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Talk Is Cheap: Switching to Internet Telephones by James E. Gaskin
There may be a reason SkypeOut support appears at the top of the Skype "Getting Help for Skype" page on their web site. When you can't get satisfaction, especially when dealing with Moneybookers, join many others with similar tales of woe in the Skype Forums. It won't solve your problem, but at least you won't feel alone. Skype does an excellent job using animation on their web site to help new users configure Skype and their computers to support Skype. Go to www.skype.com/help/guides/ to start one of the dozen animations and see for yourself how to handle configuration issues. The primary Skype support forum (forum.skype.com/viewforum.php?f=2) includes thousands of user questions. I can't decide if it's good that so many people go to the source to find solutions, or if it's bad because so many people have trouble. But Skype claims over 20 million registered users, so a few thousand messages in the help forum constitutes a tiny user percentage.
There may be a reason SkypeOut support appears at the top of the Skype "Getting Help for Skype" page on their web site. When you can't get satisfaction, especially when dealing with Moneybookers, join many others with similar tales of woe in the Skype Forums. It won't solve your problem, but at least you won't feel alone. Skype does an excellent job using animation on their web site to help new users configure Skype and their computers to support Skype. Go to www.skype.com/help/guides/ to start one of the dozen animations and see for yourself how to handle configuration issues. The primary Skype support forum (forum.skype.com/viewforum.php?f=2) includes thousands of user questions. I can't decide if it's good that so many people go to the source to find solutions, or if it's bad because so many people have trouble. But Skype claims over 20 million registered users, so a few thousand messages in the help forum constitutes a tiny user percentage.
Be aware the level of standardization taken for granted with PCs running Windows software does not yet extend to the Pocket PC world. Skype's Pocket PC forums are full of unlucky customers searching for the right Pocket PC operating system, Wi-Fi support, and Skype software version to get full functionality. Bluetooth headsets introduce another level of complexity into the equation. While handy, and sometimes the only way to get a microphone input for some Pocket PC models, finding the right combination of headset, Pocket PC, and Skype version for that Pocket PC can be tough. Manage your expectations with Skype for Pocket PC. The list of models with successful Skype support isn't long but is growing. Unfortunately, Skype does not list "approved" models but instead points customers back to the requirements list. If you're planning to buy a Pocket PC for Skype use, go to the Skype Pocket PC forum (forum.skype.com/viewforum.php?
The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun
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, post-work, 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, zero-sum game
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.
Travel While You Work: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Business From Anywhere by Mish Slade
Airbnb, Atul Gawande, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Inbox Zero, job automation, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Lyft, remote working, side project, Skype, speech recognition, turn-by-turn navigation, uber lyft
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.
Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert
4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day
McChesney, “No Tolls on the Internet,” Washington Post, June 8, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/07/AR2006060702108.html; and Milton Mueller, Net Neutrality as Global Principle for Internet Governance (Syracuse: Internet Governance Project, 2007). 3 The Chinese version of Skype: The TOM-Skype investigation is documented in Nart Villeneuve, “Breaching Trust: An Analysis of Surveillance and Security Practices on China’s TOM-Skype Platform,” Information Warfare Monitor, September 2009, http://www.infowar-monitor.net/2009/09/breaching-trust-an-analysis-of-surveillance-and-security-practices-on-china’s-tom-skype-platform/. See also John Markoff, “Surveillance of Skype Messages Found in China,” New York Times, October 1, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/technology/internet/02skype.html?pagewanted=all. Years after the release of the Citizen Lab’s TOM-Skype research, researchers from the University of New Mexico found the exact same content-filtering and interception system on TOM-Skype. Their research is documented in Jedidiah R.
Unless one has an advanced legal degree, these documents are intimidating: tens of thousands of words in fine print, with exceptions and caveats that provide enormously wide latitude for what companies can do. Faced with this word-soup, most of us just click “I agree.” What we are agreeing to might surprise us. Skype users, for instance, might be alarmed to find out that when they click on “I agree” to the terms of service they are assigning to Skype the right to change these terms at any time, at Skype’s discretion, and without notice. Skype does not inform users about whether and under what conditions it will share user data with law enforcement or other government agencies. Users might not know that while they can stop using Skype, they cannot delete their accounts: Skype does not allow it. The Internet is sometimes described as a massively decentralized and distributed “network of networks,” a virtual place where information from everywhere is concentrated and accessible to all, an egalitarian thing of beauty.
