terça-feira, outubro 31, 2006
a revolution in measurement
But with the rise of the Internet, social networks and technology networks are becoming inextricably linked, so that behavior in social networks can be tracked on a scale never before possible.
“We’re really witnessing a revolution in measurement,” Dr. Kleinberg said.
The new social-and-technology networks that can be studied include e-mail patterns, buying recommendations on commercial Web sites like Amazon, messages and postings on community sites like MySpace and Facebook, and the diffusion of news, opinions, fads, urban myths, products and services over the Internet. Why do some online communities thrive, while others decline and perish? What forces or characteristics determine success? Can they be captured in a computing algorithm?
Social networking research promises a rich trove for marketers and politicians, as well as sociologists, economists, anthropologists, psychologists and educators.
“This is the introduction of computing and algorithmic processes into the social sciences in a big way,” Dr. Kleinberg said, “and we’re just at the beginning.”
But having a powerful new tool of tracking the online behavior of groups and individuals also raises serious privacy issues. That became apparent this summer when AOL inadvertently released Web search logs of 650,000 users.
Future trends in computer imaging and storage will make it possible for a person, wearing a tiny digital device with a microphone and camera, to essentially record his or her life. The potential for communication, media and personal enrichment is striking. Rick Rashid, a computer scientist and head of Microsoft’s research labs, noted that he would like to see a recording of the first steps of his grown son, or listen to a conversation he had with his father many years ago. “I’d like some of that back,” he said. “In the future, that will be possible.”
But clearly, the technology could also enable a surveillance society. “We’ll have the capability, and it will be up to society to determine how we use it,” Dr. Rashid said. “Society will determine that, not scientists.”
Computing, 2016: What Won’t Be Possible? - New York Times
segunda-feira, outubro 30, 2006
Global competition sparks I&D spending spree
Large companies are pouring money into research and development at an unprecedented rate, in response to growing global competition. The international R&D Scoreboard, published on Monday, shows a 7 per cent increase in spending by the world’s top 1,250 companies.
But the scoreboard – the world’s most comprehensive R&D ranking – provides little reassurance for European policymakers who are concerned about Europe’s poor long-term R&D performance. European companies spent 5.6 per cent more in 2005-6 than the average of the previous four years. The comparable increase for US companies was 15.4 per cent.
The most spectacular growth is in Asia. The 44 Taiwanese companies in the scoreboard increased their R&D investment by 30.5 per cent last year, while the 17 South Korean companies posted 11.9 per cent R&D investment growth.
FT.com / World / International economy - Global competition sparks spending spree
A questão crucial do nosso tempo ? - The global middle cries out for reassurance
Against all odds, we are living in a time of plenty. Neither the after-effects of September 11 2001 nor a tripling in oil prices has prevented the world’s economy from growing faster in the past five years than in any five-year period in recorded economic history.
Given this recent performance and the pricing-in by world markets of an optimistic outlook, one might have expected this to be a moment of particularly great enthusiasm for the market system and for global integration.
Two groups have found themselves in the right place at the right time to benefit from globalisation and technological change. First, those in low-income countries, principally in Asia and especially in China, who are able to plug into the global system. The combination of low wages, diffusible technology and the ability to access global product and financial markets has fuelled an economic explosion.
As the great corporate engines of efficiency succeed by using cutting-edge technology with low-cost labour, ordinary, middle-class workers and their employers – whether they live in the American midwest, the Ruhr valley, Latin America or eastern Europe – are left out. This is the essential reason why median family incomes lag far behind productivity growth in the US, why average family incomes in Mexico have barely grown in the 13 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement passed, and why middle-income countries without natural resources struggle to define an area of comparative advantage.
It is this vast group that lacks the capital to benefit from globalisation and is desperately seeking either reassurance or a change in course. Yet without its support it is very doubtful that the existing global economic order can be maintained.
Let us be frank. What the anxious global middle is told often feels like pretty thin gruel. The twin arguments that globalisation is inevitable and protectionism is counterproductive have the great virtue of being correct, but do not provide much consolation for the losers. Nor can they rally support for policies that maintain, let alone promote, international integration.
John Kenneth Galbraith was right when he observed: “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” Meeting the needs of the anxious global middle is the economic challenge of our time.
In the US, the political pendulum is swinging left. The best parts of the progressive tradition do not oppose the market system; they improve on the outcomes it naturally produces. That is what we need today.
There are no easy answers. The economic logic of free, globalised, technologically sophisticated capitalism may well be to shift more wealth to the very richest and some of the very poorest in the world, while squeezing people in the middle.
Just as the Federal Housing Administration’s effort to make owner-occupied housing more available after the second world war was a crucial part of the policy approach that permitted the Marshall Plan to go forward, so also our success in advancing international integration will depend on what can be done for the great global middle.
