Did AMC just shoot itself in the foot?

The VOD wars had kicked off long before the COVID-19 global lockdowns started, but the lockdowns are accelerating change in a lot of businesses. In the wake of the lockdown, there are no movie theaters anymore, so NBC Universal decided to stream Trolls World Tour. It generated US$100 million in revenue, and prompted AMC Theaters (the […]

Zoom acquires Keybase (or, why companies buy companies)

There was an interesting Quora question recently, about why companies sometimes buy other companies, only to “shut them down”. Zoom just acquired Keybase (a startup, launched in 2014, to create a directory for public encryption keys). They performed such acquisition in order to solve their end-to-end encryption problem. These sound like different things. In fact, […]

A rare insight into how the oil supply chain works

Long before Descartes dismissed imaginary numbers as nonsense, the Greeks derided negative numbers as “meaningless” — there’s no such thing in the real world. Last week, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange announced they would allow futures to trade in the negative, and they promptly did, with the May futures contract for West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI) […]

Is “civil war” brewing in the U.S.?

A widely discussed and shared OpEd in Bloomberg pointed out Gavin Newsom’s (Governor of California) very clearly intentional use of language, using the terms “nation-state” and “export”. Prima facie, this is just politics and just Governor Newsom doing what he needs to do to ensure sufficient medical supplies for the citizens of California. The OpEd trolls […]

The Internet continues to fragment

We tend to think of “the Internet” as a single thing, but, in reality, it has been fragmenting for a while (China is the biggest example, where the Internet inside the country looks very different than the one outside, but there are lots of similar fractures, both big and small, e.g., back in 2014 when […]

Misguided efforts by Europe to save news

News is certainly in need of, and worth, saving — most “news” today is incredible, intentionally divisive, and either prurient or pernicious, and is often mendacious; and even the “good” news sources are running down the path of click-bate for headlines and poorly researched or corroborated stories. Part of this is human nature and what […]

The government is trying to destroy privacy, yet again — and you can help!

Speaking of privacy, if you’re a U.S. citizen, call your Senator and Representative, and urge them to kill the “EARN IT” bill. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is what allows most of your favorite things about the Internet to exist — it’s the clause that says that companies who build tools are not […]

Surveillance in India and The US

Think privacy is bad in China? Wait until you see what India is planning.  The Indian government has secretly been working on a “comprehensive” social registry, that will track every aspect of every citizen’s life: “when a citizen moves between cities, changes jobs, buys new property, when a member of a family is born, dies […]

It’s time to switch web browsers

Last week, Mozilla announced that they’re going to enable DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) by default in Firefox for US users. Chrome, Edge, and Opera also use DoH. Today, more and more websites are using HTTPS — an encrypted connection that, amongst other things, makes your browsing history invisible. However, the way the Internet works, you need to […]

The markets are down, but are they down enough?

The DOW ended down 12.4% for the week, the S&P 500 down 11.5%, and the Nasdaq down 10.5%. This means all three indices are in correction territory, and for the Nasdaq and S&P, these are the largest drops since the 2008 crisis. All that money has to go somewhere, and it’s been going to U.S. […]

AI finds strong, new antibiotic

The growth in antibiotic-resistant microbes has been a problem for years — and we’ve had no real plan on how to deal with it. Currently, this results in about 35,000 deaths per year in the U.S., and predictions are that the global number will exceed 10 million deaths per year by 2050. With the help […]

The marijuana startup space

Last month, recreational marijuana use became legal in the Australian Capital Territory (akin to Washington, D.C.). Medicinal marijuana was already legal both at the Australian State and Federal levels. Globally, there are currently four countries, and 11 U.S. states and districts, in addition to ACT, where recreational use is now legal, and another 23 countries […]