All posts filed under: Posts

Apple enters the identity ring

Posts

This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. I love WWDC, Apple’s annual developer’s conference. Ever year Apple announces new software in early June, and then in September the new devices come out. It’s always fun to play with new the new iGizmos, for me at least, but there’s something fundementally more fun, more exciting with seeing new software, bestowing your existing stuff with […]

Is White Supremacy Good Business for Twitter?

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. There are certain things reasonable people can disagree on. Should you douse your fries in ketchup or mayo? Which is better, Star Trek or Star Wars? Does god exist, and if so could we tell? There was a time, back when I had more a lot more energy and a lot less concern for psychological wellbeing […]

Is Fake News spam?

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. Bill Gates probably never said “640K ought to be enough for anybody” but he definitely did say email spam will be solved in two years, back in 2004. “Two years from now, spam will be solved” was his exact words, in front of a bunch big-wigs at Davos. Needless to say, spam was not solved in 2006 but it […]

WhatsApp too gets hacked.

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. Intrinsic motivation is hard to muster, but it is powerful. Back when I worked at a cloud storage company, our CTO really wanted us to be excited about our End-to-End Encrypted (E2E) offering. He believed, rightly so, that without E2E, any rogue employee could look at any customer’s data. So we built a small web application […]

No surge pricing for $UBER

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. Taking Stock of Stocks What determines the price of a given stock? If you want to be academic about it, you’d expect it to be net present value of all future expected cash flows to the stockholders. In reality, though, it’s set by supply and demand; a stock price goes up when other people want to […]

Who Controls the Internet?

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. If you asked a ton of people “Which country controls the internet?”, what would the answer be? Most people, I am guessing, would first balk at the question but then probably say United States. 🇺🇸!🇺🇸!🇺🇸! There’s a bunch of reasons to think that way. On the surface, most companies that people associate with “Internet” are concentrated […]

What’s in a Username?

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. Two weeks ago my co-host wrote about the digital exhaust, and mentioned how a surreptitious Nest thermostat can keep tabs on the new owners of a house. I’ve experienced something similar myself. My previous partner had a Google Home smart speaker in our living room. After I moved out, it took me a few days to realize […]

The Cloud in your Pocket

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. I talked last week here about the arbitrary, if not blurry, line between the server and the app. Products are products, features are features. It is probably good that you don’t care whether it is the supercomputer in your pocket that enables that Instagram filter, or some server running in a data center in Nebraska. Through […]

Service Oriented What Again?

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. People commonly ask me what I did at Uber. I wrote code, is one approximation. In many people’s mind, many “companies” exist as some app on their phones. Most people realize there’s a “backend” or “datacenter” or “servers” somewhere, but the lines are blurry. The most high resolution view of Uber, or any tech company, is […]

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Startup Options

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This post is cross-posted from my joint newsletter with Ranjan Roy, The Margins. Please check it out, and consider subscribing. Suppose you are joining an early stage startup and you are faced with choosing an offer that is either heavy on the options or cash. Which one do you pick? Do you lean more decisively on the stock side, or prefer cold, hard cash? Obviously, this is not a common occurrence, but it’s not purely stylized. […]