Dai's life public
Corey Arnold

Sent to you by Dai via Google Reader: Corey Arnold via Fubiz™ by Versa
on 3/31/12

Corey Arnold est à la fois photographe et pêcheur commercial. Basé en
Alaska, ce dernier cultive un amour pour la photographie et chercher à
immortaliser l’intensité d’une telle pratique ainsi que des moments
plus poétiques. Une sélection est à découvrir dans la suite.


Previously on Fubiz
- Kevin Twomey Photography
- Back to Childhood Series
- In Thoughts Series
Copyright Fubiz™ - Suivez nous sur Twitter et Facebook

Things you can do from here:
- Subscribe to Fubiz™ using Google Reader
- Get started using Google Reader to easily keep up with all your
favorite sites

Why Google Might Be Going to $0

Sent to you by Dai via Google Reader: Why Google Might Be Going to $0
via TechCrunch by James Altucher on 3/31/12

Editor’s note: James Altucher is an investor, programmer, author, and
entrepreneur. He is Managing Director of Formula Capital and has
written 6 books on investing. His latest books are I Was Blind But Now
I See and FAQ ME. You can follow him on Twitter @jaltucher.

Ken Lang could perform miracles. In 1990 we would head off to a bar
near where we were going to graduate school for computer science, and
we would bring a Go board. Then we would drink and play Go for five
hours. At the end of the five hours, after a grueling battle over the
board, I remember this one time when magically Ken would show up with
two girls who were actually willing to sit down and hang out with two
guys who had a GO BOARD in front of them. How did Ken do that?

Fast forward: 1991, CMU asks me to leave graduate school, citing lack
of maturity. The professor who threw me out still occasionally calls me
up asking me when I’m going to be mature enough.

Fast forward: 1994, one of our classmates, Michael Mauldin is working
on a database that automatically sorts by category pages his spider
retrieves on the Internet. The name of his computer: lycos.cs.cmu.edu.
Lycos eventually spins out of CMU, becomes the biggest seach engine,
and goes public with a multi-billion dollar valuation.

Fast forward: Ken Lang starts a company called WiseWire. I was
incredibly skeptical. I read through what the company is about. “No
way,” I think to myself, “that this is going to make any money”.

1998: Ken files a patent that classified how search results and ad
results are sorted based on the number of click-thrus an ad gets. He
sells the company to Lycos for $40 million. Ken Lang becomes CTO of
Lycos and they take over his patents.

$40 million! What? And then Lycos stock skyrockets up. I can’t believe
it. I’m happy for my friend but also incredibly jealous although later
in 1998 I sell my first company as well. Still, I wanted to be the only
one I knew who made money. I didn’t think it was fun when other people
I knew made money. And, anyway, weren’t search engines dead? I
mean,what was even the business model?

Fast forward: the 2000s. Almost every search engine dies. Excite,
Lycos, Altavista. Before that “the world wide web worm”. Lycos got
bought by a Spanish company, then a Korean company, then an Indian
company. To be honest, I don’t even know who owns it now. It has a
breathing tube and a feeding tube. Somehow, in a complete coma, it is
being kept alive.

One search engine, a little company called Google, figured out how to
make money.

One quick story: I was a venture capitalist in 2001. A company, Oingo,
which later became Applied Semantics, had a technique for how search
engines could make money by having people bid for ads. My partner at
the firm said, “we can probably pick up half this company for cheap.
They are running out of money.” It was during the Internet bust.

“Are you kidding me, “ I said. “they are in the search engine business.
That’s totally dead.” And I went back to playing the Defender machine
that was in my office. That I would play all day long even while
companies waited in the conference room. (See: “10 Unusual Things I
Didn’t Know About Google, Plus How I Made the Worst VC Decision Ever“)

A year later they were bought by Google for 1% of Google. Our half
would’ve now been worth hundreds of millions if we had invested. I was
the worst venture capitalist ever. They had changed their name from
Oingo to Applied Semantics to what became within Google…AdWords and
AdSense, which has been 97% of Google’s revenues since 2001. 97%. $67
billion dollars.

Don’t worry. I’m getting to it.

