A few years ago, while browsing a local book store, 'Invisible Engines' caught my eye; an enlightening book detailing "How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries." Thinking back on the book a few chapters gained my attention, one main one was the detailing on how Microsoft succeeded against Apple.

The crux of the argument Microsoft vs. Apple is based around Microsoft's ability to manage economics across multiple markets, price points and foster the market effects of IBM Clones. Apple had a much earlier start in the PC business; Wozinack and Jobs developed the first modern PC during the mid-to-late 70s and early 80s; allowing Apple to control most aspects of this growing industry. Hardware, software and just about everything else related to the Apple line of computers was in some way controlled by Apple, this was a great assurance of product quality, and appeal (much as it is today). VisiCalc was Apples first killer app; a spreadsheet program for the masses, businesses finally started to see computers were not "toys; they really could provide important productivity tools for their workers." (pg. 98). In contract, Microsoft sold software (some of which successfully ran on Apple Macs) which made Microsoft's incentives aligned to sales of Macs.

IBM helped court Microsoft into the platform market with DOS. Since Microsoft was not in the hardware business, quality control of the end product was much more constrained and at the same time much bigger. To become successful Microsoft needed to manage four main markets: Computer Manufacturers, Peripherals, Software Developers, and Computer Users. Unlike Apple who only worked in two market, encourage developers and consumers and build critical mass. However Apple had one main drawback: its price point. A major reason for Microsoft's success has to do with Pricing. A lower price point meant Microsoft was able to get many more manufactures and developers, with the fact Spreadsheet program were not ported to PCs business had a lower and just as effective alternative to a higher priced Apple machine. Some of these factors still exist today, Microsoft's PCs are marginally cheaper than Apple PCs and they already have a deep business following which is hard to beat by many competitors including Linux. However, the Linux vs. Apple vs. Microsoft vs. Sun vs. BeeOS vs. OS2 is not what's up for debate. The question which comes to my mind is, can we look at this to build some type of success criteria for future technologies.

Being a staunch believer in Black Swans (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb) , I don't believe we can model the future completely on the past; too many complexities to take into account. However, we can always learn from the past. Microsoft succeed while Apple withering away (only to resurrect in a different form later) breaks down to a few key characteristics:

  1. Multiple markets: Computer Manufacturers, Peripherals, Software Developers, and Computer Users
  2. Price point: Less control over hardware and a bigger manufacturing base did in part lead to lower prices
  3. Market Effect: More IBM clones meant more developers would have people to sell to which meant IBM clones were more worthwhile etc.

If we break down the current mobile market we can learn what might come:

Platform Markets Cons

Pros
Android
  • Carriers: currently not confined to a single carrier
  • Hardware Manufacturers: using Android across multiple products
  • Developers: for add-on Applications
  • Users: End users interested in the platform
  • Untested territory: Google is very new into this market, consumer trust along with availability is starting to grow
  • Java based development environment which runs across multiple OSs
  • Multiple carriers world wide

iPhone

  • Carriers: Currently confined to a single one in the US
  • Developers: for add-on Applications
  • Users: End users interested in the platform
  • Development only on Apple based systems: Requires developers to have larger start-up costs
  • Currently limited carriers world wide
  • Restricted OS on lockdown
  • Hardware controlled by Apple
  • Software managed through Apple
  • Large dedicated user base
  • Early Starter
  • App Store with successful products in the market
BlackBerry
  • Carriers: not confined to a single carrier
  • Developers: for add-on Applications
  • Users: End users interested in the platform
  • Hardware controlled by RIM
  • Minimum cost to obtain privileges to develop software
  • Huge following in business circles
  • Killer Email client
  • Java based development environment running across multiple OSs
  • Early Starter
Windows Mobile
  • Carriers: not confined to a single carrier
  • Hardware Manufacturers: using Android across multiple products
  • Developers: for add-on Applications
  • Users: End users interested in the platform
  • Development only on Windows
  • Market stigma of poor quality
  • Large developer base with .NET

PC costs became lower with a larger base of generic hardware manufacturers, similar effects may occur for mobile products running Android and Windows Mobile. Since Google and Microsoft are not held back by hardware, at the same time more exposed to hardware issues. However, RIM and Apple can't be undercut for their product quality; both have a large following with a large developer base.

