Some very smart people whose thinking I follow and the best one line description of Heisenberg’s theory I have ever seen ..

I spent the last week in Washington DC at the at the transatlantic week in Washington DC. It was an occasion to meet some very clued on folk I have the had the pleasure of knowing for a while.

Recommend you follow them on their blogs/twitter etc:

MEP James Elles,



Prof Jun murai father of the Japanese Internet

US CTO @AneeshChopra

Prof Greg morrisett of Harvard

MEP pilar del castillo vera

Peter Linton – EIF

Cristina Monti – EIF

Craig Mundie Microsoft

Prof John Wood

Erika Mann


Dr Jim Foster

And this is cool ..

I have had the pleasure of speaking with Prof John Wood at previous occasions and it was great to meet him again this week

In his talk, he had probably the best one like description of Heinsenberg‘s Uncertainty Principle ..

When he said it, I had to write it down .. and here it is ..

If you know where you are AND if you know where you are going THEN you don’t know where you are!

Ha ha!

Anyway, it was a great event with lots to learn!

Good news for Japan but bad news for LiMo? Japanese phone makers to develop new operating system AND open it to the world

musical chairs for mobile platforms.jpg

I have long been very pessimistic of Japanese mobile strategy since I did not see how it could translate outside of Japan.

However, this is great news for Japan, the industry and the ecosystem

Japan’s four leading mobile phone makers are teaming up with NTT DoCoMo Inc. to develop the operating system for DoCoMo’s next-generation mobile phones, due to be released next year, the Nikkei reported Sunday. The new operating system will, in principle, be used in all of DoCoMo’s next-generation handsets. It will be optimized for video and music use. The six partners will also market the software overseas, hoping to take away market share from Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

The ‘market the software overseas’ bit could be very interesting indeed ..

Let’s see what that could mean

Software platforms are open sourced in most cases. Where they were not( ex – windows mobile), the strategy seems to be now leaning to launch a device + platform as in case of windows. So, it is an acknowledgement that value has shifted away from the platform.

Like the game of musical chairs, the players are aligning themselves very clearly with some unique advantages. The last one standing may be at risk!

a) Symbian has Nokia and Ovi. That’s always its strength

b) Android has Google who continues to invest and contribute. It also has a great developer ecosystem which will be an asset to any Operator

c) BONDI has tied up with WAC

d) MSFT has launched devices

That leaves LiMo in the game of musical chairs.

Why is LiMo vulnerable?

No clear developer program to date, Not clear about APIs still(how they can be accessed), Not clear who will contribute(Samsung etc have launched BADA) are three reasons

I like the Japanese announcement for a number of reasons – ex if the Japanese experience in content, codecs, LTE etc can be encapsulated in the form of a great platform, that’s VERY good for the industry. Japan also has a history of building an ecosystem(with DoCoMo).

This platform could thus challenge even Android(in due course as devices are deployed) but in the immediate term could directly impact LiMo

The debacle of Palm teaches us that the rate of change has increased dramatically and as we see today, once again the game of musical chairs shifts again

At the transatlantic week in Washington DC

transtlantic week.jpg

Most of this week, I am in Washington DC at the Transatlantic week as part of the team from the EU(yes we finally made it inspite of the Volcano!)

It has a very impressive set of speakers from policy and industry including speaker of the US house of representatives Nancy Pelosi , MEP James Elles Microsoft Chief research officer Craig Mundie and many others

It is nice to be invited to this event as part of the EU team and I hope I can provide a synopsis of the wide range of tech policy issues being discussed.

Twitter Acquires Cloudhopper, Looks To Become Highest Volume SMS Program Worldwide

VERY interesting acquisition! makes one of my previous posts very prophetic!

Twitter Acquires Cloudhopper, Looks To Become Highest Volume SMS Program Worldwide

Is this a new twitter business model

I am watching this development with great interest!

Carnival of the mobilists no 220 at radvision

A belated post. Carnival of the mobilists no 220 at radvision. No 220! wow. I remember the first ones. What an achievement by the collaborators!

Happy St George’s day

happy st georges day.jpg

A Happy St George’s day for England!

Image source:

Volcanic ash IS injurious to a plane’s health: Let us not blame the scientists

volcanic ash is disruptive to a planes health.jpg

It is appalling to see how the media and the airline industry lobbyists are blaming the scientists for the air traffic disruption from the volcanic ash

There are predictable calls for subsidies and Ryanair said it will not reimburse passengers costs beyond refunding initial fares.

Two thoughts come to mind

a) Why are mobile phones banned on planes even when they are on the ground? Apparently, the reason is – the equipment on planes has not been tested against mobile radiation i.e. in the strictest sense every component on a plane needs to be tested for impact of radiation from phones(which is not practical to do especially for older planes). Now, consider volcanic ash – a far more disruptive element especially considering the nature of the eruption.

