporter at the New York Times, that discussed the influence of 1960s counter culture on the development of the computer industry....[Read Full Article]

SFMusicTech Summit: Musicians And Geeks Searching For New Business Models
  This video (at top), provides a recap of the day's events, panels, and discussions. Also, check out Josh Constine at the 19.56 mark.. The SFMusicTech Summit earlier this week drew a great turnout at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco.  There were a lot of artists mixing with a lot of geeks from a wide variety of startups, all trying to figure out the new business models for music in an age where few people pay (much) for music because of its ubiquity in free online sources such as Youtube, Grooveshark, or monthly subscription services such as Spotify and Rdio....[Read Full Article]

Collaborate Or Fail: The New Corporate Ethos Of The Innovation Economy
Interview with Adam Pisoni (above), co-founder of Yammer. By Intel Free Press   At a time when many doubted social networking could benefit a business’ bottom line, Yammer hit the scene with a service that many called “Twitter for the Enterprise.” More than 5 million corporate employees, 85 percent of which are at Fortune 500 companies, reportedly use Yammer.That success drove Microsoft to pay $1.2 billion last year to acquire the private, social network, with ambitions to roll Yammer features into Microsoft’s SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 applications. Yammer co-founder and CTO Adam Pisoni sat down to talk about why empowering employees is central to his product and essential for any business that wants to thrive in today’s fast-paced world....[Read Full Article]

Friday's Guest Posts: Hundreds Of Millions Of Women Missing From Online Worlds
Fridays is when SVW opens up to additional voices by publishing some of the guest posts that readers send to us. This week there's a coincidental theme: the hundreds of millions of women that are missing from the global online communities. It's a massive gender gap that is found within the digital gap — an economic barrier. But it's also a cultural obstacle. This infographic sent by  Muhammad Saleem from Brain Track illustrates the issues. Intel Free Press interviewed Trina DasGupta the Director of the GSMA mWomen organization, whose mission is to help more than 300 million women acquire their own mobile phones. Maryruth Belsey Priebe from Noble Profit, profiles two projects by social entrepreneurs that have helped alleviate women's burdens in the collection and transportation of clean water. Also: Social By Design announces a new type of marketing lab based on work at Stanford University. If you have an interesting guest post to contribute please send it to [email protected] with "guest post" somewhere in the subject line. A wide range of topics is fine. It's OK if it has been published elsewhere. Guest posts might be edited lightly for readability. DejaView from earlier:  - Richard Edelman, the head of the world's largest privately held PR firm speaks at the Churchill Club on the contagious lack of trust that is infecting business, government, and entire industry sectors. - Video extracts from Richard Edelman panel at Churchill Club. - The massive amount of content that's being produced will grow ever larger as web sites pursue falling advertising rates, making it more difficult for all types of content to cut through the noise. - Silicon Valley has become a Media Valley, a giant virtual Gutenberg machine that's evolved from moveable type to programmable type. - The martyrdom of Aaron Swartz: Where were the activists when he needed...[Read Full Article]

The Emergent Mobile Woman - Squeezing The Global Gender Gap in Mobile Technologies
By Intel Free Press Trina DasGupta (above) directs the GSMA mWomen organization, which operates under a cloud of disheartening data. Its research shows that there are more than 300 million women missing from the global mobile communications revolution.  She recently discussed how her program serves as a mobile-minded advocate for disadvantaged women and as a catalyst in the creation of life-enhancing mobile services such as healthcare, finance, education and entrepreneurship....[Read Full Article]

Social Entrepreneurs That Innovate Around Women And Clean Water
Guest post by Maryruth Belsey Priebe at Noble Profit. Two social entrepreneurs have recently introduced simple, yet astoundingly effective systems that can be used by women living in developing countries to collect and carry clean water....[Read Full Article]

The Global Gender Gap Inside The Digital Gap - Women Lag By 25%
There's millions of women missing in the online world and it's not necessarily because of poor economic resources. It's also due to cultural biases held by women themselves. Guest post infographic from Muhammad Saleem, at Consumer Media Network and the former Director of Social Media Strategy at Chicago Media Tribune Group: Original source:[Read Full Article]

Social By Design Launches Marketing Lab For 'Behavioral Design'
Guest Post: The marketing consultancy Social By Design is charting new territory with a novel service that allows clients to experiment with a variety of strategies before launching a large campaign. It's based on methodology developed at Stanford University. Giovanni Rodriguez and Toby Chaudhuri explain: 2013: The Year Social Science Meets Social Engagement...[Read Full Article]

Say Hello To Visiting Ukrainian Startups - From Happy Farm
Danuta Pisarenko tells me there's a bunch of Ukrainian startups in town: I’m very excited to introduce Happy Farm, the only Ukrainian tech incubator where entrepreneurs live and work 24/7, that brings Eastern European startups to live and learn in the Bay Area for one month (Jan 28 – Feb 28), with an American board of directors from Google, eBags, Time Warner,, and top-notch mentors, many from the heart of Silicon Valley. The Startups: - social TV. Beondesk - personal virtual desktop. Advice Wallet - referral marketing platform. YourSize - biometric e-passports database. SvitStyle - women clothes aggregator. Ugift - gift certificates service. My TeamVoice – free professional group voice service for gamers. More information.    Advice Wallet   YOURSIZE   SVITSTYLE UGIFT   UMIX   BEONDESK Here's where you can meet them: February 14: Falling in Love with Ukrainian Startups nestGSV 5:00 p.m.  February 18: Start Ukraine Up Runway Incubator 6:00 p.m....[Read Full Article]

Edelman Global Survey Finds Lack Of Trust Has Become Contagious
From left: Peter Burrows, Eric Brown, Mary Dent, Richard Edelman, Jeffrey Pfeffer. Richard Edelman, the head of the world's largest privately held PR firm, said that the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual global survey of 31,000 people, revealed a lack of trust for business and government that was "contagious" and spreading to other sectors. He was speaking earlier this week at the Computer History Museum on a panel organized by the Churchill Club, and moderated by Peter Burrows, senior reporter at Bloomberg....[Read Full Article]

Video: Edelman's Debate On 'Trust' At Churchill Club
  Edelman PR sponsored a debate on "Trust" Monday evening at the Computer History Museum. Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman PR discussed some of the findings of the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer global survey. Here are some extracts. A full report is coming... Moderated by Peter Burrows (far left) senior writer at Bloomberg; next is Eric Channing Brown, GM of Integrated Communications at Skype; Mary Dent, General Counsel at Silicon Valley Bank; Richard Edelman, CEO Edelman Public Relations; Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor at Stanford University Graduate School of Business....[Read Full Article]

Richard Edelman At Churchill Club On Building Trust
Richard Edelman, the head of the world's largest privately held public relations firm, Edelman Public Relations, will be speaking at the Churchill Club this evening (February11) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. He'll be addressing the results of the just published 13th Annual Trust Barometer survey. Program at 7.00pm, registration at 5.30pm. Details:  Here is a description from the organizers: 2012 saw numerous global scandals accelerate the widening gap between the state of trust of an organization and its leadership. These are challenging times to build trust, but there's good news. According to Edelman's influential 13th annual Trust Barometer research, hot off the presses: trust in business is slowly gaining ground. Here's your opportunity to be among the first to hear and discuss the latest trends and insights from leading thinkers. Exactly what is changing? Who are the most trusted spokespeople, and why? What strategies and tactics are most important for individuals and companies to move the needle and build trust in the coming year?...[Read Full Article]

Saturday Post: Corporate Media In The Bubble Of Content Inflation
  My 2013 prediction warned of the continued fall in the value of online content which would lead to the production of ever more content as media companies tried to maintain ad revenues. You can think of it as a towering tsunami of content, or as a massive bubble of content inflation. Just as inflation devalues currencies, content inflation is devaluing content. Ryan McCarthy, Deputy Editor of, and the former Business Editor of the Huffington Post, comes to a similar conclusion. In: Another blog post that won't make any money | MediaFile | Analysis & Opinion | He writes:...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Leadership Group: Anne Smart On The Importance Of Cap And Trade
Here is the first of regular weekly Friday posts from Amy Seidman's Noble Profit, which interviews executives at companies that are striving for a better way of building sustainable businesses. By Amy Seidman Watch Anne Smart from Silicon Valley Leadership Group speak about Cap and Trade. A historic milestone was reached November 14, 2012 when Governor Schwarzenegger's California Global Warming Solutions Act came into law, commonly known as Cap and Trade. The bill passed in 2006, and since formation companies and citizens have been vying for where the billions of dollars raised as revenue from these taxes will be used....[Read Full Article]

Take A Look Into Topix - Mass Bullying Across Thousands Of Small US Towns
By Virginia Hoge My name is Virginia Olive Hoge and I am in the strange and fated position of being one of the first people who noticed that something very alarming was happening on Over three and a half years ago, I noticed how it was being used as a vehicle for slander, to batter people online. I was dragged onto Topix when my liberal blog was attacked there. I was slandered in a series of attack threads on the Pasadena, CA, Topix forum, the kind I would soon find out were everywhere....[Read Full Article]

Welcome to Friday Guest Posts!
Fridays is when I'll be publishing some of the guest posts people send me as part of a plan to open up SVW to additional voices. My choices won't necessarily reflect my opinions. If you'd like to participate send your article to [email protected] with "Guest post" in the subject line somewhere. I don't mind if it's been published somewhere before if it's still relevant. I might lightly edit for clarity and pace but I promise to preserve the spirit and meaning of the original. This Friday: Silicon Valley Leadership Group: Anne Smart On The Importance Of Cap And Trade Take A Look Into Topix - Mass Bullying Across Thousands Of Small US Towns...[Read Full Article]

HP Moves Towards 'Fair Trade' Electronics Manufacture
Hewlett-Packard has issued new rules to its China based suppliers that affect students working in their factories. Keith Bradsher and David Barboza, report in the New York Times:  Hewlett-Packard Joins Push to Limit Use of Student Labor in China...[Read Full Article]

Unreasonable Institute: Startup Life On The Good Ship Entrepreneurship
The Colorado based Unreasonable Institute has taken entrepreneurship literally and put together more than 1,000 people: the founders of 11 startups, representatives from SAP and Microsoft, several dozen mentors and instructors, along with several hundred university students from 200 schools, on a ship circumnavigating the globe. It's a project, called "Unreasonable at Sea" and will last about 100 days having set sail from San Diego in early January and calling on 15 ports in 12 countries ending in Spain in April. I spoke with some of them during a stop in Hong Kong. Here's my notes:...[Read Full Article]

SpiderOak: A Simple Best Solution To Privacy In The Cloud
I recently met with Ethan Oberman (above) CEO and co-founder of SpiderOak, a cloud based data storage service used for backups or syncing data. It promises a very high level of security because everything is encrypted -- SpiderOak has no idea what you are storing. This is the same strategy that Kim Dotcom, the infamous founder of Megaupload has recently taken with his latest storage venture Mega. Megaupload was shut down by US authorities because it is alleged that it stored huge quantities of pirated movies and other copyrighted materials. Here are some notes from my conversation with Ethan Oberman:...[Read Full Article]

From Silicon Valley To Media Valley - A Giant Gutenberg Machine Of Programmable Media
Watch Silicon Valley on PBS. See more from American Experience. The superb American Experience documentary series on PBS finally cast its focus on Silicon Valley yesterday evening in an 82 minute program largely focused on the founders of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel. The heroes of the story are eight scientists, in mechanical, electrical, metallurgical, and optical engineering, and a chemist. It's a story that takes place more than half-a-century ago, when the "traitorous eight" left  their employer Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory en masse because their boss, William Shockley, had become grossly egotistical and a horror to work with. He sounded like an early version of Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder. It was shocking to leave an employer, which is why they were called traitors. In those days loyalty was expected, as were the lifelong careers that companies provided. And it's this "traitorous" culture that continues to grow Silicon Valley, as people continually leave to create new startups. American Experience also showed the close connection to the US Department of Defense and how military spending was the prime source of money for new ventures for a very long time. Foremski's Take:...[Read Full Article]

To Those That Would Martyr Aaron Swartz: Where Were The Activists When He Needed Them?
Early this week, Hamish McKenzie attended a memorial for Aaron Swartz, the young activist who committed suicide while being prosecuted for downloading millions of academic papers. He writes: Berin Szoka, the president of the group TechFreedom, offered some words that were uncomfortable for some. Speaking of the Internet activist's alleged crime of downloading millions of academic articles, Szoka stepped out of the night's orthodoxy of holding Swartz up as a hero. "I cannot condone what Aaron did," Szoka started, about to launch into an argument about how Internet freedom should not be a partisan issue. He was cut off before he could go any further. Foremski's Take: The future of Aaron Swartz has nothing to do with Aaron Swartz and has everything to do with agendas of digital libertarians and related activists....[Read Full Article]

Crunchies 2012: Techmeme Wins Award And So Do Other, Mostly Older Startups
It was good to see Techmeme, the news aggregator, win an award Thursday evening for "Best Bootstrapped Startup." Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera (below)....[Read Full Article]

Intel: The Software Company - Interview With Software Head Doug Fisher
Intel is a giant software company as well as the world's largest chip maker. Here's an interview with Doug Fisher (above) head of Intel's Systems Software group. By Intel Free Press Making sure the world's most popular server, PC and device system software -- among them Oracle's Database, Microsoft's Windows, Google's Android and Chrome OS, and even Apple's Mac OS X -- provide the best possible user experience is a daunting challenge. Even more so, when that mandate extends from phones to cars and digital signs to PCs on up to servers and the cloud. But such is everyday life for the software experts in Intel's System Software Division. Doug Fisher, general manager of the Systems Software Division joined Intel in 1995 after 10 years at HP....[Read Full Article]

Can Pictures Of Cute Animals Calm Legal Threats?
Here's a hilarious exchange between David Galbraith and the legal eagles representing Lockheed Martin, threatening him over the ownership of a domain name: I registered, thinking it would be a good name for an Internet product company, not realizing that Skunkworks was a real, trademarked facility run by Lockheed Martin or that you can now threaten to sue people just for registering a domain name. He received a legal letter demanding he relinquish the domain name. Dave offered a solution: If you send me a link to a picture of a really cute puppy, I’ll transfer the domain to you. Read the rest here: David Galbraith’s Blog » Skunk Puppying: dealing with legal threats with cute animals....[Read Full Article]

Advice To Marketeers And Others Not On Facebook And/Or Twitter
I meet a lot of people in my job, many of them are in communications, marketing, or media, some of them hate Facebook and/or Twitter with passion. They typically say that they won't join because they don't believe in them. I typically respond that these aren't mythological creatures, Santa Claus, or a God that requires belief. They don't require a highly emotional response. You don't have to like them. Or hate them. They are what they are.  I tell them that you should be on them because you work in marketing, communications, or media, you need to know about these media channels. You can't read about them, you need to be in them to know them, to see how people are using them.  You need to know what's acceptable in those communities, what people are sharing and not sharing, what events they are going to, what they are saying to each other and how they say it. You need to know these things.  You should be on them because if you are not then you won't know when things change, and they change constantly. You don't need to be active on them, you can lurk. You don't need to share what you had for lunch, or the other inane stuff you complain about that others share, or that you heard they share. Share good stuff or don't. But you need to be on them. You need to be on them before others find out that you're not....[Read Full Article]

Tax-Time Means Good Times For Cyber-Criminals
We're a sophisticated lot in Silicon Valley but it's still easy to get caught out sometimes. ThreatMatrix  in San Jose, warns that cyber criminals could get to your refund before you do, if you file electronically. And it's very difficult to trace the funds if they do. There were 1.1 million cases of tax identity theft for 2011 and an additional 1.5 million potentially fraudulent tax returns. Here's some pointers:...[Read Full Article]

Sequoia's Moritz Defends Apple
Apple versus Virgin Megastore, San Francisco 2009. Michael Moritz is chairman of Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley's oldest and most successful VC firms. He's also a former journalist and he revisits those skills in an article written for the Financial Times Opinion section:  Perspective on Apple amid the clamour - It's a well argued piece that, It is difficult to think of a company of the past 50 years whose influence and ingenuity have been as profound or widespread as the one formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc....[Read Full Article]

Aaron Swartz Memorial in SF - Our First Digital Liberties Martyr?
I attended the Aaron Swartz memorial Thursday evening at the Internet Archive building (above) in San Francisco where several hundred people gathered to mourn his passing. It was an excellent turnout organized by Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle and supporters. And it was a perfect setting, in a wonderful former Christian Science church (see below). ...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Wafer Not Cake For Stephen Hawking's 71st Birthday
Stephen Hawking was presented with a commemorative "Happy Birthday" 300-millimeter silicon wafer by Martin Curley, vice president of Intel Labs Europe. By Intel Free Press Prof. Stephen Hawking showed no signs that his hunger for computer performance has slowed during his 71st birthday celebration this week at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology in Cambridge, England. Hawking was honored with a unique silicon wafer etched with nanoscale letters. Since his 20s, Hawking has battled a motor neuron disease related to Lou Gehrig’s disease). Over the years the disease has forced him to rely on special computer technology to help him speak. In recent years his speaking rate has slowed to one word per minute....[Read Full Article]

EventWatch: Churchill Club On 'The Next Network Revolution'
Churchill Club's Open Forum next Wednesday features top engineers from Facebook and Ericsson, and hot networking startup Nicira, on the topic: Open Forum: Is Software Defined Networking the Next Network Revolution? Speakers: Martin Casado Co-founder & CTO of Nicira; Najam Ahmad, Facebook's engineering director in charge of networking; and Erik Ekudden, head of technology at Ericsson. Date: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 at 6pm, program begins at 7pm....[Read Full Article]

NMV: Angel Investors Funding Progressive Change Startups
San Francisco based New Media Ventures is a network of 60 angel investors that funds startups that allign with its mission to drive "political innovation." So far it has invested about $4 million in ten startups such as Upworthy, which was featured by David Carr in the New York Times; NationalField, TurboVote and the Story of Stuff. NMV looks for startups that combine new media with technology, and are passionate about shaking up the political process through greater citizen engagement. Fast Company's Ariel Schwartz recently profiled NMV:...[Read Full Article]

SAP Analytics Goes To The Superbowl
SAP, the enterprise business software company, plans to showcase its business analytics technologies and its HANA real-time platform, during the run up to the Superbowl by applying them to the National Football League's selection process for the Fantasy Player of the Year. It has created a live dashboard at that publishes statistics around the top eight finalists....[Read Full Article]

Swipp: The Latest Startup From One Of Silicon Valley's Most Successful Teams
I'm a big fan of the team behind today's launch of Swipp, a service that aggregates people's rating of any product, service, person, city ... anything. Swipp's ambition is to become a global platform that connects and collects the world's "social intelligence" about anything that can be named. A "swipp" is a vote on a plus five to minus five scale. I recently met with Swipp's co-founders Don Thorson (above) and Charlie Costantini. They've worked together in previous ventures, the most recent was Ribbit, sold to British Telecom for $105 million in 2009.  Here's some notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

Epic Fail: Massively Multiplayer Online Mysogyny
Standing up to bullies always works, especially the online kind, you know the ones, the ones with no balls and small brains that they keep in their pants. Brilliant TED video here, hat tip to Beth Rogozinski,  and Rebecca Eisenberg on When Anita Sarkeesian announced plans to do a video series exploring the portrayal of women in video games, she became the victim of a massive online attack choreographed by members of the gaming community who cast her as the "villain" in their online "game" to ruin her life. It did not go well for them.  A Bunch Of Sad, Insecure Dudes Attacked A Woman And Everyone Got What They Deserved...[Read Full Article]

Addvocate Launches Employee Social Media Monitoring Service
Marcus Nelson (left) founder of Addvocate and his brother Angus Nelson, Community Manager at Addvocate. Addvocate, a service that allows companies to gain better control and metrics over what their employees share in social networks, launched today as a "paid beta." The startup was founded by Marcus Nelson, former social media director at He said that his inspiration for Addvocate came from his work at Salesforce and frustration with not being able to track thousands of Salesforce staff across many social media channels. The goal is to enable Addvocate users to figure out how well their staff are doing at helping to publicize key messages, and to help those employees that are not very fluent in social media and need some guidance. Although Addvocate is still in beta it decided to let paying clients use the service. Mr Nelson says that asking for a payment, which can be any amount determined by the client, it stops "those who kick the tires and zap our precious resources." More details: ...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Digital Disruption Continues At Financial Times - Where's The Funding Model For Serious Journalism?
Newspapers face uncertain paths to a brighter future. The Financial Times said it would try to eliminate 35 editorial jobs through voluntary means and add 10 jobs as part of its focus on "digital" and a move away from news to "a networked business." Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times, announced the changes in an email to staff. He wrote that a trip to Silicon Valley in September had "confirmed the speed of change." The FT plans to shift resources from the production of the print editions to its online news and services. This will be done by eliminating late editions and greater standardization between newspaper editions for the UK, US, and world. The job cuts appear to be focused on restructuring production desks but it will depend on who accepts the voluntary redundancies. The FT has about 600 editorial jobs. ...we must stick to the tested practices of good journalism: deep and original reporting based on multiple sources and a sharp eye for the scoop. But we must also recognise that the internet offers new avenues and platforms for the richer delivery and sharing of information. We are moving from a news business to a networked business. Mr Barber did not explain what type of "networked business" the FT is planning to build. He stressed the importance of "serving a digital platform first" but also that print "is still a vital source of advertising revenues." Foremski's Take:...[Read Full Article]

Identropy Focuses On Cloud And User Interface Design For Identity Management Edge
Identropy recently launched its SCUID Identity Management system, which takes an interesting approach in reducing the considerable costs of integrating and deploying such systems within the enterprise. I can't count how many times I've been pitched about identity management systems over the past two decades and it's still happening to my great surprise because you'd think it would be a standard solution intrinsic to every enterprise environment. Clearly, it's not easy to produce an ID management system that works well, or that doesn't have high implementation and admin costs. And with the added complexity of semi-open but always-connected corporate IT systems, there's a universe of identity tasks that have to be handled outside the firewall, in addition to the traditional internal needs of large organizations. I recently spoke with Ranjeet Vidwans, VP of Marketing and Business Development about how SCUID was developed and how the cloud and a core focus on user interface design promises a breakthrough in ID management systems. Here are some notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

Will 'Digital Natives' Want To Buy Cars?
Younger generations don't seem to want to own cars, or even like cars because of their pollution and high carbon footprints...will that change?  By Intel Free Press  Past generations believed that owning a car was the ticket to an upwardly mobile lifestyle, but today many young people are opting out of car ownership in favor of the mobile experiences they get from smartphones, tablets and laptops. Online experiences are growing in importance and grabbing mindshare from cars, particularly among teens and twentysomethings. Research from Gartner indicates that 30 percent of the 18- to 24-year-old vehicle owners in the United States would likely choose Internet access over owning a vehicle if given only a single choice. That drops to 12 percent for drivers 54 years and older....[Read Full Article]

How Microsoft Could Harm Google By Exiting Search
Long time Google [$GOOG] watcher Scott Cleland has floated an interesting strategy that Microsoft [$MSFT] could adopt in the wake of its failed attempt to have the FTC pursue anti-trust prosecution of the search giant: exit the search business. Microsoft has never made a profit from its search business, which loses about $2 billion a year. If it abandoned search, Mr Cleland says that the action could harm Google in several ways: - It would show that no one in search can make money because of Google's massive presence globally. - It would take away Google's claim that Microsoft competition is just one click away. - It would allow Microsoft to file a private antitrust lawsuit that could bring triple penalties if it won. Unlike the FTC, the experts at the DOJ and EU have long understood the stark reality of the search advertising business because they approved the highly-unusual combination of #2 Yahoo and #3 Microsoft search advertising competitors in a three competitor market in a last ditch effort to salvage a competitive search market. ... Ironically, Google blames Microsoft for all its antitrust woes. However, without Microsoft as a competitor, Google’s antitrust liabilities would skyrocket.Read more:    ...[Read Full Article]

UK's Hugely Popular Mail Online In Push For US Markets
The British version of GQ magazine has named Martin Clarke, editor of Mail Online as one of the 100 most influential men in the UK. Although he isn't that well known in the US this will undoubtably change this year as he starts a new venture in the US aimed at expanding US revenues. The Mail Online, the digital arm of the Daily Mail newspaper, is already one of the largest web sites in the world with more than 112 monthly unique visitors and 7 million daily visitors. In the US it is the third largest online newspaper behind and, with 19.4 million monthly unique visitors, and more than 2 million daily visitors. It's ahead of, E!Online and, and is growing at 5% per month. This year Mr Clarke will be splitting his duties between the UK and the US to expand the site's US business. Most of the content is celebrity based with plenty of images of the scantily clad....[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley History: New Insights Into Steve jobs Approach To Life And Work
The Silicon Valley Historical Association has created a one hour documentary focused on Steve Jobs and features a 1994 unscripted interview with the Apple co-founder. It includes commentary from: John Warnock (founder, Adobe)Chuck Geschke (founder, Adobe)Larry Ellison (founder, Oracle)Mike Markkula (founder, Apple)Steve Wozniak (founder, Apple)Nolan Bushnell (founder, Atari)Scott McNealy (founder, Sun Microsystems)Vinod Khosla (founder, Sun Microsystems)Scott Cook, (founder, Intuit)Jim Clark (founder, Silicon Graphics, Netscape & Healtheon)Kevin Surace (founder, Serious Energy)and others... The trailer for "Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur" is above, it's available for purchase here: Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur This enlightening one-hour program stars Steve Jobs from an exclusive 1994, unscripted interview by the Silicon Valley Historical Association where he gives advice to potential entrepreneurs. Jobs discusses risk, failure, his own experiences, and learning the value of creating your own environment. ...[Read Full Article]

GoodData: Transforming Big Data Into Useful Data
Big data is a ubiquitous term in a ubiquitous world of massive amounts of data but it's meaningless if it can't be converted into actionable data.  To become useful data is a tough job requiring an understanding of the underlying data and how it fits together and what questions to ask. GoodData is a company that seems to have solved some key aspects of big data, such as how to generate high quality sales leads and figure out the best ways to close deals. I recently spoke with Roman Stanek, CEO and founder of GoodData. Here are some notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

2013 Prediction: The Unstoppable Rise Of Corporate Media ... And The Deflationary Spiral Of All Media Content
When it comes to making industry predictions I always resolve not to make any, but as you can see, I have trouble keeping my new year's resolutions. Two year's ago I made the same resolution and failed when I wrote: 2010 Prediction: The Media Tsunami Is Coming... The media is dead, long live the media. We now have more media, in more formats, in more times of the day and night, from more people -- than at any other time in history. And we will get even more in 2010. When I talk about media, I mean anything and all things that are published: news stories, magazine articles, TV, radio, video, music, advertising, photos, web pages, and of course social media. All of it, all the media that's fit to print and all that isn't.  The low cost of the tools to make media content is a big driver, more important however, are the media hungry platforms that make it easy to publish anything and distribute it widely. One-click uploading to Youtube, or Facebook, or wherever, it's all very easy to create and publish media. A tsunami of media. Tsunamis come in waves......[Read Full Article]

SAP Launches Real Time Business Apps Suite
SAP, the world's largest business software company, launched a suite of enterprise business applications running on its real-time platform HANA, that it says provides massive increases in performance and advanced analytics capabilities. The company provides most of the world's largest business groups with enterprise IT applications used to run their core business operations. Hasso Plattner (above), SAP co-founder and chairman, announced the business software suite at SAP's Silicon Valley Research campus, as part of a global launch in New York, and Frankfurt, Germany. He said that the increase in business app performance is so great that SAP had been accused of "hype" by sceptics. Some applications can run several hundred percent or more faster on the HANA platform, largely because the underlying database technology is loaded into massive solid state drives. "This will change how our customers do business and they are very excited," he said. "We are even winning over startups, they are saying that they never thought they would be working with SAP."...[Read Full Article]

Intel's Quest For Leadership - Who Will Run The World's Largest Chip Company?
Sean Maloney (far right) with Paul Otellini, CEO, and Craig Barrett former CEO at Intel.Intel will announce a new CEO later this year as Paul Otellini retires in May but who that person will be is not yet known. It would likely have been Sean Maloney, who retires this month, if it were not for a massive stroke in 2010.The British executive spent 30 years at Intel, working closely with CEO Andrew Grove as his technical assistant, and then heading several business groups. Mr Maloney has a stellar reputation at Intel as being able to tackle some of the toughest problems around.He also has a great reputation within Silicon Valley, and has been approached many times to lead other tech companies such as Hewlett-Packard.Mr Otellini recently said that the next CEO will come from within Intel rather than from outside despite Intel's board saying that it would also consider outside candidates. Mr Otellini believes that an insider is needed to understand Intel's processes and culture, a task that could take "two years." Mr Maloney's deep knowledge of nearly all aspects of Intel's business, plus his position as TA to the CEO - a key path that Mr Otellini followed -- would have made him the ideal replacement.Who will Intel choose? It's unusual for Intel not to have its succession plans laid out clearly. Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight64, points to two internal candidates:Brian Krzanich, COO and head of worldwide manufacturing; and Stacy Smith, CFO and director of corporate strategy occupy the pole positions. Both saw "executive vice president" added to their titles in the same press release that announced Otellini's planned retirement. Krzanich oversees Intel's vast network of multi-billion dollar fabs, and accounts for the vast majority of Intel's capital expenditures. Moreover, he was named Chief Operating Officer early...[Read Full Article]

Robert Noyce And The Invention Of Silicon Valley
Robert Noyce (center) with Intel colleagues Andy Grove, left, and Gordon Moore in swinging 1978.By Intel Free PressIntel is one of Silicon Valley's oldest tech companies, co-founded by Robert Noyce, the first to create a practical semiconductor transistor -- the basic building block of our digital world. In this interview with his biographer Leslie Berlin, who wrote, "The Man Behind the Microchip," Robert Noyce is remembered for his pivotal part in the creation of Silicon Valley and his role in mentoring local celebrities such as Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple.He would have been 85 years in old this month if he hadn't died in 1990 at age 62....[Read Full Article]

Naughty Or Nice? A Search Engine For Ethical Businesses
This is shocking and it's a direct result of Google's algorithm changes. Here's a case study of a web site being prepared for launch and how a competitor managed to get it flagged as a scam site -- before it was even launched.From SEOBook: "A case study in being PRE negatively seo'ed."...[Read Full Article]

Google's Red Herring Car And The Obscure Nature Of Its Business
The Googleplex - Google's HQ from above [$GOOG]. Credit: Tom ForemskiIt's remarkable how few journalists understand Google's business and how what it does or doesn't do affects massive volumes of commerce around the globe.If I were running the New York Times I would keep half-a-dozen journalists focused on Google 24/7 because it's that important....[Read Full Article]

Tufin: Rethinking The Enterprise Security Model
I recently spoke with Ruvi Kitow, CEO and co-founder of Tufin Technologies, which provides firewall policy management tools for very large companies. Tufin is interesting because it is rethinking the way firewalls should be managed. It's because of rise in the number of applications being produced by enterprises.Firewall administrators are spending more of their time dealing with application related change requests. Yet the app developers know little about firewalls and potential conflicts, or security holes. Earlier this year, Tufin launched SecureApp, a suite of admin tools to help manage this important security relationship between apps and firewalls.This application centric approach to enterprise security is a different way of thinking about security. Here are some notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

Solve Media's - Creative Happy Holidays Video
I love watching long lines of cascading dominos and Rube Goldberg type machines. Solve Media sent me their "All Humans, Happy Holidays" video with a great Rube Goldberg-like contraption that uses many inventive ways of triggering the next event.It's the brainchild of Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media. It's a lot greener than posting out thousands of holiday cards but it took a lot of work: 900 hours of planning, involving a team of 12 over a four month period.Engineering led by Matt MacMillan, UPenn Engineering alumni; Creative Direction by Machele Nettles of MacNet Design; Videographer was Lendl Tellington.Solve Media runs an advertising network that monetizes CAPTCHAs with display or video ads, a creative business model reflected in the creativity of the video....[Read Full Article]

Online Metrics And Bullshit...
William Blake's "Newton" measuring the world.Liz Gannes on AllThingsD, yesterday reported that pageviews, unique views, registered users, and many other forms of metrics used to define online popularity are "bullshit metrics."Analytics company Mixpanel and its investor Andreessen Horowitz are trying to persuade the tech world to be more honest with itself by reporting numbers that are far more informative: Engagement and retention.... Marc Andreessen and Mixpanel founder Suhail Doshi have decided they want to raise the shame level by calling them "bullshit metrics."...[Read Full Article]

12 Ways To Bring Coal To Cyber Criminals During The Holiday Season
By Intel Free PressEvery year, crooks take advantage of the holiday season, using fake websites, emails and other tricks of their unsavory trade to steal your personal information. Here are some things to look out for and steps you can take to boost your holiday cybersecurity....[Read Full Article]

Delphix - SVW 2012 Startup of the Year - A Standout Company With Standout Leadership
A stuffed squirrel sits on the wall behind Delphix founder and CEO Jedidiah Yueh.I meet with huge numbers of companies every year but it's rare for me to come across a company that excites me as much as Delphix - easily my choice for Silicon Valley Watcher's 2012 Startup of the Year.Delphix founder Jed Yueh is just 37 years old and will undoubtably become one of Silicon Valley's next generation of leaders and success stories. His focus, his discipline, and his intellect are striking -- and it's these qualities of leadership that sets Delphix apart from the many thousands of startups in the extraordinary global innovation engine that is Silicon Valley.I visited the company earlier this year shortly after it had raised $25 million in an over-subscribed C-round led by Jafco Ventures, with Battery Ventures joining existing investors Greylock Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.I was impressed by the company's technologies and its business strategy. Mr Yueh is determined to build, rather than sell, one of the next great tech companies of Silicon Valley....[Read Full Article]

Diane Michlig Brings Silicon Valley's Most Innovative Speakers To TEDx San Jose
By Intel Free PressSilicon Valley is the epicenter of technology entrepreneurship, but Diane Michlig (above) looks for something more than just startup savvy -- she wants good stories. As executive director of TEDx San Jose, she prowls the valley in search of innovators who have a unique story, an unusual perspective or a deep passion for making a difference. Those she selects tell their story on stage at TEDx, but with a catch -- they must do it in less than 18 minutes. Recently, she spoke about the role technology plays at TEDx San Jose and her vision for the future....[Read Full Article]

General Electric Woos Silicon Valley - CEO Immelt Wants Help Building The 'Industrial Internet'
Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE (center) shares the stage with a giant GE jet engine, at a recent debate with Marc Andreessen, right, moderated by Chris Anderson.General Electric has seen the future and it's called the "Industrial Internet" a vast high speed network linking the world's manufacturing systems and industrial machines, and it wants Silicon Valley to help build it....[Read Full Article]

Public Relations In The Era Of Pageview Journalism
Ryan Holiday, writing for the New York Observer, has discovered something very important about the media industry today:The widespread belief is that the media has "reach." Trust me, they don't. Not anymore. It's become almost pathetic.It hit me the other day when I snagged a profile for a client on a well-known website...Dear God, I realized, my client has more readers than they do. The website needed us to attract an audience for them. They wanted the subject of the piece to send his readers over to them rather than the other way around....[Read Full Article]

Clever Marketing Boosts .CO Domain Popularity
The .CO domain extension has become very popular and the company that handles the registrations was in San Francisco earlier this week promoting local businesses that use the extension at a party in a local restaurant.I attended as a guest of my friend Heddi Cundle, who's travel gift site, was one of the businesses featured. She says that the .CO team have helped her out with a lot of expert services that have saved her considerable time. Registrars usually don't provide any business services at all....[Read Full Article]

Otellini: New CEO Likely To Be Intel Insider
Ian King at Bloomberg, reports that when Intel CEO Paul Otellini retires in May, his replacement is likely to come from inside the world's largest chipmaker.Mr Otellini, speaking at a Sanford C. Bernstein conference, said, "It's not up to me, but I think that's the most likely outcome."He said that if Intel's board chose an outsider, it would be a risk to the company.Bringing in someone from outside would take that person two years to be able to understand Intel's systems and culture no matter how talented they are, Otellini said."In this environment, why take the risk and take the time?" he said. "So my sense is that they will stay inside."Mr Otellini, Intel's fourth CEO since its founding in 1968, is leaving Intel three years before the company's mandatory retirement age of 65....[Read Full Article]

Dating Adventures: An App That Tracks Singles To Within A Mile or Two
Helping single people discover each other while they are out and about is the goal of newly launched Android app "SinglesAroundMe."To get around what the company calls "Spooky GPS dating" the location of single people is "displaced" by a mile or two, to "increase serendipity without compromising safety." Each user selects their own comfort zone by deciding to share their exact location, keep hidden, or choose "approximate" which would show their location as much as two miles from their exact position.The app tries to matchmake by finding suitable single people in the user's general area. Finding each other in urban settings will be very challenging. Playing hard to get has a new meaning....[Read Full Article]

SupperKing - Enabling "Collaborative Consumption" Of Home Cooked Meals
Beverly Hills based SupperKing launched this week, offering friends and neighbors an easy way to invite each other to share home cooked meals, and share the costs.I met the founders recently in San Francisco. Kai Stubble, CEO of SupperKing (above on left, with Jack Warren, CMO) said that the service encourages "collaborative consumption" by making it easy to invite people, and easy to share the costs of food and drink. SupperKing has an iPhone app to organize the dinner and manage invitations and payments. It could also be useful for "pop up" restaurants in people's homes. Here's more info:...[Read Full Article]

Interview With Intel Employee #22 - Surviving 30 Years
Ted Jenkins (circled) was personally recruited by co-founders Gordon Moore and Andy Grove, and once managed Paul Otellini, Intel's current CEO. This photo is from 1969 when Intel had just 106 staff, (104,000 today).By Intel Free PressRobert "Ted" Jenkins was Intel's employee No. 22 and was hired away from Fairchild Semiconductor by co-founder Gordon Moore and Andy Grove in 1968. Now 69, Jenkins retired in 1999. Over the course of his career, he worked directly for Grove, and future Intel CEO Paul Otellini reported to him during the early 1980s. Along the way he and the teams he led filed thousands of patents. Paul Otellini worked for you in 1983 when you were GM of the Peripheral Components Division. What do you make of his recent retirement announcement?...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Watcher Welcomes GE Software As A New Sponsor
GE Global Software Center HQ in San Ramon, CA.I'm pleased to announce GE Global Software as a sponsor of Silicon Valley Watcher. GE Software is a new division, headquartered in San Ramon. Its mission is to speed software innovation within GE by developing new applications and working with local companies. It has become one of the largest "startups" in the Bay Area, with more than 400 software engineers. You'll be hearing a lot more about GE Software over the coming year....[Read Full Article]

Fake Press Releases Highlight Negative SEO Danger For Real Press Releases
SearchEngineLand has a very good, long look at the recent fake press release announcing Google's $400m acquisition of WiFi company ICOA. PRWeb distributed the press release and said it slipped through its internal tests for "integrity." Danny Sullivan explains how PRWeb has become a popular distribution network for a lot of content, some of it shady, and how it ends up on well respected newspaper sites....[Read Full Article]

SF Startup Bets On Two-Wheel Electric "Cars"
Lit Motors founder Danny Kim leans into the C1 electric vehicle prototype, which runs 200 miles on just $1 of electric power.By Intel Free PressLit Motors plans to bring balance to urban commuters with a gyroscopically controlled electric smart car. A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates determined that unless prices come down and the economic benefits aren't better explained, electric cars will continue to account for only a small portion of overall vehicle sales....[Read Full Article]

Consumer Web v Enterprise: Splitting Apart The VC Herd
The consumer web has a bright future, says Dave McClure (above).Dave McClure, the highly successful Silicon Valley Angel/Micro VC investor, published a passionate post about the prosperous future for the consumer web, and criticized other investors for moving away from the sector.Mr McClure writes:...[Read Full Article]

Happy Thanksgiving - Lots Of Great Stories Coming Up...
I'm heading to Death Valley for a few days but I'm looking forward to some great stories when I get back. I have lots of interviews and research plus I want to delve more deeply into the question: Can corporate media produce serious journalism? Could it become the new funding model for the journalism that we need?Happy Thanksgiving!...[Read Full Article]

Chris Anderson: "3D Printing Will Be Bigger Than The Web"
Chris Anderson has exited one of the top jobs in publishing - Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine - to pursue the life of an entrepreneur, making a big bet that 3D printers represent a massive new phase of the industrial revolution.He spoke at a Wired "Culturazzi" event, at the Marriott Union Square and to sign copies of his latest book: "Makers: The New Industrial Revolution."...[Read Full Article]

TEDxSF: The Challenge Of Healthcare For 7 Billion
'X' marks the spot for TEDxSF at the Mission Bay Conference Center.The TEDxSF events are among the best of the best TEDx regional events in the country. It's a tremendous amount of work for the organizers, such as Christine Mason McCaull, which is her ninth (and final) TEDx, but its tremendous value for the hundreds that attend.The event was held at the visually stunning UC Mission Bay conference center, with the theme "7 Billion Well."The day was filled to the brim with excellent speakers, here are some of them.A few photos from the event:...[Read Full Article]

Out&About: SNCR's 2012 Awards Gala
Katie Paine from KDPaine and Partners received three awards, with MC Paul Gillin.I recently attended the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) 2012 Awards event and conference. I love the people and the conversations and the ideas that come from SNCR events.I'm proud to be a Founding Fellow of SNCR. If you'd like to find out about becoming a SNCR fellow you can find information here. Some photos from the event:...[Read Full Article]

Viddy's 15-second Video "Tweets" - Video For The Mobile Age
"I think 100 percent of innovation is driven by your ability to fail quickly and your ability to learn [from it] and evolve," says JJ Aguhob, Viddy president and co-founder.Viddy President JJ Aguhob compares the video clips that Viddy users create to Tweets for the Southern California entertainment community, boldly claiming that "Fifteen-second Viddys are the '140 characters' of video for people in Hollywood." In an interview, Aguhob, who co-founded the company based in Los Angeles' emerging "Silicon Beach" with Brett O'Brien and Chris Ovitz, discussed mobility spurring creativity, experimentation fueling innovation and the end of form factors.What has the so-called "mobile revolution" meant for entrepreneurs and startups?...[Read Full Article]

Intel Itanium Will Merge With Xeon line, HP Announces Mission Critical Systems
The Intel Itanium microprocessor architecture will be merged with Xeon microprocessors sharing essential on-chip features but will remain a distinct product, in a bid to reduce development costs and guarantee continued support. Intel also announced a new Itanium microprocessor designed for high-end mission critical systems such as HP's co-announced Integrity Superdome 2 high-end servers....[Read Full Article]

Society For New Communications Research Awards Gala
I'm honored to be a Founding Fellow at the Palo Alto based think-tank the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) founded by the amazing Jen McClure. This evening SNCR hosts a gala awards dinner to celebrate the winners of awards for excellence in new communications and to honor outstanding case studies.It runs alongside a two-day conference with many top speakers such as:...[Read Full Article]

Is Corporate Media The New Funding Model For Serious Journalism?
As the business models for serious journalism continue to erode where will we get the quality media we need as a society to make important decisions about our future?I've been warning people: "Special interest groups will gladly pay for the media they want you to read, but you won't pay for the media you need to read."Software engineers have a saying: GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. If you start with garbage data you will get a garbage result. That's the future we are heading towards, a future where our media is corrupted with information that serves the goals of special interest groups....[Read Full Article]

Brand Journalism And The Unstoppable Rise Of Corporate Media
Last week's panel on brand journalism at the Holmes Report's Global PR Summit in Miami was fabulous. We lost control of the conversation and made so much noise in our room, people from other panels were coming over, curious to see what was happening.My fellow panelists were John Earnhardt from Cisco (Cisco is my original inspiration for 'every company is a media company'), Jesse Noyes from Eloqua, and Simon Sproule from Nissan Motor Co.Morgan McLintic from Lewis PR was excellent as the moderator and we didn't waste time getting deep into discussion....[Read Full Article]

Can PR People Become Brand Journalists? What Is It?
I'm in Miami this week taking part in the Holmes Global PR Summit and the topic of "Brand Journalism." I know nothing about the subject but no one else does either because it's a made up term that is in the early stages of being defined. Nothing wrong in that, I do it all the time but I try to think of concepts that make sense and this one doesn't make any sense at all....[Read Full Article]

Exclusive: NASDAQ Plans To Unify Private Shares Markets
NASDAQ has plans to unify US private shares markets and introduce set periodic trading periods in a bid to reduce volatility and improve liquidity in shares of startups....[Read Full Article]

Dublin Web Summit - Some Notes And Images From Ireland's Tech Community
I met a lot of very impressive Irish entrepreneurs on my recent visit to the Dublin Web Summit. Here's some notes from our conversations (at least the ones I remember, due to a delicious local brew called Guinness :).Iain MacDonald (above), co-founder of Skillpages, has had a very successful career so far, a $100 million exit for his company Perlico, and is now running one of Ireland's fastest growing companies.He says that Ireland needs more mid-level financing options in the $20m to $30m range to help startups expand. While there have been many good exits for Irish startups over the past five years, they often have little choice to selling because expansion financing isn't available....[Read Full Article]

Irish Entrepreneurs: Serial Founders And Flounders...
At the Dublin Web Summit there's an ever expanding group of successful entrepreneurs that have founded great companies and won very large exits. There's also many founders who have floundered but are back in the game, more than willing to try, try and try again....[Read Full Article]

Big Exits Make Ireland's Serial Entrepreneurs - Pride In Irish Teams
My first night in Dublin for the Web Summit was to kick off with drinks, in advance of a pub crawl, which was to lead to a big dinner for attendees, and then after-hours drinks. Fortunately for my liver my evening started off really well because I met the remarkable Jerry Kennelly, founder of (above)....[Read Full Article]

Dublin Web Summit - Ireland's Bright Spot In A Troubled Economy
Ireland's economy is retrenching from fast growth over the past decade when the "Celtic Tiger" produced one of the richest standards of living. While there is a lot of doom and gloom in Dublin, the country's high tech sector is booming and the best representation of that health is the Dublin Web Summit, an annual conference held at the Dublin Royal Society (above)....[Read Full Article]

Enterprise Ireland: Dublin's Rapidly Growing Web Summit - Europe's Largest Tech Conference
Above, brief interview with Kevin Sherry and Nick Marmion of Enterprise Ireland at Disrupt in San Francisco, with Gene Murphy from the Irish start-up RedeamAndGet - shot by by Paul Mooney.I'm in Dublin all week as a guest of Enterprise Ireland and attending Dublin's Web Summit, which bills itself as Europe's largest tech conference, although Loic Le Meur's Le Web impressive conference in Paris, would argue with that description. Dublin's Web Summit has an impressive lineup of more than 200 speakers, 3,000 attendees, and hundreds of startups from all around Europe.I've met many Irish and European startups over the years and it'll be interesting to see how they are doing. A key problem they face is that their domestic markets are too small to fuel rapid growth, and the fractured European market holds further challenges. That's why, if they can afford it, they head to the US, sending their marketing and senior leadership.Look for a series of reports this week from Dublin....[Read Full Article]

Out&About: Eastwick's Social By Design; GAFFTA UP Festival
I popped into Eastwick Communications's stylish San Francisco office, (complete with white marble bathrooms and Italian lighting) for a panel organized to introduce Eastwick's SocialXDesign, a specialist consultancy founded by Giovanni Rodriguez (below left), Toby Chaudhuri (below right), and Eastwick CEO Barbara Bates....[Read Full Article]

Committee To Protect Journalists And Theil Foundation Celebrates Muckraking Journalists
I popped into Harry Denton's Starlight room on top of the Sir Francis Drake for an event organized by the Committee to Protect Journalists and The Thiel Foundation honoring leading African journalists risking their lives for free speech.These included:...[Read Full Article]

Publishers Herding After 'Crazy' Techmeme Model
Jason Del Rey at Ad Age reports on Business Insider's "crazy new strategy" that it will start publishing content from advertisers (isn't that an ad?).Here's Business Insider's Crazy New Strategy to Boost Ad Revenue | Digital - Advertising Age...[Read Full Article]

8thBridge: Shopping With The Anti-Social
Social shopping has very little appeal to me and I don't see much of a business model, but maybe that's just me.However, if there are any social shopper enthusiasts among my readers, you'll be able to evaluate the value of today's Graphite 2 announcement from Minneapolis, MN based 8thBridge:...[Read Full Article]

LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman Awarded David Packard Lifetime Acheivement Medal
Reid Hoffman (above), one of Silicon Valley's most successful investors and innovators, has received the 54th David Packard Medal of Achievement Award from TechAmerica.Also:- Michael Fertik , Founder and CEO of received Entrepreneur of the Year. - Tarkan Maner, VP and General Manager, Cloud Client Computing at Dell, received the Community Service Innovator Award. - TriQuint Semiconductor won the Corporate Wellness Award."The impact of the technology community becomes apparent when you gather all of these talented people in one room to celebrate not only business success but a conscience effort to better the community around us," said Shawn Osborne, President & CEO of TechAmerica.The David Packard Medal, named after Hewlett-Packard co-founder, began in 1959 to recognize lifetime contributors and pioneers in what was then a very young high tech industry with very few that would have qualified for a "lifetime" achievement.Pictures from the event....[Read Full Article]

The Russians Are Coming To Silicon Valley- A Showcase Of Investment Ideas
About five years ago I met with a large Russian delegation on a fact-finding trip to Silicon Valley, hoping to learn from the region's success and build similar innovation centers in Russia.A key goal was to invest the bonanza of oil money through joint public and private financing of Russian startups. One of the delegates told me at the time:...[Read Full Article]

TEDxGoldenGatePark 'Pursuit of Passion' Is Tommorow
I'm heading over to the wonderful De Young Museum Wednesday morning for TEDxGoldenGatePark in the Koret Auditorium....[Read Full Article]

Financial Times: Every Company Will Have To Become A Media Company
Financial Times Media Editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson wrote an interesting article:PR and news boundaries are being redrawn - FT.comHis report concludes that... search and social media trends suggest corporate content will only grow. Whether media outlets like it or not, every company will have to become a content company.It's good to see that this important concept becoming mainstream. I've been pointing this out since early 2005. At the moment, PR and marketing people own this topic. What's needed is input from top media professionals who aren't employees. Because PR and marketing people will meddle and produce corporate marketing speak, and that's not progress. (Hat tip: Robert Manetta.)...[Read Full Article]

Little Bird Launches - Find Expert Influencers
I caught up with Marshall Kirkpatrick earlier this week, and the launch of his venture Little Bird. The former lead reporter for ReadWriteWeb, and his team of four, have developed an interesting technology which aims to find the top 500 people on Twitter that are influential about any subject....[Read Full Article]

Out&About: Taploid & Blipboard; GAFFTA Arts Fundraiser And UP Festival
Thursday evening was busy there were so many events, I could only make it to some of them. I popped into Taploid and Blipboard launch parties at the Phoenix Hotel. I had an interesting chat with Mike Barnes, co-founder of Blipboard (above, with Heather Meeker), which came out of stealth mode at this week's DEMO conference.Here's a description of Blipboard from Elaine Fiolet at Ubergizmo:...[Read Full Article]

Brazil's IT Giant Sets Up Silicon Valley Lab
TOTVS said it has established TOTVS Labs, A Silicon Valley based research and development facility that will be used to create new software and spearhead an expansion into North American markets. TOTVS is the largest enterprise software company in Latin America with more than 10,000 staff. I spoke with Vicente Goetten, executive director of TOTVS Labs. Here are some of my notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

Don't Trash Your Old Smartphone - 13 Reuse Ideas
Every time you upgrade your old smartphone it can become a new smartphone for someone else, or you can find some dedicated uses for it around the home. Here are a few ideas from Intel:- Child's toy There are many educational smartphone apps. Kids can take advantage of these apps, as well as games and the internal camera, and you won't have to buy them a new phone. You can also stock it full of Disney songs and keep your youngster humming for weeks....[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Voice Charity Event At The Fillmore
More than 700 people turned up for Silicon Valley Voice charity event at The Fillmore venue in San Francisco Wednesday evening. The goal was to raise money for several childrens' charities Bay Kids Bay Area, Make A Wish, and Little Kids Rock, and also to have some fun....[Read Full Article]

Google Has Most Job Vacancies In Bay Area
Simply Hired has produced its September Jobs Trend report. It shows Google has the most job openings in the San Francisco/Bay Area:...[Read Full Article]

Kiva Interview: Start Your Own Foundation With $25 - Via Your Smartphone
You don't have to be Bill Gates to make an extraordinary difference in the world, says Kiva President Premal Shah (above).By Intel Free PressAs president of Kiva, a non-profit micro-lender, Premal Shah helps connect low-income entrepreneurs with financing that he describes as "micro-finance meets" Shah recently wrote that "if each of us lent as little as $25 to be a part of 'crowdfunding' a loan to a small business owner, the funding gap that stunts job growth and economic recovery would begin to be filled."...[Read Full Article]

Google's Payments For Content Launches - Is It Already A Failure?
Google will allow people to pay for web content using its Google Wallet service reports CNET's Casey Newton:The company confirmed today that users will soon be able to pay for Web content using Google Wallet, buying individual articles for an average of $0.25 to $0.99 each. Once users buy the page, they will own it forever, Google said. The project is expected to launch later today or tomorrow.A draft post announcing the new project appeared briefly in the RSS feed for the Google Commerce blog, where CNET found it. The company later confirmed details of the launch.But how serious is this effort to help publishers monetize their content? How is it that a launch of this type, potentially affecting thousands of media companies, is announced with an obscure post discovered by CNET?...[Read Full Article]

The Old Media Is Dying - Jobs In Digital Media Jump
Ad Age reports: Internet media this year became the media industry's second-largest employment sector, according to Ad Age DataCenter's analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data....[Read Full Article]

SVW Named "Must Read IT Blogs Of 2012"
I was pleased to make the list of Biztech's "50 Must-Read IT Blogs 2012." Ricky Ribeiro reported:This year, we decided to invite our readers to throw their suggestions into the ring as well. The response to our call fornominations was amazing. We received 1,159 votes from more than 400 people, so a huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this year's list.Thank you everyone!...[Read Full Article]

Tibco: 'Everything Is Different' In IT Enterprise
Chief Marketing Officer Raj Verma.I recently returned from Las Vegas and Tibco Software's user conference, TUCON12. It was a good place to catch up with Tibco, one of my most loyal and longtime sponsors.This year the theme was: "Everything is different. How do you prepare for the future when everything keeps changing?" The need for an agile IT infrastructure that can respond in real time and also anticipate what's coming next is more important than ever.Tibco's technologies live in the very heart of large corporations' IT systems, they tie many different systems together, and they also unite employees and partners into social enterprises that unlock the tremendous stores of knowledge and experience already within organizations.TibbrTibco's Tibbr social network app has more users than Yammer, which was bought recently by Microsoft for $1.2 billion. Yet often, Tibco doesn't receive the recognition from the stock market for the value of its business groups.Ram Menon, president of Social Computing at Tibco (above) says that Tibbr is a strategic asset that has become a vital component in its stack of enterprise IT technologies and there are plans to expand its usefulness. In November a new version of the Tibbr suite will be opened up to external developers. He says that people are the real API of an organization and Tibbr is the best expression of a company's top asset. Mr Menon said that Tibbr is finding new users all the time, including by police authorities. Jay Grant, Secretary General of InterPort Police, (above, speaking with Ram Menon), said that Tibbr allows police to quickly span the globe with information that can be used in real time to stop terrorists and smugglers.David Kirkpatrick, (above) formerly a senior editor at Fortune, and now heading the Techonomy conference, moderated several panels at TUCON12.The panel on Big Data...[Read Full Article]

Steve Blank On What Makes Silicon Valley Unique And Why Y Combinator Is A Cult
Steve Blank does a fabulous job in this interview in defining what makes Silicon Valley unique as a global engine of innovation. It's about culture and culture cannot be easily copied or exported....[Read Full Article]

A Job Advertisement From Today... Klout For Clout Sakes
There's quite a bit of controversy over's advert for a community manager whose qualifications include having a specific Klout score. I'm surprised it's taken this long for companies to officially mandate that some jobs require a certain level of community influence.In February 2006 I wrote: A job advertisement from the future . . ....[Read Full Article]

Chris Shipley Interview: How Tech Boosts Human Aspirations
By Intel Free PressFormer journalist Chris Shipley, CEO of Guidewire Labs, sees technology ratcheting up human aspirations.She says that as people come to rely more on technology and even to expect it, the space between anyone and anywhere has shrunk to a single click. In a recent interview, Shipley reflected on her years reviewing laptops and shared her perspective on how the evolution of computing from early laptops to today's mobile devices keeps raising expectations....[Read Full Article]

Travel Site 'We Blog The World' Relaunches With New Look
Renee Blodgett's We Blog The World travel site recently relaunched with a modern new look, with much more space for photographs.I've known Renee for many years primarily from her work in public relations, representing a lot of interesting startups. She now spends most of her time traveling and writing for her web site, and taking lots of great photographs....[Read Full Article]

SumOfUs Petitions Google To Quit Shadowy Trade Group
On Monday,, an advocacy group, will deliver a petition of more than 270,000 signatures of Google users to Google's headquarters in Mountain View, requesting that it, and other large tech firms, quit their membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - a trade group which it says has supported SOPA and taken stands against Internet freedom and democratic processes.A plane will also fly an aerial banner "Google: Quit the Chamber" over the Googleplex campus at noon. claims that the Chamber acts as a proxy for large corporations and that it plans to spend $100 million influencing the November elections.From years ago, Apple quit over the Chamber's die-hard opposition to any climate legislation and Nike quit the executive committee. After the Chamber took a stand against internet freedom and backed SOPA and PIPA, Yahoo quit, and Google let it be known that it was considering leaving as well.So put Google, Pepsi, Microsoft, IBM, and other corporations on notice: tell them to save their reputations and get out of the Chamber.Google, Pepsi, et al: Quit the Chamber. It wants to buy the election. | SumOfUsThe web site has gathered more than 800,000 signatures and asks people to pick the top reason Google should quit the group. The top reason will be announced later today....[Read Full Article]

Intel's Battle With ARM Is About Making Its Future Fabs Viable
Many Intel watchers are concerned that the world's largest semiconductor company hasn't been able to break into the smart phone and tablet markets, which will lead to serious consequences.Intel barely registers a blip as a supplier to smartphone and tablet makers yet it dominates all other microprocessor markets. British chip design company ARM has a near monopoly because they use less battery power and can be easily customized for each product. How is it that a small 27 year old company like ARM, which reported just $213 million in revenues in its most recent quarter, is considered such a huge threat to Intel, which reported $13.5 billion, nearly 64 times as much?...[Read Full Article]

French Telco Orange Brings Bloggers To Silicon Valley
Earlier this week I met with some International bloggers in San Francisco who are part of a group organized by French telco Orange, visiting Silicon Valley companies....[Read Full Article]

A New Type Of PC: Perceptual Computers - Moving Beyond Touch Interfaces
By Intel Free PressHumans can typically understand spoken words, hand gestures and facial expressions at an early age. Yet computers, even after decades of evolution, still struggle to interpret them. That's about to change, according to tech industry experts who see so-called perceptual computing as the next step in controlling computer devices....[Read Full Article]

Intel's Sean Maloney To Retire
I was sorry to see that Sean Maloney, Intel executive vice president and chairman of Intel China announced that he will retire in January 2013....[Read Full Article]

Tech Trailblazers: Awards For Enterprise Tech Startups
Friday is the deadline for entries to Tech Trailblazers, which will award prizes to startups in nine enterprise tech categories: big data, cloud, infosecurity, mobile, networking, storage, sustainable IT, emerging markets and virtualization. Rose Ross, founder of Tech Trailblazers, describes the awards as "a kind of Startupworld focused on enterprise IT."The prizes consist of about $50,000 worth of services, "Exclusive coaching, mentoring and development from VCs, financial experts, and leading CTOs within large industry-vendors in their technology area." Two runners up in each category will also receive prizes. All entrants will receive some form of services valued at about $3,000 per company. The total prize fund is estimated at $1 million in value. The winners will be announced December 3. Entry costs $295 for the first category, additional entries are $150 each. There are 34 judges.How to Enter | Tech Trailblazers...[Read Full Article]

Are Insults Without Pageviews Insulting?
The global protests against the anti-Muslim Innocence of Muslims Youtube clip raises the issue that anyone could post a video insulting to a religion or nation. A small number of extremists on both sides could continuously derail a country's foreign diplomacy. Insults are easily published on the Internet, and easy to find, if that's what you're looking for.Are we facing years of instability in global hotspots because of extremists hurling insults online?...[Read Full Article]

The Future Of Tech Journalism In A Post-Technology World
Tech journalists swarmed into Yerba Buena in San Francisco earlier this week to cover the much anticipated Apple iPhone 5 launch. Some news organizations sent multiple reporters, Fortune sent five.That's quite an over kill to cover the launch of a product that turned into an iYawn. The iPhone 5.0 is about 20% thinner and lighter than the previous model, with a slightly larger display.This small improvement in a mass produced consumer product resulted in a flood of news coverage. Yet just yards from where the legions of the tech press were packed into a dark theater for a very long Apple product pitch, Intel, the world's largest chip company, was holding its Intel Developer Conference (IDF) where it was releasing details of its next generation Haswell microprocessor, and discussing where it sees the future of computing....[Read Full Article]

Making Healthcare The Next 'Space Race'
Building out new infrastructure, tools and services for a 21 century healthcare system is the modern day equivalent of last century's space race, according to Eric Dishman, GM of health strategy and solutions at Intel.By Intel Free PressFear of falling behind the Soviet Union in the space race drove U.S. legislators, scientists and industry leaders to radically reform the government's role in technology research and development. A new commitment driven by the same type of fear might be the shot in the arm needed to save America's troubled healthcare system, according to one healthcare technology expert. Medical technology innovation, once largely centered in the United States is shifting to other countries. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers research, more cutting-edge healthcare products and services come to market in Europe first, and over the next decade China, Brazil and India will outpace the United States in medical technology innovation. Yet, amid the presidential election, the focus domestically is on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act while the international innovation gap widens.Technology is crucial not only to managing costs and improving the quality of care, it can also spur new international opportunities for healthcare companies in America, says Eric Dishman, an Intel Fellow and general manager of health strategy and solutions. In a recent interview, he discussed how consumer technologies could support a preventive care system and opportunities for healthcare companies to export cutting-edge services, expertise and equipment....[Read Full Article]

'Seeking Silicon Valley' - Ambitious ZERO1 Arts Festival Starts Today
ZERO1 Executive Director Joel Slayton and Jaime Austin - Curator and Director of Programs for ZERO1The ZERO1 Biennial, a three month long festival of art and technology begins today in San Jose with the theme "Seeking Silicon Valley."This year the festival has expanded from its San Jose base and has events planned in San Francisco and across the Bay Area. There are more than 100 arts installations and 40 arts museums, galleries, and studios taking part....[Read Full Article]

Sand Hill Road Vice Scare Vexes VCs
Thursdays at The Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel are well known for being full of VCs and hot women looking to startup a love connection but lately attendance has fallen. Peter Delevett at The San jose Mercury News reports that it's because of a rumored vice bust by police....[Read Full Article]

Eric Berlow: 'Big Data Is Controlled By Big Business' - Making Data Vibrant And Public
Eric Berlow, an ecologist and network scientist, sketches a flowchart to illustrate what happens in the lifecycle of publicly shared data.By Intel Free PressEcologist turned network scientist Eric Berlow is tapping top experts to make public data more useful, meaningful and accessible.Eric Berlow plans to catalyze and democratize big data. Berlow is dead serious about it. He believes big data is controlled by big business when it should be openly available to the public....[Read Full Article]

There's Gold In Techno-Pessimism
Andrew Keen is probably one of the best known techno-pessimists and his services as a speaker are in high demand. [I used to work with Mr Keen at Podtech where I was helping develop a range of tech-related video shows.] Mr Keen has spent many years lamenting the fall in quality of our culture because of amateurs rewriting our encyclopedias (Wikipedia) and competing with high quality TV (Youtube videos of skateboarding cats) and the decline of professional journalists and editors (and the rise of blogs)....[Read Full Article]

GE Software: A Massive Startup In The Bay Area
One of the largest startups in and around Silicon Valley is GE Global Software in San Ramon, California, a brand new division of giant General Electric, built from scratch into an organization of 400 engineers, growing to as many as 800 software engineers and researchers by year end. Betting big on software is a key business strategy for GE. The business group's annual revenues were more than $142 billion in 2012. In 2008 they were nearly $180 billion. Software businesses have high profit margins especially if they can be applied across a large user base.  Software is a far more scalable business than services, which are constrained by staff numbers. And software can be used to help scale some types of services and save on staff costs, all great reasons for GE to invest in software.  Its goal is to create a unique asset, a cutting edge software group capable of supporting the many varied business groups that make up GE's industrial conglomerate. From monitoring jet engines to building sustainable energy projects, the breadth of GE's software needs cross a wide spectrum of applications. It will require common software platforms that can integrate many different applications, plus development of cutting edge user interfaces, and the integration of hundreds of tools and third party technologies. It's a massive undertaking that's being led by William Ruh, vice president and director of the Software group. He was formerly vice president at Cisco Systems, where he headed global development of services and solutions.I visited GE Software at it's headquarters in San Ramon (above), a place that locals like to describe as being half-way between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, (if you head 30 miles east of both). Here are some notes from my meeting with Mr Ruh (photo top)....[Read Full Article]

Giant WPP And Others - Shopping For Digital Marketing Startups In Silicon Valley
WPP, the world's largest advertising and marketing group, is on a buying spree, reports the Financial Times. WPP - can't stop shopping - FT.comWho says there is no M&A any more? WPP made no fewer than 40 acquisitions, in 21 countries, in the first half of 2012. That is nearly two a week. ...WPP is already the world's biggest advertising agency. It intends to get bigger still. As Sir Martin points out, half its business - emerging markets, digital - did not exist a decade ago.WPP agreed to pay $540 million for San Francisco based AKQA in June. AKQA is one of the largest independent digital agencies, an area of particular strategic focus for Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP. Silicon Valley is producing a lot of startups developing digital marketing and advertising services, potential targets for WPP and its giant competitors, such as Omnicom and Publicis.Apple, Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! have also been making large acquisitions in digital advertising companies, and has been acquiring digital marketing and analytics companies. The competition will provide some good exits for Silicon Valley investors in these sectors, and spark investment in new startups hoping to profit from this M&A trend.Silicon Valley is increasingly becoming "Media Valley" - funding the development of cutting-edge media technologies used to power a new generation of technology-enabled media companies....[Read Full Article]

Mark Hatch - TechShop CEO: Sharing The Top Tools Of The Industrial Age
Why have a gym membership that you don't use when you can get a membership to a local TechShop, and share access to the top tools of our industrial world, plus a community of creators and innovators.By Intel Free PressThe world's fastest electric motorcycle -- top speed 218 mph- was built at TechShop. So was President Obama's iPad case, the prototypes for Square, the smartphone dongle that businesses can use to swipe credit cards and a host of other Kickstarter projects.TechShop is a national chain of membership-based do-it-yourself fabrication workshops that provide access to professional equipment and expert advice for a monthly fee. "We are giving people access to the tools of the industrial revolution for the cost of a bad Starbuck's addiction. They are changing the world as a result," said TechShop CEO Mark Hatch (above)....[Read Full Article]

Improving Web Site Quality Could Sink Your Google Rank
My recent post about Google's battle with spammers seems to have confused some people in the Search Engine Optimization industry.There's a perception that I'm advising web sites not to improve the quality of their content. I'm not advising anything, I'm reporting that a little known Google patent appears to be playing a major role in how a post-Panda Google now ranks web sites and web pages. It also explains some of the bizarre, random changes in rankings that have bedeviled SEO efforts by webmasters.If Google detects that a web page has been changed between visits from its spider, it will check to see if the changes are designed to improve the rank of that page in its search index. This will flag the site as a potential spammer and trigger a reassessment of the site's rank in Google's index. In between the reassessment the site's rankings will fluctuate randomly. This creates the situation where if a site owner tries to improve the quality of a page, by rewriting passages to make them clearer, adding additional information, links, video, etc, this could result in a spammer flag from Google, and a period of randomly fluctuating index ranking. Thus, trying to improve the quality of your site could sink your rank. Yet Google is constantly telling web sites to improve the quality of their content to gain a better ranking.That's a seriously messed up situation. Any SEO -- White Hat Or Black -- Could Flag You As A Spammer - SVWIs Search Broken? Does Google Trick SEOs With Random SERP Ranking Changes?...[Read Full Article]

Any SEO -- White Hat Or Black -- Could Flag You As A Spammer
I've always advised people not to worry about search engine optimization (SEO) with the explanation that it's the job of the search engine to optimize its performance -- not yours.Over on SEOBook, there's a great article pointing out how Google is now measuring any attempt at raising the rank of a web page as the work of a spammer -- no matter the quality of the content -- and it will penalize the site.Any attempt to modify the rank of a web page, after it's been ranked, could spell disaster for the site owner.A little known Google patent called Ranking Documents details what Google is looking at. Here is the explanation:...[Read Full Article]

'Every Company Is A Media Company' Is Fueling M&A
For many years I've been saying that every company is a media company and writing about what that means and its importance to business. At first people were puzzled by that statement but these days it is much better understood. Its importance has increased tremendously and it is now fueling multi-million dollar acquisitions....[Read Full Article]

Should Facebook Board Members Wait To Sell Their Shares?
Dashiell Bennett, writing at The Atlantic Wire, wonders why Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook with a $500,000 initial stake, and a member of the board, recently sold more than 20 million shares. While no one is questioning Thiel's right to take back what he earned, some people are still wondering why a board member would choose to essentially exit the company (financially, at least) so soon after going public. And before regular employees will get the same option. Their shares are "locked up" until at least at October. ... It feels to some like a vote of no confidence from someone who played such a key role in the building of the company and now looks ready to move on to other things....[Read Full Article]

Interview: Ericsson Remakes Itself Around Open Innovation
(Patrik Regardh, head of strategic marketing, Ericsson.)By Intel Free PressEricsson's head of strategic marketing, Patrik Regardh, talks about how the company has changed its approach to innovation to adapt with the times and the blurring lines between our physical and digital worlds. As mobile technology continues to shape the way we interact globally, Ericsson, the world's largest maker of mobile telecommunications equipment, is redefining its approach to innovation. It's not the first time the Stockholm, Sweden-based company has changed with the times. The company was founded in 1876 as a telegraph equipment repair shop. As technology advanced, the company shifted into telephone exchanges and eventually mobile telecom. Innovative product development has helped carry the company through those evolutions from introducing the world's first fully automatic mobile telephone system in 1956 to an early hands-free speakerphone in the 1960s to inventing the Bluetooth standard in 1994....[Read Full Article]

SocialxDesign Launches - PR Firms Move Into Business Consulting
SocialxDesign (Social by Design) a high end social media consulting firm launched this week with Eastwick, a top Silicon Valley PR firm, as investor.The CEO is Giovanni Rodriguez, who just left Deloitte and used to be a partner at Eastwick, and Chief Strategy Officer Toby Chaudhuri, a top public affairs consultant in Washington, DC. The two met while working for a White House Hispanic initiative and they realized that large enterprises had a lot to learn from combining Silicon Valley's tech and social media skills, with Washington's expertise in creating communities and maintaining conversations.Here are some key points, and my analysis follows:...[Read Full Article]

What's Your Best Business Book Of 2012? Mine Is Nearly 150 Years Old
The Financial Times has released a list of 16 business books as part of its for its "Best Business Book of the Year." Looking for your next read? We've just released the longlist for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. Check out our special page and tell us which of the 16 books you'd pick if you were on the judging panel. Would it be Walter Isaacson's life of the late Apple chief executive Steve Jobs? Or maybe William Silber's forthcoming biography of form­er Fed chairman Paul Volcker?...[Read Full Article]

The Disappearing Disk Drive - Flash Taking Over
"We're not talking 10, 20 percent improvement here. It (SSDs) can be 10 times more reliable. It can be a thousand times faster than a hard disk. This is very disruptive." -- Rob Crooke, vice president, general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions GroupBy Intel Free PressSmartphones and tablets start almost instantly. Search engines deliver results before you finish typing a query. NAND, [a type of flash memory] makes it possible. Industry analyst group IHS predicts that flash memory shipments will reach 16.3 billion gigabytes by 2015, up from 1.6 billion in 2011. Recently, Rob Crooke, vice president, general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, took time to discuss the competitive landscape, the growing demand for SSDs and how NAND will "disrupt" the computing industry. If the CPU is the brains of a PC, what is NAND?...[Read Full Article]

Has TED 'Become An Insatiable Kingpin Of International Meme Laundering'?
(Gopi Kallayil, head of Google+ speaking at TEDxBerkeley earlier this year.)TED, the Technology, Entertainment, Design conference, has expanded its brand across the globe over the past two years, with hundreds of local TEDx conferences, and more recently, with its own books imprint, TED Books.TED organizers always choose their speakers well and there is rarely a dud among them. It is excellent curation under the aegis of "Ideas Worth Spreading."But choosing which authors to publish under the TED Books brand appears to be more challenging than booking a speaker for a 17 minute talk. Evgeny Morozov, writing in The New Republic, tears TED Books a new binding with his demolition review of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization - By Parag Khanna and Ayesha Khanna....[Read Full Article]

Intel China Chairman On: Lessons From Deng Xiaoping And Andy Grove
(Sean Maloney - Chairman of Intel China.)By Sean Maloney - Chairman of Intel China"Not fooled by success, or stopped by failure." What we can learn from Deng Xiaoping and Andy Grove.China's market has undergone explosive growth in the past decade. China is already No. 1 in many industries: steel production, auto manufacturing, PCs, smartphones -- the list goes on. But this is only the start. In 5 years' time, China's PC market is forecast to be twice the size of the U.S. market....[Read Full Article]

Ready, Set, Go! The Ancient Olympic Technology Of Fair Starts
A modern version of the ancient hysplex starting mechanism was reconstructed in the stadium at Nemea, Greece in 1993.By Intel Free PressWhen Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin kneel in the starting blocks for the men's 100 meters at the 2012 London Olympic Games, a phalanx of timing and monitoring equipment will ensure a fair start. The cutting-edge technology that starts the race that unofficially crowns the world's fastest man actually descends from crude catapult tech used to start sprints at the ancient Greek Olympiad....[Read Full Article]

The Fast Unravelling Web: How Google Is Killing The Hyperlink
There is something extraordinary taking place. Google's war on spam sites is tipping the online world upside down and now threatens that most fundamental element of the world wide web: the hyperlink. There is a massive erasure underway of millions of links and it will only accelerate. The communications lines are the spider's silk but it's the links that make the structure of the web. But because of Google's battle with spammers, the hyperlink could disappear in its current form, and become a commercial product that's bought and sold, instead of earned fair and square. Let me explain:...[Read Full Article]

Ubokia: Putting The Buyer Back In Charge
Mark Pine is a former venture capital investor who decided to come out of retirement recently to lead Ubokia, a startup that creates flexible marketplaces around any type of product or service, with the buyers setting the terms of the deal, and with multiple suppliers then competing for those deals. Mr Pine used to work at Sybase and OnDisplay, and at Sigma Partners, a leading VC firm. Here are some notes from our meeting:...[Read Full Article]

Pearltrees iPhone App Launches - A Curated Web In Your Pocket
Pearltrees, the web site curation service, today launched an iPhone version. Users can now access their "pearls" - bookmarked web pages - on PCs or Macs, iPads, and now on the iPhone. An Android version is in the planning stages....[Read Full Article]

Women In Silicon Valley VC Firms: Equal Partners Or Just Publicists?
I used to know Margit Wennmachers, co-founder of Outcast Communications, a prominent San Francisco PR firm, fairly well and noted with interest when a press release in mid-2010 announced she had left Outcast and joined the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz as a partner. I remember thinking that it was a good move for her, she had diligently stayed on for her earn-out years following the sale of Outcast to Next Fifteen Communications in 2005, and now she could sit back a bit and invest her hard earned wealth....[Read Full Article]

When VCs Seek Ink - There's Flacks And Then There's Super Hero Costumes
It was interesting to see Margit Wennmachers, co-founder of Outcast PR, and now working at VC firm Andreesen Horowitz, so prominently quoted in the New York Times today:Venture Capital Firms, Once Discreet, Learn the Promotional Game - NYTimes.comShe has done very well in getting a lot of ink for her employers, both the paper and electronic kind, in barrels and terabits. She's made them into the most visible VC firm in Silicon Valley....[Read Full Article]

'Access Journalism' - An Insidious Corruption of Silicon Valley Reporters
David Weidner, a 15 year veteran reporter on the Wall Street beat, recently wrote an interesting article about his observations: So long, suckers -- I'm leaving Wall Street - MarketWatch He notes that much has changed and a lot hasn't in his 15 years. Presumably to mark each of his years covering the financial services sector he came up with 15 "takeaways." The one that caught my eye was number 3:...[Read Full Article]

Amazon's Smartphone Advantage - It Can Make Money From Mobile
MarketWatch columnist Therese Poletti writes: Why an Amazon smartphone is a bad idea . She reports that it looks like an Amazon smartphone is in the works and could be available by the end of this year. But, clearly she's not a fan of the strategy. Ms. Poletti quotes an analyst who shares her opinion,...[Read Full Article]

Smart Money Versus Dumb Money - Silicon Valley's War With Wall Street
Here's Roger McNamee on BloombergTV hyping his unfortunately named "The Hypernet," and blaming NASDAQ and Wall Street greed on the botched Facebook [$FB] IPO.It's worth a watch:'s Take: Roger McNamee's claims of a corrupted process for the Facebook IPO, involving NASDAQ and Wall Street firms, seems too perfect an explanation for the flop. The real reason the Facebook IPO failed is much simpler: the "smart money" couldn't convince the "dumb" money to buy....[Read Full Article]

The Challenge Of Building A 'Moore's Law' For Healthcare
I've often marveled at how healthcare has managed to resist the productivity gains that computers and IT, have enabled in so many other industries. By making healthcare more efficient the outcome should be lower, not higher costs. Here's an interesting perspective on this subject.By Intel Free PressAs Intel's resident MD, Mark Blatt (above) doesn't wear a stethoscope around his neck and he doesn't treat employees. Instead of medical devices, his tools are tablets, smartphones, wireless networks and relational databases. The doctor-turned-technology evangelist is seeking ways to double the number of patients that a doctor sees while cutting the cost of treating them by half or more. To reach that goal, Intel's worldwide medical director draws on the same principles that Intel has applied to semiconductor manufacturing -- pursuing what he calls it a "Moore's Law for healthcare" to slash costs....[Read Full Article]

Media Under Seige: Billionaire Gina Rinehart Changes Strategy On Fairfax Media
BBC News reports that mining mogul Gina Rinehart, one of the world's richest people, has reduced her stake in troubled Fairfax Media, Australia's second largest media group.Ms Rinehart, whose wealth is estimated at more than $29 billion, has been trying to win control of three board seats at Fairfax, and wants control over the hiring and firing of editors. Her goal is to oppose the Australian government from pursuing mining and carbon tax plans that could protect the environment at the expense of her iron-ore mining business....[Read Full Article]

Computers Want To Be Touched: Here's How It Works
(Above: Capacitive touchscreens use an electrostatic field to continuously sample the screen surface for movement and relays that information to a processor that can interpret it. )I've long been curious about how touchscreens work and never got around to finding out. Here's a great explanation.By Intel Free PressToday, largely due to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets such as the Apple iPad, sophisticated touchscreens are a common fixture in our digital lives. To understand how touch technology works, requires a look back to the basics of how touchscreens evolved from primitive interfaces to chic and powerful digital accessories....[Read Full Article]

Lessons From Cisco's 'the network' - The Corporation As A Media Company
Earlier this week I popped into the Grand Hyatt on Union Square (above) for Cisco's celebration of the first anniversary of publishing "the network" an online publication that employs a large group of top editors and journalists. Autumn Truong (below), Senior Social Media Strategist at Cisco, first told me about the imminent launch of the media venture back in September 2010. But it took an additional nine months before it was ready....[Read Full Article]

Google's 'Q' Ball Is Pocketed - Better Products Already Exist
Google's Nexus Q "media streaming" device costs $299, requires speakers and a TV although it does have a small amplifier, better products already exist.Sonos sells a compact $299 wireless speaker, the Play:3 that can play your iTunes library and stream from any music service. It can blast any room with loud sound through 3 high quality speakers, each with its own custom-tuned digital amp.[I reviewed the Play:5, essentaily the same as the Play:3 but with two extra speakers.]...[Read Full Article]