Since all of these products price about the same for the consumer, where does this leave us for the future of the mobile industry? Would lower cost and marginally different product have a large enough impact? Which platform is best suited to fill those needs?

A few days ago, I came across an essay from : "Why I Write". It was a great short read, which still rings true in todays .

1) "Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on grownups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc."
2) "Esthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement."
3) "Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find our true facts and store them up for the use of posterity."
4) "Political purpose - using the word 'political' in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other people's idea of the kind of society that they should strive after."

Personally, I fall into the first two maybe three categories when I post on this blog. Where do you fit in? How about the writers on , , or the greats , ?

It will be a grand world once we break free from the . It will be a world where I can walk across and talk to my friends on without having to force them to join . A world where I won't need to put pictures up on one and wonder if my friends on another socialnetwork had a chance to view them. It will be a wonderful place, not controlled by some watching me walk across the world. It will be a wonderful world, where my interests and desires are given higher priority. Joyful and child like dream, not expected to happen for a long time, but if it were to come true imagine the possibilities.

could be a thing of the past, as you would only receive emails from people who have a strong connection to others within the . I could share a document and work on it with anyone on any domain or network. Developers could innovate without being held back in the bounds of a single company.

A truely open social network would be analogous to free email: offered for free by many providers, but not restricting you to only send emails to the same provider. There might be 100 million hotmail accounts, but how useful would it be if all you could do is email other hotmail users. Email might be a very simple and maybe a naive comparison, but it can give us hope that it is possible to break free of the confines of an overbearing overlord. Two of the main technologies are in place for this revolution to take place: to authenticate across domains and for newfeed to keep updated with your friends. Standards do exist and can be easily extended to add friends to your personal list, and to upload pictures which can only be viewed by only your friends regardless of where they are coming from.

The key to success are open standards with a healthy adoption among many providers. I am sure this is already in the works, obviously it hasn't been powerful enough to gain my interest. What do you think?

Its easy to get lost in the foray of developing a new product, especially when adrenaline is high and exceptions are even higher. From time-to-time its good to take a step back and look at what your trying to accomplish. Remember basic economics: 'Incentives Matter'.

"If the benefits derived from an option increase, people will be more likely to choose
 it. Conversely, if the personal costs of an option increase, people will be less likely 
to choose it." (Gwartney, Stroup. 1993, pg. 3)

Ask your self two questions:
1) Is your product/service solving a problem?
2) Is your product/service making life easier?

The first question leads to the second; startups solve problems, but that doesn't necessarily mean life is easier. It's easy to get lost in the first and never ask yourself the second question.

During the Startup Empire Conference, a presenter summed it up like this:"is your startup a vitamin or a pain killer?" With all that is going on these days, you want to be a pain-killer. Solve a problem and don't create more work; don't waste time with solutions which don't meet these simple rules.

Design has a lot to do with making life easier, ask the users to do the least amount of work to get what they want. However, design isn't always the answer. If there is no incentive to use your product, if it requires you to do more work, then why would anyone come back?

Seems like an obvious point; but practice shows you its much different.

References:

Gwartney, James D. & Stroup, Richard L. (1993) What Everyone Should Know About Economics and Prosperity. Vancouver, B.C.: Fraser Institute.

It's satisfying when readers share my posts, usually this is accomplished with a ShareThis button or AddThis button. However, I find it annoying when I come from Digg and end up looking through a large list of social media sites just to Digg up. Since, the big Share Button providers haven't implemented this, I decided to write my own share button. I call it the 'Tare And Share' button; if a reader comes from a social media site, the proper social media button will display beside the share icon, the reader will not need to hunt to digg up.

You can download the JavaScript code here and add the this code to your link:

<script type="text/javascript">var _TS_CURL='http://yourdomain.tld/permalist/';</script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/TS.js">

Set the _TS_CURL to the permalink. TS.js is the JavaScript code to insert the button and display the proper referring social media site. I have only coded for Digg, Buzz, Mixx, and Facebook. If you find it useful, please let me know in the comments below.

