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The Almighty Buck

McAfee files for 57.5 Million IPO 79

LordOmar writes "According to this CNET article McAfee has filed for a 57.5 Million Dollar IPO. Don't even get me started on Weather Futures. " *sigh* And I can remember when they were just a shareware anti-virus coming. How times have changed (cue weepy music).
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McAfee files for 57.5 Million IPO

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  • by ColinG ( 86915 )
    It's seems like IPOs are being announced right and left... please, I need to be enlightened, along with the rest of the slashdot crowd, about IPOs and stock. I haven't been around long.... have high tech companies been releasing IPOs like crazy only recently, or is this a pretty non-fantastic phenomenon... and if it is only a recent thing, what did we do before IPOs? This whole thing is beginning to frighten me.

  • IPOs happen. You aren't communist, are you? :D
  • by jafac ( 1449 )
    ask slashdot

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • it seems silly to complain about all these IPO's sprouting up left and right (With even Andover going for IPO!), I know if I were them I'd try to cash in on this IPO-mania for all it's worth. It may seem to us to be a whole lot of jumping on the bandwagon, but it's just business.
  • Company A is growing at a good clip, has a stable bottom line, and wants to expland. To do so, they issue an Initial Public Offering - stock. They sell this stock at a certain initial price in order to raise cash to fund expansion. Also, company founders hold on to a fair amount of the stock, and as the company does well and the price goes up, the owners become very well off. Red Hat, for instance, raised roughly $84 million with its IPO; Mr. Young is now worth aro0und $1 billion (at least, on paper).

    There are LOTS of publicly traded companies; there have just been a lot of big-name tech IPOs lately. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you -- this doesn't affect you in any way, unless you own the stock.
    Matt Singerman
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @12:51PM (#1663609) Homepage Journal
    What would happen if other operating systems other than those sold by Microsoft becomes popular and allows consumers to have security and privacy? Will the market for virus software and services decline? This is going to be a real interesting stock to watch if the actually do it.
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @12:53PM (#1663610) Homepage
    Oh, McAffee,
    you really make me laughee,
    your software is so daffy,
    makes my system run like taffy,

    Oh McAffee,
    for support you charge a high fee,
    my disk drive you atrophe,
    make me write songs just like Raffi,

    (sorry, must have been the Wierd Al concert I went to last night)

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • Viruses can exist on any operating system -- most just do on Windows because (1) it is th emost popular and commonly used OS, and (2) it is such an easy target. There have been several cases of "trojan horses" turning up in OSS projects. Could these be the viruses of the future?
    Matt Singerman
  • by bugg ( 65930 )
    Why is having anyone who wants a part of a company the ability to have ownership scaring you more than just one man (or a select few) owning it?

    The ownership of a company that produces a product doesn't mean a heck of a lot.

    But it _DOES_ mean that the companies will have much more money to work with, so expect more money to be thrown at things.

    "linux is just proof that if you give 1,000 monkies terminals, eventually they'll write an OS that boots."

  • I've always been rather skeptical about markets, inventing, economy, etc.. However, when I see things like the weather trading, and nonexistent companies like linuxone.com, I have to ask myself just WTF is going on here? How can anyone take this seriously?

    That said, I know for a fact aht I don't understand even very legitimate trading. Is there some site out there that explains the basics of all this? I don't see any difference between investing in the weather, and sitting in front of a slot machine! (except for the pretty lights...)
  • Wait a second, here. You can't just slip something like that in and expect to get away with it. :-)

    Can anyone explain this weather futures thing to me? Is it any more respectable, for example, than horseracing?

    How would one trade in the weather?

    This is one of those things that make me begin to think I'm losing my grip on reality. Is this as bizarre to anyone else as it is to me?
  • I just read about these "weather futures" this morning myself. Apparently if a power company, for example, buys a future betting on cold weather this winter so more people will buy electricity. If the winter is mild so they lose money on less people buying electricity, the company that sold the future pays the power company so they don't lose as much money in total. It sounded a bit like insurance against the weather. I could be a bit wrong in the details though.

