How the Frightful Five Put Start-Ups in a Lose-Lose Situation | NYT

How the Frightful Five Put Start-Ups in a Lose-Lose Situation; Farhad Manjoo; In The New York Times (NYT); 2017-10-18.
Teaser: The tech giants are too big. But so what? Hasn’t that always been the case?

tl;dr → Betterid’ge’s Law.  No. ]this time it’s different]
and → Problematizing the space, a jeremiad.
bad → Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft. branded as “The Frightful Five”


  • Frightful Five = Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft.
    Manjoo’s epithet for the circumscribed scope of these oped pieces ref
  • #sturtups
  • IBM
  • WhatsApp
  • Snapchat
  • Facebppl
  • Snapchat Stproes
  • Instagram
  • IAC
    • Origin
      • Barry Diller [Barry Diller's money]
    • Properties
      • Expedia
      • Tinder
      • Vimeo
      • Angi Homeservices, = Angie’s List + HomeAdvisor.


  • Dara Khosrowshahi, ex-CEO, Expedia.
  • Joey Levin,, chief executive, Uber; ex-chief executive of IAC.
  • Chris Terrill, chief executive, Angi Homeservices.


  • Clayton Christiansen, boffo.
  • Barry Diller, boffo; media tycoon, television.
  • Joseph Shumpeter, boffo.



In archaeological order, in The New York Times (NYT)…

More is Less: How Group Chats Weaken the Security of Instant Messengers Signal, WhatsApp, and Threema | Rösler, Mainka, Schwenk

Paul Rösler, Christian Mainka, Jörg Schwenk; More is Less: How Group Chats Weaken the Security of Instant Messengers Signal, WhatsApp, and Threema; working paper, a draft, a “preprint”; iacr:2017/713; 2017-07-24; 29 pages.


Secure Instant Messaging (SIM) is utilized in two variants: one-to-one communication and group communication. While the first variant has received much attention lately <snip>citations</snip>, little is known about the cryptographic mechanisms and security guarantees of SIM group communication.

In this paper, we investigate group communication security mechanisms of three main SIM applications: Signal, WhatsApp, and Threema. We first provide a comprehensive and realistic attacker model for analyzing group SIM protocols regarding security and reliability. We then describe and analyze the group protocols used in Signal, WhatsApp, and Threema. By applying our model, we reveal multiple weaknesses, and propose generic countermeasures to enhance the protocols regarding the required security and reliability goals. Our systematic analysis reveals that

  1. the communications’ integrity – represented by the integrity of all exchanged messages – and
  2. the groups’ closeness – represented by the members’ ability of managing the group – are not end-to-end protected.

We additionally show that strong security properties, such as Future Secrecy which is a core part of the one-to-one communication in the Signal protocol, do not hold for its group communication.

Forget Apple vs. the FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched on Encryption for a Billion People | Wired

Forget Apple vs. the FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched on Encryption for a Billion People; ; In Wired; 2016-04-05.


  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook
  • Brian Acton
  • Jan Koum
  • Moxie Marlinspike
    • <quote>Moxie Marlinspike’s girlfriend comes from a family of Russian physicists, and in 2013, she held a family reunion at the apartment she shared with Marlinspike. </quote>
  • Open Whisper Systems
  • w00w00; In Jimi Wales’ Wiki
  • Alternatives
    • Telegram, not encrypted by default or always


  • Brian Acton, founder, WhatsApp of Facebook.
  • Joseph DeMarco, expert, ex federal prosecutor.
  • Jan Koum, founder, WhatsApp of Facebook.
  • Moxie Marlinspike, self, Open Whisper Systems.

Facebook ARPU-US is $13.54/year, that is how much money you’re worth to Facebook | Washington Post

This is how much money you’re worth to Facebook; Hayley Tsukayama; In The Washington Post; 2016-01-27.

tl;dr → celebrating Facebook upon their earnings statement.


Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

Annualized: average revenue per user, per year; restated as an annualized rate.

Where 2015-Q4 2015-Q3
World-Wide $3.73 n/a
North America $13.54 $10.49

Product Line

The rest of the article is a rehearsal of the Facebook product line.