I have released the code under Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

A few weeks ago I installed Google Chrome on my parents laptop. My hypothesis was simple: Google Chrome would be much easier to use when compared to Firefox or IE. My parents are by no means teach savvy; actually they barely know how to use a mouse properly. They also don't adhere to any specific browser. Furthermore, my father has some very specific tasks that he needs to accomplish; email, and running his business (done through a specific web application). To keep things fair my parents have been using Internet Explorer up until this point. To my surprise the transition went without any discomfort.

After installing Google Chrome I used the "Create application shortcut" to create shortcuts on the desktop for GMail and a few web application. This meant instead of going into IE and looking for bookmarks or remembering the URL they could now double click on the desktop and get to where they want to go. Because of the Chrome Application shortcut window they weren't confused about the back/forward button and resulted in an overall easier experience for my parents.

Google Chrome, over past couple of weeks has been loosing its market share, most of this is because no one cares to install a new browser, but it does point to some interesting trends:

  • Most people don't know the difference between a Webpage and Web-Application. (there were no periods at the end of these)
  • Most people won't be able to tell the difference between a Desktop application or a Webpage/Web-Application.
  • Most people don't care about browsers as long as something does what they want it to do.
  • Web application should be designed with the desktop in mind.

A hacker has been able to find a security hole in the G1 just days after it was launched. You know your OS might have some trouble adopting when Sprints CEO says its not up to par. There are more GPhones being developed by manufactures, no one has heard of who these manufacturers are but they are coming.

The Google Earth App is the latest to join the iPhone group of applications. Google is now an OpenID provider, they just won't accept any other OpenID provider. As if they were immune to the dieing economy, Google is cutting the food budget in the New York Offices, and have stopped building a data center in Oklahoma. In an every growing list of cool features, you can now have conversations over GMail and SMS.

Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are all playing the good guy this week by signing on to provide freedom of speech all around the world.

Developers can now create programs for Microsoft Surface, too bad amateur developers cant afford the surface to develop anything. Microsoft has joined the plethora of Cloud Platforms with Azure. Hallelujah, Microsoft Office has finally come to the browser, don't worry it will run slower than ever before. Microsoft is really pushing the "Software Plus Services" message. Windows 7 is being released in pre-beta to a select group of people. Microsoft has launched OpenID for Windows Live, so you can now use my hotmail for OpenID.

Amazon is stepping up the heat on Microsoft, entering full force into Enterprise Cloud Computing.

Yet again, Google-Yahoo deal is set to die. Yahoo is trying to restart talks with Microsoft. As reported last week, Yahoo has opened up its platform, it is now the most open platform out there. Yahoo search share is growing, Microsoft decreased, and Google about even. Mark Cuban is saying Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang is way too nice to be a CEO.

The old Wassup commercial is back, this time its viral and Barackafied.

More layoffs have been reported this week, starting with Revision3.

Linkedin has launched a platform, allowing you to do much more than see profiles.

On the pursuit to happiness, Facebook has expanded its lead internationally. Facebook, is loosing a lot of money, and is reported to go into the middle east to get some more financing.

The day has finally come, US Courts have stricken down Business Method Patents: Amazons 'One-Click' patent.

AcerI am not a huge product/services reviewer; in most cases I don't care. However, I believe this is one of those times I have to speak up and complement a company for a job well done.

A few weeks ago the AC Adapter for my Acer laptop stopped working, I called Future Shop since I had coverage on it (I know big mistake) and they wanted me to call Acer. Thinking Acer would take weeks to get back to me, I went and bought a universal adapter to continue working. Yesterday at about 4 PM I finally called Acer, after about twenty minutes of waiting I spoke to a polite gentleman and he said they would ship out a replacement which should be here by the end of the week or end of next week. Fine, pretty much what I expected. It is now 11:50 AM the following day of my Acer call, the door bell rang and surprise surprise its the AC Adepter. It has been less than 24 hours since I asked for the replacement. I have to give complements to Acer for doing this so quickly, it really does deserve a post.

Don't expect an Android phone any time soon from Motorola, looks like the earliest we will be Q2 of 2009.

Google Android is finally Open-source

The Facebook platform is has a huge negative impact on Facebook applications; expect to see the death of the Facebook App. Facebook has made their architecture open source, now anyone can handle the growth of Facebook, someone tell me if they actually find this useful?

