[conspire] HP Melt Down

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Aug 25 14:00:18 PDT 2011

Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben at mrbrklyn.com):

> The discrimination against older employees is very close to my heart, 
> but a different thread.

/me is gloating because he was 'carded' recently while buying a bottle
of wine.

[HP and the consumer-hardware market:]

> What upsets me is that it isn't either/or.  these guys JUST DON'T WANT

They don't want to compete in the market where you'd like them to.  Some
folks call that 'capitalism', though Views Differ<tm>.  

Anyway, speaking of capitalism and Our Lords on Wall Street, _The Wall
Street Journal_ just ran an opinion essay by the now startlingly hairless
Marc Andreessen (who has lately emerged as a venture capitalist) in
which he makes the point that _software_ is ultimately what matters and
is generating capital value, and that it's gradually eating up many
former hardware markets.  Worth time reading, IMVAO:


Elsewhere in this thread -- and relevent, so bear with me -- Paul Zander
expressed an understandable lack of comfort about the prospect of
Internet-connected refrigerators with RFID readers and automatic
shopping list generators (as an example of 'smart' appliances not
necesssarily being your friend).  Yes, quite, _but_ the problem is much
less that of 1950s hardware suddenly sprouting CPUs and network
capability than it is of those functions not being under _your_ control.
That ties in with Andreessen's point:

I _want_ properly selected and configured embedded appliances.  I don't
need them to be manufactured by HP.  In the final analysis, it matters
less to me who makes the hardware than whether I have full control of
what's in the firmware.  Smartphones?  Tablets?  DVRs?  Sure, but they'd
better be capable of being reflashed with CyanogenMod, or Meego, or
Debian, or something of that class. 

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