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Silicon Valley's tech gossip!

It had to happen sooner or later, I suppose. Silicon Valley had to get its very own tech gossip e-tabloid. Now it does, writes Deepak Mankar.

business Updated: Mar 04, 2006 12:45 IST

It had to happen sooner or later, I suppose. Silicon Valley had to get its very own tech gossip e-tabloid. Now it does. It’svalleywag.com. Mike Rundle describes it as “Nick Denton's first foray into the world of tech gossipbusinesslogs.com. The blog is written by Nick Douglas of Blogebrity. One example of the dirt dished out is the item on ‘Google gals’ described variously in language borrowed from an MCP lexiconas “yet another ungoogleable”, “a serious snowboarder who's been seen headed for black-diamond routes”, “a hottie from sales who graduated from St Mary's” and "looks really hot in spandex, incredible passion for life, and is an expert in eye-movement monitoring. What's hotter than that?"– with smiling mug shots to match. You get the drift? (Allof a sudden, Jacqueline Susann’s ‘Valley of the Dolls’ popped into my mind.) I spotted the amusing 20 February post,‘Specified sucking: How to suck up to seven pundit bloggers’. valleywag.com. There’s also the "competitive philanthropy" hit parade post (same date), ‘Slate 60: Valleywag edition’ on which Bill and Melinda Gates with $320 billion donated to world health rank second. Nick’s comment: “Missing: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs, Jerry Yang...guess ‘changing the world’ only goes as far as Gmail, iPods, and webcast reality shows. (Okay, Larry and Sergey have the Google foundation. Did they not bother putting their own pennies in the collection basket?)”valleywag.comP.S.: You can also see what’s probably the world’s only picture of an unsmiling Larry Page of Google, posted on (you guessed it!) 22 February.valleywag.com. To read a review of the 1966 bestseller, go here bookpage.com.

GMAIL + GOOGLE TALK. Very, very sexy combo.

If and when Google successfully combines Gmail with Google Talk as it’s planning to, Gmail users will be able to send and receive instant messages from directly within their email mailboxes, without opening a separate application or even a new browser window. There were only 4.5% of internet users using Gmail and 1% Google Talk in December, though. Google has a long, long way to go before catching up with market leaders Yahoo! Mail and AOL Instant Messenger with a global market reach of 33% each, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. As the industry analyst Sara Radicati put it: “Gmail has been a late-comer, and adding IM capabilities is very sexy.” Also: “This weird separation of e-mail and IM didn't seem good to us,'' said Keith Coleman, product manager for Gmail. “It's definitely a problem we all have here.''Allen Weiner, research director for Gartner Group, felt that linking the two would expose millions of people to Google Talk and they could turn into regular users. “How do you get more people who aren't using Gmail to use Google Talk?'' is, however, the question Forrester Research analyst Brian Haven posed. At present,a relatively select group of technologically savvy people are believed to be using Gmail, you see.
mercurynews.com. Also, do check out this: teleclick.ca.

E-MESSAGING. Going where?

Here’s some interesting stuff I found at The Radicati website radicati.com. In 2006, North America accounts for 22% of the global e-mail user population. This percentage may dip to 18% by 2009, as email uptake grows in Asia/Pacific and the rest of the world. People below the age of 29 account for 44% of worldwide email users in 2006. Small businesses account for 35% of the corporate e-mail installed base, with 154 million mailboxes in 2006. The per-day corporate spam traffic will rise from 44 billion to 83 billion messages from 2006 to 2009. Its consumer equivalent will go up from 72 billion to 145 billion messages. The e-mail client installed base will increase from about 1.9 billion to nearly 3.6 billion seats between 2006 and 2010 – an average annual growth rate of 18%. The corporate webmail installed base will increase from 170 million to 335 million seats over the same period, due to growing populations of mobile workers, teleworkers, and deskless workers. P.S.: It’s okay to use the above information in press articles but not in “company-sponsored whitepapers, press releases, or any other company-specific marketing material without the explicit written permission of The Radicati Group, Inc.”(The Group specializes in market research on messaging and collaboration, all aspects of security, email archiving, regulatory compliance, wireless technologies, web services, identity management, instant messaging, unified communications, voice over IP, etc., by the way.)

‘CERTIFIED’ E-MAIL. More secure but with a fee.

America Online Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. plan to launch ’certified’ e-mail programs, managed by California-based Goodmail Systems Inc., within the year. Under it, Goodmail will accredit companies or organizations that send out lots of e-mail. These certified senders would have their messages secured with software tokens that allow the e-mails to bypass spam-filters. All this for a fee akin to ‘postage’ for offline mail, of course. "Today, people look at their inboxes with a certain amount of dread," Goodmail CEO Richard Gingras said. "[With certified e-mails], they can look at their inboxes and open e-mails without reservation." "The numbers being thrown around right now add up to a fraction of a cent per message," said Teney Takahashi, a Radicati Group analyst. "But when you add up all the different banks and companies that will be using this around the world, it would definitely make Yahoo and AOL a nice chuck of change."tmcnet.com.

NETLESS IN SEATTLE. 38 million US homes have no access.

The bigger the numbers, the harder the fall. A new study from Parks Associates found few new households willing to subscribe to Internet services. This will limit 2006 growth in overall Internet penetration to one percent, rising from 63% to 64% by the year’s end. The National Technology Scan (2005), a survey of 1,000 U.S. homes showed 39 million homes currently to be without Internet access. Of these, only eight million own a computer, a must for Internet adoption. Moreover, the majority of these PC households will not subscribe to an Internet service at any cost. The study also found only two million offline homes planning to get Internet services in 2006. Another 300,000 homes said they might subscribe if offered a cheaper service. At the same time, 14 million U.S. households do not have Internet service at home but access the Web at work or other locations, such as a library or an Internet café. 31% said having access at work is sufficient for their Internet needs Surprisingly 18% of the respondents said: “I am not interested in anything on the Internet.” and 8% said: “I am not sure how to use the Internet.” 4% cited “A computer is too expensive to buy.” as the reason for inaction. parksassociates.com.

E-CARTOGRAPHY. Putting crime on the map.

Here’s an eye-opening 23 February post by Steve Outing poynter.com. He writes about Adrian Holovaty of ChicagoCrime.org chicagocrime.org, thefirst mash-up combining Google Maps with Chicago crime data wikipedia.org. He also tells us about Rob Jan de Heer in the Netherlands who spent the last nine months putting together something similar at misdaadkaart.nl. “Covering the entire country, his Web application includes every police report that is being made available, each of which are automatically indexed, enriched with city name, street name, geo-tags, and crime type-- and plotted on a map. So far there are about 20,000 crimes plottedonMisdaadkaart.nl.” Steve also quotes Jan de Heer on his own handiwork: "From a journalistic point of view, this will appear to become very handy to, for instance, determine in what city most of a certain type of crimes are taking place, or even within cities which are the most criminal or safest neighborhoods."

That's all for now though there's plenty more out there. Join me again next week, same place.

Copyright (c) 2001- 2006 by Deepak Mankar. All rights reserved. Deepak Mankar, an advertising practitioner on the creative side since 1965, is also intensely passionate about the web and web content creation. Read his online articles at asiaondemand.com. Website: http://www.addgandhi.com/original/. You may e-mail him at dmankar@bom8.vsnl.net.in.