Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Winds of change from the east

My inbox runneth over with interesting news of developments in Russia and its environs.

Firstly, and closest to my currently fiber-obsessed heart, I see that Golden Telecom has acquired FTTB specialist Corbina, which currently claims to cover 2.4m households in Moscow and is estimated to take 1/3 of net additions in the local broadband market.

Secondly, I discovered, via the fabulous alarm:clock euro, that Ambient Sound Investments, a heretofore unknown entity to me, but founded by the key engineers behind Skype, has hit the investment trail in earnest. Nice to see part of the proceeds of disruptive innovation being recycled to support even more of the same - and focusing on tapping the potential in Eastern Europe.

Lastly, but by no means leastly, the team at Quintura have launched a version for kids. I think this is really particularly interesting, because while children can obviously use Google, I find that its presentation of results is a bit cumbersome and monotonous, even for kids with good literacy levels (and patience/attention span). How much more interesting would search be for them if they were presented with a cloud of related terms/images? At the crass commercial end of the spectrum, I can see someone like Disney or Viacom wanting to jump all over this concept, but I think it is also an approach which the educational world should probably take a good long look at.

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