Sunday, July 20, 2014

Some Of My Recent Pictures

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Bill Gates Recommendation

I just read a chapter from a book featured by Bill Gates on his Facebook page. He is one of my favorite people to follow on Facebook.

This is that chapter.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Pinterest Story

Q+A Ben Silbermann
We started making Pinterest around 2009, when there was a lot of attention being paid to social services that were focused on real-time text-based feeds like Facebook and Twitter. ..... helping people organize things
Introducing the 2 Young Men Who Made Pinterest
Silbermann's first foray into the Silicon Valley tech scene was cartoonishly wide-eyed. He'd feel bolts of excitement reading about start-up company hires and funding round announcements on tech blogs. ...... Silbermann decided he should get his start at Google, and landed an entry-level job at the company’s display-advertising group. ...... November 2009, when he and a college friend, Paul Sciarra, along with Evan Sharp, who had been studying architecture, started working on a site on which people could show collections of things they were interested in, on an interactive pin-board format. ...... "After nine months, Pinterest was still under 10,000 users, and a lot of them weren't using it every day." ..... Silbermann and his team labored long and hard over the most miniscule site details, such as typeface contrast. They fully coded dozens of versions of the pin screen before selecting and launching one in March of 2010. ...... Just last month, a study found Pinterest surpassed Facebook in terms of retail outlets or brands that fans "follow" or "like." A survey by PriceGrabber, a price comparison site, found that 21% of Pinterest users polled had purchased items they spotted on the site. ...... "It's important to have people in your life who can talk to you about other stuff: life, sports. It's going to take a long time to build a big product that'll change the world."

Pinterest founder bemused by sudden rise to fame: Social network site fastest grower so far
Mr. Wamsley, a serial entrepreneur who's been in Silicon Valley since the dot-com era, said he hasn't seen a startup take off overnight like this since Netscape....... Mr. Silbermann's wife, for her part, was key to getting her husband to finally tackle the startup he'd been talking about for years while holding down a customer support job at Google. "She said, 'You should do it or shut up about it,' " Mr. Silbermann told the audience. ...... Pinterest is the 16th most-visited Web site in America -- ahead of and -- and the 50th most popular in the world ........ Venture capitalists who, two years ago, didn't understand the startup now are clamoring to follow in the footsteps of Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, whose venture firm in September led a $27 million investment. Big-name media have come calling to interview Mr. Silbermann and been largely rebuffed....... The son of two family-practice physicians in Des Moines, Mr. Silbermann grew up collecting leaves and insects. He went to Yale figuring he'd follow in the family trade, then switched to political science. After graduating in 2003, he landed a consulting job in Washington and joined the firm's technology practice because, he said, that's what was open......... "I felt like the story of my time was happening in California," he told last week's crowd, "and I wanted to be part of it." ...... The Google job, he said, taught him a lot, but as a nonengineer in a company that prizes tech skills, his ceiling was limited. After his wife's tough-love pep talk, he finally took the plunge -- right before the 2008 Wall Street meltdown made it nearly impossible to raise money....... It didn't help that Mr. Silbermann's two co-founders were as nontechnical as he was....... After the site launched in January, 2010, however, the going was slow. Four months in, Pinterest had 200 users; half were Mr. Silbermann's friends in Des Moines....... Then on a whim, he attended a conference of interior designers, who immediately grasped the appeal of a site where they could compile interesting design possibilities gleaned from around the Internet. Thanks to word of mouth and the courting of a handful of bloggers, Pinterest's traffic began growing at 40 to 50 percent each month -- and it hasn't stopped
Pinterest 2010-2011: The True Inside Startup Story
By January 2011 though the site started to explode. “We may have only had something like 40k users, but Pinterest was driving millions and millions of page views. More importantly it was all doubling each month. That’s a lot faster than it’s growing now.” ...... After leaving Pinterest Sahil worked with the team to build their iPhone app. He designed and coded the entire application in a matter of weeks. Now he’s taken some funding and is working on his own startup Gumroad. When asked about whether or not leaving Pinterest was a good decision considering the explosive growth curve, Sahil maintains that his greatest work is still ahead and in spite of the lottery-esk financial opportunity, “The satisfaction of working on and building your own product versus working for someone else does not even compare.”
Development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched as a closed beta in March 2010. The site proceeded to operate in invitation-only open beta....... Silbermann said he personally wrote to the site's first 5,000 users offering his personal phone number and even meeting with some of its users ...... Nine months after the launch the website had 10,000 users. Silbermann and a few programmers operated the site out of a small apartment until the summer of 2011 ...... Early in 2010, the company's investors and co-founder Ben Silbermann tried to encourage a New York-based magazine publishing company to buy Pinterest but the publisher declined to meet with the founders ....... In January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark .... the site became the third largest social network in the United States in March 2012, behind Facebook and Twitter ......n October 2013, Pinterest won a $225 million round of equity funding that valued the website at $3.8 billion

