Of typewriters, murder and DRM ..

murder she wrote.JPG

I have a very inquisitive, tech savvy five year old .. And there is a lot I pick up from his questions ..

There is a program on Sky TV called Murder She Wrote which has a distinct theme tune .. Murder She Wrote – Theme Song

Which he likes ..

One day as he watched the song ..He asked me ..

What’s that?

I listened – dreading the prospect of explaining the concept of ‘murder’ to a five year old ..

So, I asked him again .. What he meant ..

He said .. That black thing she is working on ..

Ohh .. It’s a typewriter .. (Relieved at not having to explain ‘murder’)

What’s it used for? He asked?

I said .. To write books .,. Because she is a famous author ..

Like you dadda .. :) (Which was nice!)

But then he continued sounding confused .. and asked Where is the screen?

It has no screen .. I said …

Oh ..

No screen ..

Then how does she email the document to her friends?

She does not .. I said ..

Oh .. sounding even more confused ..

It’s just paper .. like we get from a printer .. but with no screen and no email ..

Yes .. he nodded but clearly not impressed ..

Then his face brightened ..

She could scan it and send it? (he sees me scanning documents)


In retrospect, Explaining murder would have been easier .. :)

Apart from typewriters being out of fashion .. what does it tell us?

a) The younger generation does not see the need for paper(note to newspaper industry)

b) They will share content(value is in sharing)

c) They will find a way to share one way or the other (use of the scanner!). While protecting content may not be easy the good thing is – clearly even at age five he sees content as interconnected(and multiformat) and engages with the material far more than my generation ever did!

Image source:


Carnival of the mobilists no 183

Carnival of the mobilists no 183 Not many entries due to summer holidays I suspect but still good read as usual

MWC call for papers submission deadline fast approaching ..

as per previous post ..

MWC Barcelona 2010.JPG

Don’t miss the submission deadline for Mobile World Congress 2010 – Friday 24th July 2009

This year, the deadline for the call for papers for Mobile World Congress is a lot earlier as in next week!

Don’t miss this if you are interested

See link for Mobile World Congress – Barcelona 2010 – Call for papers to know more

Yahoo chief scientist for Mobile Marc Davis rumoured to leave Yahoo ..

Yahoo Marc Davis.JPG

Yahoo chief scientist for Mobile Marc Davis rumoured to leave Yahoo ..

I dont normally post about executive movements, but if this is true – its sad for Yahoo mobile.

I have known Marc for some time and respect his thinking a lot. We share similar research interests(especially on social networks and privacy) relating to my PhD.

If true, sad day for Yahoo mobile to be losing a person of this calibre

from techcrunch

991 followers on twitter and want to make that 1000 ..

991 followers on twitter and want to make that 1000 .. If interested can you follow me on twitter @AjitJaokar and help me get to 1000

Are you attending the verizon developer conference? happy to cross post …

are you attending the Verizon developer conference? If you are, I am happy to cross post your comments and views on OpenGardens. I am especially interested in devices, LTE and related themes

WOMMA MIA .. what happens when agencies try to create a framework for social media along the lines of Television ..

I have been following WOMMA(word of mouth marketing association), initially with some interest – but later with considerable scepticism.

Most notably of their desire to create a whole new lexicon for social media all starting with ‘W’ – ex WOM units(word of mouth) units; WOM episodes, WOMMY awards etc etc .. – to which I add my own WOMMA Mia! :)

A list of such ‘W’s is HERE(see pdf)

Despite talk of ethics, there is a dark side to this ..

It is an attempt to create a framework for ‘trading’ social media along the lines of television. (conversations are ‘episodes’ for example) with the hope that it will lead to smoke filled rooms for negotiating social media episode rights for advertising dollars.(and those ‘episodes’ are conversations between people like you and me!)

In other words, it attempts to create a framework / lexicon which suits advertisers BUT does not suit us(as individuals). I asked once before: The elephant in the room: Can agencies be a part Agency 2.0? and this would in turn create a role for the agencies in the social media space.

In contrast, networks like GLAM or FM publishing who originate from the social media space probably don’t need the agencies since they have their own social media networks and can bypass agencies directly.

Being a big fan of animation and cartoons, this addition of ‘W’ reminds me of a character called Elmer Fudd who replaces his Rs with Ws, so “Watch the road, Rabbit,” is replaced with “Watch the woad, wabbit!”

So, when I hear wommy awards, womm units wom episodes .. I think of this classic .. (listen to words like ‘Wabbit’, ‘waay’ etc etc)

So, to conclude:

I don’t have too high hopes for the WOMMA approach

I don’t see people using those terms(they suit Elmer fudd better!)

I don’t see what problem it solves for the customers

I see that it solves a problem for the agencies(aligning social media advertising with TV advertising)

But that means little to the rest of us ..

