Monday March 30, 2020

Bragging Rights

In the refined world of supercomputers, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.  That’s what Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is doing by announcing El Capitan, a supercomputer that can process two quintillion calculations per second.  That’s two exaflops or better yet, 2,000,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second, an unimaginable number.  It will cost $600 million to build and will […]

The Future

It is hard to believe a Harvard graduate student said this to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon when the company was young and unproven.  The point of the article is that people judge businesses from the perspective of the present and not with an eye to the future.  They don’t have the vision and foresight […]

A CEO Challenge

This is a challenge to CEOs in general and those who are clearly overpaid.  Activists are targeting these executives, their boards and their companies.  The SEC-mandated rule that the pay ratio between top and bottom workers be published annually has served to spotlight the discrepancy in remuneration.  The problem is chronic.  CEOs don’t want to […]

Never-ending PR Challenge

Amazon has a never-ending PR challenge — fake goods.  Among its tens of thousands of vendors are scammers who manufacture inferior knock-offs of products and offer them on the Amazon site.  Amazon is aware of the problem and working to get rid of cheats, but it might be too large for the company to do […]

A Week Off

President’s Day was a chance to extend a holiday into a week off.  The vacation days were spent away from the media but for a newspaper on one day.  There was no intrusion of politics, caucuses, Trumpisms, fires, robberies, homicides and anything else that contorts the mind.  It was splendid with a pile of reading […]

Muddling

Japan is headed into another recession.  The country has never recovered from the crash of the early 90s.  Banks never took write-downs for bad loans and the government never faced the truth about over-leveraged positions.  It is instructive to remember the PR that Japan had in the late 1970s and 1980s.  At that time, Japan […]

The Prototype

One way to generate publicity is to design a prototype — what an object will look like in the future.  Every manufacturer does it, and this is just a recent example of what a future airliner might be. Will it ever be built?  Probably not.  It is a researcher’s and designer’s fantasy.  There are all […]

How Not To Win Friends

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is sinking and is in dire need of a boost.  One wonders if he can get it when he uses phrases like this to accuse citizens of lying.  Biden says it is a line from a movie, a John Wayne western, and he has used it before.  It makes no difference.  […]

Lame Duck

A challenge to politicians is the period when they are lame ducks.  They have either been voted out of office, voluntarily stepped down or are near the end of their final term.  They can propose changes but legislators can wait them out or vote them down without repercussion.  The bureaucracy has turned against them in […]

Hysteria?

The coronavirus raging in China has been the source of panic buying of masks, of mass quarantines, of hoarding, of business closures throughout China and cruise ship embargos in the US.  There is a real question whether the public has been consumed by hysteria or whether the virus is as dangerous as it seems to be.  […]