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Google+ and Facebook’s natural monopoly in social networks

Posted in Analysis, Economics, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Tech Industry on July 17th, 2011 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Natural monopolies occur when it is economically favorable to have a single standard vendor for a product or service. In these situations, monopolies tend to appear and maintain themselves naturally. When I say “economically favorable” I mean in the aggregate — the entire economy operates more efficiently because of the standard. Which is unusual with […]

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Macbook Crashes, Kernel Panics and coping with an Apple “Genius”

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Gadgets, Geek, Hacks, Hardware on May 14th, 2011 by leodirac – 8 Comments

So your Mac is crashing a lot, and after a trip to the “Genius Bar”, you’re starting to think maybe that “genius” you talked to is anything but.  Is this where you are?  If so, join the club, because that’s exactly what I’ve been going through recently.  My MacBook Pro would regularly go black without […]

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Democratizing HTTPS

Posted in Analysis, Democratization of Information, Electronic Security, Geek, Google on March 21st, 2011 by leodirac – Comments Off on Democratizing HTTPS

Dear Google, Please democratize SSL certificates.  The ability to serve HTTPS:// pages without scaring users is currently controlled by a handful of “trusted authorities” whose business is to make it difficult to secure web communications.  Google, you have the ability to disrupt this oligarchy and empower individuals to make the web safer. The web is […]

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The ironic challenge of nuclear power safety

Posted in Analysis, Geek, Physics, Societal Values, Technology on March 15th, 2011 by leodirac – 15 Comments

In studying the history of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and the ongoing events at Fukushima, a subtle but important connection appears.  The problems at Fukushima today share a fundamental similarity with the cause of Chernobyl’s disaster. Moreover, within that similarity lies a path to making nuclear power safer. Obviously there are huge differences.  Chernobyl was a massive […]

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Brain Simulation Tactics and Complexity Estimates

Posted in Analysis, Science, Transhumanism, Uploading on August 17th, 2010 by leodirac – 13 Comments

Ray Kurzweil recently predicted that we’d be able to reverse engineer the human brain by 2020.  He makes an argument that a brain simulator would need about a million lines of code: Here’s how that math works, Kurzweil explains: The design of the brain is in the genome. The human genome has three billion base […]

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Apple explains video chat to the world

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Strategy on July 13th, 2010 by leodirac – Comments Off on Apple explains video chat to the world

It’s fascinating watching a disruptive technology cross the chasm. It’s a rare opportunity in one’s technical career to see this happen to a technology that one has been intimately involved with. That’s exactly what’s happening with video chat technology that I worked on at Google, as Apple pushes the technology into the early majority phase […]

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Video Chat is about to enter the Early Majority Phase with iPhone 4

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Google, Strategy on June 22nd, 2010 by leodirac – 7 Comments

I believe that the iPhone 4 will be remembered as the device that invented video chat.  Just like how the iPod is often seen as the first real mp3 player.  It wasn’t at all of course.  There were dozens of mp3 players before it.  But the iPod set a new quality bar which was so […]

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Is oil exploration getting safer?

Posted in Analysis, Geek, Sustainability on June 20th, 2010 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Recently one of my friends asked whether or not there was a general trend towards improved safety in oil exploration.  Coming from a mechanical engineering background, he noted that things like bridges and buildings have gotten safer over time through failures.  Every new structure is built with the collective wisdom of the many failures before […]

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How Social Media will change Marketing

Posted in Analysis, Business, Geek, Marketing, Personal Growth, Societal Values on May 20th, 2010 by leodirac – 7 Comments

A number of years ago, a bunch of my friends were reading Naomi Klein’s book No Logo and getting really riled up by it.  The book is certainly written to make you angry, describing how brands and logos have become more and more prominent in our society as the marketing industry has become more sophisticated at […]

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Apple and Wal-Mart: Bargaining on your behalf for lower prices

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Economics, Gadgets, Geek on April 20th, 2010 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Even though Apple products are expensive, there’s a surprising similarity between Apple and Wal-Mart: both companies push hard on other parts of the value chain to deliver lower prices for consumers. In Walmart’s case, it’s generally suppliers who get squeezed.  Walmart demands that manufacturers of goods produce them at the lowest possible price so that Walmart can […]

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