May 20, 2012

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"keep healthy"

I got called up for Jury Duty and started playing Words With Friends while waiting. One of my random opponents happened to be a young girl with some kind of aggressive cancer that had gotten into her lymph nodes, throat, lungs, and spreading fast.

I became her somebody to talk to. She’d tell me about the cancer and updated as it progressed. Shaved head. Chemo. Insomnia. Feeding tube. Pain. One failed kidney. Two failed kidneys. Surgeries. Coma. Constant pain. And so on.

It went on for a few weeks. Here’s our last conversation. (The last message was from her mom).

"keep healthy"

Jan 17, 2012

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YouTube Is Killing It

YouTube has been quietly getting bigger and better. Besides all those usual what-YouTube-was-about clips, now you can also watch movies for $4 each, live streams of events, and all kinds of shows created by their “partners”. This partnership program is, I think, taking YouTube to the next level. It works like this: anyone (that includes you, your mom, your friends, or even the big bad old media companies) can become a YouTube partner, then Google would put ads on their videos and give them a cut of the revenues. To the partners, it’s simple; all you need is an internet connection and some creativity. Imagine some guy in Madagascar (Hey I like the name) who created some interesting show that people would watch, now imagine that he had to get it on HBO, if that’s even possible. Now he can just put his show on YouTube to the internet audience and make money. Content is king and YouTube is becoming the hub of all video content. There will be more content, better content, and Google owns it all. Think about that and Google TV. No wonder Rupert Murdoch is freaking out. Also rumor has that Google and Apple are bidding for TV rights to show the English Premier League live next year. I will say bye bye to Comcast for sure if that happens.

In terms of investing, the question has been whether YouTube’s revenue is big enough to move the needle. Google’s revenue run rate is about $35B after all. They have remained tight-lipped about it, probably because it hasn’t been substantial enough. But I think that will end soon; within this year I’d say. They did disclose that their mobile revenue was $2.5B in 2011. YouTube’s revenue should be higher, no? I don’t own $GOOG currently, but it looks interesting.

Personally, YouTube is where I go to regularly for laughs and giggles. It’s hard for me to watch anything that’s 30+ minutes long. So YouTube is perfect with those short and funny skits. Plus, where else can you watch a cooking show that features only in-game, in-fictional-movie dishes?

Or this comedy sketch:

Jan 7, 2012

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3D Printing Is Coming

We may have witnessed something great coming out of this so called Great Recession, and that is 3D Printing. 2011 was a big year, an inflection point if you ask me, for the industry: scores of startups, few are well funded; lots of buzz and excitement; technologies improved; prices are dropping; the entrepreneurs, VCs, early adopters are all focused as they see this as an opportunity. It’s just at matter of time before they make them bots faster, cheaper and be able to print anything that we want.

Look at the Google Trends below. Can you feel it? I can feel it. That this could potentially be something huge and it’s picking up momentum.

I don’t own a 3D printer, but I’m watching the industry very closely. Here are a few startups I’m keeping an eye on: MakerBot, Shapeways, TinkerCad, PrinterBot. There are two publicly traded companies, both with $150M-$200M revenues, profitable and growing: 3D Systems ($DDD) and Stratasys ($SSYS). Hewlett-Packard had a deal with Stratasys; maybe they’ll decide to add another D to their printing business and give the industry a boost. I currently own none, just watching.

I also follow these guys @toddsampson, @bpm140, and @fusion94 on my Twitter stream, who show great interest in the space. Hopefully they’ll soon set up a 3d bot shop so I can go print my whitening mouthpieces (still have the mold). They are broken and I don’t want to bother my dentist. She is lovely and all, but she always finds something wrong with my teeth, and I can’t say no to her. Bummer.

There’s still plenty of liquidity out there and it will find a new home. I think this is it. Plus, don’t we all want to read about something else on Techmeme besides smartphones and tablets?

Jan 11, 2010

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Jan 9, 2010

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The truth is the U.S. has allowed itself to become a much less favorable place to do business due to more and more expensive regulations and restrictions
U.S. refiners suffer; oil-product imports may grow Commodities Corner - MarketWatch
Nov 21, 2009

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Germany is pinning its economic hopes on future-oriented industries such as solar panel manufacturing. But high-tech companies are facing shortages of essential metals as China, which dominates the world market in so-called rare earths, begins stockpiling the highly sought-after resources.
Rare Earths: High-Tech Companies Face Shortages as China Hoards Metals - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Nov 13, 2009

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Deep Thoughts From Hugh Hendry (Eclectica's Latest)

Still a deflationist, risk averse, and maybe a bit too scared for his own good. Well written and a good read as usual.

Nov 12, 2009

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the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves
The Oil Situation Is Really Bad :: ASPO-USA: Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas
Nov 11, 2009
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