Category Archives: Business

Revenge Of The Jedi

The browser wars return.

This particularly caught my eye:

Firefox 3.0, for example, runs more than twice as fast as the previous version while using less memory, Mozilla says.

The browser is also smarter and maintains three months of a user’s browsing history to try to predict what site he or she may want to visit. Typing the word “football” into the browser, for example, quickly generates a list of all the sites visited with “football” in the name or description.

Firefox has named this new tool the “awesome bar” and says it could replace the need for people to maintain long and messy lists of bookmarks. It will also personalize the browser for an individual user.

“Sitting at somebody else’s computer and using their browser is going to become a very awkward experience,” said Mitchell Baker, chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation.

Sounds like a market opportunity to me. I have a few ideas about how to solve it.

Some Questions For John McCain

From George Will:

You say that even if global warming turns out to be no crisis (the World Meteorological Organization says global temperatures have not risen in a decade), even unnecessary measures taken to combat it will be beneficial because “then all we’ve done is give our kids a cleaner world.” But what of the trillions of dollars those measures will cost in direct expenditures and diminished economic growth–hence diminished medical research, cultural investment, etc.? Given that Earth is always warming or cooling, what is its proper temperature, and how do you know?

You propose a “cap and trade” system to limit the carbon dioxide that many companies can emit. Is not your idea an energy- rationing proposal akin to Bill Clinton’s BTU tax?

He has more, not related to climate change.

Also, a long paper on the futility of trading hot air.

What Could (And Should?) Have Been

Rob Coppinger has some thoughts on SpaceShipOnePointFive.

I suspect that Alex, and perhaps Sir Richard, are now regretting their decision to not take advantage of the bird in the hand, holding out for the flock in the bush. They probably (in fact, almost certainly) didn’t anticipate the development problems they’d have with the propulsion system, though they were warned. I suspect that they (like Burt) drank too much of the hybrid koolaid, and were lulled into complacency by the success and (apparent, though this was an illusion) safety of the SpaceShipOne engine.

As for the comment that a passenger wouldn’t have paid the costs of the flights, I don’t buy it. They could have charged much more than a couple hundred thousand for the first several, perhaps even few dozen, flights. But we’ll never know.

Broken Logic

There’s an interesting discussion in comments over at Selenian Boondocks on the value of microgravity processing (that veers into other subjects, such as utility and value of propellant depots). I think that Jon gets the better part of the argument, and that “Googaw” is overreacting to overhype. Not to mention ignorant of orbital mechanics. As Jon says, I don’t think that he’s thought through the concept of a propellant depot in GTO.