Having been absolutely killed with stuff the past two weeks, I haven't had time to do any sort of round-up post in a long while ... well, I can change that today and add a bunch of stuff that I've read, and haven't yet shared with the world. So, this is probably going to be even longer than most (that's what happens when I get behind). After this I can maybe start working on a few other writing pieces I need to get started, after I make the obnoxious trip to the DEQ to get my car tags renewed.
Mile-long emails telling me about how so-and-so is the next hot artist blowing up all over my face. New album press releases that assume I have 40 minutes to spend learning all about how some artist “grew up in the poorest regions of such and such area before ‘rising to fame’”. It’s all hype that makes no sense given that you have only 80 fans on Facebook.
During our meetings with multiple vendors on the Computex Taipei, we were talking about pricing options for taking the Windows RT route instead of (free) Android from Google. While it was rumored that Microsoft decided to change their ways and offer a price of about 35 dollars – the reality is that Windows RT will cost staggering USD$80-95 dollars, with $85 being the most commonly quoted price.
This week on America’s favorite two-star podcast, I’m joined by special guest star MG Siegler. Topics include the way that Android, as an ecosystem, is spiraling out of Google’s control; Facebook’s purportedly “disastrous” IPO that actually worked out pretty well for Facebook itself; and a rundown of the various rumors heading into next week’s WWDC.
If PC makers wait until there are no VGA projectors in use before they stop putting VGA ports on laptops, they’ve waited too long. Just copy Apple: get rid of the antiquated port, make thinner computers, and sell $20 adaptors for those who need them.
It's not about stealing. It's about access. The cable companies currently control that access — to the point where HBO will not sell their own content for nearly a year after it has aired. But they could. I'm currently downloading the season finale of Mad Men, which aired earlier tonight. I'm (happily) paying AMC (via iTunes) for that access.
There are about 16 ways this can turn into a disaster for Microsoft. Their entire business model the past few decades has been built upon software licensing. Now their model is hardware sales mixed with software licensing. With the purchase of Motorola, the big fear in the mobile industry is that Google will make this jump as well. With Microsoft now actually doing it, it's a bajillion times worse. At least Android is free (sort of — coincidentally, most OEMs pay Microsoft to use it). Windows is not free. OEMs will be paying Microsoft to directly compete with — wait for it — Microsoft.
The tables are uncluttered and the products are clean. But the main reason notebook computers screens are slightly angled is to encourage customers to adjust the screen to their ideal viewing angle—in other words, to touch the computer!
RIM will no longer be making the 16 GB model of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The 16 GB PlayBook will continue to be available for distributors and retailers while quantities last. We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32 GB and 64 GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world.
So here’s the big controversy of the moment: Adam Carolla is getting fucking hammered for an interview he did where he said that, in his experience, female TV writers tend to not be as funny as male TV writers.
One of the most unnecessary additions to iOS 6 is also one of the most telling. Apple has made the metallic volume slider in the iPod app and elsewhere change its reflection as the iPhone is tilted -- as if it were actually reflecting light. While some may say it's a waste of engineering resources, this shows Apple's incredible attention to detail.
So, let me make sure I understand. Skype is worried that my conversations might not be “engaging” enough. So, instead of my daughter doing funny dances for her grandparents in the US, Skype will “generate fun interactivity” by prompting us to talk about “the brands that we care about”? Like, “Hey, how about that new Magnum ice cream flavor, eh?”
His observations are fascinating. It shows that even though record labels certainly deserve their share of the blame when it comes to the dismal state of the commercial music industry, the history and context of music sharing has an enormous part to play in the rise of modern-day music piracy. The publishing industry has a very different historical context, so we can’t just apply the “lessons” from the music industry to the challenges introduced by digital books.
In perfectly competitive markets, all profit margins tend toward zero. So equity value is a function of the degree to which you can make your market inefficient by making your business hard to copy (so called “defensibility”). If your defensibility depends solely on having superior people, you have what VCs call a “service business.” In a competitve labor market, service businesses tend to have low margins and therefore low equity values. A popular saying about service businesses is “the equity value walks out of the building every night.”
Then, after working night and day to make your vision reality, you wake up to find that things did not go as planned. Your company did not unfold like the Jack Dorsey keynote that you listened to when you started. Your product has issues that will be very hard to fix. The market isn’t quite where it was supposed to be. Your employees are losing confidence and some of them have quit. Some of the ones that quit were quite smart and have the remaining ones wondering if staying makes sense. You are running low on cash and your venture capitalist tells you that it will be difficult to raise money given the impending European catastrophe. You lose a competitive battle. You lose a loyal customer. You lose a great employee. The walls start closing in. Where did you go wrong? Why didn’t your company perform as envisioned? Are you good enough to do this? As your dreams turn into nightmares, you find yourself in The Struggle.
You can see why I was ready to give points for honesty. For once, he actually admitted what he and his allies mean when they talk about shrinking government. Conservatives love to pretend that there are vast armies of government bureaucrats doing who knows what; in reality, a majority of government workers are employed providing either education (teachers) or public protection (police officers and firefighters).