Murray pulls out of Wimbledon practice match with sore hip

first_imgWorld Number One Andy Murray pulled out of an exhibition match at London’s Hurlingham Club on Tuesday with a sore hip, less than a week before the start of Wimbledon.“His hip is a bit sore,” said a spokesman for the Scot, who had been due to face Frenchman Lucas Pouille.Murray’s withdrawal was precautionary and the two-time Wimbledon champion intended to play at the club on Friday, the spokesman said.Murray added the two matches at the Aspall Tennis Classic to his schedule to gain grass court practice after a surprising first-round exit from last week’s Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club.Murray’s form has been patchy during a 2017 season that has been disrupted by shingles, an elbow injury and influenza.Wimbledon begins on July 3.last_img read more

Man United well equipped for double bid, says Matic

first_imgManchester United are well placed to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League titles amid strong competition on both fronts, the club’s Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic told Reuters on Monday.The 29-year old defensive midfielder blended seamlessly into Jose Mourinho’s side after joining from Chelsea during the close-season and made an immediate impact in their opening three league wins which put United top of the standings.“At the age of 29 I am an experienced player and at that stage of my career I shouldn’t need too much time to adapt,” Matic said as the Serbian national team gathered on Monday for World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ireland.“I knew many of United’s players from before as I’ve played against them quite a few times so I had a pretty good idea what I was walking into.“The team helped me adapt quickly, they treated me like one of their own in the dressing-room from the very first day. We’ve made a pretty good start in the Premier League but it’s a long season and we will see how it goes.”United, who won a record-extending 20th league title in 2013 in Alex Ferguson’s last season as manager, scored 10 goals and conceded none in their opening three wins with Matic efficiently pulling the strings in midfield.They captured their third Champions League crown in 2008 and won the Premier League in the same season but Matic acknowledged that repeating the feat in Mourinho’s second campaign in charge of United would be a tall order.“Winning the Premier League title will be a tough task not just for us but for everyone because there are five or six realistic contenders,” said Matic, who helped Chelsea to two league titles during his two spells with the champions.“But we all know that Manchester United are expected to win every game. As far as the Champions League is concerned, we’ve had a favourable draw and we are hopeful of still being in the competition in the latter stages.“The 2-1 UEFA Supercup defeat against Champions League holders Real Madrid was a good test of our credentials to slug it out with Europe’s best.“We were outplayed but that was a one-off while the Champions League is a competition where you face different rivals in every round.”Matic earned instant praise from Mourinho after the match in Skopje, having previously worked with the Portuguese manager at Chelsea.He remained tight-lipped, however, about his move from Stamford Bridge which prompted many to conclude that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had made a big mistake by letting him go.“No comment,” Matic replied when asked whether he wanted to leave Chelsea’s title-winning side or became a surplus to requirements after Conte signed Tiemoue Bakayoko from French champions Monaco.United were drawn with Benfica, Basel and CSKA Moscow in the Champions League group stage.last_img read more

