Getting ready for Boston

Today is a busy day, I am getting ready for my trip to Boston. I’ll be there for a full week and I need to prepare my computer, all my gadgets I can’t live without, backup data and most of all, get ready for the super-cold temperatures of Massachusetts.

Italy and mostly Europe in general has been quite warmn this year, considering that we are in January, but it seems like Boston will not be warmer than last year, when the day we arrived there was a snowstorm! Luckily just a few hours after we had landed, but the day after the airport was closed and remained so for 2 or 3 days.

Traveling around the world

Lately I haven’t been traveling a lot, my last trip has been in September to the beautiful Gijon in Spain (I just realized I never posted anything about it, strange!) and then a 1-day trip to London to meet my colleagues of the European offices of M:Metrics.

The next months, instead, includes 2 trips, one to Boston for the W3C Multi-Group Meeting and one to Barcelona for the 3GSM World Congress.

I am really excited about these trips. If you are in the W3C and would like to meet, please let me know.

While during the trip to Boston I will mostly be in some W3C meeting, during the 3GSM World Congress I will have much more time to meet people. Last time I went was still in Cannes, I think it was 2002, I have never joined again. I am really looking forward for the new location, bigger space and maybe some new projects.

If you are going to any of these meetings, please let me know and we’ll try to arrange something.

What if Google entered the Music downloads biz?

I found a very interesting article on Blog Maverick. The blog, in case you did not know, is maintained by Mark Cuban, the owner of the basketball team and a number of companies related to internet (read more on Wikipedia at the link above).

The post is entitled Googlenomics , Itunes and Zune and describes a few reasons why Google might enter the Music downloads business, how much it would cost and what it could bring to them.

It makes some sense, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, or at least not as it is described. I can hardly believe that the music labels would be happy to give away the music for free. The first billion songs for free is A LOT and would cost them A LOT (Mark says about 575M USD). That would mean a really low price per song and the music labels are already fighting with Apple to raise the 99c per song.

While Google and Apple are friends, I doubt the service would be compatible with the iPod and Google and Microsoft are not so much friends, so I hardly think it’ll be compatible with Zune. What’s left? Something that maybe is not in Mark Cuban’s article, you home-media-center. An all-in-one tiny computer (as big as your VCR) that connects to internet, lets you watch TV shows, listen to music and read news online. Wouldn’t that make more sense for Google?

WURFL means real money

WURFL is an open-source project and it has been running for about 5 years now. Initially it was a common effort of a few developers around Europe willing to share some information and save some money from buying every phone on the market.

Later it turned into a very valuable information source for anyone in the mobile space from anywhere in the world.

Today is the de-facto standard for anyone that wants to build a mobile solution in-house.

How much does WURFL cost? It is still entirely free. The main XML includes devices for 1999 to 2006 (and 2007 soon!). The free libraries range from PHP to Java, Ruby, python, .NET, etc. Basically any well known programming and scripting language.

What do you need to start? An idea and One or more programmers to turn your idea into something real using the tools that WURFL provides.

It looks like there’s someone with an idea and looking for an experienced programmer: J. Edgar and associates, a recruitment company. I just found a post about a job opportunity in which WURFL is a requirement!
The yearly payment is not bad at all, 90.000+ dollars. It is not clear to me if it’s US dollars or Canadian. Anyway it seems like WURFL programmers are very well considered.

Apple’s iTV

Interesting article from Roughly Drafted about Apple’s iTV and specifically about the fact that strangely enough Apple has pre-announced a product that will be available in 4 to 6 months from now.

I agree with the idea that 802.11n is probably needed for the iTV to be successful, but I also think that it’s another way to let the majors know that Apple is serious about video downloads. It’s another way to say “Hey, you should join iTMS, because we’re going to broadcast your movies directly on TV, so call us if you want to be there”.