Pinterest CEO: Here's How We Became The Web's Next Big Thing [DECK]
grew from 5,000 users in August 2010 to 17 million this month. ...... The 45 minute talk was all about how he abandoned his long held plans to become a doctor, founded Pinterest during the recession, survived early failures, and built a company for the long-run...... When Pinterest launched, Ben sent it to all his friends in California – "and actually, no one got it." .... Most early users came from Des Moines. "I suspect because my Mom was telling all her patients," says Ben. ....... Suddenly people started using Pinterest in ways the company hadn't expected. Like say this board: "Things That Look Like The Deathstar."
Pinterest’s Unlikely Journey To Top Of The Startup Mountain
After leaving Google he spent time working at places like the Hacker Dojo, and every coffee shop in the valley. ...... Four months after launching, Pinterest only had 200 users. Ben has said their product was “in stealth mode but not because we wanted it to be.” The first major pockets of users were in Iowa and Utah and the company wasn’t on any radars in the Valley. ...... It didn’t pop in California for the first year and a half. Ben believes the typical market fit philosophy for technology of having to get early adaptors on board is no longer required. There was no press coverage on the site, but the early users really liked it, and more importantly they used it a lot. “The site grew by the same percentage (40%-50%) every single month. It’s just that the number started so low that it took a while to get going.” ....... The team attempted to raise money, but the non-engineer driven founders had little success. Despite dozens of meetings with “everyone” in Silicon Valley. Most passed on the deal. They worked with a lot of engineers most of which weren’t near the Facebook and Google level of talent they’re getting access to today. ....... Much of what you see on the site today was in the product at the very beginning. They were one of the first sites to do the grid-like layout and they over invested in design. They spent months working on it. “We were obsessive about the product. We were obsessive about all the writing and how it was described. We were obsessive about the community. I personally wrote to the first 5,000-7,000 people that joined the site.”

Monday, July 14, 2014

Clean Master App

Third Time Watching: Vinod, Larry, Sergey

I am watching this video for the third time now, the second time today. These just so happen to be three of the most fascinating people in tech.

The Google Guys seem to have some First World Problems. The world is nowhere close to an age of abundance. Maybe by 2050 if we get our act together. But now? No way.

Google failed at health, when it first tried. But I hope it is not done. If it can do to health what it is trying to do to transportation, that would be monumental.

Larry saying something about the government being illogical about spectrum. I feel that way strongly about immigration. And quite a few other things.

If being a CEO is about photogenics, Sergei is better media feed than Larry. There's ethics, there's photogenics. But Larry is awesome. In terms of sheer impact, Steve Jobs has nothing on Larry Page.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Voyager Hears Space Whistles


Other Sounds

Video for your ears: What do planets sound like?
a translation of electromagnetic vibrations from various planetary environments into sound ..... The recorded sounds are the complex interactions of charged electromagnetic particles from the solar wind, ionisphere, and planetary magnetosphere.


Brazil’s Cup
Neymar Injury
Brazil All The Way
My July 4th Weekend Plans: World Cup Soccer
FIFA Retweeted Me, Twice

This was not Brazil versus Germany. This was Brazil versus FIFA and FIFA lost. Big.

