Friday, November 21, 2003

Even More Social Networking Funding News

This just in from the Merc--Tribe.net raises $6.3 million from Mayfield. Still, it's not as bad as 1999. Back then, they would have invested $63 million in the first round!
Bad Idea Jeans

I'm an idea man, as Michael Keaton said in Night Shift. I love to come up with ideas and observations. The problem is, who has the time to work on their ideas?

That's where WhyNot comes in. This nifty little site lets you post your wacky ideas and get feedback on them. Who knows, maybe someone will actually take me up on my IM-English book translations!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Incredible Shrinking Paycheck

The Department of Labor reports that the in Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley, the average salary fell 17% from $76,300 in 2000 to $63,000 in 2002.

Meanwhile, the median home price in Santa Clara County fell 11% from $520,000 in 2000 to $462,000.

According to the U.S. government, a good rule of thumb is that you can afford to spend 2.5 times your gross annual income on your house. You think there might be a housing bubble?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

What Money Can Buy

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "The very rich are different from you and I."

"Yes," replied Hemingway, "they have more money."

I've noticed that the rich are different, not just because they have more money, but because they have more money.

Most of us live a sad existence working for The Man for one simple reason: we need the money. When we face the Dilbertian absurdity and unfairness of The Office, we don't stand up for ourselves and say what we really think because however unpleasant our cubicle might seem, it's better than huddling over a sewer grate for warmth.

The rich, on the other hand, don't need to swallow their pride and eat the excretions of their managers. Just look at the behavior of the well-off: Paris Hilton, Dennis Rodman, Mark Cuban--they do what they want, when they want, and don't give a damn what other people think.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy freedom.
The Imaginary Currency Exchange

It had to happen. Some enterprising entrepreneurs have created an online exchange for trading the currencies of virtual worlds like Ultima Online gold, There.com therebucks, and The Sims Online simoleons. My personal opinion is that almost anything associated with virtual worlds is a good long-term play--the question is whether or not you can afford to wait for the market to develop.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Avatars on Strike

Here's a fascinating article by Ted Castronova on the latest problem to hit EverQuest: labor troubles.

It seems that the Warrior class feels that the rules are stacked against them. To protest, the Warriors planned a mass protest in which all of the players would log in at the same time and air their grievances, bringing the world to a virtual halt.

In response to this threat, EverQuest's community manager announced that Sony would overhaul EverQuest's combat system to respond to the Warriors' complaints. As of right now, the Warriors are waiting to review the changes before they execute their protest plan.

Viva la revolucion!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Religious Spam

Here's a new one: today, I received my first religious spam:

"Where are you spending your ertinity? [sic]
Call a prayer hotline or visit a local church as soon as possible."

I guess when you weigh the cost of spam against the value of your immortal soul, the ROI looks even better for religious spammers than the average Nigerian emailer.

Do you think we could convince the Pope to add "Thou shalt not spam" as the 11th Commandment?