29/04/2009

Comcast turns down Joost

Joost who raised $45m in 2007 are up for sale and have been touting themselves to cable companies where there could be a good fit.

Initially Joost tried to tempt customers with a standalone P2P video player (using the same underlying technology as Skype) but have since moved to a web based model.

Now being one of many web based system, they're facing increased competition and struggling to win customers and advertising revenue with less than 1m unique monthly visitors.

It seems Comcast have passed on purchasing them. Joost do have a decent underlying technology solution which could be utilised by an emerging IPTV player rather than developing their own.

27/04/2009

Tiscali Discusses Sale of U.K. Assets - WSJ.com

Tiscali Discusses Sale of U.K. Assets - WSJ.com

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Tiscali (Italy) is in advanced negotiations with Carphone Warehouse with respect to the sale of Tiscali UK.

Tiscali (UK) has been on the market for over a year and there have been various rumours about their sale. They acquired HomeChoice (VideoNetworks) who had 30,000 IPTV customers, Tiscali increased this to 100,000 which was still half of their 200,000 target.

Carphone Warehouse could add Tiscali's customer base to their network (they'd dump overlapped network), but the IPTV infrastructure could be of interest as it will give them a competing service to BT Vision and whatever Sky are going to launch when they get their IPTV act together.

Sky are also rumoured to be be a suitor.

Changes to 0870 | Ofcom

Changes to 0870 | Ofcom

In the future 0870 numbers will be charged at the same rate as national number (i.e. those numbers beginning with 01, 02 or 03). Communications providers will also have to include 0870 numbers in any bundles they offer.

This is good news for consumers as many companies use 0870 numbers as revenue streams and most providers do not include those numbers in any kind of inclusive minutes (though BT has been offering inclusive 0870 minutes for a while and "taking the hit"). Mobile operators will also have to include 0870's in their mobile tariffs as they usually charge a hefty premium for calling these number ranges.

Femtocells support mobile phones in developing nations

Femtocells support mobile phones in developing nations

CSL has produced a reference design for a GSM/GPRS/EDGE/E-EDGE femtocell (called Centaur) based on a picoChip software defined radio.

Many operators are focusing on 3G femtocells, which are much easier to integrate into existing networks. CSL feel that 2G femtocells will be useful in emerging markets where 3G may not be widely adopted.

2G femtocells will also be useful in the UK where the low power GSM operators such as UK01 can utilise them.

26/04/2009

iPlotz: wireframing, mockups and prototyping for websites and applications

iPlotz: wireframing, mockups and prototyping for websites and applications

iPlotz seems to be the answer to many a web designer's prayer or should that be dream. It's an on-line system allowing wire-framing of sites so they can be viewed by other developers or even customers to ensure they have the right look and feel before any major coding is done. There's also some basic project management functionality so different wire-frames can be assigned as different tasks.

The combination of tools allows complex designs to be simulated while allowing the designer complete flexibility. Wire-framed items can perform actions such as jumping between pages, loading graphics etc so some site functionality is even available.

There's an on-line version at iPlotz and there's a downloadable version available as well. The downloadable version requires Adobe AIR.

Though some knowledge of how a site is put together, this is even useful for pre-design stages so that technical users could mock-up the functionality of a system then pass the mock-up to a designer to prettify. There's also scope for use in pitches before a site has even got to the drawing board (well iPlotz is the drawing board).

Having been on the thought stages of several sites where various Powerpoint or other static pages have been built, iPlotz would have given the extra flexibility to show how things fitted together and would have saved several days worth of re-jigging buttons or inter-page actions.

iPlotz uses the Freemium model whereby it's free to sign-up and that gives access to 1 project which is limited to 5 pages. There's a $15/m plan (on-line access to unlimited projects and 1GB storage). The downloadable version costs $75 (again there's a free trial), but the downloadable version is included in the $99/yr package (so you get 12 months which would normally be $180 and the $75 downloadable version). There are also 5 and 10 multi user versions for $295 and $495 per year respectively.

Definitely worth a look if you're building websites or a business based on a future website.

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