Telecom and media shaken by the power of packets and broadband

Vinton Cerf on the power of packets“, an online video program, “Tea with The Economist”, 5 Jan. 2011, was inspiring.

Vint said:

  • The underlying technology of the Internet, packet communications, has unchanged.
  • The ever-increasing speed of broadband network exceeded the speed for human beings to see videos.
  • We can transform a wide variety of information, from print media to videos, in a packet form.
  • Packets don’t recognise information contents. The just keep transmitting them.
  • This means that future of communication will be performed by file transfer.
Vint Cerf

This would be a terrifying statement for existing players of telecommunications, media owners and contents producers, especially for large ones.

A long-lasting business model of telecommunications carriers that they make money from the hours during which users hold lines will not valid any more. Media giants have to create innovative ideas to distribute contents over smart and personalised ICT device, such as smart phones and tablets such as iPad.

It is not a coincidence that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is publishing an iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, and its image has been just published. What’s important in this newspaper is that it will be a paid subscription.

Will and how many readers are willing to pay for the contents over the iPad is an interesting question and worth following up. What I see here is a challenge of an established print media to ride on the changing media habit of readers. ICT is behind the change.

A paradigm change in is coming to be reality very fast.

In 2011, it will be interesting to see innovative ideas from old and emerging players in the fast-moving ICT and media industries, that involve telecom carriers, publishers, SNS innovators, a variety of contents produces and providers, and more.

This is what iPad-only newspaper will look like

Passion in economics

I have just finished viewing a vodeo of a TV program of Dr. Joe Stiglitz. It was ” Future of Capitalism“, a live casting of C-Span, Washington Journal, on air on 27 June, 2010. Dr. Stiglitz is a former Chief Economist of World Bank and a Nobel Prise winner of Economics in 2001.

Despite limited  opportunities for me to encounter Dr. Stiglitz, I was impressed by him since the first time when I came to know him at the World Economics Forum (or Davos Conference) in 2009.

He has passion!

I felt the same in the video of “Future Capitalism”. After his lecture for 15 minutes or so, Dr. Stiglitz answered to a number of questions from the program viewers who called the studio. The viewers seemed to ne US citizens, not neccessarily professional economists. In a way to answer the quesitons, Dr. Stiglitz elaborated his point on pros and cons of policy instruments by the US Government to help the economy to turn to the growth path again.

He explained professional subjects in comprehensive words.

How nice it is anyone could ask questions to the first class economist!

How nice it is that those viewers appear not to hesitate to ask questons to Dr. Stiglitz!

Dr. Stiglitz answered to the questions from citizens very frankly and comprehensively.

I see here a valuable advantage of a society where there is little, if any, social hierarchy. Having little constraints in thinking is a source of innovative ideas. In this sense, I think the US society still healthy.

It is not the first time when I find his passion in his speeches and manuscripts.

I was taught at schools that economics was a pure science, and therefore it would mislead the understanding of macro and micro economies if one used emotional intelligence in the analyses economics. On the contrary, the arguments of Dr. Stiglitz are convincing as they were are on theory and his understanding of human feelings, e.g. mistrust to banks, fear to the future, etc. He explains the present economic situation based on theory and observation of the people in the real world, from consumers to office and blue-collar workers. I find in his arguments an underlying passion to save people by means of an appropriate economic policy.

A major reason why I respect Dr. Stiglitz is that he has a good mixture of passion and theory. I believe such mixture indispensable to make a theory works to help people and society.

ICT applications in medical and public health domains in Europe – Case studies and lessons

ICT is used to enable inter-operability of medical and health information systems to serve citizens’ needs moving across countries, while adhering to regulations of different countries. The author has selected for the report three cases developed to serve practical end-user needs for delivery of medical services, and will analyze key issues for the vital development of the ICT applications. The cases are ; Smart Open Services for European Patients (epSOS) for mutual use of the patient data across Europe、the Clinical Information System (CIS, Geneva), a pioneer of an information system for medical workers in hospitals、 and Thrombosis Digital Logbook, a self monitoring system of Thrombosis patients that connects relevant medical service providers via information sharing.

These three cases indicate that connecting different stakeholders across geographies and organizations, and cost-reduction by the use of ICT systems available in the market place are becoming popular in the medical and public heath domains. Co-working between users and ICT engineers is the key to create ICT systems which are easy to use and which help the users.

