mobile AJAX ..

as per a press release from Opera software :

Widgets on your mobile phone: Opera Software and Freedom Media announce world’s first mobile AJAX application using Opera Platform™

Opera Software, a global leader in Web browser technologies, and Freedom Media, an independent, consumer-oriented information- and service provider, today announced the world’s first mobile widget application based on Opera Software’s mobile AJAX authoring environment, Opera Platform™. Named “Freedom”, the application offers a collection of mobile pay-per-view services designed to increase the usability of mobile Web based services by offering a suite of widgets such as news, real-time stock prices and maps, all through a rich user interface.

and also ..


At this stage, Freedom will be pre-installed on selected Nokia phones in the Norwegian market, and it will also be available as a free download for Norwegian Nokia S60 mobile owners.

Its the second part that interests me ..

The fact that any S60 user in Norway can download the widget.

I am following this with interest!

futuretext authors – now at waterstones ..


I am very happy to announce that futuretext has formally signed an agreement with waterstones. This means, our books can be bought from waterstones bookstores giving our authors greater visibility – especially in places such as the Waterstones Piccadilly bookstore(Europe’s largest bookstore).

It is also the first step to working with many more bookstores (both large and niche) in North America, Europe, Japan and Korea.

This is a major milestone for us as a company. There are two factors that go towards the acceptance of our books in major bookstores – firstly the quality of the books themselves and secondly the authors.

I would specifically like to thank Tomi Ahonen, Tony Fish, Alan Moore and Mark Curtis for the superb quality of the books – which have won us many accolades.

I would also like to thank Phil Hutton , Maggie Baldry, Irina Ignatova, Adele Gladwin and Skaiste Ciantar for their supporting role to futuretext

Watch this space for more author and partner announcements soon.

Carnival of the mobilists


See it at Kelly’s blog HERE

Web 2.0 Logos and Links

Some excellent sites over at diggwatchblog

Web 2.0 Logos and Links – Part 1

Web 2.0 Logos and Links – Part 2

Open systems, Information technology and blossoming (or not) of Civilizations.


On holiday, I met VC Bothra who started off this discussion in context of India and the Gutenberg press. Having an interest in history and archaeology – I have enhanced it with examples of other civilizations and the impact of the global spread of the Internet and Open systems

There are two points I am making here

a) Information technology gives cultures and civilizations a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to leapfrog / totally transform themselves

However, it’s not enough merely to create a new ‘information innovation(a language, a printing press etc)’ – it’s necessary to remove barriers so that it can spread fast, create new nodes and enrich itself. Leading to the second point

and secondly.

b) ‘Closed’ civilizations and knowledge centres do not grow. In fact, they shrink and die

Information technology and the transformation of cultures

The best example of this is the Gutenberg press - which created a whole new competitive advantage for the Europe.

India, today, is another example where the IT revolution has led it to effectively ‘skip’ the industrial / infrastructure changes. In other words, as countries like Singapore, South Korea and Japan developed after world war two, there was first a corresponding increase in industrial output and infrastructure development. In contrast, India still has a long way to go in infrastructure – BUT has effectively levelled the gap using information technology

Another example is China. The invention of paper in ancient China - led to the development of a rich civilization. In contrast – note that the current Chinese development is based on industrial production and not information technology

I have long believed that Africa will be a key beneficiary of the mobile revolution (see The mobile internet will do more for Africa than Live 8 !) i.e. the lives of ordinary citizens in Africa will be transformed by the rise of the mobile internet

Now, let’s come to the second part

‘Closed’ civilizations and knowledge centres do not grow. In fact, they shrink and die

The Sumerians invented one of the first languages as we know it. As per the link above Sumerian, the oldest known written language in human history, was spoken in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and peripheral regions) throughout the third millennium BC and survived as an esoteric written language until the death of the cuneiform tradition around the time of Christ.

It was the first but it was ‘elite’ i.e. for aristocracy, esoteric (like Greek and Latin today) and different to almost all the then contemporary languages (like Hebrew).

The result is – inspite of being the first – it’s an extinct language today

So, what does that tell us today?

Information technology is enabling pockets of cultures to leapfrog decades of underdevelopment. This development is taking place primarily due to ‘links between nodes’ i.e. easier communication between people which enables creation and development of the whole body of people.

This phenomenon is being played out at local levels (like India) but also at the global level (the Internet)

In contrast, societies which will not interact or which will choose to erect barriers will shrink (like the Sumerian language)

Finally, I will end this article with another insight for us to ponder about.

Japan and South Korea excel in industrial production and they have been largely successful in dominating western companies in terms of physical goods

BUT .. I believe that the same will not happen with respect to Information technology. Essentially, there are too many barriers to entry for western countries to ‘sell’ to Japan and Korea(and also China). These are useful to keep competition out BUT are also succeeding in stifling the exports of Japanese and Korean information technology products (i.e. those not based on physical hardware). The only way out is to ‘export’ a hardware/a standard FIRST (think betamax, VHS etc). This, in my view, is a no win situation i.e. the nations being ‘exported to’ are not likely to adopt a proprietary standard and give up competitive advantage in the current climate

In the information technology game, the winner is not the one with the best (or earliest) breakthrough(like the Sumerians) – but rather the one with the greatest number of ‘links’ i.e. an open system

In conclusion ..

History is a wonderful teacher.

There is much we can learn from the Sumerians(in English!)

Image source: wikipedia

Good blog about the mobile data industry in India ,,

I met Veer Chand Bothra when I was on holiday in India. Veer runs a good blog about the mobile data industry in India. The link is mobilepundit

Apologies for the radio silence

Been on holiday and just back to cold London now. More soon later this week

tags and identity

More clarifications from Tony Fish about

I am not a number – I am a tag concept

over at forumoxford

Many thanks for all the insights. I was interested in views on the control aspect of numbering and search.