The reality for PR (with some excellent notable exceptions) is much closer to emails like this I receive below. This is a PR person from a public company … who thinks my blog is about ‘gardens’ :) ha ha! which means they have never seen it even once! I post the entire press release below to give them coverage for their repeated but misguided efforts :) (and they keep sending it to me a few times!) i.e. not a one off


Marshalls Make a Big Splash on

BBC TV Scotland’s Beechgrove Garden Programme

Leading UK hard landscaping manufacturing company Marshalls plc recently challenged Scotland’s premier TV garden show, Beechgrove Garden, to create a big splash to demonstrate the effectiveness of their domestic permeable paving.

To be aired on Wednesday 22nd July at 1930 hours on BBC1 Scotland (viewers south of the border digital channel 971), the step by step feature shows Marshalls installing one of its leading ranges of permeable paving, Drivesett Argent Priora. Then in a dramatic finish to the piece, the Beechgrove Garden team fill the bucket of a three ton dumper truck with water and tip it, all at once, on to the 40 square metre driveway.

This equates to approximately 1100 litres of water saturating the space, well in excess of a hundred year storm and all in just a few seconds!

Having only one chance to film the presenter’s true and honest reaction, Marshalls think it is fare to say the faces and images will say it all. Like magic, the water disappears as quickly as it appeared. Proving how simple and effective the Marshalls system is in times of light, heavy or even sustained rainfall and most importantly eliminating its run off in to our hard pressed drainage networks.

These kinds of volumes of water over large areas have now been recognised as contributing to the catastrophic flooding experienced in recent years throughout the UK in our urban areas. In fact, 95% of rainfall in built up areas finds its way quickly into the drainage system and adds to the risk of flooding in heavy downpours. This prompted the Government to introduce new Legislation (England & Wales Only) on developing a front garden area and why Beechgrove Garden asked Marshalls to demonstrate this innovative paving. The new legislation states:

‘The permitted development rights allowing householders to pave over their front garden for hardstanding without planning permission have changed. As of 1st October 2008 planning permission will be required to lay traditional impermeable driveways that allow uncontrolled runoff of rainwater from front gardens onto roads, because this can contribute to flooding and pollution of water courses. However, householders will not require planning permission if they use permeable paving, or have sufficient drainage or soak away to ensure run off from non-permeable surfaces does not go onto roads.’

Marshalls has a range of domestic permeable paving solutions that allow the infiltration of rainfall into the watercourse in a slow and measured way, as close as possible to the natural process of rain falling on undisturbed ground.

Tagged with the name of ‘Priora’ this paving is available in its leading block paving lines. The Priora blocks have a unique patented nib design around the outside of the block allowing water to disappear between the gaps it creates whilst still having all the proven qualities and robustness of a traditional Marshalls block paved driveway. These blocks are used in conjunction with specifically specified aggregates for the sub base. For additional hard standing Marshalls also has Grassgaurd, a permeable grass grid which allows grass to grow through it keeping a verdant outlook, but also more than capable of parking a car on.

However, the company does say, and it is recognised in the Legislation, that this kind of system is not suitable for all sites due to ground conditions – clay or heavy soil, where the land has a certain gradient which slopes towards the house, or even if it is below the water table. It also states the installation of a permeable driveway is not a DIY project, but a DIFM (Do it for Me) one. For the best advice Marshalls suggests speaking to an approved installer of permeable driveways.

Since the implementation of the Legislation Marshalls has trained over 315 companies throughout the UK (including Scotland) on its Register of Approved Landscape Contractors and Driveway Installers on how to fit its specific system. These independent companies abide by a strict code of conduct set by Marshalls and are regularly assessed on their quality of work. Details of an approved installer can be found at: www.marshalls.co.uk/transform.

This kind of commitment to quality, design and workmanship is expressed in Marshalls national Campaigning for ‘Better Landscapes’. A movement calling for both public and private bodies, as well as individuals, to seriously consider the societal and individual benefits of creating ‘better landscapes’ in our towns, cities, public spaces and our private gardens. The campaign urges us all to take positive action by engaging with the social, economic and environmental benefits and to make the purchasing decisions which deliver these benefits.

Beechgrove Garden is a Scottish gardening programme which sets out to deal with, glory in and celebrate Scottish horticulture and growing conditions. The programme is and always has been a firmly practical, get-your-hands-dirty programme and it proudly shows success, and learns from failures in the garden, and never takes itself too seriously.


Date: 17 June 2009

Notes to the Editor:

1. Marshalls plc is the UK’s leading manufacturer of superior natural stone and innovative concrete hard landscaping products, supplying the construction, home improvement and landscape markets. It provides the product ranges, design services, technical expertise, ideas and inspiration to transform gardens, drives and public and commercial landscapes.

2. Marshalls plc has one of its leading manufacturing facilities in Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland.

3. Marshalls has a bespoke Display Centre at Transformer House, Tophill Entry, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, FK2 7LW where people can see Marshalls’ garden and driveway products in real life settings. The centre is open in the summer seven days a week Mon to Sat: 9.30am – 5.30 pm and Sunday 10.30am – 5.30pm. Winter 10.00am – 4.00pm.

