Friday, September 23, 2005

Why did eBay do it?


I agree with you.
The only possible explanation is that had they built their own VoIP, Skype would have been a competitor.
On the other end, eBAY is the only survival hope for Skype.
The customers will practically be obliged to stick to it.
At least eBay's customers.
Because all the others are going toward an open standard VoIP which in my opinion IS the only future for VoIP.

There are already platforms open to all H323 and SIP codecs.
You can use whatever and you are able to communicate with the others.
Not with Skype of course.

It isn't difficult to understand who in the end will win.

As I always said, if I was a VC I wouldn't make a long term investment in a short term revenue company...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Missing the Skype VC Opportunity

by Mark Evans at 12:33PM (EDT) on September 21, 2005

While there has been a lot of attention on the VCs that hit the jackpot with Skype
(Draper Fisher Jurvetson, etc.), there are likely dozens of VCs that took a pass when the company was seeking capital.
At a VON panel today on VC investment in VOIP, David McCarthy, managing director with BCE Capital, said he didn't jump on Skype because he couldn't figure out their business model.
"Shame on me but I generally pass on things without a business model and will likely do so again in the future.
" Kudos to McCarthy for being honest about what coulda/shoulda/mighta been but truth be told, there are hundreds of intriguing technology companies like Skype looking for private equity.
If they're really, really lucky, it all works out for everyone but the vast majority never go anywhere.

I think it was wise to behave the way most VCs did.
When you invest money you must consider the reality, not the unpredictable...
Which is exactly what happened, may be if eBay had waited a little bit, they wouldn't have wasted their money...

VCs think the Market ruled by wise and competent managers, that is why sometimes they miss the point..
But it is not so easy to predict the unpredictable...


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Infrastructures, Applications, Content.

When you talk about TV you consider two businesses:

1) The Infrastructure business (Satellite, cable operator)

2) The content business ( TV programs, movies)

When you talk about Internet you must consider a third one:

3) The applications business.

That is by far the revolution of our enterteinment world, it is what allows the customer to make his own content, and it is mostly the content he prefers.
Thus the huge success of the P2P networks, of all the interactive softwares.

But one greater revolution is going to happen soon.

The content that was a monopoly of big corporations, thanks to the lowering cost of the hardware used to make it, will have the competition of millions of "Content makers" and "Content providers".

The "Infrastructure business" is changing hands.
The customers thanks to the fact that can lease the lines for an afforfdable flat fee, are able to broadcast every content they want.

The "content business" is changing hands too.
From the war between the copyright holders and the "hackers" to the war of "artists" chained to a content producer and "artists" representing themselves.

And it is not difficult to understand who will be the winner.


Every increase in the value or valuation of Skype or equivalent is "an increase" in the value of the telecoms.

What users never saw was that Skype was (and always wanted to be) nothing else than a NEW TELECOM, which used new and more powerful infrastructures.

The differences were:

1) It used lines that didn't belonged to them (but customers' owned or better leased and paid for from the customers)

2) It had lower prices because it just had to charge the last mile, being the trip on the Internet already paid, leased by the customer.

3) It was going to become even a bigger monopoly than the actual ones, because most of the Telecoms, at least in Europe are national.

4) It was even worse because used proprietary protocols and codec, making it an obligation for the customer to use THEIR last mile.

If you hate monopolies and want to demolish them, YOU HAVE to propose the opposite scenario.

Free market for all the small entrepreneus who want to work and invest.

Better service, because there is competition.

Besides, I laugh thinking of a threat to the Telephone companies.

Now a day their biggest revenue IS the MOBILE market and everybody who understands a little bit of wireless understands also that WI-FI at least now, IS NOT a threat to their incomes...

May be in the future, but in a different way, not certainly building copies of the old telecoms.

What people didn't understand is the big potential of VoIP which is in the possibility of having "Customers' owned infrastructures".

