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Verticalized Big Data solutions

By Ben Lorica
April 19, 2014

As much as I love talking about general-purpose big data platforms and data science frameworks, I’m the first to admit that many of the interesting startups I talk to are focused on specific verticals. At their core big data applications …

Big Data: The Ultimate Computing Platform

By Jeff Needham
August 12, 2013

This post originally published as a chapter from the free Radar report, Disruptive Possibilities: How Big Data Changes Everything. Introduction to Platforms A platform is a collection of sub-systems or components that must operate like one thing. A Formula One …

Current state of formats and platforms

By Joe Wikert
April 3, 2013

Remember the old days when PDF was pretty much the only way to distribute content and those PDFs were read on computer screens? PDF still lives, of course, but now we’re also faced with offering content in mobi and EPUB …

Commerce Weekly: You can now buy stuff with tweets

By Jenn Webb
February 14, 2013

American Express turns Twitter into an ecommerce platform American Express announced an enhancement this week to its Sync with Twitter feature — users can now buy things with a tweet. Tricia Duryee reports at All Things Digital that all users …

Commerce Weekly: You can now buy stuff with tweets

By Jenn Webb
February 14, 2013

American Express turns Twitter into an ecommerce platform American Express announced an enhancement this week to its Sync with Twitter feature — users can now buy things with a tweet. Tricia Duryee reports at All Things Digital that all users …

Commerce Weekly: Google targets Amazon’s shopping platform

By Jenn Webb
February 7, 2013

Google acquires Channel Intelligence, pursues Amazon shoppers In a recent post at Wired, Marcus Wohlsen took a look at the success of Google’s switch last fall to all-paid product listings — such as the top result for a search for …

Commerce Weekly: Google targets Amazon’s shopping platform

By Jenn Webb
February 7, 2013

Google acquires Channel Intelligence, pursues Amazon shoppers In a recent post at Wired, Marcus Wohlsen took a look at the success of Google’s switch last fall to all-paid product listings — such as the top result for a search for …

The software-enabled cars of the near-future (industrial Internet links)

By Jon Bruner
January 17, 2013

OpenXC (Ford Motor) — Ford has taken a significant step in turning its cars into platforms for innovative developers. OpenXC goes beyond the Ford Developer Program, which opens up audio and navigation features, and lets developers get their hands on …

Four short links: 17 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 17, 2012

TraceKit (GitHub) — stack traces for Javascript exceptions, in all major browsers. SCADA Manufacturer Starts Own Anti-Malware Project — perimeter protection only, so it doesn’t sound to my inexpert ears like the whole solution to SCADA vulnerability, but it at …

Publishing News: Hacking DRM is now illegal in Canada

By Jenn Webb
November 9, 2012

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week. New Canadian copyright laws make breaking DRM illegal New copyright reform legislation, Bill C-11 (PDF), took effect in Canada this week. Michael Geist pulled together …

The art of marrying content with mobile apps

By Joe Wikert
January 16, 2012

In this TOC Podcast, KiwiTech founder and CTO Gurvinder Batra talks about how his company masters the challenges of developing apps for the publishing industry. He also says native apps are a better option than EPUB.

The art of marrying content with mobile apps

The art of marrying content with mobile apps
By Joe Wikert
January 16, 2012

In this TOC Podcast, KiwiTech founder and CTO Gurvinder Batra talks about how his company masters the challenges of developing apps for the publishing industry. He also says native apps are a better option than EPUB.

Open Question: Is it realistic for publishers to cut Amazon out of the equation?

By Jenn Webb
December 27, 2011

Author Charlie Stross argued recently that Amazon's growing position toward a monopoly can largely be attributed to publishers' use of DRM. A back-channel discussion brewed about whether cutting Amazon out of the picture entirely would be a viable solution.

Open Question: Is it realistic for publishers to cut Amazon out of the equation?

