Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins

Founding Editor of SiliconANGLE. Executive Producer of theCube.

Featured Posts

Archives

Jacob Li Hopkins’ Newcomer’s Guide to Dr. Who.

This is less of a guide to Dr. Who for Newcomers, and more of a guide to Dr. Who *by* a newcomer. Every time my son Jacob and I go to the comic store, he wants a Dr. Who toy. Jacob, who is six, has never watched an episode in his life. So we were there at the store the other day, and again he asks for a Dr. Who toy, again. In response, I say to him “You can’t even tell me anything about Dr. Who. You don’t watch it.” And then he proceeds to tell me all about Dr. Who. Apparently, he has researched it on the Internet. Knowing my son, he probably remembered from the last time I’d told him that at the comic store, and had been sitting on the information for months, just waiting for me to bring it up again. After we left the store, we went to Denny’s where I had him re-tell to me most of what he had told me in the store. It was just as good the second time around as the first. Note, this is published “Creative Commons, Attribution.” If you want to remix it, just link back to the...

PayPal is impressed with Braintree. I’m not.

First of all: congratulations to Accel Partners, NEA and the other investors that did well with Braintree’s exit to PayPal. Secondly: I haven’t talked to John or the other editors at SiliconANGLE to see what their thoughts are on Braintree, so I might be out on a limb in my analysis.. and speak only for myself. That said, I’m not nearly as impressed with Braintree as PayPal is for one simple reason: Bitcoin. We interviewed Bill Ready, the CEO of Braintree on ‪#‎theCube‬ back in May at the Accel Partners Symposium, and prior to coming on the air, I asked him a couple of questions to gauge his feelings on the crypto-currency that at the time was dominating the news cycle. His direct reply to me was, with a slight smirk, “I think Bitcoin is a volatile currency best for countries with depressed economies. I don’t see it as relevant.” He went on to explain that Braintree had “no plans for the crypto-currency.” David Marcus, the President of PayPal said today in a blog post: “I admire Braintree because they were one of the very first companies to understand the power of real mobile-first experiences. I’m not talking about traditional e-commerce ported to your mobile device. I’m talking about groundbreaking experiences offered by companies like Airbnb, OpenTable, Uber, and TaskRabbit. Light, powerful, massively disruptive, and thoroughly delightful, they are all powered by Braintree.” Braintree offers some interesting advantages in mobile first technologies, but based on what I’ve seen of their attitudes towards mobile, they’ve got an eye more towards increased efficiencies and good marketing, not disruption. Braintree is doing...

This RSS Reader Puts Out

I’ve had at least a few people pitch me their RSS readers in the last few weeks telling me how their method of news consumption is so far superior to the Google Reader method. If I thought that GReader sucked, I wouldn’t be upset that it was gone. I’d have migrated away years ago – it was certainly easy enough to do. Don’t pitch me your RSS reader or newsreader by telling me you’re better than GReader. It’s not going to work. It’s like telling me that I’ll love this girl you’re setting me up on a date with because she’s so much better than my wife who just died. Not the best pitch method....

Breeching the gulf of space and time …

What you’re looking at is a picture of my great-great-great-great paternal grandfather Edward Hopkin’s tombstone, located near Neath or Margam, Glamorganshire in Wales. Based on my research so far, he and his wife lived in the area their entire lives, never venturing outside the area, during the first half of the 19th century. Written at the bottom of their tombstone are the words: "ni cheir hi er aur periag ni ellir fwyso fi cwerth hi o arian." I’ve very recently become enthralled with looking into the past, specifically through the lens of the genealogy of my family. It is, perhaps, an interesting hobby to take up for someone who is professionally obsessed with the future, and perhaps even doubly interesting for someone who is adopted, and thus not genetically tied to their known ancestors (as perhaps most genealogical researchers are). I’ll leave aside the very interesting technological discussions one could have about the nature of big data and what it is that the digital archiving seeks to do in the modern age (and trust me, there’s a very interesting structured v. unstructured data exposition to be had there). I’ll save that for another time. What is particularly fascinating to me, at least at this moment, is the wormhole in time that technology has allowed me to hear the last words of one of my ancestors (mind you an ancestor of no great particular historical import, in the grand scheme of things): "The value of my wife cannot be measured in riches nor gold." It’s not what most would call the most earth-shattering sentiment ever expressed by an individual, but...

