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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Blackberry's Future

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Blackberry will not be making phones anymore.

Today I read that BlackBerry is shuttering its hardware side of the business. Its future will be in software development. Here are some thoughts on Blackberry's future.

Past Popularity

The mobile phone company from Canada, Blackberry, used to be the most popular business phone. When I took up my masters, many of my friends were businessmen who ran their own companies. Some of them were working for others, doing sales or management. And they all had one thing in common: They smoked.

Just kidding ... The one thing they had in common was their use of the Blackberry. It was like a club for them. In those days, I owned a cheap Android phone. They used to laugh at Android. Most of them encouraged me to pick up a BlackBerry for its "secure messaging". But then they would tell me about how there's a small bill every month where their messages would be routed through a server in Canada. I was turned off by the idea of a subscription that I could not opt out of.

But those were the days before Samsung became the world's number 1 mobile phone maker. Before iPhones were the popular thing. Because companies wanted security and performance, and the Blackberry offered that. 

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

If a fan uploads your music to YouTube

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Imagine if you were a rock star. 

You write songs, perform songs, and sing on stage. You give concerts. You go on international tours and roadshows. People really love your songs, and some of them come up to you saying, "Your song changed my life. I was going through a hard time when I heard your song ...."

The music executives love you. They want you to crank out hit after hit, year after year. And you've already gone platinum with a few of your past albums. Never mind that you had a tough life for half a decade singing incognito in nightclubs. Never mind that you scrimped and scraped with a half hungry stomach and a smile. You've made it. And the millions of adoring fans everywhere love you for it.
Imagine if you were a famous singer, and someone uploaded your music videos on YouTube.


Then one day, you see your music video on YouTube.

Whoa. Some people really love your music. But then they've decided to upload a bunch of music videos to YouTube. The general public also loves your music so much that the videos have a few hundred thousand views. And to think that it was uploaded only some months back. 
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Thursday, 8 September 2016

3 Lessons from Project Ara

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The modular pieces that could be swapped in the Project Ara mobile phone.

Google just axed Project Ara. 


Just letting you know what happens in the end. 

But first ....


The idea behind Project Ara


You might not know what Project Ara was about. So let me tell you about it. Think about your mobile phone.

Most people change mobile phone once every few years. Maybe the battery's not functioning so well anymore and they don't make the same battery any more. Maybe they want a better camera phone for selfies. More RAM for games.

But every time somebody changed a phone, an old phone would go to the landfill. It was causing an overload of electronic waste.

That was the idea that sparked Project Ara. Why change the entire phone if you could change only the part you need? Thus was born Project Ara, "the modular phone".

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Dispute the Patent, then Short the Stock

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I was combing through WikiLeaks when I came across this article, shared in the e-mail archives of the Italian surveillance malware vendor, Hacking Team.

The Hacking Team CEO, David Vincenzetti, shared a Wall St Journal article called "New Hedge Fund Strategy: Dispute the Patent, Short the Stock" in the e-mail.

David's comment at the top of the e-mail was:
"Very Interesting. Undoubtedly, I find these hedge funds’ aggressive strategies utterly fascinating :-)"
Mr Kyle Bass's challenges are facilitated by a proprietary software which analyzes weak patents.



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