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AWS Ten Year Birthday – Risky Bet to Winning Formula March 14, 2016

Posted by John in Technology.
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bezosbetWhen Amazon.com launched its first Web service 10 years ago today, offering storage in the cloud, people thought it was yet another crazy, profit-nuking idea from Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.

Why on Earth, investors and analysts griped, was a company still struggling with a marginally profitable retail business embarking on what looked like an entirely unrelated business: selling the storage and computing services it used in its own operations to other companies? In “Jeff Bezos’ Risky Bet,” an October 2006 BusinessWeek cover story that was the first major media account of Bezos’ thinking behind Amazon Web Services, one Wall Street analyst groused that new investments such as AWS were “probably more of a distraction than anything else.” Even Tim O’Reilly, the CEO of tech book publisher O’Reilly Media who recognized Bezos’ strategy early on, called Amazon a “dark horse” against the likes of Microsoft and Google.

From dark horse to Triple Crown winner

A decade later, that dark horse is nothing less than a Triple Crown winner. There’s scarcely a startup that hasn’t run on AWS, and it’s critical to the digital operations of every company from General Electric Co. to Netflix Inc., which runs all its massive streaming video on Amazon. The unlikely offspring of a retail company, AWS has managed to outmaneuver computing and Internet giants from Microsoft and Google to IBM and Oracle.

Now, the onetime distraction is Amazon’s key distinction in a consolidating group of technology giants. AWS grossed $7.9 billion in revenues last year, up 70 percent from 2014, a growth rate four times as fast as the retail operations. AWS could start to become even more of a revenue driver, too. Morgan Stanley estimates that revenues will grow to $12 billion this year and $16 billion in 2017.

What’s more, AWS has arguably become  Amazon’s new profit engine. Although the unit constitutes only 7 percent of Amazon’s overall revenues, its $1.9 billion in operating profit isn’t far off the $2.8 billion operating profit of the entire $99 billion retail business. No wonder that Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, last year valued AWS at $75 billion, almost half as much as the rest of Amazon’s business.

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Hadoop Ecosystem is Booming June 26, 2013

Posted by John in Technology.
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SiliconANGLE.com is live with @theCUBE at #hadoopsummit

Ping me on Twitter @Furrier

As big data is burning up the mainstream enterprise market, many are questioning the stability of the open source community. Wikibon analyst Dave Vellante (@dvellante) predicts that the Hadoop ecosystem will undergo significant overhauling as it evolves to “enterprise grade” – meaning it is stable enough to support the performance of modern workloads of new applications while addressing the compliance issues for big business.

John Furrier on Venture Capital: Freestyle Capital Closes Early Stage $27 million dollar venture fund September 13, 2011

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Freestyle Capital Exploding on The Scene Closes $27m Fund, More Exits Coming

Two respected tech entrepreneurs Josh Felser and Dave Samuel officially announced their early-stage VC firm Freestyle Capital. Although Dan Primack of Fortune Term Sheet blog reported that Freestyle’s fund been public for sometime, it appears the Freestyle team wanted to announce exclusively at the Techcrunch event.

Freestyle’s two founders are entrepreneurs and have been together for over 14 years. Their magic is their knack or nose for good deals plus they have experience to add value on startup execution.


John Furrier on Venture Capital: Menlo Ventures $20 million dollar fund September 13, 2011

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Menlo Ventures Launches $20 Million Early Stage/Talent Fund

Shervin Pershevar announced on stage at the AOL TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 conference that he and Menlo Ventures has started a $20 million fund. The fund will be called the Menlo Talent Fund.

Shervin and his team at Menlo Ventures will invest $200,000 in early stage startups. According to the news Menlo will turn around a decision super fast – within two days.


Google Q4 Earnings January 22, 2010

Posted by John in Technology.

Post on Google Earning Q4 from SiliconAngle Here is the post.

Google reported revenues of $6.67 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, up 17% vs the fourth quarter of 2008. Earnings for the quarter came in at $1.97 billion, up from $348 million for the same quarter of 2008. Earnings per share were $6.13, up from $1.21 a year earlier, although the 2008 figure included stock-based compensation and year-ago impairments, Adjusted, earnings rose to $6.79 from $5.10 per share.

