Jan and Nik get bored, Cuban gets interesting…

I’ve been out of commission for a week or so, due to a death in the family, so I’ve missed some of the hot topics rolling around the blogosphere lately — please forgive me if any of these micro catch-up posts seem less than topical 🙂

  • Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom — otherwise known as the billionaires behind Kazaa and Skype — are working on bringing their particular brand of peer-to-peer magic to the TV industry, according to Business Week (Om notes that he mentioned this earlier in a Business 2.0 piece). This makes sense for a whole pile of reasons, the two most important being that a) TV is in the process of being disrupted just like music and voice were, and b) Jan and Nik are filthy rich and likely bored at eBay. Can they make it work? Maybe — but if it’s a proprietary standard like Skype, I’m not sure I’m interested.
  • Chip-maker AMD appears to have decided that the arms race in microchips is heating up, and that it needs a little help competing against 800-pound gorilla Intel (apparently the anti-trust complaints aren’t getting any traction) so it is buying ATI, the Toronto-based graphics-chip specialist. This probably isn’t that surprising, given the combination of pressure on AMD and pressure on ATI — which has been squeezed by Nvidia, and by an insider-trading lawsuit. But does it make any sense? I think ATI will give AMD an edge, but in many ways that is only part of the solution. It’s not going to help ease the sting of 60-per-cent price cuts.
  • Jason Calacanis wants to buy the top posters at Digg, Reddit and Newsvine and get them to work for the new Digg-style Netscape instead. Nick “Web 2.0 is techno-utopian socialism” Carr says this is a smart move that reveals how the Web 2.0 economy is exactly like the old economy. Mike Arrington says it’s a sign of desperation, and Scott Karp says Jason should focus on average people instead. I think Mike has a point — the best communities grow organically. That can’t be bought.
  • Mark Cuban, the world’s most interesting (or at least transparent) CEO, has a fascinating post about the movie business, and how he is looking for solutions to the problems that plague the industry — the main one of which is finding a way to lure people to the theatre without spending more than your movie cost to make. Almost as interesting as Mark’s post are some of the comments and suggestions people have made, which range from “make better movies” to “allow me to reserve a seat.”
  • Google Blogoscoped says that you can now link to specific places in a video stream, which I think is a tremendous feature, but one that not many people have commented on. One who did is Steve Rubel, and I would agree with him that this ability ought to rapidly become an industry-standard solution.
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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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