Iraq: Disturbing picture ..

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Sometimes you see a picture in a news bulletin .. and it sticks with you for the rest of the day(and probably will for a lot longer). Inspite of all the horrors we see in the news today, this was one such picture I saw today – no child should have to go through this! Very disturbing!

Inspite of being in Iraq, this girl looks almost ‘Indian’ to me from a typical Indian school – except for the surrounding settings.

I guess it shows that as human beings, we will empathise will people all over the world – inspite of the divisive forces of evil.

The logic of bombing a girl’s school escapes me!

Source: Pupils killed as Iraq schools hit

iPhone: A catalyst for Mobile Ajax

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My optimistic views about Mobile Ajax are well known. However, last month Mobile Ajax has got an unexpected catalyst in the form of iPhone.

I have always favoured Mobile Ajax for reasons like:

a) I like the One Web (unified Web) theory.

b) I believe in Open standards.

c) Mobile Ajax fosters the adoption of Mobile Widgets and

d) Developers will adopt technologies which they are already familiar with

The story so far has been led by the Opera platform, with support from Nokia (who have introduced many devices with the full Web browser).

Soonr has been the best showcase application for Mobile Ajax.

However, an unexpected boost to Mobile Ajax has been provided by the iPhone.

I believe that the iPhone will always be a niche device and even Steve Jobs is very likely aiming for that (which is still a great/profitable business to be in).

However, like on the PC, Apple will end up raising the bar for many things – especially the UI.

On first impressions, the browser UI is great .. but even more so when you realise that the browser does not use either Flash Lite or Java.

So, it is good old fashioned full browser technology –aka – Mobile Ajax(and more).

This means legions of developers will try to create better UI emulating the iPhone

But the iPhone will never be a mass market phone! So, I believe that the industry will reap the benefits of the skills base from these developers.

Others like Eli Dickinson of Fierce wireless have also spotted this trend

I predict this year, Mobile Ajax will become much more common – although we not call it ‘Mobile Ajax’ – actually any full browser app could be potentially Mobile Ajax application and the iPhone UI will lead to developers adopting Mobile Ajax(and thereby benefiting the industry as a whole especially more mass market solutions like the Opera platform)

Image source: http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/macworld2007/the-iphone-web-browser-via-safari–has-tabs-227412.php

Happy Birthday, Opera Mini

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A year on from its introduction (with 3 billion page views and 10 million users), Opera Mini has transformed the Mobile Web experience for all of us and it is truly an OpenGardens experience. Truly as fantastic achievement! The full press release is on the Opera Site and below

Oslo, Norway – 26 January 2007

This week Opera Software celebrates the one-year anniversary of Opera Mini. Within its first year, Opera Mini has changed the way millions of people access and view the Web on their mobile phone. Designed to work with almost any mobile phone, Opera Mini is available free from www.operamini.com.

“This is a celebration for our users,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Thanks to the more than 10 million people who have downloaded and used Opera Mini, we’ve changed the way users and mobile operators think about the mobile Web. Because of the tremendous grassroots support, Opera Mini is now a movement.”

Opera Mini lets you take the Web with you. Instead of limited WAP content, you are free to browse the Web the same way you would at home on your laptop or desktop computer. You can use Opera Mini to post pictures to MySpace, search the Web using Yahoo!, shop on Amazon or check Gmail.

“People want to communicate with friends, read their favorite blogs and check email; it’s not sufficient to offer them limited WAP content,” said Ajit Jaokar, CEO of FutureText and author of ‘Open Gardens: The innovator’s guide to the Mobile data industry’. “At the same time, offering full Web access to subscribers drives more revenue for the mobile operator. It becomes a win-win proposition for everyone.”

Opera Mini Factbox

Numbers Behind Opera Mini

Opera Mini continues to generate substantial mobile browsing traffic. Here are a few facts:

• 3 billion cumulative pages viewed with Opera Mini

• 10 million cumulative Opera Mini users

• Opera’s servers present 300 complete web pages to users per second

Interesting Revelations

• Brunei Darrussalam has the world’s greatest penetration of Opera Mini users per capita

• Sudan, the Maldives, Cote d’Ivoire and Bangladesh have the highest concentration of Opera Mini users per mobile phone

• If you are in the U.S., you most likely run Opera Mini on a Motorola RAZR V3, BlackBerry Pearl or BlackBerry 8700

• If you are in the U.K., you most likely run Opera Mini on a Sony Ericsson K800i, Sony Ericsson K750i or BlackBerry 8700

• If you are in Russia, you most likely run Opera Mini on a Sony Ericsson K750i, Nokia 6230i or Sony Ericsson K700i

• If you are in Germany, you most likely run Opera Mini on a Sony Ericsson K800i, Sony Ericsson K610i or Sony Ericsson P990i

Paddy Byers: Looking for new opportunities

By Dr Paddy Byers

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Firstly, let me apologise for not having written much recently. I was travelling both before and after the holidays and had a load of personal things to catch up on. The Xmas break is a great time to step back and take stock of your personal and professional situation, away from the usual frenetic day-to-day activities of life.

So now, after 10 years at Tao I’ve decided it is time to move on. Tao has mature and proven technology and a very exciting future, but personally I’m now more interested in how the new generation of internet technologies and social media can be harnessed. This has always been the vision of this blog.