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Internet

Talking about the Internet everybody has his own personal ideas.
Somebody sees it as a "chat line" or a "downloading mean" or an "email server".
It is, for all, the way to "communicate with the world".
But in reality the Internet is nothing else than a "New infrastructure" as opposed to the old ones (voice, TV Mail)
It is so powerful that in a very near future will be the "only one" doing mostly the job of the old ones and in a much better way (faster, easier, more powerful)

That is why it looks ridicolous to me using means like the old phone lines to send "images".
With a 64bits line you simply CANNOT compete...
In the same way, it is stupid to use the mobile phone for TV or Movies, even small images.
The low bandwidth DOESN'T allow this.
It is a wonderful "mobile and ubiquitous" way to send voice, but that is and that must be.

Unless obviously they find a better way to use the air..
Even WI-FI and Wimax are not powerful enough.
At least for now, and it is plain silly to illude the consumer.

I am sure it will come either with a very new and revolutionary image compression, which will allow to send huge files in a very low bandwidth, or with a new way to use the available bandwidth (or with a combination of both).

But in the meantime we have to adapt to what is AVAILABLE NOW.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Read: Skype and think: the rising of a new MONOPOLY

"No one knows how exactly this story will play out. What is clear is that every major player will want to have communications capabilities as part of its toolkit. Users will get converged communications services from multiple providers: it will sound as awkward to talk about "your phone company" as it would to identify "your e-commerce company" or "your search engine company."

The problem I see is a huge dilemma:

Is it the right road to follow Skype (with or without ebay) like we followed Microsoft?
It has indeed the advantage to make us able to communicate with 50.000.000 users and more...

Or wouldn't it be better, after we saw where Monopolies bring the customers, to follow an open standard (like SIP or H323) platform and leaving this way the possibility to competition to play the role of driving the market?

VoIP IS the Future, like the PC was the future, but do we really want a new Microsoft?

Friday, September 16, 2005


Why eBay did a very good bargain

My first impression, like many others' was that the deal was totally on Skype's advantage, then I began to think.
Why should people who certainly are not idiots do a bad deal?
What are they going to do and why Skype?

I began seeing the business on their side and with their eyes and I came to the conclusion that it was indeed a very good deal.
What will happen now?

Well this is what I think.
In a very near future the seller on eBay will have a new feature: the "Call me button".
Let's say it will cost something like 10 or 20 cents more.
But between a seller he can contact on VoIP (free IP to IP) and one he cannot, it is sure the buyer will choose the one with the "call me button".
It's like the image of what you sell, it is not a must, but undoubtely makes the deal much more attractive.
It is true, you can send the picture via email, but it is not the same. Everybody agrees.
And everybody agrees that a call IS more immediate than a email.

But that is NOT all.
The main reason why eBay can be more profitable is the "do ut des".

If Skype had woken up one day and charged for example a fee of 10 dollars a year (do) for the using of the IP to IP (ut des) Skype it would have lost a lot of customers.
And not because 10 dollars are a big sum of money, but because there are others on the market that offer the same for free.
Why stick to Skype?

It is different for eBay.
For just 10 dollars a year you can call IP to IP and use the "call me button" every time you contact a customer.

But they could have done the same with their own VoIP and saving a lot of money.

But then Skype would have been a competitor.
A buyer could have written an email to the seller and say: Skype me!

No call me button, no annual fee.

So, considering the number of Skype customers and eBay customers, it is easy to calculate that they will come back with their money very soon...

I know there is always the unpredictable.
In the beginning of the other century, if a market analyst had to bet, he would have bet 100% on Hitler.
Mussolini did exactly that.

But for every Napoleon, any Hitler, any Mussolini there is always a Russia which represents the unpredictable...

And also for every least Hystory teaches us so, you can never be sure, and when you are so sure it is the moment you should begin not to be...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Read: SKYPE and think: eBay VoIP

Joseph E. Sullivan, Director of Compliance and Law Enforcement Relations, Senior Counsel, Trust and Safety for online auction powerhouse eBay, recently addressed a group of law enforcement officials regarding eBay's policies for cooperating with government investigations. Below are verbatim quotations from his briefing at the recent CyberCrime 2003 conference:

"We [eBay] try to make rules to make it difficult for people to commit fraud and easy for you [law enforcement agencies] to investigate. One is our Privacy policy. I know from investigating eBay fraud cases that eBay has probably the most generous policy of any internet company when it comes to sharing information. [emphasis added]

We do not require a subpoena except for very limited circumstances. We require a subpoena when we need the financial information from the site, credit card info or sometimes IP information."

