Google


There is no guarantee that companies always bet right, but I’d place weight on their wagers more than on those of armchair theorists who are still arguing for FTTH as the only solution. Ask Google why they want a big, Nexus 6 size phone, and the answer is ready: “We are moving from mobile first to a mobile only world.” The next wave of growth for the smartphone industry will come from emerging nations in Asia-Pacific, especially from India, China and Indonesia. In these nations, smartphones will be the only computer for a majority of the population, so, the industry must gear up to accommodate this new breed. At Google’s annual Asia-Pacific press event in Taipei this week, the search and advertising giant which seems to be nurturing increasing ambitions of becoming a device player, concentrated on this mobile first world.
The overt hostility among European opinion leaders to attention-economy companies such as Google and Facebook is not translated into use behavior. Their policy makers do everything in their power to slow down the attention economy. And they still wonder why their companies can’t cut it. Google now has an 85 percent market share for search in the region’s five largest economies, including Britain, France and Germany, compared with less than 80 percent in 2009, according to the research company comScore. Google’s share of the American market stands at roughly 65 percent.
ESB, the Irish electricity supplier, and UK’s Vodafone have formed a 50:50 partnership in building a new fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) broadband network. This €450 million (US$615 million) project will deliver download speeds ranging from 200 Mbps to 1 Gbps. The FTTB network of ESB-Vodafone will connect some 500,000 homes and businesses in 50 towns and cities (map) nationwide. It will plug the first group of customers in early-2015. This open access network will make Ireland the Europe’s first country in terms of 100% FTTB penetration.
Six years ago eyebrows were raised when Google announced the rollout of a transpacific undersea cable named “Unity”. Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, KDDI Corp., Pacnet and SingTel were members of Unity consortium. It was activated on April 1, 2010. Google wanted to bypass the cumbersome transcontinental supply chain of broadband, as Capacity Magazine highlights: Google’s mould-breaking intervention was motivated by what, as a customer, it saw as the unnecessary complexity and inflexibility of the traditional consortium model.
Guess you are not taken seriously these days unless you lose a few billion on smartphones. When it comes to smartphone profits, Apple and Samsung divide them up, leaving crumbs for every other manufacturer. At least in the United States, phones are a mature market, with 120 million sold last year. Now Amazon is giving this brutal business a shot. On the one hand, analysts say, it has no choice.
We don’t really have a formal position. But we collect data on gender and country representation, among other things, in all the training events we run and report them. From the time I used to be involved in admitting students to graduate studies, I’ve had to think about and act on issues of gender and ethnic balance. I’ve never been for quotas; but have always been committed to affirmative action. And I believe I was responsible for admitting some of the most diverse classes of grad students to my School.
The shift from the economy of things to the attention economy is now almost complete. The buying and selling of things will continue, but will be subservient to the production of attention on an industrial scale and its buying and selling. The data economy is fast catching up as another key element of the picture. Since most people are accessing the Internet through mobile devices and their small screens, as we have been saying for many years, this has become the most critical battleground. For the last two years, Facebook has been growing like a beanstalk in mobile advertising, gaining ground against Google, its chief rival.
Google is working on a modular mobile phone that will eliminate the need to buy a new phone every few years. If it works, it will save money and reduce the industry’s contribution to the waste stream. Project Ara is Google’s attempt to reinvent the cellphone as we know it. Instead of a slab of glass and metal that you have no ability to upgrade, save for buying a new device, it’s an attempt to launch a phone where all of the main components are interchangeable via modules that click in and out, attaching via electro-permanent magnets. Despite being highly customizable, it will only come in three main sizes, helping to eliminate the kind of device fragmentation that currently plagues Android.
Last week in Vanuatu, a whole bunch of satellite providers and one builder of undersea cables were asked by Dean Bubley of Disruptive Innovations whether they had any thoughts on the potential disruptions posed by the various tech solutions to Internet connectivity being bruited about. They were not worried in one voice. Perhaps the news yesterday that Google had bought a drone company made them rethink their response. Here’s what is on the horizon: First of all, they’re autonomous robots that are nearly the size of a commercial jet that can stay aloft for five years running on solar power. Think about that.
Yesterday I listened sporadically to a live streamed conference on Big Data. Sporadic was not intentional. I am in Dili, Timor Leste, where most connectivity is via satellite with latencies in the 700ms range. Anyway, the focus was not on big data per se. They talked about all sorts of things, mostly open data (in the parts I heard) and crowd-sourced data.
Cisco’s annual security report has said that 99% of the total mobile malware targets Android devices. The report highlights the current security concerns and trends in vulnerabilities so that users can build more effective countermeasures. The report also said that mobile malware constituted of 1.2% of all web malware encounters during 2013. Another highlight from the report is that 71% of web-delivered malware was meant for Android only.
Is their ability to generate massive transaction-generated data streams that will yield insights into human behavior. Packed with sensors and software that can, say, detect that the house is empty and turn down the heating, Nest’s connected thermostats generate plenty of data, which the firm captures. Tony Fadell, Nest’s boss, has often talked about how Nest is well-positioned to profit from “the internet of things”—a world in which all kinds of devices use a combination of software, sensors and wireless connectivity to talk to their owners and one another. Other big technology firms are also joining the battle to dominate the connected home. This month Samsung announced a new smart-home computing platform that will let people control washing machines, televisions and other devices it makes from a single app.
I touched on this issue at the cloud computing session at IGF 2013 in Bali. The scandal of NSA and CIA spying is likely to do serious damage to US firms. I for one do not place much faith in the good behavior of any government and do not see much point in simply replacing American companies with non-American. The backlash against government Internet surveillance could hurt the United States economy, partly because businesses and consumers could abandon United States cloud companies, said Richard Salgado, the director for law enforcement and information security at Google, in testimony before the Senate judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law. He cited studies like one from Forrester that predicted the cloud computing industry could lose $180 billion, 25 percent of its revenue, by 2016.
Alexa ain’t perfect (how could S Korea’s most popular site be Baidu?), but fascinating nevertheless. What’s with South Asia? India is Google country while all its neighbors are Facebookers. We used to talk about Facebook being a synonym for Internet in Indonesia, but not to Alexa.
SLASSCOM is the software and BPO industry body in Sri Lanka. It is organizing a discussion on innovation-friendly policies. SLASSCOM are to host CXO Breakfast Briefing on “Impact of policies concerning the internet on innovation and economic growth” on 05th September from 7.30 to 11 AM at Kings Court, Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo. This event will feature a keynote address by Ann Lavin-Director, Policy and Government Affairs, Greater China and Asian Growth Markets, Google.
It appears they want to play: Google chairman Eric Schmidt speaks on March 22 in Yangon. The company has big plans for Myanmar, and they’re closely linked to the country’s plans for mobile. Myanmar’s President, Thein Sein, has set a goal of 80% mobile-phone penetration by 2015, from current rates of 9%. With internet penetration as low as 1%, and fixed-line telephony penetration in the single figures even in big cities, mobile networks will be the only way the vast majority of Myanmar’s 50 million people can get online, and will serve as the main communications infrastructure for a modern information economy, including banking, media and civic services. A speculative piece.