SiliconAngle is my new blog where the in depth technical opinion happens.

Cloud Collision – Why Google CEO Quits Apple Board – SiliconANGLE Opinion August 3, 2009

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What happens when a warm front and cold front collide? Usually, extremely violent weather, which could include, torrential rain, lightning and thunder, hail, and tornadoes.

Steve Jobs is back at the helm. In addition to getting down and dirty on the product stuff we are now seeing him take care of some looming issues around people. He isn’t wasting any time in taking care of those matters.

What we are seeing is a clash between the “open” warm front (Google) coming from the north to Cupertino running into the “closed” cold front (Apple). Ok people here it comes.

This is about future strategy of Apple and Google. Board conflict is just the general issue that seems to get everyone’s attention. It’s not about that. It’s about the “Cloud Collision”.

Read More Here on SiliconANGLE.com

Google Grandcentral Launching March 11, 2009

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Google launching GrandCentral tomorrow.  SiliconAngle is my new group blog one edited by myself  and community of contributors.

Apparently this story might be under embargo or so I am hearing – well what can I say I am not under embargo.  I have never broken an embargo ever.  So if this was under embargo then I’m sorry.  It’s out there

Here is the link to the story….

Breaking News: Google to Release GrandCentral Out of Beta – Hello Unified Communications Done Right

Thanks Kara Swisher for Covering The ANGLE — siliconANGLE.com February 23, 2009

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Thanks Kara for noticing the new blog yesterday and writing a post. We all at siliconANGLE look forward to diving deeper into the stories that you report.

siliconANGLE.com a new blog that is a collaboration between me and my friends.  A new model in blogging and developing stories and analysis.


Launching a New Group Blog Tonight February 22, 2009

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I’m launching a new group blog tonight.

Look for info here and on twitter..

Teaser: Future of Blogging Economics – Blogging is Changing and For The Better February 4, 2009

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This is a teaser post. I am waiting to talk about this further, but to tease out the future of blogging economics I wanted to point out a great post worth reading. Blogging and social media is changing and is very relevant. Advertisers just don’t know how to engage with it.

Example quote from a smart blogger… “400 dedicated readers in a well-defined niche space, such as photography, beat the hell outta 40,000 drive-by users in an amorphous mob. Advertisers will want to reach those 400 people, because they know them, know what their interests are, and know that the ads served to them are going to the right people.”

This post is worth reading and really reading between the lines – in this post lies the answer to the “Future of Blogging Economics. More from me later on this topic (although I’ve been talking about this for 2 yrs).

Crowdsourcing Promo for Valentines Day From SearchMe.com – Good But Why Would Anybody Want to See Britney Spears Anymore? February 4, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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My friends Randy Adams and Nicole Adams over as Searchme.com are running a\”Share the Love\”
contest where the first prize is an all expense paid trip for two to
see Britney Spears in LA if you create the \”most romantic\” playlist
from their music search. Although it escapes me why anyone would ever
want to see Britney try to make a come back for the third time, the
Searchme Stack playlist idea is really cool.

Here are some that I just put together – I obviously need help and more time but it’s helpful if I could just grab a list from the crowd.

Maybe the crowd can work for us here. I’m terrible at picking out “love songs” for valentines day.

Go check it out at:


Will This Be Mike Arrington’s Last Post? – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Video Interview February 3, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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Enjoy this interview Sheryl Sandberg the Facebook COO at Davos. Mike Arrington grabbed her for a 9 min interview. One thing that I would ask Sheryl is how they are handling the policy for kids. As Linda Furrier posted last week, she has an opinion on Facebook for Kids.

Full transcript:

Michael Arrington: I am here with Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, and we’re at the end of the World Economic Forum at Davos. So, how was Davos for you this year?

Sheryl Sandberg: Interesting. I’ve been here before so you can kind of feel the different moods. I’d say this is the most somber Davos I’ve been to.

Michael Arrington: How many have you been to?

Sheryl Sandberg: Six I believe – four, a long time ago when I was working in the Clinton government, and last year. During the Clinton years there was an Asian financial crisis and I would say the mood then was not as up, but the pessimism was constrained to one part of the economic sphere, which was really Asia and some of the Latin American countries.

