Posts

Showing posts from June, 2008

Punk Capitalism (The Pirate's Dilemma)

Image
THIS is a book worth reading

The Pirates Dilemma
How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism


Or put another way: much of the worlds innovation was created by Pirates.

You can download a copy of it here.

Did you know Jankes was the word for pirates back in the 18th and 19th century? Its where the work Yanks came from because Americans were considered the most piratical bootlegging nation on earth. They stole, copied and ignored copyrights and patents. They looked alot like China of the 1990s, and Japan of the 1970s.

Did you know Hollywood is a bunch of pirates? Yep. Edison invented filmmaking and demanded a licensing fee from anyone making movies with his tech. What happened? A band of filmmaking pirates, including one named William, left New York for the then still wild west where they thrived, unlicensed, until Edison's patents expired. Williams last name? Fox.

CableTV: Same beginnings. In 1948 when Cable TV started, cable companies refused to pay the networks for broadcasting…

Tornado's, Storm Chasing and Walk-Abouts

Image
Every so often, it's important that you get out from behind your keyboard and drop off your usual grid.

I like walk-Abouts. Actually, it's more the American version re: Drive-Abouts. It's something I've done periodically for years and it takes the place of a planned vacation very nicely for me. Solitary, mind clearing and life re-affirming. You get in your vehicle, with no clue where you're going to end up, and you drive. I've ended up in NYC, biker bars in CA., deep in Mississippi's swamps and in the middle of Death Valley.

I also like storm chasing. Tracking down heavy weather and tornadoes is invigorating in ways I suspect is similar to how big game photographers must feel when stalking rhino's or lion prides. So, this week I'm dropping off the grid and mixing the two up by heading to somewhere in center of the country with my trusty little AWD, some video and still camera's, a GPS, CB/weather radio, a laptop with Swift WX and GRLevel…

The BlackBerry vs. iPhone Experiment

Image
I managed to lose my iPhone for real this time. 4 days later, still missing. Since my life tends to revolve around my phone (I've been using smartphones for 10 years now), I needed to replace it.

So, Sat. I went down to my friendly AT&T store and tried to get a new iPhone.

Try and 'replace' an iPhone right now. Can't do it. None to be had. New iPhone coming out next week donchaknow.

So I decided to try an experiment. I know alot of people who swear by their Blackberry's. So, I picked up a $99 Blackberry Curve. The sales guy told me I had 30 days to return it for a different phone so I'm taking AT&T up on the test drive offer. If I hate it compared to my iPhone (which I spent the last year with, and greatly enjoyed), I'll trade it in for a new iPhone early next month.

In the meantime, we'll see how well this new phone stacks up against my experiences with a year old (feature and function wise) iPhone.

UPDATE: 7/11/08- Well, I couldn't ta…

Time Warner Caps Your Bandwidth

Image
Well, sort of.

In Beaumont, Tx. only, for now:
40GB For $55 per month: Time Warner Bandwidth Caps ArriveBy Ryan Paul | Published: June 03, 2008 - 09:18AM CT Time Warner Cable will launch a trial program on Thursday which will impose monthly Internet consumption caps on new subscribers in Beaumont, Texas. Following a two-month grace period, cable users will pay $1 for each additional gigabyte consumed beyond the cap.They claim 5% of the users are 'using up' 50% of the available bandwidth.

First, I'd ask: and how much capacity is actually still unused? If it's less than 100%, isn't that just efficient use of resources by your users? As long as it' not causing overcapacity issues (and they have never said that it is), why is this an issue?

Second, they imply that only the bad guys (those wretched Bittorrent users stealing music and movies) are the ones at fault.

Not so. The article goes on to say:
Time Warner's bandwidth caps might seem …

The Trouble with Venture Lawyers

Image
Jason Mendleson over at Foundry Partners (he's the guy on the far right) has an excellent post up on his frustration with venture lawyers.

His analysis is better given that, before he became a VC, he was a lawyer.

His two primary points are cost and execution.

The first point on cost resonated strongly. He compared the average VC deal in 1998 to 2008 and concluded that the amount of the deal had gone up about 11%. The salary of a starting venture lawyer, during that same time, went up 114%.

We've felt the pain. Before we call, or even email, our lawyer, we ask ourselves long and hard: do we really need this? The minimum billing for a startup lawyer is 1/6th of an hour. 10 minutes. At the low end, that's $50.

Fifty bucks to send an email asking them to change something on our yearly Delaware filing paperwork. Minimum. More likely $150. They have to read the email (10 min charge- 1 minute of reading time), go do something else, come back and make the changes to the docu…