Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alltop Indexes Blogs Better

Alltop is a popular attempt at Technorati 2.0 - i.e. how in W3's name do we sort through the bit piles that make up blog mountain. And boy is there a need. You see no one (who knows anything about the massively cluttered blogosphere) would disagree that one of the greatest challenges known to mankind is figuring out how to discover valuable and insightful blogs worth following. You know, not too many, not too few and enough to cover each of our range of interests.

Alltop's spin is to offer a virtual magazine rack and filing system so that we can quickly and easily scan blogs, choose the ones we like and set up a myAlltop dashboard of blogs and Websites we want to follow. Nice, if you have the time to wade through Alltop's thousands of magazines in the virtual rack. I think that they are onto something and yet missing something.

They are a good source for indexing, discovering and scanning blogs and content sites. What they seem to lack is a dashboard and filtering system. If they added reviews of top 10, top 50 sites per category by 'most visited' and 'most popular' that would be a start. Even most regularly updated would help. And imagine if they added to that a user review system for each blog. And how about an Alltop or Alltop-panel-of-experts list of the most interesting or valuable sites. Then they'd hook me. But maybe that's just me. Sometimes less can be more.

Thursday, June 11, 2009 Launches Web Service for Entrepreneurs

A new Internet service for entrepreneurs,, has just gone live. Being a first or second time entrepreneur is one of the harder career choices available to mankind. Richard Branson once wrote that entrepreneurs are modern day discoverers, requiring just as much grit, determination, skill and risk taking as any Columbus or Cook equivalent.

The problem is that even though entrepreneurship is more vital than ever to our global economy, there are few schools, tools, methods or systems for entrepreneurs. So how do we know how to be a successful entrepreneur? Developing the right idea, taking it to market effectively and building a valuable business from it. Often we don't.

Innovatrs aims to remedy this by offering entrepreneurs and innovation officers a one stop innovation methodology and start-up system, plus Web based consultancy and mentoring as well as a series of tools, tips, tricks and more. The service costs $250 per month which sounds reasonable and potentially more attractive than the piece meal alternatives.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Apple's Latest Innovation - Price!

Yesterday Apple introduced its iPhone 3G S which will be available later this month and dropped the price on the current model of its smart phone to $99. They also unveiled two new lower-priced laptops and dropped the sales tag on its upcoming OS, Snow Leopard.

Is it only me or has Apple got Innovation block. They don't seem to have announced anything really big since the first iPhone release 2 years ago. Where's the iPhone Nano, the real Apple TV, the mass market Mac Netbook (Air), the 7 or 9 in iPhone/MiniMac etc.

Innovating on price alone is cool but not enough. Maybe Apple is suffering more from Steve Jobs absence than their results show.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Lijit Do Next Generation Blog Search

Lijit may have a tongue twisting name, but its got a neat Web 2.0 app. It takes blog search tools to a valuable new dimension. Searching on blogs today is simple and a bit too basic. Lijit moves the game on by providing a search tool that you link not only to your blog but also to your other Web 2.o assets - making your blog the centre of your content. This you may or may not like.

Lijit will not only search your blog but also your videos at YouTube, your Twitter account (no surprise), bookmarks, your network of friends and the blogs you read in your RSS feader. Nice. So, if you want your blog to be the portal for your life - then Lijit looks the way to go. If not, stay hemmed in at Facebook.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Why Old Media Will Die

Old media are staring like frozen rabbits before bright headlights screaming "where for art though - online subscription revenues". Each desperately seeking that holy grail of cash for content. Their knight in shining armor Sir Rupert of The Wall Street Journal. Leader of the Web content charging pack.

So old media huddles as we speak in back rooms across the Western world plotting subscription models and micro-payments to pay each of us back for years of abusive zero cash content. Fuming about their run down print presses and desperate to hang onto their old ways, chubby cost bases and private jets.

