The future of paper

From a recent discussion with a Korean friend:

Me: “So when do you read newspapers?”
Him: “When the plane is taking off or landing”

I always thought that computers would not replace paper. When I was working for big companies (and on a desktop computer), I used to print a digest in the morning for reading at the cafeteria. But now that I have a laptop, I must admit I read 99% of the time on my screen. Is paper dead?

Where is the Swiss web 2.0

Techcrunch en FrançaisMy buddy Ouriel Ohayon of Techcrunch France kindly asked me to write an article about the Swiss web 2.0. Tough task, as the legendary Swiss discretion combined with the fact that this country is indeed three (and a half) distinct cultural regions. But I am a man of challenge and I have a secret weapon: you my dear readers.

So if you know some good hot Swiss web projects who deserve TechCrunch exposure, please let me know using the comments below or by email at

Commuter writes novel on mobile phone

Marketing or true story? If I had such an idea, I would probably type the whole thing on my computer, then upload it to my phone 5 minutes before the press conference, adding a band aid on my thumb to make the whole thing look more real 🙂

An Italian IT professional who commutes to work each day decided to use his spare time to write an entire book on his mobile. The result, Compagni di Viaggio (Fellow Travelers), clocks in at 384 pages.

The writer, Robert Bernocco, used the T9 function on his phone, but opted for normal Italian rather than text-message shorthand.



Got my hands on the iPhone today. Amazing. Simple. Beautiful. A shame it doesn’t work on our European networks.

Africa: mobile phone vs internet

Despite a good penetration of mobile phones, Africa is on pace to miss the benefits of the Internet age. The number of internet subscribers is incredibly low.

Africa remains the least connected region in the world, and the digital gap between it and the developed world is widening rapidly.

“Unless you can offer Internet access that is the same as the rest of the world, Africa can’t be part of the global economy or academic environment. […] The benefits of the Internet age will bypass the continent.”


We really need to find some speakers from this continent for LIFT08.

Web networkers ‘at risk of fraud’

Credit information group Equifax said members of sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook may be putting too many details about themselves online.

It said fraudsters could use these details to steal someone’s identity and apply for credit and benefits.


Think of all the info your bank or phone operator are asking when you call them. If these are public, you could be in trouble.

Second thoughts about second life?

Four years after Second Life debuted, some marketers are second-guessing the money and time they’ve put into it. […]

most firms were more interested in the publicity they received from their ties with Second Life than in the digital world itself. “It was a way to brand themselves as being leading-edge,” he said. […]

Between May and June, the population of active avatars declined 2.5%, and the volume of U.S. money exchanged within the world fell from a high of $7.3 million in March to $6.8 million in June.

Link (via Bruno)

Time for a bit of I-told-you-so maybe 😉

Global Jam Online Communities for Social Innovation

You are invited to the first Global JAM on Online Communities for Social Innovation, July 18-19. A JAM is an online discussion that is time limited, asynchronous, moderated, and subsequently analyzed.

The goal of this event is to collectively identify technology requirements for effective online communities to better support those working in social change and innovation. The intention is to share what we learn quickly and broadly.


Interesting concept. I wonder how these online brainstorms will evolve once we start having one hundred per day.