“The Legend of Tarzan” misses the vines and falls flat on its CGI face

first_imgDavid Yates’ “The Legend of Tarzan” got lost somewhere between the treetops and the fall to a big fat F. Alright, maybe not an F but a C minus. This film is undeniably one of the most disappointing adaptations of the original Tarzan.Sure, there were some fantastic ape-yelling, vine-swing scenes but everything was so grim – even the green CGI could not salvage it. This movie killed every child’s vision of Tarzan being the funny, cool hip ape-man saving his lass from a menace that hates the ape world.Now, the audience reaction to this contemporary Tarzan might be polarising, but everyone can admit Alexander Skarsgard was game – chest and abs. It is funny though, he looked more of a Calvin Klein model than an ape-man with a lot on his plate. A refined Tarzan? Yup – that is exactly what Yates and his screenwriters put us through in the cinema. Tarzan is a teacup drinking, sandwich loving Lord in England. There is no loincloth; instead our hero swings around in nice khaki pants while his far from 19th Century love Jane is a 20th century feminist.The film is literally weighed down by a thematic load too much for a single movie to bite. The story is so stuffed with ideas of animal versus human conflicts, exploration v exploitation, and primitivism v civilisation that it deflates into jungle mess.It just failed to compel and entertain like other Tarzans in the past. The story does not meet its audience emotionally although it attempts. There are a lot of flashbacks for the audience to bond with the character but the minute an atom of empathy, rises up they flash back to the future. So instead all they managed to do is defeat the crux of telling a gripping story.Basically, the story is surrounded by elements that sort of just feel like an excuse to have Tarzan swinging around on vines while the elements of the story that do feel like they have more emotional weight are rushed and brushed aside.It also revolting that the computer generated apes have more tension and life than the humans; it might as well have been an animated film. But not all is bad. The CI in the movie is fantastic; the apes were striking and excitingly real, while the scene when a pair of lions nuzzle Clayton is heart-melting.Even though it is hard to fault Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films excellently, it is safe to say, the “Legend of Tarzan” has too much ambition, so much it flopped. Yates did great things with Harry Potter so this is indubitably a long fall from glory.His Tarzan is too tame to be wild.last_img read more

Vendors complain of slow, biased relocation system

first_imgAs the row between the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) and the vendors continues, vendors are yet again dissatisfied with the relocation system. However, Town Clerk Royston King is confident that the system is fair.Vendors are complaining about the slow pace of the system of relocation is going.“I am out here since 7:00am and can’t get through yet,” a vendor told this newspaper at 16:30h.The town clerk indicated that the process was moving at that pace since the council is trying to ensure the process is “fair to everyone”.On the other hand, some vendors are contending that there may be some biasness in the allocation process since a number of persons are going to the Market Clerk subsequent to them and are given spots even as they wait.However, the Town Clerk in contesting this argument noted that the council is operating in phases to relocate the vendors to the temporary location beginning with the 133 vendors. He added that the 133 vendors have been registered with the market and Council and are known to the council to do business in that area.“The council has a register and we are working with it. That register is managed by the Market Clerk and I am confident that she will do a job that is fair,” King told this publication.He acknowledged that the Council has a huge problem with unregistered vendors, who are now coming forward to claim spots ahead of those registered.According to him, the council will give preference to the 133 registered vendors and will also accommodate a few from America Street.“There are some we will allow to remain back down to the Water Street area in a more organised manner but right now we are dealing with the vendors around the Stabroek Market Square.”The Town Clerk noted that he is happy about the temporary location and is encouraging patrons to support this move.Even as this is being done, some vendors are still not pleased with the new arrangements.One vendor who sells drinks said the new arrangements are not financially feasible for his business.“This location is a waste of time because we depend on people who travel with public transportation to support us and if we go there nobody will come there to buy a drink and go back,” the upset vendor complained.Prior to the relocation, over 400 vendors had plied their trade in the Stabroek Market area, however the new location can only accommodate 150 tents—at a squeeze at that.Vendors are aware that the space is insufficient to facilitate them but King said the Council is trying to facilitate as many vendors as possible.“We will accommodate as many as we can but when we reach that bridge we will cross it,” he said.According to vendors, they are faced with two alternatives if not awarded a spot – they will go back to their old spots or look for other work.One vendor contended that the City Council is taking away his honest means of making a living, noting that he is disappointed.“They putting we out of honest living,” the man said.Over the past week, vendors operating in the vicinity of the Stabroek Market Square were engaged in heated confrontations with M&CC after word surfaced that the council will be relocating them to facilitate works on the area for the 50th Anniversary of Guyana’s Independence.The relocation is said to be temporary.Meanwhile President David Granger on Friday called on the Council to hasten its efforts to prepare and provide an alternative location for the vendors.last_img read more

