Interesting. No, DEC did not ever pay a dividend. The IPO was 375,000 shares at $22/share on 18 August 1966. I'm not able to compare that to later market caps, since I don't have a record of all the subsequent secondary offerings and splits. DEC's market cap peaked in 1987 at $26.6 billion. It fell dramatically from there, to $6.7 billion in December 1991. The sale of the company to Compaq for about $9.6 billion ($2 billion cash plus stock) was announced on 26 January 1998.
To an investor, the value of a share is the discounted sum of all future dividends. It is expected that companies will not pay dividends while they are in their growth phase. That does not detract from the valuation; it enhances it. However, if the company NEVER intends to pay any dividends, then one would purchase a share only with the intent of selling it to some greater fool. That is speculation, not investment.
Yes, that is the usual course of successful companies. The difference in this case is that Amazon's president, chairman and CEO all seem to be oblivious to the inevitable transition.
Amazon went public 16 years ago. Any capital still invested in them at this point can no longer be considered "venture capital".
The article does not really address the end-game. Will Bezos ever allow the company to return value to the shareholders or is he truly "not wired that way"? There is no value in holding shares in a company that NEVER shows a profit. Shareholders can have lots of fun trading them, as long as the promise--or at least the hope--of future earnings is out there, but that's just a "greater-fool" game that usually ends badly.
I would rather write documentation all day long than write tests. Developing a good test suite is hard. (Putting together a crappy set of tests is easy, but of no value). As much as I hate developing a test suite, though, I love having it when it's time to make a release.
I had forgotten that thing. I used a 4014 in 1979-1980. Apparently, our design automation department had acquired it as an experiment, but it was almost useless, since we had very little software (on the IBM mainframes) which could make use of it. I think I did manage to get curves and waveforms from SPICE simulations onto it. I still carry the Tektronix ASCII reference card that came with it.
To be clear, I think what the summary should have said "the developers recreated the appearance of a terminal using an emulator which covered the page in black and then revealed each character by erasing a character-sized rectangle from that cover, one-by-one, line-by-line". The actions described are those of the terminal emulator. Saying "terminals would draw..." makes the historic video terminals, and not the emulator, the subject of the entire subordinate clause, which is obviously wrong.
FTFS: "...terminals would draw one character at a time by covering the page in black and then revealing each character by erasing a character-sized rectangle from that cover, one-by-one, line-by-line."
I don't know of any terminals that ever worked that way.
That is exactly the opposite of what courses in portfolio theory and risk management teach. The amount of risk that someone can reasonably tolerate is directly related to one's time horizon. Younger investors are wise to invest in assets that have higher risk, because their performance smooths out over time. On the other hand, older investors have a greater need for stability, since they will be drawing upon those investments much sooner--they cannot afford to have a large proportion of their portfolio in asset classes that may underperform for 5-10 years. In the long run, the higher-risk assets (like equities) have average growth rates that will always outperform low-risk assets (like bonds), but an older investor does not have the luxury of time to wait for them to revert to the mean.
A desperate older investor who tries to catch up by making high-risk choices is playing a very dangerous game, with low probability of success.
Psychology undergraduates. No, they don't get paid.
That has an operational depth of only 300m. It's an entirely different class of vehicle.
“I used to think that technology could help education. I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I’ve had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.”
-- Steve Jobs, Wired, February 1996
The lawyers aren't really interested in prior art until they think they might actually have to go to court. These days, it's all about licensing (or cross-licensing, between companies that have comparable portfolios), using the _threat_ of litigation. Coming up with prior art to invalidate a patent is absolutely the _last_ thing they consider, when all else fails.
You don't get to use prior art as a defense unless and until you actually go to trial, which is extremely expensive.
"I want you to understand something: we are not subject to city, state or federal regulation. We are omnEEpotent... OmnEEpotent. That's 'potent' with an 'omnee' in front of it. Now, then, Mr. VEEdal, when may we expect payment?"