Thursday, September 30, 2010

YouTube Leads, But Facebook 2nd-Largest Video Site

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property with 146.3 million unique viewers in September 2010.

But Facebook.com jumped one position to capture the number-two spot with 58.6 million viewers, for a total of 243 million viewing sessions. Yahoo! Sites ranked third with 53.9 million viewers, followed by VEVO with45.4 million.

Google Sites had the highest number of overall viewing sessions with 1.9 billion and average time spent per viewer at 270 minutes, or 4.5 hours.

The duration of the average online content video was 4.8 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.

20% of AMericans Have Reduced Spending on Cable?

In a short piece on how Americans are economizing during the recession, sponsored by the Harris Poll, brief mention was made of the fact that 20 percent of Americans have cut back someplace on their "cable" spending. If so, that would presumably include cutting back on HBO subscriptions, disconnecting an outlet and therefore saving a monthly cable decoder rental, or other actions that keep the basic cable subscription in place.

If true, though, such data would show the important role the economy, housing crisis and joblessness are having on fixed-line service providers. Significant percentages of people also claim they cut off a mobile phone subscription or fixed-line voice subscription as well.

What Americans say they gave up in 2009

Google Android OS Has Momentum

Among consumers planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days, 37 percent say they prefer to have the Android OS on their new phone. That is a seven percentage point jump since the previous survey and a new all-time high for the Google operating system.

Over a year, preference for Android has grown about 600 percent.

While the Apple iOS remains the number one OS preference for future buyers, it dropped as expected in the aftermath of the huge spike we saw during June’s iPhone 4 release.

Sprint Board Members Depart Clearwire

Sprint Nextel Corp. executives serving on the Clearwire Corp. board of directors have left the board, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse and fellow executives Keith Cowan and Steven Elfman have resigned from the Clearwire board. A spokeswoman for Sprint said the company plans to appoint independent successor directors in the next few months. In the meantime, Sprint has named its general counsel, Charles Wunsch, as an independent observer to the Clearwire board.

Clearwire said that the resignations were prompted by recent changes in antitrust laws, but the move could also could provide Clearwire added flexibility to pursue a deal of some sort that might bring T-Mobile USA into Clearwire as an equity owner, for example.

On the other hand, some speculate that Sprint might also have an opportunity to increase its stake, as other shareholders such as Comcast Corp. have signaled they are unwilling to provide additional funding Clearwire requires. A move of that sort might not require a greater arms length relationship with Clearwire, though.

Clearwire said the move came "out of an abundance of caution to address questions raised by Clearwire

Clearwire's board structure allows for 13 members, seven of which Sprint has the right to appoint. The remaining four independent Sprint appointees to the Clearwire board remain.

Since Clearwire and Sprint compete at the retail level, the current board membership has proven awkward, observers note.

In some ways, it is hard to see any long-term solution that does not have Sprint acquiring a larger stake in Clearwire. Whether a firm the size of Sprint can live, long term, with buying its crucial 4G services from a firm it also competes with is open to question.

Sprint Nextel also faces the complexity of operating several different air interface networks (iDEN, CDMA and WiMAX). Those problems are not directly related to the size or control of the Clearwire network, but could become even more complicated if Sprint adds Long Term Evolution services at some point.

Weak Economy, Not Cord-Cutting, Drives US Pay-TV Subscriber Decline by 167,000 in the Second Quarter

The number of U.S. households buying multichannel video entertainment services fell in the second quarter for the first time (down 167,000 subscribers across all platforms). What remains unclear is whether the unusual decline is just an anomoly, or the beginning of a pattern. And even if some sort of pattern develops, does it portend some change in demand for the product, or simply financial stress which is causing consumers to temporarily suspend their purchases?

Though nobody can be sure, analysts at In-Stat argue that the decline is caused by the poor economy.

"There are several reasons behind the quarterly subscriber loss," says Mike Paxton, Principal Analyst. "While growing availability of over-the-top Internet video is spurring talk of mass 'cord-cutting,' this decline is not about cancelling pay TV in favor of Internet video."

"The main driver of these subscriber declines is the struggling U.S. economy and high unemployment," Paxton argues. If that is the case, some forecasters might ultimately project a return to growth. If high unemployment is causing the defections, a return to normal levels of employment should bring customers back.

There are a couple of issues, though. If forecasts of a return to "normal" employment (defined as pre-2008 levels) are correct, we might not see a full restoration of underlying job conditions until 2012 or later. That will mean a period of some years until anybody can really assess what is happening.

The other issue is that the attractiveness of alternatives will increase over time, though most observers probably do not believe alternate channels will make sense for another three to five years.

The point is that we might be in for a few, or several years where subscriber growth in the multichannel video business will be quite constrained, then face a period where demand might well be shaped by adoption of alternatives.

Either way, it now appears that multichannel video entertainment is at the point fixed-voice services reached in 2000 or 2001, depending on which data source one wishes to use: namely a historic high-water mark. After 2001, all data suggests, the number of fixed-line voice subscribers has steadily fallen.

Whether we have reached such a clear turning point for video is not yet clear, and will be difficult to assess because overall economic conditions will keep pressure on the business for a few to several years. The other unknown is the suitability of alternate consumption modes.

Apple, as Usual, Provides the Exception to the "Openness" Rule

There is little question but that the "Internet" is not as "open" as it used to be, with countries putting up the equivalent of firewalls, with the growth of opt-in communities and use of mobile and other apps that are not actually "open" in the old sense of the term.

Whether the end user value obtained from the variety of different Web experiences is better or worse is a matter of interpretation. Apple has been a salient exception to the "open" trend. But Apple's achievements also illustrate the fact that "closed" approaches to user experience sometimes are embraced by end users.

Power Users Prefer "Customization," Others Prefer "Personalization" of News

There is a difference between "power users" and "typical" users when it comes to the ability to tailor news to their own interests. Power users want the ability to active shape and control delivered news items, while typical users want the software to do that for them, without requiring effort on the user's part.


There is a major push toward customization in the marketplace because designers assume that more customization is better, but our research shows that only some users prefer customization," said S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor of communications, whose research with Sampada S. Marathe of the Media Effects Laboratory in the University's College of Communications appears in the July issue of "Human Communication Research."

For purposes of the study, researchers defined "customization" as a more proactive, highly user-driven practice, and "personalization" as having the system tailor content for users without active user input.

In the first study, the researchers discovered that power users -- those having higher levels of comfort with technology and interest in controlling their experiences -- found their visits to an online news site more enjoyable when they could customize the search process by defining search parameters or making changes to a website's settings themselves.