    And yes, it's pretty bizarre.
  • by LL ( 20038 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @01:07PM (#1663618)
    People forget that one of the original purpose of companies was to raise money to fund risky ventures to plunder ... errr .... trade with the New World. Given the state of navigation technology at the time, nobody in their right minds ventured everything on a single bet. Hence the development of syndicates, then Loyds to insure against loss, and stock exchanges to allow people to enter/exit various syndicates. Over time, the stock exchanges have evolved to the best gambling joint on earth (and of course you know that the only people that are guarenteed to make money is the house). As the old wag goes, "I invest, you speculate, he gambles". The essential role of modern stock exchanges is to shift risk onto people who are willing (and bright/dumb depending on viewpoint) to bear it with the mantra that returns match risk. Thus as a youngster with no life, you can afford to bet everything on obscure startups whereas retirees prefer steady income streams from things like utilities and blue chips.

    If you think about human activities, a major determinant is the climate and weather. Sales of ice-cream soar on sunny days. Harsh winters push up demand of heating fuel. Derivatives are a mechanism for rapidly signalling events and allowing people to hedge and avoid being caught out by unexpected circumstances. Energy markets [uq.edu.au] are going to be a key beneficiary as well as agriculture, tourism and discretionary events (if it gets rained out then you don't lose everything). Betting on the weather hedge funds that are likely to appear sooner is probably a surer thing that IMHO some of the current IPOs which seem to be scraping the barrel of good ideas.

    Oh well, no laws against stupidity.

  • by yeoua ( 86835 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @01:08PM (#1663619)
    Um... i remember way back when, there was an ftp that mcafee had that had all the licensed products just there to download. Amazingly, its still there. I know it may be just for registered users, but i find it amazing that after so long and after so many warez sites have this ftp, user, and pass, that it is still there, with the same user and pass.

    But if its still there, how do they make the money? Did everyone just forget about it or something?
  • by IIH ( 33751 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @01:08PM (#1663620)
    A new virus is propagating across the internet, it was announced today. Once the IPO virus, as it has been called, has infected a company, all communication from the infected area ceases imediately. The payload for this virus has not been fully classified yet, but has been termed the "buy! buy!" strain. However, a opposite strain, called "it's free - why buy it?" seems to counteract it, and regardless, after 90 days, the company seems to recover, and can communicate freely again

    This virus is very common about companys closely related with the Linux product, and seems to be highly contagious, each company getting more infected that the former one. Thankfully, companys only seem to get infected once, and no reinfections are reported as of this date. There are rumors of a strain called an SPO, as yet unconfirmed...

    An update to disable for this virus, called the MS Buyout, will be released shortly.

  • Try here:
    http://ananke.advanced.org/3088/stockmarket/introd uction.html
  • Technically, you may be right. But the term "virus" has been redefined by common usage to mean any hidden, usually malicious code. So when you use "virus detection software" you're actually searching for more than just viri proper.

    Yeah, I know, it's imprecise, but language usually favors efficiency over precision.

    And now that I've prognosticated as if I actually know something, I invite anyone to correct me if I'm wrong ;)


  • 1 hour of Sun Light in the Mid West can be worth $1,000,000,000. Same sun other part of planet its worth 10 bucks or less.

    Lets play with the Butterfly Dice, for big bucks!

    Odd I know.
    my 2 cm.sq of sunlight.
  • Finally, a company with an actual product! :)

    IPO's have been around forever. Many tech companies have traded publicly for many years. It's just these days they all see the valuations of say, Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay, and Redhat and go hmmm... I want some too! Okay, Redhat was recent, but they'll be another poster child for the IPO phenom.

    The companies that had been around prior to the internet's popularity kind of suffer in a way because investors are used to trading their stocks at more "realistic" levels based on their earnings. Then comes an Ebay with a 1.2 million dollar profit being worth 20 billion.

    Anyways, I'm very excited about McCaffee... With all these .com's, and soon to be Linux company's, it's refreshing to see a company with a product, advantage, and history going public.
  • Well, I guess some crackers should go out and make virii for linux, then?

    Seriously. Windows in all its forms is not going to go from 90%+ marketshare to even 50% share in the foreseeable future. MAYBE 10 years from now windows will be 40%, Linux will be 40% and others will be the other 20% (if you believe everyhting you read posted on/.).

    Even then, that's a huge market. And they'll have money to sped to develop new products outside that niche in case no one decides to start targeting Linux with nasty virii/trojan's etc
  • That sounds kinda gross. I never knew anyone to do *that* when their computer got infected.