4. Attached is high resolution image of an installed Marshalls permeable driveway using Drivesett Argent Priora.

For further Information please contact:



Why can’t a tata nano like device appear in the mobile space?

I have always meant to ask this … and every time I see discussions about Nokia, their domniance of emerging markets and the significance of emerging markets to western mobile companies etc etc .. I have to ask myselves ..

Why cant a tata nano like device appear in the mobile space?

By that, I mean – A phone which is developed and re-engineered in emerging markets from scratch considering local needs

my initial comments:

for starters it is a supply chain issue but even then,

a) As devices become more complex, supply chain excellence is hard to achieve. And this is already happening even in emerging markets. People will no longer be satisfied with a simple device for connectivity and voice. They will want more. That means, the supply chain will become more complex

b) If we talking of simple devices, then why not a manufacturer from India, China, Brazil?

My personal view is:

a) The device ecosystem will become very fragmented with many new entrants

b) Companies and Operators will realise that (like the iPhone), they can make a lot of money by sellling a smaller number of devices but by adding services on top

c) I believe that Devices will become brands in combination with services (not companies but specific COMBINATIONS of devices and services)

But inspite of these views, I dont see why we cant have a manufacturer from an emerging market develop a device that suits emerging markets(and maybe even sell it to the west)


Browsers vs. native apps: Vic Gundotra’s comments – Ecosystems, HTML5 and Long tail ..

Vic Gundotra of Google raises the perennial question of Browser vs. Native apps.

To me, The question has always been: Who can create a viable ecosystem for third party developers? And specifically, can Google create a viable ecosystem around browser apps which the customers will like?

As regards creating ecosystems for NON browser apps ..

Apple can(and did!) – iPhone

Google tried(and could not so far) Android app store

Nokia also tried(and is still trying it) – Ovi

The Google comments(Vic Gundotra at mobilebeat) – are to do with html5

The real qs is: Can Google(or anyone) create an ecosystem around html5?

Creating an ecosystem in the mobile domain is hard.

The questions are:

a) what is the business model for the carriers?

b) What is the business model for the developers

c) What is the value proposition for the customers?

d) What is the business model for the device?

Note that the debate (as it is discussed today) is largely about LONG TAIL apps(since long tail apps can be most easily deployed on the appstore). The question is not about services vs. appstores(since services can be deployed at many other points in the device/network)

So, with that perspective

a) customers benefit from long tail apps since it suits their specific needs best

b) developers need a viable ecosystem for long tail apps (including device discovery and payment models)

c) Devices can leverage their own brand – leverage the carrier’s brand depending on strategy and use appstores for differentiation

d) carriers – can benefit by deploying long tail apps assuming that they can create a viable ecosystem(either on their own or with a partnership)

So, the question comes down to – Can Google create a viable ecosystem for HTML5(web) apps leveraging the Web?

To do so, it has to do complete two missing links in the current ecosystem

a) Discovery and

b) Billing

so, for HTML5

a) Can we have a web based application discovery (both on the Web and on mobile?)

b) Can we have billing through the Web?

The answer to both seems to be Yes.

However, Can WEB apps be easily discovered from the mobile device(ideally from the first screen) – Remember, the iPhone has set a high bar for the customers – you would need AT LEAST iPhone functionality and ideally beyond. Hence, device discovery is important

The iPhone does not do many NEW things.

It simply brings many existing things together in a simple ecosystem for the customers

So, can we have discovery and one click payment for web apps on the device from the first screen?

There is a whole move(not just from Google) to create a Web OS

The Web OS + Cloud + HTML5? Can that work for mobile? Possibly – but still some way to go especially on the device side

So, if somehow Google(or someone else) would get on device discovery and payment for Web apps then this would work very well for web apps

But the question is not technological. It is one of ecosystem creation

One thing we have to say about Google, Google is committed to the Web and the Mobile Web. It is prepared to take the leadership in areas like HTML5(where it so lacked from the W3c) and run with it.

That can only be a good thing for the industry as a whole


@eortiz says: We could use a desktop/web-based interface to easily filter, search, select and push applications to the phone

I agree .. that would be fascinating and PRO web .. it could also work well.

As an extension, could work via a Cloud(not just desktop)

GSMA embedded mobile initiative

GSMA Embedded Mobile initiative.JPG

I believe that LTE will help Operators to truly innovate .. and I am following GSMA embedded mobile initiative program with interest and going forward in an LTE world, I believe this program will play an important role.

Program overview

In anticipation of the next wave of revenue-generating services, members of the GSMA’s Board and Strategy Committee launched an internal review of the market for new devices and services at the GSMA’s 2008 Board Meeting in Cairo. The lead sponsors for this project were KTF (South Korea) and Softbank (Japan).

One of the key study conclusions concerns the fact that there is an important role for the mobile industry to generate awareness of new solutions and usage scenarios, and to facilitate the development of highly-scalable and lower-cost devices.

More at .. GSMA embedded mobile initiative program

and while we are at it .. Don’t miss the submission deadline for Mobile World Congress 2010 – Friday 24th July 2009