Category: Technology

vHost transporter tunnels.

Tunnel of data

When I was in San Francisco last week with the HOWEST students, I visited VMWare. It wasn’t that inspiring but the quote we ‘abstract the abstraction’ keeps on tumbling in my head.
VMWare is all about secure environments that you spin up instances instantly. But there is one thing that I really lack. It’s not really possible to set up a tunnel between different vhosts and move selected date between these vhosts.
Open vmware secure transporter tunnels for selected data should solve that. It would take away the last gap in what i see lacking in their for the rest great virtualisation software.

Ailurl, give e-mail wings.

ailurl - give email wings.

Ailurl solves e-mail clutter. Ailurl is a technique in that indexes e-mail and creates a unique ailurl per e-mail that you can use to refer to. It can be used privately and publicly. You can use an ailurl in individual mails or as public links to e-mail messages. You can bundle ailurls to labels or create custom list of ailurl’s so you can organise your conversations better.

When e-mails are send to teams, you get diffused answers. It happens so many times that one refers to another mail that was send. It just needs a better organisation. Ailurl works with piles where you can direct your messages to.  If the world would start using ailurl, we will not waste time using e-mail but make it more efficient. E-mail is not something of the past.

Open up e-mail. Go public. Give e-mail wings. Make your mailbox swing. With Ailurl, your email indexed.

The business model: Sell to Google.

NoMoreFraud.org, an e-commerce fraude detection service and insurance. #oipd

e-commerce fraud

I am the owner of the feelgood brand for pregnant women ZOYOKO.com that offers designer maternity wear of the highest quality from a large variety of suppliers. We use Atos Worldline and Ogone for our online payments but in all fairness, they suck bigtime for vendors because they only protect the customer. In November we had a good sale for almost 900 EUR. As the credit card was Japanese and used in Greece, we waited for shipping the goods until the amount was registered in our bank account. We shipped the same day and a couple of days later the goods were delivered at the address requested.

In december, we got the request from ATOS to provide them with proof that we authorised the fraudulent payment and requested the payment back. We acted in good faith (we have regularly expats buying) and as we pay Ogone a monthly fee of 10 EUR + 0.3% of the total revenue on top of the normal fees for fraude detection. I was really upset when they told us WE should configure the module ourselves and that it is no guarantee it will detect fraude. It can only assume there is a higher risk of fraud involved… When they told us we should contact every customer whereby the ‘lights’ are orange (>75% of the cases…) and ask them to pay by bank transfer, I felt deceived. So not only do they not take any responsibility, they just make you pay without asking or delivering a service worth the price.

From my frustration I got the following idea. A Mollom-like fraude detection service and insurance in case it goes wrong.

What’s a Mollom like service, i hear you think? Well, it uses the wisdom of the crowds not only to detect but prevent misuse of spam comments on (blog/)websites. By offering it for free to small sites, it gets the adoption it requires to grow its knowledge base. Also, it has a build-in robot detection step 2 authentication in case of doubt wherein real people can enter a captcha to proof they’re human.

So the NoMoreFraud pitch is the following;

credit bank card fraud

NoMoreFraud facilitates and guarantees payments on websites while blocking fraude. The service is in direct contact with Card Stop services around the world, it automatically blocks any payment instantly when it knows a credit or bank card is used falsely. Basically it aggregates all blocked bank and credit cards in the world instantly, so both vendors as well as customers are protected better against fraudulent use of stolen or lost cards.

The service works in close collaboration with authorities around the world to catch the thieves who (try to) use the credit card.

On top of pay per use fee (0,1% of the transaction cost), you can get extra insurance in different formulas (1 EUR per month for up to 1.000 EUR value, 10 EUR per month for up to 10.000 EUR value, …) but normally, over time this insurance should become obsolete.

Triesikstie: virtual war rooms & standup meeting rooms. #oipd

Triesikstie offers an extra service to Google Hangout and/or Skype whereby you can add a virtual room to a conference call. This virtual room can be filled with images, presentations, documents, etc that need discussion. Or these documents can be used as the input for a brainstorm or just to keep track of the daily progress in SCRUM or agile working environment. You can dress up the room and indulge your customers, partners or co-workers in an unique remote virtual collaborative (marketing) experience.

triesikstie virtual meeting room Triesikstie only costs $1 per room per day and offers unlimited user access.

Maintenance & Repair Service for connected, mechanical goods. #oipd

Connected Maintenance & Repair Service
Connected Maintenance & Repair Service

Every machine needs maintenance and spare parts from time to time. If your machine would be connected and spare parts are automatically send to you with instructions when a part is well-worn and should be replaced, how easy would that be?

The idea sprout today when I went for my car’s maintenance. With cars it’s easy. They know exactly how long you can drive before you need to replace your oil, timing belt,  wheels and even lights or cables. The people in the garage workshop just link a computer to your car and that tells them everything what needs to happen.

For example; A lightbulb at the end of its lifetime? Replace it before it breaks. Not only this would make a great service. The perceived brand value is much higher as the machine seems unbreakable.

It’s applicable on all mechanical goods. The business model would includes sending out technicians who do precautions maintenance with express service when a (part of a) machine unexpectedly breaks down.

FOSDEM inspired me.

I attended FOSDEM, the biggest free and non-commercial event organized by and for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet.

