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July 17, 2012

Yahoo Homepage Before and After Marissa Mayer :)

Posted in Category: Tech — amr @ 12:15 am | link | | comment (0)
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Yahoo Homepage Before Marissa Mayer:

Yahoo Homepage Before Mayer

Yahoo Homepage After Marissa Mayer:

Yahoo Homepage After Mayer

Congrats :)

– amr

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November 15, 2011

The Geometry of Startup Valuations.

Posted in Category: Tech,Work — amr @ 10:40 pm | link | | comments (1)
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I frequently find that I have to explain to candidates joining Cloudera (and existing employees) how not to be overly concerned about dilution of their percent ownership when a company is experiencing strong growth.

Towards that end I created the chart below to illustrate how percent ownership is just a small part of the total equation. The core concept is that the “paper” valuation of your stock options is equal to twice the area of your sector under the pie, and the area of your sector is proportional to your angle (i.e. your percent ownership) multiplied by the radius squared (where radius is the stock price). Hence if a startup raises a new round of funding at a large radius then that quickly out weighs any shrinkage in the angle of ownership due to the to the squaring of the stock price. I am not saying that you shouldn’t worry about dilution at all, you should obviously try to get the best deal and keep dilution low, but don’t be overly obsessed by dilution, it is just one factor in the grand scheme of things.

Fortunate startups that demonstrate repeatability/efficiency of their business model raise additional funds at a large radius so that they can fuel further growth thus making the pie larger for everyone. On the other hand startups that get overly concerned by dilution and avoid raising money (depsite being in a growth market) can fall in a penny-wise pound-foolish trap where they end up being a zombie company that goes nowhere (I know many such startups, and by the time they realize their mistake it is usually too late).

Cheers,

– amr

PS: For stock options, the “paper” value is (area of sector) minus (cost of sector), where cost of sector is angle * strike-price^2.

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February 19, 2008

Blu-ray is still a loser.

Posted in Category: Tech — amr @ 6:31 pm | link | | comment (0)
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First, I assume every body saw the announcement today from Toshiba that they are raising the white flag and shutting down their HD-DVD format:

Toshiba Quits HD-DVD, Sony’s Blu-Ray Wins

That said, is Blu-Ray really a winner? I am not referring to fact that eventually downloading will take-over (downloading a 10GB HD movie still takes many hours over 1Mbps), but I am referring to fact that the standard DVD format still looks great if you have a DVD player with up-sampling technology.

I am a gamer and have eyes that are very sensitive to resolution, I totally see the difference between standard TV broadcast and HD TV broadcast, that is definitely worth it.

But it is very rare that I see a movie in Blu-Ray (on my PS3) which I think is far superior than a standard DVD with up-sampling (on the same PS3 btw). Only one movie impressed my eyes a bit in Blu-Ray format, and that was Crank. Even then, the difference was not so great to the extent that I would feel bad watching the standard DVD version with up-sampling.

What up-sampling does is increase the standard DVD resolution from 720×480 (NTSC) to the true HDTV resolution of 1920x1080p (note that smaller HDTVs run at 1920x1080i which “fakes” the 1080 by interlacing the odd and even lines). So the up-sampling is effectively expanding every 1×1 pixel from the original DVD resolution to roughly 2.67×2.25 pixels in the HDTV resolution by interpolating the possible values between the original 1×1 pixels. For a stationary photo the eye might notice the degraded picture and aliasing jaggies after this process, but for a moving picture it is very hard for the eyes to catch that.

In summary, don’t run out and buy a blu-ray disk player (unless you need a PS3 :) ), getting a normal DVD player with up-sampling is just as good and you will have more choices at Netflix/Blockbuster.

– amr

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January 2, 2006

Xbox 360 Review

Posted in Category: Tech — amr @ 4:20 pm | link | | comment (0)
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xbox 360

Now that I have enjoyed my xbox 360 for more than a week, its time to write a review for it.

First, the xbox 360 is not just a gaming console, its an entertainment hub, and it excels at that. The user interface is very intuitive, slick, and customizable. Its able to transparently connect to my music and photo folders on the desktop in the office room and play them on the TV and sound system in the living room.

