The need for more insight into the present

Om Malik makes an excellent point on the need to contemplate the present as it’s happening. So much of our collective present is chunked up into tweet-sized analysis that we may be losing the essence of the times we live in.  Anyway, his post is worth reading:

As an avid reader, I am often amazed how much of our written materials are about the past (or the near past) and the future (and the near future) but never about the present.. Is present too boring?. Or is too real?. Or is it too incomplete to merit a careful and long deliberation..

Source: We need more books about the present

James and Kevin join Om

Image representing Giga Omni Media as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Wow, this is big. Small, but big. Last night Om Malik‘s GigaOmni Media announced the acquisition of jkOnTheRun, which I believe is the premier gadget blog with an end user’s perspective. James Kendrick founded jkOnTheRun, and Kevin Tofel joined him over a year ago. This is really cool news for everybody involved:

jkOnTheRun: Giga Omni Media acquires jkOnTheRun!

What does this mean for jkOnTheRun?

First and foremost you can rest assured that the coverage you have come to expect from us will continue. jkOnTheRun will continue to bring you all the information about the gadgets and technologies that make your jobs easier and your lives a little bit better. That we can promise you will not change. We will continue to show you not only the technology of the day but how you can leverage it to your best advantage. We will also continue to detail for you what technology we are using and what we do with it.

I know in recent days there has been a lot of soul searching on the blogosphere about where blogging is headed. Anyone who is interested in seeing what it takes to be a passionate blogger just needs to read some of James’ and Kevin’s posts to understand how to do it right. I’m glad that these guys are being rewarded for their hard work, and also glad that Om is going to allow them to develop a wider audience through this acquisition. Congratulations all around!

Amazon’s S3 was down for a long stretch yesterday

Image representing Amazon.com as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

In recent months I’ve written more and more about Cloud Computing, and have been a fan of it’s most prominent tool Amazon’s S3. Well, it looks like S3 had another major failure yesterday. I didn’t notice because I spent the day away from the internet, but according to many blog posts, the service was down for several hours. That’s not good, Amazon. Here’s a link to Om Malik’s post regarding the failure:

S3 Outage Highlights Fragility of Web Services – GigaOM

That said, the outage shows that cloud computing still has a long road ahead when it comes to reliability. NASDAQ, Activision, Business Objects and Hasbro are some of the large companies using Amazon’s S3 Web Services. But even as cloud computing starts to gain traction with companies like these and most of our business and communication activities are shifting online, web services are still fragile, in part because we are still using technologies built for a much less strenuous web.

Amazon’s push onto the cloud explained by Bezos

Jeff BezosImage via Wikipedia

Om Malik managed to catch Jeff Bezos offstage at Walt Mossberg’s D6 conference last week, and the resulting video provides great insight into Amazon’s cloud computing efforts. If you haven’t been following the build out of cloud computing as closely as I have, let me provide some context. Amazon introduced several computing solutions that act like infrastructure utilities. They are priced by a usage model and are highly scalable. The resulting effect has been to provide a very powerful infrastructure to both individuals and startups to build robust computing solutions on. These solutions range from simple file storage, at a very affordable 15 cents per gigabyte per month, to complex computing and database applications. What makes Amazon’s efforts so significant is that the services allow everyone to harness storage and scalability in a leasing model whereby you only pay for the ‘amount’ – of storage, database and computing power – that you use, nothing more and nothing less.

Aligning to the right market

Om Malik just linked to an excellent post by Dare Obasanjo in which Dare takes a second look at the market for web 2.0 companies and reminds them that there are substantial differences between the early adopters and the real market that those companies are aiming for. As I’ve said in the past, I think Twitter is a classic example of a technology that may not make the leap across the chasm.

HP-EDS is the most interesting story of the last month

In a month when all the buzz about the on again, off again (and apparently on again) Ballmer-Yang waltz dominated the news, the HP-EDS deal may quietly emerge as the most significant technology consolidation we’ve seen in quite a while. Om Malik postulates that the real play here is not aimed at IBM, rather it is about establishing a dominant position on the cloud, just as utility computing reemerges as the ‘next big thing’. While I haven’t looked at the details of this proposed merger, I think the ‘cloud’ angle – as presented by Om – makes a lot of sense. I’ve link to Om’s post above; it is worth reading.