BubbleWatch Alert: #002

The Register say it's a bubble (and it's not Andrew Orlowski, so it's not just automatic gainsaying of whatever the world is saying). BusinessWeek starts off saying don't call it a bubble, but by the end of the article says the market is "frothy" and a "correction is inevitable", which is the same as saying "the bubble isn't as big as it was last time". To which I say: yet.

Why I'm not sure if I'm really a grown-up

What I bought at bi-rite last weekend: brie gruyere pate de campagne hummus olives mixed salad leaves pita bread pasta organic pasta sauce green peppers What I bought at the corner store this weekend: 2 litres of coke load of Wonder bread peanut butter jelly large packet oreos large packet chips ahoy gallon of milk Maybe I need to go shopping next weekend and see what I buy as a tie-breaker.

BubbleWatch Alert: #003

Private equity investors have paid a little over $1 billion for (two-thirds of) NexTag, another warmed-over relic from the last boom, founded in 1999 and then reinvented after its original model failed spectacularly. According to that GigaOm article above, NexTag have "revenues of $200m" (per month? per quarter? per year?). Nielsen//NetRatings, who publish monthly reports on advertisers, say they are spending $60m a month on advertising. They themselves claim to have been profitable every month since October, 2001 -- a pretty unlikely month to have a turnaround, given that the rest of the market was melted at that point, and in 2003 they were boasting about 450% growth that year. So say Om's figure is quarterly (and I have no idea if it is, but that's the period for which these figures make the most sense). Then they're spending maybe $180m every quarter to make profits of, again very roughly, $20m. So at an unusably poor level of certainty, that's $80m in profits a year, which given their $1.5...
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Kyle XY

So, he's basically the world's biggest puppy: Clueless, dumb, totally pretty. It's like Smallville without the stupid kryptonite-based plots (but still plenty of homoeroticism). I recommend it as a great way of turning off your brain for 40 minutes. Having burned through the entire 6.5 hours of season 1 in the last 4 days, I'm all prepped for season 2, which starts tomorrow.
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Safari on Windows

Oh, great... another A-grade browser to support. I suppose I sort of have to say something about today's WWDC releases. The release of Leopard is mainly a great big yawn. The interesting things were: Safari for Windows. This is... odd. I have trouble working out their motivations. It seems to be a combination of the fact that the port was relatively easy (since KHTML already exists for Windows, and in fact some people were already distributing browsers for Windows based on it) and a desire to gain support for Safari by increasing its market share. And I suppose, by making it easier to test Safari web apps on Windows, they're widening the developer base for the next item... Web apps on the iPhone. They've gotten around the security problem of third-party applications on a smartphone by making the only third-party apps allowed be web apps. One assumes they'll be making some kind of JavaScript API available to allow you to make calls and use the other features of the iPhone as they claim will be...

T-t-t-touch me...

So I signed up for Facebook Mobile. This allows you to get mail from other members and alerts sent as text messages to your phone and is generally well-executed. In addition to the other stuff, I also get text messages whenever people poke me on Facebook -- which is weird, because my phone is always on vibrate in my pocket, so when people in the UK poke me, I actually feel it. It's pretty weird, but also really cool. I can't wait for someone to invent some kind of peripheral that can transmit hugs as well. In other news, I had a pretty good weekend. I was zonked on Friday, but Saturday I caught a sneak preview of Ratatouille (don't watch that trailer, it ruins all the funny bits) with GB, Nick, and a trio of geeks he'd picked up at WWDC. Today we rented some bikes and went... well... all over the place, apparently more than 11 miles, starting at Golden Gate park, hanging out at the beach for a bit and then getting more than slightly lost in the little woods at the point, but managing to take in an...
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Proud of what, exactly?

(I am way below quota on blog entries this month folks; sorry!) This weekend was my first Gay Pride weekend in San Francisco, and as is customary around this time, one stops to think about the whole concept of being "proud" of one's sexuality. What's it about, really? For one thing, having a big parade where everybody goes overboard with stereotypes -- dykes on bikes, muscle marys, leather daddies, drag queens and twinks (sexy though they may be) -- doesn't exactly send the right message about what gay people are really like. Of course, a parade that accurately represented homosexuals would be 90% completely ordinary people, and that would make for a pretty dull parade ("...and here come the gay accountants!"). For another, having a big parade where people go over the top to show how WONDERFUL it is to be gay smacks a little -- no, a lot -- of over-compensation. There is no reason life as a homosexual cannot be absolutely as fun, fulfilling and happy as life as a heterosexual can be. Going...

A minor prediction

One minor thing about the iPhone that a lot of people have asked: why is the camera no good? A 2 megapixel camera makes it better than the Blackberry, the Treo and the other major smartphone devices, but not lots better. It's not like a 4 MP camera takes up much extra space, so why cripple the camera? The answer: the iCamera. If Apple is no longer Apple Computer, then you have to consider them branching into any big consumer niche. And they've already got iPod, iPhone and iTunes, all of which have a bunch of mysteriously prominent photo-management tools. An iCamera is the next logical step. A big screen, on-board photo management tools using the point-and-drag interface that we're seeing on the iPhone, easy syncing to your computer using your existing iPod connector... and you're done. A category-changing step forward in usability is exactly what cameras today are crying out for. So that's what's next for Apple.

BubbleWatch Alert #004

Facebook applications are buying each other? No, seriously? For $60,000 a pop? When one business-model-free, revenue-free, loss-making company buys another business-model-free, revenue-free, loss-making company, you know the bubble is well and truly on. Relatedly, in Alert #3 I predicted that on current trends, a Bubble 2.0 company is due to be bought for 24x revenue sometime in September. Business.com is currently tipped to sell for exactly that multiplier; let's see if I get the date right as well.

Happy iPhone day!

So, I promised myself that the earliest I would be prepared to line up for the damn phone was 5pm, given that they start selling them at 6pm. But now there are already lines at the Apple stores in SF it seems I might have to start a little earlier. Grrr. Stupid more-fanboy-than-me fanboys. Gotta have one. Oh, so gotta. Update: currently blogging from 76th place in line at Burlingame Apple store, where the line is significantly shorter than on Market Street in SF. Is there free wifi in the line? Of course there is... Update: GOT ONE! Wooooo! An update containing impressions etc. will be forthcoming.


I am so fucking pleased with this device. It was worth every penny. It would be worth twice what I paid. It's awesome. It's god in the machine. It can't find my wifi network for more than 10 seconds, which is really irritating because it means I can't YouTube. Tabbed fucking web browsing in a phone? Are you shitting me? That's so awesome I practically came. The headphones suck! Why? Why do you consistently release sucky headphones, Apple? And my existing nice Bose headphones don't fit into your new curvy socket. Adapter-buying is tomorrow's activity, along with bugging the Genius Bar about why my phone can't find the freaking network. Landscape mode is wonderful Coverflow is very pretty but remains not so useful It's a much better phone than it is an iPod, and thankfully so. I already have an iPod; what I wanted was a kick-ass portable Internet device. And that's what it is. Calls? Of course I haven't made any. I have sent dozens of text messages. Unlimited data! Unlimited text...
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