Thursday, April 19, 2012

Apropos of nothing

More random things I found interesting recently:

  • Hawley Channels His Inner Schneier
    This is the fundamental political problem of airport security: it's in nobody's self-interest to take a stand for what might appear to be reduced security. Imagine that the TSA management announces a new rule that box cutters are now okay, and that they respond to critics by explaining that the current risks to airplanes don't warrant prohibiting them. Even if they're right, they're open to attacks from political opponents that they're not taking terrorism seriously enough. And if they're wrong, their careers are over.
  • Valve: How I Got Here, What It’s Like, and What I’m Doing
    Valve was designed as a company that would attract the sort of people capable of taking the initial creative step, leave them free to do creative work, and make them want to stay. Consequently, Valve has no formal management or hierarchy at all.
  • Battle for the internet
    The Guardian is taking stock of the new battlegrounds for the internet. From states stifling dissent to the new cyberwar front line, we look at the challenges facing the dream of an open internet.
  • Cybercrime And Bad Statistics
    The problem is that the cybercrime estimates are based on surveys of individuals, surveys that ask essentially “what did cybercrime cost you this year?” There may be other ways to get this information, but companies are unlikely to answer questions about cybercrime. Hence even the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) must rely on surveys.
  • The Lost Steve Jobs Tapes
    The lessons are powerful: Jobs matured as a manager and a boss; learned how to make the most of partnerships; found a way to turn his native stubbornness into a productive perseverance. He became a corporate architect, coming to appreciate the scaffolding of a business just as much as the skeletons of real buildings, which always fascinated him. He mastered the art of negotiation by immersing himself in Hollywood, and learned how to successfully manage creative talent, namely the artists at Pixar. Perhaps most important, he developed an astonishing adaptability that was critical to the hit-after-hit-after-hit climb of Apple's last decade. All this, during a time many remember as his most disappointing.
  • Fark's Drew Curtis Explains How To Beat A Patent Troll (And Live To Tell The Tale)
    The key lesson: don't negotiate with terrorists. As he points out, patent trolls have cost the US economy significantly more than terrorist attacks.
  • Oracle v. Google trial: evidence of willful infringement outweighs claims of approved use
    Presumably the parties wanted to show the best evidence right at the start, hoping to shape the way jurors are going to look at the tons of information they will receive in the coming weeks. Google's lawyers undoubtedly made the most out of the evidence they found in favor of their equitable defenses, but there is only so much that presentation can do when substance is lacking.
  • Memeorandum Colors 2012: Visualizing Bias on Political Blogs
    This automated analysis is not a commentary on the personal opinions and beliefs of any blogger -- no amount of linear algebra can prove that. What this shows is the biases in their linking behavior: the stories that each site chooses to cover, or not cover, and their similarity to others like them.

Read anything interesting lately? Let me know!

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