In 2008, as previously mentioned, the Citizen Lab’s Nart Villeneuve discovered that there was a content filtering system on the Chinese version of Skype. Called “TOM-Skype,” it is a joint venture between Skype (which at the time was owned by eBay, but is now owned by Microsoft) and the Chinese media conglomerate, the TOM Group. The Citizen Lab looked into TOM-Skype’s content filtering mechanism, and found that each time certain keywords were typed into the chat window a hidden connection was made. We followed that hidden electronic trail, apparent only through detailed packet capture analysis, to a server in China which, it turned out, had a directory that was not password protected. It contained a voluminous number of encrypted files, plus the decryption key. Upon decrypting the data, we discovered that TOM-Skype had been systematically intercepting and monitoring millions of private chats, triggered whenever any of the users typed in a banned keyword.
The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom
Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, peer-to-peer, 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.
How to Be the Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Tim Draper
3D printing, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, business climate, carried interest, connected car, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fiat currency, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game
Neither of us knew how big Skype video would become, and how great a communications tool it would be, and how much freer the world would be because of it, but we knew that the world would never be the same. Skype became the largest telecommunications company in the world by most metrics. In 2009, Skype sold out to eBay for $4 billion in cash and eBay shares, and after being briefly held by a private equity firm, was sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion. There have been more than one billion downloads of Skype, over 300 million daily active users, and users have been on Skype for more than one trillion minutes. Skype has had a lasting effect on us all. Estonia became a new entrepreneurial hotspot since the engineers came from there, and that in turn brought on e-Governance there (more on that later). From viral marketing evolved Skype audio calls, video calls, social media, email blasting, marketing magnets, gaming customer rankings on search engines, growth hacking, crowdsourcing, and collaborative marketplaces.
The final nail in the coffin came from one partner who said, “Those guys are outlaws.” Instead of sharing the deal, that first round went exclusively to Dad. The team changed the name to Skype and the peer-to-peer free calls were a hit. The company would give free calls to anyone who had signed up for Skype and charge for calls, both incoming and outgoing, that came from outside the network. The service was taking off. It had over three million users and was running about 100,000 simultaneous audio calls. Skype was now a hot ticket. The company decided to raise more money from venture capitalists, and our partnership was now ready to go in big. It was competitive, because by now many venture capitalists knew about Skype’s newfound ubiquity, but we were lucky that Howard was on our side. He fought hard for us and we invested through our international fund, DFJ ePlanet.
Hundreds of companies now use viral marketing to distribute a wide variety of product categories. Any product that is communications based uses viral marketing. The AT&T Friends and Family marketing program, the LinkedIn network and the Twitter hashtag are some obvious examples. Facebook and Snapchat use viral marketing to share photos. The founders of Skype implemented several viral elements in growing their audio business and even more when Skype video was introduced. The Skype Video Story I was fascinated by the new peer-to-peer technology that allowed people to share files. I met with Napster, Streamcast, and Grokster as I researched the industry. I had gotten the distinct impression that the file-sharing business was pretty much crushed by a powerful and litigious music industry, but I was pretty sure there would be other applications to this revolutionary technology.
Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods by Danna Staaf
May they never again be afflicted with such a “distinctive” experience. 16Vinther, Skype interview with the author, March 15, 2016. 17Vinther, Skype interview with the author, March 15, 2016. 18Robyn Crook and Jennifer Basil, “A Biphasic Memory Curve in the Chambered Nautilus, Nautilus pompilius L. (Cephalopoda: Nautiloidea),” Journal of Experimental Biology 211, no. 12 (2008): 1992–1998. 19Peter Ward, Frederick Dooley, and Gregory Jeff Barord, “Nautilus: Biology, Systematics, and Paleobiology as Viewed from 2015,” Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 135, no. 1 (2016): 169–185. 20Claire Régnier, Guillaume Achaz, Amaury Lambert, et al., “Mass Extinction in Poorly Known Taxa,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 25 (2015): 7761–7766. 21Jocelyn Sessa, Skype interview with the author, January 21, 2016. 22Mariette Le Roux, “Scientists Warn of ‘Deadly Trio’ Risk to Ailing Oceans,” October 3, 2013, https://phys.org/news/2013-10-scientists-deadly-trio-ailing-oceans.html (accessed January 28, 2017). 8.
