November 2007

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Verizon Picks LTE As 4G Wireless Broadband Path

CNN: “That leaves Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) on its own.”


Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The Biggest Mobile Story of 2007 is not the iPhone Launch

Dan: “in the process they have created something entirely new in the industry: a mass-market mobile phone platform that is completely open to the application developer community”


Monday, 19 November 2007

Blowing Bubbles

Stephanie: “This isn’t a bubble. This is just a shift in power.”


Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

Telegraph: “But some are taking a cooler view.” – FAIL

Are journalists now so starved for “balance” that they can’t report on a new, incomplete, and untested theory without taking time out to play off people who think it’s promising but incomplete against people who think it’s incomplete but promising?

I read news articles these days in a constant state of dread for the moment where the reporter has to throw in the sentence starting with “But some…”. In political reporting, this means you’re about to get an insightful and equally valid (read: ridiculous if plausible-sounding) opposing viewpoint from a respected member of the political establishment. In the computer press they don’t even try to hide the fact that the “balance” is coming from paid PR flacks. In science, where you can actually test what was claimed … what exactly are they reporting?

Are journalists supposed to have the barest understanding of the field they cover any more? Could they take some time to figure out what actually happened, and not outsource the work to someone who either has an agenda or can’t know the answer? Are they actually supposed to report so that the reader learns things, or is this just so much gossip with the smokers out behind the gym?

The only journalists that seem to think they’re actually supposed to inform you are, ironically, the ones inside the gym: sports reporters. This might be because it’s a lot easier for a reporter to know what happened when it happened right in front of them and the officials kept track. It might be because sports reporting draws passionate people who care about the field they’re covering but can’t directly be involved with it. Either way, people like Bill Simmons actually seem to know what they’re talking about. This does not mean I agree with Simmons – I probably disagree with him more often than not (and not just about his Pats’ obsession) – but his writing actually says something.

A clearly stated opinion with supporting facts can be disagreed with. A muddled and conflicting set of opinions with no factual content just leaves people confused and causes them to fall back on their base assumptions.

Lisi’s theory will be studied and tested. If the tests turn up something, the theory will be studied further. If the tests turn up nothing, the theory will be quietly discarded like the thousands of other theories that didn’t turn out to be right.


U.S. Hopes to Use Pakistani Tribes Against Al Qaeda

U.S. Hopes to Use Pakistani Tribes Against Al Qaeda – this worked so well the last time?


Monday, 5 November 2007

Dept. of Criminology: Dangerous Minds

Malcolm Gladwell: “If you’re keeping score, that’s a Jacques Statement, two Barnum Statements, four Rainbow Ruses, a Good Chance Guess, two predictions that aren’t really predictions because they could never be verified – and nothing even close to the salient fact that BTK was a pillar of his community, the president of his church and the married father of two.”


Andy and others on “free” business models

David Beckemeyer: “Someone needs a history reminder. Google DID NOT have a ‘plan’ for doing so. They eventually stumbled upon adwords and they have been riding that one trick pony ever since. These investors invest in My Space, LinkedIn, Facebook, et al because they hope those companies will be so lucky too.”


Sunday, 4 November 2007

TIME: “This reshaped online landscape leaves me feeling old and out of the loop.”


Saturday, 3 November 2007

How You Got That Extra Hour To Sleep “Time zones were developed to keep trains from crashing into each other”


Thursday, 1 November 2007

Vroom, Vroom: Formula 1 Orders Teams to Go Green

Wired:: “Despite the recent push, F1 is behind the curve with regard to green technology. The Indy Racing League, which includes the legendary Indianapolis 500 race, already uses 100-percent ethanol, and General Motors has been pushing NASCAR to adopt a similar rule.”