Home Weekly Wrapup: Real Time Web, Larger Kindle, CloneCloud, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Real Time Web, Larger Kindle, CloneCloud, And More…

In this edition of the Weekly Wrapup, our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week, we analyze the Real Time Web, interview the founder of a venture tech firm, report on a new and larger version of Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader, look at a cloud computing product for the mobile phone, review a promising platform for the ‘Internet of Things’, and more. We also check out the latest from our new channel ReadWriteStart, which is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.

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Web Trends

3 Models of Value in the Real Time Web

Hey web DJ. Reach into your magic bag of search tools and pull out a big result – dripping with related ephemera born just moments ago. Those could hold the grain of information you’re really looking for, or they could sparkle with data that changes your course of action in unexpected ways.

Alert! Another factor has emerged, elsewhere on another site. You said you wanted to be told, right away, about any online artifacts that crossed a threshold of popularity within a certain group of people in your field. That has just occurred, so it’s time to watch the replay of how it got so hot, evaluate its usefulness and decide whether to bring this emergent phenomenon into the work you were doing before you were interrupted, drop the former for the latter or return to your original focus. How would you like this to be your job description? It could well be – if the red hot Real Time Web keeps showing up on sites all around the internet.

The Man Who Made Gmail Says Real-Time Conversation is What’s Next

Paul Buchheit built the first version of Gmail in one day. Then, he built the first prototype of Google’s contextual advertising service, Adsense, in one day as well. Now, he’s working on a much-watched startup called FriendFeed that he believes just brought to market the next big form of communication online: flowing, multi-person, real-time conversations.

“The open, realtime discussions that occur on FriendFeed,” he says, “are going to become a major new communication medium on the same level as email, IM and blogging.” That’s a pretty ambitious claim, but Buchheit has the credibility to make it.

VIDEO: Interview with Venture Tech Firm Founder on the State of the Startup Economy

In Nashville, Tennessee, Marcus Whitney, founder of venture technology firm Remarkable Wit, takes a moment to talk to us about the struggles and triumphs he’s experienced in the wonderful world of tech startups.

Marcus explains a little bit about the differences between venture technology and venture capital models and how his firm adopts good ideas and “A team” executives-in-training to create living, breathing tech startups without blowing through ungodly amounts of cash. He also talks about the need for a solid revenue model for even the best of tech ideas.

Anthropology: The Art of Building a Successful Social Site

Picture if you will, a collaborative site that runs on two servers, is managed by four people, and has attracted a third of its target demographic within six months of launch. A site that has had 800,000 posts submitted by its users in its short lifetime and has 16 million pageviews/month – and growing.

This is the story of Stack Overflow, a free question and answer site built by developers for developers that has fostered a strong and committed online community in under one year. How? Easy, according to founder Joel Spolsky; all it takes is an understanding of anthropology and a lot of determination.

Developers: Never Mind the APIs, Here’s YQL Execute

“I Tried YQL Execute and All I Got Was an Authenticated Javascript API Processing Layer in the Cloud”

There’s a great amount of data available on the Web in APIs or even straight HTML. It’s all there for the parsing – and parsed data from social media in particular is held to be a goldmine. But traditionally, it’s the heavy lifting (the broad variety of programming languages used in APIs, the challenges presented by complicated authentications, the occasional need for massive pipes) that has made accessing and sorting data into useful applications a laborious process.

Yahoo!, chiefly to serve the needs of its own engineers, has been developing a sophisticated solution that is agnostic across all Internet platforms and that lowers both the burden of labor and the barriers to entry for social and other web application developers, many of whom are already singing the praises of the newly released YQL Execute.


A Word from Our Sponsors

We’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!