Now why, _exactly_, would anyone want to let these clowns route their phone calls and IM traffic, let alone PAY for the privilege?


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Transformation of Work in Modern Capitalism

"We have no future because our present is too volatile. The only possibility that remains is the management of risk. The spinning top of the scenarios of the present moment." (W. Gibson: Pattern recognition, tr. It. L'accademia dei sogni)

In the 1970s the energy crisis, the consequent economic recession and finally the substitution of work with numerical machines resulted in the formation of a large number of people with no guarantees.
Since then the question of the precarity became central to social analysis, but also in the ambitions of the movement.
We began by proposing to struggle for forms of guaranteed income, uncoupled from work, in order to face the fact that a large part of the young population had no prospect of guaranteed employment.
The situation has changed since then, because what seemed a marginal and temporary condition has no w become the prevalent form of labour relations. Precariousness is no longer a marginal and provisional characteristic, but it is the general form of the labour relation in a productive, digitalized sphere, reticular and recombinative.

"The arrow of time is broken: in an economy under constant restructuring that is based on the short-term and hates routine, definite trajectories no longer exist. People miss stable human relations and long term objectives." (R. Sennett: The corrosion of character)

If we analyse the first aspect, i.e. the technical transformations introduced by the digitalisation of the productive cycle, we see that the essential point is not the becoming precarious of the labour relation (which, after all, has always been precarious), but the dissolution of the person as active productive agent, as labour power. We have to look at the cyberspace of global production as an immense expanse of depersonalised human time."

And we have to look at a new future where the individual has the chance to drive the "machines" instead of being driven by them.
And since the machines have got a lot smarter, it is essential that in this future the man is smarter than them.

The main problem of our society is that laziness has driven us at the point where we are.
Before the 70s, man (of US and Europe) was used to have a "sure job" that mostly meant just a "sure salary" and so political forces have based their strength in the assurance of this.

People mostly voted for the one who promised the "Forever legalized salary" in spite of production, in spite of revenues.

But Economy follows other patterns.
If you do not produce, you do not have revenues, and if you do not have revenues there is somebody who can produce revenues and HE will steal your job.

No political force can guarantee "The Status quo", no political force can guarantee a salary when you do not produce revenues.

And this is NOT the Chineses' fault, it is just mathematics.

Skype-eBay: I agree

Good grief, with a nearly $5 billion carrot (if all financial incentives are met) dangling in front of them, the Skype folks would have been IDIOTS not to take eBay's dumb money.

I say cash the check, sell the eBay stock as soon as you can and invent something else wild and wonderful that we all can't live without.


The reality is that government-mandated backdoors will likely be implemented in all commercial VoIP systems, period. However, at this stage, there are millions of people using Skype based merely on the "faith" that it is reasonably secure. That's bad science across the board.

In the real world, those of us "in the know" are not the people I'm most concerned about. It's the folks who do not have technical backgrounds who are most dependent on us to try keep the commercial operations as honest as possible in a very difficult political environment.


The bad thing of VoIP is that people do not know and do not understand enough of it.
The good thing is that it is very easy to change from one supplier to the other.

And that is why it was a good business for SKYPE and a bad bargain for eBay.
Because open standard will win, being it h323 or SIP.
There will soon be interconneting platforms.
You will be able to belong to a SIP platform and be able to communicate with a H323 platform.
But Skype will still be a propietary island (with a downward number), relying (as they shout) on other people's nodes.

With Vonage for example you pay for a Service, for Skype you pay for a software.


Monday, September 12, 2005


"David Utter over at Webpronews opines that if Skype continues to sniff at an acquisition in the $3b range, they should have their heads examined. Play coy for much longer, Utter says, and the Microsofts and Yahoo!s of the world will flank you, and then you'll no longer be the belle of the ball."

That is exactly the point.
The right moment to retire is when you are in "poll position" but that is the moment you usually don't want to.
Because one gets so used to be number first to be convinced to be there forever.
The world is full of bones of people who thought they were going to live forever...


Saturday, September 10, 2005

What is the price of 100.000.000 customers?

