October 2009

Friday, 30 October 2009

Homeland Security Watch: “I believe what we have here is the beginning of the end of complacency.  It is now apparent to me that in the haste to ensure compliance with procedures that are inconsistent if not inarticulable, TSA has hastened the likelihood of failure.  If we do not insist that TSA work to create articulable policies that make sense, procedures that are explicit and consistent and training that supports both, then we are complicit in what will inevitably be an ultimate compromise of TSA.”


Thursday, 29 October 2009

What’s wrong with TV: a theory

Scott Berkun: “There are serious distorting effects on perception of reality that come from watching an average of 6 hours of television a day”


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The problem with VC motivation

Venture Hacks: “The not-so-secret fact about venture capital is that it has not made serious money for 10 years now. That means many, if not most, venture capitalists have not seen a large carry check in a decade. For those who don’t know venture economics, the partners in a fund contribute the first 1-3% of a fund with their own cash, which means most of us write checks worth > $100,000 every year to our own funds, sometimes a lot more.”


Saturday, 24 October 2009

America’s real quagmire

guardian.co.uk: “‘No one’ in the above sentence refers to the American people, whom Levin understandably sees as nobody in the eyes of the US media and political leaders”


Friday, 23 October 2009

Full Circle In Sight As Inventor Of The World Wide Web Signs Up For Twitter

TechCrunch: “could potentially rip a hole in the time/space continuum”


Thursday, 22 October 2009

Chart Shows How Few Missions To Mars Succeeded

io9: “The good news: Recent missions have a high success rate.”


Where are the free-market champions? Not on Wall Street.

Harold Meyerson: “It’s health insurers and big banks that are fighting against having their products displayed on open markets, where buyers might be able to find better (and more comprehensible) deals, or are resisting reforms that would open those markets to more competition.”


The Other Public Option

FiveThirtyEight: “Wherever the Wisconsin father ends up, there is something seriously wrong with our system of government when a guy pushing 40 with three kids has to sign up for a four-year enlistment in order to save his wife’s life. At that point ours ceases to be a fully volunteer army.”


Short Shameful Confession

I’ve been running Winows 7 on my work laptop for a while now, and I’ve been really happy with it. Some of this may be that XP was creaky and Vista unconscionable, but 7 better than both at their respective strong points, and in some ways better than OS X. It’s the first Windows install in, oh, ever, that I haven’t had to reboot 7+ times to pick up all the patches, and mostly things Just Work™ without needing to tinker.

(That link got to Amazon, not a RickRoll. Unless Windows 7 includes a RickRoll easter egg I’ve yet to encounter.)


Monday, 19 October 2009

Yes We Can (Pass Climate Change Legislation)

John Kerry and Lindsey Graham (!): “There is no reason we should surrender our marketplace to countries that do not accept environmental standards. For this reason, we should consider a border tax on items produced in countries that avoid these standards. This is consistent with our obligations under the World Trade Organization and creates strong incentives for other countries to adopt tough environmental protections.”


32 planets discovered outside solar system

CNN: “We have tons of them”


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Football, dogfighting, and brain damage

Gladwell: “When I give speeches, the first question is always: ‘What about these new helmets I hear about?’ What most people don’t realize is that we are decades, if not forever, from having a helmet that would fix the problem. I mean, you have two men running into each other at full speed and you think a little bit of plastic and padding could absorb that 150 gs of force?”


Saturday, 17 October 2009

News Release: First IBEX maps reveal fascinating interactions occurring at the edge of the solar system

SWRI: “… because the ribbon appears to be ordered by the direction of the local interstellar magnetic field outside the heliosphere, IBEX observations suggest that the interstellar environment has far more influence on the structure of the heliosphere than anyone previously believed.”


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Finding Your Co-Founders

TechCrunch: “Great, now ask yourself ‘are all of them roughly the same height?’ I’ll bet most of them are – you included. And therein lies the problem in finding co-founders for that startup you’re dying to launch.”


The Choice Myth

Judith Warner: “Why this matters — and why opening this topic up for discussion is important — is very clear: because our public policy continues to rest upon a fictitious idea, eternally recycled in the media, of mothers’ free choices, and not upon the constraints that truly drive their behavior.”


Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Calorie-Restriction Experiment

NYTimes.com: “‘I enjoy a regular glass of wine or drink at the end of the day,’ Peipert said. ‘But I think what I’ve learned on this diet is that I enjoy food more. I’d rather have a Häagen-Dazs bar at 190 calories than a gin and tonic at night at 170.’”


Marijuana Licensing Fails to Chase the Shadows

NYTimes.com: “As you can probably imagine, we’ve had all manner of interesting people come forward and say, ‘We want to be your producers.’”


The Federal Trade Commission’s Coming War on Bloggers

Valleywag: “But we can think of one way the FTC can help out investigative reporters: Go back and release in full the results of the 354 Freedom of Information Act Requests that it denied last year. ”


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

DRAM study turns assumptions about errors upside down

Ars Technica: “Another lesson that Google learned is that older hardware is much more likely to fail; at about about 20 months the error rate shoots up drastically.”


Monday, 5 October 2009

Ardi casts doubt on idea of a human killer instinct

WSJ.com: we evolved to make Wolkswagen, not war?


Thursday, 1 October 2009

National Geographic: "Indeed, the new evidence suggests that the study of chimpanzee anatomy and behavior—long used to infer the nature of the earliest human ancestors—is largely irrelevant to understanding our beginnings.”