Michael Arrington: The NASDAQ was still way up then..

Sheryl Sandberg: Here there’s a real pessimism, and I think it’s earned – where is the economy going to bottom out? What don’t we understand?

Michael Arrington: This is your first Davos as a Facebook executive. Is it any different? Are people approaching you for different things? To talk about different things? What is this community giving you? What is this community giving you, what are you giving back, to this community?

Sheryl Sandberg: At Facebook we feel a lot of affinity not just for this community but for any community that is trying to do what Davos is trying to do, which is to share information. And Davos is doing it in a particular way – I think the Facebook approach is obviously more broad-based, we’re trying to include everyone in the world. But the goal is the same: bring people together, to share information and make the world more connected, and have people have a deeper understanding of themselves, others, the communities of which they want to be a part and can be a part. This has been a great year at Davos for Facebook. We’ve done a bunch of things including some polls from the stage, which has been really exciting.

Michael Arrington: Randi Zuckerberg did a poll that had around 500 responses in a matter of seconds..

Sheryl Sandberg: Yeah, I think the most compelling thing we had was there was a panel here which was on the situation in Congress with the US. And the panelists were talking about the stimulus package, and the assumption on the panel was that people were for it, and it would pass, there’s some tinkering to do. And Randi did a poll from the stage in twenty minutes, 120,000 responses, 70% of whom were against it. They said, “I don’t believe in the stimulus package”.

Michael Arrington: This was during the panel..

Sheryl Sandberg: During the panel, real live, 120,000 responses. Now it’s not a representative full sampling of the US population, but that’s a lot of responses. It completely changed the panel… The panel then were talking about, “wow, a lot of people are against this, what are we going to do?” And I think that’s exciting because Davos is a pretty exclusive thing. And the voice of people who were not invited – while everyone is always trying to get it in here, I don’t know how much you can do that.

Michael Arrington: Yeah, but you inserted it directly into a panel.

Sheryl Sandberg: Yeah, and the times I’ve been here [it was] the most direct voice of the people I’ve seen inserted into a panel so I think that was pretty exciting.

Michael Arrington: Was that an on-the-record panel with the video up on the site?

Sheryl Sandberg: I don’t know… It’s pretty exciting to take real people living in the real world, their opinions, and have people have to react to that. As opposed to their perceptions of what people are thinking, which are often very different.

Michael Arrington: So how was your first year at Facebook? We’re coming up on the one year mark in March.

Sheryl Sandberg: Yes, coming up on the one year mark. It’s been great. Facebook is a really exciting place trying to do something really important that I really believe in. And it matters. You go to different things from users to marketers to people like Obama running for office, who really want to connect with people and want a more authentic way to communicate and to listen and I think we are one of the forces and in some ways the leading force helping to provide that and that’s just a really exciting thing to be a part of.

Michael Arrington: How many users do you have now? 150 million?

Sheryl Sandberg: 150 million..

Michael Arrington: But it’s actually above that, you just don’t announce it. Every few months..

Sheryl Sandberg: *Laughs* We update it regularly.

Michael Arrington: Why does Comscore say 200 million people visit the site every month? Is it just Comscore is off or…

Sheryl Sandberg: An active user for us is someone who comes every month, at least once a month. I don’t know exactly how Comscore is measuring it.

Michael Arrington: You realize it’s like 1 in 5 people in the world that are on the internet visit Facebook.

Sheryl Sandberg: So we have 4 in 5 more to go. To get everyone connected. Joking aside, we want everyone in the world to be connected. Through Facebook, through technology, not just through us. But we really believe in enabling people to be their authentic selves on the web, and enabling people to communicate directly with each other in a very personal way.

Michael Arrington: So.. Revenue. You own revenue in the company, is that right?

Sheryl Sandberg: I definitely work on revenue, have responsibility for revenue.

Michael Arrington: So what’s monthly revenue now?

Sheryl Sandberg: Oh, you know, three dollars. $3.52 precisely.

Michael Arrington: How do you feel about revenue, where do you feel the big growth opportunities are? Do you have any new products? Micropayments for the developers, anything like that that you’re willing to talk about now?

