HBO and Apple

HBO announced today it’ll begin selling its services outside of the cable company lockup next year.

Could HBO be signaling the beginning of the end for the current horrible cable system? I hope so, but I’m also pessimistic enough to know there are a dozen ways this could go horribly wrong and for HBO to create a product everyone wants in a way that nobody will buy it.

Then there’s this:

The iPad is the big focus of the event, of course. But maybe there’s a new software offering for Apple TV, too? Or maybe HBO’s “next year” time frame aligns it with a new Apple TV in 2015Q1?

We live in exciting times…

How Will Google Make Money?

This is a fun one that showed up on Hacker News this week. It’s a ZDNet article from 1999, asking the eternal question, “How will Google monetize?”

When asked how the company plans to make money, Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page would only say what they won’t do. They don’t want to become a portal. No content. And they want to avoid competing with other search engines to be the browser of choice for existing portals. In fact, Page said Google doesn’t have any real competitors at all, which may be why they don’t intend to do much marketing.

How was Google scaling at that time?

[Larry] Page said he plans to use the $25 million to beef up the company’s infrastructure and technology. Google plans to more than quadruple its staff from 23 to 100 by years’ end, and has been buying PCs for its network in shipments of 80 at a time, though the company wouldn’t disclose exactly how many computers it has.

My, what a different world we live in today.

Updating an Elixir Talk

If you’ve seen Dave Thomas’ “Elixir: The Power of Erlang, the Joy of Ruby” talk in the past, you know the script.

But now it’s changed. If you’ve seen Dave Thomas’ ElixirConf presentation, “Think Different”, then you know about his “Parse and Transform” revelation.

Now he’s combined the two talks to update the “Power” talk. There’s video from the Goto; Conference available now to see the update:

He live codes for close to 40 minutes to show about transformation and — the camera is zoomed in and doesn’t show the screen until about 27 minutes in. UGH UGH UGH. Can’t wait for the next time Dave gives this talk and ConFreaks records it. They’ve spoiled us into expecting more from these con videos…

The iPod is the Gift People Want to Keep Giving

There’s a new class action lawsuit claiming that Apple used DRM on
iTunes to block out Real fans from playing their music on iPods.

Because Apple loves to charge less than 99 cents for everything. Why, if it weren’t for DRM, Apple would have had to compete and charge 79 cents per song just like everyone else. No, wait, nobody else did that, except the illegal Russian sites that would sell full Beatles albums for a dollar.

So then Apple got rid of the DRM lock-in — Steve Jobs wrote a letter and everything — that led to unfairly high prices that overcharged consumers and — raised prices of music to $1.29 for the first time.

The judge didn’t throw out the suit and now it’ll go to a “jury of peers” that don’t understand technology.

Stupid legal system.

Let’s not even get started on judges not understanding the tech world and the whole ebooks thing…

Rovio in Decline

Wait, someone didn’t see this one coming?

Angry Birds maker Rovio is laying off 16% of its staff, admitting that the company’s headcount had swelled based on ‘assumptions of faster growth than have materialised’.

They IPO’ed on the back of one successful video game. People on Wall Street bought stock in the company based on that. What were any of them thinking?

The app-based video game market is basically a lottery. You can game the system (ironically) to get better results, but it’s still a long shot that any one game will hit anywhere near as big as Angry Birds. To invest money in a company thinking that they’ll be able to repeat that success is pure folly.

Granted, Rovio isn’t nearly as evil as Zynga or anything. They didn’t steal their games. (Oh, and hello to King Candy there, too, while we’re at it.)

But an IPO for a game company with one success on its resume? That’s pretty stupid.

Yes, Minecraft might be the exception to this rule, but for a whole host of reasons that make it different from any game app maker trying to make money by giving away its game and then tricking people into spending big money on add-ons.

30 Days Hath September

I don’t know that I ever mentioned it on the blog before now, but my goal in September was to post to this blog every single day. It started when I noticed someone else doing some kind of 30 days challenge for September. I think the goal was to write 500 words every day, which for many people is roughly a blog post. For me, that 500 number showed up a lot, but it wasn’t the goal.

The goal was to build momentum in blogging again. I wanted to see if blogging would beget blogging. I wanted to see if I had anything to say, or could find new things to say every day.

That all seemed to work out, though it didn’t go quite as expected.

I didn’t expect this to turn into a Perl blog. I write Perl for my day job, but usually spend my hobby time at night doing something else. Lately, it’s been Elixir, which I still love. But work got busy and some of that bled into my hobby time in the best possible way. I’ve been learning lots of new things to help modernize what we have at work. I’m enjoy that tremendously and spending lots of time at nights working on new Perl things that I can bring back to work.

(The cynical out there would call this Resume Driven Development. Honestly, I just enjoy it.)

But spending time with Perl kept bringing up interesting topics, mostly about how far the Perl world has fallen, but still…

I had hoped to write more substantial posts. More tutorials. More code samples. I just didn’t generate that kind of material this month for various reasons.

I have a few posts I’m very proud of, though:

So, yeah, good month. Wish it was more technical. Wish there was more code examples. But I accomplished what I set out to do in broad strokes.

Now I’m having trouble deciding what to do with October. Better think fast… There’s always Inktober, but I don’t think I could manage the time on that one… I did one today (the Venom Pez Dispenser, but that was just dumb luck. (Also, I’m not very good at inking. Not good at all.)

Stay tuned…