Thursday, June 07, 2007
Google started the service in 2004. By now Google has scanned more than a million books. There are books scanned, which are in the public domain and are copyright free; these are usually provided by libraries. Recently the university library of Gent in Belgium signed a cooperation agreement with Google to scan its special collection from the Book Tower; the books in this collection came into the library with the French revolution when convents and abbeys were confiscated, but brought together in valuable and unique collections. There is not really a discussion about these books as they are in the public domain and hardly handed to readers. In this way more people can enjoy and study the books. So far no trouble, certainly not for the publishers.
But Google also scans copyrighted books. Some times this is done with permission of publishers. The publishers see an opportunity for marketing their publications in this way and like to participate. The Dutch academic publisher Brill for example has agreed to scan all it publications, current and out of stock. People can search on terms and Google guarantees that it will never let a reader read the entire book online or have it downloaded. No problem there; in some cases the publishers have even the courtesy to inform authors of their books being scanned and have them decide to have it scanned. In my case the Dutch publisher Boom ask permission for one of my contributions to a book.
But there are also scans of copyrighted books which are made without the permission of the publisher. In this case libraries offer their collection for scanning to Google, not only books in the public domain, but also copyrighted books. And in this case libraries - usually libraries of universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Oxford, but also public libraries like the one of New York - have not asked published for permission to have its books scanned. And that is where the problems start. Google takes the position that it can scan anything in the world, regardless of copyright issues, as it only scans for search terms. Publishers think that Google scans books and keep the entire book in cache, regardless whether it is a collection of search words or key words or the complete text.
This situation brings many publishers into an ambivalent position. On the one hand they give Google permission to scan copyrighted books. On the other hand publishers might find themselves in court with Google fighting over copyright abuse. One of these cases is McGraw-Hill. On the on hand the publisher uses the Google Book Search service on one of its sites, while on the other hand it fights Google in court together with the American Association of Publishers (AAP).
Altogether this project did not win a beauty contest, not for PR nor for principles. Yet it is a nice marketing tool for publishers. On the other hand, there is still an unchartered territory about search engines and copyright, which should be cleared.
Blog Posting Number: 777
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I find it unbelievable that ten years after my presentation on the dotcom event First Tuesday, the mobile hype still exists. At the event there, where hundreds of dot com people were present, I launched the controversial slogan WAP=CRAP. I still remember the rumouring going around in the audience after my presentation and the passionate discussions afterwards. Now I am pretty certain that m-commerce, m-payment, mobile video and mobile marketing will flourish at a certain time. But this will only happen when industry is ready for this. The basic principles of mobile marketing are so bad, that a fast turn around is impossible.
That does not look very promising for the mobile industry in general. The remarks of Paul Budde reminded me of article by Joachim Jorge from 2003, when he was an assistant professor at Lisbon University. He wrote for the Content Market Monitor an article on UMTS and content. His basic conclusion was: not content will drive 3G, but speech. At 2007 the article is still valid.
Communications, not content drives 3G
Third-generation services, combining data, video, Internet and wireless technologies, were supposed to bring about a brave new era for communications. Instead, rising scepticism about their prospects, governments’ and managers’ greed together with the huge sums paid by operators in the form of 3G licenses, helped bring about the great telecoms crash of 2001.
However, this story may yet find a happy ending. The unexpected killer applications of UMTS may likely be personal communications enhanced by multimedia features of the new generation, not content. Voice was the killer application of first-and second-generation systems, and the emergence of new services based on personal communications is likely to please investors as well as foster effective competition to established local telephone companies.
It can be argued that people do not want entertainment from their cell phones [Odlizko’02]. They want to be connected and engage in social experiences with others. To this extent we should note the success of simple text messaging and the failure of Wireless Access Protocol, which was supposed to be about content. The good news is that UMTS higher bandwidth can provide for higher-quality personal communications and maybe better service, through more reliable connections.
How is this possible in a market that is approaching saturation? In many European countries cell phone penetration has surpassed 80% of the population (such as in Portugal, Italy and Finland in 2002) with a high of 99% in Luxembourg. Even if we count for the substitution market, new subscriber rates will be slower for 3G than they were during the heyday of GSM in Europe. However, penetration rates do not equate intensity of use by subscribers. Operators are focusing on new services as a way of increasing revenue by subscribers, but the fact is, people have not been talking enough on their cell phones.
As a symptom of this we can look at average usage of cell phones per day: this is less than five minutes in the UK versus eight in the USA [Odlyzko’02]. This may be related to more generous pricing plans in the USA, such as the flat fee for 500 minutes introduced by AT&T in 1998. Europe’s declining rates of revenue per costumer suggest that operators should take a better look at volume usage versus unit cost trade-offs.
This is where the author sees an opportunity for 3G mobile communications. Instead of focusing on content, we believe that operators should look at using the greater bandwidth of the 3G network to provide enhanced person-to-person communications. These have proven to be the mainstay of all communication networks ever since the inception of the postal service, several centuries ago and we believe they will continue to provide for the bulk of traffic of next-generation networks.
We believe operators should be looking for ways to change customer usage patterns, to offset lower prices by higher volume of communications. If prices go down by an order of magnitudes, but usage goes up by two orders of magnitude, revenue will increase tenfold.
Operators, who stick to current pricing policies, will be caught in a loose-loose situation, given that average revenue per costumer has been steadily declining in the past few years.
We believe that the turning point for telecommunications operators in UMTS will come about by a combination of three factors: a) Innovative pricing strategies such as volume discounts and block deals. b) enhanced and innovative personal communication services such as multiparty calling and personal video-conferencing (we believe that streaming video would be of sufficient quality for these applications) and c) a focus on communications rather than content.
The biggest gains, will come from more non-business use. In a fascinating book, "America Calling," Claude Fischer showed that the phone industry entered a new high-growth phase in the 1920s when it abandoned the attitude that phones were for important commercial purposes only and instead started encouraging "frivolous" social uses. These served to make telephones an indispensable part of people's lives, and raised usage (and total spending) far beyond the levels envisaged by the industry's pioneers.
Blog Posting Number: 776
Tags: mobile content, mobile content industry
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Brunssum is one of the last municipalities in The Netherlands which still possesses and operates its own cable network. In the past fifteen years almost all municipal networks have been sold to regional operators like UPC, Casema and Kabelcom/aHome/Essent. These companies have been able to invest in triple play (television, telecom and internet). The present network of Brunssum badly needs an upgrade, if it wants to compete with these regional cable operators. The local network can not offer digital television. So the municipality will put it on the market.
