Friday, January 27, 2006

Why Google in China makes sense

Here is support for Google from an unlikely source, the BBC. While I don't buy the "the internet is censored everywhere" argument, there is a fundamental difference between blocking child porn sites and blocking searches around the word "democracy," I do believe it is far better to engage with China than to try to shut it out.

But if we in the West, with our liberal political culture and our attempts to build open societies, do not engage with China then we lose the opportunity to influence them and convince them of the benefits that this brings. If the Chinese government fears instability then we should offer help and advice and support, not closed borders and locked doors.

Different circumstances require different responses, and just because sanctions were the right way to put pressure on apartheid South Africa does not mean that a technology blockade is the way to influence China.

Also interested in the fact that the Google search actually highlights when a particular search has been censored due to government restrictions; this at least allows people to realize what they are not getting and that it is the government that is preventing them from getting it.

What consequences could that have for censorship?

News @ Cisco: Shanghai Telecom Expands Network Capacity with Cisco CRS - 1 to Support Business Growth

Don't normally link back to Cisco's own news releases, but, aw heck, since I just posted on the CRS-1 announcement to SaksTel....

News @ Cisco: Shanghai Telecom Expands Network Capacity with Cisco CRS - 1 to Support Business Growth

Seeing the future in Saskatchewan

Mark Evans offers up a post on SaskTel, which he sees as an example of an SP doing what needs to be done to stay competitive.

We couldn’t agree more as we recently announced that SaskTel bought up our groovey CRS-1.

Wireless Networking in the Developing World

Networking is perhaps one of the most important tools currently available to deal with global development and help raise people’s standard of living. It is no panacea, of course, but just as many of use couldn’t do business without being constantly networked, how could we hope that others in developing countries raise their own standard of living and grow their own economies without the same tools.

The Wireless Networking in the Developing World is a step by step guide to help people design and develop their own wireless networks. It is free for download under a Creative Commons license. There is also a wiki for added online conversation. There are a lot of these sorts of “grassroots networking” projects, and I think taken in aggregate, they hold a lot of potential.

Although there is indeed an impressive list of contributors, nice to see that Cisco Distinguished Engineers Jim Forster is among this list.

NASA workers pause for solemn tribute | - Houston Chronicle

The quest for knowledge and innovation is among human's more noble ambitions, but sometimes it comes at a terrible price.

Spend some time thinking about those who have paid that price....

NASA workers pause for solemn tribute | - Houston Chronicle

Ethanol could reduce fossil fuel need: study - Yahoo! News

If Silicon Valley is the global center for innovation, how come we don't see more environmental technologies coming out of here?

Ethanol could reduce fossil fuel need: study - Yahoo! News

UN body backs $100 laptop for world's kids - Yahoo! News

Call me naive (and smarter people have called me far worse... and have usually been right) but I think this project has legs. Maybe it won't come to market "as is" but I think it may prove to be a catalyst to other interesting developments aimed at emerging markets....

UN body backs $100 laptop for world's kids - Yahoo! News

China will pass US in Broadband Lines by late 2006....

....and other research has shown that Chinese will be the dominat language on the Internet...

China will pass US in Broadband Lines by late 2006 - Worldwide Broadband Survey - US Broadband Penetration Breaks 65% Among Active Internet Users - January 2006 Bandwidth Report

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Cisco High Tech Policy Blog: "Don't Want No Smart People"

In keeping with the “global” theme that I’ve inadvertently stumbled upon during my lunch-time blogging, my colleague over at Cisco’s High Tech Policy blog has some very astute thoughts on immigration.

Cisco High Tech Policy Blog: "Don't Want No Smart People"

Clarity on human rights, good for business

As a follow on to my earlier post on globalization , I’d like to highlight the ideas posited here on the need to better codify global human rights and provide more clear guidance to companies on how to ensure their practices to not violate such rights.

To my mind, a good starting point is the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Basically, it should be that if you follow these rules, you’re doing pretty well.

Also, there is some positive movement towards reforming the way human rights are handled at the UN. This is important because with human rights being more closely defined and monitored at the UN (rather than cynically being used as a political tool) then that will provide I think a good “trickle down” model that can help companies in their efforts to provide economic growth and protect human rights at the same time.

Investing in a flat world

As we’ve said several times here around Cisco, what the world needs are more Silicon Valleys around the world. More Silicon Valleys means greater competition and more innovation, which means more tech ideas can be turned into better tech products. From our point-of-view, this is also good news because with R&D teams all over the world collaborating and sharing information, that will only drive up bandwidth demands, which is music to our ears.

I got to be thinking about this because of some of the international deals that have been announced recently. SiliconBeat highlighted one such deal here.

There is a lot of talent in many parts of the world and it is good to see various companies invest in that talent. I think too many people associate the global spread of innovation with planting a huge R&D center in some far-flung part of the world. It seems to me that may be the least efficient way to further the cause of global innovation.