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Correction: (I was involved in this madness) -->

    MacAfee purchased Network General and formed a combined company called Network Associates. The MacAfee group destoyed almost all of the ongoing NetGen work and decided they wanted to be a security company(having effectively killed the only security product they had), so they went on a spending spree and bought PGP, Magic Solutions, other virii scanners, and several other companies. When this got to be too much to handle and wrap into a nice pakage, they made the MacAfee (and all the other virus scanning tools) a seperate sub-company operatinging out of Oregon. Now that Network Associates is not doing so hot, they decided to make some cash for the execs and launch MacAfee.com as a seperate company (along with an IPO).

    In Short, One company bought many other companies, didn't do so hot, extracted itself from the new monolith, and relaunched itself. thus making a few people A LOT of money and destroying several other companies in the process.
  • by Deimos_ ( 14332 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @01:56PM (#1663628) Homepage
    Ok, First thing, I work for Network Associates. How come I haven't heard about this? I directly support Mcafee's Licensed AntiVirus software. (which is pretty good, unless you've got a novell network ;)

    Usually they tell us alot of stuff which we aren't allowed to disclose to the public, etc, release dates, known issues, etc, etc, etc, but since that is related to the product, and this is related to the business, does that mean they can't tell us? Most of my direct associates here have stock in Network Associates. How will this affect them? Mcafee IS Network Associates. Network Associates is not just Mcafee, but Network General as well. Its not two big companys in a co-op, its an actual corporation, a physical entity. How in the world does this work? I am at a loss and my boss has not heard of this either.

    /me takes it with a grain of salt

  • Trojan horses are viri. Happy99 (W32/SKA) for instance is a trojan horse and it distributes itself, not relying upon human intervention.

    Btw, you can run it under wine too ;)

  • I just thought of something, these guys have been around for a LONG time, since the early Cretaceous, in computer-industry terms. These guys must all be totally vested in their stock options by now.

    Congrats guys, you've waited longer than any other company I know for "the big payoff". Now go buy yourself a new computer.

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • ok, that's it.. the line between gambling and investment has now completely disappeared. please explain to me how that buying weather futures are legal in states with no anti-gambling laws. Or does it fall under the category of "internet gambling" and thus wind up outide the jurisdiction of the states?

    It took me until about halfway through this article to convince myself that "oregon live" wasn't just some kind of attempt to cash in on the success of The Onion.

    who misses disinfectant, and wishes the guy who made it had just GPLed what code he had when he retired.
  • I know, very very funny, I've warned them about that multiple times. They don't seem to really care (either that or have too much corporate suit smoke in their lungs). Also, you'll notice that the stupid ftp server is an NT machine, lots of ftp clients don't like it because it returns non-standard responses sometimes. Funny thing is that sometimes even IE4/5 doesn't like it ;)

    Btw, this company is extremely NT oriented and it drives me batty, I think I'm the only one here who knows anything about linux. We do have a virusscanner out there for linux, but, there are no DAT's for it which contain Linux viri (wonder why, none exist. HA!) Anyway, it scans for Win32, WinNT binary viruses and macro viruses, same as the DOS and Win32 scanners do.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What companies profit from virii? What companies hire programmers to learn how to program them and recognize them? What companies would have the most to lose if the public was not afraid of virii? What companies have the most to gain if new virii are publicized? I am making no accusations, but I am very curious. We all know that companies are completely ethical in their business dealings. Don't we?
  • by jbuhler ( 489 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @02:12PM (#1663634) Homepage
    If I understand the concept, weather futures are a useful form of insurance for businesses.

    Suppose I'm the CFO of UmbrellaCorp, and my company's income is proportional to the average annual rainfall in my state. If we have a dry year, the company gets minimal income and might go bankrupt. So, I go to BigBank, Inc. and buy a derivative whose value is inversely proportional to annual rainfall. The bank agrees to buy back the derivative at the end of the year. If we have a dry year, I make some money on my derivative to offset the loss of income; if we have a wet year, I lose some money on the derivative, but that's OK because I made beaucoup bucks selling umbrellas.

    In effect, I pay BigBank to assume some of the weather-related risk to my business. The bank has a more diverse investment pool than UmbrellaCorp, so they can better manage the risk. They've also got a pile of weather analysts who can determine a fair price for the derivative, then charge me a bit more than that price so the bank makes money in the long run.

    Commoditizing weather derivatives through an active exchange keeps them liquid (UmbrellaCorp can sell its instrument for instant cash in an emergency) and maintains their price near what everyone thinks is fair.

