Carnival of the mobilists No 130 at Andrew Grill’s blog ..

Carnival of the mobilists No 130 is at Andrew Grill’s blog . Well worth reading as usual

Good white paper from Xtract about advertising and social intelligence ..

Good white paper from Xtract about advertising and social intelligence. Link is HERE

The latest MIT Technology Review also talks about challenges of advertising in social media and about new solutions to really monetize communities.

Book review: Next generation wireless applications by Paul Golding

I have recommended Paul Golding’s books in the past – and his new book Next generation wireless applications is also highly recommended.

Very few people can write a book of 600 pages on this topic .. and Paul is certainly one of those. It covers considerable technical depth and with an emphasis on new technologies like Mobile TV, coverage of both Mobile Web and Java applications development(including MIDP 3.0), emphasis on IMS, network elements including wimax, HSDPA etc

I have used the first version of this book as a reference book – and the same goes with this version.

The book is oriented to the relatively novice reader to orientate themselves in the mobile applications landscape in terms of technologies. It is also primarily oriented from the Operator perspective with chapters like ‘Becoming an Operator 2.0′. In doing so, it is one of the few books that span the Internet and the telecoms technologies

The book is overwhelmingly about IP-related technologies used across the mobile-data network end-to-end.

There are generally two-levels of books

1. About mobile applications themselves from the industry trends, concepts and paradigms perspective

2. Technical books about software (e.g. developer books) or networks

Paul’s book is a systems level book somewhere between these two levels. It is based on the diagram of the ecosystem in the form of concentric rings (below) and the book then proceeds to cover the technologies in each layer extensively in 600 pages …


I would have no hesitation in recommending this book and I hope you like it as well.

Trusted flash?

Any views on Trusted flash? Is anyone using in?

My first impressions – it is content centric – so if it is only content then its media, movies etc etc .. this will face customer resistance .. Secure apps are more interesting(NFC for example) than secure content(which is more of interest to media companies)

From the link above ..

TrustedFlash™ Security Technology Platform

Create. Protect. Enjoy.

A N Y W H E R E™

The TrustedFlash platform, powered by TrustedFlash security technology, signals a new world of premium, digital content mobility using flash memory where protection and seamless portability go hand in hand. The TrustedFlash Forum gathers together leading companies within the mobile community who recognize the value to themselves and to users of a thriving ecosystem to support this platform.

The TrustedFlash platform is based on data-centric, rather than device-centric, security. This unique approach lets users access all of their data whether premium content, applications or service-related on any of their TrustedFlash-enabled devices. Now users can enjoy their music, videos, global positioning system (GPS) applications, games, mobile TV and e-Commerce applications on any of their TrustedFlash-enabled MP3/MP4 players, handsets, GPS stations and portable media players (PMP). A secure, multi-vendor environment gives them the freedom to download their data of choice from multiple providers, instead of only from a single provider. Now users can access all of their premium content/services on any of their mobile handsets within the operator’s network.

TrustedFlash security technology is at the heart of the TrustedFlash security platform. It securely stores sensitive digital data and applications on flash media, extending the trusted environment to include Secure Digital (SD™) cards, microSD™ cards, high-capacity SIM cards, USB flash drives and embedded flash drives. Built on international standards for cryptography and authentication, TrustedFlash security technology supports a variety of digital rights management (DRM) formats. It is comprised of these basic building blocks:

* Secure key session: random key encryption during data routing to/from the TrustedFlash-enabled device, multiple secure sessions, multiple simultaneous applications.

* Content encryption: TrustedFlash internal hidden keys, state-of-the-art cryptographic processor (RNG, AES, DES, 3DES, SHA1 Hash, PKI, key pair generation), on-the-fly encryption/decryption, advanced PKI and Trusted Time System.

* Multiple partitions: secure and public with on-the-fly dynamic allocation, hidden partition visible only to authenticated application, full integrity between discrete partitions.

