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Is the threat itself not illegal? He's effectively threatening to file a patent suit solely to force Palm to spend money on legal fees. It doesn't feel like the kind of thing you should be allowed to do.

5 months ago on Steve Jobs threatened Palm’s CEO, plainly and directly, court documents reveal

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It's going to be an enormous cock up. In the UK, most specialist IT teachers don't have computer science backgrounds, so from September, you'll have people who can't code teaching kids how to code. What could possibly go wrong?

5 months, 1 week ago on By September coding will be mandatory in British schools. What the hell, America?

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@KevinChristner @jholyhead  It's not stupidity, its barely even naivety. The dog-eat-dog world you seem to long for would suck for pretty much everyone. Restricting bad people from taking advantage of good people is not a terrible thing. 


The DCA is taking a common sense approach here - they've basically said, 'behave and we'll leave you alone, but if you step out of line, we'll shut you down'. What is the downside to that? Who is affected in any way other than the scam artists? Are you a scam artist? Is that why you are so set against such lightweight regulation? 

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Last week in fear mongering: No, the state isn’t shutting down coding bootcamps

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@KevinChristner  To ensure that people aren't being ripped off. How would you feel if someone you knew went to one of these boot camps and came back talking about how they'd spent thousands of dollars to learn an awesome language called Visual Fox Pro and how they were promised interviews at Google and Facebook?


Regulations aren't a dirty word and when they are used sensibly (check that out for a caveat), they actually improve market conditions for everybody.

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Last week in fear mongering: No, the state isn’t shutting down coding bootcamps

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SQL injection is so 1998. You have to do something impressively stupid to leave a database open to that kind of attack nowadays.

6 months ago on Think your company’s information is safe? Well have you secured your databases?

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@josephwachira It's about the trend.


If you assume that the number of people who search for facebook rather than direct addressing remains at a constant level proportionate to the total number of users then it is a perfectly valid measure.


The mobile app access issue is more interesting, but if you are sat in front of a computer, do you take your phone out of your pocket to access facebook or do you use a web interface whenever one is readily accessible? I don't know the answer to that, but without that answer you can't just assume that the mobile app is a highly significant factor in the experimental results.

6 months ago on Bad science: No, Facebook won’t lose 80% of its users by 2017

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"The only trouble is, the study’s pretty much full of shit."


No, it's full of science. They've proposed a model, they have validated that model using MySpace, they have applied that model to Facebook and have made a prediction based on the output of the model. The use of epidemiological models has been justified by their prior use in the literature when modelling the spread of ideas. 


I see nothing particularly bad in there. I'm not sure one datapoint is enough to say anything categorically, but the author's don't say anything categorically. They simply present their work. 


6 months ago on Bad science: No, Facebook won’t lose 80% of its users by 2017

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@JordanThaeler If the Jury is a group of 12 Fox News viewers, then they might still be out, but a Jury of 12 highly educated experts who have seen and understood the evidence - those guys have had a verdict ready for a long, long time. 


There are two types of people who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change - those who aren't smart enough to draw conclusions based on the available data and those who are being paid to lie about those conclusions.

6 months ago on The newest climate change numbers are out and they’re not good

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@thejohnmarc  I'm going to be generous and assume that you didn't read the full clause that you quoted and not that you deliberately quoted only the part that supported your argument, omitting the context.


The full clause: "So long as you comply with these Terms of Use, you are authorized to access, use and make a limited number of copies of information and materials available on this Website only for purposes of your personal use in order to learn more about Humor Rainbow or its products and services, or to otherwise communicate with Humor Rainbow or utilize its services. Any copies made by you must retain without modification any and all copyright notices and other proprietary marks. The pages and content on this Website may not be copied, distributed, modified, published, or transmitted in any other manner..."


The copies he made using the bots were made within the restrictions of this clause. He made those copies in order to utilize the services made available through the website. That is 100% authorized. I can't see anywhere in those terms of service that forbid the use of bots. OKCupid tried to stop the bots because they believed the contents were being scraped for other reasons or because the bots were using an unacceptable high amount of system resources.


As for Weev - he's where thieves belong. In Prison. 

6 months ago on Did the mathematician who hacked OKCupid violate federal computer laws?

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@SJKopischke It's more than enough to identify a trend.

6 months ago on The newest climate change numbers are out and they’re not good

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I think this is slightly different to the Auernheimer case because he was scraping information that he was authorised to access, he was just accessing it in a way that was (presumably) against the terms of service - that's not illegal (last I checked).


Auernheimer was not authorised to access the information he scraped from AT&T and that is why he is now in prison. 

6 months ago on Did the mathematician who hacked OKCupid violate federal computer laws?

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@JordanPosell @carmeldea less than 1%. Probably less than 0.1%. But that probably represents a majority of the smart thermostat market, which is going to explode in the next 10 years.

6 months, 1 week ago on While Nest and Google are popping champagne, plenty of others should be concerned

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@elpollo @jholyhead @anon248 The percentage of salary SF tech workers spend on rent is already higher than other hubs with large startup communities. That gap will continue to close as rent increases - it has to. Your rent has no impact whatsoever on the revenue generation of your employer. No company in SF can afford to raise wages in line with living costs. 

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Awareness accomplished. Now let’s actually do something about San Francisco’s housing problem

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@elpollo @anon248 @jholyhead If your rent was two, three times what it is now, would you consider moving somewhere else then? Would you at least concede that it would convince a lot of people to leave/refuse to relocate there?

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Awareness accomplished. Now let’s actually do something about San Francisco’s housing problem

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"There’s no sign that the epicenter of Silicon Valley is ever going to move."


If nothing changes in the next few years, it will have to. The current rate of growth is unsustainable. More and more startups will do the maths and realise that the benefits of being at the center of the action are not worth having triple the wage bill of cities like Austin or Denver and employees will start balking at the idea of living in a city that is openly hostile to them.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Awareness accomplished. Now let’s actually do something about San Francisco’s housing problem

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all agree that not every 20-something tech worker in San Francisco was an invading parasite sucking the life out of the city and the surrounding area and that not every longtime San Francisco resident hates tech workers?


Wouldn't it be wonderful if those well adjusted people on both sides of the divide were able to come together to discuss and propose solutions to some of the problems that are harming the city and the people who live and work in her?


And wouldn't it be wonderful if the media refrained from hyperbolic and harmful rhetoric (no matter how tongue in cheek the delivery) that serves only to deepen those divides?


We can dream.

6 months, 3 weeks ago on Young techies, know your place!

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@thomas99 Hawk-Eye is never 100% sure of it's result. 


I hear what you are saying and I think it would be reasonable that if Hawk-Eye claims the ball is within some small distance of the line (that reflects the accuracy of Hawk-Eye) the original call is respected, but I don't see how that would improve the game except to cast doubt on the usefulness of Hawk-Eye, which would inevitably lead to the McEnroe style tantrums of yesteryear - something the sport could do without.

6 months, 3 weeks ago on Out! Goal! The ball was in! But could Hawk-Eye get it wrong?

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@davepaz @jholyhead 'Guesses' is not a fair description. They are estimates, as are pretty much any sensor reading. Hawk-Eye is upfront about the accuracy of the system (it's on Hawk-Eye's wikipedia page).


Professor Collins' findings are about the public's perception of technology - that in general they overestimate the performance of systems like Hawk-Eye. This is more useful when you are talking about things like medical systems, because Hawk-Eye does its job well enough and so an assumption of 100% accuracy, whilst incorrect, is equally inconsequential.

6 months, 3 weeks ago on Out! Goal! The ball was in! But could Hawk-Eye get it wrong?

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The technology doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be more reliable than the human line judges, which it is. Professor Collins' work on HawkEye deals with the public's understanding of technology, but from a practical and in this case sporting perspective, it is entirely irrelevant - the system uses the information at its disposal to identify the most likely landing position of the ball in relation to the line and so long as its decision is more accurate than a human could provide by eye, why would you choose not to use it?



6 months, 3 weeks ago on Out! Goal! The ball was in! But could Hawk-Eye get it wrong?

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It's sad that this post, brilliantly brutal as your take-downs always are, will send a pile of traffic to ValleyWag and reinforce Biddle's belief in this strategy. Of course he's unlikely to stay silent; I expect at least one rebuttal post that will attempt to stoke the flames of a clickgasm inducing feud.

6 months, 4 weeks ago on Look Who’s Gawking: Inside Nick Denton’s phony, hypocritical class war against tech workers

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tl;dr News sites haven't missed the boat, they've just done their research. 


"Let’s hope that by the time that happens the major news outlets will be able to tell when someone’s reading one of their stories on a smartphone and when they’re reading it on a laptop."


They already can. You don't need a responsive site to manage different device types, sites have been using user agents for years to manage mobile versions and they come with the added bonus of allowing the user to choose how web sites will be displayed on their device. I've just checked the BBC, Fox News and the Huffington Post and they all manage device detection in this way and the Huffington Post and the BBC resolve to the correct device version regardless of the url provided to it. The WSJ (and Fox News, incidentally) are just badly developed, it isn't a flaw in the methodology itself. 


You seem to have fallen into the trap of thinking that responsive design is the be-all and end-all of web design. It's not - it has it's pros and cons just like any other fad. Adjusting for screen size is probably the least difficult aspect of designing a mobile friendly website. What about optimizing for slower internet connections? The Huffington Post front page (desktop) at the moment weighs about 3MB, the mobile site front page in total weighs about half of that and uses lazy loading so only a fraction of it is downloaded initially. Not everyone is lucky enough to be in an area reliably covered by 4G, so page size is still very much an important factor for mobile sites.