The number must justify the purchase of Skype by EBAY.
But if the forecast is correct it makes 30$ for customer that in my opinion IS NOT a fair price.

Considering a 10% of customers active for Skype OUT and Skype IN, the revenue for each customer (considering IP to IP free) should be 300$ per year, which makes the price even less fair.

Considering also that Skype software is NOT an impossible software to copy and may be improvable (for example using open standards and codecs) the price looks outrageous.

Are we back in the era?

This is the only possible explanation.
VoIP is the only really new technology since the dawn of the Internet and certainly repeating the hype of those years has been a dream for many and for long.

There are so many big corporations who make a lot of money and have the need to invest it.
And there are so few opportunities and investments that promise such a bright future and huge revenues as VoIP.

But my opinion is still the same: I wouldn't do a long term investment in what looks to me a short term revenue...

Monday, September 05, 2005

The WI-FI and VoIP

Q: So Skype will cooperate with telecom companies as well as with wireless ISPs such as Boingo and Livedoor?

A: Yes. But our cooperation with wireless ISPs will be more important than that with traditional telecom companies, because the cooperation with wireless ISPs will provide our clients with mobility and accessibility for global communications. This will continue to be one of our key strategies for future development.

When you use VoIP making a call IP to IP the call "IS" free because you use an infrastructure you are leasing from the Telecoms or whoever is the owner of the Network.
You pay a flat rate for DATA and you use it also fro VOICE.
Thence the saving.

If you want to be "mobile" you have to add to this Network the leasing of the mobile network, in this case the cell phone network which is not free and is not cheap.
Thence the need to use an alternative Network that can connect the last "mile" which in the particular case of 802.11 is just a few meters (500 in the best conditions) it is not free and can eventually come at a flat rate.

OK, you are now in the condition to do a VoIP mobile call.
But is it convenient, and most of it, is it necessary?

The convenience is in the moment you do an International call.
But this is not the usual scenario of a mobile call.
If I am from USA and I am in Europe for my holydays, I guess I could pay a flat rate for using Hot Spots and call home.
But would the normal tourist find it easy to use and so much more affordable?
I see the user in this case more a "professional" that a mass market user.

But the normal scenario is made by people who use the mobile to call home.
In my opinion, right now, it is fairly useless a dual mode cell phone and it certainly doesn't justify its price.

That is exactly why Skype hasn't come on the market with something of that kind yet and it won't in the future, unless something really new is brought to light.
But if something really new is brought on the market I very much doubt that Skype will be the one to use it first.

VoIP is a wonderful new application and will be the future, but not on the Mobile network, at least not until the moment the data line will be offered on a flat cheap rate with enough bandwidth to make it possible to use it also for VoIP.
But in this case I think the protocol will be open SIP or open H323.
We have enough of the old monopolies, we do not need a new one...

The Mobile Snatchers

The Mobile Snatchers
Wi-fi changed the way the world surfs the web. Now it's coming to a phone near you — and telecoms will never be the same


Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005
When operations manager Spiros Stefanou learns that a flight coming into Athens International Airport is due in early, he picks up his mobile phone and alerts baggage handlers to scramble a crew quickly. Nothing unusual about that — except that the Cisco-supplied handset that Stefanou and some 100 other airport employees use never touches a mobile network.,13005,901050912-1101277,00.html

It is already two years my husband and me are proposing a wonderful Wi-Fi system that with the frequecy of 2.4GHz can reach up to 5Km and with 900 MHz up to 15 Km.
It can use both PSTN AND VoIP.

You'll find details in my webpages

it is a wonderful system non only for Airports.
Imagine Hotels, Offices, all those cases in which people need to be mobile and do not want to spend a fortune.
An employee can be reached on his PSTN number when is at the restaurant near his office, or can do a VoIP call in the ray of respectively 3 or 12 Km.

I can assure you:it works wonderfully!

Do you know what is the main problem?

Since IT IS NOT a GSM and the WI-FI power is much less than a GSM (1000th less) the size of the phone is bigger and it doesn't look like the last GSMs...
And the stupidity of the people gives a lot of importance to the LOOK more than to the fact that first the telephone call cost is zero (in the coverage area one phone can talk to the other for free) and that it is much less dangerous for the health.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

My Saturdays

If you think that good blogging is good journalism and bad blogging is talking about your cat, just ignore this post and go somewhere else...