Were open to offers after Bidvest collapse

first_img0Shares0000Jesee Were pose with his trophy after being crowned July SJAK Sport-Pesa Player of the Month. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, August 25 – After his dream to play for South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Bidvest Wits collapsed, lethal Tusker FC forward Jesse Were, is open to new offers outside the domestic top flight league.Were, was crowned SportPesa SJAK Player of the Month of July after notching a hat-trick of successive trebles against Chemelil Sugar, Thika United and GOtv Shield Champions, Sofapaka. The Brewers’ skipper became the fifth winner of the accolade as he hopes to transfer his top scoring form in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) to national side Harambee Stars when they host 2012 champions, Zambia in an 2017 AFCON qualifier on September 6 in Nairobi.“The award came as a surprise since there are many talented strikers in the country but now that I have got it, I intend to do even more. My target this season was 20 goals and I’m one shy.“I’m concentrating to ensure my team performs well since its success comes first,” Were said after receiving the gong engraved with his name that comes along with Sh50,000 in cash and a 42-inch smart television.Were spent a week at Bidvest undergoing Trials with the University side but things didn’t go his way after getting a concussion while playing for the club in friendly before he was released to return home for further development.According club, Were can return for another look in during the December mid season transfer window.“Things went well in South Africa, the coach liked everything about me but he wanted somebody who would adapt their league immediately. He (coach) told me it will take two months to adapt which is impossible for him since he was under pressure to deliver.“Most probably I will play abroad next season but my agent is working on it,” the 26-year-old explained.Were, who has three months left with his contract with Tusker, was sorely missed by the Brewers who allowed him to leave for a two-week trial with the SPL side in South Africa after they failed to win in his absence.Head coach, Francis Kimanzi was delighted his talisman is back for the remainder of the season as they seek to finish with a flourish after an underwhelming season by their standards.“He (Were) should now improve on his weakness because it’s part of his development and if he can challenge top defenders in the country then he is one of the great strikers we have.“Let’s see how he will perform in the national team then that will give us the measure where he will be in the next two years,” Kimanzi, who is facing a rough season after fading off as top contender, underlined.“We will pick-up where we left in the coming fixture and get back to our winning ways. I know there will be many offers coming and I will be willing to hear from any of them since my contract is ending in three months,” the former Mathare United striker added.His eye for the goal has seen Stars head coach, Bobby Williamson retain him in the provisional squad to host the Chipolopolo at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.“We don’t give our national team the attention it deserves because teams like Zambia they went to camp on 16th of August but things are different here, we still have the KPL games to play.“I urge FKF or KPL if it’s time for the national team they should at least give players two months to prepare.“Fans are expecting us to deliver against Zambia but it will be hard since the little time we have, is not enough for us to gel,” Were, who earned his national team debut September, 2013 urged.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Stoke boss Mark Hughes defiant as pressure builds

first_img1 The Potters sit two points above the relegation zone Under-pressure Stoke boss Mark Hughes insisted he was not bothered by criticism and defended his selection decisions after his side’s 1-0 home loss to Newcastle.There were boos from Potters fans at the final whistle of the New Year’s Day contest – in which Ayoze Perez netted a 73rd-minute winner – and a ‘Hughes Out’ banner was on display.Stoke are 16th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone, having won only two of their last 12 games.When Hughes was asked in his post-match press conference about the fans’ reaction, he said: “It is to be expected.“I think for the last two or three weeks, the agenda within the media and lots of platforms, and social media… that is what was going to happen.“It doesn’t bother me – what bothers me is that the team needs to be doing better, because then any criticism that comes our way, then that noise goes away.”Hughes – under whom Stoke finished ninth three times in a row before coming 13th last term – added: “At the moment we are disappointing too many people, including ourselves.“But I’ll remind people the reason people are disappointed is that at the moment we’re below the high standards that have been set here. But those high standards were set by me and my staff.“We need to do something about it, and that is what we will endeavour to do.“It’s difficult times at the moment, so we just have to stick our shoulders back and chests out and get on with it.“It’s about making sure you show character and take any criticism or flak that comes your way. You just have to deal with that and not be cowed by it.”Hughes had opted to rest some key men from Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Chelsea in a bid to be as strong as possible against Newcastle, making six changes on each occasion.The gamble backfired but the Welshman said: “Everybody keeps going on about this. (Newcastle boss) Rafa Benitez today makes six changes [actually five]. So what is the difference?“Everybody has made changes. If we’d won today it would’ve been great management. It’s gone against us, against me, but I’m brave enough to take it on the chin.“I did it for the right reasons. I would still have done the same decisions, given the same circumstances again.”Stoke were 3-0 down by half-time against Chelsea and Hughes added: “I made the decision in the second half at Chelsea to say ‘right, we can’t win this game – I’ll look after these players with a view that we’ll be stronger and better-equipped to play a second game in 48 hours’.“And I’m going to get criticised for that? I think it is unfair if I do.”last_img read more

