Medias invest heavily in branded content production. Leveraging their notoriety and brand power, the largest ones have set up full-fledged production studios and creative teams, to the point where they could put a dent in advertising agencies’ revenue streams.
Continue reading "Industrial Scale Branded Content"
A pigeon box, secure transmission circa WWII. Credit: Garrett Coakley, Flickr
In the name of protecting us against terrorists, law enforcement agencies want high tech companies to relinquish their Golden Keys, backdoors to their otherwise unbreakable encryption algorithms. It sounds like a reasonable request…until you look more closely. Continue reading "Let’s Outlaw Math"
First ignited by anti-advertising zealots, ad blocking is now a growing business involving an “interesting” set of players. These range from opportunistic startups intending to leverage the power of cell phone carriers, to large multinational groups wanting to control the ad supply aimed at the Internet’s Next Billion. Continue reading "The Ad Blocking Industry: Global, Large, Threatening"
Image credit: Freaking News
Today, a doomsday scenario: Apple execs resort to rash, countercultural moves to take iOS out of its tailspin. Read at your own risk. Continue reading "Panic in iOS Land"
If you can’t be located, you’re nobody. What3Words, a London startup, tackles one of the developing world’s most critical challenges: providing a universal address for people who don’t have a physical one. (Part of a series on technology and global development.) Continue reading "Addressing 4 billion People In Three Words"
With more positive feelings this time, I look at five key questions that must be answered for an Apple Car to make sense: Money, Design, User interface, Distribution & service and Charger stations. Continue reading "More Apple Car Thoughts: Money, Design UI, Distribution"
Here we go again, with the iPad Pro this time: Is it a laptop replacement? This seemingly simple question is, simply, the wrong one. What we need to ask is ‘what sorts of tasks does the new tablet and its well-executed Pencil make easier?’ Continue reading "iPad Pro: Wrong Questions"
Thomas Schreiber at DNI’s conference
Ad blocking keeps growing and widening the chasm between publishers and advertisers. Media executives no longer hold back, they now openly blame the advertising community for being too slow to grasp the full extent of the digital advertising problem, they claim the ad industry badly needs a deep overhaul.
Last week, I was in Berlin for a presentation of the Digital News Initiative created by Google and a group of publishers (see a previous story on the Accelerated Mobile Pages program). Needless to say, ad blockers was the talk of the town.
In a detailed lecture, Dr. Thomas Schreiber, who works with European publishers, exposed the first step of Google’s approach. Unsurprisingly, the search giant will first collect facts. In a wide study to be conducted globally in the coming months, Google will try to ascertain what exactly motivates a web user to
Continue reading "Ad Blockers Will Change How Ads Are Sold"
The most important components of a company’s culture are its invisible, ineffable dicta. As we will see in today’s examples, they can lead competent, well-resourced companies astray.
In last week’s Monday Note I proposed that it’s not a technological misfit but a cultural chasm that separates Apple from the high-reliability “hard real-time” software that’s required for automotive applications. The post received a share of questioning commentary, both on the site and in private emails: Is a company’s culture really a limiting factor? Is it unmoved by the spirited words — and influx of industry veterans — that exhort and compel change? Does “corporate culture” even exist?
Today, I’ll follow up with a few examples that I have observed at close range over almost half a century in the tech world.
But first, let’s define our terms.
Culture is a set of tacit — and tacitly accepted — permissions to think,
Continue reading "Killer Cultures"
News Republic is built on a unique model: Instead of exploiting publishers’ RSS feeds, it shares revenue with them. A risky option that begins to pay off as the company lands deals with cell phone makers. Current numbers are impressive: News Republic racks up 272 page-views per monthly active user. Continue reading "News Republic’s Amazing Mobile Firehose"
Fueled by a significant number of hires from other car makers and real estate expansion beyond the upcoming hypergalactic spaceship HQ in Cupertino, rumors of an Apple Car keep percolating. I hope to drive an Apple Car someday… but does Apple’s personal computing software knowhow translate into the high-reliability real-time code required for a safe, reliable and, of course, elegant electric car? Continue reading "More Apple Car Thoughts: Software Culture"
Classical PCs are on a downward slope, tablets never quite became The Next Big Thing, and smartphones are approaching saturation in developed markets. Is this the end of the go-go days? Where will we find new growth paths, new forms of personal computing? Continue reading "The PC is passé. What now?"
Behind Blendle’s facade lies a complex set of tools aimed at expanding the reach of paid-for editorial: a recommendation engine; the possibility for publishers to use parts of Blendle’s back office for content optimization; a revisited transaction system, all of which could have serious impact on the news ecosystem. Here is a peek under Blendle’s hood.(This is the second part of a series. Part one is here.) Continue reading "Blendle’s Secret Weapon: Its Toolkit (2/2)"
Theranos wants to change the world of blood tests: tiny samples, tiny prices, capillary (forgive the pun) distribution through drugstores such as Walgreens. Unfortunately, the promises begin to sound to good to be true. Continue reading "Theranos Trouble: A First Person Account"
by Frederic Filloux Taking the long view, the rise of adblockers solves many problems for the digital news industry… But for one problem: things will get worse before they get better. In recent weeks, the intensifying adblockers debate offered another proof of Apple’s influence on the digital ecosystem. When Tim Cook introduced content-blocking features(...)
by Jean-Louis Gassée This week, we were shocked by the revelation that Volkswagen has been cooking their diesel emissions scores. Is it time to get serious about electric cars? As soon as news of the Volkswagen engine management software cheat broke out, I thought of writing a Monday Note titled The VW Diesel Cockroach, referring(...)
LinkedIn was poised to become a major player in the business news sector. Instead, the professional social network is stuck with dull editorial content. Let's see why it let the train pass, preferring to bet on quantity above everything else. Interview with Dan Roth, Linkedin executive editor