This has been the trend for the last fifteen years and in this way regional operators are growing by threading municipalities in particular regions. This is the way UPC, Casema and Essent grew into cable operators with millions of users. The real high time was at the end of the nineties when regional cable operators paid 2250 guilders (roughly 1125 euro) or more for every subscriber. Brunssum expects revenues from the sale of the network for 10 million euro; this would be 740 euro per subscriber. The regional cable operator could earn that sum back easily – so was the reasoning – by offering digital TV, telecom facilities, internet and security services. But these days cable operators have to compete with new glass fibre consortia. So UPC is fighting the Citynet consortium in Amsterdam and in Nuenen UPC lost the majority of its subscribers to Ons Net, the private glass fibre consortium.
More than 1 million households in The Netherlands have a television subscription combined with an internet subscription. Source: Vecai
Talking about internet by cable. I have a UPC subscription to Internet, Chello Classic, a package of 8 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. That package is no longer sold; they never informed me by letter or e-mail. But what you get back or as compensation is not told on the webpage. On the webpage they guarantee the same optimal service, but lately they have been fiddling with the speed, as you can see from last month’s speed recordings through Speedtest.
Monday, June 04, 2007
The report concludes that the UK mobile content and services market is on the verge of becoming a multi-billion dollar industry provided the sector can tap into an addressable market approaching 50% of UK mobile users, a report shows this week. In the study, entitled "UK Mobile Content Survey: What Consumers Want almost 2,000 mobile subscribers in the UK participated.
Results from the survey reveal that the UK mobile content market was worth £661 million in 2006, with 50% of revenues coming from the "mobile cash rich" 25-34 year olds. Those revenues look set to skyrocket should the wireless industry generate a more consistent spending behaviour. This conclusion is based on an analysis of the present usage. In the UK one-fifth of the respondents purchase a minimum of one item of content every three months; the report calls this a regular buyer. The survey uncovers a further 30 percent of occasional consumers that will purchase at least one item of content per year. They are called occasional spenders. If the wireless industry can encourage these occasional spenders to regularly consume content, the addressable mobile-content-market spend over a three-month period will expand by 150%
Almost 50 percent of respondents said mobile content prices were too high, but that they were willing to spend 5 GBP as the optimum figure consumers are willing to spend per month on top of their voice and messaging fees. Services and content priced above the 5 GBP monthly threshold will appeal to less than 5 percent of UK mobile users.
The report also indicates that TV on mobiles could cannibalise revenues from other services within the mobile content ecosystem, mobile advertising might subsidise mobile content and inflate the mobile content user base. Besides, side-loading music and ringtones on a mobile from a PC will not help either.
It is clear that mobile Internet has grown from a slow and clumsy monochrome experience into a tool for news, entertainment and other services on the move, in colour, with movies and photographs and graphics. But the mobile industry has been slow to eliminate the financial and technical barriers and will have to come up with smart pricing, incentive technical solutions and innovative partnerships.
Is this report valuable for the UK mobile content industry or the European mobile content industry? It basically tells the mobile content industry and operators that they still have a long way to go to convince consumers and business people to use mobile content services. It tells the operators that they should stop introducing the next fabulous thing such as TV on your mobile and first spend time on introducing teletext like services, followed by internet like services. And think about mobile TV whenever they have solved the technical problems and business propositions.
So far mobile content services have been a white lie. For years the services figured as much promising services. In 2002 the EC published a special report about mobile content. This study was carried out between May 2001 and December 2001. Thirty-three interviews with market players were performed. The results were validated by a Steering Committee of 12 members covering a large part of the mobile content industry. Basic conclusion: News, services and entertainment delivered to our mobile phones could be the next big thing, but only if all the partners in an increasingly complex business can find ways to co-operate. Mobile services will only become popular if the companies responsible for content can make enough money to be able to do their jobs well. But a key problem, says this report prepared by Arthur Andersen Belgium for the European Commission's Information Society DG, is that European mobile network operators are being greedy. Desperate to recoup the huge sums spent on licences and technology for next-generation services such as GPRS and UMTS, they are reluctant to pay realistic rates to the companies whose job it is to provide content such as news, games and transport information. With little high-quality content to attract users, it is not surprising that mobile information services are proving unpopular.
It looks like nothing has changed in the mobile content industry except technology.
Blog Posting Number: 774
Tags: mobile content, mobile content industry
Sunday, June 03, 2007
The development of coloured digital paper has been started long time ago in laboratories. Last year Hitachi and Bridgestone showed an example of digital paper which could render colour for 40 percent of the entire survive. The colour prototype has a diameter of 13 inch, a resolution of 352 times 512 pixels. But it is not just a colour problem to solve, but also a power management problem. During the process of turning a page, the machine consumes energy. When a page has been turned and is definite, .no energy is consumed. This power management leads to a different way of programming.
Last month LG Philips showed full colour digital paper. It was an A4, 0,3 mm thin, thin and showing 4096 colours. Just like the iLiad has 16 grey tones, so this coloured paper has 16 colours per red green and blue channel, making up 4096 colours. This is contrary to a conventional screen , which renders 16,7 million colours with 256 channels in red, green and blue.
It looks like it will take some more years before colour digital paper will be to an acceptable level. And for colour books it will be acceptable. But the digital paper will not be able to render video yet. Uploading of images takes a lot of energy.
Of course colour digital paper is not only interesting for newspapers and books. But digital paper will also be usable for screens of smart mobile telephones as Readius of Polymer Vision, another Philips spin-out, is demonstrating. Other applications have not left the laboratories yet.
20070607: Check an article by Reuters
Blog Posting Number: 773
Tags: digital paper, e-book, e-reader
Saturday, June 02, 2007
From the beginning of the project there has been opposition to the way the municipality has handled the project. The municipality was already warned by the announcement of an investigation last December. Kroes scrutinises the position whether the municipality of Amsterdam is partaking as a private investor or whether is subsidises the project. If so, she says, it looks like the municipality did not make the investments simultaneously with the private investors nor under the same conditions.
Now it appears that Ms Kroes sent a letters formulating several questions to be answered. The press release about the investigation came as a public announcement and as a not very welcome Christmas present for the Amsterdam municipality. The letter with questions was confidential. Amsterdam claims that it has answered all the questions. Kroes claims that 18 months after her first request and several reminders she finally has the information.