Man United ‘make improved contract offer’ to David de Gea

first_img Lampard appears to aim dig at Mourinho for handling of Salah and De Bruyne at Chelsea Getty Images 2 “Towards the end now he’s been in the headlines maybe for the wrong reasons, but, as I’ve said so many times, he has to deal with that.“The goalkeeping department are a fantastic group together, with Emilio (Alvarez, goalkeeping coach), Sergio (Romero), Lee (Grant) and David.“They’ve been such a tight-knit group, so they’ve experienced better times obviously than just now.” GETTY 2 deals Wilfried Zaha always wanted to join Arsenal and has supported the club from a young age United have reopened contract talks with De Gea Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Solskjaer gives Pogba fitness update and calls him world’s best all-round midfielder Former Crystal Palace and West Brom manager Pardew takes over at Dutch strugglers Tottenham issue immediate ban to supporter who threw cup at Kepa Manchester United have made an improved offer to David De Gea in an attempt to finally agree upon a contract extension, it is understood.Marcus Rashford this week committed his long-term future to the Old Trafford giants and the club are attempting to persuade the Spain goalkeeper to do the same. REVEALED Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Negotiations with De Gea bumbled along all last season, with demands around the deal holding things up despite the goalkeeper’s apparent desire to remain at a club he joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011.The situation is becoming more pressing as the 28-year-old is out of contract next summer.However, it is understood United have made another offer as discussions over a new deal continue.De Gea has been strongly linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, while links to Real Madrid are never far from the surface after going so close to moving to the Bernabeu in 2015. punished JIBE Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:12Loaded: 98.22%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:12 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen De Gea has been stalling on a new deal for some time boost LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star TROPHY The 28-year-old has been named Man United’s Player of the Year on a record four occasions during an outstanding spell at Old Trafford, but he made a serious of high-profile blunders towards the end of the last campaign.Asked about De Gea‘s form towards the end of the 2018-19 season, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Of course we trust him, he’s been fantastic this season. New job latest LATEST targets Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Liverpool update ‘Champions Wall’ after ending 2019 as European and world champions last_img read more

Gordon recalls Hampden loss to Ross County ahead of clash

first_img“We have done well against them in recent times but you don’t have to look too far back to the one at Hampden where they managed to beat us.“So we know that if we don’t play up to our standards then we are in for a really tough game.“We will have to concentrate fully, get our own preparation right and if we do that we will go in with the confidence on the back of what is an incredible unbeaten run.”The champions finish off the year with a trip to Ibrox on Hogmanay, in what will be their ninth game in December. Craig Gordon recalled Celtic’s Hampden Park defeat to Ross County earlier this season as a warning ahead of his side’s festive clash with the Staggies.The Highlanders came from behind to beat Ronny Deila’s team in the League Cup semi-final in January, ending the Hoops’ hopes of a domestic treble.Celtic now face the Staggies having yet to suffer a defeat in the Scottish Premiership this season, but Gordon is wary of the threat the Dingwall side will pose.“They are a very difficult team to play against,” said the Parkhead goalkeeper. But Gordon underlined that focus is on the match against Ross County.The Scotland keeper said: “We are very focused on the next one. We have done that the whole way along and we will continue to do that.“We have used a big number of players in the last few weeks as the fixtures have been really heavy, everybody is contributing and just looking towards the next game.“It is hard. We have used our squad and everybody who has come in has stepped up and we have continued to win games.“If we can continue to do that for the next few games and put in the performances, we will give ourselves a good chance to finish the month unbeaten.”last_img read more