There are other reasons why you might reasonably spurn RWD, but I think the speed optimization issue is the key contraindication when you are discussing news sites in particular.

6 months, 4 weeks ago on No response: When will news sites catch up to the rest of the Web?

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@davepaz it's not legitimate help. It would be like if someone started selling bulletproof children's clothes, 'for when the schoolday comes to a sticky end'. It's in horrible taste and comes with the implied message that 'you should expect to have men try to rape you'.

I don't think people are outraged, so much as they are astounded that there are people tone deaf enough to think this is a good idea.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on High tech anti-rape panties are pissing people off, despite best intentions

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The only surprising thing about that Max Read tweet is that someone who works at Gawker is capable of spelling the word 'beautiful'.

9 months, 4 weeks ago on NSFWCORP’s race to survive… The results are in

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"Automattic hires by trial. They don’t care what degree you have or what skills you list. Instead they ask candidates to do actual work on a trial basis."

So Automattic takes on every applicant on a trial basis without any sifting beforehand? 

10 months, 1 week ago on WordPress.com and the future of work

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Tim Cook is safe because there is no one else in the tech world the board would want to replace him with. You probably wouldn't want to replace him with another Apple exec because they might be seen to be part of the problem (and who else on the board is high profile enough to prevent a stockholder panic?). 


11 months, 1 week ago on It has not been a good week to be Tim Cook

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@g8Rojas @jholyhead Ok, so rather than try to come up with an N tier system for all of STEM, I'll just list some software/IT jobs that are not the top tier - that is, those jobs for whom there is no shortage of qualified applicants.

Tech Support 
Networking (except in certain industries like finance)
Information Security (except in industries like defence/finance etc)
DBAs (except in certain industries (I'm sure FB/Google's DBAs are all smarter than me, but they are the 1% of DBAs))
Webmaster/Website Administrator/Manager etc etc etc
Front End Developer
Web Designer (except for the few (very few) rockstars)
System Admin (again, except in a few industries)

If it's not already obvious, I think there are top tier exceptions to all the above job titles (except Tech Support, I can't think of an industry where you need to be a genius to be a Tech Support worker), but in the main, the people with these job titles are not the people that SV CEOs are trying to get into the country on H-1B visas. 

And as someone said above, there's nothing wrong with doing 2nd tier work, I was doing 2nd tier work before I decided I'd rather kill myself than write another line of CRUD code. 

11 months, 3 weeks ago on STEM talent: It’s a distribution problem

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@rabidwombat Which is odd given that it doesn't really belong on a site about startups. (i get why it's here, I'm just saying it's strange that you would cite an off topic article as the reason you keep reading the site)

11 months, 3 weeks ago on Olivia Nuzzi won’t defend herself against the latest lies, so allow me

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@factchecker2000 @jholyhead Neither. But believe what you will. 

For the record, I don't think the majority of H-1B workers belong to that top 10-15% either. They just represent a cheaper source of second tier workers. 

11 months, 3 weeks ago on STEM talent: It’s a distribution problem

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@LonnyLot @jholyhead Experience as a STEM graduate and person responsible for hiring STEM graduates for technical roles. It's a conservative estimate.


11 months, 3 weeks ago on STEM talent: It’s a distribution problem

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These studies don't take into account the fact that most STEM graduates are not well suited to STEM careers. In a typical Computer Science cohort, maybe only the top 10-15% of graduates are actually capable of becoming competent developers. The rest are left with a choice between 2nd tier STEM jobs (for which there is no shortage of applicants) or getting out of STEM entirely.


11 months, 3 weeks ago on STEM talent: It’s a distribution problem

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@david pratt @jholyhead No one is talking about legitimate patent infringement suits - inventors absolutely have the right to enforce their patents. Patent trolling is completely different and no amount of homework will protect you from them.

12 months ago on How to slaughter a patent troll in 5 steps

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This is fine for people who can afford to throw $1m at lawyers, but how is this relevant to a small just-seeded or bootstrapped startup where the founders can barely afford to pay their rent? 

Don't get me wrong, I love that you are taking the fight back to them, but this isn't an option for new-to-the-game founders without access to expensive lawyers. How do they avoid settling frivolous lawsuits if not settling will bankrupt their business?

12 months ago on How to slaughter a patent troll in 5 steps

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@Teenseagull  It's not a zero sum game. Men are allowed to experience societal pressures without minimising the problems women experience.

1 year ago on For men, “leaning out” just isn’t an option

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@WordTipping Men have to choose to be failures? That's an incredibly dumb thing to say. Please choose not to suck so hard next time.

1 year ago on For men, “leaning out” just isn’t an option

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@MiaMcNabb @jholyhead @BrianZ1980 I don't think you can make that assumption based on a collective memo. If they all came out publicly denied the story, that would be different. Is it OK to burn a source if that source is burning you?

1 year ago on How we’ve responded to BeachMint’s most recent demands

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@BrianZ1980 how do you know that none of the sources are on the board?

1 year ago on How we’ve responded to BeachMint’s most recent demands

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Sounds like they are trying to make the story go away by destroying PandoDaily's reputation. Davis gets Sarah to refuse to print a retraction, he runs to the LA Times to tell them that Sarah is being completely unreasonable. I particularly love this line from the LA TImes piece - " 'I thought I could reason with her and didn't want to humiliate her or embarrass her' " - he says as he attempts to deliberately humiliate/embarrass her. What an ass!

1 year ago on How we’ve responded to BeachMint’s most recent demands

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@darrellsilver @chonapuch @jholyhead I'm not convinced I'm an edge case, but regardless, I bet that the largest group of students are  those who sign up because they are generally curious about the subject of the MOOC and want to investigate it a bit. Most of those people wont finish the course because they satisfy their curiosity and move on to the next MOOC - I don't see why that is a bad thing. Those people achieved their own personal learning objectives and therefore their experience was a successful one.

There is a genuine issue with people falling behind. I'm enrolled on half a dozen MOOCs (or more) at a time and it is impossible for me to complete all of the requirements of those courses in the time I allot to them. If sites like Coursera open their courses to a more open-ended learn at your own pace model for those students who are not interested in earning formal credit, I think they would see much higher completion rates across their courses.

Thinkful might allow people to jump around at their own pace, but the costs mean it's not accessible to those of us who just want to satisfy our curiosity.

There's certainly room in the market for all the different approaches we are seeing, but I don't like it when people make unreasonable comparisons between those models. How would you like it if every time someone wrote about Thinkful they implied you are failing because your enrolment numbers are an order of magnitude smaller than Coursera's?

1 year ago on Learn-to-code site Thinkful is carving out a niche between MOOCs and expensive schools, with retention rates to prove it

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I dont understand why 'retention' is a useful statistics for assessing MOOCs. Isn't the percentage of people who got out of the course what they wanted a more useful statistic? I don't sign up to earn a PDF certificate, I often sign up because I'm interested in a specific part of a course. I make use of those materials and I'm done and satisfied with that.

1 year ago on Learn-to-code site Thinkful is carving out a niche between MOOCs and expensive schools, with retention rates to prove it

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@Todd Dunning @MatthewCase If the gap was a result of the rich getting richer and the poor getting less poor, then I'd agree, but that's not what's happening. If the poor continue to get poorer, who will buy the products the rich are trying to sell?

Capitalism works when everyone benefits. And if you think that nobody is asking the question of 'how do we make the economy work better for everybody?', then you're even more clueless than I thought.

1 year ago on Silicon Valley’s ugly rich-poor gap: What’s the tech world gonna do about it?

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The word will naturally fall away as the 'smart' devices become the norm in each industry. Even now it is becoming much less common for people to talk in terms of smartphones as opposed to just phones.

1 year ago on Let’s kill the word “smart”

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@Todd Dunning You realise that 'the disadvantaged' and 'trustafarians' are polar opposite of one another, right?

1 year ago on Silicon Valley’s ugly rich-poor gap: What’s the tech world gonna do about it?

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Treatings sounds like a great idea. I can imagine it being of great use to students preparing for their first job hunt, but how do you plan on incentivising the other half of the connection? I can easily see job seekers wanting to make use of your service, but with the exception of a few good apples and recruiters trolling for fresh meat, I don't think a free cup of coffee is going to be enough to get people to come and rep their profession/company/industry.

1 year ago on The less-than-glamorous life of a young entrepreneur

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They probably put out to tender and picked one of the cheaper options, which means you get less talented engineers. Happens all the time - it can be hard to justify paying for premium software development.

1 year ago on Seriously, why is software so hard for non-software companies?

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You assume that all of the changes will be negative. What you describe is the worst possible case. There are middle ground solutions that lead to increases in efficiency that don't result in us being diagnosed by HAL. 

1 year, 1 month ago on When human interaction becomes a luxury

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@nathanielmott @jholyhead I think improvements to the outlets themselves (such as improved child guards) are valid, but I think trying to drive home automation from an outlet perspective is absolutely the wrong approach - with lighting being a possible exception.

If these technologies were being introduced 10 years ago, they might have had time to get some traction, but as it stands, I think devices like the WeMo will be obsolete far before they become affordable and sophisticated enough to gain widespread appeal. Belkin would have been better served putting its resources into appliance connectivity.

1 year, 1 month ago on Plug ‘em in: Let’s make electrical outlets a little smarter

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I don't see a business in smart outlets, not when the era of smart appliances is just around the corner. Home automation will be done at an appliance level, not an outlet level. 

