Wednesday, July 20, 2005

More reason for renewable energy in China

As written previously, China (and the World), needs to address a more sustainable energy source. With the torrid growth of population and economy in China, without a plan for alternative energy, the World will run out of oil in our lifetime.

This brief United Press International article on China running low on electricity this summer. Officials from the Beijing municipality said Tuesday almost 4,700 businesses will stagger weeklong shutdowns over the next month to ease an electricity crunch and will suffer its worst energy shortfall in 20 years this summer.

I'd imagine that shutdowns on companies and factories in China will have an effect on US companies as well. Let's hope blackouts don't happen as happened in NYC, California, and Italy in 2003.

I was in NYC and Italy in 2003, so hope that doesn't repeat itself in China too much.

map of New England USA during the blackout (Aug 14, 2003)

with no energy to run subaways, everyone had to walk home.

map of Europe during the blackout in Italy (Sept 28, 2003)

continue reading article (and/or view comments)...

Google, Yahoo APIs

New York Times has an article about opening up their APIs to the developer public, which I wrote about earlier this year. Both Google and Yahoo released tools to allow anyone with the right coding skills to merge data onto their online maps. Apparantly, Microsoft "plans to introduce a competing service, Virtual Earth, with software that programmers will be able to use in similarly creative ways."

Looks like Google is really innovating the online web services space, while Microsoft is catching up. Some skeptics are wondering what the value of these experimental "beta" programs to Google or Yahoo are. However, it's companies like Google that take risks and spend a percentage of their efforts to create something new and interesting without profit as the motivator that come out successful. Like life, companies grow and find their passions when you move yourself out of your comfort zone and into the new and unknown (ie taking risks).

Google Map now does Tokyo!,0.243639&hl=en

Google Map moon:

continue reading article (and/or view comments)...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Consumer Driven Media is the new media

There has been a shift in media in the past 5 years. Although this shift is moving quickly, little has been reported about this until very recently. First there was the decline of original programming and sitcoms on television. Then the decline of traditional CD music sales followed by lower movie theatre ticket sales.

I think what's happening is that people have access to so much personal media with video games, Tivos, online movie downloads, and websites. There are tools to allow anyone to create and edit their own movies, create extensions of published video games, and computer programs based on open source code. There is a media convergence (websites, television, and mobile entertainment) and a shift towards the growing consumer driven or user generated content such as blogs (web logs), vblogs (video blogs), moblogs (mobile blogs), podcasting, wikis, etc.

The recent media attention of consumer driven media have been about the falling sales of CD's, movies, and software. Others have written about the shift away from traditional Madison Ave advertising to online, viral marketing.

Tha Wall Street Journal has had articles about bloggers getting more media attention and whether or not traditional media (newspapers) should sponsor bloggers.

The online media/finance blog, The Big Picture frequently writes about the fall of CD and DVD sales.

Finally an article from the May 23 issue of BusinessWeek:
Titled, "How Unilever Scored With Young Guys", shows how Unilever is using traditional 30 sec TV spots as well as video blogs to create compelling entertainment for the 18-24 yo audience and creating brand awareness and viral buzz.

Looks like we'll see more and more of this shift. Current TV, the new network that airs viewer submissions using the face of Al Gore, has created some buzz, but as more and more shift, consumer driven media will drive content forward.

continue reading article (and/or view comments)...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Million Dollar Mobile Homes...What?

USA Today has an article that details million dollar mobile homes in Malibu. This real estate market is getting way out of hand, especially in the West Coast, where people can justify paying million dollars on a mobile home where you don't even own the land, have to pay 'land rent', and banks don't lend money for mobile homes. Come on!! This is madness...and I thought Park Slope in Brooklyn was starting to get out of hand...So much for comps.

continue reading article (and/or view comments)...