Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Larry Insane

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 08:  Oracle CEO Larry E...OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 08: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison passes through security as he arrives at U.S. District court on November 8, 2010 in Oakland, California. Ellison is in court to testify in a trial against arch-rival software maker SAP AG who allegedly stole customer support documents from password protected Oracle websites. Oracle is seeking $2 billion in damages. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison Cracks Me Up
Larry Ellison's 1995 Network Computer Vision
Larry Ellison's Personal Life
Putting My Money On Larry Ellison

"I don’t know if you can copyright a language."
- Larry Ellison

"Oracle finally filed a patent lawsuit against Google. Not a big surprise. During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle. Filing patent suits was never in Sun's genetic code. Alas.... I hope to avoid getting dragged into the fray: they only picked one of my patents (RE38,104) to sue over."
- Java creator James Gosling

The only acceptable price tag on Android is free.

World War III Time: Let's Go To War
Android Has To Be Kept Free

Microsoft is wrong in milking the Android handset manufacturers. And Google is even more in the wrong in not defending those manufacturers. And now here comes Larry Ellison. You can't patent APIs, Larry.

Nothing prevents Larry Ellison from modifying Android - Kindle, anyone? - to put out a smartphone product that would be yet another interaction point to the many databases he sells. But that would be innovation.

Larry Ellison is so in the wrong here, it's not even funny. I get the impression the guy is clowning around Steve Jobs' grave. There has got to be better ways to express sentiments than to try and snatch from the peoples of the Global South their number one pathway to the Internet. And to think Android is older than the iOS.

The PC could not have been patented. The tablet can not be patented. The smartphone can not be patented.

The PC Was A Category And Could Not Have Been Patented

And so Larry Ellison is going to unleash "thermonuclear war" on his best friend's behalf. If he wins, he gets 20 million dollars, right? Is that "thermonuclear war?"

This is like Yahoo going after Facebook.

Yahoo Has Patents?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Skype On HTML5 Has Smartphone Implications

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBaseWP Sauce: Web version of Skype confirmed by Microsoft job posting

I have long expressed the belief at this blog that HTML5 is where it is at. Smartphone apps are transitional authorities. If Skype becomes available on your browser, and if the HTML5 browser is the primary player on your smartphone, what is your Skype ID? I want it.

Smartphones are computers. They have been misnamed. PC is personal computer. SC should be small computer. Smartphones are small computers.
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Events: Week Of April 16

FourSquare LogoFourSquare Logo (Photo credit: johnscotthaydon)Monday, April 16
FourSquare Day, The Caulfield, 119 East 27th Street, 7-10 PM

Tuesday, April 17
Websdays @ Tribeca Grand, 7-1155 PM
Tribeca Grand Hotel, 2 Avenue of the Americas

Wednesday, April 18
Indiegogo presents HOW TO BUILD FROM AN IDEA / A Creative Forum, 7-10 PM
Projective Space LES, 72 Allen Street, 3rd Floor, Between Grand & Broome

Thursday, April 19
Entrepreneurs Roundtable 46, 7-9 PM
NYU Stern Room 1-70, 44 West 4th Street
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Quantum Network

PC Magazine: Scientists Build First Working Quantum Network
Time: World’s First Quantum Network Built with Two Atoms, One Photon
Scientific American: Bits of the Future: First Universal Quantum Network Prototype Links 2 Separate Labs
Engadget: Scientists create the first universal quantum network, are scared to restart the router
CNet: Physicists connect the dots on quantum computing
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Subway, The Mobile Phone: NYC, The Global South

The subway more than anything symbolizes NYC for me, a city I love. The mobile phone similarly more than anything symbolizes the Global South for me, my heritage, my background, my nook in the universe, where I am from.

Every time a train glides into a train station, it feels like an action movie to me.

The phone will do more for the Global South than anybody and anything else.

Give Me Blazing Broadband, Or Give Me, Give Me

Sergey Brin's Is The Right Stand

I once said there is a direct correlation between Sergey's parents having to flee Russia and Sergey's principled stand on China. Some of us are free speech bigots. I am one. Now I am extending that metaphor. Only now it's not about China, it is about America. And it is still about free speech.

A lot of people I admire in the tech industry wrongly frame the debate in that they suggest if only people on Capitol Hill knew, if only lobbyists did not have this much unfair power. I think more than that is at stake. The Internet turns the entire world into one country, and the nation state as we know it feels threatened. The Internet sends a clear message that Capitol Hill is not the center of the universe. The universe has no center. And that suggestion riles Galileo's enemies.

