Skype

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pages: 731 words: 134,263

Talk Is Cheap: Switching to Internet Telephones by James E. Gaskin

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Debian, packet switching, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, telemarketer

Calls to toll-free numbers still incur SkypeOut charges. No 911 or other emergency call options exist. 7.3.3. Tracking SkypeOut Usage The first trick to knowing your SkypeOut credit can be found on your Skype application, as seen in Figure 7-2. You must visit the Skype web page and log in to see more SkypeOut information. My call list appears in Figure 7-3. Reach this screen by logging in to Skype, choosing My Account, and clicking either My Recent Calls under the SkypeOut balance listing or the Call List menu item on the left side of the screen. You may also click All My Purchases to track expenditures on Skype equipment such as headsets. You can't make SkypeOut calls if you don't have enough SkypeOut credit for at least one minute of calling. Skype also stops you from over-buying SkypeOut credits by blocking more purchases until your credit drops toward empty.

Calls to toll-free numbers still incur SkypeOut charges. No 911 or other emergency call options exist. 7.3.3. Tracking SkypeOut Usage The first trick to knowing your SkypeOut credit can be found on your Skype application, as seen in Figure 7-2. You must visit the Skype web page and log in to see more SkypeOut information. My call list appears in Figure 7-3. Reach this screen by logging in to Skype, choosing My Account, and clicking either My Recent Calls under the SkypeOut balance listing or the Call List menu item on the left side of the screen. You may also click All My Purchases to track expenditures on Skype equipment such as headsets. You can't make SkypeOut calls if you don't have enough SkypeOut credit for at least one minute of calling. Skype also stops you from over-buying SkypeOut credits by blocking more purchases until your credit drops toward empty.

It's not call forwarding, but it works out just as well if you're waiting for a Skype call while you're away from your primary computer. There is no provision, now or in the future plans Skype expressed to me, for 911 support. Skype cannot be the single telephone link for people at this time, because their SkypeIn service isn't yet released, making it impossible for traditional telephone users to call Skype users. People using Skype must still have another telephone and should rely on that phone for 911 service. 6.3.2. Advanced Skype Features There are no "advanced" features as far as Skype claims, but there is currently one optional ($$) feature, and some of the technology they integrate I consider advanced. But let's start with the official optional cost product. SkypeOut is the connection between Skype and the traditional telephone network.

 

pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun

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barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route

Since we rarely had short-term deadlines, it was okay for conversations to float over a day or two, whether they were on P2 or Skype. We all had the habit of leaving a note somewhere, often in our IRC channel, if we were going to be offline. I might ping Peatling in Skype with a question, and he'd respond an hour later, and then I'd reply that night. We all respected the need to be online at the same times when needed, but often it wasn't necessary. Skype was the best indicator of who was around at any moment, but even when people were online, it could take minutes or an hour before they'd respond. The assumption was always that people were working in other windows and would respond when they could. This was a major reason text was more popular than voice: text chat leaves both parties free to do other things. Voice demands nearly complete attention from both parties. In Skype, a green light meant they were available and yellow that they were away from their machine (or wanted you to treat them as if they were away).

Everyone works directly on something. Regardless of the reason, it was refreshing to be cared for so directly by people in important positions. One boring task I did discover was manually entering my coworkers into my Skype. There was no automatic way to add the dozens of employees as contacts. While waiting for Hanni or Barry to do something, I'd go to the list and manually add people. I asked if there was an automated way to do this, as you'd expect in a smart company like this one, but none existed. As this went on, I was interrupted on Skype by Beau, the first of many entertaining Skype chats I'd have with him: Beau Lebens: [Please add me to your contact] Scott Berkun: [Scott Berkun has shared contact details with Beau Lebens] Lebens: Beat you to it! Berkun: you rat bastard Lebens: i heard you were having too much fun adding people, so thought i'd turn the tables Berkun: Nice to see your name:) Berkun: So how hung over is Hanni?

Aesthetics aside, Adams raised a flag for our team to the company showing we had a sense of humor, however twisted. Communication at Automattic was roughly broken down as follows: 1. Blogs (P2): 75 percent 2. IRC: 14 percent 3. Skype: 5 percent 4. E-mail: 1 percent Of course, since Skype and e-mail were private, these are just guesses. Most of the uses of e-mail, as low as it was, were for notifications about new posts or comments on P2s. I'd eventually take to e-mailing people individually on my team once a month to ask deeper questions about their performance and mine. But for day-to-day work, it was all P2, IRC, and Skype. P2s were much more than just for documenting meetings. Brainstorming, bug reports, discussions, rants, and jokes all found their primary home on the more than fifty-six P2s across the company. Several central P2s for human resources and a social P2 for watercooler-type conversations were also created, the latter becoming one of the most active.

 

pages: 288 words: 66,996

Travel While You Work: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Business From Anywhere by Mish Slade

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Airbnb, Atul Gawande, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Inbox Zero, job automation, Lyft, remote working, side project, Skype, speech recognition

Your wifi is awful or your clients don't use Skype. It gives you numbers that let you call anyone abroad from any mobile or landline while avoiding international calling charges. Note that Skype To Go isn't yet available in every single country yet. Here's a list of all the supported countries: www.worktravel.co/skypecountries. Here's how it works (this example is taken from Skype's website): Say you live in London and you want to use Skype To Go to call a client who lives in Boston, USA. Add your Boston client as your Skype To Go contact, and Skype will give you a London phone number. When you want to call your client, simply dial that London number from your phone, and your call will be put straight through to your client on their phone in Boston at Skype's low rates. But what if your client isn't on Skype, or doesn't know how to use it?

: www.worktravel.co/quora2 Stay focused and filter out distractions Unroll Me (unsubscribe from emails): www.worktravel.co/unroll Gmail "plus sign" trick: www.worktravel.co/plustrick Trello: www.worktravel.co/trello Pomodoro Technique: www.worktravel.co/pomodoro Pomodoto (Pomodoro timer): www.worktravel.co/pomodoto You Can Book Me (appointment-booking software): www.worktravel.co/bookme iDoneThis (track what you've achieved): www.worktravel.co/donethis AskMeEvery (track what you've achieved): www.worktravel.co/askme Kransen headphones: www.worktravel.co/kransen ShareDesk (coworking spaces): www.worktravel.co/sharedesk Coffitivity (concentration app): www.worktravel.co/coffitivity Focus@Will (concentration app): www.worktravel.co/focus Optimise your workspace Roost laptop stand: www.worktravel.co/roost Portable keyboards: www.worktravel.co/keyboard Mini-mouse: www.worktravel.co/mouse ZestDesk (standing desk): www.worktravel.co/zestdesk StandStand (standing desk): www.worktravel.co/standstand Kinivo ZX100 laptop speakers: www.worktravel.co/zx100 Deal with wifi issues Wifi speed test: www.worktravel.co/speedtest Huawei E5330 mobile hotspot: www.worktravel.co/hotspot Didlogic (cheap international calls without internet): www.worktravel.co/didlogic Skype To Go: www.worktravel.co/skypetogo Google Docs Offline: www.worktravel.co/docsoffline CHAPTER 5: FREELANCE FROM ANYWHERE Emailing Boomerang (to delay when an email gets sent): www.worktravel.co/boomerang Scheduling World Time Buddy: www.worktravel.co/worldtimebuddy Doodle: www.worktravel.co/doodle Mixmax: www.worktravel.co/mixmax You Can Book Me: www.worktravel.co/bookme Phone/video calls Buy a Skype Number: www.worktravel.co/skypenumber Zoom (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/zoom GoToMeeting (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/gotomeeting Join Me (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/joinme Didlogic (cheap international calls without internet): www.worktravel.co/didlogic Skype To Go: www.worktravel.co/skypetogo Screen sharing Screenleap: www.worktravel.co/screenleap Document signing HelloSign: www.worktravel.co/hellosign EchoSign: www.worktravel.co/echosign Getting paid PayPal: www.worktravel.co/paypal Stripe: www.worktravel.co/stripe Freshbooks (for information about PayPal Business Payments): www.worktravel.co/freshbooks Harvest (for information about PayPal Business Payments): www.worktravel.co/harvest TransferWise (cross-currency payments): www.worktravel.co/transferwise CHAPTER 6: HIRE LIKE A CHAMP Hire remote contractors Upwork (formerly Elance/oDesk): www.worktravel.co/upwork Guru: www.worktravel.co/guru Freelancer: www.worktravel.co/freelancer Gigster: www.worktravel.co/gigster 99 Designs: www.worktravel.co/99designs Crowdspring: www.worktravel.co/crowdspring Fancy Hands: www.worktravel.co/fancyhands Information about "milestones": www.worktravel.co/milestones Screencast-o-matic (record screencasts): www.worktravel.co/screencast Hire permanent employees Working Mums (UK): www.worktravel.co/workingmums Hire My Mom (US): www.worktravel.co/hiremymom Remotive: www.worktravel.co/remotive Remote OK: www.worktravel.co/remoteok WFH.io: www.worktravel.co/wfh We Work Remotely: www.worktravel.co/wework Authentic Jobs: www.worktravel.co/authentic Upwork: www.worktravel.co/upwork Information about KPIs: www.worktravel.co/kpi Topgrading (hiring tips and resources): www.worktravel.co/topgrading Buffer's 45-day contract period: www.worktravel.co/bootcamp CHAPTER 7: RUN THE BEST BIZ Team chat software Slack: www.worktravel.co/slack HipChat: www.worktravel.co/hipchat Structured meetings and ad-hoc calls Mastering The Rockefeller Habits (book): www.worktravel.co/rockefeller World Time Buddy: www.worktravel.co/worldtimebuddy Google Calendar: www.worktravel.co/calendar Zoom (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/zoom Appear.in (alternative to Skype): www.worktravel.co/appear Screen sharing Screenleap: www.worktravel.co/screenleap Giving tutorials and training Screencast-o-matic: www.worktravel.co/screencast ScreenFlow (Mac): www.worktravel.co/screenflow Camtasia (Windows): www.worktravel.co/camtasia Procedures Google Drive: www.worktravel.co/drive Process Street: www.worktravel.co/process Project management Trello: www.worktravel.co/trello Basecamp: www.worktravel.co/basecamp Asana: www.worktravel.co/asana Teamwork: www.worktravel.co/teamwork Wikipedia's "Comparison of project management software" page: www.worktravel.co/pmtools Cloud storage Dropbox: www.worktravel.co/dropbox OneDrive: www.worktravel.co/onedrive Google Drive: www.worktravel.co/drive Information on Google Drive "offline mode": www.worktravel.co/docsoffline Box: www.worktravel.co/box Amazon Cloud Drive: www.worktravel.co/acd Other useful tools and resources LastPass (password management): www.worktravel.co/lastpass HelloSign (document signing): www.worktravel.co/hellosign EchoSign (document signing): www.worktravel.co/echosign Sqwiggle (video team chat): www.worktravel.co/sqwiggle Zapier (task automation): www.worktravel.co/zapier IFTTT (task automation): www.worktravel.co/ifttt Also by the author… Protect Your Tech: Your geek-free guide to a secure and private digital life If your password for every website is "monkey" or "iloveyou"… you need to read this book.

For outgoing calls, there's also a "web callback" feature that works out cheaper than Skype in most cases. You will need an internet connection for it, but only to kickstart the call; after that it all happens through your phone (so it still comes in handy if you have an unreliable connection that might drop in and out during Skype calls). Aaand done! The Didlogic website is a bit of a mess – and thoroughly useless in helping you get started – so Rob's recorded a quick screencast with an overview of how to set everything up. Register your purchase of this book at www.worktravel.co to get hold of it! Skype To Go Repetition alert! Skype To Go was mentioned briefly in Chapter 4: Be A Productivity Powerhouse. Here I go into a bit more detail and provide an example of how it can be used. Skype To Go (www.worktravel.co/skypetogo) offers a slightly inverted solution to Didlogic.

 

pages: 218 words: 44,364

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom

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Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing

Zennstrom's new company, Skype, let people connect to each other directly. No servers routing calls, no telephone lines to worry about. As a bonus, this time Zennstrom was going to do it within the confines of the law. Meanwhile, Skype's users were getting a great deal. They got to communicate freely with any other Skype user in the world without ever having to rely on a phone line. All a user had to do was download some free software from Skype and plug a headset into his PC. Everything was done over the Internet. It didn't cost a cent. A user paid only a few pennies (.017 euros, to be exact) when the call terminated in an old-fashioned land line. THE STARFISH AND THE SPIDER Unsurprisingly, a lot of people loved the service and quickly gravitated to it. When we met with Zennstrom in December 2004, Skype had 15 million users.

The brilliance of this open system was that Skype avoided the costs of storing names on its own servers. The only transactions that ever hit Skype servers were credit card payments. In pushing the cost of calls to zero, Skype rendered the telephone industry's models of generating profits through longdistance charges obsolete. As Michael Powell, then chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), told Forbes in 2004: "I knew it was over when I downloaded Skype, when the inventors of Kazaa are distributing for free a little program that you can use to talk to anybody else, and the quality is fantastic, and it's free—it's over. The world will change now inevitably." David Dorman, former CEO of AT&T, explained to us how the traditional phone companies were being affected by innova- A SEA OF STARFISH tions like Skype. Skype didn't have to pay anything for calls made between members, and there was no tax on calls made over the Internet—Michael Powell, the FCC chairman, made sure of that.

Skype didn't have to pay anything for calls made between members, and there was no tax on calls made over the Internet—Michael Powell, the FCC chairman, made sure of that. Skype paid nothing by the minute to connect, whereas traditional long-distance companies paid three cents a minute. Three cents a minute adds up quickly: AT&T and the other long-distance carriers were paying $20 billion per year. Local phone companies weren't in a much better position. They had to maintain all of the costly infrastructure associated with handling a call—everything from phone cables to operator facilities. Skype bore none of these costs. Skype capitalized on new technological advances to offer a previously monopolized privilege for free. This spells bad news for the traditional phone companies. It requires only a small amount of software to create a desktop system that works like Skype. The barrier to entry for becoming a long-distance provider, once huge and insurmountable, is quickly disappearing.

 

pages: 426 words: 105,423

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

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Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, follow your passion, game design, global village, Iridium satellite, knowledge worker, late fees, Maui Hawaii, oil shock, paper trading, Parkinson's law, passive income, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, wage slave, William of Occam

Explanation of Software and Programs Mentioned: *ConceptShare—www.conceptshare.com, ConceptShare allows you to set up secure online workspaces for sharing designs, documents, and video and invite others to review, comment, and give contextual feedback anytime and anywhere without a meeting. [Company name] has used this site for a few months to test its usability and has also been tested on multiple computers in Argentina (thanks to my sister testing it out for me while she was in Argentina). *Skype—www.skype.com, Skype is a free software that allows you to talk for free via the Internet. You can also use Skype with regular phones to make calls internationally for a low rate of about .04 cents a minute. Skype also has video chatting capabilities and conference call capabilities for meetings. The setup requires downloading the Skype software free) and buying a headset with microphone ($10) and webcam ($ ranges) for each computer. I have tested this software with my sister and it works well for her in Argentina and for me here. *iStockphoto—www.istockphoto.com, iStockphoto is an Internet royalty-free image and design stock photography website.

JungleDisk and Mozy—I use the latter—have fewer features and are more specifically designed for automatic backups to their online storage. Free and Low-Cost Internet (IP) Telephones Skype (www.skype.com) Skype is my default for all phone calls. It allows you to call landlines and mobile phones across the globe for an average of 2–5 cents per minute, or connect with other Skype users worldwide for free. For about 40 euros per year, you can get a U.S. number with your home area code and receive calls that forward to a foreign cell phone. This makes your travel invisible. Lounge on the beach in Rio and answer calls to your “office” in California. Nice. Skype Chat, which comes with the service, is also perfect for sharing sensitive log-in and password information with others, as it’s encrypted. Vonage (www.vonage.com) and Ooma (www.ooma.com) Vonage offers a small adapter for a monthly fee that connects your broadband modem to a normal phone.

eLance (www.elance.com) (877–435–2623) Craigslist (www.craigslist.org) LIFESTYLE DESIGN IN ACTION I’m a U.S. citizen and it was impossible for my friends and relatives to track me down by phone. Enter Skype In. It’s not new but allows you to lease a fixed U.S. (or other country) phone number which then forwards to your Skype account. About $60/year. Within Skype you can then set up call forwarding to ring you at your local number. You pay the rate as if you were calling from the United States to wherever you are. I’ve used this in about 40 countries and it works like a treat. The call quality is usually great and the convenience is amazing. http://www.skype.com/allfeatures/onlinenumber/. A caveat is to always, ALWAYS get a local SIM card for your unlocked GSM phone. Roaming is for amateurs. A local SIM also gets you GPRS, Edge, or 3G.

 

pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

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business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, pattern recognition, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, technology bubble, web application, Y Combinator

Santos: But you stayed always connected to LOVEFiLM as a shareholder? Klein: Initially, I was on the board when I joined Skype. It just soon became clear in terms of my role at Skype that I was just so involved and so busy at Skype that it was not practical. We were growing like crazy at Skype: we went from thirty to four hundred people in a year, from two hundred thousand dollars in revenue to sixty million in revenue, from two offices to seventeen locations. I had no time to think about LOVEFiLM, to add value as a board member. Perhaps one of the best experiences I had in terms of the narrative of being a founder, was sitting in one of the first board meetings after Simon had taken over. I was at Skype and just watching the rest of the team present. Seeing the investors around the table and just thinking, “This is an incredible bunch of people and they are running this business that I still have a stake in.

Aren't I lucky?” Santos: One question about Skype. You passed from a founder's role to a VP role in another company. And at the same time, you have the investor background. It doesn't seem like a very normal move. What convinced you to go to Skype? Which became a huge success, as everyone knows. Klein: Look. I think you have to trust your instincts in all of the important things in life. My wife and I decided to get married after four days of really knowing each other, and eight, nine years later we're very happy with two kids. And that was good instincts. As far as Skype goes, I've never been someone who was hung up on titles. I'm hung up on responsibility and how much I can learn. I knew that at Skype, even if I was sticking stamps at envelopes, I would have joined Skype. I just thought that this was the most exciting piece of software I had seen since I downloaded in '94 the Netscape browser.

Varsavsky: Yeah, BT is one of these companies that are a global reference. Santos: And you mentioned that you got investments, as you said, from Google, Skype. Was it in the NGO phase or after? Varsavsky: After the NGO. Yeah, obviously, when we said we'll be a NGO, we didn't get any investments. When I decided to turn this into a corporation, that's when I got the investments. Santos: And how did you convince Google and Skype? What was the interest from those companies? Varsavsky: Well, we were the first European investment that Google ever made, the first European company Google ever invested in, and the first European company Sequoia ever invested in. I think Google felt and Skype felt that if there's Wi-Fi everywhere, their products will be more successful. That's their strategic investment and they also wanted to move into an investment outside of the United States and we had a good proposition.

 

pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

Bad code through the back door of a bug exploit and the front door of a poor user choice can intersect. At the Black Hat Europe hacker convention in 2006, two computer scientists gave a presentation on Skype, the wildly popular PC Internet telephony software created by the same duo that invented the KaZaA file-sharing program.101 Skype is, like most proprietary software, a black box. It is not easy to know how it works or what it does except by watching it in action. Skype is installed on millions of computers, and so far works well if not flawlessly. It generates all sorts of network traffic, much of which is unidentifiable even to the user of the machine, and much of which happens even when Skype is not being used to place a call. How does one know that Skype is not doing something untoward, or that its next update might not contain a zombie-creating Trojan horse, placed by either its makers or someone who compromised the update server?

Linux, THE REGISTER, Oct. 22, 2004, http://www.theregister.co.uk/security/security_report_windows_vs_linux/; Posting of Triple II to Mostly Linux, 10 Things a New Linux User Needs to Unlearn, http://mostly-linux.blogspot.com/2006/06/10-things-new-linux-user-needs-to.html (June 17, 2006) (“Reboots are not SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).”). 3. See Skype, Can I Call Emergency Numbers in the U.S. and Canada?, http://support.skype.com/index.php?a=knowledgebase&j=questiondetails&i=1034 (last visited June 1, 2007) (“Skype is not a telephone replacement service and emergency numbers cannot be called from Skype.”). 4. Jim Davis, TiVo Launches “Smart TV” Trial, CNET NEWS.COM, Dec. 22, 1998, http://news.com.com/TiVo+launches+smart+TV+trial/2100-1040_3-219409.html. 5. See Richard Shim, TiVo, Gemstar End Lawsuit, Team Up, CNET NEWS.COM, June 9, 2003, http://news.com.com/2100-1041-1014674.html; see also Jennifer 8.

For some skepticism that users can circumvent network neutrality restrictions, see William H. Lehr et al., Scenarios for the Network Neutrality Arms Race, 1 INT’LJ. COMMC’NS 607 (2007) (describing “technical and non-technical countermeasures” ranging from letter-writing campaigns to end-to-end encryption that prevents an ISP from discerning the activity in which a user is engaging). 21. See Skype, http://skype.com (last visited May 15, 2007); Wikipedia, Skype, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype (as of May 15, 2007, 17:45 GMT). 22. Notably, the Nintendo Wii has been configured in this manner. Although its Internet Channel software allows users to browse the entire Internet using the Wii, to date user-configurability of the home page and other features has been limited. See Wikipedia, Internet Channel, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Channel (as of May 15, 2007, 07:00 GMT); Wii, The Developers Talk About the Internet Channel, http://us.wii.com/story_internet.jsp (last visited May 15, 2007).

 

pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, Occupy movement, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

When he started playing online role-playing games like RuneScape, other players would teach him tricks for getting around the Web, hiding his computer’s IP address by chatting through instant messages, and basic programming. Making online friends was easy. No one could see his amblyopia, and people valued his wit and creativity far more. He became bolder and funnier. There was an equality he had never experienced before, an ease of conversation and a sense of shared identity. When the Internet telephone service Skype came along, he used it to talk to his new friends by voice for the first time. One day on Skype, someone suggested doing a prank call and letting everyone else listen in. Jake jumped at the opportunity. He found the number for a random Walmart outlet in the United States, then told the woman who answered that he was looking for a “fish-shaped RC helicopter.” As he begged the woman to help him find one, Jake was keenly aware that his friends (on mute) were dying of laughter.

He quickly wrote up a blog post titled “Booz Allen Hamilton VP Caught Lying” in which he explained: “He said he had no relationship with HBGary, which is odd insomuch as that this e-mail would seem to indicate otherwise.” Brown added a link to one of Barr’s e-mails, saying, “I had a meeting with Bill Wansley over at Booz yesterday.” Over the next few days, Brown kept sending messages to Topiary about HBGary. Topiary soon got the hint that Brown was serious and he invited him into a private Skype group with Gregg Housh and a few others to focus on researching the e-mails more deeply. Topiary kept the Skype group open at all times and found for the next two weeks that he was increasingly being pulled into its conversations, spending at least seven hours a day on the investigation into what Barr had really been working on. Brown gave it a name: Operation Metal Gear, after an old Nintendo game, and its goal, in a nutshell, was to find out how the intelligence community was infiltrating the Internet and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to spy on American citizens.

Intrigued, Brown invited him into his secret Skype group with Topiary and WhiteKidney for a conference call. OpLeakS came on with a thick New Jersey accent and monotone voice. At first Brown and Topiary were excited by what they were hearing. OpLeakS, a staunch Anonymous supporter, said he had been contacted by a former employee of Bank of America, someone who had worked there for seven years and who had joined when the bank bought Balboa Insurance. OpLeakS and the ex-employee talked by e-mail for several days. Whenever OpLeakS asked a question about Bank of America, he was met with increasingly damning responses about how the lender had been hiding loan mistakes or how managers practiced favoritism. It all pointed to fraudulent mortgage practices, he told Brown and the others on Skype, stuff that could bring down Bank of America.

 

pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

WhatsApp also uses your existing phone number and the numbers in your contacts to provide its service, unlike Skype, which requires each person using it to acquire a new, Skype-specific number. WhatsApp lets you send text, photos, and videos for free to your friends—turning all that content into data and avoiding the extortionate fees charged by telecom providers to send messages via SMS. Four years after it launched, 450 million people were active users of the app, with a million more joining each day.4 And unlike any of the other most popular apps (Google Maps, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Skype), WhatsApp is the only one that isn’t free, charging $1 per year starting with the second year. WhatsApp sends an average of nineteen billion messages a day, approaching the entire global SMS telecom volume.5 Skype, Twitter, Gmail, and Facebook—Peers Inc structures all—showed phenomenal growth in their early years, yet WhatsApp’s pace of growth eclipsed them.

The two companies placed eleventh and sixteenth, respectively, in the U.S. Fortune 500 in 2014, working their way back to the top and striving for monopoly status again. Today, wireless communication is central to their business: AT&T had 110.4 million wireless customers in 2013, and Verizon had 102.8 million.3 Skype was founded in 2003 and had amassed 633 million users by 2010. In 2013, it had 36 percent of the market in international calling.4 Skype built its company by finding another use for our personal computers, video cameras, and data connections. Making the decision to sign up and join the Skype network takes about two minutes and costs nothing. Listing on Craigslist. The seeds of this list are directly rooted in excess capacity. In the mid-1990s Craig Newmark had been doing a lot of evangelizing about the Internet and “saw a lot of people helping each other out.”

For the first few years, the New York Times was able to enter the online world and learn it at a very low cost, paving the way for the future reality of its dominance as the location for consuming news. Given the changes in the way we read over the last decade, we would now say that the print edition is repurposed copy from the online version. Same content, new outlet, some additional readers. I’m interrupted by the sound of an incoming Skype call. Skype was built on the back of the excess capacity found in my computer (third example), my built-in video camera (fourth example), and my already purchased data plan (fifth example) on the Internet (sixth example). Voice calls (and now video calls) were previously brought to my house by copper cables. The trunk line on the street was hooked up to my private abode; I then had to go to a store, buy a phone, bring it back to my house, and plug it in, and the phone company would charge me a monthly fee for that service.

 

pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Skype made it easy for the brand to go viral by providing users with items they could easily share, such as Skype buttons for personal Web sites. Within a couple of years, the verb “to Skype” was being used almost as often as “to Google.” The network effect was in play. Given that any Skype user can call any other Skype user, it was in the early adopters’ self-interest to get their friends and relatives to sign up to Skype, not Vonage or Go2Call or any other VoIP service. But awareness of Skype grew at a rapid rate primarily because people felt that they made a discovery of something new and valuable and immediately wanted to talk it up. The same is true of Collaborative Consumption. Airbnb has received an array of top-tier traditional press, from Time magazine to CNN, but founder Brian Chesky admits it’s the “viral thing” that has enabled Airbnb to build a critical mass of more than 85,000 users in more than 115 countries in less than two years.

The path that many emerging brands of Collaborative Consumption follow is similar to well-known Web 2.0 household names such as Flickr, Skype, and Facebook. They are based on empowering communities (often using the Internet as a platform to give consumers a voice) and embracing that it takes a community, not a campaign, to create a brand. Skype went live in August 2003. Within two years there were more than 100 million user accounts. By the end of 2008, Skype had hit 405 million users and people made more than 2.6 billion minutes of SkypeOut calls.6 Not a dollar had been spent on traditional, expensive advertising campaigns. Hundreds of thousands of early users spread the brand through discussing a new service called VoIP, whereby you could call people anywhere in the world for free on blogs, Facebook, and forums. Skype made it easy for the brand to go viral by providing users with items they could easily share, such as Skype buttons for personal Web sites.

“The Consumer Decides: Nike Focuses Competitive Strategy on Customization and Creating Personal Consumer Experiences” (February 26, 2007), http://mass-customization.blogs.com/mass_customization_open_i/2007/02/the_consumer_de.html. 5. “Nike + Community = Leadership,” blog post on Go Big Always (April 30, 2008), http://gobigalways.com/nike. 6. “Skype Fast Facts,” press release (Q4 2008), http://ebayinkblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/skype-fast-facts-q4-08.pdf. 7. Geoffrey Heal and Howard Kunreuther, “Social Reinforcement: Cascades, Entrapment and Tipping,” Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (December 2008), http://opim.wharton.upenn.edu/risk/library/WP2009-03-09_GH,HK_SocReinf.pdf. 8. The video of Dyfedpotter can be seen on YouTube. Retrieved November 2009, www.youtube.com/user/dyfedpotter. 9.

 

pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

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AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, ethereum blockchain, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks

Someone recently asked me, and I get this question a lot, “Can’t tyrannical governments block or ban the transmission of bitcoin transactions?” The answer is no, but I don’t think people quite understand why the answer is no. I’ll give you a couple of theoretical examples to show what I mean. 9.4.1. Transmitting Bitcoin Transactions via Skype as Smileys My first ridiculous example is the encoding of bitcoin transactions as emoticons or smileys in Skype. Skype has a 128-character emoji alphabet which allows you to send various frowny faces, smiley faces, thumbs up, thumbs down, sunny days, beating hearts, birthday cakes—you know, all of those kinds of things. Now, let’s look at that from an information-content perspective. That’s a character set, right? If I’m a computer scientist, I’m going to look at that and say, okay, I now have an encoding scheme.

No libraries needed. In the script, I can take the hexadecimal representation of a bitcoin transaction and encode it in emoticons. I can then copy that into a Skype window anywhere in the world. As long as the recipient who receives that string smileys types it into a decoder script and then simply injects it into the bitcoin network, that transaction will go through. The recipient could be a robot. The recipient could be an automated listening station that is designed to decode smileys into transactions and transmit them onto the bitcoin network. Now, explain to me how anyone can make that stop, other than by shutting down Skype. If they shut down Skype, I’ll use Facebook. If they shut down Facebook, I’ll use Craigslist. If they shut down Craigslist, I’ll put my transaction in a TripAdvisor review. If they shut down TripAdvisor, I’ll post it as a comment in the history of a Wikipedia article.

If you look at the internet in 1992, you think that it will replace the phone. That’s the only experience that you have. The internet is a fancy phone. Perhaps it’s a fancy phone/fax, perhaps a multifunctional printer/fax/phone. It’s very fancy. So, the phone companies look at this and say, "Oh, it’s a fancy phone. We can do this." They were wrong, fortunately. Otherwise, every time I went on a Skype call, there would be a little slot on the side of my computer, and I would have to deposit quarters every three seconds to make a Skype call. Fortunately, the phone companies didn’t get to write the rules. They couldn’t possibly predict the outcomes we saw on the internet, because most of the interesting things were not incremental improvements or extensions of the things before. They were radical departures from the past, because they created the conditions for things that were not possible before.

 

pages: 542 words: 161,731

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

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Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce

A few years ago at a dinner party in Paris, I met Ellen, an ambitious, elegant young woman in her early thirties, thrilled to be working at her dream job in advertising. Once a week, she would call her grandmother in Philadelphia using Skype, an Internet service that functions as a telephone with a Web camera. Before Skype, Ellen’s calls to her grandmother were costly and brief. With Skype, the calls are free and give the compelling sense that the other person is present—Skype is an almost real-time video link. Ellen could now call more frequently: “Twice a week and I stay on the call for an hour,” she told me. It should have been rewarding; instead, when I met her, Ellen was unhappy. She knew that her grandmother was unaware that Skype allows surreptitious multitasking. Her grandmother could see Ellen’s face on the screen but not her hands. Ellen admitted to me, “I do my e-mail during the calls.

“I stopped putting on makeup for Skype,” one says. “It was getting ridiculous.” Another insists that putting on makeup for Skype is important: “I want her to see me at my best, able to cope. I don’t want her to worry.” There is wistfulness in the mothers’ accounts. For one, “It’s pretty much the old ‘news of the week in review,’ except it’s news of the day. But even with the constant updates, I don’t have much of a sense of what is really happening. How she really feels.” For another, “Texting makes it easy to lie. You never know where they really are. You never know if they are home. They can be anyplace and text you. Or Skype you on their iPhone. With a landline, you knew they were actually where they were supposed to be.” One mother shares my feeling that conversations on Skype are inexplicably superficial.

My letters tried to create the space for this conversation. My daughter’s texts and Skype presence leave no space of this kind. Is this breeziness about our relationship, or is it about our media? Through my daughter’s senior-class friends—she attended an all-girl’s day school—I know a cohort of mothers whose daughters have just left for college or their first year away from home. I talk to them about their experiences and the part that technology is playing. The “mother narratives” have a certain similarity. They begin with an affirmation of the value of technology: mothers insist that they are more frequently in touch with their daughters than, as one puts it, “I would have ever dared hope.” Mothers detail the texts and the Skype calls. A few, only a few, say they get an occasional e-mail. Since Skype has video as well as voice, mothers say they can tell if their daughters are looking well.

 

pages: 169 words: 43,906

The Website Investor: The Guide to Buying an Online Website Business for Passive Income by Jeff Hunt

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buy low sell high, Donald Trump, frictionless, frictionless market, medical malpractice, passive income, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Skype, software as a service

My personal introduction and initial salvo of questions is sent via private message. I include my full name and contact information so that the seller will have confidence early on that I am a serious buyer. As the auction progresses and I get more serious about bidding or buying, I naturally have more questions. Often the answers are complex and need more explanation than is comfortable in an email or private message. I suggest having a conversation over the phone or on Skype. Skype calls, TeamViewer, or other chat systems are effective because the seller can share his screen and show you the website while answering your questions. It’s a good idea to record your own screen while he shares his so that you can review the information later on. You will want him to walk you through proof of sales, proof of traffic, and anything that the public can’t access (like behind the scenes administrative panels and tracking systems).

The magician had provided a letter from the broker stating he would continue buy leads from the new website owner. Plans started developing in mind to keep more of the profits by managing my own network of magicians and eventually cutting the broker out. Shoot, I might even learn a few tricks myself. The seller provided access to all kinds of information. He showed me phone logs, invoices, and emails. He gave me access to traffic statistics and showed me his PayPal account over a Skype screen-sharing session. I spent about three hours on the phone with him over the course of the auction. I was becoming very confident that this was going to be a winner. Then came the red flag. While the magician was sharing his screen, we were looking at his Google Webmaster Tools account. The bad news came in the form of a message from Google that said they had levied a manual action against the entire website due to “unnatural links.”

You can use screenshots to get an initial impression of the website, but if you are serious about buying it, you must eventually ask for more definitive proof. Some sellers take a screen-capture movie that shows themselves logging into their Analytics, PayPalPayPal, Bank, or other accounts to prove the website statistics. These videos can also be faked, but it is much more difficult. A common technique is to ask the seller to share his screen with you over Skype or Teamviewer and show you exactly what you want to see, in real time, on the seller’s PC. “Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” —Donald Trump Some kinds of accounts, like Google Analytics, will allow for the creation of a “read only” guest account. Most honest sellers are happy to add your gmail account to their Analytics accounts so that you can browse the historical and current statistics at your leisure.

 

pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

monitors physical spaces: Calum MacLeod (3 Jan 2013), “China surveillance targets crime—and dissent,” USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/03/china-security/1802177. Messages containing words: Vernon Silver (8 Mar 2013), “Cracking China’s Skype surveillance software,” Bloomberg Business Week, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-08/skypes-been-hijacked-in-china-and-microsoft-is-o-dot-k-dot-with-it. 30,000 Internet police: John Markoff (1 Oct 2008), “Surveillance of Skype messages found in China,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/technology/internet/02skype.html. India: John Ribeiro (13 Jan 2011), “RIM allows India access to consumer BlackBerry messaging,” CIO, http://www.cio.com/article/654438/RIM_Allows_India_Access_to_Consumer_BlackBerry_Messaging. Amol Sharma (28 Oct 2011), “RIM facility helps India in surveillance efforts,” Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970204505304577001592335138870.

Michael Isikoff (13 Aug 2013), “Lavabit.com owner: ‘I could be arrested’ for resisting surveillance order,” NBC News, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/lavabit-com-owner-i-could-be-arrested-resisting-surveillance-order-f6C10908072. US government convinced Skype: Serge Malenkovich (21 Mar 2013), “Does Big Brother watch your Skype?” Kaspersky Lab Daily, http://blog.kaspersky.com/skype-government-surveillance. James Risen and Nick Wingfield (20 Jun 2013), “Silicon Valley and spy agency bound by strengthening web,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/technology/silicon-valley-and-spy-agency-bound-by-strengthening-web.html. We don’t know what the changes were: Microsoft Corporation (13 Oct 2011), “Microsoft officially welcomes Skype,” Microsoft News Center, http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2011/oct11/10-13skypepr.aspx. we know they happened: Glenn Greenwald (11 Jul 2013), “Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages,” Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data.

He had no shareholders. He was able to destroy his own business for moral reasons. Larger, more beholden companies would never do that. We must assume that every other computer company that received a similar demand has eventually complied. For example, we know that the US government convinced Skype—through bribery, coercion, threat, or legal compulsion—to make changes in how the program operates, to facilitate eavesdropping. We don’t know what the changes were, whether they happened before or after Microsoft bought Skype in 2011, or how they satisfied whatever the government demanded, but we know they happened. In 2008, the US government secretly threatened Yahoo with a $250,000-per-day fine, with the daily amount increasing rapidly if it didn’t join the NSA’s PRISM program and provide it with user data.

 

pages: 347 words: 94,701

Don't Trust, Don't Fear, Don't Beg: The Extraordinary Story of the Arctic 30 by Ben Stewart

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3D printing, Desert Island Discs, Edward Snowden, new economy, oil rush, Skype, WikiLeaks

‘I’m sorry, say that again.’ ‘I said do you have a statement? We’re going live in ten.’ ‘What kind of drugs?’ ‘Illegal drugs. That’s what they’re saying.’ Seconds later the BBC’s Moscow correspondent tweets the news. The Skype groups explode with messages. Aaron Gray-Block: Daniel Sandford @BBCDanielS Russia’s Investigative Committee now saying ‘poppy straw’ and ‘morphine’ found on the @gp_sunrise ‘Jesus Christ,’ Mads Christensen mumbles to himself, staring at his screen. ‘This is bad. This is very bad.’ He unmutes the video link to London and taps the microphone. Eight heads look up. ‘You lot seeing Skype? The Russians are saying they’ve found drugs on board the Sunrise. They’re saying they found morphine and poppy straw.’ Faces duck below laptop screens then surface a moment later with wide, fearful eyes.

In the Room of Doom the campaigners are chewing their lips and staring into the middle distance, their eyes are red and wet. When they try to smile their lips quiver and they fight back tears. Nobody is saying much. Then a Skype message lands from St Petersburg. Jan Beránek: IMP UPDATE from Katya’s hearing: Prosecutor said he is NOT against a bail in case of Ekaterina. The judge interrupted the hearing so that she can prepare the decision. Katya Zaspa is the ship’s 37-year-old doctor from Moscow. Jan Beránek: UNCONFIRMED: Katya’s lawyer got information that her bail will be accepted. But we still need to wait for judge to pronounce her decision. Mads Christensen unmutes the video link from Copenhagen. ‘Did you guys just see that? Ben Ayliffe looks up. ‘Jan’s Skype message?’ ‘He says Katya’s lawyer’s been told she’ll get bail.’ Christensen leans back in his chair and runs his hands through his hair.

The protest was a terrorist attack, the activists are CIA operatives, they were acting as stooges for Western oil companies, the pod could have been a bomb. The lies come from all corners of the Russian establishment – from journalists, ministers, the security services, and from the state-owned oil company, Gazprom.5 In Amsterdam – where Greenpeace International is based – the organisation’s digital campaign team is looking to mobilise global public opinion. A conversation on Skype sees the first use of a phrase that will soon become the name of an international drive for the crew’s freedom. James Sadri: we want to go for a big push on #freethesunrise30 as a hashtag to mobilise people Andrew Davies: #savethearctic Andrew Davies: It keeps arctic in the frame James Sadri: #freethearctic30 Andrew Davies: #FreeTheArctic30 James Sadri: nice Meanwhile, Greenpeace legal chief Jasper Teulings is working with Moscow to assemble a team of lawyers for Murmansk.