(Yahoo won hundreds of millions from Google on the Overture patent even
before Google amassed the bulk of their $67 billion in overall revenues
from AdWords)

Fast forward. Overture, another search engine company that no longer
exists (Yahoo bought it) files a patent for a bidding system for ads on
a search engine. The patent office says (I’m paraphrasing), “you can
file patents on A, B, and C. But not D, E, and F. Because Ken Lang from
Lycos filed those patents already.”

Overture/Yahoo goes on to successfully sue Google based on the patents
they did win. Google settled right before they went public but long
before they achieved the bulk of their revenues.

Lycos goes on to being a barely breathing, comatose patient. Fast
forward to 2011. Ken Lang buys his patents back from Lycos for almost
nothing. He starts a company: I/P Engine. Two weeks ago he announced he
was merging his company with a public company, Vringo (Nasdaq: VRNG).
Because it’s Ken, I buy the stock although will buy more after this
article is out and readers read this.

The company sues Google for a big percentage of those $67 billion in
revenues plus future revenues. The claim: Google has willfully
infringed on Vringo – I/P’s patents for sorting ads based on
click-throughs. I remember almost 20 years ago when Ken was working on
the software. “Useless!” I thought then. Their claim: $67 billion of
Google’s revenues come from this patent. All of Google’s revenues going
forward come from this patent. And every search engine which uses
Google is allegedly infringing on the Vringo patent and is being sued.

Think: Interactive Corp (Nasdaq: IACI) with Ask.com. Think AOL. Think
Target which internally uses Google’s technologies. Think Gannett,
which uses Google’s technology and is also being sued. Think,
eventually, thousands of Google’s customers who use AdSense.

Think: “willfully”. Why should you think that? Two reasons. Overture
already sued Google. Google is aware of Yahoo/Overture’s patent
history. The patent history officially stated that Ken Lang/Lycos
already has patented some of this technology. What does “willfully”
mean in legal terms? Triple damages.

Why didn’t Lycos ever sue? After Lycos had its massive stroke and was
left to die in a dirty hospital room with some uncaring nurse changing
it’s bedpans twice a day, Google was STILL Lycos’s biggest customer.
Why sue your biggest customer? Operating companies rarely sue other
operating companies. Then there are countersuits, loss of revenues, and
all sorts of ugly things. The breathing tube would’ve been pulled out
of Lycos and it would’ve been left to die.

Think: NTP suing RIMM on patents. NTP had nothing going on other than
the patents. Like Vringo/Innovate. NTP won over $600 million from RIMM
once Research in Motion realized this is a serious issue and not one
they can just chalk up to a bad nightmare.

(the beginning of the end for RIMM)

Guess who NTP’s lawyer was? Donald Stout. Guess who Vringo’s patent
lawyer is? Donald Stout. Why is Donald Stout so good? He was an
examiner at the US Patent Office. He knows patents. They announced all
of this but nobody reads announcements of a small public company like
Vringo. It’s hard enough figuring out how many pixels are on the screen
of Apple’s amazng iPad 3.

Well, Google must have a defense? Even though their AdWords results are
sorted by click-throughs in the way described by the patent maybe they
sorted in a different way (a “work-around” of the patent), and didn’t
infringe on the patent.

Maybe: But look at Google economist Hal Varian describing their
algorithm right here in this video. And compare with the patent claim
filed in court by Vringo. You decide. But it looks like the exact same
to me.

Maybe: But does Google want to risk losing ten billion dollars plus
having all of their customers sued. The district the case is getting
tried in rules 70% in favor of the plaintiff in patent cases. Most
patent trials get settled on the court steps.

Maybe: But then there’s still Microsoft /Yahoo search which, by the
way, sorts based on click-throughs and has not been sued yet.

Guess what? Google’s patent lawyer is Quinn-Emmanuel. They are
defending Google. Oh, and here’s something funny. Guess who Yahoo’s
lawyer is? Yahoo is suing Facebook for patent infringement in the
search domain. Quinn-Emanuel. So the same lawyer is both defending and
accusing in the same domain. Someone’s going to settle. Everyone will
settle. If anyone loses this case then the entire industry is going
down in the same lawsuit and the exact same lawyer will be stuck on
both sides of the fence. I’m not a lawyer but that smells. The trial is
October 16 in the Eastern District Court of Virginia and will last 2
weeks. An appeal process can take, at most, a year.

