Reading blogs #10

By | January 30, 2009

This is my 10th digest… kind of an anniversary 🙂

  • Interesting reports, numbers, and visualizations
  • Interesting thoughts, ideas, opinions, and discussions
  • Digital Divide
  • MICT regulation
  • MICT business
  • “New” media
  • US politics
  • Simply Interesting, Fun, and Coll Stuff
  • Interesting reports, numbers, and visualizations

    Internet population tops one billion” – TechBlorge is reporting about a ComScore report suggesting that in December the number of online users topped the one billion mark (even though, World Stats suggest that this happened earlier and we are already tapping the 1.5 billion mark).  More information in ComScore’s press release.

    FCC Releases Broadband Access Data for Year-End 2007” – The penetration rates of broadband in the US are slowing; I wonder if the telecos are waiting for the stimulus money that are supposed to go into developing broadband infrastructure.  You may want to read the full report here.

    U.S. Regulator Publishes Wireless Industry Competition Report” (also in Information Policy) – This is another report recently released by the FCC.  To summarize things in a very little nutshell, the US wireless market is growing, it is highly concentrated; even though people talk more, the revenue for voice services has declined; people do send more SMS’s and MMS’s.  You can access the full report here.

    The Size of Internet to Double Every 5 Years” – Chinese researchers present another iteration of the Moor’s law.

    Will telecoms in South Africa finally reach its potential?” – An interesting analysis from BuddeBlog; I think the title speaks for itself.

    Vietnam: IT, telecoms revenue up 38%” and “Kazakhstan Telecoms Market Tops $3 Billion in 2008” – Some news you usually do not get in the Western mainstream media.

    More numbers from other countries – “Hungary: broadband connections reach 1.52 million at end-November”  – Uzbekistan – “Mobile use doubles in 2008; internet grows 22.5%” – “China’s population of Web users hits 298 million” – “India’s GSM subscriber base totals to 258Mn at Dec’08-end” – “Bangladesh home to 44.6Mn mobile subscribers by 2008 end” – with Graminphone being the market leader, which in itself is interesting – “Mexico – 75 Million Mark Passed, 75% Penetration Beckons“.

    Dangers of facebook hyped?” (full NY Times article here) – They are basically saying that the answer is yes, which leads me back to thinking that online safety is primarily an issue of education targeting both, the children and the their parents.  At the same time PEW suggests that larger numbers of adults are getting into social networks, which I think should help – “Adults and Social Network Websites“.

    Nearly Half of Mobile Phone Users Avoid Multimedia Features and Use Handsets Solely to Make Calls” – The data is for the US and frankly, I thought this number was higher.  Here is another discussion related to this point, which is trying to go into causes – “Mobile phone users confused by handset features“.

    Finally, a couple of recently released UNESCO reports/book view CEDICT blog.  The first one is – “Media as partners in education for sustainable development: a training and resource kit” – and the second one is – “Freedom of information: a comparative legal survey” .

    Interesting thoughts, ideas, opinions, and discussions

    More silicon, less carbon” (via LirneAsia) – Looks like the combination of ICT and environment (ICT4E?) is the next big thing for this industry.

    Digital Divide

    CES and the Small Things Challenge” – Intel is reporting about their appearance at CES, which I mentioned in the previous digest; they also announce a challenge, which you may want to check out (not sure why it is called challenge, but you can make Intel donate 5c to Kiva or Save the Children with just a click and there are additional ways to contribute if you are into it).

    NComputing CEO Stephen Dukker on low-cost computers” – I wrote about NComputing before; now  you have a chance to hear about it from the CEO, who presented their technology at CES.  In the last digest, I presented some numbers about computer usage habits of the Israeli teens, which really make me wonder how long the model of computer classes is going to sustain itself (or in Dukker’s words when NComputing will become obsolete, at least in education).

    Comstar brings WiMAX to Moscow” – I wonder why we don’t really hear about WiMax when people talk about the broadband plans for the US?  But maybe I just don’t know enough, because – “Congressmen back $6bn broadband investment” which says to include “broadband and wireless services in underserved areas”.  At the same time it seems like – “British government wants Broadband for all by 2012“.

    In the midst of this, however, PEW releases results of a new survey – “Stimulating Broadband: If Obama builds it, will they log on?” – It shows that 51% of non-users are not coming online because they are lacking motivation, or simply don’t think they should spend their time on internet; price is the second largest factor, and accessibility is only the third. But it looks like Obama’s administration has a broader view of what broadband is needed for – “Technology Gets a Piece of Stimulus” (via LirneAsia) – they think about technology in terms of job creation, which is different from the limited view of it as a consumer product.

