The WAVE Report
Issue #0711------------------9/4/07

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0711.1  Web 2.0 Expo 2007

0711.1.1  Amazon Web Services

0711.1.2  Google Perspective

0711.1.3  From the Floor and the Conference


0711.1  Web 2.0 Expo 2007
By John Latta

San Francisco, CA
April 16 – 18, 2006

This is a blow out event. There are 2X more than originally expected. The attendance for the whole event could reach 10,000. For a first time conference and exhibition this is a significant accomplishment.

0711.1.1  Amazon Web Services

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, provided a top-level view of Amazon Web Services.

The intent is to allow companies whose presence is based on web commerce to focus on the business and not the infrastructure requirements.

This is part of a building block approach to bringing products to market:

Amazon SQS 2004
Amazon Mechanical Turk 2005
Amazon S3 2006
Amazon EC2 2006

The key to S3 and EC2 is pricing based on use and the ability of the service customer to dynamically allocate resource utilization.

It was announced that S3, the storage service, that in July 2006 800m objects were stored and by April 2007 this had grown to 5B.

The S3 request volume has also shown significant loads:

Peak day: 920m requests
Peak second: 16,607 requests

Jeff’s company Blue Origin has used Amazon Services and this was cited as an example of the reasonable pricing.

When SlashDot and Boing Boing highlighted the site in January the site went from hardly used to 800GB transferred, which was a launch video. This peak lasted only 2 days. The total cost for the use of Amazon Services for the month of January was only $304.23.

The reason that Amazon EC2 is only available on a invitation only basis is to allow the company to scale to meet the expected demand. That is, they want the offering to be demand limited on service limited.

Jeff indicated multiple times that this is a very simple service. When asked by Tim O’Reilly, it was hinted that more sophisticated services would be announced once these services have been operational.

0711.1.2  Google Perspective

It was a wide ranging and insightful interview by John Battelle, co-chair of the Web 2.0 Expo and CEO of Federated Media Publishing, with Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google.

Google announces today the addition of a presentation tool to Google docs. He dismissed this as being a threat to Microsoft Office. It was stressed that the value of Docs is as a means to collaborate. "We have concluded that collaboration is the killer app for how communities work.”

We are in a transition to a web based architecture.

At Google there are 4 pillars to our business:

Creating Supercomputers
End user solutions
How to run and manage a corporate culture

The purchase of double click is about the user experience. Our business assessment showed what Google paid was reasonable for the value it brings to the corporation. When it comes to the anti-trust concerns raised by Microsoft and AT&T Eric said: "Microsoft. Did you say Microsoft? And AT&T? Microsoft and AT&T? What is the year? They are wrong. Come on, they are wrong. Give me a break," He made farcical gestures on how ironic it is that two monopoly companies could raise such issues.

Cable companies and the telcos have not been investing in platforms only in infrastructure for delivery. The Comcast purchase of Fandango is one possible exception.

Net Neutrality is an important issue. Google is one of the few companies that potentially could afford to buy rights for its access to the broadband networks but this misses the point. If we as a country limit the future ability of new companies to offer innovative products and services over the Internet this would be a bad thing.

Schmidt felt that Viacom’s suit was just a business negotiation tactic. Viacom sued Google's YouTube to have 100,000 video clips removed: "We took them all down. They sued us later," he said. "YouTube traffic went straight up after that. It's really about user-generated content." Google is bringing out a tool called CYC, for "Claim Your Content," to help copyright owners identify clips that should not be shared.

Google has added new layers to Google Earth and one is called Crisis in Darfur, which is a collection of information assembled by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum working with Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and the U.S. State Department. Eric cited how this is about bringing information to the masses. We are at an early stage of the Internet and believe that the Crisis in Darfur is an example of something that can make a difference.

An area that concerns Eric is scaling, growing the company and its computing systems big enough to meet its mission. "That means more data centers, more fiber optics, more cash flow, more people."

When asked about the future Eric cited two areas where Google must be active: mobile and local. "Mobile, mobile, mobile. People see their mobile phones as extensions of themselves." And new generations of cell phones will be even more powerful. Local advertising is increasingly important. "Most purchases are local," he said. "Most search engines don't take full advantage of the local information that's inherent on the Web."

The WAVE spoke with Google in its booth.

The presentation tool will be available approximately in Q3 2007. By having a presentation tool that is totally in the cloud it is possible to significantly improve collaboration. Today many documents are just shared via e-mail and having this available to everyone, no matter where they are, eliminates this concern.

We will not have all the functionality of Office and that is not our intent. However, we can improve docs easily, since it is a totally web based, for all users at the same time. When asked how corporations feel about letting its corporate data be released over the net the response was – we protect with authentication. Asked if the documents will be encrypted it was stated that this is possible but not implemented.

0711.1.3  From the Floor and the Conference

UGC = User Generated Content

Web 2.0 Attribute = Participatory Sites

Sound Bites

The future is in webware.

Transition from fatapp to webapp.

Transition from desktop to webtop.

Is it the worst of breed of a suite to best of breed mashup?

Matthew Glotzbach, Google Enterprise, it is little known that Google Enterprise is the 2nd largest income source in the company, with advertising first.

JPG Magazine is a web site that has individuals submit photos for a peer competitive selection that will be published in the magazine JPG (6 issues a year). If the image is published the photographer gets $100 and a free subscription to the magazine. Copies of the magazine were available – well done. is a T-Shirt site where the T-Shirts are designed by the site users. The best T-shirts are then made into products and sold on the site. Select T-shirts are those created by designers who have won 4 times. Creative business model.

