Jul 22

Your tax dollars at work:  Our U.S. government has no problem spending a trillion dollars on an optional war in Iraq.  Or spending many trillions bailing out rich Wall Street bankers to reward their greed and avarice.  But when it comes to deploying a FREE, open-source Web browser on government computers?  Now you’ve really gone too far, man!

Firefox not allowed! The U.S. State Department currently uses Microsoft Internet Explorer as its one and only Web browser.  At a town hall meeting led by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, a new State Department employee asked Clinton to “please let the staff use” the Mozilla Firefox browser.  The employee pointed out that Firefox had been “approved for the entire intelligence community,” and that it’s a “much safer program.”  The rookie’s question was met with a chorus of applause from the audience.

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Mar 12

Even billionaires are getting slammed by the global economic crisis.  Forbes Magazine found only 793 billionaires for its annual list of the world’s richest people.  This represents a drop of 30 percent from last year and the first decline since 2003.

The total net worth of people on the magazine’s “Richest List” fell 46 percent to $2.4 trillion.  The average billionaire is now worth only $3 billion, 23 percent less than last year.

Despite losing $18 billion in wealth, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates regained the title of world’s richest man with a net worth of $40 billion.  Warren Buffett is #2 with $37 billion.

Mar 12

If you have a software startup and are looking to raise big money from venture capitalists, Silicon Valley in California is the place to be.  But new data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Thomson Financial shows that several cities outside Silicon Valley have the highest growth rates for startups and venture capital (VC) investments over the past decade.

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Jan 31

A debate is raging on the ‘net these days as to whether all software, music and digital content should be free.

Wouldn’t it be great if all software was free?  And if cars, homes, sex and big-screen TVs were free too.  And I wish I could stop paying my taxes, fly like a bird, see through solid objects with X-ray vision, and poop out golden eggs by the dozen.

But unfortunately there’s a big difference between fantasy and reality, and in the real world:

If something has value,
we have to pay for it.

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Dec 19

Launching a startup software company is like legal gambling:  The stakes are high, the odds are against you, but with persistence and good luck, you could strike it rich.  But as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money, and software startups can burn through cash like a brush fire through Silicon Valley.  So the trick is to find enough capital to fund your startup until it can sustain itself with customer revenue, without giving up too much ownership and control to your investors.

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