The Internet is a country. It is the new country. It is the newest country. I said this back in 1999 when I was with my first serious startup while at college. America is Europe. The Internet is America now.

Tim Berners-Lee: The Internet Is Not A Country

Although I'd not put China, Saudi Arabia and Iran in the same category as Facebook and Apple. Facebook's "walled garden" exists because people choose to keep many things private on there. Although I would argue services like Google should have ready access to stuff people publicly share on there, as well on Twitter. API level success, don't need nobody's permission kind of access. Immediate access. Apple's iPhone apps go away when HTML5 and wireless broadband become mainstream just like desktop apps have given way to the cloud. Although one can argue there has got to be a better way to search though the hundreds of thousands of smartphone apps.

The Guardian: Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google's Sergey Brin
the threat to the freedom of the internet came from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry attempting to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" so-called walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly controlled what software could be released on their platforms. ..... he was most concerned by the efforts of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict use of the internet ...... the intensifying battle for control of the internet that is being fought across the globe between governments, companies, military strategists, activists and hackers ....... From Hollywood's attempts to push through legislation allowing pirate websites to be shut down, to the British government's plans to monitor social media and web use, the ethos of openness championed by the pioneers of the internet and worldwide web is being challenged on a number of fronts. ....... In China, which now has more internet users than any other country in the world, the government recently introduced new "real identity" rules in a bid to tame the boisterous micro-blogging scene. In Russia there are powerful calls to rein in a blogosphere that was blamed for fomenting a wave of anti-Putin protests. It has been reported that Iran is planning to introduce a sealed "national internet" from this summer. ........ Ricken Patel, co-founder of Avaaz, the 14 million-strong online activist network which has been providing communication equipment and training to Syrian activists, echoed Brin's warning, saying: "We've seen a massive attack on the freedom of the web. Governments are realising the power of this medium to organise people and they are trying to clamp down across the world, not just in places like China and North Korea; we're seeing bills in the United States, in Italy, all across the world." ...... Brin said he was not surprised by the effectiveness with which China had so far managed to create a technological barrier against the outside world. "I'm more surprised by the acceptance," he said. "I had imagined people would be more rebellious." ........ it would be hugely difficult for any government to defend its online "territory". ........ He reserved his harshest words for the entertainment industry, which he said was "shooting itself in the foot, or maybe worse than in the foot" by lobbying for legislation to block sites offering pirate material. ...... the Sopa and Pipa bills championed by Hollywood and the music industry would have led to the US using the same technology and approach it criticised China and Iran for using. ...... "I haven't tried it for many years but when you go on a pirate website, you choose what you like, it downloads to the device of your choice and it will just work – and then when you have to jump through all these hoops [to buy legitimate content], the walls created are disincentives for people to buy"

CNet: Google's Sergey Brin: Facebook and Apple a threat to Internet freedom

Al Zazeera: The UK government's war on internet freedom
Despite declaring early on in his term that internet freedom should be respected "in Tahrir Square as much as Trafalgar Square", his government is now considering a series of laws that would dramatically restrict online privacy and freedom of speech. ...... would allow the government to monitor every email, text message and phone call flowing throughout the country. Internet service providers (ISPs) would be forced to install hardware that would give law enforcement real time, on-demand access to every internet user's IP address, email address books, when and to whom emails are sent and how frequently - as well as the same type of data for phone calls and text messages. ....... Because many popular services - like Google and Facebook - encrypt the transmission of user data, the government also would force social media sites and other online service providers to comply with any data request. ....... "In a terrorism investigation, the police will already have access to all the data they could want. This is about other investigations." The information gathered in this new programme would be available to local law enforcement for use in any investigation and would be available without any judicial oversight. ....... "A cross-party committee of MPs and peers has urged the government to consider introducing legislation that would force Google to censor its search results to block material that a court has found to be in breach of someone's privacy." ...... a Scottish oil company obtained a super-injunction against Greenpeace to keep photographs of the environmental group's protest off social media sites. Within hours, unaffiliated users posted hundreds of the pictures, effectively nullifying the order. If the recommendation by the MPs were followed, Google, Facebook and Twitter would have to proactively monitor and remove such results from their webpages. ........ Despite the enormous backlash over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US, the UK government is reportedly trying to broker a backroom deal between ISPs and content companies in which search engines would start "voluntarily" censoring sites accused of copyright infringement. The deal would force search engines to blacklist entire websites from search results merely upon an allegation of infringement, and artificially promote "approved" websites. ....... recently, one man was forced to pay 90,000 pounds (plus costs) because of two tweets that were seen by an estimated 65 people in England and Wales. ...... Britain is home to many of the companies exporting high tech surveillance equipment to authoritarian countries in the Middle East, where it is used to track journalists and democratic activists. The technology, which can be used to monitor a country's emails and phone calls, is similar to what the UK government will have to install to implement its own mass surveillance programme.