Open Question: Is it realistic for publishers to cut Amazon out of the equation?
By Jenn Webb
December 27, 2011

Author Charlie Stross argued recently that Amazon's growing position toward a monopoly can largely be attributed to publishers' use of DRM. A back-channel discussion brewed about whether cutting Amazon out of the picture entirely would be a viable solution.

HTML5: The platform-agnostic key to the future of publishing

By Joe Wikert
December 22, 2011

In this TOC podcast, PinchZoom Press founder Brian Fling talks about why he chose HTML5 over EPUB3. He says HTML5 is more platform agnostic. Fling also says native apps are here to stay, so building for multiple platforms will continue to be necessary.

Not a self-publisher, far from a traditional publisher

By Joe Wikert
November 14, 2011

In this podcast, Jesse Potash, founder of Pubslush Press, talks about how his company differs from self-publishing platforms — and from Kickstarter — and how he's using it to help eradicate global illiteracy.

Not a self-publisher, far from a traditional publisher

Not a self-publisher, far from a traditional publisher
By Joe Wikert
November 14, 2011

In this podcast, Jesse Potash, founder of Pubslush Press, talks about how his company differs from self-publishing platforms — and from Kickstarter — and how he's using it to help eradicate global illiteracy.

We're in the midst of a restructuring of the publishing universe (don't panic)

By Jenn Webb
October 26, 2011

Hugh McGuire, co-author of "Book: A Futurist's Manifesto," explains why publishing's digital transformation goes way beyond format shifts. He also reveals nine ways the publishing industry will change over the next five years.

We're in the midst of a restructuring of the publishing universe (don't panic)

We're in the midst of a restructuring of the publishing universe (don't panic)
By Jenn Webb
October 26, 2011

Hugh McGuire, co-author of "Book: A Futurist's Manifesto," explains why publishing's digital transformation goes way beyond format shifts. He also reveals nine ways the publishing industry will change over the next five years.

Four short links: 12 October 2011

By Nat Torkington
October 12, 2011

Steve Yegge's Google Platforms Rant -- epic. Read it. Guidelines for Securing Open Source Software (EFF) -- advice from the team that audited some commonly-used open source libraries. Avoid giving the user options that could compromise security, in the form of modes, dialogs, preferences, or tweaks of any sort. As security expert Ian Grigg puts it, there is "only...

Amazon's "Prime" challenger to the iPad

Amazon's
By Mark Sigal
September 26, 2011

While conventional wisdom says that to compete with the iPad you must emulate Apple's best practices, Mark Sigal argues that Amazon can do just fine by blazing its own trail.

Papercut has designs on a new storytelling genre

By Jenn Webb
September 21, 2011

In this TOC podcast, ustwo head of publishing Jonas Lennermo says his company's new iPad product, Papercut, is a publishing platform, a storefront, and a storytelling experiment.

Ruminations on the legacy of Steve Jobs

Ruminations on the legacy of Steve Jobs
By Mark Sigal
August 25, 2011

Apple, under Steve Jobs, has always had an unrelenting zeal to bring the consumer — and humanity — back to the center of the ring. Here, Mark Sigal argues that it's this pursuit of humanity that may actually be Jobs' greatest innovation.

Smartphones and spheres of influence

Smartphones and spheres of influence
By Jenn Webb
July 20, 2011

As a part of an ongoing series looking at mobile disruption, Tyler Bell offers his take on how smartphones can be harnessed individually and collectively.

Is the enterprise dead as a tablet strategy?

Is the enterprise dead as a tablet strategy?
By Mark Sigal
July 12, 2011

A confluence of factors, most notably the crash of the dotcom bubble and the rise of Apple, led to the consumerization of IT. But Mark Sigal says tablet makers are missing a golden opportunity by ignoring the enterprise.

Which Social Gaming companies are Hiring

By Ben Lorica
July 29, 2010

Disney's announced purchase of Mountain View gaming startup Playdom, follows on the heels of EA's purchase of London-based Playfish last November. Based on active users Zynga remains by far the biggest online social gaming company, but what other independent companies are growing? To see which companies are expanding, I used our data warehouse of online job postings1 to detect recent...