The business plan is also criticised; it is too optimistic, Kroes says. In the first phase 37.000 households will be connected; eventually 400.000 households have to be linked up. The business plan is seen as over-ambitious and optimistic, while the connecting time and the amount of households do not square. The penetration in the minimum scenario is optimistic.
The in-depth investigation stems from complaints filed by telecom company UPC and the association of cable operators VECAI. UPC has been excluded as a partner and investor at an early stage; the company serves the Amsterdam area with analogue and digital television, internet and fixed and mobile telecom. The Amsterdam glass fibre project is not only competition for the cable operator UPC, but also for the incumbent telecom operator KPN; KPN is involved in the project in the meantime.
The VECAI considers the protest of the cable operators as valid, as it is not just one question the municipality of Amsterdam has to answer to the EC, but at least five or six. The municipality has not made public statements about the investigation, but has continued with its activities (connecting the first households and the promotion of the project as was seen during the Australian New Zealand trade mission). The question does not move fast; since the public announcement of an inquiry more than 5 months have passed. This does not bode a positive decision fro Amsterdam.
Blog Posting Number: 772
Tag: glass fibre
Friday, June 01, 2007
But now funeral industry has entered also the digital era. On internet there were already sites, devoted to the memory of a deceased one, and condolences sites. A Dutch funeral service even set up in Second Life. Now the tomb stone industry has discovered the digital era and has designed a tomb with a screen to keep the memory of a loved one alive on the cemetery. The screen, working on sun energy, shows movies and pictures. A security system, consisting of special batteries or a remote control, can activate the screen system for family and relatives.
The idea comes from Mr Henk Rozema, who got the idea when he made a DVD for his 65th anniversary with scanned photographs. He showed this DVD to his family and friends during the celebration, many people present asked a copy of the DVD "for later". This gave Rozema the idea to combine a screen with a tomb stone. Together with a tomb stone constructor Steenhouwerij Rijtink he realised the tomb stone with screen.
This is private narrowcasting on a cemetery. Although movies can be played in the screen, the developers expect that next of kin will produce a series of photographs, covering the life of the deceased. Movies will be too emotional the developers think. Of course a new series of photographs or movies can be loaded in at any time.
This might be a start of a new branch to the funeral industry with programmers, content producers and (remote) system managers.
Blog Posting Number: 771
Thursday, May 31, 2007
It would have been the fifth edition of the multimedia competition. The Europrix.nl started in 2003. Following the example of the European version of the Europrix, the idea to set up a regional edition came up with the merger of two associations, MMBO and OPPO (now CMBO). The competition was seen as an attention getter and as a measure of professional performance by companies in the multimedia industry. The competition got off to a flying start for the first edition with the help of the Chambers of Commerce in Hilversum; the latter two editions received much assistance from the RIVIO department of the HRO college in Rotterdam, offering the venue and the catering.
Last year the Europrix.nl was also called off. More than one reason could have been offered for the low amount of entries. The governors had changed the categories and had brought these in line with the categories of the World Summit Award (WSA). From experience with the WSA it was known that particular categories would draw few or no entries at all such as the category e-health, for example. But given the fact the categories cover well the developments in e-content; more entries could have been expected. Another change was the higher entry fee. In order to cover the costs, the governors had raised the entry fee for companies and institutions. But this hardly proved to be the case in talks the governors had with prospects. Another problem could have been the public relations. Europrix.nl was not a heavily sponsored competition. In the previous editions a few sponsors had come forward which offered help in kind.
There are of course more intangible factors: the state of the economy, the fragmentation of the multimedia industry and the number of competitions... When the governors called off the competition last year, they blamed the aftermath of the economic dip of the past years. During hard economic times companies have a hard time to survive. They do not have assignments to enter of they can not spent the money and the time preparing entries. A discussion on this point was started with Bert van Dijk of the Frontrunner blog and journalist for the Dutch financial Daily.
The fragmentation in the Dutch multimedia industry might be another handicap. The Netherlands have a long tradition in ‘new media’ ranging from ASCII databases, videotext, CDs to Internet. Whenever a new technology came up, new awards were being handed out. And as the industry starts to segment, awards are handed out for segments. Presently cross-media is the fashion word, so cross-media awards are given out. And interactive marketing and advertising is the booming segment, so awards for that segment are handed out. But a real umbrella award competition will not make it and will not be stimulated by the ministry of economic affairs or any government agency.
The governors called off the Europrix.nl multimedia competition for the second time. The competition in this form will not be started up again. Perhaps the foundation Europrix.nl will concentrate next year on the students and young producers up to 30 years. But again this can only be done with the help of the sponsors, colleges and instructors. As far as a competition for companies and institutes is concerned, the Europrix.nl will be discontinued.
Blog Posting Number: 770
Tags: Europrix, World Summit Award
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The French financial daily Les Echos has a commercial offer for the reader in combination with a one year subscription to the newspaper. Users can upload an updated version of the newspaper several times a day through a wifi connection. Subscribers of Les Echos can now register for an iLiad subscription on the website of the French financial daily. For 769,00 euro (including VAT) the subscriber receives an iLiad e-reader, a one year subscription to Les Echos, to a selection of the French news wire AFP and to a selection of e-books provided by the publishers Nathan, M21, Pearson Education. It also contains Stylet for writing notes and accepts Mobipocket formatted e-books. Les Echos needs 5 to 8 weeks to deliver the iLiad.
Les Echos looks like the first commercial deal with a newspaper. The iLiad has been experimented with in Belgium with 200 subscribers to the financial daily De Tijd. But there is no concrete proposal from the management yet; a decision is expected by September. Last year cooperation was announced by the manufacturer iRex Technologies with the Yantai Daily Media Group in China. The group would use Iliads to distribute its papers electronically; the newspaper group distributes 1 million printed newspapers daily. Recently iRex Technologies announced that the Dutch newspapers NRC Handelsblad, Het Financieele Dagblad and De Telegraaf will research the e-Reader opportunities.
Not betting on one horse
Les Echos is not betting on one horse. The newspaper offers in fact another e-reader besides the iLiad: STAReBOOK. The offer is 649 euro (incl. VAT) and quite similar to the iLiad offer. So a subscriber will receive the e-reader, a selection of news from the French news wire AFP and to a selection of e-books provided by the publishers Nathan, M21, Pearson Education and MP3. There is no Wifi facility onboard.
