Three Simple Rules for Stealing My Money

producersThe Mel Brooks movie, then Broadway musical, then a movie of a Broadway musical The Producers are the only such dramatic works I know of that were based primarily on a business model.  The plot is a simple scam in three acts: 1) most Broadway musicals fail; 2) greedy investors in Broadway shows want a lot of equity for a little money, and; 3) since the show is likely to fail anyway, why not produce a deliberate turkey but make money (strictly for the producers) by selling 500 percent of the stock?  Nobody will know they’ve been scammed because a deliberate failure will never pay any royalties.  Except, of course, Springtime for Hitler was an unlikely […]

Chrome and Chrome, What is Chrome?

Last week Google made a preemptive strike against Microsoft, revealing details of its Chrome OS months before that product reaches its near-infinite beta release.  The idea is simple: who needs a big OS if you are doing everything in a browser?  It’s a huge threat to Microsoft and Apple.  But then it struck me I’ve heard this all before, so I went back and found this video clip from my show Triumph of the Nerds, circa 1996, where Larry Ellison predicts the future, not knowing he was actually describing 2010.

The biggest news was simply that Google was finally taking Microsoft head-on. The rest of the news, at least to me, was that Microsoft should be worried, very worried.

While […]

Pictures in Our Heads

mindWe’re in the middle of a huge platform shift in computing and most of us don’t even know it.  The transition is from desktop to mobile and is as real as earlier transitions from mainframes to minicomputers to personal computers to networked computers with graphical interfaces.  And like those previous transitions, this one doesn’t mean the old platforms are going away, just being diminished somewhat in significance.  All of those previous platforms still exists.  And desktops, too, will remain in some form when the mobile conversion is complete, though we are probably no more than five years from seeing the peak global population of desktop computers.  We’d be there right now if we’d just figured […]

Tossed in Space

scowJust in case you are an astronaut and need something to worry about, according to NASA there are 18,000 pieces of space junk the size of a basketball or larger right now orbiting the earth. That’s 18,000 chances to slam into the International Space Station (ISS), bump into a U.S. Space Shuttle, or plow into any of a number of satellites in low Earth orbit. Twice the ISS has had to be moved to avoid potential collisions and one other time when it couldn’t be moved the crew huddled in their Soyuz taxicab for danger to pass, with one such near-miss taking place just last week, which is what inspired this column.

I say it is […]

News Corp to Offer Plaid Stamps!

A&PRupert Murdoch said recently that he’s planning to stop Google News from indexing his publications including the Times of London and the Wall Street Journal. Murdoch’s idea is that Google News and the like make it too easy for Internet users to sample news for free rather than paying for it as God and Rupert intended. Mark Cuban, who is very clever but with whom I rarely agree, thinks this is smart on Murdoch’s part, because Twitter is changing the way people find news, effectively disintermediating Google, but not the News Corp. publications, themselves.

It’s funny how Murdoch’s statement made Cuban think of Twitter while it made me […]