Are You Ready For The Human--Cell Phone Mind Meld?
("You think you like your cell phone now? Imagine when they can read your thoughts," says researcher Joshua Smith (above))By Intel Free PressSensors are everywhere around us from smartphone touchscreens to elevator buttons to thermostats. These sensor devices, which receive and respond to a signal, are a linchpin of the so-called "Internet of Things." As they become smaller, cheaper and require less power they are being deployed in more places that we encounter every day - whether we are aware of it or not....[Read Full Article]

Is CliQr The Key To Google's IT Ambitions?
CliQr Technologies today emerged from stealth mode with the announcement of a cloud based service that can port large enterprise applications to any cloud platform in under one day. If the Palo Alto based startup can deliver on its promise it could result in significant IT cost savings. Enterprise applications are notoriously difficult to rewrite for cloud platforms and their performance can be unpredictable....[Read Full Article]

Competitive Coding And Dreams Of Winning A Medal At The Olympics of Informatics
Hackathons everywhere, most weekends there's probably one near you. Hundreds of app developers competing for cash, trips, and seed capital. This past weekend, AOL in Palo Alto (above), hosted angelHACK, where several hundred developers, mostly in their mid-to-late twenties, competed in small teams, over a sleepless 48 hours.But those events are easy-peasy compared with international coding competitions, such as the qualifying rounds for the International Olympiad in Informatics, (IOI). Getting there involves grueling rounds of regional competitions with devilishly hard computational problems. You have to think hard, fast, and creatively. It's an experience that can transform good coders into great coders - or it can send you home feeling beaten and humbled....[Read Full Article]

Is This Why Larry Ellison Bought Lanai?
Larry Ellison has assured residents of Lanai, the Hawaiian island he has purchased for about $500 million, that he plans no changes to their homes and resorts. But what about below ground? The Lanai volcano is dormant, it last erupted about 1.2 million years ago. Perfect for being hollowed out and turned into the world's best billionaire hangout. If he starts buying high-energy lasers from failed fusion reactor ventures, we might need to start worrying a little bit....[Read Full Article]

Salman Khan: A Low-Tech High-Impact Visionary
(Above, is a brief extract of Salman Khan's speech at SVForum 2012 Visionary Awards.) I had the enormous privilege of shaking the hand of Salman Khan, at the SVForum Visionary Awards earlier this week. I thanked him for showing the world that public education can be enormously boosted through simple means. For years I've railed at the poor state of Silicon Valley's public schools. For years I've reminded this community that we can't tell the world we are inventing the future if our public infrastructure, our schools, are in such a poor state....[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley And Las Vegas Thrive On Failure
Silicon Valley and Las Vegas are similar - both thrive on failure. The difference is that if you fail in Las Vegas you have to leave town. If you fail in Silicon Valley, you can stay and play again -- and with other people's money. Every country wants to copy Silicon Valley but no one wants to copy its chief characteristic - failure. Massive amounts of it. Above is an extract of a speech by Jim Breyer from Accel Partners, at the SVForum Visionary Awards, in which he thanks all the failed entrepreneurs. And urges them to come back and try again. And again....[Read Full Article]

SVForum Visionary Awards 2012 - Photos
The SVForum Visionary Awards were excellent, as usual. Here are some photos in a slideshow format of Silicon Valley's top innovators and investors celebrating this year's winners. I will be posting videos of the speeches and other photos as I process them, so please check back. Jim Breyer, Partner and President, Accel PartnersIn April 2011, Forbes published its Midas List of top technology investors and ranked Jim Breyer #1. Salman Khan, EducatorSalman Khan (Sal) founded the Khan Academy as a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education for "anyone, anywhere" in the world. David Kirkpatrick, Journalist and AuthorAuthor and journalist David Kirkpatrick is founder and CEO of Techonomy Media. Kirkpatrick was for many years senior editor at Fortune Magazine. Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect and CEOElon Musk is CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and CEO/CTO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he is the chief designer, overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Elon co-founded PayPal....[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Heavyweights Back Diabetes Startup Glooko
Glooko, a startup that lets people monitor their blood glucose levels using their iPhone, announced a who's who list of Silicon Valley backers, investing an undisclosed amount. Glooko is founded by Yogen Dalal from veteran VC firm Mayfield. Its investors include:...[Read Full Article]

Millennials And The Backlash Against 'Creepy Stalker' Technologies
Melanie Shreffler, editor-in-chief of Ypulse, a youth market research firm, wrote an interesting article recently: It's Possible There's Too Much Technology In Our Lives, Even For Millennials We're seeing a little backlash despite all the benefits because technology is becoming something of a creepy stalker. ### We noticed this recently in two commercials, one for cable company Optimum in which young parents talk about how their baby was on Facebook before she was even born and how her first steps will be broadcast on YouTube. In a separate commercial for a Samsung smart TV, a family hangs out in their living room using voice and gesture controls to operate their TV -- at the end, the proud mother is wowed when her toddler learns to say, "Hi TV," speaking to the set to turn it on. Both commercials cross the creepy line when technology is no longer about enabling our lives but begins to feel like a living, breathing member of the family. Millennials are noticing their own interactions are often filtered through a screen, even when they're in the same room with their friends. The panelists at the Millennial Mega Mashup described a love/hate relationship with technology for that very reason. They even call their friends out when they see them staring at a screen instead of paying attention to the people they're with, but the behavior persists. We're even seeing that technology is sometimes getting a bad rap in youth-focused media. In "The Hunger Games," the Capitol uses technology to control the population as they're forced to view the games, and the game designers use it to torment the tributes. ... In reality, Millennials wouldn't choose a life without technology (we dare you to try to take a cell phone away from a teenager), but they're conscious of...[Read Full Article]

Because Disruptive Technologies Disrupt -- New Layoffs In Media Industry... And More To Come
Fairfax, the second largest Australian newspaper publisher, said it would cut 1900 jobs, almost 20% of its staff. I was asked for comment by the Australian Broadcast Corporation, which was concerned about the effect on independent news from the loss of hundreds of top journalists. I said that it will have a very bad effect because well-financed special interest groups will have a field day promoting their agendas. There's very little that can be done to stem the loss of journalists because we don't yet have a business solution to this problem, which is the direct result of a disruptive technology at work, one that continues to devastate the US media industry. Last week, Advance Publications announced 600 job cuts at newspapers in New Orleans and Birmingham, Alabama. And there will be even more job losses to come....[Read Full Article]

Father's Day Thoughts: Startups And Immigrants Have Much In Common
I was thinking about my dad, Jerzy Foremski today (Father's Day in the US), he passed away last year. The photo (above) shows him holding me, (8 months old) and was taken shortly after my parents had escaped Poland and arrived in London.We lived in Hackney, London's poorest neighborhood, in the heart of the inner city. Hackney, and the neighboring Shoreditch district, are where immigrants to London have, for more than 150 years, made their first start in life....[Read Full Article]

The Best Innovators See David In The Marble Block ... And Know How To Use A Chisel
Om Malik from GigaOm writes: The present isn't as interesting to most of us who live here, mostly because that would mean accepting the status quo. Instead, guys like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey want to rearrange the world to fit the future they want to live in. I think Om is stating the obvious. To be innovative you have to search out the cracks, challenge the way things are accepted in the present. It's a task that's often done best by outsiders. For example, journalists would have never invented blogging, "What, republish other people's news stories and give them links and credit?" Never....[Read Full Article]

Advice From A Top VC: Big Data Insights From 'Cloud' Companies And The 'Death Of McKinsey'
Silicon Valley VC firm Emergence Capital Partners was an early investor in and now works exclusively with cloud-based startups primarily focused on business customers. Gordon Ritter writes that they can learn a lot from consumer services companies.By Gordon RitterConsumer internet companies have always been good at harnessing behavioral data from their customers to serve their customers better (and help themselves in the process). Many enterprise cloud companies have the same opportunity but have not focused on the importance of this data....[Read Full Article]

The Flaws In Facebook And ComScore's Social Ad Study
Facebook seems to have succeeded somewhat, in holding back widespread concerns about the effectiveness of its advertising platform with a recent paid-for study by comScore, in the wake of GM's announcement that its Facebook ad campaigns don't pay....[Read Full Article]

Pew Report On Teenage Video Habits
The Pew Research Center recently published a report on teen online video habits. There's a few interesting tidbits, such as that younger teens are less interested in online video than older teens; and teens from lower income homes are more likely to stream video.Here is an infographic based on the Pew findings from[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Honors Four Visionaries: A Top VC, An Educator, A Journalist, And A Serial Entrepreneur
Next week SVForum will honor four extraordinary people with its 2012 Visionary Awards, a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship that is in its 15th year. The awards go to:...[Read Full Article]

Competing With One Arm Tied - Silicon Valley's Gender Gap Handicap
(Sol Tzvi, founder of Genieo, based in Israel.)Silicon Valley is running hard to maintain its position as the global innovation engine, against competition with dozens of fast growing innovation centers around the world.Which is why it's puzzling that Silicon Valley has such a large gender gap in key sectors such as angels, VCs, entrepreneurs, engineers, and in senior executive roles. Why isn't Silicon Valley using all of its people?...[Read Full Article]

Interview: Veteran Chip Industry Analyst Dan Hutcheson Looks Ahead
(Dan Hutcheson (above, with a 450mm silicon wafer) has been following the semiconductor industry for more than 30 years. He recently advised the White House Council of Economic Advisors on innovation.)By Intel Free PressDan Hutcheson, head of VLSI Technologies, a chip industry market research firm, shared his perspective on the industry today, the future of Moore's Law, and the semiconductor industry's transition to giant 450mm wafers from the current 300mm wafers. How do you see the industry today? We've gone through two decades when foundries were growing faster than the industry. Then the fabless industry was growing faster than the industry, and the IDMs [integrated device manufacturers] were going to go away. Maybe eight years ago, I predicted that as we moved below a hundred nanometers, design and manufacturing were going to become integrated again, that the key strategic thing that made the foundries possible was going away and that you needed a lot tighter coupling between manufacturing and design. You're seeing that now. It used to be that the foundries were neck-and-neck with the IDMs on process technology and now they could be a generation behind. Certainly a generation behind Intel in the logic space. They're also behind the memory IDMs. Intel is already racking 22-nanometer, and they're still trying to get to entitled deals on 28 nanometers....[Read Full Article]

VC Bill Draper And - Still Pitching Startups At 84
(Bill Draper, third from left.)Wednesday I had dinner with Bill Draper and several startups around the theme of "Millennials" and how their online habits are determining the business models for a new generation of online services.It was great to see Mr Draper, still pitching his investments, at 84 years old! He looked great and he's an excellent role model for how to age gracefully and energetically. Mr Draper, born in 1927, is sometimes known as the "father" of Silicon Valley VCs. He started work at his father's investment firm, Draper, Gaither & Anderson in 1959. His is an illustrious career, take a look at this small excerpt:...[Read Full Article]

VCs Clamor For Virtual Databases As Delphix Raises $25m
There's lots of money in enterprise IT and virtual databases are emerging as a very hot sector for VCs, as Delphix raises $25 million in an oversubscribed C-round. Virtual databases are able to increase the effieiciency of data centers and also help speed the development of web-based applications. Facebook is a Delphix customer. Tim Campos, Facebook's CIO, says that Delphiix is being used to help develop 11 projects simultaneously instead of just two. Nick Sturiale, general partner at Jafco Ventures, and a board memebr of Splunk, said Delphix is "one of the most compelling value propositions" he's seen since Splunk. New investors Summit Partners and Battery Ventures join lead investor Jafco, and Greylock Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners....[Read Full Article]

Encouraged By Facebook IPO Ponzify Issues S-1
John Flowers, writing in the literary magazine McSweeney's can't resist pillorying $FB's disastrous IPO. This is how the world now sees Silicon Valley IPOs, at least until the next good one.Here are extracts from the S-1 for Ponzify:...[Read Full Article]

Demand Media Escapes The 'Farm' Focuses On Expert Content
(Joanne Bradford, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer for Demand Media.)Demand Media, the media publisher and Internet registrar company, is on a roll: its revenues are up and so are pageviews. And it's no longer called a "content farm" the derogatory term that's applied to companies with a "content-lite" strategy designed to sell low quality advertising.I spoke with Joanne Bradford, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer for Demand Media's content business. Here are some notes from our conversation....[Read Full Article]

Lucas Buick: The Man Responsible For Deluge Of One-Click Hipster Photos
(Lucas Buick co-founded Synaptic, a company that brought retro looking photography to smartphones with its popular Hipstamatic app for the iPhone.) (Flickr photo)By Intel Free PressLucas Buick is the CEO and co-founder of Synthetic, a company best known for bringing the washed-out and color-saturated look of retro analog photography to the digital world. The company's photo app, Hipstamatic, the Apple iTunes Store's 2010 App of the Year, sparked a frenzy of photo special effects and social sharing apps for smartphones. It sold nearly 1.5 million downloads in its first year and the $1.99 app remains one of the top 100 most popular paid apps with more than 5 million sold. In 2006, Buick and his friend Ryan Dorshorst founded Synthetic, a small design consultancy. Three years later, they moved the bootstrap startup to San Francisco and shifted focus to the mobile software. Today, Synthetic has a series of Hipstamatic apps, including Swankolab, Incredibooth and an online store called Hipstamart, where people can order prints, posters, T-shirts and items using digital photos. There's even an iPad magazine of curated content called Smack. "What I love about magazines is larger trends being featured rather than the hourly trending topic on Twitter," Buick said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. Buick sat down recently to talk about how he sees mobile technologies changing people's lives....[Read Full Article]

Bill Demas And The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards
Ernst & Young is on the search again, for the 26th year, looking for the world's top entrepreneur, a journey that involves thousands of the world's top business leaders and their advisors, judging panels, and a lot of galas and other networking events. This Saturday, Ernst & Young will announce the winners of its N. America competition at a dinner event at the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill, in San Francisco. Winners in eight categories will be chosen from 26 regional finalists, out of group of 135 companies chosen from 1,700 entries. Last year, Andrew Mason, CEO of Groupon, and Reid Hoffman, founder of Linked-In, were among the winners. [US Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 winners]...[Read Full Article]

Fab Fundamentals Fortify Facebook's Fiscal Future
Matthew Buckland, editor of Memeburn, argues that the focus on Facebook's [$FB] share price collapse, is a distraction from the many positive factors that will shape its future. He owns shares in Facebook.In confusing times like these, when there is a cacophony of conflicting reports and opinions around investing in Facebook, I like to go back to the fundamentals. Fundamentals cut through hyperbole and understatement because they are just that: fundamentals. Instead of the current share price consider these key points:...[Read Full Article]

SETI In Trouble: Search For Alien Life Hurt By Search For Money
(Jill Tarter ponders the uncertain future for Alien search project SETI.)Wednesday evening I was at a great local salon organized by Taylor Milsal and Christine Mason McCaull, which featured Jill Tarter, Director of the Center for SETI Research for 35 years.Last week, Ms Tarter announced her retirement from SETI, but that was not by choice. She resigned so that SETI could continue with its work amidst big cuts that threaten to shutter the project. Her former salary will be used for operations while she tries to raise funds large enough to plug large losses in funding due to the state of California's budget cuts, and from other sources.She gave a great talk and I spoke with her afterwards. Here are some of my notes:...[Read Full Article]

HP Labs Breakthrough In Data Center Power Use
Researchers at HP Labs said they have developed a way of managing energy use in data centers that can save as much as 30% in power costs while at the same time lessening dependance on power utility grids through the smart use of local reusable energy sources....[Read Full Article]

The Rise And Shine Of The 17 Hour-a-Day Journalist
... And Why Outsiders Are Essential To DisruptionHenry Blodget, the founder and chief editor of Business Insider, an online news company based in New York City, is notorious for his role in Wall Street's dotcom saga, and he is becoming equally notorious for his shakeup of news reporting and traditional roles in journalism....[Read Full Article]

Iceland's Green Computing Cloud - Renewable Energies Fuel Data Centers
(Steam rises from the Svartsengi geothermal plant in Iceland.)...I've long been interested in Iceland's potential to become an important platform for server farms because of its natural abundance of geothermal sources, and its position mid-way between N. America and Europe. As the carbon-content of computing becomes more important as a competitive edge, Iceland clearly has a future role to play.By Intel Free PressIt does not sit in London, Tokyo, Beijing or New York. It is not humming along deep inside a corporate skyscraper. No, one of the world's newest supercomputers - and apparently among the world's greenest - was recently fired up inside a low-slung grey building with red trim on a windswept plain outside Reykjavik, Iceland....[Read Full Article]

The Low Budget Silicon Valley Reality TV Show...
<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="SarahAustinGearyBus.jpg" src="" alt="SarahAustinGearyBus" width="500" height="667"%2...[Read Full Article]

It Was 'Smart Money' That Got Burnt In $FB IPO
There's a lot of anger around the botched IPO of Facebook but much of that is from the "smart money" that wasn't able to convince retail investors, the regular people who invest in stocks, to take their shares. The point of a "pop" in an IPO is to provide an incentive for retail investors to acquire the risk -- the shares from investors and insiders -- and then to continue holding that stock and limit volatility.  But the smart money had already decided what the stock was valued at because of trading activity in secondary markets, which was in a range of $38 to $42 and only wanted to price a 10% pop, which is why the $38 price was chosen. That's not much of an incentive to take on a very risky investment. The fact that retail investors disagreed with the valuation and largely stayed away is a very good sign because it shows that they are far more sophisticated than the Wall Street bankers and their clients. So let's not shed tears for the "smart money" they were the ones that literally bought the hype about Facebook's future prospects. The SEC isn't going to help them because they are considered to be sophisticated investors that know the risks. The good news is that few small investors bought shares; the bad news is that few small investors bought shares. This means that the smart money, in its zeal to leave as little money on the table in the IPO (it's called fair pricing), has messed things up for future tech IPOs and prospects for getting their money out of their other positions. Greed has its consequences. The Facebook fiasco also puts the spotlight on secondary markets and the role they play in helping private companies raise capital and for early...[Read Full Article]

More Bad News: A Deluge Of Facebook Shares Could Drop Price Further
Facebook's IPO is considered a failure in that the share price was too high to attract retail investors. There's more bad news. More than 1.7 billion shares owned by insiders, such as employees, etc, will be "unlocked' over the next six months and will be eligible for trading. That's a huge overhang considering that Facebook floated 421 million shares in its IPO. It's equivalent to an additional four Facebook IPOs. The largest block of shares, about 1.3 billion, unlocks in six months time....[Read Full Article]

Did Secondary Market Trading In Facebook Spoil The IPO?
There are thousands of articles dissecting the reasons why things went bad for Facebook [$FB] yet none have mentioned the role of secondary markets. In these private stock exchanges, Facebook was trading at around $34 a share in the weeks before the IPO. Interestingly, Facebook set the opening price at $38 hoping for about a 10% pop on the first day, which would bring it up to $42 at close. Since secondary markets are the playground of acredited investors, it's "smart money," and much of it institutional, it would be a fair assumption by Facebook that a $38 price was in the right ballpark. However, this means that the trading in secondary markets essentially set the IPO price, leaving little wiggle room for Facebook.  Will secondary markets become more important in pricing future IPOs? Or will private companies choose to limit secondary market trading as much as they can, to avoid what happened with Facebook? It's ironic that Google [$GOOG] carefully managed its IPO and snubbed much of Wall Street so as to not reward clients of investment banks; and to price fairly at the outset so that there would be as little pop as possible, yet it closed 18% up. Facebook went with the investment banks and took their advice and ended up with flop....[Read Full Article]

McKinsey Reports That Marketing Is Complicated
Chief Marketing Officer or VP of Marketing/Communications has to be one of the toughest jobs around these days. Why? Because of the massive fragmentation going on in media and communications. ... The good news about the new media and communications channels is that it is all measurable. You can measure things in incredible detail. You can slice and dice the measurement data in ways that were never possible before. The bad news about the new media and communications channels is that it is all measurable. There is a mountain of data that can sliced and diced in so many ways. What is worth measuring? How much should you measure? What do the measurements mean? How can you relate the measurement data to revenues? We are still figuring out these and many other questions. And that's why marketing and communications today is so challenging and it isn't going to get any easier.   That's from my post Chief Marketing Officer - Toughest Job Around . . .  written about four years ago.   Here's a good article on the same theme but with some hard data from various industries, written by McKinsey staff: David Court, Jonathan Gordon, and Jesko Perrey....[Read Full Article]

De Young Museum Workers Protest Union Busting And Cuts In Benefits
Workers at the prosperous de Young Fine Arts museum in Golden Gate Park staged a friendly protest Friday evening during the popular "Young at Art" celebration of the talents of students from San Francisco's public schools. The workers say that the museum is successful and profitable yet they have been called "spoilt" by the head of HR and told to take cuts in benefits....[Read Full Article]

Zuckerberg Won't Share - IPO Will Consolidate His Total Control
(The Facebook Campus: One, Hacker Way. Photo by Tom Foremski.) Lucy Marcus, a leading advocate for reform of boardrooms, is highly critical of Facebook's corporate structure, following a "Shareholder Spring" where the boards of many large companies faced angry shareholders. In annual meeting after annual meeting around the world, boards have been taken to task by investors and other stakeholders on a wide range of issues: remuneration, board composition, competence, diversity, voting control, dual stock, and more... No sector has been immune; no director has been untouchable. Yet Facebook has adopted a structure that enables co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to retain complete control following the IPO, it's as if it were a private, and not a public corporation. [I would not be surprised if he tries to take the company private again, once he's paid-off his largest investors.] Facebook swims against the tide of a global movement toward transparency, engagement, and checks and balances. Please go to Reuters and read:  Facebook versus the Shareholder Spring | Lucy P. Marcus Foremski's Take: Facebook was not interested in reforming Wall Street with its IPO, as Google tried to do with its dutch auction process and snubbing the big investment firms. So it's not surprising that Facebook isn't interested in adopting a more open company governance structure.  In fact, Facebook [$FB] has copied Google's [$GOOG] corporate structure as closely as it could, and even improved on it. The two-tier shares where insider's shares have ten times the voting power is common to both companies.  Mark Zuckerberg figured out an additional way of keeping control that Google's founders missed: he managed to retain the voting rights of shares he had sold in secondary markets.  ...[Read Full Article]

Former Senior Oracle Exec Gary Bloom Heads Mark Logic
Gary Bloom has been named CEO of Mark Logic, which returns him to his database roots. This is an interesting appointment and shows that the board of Mark Logic is trying to spruce up the database company and either dress it up for sale or try to expand it's business. He was at one time considered a possible successor to Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle. Mark Logic is used in several interesting media publishing applications. Here's Mr Bloom's history: Former vice chair and president of Symantec Corporation, where he led the company's line of business organizations and corporate development efforts. Gary joined Symantec through the company's merger with Veritas Software where he was the chairman and CEO. Before joining Veritas, Gary held senior executive positions at Oracle. During his 14-year career at Oracle, Gary led Oracle's database business, worldwide marketing, support, education, and alliance organizations, and was responsible for mergers and acquisitions. I interviewed former CEO David Kellog: Mark Logic's David Kellogg - Creating Media From Unstructured Content - SVW...[Read Full Article]

The Back Story On 'Curated By Intel' - Experimental 'iQ' News Magazine
(Bryan Rhoads, Editor-in-Chief of iQ at Intel's offices in the Presidio, San Francisco.) Earlier today, I met the team responsible for this morning's launch of 'iQ by Intel', an online magazine featuring daily news and feature articles from around the globe plus original content from Intel. The magazine is curated by Intel employees, choosing and sharing articles from a river of media content surfaced by special tools developed by Intel. I was pleased to hear Bryan Rhoads, the mastermind behind the project, and its Editor-in-Chief, say that I was one of the people that inspired the venture with my writings about how every company is a media company. Here are some of my notes from the meeting:...[Read Full Article]

Intel Builds Vietnam's Largest Solar Power Plant
The solar array at Intel's Vietnam Assembly and Test Factory in Ho Chi Minh City. (Flickr photo.)  By Intel Free Press The largest operating solar power plant in Vietnam was installed recently at Intel's Saigon Hi-Tech Park facility in Ho Chi Minh City. The 1,092 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Vietnam Assembly and Test Factory came online in April. The system is expected to generate about 321,000 kWh per year that will be consumed directly by the factory, reducing the flow from the local electrical grid....[Read Full Article]

Zero1 Launches Ambitious 'Seeking Silicon Valley' Arts Festival
ZERO1 Executive Director Joel Slayton and Jaime Austin - Curator and Director of Programs for ZERO1 ZERO1, the biennial arts and technology festival, announced a massive expansion in its program this year, with more than 100 arts installations Bay Area wide and 40 arts museums, galleries, and studios taking part. The theme this year is "Searching for Silicon Valley." The announcement of this year's program was made at SFMOMA, which is one of many arts organizations that will take part in this year's festival. Jaime Austin, Curator and Director of Programs for ZERO1, said that the idea for the theme "Seeking Silicon Valley" came from her experiences from meeting visiting artists at the airport and their wish to see Silicon Valley....[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Celebrates Women Of Vision
Several thousand leading professionals from top Silicon Valley companies are gathering in Santa Clara this evening for a banquet honoring this year's Women of Vision award recipients. The annual event is organized by the Anita Borg Institute, one of Silicon Valley's oldest professional organizations. [Please see my interview with director Telle Whitney.] The recipients of the 2012 awards are:...[Read Full Article]

Cisco's NDS: The Future Of TV Is TV - All Wall And All You...
NDS, the TV technology firm Cisco recently bought for $5 billion, was in town for a couple of days this week, ensconced in the W hotel and showing off its vision of TV's future, which essentially means that this could be a preview of "Cisco TV." It was good to catch up with fellow Brits Nigel Smith, chief marketing officer and Nick Thexton, chief technology officer at NDS. It's their job to figure out how people will be using their TVs so that NDS can provide the technologies that cable TV companies will need to service future subscribers. Here's my take and my notes from the demo:...[Read Full Article]

Turkey Looks To Tech And Youth To Transform Its Economy
  (Muslim women in Istanbul compute while having lunch. Photo courtesy of Chris Schuepp. (Flickr photo)) By Intel Free Press Turkey was Europe’s fastest-growing economy last year, expanding by more than 8 percent for the second consecutive year. Although that brisk pace is projected to slow this year, by about 3 percent, the government has ambitions to become one of the world’s top 10 economies by 2023 when the Republic of Turkey will celebrate its centennial. To get there, the government is betting on technology to educate the country's youth. Today, 65 percent of the population is younger than 24, and the nation’s leaders see this as a competitive advantage that will drive Turkey’s growth....[Read Full Article]

Media Love Affair With Apps Is Over
Jason Pontin, editor of Technology Review has a long history in publishing, he was editor-in-chief of Red Herring during the dotcom boom-to-bomb days. He's written a great article about why publishers jumped onto the app trend and how some painful lessons have brought many back to the web and open technologies. It's a long piece but worth it....[Read Full Article]

Yahoo! And Silicon Valley's Cult Of The Engineer
The discovery that Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson has been claiming to have a Computer Science degree for years, and did not correct statements that identified him as an "engineer" is not surprising given the strong "cult of the engineer" that is prevalent in Silicon Valley....[Read Full Article]

Telemedicine For The Masses: Experts On Wheels
(A cardiac patient and his doctor using the Medikart telemedicine cart.) By Intel Free Press A few weeks ago, a 70-year-old man showed up at the emergency room of a small Baja California hospital with a cardiac syncope, meaning he suffered a brief loss of consciousness. After performing an EKG and lab analysis, a young general practitioner found a complete blockage of the man's electric impulses to the heart. The patient was in trouble, and so was the doctor....[Read Full Article]

Culture Watch: 'April in Paris' in SF - This Saturday
(Allison Lovejoy - photo - Tom Foremski.)This Saturday evening is the always excellent "April in Paris" featuring a great lineup of performers for just $10, starting at 8pm - Workspace 2150 Folsom St., San Francisco.Music by: The Cottontails and The Ronchin Big Band (from France)There's also a reception for $25 starting at 5pm. Cheese, bubbly, art & live classical and cabaret music by Allison Lovejoy and maestro accordionist Rob Reich....[Read Full Article]

CultureWatch: 'Making Scenes' at the de Young
(Photo by Tom Foremski.)Friday evening April 27 at the de Young in Golden Gate Park: Note - All public programs are free and do not require a ticket. 2012 Artist Fellow Monique Jenkinson (aka Fauxnique) celebrates Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk with Making Scenes.Jenkinson brings the nightclub to the museum, curating a Friday Night at the de Young packed with the creative energy of San Francisco's club scenes....[Read Full Article]

SFNewTech: Japanese Startups At Mighty
It was raining but a decent turnout at club Mighty in San Francisco, where Myles Weissleder's SF New Tech showcased top Japanese startups....[Read Full Article]

Interview With Stephen Hawking's Computer Builder
(Stephen Hawking's support team: Travis Bonifield (from left to right top row), Rob Weatherly, IT support; Sam Blackburn, graduate assistant.)By Intel Free Press British scientist Stephen Hawking celebrated his 70th birthday early this year, and continues to work on ground breaking theories in cosmology. Because of his severe motor neuron disease, he depends heavily on the latest computer technologies to help him communicate with others.Intel application engineer Travis Bonifield has been working closely with Mr Hawking for more than a decade, building PCs customized for his needs. Mr Bonifield talks about the technology that powers the customized systems and how Intel co-founder Gordon Moore persuaded Mr Hawking to switch from AMD to Intel....[Read Full Article]

CultureWatch: Traditional Arts + Modern Mix At JapanTown's Cherry Blossom Festival
(Photos by Tom Foremski)JapanTown's four-day Cherry Blossom finished Sunday with a parade and a prize ceremony for best Manga costume.It was a lot of fun, and multi-ethnic in procession and in audience, reflecting the diversity of the Fillmore neighborhood. My Highlight app barely blipped the whole time I was there, which means it was largely geek-free, there were very few starters among the thousands of people. You'd think startups would be interested in the varied culture that's around them, after all, every business is a cultural artifact. Here are more photos:...[Read Full Article]

CultureWatch: From The Real Sidewalk .... To Gaultier - de Young
(Photos by Tom Foremski.)Dan was walking along the sidewalk outside the de Young museum, which is staging "Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk" (you can see the white lettering by his shoulder). I asked him where was going, he said he was marching, on a forced march, you know how it is. I said I did, I said we are all marching, even when we don't want to, the march of time marches us on. He smiled and we passed each other, heading to different destinations even though we all eventually arrive at the same place......[Read Full Article]

Offline Tales: Horn Group, Techcrunch, And The Future Of Money
(Offline Tales - a new (ir)regular Friday column.)Wednesday I was in North Beach heading for the Bubble Lounge and Media Bistro sponsored by the Horn Group.It was great to catch up briefly with Sabrina Horn, founder of the Horn Group, who tells me that business is booming and the firm is engaged in a broad range of digital communications services and applications.I had an interesting chat with Tim O'Keeffe, (below) who heads Horn Group's San Francisco operations....[Read Full Article]

It's A Tough Job: Finding Codenames For Intel Chips
By Intel Free PressWhat's in a name? Not much if you're talking about the codename for world's first 22-nanometer processors that use Intel's leading edge Tri-Gate transistors.Groundbreaking as the "Ivy Bridge" chips may be, their codename isn't, according to the man who came up with the initial moniker for Intel's next Core processor family. Ivy Bridge is the internal codename forIntel's third-generation Core processors, the first of which will be unveiled in April....[Read Full Article]

Sergey Brin And Google's Dilemma - Progress In Commerce = Progress In Oppression
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, wrote that his comments about Internet freedom made to The Guardian Newspaper needed some clarification.He begins by re-stating his original premise: "I believe the internet has been one of the greatest forces for good in the world over the past quarter century."He then goes on to say:Today, the primary threat by far to internet freedom is government filtering of political dissent. This has been far more effective than I ever imagined possible across a number of nations.Foremski's Take: The problem with the Internet is that the same methods that a company such as Google uses to monitor its users for clues about what they might purchase next, so it can show relevant ads, can just as easily be used by governments to monitor its citizens for political and oppressive purposes. "Big Brother" is already here, it's just masquerading as "Big Sales Assistant."...[Read Full Article]

Public Relations And The Rise Of Product Journalism - Scoops About Spec Sheets...
Why has tech reporting become such tedious product journalism? Why are reporters trying to scoop each other on news that is essentially a spec sheet about a mass-produced product? Why are we reading about products as a news story and not in an ad?...[Read Full Article]

Culture Watch: The Extraordinary World of Jean Paul Gaultier - at the de Young
(Photos by Tom Foremski.)Friday evening I was at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate park to see The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.The museum is on a roll with its exhibits of leading fashion designers. The Vivienne Westwood show was fantastic, and the Balenciaga exhibit last year was even better. And this one is extraordinary, the best so far.It's a superb curation and the presentation the work of designer Jean Paul Gaultier, dubbed "fashion's enfant terrible" is fantastically creative. I've never seen anything like it before. The mounting, the display, the lighting are superbly tuned to the works displayed -- the de Young's staff should be congratulated for their skill in building this exhibit....[Read Full Article]

OffLine: Bollywood Night At Warriors v Mavericks
(The spectacular Oracle Arena.) It was a dark and stormy evening but it was also Bollywood Night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland and I had two tickets to see the Golden State Warriors play the Dallas Mavericks -- thanks to Tibco Software. [Vivek Ranadivé, CEO of Tibco, is one of the owners of the Warriors, and the first Indian-American NBA team owner. The scrappy kid from Mumbai has done very well, arriving as a teenager in Silicon Valley many years before the recent waves of Indian engineers.Vivek Ranadivé is also one of the most interesting personalities in Silicon Valley. I knew him when I worked at the Financial Times and he became one of my most important contacts because of his long history and extensive contacts within the valley. When I left the Financial Times he took a keen interest in my publishing venture. Tibco became a founding sponsor of Silicon Valley Watcher in 2005, and has remained our most loyal supporter. I hope my readers appreciate Tibco's important contribution to SVW.]I'd never been to an NBA game and was looking forward to it immensely. I set off with my son Matt, and we braved the nasty cats and dogs weather, driving across the bridge to Oakland. And I'm glad we did because we had a brilliant time. Here's a taste of the event: The Warrior Girls, the Golden State Warriors' cheerleaders got into the Bollywood spirit with colorful costumes.Sport is theater... The first person we ran into was Cory (Scoop) Johnson (above with Tim Draper) CNBC's original Silicon Valley reporter. He now works for Bloomberg TV. Tim Draper, founder of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is as well known for his eccentric personality as he is for his VC prowess.Al Seracevic, sports editor for the San...[Read Full Article]

Every Media Company Is A Media Company - And That's The Problem
Every company is a media company because every company, no matter if it makes ball bearings or diapers, as to publish in many different channels and formats to be visible. If you aren't seen amidst all the media noise, you don't exist....[Read Full Article]

New Revenue Opportunities For Newspapers: Teaching
(Illustration by Chris Dichtel.) Foremski’s Take: The Guardian newspaper’s plans to offer courses in digital media production is an important development and one that should be followed by US newspapers. It would provide much needed revenues to many struggling media businesses.[Every Company Is A Media Company - The Guardian Newspaper Will Teach You How] I’ve written many times that the future of journalism is in helping communities, which includes businesses, to tell their stories. Media literacy is important but that’s just one side of the coin: knowing how to produce and publish digital media is just as important, maybe more. Freedom of speech is pointless if you don’t know how to make it heard. Newspapers know how and they can teach that know-how to others....[Read Full Article]

Every Company Is A Media Company - The Guardian Newspaper Will Teach You How
(Above, Guardian HQ in London, credit: The Guardian.)Every company is a media company but that doesn’t mean every company knows how to be one. That’s what the UK based The Guardian newspaper will be offering: training in digital media production....[Read Full Article]

The Science Of Food - Gastronomy Night at The Exploratorium
I love any excuse to go to the Palace of Fine Arts and visit The Exploratorium -- two of my favorite places in San Francisco.On the first Thursday of every month The Exploratorium hosts its "After Dark" series of unique events. This month the theme was 'Gastronomy' looking at the science and the art of creating food. Several thousand people turned up for lectures, tastings, demonstrations, and to play around with The Exploratorium's marvelous, hands-on science exhibits. The theme reminded me of the incredible, and very much under-appreciated importance that the invention of gastronomy has had, both on our development as a species and in developing our civilization - no other technology has done the same. The development of cooking food had a monster effect on our ancestors. Cooking unlocked vast amounts of hidden nutrition in raw foods. The development of the cooking pot literally blew our minds - our brains jumped in size and our bellies shrank - which made us smarter and much better looking. All that extra food energy went straight to growing and fueling our brains, which need 24/7 glucose, our highest octane food fuel and burn 25% of our calories. The cooking pot allowed us to build a Ferrari of a brain, expensive to maintain but incredible in performance. We left the other primates in the dust and now we're on the doorstep of our next big leap, into some sort of mixed biological digital world. If gastronomy hadn't been invented there would be no civilization, science, arts, building of big things, or development of semiconductor and computer technologies because we wouldn't have the time for it. It turns out that it's very difficult to digest a full day of energy from raw food. 2500 calories is a shockingly large volume of raw vegetables, salads,...[Read Full Article]

GOOG$ Previews Brilliant Business Strategy
(A Google engineer models 'Project Glass.')The Google video of its Project Glass, wearable glasses concept is much more than a gimmick, it's a preview of a brilliant business strategy. Take a look:Project Glass: One day... - YouTube...[Read Full Article]

Intel's Ambitious 'Creators Project' - Can Great Curation Build Brand?
(Photos by Tom Foremski)... Intel teams up with the cool crowd.I recently attended The Creators Project in San Francisco, a globe-roaming two day free event that celebrates an eclectic mix of avant-garde music and arts installations, and attracted tens of thousands of people. It could have easily been re-named " The Curators Project" because of the superb collection of bands, artists, installations, and even food trucks -- all carefully selected by a small team of curators.The event is produced as a partnership between Intel and Vice Media. I spoke with David Haroldsen, (above) Intel's Creative Director for the project. Here are some of my notes:...[Read Full Article]

The Guardian's Google Revenue Fantasy - And The Future Of Newsrooms
(The Googleplex at night)The UK newspaper The Guardian, claims that Google's Android operating system is far less valuable than Google's revenues from Apple devices.Google's Android has generated just $550m since 2008, figures suggest | Technology | The Guardian...[Read Full Article]

Touch Me: Do Users Really Want Touch-Responsive Computers?
Touching the screen on a tablet is different from using a laptop with a keyboard. Intel's market research shows that despite tired arms ('gorilla arms') users like to touch.By Intel Free PressTouch on vertical screens, such as laptops, has been thought to result in so-called "gorilla arm," a term engineers have coined to describe what happens when people use touch interfaces for lengthy periods. "Touchscreen on the display is ergonomically terrible for longer interactions," Avi Greengart of Current Analysis said to Wired in 2010. In user testing conducted by Intel in Brazil, China, Italy and the United States, however, people embraced touch on laptop displays....[Read Full Article]

The Joys Of Modding PCs ... And 'Mad Men'
Jeffrey Stephenson surrounded by several of his computer designs. He is a fan of the Mid-Century Modern designs depicted in the AMC television series "Mad Men" By Intel Free PressBy day, Jeffrey Stephenson works as an information technology professional, but in his free time, he's better known as "slipperyskip." That's his Twitter handle and the name he uses on computer hardware forums where he posts about how he transforms retro furniture and antique appliances -- he once turned an Elvis microphone into a fully functioning PC. His handcrafted designs have made him a celebrity in many computer hardware circles and a living legend among PC modders....[Read Full Article]

Windows 8 Changes The Security Landscape
By Paul Lipman, CEO, Total DefenseAs the industry prepares for the release of Windows 8 toward the end of this year, just about every security company is wondering how they will be affected and how the general security landscape may change. Windows 8 is expected to offer some compelling new security enhancements that have the ability to significantly reduce exposure to digital attacks, and while I believe this is a step in the right direction, fundamental issues still remain with the underlying architecture, leaving the potential for vulnerabilities to be exposed and exploited....[Read Full Article]

SF New Tech Celebrates 6 years!
Myles Weissleder is one of my favorite people, he's the hard working organizer of the excellent SFNewTech events, held once or twice a month in San Francisco at Club Mighty.These events are very high in geek-content with a roster of 5 or 6 startups, each with a 5 minute presentation followed by five minutes of questions. Myles always makes sure everyone sticks to their time. There's usually a very spirited question time because the audience is mostly fellow starters, which leads to great feedback.It's definitely a demo/pitching event rather than a partying event. There's usually a food truck or two outside and plenty of parking. Tonight's lineup looks great:...[Read Full Article]

Thought Leaders: JP Rangaswami - Chief Scientist At recently held its Cloudforce conference. I caught up with its Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami, who's based in the UK....[Read Full Article]

Incapsula Report: More Than Half Of Website Visitors Are Machines
Incapsula, a provider of cloud-based security for web sites, released a study today showing that 51% of web site traffic is automated software programs, and the majority is potentially damaging, -- automated exploits from hackers, spies, scrapers, and spammers....[Read Full Article]

From Tuskegee Airman To Rocket Ship Designer: Ben Berry Interview
Intel Free Press interviewed Ben Berry, one of the famed Tuskegee airmen, the highly decorated World War II African-American aviators. After the war he earned an aerospace engineering degree and worked on the design of NASA's Apollo spacecraft....[Read Full Article]

Profiles Of Up And Coming Irish Infosecurity Startups
(The following profiles were commissioned by infosecurity ireland - an organization supported by Enterprise Ireland that helps to promote Irish security businesses. It includes a quick, sub-minute introduction video for each company.)...[Read Full Article]

Can The Future Of Technology Be Predicted? Here's How Intel's 'Futurist' Works...
By Intel Free PressBrian David Johnson is Intel's "futurist," which means his job is to look out 10 to 15 years ahead and develop plans that Intel engineers can use to create technology for, well, the future. His job is a complicated mix of sociology and research, looking deeply into how people interact with computers and computation today to anticipate how it will evolve over time....[Read Full Article]

Facebook Woos Wall Street - It Just Added 25 Banks - GOOG Shunned Wall Street With Its IPO...
Facebook has added 25 banks to its IPO offering — a massive expansion from the original six banks named. It allows the banks offer Facebook stock to their clients in special deals and spreads a lot of favors among the Wall Street investment community....[Read Full Article]

SF PR Firm LaunchSquad Launches Premium Content Company
I like San Francisco based PR firm LaunchSquad because they tend to be a little bit ahead of the pack. This week it launched Original9 Media, a company combining content creation with online marketing....[Read Full Article]

Nielsen: 'Social Ads' Are Better Recalled
There's advantages to showing advertisements recommended by a person's friends, says Nielsen in a study of 79 Facebook campaigns over a six month period....[Read Full Article]

The Reverse Hockey-Stick Slide For Newspapers -The Media Disruption Is Far From Over
There seems to be a perception that much of the disruption in the media sector has been done and that we are now at a (lower) plateau of some kind and that a recovery in the industry's fortunes is underway. I like to remind people that we are not yet done with the disruption, there's plenty more ahead of us! And it won't be pretty. Here's a very dramatic reminder of the challenges facing traditional media companies:...[Read Full Article]

Can Social Media Reveal Your 'Trustworthiness'?
As more and more services focus on the arbitrage of consumer-to-consumer transactions and rentals, the problem of trusting a stranger becomes a significant drag on success....[Read Full Article]

Is Skype A Social Network?
Surely Microsoft's Skype should be counted as a social network. It fulfills many of the same functions that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.You can set a status 'mood' message, you can text message, use it as a group chat system, you can share files, photos, your computer screen. Plus, you can talk with people plus video calls, and set up videoconferences with several people....[Read Full Article]

Infographic: Active UK Users Of Social Media Platforms
My recent article about the true size of social media platforms has prompted a lot of people to examine how many real people are followers or friends, and there has been some interesting additional data made available.Social media agency Umpf released the results of a survey of about 2,400 UK consumers with active profiles in the form of an infographic: (via Vikki Chowney at Econsultancy.)...[Read Full Article]

'Dear Instagram...' - Here's How To Apply For A Job At A Hot Startup
Alice Lee just upped the ante by a factor of 100 in what you need to do to get noticed when applying for a job at a hot startup:...[Read Full Article]

Protest Planned at Apple HQ Infinite Loop For Shareholders Meeting
(Photo of demonstrators outside Apple store in San Francisco by Chris Knight.)Working conditions at factories that supply Apple products have become a massive issue for Apple. It has taken some steps towards sprucing up its public image but critics are keeping the pressure on CEO Tim Cook.'Think Fair' Could Become The New 'Green' - Secretive Apple Opens Its Supply Chain To Inspectors - SVW...[Read Full Article]

What's Ben Parr Up To? Some Hints...
I was on a panel on Friday at Visa, the credit card processor, along with Ben Parr, former senior editor at Mashable, and Jon Swartz from USA Today....[Read Full Article]

Google's M&A Chief Says Deal Focus Has Changed
Google made 79 acquisitions last year, mostly small companies and mostly for their engineering talent. The largest acquisition was Motorola Mobility, a $12.5 billion deal.This year, the search giant expects to focus on smaller numbers of deals in strategic areas such as mobile and video, said David Lawee, VP of Corporate Development....[Read Full Article]

Pearltrees Announces $6.7m Funding Says It Will Start Charging For Premium Services
Congratulations to Pearltrees, (a former client) on raising 5 million Euros, about $6.7 million in Series B funding. The Paris-based company offers a web service that groups users' selected web pages into collections of "pearls" - visual metaphors that can be shared and collected online by others.Here are more details from Pearltrees on the funding and its "freemium" plan, which will start charging some of its users for premium services....[Read Full Article]

The Hollow Core In Social Media Numbers - Many Are Fake Or Empty Accounts
The numbers of users reported by Facebook, Twitter, Google, and many other sites, are closely watched. They reveal trends in adoption and they are one of the few public metrics available to analysts trying to assign value to companies preparing an initial public offering.But how accurate are these numbers?...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Dan Lyons Calls Silicon Valley Journalism A 'Cesspool'
Dan Lyons, a columnist for Newsweek, has written a scathing attack on Mike Arrington and MG Siegler, who run CrunchFund, a small VC fund.The former editor and his reporter at TechCrunch, a leading AOL tech news site, are accused of being part of a trend among Silicon Valley journalists to raise money from investors in exchange for favorable PR services....[Read Full Article]

'Think Fair' Could Become The New 'Green' - Secretive Apple Opens Its Supply Chain To Inspectors
(Image by Damien Van Achter)Nick Wingfield and Charles Duhigg reported in today's New York Times' Bits blog:...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley's Media Industry Is Winning While The East Coast's Is Shrinking
...and the use of cutting edge technologies isn't helping them. GigaOM, the San Francisco based tech news publisher, announced it has acquired ContentNext, the publisher of the media industry trade publication, paidContent, from the UK's Guardian Media Group. Om Malik, founder of GigaOm, wrote about what this means to the company:...[Read Full Article]

Pearson Says FT 'Not For Sale' On Report Of Thomson Reuters Interest
Michael Wolff, a New York City based columnist for the UK newspaper The Guardian, writes that a source at Thomson Reuters has said that the giant news and information services firm is talking to Pearson about buying the 121 year old newspaper....[Read Full Article]

Does Google Hire Of Apple Exec Show Hardware Ambitions?
Richard Waters, West Coast Managing Editor for the Financial Times, analyzes news that Google has hired Apple executive Simon Prakash, senior director of product integrity....[Read Full Article]

Wow. Facebook Rules Prohibit Users From Promoting Their Work, Company, And Much, Much More...
Have you seen Facebook's rules for users, developers, and partners? They give Facebook tremendous powers to disable accounts and to make money from your content. Here are a few examples, you can see more here in this SEC document filed late Wednesday:...[Read Full Article]

TEDxBerkeley 2012: Inspiring Innovation
TEDxBerkeley 2012 was a Saturday well spent... I know the people that organize TEDxSF pretty well but this was my first time at TEDxBerkeley, which was held in the Zellerbach auditorium on the University of California campus. The audience was very young compared with the much older audience for TEDxSF. The two events could maybe trade some attendees, it's always great to see young students....[Read Full Article]

PRWatch: Example From A VC On Writing A (Linkless) News Release...
Ben Horowitz, the slightly hairier one in the powerhouse VC duo of Andreessen Horowitz, wrote an interesting post about the future of networking that also serves as a very good example of what a news release could look like....[Read Full Article]

The Dirty Little Secret Of Silicon Valley's Startup Boom...It's A Jobs Fair For Giant Corporations
In San Francisco cafes and bars, even on the street, I overhear people talking about their startup ideas, business plans, and goals. And there are tons of incubators, Angels, wannabe Angels, VC firms, making investments in startups....[Read Full Article]

The Art Of 'Goldilocks' SEO
I always pay attention to Aaron Wall, who runs SEOBook, because he is always on the money. He is one of the very few Google Watchers that is consistently insightful and isn't afraid of writing hard hitting articles critical of Google -- if it's called for. Here is one of his latest infographics, and again, he is spot on about the changing trends in how Google views the web. It's shocking how much valuable advice he gives away:...[Read Full Article]

Facebook's Hidden Gold Mine - What The Others Have Missed
Several reporters have pointed to a big risk that they discovered in Facebook's SEC filing: mobile....[Read Full Article]

A Tale Of Two Letters: Facebook's Vague Social Mission
Facebook's IPO documents reveals a far different culture to that of neighboring rival Google...Mark Zuckerberg's letter to prospective shareholders was incredibly vague about his company's "social mission" and there was no announcement of a charitable foundation -- as Google had done when it filed its IPO papers eight years ago....[Read Full Article]

What To Watch: Will Zuckerberg's IPO Letter Be As Awesome As Larry Page's?
The same media frenzy of interest that we see today in the Facebook IPO we saw with Google in 2004...I remember vividly the day Google filed its "red herring" with the SEC in preparation for its IPO. I was out at lunch when our bureau chief Richard Waters, called me, "They've filed."...[Read Full Article]

Report: Facebook IPO Halved -- Its Valuation Could Skyrocket Above $100bn
International Financing Review, a Thomson Reuters publication, reports that its Wall Street sources point to a far smaller Facebook IPO, raising about $5 billion instead of the expected $10 billion....[Read Full Article]

Will Massive $1.5 Billion Andreessen Fund Inflate The Bubble In Private Secondary Markets?
(Photo:By Joi Ito.)Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz made their reputation as savvy investors by making lots of small seed investments of up to $100,000. This then helped them raise billions of dollars, $2.7 billion so far, with the latest $1.5 billion fund announced today....[Read Full Article]

Bay Meadows Urban Office Campus Opens Up Massive Space
San Francisco is straining to accomodate demand from large and small tech companies but not far down the road a massive new office space has just opened up....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch Analysis: Should The Tech Industry Buy The Content Industry?
Should Apple buy Hollywood? Should Google buy the New York Times? Foremski's Take: People in the tech communities have long discussed the need for tech companies to buy media companies. More recently, there has been discussion about Apple using its $100 billion cash hoard to buy music and movie studios.This won't happen, for many reasons. I discuss some of those reasons here:...[Read Full Article]

The Coming Merger Of Power + Data - Apple Patent
I've long thought that electric and computer power will eventually be mixed. There used to be various ways of using a home's electric power lines to guide data connections to every room but wireless technologies became simpler and cheaper.Now Apple has received a patent on a power connector that also carries a data connector. It's a step towards a merging two powers that will fuel this century and beyond.AppleInsider has the details:Apple exploring MagSafe data, headphone connections for iPhone, iPadNamed "Programmable Magnetic Connectors," the filing describes a series of "coded magnets" found in both a portable device and a data and power cable.The filing includes an illustration of an iPad 2 with a forward-facing camera and associated cable that are described as having a "coded magnetic structure."In its application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple notes that current coupler designs, like with the 30-pin dock connector or headphone jack found on existing iPhones and iPads, prevent a device from being properly sealed. This is why the connector port and headphone jack feature water sensors, to determine if water entered the device through one of these openings.The use of MagSafe connectors not only for the data and power cable, but also headphones, could allow Apple to properly seal its devices and make it more difficult for moisture to damage the valuable electronics....[Read Full Article]

Facebook Use Is Linked To Depression... And More Sex
This study of time spent on Facebook by 425 College students is depressing:MediaPost - Facebook Correlated with Low Self Esteem...[Read Full Article]

How Ousted Company Leaders Continue To "Manage From The Grave"
Lucy Marcus makes some excellent points in this article from Reuters' Blogs: Lead from the front, or manage from the grave? | Lucy P. MarcusShe shows how boards of directors at RIM, and Yahoo, are making serious mistakes in their efforts to revitalize their businesses with new leaders. They don't take the necessary steps to cut off the influence of the former, discredited management teams, on the organization. Appointing a new CEO will change little....[Read Full Article]

Could Buildings Be Improved If They Were Designed Like A Web App?
David Galbraith has embarked on a fascinating journey, exploring the notion that the flow of people and their interactions inside buildings, is similar in design to the flow of data and user interaction of Web apps.Could best practices in Web app design be applied to architectural design?...[Read Full Article]

Entrepreneurship is a fundamental human expression whose absence is always a sign of oppression
A group of Indian students at Velammal Engineering College are putting together a book: "500 Definitions Of Entrepreneurship" and they asked me for my definition. Here's what I sent:...[Read Full Article]

Searching For Race In Social Media - US Government Program Targets Hispanics
Dana Oshiro, publishing analyst at ad network NetShelter, poses an interesting question: "how do you determine race and ethnicity online? "This question arose from her recent attendance at the White House Hispanic Community Action Summit in San Jose, CA where plans were discussed on how to use social media and online marketing to target the Hispanic population. The goal is to offer programs that will raise the number of Hispanic students in colleges by 4.5 million over the next ten years....[Read Full Article]

Here's Why Apple Won't Reign-in Its Lawyers Anytime Soon...
Apple has been waging legal battles against rivals such as Samsung. It may have spent more than $100 million on legal bills in 2011.Tim O'Reilly, the influential CEO of book and conference company of the same name, tweeted:...[Read Full Article]

Hacks And Ca$h: Silicon Valley Outspent Hollywood in Washington
There is a widespread perception that Hollywood's media industries have friends in high places because they have spent money buying influence compared with the poor tech industry. But Reuters reports that the tech industry has outspent the entertainment industries....[Read Full Article]

Insurance And Finance Top Google Customers In 2011 - Revenue Breakdown
Which industries and companies were Google's top spenders in 2011? Did you know that "Self Employed Health Insurance" cost $43 per click? Here's a fascinating infographic that breaks down the $38 billion that Google made in 2011:...[Read Full Article]

Vice Media: The Best Network Effect Is Still The Good Old Boy Network
Vice Media is a great success story: three friends in Montreal start publishing a magazine about tattoos and drinking and now run a media empire across 34 countries.Vice could be worth $1 billion by the end of this year and become "the next MTV," writes Jeff Bercovici at Forbes:...[Read Full Article]

Lessons From Plancast - When Sharing Doesn't Work
Mark Henderson, founder and CEO of Plancast, has written an excellent article about lessons learned from operating his event planning service -- mostly popular in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco area. It contains a good analysis of the different types of users and what people are willing to share online....[Read Full Article]

2012 StartupWatch: Echo Expanding With Key Hires
I'm a big fan of Khris Loux's Echo, which has a fascinating real-time media technology that will only become more important as large media and brand companies try to get their heads, and hands, around their distributed content and their communities.The Internet is still the platform....[Read Full Article]

Capiche? Y Combinator Finds A Key Metric For Success
Paul Graham, a partner at Y Combinator a successful Silicon Valley incubator, writes that he has found a key sign of future success among the startups that are recruited into YC's twice-yearly mentoring programs.What is this indicator?...[Read Full Article]

Google+ Numbers Could Be Higher Than Larry Page Says
Larry Page, CEO of Google, said at the analyst call on Thursday that G+ has 90 million users and that 60% are active daily....[Read Full Article]

Are VCs Abandoning Seed Funding? Report Shows Massive 48% Dive In One Year
The latest report on trends in US Venture investments shows a massive decline of 40% in seed investments in US startups in the final quarter of 2011, and a much larger drop of 48% for the entire year....[Read Full Article]

It's Interesting That Google Hosted Unblocked Wikipedia Pages During SOPA Protest
Wikipedia, which features at the top of many searches, blacked out its English-language site to protest the proposed SOPA legislation but the entire site was readily available on Google.Visitors to Wikipedia were shown this page:...[Read Full Article]

Google's Strategy To Boost Its G+ Social Network Risks Harming Quality Of Search Warns SEO Expert
Last week Google introduced search results heavily influenced by relevant signals from people's social circles and promoting G+ content in its search results.The move is an attempt to boost its nascent G+ social network, which has had a rocky start....[Read Full Article]

Cloud Computing Is Driving A Digital Arts Renaissance
Small creative agencies are harnessing the power of a Disney Pixar through the use of cloud computing services such as Amazon's EC2....[Read Full Article]

"Think Fair" - Apple Moves To Become The World's First Fair Trade Electronics Tech Company
(Image by Damien Van Achter)For the first time, Apple has disclosed the identity of 156 suppliers, and said it will become the first tech company to join the Fair Labor Association (FLA). This means that the FLA will investigate Apple suppliers and issue regular reports on their labor practices....[Read Full Article]

2012Watch: Lithium Technologies Is On A Roll, Raises $53m And Plans Move To San Francisco
Lithium Technologies co-founder Lyle Fong.Lithium Technologies is on a roll - the Emeryville based company recently raised $53.4 million and has a full order book for its enterprise social media platform....[Read Full Article]

An Inside Look At Intel's Social Media Tracking Technology In Action
Above, is a demonstration of how Intel, the world's largest chip maker, uses a proprietary monitoring technology called "Social Cockpit" to analyze the flood of social media buzz generated by the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.The Intel system works in real-time to identify and track individuals that have said anything online that's related to a brand, a competitor, or a specific topic. The monitoring technology determines who they are, where they work, their job, their level of online influence, and records what they said, where they said it, and when. I'd love to know how Intel analyzes this data, then how it acts on that information? Here are some additional details about Intel's intriguing "Social Cockpit" from inside Intel at CES... ......[Read Full Article]

2012Watch: Jeff Bezos Is Looking Cooler ... And Amazon Is Getting Hotter
Jeff Bezos is getting a lot more attention these days from the media and it's for all the right reasons: he has a distinct vision and his success is hard earned.I had the great pleasure of meeting Jeff Bezos a few years ago (above, with Matt Greeley CEO of BrightIdea) and I was very impressed. It was a casual conversation but surprisingly striking in many ways. He clearly loves challenging conventional wisdom and exploring contrarian business strategies....[Read Full Article]

G+ into Google Search Risks SPAM Storm For SEO Benefits
This looks like a way to drive traffic to G+, which has lost some traction....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Will A Split Android Market Doom The OS? The Benefits Of Diversity...
Antonio Rodriguez, a successful serial entrepreneur and now a VC, is very pessimistic about the future of Android.In this post titled: Android as we know it will die in the next two years and what it means for you, he argues that the splintering of the Android market into many different versions will create an unsupportable multitude of operating systems and mobile hardware that will doom the operating system....[Read Full Article]

Interview: Peter Hirshberg And San Francisco's Innovative Gray Area Foundation For The Arts
I'm a big fan of the Gray Area Foundation For The Arts (GAFFTA), a unique non-profit organization that has a fascinating approach to the arts and technology and its efforts to bridge the culture gap between the geek world and the arts, allied with a very strong civic focus.It's situated in the historic Warfield building in the heart of the Tenderloin, one of San Francisco's poorest neighborhoods. Its innovative art exhibitions and educational programs are rooted firmly in the deep cultural traditions of San Francisco, an area that has consistently contributed to leading edge arts, literature, and ideas, nationally and globally.Yet it seems that very little of that rich culture and diversity of San Francisco and the Bay Area is reflected in our tech communities, which draw in people from all over the world, but then trap them into insular startups and a monotonous always-on cubicle culture. GAFFTA is one of the few bright spots, an organization where "geek" and "art" aren't mutually exclusive terms.Last month I met with Peter Hirshberg, a co-founder of GAFFTA, at his home in San Francisco, just a few blocks from my apartment near JapanTown. Here are some notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

Infographic: How Google Hates/Loves Affiliates
Google is trying to push pout affiliates in key verticals. After all, why let affiliates make money on Google traffic?SEOBook has produced an interesting infographic explaining Google's affiliate strategy....[Read Full Article]

CES Show Set For Massive Turnout - With Or Without Microsoft
By Intel Free PressDespite Microsoft's announcement that 2012 will be its last CES, the technology trade show is poised for the biggest turnout in years....[Read Full Article]

SEO Is Not Free Traffic...
Here's an excellent infographic from SEOBook explaining the world of search engine optimization, a somewhat "dark" art......[Read Full Article]

Lessons For HP From Outgoing IBM CEO
Sam Palmisano, the departing CEO of IBM, told Steve Lohr, of the New York Times his game plan for the company can be captured in answering four questions:...[Read Full Article]

Steve Jobs - "Billion Dollar Hippy" BBC Documentary
The BBC's documentary "Billion Dollar Hippy" about Steve Jobs has some great content even for those that already know a lot about Steve Jobs....[Read Full Article]

Finding New Ways To Smash Solid State Drives...
If Alan Frost loves solid-state drives so much, why does he relish throwing them, smashing them and, yes, even cooking them?...[Read Full Article]

The Wicked Hitch Is Dead
The British journalist and author Christopher Hitchens managed to rile people from the Right and the Left, and across the religious spectrum. Erudite and eloquent he honed those skills to call out foreign despots and take on some of the most powerful figures in the US -- he was truly a modern Cato.The first time I saw Christopher Hitchens was nine years ago smoking a cigarette outside The Commonwealth Club in downtown San Francisco where he was due to speak later that evening. I pretty sure it was Hitchens even though I had never seen a photo of him. A middle aged man, slightly disheveled in an academic style, and with a pale pallor that suggested a preference for late nights and late conversations. He looked very much in need of a glass of Mr Walker's wonderful restorative. He looked hungover.However, when it came time for his talk, he was in excellent form. His oratory was extraordinary, I loved it. His effortless narration and the twists and turns of his phrasing was a pure delight. I had forgotten the pleasure of hearing things well said. He spoke about his recently published book, a biography of George Orwell, and Orwell's huge influence on his life and work. Orwell became a harsh critic of both capitalism and communism, a similar journey for Hitchens, and his several decades-long transition from Trotskyist activist to Iraq war supporter.But Hitchens' political transitions were not the cliche of a revolutionary intellectual turned right wing zealot. He views fit best with Libertarianism -- a perfect place from where Hitchens' skillful iconoclasm could range freely and unrestrained by any political loyalties to Republicans or Democrats.What impressed me the most about Hitchens was his fearlessness in calling out some of the most powerful people around. He did not mince words,...[Read Full Article]

The Demise Of PageRank
Aaron Wall over at SEOBook, has put together an infographic explaining how Google has made the organic link irrelevant....[Read Full Article]

Women In Tech: Meet The Duchess Of Silicon Valley
Marylene Delbourg-Delphis (above at Buck's Diner) is a serial entrepreneur, she shares her secrets for technology startup success and how she wooed Guy Kawasaki away from Apple.By Intel Free PressSand Hill Road in Menlo Park, Calif. is the epicenter of Silicon Valley's venture capital scene, but it's 15 minutes up the road at a diner nestled in the woods where many startup funding deals get hashed out over plates of pancakes and eggs....[Read Full Article]

Out&About: Media Masses At Googleplex And Why I don't hate Google...
I popped into the annual media party at the Googleplex. There was a decent turnout of familiar faces but with some having switched sides....[Read Full Article]

Perfect Timing For Facebook IPO? Outsourcing Risks To New Investors
Mark Zuckerberg is everywhere: Interviews on prime time US and foreign TV; features in leading newspapers and magazines -- it's one almighty PR push: Facebook is prepping for an IPO. The reason for the publicity blitz is that once Facebook files for an IPO it enters a quiet period during which it can't make any public statements that could be construed as marketing the company's stock....[Read Full Article]

AT&T Is First In Worst Cell Phone Service - Yet Again
Don Reisinger over at CNET reports:For the second year in a row, AT&T was ranked last in Consumer Reports' annual customer satisfaction survey. The company was hit especially hard by complaints over poor voice service and phone-based customer care. Even worse for AT&T, the company's 2011 rating is slightly lower than last year's.The full rankings will be released in January 2012....[Read Full Article]

Send To: Facebook, 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park - Its New Campus
Facebook is preparing a new campus, once occupied by Sun Microsystems. And it will have a smart-ass new address....[Read Full Article]

Here's How Intel Could Win In Tablets And Cell Phones By Protecting Developers Against Patent Wars
Brooke Crothers, at CNET, reports that Intel is stepping in to help manufacturers create ultrabooks, and it has a $300 million fund to help integrate key technologies such as touch interfaces and battery technologies....[Read Full Article]

More Evidence Of The Power Of Social Distribution Of Mass Media
Social media was once lauded as an antidote to the gatekeepers of mass media, an army of citizen journalists would take on the dominant powers that shape ideas and influence consumers.That didn't happen. And while citizen journalists in the form of bloggers are around, they tend not to break any original stories. In fact, social media has become a distributor, and an amplifier of mass media, an effect I dubbed SoDOMM, (Social Distribution Of Mass Media).Mvelase Peppetta, points to Facebook's release of its top 40 shared news stories in 2011:...[Read Full Article]

How Steve Jobs Got Away With Being An Asshole
By Michelle AtaganaHe was adopted and resented the rejection by his birth parents, but abandoned a daughter of his own born out of wedlock. Steve Jobs was a complicated man. The minute I picked up Steve Jobs' biography by Walter Isaacson, I knew I was about to enter the mind of one of the world's most admired icons. In his lifetime, Jobs gained a cult-like following. He fancied himself as the "Jesus" of the tech world and Apple fans followed. He even went to Apple's first Halloween party dressed as Jesus Christ. And the iPhone was nicknamed "the Jesus phone"....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Lessons Online Publishers Need To Learn From Print Media
By Matthew Buckland, publisher of MemeburnI’ve had a long career in online media. I don’t really know much about the print world, except that you get your hands dirty when you page through newspapers. The closest I’ve come to deadwood publishing is running the internet departments of newspapers. It’s a strange world to work in. You’re an evangelist, a pioneer and something of a disrupter....[Read Full Article]

Out&About: The Rackspace Party Was Pretty Good...
I get lots of news releases about office openings that I ignore but if I Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica send an invite, I'm there.Here's a few shots from an excellent evening at Rackspace's new San Francisco offices, (which a realtor source told me is a very expensive space)....[Read Full Article]

Former ICANN Chairman Warns Opposition To New Domain Names Could Fracture The Internet
Peter Dengate-Thrush, the recent chairman of ICANN, the Internet regulatory body, warned that opposition to ICANN's new top level domain names (TLDs) could encourage some countries to split from the Internet.In an interview with SVW, he said opposition by the US Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which represents large US corporations, threatens the independence of the global Internet....[Read Full Article]

Interview: Former ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate-Thrush On New Domain Names
(Peter Dengate-Thrush, far right, outside an ICANN meeting in Paris. Source: ICANN)ICANN, the California non-profit organization responsible for setting the name of all domains, will soon allow a vast array of new names to be created. Beginning next year, for the right amount of money ($185,000) you'll be able to create the right to use almost any word as a top level domain name (TLD) instead of generic TLDs .com, org, etc....[Read Full Article]

Did Google Kill The Long Tail Of Keywords?
Google has been focusing search results on brand names as a quick and easy way of trying to distinguish between "quality" content and not. The idea behind this is that brands are owned by large organizations who produce the best, or at least the most reliable content around that brand keyword.It also allows Google to essentially become the affiliate marketer for large brands because that's where they get most of their traffic. This is at the expense of smaller companies trying to make money online and who don't own major brands.New services, such as Google Instant, make it easier to focus user searches on brands rather than the massive long tail of keywords that small marketers use to attract traffic. Google Instant can direct searchers to keyword terms they weren't going to type in but that Google knows it can make money from.Aaron Wall, at SEOBook has produced an infographic that explains how Google has managed to chop the long tail off and concentrate on the thick, juicy, short tail of keywords, which is far more lucrative than what it can make from long tail keywords. (Embed code.)...[Read Full Article]

Big Brands As Media Companies - Google Makes It Possible, Destroys Jobs
Google has been boosting large brands in its search rankings as part of a deliberate strategy to take business away from thousands of third-party affiliates -- small businesses that make money selling larger brands.This strategy has managed to generate billions of dollars in extra revenue for Google this year. It is a war against small businesses, a major source of jobs in the US. And it's largely a secret war with very few people following, or able to understand what is happening. Google doesn't want attention on this strategy because in today's tough economy and high unemployment, Google is destroying jobs at countless small companies -- a PR nightmare....[Read Full Article]

Breathing And Succeeding In The Startup Life
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Maharshi Mahesh YogiSilicon Valley is like a snow cone on a hot day -- the flavorless chunks of big ice at the top represent the large corporations, HP, etc; while the sweet juice has collected in the bottom within a multitude of smaller ice crystals -- that's where the startups live and that's where most of the innovation takes place....[Read Full Article]

A Glimpse At Intel 40 Years Ago...
Intel celebrates it's 40th year in business this year. Above is Intel's first advert, (November 1971) for its groundbreaking 4040 microprocessor. Here are some more photos:...[Read Full Article]

What happened to Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a very interesting virtual currency that uses advanced cryptography to create and maintain the value of the currency.Benjamin Wallace at Wired Magazine has an excellent report on "The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin."...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: The 154 Year old Atlantic Magazine's Digital Transition
The Atlantic Magazine celebrates its 154 year anniversary this year and it also chalks up another rare achievement: it has crossed the digital divide and now makes more revenue from its online operations than print.Jeremy Peters, at The New York Times' Media Decoder reports:...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: The Continuing Rise Of Activist Media - And The Demise Of The Fourth Estate
(Activist media from Flickr - photo is related to the OccupySF group -- credit: Mari Francille.)A few weeks ago I pointed out that activist media, such as the posts, tweets, photos, and videos produced by the Occupy Wall Street activists, will have increase in influence, while the establishment media, such as CNN, New York Times, etc, will decline in influence.The reason is that the business model for establishment media is under siege and that means cutbacks in resources. There are simply fewer journalists, editors, photographers, camera operators, etc, and there will be even fewer in the future as cutbacks continue to decimate the ranks of media professionals.But activist media needs no business model, it is staffed by volunteers. And those volunteers are armed with professional quality equipment such as high definition video cameras and editing software; professional publishing systems; and a sizable distribution system through social networks....[Read Full Article]

Happy 40th To Intel's First Microprocessor - The Start Of The Digital Revolution
Intel hands out cup cakes in New York city.Intel today celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first microprocessor -- the 4004. It was a 4-bit chip, puny by today's standards but revolutionary at the time because it was the first commercially available programmable microprocessor....[Read Full Article]

US Spending Cuts Will Harm Innovation, Jobs - Warns MIT President
Susan Hockfield, President of MIT, speaks about the innovation economy at the Commonwealth Club. (Flickr image.)By Intel Free PressAmerican ingenuity and innovation, the twin engine of the country's economy since World War II, is in danger of losing steam and job growth potential if federal legislators allow "automatic" spending cuts to kick in next year rather than earmarking federal funds to advance education, research and manufacturing, according Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield....[Read Full Article]

How To Take A Massive Photo Of The Milky Way
Armed with a laptop and six digital cameras, Nick Risinger, an amateur astronomer created a 5,000-megapixel panorama of the universe from tens of thousands of digital images....[Read Full Article]

Summify: Finding A Place In A Crowded Market
I met with Mircea Pașoi, co-founder of Vancouver-based Summify, a service that helps people deal with information overload by figuring out the top news stories for the day based on their peer groups on social networks.This is an increasingly crowded field: Flipboard, Techmeme, Zite,, Percolate, My6sense, Genieo, (and our recently launched Silicon Valley Watch), and many others, all offer variations on the theme of information overload. They all attempt to winnow the daily flood of news stories into a ranking that automatically finds the news stories you should be seeing, or that you would see if you had the time to search through tens of thousands of feeds.Here are some of my notes from the meeting:...[Read Full Article]

Microprocessor Pioneer Frederico Faggin On: Could Quantum Computers Rival Human Consciousness?
By Intel Free PressIf you could ask only one person about the limits of computers past, present and future, the right person might be Federico Faggin. Forty years ago Faggin meticulously sketched the blueprint that brought to life the world's first microprocessor, which later sparked the personal computer revolution. After a career dedicated to creating evermore intelligent computer chips, he has turned his attention to what a computer, even quantum computers, may never be able to do: reach the potential of human consciousness....[Read Full Article]

If Steve Jobs Were Looking For Funding Today He Wouldn't Get It -- He's A Marketeer
(From the PBS documentary, "Steve Jobs: One last thing.")I watched the PBS documentary on Steve Jobs last night,"One last thing" and it was well done, mixing a fair bit of the good, the bad, and the ugly about the life of the man. And there was a lot of praise for the "marketing genius" of Steve Jobs. Then it struck me: If Steve Jobs were starting out today in Silicon Valley, he would have trouble getting funding because he's a marketeer — not an engineer. VCs generally won't fund startups without a tech lead....[Read Full Article]

Nano-Scaling: Exploring The Boundaries Of The Material Universe
Chipmakers have to be expert in chemistry because every time chip designs move to new, smaller geometries, they often need to discover new materials because the old ones don't work the same way. There are very few elements in the periodic table not used in chip manufacture.Here is an interview with Intel's Mike Mayberry, who leads its process technology research and keeps Moore's Law alive....[Read Full Article]

#GeekShip: Geeks On An Airship - Don't Call It A Blimp!
Thursday I spent a very pleasurable day with a great group of people, many of whom I've known for years, such as: Jeremiah Owyang, Kristie Wells, Shel Holtz, Ross Mayfield, Ben Metcalfe, and Chris Saad. We were part of a larger group of geeks, bloggers, and marketers helping Airship Ventures come up with a marketing plan in exchange for a ride in one of its $16 million airships built by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik in Germany. (Photo above shows us brainstorming - (I hate the word "ideating" and "ideation."))...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: The Inevitable Rise Of Activist Media -- Armed With An Agenda And No Need For A Business Model
(Activist media from Flickr - photo is related to the OccupySF group — credit: Mari Francille.)I've been preparing for a presentation to TEDxSF, which is looking at the theme of "Designing your own government" -- I'm examining the role of media, especially around the Occupy Wall Street movement....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: TriplePundit Merges With Sustainable Industries
San Francisco based green business media publishers TriplePundit and Sustainable Industries have announced a merger designed to combine their readership and resources to build a powerhouse media company....[Read Full Article]

PressPage: A Quick And Effective Corporate Social Media Newsroom
Sébastien Willems (left) and Bart Verhulst from PressPageI met with PressPage earlier this week, a Dutch based startup that offers a quick and effective way for companies to transform their newsroom into a social media hub for journalists and customers....[Read Full Article]

Crowdpark Bets On Social Wagers - VCs Bet $6m
I recently spoke with Crowdpark, an interesting startup that allows Facebook users to wager virtual currency on football games, elections, or anything they want....[Read Full Article]

The Coming Flood Of Internet Domain Names - Will Corporations Pony Up?
AdAge columnist Judy Shapiro writes that ICANN's new program, which allows any word to be used instead of .com or .org, etc, will create "one of the biggest changes on the Internet in a decade."She writes:...[Read Full Article]

Analog Treasures - Celebrating The Relics Of The Recent Past
In today's digital world there is very little said about analog devices, yet we often forget that these were once high performance technologies that could only be matched fairly recently by digital electronics. Here are some examples curated by Intel staff....[Read Full Article]

SFCurators Salon: The Secrets Of Apple's AppStore; Plus, Mozilla Is Building It's Own App Store
SFCurators Salon meeting was excellent as usual. It's always a great group of people and conversations.At the latest meeting, our featured speaker was Matt Monday, a former Apple exec who lead the team that picked apps for the Apple AppStore....[Read Full Article]

A Bottoms Up Approach To News? Newspapers' Reach Is Greater Than Internet's
Here's an interesting report on from the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Vienna, Austria, and a survey of 69 countries:...[Read Full Article]

SF Prof. Leads Military Effort To Defuse "Stories Used As Weapons"
Daniel Bernardi, a professor at San Francisco's State University and three researchers in Arizona, will receive $1.6 million for a four-year project that seeks to discover and reduce the damage caused by rumors in war zones....[Read Full Article]

Local SF Economy Is Booming, Office Space Search...
San Francisco Chronicle reports that 40 tech companies are searching for 2 million square feet of office space, the "equivalent of nearly four Transamerica Pyramids" says Mayor Ed Lee....[Read Full Article]

Behind The Scenes At DreamWorks - A Day In The Life Of A Code Warrior
DreamWorks Animation's technical and artistic prowess that has created some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters from "Shrek" to "Kung Fu Panda" to "Puss in Boots." By Intel Free PressA big-eyed cat called Puss in Boots, a cuddly panda named Po, an injured dragon nicknamed "Toothless." All three are among the incredibly popular characters from DreamWorks Animation movies who have earned the company billions of dollars and a reputation for unmatched creativity....[Read Full Article]

Pearltrees Launches iPad App That Lets Users Connect Through Their Curated Interests
(Pearltrees is a consulting client.)Pearltrees, a French-based curation platform, today released an iPad app that lets users easily explore the curated collections of websites created by more than 200,000 people, via a unique visual and touch interface that serves a discovery engine based on interests....[Read Full Article]

Introducing Silicon Valley Watch - A Hand-Crafted And Hand-Curated News Site
Over the past couple of months I've been working on a news site, called Silicon Valley Watch, with my long time colleague Doug Millison, a veteran journalist and editor. It's a hand-crafted and hand-curated news site inspired by the Drudge Report.Our goal is to figure out what is the most news information we can provide in a minimalist format....[Read Full Article]

Cambridge University Team Hopes Supercomputer Will Help It Win Grueling Solar Race
Endeavour, (above) the Cambridge University Eco Racing team's solar race car, was designed using a super computer to streamline the car's drag coefficient well below that of a Porsche 997.By Intel Free PressBack in 2009, they finished a distant 14th. This year, however, a small team of Cambridge students believes a more efficient aerodynamic design, better batteries and a technology arsenal will vault their car into the top 10 of the world's most prestigious solar-powered vehicle race....[Read Full Article]

On His Deathbed Did Steve Jobs Regret His Time At The Office?
[View the story "On his deathbed did Steve Jobs regret all the time he spent at the office?" on Storify]Here is a Pearltree of people's tweets to browse (and add to your collection):Steve Jobs Regrets For Time At Work? in Tom Foremski (foremski)...[Read Full Article]

Steve Jobs Was Silicon Valley's Babe Ruth...
I used to meet with Steve jobs in the 1980s, when he was lauded as a visionary. To be honest I wasn't that impressed with him at the time.Sure, he deserved credit for the Apple I and then Lisa, which turned into the Macintosh but it was too early to tell what he was capable of doing. Lots of people are successful in Silicon Valley and he was among them but you never know how much luck is involved....[Read Full Article]

Interview: Former Naspers Exec On Opportunities In Emerging Markets
Naspers is an incredibly savvy media giant that has made lots of great investments in emerging markets — surprising given its South African roots. In this interview former Naspers executive Kim Reid ranks the business opportunities in developing markets."... I hate being classified an entrepreneur. I am a business person."...[Read Full Article]

Content Or Advert? The Million-Dollar Conference Keynotes...
Quentin Hardy over at the New York Times reported that Oracle cancelled Marc Benioff's keynote speech at its OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. The spat revealed an interesting fact about large conferences and how much money changes hands....[Read Full Article]

Market Research And The Psychology Of PC Buyers
By Intel Free PressAt Intel, researchers have gone a step further and are employing neuroscience to understand what consumers want. David Ginsberg leads the Insights and Market Research Group that is seeking to better understand buyers' conscious and subconscious preferences. Ginsberg, who left a career in politics to join Intel, speaks here about vectors that are prompting researchers to rethink the fundamentals of their business....[Read Full Article]

