Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Four cool things

Lately I've been a bad blogger, but with good reason. All will be revealed. Anyway, here are four things which came my way today, all of which caught my interest:

  • NeufCegetel ups the French FTTH stakes with the acquisition of fiber specialist Erenis. With aspirations of achieving 15k subs by March of this year, Erenis is clearly not the kind of acquisition which brings serious scale. But that's not the point - I think it's about tapping into the limited pool of people with true expertise in fiber deployments, as Iliad did with its October acquisition of Citefibre. No transaction value is stated, but I have to assume this deal makes a nice return for Iris Capital, et al, who funded Erenis just over a year ago.
  • My friend and Palladium Club mega-uber value reader, Lee Dryburgh, spent several days last week locked away in ITU meetings, which seem to have produced, somewhat remarkably, some hopeful-looking ideas on how telcos can position themselves as vital links in the chain of identity and reputation management. Check out the slides here. Will those of us who have spent the past four years (or more) chanting the mantra "telcos just don't get it" find reason for a re-examination in late 2007? As always, I'm skeptical, but nonetheless this is something to follow with interest.
  • A Pollonium Club mega-uber value reader points me to an apparently popular but still little-known corner of UK geekdom - the free cable TV via Linux phenomenon. Seems that a growing number of people are buying Nokia dbox2 set-top boxes from Germany with a Linux hack which allows them to do all sorts of cool things, including decrypting premium cable channels for free. Watch those RGUs, Virgin Media!
  • This interesting survey from japan.internet.com and goo Research covers awareness in Japan of Second Life. As usual, the research covers a sample group of 1,073 internet users ranging in age from 10 to 60, and discovers that nearly 19% of them have at least heard of Second Life. I agree with the authors' conclusion that, for a US-based virtual world with no Japanese language support at this point, this is quite an impressive number. Only 1.1% claim to have actually used it, however, but given the tendency for the Japanese to come up with homespun adaptations of ideas from abroad, I wonder whether this low uptake points to an opportunity for a domestic rival?

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