Archive for February, 2008

Finger Food (30)

February 29, 2008 Leave a comment

It is a weird Friday… there will be huge news in a few days, albeit on the personal side and thus may or may not interest you, nevertheless I’ll make sure to post that “update” as soon as I can…

In the meanwhile, I try to keep up with the Joneses and here it is… Friday Finger Food is served, a touch sparingly…

And more.. I knew I had to go back and play a bit of chess, now I am on the ol’skool side, and before I can get this social it will take forever… and there would me more stuff, and it is all the more unfortunate I have been called into a meeting provoked, incidentally, by that news I will illuminate you all next week!

In the meanwhile, have a great weekend!!!

Categories: Finger Food

Asus eee PC… GOT IT!!!! First impression..

February 25, 2008 Leave a comment

It was Saturday.. outside the city wasn’t as busy as usual, yet.. I opened up my fatty 15.4″ laptop and thought.. why not have the little one a go!??!?! My girlfriend saw it some days ago on a magazine, I saw one at the Enterprise 2.0 conference…what the heck, it is just €299, it won’t be all that bad if the thingy is just a blunder… so, I went and hunt for the Asus eee PC!!!!

First, find a place where it was still in stock or sold, as a matter of fact, since hard-to-find tech gadgets make the object itself some sort of an icon straight from day one.. provided the tech-thing is worth the while..

So, I found an Asus Point the other side of town, I jumped into a pair of combats and my boots, girlfriend was fast enough to get the car key in a matter of seconds, shoot out, jump into the Mini and set the GPS up!!

Milan was sort of waking up in a decent sunshine.. spring is almost here, so what’s nicest that have a little, smart, light and fun PC to go out and hunt for WiFi spots??? To be on a beach with nothing to do but sunbathing, I guess, but since we are in town..

Shop was where it was supposed to be, too many people for my liking, but thanks heaven I called before hitting the street, and THE LAST ASUS eee was already booked in my name!!! I could then sit back and relax, waiting for my turn in the cue…

Some ten minutes after, we were outside the shop, holding a smallish box, something like the size of a weekly magazine and a palm thick… the little guy was there, lurking at us from a plastic foil protecting its pale white complexion… back home I let Antonella get the baby out and start playing with it, but after a few hours charge, since the battery was absolutely flat!!

After having spent this waiting in weekly shopping trips, finally the eee went “live”… no more than 30” and the screen was popping with a start up screen, a matter of seconds to type in name, date, time, the usual stuff and there it was!!!

A nice, tabbed screen with some magic words such as work, entertainment, web, stuff like that!!! So, where to begin???

First.. the overall feeling is of a sturdy little pc, the size of a decent paperback, light as light can be (less than a kilogram..), keyboard is clearly on the small side, and yet is fin to type in, I have to say that I am not really a giant, and my hands are quite small, still, the baby is not made for creating your next trilogy the likes of the lord of the rings, so…

All applications are nicely grouped under “tabs”, the same you have in any decent Web browser… it is all there, ready for you to use! The entire office suite is the Linux version (yep, the entire machine is running on Linux, should you do not know that already!) of OpenOffice, thus dead easy to use, pretty compatible with most of your documents, will do for some work whilst you are out!

Connectivity… the usual Ethernet modem connection which, damn, forces me to wait and try the baby on the web, got a tragic USB modem but, wait… WiFi!!!!! There is a little icon on the bottom left of the tab-screen, why not having a go.. mind you, I still haven’ t got WiFi at home (lazy, waiting to buy an Airport Extreme…), but, eventually, there were some six or seven around.. of which two open, and nicely ranked with an “intensity percentage”… got an87% and bam, there it was, into the Web. Just like that, no configuration of any sort, no hassle, nothing, just hit “connect” after having selected the access point, and wait a few secs..

Firefox was up and running (yep, no configuration, installation, nothing, it is all done for you beforehand!!), fair enough the screen (7″) is not exactly massive, yet it does the job quite nicely.. access speed, downloading and the rest of the web experience were in the norm, so quite fast, not an hiccup, nothing at all.. several kind of web sites, with different graphical layout and “intensity” have been downloaded and rendered without problems.