    Not being connected is costly” – This is a post at BuddeBlog mentioning a UK study that came to this conclusion; I only with he would provide link to the study itself.  Here, on the other hand, an example with a link to the full report suggesting that mobile phones have positive impact on economic growth – “India: The Impact of Mobile Phones“.

    MICT regulation

    Defining ‘Broadband’ Key in Stimulus Plans” – This is an interesting point and it is linked to my long standing interest in the rhetoric of policy; although in this case it seems like the answer is going to be a number, it will be interesting to see how it will be actually set.  In the meantime – “Irish Government Reveals US$290-mil. ‘Broadband for All’ Plan” – and that is by September next year.

    More on the broadband.  “Does Broadband Need a Stimulus?” – A critique of the basic idea behind Obama’s broadband plan; Saul Hansell thinks that the needed infrastructure is already in place and the plan suggests a duplication.

    China closes 91 websites in online crackdown” – Following up on the previous digest, China did took a number of website offline for morality reasons.  Later reports suggest that – “China blocks 244 new websites in porn crackdown” – I think it is in addition to the previous 91.

    EU: Safer Internet programme 2009 – 2013 published” – You can a longer description of the program here.  From skimming the decision, it looks like it is not all about filtering.

    MICT business

    France’s fibre operators fall in line with regulator” – French operators, with a little help from the regulator, decided to share infrastructure; very interesting analysis from the BuddeBlog.

    Worldwide PC sales drop for first time since 2002” – They attribute it to the recession and to people switching to notebooks.  At the same time, look what is going on in the market for video games – “Video game business grows 9 percent in December, up 19 percent for 2008“.

    GoodGuide raises $3.73M for ethical shopping” – Using technology to do well, while helping people to behave good (my not very successful attempt to paraphrase “doing well, while doing good”).  This is particularly interesting in light of the continuous decline in VC fundraising at the end of 2008 – “Venture fundraising: Going, going, gone?“.

    Google beats the Street for Q4” – 18% growth in sales and operational margins of 33%, Google actually show growth during the recession.  Here are more details – “Live-Blogging Google’s Earnings Call“.  At the same time, we see some websites starting playing with different models of presenting ads, including allowing people to opt out from viewing them – “Turning the Ads Off“.

    “New” media

    Britannica 2.0: Wikipedia Gets 97% of Encyclopedia Visits” – Wow, Britannica is launching a wiki version of itself.  I can once again say “told you so!”, as I wrote about it about half a year ago.  Wikipedia on the other side is thinking about implementing further restrictions on editing – “Will Wikipedia restrict user edits?” (also here) – are we reaching an equilibrium?  In the meantime – “India debuts ‘agricultural Wikipedia’” – an interesting and innovative use of wikis for development.

    Apparently YouTube, together with Sony and Politzer had a citizen journalism competition (via Information Policy), which ended recently.  Here is their webpage and here here is the winning item:


    Death of local newspapers: blogging opportunity” – The debate over the future of the newspaper continues.  At the same time, the French president, Sarkozy, offered free newspaper subscription to teenagers in the country to boost the newspaper industry – “France to give free newspaper subscriptions to teens“.

    US politics

    Governor Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver turn to social web to build consensus” – A case of “Obama Effect” in the US.  It looks like Schwarzenegger is following the footsteps of the new president.  I would assume he is just one of many to follow in this realm.

    Congress comes to YouTube” – And another evidence of Obama Effect in the US, this time with some help from Google.  Same story covered in other places – “The U.S. Congress: The new stars of YouTube?

    Inauguration Day Stats” – Not surprisingly, many were following the inauguration of the most connected president online.  For example, WSJ provides the following detail – “CNN on Top in Inauguration Traffic“.

    Simply Interesting, Fun, and Coll Stuff

    Stock Market & World GDP Statistical Data Sculptures” – You should check it yourself, it is simply cool 🙂  But if you are considering a more conservative ways of representing data, you may find the following post useful – “How to Find the Right Chart Type for your Numeric Data” (also featured in FlowingData).

    Liquid Image launches underwater digital camera Swim mask” – I have never dived and never attempted underwater photography, yet the idea of a swim mask combined with a camera sounds like something I would love to experiment with.  And speaking about camera, this one is also seems to be very cool! – “Lego camera should not be dismantled

    The history of the internet” (via VentureBeat) – A nice video from an interesting project.  You may find the particularly interesting, if you are looking for free icons.


    “Disney: The law of code preservation” (HE) – Yuval is posting an interesting YouTube video demonstrating how Disney are reusing patterns in their different movies.  I can clearly see the argument and understand the logic of that behavior for computer animated films, but I think some of the movies in the clip were created before the computer graphics were as strong.  I may of course be mistaken, as I don’t actually know much about it.


    How Microsoft Outlook Ruined Her Birthday Cake?” – Just click the link and take a see yourself, it is rather funny 🙂

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