Nothing has been tested under these conditions and there is a well known case of all four engines of a 747 stalling under similar conditions.

Hence, caution is justified. And yet, there are calls to say that the airspace should have been opened up sooner mainly from people who have a commercial interest with potentially little understanding of the science behind it

b) Secondly, in the recent Italian earthquake in La quila, a scientist had accurately predicted the earthquake almost to the hour by monitoring radon gas emissions.

These warnings were ignored with tragic consequences.

There is a lesson here ..

Don’t blame/ ignore the scientists just because the industry and the lobbyists can shout louder.

Yes, volcanic ash IS injurious to a plane’s health.

See pictures of damaged engine parts from BA 9 due to volcanic ash on display at Auckland Museum.

Think of this picture every time you hear the airline industry and media blame the scientists!

IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani said.

“For an industry that lost $9.4bn last year and was forecast to lose a further $2.8bn in 2010, this crisis is devastating,” IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani said. “Airspace was being closed based on theoretical models, not on facts.”

I would be interested to know what ‘facts’ IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani had about the impact of large scale volcanic eruptions on air traffic.

Meanwhile, the above image IS a fact! I will think of it on my next flight! So should you!

And here is an illustruation of the 747 in 1982 losing all four engines due to volcanic ash(the ‘fire’ around the plane is St Elmo’s fire effect)

British airways volcanic ash.jpg

and another image which shows the dangers to jet engines source BBC

impact of volcanic ash on planes.jpg

Image sources: wikipedia

Is this a new twitter business model

Since twitter business models are in the air and being discussed at the Chirp conference, .. here is a proposed model ..

If I send a direct message tweet starting with ‘S ‘ (s space’), then I want that tweet to be converted to an SMS to the person being sent the message to.

This has some interesting implications and value for customers since it converts the urgent tweet to SMS

secondly(and independently)

I was thinking that how would we get @twittername into HTML itself ie in twitter if I put @AjitJaokar then it translates to but to make this as a part of generic web – how would that go about?

I am aware of the non-open nature of Twitter etc, but still the question bears thinking about since Twitter has become so pervasive

Update ..

Interestingly prophetic post!

I see on April 23: Twitter Acquires Cloudhopper, Looks To Become Highest Volume SMS Program Worldwide

No one ever built a monument to a committee – Jack Daniels ad on London underground ..

I love this ad!

Not many references on the web at all .. wonder if anyone else thought it was impressive ..

No one ever built a monument to a committee – Jack Daniels ad on London underground ..

No one ever built a monument to a committee.jpg

Nick Clegg and the new politics of collaboration


Last night, we had for the first time in the UK a televised debate from the leaders of the three main political parties . Like most people, I thought Nick Clegg of the Liberal democrats stole the show. Gordon Brown looked tired and David Cameron was not the best on the day.

This is all fine.

However, there was one important difference.

And interestingly enough, at least one comment on the BBC website seems to have spotted that (emphasis mine) – comment no 5

Nick Clegg was the only person who talked about working across parties to solve some of society’s big problems. This is the kind of mature grown up politics we need to deal with our current problems. It is time to end this 2 party state. This isn’t a country that has to be either run by Labour or Tory. There is another way, and I and many other voters would like to see an electoral system that recognises the share of votes in this country once and for all.

Nick Clegg was the only person who talked about working across parties to solve some of society’s big problems.

Why is this important?

Collaboration could be far more important than we think in future

I know Don Tapscott, author of wikinomics – how mass collaboration changes everything from the world economic forum where we are both members.

I was discussing the future of government with Don and others at the last WEF meeting I attended and Don does a lot of cutting edge work in this space. One of the insights for collaboration I gained from wikinomics is: Collaboration is becoming pervasive. By extension, it is a key part of government going forward. Hence, the ability (and willingness) displayed by Nick Clegg in working with others across the party spectrum may be an asset rather than a liability

Indeed, the ability to collaborate may be a requirement for politicians going forward ..

Ironically, many don’t get it ..

The city thinks that a coalition government would be a liability rather than an asset and the pound actually fell on the popularity of Nick Clegg

But even the city may need to adjust its thinking more to a new way of grassroots driven political landscape which we saw first in the USA and we may well see here in the form of a government based on collaboration.

This should not surprise us. It is, after all, an impact of the Internet. Media fragments. So do votes.

This means we are likely to see cross party issue based collaboration and that’s good. Currently, only Nick Clegg seems to have sensed that.

PS: I admit I did not watch the entire debate, because it clashed with other important programs :)

Image source: wikinomics