Well, today is Saturday.
People are supposed to follow certain patterns on Saturdays.
First you should wake up later.
But that doesn't work for me.
And not because I wouldn't like it.
With a quarter of a pill I slept till 1.45 am. when a huge thunderstorm woke me up.
There was water coming from the windows and I realized suddendly that in my office in Carmagnola I had left not only the shutters, but even the windows open...
Besides having to clean the mess on the floor I also had that terrible thought and couldn't sleep.
After five drops of a disgusting sleeping-liquid and two glasses of water I went back to sleep and did it till 7, which is usually very late for a quarter of a pill...

Then you are supposed to have a special breakfast.
Mine is always the same.Because the scale tells me so.
If you eat more, then you get some more hectograms, and that is what everybody should avoid, me in first row.

Then you are supposed to enjoy your week end.
But this is something I cannot do.
And all for that damned Telecom and that bunch of idiots that do not want to understand that also the people living in a small village have the right to have a DSL to check the mail or the blog, even on Saturdays and Sundays...

So the need to take the car and go to Carmagnola (where this time I would have had to go anyway for my forgetfulness...)

Now I can finally begin to enjoy my weekend.
Mail checked, windows checked, blog checked, what could I check now, just not to get bored?

I could check my tomatoes, I could check my flowers, I could check a lot of things, but then that would almost be like working and WORKING is something you are not supposed to do on Saturdays.

I could go on the terrace and read a book.
But which one?
An interesting and almost working-like or a stupid and amusing-pretending?

Again to choose, it is almost working like.

I could also sit and just have an ice-cream, but that would last, admitting to lick it as slow as possible, just maximum ten minutes, then I would still have the problem to spend my time and one problem more: 150 calories less available on Saturdays.
That means no tea, or no tea with cookies...

Not the best idea.
I could telephone somebody, but everybody is usually so busy having good time on Saturdays..

If I only had a pet I could have the excuse of a walk, but then I would still have the pet on Mondays and Tuesdays and so on...
also this doesn't really look like the best idea.
I could for example put in order that room, a job I always postpone and save for a rainy day...
But then ON A RAINY DAY I would really have nothing else to do.

I have a better idea.
I still have a husband, it is true, HE IS BUSY, but I could make him a little bit UNBUSY, well it is SATURDAY also for him!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Per Andrea Bairati

Egregio dott. Bairati,

penso che lei capisca il tedesco:

Berlin - Die Deutsche Telekom plant den Aufbau eines neuen
Hochgeschwindigkeitsnetzes: Von spätestens 2007 an sollen den Kunden im Festnetz Datenübertragungs-Geschwindigkeiten von bis zu 50 Megabit pro Sekunde (Mbit/s) zur Verfügung stehen, wie der Telekom-Vorstandsvorsitzende Kai-Uwe Ricke am Donnerstag vor Eröffnung der Internationalen Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin sagte.

Das sei 50 Mal schneller als der jetzige DSL-Einsteigeranschluss und gut acht mal schneller als der derzeit schnellste DSL-Zugang. Allein für den Aufbau dieses Glasfasernetzes würden ab sofort drei Milliarden Euro investiert. Bereits bis Mitte 2006 sollen die ersten zehn Städte und damit knapp drei Millionen Haushalte an das neue Glasfasernetz angebunden sein.

E noi stiamo ancora aspettando 256Kbits a Sanfre'...

Non solo, i suoi megagalattici progetti di WIMAX sono obsoleti ancor prima di iniziare, forse e' meglio risparmiare il Pubblico Denaro e impiegarlo ad esempio in una nuova DSL a 50 Mega, come in Germania...

Iniziamo a copiare i Cinesi:
quelli prima di far qualcosa copiano chi l'ha fatto prima di loro e cosi' partono dal punto giusto...e raggiungono il traguardo giusto...

Fulvia Patrizia Demaria Broghammer


Terrorism is the living testimony of the fallacy that the fight against terrorism is the only solution.

I have a friendly attitude towards terrorism.

What I mainly dislike, is the thought of so many bombs wasted for killing people who nothing can and nothing know, when it would be enough one thousanth of them put in the right place for the right people.

