08NTC: Day 2, open plenary with David Pogue

Macro trends in technology: Three technologies to watch
David Pogue

Year of the cell phone

Leaving the cell network and going onto the network like landlines.

  • VOIP, carry your number. Every feature known to man.
  • Cell phone carriers haven’t taken on VOIP over cellphones
  • T-mobile, hot spot at home – any time you’re in a wireless hotspot, all your calls are free. $20 more a month. Little box is like a cell tower in your house. (makes it cheaper for them because they don’t have to put up new towers in your neighborhood)
  • Can hand off call from mobile to wireless network
  • T-mobile is the only company that doesn’t have a land-line business, which is why they are doing this
  • David Pogue just gave us his phone number.
  • Grand Central - too many phones. Awesome video that he posted on the NY Times site

  • Google Cellular – 411 costs $2. Use text messages. Send message to 46645. Type what you’re looking for: “Pharmacy Chicago” In 5 seconds they will send you back the complete name, address, phone. Weather. Driving directions, movie showtimes. Flight info. Currency conversions, Definitions. Instantaneous and uncluttered.Voice to Text - “to page this person, press #” That voice is on Ambien. The voices on voicemail recordings are slow. They make $100 million a year keeping people on the phone and paying for more minutes.
    • Spinvox and Callwave transcribe your messages so you can scan them, skip to the important ones, and not pay minutes!

Ala Carte TV

  • Comcast to have tons of hours of free on-demand TV by the end of the year.
  • ITunes now has 600 tv series.
  • Networks now have free TV online. Most channels have 20-30 shows for free online. I *love* this. I’m obsessed with using the internet as my portable Tivo.
  • NBC and Fox joined together to build Hulu.com to combine all the network’s TV shows. Only 15-second ad at each commercial break.
  • Movies on iPod have changed with the iPod Touch and iPhone.
  • Format war doesn’t matter - we’re going to end up downloading our movies on-demand - but NOT for many years. Who’s going to download movies to their Dell and pull up chairs on movie night?
  • Now products that get your computer data on TV - Apple TV, Voodoo -
    • but only 50% of households can get it. Apple has 1,000 movies to choose from, compared to millions on DVD. Worse quality.
    • No extras and subtitles.
    • “Greasy executives” - policy that comes with these.
    • They self-destruct in 30 days.
    • Once you start watching it, it disappears in 24 hours. Why can’t we have it for a couple of days?
  • Audience-created video. YouTube and spin-offs. Will actually pay you money if people watch your video. MetaCafe, Revver.

Concept of Web 2.0 - new era of websites where we the audience, provide the material.

  • Companies just need to build the structure, you do all the work.
  • The reason why newspapers are going out of business and why classified ad sections are shrinking. People are solely using Craigslist.
  • Microsoft just bought 1.6% of Facebook. Pricing it at $15 billion dollars. This company has NO revenue and no way to make money, and yet they have high value. They are a *non-profit* ;-)
  • Flickr
  • YouTube - one year later was bought by Google by $1.7 billion dollars
  • 75 new blogs are started every minute. Pogue thinks 74 blogs are built in Blogger and the authors never go back. Ironic that Pogue is teaching us what blogs are, and I’m typing his notes in one.
  • Podcasts, Videos
  • Prosper.com and Kiva.org - you are the micro-loaner
  • Goloco - match-making service for carpools
  • E-petitions
  • Who Is Sick? Report what you got and see the “clouds” floating over your neighborhood.
  • The interface challenge. Machines are getting smaller, fingers are staying the same size.
  • Where will all the features go? Microsoft Word with all the toolbars open.
  • Copyright challenges. Ripping DVD/movies/IP. NPTEchers are first to recognize legal and moral distinction about “copying” intellectual property - (somehow I’m not sure that people act as they claim to feel. I know I’m not that perfect).

Blogs are most popular among this new media

  • Pogue was first blogger at NYtimes. Nobody commented for a year. “Like talking to yourself in a bathroom”. Then they permitted comments. Now it’s a two-way conversation. Pogue’sPosts. Most popular post was a brain teaser of an airplane on a treadmill. Um, yeah.
  • Programmers at Microsoft blogged while building Vista. Blogs showed programmers had a sense of humor.

And then he busted out in song on the piano and all the NPTech’ers held their iPhones in the air like lighters. Who knew he was a former broadway conductor? Video on NYTimes. I need to memorize this song and sing it to my CTO.

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