Hulu is one of the first to come forth as the next white knight, announcing that they are about to charge their users a subscription to watch their coveted online movies. And while this old media murmuring continues I can't help feeling that for every online news site, video streamer or music player that charges subscriptions for their content another 5 will spring up offering it for free, making money through ads, promo's, merchandise, products and ancillary offerings.

And so old media will one day die. Even Sir Rupert of The Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Zhiing - Mobile Location Made Easy

Zhiing, a Web 2.0 mobile software company, is leading a clutch of ventures going after the mobile location-services space. Most of the other players look a little gimmicky. Not Zhiing. They have a simple, clear and useful app. Use Zhiing to send a message to folk you're waiting for at a meetup, bar, restaurant or park and with your message to 'get a move on' Zhiing embeds your location. Neat.

And best of all your location is only revealed as a one off with the message - so none of this permanent switching on of location services which allow friends and others to Internet stalk you. Finally.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Google Wave - Gmail 2.0

Google has announced Google Wave - Gmail redefined. And its kinda cool. It is Google's answer to social networking stickiness and an attempt at turning your Gmail interface into a social networking, Web conversation and communication portal - where you go to do mail, IM, share pics, update mates and tweet.

Looks like all its missing is voice calling, blogging and I'm done. More time at Gmail here we all go - and one last goodbye to AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft mail. At least for consumers. At first...

Bing v Wave - the Next Net Frontier

Microsoft and Google are pitching their futures on two new services that point towards the next Web frontier - convergence. Microsoft yesterday announced Bing as its latest answer to Google search. It is not a direct competitor to Google search, but a competitor in trying to redefine Web searching - not just a search engine but a 'decision engine'. A kind of Web 2.0 Wolfram Alpha.

If, by now, you are totally confused - lets try and simplify. Bing attempts to change search engine into Internet assistant. Not just providing the most relevant links, but exposing the most relevant answers, which includes simple access to the information. Video thumbnails go live as you hover over. Shopping comparison is embedded and travel information comes alive. Try it - it goes fully live next Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Animoto Turns Slideshows into Videos

There is a small crop of new Web 2.0 start-ups going after the slideshow to Web video space. Animoto looks to be one of the cooler players. Their proposition is straight forward - email your photo slideshow over to them, pick some cool (copyright approved) music or musac and bingo they'll mash it all together and create a free Web video. Which could make you look cooler at YouTube, your blog or wherever.

Chez Animoto 30 second clips are free. Thereafter you pay - proving that Fremium models are all the rage. But I'm left with one niggling question. Why doesn't everyone just buy a Flip and go DIY?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

iPadio Do Phlogging

Phlogging (phone or audio blogging) seems all the rage. Recently we reviewed a free service from Audio Boo. And here's another. It's called iPadio which is interesting branding. It rings with I paid. For radio?

And there is the big question - who pays? For Audio Boo it seems no one. iPadio are aptly named because companies do - consumers don't. After all someone's gotta pay right? Ipadio's USP for consumers is that you can apparently use any phone to phlogg - oh and of course its free - whereas Audio Boo is free but just for iPhone users right now - which is a growing and Web savvy audience.

iPadio believe that their phone-to-Web model has multiple business applications including customer service, field agents who need to report, Radio and disability services. But which is their killer app? Beats me. Maybe its too early to tell. Phlogging holds a great deal of promise and the early players are off - it will be interesting to see how Six Apart and Google's Blogger respond. They should be in the mix.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Need a Start Page -

Need a Web based, easy and quick to set, public up start page - check You can get up and running in minutes with all your favorite, publicly accessible links, nicely categorized and ready for you to share with the world. It could even become a link driven human home page.

And this probably points to the future of - your personal portal to stuff that matters most that you also want to share. Beyond this, it could be neat for to allow you to run your blog, twitter feed and more scrolling live, next to your links at your home page.

Then, bingo, forget my Yahoo - it's myPortal. And I'd buy into it for one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wolfram Alpha Challenges Google?

