Gongol.com Archives: July 2009
Brian Gongol

July 14, 2009

Computers and the Internet Know when to walk away, and know when to run
A Russian firm has offered to buy even more of Facebook, valuing the entire firm at $6.5 billion. Anyone who is holding on to shares in the company, which is not yet even publicly-traded, needs to sell out immediately. Sure, the valuation could rise even more. But, sooner or later, Facebook will be eclipsed by some other site or combination of sites. And when that time comes, the people who held on instead of selling out will look like the people who held stock in Yahoo when it was $400 a share. Internet companies have proven to be faster to rise and faster to fall than any other business segment in modern history. When someone comes along and offers ten times annual revenues for your firm -- and that's revenues, not profits -- and your only reason to hang on is the hope that your whiz-kid CEO will eventually start caring about making profits, then you need to make like a fighter pilot in a crippled plane and punch out. Something better will eclipse Facebook sooner than most people probably think.

Computers and the Internet Competition forces Microsoft to launch a free version of Office
A versin of the office-productivity suite will be available online for free sometime next year. Google already offers Google Docs and Sun backs the OpenOffice suite, so Microsoft's one-time virtual monopoly on word processing and spreadsheets has already been cracked. The announcement is a clear indicator that competition is making good things happen for computer users.

News Was the death of Michael Jackson a good dry run for a real disaster?
At least as far as stress-testing online communication services can go, the answer may be "yes"

Science and Technology GE claims it can make a house run on zero net energy from the outside
It's a project targeted for availability by 2015

Computers and the Internet YouTube is costing Google a fortune to maintain
At least $175 million a year, but possibly almost half a billion annually. That's a load of opportunity cost right there -- a half a billion dollars is a lot to keep on paying for something that only might become profitable in the future. It could certainly buy a ton of research and development.

Science and Technology The frequencies (in hertz) that form the musical notes we hear and like

Water News Is bottled water safer than tap water? In a word, no.