Tornado-Insider. Are anyone going to the UpStart Europe event in Amsterdam this year? I was there two years ago in 2000 when the dotcom optimism was still riding high in Europe. The moods and sentiments are so much different now. It is perfectly acceptable today to ridicule for excess and naivete the same Internet entrepreneurs that were everybodys hero two years ago. Nevertheless, Europe
needs these entrepreneurs! And today the entrepreneurial spirit needs to be nurtured and promoted more than two years ago. So, now events like UpStart Europe are more important today and should be supported.

My problem with UpStart Europe is, however, that I don't know whether it is going to take place and not. The coordinators - Tornado-Insider - is rumored to have gone into bankruptcy (Disclaimer: Readers should regards this information as only a rumor the truth of which the reader should verify himself before relying on it). The Tornado-Insider web-site does not mention any bankruptcy proceedings and suspension of payments.

Good people, however, have been leaving Tornado-Insider. I got this e-mail from a friend of mine - Torben Tackle-Jensen - who has had a key position at Tornado-Insider:

Since joining Tornado Insider in 1999, I have had the privilege to meet and work with many of you in the US and across Europe. Most of us at Tornado Insider will look back on our "Tornado years" as a very special era full of euphoric highs, challenging lows but most of all with a satisfying feeling of having contributed positively to the development of Europe's entrepreneurial community.

I am now looking for new opportunities within the technology/media/investment sectors and would be grateful for any lead or contact. Also feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone you think may be interested in my availability. Please visit my website for more information and full CV: http://www.btinternet.com/~ttakle_jensen.

Gadget galore! Whenever I am in the US I have to buy a new toy. My latest Gadget is the PenCam 2 fra Aiptek Technologies. The PenCam is both at Digital Camera (In high resolution, I can take up to 26 snapshots. In low resolution up to 107, a Digital Camcorder (I can take up to 7 seconds of full live motion video. In low resolution, I can take up to 20 seconds of full live motion video) and PC Camera (I attach the camera to my system using an USB cable. Then I can open any of the normal video-based programs like Microsoft NetMeeting to use the PenCam as a PC camera).

What am I going to use this gadget for? Don't know! I will figure out something. Actually, I will use it at the upcoming PC Forum 2002 conference to take pictures from sessions and meetings and put the on this weblog :-)

Below are my first pictures. Rather bad quality it seems. I will have to work on the settings of the camera!


Personal interview. I was interviewed to Computerworld Online this Monday (18 March 2002). The interview is in Danish. Besides the fact that any interview is feeding my overblown ego and nurturing my narcissistic tendencies, I quite liked this interview. It is a little bit personal. Read it here and make your judgement.
Monster Mesh: Decentralized Wireless Broadband. One the best non-technic description of the technology underpinnings of the new association Open Ether- that I am a co-founder of - is found in Kevin Werbach's article Monster Mesh: Decentralized Wireless Broadband (Originally published on The Feature - January 01, 2002).

Kevin writes:

Unlike traditional arrangements such as client-server, P2P networks use direct connections between autonomous nodes at the edges. Data flows from one user to another, rather than through a central server. The most famous P2P application is Napster. Instead of transferring files from a master repository down to individual users, Napster allows those users to communicate and share files between each other’s hard drives. Other P2P applications offer decentralized collaboration, distributed content delivery for large media files, and cheap computing power for complex calculations by dividing problems among thousands of inexpensive machines. The P2P structure makes it easy to exchange music in violation of copyright restrictions, which is why the recording industry forced Napster to shut down through legal action. However, the P2P approach has unrelated benefits. A P2P network doesn’t depend on a central authority to manage connections and store necessary data. It grows with each new node. Those nodes gain from the connection to a large network, but the network gains as well from what each node brings to the collective. There are no single points of failure, and no requirements that a complete core network be built before the users at the edges can connect. The P2P architecture makes great sense for wireless networks. Direct connections between handheld wireless devices and other local transmitters could replace traditional systems composed of towers and long-distance network backbones.

To me this sound like building a new Internet all over again based on the good old principles: User-centric, decentralized, bases on open standards and so on. Only this time much better: No middle man holding us all hostage with excessive rents of telephone lines, GSM traffic and so on. People communicating digitally directly without no inhibiting intermediary. Just like in the real world when we meet and talk and sound waves are transmitted free of charges through the air.

Kevin Werbach puts it succinctly:

No wiring; no outside distribution plant; no transmission towers; no spectrum licenses. In effect, the network is the endpoints; in the middle is just air.

Working towards this goal is what Open Ether is all about. Nirvana? Utopia? We will see!


Roof terrace view. Just before we left for our trip to the US, Jeanne and I acquired the back building of Admiral Gjeddes Gaard. We are talking about 558 m2 of huge potential and a lot of work! Jeanne will be setting up a Admiral Gjeddes Gaard blog to show more pictures and to document the restoration of the building. Stay tuned. Until then, here is picture showing the view a late March afternoon towards Rundetaarn (the Round Tower) from our new roof terrace. Imagine this view during the summer!

Danish meeting at Coco's LA. Jeanne, Vilhelm and I are in Los Angeles for the next week or so. We just managed to say hello to Peter Lund Meyer - a partner at vonhaller law firm - and his wife to be Kamilla Warberg - also a lawyer at Post Danmark - by meeting this morning for brunch at Coco's - one of these ubiquitous restaurant chains that you will find all over the suburban sprawl. Peter and Kamilla were on their way to LAX.


The Danish eMark. One of the motivations that Gert Birnbacher and I were driven by when we founded the Danish eBusiness Association way back in August 1997 was to facilitate self-regulation of eCommerce in Denmark. The Internet industry, the webshop owners and their customer - primarily the consumers - should come together and agree on a set of rules for how to conduct business on the Internet. I took a long time for this message get accepted. But finally all relevant actors and their organization worked out - after a long and tedious process with lots of political horsetrading - a common ground. This understanding has led to the formation of the Danish eCommerce Foundation at which board I serve (although it is my colleague at vonhaller law firm, Jan Trzaskowski who has being doing the board work the last many months). The Danish eCommerce Foundation has adopted a set of rules for commerce and marketing on the Internet. Those web-site that choose to comply with these rules are granted the right to place the eMark (which is the logo above. Disclaimer www.groenbaek.net has NOT been granted the right to carry the eMark) at their web-sites.

That start has not been easy for the Danish eCommerce foundation in particular because of very limited resources for marketing and operations. However, things are definitely beginning to look brighter. April 3. 2002 the Danish eCommerce foundation will host a conference on Consumer Protection and eCommerce. I will speak at the conference on self-regulation and eCommerce. I think that this conference will mark the coming of age of the Danish eCommerce Foundation and its effort to self-regulate Danish eCommerce. Hopefully so!

Greetings from LA. Jeanne, Vilhelm and I are spending a week in Los Angeles at a friend's place just outside the city. The weather is wonderful - as you can see from the picture that shows a view from our friend's place - when you compare it to the in Copenhagen when we left yesterday. The coming weekend we will drive from LA to Phoenix where I am attending Esther Dyson's PC Forum 2002. More from this event to come...