Showing posts with label Skype. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skype. Show all posts

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Social Media Tetris

It can be argued the world of social media is helping us gradually bring down the number on the famed six degrees of separation that separates everyone from everyone else. If people connect and share more, among people they know, among people they don't know yet, as shared interests and activities are discovered, as people interact more, that number goes down. Right? I think so.

One thing I have noticed on Highlight is when you come across a "stranger" the app tells you have so many common friends and shared interests, data it pulls from your Facebook profiles. The shared interests part is intriguing to me. I still wish AirTime had taken off, because people would talk more. A Skype based "AirTime" might be a better idea than the video based attempt. But is Skype giving API issues?

There are downsides. You can end up with flame wars. People can act nasty online. I am so glad the game Ingress a few days back added the capability for you to be able to block users in the COMM, the Google game's public chatroom, if you will, (although I have uninstalled the app from my phone, but there are still close to 150 portals in the city that bear my name.)

Social media taken to new heights could do for world peace what heads of state holding summits could not. Trade and travel are major peace moves. More people interacting more often leads to a general increase in welfare overall. I think that statement is but common sense.

Facebook Groups should add elements of democracy to it. A group should be allowed to elect its leadership, and vote on issues. I am surprised that feature has not showed up yet. A lot of organizations would thus engage in Facebook voting. Heck, that feature would get really interesting for groups with a million members or more. Skype enabled conference calls for Facebook Groups would be another positive addition.

You have Snapchat for friends. What about Snapchat for strangers? Or a public Snapchat? Photos still destroy themselves, but the world saw it first. And a board for the most popular snaps perhaps?
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Sunday, September 08, 2013

Skype Should Give Me A Free Phone Number

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
Skype should give me a free phone number like Google Voice does. And then they should get into a race to give me limitless voice calls over those numbers over data and WiFi. To kick the carriers out. They charge too much.

Skype already has great sound quality over long (read international) distances. A number would be nice to have unpaid for.
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Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Viking Lead

It seems like goodness follows once you finally manage to manage your fiscal house.

The Economist: The Nordic countries: The next supermodel
So long as public services work, they do not mind who provides them. Denmark and Norway allow private firms to run public hospitals. Sweden has a universal system of school vouchers, with private for-profit schools competing with public schools. Denmark also has vouchers—but ones that you can top up. ...... The performance of all schools and hospitals is measured. Governments are forced to operate in the harsh light of day: Sweden gives everyone access to official records. Politicians are vilified if they get off their bicycles and into official limousines. The home of Skype and Spotify is also a leader in e-government: you can pay your taxes with an SMS message. ...... they employ 30% of their workforce in the public sector ...... They are stout free-traders who resist the temptation to intervene even to protect iconic companies: Sweden let Saab go bankrupt and Volvo is now owned by China’s Geeley. ....... focus on the long term—most obviously through Norway’s $600 billion sovereign-wealth fund ..... look for ways to temper capitalism’s harsher effects ..... a system of “flexicurity” that makes it easier for employers to sack people but provides support and training for the unemployed, and Finland organises venture-capital networks. ...... Their levels of taxation still encourage entrepreneurs to move abroad: London is full of clever young Swedes. ..... When Angela Merkel worries that the European Union has 7% of the world’s population but half of its social spending ...... Norway is a particular focus of the Chinese. ..... The state is popular not because it is big but because it works. A Swede pays tax more willingly than a Californian because he gets decent schools and free health care. The Nordics have pushed far-reaching reforms past unions and business lobbies. .... inject market mechanisms into the welfare state to sharpen its performance. You can put entitlement programmes on sound foundations to avoid beggaring future generations ...... root out corruption and vested interests ..... abandon tired orthodoxies of the left and right and forage for good ideas across the political spectrum
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Wednesday, August 01, 2012 Microsoft's New Attempt At Email

This move kind of surprised me. But it sure is a great move. It is a great attempt to bring the sexy back to the Microsoft brand name.