1 year, 1 month ago on Plug ‘em in: Let’s make electrical outlets a little smarter

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@davemholmes @jholyhead I hear you. I think I'm just touchy because a lot of the reporting on the NSA's ability to mine this data has been like reading bad science fiction. It's actually refreshing to read an article on the subject that isn't batshit crazy.

1 year, 1 month ago on What, me worry? The NSA is working on powerful quantum computing technology

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" that can process data on the order of zettabytes, or 10^21 bytes"

What does process mean in this context? Just because that much data can pass through the servers in Utah doesn't mean they can do anything useful with that quantity of data. Is that the amount of data processed in a day (seems unlikely) or a year? Google was getting towards 'processing' 10^19 bytes of data per year back in 2008, so this big bad NSA installation might not be any more powerful than Google's infrastructure.  

Also - that first link is to a parody government website.

1 year, 1 month ago on What, me worry? The NSA is working on powerful quantum computing technology

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@HeddiCundle I'm afraid rent control does prevent homes being built. Investors make decisions based on their expected returns. Rent control makes property construction a much less attractive investment (because it reduces those expectations) and as a result less projects get funded.

Rent control raises rents by *reducing supply* - this is an assertion that almost all economists agree with, regardless of their political leanings. 

1 year, 1 month ago on A San Francisco rent control parable

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@PandoWatcher Rent for new tenants would be substantially lower if rent control didn't exist, so rather than being priced out of the market, her rent would be less. The only people who would be financially worse off are those tenants who have benefited from rent control over a number of years. 

1 year, 1 month ago on A San Francisco rent control parable

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@mengwu @jholyhead I'd like to see how those numbers stack up against the increased tax revenue that would result from a deregulated system. I expect those fees were only implemented to reduce the impact of rent control on city revenues. 

1 year, 1 month ago on A San Francisco rent control parable

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"And, unfortunately for our future, (a) + (b) > 50 percent."

Yeah, democracy sucks like that.

I both agree and disagree with almost everything in this post. 

I think it's important people understand that removing rent control will cause rental prices (for new tenants) to fall in the short term, because rent control inflates rental prices by reducing supply. So really, Bryan would probably make less money if rent control in SF was stopped. 

There are middle ground policies that would protect both tenants and landlords. Unfortunately, implementing those policies is a politically hazardous exercise.

1 year, 1 month ago on A San Francisco rent control parable

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@sixside That analogy is as offensive as it is specious. 

1 year, 1 month ago on The NSA didn’t end our right to privacy. We gave it away for free

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@pieterwriter The government receives the consent of voters every four years. The people voted for politicians who passed the Patriot Act into law, they then re-elected most of those politicians repeatedly in the years since. 

1 year, 1 month ago on The NSA didn’t end our right to privacy. We gave it away for free

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@Takeshi Young @jholyhead I agree. Simple and easy are very different things. That's why companies continue to pay SEO consultants to come in and optimize their websites. 

1 year, 1 month ago on The deep, dark secret of SEO

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@Takeshi Young There are a lot of legitimate SEO techniques, but most of them boil down to 'have a well designed, well implemented site with valuable content'. That's where 80-90% of the value in on-site SEO is at.

Most of the gains you can make with SEO are off-site work - mainly building the number of links to your site that originate from other authoritative resources around the web. 

1 year, 1 month ago on The deep, dark secret of SEO

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@DrewEmmerson Obvious troll is obvious.

1 year, 1 month ago on The deep, dark secret of SEO

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@KenG My understanding was that Verizon was only handing over call metadata, the collection of which has already been deemed constitutional.

It makes sense that the NSA would want to know who has been communicating with people on their various watch lists. If you're calling a suspected terrorist 5 times a week, I'm quite happy for that to be brought to the attention of the relevant authorities. 

The technology doesn't currently exist to to substantial analysis on the contents of every phone call made on Verizon (do the maths), but if that is something you have a problem with, vote for political candidates who swear oppose such measures. That's how democracy works. There's no point about screeching about the constitution when the justices appointed to protect it are selected by politicians with their own agenda.

1 year, 1 month ago on The banality of surveillance

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@AdamGrandmaison It's not like Chrome is the most popular browser with over 50% of the market though...oh wait, it is and it does.

1 year, 1 month ago on CEO Supper Club: “If Travis stops acting like a prick, I’ll stop calling him a prick”

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I do concede that skipping college works better for technical fields (engineering,"

...I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of the truth. You can teach yourself programming, but that is a tiny slice of the engineering pie. If you want to design aircraft, or processors or bridges, you need a college degree just as much as a surgeon needs an MD.

But I agree with most of the rest, especially the diploma shelf life. No one with 10 years of solid experience gets put in the reject pile because they went to a crappy college and no one with 10 years of crap experience gets the benefit of the doubt because of where they went to school

1 year, 1 month ago on How much does your college degree matter?

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Not releasing trash is the best way to avoid one star reviews. 

1 year, 1 month ago on Helpshift promises to help developers avoid one-star reviews

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What an industry - when only shipping 60 million units in a quarter is a failure.

1 year, 3 months ago on Microsoft’s new strategy: Pray

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DDOS =/= Hacked.

Also "Customer Happiness Team" - that's so awesome.

1 year, 3 months ago on Indiegogo hit with distributed denial of service attack

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@LoraKolodny Not really - good software engineers are experts at software engineering, part of which is understanding integration and use of third party tools and APIs. But as I commented above, being an expert might not be enough when it comes to building a successful company. 

1 year, 4 months ago on You don’t want experts. You want jacks-of-all-trades

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You're misrepresenting what an expert is. There is no definition of the term that requires an expert to be blind to everything but their area of expertise. 

Your post seems to be saying 'being an expert in something makes you less able to run a business', but that's nonsense - what I think you mean is: 'being an expert in your startup's key domain is not enough to be able to build a successful company'.


1 year, 4 months ago on You don’t want experts. You want jacks-of-all-trades

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"I’m no statistician, and I could be making some unscientific assumptions here, but this seems to imply that a signal that is an amplification or the result of another signal is more likely to be incorrect beyond a short time window when compared to a forecast independently derived through long term analysis."

Not necessarily. It's true that the further ahead you try to make a forecast, the less reliable it will be, but whether it is less reliable than simply averaging over past data relies heavily on the type of problem you are analysing and whether your learning machine is already taking into account the average behavior in the past. 

Machine learning is hard. The mistake laymen make is thinking that having a lot of data is all you need.

1 year, 4 months ago on Terabytes of deafening noise

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@M G There's nothing ideological about game theory. You're demonstrating Bryan's point - you don't understand economics.

1 year, 4 months ago on Things worth learning

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@twtfelipe So what you are trying to say is, the people who attend these talks are assholes? 

1 year, 4 months ago on The fake church of entrepreneurship

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Your argument about how this is better than a kinect like interface seems a little weak. Most of the devices I would want to control are going to be powered off the mains, and the chances of a camera being obscured doesn't seem as big a hurdle to overcome as convincing people to wear a weird bracelet at the top of their arm. Plus a camera based system is going to be able to recognise a far greater array of gestures than an accelerometer on a wrist - it's like comparing Kinect with a Wii remote. And surely the battery drain issue is more of an issue for a watch with wireless/3G capabilities, which has to be small and lightweight.

1 year, 4 months ago on How MYO convinced me that an Apple “iWatch” might actually be a good idea

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"you can trust the word of a person who has never worked in the real world "

What type of intelligence endowed you with the ability to land cheap shots so efficiently?


1 year, 5 months ago on Are you intelligent?

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"This doesn’t mean Ecomom was being managed poorly."

Erm...surely that's exactly what it means. They had a strategy that was failing and it sounds like no one realised just how badly it was failing until it was too late. It wasn't bad luck that sunk them. When the director of operations seems to be out of the loop on the firm's operations, then you're already in deep trouble. Maybe if senior management were aware of the financial position the company was in, the sales and marketing team would have been prevented from adding that final straw to the camel's back.

The whole thing's a tragedy, made worse by the fact that a company that were doing 'good' work has been pulled apart.

1 year, 5 months ago on Ecomom’s aggressive discounting culture should be a cautionary tale for all of ecommerce

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@jpreston @jholyhead Just because journalists do make up stories doesn't mean that this one here was made up. Musk's data doesn't support his claims of journalistic mischief.

1 year, 5 months ago on Elon Musk should stop whining and let his data do the talking

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@jpreston Good to see you did your research on this issue before hitting the reply button. *eye roll*

1 year, 5 months ago on Elon Musk should stop whining and let his data do the talking

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I'm not sure what Musk things he is playing at. He has turned a negative review that not many people will have read into a massive story that has seen coverage on almost every major news network. The NYT review was bad news for Tesla, but this has got to be worse, hasn't it? Is it not preferable for a few hundred thousand people to have gained a negative impression of the Model S, than for millions (if not tens of millions) of people to have become aware of this controversy **and** the Top Gear episode that slammed the Tesla Roadster. 

He also runs the risk of being labelled a crybaby who throws a tantrum every time someone criticises his products.

1 year, 5 months ago on Elon Musk should stop whining and let his data do the talking

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@davidpcheng "Elon has reinforced his opinions with data" Well, not really. Musk has made his argument and provided data that he says unambiguously supports that argument, but it doesn't. There is nothing in the data that suggests malice on the part of Broder.

