Pundits, say voice is the killer app

I am currently watching The Italian Job. Great movie with a great theme song…. what goes around, comes around! Okay, eight months ago, I did a little piece for Rafat’s PaidContent, Is Voice the Ultimate Killer App?. Now pundits have discovered the same – Clay Shirky writes Voice as The App Killer: Voice has so much value, in fact, that people are putting it in products that have little or no relationship to the traditional phone, leading to potentially enormous displacement. Kevin Werbach chimes in and says, “voice revenues are going to decline drastically. Voice is the killer app, but that does not imply it is going to continue generating bountiful revenues for long. It will become just another application riding on top of a broadband connection (wireless or wireline, mostly wireless).” No shit! Need new punditry because this shit is something even us hacks know!

Should Tellabs call off its deal with AFC?

Not in the distant past, Tellabs made and rescinded a bid for a company called Ciena. In hindsight it proved to be a prudent move, and perhaps it is time for the company to reconsider its bid for AFC, for things are not going as planned. Aman Kapoor who is the principal behind boutique research firm Packetology believes that stock markets are making a very valid argument for either repricing the deal or all together terminating it. “The current deal structure (1.55 shares + $7/share) should have AFC valued at $19.9, but AFC market price is at $16.4. Clearly the $3.50 difference indicates that market either expects the deal to be re-priced or be terminated,” he writes in his morning note.
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Sad tale of the lost phones

samsung_phoneLike our loves, we tend to loose our phones with an alarming frequency. And perhaps the loss of a phone is even worse than the pain caused by a broken heart.

Research by wireless software firm, Fusion One shows that people get more upset over lost phones than say parking tickets, trip to a dentist or in my case, a massive hangover. Almost half (43%) of mobile phone owners have lost, damaged or had their phone stolen at some point. Three-fourths (72%) of them never got their phone back and 49% were able to replace less than half of the stored contact numbers.

More than a fifth (21%) of respondents said that the worst part of misplacing a mobile phone is knowing that some contact numbers, such as those of prospective dates or new business acquaintances, will never be recovered. When asked how losing a phone, with all its contacts, would affect them, respondents rated it as more annoying than getting a parking ticket or having a cavity filled – and 17% even thought it was worse than losing a wallet or keys.

FusionOne’s poll shows that 10% of those who have lost or damaged a phone did so while on vacation, usually in a bar, restaurant or while engaged in a sporting or adventure activity. Millions of mobile phones are left in airplanes, airports, rental cars and hotel rooms each year, particularly over the summer vacation period when most travel occurs. Los Angeles airport alone reports finding 400 lost phones a month.

The curse of the Nowhere Men

For the longest time, many have asked me, how does it feel to be an overseas Indian. I have struggled to come up with words, and today, Brij’s spirited defense of my my post on outsourcing has put it all in perspective.

He refers to a poem by Journalist turned media entrepreneur Pritish Nandy called Nowhere Man

I have travelled all the lonely highways in the
autumn and watched all the lonesome cities pale at
dust. I have held all those tired strangers in my
waves, and whispered stranger secrets now forgotten.
This gypsy satchel carries all my sorrows, this
fatigued evening carries all my songs.

Brij writes:

This thought about Nowhere Man came from a post by Om Malik… His post on outsourcing has invoked some strong emotions from readers. This led me to think about the different perspective all displaced Indians have about India’s growth. By displaced I mean those who left India for better future – in economic and social sense. Their loyalty and aspirations are as foggy as their Friedman’s lense through which they see new India.

I thought about that, and it is true. But with a slight twist. There is nothing foggy about my view of the world. I live in US and that’s where the home is, and as long as my parents are alive, my heart is New Delhi. It is just that there are too many memories, and too much obligation to the system which taught me all the right values. So no, it is crystal clear. And also what is clear is that as a journalist, reporter …whatever … I am going to call it the way it is. Folks, now perhaps you understand why to me NRI means, not really Indian.

There were many Nowhere Men before as well – Nirad C Choudhary and V.S. Naipaul stand out from that crowd. Whatever they wrote Indians never liked , it was too obvious to their taste and too painful as well. Its an ironic and painful fact that Indians in India dont like any Non-resident Indian picking on them, now if its Thomas Friedmann or somebody from Economist then its fine. It gets front page attention and all the desi blogger’s attention as well. Expat Indians are not allowed to pick on anything Indian – Om Malik broke that rule. I guess its fine by him as well, his audience is different.

Nicely put Brij – and I appreciate your words. Ironically, I am here reporting on a story as a US reporter, for a US magazine, Business 2.0. And I can tell you why I would do a better job … I have context. Of course it is easier to read Wired magazine’s cover story, and do a bit of chest thumping.