Wolfram Alpha, the next wave in Internet search with a couple of branding challenges, is going live on the 18th May. Just 5 days to go. It feels like a countdown to something, well, potentially huge. Wolfram Alpha could be the next Google. It's a next generation search engine that answers your question by scanning the Web, then utilizes the most advanced computational models to turn Web based data into newly computed answers to your original search query. If that sounds like techno mumbo jumbo let me try and explain it more simply.

Wolfram Alpha will attempt to give you real answers to real questions - not just a list of relevant links. So, if you type in 'how long does it take to fly from New York to London' you will get a real answer such as 7 hours, not just a bunch of relevant links a la Google.

The huge question is is Wolfram Alpha competitor to Google or partner? Given that Google is desperately, behind the scenes, trying to come up with a similarish service - they see them as competitor first. For us users they should be hugely complimentary Wolfram Alpha gives you direct answers to your questions, Google gives you links. But guess who Google's gonna try and buy damned soon??

Friday, May 08, 2009

Stupeflix Does Video Mash-ups

Stupeflix, (stupid!) is a Web 2.0 start-up offering mash-ups of your latest pics, words and videos to produce a professional looking video - stupid! It reminds me of Apple's iMovie for the Web. So for all of you who do not own a Mac or are too lazy to figure out iMovie here's one for you.

Also, if you use your smartphone to shoot movies and take pics they have a nifty way to mash 'em together without the vid/pic/word thing looking to kitsch. Or amateur.

For the rest of us I guess we'll hang onto our MacBooks and use iMovie a while longer. But they're worth watching...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Audio Boo Does Podcasting on the Go - iPhone

So here's a cool new Web 2.0, Brit tech, start-up - with a splash of iPhone. It's called Audio Boo and it's a podcasting tool for the masses. You sign in at, then download their iPhone app, and presto it turns your iPhone into a podcasting recording device. After recording some fruity voice messages/snippets/personal radio rantings it automatically loads and plays your track at your personal Audio Boo page.

It's kinda like a YouTube for podcasting - assuming you've got an iPhone of course. But, hey there's enough of those around the place by now and if it takes off they can probably port to other smartphones. Recording quality is OK but cramped by iPhone speaker ruggedness and we're not quite sure how long you can podcast for at any one speak'ing. Other than that its a start-up worth watching and an iPhone app worth downloading. Unlike most of the rest of the 35,000 plus out there!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Building a Successful Start-up is About Context

I read a couple of interesting articles today on tips from a failed entrepreneur and how to bootstrap a company by a venture guy - which seems a bit of an oxymoron. Or is it moron?

Either way, they got me thinking. Both are right and yet they lack something. And I think that something is context. You see entrepreneurs today all too often fail because they lack context. They either lack domain expertise or a broad understanding of the process by which to build a particular company at a specific point in time.

What are the exact steps required, what are the do's and don'ts, which tools are required and how do you know which is the right decision at any one point in time. Check Innov@te's blog. They seem to have some ideas. And remember it's all about context. Surround yourself with those that can provide context and you stand a chance.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

blur Group Launching Online Start-up System for Entrepreneurs

blur Group, a crowdsourcing group out of London, is about to launch an online innovation and start-up service for entrepreneurs and Innovation Officers around the world. They call it Innov@te Online and it is based on a 48 phase business build methodology and system which takes users step by step from concept through to exit.

They spread the 48 phases across six core start-up stages including @ha idea, concept, market entry, market development, market dominance and exit. With some neat tips and tricks along the way.

They even have a system called CREATE-IVITY which helps folks generate innovative ideas. If it works, this could be quite a breakthrough for innovators and entrepreneurs alike. Venture Investors should sit up and take notice too. For launch details and more check Innov@te's blog.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Online Video Goes to the Next, Next Phase

Online Video is changing. Two guerilla's in the space, Comcast and Youtube are taking some nifty steps that could shift the landscape. The latter today announced that they will be adding social features to - enabling real-time communicate amongst friends while watching a Youtube movie. This way it should feel a bit less like you're all alone watching videos while hunched in front of your laptop. Youtube are tapping into a growing trend in which all manner of sites are lifting a page out of Facebook's playbook and bolting on social features.

