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Dana Blankenhorn

 
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  • Apple vs. Google: The Client vs. the Network [View article]
    Increasingly the networks and the cable companies are Google's competitors. They are a bottleneck from the consumer's side, but they're also a bottleneck for whoever is most anxious to sell massive amounts of bandwidth to consumers. That's Google.
    Jul 5 04:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple vs. Google: The Client vs. the Network [View article]
    I think you underestimate the strength of Google's infrastructure. That's not a cut -- just about everyone does. Because Google doesn't talk about it.

    And when I'm talking about their infrastructure advantage, I'm not talking about search. I'm talking about server farms, fiber networks, etc. -- the stuff that lets you do anything.

    There's a reason why Google has encouraged free services for years. The more we use the Internet, the greater the financial strength of this key advantage becomes.
    Jul 5 04:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • News Corp.'s New Direction [View article]
    If the British government is forced to do a u-turn on BskyB over the hacking of a murder victim's phone mail that would not only kill the direction of News Corp. but could put James Murdoch's ascendency to the head of News Corp. itself at risk.

    So far, however, that outcome seems unlikely, although the scandal takes a nastier turn each day and a Cameron divorce from Murdoch's interest might be the only way to "draw a line" as the Brits say, under all this.

    Here's the latest from the Telegraph blogs.telegraph.co.uk/.../
    Jul 5 01:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time to Short First Solar? [View article]
    India media indicates today that the country is more interested in wind power for its lower fixed costs than solar. www.business-standard..../
    Jul 5 10:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solar Power Is Booming but Solar Stocks Are Not [View article]
    It can all be made obsolete and much simpler through plastic systems that don't need mounting. www.renewableenergywor...
    Jul 5 10:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solar Power Is Booming but Solar Stocks Are Not [View article]
    That's the PC version of solar power I'm looking for and looking forward to. It's not here yet, but it's coming. We're still in the Heathkit era. No more than 5 years is my estimate, because the opportunity is so ginormous.
    Jul 5 09:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solar Power Is Booming but Solar Stocks Are Not [View article]
    I don't think that's necessarily a loss to the public investor. VC work is hard. It's not easy money. You can lose your shirt. It takes work. If you have ordinary money you don't want to get into a competition with "smart money," just other ordinary money.

    I'd rather play poker at a table with other chumps than at one with a champion, wouldn't you? Unless you think you're a champ.
    Jul 5 09:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Pharma Faces Trouble as FDA Becomes More Like Its European Counterpart [View article]
    Whether an expensive drug must be paid for from a common pool is an emotional subject, I know.

    But no common pool can survive unless limits are placed on access to it. That's true for private insurance pools as it is for public government ones.

    So what are those limits to be, and who will determine those limits? Europe seems to have figured this out, and thus has an enormous advantage over the U.S. in terms of both costs and outcomes.

    They do it by having panels of experts look at the comparative effectiveness of various treatments, and approving payments only for those which are safe, effective, and cost-effective. (In direct answer to your question, yes the regulators have genuine medical expertise.)

    This point is at the heart of our present health care debate. You can call those "Death Panels" all you want, scream bloody murder about "getting between a patient and their doctor" but what's the true alternative?

    We know what it is. The common pool goes broke and can no longer provide adequate care to increasing numbers of people, resulting in poorer health -- on aggregate -- at higher cost.

    It's way past time we were honest among ourselves on these choices. The fact that the FDA panel ignored the heartfelt personal pleas of some patients who either have benefited from Avastin or believe (with or without evidence) that others MIGHT is a turning point.
    Jul 3 11:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Pharma Faces Trouble as FDA Becomes More Like Its European Counterpart [View article]
    Not often. Avastin was previously approved, including for breast cancer. The FDA deciding, through a unanimous scientific panel, to remove that certification for breast cancer is thus a very big deal.
    Jul 3 11:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Needs to Sell Something [View article]
    A lot of people seem to have glommed on to this idea that I want Google to buy Overstock.com now now now and become a retailer.

    That's just one example of what Google can do, profitably, with its infrastructure.
    Jul 3 11:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Needs to Sell Something [View article]
    Assets that aren't fully exploited make their owners vulnerable, in time, to people who sill fully exploit them. Assets can be fully exploited in a humane way, or an inhumane one. Google does consider the humanity of what it does. Other owners might not. Thus it makes sense to me that Google monetize its assets, and not let opportunities go by that are within its wheelhouse -- like selling digital content and cloud computing services.
    Jul 3 11:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Needs to Sell Something [View article]
    I don't think Google needs to give up on what it does. I think going down the sales funnel is entirely additive.
    Jul 3 11:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Needs to Sell Something [View article]
    Google is going into solar to support their own business model. Solar does more than grow a renewable surplus. It also assures reliability for Google facilities using it. A day-time blackout in a city with a Google office won't know Google offline in any way.

    As to using their facilities to host other events, I don't think that's key to their business model. I do agree they need to be better known wherever they have offices (I hadn't known until recently that one of my near neighbors works for Google in Atlanta) but that's more an image thing than a profit one.
    Jul 3 11:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Needs to Sell Something [View article]
    I agree there are competitive opportunities in the prices charged publishers by Amazon and Apple. But it's more important Google get into this business for its own sake. Advertising is become increasingly worthless, and the way to growth has to be going deeper into the sales funnel.
    Jul 3 11:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Immelt Plan for Energy [View article]
    I don't think we disagree nearly to the amount it seemed at first. Since this was written, by the way, GE announced it will open a cadmium telluride plant with capacity of 1 GW in 2014.
    Jul 3 11:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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