Conversely, "non-power users" -- those less comfortable with technology -- enjoyed personalized experiences the most. Under those parameters, the site shaped the news it provided without any overt control by the users themselves. It offered news based on user behaviors while browsing and searching during a previous visit.

"Power users like to control their information universe," Sundar said. "So they like news when they customize it themselves. But regular or ordinary users of the Internet like it better when the system configures the news for them.

The follow-up study indicated that power users might prefer customization out of a concern for their privacy. As part of that second study, users were notified that the news site they visited either "may use" or "will not use" their browsing information to provide services they requested. This subtle difference in notification resulted in dramatic changes in user behaviors.

Specifically, in the high privacy environment, power users were more willing to cede control and have information tailored for them because they trusted the site and appreciated the convenience. In a lower privacy setting, those same users wanted more control.

link

Most Users Don't Like Ads, but iPad Owners are More Receptive

A new study by Nielsen suggests iPad users, who tend to skew younger and male, are the most receptive to advertising, compared to other smartphone users. Keep in mind the findings are relative. By inference, 65 percent of iPad owners do not enjoy ads on their iPads. Some 82 percent of iPhone users do not enjoy ads, while 83 percent of all connected device owners do not like ads.

10 'Innovation Principles' for success in a disrupted telco marketplace

Taking care of a firm's biggest-spending, most-profitable customers is a rational strategy for virtually any company in any industry, and the telecom business is no exception.

But there's a downside to success. When a business model works well, there is resistance to change, and sometimes change is needed.

Analysts at Telco 2.0 point out that one way to jumpstart innovation is to focus on "unattractive" customers. By that they mean a focus on why some customers or segments have proven difficult to serve at reasonable margins, or which have not so far generated enough gross revenue.

That will not be an instinctive reaction, as competitors typically will have incentives to launch attacks at a firm's best customers, leading an incumbent to focus even more attention on the "best" customers.

On the other hand, attackers also have incentives to attack those customer segments that are not well served by incumbents. Short-haul or discount airlines have proven troublesome for incumbent airlines, for example.

The point, say analysts at Telco 2.0, is to seriously examine why a particular customer segment cannot be served at a reasonable profit, and retool the delivery system so a reasonable profit can be made.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waxman Net Neutrality Bill Goes Nowhere

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) now says his net neutrality bill is effectively dead after Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) declined to support the legislation, the Washington Post reports.

The draft also would have prohibited the FCC from imposing regulations on broadband Internet access service or any component of the service under Title II of the Communications Act, except when a broadband Internet access provider prefers to do so.



The rules would have applied to all consumer broadband connections, wired and wireless.

The short draft basically codified the existing "Internet freedoms" rules the FCC has bee using, without apparently adding language that prohibits application of quality-of-service features to consumer broadband access.

The rules would prohibit service providers from blocking lawful content, applications, or services, or prohibit the use of non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. Service providers do not object to those rules.

The draft language also would have allowed reasonable network management practices, specifically saying that such practices  "shall not be construed to be unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory."

The draft language did not elaborate on whether enhanced services or other quality of service features are permissible. The language focused on "minimum" standards of behavior, but did  not specifically address whether consumers have the right to buy services that offer expedited or quality-assured delivery.


Video Cord Cutting Threat is Overblown, Analyst Says

Some have noted a recent upsurge in investor interest in online video services, while others note a potential valuations bubble developing. You probably have to count BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield in the skeptical camp.

"The concept of being a so-called 'cord-cutter' sounds cool (leveraging technology) and,or,rebellious (fighting the entrenched multichannel video system)," BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield says. "But cool and rebellious do not necessarily translate into action."

While we are concerned about the long-term potential of "over-the-top" video, it is not a major threat to the cable and satellite industries over the next three to five years, he argues.

"Rather than blame the obvious headwinds, including a U.S. economy with housing going nowhere fast, high unemployment and consumer discretionary income falling, investors seem to have convinced themselves that concerned video cord cutting is becoming a real threat to the multichannel video entertainment industry.

At a high level, just about everybody would say the pressure is growing. Where observers disagree is about the immediate prospects. Greenfield says a survey of 1,300 consumers suggests the threat is overblown, at the moment.

Of the 1,200-plus subjects that subscribed to multichannel TV service, 37 percent say they have considered dropping their cable, satellite or telecom video service.

But when the 434 potential "cord-cutters" were asked if they would actually drop their subscriptions if it meant losing live sports events, missing out on live reality TV results shows and missing some of their favorite programming entirely (such as "True Blood" or "Weeds"), only 96 people (less than eight percent) would still consider dropping their service.

That would be in keeping with recent data on video churn, which suggests behavior at the one percent or two percent a year level.

But adjusting for the young-skewing, Web savvy survey panel, he concluded that "actual cord cutting risk is well below five percent.

Such surveys do not account for the reluctance of content owners to mess up their own revenue streams by making valuable content available in ways that damage current revenue streams. People might like the idea of buying and watching only what they want. But content owners are not going to allow that.

The desire to "cut the cord" might be there, but people will not be able to act on the impulse and still see what they want.

But some attitudes and values uiiWhat does a cord cutter look like? They are younger, watch less TV and are less likely to get HBO or Showtime, according to Greenfield.

link

Telepresence for the Home?

 Cisco executive Bob Plamondon, telepresence is now trickling down the market down to small enterprises. And the next stage of that adoption curve is the home market.

In The Future, All Media Will Be Personalized, Facebook Exec Argues

There will always be a place for mass marketing, but in the next three- to five years, a website that isn’t tailored to a specific user’s interest will be an anachronism, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says.

Optimism About Tech Recovery Might be Misplaced

Gartner analyst Andrea Di Maio says he "has visited five European countries in the last two weeks, meeting over 50 clients, and almost every single conversation has been either about how to reduce costs or about how to deal with specific technical or organizational challenges in a cost-constrained environment."

That doesn't sound like a foundation for a renewed wave of information technology spending, though there has been optimism on that score in the U.S. market recently.

What might really be worrisome isthe magnitude of the cuts and the timeframe for expected savings. He says he has "heard numbers between 20 and 40 per cent and timeframes of a year or less."

It is fair to say that most CIOs and IT leaders are simply unprepared to deal with this.

Tech recovery? This doesn't sound like it.

For Millennials, Byte-Sized Is Best

One of the common observations (complaints) about Millennials is that they lack the ability to sustain attention, and as a corollary, that they don't read much. Contrary to common perceptions, Millennials do read.