For a comparison between the iLiad and STAeBOOK go to YouTube.
BTW My cracked iLiad (see the photograph; mark the ghost!) is now in Germany for repair. It was picked up last Friday for transport from The Netherlands to Germany. I hope that the iLiad can be repaired so that I can move on with the experiments such as blogs collections and technical manuals on the iLiad.
Blog Posting Number: 769
Tags: iliad, digital paper, e-book, e-book reader
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
They gathered in the past days on Europe Day at the Cannes International Film Festival to pledge their support for Europe's audiovisual industry at a time when it faces unprecedented change, driven largely by the impact of digital technologies and the resulting change in audience behaviour.
"Technological change and convergence is presenting the audiovisual industry with some tough challenges; but real opportunities lie in store for those that can best adapt," said Viviane Reding, EU Media Commissioner. "I feel that the political commitment expressed today will pave the way for the European audiovisual industry to become a powerhouse for Europe."
The EU Ministers' commitment to the audiovisual sector was underlined by their adoption of the Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers directive (see IP/07/706). This will modernise the rules for traditional and emerging audiovisual media services in response to technological change and gives more flexibility to European TV- and filmmakers to produce digital content thanks to more relaxed advertising rules.
Ministers also discussed how audiovisual policy needs to keep up with developments in film making and distribution, and the impact of technology.
Policy initiatives taken by the Commission to support and invigorate Europe's audiovisual sector include:
- The recently-launched MEDIA 2007 programme (see IP/07/169) establishes the move to digital technologies as a horizontal priority and April's call for proposals for Video On Demand and Digital Cinema Distribution projects is an important first step in financially supporting EU players.
- The European Film Online Charter endorsed by major industry players on Europe Day in 2006 (see IP/06/672) to stimulate a vibrant European online film industry.
- Content Online is estimated to grow by over 400% during the next five years (see IP/07/95). To capitalise on this tremendous opportunity for Europe, in July this year, the Commission will publish its Content Online communication.
- Recognising the importance of mobile TV to Europe - by 2009 the worldwide market will worth €11.4 billion - the Commission urged industry and Member States to be more proactive in developing a common Europe strategy (see IP/07/340). In July the Commission's will issue a communication proposing what steps it feels are needed to make will mobile TV a success in Europe.
Evidence that EU support to Europe's film industry is having positive results can be found at major international festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and at the Oscars (see IP/07/677).
While efforts are being made to boost the sector, the Commission also recognises the need for transparency, freedom of expression and diversity in Europe's media landscape. To better understand this and how best to preserve it, the Commission has outlined a three-step approach on safeguarding media pluralism (see IP/07/52).
For more on Europe's audiovisual and media policies: http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/
and the latest on the 'Audiovisual Media Services Without Frontiers' Directive MEMO/07/206.
Blog Post Number: 768
Tags: audiovisual industry, European Commission
Monday, May 28, 2007
Not too many Dutch internet users do recognize the term web 2.0, despite the fact that the term is known since 2003, when Tim O’Reilly used it for the first time... In principle this is not surprising as web 2.0 is a multifaceted term, comprising, wikis, RSS, APIs, social bookmarking, mash ups and web based software. On the other hand the 40 percent of the respondents are active on online networks and half of them log in daily. The projection is that half of the Dutch population is daily online for at least 2 to 3 hours.
I will pay attention to the blogging results of this survey. In the Netherlands there are 800.000 weblogs, according to an estimate of Paul Molenaar, COO of Sanoma and CEO of Ilse media group, at Blognomics 07. Some 50 percent are using Web-log.nl, the ilse blogger service. This estimate concerns only Dutch language blogs and not blogs in another language originating from the Netherlands like this blog.
Here are some of the results:
- 6 out of 10 Dutchmen do not read blogs;
- of the blogreading Dutchmen 62 percent spend less than 1 hour on the reading of blogs.
It is interesting to read why people would read a blog:
- content is the most important factor for the reliability of the blog;
- the blogger is also a criterion for the reliability of the blog;
But no less than 31 percent says that reliability is not a criterion. But people like a well written blog (26 percent) and 14 percent hates spelling mistakes. Links to other reliable sites, references to sources. Surprisingly design is hardly an item (8 percent), while only 3 percent hate advertisements. The amount of comments, the amount of posts, trackbacks and the URL are not heavy weighing criterions for the reliability. The number of RSS readers is totally irrelevant. (These results are completely contrary to the famous rules of the big bloggers. Of course not many Dutch bloggers enjoy any popularity worldwide).
The vast majority of the Dutch population does not keep a weblog. Only 1 in 8 maintains a weblog, of which 3 percent has more than 1 weblog. 90 percent of the webloggers spent 2 hours or less per week on writing blogs, while 6 percent work more than 7 hours on writing their own blogs.
Looking at the results of this survey, one conclusion is clear: blogs are not popular with the Dutch. However how do you get 800.000 blogs?
Blogposting Number: 767
Sunday, May 27, 2007
EUROPRIX Top Talent Award now open for entries
The EUROPRIX Top Talent Award gives young professionals and top students the chance to be promoted and exposed on the European stage. The competition benefits those who want to know how good their university coursework, freelance work or hobby-projects really are in comparison with their colleagues from other countries. Projects which are well-received by the jury will be awarded a Quality Seal in recognition of their good work – a certificate to make good impression on future employers. Nominees will receive a host of benefits.The registration for the new edition opened on May 1 2007. Deadline for entries is July 15 2007.
EUROPRIX Top Talent Award is now open for entries from students and young producers till 30 years.
Projects online, offline, installations can be entered in the following categories: - Broadband / Online - Offline / Interactive DVD - Mobile Contents - Games - Interactive Computer Graphics - Content Tools & Interface Design - Interactive Installations & Interactive TV- Digital Video & Animations
This year EUROPRIX Top Talent Award celebrates its 10th birthday. Therefore all entered projects will automatically participate in the Diamond Awards and will be evaluated in the following categories:
- Most creative product
- Most creative interface design
- Greatest commercial value
- Outstanding entertainment
- Best social media / web 2.0
- Highest impact on sustainability
For more information go to the EUROPRIX Top Talent Award website.
