Sunday, October 30, 2005

USA not Number 1?

No. 1? by Michael Ventura

An empire without a manufacturing base. An empire that must borrow $2 billion a day from its competitors in order to function. Yet the delusion is ineradicable. We're No. 1. Well ... this is the country you really live in:
  • The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).
  • The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).

The USA is "No. 1" in nothing but weaponry, consumer spending, debt, and delusion

Well, actually, I believe the United States does manufacture more than any other country. And it is definitely the largest economy. Still I accept the point that the USA has many things it should improve.

Small World Photos

Very cool photos from the Nikon Small World photo contest - showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope. See photos from past years.

Photo shown by, Dr. Marie-Hélène Bré

Laboratory of Cellular Biology
University of Paris, South
Orsay, France

Tetrahymena thermophila (protozoa) cells (1500x)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Apple Tribute to Rosa Parks

Apple has a great tribute to Rosa parks on their home page. In case the home page imagine is gone you can read about her here.

Monday, October 24, 2005

License Agreements - a Pain?

License agreements - a pain? This is exactly the type of service I believe we will see more of: services that use the internet to provide true information to consumers:

End user license agreements (EULAs) are the bane of most computer users.
No one wants to read through pages and pages of boring text before installing a program. And many programs put their license agreements in small windows that require lots of scrolling. So many people either skim them or skip reading them altogether.

But it can be dangerous not to read license agreements.
License agreements can provide information about the intentions of software, and other bundled components. Have you ever installed a program, only to have your desktop taken over by advertising? It may have been noted in the license agreement that you simply clicked past. If you aren't reading the license agreements, you have no idea what you could be agreeing to.

You should always read license agreements before agreeing to them.
But now there's a way of making that much easier.

EULAlyzer can analyze license agreements in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases. Discover if the software you're about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, or much much more.

The current customer hostile behavior of many technology companies works for them. I hope tools like this will benefit those companies that treat customers fairly and harm those that are hostile to customers.

Woz and Scoble

Fun post from Scoble on meeting Wozniak:

He showed Patrick his two iPods (a black Nano and a black 60gb video iPod). Showed me his Sony camera (same one that Steve Gillmor has). Showed me how to break a pencil with a $2 bill. Told me that his son, Jesse, had graduated from college and was working on software for NASA (on the project to repair the Hubble telescope).

Monday, October 17, 2005


And now for something completely different - Tomacco:

A tomacco is originally a fictional hybrid fruit that is half tomato and half tobacco, from the 1999 episode "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)" of The Simpsons; the method used to create the tomacco in the episode is fictional. The tomacco became real when it was allegedly produced in 2003. The tomacco is one of the few made-up words in The Simpsons that resulted in real life application.

A selection of made up words: Yoink!, Scientician, Redorkulated, Malk and Embiggen.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

How to Work Effectively

Meet the Life Hackers, Clive Thompson, New York Times.

Great article exploring the challenges of modern office workplaces:

When Mark crunched the data, a picture of 21st-century office work emerged that was, she says, "far worse than I could ever have imagined." Each employee spent only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted and whisked off to do something else. What's more, each 11-minute project was itself fragmented into even shorter three-minute tasks, like answering e-mail messages, reading a Web page or working on a spreadsheet. And each time a worker was distracted from a task, it would take, on average, 25 minutes to return to that task. To perform an office job today, it seems, your attention must skip like a stone across water all day long, touching down only periodically.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Bill Gates Visits Top IT And Engineering Colleges

Bill Gates Visits Top IT And Engineering Colleges

Webcast: Bill Gates at Columbia University

Transcript: Bill Gates at Princeton University:

One of the best investments Microsoft ever chose to make was as soon as we could afford to do it we started going after this long-term research. It's out of that research activity that a lot of our great innovations have come. As we did that, we had the concern that many companies who have done advanced research haven't been able to flow it into their products. In our industry Xerox is very famous for having contributed to research and then the various products they tried to build out of that were not a success. So they, in a business sense, really didn't get any return at all from the work that they'd done.

In our case, by having the right kind of researchers, having the product people love to spend time with them, really getting it out and showing what they're doing, our experience has been quite the opposite.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sergey Brin Lecture Webcast

A series of lectures are available as webcasts on Search Engines: Technology, Society and Business, University of California - Berkeley. And if fact see all sorts of courses at Berkeley that make available webcasts.

This is great. I just love when the internet is actually provides great content to people all over the world, that had no reasonable way to get the material previously.

The webcast of Sergey's Views on Search, Google, and Life (Sergey Brin Co-Founded, Google).

Another great place for podcasts is IT Conversations.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Fun Video

A fun video commercial for Guinness. Creating commercials people actually enjoy (and even share with other like we are here) is going to be one of the keys to being a successful mass marketer in the internet age.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tim O'Reilly Profile in Wired

The Trend Spotter by Steven Levy, Wired:

In O'Reilly's world, sharing increases value - so much so that it becomes unthinkable to close off information or to adopt nonstandard proprietary systems. The result is a virtuous cycle where openness becomes the norm, encouraging even more participation.

A great example of a reinforcing loop in systems thinking parlance.

About Us page on O'Reilly web site:

O'Reilly Media is the premier information source for leading-edge computer technologies...
O'Reilly conferences and summits bring alpha geeks and forward-thinking business leaders together to shape the revolutionary ideas that spark new industries.