2702 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007
That’s a formula for disaster if you want to reap the benefits of a web company…
There is nothing special about web companies. You actually mean companies with a distinctive brand which have to be handled carefully, a good example might be how IBM handled the purchase and integration of Lotus which it kept as a separate division for over ten years and only recently dropped the brand. Oracle's design to fold Sun in quickly was equally as successful in disposing of loss-making sectors and improving the profitability of the rest and providing a coherent product line for customers.
For all its blurb Microsoft has hardly kept its mitts off Skype which is why the client's are increasingly welded to other Microsoft services and increasingly unwieldy as a result. Do we have any figures from Microsoft as to how well Skype is doing? Is it still operating at a loss?
What does seem to be different for web companies is the size of goodwill and potential write-offs. If Facebook can pay $1 bn for Instagram, why shouldn't Tumblr be worth the same notional figure? The justification is usually about the eyeballs for advertising but this is as much about shutting down the competition as anything else. This is less about market share than outright domination: IBM got out of the PC business when it realised the margins were terminally thin; Akamai bought Cotendo to shut them down. And if things don't work out, well the charges can be offset against any tax meaning that other taxpayers will actually take the hit.
Given that current monetary policy is making any of these purchases extremely cheap, we can expect more of them and that is probably one of the aims of QE and its ilk: raising valuations supposedly makes us all feel wealthier and we thus go out and spend more.
Re: I tried to use Acetrax once...
Worked fine for me on the telly but I didn't sign up for more…
Here in Germany, MaxDome is the platform of choice, sadly crippled by no intelligent way of checking for whether the films have an English soundtrack: my German is fine but I hate the way they dub films here. Oh, and they send newsletters without usable text/plain parts which mean I never find out what's new…
Not for tablets
Be interesting to see how this plays out. At the moment I can't test the new build with my Galaxy 8.9 because it is "not compatible". I assume this is a form factor issue.
I just love the idea that somehow turning nickel into copper releases power slowly enough to plug in a kettle to make a pot of tea. Maybe the "patented waveform" somehow puts the the nuclei to sleep using "sleepons"? Why isn't building a Massive Hadron Lullaby?
Not to discount the possibility of strange things happening at the quantum level but the strong nuclear force is called strong for a reason and even some kind of "nuclear transistor" where quarks would tunnel from nucleus to another would still release a fuck of a lot energy. So, paint me sceptical. But I do like the idea of a "nuclear transistor" - just imagine being able to use something along those lines to control the gain of future fusion reactions!
Re: This sort of shit
is making homoeopathy look good.
And there's billions to be made from that as well. What, as an investor, is not to like? ;-)
Life imitating fiction?
From "Small Soldiers"
Can I speak to a computer, please?
The scripts of many call centres are better suited to mechanical rather than human processing so this does make sense. The cost is probably currently prohibitive at the moment but, if Watson works as well as current systems, should come down quite quickly. This could well lead to a better experience for customers and the remaining workers - the ones who get to answer questions the system can't . Time to work out what jobs the others can do. Next stop legal advice?
Both the original book and the film are still in copyright so the product will need to be licensed to be able to use the name "Soylent". Presumably that's why he's raising the money although I don't think it'll be enough to cover it.
Re: The only problem is…
That would be churlish of me. Besides, it's only "opinion" and those are protected by the constitution. Or, this at least the position of the ratings agencies, who were canonised in a similar fashion by the SEC allowing any financial product to be sold that "had a rating". And we know how well that worked: no one wilfully abused the freedom in speech in declaring things like colateralised debt obligations including sub-prime mortgages as being of the highest creditworthiness, did they now?
The only problem is…
that the SEC recently authorised companies to publish relevant information via Twitter and co. You could say accident waiting to happen.
Nokia's "innovation" in the 1990s was as much about fashion as anything else along with the Communicator came replaceable cases and image SMS. Indeed Mr O infamously trounced Nokia for being late to the colour screen and cameraphone party.
Re: Lame! Yahoo! Headlines!
Yahoo! Started! It!
Re: It's Ireland who get on my tits.
The level of Corporation Tax is only part of the problem; there are more than enough loopholes in the British tax system.