 

pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

Countries like China and India have developed incredible expertise around globalizing technology. They don’t need to spend decades developing management theories or new products—they just need to read the book, or more often, photo copy it. Improving Communication Technology: From $20 Phone Cards to Skype Recalling a trip to Europe less than twenty years ago, a friend of mine remembered squeezing into a phone booth and scratching the code off of a ten dollar phone card to make a thirty-minute call back to the U.S. On a recent trip to Asia, he made the same call over Skype using free wifi in a cafe while he was having lunch. The shift moving jobs overseas is also being driven by communication technology which makes it easier to find, hire, and manage remote workers. Imagine if, ten years ago, you wanted to hire an editor for a magazine you were launching on craft beer.

Ten years ago, we were on the tail end of the fax age, so even if you were able to do business without visiting it meant faxing back and forth product design templates and reviewing them on the phone. Now, you can share your screen with someone on a free Skype call. Language proficiency was much worse in China as well. As education has gotten better, it’s much easier to communicate with a factory. Even if a Chinese factory could have put up a website, they may not have anyone that could actually communicate with English speakers. Getting feedback on early prototypes, a process that would have required a translator and a plane flight before, now requires you to send a representational model (which you can hire a contractor to make using relatively cheap software) via a PDF email attachment; have them open it on their end; and call over Skype to discuss it. Even in physical product manufacturing, we see the same trend: Dramatic reduction in cost and risk—cheaper and easier to find a factory, develop a prototype, and get it manufactured.

In 2020 there will be 40% more 25–34 year olds with higher education degrees from Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa than in all OECD countries (a group of 34 countries primarily in Western Europe and North America). Not only have education standards improved, but the communication technology to reach and work with people around the world has improved in lockstep. Two decades ago, trying to call someone on another continent involved prepaid phone cards in cramped telephone booths. Hardly the way to run a company or manage a team. Today, a $40 internet connection and a free Skype account gives anyone access to the greatest talent pool in history. Instead of competing against the labor pool of a few hundred thousand or a few million people in the area near you for your job, you’re competing against seven billion people around the world. The same technologies, machines, and globalization that have increased your competition in the job market have been a boon to entrepreneurs.

 

pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

Bitoinist.net, June 22, 2014. http://bitcoinist.net/exclusive-qa-with-joseph-fiscella-florincoin-and-decentralized-applications/. 84 Chaffin, B. “The NSA Can Listen to Skype Calls (Thanks to Microsoft).” The Mac Observer, July 11, 2013. http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/the-nsa-can-listen-to-skype-calls-thanks-to-microsoft; Goodin, D. Encrypted or Not, Skype Communications Prove ‘Vital’ to NSA Surveillance.” Ars Technica, May 13, 2014. http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/05/encrypted-or-not-skype-communications-prove-vital-to-nsa-surveillance/. 85 Brin, D. The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Group, 1999. 86 Chaffin, B. “The NSA Can Listen to Skype Calls (Thanks to Microsoft).” The Mac Observer, July 11, 2013. http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/the-nsa-can-listen-to-skype-calls-thanks-to-microsoft. 87 Dourado, E. “Can Namecoin Obsolete ICANN (and More)?”

This method captures tweets that might be censored out later by takedown requests.82 Florincoin’s key enabling feature for this is transaction comments, a 528-character field for the recording of both metadata and tweet content.83 The expanded commenting functionality could be used more broadly for many kinds of blockchain applications, such as providing metadata and secure pointers to genomic sequences or X-ray files. Another freedom-oriented application is Ostel’s free encrypted Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony service, because the United States National Security Agency (NSA) can listen in on other services like Skype.84 Ostel is a nice example of David Brin’s bottom-up souveillance counterweight85 to top-down NSA surveillance (of both traditional telephone calls and Skype86). Decentralized DNS Functionality Beyond Free Speech: Digital Identity Beyond its genesis motivation to enable free speech and provide a countermeasure to the centralized control of the Internet, there are other important uses of decentralized DNS functionality in the developing Blockchain 3.0 ecosystem. The blockchain is allowing a rethinking and decentralization of all Internet network operations—for example, DNS services (Namecoin, DotP2P), digital identity (KeyID, and OneName and BitID, which are discussed shortly), and network traffic communications (OpenLibernet.org, an open mesh network communications protocol).

 

pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

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23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, disintermediation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Yogi Berra

Give it away and build some other business around it. Index it, package it, slice and dice it, write opinions on it, just don’t be in the business of selling it. I like the expression: because they can. Someone will give a zero margin cost product or service away—because they can! This is true of content like music and movies, but it’s also true of many services. Voice calls can be free, so Skype and others made them free, only charging when they have to touch the old antiquated phone system. Skype was lucky that AT&T still charged for phone calls so they could undercut them and still charge for something. Same for classified ads and what Craigslist did to newspapers. Classifieds could be done for free so they were, with just a $75 fee added for job listings, creating enough revenue for Craigslist to cover all their costs, and then some.

Sometimes something that should Scale stops scaling, often because of self-inflicted wounds. eBay’s online auctions grew and grew because they let buyers and sellers meet each other cheaply. But for inexplicable reasons, eBay made a habit of raising prices every year instead of lowering them. For a good six or seven years it didn’t matter; the company grew and their stock kept going up. But eventually the higher prices caught up with them and now they’re just another company looking to acquire businesses like PayPal and Skype for growth. On the other hand, some things get cheaper but don’t Scale. Drugs for irritable bowel syndrome don’t scale. Cigarettes don’t scale. Twinkies don’t scale. Coffee doesn’t scale. And I’m not quite sure energy scales anymore. If a leukemia drug got cheaper every year, I don’t think any more doses would be sold. It’s inelastic, which is probably why its price won’t ever drop. Don’t get me wrong.

Horizontal is better than vertical because it harnesses separate layers of innovation, something the vertical model makes almost impossible. It sounds odd, but a partnership between two profitdriven enterprises is usually more manageable and productive than the relationship between two divisions of a large company, each of whose VP wants to be CEO someday. Vertical phone company giants like AT&T saw their growth taken away by horizontals like Level 3 and Skype; the PC business all over again. ON THE SURFACE, a horizontal structure is counterintuitive. For instance, one good reason to integrate vertically is supply. When there are long, slow supply lines, or unsure supplies of key inputs, it makes sense to integrate vertically to make up for the lack of certainty. Put it all under your control to guarantee supplies, as Ford did with the River Rouge plant.

 

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

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Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux

If this is a sharing economy, it is a thin sharing economy. • Think of the “Voice Over IP” service called Skype. With Skype, you can make free Internet calls, and very cheap Internet-to-regular-phone calls (and vice versa). But Skype is designed to use, or “share,” the resources of the computers connected to this VOIP network. When you’re on the Skype phone, Skype is using your computer to make its network work better.46 This is like AT&T drawing electricity from your house when you use the telephone, as a way to keep its electricity costs down. I don’t mean to criticize Skype for this: it certainly helps make the service better. But when someone participates in this “sharing economy” of computer resources, what is the most salient motivation? Is it to advance the cause of Skype? Or is it simply a by-product of people’s desire for cheap calls?

The third motivator posited by Kollock is that the act of contributing can have a positive effect on contributors’ sense of “efficacy”—a sense that they have some effect on the environment (Bandura, 1995). Fourth and finally, he notes that contributors may be motivated by their attachment or commitment to a particular open source project or group. In other words, the good of the group enters into the utility equation of the individual contributor. (Ibid., 927.) 46. Or so the terms of service for Skype say. See “Skype End User License Agreement—Article 4 Utilization of Your Computer,” Skype, available at link #69 (last visited July 31, 2007). 47. Daniel H. Pink, “The Book Stops Here,” Wired, March 2005, available at link #70. 48. All quotes from Jimmy Wales taken from an in-person interview conducted May 4, 2007. 49. Seth Anthony, “Contribution Patterns Among Active Wikipedians: Finding and Keeping Content Creators,” Wikimania Proceedings SA1 (2006), as summarized at link #71 (last visited August 20, 2007). 50.

., 206 RW (Read/Write) culture, 28–29, 33, 34–35, 50, 51–83, 116, 252, 253, 274 copyright law and, 97, 100–105, 108 economic value promoted by, 88–90 importance and value of, 106–8 media in, 68–83 RO culture compared with, 84–114 text in, 57–68, 69 value of works created in, 90–97 values and, 85–88 Sadler, Sim, 72–73 Safari Books Online, 235–36 sampling, 53–54, 104, 273 San Francisco Chronicle, 190 Sanger, Larry, 156, 157 Saturday Night Live, 227–28 Scherf, Steve, 237–28 Scholastic, 206 Second Life, 213, 214–20, 236 Sefton-Green, Julia, 78 segregation, 257–58 SETI, 167 Sendmail, 163–64 sharecropping, 243–48 sharing economies, 116, 118–19, 143–76, 177, 223 commercial economies and, 145–51, 177–78, 225–26, 252 crossovers and, 227–28 hybrid economies and, 177–78, 225; see also hybrid economies on Internet, 119, 155–72 motivations for participation in, 151–54, 172–76, 291 parallel economies and, 225–26 thick, 152, 154 thin, 152–54 tools signaling, 226–27 Sherman, Cary, 114 Shuttleworth, Mark, 184–85 SilviaO, 15–17, 95 Sims, Charles, 91–92, 93, 95 8/12/08 1:56:33 AM 326 IND E X Six Apart, 233 Skype, 153 slander, 275 Slashdot, 198–99 Smith, Adam, 49–50 Smith, Marc, 201–2 Söderberg, Johan, 70, 73, 75, 273 software, 221 free and open-source, 163–66, 172, 173–75, 179–85, 219, 220, 240–43, 291 Sony, xxi, 2, 10, 40, 102, 241, 244, 249 Sousa, John Philip, 23–29, 31–33, 35, 36, 50, 56, 82, 132, 254, 280 Southwestern Bell, 181–82 spam, 58 Spears, Britney, 95–96 spillovers, 229–31 Stallman, Richard, 157, 163, 179, 182, 183 Star Wars, 245–46, 247 Sterling, Thomas, 180 stock markets, 152–53, 154 Stone, Victor, 75, 97 Success of Open Source, The (Weber), 174–75 Sun Microsystems, 181, 232 Sunstein, Cass, 126 Supreme Court, U.S., 102, 110, 123, 225, 291–92 MGM v.

 

pages: 538 words: 141,822

The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Earth, illegal immigration, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, pirate software, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Sinatra Doctrine, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

First, sensitive data can now be encrypted on the cheap, adding an extra level of protection to conversations between dissidents. Even though decryption is possible, it can eat a lot of government resources. This is particularly true when it comes to voice communications. While it was relatively easy to bug a phone line, this is not such an easy option with voice-over-the-Internet technology like Skype. (The inability to eavesdrop on Skype conversations bothers Western governments, too: In early 2009 the U.S. National Security Agency was reported to have offered a sizeable cash bounty to anyone who could help them break Skype’s encrypted communications; to date no winners have been announced.) Second, there is so much data being produced online that authorities cannot possibly process and analyze all of it. Comparable estimates for the developing world are lacking, but according to a 2009 study by researchers at the University of California at San Diego, by 2008 the information consumption of an average American reached thirty-four gigabytes of data per day, an increase of 350 percent compared to 1980.

In Mutatione Fortitudo Blog, June 5, 2010. blog.novruzov.az/2010/06/facebook-and-plans-of-party.html . Olshansky, Elliot. “A ‘Russian Sarah Palin’? Meet Pro-Putin Activist Maria Sergeyeva, Russia’s Rising Political Star.” New York Daily News, March 9, 2009. Osipovich, Alexander. “NoizeMC, aka Ivan Alexeyev, and Russian Rap Inspire a Movement.” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2010. Page, Lewis. “NSA Offering ‘Billions’ for Skype Eavesdrop Solution.” Register, February 12, 2009. www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/12/nsa_offers_billions_for_skype_pwnage/. Podger, Corinne. “China Marshalls Army of Bloggers.” Connect Asia. Radio Australia, August 21, 2008. Pretel, Enrique Andres. “Twitter’s Heady Rise Has Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in Spin.” Reuters, March 30, 2010. “Prjamaja Rech.” Prilozhenie Telekom, Kommersant, November 16, 2006. www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?DocsID=720472. Ramzy, Austin.

New York Times, September 13, 2009. www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/business/media/13note.html? _r=1. Owad, Tom. “Data Mining 101: Finding Subversives with Amazon Wishlists.” Applefritter, January 4, 2006. www.applefritter.com/bannedbooks. “P2P Comes to the Aid of Audiovisual Search.” PhysOrg.com. November 18, 2009.www.physorg.com/news177780052.html. Page, Lewis. “NSA Offering ‘Billions’ for Skype Eavesdrop Solution.” Register, February 12, 2009. www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/12/nsa_offers_billions_for_skype_pwnage/. Palmer, Maija. “Face Recognition Software Gaining a Broader Canvas.” Financial Times, May 22, 2010. ———. “Google Debates Face Recognition Technology After Privacy Blunders.” Financial Times, May 20, 2010. Pankavec, Zmіcer. “KDB Verbue Praz vkontakte.ru.” Nasha Nіva, December 19, 2009. Peterson, Kristina. “Intelligence Agents Borrow Wall Street Trading Technology.”

 

pages: 468 words: 124,573

How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time by George Berkowski

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Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Y Combinator

From the very get-go, your company – and especially the product-and-development teams – should be fostering a culture of openness, inviting real people to use your app, and then inviting feedback that can be shared throughout the company to drive improvements. One great example is Skype’s mobile app. In 2013 it had more than 300 million active users across a number of mobile platforms. Jonathan Moore was in charge of mobile product there (until Hailo headhunted him to join its product team) and he introduced a great practice: get out there in front of users every single Friday and get real-world feedback. Granted, Skype has a usability lab with dedicated people working just on that (what a luxury!). As a result Skype continually tested all kinds of changes and improvements. This led to a culture of experimentation, and great improvements in not only user-satisfaction levels but also app-related revenues.

The takeaway here is that, if the app offers an experience that hits a nerve – a latent psychological or behavioural need (I want to be anonymous with my messages) – then it explodes. If Snapchat can disrupt the market, then clearly so can others. VOICE-CALL-RELATED, 22 TIMES PER DAY: Mobile carriers still carry the vast majority of calls over non-data networks, but plenty of apps have come to eat more of their pie. Skype is a leader in voice calls with its mobile app (200 million active users and $200 million in annual revenue), as is the Viber app, which amassed 300 million active users by early 2014.8 Like Skype, it uses instant messaging and a voice-over-Internet protocol (VOIP). Google has its own Hangouts app, and Apple has its Facetime app built right into the iOS platform. As mobile carriers realise that their future lies in data, they have offered unlimited national calling packages, removing revenue opportunities for apps that want to compete.

That being said, there are a number of other billion-dollar technology startups that began as websites or even desktop applications. There’s clearly a huge amount to learn from them, not only from the way that they have adapted to the mobile world, but also because they are great examples of modern companies that have grown from ideas to billion-dollar powerhouses by developing better products, great leadership, constant innovation – and, above all, superb execution. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Skype, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, Pandora, Dropbox, Box, Groupon and Evernote fall into this category. Concrete steps The world of mobile technology is exciting – and daunting. The mobile landscape is constantly changing: every week seems to herald the arrival of a new mobile device – from smartphones to smart watches, to tablets, to phablets (that’s a combination of phone and tablet). We’re also bombarded with new flavours of mobile software – Android’s candy-store options include KitKat, Jelly Bean and Froyo.

 

pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, performance metric, platform as a service, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, web application

Siri, Lola, Skype and VoIP We are also seeing more use of technologies such as web-chat and Skype. These are hardly universal, but a few banks have experimented with context-sensitive web-chat and integrating Skype into the web/tablet experience. In fact, when UBank launched as NAB’s online direct banking brand experiment back in 2009, it deliberately integrated Skype into the customer onboarding and support mechanisms. UBank states on its website: “You can ‘Skype™ us’ from anywhere in the world for free (excluding ISP costs). UBank is the first Australian bank to enable Skype™ calls directly into our 24×7 Australian-based Direct Banking Centre.” At an FST Media event in June 2011, UBank stated that ten per cent of its customer support and sales calls were already handled via Skype.3 I think it is fair to say that allowing customers new ways to engage or seek out information and support actually gives them more comfort and confidence in the brand.

Contents Acknowledgements Introduction Part 01: Changes in Customer Behaviour Chapter 1: The Demands of the Hyperconnected Consumer Psychological impact Process of diffusion The four phases of behavioural disruption Retail banking disruption and the de-banked Utility and service are the new differentiators Chapter 2: The ROI of Great Customer Experience Channel silos Organisation structure The Branch versus Online versus Mobile debate Breaking bad inertia Part 02: Rebuilding the Bank Chapter 3: Can the Branch Be Saved? Always banking, never at a bank™ The core function of the branch in the 21st century Branch innovations built to engage What happens when they don’t visit anymore? Branch improvements today Chapter 4: Onboard and Engaged—The Ecosystem for Customer Support The need for better support Siri, Lola, Skype and VoIP When a consumer wants to become a customer Customer-centred means organisational change Responsive architecture Conclusions: Tactical channel improvement Chapter 5: Web—Why Revenue Is Still So Hard To Find . . . Why aren’t we buying more online? What sells online? Screen (web/tablet/mobile) first Cross-sell to existing customers Internet channel improvement today Chapter 6: Mobile Banking—Already Huge and It’s Just Getting Started The greatest device ever sold The landscape Bringing banking to the unbanked What does the future hold?

Research shows, however, that if you can direct customers to the correct call centre number quickly, you reduce traffic and costs—rather than leave customers to experiment by calling many different numbers. On every product or transaction page on your website, list the specific call centre number for that type of product/service. This can direct customers to an Interactive Voice Response menu specifically designed for that query, which will reduce call centre load and ensure CSR (customer service representatives) are appropriately equipped to answer specific questions. Even better, put a Skype calling button on the website where they can contact someone from the bank as they have a question, rather than waiting for them to find the correct number and call you separately. UBank™ in Australia used this methodology with great success. Customers are already coming to your website to find the solution, so why not put a list of the most frequent call types, issues or questions in the same area of the site where customers look up the telephone number?

 

pages: 106 words: 22,332

Cancel Cable: How Internet Pirates Get Free Stuff by Chris Fehily

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Firefox, patent troll, pirate software, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, WikiLeaks

If it failed, check the resources listed in “Getting Help” earlier in this chapter and search for firewall or router or port forwarding. To set the maximum upload rate automatically (OS X): Quit all programs that access the internet, including browsers, mail/chat clients, antimalware, Skype, iTunes, and backup tools. Open uTorrent. Choose uTorrent > Preferences or press Command+, (comma). In the Preferences window, click Bandwidth, and then turn on “Limit upload rate automatically.” To set the maximum upload rate manually (Windows or OS X): Quit all programs that access the internet, including browsers, mail/chat clients, antimalware, Skype, iTunes, and backup tools. Open your browser and go to a website that can test broadband speeds. I use speedtest.net or dslreports.com/speedtest, but you can find others by searching the web for speed test, bandwidth test, internet connection speed, or a similar phrase.

This asymmetry arose because ordinary users generally receive (download) many more webpages, videos, pictures, messages, programs, and documents than they publish (upload). Because too much outbound traffic can choke your download speed, you must throttle, or limit, uTorrent’s maximum upload speed. In general, you don’t have to throttle download speed. You can throttle upload rates automatically or manually. To set the maximum upload rate automatically (Windows): Quit all programs that access the internet, including browsers, mail/chat clients, antimalware, Skype, iTunes, and backup tools. Open uTorrent and choose Options > Setup Guide or press Ctrl+G. In the uTorrent Setup Guide, choose the location closest to you from the Bandwidth drop-down list. If a somewhat nearby place isn’t listed, skip the remaining steps and set the upload rate manually, as described later in this section. Click Run Tests and wait until the tests finish. If the Bandwidth test succeeded, click Save & Close.

In OS X, choose uTorrent > Preferences (Command+,) > Bandwidth, turn off “Limit upload rate automatically,” turn on “Limit upload rate manually to,” and then set the limit to the number that you calculated in the preceding step (rounded to the nearest whole number). Close Preferences. Other Settings Though uTorrent’s default configuration settings work fine in most cases, you can adjust them to suit you. Limit download rates. If uTorrent is hogging bandwidth and slowing your browser, Skype calls, or other internet applications, you can do any of the following: Shut down uTorrent for a while. Limit the download rate. In Windows, choose Options > Preferences (Ctrl+P) > Bandwidth (in the left pane) and set “Maximum download rate (kB/s).” In OS X, choose uTorrent > Preferences (Command+,) > Bandwidth, turn on “Limit download rate to,” and then set the download limit. Try a limit of 80%–95% your bandwidth’s download capacity.

 

pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

One of my popular fin du siecle free software programs, Xitami, turned a Windows PC into a fast little web server. Nonetheless, most of us learned to use our PCs as thin clients, especially by 2005 or so, when web applications became powerful enough to replace desktop applications. Today, PCs are rarely used for anything intensive except high-end gaming. There were some very successful mesh-like applications up until 2005 or so, including Skype (before Microsoft changed Skype to use centralized servers). However even pre-Microsoft Skype and infamous P2P file sharing protocols like BitTorrent all worked through the broadband connection, allowing the ISPs to see all the traffic, filter it, log it, and so on. The Internet was based on a promise of a smart edge (computers) connected over a dumb fabric (TCP/IP), and then the Web turned that inside out, giving us a dumb edge (thin clients) talking to a smart center (websites).

They will just silently turn on the microphones and cameras in our laptops, or hack into the "always on" cameras on our entertainment systems and smart TVs. As Sean Hollister asks in the Verge, "Will the NSA use the Xbox One to spy on your family?" noting that despite denying it was even technically possible, "Microsoft gave government agencies access to private Skype video and audio calls, perhaps even going so far as to integrate Skype into the NSA's controversial PRISM surveillance system." The change could come when they convince us that they need to "protect the children" or "provide security services to the elderly." It could start with some vulnerable section of the population such as criminals who are on parole, or drug users in rehabilitation. It could be drones that fly down streets, looking inside windows and through curtains.

Flickr and YouTube, launched in 2004 and 2005, mixed the pretty new Ajax technologies with community and self-created content to create massive hits. The Internet has continued its explosive takeover of technical, social, economic, and political life. Pretty much every person on the planet is connected -- if not directly, then by immediate proxy. We amplify our lives through Facebook, Twitter, massive multiplayer games, email, chat, Skype. The only people who are not on line fairly regularly with a diverse network of contacts are too poor, too old, too young, or (and I'm speculating here) young men who are so socially isolated as to present a "lone wolf" threat. Digital political activism has never been more aggressive, confident, and successful as it confronts abusive cults, authoritarian governments, and dictators, and spreads its philosophical anarchist vision of the future.

 

pages: 383 words: 108,266

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

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air freight, Al Roth, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, endowment effect, financial innovation, fudge factor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, housing crisis, invisible hand, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, market bubble, Murray Gell-Mann, payday loans, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair

He may have even seen this as a techie challenge—or maybe he is a student to whom I once gave a bad grade and who decided to tweak my nose for it. Would this kid have taken cash from my wallet, even if he knew for sure that no one would ever catch him? Maybe, but I imagine that the answer is no. Instead, I suspect that there were some aspects of Skype and of how my account was set up that “helped” this person engage in this activity and not feel morally reprehensible: First, he stole calling time, not money. Next, he did not gain anything tangible from the transaction. Third, he stole from Skype rather than directly from me. Fourth, he might have imagined that at the end of the day Skype, not I, would cover the cost. Fifth, the cost of the calls was charged automatically to me via PayPal. So here we had another step in the process—and another level of fuzziness in terms of who would eventually pay for the calls.

None of this makes logical sense, but when the medium of exchange is nonmonetary, our ability to rationalize increases by leaps and bounds. I HAD MY own experience with dishonesty a few years ago. Someone broke into my Skype account (very cool online telephone software) and charged my PayPal account (an online payment system) a few hundred dollars for the service. I don’t think the person who did this was a hardened criminal. From a criminal’s perspective, breaking into my account would most likely be a waste of time and talent because if this person was sufficiently smart to hack into Skype, he could probably have hacked into Amazon, Dell, or maybe even a credit card account, and gotten much more value for his time. Rather, I imagine that this person was a smart kid who had managed to hack into my account and who took advantage of this “free” communication by calling anyone who would talk to him until I managed to regain control of my account.

So here we had another step in the process—and another level of fuzziness in terms of who would eventually pay for the calls. (Just in case you are wondering, I have since canceled this direct link to PayPal.) Was this person stealing from me? Sure, but there were so many things that made the theft fuzzy that I really don’t think he thought of himself as a dishonest guy. No cash was taken, right? And was anyone really hurt? This kind of thinking is worrisome. If my problem with Skype was indeed due to the nonmonetary nature of the transactions on Skype, this would mean that there is much more at risk here, including a wide range of online services, and perhaps even credit and debit cards. All these electronic transactions, with no physical exchange of money from hand to hand, might make it easier for people to be dishonest—without ever questioning or fully acknowledging the immorality of their actions. THERE’S ANOTHER, SINISTER impression that I took out of our studies.

 

pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

For the next hour the founders brainstormed sequences that embodied mathematical puns, while the product sailed through the review.) Halfway through the development cycle, an opportunity arose that Google’s leaders felt compelled to consider: Skype was available. It was a onetime chance to grab hundreds of millions of Internet voice customers, merging them with Google Voice to create an instant powerhouse. Wesley Chan believed that this was a bad move. Skype relied on a technology called peer to peer, which moved information cheaply and quickly through a decentralized network that emerged through the connections of users. But Google didn’t need that system because it had its own efficient infrastructure. In addition, there was a question whether eBay, the owner of Skype, had claim to all the patents to the underlying technology, so it was unclear what rights Google would have as it tried to embellish and improve the peer-to-peer protocols.

Of all the people in that cohort, none was as respected as Kamangar. “Salar is like the secret president of Google,” says Chan, who laid out the reasons why a Skype acquisition would be a disaster. Kamangar agreed. Then the two of them talked to Sergey and won him over as well. With those allies on board, Chan devised a plan to kill the Skype purchase. As he later described it, his scheme involved “laying grenades” at the executive meeting where the purchase was up for approval. Chan tricked the business development executive who was pushing the acquisition into thinking that he was in favor of the deal: he had even prepared a PowerPoint presentation with all the reasons Google should buy Skype. Chan says that halfway through the presentation, though, the trap sprang. Brin suddenly began asking questions that the deck didn’t address.

Craig Walker said he had two kids in school and wasn’t about to make regular runs to Eastern Europe. “What are the regulatory risks?” A lawyer said it might take months to get approval. Finally, Brin looked at Chan and asked why Google would want to take the risk to begin with. Chan dropped his defense entirely and began explaining why Google had no need for Skype. “At that point,” recalls Chan, “Sergey gets up and says, ‘This is the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen.’ And Eric gets up and walks out of the room. The deal’s off.” Not long after, eBay sold Skype to a group of investors, taking a loss from its original purchase price. In March 2009, Google Voice made its debut with a thunderclap. In addition to all the services GrandCentral offered, such as one number for life, the company had added others, including integration with Gmail and Google Calendar.

 

pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Zipcar

Edwin Cannan (London: Methuen, 1961), 1: 475. 55. “Mahatma Gandhi’s Views,” TinyTech Plants, http://www.tinytechindia.com/gandhi4.htm (accessed June 14, 2013). 56. Prarelal, Mahatma Gandhi: Poornahuti, vol. 10: The Last Phase, part 2 (Ahmedabad, India: Navajivan Trust, 1956), 522. Chapter 7 1. “Skype in the Classroom,” Skype, 2013, https://education.skype.com/ (accessed November 6, 2013); Sarah Kessler, “Skype CEO: Our Goal Is to Connect 1 Million Classrooms,” Mashable, September 21, 2011, http://mashable.com/2011/09/21/skype-in-the-classroom-tony-bates/ (accessed November 12, 2013). 2. “Curriki at a Glance,” Curriki homepage, April 2012, http://www.curriki.org/welcome/wp -content/uploads/2012/06/Curriki-At-a-Glance-04.04.12-update.pdf (accessed April 23, 2013). 3. “Einstein Middle School, 8th Grade,” Facing the Future, http://www.facingthefuture.org/Take Action/StudentsTakingAction/EinsteinMiddleSchool/tabid/165/Default.aspx#.Ubj2AaIkLE1 (accessed April 18, 2013). 4.

The educational models are designed to free students from the private space of the traditional enclosed classroom and allow them to learn in multiple open Commons, in virtual space, the public square, and in the biosphere. Classrooms around the world are connecting in real time, via Skype and other programs, and collaborating on joint assignments. Students separated by thousands of miles pair off in virtual-cohort teams, study together, make presentations, debate with one another, and even get graded together. The global collaborative classroom is quickly becoming a reality. Skype in the Classroom, a free online community, has already registered 60,447 teachers in its global classroom project and has set a goal of connecting 1 million classrooms across the world.1 Collaborative Classrooms, another Internet learning environment, allows thousands of teachers to cocreate curricula online and share the best lesson plans with one another—for free—in a global education Commons.

She says she wasn’t all that excited about the video lectures. It’s when she checked into the online class forum that she experienced her “being-blown-away moment.” She writes: The traffic is astonishing. There are thousands of people asking—and answering—questions about dominant mutations and recombination. And study groups had spontaneously grown up: a Colombian one, a Brazilian one, a Russian one. There’s one on Skype, and some even in real life too. And they’re so diligent! Cadwalladr says, “If you are a vaguely disillusioned teacher, or know one, send them to Coursera: these are people who just want to learn.”16 While student enthusiasm for MOOCs is running high, educators find that the number of participants that actually complete the courses and pass the tests is often substantially less than students in brick-and-mortar classrooms.

 

pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, web application

He finally connected with Esther (he found her email via other means) and she answered his email, but decided not to invest. He didn’t give up. In fact, he told me he had sent the same Skype request to more than 100 other investors and technology pundits before I accepted. Digital tenacity I quickly learned that Raul doesn’t give up easily. After others declined to invest, Raul started asking me to back his project. I told him I was small fry in the world of venture capital and technology, but he just wouldn’t go away. Every day, the moment I logged in online I’d hear that little sound Skype makes when you receive a message — ‘whooooop’ — mere seconds after I was connected. It was as though he was waiting for me or had some kind of alert already set up. Mind you, this would be around midnight in Romania. So we started chatting on Skype every other day. I quickly learned that he’d already done some projects that proved his technical capabilities, if not tenacity.

People would call me and say, ‘Steve, can I use your guy from Moldova to get some development done?’ What’s more interesting is that his business employs more people in Moldova than the original startup we worked on ever did here in Melbourne. And his development team now works in every form of coding/language/mobile device you can think of. When Vasilii was in town, it was like hanging out with a long-lost relative. He’s just like the guy I used to speak to every day on Skype, a strange thing to say now that we know the virtual world is the real world. It’s also a great reminder that the online and real worlds should only ever be preambles to each other and in some ways seamlessly interchangeable. While the tools this digital revolution has provided are amazing, it’s the human connections that are creating a truly Sans nation state economy. Sans nation state economy: an economy where global transactions subvert national control due to their virtual nature The laptop corporation The story of access isn’t limited to production and digital services.

It started with the kind of request you get every day, a request for money from a stranger in a developing economy. He assured me he would put it to good use and that I would benefit from helping him. I gave him the money. He kept his word. It wasn’t really what anyone expected — including me. But yes, there’s more to it than that. A new low for the internet The first request from Raul Oaida to connect wasn’t one you get every day. His request-to-connect message on Skype said, ‘Hi, I’m building a spaceship’. He had me right then. It’s not every day you get a request to connect online with such an old-school kicking copy line that has such cut through. So I clicked on ‘accept’. Who wouldn’t? I thought maybe he’d been reading my thought-leading blog posts, or seen some of my startups or published articles. But the sad truth was that he was far more savvy than that.

 

pages: 163 words: 46,523

The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Success Stories of Artists, Inventors, and Entrepreneurs by Steinberg, Don

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3D printing, crowdsourcing, Kickstarter, Skype, Y Combinator

Nathaniel Hansen, a Boston filmmaker who has been involved with more than a dozen Kickstarter projects, has advised taking an even more severe policy toward the hassles and costs of shipping: “I try not to put anything in the mail for under $50.” To that somewhat mercenary rule-of-thumb, allow us to add another caveat: Don’t offer any individually customized reward for under $100. Haughey offers the important reminder that your time is valuable, too. “I’ve seen people offer ‘a Skype conversation with me,’ and then twenty or thirty people choose that! The person then has like six hours of Skype conversations to do.” Sometimes Kickstarter campaigners have been happily surprised by the number of high-end rewards their most passionate backers go in for. Yehuda Berlinger, founder of the board-game website Purple Pawn, wrote in a summary of his Kickstarter research that “early-adopting gamers—the ones you are trying to court—are loyal, fervent, communicative, know a lot about what makes a good game, and have cash to spend but don’t want to be cheated.

Kickstarter Award Ideas by Creative Category Category Entry-Level Reward Midlevel Reward High-End Reward Film digital download of film, DVD, name in “thank you” crawl in credits, behind-the-scenes photos, soundtrack music, T-shirts, mugs “producer” credit, movie poster, autographed script or photo, screening or party invitation appear as an extra in the movie, spend the day as director’s assistant, phone or Skype call with director or actors, iPad with the movie preloaded on it, personal screening Music digital download of the music, CD, T-shirt, poster signed CDs, name in CD liner notes, handwritten lyrics, release party invitation, admission to invitation-only performance name on the tour van, customized song for the backer, music or vocal lesson, DJ’d party at your house, private concert Design product accessories, actual product (low cost) actual product (midcost), multiple products, product with accessory package, product with color or feature selection actual product (high cost), multiple products, highly customized or limited editions, personal visit to install or set up product Art digital version of artwork, physical artwork (very small), art on T-shirt, mug, postcards, poker chips, calendar artwork (small to medium), art book, print or giclée of original painting, backers-only gallery opening Large art piece, custom made art, art lesson, day with the artist, portrait of backer by the artist, exclusive opening or reception, personal visit/exhibition from artist (large/mobile installations) Publishing e-books, paperbacks, magazine issues, subscriptions, T-shirts, mugs hardcover edition, autographed copies, poster, hoodie conference workshop passes, launch party invitations, time or chat with book author, chance to guest-edit or contribute content to magazine Technology project-related T-shirts, stickers, decals, product accessories midpriced product produced in the project high-end product produced by the Kickstarter campaign, assembled version of DIY kit, customized versions Theater CD or DVD, show program, poster tickets to rehearsal or performance invitation to party or reception, behind-the-scenes access to production, acting class Games copy of game (digital apps), listing in credits, game accessories, T-shirts copy of board game or computer/video game, USB thumb drive containing game rules custom or original artwork, access to closed beta test, backer name or image in the game, naming rights to objects in the game, “our products for life” Food recipes, food, foodie implements and accessories cookbook, more food, cooking class, restaurant meal offer to plan meal/choose wine for backer, create custom food item, prepare and serve a meal on location, personal cooking lesson Photography digital images, inkjet prints, images on T-shirts, photo book (inexpensive) framed and unframed photo prints, high-end or signed photo book photography lesson, personal photo shoot, exclusive gallery opening or reception invitation Comics stickers, decals, T-shirts and other items with comic art, digital comics, or special Web access, backer thanks in graphic novels hardcopy books, USB thumb drive containing digital versions, signed posters original artwork, personalized illustration by artist, your character drawn into the comic Fashion print, T-shirt, tote bag, mug related to garment designs midpriced garment created by the Kickstarter project high-end garment, custom-fit garment, garment named after the backer Dance credit in performance literature or on website, tote bag, T-shirt, poster, digital video DVD of performance, rehearsal admission, entry to group dance class, garment or prop used in performance private dance lesson, consultation with a show seamstress, exclusive performance tickets, choreography of backer’s event, personal dance performance We do it all for you: Some personalized rewards Because you can never have too many ideas for cool rewards, here are some specific, highly personalized ones offered by real-life Kickstarter creators.

For her first campaign, called Allison Weiss makes a full-length record! her updates included taking requests for a show, soliciting album title ideas and fan votes, and offering many video and text updates from her studio. In one update, she offered to do a phone call with the person whose pledge pushed her past her $2,000 goal (she ended up raising $7,711). She followed that with an update containing an entertaining video of the Skype call she made to Melbourne, Australia, to chat with the backer who made the victory-clinching pledge. Updates can continue well after a campaign has been successful. After Weiss’s first project ended in triumph in early August of 2009, she continued to send updates for another nine months, through December of that year. The last one she posted, update number 25, came on the heels of the New York Times mention of her in an article about Kickstarter success stories.

 

pages: 348 words: 39,850

Data Scientists at Work by Sebastian Gutierrez

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business intelligence, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, DevOps, domain-specific language, follow your passion, full text search, informal economy, information retrieval, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, iterative process, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, technology bubble, text mining, the scientific method, web application

Agriculture is an example of a business highly affected by the weather. Right now we’re in our third year, so it’s very exciting. Gutierrez: Did you have a background in oceanography? Karpištšenko: I did not have a background in oceanography when we started, but I did have a background in data. The story of how I ended up here was that I founded the data research team at Skype. At Skype we were looking at how the Internet worked and how we could optimize it from a Skype perspective. Our overarching goal was to help people communicate—figuring out how we could best help them find each other and talk to each other in a meaningful manner. So we looked at data to understand things like how to fit more video calls into the limited network conditions that were available at the time. I was deeply involved with data on a daily basis.

Building and maintaining this platform to connect, maintain, and make the data usable to a variety of industries poses significant challenges given the variety and size of data involved, the public/private ownership behind the data generating sensors, and the required streamlining of different standards, protocols, and data models. Karpištšenko previously founded and led the Data Analytics Research Team at Skype. While at Skype, he also led the Engineering Infrastructure group as well as the Client Quality team. Before that, he was a co-founder of ASA Quality Services, a software quality assurance company, which he bootstrapped to profitability. Karpištšenko started out his career developing software for organizations such as the European Environmental Agency. He has many publications and patents in the fields of data processing and analysis and software process improvement and collaboration.

Getting through life, through those uncertainties—in a way, when you look back and see things still connect and exist, that’s the biggest measure of success. www.it-ebooks.info 229 230 Chapter 11 | André Karpištšenko, Planet OS As you grow and as you start having children, or as people start to become more important to you, then seeing their successes is a great thing. I’m personally very glad that some people I managed at Skype have now grown into managers themselves and are now growing their own managers. As I was leaving Skype, an interesting situation happened where my manager, his manager, and I were all sitting around the table. At this meeting, there was also someone I had grown into manager. Being part of that full circle was what I would define as success. Gutierrez: How do you think about whether you’re solving the right problem? Karpištšenko: This is a big question I think about frequently.

 

pages: 366 words: 87,916

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner

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card file, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, index card, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Skype, spaced repetition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Yogi Berra

As you might expect, the conversations don’t get very deep; you generally just introduce yourselves and talk about where you live and what you do. If you really hit it off, you can exchange contact information and chat later using a video-chat service like Skype (Skype.com). LiveMocha.com is one of many language exchange websites. Other notables are Busuu.com, MyLanguageExchange.com, and Language-Exchanges.org. They resemble dating websites for language learners. You put up a profile—I’m an English-speaking tax attorney, seeking a like-minded Russian speaker for video chatting—search through other users’ profiles, and try to make friends. Once you find a few interesting people, you set up video-chat dates (usually via Skype), where you chat and alternate languages until you decide to stop. If you find a few dedicated language learners on LiveMocha and set up regular chat dates, you can get a lot of speaking practice.

You submit a text in your target language and a native speaker will read that text aloud and send you an MP3. In exchange, you’ll record someone else’s English text. The service is lovely, but be aware that it can occasionally take several days to get a response. Rhinospike.com SELF-DIRECTED WRITING See Output. SKYPE A computer program that facilitates free phone calls and video chats across the Internet. For the purposes of language learning, it’s the program you’ll use to connect with language exchange partners and private tutors on the Internet. Skype.com SPACED REPETITION An extraordinarily efficient learning method whereby you learn something and then wait a few days to review it. If you still remember, then you wait even longer before your next review. By studying in this way, you push memories deeper and deeper into your long-term memory.