Our response will affect not just the livelihoods of millions of our fellow citizens but also the prospects for continuing global integration, with all the prosperity and stability it has the potential to bring.
The writer is former US Treasury secretary
FT.com / Comment & analysis / Columnists - The global middle cries out for reassurance
domingo, outubro 22, 2006
Friedman On the New Patriotism
We are in a war on terrorism, funded and fueled by our energy purchases. We are funding both sides -- our own troops with our tax dollars, and Islamic jihad, Iran, and Hamas with our gas purchases. But we rarely connect the dots. In short, our consumption of energy is related to the geopolitical predicament we’re in.
The World is flat. With the emergence of China and India as economic powers, three billion new consumers walked on the playing field. They can not only compete, connect and collaborate with our kids, but they all want what we want: a car, fridge, PC, and printer. If we don’t find an alternative to fossil fuels, our combined consumption of energy will smoke up this planet even faster than Al Gore predicts.
The first law of petropolitics is that the price of oil and pace of freedom operate in inverse correlation. Petroauthoritarian countries are dependent on oil for GDP. As prices rise, freedom collapses. It’s no surprise that the first Arab country to run out of oil -- Bahrain –- is one of the most progressive regimes in the region.
Ultimately, Friedman says, his main mission is to to redefine green. To name something is to own it. (i.e. The world is flat.) The problem with the word green, he points out is that it it was appropriated by people who hate it. Who equated it with something girly , sissy, liberal, and vaguely French.His plan: to make “green” stand for something geopolitically astute, progressively capitalistic, and patriotic: “Green,” he says, “is the new red, white and blue. “
Pop!Tech: Friedman On the New Patriotism
sexta-feira, outubro 20, 2006
YouTube deal a catalyst for online video
Bob Davis, a partner at venture capital firm Highland Capital says: “The video revolution is in its infancy.
“We haven’t scratched the surface of online video. There will be niche sites that relate to certain types of video. There will be a slew of video advertising sites that specialise in inserting ads and there will be companies that focus on editing video online.”
Another leading VC firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, backed One True Media to the tune of $5m in first-round funding this summer. It allows users to upload video and photos, create montages, add soundtracks and copy video on to DVD.
“Most consumers find editing very hard. Our aim is to help them create something in a couple of clicks rather than a couple of hours,” says Mark Moore, chief executive and co-founder.
He sees the Google-YouTube deal as a catalyst for online video in all its forms as users move more towards watching the web than reading it.
The next revolution coming by later this year will be a kind of “fusion TV”, Mr Moore predicts, with broadband digital video recorders appearing and Internet Protocol television services that will feature YouTube-type user-generated content.
Al Gore’s Current TV channel is one example, while other online services and content owners allow users to “rip” movies and sports footage and remix them.
“We’re only about a year [out] from the explosion of online video,” says Brian Haven, analyst at Forrester Research. “That happened when Apple announced video in iTunes. There is still a lot more content to get out there and it’s not all user-generated either.”
VideoEgg won $12m in third-round funding last month and is becoming a leading infrastructure provider in online video. Its editing tools are used on 60 partner sites including AOL and social networking sites such as Bebo. It has just launched a network that allows ads to be inserted into user-generated content.
“YouTube has shown that a destination site is a compelling approach to short-form video content,” says Kevin Sladek, chief strategy officer.
“But we think there’s a better role for video to play and it’s broader than just one site.”
FT.com / Companies / Media & internet - YouTube deal a catalyst for online video
quarta-feira, outubro 11, 2006
Video: YouTube founders announce sale
Steve Chen, left, and Chad Hurley, right, the co-founders of YouTube, celebrate the sale of their consumer-generated website to Google for $1.65bn, on a video published on YouTube.
domingo, outubro 08, 2006
Video Games Now a Social Experience
Active gamers now spend upward of five hours a week playing games socially, led by teenagers, who were socially involved in gaming about seven hours per week. As a result, the social elements of video games are becoming an increasingly important part of the overall gaming experience.
Nielson found that, as of August, about 117 million people in the U.S. qualified as active gamers, and 56% reported playing games online as opposed to playing on consoles such as Sony PlayStation or with handheld devices. In the entire group, men outnumbered women by more than 2-to-1.
Marketers spent $56 million last year on in-game advertising and product placement, according to research firm Yankee Group. Yankee expects that number, which includes ads placed in both online and console games, to reach $730 million by 2010.
"The expansion of next-generation hardware and technology in the marketplace is simultaneously delivering new ecosystems of social exchange, interactive entertainment, media experiences and advertising models," said Emily Della Maggiora, senior VP, Nielsen Interactive Entertainment.