Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Next Leap for Linux

From The New York Times - LINUX runs the Google servers that manage billions of searches each day. It also runs the TiVo digital video recorder, the Motorola Razr cellphone and countless other electronic devices.

But why would anyone want to use Linux, an open-source operating system, to run a PC? “For a lot of people,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, “Linux is a political idea — an idea of freedom. They don’t want to be tied to Microsoft or Apple. They want choice. To them it’s a greater cause.”

That’s not the most compelling reason for consumers. There is the price: Linux is free, or nearly so. | Read full article

In Facebook, Investing in a Theory

From The New York Times - The Facebook frenzy is spreading.

Thousands of software developers are creating features for Facebook, the rapidly growing social network, many hoping to strike it rich alongside Facebook’s own employees.

Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., opened its service to outside developers this spring, inviting them to create tools for the site and to try to profit from them. Since then, more than 4,000 “applications” have flooded onto the site, spicing it up with games or whimsical programs called widgets that let you turn your friends into virtual zombies and more practical tools that let users display images of their favorite books, music, movies and wine on their profile pages.

The wave of attention from users and developers has sent estimates of Facebook’s value soaring into the dot-com stratosphere. Last month, there were reports that Microsoft was considering a $500 million investment that would value the three-year-old company at up to $15 billion. | Read full article

Will Facebook’s Developers Defect to Other Platforms?

From The New York Times - Today I wrote about the rush of developers to write for the Facebook platform, and their inflated hopes of riches.

Facebook is sure to have competition in the business of allowing third parties to participate, and make money, on its service. Google is reportedly planning to open social network Orkut and perhaps Gmail to developers. So are social networks like Bebo, hi5 and Tagged, each popular with different Internet communities. | Read full article

Whyville Delivers Top Metrics For Virgin, Penguin Books, UT

From Online Media Daily - MARKETER BUZZ AROUND SUCH ADULT-FACING virtual worlds as Second Life has cooled, but brands like Virgin Records, Penguin Books and even the University of Texas Health Science Center have found success reaching tweens in Numedeon's Whyville.

The Pasadena-based virtual world--with a reported 2.4 million active users ages 8-15 (about 70% of whom are registered members)--allows kids to chat, play games and earn virtual currency called "clams"--and spend those clams on furniture for their virtual houses and accessories for their avatars, among other things. | Read full article

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Laptop With a Mission Widens Its Audience

From The New York Times - In November, you’ll be able to buy a new laptop that’s spillproof, rainproof, dustproof and drop-proof. It’s fanless, it’s silent and it weighs 3.2 pounds. One battery charge will power six hours of heavy activity, or 24 hours of reading. The laptop has a built-in video camera, microphone, memory-card slot, graphics tablet, game-pad controllers and a screen that rotates into a tablet configuration.

And this laptop will cost $200.

The computer, if you hadn’t already guessed, is the fabled “$100 laptop” that’s been igniting hype and controversy for three years. It’s an effort by One Laptop Per Child ( to develop a very low-cost, high-potential, extremely rugged computer for the two billion educationally underserved children in poor countries. | Read full article