There are free options on the site, which can help you find language exchange partners, but I mostly recommend italki for its paid services. italki.com LANG-8 A free language exchange community devoted to providing writing corrections. You sign up, submit some writing, correct someone else’s writing, and get a correction of your own, usually in less than a day. Lang-8.com LANGUAGE EXCHANGE A language-learning arrangement between you and a speaker of your target language. You’ll meet up, typically via Skype video chat, and talk for a predetermined time in your language and for the same amount of time in your partner’s language. LANGUAGE EXCHANGE WEBSITES Websites that are designed to help you find language exchange partners. Livemocha.com, Busuu.com, MyLanguageExchange.com, italki.com, and Language-Exchanges.org are some of the better-known language exchange websites. LANGUAGE HOLIDAYS A trip abroad for the purposes of learning your target language and exposing yourself to the culture of your target language’s home.

 

pages: 89 words: 24,277

Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter

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big-box store, en.wikipedia.org, game design, John Gruber, Kickstarter, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Wall-E, web application

Do the emotional design methods I’m using interfere with the base layers of the user’s hierarchy of needs (making the site less functional, reliable, usable)? You may have a hard time answering these questions honestly, in which case you might conduct simple user research and usability tests to evaluate your assumptions. Do you have access to people in your target audience? Round up three to six people to meet in person or via Skype (http://skype.com) or GoToMeeting (http://gotomeeting.com). Ask your users open-ended questions that will give you the insights you seek. You might ask things like: Describe your initial reactions to the website. How does the website make you feel? If this website were a person, who would it be and why? Would you recommend this site to a friend? Why or why not? Are there site sections or features that are more important to you than others?

q=%22Guess+I+could+have+waited+for+today+if+all%22&in=81&type=contents&view=posts&search=true&button_search.x=54&button_search.y=-106&button_search=true 13 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/understandingprogressiveenhancement/ 14 http://google.com/websiteoptimizer Resources 15 http://amzn.com/1592535879 16 http://getmentalnotes.com/ 17 http://amzn.com/0465051367 18 http://amzn.com/0393334775 19 http://amzn.com/014303622X 20 http://amzn.com/030746086X 21 http://amzn.com/0979777747 22 http://amzn.com/0321607376 23 http://uxmag.com/design/beyond-frustration-three-levels-of-happy-design 24 http://uxmag.com/design/the-psychologists-view-of-ux-design 25 http://uxmag.com/design/organized-approach-to-emotional-response-testing 26 http://boxesandarrows.com/view/emotional-design Index 37Signals 8-10 A Able Design 88 aesthetic-usability effect 27-28 A List Apart 90 Apple 7, 27 anticipation 54-58, 87 apathy 75 Arts and Crafts movement 2, 94 B baby-face bias 18-20, 28, 32 Basecamp 8-10, 70 Betabrand 13-16, 75 Blue Sky Resumes 88-90, 93 bible 31-33 Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse, A 19 Bowman, Doug 21, 55-56 Brain Rules 12 Breathing Status LED Indicator 27 Bringhurst, Robert 20 Brizzly 19-20 C calligraphy 31 Carbonmade 40, 42-45 Clippy 60 CoffeeCup Software 85-87, 90 Cornelius, J. 86 contrast 22-25, 28, 44 Convertbot 40-41 D Damasio, Antonio 67 Darwin, Charles 17-18 design persona 35-40, 48, 91, 92 Don’t Make Me Think 77 dot-com bubble 3 Dribbble 55-56, 59 Dropbox 72-74 E Etsy 2 Elements of Content Strategy, The 75 Elements of Typographic Style, The 20 Emotional Design 27 Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal, The 17 F Facebook 3, 7, 54, 59, 74, 86-87 face-ism ratio design principle 46 fail whale 7 Fletcher, Louise 90 Flickr 3, 51, 54, 79-82, 93 Freddie Von Chippenheimer IV 37, 60-65 G Getting Real 8 GigaOm 56 Gmail 70 golden ratio 20-21, 27 Google Site Optimizer 93 GoToMeeting 76 Gould, Stephen Jay 19 Gorum, Dave 44 Groupon 62 Gruber, John 42 Gupta, Amit 51-52 Gutenberg, Johannes 31-33 gut instinct 67-68 H Hale, Kevin 11 Happy Cog 46 Hick’s Law 24, 28 hierarchy of needs 5-6, 35 Hipmunk 7 Hodgman, John 33, 36 Housing Works 40, 45-46, 75, 93 HTML 3 Human-Computer Interaction 29 I iPhone 40 iPod 20 industrial revolution 1 iTunes 7 Ping 7 Pink Panther 15-16 Putorti, Jason 69, 71 priming 59-65, 76 progressive enhancement 90-91 Pythagoras 20, 27 J Jobs, Steve 27 Jardine, Mark 41-42 K Kickstarter 2 Kissane, Erin 75 Krug, Steve 77 L Lindland, Chris 13-16 Long, Justin 33, 36 M Mac 33, 36 Mall, Dan 46 MailChimp 20, 36-40, 60-65, 91 Mashable 56 Maslow, Abraham 5-6 Medina, John 12 memory 11-13, 49, 82 messagefirst 33-35 Mestre, Ricardo 25-26 Microsoft Office 60 Mint 69-72, 93 N Norman, Donald 27, 82-83 O open system 54 Oprah Magazine 90 P Parthenon 20 party pooper 91 persona 33-40 Photojojo 49-52, 59, 65 Q Quicken 72 R rosy effect 82 S Scoutmob 62 Shakespeare 10 Silverback 77 Sims 54 Skype 76 Smith, Matthew 88-89 StickyBits 20 Squared Eye 88 Super Mario Brothers 54 surprise 49-54 T Tapbots 40-42 Tumblr 23-24 Trammell, Mark 55 Twitter 3, 7, 20-21, 54, 55-59, 74, 86-87 V variable rewards 62, 87 velvet rope 57, 87 Volkswagen Beetle 32 W WALL•E 41-42 Warfel, Todd Zaki 33 Weightbot 40-41 Wilson, Rainn 4 Wufoo 9-11, 13, 52-54, 93 Y YouTube 37, 60 About A Book Apart Web design is about multi-disciplinary mastery and laser focus, and that’s the thinking behind our brief books for people who make websites.

 

pages: 404 words: 124,705

The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker

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Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra

“Internet use does not pull people away from public places, but rather is associated with frequent visits to places such as parks, cafes, and restaurants,” write Wellman and Rainie.27 But as the Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman reminds us, “Go into Starbucks and a third of the customers are having coffee dates with their laptops.”28 Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it can hardly be viewed as an intimate connection. Still, talking to our friends and loved ones by landline, mobile phone, or Skype is the next best thing to being there, as Ma Bell presciently put it. I’m certainly a convert. We recently Skyped the son of a close neighborhood friend into our Passover seder. He was serving in the military at the time, but we set a place at the table for the Ethan laptop. Another friend who used to live across the street joined us at Chinese New Year celebrations via her father’s iPad, which was passed around from guest to guest like a wedding videographer’s microphone so everyone could greet her.

At the end of every workday my grandmother picked up the receiver of her black rotary model to check up on the health and happiness of her female friends, who despite the intimacy of their conversations she addressed formally as Mrs. Dubow, Mrs. Silver, Mrs. Cooper, Mrs. Tartar, and Mrs. Teitelbaum. During her years at home with small children, my mother’s fully extended nine-foot-long kitchen phone cord kept her attached—in more ways than one—to her social circle. Now it’s my turn. If I can’t see my friends and loved ones in person, I use a combination of cordless, cellphone, email, text, and Skype to keep up with my social network, which, graphed out, looks something like this: My sociogram: the bold dots indicate people profiled in this book. The circles are female, the triangles are male. (image credit itr.1) A Pew Internet study confirms that cellphone users have larger personal networks—12 percent larger, to be precise—than the small fraction of people who shun them.29 But in a different set of studies, the same group of scientists showed that avid users of social networking sites have more diverse electronic networks, but know fewer of their neighbors and are less integrated into their local communities than those who rarely use social media.30 “A man must be clothed with society, or we shall feel a certain bareness and poverty,” Emerson wrote in 1857.

When Alex Perchov, the comic antihero of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Everything Is Illuminated, strives to leave Ukraine for the United States, he’s trying to escape Soviet-era privations and provincialism, to be sure, but also his mother, who tells him, “One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.”28 The no-strings-attached Western ideal creates gaps in intimacy that, despite the miracle of Skype, are not being bridged by technology. In the United States, more than sixty-two million people—equal to the entire population of the United Kingdom—say they are socially isolated and unhappy about it. More than half of them (thirty-two million) live alone, the highest proportion in the nation’s history. Indeed, the rate of Americans living alone has been rising every decade since the early twentieth century.

 

pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

This proliferation of questions may force real people out of the business of asking and answering questions, because they will be swamped by a kind of conversational spam. That in turn will create even more space and opportunities for the bots. “Face time” will become all the more important as a signal of actual interest and caring, because “computer time” will be too easy to replicate through the bots. Maybe you’ll use Skype to prove it is really you, and that will work for as long as bots cannot replicate your facial expressions and voice patterns through a streamed image. These days, we’re even finding computer programs that can pass aesthetic Turing tests, so to speak. Computers are composing music, and it’s not always easy to tell which tune comes out of a human and which comes out of a computer. Computers not only play chess but now judge the aesthetic qualities of various chess problems and compositions.

If it’s a thirty-year-old instructor of chess or anything else teaching a ten-year-old novice, that teacher is first and foremost a role model and a motivator and to some extent an entertainer. He is a flesh-and-blood exemplar. He shows that success is possible. He exudes enthusiasm for the pursuit of knowledge, or he is not going to make a very good teacher, no matter what his level of expertise. For all these reasons, chess lessons on Skype, as you might commission from India, have not become popular, even though they are cheaper than face-to-face instruction. The programs have forced chess instruction to evolve, in largely beneficial ways, and—here is a key point—in ways that make the job harder to outsource. The instructor who teaches human qualities like conscientiousness and who motivates his student needs to be there. In formal systems of education, such as colleges and universities, the professor is the center of the instruction and the computer is the add-on.

As a significant segment of the American labor force earns much more, they will bid up prices in the most desirable living areas. It will become harder to live in the nice parts of Los Angeles or Orange County—or even in the less nice parts, such as the still-expensive Anaheim. The need to move to a much cheaper area will grow. Meanwhile, the internet makes it more possible for at least some people to work at a greater distance, or to chat with their grandkids over Skype. Income polarization, by the way, will have some more severe consequences for financial net worth than people might expect at first. By the time people get old, they are often not living off their income but living off their wealth. For a given difference in lifetime income, between two groups of people, the eventual difference in wealth is usually much greater. The people with the higher incomes have saved more, started more businesses, avoided debt, and perhaps invested more wisely.

 

pages: 561 words: 114,843

Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website by Matt Blumberg

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Broken windows theory, crowdsourcing, deskilling, fear of failure, high batting average, high net worth, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, James Hargreaves, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, performance metric, pets.com, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype

We’re frugal in a number of areas—offices, travel, and so on—but generous on things that mean a lot to individuals, like cell phones or gym memberships. Communication patterns. Are you meeting-centric? Email-centric? Are you even going to have phones? Or will you rely on people’s cell phones? Because we’ve always had multiple locations, we’re very email- and IM-centric at Return Path. (More recently, Skype and Cisco videophones have become a big part of our corporate communications.) Historically, we’ve had phones everywhere, though a number of our employees (especially engineers) hardly ever use them. Recently, we acquired an engineering office that never had phones on every desk—so we’re experimenting with that. Personal acknowledgments. Are you going to celebrate birthdays with parties in the office?

If someone gives a B.S. answer (“My greatest weakness is that I care too much”; “People say I work too hard”)-they aren’t self-aware enough to handle our feedback process. Whom Should You Interview? I interview a lot of people: I probably interviewed 60 people last year and will interview at least that many this year. Until the year we hired over 100 people for the first time (which brought our team to about 275), I interviewed everybody. Not just direct reports—or even reports of reports—but every last intern. Usually, these were on the phone or Skype. In most cases, they lasted for only 15 to 30 minutes. For the most part, I only wanted to meet what were almost certain to be new employees and validate my managers’ decisions. It was only in extremely rare cases that I overrode a hiring manager’s decision and dinged a recruit. In those cases, it was clear that the manager was rushing the process to fill a seat—which didn’t happen often and needed to be stopped when it did.

These guidelines include: Setting up appropriate work space. We advise remote employees to set up an adequate work space with all the necessary equipment and supplies. Work areas should be quiet and free of distractions, ideally with a door so there’s a clear separation of “work” and “home.” We also insist that remote employees have enough bandwidth to support high-intensity business applications, including Skype or a videophone. Expenses. We allow remote employees to expense a fixed amount each month to cover supplies and incremental bandwidth charges. Remote employees who want to use a co-working space need to get that approved since it usually costs more than supplying a home office, but we encourage it whenever it makes sense. Customizing their operating system. We advise employees who work remotely—particularly those who are not accustomed to doing so—to carefully review and change the way they work to make it match their virtual status.

 

pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Counterintuitive lessons swirled around the room as entrepreneurs, investors, and academics analyzed the success of companies built this way. Across the table sat Tom Evslin, the unsung hero of the web who made the internet explode when, as head of AT&T Worldnet, he set pricing for unlimited internet access at a flat $19.95 per month, turning off the ticking clock on internet usage, lowering the cost for users, and addicting us all to the web. Evslin gave a confounding lesson on networks. Explosive web companies—Skype, eBay, craigslist, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, and Google itself—don’t charge users as much as the market will bear. They charge as little as they can bear. That is how they maximize growth and value for everyone in the network. Evslin used an ad network to illustrate the value of building scale in this manner. An ad network that extracts the minimum commission it can afford out of ad sales for member sites will grow larger because more sites will join this network than its greedier competitors.

To sum up Evslin’s law of networks: Extract the minimum value from the network so it will grow to maximum size and value—enabling its members to charge more—while keeping costs and margins low to block competitors. That’s not how many old networks operate. Cable companies wrap their wires around us to squeeze maximum fees out. Ditto for phone companies, newspapers, and retailers. Charging what the market would bear made perfect sense for them. But now they face competition from next-generation networks. Skype—which at the end of 2007 had 276 million accounts in 28 languages—exploded as a free service before it added paid features that drastically undercut old phone companies. Its founders pulled value out of the business when eBay bought it. eBay itself had created a new retail marketplace by extracting little from each sale. Once eBay thought it was alone at the top, though, it started raising fees—but that allowed online retail competitors Amazon and Etsy to steal away merchants.

Its mission, after all, is nothing less than to organize the world’s information. eBay lets us organize markets for merchandise. Amazon helps us organize communities of consumer opinion around every product offered there. Facebook and other services like it—LinkedIn (big in business), Bebo (big in Europe), Google’s Orkut (big in Brazil and India), and StudieVZ (big in Germany)—help us to organize our friends and colleagues. Skype, AOL, and Yahoo give us the tools to collaborate through chat, phone, and video, organizing our communication. Flickr lets us organize our photos and also communities of interest around them. del.icio.us does the same for our bookmarks and web recommendations. Daylife organizes the world’s news. BlogAds lets bloggers organize ad networks. Wikipedia’s platform enables us to organize our collective knowledge.

 

pages: 401 words: 108,855

Cultureshock Paris by Cultureshock Staff

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Anton Chekhov, clean water, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Louis Pasteur, QWERTY keyboard, Skype, telemarketer, urban renewal, young professional

Just taking hold in France, for example, is Skype, which uses the technology called Voice Over Internet Protocal (VoIP). If you have broadband cable internet service (see Numericable on page 104) or DSL, which divides the phone line into voice and data, you should investigate Skype: 146 CultureShock! Paris FRANCE TELECOM Remains the major telephone provider for landlines. Customer service tel:1014 Toll-free English-speaking help line: 08.00.36.47.75 English-speaking line from abroad: (33).1.55.78.60.56 Website:http://www.orange.fr Inquire about all their pricing plans before subscribing and check out telephone companies that offer competitive prices for telephone, Internet, and television packages. http://www.skype.com (in English) and http://www.skype. com/intl/fr (in French). In effect, you’d be making phone calls using your computer or—depending on how you configure it—your iPhone, iTouch or other smart phones that support VoIP software.

In effect, you’d be making phone calls using your computer or—depending on how you configure it—your iPhone, iTouch or other smart phones that support VoIP software. Domestic and international calls to other Skype customers are always free, and those to other landlines and mobiles are reasonably priced. It’s important to know about VoIP, for this is the current wave, and if Skype has hit France, other providers will surely follow. Check out, too, several services that offer cheap international calling without a subscription plan: Minutes Direct; website:www.lesminutesdirect.com. International calls at the price of a local call. Billed through France Télécom. Iradium; website:http://www.iradium.fr. Calling card plan with competitive rates. Access the website to understand how the process works and to sign up.

 

pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power

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air freight, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, double helix, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

A happy consequence for the government of its targeting of this straw man folk devil will be unfettered access to all our private thoughts and conversations. You can never be sure a conversation is private without encryption, John Callas, an American computer security expert who co-founded PGP Corp with Zimmermann, tells me. The German government broke Skype’s encryption models by releasing malware and viruses into the wild that can easily unscramble voice calls across the network, allowing it to eavesdrop at will, he tells me – across a Skype line. ‘In the old days, hundreds of years ago people could speak privately by going out and taking a walk around the green and talking among themselves and there was no way people could listen in,’ he told me. ‘Today [with long-distance communication so commonplace] there’s no good way to do that except by using technology.

Huffman is now eighty years old, and has recently retired after a long and distinguished career as Professor Emeritus in organic chemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina. You’d never guess that this elderly gentleman, with his tidy beard, plain spectacles and owlish manner, is responsible for getting thousands of people incapably stoned. On a mild spring afternoon in 2012, Huffman was kind enough to speak to me while relaxing after a recent bout of painful surgery. The professor chuckled down the Skype line mellifluously, sometimes gazing at the nearby Smokey Mountains, as I asked him how the Spice story happened. Between 1984 and 2011, Huffman and his colleagues had created over 400 synthetic cannabinoid compounds while studying the structure-activity relationship between a series of compounds that resembled tetrahydrocannabinol, the active constituent of marijuana, and the human brain. The human brain has cannabinoid receptors, and the molecules that are found in marijuana and hashish, such as THC (a highly active constituent of the drugs), act as keys to open those locks.

They created thousands of threads in which they discussed openly the price for bulk import and export of chemicals that most American judges would, in a heartbeat, class as illegal analogues of banned substances. It was only a matter of time before the axe fell. The site’s founder, Justin Steven Scroggins, known as w00t, was arrested on 10 April 2012. Undercover federal agents had infiltrated his site – not a hard task, since registration was open – and had eavesdropped on his Skype calls with a laboratory in the Jiangsu province of China that is still operating today. At the time of the investigation, this laboratory sold only seventeen products, all of them considered analogues of banned Schedule 1 substances in the US, according to the indictment. Scroggins was charged with the importation of just over two kilos of cathinones, none of which was specifically illegal at the time, but all were considered analogues of methcathinone and other banned substances.

 

pages: 313 words: 93,214

Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Golden Gate Park, index card, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Snapchat, software studies

They were nearly three thousand miles and an international border away from my California home, but thanks to Skype, we were all in the same room. Hannah jumped up every few minutes to check on a chocolate chip banana bread she was baking for Amber. (“It’s her favorite,” she explained.) They talked about the party they went to on New Year’s Eve; about how, for Christmas, Amber took Hannah ice skating and gave her a necklace; about the last time they were together with their families. They sat close, draping their arms around each other, touching constantly in the way of young lovers. Amber wore a hoodie from Hannah’s university; Hannah wore a T-shirt from Amber’s college, her long dark hair covering the school’s insignia. Five minutes after Amber sent that first, fateful message, she got a reply from Hannah suggesting they Skype. They did, and ended up talking until four in the morning.

And if you really like the guy, you think maybe he’ll like you back. . . . There were boys who had whole folders of pictures. Like trophies.” Some girls considered sexting and sexy video chatting a way to experiment with sex safely (at least as they saw it). “I would do really graphic sexting over IM in middle and high school,” a freshman at a mid-Atlantic college told me, “or do stripteases on Skype. I wasn’t ready to lose my virginity, but I loved being the bad girl.” She didn’t worry that her recipients might share her performances; she believed she could use her body to intimidate as well as entice. “I’m six feet tall,” she said. “I’m not this dainty little thing. I was like, if you pass this around you will not have balls anymore. I will hurt you. So I felt in control.” Are selfies empowering or oppressive?

He said, ‘I kind of want something more,’ and I was like”—she shrugged—“‘I kinda don’t.’ I liked him. It was fun to spend time together, and I was attracted to him, but in the end, I didn’t like him enough. That’s what it comes down to. And now we’re not friends anymore, really, which sucks.” Holly and Robert continued their . . . whatever it was, through the fall and winter of her sophomore year. But in March, when I checked in with her one last time via Skype, he had just broken it off. Holly, it turned out, had “caught feelings” for him and initiated “the Talk,” to DTR (define the relationship). He wasn’t interested. They hooked up one last time, on St. Patrick’s Day, when she was “incredibly intoxicated.” She described lying on top of him, naked from the waist down, and leaning in for a kiss; he turned his face away and said no. That had hurt. “I’ll say it,” she told me.

 

pages: 197 words: 59,946

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, business process, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, new economy, pre–internet, Skype, social software, Tony Hsieh

But, when they are just starting out and are cranking code in their parent’s basement, they barely have money for ramen, much less advisors. This is where I see an opportunity to both build the ecosystem and, ultimately, help myself…I am a firm believer in ‘doing it right.’” He adds, “Today, this ecosystem is dependent on social media and connectivity. The founders I work with live and breathe Twitter and Skype, so I live and breathe Twitter and Skype. I work when they work—even if that means doing a Skype video conference at 11:30 at night so we can talk to the team member in Hyderabad.” Culture + Intent = Word of Mouth Heyming insists that it does not take a lot of time to offer fledgling startups his services, and his investment is quickly paid off once the companies get financing and he can start charging them like regular clients. The reward he has earned from his work has far outweighed any risk he might encounter by spending resources on companies that may never fly.

The only way to prepare for all eventualities is to take some chances, and no matter what, treat every customer, online and in person, as though he or she is the most important customer in the world. CHAPTER THIRTEEN Hank Heyming: A Brief Example of Well-Executed Culture and Intent What do you call a lawyer who tweets? Smart. Heyming is an attorney who has used social media tools to build his practice within a global law firm, grow his personal brand, and communicate with his clients and the startup community. There might be many blogging, tweeting, skyping, Quora-contributing lawyers practicing on either coast, but in Richmond, Virginia, Heyming stands out as an example of how implementing and acting upon proper culture and intent can reap great rewards in the Thank You Economy. Taking Advantage of the Culture Culture has a lot to do with Heyming’s success. He is fortunate to work for a company that appears to understand that we are living and working in a world where a culture of trust and transparency propels business forward.

 

pages: 125 words: 28,222

Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG – Online Growth Hacker Marketing Strategy by Robert Peters

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, bounce rate, business climate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, pull request, revision control, ride hailing / ride sharing, search engine result page, sharing economy, Skype, TaskRabbit

During that time the company’s stock price dropped 50% and its market value declined by $30 billion. Most critics agree that two actions in particular damaged the highly successful company during these years, the purchase of Internet telephone service Skype in September 2005 for $3.1 billion and a failed attempt to enter the China market. Whitman retired from the company in 2008 and was succeeded by Jack Donahoe who was faced with re-growing an already successful, but then floundering company. One of the primary fundamentals of growth hacking is constant reassessment and redesign, which is exactly what Donahoe did. He saw Skype as a distraction that brought no added value to the company, so he sold a 70% stake in the service to a private equity firm for $2.75 billion. This was the first step in re-honing eBay’s commitment to the person-to-person sales that were its core vision in the beginning.

When the site launched with coverage on influential sites like TechCrunch and Mashable, they gained approximately 10,000 users. Although this success was not sufficient to achieve the desired levels of growth, it did prove the concept and created an initial pool of users. This was enough to raise $1 million in seed money and allowed the finders to keep the ship afloat as they worked on recruiting experts, experienced academics, and authors to become instructors. This involved hours of one-on-one meetings via Skype, but no real exciting content was forthcoming until the Udemy founders hit on the idea of filming a series of meetings with their own investors. The “Raising Capital for Startups” course took off and led to the creation of two more offerings in the same format. Each one earned $30,000 to $50,000 and gave Udemy real traction with potential instructors. From there, Udemy’s engineers became tightly focused on offering the best tools and technology possible to facilitate online instruction.

 

pages: 394 words: 110,352

The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation by Jono Bacon

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barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, Skype, social software, software as a service, telemarketer, web application

CREATING AND RUNNING EVENTS Download at Boykma.Com 331 You should always ensure there are nice, clear instructions (with screenshots) showing how to connect with IRC. Voice over IP (VoIP). Examples include: • Skype (http://www.skype.com/ ). • Ekiga (http://ekiga.org/ ). Online telephony such as Skype or a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) client such as Ekiga is the equivalent of having a conference call. As such, the same benefits and limitations apply: you can’t practically have more than 5–10 people in a conversation, but it does feel engaging. A downside of this medium is that it requires (a) a reasonably powerful Internet connection, and (b) sound hardware and a microphone, which may not be as common as you would expect. I have found VoIP to be useful for meetings, but not for general-purpose events due to the scaling issues. Another blocker for VoIP is that while Skype works great for many people, other clients require a significant amount of fiddling with firewalls and other networking mumbojumbo to get them working.

The real focus and priority here is to find unequivocal evidence, that is, evidence of the situation that can be independently verified. Here we want to separate out emotion and get to the heart of what really happened. You should first speak to those on both sides of the conflict and ask them to provide you with their stories. To engage in this discussion, you should first decide how to communicate with them. I would highly recommend doing this on the phone or via Voice over IP (such as Skype) if possible. A phone conversation is far more interpersonal and allows both parties to communicate more quickly than over email or a chat medium such as IRC. When you gather this initial story, you should expect a fairly significant amount of venting and emotion. Expect both parties to speak quickly, dart the focus around different issues, and keep remembering details and frustrations that they had previously forgotten to mention in the conversation.

This is all about searching through the chaotic claims and memories for patterns where you can lay down an eventual consensus. By finding these patterns, you can make progress toward a general agreement and also build a more positive atmosphere around shared values as opposed to differing ones. The first step is to schedule the discussion. If the conflict is between two specific people, the best medium for discussion is typically a conference call. This can happen on a range of online telephony services (such as Skype) or by using a conventional telephone conference call service. Many conventional handsets even support three-way conversations at no extra cost. If the conflict is public and part of a team or group, schedule a public meeting. I have found the most suitable medium for this to be IRC. It allows people to share thoughts quickly so long as they can all get online at a specific time. Your choice of medium is heavily dependent on what is comfortable for your community.

 

pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

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3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

He was unusual compared to other hacktivists, who generally combat government control over the Internet, because as he told The New York Times via e-mail, he believed his country “should have control over Google, Skype, Yahoo!, etc.” He made it clear that he was intentionally working to thwart antigovernment dissidents within Iran. “I’m breaking all encryption algorithms,” he said, “and giving power to my country to control all of them.” Boasting aside, Comodohacker was able to forge more than five hundred Internet security certificates, which allowed him to thwart “trusted website” verification and elicit confidential or personal information from unwitting targets. It was estimated that his efforts compromised the communications of as many as three hundred thousand unsuspecting Iranians over the course of the summer. He targeted companies whose products were known to be used by dissident Iranians (Google and Skype), or those with special symbolic significance.

Some governments will consider it too risky to have thousands of anonymous, untraceable and unverified citizens—“hidden people”; they’ll want to know who is associated with each online account, and will require verification, at a state level, in order to exert control over the virtual world. Your online identity in the future is unlikely to be a simple Facebook page; instead it will be a constellation of profiles, from every online activity, that will be verified and perhaps even regulated by the government. Imagine all of your accounts—Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google+, Netflix, New York Times subscription—linked to an “official profile.” Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance; even the most fascinating content, if tied to an anonymous profile, simply won’t be seen because of its excessively low ranking.

We often need stored and searchable records of our activities and communications, particularly if we want to share something or refer to it later. And, unfortunately, not even P2P communications are a perfect shield against infiltration and monitoring. If authorities (or criminal organizations) can identify one side of a conversation they can usually find the other party as well. This is true for messaging, voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) calls—meaning phone calls over the Internet (e.g., Google Voice and Skype) and video chats. Users assume they are safe, but unless the exchange is encrypted, anyone with access to intermediate parts of the network can listen in. For instance, the owner of a Wi-Fi hot spot can listen to any unencrypted conversations of users connected to the hot spot. One of the most insidious forms of cyber attack that P2P users can encounter is known as a “man-in-the-middle” attack, a form of active eavesdropping.

 

pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman

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4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

Increasingly, regimes like China are employing new Internet censorship technology to fight a cat-and-mouse game with Tor developers. As the censors seek to find ways to block access to the network, Tor tries to circumvent each new technique. For instance, one innovative effort to keep Tor open for users behind the “Great Firewall of China” piggybacks Tor traffic inside a Skype video conference connection. This technique is innovative not only because it successfully hides Tor traffic within another protocol, but also because if the Chinese authorities were to shut it down, they would be forced to shut down all Skype traffic in the country, an impossible task given Skype’s importance to multinational firms communicating with branch offices. Censorship then comes with a real monetary cost. Tor illustrates the tension that can emerge between cyber freedom and security. The onion router has given extra layers of security to those who want to stay secret online, but secrecy can be scary to the established order.

The campaign proved somewhat successful; so many investors and partners were spooked that the company ended up being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. But, in turn, several of the SHAC hactivists were convicted for various crimes, including Internet stalking and using their websites to incite violence. But no one should think that hactivism is solely antibusiness. Recently, private firms have grown more involved in various hacktivist endeavors. For example, during the 2011 “Arab Spring” popular uprisings, firms like Google, Twitter, and Skype provided technical support to protesters and various workarounds to the government Internet censorship. When the Egyptian government tried to shut down Internet access during the mass protests, the firms provided a service called “Speak to Tweet,” whereby voicemail messages left by phone were converted to text tweets and downloadable audio files, so that news could still get out. An interesting issue for hacktivism moving forward, however, turns the notion of Internet freedom of expression on its head.

., https://www.torproject.org/, accessed March 17, 2013. Tor built in The Tor Project, Inc., “Tor Browser Bundle,” https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en, accessed March 17, 2013. circumvent each new technique “How China Blocks the Tor Anonymity Network,” The Physics arXiv (blog), MIT Technology Review, April 4, 2012, http://www.technology-review.com/view/427413/how-china-blocks-the-tor-anonymity-network/. Skype’s importance Hooman Mohajeri Moghaddam, Baiyu Li, Mohammad Derakhshani, et al., Skypemorph: Protocol Obfuscation for Tor Bridges (Waterloo, ON: University of Waterloo, 2010), http://cacr.uwaterloo.ca/techreports/2012/cacr2012-08.pdf. WHO ARE PATRIOTIC HACKERS? “Russia is attacking Estonia” “Statement by the Foreign Minister Urmas Paet,” Estonian Foreign Ministry statement, May 1, 2007, http://www.epl.ee/news/eesti/statement-by-the-foreign-minister-urmas-paet.d?

 

pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

The country has a wireless network infrastructure among the best in the world, which means that not only can most Canadians own a smart phone (effectively a supercomputer), but they can also use it to harness the power of the mobile Web in ways that would have seemed like science fiction two decades ago. Why do those people wait in line to send money via a physical point of sale using decades-old technology instead of what they have at their fingertips? Dollars are a lot less data intensive than HD video. In fact, according to Skype, video calling consumes 500 kilobits per second.43 Sending one bitcoin takes about 500 bits, or roughly one one-thousandth the data consumption of one second of video Skype! By disintermediating traditional third parties and radically simplifying processes, blockchain can finally enable instant, frictionless payments, so that people don’t wait in line for an hour or more, travel great distances, or risk life and limb venturing into dangerous neighborhoods at night just to send money.

“Aid and Remittances from Canada to Select Countries,” Canadian International Development Platform, http://cidpnsi.ca/blog/portfolio/aid-and-remittances-from-canada/. 41. World Bank Remittance Price Index, https://remittanceprices.worldbank.org/en. 42. 2011 National Household Survey Highlights, Canadian Census Bureau, www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/census/nhshi11-1.html. 43. https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA1417/how-much-bandwidth-does-skype-need. 44. Interview with Eric Piscini, July 13, 2015. 45. http://corporate.westernunion.com/Corporate_Fact_Sheet.html. 46. At the time of writing, Abra had not opened its doors in Canada. However, we were able to test Abra’s technology with Analie and her mother successfully with Abra’s help. 47. Interview with Bill Barhydt, August 25, 2015. 48. Ibid. 49.

The bitcoin system provides a very high degree of certainty as to the outcome of a contract.”43 The contract couldn’t be seized, stopped, or redirected to a different bitcoin address. You need only to transmit the signed transaction to any of the bitcoin network nodes from anywhere using any medium. Said Antonopoulos, “People could shut down the Internet, and I could still transmit that transaction over shortwave radio with Morse code. A government agency could try to censor my communication, and I could still transmit that transaction as a series of smiley emoticons over Skype. As long as someone on the other end could decode the transaction and record it in the blockchain, I could effect the [smart contract]. So we’ve converted something that, in law, is almost impossible to guarantee into something that has verifiable mathematical certainty.”44 Consider property rights, both real and intellectual: “Ownership is just a recognition by a government or an agency that you own something and they will defend your claims on that ownership,” said Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay.

 

pages: 56 words: 16,788

The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady

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Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator

In addition to the hard output—potentially useful software—this offers soft gains in goodwill, talent identification, and recruitment that usually more than offset the costs. Ultimately, developers are going to use open source whether you like it not. If you want to create a developer friendly atmosphere, then, you must create an open source friendly atmosphere. Go Global with Your Hiring Before tools like distributed version control, instant messaging, and Skype existed, working from home was a synonym for taking a day off. Attitudes toward remote workers have shifted over the past decade, even within some of the largest employers in the world. Still, skepticism remains—and with good reason. As Zack Urlocker, COO at Zendesk, puts it: “Distributed development is not cheaper, much harder, but worth it.” At MySQL, there were 400 employees in 40 countries, with 95% of the development staff working from home.

Because they recognize that they can’t do it alone, and perhaps because they’re looking at the world around them and seeing that it’s increasingly run by software. As Marc Andreessen noted in his Wall Street Journal op-ed “Why Software is Eating the World,” the world’s largest bookseller (Amazon), largest video service by number of subscribers (Netflix), most-dominant music companies (Apple, Spotify, and Pandora), fastest-growing entertainment companies (Rovio, Zynga), fastest-growing telecom company (Skype), largest direct marketing company (Google), and best new movie production company (Pixar) are all fundamentally software companies. It should be no surprise that even traditional businesses like Sears are trying to become software enabled via APIs. Those that aren’t following suit should be. The alternative isn’t keeping things the way they are now—it’s watching developers help build and extend your competitors’ business.

 

pages: 392 words: 104,760

Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard

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Asperger Syndrome, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, complexity theory, European colonialism, pattern recognition, Skype, Steven Pinker, theory of mind

Grammatical patterns, lists of verbs or noun cases, are recited, but novel sentences are never created. No, these methods probably weren’t so special, actually. Is this a credible beginning for a hyperpolyglot? A modern person would think, To communicate, one must communicate. To talk meaningfully, one must have explicit lessons in doing so, you might suppose. But Mezzofanti did no role plays, no skits; had no phone apps; didn’t Skype with his native-speaking tutor. The language lab was an invention two hundred years away. As I later found, hyperpolyglots tend to succeed no matter the type of specific teaching methods. Some are devoted autodidacts; others happily study in classrooms; others learn what they need from other speakers. One can also pinpoint the benefits of the kind of schooling that Mezzofanti did receive. Studying Latin and ancient Greek gave him a good start in Romance-language vocabulary and the structure of Indo-European languages, as well as broad experience with two alphabets.

If you don’t believe what I’m telling you, and if you doubt his abilities, then call him yourself, Maswary said. An email address and a phone number appeared in his post. One by one, forum members reported that they’d spoken with Fazah in Russian, or Cantonese, or Mandarin, or Spanish, claiming that he speaks with an accent in those languages, but he’s a nice guy and clearly passionate about languages. Someone said they were going to hire him to teach via Skype. I watched all this unfold with bemusement—Fazah hadn’t shied from public performances in the past. Why wasn’t he defending himself now? In this vacuum, his reputation took its final, fatal dive. In 1997, he’d appeared on a Chilean TV show, Viva el lunes. As with the tournament that Pope Gregory XVI had arranged for Mezzofanti, so much depended upon a single spectacle. This is even more true now, because with YouTube, where the Chilean video was eventually posted, everyone could see Fazah’s spectacular failure.

The tests, I found, didn’t suit the evidence. And the cobwebby evidence was incomplete. The only solution was to interrogate a live person. Thinking I would meet a pop culture polyglot, I found instead Alexander, a man who practices the polyglottish lifestyle that he preaches. Alexander doesn’t pursue oral communication, though he could say a lot of things in his languages. Once, to humor me, he logged on to Skype with a fellow language aficionado and had a conversation that switched from English to Russian to Korean to Arabic. Mostly, he reads. He criticizes the modern language-learning paradigm of shopping, migration, and tourism that artist Rainer Ganahl identifies as characteristic of our era. Instead, he longs to learn languages for the reasons that drove monks and philologists centuries ago, a semimystical desire to touch the origins of literary texts.

 

pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

As for future forms of human governance, I see as equally likely (as things look now) the chance that political freedom and diversity, or a brave new world of dumbing homogeneity and deadening control by consensus, will prevail or perhaps alternate in increasingly destructive cycles. For the Internet is currently both the oxygen of a truly open society and of spectacular transnational terrorism. Here are two snippets that illustrate this duality: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” says the cunning canine in Peter Steiner’s 1993 New Yorker cartoon; and on the Internet, any two communicators can believe they are the world. “The media is [sic] coming!” Skyped the Lashkar-e-Taiba handler to the killers for God at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, signaling to them that now was the best timing for their martyrdom. Around the Shi’ite holiday of Ashura—December 28, 2009—I received an e-mail from a friend in Tehran who said how helpless he felt to stop the merciless beating of a young woman by government thugs, but he went on to say, “We will win this thing if the West does nothing but help us keep the lines of communication open with satellite Internet.”

But this was still a linear, predictable, and essentially uninteresting use of the Internet. No, the Internet is changing the way I think because its whole is greater than the sum of its parts—because of its massive connectivity and the resulting emergent phenomena. When I was a child, they said we would be living on the moon, that we would have antigravity jet packs and videophones. They lied about everything but the videophones. Via private blogs, Skype, and a $40 webcam, I can collaborate with my colleagues, write equations on my blackboard, and build networks of thought that stagger me with their effectiveness. My students and I work together so well through the Internet that its always-on library dominates our discussions and helps us find the sharp questions that drive our research and thinking infinitely faster than before. My day job is to make discoveries through thought, principally by exploiting analogies through acts of intellectual arbitrage.

This allowed them clever conceits about what was really important in life, art, science, and the rest of it. Lesser minds would come to pay homage and, let’s be honest, use the famous library, since that was the only way of knowing what was known and who knew it. The centers ruled and knew it. Darkness is falling when I see the light on in the lab and stop by to see who else is working late. There’s a conversation going on over Skype. It’s totally incomprehensible. Even its sounds are unfamiliar. There’s no Rosetta Stone software for the language my two students are learning from their correspondent, who sits in a café in a wretched oiltown on the edge of the rain forest in Ecuador. It’s spoken only by a few hundred Indians. All but their children were born as nomads, in a forest that has the luck to be sitting on billions of barrels of oil.

