California Insider Going Way Inside

I read a lot of political and current event blogs, and for California stuff one of my favorites has always been the Sacramento Bee columnist Daniel Weintraub, who authors the excellent blog California Insider. I was disheartened to read today that he is moving his blog over to Capitol Alert, which is a $500 a year subscription.

I guess that Weintraub decided, or it was decided for him, that his blog should be relegated to the “very insider” market segment. This reminds me of the NYTimes move to wall off their op-ed columnists under the TimeSelect banner, and we pretty much know how that move has worked out for them (with pissing of Friedman just the tip of the iceberg).

California Insider – A Weblog by Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub:
After nearly four years in this space, California Insider now moves over to Capitol Alert, the Bee’s subscription-based news and analysis site for anyone interested in what’s going on in the Capitol. You can find my blog here.

What is Protein Folding and How You Can Help

Stanford’s chemistry department has a really interesting project that follows the pioneering seti@home initiative. You download a client app to become part of a massive distributed computer that analyzes how proteins fold with the goal of understanding complex diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer.

Folding@Home Distributed Computing:
What is protein folding and how is folding linked to disease? Proteins are biology’s workhorses — its “nanomachines.” Before proteins can carry out these important functions, they assemble themselves, or “fold.” The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, in many ways remains a mystery.

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FOWA Notes: The Magic Formula – Mike Arrington

FOWA Notes: The Magic formula – Mike Arrington | Muffin Research Labs by Stuart Colville:
3. Data and service protability (teqlo, ning and pipes)
Frees user data, no-ones figured a way to make money out of this yet. But they will

Obviously we agree that this is a great opportunity for 2007. Mike was right to point out that the big idea here is not a technical one, it’s freeing people’s data and giving them more control of the increasing complexity that we all have to deal with in our daily online life.

At SAP it was always acknowledged that there were two core competencies at the center of the company, controlling transactions and being the system of record (master data). I’m not so sure that Teqlo has to be a system of record, what we can do is stitch together the bits and pieces of master data that are increasingly scattered across systems that are themselves websites. If I could identify two core competencies for Teqlo at this point they would be rooted in enabling context across web services by integrating them in the browser (point of contact) by the user, and aggregating “experience” by extending a broad array of web services with a single point of contact by users. Managing complexity, providing great service, enabling self-expression, and getting things done are all important consequences of us doing our job right.

Yeah, we need to make money doing this and aside from the obvious subscription opportunity there is a less obvious opportunity to process transactions between subscribers and web service vendors (WSVs), aggregate billing and metering, and provide premium services that help overcome the quality of service issues that are real problem areas for web 2.0 apps. Our focus is on building momentum in the market (get the flywheel spinning in VC terminology) and then use that as a spring pad to revenue generation. There’s a lot of work to do from now to then but considering how much we have already accomplished in our little company with the small amount of investment we have, I don’t doubt we’ll get there.

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