1 year, 5 months ago on Elon Musk should stop whining and let his data do the talking

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And holy hypocrisy Batman! PandoDaily has done the exact same thing repeatedly

http://pandodaily.com/2012/05/15/buy-this-book-before-you-buy-facebook/

http://pandodaily.com/2012/05/18/today-is-just-the-end-of-the-beginning-for-mark-zuckerberg/

http://pandodaily.com/2012/01/25/5-essential-product-design-books-that-arent-about-product-design/

Those pages all have affiliate links to Amazon, that are, as far as I can tell, not a single disclosure on any one. That's a poor show, dude.

1 year, 5 months ago on Dear Jonah Lehrer and Maria Popova: Just own up and apologize

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So Popova should confess her crime and apologise even if she honestly feels she's done nothing wrong? 

Her views on affiliate links are not uncommon, and she is being called out for doing something that is common practice - not many sites disclose affiliate links, and if they do, they tend to do it by placing the disclaimer somewhere you wouldn't find it unless you were actively looking for it. 

And you should add a note to this post to recognise that Popova has updated her donate page to make it clear that she receives a commission from Amazon - www.brainpickings.org/index.php/donate/ I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that this happened after you'd completed your research for this article, after all, I'd hate to falsely accuse you of misleading your audience ;)

1 year, 5 months ago on Dear Jonah Lehrer and Maria Popova: Just own up and apologize

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@nathanielmott @Todd Dunning Tags are the most primitive form of metadata the semantic web will have access to and unless those tags are linked to some defined ontology somewhere, then they offer no semantic information. 

1 year, 5 months ago on The Web makes writing for machines just as important as writing for humans

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@Todd Dunning It hasn't gone anywhere, it's still trundling on, it just hasn't reached a critical mass yet, and it's not clear that it ever will.

The semantic web is all about making the web machine understandable, but whether adding ontology information to every page on the internet is the way to do that remains an open question. 

The UK Government has done a load of work on making semantically marking up all public information, and it has lead to a few cool tools, but nothing revolutionary.

1 year, 5 months ago on The Web makes writing for machines just as important as writing for humans

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I kinda wish he'd replied to some of those trolls.

Troll: You're drunk

Pope: Free bar in the Basilica, bitches!



1 year, 5 months ago on Twitter, the Pope, and his trolls

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It's disappointing that this site feels the need to give such a man this kind of publicity. I though Pando was supposed to be above whoring for page views. 

1 year, 5 months ago on We take John McAfee to a gun shop where he terrifies a Jackass

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@Todd Dunning @jholyhead The notion that poverty is a key factor in future success is an empirical fact. That minorities are more likely to be brought up in poverty is an empirical fact. Anyone with the slightest understanding of economics or sociology knows that to be the case, no matter where on the political spectrum they choose to sit.

Calling me a racist or a bigot doesn't make it so and claiming that the environment in which you were raised does not affect your chances in life is moronic, doubly so given that your successive statements provide evidence to my argument that is it social status, not race that truly determines success. Your minority colleagues were brought up in the middle class of their country (this is a near certainty if they are Indian immigrants to the US). I daresay you don't know many successful Indians who were raised in the slums.

And we get it, you hate the evil liberalz, but the elections finished, so get over it.


1 year, 5 months ago on Do we need to talk about race?

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@Todd Dunning I take it you jumped straight to the comment box, since you seem to think this is about the under representation of minorities at startups as opposed to the under representation of minorities in tech journalism - something that was made clear in the first line

No one has claimed anyone was racist. In fact. the post that kicked off this entire debate (which again, you obviously haven't read) also makes that clear in its first line. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Do we need to talk about race?

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Calacanis fell into the myth of meritocracy trap. He straight up ignores the socioeconomic inequalities that exist in society that stack the deck against minorities from the day they are born. 

He should know better.

1 year, 5 months ago on Do we need to talk about race?

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It seems quite expensive. $19 a month for 8000 records and 200MB of storage? That feels steep. 

For the kind of applications that are on their examples page, a company could get a freelance developer to build a custom web application for a few thousand dollars (I know, since I've been that freelancer) with no such storage limits and much better reporting tools (unless Knack can do more than they're showing).

I'm not seeing a killer feature here beyond removing the dreaded programmer from the process, which for anything but the most trivial applications probably isn't going to be a good thing for very long.

If I'm wrong and Knack can do much more, then they're doing a lousy job of showing it on their website.



1 year, 5 months ago on After two years of development, Knack launches simple online database building tool

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Did you seriously just bring up One Direction in a post on a Silicon Valley blog? You gonna piss into my corn flakes too? 

That was low, dude, but it's ok, 'cos that's what makes you beautiful.

1 year, 5 months ago on It’s time to throw in the towel on Apple

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Most people prefer to buy the highest end device they can afford. In emerging markets, that means cheaper devices are going to be popular, because that's what people can afford. The US/European smartphone markets cant maintain their current levels of growth forever, which means that manufacturers need to start shifting focus to other markets, like India and China who both have rapidly growing middle classes - that means offering devices at a price point that those people can afford. 

Cheap will never ever go out of fashion. Manufacturers still sell budget TV sets decades after they became standard household furnishings.

1 year, 5 months ago on “Cheap” is just another soon-to-be irrelevant feature

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@vbiersch @jholyhead I'm a software engineer with an electronics background.

And one last thing - just because you would take the broad background over a narrowly focussed one, doesn't mean that the kind of organisations you are trying to attract feel the same way. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Education startups: The bottom-up approach doesn’t work here

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@vbiersch CRUD software development is easy, but those aren't the jobs the US is having trouble filling. You can't teach someone to code well enough in 6 months that they could work for companies like Microsoft, Google, or major financial institutions in engineering roles. 95% of people can't be taught to code well enough to do those jobs given 4 years of training. 

Colleges pump out engineering graduates, but most of them are not very good. For the most part, that isn't the fault of the college curriculum, it's just that Engineering is hard, and most people aren't up to it, at least not when the work is on the bleeding edge.

I think if you are determined to do an apprenticeship style program, you need to have streams. Teaching future software engineers how to weld is a waste of time, just as teaching mechanical design engineers how to fix radios is a waste of time. You need to partner with companies so they can direct the curriculum - they know the skills they need from future employees better than you do. You might even be able to convince them to pay for part of the program, or to provide members of their staff to do some teaching. 

The best way to get corporations involved is to find a middle manager who likes the idea so he can evangelise it to his/her bosses. I'm constantly amazed at the crazy initiatives employees manage to convince companies to pay for, especially if it can be spun as a PR win.

1 year, 6 months ago on Education startups: The bottom-up approach doesn’t work here

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@vbiersch "Which is why I say that these corporations and politicians are not serious about fixing the problem." 

Or, they think your approach is misguided. I don't see how someone who completed that program would be ready to take on the kind of roles you are targeting. 

One hour a day is not enough theory for high tech engineering jobs. You can't learn powertrain design in an hour a day for a year. You can't learn electronics design in an hour a day for a year and I'm not sure you can teach someone software development to a good standard in 6 months period.

1 year, 6 months ago on Education startups: The bottom-up approach doesn’t work here

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@Raul I Lopez @jholyhead They can do what they want with it, but they wont because people will jump ship. The demographic of LI users is very different to Facebook users. The overwhelming majority don't use it to keep in touch with people, they use it as an online resume. If LI started selling off that information, their users will leave and another, less exploitative platform will take its place.

1 year, 6 months ago on LinkedIn: The patron saint of the Web 2.0 also-ran

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@Raul I Lopez You're right that the data could be used that way, but I think users would balk at it. I know I would. It's bad enough I get spammed by recruiters constantly, I'd be pretty upset if LI started to point me out to recruiters as someone who was a 'high risk' target.

1 year, 6 months ago on LinkedIn: The patron saint of the Web 2.0 also-ran

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Now that. That was a good article.

1 year, 6 months ago on A world safe for 39-year-olds

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Loyalty has to work both ways. If I have to go get another job offer to push you into paying me what I'm worth, then you're the one being disloyal.

Also, people take vacations. People plan vacations months in advance. Assuming people take one vacation a year, then there is a 1/4 chance that any new employee will have vacation plans within the next 3 months. If the vacation is a couple of weeks away from the start date then push the start date back a month - if your business can't possibly afford to do that, then please, don't hire me; I have no desire to work for a company so brittle.

1 year, 6 months ago on Loyalty cannot be faked

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How would these APIs change the research process anyway?

1 year, 6 months ago on Creating scientific apps just got a little bit easier, but does it matter yet?

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A CEOs job is to understand his/her company, to understand the market and to make decisions that maximise the likelihood of success given that knowledge.  If they do that, then they're minimising the amount of luck they're going to need to succeed. The greater the understanding, the less luck that enters the equation.

1 year, 6 months ago on Maples’ Law: A million ways your startup can die and only one unsatisfying way to make sure it lives

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@IrishJohnathanRamul @paulmezier Even Google can makes mistakes, apparently.

1 year, 6 months ago on Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive

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@Drumanji @lockedown Steve Jobs was a notoriously demanding boss, but there's a difference between being unpleasant and being demanding. 

Besides, you're not Steve Jobs, you wont get away with the stuff he could get away with,

1 year, 6 months ago on Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive

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@HamTech87 Good software engineers will always be in demand no matter what country you live in. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive

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It's a problem that has already been solved. You can already get clip on 3D lenses and several companies have started to sell prescription 3D glasses.

