May 19, 2013 at 10:30pm
Andy, on memories. Agree with every word.
You see, I don’t need to remember the pain, humiliation, the crap. If I watched those episodes again, if I posted them online to be available for posterity, I am pretty sure I would be disappointed. Embarrassed Reminded of alot of time and money wasted and stupid things done and said.
Instead, I just want to remember that, for a little while, we got a little closer to something, maybe to being cool. We got to touch those who we thought we ourselves wanted to be. We got to pretend we were rock and roll. It was, yes, romantic.
As the details fade, the stories - what we remember of them - become more interesting as the rough edges smooth out. My memories are better than the reality. Not only is that ok, it sustains me as I get older.
Maybe not everything needs to be preserved outside of our minds. As imperfect, fading and fleeting as our memories may be, maybe that is precisely what makes them - and us - special. I’ll stick with those instead.
May 11, 2013 at 2:44pm
This is the relationship Apple *should have* had with Google and Amazon.
Netflix is one of the world’s biggest users of cloud computing, which means running a data center on someone else’s equipment. The company rents server and storage systems by the hour, and it rents all this computing power from Amazon Web Services, the cloud division of Amazon.com, which runs its own video-streaming service that competes with Netflix. It’s a mutually beneficial frenemy relationship. Over the years, Netflix has built an array of sophisticated tools to make its software perform well on Amazon’s cloud. Amazon has mimicked the advances and offered them to other business customers. President Barack Obama’s data-fueled reelection campaign, for example, was run almost entirely on Amazon with the help of code built by Netflix engineers.
May 3, 2013 at 10:10am
The opinion of those who are highly paid should be treated with suspicion while the opinion of those subject to peer review should be treated with respect.
— Horace Dediu
May 2, 2013 at 11:27am
Reblogged from retrowar
(Source: retrowar, via utnereader)
April 20, 2013 at 10:22am
The reason Yahoo is valuable to its investors has nothing to do with it being a consumer Internet company or its display advertising business.
It’s a tracking stock for Alibaba.
(Source: Business Insider)
April 18, 2013 at 9:44am
Show me the money.
Gruber summarizes Apple and their halo effect with a non-startling observation: focus on people with money.
The conventional wisdom is to pursue profits by maximizing market share. Apple pursues profits by specifically targeting only the high-margin segments of the overall market, and effectively forgoing market share in the low-margin segments, no matter how large those low-margin segments are.
April 15, 2013 at 11:08am
Responding to five economists who don’t quite circle the square, a commenter on TechCrunch explains bitcoins in simple language, piece by piece:
On who created it: It is a protocol, not an application. There are multiple implementations, all of them open source. It doesn’t matter who created it it. Take for instance the Web. Does it matter that Tim Barners Lee came up with the idea? Can Tim Barners Lee somehow make it stop working? No. The Web isn’t an application, it’s a protocol and many implementations. Just like Bitcoin.
On being a currency: Bitcoin isn’t a currency. It is a distributed database keeping track of accounts in a shared ledger. Looking at it purely as a currency is an entirely wrong way to see it. It’s a protocol, a distributed peer to peer network, a payment processor, a way to fullfill contracts without counterparty risks, and incidentially, it can be treated as a currency or an investment vehicle.
On being a viable currency: A bitcoin is divisible into 1/100 millionth of a coin (called a satoshi). This is because of the way the protocol is built. The protocol can be updated, so that’s no hard limit. It is therefore free of issues of denomination and fungability.
On being secure: Bitcoin itself is extraordinarily secure. It is more secure than your bank account. It has stood there out in the open ready to be exploited by anybody who can, and it has not been exploited, despite the fact that there is a very high incentive to do so.
On being deflationary: Bitcoin is not deflationary. At least not at the moment. For 2013 it has a nominal inflation of 12%. It is decreasingly inflationary (so deinflationary). By 2017 it will drop below 5% and by 2021 it will drop below 2%.
On being competitive: Bitcoin has the massive potential to disrupt any traditional payment processor such as Visa, PayPal, Amazon Payments, Google Wallet, Master Card, etc. That is because it is a vehicle without counterparty risk, which requires a web of trust to work, which comes at a price and imposes central control. This means it can offer a service (transfer funds from A -> B) extremely fast with virtually no fees compared to the “state of the industry” that hasn’t invented a single new thing in 40 years and charges up to 10% fees.
On mining: Mining is the activity of performing a proof of work (a hard cryptographic problem) and once performed, attach the queued up transactions to the block. It provides an incentive for the miner to run the infrastructure. However it also creates the infrastructure for everybody to use. Compared to traditional ways to provide a transactional infrastructure (huge proprietary installations) it’s an ingenious device running on enlightened self interest.
On having a use: As soon as two parties agree to exchange bitcoins, it has a use.
