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Be on the wave or under it™

The News – 06/10/03

In this Issue:

Recommended Reading

I realize this is the only newsletter you’ll ever need, but if you want more in-depth detail, check out:

Stan Hustad’s
The Coaching Connection

Management Signature's
The Express Read

Nothing to Disclaim At This Time

OK, I ripped off the headline from longtime Internet smartguy and co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto, Christopher Locke, AKA Rageboy. His phrase is a parody of all the various legalese disclaimers that encrust corporate Websites.

In my case, the headline means that so many juicy infonuggets have cluttered the hopper here at StratVantage Central that we’re moving them out without the benefit of my usual logorrhea.

Stay tuned, however, for The Cheap Revolution, part 3.


The Cheap Revolution Part 1
The Cheap Revolution Part 2

Briefly Noted

  • Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: My feature article, Grid Computing Takes Off in the Enterprise, was published in the inaugural issue of Fawcette Technical Publications’ Enterprise Architect magazine. (Registration required to view.)

    My article, “Innovative Marketers Target Unwired Customers” was published in the NetSuds newsletter.

    Coming Soon: A new eBook, Be On the Wave Or Under It™ will collect the best of SNS’ insights over the last couple of years, along with additional material from CTOMentor white papers and new material. It will make a great gift (Father’s Day?) for associates and friends in need of a guide to the latest and greatest technology. Watch for more information in upcoming SNS issues.

    I was quoted extensively on eLearning in a recent issue of the
    Minneapolis magazine, Upsize, which is aimed at growing businesses.

    A couple issues ago I debuted SNS Begware, an opportunity for you, gentle reader, to express your appreciation by tipping your server via PayPal. See the sidebar for more info. Total in the kitty so far: $46.48.

    I’ve reworked the TrendSpot and Opinion sections, adding a Prediction Tracking page to track the various predictions I’ve made, and also added a Stuff I Said page with some quotes of things I said a decade or so ago on the Net.

    I repurposed and adapted an article about the wireless service known as Short Messaging Service (SMS) for the Reside newsletter. It’s entitled, Wherever they go, there you are and it points out how marketers can use – carefully – this new way to contact their customers.

    I’m featured in Manyworlds’ Thought Leader Showcase, which lists a few of the white papers I’ve done. I’ve also added their fancy icon to the StratVantage site.

  • The Wi-Fi BizModel: Regular SNS Readers know I don’t think much of for-pay Wi-Fi (wireless LAN) business models, but Alert SNS Reader Todd Mortenson sent along a pointer to an article that summarizes the various players in this soon-to-be-extinct marketplace. I wonder if Wayport and Boingo didn’t notice when T-Mobile had to reduce their monthly rate due to lack of interest.
  • BT Video Streaming: Many telecom companies way overspent for the bandwidth necessary for 3G data services because of their conviction that streaming video was going to be huge, and require huge amounts of bandwidth. Well, the jury’s still out on the popularity of video streaming over cell phone networks, and a new technology from British Telecom may drastically reduce the bandwidth necessary for streaming. BT has developed a method of streaming video across slower GPRS networks like those in use by AT&T in the US.

    The company claims their solution, called Fastnets, will eliminate delays and disjointed, choppy playback by storing the video in several different versions recorded at different frame rates. At the start of a video, the server transmits the content at a low frame rate, ensuring that the stream begins quickly, and fill up the receiving buffer with a few seconds of video. When possible, the server transmits a better quality version of the stream, and drops back to a lower quality version when transmission speed decreases.

    I have no doubt this scheme will provide a satisfying experience for the viewer. As mentioned in a previous SNS, viewers can tolerate very slow frame rates, and in one study, only 16 percent of subjects noticed the difference between video streamed at 5 and at 25 frames per second (fps), if you can believe that.

  • A Blog on Your Fone: You may be aware of the blogging phenomenon. A blog is the online musings of a Webhead. There are blogs for every kind of interest, and even big companies are getting into the act. Well, this phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by the revenue-hungry telecoms. Alert SNS Reader Nick Stanley sends along a pointer to Newbay Software, which has launched a new package called Go FoneBlog™ (stupid name alert). Oddly, in the promo I saw, FoneBlog seems to be targeting mobile phone operators’ employees rather than their customers. Huh? Check out this marketing blurb:

Mobile Operators interested in learning more about FoneBlog can join “Go FoneBlog” and provide their employees, management and other influencers and decision makers with personal websites where they can post images, text and audio clips.

With “Go FoneBlog”, mobile operators receive

·         FoneBlog system hosted by NewBay Software

·         Unique, private and secure homepage (e.g.

