Random bits…

by billhilf on June 25, 2007 05:14pm


Things I’ve been collecting, with no rhyme or reason connecting them…

  • I stumbled upon this very interesting project from Microsoft Research India – SMS Toolkit.  This project, and the work being done here with mobile phones and SMS servers as a PC replacement in rural areas is fascinating – here is a deeper look.
    • This matters because SMS is an amazingly simple but radically growing technology
  • The growth and usage of SMS on mobiles worldwide is phenomenal; over 40% of the world’s people have an SMS capable phone. Almost a trillion SMS messages were sent in 2006 and the expected revenue from SMS in 2012 is $67 billion.  Interestingly, even among the 85% of Indian users who are prepaid – with average monthly mobile bills of only $3 (151R) – users on average sent 21 SMSs per month.  (source: Portio Research, TRAI Report through Sept 2006).
  • If you travel internationally and think “We sure don’t SMS text in the U.S. as much as they do in <insert country name>” take a good look at the business and pricing models in the U.S. cellular industry versus <insert country name>.
  • Speaking of travel and long flights, I refuse to live by airplane time.  I recommend that you ‘live’ on the plane based on the time of your destination.  Don’t eat at their scheduled food-serve time.  Sleep when everyone else is awake.  Then go swimming wherever you can when you arrive.  This is my jetlag remedy.
  • One more travel bit: every country I have ever visited has donuts.  Every single one.
  • Holy cow look at this 80 core beast from Intel.  The teraflop research chip.  Watching the video and the power consumption (watch the wattage when theydouble the frequency) makes me wonder about the future of power in data centers.  Related, I’ve used 80plus power units before, they’re worth checking out – I also like the research they are doing in this area.
  • I’m seeing more and more small companies who are OSS integrators: taking various OSS projects and doing often significant customization for specific customers.  Most of them also work heavily with Microsoft technologies and OSS together.  This is happening globally.
  • If you are a World of Warcraft or MMORPG player, this NYT article on gold farming is an interesting read.  Trading virtual goods, such as virtual gold, in online games is a $1.8 billion market.  Amazing.
  • Speaking of, there is an interesting Virtual Goods Summit this month focusing on the market opportunity for virtual goods and economies.  I experienced an interesting virtual economy in the Philippines recently where I learned about mobile phone ‘loading’: buying, and often trading, pre-paid cell phone service.  Many people send prepaid credit from overseas to their family and friends mobile accounts in the Philippines.  You can also load your phone at any corner market, even a ‘micro load’, a peso or two of load to send a single SMS message. 
  • I dig what our Visual Studio marketing team did with Defy All Challenges.  Nice work.  If you can watch the machinima videos and not laugh then you have no sense of humor.
  • Related to developers, my friend Miguel has been busy with moonlight.  If you have ever had the opportunity to talk to Miguel or hear him speak (and I recommend it), you know he talks pretty fast.  His moonlight work shows that he can code fairly quickly too. Smile
  • Photosynth is one of the coolest and impactful community-oriented technologies I’ve seen in a long time – I’ve mentioned Photosynth before but it’s worth watching this video to see it in action.
  • Great idea.  U.K. firm Jade Integration has unveiled a computer so small, it fits into a wall socket and is powered via Ethernet. The Jack PC, a rival to the smallest PC in the world, can hook up to a standard monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and it runs Windows CE. It comes with up to 64 MB of flash memory and 128 MB of RAM. 

All for now.



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