Cloud Portability

You is everywhere. Ubiquitous, yet with different levels of thickness depending on platforms and contexts. A change of temperature, and parts of your cloud precipitate into big drops for everyone to look and feel.

You is the marrow of the backbone. The bread earner for a Google or a Facebook, maybe a former unwilling employee of a Yahoo! or a MySpace.

You is stuck in a net, hooked, dependent. You has the mother of all monkeys on you's back. You can't kick the habit. You can't see a future without the virtual past you amassed over the years.

You probably doesn't remember Tripod, the killer app of yore. Picture this: a customized homepage, featuring whatever you fancy about you...

You, online.

Tripod joined Lycos (yeah, go-get-it Lycos, a star of the silent internet times - limited colors, dial-up, only background track the faxlike connection), and followed its master to Germany (Bertelsmann), Spain (Telefonica), and Korea (Daum). Now both brands belong to Ybrant Digital (India). Tripod fetches domain names for the digital marketing group. Unlike most internet ventures, Tripod took some time to deserve its brand: is still walking around, but with a cane. At least, they're making a few bucks with the brand. Yahoo! totally euthanized Geocities.

I'm not digressing. Lycos was the first netco to make a decent living. And the most disruptive moment I remember about Tripod is when they announced the portability of homepages. Competition remained one click away, but you could switch with all your belongings.

Social network portability is much more complex. Friendships and synapses reach beyond simple pages or links. But we'll have to get there some day.

And who knows, 20 years from now, some South Sudanese venture shall sell capacity under the brand Facebook.

mot-bile 2012


Face Recognition: When Smart TV Goes Too Smart

Samsung wants to implement face recognition in certain smart TVs. The function is already available for mobile devices but here, the idea is to adapt content to viewers, for instance in order block adult content when a kid is watching (tadaa - how about Junior in his Spiderman costume?). Swiss researchers have been studying the concept for years, but for a monitor equipped with an arm that allows the screen to follow the user (picture yourself in your kitchen with flour all over your hands and the urgent need to browse recipes).

Speaking of mobile and TV and following our previous updates about M-VNOs in Korea*, CJ HelloVision just launched "Hello Mobile" on Korea Telecom, and the country's second MSO could post interesting figures with the contribution of parent company CJ Group, still a food franchise powerhouse but now the country's multimedia leader (CGV, CGmedia, CJ Home Shopping...). CJ already proposes many mobile apps and multiplatform services (ie tving), but expect more e-commerce synergies ahead, particularly following the launch of Mobile E-Mart, also on KT. Homeplus (Tesco-Samsung) also considering entering the arena as MVNO.

Hello Mobile follows Insprit (Enspert tablet on Wibro) and SRoaming (Skype Roaming phone rental), also on KT, still the leader with a little more than 300,000 MVNO lines compared to about 50,000 for SK Telecom. Remember: KT struck the first deals two years ago*.

mot-bile 2012

* see "
A Kbiz MNO ? SMEs vs Korea Inc", "Korea Telecom signs the country's first MVNOs", "Korea : Onse Telecom wants to be a MVNO"

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