Tibco's CTO Matt Quinn: "I'd Do This Job For Free"
(I'm in Las Vegas this week attending Tibco's user conference. Tibco is a founding sponsor of SVW and has been a strong supporter of my work for many years.)Tibco Software is an interesting company, it is doing extremely well, it's on track to report nearly $1 billion in revenues this year. Its software helps enterprises integrate their IT systems, analyze data in real-time, and deploy social business software. It's a complex mix of many important technologies central to the core of very large businesses in financial services, telecoms, energy, retailing, and more.Yet few people in Silicon Valley have heard of Tibco, even though it's located right at the heart of the valley, next to Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, and its founder and CEO Vivek Ranadivé has been here for more than three decades and is well connected with its top movers and shakers....[Read Full Article]

Google Just Wants To Be #3... Here's Why
My son told me about a breakthrough ad strategy he stumbled upon for his affiliate businesses: reduce your Google AdWords spend, yes, you drop down from #1 in the Google advertising order to #3 or so, but the conversion rate is still good and it's costing a lot less. The reason I'm sharing this tidbit is because it reminded me of this: When Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, testified recently in front of a Senate committee, he was asked about a puzzling set of search results, ones that consistently showed Google sites in the #3 position......[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Thomson Reuters Bloggers Attack Business Insider
(A photo from a Business Insider story.)This was interesting: Felix Salmon, the Thomson Reuters journalist blogger recently used his blog "Felix Salmon- A slice of lime in the soda" to attack Business Insider, the news site based in New York City and founded by Henry Blodget, a former Wall Street analyst (now barred).Mr Salmon didn't attack Business Insider personally but allowed Ryan McCarthy, a colleague to write this post: Business Insider, over-aggregation, and the mad grab for traffic....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: What If People Stop Sharing? Facebook Has The Answer
I've often wondered if the Facebook "Like" or Google "+1" buttons are the most basic of all social gestures -- the most minimal of user generated content that can be published by social media streams.I've wondered if these buttons represent the most basic of unit of our social media worlds -- do they represent the least amount of effort that people can make to register a social event and create "news" in their streams?...[Read Full Article]

As Prices Fall China Ousts The U.S. As Top PC Market
Part of Lenovo's distribution network in China.By Intel Free PressChallenged by New Gadgets and Slowing Growth in Established Markets, the PC Industry is Facing Historic Shifts in Demand In the midst of a steady stream of gloomy economic news, an up and coming Asian economic power has snatched a high-stakes, tech industry crown from the U.S....[Read Full Article]

Startups Can't Rescue US Jobs
There has been a lot of discussion lately about US jobs and Silicon Valley's role in helping to rebuild the US workforce. US government officials, and many others believe that Silicon Valley is key to reviving US jobs growth. But is this really true?It's worth revisiting an article in Bloomberg Businessweek from last year, written by Andy Grove, a veteran Silicon Valley executive who helped build one of its most successful companies: Intel....[Read Full Article]

"Big Things Underway" Zagat Founders Talk About Google
Google is moving quickly into the content business, becoming more like the media companies that use its AdSense advertising network. Here's an interview with the founders of Zagat, recently acquired by Google....[Read Full Article]

Business Technologies That Shook The World...
Dell has produced an interesting infographic about important business technology achievements, a very large infographic. [Is it too large? How long can you go before you need an infographic to explain it...?]Hat tip John Barnes....[Read Full Article]

Zaarly: Searching For Gold In Hyper-Local Commerce
Bo Fishback is convinced that his startup Zaarly has the potential to remake the national economy by making it easier for people to farm out small jobs to their local community. Need someone to stand in line for you at a popular breakfast place in San Francisco? That's what one Zaarly user did recently and paid $100 for the service. People use it for all sorts of things including picking up lunch, finding a maid for the afternoon, or help with yard work. The company is just 14 weeks old and already has more than 60,000 users. It's most active cities are San Francisco and New York. Mike Arrington, the former editor of Techcrunch is one of the investors. Here are some notes from my meeting with Mr Fishback:...[Read Full Article]

Google Is Aggresively Pushing Revenues Amid Senate Scrutiny
Google has adopted an aggressive program of stuffing its search pages with paid listings as the financial quarter draws to a close — a risky strategy as the US Senate holds hearings on its industry dominance.Google's search pages are being flooded with paid search listings from its AdWords advertising network in the final weeks of the Q3 financial quarter, possibly to boost revenues to meet, or exceed Wall Street analyst estimates....[Read Full Article]

Intel Discusses Advanced Microprocessors That Save 5x Energy
At the Intel Developer Forum, Justin Rattner, Chief Technology Officer, presented a keynote on advanced microprocessors with 50 or more cores and able to run on tiny amounts of electric power....[Read Full Article]

Part II: Wired's Chris Anderson - A New Model For Journalism
Part II of an interview with Wired magazine's Chris Anderson... Photo credit By Matthew BucklandMatthew Buckland: A while back you made some startling pronouncements on Der Spiegel Online about journalism and media, implying that journalism in the future would be a mere "hobby". Do you still hold these views... is journalism as a craft dead and dying?...[Read Full Article]

The Fast Closing Web - Interview With Wired's Chris Anderson
By Matthew BucklandIf you don't know who Chris Anderson is, you don't really understand the internet. He's one of the great technology thinkers of our time who has given us new ways of understanding how the medium has influenced business and society, and where it is all going....[Read Full Article]

Facebook Is Top US Site For Stickiness - Nielsen Report
US internet users spend more time on Facebook than any other website. That's according to the latest findings by media research house Nielsen.By Stuart ThomasNielsen's "State of the Media" report for the third quarter of 2011 tries to capture a snapshot of the social media landscape in the US.Among the key findings is the fact that social networks and blogs account for nearly a quarter of the time that Americans spend online....[Read Full Article]

Inspired By Burning Man: Giant Silicon Man - At The World's Largest GeekFest
An artist rendering of what the 18 feet tall Silicon Man (SciMan) will look like after he is erected inside the Moscone Center West during the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Sept. 13-15.By Intel Free PressNo one would ever confuse the Intel Developer Forum with Burning Man, but the upcoming tech industry event in San Francisco will boast at least a hint of the annual counter-cultural festival in the Nevada desert....[Read Full Article]

What Yahoo Needs To Do From A Former Insider...
Nate Richardson is President of Gilt City and the former long-time GM of Yahoo Finance. He's got some great suggestions for "What Yahoo Should Do."He worked at Yahoo from 2000 to 2005....[Read Full Article]

Intel: The Software Company...
Intel today held a one-day conference in San Francisco focused on its software efforts, which are an increasingly important part of its business.The importance of software to Intel is highlighted by the fact that it devoted an entire day to this topic, just days away from its massive Intel Developer Forum conference next week....[Read Full Article]

Edelman Trust Barometer Infographic: 57% Believe Negative Info About Distrusted Corps
Here's an interesting infographic about "Trust and the Corporation" from Edelman's Trust Barometer survey published earlier this year.Edelman Barometer Trend: Corporations And Social Responsibility - SVW...[Read Full Article]

Making AOL Look Foolish: Arrington Continues To Post Despite Losing Techcrunch Job
SVW was the first to point out that Mike Arrington lost his job at Techcrunch over his insistence to be an investor in his beat companies. Arrington Replaced At Techcrunch As AOL Seeks To Shore Up Media Credibility - SVWHowever, he continues to post articles on Techcrunch in defiance of AOL's and Arianna Huffington's statements that he is no longer employed and that Erick Schonfeld is interim editor while a replacement is found....[Read Full Article]

Deja View: A Curated Documentary Of Outside Lands 2011
I'm having fun pulling together a Pearltrees documentary from found footage of the recent Outside Lands 2011 music festival. I haven't seen anyone else take this approach but I expect people to do it in the future for various events, even birthday parties because it's really easy....[Read Full Article]

Arrington Replaced At Techcrunch As AOL Seeks To Shore Up Media Credibility
AOL said it would seek a new editor for Techcrunch, the news site it acquired earlier this year. Mike Arrington, the founder and current editor will fill a minor role as an "occasional contributor."...[Read Full Article]

The Six Types Of Startups...And What Protects Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley veteran Steve Blank writing in Xconomy, does a great job in describing six types of startups and how a clear understanding of the needs of each is necessary by national and local governments seeking to foster more innovation....[Read Full Article]

Marc Benioff Seems Like Larry Ellison...
Dreamforce 2011 has taken over downtown San Francisco, closing down streets, just like Larry Ellison's Oracle World....[Read Full Article]

ServiceSource Finds Billions Of Dollars In Service Revenues
ServiceSource is in a sweet spot in that the move to cloud computing and sofware as a service drives a growing need for tools that help companies manage recurring service revenues such as maintenance contracts....[Read Full Article]

StartupWatch: Clarizen Simplifies Project Management, Changes Company Culture
Coordinating the work of dozens and even hundreds of people is a terrifying task but that's what Clarizen does and does it very well judging from the company's impressive growth, adding more than 200 customers a month....[Read Full Article]

StartupWatch: Engine Yard Moves Beyond Rails To PHP
It's always a pleasure to catch up with John Dillon, CEO of Engine Yard because he's a Silicon Valley veteran and that gives him a perspective into trends and key issues that less experienced managers lack.At Engine Yard, he's smack dab in the middle of some of the most innovative software developments because his company's platform as a service, helps businesses to quickly develop and deploy applications built from Ruby on Rails. It's harnessing the power of the cloud to quickly produce and deploy advanced applications at a fraction of their former cost."Companies are now able to develop applications just for one use, they can be disposable. But also, quick deployment means that they can see what works and what doesn't. It's all innovation."Corporate departments can now commission apps and use Engine Yard to deploy those apps without having to engage their data center IT staff, who are usually too busy on other projects, or maintaining existing software.Ruby on Rails has become the language of choice for many developers because it has shown to be scalable and has been successfully used in some large corporate development projects and large consumer web services. And so the demand for Ruby on Rails specialists is soaring. Mr Dillon points out that in San Francisco, there are some 700 unfilled Ruby on Rails jobs.But despite the popularity of Rails Mr Dillion believes there's a strong future for PHP to become a strong Rails competitor. Which is why the company recently acquired Irish startup Orchestra, because the same technologies that support its Ruby on Rails customers can be used to support PHP development.Despite the shortage of Rails engineers in San Francisco, Mr Dillon says this is not a constraint on demand for Engine Yard services and that growth has been very strong. The company has...[Read Full Article]

StartupWatch: A Trillion Line Spreadsheet -- Manipulating Big Data
New York based 1010data likes to ask: "What could you do with a trillion row spreadsheet?" because it shows off the capability its technology has in analyzing massive amounts of data....[Read Full Article]

Intel Chips Confuse Retailers... What Hope Consumers?
Do you know the difference between Intel's newest microprocessors and older generations? Intel found that sales people are confused so how about consumers?By Intel Free PressLooking for the latest back-to-school laptops might have shoppers wondering if the sales associates, themselves, should be going back to school. That was the appearance, at least, when several retail stores in the Sacramento, Calif. area were visited to see if staff knew a basic piece of information about Intel Core processors....[Read Full Article]

Steve Jobs And The Next Generation Of Silicon Valley Leaders
Chris O'Brien, a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News asked: Who will be Silicon Valley's next Steve Jobs?He picked out five possible contenders and rejected a sixth....[Read Full Article]

There's A Hush In The Air...And A Burn Coming Up
There's been a perceptible hush in the air around San Francisco as people get busy finalizing their Burning Man preparations. You can see cars and vans being packed, bikes being strapped and roof racks piled high.Burning Man is very much a San Francisco/Silicon Valley festival. It's a type of Dionysian harvest festival where people bring together tremendous creativity and industry and where there's no commercial payoff at all. There's no commerce and there's no advertising and no sponsorships.Out of a dusty ancient lake bed where nothing can grow, a city of 50,000 people rises, with buildings and structures several stories tall. A week later it all goes away, back to the bitter alkali dust that is everyone's souvenir of Burning Man because you keep finding it in every nook and cranny.Burning Man always seems so unique and so fragile, it always seems that it might fall apart, but it hasn't yet.A core culture...Burning Man has been around long enough, since 1986, that it is now core to the experience of the culture of the Bay Area. That's why you should plan to go one day. But a trip to Burning Man is not about throwing a weekend bag into the back of the car. You have to pack everything in and out. There is only ice and coffee that you can buy in the centre camp. You have to bring everything and take everything back out with you.Also, the environment is hostile. This is where they should test the mars rover because the extremes of temperature, rain, sand storms, freezing wind -- are harsh. This is not a pleasant experience and it's not for the weekend spa goer. Which is why Burning Man attracts a particular type of person.Playa art...The best part of Burning Man is the art in the...[Read Full Article]

Steve Wozniak And The Secret Apple Co-Founder On Steve Jobs...
Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang has a great interview with Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne on Steve Jobs:...[Read Full Article]

Does The Sexuality Of A CEO Matter?
The sexuality of CEOs is a dull subject I have no interest in what they do with their genitalia and I think I'm right in speaking for the majority of people in our Silicon Valley circles....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Is "Quality Content" A GOOG Red Herring?
I've been writing about Google's Panda algorithm change and the huge amount of pain that it's caused for content websites since it was introduced in late February. Before the launch of Panda Google spent months bad-mouthing "content farms" and how the new algorithm would weed out the bad content. The first version was called "Farmer" as a reference to "content farms" -- sites that scrape or produce low quality content just to game search rankings.Who could argue with such a noble goal?...[Read Full Article]

HubPages CEO On Google's Panda: SEO Doesn't Work
I met with Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages, and Jason Menayan Director of Marketing to talk about how the publishing site is dealing with the aftermath of Google's major update to its algorithm, Panda, released earlier this year.Panda has caused huge problems for publishers because it cut off massive amounts of traffic in a bid to force publishers to produce higher quality content....[Read Full Article]

Interview With Former BBC Exec Now Head Of Intel Digital Home Group
Erik Huggers knows very little about silicon which made him a prime candidate to head Intel's Digital Home Group based in London. He worked at Microsoft and most recently at the BBC as director of the director of the Future Media & Technology organization.By Intel Free PressSince joining Intel 4 months ago, have you ever asked yourself, "What have I gotten myself into here?"...[Read Full Article]

WeekendWatcher: Recreating Outside Lands 2011 - A Curation Of Found Fan Footage
Last weekend I was at the Outside Lands 2011 music festival in Golden Gate Park. It was a great event with three days of music from four stages. And San Francisco's relentless grey summer fog lifted for two days -- it was a very happy crowd. Discovering new music all in one place is a great way to spend three days and there was lots of music that was new to me. Unmediated experiences......[Read Full Article]

Guest Post: Why Google+ Gets A Great Big Minus
[Basheera Khan is a user experience designer focusing on information architecture and content strategy.]By Basheera KhanThe proposition is simple: Google+ is a social network built on the foundation of what you do and who you know. I’ll leave off the qualifier of the word ‘online’ because, well, d’uh. The problem with the execution is how heavily it relies on Google Contacts for the who you know bit. This ‘product’ is so messy and error-prone that I still consider it to be an alpha.For starters, there’s no easy way to handle duplicate contacts within Google Contacts. But Google+’s recommendations for who you could connect with are driven by the information in your Google Contacts....[Read Full Article]

'Big Data' Fuels Mohr Davidow Investments
A few weeks ago I was over at Sand Hill Road to meet with a group of startups funded by Mohr Davidow Ventures. The theme was "Big Data" and how these companies were using data to build their businesses.It was a varied and interesting collection of startups. Here are some of my notes:...[Read Full Article]

Here Comes The Flood: Major VC Fims Funding Corporate Media Push Into Social Media
Somewhat lost in Monday's news because of Google's acquisition of Motorola, Buddy Media, a New York startup raised $54 million at a $500 million valuation.Buddy Media helps corporations set up and run their presence on a wide range of social networks....[Read Full Article]

Intel Is Investigating Server Errors Caused By Background Radiation
By Intel Free PressTwo employees in Intel's Corporate Quality Network have been running a remarkable chip experiment, 2,150 feet beneath the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico....[Read Full Article]

Social Media Club Celebrates Five Years
(My favorite photo of Kristie and Chris at a fancy dress party.)Thursday evening I was at a dinner celebrating five years of Social Media Club. I was at the inception, the back porch of Chris Heuer and Kristie Well's San Francisco apartment when they were pulling together the idea.Five years on there are active clubs in more than 250 cities, a stunning testament to the stubborn and persistent efforts of Chris and Kristie.I spoke with them about what they would like to see happen over the next five years:...[Read Full Article]

Infographic: How Much Do Engineers Earn?
Rivera Partners put together salary data on software engineers:...[Read Full Article]

Google Refuses Korean Real-Names Policy But Imposes It On G+ Users
Google's insistence that people use their real names on Google Plus goes against its official policy of refusing to comply with South Korea's Real-Name verification law.The Korean law forces web sites with more than 100,000 visitors per day to force users to use their real names. Google got around it by stopping Korean users of YouTube from posting comments and told them to upload video to a neighboring country's YouTube site....[Read Full Article]

Markets Fall: What Will Happen To Silicon Valley Recovery?
Turmoil in global financial markets and economies is never good for Silicon Valley despite the fact that the regional economy has its own boom and boost cycles that operate on a different timetable.Currently, Silicon Valley has been booming, recapturing p the trend that was in place in the second half of 2008 before the financial meltdown, of growing VC investments and jobs. But like that recovery in 2008 which ran smack into an economic crisis, will this recovery again be nipped in the bud?...[Read Full Article]

Neccesity Is The Mother Of Invention - Popular Portland iPhone App
By Intel Free PressAndy Wallace remembers clearly what life was like living in Portland, Oregon before he had the 'Take Me Home' button on his iPhone's PDX Bus app.Eight years of commuting to work some 250 miles each week had Wallace often sprinting from his public light rail stop in order to catch the right city bus. Relying on quick feet and good timing, he would have to make what he calls "a perfect storm of connections" or else get stuck taking the long way home....[Read Full Article]

Are Women Bad for Start-ups? You've Got To Be Kidding...
By Vanessa Camones, PR veteran and founder of theMIX agency. Women have made astounding advances in the workforce in the past fifty years. Even in the tech sector, traditionally an enclave of geeky guys, women have progressed from support roles to becoming respected builders, leaders and innovators. We're still a minority, but no longer an anomaly....[Read Full Article]

Intel Engineer Helps Build Submarine, Finds Sunken Treasure
Tales of sunken treasure have fascinated the world since perhaps the first sunken ship, but few can claim a story of their own.By Intel Free PressKen Privitt is a technical marketing engineer at Intel who happens to have built a small submarine with his father years ago. Now, a lot of Intel employees have interesting hobbies and stories to tell, but Privitt's may be among the more unique. His story involves a nearly 150-year-old shipwreck, the submarine, the Supreme Court, and a fortune in gold. It even has an interesting twist....[Read Full Article]

Every Company Is A Media Company FIR Live
I recently spoke with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson on a live broadcast of FIR: For Immediate Release, discussing content strategies and the concept of "every company is a media company" along with Wendy Tanaka, from Cisco Systems....[Read Full Article]

WIMM Labs: An Internet Of 1-Inch Screens...
WIMM Labs today launched a modular device that shrinks a PC behind a tiny color display screen with wireless connectivity and full day battery power.The company hopes it will become a platform for a broad range of applications, ranging from wrist watches to golf-swing monitors. It contains an accelerometer, magnetometer, WiFi, Bluetooth and is waterproof. The color display is about one-inch on each side for a diagonal screen of 1.4 inches.Foxconn, the giant electronics manufacturer, is an investor in WIMM Labs.I met with the team behind WIMM Labs last week for a sneak preview."We wanted to make the module as thin as a Rolex," said Dave Mooring, CEO. He expects watch makers to use the device but also a wide range of different companies. "We will partner with brands and help them develop unique applications," he said.WIMM has developed a few simple apps to show off the capabilities of the module and it has a software development kit based on the Android operating system, available in the third quarter of this year. The module is pricy, at about $200, which means initially it will be targeted at a high-end market. Mr Mooring, who used to work at Intel, says Moore's Law will bring down the price significantly.The display features a touch screen input and it's bright and surprisingly easy to read for its size. The challenge for WIMM will be to persuade companies to develop apps for the module instead of apps for smart phones.Mr Mooring believes that smart phone apps are too clumsy to use. "This is a glance and swipe solution, it's always on, and you don't need to find and run an app on your phone -- it takes too much time."WINN has also developed an "App store" that its oem customers can white label and use...[Read Full Article]

Social Media Is Not Corporate Media
There's a gold rush going on as legions of self-proclaimed experts are working with corporations to help them monetize the potential riches in exploiting social media.I look at the links and articles that social media "experts" are sharing all day long on Twitter, Facebook, etc, and it all boils down to this type of message: "Here are ways to turn social media into a lucrative corporate marketing/sales channel."...[Read Full Article]

Here's How Google+ Could Be Used To Create Killer Apps
By Graeme LipschitzThe meteoric launch of Google+ (20-million users in less than 3 weeks) can be seen as the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes of such failures as Buzz and Wave - the word 'Circles' immediately comes to mind here....[Read Full Article]

We Live In An "And" World... It's Quantum Not Binary
Something is always killing something else in the world of tech headline writers. Apple iPhone is killing something or being killed; and Google+ is killing something or being killed; or......[Read Full Article]

Scary Google: Larry Page Wants To Change The World
Steven Levy, a senior editor at Wired, spent a lot of time at Google researching his new book, "In the Plex." And he spent a lot of time with the new CEO Larry Page.Mr Levy says Google is now in the hands of "a true corporate radical."In an article for Wired, "Larry Page Wants to Return Google to Its Startup Roots" he reports that Mr Page has said many times, that he has always "wanted to change the world."...[Read Full Article]

SFCurators: Our Public, Private, And Secret Lives...
SFCurators Salon met Wednesday evening at PeopleBrowsr and I'm still buzzing from all the great conversations and ideas it generated.We pulled our chairs into a large circle to get away from the traditional arrangement of speakers on a podium and audience down below. This is a salon of peers not podiums....[Read Full Article]

Altimeter Group: Dealing With Deaf Corporations... Who's Listening?
(Charlene Li, founder of Altimeter Group listens to Patrice Lamothe, CEO of Pearltrees.)I have a soft spot for the Altimeter Group, a pioneering band of consultants founded by the impressive Charlene Li, with a mission to educate corporate America about the value of listening and engaging with customers.It's tough work. Wednesday evening we heard Susan Etlinger, Industry Analyst at Altimeter, speak about her latest research and lamenting the fact that most corporations have no frameworks or methods in place to make sure that everyone "listens" to customers. There's no incentive built into company cultures to "listen."...[Read Full Article]

Jumio's Payments Breakthrough Challenges PayPal, Square, And Others
Jumio's breakthrough "NetSwipe" payment processing technology that transforms any webcam into a credit card terminal, has the potential to threaten PayPal and emerging payment startups such as Square....[Read Full Article]

Google's Closure Of Labs Signals Big Change, And Good News For Startups...
A new CEO always brings a broom with them, and Larry Page's return to the job at Google includes a major sweep of management and company priorities.One of the casualties is Google Labs, a fairly large collection of small apps and other services, mostly used to enhance current Google services, such as GMail, but also to show off some of the projects Google engineers have produced during their 20% time -- the allocation offered for non-work projects.Veteran tech journalist John Dvorak wondered why? Google Labs is being closed....[Read Full Article]

The Tamagotchi Nature Of Social Networks...
A significant part of my day is spent maintaining my profiles on my social networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and now Google+.Some of my time spent in these networks is genuinely useful but a lot of it is spent in housekeeping chores, I'm constantly peppered with tasks: approve these friends, like these pages, it's Joe Smith's birthday wish him happy birthday, someone commented on a post you commented on, you were tagged in this post/photo...Sometimes it feels like I should spend my entire life here, tapping and typing all day long, running that hamster wheel....[Read Full Article]

100th Annversary: Media Pundits On Media Pundit Marshall McLuhan...
Here is a selection of what media pundits had to say about uber media pundit Marshall McLuhan on the 100 year anniversary of his birth.As far I'm concerned, if you write about media and you didn't write anything about Marshall McLuhan this past week, you should be in some other job. Everyone has their own interpretation of Mr McLuhan's insights into our modern electronic media world media. Here are some:...[Read Full Article]

SaturdayPost: McLuhan's Relevance In Today's Media Mess Age...
(Portrait of Marshall McLuhan by Yousuf Karsh. Copyright the Estate of Yousuf Karsh.)You may have noticed that the media loves to cover the media -- it's a narcissism that is not unique to the profession but certainly more visible because of its ready means of expression. It's partly media's fascination with itself, that there is a lot of media this week about Marshall McLuhan: the philosopher prince of the media world. It's the 100 year anniversary of his birth, July 21....[Read Full Article]

Upcoming: SFCurators Salon July 27 Featuring Real Curators!
The next meeting of SFCurators salon will focus on real curators rather than tools....[Read Full Article]

Google: Please Give Me A Throat To Choke...
I have a serious problem: my GMail contacts won't load. That means GMail is almost unusable because it won't autocomplete my email addresses. I have to go search and paste email addresses, it's too many clicksFor the past two months I get this message on GMail:...[Read Full Article]

MoneyTree Report: Forget The Bubble The Rise In VC Investments Is Unsustainable
The latest MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters:-Q2 2011 VC investments jump 19% to $7.5 billion in 966 deals. Year ago: $6.3 billion in 814 deals- Latest quarter is highest total since Q2 2008.These high levels are not sustainable says Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA:...[Read Full Article]

Consumerization Of IT: Intel Allows Staff To Use Their Macs
(It took a while - first pilot program was in 2006 but Intel's IT department has now OK'd the use of Apple computers - Aaron Tersteeg (above) took part in the first pilot program.) By Intel Free PressPutting Apple MacBooks to work behind the corporate firewall is something many small Silicon Valley startups may have been doing for years, but it may be less likely inside larger, established companies that rely upon heavily protected enterprise networks to manage email, store documents and dispatch software to employees around the world.That is about to change inside Intel....[Read Full Article]

GOOG Analysis: The Massive Mystery In Google's Finances And Why This Is Bad For Publishers
Google [$GOOG] reported stellar 2011 Q2 earnings but Google's partner sites, which used to account for half of its revenues, showed a massive lag in growth.The partner sites are part of Google's AdSense network and include large media companies such as The New York Times....[Read Full Article]

Spotify: The Unicorn Has Landed...
Last week RDIO CEO Drew Larner called Spotify a "unicorn" because so many people have spoken about its imminent launch but no one has seen it.Thursday Spotify launched in the US with a bang, the music service is no longer mythical. However, the mythology around Spotify has certainly helped it gain awareness in key circles, especially judging by the more than 200 of my US Facebook friends that have jumped onto it....[Read Full Article]

We Live In The Age Of Conversation Overload: G+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn...
I can deal with information overload -- if I didn't get to read that special article everyone is sharing then no big deal. But conversation overload is an entirely different thing.As a journalist I have trouble keeping up with the conversations in my email, yet today I have conversations everywhere and in new places. There's email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, my two blogs, then there are SMS messages, voicemail (which I never check) and the latest is: Google Plus....[Read Full Article]

On Aggregators And Rewriters...Bring Back Bloggers
(Photo: Aggregator Gabe Rivera)Gabe Rivera, founder of the excellent TechMeme is irked that the term "aggregator" is being misapplied especially within the context of the HuffPost event earlier this week [Adweek Slams HuffPost But What About Adweek Senior Editor Michael Wolff's Newser? - SVW]His argument is that the Huffington Post is not an aggregator, people rewrite other people's stories; that's different to what Techmeme does, which is to aggregate headlines to stories....[Read Full Article]

Color And Cuil Headline FailCon Event
Coming up October 24 in San Francisco is the next FailCon -- a conference that celebrates failure and its lessons -- much like Silicon Valley where more than 90% of ventures fail.The organizers Cass Phillipps and Diane Loviglio just added Bill Nguyen, (above) founder of Color - (A $41m Bet On A Radical Social Mobile App - SVW).Also on the agenda Cuil, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and more...FailCon | Speakers...[Read Full Article]

RDIO CEO: "Spotify Is A Unicorn..."
As Spotify, the hugely popular European online music service prepares for its imminent US launch, RDIO, a relatively new online music service, recently hosted a media roundtable at the swanky Boulevard Restaurant, in San Francisco, with top journalists from Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Financial Times, CNET, Forbes, Business Insider, Technologizer, and The Next Web.It was an interesting evening, moderated by Mike McGuire, an analyst at Gartner. Here are some of my notes:...[Read Full Article]

Luxembourg Royalty And Government Dignitaries At Plug And Play
Plug and Play has managed to build a very good brand associated with SIlicon Valley innovation. Today, a high profile delegation from Luxembourg visited to conduct a ceremony of signing a Memorandum of Understanding.Signing ceremonies are very important to dignitaries. In the delegation:...[Read Full Article]

Interview With Vanessa Camones: It Pays To Out Silicon Valley Bullies...
I recently spoke with Vanessa Camones, a Silicon Valley PR veteran and founder of theMIX agency about the reaction to her recent article about Mike Arrington, Editor of TechCrunch: DIGIDAY:DAILY - Entrepreneurs Should Say No to Silicon Valley's Bully.One of my readers suggested that Vanessa's surname become "Cojones" because of her bold position in taking on Mr Arrington. Many PR people have made similar complaints about Techcrunch but she is the only one to have gone on public record....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch Monday: Interview With Matt Mullenweg On The Future Of WordPress
(Photo credit: Michelle Atagana, MemeburnNamed as one of the 25 most influential people on the web, Matt Mullenweg founded and runs an open source web platform that has revolutionized website publishing. WordPress began its life as free, open-source blogging software which quickly evolved into a general-purpose CMS used by millions of sites on the web. The success of WordPress speaks for itself -- and it is one of the most popular content management system engines around today, also used by many Fortune 500 companies.Mullenweg at only 27 also runs the commercial arm of WordPress, Automattic, which is the company behind WordPress and a handful of other software projects. WordPress is used by more than 14% of the one million biggest websites including those of The New York Times....[Read Full Article]

Rupert Murdoch And The SoDOMM Effect In Social Media
Today's news of the demise of The News of the World newspaper was both shocking and exhilarating: that a 168 year old Sunday newspaper with more than 200 staff, selling almost 3 million copies a week, can be closed so suddenly is without precedence....[Read Full Article]

Leaving Silicon Valley...
Leaving Silicon Valley -- I highly recommend it. I just got back from a week in London, speaking at an Omnicom conference and then a week in Warsaw (which was excellent). And I'm finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things.The problem is that every time I leave Silicon Valley for a decent length of time, I wake up and realize that there's a whole huge world out there that doesn't care a jot about the things that we care about here, such as:...[Read Full Article]

Interview With Google's "Content Tzar" Former BBC Journalist Peter Barron
By Nur Bremmen, MemeBurnIt's not easy to run an online content business in an age where everyone is a publisher. Everyone is doing it and there's never been competition in the content business like this before. If we cut through the hyperbole and the evangelism, we're left with the simple fact that online advertising, while promising, is not making the same bucks as its traditional media counterparts. The model is still evolving and can be confusing at times. So what is the future of content and online advertising?Memeburn got the answers from Google's content Tzar, Peter Barron. He spoke about paywalls, Google News, filtering news by social recommendations, and the future of online advertising....[Read Full Article]

Cisco Criticized For China Surveillance Project
Cisco Systems is helping the Chinese government build a massive surveillance system that will include more than 500,000 cameras. The Wall Street Journal reported that the "Peaceful Chongqing" project gets around US restrictions on US companies helping repressive foreign governments because it is billed as an "anti-crime" network.TechEye reported that several other companies had bid for the project including Hewlett-Packard. But that the deal deserves scrutiny:...[Read Full Article]

Startup Launch: MyTab Offers Simple Group Travel Gifting
I've been consulting with Heddi Cundle and her new startup MyTab, which offers a very simple way friends and family can help fund travel for each other....[Read Full Article]

Curation Watch: New Pearltrees Simplifies Sharing And Publishing
(Pearltrees is a consulting client.)Pearltrees this week released a version of its online curation service that allows it to be embedded in Facebook walls and makes it easier to share Pearls of content across different online communities.The company also said that it has crossed the 150,000 user mark, a major milestone. The Pearltrees community is by far the largest digital curation group online....[Read Full Article]

It's Time For PR Community To Grow Some Cojones And Out Silicon Valley Bullies
Vanessa Camones is a veteran PR professional. She is the founder of theMIX agency and today she did a very bold thing: she outed one of Silicon Valley's leading personalities, Mike Arrington, the editor of Techcrunch as a bully.In her post titled: DIGIDAY:DAILY - Entrepreneurs Should Say No to Silicon Valley's Bully, she writes that many startups would love to have coverage by Techcrunch....[Read Full Article]

Intel Seeds Tablet Market With Best "Recipe" Designs
By Intel Free PressWhile many top chefs might hold on to their most precious family recipes, Francois Piednoel is touring the Asia giving away what he calls his "recipe" for building an Atom processor-based tablet."When companies in Asia heard about the recipe, they wanted it," said Piednoel, a veteran performance analyst at Intel who has traditionally worked on the extreme edge of high-performance PC's. "But if I give you a recipe of French cooking and you go into your kitchen alone, you are not going to make what my mom used to cook," he says with his native French accent, then chuckles. "A lot of people building tablets were using the wrong recipe," said Piednoel "They were using things that were designed for today's high-end PCs and they tried to run them on Atom. It's not going to work."...[Read Full Article]

Does Facebook Have a Racist "Real Name" Policy?
A reader writes:...[Read Full Article]

Biz Stone's Departure From Twitter Was Predictable
Earlier this year I predicted that Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone wouldn't be around for long. How did I do this?It was simple:...[Read Full Article]

Pervasive Software: Betting On A Big Data Hadoop Future
I recently met with Mike Hoskins, EVP & CTO of Pervasive Software, based in Austin, Texas. It's an interesting company that combines a large legacy database management system with developing technologies for big data applications around the Hadoop database.Here are some notes from our meeting:...[Read Full Article]

I'm In Warsaw All This Week...
My apologies, I haven't been able to post much lately because I was in London keynoting an Omnicom conference last week for its senior European leadership teams and this week I'm in Warsaw with my brothers, son, and mother taking my father's ashes to the family plot. I'll be back to normal posting early next week...(Above is the Palace of Culture and Science in the center of Warsaw, a "gift" from Joseph Stalin, built in 1955. It's a controversial building. Some hate it and wish it were torn down. Locals say it has the best views of Warsaw from its top floor -- because you can't see the building.)...[Read Full Article]

Intel's Battle For Female Talent In China
By Intel Free PressIt is the world's second-largest economy and the world's largest labor force. It is China, and Intel is recruiting talented women who live there or want to return -- women who are graduating from Chinese and American universities at nearly the same rate as men and who make up 40 percent of MBA students in top-ranked programs.Even as Intel actively recruits technical and non-technical women in China, the company is realizing it has to focus on retaining them as well. While women's opportunities in China are growing, they are dealing with cultural expectations that they are responsible for child and elder care according to Intel managers in China. Other issues include gender bias and travel time....[Read Full Article]

IBM @100 Years - Global Innovation Is About Silicon Valley Not IBM
Congratulations to IBM and its 100 years in business - from making cheese graters to supercomputers, and much, much more.IBM is seen as very much an East Coast company yet its history shows a strong and long connection with the Silicon Valley area, way before it was even called Silicon Valley.Innovation is key to the IBM brand yet it does very little to promote that connection and its continued large presence in Silicon Valley. IBM has employed as many as 25,000 workers here, larger than Google (until fairly recently).This region has become the global icon for innovation, every week I meet companies that are moving their headquarters here from all parts of the country and world, because they want to be where the action is.It seems strange that IBM doesn't associate itself more strongly with this important center of innovation. Is it a cultural artifact?...[Read Full Article]

The 800lb Gorilla: Spotify US Launch Is Just Days Away
[I'm in London this week following keynoting a conference for Omnicom's European senior leadership teams. The following news was from a panel I moderated on Tuesday.]Spotify, the most successful music streaming service, has signed the remaining deals it needs with record labels to finalize its US launch, which is now expected in the first week of July."We're signing the remaining deals as I speak," said Jonathan Forster, General Manager of Europe & Global Vice President of Ad Sales at Spotify, speaking at an Omnicom conference in London....[Read Full Article]

A Silicon Valley Icon's Plans For A Silicon Valley Icon...
Silicon Valley looks pretty much the same today as it did when I first arrived in 1984 - it looks like a business park. Except for the names of the companies it looks like any business park in the world.There is no "culture" as you see in cities in the form of architecture and cultural institutions. The Computer History Museum, for example, is a relatively new institution.Sramana Mitra writing in Silicon Valley: The Next Decade (Part 1) makes a good case for Silicon Valley adopting a "Renaissance Mind" and drawing inspiration from 14th century Florence. The wealthy merchants spent fortunes on the arts, becoming patrons to the most famous artists and architects of their age....[Read Full Article]

Really?! MoFo Tech - A Newsletter From Silicon Valley Lawyers
I just saw "MoFo Tech" (above) an edgy-designed newsletter from Morrison & Foerster LLP, a top Silicon Valley law firm.It's certainly an attention getting title and look. And here's their web site, great design:...[Read Full Article]

Steve Jobs Returns (Again) For City Council Pitch For A Huge "Spaceship" Campus
That old Steve Jobs magic is not reserved just for the Apple faithful. He recently took a break from his medical leave to present at Apple's developer conference earlier this week. Now, he's also turned up at a Cupertino City Council hearing to use his star power to persuade officials to green-light a massive new Apple campus.Matthew Wilson reports in the San Jose Mercury News:...[Read Full Article]

WPP Blacklists More Than 2,000 US Web Sites From Billions In Advertising
Mark Sweney in the UK newspaper The Guardian reports that the WPP one of the largest marketing and advertising business groups, has pulled advertising from more than 2,000 web sites that it believes carry pirated content....[Read Full Article]

Forsook! Google Can't Spell "Facebook"
I use GMail all the time and its spell checker is usually pretty good. But the other day I noticed it can't spell "Facebook."I tried some other computer company names but only Facebook was flagged:...[Read Full Article]

GrowLab Incubator Offers $25K Seed And $150K Follow-On Funding
There's a lot of competition these days to find the best startups and also capitalize on the Y Combinator model of incubation....[Read Full Article]

The New Media Digital Divide... Study Finds Elites Continue To Dominate
A study by Jen Schradie at UC Berkeley found that the digital divide is alive and well in the new media world despite proclamations of a new democratic leveling of online media through blogs, Tweets, etc....[Read Full Article]

Morris Jarvis: Intel's "Red Neck Rocket Scientist" Plans Space Launch
By Intel Free PressFor a self-described redneck, Morris Jarvis sure doesn't fit the mold. For one thing, he's a building information modeling project manager in suburban Phoenix, not a poor Southern farmer as the true definition of "redneck" suggests. Jarvis also has a college degree -- in aerospace engineering, no less. And not one of his leather belts is personalized.Oh, and the man has a spaceship in his garage. And he wants to send people into space using standard off-the-shelf technology....[Read Full Article]

Impressive Lineup For Launch: Silicon Valley 2011
Tuesday at the Microsoft campus in Mountain View, Launch: Silicon Valley will be featuring 30 startups plus:...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: The Strange Joys Of Blogging...
"I am no longer sure if I am in control of my blog, or if the blog could also be described as controlling me."This line jumped out at me as I was reading Irving Wladawsky-Berger's latest post: The Evolution of My Complex Relationship with Blogging...[Read Full Article]

TEDxSF - A Curation Of People And Ideas...
I've been to several TEDxSF events but the most recent one felt like a breakthrough event because of the mix of people and talks, plus the new venue.The event was sold out with about 650 tickets for the Yerba Buena location, a larger theater than the Academy of Sciences, where it used to be held. The mix of people was eclectic as always....[Read Full Article]

Always Crashing In The Same Car? Here's How Silicon Valley's Boom Could Turn To Bust...
Are we in a bubble? is a common question as I chat with people at various events around Silicon Valley.The concern is that if it's a bubble then a crash is not far off. But I'm far more worried that the economy will crash long before Silicon Valley's boom has had a chance to bubble and burst....[Read Full Article]

Notes From 8th Innovation Journalism Conference
Last week's 8th Innovation Journalism Conference produced a lot of interesting sessions and sparked a lot of ideas.This year David Nordfors, the founder of the conference and Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication, opened up the conference to public relations, a smart move because of the connection between journalism and PR.Here are some of my notes from the conference:...[Read Full Article]

Is Groupon IPO A Tech Company IPO?
Updated:Groupon filed for an IPO Thursday planning to raise $750 million reports The New York Times. The filing reveals very fast growth:...[Read Full Article]

Signs: It's Not A Bubble Until...
I say Silicon Valley is in a boom period rather than a bubble. Others might disagree but everyone has some kind of warning sign to look for.For example: Mike Butcher, from Techcrunch Europe, Tweeted earlier today: Signs of tech bubbles: Journos leaving for Startups; investment bankers in tech; Startups which try to change user behavior. #mikeswisdom...[Read Full Article]

ARM Co-Founder Wins Silicon Valley "Visionary" Award
Herman Hauser, the co-founder of ARM, the British microprocessor company, will be honored with a prestigious 2011 Visionary Award from SDForum at a private ceremony on June 21....[Read Full Article]

A Visit To SRI: Top Secret R&D In The Heart Of Silicon Valley
Tucked away in a quiet, tree lined residential neighborhood of Menlo Park, SRI International runs a massive 1 million square foot research lab in the heart of Silicon Valley, where many of its 2100 staff toil on secret projects for the US Dept. of Defense (DoD).SRI's work might be top secret but it's not hiding. This 65 year old organization is hugely influential within Silicon Valley, with close ties with leading VC firms, and within the largest companies....[Read Full Article]

R&D Spending Is Not A Measure Of Innovation
Irving Wladawsky-Berger takes a look at spending by large companies on research and development and their competitive advantage. He found little connection between the amount of R&D spending and innovation.He cites a global report by Booz and Company, which found:...[Read Full Article]

Upcoming June 4: TEDxSF - ALIVE! Maximum Living...
TEDxSF is coming up this Saturday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - Noon to 6pm. It's my favorite local event. Above is video from the one in November, with Jaron Lanier playing one of the strangest instruments I've ever seen, a khene.The theme for the next TEDxSF is "ALIVE! Maximum Living as a Human."...[Read Full Article]

Intel VP Sean Maloney Talks About Stroke, ARM, China...
[Sean Maloney Exec. Vice President was recently named head of Intel's China operations. He returned to work in January after suffering a stroke last year. The following transcript is taken from a recent video interview.]By Intel Free Press...[Read Full Article]

Guest Post: Three Reasons Why Curation Is Not A Fad
Oliver Starr is the Chief Evangelist for Pearltrees. Prior to this he was the first employee at TechCrunch. He has also held numerous executive positions in technology companies and has founded and successfully exited two startups of his own. You can follow him @owstarr on twitter.By Oliver Starr Perhaps you won't believe me since it's my job to "spread the gospel" of curation as the Chief Evangelist of Pearltrees but I think curation is here to stay. These are the reasons why I believe this is the case:...[Read Full Article]

Infographic: How Much Are The Top Private Company Founders Worth?
Here's a great infographic showing the estimated worth of some of the founders of hot private companies, via RetailMeNot:...[Read Full Article]

GigaOm Raises $6m For PayWall - Total: $15 million
GigaOm, founded by Om Malik, a former business reporter, said it had raised an additional $6m.The money comes from Reed Elsevier Ventures and current investors Alloy Ventures and True Ventures (Om Malik is a partner at True Ventures.)...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: The Bubble In Pretty Design: Flipboard Versus McClatchy Newspapers
(Flipboard team at work.)Silicon Valley investors love a pretty face especially if it comes with free content. That's what's working for Flipboard, a hot startup with an iPad magazine app with a very pretty user interface.Flipboard's valuation has soared in just nine months since its launch and it now ranks with The McClatchy Company [$MNI] newspaper group, which publishes 20 newspapers, employs 7700 staff, and generates $1.4 billion in annual revenue....[Read Full Article]

Guest Post: Capturing Collaboration In The Real World
Guest post - Luidia offers eBeam, which transforms any surface into an interactive whiteboard.By Rafi Holtzman, CEO of LuidiaCollaboration is quite the buzzword these days and is undeniably an integral part of our day-to-day business. We are continually bombarded with collaboration solutions such as online applications, videoconferencing technologies, Unified Communications Suites and interactive devices (think mobile gadgets or interactive whiteboards) that facilitate the exchange of information....[Read Full Article]

Is There A Business Model For "Innovation Journalism?"
I'm spending much of this week at the 8th Conference on Innovation Journalism at Stanford University, speaking on panels, keynoting on ethics, and listening and discussing "innovation journalism" with journalists and academics.But what is innovation journalism?...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Curation and Verification In Journalism - New Methods In News Gathering
Last week I wrote about the Oriella survey of journalists that found that the majority do not use social media or blogs for verifying and sourcing stories.[Oriella Survey: Most Journalists Shun Social Media And Blogs - SVW]No one is asking journalists to throw away the tried and true ways of researching and verifying stories but to add new skills that will improve their reporting. Those new skills include curation and the use of media technologies to tell stories in ways that haven't been told....[Read Full Article]

Klout, PeerIndex, Empire Avenue, Et Al... Shortcuts Without Insights
Lots of people I know in PR and marketing are enamored by new services such as Klout, PeerIndex, and Empire Avenue, which seek to provide a quick assessment on any person's online influence.If you want to know the top influencers in a specific niche market, these services will provide you with a simple number for each person, which you can use to rank the influencers.Their goal is to provide information to publicists and marketers to help them target the right people in their markets.But it seems to me that there's a big problem with this approach. If you, as a publicist or marketer, need to consult these services, this probably shows that you are clueless about who is important in the very markets that you are selling into....[Read Full Article]

It's Graduation Time And Women MBAs Are A Bargain
Margo Medez-Penate sent me some very interesting statistics from Catalyst, the non-profit organization focused on advancing women in the workplace:"According to our research, women MBA graduates earn, on average, $4,600 less than men MBA graduates in their first job out of school. We also found that mentoring benefits men the most: men with mentors received $9,260 more in their first post-MBA jobs than women with mentors."...[Read Full Article]

ADP - The Original Cloud Company - Is "Bored With The Cloud"
"I'm so bored with the cloud," laughs Mike Capone, CIO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP), the payroll processing giant and the original "cloud computing" company, also known as SAAS (Software As A Service)....[Read Full Article]

LinkedIn Debut Doubles - But Are Tech IPOs back?
LinkedIn [$LNKD] doubled in its opening of public trading from its offer price of $45 giving hope to many other tech IPOs waiting in the wings....[Read Full Article]

Oriella Survey: Most Journalists Shun Social Media And Blogs
A survey of nearly 500 journalists across 15 countries has found that some journalists use social media and blogs to source and verify stories. But the majority don't....[Read Full Article]

SF Police With Body Video Cameras - How Long Before Public Has The Same?
A while ago I wrote that in the near future, we will have body video cameras that will act as security against attack or other threats:The Fly On The Wall And Its Social Effects - A Short Story From The Near Future...Brent Begin at SF Examiner reported:...[Read Full Article]

A Wacky Wave: USB-Powered Aquariums, Disco Balls, Slippers And More...
By Intel Free PressKeyboards, printers, joysticks - sure. But toy missile launchers, disco balls and thumb drives that look like thumbs? When a small team of Intel engineers developed the Universal Serial Bus with a half-dozen other companies in 1994, the objective was to create a low-cost plug-and-play interface to connect computers to peripheral devices. In the early days USB products were sold primarily at computer and office supply stores. Today, they're as universal as the serial bus itself....[Read Full Article]

The Rich Get Richer: Secondary Market Investors Will Score Big Win From LinkedIn IPO
Private investors in LinkedIn, the social network for business professionals, stand to make a hefty 46% profit in just two months, following the company's IPO this week.The underwriters for LinkedIn increased the initial price by 30 percent, which would value the company at more than $4 billion. But if they price the deal too high it could dampen the crucial first day pop in share price and affect other IPOs....[Read Full Article]

Netflix Is Fighting Silicon Valley's Battle Against Bandwidth Caps
Broadband availability and speeds are notoriously bad in the US and now with the imposition of monthly caps on usage there is little incentive for cable and Telco companies to improve the situation....[Read Full Article]

Guest Post: Fighting E-Book Pirates - An Author's Tale
By Mitzi SzeretoContrary to popular opinion, writers aren't writers because they have nothing better to do and are merely killing time until they end up at the cemetery. The majority of us who toil with the pen (and keyboard) need to earn off our labours, just like everyone else on the planet. We all have to make a living. We all have bills to pay. And we all have to survive. So why is it that some individuals out there seem to be under the impression that the product of our labours should be given away for free and without any form of compensation?...[Read Full Article]

Curation Is Not Cheap Content...
There seems to be quite a few people in marketing that look upon "curation" as an inexpensive and quick way to get content onto a site.After all, how hard can it be to collect a few links and publish them?...[Read Full Article]

Fantastic Insight Into The Closed Box Google Culture From A Recent Xoogler
Douwe Osinga, a software engineer, recently left Google after seven years. He's written a series of blog posts explaining why he left and also describing what it was like working there, and he dispels some of the many myths about Google.For example: The 20% time myth....[Read Full Article]

The Elephant In The Room: Google Chromebooks And Customer Service
The Google Chromebooks look great. And Google is offering a monthly rental plan to businesses and educational institutes.There's been lots written about the Chromebooks. Are they a Windows killer? Will people choose them over less expensive netbooks?But I haven't seen much about how Google will sell and support the Chromebooks. Does it have a customer support organization in place? How will it deal with the inevitable customer support issues? Google's last foray into hardware with its Nexus cell phone was a disaster primarily because it had no customer support in place. It said it would revolutionize the cell phone industry because people could buy it online....[Read Full Article]

Are Ex-Journalists To Blame For Facebook's Smear Campaign?
The scandal over Facebook's PR campaign to smear Google over possible privacy violations carries an interesting wrinkle: at least two prominent ex-journalists were involved.Miguel Helft and Claire Cain Miller reported in the New York Times that the campaign conducted by PR firm Burson-Marsteller included:...[Read Full Article]

Secondary Markets: Much Needed Liquidity For Silicon Valley Startups Or A Private Stock Market For The Rich?
Tuesday afternoon I was in the "Gulag," the warren of Venture Capital firms along Sand Hill Road, to attend SharePost's conference on "Market Issues & Opportunities for Private Companies."The conference room was packed and for good reason. The lack of IPOs over the past ten years has created a liquidity crisis: how do investors and entrepreneurs get some of their money out of their companies, many of whom are profitable enterprises?...[Read Full Article]

How The "Traitorous Eight" Created Silicon Valley...
Hewlett-Packard lovingly maintains the garage of a modest family home on a leafy street in Palo Alto, because it's the birthplace of itself, but is it also where Silicon Valley was born?...[Read Full Article]

Google's Half-a-Billion Dollar Mystery Problem
Lost among today's news from Google's I/O conference and its "Chromebooks" launch was the news that Google had set aside $500 million to settle an investigation by US regulators into its advertising business.Richard Waters and Joseph Menn, reporting in the Financial Times today, wrote that the revelation was contained in a single line in the company's quarterly filing with the SEC:...[Read Full Article]

Paper Or Electron ... The Medium Doesn't Define Journalism
MG Siegler, one of the top reporters at Techcrunch, recently wrote on his personal site about the silly distinction that some people make between bloggers and journalists.It is similar to my experience of when I left the Financial Times to launch SVW in mid-2004. Many people said I was now a "blogger" but I pointed out that I'm still writing news, conducting interviews, writing analysis articles, in pretty much the same manner as I did at the Financial Times. I was still a journalist....[Read Full Article]

The Incredible Drudge Report...
The latest study from the Pew Center's Project For Excellence in Journalism looked at sites that drive traffic to 25 large news sites.The report has an interesting section on the Drudge Report and how it drives massive amounts of traffic to the news sites in the study, way more than might be expected due to the small size of the operation....[Read Full Article]

Pew Study Shows Social Lags Far Behind Search In News Traffic
I've written about how social media seems to have become an amplifier for mass media because people share links to large news sites. I've called this the SoDOMM effect: Social Distribution of Mass Media.A new Pew study has some interesting numbers on this topic. It found that Facebook users sent about 3% of the traffic to 25 news sites tracked in the study....[Read Full Article]

Mike Arrington Replies To His Critics
Mike Arrington, Editor of Techcrunch, yesterday replied to his critics. In his post he said he would continue to make investments and that everyone in Silicon Valley is conflicted in one way or another.I still believe that editors and reporters should not be investors in companies that they cover. I'd like to invite Mike Arrington, and anyone else that's interested in the topic of ethics in journalism, to join me at the upcoming 8th Conference on Innovation Journalism at Stanford University - May 23 to 25.There will be lots of discussion about all aspects of journalism and how it applies to reporting about innovation. And there will also be sessions about the role of PR. Registration is just $50. Here is the agenda....[Read Full Article]

Report: Massive Drop In Freelance Writing Work Following Google's Panda Update
Chris O'Brien at sent me an interesting report that shows a massive drop in freelance writing jobs following Google's Panda algorithm update in February, which was designed to demote content farms in search rankings....[Read Full Article]

Venture Capitalist Joanna Rees: San Francisco's "Innovation" Mayor?
Wednesday afternoon was one of those rare San Francisco days where it was too hot to stay working indoors, so I popped over to an event that Peter Hirshberg, a local entrepreneur, had told me about: a chance to meet Joanna Rees, a candidate for mayor of San Francisco, and hear about her "innovation" platform....[Read Full Article]

Intel's Tiny Transistor With "Fins" Is A Potential ARM Killer, Tablet Winner
Intel's most important technology announcement of the year, was yesterday, when it said it had figured out a way to build chips with a radical new design, a "3-D" transistor, which has a "fin" structure to greatly lower power consumption while increasing performance.That's exactly what it needs to better compete against ARM, the British designed microprocessor that dominates the market for smartphones and tablets. But "killing" ARM won't happen anytime soon. Intel can't afford it....[Read Full Article]

WSJ's SafeHouse: For Anonymous Wall Street Leaks
The Wall Street Journal has launched SafeHouse - "Securely share information with The Wall Street Journal."It asks: If you have newsworthy contracts, correspondence, emails, financial records or databases from companies, government agencies or non-profits, you can send them to us using the SafeHouse service....[Read Full Article]

Coming Up: Stanford Innovation Journalism Conference - May 23 - 25
Coming up in a couple of weeks is the 8th Conference on Innovation Journalism (IJ-8) at Stanford Univeristy, May 23 - 25. It's a great conference and I'll be speaking on ethics and innovation journalism.It's only $50 and you can register here: conference is organized by the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication, founded by David Nordfors, Executive Director.Topics and speakers:...[Read Full Article]

Intel Announces Transistors With "Fins" - Moore's Law Extended
Intel said it will manufacture new microprocessors based on a breakthrough technology using hundreds of millions of "3-D" transistors featuring a fin in the design. The technology was first announced nearly a decade ago in 2002. It is only now that Intel has figured out how to make chips with the new transistors. Intel expects at least a three year lead over rivals. Other chipmakers have announced plans for similar transistors but only for 14 nm and below, two to three generations away. Intel is using the design in it's next generation 22 nm process. Intel said that the announcement is its most important technology of the year and that it will extend the rule of Moore's Law, which describes the doubling in chip performance every two years, by at least two years. The defining characteristic of the Intel 3-D transistor is a fin structure that extends upwards. This allows it to use less power and leak less electricity -- two key issues in chip design. Intel said that extending the fin structure will allow it to improve performance in future designs. The 3-D Tri-Gate transistor will be manufactured in 22 nm technology, which is significantly smaller than Intel's current 32 nm technology. However, sources at Intel tell SVW that yields are very low and that there are significant challenges ahead to improve yields of working chips. The smaller the transistor, the more difficult it is for Intel to create a high number of working chips per wafer. However, Intel always manages to find ways to improve yields. It is not only the world's largest chipmaker but also leads in pioneering chip production technologies. Intel said that the new transistor will allow for low power consuming chips. This could allow it to better compete against ARM based chips, which have...[Read Full Article]

Interview With Head Of Intel India - Praveen Vishakantaiah
By Intel Free PressWith nearly 1.2 billion people, India represents a vast and multi-faceted challenge for Intel, as well as one of the company's most important growth markets. Praveen Vishakantaiah, an Intel veteran of 17 years, oversees the company's activities in India. He leads more than 2,600 employees, with most working in software and hardware design and sales and marketing. The sprawling 40-acre campus in Bangalore alone is Intel's largest non-manufacturing site outside the United States....[Read Full Article]

Innovation Journalism: Why Silicon Valley Startups Deserve A Level Playing Field
Media coverage is very important for startups. It is how they gain respect in their community, it is how they can win investors, and it is invaluable in helping to recruit staff.Positive media coverage will also help gain users of their products and services, providing valuable marketing services that could cost tens of thousands of dollars.But the only reason media coverage of a startup and their product is valuable is that the media coverage is seen as a neutral third party -- it has no financial bias in its reporting.The only acceptable bias is a thirst for a great story and selecting the best startups to write about....[Read Full Article]

Women In Tech: Anita Borg Women Of Vision Awards
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology will celebrate its 2011 "Women of Vision" award winners at Mission City Ballroom, Santa Clara Convention Center, May 19. I attended last year and it was great. I got to meet and speak with Arianna Huffington, the keynote speaker....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Bin Laden News Shows SODOMM Effect In Social Media
The world's social media was abuzz last night following the announcement of the violent death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.Erick Schonfeld, writes:many people first heard about the news on Twitter, but more often than not the original source of that news could be traced back to mainstream media. Although some unwitting on-the-ground reporting occurred on Twitter as well, Bin Laden's death was confirmed by mainstream media (CNN, NYT, etc)....Twitter does not supplant other media, it amplifies it.Many studies have shown that the vast majority of the media shared in social media communities, are sourced from the traditional, mass media outlets. The early promise of blogging as challenging the gatekeepers of mass media organizations has almost completely disappeared.Social media has largely become Social Distribution Of Mass Media - SoDOMM. Please see:The Demise Of Social Media And The Return Of Mass Media - SVWStudy Shows How Social Media Amplifies Mass Media - SVWWho Says What to Whom on Twitter | Yahoo! Research...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Techcrunch Editor Disclosed Only After Swisher Questioned AOL
There is a widespread perception within the Silicon Valley community, that when it comes to the media, as long as everything is disclosed about potential reporting biases, then it's OK....[Read Full Article]

WeekendWatcher: "April In Paris" In San Francisco - Art, Music, Culture...
My friend David Rozelle is organizing this event at Workspace in San Francisco Saturday evening. It was great fun last year, I expect the same this year.Please join me:...[Read Full Article]

More Thoughts On Curation And Rescuing Content From The Obscurity Of The Timeline...
Last week I wrote about the tyranny of the timeline and how good content disappears once it is pushed off the home page and into the archives.[How Curation Can Rescue Great Content From The Tyranny Of The Timeline - SVW]Of course, the content is still there in the archives, it is reachable, and it is searchable; but only if you know it is there....[Read Full Article]

Bullshit: Arrington Claims Relationships Are Bigger Problem Than Money
Mike Arrington, the Techcrunch editor who was forced to disclose his investments by Kara Swisher, Editor of All Things Digital, is trying to prove that relationships are a larger problem than money in reporting.In an interview with Nicholas Carlson, at Business Insider, he says:...[Read Full Article]

Wow! Kara Swisher Investigation Forced Arrington To Disclose Investments
Kara Swisher, editor of "All Things Digital," reported that Techcrunch Editor Mike Arrington disclosed his investments in startups following her questions about the matter, put to AOL senior management....[Read Full Article]

Out And About: Techcrunch Bombshell Draws Lots Of Passionate Critics
I went out to several parties last night related to the AppNation conference that's in town and spoke to a lot of developers and others about the revelation that Techcrunch editor Mike Arrington is investing in startups and his admission that it will affect his coverage....[Read Full Article]

Techcrunch Editor Discloses Investments, Admits To Conflicts Of Interests
Mike Arrington, editor and founder of Techcrunch, an AOL company, today disclosed his investments in some high profile startups.He said he had refrained from making investments in startups since 2009 because of distracting accusations of conflicts of interest but that he had recently changed that policy (following the sale of Techcrunch to AOL)....[Read Full Article]

New Smartphone Envy - Two-Thirds Say Stuck With Old Phones
The power of the new: Retrevo, the consumer electronics buyers guide, conducted a survey that finds 62% of smartphone owners believe they are stuck with obsolete devices because of their two-year contractsAndrew Eisner, Director of Community and Content at Retrevo reports:...[Read Full Article]

Will Co-Founder Biz Stone Be Next To Leave Twitter?
Back in March I predicted that Twitter co-founder Ev Williams might not be around for much longer:Twitter Is 5 Years Old - What's Its Future? It's In The Tweets... -...[Read Full Article]

Is There A Future For HyperLocal Media? Guardian Shuts Sites; AOL Recruiting 8K Bloggers...
Local is the new frontier. Local ads, deals, and services represent a massive business opportunity for the Internet giants and media companies.But local ads need local content and that local content can't be machine aggregated, it requires feet on the streets: selling ads and collecting the news.And 'Local' is a tough nut to crack. In the UK, Guardian newspaper today said it will close three local news sites set up as an experiment in March 2010. These are based in Leeds, Cardiff, and Edinburgh....[Read Full Article]

Flip Closure: Is It Ethical To Destroy Hundreds Of Viable Jobs?
Cisco's recent sudden closure of its Flip video camera division put nearly 600 people out of work and killed a $590 million investment.Market research firm IHS iSuppli today released its analysis of the move, calling it "shrewd" but said Cisco missed out on selling a valuable business....[Read Full Article]

What Year Is It? Try 1996...
History does not repeat itself but it does rhyme, as Mark Twain noticed. So as this current Internet boom builds momentum, and acquires some of the characteristics of the 1990s' boom-to-bubble years, at what stage are we in? What's the year?...[Read Full Article]

How A Virus Can Boost Solar Power
Techeye reports on a breakthrough by researchers at MIT that could dramatically boost the efficiency of cheap solar cells by more than 25%.Matthew Finnegan reports:...[Read Full Article]

Joichi Ito To Take Over MIT's Media Lab
I'm a big fan of Joichi Ito so it was a pleasure to hear that he will become the next head of the iconic MIT Media Lab....[Read Full Article]

Twitter Congratulates Itself For Its Role In The "Renewal" Of San Francisco
After months of negotiations, late last week Twitter said it would stay in San Francisco, thanks to a multi-year cut in its payroll taxes on new hires....[Read Full Article]

Do Jerks Do Better In Silicon Valley?
This morning on CNBC, Ryan Tate from Gawker and I, were debating "questionable ethics and jerk behavior by CEOs" it was related to my post last week: Questionable Ethics And The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs; and Ryan's follow up: Why Are Tech Founders Such Assholes?Ryan made a good point on the show that looking at some of the largest success stories in Silicon Valley right now, such as Facebook and Apple, it appears that you do need to be a jerk to win.I disagreed. Being a jerk has nothing to do with success. In this business it is teams that win -- not individuals. If you are a jerk it quickly gets around and people will avoid you, they will choose to work elsewhere given the choice....[Read Full Article]

More Thoughts On Ways To Free Ai Weiwei... Boycott Wal-Mart?
I spend way too much time in the tech and media echo chamber so it's always a pleasure to get away from it and explore different subjects.I'm on a Christopher Hitchens trip at the moment. I'm really enjoying his autobiography. His prose is so well crafted, and effortless, there's a tremendous amount of pleasure in reading it. He does a great job in presenting his principles and his reasoning on controversial subjects. And he doesn't flinch from taking moral and ethical stands on important subjects, such as the war in Iraq, and on calling a spade a spade, when he writes that Henry Kissinger is a war criminal and should be tried as one....[Read Full Article]

WeekendWatcher: An Artist That Challenges The Powerful - Free Ai Weiwei
Can art change society? I don't think so, I know of no examples. But people can change society, and artists can use their art and influence to make a big difference in the world.Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist, is one of those people. He has been using his fame as the world's leading contemporary artist, and his art, to challenge the Chinese government and local officials on issues of corruption, injustice, and cover ups. He is a fearless social critic, expressing himself through paintings, sculpture, architecture, photography, installations, and blogs. His fearlessness fuels his art, allowing him to work in many types of media and produce an amazing variety of works.His fearlessness is also what has gotten him into trouble with the Chinese authorities time and again....[Read Full Article]

Intel Is Heading For $1 Billion Revenue Weeks
Intel's [INTC] financial results were at a record level this week. The numbers greatly exceeded its own estimates, which are usually very accurate.Tiernan Ray, at Barron's writes Tech Trade Daily. He asked: Intel: How Do You Explain Another $800M Of Revenue? - Tech Trader Daily -[Read Full Article]

More On Panda Pandamonium: Is A Front For Scam Sites?
(Murray Newlands - SF Blog Club at PeopleBrowser.) I've been helping Murray Newlands with his San Francisco Blog Club meetups, which are great for helping to educate a mostly newbie group about blogging.Last night the featured speaker was Chang Kim, product manager at Google's Trouble is he was a no show. He didn't call to say he was running late. Nothing....[Read Full Article]

How Curation Can Rescue Great Content From The Tyranny Of The Timeline
When I first started blogging in 2004, I didn't like the way blogging software gradually pushed older stories off the page and into the archives.It tended to discourage me from writing some posts because I didn't want to lose better, or what I thought were more important posts, from the home page. Because once articles enter the archives it is like disappearing into a deep well. They are gone. And search won't help because search only works if you know something is there....[Read Full Article]

Intel's Radia Perlman: Don't Call Her "Mother Of The Internet"
By Intel Free PressCall her a mother of two, but don't call her "Mother of the Internet." Engineer, author, inventor and, since March, Intel's director of Network and Security Technology, Radia Perlman never cottoned to the label despite its use nearly every time she speaks at a technical conference or is written about in a story (including this one, her first interview since leaving Sun Microsystems)....[Read Full Article]

Eye Of The Needle: "In The Plex" Author Predicts Google Will Get More Social... And Maybe Twitter
(A guest post by veteran Silicon Valley journalist Dave Needle.)By Dave NeedleSteven Levy, author of the new book, In the Plex, about Google, shared a series of fascinating insights Tuesday at a Churchill Club event in Mountain View not far from the famed Googleplex. All Things D's Kara Swisher interviewed Levy before an attentive early morning audience....[Read Full Article]

New Research: Online Ads Fail Because They Distract
Online advertising is failing badly to literally click with readers and advertisers are trying to figure out how to improve a dismal 0.09 percent click-through rate.A new report from Nielsen, commissioned by AdKeeper and WPP's 24/7 Real Media has found one answer to why online ads don't work: they distract....[Read Full Article]

Pointless Stats Comparing China And The US Online...
Pingdom has published a long list of statistics comparing China and the US in all things Internet related: numbers of users, speed of connections, numbers of hosts, etc.I'm usually a fan of Pingdom's posts because its position as a web site monitoring service gives it a great position from which to point out interesting trends. But not this time....[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Boom: Intel Reports Record Quarter
More good news for Silicon Valley as Intel [INTC] reported a record quarter beating Wall Street estimates and its own prior guidance by about $800 million. Intel shares jumped 6% in extended-hours trading.Sales were boosted by a return of IT spending as enterprises upgraded data centers and replaced older equipment....[Read Full Article]

Questionable Ethics And The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs
The film "The Social Network" has helped to make startups popular among young people the world over. It's just one factor inspiring new generations of entrepreneurs hoping to succeed through innovation and hard work.But are they learning ethical ways of doing business?The more we find out about Mark Zuckerberg and his behavior during the early days of Facebook, the more he reveals a cavalier attitude to ethics....[Read Full Article]

NYC's Top VC Fred Wilson Fails To Avoid Media Spotlight
AdWeek reporter Dylan Byers published an interesting profile of Fred Wilson, the New York City based venture capitalist.NYC Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson Is Rich and Grumpy | Adweek...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Is Back - Best Year Since Boom Of 2000
It's taken a decade but Silicon Valley companies have climbed out of dotcom dotbomb recession and reported their most profitable year in history.The San Jose Mercury News reports that 2010 was a banner year for the 150 largest Silicon Valley companies....[Read Full Article]

Google's Search For Quality... And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
Google regularly changes its algorithm and it's a smart move because all the companies that were trying to game Google -- and were succeeding in taking advantage of the some 200 rules that make up the algorithm -- get shaken out of the results. It's a quick way of finding the most egregious gamers of the system.And Google's recent release of its "Panda" algorithm update was designed to find quality sites and raise them in the search rankings.But Panda is causing a lot of pandaemonium for all types of businesses, those that played by Google's "white hat" SEO rules, and those that didn't....[Read Full Article]

First Meeting Of SFCurators Salon...
Last Thursday was the inaugural meeting of SFCurators Salon in North Beach and I couldn't be more happier about the turnout (see below).I set up the group with my colleague Oliver Starr as a place where like-minded people could discuss the topic of curation, which has become a hot topic this year as search falters, and as curation tools and services come out of beta and into more mainstream use. (Please see: Pearltrees Reaches Key Milestones: Largest Curation Community - SVW)...[Read Full Article]

Google Partner Sites Show Weak Growth - Bad News For Publishers
Google's Q1 2011 financial results show a significant shift in revenues away from its partner sites in its AdSense advertising network.Google [$GOOG] typically relies on partner sites for about 30% of total revenues but over the past year it has managed to reduce that to 28%....[Read Full Article]

Is Cisco's Management By Committee To Blame For Woes?
Over the past couple of years Cisco has shifted management responsibilities to internal committees, as many as 59 or more.John Chambers, CEO, has spoken about how it was initially difficult for him to change from the traditional top-down management structure. But he also said that the collaborative approach to management was working and making Cisco into a better competitor.But was this assessment correct?Therese Poletti, columnist at Marketwatch believes that the committee structure is not helping Cisco and should be ditched. And she found an analyst that agreed."That structure makes sense on paper, but you just wonder if people are spending too much time collaborating and in meetings," said Brian White, an analyst with Ticonderoga Securities...."People at Cisco are constantly going to meetings and a lot of PowerPoint presentations," said White, who has a buy on Cisco. "I just wonder if everyone has the time to innovate as much as they would like or as much as the company would like. You are constantly shuffling around from meeting to meeting."Cisco should ditch committee structure Therese Poletti's Tech Tales - MarketWatchCisco spokeswoman Karen Tillman told Ms Poletti that the committee structure would be reviewed by Cisco but would likely not be changed. "But I think what will change is the accountability."Product managers etc, can be fired but it is tough to make a committee accountable and fire the lot. Maybe Mr Chambers will make an example of a committee or two in that way -- as a motivator for the others.However, can management by committee, or councils as they are known internally, really work for a tech company dealing with fast moving markets? Cisco is a large company, which naturally slows its reaction time. And committees are not known for speeding up decision making. Combining the two appears to be very risky...[Read Full Article]

Old Habits Continue: No Links In Traditional Media ... Or PR
Anthony DeRosa is Media Product Manager at Reuters. He writes:Blogger ethics tend to be better than traditional journalism ethics when it comes to linking to sources. It's actually far more likely you won't find a single link in any articles in most mainstream news publications online. Sometimes they may even write out the source, but won't link to it. Traditional media's refusal to enter the link economy...[Read Full Article]

An Evening At Swagapalooza: An Experimental Marketing Event
There was good turnout for Swagapalooza Tuesday evening at the DNA Lounge n San Francisco. This is an experiment in viral marketing. About 150 bloggers were invited to hear pitches from people with mostly quirky products or services. And everyone got to take home samples of the products.I went to the first one last year and enjoyed the unpolished pitches -- a welcome respite from hearing tech company pitches. Last year there was bacon-flavored hot sauce, fermented black garlic (yum), and expensive men's underwear among the products pitched.[Please see: Swagapalooza: An Offbeat Funky Promo Platform]The event kicked off with a keynote by Justin Kan from JustinTV. He had some great advice for anyone launching a startup....[Read Full Article]

Bubble Boy Blodget Blasts Bubble 2.0
Henry Blodget is very much a poster boy for the dotcom bubble. The former Wall Street analyst and now editor of Business Insider, knows bubbles very well. You could say he helped build Bubble 1.0 with his enthusiastic research reports, which supported lofty valuations of key dotcom stocks....[Read Full Article]

Gravity Meets Bubble? - Twitter Soars In Private Equity Valuation
Twitter is often grouped with other high flying private venture companies: Facebook, Zynga, and Groupon.The common trait among these four is high valuations. But Twitter is the odd-man out here because it appears that its valuation is far higher than the other three....[Read Full Article]

Will New Legal Claims Against Zuckerberg Harm Facebook's Valuation?
Henry Blodget, over at Business Insider, believes that Paul Ceglia, an early co-developer of a project that became Facebook has a great legal case against Mark Zuckerberg.The Guy Who Says He Owns 50% Of Facebook Just Filed A Boatload Of New Evidence -- And It's Breathtaking...[Read Full Article]

There Seems To Be A Google Backlash Building ...
Foremski's Take: There's a Google backlash building and there's probably nothing Google can do about it......[Read Full Article]

Big Differences In How Large Companies Innovate
By David Needle There are no shortage of tried and true ways to succeed in business, but if your goal is to be the next Apple be prepared to toss the rule book out the window. That's the inescapable conclusion I came to after hearing a number of tech and business execs discuss how they promote innovation and inspire leadership at their companies. "We've moved from over 25 to very small teams of four or five people and we iterate with our customers to get closer to the customer's pain. We have failures, but we have more at-bats," said Kaaren Hanson, vice president of Design Innovation at Intuit. Hanson spoke recently as part of a recent Churchill Club-sponsored panel on innovation at Microsoft Research in Silicon Valley....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Here's Why Twitter Won't Tell You What's True...
Simon Dumenco is "The Media Guy" columnist at AdAge. He has some advice on "How Twitter Can Stop Its Descent Into a Cable-News-Style Disinformation Network."He points to two recent cases of disinformation on Twitter:...[Read Full Article]

Dell Boosts Cloud/Service Investments By $1bn
Dell this morning said it would invest $1 billion in expanding its solutions and services group especially in cloud and virtualization IT.Steve Schuckenbrock, President of Dell Services said that the $1 billion does not include M&A. Dell has made several acquisitions over the past year. It recently said it would consolidate its N. California acquisitions within a new Silicon Valley Research and Development Center....[Read Full Article]

Pearltrees Reaches Key Milestones: Largest Curation Community
(Patrice Lamothe, CEO of Pearltrees.)I'm proud to bring you news about Pearltrees, the company I've been working with the past year: this morning it announced it has reached 100,000 members and monthly traffic of 10 million pageviews -- that's about 100 page views per month per member.This makes Pearltrees the largest curation community on the web. That's a great achievement and it comes at a great time because curation has become a hot topic as Internet users struggle to find spam-free content....[Read Full Article]

Some Thoughts On The Social Distribution Of Mass Media...(SoDOMM)
(Photo shows a meeting of the seminal Homebrew Computing Club - credit: Computer History Museum.)Earlier this week I pointed out how "social media" has changed from its original promise of challenging the established order of mass media. Where are the brigades of citizen journalists? What's become of the hope of the grass roots revolt against the gate keepers in our national and local media?...[Read Full Article]

An Ice Cream Store Or Media Company? - How One Business Monetized Its Following
Here's an interesting story via Cecily Ruttenberg:San Francisco based Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream has an impressive Twitter following of 310,000. Engage4Change, a new San Francisco civic engagement site, prepurchased 500 ice cream cones to offer a free ice cream to anyone participating in its efforts to collect ideas on how to make San Francisco a better place to live....[Read Full Article]

National Broadband Network Could Jam GPS Nav
Joelle Tessler, at AP, reports that a new nationwide wireless Internet service could drown out GPS signals and jam navigation systems in airplanes and cars. ### The problem stems from a recent government decision to let a Virginia company called LightSquared build a nationwide broadband network using airwaves next to those used for GPS. Manufacturers of GPS equipment warn that strong signals from the planned network could jam existing navigation systems. A technical fix could be expensive -- billions of dollars by one estimate -- and there's no agreement on who should pay. The FCC and LightSpeed claim that the two networks can coexist safely. However, GPS signals are very weak and are susceptible to being blocked by strong transmissions on adjoining frequencies.It seems strange that the FCC, which has always been very concerned about jamming key communications channels by consumer electronics devices, would allow this situation to take place. In January, the FCC gave approval for LightSpeed to build a wireless network that would reach 92 percent of all Americans by 2015.The FCC has ordered further tests....[Read Full Article]

Out&About: Trulia And Jobs In SF + 30,000 Empty SF Homes
I ran into Ken Shuman, comms chief at Trulia, the San Francisco based real estate search site. He said business is up even though prices in real estate markets continue to drop."People are doing a lot more research and we're providing them with the tools." Trulia recently released an iPhone/iPad and Android app, which has proved quite popular. Unfortunately there are no tools that can predict the bottom of a real-estate market. The problem is that huge numbers of foreclosures have depressed prices in most nieghborhoods around the country. Banks are unable to manage their inventory of empty housing. For example, a friend of mine lost her beautiful home in Noe Valley to foreclosure. Now the outside is covered in graffiti and people are squatting inside.Mr Shuman says that there more than 30,000 foreclosed and empty homes in San Francisco alone. That's not helping the real-estate market to recover.While Trulia is doing well, Mr Shuman says it is getting harder to find good engineers. It doesn't help that other tech companies have come to San Francisco, such as Twitter, and are now competing for talent. "We chose San Francisco because you could find good staff here, then other companies followed."...[Read Full Article]

Twitter Gets SF Tax Break But Is it Enough?
San Francisco gave Twitter what it wanted, lower local taxes, but is it enough for the high flying socially responsible tech company?Verne Kopytoff reports:...[Read Full Article]

White House Wants Silicon Valley Input On Reg. Changes That Help Business
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the White House are reaching out to entrepreneurs to ask for ways federal regulations and processes could be changed to encourage entrepreneurship. They will be making regional visits to meet with local business people....[Read Full Article]

Intel's Centrino And How It Sparked The WiFi HotSpot Revolution
March - 2003: photo shows inauguration of first airport WiFi hotspot - San Francisco (SFO).By Intel Free PressCoffeehouses, fast food joints, airports, hotels and college campuses were some of the first public places to offer it, and today WiFi is available on trains, planes, in taxicabs -- almost everywhere, including inside millions of homes around the world.It wasn't always this way. Few technologies in recent decades have caught on and become as ubiquitous as quickly as WiFi, but few may remember that things really didn't take off until 2003 when it became a standard feature of laptops with Intel's Centrino mobile technology....[Read Full Article]

Tibco Updates Tibbr - Social Media Platform For Enterprise
Tibco Software (Tibco a sponsor of SVW) has introduced Tibbr 2.0, its enterprise social media platform. Tibbr was launched two months ago and competes against Chatter from and Yammer. The new features include:...[Read Full Article]

Dell Aims To Boost Innovation With Silicon Valley R&D Center
Dell plans to employ as many as 1500 people at a new Dell Silicon Valley Research and Development Center and consolidate its N. California operations.The company also wants to use the facility to tap into local talent, adding to already high local demand for engineers and other specialists....[Read Full Article]

The Demise Of Social Media And The Return Of Mass Media
There have been quite a few studies lately on what people Tweet and post on Facebook, and the large number of links that people share. Invariably, the links that most people share belong to large media organizations -- what used to be called mass-media.For example, Nate Silver recently analyzed links to news sources and found that of the top 30 news sources, nearly all were traditional large news sites such as AP or New York Times, only TMZ and Politico were new.A recent Yahoo! Research report found just 20,000 elite Twitter users produce 50% of Tweets (Twitter has 150 m users). Sounds very mass-media like to me, I bet 10,000 of those users are journalists Tweeting about their stories.[Study Shows How Social Media Amplifies Mass Media - SVW]...[Read Full Article]

The World Has Room For Only Nine More Googles... Or 1,000+ Startups
Here's an interesting analysis of the advertising industry and Silicon Valley's growing bubble in new media by Rick Webb. He argues that Silicon Valley is heading for a cliff in funding too many startups to provide new media channels for advertisers.He writes that there seems to be a perception that there will be far more money in online advertising than there really is....[Read Full Article]

Texas Instruments To Buy Historic Silicon Valley Chipmaker Nat Semi
Texas Instruments has agreed to acquire National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in cash - a 77% premium. National Semiconductor is one of the oldest Silicon Valley tech companies, founded in 1959.National Semiconductor History - Celebrating 50 Years - 1959 to 2009Nat Semi specializes in analog chips - these are different from digital chips and are more difficult to design and make than digital chips. It's considered a bit of a "black art" and analog chip designers have some of the highest salaries in the industry.Anlog chips are essential components for all consumer and communications electronics products.Texas Instruments to Buy National Semiconductor for $25 a Share - Bloomberg...[Read Full Article]

Google's $900m Patent Binge - Will It Share The Protection?
Larry Dignan at ZDNet reports: With the move, Google would get about 6,000 patents covering wired, wireless and digital communications technologies. Google's top lawyer, Kent Walker wrote: Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Newspapers May Have Even Further To Fall
It may seem as if the downward spiral of newspaper's fortunes has slowed, and maybe even stabilized but that could be a false observation according to a new study.Alan D. Mutter in Reflection of a Newsosaur reports on an eMarketer report that newspaper ad revenues could be three times more than they should be, given the amount of time people spend reading printed news versus reading online content....[Read Full Article]

Review: A Compelling Package: Sonos S5 Internet Speakers + Rdio and Pandora
The first time I heard the Sonos S5 multi-room speakers, I was ready to throw them out - they were way too bassy and boomy. But now I really like them and have gotten addicted to controlling them through my iPhone, iTouch, or iPad.And combined with online streaming music service like Rdio and Pandora, plus access to all your music on your computer -- the combination is compelling....[Read Full Article]

Charlie Sheen To Join HP Board, Follows Appointment Of At Intel
Hewlett-Packard [HPQ] will announce that Charlie Sheen has joined its board of directors as part of a growing trend by Silicon Valley tech giants to harness the power of celebrity.The announcement could come as soon as Monday allowing HP to avoid April Fool's Day and risk confusing investors and Wall Street analysts.Intel recently appointed popular music artist from the Black Eyed Peas as its Director of Creative Innovation. His duties include coming up with a replacement for the well known Intel jingleHewlett-Packard is struggling to reorganize following turmoil in its senior leadership. Mark Hurd, the former CEO, was pushed out because of allegations of a sex scandal and questions about his personal judgement.Hewlett-Packard now has a new CEO and has been expanding its board of directors to include a more diverse set of advisors. But some have criticized HP's appointments....[Read Full Article]

VCs Looking For "Curation" Startups - Is A Curation Bubble Forming?
As the subject of curation takes off VCs are funding more "curation" startups which could likely lead to a bubble in this sector.VCs are beginning to talk publicly about "curation" which means they are telling startups what type of companies they are looking to fund in the hopes that someone will create those companies. For example, Fred Wilson, the New York-based VC recently wrote about curation:...[Read Full Article]

Upcoming Silicon Valley Events: Paul Allen and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
The Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley is hosting Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft on April 26.And Julius Genachowski - Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on April 14.Here are the details:...[Read Full Article]

Edelman Barometer Trend: Corporations And Social Responsibility
I popped into Edelman's San Francisco offices to hear a presentation on the findings of this year's Edelman Trust Barometer - a global survey measuring "trust" in institutions.One of the key findings was a huge expectation that businesses create shareholder value by aligning with "society's interests." In the US, 85% agreed that this is an important attribute in how they "trust" corporations....[Read Full Article]

BitTorrent Offers Free Novel Download
BitTorrent is trying to clean up its image and position itself as a valuable and viable media distribution platform. It has been distributing movies and music as part of its "BitTorrent Artist Spotlight." And now the first novel, "Captive" by Megan Lisa Jones....[Read Full Article]

Blekko And The Future Of Search...
On the eve of Google's launch of an experimental feature that allows users to recommend search results, Blekko, the curated search engine, hosted a lively dinner in San Francisco with journalists to discuss the future of search.Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley (photo) kicked things off by saying that Google's results were polluted and that Google itself was financing the "pollution" through its AdSense advertising network....[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley's Computer History Museum Launches Online "Revolution"
The Computer History Museum this morning launched "Revolution" an online exhibit featuring images, video, and stories chronicling the development of key computer technologies.More than 4500 pages are avialable online on a diverse number of topics, from punched cards to the first computer games, such as the "Naughts-and-Crosses machine" (above)....[Read Full Article]

Support Good Journalism And 'Pay The Wall'
I don't understand the current debate over the New York Times paywall. Yes, it has holes in it and yes it is a bit lame but the question it asks is: will you support quality journalism?That's an important question. But it seems that the Geekorati believe that once something is free then it should be free forever, and that if you can get past the New York Times paywall, then you are smart. I disagree and here's why:...[Read Full Article]

Here's How Google Avoids Paying Taxes...
There's a fascinating article by Lisa O'Carroll in the UK Guardian newspaper about corporate taxes and how Google [GOOG] uses Bermuda and Dublin, Ireland to shelter taxes.Here's how it works:- Google's HQ is in Dublin, which has the lowest corporate tax rate of 12.5%.- Google, however, wants an ever lower rate so it charges its European business a massive administrative fee by its Bermuda subsidiary. And that's how a profit of 5.5 billion Euros turns into just 45 million Euros that is taxable in Dublin. Lisa O'Carroll explains:...[Read Full Article]

How Yuri Milner Made Billions In The New Bubble
Craig Mellow, at The Deal Magazine has a fascinating profile of Yuri Milner, the Russian investment banker who runs Digital Sky Technologies, a multi-billion dollar fund. Close connections (The Deal Magazine) Mr Milner has garnered tremendous amounts of publicity for his investments in Facebook, Groupon and other high flying US companies. These companies aren't public but their shares can be traded on private markets but only by individual investors and employees in the company, and prequalified private investors with a high net worth. These secondary markets have become larger over the past few years because there has been little demand for IPOs and they provide a capital exit for some shareholders. At the time of Mr Milner's investments in Facebook, there was a lot of sniggering about the high valuation he was prepared to pay and his willingness to do it on lax terms. It was seen as a naive investment decision by an outsider. But take a look at this extract from the article, it shows how Mr Milner managed to parlay his growing media profile into making markets, then shifting his investments. Seems like a classic "pump and dump" strategy....[Read Full Article]

Demonstration Planned Outside Twitter HQ Tuesday Morning
Twitter is used to seeing people use Twitter to demonstrate against despots in other countries, Tuesday morning it will see a protest outside its headquarters: 795 Folsom Street, San Francisco. 10am.The South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN) has called for the protest because Twitter has threatened to leave San Francisco unless it gets long-term cuts in payroll taxes and other costly concessions. SOMCAN says this will hit poor residents the hardest....[Read Full Article]

Study Shows How Social Media Amplifies Mass Media
Social media is touted by many as a way to get around the gatekeepers of media, the traditional old order of mass media setting the agenda for society has been tipped onto its head.Not really.A study from Yahoo! Research "Who Says What to Whom on Twitter | Yahoo! Research" found this:We find a striking concentration of attention on Twitter—roughly 50% of tweets consumed are generated by just 20K elite users—where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed....[Read Full Article]

Twitter Brings Back Jack To Fix Product Strategy
Twitter's seesaw problems with product development entered a new phase this morning as the company brought back former CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey. He will take over product development from co-founder Ev Williams, as Executive Chairman, but also run his own startup, Square. The move makes sense. Ev Williams involvement in Twitter has been questioned by myself and others. He spends little time at the office and his use of Twitter is extremely low, Tweeting just twice a day and sometimes none at all. Co-founder Biz Stone is even less interested in Tweeting. Take a look at my recent survey of the activity of Twitter co-founders:...[Read Full Article]

Color: A quick review...
It's a shame that the $41m funding of Color Labs has dominated the news about Color, a radically different type of mobile app, because that's what's interesting.Color shares photos with everyone around you that has the app on their iPhone or Android device. There are no privacy settings and you don't need to "friend" or "follow" anyone -- it automatically creates an ad hoc social network within 50 yards of your location.How will people use it?Color Labs doesn't know -- it did no user studies, no focus groups, beyond letting 30 staff and family members use it. Which is very bold....[Read Full Article]

Danish Startup Podio Makes A Splashy Entrance
Danish startup Podio made a splashy entrance this week into the US market and I'm not referring to the torrential rains soaking San Francisco. In a week dominated by the news of the launch of $41m startup Color Labs, it was an impressive feat. Podio, which offers apps for small businesses launched an App store and opened a pop-up store in San Francisco-- and managed to attract many of the top digerati of San Francisco....[Read Full Article]

Is Curation A Flash In The Pan?
It's clear that the interest of Internet users can be very fickle indeed. Sites and services can have sudden boosts of popularity and then pretty much disappear from view.I'm thinking of Quora as one example. But also Digg, MySpace and many others...And whenever there is a burst of hype around a topic it seems to be a precursor to a shortened life span.Curation has recently emerged as a hot topic so does that mean it's days are numbered?...[Read Full Article]

Here's How Demand Media Works: Infographic
Here's a cool infographic from which explains how Demand Media works (but not why its valuation is greater than the New York Times): (Hat tip Kate Hersch.)...[Read Full Article]

Color: A $41m Bet On A Radical Social Mobile App
Last week I was in Palo Alto, drenched by torrential rains but happy to catchup with serial entrepreneur Bill Nguyen and hear about his remarkable new startup Color, which today launched its iPhone and Android based mobile app.Color has raised $41 million from a stellar group of investors. This is a huge amount of capital for a seed/Series A round and it shows how much confidence there is in Mr Nguyen and his team.But this is no ordinary startup. Mr Nguyen is a serial entrepreneur, his most recent venture was LaLa, the cloud-based music service that he sold to Apple for about $80 million....[Read Full Article]

Arktan Launches Live Blogging Platform - First App On Echo Streamserver
Arktan has launched a live blogging platform - the first commercial app based on Echo StreamServer.The company said it has already signed up several large media organizations. They plan to use the Arktan platform for blogging live events....[Read Full Article]

Coming Up: Poland Day Investment Seminar At - Facebook Palo Alto
This Saturday, March 26, the US-Polish Trade Council is hosting "Poland Day" a seminar focused on business investments and the relationship between Silicon Valley and Poland.The event starts promptly at 8am and finishes at 11.45am at Facebook, 1050 Page Mill Road, Building 2, Palo Alto, CA.There is also a dinner on Friday March 25 at 6pm at Hunan Garden Restaurant, 3345 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, cost: $45. To register for the dinner please contact Leszek Szalek at [email protected] Alto, CA, Poland Day during Global Technology Symposium 2011 Here is the agenda for Poland Day:...[Read Full Article]

Google Opens African Startup Incubator Umbono
Nur Bremmen reporting on Memburn writes that Google has chosen Cape Town in South Africa for a pilot startup incubator called Umbono - Zulu for “vision”, “sight” or “idea”....[Read Full Article]

Here's Why GOOG Should Bid For T-Mobile...
Foremski's Take: The potential acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T [T] is bad news for Silicon Valley with its strong focus on the consumer: search, social networks, and a spectrum of cloud based services.The reason is that the distributors of all that wonderful Silicon Valley content and services, from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and a myriad other companies, will have to travel through fewer owners of the distribution networks.And if those distribution networks fail as a level playing field for all -- then innovation in Silicon Valley by both large and small will be drastically curtailed. Startups will have to pay for access to consumers and that will raise costs and the amount of startup capital needed -- it's at an all time low currently.I'm surprised that Google didn't make a bid for T-Mobile. Here is why:...[Read Full Article]

Twitter Is 5 Years Old - What's Its Future? It's In The Tweets...
Twitter celebrates it 5 year anniversary today. It's a fascinating service, one that has been very useful to me and my line of work. And others like it too.I'm always fascinated by how much, or little, a company's founders/top execs use their own service or product. I think it is key to the future success of any venture that its key people know, love and use their own product. After all, if you aren't a heavy user of your own stuff then you might not be making the right decisions about future direction, features, and these days of API proliferation -- recruiting third-party developers.Which is why it's interesting to take a look at Twitter co-founders and how much they Tweet:...[Read Full Article]

Curation Can Create A Snapshot Of Our Digital Lives
As our lives become increasingly digital curation tools can provide a good way to document our activities, capturing a snapshot of key events and moments....[Read Full Article]

Kevin Covert: Preparing For A Silicon Valley M&A Boom In New Media
Investment banker Kevin Covert is increasing staff at his company, Covert & Co, up to prepare for an M&A bonanza in Silicon Valley. He says that the conditions are great for M&A especially in new media.Mr Covert lives in southern California but he is no stranger to Silicon Valley, having been very active here, founding investment bank Montgomery & Co in 1999, in the middle of the dotcom boom.Over the past ten years he's had a hand in many large deals such as selling MySpace to News Corp, plus also raising money for many companies, such as Meebo.Here are some notes from our meeting:...[Read Full Article]

Zediva: Rent A DVD Player + Movie Online for $2
Zediva launched today, a service that allows you to rent and watch newly released DVD movies online at the low price of $2 each.This is about half-the price of other services and it includes movies that might not be available online for months.How does Zediva get access to new movies while other, larger entities, such as Netflix can't?It acts like your neighborhood video store, which gets new DVD movies all the time, except with Zediva, you also rent the DVD player, which then streams the movie live to your screen.The movie studios might object to this exploit of a loophole but in the meantime, it's good to have access to new movies without having to brave bad weather to rent them.Maybe this model might help struggling local mom and pop video stores? Zediva's store of movies is limited by its capacity of DVD players and copies of popular movies - about 110 titles. Local stores could fill in gaps in supply - although at a higher price....[Read Full Article]

Techcrunch Attack On SF City Government - Should SF's Tech Stars Avoid Local Taxes?
Mike Arrington at Techcrunch, has attacked San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos for insisting that tech superstar companies such as Twitter pay the city's 1.5% payroll tax.Mr Arrington resorted to name calling in his post: San Francisco Doing Everything It Can To Drive Zynga And Twitter Away....[Read Full Article]

Craigslist Planning Big Expansion? Moving To Huge Downtown Space
There was an interesting tidbit in Therese Poletti's Tech Tales on MarketWatch this week:...[Read Full Article]

SNCR: Research Shows Thought Leadership Crucial For Business Professionals Involvement In Social Media
Te latest research from the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) shows that business professionals are increasingly drawn to thought leadership in online communities.The research was conducted by SCNR fellows Don Bulmer (SAP), Vanessa DiMauro and Peter Auditore.Here are some of the key findings:...[Read Full Article]

Plaxo Reboots - Moves Back To Its Roots, Leaves Social Networking
Plaxo is announcing a major relaunch today that moves its focus back to management of user address books across all of their devices and is pulling out of social networking.The company announced new services such as Plaxo Personal Assistant, which automatically maintains user address books and tracks updates across the web.I recently met with Justin Miller, CEO of Plaxo to talk about the changes. Here are some notes from our meeting:...[Read Full Article]

Bill Davidow On The Dangers Of An Over-Connected Society
I recently interviewed Bill Davidow, the veteran Silicon Valley VC and co-founder of Mohr Davidow Ventures, about his recently published book: OVERCONNECTED: The Promise and Threat of the Internet.The premise is that our modern society faces new perils because our computer technologies and the communications technologies of the Internet accelerate flaws in our systems. For example, the recent financial crash that was sparked by the mortgage crisis, was made easier by computers and the Internet. Mr Davidow borrows from his engineering background the concept of "positive feedback". This describes systems that can feed on each other to grow out of control. It is these positive feedback loops that put us in peril, and as our use of computer and Internet technologies increases at a fast pace, this increases our vulnerability to unpleasant effects such as economic crises.Here are some notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

Will HP Buy Or Merge Its Way Out Of Trouble?
Some analysts believe that Hewlett-Packard's new CEO Leo Apotheker, will use acquisitions to help bolster Hewlett-Packard. Christopher Baum, at Software Advice, takes a look at 14 possible acquisition targets.HP Mergers & Acquisitions: Who's Next?It's an interesting list but I disagree with several of the choices especially his top choice: SAP....[Read Full Article]

Microsoft Considered Green Server Farms In Iceland
I've been intrigued by Iceland and its large reserves of geothermal energy, which is essentially zero-carbon power; and by its location: mid-Atlantic between North AMerica and Europe.You'd think this would make it a great location for large server farms, especially since it now has high speed trans-Atlantic data links....[Read Full Article]

MobyNow: Real-Time Tracking Of Tweets, Photos And More At SWSXi
I'm not at South By South West interactive this year but the Austin, Texas based event is hosting a lot of the digerati from around the world but especially from SF/Silicon Valley.Keeping track of everything happening, Tweeting and sharing is tough when you are on the go in Austin. MobyNow has put together a special version of its platform that is focused on SXSWi. It is the same platform that Intel has used for its conferences and many other large brands keen to re-aggregate content about them on the web.Take a look:The Realtime SXSW Social Media aggregation...[Read Full Article]

Learning How To Link Bait: Arianna and NYTimes Chief Bill Keller Sling Mud Over A Mundane Insight
A tempest in a teapot is probably a too generous way to describe the online spat between Arianna Huffington and Bill Keller, Editor-in-Chief of the New York Times....[Read Full Article]

You Might Already Be A Curator...
Curation is a hot topic in regard to the Internet but curation is nothing new -- most of us do it without even thinking about it.Take a look around your home and you will likely see many curations:...[Read Full Article]

VCs Agree: "No Bubble" ... But Is Twitter A Sign?
"Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble," chanted the witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth, cooking up trouble. Similarly, are the VCs of Silicon Valley cooking up trouble by helping to fuel a new bubble?...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Veteran VC Bill Davidow Says "No Bubble"
I just finished an interview with Bill Davidow on the subject of his new book "Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet." I'll post the interview later. I took the opportunity of asking Mr Davidow about the state of Silicon Valley and questions such as "are we in a bubble?"...[Read Full Article]

Muckraking: A Disappearing Form Of Journalism?
The term muckraker has some negative connotations today but it used to be a noble term applied to a form of journalism that railed against injustice, corruption and the excesses of the high and mighty....[Read Full Article]

New Media Business Models: How To Make $2K On $5m In Revenues
Business Insider, the popular news site founded by former Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget, this week revealed its 2010 finances....[Read Full Article]

Memolane: Curating Your Life In Social Media...
Memolane launched today, an interesting service that creates a timeline of all your posts, tweets, Facebook, photo and video uploads....[Read Full Article]

Plaxo Moves Out Of Social Networking
Plaxo is phasing out its social network features as it prepares for a major relaunch on March 16 (details later) and moves back to its roots: managing users address books....[Read Full Article]

Is Curation Becoming A Proxy For 'Social Media?'
Curation is a hot topic and it's a topic that is being enthusiastically adopted by many in social media -- so much so that curation and social media seem to be beginning to be used interchangeably.Take a look at this post on the BBC College of Journalism blog:Social media: what's the difference between curation and journalism? The post takes a look at a discussion between journalists on the topic of using video from Libya:...[Read Full Article]

Out&About: Startup/Apps Mania In The Coffee Shops And Bars
These it's difficult to go anywhere without hearing about startups and their apps. That's natural in my job but when you start hearing "normal" people talking about apps all of a sudden then that's an interesting trend to watch.For example, my 23 year old son Matt tells me he hears people talking about their apps and startups nearly everywhere he goes in San Francisco. He says it is a result of the Facebook movie. His friends, and friends of friends, seem to be all working on some idea, mostly in the mobile apps space. Matt is working on several apps too, a mobile business app for local businesses is one promising project.This is an interesting trend to watch because it is not limited to San Francisco and its Silicon Valley neighborhood. You see a big interest in startups and innovation occurring in many countries...[Read Full Article]

This Is What The Internet Looks Like...
PEER 1, an IT hosting provider, has produced a visual interpretation of the Internet. It identifies 19,869 autonomous system nodes with 44,344 connections.The sizing and layout of the autonomous systems are based on their eigenvector centrality, which is a measure of how central to the network each autonomous system is: an autonomous system is central if it is connected to other autonomous systems that are central. This is the same graph-theoretical concept that forms the basis of Google's PageRank algorithm. The Map of the Internet image layout begins with the most central nodes and proceeds to the least, positioning them on a grid that subdivides after each order of magnitude of centrality. Within the constraints of the current subdivision level, nodes are placed as near as possible to previously-placed nodes that they are connected to. Map of the Internet 2011 | PEER 1 Hosting Blog...[Read Full Article]

Oodle Attack On Craigslist Falls Flat
Oodle, a classified ads site, recently financed a report that shows the extent of crime associated with Craigslist: "Crime and Craigslist: A sad tale of murders and more."Here is an extract:...[Read Full Article]

Ted Nelson: Reinventing Syndication
Ted Nelson is a computer pioneer and industry veteran. His work in the early 1960s led to hypertext -- the ubiquitous technology that literally links all online documents.Mr Nelson is also the author of one of my favorite quotes: "As fish live in water we live in media."Back in the early 1960s, Mr Nelson was one of the first to recognize that the computer is a media machine. That was an impressive achievement because computers in those days were not the multi-media systems of today. Input was through stacks of punched cards or punched tape; output was mostly numbers and monospaced text with no fancy graphics.Many of Mr Nelson's ideas when he was 23 years old in 1960 are now being rediscovered in a similar way to Marshal McLuhan and his ideas about media have now found new audiences. And as Silicon Valley becomes a Media Valley -- Facebook, Twitter, Google etc, are all media companies -- Mr Nelson's ideas will become more important.Mr Nelson's current focus is on making it easy for people to republish content on the Internet. His proposal is to charge readers and publishers, based on how much content they read or re-publish. He presented his ideas on syndication at the "Future of Money" conference on Monday.Readers would pay for content based on how much they had consumed. For example, if you read only one-half of an article, you only pay for one-half. The same for republishing content, you only pay for what you use."Computers are very good at floating point so we can keep track of minuscule amounts of payments, and publishers get an additional revenue stream."Because the content comes from the original source, computers could keep track of which "splinter" of content people own throughout their life. Once you have paid for something you...[Read Full Article]

Future Of Money: Startups - Be Careful
The Future of Money conference had an interesting panel on "Funding Financial Innovation."Chris O'Brien - San Jose Mercury News (Moderator)Maha Ibrahim - Canaan PartnersKevin Hartz - EventbriteLewis Gersh - Metamorhpic VenturesChristin Herron - Intel CapitalPeter Lurie - American ExpressMaha Ibrahim and Kevin Hartz were especially helpful and the rest of the panelists were good, with excellent moderating by Chris O'Brien. Here are some notes from the panel:...[Read Full Article] Syndicate Content And Get Paid
Repost.Us launched today providing an easy way for companies to syndicate content and be paid according to use....[Read Full Article]

Pearson CEO Threatens Split With Apple Over Customer Data
The Guardian reports that Marjorie Scardino, the CEO of Pearson, a large publishing group that owns the Financial Times and Penguin books, is unhappy with the terms Apple has set for publishers on the iPad.The sticking point is getting access to customer data, which is not possible through Apple' AppStore.Speaking on an analyst call discussing Pearson's full year results, Scardino said about Apple:...[Read Full Article]

Launch Startup Conference Gets Good Reports
The Launch conference, Jason Calacanis's response to the Techcrunch Disrupt conference, turned out well despite all the rain and a boycott by TechCrunch publisher Mike Arrington.I caught part of it and I was impressed by the companies I saw and the judging panel. I spoke to many that were there for all of the conference and heard good reports:Don Dodge, one of the judges: "I go to a lot of these conferences and this one was good, the content was great and the sessions focused on the startups, there wasn't any broad industry discussions. The quality of the companies as good too -- there were many in the startup pit that should have been on the stage."Stowe Boyd: "I was really impressed and I'm not one that's easily impressed -- and I go to a lot of conferences."Ken Yeung: "I took some vacation days to come to the conference and it was good. There were a lot of great companies and the quality was very good."Doug Mason: "The quality of the companies was good and I managed to make some good contacts and also put some of my friends in contact with people here."Jason Calacanis said he was very happy with the conference and said that it had "broken even."Here is a list of winners:From the 1.0 competition:Best OVERALL: Room77 -- Best Tech: NeuAer for Toothtag Best Design: Cabana (App Design) Best Business Model: Volta Best Product: (Phone Products) Lifeproof The 2.0 Competition Best 2.0 Technology: Disconnect -- Best 2.0 Design: -- Best Overall: -- From the LAUNCHPAD BEST OVERALL: ($500,000 Angel funding round closed by Friday -- Investors include @Jason, Bill Warner, Jay Levy & @Shervin) Most Likely to be Acquired: Shoefitr Best Design: Best Technology: Best...[Read Full Article]

The Rise Of Curation Is Not About Broken Search
Much has been written about how search is broken and this is why curation -- in its many forms -- is on the rise (Pearltrees is a client).Paul Kedrosky writing on Infectious Greed: Curation is the New Search is the New CurationWhat has happened is that Google's ranking algorithm, like any trading algorithm, has lost its alpha. It no longer has lists to draw and, on its own, it no longer generates the same outperformance -- in part because it is, for practical purposes, reverse-engineered, well-understood and operating in an adaptive content landscape. Search results in many categories are now honey pots embedded in ruined landscapes -- traps for the unwary.But is search really that bad? I can argue that search today is so much better than it was five and ten years ago. Today search has to deal with so much more:...[Read Full Article]

Intel Debuts High Speed Multi-Purpose Connection Technology
Intel today unveiled its "Thunderbolt" technology which uses an inexpensive cable to provide up to 40 gigabits of bi-directional data transfer. It can be used for connecting displays, storage, and anything else. It is compatible with USB and PCI Express.Thunderbolt provides workstation I/O performance, which means users can transfer huge image and video files in seconds, and perform many other tasks that would normally require higher-end systems.Apple is using Thunderbolt in a new MacBook Pro model. But cosnumers are unlikely to need Thunderbolt, or pay the premium required to use Thunderbolt -- it's aimed at professionals producing HD media.Details are here: The Fastest Data Connection to Your PC Just Arrived...[Read Full Article]

Churnalism - Journalism Direct From PR Organizations
Journalists love to write original stories but there is also a lot of re-write work that has to be done: quick shorts, events, announcements, etc, stuff that doesn't usually need a phone call or too much fact-checking. In today's media world, the temptation to churn out stories based on just a press release is very high because content demands are high. And this is where, a new site based in the UK, tries to help. It will identify stories based on a press release and analyze how much of the published story was copied and pasted -- or rewritten with additional, original content....[Read Full Article]

Is TechCrunch Boycotting Launch Conference And Anyone Connected?
Jason Calacanis introduces the new Launch Conference in San Francisco this week. It's focused on startups, similar to the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.John Hudson and Uri Freidman reporting on The Atlantic Wire:...[Read Full Article]

Bing's Spring Break Fares Forecast...
While many geeks are heading to SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas, others are probably looking for a break somewhere else. Bing, the Microsoft search engine, is carving out a specialty in travel and has published some interesting results:- Flights from Seattle to Salt Lake City are down about 7% from last year, as are flights from Dallas to Jacksonville. Deals can also be found to Cancun, Mexico's spring break hotspot, with fares from Philadelphia down 8% and fares from Atlanta down 16%.- Lowest average fares: San Francisco to Tampa, $300- Lower airfares this year: San Francisco to Paris (-9%)- Highest price increase this year: New York to Vancouver, Canada, $596 (+64%); Philadelphia to San Juan, Puerto Rico, $939 (+54%).Travel tips: You can save $25 to $125 per ticket by travelling from a Monday to Monday or Tuesday to Tuesday instead of from Saturday to Saturday. It's best to get a head start on travel and schedule your trip for the first week of March rather than waiting until mid-April to escape the grind. Traveling during the first or last week of March as opposed to mid-March can save travelers $25 per ticket. Traveling in early April as opposed to the middle of April will save travelers an average of $30 to $50 per ticket. Use the Bing Travel Flexible Travel graph to help determine the best days to travel....[Read Full Article]

Events: Scott McNealy And Ed Zander
This Churchill Club event on Thursday February 24, should be worthwhile:Scott McNealy, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems, in a candid conversation with Ed Zander, former chairman and CEO of Motorola and past president of Sun, about the legacy of Sun, the changing industry, our connected world and more.Starts at 5pm, dinner at 6pm, program at 7pm. Cost is expensive: - $74 for members and $174 for non-membersAt: Santa Clara Hyatt...[Read Full Article]

IPOs And The Pre-IPO Valuations Bubble...
Therese Poletti, over at MarketWatch reports that this year's Tech IPOs have done well:Tech IPOs gaining some momentum Therese Poletti's Tech Tales - MarketWatchAlready this year, there have been seven tech IPOs, which have raised $700 million in total, with an average return of 26.5%, according to Renaissance Capital, an IPO research firm which also manages an IPO fund and an IPO index. Kathy Smith, principal at Renaissance, is more cautious, and notes that there have also been two tech IPO withdrawals this year. She makes a good point in where the "bubble" is: "It's not a bubble," Smith said of tech IPOs. "Where the bubble is happening is in Silicon Valley in pre-IPO valuations."If the bubble is in pre-IPO valuations then the danger for upcoming IPOs is that they have to be priced very high. Pricing IPOs is a balancing act because you need to set expectations just right and make sure the pricing provides some momentum for the stock going forward.With high valuations for Facebook, Zynga, and others, when those companies prepare for their IPOs 00 expected in 2012 -- there has to be a good enough story to justify their upside to the next wave of investors. What is going to be the Facebook story next year?Then there is the issue of an "overhang" in that early investors will be looking to cash-out after the IPO, putting downward pressure on the stock price. This will be something IPO investors will have to consider.While it is nice to raise capital in secondary markets, the problem for Facebook, Zynga, and others that follow this route, is how do you keep your story fresh, and growing, so that the next set of investors, the public has confidence in your future? After all, a lot can change in a year --...[Read Full Article]

Wow. Twitter's Response To Bad Press: Unfollow
Sean Garrett, Twitter's chief of communications (see picture demonstrating his media relations skills on me during happier times) has unfollowed me on Twitter. This was his only response to a series of posts here on SVW critical of Twitter and its support for corporate social responsibility yet following tactics described as "corporate blackmail" in pushing for huge cuts in local San Francisco taxes. That's a lame response to an important local story. I'm sure Mr Garrett has unfollowed others who have been critical of Twitter. What a great response to dealing with unpleasant news -- stick your head in the sand. If you can't see it it doesn't exist.UPDATED: Sean Garrett is back following me, he tweeted: "Our long national nightmare is over. I'm following @tomforemski again. Http//":)Corporate Social Responsibility In Action - Twitter Might Not Be Satisfied With SF Tax Break - SVWCorporate Blackmail? - San Francisco Offers Tax Break To Twitter - SVW Proposed Tax Cuts For Twitter Raise Questions Of "Corporate Blackmail," Worker Safety : News: SFAppeal Twitter Touts "Social Responsibility" But Threatens To Leave SF Over Local Taxes - SVW Editorial: No tax breaks for Twitter | San Francisco Bay Guardian...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Coming To A Web Site Near You - Apple's iPay Future...
There has been much written lately about Apple's rules for apps, that they must provide an in-app purchase function.For example, Jason Kincaid wrote: Why Are You People Defending Apple?, MG Siegler wrote: Apple's Big Subscription Bet: Brilliant, Brazen, Or Batsh*t Crazy? and Frédéric Filloux wrote Apple's bet on publishing | Monday Note - among many posts on the subject.Much of the focus on Apple's move has been on the 30 per cent cut it takes on purchases made through its online stores. That's a big chunk for providing a payment service, and for many companies, such as media organizations that re trying to transition their business models to a digital economy -- it's probably too much to pay.And that's what the posts about Apple focus on -- the 30 per cent cut.But that's a red herring....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Google Social Search Is All About Blocking Facebook/Twitter Search
Google's decision to give prominence to links in search results that come from your social network might help to improve some search results but it will not improve overall search quality. Google posted:Official Google Blog: An update to Google Social Search...if you're thinking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and your colleague Matt has written a blog post about his own experience, then we'll bump up that post with a note and a picture....[Read Full Article]

Bob Baker: Intel Manufacturing Chief Interview
(The secret to understanding Intel is recognizing that its core strength is not in chip design but in its manufacturing prowess. It can ramp up a multi-billion dollar fab in record time and produce hundreds of millions of chips (virtually) glitch free across a network of fabs. It's a stunning achievement especially when you consider that chip fabs represent the most advanced, expensive, and complicated manufacturing systems of our industrial society. Here is a profile of Bob Baker, Intel's top manufacturing executive. It marks his retirement after 32 years at the world's largest chipmaker.)By Intel Free PressQ: Bob, you've been at Intel for more than three decades. What was going through your mind when you first entered the doors of Intel?I was excited to go to work for Gordon Moore, Bob Noyce, and Andy Grove's company. I had followed them through my college years. I was a college grad out of Washington State University in Pullman just excited to move to California.The first two months at Intel, I had five different bosses. But I was pretty excited until about the eighth week, and then I remember thinking, 'Oh man, what is this place?' [Laughs] Q: Craig Barrett has said that he wanted to become a forester when he was a child. What did you want to be when you were young?...[Read Full Article]

WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell Calls Mobile Apps A 'Holy Grail' For Marketers
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, the world's largest advertising and marketing group, is a keen advocate of the power of mobile apps to help marketers better target consumers.Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in a talk titled "The Power of Apps" Mr Sorrell said that apps had become very important for marketers.Stuart Dredge, reporting for The Guardian newspaper: WPP's Sorrell hails the power of apps...[Read Full Article]

Mobile World Congress - Smartphones Or Pocket Minicomputers?
By Intel FreePressAs the tech world's attention turns toward Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain from Feb. 14-17, the annual "who's who" in the mobile phone industry is about to take deeper dive into ... the world of computing....[Read Full Article]

HubPages: A Different Kind Of Content Farm - Empowering Writers
The second largest privately held web site next to the Huffington Post is San Francisco based HubPages where "Hubbers" publish articles on a wide variety of topics and get paid through Google AdSense.Some of the more popular Hubbers can earn more than a thousand dollars a month and they own their own content -- a different model from Demand Media, which commissions articles from more than 17,000 writers.I recently met with HubPages' CEO Paul Edmondson. Here are some notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

Corporate Social Responsibility In Action - Twitter Might Not Be Satisfied With SF Tax Break
SF Appeal reports that Twitter wanted an eight year tax break to stay in San Francisco and not move to Brisbane, California, instead of the six years that the city agreed to provide....[Read Full Article]

Corporate Blackmail? - San Francisco Offers Tax Break To Twitter
Dan McMenamin, at SF Appeal reports that the city of San Francisco is offering Twitter and other companies that move to mid-town area of San Francisco that would exempt payroll taxes on new hires for six years....[Read Full Article]

Echo Launches Powerful Publishing Platform For Large Media
(Khris Loux (shirt) talks with analysts while Oliver Starr checks his social streams.)Khris Loux, CEO of Echo, this morning introduced the Echo StreamServer - a real-time publishing system that allows large media organizations to quickly develop web sites that pull-in and analyze multiple streams of information and output dynamic web pages of socialized content....[Read Full Article]

PeopleBrowsr Panel: Smart Companies Make Money By Being Useful
(Cathy Brooks Tweets while listening to Brian Solis (standing) Susan Etlinger, Tim O'Reilly and Jodee Rich.)I popped into PeopleBrowsr's SF event which featured a panel moderated by Brian Solis and featuring Tim O'Reilly, Susan Etlinger from Altimeter Group and Jodee Rich, Founder and CEO of PeopleBrowsr. The topic was: "The Evolution of Listening: From Monitoring to the Collective Intelligence."Here are some of my notes from the event:...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: AOL And HuffPo - Media's Race To The Bottom?
Dan Lyons over at The Daily Beast nails it in his look at the AOL acquisition of The Huffington Post for $315 million. The big problem that everyone in online media faces is that advertising rates keep falling. ... One response to that has been to say that if each page is worth less, then we must have more pages. Thus we now have "content farms" like Demand Media which flood the Web with low-cost, low-quality content that is basically spam. But this drives advertising rates down even further. Last summer when I did my article about Huffington Post for Newsweek, I estimated that they had about 25 million monthly readers and would generate about $30 million in revenues in 2010. That meant they were getting a mere $1 dollar per reader per year! Compare that to the world of cable TV or print newspapers and magazines which collect hundreds of dollars each year from each subscriber, and then generate hundreds of millions in ad revenue on top of that--and you see the difficulty of the business that AOL and Huffington Post and all the rest of us are in....[Read Full Article]

Knight And Mozilla Foundations Join To Spur Media Innovation
The Knight Foundation and Mozilla foundation have joined forces to promote "quality journalism and media innovation." Jose Zamora, writing on the KnightBlog: Years ago, foundations helped place journalism professors in newsrooms and journalists in universities to bridge the education-profession gap and we wondered... What if we did the same for technology? What if we could help expand the field of media innovation by building a bridge between the technology and the news community? The two foundations have come up with $2.5 million to fund the Knight-Mozilla News Technology partnership. The partnership will accelerate media innovation by solving technological challenges, developing new news products and services of the Web and embedding technologists in news organizations. Everything done through the Knight-Mozilla Innovation Challenge and by Knight-Mozilla Fellows will be open, providing knowledge, solutions and open-source products that are valuable and useful to the whole field....[Read Full Article]

Twitter Touts "Social Responsibility" But Threatens To Leave SF Over Local Taxes
The San Francisco Bay Guardian (SFBG), a local newspaper, has published an editorial that recommends the city government not give tax breaks to Twitter.The SFBG reports that Twitter "is threatening to leave San Francisco and take 350 employees to a new headquarters in Brisbane."The move might be avoided if city officials come up with a favorable tax plan: "The latest plans call for a payroll tax exemption that would cap the company's future tax bills at $250,000."The SFBG calls it "corporate blackmail."This is all a bit much.When I went to see Ev Williams and Biz Stone at the Inforum Club in October, they spoke a lot about how social responsibility is very important to Twitter. It felt disingenuous, it felt as if it was "bolted on" for PR value.It seems my instincts weren't wrong.How does Twitter square away its PR about it being a socially responsible company yet threaten to leave San Francisco unless it gets a tax break? Those taxes are part of its social responsibility to the local community.Clearly at Twitter, chatter about social responsibility is more important than actual social responsibility.Social responsibility can't be tweeted. Let's see it in action. Pay your local taxes Twitter.San Francisco should call Twitter's bluff and let it move to Brisbane, to a site shared with Wal-Mart. It'll have a big problem trying to recruit engineers to work in Brisbane. And that will cost it far more than its savings on taxes.Editorial: No tax breaks for Twitter | San Francisco Bay Guardian...[Read Full Article]

IBM Invites Thousands To "Social Business Jam" - Business Debate Or Lead Gen?
IBM uses "Jams" online meetings that can include tens of thousands of employees to brainstorm around specific subjects, and it often talks about how they are very successful. IBM is planning a "Social Business Jam" from February 8 to 11, inviting thousands of "leaders" from outside of IBM to look at the evolution of business....[Read Full Article]

Top PayPal Alumni: "Silicon Valley Lacks Radical Innovation"
It was a sold out event: Peter Thiel and Max Levchin at the Inforum Club SF - the club for under 36 year old members of the Commonwealth Club.Mr Thiel and Mr Levchin are two prominent members of what some call the "PayPal Mafia." This is a large number of unbelievably successful entrepreneurs; the Paypal alumni have gone on to help found an extraordinary number of successful startups....[Read Full Article]

IBM And Silicon Valley...
(IBM's Silicon Valley Lab - photo by Andrew Nordley.)As IBM celebrates its centennial this year it is interesting to look at its association with the Silicon Valley area. Although IBM is considered an East Coast computer company it has a long history with this region, long before there was a Silicon Valley....[Read Full Article]

IBM 100 Years: From Cheese Slicers To Supercomputers
Earlier today, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano kicked off the company's celebration of 100 years in business with a speech to students at his alma mater, John Hopkins University.He spoke about how IBM started,"Making clocks, scales and cheese slicers, in addition to the punched card tabulator. After that, it's a blur: typewriters, vacuum tube calculators, magnetic tape, the first disk drive, the memory chip, FORTRAN, fractals, ATMs, mainframes, mini-computers, personal computers, supercomputers, services, software, analytics..."...[Read Full Article]

MIT MBAs Take 9 Lessons Home From Silicon Valley Tour
By Anagha Ramanujam One hundred and nine students pursuing the Entrepreneurship and Innovation program at the MIT Sloan School of Management began their New Year in the Silicon Valley on the school's annual, Silicon Valley Study Tour. The school firmly believes that business innovation must drive the economy in the next decade. The visit, led by the MIT Entrepreneurship Centre Managing Director Bill Aulet, was designed to expose students with entrepreneurial aspirations to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. The tour enabled students to develop personal connections with the entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and CEOs in one of the most successful startup hubs of the country. Over a span of three days, we visited more than 70 startups in the valley....[Read Full Article]

Did US Companies Help Egypt Internet Crackdown?
Free Press, the non-partisan lobbying organization, reports that US companies are involved in providing technology that helps the Egyptian government monitor protestors on the Internet and mobile phones.Free Press issued a statement that claims:Boeing-owned, California-based company Narus sold Telecom Egypt, the state-run Internet service provider, "real-time traffic intelligence" equipment, more commonly known as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology. DPI is content-filtering technology that allows network managers to inspect, track and target content from Internet users and mobile phones as it passes through routers on the Web....Narus Vice President of Marketing Steve Bannerman said to Wired in 2006: "Anything that comes through (an internet protocol network), we can record. We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their [voice over internet protocol] calls."Free Press is calling on Congress to take action on DPI.The harm to democracy and the power to control the Internet are so disturbing that the threshold for the global trafficking in DPI must be set very high. That's why, before DPI becomes more widely used around the world and at home, Congress must establish legitimate standards for preventing the use of such control and surveillance technologies as means to violate human rights.Congress would be opening a Pandora's Box in terms of looking at the US companies that provide equipment to foreign governments that could be used against protestors. Some of the largest US tech companies are suppliers to governments in China, Iran, Burma and other countries that have been accused of human rights violations.But where do you draw the line? DPI has many uses, and not all of them are nefarious. It would be near impossible to control the export of network hardware and software based on its possible use by foreign governments.However, a public shaming...[Read Full Article]

The Three Forms Of Search...And The Rise Of Curation Spam
There seems to be three forms of search emerging as Internet users try to deal with the tsunami of information and the increasingly effective techniques of spammers....[Read Full Article]

Law Firm Merger Creates Silicon Valley M&A King...
DLA Piper is merging with Australian partner DLA Phillips, which adds 600 lawyers and creates the world's largest law firm, which will total more than 4,000 lawyers.The merger strengthens the formidable Silicon Valley presence of DLA Piper with a focus on M&A -- a hot area. [Please see WSJ blogs: DLA Piper: Soon to be the Largest Law Firm in the World - Law Blog]The firm already has more than 300 lawyers on the West Coast and more than 150 lawyers in Silicon Valley and Bay Area. DLA Piper was formed in 2005 with the merger of Silicon Valley\CA-based Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP with Chicago based Piper Rudnick LLP and London-based DLA LLP.DLA Piper is #1 for M&A deals with more than 500 deals in 2010....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Here's Why Demand Media Valuation Is Greater Than NYTimes...
CNNMoney reported:Shares of online content creator Demand Media closed 33% higher Wednesday, following an IPO that valued Demand at more than $1 billion....That gives Demand a valuation of $1.5 billion -- more than the New York Times Co (NYT), though less than other media stalwarts like Gannett Co. and Washington Post Co. That's also the highest market capitalization for an Internet company since Google's IPO in 2004, according to research firm Renaissance Capital.While its valuation might seem surprisingly high compared with the New York Times, it's investors clearly believe it has a brighter future than the Gray Lady. And here's why it deserves it:...[Read Full Article]

Edelman Survey: Trust In Peers Falls...Trust In Experts Soars
The core of corporate social media practice is that customers trust their peers and thus if you enable them to tweet or write blog posts about your products or services, it will help boost sales.In 2006 the Edelman Trust Barometer found that peers were the most highly trusted group. Richard Edelman, the head of Edelman, the largest privately held PR group, dubbed it the Me2Revolution.But trust in peers has fallen considerably. From 68% in 2006 to 47% - a further decline of 4 percentage points in the past year....[Read Full Article]

BBC Closing Community Web Sites, Laying Off 360, No Social Network...
The BBC is a media organization that inspires tremendous amounts of jealousy within the media industry because of its huge budget collected from all UK TV viewers, and backed up by the law.This steady income means that the BBC has been insulated from many of the travails plaguing other media organizations as they struggle to transition to an online business model and smaller revenues.However, the UK government has said that the BBC license will be frozen for 6 years at 145.50 pounds (US$231) per year, representing a 16% cut in its budget.The BBC this week announced that its online budget will be reduced by 25% resulting in the following cuts:...[Read Full Article]

Genieo Announces Mac Version - Your Computer Understands You...
Genieo announced its Macintosh version at the Macworld show in San Francisco. The software runs on a PC or Macintosh and creates a highly personalized home page for users, containing news of interest without any overt training of the system....[Read Full Article]

Coming Up: Paypal Mafia Godfathers At Inforum Commonwealth Club SF...
The former Paypal team is often called the "Paypal mafia" because of its size and its involvement in a tremendous number of new ventures. Coming up next week February 2 at Inforum at Commonwealth ClubMax Levchin and Peter Thiel: Smart Venture Capital in 2011Max Levchin, Founder, Slide; Co-founder, PayPalPeter Thiel, President, Clarium Capital; Co-founder, PayPal; Managing Partner, The Founders FundBrad Stone, Senior Writer, BusinessWeek - ModeratorMax Levchin has been critical of the angel investors, saying that they encourage startups to sell too early. It should be an interesting evening.[Paypal's Max Levchin: The Rise Of The Angels . . . And The Fall In Innovation - SVW]...[Read Full Article]

Is HP Becoming A Dumping Ground For Failed Execs?
Therese Poletti over at MarketWatch writes about Hewlett-Packard's new board of directors. She notices that many of the new directors were pushed out of their former jobs or left under a cloud:...[Read Full Article]

Tibco Launches tibbr: Social Computing For The Enterprise
Vivek Ranadivé, (above) CEO of Tibco Software today launched tibbr, described as a social computing tool for the enterprise. It uses a similar approach to Facebook and Twitter that allows staff to "follow" each other and subscribe to specific subjects within the corporation.The tibbr software is available as a cloud-based service or in-house for $12 per user per month. A key feature is that tibbr allows users to "follow" a specific subject rather than having to follow a person and see everything that they publish. "I like to follow Shaq on Twitter but I'm not interested in what Shaq had for lunch. But I am interested in what he has to say about basketball games," said Vivek Ranadivé, founder and CEO of Tibco.Tibco said it has filed for patent protection around this idea of subscribing to subjects rather than people....[Read Full Article]

Some Early Invites For Genieo - The Mac Version
I've been trying out the Mac version of Genieo - a cool app that helps you deal with the media tsunami out there and identify the news content that is relevant to you without any overt training.Sol Tzvi, the co-founder of Genieo, has sent me some early invites for SVW readers. The first 200 people clicking on this link will have early access before the launch later this month. In Tech: Sol Tzvi On Starting A Startup... - SVWGenieo + My6Sense: The Media Tsunami And The Need For Self Organizing Filters... - SVW...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: No Change At Google - Here's Why...
The departure of Eric Schmidt as CEO of Google has led to a lot of speculation about changes at the company as Larry Page moves back into that job in April.But there will be no changes because there is essentially no change in the management of Google. People forget that Mr Schmidt held the title of CEO in name only. The decision making was shared between the founders: Larry Page and Sergey Brin; and Mr Schmidt in what they termed a "triumvirate."Here it is explained in extracts from Larry Page's 2004 Founders' IPO Letter:Eric has the legal responsibilities of the CEO......We run Google as a triumvirate. Sergey and I have worked closely together for the last eight years, five at Google. Eric, our CEO, joined Google three years ago. The three of us run the company collaboratively with Sergey and me as Presidents....We hired Eric as a more experienced complement to Sergey and me to help us run the business.Mr Schmidt always held the minority vote against Messrs Page and Brin. And there is nothing to suggest that they have dissolved their management structure beyond removing Mr Schmidt. Mr Page gets to hold the CEO title for legal reasons but the power sharing with Mr Brin is still there. Both founders will continue to make the key decisions. Why would we expect anything to change at Google if there is no new management? The only thing that's changed is that the founders have regained some of their lost dignity. Mr Schmidt was brought in as CEO to provide the founders with "adult supervision" as he termed it. Google's chief investors believed that the coming IPO would do better if a veteran Silicon Valley executive was seen to be at the helm.Continuing to have "adult supervision" ten years later when you...[Read Full Article]

New Series: Writing Tips - 25 Years From FT to SVW...
The other day I was invited by the San Francisco Blog Club to speak on the topic of writing tips. My talk was titled "From The Financial Times to Silicon Valley Watcher- 25 years of writing tips."I've worked in traditional media and in the "new media" so I've accumulated a few observations that have helped me in my work. I came up with about 25 tips. It was a great turnout and I received some excellent feedback. It was interesting to see how people picked out different tips as being important to them.I was also asked to write them down, so here is the first installment in a regular series that will appear on Fridays. I hope you'll find some of these tips interesting and useful. And please share your tips too!...[Read Full Article]

GOOG Founders End 'Adult Supervision' As Schmidt Announces Exit
It's taken Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin many years to end their "adult supervision" in the form of Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who leaves in April.Mr Page will become CEO and Mr Schmidt becomes Executive Chairman.Mr Schmidt Tweeted: Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed! Schmidt was brought in as CEO in August of 2001 because of pressure from Kleiner Perkins, one of Google's chief investors. His goal was to provide "adult supervision" to the young founders as Google was preparing for an IPO.The VCs believed the IPO would be more successful if investors saw that Google was headed by a veteran Silicon Valley executive. The company created a "triumvirate" where the founders and Mr Schmidt shared responsibility for executive decisions.Many years later, Google still maintained its "adult supervision" which must have rankled the founders, now nearing 38 years old. The situation must have become especially galling in recent months since Mark Zuckerberg, the 26 year old founder of Facebook is also CEO. He has managed to more than triple the value of Facebook in less than a year--without the need for any adult supervision.One year ago I asked: Nine years later does Google still need 'adult supervision?' | ZDNetThe Google triumvirate has worked reasonably smoothly but there have been large differences of opinion between the founders and Mr Schmidt, especially over China. Mr Brin was in opposition to Google's entry into China and he advocated an end to its China operations, against Mr Schmidt's position that Google should overlook China's human rights record.Mr Schmidt has served as a useful "lightning rod" at Google and he has consistently distracted the media from paying much attention to the founders. Sometimes Mr Schmidt's less carefully considered remarks have gotten him into trouble.His unusual leadership style has attracted a number of...[Read Full Article]

Are European Startups Lazy?
The UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph is running a series of articles about startups and has commissioned several columns. Wendy Tan White is the founder and CMO of Moonfruit, a successful UK based startup that offers hosted websites. She wrote a column answering the question "Are European startups lazy?" Certainly, we don't have a homegrown Google or Apple - yet - but European start-ups are definitely not lazy, as some people seem to think and as TechCrunch's Mike Arrington once said. In fact, there's a whole generation of hungry and talented entrepreneurs building amazing companies.So what's the problem? Why don't we have as many successful companies we can point to?...[Read Full Article]

Why Startups Move To Silicon Valley...
I'm constantly meeting companies that have moved part of their operations to San Francisco/Silicon Valley. Usually it is the CEO and/or the marketing and sales group that moves home.Loic Le Meur, a serial entrepreneur, founder of Seesmic, did the same several years ago, moving to San Francisco from Paris. In a guest column in the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper, Mr Le Meur explains why he moved.In the Valley, the best companies, entrepreneurs and investors are all in one place. It feels like a campus. Everything you do, from the morning run to the coffee run, is a networking opportunity.Compare this to the fragmentation in Europe, where the next meeting is always a flight away, and you can see why things simply happen more slowly over there. Thirty languages and insufficiently fluent English slow things down even further.In the Valley, the best companies, entrepreneurs and investors are all in one place. It feels like a campus. Everything you do, from the morning run to the coffee run, is a networking opportunity.Compare this to the fragmentation in Europe, where the next meeting is always a flight away, and you can see why things simply happen more slowly over there. Thirty languages and insufficiently fluent English slow things down even further.He lists other advantages:- the ability to easily higher and fire. - investors make sure entrepreneurs still have enough shares. In Europe, Angel investors are notorious for taking too large an ownership, which limits incentives.- the chance to build a global success rather than a "local leader."His advice to European entrepreneurs: "find your niche and set your heart on being the world leader."...[Read Full Article]

Jobs Gone, Playboy Hits iPad...
Steve Jobs is know as a big prude banning applications and other iPad content that features nude or sexual content on the iPad. No sooner that he announces a leave of absence on medical grounds, Hugh Hefner, announces that Playboy, both old and new, will be available on the iPad in March.Vlad Savov at Engadget reports: From its very first issue in 1953 to its latest incarnation, the full catalog of Playboy Magazine is coming to the iPad this March. And not only that, it'll be faithful to its original form by arriving to your Apple slate uncensored. If Playboy gets away with it there will be plenty of others wanting the same, uncensored treatment. Will Steve Jobs sit quietly? He tends not to...One approach maybe for Playboy to bypass the Apple store and create an iPad compatible web-based version formatted to the iPad's dimensions and Safari's navigation controls....[Read Full Article]

Chip Shortage Looms As Factories Strain Production Lines
Andrea Petrou at TechEye reports that major chipmakers are running out of production capacity.Malcolm Penn, principal analyst at Future Horizons, told TechEye: "There's no capacity so companies are running out of processes.""Companies have found themselves in this situation because they didn't invest enough money in this last year and the year before that."Large chipmakers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company have been forced to cancel workers' holidays and also limit downtime due to maintenance.TSMC makes chips for hundreds of chip companies and supplies components used in many consumer electronics products and also commercial computing systems. Chip shortages could affect many different products....[Read Full Article]

Stellar Lineup For Churchill Club's WikiLeaks Panel
This will be very interesting: on Wednesday Silicon Valley's Churchill Club is hosting: WikiLeaks: Why it Matters. Why it Doesn't?A stellar panel:- Daniel Ellsberg, Former State and Defense Dept. Official prosecuted for releasing the Pentagon Papers.- Clay Shirky, Independent Internet Professional; Adjunct Professor, Interactive Telecommunications Program, New York University.- Neville Roy Singham, Founder and Chairman, ThoughtWorks. - Peter Thiel, President, Clarium Capital; Managing Partner, Founder's Fund. - Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law and Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University; Co-founder, Berkman Center for Internet & Society.Moderator: Paul Jay, CEO and Senior Editor, The Real News Network.More info.I'd be there if I wasn't speaking at the San Francisco Bloggers Club [on 25 years of writing tips]. Send me a guest post if you go....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Facebook Gains Friends With Benefits From Foreign Investors
Reuters reported that Goldman Sachs will only allow non-US investors to take part in a private placement of Facebook shares because of "intense media coverage" in the US.Felix Salmon explains why in his column: Analysis & Opinion | Because of the media coverage Goldman could be accused of "front running their own private market" to evade securities laws.One question is did Goldman mismanage the deal or is it part of a plan to make sure Facebook gets a large foreign shareholder base?...[Read Full Article]

Coming Up: 25 Years Of Writing Tips...
I'm looking forward to speaking at the San Francisco Blog Club meetup this Wednesday evening in San Francisco.The Title is: "From The Financial Times to Silicon Valley Watcher- 25 years of writing tips."I hope to have 25 tips by Wednesday. Hopefully you can make it, there will be free drinks and some great networking....[Read Full Article]

Saturday Post: The Evolution Of Homo Extrovert
When our distant ancestors discovered cooking it spurred an evolutionary step forward. Our brains grew larger and our stomachs shrank, and we were better able to walk upright. Cooking food made a big impact because eating raw food is hard work. If you look at other primates they spend much of their life eating.In 2008 scientists in the UK tried an experiment with humans, putting them in a zoo and feeding them as much raw food as they wanted: berries, fruits, vegetables, etc. To fulfill their daily energy requirements required eating more than 10 pounds of raw fruits and vegetables -- it was taking them most of their day to get through chewing this much food and most were unable to finish their daily ration. By the end of the two week experiment it was clear that raw foods alone cannot fuel a modern human. All the test subjects lost lots of weight and they couldn't finish all of their food even though they would eat well into the night... some would have likely died if they had stayed on this diet....[Read Full Article]

Is Curation The Answer To Search Spam?
Much has been written lately about the lower quality of Google's search results. A poll by Lifehacker found that 77% agreed that Google search results had "become less useful to you lately."If search is becoming less useful then how will we navigate the web?The answer is by curation, by using the recommendations of others acting as curators. Paul Kedrosky writing on Infectious Greed:... the re-rise of curation is partly about crowd curation -- not one people, but lots of people, whether consciously (lists, etc.) or unconsciously (tweets, etc) -- and partly about hand curation (JetSetter, etc.). We are going to increasingly see nichey services that sell curation as a primary feature, with the primary advantage of being mostly unsullied by content farms, SEO spam, and nonsensical Q&A sites intended to create low-rent versions of Borges' Library of Babylon. The result will be a subset of curated sites that will re-seed a new generation of algorithmic search sites, and the cycle will continue, over and over....[Read Full Article]

"Silicon Valley" Turns 40 - Do We Need it?
David Laws writes at the Examiner:January 11, 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of the name Silicon Valley in print.Under the headline SILICON VALLEY USA, journalist Don C. Hoefler wrote the first of a three-part series on the history of the semiconductor industry in the Bay Area. His behind the "scenes report of the men, money, and litigation which spawned" the industry appeared on page one of the industry tabloid Electronic News on Monday January 11, 1971.He points out that there is anecdotal evidence of the use of the name "Silicon Valley" prior to this date but that, "Author Michael S. Malone suggests that Hoefler's pioneering coverage of the Silicon Valley community as a collection of characters, dreamers, and eccentrics made him "the one that put the whole idea in our minds"....[Read Full Article]

Facebook: How To Raise Money Without Raising Oversight
There are some similarities between Google's IPO (Initial Public Offering) and Facebook's attempts at an Initial Private Offering with its recent Goldman deal.The similarity is that Google didn't want too much oversight or influence on its management by outsiders, and clearly, Facebook wants the same deal.When Google filed for its IPO in 2004 it raised $1.67 billion, not far off the $1.5 billion Facebook could raise through the Goldman deal.From the beginning it was clear that Google wanted the money but it didn't want the oversight that comes with being a public company and the influence on management....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: FT Launches Tilt...
The Financial Times today launched "FT Tilt" a subscription based site focused on emerging markets.Paul Murphy, editor-in-chief of FT Tilt explained the name of the new site: Recent years have seen economic power shift—or tilt—south and east. This trend is accelerating rather than diminishing and we see strong demand from our core professional readers for increasingly granular news and insight in markets beyond the developed G3 economies.The goal is to leverage the FT's global network of journalists and combine contributions from a community of financial professionals to publish their research and analysis.Felix Salmon, over at Reuters does a good job in listing all the challenges:Tilt is built to allow clients to republish their own work and to talk to each other and comment on stories. But because Tilt isn’t available on Reuters or Bloomberg machines, traders aren’t going to see its stories effortlessly shuffled in to their main feed of news and analysis... ...they want to change the way those professionals consume media on a day in and day out basis—adding an extra site where those professionals feel they must spend valuable time. ...Murphy is asking his overstretched journalists (just one person for all of Latin America, for instance) to tell financial professionals something they don’t already know: that’s a tall order.Overall, Mr Felix says that "Tilt" shows that the FT is retreating to a newsletter model and that this is "a sad and narrow fate for what should be a proud and global newspaper.”...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Can France's Le Monde Turnaround Its Fortunes?
Frédéric Filloux writing on the "Monday Note" has a good analysis of France's premier newspaper "Le Monde" and its efforts at a turnaround.Le Monde is now owned by a triumvirate: Xavier Niel, a telecom entrepreneur, provided the bulk of the €110m ($130m) injected in the venture; Matthieu Pigasse, head of Lazard France, and Pierre Bergé, co-founder of Yves Saint-Laurent fashion house. Now, as the paper prepares to replace its editor, the new owners' turnaround operation faces tough challenges.He writes that the newspaper's largest challenge is trying to ditch its printing press....[Read Full Article]

2011: Facebook Valuation Shows Conditions For IPOs Are Ripe
The high valuation of Facebook on secondary share markets might be out of line with its revenues but it does show one thing: a large investor appetite for investing in leading Silicon Valley companies.The fact that the investors are making large bets without having access to the underlying financial information is similar to the wild days of the dotcom boom, when companies were able to IPO on the basis of very little proven financial information. Investors were happy to pay high multiples for a stake in a business that might have a bright future.The comparison between now and the dotcom boom has been noticed by others....[Read Full Article]

BBC Closes Experimental "Backstage" Developer Project
Martin Belam on currybetdotnet discusses the end of "BBC Backstage" a project begun 5 years ago to encourage developers to use BBC content in new ways that support communities.I'll miss the hacks, but not the tiresome DRM debates - the end of BBC Backstage - Martin Belam's currybetdotnet blogIt was a laudable aim, and the site launched with some prototypes built by internal people who had been given early access to some of the feeds. I contributed two efforts. "Where is the BBC News?" crudely parsed news headlines for country names, and made the countries currently being mentioned light up on a map, and the BBC Complaints RSS feed, which as I mentioned yesterday, was an effort at screen-scraping to produce content in a format that the BBC should have been publishing anyway.One of the more memorable results was an early hack that read aloud the BBC News in a Dalek voice. (Daleks are a fictitious malevolent hybrid robot race found in Doctor Who stories.)...[Read Full Article]

Groupon Criticism By UK Advertising Body
TechEye reports that Groupon has gotten into trouble with the UK Advertising Standards Association because of misleading ads....[Read Full Article]

Startups: Viber Is On A Roll...
I recently met Talman Marco, the CEO of Viber (above). This startup allows you to use your iPhone to make free international calls over WiFi or 3G to any other Viber user. "We had more than 1 million downloads in the first few days of launch. Going through passport control I even saw it open on the phone of the woman control officer," said, Mr Marco.You can download it here: You can read more about Viber here: Engadget:Out of nowhere, Viber has swooped in to crush the dreams of Skype and every other VoIP provider out there, and if these guys can reach critical mass, avid iPhone users will certainly be able to buy a mobile plan with fewer minutes. It works as such: install the free app on your iPhone, provide just your phone number (no "registration" is necessary) and then fire it up. Viber uses your existing contact and favorites list, and you can make Viber or standard voice calls from within the app; naturally, a Viber logo pops up beside any contact who is also a user, making it easy to see who you can VoIP call for free. Daring Fireball:Call quality, even over AT&T 3G, is pretty good — far superior to actual phone calls. The poor audio quality of iPhone voice calls in the U.S. is shameful. A call to a friend in the Netherlands sounded great too — a few very brief glitches, but good sound overall and very low latency....[Read Full Article]

Online Christmas Shopping Jumped 12% To New Record
Online shopping has moved into the mainstream as November-December 2010 shopping season jumped 12% to $32.6 billion, according to the latest numbers from comScore:...[Read Full Article]

VC Interview: Bob Ackerman Warns On Secondary Market Excess
I spoke with Bob Ackerman, managing director of Allegis Capital and a veteran Silicon Valley venture capitalist about some of the trends and issues in VC. He spoke about his concerns about the secondary market, and that innovation in the US is being constrained by bad regulations, taxation and poor education.Here are some notes from our conversation:...[Read Full Article]

BitTorrent Hits 100 Million Monthly Users As It Seeks Distro Opportunities
BitTorrent is keen to polish up its image and move away from its connections with piracy and into legitimate lines of business.Today it announced it had reached 100 million active monthly users and it released some other usage stats:· Average daily active users: Over 20 million · Average daily client downloads: Over 400,000 · 52 languages (including English) · Clients checking in from over 220 countries every day BitTorrent could become a very important distribution medium, especially if its streaming version takes hold. Take for example the massive amount of bandwidth that Netflix uses for streaming; or the net neutrality debate and how to make bandwidth use more economical and efficient; also what could this technology mean for companies such as Akamai and content distribution networks? In all of these areas BitTorrent could help. To show off some of its abilities in distributing large files such as video, BitTorrent has been helping to distribute independent movies: Pioneer One, Yes Men, Four Eyed Monsters, and an album from PAZ.BitTorrent will be at CES later this week showcasing some of its "future capabilities."- - -Please see: BitTorrent Close To Launching Live Streaming Technology...[Read Full Article]

Every Company Is A Media Company: Best Buy And Other Media Companies... Is It The Best Choice?
[Hat tip Ike Piggot]Natalie Zmuda, writes on Ad Age:The press corps at this year's Consumer Electronics Show may find themselves jostling for soundbytes and product demos on the Vegas strip with video crews from Best Buy.Yes, the retailer is now a publisher, rolling out a multichannel network filled with original editorial content spanning everything from how-to videos and gift guides to new-technology primers and behind-the-scenes looks at popular movies...Execs say the intent is to be complementary to, not competitive with, publications like CNet, Engadget or Gizmodo, which cover consumer electronics. But while Best Buy says it's not looking to compete for eyeballs, media buyers say it will be competing with those publishers for ad dollars.I've been writing a lot about how "Every company is a media company" and this is a good example of this trend.I've argued that every company needs to develop some of the skills of a media company because every company is also a media publisher -- no matter what product it makes or service it offers.But that doesn't mean that every company needs to do everything that a media company does? Some things are best left for a media company to do....[Read Full Article]

iPad Magazine Sales Drop Steeply As iPad Sales Soar
Laura June at Engadget reports:According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which collects magazine circulation data from companies willing to furnish numbers, all iPad magazines have seen fall offs in downloads over the past few months. Wired was averaging 31,000 downloads from July through September, had 22,000 and 23,000 respectively in October and November. Other magazines have seen similar declines: Vanity Fair sold 8,700 downloads of its November issue, down from an average of about 10,500 from August through October; GQ sold 11,000 copies, its worst showing yet.This is bad news for publishers. And it indicates that iPad magazines benefited from a novelty factor but that that novelty soon wore off.What's puzzling is that iPad sales have been soaring all year; you would expect a rise in magazine subscriptions just based on the percentage of rising iPad sales. Yet we don't see this at all....[Read Full Article]

PRwatch: No More Links...
I used to be puzzled about why PR people are so miserly about including links into their news releases and emails. Even those PR people that know that they should...often don't. Yet links are a key Internet currency. Why don't they understand this?!And I'm fed up of adding links to my posts about their clients and other relevant material because they are absent from the background materials. I've come to the conclusion that since PR people aren't putting links into their communications then I shouldn't need to put those links into my posts. Clearly, if it were important to them, then the links would be there in the source material.I used to be puzzled about this behavior but now I think I know why: The reason for the lack of the hyperlink -- the most fundamental element in a digital document -- is that PR people don't get any credit for it....[Read Full Article]

MIT Sloan MBA Students Head To Silicon Valley
They call themselves "Tech Treckkers" - the group of MIT Sloan MBA students making an annual trip to Silicon Valley to look for jobs and network with alumni.About 120 MIT Sloan students will arrive in Silicon Valley in the first week of 2011 with a reception at the Computer History Museum on Jan 3rd for the students and alumni.The organizers report that there is "cautious optimism" about job prospects in 2011. "One of the companies we tried to book last year gave us the cold shoulder, which I assume was because they didn't have any open positions," said Ryan Thurston, who is joining the Trek to Seattle, where he spent eight years at a tech startup before enrolling at MIT Sloan. "This year, the same company is at least willing to sit down and discuss a visit."There is also a Boston Tech Trek, with visits to Novell, Nokia, Akamai, and Skyhook Wireless.- - -Please see: EAST MEETS WEST - 5 Observations on Silicon Valley from an MIT Sloan Perspective...[Read Full Article]

2011 Prediction: Lots of Innovation Around Money...
Paypal has led the way by opening up its platform but there will be lots of startups focused on digital money in its many forms in 2011.Making payments easier and secure is a very bid deal. If you look into the history of the world, there were many times when innovation around money resulted in massive economic growth, and conversely, when there was a lack of payment options the result was economic depression.For example, look at these innovations around money: International banking and insurance originated with the Medici families in Florence and was responsible for an explosion in international trade; the invention of bonds in Renaissance Italy led to massive creation of wealth and the financing of public works (and wars); the invention of the joint stock company in Amsterdam and Paris led to the financing of railroads, vast economic expansion, and much more; and moving off of the gold standard unleashed a ton of economic growth....[Read Full Article]

UK: Startup - Streaming Video Of Live Performances
While in the UK I met with Neil Reed, one of the founders of (above), and San Francisco based music industry consultant John Coon, who specializes in music licensing.Gigseen is planning its launch in the spring of 2011 with a video streaming service showing archives of live gigs -- from fairly recent ones, to as far back as the 1960s and 1970s. There will also be additional services such as pay-per-view of live concerts; discounted concert ticket sales; streaming of music documentaries and movies; and a weekly interview series hosted by Gen Matlock, formerly of the Sex Pistols.The UK has a vibrant live music scene. And the audiences have varied musical tastes unlike other markets, such as the US, where people tend to stick with one genre of music.Mr Reed is a music industry veteran with experience in producing music videos.Here are some notes from our conversation:- There is a huge amount of archive footage around and the music labels don't know what to do with it. Producing DVDs is expensive and people have stopped buying DVDs.- With are talking with all the major record labels, and the independents, and the reception has been very good. We've also been talking with large music magazines who are very keen on sponsorship of live acts and co-promotion based on subscriptions.- A lot of music labels don't even know what they have, we can become administrators of their catalogs and split the revenues with them.- There is some amazing footage out there of concerts that have never been seen, or were broadcast just once. For example, the Berne Jazz Festival in Switzerland. It's all professionally produced to the highest standards. We will be able to stream all that amazing footage.- The time is right for a service like Gigseen because there is...[Read Full Article]

Reports That Yahoo Will Shutter Curation Service Delicious As Curation Gets Hot...
Alexia Tsotsis at Techcrunch and Liz Gannes at AllThingsD are reporting that Yahoo is shutting down several services:Former Yahoo employee and Upcoming founder Andy Baio has tweeted out . . . that Yahoo! is either closing or merging the social bookmarking service as well as Upcoming, Fire Eagle, MyBlogLog and others. And:Products on a list to be shut down include MyBlogLog, Yahoo! Picks, AltaVista, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Yahoo! Buzz and Delicious. Some of those properties came from acquisitions and others were internally generated.It's sad that a service such as Delicious, which was one of the early success stories of Web 2.0 is likely being closed. Delicious provides a bookmarking service that allows people to organize web sites and tag them with specific labels. Others can then use those tags to find web sites.Delicious and Flickr were two of the poster children of the first flush of Web 2.0 services; their acquisitions by Yahoo in 2005 were among the first signs of an upturn in tech markets following a long recession. The deals motivated many entrepreneurs to build many new startups focused on the emerging Web 2.0 market.Doubly sad is that Delicious is a curation service and curation is becoming a very hot topic and one that will dominate much of the discussions about the web in 2011. Many people use and rely on Delicious bookmarks and it's not clear if or how the service will survive.AllThingsD received the following response from Yahoo regarding Delicious:"We continue to operate Delicious today, and will communicate specific details when appropriate."...[Read Full Article]

Escaping The Echo Chamber... Paris And London
I'm spending much of December away from Silicon Valley in Paris and in London. I recently returned from the Le Web conference in Paris and am catching up with family and friends in London.I find it is always useful in escaping Silicon Valley for a good period of time because it reminds me that we are not all obsessed with the constant discussions abut Facebook, Twitter, Android, and all things Apple.In the outside world people find such subjects interesting but not to the same extent as people seem to do in Silicon Valley. There is a binary mentality to such topics in SIlicon Valley -- everything is couched as one versus the other, as one killing the other. It's a binary attitude popular in the geek engineering culture yet we know the reality of the world at large is that many things can co-exist without one necessarily "killing" the other. The real world is not a black and white world it's a spectrum of many things. It's an "and" world: iPhone and Android; Apple and Microsoft; Dell and HP, etc. One can exist and so can the other, and create economies of scale and profit for many developers and value for many users. When you leave the echo chamber of Silicon Valley you get a glimpse of the reality of the wider world but you can't do this on a flying visit, you need to dig in for a couple of weeks or more, imho.I'll be posting more on my trip......[Read Full Article]

Paris: Le Web Conference... And European Startups
The Le Web conference in Paris was very good. Loic Le Meur and his team pulled off a great two-day show with lots of good content. It was better than last year's Le Web, imho because there wasn't as many Americans and European and other entrepreneurs were able to talk about their businesses. The format was tight with very few panels and mostly one-on-one interviews. This made it more focused and with less chance that the conversation would stray into "spam" territory as often happens on large panels. There is a broad surge in entrepreneurism in Europe (please see: Paris Diary: Putting "French" Back Into Entrepreneur ) thanks to various government programs that encourage startups via subsidized incubators, tax credits and other programs. German entrepreneurs tend to copy-cat other successful Internet businesses on the basis that if it works elsewhere it will work here; while French and British startups tend to follow more original ideas. Either way, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between European and US startup companies and their teams because they all have similar energy, ambitions, and attitudes. One key difference however, is access to startup capital. There are fewer angel and VC investors in Europe. But this is slowly changing. Fortunately, these days you don't need as much startup capital to get started. It's only when you get into the expansion stage that you need solid backers -- many European startups have yet to face that hurdle but it is a real one and a tough one. Here is a short video from Le Web and my client Pearltrees, a French startup. And here is a Pearltree that curates some of the content of Le Web. If you'd like to contribute to this Pearltree you can join this "team" - a new feature of...[Read Full Article]

Russian Billionaire Investment Firm Says Groupon Was Right To Reject Google
Paris: Alexander Tamas, partner at Digital Sky Technologies (DST), a major investor in Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, and Groupon, defended Groupon's rejection of Google's acquisition bid saying that it could become one of the most important companies on the Internet.Mr Tamas was speaking at the Le Web conference in Paris. He said that there are very few Internet companies that have the potential to define their genre and become great companies. Groupon can achieve much more by staying independent.DST is a Russian-based investment company largely funded by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov and run by Yuri Milner.Earlier this year BusinessWeek reported: A Russian Star Rises in Silicon ValleySince paying $200 million for 2% of Facebook last May, Milner has increased that stake to nearly 10%--worth perhaps $2 billion--by purchasing shares from early employees... On Apr. 19, DST took the majority of a $135 million financing round for Groupon, a Chicago-based site offering coupons for restaurants and museums. In December, DST was the biggest investor in a group that plowed $180 million into Zynga. ...Milner has become a major backer of Web 2.0 startups and has another $1 billion to spend on new investments.Mr Tamas said that DST looks for companies with a valuation of at least $1 billion and it only invests in Internet companies that have the potential to become the most important in their markets.He declined to discuss the details of Groupon's rejection of Google's offer, reported to be as high as $6 billion but he said that the company's incredible growth in selling "groupons" discount coupons, justified its decision to stay independent.He said it was rare to find Internet companies of the stature of Groupon. He used the analogy of planets, which shine by reflecting light; and stars, which generate their own light -- Groupon is in the star...[Read Full Article]

VCWatch: VCs Increasingly OK With Founders Taking Early Liquidity
Paris: There was a fascinating VC panel at Le Web moderated by Travis Kalanick, an angel investor; with Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC, one of SIlicon Valley's most successful VCs; Philippe Botteri from Besssemer Venture Partners; Bernard Liautaud from Balderton Capital; and Barry Silbert, CEO and founder of SecondMarket.Here are some of my notes from the panel:- Mr Silbert's company runs a secondary market in shares in private companies. The shares are sourced from angel investors, founders, and employees. SecondShare plays an important role in creating liquidity in private companies in the absence of an IPO market.- It can take up to ten years for a startup to have an exit and that's too long to expect founders and employees to wait.- Traditionally, VCs have been against founders taking money off the table because they have less "skin in the game" and thus less motivated to create a successful company. But this attitude has changed significantly over the past two years and now it is considered OK for founders to reduce their stake by about 20 per cent.- Mr Silbert said that public markets are broken and that the IPO has been dying for many years but not many realized it was dead. There used to be 400 to 500 IPOs per year but now there about 100. - Liquidity for founders when raising successive rounds of capital used to be a rarity -- now it is much more common. It is often discussed and built into the structure of financing rounds.- Some say the founder is less committed if they reduce their stake but it is exact opposite. Wives wants to see something from their husbands' 15 hour work days.- - Jeff Clavier has invested in 90 companies over six years. He said that when entrepreneurs become investors there...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Comes To Paris...
I'm spending much of this week in Paris, visiting Pearltrees (Pearltrees is an SVW client) and attending Le Web, Europe's largest startup conference organized by Loic Le Meur and his team.Paris is wet, cold and snowy but other than that it feels very familiar largely because I'm seeing a lot of familiar faces: Robert Scoble, Brian Solis, Marissa Mayer, Mike Arrington, and many other Silicon Valley based personalities and executives.The conference covers familiar territories and the European attendees are also very familiar in that they are interested in the same topics that interest Silicon Valley entrepreneurs: how to build a startup into healthy and self-sustaining businesses.You can watch the conference live here: is interesting that Le Web gives away the live feed for free. This shows that the real value is in what happens in and around the conference rather than the conference itself - you have to be here to get the true value of Le Web.A good way to grab a taste of Le Web is to look at what people are tweeting. Here is a collection of Tweets in Pearltrees format for fast browsing:Cool tweets @ LeWeb10I've also been using the new team feature of Pearltrees to curate the Le Web conference. You can join in too... even from California!Here is the 'Team' Pearltree:What's happening at LeWeb?...[Read Full Article]

Curation Becomes Social: Pearltrees Launches 'Team' Version
[For much of this year I have been working with Pearltrees, which offers a visual web site curation service based on the visual metaphor of 'pearls' please see below for an example.]Pearltrees this week launched a "Team" version of its curation service that allows groups of people to collaborate on curating a topic. Up until now each Pearltree was the responsibility of one person. Alexia Tsotsis at Techcrunch reported: Ideally this goes down as such: You really care about fashion so you search for fashion in the Pearltrees search box and are confronted with really elaborate visual cluster displays of fashion blogs, each blog its own “pearl.” You decide that anyone who likes The Sartorialist is probably a good egg and click on the puzzle piece in the Pearltrees detail window in order to ask if you can join the team. If the team leader accepts, you then can see all the Pearltree curation happening as it happens as well as comment on individual Pearltree decisions. You can also share your team curation easily via Facebook and Twitter. Pearltrees is part of a growing number of companies that offer curation services. Others include Storify,, and more are coming on the market in 2011. Pearltrees distinguishes itself from the others in that anything that is on the Web can be curated. Other services are limited in what you can curate, such as curating just Tweets.In addition, pre-fetching of web site content means that it is possible to browse a Pearltree faster than surfing from site to site.At the Le Web conference in Paris this week, Pearltrees will demonstrate a version that uses a touch interface.Foremski's Take: Curation will become one of the most important topics in 2011 because there is a limit to what algorithms and software can do in...[Read Full Article]

Coping With The Engineer Shortage: Learn Some Code...
There's lots of competition for top engineers in SIlicon Valley fueled by the giants such as Google, Facebook, Zynga, etc. Connie Loizos at PEHUB reports:"Right now, startups are either having to pay more, relocate people [to work for them], or go the [H-1B] visa route [allowing companies to temporarily employ foreign workers]," says Chuck McLoughlin, who heads up the tech practice at SVS Group, a 14-year-old recruitment firm based in Emeryville, Calif.The salary increase for software engineers is still quite modest: an average of about 10% but its on an upward trend.So what should startups do? This increases startup costs and that can be tough because most startups want to bootstrap themselves before they take on investors so that they can raise their valuation. Less capital means a shorter runway.I recently met with Andrew Volk, an ex-Yahoo product manager who has been consulting and working on his own startup ideas. He says he spent about 6 months teaching himself basic coding in Java and how to use various online development platforms."I kept meeting entrepreneurs who spent many months revising their business models when they could have used that time to learn some coding and pull together a prototype of their service. That's what I do. I'm not the best programmer but I've learned enough to be able to do quite a lot."That's great advice. I've taught myself a variety of different coding skills, I'm not an expert but at least I know what I'm talking about. This also helps in terms of talking with developers and specifying the work you want done. It stops them from pulling the wool over your eyes with technical jargon or stretching out development times. When you know how things are done it puts you in a much better position in regard to effectively working...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Google Buying Groupon Doesn't Make Sense...
UPDATED: Faith Merino at VatorNews reported Monday that Google has purchased Groupon for $2.5 billion: "... according to an unnamed insider who spoke with VatorNews. Neither Google nor Groupon could be reached for comment to confirm the report, but Vator's source is reliable and the report falls in line with the recent string of Groupon acquisition rumors.Tuesday Kara Swisher at All Things D reported that her sources said that Google will pay $5.3 billion plus a $700 million earnout if Groupon meets sales targets.... it is a killer move for Google-despite the high price-given it has long tried to enter the local advertising space, with decidedly mixed results.The New York Times reported that its sources said Google will pay $6 billion for Groupon.Google made an initial bid of $3 billion to $4 billion, these people said. But in the face of Groupon's resistance, Google raised its offer to $5 billion to $6 billion. The company is unlikely to offer more than that, according to one of the people with knowledge of the situation.Foremski's Take:The deal doesn't make sense for Google. Groupon relies on a large number of people to make the sales for Groupon to work. Google is a business that relies on machines and algorithms -- not on managing large numbers of sales people.Caroline McCarthy at CNet News makes a similar point:Groupon's "secret sauce" is not its technology ... but its massive sales force and how that sales force is organized. It's not Google's usual cup of tea, but it's one of Google's own weak spots.But she writes that Google needs to move beyond engineers and beef up its direct sales force. She quotes David Ambrose, co-founder of Scoop St, a Groupon clone, that Google might pay more than $2.5 billion because "Google has never really been able to...[Read Full Article]