I’ve known Ken for 23 years. I’ve been in the trenches with him when he
was writing what I thought was his useless software. I watched his
company get bought and we’ve talked about these technologies through
the decades.

I’ve read the patent case. I watched Hal Varian’s video. Also look at
this link on Google’s site where they describe their algorithm. Compare
with the patent claim. I have a screenshot if they decide to take it
down. $67 billion in revenues from this patent. Imagine: double that in
the next ten years. Imagine: triple damages.

Vringo will have an $80 million market capitalization post their merger
with I/P. NTP won $600 million from RIMM using the same lawyer. RIMM’s
revenues are a drop in the bucket compared to Google. And compared to
1000s of Google’s customers who will be embarrassed when the lawyer
shows up at their door also. That’s why I made my investment
accordingly. Is Google going to take the risk this happens?

I doubt it.

You can think to yourself: “ugh, patent trolls are disgusting”. But the
protection of intellectual property is what America is built on. Smart
people invent things. Then they get to protect the intellectual
property on what they invents. Other companies can’t steal that
technology. That’s why we have such a problem outsourcing to China and
other countries where we are worried they might steal our intellectual
property. Patents are the defense mechanism for capitalism.

Ken can perform miracles. But no miracle would save me. At the end of
one evening of Go playing and beer drinking in 1990 we gave two girls
our phone numbers. I don’t know if Ken ever got the call. I didn’t. But
I guess I’m happy where it all ended up.


Things you can do from here:
- Subscribe to TechCrunch using Google Reader
- Get started using Google Reader to easily keep up with all your
favorite sites

在无锡,荣巷偶然看到的老房子。 (Taken with picplz.)

在无锡,荣巷偶然看到的老房子。 (Taken with picplz.)

崩坏的某教室内 (Taken with picplz.)

崩坏的某教室内 (Taken with picplz.)

未完成的小夜曲 (2011-07-07 13:52:56)转载
标签: 书评 石黑一雄 小夜曲 杂谈 分类: 读书笔记
石黑一雄在中国受尊重而不受欢迎并非偶然,就像写《肠子》的恰克·帕拉尼克在中国受推崇有其基础一样。单是石黑一雄的标志性的温柔的、追思的笔调,就足以令一般中国读者昏昏然。我们这儿,即便限定在严肃文学领域,口味也颇为躁动。这可以部分地解释为什么身边朋友都告诉我《小夜曲:音乐与黄昏五故事集》不怎么好看。其实这本书的水准并不次于同类作品,只是,有个问题在阅读过程中始终萦绕在我的脑际:以浪漫主义者为主角的小说还有没有前途?
 
这部短篇小说集包含五篇故事。简单概括其内容,《伤心情歌手》:前名利场中人落寞久矣,似乎对妻子情深意切,然而结尾情节陡转,他正在为了挽回名利而抛弃掉她。《不论下雨还是晴天》:成功与失败的两种生活,都含有平庸难耐的痛苦,惟有音乐带来片刻安慰与幻觉。《莫尔文山》:叙述者在莫尔文山邂逅了一对沉湎往事又伤心的老夫妇,随后又回到自己的孤独音乐中。《小夜曲》:不成功的音乐人去做整容手术,隔壁便是女明星,两人跨越了阶层,共建了短暂的世外桃源。《大提琴手》:来自匈牙利的年轻大提琴手在伦敦遇到了自称音乐大师的女人,可真相是她并不会演奏,“我确实是一个大师,只是我的才能还没有得到挖掘。你也一样。”她指导他,他居然接受了,就像浪漫、孤独的一对。女大师回归现实生活,嫁人了。七年后,有人看到了大提琴手,穿着不怎么好的西装,胖了,招呼服务生的动作有些粗鲁、愤恨。
 
前四个故事中都有相似的冲突,对垒双方便是名利与音乐(及其所象征的)。故事中,人们追求名利而不满足于名利,就像我们每个人一样。不同一般的是,他们真的转而去寻求音乐、温柔和爱的慰藉,而不只是想想而已。这就是为什么我称他们为浪漫主义者。问题是,后一种追寻同样镜花水月,最终他们只好重回现实的牢狱——这类故事总是甚少悬念。对此循环的意气难平,正是现代小说的母题之一。曾有一个时期,我们都会从中获得共鸣,可如今却该想:然后又如何?
 