    Of course, if Joe DayTrader with his 8192-node Beowulf cluster thinks he can predict the weather better than the average analyst, he's welcome to lose his shirt trying to outfox the market.
  • Linux is legally free, but Red Hat still makes money (well, not yet, but hopefully soon). Individual users don't really matter to McAfee (until a fairly recent version, they did nothing to enforce the evaluation time limit). They get their money from corporations like the one I worked at last summer. They licensed two copies of McAfee for every employee (the second copy is so people don't bring viruses from home). In retrospect, McAfee was a stupid decision, since it did not get along well at all with Novell networks. Still, I'm surprised that they haven't changed the password on their site after all these years (I won't give it to you, so don't ask).
  • Makes your system run like taffy? McAfee didn't slow my 486/66 down one bit (that was as of a year ago when I got a much better computer)
  • ...and here I thought gambling was illegal in most places.

    Am I allowed to go on my usual rant about amerika, kapitalism, and hypocracy, at this point?

    Let them burn their money. I'm still happier actually *working* for mine.

  • If you think that trading in weather on the merc is fun....

    If you simply can't resist every IPO to come down the pike...

    Have we got a deal for you! I bet you just can't live without a Stock Trading Yucca Plant [netscape.com]! Yes, call us today to order your very own!

    Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

  • no other reason than it rhymes with McAfee (Mi-kaf-ee), unless you pronounce it MAC-uh-fee.

    You say Leenooks, and I say Lennox,
    let's call the whole thing off!

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 1999 @02:53PM (#1663641)
    McAfee has a bad reputation with some of us older Linux users. A while back put out a press release on how they successfully reverse engineered the first Linux virus called "Bliss." Also, they continued on to claim they where the first to also create a utility to disinfect infected files. There where two major problems with these claims:

    1) You don't "reverse engineer" something that has documented source code made widely available.
    2) You can't provide the "only" utility to disinfect if the "virus" itself has an option to perform disinfection.

    After the starved for attention McAfee and their spin doctors got done with their press release of lies, Axel Boldt was nice enough to put together a web page that spell out the actual facts about the Bliss "virus." The web page has disappeared but the impact of McAfee's press release still remains on the web. One of the better pages still around is Stuart Luppescu's responce [zdnet.com] which is worth reading.

    I don't see how such an unprofessional company can be worth a 57.5 Million IPO. Even if someone I trust came back from the future a told me that I could make millions by investing in McAfee now, I wouldn't based on princiable (just as I wouldn't invest in MicroSoft if I could go back in time).

  • "And I can remember when they were just a shareware anti-virus coming. How times have changed (cue weepy music). "

    And I can remember when they were just a geek-news site with comments ability. How times have changed....

    No offense intended, por supuesto!
    Wha? TV & Movie Theme Songs? Oh yeah....
  • Don't worry, i already have the password... hehe, it was stashed somewhere on my computer for at least one year or two years, and guess what? When i was cleaning it out to move files to my new computer, i found it, tried it, and it worked! The oddest thing... and to think, normal warez ftps are gone in a matter of days or weeks...
  • are you people dumb? Don't you realize that putting all the products on a easily accessible private FTP share only increases your market share? Maybee Joe Company uses Gauntlet illegally for free cause they snaked it from the FTP site.. WHO CARES? NAI wants the BIG tickets, not the piddly customers. There little profit in the retail market, as there's little profit in the UNDER 1k market as well. Why focus your manpower on 100 1k deals when you can focus on 1 100k deal, and save the resources?

    The FTP site is open BY DESIGN. NAI knows this. It's not a mistake. The word DUH comes to mind.

    -EX NAI Employee
  • For one, virii isn't a word.

    Its VIRUSES, damnit!

    I'm not familar with Happy99, but it sounds like an area that is very unclear for defining it. Waaay back in the day, the only way for a program to automatically distribute itself would be to append its code onto another executable and have the executable call the virii as a subroutine upon execution.

    Today.. i guess a better definition of virus would be a program that self replicates by "infecting" other executables and relies on the sharing of executables to spread the "infection"

    Either way, who cares.