* Secure storage modes

o TrustedFlash Playback: only authorized application can read the TrustedFlash encrypted content.

o DRM agnostic card: rights objects (ROs) are encrypted with TrustedFlash security keys and stored with the associated content in TrustedFlash-enabled device.

o TrustedFlash Playback + DRM: encrypted content and RO are encrypted internally with TrustedFlash security keys.

* Secure execution environment: customized card applications, install/uninstall/browse card applications, standard card applications such as one time password (OTP), multiple DRM scheme support, conditional access system (CAS), secure interoperable personal video recorder (PVR), preloaded secure content.

* Scalable platform, storage and security: Secure memory platform that can be extended with more storage and applications, choice of multiple protection levels that can be implemented per content/application.

Contact us for further information: in[email protected]

View Frequently Asked Questions about the TrustedFlash security technology and platform.

iphone vs. Symbian vs. Android vs. Limo vs. Ovi : We cannot compare an ecosystem with an operating system

The big news of this week was the open sourcing of the Symbian operating system. Having now had some time to think of this .. here are some more thoughts about this rather unexpected but seminal opengardens development


The title of this blog shows how often people compare the proverbial apples and oranges. It is not possible to compare Symbian vs. Android; or Symbian vs. iPhone .. because it is not possible to mix operating systems with ecosystems

iPhone, Ovi and Android are ecosystems. In contrast, Symbian and Limo are operating systems or Operating system consortia.

Thus, iPhone vs. Android vs. Ovi is a valid comparison(three ecosystems) as is Limo vs. Symbian(two operating systems) .. but NOT Android vs. Limo(an ecosystem vs. and operating system) .. and (not yet) Android vs. Symbian

By including the iPhone in this mix, you can see that I value the ecosystem vs. the operating system – and that is correct. If anything, the Symbian announcement shows conclusively that the mobile operating system is a commodity .. even when Symbian has shipped 150 million devices with annual revenue of £195 million, at £210 million – the Nokia deal values Symbian at only two times the revenue.

Now, let us consider the question of Open source ..


Open source conjures up images of geeks working late into the night for altruistic reasons and for peer recognition .. Indeed that’s one component of the story – and it is also the motivation behind the original success of Linux on the PC. However, there is another angle here .. companies are getting into the Open source play in a big way – i.e. creating code and then open sourcing it under specific open source licences(the license itself matters a lot and for a greater discussion of this issue see the blog Open source vs. Open Standards – complementing or competing?

There are many prominent examples of this approach .. Apple(and then Nokia) with Webkit, IBM with Apache, IBM(subsequently) with Linux

And why will companies give away code for free ..

Because everyone benefits if we have interoperable systems(i.e. no one driver for the code base) BUT at the same time – we will find that competitive advantage can be maintained depending on which open source license you adopt(see the link Open source vs. Open Standards – complementing or competing? above to see how Android exploits this idea brilliantly)

However, when it comes to Open source on mobile devices, we have yet another factor which comes into play i.e. the BOM(Bill of material) of the device. Software can play a part in reducing the Bill of materials (i.e. the combined hardware and software cost) – especially if it is modularised. This was the original reason why Linux was ported to mobile devices and also explains the rise of specialist Linux integration vendors like windriver

Thus, there are two audiences – developers and device manufacturers. It is debatable how many developers will benefit from an open source Symbian(or will toil through the night contributing code to it). The real question is – how many NEW device manufacturers will take up Symbian as an Operating system.


I believe that the biggest impact of this announcement will be on LIMO since it directly correlates to Symbain(in contrast to Android which is an ecosystem). Indeed LIPS(another Linux consortium) has folded up after this announcement into LIMO and interestingly Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi dismisses LiMo as a major factor and calls it a PR machine.

Symbian is tested. It is now open source. It is familiar to developers. It is a safer bet if you want a pure OS.

The Jury is out – but the real question is – how many more device manufacturers will take up Symbian as an Operating system? How modularised is it for an OEM vendor(say from Taiwan) to take up and deploy? Etc etc.

In the blog Crossing the chasm with Android , I said that the key benefit of Android will be the emergence of new entrants into the devices market. In that sense, the Symbian announcement is good because it will allow more players to enter the devices space. Even then, we need to see more from Nokia. Symbian is not yet an ecosystem (like Android or even Ovi). It is merely an operating system.