But according to the New York Times, 15 to 24 year olds spend on average 50 minutes a day reading and ‘pursuing other interests’. This is much higher than 25-64 year olds who spend just 32 minutes doing so.

Also, according to a U.K. McKinsey study, the average person consumed 72 minutes of news a day, up from just 60 minutes in 2006. What’s more, the increase was driven almost entirely by people under the age of 35.

All that noted, Millennials have a tendency to want content short, condensed and artfully presented with colorful graphics, bold type and simple headings. And they want condensed content.

New Google SEO Guide is Out

If you are the kind of person who likes to know something about search engine optimization, Google has just published a new version of its guide.

Google SEO Guide

Apple's segmentation strategy

Apple is different. Most people sort of intuitively understand that. Some might suggest that the iPad "has" to cannibalize low-end MacBook sales.

The alternative view is that Apple is cannibalizing low-end Windows machines, instead.

The iPad targets a set of applications and use casesthat are not dependent upon keyboards and mice. But there are plenty of jobs for which a tablet is an unsatisfying replacement for a traditional computer, and so the segmentation is pretty clear.

Apple also makes sure it doesn't make low-end MacBooks for which an iPad would represent a practical alternative. Beyond that, every product in the Apple line has a fairly easy to understand role in a user's life, with different form factors and input methods that make each product suitable for different use cases.

Android to Double Phone Market Share This Year

Android phones will take 24 percent of the entire smartphone market in the fourth quarter, more than doubling its 10 percent share at the end of 2009, Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum predicts.

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 devices will grab seven percent of the market in the fourth quarter, as Windows Phone 7 devices will be available from all the major U.S. mobile providers.

Meanwhile, Apple's share of the growing market will slip slightly this year to 15.3% from the 16% it had at the end of 2009, according to the report.

Teen Mobile Usage Has Exploded, As You Know

One of the reasons mobile usage by teenagers has grown so much is a confluence of necessity and opportunity.

Having exhausted most other demographics, mobile operators found they had clear incentives to get teenagers using mobile services.

The "family plan" created the cost incentive for parents to do so. They did. 

Long-Form Online Video Viewing Keeps Growing

Viewing of long-form (movie length) online content is growing, to nobody's surprise.

The big question is how soon critical mass is reached, and there are repercussions for alternative viewing modes.

Part of the answer hinges on willingness to pay for such viewing, either as part of some other subscription service, such as cable TV or Netflix, or new appetite for on-demand viewing, for which there is a discrete fee.

U.S. Mobile Content Revenue Forecast

Mobile content might not be a huge business at the moment, but it is about three times as large as mobile advertising is, in 2010.

Going forward, it looks as though gaming and video are where the larger opportunities might lie.

Millennials are Social, Period

Fully 78 percent of Millennial internet users engage with social media, including blogs, microblogs, social networks, and photo- and video-sharing sites, according to a Harris Poll.

But social media usage has grown in virtually every age demographic.

The Blogosphere: Colliding with Social and Mainstream Media

Social networks and microblogs have in recent years nudged blogging off the social media pedestal.

For some consumers, Facebook and Twitter have supplanted blogging as life-streaming outlets.

But blogs remain an important part of the landscape. This year, 51 percent of U.S. Internet users, or 113 million people, will read blogs on a monthly basis.

By 2014, the blog audience is expected to rise to 60 percent of internet users, or 150 million people.

The number of bloggers will also grow, though somewhat more modestly. In 2010, 11.9 percent of US internet users keep blogs. By 2014, there will be 33.4 million bloggers in the United States, representing 13.3 percent of internet users.

Will LightSquared’s LTE Network Find a Business Model?

LightSquared’s wholesale LTE network might not succeed as a major platform for 4G mobile providers. For starters, there might not be enough customers.

So some speculate LightSquared might instead be able to build a model based on middle-mile backhaul, basically hauling traffic from telco and other ISP points of presence back to major Internet backbone locations.
backhaul revenue potential from the 800 to 1,200 rural telcos and some number of independent or rural ISPs to make such a strategy feasible. I haven't made any attempt to run the numbers, but it seems intuitively unlikely.

Rural Internet access customers tend to pay less, and connect less, than their urban and suburban counterparts. Many ISPs or telcos in rural areas serve a few hundred total customers for voice, and less than that for Internet services. A market for Ethernet connections in the middle mile does exist. What isn't clear is whether the backhaul revenues are substantial enough to build a full business case for LightSquared.

Of course, LightSquared would not say that is the case, but rather than middle mile backhaul is a portion of the total potential revenue streams. That's probably true.

Not So Many Twitter Replies and Retweets

There is a notion that social networking communication patterns "should be" symmetrical, or something sort of symmetrical, or at least highly interactive.

Systomos finds this is not the case. After analyzing 1.2 billion tweets, Systomos found that that 29 percent of all tweets produced a reaction of any sort, either a reply or a retweet.

Of this group of tweets, 19.3 percent were retweets and the rest replies. This means that of the 1.2 billion tweets we examined, six percent, or 72 million were retweets.

Sysomos also discovered that 92.4 percent of all retweets happen within the first hour of the original tweet being published, while an additional 1.63 percent of retweets happen in the second hour, and 0.94 percent take place in the third hour.

That's a classic "Pareto" distribution, often known as the "80/20" rule or a "long tail" distribution. Since so many processes and distributions in the natural world follow a Pareto curve, this should come as no surprise.

Pareto would suggest that a small number of tweets produce most of the replies or retweets. And that is precisely what Sysomos found.

Here's Why Google Needs To Buy Twitter Immediately

Google "Needs" to buy Twitter, for any number of strategic reasons, Henry Blodget argues.

Facebook is emerging as a serious threat to Google's core business, and Twitter is the only social company Google can buy that might have a chance of combating this.

Apple is getting into social networking, and Apple is among Google's most-dangerous competitors, though not the only one.

Google hasn't gotten traction with its internal "social" efforts, and it might be too late to catch up.

Google has the money.

Twitter should ultimately come upon a viable revenue model, and it could be a big one.

Gmail Messages Now Can be "Unthreaded"

The way Gmail organizes mail into threaded conversations has been a "love-hate" sort of issue; some people find it very useful, and some us keep finding we are losing the "latest" messages because the messages are appended to an existing conversation thread that is on page two or three of an inbox.

Google now has decided to allow each user to decide to "thread or not thread." It's a big deal for some of us.

