It's not the most innovative name but the concept may be revolutionary. Metaplace, a virtual community that is currently being tested for launch in spring 2008, was one of the most talked about start-ups at the TechCrunch40 Conference. The new platform allows anyone to build a virtual world from scratch -- for the web or even mobile applications -- without any programming knowledge. Like other virtual communities such as Second Life, There, Entropia Universe, or World of Warcraft, the Metaplace worlds can be used for gaming, socializing, and e-commerce. And they come with the usual community features: forums, user … Read more
[Title with sincere apologies to Mitch Albom and his wonderful book.]
One of the hottest of hot topics these days is the topic of Internet platforms, or platforms on the Internet. Web services APIs (application programming interfaces), web services protocols like REST and SOAP, the new Facebook platform, Amazon's web services efforts including EC2 and S3, lots of new startups talking platform (including my own company, Ning)...well, "platform" is turning into a central theme of our industry and one that a lot of people want to think about and talk about.
However, the concept of "… Read more
Because opening up the site just wasn't enough, apparently: Facebook is branching into a new role as an investor. The company has announced a new program called FBFund to provide grants to developers who are interested in creating applications for the Facebook Platform. FBFund, with cash infused by Facebook investors Accel Partners and the Founders Fund, will start with $10 million and will provide $25,000-$250,000 grants to developers who apply for the program. The fund's investment committee will consist of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, vice president of product marketing and operations Charmath Palihapitaya, and board … Read more
Remember when Facebook was just a way to "poke" that kid who sat in front of you in macroeconomics class? Yeah, that was a long time ago. Rev2 reported on Sunday that technobabble on the Facebook Developer Wiki may be hinting that the "social utility" wants to expand into data storage.
So far, this appears to only apply to developers who have created applications on the Facebook Platform and have until this point provided their own data storage for the apps. A Facebook data storage plan would allow them to rent or purchase storage (or perhaps, … Read more
Salesforce.com next week intends to detail an extension to its Web-based developer platform that it claims will put it on par with traditional offline development tools.
At the Dreamforce developer conference in San Francisco next week, company executives will introduce Force.com, the new name for a set of tools and hosted services for building hosted Web applications.
It will also introduce an addition to its hosted development platform called Visualforce, a service that allows a developer to create a customized application user interface. Conference attendees will get access to a developer preview of Visualforce.
Visualforce complements existing developer-oriented … Read more
Or so says Microsoft's Craig Mundie in an engaging interview with APC Magazine. You've got to give Microsoft some credit: the company spends a lot of time thinking through strategic issues in technology like few others. This interview reveals that.
I found Mundie's comment on Google particularly insightful:APC: So do you feel that is a major competitive advantage over Google for example? That you have the desktop software expertise along with online services?… Read more
It is fascinating to see how people are using open source. I'm part of the "old guard" of open source, I suppose, delivering an open-source alternative to a tired market ripe for commoditization and innovation. But other companies, like OpenAds (open-source advertising server), Path Intelligence (tracking shopper flow based on the open-source GNU radio), Chumby (open-source consumer electronics/hardware), etc. are taking open source into new markets.
Today, I was fortunate to meet one of the most interesting open-source companies I've seen in a long, long time: Marketcetera. Marketcetera provides an open-source trading platform that hedge funds and others use to process and deliver trades through a brokerage to an exchange (like NASDAQ). It's like proprietary, expensive FlexTrade, only not proprietary...or expensive.
The market for this kind of platform is not huge today, as the founders, Toli Kuznets and Graham Miller, told me today (roughly $500 million for custom development, but probably not including packaged software like FlexTrade). But with more and more trading moving from people to algorithmic processes (30-40% in the US today, jumping to 50-60% by the end of the decade), the market will grow accordingly.
Besides, I can think of a range of other uses for this sort of technology beyond hedge funds.… Read more
This post has been updated to include the Facebook app creator's statement on the issue.
Ouch, here's a zinger: contrary to reports, travel site TripAdvisor apparently did not purchase the Facebook Platform application Where I've Been for $3 million. The news was originally reported on Inside Facebook on Thursday night.
A statement from a TripAdvisor representative read, "This is untrue. Beyond that, we do not have any comment."
The company isn't saying any more, obviously. You could really dig into the nuances of the statement, implying it to mean that either the entire rumor … Read more
Update 9:37 a.m. PDT: It turns out TripAdvisor apparently did not purchase the Facebook Platform application Where I've Been for $3 million. Here's our follow-up story.
Who knew that Facebook Platform applications might one day be million-dollar acquisition targets?
Inside Facebook is reporting that Where I've Been, a third-party application developed with the Facebook Platform APIs, has been acquired by online travel company TripAdvisor for somewhere in the ballpark of $3 million. Inside Facebook blogger Justin Smith did not cite any sources; we have sent requests to both Smith and TripAdvisor for comment.
Where I'… Read more
Yesterday, the FCC voted to apply new "Open Platform" rules to a chunk of the radio spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which is being vacated by UHF TV stations. CNET published a good summary of the situation here.
The chunk in question is just 22 MHz wide. Although the details of how this spectrum will be used are up to the winner of the eventual FCC auction, here are a couple of points of comparison. (These numbers could be off; I don't have all the technical details of the new band plan, just the summary from … Read more