Friday, September 17, 2010

IBM's Africa

New York Times: I.B.M.: Africa Is the Next Growth Frontier: I.B.M. will supply the computing technology and services for an upgraded cellphone network across 16 nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Its customer is India’s largest cellphone operator, Bharti Airtel, which paid $9 billion a few months ago for most of the African assets of Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company, or Zain..... The deal takes the broad partnership between Bharti and I.B.M., begun in 2004, beyond India. ..... in the last five years I.B.M. has invested $300 million in the region to build data centers, add country offices and foster technology training programs — and it plans to expand aggressively in the region..... the next major emerging growth market — Africa .... I.B.M. is targeting the linchpin industries of economies including telecommunications, banking, transportation, health care and energy...... only 23 percent of Africans have access to banking services, but already 8 million Africans use their cellphones for payments.

The for profit route is the route to go. The for profit route is the best way to do good for about 90% of the people out there, be it Africa, China or India. Or America. Most Americans take care of their families with jobs they hold with privately held companies.

In The News

New York Times: Oracle Profit Rises 20%, Higher Than Forecast: for a quarter that closed at the end of August, traditionally one of the slowest selling periods..... Safra A. Catz, a president of Oracle .... “I don’t believe there is any other company in the industry better positioned than Oracle,” Mr. Hurd said. ..... The legal squabble underscores the changing relationships taking place as the world’s largest technology companies begin to step on each other’s toes. .... Never one to back down from a confrontation, Lawrence J. Ellison, Oracle’s chief executive, threatened that H.P.’s lawsuit against Mr. Hurd could wreck the companies’ relationship. ..... Oracle continues to follow a multiyear strategy of acquiring business software makers large and small. The company hopes to become a one-stop shop of sorts .... tends to purchase companies with loyal customers who pay regular maintenance fees for upgrades and other services ... Oracle posted about $1 billion in hardware sales as well ..... Ellison vowed to unveil a host of new products at Oracle’s event next week, including systems that create tight links between hardware and software.
Google Ventures Hires an Entrepreneur-in-Residence: the man behind Google Voice ..... Google bought GrandCentral for a reported $45 million in 2007 and since then, Mr. Walker has been the product manager for real-time communications at Google. ..... Entrepreneur-in-residence is one of those only-in-Silicon-Valley jobs. Smart people get paid to sit around and think about new ideas, and investors get the chance to join an entrepreneur early in a new project, betting that lightning will strike twice. ..... “This business that we’re in as V.C.s is a social business, more about people than companies or products.” ..... the idea is that Google will eventually fund Mr. Walker’s next start-up..... there are still lot of industries like that out there.”

TechCrunch: Yahoo’s Internal Three Year Plan: 1 Billion Users And $10 Billion In Revenue: an increase in the number of unique visitors to Yahoo properties from today’s 622 million to a cool 1 billion. And an increase in overall Yahoo revenue from last year’s $6.5 billion to a whopping $10 billion.... short of some sort of massively popular new product, 1 billion unique visitors isn’t going to happen ... what Yahoo really needs is some serious product vision
How Small Countries Out-perform: A Guide (Spoiler: It’s a lot like Startups): By 2050 the United States will be the only G7 nation that is still one of the seven largest economies in the world. Our new peers... will be China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia. .... Israel and Singapore. These are two countries that had little in terms of natural resources and have far out-performed their larger neighbors ..... tiny Singapore has just 2% of the population of its giant neighbor Indonesia but its GDP is 35% of Indonesia’s ..... a culture of entrepreneurship ..... Israel .. indirectly benefited from its instability, in that most of the innovation in the late 1990s spun out of the army. ...... The President of Iceland Olafur Regnar Grimsson, who was on the panel, said his size has been an advantage in doing deals with the global giants because it’s not a threat and there are no political dustups. ...... One huge international giant, like Nokia in Finland, can have a disproportionate effect on the economy as it swings up and down with the market ..... What works best isn’t erecting some incubator but favorable tax policy, labor laws that allow for rapid company formation and failure and incentives for foreign investors. ..... Singapore’s GDP was down 8% last year but is up 18% in the most recent quarter.
Music Lovers, Be Prepared To Fall In Love Instantly – Meet The New Shuffler:Shuffler is excellent for music discovery
Social Payment Startup Venmo Raised $1.2 Million And Has A New iPhone App (TCTV): closed $1.2 million in seed funding last May led by RRE Ventures. Other investors include betaworks, Lerer Ventures, Founder Collective, as well as angel investors Dustin Moskovitz, (Facebook co-founder), Dave Morin (founder of Path, senior platform manager at Facebook) and Sam Lessin ( CEO)...... Andrew Kortina used to work at betaworks, where he was one of the original engineers on URL shortener ..... if it grows, businesses could start accepting Venmo payments simply by opening an account. .... If it can start collecting enough public data about what people are buying, that data could be very valuable to brands and businesses.

Facebook Competitor Diaspora Revealed: Sparse, But Clean; Source Code Released: All traffic is signed and encrypted (except photos, for now).... will include Facebook integration off the bat, as well as data portability. .... It is by no means bug free or feature complete
Facebook Expands Instant Personalization Program, Adds Rotten Tomatoes As Partner: The feature gives sites that have received Facebook’s blessing the ability to access any information you’ve shared with ‘Everyone’ on Facebook as soon as you arrive at the third-party site, with no authentication required. ... Yelp, Microsoft’s, and Pandora .... a personalized web, where sites know what you’re interested in as soon as you was initially frustratingly difficult to opt-out of ..... people will totally freak out when they arrive at a site and it already knows who their friends are ..... “No revenue is ever exchanged as part of this program and user data cannot be transferred by partners to third-party ad networks.” .... reviews, food, travel, music, movies

Alex Payne: The Very Last Thing I’ll Write About Twitter: My unintentionally infamous tweet from months ago about a Twitter web experience that would compete with the best third-party clients ..... The new design is a pleasure to use, and encourages a kind of deep exploration of the data within Twitter that has previously only been exposed in bits and pieces by third-party applications. Browsing Twitter is now as rewarding as communicating with it..... the Twitter developer community needs to adapt to the post-#newtwitter reality. .... decentralization would make tweeting as fundamental and irrevocable a part of the Internet as email

Google Latlong: View Near Real-time Flights Over The U.S. In Google Earth: a snapshot of all the airplanes in the air at any given time over the U.S., all placed at the appropriate coordinates and altitude.

BusinessWeek: Dell Plans More Than $100 Billion Spending In China:over 10 years ..... Steve Ballmer projects the country may replace the U.S. as the largest PC market next year. ..... The company spent about $23 billion in China in 2009 .... Dell China President Amit Midha
China Touts ‘Complete Package’ for California Railway: including financing .... linking Los Angeles and San Francisco .... trains that travel 350 kph (217 mph) and experience from building a 6,920 kilometer high-speed rail network, the world’s longest...... China will have twice as much high-speed rail track as the rest of the world combined by 2014 under a 2 trillion yuan ($297 billion) nationwide construction project ..... California’s planned high-speed rail network would haul passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2 hours and 38 minutes. The journey takes six to eight hours by car or about one hour by plane. ..... will eventually link San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco.

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