links for 2010-03-03

  • Last August, we wrote about Y Combinator’s latest idea: RFS, or, Requests for Startups. Basically, this allows the incubator to lead entrepreneurs in a certain direction based on trends they think will be hot. Y Combinator then selects the best ideas based around these guidelines to fund. The latest RFS (number 6), throws down a gauntlet, of sorts.”We think the iPad is meant to be a Windows killer.”Okay, yes, that’s slightly taken out of context ? but it’s still one hell of a way to rile up developers. And to light a fire under some would-be entrepreneur fanboys. Here’s the full statement around the sentence:Most people think the important thing about the iPad is its form factor: that it’s fundamentally a tablet computer. We think Apple has bigger ambitions. We think the iPad is meant to be a Windows killer. Or more precisely, a Windows transcender.
  • America’s Founders gave us a system of governance designed to limit government power and maximize liberty. The legislative branch is different from the executive, and the Senate is different from the House. No single branch has all the power. That can be frustrating for those with ambitious agendas, but everyone benefits by respecting those checks and balances even as we fight over policies.
    While the House is designed for action, the Senate is designed for deliberation. That is why Senate rules and procedures give a minority of senators the power to slow or even stop legislation. Both parties do it when in the minority, and both find it frustrating when they are in the majority. But such checks are central to the nature of the institution and to the Senate’s place in our constitutional system. These rules temper majority power and generate strong incentives to develop mainstream legislation that commands broad, bipartisan support.

  • Mobile phones are fast becoming the way consumers find coupons, research products, compare prices and make purchases. It makes shopping easier for consumers, but that doesn’t mean retailers are thrilled at the prospect of consumers consulting mobile phones from their aisles — after all, does Best Buy want you to know that the item in your cart can be had cheaper at Amazon — and purchased right now on your phone?
    “There is fear, but it is the new reality,” said Dan Butcher, a reporter at Mobile Marketer. “Retailers are becoming aware that consumers are using their phones in the store to make decisions. They’re realizing that they need to support that platform.”
  • Videos like this one remind me that I live in a very tiny corner of the universe.
    Only 8% of the people interviewed (out of a sample of over 50) correctly defined a browser. It also shows how effective Google has been in their approach to branding, especially given that they just aired their first TV commercial a few weeks ago.

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