6TB drives

Capacities increase again.

Western Digital just announced 5 and 6TB capacity HDDs, the latter just $300.

Expect to see 10TB before long as new technologies achieve the heretofore impossible. The HDD is far from dead.

600,000 books. $10 monthly storage cost.

Amazon moves forward.

For $10 a month Amazon will allow you to read any one of some 600,000 titles for no additional charge. As I buy some 6 books a month from them this is a slam dunk.

The library as we know it has long been doomed, and this will only spur its demise. High time we redeveloped all that costly real estate and put it to better use. Yes, Hitler would be proud. Now we really can burn all those books with no feelings of remorse, together with the diseases they carry in their pages.

The next step will be to extend this service to art and photography books which take up the most space and poundage in the average home. Please, Amazon, get on it. And while you are at it, Mr. Bezos, wrest control of obscenely priced academic books from the likes of the thieves at Pearson and add them to your service.

Signing up is a one click thing and this is the result:

How to blow $7bn in 3 months

Monkey Boy rules!

All of the CEOs of Microsoft.

Microsoft closed its acquisition of a near-dead Nokia for $7bn in April, 2014.

Yesterday it announced 18,000 layoffs, mostly from the 25,000 Nokia workforce, cementing Ballmer’s achievement of perhaps the greatest waste of money in corporate history. And you thought the US military was a spendthrift?

New CEO Satya Nadella has a dream job. After all, how could anyone be worse than Ballmer?

Wall Street loved the move, naturally:

No need to get excited about anything MSFT makes. Yet. Excel is fine. Otherwise, fughedaboutit.

As for Ballmer, with a net worth of $18bn, he’s living proof of the dictum that has it “It’s who you know, not what you know”. Or should that be “Screw up and go up”?


A mystifying economic phenomenon.

One of the stranger manifestations of our celebrity obsessed culture is the premium value accorded to personalty owned by famous people.

A recent example is the proposed auction (Bonhams, 11/30/2014) of Yevgeny Khaldei’s Leica III, which is expected to fetch $400,000 or more. The photographer and his camera are famous as the takers of the famous – if staged – image of Russian soldiers planting their foul flag on Berlin’s bombed out Reichstag parliamentary building. Not long after they were busy building the Berlin Wall.

Hey. mister! Can you spare $500,000 for this clunker?

I have no issue with Khaldei having staged this scene – the Recihstag had fallen to the Russkies a couple of days earlier. Many great images have been staged – the Marines on Okinawa, Capa’s dying Spanish Revolutionary soldier, etc. – but the images remain powerful and relevant to the history of the time. After all, all paintings and sculptures are posed and it’s not like we are about to trash Michelangelo’s Pieta just because the subjects were modeled by a street bum and a whore and the real things had been dead for nigh on 1500 years if, that is, they ever lived in the first place. All these pieces are outstanding examples of their respective genres and deserve the accolade of value which economics attributes to rarity and quality.

But why on earth would you pay $399,500 over the market price for Khaldei’s Leica III when good used ones remain abundantly available. I should add that the model III was not an especially good camera in the first place, given its pressed metal construction. (The later IIIC finally adopted die castings which made for a much more robust tool). Then again, people will pay up for one of Steve McQueen’s motorcycles or for gowns worn by Audrey Hepburn.


Khaldei’s Recihstag image, complete with Ivans.

The ever arrogant Germans, oblivious as ever to outside sensibilities have, needless to add, recently renovated and reopened the structure.

The Reichstag today.

Horst at the V&A

Coming in September.

That supreme master of style, Horst P. Horst, is being profiled in a Victoria & Albert Museum show in London this September.

Click the image for details.

Many of my teenage days were spent in this wonderful arts and crafts museum and it’s great to see the master thus honored.

More about Horst here.