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If you live in the New York City area, I highly recommend dropping by the spring show of New York University's ITP (Interactive Telecommunication Program), where the students display their end-of-semester projects in interactive media.

Interactive Telecommunications Program
Tisch School of the Arts - NYU

Thursday, May 9 through Tuesday, May 14
6 to 9pm (excluding Saturday and Sunday)
721 Broadway at Waverly Place
4th floor, South Elevators

Friday, April 26, 2002   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Below is a good summary article about some recent news concerning Google, including their newly released (and instantly popular) "Web API" code which makes its programming interface available to developers.

If you are interested, here is the link to google's API:

Here is something a bit less serious ...

Google Hands Out the Hammers ... Carefully
- Jimmy Guterman, Media Unspun

As Google becomes the go-to place to find everything on the Net, it gets more and more attention and more and more competitors grabbing for its ankles. In recent weeks, Unspun has reported on feeble new competitors (Teoma) and feeble new lawsuits (Overture); this week Google learns more about life as an 800-pound gorilla.

How dominant has Google become? A just-released survey says nearly half of all Web surfers search using the site, more than twice that who search via Yahoo. (Microsoft was a distant third on the list from; AOL, the folks who were supposed to take over the Web, came in seventh, at less than 2 percent.) Most outlets ran wire copy, but CNet seems to want to own the Google story. Its and ZDNet services -- republished on MSNBC, Yahoo, and elsewhere -- have been all over Google over
the past 24 hours.

For geeks, the big story is Google's making its programming interface available to developers. In the less than a week since Google released its "Web API" code, high-profile programmerslike's Dave Winer have praised its potential just short of hyperbole, and got in-character quotes from Winer and others, although reporter Stefanie Olsen was careful to note high in her piece that the plan "could turn out to be so much hype." So far, all eyes are on the dream of real-time search, but none of the pieces we saw reported on how many developers had downloaded the code or how many "Web API" programs are running so far.

Google doesn't want to let everyone in, though. It has long since locked out computer-generated searches, fearful that the practice would pollute its rankings. And recently it denied service to at least 100 Comcast subscribers. Many of those shut out didn't do anything wrong, but the culprit appears to be a program that creates Web pages intended to fool search engines into ranking something higher. The president of the company that makes the program told CNet, "You can buy a hammer to build a house or you can buy a hammer and go smash your neighbor's window." What his company appears to be doing is selling hammers along with instructions on how to smash windows.

And Google wouldn't be an Internet giant if it weren't getting sued. Today Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway operator, filed suit against Google because of links to pages that show how to sabotage railway systems. So who's holding the hammer now?

Developers dig into Google's toolbox

Deutsche Bahn to sue Google

Google protects its search results

Study: Most Web surfers use Google

Wednesday, April 17, 2002   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Found a couple interesting things reported in today's edition of Fierce Wireless ...

AT&T Wireless launches U.S. i-mode: mMode

AT&T Wireless today launched the U.S. version of NTTDoCoMo's popular i-mode mobile Internet service, called mMode. AT&T is launching mMode in 12 U.S. markets, with more coming later this year. MMode offers users a variety of entertainment and information services, including email, instant messaging, news, weather, sports, and games. Pricing is based on data volume, with plans starting at $2.99 per month. The service works with GSM/GPRS-compatible i-mode phones with AT&T offering three compatible models: the Sony Ericsson T68, the Nokia 8390 and the Motorola Timeport P7382I.

DoCoMo purchased a 16 percent stake in AT&T Wireless last year, forcing the U.S. carrier to switch from its TDMA network to GSM/GPRS and to offer i-mode services. DoCoMo has made similar investments in other carriers worldwide. DoCoMo partner KPN recently launched a European version of i-mode in Germany.

For more on mMode:
- read this article from allNetDevices and this story from the Seattle Times.