Call for papers
János Kodolányi University College as promoter of FreesideEurope Online Academic Journal is organizing an international conference with the theme of The Culture of the Information Age to be held in Székesfehérvár, Hungary from October 10 to 11 2007.
We invite abstracts (consisting of 200 words and a short CV) that focus on the themes listed in the attached conference outline. The abstracts sent in will be reviewed and selected by the Editorial Board. Participants will be asked to present a paper and provide a copy of their talks in MS Word format for possible publication.
Deadline for sending abstracts is June 04 2007. Please send your abstracts to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org . The participants whose abstracts have been accepted will be notified by June 20 2007. A detailed program will be sent by September 17 2007.
Kodolányi University College will pay for each presenter the flight to Budapest. But you need to get in touch with the Department of Foreign Relations at Kodolányi in advance and have them order your flight ticket.
(International Office Kodolányi University College
Address: 8000 Székesfehérvár, Fürdő street 1., Hungary
Telephone/Fax:+36 22 543 377e-mail: mailto:email@example.com%20)
For all participants the College will provide transfer from Budapest Ferihegy Airport to Székesfehérvár and also transfer following the conference venue from Székesfehérvár to Budapest. Accommodation, meals and programs will be provided for the participants as well.
Swan Lake: Moving Image & Music Award
The Swan Lake: Moving Image & Music Award is an education oriented award programme created to honour the very best in the new age music video clip creation. The award aims to couple educational multimedia teaching programmes with digital art, focusing in discovering and promoting young talents from university environments all over Europe and beyond.
Since 2004 SL:MIMA has been a price of innovation for students and free artists in the sector of cross-media. Moreover there is a unique connection to musicians of New Age music genre. Please visit the new, award winning music delivery plattform for SL:MIMA at http://www.newagepiano.net/. In this unique symbiosis the aim is not only to establish a well-known price but to build a network of talented people and support them on their way.
A series of workshops accompanies the programme and is aimed at familiarising students with the whole range of digital art technologies - from visualisation and rendering techniques, to digital aesthetics, cross-media events and interactive virtual spaces, and experiments from the ambient multi-medial area.
For more information look at the pdf document.
But to celebrate this holiday I picked up the announcement that the oldest bible in the world, the Codex Sinaiticus, will be put on internet integrally by 2009.
This manuscript has a long history. Parts of this 402 pages bible were found in Egypt in the 19th century by the German scientist Konstantin von Tischendorf. The manuscript has been produced on parchment by the monks of the Saint Catherine monastery in the Sinai between 330 and 350. The pages are now spread over museums. Only 12 pages are still in the Saint Catherine monastery in the Sinai. 43 of the pages are located in Leipzig. The Russian National Library in Saint Petersburg has only 5 pages left of the 347 it possessed in the 19th century; the communist leader Jozef Stalin sold 342 pages to the British Library (at least he did not destroy the manuscript).
The project is an initiative of the British Library, after that the monks of the monastery requested the return of the other pages. The monks have now agreed that all the pages will be digitised and published on internet. The project must be finished by 2009.
Update 24 July 2008: Pages from the Codex Sinaiticus will be available on the web. The pages are the first batch of the reproduction project. Next year the project will be completed.
Blog Posting Number 766
Tags: speech technology, cultural heritage
Saturday, May 26, 2007
But it looks like a silent break-through is coming about. It looks like computer speech recognition is sufficiently advanced. Examples become available in the automobile branch. Microsoft's Sync software will let drivers use spoken commands to play music and dial their phones; the drivers will not be able to use voice commands for the driving itself.
Naturally Speaking by Nuance Communications is a leading personal computer product for speech recognition. The computer user speaks into a microphone, and the words appear on the screen and corrections can be made. However the program has to be trained to suit your speaking style and to improve accuracy rates.
Traditionally speech recorders have been used by lawyers and doctors. But by putting their analyses and diagnoses in smart speech recorders, the spoken texts is automatically transcribed into written texts.
But of one the largest applications of speech technology is now being used in call centres. Three trends can be seen in call centres:
- Speech for self-service. Speech recognition is accepted by people phoning up.
- Interactive Voice Recognition, speech recognition, routing can be outsourced.
- Speech analysis and mining. New speech analysis and mining tools will deliver a treasure of information about the conversations between clients and agents.
Speech synthesis software is now also being used in car navigation. So your English friend can use your car and the car navigation system by changing from your mother tongue into English. Reading television subtitles is another application area in which speech synthesis and translation can be combined. But speech and translation technologies should culminate in software which automatically translates a conversation between for example Japanese and a Dutchman.
But for the time being the ideal of the founders of LHSP to produce a chip which accepts commands to the magnetron, regardless of the language, is still some way off.
Blog Posting Number: 765
Tags: speech technology, translation software
Friday, May 25, 2007
All those intelligence gathering services employed systems such as:
- Echelon, which monitors the majority of electronic communication in the world;
- Carnivore, which intercepts email;
- Tempest, a technology that can read a computer monitor's display from over a block away;
- Keyhole satellites that have a resolution of four inches.
The conspiracy theory was also expressed by Jo Lernout in an interview in the magazine Humo (March 30, 2002). He claimed that the bankruptcy was a direct result of the trade and communication war between the Europe and the USA. Lernout says in fact that he is sure, that LHSP has been monitored by the Americans: We knew about Echelon, simply because we had the technology necessary for every intelligence gathering service. It is cynical: but we probably developed the machines with which we were spied on. Of course we could have known as it was already known that Echelon was not only there for terrorism and drugs running, but also for industrial espionage.
LHSP had bought four US companies, which delivered equipment and technology to the US intelligence gathering services:
- Dictaphone, an US company which produced digital recorders, which recorded voices and could search in the content. Dictaphone delivered machines to the Pentagon.
- Dragon was also a US company which was a specialist in audio mining. Speech was converted into text, which could be searched by search prompts or by robots.
- ISI was a spin-off of Carnegie Mellon University, where Professor Alex Waibel had developed a method to record digital pictures of people talking to each other and to analyse the conversation.
- Aptec was a US company, located near the Pentagon, which had developed translation software from Arabic to English and from Korean to English.
With all these technologies marching out of the USA, the Americans were probably very unhappy, Lernout suspects. He knows that when Dragon had been bought by LHSP, the top of Dragon was ordered to Washington for an explanation. Janet Baker, the founder of Dragon, heard there, that LHSP pumped up its figures with money from the Middle East in order raise the quote of its shares; in this way LHSP could acquire American top technology.