Weekly Wrapup, 25-29 June 2007

first_imgWho’sAsking? A Roundup of Q&A SitesSwap Meet2.0: Selling Handmade Goods OnlineKeeping Tabson Web 2.0R/WW Network Blogs Our Digital Lifestyle blog last100 tells usabout 3 features they wrote this week: richard macmanus Tags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups Fiveresources to create a Wii media centerthe NeurosOSD, a media center set-top-box based on open-source firmwareVuze, an application for Mac or PC that allows users to search, browse, and download‘near DVD’ and HD quality video content, using the peer-to-peer protocol,BitTorrent. Over on AltSearchEngines, there are some excellentreviews of new search engines – including green ones,Russianones, and cooking search engines.Startup Action This week’s Startup of the Week is Zude, aStartPage on Steroids that Phil Butler reviewed. We also reviewed, in depth, the followingnew Web products Fairtilizer,a new Online Music service (with an odd name!) and the much hyped Spock,which Alex Iskold says is vertical search done right.PollOur poll this week asked: will you buyan iPhone; and if so – when?. We had a little under 1000 votes (as at press time) andhere are the results:—I’ll buy it as soon as it’s available in my country (June 29 for US) 19% (185votes)I’ve already got an iPhone! (e.g. you’re press, or won a prize, etc) 0% (3 votes)I’ll wait a few months, then buy one 22% (214 votes)I have no plans to buy one, at this stage 42% (406 votes)I’ll never buy one! 17% (160 votes)—So 42% have no plans to buy one at this stage, while a further 17% say they’ll neverbuy one. Somewhat surprising that nearly 60% of respondants won’t be buying an iPhone inthe near future, given that Read/WriteWeb has a very early adopter audience. Only 19%said they’ll buy it immediately.That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.iPhone pic: lead.salad Featured Posts Josh Catone brought us 3 new market review posts: Yahoo!2.0: Its Reorganization and FutureFacebookAcquisitions: Fad or Proof of Platform Success?Googlevs. Microsoft: Just a ‘PR Stunt’Google’sMarissa Mayer on The Future of SearchGoogle’s Sheryl Sandberg on Next-Generation AdvertisingFor the more developer-inclined among you, you will enjoy Alex Iskold’s proposal forStandardURLs, which Alex says will result in a Web with Less Search. We also continued our popular Top Web Apps internationalseries, with a look at the Top Web Apps inCanada. As you will see from that post, Canada is home to a lot of innovative webservices and the population there is very Internet-savvy. Related Posts center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The Weekly Wrapups have been a feature of Read/WriteWeb since the beginning of January2005 (when they were called Web 2.0 Weekly Wrapups). Nowadays the Wrapup is designedfor those of you who can’t keep up with a daily dose of RSS. Here then is a summary ofthe week’s Web Tech action on Read/WriteWeb. Note that you can subscribe to the WeeklyWrapups, either via the specialRSS feed or byemail.Top Web News This week was dominated by iPhone Fever, which ended Fridayevening US time when they were finally released to the public (as you can see from thephoto on the left). The hype and anticipation around Apple’s launch of the iPhone – forthose non-geeks among you, a next generation mobile phone based on iPod and otherinnovations – was incredible. Read/WriteWeb focused on the web applications beingdeveloped for the iPhone. See our post iPhone WebDevelopment Frenzy for an overview of the web apps being readied for the iPhone. Alsowe looked at Office Apps onthe iPhone, in particular the brewing competition between iPhone and the leadingcorporate PIM/phone device, the Blackberry. We also reviewed the first iPhone Development platform, created by Morfik.Somewhat overshadowed by Apple was the Dayof Silence from Internet radio stations. last100covered this too. On Tuesday thousands of US-based webcasters went silent for a day,in a unified effort to draw attention to the Copyright Board’s pending 300%Internet radio royalty hike. Notably absent: last.fm, which was recently acquired byCBS.There was plenty of other news this week:CNN.com ToLaunch Web 2.0 Re-design This WeekendLinkedInto Open Up – How It Can Take On FacebookGoogle Opens Pocket to Gadget DevelopersMicrosoftAnnounces Next Generation of Windows LiveAnalysis Posts This week we explored recent trends and activities around some ofthe big companies: Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Microsoft. Here are those posts:last_img read more

