Berkshire Hathaway's Board decides that the best bet in this market...is Berkshire.

Berkshire's board has authorized the company to buy back its own shares. Why? Because when the market is getting pummeled as it is now, all shares sink, regardless of the value of the underlying business. Nobody knows Berkshire's business like Berkshire and it sees an opportunity to buy itself low and then likely raise capital in the future by re-selling its reserve shares back to the market at a higher prices in the future.  The future price rise will not only be due to a turn the market, but also a sense that Berkshire will be among the best at recovery. So the company is arbitraging against its own reputation and succeeding, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Still with me?


Seriously folks, what was the big deal about The Hurt Locker?

I finally saw it. It is a war movie about Iraq. It does a good job of looking like modern warfare...and that's about it. As a movie it did not do what great movies do. It did not reach out with a great character or story or moment and grab you and hold you unable to look away for fear of missing something.

To the contrary, it followed some pretty set tropes: Person near the end of retirement in the line of duty; concerns about trusting the locals and/or humanizing them; contending with what it means to put your life on the line day after day. And I didn't see much to deal with these tropes in a new and interesting way.

Oooh, a female director. I am a big enough feminist not to care who directs my movie - boy or girl. Please just make it good.


Clean design reigns at Google, Amazon, ...even MSFT.

There is a revolution in design going on and I love it. Some of the applications and services I use most, Gmail, Calendar, Amazon, Blogger, etc. have launched simpler, cleaner interfaces that strip away the 'bubble gum' in their interfaces in favor of subtlety. It's like I traded in my 1980's 'future-cool' plastics for the warm teaks of Scandinavian design.

The thing that prompted the post was news of the new Windows 8 taskbar design. Look at that. No huge lists of stuff. Just settings, search, and thats...like ... it.

Check out the new gmail:

And calendar

And Blogger

And even Amazon...I mean to you remember how cluttered it used to be?

Need a reminder? Here's the previous version:

Look, I am sure we'll get back to world of clutter. Indeed, I think this just counterbalances the clutter we're seeing in our ad-supported content sites. To wit:

And NYTimes

Keep in mind that that's simplified from what we used to have as well. Anywho...I can enjoy my cleaner, clearer world for at least a little while.


So is a blogger a journalist or isn't he? Michael Arrington thinks he isn't and he might have convinced Aol.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch - the blog that provides not so much the pulse of tech as the whims of Arrington - will be stepping back as head of the blog to run a fund. Aol stated that it did so because Arrington has a conflict of interest and Aol is a journalistic organization.

Here's the context for this action:

  1. This is a blog about VC and investment. VCs blog all the time.
  2. Aol does have a large journalistic component, but it is not a newspaper.
  3. Aol will back Arrington's fund, so it too should have a conflict of interest in permitting him to write for TechCrunch.
So, are we breaking with the journalistic paradigm or not if the man gets to blog? Is knowing his background and dealing enough?