1 year, 6 months ago on The future of displays has a problem: Our eyes

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That Google experiment sounds crazy, until you realise that they found a positive result - that 'bluer' blue links attract higher click through rates than 'greener' green links. When you are talking about the volume of clicks that Google deals with, even a very small increase is going to generate a lot of money. 

That particular example has nothing to do with design vs engineering and everything to do with Google knowing their business.


1 year, 6 months ago on Engineers are from Mars, Designers are from Venus

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No normal consumer gets excited about operating systems, so I'm not sure why people expect Windows 8 PCs to start flying off the shelves in greater volume than normal. Any bump in sales probably has more to do with the associates increase in marketing than people actually caring about the new version of Windows. A 13% drop in device sales is meaningless without context. If tablets and smartphones are the way forward and PC sales are on the decline, then with a limited number of Windows tablets and smartphones (and none yet to truly rival the iPhone/iPad and popular android offerings), there's no reason to expect anything else. 

Microsoft has reason to be excited for 2013. The quality of the Win8 tablets/hybrids will continue to improve and they are almost guaranteed to gain market share (they'd struggle to lose any) and the same is probably true to a lesser extent with their smartphones sales. Windows 8 hasn't been a disaster, software wise, which means it is largely up to their partners to build devices customers want to buy. 

On top of that, there's a good chance they'll launch a new games console next year, which will give their revenue a bump.

1 year, 7 months ago on Nothing Merry in Redmond: The pile on Microsoft continues

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@bradhill @bugpowder It's not that there is nothing new to invent, it's that Apple doesn't appear to be trying to invent anything new and hasn't in a while.

1 year, 7 months ago on Let’s admit it… Steve Jobs was lucky

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@bugpowder ...Google have been busy perfecting autonomous vehicles and paving the way for wearable computing. That's two markets that Google have created.

It is important for Apple to be seen to be innovating, because that's where their success over the past decade has stemmed from. The iPod wasn't the first MP3 player, but it was the first really popular MP3 player. The iPhone wasn't the first smartphone, but it was the first really popular smartphone. The iPad wasn't the first tablet computer, but it was the first tablet computer that regular consumers wanted to buy. That's what Apple does - it picks a fledgling tech market and makes it awesome - and it does it before anyone else.

Which is the next market Apple are going to revolutionise? That's the question that has investors spooked. They know that Apple cant maintain their current levels of growth just iterating their current products, especially as they are consistently shedding market share, even as sales figures continue to rise. 

If Apple start hinting at the next big thing, stock prices will rise, but until then, I expect the stock price will continue to drift.


1 year, 7 months ago on Let’s admit it… Steve Jobs was lucky

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@markrogo @jholyhead My gripe is that her conclusions don't follow from the evidence she offers, 

1 year, 7 months ago on Virgin America’s business flounders as it doubles down on party planes

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'I don’t get upset when I can’t take my child into bars, for instance.', then you hit them specifically for not letting children into their bar.

It doesn't really feel like you have enough evidence to show that Virgin are trying to discourage families from using their airline. Is it not more likely that they stopped priority screening for families because there was added costs associated with it? Or because someone made a mistake when they were dealing with the TSA paperwork? 

If Virgin wanted to make it inconvenient for families to fly with them, they'd come up with something better than removing priority screening or banning kids from the bar.

1 year, 7 months ago on Virgin America’s business flounders as it doubles down on party planes

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@kowboykoder Is it enough evidence to put a person's life at risk? What if Ryan Lanza was walking down the street in NJ and someone recognised him from the news as the guy who'd killed 20 kids a few hours earlier? How do you think that would have gone down?

The press went off half cocked, end of story. 

1 year, 7 months ago on What’s Facebook’s responsibility when the nation seeks to lynch someone on only a name?

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It is an EU law, not a UK law and the Information Commissioner in the UK basically gave up enforcing it before it came into effect. 

1 year, 7 months ago on What will ad-tech look like without cookies?

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Having interpersonal skills isn't about being polite or nice. It's about being able to deal with people. If there's one thing I think the HBR got wrong here, it's that interpersonal skills are really a wrapper for the two of the other four. Try persuading or leading people without interpersonal skills.

Confrontational CEOs like Jobs and Gates get away with that management style because of their interpersonal skills. 

1 year, 7 months ago on According to Harvard, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs need to be a lot nicer

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@Alan Smithee Voice recognition is not AI? Since when?

 And I think you mean speech recognition, which is a very different AI field to voice recognition.

1 year, 7 months ago on In which we discuss our new robot friends

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@Sophia Daniels @jholyhead @BaluChandrasekaran @bgoldberg Have you ever tried coding as a freelancer - possibly with a partner who can deal with customer communications? If you can code (and I mean, really code), then do you need or want a 9-5 job? 

1 year, 7 months ago on Losers exist. Don’t hire them

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@jmpreston @Sophia Daniels You're confusing introverts with people who are shy. Introversion is no excuse for poor communication or team working skills. 

1 year, 7 months ago on Losers exist. Don’t hire them

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@Sophia Daniels @jholyhead @BaluChandrasekaran @bgoldberg You fit Bryan's definition of a 'loser', not mine, which I have never provided. Also - that is the first time I have ever been described as a 'corporate suit'. I also suspect it will be the last.

I'm massively introvert, and as an introvert, I find extroverts exhausting, so there idea that I would favour extroverts in a recruitment setting is probably the exact opposite of the reality. And there is no such thing as 'extroverted social skills' that's just something people tell themselves to excuse their own undeveloped communication skills, which like any other skill, requires practice and training. 

Where I agree with Bryan is that if you can't talk eloquently about something you are passionate about, how can you be expected to communicate effectively as part of a team? And the one thing that is true about every job is that communication matters and quite often, it is the only thing that matters.

1 year, 7 months ago on Losers exist. Don’t hire them

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@nlrcmani most startups can't afford to hire the most experienced people while they are finding their feet. 

1 year, 7 months ago on Losers exist. Don’t hire them

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@BaluChandrasekaran @bgoldberg I think the people getting defensive either can't answer the questions Bryan proposed or they've been passed over for someone they consider less capable than themselves and are still a little bitter about it. 

I've seen the 'perfect candidate' destroy teams, because as well as being highly competent and experienced, they are, first and foremost, assholes no one wants to spend 8 hours a days with.

1 year, 7 months ago on Losers exist. Don’t hire them

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I don't agree with everything in the article, but I do believe it is much easier to teach an smart inexperienced person how to do the job than it is to teach an asshole how not to be a disruptive element within a team.

1 year, 7 months ago on Losers exist. Don’t hire them

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@Pete Dooley Wow, sour grapes much?

1 year, 7 months ago on Losers exist. Don’t hire them

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Wait...is there an election coming up or something. Wow, you guys really kept that quiet.

1 year, 8 months ago on If you care about the tech industry, vote for Obama

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I don't see how you can come to the conclusion that Apple won, or that customers won?

 

Apple have botched a major update of their OS. That hurts their brand. Just because they are still going to sell a huge number of phones doesn't mean they haven't shed another chunk of credibility through this disaster. They could have included a dose of mono with every iPhone and it still would have sold tens of millions of units, so to use the sales figures as evidence that everything is OK is wrong. This has cost Apple customers, we'll just never know how many, and it will cost them customers in the future, we just wont know how many.

 

And how have the customers won? They've spent a pile of money on a product that has inexcusable and avoidable bugs. Do you think the Microsoft customers who bought Vista won too? 

 

1 year, 9 months ago on Mapgate Is Over. Apple Won. Customers Won. Google, Not So Much.

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If it's a good plan today, why does it matter that it was also a (non-implemented) plan 3 years ago?

1 year, 9 months ago on Shocker! Marissa Mayer Has No Magical, Secret Plan to Save Yahoo

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So I guess we can all look forward to Amazon announcing a social reading platform in the next few months.

1 year, 10 months ago on A “Moment of Temporary Insanity”? Amazon Orders Findings To Stop Importing Highlights

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 @croman You see, I look at those images and see significant differences in design. Massive changes in aesthetic. You can't seriously be talking about the similar way the stand hinges to the monitor body. What next, Samsung come out with a new clamshell laptop range and everyone starts screaming that 'it opens just like a MacBook!!!!' I think the keyboard and trackpad might be heavily based on the iMac peripherals, but that's all they are; peripherals and until you get clearer shots of both (preferably side by side), its not possible to tell definitively. 

 

I don't disagree with you that there is a stagnating in consumer electronics design, but I get tired of everyone saying that company x is ripping off Apple, when they fundamentally are not doing so. 

 

People are getting wound up over the HP Spectre, but there are several older all-in-one PCs that really have ripped off the iMac design and people didn't leap on them over it. It has just suddenly become fashionable to do so. It bores me.

 

For example look at the Acer Z5811 or the ASUS ET2410IUTS. They're much closer in design to the iMac than the Spectre, yet no one is harping on about them.

1 year, 10 months ago on How Much Freaking Out Over Apple Copycats Is Too Much?

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 @croman Are you even reading my replies? You're certainly not attempting to offer a rebuttal to my points. 

 

Have you even looked at photo's of the Spectre and compared it to previous HP models and to the iMac? 

 

1 year, 10 months ago on How Much Freaking Out Over Apple Copycats Is Too Much?

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 @croman All in one PC's aren't a new thing though. They've been around for years, and a lot of them look a whole lot more like an iMac than the Spectre does, yet HP are catching a whole load of flack for designing a product that is identical to products that HP have been producing for several years. 

