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Comment: Re:The 90's all over again... (Score 1) 151 151

Are you sure that your solution, however valuable, is monetizable as a discrete product?

I built something some years ago which tied calendars from various sources together in a single view. It was, if I may say so, a neat piece of work, and open source....however, it died on the vine because iOS and Android devices included that functionality as part of their base product. And I do't really have an issue with it, because the base need - consolidation of calendars - was recognized as a near-universal use case (vs consolidation of email accounts, which users often want to view separately).

So great ideas which deal with obvious use-cases may show up in mass-market offerings because they're obvious....and render other efforts redundant. If your use case is truly unique and unlikely to be directly addressed, that's great, but the next question is whether or not there's a sustainable market for it. Right now, there's a huge market for pluggable and easily-implementable analytics, and a number of smaller companies which built such software have been eaten up by the majors to shorten the development curve. Most of these solutions are frameworks, and they're built that way, with the intent to sell to a large commercial buyer who will then tailor the solution to their specific need, and productize it for specific environments. In that kind of case, designers can enjoy both sale of company/IP and ongoing development, so there's a business model.

I think, net-net, that the ecosystem has evolved to a place where most new growth is accretive rather than disruptive. And until the Next Big Thing comes along, the business model of choice will be to layer on add-ons to the existing model.

Comment: Re:An Odd Bird (Score 1) 110 110

I've read Anathem several times and have enjoyed it a lot, the internal contradictions notwithstanding. The lack of explanation of the interaction between the cloistered and common worlds rang a bit false - I'd like to have seen some more concrete stuff - but it's a great space opera. And the last hundred and fifty pages are just plain fun.....

Comment: Novel dealing with AIs and religion (Score 1) 531 531

Ken Macleod's The Night Sessions deals with AIs and religion, and it's a bit unnerving, because the AIs in the book interpret scripture in ways that are clearly at variance with what was expected by those proselytizing to those AIs. It tacitly makes the point that no one can really identify an AI's motivations, as they're inherently different from human minds and consequently have drives of which we're not necessarily aware.

(plus it's a rollicking good read - all of Macleod's SF work is)

Comment: Re: nice, now for the real fight (Score 4, Interesting) 631 631

Yep. I have had to fight with them on so many levels, in both personal and professional settings; they were bad actors. They've brought regulation on themslelves because they've done bad things and then they've tried to shut down discussion of the issue while stonewalling any form of redress. I can't wait for them to become a utility, as in France, where the speeds to the curb are a damn sight faster than here in the Valley....

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193 193

...and painters and interior decorators often need to be represented by a licensed contractor.

LIcensing is a relatively low-impact way of vetting businesses - a business that lacks certification often will cut corners elsewhere as well.

Typical libertarian 'the market will decide' twaddle. What they miss is that by the time the market decides - if it does, which is somewhat of a gamble - real harms will already have been done, and redress may not be possible.

Comment: Not going to disappear quickly.... (Score 5, Interesting) 293 293

Even if Boeing stopped building 747 variants tomorrow, they'd be around for ages. They're the mainstay for long-haul travel, and dwindling sales probably are more related to market saturation - as in, there are enough in the air now to meet current demand - than any inherent shortcoming in the design.

I suspect that there are more refinements to come - it's just too useful an airframe to discard. It may take Boeing a bit to roll in some of the working dreamliner tech but it seems reasonable that they'd try to do that when time and demand permit.

There's a whole WORLD in a mud puddle! -- Doug Clifford