 

pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

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affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

If our education system wants to equip kids with a definitive lifetime advantage through foreign language mastery and global competence, we need to do it right. Immerse a child in the early grades. Help the student attain true conversational fluency. Look for opportunities to speak frequently in the language—through travel if possible, Skype sessions with students in foreign countries, or field trips to immigrant communities in surrounding areas to learn about their culture and speak with them. And, above all, make it fun. Read books the students care about. Have entertaining discussions in class in the language. Watch movies in the language. Find a partner class or student in a foreign country and use tools like Skype to really learn about life there. But don’t require our kids to spend several years on something of no long-term value just to check off a thoughtless graduation requirement. A New Kind of Course In the preceding pages, we have tried to suggest the sweeping changes needed in the teaching of traditional subject content areas.

Senate, only two senators opposed it. They work in teams on the following question: “Why do you think the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gained overwhelming support?” Each team presents its views to classmates and responds to questions. Students can use any available resource to support their work (we observe kids doing these types of challenges who resourcefully find people or classes all over the world and interview subjects via Skype as part of their research). They then explore whether the Gulf of Tonkin vote should have imparted lessons to our legislators in 2002 when the overwhelming majority of U.S. senators voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq. In these case studies, the first class spends a week largely memorizing facts—any of which can be readily looked up. The second class spends a comparable amount of time on engaging issues that help them develop critical skills.

But the emphasis on reading and writing—not speaking—remains. Today, adults need to work across national boundaries, understanding other cultures and how to collaborate on important problems and achieve results. Our global innovation economy spans cultures and languages. Imagine a customer service leadership team of a global company having a regular meeting—one based in the United States, one in Singapore, one in India—all on Skype or GoToMeeting. It is scheduled for 9 p.m. to best span the time zones. How do these teams work together, given their differences in cultures? Who speaks first? When is it okay to disagree? How do you disagree? Managers and team members must pay attention to these cultural differences to ensure they achieve the desired goals. In addition to having some spoken language proficiency, students will need to master what is now called “global competence.”

 

pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

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1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

Meanwhile, prominent psychologist Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (2011) paints a predominantly negative portrait of social media as leading many of us away from the solitude and intimacy that, she claims, we actually seek. No less importantly, the communications company Skype has also become exceedingly popular as a generally free (as of 2011) means of consumers using computers as telephones to communicate across long distances. “Skype me” is now a favorite phrase. The company began in 2003 as an online alternative to conventional telephone companies, with their usually high rates.15 Recent and Contemporary Utopian Communities Before we look at cyberspace communities, it is important to recognize the persistence of “conventional” utopian communities into the late-twentieth- and early-twenty-first centuries.

Published 2012 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. More generally, according to countless newspapers and magazines, television and radio programs, opinion surveys, and, not least, websites and Internet discussions, much of the world has for years now been experiencing “techno-mania” of an unprecedented intensity. Not only are endless high-tech advances all the rage, but those advances—especially computers, the Internet, the Web, cell phones, Skype, iPods, iPhones, and, most recently, iPads—are rapidly transforming the world, and generally for the better. By the time of his death in 2011, Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs had become the foremost promoter of “techno-mania,” though hardly the only one.2 We are given to believe that Americans have never seen so much scientific and technological change in so short a time and have rarely been so optimistic about the future.

Technology Review, 113 (April 2010), 52–57; Claire Cain Miller, “Advertising Enters Flow On Twitter,” New York Times, April 13, 2010, B1, B6; and Monica Hesse, Washington Post, “Library of Congress’ Twitter Archive Spurs Debate,” Bangor Daily News, May 7, 2010, C10. See also “Texting is not Talking,” Boston Globe, Editorial, June 16, 2009, A14; and Matt Richtel, “In The Resurgence of Utopianism 16 17 18 19 20 Study, Texting Lifts Crash Risk by Wide Margin,” New York Times, July 28, 2009, A1, A15. See also Verne Kopytoff, “To Match Profit with Popularity, Skype Looks to New Markets,” New York Times, December 22, 2010, B1, B2. This paragraph and its quotations are adapted from The Center for Land Use Interpretation, “Drop City Site,” http://ludb.clui.org/ex/i/ CO3134. See also Timothy Miller, “Roots of Communal Revival, 1962–1966,” http://www.thefarm.org/lifestyle/root2.html. See John Hendrickson, “They Built this City with Alternative Ideals,” Denver Post, reprinted in Boston Globe, July 18, 2009, G8.

 

pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

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Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

To be sure, such conflicts are probably unavoidable for someone as well connected as Andreessen. Andreessen did take heat for a deal involving eBay, where he also once was a director. In 2009, during Andreessen’s tenure on the board, eBay decided to sell Skype, the messaging service, which it had acquired in 2005; eBay paid $2.6 billion for Skype and sold it four years later in a deal that valued the company at $2.75 billion, not much of a gain. The investors who bought Skype included a private equity firm called Silver Lake Partners—and Andreessen Horowitz. As with Instagram and Oculus, Andreessen found himself on both sides of a deal, working as both buyer and seller. Eighteen months after buying Skype, Andreessen and his partners sold the company to Microsoft for $8.5 billion—three times what they paid. To some, Andreessen’s role as both an eBay director and an investor acquiring an asset from eBay seemed like a problem.

To some, Andreessen’s role as both an eBay director and an investor acquiring an asset from eBay seemed like a problem. “Andreessen, he’s screwed more people than Casanova, for Christ’s sake, and yet he goes and takes this attitude that he’s on the high moral ground,” activist investor Carl Icahn said on CNBC. Icahn complained that eBay had sold Skype for less than what it was worth and that eBay’s investors had been shortchanged. Andreessen said Icahn was “making up a fake conspiracy theory out of thin air.” The tech press sided with Andreessen. The story went nowhere. Andreessen is relentlessly optimistic and pounds away on the same message, which is that no matter how high the valuations of start-ups might go, this all makes sense. In May 2015 Andreessen explained to Tad Friend of the New Yorker that there was nothing to worry about. Sure, things got out of hand in the first dotcom bubble, and we had a crash, and now we were on the upswing again, but that didn’t mean another crash was coming.

 

pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

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big-box store, clean water, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application

During an unconventional book tour, I traveled to sixty-three cities in the United States and Canada (and eventually more than fifteen additional countries), meeting with people who had made the switch from working for The Man to working for themselves. I then worked with a small team to create a comprehensive, multiyear study involving more than a hundred interview subjects. Combing through reams of data (more than four thousand pages of written survey answers in addition to hundreds of phone calls, Skype sessions, and back-and-forth emails), I compiled the most important lessons, which are offered here for your review and action. This blueprint to freedom is fully customizable and highly actionable. At many points along the way, you’ll have a chance to pause and work on your own plan before continuing to learn more about what other people have done. A few of the people in the study are natural-born renegades, determined to go it alone from young adulthood onward, but most are ordinary people who had no intention of working on their own until later in life.

But then Lisa told me how much money she made: $88,000 the previous year and on track to clear six figures the next. All of a sudden I was interested. How did Lisa do it … and what lessons could we learn from her? Each case study subject completed several detailed surveys about his or her business, including financial data and demographics, in addition to dozens of open-ended questions. The group surveys were followed up with further individual questions in hundreds of emails, phone calls, Skype video calls, and in-person meetings in fifteen cities around the world. My goal was to create a narrative by finding common themes among a diverse group. The collected data would be enough for several thick books by itself, but I’ve tried to present only the most important information here. You can learn more about the methodology for the study, including survey data and specific interviews, at 100startup.com.

In one case he ended up several thousand euros in debt by bidding too low and then outsourcing part of the work. After that experience, he knew he’d have to make a change. The change came in the form of a 25 percent raise, something he was initially afraid to do, but he was greatly relieved after it was done. “The simple act of raising my rates by 25 percent allowed me to either work seven hours less a week or make a significant increase in my monthly income,” he told me on a Skype call from Belfast. “The other, unexpected benefit was that it gave me much more confidence. Until I upped the rates, I didn’t make the connection that I was worth more than I had been charging.” Andy’s story was repeated in various forms by other service providers and a few product-based businesses too. In 2010 I conducted a separate study of fourteen freelancers who had raised their rates successfully.

 

pages: 231 words: 71,248

Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey

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don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fudge factor, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, performance metric, recommendation engine, Skype, slashdot, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, web application

In short, the three things you need to address are your customers, company, and competition. For example, when I worked on Google Talk, I had a mission: “Allow anyone to communicate with anyone else, anywhere, on any device.” I looked at the competitive landscape for unified communications, video conferencing, and VoIP. I looked at Google’s unique assets. One unique and durable differentiator was that unlike Skype or other video conferencing providers, we could use Google’s massive cloud infrastructure to provide video conferencing through a switching technology, rather than through the older and much more expensive encode-decode-mix-encode-decode process. Typically, multiway video systems like that cost tens of thousands of dollars and worked poorly because the hardware added so much latency. Google’s technology was unique, and it was durable because you needed a big datacenter presence to replicate it.

When I looked at our millions of Google Apps customers and industry trends, I saw an emerging market segment composed of workers who were increasingly distributed and working from home. On top of that, the conference-calling space was huge, and we had powerful assets in Google Voice that we could offer to users. Given this data, I argued that we should try to lead the market in low-cost unified communications for businesses. This strategy would enable us to leapfrog Skype’s older technology and undercut Microsoft’s more expensive systems in the SMB and Midmarket segments. Ultimately, you can see that Google didn’t follow this strategy, choosing instead to emphasize its social efforts and Google+ Hangouts. But you get the point. As you think about your company, customers, and competition, pay special attention to how your product will serve your customers better than the competition’s product in the long term.

If you’re based in California, for example, New York will only assume something was miscommunicated, get on a plane, fly to California, and complain loudly. Even the best engineering teams in Sydney and India, on the other hand, straight-up panic. They’re so far away from the States that they assume they’re misunderstood, underappreciated, and kept out of the loop. The best thing you can do to ameliorate these feelings is to overcommunicate. Use Skype, Google+ Hangouts, WebEx, and generally anything you can get your hands on to increase the quality of your communication with your remote teams. Because developers hate using telephones, reducing initiation friction is really important. One team I had at Google was split between Seattle and Mountain View. We bought small, dedicated videoconference units for each team so that we could quickly call the other team in for daily standups or random design discussions.

 

pages: 296 words: 82,501

Stuffocation by James Wallman

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3D printing, Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Black Swan, BRICs, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Fall of the Berlin Wall, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, James Hargreaves, Joseph Schumpeter, Martin Wolf, McMansion, means of production, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, World Values Survey, Zipcar

Acknowledgements “No author is an island”, the poet John Donne almost wrote. That is especially true of non-fiction authors. A work of non-fiction may only have one name on the cover, but in truth it is the work of many people. There are a huge number of people without whom the book you are holding in your hands would not exist. More than 100 people gave up their time to discuss the idea with me over tea, coffee, lunch, dinner, beer, wine, Skype, Skype video call, telephone, and email. There are the people, especially on America’s West Coast and in Australia, who got up early or stayed up late so that the timings worked for them and me. There are the people whose work I have drawn on, both directly and indirectly. (I have tried to credit all those in the Endnotes. If any are missing, please let me know, and I will rectify the situation.) So it may be my name on the front, but in many ways, Stuffocation stands on the hard work, good nature, and, yes, shoulders of many others.

Now, it is not so clear-cut. There are many more alternatives. In the past, Deborah Richmond in Berkshire in the UK, for instance, would have quit her corporate marketing job and become a hippy. But instead, she launched a business consultancy that means more to her called BrandYoga. And Olga Sasplugas might have just had a job as a dance therapist. But, thanks to her computer, the internet, and Skype, she chases debts, deals with distribution, runs spreadsheets – and everything else her New York-based business requires. But she does not do this from there, or even a regular office. She does it from Barcelona or Bali or India, or wherever she happens to be. “This way of life feels so normal and fun, and it’s so easy to do it,” she will tell you. “I don’t care about things, I don’t care about possessions.

Your dedication to discovery, and to challenging the status quo and the conventional wisdom, is exactly the sort of thing that raises the fog a bit more, so that people like me can have a better view of the direction the world is turning. Thank you for that, and also, among other things: for your suggestions of more avenues to explore, for challenging and inspiring me over lunch and email and phone and Skype, for responding to far more fact-checking emails than strictly necessary, for patiently explaining how you do what you do, and for pushing me to re-examine whether I believed in what I believe – and whether I really was reading the data right. So, thank you: Richard Thaler, Oliver James, Barry Schwartz, Stuart Ewen, Robert Fogel, Chris Goodall, Michael Schrage, Ron Inglehart, Ryan Howell, Jeanne Arnold, Darby Saxbe, Travis Carter, Leaf van Boven, Tom Gilovich, Brian Wansink, Geoffrey Miller, Danny Miller, Rupert Pennant-Rea, Garson O’Toole, Daniel Franklin, John Andrews, Rob Hyndman, Corinne Shefner-Rogers, Jim Dearing, Juliet Schor, Anna Coote, Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt, Pippa Norris, Trudi Toyne, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Avner Offer, Peter Stearns, Joe Pine, Jim Gilmore, Grant McCracken, Blake Mycoskie, Rob Symington, Alice Marwick, Harry Parr, Sam Bompas, Jules Evans, Bob Cummins, Bernice Steinhardt, Chris Hoenig, Mark Tungate, Ann Mack, Albert Cañigueral, Anna-Maren Ashford, James O’Shaughnessy, Joe Goodman, Alastair Humphreys, Richard Layard, Tim Kasser, Vicki Robin, Gabriel Rossman, Janice Rutherford, and Eve Fisher.

 

pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin

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Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, computer age, corporate governance, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

Early researchers in computer translation of languages . . . A broad description of the disappointing progress of artificial intelligence in translating languages, playing chess, and performing other tasks as of 1972 can be found in Hubert L. Dreyfus, What Computers Can’t Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason (Harper & Row, 1972). Now Google translates written language for free . . . See https://translate.google.com/. Regarding Skype, see “Skype Update Translates English and Spanish in Real Time,” Christian Science Monitor, 15 December 2014. Economists Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane . . . Levy and Murnane, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (Princeton University Press, 2004). Steven Pinker observed in 2007 . . . Steven Pinker, The Stuff of Thought: Language As a Window Into Human Nature (Penguin Books, 2007).

While it seems like common sense that the skills computers can’t acquire will be valuable, the lesson of history is that it’s dangerous to claim there are any skills that computers cannot eventually acquire. The trail of embarrassing predictions goes way back. Early researchers in computer translation of languages were highly pessimistic that the field could ever progress beyond its nearly useless state as of the mid-1960s; now Google translates written language for free, and Skype translates spoken language in real time, for free. Hubert Dreyfus of MIT, in a 1972 book called What Computers Can’t Do, saw little hope that computers could make significant further progress in playing chess beyond the mediocre level then achieved; but a computer beat the world champion, Garry Kasparov, in 1997. Economists Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane, in an excellent 2004 book called The New Division of Labor, explain how driving a vehicle involves such a mass of sensory inputs and requires such complex split-second judgments that it would be extremely difficult for a computer ever to handle the job; yet Google introduced its autonomous car six years later.

., 165 Ryder Cup, 117–20, 124 Saddam Hussein, 148, 149 Saloner, Garth, 196 Sartre, Jean-Paul, 170, 171 scanning vs. focusing, 184–86 Schank, Roger, 155 Schmidt, Eric, 203 See’s Candy, 171 senses, 59–60 September 11 attacks, 134, 138 sex, 153 sexually violent persons (SVPs), 33–36, 43 Shapiro, Johanna, 85 Shenk, Joshua Wolf, 170–71 Shy, John, 106 Simmel, Marianne, 150, 153 Skype, 40 sleep, 80–81 Smith, Adam, 64, 172 social abilities and sensitivity, 125, 132, 135, 178, 191 developing, 195–96, 199, 209–10 of women, 125, 178–83, 186–89, 210 social interactions and relationships, 36–40, 71, 129 bonding in, 63–64, 153 brain and, 36–40, 57, 64–66 and downside of social media, 61–64, 82 emotions in, see emotions empathy in, see empathy in groups, 125–29, 134–35, 138, 140 innovation and, 167–69 in-person, 56–58, 63–66, 129–31 jobs and, 44–45, 47–49 military and, 49–53 mimicry in, 77–78, 187 phones and, 61–63, 67, 82, 173, 174 physical proximity and, 171–74 Southwest Airlines and, 193–94, 210 spoken conversations, 61 technology and, 55–68, 82 testosterone and, 181, 187–88, 190, 195 texting, 56, 61, 63, 67, 82, 83 touch and, 59–60 sociometric badges, 126–28, 164, 169, 170 Sony, 5, 164 Southwest Airlines, 193–94, 210 Stanford University, 197–98 status competition, 188–89 stories, 141–60 authenticity of, 146–47 brain and, 147, 157 DARPA’s study of, 156–57 Denning and, 141–47 happy endings in, 155–56 in-person telling of, 146, 147, 152, 158–60 memory and, 155, 158–60 motivation and causality in, 148–51 neural coupling and, 151–52 oxytocin and, 153–54 power of, 145, 148, 151, 154, 158–60 structure of, 153–55 technology and, 145–48 Strategic Air Command, 139 Strategic Social Interaction Modules, 202–3 stress, 29 Stricker, Steve, 119–20 submarine commanders, 98 Sullivan, John, 168 Summers, Lawrence H., 12–15 Sunday Times (London), 165 surgery, 139–40 survival, 78–79, 136, 140 Symantec, 17 systemizers vs. empathizers, 182–84, 191 System 1 and System 2, 149 taker cultures, 133 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, 148 teams and groups, 116, 117–40, 191 at Apple, 138 at Bank of America, 128 cognitive vs. social, 134–35 conformity and, 135–36 creativity in, 169, 170, 176–77 effectiveness of, 125–29, 131–35, 137, 138 engagement in, 169–71, 74 exploration in, 169, 171 groupthink and, 168–69 happiness and, 136–37 human interaction in, 125–29, 134–35, 138, 140 importance of, 120–22 IQ of, 122–25, 178–80, 188–89 online interaction and, 129–31, 79–80 physical distance and, 173–74 piloting, 138–39, 140 rowing, 136–37 Ryder Cup, 117–20, 124 social sensitivity in, 125, 132, 135, 178 status competition in, 188–89 surgical, 139–40 time needed in, 137–39 of two, 170–71 women in, 125, 178–80, 188–89 technology, 88–89, 160, 171–72, 175, 191, 192, 199, 210, 212 brain and, 59 business models and, 58 fear of, 10–11 gender differences and, 181, 183 groups and, 129–31 information, 6, 16–18, 48, 49, 53, 54, 72, 121, 184, 199–203 jobs eliminated by, 3–4, 10–14, 45 social interaction and, 55–68, 82 stories and, 145–48 turning points in, 15–17 see also computers television, 82 Terminator movies, 42 terrorists and insurgents, 156–58 testosterone, 181, 187–88, 190, 195 texting, 56, 61, 63, 67, 82, 83 Thatcher, Margaret, 186 Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman), 133 thinking modes, System 1 and System 2, 149 Think Like a Commander, 200 Thomas, Elizabeth Marshall, 38–39 Thrun, Sebastian, 197–98 Tichy, Noel, 205 Tolkien, J.

 

pages: 266 words: 80,018

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding

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affirmative action, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Firefox, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, job-hopping, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, kremlinology, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, national security letter, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, web application, WikiLeaks

Let off the legal leash and urged to make America safe, the NSA and its British junior partner, the Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ (secretly allied with the internet and telecommunications giants who control the hardware), have used all their technical skills to ‘master the internet’. That is their phrase, not ours. Democratic control has been vague, smothered in secrecy and plainly inadequate. The result has been a world that is spied on. The technologies that the west has trumpeted as forces for individual freedom and democracy – Google, Skype, mobile phones, GPS, YouTube, Tor, e-commerce, internet banking and all the rest – are turning into machines for surveillance that would have astonished George Orwell, the author of 1984. The Guardian was, I am glad to say, first among the free press to publish Snowden’s revelations. We saw it as our duty to break the taboos of secrecy, with due regard, as Snowden himself wanted, to the safety of individuals and the protection of genuinely sensitive intelligence material.

This is indeed a lot of data – more than 21 petabytes a day – and the equivalent of sending all the information in the British Library 192 times every 24 hours. Yet inside GCHQ there is still anxiety that the organisation will fall behind. One of the team responsible for managing TEMPORA sets out how the agency’s ‘mission role’ grew. New techniques had given GCHQ access to huge amount of new data or ‘light’ – emails, phone calls and Skype conversations. ‘Over the last five years, GCHQ’s access to “light” [has] increased by 7,000 per cent.’ The amount of material being analysed and processed had increased by 3,000 per cent, he said – an astonishing figure. The agency was ‘breaking new ground’ but also struggling to keep up. ‘The complexity of our mission has evolved to the point where existing management capability is no longer fit for purpose.’

Snowden leaked a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation explaining PRISM’s function. One slide emphasised the dates when Silicon Valley’s technology companies apparently signed up and become corporate partners of the spy agency. The first to provide PRISM material was Microsoft. The date was 11 September 2007. This was six years after 9/11. Next came Yahoo (March 2008) and Google (January 2009). Then Facebook (June 2009), PalTalk (December 2009), YouTube (September 2010), Skype (February 2011) and AOL (March 2011). For reasons unknown, Apple held out for five years. It was the last major tech company to sign up. It joined in October 2012 – exactly a year after Jobs’s death. The top-secret PRISM program allows the US intelligence community to gain access to a large amount of digital information – emails, Facebook posts and instant messages. The rationale is that PRISM is needed to track foreign terrorists living outside the US.

 

pages: 229 words: 67,869

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

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4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, urban planning, WikiLeaks

- Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2012 Jonah resigned from the New Yorker after seven weeks in the job, the day Michael’s article appeared. On the Sunday night - the night before publication - he’d been giving a keynote at the 2012 Meeting Professionals International’s World Education conference in St Louis. The subject of his talk had been the importance of human interaction. During it - according to a tweet posted by an audience member, the journalist Sarah Braley - he revealed that since the invention of Skype, attendances at meetings had actually gone up by 30 per cent. After he left the stage she found him and asked where that implausible statistic had come from. ‘A conversation with a Harvard professor,’ he replied. But when she requested the professor’s name he mysteriously refused to divulge it. ‘I’d have to ask him if it’s all right to tell you,’ he explained. She gave Jonah her card but never heard from him again, which didn’t surprise her because the next morning he was disgraced and resigned his job.

‘To begin,’ he said, ‘I want you to tell us something that you don’t want us to know.’ ‘A lot of people move around in life chronically ashamed of how they look, or how they feel, or what they said, or what they did. It’s like a permanent adolescent concern. Adolescence is when you’re permanently concerned about what other people think of you.’ It was a few months earlier and Brad Blanton and I were talking on Skype. He was telling me about how, as a psychotherapist, he had come to understand how so many of us ‘live our lives constantly in fear of being exposed, or being judged as immoral or not good enough’. But Brad had invented a way for us to eradicate those feelings, he told me. His method was called ‘Radical Honesty’. Brad Blanton says we should toss out the filters between our brains and our mouths.

Unlike downstairs, Jim said, his women are ‘up at 8.30 a.m. They all have chores. Everybody works. They’re all assigned physical tasks. Then there are workshops - on sex abuse, domestic violence, anger management, then lunch, then in the afternoon they focus in on job training, housing. There are books. There’s cake. There’s the library. Then the mothers can read bedtime nursery rhymes to their children over Skype.’ There were glimpses of a summer day through the windows and as a corrections officer let us in she said that tensions were high because warm days are when a person really feels incarcerated. Jim gathered the women into a circle for a group meeting. I wasn’t allowed to record it and so I managed only to scribble down fragments of conversations like: ‘… I come from a small town so everyone knows where I am and that tears me up inside …’ and ‘… most people know why Raquel is in here …’ At that a few women glanced over at the woman I took to be Raquel.

 

pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Everything you do on your laptop, on your smartphone, on your car’s navigation system gets translated down to electricity or no electricity, represented by zeros and ones. But who wants to write in zeros and ones? Imagine if instead of typing E you typed the letter in zeros and ones, or binary code. It would look like this—01000101. That seems silly and inefficient, but in another sense, it is simply amazing. Every thing you do on your computer—every YouTube video you watch, every Skype call you make, every e-mail you send—is broken down into its requisite zeros and ones and then reassembled somewhere else. As Arthur C. Clarke says, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”22 Software was created in part to offer an abstraction of “electricity–no electricity,” so that you could use a mouse or type Shift + e to get E. Computer hardware—the physical parts of the computer that you can touch—would use software to provide efficiency to human beings, so that we would be able to communicate with machines in our language rather than the electricity–no electricity of their language.

The solution was to build a software platform that provided certain efficiencies, chief among them providing a common interface to the hardware. The most common platforms are Microsoft Windows, Apple’s Mac OS (operating system), and Linux (the open-source option common on Web servers). As a software platform, Microsoft Windows worries about communicating with the keyboard, the monitor, the mouse, and the printer—so that applications like Microsoft Word, Skype, Firefox, and Photoshop don’t have to. The platform provides efficiencies between the hardware and the applications, smoothing the user interface (so you don’t have to worry about the zeros and ones) and making the applications more efficient and able to specialize on what they do best—like word processing or Web browsing or any one of a number of things. Every digital device you use, from your mobile phone to the photocopier at your office, has a software platform that brings efficiency to hardware management.

Say I’m sitting next to you on the bus. I write the text message to my mother, and press send. The message jumps to your phone and checks to see if you’re my mother’s phone. You’re not, so it jumps to the next phone. Is this my mother’s phone? And on and on—like the classic children’s book, Are You My Mother?—until the message finds my mother’s phone and is delivered. This is actually pretty similar to how Skype works right now in making voice phone calls. Mesh networking only functions well if a large number of devices are participating in the network. But it’s not a remote or new technology. It’s been around a while, and it is continuing to improve and change. The One Laptop per Child project out of MIT’s Media Lab saw mesh networking early on as a way to provide network connectivity in remote parts of the world lacking traditional network infrastructure.

 

pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

In my limited experience, if anything is going to go wrong (and undetected until too late), it’ll be a loose fitting on one of these. Bluecell 5-pack of microphone windscreen foam covers: These minimize the clicks, pops, and other noises picked up from vocals, as well as background noises and actual wind. Brand doesn’t matter much here. Phone/Skype Interviews * * * Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype: This is used for recording “phoners” via Skype. I haven’t found any software that blows me away, but this gets the job done. I’ve used it for more than 50% of my podcast interviews. Zencastr also gets good reviews but sometimes requires a lot of hard drive space on the part of your interviewee. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB cardioid dynamic USB/XLR microphone: This is my go-to travel mic for all phone interviews.

When I was interviewing athletes and coaches from 2008 to 2010, digging up non-obvious tactics for The 4-Hour Body, I sent different combinations of the following questions to dozens of experts. These can be modified for any skill or topic, not just sports. Just replace [SPORT] with what you want to learn, and track down your mentors. You can often find past gold and silver medalists willing to answer these via Skype for $50 to $100 per hour, which is an incredible steal and could save you years of wasted effort. Who is good at [SPORT] despite being poorly built for it? Who’s good at this who shouldn’t be? Who are the most controversial or unorthodox athletes or trainers in [SPORT]? Why? What do you think of them? Who are the most impressive lesser-known teachers? What makes you different?

In his words, but condensed for space, here are some examples of the types of lists James makes: 10 old ideas I can make new 10 ridiculous things I would invent (e.g., the smart toilet) 10 books I can write (The Choose Yourself Guide to an Alternative Education, etc). 10 business ideas for Google/Amazon/Twitter/etc. 10 people I can send ideas to 10 podcast ideas or videos I can shoot (e.g., Lunch with James, a video podcast where I just have lunch with people over Skype and we chat) 10 industries where I can remove the middleman 10 things I disagree with that everyone else assumes is religion (college, home ownership, voting, doctors, etc.) 10 ways to take old posts of mine and make books out of them 10 people I want to be friends with (then figure out the first step to contact them) 10 things I learned yesterday 10 things I can do differently today 10 ways I can save time 10 things I learned from X, where X is someone I’ve recently spoken with or read a book by or about.

 

pages: 525 words: 142,027

CIOs at Work by Ed Yourdon

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8-hour work day, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, distributed generation, Flash crash, Googley, Grace Hopper, Infrastructure as a Service, Innovator's Dilemma, inventory management, Julian Assange, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Nicholas Carr, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Zipcar

And the most difficult part of telemedicine is the cost of telecommunications for processing data from Latin America—because it’s all government-controlled and their prices are absolutely ludicrous compared to what it is in various other parts of the world. So, eventually, I think the economy is going to break that down, the same way it has broken down barriers in terms of dealing with China, trading with China. It’s going to break down the telecommunication barriers also because we’re going to have to communicate to be in business, and if that’s the case, if it’s too expensive, it won’t get done. And Skype is in business; you’re doing this on Skype. Skype is in business because they found a way to get business done and in a cheaper way. Yourdon: Good point, good point. Temares: And economics kills everything. Yourdon: Yeah. Temares: And it changes things. Yourdon: Let me move on to another category. You hear a lot of talk these days about IT being a strategic weapon to enhance the business. Would you say that’s true for universities, too?

Yourdon: You know, there was a concept that got a lot of popularity a couple of years ago, called “hastily formed networks” about the need for local groups on the scene to somehow put together a network to support relief services and so on. Of course, in many cases the cell phone communications infrastructure is the most affected by an earthquake or something of that sort. Was that true in Japan? Gupta: I don’t have data points, to be honest. I do know that there was disruption to the communications infrastructure. You could see it on the broadcasts on BBC, there were a lot of people communicating over Skype and all sorts of other things when they were doing interviews with broadcasters. But the extent to which they—well, clearly, in the towns and cities that had pretty much disappeared, the masts went with them, without a doubt. Yourdon: Ahh, okay. Gupta: I don’t know if there was a big amount of disruption to the mobile communications network in Tokyo and other parts because of the earthquake. I would have suggested that Japan, being a country that knows so much about earthquakes, they would have made sure that there was enough backup.

., 87 attributes, 108 capital market community, 91 cash/actual trading business, 88 channel marketing departments, 92 cloud computing, 97 CNBC, 89 collaborative technology, 95 collective intelligence, 95 communication skills, 102, 106 conference organizations, 99 consumer marketplace, 94 data center, 90 decision making, 105, 108 economy standpoint, 100 e-mail, 100 Fidelity Investments, 105 financial services, 92 IEEE, 101 innovative impression, 94 Internet, 98 iPad, 97 iPod device, 91 labor laws, 110 listening skills, 106 logical progression, 104 Mac, 96 mainframe, 104 management and leadership, 104, 105 market data system, 89 micro-second response time, 89 mobile applications, 94 multidisciplinary approach, 103 multimedia, 97 multi-national projects, 110 multiprocessing options, 99 network operating system, 103 NYSE Euronext, 87 open outside system, 88 parallel programming models, 99 personal satisfaction, 109 PR function, 106 proclaimed workaholic, 109 real estate business, 88 regulatory and security standpoint, 96 Rolodex, 94 Rubin, Howard, 99 server department, 97 software development, 89 sophisticated technology, 101 technology business, 88 technology integration, 91 trading engines, 90 typewriter ribbon, 94 virtualization, 98 Windows 7, 96 younger generation video games, 93 visual interfaces, 93 Rumsfeld, Donald, 222 S San Diego Fire Department, 224 Santa Clara University, 36 SAS programs, 131 Scott, Tony, 10, 33, 236 Android, 43 Apple Computer, 35 architectural flaw, 44 BASIC and Pascal, 35 Bristol-Myers Squibb, 33 Bunch, Rick (role model), 34 business groups, 42 COO, 39 Corporate Vice President, 33 Corvus disk drive, 36 CSC, 35 Defense department, 45 dogfooding, 37, 38 games and arcades, 35 General Motors, 33 IBM's role, 37 information systems management, 36 integrity factor, 40 Internet, 44 iPhone, 43 IT lifecycle management process, 37 leadership capability, 40 leisure studies, 34 macro-architectural threats, 44 Marriott's Great America, 35 math models, 36 Microsoft Corporation, 33, 36, 38, 41, 44, 46 Microsoft's operational enterprise risk management, 33 parks and recreation, 34 Petri dish, 44 playground leader, 42 product groups, 42 quality and business excellence team, 33 Santa Clara University, 36 Senior Vice President, 33 smartphone, 43 social computing, 38 Sun Microsystems, 36 theme park industry, 35 University of Illinois, 34 University of San Francisco, 36 value-added business, 33 Walt Disney Company, 33 Senior Leadership Technology and Product Marketing, 71 Shakespeare, 30 Shirky, Clay, 220 Sierra Ventures, 191 Silicon Valley companies, 68 Silicon Valley software factories, 323 Skype, 118 Smart Grid Advisory Committee, 177 Smartphones, 20, 27, 43, 54, 217, 238 Social care computer electronic record system, 279 Social computing, 38, 320 Social networking, 51, 53, 56, 58 Society trails technology, 21 SPSS programs, 131 Sridhara, Mittu, 71 Amazon, 76 American Airlines, 72 back-end computation and presentation, 80 banking, 77 B2B and B2C, 85 business/product departments, 82 business work context, 74 buzzword, 77 career aspiration, 73 career spans, 73 coders, 72 cognitive surplus, 79 competitive differentiation, 74 computing power, 78 contribution and energy, 85 convergence, 75 CPU cycles, 78 cross-channel digital business, 71 cultural and geographic implementation, 72 customer experience, 84, 85 customer profile, 76 data visualization, 79, 80 DDoS protection, 81 economies of scale, 77 elements of technology, 72 encryption, 82 end customer, 83 entertainment, 75 ERP system, 72 Facebook, 84 finance and accounting, 73 foster innovation and open culture, 81 friends/mentors/role models, 74 FSA, 76 gambling acts, 81 games, 79 gaming machines, 80 GDS, 72 global organization, 71 Google, 75, 84, 85 Group CIO, Ladbrokes PLC, 71 industry-standard technologies, 77 integrity and competence, 83 IT, 74, 82 KickOff app, 71 land-based casinos, 79 live streaming, 78 London Business School, 73 mobile computing, 78 multimedia, 84 new generation, 84 on-the-job training, 73 open-source computing, 79 opportunity, 80, 83 PCA-compliant, 81 personalization, 76 real-time systems, 74 re-evaluation, 81 reliability and availability, 77 security threats, 80 smart mobile device, 75 technology-intense customer, 85 top-line revenue, 74 trader apps, 82 true context, 73 underpinning business process, 76 virtualization, 78 Visa/MasterCard transactions, 78 Web 3.0 business, 76 web-emerging web channel, 76 Wikipedia, 79, 85 Word documents and e-mail, 82 work-life balance, 84 young body with high miles, 72 Zuckerberg, Mark, 73 Stead, Jerry, 214 Storefront engineering, 212 Strassmann, Paul, 228, 309 agile development, 340 Amazon EC2, 314 America information processors, 322 Annapolis, 340 AT&T, 332 backstabbing culture, 339 BlackBerry, 317 block houses, 319 CFO/CEO position, 337 CIM program, 309 Citibank, 337 Citicorp, 313, 339 cloud computing, 310, 311, 313 coding infrastructure, 341 communication infrastructure, 341 corporate information management, 329 Corporate Information Officer, 309 counterintelligence, 320 cyber-operations, 338 Dell server, 314 Department of Defense, 329, 332 Director of Defense Information, 309 employee-owned technology, 316 enterprise architecture, 316 exfiltration, 313 financial organizations, 320 firewalls and antiviruses, 312 General Foods, 309, 326–328 General Motors, 321, 329, 332 George Mason School of Information Technology, 309 Google apps, 314 government-supported activities, 326 Harvard Business School, 331 HR-related issues, 331 IBM manpower, 311 infiltration, 313 Internet, 316, 322 interoperability, 315, 317, 341 Kraft Foods Inc, 309 MacArthur's intelligence officer, 327 Machiavellian view, 327 mash-up, 316 military service, 331 NASA, 309, 333, 334 police department, economics, 312 powerpoint slides, 324 Radio Shack, 319 senior executive position, 334 service-oriented architecture, 316 Silicon Valley software factories, 323 social computing, 320 Strassmann's concentration camp, 318 structured methodologies, 342 U.S.

 

pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

They had become so close, in fact, that everyone knew, roughly, where everyone else was logging in from (real names were never shared) Most were headquartered in or around the UK, except Sabu. Some had even foolishly spoken over Skype, which is how Topiary had determined that Cleary’s voice was “annoying”. OpSec, short for Operational Security, is the art of protecting your group’s human and digital interactions. One of the foundations of good OpSec is the knowledge that one’s computer is secure. Depending on proprietary software packages—opaque in both source code and business practices—can compromise that knowledge. The use of free software, such as GNU/Linux, and the avoidance of tools like Skype (commonly understood to have government backdoors) are necessary measures in the never-ending journey of vigilant OpSec. Not sharing personal information is also a central pillar of OpSec.

Quickly the excitement faded as I contemplated the ruinous reality this could bring down upon me if I got on the wrong side of these notorious trolls; I remembered that I had already decided to focus on the activism of Anonymous and not its trolling heyday for a very good reason. In the end, I hoped weev would ignore the email from me sitting in his inbox. But, when he emailed me back, I realized there was nothing to do but commit. We finally connected via Skype chat. His handle was “dirk diggler,” after the porn star protagonist of the 1997 film Boogie Nights. Later, when we switched to IRC, he used “weev”: dirk diggler: how are you? biella: good and you? dirk diggler: coming down off of some vile substance biella: you are up early dirk diggler: methylenedioxypyrovalorone i think it was called dirk diggler: its late, technically dirk diggler: as i havent slept biella: i woke up at 3 am but that is not all that usual for me dirk diggler: i am working on my latest shitstorm right now dirk diggler: disruptive technological developments are gr8 biella: you are pretty adept at that as well dirk diggler: yes i am switching from the mdpv to the coffee dirk diggler: i am hoping this will smooth the downward spiral long enough for me to ship this motherfucker live today biella: no chance you will be in nyc in the near future, is there?

During a lecture for my class, a former Anonymous troll and activist explained the crucial role of 4chan in cementing what he designates as “the primary ideal of Anonymous”: The posts on 4chan have no names or any identifiable markers attached to them. The only thing you are able to judge a post by is its content and nothing else. This elimination of the persona, and by extension everything associated with it, such as leadership, representation, and status, is the primary ideal of Anonymous. (emphasis added) This “Anon,” who was lecturing anonymously on Skype to my ten enraptured students, immediately offered a series of astute qualifications about this “primary ideal.”: the self-effacement of the individual. When Anonymous left 4chan in pursuit of activist goals in 2008, he explained, this ideal failed, often spectacularly; once individuals interacted pseudonymously or met in person, status-seeking behaviors reasserted themselves. Individuals jockeyed and jostled for power.

 

pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

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4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

Gox administrative account by either guessing the password with the brute force of a computer program or by gaming the system that allowed users to create new passwords. In the end, Mark calculated that the site had lost only a few thousand Bitcoins, which he promised to reimburse with the company’s money. Mark then moved on to rewriting the Mt. Gox code so that he could reopen the site. Two days after the crash, he appeared briefly, via Skype, on The Bitcoin Show, a relatively new online production created by an enthusiast in New York. Mark took the opportunity to blame the code he inherited from Jed McCaleb, which he said had “a lot of problems.” “The new system was written from scratch with absolutely no code from the old system,” he said. “It was made from state of the art techniques.” Two days after that, Mark made a transfer of 424,424 Bitcoins that was visible on the public blockchain, in order to prove that he had his customers’ coins.