Cloud Computing Is More Than a Computer in the Cloud

first_imgIt is quite a remarkable feeling to watch as the pieces fall into place and the picture, anticipated for so long, is finally revealed in all its splendour. As with any jigsaw that lacked a guiding picture on the box, the final result is that inevitable mix of vindication and surprise. Some areas of the picture are wholly unexpected, some look as one predicted, while across most of the image there are new facets to explore in familiar places, anticipated scenes to compare with long-held expectations, and assumptions to challenge or validate.Recent advances in the business of cloud computing form just such a picture and reach out to encompass previously unrelated aspects of Web 2.0, the semantic web, platform computing, software as a service (SaaS), and the economics of disruption.This is a guest post by Paul Miller, a Semantic Web and Cloud Computing expert who was most recently a Technology Evangelist at UK technology company, Talis.Not merely some game of buzzword bingo on an unprecedented scale, cloud computing is coming into its own, and it is becoming increasingly easy to see the opportunities for a significant shift in the way we access computational resources and to recognize that the walls separating organizations from their peers, partners, competitors, and customers will become ever-more permeable to the flow of data through which those distant machines will compute.There are many areas to understand that have already been ascertained in related fields, and many ideas unique to this space to discover. One early challenge is to carve a distinct niche for the place we are moving towards with such rapidity. Far more than “just” a cloud, it is an evolutionary cycle beyond the playful flippancy that diminishes so many of Web 2.0’s poster children, and it is difficult to relate to mainstream misconceptions of the semantic web’s complexity. Yet this new place is greater than the sum of its parts. So do we sustain the already ephemeral notion of cloud computing? Do we appropriate the “next big thing” label of Web 3.0? Or do we need a fresh attitude towards business computing’s apparently insatiable desire to apply labels?First, though, let us consider the shape of this thing that is taking on more substance with each passing day.Reporting on last month’s Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, CNET’s Dan Farber notes that “the cloud was omnipresent,” before closing his report with the observation that “cloud computing won’t be very compelling without what is variously called Web 3.0 or the semantic web.”Indeed.For too long, the emphasis in cloud computing circles has been almost exclusively on the provision of rapidly scalable and ad hoc remote computing on top of cost-effective commodity hardware. The cloud play by Salesforce, Amazon’s EC2, and the rest has been dominated by the implicit assumption that these cloud-based resources are an extension of the corporate data center; a way to simply reduce the costs of enterprise computing.There is value down this road, but there are bigger opportunities.Nick Carr is among those who fear that a small number of players may come to dominate the provision of cloud resources. He outlines many of these arguments in his latest book, The Big Switch, and more recently had an interesting discussion with Tim O’Reilly on the topic. Justin Leavesley shares some of Talis‘ views on the economics behind all of this over on Nodalities, broadly agreeing with Tim O’Reilly:“It’s pretty clear that utility cloud computing is highly capital intensive so it should come as no surprise that there are powerful economies of scale to be had. But the bottom line is that you are talking about plant and power. These are rival goods, scarce resources that are created and consumed. This is not different from many utility industries with one exception: the distribution network has global reach, already exists and is very cheap compared to existing utility distribution networks. It is a lot cheaper to access a computing resource on the other side of the planet than it is to send electricity or gas across the globe… [So] what is to stop economies of scale turning this into a global natural monopoly?