EU, Medical Services, ICT, Electronic Prescription, Medical Care Information Systems, Interoperability, Case Study, Smart Card, HL7, ID, Security Management, Open Systems, Hospital, Co-working between users and ICT engineers,
Switzerland, Netherlands

Click here for the full report in Japanese

* The report has been published by KDDI Research Institute, Japan.

Spotted human fine-tuning of technology – Rescue operation of 33 miners in Chile

Watching the rescue operation of 33 miners in Chili. Real time web casting by BBC. Thanks to ICT!

Impressive images. They were locked in the underground of 700 m deep for 69 days.

A capsule, named “Fénix 2” (Phoenix in English, nice name!), goes up and down to carefully bring miners back one by one.

Spotted a rescue worker’s tough-duty shoe  put on the rope of the capsule, when it goes down to pick up the miners. It looks like that this man is adding a final control to the tension (or speed) of the rope hanging a capsule. This is another evidence that technologies work well when fine tuned by human beings.

Relaunched in Twitter

I’ve relaunched myself in Twitter.

In fact I registered in Twitter more than two years ago. Since then I didn’t spend much time to explore what Twitter could offer.  For me Twitter has been a source of spam mails. I received in my e-mail in-box many followers, but most of them are from people I don’t know with strange ID photographs.

I met some people in Lift ’09 who said they had found business via Twitter. I logged in again to know what I could do with it, but couldn’t figure out how to use it in such a positive way.

My perception of Twitter has been changed.

In January, I met a Japanese TV crew in Davos conference who was tweeting from her iPhone every time when she had a moment. Me — “She uses Tweet to send her fresh feeling from Davos real-time. It’s a good idea!”

Then at Lift ’10 this month, the organising group actively used Twitter to collect questions from the audience during the conference. The group also posted real-time tweets in the Lift web site. Me — “A communication life style is changing fast. I want to join them!”

Now my view on Twitter is completely changed.

I found a friend in Tokyo was involved in an interesting project on the future of the Internet. I read many exciting notes directly from TEDx Tokyo, and was naturally guided to videos posted at YouTube and many blogs of the participants.

I started following people and companies I’m interested in. Professor Joe Stiglitz is already there. I found Mr. Son, CEO of SoftBank, a challenger of Japan’s ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) business using Twitter and a video media which SoftBank owns, Ustream, smartly connected to dispatch power communications. easyJet, a major European low-cost airline whose evolution process I have been monitoring since its launch, alerted by tweet a closure of Gatwick and Stanstead airports, the airline’s major access to London.

I have changed my Twitter name and ID photo, too, as I wanted to present myself better to a cloud of people who might come across my tweets.

Despite all the above, I still anticipate strange followers to catch my Tweet name from time to time. I don’t run away from them. I’ll just block them. Any media is not free from annoying users. Black mails by posts and silent callers when you’ve picked up a phone. Twitter is not an exception.

I’m more interested in learning by doing a rich potential of this new media than shutting a door away from it.

See you in Twitter, too!

Food for thoughts from Lift ’10

I’m listing randomly words which I’ve caught during three says of Lift ’10 and which were inspiring for me. I’d be happy if some of these words also stimulate your thoughts.

Words of the day:  Katrin Verclas on Mobile phone use in developing countries

  • Q by YK: What do you expect to technology developers? What kind of high technologies would you like for mobile phones to be useful in developing countries?
  • A by KV: Less expensive access. Easy to deploy. Tools deployable and useful, even if it is low-tech. It will largely help to carry on deeper conversations between technology and money owners, and mobile phone users.

1. Travel in the Web 2.0 age

  • How many people would use guidebooks in the future? — People may travel with a smart phone and may not need travel guidebooks in the future.
  • How can travel agents benefit from social networking sites? To get fresh info., real-time, weather, etc.

Info: Lonely planet is  integrated in iPhone applications at $15.99 –> Media fusion

YK thoughts: It’s a good question. But there are also people behind the net. Credibility of information counts, regardless of media.

Impressed ! —

2. Lucas Grolleau, Soundsgood inc., Paris: A sound designer describes his day   –> Creative!

3. Exhibition & demonstration

By Students, Art school of Univ. of Geneva

  • How people play with (exploit) mobile phones & computers & Internet, e.g. See things in ant’s eyes.

4. Technology is culture, by Basile Zimmermann, University of Geneva.

I can’t agree with him stronger.

