Posted by & filed under business models, Ecommerce, M-commerce, revenue model.

Description: Shopping skeptics said people would never buy certain things —shoes, diamond rings, cars — online because they needed to see the products in person. They were wrong. E-commerce companies have found success in all of those fields.


Date: Jan 16 , 2011

But some purchases still happen mostly offline, including one of the most personal: prescription eyeglasses.

Warby Parker, a New York start-up, thinks it can persuade people to shop online for glasses, with a combination of fashion, low prices, technology and old-fashioned customer service. It seems to be working. In its first year of business, the company sold about 20,000 pairs of glasses; however, it would not disclose financial information.

It joins a new generation of e-commerce companies that is changing online shopping by taking a cue from, the online shoe retailer that emphasizes convenience and customer service, and which was bought by in 2009.   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you feel selling glasses online has a good chance of success? Why or Why Not?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to success of this venture?
  • What products work best for e-commerc and are there any produts that just will not work in the on-line environement?

Posted by & filed under Cyberforensics, Digital Policy, Privacy.

Description: Concerned by the wave of requests for customer data from law enforcement agencies, Google last year set up an online tool showing the frequency of these requests in various countries. In the first half of 2010, it counted more than 4,200 in the United States.


Date: Jan 9 , 2011

Many Internet companies and consumer advocates say the main law governing communication privacy — enacted in 1986, before cellphone and e-mail use was widespread, and before social networking was even conceived — is outdated, affording more protection to letters in a file cabinet than e-mail on a server.

They acknowledge that access to information is important for fighting crime and terrorism, but say they are dealing with a patchwork of confusing standards that have been interpreted inconsistently by the courts, creating uncertainty. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you feel current privacy laws are meeting the challenges of today’s digital world?
  • What changes do you feel should be addressed in new privacy laws?

Posted by & filed under digital divide, Digital Policy, IS ethics.

Description: Some see a new “digital divide” emerging — with Latinos and blacks being challenged by more, not less, access to technology.


Date: Jan 11 , 2011

When the personal computer revolution began decades ago, Latinos and blacks were much less likely to use one of the marvelous new machines. Then, when the Internet began to change life as we know it, these groups had less access to the Web and slower online connections — placing them on the wrong side of the “digital divide.”  Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you agree that a new digital divide is emerging with new technolgies?
  • Is this Digital Divide fundamentlly different than the “old” Digital Divide?
  • Who should be responsible to help bridge this new digital divide?  Who should pay for it?

Posted by & filed under Apple, business models, Google, smartphones, telecomunications.

Description: Google Inc. may lose business as Verizon Wireless starts selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone, giving the carrier’s customers a new alternative to smartphones running the Android operating system.

Source: &

Date: Jan 11 , 2011

Verizon said today it will offer Apple’s iPhone 4 as of Feb. 10, and begin taking orders a week earlier. The Verizon iPhone may cannibalize about 2 million Android shipments a year, said Dan Hays, partner at consulting firm PRTM. Gartner Inc. said 20.5 million Android phones were sold in the third quarter.

“A lot of people who bought Android phones were buying it in lieu of an iPhone because they couldn’t get one on the Verizon network,” said Charlie Wolf, a Needham & Co. analyst in New York.   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Who are the winners and losers in iphones move to another supplier?
  • Should AT&T be worried about losing thier monopoly on the iphone in the U.S.?
  • Do you see the smart phone industry expanding or contracting in the future as far as the number of players that compete in this industry? Why?

Posted by & filed under Copyright, industry analysis, online education, revenue model.

Description: Plans to supplement textbooks with digital content.


Date: Jan 4 , 2011

A Toronto District School Board Trustee discusses supplementing textbooks with digital content.

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think supplementing textbooks with digital content is a good pedagogical decision?
  • Who should bear the cost or recieve the cost savings as a result of this “supplementing textbooks with digital content” strategy?
  • Is this a strategy or trend that you would like to see happen in university eduction?

Posted by & filed under Apple, business models, Google, Software.

Description: Browsers remain one of the Internet’s most crucial functions, Gavin says. They are the windows to the Internet, conduits to what users really want to see — be it a social network, application, video or document.
Source: USA

Date: Dec 2, 2010

The browser has become the primary way we all keep up with our friends,” says Eric Vishria, CEO of RockMelt, which centers its searches on social-media gathering places such as FacebookTwitter and Google. The product, which hopes to attract 1 million users within six months, was built with Chromium, the open-source browser project that underlies Chrome.

“It has become the primary way to consume news and information,” Vishria says. “And it has become the primary way to search for everything.”

Consumers are willing to switch to the latest and greatest browser if their current one doesn’t measure up: Some 500 million people have switched browsers the past three years, based on data from W3C Counter andInternational Telecommunications Union.

Many people use multiple browsers not only for optimum online performance but out of necessity. Several financial institutions don’t work well with Chrome or Firefox, forcing their online banking customers to use older, less secure versions of IE.

“Without a doubt, there is more choice than any time in history — and that’s great for consumers and developers,” says Ryan Gavin, who heads IE’s business.

Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Which browser do you use? Why?
  • Will mobile computing continue to fragment the browser market? Why
  • Should organizations dictate to employees which browser they use in the marketplace? Why?

Posted by & filed under business models, Copyright, Cyberforensics, Digital Policy, Ecommerce, FaceBook, industry analysis, M-commerce, Privacy, Security.

