Thursday, December 29, 2005

Industry Expert's Predictions for 2006

Interesting 2006 predictions, by Mark Anderson, publisher of the Strategic News Service newsletter. I am particularly intrigued by:

2. "Online ad flows jump 40 to 50 percent as advertisers flee TV and print, for the Web."

2006 Predictions by IDC

Monday, December 26, 2005

AJAX Office Review ...

Innerphaze has done a good review of AJAX office offerings; they have reviewed - gOffice , ThinkFree Office , Writely, Zoho Writer, 37Signals' Writeboard and EyeOS.

Some excerpts are below:
"One of the most exciting developments in Web2.0 for me is the development of online word processors that utilize some form of Ajax or other type of advanced web programming. I lump these services together under the tag “ajaxOffice ,” (1) and that is the term I use to describe these services. This may not be the most precise term for all of these services, but it captures the essence of new web services replacing desktop software, and it sounds much better than “web2.0 Office.” These web services all have their strengths,weaknesses and quirks. Most of them get the job done in terms of processing text via an internet connection. Three out of the six deliver word processing that is compatible with MS Word, OpenOffice, and exportable to pdf. Three of them also offer RSS feeds for the documents. From what I have seen it seems like each service is targeting slightly different user groups. Writely Zoho Writer aim for the web savvy crowd, Thinkfree is aiming at the corporate types, gOffice seems to target the computer/web beginners. These apps have been tried out on Firefox 1.0.7 on Windows XP Pro and Ubuntu Linux 5.10. In the following post I will review (in no particular order) gOffice, Thinkfree Writer, Writely, Zoho Writer, WriteBoard, and EyeOS. All of these services are relatively new and are adding features all the time. I will just focus on word processing in this review, since that is the one application shared by all of these services."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Google/AOL Deal ...

Kate Mackenzie and Aline van Duyn reported on FT:

"Most controversially, the companies have indicated that Google will provide AOL with “technical assistance” to improve the ranking of AOL content in Google’s search results.

Granting favoured status to AOL content could weaken Google’s brand, which has been built in part on the promise of objective search results, though it remains unclear what the final deal will entail.


The deal could also see the introduction of graphic advertisements on Google’s own website, marking a departure from the search engine’s trademark stark, minimalist look which is popular with many users."

More at .

Speech by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew at The 37th Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture

Very interesting and informative speech by Lee Kuan Yew at The 37th Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture, where he talks in detail about the histories of India and China, and compares various aspects of their development in the last 50 years. Here are a few excerpts:

Forbes Asia recently reported … Indian R&D centers of American technology firms are reported to file more patents than Bell Labs. This year, India announced more than 1,300 applications for drug patents, second only to the US and 25 percent more than Germany, way ahead of the UK and Japan.

India has a superior private sector companies. China has the more efficient and decisive administrative system. China has invested heavily in infrastructure. India underinvested infrastructure is woefully inadequate. India has a stronger banking system and capital markets than China. India has stronger institutions, in particular, a well developed legal system which should provide a better environment for the creation and protection of Intellectual Property. But a judicial backlog of an estimated 26 million cases drags down the system.

But India cannot grow into a major economy on services alone. Since the industrial revolution, no country has become a major economy without becoming an industrial power.

IT is less than 2% of India's GDP. While services have grown rapidly, the bulk of the growth is from service sectors where wages and productivity are low. Business services, which include software and IT-enabled services, account for only 0.3% of GDP. Only manufacturing can mop up India’s vast pool of unemployed, narrow the urban-rural divide and reduce poverty. Professor Panagariya concluded:

"The right strategy for India is to walk on two legs: traditional labour intensive industry and modern IT. Both legs need strengthening through further reforms ...."

The average cost of electricity for manufacturing in India is about double that in China; railway transport costs in India are three times those in China. China has spent over eight times as much as India on its infrastructure. Three years ago, China's total capital spending on electricity, construction, transportation, telecommunications and real estate was US$260 billion or more than 20 percent of its GDP as compared to US$31 billion or 8 percent of India’s GDP.

If there are budgetary constraints, the answer is to privatise these infrastructure projects. There are well-established construction companies, Japanese, Korean and others, that have done many such infrastructure projects on franchise terms.

One area where India has done well is its telecommunications infrastructure. This has been a critical factor for India’s IT success. India needs to aggressively privatize infrastructure development and open it to foreign investment.

The World Bank has also done its own study. It found that in India it can take a decade to close a business through insolvency proceedings. It also found, among other things, that official fees amount to almost 13 percent of a property transaction in
India as against just over 3 percent in China.

A factor worth noting: India gets a much better economic return for the investment it makes in its economy because India’s private sector capital efficiency is high. If India opens up fully to FDIs, the results will be profitable for the investor and add considerable employment and added GDP growth for India. With jobs there will be a trickle down of wealth to millions of Indian workers, as there has been in East Asia.

Read full text of this speech at .

Web 2.0 just like ...

Paul Browne writes:

"Here's a thought for you: Part of the endurance of Unix is that it does the core things well (System Stability, running processes etc) but that it makes combining functions easy (where would we be without scripting as glue , the '|' operator and the ability to tail the last 500 lines of output from a process then grep the results?)"

That is kind of a cool analogy, I think.

Read more at - .

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The $100 Laptop

Posting about " The $100 Laptop ":

"The laptop basically looks like a mutated version of ordinary machines, and uses an LCD display. Some of its current specifications are: 500 Mhz processor, 1GB flash-based memory, 1 Megapixel LCD screen. The laptop will be WiFi-enabled and have USB ports.It has a removable keyboard and has an actual crank (!) to turn so it can be powered anywhere;

… the $100 laptops—not yet in production—will not be available for sale. The laptops will only be distributed to schools directly through large government initiatives."

Read more at kasperolsen.wordpress.c...

See also the news item - Quanta's $100 Laptop Challenge

Monday, December 19, 2005

TechCrunch » Yep, One More Ajax Desktop - Pageflakes

Michael Arrington wrote:

"I recently wrote that the Ajax desktop space was getting crazy-crowded. That was before Google released their desktop widget API and favoor launched. And now we have a developer release of a new ajax desktop called Pageflakes (available only in IE)."


With so many AJAX variants of office coming to existence, I wonder how M$ be able to catch up with this race.