Where Facebook's half a billion users reside

Where Facebook's half a billion users reside
By Ben Lorica
July 21, 2010

Facebook announced that they now reach 500 million active users (just five and half years after launching). But where do these half a billion users reside? Refreshing my post from February, the share of users from Asia continues to rise and now stands at 17% of all Facebook users. Over the past 12 weeks, Facebook added over a million active users in fourteen countries, including 5 in Asia and all three members of NAFTA.

Four Thoughts on the WHAT, WHY and SO WHAT of Google App Inventor for Android

By Mark Sigal
July 12, 2010

There is something enticing about a software toolkit for non-developers; the concept that if you can articulate a workflow or algorithmic outcome, you can "meta-program" it without writing a line of code. That's why I think that there is some warranted excitement around Google's App Inventor for Android. It represents a holy grail and a myth at the same time. Read more...

Google's New Marketplace Has over a Thousand Apps

By Ben Lorica
March 17, 2010

One week† into its public launch, the Google Apps Marketplace has just under 1,500 (enterprise) apps. Combined with Salesfore.com's app exchange (also with over a thousand apps), enterprises interested in moving to cloud apps have an increasing number of software tools to choose from. Popular apps (measured in terms of # of installs) includes graphic design and office integration apps...

1 in 4 Facebook Users Come From Asia or the Middle East

By Ben Lorica
March 3, 2010

Asia's share of the more than 400 million active Facebook users recently surged past 15%: With a market penetration of 1.7% in Asia and Africa, the company has barely scratched the surface in both regions. While the company continued to add users in Southeast Asia, there were an additional 2.3 million users from South Asia over the past 12 weeks....

Apps for Army Launches - The Hybrid Enterprise?

By Jim Stogdill
March 3, 2010

The Army launches Apps for Army. Contest or harbinger of the hybrid enterprise that combines planning and emergence under one roof?

Architectural Patterns

By Rick Jelliffe
February 15, 2010

Uwe Zdun and Paris Avgeriou's paper "Architectural Patterns Revisited - A Pattern Language"

Check Mate: Apple's iPad and Google's Next Move

Check Mate: Apple's iPad and Google's Next Move
By Mark Sigal
January 28, 2010

There is an axiom that the biggest game-changers often result from ideas that, at first blush, seem easy to dismiss. So it goes with yesterday's launch of the iPad, Apple's entry into what they call the 'third category' of device -- the middle ground that exists between smartphone and laptop. Why is the iPad (seemingly) so easy to dismiss? Well, for one, it is an evolutionary device when conventional wisdom suggests that it needs to be a revolutionary device to find a wedge into a new market. In this instance, conventional wisdom is just plain off base.

The Google Android Rollout: Windows or Waterloo?

By Mark Sigal
January 5, 2010

Watching Google's rollout of Android to date, including this week's announcements around the Google-branded, HTC built, Nexus One phone, I am left with two conflicting thoughts. Is it the beginning of their assent into Windows-like dominance or the fortnight of their 'Waterloo' moment? Read more.

Asia Continues to be Facebook's Strongest Growth Region

By Ben Lorica
November 20, 2009

With Facebook topping 330 million active users over the past week, the company's strongest growth region continues to be Asia. Over the last 12 weeks, Facebook added close to 17M active users in Asia alone. Since my previous post, the share of active users from Asia grew by 2% (to 13.5% of all users), and roughly 1 in 7 users...

There are Over a Million People Actively Using Facebook Right Now

By Ben Lorica
September 24, 2009

A little over a week ago Facebook reached a major milestone: 300 million active users. The fastest-growth region continues to be Asia, but growth in other overseas regions such as the Americas and Africa have also been strong. Currently reaching only 1% of potential users in Asia and Africa, Facebook has barely scratched the surface in both regions: Growth in...

