Friday, April 27, 2007

Music everywhere

How many times have you thought that the music that you have in your computer could be played in the Hi-Fi system in the living room? Or maybe in your car? Well that’s becoming each time more a reality: wireless standards that allow equipment to understand each other in a fast way will drive it.

This is the beginning of a current that we’re going to see boosting in the coming years: convergence and user’s customization. Imagine what a user wants from the technology and plan your design for it. Another field that comes into place in this case is domotics, think about a single interface in your house where you define all the parameters that control any single device. Do you fear that all the machines will talk inside your house?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Reshaping the music market

The music industry is being suffering enormous changes in the last decade. Internet posed an interesting threat to a very well established and profitable market. Their traditional business model basically selling CDs was partially replaced by digital downloads via internet and more specifically through peer to peer file sharing applications. And then Intellectual Property Rights came into scene, until different protection systems appeared such as DRM. Steve Jobs, considered one of the best tech gurus, questioned the utility of such methods, and soon an agreement between EMI and Apple announced the appearance of music sold without DRM protection in exchange of an additional charge per song.

Undoubtedly, the power of users sharing music (not piracy of people selling it…) is difficult to control. So business models have to be redefined. And the ones that will adapt best to this scenario will be (are) the most successful. As normally artists get more revenue from concerts and merchandising that the sale of records itself, they should take profit of he huge power of internet to broad the reach of their music. However the record companies don’t want to lose their piece of cake. Talking about the possibilities of internet to promote new music talents, let’s take the example of ‘Sellaband’, a website that allows users to buy a kind of ‘virtual shares’ of new groups, and then if they get enough ‘investment’ the group will record a CD. The users that invested on them will get a discount to buy it and they’ll share a 50% of the revenue coming from this CD. Don’t you think that’s innovation and really taking this industry to the future rather than anchoring it in the past?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Stop the warming...

Climate change is a very hot topic nowadays. It’s a very important issue, and the kind of problem that it’s not really taken into account until some consequences of its devastated effect are suffered. One of the main issues regarding the climate change is the information manipulation. People usually just see and/or believe what is broadcasted in the news and everything depends on what the ‘experts’ tell us. There’s an interesting awarded documentary talking about it: “An inconvenient truth”.

Internet is a very powerful information source, so in some way it has the responsibility of providing true information. But of course that’s not always like that, so users must learn to distinguish between real and fake information. Then which is the most trustful source? Like the web 2.0 spirit, oneself has the responsibility to be the chooser and disseminator of the real truths. And climate change should be among them. Here we have some basic advices to follow to do one's bit...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Playing telecom games

Game theory has been widely used in very different subjects such as economics, politics, sociology, psychology, transportation, etc. It’s emplyed in situations where there is more than one player that has to take decisions interactively. Basically there are a limited number of players, a set of actions and an output function to be maximized for each player.

Game theory has induced a vast range of studies and some of them have tackled the communication systems. For example it has been used for wireless communications, in the case of calculating distributed power control, for example when the power transmitted by one cell affects the adjacent ones (here we have an example where there are several ‘decision makers’: several cells). Gaming, strategy and telecommunications at the same time …

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