This quote below is from my first email in my inbox.
An experience with no compromises is the first step in creating one complete experience for the next generation of communications. Email should be connected to your friends – whether they like to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, or a combination. Email should let you get more done, faster – with immediate access to your inbox and tools that can automatically categorize, move, or delete messages you don't want. Email should be deeply integrated with other services – for, you'll find that Office Web Apps, SkyDrive, and, soon, Skype come built right in. And we hope you have already noticed our fast, beautiful user experience.

Introducing - Modern Email for the Next Billion Mailboxes
Webmail was first introduced with HoTMaiL in 1996. Back then, it was novel to have a personal email address you could keep for life - one that was totally independent from your business or internet service provider. Eight years later, Google introduced Gmail, which included 1 GB of storage and inbox search. And while Gmail and other webmail services like Hotmail have added some features since then, not much has fundamentally changed in webmail over the last 8 years ..... email represents 20% of the time we spend on smartphones, and is used extensively on tablets as well as PCs ..... the first email service that is connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and soon, Skype, to bring relevant context and communications to your email. .... 50% of the email in a typical inbox is newsletters and another 20% is social network updates.

It does look clean. But then I only have one email in the inbox, one from Microsoft itself. I am more likely to come for Skype and SkyDrive, also the Office apps. For now I think I will stick to my Gmail.

This puts Marissa Mayer under additional pressure. Yahoo also needs to reimagine its email.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Enemy Knows

Arab Spring [LP]
Arab Spring [LP] (Photo credit: Painted Tapes)
How Pro-Regime Forces Use Spyware to Target Arab Spring RebelsHow Pro-Regime Forces Use Spyware to Target Arab Spring Rebels
pro-regime forces have been using fake messages to install malware on activists’ computers that would allow them to monitor keystrokes and other activity .... “off the shelf” surveillance products for governments and law enforcement .... Fin Fisher could be installed by “sending fake software updates for popular software.” ..... “Compromised Skype accounts of trusted friends is very popular,” he said, as activists have looked to the Internet telephony service because they don’t trust the state phone systems. ..... “It pays to be especially cautious when downloading files over the Internet, even from links that are purportedly sent by friends”
It is not surprising that the authoritarian regimes would get sophisticated in their use of information technology. After all they have much resources at their disposal. But this just adds to the sort of training the pro liberation forces should subject themselves to. Easier said than done. In countries like the US that are more literate, it is hard to get people to not click on suspicious links.

The regimes use way more sophisticated stuff than this one. Surveillance tools at the disposal of the Chinese authorities, for example, have been manufactured by some of the biggest names in tech.

Just like companies used to be barred from doing business with the apartheid regime in South Africa, tech companies ought to be barred from selling stuff to authoritarian regimes that get used to suppress dissent.
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Skype On HTML5 Has Smartphone Implications

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBaseWP Sauce: Web version of Skype confirmed by Microsoft job posting

I have long expressed the belief at this blog that HTML5 is where it is at. Smartphone apps are transitional authorities. If Skype becomes available on your browser, and if the HTML5 browser is the primary player on your smartphone, what is your Skype ID? I want it.

Smartphones are computers. They have been misnamed. PC is personal computer. SC should be small computer. Smartphones are small computers.
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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Tom Houge

The evening of April 3, Tuesday, I had a Skype chat with Tom that lasted 2 hours, 45 minutes. We were not done, it is just that two of my friends had been waiting in the wings for half an hour already for a prescheduled chat, and I had to take leave. Tom's video was on.

This was the longest Skype chat I had ever had with anyone. We met at an event two days later, his uncle Adam accompanying. Adam and I discovered we are both water not beer kinda people.

Fipeo Takes On Sean Parker
Excited About A New Space

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Spotify Vision Specialist: A No Go

My pitch two days ago (over email) with Spotify has ended up being a no go, and that's okay. One has to be Vision Specialist to one's own startup. For me that is microfinance. I am thinking six months. Max six.

Spotify Now Advertising On Netizen
+ 20-25 hours a week, rare week 30, 6 months
+ $100 per hour plus an equivalent in equity, 5K sign up bonus
+ 20 hours of face time with the CEO, 1-2 hours at a time, spread over
the final 4 months
+ 10 hours each with the top 10 people in the company - face time (not
phone, not Skype)
+ A few trips to Sweden in Spring/Summer
+ Interacting with as many employees as possible mostly in party settings

Vision Specialist
Spotify right now is headed to becoming a mid-tier company.
Noone thinks of it as a future Google/Amazon/Facebook.
My job would be to create that vision and inject it into the company.
I think Spotify could end up a truly big tech company.

