Google Wallet: one year later

The History

Of course, while Wallet is Google’s first big push into mobile payments, it is far from the first. Mobile payments have been “the future” of payments for decades now, long before the days of smartphones equipped with NFC (or Near Field Communication). Early attempts in the 1990s from companies like DigiCash focused not on phones, but on standalone “smart cards,” which promised better security, no transaction fees and more convenience than traditional credit cards — one day we would use them not to just pay for items at a store, but from our home computers as well. E-cash for an e-economy.

With the rapid rise of cellphones, though, came a push for mobile commerce, or “m-commerce,” an effort that really began to pick up steam in the early 2000s when mobile payments were not just the realm of upstarts, but big players like Nokia (which would continue to push its own efforts throughout the decade). Our phones would be the one device we used for everything: they’d open doors, get us on a bus or subway, and let us pay for anything, anywhere. In many ways, that’s still the goal we’re working towards, and one that’s slowly starting to become a reality.

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Salesforce to acquire Buddy Media for $800 Million

Very interesting - SalesForce, who’s doing all the right moves will acquire Facebook CMS company Buddy Media for $800 Million. Well, BuddyMedia has built more than that over the years - the 5 years old company started as a simple CMS to build Facebook Apps, which then integrated with the Graph API, built reusable modules, analytics, profiling, and more.

SalesForce has had a strong offering, and are getting all the right components to become the one-stop-shop for all [social] CRM needs.

Many observers had assumed that Facebook, or a big ad holding company like WPP, would end up acquiring Buddy Media — especially since WPP is already an investor in the company, and recently announced a deal to route all of its Facebook ad buying through the company.

Instead, it appears that Salesforce intends to use Buddy Media to extend its core customer relationship management offering. The presumable logic: Acquiring Buddy Media will help Salesforce’s clients reach their customers and leads where they are spending lots of online time. Last year, Salesforce bought Radian6, another social media platform company, for $326 million.

Buddy has raised a reported $90 million. Investors valued it at $500 million during its most recent funding round in August 2011.

The Future Car Infographic

Interesting infographic on future cars. The car of the future will be connected, cloud enabled, and will be part of the greater trend of Internet of Things. The Infograph talks about V2V communications [Vehicle to Vehicle], just like any other M2M [Machine to Machine]. More and more we’re seeing self-aware devices and interconnectivity, that are capable of sending core signals / data elements for a better and smarter environment. V2V communication is not sufficient, we need better communication with highways, hazards, traffic, cameras, natural disasters, parking, and more.

Asides from that, foreseeable aspects such as better infotainment systems, music and video streaming, smart sensors for better security and safety,

Interesting that for future cars there is no mention to self-driving cars, fuel efficiency, external sensors for better automation such as real-time video analytics …

It’s a pretty infographic, but very limited from a thinking perspective.

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The Patents War of Tech IP [infographic]

Awesome infographic on the world of tech IP. Lawsuits, patents, and tons of activity. Note that Apple doesn’t sell patents to anyone, and no one is allows to touch Apple’s IP. Apple is the most active player in the court room as well. Google very quiet, but plays well in the patent marketplace. Motorola Mobility remarkably told a monstrous number of patents to Google, which might have been cheaper to just buy them than keep paying it. And Nortel apparently has it made, where every large player pays them a nice recurring revenue.

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Viral Video Friday – Nike Football: My Time Is Now

W+K does it again - same makes of Nike Write The Future FIFA 2010 ad, now released another football masterpiece.

While the film opens on a soccer match between France and Holland, the action is suddenly taken over by wave upon wave of soccer-mad young players who are eager to make their mark on the soccer world. The young players are the folks from “The Chance,” Nike’s scouting mission to find 100 potential soccer champions from 50 countries.

This video is again amazing, featuring Van der Wiel, Sneijder, Lloris, Guardiola, Kevin Strootman, Van Der Vaart, Mamadou, M’vila, Ribery, C.Ronaldo, Gotze e Ozil, Hernandez (Chicharito), LeBron James, Iniesta e Pique, Neymar, Pato, Jack Wilshere, Mark van Bommel, Pastore, and Laurent Blanc.

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New Blog, New Theme, Better Performance

Short note on a few changes I’ve made lately … For those who syndicate my blog, I changed the look .. got bored of that Apple-ish look and installed a much cleaner one.

I also wanted to improve the reading experience and made tons of improvements on performance and loading time:

  1. I installed Varnish in front of Apache. I originally installed Varnish 2.1.5 a few weeks ago and the different was amazing. I load tested my blog using - you can see my results using just apache vs front-loading varnish. Impressive huh? I upgraded today to Varnish 3.0.1, added a security layer, a better config to allow dynamic purging, and integrated with external monitoring tool New Relic. Massive shout out to Kim Stefan Lindholm for his very informative Varnish Configuration Step by Step.
    Updated my Varnish config files to better integrate with Wordpress, passthrough admin settings, allow admin bar when logged in front-end, and send loading time and performance data to New Relic. Status: accomplished.
  2. I replaced WP Super Cache for w3 Total Cache. Super Cache gave me static files which was useful, but Varnish is taking care of that. W3 Total Cache also has Minification, Object Caching, Database Caching, Varnish flushing, and a better Amazon CloudFront integration. I server all static files front CloudFront, including attachments, images, theme files, js, css, etc.
    The built-in JS and CSS minification did not work well for me… I disabled them and just enabled XHTML Minification.
  3. Installed Better WordPress Minify, which combines and minifies my JS and CSS files.
    Tested against Google Pagespeed and I’m scoring a 90/100, could be higher by some of the CloudFront files got cached with not expiration … I added it through W3 Total Cache, but it will take some time for Amazon to update.

So far so good - like my new setup … oh, and everything runs on Amazon AWS EC2 Free Microinstance … Zero hosting cost, zero cost for 3rd party tools, zero total out of pocket for everything described in this post.

Apple by the Numbers Infographic

The infographic below was designed by Sortable. It shares the latest Apple profits, revenues and cash-in-hand, along with the company’s reach — 30% of smartphone users in the U.S. have an iPhone.

Along with an impressive iPad market share (62%) and an astounding number of employees (over 30,000), don’t forget one of Apple’s most valuable properties — the App Store. You’ll currently find 600,000 apps and counting in the store, and 895 new apps are added every day.

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