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Scrumdays in Munich May 31, 2009

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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The first Scrumdays take place in Munich. There are several interesting presentations available on the following page:

via: Scrumdays in Munich

There are keynotes from Ken Schwaber. He has bring out Scrum as new project management method.


Will Apple Make an Actual Television? Makes Sense to Me May 31, 2009

Posted by hruf in Multimedia.
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Bill Gurley, member of  joined Benchmark Capital, wrote an interesting article why it could make sence for Apple to make their own television set. Here is his logic:

  1. For Apple, the fact that the TV business has become a commodity business will not be a road block. In PCs and MP3 players, they have proven they can charge a huge premium and extract enviable gross margins even where others have starved.
  2. The large iMac has the aesthetics of an item for your living room. Apple could easily deliver a beautiful device that high-end users would be proud to hang on their wall. I would go even further – it could become the type of product that many people aspire to have on their wall, especially the Mac enthusiasts.
  3. Their current TV product, Apple TV, is a stand-alone set-top like product. This will likely change. First, it generates the frequent question of “who needs another set-top in their living room?” Second, over the next two years, every TV manufacturer is adding an Internet menu stack similar to that of a cell-phone. Some vendors already have products on the market.  By the end of 2010 every TV will have an Internet menu which means the stand-alone product will be increasingly difficult. Therefore, Apple may be forced to build an actual TV if they want to play in this market.
  4. This is a huge market. Q1 2009 flat-panel TV sales were roughly 7mm units. Let’s assume Apple can get roughly 10% of this market. That would be 2.8MM units a year. Assume an average price point of say $1250, and that’s a $3.5B opportunity for Apple.
  5. Here is the punch line: it will all be built around the iPhone ecosystem. What this means is that the entire application ecosystem from the iPhone is now available on your TV. You can now get your entire music library. Stocks, weather, photos – done.  Pandora – done. YouTube – done. And thousands of other apps are ready and available (including several Benchmark companies :) — Zillow, Yelp, Mint, OpenTable). Importantly, think about what this means for gaming. All the casual games for the iPhone are now on your TV. And of course, the iPhone itself (or an iPod Touch) becomes the remote, complete with accelerometer. Now you have a Wii competitor.

Especially Bill’s latest point is in my opinion a big advantages and opportunity for Apple and lead to the question:

In which area could the concept of Apps Stores also have success? Only mobile devices are to simple …

Some apps, which are running smooth on an iPhone/iPod touch could be maybe also have a chance on a television set. I’m looking forward how companies like TiVo, Comcast etc. will react on such a device. Until now they not have an App store in their portfolio 😉

Hopefully it will come…

via Will Apple Make an Actual Television? Makes Sense to Me « abovethecrowd.com.

Wave: Google’s take on the future of communication » VentureBeat May 28, 2009

Posted by pannet in Internet & Communities.
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Finally unveiled after years of development under the codename “Walkabout,” Google Wave combines popular features from across the web — feeds, shared documents, photo galleries, etc. — to redefine online communication. At least that’s the goal. Its creators, Lars and Jens Rasmussen (the braintrust behind Google Maps), even say they set out to break down traditional modes of communication — email and instant messaging — to find a system more in sync with how web users prefer to talk today. The result looks promising.

At a basic level, Wave is part chat room, part collaborative document. You and your friends belong to a page that any of you can add information to, and it will show up for everyone in real time. And this information comes in many different forms: images, videos, links, comments, event invitations, polls, blog entries, and the like. It’s an ongoing conversation — with rich content. […]

via Wave: Google’s take on the future of communication » VentureBeat.

Hulu Labs Now Live: Recommendations, Time-Based Browsing, And More May 28, 2009

Posted by pannet in Multimedia.
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Earlier this morning we stumbled across Hulu Desktop, an impressive new application from the popular video portal that lets you use your remote to control your Hulu experience. As it turns out, Desktop is only one of a set of new features Hulu is launching today as part of Hulu Labs, which is now live.