Ultimately, not just the operating systems but the device itself may become commoditised. This is ironic since devices will become even more important – both for customers and for brands. However, they will also become cheaper, commoditised and modularised. Of all the companies, Nokia knows this best and for a year now Nokia has been busy reinventing itself as an Internet company – a truly far sighted vision that is paying off big time now. For the same reason Ovi is more relevant than Symbian / LiMo foundation and one to watch over time.

Indeed I see many more devices(from many more vendors) who will enter this space.

Interestingly, the LIMO foundation press release about the Symbian announcement says

We welcome the formation of Symbian Foundation as it follows behind the pioneering direction of LiMo Foundation which recognizes that the industry must coalesce on far fewer handset OS’s in order that innovation can be unblocked and far better propositions brought to consumers.

I disagree with this. I actually don’t think we are coalescing around fewer devices. Instead I see MANY more devices which will be launched and that’s a good thing.

The most common question developers ask is: How do I get this service on to phones? With many new entrants, the possibility of getting a service on a phone increases. At the moment, there are really only four device manufacturers(Samsung LG Nokia and Sony Ericsson) + Motorola (with its status in balance). If we see many more device vendors, that is a good thing. Indeed 3D holograms from Infosys and the award winning Gemalto’s smart card web server(pdf)

could be their own ‘devices’ i.e. if the device becomes cheap then we could model the device around a specific development(like SCWS)


Contrary to media comparisons, I believe that Google is addressing a fundamentally different problem to most other people(including Nokia). It is addressing the problem of making Web services usable on mobile devices(mostly existing Google services like mail and maps).

This needs advertising support simply because there is no other revenue model that can work. Why? Because the information is available mostly for free on the Web(or we have services like email which are also free on the Web). It is not possible to charge a premium for this service just because it is ‘mobile’(A lesson which many in the mobile industry doggedly refuse to accept!). (You see the same problems with companies that try to monetise mobile widgets). Instead, the service becomes free and ad funded.

And Android has been designed from the ground up to achieve this goal(i.e. within every element of the stack) and has features like XMPP integrated into it XMPP (features which have no parallels in an integrated manner currently). And is modularised. This strategy will pay dividends depending on how many people are addicted to Google web apps(and I am!) and will want them on mobile devices – a trend I explored in a blog called Am I the only one who uses Gmail with Blackberry .. and what does it say for mobile apps ..


So, if the OS is free, the devices are free .. etc etc .. where is the money going to come from? The answer lies in understanding the behaviour of the PC/Web software industry. I come from a background of PeopleSoft(now Oracle corporation) prior to mobile – and Oracle continues to make lots of money – not from software but from services(more than half it’s revenue) and UBS analyst Heather Bellini calls Oracle a ‘profit machine’

I see the same trend on mobile devices. As devices and systems software becomes cheap(like on the PC) but ironically more complex, applications and services will drive most of the revenue. These could be advertising but also subscription services(including some form of tech support/ insurance etc)


Let me conclude this article by mentioning the impact of Dr Irving Wladawsky-Berger – a great unsung hero in my view for Open source movement

Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger of IBM has done more than anyone else to adopt the ideas of open source to companies – analogous to what Linus Torvalds did for Linux in the Operating system domain. Although I have never had the pleasure of meeting Dr Berger .. he has an infrequent but insightful blog HERE which I recommend you follow . Today, as a result of that vision from some corporate pioneers like Irving Wladawsky-Berger – we see a unique and a vibrant ecosystem – not dominated by a company, or by governments.

Indeed, that’s the reason I have always said that the market will develop differently in Europe, North America and many other places in comparison to Japan and Korea and inspite of early advantages .. Europe and North America will be the leaders for Mobile applications that also span the Web.

Here is a section from an interview with Irving which shows a pragmatic vision to open source – and over the years it has given rise to a whole ecosystem as we see today in the mobility space.