Sheryl Sandberg: No product announcements on this video, that will disappoint but not surprise you. But you know it’s funny, a lot of people will say, “what’s Facebook’s business model?” I always find that a kind of funny question. Our business model is out there, which is: we monetize largely through advertising and a little bit through the gift revenue, the virtual gifts we have on our site. I think those continue to be the most promising avenues going forward. I think what you will see from us – you’ve seen from us some last year but you’ll see a lot this year – are the evolution of the advertising products so that they can be more targeted for advertisers and provide useful interactions for users. And I think we’re actually having a good year so far, a good quarter, and looking forward to more growth.

Michael Arrington: So you have direct ad sales, you have a team, and then you have the self-serve ads and we’ve actually looked at the self serve ads quite a bit and advertisers seem to love that. You said you have virtual gifts, but what about that micropayments platform for developers, I mean that’s a way for you to make additional money and they’re begging for it.

Sheryl Sandberg: Nothing to announce today.

Michael Arrington: Didn’t you guys already announce it a year ago?

Sheryl Sandberg: Yeah, we did do that… We haven’t updated that announcement and part of being a startup is, you know you announce things, you try to get there… not going to give anything else. Other than the $3.52. Obviously a very specific announcement.

Michael Arrington: Give me one thing then, give me more than 5,000 friends, this was promised to me personally not a year ago but close. And they’re just piling up. The friend requests are just piling up. And I know it’s only a small percentage of users have that need for more than 5,000 friends, but I’m one of them. When do I get that?

Sheryl Sandberg: I’m not going to give you a specific date, but I will reinforce the message that this is coming, and more importantly tell you why we think it’s important. Because you have these friend requests because people genuinely want to hear from you and genuinely want to connect with you. We’re not providing that functionality and we think that’s important so we are working on this and we’re working on it currently. We look forward to your having 80,000 friends… 100,000 friends.

Michael Arrington: I want to be friends with everyone that wants to be friends with TechCrunch. I don’t know if they really want to be friends with me or if they want to be friends with TechCrunch. But I want to add everyone, right now they’re piling up. What do you think of your hotel? I forgot to ask you that.. I’ve asked everyone that. It’s a 2 star hotel at a 5 star price.

Sheryl Sandberg: Yeah, it’s not the nicest hotel I’ve stayed at this year. I was a little scared at first because I walked into the room and there was no bed. I have a Murphy bed.

Who Said Blogging Killed the Typewriter – My Cousin Tom Furrier – Typewriter Repair Featured in Boston Globe February 2, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.

My cousin Tom Furrier is featured in the Boston Globe today with his business as a typewriter repairman.  Who said blogging killed the typewriter.  Maybe he should go into blog repair😉

Here is the link

There is still a demand for typewriter repairs, from those, young and old, who love the sound and feel of the machines to a number of businesses who keep them in regular use. Typewriter repairman Tom Furrier admits that he’s a dinosaur. He’s one of the few typewriter repairman in the Boston area who fixes typewriters only, and not those newfangled computers, faxes, and printers as well.

When Furrier first started fixing typewriters almost 30 years ago, no office was complete without the sound of clicking typewriters. The typewriter repairman was a common sight, making service calls to offices to fix gummy keys, broken springs, cracked rubber rollers, and busted return mechanisms.

Today? Furrier once went to a law office to fix a typewriter but the twentysomething receptionist didn’t know what a typewriter was. “She kept pointing to different boxes, saying, ‘Is that a typewriter?’ or ‘Is that one there?’ I told her ‘You’re standing right next to it.’ ”

But Furrier, who is also a typewriter collector and salesman, stays in business because typewriters are still used for forms, envelopes, and labels in law offices, town halls, hospitals, and funeral homes. “There are certain forms that still have to be typewritten and that are not computer-friendly, such as death and birth certificates,” says Furrier. “Every maternity ward has a typewriter, as well as funeral homes, which might seem strange in this day and age, but is good for me, of course.”

Furrier also fixes the typewriters of many writers who still tap out their drafts because they like the sound and the tactile experience.

“A lot of writers tell me that the sensory feedback from typing is different from the computer, and that typing slows down the thought process,” says Furrier, who also counts a local psychiatrist, physicians, and artists among his clientele. “Some doctors even recommend typewriters to their stroke victims, to help them build hand strength and eye coordination.”