Description: Signaling a sea change in the debate over Internet privacy, the government’s top consumer protection agency on Wednesday advocated a plan that would let consumers choose whether they want their Internet browsing and buying habits monitored.


Dec 1, 2010

Saying that online companies have failed to protect the privacy of Internet users, the Federal Trade Commission recommended a broad framework for commercial use of Web consumer data, including a simple and universal “do not track” mechanism that would essentially give consumers the type of control they gained over marketers with the national “do not call” registry.

Those measures, if widely used, could directly affect the billions of dollars in business done by online advertising companies and by technology giants like Google that collect highly focused information about consumers that can be used to deliver personalized advertising to them.

While the report is critical of many current industry practices, the commission will probably need the help of Congress to enact some of its recommendations. For now, the trade commission hopes to adopt an approach that it calls “privacy by design,” where companies are required to build protections into their everyday business practices.

Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you feel that allowing consumers to choose if they want their Internet browsing habits monitored is a good idea?
  • What effects would this have on the on the online advertising industry?
  • Is this idea of Internet anonymity better achieved with policy legislation or with technological tools?

Posted by & filed under Apple, Business Intelligence, Ecommerce, FaceBook, Google, Hardware, M-commerce, revenue model.

Description: In 1995, when Amazon was founded, e-commerce was like the proverbial talking dog. It wasn’t about how well the dog could talk, it was amazing that the dog could talk at all. The first generation of e-commerce sites were focused on functionality, getting the dog to talk better.


Dec 3, 2010

Every year, Lightspeed Venture Partners goes on record with some prognostications for what the future holds. You can check out our 2010 predictions here (we figure we scored about a B on those). Here’s what we’re predicting for 2011:

1. Putting fun into e-commerce
In 1995, when Amazon was founded, e-commerce was like the proverbial talking dog. It wasn’t about how well the dog could talk, it was amazing that the dog could talk at all. The first generation of e-commerce sites were focused on functionality, getting the dog to talk better. We got everything from price comparison engines to aggregated user reviews to one-click checkout. These early innovations were focused on optimizing the “workflow” of shopping to get users into the checkout as quickly as possible.

This worked great for most internet users at that time because, back then, most internet users were men, and in general, men do not like to shop. They treat it like a chore, a necessary evil that would ideally be minimized and optimized to take the least amount of time possible.

But a few years ago, that changed. There are now (a few) more women online than men. And in general, women tend to enjoy shopping more than men. If you enjoy shopping, you don’t want your “workflow optimized”. You don’t want to be rushed to the checkout as quickly as possible. Instead, you want to linger, to be delighted, to discover new things, to find great deals. You want shopping to be fun.

Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Which of these trends will have the most impact in the education industry?
  • Will mobile computing be larger than the computer industry in the personal and business setting?
  • Are there any of these trends that you see as not really being a trend in the near future?

Posted by & filed under Apple, business models, Cloud Computing, Google, Hardware, revenue model, Software.

Description: The research firm IDC predicts that in 2011, computing’s third major technology wave will become mainstream, when computers held in one’s hand — smartphones and tablets — really take over and start putting personal computers in the rearview mirror.


Dec 2, 2010

Next year, the research firm says in a report published Thursday, there will be 330 million smartphones sold worldwide and 42 million media tablets. Tablet sales are expected to more than double next year, and to keep climbing, “breezing by netbooks, the phenomenon of two years ago,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst for IDC.

“The PC-centric era is over,” the IDC report says. Within 18 months, it forecasts, non-PC devices capable of running software applications will outsell PCs. In tablets, IDC adds, Apple’s iPad will remain the leader, but lower-cost tablets will begin making inroads, especially as demand for tablets really takes off in emerging markets.

IDC uses a hardware-centered definition of technology eras — devices that open up computing to large new groups of users. So, by its definition, the first era began in the 1960s, when many people got access to computers, seated at mainframe terminals. Next came personal computers in the 1980s, and mobile devices that are full-fledged computers were next.

Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • How big is the mobile computing industry and what devices would you include?
  • Why is cloud computing so important to companies that compete in the mobile computing industry?
  • Is there any way for Apple to maintain their industry domination in the tablet industry?

Posted by & filed under Biometrics, cyber terroism, Cyberforensics, industry analysis, Privacy, Security.

Description: Cyberforensics, the science of finding and securing digital evidence buried deep within company networks, is fast emerging as a global industry.


Date: Nov 23, 2010
Three major players are in the vanguard.PricewaterhouseCoopers has recently hired several former law enforcement agents and prosecutors to supplement its cyberforensic services, which already have 3,000 employees and 55 labs in 37 countries.

Verizon Business — supplier of communications, networking and security technologies to large organizations — has pumped more than $50 million into cyberforensics-related services in the past two years. That includes setting up a state-of-the-art hygienic lab to examine computer circuit boards.

And Stroz Friedberg, a private CSI-like company founded by an ex-FBI agent and an ex-U.S. Attorney, recently received a $115 million investment from private equity firm New Mountain Capital to open new offices across the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Demand for cyberforensics is being driven by “the proliferation and complexity of security issues companies are facing,” says Alok Singh, New Mountain’s managing director. “Issues of data security and integrity are critical for all companies around the world.”

Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • How does cyber forensics work?
  • Is cyber forensics an industry that should be regulated by government?
  • How big an industry is cyber forensics?