I wrote some stuff, responded to a few mails, Antonella checked for a new couch on the IKEA site, all in the norm! The baby was there, ready to answer our performance calls!!!

Photo upload was hassle-free… put in your SD loaded with your favourite pictures, click on the “Open” and there you are..

Haven’t tried Skype (pre-loaded…) yet, nor the webcam, but the beginning of the eee era in my flat are pretty fine!!!!

Most interesting feature.. do not know, really, it is the ease of the experience that is stunning, something that could remind me of some tales about the Apple MacBooks and such… the start up time is great, very very fast, battery lasted one day and half of pretty intense usage…

Should you buy it??? As a second PC, something seemingly reliable, packed full with all-you-need-applications, easy to use, WiFi enabled, yes, it is a definite yes!!! As your only machine I would actually think twice about the choice, keyboard too small and some work to do with external storage may hinder the fun!!!

If you bash into it, get the card out and get one!!!!! Your lifestyle as modern, city like chaps will have a boost and, seriously, you won’t pass unnoticed!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE: when I went about the “one day and half” battery life, clearly I didn’t mean that the eee was actually ON for all that time, it meant I used it half of Saturday and the whole of Sunday on and off, doing things for tens of minutes each go.. you know the going..

Finger Food (29)

February 22, 2008 Leave a comment

What a week!!!! Had to work pretty hard, a couple of days spent in conference, some stress to build up a significant activity over this 2.0 stuff everybody (still) want to know about, plus a stack of book to read are looming from a corner in my lounge, my shoulder is sort of painful after kickboxing on Tuesday (fun, fun, fun nonetheless!!!), and seemingly, my snowboarding trip over to Livigno is not going to happen.. nevermind the buzzcocks, Finger Food is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you remember the story of that French bank, what was the name, ah, yes, Societe Generale, going head over heels because of a GordonGekko wannabe? There is seemingly a herd on the loose, since UBS, a slightly large Swiss bank, has got some similar problems… meanwhile, why not using tech properly, also to boost the economy?? Evolution does asks for its toll, sometimes, and quite sadly this time is Polaroid to go into the “nice memories” chest of drawers..sad, too sad…

An attempt to buy out 3Com by Chinese Huawey (IBM; PCs owners, remember??) has been immediately stopped as a matter of national security.. or something the likes.. More on 2.0, now is about free publishing of scientific papers, PLoS, a nice add after the YouTube for scientist, Scivee, that made my blog booming with hits when I posted about (OK, just because I put “…Tequila” in the title, spelled wrong, btw..).

How about moving contents from SecondLife to “Multiverse”??? Will SL grow to platform-status for other than socialising??? we said so.. nevermind IBM launched a 3-D datacenter in OpenSim..

And plenty more stuff… China does not like US to go about shooting in the sky,  Serbs do not like Kossovo being independent and make sure the World knows about their feelings, Facebook faces its first decline in zillion of months of steep growth (look out for a new 2.0 champion!!!) (but do not say it too loud, yet..), and Google goes on the Moon!!!!

OK, let’s stop it here, there is a computer-addict syndrome looming ahead!!! So head for the beach, hit the slopes with your boards, do something unspeakable with your lovey-lovey, but heck, leave that keyboard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or, otherwise, see you next week!!!


Categories: Finger Food

Notes and unstructured thoughts on 2.0… Homo 2.0???

February 22, 2008 Leave a comment

I have to admit, this blog is also very useful to have all your notes in one place, some sort of repository of (hopefully) fairly intelligent thinking…

So, since I will have to work pretty heavily on the entire spectrum of the 2.0 saga, I have to jot down some notes… ah, yep, I will be part of the discussion tables at the closing event of the IDC Innovation Forum that will be held in Milan next March (here is the info and whereabouts of the Forum), with the likes of Don Tapscott, Derrick De Kerckhove and a stack of Web pundits, artists and creatives, it will be a blast, believe me!!