WikiaSearch is joining other startups with letting go of 10% of their workforce.

Sun Microsystems fired a preemptive strike to their investors, letting them know their earnings were down.

Google might be beating expectations, but cost cuts are still coming for the undefeatable giant.

Finally, it looks as though the Google-Yahoo deal is dead.

If you are sick of writing the same thing in emails; dont worry GMail is now allowing you to put together canned responses and send them off.

It says a lot about a company when you tell your employees that 10% of them will be laid off with a company wide email.

Kicking butt as usual, Apple has sold 6.9 million iPhones during the fourth quarter of 2008.

After putting in some Islamic music into their game, Sony is afraid there will be a terrorist attack over the video game.

As if no one noticed it in the first place, the Apple-RIM wars have officially begun.

RIM is wanting a little too much to be like Apple; there were rumors that Blackberry Storm is set to cost $700, then it turns out it will be launching on Nov 4th at a price point of $299. RIM is joining the ranks and releasing its store front.

Mahalo is laying off 10% of their work force.

Music site Imeem is laying off 25% of their work force.

Bill Gates has started a secret company to do its bidding.

Seems like there is still some bad blood between Facebook and Google; Facebook wont be releasing an App for Android anytime soon.

The rumors of live streaming music presented through Facebook are coming around to be true.

The great overlord of Russia Putin, has killed big brother Googles deal to buy contextual advertising company Begun.

Microsoft is not scared of the iPhone or Android.

Googles Chrome was a great success during the first week, then everyone lost interest its now down to a 0.7% market share.

Looks like games are the biggest seller on Google Android.

Talk about an underdog, PalmOS has come back from the dead. With the hunt to figure out where Yahoo sits in the greater scheme of things, it looks as if Yahoo has given up their destiny to the developer the created the successful directory. Catering to the developer, Yahoo is launching a new platform next week, expect it to be social, but don't expect it to do anything for you. Another sign that Vista sucks, Yahoo the company that doesn't have much going for it right now, has discontinued the development of Yahoo Messenger for Vista. Imagine an iPhone for $99, it might happen starting 2009. Oprah has put her muscle behind Amazon Kindle; the Kindle is now mainstream.

It has definitely been an interesting week for the technology industry.

Google Docs is taking over Microsoft Office in Washington. Although, according to Steve Ballmer, Google Apps sucks, and no one likes to use them (tell that to the politicians). Meanwhile Google lost the copyright case in Germany regarding thumbnail images, expect to see more lawsuits or bad Google Image search in Germany. If revenue falls for Google, they will fire people, Google comes on top and beat expectations, looks like no one is going to be fired. Seems like a never ending story:& Google and Yahoo are still negotiating on the Ad Deal. A bare bones GreeseMonkey will be in the next release of Google Chrome. Google has joined the ranks of Apple by retaining the right to kill any Android application. To all of you who enjoy your iGoogle, there is now a canvas view.

By 2012 India is set to have 20% of the WiMax market.

The new Macs have landed; much to everyone’s disappointment they are still expensive for the common folk.

Being late to the social network game, Yahoo has finally launched its new profile view which makes everything social. With 500 million users worldwide, they can do wonders if they put their mind to it, I don't expect them to do much with it. After a horrible week for Yahoo, Microsoft is finally bidding to buy Yahoo, and then they weren't interested in the crappy company. Yahoo is expected to announce a series of layoffs this week which could total 1000.

Flock 2.0 has launched with a plethora of add ones built in; yes there is another browser you can download and not care about.

Jive software laid off 1/3 of their workforce followed by, SearchMe a search engine startup, cutting 20% of their work force.

Twitter has changed CEOs, things are starting to look flimsy for the successful startup, but then again they will be releasing a business model in 2009.

To everyone’s surprise Microsoft has released an open source project. Microsoft’s web platform has just launched, this means you can now install all the service side stuff in one go. You can now join in and sue Microsoft for all the defects they have in the XBox.

The government might want to spy on your packets, or at least get your ISP to spy on them.

Defying the economic downturn, MySpace is set to make $1 billion in revenue.