Cingular and AT&T Wireless in merger talks
Bloomberg News

According to a report from Bloomberg, sources have revealed that Cingular and AT&T Wireless are in merger talks. The talks are preliminary and no transaction is imminent, the report said. U.S. wireless companies are expected to add customers at the slowest rate ever this year, a factor which many expect will drive consolidation as carriers aim to cut expenses. Cingular and AT&T Wireless, the second- and third-largest U.S. wireless carriers respectively, would cut costs by operating a larger network and eliminating sales and marketing duplications. The rumor, if true, would confirm other similar rumors that have been floating around the two carriers in recent months.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Review: Lawrence Lessig’s Messianic Manifesto: A Doomsday Look at Cyberspace
The hype is deserved: Lawrence Lessig’s The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World offers a devastating analysis of how the freedom and creativity originally built into the Internet are now being built out of it by corporations and lawyers with a vested interest in controlling what people do online and deciding who has access to what.
- Knowledge@Wharton

Friday, April 12, 2002   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

This article deals mainly w/ Instant Messaging within the US market, but contains good insight into general usage trends. Despite the fact that it is from Yahoo Internet Life, a somewhat cheesy and often self-promotional rag, it is well worth the read.

In terms of good buzzwords, Gartner's research director Rob Batchelder, who is said to have a knack for coining them, describes IM's rapid-fire method of communication as "bursty." I like it. However, I'm not too sure if I agree with his prediction of the flattening of smaller IM-related companies like ActiveBuddy. I agree that companies like Jabber and Trillian may have a really hard time, since they compete directly *against* AOL, Yahoo & MSN by offering (really cool) cross-functional multi-standard IM technology. But companies like ActiveBuddy, who add functionality to IM platforms by working *with* the "heavy hitters" seem to be in a pretty good spot to ride the IM wave.

Read it, and decide for yourself ...

Generation IM
Yahoo Internet Life

A fascinating in-depth examination of how instant messaging is transforming human communication, not just among teens but also in business where it's become widespread and indispensable. The Pew Internet & American Life Project last year found that 44 percent of all online adults have used IM. The article, which notes that exploration of innovative new uses of the application is accelerating: "[IM is] on the cusp of metamorphosing into a bona fide computing platform in its own right: It may very well signal the arrival of what might be called a post-Web world."
- commentary from

Friday, April 12, 2002   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

"When people come up with post-mortems about the dot-com crash, they point to bad planning, mismanagement and other big-picture explanations about the way people approach the Web. All of that might be true, but they are missing the important story one level down -- that the promise of customization has been a near-complete bust. Many people don't really want it, and companies have a hard time doing it."
-- Peter S. Fader.

Peter Fader was one of my profs at UPenn. A smart guy, and he always calls 'em like he sees 'em. He was also never afraid of a good argument. So ...

He makes the claim that the personalization and customization of online products and services is really not all that special and, to date, hasn't shown much promise. Ask the folks at Yahoo! about personalization. Ask ebay. Ask any bank with online services about personalization. (Are there any banks left that don't offer completely personalized online services?) Try a few travel sites out and see just how personal they get ... right down to the seat number and vegetarian meal.

He also singles out Dell and make the claim that they really aren't personalizing things.

"Build to order is overhyped. Everyone points to Dell, but Dell isn't customizing all that much. The vast majority of computers they sell are standard configurations that are not personalized in any way."

Hmmm ... Ok, so when *I* decide to upgrade the monitor and memory on my new Dell laptop and decide to have it shipped FedEx, this is not personalized? I'm sure they could monogram the thing for me, too ... Maybe that would help convince him. Sorry about that last one professor, but I couldn't resist.

Why people don't buy jeans online
From Knowledge@Wharton
Special to CNET

Ever since the Internet emerged as a sales channel in the 1990s, it has been thought that one of the chief advantages of e-commerce would be its ability to facilitate the customization of goods and services for consumers.

That promise, however, is not yet close to being realized, according to experts at Wharton and Forrester Research, an e-commerce research firm. E-commerce sites continue their struggle to find ways to provide shopping experiences that matter to buyers. Customization is sometimes hard to pull off because of cumbersome manufacturing processes; at other times, shoppers simply do not yearn for products or services tailor-made for them.

Thursday, April 04, 2002   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

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