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Tech Industry

Net Neutrality does not make the Internet fair

Posted in Economics, Geek, Tech Industry on April 25th, 2014 by leodirac – Comments Off on Net Neutrality does not make the Internet fair

A lot of people are concerned that the FCC will “destroy the Internet” (or something similarly hyperbolic) by loosening so-called net neutrality rules.  But the fact is that today’s system is actually a lot less stable than you realize, and legislating net neutrality would actually make it even more precarious. That traffic moves in a “fair” way across […]

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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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How training in Physics is relevant to work at Google

Posted in Ego, Google, Physics, Science, Tech Industry on April 17th, 2010 by leodirac – Comments Off on How training in Physics is relevant to work at Google

As promised, I gave a talk at the Pacific Northwest Association of College Physicists conference today.  The topic was Physics at Google, or more specifically, “How a background in physics helps to solve Google’s engineering challenges.  Real-world examples of how making the world’s information accessible and useful leans on the principals of physics.”  My slides […]

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Escape from Typepad to WordPress

Posted in Geek, Hacks, Tech Industry on January 9th, 2010 by leodirac – 1 Comment

It took a long time, but EmbracingChaos has finally escaped form Typepad.  About a year ago (just before the end of the previous billing cycle) I started trying to move this blog to blogger.  I like Google’s pace of development and wanted to hop on the blogger train and get automatic upgrades for everything they […]

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Apple moves downmarket: iPhone as a services platform

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Cloud Computing, Google, Hardware, Marketing, Tech Industry on August 3rd, 2008 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Coincident with the launch of the iPhone 3G hardware, Apple has started a couple of new online services: MobileMe and the iPhone App Store. In some ways these are natural extensions of existing product lines. But I believe their launch actually represents a fairly substantial strategic shift as Apple attempts to diversify from a hardware-only company to one that runs on a mix of hardware and services. In order to make this strategy work, Apple will need to sacrifice its much coveted high hardware margins. Diversifying from hardware Since Jobs pulled the company out of the doldrums, Apple has been…

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Greening up the Home Office

Posted in Cloud Computing, Electronic Security, Hardware, Sustainability, Tech Industry on April 22nd, 2008 by leodirac – Comments Off on Greening up the Home Office

It was pretty late at night at my friend Miller’s birthday party last week. She had asked everybody to do something good for the world in lieu of birthday presents. The awake were discussing options as I was dozing off. I overheard somebody say “If you’ve got an old linux box that you’re using as a firewall drawing 400 watts continuously, consider spending $30 on a dedicated router.” I thought about the headless Pentium 3 box in my office closet which is running the IP Cop Linux firewall distro. I thought about the four matching ethernet cards I’d put in…

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Apple’s subscription music service

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Music, Tech Industry on December 3rd, 2007 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Many times I’ve been asked about the possibility of Apple offering a subscription music service for iPods and iTunes. Here I’ll lay out why I think this will happen, what the timeline is for it, how that relates to the future of DRM, and what impact it would have on the competitive landscape. First off, I am confident Apple will launch a subscription music service. As every Rhapsody fan and many industry analysts agree, subscription services are the best way to consume music. Just like Hotmail moved email into the sky, and Google Docs are doing the same for office…

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DRM-free music sales

Posted in Business, Geek, Music, Tech Industry on November 22nd, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on DRM-free music sales

I’m glad the music industry is finally allowing legal sales of music online without DRM. Before this, the situation was absolutely screwball. Consumers had three choices for getting music onto the electronic devices: Buy the CD and rip it Illegally download it through a peer-to-peer network or sketchy Russian service Buy the DRM’d track legally The first option sucked because it either involved driving to a brick and mortar store or waiting for somebody else to drive the CD to your house. There’s no instant gratification. Then there’s the hassle of converting the CD to electronic format. The biggest problems…

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Web UI Platforms through Javascript sandboxes

Posted in Democratization of Information, Facebook, Geek, Google, Microsoft, Tech Industry, User Experience on October 8th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Web UI Platforms through Javascript sandboxes

I see a trend of how we’re approaching Tim O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 ideal in a way that he didn’t really identify. But I think the trend is important, and growing, although still in its infancy. The trend is towards richer web APIs that enable people to build value on top of existing websites. I’ll give some history on how we got here, and talk about the current trend-leaders that I see: Facebook and Google Maps. I’ll also explain why I think Microsoft is in the best position to build the required enabling technology. Original Web 1.0 Universal access to massive…

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Why Google Gears matters in an always-connected broadband world

Posted in Analysis, Gadgets, Geek, Google, Tech Industry, User Experience on September 19th, 2007 by leodirac – 1 Comment

An obvious trend in this industry is towards more pervasive internet access with bandwidth steadily increasing. The build-outs of WiMax networks, 3G cellular networks and metropolitan WiFi efforts promise to offer broadband-class connectivity to all major cities in the US within the next couple of years. Suburbs and extended metorpolitan areas will quickly follow. Even airplanes should have reasonable net access before too long — Virgin America will have it next year. In this environment it’s tempting to design products that assume customers will always be well connected. It is certainly easier to build compelling services to users that have…

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