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Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Top Tech CEOs Go To Washington



I believe the anti-trust angst is valid. The big tech companies do seem to be stifling competition with their sheer size. The Google argument that their competition is just one click away belies the fact that search is a hugely capital intensive effort. It is more expensive to build a search engine than it is to build a Boeing jet plane. That huge cost is a moat around the Google castle. The same is true for the other big tech companies. 

But the lack of competition is not true only in tech. Their size makes it obvious but the US economy has a major lack of competition problem in many sectors. 

I do think many next big companies are dying too early in the presence of these big tech companies. 

But anti-trust is the smaller of my concerns. 

Saudi Arabia had oil, but it was undiscovered and it was underground. Western companies swooped in to dig it out. Those companies did not and do not get to take all of the oil money. Data is the new oil. But individual consumers are not getting any pay. There ought to be a 70-30 split. The individual should get 70% and the company that harvests and monetizes the data should keep 30%, which would still be a lot. Especially since the oil wells are about to get huge. 

This has to be established as a right. Taking that political step will necessarily bring up legitimate issues of data privacy and security. And in favor of innovation, we could put a floor underneath the arrangement. Small companies would not have to pay. Only after you cross a certain size you pay up. 

This would have to be a global understanding. This means the tech companies have an obligation to together offer up the digital equivalent of a Social Security number and online bank accounts to all their users. They can. 

Something is amiss. The US Congress does not have jurisdiction over the planet. What we need is a global parliament

Makes me wonder, though, why is Microsoft missing? Does Congress feel like it already grilled Microsoft back in the days!? 

The UBI is infrastructure for the global knowledge economy and is in the best interests of these tech companies. They should bring it about. 

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google And Facebook Make Up A Record ...

Monday, September 16, 2019

Libra And The "Global" Financial System







Will Facebook’s Libra Change the Way the World Banks? The Templars were originally a Catholic military order that took up residence in Jerusalem, where they pledged to protect Christian pilgrims. They created the economic infrastructure for the Crusades, writing promissory notes in France or England that were redeemable in the Levant. A cipher based on the shape of the cross ostensibly guaranteed the notes’ security. In other words, the Templars created a variant on modern international transfer services, five hundred years before the first central bank......... Today, the demand mounts for a similar system, but on a global scale. Billions of people have no access to banks. Countless others endure high fees and slow transactions, especially when sending money across borders. What we consider a global financial system is, in reality, hardly global. Institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank of International Settlements, and the Financial Stability Board provide little more than a multilateral veneer over relationships that are primarily bilateral and dominated by commercial and central banks. Even within borders, moving money involves costly processes of settlement and exchange........... A blockchain-type network creates a public ledger, a universally trustworthy account of who owes what. Just as the Templar cipher verified an otherwise forgeable piece of paper, cryptography will ensure that Libra cannot be spent twice or otherwise duplicated. Such technologically guaranteed, artificial scarcity allows cryptocurrencies to operate as money........ Libra will be redeemable at a fixed price for certain established currencies (such as dollars, euros, and yen). Members of the association will deposit assets in the Libra Reserve as backing any time someone wants to buy more Libra. As a result, whereas Bitcoin fluctuates wildly in value, Libra should remain relatively stable. That stability makes Libra potentially useful not only as a store of value but as a medium of exchange. Users will, Facebook argues, be able to send money around the world as easily as they send messages and videos........ In addition to banking the unbanked, Libra could replace traditional intermediaries in cross-border transactions, such as remittances, which amount to more than $600 billion per year. Libra could also end up reducing the power of central banks in countries with weak currencies or strong capital controls, because it will allow people to move their money out of these countries more easily. ......... Facebook is already in the crosshairs of governments around the world, and the stakes are nothing less than the stability of the global economy....... Much of the current financial system is antiquated below the surface. ........ The country with the most to lose from Libra also has the most to gain from a revolution in the global financial system. That country is China. China bans Facebook and forbids trading in cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) that could circumvent its capital controls. China is also home to the world’s biggest digital payments systems. WeChatPay and AliPay together process as many transactions in a day as the United States does in nine months. They operate only with China’s own currency, the renminbi, and they are centrally controlled, which makes payments easy for the government to access or limit. Facebook’s argument to regulators is that if an American company doesn’t move aggressively into blockchain-based payments, China will. The truth is that Facebook’s entry has accelerated China’s movement in this direction.........

No country is more interested than China in displacing American hegemony over global financial institutions. Cryptocurrency serves that objective.

........ There is also the IMF, whose director, Christine Lagarde, has already hinted at a possible “IMFcoin” based on the IMF-sponsored assets known as Special Drawing Rights......... Money transfer helped the order become one of the wealthiest institutions in medieval Europe—a sprawling financial empire and powerful creditor to kings. After the crusaders were pushed out of the Levant, however, the Templars languished. And then the order collapsed abruptly at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

The French King Philip IV, deeply in debt to the Templars, arrested and tortured many of its members on trumped-up charges of heresy. He eventually convinced the pope to ban the order, coincidentally canceling his debts.

The Templars’ power and wealth were their undoing. Facebook should take heed.





Sunday, August 11, 2019

My Blog Posts About Facebook




The Unfacebook (on August 28, 2007)
Microsoft, Google, Facebook: NY Tech MeetUp Has Arrived (on November 07, 2007)
What Should Facebook Do (on March 05, 2009)
Twitter And The Time Dimension (on March 06, 2009)
I Talked To Google Through Twitter And It Worked Like Magic (on March 26, 2009)
The Search Results, The Links, The Inbox, The Stream (on March 30, 2009)
Peter Thiel: Primitive Mind In The Tech Sector (on April 28, 2009)
Define Social Media (on April 29, 2009)
Stand Up Comedy: Thinking On Your Feet: 2.0 (on May 03, 2009)
Facebook Faceoff Firefox (on May 10, 2009)
Facebook's Ad Space Is Different (on May 23, 2009)
Is Google Wave Social Enough To Challenge Facebook, Twitter? (on June 02, 2009)
Facebook And Mashable: Social Media And Social Media Blog (on June 09, 2009)
Facebook Landgrab: A Friday Midnight Call (on June 13, 2009)
Twitter Should Hand Over Search To Google (on August 22, 2009)
The FriendFeed, Facebook Merger (on August 26, 2009)
The Next Big Thing In Social Networking (on October 14, 2009)
Google, Bing And Social Media (on October 22, 2009)
Time, Facebook Connect, And Comments (on December 18, 2009)

Why Will Facebook Itself Not Do Facebook Enterprise? (on April 15, 2010)
Graphic Reality (on April 23, 2010)
Zuckerberg Has Stature (on June 06, 2010)
Facebook Doing Location Is Like Google Doing Social, Almost (on August 17, 2010)
The Web Lifestyle And Company Cultures (on August 17, 2010)
Dennis Crowley, Facebook, And The Location Ecosystem (on August 22, 2010)
I Was In Chicago? Facebook Places Messing Up (on August 22, 2010)
Apple Trying To "Get" Social Now? (on September 02, 2010)
The Facebook Search Engine (on September 06, 2010)
Links And Likes (on September 06, 2010)
StartUp Anxiety For FourSquare? (on September 08, 2010)
Zuck In New Yorker (on September 16, 2010)
Google's Social Efforts (on September 17, 2010)
Adoption And Missed Opportunities (on September 30, 2010)
The Social Network: Before Seeing The Movie (on October 01, 2010)
I Gave In: Facebook: The Movie (on October 01, 2010)
Paradise City (on October 02, 2010)
To Make Sense Of The Facebook Movie (on October 04, 2010)
Facebook Needs To Revamp Email Next (on October 06, 2010)
Facebook's Location Patent (on October 07, 2010)
A Sophisticated Like Button (on October 13, 2010)
David Kirkpatrick: "Zuck Is Not An Asshole" (on October 13, 2010)
Google Under Attack? (on October 15, 2010)
Eduardo Saverin: Roommate Does Not Mean Best Friend (on October 15, 2010)
A Facebook Browser? A Facebook Operating System? (on October 21, 2010)
Social Graph, Social Concentric Circles (on October 28, 2010)
Unique URL For Facebook Updates (on October 30, 2010)
Dropio Acquired (on November 01, 2010)
Facebook Alternative? Dave McClure Is Full Of It (on November 01, 2010)
Facebook's Aggression (on November 03, 2010)
Facebook And Twitter: The Only Two That Count (on November 05, 2010)
Brazil On Orkut (on November 09, 2010)
The Idea Of A Social Browser (on November 09, 2010)
If You Could Take Your Data Center With You (on November 11, 2010)
Facebook's Gmail Killer? Wow (on November 12, 2010)
Should FourSquare Be Scared Of Facebook? (on November 14, 2010)
Facebook's Gmail Killer Email: The Expectation Is In The Air (on November 15, 2010)
Does Path Stand A Chance? (on November 15, 2010)
Facebook Messaging: Awesome (on November 15, 2010)
Facebook Messaging Event: My Favorite Question (on November 15, 2010)
Google, GroupOn: Facebook Needs To Go Public (on November 30, 2010)
Zuckerberg On CBS (on December 06, 2010)
Congrats Zuck (on December 16, 2010)
Mark Suster: The Social Network: Facebook To Fragmentation (on December 05, 2010)

The Twins Were Rowing Boats (on January 01, 2011)
FoodSpotting's Social Graph: FoodSpotting Day: January 15 (on January 04, 2011)
Facebook Could Do Well In Search (on January 04, 2011)
I Am On Facebook Messages Now (on January 07, 2011)
Facebook Going After Disqus Now? (on February 01, 2011)
Facebook Going Into Blog Comments Is Huge (on February 02, 2011)
When Zuck's Facebook Account Got Hacked (on February 14, 2011)
The Google/Facebook Of Microfinance (on February 14, 2011)
Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, FoodSpotting: Sharks (on February 18, 2011)
Facebook Comments To Go: Facebook Nailed It (on March 01, 2011)
Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn (on March 02, 2011)
Facebook Comments: First Impressions (on March 07, 2011)
Farmville's Got Competition (on March 07, 2011)
Facebook Location (on April 07, 2011)
9400 Workers In Six Years? Facebook Is Not Seeing Right (on April 27, 2011)
Facebook Getting Smarter With Social Ads (on April 27, 2011)
Facebook Valuation: Up And Up (on May 03, 2011)
Google's Social Search (on May 19, 2011)
Social Concentric Circles (on May 19, 2011)
Apple Going After Google's Cloud? Facebook Going After Apple With HTML5 (on June 16, 2011)
Path + Instagram + Color (on June 16, 2011)
Facebook's Next Major Breakthrough (on July 01, 2011)
Sheryl Sandberg: New Yorker Profile (on July 04, 2011)
The Facebook Skype Integration Is Huge (on July 06, 2011)
Facebook Videocalling: I Am On Now (on July 06, 2011)
Facebook Beats Google Plus On Design (on July 07, 2011)
Plus, Face (on July 15, 2011)
Finally Facebook Lets Me Reach Out To Non Friends (on September 14, 2011)
HTML5 And F8 (on September 19, 2011)
The Facebook Revamp Is Heartwarming (on September 24, 2011)
Sean Parker: Mystery Man (on September 30, 2011)
Sean Parker's 2009 Email To Spotify (on October 08, 2011)
Google Plus: What Went Wrong? (on October 18, 2011)
How To Recommit Facebook To The Power Users (on October 25, 2011)

Facebook And Big Data (on January 15, 2012)
So Facebook Went IPO (on February 02, 2012)
A Facebook Supported Online Parliament (on February 11, 2012)
Google Plus Is Google's Bing (on April 08, 2012)
Instagram: A Billion In Two Years (on April 09, 2012)
Now That Instagram Has Been Bought By Facebook (on April 10, 2012)
The Facebook IPO Fiasco (on June 27, 2012)
Facebook And Money (on July 11, 2012)
The Facebook Like Button: Not Working Right Now (on July 11, 2012)
Fred Wilson, Mark Zuckerberg And Mobile (on July 15, 2012)
Asana Just Like Facebook (on July 23, 2012)
The Facebook Phone (on July 25, 2012)
Facebook's Money Problem (on July 26, 2012)
No Facebook Phone (on July 27, 2012)
Facebook At $25: This Is Not A Glitch (on July 27, 2012)
The Commandos Behind Facebook's Growth (on July 30, 2012)
Facebook Eating Into Its Ecosystem (on July 31, 2012)
Facebook Doldrums (on August 02, 2012)
Facebook In 2022 (on August 05, 2012)
Facebook's Financial Woes Are Unnecessary (on August 13, 2012)
Facebook's Proposed Campus: Lots Of Open Space (on August 25, 2012)
Facebook's Search Option (on September 17, 2012)
Yahoo Facebook Search Alliance Would Be Interesting (on November 18, 2012)
Off Season April Fool Joke On Yahoo Facebook Search Deal (on November 19, 2012)
Facebook Search Can't Be Bing (on December 29, 2012)

Snapchat, Poke And Facebook (on January 01, 2013)
A Social Graph Can't Last 10 Years (on January 01, 2013)
Facebook's Graph Search: A Long Time Coming (on January 16, 2013)
Facebook Graph Search: The Alternative View (on January 23, 2013)
The Facebook Phone (on April 01, 2013)
A Case For A Facebook Phone (on April 04, 2013)
Snapchat (on December 14, 2013)
Facebook Drones: Super Exciting (on March 28, 2014)
Pinterest Dwarfing Facebook? (on October 18, 2014)

Facebook's Out On Free Internet Could Be A Mobile Browser (on January 08, 2016)
In Defence Of Facebook (on November 22, 2018)
Facebook's Blockchain Push: Libra (on June 19, 2019)


For more: http://technbiz.blogspot.com/search?q=facebook


Bits And Pieces (Of Me)

Being Called Sean Parker
http://technbiz.blogspot.com/2011/06/white-male-conspiracy-to-drive-me.html
http://technbiz.blogspot.com/2010/06/paul-graham-brad-feld-me-bbc.html
http://technbiz.blogspot.com/2010/09/netizen-has-arrived-link-from-avc.html (This blog post by Fred Wilson where he hyperlinked to my blog post was his most popular for the year)
http://technbiz.blogspot.com/2012/02/top-influencer-during-social-media-week.html
http://technbiz.blogspot.com/2011/06/robin-hood-my-german-nickname.html



CNN: Inside the partnership of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Facebook's Blockchain Push: Libra

Facebook has taken a public relations beating since 2016. A lot of people blame Facebook for Trump.

There are serious privacy and security issues that the entire sector of tech needs to address. 5G is so promising, but one major line of attack on Huawei has been to do with privacy and security.

But tomorrow is not going to wait. And of the tech giants - Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook - looks like Facebook has made the boldest move on the biggest of the next big things: The Blockchain.

Taking banking to the unbanked is a noble goal. They say poverty is a lack of cash. Direct cash to the poorest two billion would eliminate poverty. I am all for it.

A Libra is like a dollar, or a euro, or a yen, or renminbi. The worth of one Libra likely will be pegged to a basket of all those major currencies. This is something the governments of the world should have long done but never did. That's the first part. The second part is anyone anywhere on the planet will be able to move money as near or as far as they want for zero costs. That's revolutionary. The best use case scenario would be where direct deposits are made into the accounts of the two billion poorest. That is the best way to fight poverty. Poverty is lack of cash. Inject cash.

What Facebook should do next - and I said this years ago - is add a voting feature to its Groups, and a book-keeping feature.

Libra will be governed by a body where Facebook will have only 1% of the vote. Calibra will be a Facebook app, but then anyone else is free to build a Calibra competitor, including the other members of the Big Five.















Libra: White Paper



Bitcoin’s digital gold, but Facebook’s Libra is the digital dollar—here’s why that matters there are some crucial differences between Libra and a cryptocurrency like bitcoin. ....... what Libra is doing is creating a digital version of the U.S. dollar, yen, euro. It’s like a stablecoin, but you still have all the characteristics of a fiat currency ...... With Libra, Facebook users will be able to exchange their dollars for Libra tokens, thus entrusting Facebook and its fellow backers with building a reliable ledger of all transactions ....... Libra users will have to trust the company that has perhaps been most plagued by issues around trust and privacy: Facebook. ...... it’s like the AOL moment: AOL got you online, Libra’s going to get you into crypto

The Senate will hold a hearing next month on Facebook’s Libra currency “Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy,” Brown said yesterday. “We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight. I’m calling on our financial watchdogs to scrutinize this closely to ensure users are protected.”

FACEBOOK’S LIBRA REVEALS SILICON VALLEY’S NAKED AMBITION a comprehensive, borderless economic system for its platform, which is based on a new cryptocurrency, Libra. ....... The company plans to sit ostentatiously on its hands when it comes to governing the project, just one member of the so-called Libra Association, with a total of 28, to emphasize the separation between the currency—which will have a record of your every purchase—and the company ........ whatever scandals may trail the big Silicon Valley companies they are not scaling back, whether that means studying how to eavesdrop on people’s brainwaves to read their minds or building a currency to circumvent borders and national regulation ....... Move fast and break things may have destroyed civic institutions and jeopardized our democracy, but the opposite should be downright scary: Move slow and they break you up. ........ “Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open financial ecosystem,” he said, adding, “We know the journey is just beginning, but together we can achieve Libra’s mission to create a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that will empower billions of people.” ...... spoke of the high fees for transferring money back home, the inefficient requirements of traditional banking, and, most sweepingly, of bringing financial services to the “unbanked” across the far corners of the globe. ......

Libra Quotes we should be able to send money as quickly and securely across borders as we send photos and email. ........... e frictionless commerce for hundreds of millions of people around the world ....... We are committed to ensure that the Internet of
Everything comes with the inclusion of everyone. ........ we know how important it is to promote financial inclusion. We are
committed to developing solutions that are efficient, innovative, and cheap. ...... a new, global digital currency, built on blockchain technology. ....... creating a world without financial borders, where everyone can prosper. ...... Libra has the potential to be one of the most impactful financial innovation opportunities of our time ........ there is an
opportunity to better reach Spotify’s total addressable market, eliminate friction, and enable payments in mass scale. ......... The Libra Association has the potential to significantly expand access to the global economy ........ Sending money to your friend shouldn’t be harder than getting them an Uber ride home. ....... Union Square Ventures has always looked to back platforms that will bring cryptocurrencies to mainstream consumers at scale. Libra is exactly that type of effort, and we look forward to participating in its development and governance. ......... In Digital Societies people should be able to access financial services regardless of where they live or how much they have. ......... This has the potential to be truly transformative and will benefit those who have never used, or are struggling to access, financial services around the world. ....... We are particularly enthusiastic about the potential of Libra’s programming language, Move. Thoughtfully designed smart contracts operating on a widely accessible and stable global currency platform will unlock never-seen-before gains from trade, benefiting society at a meaningful scale. ....... Kiva is focused on addressing the systemic barriers impeding access to financial services for 1.7
billion unbanked individuals around the world. We’re proud to serve as a Founding Partner of the Libra Association and excited by the potential for new technologies to create a more inclusive financial system. ....... More than 1.7 billion people today are financially cut off from the world, with no access to a bank account- a poverty trap that could deepen as the rest of the world becomes ever-more connected. A global digital currency has the potential to spark financial inclusion for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, connecting them to the local, national, and global economy ......... Libra has the potential to level the playing field for the 1.7 billion people who remain unbanked and excluded from formal financial services – over half of whom are women! This may be the pivotal moment in time when we look back and recognize we had the key that unlocked the door for billions of people! ....... What we’ve found in almost two decades of work with the financially vulnerable is that when provided with
the right tools, people make good financial decisions. We’ve all read that blockchain is a solution in search of a problem. Financial exclusion and insecurity are clearly problems, both globally and in our home here in the U.S. If a blockchain-based stable cryptocurrency can make a lasting dent in this problem - by offering underserved people critical tools: a stable, secure, convenient place to store and move funds - we should do all we can to understand and explore the opportunity. ....... By simplifying access to the financial transactions that so many of us take for granted, these tools help build resilience and opportunity for the underserved. ....... It represents a highly disruptive step change not just for the cryptocurrency industry, but also for the broader financial system.


Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra aims to 'put the currency back in cryptocurrency' While the “founding members” of Libra include some very big names in payments and commerce—like Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Stripe, Coinbase, and eBay—many still see the entire project as a Facebook venture, considering the simultaneously coordinated announcements and that Facebook executive David Marcus oversaw the Libra launch. ...... It really is designed to be a unit of purchase and a unit of daily transactions, as opposed to a speculative asset—which is, candidly, where many cryptocurrencies have stood. ...... eventually, when the Libra blockchain launches, it aims to have 100 founding members, with no one member having more than 1% say in the governance.

Bitcoin Faces Technical Hurdle as Libra Steals Crypto Spotlight

Welcome to the official White Paper a new decentralized blockchain, a low-volatility cryptocurrency, and a smart contract platform that together aim to create a new opportunity for responsible financial services innovation. ...... 1.7 billion adults globally remain outside of the financial system with no access to a traditional bank, even though one billion have a mobile phone and nearly half a billion have internet access. ...... All over the world, people with less money pay more for financial services. Hard-earned income is eroded by fees, from remittances and wire costs to overdraft and ATM charges. Payday loans can charge annualized interest rates of 400 percent or more, and finance charges can be as high as $30 just to borrow $100........ We believe that many more people should have access to financial services and to cheap capital. ...... global, open, instant and low-cost movement of money will create immense economic opportunity and more commerce across the world......... people will increasingly trust decentralized forms of governance. ........ a global currency and financial infrastructure should be designed and governed as a public good. ...... the promise of “the internet of money.” ...... Moving money around globally should be as easy and cost-effective as — and even more safe and secure than — sending a text message or sharing a photo, no matter where you live, what you do, or how much you earn. ....... people need to have confidence that they can use Libra and that its value will remain relatively stable over time....... Unlike the majority of cryptocurrencies, Libra is fully backed by a reserve of real assets. A basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities will be held in the Libra Reserve for every Libra that is created, building trust in its intrinsic value. ........ any consumer, developer, or business can use the Libra network, build products on top of it, and add value through their services. ...... The goal of the Libra Blockchain is to serve as a solid foundation for financial services, including a new global currency, which could meet the daily financial needs of billions of people. ....... “Move” is a new programming language for implementing custom transaction logic and “smart contracts” on the Libra Blockchain. Because of Libra’s goal to one day serve billions of people, Move is designed with safety and security as the highest priorities. ......... We believe that the world needs a global, digitally native currency that brings together the attributes of the world’s best currencies: stability, low inflation, wide global acceptance, and fungibility. ..... anyone with Libra has a high degree of assurance they can convert their digital currency into local fiat currency based on an exchange rate, just like exchanging one currency for another when traveling. ....... will be backed by a collection of low-volatility assets, such as bank deposits and short-term government securities in currencies from stable and reputable central banks......... the ability to send money quickly, the security of cryptography, and the freedom to easily transmit funds across borders. Just as people can use their phones to message friends anywhere in the world today, with Libra, the same can be done with money — instantly, securely, and at low cost.......... success will mean that a person working abroad has a fast and simple way to send money to family back home, and a college student can pay their rent as easily as they can buy a coffee.














Friday, April 26, 2019

Kara Swisher: Journalista





What Should Facebook Do (2009)
Facebook's Ad Space Is Different (2009)
Discovering LinkedIn In 2019
In Defence Of Facebook (November 2018)


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Discovering LinkedIn In 2019

I discovered Twitter in 2009, and JP Rangaswami was a big reason why. His blog Confused Of Calcutta that a friend pointed out to had many posts where he shared his enthusiasm for Twitter. I got infected. Within a year I became a top followed in NYC on Twitter. And I was no Ashton Kutcher. I worked hard at it.

It is not like I had not heard of Twitter. I had. But at first, I thought it was ridiculous. (I was also in attendance at the NY Tech MeetUp where FourSquare first presented, and I was unimpressed with what the two Founders called "check-in") I had been an avid blogger for years. And I thought Twitter was for people who can compose full sentences, but full paragraphs are beyond their reach. I was not going to stoop down.

LinkedIn I signed up for not long after it was launched. I have been a keen reader of tech news since the late 1990s, and so I seldom missed developments. But until this year, I never really used LinkedIn. I updated my profile and kept it current, but that was just because.

This year LinkedIn has become my favorite social network. I have become an avid user. I have been using it for hours a day. It keeps running in the background. It has become more like an Operating System.

When I was living in the city (now I live 90 minutes out, more depending on your mode of transportation) I went to numerous tech events. And often you exchanged business cards. The idea would be to try and connect with those people online.

Now I realize I was doing it in reverse and wasting a lot of precious time. You meet people online. You try to connect with them. They might, they might not reciprocate. Which begs the question, did you have a good enough reason to connect, did you write a relevant enough first email?

After you connect, you can have so much communication online. LinkedIn messaging might not be the best messaging out there, but it works fine. And if you connect with someone enough, you might even want to meet. But that is a rather high threshold. What will you talk in person that you can not over email and voice chat? Especially when a meeting is so hard to arrange. For both parties.

I continue to use Twitter and Facebook, pretty much daily. And although I don't blog as regularly as I used to, my blogs are still active. Now I also blog on LinkedIn itself. But that is deliberately few and far between. If people decide to read my articles, let them be few enough that they might actually read them. That is what I have thought.

The LinkedIn profile is an excellent format. If you have only a few minutes to get to know me, reading my LinkedIn profile might be how you ought to spend your time. The kind of work people have done over the years gives you a pretty good picture of who someone is as a person. Even if your interest in them might not be work-related.

And so I have been networking on LinkedIn like crazy. I don't miss the city. I quite like the clean air around where I live. And I don't much miss the networking tech events either. LinkedIn is far superior an experience.

It feels like for the first time I am building a company (two, actually) in earnest. And LinkedIn is the Operating System I am happily using.

LinkedIn trending topics has also become my favorite place online to go for news. Although I go many places on a daily basis.

And to say I have actually seen Reid Hoffman in person. Mike Bloomberg threw a party. I don't know how I got invited. But that is where I got to meet and know Arianna Huffington also. Hoffman was the featured speaker.





Thursday, November 22, 2018

In Defence Of Facebook

It feels like 1999 for Facebook. Microsoft did not split, but all the DC harassing was a hint it was no longer on the cutting edges of innovation. Facebook feels like on a standstill. It has taken quite a beating. There is a backlash.

Facebook is not the next Facebook, and Google is not the next Google, although some of Google's so-called moonshot projects are quite impressive, and in the pipeline.

Today I make free video calls to my parents in Nepal, thanks to Facebook Messenger, although it is true there are others like it. When I showed up for college in Kentucky, and the Internet was the new kid on the block, I had to pay something like two dollars per minute to call my parents. The college phone service was a monopoly. VOIP was unheard of. So when a few years later I came across 20 cents per minute deals, it felt like rocket science to me. Also, at that work study college, you were legitimately paid way below minimum wage. Which meant a week's wages could easily be spent on one conversation. :)

In my home village in Nepal, one of my failed initiatives was to launch a library. It did not fail. We did collect a few books. I donated most of it. But it did not take off as envisioned. Well, in that village today you can get a phone with a data plan. And, boom, there is a library called Google.

The tech giants are subject to public criticism, sure, why not. But let's maintain perspective.



The Big Four -- Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook --- have collected a lot of data on each of us. True. But what would be the best next step? I think data portability. The data around each person is a personal oil well. It will pay for Universal Basic Income

FACEBOOK BOARD DEFENDS HOW ZUCKERBERG, SANDBERG HANDLED CRISIS

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Could IBM Have Bought Microsoft?

Not likely. Microsoft did try to buy Google, "at any price." And Google did try to buy Facebook. But the Blockchain is not just the next Google or Facebook, it is an entirely new platform, it is the next Internet. There is no buying the Internet.

It would be hard, perhaps impossible, for a company like Google to also be big on the Blockchain. It is an Internet company. 
Brave is a web browser that competes with Google’s Chrome. Instead of running targeted ads, Brave uses blockchain technology to pay websites when people spend time there. BitClave lets people perform searches online, and get rewarded for seeing ads. Another project, Presearch, is also using blockchain to try to compete with Google’s search engine


A Small Sales Tax Makes Sense

It makes sense for the giant tech companies to pay something like a 3% tax to local jurisdictions globally, why only Europe? It goes beyond purchases. If data is the new oil, the people sitting on the oil wells, those billions of people, ought to have a say.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Facebook Is Facing A Backlash

And that is putting it mildly. Facebook sure is facing a major backlash. The global darling app is seen using nefarious means. This is kind of like when Microsoft came under the gun in the late 1990s with monopoly accusations. The beating created space for other tech companies that became big. Facebook might have hit its high point. It is hard for one company to ride multiple technology waves. Although I have thought Facebook might also have some interesting VR applications in mind.

Here is Zuck's latest missive. He is on the defensive.

Employees have begun to worry that the company won’t be able to achieve its biggest goals if users decide that Facebook isn’t trustworthy enough to hold their data. At the meeting on Tuesday, the mood was especially grim. One employee told a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter that the only time he’d felt as uncomfortable at work, or as responsible for the world’s problems, was the day Donald Trump won the presidency.


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Big Tech Companies Need To Pay Individuals Globally

Over the long run, Google and Facebook are not really in the business of selling ads, and Amazon is not in the business of selling merchandise. No, these technology companies are powered by your eyeballs (and data). Their currency is users. Google, for example, gives away email and search for free to draw users to its products; it needs to innovate quickly, producing more and better products to ensure you stay with the company.

It only makes sense. When a foreign company goes and drills for oil in Saudi Arabia, it pays the country. When Google drills you for data, should Google not pay? Data is the new oil. Tech companies are about to build super rich profiles on individuals. That is fine as long as privacy is respected. And they pay. Google's money might show up in your Gmail account. You should be able to conduct local commerce wherever you are.

