I'm psyched about getting a Nintendo Wii. So much so that I'm pre-ordering from Wal-Mart. Tonite!
Update: It's already sold out. Plus their site has problems with Firefox, I think.
PS: I'm not the only one who's obsessed with the Wii coming out. So is Cartman.
It's hilarious and instructive. Anyone remember Gil Amelio? Mike Spindler? Jean-Louis Gassee? This wasn't that long ago!
But the journalists and futurists who wrote entreated Apple to do things like:
Couldn't have been more wrong. To their credit, there was an leitmotif of "Hand the reins back to Steve."
Interesting perspective when you read contemporary versions such as: "What should Google do now?" or "How to Save Yahoo!".
Google made $1.87B in revenue for the quarter, up 70% from Q3 2005, and up 10% from Q2 '06.
Their free cash flow was a staggering $512M (compared to Yahoo's $288M).
One scary number: Google employed 9,378 employees as of September 30, up from 7,942 as of June 30. That's employee growth of 18% in one quarter! They hired an average of 19 people per work day.
Google continues to spend a ton on capital expenditures, but George Reyes, the CFO, claims that the free cash flow "easily" covers the CAPEX. Google says that CAPEX spending growth will outpace revenue growth for the next few quarters.
The analysts on the conference call seemed more obsessed with video ads, which can't possibly be having ANY significant impact on Google's results, but there were a few questions about CAPEX. Larry Page (!) responded to a question about how much would be needed to support video ads - saying that Google already has plenty of cheap bandwidth.
Another CAPEX question prompted Eric Schmidt to lecture that quote / unquote "over investment" 2 years ago allows them to be over-performing this year. He's talking down to the analysts a bit, annoyed that they don't understand the "invest in infrastructure" model.
The following moments on the call crystalized Google's stature for me:
It might be just me, but what's striking about those statements is the satisfaction that Larry, Sergey and Eric are getting from be able to behave as a monopoly provider of traffic on the internet.
Yes. Google is effectively in the early stages of monopoly. They have the scale, they have the infrastructure, and they have the partnerships.
Ostensibly, they control 25% of the advertising on the internet. But pragmatically, they are the player that you must spend 80% of your attention on, if you want to get anything done.
Danny Sullivan recounts the pain of dealing with Microsoft's automatic update tools. Many people I know use Windows Update to keep their machines "secure". I disable it the moment I install the OS.
Why use Windows Update? Some people think that getting automatic updates - like getting IE6 removed and IE7 installed - will protect them from viruses, hackers, and legions of Microsoft security bugs.
Here's my take: if it ain't broke - don't let Microsoft touch it. Has Microsoft's new stuff ever been tested on the configuration you are running. Not likely. Has Microsoft been known to deliver patches that were buggier or bigger security risks than the old code they replace. ALL THE TIME.
Furthermore, the time you waste unraveling problems and waiting for installs is never paid back.
So call me a luddite, but I've found that open source virus checking, and a good firewall is far more secure than letting Microsoft change the code running on your box.
Upshot: You'll be happier if you disable Windows Update. And if you need to try IE7, do it in VMware - using a virtual machine.
After I put up a search engine for Amazon Prime items, I've started to notice what people really buy with Amazon Prime.
A large chunk is consumer packaged goods like toothbrushes, diapers, batteries, toilet paper, etc. The kind of items people buy at Costco and Wal-Mart in packs of 3 or 4: shampoo, vitamins, laundry detergent.
It makes sense. You save a lot of time, and the Amazon prices are usually as low or lower than the big-box warehouse stores.
So if you are the kind of person that buys a fair bit of stuff from Costco, Amazon Prime may make a lot of sense.
when a father/husband plays a video game all night long, seven days a week, after getting home from work, very involved instances that soak up hours and require concentration, it makes me queasy that I encouraged that. Others include the kids you know aren't doing their homework and confide in you they are failing out of high school or college but don't want to miss their chance at loot, the long-term girl/boyfriend who is skipping out on a date (or their anniversary - I've seen it) to play (and in some cases flirt constantly), the professional taking yet another day off from work to farm mats or grind their reputations up with in-game factions to get "valuable" quest rewards, etc...
This makes generic internet addiction look mild.
In the near future, the self-help industry will realize the goldmine of potential new customers who are trying to break the WoW habit and rejoin the real world. There will be books, groups, recovery programs and possibly even medications that are sold to help these people.
Texsy depends on APIs from Amazon, Ebay and Shopping.com to show products. And the publisher makes money when someone buys a product or (in the case of shopping.com) clicks on the ad.
The biggest problem I've had so far is that hardly any one who signs up for Texsy has a Shopping.com affiliate account.
Right now is a great time to have a Shopping.com account, because their payouts are 30% higher in Q4 than they are the rest of the year. Holiday shopping drives a ton of traffic and CPCs go up.
Jeremy Chatfield answered an AdWords API problem I was having today, and I clicked on his signature that led to his firm's blog: http://blog.merjis.com/
If you do any AdWords, you need to read this blog. It rules.
Wired documents the history of the development of the first apple ipod.
I'm collecting these tales of industrial design breakthroughs, cause I think they are cool, and I'll want to re-read them later. Blogging as bookmark.
I can't wait until the Nintendo Wii comes on out on November 19.
Nintendo put up this fascinating series of self-interviews of the development team. The basic premise of the Wii story is that Nintendo decided not to try and compete on more powerful graphics and speed.
And it's clear that it's a nervous gamble that could really pay off with something fantastic. At least that's what the team is hoping...
The quote that sums up the team's attitude best:
After all, it takes a lot of courage to divert from the Roadmaps.
Very true. And especially true in Japan. Nintendo really is a revolutionary company. I'm hoping the gamble pays off and the Wii is crazy fun.
Don't believe what you read about MySpace's demographics. Recently comScore claimed that 40%+ of MySpace was in the 35-49 age group.
How to assess? One way would be to randomly sample MySpace profiles, looking for the self-reported age, and they assigning some probability that the age was accurate.
A sample of profiles found by this Yahoo query found:
The youngest age listed was 16.
Doing a much larger truly random sample would be a fairly accurate way to find the self-reported ages of MySpace users. Moreover, many of the self-reported ages are clearly wrong. (Do you think there are any 13 year olds using MySpace? They'd have to lie about their age to get past the registration.)
It's very likely, however, that 40% of the users are NOT 35-49. And that's just counting profiles. Actual usage is gonna be dominated by the people with free time.
The upshot: Demograpic tracking on the internet still sucks.
Everyone and their brother posted on Google buying YouTube.
To me it's a demonstration of the power of the consumer side of the internet.
The $1.65B selling price, all based on "Hey dude, look at this!"
And we ain't seen nothing yet. Imagine a DIGG clone that your Mom would use. One that wasn't just for 20-something Mac, Linux, left-wing geeks (god love 'em). One that wasn't the slowest site on the internet.
It would be huge. 20x the size of Digg.
That's gonna happen. And yes, it will be full of crap, but hey, to paraphrase Gecko:
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that crap -- for lack of a better word -- is good.
Crap is right.
Crap clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
And crap -- you mark my words -- will not only save Google Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called Web 2.0.
Microsoft Live Search has some serious susceptibility to spam.
Do a seach on MSN / Live Search for [cheap fares].
Almost the whole first page of organic results is pwned (i.e. owned / manipulated) by a spammer using blogspot splogs to rank.
Of course all those results go to affiliate pages. Whoever is doing that is raking in the dough. They could even probably afford to buy the domain name "live.com" with that kind of dough...
OK, I admit, I just wanted to use "Pwned" in a post title after watching South Park last nite. Hilarious episode where the boys get addicted to World of Warcraft... I also hope the "pwned" is the word of the year for 2006, and I'm just doing my part to help out.
Google's search engine for code (i.e computer program source code) is gonna save me a ton of time. It's great for finding useful snippets of code and learning new techniques.
For example, Google Code can help find sample you can learn from. Let's say you want to know how to import an XSL file. Using a regular expression(!), you can search in .xsl files with something like this: import file:\.xsl$
I'm not sure, but I don't think regexes are usable in any other Google search engine. So that's kinda cool.
It makes me wonder if Google and the internet will eliminate the need for programmers to go to college?