TG: Sun has committed to releasing all of its code as open source. Do you think IBM will do the same?

IW-B: I don’t think so, because I honestly don’t think everybody wants to see all your code. Remember, the key to open source is not the ability to see the open software, it’s the forming of a community around it that will participate in its development and its maintenance.

You cannot go in your closet and look for old code and throw it out there and tell people to form a community around it. They may say, Irving, that’s legacy code that we have zero interest in working on. We continue to open source quite a bit of code, but we are fairly selective, and we work very closely with communities to decide whether to open source or not.


Open source and open standards will lead the way – and may it so remain! We are seeing the fulfillment of a trend which began about a decade ago .. and it is proving very disruptive in the mobile domain – as Android and the Symbian announcement continue to demonstrate

Also see

Crossing the Chasm with Android

Open source vs. Open Standards – complementing or competing?

iPod fairy tales 2.0


Why are kids’ stories so outdated?

I have a five year old son who is VERY technology savvy (His second word was ‘Gagga’ – which turns out to be ‘Google’!!).

I was reading Jack and the beanstalk to him – and in it he encountered a harp .

What is a harp? He wanted to know?

I told him it is a musical instrument.

I tried to elaborate. I said – ‘Music plays from it’ .

He thought for a minute – and his face brightened as he asked Like the ipod?

Well .. Yes .. I said. Of course he is very familiar with the ipod, but has no clue what a Harp is.

After hunting for a harp for a long time .. he suggested that maybe we can find it on Google images? And there we found one!

The point illustrates a key trend .. If anything needs a 2.0 version, it is fairy tales!

The wording of Jack and the Beanstalk reads as follows!

Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!??

I smell the blood of an Englishman.

Be he ‘live, or be he dead,

I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.

Just how do we explain this wording to a five year old? Who by the way happens to be an ‘Englishman’ at birth(unlike me who is a naturalised British citizen).

Give me fairy tales about the iPod any day!

Image source:

.mobi in the world of new changes from ICANN

My first impression as I read the ICANN announcement .. – what is the future of .mobi in this world?

With so many domain types – wont it be confusing? Will people bother to ‘bid’ for more?

Will we see new arrivals (for instance .mobileafrica to denote African mobile sites)?

Do we take it that ICANN sees a new business model here? This announcement is not as rosy as it sounds

From the BBC link above


It is not a view shared by everyone. Many businesses have pointed out that the new system could be very costly.

“The major issue with the potentially large number of new TLDs is going to be for brand owners who will want to protect their trademarks,” said Mr Eggensperger.

“For a major pharmaceutical business, the cost of registering all of their trademarks when a new trademark is released runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Others point out that some generic domain names – such as .news or .sport – could become subject to contention and a bidding war.

Icann has said that it was “aware of all of the concerns” and that it had “considered them very carefully”.


Infosys – Holographic mobile handsets

With the renewed interest in user interfaces after the launch of the iPhone, this is an interesting announcement from Infosys about the development of Holographic mobile handsets specifically the use of Fourier transforms to compute the third dimension.

As Indian companies become multinationals and grow beyond their traditional domains of expertise, we can expect to see more such developments from innovative Indian companies

Infosys press release here

As per cnet

Holographic mobile handsets capable of projecting, capturing, and sending 3D images have been developed by Indian tech giant Infosys.

By 2010, the devices will routinely beam 3D films, games, and virtual goods into our laps, according Infosys, which has patented the handset.

The portable machines will capture and send 3D snapshots of the surrounding world, helping accident investigators, teachers, and doctors work remotely by instantly relaying realistic depictions of car damage, injuries, medical scans, or educational aids.

The powerful onboard processor on the Infosys machine would build a series of 2D shots taken, for example, from a digital camera, into 3D holograms using algorithms called ‘Fourier’ transformations to calculate the extra third dimension.

The patent, granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, says this allows complex 3D holographic images to be squeezed through the narrow pipes of existing communications networks by sending only the unprocessed data to be translated into the 3D hologram at the other end.

Infosys’ device will be able to both send and receive these 3D images, displaying them using a projector with a laser source and micro holographic optical elements lenses.