Roger had first seen Charlie talking about his company, BitInstant, on Bruce Wagner’s The Bitcoin Show. A small, cherubic twenty-two-year-old, with a Brillo Pad of curly hair and a slight Brooklyn accent, Charlie pitched BitInstant as the easy way to get money into and out of Bitcoin without wiring funds internationally to Mt. Gox’s bank account in Japan. Roger quickly reached out to Charlie by Skype, and asked how much money he needed. Charlie offered him 10 percent of the company for $100,000. Roger sent over a wire payment for $120,000. THE YOUNG MAN Roger had invested in was, outwardly, an unlikely candidate to become the entrepreneurial leader in a futuristic global movement like Bitcoin. He had grown up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, in a Syrian Jewish community where all the kids went to the same religious schools.

“Pete, I told you, I’m interested in Bitcoin,” Wences said when his turn came to talk. “It hasn’t changed.” Wences drew the group in with an explanation of the basic notion of a new kind of network that could allow people to move money anywhere in the world, instantaneously—something that these financiers, who were frequently moving millions between banks in different countries, could surely appreciate. “You can call someone in Jakarta on Skype,” Wences told them. “You can see them and you can hear them and there’s a synchronous connection with a lot of bandwidth. There’s a ton of magic happening, which is incredible. And you hang up and you want to send them one cent and that’s not possible. That’s ridiculous. It should be a lot easier to send a cent than to see video and audio.” The blockchain technology made that previously impossible task possible.

 

pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

Take the idea of what can be called ‘teleprofessionalism’—rather than meeting face-to-face, consultations between professionals and their clients, patients, or students can be conducted by video link across the Internet. In a fairly primitive way, this is already happening via Skype. Doctors, for example, use telemedicine to consult with their patients, employing traditional methods but from a distance; while religious leaders use online platforms to preach and proselytize without meeting their congregants and possible converts in person. In Chapter 2 there are many other illustrations. Future systems, using ‘telepresence’ techniques (for example, high definition desktop-to-desktop video-conferencing), will provide an experience for both provider and recipient that is greatly superior to current video-conferencing systems. We think of telepresence as ‘Skype on steroids’. Notice, however, that teleprofessionalism is not a fundamental departure from traditional ways of working.

We characterize this as the tendency to underestimate the potential of tomorrow’s applications by evaluating them in terms of today’s enabling technologies. In other words, this is the inability of a sceptic, because of the shortcomings of current technology, to concede that future systems may be radically more powerful than those of today. Thus, senior doctors and lawyers might reject the idea of conducting a consultation by video-conference because of, say, a poor recent experience of a Skype call with a grandchild. A variation of this myopia is the inability to imagine that a modest user base of today might extend from a small group of early adopters to mainstream use. Technological myopia is a cousin of the phenomenon of ‘retrospective modernism’, as identified by Frederick Maitland, the legal historian.90 He was referring to the limitations of viewing and evaluating historical events through the lens of today.

Instead, what we have here is the relocation of jobs and tasks to similarly qualified (or even better credentialed) individuals who undertake work at lower cost than traditional professionals, employed in expensive buildings, in expensive cities, in countries where wages are high. In our research, we were told, for instance, of architects in Kenya who draw up plans for international clients, and of teachers in India who provide tutorials to British students by Skype—at far lower rates than in the United Kingdom and United States. There are two broad approaches here. The first is ‘offshoring’, when an organization transfers work packages to one of its lower-cost centres, for example, in Malaysia. On this model, the work is still undertaken within the boundaries of the organization, but is done in places where overheads, and especially wages, are lower. The spirit here is akin to purpose-built, low-cost call service centres.

 

pages: 189 words: 52,741

Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Live Your Dreams, Ignite Your Passions and Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World by Jesse Krieger

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Airbnb, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, follow your passion, income inequality, iterative process, Ralph Waldo Emerson, search engine result page, Skype, software as a service, South China Sea, Steve Jobs

Your IVR system can forward calls to any numbers in the world, allowing your team to be distributed across country or across the globe. A search in your country for “IVR providers” or “get toll-free number” will yield many options for you to choose from. Suffice it to say that your initial system can be pretty basic, as long as it can forward calls to any numbers you designate. Also, you can sign up for SkypeIn numbers from Skype.com and route the IVR to your team members’ SkypeIn numbers, which will ring on their computers if they are working, or on their phones if they are offline. This is especially cost effective if you are routing calls internationally, as it will cut out potentially costly long distance calling fees. Having a toll-free number gives the outward appearance that you are a well-established company. But it doesn’t have to cost much at all.

 

pages: 924 words: 241,081

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon

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barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian, DevOps, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, software as a service, telemarketer, union organizing, VA Linux, web application

You should always ensure that there are nice, clear instructions (with screenshots) showing how to connect with IRC. Voice over IP (VoIP) Examples include: Skype Ekiga Online telephony such as Skype or a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) client such as Ekiga is the equivalent of having a conference call. As such, the same benefits and limitations apply: you can’t practically have more than 5–10 people in a conversation, but it does feel engaging. A downside of this medium is that it requires (a) a reasonably powerful Internet connection and (b) sound hardware and a microphone, which may not be as common as you would expect. I have found VoIP to be useful for meetings, but not for general-purpose events due to the scaling issues. Another blocker for VoIP is that while Skype works great for many people, other clients require a significant amount of fiddling with firewalls and other networking mumbo jumbo to get them working.

The real focus and priority here is to find unequivocal evidence, that is, evidence of the situation that can be independently verified. Here we want to separate out emotion and get to the heart of what really happened. You should first speak to those on both sides of the conflict and ask them to provide you with their stories. To engage in this discussion, you need to decide how to communicate with them. I highly recommend doing this on the phone or via Voice over IP (such as Skype) if possible. A phone conversation is far more interpersonal and allows both parties to communicate more quickly than over email or a chat medium such as IRC. When you gather this initial story, you should expect a fairly significant amount of venting and emotion. Expect both parties to speak quickly, dart the focus around different issues, and keep remembering details and frustrations they had previously forgotten to mention in the conversation.

This is all about searching through the chaotic claims and memories for patterns where you can lay down an eventual consensus. By finding these patterns, you can make progress toward a general agreement and also build a more positive atmosphere around shared values as opposed to differing ones. The first step is to schedule the discussion. If the conflict is between two specific people, the best medium for discussion is typically a conference call. This can happen on a range of online telephony services (such as Skype) or by using a conventional telephone conference call service. Many conventional handsets even support three-way conversations at no extra cost. If the conflict is public and part of a team or group, schedule a public meeting. I have found the most suitable medium for this to be IRC. It allows people to share thoughts quickly so long as they can all get online at a specific time. Your choice of medium is heavily dependent on what is comfortable for your community.

 

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Indeed, numerous reports indicate that as you sit there watching your smart TV, it may be watching you right back. The majority of mid- and high-range televisions today are IoT compatible and come preloaded with apps such as Netflix, Skype, Facebook, and Hulu, not to mention embedded cameras, microphones, and USB ports. Worldwide nearly ninety million smart TVs were sold in 2013, and soon legacy “dumb” TV sets will be hard to find, a potentially troubling trend for those who value privacy and security. Many brands have been found to contain security vulnerabilities, such as Samsung Smart TVs, which allowed hackers to remotely turn on the built-in camera meant for Skype calls and surreptitiously snap photographs and watch viewers in their living rooms and bedrooms. The hackers were also able to steal the log-in credentials and account details stored on the Samsung TV’s smart apps to take control of users’ Facebook and other social media accounts.

If proponents of the “nothing to hide” argument meant what they said, then they would logically not object to our filming them having sex with their spouses, publishing their tax returns online, and projecting video of their toilet use on the Jumbotron of a crowded stadium, right? After all, they have nothing to hide. The fact is that each of us has private special moments in our lives, made exceptional by limiting with whom we share such intimacies. For those who believe the fallacy of nothing to hide, perhaps a lesson in something to fear might be appropriate, for all of us have details in our lives we would rather not share. For example, Google Voice, Skype, your mobile phone carrier, and any number of government agencies have records of anyone who has ever phoned an abortion clinic, a suicide hotline, or a local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. Data aggregators know who has searched for “slutty cheerleaders,” “Viagra,” or “Prozac” across any of their electronic devices. While all these behaviors may be perfectly legal, no doubt they have repercussions in our society should the information come to light.

They had seen the future and leveraged modern information technologies every step of the way throughout their assault to locate additional victims and slaughter them. When the attackers set out to sea from Pakistan under cover of darkness, they wore night-vision goggles and navigated to Mumbai using GPS handsets. They carried BlackBerrys containing PDF files of the hotel floor plans and used Google Earth to explore 3-D models of target venues to determine optimal entry and exit points. During the melee, LeT assassins used satellite phones, GSM handsets, and Skype to coordinate with their Pakistan-based command center, which monitored broadcast news, the Internet, and social media to provide real-time tactical direction to its ground assault team. When a bystander tweeted a photograph of police commandos rappelling from a helicopter onto the roof of the besieged Jewish community building, the terrorist ops center intercepted the photograph, alerted its attackers, and directed them to a stairwell leading to the roof.

 

pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

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1960s counterculture, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application

Since about 2002 Google has steadily added to the roles it plays in people’s lives, thus complicating the Web’s taxonomy. It now hosts e-mail for millions of users. Google purchased the innovative and free blog-hosting service Blogger in 2003. It runs a social networking site called Orkut that is popular in Brazil and India, but nowhere else. Google Voice offers a voice-over-Internet-provider (VoIP) that competes with Skype’s long-distance Internet phone service. It facilitates payment for Web-based commerce through Google Checkout. Google is also a software company. It now offers online software such as a word processor, spreadsheets, presentation software, and a REN D E R UNTO CA ESA R 17 calendar service—all operating “in the cloud” and thus freeing users from managing multiple versions of their files and applications on different computers, and easing collaboration with others.

“It is unacceptable,” Graham wrote to Eric Schmidt, “to roll out a product that unilaterally renders personal information public, with the intention of repairing problems later as they arise.”47 A few days after the Broughton incident, I had a long conversation with Peter Barron, head of communication and public affairs for Google in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. “This was actually a fantastically successful launch” in the United Kingdom, Barron told me over a Skype connection. We had record numbers of people visiting Google Maps. Many, many millions of people used and enjoyed and found the product extremely useful. We had a very small number of complaints—complaints in the hundreds—about the fact that people’s houses were up or maybe their faces weren’t blurred. We explained to people that these images could be removed if you wanted that and this was carried out very, very quickly, usually within an hour or two. . . .

See also corporate responsibility Rheingold, Howard, 245n54 Romania, 121, 141 263 Rorty, Richard, 60–61 Rose, Charlie, 87 Rosen, Jay, 121 Rule, James, 96, 97 Russia, 14, 25, 142, 143–44 Safari, 29 safe search, 15, 222n4 Saint Mary’s College, in California, 190 Samuelson, Pamela, 231n33 satellite images, 17 Saudi Arabia, 131 Schmidt, Eric, 44–46, 49, 108, 200, 202 Schrage, Elliot, 129 Science (periodical), 193 scientific research, search engines used for, 22, 192–94 Scientology, 134 search engine, Google: algorithm used in, 7, 23, 52, 60, 61, 62, 65, 66, 69, 171, 182, 187; and company’s expanded mission, 16; competitors of, 16, 20–25, 55–57, 132–33, 142–45; operating principles of, 20–21, 23, 65, 66, 69; technological basis of, 54, 195; trade secrets relating to, 87 search results, Google: bias in, 7, 62–64; compared to citation-review systems, 56, 188, 193–94; customized, 27, 132, 147, 148, 183–84, 202; and free rider problem, 30–36; human intervention in, 65–67, 202; hyperlinks as factor in, 61, 62, 69; localized, 28, 64, 129, 138–39, 143; and news media, 32–35; optimization of, 66, 115; and PageRank, 21, 23, 58, 60, 61–64, 66, 74, 171, 187; and pornography, 14, 57, 67, 222n4; and precise comprehensiveness, 59; quality control of, 14–15, 35, 36, 65–67; ranking of, 21, 23, 56, 57, 58, 61–64, 66, 69, 74, 171, 187; registered users’ influence on, 67; and relevance, 7, 21, 32, 57, 59, 61, 63, 65, 66, 138, 171, 188, 193; and safe search, 15, 222n4; and semantic analysis, 23; and sponsored results, 26, 60; and users’ gratification, 52–55; users’ trust in, 3, 58–60; Wikipedia represented in, 63, 64, 66, 222n4. See also censorship semantic searches, 22–23 Sennett, Richard, 231n33 seven deadly sins, 76, 77 sexually explicit content, 38. See also pornography Shell Oil corporation, 131 264 IND EX Shenk, David, 175 Shirky, Clay, 175, 231n33, 234n71 Shi Tao, 127 Silicon Valley, 56, 70–71 Sinsheimer, Robert, 207 Skype, 16 social networking, 16, 17–118, 90–92, 95, 116 social responsibility, 42–44 Solove, Daniel, 95, 96, 236n20 Souter, David, 170 South Africa, 121, 122, 128 South Korea, 25, 142–43, 145 Soviet Union, 121–23 Spain, 142, 146 speed, priority placed on, 51–54 Spencer, Herbert, 181 sponsored results, 26, 60 Stanford University, 56, 158, 187, 195 “Star Wars Kid,” 95–96 stock market, 79, 229n14 Street View.

 

pages: 360 words: 96,275

PostgreSQL 9 Admin Cookbook: Over 80 Recipes to Help You Run an Efficient PostgreSQL 9. 0 Database by Simon Riggs, Hannu Krosing

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business intelligence, business process, database schema, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, full text search, Skype

Simon has also previously worked with Oracle, Teradata, and DB2 and holds multiple certifications. His previous experience covers management and senior technical roles in the banking, telecommunications and software industries. Simon's early research work has been published by the Royal Society. Hannu Krosing is a principal consultant at 2ndQuadrant and a Technical Advisor at Ambient Sound Investments. As the original database architect at Skype Technologies, Hannu was responsible for designing the Skytools suite of replication and scalability technologies. Hannu has more than 12 years experience working with and contributing to the PostgreSQL project. About the Reviewers Gabriele Bartolini is a long time open-source programmer, writing Linux/Unix applications in C and C++ for over 10 years, specializing in search engines and web analytics with large databases.

On top of that, PostgreSQL is well-known as a database that stays up for long periods, and requires little or no maintenance in many cases. Overall, PostgreSQL provides a very low total cost of ownership. PostgreSQL Administration Cookbook offers the information you need to manage your live production databases on PostgreSQL. The book contains insights direct from the main author of the PostgreSQL replication and recovery features, and the database architect of the most successful startup using PostgreSQL, Skype. This hands-on guide will assist developers working on live databases, supporting web or enterprise software applications using Java, Python, Ruby, .Net from any development framework. It's easy to manage your database when you've got PostgreSQL 9 Administration Cookbook at hand. This practical guide gives you quick answers to common questions and problems, building on the author's experience as trainers, users, and core developers of the PostgreSQL database server.

You may also read that PostgreSQL was, or is, slower than My Favorite DBMS, whichever one that is. It's been a personal mission of mine over the last six years to improve server performance and the team have been successful in making the server highly performant and very scalable. That gives PostgreSQL enormous headroom for growth. Who is using PostgreSQL? Prominent users include Apple, BASF, Genentech, IMDB.com, Skype, NTT, Yahoo, and The National Weather Service. PostgreSQL receives well in excess of 1 million downloads per year, according to data submitted to the European Commission, who concluded "...PostgreSQL, is considered by many database users to be a credible alternative... We need to mention one last thing. When PostgreSQL was first developed, it was named Postgres, and so many aspects of the project still refer to the word "postgres".

 

pages: 319 words: 89,477

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel Iii, John Seely Brown

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, software as a service, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs

Factors that seemed marginal just fifteen years ago have accelerated with impressive speed as the digital infrastructure came to penetrate our daily lives. More than just bits and bytes, this digital infrastructure consists of the institutions, practices, and protocols that together organize and deliver the increasing power of digital technology to business and society. And new products and services are cascading out of this digital infrastructure at a dizzying rate. Taking communications technology as an example, think of Skype, the iPhone, Android, and Google Voice as just a few of the breakthroughs that have been made in recent years. These products have changed the way we communicate. Those who have figured out how to use the new communication tools to best advantage have a leg up on the competition. Yet many of us—especially those who have achieved success—tend to believe that the approaches we used in the past will continue to work in the future.

They were discussing business ideas and blog postings about the events in Iran when Sean told Joi about Dan’s intentions to release the script—any minute now—in a tweet. Joi reacted with concern. Wasn’t the Iranian government actively monitoring Twitter streams? Surely the government would be quickly alerted to the existence of this script. Agreeing that this was a big risk, Sean reached out to Dan and within fifteen minutes had set up a three-way Skype call bringing the three of them together. It turned out that Dan’s hack was amazing and robust—and the Iranian government might never have been able to crack it—but Joi wanted to buy as much time as possible to support the free expression of the protesters. Dan quickly agreed to pursue a better way of getting the script into the hands of the right people—a way that would not alert the Iranian government to its existence.

Thanks to his recent relocation to Dubai, Joi was now getting increasingly involved in human rights issues. As for Sean Bonner, his website proudly proclaims: “It’s rather difficult to say what Sean Bonner does exactly.” Let’s just say that Sean is a well-known web publisher and cultural curator as well as an inveterate Internet troublemaker. With his deep technology background, Joi knew there had to be a better way to disseminate this script. Within minutes of the Skype chat with Dan and Sean, he began reaching out to select people in his network through a combination of cellphone text messages, e-mails, and tweets. He quickly found relevant people at Human Rights Watch, WITNESS, Global Voices, Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center, and other organizations—people he knew shared a common concern over the deteriorating situation in Iran and a passion for preserving human rights and free speech in a country that was moving quickly to suppress them.

 

pages: 322 words: 99,066

The End of Secrecy: The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks by The "Guardian", David Leigh, Luke Harding

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4chan, banking crisis, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, Downton Abbey, eurozone crisis, friendly fire, global village, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Mohammed Bouazizi, offshore financial centre, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

What made this trend possible was what also made it necessary: the technological growth of massive, near-instantaneous global communications. If media groups did not learn to work across borders on stories, the stories would leave them behind. In the run-up to cable D-Day, Ian Katz, the deputy editor managing these complex relationships, held regular Skype chats with the Guardian’s multilingual counterparts. “They were hilarious conversations,” Katz recalls. The reason the Spaniards were holding up the number of a US state department cable to the Skype camera was security – it had been agreed that no sensitive mentions would be made over the phone or by email. In Berlin, similarly, Marcel Rosenbach, from Der Spiegel, was the first to unearth a cable with the deceptively bland title: “National HUMINT Collection Directive on the United Nations.” In fact, it revealed the US state department (on behalf of the CIA) had ordered its diplomats to spy on senior UN officials and collect their “detailed biometric information”.

The volunteer WikiLeaks hacker, Seattle-based Jacob Appelbaum, boasts that he will destroy any laptop that has been let out of his sight, for fear that it might have been bugged. None of the team worries deeply about the consequences of losing a computer, though, because the lines of code to control the site are stored on remote computers under their control – “in the cloud” – and the passwords they need for access are in their heads. Popular for day-by-day in-house conversations is the internet phone service Skype, which also uses encryption. Because it was developed in Sweden rather than the US, the team trusts it not to have a “back door” through which the US National Security Agency can peer in on their discussions. As its name suggests, WikiLeaks began as a “wiki” – a user-editable site (which has sometimes led to confusion with the user-editable Wikipedia; there is no association). But Assange and his colleagues rapidly found that the content and need to remove dangerous or incriminating information made such a model impractical.

Rusbridger had suggested early on that each paper nominate a “redactions editor” to ensure a belt and braces approach to protecting sources. Now Casson worked brutally long days comparing the Guardian’s editing decisions with those of his counterparts, and considering the representations about particular cables from the US state department that were passed on by the New York Times. The task was made vastly more difficult by the journalists’ determination not to discuss cables on the phone or in emails; after his daily round of Skype calls with international partners, Casson would meticulously alter the colour of some of the 700 or so cables listed on a vast Google spreadsheet that only he could understand. He looked like a man close to the edge. And then there were the legal risks. Could the Guardian be prosecuted under the British Official Secrets Act or the US Espionage Act? And, if so, would it have to hand over internal documents and emails?

 

pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

This ability could potentially make it more difficult for independent and nonprofit citizen media to reach large audiences or build broad communities. If ISPs are allowed to discriminate, they can also block other content services that happen to compete with their own. Internet service providers now have the technical ability to “see” what kinds of application a particular subscriber is using at a given moment in time: Are you using Skype? YouTube? Streaming movies on Netflix? Or are you accessing a nonprofit website that uses the open-source WordPress platform? Your service provider knows. Currently in most countries, there is no law preventing Internet service providers from discriminating between services for a profit: your ISP could in theory offer a “tiered” access package in which access to certain services belonging to major brand names (Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook, for example) would be cheaper than access to the general Internet or to lesser known applications.

However, they also agreed that wireless broadband providers should be exempt from such regulation and ought to be free to manage and prioritize their traffic. Several months later, the FCC issued rules that generally reflected this compromise: though mobile carriers would be prohibited from blocking websites, they would be free to block applications or services unless those applications directly competed with providers’voice and video products, such as Skype. The rules allowed for some “network management,” which includes prioritization of some services over others, and did not rule out “paid prioritization” of services, with the stipulation that carriers must be transparent about how they implement their traffic management. Net neutrality opponents and proponents were both highly critical with the compromise position. Many net neutrality advocates are particularly concerned that although there is still hope that the broadband-based Internet in homes and offices can remain relatively neutral at least in democratic countries, policy and industry trends point to the likelihood that the mobile Internet everywhere will be much more constrained and manipulated, with limited room for the citizen commons.

In early 2011 the fifth-largest wireless carrier in the United States, MetroPCS, began offering a $40/month “no long-term commitment” service plan on one of its 4G phones, targeting lower-income customers. The service allowed unlimited talking, texting, web browsing, and YouTube access. Other premium multimedia services were available at additional cost, although some popular brand-name services like Skype and Netflix were excluded altogether. Apps from those services were blocked from being downloaded to the user’s handset. Though the logic for the blockage is that these tools tend to use a lot of bandwidth, which costs the providers money, the precedent of blocking certain applications and not others is potentially a slippery slope. Because the MetroPCS service appears to violate the FCC’s net neutrality rules, MetroPCS and Verizon joined hands in a lawsuit challenging those rules.

 

pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator

Either way, it’s a shadow economy, yet happening in plain sight. Literally. At the time Anderson wrote Free, beyond a few extremely obscure papers, economists had not studied the idea of free in the marketplace. It was a blank spot on the map. In other words, even people who make their living studying economic trends were fooled. Once demonetization arrived, they didn’t know what hit them. Nor is it just economists or, for that matter, Kodak executives. Skype demonetized long-distance telephony; Craigslist demonetized classified advertising; Napster demonetized the music industry. This list goes on and on. More critically, because demonetization is also deceptive, almost no one within those industries was prepared for such radical change. Dematerialization. While demonetization describes the vanishing of the money once paid for goods and services, dematerialization is about the vanishing of the goods and services themselves.

CONSULTANT 1987 Up to $2,000 $3,988 7 Video player free Toshiba V-8000 1981 $1,245 $3,103 8 Video camera free RCA CC010 1981 $1,050 $2,617 9 Music player free Sony CDP-101 CD player 1982 $900 $2,113 10 Encyclopedia free Compton’s CD Encyclopedia 1989 $750 $1,370 11 Videogame console free Atari 2600 1977 $199 $744 Total free $902,809 *Year of Launch The roughly $900,000 worth of applications in a smart phone today Source: Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, page 289 * Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price It shows all the 1980s luxury technologies that have dematerialized and now come standard with your average smartphone. An HD video camera, two-way video conferencing (via Skype), GPS, libraries of books, your record collection, a flashlight, an EKG, a full videogame arcade, a tape recorder, maps, a calculator, a clock . . . just to name a few. Thirty years ago the devices in this collection would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; today they come free or as apps on your phone. And smartphones are the fastest-spreading technology in humanity’s history. Democratization.

BE OPEN TO NEW WORKING METHODOLOGIES “The other day I was in London,” said Barrie, “and I met a financial analyst working from home doing financial models for pension funds on things like infrastructure projects. He needed a mathematician to develop these models in MATLAB to be able to do his research and present his findings, so he hired a PhD student in Pakistan to do the work. They set up a chat on Skype. The streaming video quality to somewhere like Pakistan is now unbelievable. It was just like the guy was in the room with him. He’d get up in the morning, have his cup of tea, sit down, put the iPad there, do the video call, and then they’d sit there and talk all day as if they were in the same room together. The ability to communicate with anyone on the planet is getting better and better. That means the ability for us to work with anyone on the planet is fantastic.”26 So there you have it.

 

pages: 402 words: 98,760

Deep Sea and Foreign Going by Rose George

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Admiral Zheng, air freight, Albert Einstein, bank run, cable laying ship, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Costa Concordia, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Filipino sailors, global supply chain, Google Earth, intermodal, London Whale, Malacca Straits, Panamax, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Skype, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning

He gathers me and the two cadets, a small brood, and we set off from the ship’s office on A-deck, past the noticeboard that indicates who is on or off duty. Ashore options – ‘in’ or ‘out’ – don’t apply here, where ‘out’ means overboard. First, the interior attractions: a karaoke machine in the crew’s lounge, a dart board and Wii machine in the officers’. A library on D-deck is equipped with cheap DVDs, books and two computers for gaming only. Kendal is only four years old, but it has no provision for browsing on the internet and no Skype. Internet access is not freely available: crew members pass their emails to the captain once a day and he sends them and transmits the replies. The last time I had that level of internet freedom was in 1995. There are outdoor facilities: a basketball hoop on the poop deck near the stern, where the decks seem too slippery to play safely, and the low railings an invitation to lose balls to the ocean.

He doesn’t know for sure that the buyer was a pirate, but the rumours are powerful around these men with such cash from such a poor country. ‘Some who have done piracy several times are here.’ He says the godfathers – the land-based pirate controllers – come here to spend their gains, that the money-changers are mostly Somali-owned. ‘The government turns a blind eye, maybe because of corruption. They can make you not see them.’ * There is no need for secrecy in piracy. John Chase’s negotiators often communicate by Skype. It’s not like in Afghanistan or Iraq, where you are trying to negotiate out of sight of governments who want to rush in and rescue. Somalia is different. ‘The pirates will talk on the phone for hours at a time. Everyone knows where they are, it’s not an issue of trying to locate them.’ Everyone knows where the hostages are, but no-one is rushing to rescue them. Bryan Toki, a maritime security consultant, once rescued an Indian ship that had been held for 332 days.

I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce its name until Captain Glenn told of a girl in the office who pronounces Salalah like ‘Ooh-la-la!’ (the stress, at least in English, is on the first ‘la’). The spectacular view is to be had from the terrace of the Oasis Club, a bar-restaurant on the cliffs above the port. I go there twice in 24 hours, with whoever can grab a few hours’ leave to come with me, enough for a quick Skype home; perhaps a drink – non-alcoholic of course – and a meal that hasn’t been cooked by Pinky, some fruit that doesn’t look as sad as ours. In the better ports around the world, sailors always head for a mission to use those precious hours. Run by church organizations – the Norwegian Church, the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and the UK’s Mission to Seafarers are the best known – these missions, or seafarers’ centres, offer internet, food, drink and a small period of solace and different company to that on your ship.

 

pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

She is an entrepreneur who has built an impressive company by putting social media and Pakistan’s most underused resource, women in the farthest reaches of the country, to work. Maria’s family is from Waziristan—or, as she puts it, “Yes, my parents, my in-laws, myself, we all belong to this place called Waziristan.” She now lives in Lahore, where her husband is stationed as a civil servant, but no matter her physical location, the virtual business is bustling. Maria Umar shares her story on a Skype call from her son’s bedroom in Lahore, the only place in her home where she can keep her kids out and have a quiet conversation. A Barcelona soccer flag is draped on the wall above her son’s twin bed, which she sits on as she talks about her improbable success. The story starts six and a half years ago when Maria was pregnant with her second child and teaching in a local private school. The school could not give her maternity leave, so she was let go.

Its GDP of over $25,000 per capita is 15 times what it was at the fall of the Soviet Union and ranks number one among the fifteen former Soviet republics. The real success of Estonia is reflected not only in these statistics, but also in its place as one of the world’s leading centers of innovation. Estonia has not produced a centi-billion-dollar company like Google, but it has achieved some notable successes, including Skype. More significant, it has innovated in a way that every place in the world, including Silicon Valley, should envy. In doing so, it has improved its civic and political life in a way that positions it as well as any place in the world for the industries of the future. CLOSED FOR BUSINESS Estonia and Belarus were in nearly the same position following independence and made opposite decisions about their future.

By comparison, the United States has: “Metropolitan Areas: Assessing Competitive Position and Change,” ProximityOne, http://proximityone.com/metros2013.htm. CHAPTER 2: THE FUTURE OF THE HUMAN MACHINE Survival rates for a first relapse are slim: “Doctor Survives Cancer He Studies,” McDonnell Genome Institute, Washington University, http://genome.wustl.edu/articles/detail/doctor-survives-cancer-he-studies. They decided to do something: Lukas Wartman, Skype interview with Teal Pennebaker, December 2, 2013. It turned out that one: Gina Kolata, “In Treatment for Leukemia, Glimpses of the Future,” New York Times, July 7, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/health/in-gene-sequencing-treatment-for-leukemia-glimpses-of-the-future.html?pagewanted=1. Four years later: Wartman, interview. But the breakthrough that launched: “Haemophilus influenzae Disease (Including Hib),” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/hi-disease/.

 

pages: 286 words: 82,065

Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra

Happily, almost all of them agreed to be interviewed for this project. Many of those interviews were conducted in person, and rather than take notes, the conversations were recorded and then transcribed. The rest of the interviews were conducted via Skype, and those too were transcribed. In both cases the transcriptions were turned around almost magically by a team of online workers known as Turkers, who are members of an Amazon service called Mechanical Turk. I talk more about Mechanical Turk in chapter 6, so I won’t repeat the details here. Suffice it to say that the ability to have a Skype interview at 5 p.m. and have a transcript in your in box at 9 a.m. the next morning is for this author an awe-inspiring experience. The world moves quickly now. I didn’t want to weight things down in the text with footnotes and endnotes and such; in many cases when I quote people, their words are coming directly from interviews I conducted with them.

As Pulver describes it, the real-time Web and Twitter are just the natural evolution of the connections he began to see as a child: “I see the future because I feel and see things that other people just don’t. I feel and I see things that are just literally in front of me, not necessarily in front of anybody else. It’s been like that forever.” From ham radio, Pulver saw the early day of voice-as-software and was able to help shape and grow the Voice over Internet Protocol movement (VoIP), the shift from old-fashioned landlines to the often-free calls you can now make on Skype. He built a series of companies, including Vonage, and time and time again knew how to bet early and get out when the time was right. So when Pulver saw Twitter, he knew there was a need for a community, a conference, and a brand name: the 140 Conference (since 140 characters is the maximum you can use in a Twitter message). For Pulver the power of humans to connect to other humans began back in his earliest days as a ham radio operator.

Rosen, Jay Rosenblatt, Richard RSS feeds Rubel, Steve Rueter, Joseph Safe harbor protection Sambrook, Richard SB Nation Schlatter, Elizabeth Schmidt, Eric Scime, Erin Scoble, Robert scobleizer.com Scordato, Alexa Scott, Jason Scraping Search engine optimization (SEO) Seave, Ava SEED SEMRush 7 Days in September (film) Sexting ShareASale Sharp Hi8 Viewcams Shearer, Harry Shirky, Clay ShoeDazzle Shopkeepers, in Curation Nation Showtime Silberman, Michael Simpson, O. J. Sirulnick, Dave Skype Slate Sling Social media accidental curation and content strategy and as curation mechanism Flickr Flipboard Foursquare Magnify.net need for human filters (See also Facebook; MySpace; Twitter) SocialMediaToday.com Society of American Magicians Sohn, David Solis, Brian Soylent Green (film) Sponsorships Sports NBA Entertainment SB Nation Squidoo Srinivasan, Vasu Stanton, Louis L.

 

pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

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3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

Wayra, one set up by Telefónica, a Spanish telecoms company that owns O2 in the UK, has fourteen academies in twelve countries in Europe and Latin America that provide funding of up to €40,000 plus office space and mentoring. Europe needs to champion angel investors such as Niklas Zennström, the Swedish co-founder of Skype, who has raised $165 million for his second London-based venture-capital firm, Atomico Ventures II. “When it took us more than a year to get financing for Skype, we knew what line of business we eventually had to get into,” he observes.700 Marc Simoncini, the French founder of Meetic, Europe’s biggest dating website, has earmarked €100 million of his fortune for this.701 Brent Hoberman, the co-founder of lastminute.com, is a partner in PROfounders, an early-stage investment firm.

Most of Europe has fallen further behind America’s productivity levels; only Ireland and much poorer ex-communist economies in central and eastern Europe have been catching up.18 Britain’s productivity record over the past decade is as poor as the eurozone’s. Germany has performed worse than Greece. Italy did worst of all: a big fat zero.19 Europe’s productivity pipeline is blocked. Not enough new businesses are launched. Start-ups have trouble lifting off. Growth in promising small companies often stalls. Established businesses don’t innovate enough or invest enough in future growth. With a few notable exceptions such as Skype, Spotify and Shazam, the internet revolution has largely happened elsewhere. The new giants of our digital world – Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, PayPal, eBay – are all American. There is no European equivalent of Silicon Valley. Europe isn’t just falling further behind the US; it also faces ever-greater competition from China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Korea and other emerging economies – not just in lower-end manufacturing but also in higher-tech sectors.

Median income – that of a household richer than half of the population and poorer than the other half – plunged by more than a fifth in Greece between 2010 and 2012.536 The poorest tenth lost a third of their income – falling back to where they were in 2001.537 The poorest tenth in Germany have not experienced a sudden fall in income, but are scarcely richer than they were in 2001. Median income has fallen by 5 per cent in Britain, while the poorest tenth have stood still. Technological progress has continued, however. Home computers, then laptops and now tablets have proliferated. An unimaginable wealth of information can now be googled anywhere for free. You can skype your friends across the world and have a video chat without it costing you a penny. A global conversation is beginning on Twitter. Mobile phones are ubiquitous, most of them smart. As a student in 1994, I used to copy mix tapes for my friends; now you can carry all your music in your pocket, or stream it from a massive jukebox in the cloud. Amazon has revolutionised shopping. Big boxy televisions have been junked for cheaper flat-screens with pin-sharp images.

 

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

As Alexandra Novosseloff has written, “A wall ends its life as a tourist attraction.”8 In today’s world, territorial boundaries don’t even really capture the geography of borders: Airports may be far inland but contain borders within them, while cyber-security forces patrol technology infrastructures that stretch far across borders. Even if political borders remain physically robust, the world has still become more borderless as countries eliminate extraneous visa requirements, currencies are exchangeable in real time at ATMs, content from almost anywhere can be accessed online, and the cost of phone calls drops to zero due to Skype and Viber. The more societies trade and communicate—and depend on each other for food, water, and energy—the less we can pretend that borders are the most important lines on the map. The absence of the full panoply of man-made infrastructure on our maps gives the impression that borders trump other means of portraying human geography. But today the reverse is true: Borders matter only where they matter; other lines matter more most of the time.

Telecom companies spent $2 trillion on mobile infrastructure between 2009 and 2014 and will deploy another $4 trillion by 2020 to expand access and raise connectivity speeds worldwide.1 Connective infrastructure companies are expanding into digital empires. Google began as a Web browser but has become a global data utility. In the race to provide pervasive and low-cost connectivity, Internet service providers are effectively becoming telecoms themselves, with Google launching Wi-Fi Zeppelin blimps to connect off-grid populations to its services; meanwhile, Internet-based telephony such as Skype or WhatsApp has all but eliminated calling charges; there is no “roaming” on the Internet. No matter how much they compete for eyeballs and data, Google and Facebook agree that there is no higher virtue than expanding connectivity, hence their partnership to launch more satellites to serve the “Other Three Billion.”*1 In the most remote corners of the world where there are neither hospitals nor electricity people have solar or motion-powered mobile phones.

We should not underestimate the intrinsic value of digital connections in a hybrid reality. Critics such as Harvard’s Robert Putnam and MIT’s Sherry Turkle who point to digital life as eroding family bonds ignore the importance of these new and more diverse relationships, as well as how digital communications reduce transaction costs and free up time for new kinds of engagement, learning, consumption, or investment. For example, Skype calling minutes increased by 500 percent from 2008 to 2013, no doubt bringing many families closer together while also enabling individuals to more easily afford to learn everything from the piano to Mandarin.*9 We should also remember that in low-trust societies such as Latin America, social media are essential to circulate accurate information to circumvent elite lies. Connectivity is the platform for fuller societal development.

 

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

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additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey

In 1990, the number of Internet users was insignificant—a mere 0.1 percent of the worlds’ population. That number rose to 30 percent of the population worldwide in 2010 (and to more than 73 percent in developed 61 countries).22 By 2012, eight-year-old Facebook was on its way to having more than 1 billion users (with more than half of them accessing it via their mobile phones and tablets), Twitter (launched in 2006) had 140 million active users, and Skype—the voice-over-Internet service created in 2003—boasted almost 700 million regular users.23 The Twitter and Facebook revolutions in the Middle East and the impact of social media on politics are much discussed, and we examine their role in the decay of power. But in terms of this initial discussion of the Mobility revolution, we should also consider the impact of another tool that does not get the credit it deserves for changing the world: the prepaid phone card.

Shell or IBM or Sony may still be at or near the top, but they have seen their market power decline and their dominance abate as new competitors have gobbled up large chunks of their traditional markets. Moreover, corporations that used to be household names have disappeared—no more “Kodak moments,” to name just one storied brand that in 2012 ended up on the ash heap of history. The list of companies at the top now routinely includes new names, including many hailing from places not known for spawning world-class businesses—Estonia (Skype), India (Mittal Steel), Brazil (Embraer), and Galicia in Spain (Zara) among them. And whether newcomers or not, those at the top are no longer assured as lengthy a stay among the leaders as in the past. We are not talking about the displacement of one behemoth by another. More often than not, the space once controlled by old leaders has been filled by a different set of players that rely on new rules, sources of power, and competitive strategies.

IBM, for example, has recast itself from a maker of PCs, disk drives, and other computer equipment into a tech visionary that uses brainy consultants and analytics software to solve thorny global problems—an effort captured in its 2012 “Smarter Planets” ad campaign. But even brand advantage has grown slippery. Some of the most dynamic brands whose contribution to the total value of their firms has grown the 152 fastest in recent years are upstarts like Skype (now owned by Microsoft). Just as brands have surpassed physical assets as a component of company value, the brand advantage itself is becoming harder to hold on to as new players establish their name. Access to Capital Few obstacles to enterprise are as crippling as the lack of access to capital. Rare are the entrepreneurs who have on hand the money they need to fund an idea or pilot a product.

 

pages: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

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3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Chrome, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, life extension, litecoin, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, slashdot, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, The Coming Technological Singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

Vex hadn’t planned to become a cam-model. She had signed up to pose for a series of nude photographs for an alternative soft-core company called God’s Girls to earn some extra cash while she was at university. One day, she overheard some friends at God’s Girls discussing camming as a good way to make money. After a spot of research, she bought a webcam, and signed up to perform private shows on Skype with a local camming company. ‘I was very nervous the first time I did it. I talked way too much,’ she tells me. ‘I had twenty visitors in my room, and that felt insane! I think I made about thirty pounds.’ She then joined Chaturbate, and almost immediately started making enough money for it to become her sole source of employment. I ask Vex why she thinks she is so popular. ‘Traditional porn tends to be standardised and unrealistic,’ she replies.