In the mean time Comcast, the cable dinosaur, might just be yanking itself up a decade or two. They're close to launching a free Web based movie service for their existing cable customers allowing them to watch certain prime movies on their TV, PC, Laptop and one day even phone. They are apparently also taking the Web and an associated app store to the TV thanks to Adobe and Flash. The online video revolution has just begun - really.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kindle to iPhone

I have been reading a bunch of blogs and opinion pieces on the Kindle 2 recently. There seems to be a growing body of consensus that believe Amazon have come up with Gutenberg Press 2.0. For the Kindle 2 is about to usher in a new digital dawn for writers, readers and books. Well, actually, the folks to thank for that may be Google more then Amazon, but let's set that aside for a moment.

For it struck me that the Kindle may not prove to be the runaway hit that everyone imagines - or at least not medium term. Because the Kindle is starting to feel a little like the iPod a few years back. After all the iPod introduced us to Music 2.0 and its digital dawn. But, you see, the iPod just proved a transitionary device leading us all to the iPhone. So what's the future of the Kindle? I guess iPhone 3.0.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Etendi Does Distance Parenting Online

Here's a neat Web 2.0 start-up for parents who do not live with their children but want to keep regularly in touch. Do it online with Etendi. They provide distant parents with cool online tools to stay in touch. And there is no need for their kid(s) to provide an email address - just the parent. Then they can video call with their kids, share pictures, create albums together, chat, do homework and even share gifts online.

As a kid I went to boarding school from the age of 12 and would have appreciated something like this. So, for all those parents with kids away at boarding school, on travels, or otherwise this ones for you. Add up the number of parents that are divorced or on military duty and Etendi could find quite a market for their application.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Twitzap Does Live Twitter Ticker

For those of you Twitter nuts who don't think its instant enough for you then Twitzap could be the answer. It's (according to them) the first real-time Twitter client and you don't even have to instal anything. Just log in with your Twitter username and password and get Twitzapping.

It is a handy way to watch live Twitters scrolling down the screen as they happen, meet other Twitter folks and create Twitter channels. It's like a universal, live ticker for Twitter. Cool for those brokers who still have a job. We'll keep a watching brief. If Twitzap works out - no guesses who's gonna buy them.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Google's Schmidt on Paid for Internet News

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, spoke today at a convention of leading newspaper bosses (sounds like an AA get together) and stated that '... many publishers were increasingly thinking about charging for their content, and he said he expected the newspaper industry to eventually resemble television, where some content was free, some was purchased by subscription and some was paid for every time it was viewed. But he said he expected that advertising would remain the leading revenue model in online media.'

I think he's missing a trick. And its called the blogging universe. TV has no competition from blogs - just Youtube amateurs as yet. But citizen journalism via blogs is a powerful global force which probably means that simple, commoditized news will be hard to charge for online. Hi value added info yes, straight news no. Luckily for Google its advertising that's gonna keep news groups alive on the Web. Tricking themselves that they can get away with charging subscriptions online is a little head up their...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Lifestream at Storytlr

Lifestreaming's the new base jumping for Web 2.0 digital nomads. Sites like Storytlr could prove the next self promotion rage. They bring together all your Web 2.0 communications from favorite hang outs such as Flickr, Twitter, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr etc into one aggregated page.

Yep, yap away at each of your favorite, disparate services and send your previously confused mates to just one space. Nifty. Could aggregation plays such as Storytlr be central to Web 3.0? Maybe.

You can also post blogs and photos directly to storytlr which means they have aspirations beyond just aggregating your feeds - they wanna have their Web 2.0 cake and eat it. Will you let them?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Google Buys Twitter

The word creeping through the blogosphere is that Google is about to buy Twitter - making Evan Williams, Twitter's co-founder, a rare breed - a second timer Google acquisition dude. After all, he flogged Blogger to Google just a decade ago.