The global 3D screen market is forecast by the industry to grow to 8.1 million units by 2010.

“Holographic handsets have the capability of enriching the user experience with an actual 3D experience and higher-quality images,” an Infosys representative said. “This gives users a more realistic experience in areas like gaming, medicine, movies etc.”

She said the technology would enable 3D images to be displayed without losing resolution, something that is not possible using current 3D technology such as stereoscopic displays.

source: cnet

Symbian on the way to being Open sourced ..

This is very interesting ..

Mores so because like Android (which was under an Apache license) this initiative is under the eclipse license . Both these licenses are good for commercial development in my view(i.e. changes you make need not be released back – thus providing commercial incenctive for developers to build their own applications). See Open source vs. Open Standards – complementing or competing? to put this in context and especially the reference to the Apache license

However, open source itself is not significant. what is needed(from Nokia) is to create the equivalant of an iPhone commercial ecosystem – which is the missing link at the moment. However, this is a good development for the ecosystem in general

Mobile leaders to unify the Symbian software platform and set the future of mobile free

June 24, 2008(source Nokia

Foundation to be established to provide royalty-free open platform and accelerate innovation

London, UK – Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and NTT DOCOMO announced today their intent to unite Symbian OS(TM), S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) to create one open mobile software platform. Together with AT&T, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone they plan to establish the Symbian Foundation to extend the appeal of this unified software platform. Membership of this non-profit Foundation will be open to all organizations. This initiative is supported by current shareholders and management of Symbian Limited, who have been actively involved in its development. Plans for the Foundation have already received wide support from other industry leaders.

To enable the Foundation, Nokia today announced plans to acquire the remaining shares of Symbian Limited that Nokia does not already own and then contribute the Symbian and S60 software to the Foundation. Sony Ericsson and Motorola today announced their intention to contribute technology from UIQ and DOCOMO has also indicated its willingness to contribute its MOAP(S) assets. From these contributions, the Foundation will provide a unified platform with common UI framework. A full platform will be available for all Foundation members under a royalty-free license, from the Foundation’s first day of operations.

Contributions from Foundation members through open collaboration will be integrated to further enhance the platform. The Foundation will make selected components available as open source at launch. It will then work to establish the most complete mobile software offering available in open source. This will be made available over the next two years and is intended to be released under Eclipse Public License (EPL) 1.0.

The Foundation’s platform will build on the leading open mobile software platform, with more than 200 million phones, across 235 models, already shipped by multiple vendors and tens of thousands of third-party applications already available for Symbian OS-based devices.

“Ten years ago, Symbian was established by far sighted players to offer an advanced open operating system and software skills to the whole mobile industry”, said Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian. “Our vision is to become the most widely used software platform on the planet and indeed today Symbian OS leads its market by any measure. Today’s announcement is a bold new step to achieve that vision by embracing a complete and proven platform, offered in an open way, designed to stimulate innovation which is at the heart of everything we do.”

“Establishing the Foundation is one of the biggest contributions to an open community ever made,” said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia. “Nokia is a strong supporter of open platforms and technologies as they give the freedom to build, maintain and evolve applications and services across device segments and offer by far the largest ecosystem, enabling rapid innovation. Today’s announcement is a major milestone in our devices software strategy.”

“The complete, consistent platform that the Foundation plans to provide will allow manufacturers to focus on their unique differentiation at a device level” said Dick Komiyama, President of Sony Ericsson. “Sony Ericsson believes that the unified Symbian Foundation platform will greatly simplify the world for handset manufacturers, operators and developers, enabling greater innovation in services and applications to the benefit of consumers everywhere.”

“Motorola has long been a leader and advocate of open software for mobile platforms. We’re excited to be joining Nokia, Sony Ericsson, NTT DOCOMO and others in leading this open source effort to form the new Symbian Foundation and unite the Symbian ecosystem,” said Alain Mutricy, Senior Vice President, Platforms & Technology Office, Motorola Mobile Devices. “Also, Motorola, together with Sony Ericsson, will be contributing UIQ technology to the Foundation and will work with UIQ as they are refocusing as an important supplier in the new Symbian ecosystem. This will be a great addition, as the Foundation will be able to leverage UIQ’s unique experience, which includes expertise in touch technology.”