First, there’s Time-Based Browsing, which is the feature I’m going to be using most (aside from Hulu desktop). This allows you to see all new Hulu videos sorted by the day they appeared. Before now you could always sort individual shows in order, but if you missed a night of prime time it was up to you to figure out which shows you’d missed. Now you can just jump to that date under Time-Based Browsing and Hulu will do all the work for you.

via Hulu Labs Now Live: Recommendations, Time-Based Browsing, And More.

So Long, Cable. Hulu Desktop Lets You Rot Your Brain From The Comfort Of Your Couch May 28, 2009

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Since launching in late 2007, Hulu has done one one thing very well: it lets you watch your favorite TV shows and movies from your computer, free of charge. But aside from improving the user experience with assorted niceties like smart thumbnails and a few social features, the site hasn’t really done much to expand its functionality. That changes today.

One of my only long standing gripes with Hulu was that it could never really replace the TV watching experience simply because you had to sit in front of your computer to control it. Boxee was the perfect solution to this, as it allowed you to control Hulu via remote through a very snazzy media center interface. But Hulu has repeatedly killed that functionality, largely at the behest of its major network investors.

Now Hulu is releasing its own desktop application, allowing you to browse through the site’s content using your computer’s remote control (both the Windows Media Center remote and the Apple Remote are compatible). So long, Comcast.

Hulu has posted an intro video for the Desktop application, which you can watch below. The app itself doesn’t seem to be live yet (oddly enough, the URL for the application that’s shown in the video is located on the company’s QA server, which requires a password). It’s now live, download it here:


via So Long, Cable. Hulu Desktop Lets You Rot Your Brain From The Comfort Of Your Couch.

Google: Expect 18 Android Phones by Year’s End May 28, 2009

Posted by andre in Mobile & Gadgets.
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Summer Of ‘09 Phone War update: By year’s end, there will be at least 18 phones on the market worldwide based on the Android operating system, Google disclosed for the first time today.

Andy Rubin, senior director for Mobile Platforms for Google and the spearhead of the Android operating system, said the number could be as high as 20. (That figure does not include devices made by manufacturers that use a basic Android system but have not apprised Google of its use). The 18 to 20 devices Google knows about will be made by eight or nine different manufacturers, Mr. Rubin said. […]

via Google: Expect 18 Android Phones by Year’s End – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com

Google Kicks Off Android Developer Challenge Part Deux May 27, 2009

Posted by pannet in Mobile & Gadgets, Programming.
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Google Kicks Off Android Developer Challenge Part Deux.

In an effort to continue fostering the Android development community, Google has announced the second round of its Android Developer Challenge – a competition that rewards some of the platform’s best applications with large cash grants.

Google will begin accepting submissions from developers in August. In an interesting twist, Google is going to let anyone with an Android handset participate in the process, allowing them to vote using a special application available on the Android Marketplace. The voting application will randomly download applications from the pool of competitors, and users will be asked to rate them. These votes will determine the top 20 apps in 10 different categories (for a total of 200 apps), which will then move on to the next round. Users will be able to vote in the second round as well, but votes from Google judges will make up 55% of the final score. […]

Germany lagging behind in IPTV boom May 27, 2009

Posted by pannet in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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Germany lagging behind in IPTV boom.

Telco giant Deutsche Telekom to roll out interactive service

Lacking the 800-pound gorilla that is Hulu in the U.S. or BBC’s iPlayer in the U.K., the online video business in Europe’s No. 1 TV market remains in its infancy. An upcoming study by Berlin-based consultancy Goldmedia found that by 2014, less than 8% of German households will use Internet TV, suggesting it will remain a niche market here for some time to come.

But that isn’t the opinion of Deutsche Telekom, which in the coming weeks will roll out an interactive service that is betting heavily on a growth market for IPTV. The service aims to provide exclusive online video content — such as live soccer matches from Germany’s Bundesliga — along with open-access material on demand to all of Telekom’s mobile, online and digital TV platforms. Speaking at a Wednesday conference co-sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter and German media consultancy HMR, Harald Eisenacher, Telekom’s head of products and innovation, said the company has agreements with some 350 content providers to feed its IPTV machine. These range from the major film studios — with which Telekom has output deals for online content — to German production outfits that supply Telekom’s new stand-alone Web series portal 3min.de. Telekom owns T-Online, Germany’s largest Internet provider, and T-Mobile, the country’s No. 1 mobile carrier and exclusive iPhone partner. Linking up those millions of customers with a unified online video service could be the 800-pound gorilla German IPTV has been looking for.