Four short links: 30 July 2009

By Nat Torkington
July 30, 2009

iPhone App v1.3 Released -- revealing glimpse into how third-party apps (such as this iPhone app, built on the Brooklyn Museum's API) reflect on the institution providing the API. Brooklyn Museum has dealt with this sensitively and intelligently, a model to all. As always, I want to marry the Brooklyn Museum and raise a posse of online apps. Embrace...

Facebook Adds Million of Users in Asia

By Ben Lorica
June 19, 2009

Since my previous post on Facebook users by country, the company has grown rapidly in Asia. Over the last 12 weeks, Facebook grew 90% in Asia going from 11.4 to 21.7 million active users. With a Market Penetration of only 0.6% in Asia, Facebook has barely scratched the surface in the region. The company also gained 11.3M users in Europe...

2 Years Later, the Facebook App Platform is Still Thriving

By Ben Lorica
May 13, 2009

In a few weeks, the Facebook application platform will mark its second anniversary. While it garnered lots of press coverage in the months after it launched, the arrival of the iTunes app store shifted attention away from Facebook's vibrant ecosystem. The media glow is understandable: among other things, the younger iTunes platform is adding apps at a much faster rate...

Importance of Innovation in Finance & BarCampBank

Importance of Innovation in Finance & BarCampBank
By Jesse Robbins
April 20, 2009

“Progress is not the mere correction of evils. Progress is the constant replacing of the best there is with something still better.” -Edward Filene Two years ago, when we were organizing the first BarCampBank in the US, many people found it hard to believe that banks & credit unions could a place for meaningful grassroots innovation. Even crazier was...

Active Facebook Users By Country

By Ben Lorica
April 19, 2009

Since I last posted numbers on Facebook's user base six week ago, the company has added close to 20 million active users. I've had a few requests for detailed numbers by country so I quickly assembled an update for each of the regions shown above....

Facebook is Growing Fast in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East

By Ben Lorica
March 5, 2009

With Facebook recently passing 175 million users, I decided to update my analysis of its user base. The weekly growth in number of users has remained steady, with the last 5 weeks being exceptionally strong: Facebook added over 25 million users since early February. The share of U.S. users inched up slightly from 30% to 31%. The company added users...

Facebook in 2010: no longer a walled garden

By David Recordon
March 4, 2009

A lot of what I've been working on the past two years has been built on the assumption that the model that social networks use today will fundamentally change. Social networks have largely been built on the premise of being walled gardens in such a way that users can't communicate or share content or friends across networks; put simply this is what keeps a Facebook user from being able to send a message to a MySpace user. This is the same model that destroyed AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy's ISP businesses when normal people chose the Internet itself versus their thoughtfully curated walled gardens.

Apple's restrictions mean more jailbreaking & Android adoption

By Jesse Robbins
September 24, 2008

When Apple announced the iPhone SDK last year I said: [...] Jobs makes it clear that the platform won't be completely open. While he says that this is to balance the benefits of an open platform with user security protection, it's unclear where Apple will draw those lines. Will there be a Skype client? Third-party media apps? It would have...

Facebook Growth By Country and the Slowdown in App Usage

By Ben Lorica
July 21, 2008

With the Facebook Developers conference slated for later this week, I thought it would be a good time to give a brief update of a previous post on Facebook demographics. What follows are recently published number of users by country and region, along with growth rates for select regions and countries. Over the last four weeks, the fastest growing regions were South America, Central America and the Carribean:

Service Monitoring Dashboards are mandatory for production services!

By Jesse Robbins
June 18, 2008

Google App Engine went down earlier today. GAE is still a developer preview release, and currently lacks a public monitoring dashboard. Unfortunately this means that many people either found out from their app and/or admin consoles being unavailable or from Mike Arrington's post on TechCrunch. Google has a strong Web Operations culture, and there are numerous internal monitoring tools in...


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