 

It's fashionable to accuse people of copying Apple at the moment. I wonder how many tech blogs will accuse Apple of ripping off Samsung when they announce larger iPhones and smaller iPads.

1 year, 10 months ago on How Much Freaking Out Over Apple Copycats Is Too Much?

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 @Stuey You'd have to be suffering from a serious visual impairment to see these two machines sitting side by side and think they are the same product. 

1 year, 10 months ago on How Much Freaking Out Over Apple Copycats Is Too Much?

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 @Stuey  @jholyhead They're nothing alike. They're rectangular. That's about where the similarities end. If HP ripped off anyone, they ripped off the Samsung monitors of the same time.

 

1 year, 10 months ago on How Much Freaking Out Over Apple Copycats Is Too Much?

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 @croman is that what Apple fanboy's consider trolling now?

1 year, 10 months ago on How Much Freaking Out Over Apple Copycats Is Too Much?

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 @croman as I said, it looks far more like the monitors that HP have been producing for the last 5,6 years than the iMac. And you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel if you are going after them over the keyboard. It's a keyboard. Unless it's actually identical, there is no case there.

1 year, 10 months ago on How Much Freaking Out Over Apple Copycats Is Too Much?

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It looks like an iMac? Really? Because it looks nearly identical (albeit a few inches bigger) to the 4 year old HP monitor I'm looking at right now.

 

Rounded corners =/= Apple copycat.

 

The track pad is obviously functionally similar, but I'm not convinced that's enough to justify a copycat label, either. There looks to be some stylistic differences between them.

1 year, 10 months ago on How Much Freaking Out Over Apple Copycats Is Too Much?

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There is still a lot of progress to be made from an intelligent system standpoint. Just because the technology doesn't currently exist doesn't mean it never will. It's not inconceivable that within the next 10 years, we'll be able to ask a computer program to assess our known taste in clothing, cross reference with current fashiontrends and have it return a perfectly suitable shortlist of black dresses within your budget.

 

...and the person who makes that happen is going to become insanely wealthy.

1 year, 10 months ago on The New War Between People and Machines

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 @Todd Dunning You're deluded if you think either party has any intention of doing anything about that.

1 year, 10 months ago on Social Media’s Quick-Twitch Honesty Shows We Hardly Care About the Truth

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 @Todd Dunning  @hamishmckenzie Almost as surprising as Republicans who think a flat income tax rate is going to lower the tax burden on entrepreneurs and make everything ok again.

 

Can we not just agree that all politicians are going to shaft you, it's just the color of the stick they use that differs.

1 year, 10 months ago on Social Media’s Quick-Twitch Honesty Shows We Hardly Care About the Truth

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When you're writing code, the only thing that matters is how comfortable you are and I don't see too many professional coders choosing to type on a touchscreen. PHP developers on the other hand..

 

Just because you 'can' do something, doesn't mean you would choose to.

1 year, 10 months ago on You Write Code For a Tablet, Now Try Coding On One

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This article made me really sad. Remember the days when people were focussed on trying to guess what awesome product company X would release next, instead of which company would sue which company next over their heinous use of the rounded corner and the 'buh-ton'.

 

 

1 year, 10 months ago on The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend: Apple Needs to Take Care of Google Before It Goes After Amazon

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Well, I guess we know that LiveFyre are really scaring the crap out of Disqus. We just need a Chris Crocker style 'Leave Disqus alone!' Youtube video to make the tantrum complete.

1 year, 11 months ago on He Said, He Said: The Disqus-LiveFyre Feud on Display in — What Else? — the Comments

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That's a real shame, the content in those lists were really great, but the way those lists were presented made reading them a chore. 

 

Good luck, Amanda. I'm sure both you and your fedora will do great things.

1 year, 11 months ago on A Sad Goodbye to the PandoList and Amanda Schwab

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The question shouldn't be 'is the algorithmic data-driven approach infallible?' it should be 'does the algorithmic data-driven approach perform better than the human judgment approach?'. I don't know what the answer is, but to cast the method aside because of something Donald Rumsfeld said about something completely unrelated is, to put it very mildly, shoddy reasoning.

 

A machine learning algorithm wont be able to offer 100% accuracy in its predictions, but it could probably weed out a lot of the weak companies whilst highlighting companies with a higher probability of success. Even if a human has to make the final decision, the model has reduced the time and therefore the cost involved in assessing potential investments. Investing isn't an exact science, but neither is it magic.

2 years ago on VCs: Now as Misguided as Donald Rumsfeld

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I just assumed PayPal is screwed because they have made pissing off their customers the centerpiece of their business model. When was the last time PayPal was in the news for anything other than torpedoing a charity fundraiser or shutting down Grandma's account over unspecified irregularities?

2 years ago on Exactly How Screwed Is PayPal? (Hint: Very)

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 @AdamGeo  @andrewrabon  @jholyhead Gmail is only as good as a spam account. Maps is rubbish and Android is crap.I just rolled my eyes so hard that I think I might have strained something.Don't tell me, you own at least 2 products starting with an i. 

2 years ago on Don’t Laugh at Google Glass: They’re Goofy, but They Will Save Us from Ourselves

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 @AdamGeo Do you have any idea how long 50 years is in technology terms? 

2 years ago on Don’t Laugh at Google Glass: They’re Goofy, but They Will Save Us from Ourselves

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 @ltgjamaica The Google Glass pre-order isn't for a consumer device - it's for a development prototype. You pay $1500 for a chance to experiment with the product before it becomes a consumer device. 

 

Those Google I/O attendees now have the opportunity to get a leg up on what may be a major shift in the wearable computing market. $1500 is cheap.

2 years ago on Google I/O Day One Wrap-Up: Hardware Edition

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I was about to write an impulsive 'PC Notebook trackpads are just fine, you stupid fanboy', but then my palm brushed gently across the trackpad of my Lenovo and shit got crazy. 

 

They really are awful, aren't they?

2 years ago on Why Does Every PC Notebook’s Trackpad Suck? (Or Why Microsoft Is Building its Own Hardware)

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Microsoft doesn't need to kill the iPad in order to have a massively successful product. The Galaxy SII didn't kill the iPhone, but I Samsung were hardly disappointed with its performance. The Surface looks like an amazing product, and if Microsoft delivers on that promise, then it will sell very well. It might not sell half as many units as the iPad, but that wont make it a failure, especially if it enables Microsoft to build a foothold in the tablet market for Windows 8. 

 

The only people who care about products killing one another are tech-blogs and fanboys.

2 years, 1 month ago on You Don’t Kill Incumbents, You Leapfrog Them or You Lose

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 @nathanr.uni The problem is, all their new customers start out as newbs. When you get screwed on your first night, you are much less likely to try for a second. Leaving your customers to spend a night sleeping rough is not the way to earn repeat business.

2 years, 1 month ago on Big Changes Coming for Couchsurfing.org

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 @noAlvaro  @AdamBritten You think Windows 8 should have been Metro only?

 

That wouldn't have been Windows 8, that would have been Metro 1 and it would have been guaranteed to fail. Windows 8's ability to run legacy Windows applications is its true killer feature. 

2 years, 1 month ago on Microsoft Is Doing What Google Should Have Been Doing All Along

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 @AdamBritten  @noAlvaro Microsoft hasn't released anything yet, so how can you say that nothing they have released can compete? 

 

What Microsoft did today was announce a device that, on paper, solves a load of problems people have with tablets. If they do a good job building it, and if Win8 isn't a lemon, and if they price it competitively (within $100 of an iPad), then it will sell millions of units. That's a lot of ifs, but that's a lot of potential reward too.

 

And if all that happens, then Win8 becomes a major player in the tablet OS market overnight and Samsung, Asus et al will pile resources into building Win8 devices, probably at the expense of Android, because where Android has suffered from fragmentation issues, the one thing Microsoft has always excelled at, was building OS's that worked reasonably well on just about any hardware configuration.

2 years, 1 month ago on Microsoft Is Doing What Google Should Have Been Doing All Along

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 @noAlvaro Win8 hasn't even been released yet. How are you slamming their ecosystem before the doors have been opened?

 

Windows 8 will give Microsoft a massive boost in the app stakes because developers will be able to build one Metro app that will run on the user's desktop, their tablet and on their phone. Microsoft's calculated gamble is that people will choose a Win8 phone/tablet because of that cross device compatibility. Only time will tell whether they calculated correctly.

2 years, 1 month ago on Microsoft Is Doing What Google Should Have Been Doing All Along

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 @suckafatonebird Hell will freeze over twice before that happens.

2 years, 1 month ago on Beneath Microsoft’s Surface Is a Company in Transition

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It's the smart move. The best way to convince their hardware partners that Windows 8 is a viable choice for a tablet OS is to produce a successful tablet running Win8. Of course if it isn't successful...

 

I wouldn't be surprised if they price this at barely more than cost in order to bump up early sales numbers...and I guess we know that Win 8 is going to be here before the holidays.

2 years, 1 month ago on Beneath Microsoft’s Surface Is a Company in Transition

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The Nokia/Windows partnership was always going to be a slow burn. Microsoft has a lot of work to do to undo the damage its previous ventures into mobile caused, but they're going balls to the wall with Win 8. If it's a hit, then Nokia will get pulled along. If it's a flop, then the collapse of Nokia might be overshadowed by the implosion of a much bigger industry giant.

 

I think Nokia's chances are much better than evens at this point.