Right, so… notes… the evolutionary path is, quite nicely indeed, a sort of step back to the village-like, tribal relationships of the societies pre-industrial revolution. There is a reprise, this time thanks to technology and with no Luddites in sight, of the necessity to exchange human relationship with the “piazza” of my liking.

It is even more important aspects of this evolution. Globally, you may have noticed, there is a massive outburst of social-related activities, themes, actions, whatever… green campaigns, humanitarian efforts, sustainable economies, cultural crossovers, it is a huge mixing, bridging, communicating, helping.. it seems like there is a real, planetary conscience that is guiding some acts of a large number of people.

I happened to discuss this with some Web experts at the recent Enteprise 2.0 conference and with a couple of university professors in the past couple of weeks, and we were all very interested of the implications. The question was whether it is the Web-network evolution that have ignited the process or it is rather a genetic attitude of mankind to seek for the community that has enabled the Web to become the social network we know today. The more techy amongst us actually feel like the hype and the “media” coverage upon Internet since the early 2000s is the real engine of this renewed planetary surge of the masses, whilst there has been a flimsy quoting the Band Aid in1984 as potentially the first massive conscience raising that have triggered the necessity to a better and more tight communication amongst actors in the social canvass… nice altogether.. guess we can really state that all the most innovative or evolutionary tech advances stem from a “communication” need, that is for sure..

What is more interesting it the actual disintegration of some capitalistic logics thanks to the Web and the social implication deriving from an hyper-connected World. The shift of power from producers to users is a substantial change in the orthodoxy and liturgy of the economy rite. What is indeed scarcely perceived and increasingly kept under the radar by who-knows-who is the actual revolutionary power of the Web as it is structured nowdays. It would be possible to reorganise and determine social canvasses, political agendas, country foreign political position by the power of referral, by free-flowing information, by scarcely controllable exchange of view points by geographically dispersed groups of people.. you know what I intend, being “discussant” is ever more powerful than simply being “listener”.. yet, this is kept under control by painting the entire “thing” as a youngish, sort of head-in-the-clouds stuff, the social Web is about SecondLife, some music sharing quite often via illegal platforms, photos, videos and rubbish like that.. you know, young stuff has never been very dangerous.. whilst the reality is about a massive net of brains working in well determined and shared directions.

I am personally stressing the concept of “brain-sourcing” as the highest effect of the “crowdsourcing” phenomena or the entire social evolution of the Web.. more so, why not using “GridBraining”????

So, it is a new specimen of human being that is born before our eyes or it is simply a permutation of the actual?? Is the Web something we use, we live, or is a prosthetic of our selves??? There is something like an “Homo 2.0”??? Video of my presentation at the Turin School of Business (audio in italian, for the slides let me know,  it is IDC stuff and copyrighted..) … More to come…

Enterprise 2.0 and an interested Italian audience

February 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Just back in the office after a long two-day conference, held in Milan, on Virtualisation and Enterprise 2.0. I run as speaker and chairman some of the sessions yesterday and the entire of today’s discussion on E2.0.

Admittingly, I have tried to get all speeches and presentations on Monday as a sort of preparation for today big show.. I trust it went real fine!!!

Virtualisation technologies and SOA strategies have, admittingly, set up the enterprise IT environment to dynamically absorb all potential changes stemming from the E2.0 evolution. Most interestingly, we run a small in-conference survey on SOA perception, and over 50% of respondents admitted SOA was a fundamental pillar to respond efficiently to any potential market change. Very little about the techology complexity mix, very little about the nitty-gritty details on virtualisation (despite an hefty presence of VMware…), a lot of attention and feedback on the implied strategic and business changes SOA may enable. Cool.

