Keep your eye on Chinese tech

Over the last several months there’s been a lot of meaningful news on China from both an economic and political front, but it’s also worth paying attention to them on the technological front. While they may be best known for different values around intellectual property than we’re used to in the West, the reality is, … Continue reading “Keep your eye on Chinese tech”

“Afghan lives matter!”

Make no mistake, the Chinese government does not do things by mistake. Trade tensions between the US and China have grown substantially during the Trump administration, but China has also been engaging in a bit of a trade war with Australia, with the latest move being a tariff imposed on Australia’s wine — for which China is the … Continue reading ““Afghan lives matter!””

Should cable companies build smart TVs? (or, how do cable companies avoid the fate of telcos?)

First, there was Ma Bell. Then, deregulation of the phone company happened in the U.S. and phone calls went from being very expensive to very cheap (my dad ran a small business in the 1980s, and telephone bills could often be thousands of dollars — in 1980s dollars!). Then came the Internet, and ISPs (think … Continue reading “Should cable companies build smart TVs? (or, how do cable companies avoid the fate of telcos?)”

Apple is building a search engine?

The whole business-news world was awash with speculation this week that Apple is building its own search engine (The Telegraph ($/2), Financial Times ($), Forbes, Forbes again, c|net, etc…). These sites all point out that Google is under anti-trust scrutiny, and part of that is the purported $8–12 billion that Google pays Apple to be the default search engine on Apple devices; and … Continue reading “Apple is building a search engine?”

NBC reorgs cable networks, or, where is the value in entertainment?

Cable providers, fresh off their media company acquisitions, are getting hit hard by COVID — advertising revenue is way down, and cord-cutting has joined the long list of transitions that were already happening but got accelerated by the pandemic. But just because a trend is accelerating, doesn’t mean that the incumbents have any idea what … Continue reading “NBC reorgs cable networks, or, where is the value in entertainment?”

Good and bad M&A

It appears that Oracle has won the bid to purchase TikTok’s US operations. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Anyone who knows anything about Oracle has to seriously wonder what this is going to do. Sure, Oracle desperately needs to enter new markets, but … TikTok? At the other end of the spectrum, NVIDIA is acquiring ARM. Now, that deal makes a lot … Continue reading “Good and bad M&A”

WWDC and privacy

Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference was last week. As expected, one of the biggest announcements was that they’re moving away from Intel and to their own chips. And, although it wasn’t front and center, it was mentioned enough that I’m sticking with my prediction that this is all about “AI”, and we’re going to see … Continue reading “WWDC and privacy”

Mixer -> Facebook gaming

Perhaps you haven’t heard, but e-gaming is big business ($68 billion in 2018, growing by various estimates from 10% to 20% CAGR). Alongside e-gaming has come video-game streaming. The numbers have spiked somewhat during the global lockdown, but they were big even before — in 2019 there are about 12.5 billion hours watched across the four biggest … Continue reading “Mixer -> Facebook gaming”

Is the brand or the department store the destination? Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, and Facebook

With the COVID-19 global lockdowns, 2020 looks to be a banner year for e-commerce. Pretty much since the dot-com bust, there’s been a slow but steady growth in e-commerce. In fact, it’s become such a staple that you regularly hear people discussing as if it’s a monopoly. But in reality, it not only isn’t … Continue reading “Is the brand or the department store the destination? Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, and Facebook”