In the interview Jo Lernout focuses on the last two CEOs of the company Mr John Duerden, the former boss of Dictaphone, and Mr Phillipe Bodson, a compatriot but Wallon. They have, according to Lernout, done everything to ruin LHSP. Mr Duerden wanted his company back. And the Americans put pressure on Mr Bodson, when he was selling the Mendez translation company.
LHSP was producing equipment which could be used for intelligence gathering operations and spy activities. But it should be noted that Lernout had to explain something to the 130.000 shareholders who had bought shares with their saving. Besides, creating the impression of a David and Goliath fight between LHSP vs. USA Inc., would take away the attention from the fraud. So far it did not as the court case has started, at last. An interesting question remains: what happened to the speech and translation industry since the bankruptcy of LHSP?
Blog Posting Number: 764
Tags: speech technology, translation software
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Belgium is a federal state. The country divided in three official language areas, where people speak French; Flemish a derivative of the Dutch language; German. There is a great rivalry between the French speaking people (Wallons) and the Flemish speaking people (Flemish). Historically the Wallons were the rich people of Belgian. They had the heavy industry, like the metal works in Liege. The Flemish were more agriculturally oriented. But in the seventies Flanders started an industrial drive. In the eighties a science park was built in Ieper, one of the cities where heavy fights took place during the First World War. Flanders Language Valley would give an incentive to the Flanders Technology. And it did.
L&H established their company in the Flanders Language Valley in 1987. Being a company developing innovative products, the company was in the right place. It is close to universities, but also close to France and the UK. It became in fact a demonstrator company.
In the beginning the company does everything in order to attract attention. It develops a Christmas ball with a built-in eye to watch over the presents. When someone gets too close to the presents, it will start playing a fragment of Jingle Bells and saying: Ho, ho , ho. Christmas is coming soon, but don’t open the presents yet. On Christmas day the message sounded: Merry Christmas open the present now, ho, ho, ho. The Christmas speech product was developed in the second half of the year and it missed the buying window of the big store purchasers.
The company also developed the Promotalker, a kind of ticker tape window, for presenting messages in museums. The Promotalker was also used to broadcast messages to the people who came to look at the famous triptych of Lamb of God by the Brothers Van Eyck in the cathedral in Gent. However the equipment got overheated and just in time a visitor coupled off the Promotalker. Otherwise the famous painting, one of the culture treasures of Flanders, would have been damaged or destroyed due to the innovative device.
Belgium really was proud when in 1995 L&H went on the Nasdaq in New York. Two local Flanders boys had made it thanks to their innovative company. After this, technology icons like Bill Gates came to visit the Flanders Technology Valley in Ieper.
By that time everyone, financial institutes, but also the Flanders citizen were ready to buy a share in the company. When the company went bankrupt more than 130.000 citizens had bought shares in the company.
Photograph of one of the buildings in the Flanders Language Valley, after Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products had gone bankrupt.
Blog Posting Number: 763
Tags: speech technology, translation software
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
In the eighties another approach to machine translation was taken in The Netherlands. The BSO Company started a machine translation department which worked on the principle of an intermediary language, codenamed Distributed Language Translation (DTL). The hope was that by having an artificial language in between the target language and the object language a proper translation could be made. It did not work and in the nineties the project was cut.
The speech technology had made its first impression with the introduction of the Reading Machine for The Blind. It was designed by Ray Kurzweil, who had developed the Optical Character Recognition (OCR), a method of scanning text from paper. For his reading machine he combined the OCR method with a speech synthesis machine. A later version of the speech synthesis machine will be bought by L&H.
In the eighties the speech technology was on the rise in academic circles worldwide. In the Netherlands the Nijmegen University, in Belgium the RUG university and in Germany the Saarbrucken University were hotspots for the development of speech technology. Of course, in Europe languages are important as people in Europe speak many different languages.
Jo Lernout (left) and Paul Hauspie (right), the founders of the speech technology and machine translation company L&H were visionaries, but no computer experts, who could develop compression software and algorithms. So they had to lure scientists to their company, which they started in 1987. And they did. They were able to convince Bert van Coillie, Herve Bourlard and Georges Zanelatto. Bert Van Coillie was developing a pc-voice at the RUG in Gent. The company paid a license fee for the Flemish speech synthesis module. The module became the core of the text-to-speech technology. At the same university the Development Environment for Pronunciation Expert System (DEPES) was developed, an innovative system of sound analysis with which algorithms could be developed in other languages than Dutch and Flemish. DEPES became the secret formula of the company. The speech recognition expert Herve Bourlard transferred from Philips to the start-up. And last but not least, Georges Zaneletto joined the company; an expert in signal processing and (de)compression.
Once the company had a scientific base to work from, it was ready for business. It acquired its competitor Dragon Systems. A few weeks earlier it had bought the Dictaphone Corporation, the leader of the medical transcript market. Dictaphone opened the way to vertical markets of intelligent content management and audio mining. And just before the crash the company had the intention to pick up Interactive Systems Inc, a natural speech recognition company.
Blog Posting Number: 762
Tags: speech technology, translation software
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
L&H started in 1987 in the Belgian technology hotspot Ieper. It grows in no time to a company worth 10 billion euro. In 1998 Bill Gates visited the company which saw it as its mission to make language the interface to man-machine manipulation. By 2001 everything was over and the company had gone bankrupt. The Wall Street Journal had started a series of articles one year earlier, claiming that the figures had been pumped up; especially in South Korea where more than 40 percent of the revenues were picked up. According to prosecution managers of L&H received money from the banks and used this in order to establish Language Development Centers, which ‘bought’ licenses to the speech software. Eventually the prosecuters claim that L&H pumped up the figures for 166 million euro.
It is a case of national pride, technology hype and conspiracy. Belgians were proud of their innovators; the royal house regularly received the founders of the company at their palace. Speech technology with translation software as well as speech-to-text software was sexy. But there was also suspicion about secret services and industrial spy activities. The US CIA was said to be after the company as it had technology the CIA did not have. The European secret service network Echelon helped the company to go into bankruptcy.