Google Knol is experimenting with Audio; another item that will not help it compete with Wikipedia. Google Labs have produced a product that will help you when your sending emails while drunk. Google’s market cap  fell below $100 billion for the first time this week; Google is normal after-all. The economy is finally hitting home for Google; Wall street  lowered expectations. Google Maps have become much better; the GeoEye-1 satellite is producing high quality images for the satellite view. Google-Yahoo said they will play nice with DOJ.  On a surprising note, 1.5 Million GPhones have been pre-sold; looks like Android is not as ugly as everyone thinks.

The European Commission is starting to take a closer look at data retention for Search companies.

eBay first bought 3 companies for $1.35 billion and then laid off 1,000 people.

Details are starting to emerge regarding an AOL-Yahoo merger deal; the sky is falling again. On the other hand Yahoo is beta testing new features for its calendar, and Yahoo finally stepped into the Analytics arena with Yahoo Web Analytics.

 

Following Apple and Google, RIM is launching the Blackberry Application Center. There are now 10 million iPhones in the market. RIM is attacking Apple head on, they have a complete touch screen blackberry; the Storm.

 

Hulu has started to live stream the presidental debates.

Microsoft quietly shuts down Software licensing and protection services for .NET.

Facebook has integrated Live Search into the social network; you won't need to leave Facebook to find something now. 

It turns out data mining for terrorists aren’t very effective. 

The peoples search engine, Wikia Search, has launched a platform for developer to integrate search results.

Kingston has released a 32GB USB drive.

MySpace has launched its own advertising network.

Motorola is building a 350 person team for Google Android. Nokia is starting to pay attention to Google Android while it launches its own iPhone competitor. The Nokia phone will be available through multiple providers, unlike the iPhone.

On Monday Google Finance could not keep stock prices correct as the stock market crashed. On Tuesday it looked like Googles stock fell some more, causing Nasdaq to step in and corrected the mistake. Then Google announced Android phones will be released late next year. Google blog search engine has relaunched and will be competing against existing blog search engines such as Techmeme.Google is bucket testing users ability to set search result blurb lengths (search result descriptions). On the upside Google has created a $4.4 Trillion clean energy plan, its nice for an advertising company to help clean up the world even if no one is paying attention to the plan.

There are now 6 million Apple 3G iPhones in the market. Rumors are still around for aniPhone flash plug-in, don't hold your breath. Apple realized it was too annoying for developers to sign an NDA so they dropped it, kind of. On Friday CNN iReport falsely claimed Steve Jobs had a heart attack, Apples stock fell; the rumors of Steve Jobs heart attack were greatly exaggerated.

Facebook is trying to grow up; they have hired a Republican lawyer to fit into with their Democrat employee base. Facebooks design has started to change drastically in the last couple of weeks; it shows they are taking too much advice from marketers. The new design is having an unexpected side effect of killing off widgets and badges from user profiles; Facebook be proud. A group of Facebook users had a pillow fight in Michigan. Turns out a pillow fights is not enough to keep Facebook founders, two more are leaving to start their own company.

Yahoo and Microsoft's stock also plunged on Monday as the $700 billion bailout plan failed. Yet the Google-Yahoo deal has been approved by the senate only to have Google and Yahoo decide to delay the deal.

NBC is doing a great job with its video service Hulu; Tina Fey should be given most of the credit.

After two previously failed attempts, SpaceX finally launched the first commercial space craft, without the help of any government.

Microsoft is joining forces with Amazon to offer Windows for its cloud computing platform.  To get people to use their search engine Microsoft is bribing people with perks. Microsoft is freezing hires for Zune and XBox teams.

Canada finally has a Do Not Call List, although its not that good.

You don't need the toolbar anymore for StumbleUpon; great news for 99% of people that love the idea but hate downloading toolbars.

IBM's Cell Chip, built for the PlayStation 3, will begin to be used in televisions.

To translate its site to 10 languages hi5 crowd sourced the task to their users.

Barak Obama has an iPhone application, making his grass roots efforts more organized.

Very good interview today with Warren Buffet.

