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Comment Take cash, not options (Score 1) 135 135

In the startup world right now, there's a lot of evidence of a bubble in privately funded companies, but less of one in the public markets. But there are two differences between now and the .com bubble. Specifically:

- most companies have real cash flows this time
- investors are smarter

As valuations have gone up, investors have started transferring risk back to the founders and employees with things like liquidation preferences. What that means is that if you take funding at some ridiculous valuation, you'll need to exit at an even higher valuation to actually make money as a founder or employee. But there doesn't seem to be the same appetite for these high valuations in the public markets right now.

The upshot is this: take more cash than options right now. There's a good chance your options will be worthless at this point. If you want equity, ask for actual shares instead.

As for worst cases, you'll likely see weaker companies fail and stronger companies reduce headcount to better manage costs.

Comment Re:Rewriting Would Be a Mistake (Score 4, Insightful) 232 232

I remember reading this back in the day, but this article has not aged well. Joel is a smart guy, but this advice is frankly ludicrous.

In Joel's world, Apple would have never scrapped Mac OS Classic and launched OS X. And Microsoft would have never scrapped the old DOS underpinnings and started over with the NT kernel.

Starting over happens all the time in software projects, and I'll admit that in many cases it's a waste of time. But quite often, it's an excellent idea. The world changes, and despite what Joel thinks, software really does age.

In the case of Netscape, I would say that their rewrite worked out pretty well. Mozilla was a big jump forward in browser technology, and then Firefox (which itself was a rewrite of Mozilla) has become a truly successful browser.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 2, Insightful) 85 85

I've been telling people that Drupal 7 is coming real soon now for two years! We've developed and redeveloped entire sites, all the while hearing from our developers that Drupal 7 was coming out and that we would need to think about our upgrade path.

As far as I can tell it's vaporware. Release it already.

Spam

Submission + - SORBS blacklists the internet->

anonymous writes: Last night, the SORBS anti-spam blacklist (no link — their site is slammed right now) accidentally updated their databases to include an enormous number of the Internet's mail servers and networks. Large portions of IP addresses owned by Amazon, Google, Rackspace, and others were included in this blacklist and marked as unacceptable for email. Details here, along with a reply from Michelle Sullivan at SORBS about the troubles they've been having.
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Comment Great on paper - but in real life? (Score 5, Insightful) 227 227

This system assumes three things:

  • Everyone participates - voters have to validate their vote afterward to make sure it's still correct.
  • Everyone is perfect - people who incorrectly cast their vote will always suspect fraud, calling the entire election into question.
  • Everyone is sane - individual voters do not lie about about their vote to game the system, cast doubt on the election, etc.
NASA

Submission + - Mars mission borrows technology from PS3, Xbox 360->

jbrodkin writes: "The same IBM processors in your Xbox 360, PS3, the car you drive and some of the world's fastest supercomputers are leaving for Mars today to support a NASA mission searching for extraterrestrial life. And this is no mere coincidence. Lessons learned from the incredible video throughput of the PlayStation 3 and the extreme scalability and reliability of mainframes factor into the processors being used on the Phoenix Mars Lander. Similarly, the experience building processors that make the most efficient use of energy on a spacecraft is helping IBM make data centers on Earth more efficient in a time when limitations of space and power are increasingly important. "This is the onboard machine that runs all of the functions that will have to be performed somewhat autonomously on Mars when it lands," explains Dave McQueeney, chief technology officer for IBM's federal contracting business. "These are the computers inside the spacecraft that are responsible for the navigation, control, scientific instruments, power management ... the things that are the brains of the Lander itself.""
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Businesses

Submission + - Australian court rules eBay auctions as binding

Ellis D. Tripp writes: "An Australian court has ruled that an eBay seller cannot back out of an auction sale once it is successfully completed. The court has ordered a seller to hand over a vintage airplane to an eBayer who bid just over the reserve price of $128,000, despite a subsequent non-eBay offer of over $200,000. More details here:

http://www.comcast.net/news/technology/index.jsp?c at=TECHNOLOGY&fn=/2007/08/03/730424.html"
Software

Submission + - Is There Any Room For E-Mail in 'Enterprise 2.0'?-> 2 2

jg21 writes: According to this article in Social Computing Magazine, the increasingly widely used label Enterprise 2.0 signifies, above all, software enabling collaboration — what TFA calls "a many-to-many communication medium that creates interaction" – and therefore does *NOT* really include email, which the author characterizes as a "one-to-one communication medium ... more about instruction." What are the realistic chances that actual collaboration will become the number one form of communication in the enterprise, displacing email?
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Networking

Submission + - Setting Up a small linux cluster

Davemania writes: I am working for a research group that requires to do a large amount of data analysis (each of these files could be up to 1 gig in size). We're planning on buying up to 10 pc with linux on them to do these scientific processing (matlab, etc ) but what would be the best configuration for these 10 linux boxes ? Preferably, we would like to maintain all the data on one server and send it out to the Linux box for processing automatically. What approach would be the best, clustering ? OpenMosix, Rock Cluster ? or just simply drop files into the share folder and remote desktop in ?
Space

Submission + - Scares in space->

Soft writes: `Did you hear the one about (...) the astronaut who became so despondent after his orbital experiment failed that his colleagues feared he would blow the hatch on the space shuttle?' Jon Clark, a former NASA flight surgeon, tells Alan Boyle's cosmic log about a number of horror stories which happened in space over the course of the space program. (To ward off predictable jokes, there are none with diapers; that didn't happen in space, anyway.)
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