Archive for the ‘misc’ Category.

RIAA Enemy #1: Wal-Mart, Not Kazaa

Kevin Laws: RIAA Enemy #1: Wal-Mart, Not Kazaa:

So while the industry still has the ability to generate initial interest for a hit record, they no longer have the ability to get the message out in dying music stores or capitalize on that interest quickly. This has made it very difficult to create the next Britney Spears. It still happens, of course, but the primary advantage the big music companies had over potential new entrants is disappearing. While file sharing is starting to have a significant impact, it is Wal-Mart that has done the most to damage the RIAA members so far.

(Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything

Mike May regains his sight after 43 years of blindness

The Guardian: Mike May regains his sight after 43 years of blindness: “his remarkable account of seeing for the first time since he was three”

… I can’t fathom how sighted people go around seeing each other’s eyes without being flustered too.

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics

Andrew Odlyzko’s sensible 2 cents on the East Coast electrical outage

Andrew Odlyzko: Re: East Coast outage?:

Should oodles of money be spent
improving the power generation and transmission grid?

… [follow the link for back-of-the-envelope calculation] …

the true economic cost of suffering a blackout
once every 10 years is probably more like $400 million per year.
That does not buy much generating capacity or transmission lines.

Now we simply will have to build more power plants and transmission
lines, since electricity demand is rising. However, this costs
much more money than putting down fiber, and causes much more political
opposition. Given these constraints, the electric power industry appears
to be doing an excellent job.

Let’s hope that a reasonable analysis ensues,
leading to a sensible expenditure that fixes more problems than it creates. How likely is that?

Putting The “Power” In PowerPoint (in the Lessig style)

VentureBlog: Putting The “Power” In PowerPoint:

if you want to understand the “power” in PowerPoint, watch a Lawrence Lessig presentation. They are a fantastic combination of content, art and brand (if you’ve seen one of Professor Lessig’s PowerPoint presentations, you’ll forever associate the white typewriter font on black blackground with Lessig

So I watched the presentation at

and what can I say except What a great talk, what a great presentation.

Why IT Really Does Matter

A recent Harvard Business Journal article by Nicholas Carr entitled
IT Doesn’t Matter
is rebutted by Michael Schrage in CIO Magazine in Why IT Really Does Matter.

I’d say that good IT management is scarce enough to be relevant. The evidence: The ever-growing list of IT failures, many of which are for projects “that have been done before.” On the positive side, consider companies in commoditized industries, for which IT management is the only explanatory variable. (Schrage cites some good examples.)

Fear the Penguin

Naval Ravikant (VentureBlog): The New Platforms:

One of the nice things about being in the venture business is that one gets a large number of data points on what the innovative Independent Software Vendors are up to. In particular, it’s interesting to watch what platforms they are developing on, as it is a leading indicator of which one the next killer app might pop up on. Circa 1995, if you were writing mass-market software, you were writing for Windows (client) or Unix (server). Circa 1998, if you were writing software, the server side was Solaris / Unix and the client side was the web browser.

Today, most of the innovative apps are breaking out on many different platforms…

Predictions – Most killer apps will emerge first via web-based GUIs (client side) unless they involve 3D graphics or heavy filesharing, in which case they’re Win32 apps. Server-side killer apps will more easily emerge on Linux than on Windows. Some of the more interesting consumer-facing server apps are emerging just as quickly on Linux as on Windows (PVRs, online photo albums, music jukeboxes).
Fear the Penguin
, indeed.

Alan Kay: “The last 20 years of the PC have been *boring*”

Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

Richards J Heuer, Jr.:
Psychology of Intelligence Analysis
«We tend to perceive what we expect to perceive.»