Fred Wilson: Life Liberty and Blazing Broadband

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Congrats Brad Feld For Running 50 Miles

How did the guy do it? I am amazed. So impressed. This is so inspiring. Makes me wanna do it.

Brad Feld: American River 50 Mile Endurance Run
I had decided to break the race up into five segments of 10 miles each..... The first 10 miles were easy. I used an 8:2 run:walk pace and held myself back. ..... the “runner drift” settled in a little around mile 15 (where it’s impossible to stay focused on a straight line) and I remember looking up a few times and being startled by a bike heading right at me ...... I took a Gu gel every 30 minutes with water and a salt tablet every hour. At the aid stations I refilled my water, grabbed a few more Gu’s, and ate some pretzels, boiled potatoes and salt, and a dixie cup of coke (yum). ...... By mile 29 it hit me that I’d now run the furthest distance in my life. I went through mile 30 with the thought of “only 20 miles to go.” And this is when it started getting really hard. The segment between 30 and 40 was physically and mentally tough. ..... By the mid-30′s my pace had slowed from 12 minute miles to 18 – 20 minute miles, which became depressing. I only had one really dark mile where I started feeling sorry for myself, but during this mile I got a hilarious txt message from my friend Andy which jolted me out of my dark spot. ...... At mile 41 I met up with my assistant Kelly at an aid station where she joined me for the last nine miles. ...... Somewhere around mile 43 or 44 I started having trouble getting my feet to go where I wanted them to go. ...... There was a short downhill stretch – I took off running with a loud manic scream at the top of my lungs. ....... As we went through mile 48 I realized I might break 12 hours. At 49.25 it flattened out and I sprinted for the finish and came in two minutes and change under my goal. ...... my first non-Gu meal in 12 hours while Katherine and crew drove back to San Francisco to have some “excellent pizza” that they could only find in San Francisco. I called Amy and had a celebratory talk – she had done an awesome job of keeping track of things during the race (due to RunKeeper live) and being my communications director for the day. I dropped my coach Gary a note of thanks and then ate and ate and drank a beer and ate some more. ...... When I got back to my room, I discovered a very lonely second water bottle sitting just where I had left it 14 hours earlier. For the first time all day I had tears in my eyes, but of laughter – at myself.

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The Taxi Of Tomorrow

Technology Review: Taxis of Tomorrow, Flying Cars

The taxi of tomorrow gets a failing grade from me for one reason: it needed to be 100% electric to pass.

New York City

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Instagram Sell Feedback

Now That Instagram Has Been Bought By Facebook
Instagram: A Billion In Two Years

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Technology Review: The Computing Trend that Will Change Everything: using ultra-low-power computing, consider the wireless no-battery sensors ..... These sensors harvest energy from stray television and radio signals and transmit data from a weather station to an indoor display every five seconds. They use so little power (50 microwatts, on average) that they don't need any other power source. ..... and that means an explosion of available data ..... "nanodata," or customized fine-grained data describing in detail the characteristics of individuals, transactions, and information flows .... if a modern-day MacBook Air operated at the energy efficiency of computers from 1991, its fully charged battery would last all of 2.5 seconds ..... will help the "Internet of things" become a reality—a development with profound implications for how businesses, and society generally, will develop in the decades ahead. It will enable us to control industrial processes with more precision, to assess the results of our actions quickly and effectively, and to rapidly reinvent our institutions and business models to reflect new realities. It will also help us move toward a more experimental approach to interacting with the world: we will be able to test our assumptions with real data in real time, and modify those assumptions as reality dictates.
There are implications to the internet of things, of small sensors constantly streaming data about, say, the ecosystem. This trend is great news for devices that are much smaller than the smartphone. You are looking at pea size particles that are smart.

The Internet Of Things
Another Ode To Big Data

We are looking at smart particles that don't need to have screens.
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Now That Instagram Has Been Bought By Facebook

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 06:  A pi...FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 06: A picture in remembrance of Steve Jobs, founder and former CEO of Apple Inc is pictured at an Apple Store, on October 6, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Steve Jobs, 56, passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 and is credited, along with Steve Wozniak, with marketing the world's first personal computer in addition to the popular iPod, iPhone and iPad. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)GigaOm: Here is why Facebook bought Instagram

I want Facebook to push Instagram to come up with a web version of the product. And I want to be able to do the Instagram effect thing to my Facebook photos. Not all of them, but those I choose.

