Tuesday, April 28, 2015

European Angst On GAFA

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...
English: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
GAFA is apparently what Europe calls Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple.

My first reaction (years ago) was Europeans are sore losers. Instead of innovating they are hammering. They are just jealous of Google.

Now I think differently. Instead of Silicon Valley sucking money in from all over the world like the British Empire stole gold from India, these Internet behemoths should pay taxes in each jurisdiction they generate revenues in.

There should be a global regime. So there is an upper limit. Maybe you should not have to pay more than 10% in sales taxes in total at all levels of government put together.

Google is cashing on the infrastructure built by these countries. And I don't mean just broadband. Google thrives on educated populations. And Google should give back as a matter of business decision.

Such negotiations have to be global. That might also push us towards a world government (which both Bill Gates and I think would be a good thing).

The simple formula is, every Internet company should track as to where a sale got generated, and they should pay sales taxes in those jurisdictions, up to a maximum 10%.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Facebook's Hello Just Might Have Killed Brewster

I don't get the impression Facebook was even gunning for it, it was just trying to get a more meaningful presence on your phone, but Brewster now might be dead. (I gave it a try, multiple times, but it sent me one email too many.)

Hello is a great app. An app I have been needing but was not out there. Not only do people make less phone calls these days, but you also want to receive fewer phone calls. And so, for that small time quota you have for phone calls, it is amazingly offensive that that time might get taken by phone calls that are strictly in the unwelcome category. This app solves that huge problem. If Facebook does not know who you are, you are suspect. That is a fair assessment. Much of the world does not have ID, no Social Security number, no credit history, nothing. A Facebook ID is a good start.

Knowing who is calling you is much welcome information. You can run from Facebook, but you can not hide.

Hello is an awesome app. I read about it in the news and installed it not long after. Heck, that is how I signed up for LinkedIn. I read about it in the news. And then I did not use it much for almost a decade. But Hello I am using.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Musk Wisdom

Elon Musk: Internet Satellites

This is what $100 billion of the 2009 stimulus should have gone to. It is still not too late. If the US government were to buy a 33% stake in Musk's Internet Satellite Network company to speed this work up, once we have gigabit internet for every man, woman and child, that would make room for major shavings in the US defense budget. Democracy would spread on its own. The ISIS would look like clowns, because they will get drowned in the hundreds of millions of Muslims sharing cat videos, so much good would happen. And that $100 billion would grow enough that the US government will be able to actually pay off some of its debt. Who says governments can not angel invest? Break the rules.

Fundraising For Tech Entrepreneurs: Various Styles

Breakfast Time

Times Square

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

One World

Logo of Comcast Latina: Insigne Comcast
Logo of Comcast Latina: Insigne Comcast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bill Gates went on record a few weeks back saying, he is doing good work with his foundation, but the scales of the problems are so enormous, what you truly need is a world government. That is the only way you can tackle the biggest problems of poverty and disease. And I agree.

There is poverty, there is disease, and then there is that number one invention of the new millennium: your smartphone. Why can't you pay your monthly phone bill and have the phone work no matter where you go in the world? To most people who might be in a position to give a push to the idea of a world government, poverty and disease might be abstract concepts, but the phone is not, it is in your hand, it knows you better than your family.

Comcast has come out saying it will roll out a 2 GBPS internet service across the US. That was the kind of result Google wanted to see with its own roll out. But I think the ball moved only after Google threatened to do to TV ads what it had done to classifieds.

Google might now be taking the lead on the global phone plan. You pay one place and go anywhere.