Today the event went even better.. the room was full of very interested attendees, and the conversation, thanks to the two opening speeches, was directed toward the Web 2.0 social impact and the aftermath within the enterprise environment. The Q&A session went on forever (had to stop it at the end, quite an unique occurrence, I dare say..), the audience was most interested into networking math theories, Barabasi, adaptive systems and the complexity theory… questioning was raising towards the panel (myself, the italian managing director of Viadeo, Pietro Gentile, vice president of Intermedia and journalist expert in 2.0 topics, Claudio Pasqua, SEO and an early enthusiast of social networking and evolutionary web theories) as to address all those issues, asking for some clarification on likely futures opening up in front of the business community, about personality “caching” and data security, the evolution of Second Life and synthetic worlds… honestly, up until yesterday I had in front of me an audience that, when listening to such topics, coupled with words such as “change”, “strategy”, “evolution” et alia, most time was head-shaking, smiling, doing all sort of body-language mix up as to say “rubbish”..

We have all being absolutely stunned by the response, the interest, the willingness to know more and act accordingly. I have also to admit, there is very little knowledge on the fundamentals of the complexity theory, small worlds and the rest of, say, Barabasi thinking are far from being well distributed and understood, and yet I trust there is a massive change in approaching the systemic evolution of the enterprise into a rather more performing, market aware and “discussion-driven” actor. These are good news, more to come as soon as I have gathered some feedback and organised my thoughts!!

Finger Food (28)

February 15, 2008 Leave a comment

One year ago I was engaged by an organisation to revamp their internal structure and to revise their Web strategy to make the most of the social evolution Internet was consolidating into a massive evolutionary step. So, I said to myself, guess it is about time you do start to participate, dive into the synthetic world, experience to the fullest possible extent.

Now, considering that the entirety of what is around actually fits all, I decided that writing down some stuff would have suit me fine, adding some bits and bobs along the road.. so, one year ago this blog saw the cyber-light!!!!

It has been quite an amazing year, now that I come to think to that, I have significantly changed the way I do work, the way I experience the World around, my thirst for new “things” has exponentially augmented and, in parallel, I notice that the more I have enlarged my personal boundaries (provided I have any at all), the more a subtle feeling of dissatisfaction was crawling alongside the more positive feeling of being exploring a path to the future (or whatever it may be, good fun nonetheless…).. it may be what a professor was calling “mediatic illnesses”… a strange group of pathologies that stem out from the endless crossroads, opportunities, possibilities, connections, informations.. it comes from abundance, pretty much like obesity for the First World countries comes out of the utter food abundance..

Nevertheless, I love being in this time-space location, it is ever so interesting, a damn evolutionary ditch we are about to jump and surpass, love to see what is on the other side.. provided we avoid the curse looming over 2012!!!!

So, whilst I am singing “happy birthday to 88days!!”, you may well keep on and enjoy this Friday’s Finger Food!!!!

  • Whilst the entire World is getting ready for a-smartphone-in-every-hand approach Barcelona seems to suggest, someone is arguing that even a champion of consumer digitalisation such as Apple may start feeling the hard truth behind a recession… a CMO stated that the first cutback in consumer expenditure should and potentially will be in entertainment and then on home improvements.. maybe in US, I recall a similar survey for Italy and we are supposed to cut back on food.. what about all those assumptions are a pile of rubbish, particularly when set up to justify an already-defined position?? My thought, mind you…
  • Future??? Look eastwards, towards the rising sun..

Japan’s 100 million cell-phone users represent the most diverse—and discriminating—pool of mobile subscribers on the planet.

  • I still believe, as it was back in early 2000s, Japan may have some lessons to give out.. watch out in Shibuya, Omotesando and Ginza, should you like to be an high tech leader in the coming years…

Says software engineer Ken Wakasa: “People’s expectations are very high here compared to other regions. That’s why we get good feedback.”

And it is all about “expectation economy”, for those of you still there to understand what the experience economy is (was, fool, was)!! You don’t care? Fine, history will forget about you ever existed at all..

