ISPs vs Content Providers — Consumers Lose

In other words, bad video performance is often caused not just by technology problems but also by business decisions made by the companies that control the Internet.

via Why YouTube buffers: The secret deals that make—and break—online video | Ars Technica.


In the most extreme cases, large Internet companies stop passing traffic to one another entirely.


The Dropbox Platform arrives to ‘replace the hard drive’ with a sync API, a ‘universal file picker’, and more – The Next Web

Thought of the day: Can Dropbox replace the cookie too?

The Dropbox Platform arrives to ‘replace the hard drive’ with a sync API, a ‘universal file picker’, and more – The Next Web.

What’s an Apple user worth? | asymco

It shows that for a number of years—from 2009 until late 2012—Apple’s users were valued (implicitly by the stock market) as likely to create a net present value of about $1200 in earnings. The current value is about a third of that, or $440 in earnings.

via What’s an Apple user worth? | asymco.


Although the rate of spending of each customer is decreasing, the number of new customers is increasing more rapidly. As this is happening the company’s equity is being priced such that an Apple user is considered less than half as valuable as she used to be—from 3.2x revenues to 1.5x revenues.

What’s surprising is that this is the product lifecycle trend you see when a product goes from the enthusiast to mainstream market.  Well, one can ask, aren’t iPhones already mainstream?  It may seem like that in the US today but in the broader global market, the definition of mainstream is very different.

I very much believe that this market will follow the traditional pattern of product lifecycles and the durations will be a lot more compressed that for other tech products.  In other words, iOS’ reign will be shorter (measured in years) than Windows reign on desktop.


Computer Algorithms Rely Increasingly on Human Helpers –

As unsexy as it sounds, computers do need babysitters.  This was evident ten years ago and it’s still evident if you have present day experience with using computers to try and automate “human intelligent tasks”. Improvements are happening in a slow and steady march but it’ll take some dramatic innovations to create step changes.

Trading stocks, targeting ads, steering political campaigns, arranging dates, besting people on “Jeopardy” and even choosing bra sizes: computer algorithms are doing all this work and more.

But increasingly, behind the curtain there is a decidedly retro helper — a human being.

via Computer Algorithms Rely Increasingly on Human Helpers –

Graph Search: Making Facebook Data More Useful To Users

Many startups exist because they simply make Facebook data more useful.  The simple formula is taking your social graph data and presenting it in a new UI such as a map, images, pinterest syle format, etc.

Graph Search is step one in building the foundations so that users can do this without leaving Facebook.  Does that mean this will accelerate the demise of all the startups I mentioned above?  I don’t know– that’s a timing question.

The current product as it is leaves a lot to be desired, but the vision and mission the Graph Search team (making users’ social graph data more useful) is really a no-brainer and it’s not hype to me when I hear Zuck is calling this one of the important pillars of Facebook.

Facebook Is No Longer Flat: On Graph Search | John Battelle’s Search BlogJohn Battelle’s Search Blog.


The economics of in-flight Wi-Fi

Here are the costs for GoGo.  Data on other providers are in the article.

GoGo: The top provider in the U.S. (American Airlines and Delta are GoGo customers) has built a ground-based network that provides capacity up to planes, as opposed to beaming signals from a satellite. Tim Farrar, a satellite analyst, estimates that it costs GoGo roughly 20 cents to deliver a megabyte of data on a plane. That’s about $200 for a gigabyte, which makes AT&T’s and Verizon’s $10 per gigabyte charges for wireless data look reasonable by comparison.

Why your in-flight Wi-Fi is slow and expensive: It’s all about the pipe — Tech News and Analysis.