Even Goldmedia’s study concedes that Telekom, with its 10 million broadband customers, is the only player in Germany likely to make IPTV as a business. The study forecasts Telekom turning a profit with Internet TV within the next four years.

Can you find me now? – FierceWireless May 27, 2009

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Can you find me now? – FierceWireless.

== The future of navigation and LBS applications ==

[…] The possibilities for LBS apps are endless. Social networking applications converged with navigation are not yet big moneymakers, but may have potential. In addition, enterprise solutions based on GPS tracking will likely experience strong growth because of the sustainability of the business model.

These burgeoning applications and potential business models are examined in this feature, which is divided into specific sections:

Carriers – the giant in the room
Paid vs. free: which business model prevails?
Social networking holds potential
Enterprise – a sure bet

Google Bets Big on HTML 5 May 27, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities.
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“Never underestimate the web,” says Google VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra in his keynote at Google I/O this morning.[…]

Vic pointed out that the rate of browser innovation is accelerating, with new browser releases nearly every other month. The slide below, from early in Vic’s talk, shows the progress towards the level of UI functionality found in desktop apps through adoption of HTML 5 features in browsers. This looks like one of Clayton Christensen’s classic “disruptive innovation vs sustaining innovation” graphs. It’s also fascinating to see how mobile browsers are in the forefront of the innovation.


While the entire HTML 5 standard is years or more from adoption, there are many powerful features available in browsers today. In fact, five key next-generation features are already available in the latest (sometimes experimental) browser builds from Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Google Chrome. (Microsoft has announced that it will support HTML 5, and as Vic noted, “We eagerly await evidence of that.”) Here’s Vic’s HTML 5 scorecard:

  1. The canvas element provides a straightforward and powerful way to draw arbitrary graphics on a web page using Javascript. Sample applications demoed at the show include a simple drawing area and a simple game. But to see the real power of the Canvas element, take a look at Mozilla’s BeSpin. Bespin is an extensible code editor with an interface so rich that it’s hard to believe it was written entirely in Javascript and HTML.
  2. The video element aims to make it as easy to embed video on a web page as it is to embed images today. No plugins, no mismatched codecs. See for example, this simple video editor running in Safari. And check out the page source for this YouTube demo. (As a special bonus, the video is demonstrating the power of O3D, an open source 3D rendering API for the browser.)
  3. The geolocation APIs make location, whether generated via GPS, cell-tower triangulation or wi-fi databases (what Skyhook calls hybrid positioning) available to any HTML 5-compatible browser-based app. At the conference, Google shows off your current location to any Google map, and announces the availability of Google Latitude for the iPhone. (It will be available shortly after Apple releases OS 3.) What’s really impressive about Latitude on the phone is that it’s a web app, with all the platform independence that implies, not a platform-dependent phone application.
  4. AppCache and Database make it easy to build offline apps. The killer demo is one that Vic first showed at Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco a few months ago: offline gmail on an Android phone. But Vic also shows off a simple “stickies” app running in Safari.
  5. Web workers is a mechanism for spinning off background threads to do processing that would otherwise slow the browser to a crawl. For a convincing demo, take a look at a web page calculating primes without web workers. As the demo says, “Click ‘Go!’ to hose your browser.” Then check out the version with web workers. Primes start appearing, with no hit to browser performance. Even more impressive is a demo of video motion tracking, using Javascript in the browser.

As Vic said to me in an interview yesterday morning, “The web has not seen this level of transformation, this level of acceleration, in the past ten years.”

Vic ends the HTML 5 portion of his keynote with hints of an announcement tomorrow: “Don’t be late for the keynote tomorrow morning.”

via Google Bets Big on HTML 5: News from Google I/O – O’Reilly Radar.