Friday, 31 October 2008

Show me the money! (or The Dutch have the most beautiful money)

There is an internet edge to this story, as this money was created using open source software only. For the full story behind the coin, follow the link, but the money is dedicated to "The Netherlands and Architecture". On the one side it shows the face of Queen Beatrix made out of the names of Dutch architects, sorted by how often they are named on the internet. Rem Koolhaas, Pierre Cuypers, Aldo van Eyck, Gerrit Rietveld are the top 4. All of them are very interesting. The reverse side shows the Netherlands, with birds at the locations of capitals of provinces. the shape is made through lining up the backs of books on architecture by Dutch Architects (eg. you can see S, M, L, XL by Rem Koolhaas)

Also have a look at the great designs for the Dutch guilder banknotes by Jaap Drupsteen.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Location based services another missed Telco2.0 opportunity

Telco's went out of their way to prove that they have no position in the Location Based Services market this month:
- Super colleague mailed the story of Nulaz a Dutch Location based service idea. They presented at the Dutch Telecom Society and complained that KPN wouldn't give them access to their Location information as KPN was of the opinion that that their own LBS services/brainswaves were too competitive to allow others use of the data
- Different but equally valued colleague, different incumbent of different country thought similarly of itself. Colleague forwarded a mail he received regarding an opportunity for the use of Location Based Services to the incumbent . Telco reaction: OOH cant tell you the super secretive commercially sensitive LBS ideas we have. No, we might loose money here, don't you know we are set to be a major LBS player?

Twice! a network saying no to someone paying for LBS information. Well dear Web 2.0 start ups and Telco's with 2.0 aspiration, forget about the Telco playing any role in this market. Google has just donated its LBS knowledge to the world and now you can find out where your potential customers are for free.

Dear Telco's why do you say no to free money from people who might be willing to pay you for some of your network location knowledge? You might have had a minor competitive edge with the real time location knowledge. The minor money companys might have paid you would have been free money for minimal effort. Instead you thought you could stun the world with your own inventions. (You are not global players, services companies are. You have access to a small part of your local market, service companies to everyone in the world) Now the world bypasses you and uses the stuff you already broadcast and  other antenna's broadcast for free.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The house always wins

The way the stock market works has always given me the idea that it is a big casino. I've always had trouble seeing people buying stock on an exchange as investors. They didn't really put money down to finance the company. They bought somebody elses shares in the hope that the shares would pay dividend or (now happening more often) that the shares will rise. Shareholder value? Only for the guy financing the company buying stock directly from the company, to put money to share in its profits, not for gamblers who think the stock is going up.

Especially the last thing has always amazed me. If theory dictates that all we know, understand and predict about the share is incorporated in the share, then why should it go up? That is a paradox. (Corollary: If the stock moves up or down, is that because we understand the future better? Or is it because we don't understand it allow and were all in some mass delusion?)

Well, today I learned from The Guardian that the financial markets are even more like casinos than I thought. It seems that many banks have bonus pools. Bonus pools that fill up regardless of the performance of the company. "At one point last week the Morgan Stanley $10.7bn pay pot for the year to date was greater than the entire stock market value of the business. In effect, staff, on receiving their remuneration, could club together and buy the bank." That sounds exactly like a rake . A fee given tot the casino for playing poker there.

So you see, the house always wins... 

Teacher on Demand

A while ago I wrote a plan for a Leraar on Demand (teacher on demand). The idea was that we could record good teachers, while they explained their subjects in class and then put the video online.  This way the students could access the teachings even though they might have missed the class, had forgotten it or similar problems. The idea originated during beer nights with a group of friends at Twente University. It had been pitched to the faculty of Eductional Technology there, but didn't receive attention. I tried to pitch the idea to Kennisnet and the Ministry of Education in The Netherlands, but I didn't find anyone who was really interested and as it isn't my main field so I didn't pursue it full force.

I thought about entering the idea into Google's 10100 project as I still think it's a great idea. It would be great for both the First as well as the Third world. In both the First and the Third world we have a huge lack of good qualified teachers (both in numbers as well as quality). Fortunately I did a bit of research tonight and you know what, there are now two initiatives pursuing the same kind of idea. One in Sweden called "Teacher on Demand" (looks very good) and one in the US called Teacher Tube. So I am not going to submit it to Google as I'm hardly original anymore. However I do want to spread the word on these good initiatives and it's nice to see good ideas will find their way.

What I am still missing is that not an entire curriculum has been put online and can be downloaded. That would be cool. It would allow students to really search for the stuff they didn't understand well. Also it would allow third world countries to download these movies and distribute them via DVD's. At 35 dollar for a DVD player, this has become an idea that can be easily realized. 

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Aftappen in Nederland, Hoofdstuk 13 uitgelegd.

Apologies to my international friends, but this one is in Dutch. I was given the opportunity to give a class at Leiden University on Chapter 13 of the Dutch Telecommunications law. This is the (revised) presentation.

Dit is een presentatie die ik gegeven heb in een gastcollege in Leiden. Erg leuke ervaring. De feedback heb ik gebruikt om vooral de eerste sectie meer uit te breiden. Ik hoop dat de Nederlandse lezers er plezier van hebben en het studiemateriaal waarderen. Mocht je vragen hebben, dan hoor ik het wel. :-)

De centrale stelling is: In Nederland kunnen we tappen omdat we het op orde hebben. Ik had nog wat meer kunnen doen met uitleggen hoe het buitenland werkt, maar daar kan ik later nog wel eens wat tijd aan wijden. Zie anders Stratix en Norton Rose over Aftappen in het Buitenland
Aftappen in Nederland
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: lawful interception)

Ten aanzien van webhosting bedrijven geldt dat zij veelal niet onder de Telecommunicatiewet vallen. Een ruwe sortering van de branche levert de volgende indeling van de rollen die partijen spelen:
- Pure colocatie - leveren een pand, een rack, stroom. De klant levert zelf de computer, doet het beheer etc.
- Verhuurder van computer rekencapaciteit: Levert een computer (of een deel van een computer) waar de klant mee kan doen wat ie wil. Wordt veelal geleverd met een netwerkverbinding naar het internet. (theoretisch gezien hoeft dit niet)
- Systeembeheer: Voert voor de klant beheer op een computer/netwerk. Klant kan eigenaar zijn van de systemen of deze huren van derden, deze systemen kunnen staan bij de klant of ergens anders.
- Applicatiebeheer: beheert specifieke software voor de klant, levert soms wel en soms niet de licenties voor het gebruik als onderdeel van de dienst. Bv een CMS. De klant doet zelf de content, kan wel of geen eigenaar zijn van de computer etc.
- Content/designbeheer: beheert de content voor de klant.

Dit zijn allemaal rollen die niet zoveel met telecommunicatie van doen hebben. Of het een CMS, mailserver, VoIP server of eCommerce applicatie is, de functies lopen steeds meer in elkaar over. De beheerder routeert het telecommunicatieverkeer niet.

Qua telecommunicatie heb je twee opties.
- Inkopen bij een leverancier van een toegangsdienst. (bv een ISP of andere telecomaanbieder). Geen mogelijkheden om zelf verkeer te routeren. Nog steeds niet tapplichtig.
- Zelf gaan routeren. (vergt in de internetwereld een AS-nummer en eigen IP-space) Pas dan ben je echt een telecommunicatienetwerk of dienst aanbieder.Dit betekent dat je dus ook je eigen aftapverplichting moet regelen. (Andere partijen kunnen de tap niet meer uitvoeren, want je kunt zelf je eigen routering doen dmv BGP)

Disclaimer: Dit is mijn mening, geen uitspraak van de Hoge Raad.