Forecast Utility

It’s nice to know that scientists have narrowed down “the big one” to a 30 year window… it would be nice if they focused on something a little more immediate IMO. Just yesterday the weather guy was predicting a 10-15 degree drop in temperature from Saturday and it ended up feeling like it was hotter.

Traffic forecasts! Now there would be something useful. “At 10am there is a 60% chance there will be a backup at 92 and 101 because of a minor fender bender in the northbound lanes.” WTF am I going to do with a “big one in 30 years forecast”?

A strong and potentially deadly earthquake is virtually certain to strike on one of California’s major seismic faults with a magnitude of at least 6.7 within the next 30 years, scientists said Monday in releasing the first official forecast of statewide earthquake probabilities.

[From New analysis: California in for a devastating quake within 30 years]

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Mobile Web Dead?

Former Yahoo! Mobile evangelist turned startup entrepreneur Russell Beattie announced today that he’s calling it quits for his company Mowser because the market for mobile browsing is taking a fast turn for the worse. “The mobile traffic just isn’t there,” Beattie says, “It’s not there now, and it won’t be.”

[From Is the Mobile Web Dead? Some Mobile Entrepreneurs Say Yes - ReadWriteWeb]

Carriers have destructive power, mobile devices are restrictive, diversity of devices force considerable porting cost on developers, and lastly, users want a richer experience. Is mobile web dead? That question suggests that it was once alive.

The mobile browser on my iPhone is about as good as they come but on EDGE it’s slooooowwwwww. Even on wifi I rarely use it because I just don’t get enough of a bang out of mobile web apps and typing on the virtual keyboard is laborious.

Stop the insanity! The mass market does not use the mobile web as a regular mode of interacting with the bigger web! If they did we would be seeing traffic numbers growing and application developers moving to the mobile web.

M:Metrics reports that an impressive number of iPhone users have used mobile web features, but what is the sample size polled and did they distinguish between “have used” and “use regularly”? I’ve used my iPhone for all of the reasons M:Metrics reports but only occasionally, usually for looking up phone numbers and addresses (Google maps is rather handy). Obviously my experience is not unique, Gabe Rivera is reporting that mobile Techmeme is less than 1% of his traffic.

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Vertical Ad Networks Are About Advertisers

Ad networks cater to people buying advertising because that’s where the money is flowing and advertisers care about where their ads are being placed. This is why vertical ad networks make sense, they vet destinations for appropriateness and fit. SyndiGO is another one to watch; they build a vertical ad network for you as an advertiser.

Similarly, Travel Ad Network should also roll up a bunch of travel properties to get a better footprint, and a vertical integration. The Travel space is slightly more complicated, because of the considerable clout of the vertical search engines, of which, Kayak also intends to pull together a vertical ad network.

[From Vertical Ad Networks: Evolution - Sramana Mitra on Strategy]