That would be awesome.

Instagram: A Billion In Two Years

Facebook buying Instagram is Facebook admitting it is essentially a photo sharing site.

What is most remarkable about the Instagram story is that it has essentially been an iPhone app. That's it. I guess it is possible for one iPhone app to end up worth a billion dollars.

This transaction is a tribute to Steve Jobs.

Pinterest Competes With Twitter, Instagram With FourSquare

Another important thing Facebook could do is give each photo its own unique URL that is not a mile long. And the ability for anyone to embed that photo, if the photo is publicly shared.

Instagram Does Not Know What It Has On Its Hands
Instagram Now Bigger Than FourSquare
Kevin Shitstorm Of Instagram
Instagram Wave
Path + Instagram + Color
Instagram Magic
Scaling Instagram Out Of A Coworking Space

Monday, April 09, 2012

Instagram: A Billion In Two Years

Image representing Zappos as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseTo create a billion dollars in wealth in just two years is remarkable no matter which way you look at it. And this is Facebook's first acquisition. Acquiring companies to shut down their product and hire their people doesn't count.

Instagram should have come on Android sooner. And it should have gone for a web presence very early on. Instagram not having a web version gave Pinterest a lot of room. Those three things - not adopting Android early, not having a web version, and now selling to Facebook - tell me the Instagram founders never really knew what they had in their hands.

I hope Facebook pushes them to get a web version.

Zappos should not have been bought by Amazon. Instagram should not have been bought by Facebook. Both needed to stay independent.

Mark Zuckerberg On The Acquisition
Instagram Blog: Instagram + Facebook
TechCrunch: Right Before Acquisition, Instagram Closed $50M At A $500M Valuation From Sequoia, Thrive, Greylock And Benchmark

Jackson Heights

Events: Week Of April 9

Image representing Yipit as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBaseMonday, April 9

6:30 PM CTO School: Technologists Pesonality Traits and How To Pick A Startup
ZocDoc, 568 Broadway, #901

Tuesday, April 10

6:00 PM Riverside Chats: Speakers Series - Successful Transitions from Academia to Startups
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 430 E. 67th Street, Rockefeller Board Room

Wednesday, April 11

7:00 PM #GoogleHappyHour
Randolph Beer, 343 Broome Street

Thursday, April 12

6:00 PM Startup - From Concept to Acquisition Using Django
Yipit Offices, 3 W 18th Street

Sunday, April 15

6:00 PM Cocktails & Conversation with Chinese Social Entrepreneurs
General Assembly, 902 Broadway, 4th Floor

Sunday, April 08, 2012

VC Albert Wenger

Via Fred Wilson

Ben Silbermann Of Pinterest

Google Plus Is Google's Bing

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseTechCrunch: How The IPO Ruined Google

I never thought Google Plus was going to one up Facebook. Facebook is the social king. And that will stay. Just like Google is the search king and that will stay. Facebook tried to one up FourSquare, and failed. It gave up. But Facebook can not ignore the location space, and Google can not ignore social.

But I do think Google Plus is an arrival of sorts. Google wanted a player in the social space, and now they got it. They needed an also ran, and they have it now. Google badly needed a social layer to its services, and now they got it.
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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Tom Houge

The evening of April 3, Tuesday, I had a Skype chat with Tom that lasted 2 hours, 45 minutes. We were not done, it is just that two of my friends had been waiting in the wings for half an hour already for a prescheduled chat, and I had to take leave. Tom's video was on.

This was the longest Skype chat I had ever had with anyone. We met at an event two days later, his uncle Adam accompanying. Adam and I discovered we are both water not beer kinda people.

Fipeo Takes On Sean Parker
Excited About A New Space

Guest Blog Post: Fipeo Takes On Sean Parker

Fipeo Takes On Sean Parker (Guest Blog Post)

Excited About A New Space

“They sailed. They saw. They innovated.” The lead heard ‘round the world.

An idea on its own quickly evaporates like a warm breath on a winter day. It is the
people that entrain to an idea with a common purpose and passion that make an
idea powerful.

When Tom Houge and Jeff Lucas set out to circumnavigate the world on University
of Virginia’s Semester at Sea, they did not expect to spark the world’s next global
social networking revolution.

The spark that is Fipeo lit with Tom in room 3055 of the MV Explorer and caught
fire with Jeff in The Main Dining Hall on Deck 5.

