Could Twitter succeed where Facebook failed?
The tech community is buzzing at the news that Microsoft has made an unsolicited US$44.6 billion offer to acquire Yahoo and word is that Yahoo is actually considering it very seriously. The potential merger has long been rumored and there are many reasons for which it could actually make a lot of sense for both companies. A question, though, remains as to who the winners and losers are in that deal. Topline, it’s clear that Microsoft and Yahoo benefit from this and clear that it doesn’t benefit Google. But who else? Let’s look at the deal and try to figure it outs Winners OpenID: Only a few days ago, Yahoo announced support for OpenID, a system that allows users to use their yahoo credentials as a way to login to other services. Surprisingly, this was the goal of Microsoft Passport (now knows as Windows Live ID), almost a decade ago. A pairing between Microsoft and Yahoo could represent a major win for OpenID, especially if the partnership extends Yahoo’s commitment to Windows. One could see OpenID being incorporated with Active Directory in the future, leaving any non-openID provider in a lurch. AT&T: Yahoo has a partnership with AT&T for IPTV.…Read More
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal claims that there is a level of conflict of interest for bloggers who have advised FON and are writing about it. While the Journal’s story, in itself, is probably more of a tempest in a tea cup, I do believe that it raises some interesting issues in terms of buzz in the blogosphere. The New Gatekeepers For all that is being said about the democratizing effect of the blogosphere, the truth is that systems of hierarchies that have existed for thousands of years still exist in the online world. It may be that humans are hard-wired for hierarchies and find an innate need to give more power to a certain amount of gatekeepers. In the past, access to information was directly tied to monetary fortune. Before the advent of the printing press, books were very expensive so, as a result, the knowledge that was transferred through books was only accessible to one of two groups: rich people, knights and other people with some type of royal title, and religious leaders, including the people in monasteries who created those books. As a result, the information traded via books was largely centered on the…Read More
Reports that AT&T is planning on introducing a pre-paid card for online content show some potential new developments in the online space. If we were to follow the model further, we could see something new developing, with companies offering a basket of content for a fixed price. For example, imagine you would like to get a subscription to the Wall Street Journal online, access to some downloadable music, and latest sports stats. What if you could subscribe to a single service that would allow you to pay for all of those in one shot (and maybe receive a rebate as a result)? This is not dissimilar to the model currently used by cable television. In the United States, cable television has what is called a tiered structure. That means that channels are grouped in packages that are then sold as a whole. The most basic service includes the regular “free” networks (for people who have low or no reception), the next package above that generally offers an extended set that includes CNN, ESPN and a bunch of other channels. Then, on the third tier, you can buy more expensive channels like HBO or Showtime, which are not supported by advertising.…Read More
For the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with OmniSky’s new wireless service for the Palm V and I have to admit that it has affected my wireless usage. Running over AT&T’s CDPD network, the service allows Palm V users to get full access to the net at speeds of up to 19.2kbps. Priced at $300 for the modem and a $40 monthly rate for unlimited access, the service is still not cheap but it is starting to approach the reasonable area once you realize how much you can do with it. The basic software package comes with some of the same clips that are available on the Palm VII and a few extra programs like a full mail package which allows you to connect to your POP3 server. However, I decided to get rid of that piece of software once I discovered Ptelnet, a small telnet client for the palm. This allows me to access a Unix server on which I not only have an email client but also a Usenet client, as well as a web browser (lynx) and an FTP client. As a result, this telnet client works as the perfect on the road kit. For more…Read More