Players (corporate companies who own brands and networks) want control points for good economic reasons [barriers to entry], control of numbers has been an underpinning element in communications, search resolving [directory] has been another.

Whilst I understand comments about what are tags and resolving numbers, which look the same, I accept the criticism that I did not explain my intention well. I am not sure that I will do much better this time, but I am sure you will let me know, and I will still be somewhat vague, as this is thought in progress and your point of view is probably more valid than mine.

If (if) my identity (ID) is only a collection of verified information [assumption], I need two elements to justify identify ( who I say I am) – who I am based on some historical fact(s) and that these facts are conferred somehow. My historical facts are made up from my DOB, NI, education, jobs, interests, relations, finger print, preferences etc. These facts allow me to gain Identity and acquire verified identity (conferred) such as driving license, passport, entry cards etc. These verified identities in turn allow me to buy verified services such as banking. These verified services allow me to pay-for (buy) non-verified services such as communications, who give me a number, that becomes part of my identity. But a communication number cannot be used to identify who I am, therefore the loop is open. This suggests that I can use simple and then complex proof to gain an identity to gain access to services.

Now, Avatar’s, handles, numbers and indeed my name; are like tags, totally agree – they are descriptors in space and time to resolve something that I cannot remember as it is too complex [dna, ip address, family history] . However, some of these services are one dimensional and allow a user to hide, to be hidden, to falsely identify who they are and be me [fraud]. Verified Identity, my passport, driving license (in most cases) should be a true representation of who I am at some point in time. Now, how about a verified Tag. Something that allows me to be identified and verified, but not because who I say I am, but others. A closed loop system. Since, the Internet allows me to set up an ID called tonyfish, without proof. I can then take someone’s verified ID can communicate to another channel. As this is open – it can be abused.

“I am a verified TAG” This is built not from who I say I am [ allowing for fraud] but who others say I am [ ignoring corruption] Further, should I want to be found from a tag search term Tony Fish, there needs to be a ‘Data Base of Intentions” that translates the search into means (cognitive),hence new search is not about ‘searching a database to match’ but interruption of intent; aka John B book on “Search”

Is there any merit in having verified Tags, allowing others to confer details and facts. The wider the agreement of Facts, say using friends reunited, linkedin, msn, web pages the more likely the person is who they say they are and it is the right person.

Game Co’s to SUN: “We are not amused”

Source : Mobile entertainment

Thanks to William Volk of bonusmobile for pointing this out to me and the title.

I have been saying something similar

at Mobile web 2.0: AJAX for mobile devices – why mobile AJAX will replace both J2ME and XHTML as the preferred platform for mobile applications development (a second version of this article is out soon)

From the mobile entertainment site:

Games elite tackles fragmentation

11:30, Feb 10th by Tim Green

Fourteen of the industry’s biggest hitters have joined forces to address mobile gaming’s handset fragmentation nightmare.

The group, which includes EA, Digital Chocolate, Nokia, Texas Instruments and Microsoft, has defined an open gaming architecture for native mobile games for phones. The big idea? To make development quicker and ultimately cheaper while providing a rich gaming experience for the consumer.

At present, mobile games development is hamstrung by the fact that one game needs to be tweaked potentially hundreds of times for different handsets. These devices all implement Java differently and have a variety of screen sizes, keyboard lay-outs and user interfaces.

The cost and time implications are enormous. This new architecture won’t solve the problem, but it should ease it with a common set of capabilities. The first ‘reference implementations’ are expected to be available in the second half of 2006.

It’s significant that the 14-strong alliance includes participants from across the chain, namely developers, middleware providers, chip makers, OS vendors, handset companies and operators. “It’s a great achievement to have reached this level of agreement” said Lincoln Wallen, CTO for EA Mobile. “By working together to support the delivery of a standard game architecture onto mobile phones we are shaping the future of the industry.”

The full list of participants is: Activision, Digital Chocolate, EA, Ideaworks3D, Konami, Microsoft, MontaVista Software, Nokia, Samsung, SK Telecom, Square Enix, Symbian, Tao Group and Texas Instruments.

Should privacy/data protection regulation be extended to social business networks?


I wake up this morning to find the above message on my account in linkedin.

Personal plus account? I did not know I had one. And its expiring it seems. I have to pay up. No idea what happens if I don’t

I am sure there must be some small print somewhere. Perhaps an email would have been sent a while ago and no one expects to use a service like linkedin for free forever.

But social business sites are a unique case ..

They actively ask you to invite everyone you know to their network. Ofcourse they can change at any time. So, you are expected to trust them(in this case linkedin). But the question is – how can I be expected to trust something which changes unilaterally on a whim?

Also ..

a) Why don’t people tell you in advance when you join what the fees are?

b) Why would I invite all my contacts on linkedin and then find that they in turn have to pay as determined by the network?

c) What does that do to my reputation with my contacts?

d) If I leave, will linkedin ‘uninvite’ my network or ‘keep’ it?

I think it would be the later

Finally, I hate the word ‘network’ – these are my friends, colleagues, associates – not a node in a matrixans social network. They are people!

This is a new field – and as yet unregulated. Do you think privacy/data protection legislation should be extended to social business networks? I believe it should!. As I do more work on web 2.0 – I see that these issues are critical.

About a year ago, I made a conscious decision to reduce my involvement with the hype and double standards which social business networks are plagued with.

Happily, VCs have moved away from social business networks as well.

I think its time to go back to basics, value people and not networks/statistics AND introduce some new legislation!

For me, this message from linkedin merely reinforces that. What do you think?