Category Archives: Disruption

YouTube is Napster Done Right

Rumor has it that You Tube gave a bunch of equity to various large media companies to keep them at bay until a wealthy suitor could be landed. Napster tried to do something similar, but by the time they hit upon the strategy of cutting the media companies in, it was far too late.

If the rumors are true, then the media companies worked the deal in such a way as to screw all the other people who should be getting a piece of the action (like the actors, directors, producers, etc) from the pirated video that made YouTube what it is.

U.S. Military Uses the Force

U.S. Military Uses the Force

Against enemy tanks, however, electric defenses won’t do much good. And “any armored warfare guy would tell you that the biggest threat to light armored vehicles are heavy armored vehicles” like tanks, said Clark Murdock, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in an e-mail interview.

Talk about your disruptive technologies.

I am not a military expert, but this guy seems to miss the point. Rocket propelled grenades, which “electric armour” is effective against, are cheap and available in large numbers. There is a good chance that any adversary with access to anything beyond 50 year old bolt-action rifles, will be armed with lots of them. They are easy to conceal and carry, so they will be hard to knock out.

Tanks, on the other hand, are expensive, as are, I’d guess, the tungsten and depleated uranium rounds they fire. They will then be relatively scarce, compaired to portable arms. Those that do exist will need to be maintained and fueled, and, perhaps most importantly, they will stick out like a sore thumb, making it easier to mitigate the threat they pose.

RPGs, on the other hand will be difficult to control and difficult to spot until it is too late. It seems to make sense to worry at least as much about protecting a $100k (I’d guess) troop carrier with a dozen or so men in it against a lethal and effective $20 dollar weapon as it does to protect it against a slightly more lethal multi-million dollar weapon.