  • by PhillC ( 84728 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @04:02PM (#1663649) Homepage Journal
    Well the only real difference to an IPO and buying shares on any stock
    exchange is that :
    (a) You are buying the shares direct from the company wishing to list, as it has never traded on that particular exchange before - there are no shares available on the general market.
    (b) Because of this, you don't pay any brokerage and you are usually guaranteed the stock listing ( opening ) at a price higher than that it was
    issued to you at. This is known as a "Stag Profit" - the cause of which is that there will be many investors who don't get the full allocation of shares that they applied for. Demand > Supply.

    The general rule of thumb is to get your hands on a Prospectus ( application) and return it to the company or their Share Registry asap, no matter what is said in the media - First in Best Dressed.

    Also if you know that demand will be strong for the stock and / or the prospectus sets out a certain minimum number of shares that each applicant will be either guaranteed of being allocated - this will usually mean that
    all applications will be scaled back. This means that if you applied for 2000 shares, you may only be allocated 1000 - which means that your
    application was scaled back by 50%, this will usually be done across theboard.

    To overcome this, there will be usually more than one application form in each prospectus. Fill in as many as you can, with variations of your name
    and address. This will hopefully come up as two different investors on the Registry and hence you will be allocated two lots of the minmum allocation.

    The reason that more people do not get into IPO's is a matter of Education, Finance and Laziness. Education - people are becoming more familiar with the workings of the markets however haven't been as such in the past.
    Finance - sometimes the minimum number of shares that one is able to apply multiplied buy the issue price can amount to a substanial sum of money, many haven't got this lying about.
    Laziness - can't be bothered ringing around and chasing an application (Prospectus) as they are usually in short supply and many people give up
    before even trying.

    When the stock of an IPO lists ( debut ) on the market, people that missed out being allocated some shares through the application process will try and purchase some, this will drive the price up again Demand > Supply.

    If one was to sell some stock that they were allocated thru the application process in an attempt to realise the "Stag Profit" ( rather than hold the stock long term ) they would sell the stock, on what is known as a Deferred
    Delivery Basis. This will be the case because the Share Registry will not yet have sent out Holding Statements to those applicants that were successful in the IPO. This means that the seller cannot provide proof of their Holding, and the only way to find out your allocation is to ring the registry direct.

    However if this seller was to live in another country, they would need to arrange the sale through a Broker that has a licence to Trade Stocks in the country of the IPO.

    Here endth the lecture.

  • Try this press release [nai.com] on for size.

    As for you not knowing much, well, Po Bronson points out [sfbg.com] that there are clear lines between who gets to know stuff about IPOs; of course, it has to do with securities laws in the end, but the practical effect is to make certain things very secret, even from the people whose lives are materially affected by the outcome.

    As to how it works, "Mcafee.com" can easily be a stock-issuing subsidiary to another corporation. It happens in the other direction all the time: one corporation investing in another by buying, say, 10% of its stock. In this case, the subsidiary is in a substantially-enough different business from the main corporation that they want to give investors the ability to "track" its success separately. This can be done by a special class of stock, or as a semi-public subsidiary.
    Since the prospectus isn't available yet (that I can find), it's hard to tell how much stock is being made public and how much NAI is still going to own.
  • Seriously, investing in the stock market is not that hard, and is an excellent long-term risk ... emphasis on long-term.

    People going for short-term profits, like the infamous day-traders, or who obtusely put all their life savings into penny stocks or something else inadviseable, are the people really taking risks. But as for the average person, it's really pretty easy to earn money in stocks.

    The key is being willing to wait 20 or 30 years for your money to appreciate. Historically, stocks give an excellent rate of return -- upwards of 12 to 15%. (Try getting THAT from your bank.) The problem is that not every single stock appreciates like that, and frequently stocks do decline in price for a period of time.

    For my money, and I mean that literally, the best place to learn is the Motley Fool [fool.com]. Start by browsing the Fool's School [fool.com], and you'll hopefully have a better appreciation of how it all works ... and how you can actually earn money in the market. Best of all, it's free! No, really!

    As for investing in risky things like the high-tech market, well, first of all: invest only in companies that you understand. And even then, invest only money that you can lose -- because you just might. And meanwhile, invest money you CAN'T lose (like your retirement fund) in tax shelters like 401(k) plans, IRAs, and so on -- and with proven techniques, mostly involving buying stocks and holding onto them for a Very Long Time, as opposed to trying to outguess the highs and lows of the market.
  • Damn! I've been saying "Leh-en-ooks-eh" all this time. Lying fsck'ing salesman!!
  • So how long before theres the Software 100 Listing of Stocks? One question is why didnt this happen sooner since all of McAfees parent companys holdings have gone public, why did Network Assoc. wait for McAfee? Probably just say Andover.net and had to do it.