  • Free Basics, a closed-end ISP-type service
  • Messenger (Facebook Messenger)
  • WhatsApp

And the fantasy hobby projects

  • Drones
  • Lasers
  • Virtual Reality


Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft) Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future | NYT

Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future; Farhad Mamjoo; In The New York Times (NYT); 2016-01-20.

tl;dr → Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and also Netflix

Original Sources



  1. Amazon
  2. Apple
  3. Facebook
  4. Google (a.k.a. Alphabet)
  5. Microsoft
  6. Netflix


  • No telecoms
  • No CPU
    • Intel
    • ARM
    • (ahem) AMD
    • who else?
  • No GPU
    • Nvidia
    • (ahem) ATI of AMD
    • who else?
  • No Handlser
    • Samsung
    • LG
    • Foxconn
    • etc.



In The New York Times (NYT)


In archaeological order


16 mobile theses (a compendium, review & overview of 2015) | Benedict Evans

Benedict Evans; 16 mobile theses; In His Blog; 2015-12-18; podcast.


  1. Mobile is the new central ecosystem of tech
  2. Mobile is the internet
  3. Mobile isn’t about small screens and PCs aren’t about keyboards
    Mobile means an ecosystem and that ecosystem will swallow ‘PCs’
    It is the ARM ecosystem, not the Wintel ecosystem.
  4. The future of productivity
  5. Microsoft’s capitulation
  6. Apple & Google both won, but it’s complicated
  7. Search and discovery
  8. Apps and the web
  9. Post Netscape, post PageRank, looking for the next run-time
  10. Messaging as a platform, and a way to get customers.
  11. The unclear future of Android and the OEM world
  12. Internet of Things
  13. Cars
  14. TV and the living room
  15. Watches
  16. Finally, we are not our users



In archaeological order.

Mobile services: The message is the medium | The Economist

Mobile services: The message is the medium; Staff; In The Economist; 2015-03-28.


  • Quoted
    for color, background & verisimilitude

    • Benedict Evans, expert
      • Andreessen Horowitz
    • Venkatesh Rao, expert, bloggist
      • Ribbonfarm, a blog
    • Flurry
      • The messaging category has 100% growth yoy
      • The top-ten apps have 2B users
  • One Direction, a band


  • Facebook Messenger
    • Separated from Facebook (stream reader)
    • Something about deep links
    • Something about how “it’s a platform now.”
  • KakaoTalk
  • Line
  • Secret
  • Slack
    • business (software development culture)
    • 0.5M/users
    • 135 min/user/day
    • transacted 300M messages/month recently
    • has channels
    • $1B fantasy value 2014-10.
    • Fees: $7/month/user (billed to the corporate host)
  • Snapchat
    • proprietary publishing platform
    • Publishers
      • CNN
      • National Geographic
  • Spark
    • by Cisco
    • like Slack
  • Verse
    • by IBM
    • webmail & chat
    • Watson cobranding
  • Viber
  • WeChat
    • 1,100 minutes/month/user (there are 43,200 minutes/month)
    • Fees: transaction fees, virtual goods (add-ons, stickers)
  • WhatsApp
    • Bought by Facebook 2014 for $22M
    • 700M users
    • transacted 7T messages in 2014; 1K/user/year
    • Fees: subscription $1/year
  • Whisper
  • Yik Yak

The assembled Facebook announcements | VentureBeat, Quartz, Fast Company, Ad Exchanger

There are now at least 25 billion-dollar mobile internet companies | VentureBeat

There are now at least 25 billion-dollar mobile internet companies; John Koetsier; In VentureBeat; 2014-09-03.

tl;dr => promotes a paywalled catalog.; a listicle.


The list (mobile-first companies, with valuations  greater than $1B, sort desc):

  1. Twitter
  2. WhatsApp
  3. Uber
  4. Snapchat
  5. Dropbox
  6. LINE
  7. Gungho
  8. Square
  9. Pandora
  10. Colopl
  11. King
  12. Spotify
  13. Cheetah Mobile
  14. Kakao
  15. Supercell
  16. Cyberagent
  17. DeNA
  18. GREE
  19. IGG
  20. Rocket Fuel
  21. AirWatch
  22. Waze
  23. Evernote
  24. Instagram
  25. FunPlus


There are now at least 25 billion-dollar mobile internet companies

Billion dollar mobile internet companies

Inside Silicon Valley’s cult of youth | San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate

Inside Silicon Valley’s cult of youth; Kirsten V. Brown; In San Francisco Chronicle; 2014-05-03; paywalled.
Teaser: But some older workers defy industry image

Inside Silicon Valley’s cult of youth; Kristen V. Brown; In SFGate; 2014-05-04.