To change your settings, go to the main "Settings" page, look for the “Conversation View” section, select the option to turn it off, and save changes. If you change your mind, you can always go back.

Thank you, Google!

82% of Enterprise Outages Caused by Power, Hardware or Telecom Service Failure

Loss of electrical power, hardware failure or loss of telecom service accounted for about 82 percent of the outages experienced by some 200 medium and large businesses over roughly the last year, CDW has found.

While 82 percent of the 200 businesses completing the survey felt confident that their IT resources could sustain disruptions and support operations effectively, 97 percent admitted network disruptions had detrimental effects on their businesses in the last year.

Also, about 1800 smaller businesses reported network disruption of four hours or more within the last year. CDW estimates that such network outages cost U.S. businesses $1.7 billion in lost profits last year.

"The survey confirms that while many businesses believe they are prepared for an unplanned network disruption, many are not – and yet the three most common causes of IT outages are addressable," said Norm Lillis, CDW vice president, system solutions. Power loss ranked as the top cause of business disruptions over the past year, with one third of businesses reporting it prompted their most recent disruption. Hardware failures caused 29 percent of network outages, followed by a loss of telecom services to facilities (21 percent). "

The survey also revealed that businesses need to take advanced preparation more seriously and support employees more effectively with network accessibility.

While 53 percent of respondents said employees are instructed or given the option to work from home when a foreseeable network disruption approaches (a weather event, for example), only a third of businesses activate standby communications and network systems to support increased remote access when warned of such an event.

In fact, while respondents reported that, on average, 44 percent of the workforce normally has telework options, they said that only 39 percent of employees could telework during their most recent network outage.

link to full study

Lots of Enterprise Experimentation With Social Media

While 95 percent of companies surveyed by Econsultancy have added social media to their marketing mix, 45 percent have either only “experimented” or not done anything in social media. 

Aspen Institute Fellow Recommends Big Changes In USF, Intercarrier Compensation, Use of Satellite Broadband

Blair Levin, Aspen Institute Fellow, says $10 billion, spent over 10 years, is enough to provide a minimum 4 Mbps downstream service for Americans in rural and isolated areas.

He proposes that the money be gotten by revamping the Universal Service Fund, including reducing or freezing funds currently allocated under the Interstate Access Support and Interstate Common Line Support funds, steps that would have immediate impact on many rural telcos and rural mobile providers.

Levin points out that there are about seven million housing units (about five percent of the total) without access to the 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream services the Federal Communications Commission now believes is a minimum.

The FCC has estimated the cost to provide such service with wired broadband at $32.4 billion, with a revenue projection of only $8.9 billion, leaving a $23.5 billion gap.

But Levin maintains that the costs are so high because of costs to build wired infrastructure to just 250,000 homes. Reaching those 250,000 homes would cost about $13.4 billion. Levin does not appear to believe that is a wise investment. So he suggests using satellite to reach the most-isolated, high-cost homes, instead. That would free up enough money to build out facilities to the roughly 6.75 million other rural homes.

In 2010, the federal fund (USF) is projected to make total outlays of $8.7 billion, but not specifically to support broadband access.

Some $4.6 billion is set aside for deployment of networks to high-cost areas, where population density or other factors would cause the price of services to consumers to be at a level that would not reasonably compare to urban areas (this is in addition to the 21 states that have similar high-cost funds that distribute a total of over $1.5 billion).

About $1.2 billion is allocated to provide discounts to make basic telephone service available
and affordable to low-income consumers (in addition, 33 states have similar programs).

Another $2.7 billion is reserved for subsidizing telecommunications services, Internet access and
internal connections to enable schools and libraries to connect to the Internet (in addition, nine states have similar programs).

Making better use of existing funding should be the first priority in any reform effort, Levin says. The universal service contribution factor—an assessment on interstate and international charges that usually appears as a surcharge on consumers’ phone bills—is already at about 15 percent (having risen dramatically in the last decade), he notes.

Further increases would create both political and policy problems, he suggests.

"More ambitious goals in terms of network speeds, at this time, would cause such an increase in the assessment on the current system that it could backfire in terms of driving America’s use of broadband," Levin argues. "For example, the FCC calculates that going from 4 Mbps to 6 Mbps would increase the investment gap by more than 100 percent."

The rational approach would be to avoid building fixed-line networks to serve a quarter million homes, at a cost of $13.4 billion, using satellite broadband. That would free up nearly all of the available funds to build fixed-line networks for 6.75 million rural households.

There are a number of problems with the current Universal Service Fund, Levin suggests. "Among these are that the fund is targeted to support analog voice requirements, rather than data networks; that the fund does not target unserved areas but rather funds particular kinds of companies; that the fund provides incentives for inefficient build outs; that there is no accountability for actually using the funds for their intended purposes; and that the support programs are not coordinated to
leverage the funds to maximize broader policy objectives," says Levin.

Though rural telcos might not like the idea, there are a number of current programs within the Universal Service Fund that need to be changed.

About $4 billion could be redireted to broadband support, over 10 years, by reductions in USF payments to wireless providers.

Interstate Access Support (IAS) payments could be reoriented to broadband, adding approximately $4 billion over 10 years.

Freezing Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS) would limit the growth of the existing high-cost fund and result in savings of about $1.8 billion over 10 years. Those funds also could be redirected to broadband support.

To accomplish this, the FCC would have to require that rate-of-return carriers move to incentive regulation.

Phasing out remaining legacy high-cost support for competitive carriers (wireless, primarily) would yield up to an additional $5.8 billion over the coming decade.

Together these actions would result in between $15 and 16 billion in savings from the existing high-cost program that could be used to support broadband facilities construction.

As logical as the changes might be, there will be resistance from any number of firms that currently rely on the current mechanisms for significant portions of their current revenue, including but not limited to, rural telcos.

Video Streaming Now Drives Global Bandwidth Demand

As you would expect, video streaming now is the fastest-growing source of mobile broadband bandwidth demand, Allot Communications reports.

Voice sessions created using the Internet now represent the second-fastest-growing source of bandwidth demand.

That isn't to say those apps consume much bandwidth, but rather than use of the application is growing fast.


Video Now Single-Largest Bandwidth Driver, Says Allot Communications

Video now constitutes about 35 percent of total global mobile device and network bandwidth, according to Allot Communications.

Web browsing consumes about 29 percent of bandwidth while file downloads represent about 16 percent of demand.

Peer-to-peer apps, which include video and file downloads, represents about 15 percent of mobile bandwidth demand.