Many will be horrified.

"Incivility" they will call my attitude.

But I think incivility is in the system that brings people to desperation.

To blow themselves up, because that is the only way they can shout : I DO NOT AGREE !

I have a friendly attitude towards the people who can't pay their bills, because they lost their jobs.

Towards the people who were born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I am a damn materialist.

I have an unfriendly attitude towards the so called "idealists".

Especially the ones who made a lot of money.

I have an unfriendly attitude towards people like Bush or Blair who say the most important thing in life is the family.

And, as a proof, destroy the others' family.

I have an unfriendly attitude towards the people who say they believe in justice and then use justice to prevail on the others.

I have an unfriendly attitude towards the people who say one thing when they think another one.

If those are the "idealists", well, I am happy and proud NOT to be one of them.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Te la do' io l'Italia

Il Bel Paese e' il miglior esempio di perfetta organizzazione mafiosa.

Hanno cercato di imitarci in molti (e ultimamente a dire il vero e' l'unica cosa italiana che ancora desta interesse in chi copia) ma con scarsi risultati.
In nessun luogo su questo Globo riescono ad avvicinarsi anche lontanamente ad un'organizzazione cosi' complessa e nello stesso tempo cosi' peculiare e dettagliata.

Forse in qualche paese africano sono riusciti ad ottenere risultati simili al nostro, ma con metodi cosi' primitivi e barbarici tali da far storcere il naso anche al piu' tollerante dei giudici.
Qualita' e progresso contraddistinguono il Governo Mafioso tipicamente italiano.

Il tutto si regge su cosi' stabili capisaldi che e' praticamente impossibile smantellarlo.
Il segreto sta nella distribuzione delle cariche e dei proventi fatta in modo tale da accontentare o perlomeno da "inglobare" la maggior parte degli italiani.

L'Italia si puo' definire come un insieme di famiglie mafiose in ognuna delle quali si e' infilato un politico o un familiare di un politico.
E la sua forza e' nel fatto che le famiglie comprendono sia la maggioranza al governo, sia l'opposizione.
Cosi' che non c'e' mai nessuno che veramente si "opponga" o che vada contro l'organizzazione.
Le eventuali controversie sono unicamente sulla "quantita'da dividere" piu' che sulla "qualita'del divisibile".

Queste famiglie sono poi organizzate gerarchicamente in una grande famiglia che comprende tutto il territorio dai confini francesi e austriaci fino alle ultime propaggini della Sicilia, isole e isolette comprese.
Al vertice superiore della piramide troviamo le grandi aziende pseudo monopolistiche ( non monopoli in teoria, ma monopoli di fatto)
Al secondo gradino troviamo le Banche, che pero' hanno poteri anche sul vertice in quanto distributrici di "prestiti facili", non esigibili, a tassi praticamente inesistenti.

Piu' sotto e in posizioni dipendenti dal numero di partecipanti e dal potere economico, troviamo famiglie che vanno sotto il nome di "Lobbies".

Anche queste hanno poteri decisionali direttamente dipendenti dal numero di politici che sono riusciti a fare eleggere e che legiferano dalla "loro parte".

Alla base abbiamo un numero grandissimo di "impiegati statali" che non partecipano direttamente alla suddivisione dei "proventi mafiosi" ma che indirettamente sono "legati" alla sopravvivenza dell'intera organizzazione mafiosa.
Possono essere chiamati i "Picciotti" dell'azienda Italia.

Al di fuori del triangolo troviamo i pochi oppositori al sistema, che per l'esiguita'del numero sono facilmente controllabili e relegabili a condizioni di impotenza.

Da come spiegato, si capisce perche' un paese come l'Italia sia condannato all'arretratezza e al regresso, nonostante gli Italiani abbiano pari possibilita' culturali a ogni altro paese europeo.
Si capisce inoltre il perche' una condizione di arretratezza, regresso, indemocraticita', ingiustizia, come quella in cui versa l'Italia e' destinata a durare ancora a lungo.
Fino a che cioe' la piramide potra' attingere alla "ricchezza" italiana e fino a quando questa non assumera' il nome e la realta' di "poverta'".