    Price of one holding? ~.01$ because thats about what the intelectual property of any product they have ever put out combined adds up to. If i can remeber corectly McAfee basicly ejaculated Anti-Virus software onto O/S's that don't really need it. (Flamebait commenting posted Via AuctionXpress, the fastest way to get bids^H^H^H^H replys on Ebay^H^H^H^H Slashdot!)

    Still, for Win 9X anti virii I rely on Norton products although they make CPU's scream bloody murder.
  • There has been a lot of IPO activity lately. Read the RedHerring [herring.com] if you want to know more about this. They did a big article giving some of the numbers lately.

    A big part of what's going on right now is that the venture community has figured out that they can make the public markets (i.e. people who buy stock) take a lot of the risk of a company, by doing an early IPO. This is worth worring about - retail investors are taking venture-level risks, but getting equity-level returns. At some point there will be some big disasters, and this game will stop.

    Also, many companies do IPOs to freeze out competitors - on the theory that the ones with the biggest "war chests" in an area will dominate it, and cause competitors to not be able to get funding.

    But as for worrying about it - no way! It means that it's easier to get things funded these days, good and bad, which means more things are being developed. Finances are a tool, like anything else. Every engineer should understand that.

  • Hey, if you can get somebody to underwrite it you can trade futures on anything. I've even seen bankruptcy futures. I do believe there are even options on futures. Aren't derivatives fun?
  • Do you really think MS or NAI cares about the people that pirate small amounts of their software?

    Every MS piracy case I have seen involved large amounts of their CD's and certificates. I can go on the web and download a large amount of their stuff. I can go to a computer show and pick up Site Server 3.0 for $60, Office 2000 for $40, and Windows NT for $25. Heck, I can even go to EBay and get the same products. And I will be able to for a long time coming. That is, IF I actually used their products at home besides Windows 98. I find their stuff to be too bloated to use.

    However, MS knows this too. It's MARKET SHARE. Every person that buys site server for $60, or Windows NT for $25 means one less person that bought a competing product. MS does this to hurt their competition. I also have noticed how NT at the shows is priced MUCH less than Red Hat Linux selling there.

    However, tying this back in, NAI has to know this. Every user that downloads from that site doesn't use Norton or the competition. NAI does the same thing. It's business. Their big accounts drop tons of money for their antivirus and that's 90% of the sales anyway. McAfee Antivirus is not their big product. NetShield NT is. Even though it can be downloaded, every PHB will spend the exorbitant cash to slow their servers down and buy it.

    And by the way, I've used it with Novell also. The only good way to use it (and I say this with much reserve) is to mount the server volumes and scan using their Windows products on a client machine.
  • The line between investing and gambling is pretty blurry. I could hit the boats and invest in the number 21.
  • Very interesting from the Po Bronson article:

    In this industry, any entrepreneur who goes public (and any entrepreneur who sells his or her business for several hundred million dollars) can only get to that point by spurning many overtures to be acquired along the way. A start-up that shows any inkling of success is immediately pinged with interest from established players trying to get the entrepreneurs to sell out. The pinging never stops. Often one must ignore the pinging, despite the clamor within the company to take the easy money and go live on a beach. One of the pains entrepreneurs suffer is that they can never disclose that these negotiations ever occurred, because both sides are sworn to secrecy by a nondisclosure agreement. The entrepreneur who looks, to the public, as if he or she "sold out" for an easy several hundred million can never mention the many times he or she refused to sell out for less.

    I wonder if slashdot bit at the first offer or could have held out for hundreds of millions more?
  • >*sigh* And I can remember when they were just
    >a shareware anti-virus company. How times have
    >changed (cue weepy music)

    I wonder where these sentiments were when you heard about the Andover IPO...

    "I'm about to become a multi-millionaire, but (sigh) I can remember when the site was just a side project run out of the dorms (cue weepy music)"

  • IPO's can be used by *people with a surplus of stored value (ca$h or credit) to multiply said surplus as much and as fast as possible and preferably with the least possible effort. If successful, such users earn themselves even more "freedom". (from what: fear [sjmercury.com]? envy? lack of sex appeal? who knows?;) anyways..