·         License for 100 users (employees) to create personal blogsites

·         Blogsites viewable over Internet, WAP and PDA browsers

·         Unique phone number/address for posting MMS messages

·         Real-time posting of images, text, text messages

·         Full features of FoneBlog

Luckily, despite appearances, NewBay is indeed targeting mobile operators’ customers, allowing them to instantly post photographs, text, audio and even video to personal blog sites. Naw, I don’t think so.
  • A Musical Blast From the Past: I just came upon this quote by George Gilder from December 2001 and I just love it: “When your product is stolen by thieves, you have a police problem.  When it is stolen by millions of honest customers, you have a marketing problem.”

    You have to wonder if Apple may have solved the marketing problem. The company’s iTunes Music Store sold more than one million songs during its first week and has seen robust orders for its new third-generation iPods. Most of the songs sold were purchased as part of albums and more than half of their inventory of 200,000 songs was purchased at least once. Consumers have downloaded more than one million copies of the iTunes 4 software.

    So has Steve Jobs done it again? Well, more recently Apple has reported sales have slowed, falling by half since the service was launched five weeks ago to “only” 500,000 downloads a day. Apple chairman Steve Jobs met with music producers to report the “bad” news. A report of the meeting appeared on, a Web site that sells music by independent artists.
    Gilder Technology Report

  • Storage Growth is Phenomenal: Certainly we’ve all noticed how big and affordable disk storage has become, at least on the consumer scale (enterprises tend to have storage headaches, but they’re related to management rather than capacity). In truth, storage growth has far outstripped Moore’s Law (processor speed doubles every 18 months). According to George Gilder, “Since 1995, storage has advanced three times faster than Moore's Law, and we've had a 170 times increase in total deployed drives. We've gone from a 40MB drive for $400 to a 160GB drive for $400 – that's a 4000 times reduction in price.” Indeed, Porter Stansberry's Investment Advisory newsletter predicts awe-inspiring disk capacity if the trend continues:

Areal density, the standard measurement of hard drive efficiency, has been doubling every 11 months since the early 1990s . . . By 2010 common mass-market hard drives will be capable of storing every movie produced since WWII (assuming 425 new movies are made each year).  Or, assuming each channel of the TV broadcasts 100 hours of new content each week, a typical hard drive in 2010 could record every show on every TV channel for three weeks.

  • You're All Just a Pack of Cards: Last issue, I mentioned the US’s Most Wanted Iraqi deck of cards. Well, what would Saddam’s Most Wanted Americans deck look like? Check out the link below. It’s good for a chuckle. Meanwhile, 1,500 companies have sold an estimated 1.5 million decks of the Iraqi Most Wanted cards, according to The New York Times. The cards' producer, JDR Media, has had virtually no marketing costs to move the cards. How come? They used email (AKA spam): Brightmail, a company which sells spam filters, identified 73 different e-mail messages selling the cards.
    America’s Most Wanted

  • Lunar Land Rush: Alert SNS Reader Roger Hamm sent along a bit of spam with an intriguing proposition: stake your claim on the moon. It’s cheap at $29.95 per acre. The company claims more than 2 million people have already bought deeds. You gotta love it.
    Lunar Land Rush

  • Do We Really Need More Abridgement of Freedom? Security expert Bruce Schneier reports in his recent Cryptogram newsletter that the Federal government has been tracking whether encryption has hindered policework. He cites a report called “Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts on Applications for Orders Authorizing or Approving the Interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications.” According to Schneier, the following interesting quote indicates how little a problem encrypted voice communications is for law enforcement:

    Public Law 106-197 amended 18 U.S.C. 2519(2)(b) in 2001 to require that reporting should reflect the number of wiretap applications granted in which encryption was encountered and whether such encryption prevented law enforcement officials from obtaining the plain text of communications intercepted pursuant to the court orders. In 2002, no federal wiretap reports indicated that encryption was encountered. State and local jurisdictions reported that encryption was encountered in 16 wiretaps terminated in 2002; however, in none of these cases was encryption reported to have prevented law enforcement officials from obtaining the plain text of communications intercepted. In addition, state and local jurisdictions reported that encryption was encountered in 18 wiretaps that were terminated in calendar year 2001 or earlier, but were reported for the first time in 2002; in none of these cases did encryption prevent access to the plain text of communications intercepted.

So tell me: Why exactly do we need to give away more of our privacy and constitutionally protected rights in order to be more secure?

Return to Mike’s Take

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About The Author

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Can’t Get Enough of ME?

In the unlikely event that you want more of my opinions, I’ve started a Weblog. It’s the fashionable thing for pundits to do, and I’m doing it too. A Weblog is a datestamped collection of somewhat random thoughts and ideas assembled on a Web page. If you’d like to subject the world to your thoughts, as I do, you can create your own Weblog. You need to have a Web site that allows you FTP access, and the free software from This allows you to right click on a Web page and append your pithy thoughts to your Weblog.

I’ve dubbed my Weblog entries “Stratlets”, and they are available at Let me know what you think.

Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of the latest emerging trends.

In Memoriam

Gerald M. Ellsworth

March 14, 1928 - July 5, 2003

In Memoriam

Jane C. Ellsworth

July 20, 1928 - July 20, 2003