Further more, since I have a Media Center Windows XP, I am able to control it remotely from the xbox 360 (through a technology called Media Center Extender) and play back movies, video clips, etc. For example, I used the xbox 360 remote control to connect to my media center PC, then I downloaded the “Crash” movie from Movie Link and watched it on the living room TV with Shirin (my wife, I am trying to validate the xbox 360 purchase to her by showing that its more than just games ;) ). We were also able to view our digital photo albums and video clips from our pc directly to the TV, which is much cooler than watching over a computer screen.

Now for the games, my favorite game for the Xbox 360 is …. “Halo 2:) Yes, it turns out that some of the games are backward compatible on the 360, and Halo 2 is one of them. The full list of backward compatible games is at:

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/backwardcompatibilitygameslist.htm

My second favorite game for the Xbox 360 is “Dead or Alive 4“, mainly because it has “Miss Master Chief” (aka Nicole or Spartan-458) as one of the fighter characters. The graphics is visually stunning as you would expect from Team Ninja, and the fighter model details are impeccable (though I noticed a bunch of hair intersection bugs here and there).  

Miss Master Chief (Nicole)

I also tried NBA2K6, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Call of Duty 2, and Perfect Dark Zero (aka PDZ). They are all ok, nothing super about them. It was cool how the players actually sweat as the basketball game proceeds in NBA2K6. I also liked the skeleton weapon in PDZ, it shows the skeletons of the other players in a special sniping mode for better aiming at the skulls ;) . The game play for Call of Duty 2 was really fun, a very nice W.W.II action game, you see and hear the bullets whizzing by you as you fight, but the graphics was not super impressive, not what I expected from a machine as powerful as the 360 is (I cant wait for PS3 and Kill Zone 2 to come out, the video clips for that blew me away)

Kameo

My kids (Ahmed 10 and Lina 8 ) *loved* a game called Kameo. The game graphics are so sweet, just like eye candy, and the variety of characters you get control of made it very enjoyable for them.

Also a bunch of the Xbox Arcade games that you can download with Xbox live are really fun. I liked a game called “Geometry Wars”  a lot, its very simple but darn addictive and beautiful, its like fireworks. Other cool arcade games are Zuma, Mutant Storm Reloaded (like Geometry Wars, but also supports two players at same time), Bankshot Billiards 2, and Hexic HD.

 The Xbox live integration in the 360 is also very well done. Not only is the integration well done within the xbox 360 environment, but on the web too. So there is a web page where I can go to see my gamer card, see all my current scores, see if my friends are online and compare my scores to theirs. You can also see a nice small version of the gamer card on the right sidebar of my blog.

  Another killer feature in the Xbox 360 is how you can download game demos, HDTV movie trailers, and many other content directly into the Xbox 360 from the Xbox Live Marketplace. I do not think we will wait long till we see MS/Xbox striking deals with TV studios to download your favorite episode of Lost or Battlestar Galactica (ala what iTunes lets you do now).

 So in summary, IMHO, there is no killer game out for the Xbox 360 yet, just a bit better games, but nothing super impressive. You are better off waiting for PS3 and Kill Zone 2 if you expecting a next gen game that will blow you away. However, if you need an entertainment hub, then you should go out and get the Xbox 360 (I sure like it).

– amr

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December 19, 2005

Welcome to my new blog!

Posted in Category: Tech — amr @ 4:27 pm | link | | comment (0)
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I am moving my blog from yahoo 360 to yahoo web hosting since it now offers nice integration with Word Press. The 360 blog is really ok for beginner users. I decided to move for the following reasons:

  1. I wanted to add content-match ads from YPN (which I have in the new blog)
  2. I wanted to get stats on visitors, referrals, etc.
  3. I wanted pagerank/webrank scores to be shared with my main domain (awadallah.com)
  4. I wanted to post more than one photo per blog entry, and add video too.
  5. I wanted to easily spell check my posts.

Going forward you can reach my blog postings here, and the RSS2 feed is at:

http://www.awadallah.com/blog/?feed=rss2

My old 360 blog is at:

http://blog.360.yahoo.com/amr

– amr

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