TelecomTV *Raw

The best of TelecomTV, plus (un)related junk from the site’s Director of Content

Blog Watch is Back

Last year, TelecomTV published a daily “Best of the Blogs” post, highlighting some of the most interesting and thought-provoking articles that we come across as we research the top stories of the day. The Mobile Planet documentary film put paid to that. But now that colossal project is nearing completion, it’s time to resume normal service, albeit on a more civilized weekly basis.

The conflict in Georgia starts us off. Dean Takahasi on Venture Beat has an excellent summary of how the five day Georgia-Russia war spilled over into cyberspace:

Georgian web sites buckled under overwhelming waves of bogus traffic, sent from huge swarms of compromised computers. The attacks began as probes as early as July 20, according to Internet experts. As the war began on Friday, millions of extraneous requests — a so-called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack — took down Georgia’s banking and government sites … The first attacks reported by the Russian press noted that the web site of the South Ossetian government had been hit with a DDoS attack, just hours after the shooting started on Aug. 8. On Aug. 9, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site was defaced, with photographs of Georgian president Mikheil Saaskashvili juxtaposed with Adolf Hitler’s image. A group called the South Ossetia Hack Crew claimed responsibility for the defacements.

He included a comment from Gadi Evron, a security expert, who wrote a post-mortem on the Estonia experience.

“Does an Internet attack warrant a reaction from NATO? What about the UN? Is there such a thing as a ‘just’ Internet war and what is a country’s right to defend itself against one?”

Moving away from malicious attacks on the Net to just plain-old traffic overload; will the ISPs really buckle under the weight? According to a report from Cogent, highlighted on the DSL Reports blog, no they won’t. Or at least, not at the moment, as Cogent has just seen its first ever quarterly traffic volume decline.

The decline is blamed in part on normal lower seasonal use, but the company says they also “saw a series of video and social networking sites exhibit much more modest traffic growth than they had been.” Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer even goes so far as to proclaim “we’ve not seen a massive migration of video consumption over the Internet.” He notes that the average consumer still watches online video for 4.5 minutes per day and traditional broadcast television for 4.5 hours per day.

One for aspiring start-ups now. VC blogger Fred Wilson knows a thing or two about investing in young Internet firms. On a trip to the UK this week, he asked a group of entrepreneurs from the North of England to list their top funding questions. Full notes and comments over at his blog, but the list (as Fred remembers it) is as follows:

1) How do you evaluate a new investment opportunity?
2) What is going on with the US economy and how will it impact the global economy?
3) What do you make of technology platforms and software as a service business models?
4) How do you evaluate management teams before and after you invest in them?
5) What’s next for the web and web-based businesses?
6) What are the limits of advertising based business models and are they sustainable?

There is clearly a great deal of unease in the entrepreneur community about the economy and the reliance on advertising based business models. I got a distinct sense that everyone is looking for other areas and business models for inspiration.

Paid Content’s Rafat Ali interviewed Jim Keyes, the CEO of bricks and mortar DVD movie rental company Blockbuster. With online rental services, such as iTunes and Netflix, growing in popularity, a drop in trading numbers for Blockbuster comes as no surprise. But the former boss of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain still has faith in physical distribution.:

Q: This is a hypothetical one. Would you be ever interested in buying Netflix?

Keyes: Not really. Netflix doesn’t really have or do anything that we can’t and don’t already do ourselves. So, there’s really no advantage in buying. We think we can compete and play effectively on our own because what they don’t and couldn’t have very easily anyway is the depth of physical presence that we have. This is the key question: is everybody going to buy everything electronically in the future or for quite some time into the future, is there going to be a good balance between physical and electronic? If physical still has a role or any period of time into the future, we’re far better positioned to leverage that advantage.

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Friday, 15 August 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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