Continue reading “FOSDEM inspired me.”

Why business communities fail?

Businesses don’t realize what communities are all about. They don’t understand what the social digital revolution is all about. Business let their marketing and/or IT department experiment, throwing lots of money at it without a clear vision on the benefits for the company.

Business communities fail because they put their business upfront and not the community. Value for the business does not equal value for the user. That’s why even well-build communities don’t gain traction with its users. Too much whistles and bells make communities too difficult to understand. Users will come once, say “waaaw” and “too difficult” and never return. Relevance for the business can only be achieved when they feel like stakeholders in their company whose opinions really matter. Off course, it’s not only about user opinions. It’s the conversation that creates value for both, the users and the company.

The technology is indeed important but it’s only a means to achieve the goal of the community. In fact, it’s so easy to set up an online community but that’s just like seeding a lawn —lots of watering and fertilizing has to happen next. Having a dedicated staff to continuously search ways to inspire and engage other business employees to actively participate in communities can be a tremendous benefit.

So, when a company understands that the focus on communities is not technologically driven but socially driven, perhaps they shouldn’t spend all their money on the technology creating communities happen but more on an acquisition & retention strategy. A community only gets as big as the passionate users who engage in it. Only 5% of the Wikipedia users are responsible for more than 50% of the contributions. All users benefit from it.

Therefore, business should realize that top down implementation isn’t the right way to implement a business community. Just guessing what the community should do, it won’t work. You will have to empower the business employees and all business lines to define your community proposition. When launching a community small and simple with the single intent of letting members tell you how to grow it bigger and better, and not by guessing, you stimulate the conversation in, over and about your business. Unlike most business processes, communities don’t work when people are obliged to participate in them. When you touch the right nerve, users will be willing to give you all the information you need to be more efficient, productive and loved… When you ask them to participate and they see business owners listen to the comments on business products and processes so they get improved, your community will flourish.

So how can you gain traction with your customers? Hold a couple of rules in mind:

1.       The focus of your community is people. People with a voice that want to be heard.

2.       The focus of your business community should be collaboration & co-creation, not only information.

3.       Don’t spend all your money on technology but also on people running the community.
Activation & retention are the two main objectives of these passionate people.

4.       Business owners should listen, participate and use the information to improve business products and processes.

Microsoft Tafiti

Tafiti is an experiment for a search engine site from Microsoft. It runs on the new Silverlight platform (you’ll need to install a plug-in – This is Microsoft answer to Adobe’s flash). Although it is new, it uses the existing Live Search as basic search engine. The visualizations are rich and aim to meet the needs of people who do research online. I don’t think it helps them very much and it’s just a bunch of form over function. The speed and efficiency (what we look for in search engines) is rather poor and having to download and install stuff to use a search engine is just too much to ask for. No-one will use it more than… euhm … twice. And I guess that’s still very optimistic 🙂

Read more about it here and here.

Imageloop

imageloop lets you easily create animated slideshows from your photos and integrate them as a widget on your blog, website or at various social networks. Their plans are ambitious – in their own words: „With more than 10 million played slideshows per month imageloop is the market leader in Europe for this type of online service. Our goal is to become the number one European platform for photo Hosting“, as Stefan Riehl, the COO of imageloop, comments. „There is no easier way to create and embed slideshows in the Web – not even with competitors such as the US services Slide, Rockyou or Photobucket.“

Source

Nitin Karandikar – What is a search engine?

Criteria for defining a Search Engine:

1. It enhances findability of relevant web content for the user
2. It searches the entire web or a large subset thereof (this excludes publisher search engines that search only a single site or group of sites)
3. Searches are specified using a keyword, phrase or question, or using input parameters, without the need for undue navigation (I don’t consider pure directories like dmoz to be Search Engines)
4. It provides search results on demand, not periodically
5. It provides some kind of unique or special processing of its own: either in the search algorithm, or in UI improvements, or both (this excludes pure Rollyo or Google Coop-based search engine subsets)

Essential Features for the future:

Personalization (but without storing personal info )
Social Input / Wisdom-of-Crowds (which has its pitfalls )
Semantic Processing: of both, the query AND the content (will this let the Search Engine find Answers that we never knew we had?)
Parametric Input: including freshness, source and domain-specific
Rich content types: audio, video, images, news, blogs, …
UI enhancements: better visualization of results
Findability support: notifications of interest, a database of intentions
Follow-up: results clustering and drill-down
Repeat queries (as Greg Linden points out )
Trusted sources: e.g. a slider to select the level of trust, from high to low

Source

Nice story, fantastic interface

Jonathan Harris: The Web’s secret stories

I had some thought thanks to this video. What we want to create is not an archive, it’s a handy history organisor for the future, a web-based control panel. People get old and tend to forget what they like (from usernames & passwords to favorite films, shops, …) at a certain time. Imagine if you could search, select detected keywords from tag clouds or other 3D animated presentations so you can sort it(/yourself) out.

Promote yourself, express yourself through sharing your personal online history and interests (=your own online ecosystem).

Patent Pending

A guy I met told me that it’s a good idea to make your project patent-pending. For potential investors, it’s a extra arguement. The best way to make our project pantent-pending is via www.uspto.gov. I think you should really consider it.