A few weeks ago we launched a Facebook application that would zip up all the pictures a user was tagged in on Facebook. Alana Taylor had come up with he idea, and over a weekend a group of us pumped out the application. Since the application was built with Google App Engine, I thought it would be useful for others to know how to take multiple images across the web and zip them up into one file.

Start by Importing the following:

from google.appengine.ext import webapp
from google.appengine.api import urlfetch
import zipfile

The code is simple, I won't go through each line of code since its self explanatory. The process uses a StringIO object to store the Zip file.

def addFile(self,zipstream,url,fname):
    # get the contents		
    result = urlfetch.fetch(url)

    # store the contents in a stream
    f=StringIO(result.content)
    length = result.headers['Content-Length']
    f.seek(0)
                
    # write the contents to the zip file
    while True:
	buff = f.read(int(length))
	if buff=="":break
	zipstream.writestr(fname,buff)
    return zipstream

def ZipFiles(self):
    # create the zip stream
    zipstream=StringIO()
    file = zipfile.ZipFile(zipstream,"w")
		
    url = 'http://someplace.tld/outimage.jpg'

    # repeat this for every URL that should be added to the zipfile
    file =self.addFile(file,url,"ourimage.jpg")
                
    # we have finished with the zip so package it up and write the directory
    file.close()
    zipstream.seek(0)

    # create and return the output stream
    self.response.headers['Content-Type'] ='application/zip'
    self.response.headers['Content-Disposition'] = 'attachment; filename="outfile.zip"'	
    while True:
	buf=zipf.read(2048)
	if buf=="": break
	self.response.out.write(buf)

Remember you can not send more than 1 MB in data with GAE. This means all zip files must be smaller than 1MB.

Fear has been building  up for the Google-Yahoo Ad Deal; and to ease their clients, Google recently put up a site explaining the deal. Religious groups  can now buy "Abortion" as an Ad Word, after a much disputed struggle in UK courts. Google is now letting you embed book previews into anything you like. Google's Knol is sucking it up when compared to Wikipedia. Google Chrome is losing its luster, and its market has  share dropped. After 10 years of business, it looks like there might be a third founder of Google, who apparently did all the real work before leaving for his graduate work. T-Mobile and Google let G1 GPhone out of the box, it is the worlds most open platform; no one was impressed after seeing the phone. 

LongJump has decided totake on SalesForce.com  with the release of its new Platform. 

Steve Demeter developer of the iPhone puzzle game Trism, made $250,000 in the first 2 months, and Steve is quitting his day job to work on Trism full time. 

Social Median now lets you be vain, and you can follow what people are saying about you.

McAfee is expanding its really annoying security software with an acquisition of enterprise network security company Secure Computing.

SanDisk is releasing slotMusic; selling music physically on SD cards, and no one understands why or who will buy it since users can download their music.

Mark Cuban asked Newspapers to drop dead. 

MTV finally caved and bought the rest of Social Project, a social network which it has owned for a very long time.

In more good news for Apple, Amazon will be releasing a movies/music store application  for the Google Android platform.

It turns out people really like Yahoo.

The long awaited Skyfire browser  is finally going into beta. 

RIM sucked it up  with Blackberry sales.

Linkedin announced they will dive in and launch their own Ad Network. For some reason, Best Buy bought Napster, they must have felt sorry. 

RIM BlackBerry and Apple Mac sales were down for the month of August 2008. To the surprise of some, iPhone users are using less Internet than expected. Tim Berners Lee, the creator of the web, started a new Foundation dedicated to study how the web works.

Newspapers around the world are complaining the Google-Yahoo deal  is unfair, while Google is saying that its deal with Yahoo will not raise Ad prices by too much. 

Google was busy this week with the release of gears for Safari. Google Labs released a product to find spoken words in Videos.  Google Androids price will be $200 with a T-Mobile contract and is set to be released September 23rd; none of this is confirmed yet. Google is gaining ground in search; not a surprise to anyone. YouTube Co-founder Chad Hurley is fitting in well with Big Brother Google; he wants to take over all the screens in the world.

Om Malik expanded his empire by acquiring TheAppleBlog. IMDB has finally taken a leap and added video content to its movie database. A new tool named LiveBar added to the barrage of social applications by making any webpage social. 