It takes 30 minutes to an hour to fix most typewriters, and Furrier says a typewriter repairman can earn $40,000 to $50,000 a year. Furrier, who has a degree in forestry, says he wanted to work with his hands and finds great satisfaction from fixing a broken typewriter.

“I decided a long time ago that I was only going to fix typewriters – it’s typewriters or nothing,” says Furrier. “I like working with this old technology of motors, belts, pulleys, and levels.”

How does it feel to be a typewriter repairman in the age of computers? I get calls from all over the country, from people who want their typewriters fixed. Someone called me from Atlanta, which is a huge city with four million people, but not one typewriter repair shop. Another person was in Paris for the summer, and his Selectric broke, and he couldn’t find anyone in Paris to fix his typewriter, so he had to drive an hour and half outside the city to get it fixed. So we are a dying breed.

Up until the 1980s or so, there were millions of typewriters in offices all over the country. What happened to them all? Most are in landfills. Many offices just threw them in the Dumpsters. Some people did bring the machines home with them; a few workers told me that when they retired they were able to bring their typewriter home with them.

You have a lot of different typewriters in your shop, from portable electric Smith Coronas to IBM Selectrics. What’s your favorite typewriter? I like the older vintage manual typewriters, such as Royal, Olympia, Olivetti, Underwood, and Remington, and in particular, the really shiny, black lacquered machines from the 1930s. They have glass-topped keys with metal rings around them, which people love, because your fingers fit into them beautifully. They sell from $100 to $400.

Where do you get the typewriters that you sell at Cambridge Typewriters? The really nice, pristine stuff comes from collectors who pick up the machines at conventions. I also get typewriters from eBay and from people who are cleaning out their attic or homeowners who are downsizing.

And where do your typewriter parts come from? I have a graveyard in my basement, where I store tons and tons of old machines from every manufacturer. And there are supply houses that still make parts for newer machines, including ribbons.

What’s the oddest request you’ve ever gotten? One man used to come in every week and order a typewriter that could communicate with the dead. We’d tell him, “Yes, we ordered that, it’s on back order.”

I’ve seen earrings and necklaces that use typewriter keys for ornamentation. Do you sell typewriter parts to these jewelry artists? No. I don’t like to see nice machines cannibalized for jewelry. It bugs me.

People say they love the sound of a typewriter bell. Yes, the typewriter bell is a neat sound, and every brand has a different sound. When I do a repair, I always make sure the bell has a nice sustain to it. When the bell rings, it should fade out slowly. The Smith Corona has a loud distinctive bell, and the Royal has a nice pitch to it. But I don’t like the ring on a Remington machine.

Do you meet lots of people who don’t even know what a typewriter is? Surprisingly, typewriters are really popular now among teens and preteens who want to try typing on a typewriter. It’s a cool fad and they want to get that typewriter vibe.

Will typewriters ever make a comeback? No, I don’t think so, but I think there will always be a curiosity about typewriters. Typewriters will never go away completely – they’ll be around for a long, long time to come

Forget InterWebs Think InterClouds February 2, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.

I ran into this post by Cisco’s James Erquhart on Infra20.com titled – Is the Intercloud History Repeated?

James writes:  definitely some of the same elements are appearing in the Cloud Computing ecosphere that once helped build the Internet. Specifically, I see three key initiatives that have an analog in the Internet’s past:

1.  The rising importance of academia. Several initiatives are out there that show the increasing importance of the academic pursuit of cloud computing on the overall effort.

2.  Increasing interest in interoperability among cloud vendors. Surprisingly, vendors that stand to gain somewhat from cloud lock-in are admitting that customers are hesitant to move to the cloud for just that reason.

3.  Carrier interest in new service opportunities. The Internet represented huge business growth for telephone carriers in the early 90s, resulting in changing that designation to data network carriers.

Read the full post here.

Internet Traffic Explosion by 2015 – Next Phase is Rich Media for Infrastructure 2.0 February 2, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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The article today about Apple iPhone having video capabilities made me think about the scale of the net.  We have to see full scale global video by 2015.  However, first things first, we need an infrastructure revamp – Infrastructure 2.0.