让我们给“浪漫”下一个现代的定义:超越工具理性的感情企图。不只是超越平庸的现实,而是超越任何一种现实。既如此,以科学、思想的方法便无计可施,只好诉诸感情。我看到一个说法,“现代”是从1880年到1910年间开始的。在那前后,印象派画家们用画笔也用人生,画下了浪漫主义的壮丽余晖,第一次世界大战毁掉了欧洲人文传统,茨威格开始追思萨尔茨堡王朝的黄金岁月。“现代”把每个人纳入“系统”,政治、经济和科学的三头怪横行世界。从那时起,浪漫主义已死,此后的浪漫主义文艺作品,说到本质,都是对“余晖”的追忆而已。比如我们在《麦田里的守望者》和《在路上》中读到的已不是对“浪漫”的热望与肯定,而是哀挽了。
 
浪漫主义有一个天敌,便是这样一个观念:平庸是一种必须接受的存在。天文学、生物学、历史学等等,都支持人类是一种并不特殊的存在的事实。甚而有一种科学哲学观点干脆就叫作“平庸原理”,指的正是人类或者地球在宇宙中不存在任何特殊地位或重要性。倘若以此观念回顾《小夜曲》,我们就会感到其中的人物的苦恼无非庸人自扰而已。一个作家,倘若不是对文学传统的亦步亦趋,而能在下笔之际发乎本心,那么他该让自己的笔力更为深入才对。
 
不必举其他作品的例子来说明这一点。关于笔力如何深入,答案就在这本《小夜曲》自身之中。
 
这本书中我最喜欢的一篇是《莫尔文山》,它颇为平淡,但对于这样的题材来说平淡是合宜的。合宜即美。不过要说哪一篇真正具备文学价值,我觉得该算第五篇,没写好的《大提琴手》。
 
请注意的女主人公的话:“我确实是一个大师,只是我的才能还没有得到挖掘。”这话听起来可笑,可也非常严肃。生活中最受忽视的悲剧之一就是人生只有一次。如果我们只开一次车,只打一次网球,大半会失望收场,我们做事常常多次练习以至游刃有余,但是人生本身,居然如草稿一般,人们过得如何,不能不说有强烈的运气因素存在。倘若人生有无穷多次,那么女主人公的话就是对的。谁能说你不比泰格.伍兹更有打高尔夫的天赋呢?毕竟你没有自小练习。谁能确定梅西是世界最有天赋的球员呢?也许世上最有天赋的球员目前正在肯尼亚养鸡。你也可能是一个暴君,只不过你的邪恶还没有机会施展。同样,我们不能排除女主人公极有音乐天赋的可能性。我们能确认的只是,如此空谈自己的潜力是很不寻常的,另外她对自己有颇高的期许,属于高自尊人格。然后,注意她的下一句。“你也一样。”这意味着寻求伙伴。她要把未被挖掘的天赋传递给男主人公,就好像是一种基因传递行为。我们都知道,“传递”欲望即是生命的延续与扩展的欲望,也可以说是我们的诸多隐晦而升华了的性欲之一种。换言之,若说主题,这个故事讲述的是未能成真的“自我”如何影响真实的“自我”与如何介入世界。
 
自然,这个故事有一种奇妙的戏剧性,尤其是结尾,作为“传递”的主动的一方,女主人公“事了拂衣去”,男主人公的人生却因此完全改变。她到底意欲如何?亦是难测的弦外之音。
 
我喜欢这个构思。好的构思就是奇妙地解释了人生的构思,当然,也一定是难以写好的构思。石黑一雄照例用温和、超然的调子讲完了这个故事,好像一位专心赶路的司机,不介意自己错过了什么。在长篇小说《长日将尽》中,他质疑“荣誉”。在《千万别丢下我》中,他省思“道德”。那是他真正优秀的作品。他在赶什么路呢?浪漫之路。一条过时的、已被探明的路。
 
 
载 经济观察报 书评增刊