On having no underlying or backing: Bitcoins underlying is the strength of its cryptography, the soundness of the protocol and the network concept. In short it is backed by mathematics. The USD has no underlying and backing either. More than 95% of the USD in circulation is purely virtual. It is not backed by any underlying. It is backed by the US Government, which isn’t as incorruptible as mathematics.
On volatility: Traditional currency pairs can go trough massive swings in a matter of days or weeks as well. On regulation: You cannot regulate bitcoin. That’s technically impossible. You can regulate exchanges, but then people just find less trackable means to exchange coins (like ripple).
On anonymity: Bitcoin is not anonymous. As soon as you transfer coins to an address known to a would-be investigator, an investigation can identify exactly the path these coins took and start following the breadcrumb of who handed the coins. It’s difficult, but easier than tracking hard-cash exchanges.
On alternative cryptocurrencies: It is technically impossible for any government with a central bank and a mint to introduce bitcoin. And any alternative to bitcoin, would have to be very similar to bitcoin, to the point of actually just being bitcoin. Like I said earlier, it’s a protocol, and it’s a very very sound protocol. Suggesting alternatives that somehow “fix” bitcoin will emerge is as silly as the sentence “Yeah the internet, it’s not perfect, maybe somebody will come up with a better one and that’s what we’ll all use”.
April 9, 2013 at 8:39pm
“The first sheet comes out. The guy rips it off the caddy, puts it on this big table at the press control panel with the lights that are tuned to get true color. He takes out his loop, he makes some adjustments. Finally he says, “We’re ready.” John looks at the sheet and says, “I want more ink.” The guy says, “It’s perfect.” John says, “I want more ink.” The guy looks at him like he’s got two heads. He does the same thing all over again. John says, “More ink.” They do this two or three more times. John says, “Turn the ink up until it smears. Then dial it back until it doesn’t. That’s what I want.” The guy is disgusted. Out comes a sheet and it looks like Wired.”
The making of Wired
March 20, 2013 at 11:22am
She’s ahead by the third take. And doesn’t even bother to look down.
March 19, 2013 at 11:43pm
End of days.
While we’re on the subject of Steve, I re-read the “AT&T rant” and its perfect ending.
Now there was silence again. This time I was the one not talking. There was this weird lump in my throat, this tightness in my chest. I had this vision of the future — a ruined empire, run by number crunchers, squalid and stupid and puffed up with phony patriotism, settling for a long slow decline. “Okay,” I said. “Nice talking to you.” Then I hung up.
Fake Steve Jobs is some of the best satirical writing of the last couple decades, and the rant is the brightest flame in Lyon’s feverish work.
March 15, 2013 at 3:48pm
The desire for the “Oh, how the mighty Apple has fallen” narrative is so strong that the narrative is simply being stated as fact, evidence to the contrary be damned. It’s reported as true simply because they want it to be true. They’re declaring “The King is dead; long live the King” not because the king has actually died or abdicated the throne, but because they’re bored with the king and want to write a new coronation story.
We eat our young. We kill our kings.
What House of Cards means for the future of television.
Netflix is in a very interesting place to dictate how the medium evolves from both a creative and a business standpoint, and THAT’S the big takeaway from all of this: I think it’s a fair assessment to say that Netflix is now the dominant company driving the evolution of the television industry. Netflix has made something that changes all the established rules, and is forcing the established competition to play by the ruleset that Netflix invented - and controls.
February 24, 2013 at 9:59am
True, because it’s true.
Adam Sternbergh, writing in the Times:
“I no longer question my ongoing fondness of John McClane. Even as the movies keep getting worse, the idea of McClane becomes all the more appealing. In fact, he makes more sense to me at 42 than he did at 17. All those heroes who once stood for certainty, fearlessness and unwavering confidence have been swept away, their statues toppled — and the one still standing is the one who represents fear, anxiety, frustration, uncertainty and, despite it all, irrational hope. This is a jittery world, and increasingly so, and complex beyond understanding, and at times it all seems stitched together by the barest of threads, and this feeling only gets worse as you get older. Expertise, it turns out, offers little solace. So it makes sense that the best, most enduring modern hero is not one who vows to wrap his muscular arms around the world and hold it all together. It’s the one who promises that, when it all falls apart, you can still hope to hobble away from it, limping on your glass-shredded feet, bloodied but somehow still intact.”
(Source: The New York Times)
January 17, 2013 at 2:49pm
“Take me for a ride, as far away from myself as I can go—even to the place from which my whole soul will recoil; I want to know everything.” Quote • Image
January 9, 2013 at 11:02pm
In the end, it may be that all of Silicon Valley, rather than Valve Software, is the most interesting spontaneous order unit to study.
— The most interesting company in tech: Valve — Remains of the Day