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Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Microsoft gets IT

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Microsoft, the object of hatred for a large geek pop (and wannabes), is actually far from over. They are as fierce competitor as one can be. Latest evidence – Microsoft creating a YouTube channel for promotion of Vista and Live brands. Significance of YouTube here is that YouTube belongs to its “enemy” Google. That’s atypical for an “an underdog beats the incumbent” story, so it very well might not be one.


Written by Brajesh

January 1, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Only 38% Downloaders Paid for Radiohead’s Album “In Rainbows”

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In Rainbows,” a new record album from an English band Radiohead, has challenged the traditional music sales model by allowing listeners to determine the price they are willing to pay for the album which is available for download on its website.

Figures coming out from comScore – an internet marketing research company – 38% paying an average of about $6 seem much more realistic than the numbers floated earlier – average price between $5 and $8 for 1.2 million downloads.

I’m one of those 62%. Radiohead’s music is decent but not my taste. But, had the album not been available for download, I wouldn’t even have heard of them or their music. Moreover, they probably made much more money from these downloads than they could ever make from regular album release.

Written by Brajesh

November 6, 2007 at 8:57 pm

BitTorrent Protocol and Client Gone Closed

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Latest version of BitTorrent client (v 6.0), which is based on closed-source uTorrent (acquired a while back), has not been released, neither has been the protocol specs. The “official” BitTorrent client has never been very popular compared to other protocol implementations like Azureus and uTorrent.

Protocol specs, although technically closed, are available with very tightly maintained SDK license.  And, all previous version of protocol as well as the client are available openly.

In lifecycle of any technology “The step after ubiquity is invisibility“. I always hoped BitTorrent to follow that curve. Not anymore probably.

Written by Brajesh

August 9, 2007 at 11:54 am

Web-based Spreadsheet Patent

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Just found this patent (#6,988,241) filed by IBM back in 2000 and issued on Jan 17, 2006.
From the abstract:

A method and system that that allows a designer to create “spreadsheet” web pages, which can then be viewed and used by the designer and/or by other users. The described embodiments of the present invention allow people to collaborate and to share spreadsheets over the web. The described embodiment allows a user of the spreadsheet to email the spreadsheet to others and to embed the spreadsheet into web pages owned by the designer or by third parties.

I’m not sure how this works but, if I understand this right, all those web-based spreadsheets apps by Google, Zoho and others are infringing.

Written by Brajesh

June 3, 2007 at 3:50 pm

After Digg,, now Reddit spammed

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It seems spammers have found the new avenues. First it was digg, then, and now reddit. And this time they seem to use down-voting bots to suppress legitimate posts and up-vote spam to make it more visible. Innovative eh!

While it doesn’t make much sense to spam for Search Engine Optimization, as its pages don’t get indexed by Search Engine bots

<meta name="robots" content="noarchive,nofollow,noindex" />

digg and reddit both don’t have any such measures AFAIK. As if mail and blog comment spam were not enough of trouble, spamming digg/ is walk in the park – for all practical purposes.

Now, whether ‘Collective Intelligence’ is flawed is a matter of debate. Apparently, whatever is done to facilitate ease of use to the user, equally works for the spammer. There in lies the challenge of user generated content. How insightful!

Written by Brajesh

June 22, 2006 at 11:30 am

Edge Content

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There has been plenty of talk about the Rise of Edge Content lately. Edge Content – the content provided by the long tail of [web] community. Blogs are the perfect example of edge content. While I agree with the idea of eventual prominence of edge content over a centralized system, I’ve certain issues with the general understanding of edge content.

Everyone (I’ve read so far), who talks about ‘the edge’, has a basic assumption that the content has to be created on the Web to be available to everyone, and then there would be various services to aggregate and serve that distributed content. Blogging is super-fine as a casual/amateur content creation tool. But then we need to look for more serious aspects of it. The anonymity of web is a huge road block in the availability of more meaningful content. And also, why limit ourselves to the web, what about the huge content available on desktops.

Content creators need to get their due not only in terms of credit, recognition and feedback, but also monetarily. Why take away that choice from the content creator. The proposed/existing aggregator model may do fine on the recognition aspect, but pretty much dilutes the monetary part. Also, we need a way to measure the access and profile of content consumers. Otherwise the whole edge content thing is a setup to lose.

I need to expand a bit more here, which I’ll do in due course of time.

Written by Brajesh

February 19, 2006 at 5:17 pm

The ‘Ad’vent of Free Books

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From this news item in Infotoday

Citing the desire to create new revenue streams for authors, mega-publisher HarperCollins has announced the first free Web-based, ad-supported, full-text business book. Go It Alone! The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own by Bruce Judson is now available on the author’s Web site, where an affiliate link to Amazon, not the publisher, can also be found. Not only can the book be read at the site, but it can also be searched. HarperCollins Publishers is calling the project a test of a new business model. Some self-published authors also offer ad-supported books online, but HarperCollins’ move is the first by a major publisher.

And about the revenue model and rationale behind the move-

Company spokesperson Erin Crum said: “We are exploring how online advertising programs can add value for publishers and authors. The results will be measured by the income generated through ads, number of page views and visitors to the site, and by sales of books from the site. If successful, this kind of digital product might be a new format that supplements the paperback edition.”?

Ad-supported media is here to stay. Television has shown us so far that even though advertising is overrated, it works.

Written by Brajesh

February 14, 2006 at 8:14 am