Twitter has become so much the rage that someone had to grab them. And if Google do see it through they could prove as canny a buyer of cool tech as they are search kings. And they haven't exactly done badly with Youtube.

Next on the Google wish list - surely a social network platform or innovator.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Netbook Sales Soar

Netbook sales are due to surge by 60% this year - with laptop sales sluggish at 3%. It looks like the mini-Internet devices have finally hit mass acceptance and should account for over 20% of total laptop sales in 2009.

Expect Netbook volumes to match those of their bigger brethren by 2015 - but by then the next, next portable device will be the 7 inch hand held a la Kindle. And no doubt Microsoft and Apple will focus hard on this segment starting later this year. Cheap portable computers are hear to stay - and so too my shoulder!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twitter Tips

I was sent a Tweet on Twitter Tips by Problogger. Particularly relevant was the section on 'Provide Value'. God, I wish. The number of meaningless, endless, ego driven and pointless tweets that I have to put up with most minutes of each day defies gravity.

Proving, as ever, that boatloads of people, since blogging came along, are on an endless treadmill to achieve the next big 15 minutes of Internet fame. But can't they do fame with brain? OK, bad idea...

And for my alter (not) ego hit Yaargh.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Time For A New Bank

It's time for a new bank. Everyone seems to think that the reason banks are so stuffed is because of rogue traders, megalomaniac managers, non existent regulation and good ol' greed. And they're right. But there's something else missing - competition.

What we need is a new bank. A start-up. How refreshing. One with an innovative brand. God forbid an aspirational brand. An online bank that uses the latest technology to benefit its customers, not trick them. A bank that takes deposits and helps us make and receive payments - instantly. A bank that offers a simple credit card with the lowest interest rates and no frills. A bank that gives better interest on savings and low cost loans with clear repayment terms and simple guarantees.

A bank that does online and mobile banking standing on its head and provides the best, most rapid service over the phone from a professionally run call centre. Its Website points us to the best independent mortgage brokers and insurance companies that they continuously vet and approve or not.

A bank with values - simple, fast, no-frills and customer obsessed - supported by the smartest technology available to keep service great and costs minimal. Now that sounds like my kind of a bank. How's yours?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Artists Online at

b-uncut seem to have it down. Artists are flocking from around the world to hang (and their art) at The Web 2.0 art site is creating a small storm in the art world and we can see why. It's well designed, active as a tamale and much needed.

If you have ever been to an art fair or listened to one too many car-salesman like art dealers you'll understand why. b-uncut looks like a welcome breath of fresh air in an all too stuffy art mart. Check it and we'll keep a watching brief.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Netvibes Takes on iGoogle

Netvibes does personal portals - well, personal landing pages to be more exact. The Web 2.0 Euro Tech company plays off the philosophy that you don't want Google - well actually iGoogle - to monopolize. 'You can have my email, contacts, calendar and even apps, but you'll never get my desktop too!' Right.

Apparently the Netvibes environment is more flexible, universal and richer. Plus, if you're a company seeking branded desktop offerings for your users this could be the way to go. If your none of these and just some lonesome geek - they have a widget store. Who doesn't?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

mydeco Does Web Home Decorating

mydeco, Brit Tech home decorating pioneer, takes homestore to Web 2.0 to you. Led by serial UK Web entrepreneur Brent Hoberman of they have a vision to aggregate homestores, decorators, designers and shoppers online through

They don't offer product themselves - but do provide you with easy access to loads of furniture and home decorating stuff from a bunch of different retailers, as well as expert advice and tools to help you choose that paint colour, toilet seat, sofa or fridge. Yeah, fridge. It's Brit stores only for now - but the US should be up next.

There's even a mydeco Web deco magazine and social network for interior designers and home deco fanatics. Nice if ya have the time! For the rest of us it could provide a nifty slouch potato mechanism for getting your home sorted online and freeing up time for more football/clothes shopping. Yah.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

iPhone 3.0 - Is It?

