Monday, November 26, 2007
Around the 'Tubes
by Tom Bozzo
- Shorter Charlie Stross: The fat client of today is the thin client of tomorrow? A central point of Stross's is that the transition to server-based apps is well upon us — indeed, at home, I barely fire up the likes of M$ Office except to view the odd document I pull down from the Web. He's onto something in the recent Halting State that successful server-based apps of the future will need to be distributed to avoid the scale-related usability problems endemic to those without the computational resources of the Googleborg. (I.e., servers bog down faster than the revenue stream can pay for upgrades.) That, in turn, will require vast improvements in telecom infrastructure even in parts of the world that are part of modernity let alone the non-FiOS U.S. hinterlands. Also, giving a few percent of one's mobie's processor cycles to the array of social networking apps, MMORPGs, etc., that one might end up signing up for could add up to some serious CPU loading. One thing is for sure: there is a substantial bloatware tax built into the price of most PCs.
- Chris Uggen gets greeted "Hello youngster" at a Lincoln dealership. Ford marketers jump out of windows. This is by way of a post speculating as to why the automotive assets of households at the 95th wealth percentile are relatively modest, according to the Fed's Survey of Consumer Finances. Chris notes an age-wealth relationship as a possible contributing factor (in the U.S., the age distribution of wealth peaks in the pre-retirement decade). It's true that the sort of cars you see middle-Americans of the white hair set driving are domestic models with steep depreciation curves, but there are status displays therein — it's just that the younger generations no longer recognize the subtleties of them. It follows that more of the Domestic Three's marketing divisions will follow Oldsmobile into the toaster. Squawking will be heard from Some — mostly franchisees clamoring to be bought out.
- Interesting to see the distribution of prices from a warbird dealer — from just under $2M for a Best in Show (2005 EAA) P-51D to thirty grand for a Hawker Hunter that last flew in '92. I might go for the MiG-17 at $135K with spares, even though the paint job is of questionable taste. I can only assume that the MiG-17's bargain status relative to the eye-watering Cirrus SR-22 sticker reflects the Cirrus having such features as safety, economy, and utility. H/T Cold Spring Shops.