Destination: San Francisco. And Still NoGoBoingo

The week-long whirlwind of a tour to Israel is finally over. Waiting for my flight, I’m wondering when I’m going to get to sleep in my own bed. It is about 18 hours of flying time — London and Philadelphia are two stops on the way — with about six hours of layovers. Given that I am going to be flying on US Airways — an airline with a patchy track record of timeliness and service — I’m not sure if everything is going to work out. Never mind the fact that both Heathrow and Philadelphia Airports are shining examples of tardiness.

The nightmare ahead not withstanding, I have to say, the trip has been quite satisfying, for I am always amazed by the tirelessness of Israeli people. Tel-Aviv is a unique place, almost matching the pervasiveness of technology (and tech startups). Twice I got pitched while waiting for cabs on the street, a scene right out of a random meeting in Palo Alto. (Check out TypeMock, one of the companies I got pitched on.)

One of the promises I made to myself on this trip was that I would keep my computer time to a bare minimum and rely almost entirely on my mobile device of the month, the Blackberry Curve. The reason for my computer-free diet was to get some downtime and enjoy the lovely beaches of this country. I also wanted to take some time to write a longer-form report from Israel. Read More about Destination: San Francisco. And Still NoGoBoingo

Destination Tel-Aviv: Some Work, Some Fun

Updated From Frankfurt: It has already been a long day! I got up at 3 a.m. to get ready and head to the San Francisco Airport in time to catch my early morning US Airways flight to Charlotte and then connect to Frankfurt and then to Tel-Aviv. US Airways doesn’t tell you that you that you’re flying through “some city” on your way to Europe, which was funny because I ended up at the International Airport and then had to head back to the domestic terminal.

I am going there for the TWS 2008 conference, where I am one of the judges. I fell in love with Tel-Aviv on my trip last year, but never got to really chill and enjoy the city very much. This year, I plan to enjoy the beaches and recover a little from Structure 08-related madness. I have to say, I am seriously nervous, because this is a long trip, my first one since my heart attack and my first attempt at normalcy.

While the first part of the journey turned out to be fine, at Charlotte I found out that the connecting flight was going to be late by three hours, so the day — which was going to be around 18 hours — is now going to be even longer. While waiting for the next flight, I tried to log into T-Mobile via Boingo, whose new offering, Go Boingo, is going to be released on Monday and I am testing out right now. You can try out their free day pass, and the best part is it’s ready for Mac users — and is pretty awesome. Read More about Destination Tel-Aviv: Some Work, Some Fun

Dell to follow HP and produce low-cost notebook

CEO of Dell, Michael Dell, wasted no time following HP’s introduction of the Mini-Note to proclaim that Dell will be producing their own competitor this year.  Dell stated that they will introduce a laptop similar to the HP Mini that we’ll see in the next two quarters. 

"We do see opportunitiesfor very interesting products that are smaller and lighter and addressthe more mobile users in a very cost-effective way," he said, addingthe laptops would "fit into the category" of targeting a market forchildren.

Starbucks Starts Wi-Fi Debates, Breakfast Battles Heat Up

Local coffee shopAll the news this week about Starbucks changing wi-fi service providers and offering anyone with a Starbucks Card two free hours of wi-fi access has started a fresh dialogue surrounding wireless Internet access. That is, your local independent coffee houses are jumping up and down saying, “Hey! The wi-fi is free (and always has been) over here!”

As you may know, independent coffee shops have long offered wi-fi as an attractant for business people, road warriors, and web workers to get them in the door. For the longest time, many coffee drinkers and wi-fi seekers chose the independent houses because getting online used to cost $6-$10 an hour at Starbucks.

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Tuesday Morning Vid-Biz Headlines

Amazon To Sell Historic Footage; will digitize National Archives. (Washington Post)
More Video Producers Using Own Websites; Mefeedia notes 61 percent of its video feeds now coming from independent websites, compared to 57 percent in March. (company blog)
Swarmcast Does Live HD Streaming; will try to find sports and entertainment customers for new product. (release)
New Client-free BitTorrent Applet; TorrentFreak calls BitLet “cute.” (TorrentFreak, site)
Read More about Tuesday Morning Vid-Biz Headlines

World 2nd hottest telecom market, hotter

India’s new budget might have tipped its hat to the socialists, it still is great news for the telecom industry. So here is quick recap of the telecom/broadband specific highlights in the budget: The foreign direct investment cap in the telecom sector is going up from 49 percent to 74 percent, which is good news for companies like Hutch which own a chunk of Bombay’s main wireless operator. “This is a positive decision and I think very soon we will see many foreign investors coming into India’s telecom sector,” said Rajan Bharti Mittal, joint managing director of Bharti Tele-Ventures. (Read Industry reaction.) Excise duties on computers, and certain mobile phone components and infrastructure equipment have been all together eliminated. Despite all its many faults, I am glad that they have not taken eye of the telecom/broadband ball.