We need to handle the traffic explosion. Here is a great deep review of the coming trend of Infrastructure 2.0 with info on the coming infrastructure revolution. The Impact of Video and Rich Media on the Internet — A ‘zettabyte’ by 2015 by the Discovery Institute.

The U.S. Internet of 2015 will be at least 50 times larger than it was in 2006. Internet growth at these levels will require a dramatic expansion of bandwidth, storage, and traffic management capabilities in core, edge, metro, and access networks. A recent Nemertes Research study estimates that these changes will entail a total new investment of some $137 billion in the worldwide Internet infrastructure by 2010. In the U.S., currently lagging Asia, the total new network investments will exceed $100 billion by 2012.

Technology remains the key engine of U.S. economic growth and its competitive edge. Policies that encourage investment and innovation in our digital and communications sectors should be among America’s highest national priorities.

New technologies are driving a deep transformation of the Internet’s capabilities and uses. We are entering a new phase. The first phase of the Internet, starting with Arpanet in 1969, was a small research project that linked together a few, and then a few thousand, scientists. They exchanged rudimentary messages and data. In the mid-1990s the second broad phase delivered the Internet to the masses with e-mail, graphical browsers, and the World Wide Web.

Today, the third phase is underway. Video over the Net portends innumerable consumer and commercial possibilities. This new medium will change every realm of communication and content. The broadcast petabyte flows of radio and television will branch out into narrowcast, multicast, mobilecast, and everycast streams. With real-time transactions and collaborations, rich images, video, and interactive virtual worlds, the Net’s current content of static text and pictures will swell to form exabyte rivers. We call this third phase of rich broadband content the Exaflood.

This Exaflood is coming. However, it will only be possible with a vast new infrastructure to match the vastness of the coming digital deluge. Building this new infrastructure will be very expensive, likely requiring some $137 billion in global new investment over the next two years alone and at least $50 billion in the U.S. Technology remains the key engine of U.S. economic growth and its competitive edge. Consummating a true broadband Internet will depend on smart communications law and an investment friendly economy.

The second phase of the Net was chiefly enabled by two broad technical advances: (1) new computer modems at the edge of the network and dramatic advances in fiber-optic communications in the core of the network, both of which supplied unprecedented physical connectivity; and (2) new logical concepts like the HTTP-based World Wide Web and software applications like the browser, which made the Net accessible to the masses.

Prefixes – Kilo — 103 Mega — 106 Giga — 109 Tera — 1012 Peta — 1015 Exa — 1018 Zetta — 1021Today, the third phase is likewise being driven by a combination of advances in physical connectivity and software innovation. Today’s residential cable modems now average more than 5 megabits per second, or 100 times faster than the 56-kilobit modems that mostly reigned at the outset of phase two. Many cable MSOs now offer 10- or even 15-megabit services. Meanwhile, the nation’s telecom companies are building a new generation of fiber-optic networks to neighborhoods and homes that will reach tens of millions of consumers in the next few years. These networks will offer an additional factor of 20 capacity increase initially and are massively scalable for the future. On the software side, user-friendly self-publishing applications have given rise to millions of blogs and myriad social networking communities. Media players and Flash applications enable the easy creation and dissemination of rich visual content.

Silicon Valley Exec Mike Homer Died Sunday – The Lost Conversation February 2, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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Kara Swisher has a classy post that pays tribute to Mike Homer.   Mike died in his home on Sunday of a rare, neurodegenerative “prion” disease, which in Homer’s case has occurred sporadically rather than via infection (the well-known variant that occurs in animals is called mad cow disease), CJD’s incidence is one case in a million annually, and few survive beyond a year after exhibiting symptoms.

Mike Homer was a straight talking tech executive who didn’t mix words.  A few years ago before Mike was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Bud Colligan and Mike Boich went to see Mike to record a podcast on innovation and Silicon Valley.  It would be one of the last times Mike would be in his normal ‘call it like he sees it’ mood.  That podcast was never posted due to a hard disk error.  From the description from Bud Colligan of that podcast it was a memorable conversation.  I wish that we all could have heard that podcast.  I’m sure his voice will carry on in the stories that he created here in Silicon Valley.

Homer is survived by his wife, Kristina, and three young children: James, Jack and Lucy.

