Recently by Russell Beale
Whilst it's slightly early for the prediction season, I thought I'd put forward a few possibilities, based on some digital crystal gazing, some wistful looking off into space, a finger in the air and some personal perspective. Some of these may even come true.
Nokia released their latest Lumina smartphone to the most desultory of audience applause - but is it good or bad? Actually, I'm not going to discuss that - it has it's good points, in terms of wireless charging and camera technology, and it's bad ones - poor PR in faking its performance in an advert, for example. But are these the factors that will make buy it, or not?
Facebook was offered to investors at $38/share - and at the time, I commented that I'd love to be able to short the stock. It's now at about $21, so I'd have made a killing. Mind you, I'd have made a killing if I'd have sold my shares in Psion years ago when I'd bought them for pence and they reached the heights of pounds. I event told my sister to sell when she asked for my view - but I didn't follow it myself, and now they're worth.....less.
Reports suggest that many investors who got in early enough can still make a lot from selling Facebook shares now that they are able to, but for the standard investor, it's not an obvious share to make a quick buck on.
The Olympic torch relay continues, and I can't help but be impressed by the moving stories, personal triumphs and tragedies that have been highlighted as it moves over the country. It's clearly given a lot of enjoyment to many people.
The internet is wonderful - I can use it to find out how to mend my tumble drier, choose between different cameras and buy one, look at where to go on holiday and, keeping an eye on the changing prices, pick a time to buy a flight/book a ferry; I can search for a good hotel and book that, and can find out what others are reading and order my books as well. Life couldn't be better.
Recent rulings by a US Judge that Apple's approach to keeping its software locked onto its hardware are not actually secrets have taken an unexpected turn. Recent prototypes by a French company show the iPhone OS running on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The Digital Economy is our saviour, according to the government. It's not just them: the Boston Consulting Group said, in 2010, that the UK internet economy is larger, per head, than in any other country, and is forecast to grow by 10% a year.
The UK makes a lot of its place in the knowledge economy, at times seemingly relying on it to drive us out of recession and back to growth. And we have been previously successful in this - the recent sale of Autonomy to HP provides commercial evidence for this.
But will this continue? Does the Knowledge Economy have such a bright future?
Or rather, the maps of Britain? The OS? companies? us? In a few weeks, I'm attending a meeting with the Ordnance Survey to discuss how they can work more closely with higher education. However, thinking about this highlights an interesting conundrum: why is it that a taxpayer-funded institution is charging for access to its data, whereas a commercial company is offering mapping for free?
There is a minor furore at present within academic circles over the activities of Elsevier, the publisher.
Claims are being made that they offer their books and journals to libraries at very expensive prices, or bundled up into large packages, which means that the costs to academic institutions is ever rising.
The frustration is caused because the content of the journals is provided by academics, who write the papers.
The quality of the journals is created by the academics, who review and comment on the papers.
The editor and editorial board, who are academics, set the tone and style of the journals.
The papers are often provided to fit a given format, so that the majority of the typesetting is done by the academics.
And all the academic effort is given for free: the protest is therefore at the exploitation of publically funded research and publically funded academics by private companies for profit.