Facebook Users revolted with the new design; found there are ways to get back to the old look. Twitter grew 422% in 12 Months. Joost has now become available  on the web. Yahoo Search results are playing full songs from Raphsady. 

Microsoft Live Search has started to use  PowerSet in its search results.  Microsoft decided to end its ads with Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, or until later in the week when they didn't end the deal. Microsoft is continuing with his $300 million marking campaign by releasing a decent ad.

DemoFall and TechCrunch50 startup conferences opened this week. Robert Scoble was a highlight after criticizing how startup web sites suck. TechCrunch50 had Ashten Kutcherspresenting Blahgirls,and Sekai Camera from Tonchidot. Sekai Camera an application for an iPhone, allowing users to tag anything in the real world; panelists were skeptical and thought it was too good to be true.  

The week also started out with a whimper for United Airlines as an old story on Google News causeda 75% stock decline. On an upside, when Mark Cuban dies he would like to come back as Mark Cuban.

A one percent browser market penetration by Google Chrome last week, declined this week, apparently browser adoption shouldn't be measured on a day-to-day basis. Google's stock also declined, as the rest of the market rose. The decline might be due to the growing concern of Google,Yahoo! advertising deal. In pursuit of Google's big brotherness, Google Local search can now pin point where you are. The much talked about Google GPhone running the infamous Android OS is rumored to launch September 23rd. Rest assured, 90% of search  has been solved, Googles VP Marissa Mayersaid.

For all those who like the old design of Facebook are out of luck! The new design is here to stay for good, or until enough users can complain to Mark Zuckerberg.

Jeffrey Lindsay an analyst from Bernstein started to rehash the thought of a Yahoo! Microsoft  merger.  Microsoft attempted a preemptive strike to Apple by releasing the new line of Zune, and made a deal to put Live on Blackberries; no one really seemed to care. Bill  Gates and Jerry Seinfeld launched another much longer and entertaining AD,  some will cry, some will chuckle, and most will not pay attention.

While Steve Jobs death was greatly exaggerated, Apple announced a better iPod an upgraded iTunes and a new product line.  Apples announcement was accompanied with its stock falling. 

After 14 years and $8 billion the LHC at CERN started to shoot beams.  Alas the world was not swallowed by ablack hole, although we wont really know until they start to smash particles. On the other hand, Stephen Hawking claimed the Large Hadron Collider "is crucial for the survival of humanity" but didn't think itwould reveal the Higgs boson (God particle). 

MySpace might have figured out its advertising model, only because they beat their expectations (maybe the expectations were too low).  Later on, MySpace partnered with RIM to create new appsfor the Blackberry.

And to start the weekend; Amazon has started to sell booze over the internet.

    • Very Fast Rendering: Pages load up drastically faster than Firefox 3
    • Each tab is its own process: This is not a surprise since they already mentioned it, but each process is taking up on average about 15 MB
    • Simple: Again no surprise, the interface is very simple, no toolbars nothing fancy, its a bare bones browser that runs
    • Right clicking and selecting "Inspect Element" has this kick ass html/xml viewer come up very easy to read also shows you how many resources are used, and a simple search functionality to look for elements.
    First impressions: I am very impressed, the product seems stable, and gives a simple interface that someone like me loves.  The only reason I wouldn't switch over is because I don't have my Let's CUBE tool bar in here (when that happens im switching). 
  •  If anyone has been watching CNN for the past few hours, you would have noticed that Rick Sanchez has been tracking Gustav through twitter (http://twitter.com/ricksanchezcnn).  As Twitter moves away from its niche of geeks it is becoming an every day useful tool for information dispersal.  The 140 (or so) character restrictions are not so much a restriction but an important criterion for getting the message across quickly and efficiently. As a startup this teaches me a few things:

    1. Focus on the core idea: the idea that made you take this big risk
    2. Not every feature needs to be implemented. In fact most of it shouldn't, if you are not speaking to your core message your on the wrong path.
    3. Keeps things simple: don't clutter your idea with "nice to have" features, leave it simple and only do the simple stuff.
    4. Make it easy to understand: updating my status is not what Rick Sanchez is using Twitter for.  Make sure your message is malleable enough but never taking away from your core message.