., “The Devonian Nekton Revolution,” Lethaia 43, no. 4 (2010): 465–477. 2Christian Klug, Phone interview with the author, January 15, 2016. 3Christian Klug, Linda Frey, Dieter Korn, et al., “The Oldest Gondwanan Cephalopod Mandibles (Hangenberg Black Shale, Late Devonian) and the Mid Palaeozoic Rise of Jaws,” Palaeontology 59, no. 5 (2016): 611–629. 4Klug, Phone interview with the author, January 15, 2016. 5Jakob Vinther, Skype interview with the author, March 15, 2016. 6Dieter Korn, Skype interview with the author, January 29, 2016. 7Neil H. Landman, William A. Cobban, and Neal L. Larson, “Mode of Life and Habitat of Scaphitid Ammonites,” Geobios 45, no. 1 (2012): 87–98. 8Mark Norman, Cephalopods: A World Guide (ConchBooks, 2000). This guidebook is packed with gorgeous photographs and includes most of the great cephalopod sex stories: “Breeding Nautiluses,” “Giant Cuttlefish Spawning Grounds,” “Cross-Dressing Cuttlefish” (that’s those sneaker males), “Sperm Wars,” “The Night of Love and Death” (about mass spawning and subsequent death in squid), “Giant Squid Sex,” “Eggs, Brooding and Spawning,” and “Weird Sex” (including that of the argonauts). 9Steve Etches, Jane Clarke, and John Callomon, “Ammonite Eggs and Ammonitellae from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (Upper Jurassic) of Dorset, England,” Lethaia 42, no. 2 (2009): 204–217. 10Royal H.
Wignall, and Grzegorz Racki, “Extent and Duration of Marine Anoxia During the Frasnian–Famennian (Late Devonian) Mass Extinction in Poland, Germany, Austria and France,” Geological Magazine 141, no. 2 (2004): 173–193. 18Robert Lemanis, Dieter Korn, Stefan Zachow, et al., “The Evolution and Development of Cephalopod Chambers and Their Shape,” PloS One 11, no. 3 (2016): e0151404. 19Korn, Skype interview with the author, January 29, 2016. 20David P. G. Bond and Paul B. Wignall, “Large Igneous Provinces and Mass Extinctions: An Update,” Geological Society of America Special Papers 505 (2014): SPE505-02. 21Matthew Clapham, Interview with the author, March 24, 2016. 22For more details about scientific studies on current and projected ocean acidification, visit this beautifully readable site maintained by the Smithsonian Museum’s Ocean Portal: http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-acidification (accessed January 28, 2017). 23Korn, Skype interview with the author, January 29, 2016. 4. The Protean Shell 1R. Granot, “Palaeozoic Oceanic Crust Preserved Beneath the Eastern Mediterranean,” Nature Geoscience 9 (2016): 701–705.
The Icon Handbook by Jon Hicks
While having the hands at the sides looks more correct to those in the West, the hands folded in front conveys warmth and sincerity The bow icon from the smallest (20px) to the largest (80px) notice how details like the hands become just straight rectangles on the smallest version I talked to Mark McLaughlin, the design lead for mobile at Skype, about their side of the process: How many Skype users are there worldwide? had 170 million average monthly connected users for the three months ending 30 June 2011. This excludes users connected via our joint venture partners. How long has Skype had its current emoticons, and what was the reason for the change? Emoticons have been in Skype since the earliest versions of our Windows application, the first appearance of which was an internal build from way back in May 2004. Back then we had just ten in total: The 19-pixel versions had been working out great for years on our desktop applications, but when it came to mobile phones and tablets with touch interfaces and ever increasing screen pixel densities, it was clear that temporary fixes like pixel-doubling them wasn’t going to be sustainable — even more so with the introduction of the iPhone 4’s Retina display.
Summary Now that we’ve looked at all the ways in which icons can be used beyond simple adornment, we can move on to actually creating them… Chapter references International symbol, icon blunders can be avoided http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705370663/International-symbol-icon-blunders-can-be-avoided.html AIGA icons for the Department of Transport http://www.aiga.org/symbol-signs/ McDonald’s Nutrition Icons: http://www.translationdirectory.com/articles/article1387.php http://www.boxercreative.co.uk/our_work/McDonald’s_nutrition.html Skype http://www.telecompaper.com/news/skype-grows-fy-revenues-20-reaches-663-mln-users http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/new-skype-emoticons http://julianfrost.co.nz/things/skype-emoticons/ Chapter 3 Favicons Now we’ll start building up our icon skills, beginning with favicons. Even if you’ve never created any other types of icons before, I’m willing to bet that everyone reading this has at some point made a favicon. For the majority of you, it’s probably a regular task.