Hardware (IBM) -------> Software (Microsoft) --------> One Site
(Google/Facebook) -----> Content/Mindfood (music/movies/books)

I hope to launch my own microfinance startup later this year.
That is why I never thought in terms of going full time with you guys.
Otherwise it would have made tremendous sense to do so. You guys are

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hollywood Might Not Get Killed, Any More Than Silicon Valley Might

Paul Graham: Kill Hollywood
SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying .... What's going to kill movies and TV is what's already killing them: better ways to entertain people.

Technically speaking Silicon Valley could be anywhere, the magic that happens in Silicon Valley could be replicated anywhere. But instead of Silicon Valley getting parceled out, what has happened is Silicon Valley has gone on to do the next big things like clean tech. It is amazing to me how many of the new energy companies are based in California.

I guess geography matters. It takes some time to build that optimum ecosystem. People meeting people in person is magic. You can't take that over to Skype or a Google Hangout.

I mean, I am a huge fan of Hollywood. I love watching movies. And I think there is a magic happening in Hollywood that is not going away any time soon. As far as the production of movies goes, they have nailed it.

Silicon Valley has staying power. Hollywood has staying power. But innovation and creation will get replicated across the country and across the world. I hope the movie houses adopt to the Internet better. And I think it will end up happening one way or the other. But something tells me it will not be a smooth ride. There's just something in the nature of change. Disruptions by definition are not smooth.

In the far future good movies could come out of anywhere, and could be seen anywhere. Hollywood could end up a rust town. As could Silicon Valley, theoretically speaking.

Movies have their place in the grand scheme of things. And software will not take that place. Although it is hard to imagine a future where software is not key to every single aspect of movie creation and distribution.

What Price A Movie?
MegaUpload, SOPA, PIPA
SOPA Went Down

We need a new generation of movie production and distribution companies. Just like we need a new generation of finance companies.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Android Has To Be Kept Free

Microsoft making money from Android is criminal behavior. Oracle attempting to make money from Android is criminal behavior. This has to stop. Android has to be kept free. These attempts by PC era companies is the non innovative way to go after Android. Oracle does not even exist in the smartphone space, but I guess the Oracle CEO's best friend does. That is taking friendship too far. Microsoft is a distant also ran in the smartphone space, and so it has decided to play foul.

Microsoft And Oracle Misbehaving On Android

Android being free is fundamental to what Android is all about. Charging for Android from the back door would be a major setback to the Android phenomenon.

Considering the smartphone is how the vast majority of humanity will come online, it can be argued this is to be the Android century. Android is robust and it is free. It is as good as any in performance and it is free. If it is no longer free, that takes away from the shine of Android.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I Am On Google Plus Now

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...Image via WikipediaLooks like somebody at Google read my blog post from earlier in the day.

The Facebook Skype Integration Is Huge

Now if only people from the Department Of Homeland Security started reading my blog, I would be all set.

Using Political Contacts To Beat The Immigration Beast
Subhash Chandra Bose

Hillary Clinton went to Beijing as First Lady to speak on women's rights. This was in 1995, I believe. In her hotel room she wondered if she might be able to read the Wall Street Journal. A copy mysteriously got delivered. That is when they realized the Chinese had bugged her room and were listening into her conversations.

So someone on her staff wondered aloud, I wonder if we could have pizza.

The pizza did not magically appear.

I am on, yo.

Facebook Videocalling: I Am On Now

Mark ZuckerbergImage by jdlasica via FlickrIt was easy to do. All you needed to do was go read the official Facebook blog post about it. The post told you where to go if you wanted to get in right away.

Call Your Friends Right From Facebook

Otherwise earlier in the day I complained I felt excluded.

Mark Zuckerberg is right. Facebook has the huge advantage that it has the social graph. Google might have to struggle to rebuild that graph. But I see me using both services.