Why VCs Love The Bitcoin Market | TechCrunch


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I think widgets are one of the most unique…

Interesting launcher. Been using it on and off for a week or so. Very close to being more on then off

Chris Lacy originally shared this post:

I think widgets are one of the most unique, yet chronically under utilized features of Android. This is my attempt at allowing users to unlock the full power of Android widgets.

Grab Action Launcher 1.5 from the Play Store to try shutters out for yourself: http://goo.gl/baays

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Nice interview with a guy I have admired…

Nice interview with a guy I have admired for a very long time. In fact, back in 1993 when he started GNN, I mirrored it on IOL every day – bandwidth in those days was expensive, and content was thin on the ground!

GNN was great and Tim was a lovely person to deal with.

Tim O’Reilly’s Key to Creating the Next Big Thing | Wired Business | Wired.com

Entreprenuer, author and investor Tim O’Reilly has been seeing around corners for decades now. Here’s what he sees coming next.

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Haha. Worth a watch. Chuck not too impressed…

Haha. Worth a watch. Chuck not too impressed with Keef's playing.

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Why I love the Internet….

… it is still possible to come out of nowhere and shake things up before anyone realises what’s actually going on 🙂

Facebook just realized it made a horrible mistake


Facebook (FB) announced on Tuesday that it will begin opening Facebook Messenger to consumers who do not have a Facebook account, starting in countries like India and South Africa, and later rolling out the service in the United States and Europe. This is a belated acknowledgement of a staggering strategic mistake Facebook made two years ago. That is when the messaging app competition was still wide open and giants like Facebook or Google (GOOG) could have entered the competition. WhatsApp, the leading messaging app firm, had just 1 million users as late as December 2009. By the end of 2010, that number had grown to 10 million. Right now, it likely tops 200 million, though there is no current official number on the matter.
SMS usage started peaking in countries like Netherlands in 2010. Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google were being offered a giant new market on a silver platter with more than 3 billion consumers worldwide use texting on their phones and many of them started drifting away from basic SMS towards IP-based alternatives a few years ago. None of the behemoths saw or understood the opportunity.
They allowed the mobile messaging market to turn into a free-for-all between tiny start-ups like KakaoTalk, Kik, Viber, WhatsApp, etc. And with astonishing speed, the global market picked a winner and rallied around it. Back in early 2011, there was serious debate about the relative merits of different messaging apps and which one might ultimately edge ahead.
In December 2012, the competitive landscape is stark. Kik is not a Top 5 app in any country in the world. Viber is a Top 5 app in 21 countries, but they are countries like Barbados, Nepal and Tajikistan. WhatsApp is a Top 5 app in 141 countries, including the U.S,, U.K., Germany, Brazil and India. The only real weakness of WhatsApp lies in China, Japan and South Korea, where local champions still lead. But those local apps have zero chance of breaking out of their home markets.
The mobile messaging app competition is over. It turned into a red rout sometime during late 2011 and WhatsApp has emerged as the sole beneficiary of a textbook case of the network effect.
Facebook, Google and Twitter threw away their golden chance to create an SMS killer and grab hold of a billion users globally. It would have been so easy and cheap to develop a simple texting app in 2009, leverage the current user base of any of the IT giants and then watch the app soar to global prominence.
And it is so very, very hard to do now. Dislodging WhatsApp now would mean neutralizing a smartphone market penetration advantage that is hitting 80% in some markets. People often ask me why I’m so fixated on WhatsApp and the answer is simple: it’s the most popular and important mobile app in the world. And it beat Facebook, Twitter, Google and other major companies before they even realized there was an important war being waged.

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Nicely written, and quite true. Flawless http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/cZyL8vaJ-JI/ I have an old chisel, which I bought at a second-hand store in Vancouver, that had been sharpened and buffed a few times and developed a wonderful patina. I still have it, and although Seattle’s damp air has dulled it a bit, when the light hits it right you can still see the patches of wild colors, bright and elusive, like nothing else I’ve seen except perhaps trout in a river or the mystical gradient of a clear sky when the sun is just below the horizon. A bargain at fifty cents. I have an old wristwatch, given to me by my friend, the brass bezel of which has tarnished, the dome of which is scratched, and which loses about thirty seconds a day. For reasons I don’t fully understand, it’s the only item I own without which I feel naked. I have a copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that looks like it was used for a doorstop for a generation and then brined. Other copies don’t feel authentic to me. I have a waxed canvas jacket that is like a coat of mail now but in a year will be as pliant as tissue. (“Old coats are like old friends,” says Hugo) And I have an iPad. It’s a lot like your iPad. It’s a puzzling and complicated relationship we have with technology, as it is personified (for lack of a better term) in our iPhones, laptops, and other gadgets. We hold them and touch them every day, look at them for hours on end, sleep next to them. But how little we care for them! I know that much of this is because what interests us in our devices is not the device itself, but that to which it is a conduit. Our friends, a map of the world, the whole of human knowledge (if not wisdom) at our fingertips. I don’t value my laptop the way I value my jacket because if I lose the laptop, my friends and Google and Wikipedia will still be there, waiting for me to find another way to get at them. It’s not so surprising, then, that we don’t value this middle-man object much. And although we share so much of our lives with these devices, they don’t last very long. We’re like serial monogamists, committed until something better comes along, usually after a year or two. Can you really be fond of something you know you plan to replace? Yet however reasonable it appears, still it disturbs me. It strikes me as wrong that our most powerful and expensive and familiar objects should be the ones we love the least. I know that there is nothing for it; the pace of technology and our increasing reliance on it is such that failing to upgrade leaves one hopelessly disconnected. And it’s silly to say people should just be happy with what they’ve got. When have they ever? Here is the problem: we cannot love an object which knows nothing, which learns nothing, and which says nothing. When its screen is off, a phone or a laptop is nothing; its design, in fact, is based around the idea of disappearing while in use and focusing all attention on the screen — a tablet, off, is literally a tabula rasa. The object itself is cold and anonymous. Whether it is designed well or poorly, its value lies elsewhere, and elsewhere, rightly, lies our esteem. Furthermore, it is built to be perfect, and anything that affects it only makes it worse. An iPhone does not get seasoned with use; it only collects damage. It does not conform to your hand; if anything, the opposite occurs. It can never learn to be a better phone, although of course the software can learn to be better software. Why should this sterility produce in us anything but indifference? Lastly, the device has no voice of its own.. Unlike a room, or a car, or a pair of jeans, or, of course, a person, your phone does not collect stories and tell them to you when you see it. That is to say, you have memories with your phone, but not of it. Because it doesn’t stay with you fo long, and because its job is to be a facilitator, never its own end, it will never be anything but an accessory to memory, never the memory itself. A slab of glass; flawless, because featureless. Who could love such a thing? Naturally there are some exceptions to all this, because it’s a strong tendency, not a rule. I myself have memories of a phone or two, and of how one gadget was better than the others for some reason. Some, like the original iPhone, even acquired a patina! There are some choices we can make that produce a modicum of expression: color, brand, and so on. But generally speaking there is not much reason to like these things in and of themselves — only for what they bring. It’s not going to be like this forever, though. Where we are in the long story of personal technology is at a point where devices simply aren’t personal. That will change. Will there ever be a laptop that needs to be broken in, and improves as you use it? Devices radically tailored to your needs, your lifestyle, your body? A phone that, when you forget it at home, makes you go back not because you’re afraid you’ll miss an email, but because you like the way it feels and the times you’ve gone through as a pair? Why not? I think people want to have objects that they can love. That’s not something that will happen until the object reaches a maturity of design to which some things don’t arrive for centuries. Luckily, the pace of innovation in our devices is faster than that of, say, the wheel, so that day may come soon. Sometimes a watch is more than a watch, a book more than a book, a chisel more than a chisel. I look forward to the day when my computer is more than a computer. Sent by gReader Pro

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Haha….. maybe there is a god. Neo-Nazi…

Haha….. maybe there is a god.

Neo-Nazi MEP from Hungary discovers he is Jewish


A Hungarian neo-Nazi leader has had to retire from professional antisemitism because he discovered he was Jewish. Csanad Szegedi, who had decried "Jewishness" in Hungary's political class, and referred to Jews as "lice-infested, dirty murderers," was outed by a rival within the neo-Nazi movement, who revealed that Szegedi's maternal grandmother was a Jewish Auschwitz survivor, making him Jewish as well. From an AP story in the NYT:

The fallout of Szegedi's ancestry saga has extended to his business interests. Jobbik executive director Gabor Szabo is pulling out of an Internet site selling nationalist Hungarian merchandise that he owns with Szegedi. Szabo said his sister has resigned as Szegedi's personal assistant.

In the 2010 tape, former convict Zoltan Ambrus is heard telling Szegedi that he has documents proving Szegedi is Jewish. The right-wing politician seems genuinely surprised by the news — and offers EU funds and a possible EU job to Ambrus to hush it up.

Ambrus, who served time in prison on a weapons and explosives conviction, apparently rejected the bribes. He said he secretly taped the conversation as part of an internal Jobbik power struggle aimed at ousting Szegedi from a local party leadership post. The party's reaction was swift.

Hungary Far-Right Leader Discovers Jewish Roots

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Neo-Nazi MEP from Hungary discovers he is Jewish

A Hungarian neo-Nazi leader has had to retire from professional antisemitism because he discovered he was Jewish. Csanad Szegedi, who had decried "Jewishness" in Hungary's political class, and referre…

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Too close to reality…..

Too close to reality…..

If I Were The MPAA… How I Would Deal With My Car Break-In | Techdirt

My family and I got back from our annual vacation in the Current Middle Ages last Friday morning around 2 a.m.  Exhausted from the trip, I forgot to take in my iPod and left it visibly displayed on th…

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It Was Twenty Years Ago Today……. It…

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today…….

It was 20 years ago – 15 May 1992 – that I opened the doors at Ireland On-Line. Operating out of my house in Galway, and with only a credit card as working capital, it was the culmination of 9 months of dreaming, planning and learning, and the start of a fantastic adventure.


It Was 20 Years Ago Today….. | Barry Flanagan

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Article 32 – Think about it. | Barry Flanagan

Who are these people, this ESM, to whom we are granting such wide ranging privileges and immunities? I encourage everyone, if you are only going to read one part of this treaty, read Article 32, which…

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