Sunday, October 12, 2014


Facebook and Google catch glimpse of split future

The likes of Facebook, Google and Alibaba keep dabbling in new, new things. The U.S.-based social network’s $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR earlier this year is a prime example. At the same time, old-school technology companies are headed for splitsville. They offer a glimpse into the future for their younger counterparts.

The $16 billion Symantec, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday, is considering separating computer security from the storage business built around the deal it struck in 2004 to buy Veritas Software for $13.5 billion. EMC, with a market value of nearly $60 billion, is under fire from shareholder Elliott Management, which wants it to disband its so-called federation. HP, valued at approaching $70 billion, just announced plans to divide, following close on the heels of similarly sized eBay’s desire to spin off PayPal.

That keeps with a broader market emphasis on focus. Investors in sectors from pharmaceuticals to mining and restaurants are demanding and rewarding companies’ plans to offload the dispensable parts of their businesses.

The new technology giants are moving in the other direction, though. Google, fueled by a profitable dominant market position in web search, is busy across the board, whether providing optical fiber broadband service to U.S. cities, developing driverless cars or buying companies like thermostat maker Nest Labs. Investors in Facebook don’t seem to mind the punt on Oculus or the much larger – if closer to social networking – WhatsApp messaging acquisition. Alibaba’s scattered investments include movies and a soccer club.

These three companies, each worth $200 billion or more, are becoming the conglomerates for a new generation. There was a time when HP could have thrown money at similar ventures and been applauded for the effort. No longer. In today’s market, such activities would serve as a black mark against almost any other type of enterprise.

Investors cycle between enthusiasm for specialized companies and a preference for diversified groups. There are always exceptions, too. While they’re young, fast growing and haven’t yet stumbled badly, investors can be forgiving of entrepreneurial dreamers. Bosses like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Larry Page and Alibaba’s Jack Ma also wield significant voting power, which may dissipate as the years go by. They should experiment while they can. Their carve-up time will come.
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Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.

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Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows.

Like you, I used to think the world was this great place where everybody lived by the same standards I did, then some kid with a nail showed me I was living in his world, a world where chaos rules not order, a world where righteousness is not rewarded. That's Cesar's world, and if you're not willing to play by his rules, then you're gonna have to pay the price.

You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don't know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide... and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I'm breaking now. We said we'd say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn't. Nature is lethal but it doesn't hold a candle to man.

You see? It's curious. Ted did figure it out - time travel. And when we get back, we gonna tell everyone. How it's possible, how it's done, what the dangers are. But then why fifty years in the future when the spacecraft encounters a black hole does the computer call it an 'unknown entry event'? Why don't they know? If they don't know, that means we never told anyone. And if we never told anyone it means we never made it back. Hence we die down here. Just as a matter of deductive logic.