Therefore, I’m looking for new opportunities to work in this space, in the UK or elsewhere. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know my views on a number of things, and you can find more information about my experience on LinkedIn. I’ve got very broad as well as deep technical experience but, most important, I’ve been directly involved in growing a small early-stage technology company into a significant and successful business. I can be contacted directly at [email protected]

Now, I need to get back to some writing :) .

View Paddy Byers's profile on LinkedIn

Digital culture blog’s review of Mobile Web 2.0

I read the digital culture blog regularly and so its nice to see Haydn Shaughnessy’s review of our book Mobile Web 2.0 on his blog.

Haydn says ..

Regular readers will understand that controversy is at least half the fun when it comes to picking out the right answers. Ajit Jaokar and Tony Fish, in their book Mobile Web 2.0, say “Content is King” is nonsense. A few years back, before the dotcom boom, financiers used to say Cash is King, and then they backed companies which made none, or very little, so we take industry dictums seriously at our peril. Jaokar and Fish though have an important point.

Read the rest of the review HERE

I am in Dusseldorf this Fri and weekend ..

Hello

I am in Dusseldorf this Fri and weekend. If you want to catch up, please email me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

Tony Fish to speak at Fast Forward 07 ..

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Hello all

Tony fish, co-author of Mobile Web 2.0, is speaking at Fast Forward 07

Considering Tony’s co-speakers include Ray Lane, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, John Battelle, Founder and Chairman of Federated Media Publishing, Bill Inmon, Vice President, Published Author and Universally Recognized as the Father of Data Warehousing and Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc – this sounds to be a very interesting conference.

If you are attending, please say ‘Hi’ to Tony

My interview with Bloggingstocks ..

When I was in Raleigh/Santa Clara last year, Tom Taulli interviewed me for his blog: bloggingstocks , which is a part of weblogsinc (in turn is part of AOL Time Warner)

You can see the full interview at bloggingstocks. Thanks Tom!

My session at 3GSM and meeting up at 3GSM ..

Hello all

I am speaking + moderating the session on Mobile Web 2.0 at 3GSM on 14 Feb 16:50 to 18:10 Technology Breakout Session

Other participants include Jon von Tetzchner Chief Executive Officer Opera Software, Alex Kummerman Chief Executive Officer Clicmobile, David Wood Executive Vice President, Symbian Research

You are all welcome to attend ofcourse!

I am also speaking at another conference organised by Ogilvy immediately following 3GSM.

So, I am in Barcelona from Sat to Sat (the whole week)

Happy to meet up

Ironically, inspite of speaking at 3GSM, this is the first time I am attending it :(

Hence, not very good at the logistics.

Happy to meet up/attend any events or parties you recommend. Please contact me on ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

kind rgds

Ajit

The launch of Horizon Channel: Video podcasting, Wikis and Mobile Video ..

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For some time, I have been planning a start-up called Horizon Channel.

In October last year, I discussed the idea with Tomi Ahonen and Alan Moore. This will be my third collaboration with Alan and Tomi and the chance to work with these two clued on people is very appealing ..

They both loved it. So, we decided to go for it!

We have been working on it since October and it finally launches today!

In a nutshell, Horizon channel covers trends and technologies ‘on the horizon’. It combines Podcasting (audio and video) with Wikis

The name was inspired from the National Geographic channel. And in that sense, it is not ‘User Generated Content’. Thus, in spite of all the buzz around Web 2.0, I would not call Horizon Channel as ‘Web 2.0’. Yes, we have some elements of Web 2.0 (like unleashing of content i.e. our podcasts being accessed remotely on other partner sites and through RSS) and Wikis; but the content creation itself is very much traditional.

As bloggers, all three of us are familiar with content creation; especially with content created for the web (free, but likely to be advertisement sponsored).

So, the question we asked ourselves is: As content creators what should this venture look like? How would it be useful to our audience?

Here’s what it looks like:

a) We are launching Horizon Channel with two shows: Emerging Web and Mobile technologies with Ajit Jaokar and Communities Dominate Podcast with Alan Moore and Tomi Ahonen

b) What makes us different? In a nutshell, the content of our shows and the knowledge of our presenters.

And we have a great cast for the launch!

Rory Sutherland : Executive Creative Director and Vice-Chairman, OgilvyOne London and Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK giving us his views on the future of Digital communities

Jo Butler : Co-Director, Information Technology Research ISTG Group, Intel speaks to us about SOA/Web 2.0 and their applicability to Enterprises

Håkon Wium Lie : CTO Opera Software talks about the significance of Widgets

Peter Miles CEO SUBtv discussing youth, media and brands.

c) Our shows will always be free. They could be supported by advertisements or sponsored. We also syndicate our content at no cost to other sites which share our ethos.

d) We will also post the entire transcript of our podcast in a Wiki, which you can access from the site . You can comment on the transcript and interact with our show hosts

e) We are likely to have a European focus(but that may not be always the case)

f) Considering our background with Mobile technologies, we will be investing heavily into Mobile video podcasting : both creation using devices like Nokia N93 and also consumption on mobile devices.

We welcome your thoughts

Please see the Horizon Channel at www.horizonchannel.com or click on Horizon Channel.

Special thanks to Andrew Buonocore and Darren Michael of Podcast Generation for their hard work and support in making this happen!