A 7-1 Rout of World Cup Hosts That Felt Even Worse Than That
World Cup Records Fall as Germany Advances to Eighth Final
7-Goal Scoring Spree Stuns Even Germany
Three key points: Why Brazil went down in flames
Brazil cries and Twitter laughs as Germany wins 7-1
Netherlands wears black hat into World Cup semifinal vs. Argentina
World Cup pre-game: Netherlands vs. Argentina
Voyager 1 hears 'sounds of space' as solar tsunami sweeps past

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Global Finance: Still A Mess

The biggest tragedy of the 2008 recession was not the pain of the recession, painful as it was, but that the world did not rise up to the challenge and rearchitect the global financial system. Now it might be too late, because the major part of the crisis is over.

The global monetary system: Not floating, but flailing
Global commerce has long faced a fundamental tension: the more certainty countries create around exchange rates, the less room they have to manage domestic economic affairs. Thirty years before Bretton Woods a war wrecked the world’s first stab at the problem—the gold standard—and the attempt to rebuild it in the 1920s led to depression and another war. The exchange-rate system agreed at Bretton Woods lasted only a generation. After 150 years of experimentation the world has yet to solve its monetary problem. ...... Developing countries also found pegs hard to resist. Fixed exchange rates can encourage monetary discipline and tame inflation—a common emerging-world problem—while reducing borrowing costs. Yet too often pegs ended painfully, as overindebted economies found it impossible to maintain the discipline needed to protect them. Markets pounced, initiating crises and forcing devaluations—most dramatically in the Asian financial crisis of 1997-8. ..... Emerging economies have instead shifted toward managed rates maintained through market intervention. China, the world’s second-largest economy, is a particularly energetic manipulator of its currency, and has at times used an outright dollar peg. As a result over half of global economic activity is concentrated within two massive single-currency blocs. ...... The aversion to floating is a puzzle. Fixed rates can reduce borrowing costs, but the result is often a debt-binge and crisis. Modern technology reduces currency transaction costs. IMF research finds that flexible exchange rates reduce vulnerability to both macroeconomic and financial crises. ...... economies with floating currencies did better in the global financial crisis and its aftermath. ..... China claims to be gradually freeing its capital account and encouraging trade denominated in yuan. That may finally bring down the curtain on the dollar era initiated by Bretton Woods. Yet in practice China is reluctant to give up the perceived safety of a managed exchange rate. Gold habits are hard to break.

Renewed Calls From China For a Global Super-Currency To Replace "Bretton Woods II"
a 'super-currency' for international trade, and not to replace any currencies for domestic use. ..... The World Bank's former chief economist wants to replace the US dollar with a single global super-currency, saying it will create a more stable global financial system. ...... expanding the basket of major reserve currencies — the dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and pound sterling — will not address the consequences of a financial crisis. ....... Internationalizing the Chinese currency is not the answer ....... Lin urged the international community, especially the US and European Union, to play a leading role in currency and infrastructure initiatives. To boost the global economy, he proposed the launch of a "global infrastructure initiative" to remove development bottlenecks in poor and developing countries, a measure he said would also offer opportunities for advanced economies. ........ The concept of a global "super currency" tied to a basket of currencies has been periodically discussed by world leaders as well as endorsed by 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz. ...... "A supranational currency may be a new direction for development of the global financial system. It also requires different countries to cooperate in coordinating macroeconomic policies..."

The Global Importance Of Paul Volcker's Call For A 'New Bretton Woods'
The recovery of trade, the opening of financial markets, and the lifting of controls on current accounts led in the 1950’s and 60’s to sustained growth and stability. ...... the absence of an official, rules-based cooperatively managed, monetary system has not been a great success. In fact, international financial crises seem at least as frequent and more destructive in impeding economic stability and growth........ The United States, in particular, had in the 1970’s an unhappy decade of inflation ending in stagflation. The major Latin American debt crisis followed in the 1980’s. There was a serious banking crisis late in that decade, followed by a new Mexican crisis, and then the really big and damaging Asian crisis. Less than a decade later, it was capped by the financial crisis of the 2007-2009 period and the great Recession. Not a pretty picture. ........ the fiduciary dollar standard has significantly underperformed both the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard and the classical gold standard in every major category ...... The number of banking crises per year has soared to 2.6 per year, compared to only one every ten years under Bretton Woods
The G20 must look beyond Bretton Woods II