For over five years Berry earnt thousands of dollars doing various sexual shows for hundreds of paying subscribers before the site was shut down. It was an early warning of the dangers of the webcam world. The Climax Vex has never met her viewers, and doesn’t plan to. Her relationship with her regulars exists strictly online, a boundary she is determined to keep. But part of Vex’s appeal is that she is obviously real. Her shows are unashamedly home-made – a mixture of porn and, as one regular viewer describes it, a Skype chat with your girlfriend. Shirley tells me that camming is so popular because people want ‘the real girlfriend’ experience, warts and all. If people are going to use the internet for sexual satisfaction – and they will – camming is a more realistic and meaningful experience. Things go wrong, there are mistakes, there’s chat, cats wander in and out. Vex might emphasise her ums and ahs, but she doesn’t make them up.

While covering a story for the National Geographic Channel in Vietnam’s demilitarised zone, Zoltan almost stepped on a landmine – his guide pushed him out of the way of the mostly buried device at the last second. ‘From that point I decided to dedicate my life to the transhumanist cause,’ Zoltan explains. He has a wife and two young children – but makes time, he says, for twelve to fourteen hours a day of transhumanist-related work. His ultimate aim, he tells me, is to live for ever, or as long as possible – 10,000 years or so. ‘If you and I were offered the chance,’ he tells me over Skype from his home in California, ‘we’d certainly try it. We’d have awe-inspiring superhuman powers.’ ‘But what would you do?’ I ask. ‘Ten thousand years seems like an awfully long time.’ ‘I can only answer this based on my current brain,’ Zoltan patiently replies. ‘One day we’ll have brains the size of the Empire State Building, connected to thousands of servers. The possibilities of what we could do, see and imagine would be endless.

 

pages: 280 words: 79,029

Smart Money: How High-Stakes Financial Innovation Is Reshaping Our WorldÑFor the Better by Andrew Palmer

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, index fund, Innovator's Dilemma, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, Northern Rock, obamacare, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, transaction costs, Tunguska event, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Vanguard fund, web application

So the two decided to sideline the banks by swapping money directly into each other’s accounts: Käärmann paid pounds into Hinrikus’s sterling account, and Hinrikus paid euros into Käärmann’s euro account. They worked out the appropriate exchange rate by using the midmarket rate published on Reuters and saved themselves hundreds of pounds in foreign-exchange fees. Hinrikus, a T-shirt-wearing, mild-mannered Estonian with a beard, may not seem like an obvious threat to mainstream banks. But he also happened to be the first employee of Skype, the service that lets you make calls over the Internet for free. Skype at the time was based on a “peer-to-peer” system, in which each user acted as a node in the infrastructure. That same networking concept underpins TransferWise, the firm that Hinricus and Käärmann launched with their own money in 2011 to enable international money transfers. The site works by scaling up and automating the initial agreement that the two founders had with each other.

., 32 Keys, Benjamin, 48 Kharroubi, Enisse, 79 Kickstarter, 172 King, Stephen, 99 Klein, David, 182 Krugman, Paul, xv Lahoud, Sal, 166 Lang, Luke, 153, 161–162 Laplanche, Renaud, 179, 184, 188, 190, 193–194, 196–197 Latency, 53 Law of large numbers, 17 Layering, 57 Left-digit bias, 46 Lehman Brothers, x, 44, 65 Lending direct, 84 marketplace, 184 payday, 200 relationship-based, 11, 151, 206–208 secured, xiv, 76 unsecured, 206 See also Loans; Peer-to-peer lending Lending Club, 172, 179–180, 182–184, 187, 189, 194–195, 197 Leonardo of Pisa (Fibonacci), 19 Lerner, Josh, 59 Lethal pandemic, risk-modeling for demographic profile, 230 exceedance-probability curve, 231–232, 232 figure 3 historical data, 228–229 infectiousness and virulence, 229–230 location of outbreak, 230–231 Leverage, 51, 70–71, 80, 186, 188 Leverage ratio, 76–77 Lewis, Michael, 57 Liber Abaci or Book of Calculation (Fibonacci), 19 LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), 41 Liebman, Jeffrey, 98 Life expectancy government reaction to, 128–129 projections of, 124–127, 126 figure 2 ratio of young to older people, 127–128 Life-insurance policies, 142 Life-settlements industry, 142–143 Life table, 20 Limited liability, 212 Liquidity, 12–14, 39, 185–186 List, John, 109 The Little Book of Behavioral Investing (Montier), 156 Lo, Andrew, 113–115, 117–123 Loans low-documentation, 48–49 secured, 76 small business, 181, 216 student, 164, 166–167, 169–171, 182 syndicated, 41 Victory Loans, 28 See also Lending; Peer-to-Peer lending Logistic regression, 201 London, early fire insurance in, 16–17 London, Great Fire of, 16 London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), 41 Long-Term Capital Management, 123 Longevity, betting on, 143–144 Loss aversion, 136 Lotteries, 212, 213 Low-documentation loans, 48–49 Lumni, 165, 168, 175 Lustgarten, Anders, 111 Lynn, Jeff, 160–161 Mack, John, 180 Mahwah, New Jersey, 52, 53 Marginal borrowers assessment of, 216–217 behavioral finance and, 208–214 industrialization of credit, 206 microfinance and, 203 savings schemes, 209–214 small businesses, 215–219 unsecured lending to, 206 Wonga, 203, 205, 208 Marginal borrowers (continued) ZestFinance, 199, 202, 205–206 Maritime piracy, solutions to, 151–152 Maritime trade, role of in history of finance, 3, 7–8, 14, 17, 23 Market makers, 15–16, 55 MarketInvoice, 195, 207, 217–218 Marketplace lending, 184 Markowitz, Harry, 118 Massachusetts, use of inflation-protected bonds in, 26 Massachusetts, use of social-impact bonds in, 98 Matching engine, 52 Maturity transformation, 12–13, 187–188, 193 McKinsey & Company, ix, 42 Mercator Advisory Group, 203 Merrill, Charles, 28 Merrill, Douglas, 199, 201 Merrill Lynch, 28 Merton, Robert, 31, 113–114, 123–124, 129–132, 142, 145 Mian, Atif, 204 Michigan, University of, financial survey by, 134–135 Microfinance, 203 Micropayment model, 217 Microwave technology, 53 The Million Adventure, 213–214 Minsky, Hyman, 42 Minsky moment, 42 Mississippi scheme, 36 Mitchell, Justin, 166–167 Momentum Ignition, 57 Monaco, modeling risk of earthquake in, 227 Money, history of, 4–5 Money illusion, 73–74 Money laundering, 192 Money-market funds, 43, 44 Monkeys, Yale University study of loss aversion with, 136 Montier, James, 156–157 Moody, John, 24 Moody’s, 24, 235 Moore’s law, 114 Morgan Stanley, 188 Mortgage-backed securities, 49, 233 Mortgage credit by ZIP code, study of, 204 Mortgage debt, role of in 2007–2008 crisis, 69–70 Mortgage products, unsound, 36–37 Mortgage securitization, 47 Multisystemic therapy, 96 Munnell, Alicia, 129 Naked credit-default swaps, 143 Nature Biotechnology, on drug-development megafunds, 118 “Neglected Risks, Financial Innovation and Financial Fragility” (Gennaioli, Shleifer, and Vishny), 42 Network effects, 181 New York, skyscraper craze in, 74–75 New York City, prisoner-rehabilitation program in, 108 New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), 31, 52, 53, 61, 64 New York Times, Merrill Lynch ad in, 28 Noncorrelated assets, 122 Nonprofits, growth of in United States, 105–106 Northern Rock, x NYMEX, 60 NYSE Euronext, 52 NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), 31, 52, 53, 61, 64 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), 128, 147 Oldfield, Sean, 67–68, 80–84 OnDeck, 216–218 One Service, 94–95, 105, 112 Operating expense ratio, 188–189 Options, 15, 124 Order-to-trade ratios, 63 Oregon, interest in income-share agreements, 172, 176 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 128, 147 Overtrading, 24 Packard, Norman, 60 Pandit, Vikram, 184 Park, Sun Young, 233 Partnership mortgage, 81 Pasion, 11 Pave, 166–168, 173, 175, 182 Payday lending Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, survey on, 200 information on applicants, acquisition of, 202 underwriting of, 201 PayPal, 219 Peak child, 127 Peak risk, 228 Peer-to-peer lending advantages of, 187–189 auction system, 195 big investors in, 183 borrowers, assessment of, 197 in Britain, 181 commercial mortgages, 181 CommonBond, 182, 184, 197 consumer credit, 181 diversification, 196 explained, 180 Funding Circle, 181–182, 189, 197 investors in, 195 Lending Club, 179–180, 182–184, 187, 189, 194–195, 197 network effects, 181 ordinary savers and, 184 Prosper, 181, 187, 195 RateSetter, 181, 187, 196 Relendex, 181 risk management, 195–197 securitization, 183–184, 196 Peer-to-peer lending (continued) small business loans, 181 SoFi, 184 student loans, 182 Zopa, 181, 187, 188, 195 Pensions, cost of, 125–126 Perry, Rick, 142–143 Peterborough, England, social-impact bond pilot in, 90–92, 94–95, 104–105, 112 Petri, Tom, 172 Pharmaceuticals, decline of investment in, 114–115 Piracy Reporting Centre, International Maritime Bureau, 151 Polese, Kim, 210 Poor, Henry Varnum, 24 “Portfolio Selection” (Markowitz), 118 Prediction Company, 60–61 Preferred shares, 25 Prepaid cards, 203 Present value of cash flows, 19 Prime borrowers, 197 Prince, Chuck, 50–51, 62 Principal-agent problem, 8 Prisoner rehabilitation programs, 90–91, 94–95, 98, 108, 112 Private-equity firms, 69, 85, 91, 105, 107 Projection bias, 72–73 Property banking crises and, xiv, 69 banking mistakes involving, 75–80 behavioral biases and, 72–75 dangerous characteristics of, 70–72 fresh thinking, need for, xvii, 80 investors’ systematic errors in, 74–75 perception of as safe investment, 76, 80 Prosper, 181, 187, 195 Provisioning funds, 187 Put options, 9, 82 Quants, 19, 63, 113 QuickBooks, 218 Quote stuffing, 57 Raffray, André-François, 144 Railways, affect of on finance, 23–25 Randomized control trials (RCTs), 101 Raphoen, Christoffel, 15–16 Raphoen, Jan, 15–16 RateSetter, 181, 187, 196 RCTs (randomized control trials), 101 Ready for Zero, 210–211 Rectangularization, 125, 126 figure 2 Regulation NMS, 61 Reinhart, Carmen, 35 Reinsurance, 224 Relendex, 181 Rentes viagères, 20 Repurchase “repo” transactions, 15, 185 Research-backed obligations, 119 Reserve Primary Fund, 44 Retirement, funding for anchoring effect, 137–138 annuities, 139 auto-enrollment in pension schemes, 135 auto-escalation, 135–136 conventional funding, 127–128 decumulation, 138–139 government reaction to increased longevity, 128–129 home equity, 139–140 life expectancy, projections of, 124–127, 126 figure 2 life insurance policies, cash-surrender value of, 142 personal retirement savings, 128–129, 132–133 replacement rate, 125 reverse mortgage, 140–142 savings cues, experiment with, 137 SmartNest, 129–131 Reverse mortgages, 140–142 Risk-adjusted returns, 118 Risk appetite, 116 Risk assessment, 24, 45, 77–78, 208 Risk aversion, 116, 215 Risk-based capital, 77 Risk-based pricing model, 176 Risk management, 55, 117–118, 123, 195–197 Risk Management Solutions, 222 Risk sharing, 8, 82 Risk-transfer instrument, 226 Risk weights, 77–78 Rogoff, Kenneth, 35 “The Role of Government in Education” (Friedman), 165 Roman Empire business corporation in, 7 financial crisis in, 36 forerunners of banks in, 11 maritime insurance in, 8 Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs), 209–210 Roulette wheel, use of in experiment on anchoring, 138 Royal Bank of Scotland, 186 Rubio, Marco, 172 Russia, mortgage market in, 67 S-curve, in diffusion of innovations, 45 Salmon, Felix, 155 Samurai bonds, 27 Satsuma Rebellion (1877), 27 Sauter, George, 58 Save to Win, 214 Savings-and-loan crisis in US (1990s), 30 Savings cues, experiment with, 137 Scared Straight social program, 101 Scholes, Myron, 31, 123–124 Science, Technology, and Industry Scoreboard of OECD, 147 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 54, 56, 57, 58, 64 Securities markets, 14 Securitization, xi, 20, 37–38, 117–122, 183–184, 196, 236 Seedrs, 160–161 Sellaband, 159 Shared equity, 80–84 Shared-equity mortgage, 84 Shepard, Chris, xii–xiii Shiller, Robert, xv–xvi, 242 Shleifer, Andrei, 42, 44 Short termism, 58 SIBs. See Social-impact bonds Sims, Kath, 96 Single-family-home rental sector, 85 Single-family rental bond, 85 Skype, 190 Sleeping sickness, SIB program for elimination of, 103 Small businesses, as marginal borrowers, 215–219 Smart money, comparison of to dumb money, 155–158 SmartNest, 129–131, 211 Social Finance, 93, 97 Social-impact bonds (SIBs) benefits of, 91, 98–102, 104, 106 in Britain, 95–97 cost-effectiveness of, 100–102 data collection, 104 defined, 90 financial incentive, effect of on donors, 110–111 flexibility of, 105–106 Fresno, California, pilot program in, 103–104 G-8 task force on, 97 health-impact bonds, 103–104 individual givers, attraction of, 109 Massachusetts, prisoner-rehabilitation programs in, 98 New York City, prisoner-rehabilitation program in, 108 Peterborough, England, pilot in, 90–91, 94–95, 104–105, 107 philanthropists, role of, 108 possible abuses of, 111 purpose, 107 risk management in, 108 in United States, 98 Social-impact bonds (SIBs), uses for accomodation for homeless people, 96–97, 106–107 adoption of hard-to-place children, 97 cutting HIV infection rates in Swaziland, 103 early detection of health conditions, 102–104 elimination of sleeping sickness in Uganda, 103 improving educational outcomes for girls in India, 103 keeping troubled adolescents out of foster care, 96 prisoner rehabilitation programs, 90–91, 94–95, 98, 108 soldiers reentering civilian life, 102 Social insurance, 183 Social-investment bank, 92–93 Social Security, 128 Societas publicanorum, 7 SoFi, 184 South Sea Bubble, 36 South Sea Company, 36 S&P 500 index, 29, 40, 157 Spain, banking crisis in, xiv–xv, 69, 75 Spanish flu outbreak (1918–1919), 228, 230 Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, 61 St.

 

pages: 239 words: 64,812

Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty by Vikram Chandra

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Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, conceptual framework, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, East Village, European colonialism, finite state, Firefox, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, haute couture, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, land reform, London Whale, Paul Graham, pink-collar, revision control, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Therac-25, Turing machine, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce

They also provided seed funding to members of their community.83 These efforts were successful enough that the denizens of Silicon Valley sometimes refer to these networks, with decidedly mixed admiration and resentment, as the “Indian Mafia.”84 The resentment curdles and boils over in discussions of outsourcing. Since the nineties, American companies have gained commercial advantage by leveraging the new landscape of instant communication made possible by the internet and the disparities in programmer salaries around the globe. If you can manage employees via e-mail and Skype, it makes economic sense to have your code written in Bangalore rather than next door, and pay a fraction of the salary that a programmer living in San Jose would demand. American programmers have watched with mounting fear and fury as work has been outsourced; meanwhile, in India, the demand for competent programmers has steadily driven wages up. On American websites frequented by programmers, stories about horrible, ugly code written by Indian coders function as reliable linkbait.

The open-source database SQLite, at the time of this writing, has 1,177 times the amount of test code as it does program code.14 Most non-programmers have never heard of SQLite, but it is the most widely deployed database in the world.15 SQLite is a tiny program. It runs within your Firefox browser, storing your bookmarks; it is used widely within the Mac operating system; it runs within each copy of Skype; it runs on your smartphone, storing contacts and appointments. SQLite’s vast suite of tests is an attempt to prevent bugs from creeping into a program that has become an essential, foundational component of the working memory of humanity. Programmers work doggedly toward correctness, but the sheer size and complexity of software ensures that bugs lurk within. A bug is, of course, a flaw or fault in a program that produces unexpected results.

—The New Yorker Paperback / Ebook available A New York Times Book Review Notable Book “Not only one of the most learned historical surveys of African American (and American) culture, but also a supremely stylish tribute to generations of creative African Americans.” —San Francisco Chronicle Paperback / Ebook available “Essays that reconfigure dream, fact and reflection.” —The New York Times Book Review “D’Agata is an alchemist who changes trash into purest gold.” —Guy Davenport, Harper’s Magazine Paperback / Ebook available WWW.GRAYWOLFPRESS.ORG Many Graywolf authors are available to chat with your book club or classroom via phone and Skype. E-mail us at wolves@graywolfpress.org for further details. Visit graywolfpress.org to sign up for our monthly newsletter and to check out our many regularly updated features, including our On Craft series, Pub Talk series, Poem of the Week, author interviews, special sales, book giveaways, tour listings, catalogs, and much more. Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature.

 

pages: 261 words: 71,349

The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Beth Buelow

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fear of failure, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Skype, Tony Hsieh

Then the friend talked to Andy, and he also mentioned it. Without me needing to be present, two people promoted my services, and a client was born. This is one of the best ways to expand your reach while still preserving your energy. Find those people who are your biggest cheerleaders and advocates. They could be family members, friends, teachers, mentors, and professional colleagues. Reach out intentionally, in person if you can, or via Skype, VoIP, or phone if distance is a challenge. At the most basic level, you’ll want to learn more about each other’s businesses and needs so you can extend your reach to more people. This process is about cultivating a group of mutual champions. Each person in the relationship is actively seeking opportunities to promote the other. In order to do that, you need to know the basics of each other’s services, exchange a small stack of business cards, and make it easy to talk about each other (this requires being confident with your elevator pitch, which we’ll cover in a few more pages).

Depending on how thoroughly they’ve completed a profile, you can gain information about their reading habits, hobbies, and social activities. Remember to cross-reference the profiles to get the complete picture. If someone seems to be in sync with you, your business, and values, reach out to her through the most appropriate social media platform. Suggest a coffee date if you live in the same area; if not, have “virtual coffee” over Skype or other videoconferencing service. You don’t need to go into the conversation with a strict agenda. Let the other person know when you send your introductory message that you’re interested in learning more about her business, in the event you can share her as a resource or otherwise support her goals. You can also say that you think your business would be a good resource for her, and you’d appreciate the opportunity to chat.

See also Self-reflection for fear, 44–45 Rehearsal in networking, 102 in sales, 126–27 Religious groups, for networking, 94 The Reluctant Rainmaker: A Guide for Lawyers Who Hate Selling (Fleming), 129–30 Research, 58 for networking, 99 for niche, 120 risk as, 71–72 on social media, 99 Research and development (R&D), 145 Respect, 12 Retreats, 140 Reverse blogging, 173 Risk of failure, 71–73 of introvert entrepreneurs, 66 as research, 71–72 on social media, 164 voice and, 71–73 Robbins, Tony, 175 Roberts, Julia, 13 Rotary, 179 Sales by ambiverts, 148–49 content for, 128–47 Doerr on, 149–51 education in, 128–29 energy management and, 116 by extroverts, 148 financial return on, 144–47 by introvert entrepreneur, 115–51 love and, 144–45 message for, 116–19 middle ground for, 148–49 niche for, 116–22 old story about, 122–28 patience in, 127 public speaking for, 177 questions in, 126–27 rehearsal in, 126–27 steps for transformation, 125–28 strengths in, 124–28 success in, 141–44 value equation in, 149 voice in, 147 winners in, 149–51 Sales Success, 60 Scarcity in collaboration, 210 competitiveness and, 86 fear and, 34–35 Schleef, Susan “Joy,” 32 Schwab, Charles, 13 Self-care energy management with, 88 for networking, 88, 99 Self-effacing, 14 Self-loathing, 19 Self-possessed, 15 Self-promotion of introvert entrepreneur, 19, 122–28 old story about, 122–28 self-talk about, 123–24 Self-Promotion for Introverts (Ancowitz), 179 Self-reflection assumptions and, 39 of introvert entrepreneur, 15–17 for reality check, 39 Self-reliance, 14–15 “Self-Reliance” (Emerson), 15 Self-talk, 106 on content, 130 about self-promotion, 123–24 Sellner, Jadah, 226–28 Shakespeare, William, 87 Shulman, Joan, 36 Simple Green Smoothies, 226–28 Sinek, Simon, 99–101, 113 Skype, 83, 168 Small Planet Studio, 202 Small talk, 77 Social media. See also Facebook; LinkedIn; Twitter content on, 163 extrovert on, 164 hobbies on, 167 for networking, 20, 82, 86, 114 for other people, 86 overview of, 161–64 real life with, 165–68 research on, 99 risk on, 164 transparency on, 153, 164–65 tribe and, 155–58, 161–64 values and, 167 vulnerability on, 164 Solitude of introverts, 22–23 networking and, 76 Spielberg, Steven, 13 StartOut, 112 Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Sinek), 99, 113 Success business expansion with, 217–18 in collaboration, 209, 210 defined, 64 freedom as, 143–44 Janeczko on, 113 motivation and, 143 in public speaking, 177–78 in sales, 141–44 ways to set yourself up for, 229–40 Surface acting, 67 Sustainability choices for, 21 for introvert entrepreneur, 21, 236–39 tribe and, 155 Swenson, Paula, 105 Talbot, Betsy, 28–29, 54–55 Talking to extroverts, 11–12 to introverts, 10–11 small talk, 77 Team Introvert, 13 Technology, 158–61 TED talks, 178 Telephone discomfort with, 44 for networking, 83 Testimonials from networking, 84, 85 for public speaking, 180 thank-you note for, 85 Thank-you notes, 85 TheIntrovertEntrepreneur.com, 63, 138, 139 on collaboration, 193 leadership resources in, 220 Toastmasters, 178, 179 Transparency authenticity and, 68–69 with content, 131 of introvert entrepreneurs, 153, 164–65 on social media, 153, 164–65 in tribe, 156–57, 185 Trial and error, 74 Tribe.

 

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

In January 2016 Baidu (often described as China's Google) showed off a system called DuLight which uses a camera to capture an image of something in front of you, sends the image to an app on your smartphone, which identifies the object and announces what it is. One application of this is to help blind people know what they are “looking” at.[xc] You can download a similar app called Aipoly for free at iTunes.[xci] Speech recognition systems that exceed human performance will be available in your smartphone soon.[xcii] Microsoft-owned Skype introduced real-time machine translation in March 2014: it is not yet perfect, but it is improving all the time. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed an intriguing discovery which he called transfer learning: “If you teach it English, it learns English,” he said. “Then you teach it Mandarin: it learns Mandarin, but it also becomes better at English, and quite frankly none of us know exactly why.”

To general surprise, levels of literacy – and indeed book sales – have not fallen. In a number of genre categories, especially romance and crime, the most popular books are written by AIs. Major sporting competitions have three strands: robots, augmented humans, and un-augmented humans. Audiences for the latter category are dwindling. Long-distance communication is massively improved by VR Skype. Dating sites have become surprisingly effective by requiring their members to provide clothing samples from which they extract data about their smells and their pheromones. The discovery that relationship outcomes correlate closely with these data have slashed divorce rates. 11. Management. The ranks of middle management are thinning out. Shareholders are investing heavily in Distributed Autonomous Corporations (DACs), firms consisting of unsupervised AIs which create new business models and strategies and transact with other firms without any humans in the loop. 12.

t=33 [lxxxviii] http://news.sciencemag.org/social-sciences/2015/02/facebook-will-soon-be-able-id-you-any-photo [lxxxix] http://www.computerworld.com/article/2941415/data-privacy/is-facial-recognition-a-threat-on-facebook-and-google.html [xc] http://www.wired.com/2016/01/2015-was-the-year-ai-finally-entered-the-everyday-world/ [xci] At the time of writing, April 2016, Aipoly is impressive, but far from perfect. [xcii] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-23/speech-recognition-better-than-a-human-s-exists-you-just-can-t-use-it-yet.html [xciii] http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/05/28/microsoft-unveils-near-real-time-language-translation-for-skype/ [xciv] http://www.technologyreview.com/news/544651/baidus-deep-learning-system-rivals-people-at-speech-recognition/#comments [xcv] https://youtu.be/V1eYniJ0Rnk?t=1 [xcvi] http://edge.org/response-detail/26780 [xcvii] http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/19/how-real-businesses-are-using-machine-learning/ [xcviii] http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-cutting-edge-ibm-20160422-story.html [xcix] http://www.wired.com/2016/04/openai-elon-musk-sam-altman-plan-to-set-artificial-intelligence-free/ [c] http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/global/home/what-we-think/innovation1000/top-innovators-spenders#/tab-2015 [ci] 2013 data: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit1/gross-domestic-expenditure-on-research-and-development/2013/stb-gerd-2013.html [cii] http://insights.venturescanner.com/category/artificial-intelligence-2/ [ciii] http://techcrunch.com/2015/12/25/investing-in-artificial-intelligence/ [civ] http://www.wired.com/2015/11/google-open-sources-its-artificial-intelligence-engine/ [cv] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/13/google-updates-tensorflow-open-source-artificial-intelligence [cvi] http://www.wired.com/2015/12/facebook-open-source-ai-big-sur/ [cvii] The name Parsey McParseFace is a play on a jokey name for a research ship which received a lot of votes in a poll run by the British government in April 2016. http://www.wsj.com/articles/googles-open-source-parsey-mcparseface-helps-machines-understand-english-1463088180 [cviii] Assuming you don't count the Vatican as a proper country. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/google-project-loon-provide-free-wifi-across-sri-lanka-1513136 [cix] https://setandbma.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/who-coined-the-term-big-data/ [cx] http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/37701/amara-s-law [cxi] http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n05/john-lanchester/the-robots-are-coming [cxii] Haitz's Law states that the cost per unit of useful light emitted decreases exponentially [cxiii] http://computationalimagination.com/article_cpo_decreasing.php [cxiv] http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/07/technology/circuits/07essay.html [cxv] . http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/02/intel-forges-ahead-to-10nm-will-move-away-from-silicon-at-7nm/ [cxvi] .

 

pages: 238 words: 75,994

A Burglar's Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh

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big-box store, card file, dark matter, game design, index card, megacity, megastructure, Minecraft, Skype, smart cities, statistical model, the built environment, urban planning

The incredible story of Operation Stagehand comes from Ronald Kessler’s book The Secrets of the FBI (New York: Broadway Paperbacks, 2011). Another useful resource on this topic is the FBI’s own collection of “surreptitious entry” files, available online as a thirty-part sequence of PDFs called “Surreptitious Entries (Black Bag Jobs).” The FBI’s definition of burglary also comes from the FBI website (fbi.gov). Retired burglar Jack Dakswin—a pseudonym—told me his story over Skype and, to a certain extent, e-mail. Witold Rybczynski’s question “Where is the front door?” comes from his book How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013). 2: Crime Is Just Another Way to Use the City The specific flights with the LAPD Air Support Division described in this chapter took place in July 2013 and January 2014; quotations or references to conversations with LAPD pilots and tactical flight officers come from my interviews.

Westlake, whose books The Hot Rock (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1970) and Thieves’ Dozen (New York: Mysterious Press, 2004) are particularly enjoyable. 3: Your Building Is the Target Bill Mason’s memoir, Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief (New York: Villard, 2003), written with Lee Gruenfeld, is a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the life of a cat burglar. Mason’s appearance on CNN was in September 2003; a transcript of the show is available online. My conversation with Jack Dakswin—a pseudonym—took place over Skype, with some preliminary details shared over e-mail. The book I refer to here, Local Code: The Constitution of a City at 42 Degrees North Latitude by architect Michael Sorkin, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 1996 and appears to be out of print. “Where Have All the Burglars Gone?” was published by The Economist in July 2013. The long section in the middle of this chapter about burglary law, history, and theory relies upon a handful of texts.

Towne and I visited the Mossman Lock Collection in September 2013. Pumping Station: One (PS:One) is located at 3519 N. Elston Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The scene described here took place on June 5, 2013. John “Jack” Benigno is a sergeant with the Chicago Police Department, but spoke to me in an unofficial capacity, as a civilian locksport enthusiast. We spoke in person at the event at PS:One, but much more extensively over Skype and e-mail. Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Vintage Books, 1995, translated by Alan Sheridan) has become a classic in the field of security studies. The story of the Antwerp diamond heist is told in the book Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell (New York: Sterling, 2010). A version of the Antwerp diamond heist was more famously published in Wired under the title “The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Diamond Heist” (Joshua Davis, April 2009).

 

May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes

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anti-communist, Burning Man, dumpster diving, friendly fire, if you build it, they will come, Mason jar, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea

“Click ‘accept,’” he says, and without thinking I do. Nate is there, waving at me. “I can see you,” he says. “And I can see you too,” I say into the phone. “We can hang up the phones,” he says. And I do. “Can you hear me?” I can. A video camera mounted in the computer—it’s terrifying. What if someone has been watching me? “What do you call this?” “Facetime, iChat, or Skype,” he says. “It just depends on the program—the end result is pretty much the same thing.” “Skype,” he says, and all I can think of is Ella Fitzgerald singing skat. “What can you see?” I ask Nate, wondering how fine the resolution is. “I see Dad’s whole office, his bookcases, his prizes. Everything that’s behind you. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before—we could have been talking face to face this whole time.…” “Yes, we could have been talking like this all along,” I say, all the while obsessing about my earlier encounter, wondering if there’s any evidence left behind on the bookshelf—some missed bit of something.… Video chat is like talking NASA-style; there’s an ever-so-slight delay to the sound and images that reminds me of pictures sent from outer space, pixelated, like some weird postmodern animation.

I read to him like he’s a little boy, and while I am reading, Ricardo wakes up again and also listens, and when I am done, I kiss Nate good night on the forehead, and then I kiss Ricardo too. “Do I have to worry about her?” Nate asks as I’m walking out of the room. “No,” I say. By morning, Sakhile has e-mailed back several times, wondering when we can talk—anytime is good for him. Wondering how much money is coming their way and when they might get it. We schedule a village meeting via Skype, and I leave it to Nate to tell them about the Web site and the donations. “How much?” Sakhile asks excitedly via Skype. Nate smoothly defers a direct answer. “Quite a bit,” he says. “Enough to make a difference.” And quickly the conversation becomes about want. From South Africa we hear that the village should have a car or a bus that would run back and forth to the bigger cities. “A bus is a way out,” Nate says. “Let’s think of ways in—things that make life better in the village.”

“I stopped in and dropped off some gifts,” I say, wondering if I did at one point know his name and have since forgotten. I agree with Nate, it seems odd. “I’ll find out his name,” I say. “While I have you on the phone—do you want an update on your father?” “No,” says Nate. “Okay,” I say. I’m not going to force it on him, but I don’t exactly like being the only one sitting with information. “So—can we plan a conference call with Ash to talk about the trip?” Nate asks. “Of course. Should we Skype with Ash?” I ask, more softly. “Can’t,” Nate says. “Her school doesn’t allow video chat—they’re worried about predators and stuff.” “Okay, then, we’ll set up a regular call for later this week.” A few nights later, with both kids on the phone, I begin by saying, “The purpose of this call is to come up with a plan for the holidays.” “Something fun,” Nate says. “Like what?” I ask. “Roller-coaster rides,” Nate says.

 

pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra

I cracked it open to the index, ran my finger down the page, and immediately discovered that Facebook wasn’t in it! That’s right—when I was running around in 2004 declaring that the world was flat, Facebook didn’t even exist yet, Twitter was still a sound, the cloud was still in the sky, 4G was a parking space, “applications” were what you sent to college, LinkedIn was barely known and most people thought it was a prison, Big Data was a good name for a rap star, and Skype, for most people, was a typographical error. All of those technologies blossomed after I wrote The World Is Flat—most of them around 2007. So a few years later, I began updating in earnest my view of how the Machine worked. A crucial impetus was a book I read in 2014 by two MIT business school professors—Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—entitled The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.

This type of integration is called “seamless,” explains Mundie, “since the user never notices when software functions are handed from one underlying Web service to another … APIs, layer by layer, hide the complexity of what is being run inside an individual computer—and the transport protocols and messaging formats hide the complexity of melding all of this together horizontally into a network.” And this vertical stack and these horizontal interconnections create the experiences you enjoy every day on your computer, tablet, or phone. Microsoft’s cloud, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, not to mention the services of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Uber, Airbnb, Skype, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Tinder, or NYTimes.com—they are all the product of thousands of vertical and horizontal APIs and protocols running on millions of machines talking back and forth across the network. Software production is accelerating even faster now not only because tools for writing software are improving at an exponential rate. These tools are also enabling more and more people within and between companies to collaborate to write ever more complex software and API codes to abstract away ever more complex tasks—so now you don’t just have a million smart people writing code, you have a million smart people working together to write all those codes.

Well, he said, “that now applies to what’s in your front windshield, because now it’s the future that is much closer than you think.” The Designers It is fun to be around really, really creative makers in the second half of the chessboard, to see what they can do, as individuals, with all of the empowering tools that have been enabled by the supernova. I met Tom Wujec in San Francisco at an event at the Exploratorium. We thought we had a lot in common and agreed to follow up on a Skype call. Wujec is a fellow at Autodesk and a global leader in 3-D design, engineering, and entertainment software. While his title sounds like a guy designing hubcaps for an auto parts company, the truth is that Autodesk is another of those really important companies few people know about—it builds the software that architects, auto and game designers, and film studios use to imagine and design buildings, cars, and movies on their computers.

 

Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

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active transport: walking or cycling, airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, colonial rule, Google Earth, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, large denomination, low cost carrier, Mason jar, megacity, Skype, South China Sea, spice trade, superstar cities, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

International roaming is prohibitively expensive and not available in Myanmar. »Wi-fi & Internet Access Internet cafes are common in tourist centres and wi-fi is often free in guesthouses in some countries. »Calling Home International calling rates are fairly affordable. To call home on a mobile phone, dial an international access code + country code + subscriber number. Internet cafes are often equipped with headsets and Skype as an alternative. With mobile wireless capability, you can also make Skype calls from a mobile phone. * * * Top of section if you like... Fabulous Food Southeast Asian cuisine celebrates its tropical bounty with fresh and bold flavours. Thai chillies turn a meal into a head rush, Vietnamese food is so refreshing you won’t need a beverage and exotic fruits are sweeter than desserts. Bangkok (Thailand) Food glorious food!

Canadia Bank (265 St 110) A city landmark, the Canadia Tower offers cash advances on MasterCard and Visa, plus ATMs. Post Main post office (St 13; 7am-7pm) Located in a grand old building, this has increasingly reliable postal services. Telephone The cheapest local and domestic calls in Phnom Penh are found at private stalls with the mobile telephone prefixes displayed. Many internet cafes offer low-cost international calls via the internet (or free via Skype). Tourist Information There is not much in the way of official tourist information in the Cambodian capital. Pick up the free listings mags and get up-to-date information from other travellers or guesthouses. Travel Agencies Reliable travel agencies include the following: Hanuman ( 218396; www.hanuman.travel; 12 St 310) VLK Tourism ( 723331; www.vlktravel.com; 195 Monivong Blvd) Getting There & Away Air See Click here for a list of airlines that serve Phnom Penh.

Mobile phones, whose numbers start with 01, 07, 08 or 09, are hugely popular with both individuals and commercial enterprises. Foreigners need to present a valid passport to get a local sim card. For listings of businesses and government offices, check out www.yellowpages-cambodia.com. Many internet shops offer cheap international calls for 100r to 1000r per minute, though in places with broadband speeds you can Skype for the price of an internet connection (usually 2000r to 4000r per hour). International calls from mobile phone shops cost about 1000r per minute. Time Cambodia, like Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, is seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time or Universal Time Coordinated (GMT/UTC). Travellers with Disabilities Although Cambodia has one of the world’s highest rates of limb loss (due to mines), the country is not designed for people with impaired mobility.

 

The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance by Jim Whitehurst

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crowdsourcing, Google Hangouts, Network effects, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat

To add a new service, like call-waiting, the operator had to reprogram the central switch, an expensive and risky endeavor. Screw it up and you could bring down the whole network. Not surprisingly, innovation proceeded at a snail’s pace. Today, the web hosts hundreds of web-based communication services including Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Kakao Talk, Google Hangout, WeChat, and Grasshopper. On Skype alone, users spend more than 2 billion minutes communicating each day. The web has also spawned thousands of special interest groups, like wrongplanet.net, a site dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism. The community’s eighty thousand members have posted more than 1.2 million comments on the site’s general discussion board. In many important respects, the web is a community of communities.

 

pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

We know where this eventually goes—to universal connectivity to the Internet via cell phone, smartphone, or traditional computer, probably within a decade. “I call my mother in Karachi every day. I use Skype and she uses her regular phone. It costs so little, it’s almost free,” Raziuddin Syed, a senior IT engineer based in Tampa, Florida, told the Pakistani newspaper Dawn (February 20, 2011). Syed “works for an international accounting firm, thanks to internet-connected laptop computer and the Voice over Internet Protocol technology. ‘Five years ago the cost of phone calls, especially those using VOIP, was much higher than it is today. Calls between members of services like Skype are always free but calls to other phones, landlines or mobiles, carry a very small per minute charge,’ Syed says.” In other words, since The World Is Flat was published in 2005, the world has only gotten, well, flatter.

In other words, since The World Is Flat was published in 2005, the world has only gotten, well, flatter. How far and how fast have we come? When Tom wrote The World Is Flat, Facebook wasn’t even in it. It had just started up and was still a minor phenomenon. Indeed, in 2005 Facebook didn’t exist for most people, “Twitter” was still a sound, the “cloud” was something in the sky, “3G” was a parking space, “applications” were what you sent to colleges, and “Skype” was a typo. That is how much has changed in just the last six years. In fact, so many new technologies and services have been introduced that we would argue that sometime around the year 2010 we entered Flat World 2.0—a difference of degree that deserves its own designation. That is because Flat World 2.0 is everything Flat World 1.0 was, but with so many more people able to connect to the Flat World platform, so many more people able to communicate with others who are also connected, and so many more people now empowered to find other people of like mind to collaborate with—whether to support a politician, follow a rock group, invent a product, or launch a revolution—based on shared values, interests, and ideals.

.; campaigning for; climate change legislation in; Environment and Public Works Committee; Finance Committee; partisan polarization in September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (1944) Shahmirian, Sarine Gayaneh “Sham News Network” (SNN) Shanghai Sharma, Sunanda Sharma, Virender K. Shi, Katheryn Cheng Shiite Muslims Shriver, Sargent Shriver, Timothy Shultz, George Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society Silicon Valley Simpson, Alan Simpsonville (South Carolina) Singapore; education in Singh, Kartikeya Sinha, Abhinav Sinha, Abhishek Sirsi (India) situational values 60 Minutes (television series) Skype Smithsonian magazine Socialist Party Social Network, The (movie) social networks; see also Facebook; Twitter social safety net Social Security; cuts in; federal deficits and costs of; partisan politics and; Reagan’s reform of So Damn Much Money (Kaiser) Soffer, Edy Soil Science Society of America solar energy; Chinese investment in; declining cost of; for electric cars; for low-income housing Somalia Sorbonne Sosa, Sammy South Africa South Carolina South Korea Southwest Airlines Soviet Union; invasion of Afghanistan by; launch of Sputnik 1 by Spain Special Olympics Spelman College Splinter, Mike Spruance (Virginia) Sputnik Sridhar, K.

 

pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

It’s this propensity to view “the Internet” as a source of wisdom and policy advice that transforms it from a fairly uninteresting set of cables and network routers into a seductive and exciting ideology—perhaps today’s über-ideology. Science and technology writer Steven Johnson has offered perhaps the sharpest summary of this ideology in Future Perfect. For Johnson, “the Internet” is much more than just a cheap way of sending Skype messages or adding hilariously unfunny captions to photos of cats. Rather, it’s an intellectual template for how society itself should be reorganized; it’s not “the solution to the problem, but a way of thinking about the problem.” Thus, writes Johnson, “one could use the Internet directly to improve people’s lives, but also learn from the way the Internet had been organized, and apply those principles to help improve the way city governments worked, or school systems taught students.”

