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Comment: Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 90

by caffemacchiavelli (#40799999) Attached to: Apple Reportedly Considering Huge Investment In Twitter
I fail to see anything but Dutch tulips in this. What can Apple possibly gain here, in real terms, not "Uhm we need to be social" lingo?

I could understand Google's, FB's, even MS' interest; they all found ways to monetize eyeballs, even though FB is still trying to mature and Bing seems to be moving backwards. But Apple? They sell high-end hipster equipment. What do they need a free SMS spamming service for? I can already tell the world what I had for breakfast and which mobile device I elected to publish this momentous bit of information with, I'm not sure more integration will make my customer experience better in any meaningful way.

Comment: Maybe the wrong response? (Score 2) 168

by caffemacchiavelli (#40764805) Attached to: New Reality Series: Be the Next Microsoft Employee
Honestly, I tried to watch the trailer and stay serious, but I was smiling the whole time, as if I was watching a new comedy show. After years of M$-spoofs, jokes and parodies, my brain seems to have associated a certain kind of expectation with watching Microsoft-related media that might not quite be the kind of reaction MS is looking for here.

Still, I'll tune in and abuse my Pavlovian conditioning. Haha.

Comment: .uninterested (Score 1) 265

by caffemacchiavelli (#40371531) Attached to: How Would You Redesign the TLD Hierarchy?
I don't really care one way or another. Sure, if you make me live in a technological enclave of IT geniuses, we might discuss the intellectual beauty of different ways of classifying and sorting domains, but in the "real world"...just leave it alone and let people register achievify.app and successly.mobile if that's what they want to do.

Comment: Let me ask my astrologer first (Score 1) 217

by caffemacchiavelli (#40348295) Attached to: Why VCs Really Reject Startups
I don't want to downplay the effort it takes to get funding, but based on the experience I had talking to VCs, as well as the experience of colleagues and friends who got VCs for horribly structured deals, I find it very hard not to lose respect for some part of the community.

If I invest in something, I'm not looking for vague, emotional attributes like "leadership DNA" or "burning desire" (I've seen Amway conventions), I'm looking for meaningful, tested models, facts, tactics - like the "Moneyball" approach, even if the founder is a bit goofy and I have to ask a couple of times before I get the right response.

Sadly, that's not the approach I'm seeing, and it very rarely is the approach I see other people having success with. I can enter a room, present a marketing plan that has made me money for years and after a while people will go to the bathroom and not come back, or I'll get complaints about how boring those numbers are. On the other hand, if I get an expensive executive board, make a lot of interesting although meaningless claims and choose a hyped-up market, somebody will pay for my shitty deal. Sure, the reaction is understandable - we're hard wired to react more strongly to new or potentially life-changing information and the best approach would consist of the best of both worlds. Still, given the choice, I'd expect people handling serious amounts of money to train themselves to look behind the hype and focus on the data, not "Hey I like that guy I want him to succeed", if only because of all the cash that has been burned by interesting people on crappy business ideas.

Now, to hedge some of what I'm saying: There are lots of great VCs who understand their field much better than I ever could, and if you're looking for capital, there's no excuse for making a boring presentation. But, and this is just my PoV, some VCs display a lot of overconfidence when it comes to judging personalities and a distaste for dealing with the - sometimes boring - data points that are more useful in deciding whether a business is feasible or not.

Comment: Where's the SV for economics? (Score 1) 222

by caffemacchiavelli (#40051367) Attached to: Golden Age of Silicon Valley Is Over With Facebook IPO

If I have a choice of investing in a blockbuster cancer drug that will pay me nothing for ten years, at best, whereas social media will go big in two years, what do you think I'm going to pick?

If you can't get the thing properly patented, you're not going to fund it with social media in or out. The trouble isn't social media, it's that monetization is a really limited incentive within an industrial society where lots of great ideas fall into the category of public goods or reduction of externalities that just aren't incentivized properly and hence never get realized.
Say you come up with a great project to revolutionize education, health, energy or transportation - it might be to disruptive for governments to fund it (assuming there's a budget), but if there's no way to exclude non-buyers from benefiting, you're not going to get private funding either.

If there's revolution of thought within this century, I'm predicting it'll be in economics. I'm fine with a market economy for consumer products, but it shouldn't be the only game in town.