“DOCOMO welcomes this development and we look forward to moving our Symbian based devices and service onto the Foundation platform. We are also willing to contribute our MOAP(S) assets to the Foundation. This is a very positive step in further increasing the adoption of the Symbian software and creating an even more open, consistent and complete platform. The Foundation software will enable us to enjoy the benefits of a global platform in bringing new, leading-edge services to the Japanese market. It will increase efficiency and help us provide our wide customer base with the most advanced mobile experiences.” said Toshio Miki, Associate Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Communication Device Development Department of NTT DOCOMO.

“Mobile phones have turned into sophisticated multimedia computers and smart phones continue to grow in popularity,” said Kris Rinne, Senior Vice President of Architecture and Planning at AT&T. “The Symbian Foundation will reduce fragmentation in the industry and holds the promise of incorporating leading technology and the most mature software into a unified platform for the entire industry. This will create an environment that will encourage and enable developers to build compelling applications that will positively affect our customers’ lives and support AT&T in offering its differentiated services to consumers.”

“Joining the Symbian Foundation is an ideal opportunity for LG to broaden our commitment to providing our customers with the best possible mobile experience” said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We believe that open mobile platforms will contribute to advance the mobile industry. At LG we will play a leading role in creating a better mobile environment, working with the Symbian Foundation to provide our customers with smart new features based on this open platform.”

“Samsung Electronics is committed to Symbian as one of the future platforms for our mobile devices and believes that establishing the Foundation is a visionary move in positioning the platform as a proven open platform for future development. We are delighted to be playing a significant role in that future by joining the Foundation board. We have already used Symbian and S60 software successfully to deliver appealing devices and see these steps making the platform even more attractive for bringing the latest technologies and services to the market” said Dr. Do Hun Kwon, VP & Managing Director, Samsung Electronics Research Institute.

“ST sees strong consumer demand, across all segments, for a richer multimedia experience,” said Monica de Virgiliis, General Manager of the Wireless Multimedia Division, STMicroelectronics. “This new foundation synchronizes and harmonizes the mainstream software approach to address this need and makes the software widely available. We anticipate this will fuel the growth of multimedia-capable devices and we are excited about being able to leverage our long-standing leadership in consumer digital multimedia to satisfy more and more consumers.”

“TI has long supported open platforms, and we are excited about the formation of the Symbian Foundation. We believe the new structure will remove barriers to innovation in the mobile industry by providing a common platform on which exciting next-generation applications and services can be built,” said Greg Delagi, senior vice president of TI’s Wireless Business Unit. “Manufacturers can get a head-start on development with TI’s proven OMAP-based Symbian S60 software development platform. Combined with the Foundation’s open collaboration model, this will allow more developers to harness the performance and multimedia capabilities of the OMAP family to accelerate improvements in the mobile user experience.”

“Vodafone believes this is a significant step in driving mobile innovation for the Internet as well as creating a richer mobile experience for our customers” said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone’s Global Director of Terminals. “We have been challenging the industry to reduce complexity and focus on fewer operating systems. This step will help to drive even faster innovation, as well as enable operators to accelerate time-to-market for compelling and varied new services.”

Foundation members share the vision that the Foundation will unify the software platform, supercharge innovation and accelerate the availability of new services and compelling experiences for consumers and business users around the world. The combined platform is already one of the most advanced and widely used mobile platforms, making it highly attractive for all ecosystem partners, including developers, mobile operators, content and service providers and device manufacturers.

The Foundation is expected to start operating during the first half of 2009, subject to the closing of the acquisition of Symbian Ltd by Nokia.

Venue in San Francisco in Sep for one day


I am looking for a venue in San Francisco in Sep for one day for a mobile related event for about 100 people. Any suggestions – please contact me at ajit.jaokar at kind rgds Ajit