Particle Debris (wk. ending 5/27) Vectors and Follies

Horace Dediu has done it again. What physicist can’t help but love an analysis that invokes a vector space? In this article: “A disruption is not sufficiently described by the success of some. Others must fail” Mr. Dediu plots market share growth vs. profit share growth for a set of competitors in a vector diagram. Thea strong vector up and right indicates success, and a strong vector down and left indicates failure. Some of the beter known analysts who monitor Apple should take note, brush up on their math.

Stories like this are endless amusing to me, especially now that I’ve read Steven Levy’s “In The Plex.” Facebook is going to offer a music service in partnership with Spotify. The reason I’m amused is because companies with too much money tend to splash it around on ill-conceived projects rather than put it to really good use. It’s not that Facebook customers don’t like music. Rather, it’s a peculiar arrogance that we want to get our music from Facebook. It’s like the Bridgestone Tire Company deciding that pharmaceuticals are highly profitable, so they’ll start selling exotic anti-cancer drugs in the tire show room. You get my drift.

Why is the Department of Homeland Security being pulled into protecting publishers? Why is there a bill, the PROTECT IP Act that would make it a felony just to link to certain websites? Why did this bill get a lot of traction before cooler heads prevailed? Read a summary at ars technica: “Blacklists, ahoy! PROTECT IP Act sails on to Senate floor.”

As they say on some TV ads, what if there were an alternative to FaceBook? One that recognized the need for maintaining social norms of privacy and opting in? That could offer the good things about Facebook without the bad bundled in? “It’s here today” — as the ad would go. Presented for your inspection: Alty. “We are building an alternative to Facebook.” Is it foolish to think that 600 million people could be so terribly wrong?


What do you do when you’ve ascended to a dominant position, well past your competition? Why, offer them the opportunity to use your own facilities to compete against you — at a cost. It sounds bizarre, but Intel is considering it: “Intel might make chips based on non-Intel cores.” Maybe there’s something gere related to Apple in terms of Intel earning more of Apple’s fabrication business, but we’ll have to wait to find out more.

If you’re hungry for a bit more technical information on OS security, there’s been a lot of talk about this site lately: “Krebs on Security.” It looks like good stuff to me. Another noted security blogger is Graham Cluley, whom I’ve referenced before. He writes for Naked Security. Check out both of these for interesting tidbits on Internet security.

Speaking of security, Don Reisinger and I follow each other on Twitter, so I wasn’t surprised to see his summary of the Macintosh security situation that mirrored many of my own thoughts in “Never Bring a Mac to a Gun Fight.” Even so, Don’s essay covers some ground that I didn’t, and it’s a great complementary article that fills in some gaps, namely that the Internet criminals are very happy indeed with Apple’s glacial responses and cavalier attitude. “Mac’s Supposed Immunity to Security Threats Gone Forever: 10 Reasons Why.

Apple Marketing and RDFs are nice until they run smack into the hard realities of Internet life that adversely impact the company’s customers. So it will be interesting to see how long Apple can maintain its favorite illusions (follies?) for the sake of sales and happy customers in the face of ever increasing threats. Other companies have had to endure this. How bad can it get? How will Apple fare?

Previously, we’ve heard about how Android developers aren’t doing as well as iOS developers. There are several factors involved, not the least of which is the psychology of the Android customers. They don’t like paying for apps. Another, as noted by Dan Dilger, is that Apple exerts some Q.C. in its rejections. “We don’t need any more Fart apps.” Google, according to Philip Elmer-DeWitt, has no such policy, and that contributes to more follies, a faux-explosion of Android apps. Read about it here: “Why it’s harder to make money on Android than on Apple’s iOS.

I’ve saved the best, if that’s the way to frame it, for last.

What is limiting telecom growth? Why is cord-cutting such a hot topic? Here’s an analysis that brings up a very uncomfortable fact of American life: as wealth has been extracted from the middle class (by Wall Street, mortgage lenders and bank hijinks) and into the possession of the super-rich, “Poverty could derail telecom, cable gravy train.” This is probably the best and most important article I’ve seen this week.

A happy and thoughtful Memorial Day weekend to all. It’s a day set aside in remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s military service.


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