The old adage that it takes 3 releases to get a piece of software right looks to be the case with the iPhone 3.0 announced yesterday and due out this summer. iPhone 3.0 fixes all the core issues and gaps in the iPhone 3G. The release is all about stability and maturity - no new groundbreaking features.

From a users perspective a bunch of niggles and gaps have been dealt with - particularly MMS, cut and paste, searching using Spotlight across apps, horizontal keyboard mode for all apps and particularly email and a nifty little dictaphone app. But that's it. No new iPhone Nano, no major Safari upgrade and few new breakthrough's to cloud based services. At least you will be able to synchronize your calendar with Google Calendar - Yaargh!

Let's hope Apple shine with hardware innovation and 'cool' factor in the next version. They're gonna need it to keep iPhone sales rising and the competition at bay. Cos Microsoft and Palm are hot on their heels.

From a developers perspective this is a major step forwards with a 1,000 new API's covering everything from subscription charging models to embedding maps and email into app synchronized updates and loads more. Proving that the future of the iPhone is as platform. Period.

b-uncut Takes on Saatchi Online

Talking of Ning (last post) - b-uncut, a fast growing social platform for artists around the world, seems to be moving at a clip. Apparently they're growing by 2-3 new artists per day. And could soon prove the real pretender to industry heavyweights Saatchi Online and Artinfo.

Making the case that focused, independent, Web 2.0 social innovators can strike big. And perhaps the future of social networking and social media is niche. You know small is beautiful and all that jazz.

And b-uncut artists sure are prolific - they have approaching 5,000 artworks loaded at the site and growing like a weed. Is there a future e-Gallery in the offing. We'll keep our watching brief on these creative folk.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ning Takes on Facebook

Ning, you know the Web 2.0 dudes with some serious branding issues, have finally removed their sheep's clothing. And the fox has got ambition. Ning is Andreessen's latest gig and up until now has been the leading platform provider for other social networks and intranets. They have approaching 1 million networks on their platform, from granny collecting groups to serious artist hangouts. And on the back of these specialist networks they have quietly gathered 20 Million members.

So now they have flicked the switch, turned themselves inside out and changed into a Facebook for the 20 Million. Voila! And in one fell swoop the world has yet another social network to contend with. And you thought you could get away with just your Facebook and Linkedin accounts.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Apple's iPod Shuffle - Bigger - Smaller!

The iPod Shuffle just keeps getting smaller. Or is it bigger? The all new Shuffle now packs 1,000 tunes, but fits in the change pocket of your jeans. No clip, zip or pip. Just loads a tunes.

And a voice announces which song is about to play. Step aside Kindle - another text-to-speech app?

Simple, cool, cost effective... Apple.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Crowdtsorm's Crowd-controlled Comparison Shopping

Crowdstorm is another cool Brit Tech company worth watching. Founded by UK comparison shopping entrepreneur, Philip Wilkinson (you know Shopgenie, Kelkoo etc), it does crowd-controlled comparison shopping.

To use their jargon-ness its all about "impartial buying advice from a crowd of trusted people - cos Crowdstorm help ya find 'what' to buy through aggregating expert reviews, user reviews, thoughts, videos and q&a's from a crowd of trusted people and sites". Yo..... cool.

The test for Crowdstorm should prove to be in the quality of the crowd, relevance of early product categories, iterative-quality system comparison improvements (mothfull YAH!) within their engine and some cool marketing - cos these ain't the only guys onto crowd-controlled comparison shopping.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

iPhone App Store Stumbles

The iPhone app store, which launched less than a year ago is all the rage. It touts app after app after app. App-arently (yeah, yeah...) there are now 15,000+ apps available for your iPhone from iTunes/the Apple App Store. 15,000! And if app development keeps going at this rate there could be approaching 50,000 by the end of next year. That's nearly 1,000 new ones to go through every week.

If you do the maths we'll soon be spending more time pouring through the Apple App store directory than reading the news, spending time online, watching movies and even going to work... You get the picture. In fact we now think the App store will stumble purely because there are too many apps!

