Thursday, August 25, 2005

Podcasting for mobiles (mobilcast)

Melodeo joins pod2mob with a product that can find and download podcasts to a mobile phone.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Caterham 7's in USA

One of my very good mates is off to the US next month to take part in a drive from Houston to San Francisco, as part of a 60 car motorcade consisting entirely of Caterham 7s. Its a 22 day 4,500 mile extravaganza which culminates on the 6th October with a blast round the Infineon Raceway. If youve never had a chance to go for a spin in a 7, all you need to know is that they are one of the best drivers cars ever and a completely mental but brilliant experience. So if any of my US readers see these funny little brit cars passing through their town, wave and say hi.
More in PistonHeads

Cheap gas

This is great - just one example of all the buzz and activity that is now happening as a result of the developer community having access to some great mapping API's (thanks google).

More apps here at Google Maps Mania

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

google buys Android

It turns out that Google acquired Android last month for an undiclosed sum. I had Android on my radar because one of the founders (Rich Miner) used to work at Orange, and i was curious. Android has been in "stealth" mode for the last 2 years, and still no-one seems to have a clue what they've developed. My guess is that its a mobile phone UI/app that ties contact mobility, presence, and location together.
Read more here user interface

One area where has been weak is in its user interface. Although regular users will grow to like its simplicity, new users may be turned off by its 95'esque styling and html rendering.
Johnvey Huang has developed director a realy neat java-based UI for accounts. Try it...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Odeo and Podshow got funded

The VC community beleives there could be money in podcasting because they have recently opened their wallets and provided first round funding for Odeo (on odeo blog) and Adam Curry's Podshow.
Interesting mobile take on podcasting at Pod2Mob

Intercasting Corp raises $5.5m

Intercasting Corp, the company behind Rabble have raised $5.5 million in their first round of venture capital, led by Masthead Venture Partners and Avalon Ventures.

see previous post
press release here

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Instant Messenger for mobile phones

here - works with MSN, AOL, ICQ, jabber and Yahoo.
Lifetime license for 9.95 UKP or 1.50 UKP / month!

SMS cannibalisation??

Thanks for the link Wolfgang ;-)

Radar Golf

Just saw this on David Cowans blog and it brought a tear to my eye. It represents the end of an era, an era when kids (like myself and my brother) could make exorbitant amounts of cash in the school holidays by hunting for golf balls, taking them home and cleaning them up, then learning the intricacies of marketing and economics by packaging and bundling them (3 white, bag of 10 mixed, 3 white and 2 yellows, 20 practice etc) in order to sell them back to the people who lost them!

$3bn Skype valuation and News Corp bid

Ok - so there have been lots of rumours and the Independent have added to these with a brief article where they claim News Corp made an approach to Skype that valued it at $3bn and that the negotiation "broke down last month".

Skype currently claims nearly 150m downloads. If you take a 10% active-user rate (which i think is probably very high), that gives Skype 15m active users, the majority of which are using the free VOIP element, not the fee paying parts of the product SkypeOut and Voicemail. Even assuming 15m active, the NewsCorp bid puts a per-user valuation at $200, which Ok doesnt sound a lot , but its probably at least 100x average per-user earnings.

Skype is a great product, but its not the only product in this space. I'm sure the company has some very grand plans, but history shows how a market leader can be quickly overtaken and surpassed (netscape -> IE -> firefox). A $3bn valuation is flattering and I suspect it respresents an extremely good return for Skypes early backers who include Morten Lund and Ariadne Capital, and their Series A backers who included DFJ, Index, Bessemer, and Mangrove. Im sure there is some truth in all the rumour, otherwise its an incredibly well executed PR campaign to seed the idea of a sale. Either way, i think a sale will be tied up by Christmas.

update 12/09 - Ebay has acquired Skype for $2.6bn - phew! press release here

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Mobile Monday - US mobile networking group

The Mobile Monday USA. mission is to cultivate and accelerate US mobile and telecom sectors through leadership, technology, government relations, research, education, mentoring, investment, recruitment, networking and promotion


fotochatter allows you to use your camera phone to narrowcast photos to the phones of everyone on your network. They can look at the photos right away, and make comments which come straight back to you.

a nice example of how customers can avoid paying a per-MMS fee for distributing photos to friends.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Uglyduck - simple low-cost mobile proposition from Proximus

go here

Freever acquired by Buongiorno

Freever (provider of mobile chat, SMS, community VAS) has been acquired by Boungiorno for €18m euro in cash and a variable earn-out of €15.5m (max). With forecast 05 revenues of €12m and €1m earnings, Buongiorno have stuck a good deal for a relatively young company, with good growth potential and a good client base. CDC Entreprises Innovation, ADD Partners and Net Partners were Freevers VC's.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Buddyping - 'Dodgeball' for the UK

Buddyping is now up and running in the UK providing a similar user experience to the recently Google-acquired Dodgeball. Both the Buddyping and Dodgeball services enable you to check the location of your circle of friends via SMS, provided that they have also signed up for the service and have their location tagged. Buddyping want to expand and have plans to roll out the service in other countries soon.
jan - thanks for the lead :-)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

iSkoot - Skype to mobile

iSkoot have launched a PC-app that enables you to foward incoming Skype calls to a mobile or fixed number. You pay for the leg of the call from your PC to the number you have selected.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Big bug in Picasa/Hello

I was playing around with Picasa this evening - I had some photos of my dads 60th which I wanted to post to a new blog for my family to see. So I downloaded Hello, and selected the photos in Picasa that I wanted to post. Hello gave me the option to post these pictures to this blog, or to create a new one. I chose to create a new blog and selected the URL The website seem to hang for a bit, then loaded up the new URL which was clearly in use by another user (there was no error when I selected it). jsalmon@blogspot is a grad student at University in Canada and may be quite upset to think that I have hacked his blog (which I have - but not intentionally). Luckily, there was only one post on his blog, but imagine the consequences if he had been a regular blogger. What was there, has now gone and been replaced with my chosen template and first post.
All this integration between Google properties is great, but only if its thoroughly tested. Unless fixed, (and assuming there is no user error my end), this bug could have nasty consequences for users and Blogger. Ive sent a bug report, and lets hope they fix it soon.
And Mr J Salmon in Canada - youre more than welcome to have your blogspot back!

Google Image Search

I have a habit of finding some really random images on Google Image Search when Im looking for powerpoint clipart.....

Visual search - NeoMedia acquires Mobot

Neomedia has acquired mobot for @$12m, mostly stock. Neomedia holds some valuable patents on 2D barcode recognition, which enables consumers to take a picture of a product with their cameraphone, interpret the image as a web link and receive product information , special offers etc. Mobot compliments the Neomedia offering with a solution that doesnt necessitate the installation of a s/w client on the terminal.
Nevenvision are also a key player in the visual search space.

NeoMedia has an eclectic range of products - mobile search, it integration and an auto paint repair system!

Monday, August 01, 2005