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learning channel Multimedia

As A Technology, It Is Called Multimedia As a technology, it is called multimedia. As a revolution, it is the sum of many revolutions wrapped into one: A revolution in communication that combines the audio visual power of television, the publishing power of the printing press, and the interactive power of the computer. Multimedia is the convergence of these different professions, once thought independent of one another, coming together to form a new technological approach to the way information and ideas are shared. What will society look like under the evolving institutions of interactive multimedia technologies? Well, if the 1980's were a time for media tycoons, the 1990's will be for the self-styled visionaries. These gurus see a dawning digital age in which the humble television will mutate into a two-way medium for a vast amount of information and entertainment. We can expect to see: movies-on-demand, video games, databases, educational programming, home shopping, telephone services, telebanking, teleconferencing, even the complex simulations of virtual reality. This souped-up television will itself be a powerful computer. This, many believe, will be the world's biggest media group, letting consumers tune into anything, anywhere, anytime. The most extraordinary thing about the multimedia boom, is that so many moguls are spending such vast sums to develop digital technologies, for the delivering of programs and services which are still largely hypothetical. So what is behind such grand prophecies? Primarily, two technological advances known as digitization (including digital compression), and fibre optics. Both are indispensable to the high-speed networks that will deliver dynamic new services to homes and offices. Digitization means translating information, either video, audio, or text, into ones and zeros, which make it easier to send, store, and manipulate. Compression squeezes this information so that more of it can be sent using a given amount of transmission capacity or bandwidth. Fibre-optic cables are producing a vast increase in the amount of bandwidth available. Made of glass so pure that a sheet of it 70 miles thick would be as clear as a window-pane, and the solitary strand of optical fibre the width of a human hair can carry 1,000 times as much information as all radio frequencies put together. This expansion of bandwidth is what is making two-way communication, or interactivity, possible. Neither digitization nor fibre optics is new. But it was only this year that America's two biggest cable-TV owners, TCI and Time Warner , said they would spend $2 billion and $5 billion respectively to deploy both technologies in their systems, which together serve a third of America's 60m cable homes. Soon, some TCI subscriptions will be wired to receive 500 channels rather than the customary 50; Time Warner will launch a trail full-service network in Florida with a range of interactive services. These two announcements signaled the start of a mad multimedia scramble in America, home market to many of the world's biggest media, publishing, telecoms and computer companies, almost all of which have entered the fray. The reasons are simple: greed and fear: greed for new sources of revenue; fear that profits from current businesses may fall as a result of reregulation or cut-throat competition. Multimedia has already had a profound affect on how these businesses interact with one another. Mergers such as Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting, and Paramount have set the stage. These companies continue the race to be the first to lay solid infrastructure, and set new industry standards. Following in the shadows will be mergers between: software, film, television, publishing, and telephone industries, each trying to gain market share in the emerging market. So far, most firms have rejected the hostile takeovers that marked the media business in the 1980s. Instead, they have favored an array of alliances and joint ventures akin to Japan's loose-knit Keiretsu business groupings. TCI's boss, John Malone, evokes "octopuses with their hands in each other's pockets-where one starts and the other stops will be hard to decide." These alliances represent a model of corporate structure which many see as mere marriages of convenience, in which none wants to miss out on any futuristic markets. One may wonder how this race for market share and the merging of these corporations will affect them personally. Well, at ... more

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Uleashing the killer app book

ULEASHING THE KILLER APP:BOOK REPORT



Digital Strategies for Market Dominance



Killer apps, goods or services that establish quickly and dominate the market, are displacing traditional planning and strategy in business. These revolutionary realities such as email, the first word-processing program, and e-commerce are sudden and dramatic changes that have recently found success in changing the face of business. Companies that use existing technologies are finding possible killer apps as a way to gain advantage over competitors and serve their customers in a more efficient manner.  Companies that choose to use existing, traditional ideals of strategy and planning are being passed over as the power of emerging digital solutions attracts their customers.

Companies must now adopt a digital strategy to help produce their own killer apps to survive in their marketplace.  This digital strategy encourages full staff involvement in the development of possible improvements in processes, rather than having a group of people who spend years developing strategies.  This full staff involvement brings together the ideas of workers on the front lines of production who have real world answers on how to make their work faster and eliminate non-essential processes.  

Once developed, killer apps take their market by storm.  For example, electronic mail has established itself as the way of communicating notes and short correspondence over the traditional ways of writing letters.  The US Postal Service has experienced extreme loses in revenue due to the hands of email.  Killer apps will dominate a market quickly as customers find its advantages over traditional services and products.



THE LAWS THAT LEAD TO SUCCESSFUL KILLER APPS

Moore's Law

Moore's Law, Metcalfe's Law, and the economic theories of Ronald Coase help support the rise and domination of killer apps.  Moore's law focuses on the constant growth in computing power.  The law states that for every 18 months, processing power doubles while cost holds constant.  Killer apps are now able to constantly evolve faster, smaller, and more efficient while keeping costs somewhat constant.  In 1980, a gigabyte of storage cost several hundred thousand dollars and took large storage space.  Moore's law has made it possible to shrink cost to $200 and drastically reducing storage space to the size of a credit card.  This ever-improving processing power will serve as the backbone to the future of killer apps.  Companies that choose not to invest in these technological answers to problematic issues will soon find themselves at the bottom of the market.  This leads us to Metcalfe's law.  

Metcalfe's Law

Metcalfe's law explains why technology spreads so rapidly, and how quickly people so readily accept it.  R. Metcalfe is the founder of 3Com.  His law states that new technologies are valuable only if people use them.  His concept is easy to understand.  If only two people have email accessibility, email would not be very important.  Only those two people could communicate with each other using electronic mail technology.  If the entire office were given the same email accessibility, email would become much more important.  The more people use something, the more valuable it becomes, which will attract more people to use it.  A prime example of the validity of Metcalfe's law is the Internet.  As more people use it, it will become much more attractive to others.  

Economic Theories of Ronald Coase

 The economic theories of Ronald Coase have produced many opportunities for smaller companies to compete easier with larger, more established firms.  Coase believed that firms are set up to minimize transactional costs.  A larger firm can produce products like steel at lower economies of scale and more efficiently than an individual.  Existing corporations are now competing against the economies of cyberspace.  The economies of cyberspace significantly lower transactional costs more than traditional firms do because of the greatly reduced costs of land, labor, and capital.  An online bank can offer as many advantages that traditional banks currently offer.  This is because the transactional costs of an online bank are much lower.  Their website serves as their "land" and their employees mostly work part-time.  Clearly, Moore's Law, Metcalfe's Law, and the economic theories of Ronald Coase have provided a prosperous environment for killer apps to flourish in today's society.  Killer apps will provide opportunities ... more

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