Is Google + deflating Facebook’s IPO ?

First there was usenet, arpanet, listserve and BBS’s, AOL, Prodigy, CompuServe, theGlobe, Tripod, Classmates, Homepage, then Homestead, GeoCities, Friendster, Sixdegrees, mySpace, Bebo, Orkut, Facebook and now we have Google +.  All of these services at one point or the other were the AlphaDog of their time. Each of them for some period of internet time shared the limelight as THE ‘hot’ spot site to be seen and heard on.  I had a block in GeoCities, used many a BBS (I dreamed in green and black back then), had a HomePage not a Homestead (disclaimer: I worked at HomePage.com) threw the most ridiculous backgrounds on my mySpace page with all of the ugliest stuff I could find on the planet, used Friendster, never did try a few other the others ( Sixdegrees, Bebo or Orkut). And of course have had a Facebook page since the ‘edu’ days when I tried to get in by using my old ‘edu’ email address from the University of Wisconsin (but that didn’t work for one reason or another I can’t recall).  I’m not including Twitter in this post as I don’t consider it to be a place where you have a page that you call and fashion as your own – rather it’s a fire hose of information to share.

What’s interesting to note here is that nearly all of these early services back then lacked 2 major components unlike today – the addition of the mobile phone coupled with leveraging the GPS in phones to create a location-based user experience.  This component has allowed all of us to extend our online personas to outside of our homes and desks where our main computer is.  And, because of this, the use of  these services and the traffic they generate like Facebook wouldn’t be possible.  It has been said that over 100 million people access Facebook using a mobile phone every month (http://on.fb.me/rmoDN1).  And that is just today.  And about 300 million access Facebook on a computer monthly (http://tcrn.ch/owiarn).

 

Its been just about 1 month since Google + opened their doors to a select group of people. Invites now are beginning to trickle out, and it seems that Google + has over 10 million users thus far. That’s not bad. At that rate and when the general admission doors open up, 100-200 million users should be easily possible. By years end, I think we will see just those kind of numbers. And perhaps in 2 years, double that, say 400 million or more. Flash forward to the end of this year and the impending Facebook IPO. Now if you are on the Facebook IPO train, you’ve got to look hard over your shoulder and realize that it might be very possible that a few people who now use Facebook will begin to use Google + as more and more friends try the service.  It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. Precedent has been set already.  Look what’s happening to mySpace now? People who use and who have used all of these services are like minnows or lemmings – they all flock together and this happens quite quickly.  There is no ‘loyalty’ I ever had to Classmates, AOL, mySpace  and other sites I used like these.  And today, given the proliferation of mobile phones and the ease at which we can access these sites along with the ‘notifications’ that come along with the mobile web apps we get, interacting and trying out any new service like Google+ is easier than ever before.  So that’s what get me to think that the bankers on Wall Street are all smoking crack! Is Facebook really worth $ 100 billion dollars given the fact that Google + will more than likely have half the user base Facebook now has in a short 2 years? Does that mean that Google + just added $ 50 billion to the bottom line of Google?  Perhaps Facebook valuations might stick to the wall a whole lot better had Google + not just launched, but given the history of these sites and the rapid following and user base Google + has already, the only ones that will make money from the FaceBook IPO will be the underwriters and Zuck.  And if you haven’t tried Google + yet, run and get an invite from someone you know – it a breath of fresh air.

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Création et Internet or the French version of the RIAA

So last week, a copy of the new X-Men movie made the rounds on the newsgroups. Missing many elements of a feature film, it only heightened awareness of the film’s impending debut this summer – not deterred it. In fact, you can easily argue that fans who saw the illegal copy will RUN to the theater and pay to watch the film in its entirety WITH all the special effects included. Fox- it was a very nice ‘deliberate’ slip-up. Deliberate?? Huh? Its actually a brilliant marketing move on their part. How do I know this? All the posts disappeared in the newsgroups 2 days after they appeared. Only the actual newshosts can delete headers and posts. Confirming that someone at Fox MUST have made an arrangement to put up the movie and then pull it down. No other film was ever pulled like that, leading me to believe that Fox most likely paid to have it put up and pulled down. A very inexpensive but brilliant marketing play.

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Now for the French. Arrest the downloaders? Huh? How about arresting the UPLOADERS instead? There are far fewer uploaders than downloaders. After all, get rid of the content going up and there’s nothing to pull down and download. Known informally as the “three strikes” directive, it has won preliminary votes by the Parliament and is expected to be approved in both houses Thursday.

The law empowers music and film industry associations to hire companies to analyze the downloads of individual users to detect piracy, and to report violations to a new agency overseeing copyright protection. The agency would be authorized to trace the illegal downloads back to individuals using the downloading computer’s unique identification number, known as its Internet Protocol, or IP, address, which the Internet service providers have on record.

For a first violation, the agency would send a warning by e-mail.

If a user made another illegal download within three months, a second warning would be sent by certified mail. If a third infraction occurred within a year, the service provider would be required to sever service. an Internet advocacy group based in Paris, said some computer users would turn to encrypted downloads and other methods to avoid detection. On Wednesday, a Swedish company, the Pirate Bay, began a service called Ipredator, which lets users use its virtual private network to make anonymous downloads for 5 euros a month.

So, how in the world will this law make any kind of dent in piracy?? Esplain Lucy!

UPDATE:

At the last minute, several members of the opposition Socialist Party rushed in to vote against the plan, according to Christine Albanel, the culture minister, in what she called a “cynical maneuver by the opposition.” The bill was rejected, 21-15.

Jérémie Zimmermann, director of La Quadrature du Net, an Internet advocacy group in Paris, described the outcome as “a huge political blow” for Mr. Sarkozy and Ms. Albanel. “It’s a victory for the citizens and the civil liberties over the corporate interests,” Mr. Zimmermann added. LONG LIVE FRANCE!

UPDATED: Those ‘elusive’ online Academy Award Screeners for 2007…

My post on November 4th comes with a new update today. It’s Sunday and a lazy day for me so I spent some time online looking for some ‘academy’ screeners to see what I could find. Oscar These are high quality DVD’s of movies that are sent around only to Academy voting members. They are highly ‘protected’ from theft pirate bay org. (or so it is touted), with each copy mailed to each member, signed for and numbered, registered by each studio – and I’m sure there are other safeguards taken as well . But somehow, someway, each and EVERY year most of them end up on the newsgroups first, then inevitably the digital file filters down to the easier to ‘Phd’ applications ( Phd = push here dummy) like Limewire limewire or Kazaa Kazaa in their heyday.

How does this happen despite the increased security and improved technological ‘fingerprinting’ and ‘watermarking’ movies are found there? Its not like one or two movies get pirated and released online before they come to DVD retail stores or available online through iTunes iTunes, Unbox Unbox, Movielink movielink or CinemaNow. cinemanow MOST of them somehow make it online. Now that being said, I think that the availability of these movies online like this just increase the sales of the DVD and interest through discussion by those who get to say they have ‘seen’ the film first. Its in the word of mouth. I believe that any real fan of a movie will buy it to own the copy anyway – proud to have it at their convenience to watch. I do it with my favorite music and bands because I play that music over and over again. Just like my favorite movies (but far less than I do a favorite song, btw). Anything less than my favorite gets rented anyway.

Nowadays, they put movies up on YouTube and other services in several parts. I think I read somewhere that soon YouTube will allow you to post something that is ‘movie’ length, i. e. 2+ hrs. This will invite people to post full-length features online a bit easier in single or 2 digital files (generally a divx file can be as small as 700 megs per film vs. the 3-4 gigs VOB file ripped directly from a DVD).

So without much further ado, here is the list, links and where I found these SO FAR:

UPDATE from November 4th: (*note: not all of the below mentioned titles are ‘Academy Screeners’, some are art house pics, some are DVD screeners that were leaked earlier than their DVD street date -most likely by an employee – and all are found in the divx binarydivx newsgroup as well as some others and are available for download for free by anyone with a newsgroup reader, newsleecher newsgroup account, newshosting and some par files). If you need some help understanding how to do all of this, you can look it up on the web here (and its not an easy exercise to do and that’s why services like Limewire and Kazza thrived for so long) or try iTunes.

*The Brothers Solomon, King of California, Redacted, Fifty Pills, The Banishment, In Memory of Myself, The Edge of Heaven, Thieves, The Man Who Shot Chinatown, The Man from Earth, Shattered, September Dawn, Dragon War.

Those ‘elusive’ online Academy Award Screeners for 2007…and the winners are:

OscarIts that time again. What do I mean you might ask? Its time to hunt down digital copies and watch this years Academy Award screener’s that are already starting to ‘leak’ their way online. Some even before they hit the theaters. So, we’ll keep a tally here as to which ones have shown up and where to find them. First one off the lot ‘honors’ goes to “AMERICAN GANGSTER” Stay tuned for more!

ps – they are all found right here Calico Jack, The Pirate.

UPDATE: (*note: not all of the below mentioned titles are ‘Academy Screeners’, some are art house pics, some are DVD screeners that were leaked earlier than their DVD street date -most likely by an employee – and all are found in the divx binary newsgroup as well as some others and are available for download for free by anyone with a newsgroup reader, newsgroup account, and some par files). If you need some help understanding how to do all of this, you can look it up on the web here (and its not an easy exercise to do and that’s why services like Limewire and Kazza thrived for so long) or try iTunes.

*The Brothers Solomon, King of California, Redacted, Fifty Pills, The Banishment, In Memory of Myself, The Edge of Heaven, Thieves, The Man Who Shot Chinatown, The Man from Earth, Shattered, September Dawn, Dragon War.