Category Archives: Technology

The dark side of the technology

A while ago I wrote about Internet Safety.

Last year
MySpace/Facebook, Barack Obama (this is probably the bright side, if you believe Barack is a good guy)

This year
Twitter revolution, Iran;

SMS (text message) + online BBS, Urumqi incident (what I call a terrorist attack/organized killing against innocent civilians);

Cyber attacks, notice the recent news South Korea and US gov web sites got attacked, not to mention the endless email from Nigeria says I will receive $10 million dollars if I can him my bank acct;

and there is this great thing many people love (but don’t want to admit), this porn thing (see WSJ video about software to help a guy get rid of bad habbit).

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A legend is a legend

(Update) Many people (such as DBANotes) think IBM is the ultimate loser in the Sun/Oracle deal. I think the deal is not necessarily bad news for IBM. Here is my rationale. IBM did not win because:

1) Anti-trust concern. Sun and IBM together will have a very high share of both UNIX server and storage tape markets.

2) Oralce CEO Larry and Sun CEO McNealy are very good friends (source: WSJ).

Negatives for Oracle:

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Hard disk pioneers won nobel

From Reuters, Hard disk pioneers won Physics nobel: France’s Albert Fert and Germany’s Peter Gruenberg won the 2007 Nobel Prize for physics on Tuesday for a breakthrough in nanotechnology that lets huge amounts of data be squeezed into ever-smaller spaces.

My take: Hard disk has changed the way we live and work, as we can find it in MP3 players or computers. But hard disk makers are not good investments in general. One can look at Seagate (STX), Western Digital (WDC) long term chart (5, 10 years) to see its so so performance. I think this industry is just too competititive and chronic price cuts makes the profit too thin.

Good technology does not necessarily translate into (very) profitable business. I think Google is a rare specie in the tech arena, with its unique business model and almost monopoly postion in the market, and the ever lower cost of hard drives to store its data :-)

hard disk pic

Week in review 09/02-09/08

1) Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks, talked about competition from McDonald and Dokin Donuts.

Starbucks is not an advertiser. If other companies are going to advertise and promote specialty coffee, Starbucks is going to benefit in the long term,” he said.

2) iPhone price cut and iPod touch launch: Steve Jobs announced Apple will cut 8GB iPhone from $599 to $399, discountine to offer 4GB iPhone, and offer an iPod touch, which is “an iPhone without phone capability”. In other words: iPod touch will have touch screen, music and video capability, WiFi, Internet, etc. You can check out latest iPod lineup from apple.com

AT&T and IBM

I found some interesting articles about AT&T and IBM. They are written by Wu Jun, a research scientist at Google. I like Wu Jun’s writing style (humorous), and his business perspective of the two companies (very good).

Here is the link to AT&T articles; and here is link to IBM series. Both are in Chinese, and there are 6 articles for each company.

One thing I felt amazing about IBM is this (quote the article):

在小华生执掌 IBM 的二十年里,IBM 的平均年增长率高达 30%,这在世界上可能是绝无仅有的,他的父亲也没有做到这一点。

Translated in English: in the 20 years when Watson Jr. was the CEO of IBM, the average anual growth rate is 20%. No other company has done that. His father Waton Sr. did not accomplish that either.

Sohu and Chinese Internet Companies

The other day I saw Charles Zhang Chaoyang on the “Boss town”, No. 1 Caijing’s (China-CBN) talk show between CEO and guest commentators. This reminded me that Chinese Internet companies are coming of age. Two interesting stories Charles told on the show:

1) Two MIT professors are the earliest investors for Sohu, they put in $ 75,000 each, and it’s worth $30 mil later. Charles is a graduate from MIT. Obviously he knows how to talk to his professor.

2) He went to New York to talk to potential investors in 1996. He wasn’t successful; and found a phone booth calling his lawyer (in crying tone). He had to insert coins to keep the line alive. People waited behind him became impatient. At that time cell phone is still rare in the US.

Keso had a good article about the current status of Chinese Internet companies.

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Phishing Mail Appears from eBay?

This one caught me off the guard. It looks like a normal eBay message. I actually clicked through the link in the email and a few days later I received the real email from eBay says my eBay account is compromised. So I did the demage control thing.

Today I received the same message again. I don’t know whether this is a mistake by eBay or a phishing mail. But from now on I should be real careful about clicking on the links in an email…

Phishing Mail from Paypal

I got this one from Paypal, it’s faked but it looks very much like real. I mean the words (as you can see below), graphics and return address etc. Obviously the phishers are gettting smarter. So we need to get smarter too. I would not click on a link in an email unless I know it’s safe. I will open a new window and type the web address myself.

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Your account has been flagged!
PayPal Security Measures.


Dear PayPal Member,

Your account has been randomly flagged in our system as a part of our routine security measures. This is a must to ensure that only you have access and use of your Paypal account and to ensure a safe PayPal experience. We require all flagged accounts to verify their information on file with us. To verify your information at this time, please visit our secure server webform by clicking the hyperlink below:

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