September 2007

Friday, 28 September 2007

Q&A: Ridley Scott Has Finally Created the Blade Runner He Always Imagined

Wired: “It’s little mistakes like that that you’re tempted to leave in. It’s a signature that says, yes, it is fiction, it is moviemaking.”


Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Towns Rethink Laws Against Illegal Immigrants

New York Times: [Who is Juan Galt?]


Monday, 24 September 2007

Bubba Isn’t Who You Think

Paul Krugman: “This is why it’s true both that rich voters tend to be Republican, and that rich states tend to be Democratic.”


Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Strategy Letter VI

Joel on Software: “History, though, is repeating itself. Bandwidth is getting cheaper. People are figuring out how to precompile JavaScript. The developers who put a lot of effort into optimizing things and making them tight and fast will wake up to discover that effort was, more or less, wasted, or, at the very least, you could say that it "conferred no long term competitive advantage,” if you’re the kind of person who talks like an economist.“


Sunday, 16 September 2007

Checkbook Patriotism

INTEL DUMP: "We are asking a tiny fraction of Americans to bear the burden of the long war. I think that is a strategic blunder, and one which will eventually lead to defeat.”


Saturday, 15 September 2007

Persistence of Myths Could Alter Public Policy Approach “Furthermore, a new experiment by Kimberlee Weaver at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and others shows that hearing the same thing over and over again from one source can have the same effect as hearing that thing from many different people – the brain gets tricked into thinking it has heard a piece of information from multiple, independent sources, even when it has not.”


Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Kaiser Foundation study: Americans paying more for health care

San Jose Mercury News: “Premiums, which are divvied up between employers and workers, still have vaulted 78 percent since 2001. That’s four times faster than wages or inflation.”


Friday, 7 September 2007

The Puppet Master

Robert X. Cringely: “So why did he do it? Why did he cut the price? I have no inside information here, but it seems pretty obvious to me: Apple introduced the iPhone at $599 to milk the early adopters and somewhat limit demand then dropped the price to $399 (the REAL price) to stimulate demand now that the product is a critical success and relatively bug-free. At least 500,000 iPhones went out at the old price, which means Apple made $100 million in extra profit.”


Storm worm botnet more powerful than top supercomputers

iTnews: “The botnet actually is attacking computers that are trying to weed it out. It’s set up to launch a distributed denial-of-service attack against any computer that is scanning a network for vulnerabilities or malware.”


Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Can I have my $200 back?

Russell Beattie:: “I’m sure the rest of the world will be waxing lyrically about all the new gadgets and the new price point, but to me today’s announcements are a clear sign that Apple’s original segmentation wasn’t working and they are scrambling to adjust their model.”

I had much the same reaction – the announcement smacked of “we aren’t making our numbers, here’s a positive spin.” Yes, some of this is just the end of the early-adopter premium, and price drops were to be expected in some form (traditionally, the introduction of new models), but this seems sooner and steeper than usual for Apple. This is all so much Cupertino Kremlinology, but the calculations are pretty simple:

If Apple intends to sell 10m by the end of 2008*, they need to sell over 18k units per day. They’ve sold fewer than 15k units per day (in the neighborhood of 11k units per day after the opening weekend). Their long-term run-rate isn’t clear (has the post-launch lull finished?), and predicting based on iPod sales patterns is hazardous (while iPods make a nice holiday gift, $1,800 in liability does not). The big wild-card is the European market. Will Apple find a partner? Will they ship HSDPA support? Will HSDPA then make its way to the US iPhone line for repeat sales?

* Apple may actually hope to sell 10m in 2008, which makes current rate less relevant except for the need to double it.

Some of the other announcements are more interesting – e.g. the iPod Touch means you can now develop app interfaces for the iPhone without having to pay AT&T.

Update: it seems the market is starting to notice.


Tuesday, 4 September 2007

RAID sucks

Jonathan S. Shapiro: “Servers are now cheaper than tape.”


Chinese military hacked into Pentagon

Financial Times: “The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defence secretary”


In Nature’s Casino

New York Times: “‘The reigning theory is that the taste for risk is as arbitrary as the value of a painting,’ Seo says. ‘But if this is so, why are these preferences so consistent across markets?’”


The Future of CSS and the end of 3.0

Ajaxian: “We can soundly say that the box model today is a bug and not a feature”


Monday, 3 September 2007

A boring rant

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: “What’s left? You’ve already gutted your news divisions, which was a truly moronic move since that was the only place where you really could continue to add value.”


Sunday, 2 September 2007

Fear & Loathing At The Airport

BusinessWeek: “‘If you can’t deal with scheduling,’ observes former Transportation Dept. inspector general Ken Mead, ‘you don’t have as much authority as people think.’”


Saturday, 1 September 2007

IBM stores data on an atom