Monday, January 26, 2009

And now for something completely insane...

Thanks to a newly-crowned Palladium Club mega-uber value reader, check out this exceptionally detailed pictorial essay on domestic fiber installation in Japan. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday bummer

I spent today in the West End, beavering away on the project, but my concentration was frequently broken by the torrent of bad news filling the wires today. First BT (oh dear), then Nokia, which ended the day in the Minus 10 Club, nicely matching its 2009 industry outlook. Then came Microsoft, and then Freescale announced it has drawn part of its revolver, which didn't seem to inspire huge confidence. Overall, a hideous day for news, but thankfully not entirely devoid of comedy. As I've always said, when the sun shines out your backside, it's advisable to rest said derriere on a $44,000 chair.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Streaming tears of joy

I'm very busy at the moment. However, in the wake of yesterday's historic events on Capitol Hill, the geek wannabe in me just couldn't help stopping to take note of some of the impressive statistics coming out of the likes of Akamai and Limelight, as well as the associated thread on the NANOG list. Now, back to building my own future...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Virtual late lunch, 14 January 2009

Much to catch up on, but first, a moment of silence for Nortel. The 2009 fun and games have officially begun. 

For the datacenter lover in you, Digital Realty Trust had another set of encouraging numbers yesterday, and the stock had a nice bounce, though the appalling US retail sales numbers and fallout from Nortel are taking their toll today.

Then again, look on the bright side, looks like PCs and game consoles are going to get even cheaper!

Disdain for fund-of-fund managers is the new black, and Telenor is draped in it from head to toe.

If you live in the EU and have been putting off that plasma TV purchase, time may be running out.

Very interesting report on the smart grid and its potential contribution to fiscal stimulus. This is discussed in an upcoming Telco 2.0 post, so I'll just point to it for now. 

On a purely personal point, I continue to be amazed at the power of this web thingie to connect and reconnect people. A couple of days ago, I received, totally out of the blue, a bunch of old photos from a group of schoolmates I haven't seen since or communicated with since 1974, when we moved to Memphis. We are now emailing and Facebooking one another and exchanging stories. In true Woody Allen fashion, it seems that no one has ended up doing what I expected them to do back when we were kids, including myself. And it turns out that a nice, unassuming kid I often played with has ended up as a pretty well-known writer it would seem. It's all delightful stuff, and highlights that without this awesome series of tubes, we would probably all be in the dark about how life turned out for us. Now there is a Facebook group and even some talk of an attempt at a reunion. 

Back to 2009, FTSE -4.4%, S&P -3%. Ho hum...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Broadband bombshells

A couple of mega-uber value readers have pointed me towards a couple of interesting reports hot off the presses:

OFCOM's survey of broadband speed and performance characteristics, carried out by the awesome SamKnows, looks like the most comprehensive study of its type ever produced, and I look forward to reading it.

Likewise, OPTA has released an interesting-looking report (and spreadsheet) commissioned from AnalysysMason comparing costs of various scenarios for fiber deployment in the Netherlands. I have only scanned it very quickly, but if I'm interpreting the cost comparisons correctly, it would seem to point to a significant cost disadvantage for sub-loop unbundling. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back in action, mostly

A belated happy new year to all mega-uber value readers. Still trying to locate my brain through a jet-lag fog, but normal posting should resume soon. I'll spare you the typical "2009 predictions" post, because my view is that all bets are off for this year, apart from rising corporate defaults and human misery, which are dead certs. Working through a mountain of email today, I came across a couple of items on companies near the top of Santa's naughty list in 2008, so I will content myself with these for now:

According to this article, Phorm (a company which has succeeded in inspiring a jaw-droppingly unique level of negative press and public disdain) is apparently considering financial incentives to secure user acceptance. I wrote something recently wherein I speculated that this might be one approach, but one which is at odds with the company's business model, which is based on share of incremental ad revenue with ISP and channel partners. I'm not sure I really understand what's going on here, if anything. I think a company like Phorm really only has one incentive to attract users, and that is the promise of greater relevance in ad content, though I think consumers are far from comfortable with this proposition at present. Perhaps advertising fatigue has not reached the critical level yet. 

Elsewhere, Sandvine, the people who brought you the great Comcast Controversy, have started off the year with six major customer wins, though I'm not really sure what constitutes a "tier 1" DSL operator in Japan, where DSL is in terminal decline. If anyone has any ideas about who the European mystery company is, please let me know.

Finally, I've been commissioned to write a report for a major international organization, on the topic of broadband's role in stimulating and enabling innovation. This is a very broad remit, and I have lots of ideas, but I'd be very interested to hear yours, no matter how unusual.