Reading blogs #6

By | November 20, 2008

It looks like these digests are not going to be any shorter.  So, I figured I may help you getting the most of them by adding easier navigation.  So, in this issue:

It would be great if you told me if it works better!

Interesting reports, numbers, and visualizations

World Development Report 2009” (via Information Policy) – Some trends and numbers about global development; this time it focuses on three “dimensions”: density, distance, and division.

Tomorrow’s Global Giants? Not the Usual Suspects” (via CommunicationsDirect) – An interesting analysis of global economic trends/interaction between the “developed” and the “developing” worlds.  You will need a subscription to access the full article (you can probably access it through your library).

Market Share of Email Services on the Web” – This is really interesting – Yahoo is leading the market in terms of traffic on its webmail services, with LiveMail/Hotmail in the second place, and Gmail only in the third, significantly lagging behind.

US Economy: 1920-2008 (Good Magazine)” – This is a visualization and I think its title speaks for itself.

MICT regulation

Touré’s ITU still pushing for an Internet counter-revolution” – Milton Mueller’s response to to Hamadoun Ture’s speaking about internet governance at a recent ICANN meeting in Cairo – I would recommend reading both as reading just one will give only partial picture.

Rethink of Universal Service Obligations/Funds” – An opinion piece calling to rethink allocation of public funds and basically the entire approach to support of universal access to telecom infrastructure .  In fact this issue is being opened to public discussion by the FCC these very days – “FCC Seeks Comment on Intercarrier Compensation and Universal Service Fund Reform” – this is your chance to provide input into the issues raised in the previous link.

Congress to Push for Net Neutrality Legislation” – Something really interesting to watch closely.

Larry Page and Kevin Martin talk white spaces” – Very interesting conversation.  If you are interested in this issue of white spaces, it can help you learning more about what it is about and what are the issues at stake.  In fact they are touching on some other points, such as net neutrality, as well. What also made it interesting to me is that the “digital divide” issue was implicitly there throughout the entire conversation.  Reserve about 25 minutes if you want to watch the entire video.


Here you can read more about white spaces in the Economist (via LIRNEasia).  On a relate note, I wonder if alternative approaches to connecting rural US, such as this – “IBM to bring broadband over power line to rural America” – will remain relevant.  What do you think?

Microsoft’s lobbying tab dwarfs Google’s tally” – A Washington Post article about the lobbying efforts of both Google and Microsoft; very interesting and it made wonder if/how this will change with the new administration, which seems to come harder on the lobbyists.

Structural telco changes are needed in the USA” – Some thoughts about what the US may want to do with its MICT infrastructure if it is to spend a few billions in the next few years on infrastructure projects.

Argentine judge: Google, Yahoo must censor searches” – I wonder if this is going to be one of the first tests of the “Global Network Initiative“.

A geriatric assault on Italy’s bloggers” (via A Blog Around The Clock) – The Italian government want bloggers and users of social networks to register with the state; I wonder how long it will take for some of the Israeli lawmakers to pick this idea up.

In Conversation: Carol Weiss and Evert Lindquist on Policymaking and Research” (via LIRNEasia) – This is not directly related to MICT, but it is about the link between research and policy making.  This is a transcript of conversation with Carol Weiss and Evert Lindquist.  One of the interesting quotes of Carol Weiss from that conversation:

But by and large you don’t see so much direct influence on policy – at least not immediately. What happens more often is that a research project contributes to what I have called “enlightenment.” It punctures old myths, offers new perspectives, and changes the priority of issues.

MICT business

Live Search Cashback” (via TechBlorge) – Another post about Microsoft paying users for using its search results.  Reading this kind of new now got me thinking…  Recently, Veronica showed me a resaerch article suggesting that people adjust their search patterns to match unsatisfactory research results and then see no difference between the “good” and the “bad” search engines.  Provided that the cash inscentive will be significant enough to overcome Google’s brand, this move can actually work for Microsoft.  What do you think?

The Reality of Openness” – Google and Nokia are going open with the operating systems of their smart-phones.  Have no idea what it means in the long term, but this is an interesting development to notice.

MICT and financial crisis

Economic Crisis Likely To Impact High-flying Cellphone Industry” – Another gloomy prospect on the industry, which is unfortunately also supported by new like this – “Nokia Cuts Q4 Outlook, Warns of Falling Industry-Wide Sales in 2009“.

Google Analyst: ‘Worst Economic Environment In Our Collective Lifetimes’” – If Google is the current flagship of the industry, its stock price indicates that it is entering some stormy waters.  Reading that post though got me thinking that it would be really interesting to study the communication environment of business analysts – it is the second time in my conscious lifetime that they collectively get things wrong.

The VC model is broken” (thanks to Norman) – Interesting and thought provoking post about some potentially fundamental misconceptions undermining the venture capital industry, which was traditionally an important vehicle of technological innovation.  Again, reading that piece got me thinking about the communication flow within that relatively closed community and how it can be part of the problem.

Banks show confidence in solar” – Even though the model seems to be broken, it looks like thee is still money for alternative energy enterprises.

G1G1 page on Amazon” – The Give One Get One promotion is back and you can now purchase your own XO laptop and donate another one to a kid in developing country (or just donate one) through amazon.  I now actually own one of those and I have some reservations, compared to my enthusiasm before.   Nevertheless, if you have the extra money, I think this is a worthy cause.

In case you need some sentimental push, here is video from OLPC YouTube channel (via OLPC news):


XO Laptop Give One Get One 2008 Buying Guide” – An attempt to explain what you can and what you cannot expect from the laptop if you decide to get (and give) one.

G1G1 2008: From Give to Get in less than a day!” – In case you were concerned with the previously poor execution of G1G1 promotion, it seems that this time it is going smoother.

Media Companies Help Promote Laptop Project” – Kind of a project status update published in NY Times.

Finally, if you are up for a challenge – “Create a G1G1 commercial and win a national TV spot!

Israeli election

Israeli Candidate Borrows a (Web) Page From Obama” (via pustovek) – A NY Times article confirming my previous observation about the similarities between the new Likud online platform and that of Obama campaign.

“Israel got its own Sarah Palin” (RU) – I have mentioned in one of my previous posts that Miri Regev, a former IDF spokeswoman joined the Likud party; a few days ago I heard her speaking and told Veronica that Regev looks like an Israeli version of Sarah Palin; the next day I saw that blog post from Grisha confirming my observation.

US election
(probably should be changed to “US politics” now, don’t you think?)

Barack Obama drops Twitter but keeps donation emails coming” – People start asking question about the future of internet based, direct communication with the people in the new administration.

For a Washington Job, Be Prepared to Tell All” (via TechBlorge) -A description of information you will have to disclose if you were trying to get a job in the new government.  Reading this I had a mixed feeling.  On the one hand, it seems pretty invasive (you need to disclose basically all your online activities).  On the other, it is really thorough, particularly trying to vet out potential conflicts of interests.  I wonder what would happen to the Israeli public sector if they would apply something like that 🙂

First 100 Days” (via FlowingData) – A nice interactive visualization of the first 100 days of various US presidents.

Obama Headlines” (via FlowingData) – Another cool interactive visualization of newspapers featuring Obama.  Not so much about politics, but an interesting thing to play with.

Simply Interesting, Fun, and Coll Stuff

The Internet enters the final frontier” – Sounds futuristic, but interesting.

Monty Python channel on YouTube” (via VentureBeat) – Looks promising, take a peek…


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