2 years, 1 month ago on RIP, Nokia (1865 – 2014)

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 @davemackey Its just practice and refinement of the tech. Tapping a keyboard on a touchscreen was a painful experience a few years, now it feels like a natural thing to do and the technology has made it less error prone. Eventually, writing on a screen with a stylus wont feel any less natural than pen on paper.

 

Look at graphics tablets, the first time you use one it is a frustrating hand eye coordinating nightmare, but after a while, you stop having to think about it.

2 years, 1 month ago on Don’t Laugh, the Stylus Is Coming Back

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 @paulcarr  @rstephens I agree, but they should be honest about what you are paying for. It does not cost Amazon $0.15/MB to send data to kindle devices. If those costs are being used to subsidise something else, they should be honest about it. 

2 years, 1 month ago on Amazon Charges “Gigantic” Data Fees To Authors, Whiny Bitches Report

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What I need is a tool that generates unique, feasible reasons why I can't attend the meeting I've just been invited to, because coming up with excuses is hard.

2 years, 1 month ago on Sneaking in From Canada, Gijit Promises to Take the Pain Out of Organizing Meetings

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 @jaredcwhite I expect the way that any non technical person finds/works with developers. She already had a mature pen and paper prototype, which is a lot more than most clients have when they are looking to hire a developer.

2 years, 1 month ago on Who Says You Can’t Have It All? The Story of LaLa Lunchbox, the App Store and a Hungry Little Girl

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Just the idea that this could happen precludes the possibility of me ever using an app like that. My blood pressure is elevated just imagining them playing the leaky pipe game with me after a long haul flight.

2 years, 1 month ago on Hotel(Not)Tonight: Disrupting The Hospitality Industry Takes More Than a Slick App

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 @JonWeisblatt  @UpgradeUSA I'd be more convinced by the credit building argument if we had some idea of the default rate on your loans. 

2 years, 1 month ago on Neglected No More: High-End Electronics for Low-Income Masses

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 @trevoragilbert  @HelloPando but if the 'normal' price is already inflated, which looks to be the case from the site, then it works out at potentially more than double.

2 years, 2 months ago on Neglected No More: High-End Electronics for Low-Income Masses

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I get the feeling this company will 'help the poor' in the same way that payday lenders 'help the poor'.

 

2 years, 2 months ago on Neglected No More: High-End Electronics for Low-Income Masses

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 @Raul I Lopez Those 2 guys in Canada are working with theory developed by hundreds of PhDs over several decades. They're standing on the shoulders of giants.

2 years, 2 months ago on Everyone’s Convinced That MBAs Are Useless, So Now Might Be a Good Time to Hire Them

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 @AndrewRoin I think the undergrad degree is important. If you studied engineering, then went on to do an MBA, that makes you an Engineer who understands business or at least a businessman who understands engineering - that's going to be incredibly valuable to a startup, especially once things start to pick up speed growth wise.

 

An MBA with a worthless undergrad major, however, is just an empty suit until proven otherwise

2 years, 2 months ago on Everyone’s Convinced That MBAs Are Useless, So Now Might Be a Good Time to Hire Them

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This wont really be a show about Silicon Valley until the Kardashians file a patent suit 

2 years, 2 months ago on Real Founders of Silicon Valley: Those Bravo-Inspired Entrepreneurial Events In Full

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 @DavidCarcamo  @OliverCrangle Not saying it is right or wrong, just saying that it is naive to expect them to do otherwise.

2 years, 2 months ago on What Eduardo Saverin Owes America (Hint: Nearly Everything)

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 @MattCastro So you want to pay thousands more in taxes, so the rich can save millions? Because that's the reality of the flat rate model.

 

It's a pretty hard ideology for a middle class citizen to believe in, if they fully understand the implications. 

 

2 years, 2 months ago on Dustin Moskovitz: “I Couldn’t Imagine Moving to Optimize for Taxes”

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 @OliverCrangle I think we should expect successful businessmen to use whatever tools are at their disposal to maximise their profits. If you think that Saverin should not be able to escape his tax obligation by surrendering his citizenship, then your problem should be with the system that enables that behaviour, not with the world-wise businessman who sees a way to reduce his tax burden.

2 years, 2 months ago on What Eduardo Saverin Owes America (Hint: Nearly Everything)

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If Americans were as outraged at the kind of tax dodging accounting practices that happens in every major corporation as they are about Saverin, then the US would probably be looking at massive budget surpluses instead of massive deficits. You might even be able to afford that war with Iran you've had your eye on.

 

2 years, 2 months ago on What Eduardo Saverin Owes America (Hint: Nearly Everything)

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No one pays taxes they aren't obliged to pay. There is, after all, a thin line between tax avoidance and tax evasion. If he no longer resides in the US, and he has a perfectly legal way to avoid paying additional taxes, why on earth would he choose to part with $600m?

 

Sure, it's not fair, but neither is life. 

2 years, 2 months ago on What Eduardo Saverin Owes America (Hint: Nearly Everything)

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A bizarre inverted, not unrelated post by Rob Conery - http://wekeroad.com/2012/05/11/men-in-tech

2 years, 2 months ago on It’s Time to Stop Talking About Women in Tech

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 @mouseroot and in an ideal world, that would be enough, but this isn't an ideal world. Ignoring discrimination, or encouraging others to ignore it, makes you part of the problem.

2 years, 2 months ago on It’s Time to Stop Talking About Women in Tech

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You're right, we should stop talking about discrimination and prejudice within the tech community. Frankly all the nagging is giving me a headache. It's not like talking about problems has ever led to a solution - just look at the damage Martin Luther King caused by speaking out about race, if he'd only shut up, the whole 'civil rights' whinge fest would have sorted itself out far faster. 

 

And it's not like women don't have form in this arena. Just look at the suffragettes. If they'd just found themselves a husband and popped out their quota of brats like they were supposed to, they wouldn't have had to wait so long for the vote. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

 

</sarcasm>

 

Your privilege is showing, but I have good news: you'll never write a sillier article, it's all good times from here on out. 

2 years, 2 months ago on It’s Time to Stop Talking About Women in Tech

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 @tundey  @trevoragilbert  @edoswald 'cos they just hand those things out to anyone.

2 years, 2 months ago on Office Crashers: Zynga Overcomes A Bad Reputation, Touts Less Than 3 Percent Attrition

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I suppose as the company has grown, Pincus has less direct contact with individual employees and so has less opportunity to drive them away. Note that when they were talking about the changes the company made, they weren't talking about Pincus changing his attitude - they just brought in a management team, probably to act as a sanity layer between the boss's office and the programmer pit.

 

Also, the attrition rate conveys very little information unless we know how they are calculating it. There are a lot of ways that you could tweak the numbers to get it down to 3%.  

2 years, 2 months ago on Office Crashers: Zynga Overcomes A Bad Reputation, Touts Less Than 3 Percent Attrition

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 @atgrauer I've got Mr Aspirin on the case.

 

I see what you're doing with the courses. It seems to do a decent job of raising the signal-noise ratio.

 

But you've got to do something about first time visitors getting trapped in .org. You click on the Video Lectures link on the .com homepage and zap, you're on .org with no obvious way to tell that you aren't on the same site you started on and no way to get back, hence, headache + bad first impression.

2 years, 2 months ago on Course Hero, a DIY Education Startup, Is Now Paying Students*

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My bad, there's two sites side by side. CourseHero.org is a disorganised noisy content scraping mess, whilst CourseHero.com is organised content scraping.

 

I guess I would have known that after completing 'Course Hero 101'.

 

The site still gave me a headache.

2 years, 2 months ago on Course Hero, a DIY Education Startup, Is Now Paying Students*

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Not sure I see the point in this site, which is a shame, because I'm a huge fan of the work being done by startups like Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity etc etc.

 

Course Hero tries to do lots of stuff and isn't doing any of it well. Why would I go there to watch a Khan Academy video, when I can watch it at Khan Academy without having to wade through a load of stuff I'm not interested in. Why does the same incomplete lecture series appear multiple times in search results with a different subset of lectures. Arrgh. Not only are they just scraping content from their betters, they're incompetently scraping content from their betters.

 

It's a disorganised noisy mess.

 

I hope they sort themselves out, because at the moment, they'd *have* to pay me to use this site.

2 years, 2 months ago on Course Hero, a DIY Education Startup, Is Now Paying Students*

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I think it's to be expected.

 

TechCrunch is losing traffic and they don't seem to have a strategy to reverse the trend. At some point board members are going to start thinking about cutting their losses before the situation becomes (more) embarrassing.  That doesn't mean they're going to let it go for nothing, but if someone comes along and makes an offer than enables AOL to save face, expect Armstrong to take their arm off at the elbow.

2 years, 2 months ago on Sources Say AOL Seeking Buyers for Engadget and TechCrunch, Arrington “Not In The Least Bit Interested”

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 @LucidLunatic Nonsense. The Microsoft stack is a perfectly reasonable choice if you want to build B2B software. It's not the right tool for everything but it is rock solid. The suggestion that if you use Microsoft technologies you are not innovating is absurd. 

2 years, 2 months ago on Microsoft Is the Monsanto to Seattle’s Talent

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"Using “if this, then that” logic, the system recognizes which incoming messages should be diverted to which rooms."

 

That isn't like GMail filters. That is Gmail filters.

 

Changing the terminology from 'folders' and 'labels' to 'rooms' isn't a killer feature. The only real advancement over Gmail is that your inbox could intelligently sort the emails without explicit rules - interesting, but hard to do reliably and 1 important misfiled email could turn off a new user.

