Particle Debris (wk. ending 12/10) Follow the Money

Suppose you had nearly unlimited funds. What would your Mac setup look like? Here’s a photo of Prince Khaled bin Alwaweed’s Mac desktop. He’s a member of the Saudi Royal Family and very clearly a Mac fan. One can only look and sigh.

Google has a lot of money and some interesting ideas. However, Google has failed to acquire two key companies that it sought: Yelp and Groupon. Paul Smalera, Senior Editor with Fortune analyzes what’s gone wrong with Google in these negotiations. And by the way, here’s a guided tour by Dan Frommer of the Groupon HQ. One fascinating photo is #29 (of 50). The caption tells it all — in a fabulous contrast between the old and new tech.

A constantly monitor the state of cord cutting, Apple TV, Netflix, etc. Even though cord cutters, in the articles I’ve seen, constitute about one percent of households or less, it’s interesting to see how the good old-fashioned rabbit ears is making a comeback in some circles. After all, TV stations have spent millions upgrading their terrestrial antennas to HD. Why not utilize those mageawatts? And get uncompressed 1080p.

Speaking of Netflix, they’re on a roll right now in several ways. Recently they signed a deal with ABC-Disney to carry prime time shows, and their subscriber growth has been amazing. No doubt the strategy of making Netflix available on just about every device but your kitchen toaster is working. Here’s one of those great charts from SAI showing why HBO should be sweating bullets.

Kindle has a new TV ad: “What if you Switch?” It asks a good question, better than one might suspect. As we move into the era of magazines, books and newspapers on our mobile devices, we need to think about preserving our investment in these documents. Someday when the iPad is in a dusty drawer along with a Palm Pilot and some SCSI cables, will we still be able to read all the content we bought before? It’s probably worth an investigative article; it’s a favorite subject of mine. (And librarians.)

More beautiful graphs! Here’s a map of the world and a bar chart showing he popularity of each mobile OS by geographic region. I wonder if there’s any business intelligence hidden behind those charts, or perhaps it’s just a snapshot in time of the ever evolving market.

Is Google on the right track with Chrome OS? Recall Marc Andreessen tried to go down that road of the browser + Internet as the new OS in the 90s and failed — except the part where he scared the hell out of Microsoft and they launched IE to crush Netscape. Which they did. Now Google wants to do it again. My take is that Google is out of touch with Americans. Here’s some analysis and also an out-of-the-box review of the Goggle Chromebook by Larry Dignan. My bet is on Apple having a better understanding of the needs of its customers.

At the quarterly earnings reports by Apple, Peter Oppenheimer and Tim Cook make interesting statements about Apple and its products. Some are factual financial information for investors and some are cheerleads. Here’s a great article by Philip Elmer-DeWitt that looks into translating what Tim Cook said recently. And it has a Dilbert cartoon as well. What’s not to like? Read about Cook-speak at: “The iPad as capitalist tool.


I use my iPhone as a second memory. I take photos of things I don’t want to forget, like placards on business vans and books at Borders bookstore that I might want to buy. (There’s even an Amazon app that will read the bar code on the book and order it from them instead.) I’m constantly looking stuff up at, say, a restaurant. But there are bigger social issues associated with having the Internet in your hand, namely the future of human memory and faculties. What will you do when you can no longer stand up and say anything of interest to an audience, whether you’re a scientist, public speaker or a politician? Read more here: “I Has Seen the Future — And We Is Dumb,” by David Koretz. Prepared to be alarmed.

Woman with emory problem

Have you wondered why, sadly, the new MacBook Airs have Core 2 Duos instead of i3s? It’s all related to a lawsuit between AMD and Intel, and Apple has been caught in the middle. But a resolution has arrived, and Intel has upped its game with integrated graphics, something called Sandy Bridge. For a tutorial on all this, read “Apple to tap Intel’s graphics for future MacBooks.


An Apple engineer, in his spare time, if there is such a thing, recreated the Antikythera Mechanism — an ancient analog computer that was lost for 2,000 years — using … wait for it … Legos. Our own Bryan Chaffin tells the story.

Finally, if you want a glimpse into how Apple’s competitors are doing and how a competing CEO thinks and presents, this story by Dan Dilger is both sad and affirming at the same time. We know how Steve Jobs thinks, and we know how he performs. Now, go read this astounding account of a presentation by RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. Read how the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher sliced and diced his strategy. Amazing…

That’s it until next week.