Category Archives: Technology

Silicon Alley 2.0

A great article was posted on City-Journal.org about Silicon Alley. For those of you not from NYC, Silicon Alley is our iteration of Silicon Valley. I worked in the Alley during the 90s at i33 Communications as well, as, my personal endeavors, and was absorbed in all the hoopla surrounding the NY tech & media scene. Kozmo used to deliver me food at all hours of the night!
In recent months, one would argue that Silicon Alley has re-emerged and we’ve got Silicon Alley 2.0. This article by Steven Malanga talks about the history of the Alley and goes into present day happenings with companies such as ShopWiki, Gawker Media, Weblogs Inc and others.

“All this excitement has investors ready to finance a new generation of tech firms. The New York metro area has become the third-biggest market for venture capital in the nation, outpaced only by Silicon Valley and greater Boston. Even more important, perhaps, a crucial component of the digital economy—venture capitalists willing to finance start-ups—has emerged in the city. They have joined together in New York Angels, a consortium of nearly 70 investors, each agreeing to put up at least $50,000 a year for local high-tech start-ups. “We get maybe 400 businesses a year looking for funding,â€? says chairman David Rose, a scion of New York’s Rose real-estate family and an early investor in local technology firms. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand.â€?

Click here to read the article.

Mayer, Meeker, and Warrior Discuss The Future

I subscribe to many different magazines ranging from The Deal to Fortune, and Spin to Mens Health. In the gym last week, I was reading the November 13 issue of Fortune and focused on the article, The Net’s Next Phase. Interestingly enough, this article was based on a panel from Fortune’s Powerful Women Summit, not your typical article written by testosterone infused gentlemen (myself included).

The four panelists were Arianna Huffington (founder of Huffington Post), Marissa Mayer (Google VP of Search Products & User Experience), Padmasree Warrior (CTO, Motorola), and Mary Meeker (Morgan Stanley Internet analyst).

There were many interesting quotes from this article and I tried to put together a few: Continue reading

Console War

Microsoft Xbox 360 has been out for the past year and has a several million + unit sales lead amongst its peers Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3. To most folks outside of the game industry, a console is a console. However, each of these consoles are so drastically different from each other, it’s rather hard to compare them together.

To begin, the Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 are the two consoles that compete head to head. The reason for this competition is that they have extremely powerful processing power and are built for the medium to hardcore gaming audience. Both of these consoles contain some sort of Internet enablement and allow players to compete against each other in all areas of the world.

The Nintendo Wii is a bit different. This machine is certainly a console but I’d argue that it’s going after a totally different audience than the it’s buddies (360 & PS3). Nintendo is smart – they realize that both Microsoft and Sony are going to spend several hundreds of millions each on advertising their respective console to win the “console war.” Nintendo doesn’t really want to participate in that… rather, they’d like to market to all of the folks who want a console, but aren’t a heavy gamer. Their controller is based around a motion sensor… is this brand new? No. This has been tried in the past but never succeeded, but for some reason, Nintendo thinks they can do this and be successful around it.

Game publishers and developers are going to be releasing games that go across all consoles, but the majority of casual games and lighter-weight console games will be on the Nintendo Wii. Xbox Live Arcade certainly has casual games but why drive a Bugatti when you can only go 45 mph?

PointCast & Widgets

Remember PointCast? The PointCast Network used push technology to send information to a users computer and received enormous press coverage in the mid 90s. However, it’s making a resurgence, though not as “PointCast.”

The Apple OS X Dashboard widgets remind me of PointCast. There are significant differences between widgets and PointCast, but the underlying meaning is the same… separate applications that push data to the end user after the initial request.

Are we going to see a resurgence of the PointCast Network?

MacroMyopia

I was listening to Mitch Kapor’s keynote address at the 2nd Annual Second Life Community Convention in San Francisco today and he brought up the term, macromyopia.  I had never heard the term before, but as an entrepreneur, it resonates with me very well.

"Macromyopia is society’s tendency to overestimate the short term results of a technology and to underestimate its long term results, because it takes a certain length of time (long enough for a sufficient number of people to die, actually) before a completely new technological paradigm can be assimilated." — John Barlow, Author and Songwriter

At the Second Life convention, I am sitting around an extremely macromyopic room.  Everyone in the room is so entrenched on what we’re building and contributing to within Second Life to fully understand the ramifications on what it will have on society and the virtual world in the long term.

The Power of Virtual Worlds

I’m a huge proponent of virtual worlds and all of the different opportunities that lie within each world.  From BusinessWeek to Advertising Age and every magazine/newspaper in between, we’re seeing some great integrations into the virtual world such as the BBC and MLB.  However, many people are not aware of the intricacies of planning an event or understanding how the "grid" system works within a virtual world, namely Linden Labs’ Second Life.

The grid is the platform that Second Life runs on.  It’s a combination of computing power, storage and software that allows Second Life to run and be usable by the hundreds of thousands of inhabitants.  Currently, there Second Life uses nearly 1,000 dual processor/dual- core systems and is growing at about 7% per month in terms of computing power.

In an article by Tom Gibbs, he explains the grid system in a bit more depth and how it relates to virtual worlds.  This is essential to understand if you want to learn how these worlds grow and what holds them back.

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