Has News Site TechPulse 360 Bit The Dust?
TechPulse360 is, or was, a daily news site focused on tech and clean tech, run by Mark Boslet, a former journalist at San Jose Mercury News, and Jean-Baptise Su, a veteran Silicon Valley correspondent for numerous publications.TechPulse 360 is about two years old. Its most recent entry was more than one month ago: the PayPal X conference in San Francisco, PayPal president Scott Thompson confirmed once more that the San Jose, Calif.-based company has no plans to go IPO anytime soon. "We're happy to be part of eBay, and I don't believe that it's likely to change anytime soon!"The last time I saw Mark Boslet was at the DEMO conference earlier this year. He said he had picked up some work writing white papers for various tech companies.The demise of TechPulse 360 is a sad event because it was run by media professionals and employed a high standard of reporting. But quality content does not mean that it can survive in today's media world where quantity is rewarded over quality, and where you need to pay attention to "page view journalism" rather than seeking out the best stories.It used to be the case that quality content was able to find a large readership on the Internet. But with the noise level rising, you have to be an astute marketeer to gain an audience today....[Read Full Article]

IPOs: Mary Meeker's Move To VC - And The Lack Of Wall Street Analysts
Mary Meeker, one of the top Wall Street analysts, has moved to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers from Morgan Stanley. Sarah Lacy reports: Chegg's CEO Dan Rosensweig was one of many pinging Meeker with congratulatory notes this morning during my call with Meeker, Doerr and fellow KP partner Ted Schlein. He described it as "huge news" and a "big coup" for Kleiner. "Mary's ability to spot the most important trends, evaluate-and-back the most effective entrepreneurs, predict the major pivots in the industry, and do it on a global basis has been unparalleled," he told TechCrunch via email.While this is likely a lucrative move for Ms Meeker this is not good news for the return of the IPO market. The valuable role that Ms Meeker played in her "ability to spot the most important trends, evaluate-and-back the most effective entrepreneurs, predict the major pivots in the industry, and do it on a global basis" used to benefit the investors in public companies. Now that benefit will go to a select group of elite investors in private companies.However, if the IPO market is to return, and in turn, help fuel reinvestment in Silicon Valley startups by VCs such as Kleiner, Wall Street needs more Mary Meekers -- not fewer. One of the biggest problems public companies have is in having enough analysts following them and writing insightful investment reports.Even large public companies such as Intel have problems in attracting enough analysts that understand their business. Newly public companies face an uphill battle in attracting analysts that know them and their markets. With the carnage among Wall Street analysts following the financial meltdown two years ago, the need for good analysts is even more acute today. Kleiner could be shooting itself in the foot. The firm needs people like Ms Meeker on Wall...[Read Full Article]

Talent Wars: Salesforce Builds On Its Momentum With Rangaswami Hire has been on a tear this year with financial results exceeding Wall Street estimates; a massive expansion of its headquarters in San Francisco; a gift of $100 million to build a Children's hospital; and now: luring JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist at UK Telecom giant BT to assume the same position at Salesforce. Larry Dignan, writing at ZDNet, reports: ...Rangaswami will contribute to the company's product strategy and be an evangelist for cloud computing around the globe. Rangaswami will focus on European customers and preaching real-time collaboration. ...In a statement, CEO Marc Benioff said Rangaswami has "the rare talent of being able to see what the future should be, knowing what it takes to get there, and the enthusiasm to make it happen." Mr Rangaswami's Telco background should be useful to Salesforce as it seeks to expand its business. Telcos around the world are moving into offering cloud-based IT applications and services to enterprises. Softbank, the Japanese Telco, recently made a deal to offer Broadvision's cloud based Social Business suite to Asian corporations. Giovanni Rodriguez, Chief Marketing Officer at Broadvision, said: "That's a very smart hire by Salesforce, it will help expand the "social" side of its business. JP is very good at starting trouble and getting people to talk about key concepts." Mr Rangaswami is a well known blogger writing on confused of calcutta - a blog about information (and food). He has also been spending considerable time in SIlicon Valley because he is on the board of Ribbit, an innovative web telephony Silicon Valley startup that BT acquired in mid 2008 for $105 million. He has driven innovation within BT by opening up the BT communications platform to third-party developers. Last summer I visited BT's operations in London and met with key researchers. (Please see: UK Diary:...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Goes To Oxford: Twitter Co-Founder Says It Would Not Sell for $5 Billion - Wants To Do More
Every year the Saїd Business School, University of Oxford, hosts its "Silicon Valley Comes To Oxford" event and invites well known Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.At this year's event Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, was one of many featured speakers. As usual, he was asked if Twitter is for sale, reports Mike Magee at TechEye:Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said today that even if the company was offered $4 billion or $5 billion, it's still not ready to be sold.Stone, reacting to a question from TechEye, said that there was still so much the company wanted to do, including proving that it had a viable financial and sales profile.He said that although it was Twitter's fiduciary duty to its shareholders to consider bids, it maintained that it was still not ready for such a move.Twitter's valuation on Sharespost, a secondary market for shares held in private companies, is $3.36 billion. Clearly, Twitter believes its value is far higher than the trades made by its investors.The rest of the TechEye report is also interesting:...[Read Full Article]

Horn Group: Expanding Beyond Traditional PR
I recently caught up with Sabrina Horn, founder of the Horn Group, one of the larger San Francisco PR agencies. Here are some notes from our meeting:- Horn Group's New York based business is expanding and is now equal with its San Francisco/Silicon Valley based clients. But the monthly retainers are smaller because the New York clients are smaller. A big boost came from Fred WIlson, a leading VC recommending Horn Group.- Horn Group is interested in moving beyond social media. It doesn't have a social media practice because it expects all of its staff to be well versed in social media.- What's beyond social media? Mobile corporate comms is an interesting subject. For example, what would a mobile press release look like? Horn Group plans to host a panel discussing this topic in the new year.- Horn Group is adding a wide variety of services including advertising. The goal is that PR will be one of many important services. One of these days a client will sign of for those services and not PR. PR companies in the future won't look like traditional PR companies.- Horn Group has had an interactive media group for several years and is expanding that side of the business. It helps clients with their web sites and other digital media needs.- Horn Group has built several iPhone apps for clients and more are on the way.- Horn Group has managed to build a diverse client base.- One of Horn Group's clients is preparing for an IPO (the name of company is confidential at this point but my guess that it is Splunk, an excellent company). This is a good sign and it is the first Horn Group client IPO in more than 7 years.- Horn Group is hiring. It's tough finding good people but...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Reports That Apple Will Ally With Murdoch Sets Troubling Precedent
Reports that Apple is working with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to produce an iPad only newspaper, called the "Daily," sets a troubling precedent. It has not done the same with music, TV or movie studios.The UK's Guardian reports: iPad 'newspaper' created by Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch | Technology | 'The collaboration, which has been secretly under development in New York for several months, promises to be the world's first "newspaper" designed exclusively for new tablet-style computers such as Apple's Apple's iPad, with a launch planned for early next year....there will be no "print edition" or "web edition"; the central innovation, developed with assistance from Apple engineers, will be to dispatch the publication automatically to an iPad or any of the growing number of similar devices.With no printing or distribution costs, the US-focused Daily will cost 99 cents (62p) a weekAccording to the US elite fashion industry journal Women's Wear Daily, the Murdoch-Jobs "newspaper" will be run from the 26th floor of the News Corp offices in New York, where 100 journalist have been hired...Foremski's Take:Apple's alliance with News Corp will ring alarm bells among other newspaper publishers. What isn't clear from the reports is if Apple is providing News Corp. with technology and assistance not available to other companies.Apple should not get into the content creation business it should remain a neutral distribution platform and maintain a level playing field for all publishers. Apple should make its technology available to all publishers not just News Corp.Without a web version of the "Daily" its news will only be available to iPad users, which means news and headlines cannot be shared. This also means Google News and other news aggregators won't be able to list "Daily" news headlines and send traffic. Mr Murdoch has been a vociferous critic of Google...[Read Full Article]

ComScore: Microsoft Search Grew Faster Than Google In October
The latest US search engine rankings from comScore show that only Google and Microsoft grew their market share while Yahoo!, Ask and AOL lost share. Microsoft's Bing outpaced Google in October, adding 0.3 percentage points to 11.5% market share. Google increased its lead by 0.2 percentage points to 66.3%. Second placed Yahoo! slipped by 0.2% percentage points to 16.5%. Ask was in 4th place with 3.6% share, losing 0.1 percentage points. AOL was in fifth place losing 0.2 percentage points to 2.1%.Microsoft increased its number of searches in October by 7% compared with a 4% increase by Google. More details are here. Ask recently pulled out of the search market; it will be interesting to see which company will pick up its 3.6% market share. Are Ask users deliberately not using Google? That would mean a big boost to Microsoft in the November numbers. The introduction of Google Instant has forced comScore to change the way it analyzes its results. This is explained here: comScore September 2010 Search Reporting Enhancements (comScore Voices)...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford University
Coming up next week, the Saїd Business School, University of Oxford is hosting its annual "Silicon Valley comes to Oxford" (SVCO) event and presenting some of Silicon Valley's top entrepreneurs.The focus this year is to: "explore the disruptive technologies and business innovations of the past 10 years, and the demise of incumbent industries, standard economic and social models and familiar perspectives, and predict the discontinuities of the next decade."Panels will also discuss Silicon Valley's DNA and why other countries have been unable to replicate it.Here is a partial list of speakers: · Mark Cummins, Co-Founder & CEO at Plink · Anil Hansjee, Head of Corporate Development, Google EMEA · Tom Hayes, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Marvell · Brent Hoberman, Co-Founder, · Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, LinkedIn · Ian Howlett - CEO, Publisha · Joichi Ito, General Partner, Neoteny Labs and Chairman and CEO, Creative Commons · Saul Klein, Partner, Index Ventures · Jorn Lyseggen, Founder and CEO, Meltwater Group · Monique Maddy, Founder and CEO at eZuZa · Mike Malone, Columnist, · Raymond Nasr, Advisor, Twitter and former Director of Executive Communications, Google · Kim Polese, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder, Marimba Inc, Director, Silicon Valley Leadership · Megan Smith, Vice President, New Business Development and General Manager, Google · Biz Stone, Co-Founder, Twitter · Elizabeth Varley, CEO, TechHub Here's one very happy participant an a former SVCO event:'SVCO gave me a push', says alumnus Kulveer Taggar, now part of an influential Oxford alumni network in the Valley. 'Six months after meeting them at SVCO, I flew to the US to meet Evan Williams and Max Levchin (PayPal) to ask for advice. I returned with Evan becoming an advisor to the company, which was really useful.' Taggar sold his company Auctomatic eighteen months later for $5m, after investment...[Read Full Article]

TEDxSF: The Edge Of What We Know...
The independent organization TEDxSF put together an excellent program Tuesday evening with a great lineup. Here is what we saw along the theme of "The Edge of What We Know."- Juan Enriquez spoke about the poverty in the Mexican state of Chiapas and his role as a negotiator between the Mexican government and the indigenous people of Chiapas following an armed insurrection. He said he is angry at the way the people have been treated and the continued poverty.- Dr. Alex Filippenko, an astronomer, spoke about the discovery of "dark energy" a force that is repulsing galaxies from each other. Very little is known about dark energy and dark matter and his mission is to interest people, especially kids, in these questions so that more people can join in discovery of the universe.- Dr. Brian Fisher, a scientist at the California Academy of Sciences, (where the event was held) spoke about ants, his specialty. Ants are vital to the vitality of soils on every continent except Antarctica. He said very little is known about ants and that more study is needed. He questioned scientific projects such as searching for life on Mars when there was so little known about life on Earth - only 20% of species on Earth have been identified.- Colin Weil introduced, which allows people to buy rainforest in Panama for as little as $25. Each person is allocated a small parcel in a large reserve located in the Mamoni Valley.- Tony Deifell spoke about his life changing experiences in teaching people without sight to take photographs and the beauty on those images.- Kevin Kelly spoke about "The Technium" and his belief that technology has a life of its own and its own agenda. I think he is confusing capitalism with technology.- Jaron Lanier gave the...[Read Full Article]

Curation And The Human Web...
There is no doubt in my mind that the topic of curation and the Internet, is an important one and that it will be a dominant topic in 2011. Curation is important because we are reaching the limits of what can be achieved through algorithms and machines in organizing and navigating the Internet.Aggregation looks like curation but it's not. (Please see: Aggregation Is Not Curation - There Is A Big Difference - SVW)I define curation as a person, or a group of people, engaged in choosing and presenting a collection of things related to a specific topic and context. Aggregation employs software (algorithms) and machines (servers) to assemble a collection of things related to a specific topic and context.Aggregation tools can be employed by curators but the human act of curation adds a layer of value that aggregation alone cannot provide.A good example is Techmeme, the news aggregator run by Gabe Rivera. Techmeme uses an algorithm to find and publish links to the most important tech news of the day. For many years it was just Gabe and his algorithm. But now the site employs six people sifting through the results thrown up by Techmeme's algorithm and looking for news that machine aggregation alone cannot find. (Please see: Techmeme is six people now . . . - Techmeme News.)Techmeme added people because it can produce a superior, curated product, than by machine aggregation alone. Contrast Techmeme's curated approach with that of Google News' aggregation. At the bottom of each Google News page you will find this statement:The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program. And that's the reason Techmeme wins out over Google News because the quality of machine selected stories is not as good as that of a team of people...[Read Full Article]

Jason Calacanis: "Launch" Newsletter Should Be Ready In December
I ran into Jason Calacanis at Canaan Partners "Web after dark" event at the ritzy Bently Reserve in San Francisco Monday evening. He said that the first edition of his "Launch" newsletter, focused on longer "thought pieces" about tech startups should be ready in December and that he is building an editorial team of mostly younger writers.I had written about the Launch venture last month: Jason Calacanis Plans Revenge With A Techcrunch Disruptor... - SVWI had criticized his plans not to give writers a byline:The invisible writers on "Launch" won't benefit much from the success of the publication. They won't be earning much money because there isn't much money in online media and they also won't benefit from building a name for themselves - Mr. Calacanis wants all the brand equity to himself. Writers capable of longer, analytical posts, won't sign up for that type of arrangement. It'll be unknown writers who don't understand they will be losing an opportunity to build personal brand. Not the smartest bunch of candidates for the job. Not the smartest start to a new venture. Mr Calacanis said that the names of the writers will be recognized as a group as part of the masthead but that individual posts won't be bylined.He said he is looking to recruit additional young writers because he enjoys training them. Mr Calacanis is critical of many of today's online news sites, which employ many young writers, churning out copy. In an interview with The Guardian, a UK newspaper, Mr Calacanis said:"You have a bunch of people writing short stuff with no research and knowledge base. They have no credibility." What the market needs, he says, is depth, knowledge and thoroughness. It'll be interesting to see if a team of young reporters can meet the challenge of longer, analytical...[Read Full Article]

The Knight News Challenge: A Right-to-Respond Button Next To Every News Story...
The Knight News Challenge offers $5 million in funding to the best ideas that "use digital platforms to deliver news and information to geographically defined communities." It is now in its fifth year and the deadline is December 1. Here is my application, let me know what you think. The goal of this project is to provide companies and individuals with the "Right to Respond" to an online news story no matter where it is published. Having the right-to-respond to a news story should become a fundamental right to everyone on the Internet yet it is difficult to do because of the fragmented nature of the Internet, with news stories often appearing in many places on different sites, and the lack of commenting facilities. - What if a company or individual is the victim of misinformation or allegations of one kind or another? - What if a company wants to react to a story about a competitor? - What if a politician wants to respond to a news story?- What if a community wants to respond quickly to a news story?- What if an individual is misquoted and wants redress? Conventional means of response are poor and aren't very timely:- Often, news stories don't have a comments section.- Comments sections can be very busy meaning that any official response is lost in the crowd.- News stories can be published in multiple places which means responding to each one is very time consuming.The solution:- The "Right to Respond" is a small green button that sits next to an online news story. If it is red it means that a "right to respond" has been registered.- Clicking on the red "Right to Respond" button leads to a page where the response is posted.- The response is right next to the news story...[Read Full Article]

TomTom Launches High-End Devices In Bid For Navigation Leadership
Maps of one type or another are found in most smartphones and provide a variety of navigation services. For example, earlier this year Nokia made its Ovi Maps service free.To stay on top, TomTom, the Dutch navigation device manufacturer, is trying to provide the best navigation services and the best maps. This week it launched its Go Live 1000 devices with some key features.I attended a presentation by Tom Murray, senior VP of Marketing at TomTom. Here are some notes:- TomTom acquired Tele Atlas and now has the best maps. It has more than 1 million more road miles than its nearest competitor, a total of more than 8.5 million roads.- TomTom has about 20% of US market, second next to Gramin.- TomTom thinks of itself as a software company.- The latest devices let users add map data and to flag changes. TomTom verifies the changes and sends them out to users. There have been 11 million map corrections based on user input.- The IQ Route feature collects actual user travel times and therefore it can make a better prediction of travel time based on time of day and day of the week. - Real-time travel data can offer faster routes for users if there are traffic problems.- The latest devices understand 130 voice commands, such as "drive to gas station." They also support touchscreen gestures such as swipe and pinch.- The TomTom iPhone app is the top selling travel app on the App Store.- The maps are free you don't have to buy individual maps unless you are traveling abroad.I was given an evaluation unit to try out. I usually know where I'm going but I will try it out and report back.Here is a demo video....[Read Full Article]

SF AngelPad's First Demo Day Draws A Crowd
AngelPad, the recently founded group of San Francisco angels, mostly from Google, held its first Demo Day with 8 companies presenting their businesses.The goal is to provide investment and mentoring services to startups from angels that have a lot of experience in building successful web companies.Thomas Korte, ex-Google, one of the founders of AngelPad introduced the companies, all of them run by engineers from some of Silicon Valley's top companies, such as Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. There was a great turnout from potential investors with standing room only.MoPub: A new ad network from former AdMob and Google engineers focused on optimizing mobile ads. All the right buzz words but it wasn't clear what it did. It just finished raising a round of funding.RollCall: It lets groups of people decide where to go to the movies or anywhere else, using their smart phones. How long before Facebook or Twitter adds such a capability? It has finished raising its first Organizing Twitter content by topic rather than hashtags, which "don't work." Sounds like a useful feature but is it a business?AllTrails: A Yelp for hikers. Sounds like a useful service. Outdoor activities market is massive. The team is also working on an "AllSnow" site.EggCartel: A type of Craigslist that lets you easily sell anything by taking a photo and posting it to your social networks. Looks useful and easy to use.Adku: Analyzing large data sets to optimize e-commerce. Lots of the right buzz words in the right order.HugEnergy: Track your energy usage in real time and learn how to save energy. Surely, you'll save 95% of the energy you can save, pretty quickly and then what? Warm and This was the most intriguing of the bunch. It analyses the most informative snippets of content on a page and then uses...[Read Full Article]

Bees Awards: Showcasing Social Media From Around The World
I enjoyed the Bees Awards gala evening at the fabulous Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco. It was well attended and a well dressed crowd, making a nice change from the typical geek events I go to where dressing down is considered dressing up.Bastien Beauchamp and his team did a good job of presenting the event and keeping things moving along.There were a lot of awards, 16, in categories such as "Best 140 Characters Message (SMS, Tweet)."There were a lot of social media campaigns and web sites that I wasn't familiar with but it was good to find out about them. Sometimes it seems as if we live in parallel universes and it is easy to miss things right next door.Here is the list of winners including "Best Agency" Saatchi & Saatchi LA. This agency seemed a bit over represented in a bunch of categories and also over-represented at the awards with a small army of attendees. I spoke Leyl Black, from Spark PR, one of the judges. She said she really enjoyed being a judge but that she was the only woman judge out of more than 20 judges.The next Bees Awards event is May 10, 2011 and you can apply to be a judge....[Read Full Article]

Songkick: Building A Business Tracking Concerts
Songkick is a rapidly growing music site focused on one simple thing: letting you know when your favorite musicians are playing in your town.Songkick won't disclose its traffic but says it is second in size to Live Nation/Ticketmaster, which has about 12 million unique visitors per month. It believes that it can easily become a high traffic site with more than 60 million unique visitors per month. Visitors to the site register the bands that they'd like to see and Songkick sends them an email when their artists are in town, along with venue and ticket information.I spoke with co-founder and CEO Ian Hogarth. Here are some notes from our meeting:- The company was founded in late 2007 as part of Y Combinator. We then had an angel round with investors from London, New York and San Francisco. And then we had a Series A in December 2008, raising $4 million from Index Ventures.- We are located in London but I'm moving to San Francisco very soon. It's important to be here because this is where the major platforms are, and also, there is a higher chance of serendipitous meetings. Every time I come here unexpected good things happen.- We solve a problem in that about 50% of concert tickets go unsold and that's mostly because people don't know the concert is happening. Our site is built around the music fan.- Concerts are a $30 billion industry in the US.- We have built sophisticated crawlers that visit 127 ticket vendors to find out who is playing and in which cities. We try and track every venue, including small ones. We track all types of music except classical. It's difficult to say you are a "Mozart" fan because that can cover a lot of different types of events.- Our site also...[Read Full Article]

Broadvision Relaunches Clearvale, Takes on Jive Directly...
Broadvision has relaunched its Clearvale social business platform; allied with Softbank, the Japanese telco; and has begun a marketing campaign that targets rival Jive Software.Earlier this year, Broadvision reinvented itself as a social business platform that lets enterprises create multiple social business networks. [Please see: Broadvision Reboots Its Business As A Collaborative Enterprise Platform - SVW]The second generation Clearvale platform features new capabilities that allow businesses to use Clearvale as a platform for selling their services, called Clearvale Paasport, (for platform-as-a-service).Giovanni Rodriguez, CMO at BroadVision, said, "The new capabilities of Clearvale will allow businesses to sell their services through the cloud. Softbank is one of our largest business partners and it plans to sell a lot of telco services using Clearvale Paasport. We believe that selling applications through the social layer will be a very successful business strategy for our customers."Pehong Chen (pictured above), CEO of Broadvision, hopes to raise the company's profile in social business by targeting rival Jive Software in a series of ads, and a micro-site around the idea of "No Jive Talk."Broadvision is part of an emerging group of companies that are targeting social business applications in the enterprise. As businesses around the world try to harness the powerful virality of social networks, Broadvision and others, are bring the tools and platforms to the enterprise. It is potentially one of the largest trends within enterprise software for this decade....[Read Full Article]

Tech Awards 2010: Humanitarian Work Around The World
I went to the Tech Awards 2010 gala and there were lots of great, inspiring stories shown via short videos of all the nominees for the five prizes of $50,000 each.The goal is to highlight the work of groups in the developing world, using technology to making life better for the less privileged.There were three nominees for each award which means there were 15 short videos shot at great expense. However, NONE of these videos are available for embedding or sharing. I would love to showcase some of the great work being done by some of these groups but that's not possible, which is ridiculous in this day and age. Why hasn't someone uploaded the videos to YouTube along with a contribution form to raise some additional money? Ogilvy is the pro bono PR agency for the Tech Awards, why didn't Ogilvy sort out the social media aspect of the event? Also, some of the winners had nothing much to do with technology, such as the Nokia Health award winner, which went to Micronutrient Initiative, an organization that adds micro-nutrients to salt. The winner of the Humanitarian Award was Queen Rania of Jordan. I'm sure she is a fine person and she is certainly the most beautiful Queen on the planet but two years ago the winner was Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize winner. (Let's not mention Al Gore, who won it in 2009 and gave one of the worst speeches I've ever heard.)It was comical to have the many presenters greet the queen first, and then everyone else. Even more comical was the efforts made by some of the presenters to speak a welcome in Arabic. Not even the great Muhammad Yunus got a greeting in Bengali, but it is clear that royalty takes precedence over commoners, including...[Read Full Article]

How The Cloud Will Bring The Future To The Global Masses
A simple wireless connection can bring the power of multiple supercomputers to a simple cell phone using cloud computing, the most powerful collection of technologies produced so far.Yet the concept of cloud computing isn't well recognized even among some of our foremost technology leaders.Take for example, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google and Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas. They recently co-published a long article The Digital Disruption, in Foreign Affairs magazine, the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations.They also spoke at the organization's CEO Speaker series. Here is part of a report by Anne Nelson writing for PBS Mediashift:"I'm extraordinarily excited about the scale of the mobile revolution," Schmidt said. "... There are four to five billion mobile phones of one kind or another and we are approaching a billion smart phones."Schmidt added that the effect of Moore's Law will be to transform smart phones into the world's dominant communications platform in the near future.The implications of the mobile revolution, he said, "are just beginning to be understood. But remember that these devices are more powerful than supercomputers were a few years ago, and we are putting them in the hands of people who've never had anything like it before."In the article and the talk, Mr Schmidt focuses on the power of the smart phone, and that it has the capabilities of a supercomputer from a few years ago. That might be true of some smart phones, but not of the "four to five billion mobile phones of one kind or another" that are out there.It's extraordinary that Mr Schmidt and Mr Cohen made no mention of cloud computing. Because with cloud computing, those four to five billion mobile phones can have the power of a supercomputer from today -- not from several years ago.I recently spoke with...[Read Full Article]

Survey Of Mobile Apps: Apple Holds Lead
Millennial Media released its State of the Apps Industry Snapshot for 2010, in association with DIGIDAY and Wall Street analyst Jordan Rohan from Stifel Nicolaus.Here are the highlights:- Growth in cross-platform development - iPhone remains the number one platform of choice, followed closely by Android, iPad, RIM and Windows Mobile. Android, iPad, Windows Mobile, and Symbian saw the most significant increases from 2009, as developers continued to diversify away from iPhone to balance their application platforms.- Platform diversification to continue - Developers and publishers will continue to diversify their applications strategies in 2011. Android, iPad, and Windows Phone 7 lead the pack among the platforms projected to gain additional support in the coming year.- Significant revenue growth expected - Publishers anticipate significant growth in their applications revenue in 2011. A full 31% of those surveyed expect their applications to increase 100% or more in 2011, with another 17% expecting an increase of 50% or more.- Networks to help maximize return on investment - 71% of advertisers worked with a network in 2010 (up 12% from 2009) to help further their applications strategies. The top three reasons cited for working with a network were reach, targeting, and cost per download.Download the full report....[Read Full Article]

PwC Shares Its Insights Into The Cloud And Enterprise IT
Last week I attended an event organized by PricewaterhouseCoopers, featuring some of their top tech consultants.Here are some of my notes:Phil Garland: This is an interesting time to be a CIO. Traditionally, the CIO has had three roles: managing operations, managing vendors, and innovation and strategy. The focus on these three roles tends to vary depending on the economy, the state of the market, etc. There has been a shift in the past 12 months towards looking at the CIO to drive innovation within the organization....[Read Full Article]

FM Publishing Becomes A Media Company With BigTent Acquisition
Federated Media Publishing, the online advertising network, has acquired BigTent, which publishes blogs and hosts groups of people focused on parenting and schools.The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed but Kara Swisher from All Things D reports: "BigTent has raised $5 million in venture funding from Menlo Ventures and Mohr Davidow Ventures."The move is FM's first in owning media content sites rather than just working with third-party web sites recruited into its advertising network.Foremski's Take:In early 2008 I had predicted that advertising networks would need to acquire media companies. The reason is that once client media companies reach a size large enough to run their own advertising, they leave the advertising network, or use it for less valuable content.FM Publishing has lost several large clients such as Techcrunch, GigaOm, Digg, and others."The math is compelling. Ad networks will start buying up online publishers because: they'll make more money, they won't get dumped, and they can monetise online content far better than the online publishers currently can."The acquisition transforms FM Publishing into a media company with its own advertising network. It will have the means to make further acquisitions, most likely in content.The question now is if other advertising networks, such as NetShelter, will make similar acquisitions. Such a trend would raise valuations for some online media companies....[Read Full Article]

Aggregation Is Not Curation - There Is A Big Difference
Curation is becoming an increasingly important term and for good reason: the online world is increasingly messy, muddled and full of blind alleys. Search used to be the best way to navigate online but today it is only one part of an Internet user's dashboard. Finding things is fine if you know what to look for, but search is increasingly less effective in judging the quality of links, or putting those links into a context.Blekko, the recently launched search engine tries to provide a context for search terms but it's still not curation but aggregationSo what is curation? Here is my definition: Curation is a person or persons, engaged in the act of choosing and presenting things related to a specific topic and context.An example of curation: the San Francisco De Young museums is exhibiting post-impressionist masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay's permanent collection.Aggregation is the collection of as many things that can be found related to a topic.Aggregation would be a collection of any or all, post-impressionist masterpieces from Musée d'Orsay's permanent collection.Curation is about choosing what's in a collection. Aggregation is just collecting.On the Internet we see lots of examples of aggregation e.g. Google News aggregates all the news stories around a topic.There is "smart" aggregation or "social" aggregation in which the algorithms for aggregation try to get clues from groups of humans about what to collect and how to present it.- Google search is an example of smart aggregation in that the PageRank algorithm uses links on web pages to determine the importance of any link.- Flipboard, the popular iPad based magazine, gets its clues from your social network about what content to present in its "Flip" format. This aggregation isn't about any topic or context, it is a miscellaneous collection - it's not curation.Curation can use aggregation...[Read Full Article]

Publisher Of The Atlantic Calls For Fast Action On Apple's Refusal To Share iPad Customer Data
Jay Lauf is publisher of The Atlantic and he is frustrated by the lack of customer data Apple is willing to share with publishers on the iPad.Writing on Minonline:...with the recent confirmation that Apple is getting ready to launch the iTunes of newsstands, we could be on the verge of ceding our content and customers to them. ...What happens if an "iStand" supplants the newsstand in the way iTunes has supplanted the record store and it supplants our traditional means of driving subscriptions? Currently it means the characteristics and locations of readers we've long had a direct relationship with, whom we know so much about--which allows us to provide them better content and more meaningful ways to engage while also allowing us to better service our advertisers--will be in the hands of Apple, not us. He makes a very good point. Moving to a digital business model is incredibly challenging for publishers of print publications. One of the advantages is that there is a tremendous amount of reader data that can be gathered, such as which sections are read the most; which ads are viewed; demographic data on readers, and much more, without needing to use expensive focus groups and surveys.This type of customer data can be easily collected through publisher web sites but not when Apple is the publisher and hosts the content as an "app" on iTunes. Apple stands in the way of collecting that data. This also means problems for online advertisers that try to target ads to readers. They can't follow readers across all of their reading content, as they can on the Internet. This is probably why Apple has been acquiring advertising companies since it will be the only game in town with that capability.Mr Lauf adds:There is a world in which the digitization of...[Read Full Article]

Survey Shows An Always-On Society...
We tend to be canaries-in-a-coal mine here in Silicon Valley as we tend to live the way others will in the near future.One of those canaries is always working, or at least, always being able to work -- we are always on.This survey, commissioned by Egnyte, a provider of cloud based file servers, questioned 350 people and found:- Eight in ten small business professionals say they plan to work during the upcoming holiday season and most plan to do so remotely – from their home office, extended family’s/in-law’s house and even from the road.-Nearly nine out of ten people will work from their smartphones, with iPhones and Androids leading the pack of the most popular devices. - Three-fourths of people will use document apps most often.- 82% plan to work during the holidays- 73% anticipate doing work over Thanksgiving- 87% will work during the December holidays (Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza)- 55% will work on New Year’s Eve/Day There are many occasions that respondents say they’ll work over the holidays:- 79% will work when they can get away with it- 12% on the drive to Grandmother’s house- 76% will access work data over the holiday season from their personal computer; 89% will work from their smartphones- 63% predict Apple’s iPhone and iPad will be the biggest winner in the market in 2011; while 34% believe the Android device and tablet will come out on top.Egnyte has an Android application that provides users the ability to develop, edit, and delete files – and even allows users to share multiple files via links or attachments with a unique expiration feature that can limit link access by date or by the number of clicks. Each time a file is opened, Egnyte creates a local copy on the Android device to ensure that, despite the loss of a...[Read Full Article]

Nair: Handling The Complexities Of A Global Business
Nair & Co has built a thriving business in offering services that handle the incredible complexities of employing staff in different countries. This Silicon Valley headquartered company works with local tech companies to manage the HR functions, and the many tax and regulatory issues governing employees abroad.I met with founder Shan Nair. Here are some notes from our conversation:- We make it possible for companies to focus on their core business rather than having to deal with the myriad details you have to know about before employing people in other countries.- There is an incredible amount of work that has to be done before you employ anyone. Each country has different payroll taxes, employment laws, and other regulations. - We provide the HR and accounting functions so you don't have to. Employees overseas feel better taken care of, and we answer any questions they have in their time zone. Also, we know how best to terminate employment, how to transfer employees between overseas offices, and all the other HR issues.- We have an R&D team that constantly checks into changes in employment laws, taxes, etc. For example, did you know that the Chinese government made a change earlier this year that if you are doing R&D in China, unless you have a specific agreement, your employee owns the R&D work. Also, the UK has made changes in its laws that provide a tax incentive if you base your Asia-Pac holding company in the UK because of tax agreements the UK has with Asia-Pac countries....[Read Full Article]

Yammer Founder On PayPal: Understanding The Power Of Virality...
I spent Tuesday evening with the founders of Yammer,, and Zendesk, a full report is coming. In the meantime I wanted to share a conversation with Yammer co-founder David Sacks and his pedigree at Paypal. I have a fascination with Paypal and its alumni because they have gone on to build, and invest in some of Silicon Valley's top companies: YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Zynga and many more.Here's a partial list of PayPal achievements:- Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and a very successful angel investor: Facebook, Ironport, Digg, Flickr,,, Zynga.- Peter Thiel and his hedge fund Clarium Capital. Not all of his bets have paid off but he is investing and funding some interesting organizations.- Elon Musk - Head rocket designer at SpaceX and CEO of Tesla.- Steve Chen, Chad Hurley - Youtube co-founders.- Premal Shah - founding president of Jeremy Stoppelman - co-founder and CEO of Yelp.- Max Levchin, co-founder of Slide, Yelp.- And there are plenty more in this group: Dave McClure, Jared Kopf, Eric Jackson, Keith Rabois, Ken Howery...I asked Yammer's David Sacks what was it about Paypal that created such an explosion of Silicon Valley startups?- He said that it was a group of people who had recruited each other because they had known each other for many years. The founders recruited people they had gone to school with, and that was repeated throughout the organization.- Also, PayPal was one of the first companies to understand the power of virality. Paypal was used because small merchants understood the value it created, and they shared that. Understanding the power of a viral businesses is what is key to Yammer's success. Did you leave money on the table?...[Read Full Article]

Paypal's Max Levchin: The Rise Of The Angels . . . And The Fall In Innovation
I'm a fan of Max Levchin and his fellow Paypal alumni because this group has spent the past five years creating many of the more interesting Silicon Valley startups.Mr Levchin recently sold Slide to Google and he is an investor in Yelp and several other startups. And he is still young and has a lot more to add to his wikipedia page before he is done.Mr Levchin writes on his blog, but only very occasionally. One such occasion was fairly recently, his first since mid-2008, a critique of Silicon Valley's angel community. Angels have done very well for themselves over the past few years and this includes many of his former Paypal colleagues.In his latest post: On ambition « You've gotta be kidding me he writes that the Angel method of investing in startups is considered a better method, "an antidote" to traditional VC investing.Silicon Valley Angels have done well by choosing companies that can exit (sell themselves) fairly quickly, at fairly low values, $10 million to $20 million. While this approach makes money for the angels and their investments, it tends to discourage building breakthrough companies.Angels advise startups to take smaller and earlier exits, which minimizes Angel risk but does little to develop startups with big dreams. It's an astute observation and it is something that I've been thinking about over the past couple of years. I meet with a lot of startups and I remember meeting with Mr Levchin when I was at the Financial Times, and he was at Paypal; and hearing about Paypal's ambitions. Similarly with the founders of Yahoo, Salesforce, Google, Facebook and other groundbreaking companies.Today, it is rare to find startups that think beyond being lucky to survive two years and be sold. Yet even a few years ago we did have startups with...[Read Full Article]

SNCR Announces Award Finalists - Gala Next Week...
The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) announced the 2010 SNCR Fellows Choice Award honorees are:- Brand of the Year: Old Spice, for the highly successful social media campaign conducted in conjunction with Weiden + Kennedy that re-energized this 70-year-old brand for a new generation and a new female audience- Innovation of the Year: FourSquare, for its mobile application that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. FourSquare is a friend-finder, a social city guide and a game that challenges users to experience new things, and rewards them for doing so.- Visionaries of the Year: Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai for developing a mobile application that connects people to each other in new ways.- Humanitarian of the Year: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists, for their effective use of social media tools and technologies such as blogs, Twitter and online video, to raise awareness and support for its mission of providing aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. The SNCR Research Symposium is November 4 - 5.The Awards Gala is November 5 in Palo Alto. More details here.This event will also feature the presentation of the 2010 SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards. These prestigious awards honor the work of individuals, corporations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and media outlets that are pioneering the use of social media. Awards are granted in 13 categories: Online Reputation Management; Behind the Firewall; Influencer Relations; External Communities; Collaboration & Co-creation; Online Audio / Video; Online Publishing and Blogging; Mobile Media; Microblogging; Social CRM; Social Commerce, Social Data and Measurement, and Use of Multiple Platforms / Integrated...[Read Full Article]

PwC: Latest Trend Is Hackers Targeting M&A Information
I popped into PricewaterhouseCooper's event on trends in enterprise IT (full report coming). During the presentations from top PwC advisors, Gary Loveland, head of the Global Security practice talked about "advanced persistent threats." These are large scale, persistent security probes of corporations, very similar to those attacks on Google and other large companies reported earlier this year. They are very sophisticated attacks and very targeted, collecting information about corporate security systems over a long period of time and probing for specific types of data.Mr Loveland said that most of these attacks can be traced to China or North Korea, but that organized crime groups are also involved and sometimes mask their tracks by making it seem as if they come from other countries.He said that a recent trend is in collecting data related to possible mergers and acquisitions data. Such insider information would allow stock traders to make large amounts of money buying options on public companies. Acquisitions typically provide a premium of 20 to 40 per cent over the trading price of a stock....[Read Full Article]

Juniper Moves Into Mobile Security As Malware Attacks Jump 250%
Juniper Networks announced that it has moved beyond the router and extended its business to providing mobile security systems including the world's first global threat and research center focused on mobility.The move follows corporate adoption of smartphones and the need to manage security across all devices connected to the corporate network. The Junos Pulse mobile security suite provides several dozen security applications, such as being able to wipe data remotely if a device is lost or stolen; and protect against persistent malware threats.The company said that its new Juniper Global Threat Center will provide 24/7 monitoring of security threats due to research that shows malware threats focused on mobile devices have increased 250% since 2009.Additional research findings: - Nearly 80 percent of users access their employer's network without their employer's knowledge or permission and 59 percent do so every day. - Analysis of Android Market applications capable of malicious activity showed that 1 out of every 20 applications requested permissions that could allow the application to place a call without the user's knowledge.- A Fortune 15 company found that 5 percent or 25,000 of its mobile devices were infected with malware.- A 250 percent increase in malware from 2009 to 2010.61 percent of all reported smartphone infections were spyware, capable of monitoring communication from the device.- 17 percent of all reported infections were text message Trojans, which charge fees to a device's account holder.- More than 76% of consumers surveyed use their smartphones or tablets to access sensitive personal or business information, including: 51% to enter or modify passwords; 43% to access banking or credit card statements; 30% to access utility bills; 20% to share financial information such as credit card numbers; 18% to access employer's proprietary information; 17% to access medical records; and 16% to share social security numbers.-...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Can't Get There From Here...
The demise of the old media appears to have slowed but it hasn't gone away as the transition towards a digital business model continues to hold many challenges.We still haven't figured out how to transfer high quality old media to the digital platform. And that's an astounding position. You would think that by now we would have come up with a solution to this problem.We still haven't figured out how to produce high quality journalism on the economics of the digital business model. You really can't get there from here, based on the economics of the digital platform.Fairly successful new media sites such as Huffington Post still rely on the old media for much of their content, topped up with plenty of user generated content, and content bought in for very low payments.That's is not a sustainable business model that can be widely adopted by others, especially since it relies heavily on online advertising, which is a poor revenue generator.I've long been an advocate of what I call the "Heinz 57" revenue model for media - multi-revenue streams that include advertising, subscriptions, lead generation, virtual currency, virtual goods, paywalls, etc. Except that managing a Heinz 57 business model is a huge headache. Publishers would rather go out for lunch with their top advertisers.Frédéric Filloux, an experienced senior media executive, writing in Monday Note, Expanding Into New Territories documents the challenges for media companies such as newspapers....the most difficult part is finding the right combination of revenue streams. Advertising, pay-per-view, flat fee… All are part of the new spectrum media companies now have to deal with.The gamut looks like this:As an example of the huge challenges media companies face in moving to a digital business model, Mr Filloux estimates that revenues per reader fall by at least 60%.His advice to media...[Read Full Article]

FridayWatch: Laughing Squid, Meebo and Cool Mom Tech...
Congratulations to Laughing Squid on its 15th anniversary curating the best of San Francisco/Silicon Valley culture. Founder Scott Beale now lives in New York but that hasn't changed the high quality content you can find on Laughing Squid. - - -Congratulations to Meebo which celebrated its 5th anniversary this week.- - - I went to the launch of Cool Mom Tech, which is a new site focused on gadget reviews by moms. That's a different view from that of many other gadget review sites, which are written mostly by males in their early 20s. I had a great time at the launch with some great conversations.The event was hosted by Logitech in its loft in San Francisco, which is set up with living rooms that show off Logitech's products such as Revue, its version of Google TV.- - -I had a great meeting with Ravit Lichtenberg, principle at Ustrategy, a boutique consultancy that works with some big companies to help them understand the tremendous changes happening in their markets.- - -Also, it was great to see Dana Oshiro and her presentation at Murray Newland's SF Blog Club meetup. If you haven't yet met Murray, you will, he gets around very well and has a lot to offer. He recently moved here from the UK and has already organized several conferences in San Francisco.- - -I enjoyed meeting Derek Ball, CEO of Tynt. And I loved his search for a business model: "If you chase 100 rabbits you will go hungry. We haven't yet figured out which "rabbit" we should go after, we are looking for a fat one with a limp."- - -I really enjoyed visiting Burson - Marsteller's San Francisco office for one of my lunchtime chats about media and PR. Lot's of great questions. Let me know if...[Read Full Article]

Tynt - Building A Business On Copy And Paste
Who would think that there is a business in providing an online copy and paste service? Tynt believes that there is a very large opportunity even though it hasn't yet figured out how best to monetize it.Tynt provides publishers with a way of monitoring how and where content is being shared. A reader highlights some text and pastes it into an email or a blog post and Tynt automatically adds a link to the original content.A dashboard shows publishers what has been copied and where it is being shared. Multiply this simple action across tens of millions of web pages and Tynt has a real-time aggregate view into trending topics and stories that is faster than can be found on Twitter or Google Trends.I met with Derek Ball, CEO of Tynt. Here are some notes from our conversation:- Tynt is growing quickly, we have a tiger by the tail. - We want to help publishers understand who is sharing their content, it's not about stopping plagiarism.- The links also help with SEO.- Most users, about 70 per cent share content via email. Facebook is a distant second and only about 4 per cent use Twitter. We find that people are three times more likely to click on a link they see in an email, versus about 1.4 times on Facebook.- Publishers can see what parts of a story are being shared and then they can add links to their own content on that subject. The more progressive publishers produce additional content on what is hot.- We considered adding some text ad links to Tynt but it turns out that's not a good use of our technology. Publishers prefer to add links that are related to their Twitter account or other pages on their site. There's not much money in text-ad...[Read Full Article]

Great Blogging Tips...
Tuesday evening I was at Murray Newland's first meetup of the San Francisco Blog Club. It seems like a throwback to 2007 having a club around blogging, but in many ways, blogging is making a comeback as people realize that it is an important element in establishing thought leadership.Blogging offers an archive of work and it can be the center of a publishing strategy that includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.Dana Oshiro, from Netshelter was the speaker and she did a great job under difficult circumstance because the noise level from other bar patrons was quite loud. Dana is very good and she is one of the up and coming writers that you should have on your radar screen.Here is part of her presentation, you can see the rest of it on her blog: Villagers with Pitchforks.Tim O'Reilly once said, 'The problem with writers isn't piracy, it's obscurity.' It may be hard to monetize fame, but it is impossible to monetize obscurity." Rather than worrying about who's stealing our content, we need to make it sharable, readable and ultimately popular enough to be stolen. We need readers . There's no silver bullet to do this, but the ways most writers can figure out where their existing traffic and engagement comes from is by looking at their Google Analytics and through sites like Collecta to determine if their traffic is coming:- through search (which is generated through relevant trackbacks and links); - and/orthrough social media and other blogsThe same tennets that determine newsworthiness for traditional writers also work for bloggers. If you can find a way to relate your story to an existing celebrity (with a large audience), connect it to a major and timely event, incorporate a narrative that affects millions, demonstrate popular and conflicting opinions, regionalize your post or bring...[Read Full Article]

The PodCars Are Coming! San Jose Oct 27
This conference looks interesting:A panel of experts will explain how the first generation of podcars, also known as Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems, are already working in other cities in the UK, Sweden, Abu Dhabi, and elsewhere. They will also explore the current state of the new technology -- from its environmental benefits, to how this new system expands mobility and reduces traffic congestion and pollution, sharing tips on how other urban areas can get on board. Experts say that podcars are the new transit technology that "blends the convenience of a car with the environmental benefits of mass transit." They maintain PRT can change the way our cities deliver transit services and integrate land use with transportation. They say that PRT systems will allow people to travel non-stop from place to place in electric-powered vehicles on guideways. They hold no fixed schedules or routes. Service is available on demand 24 hours a day. Conference speakers will include Carl Guardino, president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group; Rod Diridon, Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute, Hans Lindqvist, former member of Parliament (Sweden); Cindy Chavez, executive director of the South Bay AFL-CIO; David Holdscroft, PRT project manager at BAA (UK) , amongst others. Details here: MTIPodcar Conference 101810 FINAL[2].doc[Read Full Article]

Intel's $8bn Investment Shows Labor Costs Aren't An Issue In Advanced Fabs
Today's announcement that Intel will invest $8 billion in new chip fabs in Arizona and Oregon is part of a trend that brings back more chip manufacturing to the US. It's because labor costs are not a factor in chip production.Dean Takahashi at Venturebeat reports that:Intel noted that it generates three-fourths of its revenue overseas while keeping three-fourths of its microprocessor manufacturing in the U.S.Intel used to site new chip facilities abroad but that was when labor costs were a significant factor in the production of chips. Today's massive fabs are highly automated. Intel estimates that its $8 billion investment will generate 800 to 1,000 jobs. That's about $10 million per job created. It shows that as factories become ever more advanced, in other areas of our industrial society, labor costs will become a smaller factor in production of many products and services.Another thing worth noticing is the importance of Oregon to Intel, its single largest concentration of people and facilities. The company runs its own air-shuttle between Portland and its Silicon Valley HQ.- - -Please see:Intel Manufacturing...[Read Full Article]

Massive 8x Jump In Twitter Use By Twitter Co-Founder Ev Williams
Last week I went to see Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone talk at an Inforum meeting of the Commonwealth Club. I didn't hear much that wasn't already known but there were a few gems. One was how little engaged Evan Williams seemed to be with Twitter - Mr Williams said he only Tweets about twice a day and prefers to use Twitter for consumption. I thought this was extraordinary because he is in charge of product development at Twitter. If you aren't a "power" user that's going to make it difficult to make the right decisions on product design, I would think... - Biz Stone commented on Mr William's lack of engagement on Twitter when he said that if he were buried in rubble, Mr Williams would not be the first person he would Tweet for help. - Biz Stone commented on the failure of Odeo, a startup both had founded, focused on being a directory for podcasts. He said Mr Williams and himself had no interest in podcasts, they didn't listen to them and didn't make podcasts. This lack of engagement made it difficult for Odeo to succeed but... it was easy raising money for it. That made me wonder about Mr Williams' lack of engagement on Twitter. What did that mean for the future of Twitter? After all, a lack of engagement doomed Odeo. Up until the evening of the Inforum talk, from Oct 1 to Oct 11, Mr Williams had made only 20 Tweets, just a shade under his two-a-day average. Then after I published my Inforum report things changed, by a lot. I'm pleased to report that Mr Williams is now very engaged in Twitter. I counted more than 110 Tweets in the past 7 days. That's nearly 16 Tweets a day, or a...[Read Full Article]

TRUSTe Responds To Facebook Privacy Leaks...
Facebook privacy policies are certified and monitored by TRUSTe, a private company that makes a big business out of issuing privacy seals for thousands of web sites.In response to Facebook's recent privacy breach, in which apps developers shared private data about Facebook users, Fran Maier, President of TRUSTe, issued the following statements:Today, the results of two notable privacy inquiries were released - one, a Wall Street Journal investigation into the personal information sharing practices of Facebook apps and advertisers and the other, TRUSTe's own nationwide survey of parents and teens on their privacy preferences and habits on social networks. The WSJ write-up alleges that many of the most popular apps on Facebook have been "providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names--to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies". You can read Facebook's response here. While TRUSTe certifies the privacy practices of, we do not certify the privacy practices of third party applications on the site like those referenced in the WSJ's article. We appreciate, however, that ever-growing importance of these applications in peoples' lives and recognize that with growing popularity comes the need for greater privacy due diligence. Just last month we launched the first-ever mobile app privacy certification program, covering apps on all major mobile operating systems. Our mobile app certification program ensures that certified apps provide consumers with notice and choice regarding the collection and use of their personal information, including sensitive location data. We're committed now, more than ever, to delivering these privacy protections based around transparency, accountability and choice to the web-based application market. In the future we look forward to bringing greater privacy oversight to the social networking app space. There are a lot questions and debate surrounding the implications of the WSJ's findings. The WSJ takes issue with...[Read Full Article]

Jack Porter's "Big Think" Salon And The Future Of Work
I was pleased to be invited to Jack Porter's monthly salon "Big Think" on Thursday evening. It attracts a fascinating group of people.Mr. Porter is CEO of Forward Innovations, a consultancy that helps large companies innovate. He is extremely well connected and his salons are designed for great conversation.Also joining us: Fred Davis, co-founder of Wired Magazine; Jeetu Patel, CTO of EMC; Reese Jones, VC; Jim Marggraff, CEO of LiveScribe and inventor of LeapFrog; Tom Niehaus, Pivotal Capital; Ted Vucurevich, Enconcert; Tania Motlagh, and many others.During dinner Mr Marggraff showed a demo of LiveScribe, which is a digital pen that captures written text but can also perform a wide range of other tasks. Users can also record a conversation as they take notes, and play it back as a "Pencast" and even embed it in a web page; users can also create applications such as a keyboard by drawing it and then playing the keys. It's a very versatile platform.Sidney Minassian, the founder of Liaise, demonstrated a smart email client based on Outlook that can automatically set dates; remind team members when projects are due; and perform many management action tasks in one or two steps instead of more than a dozen.We discussed the "future of work" and how the skill sets are changing; how people need to be good at being able to work in virtual companies with teams separated by thousands of miles; and how the educational system needs to change to reflect the new realities of work.Mr. Porter said he is working on a very interesting project with Accenture, which has said that it will close its offices in 2012. Its staff will have to figure out a way of getting their work done without an office to go to.I really like these types of gatherings because...[Read Full Article]

Intel Launches "Free Press" News Magazine
I've been writing a lot about how every company is a media company and Intel is one of those companies that understands this idea very well. Intel has put together an editorial team that seeks to use the best journalistic practices to publish high quality news, features and video. It is separate from its newsroom but staffed by some of Intel's corporate communications team.This morning I spoke with Bill Calder and Ken Kaplan about the project ( Here are some notes from our conversation:- With all the changes happening in media, journalists are having to cover a lot of beats and they don't have the time to do in-depth reporting on Intel, or much in-depth reporting at all. It is frustrating because there are some great stories within Intel that aren't being told.- We know we have the expertise in-house to report on these stories so we thought why not do it ourselves? We have people on Intel's communications team that are former journalists so we put together a team, that includes us and one or two others, to try and tell these stories. - Our communications team, for good or bad, is very focused on product launches. But there are so many other stories to tell. Intel is a very large company with many interesting projects, and people.-It is very much a dream position for us, we've been talking within Intel about doing something like this and its great to be able to have the resources to launch this venture.- Anyone is free to use the stories from Intel Free Press. Our goal is to have some of the largest news sites running these stories, in whole, or in part.- Our biggest challenge is credibility. People tend to distrust corporate blogs, so we have to show that our stories...[Read Full Article]

Caught in the Crossfire: Intel's Investor Relations Chief
(Here is a guest post from "Intel Free Press.")In today's buy-low-sell-high and "show me the growth" environment on Wall Street, Kevin Sellers is caught in the crossfire as the man directly responsible for keeping Intel's investor community in the know with the latest financial information and future direction of his company.Even with a market cap north of $100 billion, and billions more invested in staying innovative, Intel continues to perform week in and week out while its stock price has taken a pounding, spiraling mostly downward for more than a decade. Even as the company revealed record earnings for Q3 2010, announcing the first $11 billion quarter in the company's history and beating estimates for earnings per share, Intel's stock price wavered the next day, ending down."These are crazy, crazy times," said Sellers, Intel's vice president and director of Investor Relations.Even in bad times, good performance doesn't seem to go unpunished. While a few companies in the tech industry seem to be enjoying celebrity status, most seem stuck in the mud, despite beating revenue, profit and even margin expectations.Maybe billions of real dollars invested and generated from meaningful innovations and true manufacturing are simply not sexy enough for Wall Street any longer?For the most part, Wall Street has kept its hands in its pockets since the world economy tanked a few years ago, even as companies such as Cisco, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle are delivering strong financial results."We're going through a long, painful market correction where valuations are being hammered," Sellers said. Inside the company, it's Sellers who sometimes feels hammered, balancing his day between talking to Wall Street analysts on one hand, and Intel executives on the other. It's a tough job....[Read Full Article]

Genieo Enjoying High Momentum
It was great catching up with Sol Tzvi, CEO of Genieo and one of Israel's top women entrepreneurs. The last time we met in San Francisco it was freezing and foggy -- a typical summer in the city. This time we meet it is a beautiful sunny, hot day, and the temperature is rising, which seems apt given Genieo's momentum.Genieo offers a unique personalization service that has nothing to do with web services or the "cloud" but lives on your computer and automatically filters content that is relevant to you. Because it is client-side software, it offers a very high degree of user privacy - a valuable feature in a world where Internet user privacy is under threat at nearly every click.[Please see: TRUSTe: The Complexity Of Privacy Protection On The Web]The company is attracting attention from many of the largest US companies because of its ability to help users deal with the tsunami of media and information without requiring users to manually set up complex filters.Sol Tzvi says that her investors in Israel are very pleased with progress and the company has raised another round of funding.Recent developments include an iPhone version, and using Genieo to create a personalized magazine like Flipboard. And there is a Macintosh version about to be released within the next few weeks.Ms. Tzvi says that there is a new crop of business development teams at nearly all the US Internet giants, and they are very interested in Genieo-like technologies. Also, Dell, HP and other hardware makers are pursuing similar directions -- all of which places Genieo in a very sweet spot.But dealing with large companies takes a considerable investment of time and patience because of their lengthy internal processes. This is why Ms. Tzvi visits Silicon Valley every 6 weeks or so for a...[Read Full Article] Dull Games Play Vital Life Support For Older, Single Women
Jerry Kaplan is a serial entrepreneur know for, Go Pen Computers, and his book, Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure.His latest venture, was started by his wife in 2004. It's a social gaming site with an interesting twist - the games are non-competitive and designed to be minimally interesting. Yet they have attracted millions of players because they help build enduring online friendships.The players are mostly older, single women that are largely home bound because of various circumstances and thus unable to easily build or maintain friendships. They form groups that play Winster games, and as they play they build their friendships.The games are designed in such a way that each player relies on the other players to help them succeed in the game. Competitive play gets you nowhere. It's counter-intuitive that such games would gain such a large following. More than two million people have played on WInster and many spend several hours a day playing with their friends.I recently spoke with Jerry Kaplan and here are some notes from our conversation:- The players are mostly older women who are widowed or have physical impairments that make it difficult for them to get out of their homes. The games rely on sharing and cooperation - competitive play is not possible because you need the other players. If players do engage in competitive play they tend not to be asked back by the group.- An example of one of games is a variation on poker where players contribute to each other's hands so that they have the best hand.- We only have ten games and the design of the games is deliberately simple and fairly monotonous. Groups tend to stick with the same game each time they play.- Our most popular game is based on a slot machine,...[Read Full Article]

About My Twitter Story ...
I was a little bit cautious publishing this recent story: "Twitter's Ev Williams and Biz Stone At Inforum: Surprisingly Little Insight Into Twitter..."I bet Sean Garrett, Twitter's Corporate Communications Chief wishes he had finished me off when he had the chance, a couple of years ago (in a photo booth) at a Bite Communications party :)...[Read Full Article]

Condé Nast Shares iPad Magazine Lessons
Condé Nast reports that readers of iPad versions of its magazines spend more time with the electronic version than the print version.Also, iPad readers are not typical early tech adopters.Scott McDonald, SVP market research, Condé Nast said: "Many iPad users surveyed were not the typical tech 'early adopter' or familiar with Apple products and their navigation conventions. This has very important implications for application interface design."Other findings:- Specific to Condé Nast digital magazines, eight in ten reported that the content and experience associated with the brands met or surpassed their expectations.- 83% reported a likelihood to purchase the next month's digital issue. - 89% felt the apps were easy to use and, on the whole, users showed little sensitivity to download times. - users preferred to read the magazines in portrait mode, but chose to watch video in the landscape orientation. - There was also an expectation for flexibility in buying options, e.g., a single copy purchase, a digital subscription or supplement to their print subscription. - The study showed that readers expected to find ads in digital magazines and expressed that their inclusion was an enhancement to the experience, which is often the case with printed magazines. Condé Nast's five best practices for creating advertising that will engage and resonate with the user: 1. Take advantage of This New Medium's functionality: Users responded positively to the additional functionality of the iPad. Therefore advertisers that included compelling and unique experiences, that were self contained and exclusive to the environment, were liked more than those that did not. Increased opportunities for engagement including video, photo galleries and links to websites are recommended.2. Provide Clear Instructions on How to Engage with Your App: As many surveyed were not familiar with iPad navigation, ads that included clear calls to action and cues on...[Read Full Article]

Internet Is Becoming A Cable TV Channel For Many - ComScore Rankings
ComScore reports that 175 million US Internet users each watched an average of 14.4 hours of online video in September. That means for some Internet users they must get nearly all of their video content over the Internet.Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at, ranked as the top online video content property with 144.2 million unique viewers. Yahoo! Sites captured the #2 spot with 54.4 million viewers, followed by with 52.2 million viewers. Microsoft Sites jumped 3 positions in September, securing fourth place with 45.5 million viewers. Google Sites had the highest number of overall viewing sessions with 1.9 billion and average time spent per viewer at 260 minutes, or 4.3 hours.More here: Hulu is the king of video ads showing nearly 28 ads per viewer.- Number 2 and 3 Tremor Video Network and BrightRoll Video Network showed just under 7 ads per viewer. - Google sites show just 5 ads per viewer.Hulu is clearly trying to increase revenues as it preps for an IPO. But will too many video ads put off some viewers?...[Read Full Article]

PR Firm Horn Group Launches iPhone App
This looks like an interesting development:Shannon Latta EVP at Horn Group writes: Today we announced our very own iPhone app, live in the iTunes App Store. We think we're the first agency like ours to design a mobile app like this -- that combines agency news and industry insights, sharing and commenting functionality, and a handy directory of our entire staff -- for clients, prospects and employees. Have you seen anything similar from anyone else? I know Lewis PR has a news aggregator for the iPhone but it's nothing like what we've built. Here's our launch package: Press releaseVideo demo of the applicationThe app itselfWe're seeing a lot of interest from marketers who want a mobile presence for their brand. We think it's becoming as important as having a website and agencies have to evolve to meet this need. Our iPhone app, built entirely in-house by Horn Group ID, shows off some of our new mobile capabilities. We can quickly and affordably build applications like our own for clients -- ideal for sales, marketing and employee communications. I applaud Horn Group for taking this step and I look forward to hearing how it is used and if apps are a good vehicle for PR....[Read Full Article]

Twitter's Ev Williams and Biz Stone At Inforum: Surprisingly Little Insight Into Twitter...
If you missed Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone interviewed by Brad Stone from BusinessWeek, Monday evening -- you were fortunate. The two executives spoke at a meeting of Inforum, which is part of the Commonwealth Club, focused on fostering discussion among people in their 20s and 30s. The location was the stunning Julia Morgan Ballroom at The Merchants Exchange in downtown San Francisco, (a building owned by Clint Reilly, one of California's top political power brokers). And there was a huge fireplace, as advertised for the "Fireside chat" but little fire in the conversation.Brad Stone was introduced as "known for asking the tough questions" but if the answers aren't forthcoming it takes probing -- which Mr. Stone was reluctant to do, preferring to move on to the next question on his list.Overall, I did learn something: about a "social mission" at Twitter which was a surprise; and that Ev Williams isn't all that engaged with Twitter or knows much about his users. Biz Stone came across as much more tuned into Twitter.Here are some notes from the evening:- Is Twitter mainstream? Ev Williams came back with "what does mainstream mean?" Twitter has gone beyond pundits.- How's the new site going? Ev Williams said it was a great success, not even a single protest group. We expected pitchforks. Even Biz liked it. (I have heard from many people complaining about the new site and loss of some features. It was a little shocking that the Twitter co-founders were so self-congratulatory on not being able to find critics. Scratch a little deeper...)- Ev Williams said he goes to Twitter for news and Tweets maybe just once or twice a day. (Wow! That's very low engagement.)- Ev Williams dropped Conan O'Brien's name, said he was talking to him and his writers...[Read Full Article]

FridayWatch: Award Winning Intel Insiders... The Era of Ubiquitous Webcams... Men Talk Shoes... Social Media Douchebags... And More...
- Congratulations to Ken Kaplan and team at Intel for winning the PR News' awards "Communication Influencers" category (via @BryanRhoads.) The award is for the Intel Insiders program of which I was a member for two years.- - -- Pepcom's MobileFocus media event was surprisingly fun with many interesting companies. The Looxcie exhibit was a big hit. It's a behind-the-ear webcam that also doubles as a bluetooth headset. It streams video to your iPhone and users can edit and share straight from the phone.It's not the prettiest of devices but the form factor can be improved. Interestingly, the video it produces is not shaky because your head sits on a cushion of muscles and is remarkably good at acting as a steady cam.I wrote about the coming of such devices recently in an essay: The Fly On The Wall And Its Social Effects - A Short Story From The Near Future... - SVWAs computers become more ubiquitous so will video cameras. It won't be long before there are video cameras all around and in places where we aren't used to having them. It won't be long before we have always-on video cameras operating in all our social spaces. Imagine living in a world where nearly every conversation, every meeting, every step you take in the physical world is recorded and archived in the cloud. If you knew that every conversation with your kids, with your parents, with your friends -- was possibly being recorded and stored -- would you think twice, maybe thrice about what you had to say? Welcome to the future. Cost is $200 - Looxcie Wearable Camcorder: Capture Unexpected Moments- - -I ran into Dan Gillmor, the former San Jose Mercury columnist and one of the original bloggers (on my list of Original Thinkers). Dan is...[Read Full Article]

My iPad Review...
My Macbook Air stopped working so I used it as an excuse to get an iPad for light text-entry and blog posting.I've had the iPad for nearly a week and I like it a lot. I have the basic 16GB version with Wi-Fi.Here are some notes:-The keyboard is surprisingly good. I make very few mistakes and tapping on glass is not too weird.- Flipboard is very good, it is very close to being a killer app for iPad. It's a little strange seeing my own posts with someone else's "byline". Flipboard credits the person sharing the content rather than the author(!)- The long 10 hour battery life is fantastic, no need to worry about finding a plug or scoping out the best locations near plugs at airports, cafes.- The lack of Flash isn't too much of a problem, at least not so far. I can't view my Pearltrees account (HTML 5 version coming soon) but I can still "Pearl" new content.- You definitely need a case so that you can prop it up for viewing and use as a desk for typing. Apple shouldn't sell it without a basic case because it makes it so much easier to use.- It's really helpful to have it as an extra screen on my desk, where I have two laptops and a secondary screen. Four screens is very nice, or five with the iPhone.- My next computer will be a desktop because my mobile needs are pretty well covered between the (heavy) MacBook Pros, the iPad and iPhone. The desktop are faster and have more storage at nearly half the price of a full-featured laptop. Here is where Apple could lose some sales, in upgrades of laptops as people return to using desktops. - The iPad is really nice to use in social...[Read Full Article]

The Middle East: Where iTunes And Pandora Fear To Tread
Photo: L.A. Reid, CEO of Def Jam Records; Hassan Miah, CEO of UrFilez; Comedian and Actor, Orlando Jones; Grammy Award-Winner, James Ingram.Guest post by Hassan Miah, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of UrFilezEveryone pretty much agrees that the Internet has helped make the world a flatter place - the leveling of the global playing field where competitors have an equal opportunity and hopefully consumers are able to access things like never before. From a macro perspective, it's absolutely true but there are plenty of examples where consumers are still getting the short end of the stick.Just one example is the availability of music across the world. In the US, we're fairly lucky, being able to access hundreds if not thousands of digital music services in a few clicks. The reality is that music - the food of life that's supposed to bring people together - is still unfairly skewed towards the established markets. It's me and you in the West who benefits most from digital music technology and what major and regional artists have to offer. Sadly, it's been that way for some time; decades in fact.Why is that the case though and how is that possibly fair?Everyone should have the right to access music. Music is something that is incredibly special, something which belongs to every culture and something that has the power of transcending boundaries. From the dawn of time, people have listened to music and over the ages this has evolved; from banging on a couple of rocks and basic wooden instruments to classical orchestras, rock bands and today, when anyone can write their own songs on a home computer.So that brings us to the very latest stage in music's evolution - the purchasing and availability of different tracks online and through mobile applications. Again, it's Western...[Read Full Article]

Logitech + Google TV - The Trojan Horse PC In Your Living Room
Logitech has built a very large business making everything for the computer except the computer itself: keyboards, mice, desktop speakers, etc.Today Logitech launched its Revue, a set-top box containing its version of Google TV plus a remote control that looks like a regular Qwerty keyboard with a few extra buttons.Using a search interface, Revue is connected to your living room TV and uses your wireless or wired network to bring TV content from web sources and it is integrated with your cable TV box.It's not designed for your mom to use, thats for sure but if you are already a Logitech Harmony remote user you can master Revue.What struck me is that all of the the web side of the content equation is already available to you through your laptop. I cut my cable TV off more than two years ago and use a spare laptop to stream TV content from dozens of Internet sources. With Revue you don't need a laptop, it's essentially a PC (Intel Atom inside) with a Google OS: Android; with a Chrome web browser. You might use it for TV but you could also use it for running apps and many of the things you do with a laptop and browser.One way of looking at this is that Google TV turns your TV into a Google PC. And no Microsoft required...Here's some of the Logitech coverage in the form of a Pearltree. Pearltrees caches the web content so you can browse faster than the Internet. I picked out a few of the better reports.This Pearltree includes the following and more:Logitech's Google TV-powered Revue up for pre-order today, $299.99 | VentureBeat AppleTV vs. Google TV: An In-Depth Comparison | Cult of MacFirst Impressions of Logitech Revue Google TV Box: It's Way Too Geeky | Cult of...[Read Full Article]

Jason Calacanis Plans Revenge With A Techcrunch Disruptor...
Jason Calacanis used to be a good friend and business partner with Mike Arrington. Together they launched a conference series but fell out and took different paths.Jemima Kiss at reports: Jason Calacanis: Revenge is a new editorial project to rival TechCrunchCalacanis claims Arrington froze him out of his chunk of the TechCrunch 50 event, but rather than wage full-on warfare, Calacanis is retaliating by aiming to beat TechCrunch at its own game. Calacanis is launching his own startup editorial project - called Launch - and event as a direct challenge to TechCrunch, he told the Guardian....He's picked up on the state of the tech blogging scene which, he says, is in a race to the bottom and is dragging mainstream media down with it. "When I started with Peter Rojas blogging was a new format that was faster but still had quality and insight," he said. "Now it's even faster but it has lost that quality and insight. You have a bunch of people writing short stuff with no research and knowledge base. They have no credibility." What the market needs, he says, is depth, knowledge and thoroughness. There is plenty of news out there but not much analysis. That's because it is difficult.The challenge with writing good analysis is that it can't be done by rookie writers. It's easy to find writers that can quickly write up an announcement/press release but there's few that can understand what it means and put in the right context. Analysis requires considerable sector knowledge, it can take years to develop -- which means such writers are rare, and thus more expensive. I hope Mr. Calacanis doesn't confuse opinion with analysis because the two are very different. Everyone has an opinion.An interesting tidbit in the Guardian story is that Mr. Calacanis doesn't want...[Read Full Article]

TRUSTe: The Complexity Of Privacy Protection On The Web
I recently met with Chris Babel, the CEO of TRUSTe, which certifies web sites for creating and maintaining adequate privacy policies. It's a tougher job than you might imagine because on today's web there are so many ways companies can collect private data on any visitor.TRUSTe started life as a non-profit but about ten years later it became a for-profit corporation in mid-2008 and raised a Series A round from Accel. The company checks the privacy policies of a web site and if it passes, a graphic of a seal is placed on the home page in exchange for a yearly fee. The company monitors the privacy policies of each client and if there are any changes it re-examines for compliance.TRUSTe also checks to see if email addresses are being sold.Here are some notes from our conversation:- Companies, both large and small see a significant increase in online sales simply by displaying the TRUSTe seal on their site. A free trial is available so that companies can A/B test the seal. Companies can expect 8% to 29% increase in sales. The higher increase is for sites that aren't well known.- Large companies pay tens of thousands of dollars per year but small SMBs pay just $500 a year.- The seal also helps to moderate disputes between customers and the site.- Trying to safeguard consumer privacy is very complex because of all the advertising networks. One page can have as many as 30 different ad networks all dropping their cookies and collecting information. We have to make sure that consumers' data is kept private with all the ad networks.- We try not to publicize those companies that violate our privacy policies but we do drop them as a customer.- For large companies such as Yahoo or Microsoft, we also monitor how...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Google v Facebook Is About . . . Fast versus Sticky - Which Strategy Will Win?
Google's most important launch this year was its recent debut of Google Instant search which cuts user search time by as much as 40%. Google users are collectively saving 11 hours per second. That means 11 hours per second being spent away from Google search.Google is betting it that if its users spend less time on search then it will make more money. This is a far different strategy from that of Facebook which wants to be the stickiest place on the Internet.Nielsen estimates that each month, an average US internet user spends around 2 hours on Google, and more than 7 hours on Facebook. It'll be interesting to see the latest Nielsen numbers following the launch of Google Instant Search. What's certain is that the disparity in user hours will widen, and so will the disparity in their respective business strategies. How is less time on your sites better than more? It seems very counter-intuitive. Shorter visits means less time that users spend potentially looking and clicking on advertising -- which can't be good. Yet Google is staking a multi-billion dollar a year business on the bet that fast is better than sticky. And it seems to be working.Facebook is very sticky yet its revenues are a fraction of Google's (as far as we can estimate since Facebook is a private company).The Facebook strategy favors a more-closed-than-open platform approach that seeks to provide a semi-porous walled garden -- a type of post Internet-modern AOL strategy.Google's strategy firmly supports an open web. It sees the Internet as its platform, it is Google's Internet. It is the by far most successful company at monetizing the scale of the Internet and also in promoting web standards. Big "I" versus little "i"Facebook has created a simulacrum of the Internet -- a mini-Internet.Each Facebook...[Read Full Article]

A Call For Bands! For the 3rd 'Silicon Valley Rocks' Charity Show
"Silicon Valley Rocks!" is always a fun charity event, held at the iconic Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, in early December. It features many Silicon Valley geek bands and raises money to fund local school music and arts programs.Alison Murdock and her team always put on a great show. Here is the latest news:Our call for bands is now OPEN. If you work in the tech community and you have a regular gigging band, please apply to play. Read the FAQs for more information. We have only 6 spots available. Apply here. Tech professionals by day, rockers by night -- on December 1, 2010 at the Great American Music Hall, they will pick up their instruments, venture onto the big stage, and let their alter egos shine... for a good cause and the love of music. Silicon Valley Rocks 2010 (year 3!) will bring together the Valley's tech community -- from VCs and entrepreneurs to bloggers and software developers -- to raise money for Music in Schools Today (MuST). Last year, we raised over $30,000. This year, our goal is to raise over $50,000. Registration is now open. Earlybird tickets are on sale for $35 for regular tickets or $50 for VIP tickets (includes free drinks, food, and entry to the upstairs lounge). Tickets can be purchased here.If you are interested in sponsorship or partnering to promote SVRocks, please contact me. Rock on! Alison Murdock Founder/Producer,Silicon Valley Rocks!...[Read Full Article]

Venture Capital: Hindsight Does Not Equal Foresight
Georges van Hoegaerden is an active critic of the venture capital system and is working hard to reform it. Here is an extract from his latest post: What is wrong with Venture (not innovation) | The Venture Company.The recently spawned statistical hindsight by reporting firms covering Venture returns post 9/11 has suddenly produced a new crop of followers to criticize Venture, with one problem. Hindsight does not produce foresight, and leaves many looking for short-term trailing micro-indicators rather than macro-economic compatibility and rudimentary principles of risk....Now, some suggest that the solution to Venture is to simply hang in, or use escapism in one of its many flavors to either constrict its workings further, lower risk even more, adjust management fees or exit out of Venture altogether. The bottom feeders of the ecosystem fed by the attention from zealous media reporting (that still confuses stage with risk), popularize the oxymoron of Angel and micro-VC investing that yield even less scalable and smaller absolute returns than VC, and employs even more deflated risk profiles and a debilitating outcome to the production of Social Economic Value public markets care about. The problem with Venture is that it is broken on many fronts, all of which are responsible for the improper deployment of risk. Let's list a few important ones: - Endless diversification Most Limited Partners I speak with are completely unaware of the deployment of no less than thirteen (13!) levels of bottom-heavy diversification of risk in Venture with the money they ultimately make available to entrepreneurs. Think of it in simple terms: if I were to tell you that there are thirteen roads to drive to the beach, some or all intersecting with each other at one point, which one would you take at what point in time, and what town would...[Read Full Article]

Slowing Demand For PCs Could Affect HP, Dell, Intel Revenues
Market research firm iSuppli has cut its global chip revenue forecast by 9 per cent because of slowing demand from the consumer sector and a rise in chip inventories.The forecast has been cut to 32 per cent growth this year from 35.1 per cent. Chip sales are expected to reach $302 billion this year compared with $228 billion in 2009.Growth in 2011 is expected to be a paltry 5.1 per cent."There has been a significant slowdown in the second half in consumer demand for some electronic devices, including PCs," noted Dale Ford, senior vice president at iSuppli. "Meanwhile, inventories have been building throughout the semiconductor supply chain."...iSuppli now expects that revenue in the fourth quarter will decline by 0.3 percent compared to the third quarter, the first sequential decrease since the market collapse in the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009.The strongest demand for chips is in data processing where 2 years of slow growth in IT spending is being rectified as data centers upgrade aging equipment before it fails.Additional data:- Shipments of mobile PCs--including tablets--continuing to soar in 2010, semiconductor sales to this area will rise by 38.6 percent. - The second-strongest growth area will be wireless communications, fueled by booming demand for smart phones. Global semiconductor sales to the wireless communications area will rise by 30 percent in 2010. - Even the lowest-growth markets are expected to generate impressive semiconductor consumption in 2010. Wired communications and consumer electronics will drive semiconductor revenue growth of 25.4 percent and 26.5 percent, respectively, in 2010. - The hottest items in 2010 will be DRAM, voltage regulators, LEDs, Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs) and data converters. Revenue for each of these products is projected to grow by more than 43 percent in 2010. DRAM will lead the group with 87...[Read Full Article]

ScribbleLive - Live Media Technologies For Real-Time Newsrooms
I recently met with Michael de Monte, CEO of Scribble Technologies, based in Toronto, Canada. The company offers a very interesting media technology called ScribbleLive, which is a real-time newsroom allowing publishers to rapidly organize and publish text, audio, and video content as it happens.Several large media companies are using it, such as Thomson Reuters, and Rogers (also an investor). Also, Greenpeace uses the technology.Here are some notes from our meeting:- Mr. de Monte has a long 20 year background working at Canadian media companies and helping run online operations. He and his business partner Jonathan Keebler, Chief Technology Officer like to describe themselves as "newsies" they are into the news.- A good example of using ScribbleLive was the coverage of the recent G20 meeting, which resulted in widespread protests and involved many reporters filing live reports from various areas in Toronto. TV stations noticed and became very interested in that capability because they don't have the resources to station satellite trucks and TV crews at many locations simultaneously.- The service is sold as a hosted service and it is sold to the 'top' and then various media groups within the company can use ScribbleLive. This is opposite from many other hosted services that get their foot in the door through departmental groups.- The content management system uses HTML, which means the content is easy to index. The content shows up high in the Google index, Google seems to favor fresh content in its rankings.- ScribbleLive is used for sporting events and also reality TV shows on the Food network. Advertisers like the fact that TV viewers are engaged for long periods on the web site when there is a live event.- The company is bootstrapped but recently received some investment from the venture capital arm of Rogers, the Canadian...[Read Full Article]

BitTorrent Close To Launching Live Streaming Technology
Tuesday evening I attended a media roundtable at Boulevard in San Francisco with top executives from BitTorrent, which invented the popular file sharing technology that has about 80 million monthly users.Here are some notes from my evening:- BitTorrent has been working on a live streaming technology for two years and now it is almost ready to be rolled out. The company expects to launch it by the end of this year. It is described as very robust. [I wonder if it could cut down on the practice of sharing illegally copied music or movies if you can watch content through live streaming. Also, you could effectively host your own YouTube, you wouldn't need to upload video to a hosting site.]- The company is trying to distance itself from the use of BitTorrent by those sharing files of illegally copied music and movies and show the commercial sector that it can be used to solve significant issues around distribution of large files across the entire Internet. It did consider changing its name.- BitTorrent doesn't know very much about how people use its technology. It says it doesn't want to collect too much information because it doesn't want to encroach on user's privacy.- It is looking into launching a service that helps connect like minded BitTorrent users. It has the capability to message each user.- The BitTorrent technology is not very privacy-friendly because of the peer-to-peer connections it is easy for anyone to find out the IP addresses of people sharing a specific file. But using BitTorrent through a VPN connection does improve user privacy.- BitTorrent this week launched an App platform and it is also working with artists to power a shared film festival, and also with TED to distribute videos.BitTorrent Debuts 'Apps' Sneak PeekBitTorrent Spotlights Artists in New Pilot ProgramBitTorrent...[Read Full Article]

Video: Steve Wozniak At Hult Business School Opening In SF
Here is a short video of Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple being interviewed at the reception for the opening of the Hult Business School San Francisco campus....[Read Full Article]

