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Month: March 2014

3/25/14

3/25/14

Good morning, All,

"Wouldn't it be amazing if everyone's medical records were available anonymously to research doctors?" said Larry Page at TED in Vancouver last week. "When someone accesses your record — a doctor — you could see which doctor accessed it and why. You could maybe learn about what conditions you have. I think if we just did that, we could save 100,000 lives this year." Page suffers from a medical malady, and by publicly sharing the information, people with similar maladies responded. Page said, “I’m just very worried that with Internet privacy, we’re doing the same thing we’re doing with medical records, we’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater. We’re not thinking about the tremendous good that can come from people sharing the right information with the right people in the right ways.”

Are there two realities going on here on Planet Claire? Read More...

3/18/14

3/18/14

Good morning, All,

For those of you who never saw the film and/or missed the Casablanca reference, here you go. And in case you missed it, last week Zuckerberg Called Obama To “Express Frustration” Over Spying’s Threat To Internet Security.

The big tech companies, including FB, knew that the NSA was mining information about their members/users. According to the Washington Post, “the technology companies, whose cooperation is essential to PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley” – FB included. And how many times since then has Zuckerberg met with Obama? Then again, he just dropped $19B on a service with a heavy youth membership, who do not trust him and have been fleeing the service, no doubt tired of getting Zucked over. We take his so-called call to Obama as little more than grandstanding. And an attempt to protect his investment. Read More...

3/11/14

3/11/14

Good morning, All,

There’s a lawsuit that hit the California courts, concerning big tech players who were basically price-fixing in the form of colluding not to hire each other’s employees. Which kept salaries in check. “Lawyers for the programmers say top executives from these companies agreed not to recruit workers from each other, which helped limit increases in salaries and benefits for as many as 64,000 programmers. Their class-action suit, which is being argued in federal court in San Jose, Calif., is based on vivid and compelling emails, internal company documents and depositions that undermine the public image of the technology industry, which is widely seen as egalitarian and competitive.”

Founders are a resourceful lot and remember that many investors start out as company founders. That said, we seemed to have moved on from collusion – too many potential legal ramifications. Now we have fwd.us, backed, again, by the big tech players and investors. Ultimately, it’s price/salary fixing by any other name - in the name of appearing to be egalitarian and competitive. Only the language has been changed to deceive the clueless. Read More...

3/4/14

3/4/14

Good morning, All,

A man walks into a video store…ok, it was 1997 and there really was a time when you walked into a video store, made your selection, rented it and had to return it in a day or two or face penalties. Reed Hastings rented Apollo 13, somehow neglected to return it for a while and incurred $40 in late fees, which he was forced to pay. DVDs had recently been introduced, so Hastings got together with his buddy Marc Randolph and launched NetFlix, sending out DVDs, almost literally for the price of a first-class stamp (although they charged $2 s/h, plus rental fee). They launched in April, 1998. In December 1999, they launched a subscription service (4 DVDs a month of $15.95 – no late fees or due dates, but you had to return a DVD to get a different title). They didn’t reach 500,000 subscribers until 2002 – but they did have a business model and forged partnerships with studios.

There were bumps in the road: not all of their products were successful (Qwikster) and there was a hue and cry when they announced that a bifurcated offering: one price for unlimited DVDs and another for unlimited streaming. NetFlix might not be a verb but let’s face it: it’s firmly entrenched in the zeitgeist as an entertainment delivery medium. Read More...

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