Thursday, December 30, 2010
"But broader forces are also at play. Nearly 30 years ago, Sherwin Rosen, an economist from the University of Chicago, proposed an elegant theory to explain the general pattern. In an article entitled "The Economics of Superstars," he argued that technological changes would allow the best performers in a given field to serve a bigger market and thus reap a greater share of its revenue. But this would also reduce the spoils available to the less gifted in the business.
The reasoning fits smoothly into the income dynamics of the music industry, which has been shaken by many technological disruptions since the 1980s. First, MTV put music on television. Then Napster took it to the Internet. Apple allowed fans to buy single songs and take them with them. Each of these breakthroughs allowed the very top acts to reach a larger fan base, and thus command a larger audience and a bigger share of concert revenue."
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
"In 1995 Microsoft had a HUGE marketshare lead with DOS. That meant it had a huge army of developers who didn't want to switch over to Apple's system, which they saw as very closed and inflexible. I remember developers coming into the consumer electronics store I helped run in the 1980s and they'd complain bitterly about Apple's policies (Apple was far less flexible back then than it is today and forced developers to fit into a "look and feel" set of guidelines).
But I look at who is making money. Back in 1995 developers were mostly making money from DOS. Remember, this caused WordPerfect and Borland to make bad bets. They bet on DOS for too long, while Bill Gates went and built some of the first and best Macintosh apps. The lesson, though, doesn't pass from 1995 to 2011. Today where are most of the developers making their money? iOS (according to Sephora, Starbucks, OpenTable, eBay, and many other developers). So, Android has to convince developers to switch, or do both platforms at same time. That's quite different."
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
"To make things much more realistic and recent, in 2006 California received $11.3b in personal tax receipts, $4.3b more than the previous tax year. A main difference? One company: Google. The newly-public company's executives and rank & file employees cashed out stock & options at a furious rate, accounting for much of the increment.
At the time, Google's public market capitalization grew from $70b to $100b. The lower end is approximately the current secondary market capitalization of Facebook, the current IPO market object d'ardor. There are more California companies coming public, however, almost certainly including Zynga, Linkedin, et al., which would add materially to this total market capitalization of newly public companies seeing option exercises.
All else being equal, I'm guessing California will report a surprise spike in 2011 and 2012 personal tax receipts. It is over-leveraged to personal income, of course, and, within that, to stock option exercises and capital gains. But those will all jump much higher in the coming 24 months, and seems to have escaped most analysts' scrutiny as they project California flat-lining into being the next Greece."
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Sugar by Koerschgen
Seven Seventeen - Wooden Birds
Hailey - Wooden Birds
Friday, December 17, 2010
Band of the Day (7.30.10) Futurebirds - "Johnny Utah" by NewBandDay
Futurebirds - Battle for Rome by frontporchmusings
Ski Chalet - Futurebirds
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
One more thing, I'm going to link to Amazon's store for all the albums that are available. If you buy something through this link (it's really easy to buy Amazon MP3's), then I'll donate the proceeds from affiliate sales to Ben's Friends. By the way, if you missed out on our fundraiser, we raised $7,300, pretty awesome. If you missed the fundraiser and your feeling good about the year and want to kick in a little cash, it would really help. Drop me a line!
#17 - Drive By Truckers - Big To Do - Kenna turned me onto the Truckers a few years ago. My favorite songs on the album are "You Got Another" with is sensitive and "Santa Fe" which is just plain cool. Here is Kenna's Truckers playlist which I fully endorse. My Truckers highlight this year came when John Hamilton and I went to their concert and at the end, they played their classic, Let There Be Rock. John turned to me and said, "I came to the concert mostly just to see this song." He was smart to do so, because it rocked.
#16 -Notorious XX - a mashup between Biggy and the XX. It's pretty freaking amazing and you can find the whole album here on Soundcloud. This is a completely independent fan of both Biggy & the XX and he put this together in his own time. It's one of the cooler Internet phenomenas in 2010. The music is terrific (language is for adults only).
Friday, December 10, 2010
Drive By Truckers: The Big To Do
The FutureBirds: Hampton's Lullaby
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I've been watching the Bond market for a long time because I think eventually all the money printing that the Fed is doing is going to hurt us. Eventually, I think Foreigners will get tired of buying our bonds, knowing principal value of those bonds will be devalued by the inflation the Fed is trying to generate. Once they realize that, foreigners will stop buying bonds (this has already started to happen) and bond prices will fall to reflect the reduced appetite. When bond prices fall, the implied interest rate on bonds rises. The Fed is fighting this though by buying bonds themselves. The Fed is very powerful in financial markets and will be able to sustain buying bonds for a long time. Therefore, betting on falling bond prices will likely take a very long time to play out.
