DRAM class action settlement could mean free cash

Did you buy any PCs or gadgets at the turn of the century? If so, you could be in line to collect a few bucks thanks to a class-action settlement. The minimum payment is $10, but you could collect considerably more if, like me, you were a compulsive gadget buyer during that time.

To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • You purchased DRAM or a device containing DRAM;
  • The purchase was made anytime from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2002;
  • The purchase was made in the United States or from a seller located in the United States; and,
  • The purchase was not made directly from a DRAM manufacturer, but from a reseller such as a computer maker (Apple, HP or Dell), a retailer (Best Buy, Staples or Costco) or any other reseller (CDW, Ingram Micro or Amazon.com).

The deadline for submitting a claim is August 1, 2014. Submit claims directly online at www.DRAMclaims.com. If you don’t trust that newfangled Internet thingy you can call 800-589-1425 and have someone send you claim forms in the mail, no doubt shaking their head the entire time.

As always, the lawyers will collect millions. But I figure I’ll probably get enough to buy a couple USB 3.0 flash drives.

Beavis & Butt-head get a Series A round

In my inbox just now from the good folks at HBO:

Mike Judge (“Office Space,” “Beavis & Butt-head,” “King of the Hill”) brings his irreverent brand of humor to HBO in the new comedy series SILICON VALLEY.  Partially inspired by Judge’s own experiences as a Silicon Valley engineer in the late ‘80s, the show is a collaboration between Judge and Alec Berg (HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Seinfeld”) and kicks off its eight-episode season SUNDAY, APRIL 6.

The guy who made Beavis & Butt-head was a Silicon Valley engineer in the 1980s.

“Something can be a real failure until it’s not”

An enlightening interview with Satya Nadella in the New York Times. This part jumped out at me:

Culturally, I think we have operated as if we had the formula figured out, and it was all about optimizing, in its various constituent parts, the formula. Now it is about discovering the new formula. So the question is: How do we take the intellectual capital of 130,000 people and innovate where none of the category definitions of the past will matter? Any organizational structure you have today is irrelevant because no competition or innovation is going to respect those boundaries. Everything now is going to have to be much more compressed in terms of both cycle times and response times.

So how do you create that self-organizing capability to drive innovation and be focused? And the high-tech business is perhaps one of the toughest ones, because something can be a real failure until it’s not. It’s just an absolute dud until it’s a hit. So you have to be able to sense those early indicators of success, and the leadership has to really lean in and not let things die on the vine. When you have a $70 billion business, something that’s $1 million can feel irrelevant. But that $1 million business might be the most relevant thing we are doing.

Knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em is probably the single most valuable skill of a CEO.

“This blog is 12 years old. The reason it’s still here will surprise you.”

Apparently I’m not the only one who’s noticed that a steady stream of Facebook and Twitter updates is … missing something:

Ian Betteridge writes:

Some of my friends have moved away from creating things online and sharing them, mostly due to the ever-evolving pressures on their time: increasing families, work that becomes more time consuming. Houses. Even more kids.

But mostly, they’re sharing smaller and smaller snippets, on social networks. Or they’ve abandoned writing on their own blogs in favour of other platforms like Medium.

[...]

Who has time to write, when you can pump out status updates which let your friends and family know exactly what you’re thinking and doing at any moment? And why bother to think through what you’re going to say and express in in a few hundred words, when really all anyone cares about is the pithy headline, the punchy hook.

Ironically, I discovered this post because Ian tweeted a link to it.

An experiment

I’ve been publishing online since before the turn of the century. Most of my long-form work these days appears at ZDNet, where I’ve been a regular since 2006. (This month is my eighth anniversary there. My, how time flies.)

I started my personal blog at edbott.com much earlier, and before I signed on with ZDNet I posted regularly there. These days, I rarely use that site, although it still gets a fair amount of traffic from search engines. The energy I used to put into that site now goes mostly to Twitter.

So why this new site? It’s an attempt on my part to catalog the things I normally share via Twitter and also break through the 140-character limitation for things that deserve a long comment but aren’t worth a 500-word blog post.

As much as I love Twitter, I dislike the fact that it’s difficult to search. I’m also just a little nervous about Twitter’s future as its founders find themselves pressed to turn tweets into cash. I’m happy to participate in a community there, but not thrilled at the idea of being an unpaid contributor.

Having this space gives me an opportunity to save thoughts and links in a format of my choosing at a space that’s under my control.

As with my personal blog, I don’t plan to use traditional Web-style advertising here, nor will I knowingly use any form of tracking except for basic analytics. (I removed Google Adsense and Google Analytics ages ago.) I will occasionally share links to products and services that contain affiliate codes. When I do, it will always be for a product that I personally recommend from a seller that I trust.

Comments are open, at least for now. I might change my mind about that later. And there are RSS feeds if you’re into that sort of thing.