VoIP and instant messaging account for about three percent of bandwidth demand.

None of those metrics represent revenue contributions, though.

4G Americas: Sign of the Times

3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association originally created to foster adoption of third-generation mobile networks, is changing its name change to "4G Americas."

Of course, there is a difference. It doesn't really appear there is much of a need to convince mobile operators to adopt 4G. So the organization frankly needs to find some new mission.

So the name change also brings a mission change. Where it once focused on the air interface, it now will attempt to focus more on regulatory issues, devices, applications and vertical market deployments.





Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Net neutrality compromise?

Congressman Henry Waxman's net neutrality proposal won't please everyone. It is doubtful any proposal can do that. But its a serious effort to achieve a fair and workable compromise.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/09/waxmans-net-neutrality-compromise-solution-or-last-gasp.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

Pinger Makes Your iTouch Work Like an iPhone

Pinger might be the first voice and text provider to make a sustainable business out of ad-supported communications.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2010/08/09/an-app-that-makes-your-itouch-work-like-an-iphone.aspx

Sony, Warner, Disney Discussing $30 Post-Theatrical Offer with Cable Operators

Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Co. are in talks with the largest U.S. cable TV operators to offer films on an on-demand basis for as much as $30 per showing soon after they run in theaters, Bloomberg reports.

The talks with In Demand, a partnership of Cox Communications Inc., Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable are the latest example of experimentation with release windows and price points.

Disney also is discussing streaming films on Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox console and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3, Bloomberg says.

The new release window presumably would occur before the films go to DVD release, pay per view and other on-demand venues.

To Build a Mobile Network, You Need Access to Rooftops

Wireless operators frequently cannot build their networks as fast as they would like because they cannot always get rooftop access rights as fast as they would like, or at prices they believe are reasonable. Here Sprint talks about rooftops in New York city.

RIM's New Tablet

Research in Motion's new tablet device.

Digital Advertising Grows, To Nobody's Surprise

It would come as no shock to anybody that the amount of digital advertising and digital media is growing at least in linear fashion, just about every year.

Nor would it shock anybody that digital growth rates far surpass that of traditional venues.

Here's the latest forecast from BIA/Kelsey.

Smartphone Adoption Patterns Differ Globally

Smartphone adoption patterns globally are different from patterns seen in the United States. Symbian, to use one notable example, is relatively widely used elsewhere, but sparsely in the U.S. market.


Apple's market share in the U.S. market is far higher than it is globally, for example. 

Mobile Content Delivery Networks Might Be Affected by Net Neutrality

Content delivery networks routinely are used to improve end user experience for all sorts of applications. The same sort of logic would indicate that the same sorts of techniques will be used by mobile applications as well.

But network neutrality rules could affect the pace and scale of such application performance enhancement, indirectly if not directly.

Today, it is the application provider that makes the decision to use a CDN. Network neutrality rules that forbid quality of service features would not change that, but would prevent access providers from creating such levels of service.

One example would be a service provider capability that applies expedited or assured delivery for any video stream, or featured video streams. Much the same functionality could be provided for other types of traffic, including voice, conferencing or enterprise data interactions, for example, depending on how any possible rules are crafted.

Up to this point such enhancements have not been terribly necessary. But the amount of real-time traffic is growing.

According to the Yankee Group, fewer than 600 million smartphones will be in use in 2010, but that number will more than double in 2014 to nearly 1.4 billion.

One key difference between smartphone usage patterns and more-traditional devices is the increased amount of video traffic consumed by smartphone users.

AOL Thinks It Can Fix "Banner Effectiveness" Problem

AOL thinks it can "solve the problems associated with use of banner advertising, including clutter and end user inattention.

The basic premise of Project Devil is that “advertising is content.” The problem with banners is that they force the consumer to cancel what they were doing and look for a marketer’s message across the web. So AOL wants to move banners "into" the context of the web page and application the user already is engaged with at the moment.



link

Global Social Media Trends: Surprise or Not?

If you have been following user behavior in the social media space, you intuitively know that some people are more active than others.

Some people post, blog or comment quite a lot, while others mostly read.

Forrester Research breaks users into a number of categories based on their behaviors. You might, or might not, be surprised that the number of active content creators has not grown as much as the ranks of "readers."

The latest Forrester Research surveys indicate that the number of active content creators has basically stabilitzed, while the number of readers grows.

Whether that is a surprise or not might depend on what you originally thought might happen.

At a rough level, the difference might be something like the difference between newspaper readers and writers. If you were expecting that most people would suddenly start "writing" as social media became established, you'd take one view of the new data.

If you assumed that would not actually happen, and that lots of people derive value mostly from reading, rather than writing, you'd have another view.

The latest Forrester Research data tends to indicate that not everybody actually wants to "write."

House Preparing New Net Neutrality Legislation, It Appears

With the caveat that introducing a bill in the U.S. Congress is not a guarantee it will be considered, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) apparently is preparing to introduce new legislation creating a framework for network neutrality that, in its present form, seems to be far less onerous than rules the Federal Communications Commission has been attempting to put into place.

The draft also would prohibit the FCC from imposing regulations on broadband Internet access service or any component of the service under Title II of the Communications Act, except when a broadband Internet access provider prefers to do so.

The rules would apply to all consumer broadband connections, wired and wireless.

The short draft, which of course always could be amended into something quite different, should it advance, basically codifies the existing "Internet freedoms" rules the FCC has bee using, without apparently adding language that prohibits application of quality-of-service features to consumer broadband access.

The rules would prohibit service providers from blocking lawful content, applications, or services, or prohibit the use of non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. Service providers do not object to those rules.

The draft also would prohibit "unjustly or unreasonably" discriminating against lawful traffic over a consumer’s wireline broadband Internet access service. Depending on later elaboration and interpretation, this likely would not be objectionable to service providers, either.

The draft language also would allow reasonable network management practices, specifically saying that such practices  "shall not be construed to be unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory."

The language also specifically makes clear that it addresses consumer broadband connections, not all broadband connections, an important distinction as one would not want any new rules to apply to business services.