Re: wasting money
For $2000 he could have just bought direct…
This is a custom build with lots of unnecessary duplication for a particular requirement.
I imagine any systems builder would be able to provide a rack-based system using a similar configuration for a fraction of the cost. Of course, they'd want to increase chip & core density to make it commercial. But being able to build systems at this price makes it a lot easier to try things out.
Be a self-facilitating media node
With the British government offering to guarantee higher risk property loans up to £130 billion (no wonder the national debt keeps going up) plus some shared equity scams you should be able to get the money if you can reasonably convincingly show that you are a first time shoebox-buyer, which probably all you can get for 50k in London. Do it properly and you don't even have to think about ever paying it back and.
1 % isn't a "minnow"
Get a couple of percent of a public company and you are close to a seat on the board. Plenty of scope to short MS stock with a view to getting the necessary stock cheaply.
What's the weight?
The 13" sounds great to me assuming it can pump higher resolution via HDMI/DisplayPort. Notebook ergonomics are bad enough but unbearable on small screens. Roll on Android notebooks.
Re: If you must use this...
If you must use this...
Surely nobody must? I use HBCI for my online stuff. Kills h4xx0rs. Dead.
Re: What a Stupid Hunt.
The old ones are the best ones!
Re: Past and future
Private companies are desperate to get their hands on government bonds which finance exactly this kind of project. In fact, pension and sovereign wealth funds are becoming increasingly interested in financing infrastructure projects directly because: firstly, the timescales suit them; and, secondly, the risk-adjusted yields are likely to better than those from government bonds.
Re: Sensible hat on - a better use of £12bn
The two (HS2 and network improvements) are not mutually exclusive and should both be going ahead and could at least be partially financed by cutting back the subsidies to the train operators.
BTW. for comparison Cologne to Frankfurt cost € 6 bn for 180 km (Wikipedia). It's not without its problems but was transformational for travel. As part of its response to the 2008 financial crisis the German government made lots of cash available for railway improvements. This was both politically expedient - a few years disinvestment had started to cause problems with more and more failures in rolling stock - and economically savvy as doing up stations, track and signals tends to use lots of local workers and keeps them trained. Time lost to delays has decreased noticeably since. There are numbers attached to that sort of thing but they should be taken with a pinch of salt from the bucket you need to read Worstall's diatribes.
Re: Tim Worstall = HS2 NIMBY ?
No, it's worse. He's "a retired to South Kent (the sunshine) after making pots of money Torygraph reader" who always knows best and doesn't think the government should spend money on anything but his pension and pet projects: Northerners don't need good rail connections, poor people don't need schools or hospitals, etc.
Britain's rail infrastructure has suffered from decades of under investment. Bringing it into line with other countries who have been investing in their rail networks was always going to be tremendously expensive but anyone who has travelled on the successful (yes, there are failures) high-speed rail connections such as Cologne-Frankfurt or Madrid-Barcelona will testify, they are running at near capacity and replacing journeys that would either be taken by road, adding to already heavily congested roads, or not at all. Furthermore, as Berkshire Hathaway's investment has shown: new track for passenger trains means more capacity for profitable freight and fewer (or at least a lower rate of increase in their numbers) of those ruinously heavy lorries on the road.
Re: Eadon's theory of Techie "Waves" - TWO types
I see no spelling mistakes… I must have been reading it wrong: the "minis" must refer to Austin Rover' car, certainly a milestone in the development of computing. And, who could deny the importance of John Newman's "Feel The Love" to generations of programmers?
Eadon is just a misunderstood genius.
Re: Eadon's theory of Techie "Waves" - TWO types
Congratulations on the number of spelling mistakes.
Re: Reminds me of someone...
I know Firefox 3.2.28 is safe because I ran a contest on an IT forum earlier this year,
Wow, I like your style!
Alternatively you could check the release notes for subsequent versions and write some test cases.
Can we have a King Canute icon?
Re: Reminds me of someone...
Pretty much all the browsers often need security fixes but Firefox 21 is a feature release. Chrome gets silent updates an IE gets patched because someone made it essential for core parts of the OS without putting it in a sandbox.