  • Incidentally, most big guys including Intel do believe the World is going to be curious, fast paced, full of expectation and mobile… there you are, dished out.. (more on silicon chips here and here… a nice war is undergoing???)
  • And, furthermore, there is an increased attention in building up conglomerates of must-have brands working sort of holistically together, such as some talks between Nokia and Google are actually suggesting.. markets are getting slightly complicated, much better to lock in customers in a well defined experience than having them wandering about..
  • It is complicated by tech, economies, geopolitical trends and also by the chromosome sets you may have.. men love user-generated contents, women like streaming.. you do whatever you like with these insights, on top of painting gizmos in titanium grey or fluffy pink …
  • Yesterday a journalist asked me about Web 2.0 and its impact over the financial services, and there was a question about what banks do in SecondLife.. going away from it, as it seems… banks may be slightly more worried about the impact of global crisis, and less about avatars… won’t discuss any further, should you love chatting about it, let me know and I will oblige happily..

And, more.. let alone the above mentioned wars and squabbles, the social networking arena is also adding to the scenario complexity, M&A all around… (interesting, if cleared from some silliness such as these..); Murdoch builds up a Web sort-of incubator, whist chatting about with Yahoo..ops… get one out of many Barcelona Mobile World Congress reportsLBS and maps, plus mobile advertising to come, ouch!!

NY Times made the headlines when decided to have a free-for-all Web version of the daily, now it is cutting down by a 100 its editorial jobs…. Japan seems to be out of doldrums..

And, yes, now quitting Facebook is getting slightly less complicated.. not that my post had anything to do with it, clearly!!!

Fine, there we are… I desperately want to close this week, the opening of the next one will be smashing, I have to head a two-days conference in Milan about virtualisation and enterprise 2.0, hope I can report about the outcomes! In the meanwhile, have a nice weekend!!!!

Categories: Finger Food

NOW mobile operators start whinging about being “just pipes”…

February 14, 2008 Leave a comment

Barcelona event is setting up an utterly dynamic environment for each and every mobile user; communication capability dramatically improve in speed and reliability, handsets are becoming the real next-big-thing with their “smart” declination, the outer Web has long since transformed in a social platform able to let you grow, learn, interact and ultimately “be” whomever you like.

In this terribly interesting ecosystemic shake off, mobile operators realise they have been hedged, or rather they are loosing client’s ownership, provided they ever had it…  quite rightly Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone, stated that pundits such as Google or Yahoo have so far delivered a better “mobile experience” than operators’, which is altogether pretty weird, if you come to think to the starting points for both this industry conglomerates..

You know what??? I recall working with some of the big guns in the mobile industry, right at the verge of the UMTS era, say some five years ago, and the overall, consistent, solid approach was along these lines: “the network is my capital, so everyone has to pay to use it”, “clients are topping up and there won’t be much of a market share shake off” and, when presented with service strategy such as the Japanese DoCoMo or KDDI, thus based on an aggressive revenue sharing model (roughly speaking: you provide the service, I put in the network, every penny coming from this wedding will be shared accordingly..), I can still hear the words “no way” resounding all around the room…

Those very shortsighted managers did not even consider the possibility to act and plan in a systemic fashion, thus accepting the fact that the entire industry was not revolving just around “them” but there were some concurrent R&D and marketing strategy that were already shaping the marketplace, absolutely and indisputably well defined. By the way, I have a slide deck dated “2002” proving the above…

So, now doomsday has come… and clients are slipping through the fingers of mobile operators in terms of “attention” and “equity” perception. The crisp money mobile companies did accumulate in the past years now is merely a remnant of what was once an empire.

Admittingly, that could possibly be slightly harsh and not quite accurate, but the message is all about “expectation”, “relative importance” and “experience”. In this sort of strange equation, users expect from mobile operators to have an always-on pipe, quite likely a fast one (HSDPA/HSUPA as tendency) and that is about the end of it.. ah, nop, one more: all-inclusive tariff plans. End of message.

The experience is about handsets ergonomy and usability (I told them, let me boast this!!!), multiple connectivity opportunity, and all the IP based services you can master, plus the media fundamentals, video-photo-sound, at the highest possible level. The rest (thus the pipe) is commodity, pretty much like expecting light when switching on a lamp..

The Vodafone payoff is “Life is Now”… may I remind that someone said that life is that thing happening whist you are busy doing something else, which is probably the case for some of the mobile execs in the recent past…