The culmination of problems came in the years of the internet hype. Everything was possible technically and money wise. But growing fast harbours risks, especially personnel risks. The managers Jo Lernout and Pol Hauspie do not check closely the credentials of people that offer their services. In this case, when people said that they had been a manager in the Dutch consumer company Philips they were accepted with eagerness; in this case we see back Gaston Bastiaens, the manager of the Philips CD-i technology and publishing venture, which was called off in 1996. When people said that they made big deals with Philips, they were believed; it is said that Maurits de Prins, who swindled Philips with the video chain Super Club, was involved in financing L&H through a Dutch straw man. Also the one year vice CEO of Philips, Roel Pieper was one of the crises managers of the company for a short time; he has not been indicted.
The total proceedings will take half a year. I will keep you updated.
Blog Posting Number: 761
Tags: speech technology
Monday, May 21, 2007
I had picked up my binoculars, but they were not good enough. I was kitted out with professional binoculars and a telescope. Also the regular photo camera was not good enough; a semi-professional camera should be used. And yes the change in quality was noticeable. Also the photographing through the objective of a telescope was demonstrated. Some beautiful pictures were taken.
We went all over the island to special places. On the island there is a place with an island with stern; it is one of the five places in the Netherlands, but this is the only observation post open to the public (photograph taken with a non-professional camera). We observed many birds. We even found a mandarin duck, which most likely has escaped from a birds’ park or a zoo.
I was also initiated in the way bird watchers use the digital media. They use frequently the digital camera and especially the digital zoom. We had a discussion on JPEG and RAW as formats fit for bird watchers. We went also to internet and went to several sites, such as http://www.dutchbirding.nl/, http://www.waarneming.nl/ and http://www.vogelwerkgroeptexel.nl/, where observations can be recorded. For the real (professional or semi-professional) watchers there is a SMS/MMS service, where bird watchers can leave there latest interesting observations. Whenever a special species shows up, it is put on the SMS/MMS channel and a race for the place mentioned has started.
Looking at the sites it is clear that a complete live encyclopaedia of birds and other animals is available, including the latest spotting. This month a humpback whale (see photograph) was sighted near the Dutch coast and in the Marsdiep, the trough between the mainland and the island of Texel. An SMS went out and the watchers, regardless whether they were bird watchers or reptile watcher, came in droves, recording the event for the future.
Photograph by Eric Menkveld ( c) 2007
Blog Posting Number: 760
Sunday, May 20, 2007
'The best we have to offer, is not on the Net'. Around the turn of the millennium, this lament would have been justified for anyone referring to all the material that was stored in museums, archives and libraries. The European Commission spoke of a 'treasure chest of unique resources' (EC 2002) and implied that cultural institutions held the key to that chest. Digitisation is vital to improving access to this vast quantity of material. Virtually all cultural institutions in the Netherlands - not just traditional guardians of cultural heritage and libraries, but also broadcasting associations and art institutions - now have their own websites and are working hard on digitisation and creating digital access to museum collections, old films and television programmes and a host of other material. Thanks to the placing of this digitised material on websites, CD-ROMs and other carriers of digital information, the scope for disseminating our shared cultural capital has increased greatly, enabling the contents of the cultural treasure chest to be made accessible to a wider public. There are any number of publications which say something about the status of the digitisation of culture, but to date there has been no systematic overview of what kind of digital material the various cultural sectors (cultural heritage, the arts, libraries and public broadcasting) offer.
This publication summarises a study of the digitisation of cultural sources and the use of that digitised material. The exploratory study ensues from the Culture and ICT (Cultuur en ICT) programme within the Culture and Media Directorate of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCenW) and was carried out by Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) in collaboration with the Social and Cultural Planning Office of the Netherlands (SCP).
The study focussed on the digitisation of information in four cultural sectors: cultural heritage, the arts, libraries and public broadcasting. It brings together quantitative and qualitative data to provide an overview of available information on both the supply of and demand for digital material. In addition to this description and broad analysis of supply and demand, the study looks at the relationship between the various disciplines, the relationship with the field of education and the participation of Dutch institutions in international projects. This study also looks at what gaps in knowledge exist in the field of Culture and ICT and can serve as a reference point to clarify what research is still needed for further policy development.
In summary, the object of study can be formulated as follows:The object of the study is to provide an impression of the available information on both the supply of and demand for digital cultural information in the cultural heritage sector, the arts sector, the libraries sector and the broadcasting sector in the Netherlands.
In order to realise this object, six research questions were formulated in consultation with the Ministry, and these served as a guiding theme for the study.
- What does digitisation mean in the different sectors?
- What do key figures and bodies believe to be the main activities and developments in their sector and what problem areas and (knowledge) gaps do they perceive in the development of digital products and services?
- What collaborative alliances have been forged within and between the different sectors?
- How do the different sectors contribute to the development of digital cultural information for education?
- What is happening at European level as regards the digitisation of culture, and how does the Netherlands participate in this?
- The digital cultural products offered and what are the main gaps in the knowledge about the 'digital public'?
In order to elicit the necessary information a literature search was carried out, websites were visited and interviews were held with representatives of umbrella organisations and key institutions, as well as with specialists from several directorates at the Ministry. The interviews formed the main part of the study; a total of 69 experts were interviewed and additional information was obtained from 11 persons. Below we first summarise the findings on the supply and use of digital cultural information based on these research questions. Conclusions are then drawn concerning the digitisation of culture in the Netherlands.
A long summary of the report is available in English.
Blog Posting Number 759
Tags: culture, heritage
Saturday, May 19, 2007
For the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis Bureau this was a reason to study the question whether a new generation of regulations is needed. Here is the abstract of the report (which is in the Dutch language): As a consequence of digitalization of telephony and television, the upgrading of current networks to fiber optic networks and the spread of the Internet Protocol (IP), cable- and telephony networks are increasingly able to offer comparable services. If this development is sustained, in time competition will arise between two vertically integrated suppliers with comparable networks. This report contains an analysis of the required regulation of entry, retail prices and interconnection in such a scenario. Competition between vertically integrated serviceproviders who own their networks creates incentives to provide access to these networks forservice providers without networks and makes foreclosure less likely. If these incentives aresufficiently strong, access regulation can be reconsidered. From a long-term welfare perspective, it is therefore important that regulation aims at strengthening competition between networks. Symmetric regulation of access can play a role, even if one of the network providershas no considerable market power. Regulation of interconnection will also remain necessary ina converged market to prevent too high interconnection tariffs. Because of the very low costsfor IP-based calls, bill-and-keep might be a simple and effective for of regulation.