I can understand people wanting to avoid feature releases which is why there are the LTS builds which only get security updates. 17.0.6 is current.
3.2.x might be faster depending on available memory but how do you know if it's safe? It's not supported by anyone.
Re: Like for like comparison required
If and when a 64-bit Afom falls into my lap...
Why do you need 64-bit for a webserver or a router? Oh, and how much does the thing cost?
Like for like comparison required
As you note the performance isn't stellar - room in the market for both AMD and nVidia. You really need to draw up some application configurations and load tests for when ARM hardware becomes available to test. The Raspberry Pi comparison is irrelevant as it most certainly isn't supposed to be a server, personal media server is a misnomer in that context.
TPM has been touting some very datacentre-friendly, high-density ARM-based designs which will presumably do CPU-bound virtualisation at less than R-Pi power per virtual server. Can't remember whether they have GPUs for parallel grunt, if not there will soon be Teslas for the job. You can imagine Google licking its lips at being able to use them for transcoding for Youtube.
I guess it's fashionable for people to bash Android using the "fragmentation" straw man. I just don't think it bears up to closer inspection. I don't know anyone who complains about either their version of Android or about the pre-installed apps. The move from Android 2 to 4 on phones seems to following the 2-year contracts that a great many people have but there isn't much difference in practical terms because the API hasn't changed that much in the last couple of years. Sure, some apps don't look as good at some resolutions or on some devices as they do on others but this is largely limited to phone apps running on tablets and I suspect that will start to change as sales of Android tablets continue to rise and developers look to exploit the growing market.
Studies such as that quoted by Yankee are not worth very much. There seem to be a lot of predictions about the decline of Android in the US but some data does not seem to support that. Now that Akamai is publishing worldwide figures the trends are pretty <a href="http://www.akamai.com/html/io/io_dataset.html#stat=mobile_browser&top=10&type=line&start=20130412&end=20130512&net=m>obvious:</a>Android is over driving over 40 % of browsing on mobile networks; Windows Phone is stuck at 0.6 % far behind Blackberry and even DoCoMo's own hardware. Banging on about the "slickness" of the Windows phone device is getting to sound more and more about banging on about Betamax being better than VHS: it might well be better but not enough to matter.
The UX versus UI debate reminds me of other interesting discussions by the author of how Nokia got lost spending too much time with focus groups and UX experiments. If it was wrong for Nokia then why is it right Microsoft now? Of course UX is important but I fail to see the huge wins for Windows 8 when you, apparently, still cannot have different volume settings for the ring tone and the speaker. Those who want walled gardens are free buy a Kindle Fire, the rest of us seem to manage fine.
Re: So *thirty* years after "privatization" BT still has an effective infrastructure monopoly.
Wholesale rates were set low to encourage new entrants, but also had the effect of pushing new telcos toward just reselling BT stuff instead of building their own networks out.
Wholesale prices in Britain are not, AFAIK, significantly different to those in other countries. Specifically France has benefited from cheap rates and rigorous unbundling: France Telecom still owns the vast majority of the infrastructure, is required to invest in its upgrading and provide full access to competitors.
In Germany private utility companies were early investors in capacity which meant a lot more backhaul capacity was available along with access to the home. But it is also true that cable capacity was initially (ill-advisedly using coax and not fibre) built out by the government before privatisation. Deutsche Telekom struck some kind of deal for higher wholesale pricing on the fibre network it is now building out.
So, if other countries with similar wholesale pricing can still encourage investment, why isn't it happening in Britain? If BT thinks it is being paid too little for wholesale connections then it hasn't made its case properly.
Re: So *thirty* years after "privatization" BT still has an effective infrastructure monopoly.
Pretty much spot on but I have to take issue with.
cash flow -> Fat pay rises to executives (doing the same job) + dividends to share holders (mainly pension funds, like every other major company in the UK)
Pension funds are interested in long term returns, hence the current trend towards getting them to fund long term infrastructure projects. Short-term returns such as higher dividends don't suit that. If the pension funds really are in control then you would expect more investment to encourage future returns.
Re: What has the EU do do with it anyway?
The only problem the EU has is with the work not being put out to competitive tender as all government contracts in the EU have to. It's not a market if there is no competition.