The tone of many a potentially insulting paragraph is changed with a wink at the end. Nowhere are emoticons more used than in Japan. They call them emoji (絵文字), a combination of e (絵) ‘picture’ + moji (文字) ‘letter’. They go beyond facial expressions to include objects such as food and hand gestures. It even has a standardised Unicode set of 722 characters. Case study New Skype emoticons With millions of users worldwide, Skype Chat’s emoticons are very widely recognised. Originally designed by Priidu Zilmer when he joined the Skype visual design team in 2004, Hicksdesign and animator Julian Frost were commissioned to update the emoticon set in 2011, and create multiple sizes. As part of the redesign, Zilmer's hidden icon was updated too The original emoticons only existed as 19×19px and, while they had transparent backgrounds, the edges were aliased.
The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data by Kevin Mitnick, Mikko Hypponen, Robert Vamosi
4chan, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, connected car, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Internet of things, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, pattern recognition, ransomware, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, speech recognition, Tesla Model S, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP
Tools like these, which detect the full spectrum of potential cellular threats, were once bought largely by the government—but not anymore. As user-friendly as it is, Skype is not the friendliest when it comes to privacy. According to Edward Snowden, whose revelations were first published in the Guardian, Microsoft worked with the NSA to make sure that Skype conversations could be intercepted and monitored. One document boasts that an NSA program known as Prism monitors Skype video, among other communications services. “The audio portions of these sessions have been processed correctly all along, but without the accompanying video. Now, analysts will have the complete ‘picture’,” the Guardian wrote.17 In March of 2013, a computer-science graduate student at the University of New Mexico found that TOM-Skype, a Chinese version of Skype created through a collaboration between Microsoft and the Chinese company TOM Group, uploads keyword lists to every Skype user’s machine—because in China there are words and phrases you are not permitted to search for online (including “Tiananmen Square”).
Most mobile text apps do not encrypt archived data, either on your device or on a third-party system. Apps such as AIM, BlackBerry Messenger, and Skype all store your messages without encrypting them. That means the service provider can read the content (if it’s stored in the cloud) and use it for advertising. It also means that if law enforcement—or criminal hackers—were to gain access to the physical device, they could also read those messages. Another issue is data retention, which we mentioned above—how long does data at rest stay at rest? If apps such as AIM and Skype archive your messages without encryption, how long do they keep them? Microsoft, which owns Skype, has said that “Skype uses automated scanning within Instant Messages and SMS to (a) identify suspected spam and/or (b) identify URLs that have been previously flagged as spam, fraud, or phishing links.”
Now, analysts will have the complete ‘picture’,” the Guardian wrote.17 In March of 2013, a computer-science graduate student at the University of New Mexico found that TOM-Skype, a Chinese version of Skype created through a collaboration between Microsoft and the Chinese company TOM Group, uploads keyword lists to every Skype user’s machine—because in China there are words and phrases you are not permitted to search for online (including “Tiananmen Square”). TOM-Skype also sends the Chinese government the account holder’s username, the time and date of transmission, and information about whether the message was sent or received by the user.18 Researchers have found that even very high-end videoconferencing systems—the expensive kind, not Skype—can be compromised by man-in-the-middle attacks. That means the signal is routed through someone else before it arrives at your end. The same is true with audio conferences. Unless the moderator has a list of numbers that have dialed in, and unless he has asked to verify any questionable numbers—say, area codes outside the United States—there is no way to prove or determine whether an uninvited party has joined.
European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos
business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, 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.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, fixed income, follow your passion, game design, global village, Iridium satellite, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, Maui Hawaii, oil shock, paper trading, Parkinson's law, passive income, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto, 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.
Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime by Julian Guthrie
Airbnb, Apple II, barriers to entry, blockchain, Bob Noyce, call centre, cloud computing, credit crunch, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, new economy, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, phenotype, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, web application, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce
Zennström was known to hide under his desk whenever an unfamiliar person walked into the unmarked Skype office. Zennström and Friis had been instructed by their lawyers not to travel to the United States. Golden agreed to the stipulation that he would not reveal the founders’ whereabouts at any time. Part of Golden’s job was to evaluate the risks with every deal: What were the risks within the team? Were there technology risks? Were there competitive risks? Were there unique intellectual property risks? “This company has every one of those risks—and more,” Golden told Theresia and Efrusy. Golden had discovered that the core peer-to-peer technology behind Skype was licensed via a company that Zennström and Friis partially controlled. This meant that Skype could not entirely control its own destiny and potentially created conflicts of interest. For Skype not to own or fully control its core intellectual property at this stage was highly unusual for this kind of investment.
