I am a founder and CEO at SignalRank, a data driven technology company. I publish a weekly newsletter – That Was The Week – on Substack. The posts here are pulled from it. I also have a video podcast with Andrew Keenthat accompanies it each week. You can see the full catalogue on AnchorSpotify , Youtubeand Apple Podcasts. And I am a regular guest on Steve Gillmor’s The Gillmor Gang.

Month: July 2002

Internet

Burger King

A friend – Tom Ball – just sent me this from The Deal. Seems that the EBIDTA multiple was 7.3 – that’s very high. Still, its less than McDonalds and Wendy’s are trading at. It’ll be interesting to watch. “But for the buyer, opportunity abounds. Rival McDonald’s Corp. is trading at a 10 times Ebitda multiple and Wendy’s International Inc. is trading at 9.5 times. The TPG group is paying about a 7.3 times Ebitda multiple based on $310 million in Ebitda, or 30% less than the market multiples of Burger King’s competitors. Still, Burger King is a challenge. The

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Internet

Accountants

I love this John Dvorak comment: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,362052,00.asp Although accountants are needed in any business, they’re supposed to advise the company, not run it. If a CEO doesn’t want to listen to the CFO and goes off spending like crazy, finally going broke, that’s the CEO’s fault. And if the CEO lets the CFO run the company into the ground because of overly conservative ideas that do nothing but barely keep the company afloat, that’s also the CEO’s fault. Since the CEO is always going to be blamed, at least the CEO should make his or her own mistakes. What I’m

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Microsoft/RealNames, realnames

IE Monopoly

This story on CNet echoes some of the points I have been making. Particularly this sentence: “What we’re seeing with Web sites that are viewable only with IE is the privatization of the Web,” said Mozilla’s Baker. “And that’s a dangerous setting. We’re moving toward a world where all the capabilities of the Internet are reprocessed through a single filter, with Microsoft’s business plan behind it.” Actually – I’m not opposed to Microsoft having a big market share. And if their browser is good, its cool for people to use it. What is a problem is that Microsoft have begun

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Microsoft/RealNames, realnames

MSN “superior” user experience

I have not had time to fully examine Microsoft’s replacement for RealNames, however, there are a few obvious points to make. Firstly, the claim that the user experience offered by RealNames was in some way inadequate, and that MSN was planning to improve on it, seems to have been clarified. Here are a few examples. Firstly, try typing “Google” into the address bar of the IE browser. In the old days, with RealNames, the user would have been taken to … guess where….. Google. Now, the user is presented with this page. Notice the first result: MSN Search. Hmmm. How

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Microsoft/RealNames, realnames

Hack

Here’s a neat tip. Every internet connected computer has a hosts file. On Windows machines this file is in C:windowssystem32driversetc. If you are running NT, Windows 2000 or XP this may be c:winntsystem32driversetc. The file is called hosts or hosts.sam. A small modification can render Keywords active again – at least for as long as the RealNames resolvers are active. Add the following line to the file by editing it in Notepad. 204.29.171.10 auto.search.msn.com By doing this you fool the browser into directing all traffic from the address bar to RealNames resolvers. If your file is called hosts.sam rename it

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Teare Family,

Back

Well, I am now back from a 2 week family reunion in Mallorca, Spain. First time many of the 18 people have seen each other for 4 years. Great fun. …And on my return I can confirm that Internet Keywords were switched off on 28 June. Try typing any well known brand in the browser and you will be presented with a Microsoft interstitial advertising page. Direct navigation from a name to a page is gone. This really sucks as a user experience. Apart from the end of direct navigation the results are totally inconsistent. Sometimes MSN has a “top

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