Tonight: Alternative Financing Panel - Freedom From Traditional Money
Tonight in San Francisco I will be moderating the following: Alternative Financing: Freedom from Traditional Money.Great lineup of panelists: Paul Bragiel, Partner, io Ventures (incubator) Jay Cohan, Investment Partner, Western Technology Investment (debt financing) Ian Sobieski, Band of Angels, Founder and Managing Director, Band of Angels (angel financing) Entrepreneurs no longer need be stifled by textbook rules of VCs and banks. Please join us for an exciting evening of "Yes, you can!" regarding innovative financing for worthy ventures. Our panelists are known for their leadership and provocative buzz in their respective financing specialties. September 29, 2010 6:00-9:00pm 6:00 networking with hors d'oeuvres and drinks 7:00-8:15 panel and discussion. Location: Conference Center, Promenade Level, Four Embarcadero Center, Sacramento St. and Drumm St., San Francisco Organizational Sponsor: U.S.-Polish Trade Council Facilities Sponsor: K & L Gates, LLP Register here:[Read Full Article]

Hult Business School Launches Its Fifth Campus - San Francisco
Hult business school opened its fifth campus this week, in the downtown district of San Francisco. Steve Wozniak (video coming soon) was the guest speaker and also signed copies of his new book "iWoz."The school has campuses in Boston, London, Dubai and Shanghai. The majority of its students speak at least two languages and have international business experiences. Hult hopes to be able to offer Bay Area companies access to MBA graduates from around the world.Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, answered a variety of questions from faculty and students on the topic of innovation and business. He said that often, the best ideas came from starting from scratch, from approaching problems without much prior knowledge of how things "should be done."He also spoke about his current position as chief scientist of Fusion-io, a startup focused on enterprise IT data centers. (I will post a video of part of Mr. Wozniak's talk very soon.)...[Read Full Article]

Will TechCrunch $hare M&A Bounty With Its Writers? Will Yahoo! Look At Competitors?
Congratulations to Michael Arrington and team on the TechCrunch acquisition by AOL. The terms of the deal have not been made public, however AOL will be required to make an SEC filing in the next few days if the amount is "material."Building a media company is hard work and Mr. Arrington has certainly put in the hours. The TechCrunch editorial team is now quite large and it is that teams' work over the past couple of years that has built the traffic that AOL wants.It will be interesting to see how much, if at all, TechCrunch owners will share their bounty with their reporters. After all, without the writers there isn't a TechCrunch. But online reporters are a dime a dozen in today's troubled media industry, salaries are small and there is likely little incentive to offer a share of any M&A windfalls. The acquisition also means that AOL passed on competing TechCrunch sites such as Mashable, VentureBeat, GigaOm, and ReadWriteWeb. Those sites will now face a competitor that has a more formidable distribution network and advertising sales team. Will the deal attract others? Will Yahoo, for example now come and pick through the TechCrunch competitors? Will Mashable be next? It is certainly closest to TechCrunch in traffic.Here is a chart that provides a relative measure of the value of these media sites: (Compete usually underestimates traffic.)Please see: Tim Armstrong: We Got TechCrunch!...[Read Full Article]

VentureBeat Covers TechCrunch Conference Following Minimal TechCrunch DEMO Coverage
It is commendable that VentureBeat is covering the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week following on the heels of TechCrunch completely boycotting minimal coverage of the DEMO Fall conference organized by VentureBeat and IDG.Last week I wrote that rivalry between the publications that cover the startup sector would be bad news for startups. MediaWatch Monday: Media Wars Over Conference Coverage Hurts Startups.However, there was no coverage coverage of the Techcrunch conference by ReadWriteWeb, which appears to have boycotted the conference.GigaOm has produced a respectable 4 stories.All of these media publications cover the startup sector and all have their own conferences.I made the point that media companies covering their own conferences discourages other media publications from competing for the same coverage. Especially since the content is mostly announcements and a rewrite of a press release. This also brings up issues of "pay for play." Although each publications claims that their coverage of their own conference is objective it is difficult to prove when there is considerable money to be made in conferences.Are startups getting the best bang for their marketing dollars? Several startups I have spoken with are rethinking their marketing strategies and said they will take part in fewer conferences in the future. They prefer smaller events, and media tours where they can present and meet with smaller groups of media and analysts such as media roundtables in restaurants....[Read Full Article]

Meet IBM's Jon Iwata: "Most Forward Thinking" Communications Professional...
I've been fascinated with Jon Iwata ever since he was appointed head of IBM's Corporate Communications and Marketing. It's highly unusual for one person to hold both positions and it could mark the beginning of a new trend. As a senior VP of Marketing and Communications at IBM, the world's largest computer company, Mr. Iwata has a tremendous amount of influence within the computer industry and beyond. It's the combination of such roles that interests me greatly because it offers the possibility of a completely new role with new vistas of possibilities. I'm curious about what this means for IBM and if such a pioneering role could be replicated at other companies.Jerry Swerling, Director of PR Studies and the USC Annenberg Strategic PR Center, describes Mr. Iwata as a man "whose name invariably comes up when you ask knowledgeable professionals to name the smartest, most forward-thinking people in the business." (Here.) I've spoken with Mr. Iwata and with Ben Edwards, IBM VP and Director of Digital Strategy and Development. Check back later this week for the interview. But first, here is some background on Mr. Iwata and his leadership in an initiative within IBM focused on "citizenship" and IBM's "Smarter Planet" strategy. I include a video and some extracts from his speeches. Bio: From: IBM Press room - Jon C. Iwata - Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications - United States - He holds a B.A. from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University. - Jon joined the communications function of IBM in 1984 at the company's Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley. In 1989, he joined IBM corporate headquarters in Armonk, New York. - He was appointed vice president of Corporate Communications in 1995 and senior vice president, Communications, in 2002. He assumed his...[Read Full Article]

Oracle Targeting Chip Companies - Will Microsoft And Google Follow Suit?
Back in January I wrote about Apple's A4 microprocessor, the result of its acquisition of PA Semi, more than 2 years ago, for $278 million. At the time I asked where is MSFT and GOOG's custom chip projects? [The Mysterious Apple A4 Chip - Where's MSFT's and GOOG's Chip?]Now Oracle says it is looking to acquire chip companies too.The San Francisco Chronicle reports: Oracle looks for chipmakers to acquire"You're going to see us buying chip companies," Ellison said this week at Oracle's annual meeting in San Francisco. Acquiring chipmakers would extend Oracle's push into computer hardware, initiated in January with its purchase of Sun Microsystems Inc., a server manufacturer. Ellison said he wants to follow the approach of Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs by owning more of the intellectual property that underpins computer chips. ...Oracle may buy a semiconductor company with technology for servers, said Doug Freedman, an analyst at Gleacher & Co. in San Francisco. Potential targets include AMD, IBM Corp.'s chip division and Nvidia Corp., he said.Building custom chips provides several advantages. A company can embed proprietary technologies that gives its systems key advantages and make it difficult for rivals to copy.General purpose chips such as those available from Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, offer powerful computing performance but because those chips are available to anyone, it encourages "me-too" competitors. Custom chips provide an additional barrier to competition and the opportunity to charge premium prices and resist commoditization....[Read Full Article]

3 Simple Steps In Gaining The Upper Hand In A Tweet Fight
Publishing online, whether it is tweets or blog posts, will occasionally upset some people. You can't please everyone and you shouldn't try to please everyone, sometimes the truth hurts.If you find yourself in a Tweet fight here are three simple steps to ensure you come out on top.Step 1 - Make sure it isn't a "Twit" fight because paraphrasing Confucius, if you engage in a public brawl with a mad person, those passing by and watching the spectacle will find it hard to tell the difference.Step 2 - Step away from the keyboard. Passion and emotion is not your friend at this stage. Engage very lightly. Step away from the keyboard and your computer screen for several hours. During that time the other person will have lathered themselves into a froth. By that time, they have likely also launched a personal attack. You can then return to the keyboard calm and collected and look supremely reasonable while the other person has dug a massive hole for themselves, filled it with mud, and jumped in for a good wallow.Step 3 - Write a post about how to gain the upper hand in a Tweet fight....[Read Full Article]

Cisco Plans Relaunch Of [email protected]
Yesterday I met with Autumn Truong, Senior Social Media Strategies for Cisco Corporate Communications, and she told me about plans to relaunch the pioneering [email protected] site.I'm a big fan of what Cisco has done with its communications. Cisco was the inspiration for my "Every company is a media company" mantra.More than five years ago, Dan Scheinman was running Cisco corporate communications and also head of Cisco's M&A strategy, a multi-billion dollar a year war chest for acquisitions.I met with him and was amazed by what I heard, that [email protected], the company's corporate newsroom, was getting more traffic than the top industry trade publications at the time. Cisco had more than 200 RSS feeds, and was employing a cadre of top journalists and editors to help tell its story and that of its customers.Cisco now planning to extend its [email protected] site and make it less about Cisco and more about the industry and SIlicon Valley. There will be articles on collaboration, social media, virtualization, video, network technology, and culture."Cisco is already producing a lot of content from its different divisions. We will be curating a lot of that work but also adding new content by commissioning work from outside of Cisco," said Ms. Truong.The relaunch is planned for November of this year and it has been in preparation for about five months. It is part of a team project managed by John Earnhardt, Director of Social Media Communications at Cisco. More details to come...- - -Please see: Meeting Cisco's M&A Chief And Realizing Every Company Is A Media Company - SVW...[Read Full Article]

SecondFloor: Charlene Li In Conversation With Broadvision CEO Pehong Chen
Here is Charlene Li, principal analyst and co-founder of the Altimeter Group talking about her background and social media within the context of business.She is interviewed by Pehong Chen, the CEO of BroadVision, which offers a business collaboration service called Clearvale. The event was video recorded by a crew from, the Chinese Internet giant, on the second floor of BroadVision HQ in Redwood City.This interview kicks off the first in the "SecondFloor" series of interviews with key thought leaders. I'll be conducting some of the future interviews.Here are some notes from the evening:- Charlene Li spoke about her latest book Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead.-She spoke about her upbringing in Detroit as the daughter of parents from Taiwan and Hong Kong. She said she felt very much an outsider, living in the heart of a working class community of Polish, Irish and Italian. This outsider feeling has proved useful to her career in being able to gain insights into companies and trends.- Charlene Li worked for many years as a reporter. She joined the San Jose Mercury in 1993 and went to Boston where she helped run local newspapers. She has been passionate about communities for 14 years.-Pehong Chen has a large following in China for his video interviews with CEOs and key thought leaders. He asked questions about Ms. Li's book and about the importance of being "open."- Charlene Li said having an open leadership requires a change in culture and it can be done slowly and it can start small. Create a "sandbox" and then gradually expand that sandbox to include more and more of an organization.- She said management has to give up the concept of control. It's not anarchic, it takes discipline to not try to control everything. She...[Read Full Article]

Salesforce Will Extend Chatter Beyond The Enterprise
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, said that there are plans to extend the Chatter social collaboration tool beyond the enterprise and include business partners and others. He did not say when this capability would be ready but more details are expected at the company's Dreamforce conference in early December."Right now you can add people from outside of the organization but it's not that easy, you have to give them a special ID. We will make it easier to extend Chatter beyond the organization, to business partners, customers and others," said Mr Benioff.He said that Chatter has been very well received by Salesforce customers. Steve Gillmore, Salesforce's chief blogger, said that Chatter has been used internally in conjunction with the broadcast of a high-level management meeting."Chatter provides a very intimate experience and one that is very comfortable. It's different from the use of Facebook and Twitter because everyone is one the same page," said Mr. Gillmore.Several large customers spoke about the use of Chatter. Rajiv Tibrewala, Senior Manager in Enterprise & Portals at McAfee, the computer security firm, said, "It takes some courage from the leadership of the company because employees do ask some tough questions but it's great to get those questions out into the open."Salesforce held its press conference outside of the Oracle OpenWorld user conference in San Francisco. Larry Ellison, an investor in Salesforce has begun to talk about cloud computing but Mr. Benioff said that Mr. Ellison doesn't understand the cloud."Larry thinks that the cloud means buying a large computer, or running virtualization software. The cloud is not a box, and virtualization software is simply virtualization software, it is not the cloud. We offer services that don't require a starting price of $1 million, that you can try and test yourself, and that offer security and performance...[Read Full Article]

Eric Schmidt - Google's Chief Lightning Rod
Eric Schmidt has an interesting job at Google. His official position is co-CEO with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin but his job title should be CLR or Chief Lightning Rod because he is often entrusted with announcing unpopular policies or making comments that bring a lot of media attention, more than Messrs. Page and Brin would welcome.Mr. Schmidt's lightening rod escapades extend to his off-the-cuff remarks. He's not known for his careful consideration of what he is about to say in public forums, probably because of his age, which confers a quality of stubbornness and a lack of tact often seen in older men. One of Mr. Schmidt's less considered remarks was when he said children should change their names when adults, to protect them from online content that might surface and reveal youthful indiscretions.He received a lot of criticism for this, but it turns out it was all a joke! That's what he told Stephen Colbert on the TV show "The Colbert Report." Danny Goodwin has more here: Google's Schmidt to Colbert: Comment About Kids Changing Their Identity 'Was a Joke' @SEWatchI have a better idea. Everybody should change their name to the same name and use nicknames between themselves. When everyone is called I.M. Spartacus we won't have to worry about any unwelcome Google revelations.- - -...[Read Full Article]

The Problem With Aggregators, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly...
Frédéric Filloux over at "Monday Note" has written a good analysis looking at news aggregators: Aggregators: the good ones vs. the lootersHe likes Techmeme, run by Gabe Rivera, which he dubs one of the "good" aggregators. And I agree that Techmeme is one of the good ones.He doesn't like The Huffington Post:The recipe is simple and extremely efficient: you take a 2600 words Vanity Fair interview of the financial reporter Michael Lewis on the rotten Greek public finances, you squeeze it down to 360 words (that's down to 14% of the original length), and you have a self-supporting article that perfectly sums up Lewis' point. This fits the internet era's snippet culture: unless you nurture a secret passion for Hellenic bonds, you have no need to click and link from the HuffPo back to the original Vanity Fair story....How come a story that cost the original publisher $10,000 or $30,000 to report, edit and produce gets transformed into a mere one-gulp self-sufficient capsule? That's the internet, baby.(I would put "Business Insider" in the "ugly" aggregator category because of its cynical use of other people's content ...) There's lots of money in news aggregators, even "good" ones such as Techmeme, which generates enough revenues to employ 6 people. Mr. Filloux writes that HuffPo generates an estimated $15m a year..."the HuffPo is generating a fifth of the NYTimes per reader, but its cost structure is nothing in comparison of a organization that spends $2m or $3m/year to just cover the war in Afghanistan."None of the aggregators, good, bad, or ugly, make an investment in the original articles that they profit from. They say they send traffic to the sites but the value of that traffic is very small.When I left the Financial Times six years ago to become the first journalist to...[Read Full Article]

The Two-Way Internet...
[Here is a draft of an article for the fifth anniversary of the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) - a Palo Alto, California based think tank. I'm a founding fellow of SNCR.] It's easy to forget that we are still in the very early stages of the Internet -- a basket of technologies that continues to evolve and affect nearly every aspect of our business and personal lives.The first phase of the Internet emerged into the commercial space only in the mid-1990s, from military applications at first and then university research uses.In this first phase of the commercial Internet, the development of web browsers meant that we could now publish a page of content: text, photos, video, to any computer screen regardless of the platform. It didn't matter what the operating system was, or the type of computer: mainframe, minicomputer or pocket computer -- as long as it can run a web browser we can publish a web page to it from anywhere.That was a significant achievement because you used to have to be on the same network, for example AOL, or CompuServe to be able to publish the same content to other users. There was no cross-platform communications, even email was difficult. I remember it took years for gateways to be developed that could send email between CompuServe and MCI Mail - two popular email networks.It took government funding and support for industry standard protocols to be able to achieve what we call the Internet. And once the rivalries between the competing self-contained networks could be bypassed, the Internet took off like a rocket.The Internet's potential effect on business was extraordinary. In the mid to late 1990s, stock market investors built a massive "dotcom" bubble. A company only had to announce that they would launch a web site...[Read Full Article]

HP Backs Off Oracle Confrontation As Its Value Slides
Hewlett-Packard has backed down in its suit against Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP and now co-president at Oracle: HP and Oracle Corp. today reaffirmed their long-term strategic partnership and the resolution of litigation regarding Mark V. Hurd's employment at Oracle. While the terms of the settlement are confidential, Mr. Hurd will adhere to his obligations to protect HP's confidential information while fulfilling his responsibilities at Oracle. HP had filed a civil suit against Mr. Hurd that claimed, "Hurd will be in a situation in which he cannot perform his duties for Oracle without necessarily using and disclosing HP's trade secrets and confidential information to others." HP has lost considerable value since the departure of Mr. Hurd, losing $6 billion or more than 6% in market cap to $89.3 billion. Oracle has jumped by $22 billion, or 19% to $138 billion over the same period. It clearly cannot afford a long and protracted disagreement with a key business partner which might further damage its value. The announcement comes at the beginning of the Oracle OpenWorld conference, which attracts tens of thousands of IT buyers to San Francisco. The settlement certainly appears to be a defeat for HP. In a story about deal making in the current issue of The Deal, JMP Securities LLC analyst Pat Walravens says: "There is no better executive who understands the competitive landscape than Mark Hurd. Oracle now has a general who has an exact blueprint of the enemies' battle plans." That can't be good for HP. There is no way that Mr. Hurd can not use his competitive knowledge. - - - Please see: Updated: Could Hurd + Oracle Acquire HP? - SVW...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch Monday: Media Wars Over Conference Coverage Hurts Startups
I was at the DEMO Fall conference last week in Santa Clara, which is co-organized by the online news publication VentureBeat and IDG. I noticed that there wasn't much media at the conference -- the press room was nearly deserted for much of the time I was there. (I also looked for media coverage that wasn't from VentureBeat and it was equally sparse.) Usually, DEMO attracts quite a large variety of publications and this is a key reason that companies are willing to pay the $18,500 fee, (if selected) to be at DEMO.There was plenty of coverage from VentureBeat, of course. Every one of the 70 companies at DEMO received coverage from VentureBeat but coverage from other publications was sparse. For example, Techcrunch, which does a lot of startup coverage had just one story; ReadWriteWeb, which also covers this sector in great detail had 2 stories; while GigaOM had a fairly respectable 7 stories.Techcrunch, ReadWriteWeb, GigaOM, run their own conferences, Techcrunch Disrupt for example is a direct competitor to DEMO. It seems that the lack of coverage is due to the fact that rival publications now run rival conferences.Does this mean that VentureBeat won't offer much coverage of Techcrunch Disrupt? And will the other conference makers follow suit?If so, then they might all be shooting each other in the foot because companies pay the big bucks to get into these conferences because they get access to a lot of press all in one place.One of the DEMO companies last week told me that they were disappointed there wasn't more press. Getting coverage from the co-hosts of the conference is nice but it doesn't carry the same weight as getting media coverage from independent media rather than the conference appointed media, which comes included in their fee.I know very well how...[Read Full Article]

Is Apple's Porn Ban Damaging The Future of Media?
Everyone knows that Steve Jobs has banned porn and any sexual content from the iPad but is this a wise move?I just started reading Nick Bilton's book "I live in the future & here's how it works" and the first chapter is about his investigation of the porn industry to see if there are any lessons to be applied to the media industry.I've long been an admirer of the porn industry's innovative business models as applied to technology and media. And Mr. Bilton does a great job in expanding on that theme. Every time a new technology has been introduced, way back to the printing press, sexual content has helped drive that technology and develop thriving business models that others have been able to adopt and prosper with.He quotes an essay from the mid - 1990s by Peter Johnson, a prominent lawyer: Pornography Drives Technology: Why Not to Censor the InternetThroughout the history of new media, from vernacular speech to movable type, to photography, to paperback books, to videotape, to cable and pay-TV, to "900" phone lines, to the French Minitel, to the Internet, to CD-ROMs and laser discs, pornography has shown technology the way. "Great art is always flanked by its dark sisters, blasphemy and pornography."(5) The same is true of the more mundane arts we call media. Where there is the Gutenberg Bible, there is also Rabelais; where the U.S. mails, dirty postcards; where the three-volume hardback novel, paperback pulp fiction; where HBO, Midnight Blue; where CompuServe, the Plain Brown Wrapper library.(6) Pornography,(7) far from being an evil that the First Amendment must endure, is a positive good that encourages experimentation with new media. The First Amendment thus has not only intellectual, moral, political, and artistic value,(8) but practical and economic value as well. It urges consenting adults,...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley's Techno-Arts Festival Starts Thursday
San Jose's fabulous Zero1 (SJ01) Biennial festival starts on Thursday running for four days. The organization's theme is "Build your own world" with a focus on "The future is what matters, not what's next."There are hundreds of artworks, films, outdoor exhibits, parades, performances and a host of interactive arts projects. I visited the preview for some of the projects in the cavernous South Hall (above).The future is not just about what's next. It's also about what we can build to ensure that what's next matters. How can we, as resourceful, innovative, and knowledgeable local and global citizens build and participate in a desirable future in the face of global climate change, economic meltdown, political instability, and cultural divisiveness?Zero1 Green Prix coming to San Jose | Silicon Valley Bicycle CoalitionZER01 invites public participation in the Green Prix Parade. The Green Prix parade will be an eclectic, artistic eco-motion procession beginning in the South Hall (San Jose Convention Center) parking lot and proceeding down South 1st Street through the SoFA district. A parade of human-powered, electric, solar and many other sustainable locomotive projects will cascade down the street displaying an array of artistic mobility. Green Prix Festival Following the Parade, there will be an all day festival on South 1st Street where parade entries will be on display and available for visitors to interact with and possibly even test out. The Festival will be filled with "green" creations, parade projects, family oriented do-it-yourself workshops, demonstrations, local galleries and music performances. - Survival Research Labs will be at the festival with its signature fire spewing robots.- Retro TechSan Jose Museum of ArtTuesday-Sunday, 11:00 am-5:00 pmExtended hours on September 16, 2010 The artists represented in this exhibition grapple with the potential of technology as they "build their own world." They re-purpose and manipulate technologies...[Read Full Article]

DEMOFall: HP Explains CEO-less M&A Strategy...
I popped into the DEMO Fall conference in Santa Clara. DEMO is in SIlicon Valley for the first time as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. More than 800 people turned up, about 300 more than last year.The turnout was good and the content was top notch. VentureBeat is co-producing the show and also all the media coverage. It's interesting to see a publication also reporting on its own show. The coverage is excellent but it doesn't leave much for other media organizations, and looking at Google news, it is all dominated by VentureBeat - the organizer of the show. Here is my report on DEMO Fall in Pearltrees format. It includes the following stories:(Pearltrees is an SVW consulting client.)DEMO: HP's Phil McKinney explains company's multibillion-dollar acquisition spree | VentureBeatBy Dean TakahashiHewlett-Packard has been on a huge acquisition spree, spending almost $5 billion on companies such asArcsight, Palm, Fortify and 3Par. It's difficult to see any rhyme or reason to the collection of new assets. ButPhil McKinney, vice president and chief technology officer for HP's Personal Systems Group, said today at the DEMO Fall 2010 conference that the aim is to create a one-stop shop for customers to buy complete systems that are already integrated and working together. "You integrate them and take the burden off the customers of doing that," he said in a conversation with VentureBeat Editor-in-Chief and DEMO emcee Matt Marshall. "I understand what it takes to take disparate parts and stitch them together. It's hard. We can reduce the total cost in their spend. That's value for everyone." ..."We have scale in size, supply chain, procurement, and distribution," McKinney said. "We are seeing a shift in the market where customers are picking the best two or three products they want to carry." As for research and development...[Read Full Article]

6 Years Ago I Wrote My First Blog Post - About Intel's Backpacks...No Fish Smell This Year
About six years ago I wrote my first post on SIlicon Valley Watcher, it was about the quality of backpacks at the Intel Developer Conference.Intel is notorious for being penny pinching. When times are tough cubicles get smaller, and the conference backpacks fall in quality. My tongue-in-cheek post was that you can divine how well Intel is doing at a particular point in time simply by assessing the quality of its freebies.Here is an extract from my very first blog post: Tech Watch: The secret barometer of Intel's health reveals... - SVWIn lean times, the backpacks are flimsy and made from lower grade materials. About a year ago, the quality of the backpacks at IDF jumped dramatically. And for good reason, revenues were strong and growing faster than expectations. Intel was raising revenue forecasts, not cutting them. The spring 2004 IDF again produced a top quality backpack, black and electric blue, with good quality ballistic nylon, and stylish use of yellow trim. It was clear that Intel was expecting a good year. At the Fall 2004 IDF, the conference backpack looked to be of comparable quality. Closer examination, however, showed that there was some downgrade in quality, but that it was minor. Conclusion? Slight downgrade to Intel's fortunes, but still betting on a solid business outlook for the next six months.... UPDATE-Thursday September 23Joe Fay from Computerwire is reporting that there is a strange smell emanating from his IDF backpack. He has confirmed it with colleagues.It was true, the slight fishy smell was there once it was pointed out and it became more noticeable over the next few days. I had to abandon my backpack to the neighborhood children by leaving it on a street corner.This year I can attest that the IDF backpacks are of excellent quality with no...[Read Full Article]

New Pearltrees Offers Faster Browsing Than The Internet
Pearltrees (an SVW consulting client) released a new version Monday that pre-fetches web site content. It effectively allows users to browse Pearltrees content faster than if they were using bookmarks.The latest version of Pearltrees also has improvements to the directory structure, making it easier for power users to curate their collection.Pearltrees is an intriguing media technology that enables social curation of the Internet. You can check out my entire collection below and also you can grab parts of it for your own account.Pearltrees also has uses in applications such as creating media kits. The dynamic properties of Pearltrees means that if there is a mistake or a change made in a media kit, it is propagated automatically, in real-time across everyone that has a copy of that media kit in their Pearltree account.foremski...[Read Full Article]

Intel Kicks Off IDF Conference With New Chip Technologies
I'm splitting my time this week between Intel Developer Forum (IDF) and the DEMO Fall conference.Here is a report on IDF in a Pearltree format showing the Intel announcements, video and media reports:Intel Dev Forum - Monday[You can browse this Pearltree or take it and add it to you Pearltree account, it's super simple to set up an account.]...[Read Full Article]

Seesmic Launches New Desktop Version And 40+ Plugins
Last night Seesmic introduced the new version of its desktop version and also celebrated more than 40 plugins. This makes Seesmic into a powerful media platform for aggregation and distribution across many media channels.Manage Your Major Social Networks Follow your updates on multiple Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts at the same time. Run searches, monitor userlists and share what you're doing to dozens of networks through Use the smart account selection to manage your responses.Here is a video:The Twitter client market has become very competitive because of Twitter's own applications but Seesmic, under the leadership of Loic LeMeur, has managed to keep ahead of the pack by making Seesmic into a multi-purpose client.Please see:Alert The Enterprise: Seesmic Integrates With Salesforce ChatterSeesmic Desktop Goes Beyond Twitter: Becomes a Platform for All Things Real Time...[Read Full Article]

Interview: Zach Nelson, CEO Of NetSuite - The Last Great Software Market...
I recently caught up with Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, a cloud computing company that offers CRM to mid-sized companies. The company is enjoying a surge in business thanks to the downturn and a growing realization among companies about the many benefits of cloud based IT.Mr. Nelson is a 20 year Silicon Valley veteran. He has worked at Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and McAfee/Network Associates.Here are some notes from our conversation:- We have benefited from the recession. Companies have long known that they are spending way to much on maintaining their CRM systems and now the recession has pushed many to the cloud. We have had four quarters of accelerated business.- I see tremendous opportunities in our markets, I see it as one of the last great software markets because no one vendor dominates the market. The largest companies own between 10 and 20 per cent shares and that's the same the world over.- SAP is moving into this area with its Business ByDesign but it has a long way to go. We've been at it for ten years, we have a ten year head start. You can't just port your software to the cloud, you have to completely rewrite it. But that's just one small part of what you have to do, you have to figure out the data center issues. SAP is used to mailing a disk and getting the customer to set it up on their data center. It's not that easy. Also, the deal sizes are smaller.- Social media capabilities will eventually be built into all software. We are adding such features, to help CRM data become more social. But we don't charge extra for that. Making customer data more accessible within corporations makes a big difference, it enables users to run their own reports, for example.-...[Read Full Article]

The Holy Grail Of SEO: Google Instant's Alphabet - A is for Amazon... B is for Best Buy ...C is for Craigslist...
The Google "Instant" team showed off one-touch search. Othar Hansson, a senior Google engineer, demonstrated (twice) how typing the letter "W" gave "weather in San Francisco" as the first result.Being a brand that is called up by Google Instant on the very first letter is now the height of search engine optimization (SEO). I took a look at what came up for each letter. Results will vary somewhat by your location.A is for ... Amazon, AOL, Apple, ATT.B is for ... BART, Bank of America, Best Buy, Bing.C is for ... Craigslist, Costco, CNN, Chase.D is for ... DMV, Dictionary, Droid X, Disneyland.E is for ... Ebay, ESPN, Expedia, Evite.F is for ... Facebook, Facebook login, Fandango, FIFA.G is for ... Gmail, Google maps, Google, Great America.H is for ... Hotmail, Hulu, Home Depot, HP.I is for ... Iphone, Ikea, Inception, IMDB.J is for ... Jet Blue, Jeremy Lin, Jamba Juice, Java.K is for ... Kaiser, KTUV, Kayak, Kohls.L is for ... Lowes, Lost, LinkedIn, Limewire.M is for ... Mapquest, Myspace, MSN, Maps.N is for ... Netflix, Nordstrom, NBA, News.O is for ...Outsidelands, Orbitz, OSH, Office Depot.P is for ... Pandora, PG&E, Paypal, Petco.Q is for ... Quotes, QVC, Quicktime, Quinoa.R is for ... REI, Ross, Redfin, Rosh Hashanah.S is for ... Skype, SFGate, Sears, Southwest.T is for ... Target, Twitter, Thesaurus, Travelocity.U is for ... USPS, UPS, United Airlines, Utube.V is for ... Verizon, Virgin America, VLC, Verizon Wireless.W is for ... Weather, Walmart, Wells Fargo, Wikipedia.X is for ... Xbox, XKCD, XM Radio, Xfinity.Y is for ... Yahoo, Youtube, Yahoo Mail, Yelp.Z is for ... Zillow, Zappos, Zipcodes, Zynga.If you can get your brand into the one-letter list you are golden. This is now the holy grail of SEO....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Google Sets Major Relaunch Of Search Yet Doesn't Measure Effect On Advertising
The launch of "Google Instant" represents the single largest change to Google's search services in its history. "For the first time search is interactive," said Othar Hansson, a senior Google engineer.The company said it performed extensive studies of users and how they interact with Google Instant plus extensive eye-tracking studies. They all showed a much improved user experience and a lot less time spent searching for the right page.Google says it now has 1 billion users per week and that the time saved by users worldwide from using Google Instant is 11 hours per second. That's the equivalent of 350 million hours of user time per year, said Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience.During the question and answer part of the launch, the Google team could offer no data on how the change would impact its advertising business beyond saying that what's best for the user is usually best for the advertiser.This is shocking. Google makes a major change to the search service and the user experience -- yet has no measurement on how that impacts click rates on its adverts!Let me say this again: Google makes a major change to the search service and the user experience -- yet has no measurement on how that impacts click rates on its adverts!Those text ads on the side of its results page represent about two-thirds of its revenues. Any change to the structure of the search page has to impact the click through rate of its advertising for better or worse. Yet Google did not measure this impact. Wow.It seems that the company is divided between those working on improving the search experience and the rest of the company that is trying to sell advertising. And there appears to be no communication between the two sides.If I were...[Read Full Article]

Will "Google Instant" Distract From Google Ads? That's What Eye-Tracker Data Shows...
I went to the launch of "Google Instant" this morning. It's a major overhaul of Google search in that it seeks to lessen the time people spend typing in their search queries by trying to guess what the user wants. It's a glorified "I'm feeling lucky" button without requiring a click.But will this interactive search function distract users from Google ads?During the 90 minute launch Google executives showed off the result of an eye-tracking study of users interacting with Google Instant. The dynamic nature of the search page forces users to look at the suggestions offered as they type, and user's eyes are drawn the area just below the search box towards the best choice in the results. The eye tracker did not show any activity on the right side of the page where Google text ads are placed. These Google Adwords text links provide about two-thirds of Google's revenue and the majority of its profits. Google Adsense ads, which appear on third party web sites provide the rest of Google's revenues and far less profit.The dynamic nature of the page, constantly changing as users type, forces users to concentrate on the search results as they are being presented. This is far different from typing in a search term and then receiving a static page of results where the eyes are not drawn to any movement, and they can take in a much larger section of the page, including the text ads on the right.Google executives said they expected SEO and advertising to continue as before and that a focus on improving the search experience usually helps its advertising. However, if Google improves search to the point where people can get to the site they want with just typing in a few letters, there is less opportunity for Google to...[Read Full Article]

Updated: Could Hurd + Oracle Acquire HP?
Several weeks ago I asked if Oracle might try to acquire Hewlett-Packard, and I speculated that Oracle could hire Mark Hurd, the ousted CEO of HP, for the job of integrating the company.At least one half of that scenario has occurred with Oracle saying late Monday that Mark Hurd has replaced Charles Phillips as co-president of Oracle.Is the stage now set for Oracle to mount a bid for HP?- HP remains leaderless and that makes it vulnerable to be acquired.- HP would provide Oracle with enormous and highly profitable consolidation opportunities with its Sun Microsystems acquisition.- An Oracle/Sun/HP plus the 45 plus other acquisitions over the past 10 years, would make a company capable of competing against all of IBM. It would create a West coast versus East coast tech rivalry that would span the globe. (Chart is from Stephen Jannise at Software Advice.)However, an acquisition of HP by Oracle would be terrible for HP staff and for Silicon Valley's already high unemployment rate. Tens of thousands of people would lose their jobs (especially all the anti-Hurdists at HP).HP has a market value of about $93 billion compared with about $95.3 billion in the wake of Mr. Hurd's departure. Oracle stands at $121 billion, a $5 billion increase over the same period. Yes, it is a big pill to swallow however, it would enable Larry Ellison, CEO and co-founder of Oracle to perform an end run in the massive global IT market and also leave a substantial legacy on his upcoming retirement.If there is one thing we know about Larry Ellison is that he is motivated by big goals. Is this one too large for him? That's for him to decide.UPDATE: If Oracle is serious about going after HP it will begin a campaign of trying to devalue HP in...[Read Full Article]

Intuit's Innovation And A Role In Creating New Jobs
Last week I attended Intuit's "Innovation Walk" a collection of Intuit business groups and partners offering a range of services and products such as Mint's personal finance, mobile payment services, and much more.Intuit is in a unique position. As the tax preparation service for tens of millions of individuals and small businesses, it has access to a lot of data -- data that can help its users.I spoke with Tayloe Stansbury, Chief Technology Officer, and Kris Halvorsen, Chief Innovation Officer about some of Intuit's initiatives and plans for the future.One of the new services Intuit offers its customers is the ability to benchmark their business against other similar businesses. The data is collected and shared in such a way as to prevent it being identified with any specific business. It allows companies to check that they are in-line with expectations for their category and that their operation is being managed well.I pointed out that this type of data could also be very useful for people starting a business. With high levels of unemployment there are many that would like to start their own business and if they could do that with realistic expectations of expenses, payroll and profit margins, it would go a long way in helping small businesses become successful.Small businesses are the largest employer in the US and thus such innovative use of business data could help improve employment numbers in the US.Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a former senior executive at IBM and its chief strategist, writes that unemployment levels are the largest since the Great Depression. He writes that there is an urgent need for innovation in job creation. He points out that: "Joblessness is more devastating to families and communities than poverty. Many of the social ills in inner cities can be attributed to their loss of jobs...[Read Full Article]

Consumer Watchdog Targets Google In "Don't Track Me" Campaign
The Washington, DC organization Consumer Watchdog is making a big publicity push for its "Do not track me" campaign, which asks Congress to create a list for people that don't want to be monitored on the Internet.If the campaign succeeds it will be a massive blow to Internet advertising and e-commerce companies because they will lose the ability to tailor targeted commercial messages and discovering user behaviors across a range of web destinations.Consumer Watchdog has purchased a 540 sq. Ft. Jumbotron digital billboard on Times Square and is showing a video showing an animation of Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, driving an ice cream truck so that he can spy on kids.Consumer Watchdog said:Google has collected massive amounts of personal data from Wi-Fi networks through its Street View cars, made private Gmail contacts publicly available on Buzz, and done a complete about-face on net neutrality, joining with Verizon in calling for toll lanes on the Internet.Schmidt has appeared clueless regarding privacy himself, Consumer Watchdog said. When questioned about privacy, he has said, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Recently, he suggested children could change their names when they got older if they wanted to escape what was embarrassing and public in their online lives.- About 80% of Americans support a national "Do not track me" list according to a poll by Grove Insight.- 90% said that it is important to “have more laws that protect privacy of your personal information” online. The poll indicated strong support for: - Require the creation of an “anonymous button” that allows individuals to stop anyone from tracking their online searches or purchases: 86% favor; 9% oppose. - Ban the collection of any personal data on children under the age of...[Read Full Article]

Influence On Twitter Is Linked To Quality Of Content And Not Quantity Of Followers
[Daniel Romero is a Ph.D Candidate at Cornell Univeristy in the Center for Applied Mathematics. He works with Hewlett-Packard's Social Computing Lab Bernardo Huberman and colleagues.]By Daniel M. RomeroThe importance of mainstream news has changed with the advent and immense popularity of online social media. The mainstream media is now aware that they have to be involved in the social media in order to keep their audience engaged. They understand that they no longer have complete control on what information people will attend to. With social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc people can find the news they want even if the mainstream media may not be providing it to them. This is why today we see all major broadcast networks present and active on Twitter. But are they as successful at social media as they are at mainstream media? Are they as influential as they are assumed to be in the offline world? Who are the most influential ones? To answer these questions, we measured the influence of all the news media accounts on Twitter. We used the Influence-Passivity Algorithm discussed in a previous post at SVW: HP Twitter Study: Weak Link Between Popularity And Influence. The data includes all tweets containing a URL from June 15th through July 22nd of 2009. You can find the list of the 100 most influential news media accounts here (and below). Most of the major news broadcast networks are present in this list. However, they do not fully dominate it. We see blogs such [email protected], @bigpicture, @gizmodo, @harvardbiz, among others with very high influence ranking and above major players from traditional media such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The list also includes the number of followers each account has. The same observation about the weak link...[Read Full Article]

Loren Feldman - The Jester In The Court Of Web 2.0
[From left to right: Loren Feldman with Mike Arrington, Loic LeMeur, Robert Scoble during happier times - photo from Loic LeMeur]Loren Feldman is the New York City based publisher of, a fascinating, irreverent and funny critic of the West Coast tech scene. Loren used to be an insider, a close friend of the princes of the Web 2.0 world: Michael Arrington, Robert Scoble, Loic LeMeur, and others. But Loren has managed to upset all those people, and more; and so have I simply by retweeting some of his comic puppetry. (I've been blocked and called names because of my re-tweets of Loren's material but that won't stop me. It's a guy with a sock (puppet) on his hand -- people need to lighten up.)Loren's puppets are hilarious. He has puppets representing Robert Scoble, Loic LeMeur, Shel Israel, Peter Cashmore, Dave Winer, Mark Zuckerberg, Gary Vee, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Steve Ballmer, and more.Here is an example of Loren Feldman's puppetry: Steve Ballmer's iPad review.Loren often hits the nail on the head and says things that I hear others saying privately. When he talks about how the West Coast tech scene is so fixated on incremental additions to operating systems; the obsession with the iPhone, iPad; the fact that we have enough technology and not enough useful applications of technology; and the overbearing shouting of some of our leading Web 2.0 evangelists. The things he says are things that many would love to say but they have to live here, and they don't have a sock puppet to say things for them. Many of the things he says are funny and true. Truth can be uncomfortable, which is why I get into trouble retweeting his work, and I know people who have gotten in trouble simply for retweeting my...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley Culture And Burning Man...
{Rebecca Kaplan and team built the above 20-ft metal sculpture for Burning Man which travelled to San Francisco.)There's a strange hush around San Francisco and the Bay Area. There's fewer people around, there's a little less traffic, and there are parking spots where there are normally none.This week is the week of the Burning Man festival -- a celebration of abundance, creativity, the arts -- set within one of the most inhospitable places on earth, a place where NASA might test its Mars Rover because of the extremes of temperature, wind, solar radiation and dust storms.About two hours drive outside of Reno, Nevada, a city of about 50,000 rises up from the bed of an ancient alkali lake where nothing grows. For about a week it is one of the largest cities in Nevada, and then it disappears, leaving no trace.Residents of what is known as Black Rock City build incredible buildings and art installations. The creativity and ambition of many of the projects is breathtaking. Yet there is no commercial involvement or commerce allowed at the event beyond being able to purchase ice and coffee from a central location.There are several daily newspapers, several dozen radio stations, and hundreds of theme camps that offer experiences of many kinds, or simply a shady place to escape the sun or the dust storms.Despite the grandeur of so many installations there is nothing labelled "Sponsored by Google" or "Intel" or "Oracle" yet there are many people from those companies and more, attending every year.Burning Man's culture of openness, creativity, self-organization, sharing, and innovation plays a key influence in SIlicon Valley's culture, and one has influenced the other, countless times. The idea for the open source movement could very easily have come from the open collaboration that Burning Man started. There is a...[Read Full Article]

Upcoming: San Jose's Zero1 Techno-Arts Festival- The Future Is About What Matters... Not What's Next
This is an event well worth catching, it gets better each time: The 2010 01SJ festival is September 16-19.Steve Dietz, the artistic director, and Jaime Austin, Assistant Curator, write:The future is not just about what's next. It's also about what we can build to ensure that what's next matters. How can we, as resourceful, innovative, and knowledgeable local and global citizens build and participate in a desirable future in the face of global climate change, economic meltdown, political instability, and cultural divisiveness? The 2010 01SJ Biennial is predicated on the notion that as artists, designers, engineers, architects, marketers, corporations and citizens we have the tools to (re)build the world, conceptually and actually, virtually and physically, poorly and better, aesthetically and pragmatically, in both large and small ways. 01SJ is about how powerful ideas and innovative individuals from around the world can make a difference and come together to build a unique and distributed city-wide platform for creative solutions and public engagement. Under the theme "Build Your Own World," ZER01, in collaboration with dozens of partners, will present over the course of 4 days, from September 16-19, hundreds of artworks, performances, events, and artist talks, which not only imagine the future of the world) but begin to build it.Here is an extract of my interview with Steve Dietz from the prior 01SJ:The goal of the festival is to change people's perception of San Jose by establishing a festival that showcases digital arts and that will one day rank alongside Sundance and Austin's South by South West festivals. "Those festivals took 20 years and we're just starting," said Steve Dietz, creative director of Zero One.And here is a video SVW commissioned from a prior 01SJ:...[Read Full Article]

MobyNow Platform - A Way To Corral Fragmented Media - Presents: Burning Man Now
Mathys van Abbe, one of my favorite European entrepreneurs is in town this week. He's the founder of Moby Picture, one of the top photo sharing sites and also the developer of a unique media platform: MobyNow.With MobyNow you can coral all that fragmented media: tweets, blog posts, shared photos, audio, video, location data into one page. It's excellent for companies or organizations that want to bring together all that content, from multiple locations into one location. The upcoming Burning Man festival is an excellent event to demonstrate the flexibility of MobyNow.If you are headed to Black Rock City this year you should check out "Burning Man Now" and watch for your tweets, photos, etc, showing up on the site....[Read Full Article]

Media Tsunami: How Much Media Should You Produce? How Much Is Too Much?
How much media content should I produce?As a professional journalist this has been a question that I've struggled with over the past five years since leaving the Financial Times.I can produce a lot of media content, and hopefully, it is all quality media content. But my concern is that if I produce too much it will cause my readers and subscribers to switch off because there is too much from one source.I know that if some of my sources are too noisy on Twitter, Facebook, even on their blog or web site, I will switch them off because it is too much -- even if all their content is good. I don't want my readers doing the same to me.This question of how much media is too much media is not just my concern, it should be a concern for others, especially companies. I've been writing about how every company is a media company, (EC=MC - the transformative equation for business) how every company has to get better at producing, distributing and responding to media content. Media is important in establishing companies in their field, it is important in establishing their thought leadership. If you aren't seen by your potential customers then you don't exist.But we have a media tsunami washing over us and this media tsunami is becoming ever larger as more people and companies discover how to produce ever more media. How do you stay relevant when there is an ever larger media tsunami crashing all around us all the time? Do you produce more media? Do you add to the media tsunami hoping that your media will be seen as opposed to competitor's media?The same questions apply to online advertising. And in online advertising the principle seems to be that more is better than less. That's why...[Read Full Article]

Upcoming: Women In Technology Summit - September 12-14 - San Jose
Women In Technology International (WITI) is holding its Annual WITI Women and Technology Summit September 12- 14.Here are some details: Keynote Speakers · Sandy Carter, VP, SOA & WebSphere Strategy, Channels & Marketing, IBM · Bernadette Nixon, SVP Global Field Marketing, CA · Nilofer Merchant, Entrepreneur, CEO & Chief Strategist, Rubicon Consulting · Kathrin Winkler, Chief Sustainability Officer, EMC The 15th Annual WITI Hall of Fame Awards · Honoring key women innovators from science and technology on Monday, September 13th. This year’s honorees are: Sandy Carter of IBM, Dr. Ruth David of Analytic Services, Inc., Dr. Adele Goldberg, Dr. Susie Wee of Hewlett Packard and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Katie Boehret, Reporter for The Wall Street Journal, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. o WITI NextGen · At this Young Women’s micro conference on September 13, 2010, leading women from technology will teach, mentor and share with 20 middle school and high school girls to encourage the pursuit of careers in technology. The day will feature career, leadership and mentoring panels and workshops, as well as the opportunity to share and have lunch with distinguished WITI Hall of Fame Honorees. o The WITI Foundation Executive Auction and VIP Reception · Provides an opportunity to network and bid on one-to-one meetings with the top executives of companies such as GEICO, Symantec, eBay, Genentech, McKesson and Charles Schwab. Auction items include packages such as an executive lunch or dinner meeting with Mr. Randy Spratt of McKesson at a Bay Area restaurant of the winner’s choice; plus an iPod Nano, American Express gift card and tickets to the September 16 San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Executive Auction is the WITI Foundation’s annual fundraiser and closes the Annual WITI Summit on the evening of September...[Read Full Article]

VCWatch: Dumb Capital Please Exit Here
[In this guest post Georges van Hoegaerden argues that Limited Partners should take an active role in reforming venture capital investing in the US.]By Georges van Hoegaerden, Managing Director, The Venture CompanyI was reminded again by how dumb capital has destroyed innovation by listening to Paul Kedrosky's interview with TechCrunch, in which he concludes that The Kauffman Foundation (which Paul represents as a Senior Fellow) may get out of Venture Capital altogether and deploy some of its monetary assets elsewhere. Not an unexpected move, as I predicted a while ago many Limited Partners (LPs) as investors in Venture Capital (firms) would make, but a somewhat presumptuous conclusion from a respectable foundation that is supposed to be at the foreground and chartered to support the proliferation of innovation. Foolishly, I expected more intelligence from an entrepreneurial foundation than the intelligence displayed by a run of the mill pension fund stuck in a product of their own making. Nevertheless I applaud the move based on how Paul described the foundation reached that impending conclusion. For we need to rid Venture Capital (VC) of Limited Partners who do not understand the foundational principles of innovation the sector depends on, and who do not understand the deployment of its unique risks. Probably for the same reasons why Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital twenty years ago did not want to see pension funds enter the Venture Capital fray.Take responsibility for you own actions (and in-actions)First off, the reason why Venture has not and unchanged will not perform (at scale) is because of the financial system Limited Partners in Venture Capital have deployed, one that allows Venture Capital firms to take it for an all too comfortable ride. With multi-tier bottom-level diversification (as described in 2010: The State of Venture Capital), a grab bag of other...[Read Full Article]

McAfee Mystery: Intel CEO Prioritizes Security Via Charlie Rose
There has been much written about why Intel offered an astonishing $7.7 billion for McAfee, the PC anti-virus maker. I've been an Intel watcher for more than 25 years and I'm struggling to make sense out of this deal.I've also been reading other Intel watchers trying to make sense of the deal. The most recent attempt is by Jon Stokes at Ars Technica: Why Intel bought McAfeeHis article doesn't answer the headline but here is a fascinating snippet:At the most recent Intel R&D day, Intel CTO Justin Rattner did a Q&A session with the press in which he was asked something to the effect of, "What do you spend most of your time working on these days?" Rattner didn't hesitate in answering "security." He then told an anecdote about how he was watching Intel CEO Paul Otellini being interviewed by Charlie Rose, and Otellini told Rose, "I've given our company a charter to make [security] job one." Rattner laughed and told us that this statement seemed to come from out of the blue, and it took him and other Intel execs by surprise. But from that day forward, Rattner was focused on security. Wow. Is this how Intel's CEO sets priorities within the company? Is this how he communicates Intel strategy? Through Charlie Rose? Justin Rattner is head of Intel's research labs. You would think that he would already know what his priority should be directly from the top and not from a TV show.How did Mr Otellini communicate to the company that its charter was "to make security job one"? Yet for one of Intel's top execs, and his colleagues, it came "from out of the blue."What's going on at Intel? Does anyone at Intel, apart from Mr Otellini, know?...[Read Full Article]

Linden Lab Seeks Second Life As Its Value Plunges
The value of Linden Lab, which operates the virtual world Second Life, has plunged by more than 21%, according to SharesPost, which tracks the private secondary market.In late June, Linden Lab brought back founder Philip Rosedale as interim CEO, after CEO Mark Kingdon stepped down.The current value of Linden Lab is estimated by SharesPost to be about $271 million or about $100 million less than a year ago.The plunge in value appears related to today's news that the company is closing the five year old "Teen Second Life" virtual world at the end of this year.The company said: "...supporting and developing for two separate grids has been a challenge for us, and has slowed progress on improvements that benefit all Residents. To help us focus our resources and development on the Main Grid, we have made the difficult decision to close Teen Second Life."Linden Lab has lowered the age for Second Life membership to 16 years and is evaluating lowering it further to 13 years -- but only if it can develop ways to provide safe access for younger teens."Linden Lab has received over $19 million from Mitch Kapor, Catamount Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Ray Ozzie, Omidyar Network, Globespan Capital Partners, and Bezos Expeditions."SharesPost estimates the value of private firms based on shares bought and sold in private markets. - Facebook has a value of about $25.5 billion; - Zynga is valued at $4.9 billion; - Twitter at $2.2 billion;- LinkedIn at about $2 billion....[Read Full Article]

BroadVision Launches "Clearvale SecondFloor" Speaker Series
Wednesday evening BroadVision launched the Clearvale SecondFloor speaker series focused on thought leaders in enterprise 2.0. Clearvale is BroadVision's name for its collaborative enterprise platform.Charlene Li, founder of the Altimeter consulting group, was interviewed by Pehong Chen, CEO of BroadVision. The event was video recorded by, the Chinese Internet giant, on the second floor of BroadVision HQ in Redwood City.The series is the creation of Giovanni Rodriguez, CMO of BroadVision.Here are some notes from the evening:- Charlene Li spoke about her new book Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead.- She spoke about her upbringing in Detroit as the daughter of parents from Taiwan and Hong Kong. She said she felt very much an outsider, living in the heart of a working class community of Polish, Irish and Italian. But this outsider feeling has proved useful to her career in being able to gain insights into companies and trends.- Charlene Li worked for many years as a reporter. She joined the San Jose Mercury in 1993 and went to Boston where she helped run local newspapers. She has been passionate about communities for 14 years.-Pehong Chen has a large following in China for his video interviews with CEOs and key thought leaders. He asked questions about Ms. Li's book and about the importance of being "open."- Charlene Li said having an open leadership requires a change in culture and it can be done slowly and it can start small. Create a "sandbox" and then gradually expand that sandbox to include more and more of an organization.- She said management has to give up the concept of control. It's not anarchic, it takes discipline to not try to control everything. She gave the example of the US navy allowing 8 bloggers to visit the USS Nimitz...[Read Full Article]

Who Will Oracle Target Next In M&A? How About HP...
Stephen Jannise, ERP market analyst at Software Advice, has put together a poll asking who's next on Oracle's M&A list. [NasdaqGS: ORCL] Oracle Mergers & Acquisitions: Who's Next? He has a chart of Oracle's acquisitions over the past five years:He has made a few educated guesses on who could be next, concentrating on some of the larger potential targets. And Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems expands the potential field beyond enterprise software companies.He has divided the choices up into the following:Fairly Straightforward IdeasTeradata. This data warehousing and business intelligence (BI) play would check a lot of boxes, augmenting Oracle's strength in databases and BI. Moreover, Teradata brings strength in key verticals. At 21x P/E, the price might work.Informatica. Another data warehousing play, Informatica would complement Oracle's leadership in database and business intelligence. While the deal would be bite-sized, Oracle would have to eliminate a lot of costs to make it accretive.TIBCO. Like the BEA Systems deal, TIBCO would bring the benefit of adding a middleware market leader while also bolstering the Fusion story. With a P/E of 34x, this is another deal where Oracle would have to cut costs deeply.Messy, But Potentially ProfitableComputer Associates. Computer Associates was a consolidator long before Oracle ramped up its M&A efforts. Of course, that history comes with some messy situations along the way. The deal could work financially given CA's modest valuation at 14x earnings, but might not be worth the stress or integration.Sungard. This very large applications vendor and its various business units bring leadership positions in a range of vertical markets. The company was taken private a few years ago by savvy private equity investors, so an exit event is likely just over the horizon. However, Sungard brings a large services organization that might not be Oracle's thing.Infor. Infor is another major...[Read Full Article]

Startups: Angels Or VCs Or None Of The Above...7 Reasons To Bootstrap
There's been much written recently about angel investors and venture capitalists especially about the rise of the "super angels" such as Ron Conway, Jeff Clavier, Marc Andreessen, etc.The VC community is disdainful of the angel investors and their puny funds but the angels can go into deals that the VCs cannot because they are too small for the large funds. Today's entrepreneur has a choice: angels or VCs or none of the above.It's worth considering the "none of the above" option because startup costs are very low. Joe Kraus, co-founder of Excite, which was the Google of its day, told me that they needed $5m for a data center when they first started. Today, with the ready availability of cloud computing you don't need to raise lots of capital to fund your capital costs. Development costs are cheaper too, with high level languages and development platforms such as Ruby and even development platforms in the cloud from companies such as Engine Yard, development is quick and scalable.Angels and VCs can be good in terms of getting access to an experienced hand in building a business, helping to recruit the right people, even mundane things like finding office space.But a good network of mentors or board directors/advisors could provide similar help without the ownership and other terms that outside investors demand.Bootstrapping is a viable optionMany startups could achieve a lot with just the founders pooling their credit cards for a year or so and then seek expansion capital, maybe with debt.Sramana Mitra, writing in Forbes, says there is an assumption that only mom-and-pops businesses can be built with bootstrapping: How very wrong! Ask Frank Levinson and Jerry Rawls of Finisar whose bootstrapped venture went public at a $5 billion valuation. Or ask Christian Chabot of Tableau Software, who raised his Series...[Read Full Article]

Hulu Tops In Ad Views But Tenth In Online Viewers
As Hulu preps for an IPO comScore has released viewer numbers and related info for July 2010:Property Total Unique Viewing Sessions Minutes per Viewers (000) (000) Viewer Total Internet : Total Audience 178,148 5,234,655 882.0 Google Sites 143,226 1,884,498 282.7 Yahoo! Sites 55,107 238,322 28.6 46,571 166,186 18.3 Microsoft Sites 45,558 219,149 40.2 VEVO 43,911 202,091 68.5 Fox Interactive Media 38,136 164,760 27.2 Turner Network 33,442 107,793 25.3 Viacom Digital 30,715 70,617 44.8 Disney Online 28,475 64,104 6.0 Hulu 28,455 153,845 158.0 ______ Here is the breakout according to video ads viewed:Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Video Ads* Viewed Ranked by Video Ads Viewed July 2010 Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations Source: comScore Video Metrix . Property Video Ads % Reach Total Frequency (000) U.S. Population (Ads per Viewer) Total Internet : Total Audience 3,559,928 26.8 44.5 Hulu 783,304 27.9 9.4 Tremor Media Video Network 451,864 8.0 19.0 BrightRoll Video Network 248,345 6.0 13.9 Microsoft Sites 232,256 9.1 8.5 Google Sites 219,326 4.6 15.9 Crosspoint Media 206,269 7.3 9.5 SpotXchange Video Ad Network 170,895 4.3 13.4 CBS Interactive 134,798 6.1 7.4 BBE** 120,179 4.5 8.9 Viacom Digital 110,810 5.4 6.9 Interesting facts:- 84.9 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.- The duration of the average online content video was 4.8 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.- Video ads accounted for 9.8 percent of all videos viewed and 0.9 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.More info: comScore.The data shows Hulu packing in video ads at nearly 28 per user or nearly 3 times the next closest: Microsoft sites at 9 per user and Google with about 5 per user. Hulu might not have the headroom to increase ads without alienating viewers....[Read Full Article]

Has Google Lost The Spam Battle? Ex-BusinessWeek Editor's Frustration...
Has Google lost the battle against the companies that game its system of ranking search results? It certainly seems that way from my anecdotal usage.John Byrne, the former BusinessWeek editor seems to feel the same. He recently launched a site that looks at business schools: Poets and Quants.He published a post detailing his frustration at Google's listing of the site, or rather its failure to list the site. C-Change Media Inc.: Google? Where are you? One of the most fascinating aspects of our debut is what Google has been able to discover, or fail to find, about the site....So what do you find when you Google "poetsandquants?" Not a single mention of the actual website....As you go through the first five pages of Google results, there are all kinds of websites that have essentially highjacked Google, rendering its search product less useful and helpful to users. There's a so-called weblog that is little more than a place to advertise Viagra and Cialis. There's links to TweetMeme, Interceder, tweetcepts, twapperkeeper, rallyclips, and whotechpunditstweet, among many others. Most of them are search traps that have gamed Google.Part of Mr. Byrne's frustration is related to the fact that his site is a young site -- Google trusts sites that have been around for a longer time. However, I've been noticing a similar fall in the quality of the rankings on general searches. Often I have to look at second and third pages of listings when I used to be able to find what I needed on the first page.Also: there are plenty more companies that make a business gaming Google results. For example: Demand Media, which has built a large business based on the fact that it publishes content that is gamed to attract Google rankings and Google AdSense advertising. Demand Media is...[Read Full Article]

Innovation At Risk: We Need Competition To The Luddite Telcos . . .
We won't be able to have net neutrality/open Internet because the Telcos will always have the right to prioritize their own services over their own networks.So let's have real competition to the Telcos.But the US has Luddite Telcos. The US has some of the slowest broadband and the least penetration. A recent FCC report found that there are 14 million Americans without access to any high speed Internet service.S. Derek Turner, Research Director of Free Press, a lobbying group advocating universal access to communications, said:"The facts present a sobering reality of our broadband problem. We pay far too much for far too little, and the lack of meaningful competition among Internet service providers leads to delayed investment and slow technological progress."The Telcos control the features available in smartphones often dumbing them down. That's Luddite behavior. The Telcos have no real competition. As Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land points out:The mobile marketplace... where providers unilaterally add on $10 surcharges just because you're using a smartphone, regardless of you actual data usage? Where you can't take your expensive device and go elsewhere? Where they deliberately cripple parts of a smartphone's OS? Where they decide to charge you more for using your device as a modem even if that usage still comes under the same data cap as allowed by native use of your device? If we can't have net neutrality then let's have more competition. But where is that competition going to come from?Building a new Telecom infrastructure is expensive. Potentially, WiMAX could vault over the Telco walls but WiMAX rollout is slow and its performance is patchy. Plus, you need the customer facing support component and the billing relationship, which is labor intensive.Another solution is to adopt open network policies as in Europe, where Telcos are forced by law...[Read Full Article]

Network Neutrality: Why The Silence From Vint Cerf, Father Of Internet And GOOG Senior VP?
Why is Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet Evangelist and father of the Internet silent on this issue of Internet neutrality? It's an issue that has blown up over the past few days yet Mr. Cerf has been absent.Just over a year ago, Mr. Cerf wrote this on the Google public policy blog:Allowing a handful of broadband carriers to determine what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the features that have made the Internet such a success, and could permanently compromise the Internet as a platform for the free exchange of information, commerce, and ideas. ...we believe that providers should have the flexibility to manage traffic congestion and malware on their networks in non-discriminatory ways. They should not, however, be in the anti-competitive business of picking winners and losers. Today on the same blog, Google and Verizon have thrown out these principles when applied to wireless broadband!In recognition of the still-nascent nature of the wireless broadband marketplace, under this proposal we would not now apply most of the wireline principles to wireless, except for the transparency requirement. In addition, the Government Accountability Office would be required to report to Congress annually on developments in the wireless broadband marketplace, and whether or not current policies are working to protect consumers.This is a bullshit excuse. Traffic has to be prioritized on the backbone and wired connections before it reaches the wireless transmitters. That means prioritized traffic will be available for wireline too!Here is a short video interview I shot with Vint Cerf at the Fortune Brainstorm conference two years ago. In it he says the Telcos are harming the US national interest.(The lighting was bad so I turned it into a high contrast video.)'s IT wire wrote this story with a partial transcript.Vint Cerf, who is widely regarded as the 'father...[Read Full Article]

The Fly On The Wall And Its Social Effects - A Short Story From The Near Future...
We live in a world of ubiquitous computing -- there are ever more computing devices everywhere.We will soon live in a world of ubiquitous video cameras. You probably have one staring at you right now just inches away from your face -- the camera in your laptop or desktop.There are video cameras on street corners, business premises, highways. The Brits have the most video cameras per head of population but other countries are catching up. The CCTV technology is cheap to install and operate.Consumer video cameras are cheap and getting cheaper and better quality. A Flip HD camera from Cisco is under $200 and there are consumer HD video cameras for under $100. HD video is found in smart phones, such as the iPhone 4. Soon, every phone will have a high quality video camera, and not just phones.The circuitry and the mechanism for a HD video camera is tiny. It can be fitted into ever smaller formats, such as pens: Brookstone sells a video spy pen for $99.95, and there are cheaper versions available elsewhere.As computers become more ubiquitous so will video cameras. It won't be long before there are video cameras all around and in places where we aren't used to having them. It won't be long before we have always-on video cameras operating in all our social spaces. Imagine living in a world where nearly every conversation, every meeting, every step you take in the physical world is recorded and archived in the cloud. If you knew that every conversation with your kids, with your parents, with your friends -- was possibly being recorded and stored -- would you think twice, maybe thrice about what you had to say?The Facebook effect...We have become used to the possibility that all our online conversations and interactions are recorded and...[Read Full Article]

Pearltrees: The Latest Mark Hurd News In Real Time...Here
Latest Mark Hurd NewsI'm discovering new uses for Pearltrees, a cool media technology from a French startup I've been working with the past few months.Above, you can quickly browse the latest news on Mark Hurd from ZDNet, Techmeme, Google, and specialist commentators. This Pearltree is dynamic, you can add it to your Pearltree account (free) and it automatically updates in real time.Let me know what you think of Pearltrees. I've got more uses for it coming up......[Read Full Article]

Who Will Replace Mark Hurd At HP? I have Some Suggestions...
Who will replace Mark Hurd as CEO of Hewlett-Packard?I'd love to hear your suggestions.Here are some of mine:- Sean Maloney is Intel's number 2 executive and one of its best. He is back at work after being sidelined by a small stroke and would make an excellent CEO. There isn't much room at the top at Intel, since Paul Otellini is 59 and likely to stay in the CEO job until 65. Mr. Maloney is just 53.- Scott McNealy is currently unemployed, following Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Sun and HP are very similar businesses.- Steve Mills is an IBM veteran and the second most powerful executive in the global enterprise software business. He has run the IBM software group very successfully. HP's software business, especially its middleware business has been a disaster. Mr. Mills could help with that. He is 58. Any other suggestions?UPDATE: I'm adding Ed Zander to this list. He would be very good for HP-- he would bring some of that Sun uppity spirit, which HP needs.Here is a Pearltree that you can quickly browse to see the latest Mark Hurd news: Latest Mark Hurd News...[Read Full Article]

In Wake Of GOOG - Verizon Talks FCC Ends Closed Door Meetings - Committed To Net Neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stopped its practice of closed door meetings because of public pressure in the wake of reports of talks between Google and Verizon on a preferential arrangement prioritizing Internet traffic.FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said: "Any outcome, any deal that doesn't preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable."The Free Press lobbying group welcomed the announcement.Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner said:"Phones have been ringing off the hook and e-mail inboxes overflowing at the FCC, as an outraged public learned about the closed-door deal-making and saw the biggest players trying to carve up the Internet for themselves. We're relieved to see that the FCC now apparently finds dangerous side deals from companies like Verizon and Google to be distasteful and unproductive."Now the FCC must match the chairman's words with decisive actions. We need our leaders in Washington to make the tough decisions and take on the difficult task of standing up to entrenched interests and pushing forward strong rules that will protect Internet users everywhere. Today, Julius Genachowski and the FCC took a big step back from the brink and gave everyone who cares about the free an open Internet reason to be hopeful that they still might do the right thing."Google said that its meetings with Verizon have been misunderstood and that it is committed to an open Internet. Google and Verizon have held a series of talks over the past ten months abut how Verizon handles Internet traffic.UPDATE:Consumer Watchdog is critical of Google's stand on net neutrality:Net neutrality -- the idea that all data is treated equally by Internet service providers -- is a key principle of the Internet. Google has long claimed to be an advocate of the principle. Today both the Wall Street Journal...[Read Full Article]

Calif. Supreme Court Ruling Favors Employees In Google Age Discrimination Suit
As Silicon Valley's population gets older, age discrimination in the workplace is a very real issue for many people.Earlier today the California Supreme Court addressed two issues related to an age discrimination suit filed against Google. Ivan Alexander, representing Eric Steinert, an employment partner at law firm Seyfarth Shaw in San Francisco, explains the ruling:In the case Reid v. Google, plaintiff Brian Reid, a director of operations and engineering at Google, was 54 years old when fired by the company in 2004. Reid's age discrimination lawsuit was based in part on negative age-related comments made by employees (other than his supervisor) in the workplace; the plaintiff alleged that his co-workers often referred to him as an "old fuddy-duddy" and used other similar derogatory appellations. The trial court granted Google's motion for summary judgment, and the appellate court reversed.The California Supreme Court addressed two issues: -first, whether evidentiary objections are waived on appeal if the trial court does not rule on them; -second, whether California should follow the federal "stray remarks" line of cases.The federal "stray remarks" doctrine holds that statements made by employees who are not involved in the challenged employment decision cannot be considered in support of a discrimination claim. Stray remarks cases are frequently used to support employer motions for summary judgments where the discrimination claim lacks direct evidence of discrimination, but is rather based on negative comments in the workplace regarding the protected status made by employees other than the direct supervisor.The California Supreme Court decided that waiver does not depend on whether a trial court rules expressly on evidentiary objections and that Google's filing of written evidentiary objections before the summary judgment hearing preserved them on appeal. The Court also held that application of the stray remarks doctrine is unnecessary and its categorical exclusion of evidence...[Read Full Article]

HP Twitter Study: Weak Link Between Popularity And Influence
I'm a big fan of Bernardo Huberman, director of HP Labs' Social Computing Lab, and the work of his team. HP has been applying rigorous scientific practices to the study of social media and it has a gold mine of research open to the public.It is worth emphasizing that HP's studies are designed to the highest scientific standards; they are not isolated case studies or the musings of a "social media expert." They typically involve the study of very large numbers of people and thus they reveal some fundamental aspects of our increasingly online culture, and our common humanity.The latest study from Dr Huberman and team is on what makes a Tweet or a Twitter user influential. More than 22 million tweets were analyzed and it has led to the creation of the IP Algorithm, which measures the influence and passivity of Twitter users.The study found:- Most Twitter users are passive, they do not re-Tweet.- There is a difference between popularity and influence. High numbers of followers does not equal influence because those followers do not re-Tweet.- To become influential, Twitter users must somehow persuade their followers to re-Tweet. To measure influence, the study looked at how much traffic a Tweeted URL received, using the shortening service, which also tracks clicks.From the paper Influence and Passivity in Social Media - HP Labs Research:This reveals interesting implications about the relationship between a person's popularity and the influence she has on other people. In particular, it shows that having many followers on Twitter does not imply power to influence them to even click on a URL.The Conclusion:Given the mushrooming popularity of Social Media, vast efforts are devoted by individuals, governments and enterprises to getting attention to their ideas, policies, products,and commentary through social networks.But the very large scale of the networks...[Read Full Article]

Wildfire Report: UK Brands' Social Media Is Anti-Social...
Wildfire, a British PR firm, examined the social media activities of 50 of the fastest growing UK tech brands and found very little that was "social." More than 90% were on two or more social networks but only a minority engaged online: they ignored replying to comments or engaging in two-way communications. They used social media networks as a broadcast channel. (Download here with registration.)...60% of companies with a Facebook page used it purely as a distribution channel, 57% of companies with a Twitter account used it solely for one-way marketing activity and only 25% of blogs received comments on a regular basis.66% of Facebook pages in our study received comments from users, with each comment presenting an opportunity to engage and to build brand advocates. However, 75% of technology companies with a Facebook account failed to recognise this opportunity and left comments unanswered.... only 3% of the tweets in the study were retweets and just 12% were replies.Shockingly, 43% of brands with a Twitter account had never replied to a tweet.More info:Nearly all (90%) of the tech companies in our study had a presence on two or more social networks. Twitter was the most popular, being adopted by 74% of brands in our study, followed closely by Linkedin (72%), with Facebook lagging far behind, with just 20% of tech companies having a Facebook page. Just under half of the companies in our study (48%) had a blog.Also: LinkedIn and YouTube were being underused.Wildfire brands are dipping a toe in the water, but are missing opportunities to realise the full potential of social networks to engage, build community and amplify brand awareness.TechEye reports:You'd think tech companies in particular would be clued up enough to realise this, but the fact is, they're not. Plenty of companies are signing up official...[Read Full Article]

The Stunning Achievements Of PayPal Alumni...
Sarah Lacy reports:... Google has agreed to buy Slide for $182 million, in a deal to be announced Friday. And sources also tell us that this is not the last move Google is going to be making to cobble together a serious social gaming and apps strategy to counter Facebook.... No word on whether Slide founder Max Levchin will be joining Google or what his continuing role will be. $182 million is a nice exit no doubt, but it’s a come down from Slide’s $500 million valuation in 2008. And Levchin has said many times that success to him was Slide becoming bigger than PayPal.In the comments of Sarah Lacy's story there is much discussion whether Slide is a failure for Max Levchin, the founder.I'm sure he made money. But Slide is just one small part of Max Levchin's story. He's had many failures. He was in 6 startups before he struck it rich with PayPal. It's the life of an entrepreneur.He still has Yelp and other companies such as Adroll. And he is young -- just 35. He has plenty of years to make more PayPals. I'm a fan of Max Levchin and his colleagues. He and the rest of the "PayPal Mafia" made a ton of money when EBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion. And they've been ploughing much of that money back into Silicon Valley, founding and financing dozens of new companies.They have used their experience and money to Angel fund and lead many successful companies: YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Tesla, Zynga...are just a few examples.And they are all still relatively young, and in the peak of the their form. I expect a lot more of the same from all of them.Here is a partial list of the PayPal alumni and some of their achievements: - Reid Hoffman,...[Read Full Article]

Interview - Engine Yard: John Dillon Former Salesforce, Hyperion CEO
I had a fascinating conversation this morning with John Dillon, CEO of Engine Yard, a startup with an agile application development platform that is sold as a service. It's one of the quickest ways to develop online applications -- if you were planning to build the next Facebook or Twitter, you'd likely use Engine Yard.Engine Yard is growing fast: 70% growth from Q1 to Q2 in 2010. Among its customers are many familiar names: Orbitz, Nike, Howcast, Zendesk, Groupon, and over 1,000 more.Engine Yard's development platform is based on Ruby on Rails and integrates more than 40 open source technologies. It enables developers to quickly create applications and then deploy them on cloud services such as Amazon, with more coming. (Amazon has a 5% stake in Engine Yard.)Mr. Dillon is a Silicon Valley veteran and a serial entrepreneur. He worked at Oracle, ran Salesforce until 2002, and then Hyperion Solutions, and has been involved in many other companies. He describes the current state of the IT market as very exciting because it is extremely disruptive: software as a service and cloud based infrastructures, combined with agile software development and deployment; are set to revolutionize IT. He compares what is happening in enterprise software markets to the introduction of the PC and its disruptive effect on the entire computing industry. Here are some notes from our conversation:- Applications can now be developed and deployed in weeks, they can be made to be disposable after a year or two. When they are cheap to develop it doesn't matter if they are used just for a short time.- In a similar way that Salesforce was able to sell to departments and bypass IT departments we sell in the same way. There are lots of small development shops that can be contracted to develop...[Read Full Article]

IDC: Boom In Global IT Spending Forecast Despite Short-Term Economic Concerns
International Data Corporation (IDC) raised its forecast for global IT spending in 2010 because of very strong growth in the first half of this year.Companies are catching up with infrastructure investments following a very weak 2009. Servers and other vital equipment are being replaced in the US and European markets, while emerging economies are making large investments in new IT systems.IDC estimates that global IT spending will be $1.51 trillion in 2010 - 6% growth in constant currency. The largest growth will be in hardware - up 11% to $624 billion; software will be up 4%; and services revenue will improve by 2%.From IDC:- U.S. IT markets will grow 5% this year, recovering from a 4% plunge in 2009. - Western Europe is expected to post IT spending growth of 3% in constant currency.- Japan is on course for growth of just 0.5%. Emerging economies will have the strongest growth:- China is expected to grow 21% in constant currency.- Russia 17%.- Brazil 14%.-India will be up 13%.However, IDC analysts are concerned that robust IT spending could be derailed by fragile US and European economies.Stephen Minton, vice president of Worldwide IT Markets and Strategies at IDC:We stand in the middle of two powerful and opposing forces. On the one hand, the very real pent-up demand for new IT investment, which has driven the solid recovery in the first half of 2010 and which will hopefully continue into 2011. On the other hand, the potential loss of confidence in a global economy which remains extremely vulnerable to any further escalation of the European debt crisis or a deterioration in the U.S. stock market. The next three months will be crucial to determining which of these scenarios is more likely; in the meantime, IT vendors should plan accordingly by understanding the potential impact...[Read Full Article]

iSuppli: Largest Ever Demand In History For Chips Will Lead To Shortages, Will Affect Gadget Makers...
Market research firm iSuppli has boosted its revenue forecast for the global chip industry because of unprecedented demand for all types of electronics products, creating the largest growth in the history of the chip industry.The 2010 forecast has been raised to 35.1% growth from iSuppli's previous forecast in May of 30.9%.iSuppli: "With an $80.7 billion increase, 2010 will bring the largest annual expansion in semiconductor revenue in history in dollar terms. In comparison, semiconductor revenue increased by slightly less than $60 billion during the next best year for dollar chip growth: the dot-com-fueled year of 2000."2010 is expected to result in global sales of $310.3 billion.Dale Ford, senior vice president for iSuppli. "It's now apparent that semiconductor sales are getting an infusion of growth hormone in 2010 because of a number of factors, including rising prices, inventory buildups and richer chip content in key electronic products like smart phones and advanced LCD-TVs. All this is causing chip revenue to bulge to awesome dimensions this year."The enormous boost in chip sales is different from that in 2000:While the growth of 2010 is being compared to that of the year 2000, it is important to note that the nature of this cycle is completely different from the 2000 period. The booming growth of 2000 followed a strong expansion in 1999 and was driven by an unsustainable bubble of demand. That bubble popped in 2001 with a collapse of 28.6 percent. In contrast, the 2010 growth represents a recovery from a collapse in the prior year of 2009 and is forecasted to continue into 2011. Chip shortages will occur because semiconductor manufacturers have been careful not to over-produce, which means inventories are low across many different types of chips.This will make it more difficult for companies to compete against hot selling products such...[Read Full Article]

New York Metro Has Most Gadgets; San Francisco Has The Most 'Streamers' And Other Techno Facts...
Retrevo has just released the results of its gadget survey and there are many interesting stats. Take a look: States With Households Most Likely To Have Gadgets - New York has the most iPads - 52% more households with at least one iPad.- Maryland has the most smartphones - all those connected lobbyists and government workers. - 48% more households have at least one smartphone.- Colorado has the most laptops - 13% more households have at least one laptop, close: Georgia and Minnesota.- Massachusetts has the most e-Readers - about 49% more households with at least one.- Michigan has the most point & shoot cameras - households are 8% more likely to have one.- Maryland has the most HDTVs - 13% more homes with at least one.- Pennsylvania has the most feature phones - 14% of households with at least one low-end phone.- California is the greenest state when it comes to gadgets - 47% more likely to have recycled a gadget.Other info:- San Francisco area has the most people using media streaming.- San Francisco Bay area also has the most energy-efficient gadgets and appliances.- Greater Atlanta has the most TVs per household.- Phoenix Metro has the most old technology (VCRs etc).- New York Metro has the most emerging technology gadgets and devices such as blue-ray.Details on how the survey was conducted:"This census was conducted online from March, 2010 through July, 2010 and received over 7500 individual responses from Retrevo users distributed across gender, age, and location. Questions were related to the ownership and usage of the following product categories: TVs, computers, cell phones, home theater electronics, cameras and camcorders, and other consumer electronics. Responses were weighted based on reported demographics to gain accurate estimations of gadget ownership and usage within and across demographics. All data is therefore reported...[Read Full Article]

Jeff Bezos: Put Your Energy Into Making A Great Product Not Into Marketing
(Via Sue Ellen Schaming and Richard Greenfield)What a great quote from Jeff Bezos talking to Charlie Rose:""Before if you were making a product, the right business strategy was to put 70% of your attention, energy, and dollars into shouting about a product, and 30% into making a great product. So you could win with a mediocre product, if you were a good enough marketer. That is getting harder to do. The balance of power is shifting toward consumers and away from companies...the individual is empowered... The right way to respond to this if you are a company is to put the vast majority of your energy, attention and dollars into building a great product or service and put a smaller amount into shouting about it, marketing it. If I build a great product or service, my customers will tell each other."Here is the interview and transcript: media marketing then, is about enabling your customers to communicate what a great product they have. Social media marketing is not about being a clever marketer but about how best to represent a company with a great product. And here's my contribution: evangelists come free with every great product or service.But is Jeff Bezos saying something new? Great products have always had their fans; Apple is a great example of how a company with a less than 5% market share managed to prosper. Also, Amazon is the pioneer of the affiliate marketing model where you get others to do your marketing for you. Amazon sells other people's products; it doesn't distinguish between good or bad products. The only product Amazon makes is Kindle, whose sales volume is tiny and doesn't even register on its quarterly earnings.What Amazon does "sell" is great customer service and I can vouch for that. Still, what Mr Bezos...[Read Full Article]

Silicon Valley PR Firms! Send Me Your Pearltree For My Directory...
The last couple of months I've been working with a very cool French startup called Pearltrees in an advisory capacity. It's part of my nascent consulting services business which helps me continue publishing and funding Silicon Valley Watcher. I'm a big fan of Pearltrees because it is a fascinating media technology. It allows anyone to curate their own section of the web by using a visual metaphor that looks very much like mind maps: users create a Pearltree and attach pearls to it; each pearl represents a web page or site, a video, image, or even a Tweet. With so much content on the Internet it is becoming very important to identify trusted sources of information and to have people curate sections of the Internet. Google tries to do it by looking at trusted sites and who links to who but it is constantly fighting spammers trying to game the sysem -- the Pearltrees approach is spam-proof. Pearltrees are also very social, they are extremely easy to create and share. They can be Tweeted, emailed, or embedded in any web page or web document, creating a live window (see below). One of my goals is to build a Pearltree about Silicon Valley so that people can quickly find the best information about this region. As part of that project I have put together a Pearltree that acts as a directory of Silicon Valley PR firms. People looking for a PR firm can browse my Pearltree and hopefully find a compatible business partner. In the short space of time since I created the Silicon Valley PR firms Pearltree it has had nearly 2300 views. But I'd like to improve it. I'd like each PR firm that does business in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area to create a Pearltree about their business and...[Read Full Article]