You see no one wants to see iTunes packed with more apps than movies or tunes. So Apple, please chunk it down - has the recession not woken you to the fact that less could even be more? Please.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5 Looks Ready!

Windows Mobile 6.5 has created some positive press. And it probably should because inch by inch the Seattle outfit has developed a half decent mobile operating system. With 6.5 Microsoft have proven that they can (and probably will) narrow the gap with Apple's iPhone. And with it Microsoft may have finally reached the end of the beginning in the mobile space.

After all, the user interface is now up to snuff and a developer community is being launched. The browser is better and sync works. So what could hold Microsoft back from re-taking the smartphone market from Apple and RIM. Well, probably Google.

But even that may not be enough - as Microsoft's charge begins. Apple's only hope to remain from PC-rerun-oblivion is to keep re-inventing the smartphone space, developing their media features (how about adding speech-to-text) and moving out of the smartphone box with a Nano phone. And Steve thought he could have a rest!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Squace Get Universal Mobile Interfaces

The dudes at Squace - you know the smallish mobile software team from Stockholm with meagre aspirations to become the universal mobile interface layer have started blogging after a quiet winter. 

Are they the next Microsoft? Is it a browser? Android? Well, if you are as confused as.... just check out the new blog they've started called, surprise, surprise - UniversalMobileInterface (no branding issues here - please!).

Apparently they have a universal software layer, ring Java download, that can run across a ton of mobile phones and gives users universal access to backed up links, contacts, email and more. Hey, if it supports my Gmail contacts and calendar you've got me. That is until Android devices improve... Apparently they're due to launch commercially in about a month - so check em out at

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Spotify Versus iTunes

We first talked about free Web 2.0 music service Spotify last year, soon after they launched. And they've come on a way. Now anyone can sign up for their free service (which is the most impressive). And it looks (listens) to me like its the best music model on the Internet for 'free tunes' while their iPhone app experience takes the service from your home to the mobile.

Spotify lets you hook into playlists, genres, albums and more all for free as long as you're OK putting up with a short spoken ad every half hour or so. I have hardly noticed hearing one, but that may be just because they don't have any advertisers as yet, and the listening experience has never really been compromised. So, it looks like iTunes finally have some competition - Spotify for your general, free, play-all-day offering and the Apple service for your favorite catalogue of owned tunes. Beware iTunes - it may be time to innovate once more.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ning Launches Persistent Chat

Ning has just announced a major series of updates - taking their white-label social networking platform even further ahead of the competition. Today they launched an all new persistent chat service, new music, video and photo players and a slick, simple site search.

All this should help the Marc Adreessen venture power to around a million networks running across the Ning platform with between them more than 20 million users. That does though mean that the average Ning network has only 20 members. Probably a similar profile to the average blogger site.

The big question is what next for Ning? Perhaps VOIP telephony services as well as a greater drive to enhance their developer community. And what about a merger with Six Apart or an outright sale to Google? Watch this space.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Skype To Go Gets a Boost

Skype has just announced an extension (Yah!) to Skype To Go which allows users to make dead cheap calls via their Skype To Go number to any other landline or mobile phone. Lets hope this works better than Skype's core free pc-to-pc service which tends to bounce around like a yoyo.

And maybe they're feeling the heat from Swedish pin-up cheap mobile-to-mobile VOIP player Rebtel - now these dudes we dig. Check em out!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

tumblr - A New Spin on Blogging

And who said Silicon Alley was dead? Life according to tumblr - who just raised a few million dollars - looks pretty good. They have a Web 2.0 app which is a mix between Blogger and Twitter and seems to be taking off. 

If you can't be shagged to write a whole blog and feel that Twitter is too short - then tumblr's for you. You can also have your cake and eat it cos you can bang on longer at Typepad/Wordpess/Blogger and RSS it into your tumblr page - while simultaneously zapping your tumblr feeds off to Twitter.

It looks like tumblr want to position themselves as the blog/tweet/posting hub for your life. If they add universal IM as well - they could be onto one. Oh and check mother ship's tumblr page - click this link.