One of the most attractive contemporary theories of Internet regulation, advanced by Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain, revolves around the idea of generativity. It starts from the premise that openness of the platform is the main reason why “the Internet” has unleashed so much innovation. On “the Internet,” no one has to ask for permission to start a new service. Google could build a search engine without negotiating with ISPs. Wikipedia could build an encyclopedia without negotiating with the likes of Microsoft or AOL. Skype could build its impressive software without negotiating with AT&T. As an explanation of what has happened in the last two decades, Zittrain’s is a very elegant and pithy theory. However, generativity also prescribes how things should be done in the future: if we want this great wave of innovation to continue, the argument goes, we should maintain—even proactively defend—the openness of “the Internet.”

It seems that Internet-centrism turns our most insightful analysts into Martians, who have just landed on Earth and have a hard time imagining how things are run over here. So, in their doomed quest to understand these quirky humans, they venture into a modern university, where they encounter professors, who spend hours coauthoring papers with strangers on other continents, browsing academic journals housed on servers miles away, giving Skype presentations at international conferences. “Ah,” say the Martians, “we get it: this Internet thingy is the network that generates all your knowledge. Let’s drink to that!” Poor Martians: they’d never understand that the real knowledge-generating networks lie elsewhere—they tie together scholars, universities, conferences, computer servers, books, norms and practices, the phenomena they study and the tools and laboratories that allow them to do so.

 

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

Burns wanted to see how communities would use them. Not far from where those early cable networks first appeared decades earlier, the AMC set up shop in Reading, Pennsylvania. There, with a grant from the National Science Foundation, in 1975 they built a primitive, yet functional, two-way interactive cable television network.6 Using a split-screen display and telephone lines to transmit voices, the rudimentary Skype-like multiparty video chat room linked three senior citizens’ centers. Burns and her team intended to experiment with new ways to deliver social services such as counseling, health care, and education online over television cable links—some forty years before Cisco would craft its own vision of a smart city around interactive video in Songdo in South Korea. Much like today’s social networks, the goal was to connect people to each other.

“If you put something like that on the table of any CIO in any city,” he laments, referring to a relatively new high-level executive position being created in many cities, the Chief Information Officer, “they will say it doesn’t fit into their architecture.” What they mean is that it’s not a priority, not worth the hassle of making it work with their existing systems. Haselmeyer sighs. “Do you think it will fit into the lives of 380,000 people in your city? To get up in the morning and go to work?” I can tell from his tone he didn’t close the deal. As I speak with him by Skype from his office in Barcelona, Haselmayer paints a convincing picture of situated software gone wrong. “Look at Germany. You have twenty-four cities which each have their own mobile app for parking. Every city backs its own local service provider thinking that they’re helping the next Google to emerge. They reinvent the wheel and dress it up as a big local innovation program.” Across Europe, he has discovered fifty-six cities that have built their own bad variations of the same service.

After the contest, cities can engage the winner to implement the solution, or write the affair off as a brainstorming exercise. The award was designed to “give these companies visibility, help them to get an opening internationally.” When we spoke in late 2011, there were signs that the model was working—he reported that pilots based on winning projects in 2011 were up and running in Chicago, Taipei, and Lagos. A few months after our conversation over Skype, I met up with Haselmayer in Barcelona. As we wove our way across the old city, ducking in and out of medieval plazas, Haselmayer beamed as he explained the latest thrust in his campaign to promote smart-city start-ups, a new website called CityMart. He recited his pitch: “It’s a platform that provides cities with market intelligence about what kind of solutions are being developed, and where they are working.”

 

pages: 288 words: 16,556

Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market design, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, profit maximization, quantitative easing, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, young professional, Zipcar

Data are for the most recent year for which information was available in 2009 for each foundation. 9. Karlan and McConnell (2009) showed experimentally that such publicity increases the amount given. The desire for recognition may be evidence that gift-giving is at least in part a form of disguised exchange. See Stark and Falk (1998). 10. List and Lucking-Reiley (2002). 11. Falke (2004). 12. One such Skype call, complete with smiles and kisses, is shown at “Meeting Our Compassion International Sponsored Child over skype!!!” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT3CY8Lwiak. 13. “Except Gifts from Income,” New York Times, June 17, 1917, p. 3. 14. The Chicago Tribune estimated in 1920 that $4 billion had been given to war organizations, the Red Cross, religious and educational movements, and other causes since 1915. “$4,000,000,000 to Philanthropy,” Chicago Tribune, April 25, 1920, p. 8. 15.

Child sponsorship is a signi cant example. Save the Children, established in the United Kingdom in 1919, led the way by assigning a single child in poverty to each contributor, who would correspond by mail, giving the contributor a sense of personal relationship. Save the Children is now an international organization, and a number of other such organizations have followed. Some now employ more advanced communications tools, such as Skype calls between donors and recipients, to allow a closer bond to develop. One can look the child in the eyes and feel empathy as never before.12 It seems that we are gradually learning more about how to make the giving experience more meaningful, and that current strategies are not the nal word in encouraging such giving. Perhaps new kinds of social organizations—relying on innovations in social media—could lend a better sense of a shared experience, and of true community between the giver and the receiver.

See also mortgage securities Seghers, Conrad, 35 self-esteem, 139, 159, 163, 224, 234, 237 self-regulatory organizations, 36, 80, 94, 95, 96–97, 101–2 sensation seeking, 140, 141–42 Šerys, Rosalia, 174 shadow banking system, 42–43 Shakers, 120 Shapley, Lloyd S., 69, 73 Sharpe, William, 34, 81 Sharpe ratio, 34, 35 Shefrin, Hersch, 78, 80 Shiller, George, 174 Shiller, Robert J., 2, 166, 172, 178, 180, 185–86, 193, 195 Shubik, Martin, 116 Simmons, Joseph P., 161 Simonov, Andrei, 28 Singapore, Central Provident Fund, 214 Singh, Manmohan, 3 SIVs. See structured investment vehicles Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, 98 Skelton, Noel, 212 Skype, 200 sleaziness: in finance, 159–60, 161–62; overreactions to, 166–67; perception of, 159, 165, 166 Small Business Administration (SBA), 216–17 Smith, Adam, xvii, 124, 140, 237, 238 social comparison theory, 191–92, 234 social epidemics, 180, 181 social influence, 181 socialist market economies, 3. See also centrally planned economies social media, 82, 200 social policy bonds, 71 Social Register, 233, 234, 256n3 social security systems, 149–50 social status, 165–66, 191–92, 232–33.

 

The Future of Technology by Tom Standage

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air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, disintermediation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K

Instead, as with every other consumer technology in history, says Parks’s Mr Scherf, the digital home “must become invisible to the consumer” in order to succeed. So what should the consumer see? 97 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY The mom test A geek’s benchmark for true simplicity ith e-mail, it wasn’t till my mom could use it that it became ubiquitous. The real test is always the mom test,” says Brad Treat, the boss of SightSpeed, an internet video company. “If my mother flips over to some Skype thing …,” begins Michael Powell, America’s media and telecoms regulator, answering a question about internet telephony. “If my mother is going to use it …,” starts Ray Lane, a venture capitalist, asked whether this or that technology has a future. Mothers come up surprisingly often in Silicon Valley conversations. Whether that is because of their unequalled wisdom, because the it industry is full of males who are too caught up with technology to have met many women other than their mothers, or because of a misogynist streak that suspects women of a certain age to be diehard analogues is a moot point.

However, voice conversations can also be sent over the internet, in the same way that e-mails travel. The caller’s voice is broken into packets of digital information that are routed separately to their destination and reassembled at the other end. In pure form, such conversations are called internet telephony. This might involve a video call between two SightSpeed customers, or a voice call between two computers that use software from Skype, a fastgrowing European firm. This pure form is still rare, however, because most people still use traditional phones, which requires people calling from a pc or an internet phone to “bridge” over to the phone network. The umbrella term that includes such hybrid calls is “voice-over-internet S 103 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY protocol”, or voip. This isa service offered by companies such as Vonage, a high-profile start-up in New Jersey.

Capgemini, a consultancy, has found that most mobile-phone operators vastly overestimate the importance that customers place on premium services, while equally vastly underestimating the importance of simplicity, both in handsets and in pricing plans. This is opening the door to disrupters such as Comviq, in Sweden, which has taken 39% of market share away from the incumbent, Telia, by offering half as many handset features and radically simpler pricing plans. Wireless and fixed-line telephone companies may simultaneously become vulnerable to new providers of internet telephony or voip, such 109 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY as Skype and Vonage, or networking companies such as Cisco (especially once fast, wireless internet access has become ubiquitous and totally reliable). The disruption could be especially severe if the upstarts not only make calling dirt-cheap or free, but also find ways to help consumers with jobs such as simplifying their communications as a whole or meeting their needs for privacy. For incumbents this ought to be reason for paranoia, but it need not spell doom.

 

pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

“The usually voluble Brin grew quiet,” Auletta writes, “ready to change the subject.”22 To Google, Auletta’s book is just a series of ones and zeros—and not very many of them, compared with a movie. To Auletta, those ones and zeros were exceptionally expensive to create—at least in terms of time—since the technology that has revolutionized the cost of distributing text hasn’t dramatically changed the nature of writing it. Reporters can access online databases and interview sources by Skype, but they still have to read documents and ask the right questions. In cases like this, “information wants to be expensive.” Therein lies the conflict. Most online companies that have built businesses based on giving away information or entertainment aren’t funding the content they’re distributing. In some cases, like blogs that summarize newspaper stories, this is legal; in others, it’s not. But the idea is the same: in Silicon Valley, the information that wants to be free is almost always the information that belongs to someone else.

As Griffin read Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by the economist Peter Bernstein, he saw how the need to allocate risk on the voyages of English merchant ships in the eighteenth century led to the advent of “actuarial economics.”2 As opposed to “transactional economics,” which involves the purchase of individual items, actuarial businesses gather pools of money and divide them according to the outcome of subsequent events. Such pools can be used to defray the risk to anything, from an eighteenth-century trade vessel to a teenager’s Toyota. Griffin points out that Ooma, the voice-over-Internet system he uses for long-distance service instead of Skype, works on an actuarial model, since customers buy the machine from the company, which then covers the cost of all their calls out of that price. And he consulted on Nokia’s Comes with Music service—it didn’t catch on—which made music free with the price of a cell phone. “I increasingly think of copyright as copyrisk,” Griffin says. “I say that you’re undergoing a risk as an author or a creative person and we should address your risk, not your right.

., 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 Sarkozy, Nicolas Sarnoff, Richard, 6.1, 10.1 Saturday Night Live, itr.1, itr.2 Saudi Arabia Schmidt, Eric, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 8.1 Schmitz, Kim Schuler, Barry Scientific American Scientology Scribd search engines, itr.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 10.1; see also Google Seattle Post-Intelligencer, itr.1, 4.1, 4.2 Seattle Times Secure Digital Music Initiative, 1.1, 2.1, 7.1 Seidler, Ellen, 3.1, 3.2, 7.1 Senate, U.S., 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 10.1 SESAC Shapiro, Gary, 1.1, 2.1 Sherman, Cary Siler, Megan Silicon Valley, itr.1, 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 4.1, 7.1, 10.1 Simon & Schuster, 6.1, 6.2 Singer, Mitch, 7.1, 7.2 SkyDrive, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Skype, itr.1, 9.1 Slate, itr.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 10.1 smartphones, 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 10.1, 10.2 Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs, et Éditeurs de Musique (SACEM) software, itr.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 10.1, 10.2 Sohn, Gigi, 3.1, 3.2, 9.1 songwriters, 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 10.1, 10.2 Sony BMG Music Entertainment, 2.1, 2.2 Sony Corp., 1.1, 3.1, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 Sony Corp. of America v.

 

pages: 422 words: 104,457

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin

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AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Zimmermann PGP

The brochures advertised hacking tools that enable governments to break into people’s computers and cell phones, and “massive intercept” gear that can gather all Internet communications in a country. We published much of the literature online in a database called “The Surveillance Catalog: Where governments get their tools.” The brochure for Gamma Group’s FinSpy, the tool used to monitor the Bahraini activists, touted its capability of “monitoring of encrypted communications.” The brochure also stated that it had been used in an Internet café to monitor Skype communications, and even to take pictures of people as they use Skype. “FinSpy is a field-proven Remote Monitoring Solution that enables Governments to face the current challenges of monitoring Mobile and Security-Aware Targets that regularly change location, use encrypted and anonymous communication channels and reside in foreign countries,” the brochure stated. “Monitor a hundred thousand targets,” was the headline for the brochure from an Italian company called Hacking Team.

See also specific search engines auditing your data on search warrants Secret New York (Rives) secret police Secrets & Lies (Schneier) Secret Service security, privacy vs. Security Engineering (Anderson) security questions Security Theater September 11, 2001, attacks sexual orientation Shahzad, Faisal Shearson, Julia Shilkin, Rob Shiller, Benjamin Reed Shopping.com Shutova, Ekaterina Shutterfly Signal conference Silent Circle Silent Phone Silent Text Sinclair, Upton Singer-Vine, Jeremy Skyhook Skype Slobogin, Christopher smart card Smith, Stephen Smith, Will Snowden, Edward social networking sites. See also specific sites social network mapping social security numbers Soghoian, Christopher Soltani, Ashkan Sonic.net “sousveillance” South Africa Southern District of New York (federal court) Soviet Union spamgourmet.com spam messages SpiderOak Spokeo spoofing Sputnik spy satellites spyware Staas, David stalkers Standard Oil Company Staples Stasi state and local governments stealth wear Stecklow, Steve Steel, Emily Strauchs, John J.

 

pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

By now, the number of pages of digital text and images on the Web is estimated to exceed one trillion.2 As discussed in chapter 4, bits are created at virtually zero cost and transmitted almost instantaneously worldwide. What’s more, a copy of a digital good is exactly identical to the original. This leads to some very different economics and some special measurement problems. When a business traveler calls home to talk to her children via Skype, that may add zero to GDP, but it’s hardly worthless. Even the wealthiest robber baron would have been unable to buy this service. How do we measure the benefits of free goods or services that were unavailable at any price in previous eras? What GDP Leaves Out Despite all the attention it gets from economists, pundits, journalist, and politicians, GDP, even if it were perfectly measured, does not quantify our welfare.

If the cost of creating and delivering an encyclopedia to your desktop is a few pennies instead of thousands of dollars, then you’re certainly better off. But this decrease in costs lowers GDP even as our personal well-being increases, leaving GDP to travel in the opposite direction of our true well-being. A simple switch to using a free texting service like Apple’s iChat instead of SMS, free classifieds like Craigslist instead of newspaper ads, or free calls like Skype instead of a traditional telephone service can make billions of dollars disappear from companies’ revenues and the GDP statistics.5 As these examples show, our economic welfare is only loosely related to GDP. Unfortunately many economists, journalists, and much of the general public still use “GDP growth” as a synonym for “economic growth.” For much of the twentieth century, this was a fair comparison.

Schreyer, Peter Schumpeter, Joseph science: effect of digitization on government support of prizes in rapid progress in science fiction robots in SCIgen Sears Second Industrial Revolution second machine age: career opportunities in characteristics of complementary innovations in economic data relevant to intangible assets of interventions for key advances of long-term recommendations for mental power boosted by metrics of second machine age (continued) policy recommendations for Power Law distributions in reality of values of see also digitization SecondMachineAge.com self-organizing learning environments (SOLEs) semiconductors Sen, Amartya senses, human sensorimotor skills sensors, digital Shabtai, Ehud Shakespeare, William Shannon, Claude Shapiro, Carl Shinar, Amir Siciliano, Francis SIGGRAPH conference Silicon Valley Simon, Herbert Simon, Julian Sims, Peter Singapore: education system in Electronic Road Pricing System in singularity Singularity Is Near, The (Kurzweil) Siri Siu, Henry Sixteenth Amendment Skype smartphone applications smartphones Smith, Adam Smith, Michael social media Social Progress Index Social Security Socrates software open source solar flares Solow, Robert Sony PlayStation 3 South Korea, education system in Soviet Union speech recognition Spence, Michael Spiegel, Eric Spotify Sprague, Shawn spread bounty vs. in education productivity consequences of in wages see also inequality SRI International standardized testing Star Trek Startup America Partnership steam engine Stern, Scott Stiglitz, Joseph Stiroh, Kevin Stuxnet Summers, Lawrence superstars social acceptability of taxation of see also “winner-take-all” markets Sweden, income inequality in Systrom, Kevin Syverson, Chad Tabarrok, Alex Taipale, Kim Taiwan, automation in Target TaskRabbit taxes consumption on economic rents negative income payroll Pigovian value-added Tea Party technological progress adjusting to combinatorial nature of digitization in economic theories about employment implications of exponential nature of; see also innovation; Moore’s Law future of halting of interventions suggested for side effects of technology: in developing world history of major advances in see also digitization; general purpose technologies (GPTs) Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre teraflop Terenzini, Patrick Thackeray, William Makepeace Theory of Economic Development, The (Schumpeter) Thrun, Sebastian Time Tinbergen, Jan Tobin, James Tolkien, J.

 

pages: 340 words: 96,149

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex by Shane Harris

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Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Brian Krebs, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, computer age, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, failed state, Firefox, Julian Assange, mutually assured destruction, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

Under a secret program called the SIGINT Enabling Project, it strikes deals with technology companies to insert backdoors into their commercial products. Congress allocated $250 million for the project in 2013. Working in conjunction with the FBI, the NSA got inside knowledge about a feature in Microsoft’s e-mail product, Outlook, that could have created obstacles to surveillance if left unaddressed. The agency also got access to Skype Internet phone calls and chats as well as Microsoft’s cloud storage service, SkyDrive, so that NSA analysts could read people’s messages before they were encrypted. Classified documents also show that the NSA invites makers of encryption products to let the agency’s experts review their work, with the ostensible goal of making their algorithms stronger. But the NSA actually inserts vulnerabilities into the products, to use in its espionage and cyber warfare missions.

Keith, bid for NSA’s authority by “secure sockets layer” service, [>] selector, within communications metadata, [>] servers: Citadel, takeover by Microsoft, [>]; command-and-control, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>], [>]; destruction, [>]–[>]; as drop point, [>]–[>], [>]; of e-mail service, [>]; imposter, during military breach, [>], [>]; NSA, [>], [>]; shutdown, [>]; Tor, [>] Shifting Shadow program, [>]–[>] SIGINT. See signals intelligence SIGINT Enabling Project, [>], [>] Signals Intelligence Directorate, [>], [>], [>], [>] signals intelligence (SIGINT), [>], [>], [>], [>], [>] signature (hacker methods). See threat signature signature (written name), [>] Silk Road, [>] sinkholing, [>] SkyDrive, [>] Skype, [>] Snort, [>] Snowden, Edward: background, [>]–[>]; information released by, [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>], [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>] n. [>] software: antivirus, [>]; cybersecurity, [>]; cyber targeting, [>]; data filtering, [>]; data mining, [>], [>], [>], [>], [>]–[>]; distributed computing, [>], [>]; to fend off automated probes, [>]; geo-location, [>]; malicious (see malware; spyware); network forensics, [>], [>]–[>], [>]; patches and updates for, [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>], [>], [>]; and secret/illegal access (see backdoors) software manufacturers, [>], [>], [>].

See also hack-backs; viruses; zero day exploits Tailored Access Operations (TAO), [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>] Taiwan, [>] Taliban, [>], [>]–[>] TAO. See Tailored Access Operations Target, [>], [>], [>] TASC, [>]–[>] Team Themis, [>]–[>] telecommunications companies, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>]. See also specific companies telecommunications networks: DOD, [>]; fiber-optic trunk lines, [>], [>], [>]; Google, [>]; kill switch provision, [>]; right to spy in exchange for US license, [>]; Skype, [>]; undersea cables, [>], [>] Telvent, [>]–[>], [>] terrorism. See counterterrorism; 9/11 attacks threat signature, [>], [>], [>], [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>] thumb drives, [>], [>], [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>], [>] Tier [>], [>] tippers, within communications data, [>] Tiversa, [>]–[>] Tor, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>] Tranche 2 plan, [>]–[>], [>] Transportation Security Administration, [>] transportation system.

 

pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

For example, Citibank once had more than three hundred different customer databases, each consuming valuable overhead and costing enormous sums in duplication and redundancy. Such drag on costs and operations is simply not acceptable in an Exponential Organization—or, indeed, for any company trying to compete in the 21st century. Telepresence has been around for many years in the form of videoconferencing. Although videoconferencing was quite a hassle in the past, an organization can now leverage services such as Skype and Google Hangout, which are fast, easy to use and available on every device. Telepresence enables employees to work proactively from any location and interact on a global scale, reducing travel costs and improving well-being. Even greater improvement comes from Telepresence robots such as Beam, from Suitable Technologies, and Double Robotics, which leverage the user’s tablet. These robots even allow the user to be on multiple locations at once, which can greatly impact how to conduct business.

Second, there is no shortage of either ideas or new technologies. After all, everybody in a place like Silicon Valley has an idea for a new tech business. Instead, the key to success is relentless execution, hence the need for passion and the MTP. To demonstrate, consider the number of times the founders of the following companies pitched investors before finally succeeding: Company Number of Investor Pitches Skype 40 Cisco 76 Pandora 300 Google 350 What if Larry Page and Sergey Brin had stopped pitching after 340 attempts? The world would be a very different place today. Just as intriguing: what magical technologies and businesses don’t exist today because the founders gave up one investor pitch too soon? We’ve said this already, but it can’t be emphasized enough: Entrepreneurial success rarely comes from the idea.

For example, Google recently demonstrated that its best employees were not Ivy League students, but rather young people who had experienced a big loss in their lives and had been able to transform that experience into growth. According to Google, deep personal loss has resulted in employees who are more humble and open to listening and learning. Finally, Rate of Learning will become a mainstream measure to gauge the progress of an individual, team or even a startup. Key Opportunities Implications and Actions Digital job interviews and meetings Job interviews and collaboration leveraging video (Skype), telepresence (Double Robotics) or virtual reality (Oculus Rift or High Fidelity) for virtual meetings, as well as testing to enable the growing global Staff on Demand workforce. Social networking skills will increase in importance, as will internships and a focus on real life skills testing. Hire employees who ask the right questions We’re moving into a world of open data, open APIs and even open source (deep learning) algorithms.

 

pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

The lush tropical rainforests of Sumatra offer a cornucopia of hundreds of exotic fruits, the orangutan’s favorite fare. Another app—of pooling water—fascinates Budi. It looks like water, ripples like water, and when he touches it, it plashes and burbles. But it doesn’t feel wet. And when he lifts his fingers to his nose, he doesn’t smell water. From his sensory perspective, it’s strange. Not as strange, though, as interacting with humans and other orangutans via Skype. The first time Budi saw Richard Zimmerman, the director of Orangutan Outreach, calling to him in a halo of light, he touched the screen, as if thinking, He’s talking to me. Then, puzzled, he reached over and touched Matt’s face. On the screen, a talking human, who knew him by name, was looking right at him and smiling, calling to him in a friendly voice. Why was Richard’s face flat and Matt’s face three-dimensional?

In 1990, I wrote about our sensory grasp of the world in A Natural History of the Senses. Only twenty years later, the basic experience is the same, but its scope has been vastly amplified. For example, our proprioception, the sense of where we are in space, now spins far beyond the physical body. We can spy on ourselves in sly, public, or cloak-and-dagger ways, from lavish perspectives, inside and out. By satellite, a drone’s eye, via Skype, on security cameras, through electron microscopes. Some of us are even relaxed about, or excited by, the promise of connecting our brains to the world outside of the body. In such sweeping sensory adventures, our cameo of who and what we are shifts, and also how we may decide to know ourselves in the future. What we see and think when we look at the night sky has also changed. Two decades ago, the only planets were here in our own solar system.

Toiling invisibly in the background, the council of computers can organize massive subway repairs, or send you a personal cell phone alert if your bus is running late. It’s a little odd thinking of computers taking meetings on the fly and gabbing together in an alien argot. But naming it the Internet of Things domesticates an idea that might otherwise frighten us. We know and enjoy the Internet, already older than many of its users, and familiar now as a pet. In an age where even orangutans Skype on iPads, what could be more humdrum than the all-purpose, nondescript word “things”? The Internet of Things reassures us that this isn’t a revolutionary idea—though, in truth, it is—just an everyday technology linked to something vague and harmless sounding. It doesn’t suggest brachiating from one reality to another; it just expands the idea of last century’s cozy new technology, and animates the idea of home.

 

pages: 298 words: 84,394

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

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Albert Einstein, illegal immigration, Schrödinger's Cat, Skype, theory of mind

We file into the visitors’ room, where there’s a bulletproof wall of glass between the chimps and us. Sometimes the chimps don’t feel like having guests, and they show it by rushing the wall, body-slamming it with a loud crash, making the glass shiver in its frame. When this happens, we go away, come back another time. The center is their home. They get to decide who comes in. But we also have a Skype connection in the classroom. I leave this open throughout the morning, so my students can check on the chimps anytime they like, and the chimps can do likewise. Only six chimps remain here now. Three are younger than Fern—Hazel, Bennie, and Sprout. Two are older, both males—Aban and Hanu. So Fern is not the largest, nor the oldest, nor the malest. And yet, by my observation, she is the highest-status chimp here.

We see fewer images of older chimps, more of the tractable babies. Fern has grown heavy and slow. Her life has worn on her. My kindergartners say she’s kind of mean, but to me she’s just a good mother. She manages the social life at the center and doesn’t tolerate nonsense. When there’s a row, she’s the one who stops it, forces the rowers to hug and make up. Sometimes our own mother appears on the other end of the Skype connection, telling me to pick something up at the store on my way home or reminding me that I have a dentist appointment. She volunteers at the center daily. Her current job is to make sure Fern gets to eat the foods she likes. The day our mother walked in for the first time, Fern refused to look at her. She sat with her back to the glass and wouldn’t turn around even to see what Hazel and Mom were saying to each other.

I used to wonder what I’d tell Fern when she asked about Lowell or Dad. We’d had to remind Grandpa Joe in his nursing home that Dad had died, over and over, and five minutes later he’d be asking us again, in an anguished voice, what he’d done so bad that his only son never came to see him. But Fern has never mentioned either one. Sometimes my kindergartners and the chimps do a craft project together, either when we visit or over Skype. We finger-paint. We cover paper with paste and glitter. We make clay plates with our handprints impressed into them. The center holds fund-raisers, where they sell chimp artwork. We have several of Fern’s paintings on the walls of the townhouse. My favorite is her rendition of a bird, a dark slash across a light sky, no cage for creature or artist in evidence anywhere. The center has shelves and shelves of video still to be analyzed; the researchers are behind the data by decades.

 

pages: 606 words: 87,358

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, buy low sell high, call centre, Columbian Exchange, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial robot, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

High-quality video allows a much better reading of faces. Psychological research shows that “microexpressions”—split-second facial changes lasting only a twenty-fifth of a second—can indicate whether a person is concealing an emotion, consciously or unconsciously. These reactions cannot be perceived over regular video calls or Skype and, indeed, these sorts of nonverbal messages are one of the reasons face-to-face meetings generally lead to better understanding and trust than calls or Skype. Such systems are already deployed in high-end services sectors. They have reduced the need for face-to-face meetings in businesses such as consulting firms and financial services companies. However, they are still expensive and still limited to fixed facilities. If such systems became much cheaper and more mobile, they could significantly reduce the need for specialists and managers to travel to remote factories and offices.

Face-to-Face Costs, the Virtual Presence Revolution and Telerobotics The third separation cost—the cost of face-to-face interaction—is also likely to persist on its downward path. More specifically, really good ICT is creating reasonable substitutes for in-person meetings. This “virtual presence revolution” is based on high-quality video and audio systems on both ends of what can be thought of as “the telephone wire.” It is—in essence—really, really good Skype. An example is Cisco Systems’ TelePresence. This combines full-size images of participants, using three plasma screens, sound channels, high-precision microphones, custom lighting, and high-definition cameras. Audio is arranged such that the voices of the participants on the “left” (who could be in Mumbai) sound like they are coming from the left. The result is much more information being passed among participants than is possible with audio or even standard video conferencing.

 

pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

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book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

The Supreme Court threw out these arguments in a 1984 5-4 decision, the "Betamax Decision." This decision held that the VCR was legal because it was "capable of sustaining a substantially non-infringing use." That means that if you make a technology that your customers can use legally, you're not on the hook for the illegal stuff they do. This principle guided the creation of virtually every piece of IT invented since: the Web, search engines, YouTube, Blogger, Skype, ICQ, AOL, MySpace... You name it, if it's possible to violate copyright with it, the thing that made it possible is the Betamax principle. Unfortunately, the Supremes shot the Betamax principle in the gut two years ago, with the Grokster decision. This decision says that a company can be found liable for its customers' bad acts if they can be shown to have "induced" copyright infringement. So, if your company advertises your product for an infringing use, or if it can be shown that you had infringement in mind at the design stage, you can be found liable for your customers' copying.

Kazaa's business model was to set up offshore, on the tiny Polynesian island of Vanuatu, and bundle spyware with its software, making its profits off of fees from spyware crooks. Kazaa didn't want to pay billions for record industry licenses — they used the international legal and finance system to hopelessly snarl the RIAA's members through half a decade of wild profitability. The company was eventually brought to ground, but the founders walked away and started Skype and then Joost. Meantime, dozens of other services had sprung up to fill Kazaa's niche — AllofMP3, the notorious Russian site, was eventually killed through intervention of the US Trade Representative and the WTO, and was reborn practically the next day under a new name. It's been eight years since Sean Fanning created Napster in his college dorm-room. Eight years later, there isn't a single authorized music service that can compete with the original Napster.

 

The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture From a Journey of 71 Million Miles by Astronaut Ron Garan, Muhammad Yunus

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, book scanning, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, global village, Google Earth, Indoor air pollution, jimmy wales, optical character recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, Stephen Hawking, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber for X, web of trust

“Because of the networking that we have from the International Space Station,” Polk continued, “if I needed something, I could reach out and touch the Japanese flight surgeon, the ESA [European Space Agency] flight surgeon, the Canadian flight surgeon, the Russian flight surgeon. We are a global network.” Technology also played a big role in the operation and enabled much of the international collaboration, as well as communication with the miners underground. Social media, e-mail, Skype, and other communications capability enabled quick organization and 108â•…    L O O K I N G F O R WARD information transfer between the two hundred or so people on-site and the rest of the world. And the entire world stepped up with ideas, designs, and support. Another key factor in the collaboration was the operation leaders’ insistence on open, honest, two-way dialogue, and their leadership by example.

In addition, the hubs are organically replicating themselves. The Central American hub helped build the East African hub. The Africans consulted with the folks in Nepal to show them what they were doing, and surely they will help the next region to come online. Each region is sharing knowledge to build a global network. For the most part, this is accomplished through commonly available social and communication platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Skype. For Irwin, the most rewarding result is that SERVIR catalyzed the involvement of so many elite scientists and researchers around the world. “It’s been a really nice example of scientific diplomacy,” he said. “It’s been a sharing and a two-way street of knowledge exchange. We may have some of the satellite knowledge and the applications knowledge, but it’s the people in the field that understand how their system works, and we’re bringing those two together.”

 

pages: 338 words: 62,714

Code Red: Know Your Flow, Unlock Your Super Powers and Create a Bloody Amazing Life. Period. by Lisa Clark

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Skype, stem cell

You are a bearded man-god + I’m in a deep bow to you for embracing, honouring + celebrating me + my cycle, and for knowing that on Day 25 when I’m Kali Ma incarnate, it’s best to feed me chocolate + work a late shift. I love you hard. My BFF, Susie – I LOVE YOU. Tamara Protassow – word minx and woman o’ awesome, thank you so much for adding punctuation to my 5-line-long sentences, for delicious Skype calls and for totally getting me and this work. Best. Editrix. Ever. The gorgeous women who have shared their SHE story in this book. As MM, said, ‘my story is your story.’ When you share your story, you allow others to hear their truth – thank you, thank you, thank you. Mark Leruste – for being French, having an awesome beard and for being the most badass cheerleader, coach, friend + lipstick buyer.

Creatrix of the SHE Flow protocol – yoga, sacred movement and ancient menstrual health practices – Lisa works directly with women who: Bleed Suffer from menstrual health related dis-ease, irregular bleeds, infertility and PMS symptoms Want to work with their cycle and not against it Want to access their monthly super powers so they can create a bloody amazing business, relationship + life How to work with Lisa 1-to-1 SHE Flow sessions: menstrual mentoring + consultations in person or via skype Womb wellness + love-your-lady-parts sessions SHE Flow Yoga classes – a fierce + feminine movement practice that puts the ‘ass’ into asana The SHE Chocolate Experience – Yoga nidra, radical yin resting + inner journeying co-partnered with the transformative and healing power of a SHE Chocolate ceremony Crack Your Lady Code – 1-day in-person workshop Explore Your Lady Landscape – 28 day online programme For more details on Lisa and how you can work with her, visit: www.thesassyshe.com or email her at: Lisa@thesassyshe.com LOVE BITES Feedback from amazing women who have worked with Lisa… My belief is that the Divine Feminine is calling more of us to allow her expression to come through us.

 

pages: 186 words: 49,595

Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet by Linda Herrera

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citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, informal economy, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, Occupy movement, RAND corporation, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, WikiLeaks

In his press conference, Glassman cited two history-making social media campaigns that served as prototypes for AYM. The first was Egypt’s 6th of April Youth Movement, and the second was Colombia’s No More FARC (acronym for the “Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia”), also known as One Million Voices Against FARC. Oscar Morales, an unemployed web developer, ingeniously adapted the tools and architecture of Facebook, Skype, and instant messaging to build a spectacularly successful transnational campaign against FARC, the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party, designated a terrorist group by the US. This citizen-initiated campaign culminated in massive demonstrations on February 4, 2008, when some fourteen million people took to the streets of cities in Colombia and around the world. Glassman explained in a press conference that the State Department would bring top bloggers and cyberdissidents together with figures from the US government and the US business sector.

See Tamarud Reporters Without Borders, 103–4 Revolution 2.0, 1, 42, 64, 79, 121, 149 See also Ghonim, Wael Ross, Alec, 42–3 Sabahi, Hamdeen, 124 Said, Khaled, 46, 47–101, 107, 108, 110–11, 150–5 January 25th event and, 5, 19 See also “We Are All Khaled Said” saint, 151–5 Saint Avatatas, 11 Sakhr, 7 Sakr, Rehab, 121 Salafi Front, 91–2 satellite dishes, 7, 8–10, 12 Satellite Thief (Harami al-Dish), 9 Saweris, Nagib, 10 Schmidt, Eric, 44 See also Google Serbia, 18, 33–4 Shafik, Ahmed, 120, 122 Sharp, Gene, 35, 88 Sidi Bouzid, 99, 101 silent stand, 65–68, 87–89, 97 el-Sisi, Abdel Fattah, 136–41, 155–6 6th of April Youth Movement, 22–3, 34, 59, 86–7, 107 AYM and, 35, 38, 46 members of, 37, 75, 107, 110, 119 Skype, 35 soft power, 25–7, 156 Spacenet Internet cafe, 47, 49 State Department, 2, 23–4, 28–44, 106, 146–8 Stepka, Matthew, 1 Stone, Biz, 22 See also Twitter Suez, 114 canal, 14 Supreme Constitutional Court, 136 Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), 3, 74, 120 taboos, 12–14, 158 Al Taghrir. See The Change Tahrir Square, 16, 87, 115, 122, 13–5, 140 Tamarud, 136–7, 140 Time magazine, 148 Tunisia, 3, 23, 92, 95–115, 122, 147, 154 Ghonim and Mansour on, 90 Clinton speech, 43 uprisings in, 5, 92, 143, 149 Twitter, 1, 43, 85, 105–6, 120 Biz Stone, 22–3 Elbaradei and, 124 Jack Dorsey, 40 Muslim Brotherhood and, 126–7 Obama administration and, 106 police and, 85 revolution and, 5, 23, 40 ultras, 73–5, 79–80, 87–8 United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 29, 32, 34 United States Department of State.

 

pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E

TABLE OF CONTENTS TITLE PAGE INTRODUCTION: SURVIVING AI PART ONE: ANI (ARTIFICIAL NARROW INTELLIGENCE) CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER 2 CHAPTER 3 PART TWO: AGI (ARTIFICIAL GENERAL INTELLIGENCE) CHAPTER 4 CHAPTER 5 PART THREE: ASI (ARTIFICIAL SUPERINTELLIGENCE) CHAPTER 6 CHAPTER 7 PART FOUR: FAI (FRIENDLY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE) CHAPTER 8 CHAPTER 9 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ENDNOTES COMMENTS ON SURVIVING AI A sober and easy-to-read review of the risks and opportunities that humanity will face from AI. Jaan Tallinn, co-founder Skype, co-founder Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), co-founder Future of Life Institute (FLI) Understanding AI – its promise and its dangers – is emerging as one of the great challenges of coming decades and this is an invaluable guide to anyone who’s interested, confused, excited or scared. David Shukman, BBC Science Editor As artificial intelligence drives the pace of automation ever faster, it is timely that we consider in detail how it might eventually make an even more profound change to our lives – how truly general AI might vastly exceed our capabilities in all areas of endeavour.

They cannot handle heavy rain or snow, they cannot detect potholes or debris obstructing the road, and they cannot discern between a pedestrian and a policeman indicating for the vehicle to stop. In November 2012 Microsoft research executive Rick Rashid demonstrated the company’s simultaneous translation software at a large presentation. The software rendered his speech in Mandarin in real time, almost flawlessly. The system is now available in 45 languages on a number of Microsoft platforms, including Skype. One of the most impressive recent demonstrations of AI functionality was DeepMind’s presentation at Lake Tahoe in December 2013 of an AI system teaching itself to play old-style Atari video games like Breakout and Pong. These are games which previous AI systems have found hard to play because they involve hand-to-eye co-ordination. The most striking thing about DeepMind’s system is that it solves problems and masters skills without being specifically programmed to do so.

 

pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

He may have even seen this as a techie challenge—or maybe he is a student to whom I once gave a bad grade and who decided to tweak my nose for it. Would this kid have taken cash from my wallet, even if he knew for sure that no one would ever catch him? Maybe, but I imagine that the answer is no. Instead, I suspect that there were some aspects of Skype and of how my account was set up that “helped” this person engage in this activity and not feel morally reprehensible: First, he stole calling time, not money. Next, he did not gain anything tangible from the transaction. Third, he stole from Skype rather than directly from me. Fourth, he might have imagined that at the end of the day Skype, not I, would cover the cost. Fifth, the cost of the calls was charged automatically to me via PayPal. So here we had another step in the process—and another level of fuzziness in terms of who would eventually pay for the calls.

None of this makes logical sense, but when the medium of exchange is nonmonetary, our ability to rationalize increases by leaps and bounds. I HAD MY own experience with dishonesty a few years ago. Someone broke into my Skype account (very cool online telephone software) and charged my PayPal account (an online payment system) a few hundred dollars for the service. I don’t think the person who did this was a hardened criminal. From a criminal’s perspective, breaking into my account would most likely be a waste of time and talent because if this person was sufficiently smart to hack into Skype, he could probably have hacked into Amazon, Dell, or maybe even a credit card account, and gotten much more value for his time. Rather, I imagine that this person was a smart kid who had managed to hack into my account and who took advantage of this “free” communication by calling anyone who would talk to him until I managed to regain control of my account.

So here we had another step in the process—and another level of fuzziness in terms of who would eventually pay for the calls. (Just in case you are wondering, I have since canceled this direct link to PayPal.) Was this person stealing from me? Sure, but there were so many things that made the theft fuzzy that I really don’t think he thought of himself as a dishonest guy. No cash was taken, right? And was anyone really hurt? This kind of thinking is worrisome. If my problem with Skype was indeed due to the nonmonetary nature of the transactions on Skype, this would mean that there is much more at risk here, including a wide range of online services, and perhaps even credit and debit cards. All these electronic transactions, with no physical exchange of money from hand to hand, might make it easier for people to be dishonest—without ever questioning or fully acknowledging the immorality of their actions. THERE’S ANOTHER, SINISTER impression that I took out of our studies.