5. It’s not smart but instinctive. That’s also good. Fabian Hemmert: Making Computers Stiff, Scratchy and Stubborn

We feel the interaction.Value of instinct, analogue value is being recognized & considered to be fun and comfortable.

6. Printing the internet out. Russell Davies, RIG:

  • We print blogs on news paper-sized papers. Made it to be business
  • Don’t forget about analogue friction
7. Internet & ICT training for Indian community in Brazil
Felipe Fonseca, media activist, Metareciclagem: hacking to climb the social ladder in Brazil.

  • Using old PCs, building an Internet café (?)
  • User education, training to be able to use PCs
  • Web site creation for an Indian community. Web site needed to cope with an aid organization, to post documents, to report activities, etc.
  • They don’t need e-mails, as most of them haven’t written a letter.
  • Principles: Panculturalism, creativity, networks
  • ICT Skills – Walk with users. “We should give and strengthen ICT skills of people to empower communities to live with information flows worldwide.”

8. YK thoughts on Generation
  • Young people are not so different from us.
  • But they are different.
  • No need to exaggerate but observe carefully.

9. Main stream communications companies  are watching Social Networking sites

  • Hire young people to find ways of multimedia integration, consumer watch, etc.e.g. TSR, Swisscom.
  • YK thoughts: They may not be integrated in internal structure to feed their market intelligence into existing operations. –> So difficult for the existing establishment to change and adapt to the progress of life with ICT as infrastructure.

10. People with ICTs

  • “Digital Eco System” –> This term is new to me!
  • Consumers want to be connected and participate

11. Power of social networking sites –> People are talking about companies outside their control.

  • easyJet on Twitter – Watching Customer complaints
  • “United broke my guitar” on YouTube
  • YK thoughts: Communications managers of a company should be proactive in social networking sites.

12. Digital magazines. Björn Jeffery, Bonnier R&D: The ten design principles behind Mag+

  • Sense of completion is completely lost on the web. Hence in the digital magazine design concept, installed a clearly defined beginning and end.

13. Cultural diversity is resource, as we must go for international business. A young man, CEO of a start-up company

14.  Power of social networking on political scene

  • MyBO – During the Obama’s presidential campaign, social media was used and it fundamentally changed political campaigning process
  • Social networks have  changed the way people was organised.
  • Created a feeling that they knew him –> Emotion
  • BO changed from “For the people” to “With the people”
15. Digital natives

  • “Digital natives” don’t exist. It’s a claim, a label which one puts on him/herself.
  • This myth is created by economic, cultural, etc. reasons.
  • 2 billions humans are online
Missed Lift?
  • My friend and a professional blogger, Stephanie has posted writing up of all the sessions in her blog. That’s a lot of work! Thank you, Steph.
  • Videos of all the session are posted at Lift web site.

Power of search engines – Lift ’10

Search engines are much more powerful than I knew! Estelle Metayer impressed me in the Workshop she organised at Lift ’10, “How Intelligent is your Company?

I have also learned such a new word as “deep web” in the Workshop, and learned by doing that a number of smart search engines allow us to find information from webs which are not linked to other web sites.

For example, pipl, a search engine that collects a number of pieces of information on person and display them in a well sorted out way. When I input my name, I was almost frightened and thrilled at the same time!

Frightened because my photo posted at my Facebook was there. How come, as I allow only my friends to see my page of Facebook!?

Thrilled because I found my video posted by someone! It was my presentation at IGF last year. I even didn’t know that someone was taking a video when I was talking.

“pipl” also displayed a series of my papers and books I published when I was at the OECD, and some dates back to even 1992! I felt I have my personal archive on the web.

To be fair, pipl is not perfect, yet, at least. It has picked up an ID photo of someone else from Facebook, and placed my volunteer activities at World Civil Society Forum as profession.

Above said, I’m convinced what technologies are enabling us to gather intelligence, any kind of intelligence, which you may not be aware.

So we should utilise them smartly, rather than stay away from them.

Lift ’10 is this week

I am participating in Lift ’10 again this year to be held on 5-7 May. Lift is so unique and inspiring that I cannot miss.

In the first year, in 2007 , I was a new comer, impressed and inspired by Lift. In the second year, I enjoyed meeting with people I met at LIft in the previous year, and enjoyed networking of like-minded people. Last year, in 2009, I organised a workshop of “Cyber Volunteers”, with friends at ICVolunteers and those connected with Asia@home.

This year, I’m registered in three workshops and look forward to taking a fresh shower of ideas!

Lift history in posters