6th August, 2011
Paul Krugman on the S&P rating downgrade:
It’s hard to think of anyone less qualified to pass judgment on America than the rating agencies. The people who rated subprime-backed securities are now declaring that they are the judges of fiscal policy? Really?
5th August, 2011
Michael Lopp on context switches, creativity and OS X Lion:
Let’s talk about the Zone [...]. This is that magical place where you’ve managed to fit the entire context of your current project in your head. With all this content in there, you can perform superhuman acts of productivity and creativity because you have the complete problem space at your mental disposal.
The Zone is a sacred place. Staying or even getting there is difficult and OS X Lion really does help.
4th August, 2011
I've borrowed the title from John Gruber, who has covered the recent absurd statements from Google, claiming that Apple, Microsoft and others are attacking Android with their patents. Paul Thurott joins the critics.
In polls, as many as 80 percent of software engineers say the patent system actually hinders innovation. In other words, it does exactly the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. It doesn’t encourage them to come up with new ideas and create new products, it actually gets in their way.
How anyone can believe software patents in Europe is a good idea is beyond me.
17th July, 2011
The Guardian reports that several independent European software developers are removing their apps from sale in the US for fear of being sued.
[Simon Maddox] told the Guardian that it's "far too dangerous to do business" in the US because of the risk of software patent lawsuits.
But for US-based developers, the problems remain. Craig Hockenberry of Iconfactory, developer of Twitterrific, remarked that "Just when you think things couldn't get any worse, they do and tweeted that "I became an independent developer to control my own destiny. I no longer do". Iconfactory is among those being targeted by Lodsys, but earlier this week was granted a 30-day extension to reply to Lodsys's claim.
Even if you are not against software patents in general, it is becoming increasingly clear that the current system does not work as originally intended and might actually stifle innovation rather that help it.
27th June, 2011
Type 2 diabetes is rapidly becoming a huge and world wide health problem. The Guardian reports that, according to a new study, more than 350 million people are now affected:
"[Diabetes] is set to become the single largest burden on world health care systems," one of the study's main authors, Professor Majid Ezzati, of Imperial College London, told the Observer. "Many nations are going to find it very difficult to cope with the consequences."
The article mentions another study, claiming that type 2 diabetes can be reversed in newly diagnosed. If true, it may help millions of people and save billions in health costs.
While the study only includes 11 people, the results so far are remarkable as they hint at a possible diet-based cure. Roy Taylor:
This is a radical change in understanding Type 2 diabetes. It will change how we can explain it to people newly diagnosed with the condition. While it has long been believed that someone with Type 2 diabetes will always have the disease, and that it will steadily get worse, we have shown that we can reverse the condition.
3rd May, 2011
Herman Daly interviewed for Seed magazine:
What we tax mostly now is income from the input of labor and capital, what economists called “value added.” Value added to what? To the resources extracted from nature, which are treated as zero. So, the idea is to shift our tax base away from value added and toward the resources themselves. If we want to increase efficiency, then we have to begin by making things more expensive. We’re careful how we use gold. We’re not so careful how we use aluminum.
27th April, 2011
Melissa Febos writes about living in New York and crying in public.
In a place where we are so rarely alone, we find privacy in public. We all have our masks, behind which we are free to be, yes, depressed, or any other emotional state we may not want to share with 30 fellow passengers.
24th April, 2011
Michael Pollan in a long and interesting article on food and nutrition:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
10th April, 2011
It’s hard not to think “death drive” every time I go on the internet. Opening Safari is an actively destructive decision. I am asking that consciousness be taken away from me. Like the lost time between leaving a party drunk and materializing somehow at your front door, the internet robs you of a day you can visit recursively or even remember. You really want to know what it is about 20-somethings? It’s this: we live longer now. But we also live less. It sounds hyperbolic, it sounds morbid, it sounds dramatic, but in choosing the internet I am choosing not to be a certain sort of alive. Days seem over before they even begin, and I have nothing to show for myself other than the anxious feeling that I now know just enough to engage in conversations I don’t care about.
6th April, 2011
Will Shipley on success:
We’re blindly following past lottery winners thinking we can win the lottery, too, if we just emulate them. But, mostly, lotteries create lots of small losers. Losers aren’t written about in magazines, but they’re the majority.
This doesn’t work. Your idea sucks. No, I’m not calling you stupid — my idea sucks, too. All ideas suck, because they are just ideas. They’re worth nothing.
My success is because I worked to make the idea real. A lot. All my life. Starting when I was 12, I learned to program, and I’ve programmed every spare moment since.
3rd April, 2011
Brilliant photographs of Lego figures set in Star Wars scenes.
28th March, 2011
Fascinating pictures of cathode ray tube TVs being turned off
25th March, 2011
JP Teti gets it:
Apple is encouraging people to explore and play around. The iPad only does less than a regular computer to us geeks. To everyone else, it does more.
14th March, 2011
Devastating satellite images of Japan from before and after the earthquake and tsunami by The New York Times. Still, as Dave Ewing and others tweeted, the destruction would have been significantly worse if not for good engineering and government control.
28th February, 2011
Absolutely fantastic video with Hans Rosling explaining statistics and why it is so important as a means to understand the world and ourselves. Rosling, as always, is sparkling with energy.
Hans Rosling is among my all time favourite scientists.