 

pages: 38 words: 11,262

My South American Odyssey: on a budget by Doug Thompson​

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Skype

We were mortal on this Bolivian saya beer and could barely see the cups. We lost, but noticed that the Germans weren’t drinking all of there beer when we scored a shot. In most countries this would be seen as a foul. However the referee was drunk too and awarded the title to the Germans, but at least we were honest sportsmen. What a night! Really hung-over in the morning. Rob and I feel this is a good opportunity to skype with our girlfriends before we grab a vodka and orange to cure the hangover. Everyone searches for that elusive hangover cure when it’s standing right in front of their eyes. All it requires is that you drink more alcohol than the night before. As I said from the beginning, I hope my words inspire you not advise. During our first couple of nights we meet a couple of Aussie travelers called Aaron and Ben who were working at Adventure Brew.

 

pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler

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affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs

Similarly, the processors arrayed in the supercomputers find it difficult to compete with the vast computation resource available on the millions of personal computers connected to the Internet, and the proprietary software development firms find themselves competing, and in some areas losing to, the vast pool of programming talent connected to the Internet in the form of participants in free and open source software development projects. 176 In addition to computation and storage, the last major element of computer communications networks is connectivity. Here, too, perhaps more dramatically than in either of the two other functionalities, we have seen the development of sharing-based techniques. The most direct transfer of the design characteristics of peer-to-peer networks to communications has been the successful development of Skype--an Internet telephony utility that allows the owners of computers to have voice conversations with each other over the Internet for free, and to dial into the public telephone network for a fee. As of this writing, Skype is already used by more than two million users at any given moment in time. They use a FastTrack-like architecture to share their computing and communications resources to create a global [pg 87] telephone system running on top of the Internet. It was created, and is run by, the developers of KaZaa. 177 Most dramatically, however, we have seen these techniques emerging in wireless communications.

BitTorrent was initially developed to deal with the large file transfers required for free software distributions. BitTorrent and eDonkey were both used by the Swarthmore students when their college shut down their Internet connection in response to Diebold's letter threatening action under the service provider liability provisions of the DMCA. The founders of KaZaa have begun to offer an Internet telephony utility, Skype, which allows users to make phone calls from one computer to another for free, and from their computer to the telephone network for a small fee. Skype is a p2p technology. 742 In other words, p2p is developing as a general approach toward producing distributed data storage and retrieval systems, just as open wireless networks and distributed computing are emerging to take advantage of personal devices to produce distributed communications and computation systems, respectively.

., 539-541 medical and pharmaceutical innovation, 611 models of, 89-94 openness of personal computers, 719-720 peer-to-peer networks and, 171-172 radio patents, 346, 348-349 scientific publication, 578-580 software patents, 764-766 strategies for information production, 88-99 trademark dilutation, 522, 782-786 trespass to chattels, 791-795 university alliances, 598-604 wireless communications policy, 291 wireless networks, 177, 290-292 Proprietary rights, inefficiency of, 79-87, 100-104, 208-224, 221, 571, 810-813 capacity reallocation, 221-224 property protections, 571 Public Library of Science (PLoS), 579 Public goods vs. nonrival goods, 79-83 Public opinion, 338, 358, 367, 373 iconic representations of, 367, 373 synthesis of, 338, 358 Public sphere, 27, 31-34, 324-328, 327, 331, 340, 356-358, 376-484, 385, 403, 416, 425, 429, 437, 467, 469, 473, 481, 515, 631, 642, 649, 686, 817-818 Diebold Election Systems case study, 403-415, 469, 686-689 Internet as concentrated vs. chaotic, 429-436 authoritarian control, working around, 473-480 basic communication tools, 385-393 critiques that Internet democratizes, 416-428 future of, 481-484 liberal, design characteristics of, 331-339 loose affiliations, 27-28, 631, 642, 649-653 mass media platform for, 327-330, 340-341 topology and connectivity of, 437-466 transparency of Internet culture, 515-527 watchdog functionality, 425, 467-472 Public sphere relationships, 559, 577-583 see social relations and norms publication, scientific, 559, 577-583 Public-domain data, 559-560 Putnum, Robert, 641 Q Quoting on Web, 392 R RCA (Radio Corporation of America), 346, 350-351 RCA strategy, 91-92, 93 RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), 733 Radio, 341-354, 345, 346, 348, 363, 655, 682, 711-712 as platform for human connection, 655-656 as public sphere platform, 345 market concentration, 363 patents, 346, 348-349 Radio Act of 1927, 352 Radio B92, 475 Radio telephony, 349 Raw data, 559-560, 787 database protection, 787-790 Rawls, John, 338, 505, 544-545, 547 Raymond, Eric, 132, 264, 464 Raz, Joseph, 269 Reallocating excess capacity, 166-181, 221-224, 297, 620-622 Reallocation, 221-224, 291, 571 property protections, 571 wireless communications policy, 291 Redistribution theory, 544-545 Referencing on the Web, 392, 437, 791 linking as trespass, 791-795 power law distribution of Web site connections, 437-466 Regional clusters in network topology, 34 Regulated commons, 122 Regulating information, efficiency of, 79-87, 100-104, 208-224, 810-813 Regulation by social norms, 27, 41, 67, 120, 145-148, 157, 183, 208, 273, 421, 430, 459, 629-667, 631, 649, 654, 659, 664, 818 Internet and human coexistence, 664-666 Internet as platform for, 654-658 Slashdot mechanisms for, 157-160 enforced norms with software, 659-663 fragmentation of communication, 41, 421, 430-431, 459-460, 818-819 loose affiliations, 27-28, 631, 649-653 motivation within, 183-187 property, commons, and autonomy, 273-278 software for, emergence of, 659-663 technology-defined structure, 67-76 thickening of preexisting relations, 631 transaction costs, 120, 208-224 working with social expectations, 649-653 Regulations by social norms, 642 loose affiliations, 642 Reichman, Jerome, 789 Relevance filtering, 34, 135, 151-161, 152, 153, 154, 155, 204, 297, 314-322, 317, 336-337, 355, 358, 397, 423, 425, 426, 429, 462-466, 467 Amazon, 152-153 Google, 153 Open Directory Project (ODP), 154 Slashdot, 155-161, 204-205 as distributed system, 317-318 as public good, 34 by authoritarian countries, 426 capacity for, by mass media, 358 concentration of mass-media power, 297, 397-402, 423, 429-436 power of mass media owners, 355, 358-365, 397-402 watchdog functionality, 425, 467-472 Repeater networks, 179-180 Research, commons-based, 568-583, 584, 609, 624-628 food and agricultural innovation, 584-608 medical and pharmaceutical innovation, 609-623 Responsive communications, 358 Reuse of information, 81-83, 108 Reynolds, Glenn, 470 Rheingold, Howard, 393, 472, 634-636 Right to read, 771 Romantic Maximizer model, 90-92 Rose, Carol, 122 Routers, controlling information flow with, 281-284, 296, 298, 355-358, 702 influence exaction, 296, 298-300 Rubin, Aviel, 408 S SBG (Sinclair Broadcast Group), 360, 396-402 SETI@home project, 168-170 Sabel, Charles, 123, 218, 266 Saltzer, Jerome, 705 Sampling, digital (music), 777 Samuelson, Pamela, 63, 730 Sarnoff, David, 351 Scholarly Lawyers model, 91-92, 94 Scientific data, access to, 559-560 Scientific publication, 559, 577 commons-based welfare development, 577-583 Scope of loose relations, 27-28 Scope of loose relationships, 631 Scott, William, 622 Second Life game environment, 150, 263 Security Systems Standards and Certification Act, 721 Security of context, 273-278 Security-related policy, 146, 695, 803-807 vandalism on Wikipedia, 146-148 Self-archiving of scientific publications, 580-581 Self-determinims, extrinsic motivation and, 187 Self-esteem, extrinsic motivation and, 187 Self-organization, 40, 140, 154, 218, 525 Open Directory Project, 154 See clusters in network topology self-reflection, 40-41, 525-526 Wikipedia project, 140-148 self-identification as transaction cost, 218 Services, software, 575-576 Shaping perceptions of others, 281-288, 285, 295, 298, 315-316, 397, 531 influence exaction, 295-296, 298-300 with propaganda, 285, 397-402, 531-536 Shapiro, Carl, 558 Shareable goods, 220-222 Sharing, 91, 98, 118-181, 166-181, 221, 225, 239, 297, 613, 620, 709, 711 capacity, 711-712 emergence of social production, 225-243 excess capacity, 166-181, 221, 297, 620-622 limited sharing networks, 91, 98 open wireless networks, 709-714 radio capacity, 711-712 technology dependence of, 239-240 university patents, 613-618 Shirky, Clay, 81, 320, 455, 660 "shoulders of giants", 81-83 Shrink-wrap licenses, 778-781 Sidewalk.com, 794 Simon, Herbert, 441 Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG), 360, 396-402 Skype utility, 176, 741 Slashdot, 155-161, 204-205 Small-worlds effect, 454-457 Social action, 55-56 Social capital, 189, 638-639, 640-653, 643, 649 networked society, 649-653 thickening of preexisting relations, 643-647 Social clustering, 446-453 Social production, relationship with market-based business, 244-250 Social regulations and norms, 145-148 Social relations and norms, 27, 41, 67, 120, 157, 183, 208, 273, 421, 430, 459, 629-667, 631, 642, 649, 654, 659, 664, 818 Internet and human coexistence, 664-666 Internet as platform for, 654-658 Slashdot mechanisms for, 157-160 enforced norms with software, 659-663 fragmentation of communication, 41, 421, 430-431, 459-460, 818-819 loose affiliations, 27-28, 631, 642, 649-653 motivation within, 183-187 property, commons, and autonomy, 273-278 software for, emergence of, 659-663 technology-defined structure, 67-76 thickening of preexisting relations, 631 transaction costs, 120, 208-224 working with social expectations, 649-653 Social software, 659-663 Social structure, defined by technology, 67-76 Social-democratic theories of justice, 550-554 Software, 573, 659, 764 commons-based welfare development, 573-576 patents for, 764-766 social, 659-663 Software, open-source, 19, 37, 96, 125-132, 202, 247, 573, 762, 803 as competition to market based business, 247 commons-based welfare development, 573-576 human development and justice, 37 policy on, 762-763 project modularity and granularity, 202 security considerations, 803-807 Solla Price, Derek (de Solla Price), 441 Solum, Lawrence, 476-477 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, 776, 798 Specificity of price, 214-219 Speilberg, Steven, 732 Stakes of information policy, 808-829 Stallman, Richard, 20, 129-131 Standardizing creativity, 214-219 Starr, Paul, 45, 342-343, 682 State, role of, 52-56 Static Web pages, 388-389 Steiner, Peter, 368 Stolen Honor documentary, 397-402 Storage capacity, 175, 218 transaction costs, 218-244 Strategies for information production, 88-99, 120, 208 transaction costs, 120, 208-224 Strogatz, Steven, 454 Strongly connected Web sites, 448-450 Structure of mass media, 327-330 Structure of network, 171, 179, 278, 279, 319, 392, 437, 448, 451, 455, 737, 791, 805 autonomy and, 278, 279-303 emergent ordered structure, 455-460 linking as trespass, 791-795 moderately linked sites, 451 peer-to-peer networks, 171-175, 737-752, 805 power law distribution of Web site connections, 437-466 quoting on Web, 392 repeater network, 179-180 strongly connected Web sites, 448-450 Structure of organizations, 200-207, 221, 543 granularity, 200-203, 221-222 justice and, 543-545 modularity, 200-203 Structured production, 200-207, 204, 221 granularity, 200-203, 221-222 maintenance of cooperation, 204-205 modularity, 200-203 Sunstein, Cass, 421-422 Supercomputers, 167-168 Supplantation of real-world interaction, 631, 642-647 Supply-side effects of information production, 95-96 Sustainability of peer production, 208-224 Symmetric commons, 122 Syngenta, 597 Synthesis of public opinion, 338, 358 See also accreditation, 358 T TalkingPoints site, 398 Taste, changes in, 249 Taylor, Fredrick, 265 Teaching materials, 582 Technology, 44, 67, 111, 239, 385-393, 594, 659, 813 agricultural, 594-610 costs of, 813 dependence on, for sharing, 239-240 effectiveness of nonmarket strategies, 111-113 enabling social sharing as production modality, 239-243 role of, 44-46 social software, 659-663 social structure defined by, 67-76 Telephone, as platform for human connection, 657 Television, 262, 341, 355, 363, 366, 463, 638, 646 Internet use vs., 638-639, 646 culture of, 262 large-audience programming, 355, 366-375, 463-464 market concentration, 363 Tendrils (Web topology), 448-450 Term of copyright, 776, 798-799 Text distribution as platform for human connection, 655-656 Text messaging, 393, 647, 651 Textbooks, 582 The Halloween Memo, 245 The Memory Hole, 203 Thickening of preexisting relations, 631, 642-647 Thinness of online relations, 638 Thurmond, Strom, 470 Ticketmaster, 794 Tirole, Jean, 187, 207 Tirole, Jean,von Hippel, Eric, 207 Titmuss, Richard, 186, 343 Tocqueville, Alexis, de, 342 Toll broadcasting, 349-351, 349-351 Tools, information-embedded, 558 Toomey, Jenny, 245 Topical clustering, 446-453 Topology, network, 171, 179, 278, 279, 319, 392, 437, 448, 451, 455, 737, 791, 805 autonomy and, 278, 279-303 emergent ordered structure, 455-460 linking as trespass, 791-795 moderately linked sites, 451 peer-to-peer networks, 171-175, 737-752, 805 power law distribution of Web site connections, 437-466 quoting on Web, 392 repeater networks, 179-180 strongly connected Web sites, 448-450 Torvalds, Linus, 130, 205, 264 Trade policy, 568-572, 624-628, 798-799 Trademark dilutation, 522, 782-786 Traditional model of communication, 16, 29, 31, 57-66, 120, 146, 208, 244, 309, 327, 340, 356, 539, 611, 671, 674-807, 679, 685, 695, 803, 808, 825-826 autonomy and, 309-310 barriers to justice, 539-540 emerging role of mass media, 327-330, 340-341, 356-358 enclosure movement, 671-672 mapping, framework for, 685-698 medical innovation and, 611 path dependency, 679-684 relationship with social producers, 244-250 security-related policy, 146-148, 695, 803-807 shift away from, 31-34 stakes of information policy, 808-829 structure of mass media, 327-330 transaction costs, 120, 208-224 Transaction costs, 120, 208-224 Transfer of knowledge, 562 Transparency of Internet culture, 515-527 Transparency of free software, 575 Transport channel policy, 701-717, 704, 709, 715 broadband regulation, 704-708 municipal broadband initiatives, 715-717 open wireless networks, 709-714 Trespass to chattels, 791-795 Troll filters (Slashdot), 157 Trusted systems, computers as, 721-722 Tubes (Web topology), 448-450 U UCC (Uniform Commercial Code), 780 UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act), 778-781 Uhlir, Paul, 789 Universal intake, 335-336, 355-358 University alliances, 598-604, 613-618 University-owned-radio, 347 Unregulated commons, 122 Users as consumers, 249-250 V Vacuity of online relations, 638 Vaidhyanathan, Silva, 501 Value of online contact, 638 Vandalism on Wikipedia, 146-148 Variety of behavioral options, 286-288, 316 Varmus, Harold, 559 Virtual communities, 630-639 see also social relations and norms, 630 Visibility of mass media, 356 Von Hippel, Eric, 20, 98, 250 Voting, electronic, 403-415, 469, 686-689 Vouching for others, network of, 653 W WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link), 636 Walter, Benjamin, 530 Walzer, Michael, 508 Watchdog functionality, 425, 467-472 Watts, Duncan, 454 Weak ties of online relations, 638, 644 Web, 387-391, 392, 437, 448, 463, 753, 759, 791 backbone sites, 448-450, 463-464 browser wars, 759-761 domain name addresses, 753-758 linking as trespass, 791-795 power law distribution of Web site connections, 437-466 quoting from other sites, 392 Weber, Steve, 205 Welfare, 255, 297, 427, 542, 550, 555, 568 commons-based research, 568-583 commons-based strategies, 550-554 digital divide, 427 freedom from constraint, 297-299 information-based advantages, 555-562 liberal theories of justice, 542-549 see also justice and human development, 542 Well-being, 50 Wellman, Barry, 45, 642, 644, 650 Westinghouse, 346-347, 350-351 Wet-lab science, peer production of, 622-623 Wikibooks project, 201 Wikipedia project, 140-148, 205, 519 Barbie doll content, 519-521 Wikis as social software, 659-663 Williamson, Oliver, 120 Winner, Langdon, 45 Wired communications, 290, 704 market structure of, 290 policy on, 704-708 Wireless communications, 177-179, 289, 392, 437, 448, 463, 709, 715, 753, 759, 791 backbone sites, 448-450, 463-464 browser wars, 759-761 domain name addresses, 753-758 linking as trespass, 791-795 municipal broadband initiatives, 715-717 open networks, 709-714 power law distribution of Web site connections, 437-466 privatization vs. commons, 289-292 quoting from other sites, 392 Writable Web, 388-391 Written communications as platform for human connection, 655-656 X Y Z Zipf, George, 441 Zittrain, Jonathan, 477

 

pages: 122 words: 19,807

Tmux: Productive Mouse-Free Development by Brian P. Hogan

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en.wikipedia.org, Skype, web application

It was actually my first introduction to tmux, and I immediately saw the potential as my friend walked me through using its various features. Pair programming has a lot of great benefits. Working with another developer can help you see things you might not have seen on your own, but unless you’re physically in the same location, pair programming can be somewhat difficult. Screen-sharing through iChat, Skype, or even GoToMeeting takes up a lot of bandwidth and can be dodgy when you’re not using the best network connection. In this chapter, we’ll explore using tmux for pair programming, so you can work remotely with another developer on even the slowest hotel Wi-Fi connection. There are two ways to work with remote users. The first method involves creating a new user account that you and others share.

 

pages: 204 words: 67,922

Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got From the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley

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3D printing, call centre, clean water, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

During the 1990s, she traveled in the backseat of the car on family trips with her laptop humming, the power cord hooked into the cigarette lighter, and a black metal rectangular box clipped onto the screen, dashing off e-mails in real time Awhile chatting on another black boxlike cell phone. The laptop clip-on was called “Ricochet,” a product that used radio networks to provide linkage to the Internet as we sped through California’s Santa Clara Valley before the advent of GPRS (Internet service) on BlackBerries and Treos. A few years later, she became an early adopter of Skype—the Internet-based phone system— so that she could video-conference with Australia (her home continent), the UK, and Belgium about various projects. When our son would wet his bed, he would wander out to a blazingly lit living room to find his mother discussing project proposals for cageless zoos, color-coded interactive parking lots, and upside-down tree plantings with various collaborators around the globe.

Or maybe we just want to escape the chaos of home life, as some sociologists have suggested, and find work to be a calming refuge from the demands of kids and spouses (home offices, of course, threw a wrench into that plan).35 After all, working on solving a software problem for our employer (or for our online, open-source community) may feel a lot more rewarding than taking out the garbage, doing the shopping, or scrubbing the oven. Perhaps, then, we may stay late at the office so we can browse eBay—and avoid having to do the laundry in the process. Or instant-message with old flames on Skype while toggling over to finish up a dreadful report due on our boss’s desk the next morning. Or maybe we just sneak off, excusing ourselves prematurely from the family “dinner” in order to write that report in the den—the same report we should have been working on all day when instead we were e-mailing. Whatever the reasons for our longer hours of paid (or unpaid) productive labor, the result is a blurring of the line between work and leisure.

 

pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

As for the cinema, which was itself swallowed up by televisual prostheses like videocassette recorders (VCRs), DVRs, and DVDs, the computer simulates it, migrates it online, chops it into YouTube segments, has it pirated on peer-to-peer networks, and shoots, stores, and projects it digitally. When computers simulate telephones, everything becomes available from the free Internet calling on services like Skype to mobile tele/computing hybrids like the iPhone. When we are talking about communication devices, simulation engenders participation. After establishing communication between machines, between machines and people, and between people themselves, the next step is to allow the user to make 15 CHAPTER 2 something and then put it out into the network, where others will be able (and more crucially willing) to download that which has been uploaded.

., 11 Royal Dutch Shell, 112, 112–113 Royal Library of Alexandria, 89 R-PR (Really Public Relations), xvi, 123–127 RSS feeds, xvii Rumsfeld, Donald, 99 Running room, 74–77 Run time, 57 212 INDEX environmental perception and, 16 memes and, 19, 53–54, 76, 87, 91, 98, 113, 143–144, 149–150, 156–162, 165–170, 178, 194n1 mimicry and, xvii MP3s and, 27 participation and, 15–17 stickiness and, 15–19, 27, 32, 35 unimodernism and, 39, 49, 53–54, 57, 71–76 Sinatra, Frank, 63 Skype, 15 Skyscrapers, xiv Slow movements, 5–7, 181n7 Slurpees, 4 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana), 62 Smith & Hawken, 113 Snakes on a Plane (film), 30 Snow White (Disney film), 20 Social issues advertisement and, 23, 52, 57, 59, 107, 175–177, 184nn12,15 Aquarians and, xv, 144, 152, 157, 159–169 atomic age and, xi (see also Atomic age) Berlin Wall and, 85, 97, 99, 104 bespoke futures and, xvi, 97–139 blogosphere and, xvii, 30, 34, 49, 68, 80, 92–93, 101, 175, 177, 181n7 capitalism and, 4, 13, 66, 75, 90, 97–100, 103–105 capitulationism and, 7, 24, 182n1 cell phones and, xiii, 23, 42, 53, 56, 76, 101 Communism and, 97–98, 103 computers and, xvi, 5, 15–19 (see also Computers) Cuban Missile Crisis and, xi dangers of overabundance and, 7–10 desk jobs and, 3 89/11 and, xvi, 97, 100–102, 105, 130 Enlightenment and, xvi, 129–139 Sacred texts, 28 Saint Laurent, Yves, 60 Saks Fifth Avenue, 31 Samizdat, 59 Scenario planning bespoke futures and, 111–119, 191n19, 192n20 chaos theory and, 117–119 crafting of, 113–116 Ogilvy and, 113–114 Schwartz and, 113–114 Scènes de la vie Bohème (Murger), 61 Schindler, Rudolph, 45 Schrödinger, Erwin, 49 Schwartz, Peter, 113–115, 119 Scott, Ridley, 107 Scratching, 53 Searchers, 167, 177–178 Brin and, 144, 174–176 description of term, xv–xvi Page and, 144, 174–176 Sears, 103–105 September 11, 2001, xvi–xvii, 99–101, 130 SETI@home, 122 Sex, 7, 19, 88, 129–130, 167 Shakespeare, William, 28, 44 Shannon, Claude, 148 Shockley, William, 156 Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, 156 Silicon Valley, 149, 161, 164 Silly Symphonies (Disney film), 88 Simon, John, Jr., 39 Simulation, xvi, 2, 11 affordances and, 16–17 bespoke futures and, 98, 121, 124, 126–127 buttons/knobs and, 16 communication devices and, 15–16 culture machine and, 143–144, 147– 152, 156–160, 166–168, 175–178 downloading and, 143, 168 emulation and, 183n3 213 INDEX Social issues (continued) figure/ground and, xvi, 42–43, 46, 102 folksonomies and, 80–81 hackers and, 22–23, 54, 67, 69, 162, 170–173 Holocaust and, 107 Hosts and, xv, 144, 167, 175 hypercontexts and, xvi, 7, 48, 76–77 information overload and, 22, 149 MaSAI and, xvi, 112, 120–123, 127, 193nn32 meaningfulness and, xvi, 14, 17, 20, 23–29, 42, 67, 77, 79, 119, 123, 128–129, 133, 173 narrative and, xv, 2, 7–8, 58–59, 67, 71, 76, 108, 110, 130–132, 143– 145, 174, 178, 180n4, 188n25, 193n34 personal grounding and, xiv–xv play and, xvi, 13, 15, 32–34, 39, 53, 55, 62, 64, 67–77, 85, 88, 110–111, 130–131, 143, 153, 160–163, 185n22, 188n25 Plutocrats and, xv, 144, 152–159, 163–166, 170 plutopian meliorism and, xvi, 127–129, 133, 137–138 power and, xvi, 8, 13, 17, 22 (see also Power) relationship with data and, 32 religion and, xi, 1, 13, 76, 130–135, 138 R-PR (Really Public Relations) and, xvi, 123–127 Searchers and, xv–xvi, 144, 167, 174–178 suburbs and, 3, 8 television and, xii (see also Television) terrorism and, 99–101, 130–131, 134, 137 unfinish and, xvi, 34–37, 51, 67, 70, 76–79, 92, 127–129, 136 urban planning and, 84–86 utopia and, 36, 73, 97, 101, 104, 108, 110, 120, 127–129, 138 wants vs. needs and, 13, 37, 57 wicked problems and, 158 World War I era and, 21, 107, 123, 146, 190n1 World War II era and, xi, 18, 25, 32, 47, 73, 107–108, 144–150, 157, 170 Socialists, 102–105 Software platforms, 15, 164, 170 Sontag, Susan, 135 Sopranos, The (TV show), 7 Soundscapes, 53–55 Soviet Union, 31, 85, 88, 146 Berlin Wall and, 85, 97, 99, 104 Cuban Missile Crisis and, xi Exhibition of the Achievement of the Soviet People’s Economy (VDNX) and, 102–105 fall of, 104 gulags of, 107 samizdat and, 59 unimodernism and, 49–52, 73 Space Invaders, 71 Spacewar!

 

pages: 265 words: 74,000

The Numerati by Stephen Baker

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Berlin Wall, Black Swan, business process, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, Drosophila, full employment, illegal immigration, index card, Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, McMansion, natural language processing, PageRank, personalized medicine, recommendation engine, RFID, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Again, what researchers learn here can be boiled down to the mathematics of human communication and organization across networks. Does Al Qaeda follow similar patterns? JUST AS OUR experience on the Internet is moving beyond the written word, so is the data pouring into NSA computers. Much of it arrives as spoken voices, images, and video. It might be a face in a crowd in Baghdad, or perhaps a raspy voice giving orders in Farsi from a Skype account somewhere in the Horn of Africa. To mine this outpouring of data, machines must make sense of the words we speak in scores of languages. They must learn to pick out one or two faces from six billion others. To extend their nets into sounds and images, the counterterrorists need new technologies. Researchers around the world, many of them scooping up rich government grants, are busy assembling them.

Over the course of an entire school year, this data would show the researchers not only where the students went and how they communicated with each other, but also who they circulated with, and even who they were spending the night with. This was a privacy invasion huge enough to agitate a congressional oversight committee. But all of Eagle's subjects signed lengthy consent forms. By the time I catch up to Eagle, he's living on the coast of Kenya, working on an education project. Our Skype connection fails, so we chat online. He tells me that he's watching turtles swimming in to lay their eggs on the beach below, where they're hard-pressed to protect them from local poachers. "You can get six shillings for these eggs in town," he writes. I nudge him toward faraway Cambridge, and he tells me about his experiment. Over the school year, he says, it became easy to see that the two groups of subjects—the business school students and the engineers—moved in different patterns.

 

pages: 189 words: 64,571

The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager

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asset allocation, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, index card, job satisfaction, late fees, mortgage debt, new economy, payday loans, Skype, upwardly mobile, Zipcar

Bill Gates, watch your back, there’s a cheapskate on your tail. Free meals for the kids (MyKidsEatFree.com): A nationwide directory of thousands of restaurants where kids can eat for free when accompanied by an adult. Free audio books (LibriVox.org): Volunteers record books found in the public domain (i.e., no longer covered by copyright), and you can download their recordings from this nonprofit website. Free calling (Skype.com): Use Skype software and worldwide computer-to-computer calling is free. Another cheap—but not free—favorite is the $40 magicJack device (magicJack.com) that plugs into the USB port on your computer and allows you to make unlimited local and domestic long-distance calls for $20 a year. Free foreign languages (bbc.co.uk/languages): Jumpstart your training in a wide range of foreign languages using these online audio and visual teaching tools, compliments of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

 

pages: 259 words: 73,193

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

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4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test

Forster published a smart little story called “The Machine Stops,” in which the web does drop away. In Forster’s vision of the future, humans live below the surface of the earth, happily isolated in hexagonal rooms like bees in a massive hive. They each know thousands of people but are disgusted by the thought of physical interaction (shades of social media). People communicate through “plates” (they Skype, essentially), and all human connection is conducted through the technological grace of what’s simply called the Machine, a massive networked piece of technology that supplies each person with pacifying entertainment and engaging electronic connections with other people. The Machine does not transmit “nuances of expression,” but gives “a general ideal of people” that’s “good enough for all practical purposes.”

(Capek), 56–57 Russell, Bertrand, 195 Sabinus, Calvisius, 143–45 Sas, Corina, 156 Science, 142 Scoville, William Beecher, 138 search engines, 142–43, 146 Second Life, 104 Seed, 105 Seife, Charles, 145, 146 Sejong, 12n self-documentation, 68–71 selfies, 68 Seneca, 118, 143–44, 203–4 senses, 161, 179, 205 synesthesia and, 62–63 Sergeant Star, 59–60 Sesame Street, 1–2, 3 sex, 104, 164–77 pornography, 83, 88, 168, 169, 174 Shallows, The (Carr), 38, 86 Shaw, George Bernard, 57 Shelley, Mary, 56 Skinner, B. F., 114 Skype, 106 Sloth Club, 204 Slowness (Kundera), 184 Small, Gary, 10–11, 37–38 smartphones, see phones Smith, Gordon, 186 “smupid” thinking, 185–86 Snapchat, 168 social media, 19, 48, 55, 106, 150–51, 175 Socrates, 32–33, 40 solitude, 8, 14, 39, 46, 48, 188, 193, 195, 197, 199 Songza, 90–91, 125 Space Weather, 107 Squarciafico, Hieronimo, 33, 35 Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE), 94 Stanford University, 94–97 Statistics Canada, 174 sticklebacks, 124 Stone, Linda, 10, 169 Storr, Anthony, 203 stress hormones, 10 Study in Scarlet, A (Doyle), 147–48 suicide, 53–54, 63, 67 of Clementi, 63, 67 of Todd, 50–52, 67 sun, 107–9 surveillance, 66n synesthesia, 62–63 Tamagotchis, 29–30 technologies, 7, 18, 20, 21, 99, 179, 188, 192, 200, 203, 205, 206 evolution of, 43 Luddites and, 208 penetration rates of, 31 technology-based memes (temes), 42–44 Technopoly (Postman), 98 television, 7, 17, 27, 31, 69, 120 attention problems and, 121 temes (technology-based memes), 42–44 text messaging, 28, 30–31, 35–36, 100, 169, 192–94 Thamus, King, 32–33, 35, 98, 141, 145 Thatcher, Margaret, 74 theater reviews, 81–84, 88–89 Thompson, Clive, 141–42, 144–45 Thoreau, Henry David, 22, 113, 197–200, 202, 204 Thrun, Sebastian, 97 Thurston, Baratunde, 191 Time, 154 Timehop, 148–51, 160 Tinbergen, Niko, 124 Todd, Amanda, 49–53, 55, 62, 67, 70–72 Todd, Carol, 51–52, 71–72 Tolle, Eckhart, 102 Tolstoy, Leo: Anna Karenina, 125–26 War and Peace, 115, 116, 118, 120, 122–26, 128–29, 131–33, 135, 136 To Save Everything, Click Here (Morozov), 55 touch-sensitive displays, 27 train travel, 200–202 Transcendental Meditation (TM), 76–78 TripAdvisor, 92 Trollope, Anthony, 47–48 Trussler, Terry, 172 Turing, Alan, 60, 61, 67, 68, 186, 190 Turing test, 60–61 Turkle, Sherry, 30, 55–56, 103–4 Twain, Mark, 73 Twitch.tv, 104 Twitter, 9, 31, 46, 63, 149 Udacity, 97 Uhls, Yalda T., 69 Unbound Publishing, 88 Understanding Media (McLuhan), 14 University of Guelph, 53 Valmont, Sebastian, 166 Vancouver, 3–4 Vancouver, 8–11, 15 Vaughn, Vince, 89 Vespasiano da Bisticci, 33 video games, 32, 104 Virtual Self, The (Young), 68, 71 Voltaire, 83 Walden (Thoreau), 113, 198–200 Wales, Jimmy, 77 Walker, C.

 

pages: 260 words: 76,223

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. by Mitch Joel

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, call centre, clockwatching, cloud computing, Firefox, future of work, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, WikiLeaks

Who runs a business out of their apartment? Is that even legal? The constant hum of music, the muted bumps from the Embody office chair as it rolls across the floor, and the 3:32 a.m. sounds from the gourmet coffee machine. Oh, and let’s not forget about the heated debates that creep through the walls of the apartment and seep into the neighbors’ space—the conversations that seem to increase in volume and frustration when the video Skype call fails. Why doesn’t this guy just go to an office during the day like the rest of us? THIS IS THE STORY OF MARCO ARMENT… Marco Arment is changing the face of business forever with his computer, smartphone, home office, and one new user after another. What does the near future of business look like? If Arment has anything to do with it, it may well look like his Manhattan apartment. Arment had it all and tossed it all away for something else.

Their major concerns used to be voice usage and churn. But Cisco is now predicting that mobile data use worldwide is poised to grow to more than twenty times the current usage by 2015. It would be interesting to see what the prediction is for voice. As we get more and more connected, not only do email, text messaging, and chat start chewing into the voice usage, but it’s clear that FaceTime, Google Hangouts, mobile Skype, and other soon-to-follow products could make voice calls as relevant as sending a letter in the mail (with all due respect to the pains that the postal industry is currently facing). So where’s the true purgatory in all of this? Mobile networks versus Wi-Fi versus telecommunications companies. Interoperable devices. Apple versus Android versus RIM versus Microsoft versus everyone else. Where do Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and other “handset” companies fit in?

 

pages: 244 words: 82,548

Here I Am: The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer by Alan Huffman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

blood diamonds, British Empire, friendly fire, illegal immigration, Skype

He phoned Peter Bouckaert at Human Rights Watch, unaware that he was a friend of Hetherington and Brown, and told him he was preparing to leave Misrata “because I don’t want to fight for a space with these people.” Once the photographers arrived at the media center, Hondros uploaded his photos to Getty while the others checked e-mail and Martin “got all domestic,” as he put it—took a shower and changed into some dry clothes. After his shower, Martin sat on a small couch, downloading and backing up his photos and Skyping with his partner back in Budapest, Polly Fields. Occasionally Hetherington “would literally throw himself down and peer over my computer and comment about what I was doing,” Martin said. Without a laptop or a digital camera, Hetherington had time to kill. He did have his iPhone with him, and Michael Brown had, in Martin’s words, “made a splash with his,” selling Hipstamatic-enhanced iPhone photos to National Geographic and other magazines.

I have attempted to corroborate everything recounted here through related interviews, published accounts, and other sources. I have also drawn extensively from transcripts of Sebastian Junger’s interviews for his documentary film, which he very generously shared with me, as well as from his book War and from James Brabazon’s memoir My Friend the Mercenary. I conducted my interviews face to face, primarily in New York City and Misrata, and over the phone, via Skype, and through e-mail. I also drew from my own experiences in Monrovia, Liberia and from my personal conversations with Tim. Quotes from all interviews are verbatim, when accompanied by quotation marks, with the exception of some that were quoted by other published sources, which I am not in a position to verify, and of others that have been edited in small ways, such as by the deletion of repetitive filler words (“um” and “like”), conversational breaks that are needlessly disruptive in print.

 

pages: 326 words: 74,433

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

augmented reality, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software as a service, Steve Jobs

This is really easy for me because I'm a cheap bastard. The Cheezburger Network serves over 10 million page views every day. Luckily for me, I have no idea how many servers it takes to do that. The reason is because we use WordPress (free!) to host our content. We also use YouTube (free!) to host our videos. We share information in the company using Google Apps (free!) and every day I jump on Skype to talk (free!) and videoconference (free!) with people around the world. We use dozens of open source applications (free!) to run our business. Our philosophy is to outsource everything that we're not great at to someone who is a proven and scalable leader, preferably without paying them. Because we have this philosophy, our developers get to spend 90 percent of their time doing something valuable instead of chasing down complexity.

The more complicated you make your business, the harder it is to expand it. So stick with proven solutions and keep it simple. You may have to give up a few features here and there, but you'll be more nimble as a company. By using what's free and avoiding complexity, you'll find that you can do more faster. Every great startup entrepreneur uses the tools Ben mentions and more. In addition to WordPress, YouTube, Google Apps, and Skype, the TechStars companies told us that they routinely use the following free or very inexpensive products: Balsamiq for screen prototyping DimDim for web meetings DropBox for file storage and sharing Evernote for organizing tidbits of information Gist for keeping on top of your contacts GitHub for source code sharing Jing for screencasting MogoTest (TechStars 2009) for making sure your applications look great on every browser Pivotal Tracker for issue tracking SendGrid (TechStars 2009) for e-mail delivery SnapABug (TechStars 2009) for chatting with customers who visit your web site Twilio for audio conferencing and phone and SMS services Vanilla (TechStars 2009) for hosting a great forum for your community Be Tiny Until You Shouldn't Be Jeffrey Powers Jeffrey is a co-founder of Occipital, which uses state of the art computer vision in mobile applications for faster information capture and retrieval.

 

pages: 270 words: 64,235

Effective Programming: More Than Writing Code by Jeff Atwood

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, endowment effect, Firefox, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, gravity well, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Merlin Mann, Minecraft, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, price anchoring, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, science of happiness, Skype, social software, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator

Never underestimate the power of actually talking to another human being. I know, I know, the whole reason we got into this programming thing was to avoid talking to other people, but bear with me here. You can’t be face to face on a remote team without flying 6-plus hours, and who the heck has that kind of time? I’ve got work I need to get done! Well, the next best thing to hopping on a plane is to fire up Skype and have a little voice chat. Easy peasy. All that human nuance which is totally lost in faceless ASCII characters (yes, even with our old pal *<:-)) will come roaring back if you regularly schedule voice chats. I recommend at least once a week at an absolute minimum; they don’t have to be long meetings, but it sure helps in understanding the human being behind all those awesome check-ins. Nobody hates meetings and process claptrap more than I do, but there is a certain amount of process you’ll need to keep a bunch of loosely connected remote teams and developers in sync.

We walked the list of everything we could think of to solve it, and then some: swapping network ports replacing network cables a different switch multiple versions of the network driver tweaking OS and driver level network settings simplifying our network configuration and removing TProxy for more traditional X-FORWARDED-FOR switching virtualization providers changing our TCP/IP host model getting Kernel hotfixes and applying them involving high-level vendor support teams some other stuff that I’ve now forgotten because I blacked out from the pain At one point in this saga our team almost came to blows because we were so frustrated. (Well, as close to “blows” as a remote team can get over Skype, but you know what I mean.) Can you blame us? Every few days, one of our servers — no telling which one — would randomly wink off the network. The Chaos Monkey strikes again! Even in our time of greatest frustration, I realized that there was a positive side to all this: Where we had one server performing an essential function, we switched to two. If we didn’t have a sensible fallback for something, we created one.

 

pages: 245 words: 72,391

Alan Partridge: Nomad: Nomad by Alan Partridge

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

cuban missile crisis, glass ceiling, rolodex, Skype, University of East Anglia

[I pause to remove my spectacles, pinch the bridge of my nose between finger and thumb and carefully choose the correct word] . . . awkwardness. We live in a post-Yewtree age. Now, this is an uncomfortable thing to discuss, but I run towards discomfort like a man who has strapped truth explosives to his body and made his peace with God. And I’m saying that broadcasters are now deeply, deeply wary of any interaction with children. Some of our Sunday Skype