The 8 Truths Of Enterprise IT...
Enterprise IT is notoriously conservative and resistant to any changes. Yet the enterprise IT market is massive and it's a market that is primed for change because of many innovative technologies. However, it can be a very frustrating experience for companies targeting the enterprise IT market. Jake Sorofman, chief marketing officer for rPath, which provides solutions for automating system deployment and maintenance across physical, virtual and cloud environments, shares his theories on what makes enterprise IT tick.Guest post by Jake Sorofman. ( 1. Drift happens - Complex software systems are rarely consistent or what they ought to be. They drift and morph in definition over time as patches are applied, updates are made and IT personnel tunes, tweaks and fiddles. These changes are typically untracked, and IT rarely knows precisely what is running. When they're initially deployed, systems are opaque. Over time, they're complete mysteries.2. Change hurts - IT fears and avoids change because of a Law of Unintended Consequences that hangs over the data center. At the heart of this law is the reality that deployed systems and their dependencies are poorly described and documented. When change happens, stuff breaks. This is why, on the topic of change, IT tends to channel Ross Perot: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." 3. IT abhors a vacuum - As the cost of computing drops, workload demand increases. This is the force behind VM sprawl and the attendant growth in management costs. Like nature, IT abhors a vacuum. When space is made available, it's quickly filled in. (Perot may call this "a giant sucking sound.") 4. Demand follows the path of least resistance - Like it or not, enterprise IT competes with a marketplace of alternatives. When alternatives offer comparatively better options in price, performance and availability, workloads will follow the...[Read Full Article]

Saving Silicon Valley From The Coming VC Implosion
[This guest post is extracted from a longer article: Saving Silicon Valley.] Georges van Hoegaerden was born in The Netherlands and came to Silicon Valley to work at Oracle. He soon jumped head first into the startup life and became a serial entrepreneur. But he quickly became disillusioned with VCs and a VC industry that lacks proper governance and consistent execution. He is passionate about reinventing the entire VC industry.In this post he warns that Silicon Valley is on the brink of a serious "implosion" because 95% of VC firms are not making money for their investors. Many VCs are risk averse, they don't have the business experience needed for the job, and they are happy living off of generous management fees rather than working hard to build successful startups. He points out that there are tremendous business opportunities ahead. We are still at the very early stages of a massive technology boom with just 20% of the world's population having access to any meaningful technologies. The VC industry should be expanding rather than contracting.By Georges van Hoegaerden, Managing Director, The Venture CompanySome people do not understand why I do what I do and why I bother, and underestimate my determination to fix Venture Capital. Certainly there are much easier ways to make money than to pursue the obliteration of an investment cartel, in which seemingly everyone belongs to the club. ...I came to the U.S. on my own with some hard earned chunk of change in my pocket, invited by Marc Benioff (now CEO, then Oracle VP) and Larry Ellison (Oracle's CEO) who wondered why I was able to sell their (then) emerging products while they couldn't. I left Oracle with fond memories as soon as my green-card was approved and jumped in Silicon Valley hoping to find...[Read Full Article]

Interview With SAP Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe
SAP, Europe's largest software company, posted strong revenues and earnings for its fiscal Q2. The results bode well for US IT spending. SAP also said it had completed its acquisition of Sybase.Eric Savitz at Barrons reports:SAP (SAP) posted Q2 revenue of 2.894 billion Euros, up 12%, or 5% in constant currencies, and ahead of the Street consensus at 2.75 billion. Software revenue at the German software giant was up 17%, or 5% in constant currencies, while software and software related services revenue was up 16%, or 8% in constant currencies. EPS of 46 Euro cents was one cent below the Street, as operating margin of 27.8% came in about a point below expectations. The company's results showed strength in the U.S., with software and software-related services revenue up 18% in the U.S. in the quarter on a constant currency basis, but Japan down 9% on the same basis, and EMEA ex-Germany down 1%. For the full year, the company sees software and software-related service revenue up 9%-11% at constant currencies. The company said it expects to grow 6%-8% excluding the acquisition of Sybase. Non-IFRS operating margin is expected to be 30%-31%, up from 27.4% a year ago at constant currencies. I spoke with Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO of SAP this morning. Here are some notes from our conversation:- We benefited from some tail wind from currency effect but revenues were strong. - We did more than 10,600 deals in the quarter. It shows that we have become a strategic choice for many companies.- This Friday we will make our cloud offering Business byDesign available. We delayed it a year so we could make sure we got things right. We want to redefine the category and we now have a category killer. Our cloud offering will be ahead of many legacy...[Read Full Article]

Cisco Old Spice Parody Update...
Cisco's Old Spice parody has resulted in just 2 videos over a 3 hour period so far... The goal: Beginning at 7:00 AM PST/10:00 AM EST, you can tune in for a series of Cisco parodies of the online Old Spice campaign. We will be creating a series of short videos based on real-time suggestions received via Twitter using the #CiscoSPice tag. We encourage you to tweet your own ideas and recommendations. These will run all day long, with the last video to post at 5 pm PST. If you'd like to give Cisco a hand you can visit: SP360 blogHere's the first one, it references my story yesterday:...[Read Full Article]

Intel Laser Breakthrough Will Lead To Faster Internet And Computers
On the 50th anniversary of the invention of the laser, Intel has demonstrated a breakthrough photonics chip set that offers 50 gigabits per second built using standard chip making techniques.Justin Rattner, VP and Chief Technology Officer at Intel, said:"This technology can be scaled to as much as one terabit per second." He said that photonics is key to faster computers because it is difficult to move electrons fast enough but light can be moved faster over longer distances.The key to Intel's breakthrough is that the chips can be built using standard manufacturing processes. Intel is the world leader in chip manufacturing technologies allowing it to build these photonics systems at large manufacturing scales, which brings down their cost.The 50Gbps Silicon Photonics Link prototype is the result of a multi-year silicon photonics research agenda, which included numerous "world firsts." It is composed of a silicon transmitter and a receiver chip, each integrating all the necessary building blocks from previous Intel breakthroughs including the first Hybrid Silicon Laser co-developed with the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2006 as well as high-speed optical modulators and photodetectors announced in 2007.More details here:Silicon Photonics ResearchFrom Intel:- Up to 50 gigabits of data per second is the equivalent of an entire HD movie being transmitted each second.- At these data rates one could imagine a wall-sized 3D display for home entertainment and videoconferencing with a resolution so high that the actors or family members appear to be in the room with you. - Tomorrow's data center or supercomputer may see components spread throughout a building or even an entire campus, communicating with each other at high speed, as opposed to being confined by heavy copper cables with limited capacity and reach. - This will allow data center users, such as a search engine company,...[Read Full Article]

Tuesday: Cisco Old Spice Video Media Tsunami Parody
Last week I wrote about the 87 Old Spice videos in one day being a great example of the media tsunami. Tuesday morning there's a parody media tsunami heading your way as Cisco piggy-backs off of the Old Spice videos.Cisco is hosting a social media event tomorrow (Tuesday, July 27) on our SP360 blog. Beginning at 7:00 AM PST/10:00 AM EST, you can tune in for a series of Cisco parodies of the online Old Spice campaign. We will be creating a series of short videos based on real-time suggestions received via Twitter using the #CiscoSPice tag. We encourage you to tweet your own ideas and recommendations. These will run all day long, with the last video to post at 5 pm PST.If John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, is standing in a bathroom bare chested with a towel around his waist, that could be worth watching. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the point is....[Read Full Article]

Is There A Bloody Connection To The Congo In Your Pocket? You'll Soon Know...
The recently passed financial regulation bill carries new regulations that require US companies to disclose if they use minerals from the Republic of Congo. These minerals are common in the manufacture of electrical products such as smart phones, laptops and other digital devices.The goal is to limit trade in Congolese minerals because their sale is often used to fund militias and their practices, which includes rape and murder.Mary Beth Sheridan at the Washington Post reports: U.S. financial reform bill also targets 'conflict minerals' from CongoThe issue of "conflict minerals" was barely mentioned during congressional debate on the Wall Street bill. But it has attracted growing concern from an unlikely alliance of conservatives and liberals -- from Sen. Sam Brownback ((R-Kan.) to feminist Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues." Activists hope to ultimately see an international system for curbing the trade, such as the one that has slowed the sale of "blood diamonds" from West Africa. "This is one of those issues that is below the radar for about 99.9 percent of Americans. . . . Everyone has their cellphone up against their ear, nobody is thinking of Congo or conflict minerals. But everybody's got some, potentially, right next to their ear," said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), speaking recently at the Center for American Progress. The minerals are: tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. Manufacturers must label their products that they contain such "conflict minerals." It is up to consumers if they buy such products.LA Times Editorial:Congo conflict minerals: U.S. move to source minerals will help defund Congo conflict - latimes.comPublicly traded companies will have to submit annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing whether their products contain minerals from Congo or adjacent countries. If they do, the companies must explain what steps they are taking to trace the...[Read Full Article]

TechEye: Twitter Bans UK Prime Minister's Office From Following People
Emma Woollacott at TechEye reports:Exclusive: Downing Street is the third biggest Twit in the world - Many a twit makes a twat | TechEyeTwitter has banned the Prime Minister's office from 'following' any more individuals and organisations, after it gained the dubious honour of following the third highest number of people of any Twitter user in the world.But Twitter has rules about this sort of thing - it calls it 'aggressive following' - as it's a tactic often used by attention-seekers and Viagra salesmen to increase their presence on the network.A spokesman for Number 10 promised TechEye there was nothing sinister behind following so many people. He said the account had inadvertently been set up in such a way that anyone who elected to receive its messages was automatically followed in return....This time last year, David Cameron remarked that the reason he was not then using Twitter was that "too many twits might make a twat"It's interesting that Twitter would ban a top government office under its spammer rules when clearly it can see that it's not a spammer -- at least not in the traditional sense. If Twitter were to start banning self-promotional messages half of its traffic would disappear instantly....[Read Full Article]

MobyNow: A Media Platform For Fractured Media...
Mathys van Abbe, one of the top entrepreneurs from the Netherlands, is in town this week. He's the founder of Moby Picture, the largest European photo sharing site. He has also recently launched MobyNow, which is a media platform for bringing together all the social media that is represented in the photos, videos, Tweets, blog posts, etc, that people post around a subject.It's a great media platform for any media organization, or any company or group that wants to create a live site that reconstitutes all the fractured media around a topic or subject.For example, Holland MobyNow was created in just one day, to aggregate all the postings, photos, etc around Holland's final World Cup games. The site was an instantaneous success with more than 270,000 views and three large sponsors signing up from a single Tweet!Mathys has some interesting statistics here on his blog: Over 575k social media updates were aggregated by Holland MobyNow during the Worldcup final.There are MobyNow sites set up around sports teams and Mathys is also talking with Hollywood studios and large companies interested in setting up similar sites.It's a great idea because Moby is able to take advantage of the relationship it already has with hundreds of thousands of users of the Moby Picture site. It can use those relationships to effortlessly link people up and their social network accounts, with each other, and with new users on new sites.This underlying social networking technology is already being used in more than 750 other applications.For example, a baseball team such as the Oakland A's could host a MobyNow platform on its own site, featuring the pictures, video, Tweets, blog posts of its fans, all in real-time. The content is fresh, and fans are happy to see their postings featured on the main site.I can think...[Read Full Article]

Genieo + My6Sense: The Media Tsunami And The Need For Self Organizing Filters...
It was great to catch up with Sol Tzvi, co-founder and CEO of a fascinating startup called Genieo. She's in town this week for meetings with several large companies interested in her company's technology.Genieo installs on a PC and it helps you find all the news and information that is relevant to you from all your sources. It does this without needing any keywords or any specific settings from the user, and it works across all your computers and smartphones so it never duplicates content already seen.I first met Ms. Tzvi earlier this year: Genieo's Sol Tzvi: Why Doesn't My PC Know Me?Genieo is one solution to the media tsunami that is building into towering proportions. The media is not dying, we now have more media, in more forms, at more times of the day and night than at anytime in our history -- and there's more to come as individuals and companies learn how to use inexpensive media technologies to produce and share masses of content (87 Old Spice videos in one day...). (Every company is a media company.)Using old style filters to try and manage all this content won't work: it requires sophisticated algorithms that can manage all of this for us, transparently and in the background. These algorithms must also bring to us serendipitous content - the stuff we didn't know was there and thus can;t search for - another reason why traditional keyword filters are of little use.Last week I met with another favorite entrepreneur, Barak Hachamov, co-founder of My6Sense - an iPhone application that seeks to do the same as Genieo but takes a different approach. Mr Hachamov says that there is tremendous interest in the My6Sense API. Many companies are very eager to add My6sense capabilities to their online services. I can't reveal the...[Read Full Article]

Congrats! Social Media Club Has More Than 100K Members!
Congratulations to Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells for their tireless efforts in building Social Media Club (SMC) into a vibrant organization that now has more than 100,000 members. Their goal is to transition SMC from a grass roots organization of 230 local chapters and into a professional association.Chris Heuer explains:While we will still hold onto the open roots upon which we have grown, we will also emphasize the importance of membership dues to provide the funds needed to operate a non-profit on a global scale. These funds will enable us to provide an honest view on the social media industry, support the establishment of professional standards of conduct and expand our educational initiatives to further media literacy. The crucial step in making this vision a reality involves bringing our loosely affiliated 'chapters' closer together, but first we had to find them. With the help of Yong C Lee and Jessica Murray, we have just finished the SMC Global Census, resulting in a blog post for each local chapter on Each post directs you to their existing social channels across the web and now also aggregates their blog posts (if they have one) onto the global Web site. So if for instance, you want to find out how many people are involved in Social Media Club in Moscow, all you need to do is visit their chapter page. Same thing with Seattle, Brisbane, Miami, Kansas City, Washington DC and Kuala Lumpur. Now that we know where everyone is, we also have a better idea of who you all are. At present we have 230 local chapters around the world with a total potential reach of 158,558. Accounting for overlapping channel participation between their various Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites, this gives us an approximate reach of 100,000+ unique social...[Read Full Article]

SF New Tech: ...Online Predators ...And Virtual Office Spaces
Tuesday evening I popped into Myles Weissleder's monthly SF New Tech startup showcase -- one of the longest running and best of San Francisco's Geek events. And it was great to see JR Johnson, CEO of (above) flying in from SoCal to show off some of the new community building features at his site.I admire JR because he is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building communities. He did very well selling Virtual Tourist to Expedia but he's not taking it easy on a boat -- he's back in the fray trying to build a new community. stands out because it has a mission and it's to create a great place for conversation, debate, discourse and connection. JR believes everyone should use their real name online and that this encourages a responsibility and a civility that leads to a better society. I like that he thinks about these things and actively involves himself in these issues. Last year he sponsored a series of lunches in San Francisco that brought together a diverse group of people. Each lunch had a theme and each table of four or five people would collaborate on a short presentation. It was fun and very engaging.Please take a look at JR says "Lunch is your time to take time to be yourself." That's a great way to describe the site.Also: JR's guest post on SVW: Can Facebook Unring The Privacy Bell?And my interview: - A Platform For Critical Thinkers . . . And A Spiritual Mission- - -Also at SF New Tech:Doochoo Armando Biondi, CEO & Paolo Privitera, CTOThe Doochoo project is about revolutionizing the way opinions on the web carry meaning, starting with some applications, followed by a proprietary platform that will give opinions on the web tangibility and critical...[Read Full Article]

Wired's "Inside" Story On Apple Versus AT&T... #AppleFail
Wired has a story about the "showdown" between AT&T and Apple over network issues.Fred Vogelstein reports:Bad Connection: Inside the iPhone Network Meltdown | MagazineAlmost as soon as the first iPhone was introduced in 2007, the carrier realized it might run short of bandwidth. Within just a few months, the first wave of iPhone customers was already sucking down about 15 times more data than the average smartphone customer and 50 percent more than AT&T had itself projected. In a bid to avert the looming problem, a team headed by senior vice president Kris Rinne met with Apple to ask for help. ...would Apple take measures to help throttle back the traffic? Perhaps Apple could restrict its YouTube app to run only over Wi-Fi. Maybe the iPhone could feature a smaller, lower-resolution videostream or cut off YouTube videos after one minute. ... It didn't make sense to build phones and offer features that carriers couldn't support. But in meetings with Apple engineers and marketers over the subsequent year, Rinne and other AT&T executives discovered that Apple ... wasn't interested in cooperating, especially if it meant hobbling what had quickly become its marquee product. ...says someone from Apple who was in the meetings. "We consistently said 'No, we are not going to mess up the consumer experience on the iPhone to make your network tenable.' They'd always end up saying, 'We're going to have to escalate this to senior AT&T executives,' and we always said, 'Fine, we'll escalate it to Steve and see who wins.' I think history has demonstrated how that turned out." Just as Rinne and her colleagues predicted, AT&T's network proved unable to cope with the deluge of data traffic generated by the iPhone, particularly in cities like San Francisco and New York. I don't get it. This is...[Read Full Article]

FCC: Telcos Too Slow With Broadband Rollout
The Federal Communications Commission today released a report that criticizes broadband rollout as not being deployed in a reasonable and timely manner.The report found that less than 2% of US broadband connections are capable of originating a high definition video stream and less than half of all connections are capable of receiving a HD video stream. Plus there are 14 million Americans without access to any high speed Internet service.S. Derek Turner, Research Director of Free Press, a lobbying group advocating universal access to communications, said that he is pleased that the FCC "had the courage to do what all previous Commissions could not, and that is to put politics aside and take an objective look at the law and the data." "The facts present a sobering reality of our broadband problem. We pay far too much for far too little, and the lack of meaningful competition among Internet service providers leads to delayed investment and slow technological progress."Foremski's Take: This is further evidence that the cable and telco companies continue to hold the US back by providing some of the slowest ISP services in the world while charging high prices. The last mile connection into the home has become a "golden mile" for these companies and the lack of real competition has enabled them make fortunes from old technologies.Please see:- April 21 testimony of S. Derek Turner regarding The National Broadband Plan: Deploying Quality Broadband Services to the Last Mile:[Read Full Article]

An Open Index As A Business...
My recent post about speeding up the Internet by creating an open index of web sites to cut down on robot traffic, received a lot of attention and a lot of great responses.Several people wrote that it would be important to be able to verify the information on a web site. That's true but maybe if there was just one "openbot" verifying the data and punishing those web sites that tried to cheat we could have a fairly clean index.Also, there could be a business model here. If there was one open index then all the bots could query just that database because it would have the best information. The open index could even charge for access especially if it offered a variety of analysis tools or offering to run a custom algorithm. It would be far cheaper than a company crawling the web, collecting the masses of data and then trying to analyze it.The value is in the analysis and not in the index. For most web sites, nearly 50 percent of their traffic goes to serving robots that are all crawling exactly the same data. A central repository updated as soon as anything changes would go a long way to setting free a substantial amount of broadband resources for far less cost than adding more servers, more network capacity and the energy required to run it all.A central shared index would save a tremendous amount of energy and carbon dioxide plus we'd have a faster Internet for a fraction of the cost of building a faster Internet....[Read Full Article]

The Media Tsunami And Old Spice Videos...
At the beginning of 2010 I resisted making predictions but I couldn't help myself and wrote 2010 Prediction: The Media Tsunami Is Coming...I predicted that we will have tsunami of media in all forms/formats all vying for our attention. Which is why companies need to become media companies, in addition to their base business, because they need to be visible as much as possible. (Please see: EC=MC)The Old Spice videos prove that the media tsunami is much closer than we might think: ReadWriteWeb reported that 87 were made in a single day.What if every brand in your bathroom did the same? What if every brand in your house did the same? We will be inundated with media. We will face a huge problem: how do we communicate essential information over "cosmetic" information?What does it mean to be a media company? Does it mean producing 87 videos in one day? How much media is too much media?These are just some of the many questions we have to answer. The good news is that we can all help to create the answers....[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch Monday: Page Views Is The Message At Major Newspapers
In May I wrote: MediaWatch: Journalists Won't Report News Unless It Can Drive Page ViewsLou Hoffman from The Hoffman Agency points out this article from the New York Times:In Online Journalism, Burnout Starts Younger - how many people view articles, and then rewarding -- or shaming -- writers based on those results has become increasingly common in old and new media newsrooms. The Christian Science Monitor now sends a daily e-mail message to its staff that lists the number of page views for each article on the paper's Web site that day. The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times all display a "most viewed" list on their home pages. Some media outlets, including Bloomberg News and Gawker Media, now pay writers based in part on how many readers click on their articles. ...At Gawker Media's offices in Manhattan, a flat-screen television mounted on the wall displays the 10 most-viewed articles across all Gawker's Web sites. The author's last name, along with the number of page views that hour and over all are prominently shown in real time on the screen, which Gawker has named the "big board." "Sometimes one sees writers just standing before it, like early hominids in front of a monolith," said Nick Denton, Gawker Media's founder. Mr. Denton said not all writers have warmed to the concept. "But the best exclusives do get rewarded," he added, noting that bonuses for writers are calculated in part based on page views. This brings up an issue I raised in January:The Killer Pitch? - When PR Agencies Can Do This - Look Out . . . - SVWThe killer pitch is simple: "Write a story about my client and we will help drive page views to your story."Fortunately, PR firms don't know how to...[Read Full Article]

UPDATED: Google Exec Says It's A Good Idea: Open The Index And Speed Up The Internet
When I was in Brazil recently, I met with Berthier Ribeiro-Neto, head of engineering at Google Brazil. During our conversation I mentioned an idea I had about making the Google index into an open database that anyone could access, I said that this could dramatically speed up the Internet.He said it was a good idea and that I "should write a position paper" on this subject. (As a further thought, maybe it could also serve to take away some of the heat Google is feeling lately, in terms of its index rankings potentially favoring its own business interests.)Here is my logic:Looking at my server logs shows that 20 different robots visit my site, one of the more frequent ones is the Googlebot. Each of these robots is trying to create an index of my site.Each of these robots takes up a considerable amount of my resources. For June, the Googlebot ate up 4.9 gigabytes of bandwidth, Yahoo used 4.8 gigabytes, while an unknown robot used 11.27 gigabytes of bandwidth. Together, they used up 45% of my bandwidth just to create an index of my site.These robots are all seeking the same information and they use nearly one-half of my bandwidth, slowing the site for all my readers. This is also the same for tens of millions of web sites.What if there was a single index that anyone could access? You would get an immediate speed increase in the Internet for no additional investment in infrastructure.Google and others, could perform their own analysis of the index using their secret algorithms. After all, the value is not in the index it is in the analysis of that index.Mr. Ribeiro-Neto said, "That's a good idea. You probably wouldn't even need to spider the web sites." Each web site could update the central index...[Read Full Article]

Google Says That Employees Change Search Rankings
Richard Waters in an article at (Subscription required):Groups magnify chances of Google hitsCompanies with a high page rank are in a strong position to move into new markets. By "pointing" to this new information from their existing sites they can pass on some of their existing search engine aura, guaranteeing them more prominence. This helps companies such as AOL and Yahoo as they move into the low-cost content business, says Mr Bonnie. "They can use their Google page rank to make sure their content floats to the top," he says. Google's Mr Singhal calls this the problem of "brand recognition": where companies whose standing is based on their success in one area use this to "venture out into another class of information which they may not be as rich at". Google uses human raters to assess the quality of individual sites in order to counter this effect, he adds. I've known about this for several years but wasn't able to get anyone from Google on the record. These Google employees have the power to promote or even completely erase a site from the Google index.This admission is potentially a very large problem for Google because it has maintained that its index rankings are unbiased and are computed from a natural pecking order derived from how other sites find a specific site important.The Google algorithm is a mathematical expression drawing on the PageRank patented method (named after Larry Page, co-founder). It counts how many links to a web site come from other web sites and determines the importance of that web site for millions of search terms. These rankings are worth huge amounts of money to many web sites and changes in rankings can put companies out of business.Google is currently being sued by several companies claiming bias in Google...[Read Full Article]

EE Times Relaunches With An Army Of Moderators
Monday evening I was moderating a panel on social media in the semiconductor industry and one of the panelists was Paul Miller, CEO of EE Times Group, a large electronics trade publisher with 1.1 million electronics industry decision makers.EE Times this week completed a relaunch with a strong emphasis on user content. It has 70 moderators with a goal of recruiting more than 400 moderators."We're putting user content at the same level of importance as editorial content," said Mr Miller. "We are the only ones doing something like this."The move reflects the importance of readers trusting the opinions of other readers. "Engineers like to help each other. But it is important to have high quality content and that's why we believe moderators are important to our success."EE Times is an interesting media company to watch because it is one of the old school publishers, nearly 40 years old. It has worked hard to reinvent itself and it seems to be paying off."We're having our best year in a decade," says Mr Miller. "The pendulum has swing back towards what we are doing and companies are beginning to spend again."EE Times Group has bolstered its business through many savvy acquisitions. Since 2007, Mr. Miller has spent more than $50m on acquisitions that include events and also a legal services firm in the IP area. I mentioned that when people ask me what the new media business model will be I say it is a "Heinz 57" model -- 57 varieties of revenues."I totally agree," he says. "Some people think Africa is one country but it's a large collection of countries and cultures and that's how varied our business model has become."He also said, "Content creation is hard. Finding interesting things to write about is very difficult. I have a new appreciation...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch Monday: Newspaper Paywalls Are Freemium Business Models
Newspaper paywalls have been criticized by lots of people in the Geek communities and also by popular journalism bloggers such as Clay Shirky, Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen but they follow the best practices of "Freemium" business models used by thousands of tech startups.Freemium has been a successful strategy used by many tech companies. Please see: Emergence Capital: Profitable Lessons From Freemium Business Models - SVW. And: Case Studies in Freemium: Pandora, Dropbox, Evernote, Automattic and MailChimpFreemium is based on a simple plan: give away a great service for free and up-sell some users to a paid subscription service. Yet strangely, newspapers are facing huge amounts of criticism for trying to follow a freemium business model.Clay Shirkey at The Guardian: "Everyone's waiting to see what will happen with the paywall - it's the big question. But I think it will underperform. On a purely financial calculation, I don't think the numbers add up."Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine: "Rupert Murdoch has declared surrender. The future defeated him. By building his paywall around Times Newspapers, he has said that he has no new ideas to build advertising." Surely, it is good for newspapers to explore new business models and they should be encouraged. I've long been an advocate of what I call a "Heinz 57" business model for newspapers. Their future will be defined by how well their publishers can manage multiple revenue streams from a range of sources from advertising to virtual currencies.Please see: The "Heinz 57" Media Business Model - SVWTim Gentry, head of optimization and effectiveness at the Guardian:"It's all about working out what's right for different businesses. There isn't one right and one wrong path, the fact we are committed to keeping our main site free doesn't mean we don't charge for some digital features."David Mitchell's recent column:Rupert Murdoch...[Read Full Article]

Saturday Post: The Beatnik To Blogger Connection...
It's interesting that blogging started off in the San Francisco area because here, there is a long tradition of new forms of writing. I've long been fascinated with the literature of the Beatniks -- a word coined by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen in 1958. Here are a few of my prior posts exploring the Beatnik to blogger connection. For a long while I've felt a strong connection between the culture of the Beat generation and the Blogging generation. Both celebrate a raw and passionate expression, and a use of language that is both novel and designed to snag the reader's social sensibilities. Both communities found themselves at the forefront of major changes in their societies. And both took advantage of a lapse in the controls that societies usually place on publishing outsider ideas. In October 1955 Allen Ginsberg performed his "Howl" poem for the first time in public at the "6poets at 6 Gallery" in San Francisco. The performance was in a dilapidated storefront on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. Yet this small event had a huge effect on the entire country. It eventually led to a show trial on obscenity charges and propelled a small writers colony, dubbed "Beatniks" by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen, into media superstars. This period of the late 1950s was a tumultuous one because of the escalating Cold War. Although the Beatnik writers had begun developing their ideas and their works in the late 1940s, it was now that their seed fell on fertile ground. Their message of rebellion and a world gone mad was now easily understood and the mechanisms of mass media enabled it wide distribution.The Beatniks were mostly white middle and upper class kids and completely out of odds with the confined culture that limited nearly all forms of artistic...[Read Full Article]

The Lack Of Tech IPOs Is Holding Back Job Expansion Says Leading VC
Robert Ackerman, a leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist and founder of Allegis Capital, says that tech IPOs will remain scarce and that this will curtail job creation in the US.A continued scarcity of tech IPOs means that the Obama Administration won't be able to count on Silicon Valley startups to help spark a job boom and help alleviate tough economic conditions for millions of unemployed.Mr. Ackerman told SVW, "These days, tech startups have to rely on being acquired by a larger company once they reach a certain size because there isn't an IPO market to help them recapitalize and grow to the next stage. The largest expansion in jobs for a young company comes in the period after an IPO. If a company is acquired it doesn't lead to the same job growth."But tech IPOs are unlikely to return to their former high levels because the infrastructure that supported and financed them has changed.There used to be many boutique investment brokerages that had analysts following companies and sectors. After the dotcom bust many of those boutique brokerages disappeared or were acquired and now there is a massive shortage of analyst coverage. Without analyst coverage there is little liquidity in the trading of shares of small companies, and this discourages larger investors.Mr. Ackerman said, "In 2007 we sold IronPort to Cisco for $830 million. This is a company that could have easily gone public but we chose to sell it. The lack of analyst coverage was a large factor in that decision."Sarbanes-Oxely is another issue. Young companies have to bear the very large costs of compliance, reducing their earnings, which makes them look less appealing to investors.And there are significant challenges in attracting investors in startups because of tax policies.Mr. Ackerman has spent a lot of time in Washington, D.C. meeting...[Read Full Article]

Social Media Marketing 2010: Thursday - I'll Be There...
Social Media Marketing 2010 conference is normally a UK event but this year it is in San Francisco, tomorrow (Thursday) at Hotel Nikko. More details here.I'll be on this panel:Insider Look: How Tech Writers Cover Social MediaPanelists: Jon Swartz - USA Today, David Gelles - Financial Times, Tom Foremski - Silicon Valley WatcherTechnology writers have become some of the most respected authorities in social media. Their media coverage has dramatically influenced the way we both consume and create media. Take a peek behind their lens and hear it directly from the tech press: How and why do they cover social media stories? What impacts do their musings have? How do they manage flare-ups, shake downs, and accusations? What can non-professionals such as casual bloggers learn from tech writers?There are lots more panels such as:The Press Talks: How to get PR for your StartupPanelists: Kym McNicholas - Forbes, Ben Parr - Mashable, Joe Vazquez - CBS 5, Sarah Austin - Pop17One of the biggest challenges for startups is getting noticed by their target audiences, and on a limited budget. Before startups can successfully compete for the attention of major press outlets and blogs, however, they can follow guidelines to ensure their "news" is newsworthy, and understand how to talk to the press. Hear tips from some of social media's biggest voices: members of the press who get pitched on stories hundreds of times per day. If there was ever an unwritten manual on how to get PR for your startup, this panel would be it.How to Build Communities for Brands Panelists: Chris Heuer - Social Media Club, Richard Jalichandra - Technorati, Lawrence Coburn - RateItAll and DoubleDutch, Vinnie Lauria - Lefora and SV NewTech MeetupSocial networks and blogs offer new opportunities to activate brand enthusiasm for places, services, products, and experiences....[Read Full Article]

Oriella Survey: Journalists Are Working Harder, Better, Faster, Longer
The Oriella PR network concluded its third annual survey of journalists. This year the survey was expanded beyond Western Europe to Eastern Europe, the US and Brazil. More than 770 journalists in 21 countries responded. Here are some key findings:- Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) to this year’s study said they are expected to produce more content than before.- One in three (30 percent) are working longer hours.- Nearly half (46 percent) said their work has improved as a result of digital and social media – an increase from 39 percent in 2009.- Just 17 percent said their job satisfaction had declined as a result.Many have concerns over the economic effects on their profession:- Forty percent of the respondents expect advertising revenues to fall by more than a tenth.- Over half of the respondents expressed the belief that their publications’ current offline formats may fold at some point in the future (2009 figure: 32 percent).- 40 percent – and more than half of those polled in the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Brazil and Eastern Europe - believed that the transition to new media would create new opportunities.Their employers are looking for new forms of revenue:- growing numbers of publications are researching, or have implemented paid-content strategies. Nearly one respondent in four (22 percent) said their publication is researching or has launched smart phone apps in order to deliver paid-content to mobile users.- 16 percent are researching paid-content for iPads and e-readers. -Twenty-five percent said their publication is considering flat-rate subscriptions and nearly a third (30 percent) only offer online content to existing print subscribers.- Fewer than 15 percent of the journalists surveyed said their publications support no social or digital media at all – down from nearly a quarter two years ago. - Adoption of blogs and Twitter...[Read Full Article]

OPENapps: Apps For Millions Of Websites...
Apps developers are rushing to mobile en masse yet there is another large market, says Joseph Puopolo, director of marketing at OPENapps, and it's web site applications."Web site owners need apps for all sorts of functions, such as ticketing, etc. We are offering a marketplace for such apps and a platform that allows those apps to be used on all types of web sites without requiring special plugins."OPENapps moves beyond the "widget" concept in that it uses a site's CSS styling to automatically integrate into the site, and it pulls the application layer from the app host. This means that all upgrades, at the app developer, and at the web site are automatically reflected on the web site.OPENapps handles all the billing and distribution and takes a 30% commission."For small developers we handle the marketing and distribution which is a big help, while larger companies can use us to help grow their business without much extra work," says Mr. Puopolo. ANother advantage is that unlike Apple's AppStore, developers can earn recurring revenues.The Toronto-based company has 6 apps to demonstrate the concept and says it is in talks with more than 100 developers to add more apps over the coming months. It has a goal of at least 1,000 high quality apps this year....[Read Full Article]

Are Silicon Valley High Fliers Sucking Up All The Talent?
Google, Facebook, Twitter, even Yahoo are all hiring at a rapid rate. The following chart form Indeed shows a hockey stick hiring binge. Are they making it difficult for thousands of Silicon Valley startups to find the engineers and other talent they need to grow? Let me know: foremski at google, facebook, twitter, Job Trends Google jobs - Facebook jobs - Twitter jobs - jobs...[Read Full Article]

Tech Business Opportunities In Poland - Tonight In Palo Alto
A trade mission from the Gdansk region of Poland, birthplace of Solidarity (and the end of the Cold War), will be in Palo Alto this evening. It will feature five Polish tech companies."Come and meet with Polish technology companies and entrepreneurs, winners of a European Union-funded business and technology innovation program, representatives from the the City of Gdansk, InvestGDA, and Pomeranian Special Economic Zone, to learn more about this exciting region in northern Poland and get familiar with Poland's vibrant economy, get familiar with Poland's vibrant economy, the only one among the EU countries that grew in 2009.""Panelists will present the opportunities for the Polish - American cooperation, Polish achievements in IT sector, and will share experience from already existing cooperation." Featured companies: AZO Digital Sp. z.o.oGZT Telkom Telmor Sp. z.o.oFido Intelligence Sp. z.o.oMaster Telecom Inc.Speednet Sp. z.o.oThe event is hosted at:Trader Vic's and Dinah's Garden Hotel4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CABeginning at 6:00pm on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010.Email: [email protected] IT Trade Mission to Silicon ValleyThe event is co-organized with the Eurocal Group. Eurocal Group LLC provides comprehensive business services to European technology companies, entrepreneurs and investors establishing a presence in Silicon Valley, California.Why Gdansk Metropolitan Area? - investGDA - invest in GdanskEurope's top educational system and nearly 100 thousand studentsStrategic geographic position on the expanding markets of whole Europe and RussiaPopulation in GMA amounts to 1,3 m people where every second young citizen is a studentModern technological clusters have been formed in GMACosts of running business in GMA are a few times lower than in LondonGMA shows close cultural affinity with Western European business systemGMA is the best place in Poland to live and restProfessional Consulting Service - Real One Stop Shop for the foreign investors offered by investGDA...[Read Full Article]

The Telcos Hate Silicon Valley (And San Francisco)
I first came to San Francisco/Silicon Valley in 1984 and over the years I've marveled at how behind the times this high tech region of the world truly is when it comes to broadband access and cell phone networks.You would think that the world's capital of high tech would be well served with great broadband and also great cell phone connectivity. Yet it's not.The same cell phone black spots are still in the same spots year after year; we have the same lack of broadband access in most areas of the Silicon Valley region.And even though there are many vocal complainers nothing much changes. For example, because there are now so many iPhone users in this region you get to see a lot of chatter and complaints about AT&T's network. Yet AT&T could avoid all this negative publicity if it simply invested more in its network here, and elsewhere such as New York and LA, where the chattering classes of the digerati Tweet and blog.A relative small investment in key regions and much of AT&Ts negative publicity would pretty much disappear, even if the problems were shifted to other parts of AT&T's network. The digerati don't really care about the the middle states, for instance, AT&T could pull some money from there and invest it in the places where people have the loudest complaints - here. But it doesn't.For years people living in Silicon Valley have complained about the lack of broadband, and how they can't get decent cell phone coverage in their homes, or have to stand in the street to get a signal.This all has to be deliberate - how else to explain ignoring such an influential region. There has to be a systematic policy by the Telcos to make sure that Silicon Valley has some of the...[Read Full Article]

IMHO: We Are Becoming Nomadig...
Mobile, fragmented, and unrooted. These days our culture is becoming more mobile because we are more mobile. We have a vast torrent of mobile digital devices and the infrastructure to allow us to be on the move constantly, to become more nomadic. We are no longer tied to the desktop PC, nor to the laptop; and we can have access to our digital lives from nearly any device anywhere, anytime and anyplace. Anything with a browser and an Internet connection allows us to access our applications and our files, and our networks of colleagues, friends and families. We are becoming digitally enabled mobile/nomadic peoples. Airliners will fly the equivalent of the entire population of the earth in the next three years. We are also more mobile in our thinking, more able to spot the obstacles to progress that regional based gender, ethnic, and economic divisions create. Is this a return to our nomadic roots? The first humans lived as nomads for more than 100,000 years, that's how humans spread and colonized new regions, moved across glacial wastelands, and found passes through massive mountain ranges. Papa was a rolling stone, wherever he laid his hat was his home; and papa before him, and on, and on, into our common ancestry. It's in our blood. We seem to be going back to our roots and becoming nomadic peoples again -- or maybe it's "nomadig" people: nomads living in digitally enabled groups. We are no longer tied to a specific geography, and nor is our thinking. We can easily pull up and move from the West coast to the East coast or anywhere else. And we can easily collaborate in teams across huge geographies and multiple time zones. We often travel thousands of miles in the course of a month, a week, even...[Read Full Article]

Saturday Post: The West Coast Corridor: 1400 Miles Of Innovation - Disruptive Creation On The Fault Line
California has by far the largest number of tech workers. According to TechAmerica Foundation's Cyberstates 2010 report, it has 993,000 tech workers, and its largest center is Silicon Valley. But it's not just Silicon Valley that impresses me. If you fly north along the West Coast starting at San Diego, take a look at what you'll be flying over: - San Diego, with its large communications, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. This is where Qualcomm is based, the world leader in mobile communications technologies. - Orange County has a very large number of electronics companies. This is where Broadcom, one of the largest chip companies is based. - Hollywood with its massive entertainment businesses, all incredibly creative and innovative (3-D movies, animation, etc). - Santa Monica, where the entertainment industry and technology combine to produce leading online media ventures. This is where Yahoo, AOL, and many others have large centers. - Silicon Valley and San Francisco, with its huge number of tech, biotech, clean tech companies. - Portland, Oregon, a rapidly expanding tech community anchored by Intel, which is larger here than its HQ in Silicon Valley. - Seattle, Washington, with Microsoft and all the other tech companies and aerospace. - Vancouver, British Columbia, and its large software and graphics technology companies. From San Diego to Vancouver, you'll be flying along a narrow corridor 1400 miles long, packed with some of the world's most innovative and creative communities. I can't think of any other region anywhere in the world that is crammed with so many incredibly successful companies, generating so many ground-breaking technologies, decade after decade... But that's not all...This West Coast Corridor of innovation, is sitting on top of one of the most unstable fault lines in the world. It's the western edge of the North American Plate, part of...[Read Full Article]

SDForum: My FastPencil Book - "In My Humble Opinion"
The SDForum Awards marked the launch of my first book: "In My Humble Opinion - Notes From A Silicon Valley Watcher." Here is Susan Lucas-Conwell, CEO of SDForum, (and its heart and soul) introducing my book!The book was commissioned by, a fast growing online book publisher in Silicon Valley, which has some great social media collaboration tools. I'd like to thank Steve Wilson, CEO of FastPencil, and Ms. Lucas-Conwell from SDForum, for their generous support, and especially: Seana Norvell from FastPencil, whose patient persistence made this project a reality.In My Humble OpinionI'll be publishing extracts from the book next week....[Read Full Article]

SDForum Awards Part 5: Arthur C. Patterson, Accel Partners
Ram Varadarajan from Arcot Systems introduces Arthur Patterson, one of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists.Coming up: I launch my first book "In My Humble Opinion - Notes From A Silicon Valley Watcher" at SDForum!SDForum Visionary Awards Part 1 - Dutch ConsulSDForum Awards Part 2: Reid Hoffman And Creating Sustainable Social EnterprisesSDForum Awards Part 3 - Chris Shipley, CEO Guidewire GroupSDForum Awards Part 4: Brent Schlender, Exec Dir Techonomy...[Read Full Article]

SDForum Awards Part 4: Brent Schlender, Exec Dir Techonomy
Brent Schlender, a former journalist, was introduced by Bill Gates and Dan'l Lewin at the SDForum Visionary Awards. Mr Schlender spoke about the unique attributes of Silicon Valley pioneers.Coming up: Arthur C. Patterson - Accel Partners.SDForum Visionary Awards Part 1 - Dutch Consul SDForum Awards Part 2: Reid Hoffman And Creating Sustainable Social Enterprises SDForum Awards Part 3 - Chris Shipley, CEO Guidewire Group...[Read Full Article]

SDForum Awards Part 3 - Chris Shipley, CEO Guidewire Group
Wendy Lea from Get Satisfaction, introduces Chris Shipley, CEO of Guidewire Group. Ms. Shipley is very humble and says she is so short-sighted that it's ironic that she is a Visionary Award winner :)Coming up: Arthur C. Patterson - Accel Partners; Brent Schlender, Executive Director Techonomy.SDForum Visionary Awards Part 1 - Dutch ConsulSDForum Awards Part 2: Reid Hoffman And Creating Sustainable Social Enterprises...[Read Full Article]

SDForum Awards Part 2: Reid Hoffman And Creating Sustainable Social Enterprises
The introductions at this year's SDForum Awards were so over the top with long lists of incredible virtues that I fully expected Mahatma Ghandi or St. Francis of Assisi to mount the podium and collect an award. I preferred the traditional SDForum approach of a gentle roasting of the award winner.Here is Reid Hoffman talking about a subject dear to my heart, creating sustainable social enterprises. It's not a "non-profit" approach but what Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace prize winner, would call a "not-for-loss" venture.Coming up: Arthur C. Patterson - Accel Partners; Chris Shipley, CEO Guidewire Group; Brent Schlender, Executive Director Techonomy.SDForum Visionary Awards Part 1 - Dutch Consul...[Read Full Article]

SDForum Visionary Awards Part 1 - Dutch Consul
(In the front row Michael Arrington next to past Visionary Award winner Steve Kirsh.)I was at the excellent SDForum 2010 Visionary Awards Thursday evening, at Stonebrook Court, the palatial mock-Tudor home of Kelly Porter.I was very excitied because I was sitting right behind Doug Engelbart, one of Silicon Valley's legends. [Please see: What if Buckminster Fuller were still alive and looking for funding? I'm still in shock at Silicon Valley's blindness regarding Doug Engelbart - SVW]The evening started with a short address by Bart van Bolhuis, General Consul of Holland, which has established an incubator in Silicon Valley with the SDForum.Coming up: Reid Hoffman - LinkedIn Co-Founder; Arthur C. Patterson - Accel Partners; Chris Shipley, CEO Guidewire Group; Brent Schlender, Executive Director Techonomy....[Read Full Article]

SDForum Visionary Awards 2010 - Reid Hoffman, Arthur Patterson, Brent Schlender and Chris Shipley
I'm looking forward to the SDForum Visionary Awards this evening.This year's winners will be joining past awards winners that include: John Chambers, Vint Cerf, Jim Clark, Judy Estrin, Bill Gates, Reed Hastings, Vinod Khosla, Michael Moritz and Walt Mossberg.This year's winners are:Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn and Partner at Greylock Partners Reid Hoffman is executive chairman and a co-founder of LinkedIn. Mr. Hoffman joined Greylock Partners as a partner in 2009. Prior to Greylock, Mr. Hoffman invested in many significant companies including Facebook, Zynga, SixApart, Flickr,, Ning, Ironport and Digg. He is a director of a variety of Silicon Valley businesses and non-profits, including Mozilla, Shopkick, Six Apart, and Zynga. Prior to LinkedIn, Mr. Hoffman was Executive Vice President of PayPal. Arthur Patterson, Co-Founder Accel Partners Arthur Patterson enjoys working with start-up entrepreneurial teams in Software and Services. As the lead investor he has helped management teams develop their companies into market defining leaders. IPO's of such companies include: Actuate; MetroPCS; Portal Software; UUnet/MCI-WorldCom; and Veritas. He is currently on the Boards of several private companies including: Aptana; Arcot Systems; Centrify; Coremetrics; Integral Development; Iron Planet; NewlineNoosh; NextG. Recent private exits include: Counterpane sold to BT; Rapt sold to Microsoft; and Savi Technology sold to Lockheed Martin. Prior to co-founding Accel Partners, Mr. Patterson was General Partner of Adler & Company. He started in venture capital at Citicorp Venture Capital. Previously, Arthur worked in Washington for the International office of the U.S. Treasury Department - International Monetary, Trade and Development Policy.Brent Schlender, Executive-Director, Co-Founder Techonomy Brent Schlender is co-founder of Techonomy, a site that explores technology's relationship to the economy and celebrates innovative individuals and technological advances. Mr. Schlender has written extensively about high-tech industries, business strategy, management and leadership. He spent many years as...[Read Full Article]

Bill Gates' Nightmare: Web Apps That Perform As Well As Native Apps...
(MSFT executives preview Internet Explorer 9 in San Francisco while Gabe Rivera from Techmeme watches.)Microsoft previewed Internet Explorer 9 this morning, which has strong support for HTML5 and makes use of hardware acceleration to dramatically improve the performance of video and animation.Microsoft executives said that web browsers normally only use about 10% of the power of a computer. “We want to make the other 90% available to web applications so that they have the same performance as native applications,” said a Microsoft representative.The demos showed very high performance of the latest version of Internet Explorer compared with Firefox and Chrome because of the hardware APIs that make use of graphics co-processors in the system. A Microsoft representative said that this approach can dramatically speed up the web browser performance of low-end netbooks and other systems because the technique makes use of graphics co-processors instead of software based decoding of video and graphics.Future Firefox and Chrome will also be able to make use of the hardware APIs. What was especially interesting was that Microsoft is trying to provide web applications with the same performance as native applications. This is exactly the nightmare scenario that Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, feared would happen, that the web browser could substitute for the operating system, and that's why he aggressively went after Netscape Communications in the 1990s, resulting in an anti-trust conviction against Microsoft.Although Microsoft is still making use of its Windows operating system combined with IE9, it potentially separates the browser from the underlying platform. This could enable non-Microsoft operating systems and non-Intel compatible hardware platforms to run high performance web applications at native speeds. It’s unclear if Microsoft intends to move in that direction but it has certainly opened a Pandora’s Box with its support for graphics hardware accelerated web browsers. Nathan...[Read Full Article]

Google Dislikes Marketing And PR - Which Is Why Its New Services Fail
Google has had a long string of failures. It encourages its engineers to spend 20% of their time developing side projects but when those projects reach launch stage, their take-off is nearly always very disappointing.Take a look at some of Google's failures.Colin Gibbs reporting on GigaOM:Google Lively was a web-based virtual environment that allowed as many as 20 people to sit in a virtual room and chat with each other. The offering debuted in July 2008 only to have Google pull the plug a mere four months later.Google Print Ads was dropped earlier this year after the company's vision of bringing web-like automation to the world of traditional media failed to materialize. The effort went belly-up just three weeks before the death of Google Audio Ads, which ended a three-year run in February after the company failed to gain traction in the radio ad game.Google Answers spent a year in beta before a full-blown launch in May 2003, but the effort to create a fee-based knowledge market never gained much traction outside a small base of users and the service was dropped in late 2006.The social networking site Orkut launched early in 2004 as an independent project of noted Google developer Orkut Büyükkökten and has caught fire in Brazil, a market that accounts for roughly 50 percent of its membership. The site reportedly claims roughly 100 million users, which is impressive, but Google can't be happy that its effort is virtually unknown in Europe and North America while Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and others have gained such impressive traction.Google Catalog Search debuted in 2001 as a way for consumers to go online to check out their favorite print catalogs that had been scanned and uploaded. Of course, retailers were already taking their inventories online themselves, and the effort was put to...[Read Full Article]

IBM Study: Millennials And The New Corporate Leaders - Social Responsibility Is Essential
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a former senior executive at IBM, responsible for strategy, reports on two recent studies: 1500 face-to-face interviews with CEOs: 2010 Global CEO Study; and 3,600 mostly 20 to 25 year old undergraduates and graduates in 40 countries: Inheriting a Complex World: Future Leaders Envision Sharing the Planet.The students were asked many of the same questions as the CEOs. This made it easier to look for commonalities and differences between these two generations - one at the top of their careers, the other about to start out on theirs.The students are from a much different world than the CEOs.These students have no nostalgia for a simpler era, because they never knew one. They grew up in a complex world. They intuitively understand the tenets of globalization.. . .More than 90 percent of the students we surveyed were born after 1980, so for them, games, music, mail and data have almost always been digital. They came of age in a world of interconnections, even hyperconnections.. . .They understand implicitly and intuitively that economies, societies, governments and organizations are made up of interconnecting networks. Once viewed as discrete and independent, it is clear now that these spheres - both manmade and natural - connect in a myriad of ways. We may not have even needed to define complexity: they seemed so familiar with the term for an interconnected, multifaceted environment."There were some similarities between the responses of both groups:"Overall, creativity was the leadership quality most frequently selected by both groups. Students and CEOs alike viewed creative leadership in terms of disrupting the status quo and taking bold rather than incremental steps.But there were also strong differences...... that were entirely consistent with students' values about sharing the earth. Among the nine leadership traits CEOs and students could choose from, students placed a...[Read Full Article]

Women Are In Control - HerWay.Com Dating Site
This strikes me as a very good idea, an online dating site where the women are in control: to HerWay, it is at least five times more likely that online daters will successfully connect when a woman initiates contact. By letting women make the initial connection with their potential suitors, HerWay creates an environment where women's intuition rules and connections therefore have a much better chance of turning into love. This concept is mutually beneficial as it also relieves men of the pressure of having to compete for a woman's attention, allowing them to sit back and let the ladies come to them.For the men, they are offered tips on how to make themselves more appealing to women, how to behave on dates, and personal hygiene tips (OK, I added that one :)Since men love statistics, the site offers "detailed profile performance reports that illustrate how their profile success rates stack up as compared to other men on the site."Here's how it works:The HerWay registration process takes less than a minute as users build full profiles and post pictures of themselves. Once their profile is built, female users can search the entire database of male profiles on the site and are encouraged to send free invitations to connect with men they find appealing. A woman's profile is only revealed to the man of her choosing after she has shown interest in him with a connection invitation. Once the connection is established, the male user can view, flirt and message his[Read Full Article]

Tech Firms Choosing San Francisco Over Palo Alto
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that tech firms have become a chief driver for office space in San Francisco.Tech firms making S.F. new homeMany of the tenants are swelling homegrown businesses like Twitter, while others are relocating from Silicon Valley or outside the Bay Area. As of June 15, 83 technology companies were in the market, seeking 1.5 million square feet of space, up 51 percent since the financial crash in fall 2008, according to brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which regularly tracks the market.Zynga, the social gaming company, is one of the largest companies looking for San Francisco office space, as much as 300,000 square feet. Twitter has expanded six times and is looking for about another 100,000 square feet.The lure is low prices and engineering talent.South of Market rents that are about half of Palo Alto's right now, the desire to cluster near success stories like Zynga and Twitter and the broader shift to the Web 2.0 world....When David Sacks, chief executive of Yammer, asked his developers whether they should relocate the microblogging service for businesses to Palo Alto or San Francisco, the latter won hands down. This represents a distinct shift from a decade earlier when he was chief operating officer of PayPal in Palo Alto. "There's a lot more engineering talent living in San Francisco now," he said. "The balance of power may have shifted."...[Read Full Article]

Carly Fiorina's Husband Is Not Pleased To See You...
Carly Fiorina's husband has been carrying a concealed weopon since 2000. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:Records show her 60-year-old husband, Frank Fiorina, who occasionally doubles as her bodyguard, has carried a concealed-weapon permit since her days as CEO of Hewlett-PackardHis gun of choice is a Glock 9mm pistol. But he is also allowed to double up:In his request for 2008 - the last one immediately available for inspection - he requested permission to carry a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver as well as the Glock. By then Carly Fiorina was gone from HP, but her husband cited her work as a member of the advisory boards to the CIA, Defense Department and State Department, as well as her position in John McCain's presidential campaign....[Read Full Article]

Brazil Diary Conclusion - From Sao Paulo To Rio...
View from Cesar Park hotel, Ipanema, Rio de Janiero.(I'm back from Brazil and finishing up with some observations and conversations from my recent trip visiting with Brazilian IT companies.)Brazil, like many developing countries, has a First World country attached to a poor country. Brazilian IT is very sophisticated and world class. We attended a very large trade show focused on banking technology services. It looked the same as any trade show in the US.After Sao Paulo, we took the evening flight to Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilians in our group were perking up visibly as we took the coach from the airport to our hotel. The Brazilians love Rio, one of them explained that it's the equivalent of Miami, a place where people work hard so that they can play hard.We couldn't see much of Rio because it was night but you could hear thump and the swoosh of the surf from the beach (Ipanema) across the street from our hotel.I had a great conversation at diner with from John Dohm, VP with True Religion. It turns out he was an early collaborator with Ray Kurzweil on his first book about the Singularity (please see: Is "The Singularity" The Elite Geeks' Version Of "The Rapture"?) But isn't much of a supporter anymore.The next day we met with government officials and heard about the many financial and tax incentives given to companies that invest in the state of Rio de Janeiro. We also heard about Brazil's thriving economy, the eighth largest and growing 4 to 5% a year; it's on track to become the fifth largest economy in the world by 2014 when it hosts the World Cup, (pushing out Italy).- That evening we celebrated the end of the trip with a short cruise around the bay. When the samba band...[Read Full Article]

Killer Marketing: Spirited Vigil Outside Apple Store SF
I popped down to the vigil for the dead Foxconn workers outside the Apple store in San Francisco Thursday evening, organized by the Chinese Progressive Association. Chris Knight from Cohn & Wolfe came with me and snapped some pictures (above and the next one.)There were about 50 people, a lot of high school kids, taking part in the demonstration and handing out leaflets that urged people to email [email protected] (using an iPad in the store!). The leaflet asked that Apple work with Foxconn to adopt more humane production schedules; to facilitate the formation of a trade union; and improve overall working conditions.The message was to tell Apple "you expect better." Or, as I like to put it, Apple should "Think Different - Think Fair."Please see: "Think Fair" A Potential Apple Follow Up to "Think Different"Analysis: Here's How Apple Could Become The First Fair Trade Tech CompanyFoxconn Suicides: Is It Time For "Fair Trade" Electronics? Would You Buy A "Fair Trade" iPhone?...[Read Full Article]

Loren Feldman - East Coast Critic Of Tech Media Worth Following
I’m a big fan of Loren Feldman and his 1938Media site because he calls the Emperor's new clothes more often than anyone I know.He is not everyone’s cup of tea but there are many people that support his views but can’t come out publicly because of their position in PR, or within tech companies, where support for Loren could be used against them, and has been used against them. Merely retweeting someone else retweeting a Loren post has gotten at least one person I know into trouble.He also has a hilarious sock puppet show series that spoofs many well known personalities. Puppets Dave Winer Julia Allison Larry and Sergey Loic Mark Zuckerberg Mike Arrington Pete Cashmore Salaam E. Baloney Scoble Shel Steve Ballmer Waltr Kronkyte Loren is part entertainer, part astute commentator, especially on the West Coast tech scene, and the publications that cover them. He has been critical of Michael Arrington, the publisher of Techcrunch many times, and also of “Business Insider” the New York city based publication edited by Henry Blodget, the infamous Merril Lynch analyst; a superstar analyst of the dotcom boom years but now barred from the securities industry.Here is Loren Feldman’s latest post critical of Business Insider and Henry Blodget. I recommend you follow him on Twitter:[Read Full Article]

You Have To Be Joking... Steve Case Ridicules AOL's $850m Bebo Buy
I couldn’t believe this: Steve Case, the former head of AOL Tweeted:“AOL buying Bebo for $850 million and then selling 2 years later for $10 million doesn’t seem like a winning strategy.”Is this a (Steve) case of a pot calling the kettle black?The merger of AOL and Time Warner is one of the greatest failures in M&A history.New York Times May 2009:When the merger was announced in 2000, the two companies had a combined market value of more than $300 billion. By the time the deal was consummated in 2001, with Internet stocks plunging and recession taking hold, that had fallen more than $100 billion. Today, the combined market capitalization of Time Warner and the new Time Warner Cable is less than $40 billion. Steve Case has a nerve criticizing the Bebo buy…AOL/Time Warner went from $300bn to $40bn. Today Time Warner is worth $19.7bn and AOL is $2.4bn. Combined worth is $22.1bn. Wow. That’s a far, far, bigger loss than Bebo.Steve Case initiated the Time Warner deal. And it was a great deal for AOL and for him. He walked away with a lot of money. You would think with such a disaster on his resume, Mr. Case would refrain from commenting on the AOL/Bebo deal. Clearly, Mr Case’s hubris distances him from AOL’s subsequent adventures. Company culture is set by its leaders, imho....[Read Full Article]

The Wrong Kind Of Killer Marketing: SF Vigil For Dead iPad Workers Thursday Eve At Apple Store
Thursday June 17, at 5.45pm to 7.00 pm there will be a vigil at Apple's very first Apple Store, 1 Stockton Street (@ Market Street) to remember the dead workers at Foxconn, Apple's supplier of iPads and iPhones.There will be a photo opportunity: "Protestors will have candles and have life size "Deathpads" with workers profile and campaign information."It's interesting to note that the Apple Store is just a few blocks from San Francisco's Chinatown.San Francisco Community Vigil in Solidarity with Foxconn WorkersApple Computer's "DeathPad" Targeted for Inhumane Production DemandsSan Francisco, CA - Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) is organizing a San Francisco vigil for Chinese workers at Foxconn, the Apple manufacturer where there has been a surge of worker deaths. In the last few months, 13 young migrant workers have attempted suicide, 10 workers have died while 3 remain in critical condition. A worker also died of extreme exhaustion after working a 34 hour shift. Apple computer's "Deathpad" has brought huge profits to Apple at the expense of workers lives. Chinese Progressive Association calls on Apple and Foxconn to take responsibility for the workers and to find real solutions to the extreme pressure and deplorable working conditions in the factory. We urge Apple to work with Foxconn and ensure that workers are being treated fairly.Chinese Progressive Association OUR MISSIONThe Chinese Progressive Association educates and organizes the low income and working class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to build collective power with other oppressed communities to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people.Please see:"Think Fair" A Potential Apple Follow Up to "Think Different"Analysis: Here's How Apple Could Become The First Fair Trade Tech CompanyFoxconn Suicides: Is It Time For "Fair Trade" Electronics? Would You Buy A "Fair Trade" iPhone?...[Read Full Article]

Iceland Hasn't The Bandwidth To Site Large Media Servers
Iceland's parliament has unanimously agreed to pass the strongest media freedom laws called the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative.Nieman Journalism Lab reports:But although the legislative package sounds very encouraging from a freedom of expression point of view, it's not clear what the practical benefits will be to organizations outside Iceland. In his analysis of the proposal, Arthur Bright of the Citizen Media Law Project has noted that, in one major test case of cross-border online libel law, "publication" was deemed to occur at the point of download -- meaning that serving a controversial page from Iceland won't keep you from getting sued in other countries. But if nothing else, it would probably prevent your servers from being forcibly shut down.Placing your media servers in Iceland would be good for the environment. All of Iceland's electric power comes from hydro-electric and geothermal power plants. And it's location mid-way between Europe and North American would help deliver media to large numbers of consumers.One big problem however, is that Iceland doesn't have the bandwidth.From Invest in Iceland.Telecommunication traffic is channelled through submarine fibre-optic cables: Farice 1 and CANTAT 3. Farice runs at 20 Gb/s and has an ultimate transmission capacity of 720 Gb/s. CANTAT 3 has a nominal capacity of 5 Gb/s in each direction, with 2.5 Gb/s to spare.New lines are planned but because of Iceand's financial ruin, there is no guarantee when that will happen.If the world's publishers tried to locate their media servers in Iceland to protect against lawsuits they would quickly overwhelm the country's bandwidth.- - -Please see:Could Troubled Iceland Find A Silver Lining In Cloud Computing?Iceland's geo hotspots could power GOOG server farms...[Read Full Article]

ComScore: NYTimes 31% More Readers Of Nearest Online Newspaper
ComScore's latest report on audience for online newspapers shows:- More than 123 million Americans visited newspaper sites in May, representing 57 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience.- New York Times has a huge lead with more than 32 million visitors and 719 million pages. - Tribune Newspapers ranked second in terms of audience with 24.8 million visitors.______________________________________________________________________________ Top Newspaper Groups May 2010 Total U.S. - Home & Work Locations Source: comScore Media Metrix ______________________________________________________________________________ Total Unique Total Pages Average Pages Visitors Viewed per Visitor (000) (MM) Total Internet : Total Audience 215,691 592,519 2,747 Newspapers 123,897 5,339 43 The New York Times Brand 32,530 719 22 Tribune Newspapers 24,753 359 14 Advance Internet 18,053 326 18 USA Today Sites 16,771 154 9 16,677 178 11 McClatchy Corporation 13,987 216 15 MediaNews Group 13,362 141 11 12,502 122 10 Hearst Newspapers 12,017 195 16 Wall Street Journal Online 11,325 115 10 ______________________________________________________________________________ Foremski's Take: These results show high demand for news but the frustration for newspaper companies is that high reader numbers don't translate into revenues that can support their business of news gathering. This is the paradox of the newspaper business because high readership used to translate into higher revenues.Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president, said:"The issue is not attracting the eyeballs, but rather demonstrating the true value of those eyeballs to advertisers. As advertising rates for digital move closer into line with those of traditional media, the economics of the news business should begin to look a lot more promising."However, advertising rates as a whole are not moving "closer into line with those of traditional media." Advertising rates are falling, they are moving more into line with the least expensive online rates. That's the key problem for newspapers because as they transition to a digital business...[Read Full Article]

Is "The Singularity" The Elite Geeks' Version Of "The Rapture"?
The Singularity is a belief that our technology will inevitably collide with our biology, and that this will give us mastery over our mortality. We will be able to cure diseases, stop our aging, and also control our senses with augmented created experiences. The resolution of those augmented experiences would be indistinguishable from the natural world. We will be able to create a reality that is indistinguishable from our "natural" reality. We will be able to choose the "matrix" as Hollywood knows it (Singularitans hate that term). . . . Ashlee Vance in the The New York Times wrote an interesting report today on The Singularity Movement: In the Singularity Movement, Humans Are So Yesterday - NYTimes.comThe article points to how much support there is from Google founders and others, such as top investor Peter Thiel. "Some of Silicon Valley's smartest and wealthiest people have embraced the Singularity. They believe that technology may be the only way to solve the world's ills, while also allowing people to seize control of the evolutionary process. For those who haven't noticed, the Valley's most-celebrated company -- Google -- works daily on building a giant brain that harnesses the thinking power of humans in order to surpass the thinking power of humans. ""Larry Page, Google's other co-founder, helped set up Singularity University in 2008, and the company has supported it with more than $250,000 in donations. Some of Google's earliest employees are, thanks to personal donations of $100,000 each, among the university's "founding circle." (Mr. Page did not respond to interview requests.) ". . ."We will transcend all of the limitations of our biology," says Raymond Kurzweil, the inventor and businessman who is the Singularity's most ubiquitous spokesman and boasts that he intends to live for hundreds of years and resurrect the dead, including...[Read Full Article]

Global IT Outsourcing: Here Is How Brazil Can Differentiate Itself
I'm enjoying meeting Brazilian IT services companies and various IT associations as part of my trip this week to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian IT sector is very sophisticated and it wants its share of the global outsourcing pie -- the same pie that India and China enjoy.This morning we heard presentations from several very senior government officials from the state of Rio de Janeiro. The overall message was that Rio de Janeiro has 8 out of ten of the country's top science and technology schools; it produces 14,000 PH.d graduates a year; it has expertise in BPO and call centers; there are science and technology business parks; there is government financing, R&D credits, etc.It's very much the same message that every other place around the world is using in their efforts to attract IT services business. But when there are so many regions around the world now offering pretty much the same things, how do you distinguish yourself? That was one of the questions put to the Brazilian officials and they didn't have a good answer.Antonio Gill, president of Brasscom, the Brazilian IT industry association, finished up the meeting by saying that there is a lot more work that needs to be done in getting the message out to the world that Brazil has a sophisticated IT services sector that is the equal of India or China."We are not very good at marketing," he lamented.As he finished, the curtains in the conference room were rolled back and sunlight poured in through the large windows. And the vista was breathtaking. We were right across from the iconic beaches of Ipanema, golden sands stretching for miles, the surf tumbling in, thudding and whooshing, people relaxing, playing volleyball, blue skies and blue water. Wow.It was my first real view...[Read Full Article]

Brazil Diary Day 2: The World Is Flatly The Same...Is Sao Paulo A City From The Future?
"So how do you like Brazil," I was asked by one of the hard working organizers of the Brasscom IT Forum conference. "I hope to see some of it before I go back to San Francisco," I replied.The world is flat, flatly the same when viewed as a business traveller. All hotel rooms, airports, restaurants, and conference centers look the same. And the people look the same too, same dress, same culture...same.I went for a walk but there wasn't much in the area around the Sheraton World Trade Center in Sao Paulo, where I was staying, just highways, and light industry, it could have been Newark, New Jersey, it looked like Newark. Surely Brazil should feel differently.Next to the hotel I found a large design center with dozens of showrooms focused on high-end designer goods: furniture, electronics, interior decor, bathrooms, and more. Beautiful designs, very chic, and ultra-modern. I could have been in Milan, Italy rather than Brazil, where the average income is about $5,000.. . . Brazil's fast growing consumer classSao Paulo is a massive city with about 23 million population, the third largest in the world. And it has a massive economic divide between its residents. It doesn't have the 750 favelas (shanty towns) that Rio de Janeiro has, but it has the same contrast between wealth and poverty, side by side. But change is happening. Just half-a-block from a Lamborghini dealership with its hugely expensive, shiny cars, I saw a KIA dealership - the middle class is growing quickly thanks to Brazil's excellent economic growth. And that's drawing a lot of firms to Brazil's increasingly propserous consumers.I spoke with Julia Santos, Head of Worldwide Strategic Outsourcing at Johnson & Johnson. She said that J&J has been in Brazil since 1933, which helps now that the markets for...[Read Full Article]

Brazil Diary Day 1: It's A Long Way To Brazil...
From San Francisco to Sao Paulo in Brazil took an astonishingly long time. I had to fly via Charlotte, NC. (Excellent ribs and free airport WiFi.)I then had a four hour wait at Rio de Janeiro for the flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil's business capital. It took me about 24 hours to get there.As the plane started to descend I could see the suburbs of Sao Paulo, and then a cluster of skyscrapers, and then more residential areas, and then more clusters of high rise buildings... surely the airport was close but we kept on flying...We kept on flying because Sao Paulo is huge. By some measures, it's the third largest city in the world. At the last census ten years ago, its population was over 19 million, this year's census is expected to count 23 million people.It's winter in Brazil but the temperature is about the same as San Francisco, in the low 60s, with clear blue skies.A car service takes me to my hotel. We drive for about 40 minutes, and the roads start to become congested as rush hour starts. The cars slow down. But lots of motorcyclists split the lanes and weave in and out of the traffic at high speeds, I marvel at their bravery. My driver shakes his head and says that there are fatalities every day.We drive past an airport in the middle of the city. You can see the wings of jumbo jets as they taxi around a bend up on a raised embankment, seemingly just 100 yards from a busy highway.There was a terrible accident in 2007, my driver tells me. A plane skidded off the runway and across the highway straight into huge fuel depot. He pointed to a high blue fence that surrounded a block sized area to our...[Read Full Article]

A Pearltrees Report On Brazil's Tech Sector Growth
Here's my PearlTree on Brazil and technology, at the end of this post, and here some of the content: (A Pearltree is a way to curate your choice of web sites using a visual metaphor.)June 9, 2010: Wall Street Journal - IBM To Open Research Lab In Brazil.In a move that underscores the growing importance of emerging markets and the globalization of innovation, International Business Machines Corp. said it will open a research laboratory in Brazil with the cooperation of the country's government. The lab, which will help IBM to develop technology systems around natural resource development and large-scale events such as the Olympics, is IBM's ninth research lab and the first in South America. It's also the first new IBM research lab in 12 years. Both the IMF and the World Bank estimate that Brazil could become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2012. Bank of America Merrill Lynch noted that the Brazilian stock market will grow to over $160 billion in market value by 2013.Brazil is today the tenth-largest economy in the world, ahead of Russia and India, and the largest in Latin America. The country was classified by the United NationsDevelopment Program (UNDP) as having a high Human Development Index (HDI), ahead of the other BRIC countries (Russia, India and China).*Brazil has the 8th largest domestic IT-BPO market in the world. In 2008 the sector turned over US$ 59.1 billion, including exports and IT-BPO areas that are part of the structure of Brazilian companies in every economic sector.Also, some context to the tech story:Despite the immense expanses of the interior, roughly two-thirds of Brazil's population live on or near the coast and well over half live in cities - even in the Amazon. In Rio and São Paulo, Brazil has two of the world's great...[Read Full Article]

Interview: Berthier Ribeiro-Neto Head of Engineering at Google Brazil
(I'm in Brazil all week reporting on the IT industries of South America.)Berthier Ribeiro-Neto received a Ph.D degree in Computer Science from UCLA in 1995. He is the co-author of "Modern Information Retrieval." In 1999 he co-founded Akwan Information Technologies, a search engine focused on Brazil. Google acquired the company in 2005. Here are some notes from our conversation: - We built a search engine funded by the salaries of professors, probably not a good idea but we quickly got a lot of traffic. Google acquired us in 2005 for the people and not our technology. Google closed our search engine. -Google's acquisition validated the quality of the skilled engineers in Brazil and growth has been rapid here and we now have more than 300 people. - My group is responsible for global projects. It only makes sense for Google to work on technologies that can be scaled globally. My group works on Orkut, the social network, which is very popular here; targeted advertising; and maps. - The Internet market is growing very rapidly in Brazil, we have more than 70 million Brazilian Internet users today (36% of population.) And large advertisers are rapidly moving to the Internet.- Brazil does not have a VC community and investors do not understand the Internet market. This is Brazil's biggest weakness. If you have to grow from your own revenues then you will grow slowly. - We strongly believe in open APIs and not what Facebook is doing. Closing APIS will work against companies. The most successful example of an open API is email - built on open standards. It would be ridiculous if you could not send an email to someone unless you were both on the same network.- Google has been focused on Internet consumers but we do see good opportunities...[Read Full Article]

There's a Lot of IT in Brazil: Brasscom And The South American IT Industry
I'm spending this week in Brazil at a conference organized by the world's largest IT analyst firm Gartner, and sponsored by Brasscom, (Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication Companies)South American IT companies have started cropping up on my radar screen over the past year so I'm keen to find out more about this sector.This week I will be reporting on what is happening in Brazil, and also in Argentina, and Chile.I spoke with Richard Matlus, senior VP of Outsourcing at Gartner. He said Brazil and other Latin American countries are becoming important in key sectors such as providing infrastructure outsourcing support services.He speaks to lot of users of these services. He says that US companies like working with Latin American companies because:- The quality is very good. He doesn't recommend India for prime time zone outsourced infrastructure support services.- It helps a lot that the time zones in South America are so close to the US, this means that the prime times are covered in the same time zones. If most of your customers are in a certain time zone, you can have your best quality people working in the same shift, which is very important for customer satisfaction. Mr Matlus says that this is one of the largest cited advantages among clients. His clients tend to use teams in India for the other two less important daily shifts.- South Americans speak good English but, more importantly, they also have a better at understanding the culture of the US -- that makes a very big difference in terms of management and the quality of support. I also spoke with Ricardo Asse, a senior advisor for Brasscom, (Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication Companies). Here are some notes from our discussion:- Brasscom has been around for 6 years but...[Read Full Article]

Does Mark Zuckerberg Need Adult Supervision Like Sergey and Larry?
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is just 26 and has done very well but his young age does often show itself in various ways. He's put his foot in his mouth several times over privacy and has had mixed reviews on his performance in high profile interviews.Here is Chris Pirillo:Things didn't go well for Mark Zuckerberg when he appeared on the D8 stage two days ago. From all angles, he appeared to be fumbling his way through the answers he was giving. He broke out into a cold sweat and had to remove his trademark hoodie. Bloggers around the globe took stabs at Zuck and his team based on his performance. Today, I have seen several posts where people are beginning to wonder whether or not Zuckerberg should continue in his current role with the company he founded as a college student. Likely the most prolific comes from Shel Israel.Does Mr Zuckerberg need "adult supervision?" Google's founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were at about that same age when Google's investors, John Doerr and Michael Moritz decided that they needed adult supervision. Eric Schmidt was brought in as co-CEO in 2001.Every day brings Facebook closer to its eventual IPO. Its top investors might be wondering if Mr Zuckerberg needs someone to be his Eric Schmidt. Mr Schmidt did a great job in preparing Google for a stellar IPO. And adult supervision isn't such a bad thing, Messrs Brin and Page still have theirs and they are now 36 years old.Who would make a good Eric Schmidt to Mark Zuckerberg? How about Scott McNealy the former head of Sun Microsystems? I saw him recently at Verisign's celebration of 25 years of making loads of money from its dotcom registry services, in San Francisco's city hall. He's out of work following the...[Read Full Article]

EC=MC: Edelman Hires FT Journalist, Preaches Media Publishing To Clients
Thanks to everyone for pointing me to this article at The Independent, the UK newspaper:PR stunt or the new journalism?: The titans of public relations are going direct to viewers and readers - Press, Media - The Independent...Sambrook is convinced that Edelman's clients must take their message directly to the consumer. "The mantra is that every company has to be a media company in their own right, telling their own stories not just through websites but through branded entertainment, video, iPad and mobile applications," he says. Here are some more extracts:At the forefront of this change is Edelman, an American-owned PR firm with 51 offices around the world. When in February Edelman hired Richard Sambrook, the former head of BBC News, the audacious appointment caused surprise in all disciplines of the media.It wasn't just that Sambrook was a corporation stalwart of 30 years standing, but that Edelman had given him an intriguing new title: Chief Content Officer. Last week the company went further by hiring as its new head of strategy the influential business journalist Stefan Stern, a marquee name on the Financial Times.All good stuff.However, knowing how I know PR people to be, they love to control every message. Journalists are trained to be fair in their reporting and question the claims of companies and executives. That's not something you'll find within Edelman or any of the large PR agencies. PR agencies need to change too. Simply hiring journalists without changing their internal culture won't change a thing. Please see: Every Company is a Media Company - EC=MC - the transformative equation for business....[Read Full Article]

NYTimes Picks News Provider For SF Bay Area Edition With No Track Record
This is bizarre. The Bay Citizen, a news organization funded by billionaire Warren Hellman, which has no track record because it just started publishing one week ago, will start to provide news to the New York Times for its San Francisco/Bay Area edition.The Bay Citizen will be competing against local journalists for prime spots in the local edition of the New York Times."The mission of The Bay Citizen is to enhance civic and community news coverage in the Bay Area, stimulate innovation in journalism, and foster civic engagement."How this helps that mission is puzzling. Why is this organization better than local news organizations that already have a track record? There are plenty of local SF and Bay Area news organizations already in existence, plus plenty of freelance journalists, already working on "civic and community news coverage," already fostering "civic engagement."Why is Mr Hellman's millions being used to compete against many local newspapers, many serving local ethnic communities? How is this "saving" journalism? What do we get that we don't already have?Bay Area Citizen pays its publisher a salary of $400K a year, and its Editor, Jonathan Weber won't reveal his salary, but I would guess it is at least $300K. The Bay Citizen, a non profit, is also seeking donations from people to help fund its news organization. Clearly, $5 million from Mr Hellman is not enough, especially when the bulk goes on just two people's salaries. Community journalism my foot, this is a joke.We need a true community journalism startup that could become a blueprint for other communities. Highly paid publishers and editors is part of what is wrong with the current model for local newspapers. - - -Please see:Is the Future Of News Dependent On The Generosity Of Billionaire Philanthropists?No Future For Philanthropic News - The Math Doesn't...[Read Full Article]

BusinessWire Study: Only 13.5% Put Links In Press Releases
A couple of months ago I published a rant: 4 Years Since 'Die! Press Release Die!...' And STILL No Hyperlinks....I get emails with pitches from PR people that don't even have any links! I have to search for the company web sites they are pitching, and for any other references they put into the pitch. Same with press releases, there are very few links in press releases. Also, PR people will ask if their clients can contribute a guest post. I love to get good guest posts. Yet often there are no links in the copy! Am I supposed to do the work and put the links in myself? BusinessWired, the blog of Businesswire, recently conducted a "PR Peeps Poll" and found that 85% of 268 people use hyperlinks. However, that's a self-selected group. The actual number is far less....internal research of the Business Wire file of approximately 1,000 press releases each work day, suggests otherwise. By our reckoning, only 13.5% of press release issuers use hyperlinks to drive traffic or amplify their messages in the context of their press releases.Of the people that were polled that don't hyperlink, 13% ticked the box: "Just didn't think about it;" 12% "I don't know how;" and 12% "Didn't see the point." 2% had no idea what a hyperlink is.Several people told me that a lot of people don't know how to embed a link. Great, I'll charge $1200 a head for a workshop that will turn people into hyperlinking wizards. Email me, places are filling up fast....[Read Full Article]

