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Current Topic: Tech Industry

Games Beyond The Game
Topic: Tech Industry 6:47 am EST, Nov 19, 2010

Mary Meeker, Scott Devitt, and Liang Wu:

Do humans want everything to be like a game?


Is our curse the endless pursuit of a happiness which can never be attained?

Ali Dhux:

A man tries hard to help you find your lost camels.
He works more tirelessly than even you,
But in truth he does not want you to find them, ever.

Jeffrey Zeldman:

This thing is not a game. There is no winning. There is only mattering.

An exchange:

Someone once accused Craig Venter of playing God.

His reply was, "We're not playing."

Sarah Baxter and Michael Smith:

Obama asked: "What's the endgame?" and did not receive a convincing answer.

Nir Rosen:

"You Westerners have your watches," the leader observed. "But we Taliban have time."

Angus McCullough:

The only way to end your game is to lose.

Rahm Emanuel:

We have to play the game.

Sen. Claire McCaskill:

The game that's played around Washington is find something little that you can complain about and see if you can magnify it.

Stringer Bell:

There are games beyond the game.

An American private in the First Battalion, Fifth Cavalry:

It's like a game of cat and mouse. It's just a really, really smart mouse.

James Reston:

A health director ... reported this week that a small mouse, which presumably had been watching television, attacked a little girl and her full-grown cat ... Both mouse and cat survived, and the incident is recorded here as a reminder that things seem to be changing.

David Clark:

Don't forget about forgetting.

Games Beyond The Game

10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr
Topic: Tech Industry 7:59 am EDT, Jun 25, 2009

John Allspaw and Paul Hammond:

Communications and cooperation between development and operations isn't optional, it's mandatory. Flickr takes the idea of "release early, release often" to an extreme - on a normal day there are 10 full deployments of the site to our servers. This session discusses why this rate of change works so well, and the culture and technology needed to make it possible.

A recent presentation at Velocity 2009.

See also, Lexically Sparse Slides Improve Recall of Taught Material.

10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr

Channel Champions
Topic: Tech Industry 7:41 am EDT, Apr 17, 2009

When I grow up, I want to work in the channel!

Channel Champions

Goodbye Google
Topic: Tech Industry 2:36 pm EDT, Mar 21, 2009

Douglas Bowman:

Without conviction, doubt creeps in. Instincts fail. “Is this the right move?” When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data. Data in your favor? Ok, launch it. Data shows negative effects? Back to the drawing board. And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.

Mark C. Taylor, on Jacques Derrida:

Belief not tempered by doubt poses a mortal danger.

Darth Vader:

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Have you seen "Doubt"?

Father Brendan Flynn: You haven't the slightest proof of anything!
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: But I have my certainty!

Richard Hamming:

If you do not work on an important problem, it's unlikely you'll do important work.

Paul Graham:

It will always suck to work for large organizations, and the larger the organization, the more it will suck.

Goodbye Google

Don't Launch
Topic: Tech Industry 7:44 am EDT, Mar 18, 2009

Eric Ries:

Here's a common question I get from startups, especially in the early stages: when should we launch?

My answer is almost always the same: don't.

Warren Buffett:

Do what you love, or your boss will decide for you.

The Google Way:

If you have a great technical idea, you don’t have your V.P. send out a memo telling everybody to use it. Instead, you take it to your fellow engineers and convince them that it’s good.

Don't Launch

Text of Steve Jobs’s Letter to Apple Employees
Topic: Tech Industry 5:29 pm EST, Jan 14, 2009


I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.


Text of Steve Jobs’s Letter to Apple Employees

Yahoo to Lay Off 1,500 Workers as Results Miss Estimates
Topic: Tech Industry 10:08 pm EDT, Oct 21, 2008

Chop, baby, chop, and chop now.

Yahoo was hurting long before the financial crisis got everyone worried about a global recession. Now its pain has become more acute.

Yahoo said Tuesday that it would lay off at least 10 percent of its 15,000 workers as it tries to bring down its expenses. It said reduced marketing budgets had taken a bite out of its online advertising business, sending its net income for the third quarter tumbling by 64 percent.

As Sequoia says, Get real or go home.

See also:

Now it's Zivity that is taking a hit, joining the ranks of start-ups downsizing to make the money they raised from now skittish venture capitalists last longer.

It was a difficult but necessary decision, say the Banisters, who are seasoned technology professionals. They have experienced the industry's ups and downs before.

Yahoo to Lay Off 1,500 Workers as Results Miss Estimates

Digg gets $28.7M boost, plans to double size, go global
Topic: Tech Industry 3:44 pm EDT, Oct 20, 2008

Not everyone is planning layoffs ...

Tapping into a $28.7-million round of fresh venture capital, will embark on a major expansion over the next year, with plans to double its staff from 75 to 150 as well as relocate to a San Francisco headquarters roughly three times the size of its current offices. Among the site's development plans will be the addition of international and multilingual interfaces to the existing site and a renewed shift in personalizing content for individual users.

Adelson was not specific about Digg's next round of features, but in this video from the Web 2.0 Expo, Adelson spoke at length about what he called "Hyper-personalization," a model that, instead of showing users the most popular stories, would make guesses about what they'd like based on information mined from the giant demographic veins of social networks. This approach would essentially turn every user into a big Venn diagram of interests, and send them stories to match.

Adelson said Digg had not yet deployed local views of the content, but that it was in the planning stages. "We do believe the implicit groupings of users and interests that we use in the recommendation engine will certainly play a role in the future of Digg and how we can address localities and topics."

Digg gets $28.7M boost, plans to double size, go global

Joe Rosenberg, on Microsoft | Barron's
Topic: Tech Industry 9:23 pm EST, Feb 18, 2008

Barron's: What's going right at Microsoft? Many investors think that it's past its prime.

Rosenberg: Investors don't appreciate the growth in Microsoft's earnings coming from the developing world. Ballmer has talked about this. Piracy in the developing world is going away. Part of it has to do with the way the code was written in the new Vista operating system and part of it is that, as countries become more developed, they can't allow software to be pirated and sold on the street.

Interesting perspective, but is it true? Here's James Fallows:

This weekend, on the street in Beijing, my wife and I found a good video store -- they're slightly more discreet than in Shanghai -- and loaded up on every movie I've just named (*), plus a bunch more, at a little under $1.40 each. Extortionate, compared with Shanghai, but the best we could do.

(*) Juno. There Will Be Blood. The Great Debaters. No Country for Old Men. Charlie Wilson's War. American Gangster. Sweeney Todd. Eastern Promises. I'm Not There.

Joe Rosenberg, on Microsoft | Barron's

A Giant Bid That Shows How Tired the Giant Is
Topic: Tech Industry 8:40 am EST, Feb  2, 2008

I think back to the fall of 2005, when Bill Gates visited The New York Times, and an editor asked him if Microsoft “would do to Google what you did to Netscape?”

“Nah,” laughed Mr. Gates, “we’ll do something different.”

This ain’t it.


See also:

The Microsoft and Yahoo matchup is like two tired swimmers who bump into each other and then wind up drowning each other in their scramble to survive.

A Giant Bid That Shows How Tired the Giant Is

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