Sunday, June 19, 2005

Long way to go for mass market VoIP

Originally uploaded by cape.

latest research shows even in most advanced marketing, ie. US where you have Vonage, cable companies and telcos spenind $$ millions on marketing - 40% of people still have not even heard of VoIP - big opportunity for those that can hold out

Mauritius to become one big wi-fi hotspot

Citywide mesh networks, nabled by folks like Tropos are becoming all the rage for vote-grabbing and savvy local politicians. They have been much discussed by the very smart Kevin Werbach.

Kevin's now native is Philadelphia looking to deploy citywide free public wi-fi, and it becoming common place in Asia, how long before an island nation entered the game - thank you, Mauritius :)

"Mauritius is about to stake a new claim to fame. By year's end, or soon afterward, it is expected to become the world's first nation with coast-to-coast wireless Internet coverage, the first country to become one big "hot spot."

Now imagine Skype wifi phones and you really have an island paradise.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Europe's getting ready to create global businesses

from NMA at 10 - Web Veterans

Social communications have always been the biggest driver of the Internet. We now live in a world where emails, photo and music sharing, instant messaging, online dating and increasingly Weblogging are becoming mainstream. Only ten years into the Internet's commercial evolution, there are 1bn people online worldwide and over 40% of their time is spent communicating with friends, family and even people they've never met before.

While once this was an American phenomenon, there are now over 100m people online in China and over 20m people in each of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the UK. There's no longer any doubt that the Internet has arrived socially and commercially.

Even though Yahoo!, Google and Ebay have all managed to build global brands and create businesses with market capitalisations of over $50bn since 1995, some of the most interesting applications of the Web are almost certainly yet to come, as people learn to leverage the social side of the network.

Ebay is the classic example of this social enterprise, where the business plays the role of facilitating relationships among more than 50m buyers and sellers in a marketplace that could never have existed on such scale without the Web. This model of shared infrastructures coupled to communal participation has helped to create landscape-changing services like DMOZ and Wikipedia, as well as successful software developments like Linux and MySQL.

Some of the most progressive and fastest growing social applications are now emerging from Europe and Asia. In Shanghai, Shanda Interactive's multiplayer online games have helped to create the first multi-billion-dollar Internet business outside of the US. And in Europe we've seen the emergence not just of Kazaa, but also the wildly successful Betfair, Midasplayer, Sulake's Habbo Hotel, Skype and, more recently, early-stage applications that leverage the social networks we build online, like Pleasurecards and Zopa.

While many of these businesses capitalise on people's leisure time, Skype and Zopa have the opportunity to completely restructure the way people go about personal communications and banking. Skype's 40m callers have already spent nearly 10bn minutes talking online, and everyday another 200,000 people join in. Typically, over 3m people are talking to each other online at any one time.

Zopa is at a much earlier stage, but by cutting out the middleman and letting normal people lend and borrow from each other at much better rates than banks, it's tapping into one of the oldest uses of social networks.

Even if none of these businesses ends up being the next Ebay, the great thing about where we are today compared to where we were in 1995 is that we now have companies being born in Europe with the vision, access to experienced early-stage investors and management, but most importantly a large enough global marketplace to become world-beaters.

jedi playing it cool

Originally uploaded by jaffster.

how not to let your sister phase you, even at 12 weeks old by the young jedi herself


Originally uploaded by jaffster.

rafiki hanging with the artefacts. she pretty much looks at home after a week

jedi, dani and rafiki

Originally uploaded by jaffster.

dani with our two new super cute kittens - only 12 weeks old, sweet enough to even make this cat sceptic change their mind

Monday, June 13, 2005

Video Island raises additional £5m -- Times Deal of the Day

from today's Times Deal of the Day

"Video Island, the online DVD rental service, has raised £5 million from EVP, the venture debt provider, taking its total funds raised to more than £15 million.

Previous backers included Benchmark Capital, Cazenove Group, and Index Ventures. The company, which operates DVD rental services for Tesco and Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyCinema, will use the new funds to extend the range of its DVD library and to expand within the UK."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

whipsmartice -- ice cream for your mind

Originally uploaded by cape.

the fabulous whipsmart cows are bred for their intelligence and puzzle solving skills - check out the very cool factory tour. it's amazing what you can learn in perplexcity

Compare DVD Rental Sites

Excellent DVD rental comparison site and not just because it put Screenselect in pole position - very detailed and comprehensive

Pleasurecards makes social software physical

Pleasurecards featured in Springwise alongside easyCruise a great new business concept...

"Burgeoning social software meets the physical world: PleasureCards are an interesting way to fill the gap between offline encounters and continuing the conversation online: if we were Friendster, or Orkut, or Flickr, or we would study and/or partner with this company straight away"

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Video Island launches new corporate site

Video Island corporate site
Originally uploaded by cape.

details on the business behind, as well as online DVD rental services for Tesco, MSN, ITV and easyGroup

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Online DVDs Take Off In The U.K. [Variety]

Nice piece on growth of Video Island by Adam Dawtrey in Variety, syndicated through Forbes.

Interesting to note that the UK market is growing faster than the US.

"From a standing start in fall 2003, online DVD rentals (where customers pay a monthly fee, order via the Web and receive their titles by mail) are on course to total 13% of all video rentals in 2005, more than doubling the 2004 figure of 6%. Figures come from Screen Digest."

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Skype tracks VoIP in blog buzz

Vonage is trailing in the dust, as Skype becomes synomomous with VoIP.

Carls Jr flying high

It's amazing what a Paris Hilton ad can do for your site traffic.

Let's wait and see when viral videos stops being subservient out from fast-food.

Component Crazy

The promise of web services is really starting to kick-off. Years ago when Amazon and eBay started offering APIs there was little sense that we'd be able to recompile the Web as imaginatively as we now seem to be able with the emergence of developer hooks from Google, Flickr et al.

Thanks to my good friend - Danny - who pointed out the awesome Housingmaps, which takes the best of Google Maps and adds in Craiglists to offer a real estate guide that would shame most others online. And then there is the beautiful Flickr Related Tag Browser, which Andrew discovered. We're at the tipping point here... keep watching.

Video Island leading in visits for 3rd month running

hitwise feb04-may05
Originally uploaded by cape.

videoisland leads blockbuster and lovefilm for 3rd month running

hitwise feb04-may05

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

new york hudson

Originally uploaded by cape.

fantastic view from upe's apartment