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Software Managing Software — The Next Big Opportunity for Software Investors?

I have been having some very lively conversations with friends and co-investors regarding new opportunities for software investors. Overall, it looks pretty bleak. There is a real dearth of exciting packaged application vertical opportunities (there are some out there, but it isn’t my place to disclose those) at the moment and most investors that I know aren’t as interested in software that plays in niches they don’t understand. I do think, however, that this theme of “software managing software” is important for a number of reasons and we are seeing early evidence of movement in the space.
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The 1 Megapixel Camera Phone

I have heard that this has been in the works for some time, but today the formal announcement was made that there will be 1 megapixel camera phones available in the near future. This is just the beginning for camera phone technology and I think that there are three basic questions that jump to mind after reading this article.
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The Quiet Digital Camera Revolution

All of the despair around the state of enterprise-focused information technology has obscured the fact that there are some pockets of strong growth in the broader world of information technology. I recently purchased a Minolta Dimage Xi digital camera and am astounded by the ecosystem that has emerged to support new digital camera customers.
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Is Wi-Fi Bundling the Answer?

I have read quite a few articles, including one by Bill Gurley, about this theme of revisiting the quiet success of several Internet businesses and business models. Perhaps the secret to helping spur the adoption of consumer Wi-Fi is to go back to the old strategy of “bundling” that AOL and MSN made so popular during the growth of Internet-enabled desktop computers.
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Is Custom Linux the Future?

I have been reading quite a few articles about how China, among other countries, has been seriously considering (or actually pursuing) development of its own flavor of Linux, largely due to the expense associated with Microsoft server operating systems. While this revolution might not happen overnight, there are some interesting scenarios in which I can see large user communities (financial services, international governments, etc) banding together to develop industry or national versions of Linux.
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AOL for Broadband, Anyone?

I am not sure that I can add anything to the chorus of debate surrounding AOL’s new foray into broadband services — many of the nation’s leading business publications have made this very topic a cover story. I do, however, think that some of the market pundits are missing some of the key points. AOL’s struggles to remain viable in a broadband world are not just about the shift from dial-up to broadband; the struggle is really about remaing relevant in a world where AOL’s traditional value proposition is less compelling for consumer.s
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Is Bluetooth Still Relevant?

I have been testing out the Jabra FreeSpeak BT 200 Bluetooth headset to see how it works. Generally speaking, I have been pretty happy with the voice quality, the form factor, and (surprisingly) the battery life. A colleague of mine saw me using the headset and made a remark to the fact that he didn’t even know that people were still pursuing Bluetooth development. This got me to thinking about whether Bluetooth is still a relevant technology.
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Is Apple Going to Become a Media Company?

A lot has been written about Apple lately. The new iTunes service is a hit. The iPod has become the killer gadget for MP3 enthusiasts. A lot of people are again touting the rebirth of Apple as a cool company. Apple has always been cool. But all of these product announcements make me question whether Apple has long-term aspirations about remaining a player in the desktop computing world.
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Wi-Fi Billing Done Right

I was very excited to read that T-Mobile will finally go where no wireless carrier has been willing to go and offer both discounted Wi-Fi for existing customers and the simplicity of unified billing (for the entire article, see T-Mobile bundles Wi-Fi, cellular services | CNET News.com). As I mentioned in an earlier post, I consider myself a “power” consumer of technology, but even I am unwilling to pay broadband access prices for 802.11b speeds and coverage, especially if it means having to sign up with a new carrier.
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