This feed omits posts by jwz. Just 'cause.

, literacy, and democracy. Via Mary Meeker at http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends. Presumably subject to some pretty fuzzy definitions ("democracy"), but I think it's fairly honest.

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

, if you have highly motivated, engaged, efficient people with not too many deadlines, you don't have to solve this explicitly: just let people do what they think is "important" and it'll work out. In small companies, probably like early-day Google, this informal system works out great. Once you have formal systems, you have incentives, and once you have incentives, you have to have high-level people (who are further from the actual problems being solved) make decisions about what to incent and disincent. Unsurprisingly, those decisions end up being mostly about "strategic direction" and not about day-to-day manageability, because executives don't have to do any day-to-day management. Instead, they just see the technical debt slowly build up and the teams slow down, but nobody can quite tell how it happened.

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

, but it's pretty great. As usual he comes across as a bit unrealistic about what's possible in the short term, but he still tells a pretty compelling story. I especially like the idea of underground car tunnels vs flying cars. ("I sure hope the people up there have kept up with their hubcap maintenance" was a pretty funny understatement.)

https://www.ted.com/talks/elon_musk_the_future_we_re_building_and_boring

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

I've been thinking a lot about "overnight success" lately. Check out how long it's been taking for Tesla to achieve theirs! [Data collected by combining various public data sources. I might have screwed it up, but I think I'm mostly right.]

Of interest:

  • Wow, they really didn't sell very many Roadsters.

  • Recent increase in units/employee, probably due to better factory automation

  • Miles driven since the last (reported) autopilot fatality is more than 2x as many as before; they're either getting luckier or the software is getting better.

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

. Well that's not what I expected."

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

, such as "What is this?" when the meeting invite has no detailed description :)

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

keep posting about. But my deep dark secret is... I mostly got it from reading books in the first place.

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

, around the time GFiber started (2011-2012) to last year. The right strategy for an ISP certainly does change over time. (From Mary Meeker at http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends. It's filled with awesome.)

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

, I measure time in units of Bachelor's degrees. For most impressive results, I simultaneously measure life experience in units of Bachelor's degrees.

Happy 1.5 billion seconds, everyone :)

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

, Apple frittered away its dominance of the music industry. Perhaps this is old news to everyone but me, but the story is something like this:

  • "Nobody" wants to buy music anymore. It's all streaming.

  • In case you do download music, everyone long ago gave up on DRM and switched to watermarking. So you can carry your music away from whatever store you downloaded it from (including iTunes) and even switch platforms easily.

  • Even Apple wants you to switch to streaming: Apple Music. Perhaps because streaming is still DRMed.

  • Streaming apps (at least some of them) now work great with "offline mode." You can just pick entire albums and mark them offline, which downloads them to local storage, straight from the Internet.

  • That means you don't need iTunes to load music on your iPhone anymore.

  • Because you already bought a monthly subscription to the streaming service, you aren't making an "in-app purchase" when you do this, thus you bypass Apple's 30% cash grab on in-app purchases.

  • Most streaming apps are cross-platform (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac) so there is no vendor lock-in. And they store all your settings in the cloud, so you can switch devices seamlessly. (Incidentally there's not much vendor lock-in to particular streaming services either. With a few exceptions, they all basically have all the music.)

  • Spotify has ~2x as many users as Apple Music.

  • Tidal is smaller than Apple Music, but has better sound quality.

Goodness, how quickly things change. It wasn't so long ago that Apple was shutting down devices which tried to fake their way into auto-syncing music from iTunes. I wonder if they're actually worried about all this, or just don't care that much about the music market at this point. (It looks like the whole business is about $4B/year[1], and most of that presumably goes to the record companies. Not sure if that's US-only though.)

They still have the power to make things miserable for all these other music services, but they're not using that power.

[1] http://www.ifpi.org/news/IFPI-GLOBAL-MUSIC-REPORT-2017

Posted Fri Oct 13 03:44:40 2017 Tags:

The US Chamber of Commerce and the Koch brothers are running ads presenting "ordinary people" advocating tax cuts for the rich.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

People in Puerto Rico are getting sick from bacteria and molds that are spreading. FEMA is offering people forms to fill out, instead of food and water.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

The US lost employment due to the recent hurricanes. This is a taste of what global heating will do in the future.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

Teenagers have an additional reason to become activists: it helps them get good jobs.

That's in addition to the contribution to the world of the activism itself.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

The UK has made a habit of jailing refugees who were tortured, unless they were tortured officially by a state.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

The real purpose of US military spending is mainly not military.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

US citizens: tell Congress not to cut medical care to pay for tax cuts for corporations.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

US citizens: call on Congress to reject tax cuts for business; increase their taxes instead.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

US citizens: tell Congress that the "USA Liberty Act" is not strong enough to protect Americans from the PAT RIOT Act.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags:

I am looking for people to help maintain and operate savannah.gnu.org.

Posted Fri Oct 13 00:00:00 2017 Tags: