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November 24, 2005

Weekend reading

Weekend reading: Eric von Hippel's Democratizing Innovation (available as web/PDF under Creative Commons license) in anticipation of his guest lecture this Monday at Copenhagen Business School. (I do hope the event is open to the public).

Posted by Nikolaj Nyholm at 11:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Post-NEXT dinner

Update: Looks like we'll be 7- 8 people at Oak Room. Not sure about whether dinner will happen, however.

The NEXT 2005 program officially ends tomorrow at 15:30, early enough for all the corporates to spin their Audis up North. I have, however, been acquiring a profound taste for martinis and microbrew ales at the last couple of conferences I've been attending, and won't let this one disappoint (AT&T's reception at Web2.0 with Beluga and Stoli Martinis was refreshingly 1999ish).

Seriously. There is 1 (one!) break in the entire conference program, far from enough to do any real talking with likeminded. Again, most of the conference chatting will have to happen on #next2005 (irc.freenode.net#next2005) or afterwards.
As I tend to like faces I opt for afterwards and will be heading to The Oak Room at around 17:30 and hopefully on to dinner some two hours later or so.
Please come no matter whether you attended live, via videostream, or just feel like enjoying the company of others.

Comment below to sign up so we have a rough idea of how big a dinner table we'll need.

Bonus eventThomas will be soothing his hangovers in company with Storm and hopefully others, in a family outing to the NEXT exhibition sometime Saturday.

Posted by Nikolaj Nyholm at 02:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NEXT 2005 videostream

For those unable to attend NEXT 2005 tomorrow, the good folks at InnovationLab have set up a real-time video stream. I'm especially looking forward to Aubrey de Grey and Dr. Dr. (sic) Norbert Streitz Jason Tester.

You'll have to come in person, however, to experience the great products on display in the exhibition, but at DKK 795 the conference is a bargain.

Posted by Nikolaj Nyholm at 12:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 08, 2005

Omidyar Donates $100 mill to Micro-finance

My old university, Tufts, has been donated $100 million from Pam and Pierre Omidyar "to be invested exclusively in international microfinance initiatives".

Microfinance has been gaining widespread attention since Muhammad Yunus set up Grameen Bank in Bangladesh about a decade ago, successfully enabling thousands of mainly female entrepreneurs to set up business on commercial loans of only a few hundred dollars, loans that other banks were not willing to underwrite.

The donation is from Pam and Pierre Omidyar personally, not the Omidyar Network, and it is a gift to Tufts, not to a group of microfinance enablers. Yet, where typical university gifts are for stadiums, academic programs og libraries (I remember the Tisch Library at Tufts), this is a donation in the spirit of the Omidyar Network. Tufts will indeed act as an institutional investor as it is common for US universities (Harvard has an endowment of $25.9 billion), collecting a 50% carry on the interest on loans, but the Omidyars have earmarked the gift to, in the words of the Omidyar Network's mission, "[foster] individual self-empowerment on a global scale".

Less is more. Now there is more to do more with less.

Bonus links: Along with Pam and Pierre Omidyar themselves, Tufts University is also the alma matter of notables like Joi Ito, Meg Hourihan, Costas Caramanlis (Greek prime minister), and many more.

Posted by Nikolaj Nyholm at 08:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2005

Rails Going Stateside

Ruby on Rails wonder boy DavidHH is moving stateside to be closer to his partners at 37signals.

While we expect to see him back from time to other, Thomas, Lars, Martin, Guan and I, have arranged an open and informal meetup on Nov 14 to bid him farewell.

Come join us and leave a note on Lars' blog if you intend to do so.

Posted by Nikolaj Nyholm at 02:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2005

World of Ends Under Fire

In an interview for the upcoming issue of BusinessWeek, SBC CEO Edward Whitacre relays concerning remarks that attack the fundamental and inherent openness of the Internet:

The Internet can't be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! (YHOO ) or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!

Can you imagine what happens if these rude upstarts don't adhere? Well, we'll block'em, right?

This is a nightmare far worse than the Pusblishing Industry vs Google Print, another recent attack on the individual's freedom to obtain information, in most democracies considered a basic human right (think public education; think public libraries). It's even worse than the blocking of ports for competitive applications like VoIP that SBC joint venture partner and fellow incumbent Bellsouth has flagged it's clear right to do.

Is this the age of Web2.0? You gotta be kidding. This is the age of control. Incumbents are being gagged and their only self-defence is limit and control at the clear expense of the customer.

I think it's time for all of us revisit David Weinberger and Doc Searls' excellent 2003 essay World of Ends.

Information wants to be free. Get over it.

Posted by Nikolaj Nyholm at 10:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack