Uma indústria em colapso

Ah pois é Tózé. Não sou nenhum anti-DRM zealot mas desde que ouvi esta alma na Antena3 a dizer que o download “ilegal” de mp3 servia para financiar o crescimento do terrorismo mundial (presumo que para comprar AK-47’s para gajos barbudos no Afeganistão) começo a ter pena de cromos como este que vêm o tapete a ser-lhes puxado e daqui a uns anos ninguém se vai lembrar deles. Não foi por falta de aviso.

Microsoft to acquire Dell?

But, why on earth would Microsoft want to buy Dell? What is the deal here? According to this article, the idea is to become the Apple of PCs. Is this for real?

Is there a hidden agenda, an underlying reason for this momentous movement? Well, some have suggested that Ballmer and Dell have seen the flaws in their ongoing plans for the traditional hardware and software split. And that the only way to ensure their mutual survival is to reach out and embrace the methods and ideals of their rival in this space, the one who manages to maintain year-on-year growth by the clever provision of a totally unified platform of hardware, OS and world-class applications wrapped together in a singular vision.

Thus, the visionary new name for the combination of Microsoft and Dell that pays homage to their inspiration: welcome to Pair.

Now, I will not laugh about the “Pair” name, but seriously, first it was Yahoo and now Dell? Microsoft has clearly a taste for troubled companies.

Online backups and broadband upload limits

I have a MacBook laptop that I want to backup. What should I do? Normally, I will buy a decent disk (500G or 1T SATA are very affordable these days) and I will normally use something like TimeMachine. Happy, joy. Now, I want more. What if I don’t want to spend more money with a second drive, deal with RAID and choose a storage service “in the cloud” for backing up the backup? What if want to access some files from everywhere? There is Amazon S3 (cheap, copy&forget). There is a lot of services and there is Mozy ($4.95 for unlimited storage). Hmm, I have unmetered ADSL @ home. So I’ve signed up and there we go, started the backup. Of course, my ADSL has 512K of upstream limit. Slow has hell. But I only want 12G “in the cloud”. I’ve waited and it took me more than 1 week to upload all the stuff to Mozy (mostly at night). That’s a pain in the ass. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to guess that what is pulling down the real adoption of online backup services (or storage) for SME’s and home users is the ridiculous upload speeds of most of the broadband pipes over there (I’m not talking about South Korea, Japan or some lucky FTTH beta-testers). But I have an idea. What about Mozy sending me a disk so I can do an initial backup just before sending it back to them? That could speed up things. I could even burn a DVD and send to them (for some initial digital media, for example). Mozy has an option for restoring files. They burn a DVD and send it to you with the files as long as you pay the Fedex bill. What about sending the user a big disk for the initial backup. For a 500G drive sent in the mail, 3 or 4 days for arriving at the datacenter is way faster than an 512k upload. Netflix + backups, anyone?

About the latest Microsoft Advertisings

 A must read on Seth’s Blog:

If you spend more than a quarter of a billion dollars on an ad campaign for a tech company, people will talk about it. If you give Jerry Seinfeld, the most famous comedian ever, $10 million to be in a few of the commercials you do, people will talk about it even more.

Microsoft has fallen into a trap that befalls many large companies in search of cred, buzz or respect. They’ve decided to buy some via advertising.

The rest of the article here.

FON on NYTimes

Great article about FON on New York Times. It also has some good insides about the company, business model and inevitably Martin Varsavsky (Mr Jazztel, Ya.com) profile & lifestyle. FON wants to build a wireless internet infrastructure on top of a grassroots broadband movement and sell internet access for nomadic users. I’m skeptical about FON’s business model since the beginning. A community of wifi owners who sells wifi access to strangers? They have 800k+ registered members (Foneros) all over the world but scale doesn’t matter here. Where are the wifi hotspots? In the hotel, near the cafe, the store, the airport or in the suburb, Joe Moe’s house? Location is primary for selling wifi access. And scarcity. Because you’ll only pay for internet when there is no other option. The hotels knows this and that’s why you have the high prices. And that’s why 3G sells. A guy sharing his broadband with a FON hotspot near the hotel will reach the rooms? I doubt it, even with an antenna (ok, maybe some rooms). I’m curious to know what percentage of members that are actually sharing their broadband. And you can’t ask for fair money if you don’t have a way to deliver a stable access quality over the wifi connection. Even if that is only for 1 hour. Maybe I’m not seeing all picture here and they are trying to make money with 3rd party agreements with ISP’s and even Apple (smells like iPhone). Even so. They’re paying a high price for dreaming with Ubiquitous Wifi and equipment subsidization (about 500k cash burned every month, it used to be 1 million). Ouch.