Blog Posting Number: 758
Tags:telecommunication, regulation, foreclosure
Friday, May 18, 2007
The following fragment is the kick-off of the summary:
Nowadays computers, the Internet and mobile telephones are no more than a normal part of life for today’s teenagers. Because they have grown up with it, ict is an integral part of their daily lives. Young people derive a great deal of pleasure from the Internet, which they use for their social contacts, entertainment and for school.
But there are also some concerns about teenagers online. The Internet is full of risks, and the things that can go wrong on the Internet have been reported more than once in the media: distribution of fi lm clips which potentially violate privacy, contact with undesirable persons, Internet bullying. To obtain a clear picture of the digital world of teenagers, this report gives an account of the ict use of 13-18 year-olds in secondary education. Their parents were also included in the study: their own use of ict, and at the extent to which they are aware of the ict use of their children. In connection with this, the study looked at how far parents go in taking action in relation to Internet safety, such as educating their children about the risks and setting rules.
1 ict and ownership: To what extent has the ownership of ict facilities by families with teenagers changed between 2001 and 2005?
2 ict and usage: How do teenagers and their parents use ict, and how aware are parents of their children’s usage of the Internet?
3 ict and skills: How do the digital skills of teenagers and their parents differ?
4 ict and communication: How do teenagers use the Internet to organise their social lives, and what relationship does this bear to the maintaining of offl ine contacts and to feelings of loneliness?
5 ict and safety: What are the risks of Internet use for teenagers, to what extent do their parents inform them about those risks, what rules are set by parents and what control do parents exercise over their children’s use of the Internet (both according to the teenagers and according to their parents)?
Blog Posting Number: 757
Thursday, May 17, 2007
The department has a completely object oriented registration of real estate in the city. This implies that every building can be modelled digitally and in such a way the whole city can be constructed in a digital way. The 170.000 buildings have now been offered to Google Earth and are visible by clicking on the 3D buildings option. Within a few weeks all buildings will be available in 3D Warehousing of Google. Users can then download a building from the warehouse and adapt it with free program Google SketchUp. Ten of the most interesting buildings in the city such as the Royal Palace at Dam Square, Westertower (see illustration) and Central Station have been detailed in 3D and these are also available as a standard set in Google Earth.
3D Amsterdam in Google is now part of city marketing. Sometime ago SecondLive was part of city marketing for some municipalities, but now 3D is the new fashion. Immediately all kind of purposes are linked to it. One of the aldermen of Amsterdam saw a democratic use in it. People would be able to download the buildings now and be able to build on the future of the city. This sounds good and politically correct. But I do not see more than half a million people now running to their computer in order to construct their Amsterdam. But in a short time people will be able to download their own house and detail it with SketchUp and put photographs to the model. This model can then be placed back for viewing. In this way the city can be dressed up. As such it will be possible as a tool in (re-)construction projects for you can show the history with archived photographs and new proposals with the 3D program.
3D Amsterdam is collaboration between the municipality of Amsterdam and the Google subsidiary located in Amsterdam. It is just one of the links Google has as there are many parties in Amsterdam and in The Netherlands linking in with photographs, background information and visual additions to buildings. It all fits in the mission of the municipality to be a creative hub in the Netherlands and Europe.
There is now a tour of places and objects of interest available as well as a movie of the tour on http://www.blogger.com/www.amsterdam.nl and for Google 3D the following links are available:
Google Earth - http://earth.google.com/
Google Earth and 3D - http://earth.google.com/intl/nl/3d.html
SketchUp - http://www.sketchup.com/
3D Warehouse - http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/
Blog Posting Number: 756
Tag: amsterdam, 3D, citymarketing
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Now Endemol will be transferred to the consortium for 2,63 billion euro. All three partners are in the consortium for an equal share of 876 million euro. John de Mol will laugh at the deal. In 2000 at the height of the internet hype he and Joop van de Ende sold Endemol to Telefónica. This telecom company had been convinced by the gurus that telecom would converge with the digital media and that the mobile telephone would become a pocket PC, an MP3 player (when did MP3 players become fashionable?) and a television screen. Content would be needed to fill that market hole. While Time-Warner merged wit AOL, Telefónica acquired Endemol. The price paid, 5.5 billion euro, was reasonable, given the bright future.
But then internet crashed. The CEO of Telefónica was dismissed. The company was left with a company which was no core business for a telecom company. Besides the price paid was too high given the revenues. The accountants had to write off a hefty sum. But Telefónica took the time to get rid of the Fremdkörper. So the years went by and in 2005 Telefónica thought that the time had come to sell and cash. But as the acquisition of Endemol would be expensive, Telefónica sold 25 percent of the shares on the market. The value of the company was estimated on 1,1 billion euro at that time; after five years it was just one fifth of the original price paid for by Telefónica in 2000. With the present price of 2,63 billion euro, Telefónica can say that the company made a profit of 1,4 billion euro. But that is only the view of the new Telefónica mangers. You can also say that Telefónica has lost2.87 billion euro over the past five years.
John de Mol played the game DEAL OR NO DEAL well. He cashed with Joop van de Ende in 2000 5,5 billion euro. He was not allowed to be in the entertainment business for 4 years, so he invested his money in telecom companies and other companies. Once the entertainment clause was not valid any longer, he started the radio and television station TV10 in The Netherlands, just to show that he was back. And back he is with a vengeance. TV10 might not be the hottest station with the consumers, it is however a station to merge with or be acquired by RTL Netherlands or SBS. Once the position of TV10 has become clear, John de Mol can go back to Endemol to create formats and test them out on the channel TV10/RTL.
What is the future of Endemol? There may be three shareholders in the consortium. Usually this is a sign that the company will be broken up (see the scenario for the beleaguered bank ABN AMRO; do not show sympathy for that bank as they mess up the present sale in an Italian way!). But in this case only Goldman Sachs could take advantage of that; Goldman Sachs will be the company that will step out after a while and offer the shares to the two consortia members. A break-up would not help them. As a global creative entertainment company Endemol needs profits of the entire value chain from creating formats, to production and distribution. Endemol will teach Mediaset the international way of trading entertainment products for Italian and Spanish products. But Mediaset will always stay in the Golden Cage of Endemol, while Endemol will behave like a Big Brother to Mediaset.
(The picture is of the first Big Brother series in The Netherlands in 1999)
Blog Posting Number: 755
Tags: entertainment industry