“Actually, unless there are some large network effects, quite a lot stops single companies ruling entire industries. For a start, without network effects, economies of scale tend to run out: the curve is usually U-shaped. Telecoms, gas, rail companies have strong network effects from their infrastructure — it makes little sense to have duplicate rail networks or gas networks in a country. Utility computing does not have this advantage because the distribution network is not owned by them.”Continuing the conversation, Carr summarizes the usual widely held perception of cloud computing nicely:“The history of computing has been a history of falling prices (and consequently expanding uses). But the arrival of cloud computing — which transforms computer processing, data storage, and software applications into utilities served up by central plants — marks a fundamental change in the economics of computing. It pushes down the price and expands the availability of computing in a way that effectively removes, or at least radically diminishes, capacity constraints on users. A PC suddenly becomes a terminal through which you can access and manipulate a mammoth computer that literally expands to meet your needs. What used to be hard or even impossible suddenly becomes easy.”This is quite true, but it continues and further entrenches the misapprehension that the cloud is little more than an adjunct to the corporate data centre, a misapprehension that we shall get down to challenging in a moment.First, though, there is a growing recognition that today’s market leaders will inevitably need to become more interoperable if this business segment, and they, are to grow. The proprietary nature of their offerings today may allow them to innovate ahead of the standards process (which will be shaped in large part by the lessons they learn), and the relatively high cost of switching to a competitor today may give each the critical mass on which to invest and grow; but the characteristics of the current market are clearly the characteristics of a nascent market: computing’s new Wild West. As so often before, standardization, true competition, mainstream adoption, and commoditization will all follow as we move towards phases 2 and 3 of Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman‘s intriguing analysis of the “evolution of the cloud computing market.” Similarly, Erica Naone offered a useful overview of cloud computing’s open-source component in Technology Review last month. None of the projects she covers are a significant challenge to Amazon’s EC2, Microsoft’s Azure, Salesforce’s Force.com or Google’s App Engine… yet. But together, they help to keep these commercial entrants honest and remind all of us that switching costs can be brought very low indeed if the pain of the status quo becomes too great.Writing “Welcome to the Data Cloud?” for ZDNet in October, I began to explore the important role that data could and should play in the cloud:“Just as ‘we’ used to duplicate and under-utilize computational resources, so we do something very similar with our data. We expensively enter and re-enter the same facts, over and over again. We over-engineer data capture forms and schemas, making collection exorbitantly expensive, whilst often appearing to do all we can to limit opportunities for re-use. Under the all-too-easy banners of ‘security’ and ‘privacy’ we secure individual data stores and fail to exploit connections with other sources, whether inside or outside the enterprise.“In a small way, the efforts of the Linked Data Project‘s enthusiasts have demonstrated how different things should be. The cloud of contributing data sets grows from month to month, and the number of double-headed arrows denoting a two-way linkage is on the rise. Even the one-way relationships that currently dominate the diagram are a marked improvement on ‘business as usual’ elsewhere on the data web; even in these cases, data from a third party is being re-used (by means of a link across the web) rather than replicated or re-invented. Costs fall. Opportunities open up. Both resources, potentially, improve. The strands of the web grow stronger.”It is here, in the use and reuse of data, that the potential of the cloud will be realized. Back to the previously cited conversation between Nick Carr and Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly himself comes very close to saying so:“In short, Google is the ultimate network effects machine. ‘Harnessing collective intelligence’ isn’t a different idea from network effects, as Nick argues. It is in fact the science of network effects — understanding and applying the implications of networks.“I want to emphasize one more point: the heart of my argument about Web 2.0 is that the network effects that matter today are network effects in data. My thought process (outlined in ‘The Open Source Paradigm Shift‘ and then in ‘What is Web 2.0?,’ went something like this:The consequence of IBM’s design of a personal computer made out of commodity, off-the-shelf parts was to drive attractive margins out of hardware and into software, via Clayton Christensen’s ‘law of conservation of attractive profits.’ Hardware became a low margin business; software became a very high margin business.Open-source software and the standardized protocols of the Internet are doing the same thing to software. Margins will go down in software, but per the law of conservation of attractive profits, this means that they will go up somewhere else. Where?The next layer of attractive profits will accrue to companies that build data-backed applications in which the data gets better the more people use the system. This is what I’ve called Web 2.0.It’s network effects (perhaps more simply described as virtuous circles) in data that ultimately matter, not network effects per se.”(my emphasis)Talis CTO Ian Davis would appear to agree, commenting:“People need to be investing in their data as the long-term carrier of value, not the applications around them… The data is more likely to persist than the software, so it’s important to get the data right and take care of it.”Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, too, used his Dreamforce User Conference this month to move a company long associated with the “data-centre extending cloud” firmly in the direction of embracing data and the network. As Krishnan Subramaniannoted on Cloud Ave before the keynote:“Till now, the Force.com platform served business users to develop apps that can be used internally within an organization. They have to tap into Force.com APIs from outside platforms to offer customer-facing web apps. With the new initiative, it becomes easy for customers to allow the Internet users to ‘interact’ with their data.”Over on VentureBeat, Anthony Ha had more:“Salesforce.com wants to become an even big player in the cloud computing market with a new service called Force.com Sites, which allows companies to host public-facing web applications in the Force.com platform. That means Salesforce — nominally a maker of customer relationship management (CRM) software, but also an increasingly important platform for business-related applications — is moving closer to direct competition with cloud giants like Amazon Web Services and the Google App Engine.”Locked away within an organization and only accessed by that organization’s applications, data cannot be put to full use. Much of the value in each individual datum lies in comparing it to other measurements, in delving into detail, and in pulling back to observe the bigger picture.Organizations that believe that either the big picture or the detail resides in their own systems alone are woefully misguided. Even the most specialized, proprietary, and confidential of data only reveal their true value when put in context, and that context is all the richer when informed by numerous perspectives.Cloud computing, and the various SaaS movements, have finally brought us to a place where the fiercely guarded and tightly delineated boundaries between the organization and those outside it may become permeable in ways that should benefit the organization rather than threaten it. Data is just a resource. In the terminology of Geoffrey Moore, most data are often mere context, and there are savings to be made both in reusing the data of others and in re-selling necessary context to those prepared to pay. Some data, of course, is core to the business, and this may continue to receive the same reverence and protection that we misguidedly apply to the entire database today. Even here, though, the opportunities afforded by (controlled?) sharing may outweigh any desire to maintain data protectionism.The language of Groundswell offers opportunities to go further, to embrace and exploit the behaviors and motivations of customers and the wider web.There is clearly far more to say in clarifying this view of both the components and the whole, but at over 2,000 words, this post has perhaps gone on long enough.For now, then, we should conclude by asking what role the semantic web has to play in any of this. The semantic web, with its unadulterated recognition of the primacy of the web’s hyperlink? The semantic web, designed from the outset to convey context and relationships derived from data spread across the web? The semantic web, supported by technologies that operate openly and on the scale of the web?Isn’t it obvious yet?Returning to the Web 2.0 Summit with which we began, another presentation was from Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired Magazine. Steve Gillmor and Nicole Ferraro reported on his presentation at the time, and the video was subsequently shared online, echoing Kelly’s earlier presentation (which I greatly enjoyed), in which he argued:“You have to be open to having your data shared… which is a much bigger step than just sharing your web pages or your computer.”Yep, here we go, on a journey toward Kevin Kelly’s “World Wide Database,” which will take in a lot of the shifts facing enterprise computing along the way.This is a guest post by Paul Miller, a Semantic Web and Cloud Computing expert who was most recently a Technology Evangelist at UK technology company, Talis. guest author 1 Tags:#cloud computing#conferences#web#Web 2.0 Summit 2008 Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more