    Companies which conduct these IPO's exploit such human virtues to raise money (needed to finance international legal and customer aquisition costs.. (remember, you are now an Internet company dotcom(tm), or you are roadkill, and this web grows global fast)). Founders and early investors of Internet companies can also use these IPO's to amass fabulous fortunes for themselves to diversify and secure by investing in new IPO's, politicians [salonmagazine.com], etc.

    Now, partially owned by the "public" (see above*), stock prices reflect "our" confidence in the company's potential to profit. Company managers, typically holding stakes of their own, spur the company to attract the highest possible share price. Bottom line. Period.

    Whether our grandchildren or theirs will regard this behavior as blatently criminal [wired.com] is another question.

    Whether there are alternatives to inequity exacerbating IPO and "street" methods of idea "ownership" is a question I hope /. will address and soon. After all, the MAN(tm), his law(tm) and by-laws(IPO Corp.) are forms of "code", right? (They instruct energetic systems to behave predictably. Or try to.)

    So how do IPO's and like ownership models perpetuate "code"? Openly? How does it affect our capacity to trade our learning and creativity? Are there alternatives? Here may be a interesting one:

    "Chaord" or "chaordic" [slashdot.org]. [haHA! 2nd post:] [slashdot.org] It's shocking that Dotters of Slash completely ignore an archetypical business structure that seems to effectively trade creativity and borderlessly: Visa [visa.com] International. Growth? 20% annually, since way before any long boom, past $ 1.2trillion in '98 sales, no end in sight. Method? Better attract human ingenuity, (the most valuable AND abundant resource on the planet.) Blend competition with cooperation, seamlessly. Failure? Dee Hock, who founded Visa, says it could have been four times more powerful if ownership had been extended to merchants and cardholders.. Customers owning the business? COOL! bu..WTF!? How to hack that???

    IPO? Stock? Forget it. Visa can't bought, sold, traded or raided. Ownership is shared in non-transferable rights of participation.

    It's a very unusual "learning organization": commanders don't control it from the center. Instead, chaos organizes itself at the edges, adapting locally, learning and evolving. Advantages arise out of individual initiative. Ideally, "chaorganizations" are "equitable owned by all participants." Sound like a more "open source" code for biz? IMHO, /. and RHAT and MP3c may have kinda choked if they didn't consider more "open" ownership models, proven successful by Visa..

    Anyway, a more positive way to look at IPO's and Public Companies is as forms of "currency". If you have some to spare, you could buy gold, but you have to pay someone to guard it, and gold's value is dropping. You could guard U.S.Gov't(tm) printed dead prezidents, but why do it when your banker will pay you interest to borrow them? Still, who wants a measly 6% when brand-name "currency" like yahoo! or rhat or idealab! [icp.com] may earn me 600%? In this light, it's more rewarding to invest in people and ideas rather than self-obsoleting systems or hoarding [transaction.net] stores of value. Currency [transaction.net] users now have more options, can better "vote [communitycurrency.org] with their pocketbook", perpetuate what they value, and maybe earn themselves some more "freedom". More options [hotwired.com], more freedom? Who knows?

    links, again, on dee hock, visa, and chaords:
    http://www.chaordic.org/chaordic /chaos_is_good.htm [chaordic.org]
    http://www.cascadepolicy.org/dee_hock.htm "> [cascadepolicy.org]
    http://www.fastcompany.com/online /05/deehock.html [fastcompany.com]

  • LordOmar writes: Don't even get me started on Weather Futures.

    Guys like Alvin Toffler [startribune.com] will continue to publish wave after wave of best-selling bogus prophecy while NCAR [ucar.edu] continues to spend our money running the same old models on bigger and bigger machines. Consequently, I'm sure they are highly appreciative when folks insult systems that "put your credibility where your mouth is" like weather futures or Idea Futures [ideosphere.com].

    And don't even get me started on The Digerati [wired.com].

  • "Exigo spamos et dona ferentes" = "I reject the spammers even when bearing gifts"
    This is a variant of the line "Timeo danos et dona ferentes" from the Aeneid (seige of Troy etc) The original line meant "I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts)

    "Ceterum censeo, delenda est Microsoft" ="In my opinion, Microsoft must be destroyed."
    This is also a variant, this time from a line from a Roman orator, Cato, I believe. Rome had defeated Carthage, a long time enemy, but he was concerned that a defeat wasn't enough, that to make Rome safe, it had to be destroyed, not just just defeated.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    As someone else pointed out, McAfee was "already a public company". McAfee wasn't acquired by Network Associates (NASDAQ:NETA) --- McAfee purchased/merged with Network General to form NAI. Prior to the merger, McAfee was already a public company trading under (NASDAQ:MCAF).

