Copyright developments

The Irish Times reports on 29th January agreement being reached between Eircom and four records companies re illegal downloads of music – implementation of the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ approach by Eircom (and, presumably, other ISPs at a future date). Writing in the GigaOM blog, 31 January 2009, Janko Roettgers, under the heading ,’BitTorrent Researcher: Copy will be dead by 2010′ references research conducted by Johan Pouwelse. Pouwelse would argue that we need to look at all of the social networking activity and how it is evolving – he references FaceBook and YouTube as two good examples. Pouwelse bundles these with some of the more traditional P2P platforms. He argues that this is a run away – in terms of popularity. He does not see any future for traditional thinking re copyright.

It will be interesting to see how things play out. Obviously the traditional music industry has been taking a hammering. And the recent agreement is seen as a way to respect people’s property and protect employment. But will the social networking sites have to be dealt with in the same way as the more obvious p2p?

Europe’s energy exposure to Russia

Project Nabucco aims to provide Europe with access to gas independently of Russia.  However the project is not without its problems – in fact it is not entirely clear where the gas can be originated without having an ong oingdependence on Russia anyway.  Clemons in his Washington Note posting provides an update on the project’s progress – and outlines the open issues.  Interesting to see how aggressively Russia is investing to ensure that Nabucco does not succeed as intended.

social media in hospitals

In his post earlier this week Jim McGee gives an insight into the use of social media/ social networking by the Mayo Clinic in the US.  Not surpisingly for a distinguished and go ahead operation they make widespread use of blogs, podcasting, twitter, facebook, etc.  Would be interested to understand what plans the hospitals (state and private) have to use social media here.  What is the attitude of hospital management/ admin, medics, other providers of services and patients?  Without doubt the current and emerging technologies provide opportunities for hospitals and medics to interact in deeper and broader ways with their patients and potenial future patients.

Face to face or facebook?

Well made point by Coralie Thomson in 'Face-to-face communication is still a winning formula at Mars'.  Reminds me of a comment from a colleague of mine the other day.  She does not do this whole facebook thing to keep in touch with friends – 'if I want to get in touch with someone then I ring them or meet them'.  Whereas I would tend to use facebook – and other social networks – to stay in touch and, in some circumstance, collaborate.  And I guess my point would be, use the traditional channels and the new tools as you see fit and to reinforce each other.

To Open Source or not to Open Source

Dennis Byron's excellent post, 'Why Companies "Turn to Open Source Software"', rings many bells with me.  Sometimes as implementation consultants (primarily using Microsoft business solutions), in our case, we are tempted to question whether we'd be better off implementing open source code with clients – potentially more to spend with us,  as theconsultants, if no software licensing costs.  However DB's comments in relation to the relatively small proportion of total project cost which is represented by software are very much to the point.  When you look at costs of Process Analysis, Process Redesign, Requirements Definition, Vendor Selection (Application and Implementation services), Design, Build, Test, Train, Deploy, Change management – really the cost of the software is not the big issue.

There may be times when selecting Open Source is the correct decision, for an organisation – be it the best specific business solution, the preference of an organisation, whatever.  But to see this decision as the panacea in terms of significant cost savings, I would have serious reservations in many cases.

Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom

Today's Irish Times includes detailed reference to 'Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom' – book by Soumitra Dutta and Matthew Fraser of INSEAD.  It's another piece calling Irish business to action in terms of availing of web 2.0 technology.  Companies have lots of employees who are used to using Facebook, Twitter, etc in collaborating in their daily lives – surely it is time to exploit the very real opportunities in Irish corporates?  We all know the benefits and necessity of collaborating – be it family events, school projects, playing team sports, organising school runs.  There is no argument about the merits of collaborating in the workplace – both internally and externally.  We now have technologies which make all of this a great deal easier.  And we have lots of people who want to use them.

The web site associated with the book is an excellent working example of the use of these technologies – incorporating the use of traditional brochure type avertising, a blog for publishing views of the authors (and inviting comment) and a wiki  to encourage collaboration with interested parties across the globe.

Book List: Books read recently

Books read recently

  • Richard Susskind: THE END OF LAWYERS? – Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services

    Discussed future of legal profession – challenges from clients, opportunities/threats arising through development in technology

  • Misha Glenny: The Fall of Yugoslavia

    Describes events in and around breakup of yugoslavia in 1991.

  • Richard Suskind: The Price of Loyalty

    Deals with Paul O'Neill's two years as Treasury Secretary in George W Bush's first term as President. Understandably written from one perspective. Paul O'Neill not a happy camper.

  • Alice Shroeder: The Snowball

    Warren Buffet and the Business of Life