Archive for January, 2004

Cringely’s WhyFi

Friday, January 16th, 2004

Robert Cringlely’s got a public wifi idea that’s pretty cool – ask broadband users to add a public hotspot to their broadband connection in exchange for free national roaming WiFi.

It’s interesting because it’s a grassroots design and it scales well, since you incent the network nodes with the increasing network effect of the system. The trick, like most network business plans, is just getting started.

Probably the biggest argument today against WiFi as a national, usable system is the problem of ubiquity: unlike major operators’ networks, WiFi coverage is still limited to airports, coffee shops, hotels, and some enlightened businesses. But this sort of coverage is hardly reliable.

Cringely’s WhyFi would be an interesting way to add incentive to those who could donate their broadband connection.

Lindows for Business

Thursday, January 15th, 2004

Lindows is interestingly announcing a business version of its OS.

What makes this interesting is the angle of attack MIchael has chosen, which seems to be: work on multiple computers seamlessly. The scenario he paints is the knowledge worker who wants to finish work on a document at home that was started at work. Not that this is impossible to do today, but Robertson clearly sees an opportunity to leverage the wide variety of Linux apps available to make this process cheaper for the home worker. And easier using his Click N Run app database.

Of course, one of the core unique aspects of Lindows is this centralized warehouse of open source applications, which addresses something that has been complex on open source OSes : ease of installation.

With this new business tack, Lindows is leveraging that warehouse, adding IT centralized administration, customizable by company IT staff.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. Will Lindows be able to crack the supply chain into businesses? Will it matter (ie, will growth come from SMBs, or overseas price-sensitive markets?)

iBox: Apple Releasing its own TiVo?

Sunday, January 4th, 2004

Wes Fryer sent me this intriguing link to an article on If the informed rumor is true, the iBox would have just about everything I would put on a wish list:

- Tivo-like video scheduled record and live pause
- Wireless networking
- Remote web-based scheduling
- DVD and CD burner
- iTunes and iPhoto, including iTunes Music Service
- Firewire port for connecting an iPod – allows you to play songs on the iPod
- $395-$595 price point.

Steve Jobs’ Tuesday keynote at Macworld should be very interesting if there really is an iBox release.