This is not really that different from AdSense/AdWords. Google pays you when you display Google ads on your blog.

Just like with ISPs, governments can make companies owning the big pipes allow many small companies to become the last mile provider, similarly, many of these big tech companies are busy building many big pipes of all sorts. At some point it might make market sense to allow for competition in the final mile.

Also true for finance. If the big banks can just make sure your bank deposits are safe, do they also have to be the people providing the basic services? Can not small startups who don't own buildings simply plug in and start offering services?

Google owns Blogger, but Wordpress beats Google's Blogger in blogging platform innovation. Wordpress does the last mile really well.

Like Mao said (at least for a short period of time, very short), Let a thousand flowers bloom.

This is a policy challenge. It is for governments to make sure free competition is kept to the max. Sometimes that requires liberating the last mile to small players who might be more nimble, with their ears close to the ground.

I read somewhere Google is giving 25% ownership to the Sri Lankan government for taking its Project Loon insanity to the ground in that country for use of the airwaves. That sounded close to perfect to me, and might be even more meaningful to many of the African countries. Oil holes in the sky.



Friday, January 08, 2016

Facebook's Out On Free Internet Could Be A Mobile Browser

The second logo for AOL, used from 2006–2009
The second logo for AOL, used from 2006–2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Facebook’s First Effort at Free Internet Is Just Another Walled Garden
With its Aquila unmanned aircraft and laser technologies, Facebook has demonstrated the ability to deliver data at a rate of tens of gigabytes per second to a target the size of a coin — from 10 miles away. This is 10 times faster than existing land-based technologies. With interconnected drones, it will, within two or three years, most likely be able to provide Internet access to the most remote regions of the world....... And then there are low-orbit microsatellites, which Oneweb, SpaceX, and now Samsung are building. These beam Internet signals by laser to ground stations. In June, Oneweb announced that it had raised $500 million to develop and launch several hundred satellites that will provide global broadband coverage. ...... Google is launching Loons in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It was also supposed to launch them in India, but India’s defense, aviation, and telecommunications ministries raised technical and security concerns and stopped the project. When the telecom providers figure out that with unlimited, inexpensive, Internet access, their cell and data businesses will be decimated, they too will place obstacles in the way of these technologies.
Free Basics protects net neutrality
To connect a billion people, India must choose facts over fiction ..... We have collections of free basic books. They’re called libraries. They don’t contain every book, but they still provide a world of good. ..... We have free basic healthcare. Public hospitals don’t offer every treatment, but they still save lives. ..... That’s why everyone also deserves access to free basic internet services. ..... We know that for every 10 people connected to the internet, roughly one is lifted out of poverty. We know that for India to make progress, more than 1 billion people need to be connected to the internet. ...... in India and more than 30 other countries. We launched Free Basics, a set of basic internet services for things like education, healthcare, jobs and communication that people can use without paying for data. ...... More than 35 operators have launched Free Basics and 15 million people have come online. And half the people who use Free Basics to go online for the first time pay to access the full internet within 30 days. ....... Free Basics is a bridge to the full internet and digital equality. .....

more than 30 countries have recognized Free Basics as a program consistent with net neutrality

and good for consumers. ........

Instead of recognizing the fact that Free Basics is opening up the whole internet, they continue to claim – falsely – that this will make the internet more like a walled garden.

..... Instead of recognizing that Free Basics fully respects net neutrality, they claim – falsely – the exact opposite. ...... This isn’t about Facebook’s commercial interests – there aren’t even any ads in the version of Facebook in Free Basics.

I am confused. What's free basics? What does it do? How? Is it restricted? Is it like AOL? AOL was not restricted. You could go all over the Internet through AOL. Most people didn't. They spent most of their time in AOL Messenger, but that's another story. Is Zuck's Free Basics like AOL? I don't get the impression he is using drones for the purpose.

I think the solution is two-fold. One, beam high speed internet from the sky straight to the smartphone. And have a Facebook browser on that phone that has code that communicates to the Facebook Internet beam from the Gods, and lets you go online, but the browser is customized for a Facebook experience. You still can go everywhere, but it looks and feels like Facebook. And Facebook serves ads.

That way Google could be competing to provide free internet from the high and above to the same smartphone. Next thing you know they are competing on speed. My broadband is faster than yours. The next logical step after that would be free smartphones. Sundar Pichai is so smart I think he could build $20 phones. Google could earn 20 bucks from ads in, like, 20 weeks flat.

Facebook should build a mobile browser.









Thursday, December 03, 2015

Some Strange Reactions To Zuck's Good Move

A lot of people seem to struggle with the fact that this really is Mark's money, and he may do as he pleases, and he is choosing to serve the needy. The fact that this LLC might invest and grow the money only means it will have more money to give away. Also, I hope he makes smart investments in some of the next big things. The companies getting the investments will also flourish. How is that bad news?

Also, if he is smart enough to create Facebook, he is perhaps smart enough to do good, maybe smarter than most. I read his manifesto, if it can be called that, and I found it mind blowing in its breadth and directness. Senators don't talk like that. And they seldom even talk about global problems.

1% of 50 billion is still a neat 500 million. It is not like Zuck will be starving.

I was never a big fan of Gates until he put forth his foundation. I am also really liking Zuck's move. I hope he starts giving at least 20% of his time to his foundation. There is much to do. Think of it this way. He created this 200 billion dollar company working full time. If he puts 20% of his time now into charity work, is that like him giving a few tens of billions just in time, not money? I think so. I mean, not literally. But his time is still worth billions. Time is money, as the adage goes. In this case it is worth billions.

I like Zuck. He is a good guy. His heart is in the right place. Maybe people should gripe about billionaires who DON'T give money! There are too many of those. Most we don't even hear about because, well, they don't show up in the news because they gave money to a good cause. Tell them it is a way to avoid taxes, and they might line up and down the street. That would be Mark's THIRD way of gifting!

I am personally appreciating 100% what Mark has done. Zuck is the talk. Zuck walks the walk. May his billions grow further so he can do even more. Has anyone ever given his newborn daughter a better gift? I doubt.

Zuck's Giveaway





How Mark Zuckerberg’s Altruism Helps Himself
Zuckerberg created an investment vehicle. ..... Zuckerberg and Ms. Chan did not set up a charitable foundation, which has nonprofit status. He created a limited liability company, one that has already reaped enormous benefits as public relations coup for himself. His P.R. return-on-investment dwarfs that of his Facebook stock. Mr. Zuckerberg was depicted in breathless, glowing terms for having,

in essence, moved money from one pocket to the other

. ........ The savvier move, Professor Fleischer explained, would be to have the L.L.C. donate the appreciated shares to charity, which would generate a deduction at fair market value of the stock without triggering any tax. ...... he amassed one of the greatest fortunes in the world — and is likely never to pay any taxes on it. ...... The superwealthy buy great public relations and adulation for donations that minimize their taxes. ..... What would $40 billion mean for job creation or infrastructure spending? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a budget of about $7 billion. ....... Of course, nobody thinks our government representatives do a good job of allocating resources. ..... They are tacit acknowledgments that no one could ever possibly spend $45 billion on himself or his family, and that the money isn’t really “his,” in a fundamental sense.
Mark Zuckerberg and the Rise of Philanthrocapitalism
Last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was founded in 2000, dispensed almost four billion dollars in grants. A big slug of this money went toward fighting diseases like H.I.V., malaria, polio, and tuberculosis, which kill millions of people in poor countries. Zuckerberg and Chan have also already donated hundreds of millions of dollars to various causes, including eradicating the Ebola virus. ....... Charitable giving on this scale makes modern capitalism, with all of its inequalities and injustices, seem somewhat more defensible. Having created hugely successful companies that have generated almost unimaginable wealth, Zuckerberg, Gates, and Buffett are sending a powerful message to Wall Street hedge-fund managers, Russian oligarchs, European industrialists, Arab oil sheiks, and anybody else who has accumulated a vast fortune: “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.” ....... In 2010, Gates and Buffett challenged fellow members of the ultra-rich club to give away at least half of their wealth. Since then, more than a hundred billionaires have signed the “Giving Pledge.” ...... all of this charitable giving comes at a cost to the taxpayer and, arguably, to the broader democratic process ...... If Zuckerberg and Chan were to cash in their Facebook stock, rather than setting it aside for charity, they would have to pay capital-gains tax on the proceeds, money that could be used to fund government programs. If they willed their wealth to their descendants, then sizable estate taxes would become due on their deaths. By making charitable donations in the form of stock, they, and their heirs, will escape both of these levies. ......

the richest 0.01 per cent of American households—there are only about sixteen thousand of them—owned 11.2 per cent of all the wealth in the country, which is the highest share since 1916

..... (The richest 0.1 per cent of households owned twenty-two per cent of the total, which is more than the bottom ninety per cent of households combined.) ..... By transferring almost all of their fortunes to philanthropic organizations, billionaires like Zuckerberg and Gates are placing some very large chunks of wealth permanently outside the reaches of the Internal Revenue Service. As tax-exempt entities, these charitable enterprises won’t face any liabilities when they eventually sell the stock they receive. That means the country’s tax base shrinks. ....... The Gates Foundation, for example, has been a big financial supporter of charter schools, standardized testing, and the Common Core. ...... The more money billionaires give to their charitable foundations, which in most cases remain under their personal control, the more influence they will accumulate. And relatively speaking, anyway, the less influence everybody else will have.
Facebook CEO's donation is a game-changer
Philanthropy surged by 5.4 percent in 2014 to a record $358 billion ..... eight-figure donations are now so routine, they barely generate publicity ...... leading private banks now offer philanthropy support along with investments. ..... The amount of the Zuckerberg-Chan pledge is truly spectacular, but the way they're planning to use the money is just as important. .... Just as the printing press made it possible for an enormous portion of society to get access to information without all the cost and time of hand-written manuscripts, online learning could bring billions of people into the information age without our needing to put up lots and lots of buildings. ......

This could be the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2015 — and it could unleash not millions but billions.