"Think Fair" A Potential Apple Follow Up to "Think Different"
Who will be the first Fair Trade tech company? I think Apple could do it: Analysis: Here's How Apple Could Become The First Fair Trade Tech Company.And here is the perfect follow up to Apple's "Think Different" marketing campaign: "Think Fair."The "Think Different" advertising slogan was introduced in 1997 and it became insanely successful, it was credited with rejuvenating the Apple brand and used for about five years. "Think Fair" could easily run five years.If Apple products were Fair Trade electronics, they would marry great design with great ethics -- that's a killer combination. Right now, the Apple iPad is associated with suicides. Earlier today I retweeted this:"@drachgenabe: One suicide death per 200,000 sold iPad." That's the wrong kind of killer marketing. "Think Fair" Apple products would do wonders for the user experience; there's nothing wrong with warm and fuzzy.The only problem: Apple fanboys would become even more annoying than they are now. They would exude a torrent of moral superiority from every pore of their bodies. It could be over powering -- especially in confined spaces....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Here's How Apple Could Become The First Fair Trade Tech Company
(Image by Damien Van Achter)In the wake of the Foxconn suicides I've asked Who will be the first "Fair Trade" tech company? Moving beyond "green"...Becoming the first Fair Trade tech company would not be easy but there is one company that would find it easier than others and that's Apple.Apple has already taken some steps towards this by topping up Foxconn worker salaries. TechEye reports:Apple has decided to give the workers a small cut of its profit margin, which it hopes will give workers a better standard of living and slow down the number of suicides that have taken place in the factory, which makes iPads, iPods and iPhones in Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry.The rumoured 20 percent raise from Apple will raise the cost of labour for the iPad from 2.3 percent of the cost to 3.0 percent of the cost.A 20% higher salary for its workers is excellent and it comes at a very small overall manufacturing cost increase.That's a feather in Apple's cap and a potentially great marketing move too.Fair Trade electronics would mean that every part of a product has been manufactured in a Fair Trade environment. The supply chain for electronics can be massive, it will probably be impossible to make a 100% Fair Trade laptop, for example, for a while yet. But smaller products would be possible, especially if a huge manufacturer such as Foxconn converts part of its factory into Fair Trade production zones.A 100% Fair Trade electronics product might be tough but it would be possible to calculate how much of a product is "Fair Trade" and issue a percentage number. As more manufacturing facilities within a supply chain are "Fair Trade Certified" that would raise the Fair Trade total for a product, and that can be advertised on the packaging.When I...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch Monday: Twitter Censorship Of #Flotilla Tag? And Circuit Breakers On Viral Media...
The Israeli interception of a flotilla of boats carrying aid to Gaza sparked a furor on Twitter with people spreading the news of deaths, injuries, and protesting the action, using the Twitter hashtag #flotilla to group all the messages.However, that hashtag stopped working for an undetermined period earlier today. Was Twitter censoring the #flotilla hashtag because most of the Tweets were critical of Israel? That was the view of many Twitter users. Charles Arthur at Did Twitter censor the #flotilla hashtag following the Israel attack? | Technology | around 11am, as #flotilla began "trending" - rising to the topmost-used hashtags on the service - it seemed to vanish. Was this censorship by Twitter? Quite a few asked the question. Matthew Ingram, a reporter for GigaOM, tweeted: "Twitter spokesman says problem with #flotilla hashtag was a "short-term technical issue" that is being investigated."It seems that the problem was likely due to anti-spam filters being triggered (The mystery of the disappearing #flotilla on Twitter [Updated]). However, I'm wondering if future news distribution services might be required to carry filters of another kind, ones that would seek to dampen down news dissemination if it could result in great distress.Israel, and its activities in the Middle East, is an emotional subject that drives many people to action, both pro, and those anti-Israeli policies. For example, here in San Francisco, large crowds are already gathering to protest the flotilla attacks. Similarly, there will be pro-Israel demonstrators there too.What will happen in the future, when news dissemination is far faster, far more viral, and the subject might be something which could trigger in riots, violence, or other possible distress, to a society or region? Misinformation within such a future scenario could be extremely damaging, and misinformation is highly likely because there are organizations...[Read Full Article]

An Ode To LaLa - Steve Jobs Killed My Fave Music Service
Today is the last day of my favorite music service and where I would spend much of my Friday and weekends.I discovered lots of great music there and put together some great playlists. I was buying music for the first time in ages. offered the best business model: one free play then for 10 cents you could buy lifetime streaming rights from any computer. Also, I transferred my music library to LaLa's cloud. I could access all my music, at any time, from any computer, from any browser. It was great. I often would gift 10 cent songs to friends, family that I came across because it was so cheap. And I could easily see what my friends were listening to or had bought recently. It was a great music discovery service.I was also a fan of the founders, Bill Nguyen (photo) and John Kuch. Both are huge music fans, and I discovered lots of great music through them, watching what they were listening to. They were also big supporters of independent musicians creating a fund that helped struggling musicians.Oh, and let's not forget a great UI, better than iTunes, better than anything else I've used. Then Apple bought LaLa in December 2009. At the time everyone thought that the service would get even better and that LaLa would essentially become the new iTunes, a better UI and with streaming.We were all wrong. On April 30 Apple said it would shut LaLa by the end of May. We would all get our money back as credits on iTunes.If I wanted to buy music on ITunes I would already be buying music on iTunes! Why would I want to do that now? Apple should return all the cash money.Better yet, Apple should have given us the MP3s of all...[Read Full Article]

It's Cool To Be Fair...
A great photo from Damien Van Achter from ""Fair Trade Electronics", by @tomforemski - Damien Van Achter"...[Read Full Article]

Who Will Be The First "Fair Trade" Tech Company? It's The New "Green"...
There's a tremendous opportunity waiting to be grabbed. There's a Wikipedia page waiting to be written."The first Fair Trade tech company was ..."I'm certain that the Fair Trade concept will be applied to electronics, and it's just a matter of when that will happen. I'm convinced it will happen not because it's a good idea but that it's a potentially profitable idea.Let me explain my thinking. Our digital gadgets and gizmos are becoming very cheap, almost disposable - yet the working conditions for millions of workers in the global electronics industries are deplorable. Even though they often work in bunny suits, in super clean, well lighted work places, those jobs are highly stressful and often unhealthy. Lets not forgot that those bright, sanitized work places, those clean work clothes, and filtered air conditioning, is not for the workers, it's to protect the electronics from the humans. The wages are poor and the work is grueling. Fair Trade electronics could help tens of millions of people around the world without making much difference to our wallets. We could easily alleviate a lot of suffering without much suffering on our part, we could afford to pay a bit extra.Noble goals are important but what will drive the growth of Fair Trade electronics is that it will be an excellent way to make money. It's a great way for companies to differentiate themselves in the market place.Consider this: All technology products trend towards becoming commoditized - that's just how things work. How do companies fight commoditization? It's done through differentiation. - Companies such as Apple do it through design. Take a commodity product, say an MP3 music player, and apply a great design. Design drives sales and it is a high profit value add.- A lot of computer companies these days proclaim how...[Read Full Article]

Foxconn Suicides: Is It Time For "Fair Trade" Electronics? Would You Buy A "Fair Trade" iPhone?
The suicides at Foxconn have highlighted the issue of highly stressful working conditions in the global electronics industry. Foxconn has responded with psychologists, punch bags, swimming pools, and asking employees to promise not to kill themselves.But these moves do nothing to change the actual working conditions. Suicide numbers are a big red herring because even if they go down, huge numbers of workers will still suffer from low wages, long hours, and many other tough and unhealthy working conditions.A recent BBC documentary series, "Blood, Sweat and Luxuries" took six young British consumers and placed them exotic locations working in the same jobs as locals, and having to survive on the same wages. It's an eye opening series because it showed the horrible work conditions that billions of people face daily, every week, for years, and decades. These were strong, healthy, young British adults, yet they would pass out from the back breaking work, suffer panic attacks, and many other maladies, after just a few hours on the job. They carried huge amounts of dirt in Ghana's gold fields; they processed leather in stinking abattoirs in Ethiopia; they dug deep holes in coffee plantations; and they had to work in an electronics factory in the Philippines where workers prepared tiny components for disk drives, processing one component every 3 seconds. If they even took a moment to glance up from their tasks, or be distracted, they would fall behind in their quota and have their wages docked. It was incredible how much work had to be done for so little money by so many people. And the reason they were paid so little is that the electronics factory had to accept tiny profit margins in order to win its contracts.All the large tech companies such as Apple, Nokia, Dell, etc have...[Read Full Article]

Dirty Little IT Secrets: Our Privacy Is Protected By Massive, Inefficient Corporate IT Systems
There has been lots of chatter about data privacy but fortunately, the ineptitude of IT systems is a protective factor. Take a look at this amusing tale from my ZDNet colleague Dennis Howlett.Dennis is an Englishman living in Spain. He tells of trying to make changes to his account at Vodafone Spain. Vodafone Spain saps my will to liveEach time you call, it seems necessary to go through a grinding series of questions that include the number you are calling from (they don't have caller ID?), providing your passport or residency number, your password and bank name. Then you have to slowly and carefully explain the problem. At least twice. ... Vodafone claimed they have no record of my landline number or that I have requested that service. Duh? I have SMS messages telling me they activated the service on my mobile. I"m staring at them. 'We have no record.' ...Knowing what it is like dealing with anything that smacks of government or utilities, I pack every piece of paper I can think that will successfully identify me as the person I say I am. At the Vodafone shop I get the same answer. No record. Thinking laterally, I ask if there is anything registered to the new DSL service and oh by the way, can you search against THAT phone number? Bingo! Up pops the details Vodafone said it didn't have. It turns out that when I acquired my Vodafone mobile, I gave my passport number. When I applied for DSL etc, I gave my NIE (resident's) number because that is what it asked for. Vodafone doesn't match these and cannot alter what it now sees as the master identifying record locator. So now it seems I have two accounts. It's a frustrating story but in a way, it...[Read Full Article]

Are Foxconn Suicides Misrepresented By Media? Employees Are Far Less Likely To Committ Suicide
Patrick Mattimore, a fellow at the Institute for Analytic Journalism, recently published the following article on China’s People’s Daily Online, headlined: Media badly misplaying Foxconn suicides.Taiwanese-owned Foxconn has had seven suicides this year. That sounds like a lot, but the firm has an estimated 800,000 workers, more than 300,000 of them at a single plant in Shenzhen.Although exact figures are hard to come by, even the most conservative estimate for China’s suicide rate is 14 per 100,000 per year (World Health Organization). In other words, Foxconn’s suicide epidemic is actually lower than China’s national average of suicides. I checked his figures. World Health Organization suicide figures for China (1999) are 13 males and 14.8 females per 100,000 people.Elderly (65+ years) suicide rates can be as much as 50% higher than youth (18 to 24 years), which means Foxconn’s suicide rate, with its younger workforce, should be significantly below the national average.Let’s estimate an average of 10 suicides per 100,000 at Foxconn. Just the Shenzhen Foxconn plant alone, with its 330,000 employees, would be expected to have about 33 suicides this year, or 14 so far.Foxconn has had just 10 suicides this year, and that’s across its entire workforce.Working at Foxconn dramatically reduces people’s risk of suicide!Mr Mattimore is right, the media is misrepresenting the facts. He writes:The larger problem stems from the fact that most journalists have not been taught to critically examine statistics. They follow the herd which often means that they report numbers without providing readers a context for making sense of those numbers.Hopefully, the public will wake up to the fact that there is nothing wrong at Foxconn and demand that newspapers act more responsibly and begin supplying some context when they decide to instigate their next corporate suicide watch.- - -Additional info:Institute for Analytic JournalismResearching and...[Read Full Article]

MediaWatch: Journalists Won't Report News Unless It Can Drive Page Views
Sam Whitmore is the best media watcher around, he regularly talks to the press as part of his research for the excellent Sam Whitmore's Media Survey, which is heavily used by all the large PR agencies.I was at a recent panel moderated by Sam Whitmore that discussed pageviews and the effect on journalism. Although nothing much emerged from that event, it is an important issue, and Sam has been collecting more information on this topic.From ITMemos:Sam Whitmore reports:It's now a luxury for a reporter to write a story about an obscure but important topic. That used to be a job requirement. Now it's a career risk.Example: let's say an interesting startup has a new and different idea. Many reporters now won't touch it because (a) the story won't generate page views, and (b) few people search on terms germane to that startup. Potential SEO performance is now a key factor in what gets assigned. Two reporters from two different publications this month both told us the same thing: if you want to write a story on an interesting but obscure topic, you had better feed the beast by writing a second story about the iPad or Facebook or something else that delivers page views and good SEO. Page view journalism also means that smaller companies will be crowded out by their larger competitors. And with the current media tsunami out there, if you aren't seen by your potential customers, you don't exist. All the more reason why companies must also generate their own media, to make up for the shrinkage of the independent media industry. (When Every Company Is A Media Company...) It's not the journalists who are at fault, it is their management, and their management is merely following the actual economics of online journalism. The management shouldn't be...[Read Full Article]

Suicides At France Telecom Are 5 Times Higher Than At Foxconn -The Human Cost Of Cheap Bandwidth And Gadgets?
Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer of electronics products for Apple and many others, has reported 9 suicides among its workforce and is fighting allegations of being a sweatshop. It's not the only tech company with a suicide problem, France Telecom's is much higher, with 46 suicides, and now a government investigation.Both sets of suicides are blamed on work place stress.The Real Truth Behind Foxconn's Suicide Cluster » M.I.C GadgetThe Foxconn suicide mess is all started from job stress. Within half a year, there are 9 suicides with 7 confirmed-deaths in Foxconn's factory of China, Shenzhen. In order to find out what's really going on in that factory, the Southern Weekly, described by The New York Times as China's most influential liberal newspaper, has sent an amateur reporter to slip into Foxconn's factory to pretend as a worker and the mission is to find out the truth of the suicide / UK - Fresh probe on France Telecom suicidesThe Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into allegations of "workplace harassment" at France Telecom following a spate of suicides at the company, it emerged yesterday. The former monopoly is also being investigated for failing to document properly the health risks facing its employees. ...In 2008 and 2009, 35 of the company's employees committed suicide, laying bare a deep crisis in morale among its 100,000-strong French workforce. The crisis has continued, with a further 11 employees taking their own lives since the beginning of 2010. Stéphane Richard, France Telecom's new chief executive, told the Financial Times last month that there would probably be further suicides.Is this the price of progress? Will we see suicides increase at other companies too?The global work force, whether in China or France ... or in the US, is under ever increasing pressure to become more productive, and...[Read Full Article]

Mark Logic's David Kellogg - Creating Media From Unstructured Content
David Kellogg is a veteran of the IT industry, he was key in growing Business Objects into one of the most successful French IT companies. His current position as CEO of Mark Logic, is a challenging job because of the unique database technologies the company represents. It's an approach to structure unstructured content -- a holy grail for many companies. Mark Logic has several media companies as customers because it's technology enables them to pull together content from several sources in order to create new types of media products and services. The company's chief architect is Christopher Lindblad, the architect of Infoseek's Ultraseek Server technology, which is used by Autonomy, the largest UK enterprise software company.I recently met with David Kellogg, here are some notes from our conversation:- It used to be that Silicon Valley companies would be good customers for databases and other software but these days they all use open source software and they don't want to by anything. But there are many large companies that do buy software and that benefit greatly from Mark Logic.- Our goal is to be the Oracle of unstructured information.- Relational databases are very inflexible. We use a hybrid approach that combines search technology with an unique database technology. - A lot of companies are having to develop their own database architecture because relational databases are too slow. Our database technology can quickly deal with a wide range of unstructured data.- One of our media customers, in the medical publication sector, is able to repurpose its content in order to create an interactive platform that helps radiology personnel to identify diseases, by stepping them through the identification process based on thousands of images and other information. Once you build one such application, it is easy to deploy it against new sources of...[Read Full Article]

Broadvision Reboots Its Business As A Collaborative Enterprise Platform
Broadvision today announced a collaborative business platform, Clearvale, and a partnership with Softbank, a major Japanese telecommunications company.The move is part of Broadvision's attempts to reinvent itself and reverse a long decline in revenues. The company was once one of the high flyers of the dot com boom with its portal and web commerce platforms used by some of the largest corporate web sites.Now it is seeking to move beyond the web site and become a major platform for collaborative business processes that combine internal and external teams. Broadvision describes Clearvale as the "first network of networks."About 4,000 companies have been beta testing Clearvale. I recently met with Broadvision founder Pehong Chen, here are some notes from our conversation:- It's very easy for a department to start using Clearvale. It's like when blogging first started, you needed to install the software and do a lot of work before publishing your blog, now there are many hosted platforms where the set up is easy and there are existing templates. That's what we offer, easy setup.- There are others, such as Jive that claim similar capabilities but they require a lot of IT work to set up, our solution needs zero IT time. People can immediately start using it. - The project started off as a skunk works in China two years ago. We soon saw that we had a powerful platform and that this could become a major business for us.- Business is changing, it's important that everyone has a stake in the business and Clearvale enables that, it pulls together staff and helps organize around a common vision.- Many surveys of HR have shown around 40% of people leave companies because they don't understand the vision. That's about $38,000 in losses per employee, if you can save just ten exits,...[Read Full Article]

25 Years Since The First "Dot Com" Celebration...
On Wednesday, comedian Dana Carvey will be leading the celebration in San Francisco City Hall to mark the 25 year anniversary of the first ".com" web address.The gala event is organized by Verisign, which runs the registry of web site names and also the root servers that direct all Internet traffic to the right web address.(Verisign recently sold its security business to Symantec for $1,28 billion)Verisign will use the event to announce four research grants of $75,000 "to assist those with the promise to shape the next 25 years of .com. These grants will be awarded later in the year by geography, one for each North America, Europe, Asia and India."A panel of judges has selected 75 businesses deemed ".com25 honorees" of which 25 will be selected as the ".com 25."I'll be reporting from the event....[Read Full Article]

Journalists And Programmers Build 12 News Apps In One Weekend...
Burt Herman organized a fascinating event this past weekend, bringing together journalists and software engineers to produce news apps for the iPad.The first ever Hacks/Hackers event produced 12 apps in just 30 hours, and a panel of judges picked the two best apps: "An iPad application to make news exciting for kids and a location-aware web application where users react to news stories about their legislators."Burt Herman is the founder of Hacks/Hackers - a group that meets every month to discuss the overlap of technology and journalism, a subject that greatly interests me. For years I have been predicting the emergence of a new type of profession: media engineer - part hack (journalist) and part hacker (software engineer).Mr Herman said:""The future of journalism is about experimentation and being open to new ideas, and bringing people from diverse disciplines together to think creatively and work together. The journalists and technologists easily found a common dialogue and collaborated to build impressive projects in a short time."Here is a list of all the apps: is a more detailed description of the winning apps:-Citizen Kid News: an iPad app that provides a visually dynamic and accessible framework for kids to safely explore and interact with the news. Top kid-appealing news content is curated on a daily basis, in 5 categories: Animals, World, Science, Sports and Entertainment. A photographic touch interface provides a window into each story, and kids can select stories for further exploration that includes additional text, photos, video and audio. The app incorporates game mechanics to encourage participation: kids earn points for commenting on articles, viewing videos about the reporter's process, and eventually contributing their own articles. Kids earn badges along the way, starting with "Cub Reporter" and culminating with "Editor".-Who's Reppin' Me?: a Web-based app that feeds users news stories...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Google Ad Share Numbers Provide No Clarity
Google today made a big deal out of disclosing how much money it shares with web site publishers hosting its AdSense advertisements."In the spirit of greater transparency," wrote Neal Mohan, Vice President, Product Management, he revealed that it pays publishers 68% of advertising revenues around content, and 51% for ads related to search.However, some large publishers, such as the New York Times receive a larger share, some have received 100%. So what does this revenue share percentage represent?As one commenter wrote:I didn't get from the article how they came to that 68% figure. Is it an average, mean or mode?... it may mean that a handful of huge publishers are getting a revenue share of 90%, a fair number of medium publishers are getting 50% and the vast majority of small publishers are getting 20%.If we don't get more information about how the 68% and the 51% figures were calculated and about whether all publishers get the same or similar rates, then I will still consider that I have no idea what my effective rev share is.Well said. Anticipating the meaningless nature of the disclosure, Mr Mohan urged Adsense partners to "focus on the total revenue generated from your site, rather than just revenue share, which can be misleading." Misleading it certainly is. How this improves transparency is a mystery -- It's as clear as mud. However, Google watchers applauded. Jeff Jarvis from BuzzMachine took credit for pressuring Google to reveal the numbers. And John Battelle indicated it was a good split since "as recently as two years ago, sources I know to be extremely reliable were actively negotiating with Google to get a 65% cut."Both are authors of books about Google.Because the accounting isn't clear, a key question is if Google can vary payouts in order to meet Wall...[Read Full Article]

So Many Social Media Experts... But These Are The Doers...
There are so many people branding themselves as social media experts these days that we could lose sight of the people who really are social media experts because they are doing it.I'm really interested in the doers rather than the sayers. And I want to create a list of those people.Jeremiah Owyang, from Altimeter Group, has put together an excellent list of people who are working within corporations as social media strategists - I'd be interested in more such lists if you have them. I'm republishing just a very small part of Jeremiah's list, dealing with the tech sector, there is plenty more over at Jeremiah's blog: Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing.I've also created a Pearltree around this topic, that lets you browse the LinkedIn profile of each person on the list.By the way, if you are unfamiliar with Pearltrees it's a great media technology, it allows you to create your own curation of the web. Also, you can easily add this Pearltree to your own and it will be automatically updated with new names as they are added (in real time).Here is just a small part of Jeremiah's list, this one is on the tech sector:Electronics, Devices, MobileMarcy Cohen Sr. Manager Sony ElectronicsKelly Colgan Media Relations Specialist Schneider ElectricRay Haddow, Senior Manager, NokiaIan Kennedy Head of Service Innovation, NokiaDerek Brookmeyer, PR and Social Media Specialist, Dolby LaboratoriesEsteban Contreras, Social Media Manager, SamsungTechnology, Hardware, Networking, Component, ComputerLen Devanna, Director Web Strategy & Operations, EMCGunjan Rawal, World-wide Marketing Manager, Intel Software NetworkJohn Earnhardt, Senior Manager, Global Media Operations Cisco SystemsLaSandra Brill Sr Manager, Digital & Event Marketing at Cisco SystemsRichard Binhammer Senior Manager, DellDave Mastronardi Product Manager / Implementation Architect, RaytheomBill Pearson Manager, Intel Software Network Intel CorpAaron Tersteeg Community Manager Intel CorporationBryan Rhoads Sr. Digital...[Read Full Article]

Are People Really Concerned About Privacy? Italians Are...
Lots of chatter about privacy the past couple of weeks, driven almost exclusively by Facebook's cavalier policies towards privacy.I took a look at Google Trends, a service that seeks to show the popularity of searches over time.This is what I saw:- Seven years ago Google users were far more interested in searching for the term "privacy," by about 50% more.- Italy tops the nations in Google searches for "privacy" over the past seven years, the US is number 4, at about one-half the interest of the Italians.- Ottawa, Canada, tops the cities list, followed by Milan, and Augusta, Italy, while Washington. D.C is number 4 in terms of searches for "privacy."- Over the past 30 days, US interest in "privacy" has now dipped below the level prior to Facebook's privacy issues (a backlash to the backlash on Facebook privacy?). San Francisco and Washington, D.C top the cities list.Take a look......[Read Full Article]

How To Turn A $1.6m Lemon Into Lemonade is famous for excellent use of its own media (blogs, Twitter, etc), and the media, to boost its brand. Here is another excellent example: (Hat tip Jeff Jarvis.)It seems that Zappos' sister site ran into a problem Sunday morning. For 6 hours it priced everything at $49.95 or under. That means a pair of say, Jean Paul Gaultier boots that sell for $530 online (retail: $1,135) could be bought for $49.95.Aaron Magness, director of brand marketing at Zappos, wrote that the mistake cost the company $1.6 million but that all sales would be honored:While we're sure this was a great deal for customers, it was inadvertent, and we took a big loss (over $1.6 million - ouch) selling so many items so far under cost. However, it was our mistake. We will be honoring all purchases that took place on during our mess up.Great move. Yes, $1.6 million is a lot of money but the publicity will probably more than make up for it. Zappos could have stayed quiet but instead made a savvy marketing move using its own media and trusting that social media would distribute a great story. I didn't know about but now I do, and who knows, I might pop in Sunday mornings to see if another mistake in pricing has occurred (and I can get those boots :). (The converse to this however, is that they might have mistaken the price on something I had bought in the past and it should have been cheaper.)- - -Please see: Every Company is a Media Company - EC=MC - the transformative equation for business....[Read Full Article]

Genieo's Sol Tzvi: Why Doesn't My PC Know Me?
I recently met with Sol Tzvi, the co-founder of Genieo, a fascinating startup based in Israel. Genieo is a client based news reader, yes, you read that right, it's not in the cloud(!) It seeks to understand what you read, what your social circle finds interesting, and also brings you content that you might not know about. It does this all without any user input at all, it doesn't require any user preference settings, keywords, etc. It is completely transparent.Genieo runs in your web browser and is used as your start page, showing news and other information related to your interests. Future plans include an API that the user controls, that can interface with cloud based shopping services such as Amazon, etc. It only runs on Windows, there might be a Mac based version in the future.Here are some notes from my conversation with Ms Tzvi:- My background is ex-Microsoft, leading Microsoft's strategy on security and privacy. I've written three books on the subject. The most recent book also dealt with philosophy of security and the fear that motivates people.- The idea for Genieo came in 2008. I came home late one night and opened up my laptop and realized that my PC didn't know me at all. I shouldn't have to tell it what interests me.- Genieo is a client app, it does not run in the cloud because that improves privacy. We think of the PC as your 'personal cloud' because you have more computing resources in your PC than in web services.- Users don't need to know anything about RSS or feeds. Genieo looks at what you do and picks the right RSS feeds from the publications. For example, it won't pick the sports feeds if you do not read sports stories.- Genieo disables itself whenever there...[Read Full Article]

Google TV - So What? The Distributors Have All The Control
I can't get excited by Google TV because no matter how fine the box is, no matter how great the wired and wireless connectivity, or the user interface, at the end of the day it's all about how good is the content and not about how good is the box.Who controls the best content? It's the distributors. It's the major TV and cable channels.Do people rave about how great their TV is? They rave about "Lost," "American Idol," they rave about content first. The geek community is the only community that raves about the specs of a box. That will only get you to "on" then what? Take a look at what happened at Hulu, the Comedy Channel pulled its popular The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. There's still plenty of content on Hulu, but it's long tail stuff, old reruns of once popular shows, etc. You can now watch HBO online, but only if you are a cable TV subscriber.The organizations that control distribution control where it can be seen and they can change their preferences whenever they want, it has nothing to do with the box. Even Hulu controls where it can be seen, we've seen the problems Boxee had with Hulu. The distributors control what you can and cannot watch online. This is why Apple has described Apple TV as a "hobby" because it's a limited platform, it's limited to what you have on your computer or that can be downloaded from iTunes. Will things change? It would be great if everything were online, everything ever created, every film, every TV show, everything we see on cable TV could be just an IP address away from our couch.But that would be incredibly disruptive since we would only pay for what we wanted and nothing else. We...[Read Full Article]

The Incredible Shrinking Google...The Myth That Everything Is Indexed
Occasionally, I Google myself to see who is referencing my work. A couple of years ago Google returned 160,000 references to my name. In March 2009 Google returned 135,000 references to my name.In August 2009 Google found 102,000 references. Today, Google had 94,100 references for "Tom Foremski."I write a lot here on SVW but also on ZDNet and often people will reference my work in their posts. Surely, my search results should be growing and not shrinking?Plus, now there is Twitter too, and my handle is tomforemski. Google found 98,500 references to "tomforemski" -- yet I've been publishing online for more than 20 years, ten times longer than on Twitter. Surely, I should have far more references than my Twitter handle?Clearly, something is not right. Clearly, the number of results that Google claims is bogus. Here's another example. I found this post by Debbie Weil, a veteran author and speaker: Redux: Have You Googled Yourself Lately?At the time of writing the post, May 2009, she had 143,000 results. Five years prior to that she had 77,900 results. That's a decent increase.Today, if you Google Debbie Weil you'll find just 33,200 results.What's going on? Why are there fewer results?Also, have you ever tried to see the very last result of your name? I tried to see the very last result in March 2009, I could only get as far as 552. Today, I could only get as far as the 304th reference.What's going on?We are warned that Google will remember everything about us, all our youthful transgressions, everything we did online is searchable.That's plainly not true. In fact, the longer the time between now and then, the fewer results. At this rate I'll be practically invisible online within a few years...Updated: Several commenters have said that Google publishes estimates of the...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: The Achilles Heel Of The Associated Content Acquisition
Yahoo's acquisition of Associated Content (AC), a business that creates content based on search and advertising trends, signals a trend towards a content on demand strategy.Associated Content uses proprietary algorithms to commission content, calculating how much advertising revenue that content can generate, and splitting that with thousands of content producers.Yahoo has a platform that will enable it to scale Associated Content's content and deliver higher advertising revenues than Associated Content can get on its own, because it has to share advertising revenue with online ad networks.Yahoo can provide Associated Content with massive amounts of data that can improve the effectiveness of its algorithms. Yahoo Media VP James Pitaro explained to PaidContent:Associated Content gets access to Yahoo’s data from search, click thru rates and Yahoo Buzz for its SEO efforts. Pitaro explains, “Associated Content can now take their existing algorithms and all this Yahoo data and generate content based on all these insights.”It's a content on demand strategy, in that Yahoo hopes to be able to expand its content and make it more topical, adapted to what Internet users are interested now, such as the trending topics identified by Yahoo Buzz. Mr Pitaro says, the AC acquisition will help in "producing content directly in response to audience needs, “which is by the way something we’ve done historically but really will be able to scale now.’ Mr Pitaro is essentially describing a news content strategy. This means content has to be commissioned and published relatively quickly because user interest changes hourly, and certainly daily. There is a huge flaw in this strategy: AC produces very little news. In a recent interview with Silicon Valley Watcher, Patrick Keane, CEO of AC said: We have a different approach to Demand Media and AOL, they are focused on news content, we focus on evergreen content,...[Read Full Article]

Corporate Social Media Is Not Social -- It's Sales Media
When it comes to corporate use of social media I have problems with the use of the word "social" because it's not accurate. It's not social.When most people use Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace, they use it for its social qualities. Yet when corporations, and many professionals use social media, they are using it for commercial purposes, they are using it for sales. This is an important distinction because it affects how businesses should use social media.I was moderating a panel earlier today on how businesses can use PR to leverage social media, and Louis Gray said something that was very wise. He said that people create their Facebook pages in a specific way because that's the way they like it, they are comfortable there. If you come along and engage with them you need to approach them as if you were a guest in their home. That means businesses have to be cautious about how they sell on social media sites.All that relationship building and engagement is not because a business wants to get to know Jane or John better, as a friend or relative would, it wants to sell more of its product or service. That's a far different agenda from most people's engagement in social media.Like at parties, people will avoid that person that is selling something. Friends that invite their friends to tupperware parties, or similar, are tolerated for a while, but not for long. Similarly, companies that use social media as sales media must understand there is a time and place for it, or they risk alienating people.Sir Martin Sorrell, the head of WPP, the world's largest marketing and communications group, has similar concerns about the commercial use of social media. The Financial Times recently reported:Sir Martin warned on Tuesday that social media sites are ”less...[Read Full Article]

The Demise Of Blogs?
In August of 2009 I asked: 5yrs: Lessons and Insights: Where Have All The Blogs Gone?It seems others are now noticing it too. Stowe Boyd writes Are Blogs Dying?He cites Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb on the demise of's blog search: R.I.P. World's Greatest BlogsearchAlso, Bruce Sterling, Dead Media Beat: blog searchThe blogs are still there but they don't look like blogs. Gawker, Gizmodo, GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb, Techcrunch, VentureBeat, etc, all used to be called blogs and some people still call them blogs but they are online news magazines.Does this mean that the "new" media might be vulnerable to displacement by a new generation of "blogs" in the same way they themselves displaced the older generation of news sites?- - -Please see: O'Brien: Facebook needs to break its cycle of backlash - San Jose Mercury News...[Read Full Article]

Poisoning The Well - A Response To Privacy Concerns...
Facebook is paving the way for lax privacy controls and where Facebook leads others are bound to follow. Trying to control how much others know about you is going to become increasingly difficult. Yes, you can adjust your privacy settings, but this process is becoming increasingly complex. The Price of Facebook Privacy? Start Clicking - NYTimes.comUsers must decide if they want only friends, friends of friends, everyone on Facebook, or a customized list of people to see things like their birthdays or their most recent photos. To keep information as private as possible, users must select “only friends” or “only me” from the pull-down options for all the choices in the privacy settings, and must uncheck boxes that say information will be shared across the Web.Even if you do all that, Facebook has introduced a backdoor:...some information will no longer remain private because Facebook has also added a feature, called community pages, which automatically links personal data, like hometown or university, to topic pages for that town or university. Foremski's Take: Every time Facebook makes a change in its privacy provisions, you have to go through it all again. It's a never ending battle, with Facebook eventually winning because its users will get fed up or forget that another privacy change has happened and that they need to review their privacy settings.Other sites will be doing the same because they have to, in order to be able to offer their commercial partners access to precise demographic and behavioral data.So what can you do?You can poison the well — list a bunch of false data. You could change your occupation to "whale gynecologist." You can list unicorns as your favorite food. You could claim to be seven foot tall and your home town is Timbuktu. Fingers on a chalkboard is your...[Read Full Article]

Retreevo Study: Online Regrets...
Online electronics store Retreevo, published a study that found 32 per cent of people had posted something that they later regretted. But the damage done was relatively small:- Of that 32%: 3% say it ruined their marriage or relationship with someone. 6% of them said it caused problems at work or home. - Of that 32%: 13% were able to remove the offending post.It seems iPhone users are particulary prone to inappropriate postings, followed by people under 25.- 59% of iPhone users have posted something online they regretted. - 54% of people under 25 years old have posted something online they regretted. - Only 27% of people over age 25 have posted something online they regretted....[Read Full Article]

Hacks And Hackers Unite This Weekend...
I'm planning on attending this unique meeting at the offices of KQED in San Francisco: Hacks/Hackers UniteIt is an event bringing together journalists and developers and the goal of the weekend long event is to create a killer media application for the iPad and other tablet computers.This event will be both a coding development camp and a journalistic boot camp. Teams of hacks (content creators) and hackers (developers and designers) will cooperate to tell develop media applications for the iPad and tablets that help inform, enlighten and tell stories for the public good. You can also build tablet-based tools for journalists. REGISTER NOW (breakfast and lunch for both days included in price) Each team must have at least one hack and hacker each. If you don't already have a team, we will have some activities to help you find one at the event. Also, find potential collaborators and propose, browse, and discuss ideas here. NEW: Here's a public wiki to also share ideas and find teams. The apps will be judged by a panel that includes:Harjeet Taggar, venture partner at Y Combinator; Andrew Fitzgerald, online news producer at Current TV; David Weekly, founder of Hacker Dojo and PBworks; and Craig Miller, senior editor of KQED Climate Watch.I'm a big supporter of these types of cross-professional links. I'm hopeful that we will get a new types of professions: media engineer and media architect - part journalist and part coder.The even will also have talks by:Tony Deifell, Q Media labs, director, author of The Big Thaw: Charting a New Course for Journalism David Weekly, Hacker Dojo, founding director, and PBworks, founder, chairman and chief product officer Harjeet Taggar, Y Combinator, venture partner Tim Olson, KQED, vice president of digital media and education Daniel Jacobson, NPR, director of application development, digital media Andrew...[Read Full Article]

The Gordian Knot of Online News Media...
Frédéric Filloux, a former newspaper editor turned VC, has written a good criticism of the "citizen journalist" concept, that non-professional journalists can replace their professional counterparts.In The Oxymoronic Citizen Journalism | Monday Note, he writes:First, would you trust a citizen neurosurgeon to remove your kid’s neuroblastoma? No, you wouldn’t. You would not trust a citizen dentist either for your cavities. Or even a people’s car repairman. Then, for information, why in hell would we accept practices we wouldn’t even contemplate for our health (OK, big issue), or for our washing machine?While he states the very obvious, in his post he does layout the criteria for quality journalism, something that few "citizen" journalists can hope to match.He also does a good job in explaining that Google's investments in data centers are more profitable than investments in news rooms (which is why it won't buy the New York Times, as many have suggested).:Google spends five times more each year for its datacenters than the New York Times spends for its entire newsroom). Part of the reason is the return on such an investment. Financially speaking, the news business is not very appealing. See for yourself in this revenue per employee table.Google being the 100 index :Amazon:……………85Microsoft:…………..53News Corp:………..47Yahoo:……………..40Washington Post:…19NYTimes:…………. 22Gannett:……………13McClatchy:…………10However, he doesn't discuss the economics of online news content (although he does in prior posts see:Digital Takeover, The Fairfax way | Monday Note )The reason we see the ascent of the citizen journalist over the professional journalist, is the economics of the business. The Huffington Post has been very successful but that's because it keeps its costs down and tries to corral as much free content as it can -- the New York Times employs more people to moderate comments than the HuffPo employs professional editors and journalists.The Washington Post is trying to...[Read Full Article]

EC=MC - Embedded Journalists Within Corporations
I've been writing a lot about every company becoming a media company and part of that process is acquiring the skills of media professionals. The quickest way to do that is by hiring experienced journalists.Recently, acquired Steve Gillmor, a veteran tech journalist. [Steve Gillmor goes to the dark side: you should care | ZDNet]That was a savvy move by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, who knows Steve Gillmor very well through many interviews.Other companies such as IBM have made similar hires. Ben Edwards, a veteran reporter at The Economist, joined IBM in March as VP of Digital Strategy and Development.Cisco Systems has a long tradition of employing journalists. A recent hire is Jamie Beckett, managing editor of [email protected] Ms Beckett used to be a business reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. Ken Kaplan, broadcast and new media manager at Intel, has a long background in TV at KRON-TV, the former NBC affiliate in San Francisco. And there are many more examples.Having an experienced journalist on staff will help companies tell their stories, however, the success of such ventures will depend upon how much creativity the journalist is allowed. Companies have a strong desire to control their message and nit-pick how that message is published. Journalists are used to having a relatively free hand in deciding how a story should be presented and there is a danger that their work will be handicapped by their bosses.Too many editors, like too many chefs, can ruin the dish.Companies will have to trust that their "embedded journalists" are taking the right approach and take a hands-off approach.- - -Please see: Every Company Is A Media Company...[Read Full Article]

Arianna Huffington: Women Leaders Need To Do Things Differently
Women leaders need to take a new approach because the current leadership of the nation is not working, said Arianna Huffington, speaking last night at the awards ceremony for "Women of Vision" organized by the Anita Borg Institute."There is not of enough wisdom around, your job as a leader is to do things differently." She said that the financial crisis, the oil spill in the Gulf, and other events should have been better handled yet few saw the possibility of those events happening.She said women leaders are good at imagining what could go wrong and to make sure protective measures are taken.About 700 people gathered at the Santa Clara Convention Center Wednesday evening to celebrate the Anita Borg Institutes' Women of Vision awards. The Anita Borg Institute works to promote the careers of women professionals within the tech industry. It builds on the work of Grace Hopper, a pioneer computer scientist and US naval officer.The three winners were:Innovation Award: Kathleen R. McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University Social Impact Award:Lila Ibrahim, General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel Corporation Leadership Award:Kristina M. Johnson, Ph.D., Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy Ms. Huffington spoke for a long time, dispensing lots of advice. She spoke about her latest book: On Becoming Fearless.... in Love, Work, and Life. She said she wrote it for her two daughters to encourage them to take risks and not be fearful of failure.Here is some more advice from Ms. Huffington:- I always tell my children about my failures rather than my successes.- Be bold, chutzpah is rewarded.- Avoid guilt and feelings of inadequacy, deal with naysayers.- Multitasking is not productive.- Get plenty of sleep, 4 hours a day is not enough, we live in a sleep deprived culture and...[Read Full Article]

Tibco Software - Heavy Lifting In IT Enterprise... And The 2 Second Window
I'm spending some of this week in Las Vegas at Tibco's User Conference. Tibco has been a great supporter of SVW and I like the company, it is doing some very impressive things in a market that doesn't get much media exposure.Tibco's technologies allow large corporations to bring together all their computing assets into an integration layer, which enables them to build business processes as services, that run across their entire computing platforms. This integration layer is more important today than ever before because this is where you can create lightning fast responses to the billions of business events happening within organizations every day.Vivek Ranadivé, Tibco's founder and CEO, likes to speak about the "2 second advantage" this is the brief amount of time a business has to respond to an event, such as a customer having problems with a dropped cell phone call. One response is to send a text message apologizing and crediting the customer account with 50 minutes of free time (a pleasant fantasy, AT&T would be providing millennia of free minutes).Mr Ranadivé is working on a book on this subject with Kevin Maney, the former journalist with Portfolio and USA Today.I spoke with some of Tibco's customers. Syed Kashif Qasim Ali, a project manager from the Adu Dhabi Commercial Bank, said that Tibco technology is being used to rapidly create new services. Those services can be reused among different business groups and across different channels.The bank has to maintain two banking systems, one that is Muslim based and that adheres to Muslim principles, and a commercial banking system. The goal is to be able to provide customers with a 360 view of all their accounts and products within 5 seconds.I also spoke with José Salinas, Vice President of Technology and Logistics at Banco do Brasil. This...[Read Full Article]

Using Pearltrees To Create Multi-Media Press Kits
My regular readers know about my rants on the subject of press releases. My rants are not about the content of press releases but that they do not use the media technologies that we have today.{Please see: Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! - SVW and 4 Years Since 'Die! Press Release Die!...' And STILL No Hyperlinks - SVW] Few press releases have more than one link, or have links pointing to useful information such as: - a link to photographs- embeddable videos- background information- customer quotes- analyst quotes- related news stories- related news releases Such links make my job easier -- instead of Googling around for that information I can find it more quickly. I might also copy those links into my article as a service to my readers looking for additional information. Yet despite having many people agree with me, the PR industry still has trouble understanding these very simple things. Some have told me that people don't know how to create links. (I will be hosting a $1,000-a-head workshop on this very topic, send me an email if you'd like to sign up foremski at Another way to produce an interactive press release is to use Pearltrees. I've been working with Pearltrees the past few months and developing some new use cases. Pearltrees is a visual way of creating a collection of web sites. Let me show you an example below. It represents Intel's recent launch of a new Atom processor family. To the main news release, I've attached pearls that represent web pages where you can download photos, video, find background information, etc.(This is a live window in that you can move around within it and browse the content of each pearl. You can also grab it and add it to your Pearltree collection.) After...[Read Full Article]

Intel Manufacturing Expertise Propels Profit Margins
The secret to understanding Intel [INTC] is not to think of it as a microprocessor company but as a chip maker. Intel is extremely good at making chips, in large amounts, and as cheaply as possible. It makes microprocessors only because it's the best use of its manufacturing prowess.Intel can regularly make 60 percent plus profit margins on its chips--similar profit margins that software companies make--yet Intel has to build multi-billion chip factories that represent the apex of our industrial world (while software companies don't.)Earlier today Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, told Wall Street analysts that Intel is getting faster at ramping up new generations of chips.Mike Magee at TechEye reports: He said that when Intel moved to 90 nanometre technology in 2003, and shipped the Pentium 4 with one core and 170 million transistors, it took 50 weeks to move to that process. He claimed that Intel takes half the time with its 32 nanometre technology, and for multicore devices for chips that over a billion transistors.He said the advantage for that is that Intel can get to market very fast and manage inventory and overhang. "The faster you can ramp the new stuff the less of a problem that is," he said.He said that Intel has shipped 3.3 billion processor cores in Q1 2010. By the end of this year that number will be closer to four billion cores.As Intel moves to ever tighter geometries, it can cram more chips per wafer and dramatically reduce its cost of manufacturing since each wafer costs the same to produce but now carries more chips.Intel is trying to break into smart phones with its Atom product line, a market dominated by ARM Holdings, a UK chip company. Mr Otellini told analysts said he is not worried about competition from ARM.Please see:Intel...[Read Full Article]

MobiTV Court Victory Could Have Large Effect On Streaming Fees
Paige Schoknecht reports that MobiTV has won an important victory over ASCAP, the organization that collects license fees for music performance rights. The decision was a complete victory for MobiTV, categorically rejecting ASCAP's proposed licensing structure, which would have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of fees to ASCAP from content distributors across the industry. The court adopted MobiTV's structure instead, which was based on ASCAP's cable television licensing framework. This resulted in license fees that were only a small fraction of what ASCAP sought.Part of the significance of this case is that there are a number of other cases standing in line for resolution by the ASCAP "Rate Court," including cases involving major wireless carriers, operators of Internet content distribution services, and major cable television and broadcast television/radio entities; it is likely that the MobiTV decision will have implications in relation to many of those cases.Kenny Steinthal of the San Francisco office of Greenberg Traurig was the lead attorney for MobiTV....[Read Full Article]

The Technology Gap Between Nations...
Here is an interesting graphic from Peer Software depicting the digital divide between the top 20 economies. It shows just how much work developing nations still have ahead in terms of bridging the technology gap. We are still in the early stages of this global infrastructure build-out....[Read Full Article]

Social Design: Quirky's Cradle For IPad
Quirky is an online store that specializes in community designed products. It's latest is the Cradle, a laptop desk designed to be used with Apple iPads. It took about a week to design and it is the 39th product designed and developed by the Quirky community.The Cradle's minimalist bent design is constructed of sustainable bamboo Plywood also known as Plyboo. It has an integrated circular plate, made from matte, soft-touch plastic, that allows you to rotate your iPad between portrait and landscape views. The underside of the desk is lined with a foam cushion with woven covering that rests on your lap for added comfort. The compact Cradle measures 21in wide x 4in tall x 13in deep x 1/4in thick. Popular Quirky products include: the Cloak, a sleek, sturdy iPad case;the DigiDude, a portable camera tripod and keychain; the Scratch-n-Scroll, a mousepad with a writing surface; and the PowerCurl, a cord wrap for Apple's MagSafe power adapter. The community choses one product to develop every week, and part of the sales go back to those involved in creating and promoting the product....[Read Full Article]

Brazil Touts High Tech Prowess With Minister's Visit
Sergio Rezende, Brazil's Minister of Science & Technology is visiting San Francisco and Silicon Valley this week. He is joined by Maurício dos Santos Neves, Director, Department of Electronic Industry, Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES), and others from the Brazilian Private Center.The Brazilian delegation is hoping to attract the attention of local business leaders and investors, in Brazil's fast growing markets in IT, telecommunications, social media, technology outsourcing, biotechnology, and software design. The Brazilian government has adopted new policies that have helped to expand Brazil's high tech industries.Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America, which collectively is about the size of China's economy.Please see: Brazil, It's Finally Tomorrow -[Read Full Article]

Max Palevsky Intel Founder Dies
TechEye reports that Max Palevsky died aged 85. He was one of the first investors in Intel. He made more than a $1 billion in the sale of Scientific Data Systems to Xerox in 1969.Although he was a computer pioneer, in his later life he lost his love for computer technology.In the 1970s he turned his back on corporate America and produced movies, saved Rolling Stone and delved into Democratic politics. In later years, Palevsky gave up on politics and concentrated more of his attention on art. He built important collections of arts and crafts movement furniture and Japanese woodblock prints. ...In the last 15 years of his life he became a bit of a self confessed Luddite and refused to touch a computer, watch TV or use a credit card....[Read Full Article]

More Web 2.0 Expo Reports...
Here are Wednesday Web 2.0 Expo reports in a Pearltrees format, you can quickly jump from web page to web site. Meet the Silicon Valley teenager on her first startup, and view video from some of the panels at the expo......[Read Full Article]

Out and About at Web 2.0 Expo...
Web 2.0 Expo is not very busy this year but that doesn't mean I haven't found it interesting and time well spent.Maybe its because there aren't large crowds that I'm enjoying it more this year. It's easier to have longer conversations with people.The conference sessions and keynotes have been interesting too, even though many of the conference sessions feature single speakers.- I caught Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix speaking about monetization of online media. He took us through the ABC basics such as "have lots of traffic" to more interesting content related to his personal experience of running advertising sales teams.He says that it takes about two years to train up a sales team and for them to get their story straight; sales people always sell to the companies they know; it takes a long time to educate sales people on your value proposition; listen to the feedback from your salesforce. - Cary Rosenzweig, CEO of IMVU, a virtual community site similar to Second Life, spoke about virtual goods. He prefers to use the term 'digital goods.' He says they are contextual and are of two types, either "expressive" or "decorative."About 20% of digital goods are bought as gifts; people want an avatar that looks unique therefore they don't buy popular items but look for clothes, etc, that no one else has; top selling goods are never 0.2% of total; user generated content is hard and quality is determined by the users.- Rebecca Weeks Watson, VP Business development at GWallet spoke about virtual currencies. She said that CPMs are excellent and range in the $100 to $500 range. Virtual currencies are the quickest way to monetize up to 100% of users.- I met with Gilles Barbier, the CEO of TellMeWhere, a cool restaurant recommendation engine. It's the current leader in...[Read Full Article]

Same-Computer Dating Site for Apple Fanbois...
TechEye reports that Apple fanbois will soon be able to date each other thanks to a new site: Cupidtino - launching in June. The makers claim that "diehard Mac and Apple fans often have a lot in common - personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, and of course a love of technology." They forgot to mention blind obedience, the assumption that they are iNdividuals and an inability to use technology that doesn't have a shiny white finish. I'm a Mac user but not a fanboi. It's good to see a third party site trying to help Apple fanbois with their terrible loneliness. But will inbreeding - if it comes to that -- lead to some terrible mutant offspring? Or maybe they will cancel each other out and produce well-adjusted, happy people, without a shred of hate or bile?...[Read Full Article]

Tuesday Web 2.0 Expo Report
Here is the Tuesday Web 2.0 Expo report in the form of Pearltrees. Click in the box below to browse through some of the news from Tuesday at the show.You'll find information about Adobe's mystery tablet, and a lot more. Let me know if you like this format.(PS: A new version of Pearltrees will provide lightning fast browsing by pre-cacheing web pages.)...[Read Full Article]

Intel Wrestles ARM For Smartphone Markets With Latest Atom
Intel today announced a new Atom processor with lower platform power use with support for high performance graphics targeted at smartphone and tablet use.The latest Atom Z6xx is designed to compete against ARM Holdings, the UK chip design company. ARM-based chips dominate the smartphone market, Apple chose an ARM-based design to power its iPad and iPhone products.Here are the details on the latest Atom from Intel:>50x reduction in idle power, >20x reduction in audio power, and 2-3x reductions across browsing and video scenarios - all at the platform level when compared to Intel's previous-generation product. These power savings translate into >10 days of standby, up to 2 days of audio playback and 4-5 hours of browsing and video battery life3. When combined with 1.5-3x higher compute performance, 2-4x richer graphics, >4x higher JavaScript performance, and support for full HD 1080p high-profile video decoding and 720p HD video recording. 3-D graphics, multi-point videoconferencing and voice. Intel Atom Processor Z6xx based on Intel's 45nm2 low-power process, packs 140 million transistors... also includes a Controller Hub (MP20) and a dedicated Mixed Signal Intel developed a new 45nm chip process manufacturing technology to make it easier to integrate different blocks of technology in order to produce semi-custom versions for different applications. ARM licenses its designs widely and there are large libraries of technology modules that allow customers to customize their chips, Intel does not offer a similar capability. However, Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Corporation's Ultra Mobility Group, told SVW that Intel would consider making a custom version if the economics of the deal made sense.Mr Chandrasekher did not discuss customers for the new Atom but said it wasn't because there were no customers but that they were secretive about their product plans for competitive reasons.Intel has an...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: The Internet Operating System And Why Size Matters
An operating system tells a computer where to find data, and where to find various services, such as drivers for your screen. It points to them.The Internet acts very much like an operating system, everything on the Internet points to something: pages, data, images, services such as search, maps, etc.In the world of operating systems there are proprietary and open systems. - Microsoft's Windows family is proprietary and Linux is open. You can make changes to Linux as long as you share the changes and keep everything open. - Open operating systems provide a commons where everyone shares in improvements but it is more difficult to make money from open systems.Hybrid OSes...You can have hybrid operating systems such as Apple with its Mac OS X, which uses a version of Linux (BSD), combined with proprietary software. Apple saves money on core OS kernel development and it can focus on the proprietary modules where it builds value.The Internet is very much like a hybrid operating system, making use of core, open standard technologies such as the Internet Protocol, HTTP, HTML, CSS, XML, etc. These are mixed with proprietary technologies such as Adobe's Flash, Google's Search, Facebook's Social Graph, MPEG-2 video, etc.And the race is on for companies to try to own as much of the Internet operating system they can manage.Tim O'Reilly, the head of tech book publisher and events organizer O'Reilly, has written a great essay that describes this competitive race. In State of the Internet Operating System Part Two he evaluates the competing contenders to the Internet Operating System throne. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and VMware all have credible platforms with strong developer ecosystems. Then there is a collection of players with strong point solutions but no complete operating system offering.Mr O'Reilly does a good job in analyzing...[Read Full Article]

Pearltrees Launches Super-Embed Version At Web 2.0
I've been doing some work with Pearltrees, which has become my favorite curation tool because it is a very good media technology -- it allows me to publish a visual representation of web sites and how they are connected. Pearltrees just got better with the launch of a new version that allows you to embed a live window (below). The great thing about Pearltrees is that you can take my Pearltree and add it to yours. If I update my Pearltree you see the update immediately.Pearltrees is at the Web 2.0 Expo this week and has been chosen for the Launch Pad program, which highlights five of the best companies at the trade show.Here is my Pearltree of the Web 2.0 Expo. I'll be making new ones for each day of the show....[Read Full Article]

Interview: Intel Social Media Strategist Ekaterina Walter
I recently interviewed Ekaterina Walter, social media strategist at Intel. Ms. Walter works in Portland and is part of a small team of social media specialists working closely with Intel's corporate marketing group to provide a set of best practices and strategies.Ms. Walter has been specializing in Facebook strategies. You can hear one of her BrightTalk webcasts here: "Faceless to FANtastic - Effectively Engaging Your Facebook Fans"Here are some notes from our conversation:- My webcasts have been popular because I provide a lot of tips.- Engagement on Facebook is important. If you don't engage you don't grow.- We try to create a 3 to 5 year social media strategy at Intel.- My team advises the Intel marketing group and we have also created an internal education classroom series that all 5 thousand people in our marketing group have taken.- We don't monitor what Intel staff do in social media but we do have lots of support services for them. - It's important to collect content so it is not fragmented. For example, we have an Intel channel on YouTube where staff can upload videos.- Facebook is important to Intel because it is a place where people can get advice. We have more than 80 thousand fans on Facebook.- The old days of trying to drive everyone to your main website are over.- I am involved daily on Facebook but I would like to work more on strategy. However, if I weren't involved on Facebook I wouldn't know what Intel's strategy should be.- There is a return on investment in social media. It's hard but it's not true that you cannot calculate an ROI.- Analytics is very important. We use a lot of analytics tools, none are custom, all are available either for free or as a subscription.- We also work...[Read Full Article]

Retrevo Study: Two-Thirds Of Parents Allow Kids To Text At Meal Times's latest Gadgetology study highlights some interesting findings about parents and their attitude towards social media:- 29% of all parents don't allow texting during family meals. 36% of parents of teenagers don't allow texting during family meals. - 30% of parents think 13 - 15 years old is the right age to get a social media page - 36% of parents think 16 - 18 is the right age to get a social media page - 26% of parents say over 18 is the right age to get a social media page - 8% of parents are okay with kids under 12 having a social media page.- Only 12% of parents ban social media as a form of punishment. 18% ban all internet usage. 47% talk with their kids as a form of discipline. - 48% of parents on Facebook are "friends" with their kids. 52% are not.Andrew Eisner, director of content at Retrevo adds, "It looks like more parents with teenage children are more likely to be friends with their kids, although many admit it can be awkward at times but they say they do learn a lot about their teenagers, which is probably why children are so hesitant to friend their parents to begin with."The study questioned 1,000 people across gender, age, income and location....[Read Full Article]

Conversation Group Changes...
The PR firm The Conversation Group has become Reimagine Group and co-founder Giovanni Rodriguez has left to join Broadvision as Chief Marketing Officer; co-founder Ted Shelton has left to start his own agency Open-First, in Palo Alto.Giovanni Rodriguez said he would still retain some part-time connection with Reimagine Group, which is led by Peter Hirshberg.The Conversation Group web site, however is still up with it's latest news from July 2009....[Read Full Article]

Every Company Is A Media Company Podcast
I recently spoke with Bob Walsh from 47 Hats, and Patrick Foley from Microsoft, about Silicon Valley Watcher and Every Company is a Media Company - EC=MC - the transformative equation for business. It is part of the Startup Success Podcast series.Bob and Pat interview Tom Foremski, one of the foremost journalists covering Silicon Valley, the world of startups and the shifting sands under the feet of traditional media. Tom was one of the first top rank journalists to go solo and leave the sinking mainstream media ship. You’ll find his analysis of the coming media tsunami and why every company – including your startup – is now a media company nourishing food for thought.Download Show #66 here: Show #66 Or if you prefer, Subscribe to the podcast in Apple iTunes....[Read Full Article]

Why Founders Are Important To Startups - Demolishing Myths About Founding CEOs
Over the years there has been much written about startup teams and how different stages of a startup require a different mix of skills and thus different teams. I've spoken with Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow Technologies and a serial entrepreneur about this topic many times. He says that in the beginning you need a startup team where individuals have a broader set of skills, and as the company matures, you need to bring in people with more specialist skills. That same thinking has been applied to the founding CEO. There is a widespread belief in Silicon Valley that founding CEOs need to be replaced with professional CEOs to take companies to the next level. And there have been many high profile examples of founding CEOs being ousted by the board or investors. But is this the right strategy? Ben Horowitz, cofounder and General Partner (along with Marc Andreessen) of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has written an excellent article extolling the virtues of founding CEOs. [Why We Prefer Founding CEOs // ben's blog] He makes an excellent case for keeping the founding CEO by listing companies that have succeeded by keeping -- not replacing-- their founding CEO. Take a look: Acer--Stan ShihAdobe--John WarnockAmazon - Jeff BezosAMD--Jerry Sanders IIIApple - Steve JobsDEC--Ken OlsenDell--Michael DellEA--Trip HawkinsEDS --Ross PerotHewlett-Packard--Dave PackardIBM--Thomas Watson, Sr. (*)Intel--Andy Grove (*)Intuit--Scott CookMicrosoft --Bill GatesMotorola--Paul GalvinnVidia--Jen-Hsun HuangOracle--Larry EllisonPeoplesoft--Dave BenioffSeagate--Al ShugartSiebel--Tom SiebelSony--Akio MoritaSun--Scott McNeelyVMware--Diane GreeneHe points to a study from the Wharton School of Business that shows founding CEOs outperforming "professional" CEOs. Mr Horowitz believes that founding CEOs perform better because: Professional CEOs are effective at maximizing, but not finding, product cycles. Conversely, founding CEOs are excellent at finding, but not maximizing, product cycles.He says it is easier to teach a founding CEO how to maximize product cycles...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Apple iPad Is The Newspaper... Curating Content And Apps Produces Real Value
Over the past three years Apple adopted a strategy that exerts ever greater control over the content/apps on its hardware.It has always had control over its hardware and operating system but it now has control over the apps that run on its latest devices.The iPhone launched the AppStore and this strategy continues with the iPad, with every application requiring Apple approval. Although many have criticized Apple for becoming an ever greater control freak, it might be better to look at Apple as if its platforms, especially the iPad, were a newspaper or magazine--and Apple is the editor, or curator. of that content.For example, every newspaper editor wants to ensure a high quality experience by employing or contracting with the best writers it can get. In this regard Apple is not much different:- Apple produces a lot of its own content (apps) for its iPad/iPhone platforms and it controls the publication of third-party applications in the same way a newspaper editor controls which freelance content to publish. - Apple pays iPad app developers based on what it earns. It's not much different from Demand Media, or Associated Content, which pays writers a share based on the online earnings of the content they produce. [Please see: Interview With Patrick Keane - Associated Content . . . And The True Value Of Online Content - SVW]In the Apple world, the New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and all the other newspapers and magazines that publish on the iPad or iPhone... they are all essentially contributors, freelance writers that get paid by Apple based on their sales, with Apple retaining 30%.Google's approach...Google has a different model -- it's not interested in editing or curating content -- yet like Apple, it also makes money from other people's content. About 31% of...[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Sticky Versus Quick...Did Google Make The Right Choice?
Google has always been about getting people connected to the content they are looking for as quickly as possible. They even publish how quickly, in milliseconds, they perform a search. This has been a much different strategy from that employed in the dotcom boom days of the late 1990s when "stickiness" was a prized metric and mantra. The more eyeballs stuck to a site the longer the better. Google chose quick over sticky but was that a good business strategy? Facebook likes sticky over quick and it seems to be working. Nielsen estimates that US Internet users spent nearly 2 hours on Google in March 2010. They spent nearly 7 hours, or 3.5 times longer on Facebook. Although Facebook revenues are secret, you could argue that Google makes more money per user/minute than Facebook. However, look at all the future opportunities to monetize all that extra time that people spend on Facebook versus Google. There's a lot of low hanging fruit that Facebook can pluck. The Facebook experience is also much richer -- you get to see content from your family, friends, and contacts -- versus Google's plain vanilla page with a blinking cursor inside a search box. I appreciate Google's quick in-and-out policy but if I were an investor I'd prefer a much stickier strategy....[Read Full Article]

Job Seekers: Check To See What Your Job References Are Saying About You
Personal trust and reputation is very important especially in the online world where information of all sorts can be found. Reputation is even more important when you are looking for a new job.It's easier to deal with problem information that is visible, you can counter it in various ways. It's the hidden reputation information that's more harmful when searching for a new job.If a former employer, or one of your key job references is saying negative things about you, that's a big problem because you will not know it.Allison & Taylor, Inc. is offering a service that will check job references.Heidi Allison, managing director of Allison & Taylor says that in about one-half of cases, they uncover mediocre or negative input: "People they believe will give them a good reference, frequently do not. And the likelihood is that such references will continue to "poison the well" unless their negative input can be documented and addressed." Allison & Taylor says that one client lost seven job offers and $50,000 in savings because of negative references.When we call a reference, we simply state that we are calling to do employment verification and reference check on (name of client). Typically the reference assumes we are considering hiring that individual or we have been hired to check them out for a company that is considering hiring them. Under no circumstances do we ever disclose who has actually hired us to perform the reference check. This allows our client complete confidentiality and the ability to use our information in court should the need arise.If negative references are found, cease and desist letters, and threats of litigation can put a stop to further communications.Alternatively, job seekers could ask friends to check their job references....[Read Full Article]

Looming Chip Shortage?
Mike Magee over at TechEye, reports:Foundry giant TSMC said that its factories are full up -- issuing a "clarification" to remarks made when it turned in its first quarter results.The form said: "The delivery of TSMC's wafers to our customers are constrained by our current capacity. This is not an indication of customers' end market demand."TSMC is the world's largest foundry, making chips for thousands of chip companies. The lack of extra capacity will affect many companies that haven't already booked their orders.Foundries have to run at near full capacity otherwise they lose huge sums of money. But adding additional production lines is incredibly expensive. State-of-the-art chip fabs can cost more than $4 billion....[Read Full Article]

Captain Of The Sea Shepherd - Paul Watson Stole The Show At TEDxSF...
TEDxSF, one of the local TED conference communities, held an event Tuesday evening at the California Academy of Sciences, in the planetarium auditorium.About 350 people watched live presentations and many more were in a lounge watching the live stream of the event on monitors. The theme was courage and resilience.First up was Dr John Gray, the relationship expert known for his best seller "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus." He was very good, sharing some research on how women experience stress and the hormones needed to deal with stress. He said that women in the workplace experience twice as much stress as men and they need the hormone oxytocin to deal with the stress, and that comes from doing nurturing tasks. Often, working women aren't able to do enough nurturing tasks to deal with their stress because work based tasks generate testosterone. Men perform work tasks that generate testosterone, which is used to deal with their stress. When a man is sitting on a couch, he is regenerating testosterone. Because women are suffering from stress at much higher levels in the workplace, and they are unable to deal with the stress well, they will start dying earlier than men, he predicted.Jonathan Abrams, the founder of Friendster, ran through his history as an entrepreneur. He said it was a roller coaster lifestyle. He said he did it for the oxycotin boost. It was a content-lite presentation.Ultimate Fighter Champion Nate Quarry was up next. He delivered an inspirational story of how he overcame many personal challenges to win his championship. Afterwards during the break, there was a crowd of people around him wanting to hear more.Charles Huang, co-founder of Red Octane, the company behind Guitar Hero, the fastest video game to reach $1 billion in sales, praised his wife...[Read Full Article]

The Lawyers Are Taking Over... As CEOs
We can expect more lawyers in the CEO job, reports ABAJournal in its cover story by Mark Curriden: CEO, Esq. - Magazine - ABA Journal"The law degree is today's renaissance degree," says James Bradford, dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Bradford is also a former practicing lawyer and ex-CEO of United Glass Corp. and AFG Industries Inc., two large glass companies.The trend is encouraged by an increase in the number of government regulations and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act."For many years, lawyers were overlooked for the chief executive spot because they were viewed as being too risk averse," says E. Allan Lind, an expert on management leadership at Duke Uni versity's Fuqua School of Business. "But now risk management is highly valued. So there's a thinking that what we tried before--namely people with a finance background--didn't work, so we need to try something else."There are nine lawyers turned CEOs at Fortune 50 companies, up from three ten years ago.Most of my lawyer friends don't like being lawyers. I guess they now have an alternate career path....[Read Full Article]

The Future Of Money...
I popped into the Future of Money conference organized by Brian Zisk and his team. It was a good turnout and some interesting speakers. I caught some of the afternoon panels.Here are some notes from the event:Chris Heuer, from Social Media Club spoke about the need to be able to convert social capital into real money. He doesn't like the "free" idea that as espoused by Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired.Micki Krimmel, from, spoke about neighbors sharing their drills, tools, and other objects. She made the point that money stayed in the community, and that now she spends more money locally. Tara Hunt said that neighborhoods where people help each other have higher housing prices because people want to live there. This also cuts down on police costs. She said it wasn't possible to put a cash value on social capital.Dan Robles from The Ingenesist Project think tank, said that social value can be determined by a fifth order differential equation. Phil Rosedale, founder of Linden Lab (Second Life) said that Linden dollars, the currency used in Second Life, are not backed by real money but they do have real value. He said the exchange rate has remained stable over the past few years and he believes that a virtual currency could become a safe haven in troubled times, just like gold. He also mentioned his new venture lovemachine.Bill Tai, a partner at Charles River Ventures, spoke about virtual currencies being connected to something of value. You don't want to be a poker chip without a casino. He, too, thought that virtual currencies would someday be stable enough to act as a hedge in troubled times.It was good to see Alex Gove, VP of corporate development at gWallet. Alex said he was enjoying working at a startup, it...[Read Full Article] Kill Voicemail And Texting With Voice Messaging...
"I hate voicemail," says David Hayden, founder of, a startup that sends voice messages like Twitter sends Tweets.I'm puzzled and also gratified. I hate voicemail too, but puzzled by the difference between what does and voicemail. On the surface, one looks very much like the other."With, my email is less, I text less, I have fewer meetings. It has made me much more productive," says Mr Hayden.I'm intrigued at how a voicemail-like service can do all that. I'd love to be able to cut down on my email, texting, etc, too. But first, some background information: David Hayden is founder of Critical Path, he was also co-founder of Magellan Search, and much voice messaging service allows people to send voice messages to each other, up to 3 minutes in length. It is available on the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android phones.Here are some notes from our conversation:- allows you to have more conversations, but they are asynchronous conversations.- We did some studies among teenagers and they would rather text because they don't want to have a conversation. allows you to have a conversation asynchronously and that makes it easier and more appealing than an actual phone call.- Voice conveys emotion, it conveys a lot more information than text.- We looked at the limit of a voice message, in a similar way that Twitter limits the size of messages and we settled on 3 minutes, which is probably a little too long.- We will add a transcription service in the future.- We have 20,000 users since we launched in January, with no publicity.- has replaced meetings for me. I am exchanging voice messages all day long with my team. We rarely talk directly , and that's more productive because the PMs ( Messages) setup the...[Read Full Article]

Google Mobile Phone Strategy In Trouble - Verizon Drops Nexus
Google's strategy with its Nexus One mobile phone is in trouble as Verizon drops plans for support. Bloomberg's Amy Thomson reports:Without a Verizon partnership, Google loses access to the carrier's more than 90 million customers, potentially blocking the phone from gaining more widespread popularity and hurting its competition with Apple Inc.'s iPhone. The breakdown of the deal signals Verizon may view Google as a competitor rather than a partner when it comes to Nexus One sales, said analyst Colin Gillis at BGC Partners LP in New York. "It's really a flop for Google," said Gillis, who advises investors to hold Google shares and doesn't own any. "They paid a price to roll out their own branded phone -- it's a price of trust and relationship with some of the other players in the space." Google's insistence on bringing out its own phone has been a pricey strategy in that it has alienated telcos and mobile phone makers. It also angered former ally Apple, which quickly moved to cut ties with Google, asking CEo Eric Schmidt to leave its board of directors.Google could have maintained a fairly neutral position, licensing its hardware and software technologies to others, instead it chose to directly enter the mobile phone market, without any of the support infrastructure such as customer service.This also shows that Google is at the mercy of the Telcos when it comes to what phones and services the Telcos choose to carry.Will Google choose to become a Telco so it is able to introduce the phones and services it wants to rather than be at the mercy of what the Telcos choose to support?- - -Please see: Analysis: GOOG Needs To Have Its Own Telco Service More Than It Needs A Phone......[Read Full Article]

Yahoo Tries Yet Again With Original Editorial Content
Mike Shields at MediaWeek reports:Yahoo is on the verge of hiring more traditional journalists as it plans to aggressively beef up original content for its top verticals, including news, business and entertainment. ...That identity has already begun taking shape as Yahoo has hired a handful of journalism veterans to expand on Yahoo News, including former editor Russ Walker, the site's new politics editor; Andrew Golis of Talking Points Memo, who is assembling a team of news-hungry bloggers; and ABC News veteran Anna Robertson, now Yahoo News' director of multimedia and social media.Foremski's Take: This isn't the first time Yahoo has tried to build an in-house editorial team producing original news content. For example, it used to have a large business news group, with its own TV studio producing financial news throughout the day. That was an expensive venture, one that got dumped entirely when the dotcom boom turned bomb.Yahoo then tried again. It hired Patrick Houston in May 2005, former CNET editor-in-Chief, as VP of Content and Programming. Mr Houston built a content division with original stories in tech gadgets and tech news. I remember sharing a taxi with Mr Houston in New York and asking how things were going. He said things were great but he worried that Yahoo management didn't understand the cost of original editorial.He was right because in February 2008, Yahoo gutted the media group and Mr Houston went on to join Netshelter Technology Media. It looks as if Yahoo is trying again, but again, it will run into the same problems: having to justify the high cost of editorial content in a world where the economics of original content is defined by companies such as Demand Media and Associated Content, which can determine the lifetime earnings of any piece of content using an algorithm....[Read Full Article]

Anita Borg: Women of Vision Awards
I'm looking forward to the Anita Borg Institute's Women of Vision Awards Banquet coming up on May 12. Keynote will be given by Arianna Huffington, at the Santa Clara Convention Center.Award winners:Innovation Award: Kathleen R. McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, Columbia UniversitySocial Impact Award: Lila Ibrahim, General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel CorporationLeadership Award: Kristina M. Johnson, Ph.D., Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy- - -Please see: The Search For Silicon Valley's Women......[Read Full Article]

MSFT's Online Business Losses Jump 74%
Microsoft reported its fiscal third quarter results with net income up 35% as revenue rose 6% to $14.5 billion from the year ago period.However, losses in its online business group jumped 74% from $411m to $713m.AP reported:Microsoft has started making payments to Yahoo Inc. as part of a Web search deal that the two forged last year. This quarter, the payments amounted to $78 million. But Microsoft is not operating the technology behind Yahoo's search right away, so it isn't benefiting from the partnership yet.MSFT shares fell 4% in after hours trading. This places it below Apple (AAPL) in market capitalization.The results show that Microsoft's traditional cash cow, Windows operating systems and its Office software continue to be very profitable and dwarf the losses in its online and other business groups. Although Microsoft does face some challenges from online software applications, such as Google's services, they don't compete for its core customers who continue to spend large amounts on Microsoft software licenses....[Read Full Article]

Analysis: Apple Buying ARM Makes No Sense
Apple's ever growing stash of cash, now up to $41.7 billion, is helping to fuel speculation about what it will do with the money. In London, there are rumors that Apple will buy ARM, the UK chip design company, for around $8 billion.Rosamund Urwin at the London Evening Standard, reported: City aflame with takeover talk of ARM and Xstrata "A deal would make a lot of sense for Apple," said one trader. "That way, they could stop ARM's technology from ending up in everyone else's computers and gadgets." ARM based chip designs are used in the iPhone, iPad and also by many others in smartphone and mobile hardware. However, it makes no sense for Apple to invest $8bn in buying ARM because it would not gain anything. It already has the rights to use ARM designs and to customize them for its own uses. Also, trying to stop ARM being used in other devices is a bad strategy because the value in using ARM, or competing designs such as MIPS, is in the customization. APple wouldn't be able to stop that work. And that's where ARM makes money -- by licensing the designs to many companies -- restricting that side of the business would ruin its profitability.The best argument against the deal was made by commenter Conrad Longmore:... it would be an expensive acquisition. Market capitalization (ARM) is about £3.3bn, but net income is just £40m. Anyone owning 100% of the shares would be spending £82.50 to earn £1 a year, which isn't great.Apple would earn far more money by investing $8bn in its own businesses.Intel is trying to break into the smartphone and mobile markets with its Atom processors but it is far behind ARM in design wins. It would make more sense for Intel to acquire ARM and...[Read Full Article]

Global Media Evaluating Business Models Around An Unique Publishing Medium
Updated: Global media companies are evaluating business models around a publishing medium with unique properties. Here's some of its specs:- Instant on.- Preserves data without power.- High resolution.- Portable.-Shareable.- Can survive being dropped from 6 foot.-Stylus input.-Content can be annotated.- Lightweight.- Readable in bright sunlight.- Range of realistic tactile surfaces.- DRM qualities built-in -- it can only be copied with special machinery.- Can be produced inexpensively with sustainable materials.- Eliminates the digital divide.- - Doesn't require specialist disposal.- Resistant to wide operating temperature range from Arctic to hottest desert. - Can be used for signage, and combined into panels for billboard-sized displays.- Absorbent. Can be used with ink and also for human hygiene purposes. Writer and publisher Dave Eggers recently said: "I just love the form." Jeff Jarvis hates it....[Read Full Article]

Society For New Communications Research - A Cutting Edge Think Tank For New Media And Communications
Tuesday I spent much of my day with fellow Fellows of the Society of New Communications Research (SCNR) — a Palo Alto based non-profit think tank that does original research into many aspects of our new media and communications worlds, and effects on culture and education.I'm a Founding Senior Fellow and have been associated with SCNR (pronounced 'snicker') for five years. It was founded by Jen McClure and it represents an extraordinary number of early pioneers, such as Shel Israel, Shel Holtz, Elisa Camahort, the co-founder of BlogHer, Dan Farber, Neville Hobson, Phil Gomes, Bruce Lowry, Giovanni Rodriguez, Matthew Podboy, Mike Manuel, Steve King, Dan Forbush, Tom Abate, Don Bulmer, Louise Kehoe, Jean-Baptiste Su, Debbie Weil, Josh Hallett, Adrian Chan, Sally Falkow, Paul Gillin, Andria Carter, Vanessa DiMauro, Geoff Livingston, Francois, Gossieaux, J.D. Lasica, John Cass, Steve Lubetkin, Albert Maruggi, Don Middleberg, Katie Paine, Todd Defren, Brian Solis, and many more...And there are new Fellows joining every year, carrying out important research.There's an amazing amount of incredible knowledge, expertise, and a huge variety of skills in this group. And it was great to catch up with many of the SNCR Fellows on Tuesday.Looking around the room, I also noticed how many of the Fellows are in their 50s and 60s. It just goes to show that with all this new media and communications technologies that are emerging, mastery has nothing to do with youth or age -- it's experiential rather than generational.Here is some recent SNCR research:The New Symbiosis of Professional NetworksConducted by SNCR Fellows Donald Bulmer and Vanessa DiMauro with the support of Leader Networks and SAP 2009 Middleberg / SNCR Survey of Media in the Wired WorldConducted by SNCR Fellows Jen McClure and Don MiddlebergMade possible in part by Marketwire The Global Newspaper Market: Searching for a New...[Read Full Article]

Symantec Report: Social Nets Are A Goldmine For Cybercriminals
Symantec released its latest Internet Security Threat Report volume XV. Here are some of its findings:- Given the potential for monetary gain from compromised corporate intellectual property (IP), cybercriminals have turned their attention toward enterprises. The report found that attackers are leveraging the abundance of personal information openly available on social networking sites to synthesize socially engineered attacks on key individuals within targeted companies.- Cybercrime attack toolkits have lowered the bar to entry for new cybercriminals, making it easy for unskilled attackers to compromise computers and steal information. One such toolkit calledZeus (Zbot), which can be purchased for as little as $700, automates the process of creating customized malware capable of stealing personal information. Using kits like Zeus, attackers created literally millions of new malicious code variants in an effort to evade detection by security software.- 2009 saw dramatic growth in the number of Web-based attacks targeted at PDF viewers; this accounted for 49 percent of observed Web-based attacks. This is a sizeable increase from the 11 percent reported in 2008.- In 2009, Symantec identified more than 240 million distinct new malicious programs, a 100 percent increase over 2008. - 75 percent of enterprises surveyed experienced some form of cyber attack in 2009. - It was estimated that Downadup was on more than 6.5 million PCs worldwide at the end of 2009. Thus far, machines still infected with Downadup/Conficker have not been utilized for any significant criminal activity, but the threat remains a viable one.Resources:Symantec Internet Security Threat Report XV MicrositeThreat Landscape Overview on Slide ShareSymantec Security Response BlogIndustry Resources at Delicous.com2010 State of Enterprise Security Report2010 State of Enterprise Security on SlideShare...[Read Full Article]

How To Look Good As A VC...
Georges van Hoegaerden from The Venture Company pokes some fun at venture capitalists trying to look good while as industry tackles some hard truths...The following extracts are from: VC roast; how to take Venture for a ride:- You give speeches to the world about free-markets from atop a comfortable perch of the most closed, dark, unregulated, in-transparent and proprietary market mechanism in the financial industry. - You write on your blog that Venture is all about relative performance and then compare Venture indices with those of 100-year old asset classes (with nominal greenfield and growth), so Venture still looks like a “star”. - You make the world believe that the best companies to invest in start with the discoveries from white males, under thirty, only a technology proposition, twenty miles from Sand Hill Road and built in a garage where you spoon-feed them $250K tranches, minimizing investor downside risk. Ignoring comfortably that the long-tail of viable ideas should just no longer be explored. - You decline to discuss publicly any rounds of funding into portfolio companies and its valuations, because at some point that may actually lead to the discovery of your real knowledge, vision and merit of decision making in Venture, or what a fool you really are. - You start raising new money, four years after your first, making it impossible for your LPs to establish the real merit of your initial investment thesis. You’ve just added another 12 years to your already comfortable existence and enjoy the stability of a more secure job than anyone else in government. - You tell the world about how holistic your job really is, and how you as a member of the Venture sector are responsible for generating all these jobs, forgetting of course that you are mainly the matchmaker in...[Read Full Article]

GOOG Comms Chief: How Google Censors Its Own Content
Rachel Whetstone, head of Google's global communications, writes that:Google products -- from search and Blogger to YouTube and Google Docs -- have been blocked in 25 of the 100 countries where we offer our services.She presented an overview of how Google censors its own content, in different countries, and the differences across its products....for example, those that make pro-Nazi material illegal in Germany and France -- and remove search results from only our local search engine (for example, in Germany). We also comply with youth protection laws in countries like Germany by removing links to certain material that is deemed inappropriate for children or by enabling Safe Search by default, as we do in Korea....Our enforcement of these policies results in the removal of more content from our hosted content platforms than we remove from Google Search. Blogger, as a pure platform for expression, is among the most open of our services, allowing for example legal pornography, as long as it complies with the Blogger Content Policy.Read more here: Official Google Blog: Controversial content and free expression on the web: a refresher...[Read Full Article]

WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell Questions Social Media Ads And Fears Regulations Because Of Facebook Privacy Screw Ups
Tim Bradshaw at reports (sub. required) that Sir Martin Sorrell, head of WPP, the world's largest marketing and communications group, has doubts about mixing advertising with social networks, such as Facebook.Sir Martin warned on Tuesday that social media sites are ”less commercial phenomena, they are more personal phenomena”, more similar to ”writing letters to our mothers” than watching television. ”Invading these [social] media with commercial messages might not be the right thing,” Sir Martin told delegates at the Financial Times Digital Media and Broadcasting Conference in central London. He also said he was concerned about Facebook's record on privacy....more than once, Facebook has ”screwed up royally” on privacy by trying to introduce intrusive advertising systems such as its aborted Beacon service. ”My view is that [privacy] is still a social norm,” Sir Martin said. ”People are still concerned about it and the invasion of it.” He's worried that Facebook's misadventures on privacy would create new government regulations affecting everyone. Foremski's Take: Sir Martin Sorrell's concerns about advertising on social networks and the comparison with personal messages to mom, seem unusual. Advertising on Gmail has been around for a long time, and advertising on Facebook has also been a part of that site for a long while. However, advertising on Facebook has not been very successful and ad rates are low. If Mr Sorrell is trying to get corporations to increase their online ad budgets he might prefer them to avoid the low cost and t