Lunch talk

Last month, it was my turn to give a department lunch talk.  Here are the slides.

The foursquare numbers have changed dramatically since then – they’ve nearly doubled their user base in the last 4-5 weeks!  They now have more than 1M users.   The venue data, I’m sure, has also changed.  Telcordia now has all of 14 check-ins….

Abstract: Progress is happening at a lightning pace in the mobile industry, including a number of innovative apps, devices and uses for mobile network data. I’ll be taking a lighthearted trek through some recent developments in mobile and drawing parallels to our work within ATS. Within this context, I’ll touch on decision-making under uncertainty, poker as a powerful pedagogical tool, the growing interest in network awareness, my political ambitions, and how games are game changing, all while showcasing some interesting startups doing interesting things.

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Lunch talk

Last month, it was my turn to give a department lunch talk.  Here are the slides.

The foursquare numbers have changed dramatically since then – they’ve nearly doubled their user base in the last 4-5 weeks!  They now have more than 1M users.   The venue data, I’m sure, has also changed.  Telcordia now has all of 14 check-ins….

Abstract: Progress is happening at a lightning pace in the mobile industry, including a number of innovative apps, devices and uses for mobile network data. I’ll be taking a lighthearted trek through some recent developments in mobile and drawing parallels to our work within ATS. Within this context, I’ll touch on decision-making under uncertainty, poker as a powerful pedagogical tool, the growing interest in network awareness, my political ambitions, and how games are game changing, all while showcasing some interesting startups doing interesting things.

Apple buys Siri

Big Think Small Screen from Tom Gruber on Vimeo.

One of the more innovative attempts at the intelligent mobile personal assistant has been Siri, which launched its iPhone app about 3 months ago. Tom Gruber, Siri’s CTO and co-founder is one of the leading computer scientists in sementic web, knowledge sharing and collective intelligence. Above is the keynote he gave in January at the Web 3.0 conference.

This acquisition is important to Apple as they continue to shape up against search expert google in the mobile space. With Siri’s natural language and contextual search capabilities integrated into future iPhone and iPad releases, expect more personalized, relevant and opportunistic service capabilities to baked into the Apple mobile offering.

it is interesting to note that Siri’s technology had its origins in DARPA and DoD contracts that SRI decided to spin out and commercialize.

Apple buys Siri

Big Think Small Screen from Tom Gruber on Vimeo.

One of the more innovative attempts at the intelligent mobile personal assistant has been Siri, which launched its iPhone app about 3 months ago. Tom Gruber, Siri’s CTO and co-founder is one of the leading computer scientists in sementic web, knowledge sharing and collective intelligence. Above is the keynote he gave in January at the Web 3.0 conference.

This acquisition is important to Apple as they continue to shape up against search expert google in the mobile space. With Siri’s natural language and contextual search capabilities integrated into future iPhone and iPad releases, expect more personalized, relevant and opportunistic service capabilities to baked into the Apple mobile offering.

it is interesting to note that Siri’s technology had its origins in DARPA and DoD contracts that SRI decided to spin out and commercialize.

Foursquare rewards directly at point of purchase

I’ve been think about possible opportunities to apply Telcordia charging/policy capabilities to location-based services.   I feel there’s a good deal of opportunity for a company that can be trusted to handle large transaction volumes at scale, and that can enable unique policies drawn from a variety of “non-traditional” sources, e.g. user status in various social networks, location, past behaviors, etc.

Here are some thoughts (link removed – turns out I’m not allowed to share) I put together on a specific opportunity that involves using Telcordia charging/policy capabilities to link Foursquare status and credit card transactions directly at the point of purchase.   This allows merchants to apply unique discounts, rewards and incentives to a user’s purchase based on their Foursquare status.  Unlike mobile coupons and printed coupons, this approach does not require any changes to mainstream customer behavior — just pay with your credit card.   Further, it allows merchants to easily and immediately identify and reward customers who are actively promoting the store’s online presence.

For Telcordia it offers an opportunity to enter a scalable and profitable transactions-based business.   For credit card companies, it represents an opportunity to harvest some unique and valuable customer data for segmentation analysis and targeting.    For Foursquare, it’s an avenue that accelerates mainstream adoption and legitimacy by easily providing immediate financial benefits to users.

A Noticing Habit

It will be a great advantage to you to cultivate a noticing habit. Accustom yourself to talk of what you see and to write details, and in a conversational & even narrative style.

–Salmon P. Chase, Chief Justice of the United States and Treasury Secretary under Lincoln, in a letter to his 14 year-old daughter, extolling the benefits of blogging circa 1860.