His funeral is at Saint Raymond’s Catholic Church in Menlo Park on Thursday.

Good Bye Web 1.0 – AOL Now Hemmorging Just Like Yahoo – Hello Web 2.0 January 28, 2009

Posted by John in social media, Technology.
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When I read the reports from Boomtown’s Kara Swisher, I had a personal sinking feeling.  Now, Boomtown’s the latest memo from the CEO of AOL allowed me to just put my finger on why I’m sad by this. It’s the final ‘nail in the coffin’ of Web 1.0.

Yahoo and AOL’s storied successes are crashing down around all of us in front of our eyes.  I’m deeply saddened.  I know many of these people in both companies.  What’s worse is the addition of thousands of newly laid off employees – the rank and file.  More importantly is that the hemmorging of these companies will  make their best employees (the stars) leave.  They most likely will become entrepreneurs to fuel the real opportunity – Web and Infrastructure 2.0.

I’ve been writing the impact on venture capital and now we’ll see more people looking for jobs.  We need the best talent to start companies to house these employees. Or better yet Yahoo and AOL need to cannibalize their own businesses in order to invent their new businesses.  Either way 2.0 is here.

Good Bye Web 1.0 and Hello 2.0.

Running Naked: Mark Cuban Just “Pulled Down the Shorts” of CDNs Everywhere January 28, 2009

Posted by John in social media, Technology.
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Mark Cuban just ran up behind the CDNs and pulled down their ‘shorts’ exposing a BIG problem. Video on the internet is far from democratized it’s a dictatorship.   For once we are not talking about the cable companies or service providers (although they have issues).

The Maverick strikes again.  Where Mark does not talk about in his post is the need for a viable P2P platform now!  The P4P standard group offers hope, but their motto is “No We Can’t”.

We need legit P2P standards now for a viable platform for online live and ondemand video.

The post is worth reading but here is my favorite part ..

Lets say you have your “Worlds Greatest Concert” that you are sure can draw 500k simultaneous streams (on demand or live) . Also planning to stream a large event, lets say the first broadcast of Dark Knight 2, which the producers will stream live at the same time, and oh my goodness, the remaining Beatles decide to have their final reunion with a single live concert at the exact same time. 3 Mega events, each with an expected draw of 500k simultaneous users. Who has the greatest opportunity and the most leverage ?

Thats easy. Its the CDNs. You have so few choices of vendors that the CDNs can charge whatever they want to handle the event. And thats for one single event. You dont want to know about costs for 24×7 streaming for viewership levels of even small cable networks.

The internet is not an open video platform. Video distribution of any scale places you  at the mercy of just a very few CDNs.  You literally have to compete for timeslots for very large events.  If you want an interesting excercise, call up a CDN and ask them how much it would cost to support an audience that is never smaller than 10k simultaneous viewers for a 1mbs stream, 24 hours a day, for 365 consecutive days. Then call up one of the satellite providers and ask how much they would charge you to deliver to 100pct of their customers, and then call up a cable company and ask the same question.  Total up the cable and satellite numbers and compare them to the internet costs. You may be surprised to see which is cheaper.

If you have dreams of competing with traditional TV network viewing numbers using the internet, dream on.  You cant afford it. You have been sucker punched  by the Great Internet Lie.

“Scotty More Power” – Users Love the iPhone Blackberry and Portable Devices and Applications January 28, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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by Anton Wahlman

With the Blackberry app store launching by the end of March 2009, a
dramatic new problem will emerge with full force: Where is the
application memory to run these new applications? In order to
understand the magnitude of this problem, we have to look at the
mother of all app store pioneers: Apple (AAPL) and the iPhone.

Ask almost any iPhone user what excites them about the iPhone, and
almost all of them answer immediately that it’s the app store, with
many thousands of apps available. Many iPhone users have page after
page after page worth of applications that they have downloaded. It
seems like iPhone users install dozens and dozens of applications, and
I don’t see any signs of abatement. We may be entering a situation
where most iPhone users love their platform so much because they have
hundreds of applications running.