Comment: Why go after VC? (Score 2) 222

by caffemacchiavelli (#40051227) Attached to: Golden Age of Silicon Valley Is Over With Facebook IPO
If the VCs you're talking to are all switching to social media now, you're probably talking to the wrong guys anyway. Sure, there might be a few who understand the risks and opportunities, but blindly following trends smells like ignorance, and ignorant investors are the worst you can get. If you have to follow the Silicon Valley model, concentrate on the folks who specialize on deals within your particular industry.

Also, VC doesn't appear to be the smartest choice here anyway. Apply for grants, talk to people who understand the problem your startup is going to solve, start a Kickstarter, go to banks (rarely works, but when it does, it does) and if that's not enough, try VC. I'm not saying VC is always a bad choice, but it's real usefulness is in rapid business development, not starting a brand new, R&D-intensive enterprise, which is kind of implied by will pay me nothing for ten years.

Comment: Re:Don't care for lionheart, I'll go with smoke (Score 1) 594

by caffemacchiavelli (#40022837) Attached to: <em>Diablo III</em> Released
Hoping for the same regarding depth. After playing D2 for years (Hell, I'm building a summoner right now), I'm a bit afraid of a Godfather 3 scenario. The beta seemed nice, but I'll lay off the game until someone gives me a thumbs up about replayability and all.
Strangely, I never got into Torchlight at all. I don't think it's a bad game and there's nothing that really bugged me, as was the case a few times with Titan Quest (which I liked and finished a couple times, though), I just can't get myself interested.

Comment: Fitness for non-OCD geeks/nerds/dorks: (Score 2) 201

by caffemacchiavelli (#39947817) Attached to: Book Review: Fitness For Geeks
1) Lift weights.
- It saves time: 30-60 minutes 2-3x a week suffice for a decent workout.
- It trains your whole body: Don't waste time on machines, you don't need 'em. Let a good trainer show you the popular full-body exercises and practice with low weights until you can do them correctly. It's all you need to bulk up or lose some kg.
- It's not as gruesome as it sounds: Most of the time is spent recovering from the last set, and the short bursts of pushing yourself to the limit are actually enjoyable, once you get into it.
- Increase weights regularly, change exercises and intensity when you hit a plateau.
- Some additional cardio doesn't hurt, obviously.
2) Fix your nutrition
- Don't eat too much crap.
- If you're trying to bulk up, eat something with protein every few hours.
- If you're trying to lose weight, reduce your calorie intake. Complex carbs will keep you from feeling powerless and low-calorie foods will keep you from feeling hungry. Sure, there's always the sense of "I must eat more", but that's just part of the process.
- Generally, complex carbs, fish/poultry & vegetables are good things to put in your face.
3) Sleep 7-8 hours a night

There's really not that much more to it, unless you're a pro-bodybuilder who's despairing because of a slight asymmetry of his pecs. I've met a dozen folks in the local gym who have used very simple workout and nutrition plans, look great, and still get results.

Comment: Re:Typical neoconspam (Score 1) 195

As the other AC said, the terms aren't specific. If you want something more meaningful, try the political compass (or grid), which splits the usual left/right range into two lines, one each for social and economic views. A pro-market social conservative would be upper right, while a left-libertarian would score in the lower left. It would also take care of the problem with the word "libertarian" which has been claimed by Ayn Rand's crowd, much to the chagrin of libertarians outside the US.

Comment: Re:Typical neoconspam (Score 5, Informative) 195

Don't care about the troll, but for anyone who doesn't want to look it up:

"Liberal" in Australia's Liberal Party refers to economic liberalism, not center-left politics. They're pretty firm in right-wing territory, including the obligatory hate against homosexuals and women's rights. Add gun crazies, religious zealots and Birchers and you'd have the GOP*.

*I'll refrain from making the obvious "Remove gun crazies, religious zealots and Birchers from the GOP and you're left with nothing" joke. Well, maybe not.

Comment: Cloud storage, homeland of innovation (Score 1) 492

by caffemacchiavelli (#39908585) Attached to: Is Google the New Microsoft?
Come on, what's innovative about Dropbox?

Yes, the interface is all cute, it runs smoothly and doesn't spam the hell out of me. Still, filesharing isn't new. Syncing isn't new. Coming up with something similar is just what is supposed to happen in a competitive marketplace.

If Google launched a smear campaign against Dropbox and came up with some severely restrictive and sloppy alternative, maybe the comparison would make sense. But so...meh. Btw, I heard Google's financial statements are hard to read. They're totally the new Enron.

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