Today I stuck my toe in the water and bought a tiny amount of TBF, a short bond fund that has no leverage (TBT has leverage but the leverage chews up your principal if you are not immediately correct). It's a very small amount, designed to get myself to pay even closer attention to the bond market. Now I have a little stake in the game and will pay more attention. Just wanted to get this on your radar screen too.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
The next step is understanding exactly how the ghosts attempt to reach their target tiles. The ghosts' AI is very simple and short-sighted, which makes the complex behavior of the ghosts even more impressive. Ghosts only ever plan one step into the future as they move about the maze. Whenever a ghost enters a new tile, it looks ahead to the next tile that it will reach, and makes a decision about which direction it will turn when it gets there. These decisions have one very important restriction, which is that ghosts may never choose to reverse their direction of travel. That is, a ghost cannot enter a tile from the left side and then decide to reverse direction and move back to the left. The implication of this restriction is that whenever a ghost enters a tile with only two exits, it will always continue in the same direction.
However, there is one exception to this rule, which is that whenever ghosts change from Chase or Scatter to any other mode, they are forced to reverse direction as soon as they enter the next tile. This forced instruction will overwrite whatever decision the ghosts had previously made about the direction to move when they reach that tile. This effectively acts as a notifier to the player that the ghosts have changed modes, since it is the only time a ghost can possibly reverse direction. Note that when the ghosts leave Frightened mode they do not change direction, but this particular switch is already obvious due to the ghosts reverting to their regular colors from the dark blue of Frightened. So then, the 1/60-of-a-second Scatter mode on every level after the first will cause all the ghosts to reverse their direction of travel, even though their target effectively remains the same. This forced direction-reversal instruction is also applied to any ghosts still inside the ghost house, so a ghost that hasn't yet entered the maze by the time the first mode switch occurs will exit the ghost house with a "reverse direction as soon as you can" instruction already pending. This causes them to move left as usual for a very short time, but they will almost immediately reverse direction and go to the right instead.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Via Alex Bain Favorites
Friday, December 3, 2010
"In 1938 Buckminster Fuller coined the term ephemeralization to describe the increasing tendency of physical machinery to be replaced by what we would now call software. The reason tablets are going to take over the world is not (just) that Steve Jobs and Co are industrial design wizards, but because they have this force behind them. The iPhone and the iPad have effectively drilled a hole that will allow ephemeralization to flow into a lot of new areas. No one who has studied the history of technology would want to underestimate the power of that force."
Thursday, December 2, 2010
"Between Android, Google Maps, Admob, Adwords, etc., Google has the best suite of advertiser tools for the local business. But their penetration into that market has so far been lacking. And where they do have penetration a lot of it is through middle men companies like Yodle, which is not at all in their best interest.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
"“Netflix used an open-source network, the U.S. Postal Service, to launch an alternative distribution business without asking anyone for permission,” said Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor and author of “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.” “Now they are using another open-source network, the Internet, to transform the business. It is much easier for Netflix to change, because they don’t have to undergo a kind of religious conversion like media companies will have to.”"
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
We went to Gary Farrell, which I think makes the best Pinot Noir around and enjoyed the incredible view from the tasting room. I blew it by not taking any pictures there. You'll just have to go there yourself.
Then we went to Yoakim Bridge, a family owned winery run by Virginia. She's a ton of fun and Yoakim's wine is a reflection of her and husband. My favorites are Yoakim's Cuvee and Zinfandels but everything they make is really good.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
jakeandamir: Sometimes I think about my amazing family/friends and I get so happy... Then my fantasy football team loses by 2 and that all goes away.
Over at Edible Geography, Nicola Twilley has a fascinating interview with Alan Stillman, the founder of TGI Friday's and Smith & Wollensky. Stillman started Friday's because, essentially, he was interested in meeting girls.
I wanted T.G.I. Friday's to feel like a neighbourhood, corner bar, where you could get a good hamburger, good french fries, and feel comfortable. At the time, it was a sophisticated hamburger and french fry place -- apparently, I invented the idea of serving burgers on a toasted English muffin -- but the principle involved was to make people feel that they were going to someone's apartment for a cocktail party.
The food eventually played a larger role than I imagined it would, because a lot of the girls didn't have enough money to stretch from one paycheque to the other, so I became the purveyor of free hamburgers at the end of the month.
I don't think there was anything else like it at the time. Before T.G.I. Friday's, four single twenty-five year-old girls were not going out on Friday nights, in public and with each other, to have a good time. They went to people's apartments for cocktail parties or they might go to a real restaurant for a date or for somebody's birthday, but they weren't going out with each other to a bar for a casual dinner and drinks because there was no such place for them to go.