Fipeo, led by Houge & Lucas, has squared off against Airtime, led by Sean Parker and
Shawn Fanning. For those who don’t already know, the Sean/Shawn duo is known
for their time creating Napster and Parker is also known for his time at Facebook (as
featured in The Social Network) as well as his role at Spotify.

Airtime recently posted pictures of their lavish San Francisco digs, complete with
a throne, online. More evidence of the hubris that was demonstrated when Sean
Parker, a multi-billionaire called the Picasso of business by Forbes, discussed his
shenanigans at Le Web in France.

Parker told the audience how he held up a 6 foot long novelty check made out from
Sean Parker to Airtime for $15,000,000 at the end of each investment meeting and
arrogantly said, “By the way guys… If you don’t invest, I will.”

Airtime has received millions in funding from Founders Fund, Accel Partners,
Andreessen Horowitz, Yuri Milner, Ron Conway, Marissa Mayer, Ashton Kutcher,
will.i.am, Scott Braun, and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.

Parker and Fanning first crossed paths working for a company that would be
fraught with legal issues. Houge and Lucas, 21 and 22 respectively (same ages of
Sergey Brin and Larry Page at meeting), met while circumnavigating the globe on
Semester at Sea.

There is a saying that goes, “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember,
amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.”

I hope that the amateurs at Fipeo will build something worthy of the MV Explorer,
the ship that gave birth to Fipeo.

Join the movement at Fipeo.com

Lead: http://www.modernghana.com/news/380093/1/fipeo-the-voyage-of-discovery.html
Airtime Investors: http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/06/fanning-parker-airtime/
Airtime Office: http://www.facebook.com/airtime
Novelty Check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxNhc64b_po (skip ahead to 37:00)
Picasso of Business: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppiLJeFP4n0

Adam Danielson: Fipeo: Next Biggest Thing?

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Angel List

Modern Ghana: Fipeo: The Voyage of Discovery
The Portland Press Herald: Talking face-to-face? It just might work
Dan Marion: Changing the World: Fipeo.
The Post And Courier: Student's brainchild going live

FacedYou from Fipeo on Vimeo.

Fipeo from Fipeo on Vimeo.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Video Like Photos Are, Text Used To Be

We have seen an entire generation of photo based tech startups. Facebook might be the biggest among them, Instagram reigns in the mobile domain. Pinterest might be the newest entrant.

Before that things were more text based. Yahoo chat room were text based, and a lot of social activity happened there. AOL's instant messenger was also text based.

I think we are about to see a new generation of companies for whom video will be the starting point. This is primarily a function of larger bandwidths available in the mainstream, but it is more than that.

AirTime's First Big Mistake

AirTime is not out yet, so I have not seen what it is like. But early word is Sean Parker is building AirTime to rest on the Facebook platform. I believe that is a fundamental mistake. Facebook mapped the social graph of people you know. The random connections space, by definition, is a different animal.

Sean Parker has been so close to Facebook for so long it seems he is incapable of escaping Facebook's gravitational pull. Every startup he has been associated with post Facebook has clinged to Facebook. Causes and Spotify come to mind.

I get the impression AirTime is going to be born with a handicap.

Excited About A New Space

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

SpotlessCity Stole The Show At NYTM

At the last New York Tech MeetUp - the go to tech event in town every month - one presentation stood out more than most. That was SpotlessCity. They do one thing, and they do it well. That is the hallmark of a great startup. You can order food online. That did not seem to be true for dry cleaning services. And so the founders got to work.

After their wonderful presentation was over, I was worried for them. So at the after party I cornered the team. The people who come to pick up the clothes and deliver them later, who employs them? You? They said no. The dry cleaners have those people. That answer brought me relief. Because if they employed those people, I was seeing scaling nightmares.

The real time service delivery space is seeing a lot of action. It can feel like crowdsourcing your chores. The world population hit seven billion not long back. I am sure I can find people who will take your clothes to the cleaners.

Tiny Capital

Tiny Capital from Eirik Evjen on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Paywall For This Blog

People should have to pay.

I put soooo much effort to put out blog posts at this blog. And people get to read it for free! It took me almost a week of not blogging at all to come to the realization. And I put myself to work.

At midnight tonight the paywall will be unfurled. You are paying now on.

Readers coming directly from a Google search result, or from a Facebook update or a tweet or from other social media destinations will still be able to read for free. The rest are paying. Those of you who come directly to the blog's web address, you know who you are. You are the hard core readers, and you are paying now.

Got you addicted over the years, didn't I? Now it is pay time. Don't worry, it is a tiny amount. This blog knows its worth, but it also knows its limitations.