  • Mashery is the leading provider of API management services.
  • Smub, a bookmarking and link posting tool for the iPhone.
  • Web 3.0 Conference, semantic web and linked data, May 19-20 NYC
  • Semantic Technology Conference, the future of the Web, IT, search, business.
  • Crowd Science gives you detailed visitor demographics.
  • hakia is a semantic search engine.
  • Rackspace provides dedicated server hosting.
  • Socialtext brings you 5 Best Practices for Enterprise Collaboration Success
  • Calais brings semantic functionality into your website or app.
  • Aplus provides web hosting services for small business hosting needs.
  • MediaTemple provides hosting for RWW.
  • Eurekster is a custom social search portal.
  • SixApart provides our publishing software MT4.


Our new channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.

Startup 101: Introducing Our Serialized “How to Build a Startup” Book

“Startup 101” is a serialized book about the thrills and spills of starting a Web technology venture. It will be a regular feature in our new channel ReadWriteStart, dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs. Startup 101 is for first-time entrepreneurs who want to go through the whole startup life cycle – including raising money, building a valuable business, and making a lot of money by selling the venture or taking it public.


Web Products

Amazon Introduces New Big-Screen EBook Reader: Focus on Newspapers and Textbooks

During an event in New York City this week, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, unveiled a larger version of the company’s successful Kindle eBook reader. The new device, the Kindle DX, has a 9.7″ display that is about two and a half times larger than that of the Kindle 2. The Kindle DX will come with a built-in PDF reader, and features an auto-rotate mode, so that readers can easily switch between reading in portrait and landscape modes. The Kindle DX will cost $489 and is scheduled to ship this summer.

Analysis: Would Students Even Want a Kindle for Textbooks?

CloneCloud: The Power of Cloud Computing Comes to Mobile Phones

We love our mobile phones, especially our smart phones, and we’ve come to think of them as “mini” computers in our pocket. However, the nature of the phones’ hardware still limits them when it comes to sheer processing power. And the more work the phone has to do own its own, the quicker its battery life gets eaten up. That’s why Intel Research Berkeley scientists Byung-Gon Chun and Petros Maniatishave been working on a solution to this problem. They’ve come up with something called CloneCloud, a new service that uses cloud computing to provide extra processing power for mobile phones.

Last.fm Launches New Online Radio Player: Adds Combo Stations and Slideshows

Last.fm, the popular online music discovery service, just launched its new Personalized Visual Music player, which, at least from a visual perspective, takes online radio to a new level. The new player automatically plays a slideshow with related images uploaded by the Last.fm community, which looks surprisingly good. More importantly, though, Last.fm now allows users to create combo stations, where a user can create a station with up to three artists or tags.

Pachube: Building a Platform for Internet-Enabled Environments

Pachube was one of 5 Internet of Things services that we profiled in February. Pachube, (pronounced “PATCH-bay” according to the New York Times) lets you tag and share real time sensor data from objects, devices, buildings and environments both physical and virtual. In a recent monumental blog post by Tish Shute, Pachube founder, Usman Haque, explained that Pachube is about “environments” moreso than “sensors.” In other words, Pachube aims to be responsive to and influence your environment – for example your home.

This type of environmentally aware Internet technology will become increasingly important, so in this post we look at the business model of Pachube and an early product built on top of the service.

Google Apps Now Syncs with Directory Systems, Such as Microsoft’s Active Directory

According to a post on the Google Enterprise Blog this week, there’s a new tool for Google Apps users that lets businesses sync the user account information in Google Apps with the business’s LDAP user directory system. If you’re in I.T., you probably already know what that means, but if not let me spell it out for you: Google now syncs with Microsoft’s Active Directory.



Who’s Getting Hired in Tech? Q1 Numbers from ReadWriteHire

Rapleaf’s Auren Hoffman says that hiring is harder in a downturn because the noise goes up but the quality stays the same. That’s a pretty strong statement to make, but if it’s true then it’s all the more remarkable to see which companies are making hires now.

Our site ReadWriteHire covers new hires in tech and new media. We’ve just published our aggregate numbers for the first 3 months of 2009. Who’s hiring? Software and IT companies, social media and social networking companies and marketing and advertising firms.


That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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