The draft language so far does not elaborate on whether enhanced services or other quality of service features are permissible. The language so far focuses on "minimum" standards of behavior, but does not specifically address whether consumers have the right to buy services that offer expedited or quality-assured delivery.

read the bill here

Monday, September 27, 2010

Online Marketing, Local Search and Mobile Search to Drive Six-Fold Increase in Internet Traffic

http://makemoneyonlinelab.org/online-marketing-local-search-and-mobile-search-to-drive-six-fold-increase-in-internet-traffic-2

Two in Three Likely Colorado Voters Say Government Spending Too High

http://bendegrow.com/2010/key-poll-two-in-three-likely-colorado-voters-say-government-spending-too-high-affects-them-personally/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=key-poll-two-in-three-likely-colorado-voters-say-government-spending-too-high-affects-them-personally

RIM hopes enterprise tablet secures franchise

http://www.google.com/reader/i/?source=mog&gl=us#stream/user%2F05579064408535224496%2Fstate%2Fcom.google%2Freading-list

Apple iAd gaining traction

The Apple iAd mobile advertising platform is on track to gain 21 percent of the nascent mobile ad market. Google is expected to dip to 21 percent, a drop from 27% last year, and Microsoft will drop to seven percent share, from 10 percent last year, IDC predicts.

Of course, it is still a $500 million revenues annual market, but growing quite fast.

Sony Ericsson Dumps ‘Failed’ Symbian OS

It wasn't so long ago that Nokia executives would point out how difficult mobile phones and mobile operating systems are, essentially arguing that new mobile operating systems would have a tougher time than they thought.

Now it is Symbian that appears to have failed, while the Apple iOS and Android keep growing.

Sony Ericsson confirmed that it had no plans for new Symbian products, while a Gartner analyst labeled the open source mobile operating system as a failed experiment.

We probably won't hear comments of that sort anymore.

Public Pensions are a Crisis

We have a big public pension obligation crisis brewing, in case you didn't already know that. If we don't fix it, we will someday discover that nearly 100 percent of funds intended to support local education will be going to pay retiree benefits.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

National Poll Infers Little Support for Net Neutrality, Maybe

Hart Research Associates conducted a national survey finding that opposition to government Internet regulation remains high with more than 75 percent of respondents agreeing that the Internet is currently working well and over 55 percent stating that the federal government should not regulate the Internet at all.

Some will interpret the results as relatively overwhelming citizen rejection of the notion of "network neutrality," but that probably overstates the results. Proponents will argue that net neutrality is about protecting people from future potential abuses, and does not address today's experience.

Granted, the average person wouldn't have a clue what "network neutrality" is, so asking a pointed question would likely result in dubious or skewed results.

Still, there seems to be a clear sentiment that the government is not likely to make things better if it becomes more active in things related to the Internet, with the exception of privacy protections and child safety.

When asked if the federal government should regulate the Internet, 57 percent responded “no”. Of the 31 percent who thought the federal government should regulate the Internet, more than two thirds said any such regulation should be focused on privacy, online safety and protecting children.

Bandwidth Caps Could Limit Netflix's Streaming Service in Canada

Netflix recently has launched "streaming only" service in Canada, and fixed-line provider bandwidth caps might be a key issue.

Some broadband packages offered by Rogers and others have a limit of as little as 2 GBytes a month, which would only allow for users to stream one Netflix movie a month.

Other providers offer 15 GByte and and 60 GByte caps, but one Netflix movie can take up between two and three gigabytes. so there is not much headroom.

Short Interest In Telecom Shares Grows

Short sellers recently have increased their positions in a number of telecom stocks, presumably suggesting they believe the prices will drop.

The market has probably become concerned that drops in landline customers is no longer being made up for by growth in cellular subscriptions.

T-Mobile Text Blocking Raises Old Issues in New Way

T-Mobile USA has been sued by EZ Texting, a provider of marketing campaigns using text mesaging. because T-Mobile USA blocked one of EZ Texting's campaigns.

The issue is far more complicated than some seem to believe. On one hand, this is pitched as an infringement of "free speech" rights. On the other hand it is seen as within the purview of any ad network or content publisher to decide what it will run, and what it will not run.

In other words, it is a manifestation of an ancient debate: Does the right of political speech belong to the speaker or the listener?

Also, though communications is regulated on a "common carrier" basis, which implies no "right of free speech" for the carrier (no blocking, for example), a commercial text messaging campaign is the use of a common carrier capability for an advertising campaign.

Historically, content publishers and media have had the nearly absolute right to reject any discrete bit of advertising, exercising their "free speech" rights.

These issues are not easily resolved. One might argue it is clear enough that the original intent of the U.S. Constitution was to preserve the right of free political speech for "speakers," not "listeners," originally for publishers of political tracts, pamphlets and the forerunners of newspapers.

More recently, the rules have shifted for electronic forms of communication, putting new emphasis on the "rights" of listeners or viewers. That's the foundation of all "local content" or "diversity" rules, for example.

But those interpretations conflict. Is the right of free speech primarily or necessarily for the speaker, or for the audience?

Secondarily, in this case, is texting a form of media, and therefore protected by free speech rights, when the use case is "advertising and marketing" rather than person-to-person communication of the common carrier type (private conversations and messaging)?

If the former, then T-Mobile has the right to reject an ad; if the latter, then all the messages must be delivered.

These sorts of questions have gotten more complicated as media have evolved, but there is a basic contradiction here, nonetheless. Is the right something that belongs to the speaker, or the listener? Courts have ruled both ways.

What's the Form Factor for the Mobile Phone of the Future?

As much as the Apple iPhone has changed the expectations users have about what a mobile device should look like, and how the interface should work, there are no end of ideas about where device form factors and user experience are headed.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One Point of View on Net Neutrality

It isn't a view I agree with, but Tim Wu is an articulate proponent of the argument in favor of net neutrality.

Stimulus didn't save the nation from depression

Economists now say the Great Recession ended in June of 2009, when the economy began growing again. And now people are arguing the the trillion dollar American Reinvestment and Recovery Act "saved" us from a worse outcome. Really?

The ARRA was passed in February 2009. The recession ended in June 2009. By the end of September 2009 (after the recession had ended), just $36.2 billion had actually been received, either by agencies that would disburse funds, or directly by individuals.

Do you really believe less than $36 billion in ARRA spending had any meaningful impact?

http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/Pages/QuarterlySum.aspx?qtr=2009Q3

A Scary Chart

There is something about this chart that should worry you. Note the length of the 1929 recession, about 44 months.

If you know your U.S. history, you know that the United States was in a "Great Depression" throughout the 1930s, getting out only sometime during World War II.

So the "official" recession last less than four years, though the Great Depression lasts up to a decade and a half.

Part of the reason is that there were two separate "recessions" during the Great Depression, if we can say something that sounds nonsensical.