A Few Thoughts on Maintaining Audience and Creative Integrity

Justin Kownacki put together a thought provoking piece, and addresses what is, to me, the most interesting aspect of not just writing, but anything that involves audience building (which for me, includes building blogs and video vehicles like like and on demand programming). He quotes George Saunders (emphasis, Justin’s): "If there are 10 readers out there, let’s assume I’m never going to reach two of them. They’ll never be interested. And let’s say I’ve already got three of them, maybe four. If there’s something in my work that’s making numbers five, six and seven turn off to it, I’d like to figure out what that is. I can’t change who I am and what I do, butmaybe there’s a way to reach those good and dedicated readers that the first few books might not have appealed to. I’d like to make a basket big enough that it included them.” But then Justin asks the question: "What if the tactic you employ to reach “those good and dedicated readers the first few books might not have appealed to” actually alienates the audience you do have?" This is a question I ponder regularly. I began my blogging career as a youngster in the 90s creating pages on Tripod. I moved on to Diaryland, chronicling to an audience my weird life working with nerds in the dot-com era boom and bust cycle. Eventually I started more heavily newsblogging around the time of 9/11, and turned it into a career as a freelancer. Then I focused on one type of tech while I was at Mashable, and here at SiliconANGLE, we’ve gone with...

How Big is Big Data? IDC Says Only $24B. I Say “Close, But No Cigar.”

Derrick Harris posted about IDC, who finally released a Big Data market sizing report. The headline from the post is “IDC says big data will be $24B market in 2016; I say it’s bigger.” Research firm IDC is predicting a big data market that will grow revenue at 31.7 percent a year until it hits the $23.8 billion mark in 2016. That’s a big number for a relatively new market, but it only tells part of the story of where big data technology will make money. Defining “big data” isn’t always an easy task, and breaking it out into a group of separate technologies might not be either. While this report appears to subsume a May 2012 report from IDC predicting an $813 million Hadoop market, it certainly doesn’t include the market for analytics software. In July, IDC predicted that market — which is a critical piece of the overall big data picture — would hit $51 billion by 2016. (Heck, IBM’s Steve Mills said he expects IBM to do $15 billion in analytics revenue itself by 2015.) I generally like Derrick work, but he’s totally ignoring (or nicking?) the good work that Jeff Kelly did earlier in 2012 on the Big Data market sizing report. Originally published in Februrary, and updated in November of last year, it put the Big Data market at $53.4 in 2016. From Jeff’s report: As of early 2012, the Big Data market stands at just over $5 billion based on related software, hardware, and services revenue. Increased interest in and awareness of the power of Big Data and related analytic capabilities to gain...

Gee willakers. It must be obvious day on Camp Stupid. [Happy Birthday!]

Mike, our engineer at SiliconANGLE and #theCube, alerted me this morning that the Free Music Archive is having a contest to replace the Happy Birthday song. The Free Music Archive wants to wish Creative Commons a Happy Birthday with a song. But there’s a problem. Although "Happy Birthday To You" is the most recognized song in the English language and its origins can be traced back to 1893, it remains under copyright protection in the United States until 2030. It can cost independent filmmakers $10,000 to clear the song for their films, and this is a major stumbling block hindering the creation of new works of art. A panel of judges that doesn’t include Geddy Lee or Zach Wylde (but does include Lawrence Lessig) will determine which entrant will win some sort of funky distribution agreement that includes recipients at “Jai Alai squads and bowling alleys.” I’m not making any of this...