Britain, despite being a pioneer in privatising telecommunications, has consistently failed to create a competitive market. There are parallels with the power generation market which has also failed to attract investment. Customers, including businesses, are the ones who lose out over time by paying more for poorer services (than their European competitors).
It doesn't have to be like that. My cable provider wrote last week to tell me that they have recently upgraded the local loop to fibre. No subsidy involved although I think they will have used the holes dug by the council for the new underground (paid for by the state so put out to tender) to install the cable. Apparently speeds of up to 150 Mb/s are possible. Which is nice, though I'm more than happy with my puny 50 Mb/s.
Look! A Windows Phone
Mr Orlowski will pleased to see the other one in use!
Re: Cost of 'spinning up a commercial version'
Probably the desire to have more of the work such as encryption done in hardware and you might want to put restrictions on the OS - stop someone hacking into the system simply be putting in a different SD-card.
I suspect that existing femto cells are very like this already. ARM's ubiquity already puts a lid on chip prices but other things like SDKs could be quite another matter. This might encourage chipmakers to make sure their chips can also work in the environment.
Re: Nokia competing against Android
Not really. You can't make generalisations across the entire world like that. WP could be a surpise hit in the low-price sector.
You hope. After previously noting that the new phone competes head-to-head with the Lumia 520. AFAIK the Ashas are still outselling the Lumias by quite a margin and with phones like this, presumably with Facebook doing an Amazon and financing the data, are not likely to change that very much.
Meanwhile the cheap Android phones will continue to benefit from platform (hardware and software) improvements and continue to flood the market. Support for apps and services like Mpesa in key markets could be far more important than OS, battery life and Facebook.
Re: The problem...
Interesting post. I'd like to hear more about how Metro is supposed to work with keyboard and mouse.
Too litte too late
Going from phone (yes, we know Andrew and the other couple of users like it) to tablets is still going to mean straddling the ARM/x86 divide that Microsoft have yet to demonstrate that they've mastered.
One should never say never but Apple and Android now have established ecosystems of users, manufacturers and software developers in the mobile space and, by the looks of it, better toolchains for cross-architecture development.
There is still a huge market for really lightweight Windows Pro tablets as notebook replacements: give us the chance to avoid Metro and we'll snap up 1 kg devices in droves. That market will go to the first manufacturers who realise that the x86 notebook is a dying breed.
Re: Power consumption of the system?
The Intel-based Motorola has similar power/performance figures to ARM-based phones. It has better single-threaded performance, worse graphics and worse task switching but would feel as good to a user: on a phone screen and radio use are also big power draws.
Intel still has three problems: it is still playing catch up in the lower power game so while Silvermont has been announced, the S4 already has big.Little on the shelves; ARM manufacturers are catching up in process technology which is driven by volumes; Intel still wants to charge a lot more for chips than competition-constrained ARM vendors. It will obviously offer sweeteners such as marketing subsidies to any manufacturers to effectively lower the price per chip. But, as the continuing dearth of volume Atom-based phones would seem to indicate, it has yet to achieve volume.
I think that beefing up the architecture may be a gamble now that the phone market seems lost. This could easily hit revenues if computer and server manufacturers reckon they can do the same work with Atoms that they have been thinking about doing with ARMs because it will cannibalise sales of even beefier but much higher margin chips. There may also be reasonably large market in Windows Pro tablets, now that RT is effectively dead and the Start button is coming back, as drop in replacements for notebooks which are now standard business issue.
I'm not a pundit but I think we can expect the next earnings call to factor in lower margins, in a similar way that the lower margin sales of the I-Pad Mini have hit Apple's business.
Re: Price - are Intel willing to compete?
Atom has always had a hefty margin to maintain Intels bottom line
I don't think that's true. I think Atom has considerably lower margins than the "Core" chips and the "Xeons" which is one of the reasons why increased sales depressed profits last quarter. Atom's have been kept castrated to stop them eating the higher margin business. If the new chips are getting the same features as the more expensive ones then we can hope for significantly cheaper ($50 - $100) Atom-based notebooks but the chips will still be too expensive for phones.