The Blackberry app store is being launched for the obvious reason that
it’s becoming the critical tool in the competitive tool kit. Without a
vibrant developer community, it’s very difficult to compete. The
analogy with the PC world is pretty strong, and possibly even stronger
given that location-based services generate so many more application
possibilities that aren’t as meaningful in the PC world. Here is the
problem: An iPhone has 8 gig or 16 gig worth of memory, compared to a
Blackberry, which has 64, 96, 128 or 256 meg worth of app memory,
depending on the model. Yes, I know these numbers are not perfectly
“apples to blackberries” (no pun intended), because Blackberry has an
expansion card slot and the iPhone doesn’t, and so forth. But keep in
mind that the Blackberry’s expansion memory is for multimedia
(pictures, music, etc) storage, not for running apps or even
containing things such as the address book that synchronizes with
Outlook. One can also argue that an iPhone typically contains a lot
more multimedia than most Blackberries, but Blackberries also synch
with iTunes for DRM-free content, so that gap should narrow as
awareness of this ability grows.

Those caveats aside, the SMALLEST iPhone (8 gig) has 32x the
application memory of the LARGEST Blackberry (256 meg for the 8900
model). The manner in which most users will feel this dramatic 32x
difference is in the ability to install new apps. Clearly, while some
Blackberry apps have tended to carry a small memory footprint, one of
the attractions of the iPhone is that those apps are very rich in
their appearance and functionality, so in order to compete, Blackberry
apps may have to become larger in order to be competitive.

What does this mean? It looks like this clash of Blackberry’s app
store vs the very small app memory will mean many unsatisfied users
who will be lighting up the customer service switchboards like a
Christmas Tree. Many people aren’t likely to understand why they can’t
download/install/run all of these new apps, and their devices could
start to freeze up, and their old emails and instant messaging
conversation could be wiped to free up memory.

This is both a challenge and an opportunity for RIM (RIMM). The
challenge will be all the unhappy customers calling to complain about
the lack of ability of their current devices. The opportunity will be
to start selling new Blackberries with an app footprint equal to, or
greater than, the iPhone. Such a “forced upgrade cycle” is not free,
and it is unclear how consumers will react to this. Either way, for
Blackberry to go from 256 meg or less worth of app memory in its
devices, to 16 gig and more – a 64x increase – will mark Blackberry’s
most important generational shift in the company’s history.

The installed Blackberry base is now approximately 20 million. Ask
yourself: How many of these will use the Blackberry app store as the
excuse to go to another platform such as iPhone, Android and Palm,
versus how many will upgrade to another Blackberry containing some 64x
more memory than your current Blackberry?

Infrastructure 2.0: The Modernization of the Datacenter – Doug Gourlay of Cisco January 28, 2009

Posted by John in social media, Technology.
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I cornered Doug Gourlay Senior Director of Product Marketing of Cisco’s Datacenter Business Unit, at the Infrastructure 2.0 event to answer my question about what he means when he says “The Modernization of the Datacenter”.

Question (John Furrier): What do you say to all the skeptics who say that you’re promoting the modernization of the datacenter because you’re in that business and that it really isn’t a problem? Is this just virtualization or is there another issue?

Answer (Doug Gourlay): It’s absolutely a systems approach. There are multiple factors. Lets take Moore’s law for instance which has proven true over the past 30 years. In datacenters you want it to last at least 10 -15 yrs. With 750x processor improvements under Moore’s law in the last 12 years yet cooling efficiencies has only grown 64x for IT assets – that is an 11 or 12x disparity. That’s why you see datacenters with racks designed to cool 4000 to 6000 watts. If I took a set of blades today I would need to cool it with only 30,000 watts. The reality is that we can draw more power then we can efficiently cool today. You either run out of space so — we made denser equipment; you ran out of cooling capacity — you bought more crack units; you ran out of power and the power company will NOT give you more. So when we talk about a modernization were talking about the underlying physical facilities that we built are being obsoleted almost every 5 yrs.

Question (John Furrier): It’s not just a Cisco issue it’s more of an environmental issue around the datacenter themselves ..the raw infrastructure the physical plant or whatever to equipment.

Answer (Doug Gourlay): That’s the biggest compelling event. how do i enable the IT infrastructure to make that facility infrastructure last longer.

To View the Entire Infrastructure 2.0 video feed click here (sorry registration required).