Cal Henderson, Flickr described the design of massive and scaleable storage systems. His experience is on building the 6PB flickr site. This is not only about scale but reliability. Experience has shown that if it can fail it will and one has to plan on every contingency. The talk addressed: scale, reliability and cost of large file systems. Excellent. His presentations are at:

Swivel is a site which data into forms which can be easily analyzed. They announced a relationship with OECD to provide its data on Swivel. This site does an excellent job of turning data on the web into a useful graphics.

Vidoop is a authentication tool which does not require a keyboard- single web sign on. It relies on personal association based on pictures. From this is generated a single time use key. Has application for web sites seeking secure entry. Well done.

Jim Baty, Sun, described Architecture for Humanity, which is a collective effort to design buildings that are needed in poor or devastated environments. The focus in on creating low cost, useful and relevant buildings where they are needed most. It is a part of the Open Architecture Network. As stated on the web site:

The Open Architecture Network is a gathering place for community designers and all those interested in improving the built environment. Here designers of all persuasions can post their projects, browse projects posted by others, comment and review projects, discuss relevant topics, collaborate with each other and access project management tools to support their work.

An excellent example of creative minds applied to important issues for human benefit.

Bill Tracer, general manager of global research, Hitwise, described the measurements the company has made on participatory sites:

In two years the growth in hits on participatory sites has grown 668% to 12% of web usage.

Visits to Wikipedia outnumber Encarta 3400 to 1.

In terms of photo sites the web 2.0 site account for 56% of all the photo sites.

There is a balanced participation by gender on Web 2.0 sites with Wikipedia and YouTube as examples of both visits and participation (uploading and inputs).

The market velocity of Web 2.0 sites is rapid – in 3 weeks YouTube passed Yahoo and in 6 weeks it passed Google Video. Sites coming up very quickly include:


David Sifry, Founder and CEO, Technorati, presented on the Live Web.

There are over 20m weblogs and they are growing at 120k/day. Posts are at 1.5m/day with 58,000/hour.

The growth of active weblogs is leveling off to 21% of all weblogs in March 2007 from 36% in May 2006.

Japanese has taken over English as the most used posting language.

Rich Skrenta, Topix, described how this site has changed the collection of local news.

It found that local news had 51% of the traffic on the web with only 10% of the news channels. The ad rates for local were very good and at the same time the ad outlets were poor. There are 1/2m Google advertisers and 6m local businesses. But there are not enough local advertising outlets. For example, there are only 22k local news stories per day and 32k zip codes. The state of local media is deteriorating. Craiglist cost local newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area $50m to $65m in advertising revenue – this just disappeared.

The initial expectation was that blogs would provide content but this did not support Topix needs.

Topix sought to build its own local news content from the communities themselves. In 2006 it had 6m unique visitors and this rose to 10m in 2007. Some of the most active areas are in small communities.

Topix now has comments from 20k towns, daily activity in 1,000 cities and 40k posts per day. This is as many posts as local articles in Topix from local news sources.

Powerful application of web technology with strong user participation.

Dirk-Willem van Gulik, Joost showed what a user interface would look like if it blended the internet with television. It was smooth and compelling. But some experience is required to fully understand it. This is a different approach to integrating the PC and living room experience. Here are some notes from the web site.

Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping.

You get great internet features too, such as search, chat and instant messaging, built right into the program - so you find shows quickly and talk to your friends while you watch. And with no schedules to worry about, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you like - as often as you want. Joost is completely free, and works with most modern PCs and Intel Mac-based computers with a broadband connection.

Christy Canida, Instructables, described Open-Source Hardware using Instructables. Unfortunately, the focus of all the illustrations was on guns. Some of the examples of projects were complex and interesting.

Colin Bulthaup, Potenco, showed a hand controlled power generator. This will generate 20 watts, and in 1 minute of pulling it will provide:

25min of cell phone talk time
60min of indoor lighting
230min of iPod shuffle
45min of Nintendo DS

One of the early applications is the OLPC computer.

Technology applied to a compelling user need.

G.HO.ST the global hosted operating system. In the booth the conversation began – if applications are hosted why not the OS. The premise is that the OS and applications on the PC are all “walled in the hard disk of a physical computer.” This OS like environment is totally web based and just looks like a desktop including a file system. The basic services include: social networking, desktop and widget tool kit. The OS API includes search, clipboard, file exchange, sign in and directory. The only software, on any device, is a browser. Errie.

Curl, creating RIA for the enterprise. These are those that are considering business critical client server applications that need to be web enabled for a broader reach and lower TCO. There is the Curl language for web development, a run time environment that loads with the browser and a curl development environment. Curl is stated to be superior to .NET, Flex 2 and AJAX in the enterprise space. Curl applications can run both on and off-line and can work in any server environment.

Kapow Technologies launches the Kapow Mashup Server. The server allows for the creation of business applications based on any application or information on the web. There are three components: presentation level mashups, aka as web clipping; logic based mashups which allows for data and logic based integration from web and content based mashups, aka web scraping. The server is the front end for rapid integration of web-based content, data and applications at the UI level. Once the mashup is designed it is then sent to the server for deployment. The server is Java based.

Dapper provides the ability to go from any web site and create XML, RSS or Widgets to be used on a site. This is to create a Dapp. This can be sued to create a Magg, movie aggregator, a Snag, social network aggregator or blotter, a blog statistics generator. The site supports the licensing of content and use.

ThinkFree offers a compatible online suite compatible with Microsoft Office. The software is free and a user can have up to 1GB of storage. Offered is an online edition, a desktop version, a server edition and ThinkFree Portable. The server license costs $30/user per year. Serious competition.

Sharade provides a means to create one’s own collection of personal things. This is a virtual shelf of books, movies, clothes and more. One generates a virtual shelf of personal items. These can be shared and sold.

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