Also, despite the moniker "roaring twenties," and the undeniable growth of that period, there were recessions in 1920, 1923, 1926 and 1929. Every three years, a reversal from growth to decline.

Given current worry about a double dip recession, and recent comments by the Federal Reserve suggesting it is worried about that happening, despite other "happy talk" about the low possibility of such an event, the 1920s and even 1950s record suggests one can say it is possible, perhaps even likely, there could be a growth reversal every three years, even in an otherwise robust economic climate.

If the last recession "ended" in June 2009, that might suggest another recession starting in June 2012 or so. Maybe its not strictly a "double dip," but two separate recessions. Americans won't care.

Nor does it provide any comfort to note there were "just" two recessions in the era we call the Great Depression. In other words, the formal definitions are one thing; the human experience quite another thing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What If Verizon Never Gets the iPhone?

It could be a blessing in disguise.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100924/tc_pcworld/whatifverizonnevergetstheiphone_1

Adding voice to text

Some firms see an opportunity.

http://www.trendcentral.com/WebApps/App/SnapShots/Article.aspx?ArticleId=7963

Microsoft mobile market share will triple within 2 years?

That would-be quite a feat.

http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/Microsoft-market-share-will-triple-within-2-years-according-to-analyst-article-a_13504.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+phonearena%2FySoL+%28Phone+Arena+-+Latest+News%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Cloud Startup Values Are Getting Insane

Sure signs of yet another bubble forming, most likely.

http://cloud.gigaom.com/2010/09/24/cloud-startup-values-are-getting-insane/

Clearwire Open to T-Mobile Investment

Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow says Clearwire now is in talks with T-Mobile USA about a potential investment in Clearwire, a move with repercussions now only for Clearwire and T-Mobile USA, but also for Harbinger Capital, which is attempting to fund its "LightSquared" 4G mobile network, and has been hoping it could attract T-Mobile USA as an anchor customer, one might argue.

Morrow says Clearwire could raise money by selling off unneeded spectrum. However, Morrow said that the company's preference is to get an equity investment from a service provider that would rent space on its network at a preferred rate, similar to the deal Sprint Nextel has with Clearwire. Sprint holds a 54 percent stake in Clearwire.

Windstream's Gardner: Enhance focus on business, wireless backhaul and broadband services - FierceTelecom

Windstream Communications is no longer content to just be the local telephone company offering just plain old voice service, says Jeff Gardner, Windstream CEO and president.

That should surprise nobody. There now is universal agreement that the revenue model, which is different from the value model, will over time shift from voice to broadband, wireless and other types of services and revenue sources.

"We're transforming from a residential voice model to one that's much more focused on broadband and business, and the idea there is to get to a point where we can generate some top line revenue," says Gardner.

The perhaps new wrinkle is the new focus on business customers. That might originally have seemed a rather large task, given Windstream's largely rural and smaller market footprint. By definition, business customers are a smaller percentage of total customers in any smaller market than in a bigger "metro" market.

The new wrinkle is not so much that Windstream expects to have more success with business customers in its historic footprint, but that it now is acquiring out of territory assets that are focused on business customers.

At a larger level, an argument can be made that even tier one providers increasingly find they are doing better with business customers than consumers, in large part because cable and satellite companies are taking more market share in the consumer space.

Bing is Still Google's Biggest Problem

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Productivity Apps Generate 59% of App Store Revenue

News аnԁ entertainment smartphone apps аrе downloaded thе mοѕt, bυt productivity smartphone applications generate thе mοѕt revenue, analysts at In-Stat say.

Productivity applications such аѕ mapping, business аnԁ enterprise applications аnԁ phone tools аnԁ utilities generate 59 percent οf аƖƖ smartphone application revenue, according to In-Stat.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DirecTV Would Bundle with Cable

DirecTV chairman and CEO Michael White says DirecTV is "looking hard" at offering bundled video and data service, and would even team up with a cable operator if the opportunity presented itself.

DirecTV already offers video, voice and data bundles with phone companies CenturyLink, AT&T and Verizon, but it isn't clear whether cable companies would want to help out a dangerous competitor, even if it meant some incremental sales of voice or broadband subscriptions.

Video Cord Cutting is Real, Verizon Argues

Though the data remains quite inconslusive, there are reasons different participants in the video ecosystem say different things about the danger of video cord cutting, where consumers terminate their multichannel video subscriptions and substitute other forms of entertainment video instead.

It's to the advantage of attackers to say the threat is imminent. It's to the advantage of cable and satellite execs to deny the extent of the threat, with telco executives a bit less inclined to downplay the issue, in part because other competitors have more to lose.

The cable business  is going to go the way of the wireline telephone business, says Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.

Seidenberg says he doesn't believe demand for multichannel video entertainment is going away immediately. But it will, he said.

“We take the over the top issue with video very seriously,” he said. “I think cable has some life left in its model…but that it is going to get disintermediated over the next several years.”

Verizon might lose some of its video subs as well, but the issue is a matter of business model impact. As telcos have been hit very hard by voice compeititon and abandonment, while cablers have gained at telco expense, something like that will happen to cable, the dominant video provider.

Decline of demand for multichannel TV might affect Verizon, but nothing like it will cable, which relies on video revenue in the same way that telcos have relied on voice revenue.

It might take a few more quarters to see whether there is a new trend in multichannel video, but there is at least a possibility that a peak has been reached in the multichannel video entertainment business, and that henceforth the total number of subscribers will start falling, as landline voice subs have for nearly 10 years.

link

Verizon Wireless Readies Tiered Data Pricing

"Verizon Communications expects to introduce its own form of tiered mobile data pricing, possibly over the next four to six months, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Verizon has not said percisely what form the tiers will take, other than to note that Verizon Wireless's offering wouldn't simply copy rival carrier AT&T's approach.

1/2 of Internet Users Read Blogs

More than half of internet users will read blogs at least monthly, according to eMarketer. By 2014, readership will rise to more than 150 million Americans, or 60 percent of the internet population in the United States.

One reason for the rise in readership is that blogs have become an accepted part of the online media landscape.

Users Frustration with Un-Optimized Mobile Video

A survey of U.K. mobile users finds 96 percent are frustrated with their mobile video experience. In part, that likely reflects latency and bandwidth limitations that affect the quality of video content.

About 67 percent are discouraged by non-continuous video playback and the length of time it takes a video to begin playing, as well.

Of the 16 to 24 year olds surveyed, 69 per cent of users prefer video to be optimized, rather than wait significantly longer for higher-quality streaming, the study suggests.