2 years, 2 months ago on Is GoMail the Future of Email? I Hope So

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 @kbhatt2006  @ghenry232 Dude, my eyes just rolled so far back into my head, I think I detached a retina. You'll be hearing from my attorney.

2 years, 3 months ago on Everybody Chill Out: Apple is a Long-Term Goldmine

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 @ghenry232 My point was that the stock price is primarily driven by Wall St. firms who deal in much higher volume trades than Joe the Plumber gamblers. A drop in share price like Apple experienced last week isn't indicative of a load of long term investors getting scared. It is indicative of Wall St. firms pulling a load of their money our before a predicted dip. 

 

He states in the article that investors got spooked when Apple shot up to $644 - but there is absolutely no evidence of this being the case. 

 

From the article, CAPS mine:

"And yet, in the absence of any new information about Apple, INVESTORS WENT NUTS. Over the past month, THEY first ran up Apple by six percent, pushing it to a high of $644 on April 9. Then, just as swiftly, Apple plummeted."

 

Investors didn't go nuts. Investors just earned their firms an absolute crap load of money. The private individual investors would have had a very small impact on those movements. 

 

If there was any evidence that thousands of private individuals just cashed in their chips, I'd agree with you, at least in part, but those kind of rapid shifts are a result of standard Wall St. strategies.

2 years, 3 months ago on Everybody Chill Out: Apple is a Long-Term Goldmine

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 @ghenry232 I'm not entirely sure where to start. 590 words and I'm not sure you actually made a point requiring an answer.

 

There's no magic to predicting big wobbles based on quarterly result sheets. Are you suggesting that if Apple announces they've sold 15% fewer iPhones than expected that their price isn't going to drop in the short term? Because I'll bet my left leg that it will. They wont know exactly how much it will drop because the market isn't deterministic, but they'll know it is going to drop, so they'll sell at the peak and then buy back at the trough. Buy low, sell high - That's the most fundamental principle of investing. I

 

Or do you know better?

2 years, 3 months ago on Everybody Chill Out: Apple is a Long-Term Goldmine

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Another article that seems to ignore how the market actually works in favor of how the writer thinks it should work.

 

"Most analysts will pay attention to the number of iPhones the company sold. If that number comes in above Wall Street estimates of around 30 million, the stock will surge. If it comes in below, even slightly below, the stock will slide, possibly by a bundle. The smart investor will ignore any slight tick above or below “expectations.”"

 

Big investors determine their investments based on expectations. If they expected Apple to sell 33m iPhones, they will have bought stock to reflect that expectation, as a result, the stock price will float towards a value representing 33m iPhones sold. If Apple come out and say, actually we only sold 28m (not a slight tick, a very big tick below expectation), then the stock price at that moment in time is overvalued and a lot of the big investors will pull some of their money out to maximise their profits at that moment.

 

There is no benefit for the big brokers on Wall St. to ride out the dip. They don't make the big money that way. They predict a dip they pull money out, they predict a peak they push money in.

 

The personal investor with 50 shares in Apple can ride out the storm because they are looking for long term gains, but the firms who deal in 1000s of shares aren't interested in the long term growth of Apple, they only care about how much money they can make today.

2 years, 3 months ago on Everybody Chill Out: Apple is a Long-Term Goldmine

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 @ciaranj  @roryelgin  @paulcarr  @trevoragilbert He wasn't disagreeing, he was trolling.

 

It was a light hearted story, not a criminal act.

2 years, 3 months ago on Uber Cab Confessions: Driving Mr. Morin

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 @roryelgin He's not censoring you, he's mocking you. There's a difference.

2 years, 3 months ago on Uber Cab Confessions: Driving Mr. Morin

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Coursera - a startup founded by two Stanford academics - has just secured $16m in funding to continue their experiment into providing massively open online courses; they're planning on running dozens of courses from some of the top colleges in the US over the next 12 months. Udacity - founded by a Stanford academic, come Google engineer - are being backed by Charles River Ventures and are doing the same. MIT are also putting money into MITx to enable people to take their courses online.

 

The disruption of the higher education sector has started - it's about bloody time.

2 years, 3 months ago on Why Hasn’t Software Eaten Healthcare, Finance, and Education Yet?

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 @trejdify Wall St. noticed the self driving car programme a long time before the media started getting excited about it and they have a very good idea of how much money Google is going to make from self driving cars in the short term - not very much, which is why they don't care. Self driving cars aren't going to boost next quarter's profits beyond their current expectations.

 

Wall St. don't invest like VCs. A VC might buy into a company because they think it will take off in 5 years time and return a big profit. The guys on the trading floors in New York don't want their money sitting still for 5 years. 

 

When Google start making moves that suggest they're going to bring a self driving car to market, their share price will shoot up, because that's the kind of time scales Wall St. cares about.

2 years, 3 months ago on Markets Go Up, Markets Go Down, Life Goes On

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 @Jimkelly67  @jholyhead Analysts don't determine the share price, but they provide advice and guidance to the brokers who most certainly do determine the share price.

 

Apple's share price might have dipped for a million different reasons. No one who knows anything about economics considered it to be a sign of anything significant. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Markets Go Up, Markets Go Down, Life Goes On

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I promise you, I absolutely promise you, that the tech analysts on Wall St. have a much better understanding of Google's and Apple's short and long term visions than you do, or I do. 

 

This post is a little bit silly and a lot naive. 

 

2 years, 3 months ago on Markets Go Up, Markets Go Down, Life Goes On

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 @LunaticSX Apple's success over the last decade has been predicated on their getting in dangerously early. MP3 players before the iPod sucked. Smartphones before the iPhone sucked. Tablets before the iPad sucked. 

 

That's where Apple excels. In taking a fledgling market and building something 2 years beyond the capabilities of their competitors. If Steve Jobs was still alive, I'd bet my last penny that he could get good AR glasses to the market before Google, but as it stands at the moment, I'm not sure.

2 years, 3 months ago on Screw TVs — Why Isn’t Apple Building A Smartwatch?

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 @mx5_94  I imagine it would suck and be really expensive. Apple is a consumer technology company, not a car company. They could partner with a car company and handle the cabin electronics, maybe, but they lack the expertise to build an actual car. It aint easy. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Screw TVs — Why Isn’t Apple Building A Smartwatch?

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 @cyberking2000 so where are your calculations? Or don't they offer Engineering courses at troll school?

2 years, 3 months ago on Dear Microsoft, Charging For an API is For Winners

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You've already built your product to use Bing. So now you have a choice, you can pay the $40 a month, or you can put thousands of dollars of development effort into recoding, retesting, redocumenting and upgrading your product to use Google, which is much more expensive than Bing at medium query volumes.

 

Maybe some tiny startups will look to move to Google, but the big customers will just pay up. $40 a month is pocket change. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Dear Microsoft, Charging For an API is For Winners

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It's all about marketing. You don't talk about compression protocols, you talk about faster downloads. You don't talk about low power processors, you talk about extra battery life. You don't talk about increased cache sizes, you talk about improved performance.

 

Real engineers don't seek glory, we just want difficult problems and occasionally some pizza. We'll leave the glory to the MBAs. They've nothing better to do, after all.

2 years, 3 months ago on Back-End Engineers Are the Unsung Heroes of the Tech Industry

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 @cjackson A 250 word comment on a story you don't care about. You must really not care a lot.

2 years, 3 months ago on Facebook’s Yahoo Smackdown: This Is Why Consultants Shouldn’t Run Tech Companies

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 @quensil Facebook only owned 56 patents at the end of 2011. I think Yahoo thought that Facebook would roll over and settle early, rather than going to the trouble of tapping up IBM for 750 patents.

 

I wouldn't be surprised to see both companies agree to drop their suits in the next 3 months. I don't think it a coincidence that Facebook has sued over the same number of patents as Yahoo. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Facebook’s Yahoo Smackdown: This Is Why Consultants Shouldn’t Run Tech Companies

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Yahoo probably thought that since Facebook only owned 56 patents at the end of last year, that they were safe from the countersuit. 

 

I'd have loved to be a fly on the boardroom wall when they found out Facebook had purchased 750 patents from IBM out of the blue.

2 years, 3 months ago on Facebook’s Yahoo Smackdown: This Is Why Consultants Shouldn’t Run Tech Companies

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I think there is a comparison to be made with self-publishing. When the product is right and the stars align, it will work out well for all involved, but a lot of the time, the startups will either fail to raise very much money or the investors will find themselves disappointed in their investment. The traditional funding routes will remain the arbiters of quality, just as traditional publishers serve as gatekeepers in the publishing industry. 

 

We'll see stories of the housewife from Indiana who invested $100 in her neighbours fledgling startup only to see it become a multi-billion dollar outfit 5 years later, just like we'll see stories of blue collar workers from Michigan complaining that they have been fleeced by a startup that misused the funding they raised.

And like self-publishing those startups who successfully crowdfunded in the early years will often find their way back to the old school capital system eventually.

2 years, 3 months ago on Welcome to the Wild West of Suckers, Lawyers, and Snake Oil Salesmen

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At the start of this list I was a bit baffled - why would you choose to profile current students...by the end I got it. I feel kinda inadequate now. 

 

I hope Sam King goes full throttle with Code the Change. It's an interesting concept. We tend to judge the success of startups based on their monetary value or other financial criteria because it is easy to quantify and compare. It would be nice to see more startups where their financial value is considered secondary to their societal value.   

2 years, 3 months ago on Top 5 Stanford CS Students You Should Know

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