Thursday, August 24, 2006

As to making this API business easier

My favorite acronym for a great deal of time has been "API". It was one of the only things that made me feel better to hear after the past 5 years hearing overly-used terms such as AI (as in not so), SEC (as in investigation), and IPO (as in not currently planned). API said to me, "We're going to make this easier for you. We're going to get this software into your hands and continue the growth of the information age." And engineering managers prided themselves on having one if they were tuned in to the sales and distribution goals of their respective companies. Here is an example of the Google Maps API:


There are hundreds, if not thousands of APIs, written. Yet not that many are used. Why? Several reasons, and one being that engineering teams need to stay on bug fixes and developing new features to meet competitive demand. But I hear Oren Michels is working on serving that very problem. His new company, addressing the rush of Web 2.0 services, is called Mashery.

I ran into Mr. Michels at last week's techcrunch / August Capital party and he told me a bit about this professional services company aiming to help companies distribute and integrate APIs.

So, API remains my favorite acronym.

Thanks, Oren. Your timing looks good and your target looks spot on. Looking forward to Mashery's non-stealth status.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ikanos and Doradus sitting in a tree, making better IPTV

Around this time last year. Ikanos sold 6.4 million shares of common stock at $12 per share to maintain a competitive position in its market space (IPTV).

Now, they have bring out a fifth-generation FX family of VDSL chipsets optimized for use with IPTV, believing that this will be the enabling technology to drive fiber first to the home while overall adoption of IP-centric storage and networking technologies will eventually do the same for fiber to the business.

I spoke with Jeff Schwartz, of Disruptive Strategies, who believes that fiber is still on top, beating out copper "every time". Mr. Schwartz is a person with more mobile knowledge than most and provides PR services to some lucky and up and coming businesses from here in the valley.

I recently read that Ikanos has entered into an agreement to acquire Doradus Technologies, a startup developer of digital signal processing technologies that can be used in areas such as IPTV.

Further research from the 451group says that:

"Ikanos believes that the advanced quality of service (QOS) that it has developed for its chipsets will be the differentiating technology for this market. It sees the home space merging with the business market, but says that the business sector is held back by lack of a killer application."

In January, the company said that they aim to provide significantly greater distances with their latest-generation VDSL2 chipsets and believe that they will open multi-tenant buildings to its broadband technology.

The relationship between IPTV and user-generated content is interesting. I'm looking forward to companies like Ikanos enabling the distribution and ease of access to new media.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Dear A-List Bloggers

I write to you frustrated and discouraged in hopes that you might shed light on a 'cold prickly' feeling I have. We could agree for the sake of my inquiry, that just as many people in the information movement, I struggle with the selection of who to read, who to agree with and my own voice in the blogosphere as it rises to capture it's own A-Listesque audience. To make a difference. A positive one. Frequently identified by others as a having a positive, energetic, and nearly Polyanna-like position, I am concerned to find myself presently disenchanted with our collective efforts to expose and analyze media's growth and expansion and its effect on our societies.

Is it the liquid bombing threat this week in London? Dave Winer taking little Liz Henry to task about sexism? The howels of pain from inside AOL? The inspiring conversations I have with people at conferences that fade into oblivious memory weeks later? I've approached several industry pundits and challenged them to build something meaningful with me, sure that my heart was in the right place, only to be ignored and put on the A-(shit)List by unrelated reasoning. What do these events have in common?

I have this disheartening sense that for every precaution we take or campaign we take on that there is an equally motivated anti-presence. Is life too big an animal to fix? At times it feels like we are changing the world with our conversations. I sat in South Korea last month and watched an Israeli and a Palestinian man talking -- each of them sensitive, intelligent, well-meaning citizen journalists. There is little need to highlight how little that moment translated a few days later as 200 missles plunged into Israel. Christ!

Tell me, what of the roll of the eyes of the cabby who hears me say "bloggers" and states plainly "I hate reading them, there is so much bullshit out there". We seem to register and train for the race, take a deep breath at the starting line and as surely skin our knees to bloody pulp of flesh once the starting gun goes off because our shoelaces are tied to the bleachers.

- B-list representative