Re: @Eadon (was: Bleeding Edge)
@jake Did you know that continuously trying the same thing, and always getting the same result whilst expecting a different result, is a sign of insanity?
He obviously doesn't as he continues to post the same crap over and over again. Where's the straitjacket icon when you need it?
Re: We told you it was shit
Yeah I've come to feel MS were right and we were all wrong on the Ribbon front... cue downvotes...
Two years in and I still don't really understand it. Up until then I'd managed GUIs from various DOS shells through all Windows reincarnations, Mac OS, KDE, Gnome and countless phones. I guess it's just me.
Re: KDE 4
If you think that KDE is Linux then maybe you should give Eadon a call.
"Spaces" have been around for a while on Mac OS. I used to use them a lot on BeOS over ten years ago but with the size of modern desktops find that I don't need them. Mac OS also has a lot of truly object-oriented desktop features that it inherited from NextStep but these are often buried in things like the service menu.
Fix the disk performance
This was great until Snow Leopard and has been shitty ever since - not necessarily throughput but the ability for several applications at once to use the disk.
There are probably two reasons for being x86: firstly, it's an easier target to compile for than ARM so Google can just ship the binaries. Manufacturers would otherwise have to maintain their own build processes for their particular ARM flavour. Secondly, all the chassis and components for netbooks can be reused.
That logic will, of course, be turned on its head if anyone seriously starts to produce Android-based gear. But that needs Google to adapt Android to keyboard and mouse inputs first. The arguments against ARM would still apply but would have to be weighed up against binary compatibility with existing apps.
I agree with you that there isn't much of a market for chromebooks outside the hacker crowd looking for cheap but usable hardware. Though I'm sure they'd be just as happy with ARM if the device drivers are there.
The world was given a vivid insight into the potential costs of a well executed cyber attack last week when the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into the Associated Press Twitter account and sent a false message saying a bomb at the White House had injured President Obama.
If hacking into someone's Twitter account is what you consider to be a cyber attack then I think you need to go back to school.
Twitter has always been full of unverifiable and spurious bullshit. It is, in a sense, its own remarkable piece of social engineering in getting people to take anything carried on, what is essentially a gossip network, it seriously. Clever use of it would be nice pump and dump scheme, or in the instance you cite, naked shortselling to make fat profits.
Theft is easy
But finding merchants that can launder them for you can be a bit harder, especially now everything is electronic.
One of the reasons why credit card companies charge merchant such hefty fees is that they serve as vetters of customers. They have, and do use, considerable resources to track down and punish abuse of their payment processing cartel. Anyone laundering cards faces the risk of paying for any products paid for with them, plus any criminal charges and possible loss of banking access.
The industry talks up the sums involved when it wants more power, higher rates or protection from competition but in reality even in the fraudsters' paradise of America the costs are not that high. They are other, safer ways of defrauding people. Just as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, et al.!
Re: No Chip and Pin in America?
Historically because banks have made more by selling fraud insurance than they lose due to fraud.
Re: What exactly do they think they are going to change?
Remember, when the Icelandic banks failed, they wee bailed out predominantly by Britain and a few others.
er, no the banks weren't bailed out by the Brits. What the Brits and the Dutch did was to bail out the savers of the undercapitalised subsidiaries (Icesave, et al.) which they had licensed with the usual light touch and then try and use anti-terrorism legislation to make Iceland pay for the regulatory failure by seizing assets. As such it shouldn't have needed a referendum to refuse demands that were not only contrary to international law but against British law.
The bailout was led by the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_history_of_Iceland#Icelandic_financial_crisis>IMF</a> and did not directly include Britain which was too busy shovelling money into its own collapsed banks. It is still a financial basket case with a non-tradeable currency for whom some kind of arrangement with the EU is probably inevitable.
Nokia is only cannibalising Nokia
The comparison with cheap Androids is not really relevant, I suspect. This phone maybe a calculated risk for those already on the Windows Phone train to kit out their kids but at what cost? Won't people just start looking at the Nokia range and going for the cheapest? And if they think that a phone is somehow light on features then they'll go Android. Personally, I think leaving off the flash on a cameraphone will deter punters. Point, click and "share" being one of the main reasons for buying a phone nowadays.
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