What perhaps is the most efficient is a more grassroots approach; to find innovative companies that may have a very different worldview than a company from Silicon Valley, fund that company and see if their particular business model or local-idea has relevance worldwide.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Wanderluck � Prediction Internet TV in 5 Years

Here is a quick hit... randomly found this post that I think provides a pretty good summary of IP TV. Plus its in bullet points, and I LOVE bullet points.

Wanderluck � Prediction Internet TV in 5 Years

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Silicon Valley Sleuth: Digg on its way up

SV Sleuth shows “Web 2.0” (aargh… sorry) tech news site Digg climbing its way to the top of the tech news heap … can you dig it?

Anyway, this is a prime opportunity to recycle some of my old stale thoughts, since I cannot come up with any new stale thoughts this morning. If you’re wondering about the rise of Digg and other social networking type web applications, I offer a Cisco point-of-view here.

Video... do the math

So the latest mind-blowing numbers from Mr. Steve Jobs... over 8 million iPod videos sold in the last 90 days.

8 million 3cmx3cm videos are out there.

Or, put another way 8 million x 9cm squared for a grand total of 18,000,000 squared centimeters worth of video was moved via the iTunes site.

So the people who thought that no one would be interested in iPod video have been proven wrong 18 million times.

Bodes well for the burgeoning IP TV market, doesn't it?

I think the thing that could very well hamper this trend is this movement away from Net Neutrality. 18,000,000 of video may seem like a lot, but it is barely the tip of the iceberg. If SPs start charging people for every worth of video they consume, that could be a significant drag on the market.

The Xbox 360 and Japanese Nationalism

Yes, I suppose there is something to the claim that Xbox's cool reception in game-crazy Japan has something to dowith nationalism.

It may also have to do with the fact they are simply expecting something far better. I heard from CES goers that the new Playstation looks AMAZING.

Apple Presents New Macs Using Intel Chips

Mac OS on Intel... Well the only question I have on that is when do you reckon Mac OS will be available for PC users?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - Day Two: Howard Stern on Sirius radio - Day Two: Howard Stern on Sirius radio: "Day Two: Howard Stern on Sirius radio"

So how long you reckon USA Today is going to keep Alison Maxwell on the “Howard Stern on Sirius Radio” beat? This is indeed excellent journalism and I’m looking forward to future stories:

Day Eight: Howard Stern on Sirius radio
5) Howard Stern ponders the impact of “Brokeback Mountain” in the bovine community and whether it will lead to an increase in same sex relationships among boy cows

Day 723: Howard Stern on Sirius radio

12) Howard drops the 1,000,000th “F-bomb”, is required to open his studio to the IAEA for inspections

Day 102943: Howard Stern on Sirius radio
18) Accidentally makes a comment that is funnier than the intended sexual double entendre; Stern apologizes to his audience, is fined $75 by Sirius management

Day 2143523526523252392: Howard Stern on Sirius radio3) Howard Stern, long dead and sitting in a mummified state in his studio, proves he still “has it” by making a sound reminiscent of flatulence when a gust of wind from the AC blows between a lose web of skin near his armpit.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Newsweek and Penguin on Huawei

Newsweek takes a shot at defining Huawei.

Pretty good article that provides greater depth to some of the points I touched on here and here.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Intel hooks up with an Eros BoD

I’ve said elsewhere that one of the things that could drive broadband penetration in India is Bollywood. I know it is a crazy idea, but Bollywood is a major industry in India and I think almost any new way to get singing and dancing pretty-boy Shah Rukh Khan out into the Indian backwaters is a winner.

Intel and Eros (a Bollywood film company) have taken an early lead in the idea and launched a Bollywood on Demand (BoD) service. Very cool and I’ll be watching to see how this takes off.

This is obviously targeted to middle class Indians and Bollywood fanatics around the world, both Indians and non-Indians (including my wife!)

But where I get excited about this is when you look at the possibilities of rolling this out into rural areas. The image I have is of a village with some version of or variation on the $100 computer hooked up to the Internet. Every night a different movie is shown, villages line up to pay their few rupee entrance, grab some masala popcorn and there is an evening’s worth of entertainment for them.

The revenue per person is pennies, but multiply that by the 800 million or so people who live out in the rural areas and I reckon that’s gotta add up to something interesting. If an SP got involved, the potential to providing a BoD-type service to millions of people may provide some incentive to continue to build out IP networks across the country.

If you wanted to crunch some industry numbers: Bollywood revenues (2002) $1.5B vs. Hollywood 2002 revenues of $51B. But Bollywood sells about a billion more tickets annually and foreign distribution is helping Bollywood revenues grow at a fast pace, 25% between 2000-2002. (Stole this all off an old issue of BizWeek)