My Thoughts on the Impending(?) Ruin of America

One of the things that drove my political inclinations on this election cycle was the runaway spending and how addicted we are to our entitlements and military security. This doesn’t have anything to do with political ideology, although if you attach yourself too firmly to political ideology, you’re probably not going to like this post. Of course, the “solutions” on fixing our economic and fiscal crisis are “obvious.” The left says “increase taxes, cut the military.” If we raised tax rates on all income brackets to 100% at the federal level, we still wouldn’t have enough money to pay off the debt. Even if our debt were zeroed out today, we can’t afford to live in the PRESENT, as is. Our CURRENT spending is so high, that taxing 100% of the ‘rich’ wouldn’t pay the CURRENT bills. As for the military? Don’t be simplistic and naive. Why do you think all these European countries have the luxury of trying things like socialized medicine? Why do you think Japan was able to rebuild their economy after being literally nuked? It’s because the US military was used for their border protection, instead of just our own. The world doesn’t like to admit it, but they rely on the US to be the world’s policemen, and they don’t pay us for it. Perhaps it is time to retreat into our own borders and let the world descend into utter chaos? You’d rather have that? What effect do you think that would have on our economy? I don’t advise it – I do think that a slow and wise draw-down on our presence...

Facebook’s Launching an External Ad Network (or are they?).

I’ll make this quick, because I’ve spent most of the evening searching my old coverage of Facebook from 2007 in an unsuccessful bid to back up with written word what I remember predicting repeatedly back then – that Facebook would (or should) launch an external ad network. I distinctly remember feeling a bit embarrassed when I had to publish this post at Mashable, that detailed precisely what Project Beacon was (and wasn’t – that is, a threat to Google). I remember using the line “you can never go wrong underestimating the foresight of the Facebook ad team” several times over the years. All that to say, I’m pretty sure that I’ve made the prediction a few times – just not sure exactly where that prediction showed up. My guess is that it’s lost to history in one of the mis-managed Mashable podcast archives. Why did I waste all that time tonight looking up what I said way back when? Because Mathew Ingram at GigaOm published a post that supposedly confirms that Facebook is finally doing just that – launching an external Ad Network. He says it’s because of the new Privacy and TOS that Facebook is implementing that puts the writing on the wall that this is becoming a reality. I didn’t find his logic nearly as convincing, though, as I found these court documents that John Furrier came across last month. We never published anything on it, mostly because we’re really not in the business of highlighting it when our competitors are involved with Wall Street scandal, but if you do peruse the linked documents, you’ll find that the Wall Street...

Breaking Analysis: A Timeline of the Autonomy Acquisition

CNBC has been doing a pretty decent job getting first hand perspectives from the players involved with the big news out of HP today, with regard to the alleged fraud and writedown of Autonomy that came along with today’s quarterly earnings from HP. CNBC has been repeatedly pointing to the fact that Wall Street Analyst Jim Chanos spotted this potential situation earlier than other street analysts, back in June of 2012. Ahead of the curve, as always, SiliconANGLE and the enterprise analysts at Wikibon picked up on this much, much earlier. Below, a timeline that documents our breaking analysis before, during, and just after the Autonomy acquisition. 12/16/2010 – Will Oracle and MSFT bid on Autonomy? AllThingsD speculated on rumors of a buyout earlier than most other publications. 8/18/2011 – HP Spinning Off PC Business? What about webOS? The first mention of the official Autonomy buyout confirmation at SiliconANGLE. The news at SiliconANGLE and elsewhere was largely overshadowed by news that broke the same day that then-CEO Leo Apotheker was sunsetting both WebOS and the PC division at HP. After Apotheker was dismissed from HP, the company later wisely decided to keep the PC division. 9/22/2011 – How To Guide For HP Unwinding Autonomy Deal – By Wikbon’s David Cahill John Furrier and David Cahill detailed how and why HP should pay $117 million and end the buyout attempt on Autonomy. From the post: The $117 million Mulligan: Extending HP’s focus up into the application layer is a dangerous exercise with material integration and selling risk. Entering the application arena by acquiring a rollup of well-marketed but legacy software...