Friday, 26 August 2011
On Work æ
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
— Steve Jobs
Friday, 26 August 2011
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Megan McArdle for The Atlantic, in a piece on “sticky wages”:
When I was interviewing for my first job at The Economist, they asked me flat out why an MBA would be willing to take a job that paid $40,000. Part of the answer was, of course, that I needed a job. But that’s not what I said. What I said was also true: “I’m only going to be on the planet for a few short years. I want to do something that’s a lot more important to me than making money.”
I got the job. It now occurs to me that I might not, if my answer had sounded anything like “I need a job.”
Come up with good stories. They stick.
Jeremy Keeshin puts together a nifty little tool:
Facebook gives explicit numbers […] about how much they think you are looking for this person. I wrote a bookmarklet that makes it easy to see this list. Although you already know who you look at most, it is eerie to see the list they have come up with—and the numbers they give. The more negative the number, the more Facebook thinks you are looking for them.
Reuters on Acer, Taiwanese PC maker:
The chairman said while he expects the “fever” for tablet PCs receding and notebooks regaining consumer interest, Acer will still see a loss in the third quarter, though it would be better than the second quarter.
Had no idea that Acer is still in business. Sounds like its chairman is crossing his fingers that this iPad fever will simply go away.
Monday, 22 August 2011
Alexis Madrigal, for The Atlantic:
This week, I talked with Dan Russell, a search anthropologist at Google, about the time he spends with random people studying how they search for stuff. One statistic blew my mind. 90 percent of people in their studies don’t know how to use CTRL/Command + F to find a word in a document or web page! I probably use that trick 20 times per day and yet the vast majority of people don’t use it at all.
“Search anthropologist”. What a great job title.
Gizmodo’s “unedited thoughts” about Google:
You’re incredibly adept at collecting and sorting massive chunks of the world’s information. I’d probably die before going back to life before your mostly excellent internet services—namely Search and Gmail and Maps. They make my life better, for the most part. But why can’t you fucking design a phone or tablet or
anything socialthat’s actually easy for real people to use?
Sunday, 21 August 2011
The Local, on Facebook’s “Like” button:
“Facebook can trace every click on a website, how long I’m on it, what I’m interested in,” he said. According to Weichert, all the information was sent to the US company even if someone was not a Facebook member.
Saying this contravened both German and EU privacy laws, Weichert demanded websites in Schleswig-Holstein remove the ‘like’ button from their offerings by the end of September or face a fine of up to €50,000.
A lot seems to be going on in the German courts these days.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
It didn’t take long for me to encounter the dark side of this revolutionary device: it’s too good.
It’s too easy. Too accessible. Both too fast and too long-lasting. Certainly there are some kinks, but nothing monumental. For the most part, it does everything I could want. Which, as it turns out, is a problem.
Sure I might want to watch an episode of Weeds before going to sleep. But should I? It really is hard to stop after just one episode. And two hours later, I’m entertained and tired, but am I really better off? Or would it have been better to get seven hours of sleep instead of five?
Boredom: a precious state of mind. Like air, you won’t miss it till it’s gone.
Friday, 19 August 2011
Mr. Apotheker’s plan includes killing off the TouchPad tablet, introduced into stores only weeks ago, Pre smartphones and other WebOS products it acquired last year when it bought Palm for $1.2 billion. A spinoff of the PC unit would also reverse H.P.’s $25 billion acquisition of Compaq in 2002.
I don’t suppose it has anything to do with this report from three days ago:
According to one source who has seen internal HP reports, Best Buy has taken delivery of 270,000 TouchPads and has so far managed to sell only 25,000, or less than 10 percent of the units in its inventory.
Or this move from two weeks ago:
HP TouchPad discounted to $399.99 this weekend; $299.99 at Staples.
NochNoch, on the right question to ask children to ponder:
No one asked me what I want to do when I was younger, and I had always just pondered what I want to be – lawyer, banker, CEO, politician, doctor? I had a Tiger Mum all right, telling me what I should be doing or what profession I should take because it would make me the most money, and so I was drilled to achieve and polish up a CV for that very purpose. I was never asked – what do you like doing?
So instead of asking your children “What do you want to be?” when you grow up, ask them “What do you want to do?”