That might be seen by some as an argument in favor of prioritizing some bits, such as video or voice, under conditions of congestion. The other suggestion will be that mobile operators need to provide more bandwidth. The problem there is the same as we face in major metro areas when new freeways are built. Traffic always builds to clog even the new capacity. That will especially be true as mobile video consumption grows.

25% of Americans want Android Tablets?

About one in four Americans surveyed by Zogby on behalf of Sybase say they are open to some degree to buying an Android tablet device. About a quarter said they would consider replacing a notebook PC with a tablet if the features and apps were suitable.

It always is difficult to "operationalize" such findings, as those same respondents might "like" or "want" such devices, but be unwilling to spend $700 to acquire one.

The perhaps-useful findings were about screen size, which affects form factor. About half suggested they preferred a nine or 10-inch screen. More than a quarter wanted a 12-inch screen. Some 21 percent wanted a seven-inch screen and three percent wanted a five-inch screen.

Tablets might ultimately reflect a variety of form factors and lead applications, or some form factors might not get traction. The three-inch screen, for example, would seem to overlap almost directly with smartphones.

Live TV Losing Younger Adults

Nearly three in five US consumers watch at least some video on a device other than a television, according to market researcher Morpace. Time shifting using a digital video recorder, DVDs, online and video on demand represent about 48 percent of overall video consumption.

Overall, across demographic cohorts, Morpace found 52 percent of total TV viewing time consisted of live TV. Among younger adults ages 18 to 34, that proportion fell to 41 percent. Adults 55 and up watched live TV almost two thirds of the time, but even Gen Xers and younger boomers were evenly split between live TV and several timeshifting nethods.

Online was the most popular alternative to live TV, with about half of consumers using some online source for viewing video content, and another 23 percent using a streaming video service.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RIM Tablet Coming Next Week?

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. could unveil its new tablet computer next week, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The tablet, which some inside RIM are calling the BlackPad, is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of this year. It will feature a seven-inch touch screen and one or two built-in cameras.

It will have Bluetooth and broadband connections but will only be able to connect to cellular networks through a BlackBerry smartphone. The tablet apparently won't be sold with a cellular service included.

Sprint Has No Plans to End Unlimited Plans

Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said the carrier doesn't have plans to implement tiered pricing for mobile data--but he didn't rule out such a move at some point in the future.

'We are watching very closely,' Hesse said. "Clearly, I'm not ruling out metered."

On the other hand, he said, customers value simplicity. Put another way, they value predictability, and an unlimited plan provides protection from overage charges.

Blockbuster Declares Bankruptcy

Call it a commentary on the retail rental model, changes in end user preferences or simply the rise of online and other forms of distribution, but Blockbuster, to almost nobody's surprise, has declared bankruptcy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Best Buy CEO Now Says Tablet Sales are Incremental to PCs

Brian J. Dunn, CEO, Best Buy Co. is "walking back" a comment reported by the Wall Street Journal, where Dunn said Apple's iPad might have cannibalized as much as 50 percent of Best Buy's PC sales over the last quarter.

Later, Dunn appeared to want to soften the reported remarks. "We see some shifts in consumption patterns, with tablet sales being an incremental opportunity," Dunn now says.

We might not know whether the latter statement, or the first statement, is closer to the truth until the round of quarterly reports.

At&t could lose 1.4 million iPhone subs to Verizon, if Verizon gets the device.

That might not be a disaster, but it is somewhere between 1.5and nearly twice the total number of net new subs Verizon gets in three months.

http://www.google.com/reader/i/?source=mog&gl=us#stream/user%2F05579064408535224496%2Fstate%2Fcom.google%2Freading-list

Apple's profits in mobile business are almost shocking

In a supposedly commodity business, Apple is anything but.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/09/21/pie-chart-apples-outrageous-share-of-the-mobile-industrys-profits/

Google vs. Skype: Who Will Win the Internet Telephony Battle? And Does it Matter?

Maybe, maybe not, in a broader sense.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2010/09/17/google-vs-skype-who-will-win-the-internet-telephon.aspx

Media Business at a Gutenberg Moment?

The internet obviously disrupts many legacy businesses, print among them.

http://wallstcheatsheet.com/knowledge/interview-knowledge/exclusive-media-legend-larry-kramer-says-media-business-is-in-a-gutenberg-moment/?p=8087/

Will Apple Do to Publishing As It Did to Music?

Print content firms hope not. It isn't clear yet whether that is a rational hope.

http://www.emarketer.com/blog/index.php/talks-heat-ipad-digital-subscriptions/

1 in 5 Homeowners Underwater on Mortgage

I initially though the 2008 recession was just a garden variety downturn: not pleasant but not tragic. I apparently was quite wrong.

http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/1-in-5-homeowners-underwater-on-mortgage-14264/?utm_campaign=rssfeed&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink

Online branding is more complicated than offline

paid, earned and other approaches require more planning in an online context.

http://www.emarketer.com/mobile/article_m.aspx?R=1007936

Google Transparency Report: Government Blocking

Actual blocking of Google content is more widespread than you might think, a new analysis by Google suggests. The "open" Internet now is "closed" in more ways than you might think.

Analyst: Few Would Leave AT&T for a Verizon iPhone

According to Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin, AT&T doesn't need to worry so much about the long-rumored, but yet-to-launch Verizon iPhone.

Based on survey data, he found that only 23 percent of AT&T iPhone users would switch to Verizon, and, perhaps more shockingly, 51 percent of subscribers reported satisfaction with AT&T's service.

You can make your own assessments of whether losing 23 percent of its iPhone customers is a big deal or not.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stagnation, Double Dip, New Recession? Things Just Aren't Getting Better



In strict terms, the recession ended in mid 2009. In practical terms, you might argue it has ended with stagnation, the recovery remaining anemic.

It might not matter much whether there is a "double dip" recession, or just another recession, or simply continued stagnation.

Rumored Specs for HTC Tablet

Though HTC has not formally announced any plans for an Android tablet, there are rumors a device of that type might be available as soon as early 2011.

Now Digitimes — the source of the original rumor — has their sources inside of Taiwanese device manufacturer Pegatron Technology saying the specs for the device are set.

The HTC tablet will feature the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset, a 1280 by 720 resolution touchscreen, 2 GBytes of RAM and 32GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

An estimated price based on build cost suggests a device costing about $790.

5G Will Affect Network Architectures

Before the advent of mobile communications, networking architectures all were simple. Public networks (telcos) supplied wide area communic...