    What's interesting is that MCAF was generally a well-regarded company (they're a case study of a good investment in the Motley Fool's Investment Guide). NETA, on the other hand, is currently a poorly regarded company, due to major financial screwups and merger indigestion.

    I wonder why they're being allowed to re-use the old MCAF ticker symbol. My guess is that it will basically fool people who hadn't paid attention over the past 2 years into believing that NETA's MCAF is the original MCAF.

    Don't forget that the current MCAF (the IPO venture) is nothing but a web site that sells Network Associates consumer products. Nice trick, that --- "spinning off" your own marketing division into a seperate venture.

  • How would one trade in the weather?

    Think of it as insurance. For example, if you're a power company, you'll make more $ if it's cold, and consequently you'll make less $ if it's warm. But you're worried about fluctuations in your cash flow, because you have to pay the coupon on bonds you've issued (for example). So by buying weather futures, you ensure that even if your revenues fall, your cashflow can be evenned out and you're not caught short. Of course, if the weather does the opposite, the broker has just made a bag full of money, which you've lost, but that's ok, you were willing to pay that much up front to cover the risk, because it's less than you would have lost if you didn't have it.

    It's just a mechanism to transfer risk from those who don't want it to those that do, and it makes perfect sense for people in an industry that is affected by the weather.

  • After having to rebuild two computers that were crashed by McAfee Office, I threw the software away. Do yourself a favor, and please, do NOT buy this piece of junk.
  • The weak security of most operating systems permits the proliferation of viruses. The weakness is not in external security, but in the blanket access control given to users and the applications they invoke. An application generally has permission to do anything which the user who invoked it could do. Instead, some operating systems such as EROS [eros-os.org] and KeyKOS [upenn.edu] implement the capability security model. This allows users to specify which capabilities they will pass along to objects they invoke. Thus, a user does not grant blanket permission to a program to modify other programs, as is required for virus propagation, or to format the hard disk, as some viruses may do. The user simply grants it permission to create a few objects (files) of a particular type in a particular location (directory).
  • One reason a lot of companies, especially high-tech companies, are filing for IPO's now has to do with, unsuprisingly, Y2K woes.

    In the past few years, a lot of high-tech companies have been founded, and are now beginning to look towards becoming a publicly traded company. Clasically, companies have filed for IPOs when they want an increase in funds, and are willing to bear a bigger burden of responsibility for the performance of their company, and in turn, the performance of their stock. (This is simplified, as there are other reasons to go public, such improving the profile of the company and creating greater potential for merging and acquisitions.)

    However, right now, financial gurus at high-tech startups who weren't anticipating filing for an IPO until next year are now looking at the potential effect of Y2K on the stock market - a hot spot of Y2K discussions. They realize that attempting to file for an IPO while the various underwriters and the SEC are cleaning up after Y2K may be a tedious and slow-going process, and so even though they weren't planning to need the money gained by an IPO until well into the year 2000, they are rushing to get public before the big date.

    It's my feeling that we will continue to see a lot of high-tech IPOs until the end of the year - more as a strategic move to place themselves as a public company before the Y2K mess than strictly as a way to raise some money. (Although the money can't hurt.)

  • I apologize, your right, it is more technically classified as a Trojan Worm. Viruses (sorry, virii, whatever) include file infectors, bootsector infectors, macros viruses, trojan horses and worms. A more relaxed definition of Virus is 'Any program or code block that self replicates and spreads without the consent or knowledge of the user of the infected host.' So yes, as in the Matrix, Humans can be considered a Virus. ;)

  • A day or 2 later, and NO COMMENTS on this story! I don't think it's sad (McAfee filing for an IPO, that is), in fact I think it's good that a small shareware company has grown into a huge success -- it means that business models that look risky (or looked risky before McAfee's success) can pay off bigtime.
  • Here, here!! I have used NAV for about 3 years now on my network, and except for having trouble downloading updates after a big virii announcement, I have had no problems with the software.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.