/via Jireh Li
The Economist, on a new study on attitudes towards redistribution:
Instead of opposing redistribution because people expect to make it to the top of the economic ladder, the authors of the new paper argue that people don’t like to be at the bottom. One paradoxical consequence of this “last-place aversion” is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions. […]
Poverty may be miserable. But being able to feel a bit better-off than someone else makes it a bit more bearable.
Sounds a lot like a “not it” mentality.
I don’t have a TV. I sold the last set that I owned before moving from Chicago to Washington, D.C., about a year ago. But I still watch plenty of television. Or, well, I listen to plenty of it. Whenever I’m at home by myself and working, I open a new browser window and put on a podcast or a TV show and let it play in the background, minimized, just for the noise.
This is the new paradigm. Why won’t the networks just embrace it?
To watch Fox content on the Web within eight days of its original air date, would-be viewers have to be a Dish Network subscriber with an online subscriber ID and password and be willing to log in every month or so. Hulu Plus subscribers can also access Fox programming, but the website makes no mention of that.
ABC will soon follow suit. Shame. Illegal workarounds are much easier.
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Emma (Portman) is a busy doctor who sets up a seemingly perfect arrangement when she offers her best friend Adam (Kutcher) a relationship with one rule: No Strings Attached. But when a fling becomes a thing, can sex friends stay best friends?
Dylan (Timberlake) and Jamie (Kunis) think it’s going to be easy to add the simple act of sex to their friendship, despite what Hollywood romantic comedies would have them believe. They soon discover however that getting physical really does always lead to complications.
Good-looking leads? Check. Sappy romantic premise? Check. Movie with the same premise released six months ago? Check.
Two women were taken into custody after they were discovered peering into cars in a downtown parking garage in Santa Cruz, Calif. One woman was found to have outstanding warrants; the other was carrying illegal drugs.
But the presence of the police officers in the garage that Friday afternoon in July was anything but ordinary: They were directed to the parking structure by a computer program that had predicted that car burglaries were especially likely there that day.
Just like Minority Report.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Core77 on Apple’s Fifth Avenue store:
We’ve just discovered Apple will be updating their iconic Cube structure at their midtown Manhattan retail location, replacing the current cube of 90 panes with just 15 massive, and I mean massive, pieces of glass (rendering at bottom). The slabs will be roughly 10 feet wide by a whopping 32 feet high, and held together using some sort of secret, proprietary connector that will reportedly be embedded within the glass itself, rather than being comprised of mere external clips.
陶傑, for Apple Daily:
別的創意沒有，香港人喜歡亂取英文名字，越冷僻越以為有型。取英文名字不要標奇立異，如果想上美國讀書，從俗隨眾，叫 John， Bill， Ted什麼的最好。千萬不要挖空心思扮有性格，扮歐洲人，像叫自己做窩夫更（Wolfgang），或者華格納，不，這樣的名字叫一千遍，也不成為天才，只會在校園中成為別人背後的笑柄。
且不說叫蘋果或香蕉了。有沒有叫 Ice-cream Chan，或者 Soufflé Wong的，只因為從小喜歡吃甜品？想像力要用在正確的地方，人家當面會憋住笑，因為你來自一個 GDP很高的國家，因為他欠你一屁股國債，但取名要小心，一個名字畢竟是尊嚴。
First impressions die hard.
Samsung can sell its latest iPad rival in most of Europe again after a German court lifted most of an injunction it had imposed at Apple’s request.
Darn it. Now the Galaxy Tab won’t be as attractive.
The Duesseldorf court said its ban still applied to Germany, and also to the German unit of Samsung, Samsung GmbH, throughout the European Union.
Perhaps there’s still hope.
Monday, 15 August 2011
I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.
And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.
The man has a point.
Sunday, 14 August 2011
That’s exactly what Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and executive Greg Heart are proposing in a patent application made public this week. The proposed invention would use the phone’s various sensors–gyroscope, infrared, camera–to detect if if the phone is moving and determine the risk of impact.
If it decides that the device is hurdling towards the sidewalk, it would trigger one of three proposed safety devices: an airbag system, jets of cushioning air or Inspector Gadget-style springs.
I’d prefer an airbag system. Put my name down for one.