Web 2.0: fizz or substance

Marc Andreessen has recently started his own blog.

An awseome addition to the conversation I’m sure you’ll agree.

One of his first posts is about Web 2.0.

He doesn’t seem to be a fan:

“Web 2.0 has been picked up as a term by the entrepreneurial community and its corollaries in venture capital, the press, analysts, large media and Internet companies, and Wall Street to describe a theoretical new category of startup companies.

Or a ‘space’, if you will.

As in, ‘Foobarxango.com is in the Web 2.0 space’.

At its simplest level, this is just shorthand to indicate a new Web company.

The technology industry has a long history of creating and naming such ‘spaces’ to use as shorthand.

Before the ‘Web 2.0 space’, you had the ‘dot com space’, the ‘intranet space’, the ‘B2B space’, the ‘B2C space’, the ‘security space’, the ‘mobile space’ (still going strong!)… and before that, the ‘pen computing’ space, the ‘CD-ROM multimedia space’, the ‘artificial intelligence’ space, the ‘mini-supercomputer space’, and going way back, the ‘personal computer space’. And many others.

But there is no such thing as a ‘space’.

There is such a thing as a market — that’s a group of people who will directly or indirectly pay money for something.

There is such a thing as a product — that’s an offering of a new kind of good or service that is brought to a market.

There is such a thing as a company — that’s an organized business entity that brings a product to a market.

But there is no such thing as a ‘space’.

And, as far as startups are concerned, there is no such thing as Web 2.0.”

This all doesn’t bode well for Brenda, Phil and Che, who will be the negative team in a celebrity debate that I’m going to be moderating at the next Webstock Mini on Tuesday 19th June.

If you’re going to be in Wellington make sure you book your tickets today and get along.

We’ll see you there!


Rumours last week suggested the upcoming “Leopard” release of OS X would use the ZFS file system.

I’d never heard of that, so I asked Wikipedia to fill me in:


It turns out that ZFS stands for “Zettabyte File System” (a zettabyte is equal to one hundred thousand million gigabytes!) and was developed by Sun Microsystems.

It is a 128-bit system, and has been designed to have storage limits which are “so large that they will never be encountered in practice”, so large in fact that it couldn’t be filled up without literally “boiling the ocean”:

“The mass of the oceans is about 1.4×1021kg. It takes about 4,000J to raise the temperature of 1kg of water by 1 degree Celsius, and thus about 400,000J to heat 1kg of water from freezing to boiling. The latent heat of vaporization adds another 2 million J/kg. Thus the energy required to boil the oceans is about 2.4×106J/kg * 1.4×1021kg = 3.4×1027J. Thus, fully populating a 128-bit storage pool would, literally, require more energy than boiling the oceans.”
Source: Jeff Bonwick’s Blog

You’ve gotta smile!

Recently closed tabs

As of this morning I have a new favourite Firefox feature:

History > Recently closed tabs

As the name suggests it lists any tabs that have been closed in the last wee while. It’s like an undo button for when you accidentally close the wrong tab.

Simple, but brilliant!

(extra: there is even an extension available which allows you to add this function directly to the toolbar)