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   RE: Web 2.0 Case Study - Apple Dashboard Widgets - Beyond The Browser

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From: Didier PH Martin [mailto:martind@netfolder.com]

>"what is behind this?" : Mo Money.  Less responsibility.

It means the ability to sell another version of the same 
thing to a customer rather than the upgrade.  One of the 
oldest tricks in the book is to redo version numbers to 
convince a customer they are getting a new product.  If 
they say "but I don't see any new features", the slimeMaster 
tells them, "It's all those improvements underneath." 
And so it goes.  If O'Reilly thinks he or his invented that 
meme, they were stoned during the marketing classes at college.

>>If a Google service to a public safety application identifies 
>>the wrong home address as the residence of a sex offender, 
>>whom does the resident sue?

>If this happens, the producers of Arcview, Google or tutti quanti cannot be
>held responsible. They only provide the tools. 

They provide the data.  That is key.  If the data is faulty, all the 
tools in existence don't matter if you can't determine it by first
So when the Google data to the kid's freebie sex offender tracker points 
to your address, you have no recourse?  To be determined.  And that 
is the hell of it.  We won't know until the lawyers are paid.

>Basically, the license states that they are not
>responsible. On that note, Len nothing is changing :-)

Yes.  But if I sold you a car with a contract that said "at certain
speeds, the front tires may come off and you may commit manslaughter" 
you'd be pretty unhappy about that.  On the web, you get to do that 
and in fact, blame it on your users if they do something perfectly 
predictable and stupid.  If they do something smart, you get to 
take the credit.  Who says so?  This guy does and he should know.


Again res ipsa loquitur. 

"The thing speaks for itself".  A precept of law.

>This said, when the application is mission critical or when life can be in
>danger, I doubt they would rely on web services. But for more basic
>commercial applications web applications can be used.

Shhh... don't tell anyone I told you this, but your government and mine 
are forcing that issue.  They ARE and WILL MORESO rely on web services.
Why?  O'Reilly told them they could and must. :-)

>If you have doubts about the business model behind services like Google
>I share your doubts. In contrast to previous models where the business
>models were clear, the new ones are not. Is ti possible to built profitable
>business on this model? 

Yes.  The question is do you want to be the wholesaler or the retailer 
of the data?  Otherwise, yes it is.

>I do not know but I am still very curious to see how
>people will find ways to make a living out of it. If they fail, it won't
>survive. If they do, it will kill the previous paradigms.

And possibly a few people a long the way.  That is why the description 
of Hitler and Eisenhower (No, Bill, you can't invoke Godwin.  Godwin 
was a proseltyzer for idiocy in large groups.)  The inventors of the 
technologies were blitely unfazed by the problems of the lack of 
infrastructure as long as they could sell units.  It took WWII and 
a determined ex-General to get you interstates, and that not for your  
safety, but for mass troop and equipment movement.  Then for commerce 
because ballistic missiles don't need 8 lane highways but 18 wheelers 
do once the trains quit running.  Safety laws don't show up until much 
much later when we could afford them and gas began to soar in price.

>From my point of view, the main questions are:
>a) can money be made out of this?

If it does something a customer wants done, yes.  You don't have to 
know why or if it is safe; just that he has the money and the desire.

>b) can we provide to users applications as rich as we can do with desktop

That doesn't always matter.  Network effect is not based on richness.

>c) Can it become more economical to develop web applications?

Not so far.  So far, it costs more but it is absolutely necessary 
for sales in the public safety market since 9/11.  A big contributor 
to the success of web services and so Web 2.0 is not developer buy in, 
it is Usama Bin Laden.

Sad but so.  UBL joins Hitler and the Cold War as major contributors 
to the evolution of modern technology, which frankly in accordance 
with his Salafi ways, he abhors.  That's karma.



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