Geoweb, the ultimate mash-up

Who knew about Skyhook Wireless before last week, when Steve Jobs mentioned it at MacWorld ? Very few for sure. Skyhook is a software-only location platform that provides 20 meter positioning accuracy to any Wi-Fi enabled mobile device. Unlike satellite based GPS systems, WPS uses terrestrial based Wi-Fi access points to determine location. Works perfectly (I’ve tried it with an iPod Touch). This kind of technology bears endless potential for applications. Think about ultra-local news delivery (and advertising to finance it), local e-commerce apps and so on.
> read the case studies on Skyhook’s site.

Close cousin to Skyhook is the Geotagging. The next generation of digital camera — even the cheap ones — will soon have such capabilities. This will be another step in the mash-up frenzy : mixing data location and images.
> story in Forbes

> or take a look at Earthmine, that baseline says : “Indexing reality”.

Do blogs influence journalists ?

The short answer is yes, but there is little reason to worry. According to a survey by Brodeur (a unit of Omnicom), blogs are usually not considered as “source” (thanks God), but they are useful in helping journalists better understand the context of a story, find an angle or even story idea. 70% check blogs on a regular basis. US reporters are active bloggers : 28% of them have their own (vs. about 0.8% at Le Monde… Oops).
> see article in Marketingcharts.

The Future of Print is in India

Rupert Murdoch is planning the launch of an Indian edition of The Wall Street Journal.He’s not alone to look at this gigantic market where print press enjoys a double digit growth. “Last year, all of India’s papers added 12 million new readers, says Raju Narisetti, the editor of the business paper Mint points. That is equivalent to five Wall Street Journals. There are 360 million Indians who can read and write and don’t read a paper”.
> see this great features story in The Independent on Sunday (soon to be available in India))

Search — Targets and Predators

Microsoft is definitely not happy with its 7% market share on search business, versus 21% for Yahoo and 66% for Google. Hence its $1.2 offer for the Norway’s Fast Search and Transfer. No doubt this industry is on the move. According to analysts, Yahoo’s core value is falling. One of them, quoted by New York Times “Bits” said that the value of the company’s cash and stock holdings exceeds its actual business. This Mozart of Excel is putting a value of €14bn for Yahoo, only 7% of Google’s €200bn !
> story in NYTimes Bits
> about the Fast acquisition, story in The Red Herring

TV — Sarkozy’s dream of the French BBC

During his Guinness Book press conference last Wednesday – 600 journalists attending -, Nicolas Sarkozy outlined his new dream of a French BBC, by proposingto remove advertising on public television, and replacing this money by a new tax (cheer-up!)on private TV and radio, and also on internet providers and mobile phone carriers. Problem is figures don’t compute. Offsetting €835m of advertising losses will require much more than new taxes. Furthermore, the new taxes will inevitably pass buy ISP and telco onto the user.In other words, the French viewer will pay twice for its public TV : one through the basicTV tax each household ispaying (currently €116 per year) which account for 60% of FranceTelevision’s revenue and through its subscriptions to its mobile and internet service. Great idea, indeed. And as far has having a French BBC, it will require a complete reset in the mind of French politician ; they’ll have to give up their compulsive obsession to control public broadcasting. Plus it will cost a bundle : BBC receives each year €6.3bn, versus a total budget of €1.2bn for France Television.
> in the Financial Times a detailed story on the subject, explaining why the figures don’t add-up.
> and another story in the FT on governance issue at the Beeb