Monday, February 23, 2009 Does Personal Web Ads

Here's one for those of you seeking 15 minutes (or is it seconds) of fame. A Brit tech company with Web 2.0 aspirations and the brand challenged name of has created a neat, and cheap way (fiver a month) to run personal ads promoting yourself, your blog, or anything else yours.

So for those of you with a healthy ego, some spare beer/spritzer money and a knack for writing snappy ad copy - this ones for you. Oh, and let us know how your ads do. Cos these guys may even be worth watching.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Popjam Gives lol has just gone live - its a Web 2.0 lol site. I.e. load a funny post, get rated and follow the rankings to see who's the funniest dude in tinsel town. A kind of virtual Euro song contest (except its global) for laughs.

And there's some cool folk behind it. Sign up and enjoy. Another notch for Brit tech? Let's see.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

iPhone Feels the Heat

Look out iPhone! The competition is finally hotting up in the smartphone market. At the annual mobile shindig in Barcelona HTC, Microsoft and Google each made key announcements that point to iPhone's technical lead finally narrowing.

Vodafone has just landed an exclusive for the all new HTC Magic running Android - which for the increasing number of consumers and small businesses using Gmail and Google Apps looks the way to go - meanwhile Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 6.5 and finally announced their app store proving they too they have caught up.

Lastly the LG Arena touted a nex gen screen with cube and elastic features - all shifting the spotlight to Apple this summer as they launch the iPhone 3.0. They had better re-invent the smartphone once again.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Facebook Frenzy over User Content Rights

It's time to wade into the Facebook privacy debate. Because you see it matters little what Facebook's legals say or don't say - what matters is perception. And if Facebook come over as a privacy/personal content abuser they will lose the battle longer term. 

Users use Facebook because they trust that Facebook own the platform but all their content belongs exclusively to them. Like with a phone company, we utilize their network, but do not expect them ever to sell recordings of our conversations.

So Facebook had better be careful, lest the next wave of social networks win our hearts and copy souls with greater security and 100% privacy and copyright protection guarantees. So sort it fast Zuckerbeck and end the debate!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Masabi Does Mobile - Securely

Here's another cool UK mobile software company - Masabi. They do a few things mobile software and all very securely - apparently. So with hot security comes cool mobile ticketing apps, gaming apps and more. Maybe they could even help develop mobile banking to the next level...

They'll be at Barcelona next week and look worth a drop by. Scoot.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Amazon's Kindle Sparks Text-to-Speech Battle

Amazon has only just launched Kindle 2.0 and its already creating a stink. Apparently its cool new text-to-speech feature is upsetting a few publishers!

The Author's Guild, an advocacy group for writers is insisting that 'they don't have the right to read a book out loud. That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.' Which is mumbo jumbo for publishers wanting to charge more for books sold on e-readers with text-to-speech features.

Come on! So what about all of us that read out loud. Ooops - I guess that cat's out of the bag.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Pioneers Social Recruitment

For those of you looking for work here's a new Web 2.0 concept - social recruitment - at The site acts as one massive, virtual job/careers fair. Companies and recruitment professionals set up virtual stands (profiles) of themselves and jobseekers go to check them out, promote themselves, network and generally build relationships. There's also a social media dimension where members can share tips and tricks, get neat tools to enhance their job search, including training videos and more.

Jobopz seems to have been born from the premise that employee loyalty spans have shortened to the extent that most people need to more actively market and develop their careers (and themselves). Apparently this includes regularly networking with recruitment folk, prospective employers and even other like minded jobseekers who we might one day partner with on a new business project or venture! So check it out - go to

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

blur Group Launch New Website

blur Group, the new kind of Intellectual Property conglomerate that mushroomed out of London, has launched a new Website. And its kinda cool. It takes a slice out of Apple's coverflow copy book.

Also, take a look at their nex gen brand - its abstract! We are though a little biased given that blur Group is our mother-ship. Check it out - go to