If you think the war on privacy and the rise of the surveillance state is bad enough in the First World, just imagine how bad it will be in nations where the people are poor, their governments have few checks and balances, and there’s no tradition of civil liberties. And surveillance technology gets cheaper much [...]
whether you actually need to upgrade to the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4S is pretty debatable: the improved hardware makes it worthwhile—but the flimsy materials arguably make it more of W downgrade than anything else. For me, they took much of the excitement out of an otherwise worthy set of small but useful improvements to the device.
Facebook is indeed, as Blodget says, extremely expensive relative to its expected earnings over the next year or two. But, unlike most businesses, Facebook’s long-term upside has nothing to do with its expected earnings over the next year or two. It’s believed by many to be extraordinarily valuable not because of its advertising income but because it has a real chance of becoming a company unlike any that has ever existed before, with the possible exception of pre-breakup AT&T.
It’s amazing how the idea that Facebook somehow succeeded in abolishing the traditional business model (its ‘upside has nothing to do with its expected earnings over the next year or two’) is surviving even the most botched IPO in stock market history. Despite this article being almost surreal in its naivety, it makes fascinating reading.
Facebook isn’t staring into the abyss—yet. But Mr Zuckerberg, like many of his generation, appears structurally incapable of long-term planning. He should have been acutely concerned at the fact that his brainchild’s IPO valuation, at about 65 times consensus 2013 estimated earnings per share, was, by any stretch of the imagination, absurd. Despite the post-IPO correction, it still is. And the idea that Facebook might somehow solve the trap into which it is being drawn in mobile by developing a phone runs directly counter to everything we’ve learned to distrust about the company.
When Microsoft set its sights on a market, it would squeeze the life out of the market leader like an anconda wrapping itself around its prey. Before it was done, the company struck numerous segments, including personal computing (Apple and IBM), word processing (WordPerfect), spreadsheets (Lotus), databases (Borland and Sybase), networking (Novell) and Internet browsers (Netscape).
It’s not hyperbole to say that Apple’s phoenix-like rise and Google’s ascent are directly and positively correlated with Gates’ decision to step away from running his company as CEO in 2000.
A remarkably prescient look at Apple and Google’s recent strategies compared with Microsoft’s in times now past.
My annual celebration of various materialist things this year includes loincloths, shoes with holes in them and, of course, the full list of super-hype software that any Apple fanboy must use at this point in time on pain of being ridiculous.
We launch about 500 changes to search a year, more than a change a day. So if you look at search like a complicated machine, like a giant jumbo jet—although it’s probably, in some ways, more complex than that – this is sort of like changing the engines in flight before you land.
It’s been fashionable dissing Google recently. Their search has actually been getting massively better since I pinpointed a low point last year. This must-read article explains why.
I haven’t ever felt so positive about an iPhone app: Sparrow for iPhone is out today and comes as close to perfection as I believe was possible, especially in a field (email) which comes with quite a steep technical learning curve and in which the competition—especially Google with their laughably bad attempt at an iPhone Gmail client—have all failed. The design is superb, the interface user-friendly, quick and natively thought out for Gmail users. Every detail has been thought of, including a powerful search function that was always lacking (or lackluster) in Mail App. This is going to be a resounding success.
I have been drafting and subsequently maintaining several style sheets using two incredibly powerful tools: SASS, a CSS preprocessor, and Compass.app, a super-automated and efficient client for SASS and Compass (a standards-neutral stylesheet authoring framework). Used in the right way this setup comes close to turning CSS into a dynamic language.
The new Readability iPhone and iPad apps are beautifully designed—but if you look under the bonnet they don’t yet stand up to comparison with Instapaper. Also, their instance on not allowing publishers to simultaneously be readers is bizarre. They seem to be a responsible company, though, so these issues could easily be fixed.