In her new role as managing partner, Theresia advised Efrusy on a new company that he was chasing for Accel as a possible investment. The company, offering free phone calls over the Internet, was called Skype. Skype went live for the first time on August 29, 2003, and was an instant hit, attracting close to a million users. Efrusy was one of the first on the team to identify the new peer-to-peer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as a possible game changer. “The challenge,” Theresia told him, “is that there are multiple geographies and multiple complications.” For starters, Skype founders Niklas Zennström of Sweden and Janus Friis of Denmark were in hiding somewhere in Europe to avoid being served with court summonses by U.S. lawyers. Theresia told Efrusy, “You can help us as a principal, but you’ll need to let the Europe guys take the lead.”
For Skype not to own or fully control its core intellectual property at this stage was highly unusual for this kind of investment. With any deal, Golden needed to see how a company “invented” or innovated in some meaningful way to solve a problem or create an opportunity. Golden also learned that the creators of Skype’s VoIP technology were freelance developers rather than employees where all work was clearly owned by the company. Not only that, the ongoing Kazaa litigation created uncertainty over whether the founders would be able to establish Skype in the United States. It was also uncertain how the FCC would rule on VoIP traffic, including issues such as tariffs and law enforcement intercepts. And finally, Skype was registered as a Luxembourg business entity, something Accel hadn’t dealt with before. “This is very unusual and problematic,” Golden noted. Yet emphatic voices in Palo Alto and London were saying that this was just the kind of deal Accel should be doing and desperately needed for its portfolio.
Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase
Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, 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 Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber 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.
The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain
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, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, 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, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, 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, zero-sum game
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).
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald
airport security, anti-communist, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Skype, Ted Kaczynski, WikiLeaks
At the time of its purchase, Microsoft assured users that “Skype is committed to respecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data, traffic, and communications content.” But in fact, this data, too, was readily available to the government. By early 2013, there were multiple messages on the NSA system celebrating the agency’s steadily improving access to the communications of Skype users: Not only was all this collaboration conducted with no transparency, but it contradicted public statements made by Skype. ACLU technology expert Chris Soghoian said the revelations would surprise many Skype customers. “In the past, Skype made affirmative promises to users about their inability to perform wiretaps,” he said. “It’s hard to square Microsoft’s secret collaboration with the NSA with its high-profile efforts to compete on privacy with Google.” In 2012, Microsoft began upgrading its email portal, Outlook.com, to merge all of its communications services—including the widely used Hotmail—into one central program.
The close collaboration between the NSA and private corporations is perhaps best seen in the documents relating to Microsoft, which reveal the company’s vigorous efforts to give the NSA access to several of its most used online services, including SkyDrive, Skype, and Outlook.com. SkyDrive, which allows people to store their files online and access them from various devices, has more than 250 million users worldwide. “We believe it’s important that you have control over who can and cannot access your personal data in the cloud,” Microsoft’s SkyDrive website proclaims. Yet as an NSA document details, Microsoft spent “many months” working to provide the government with easier access to that data: In late 2011, Microsoft purchased Skype, the Internet-based telephone and chat service with over 663 million registered users. At the time of its purchase, Microsoft assured users that “Skype is committed to respecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data, traffic, and communications content.”
I had to stop reading and walk around my house a few times to take in what I had just seen and calm myself enough to focus on reading the files. I went back to my laptop and randomly clicked on the next document, a top secret PowerPoint presentation, entitled “PRISM/US-984XN Overview.” Each page bore the logos of nine of the largest Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Skype, and Yahoo!. The first slides laid out a program under which the NSA had what it called “collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” A graph displayed the dates on which each of these companies had joined the program. Again I became so excited, I had to stop reading. The source also said he was sending me a large file that I would be unable to access until the time was right. I decided to set aside that cryptic though significant statement for the moment, in line with my approach of letting him decide when I got information but also because I was so excited by what I had in front of me.
We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson
4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, 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.
The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-Hackers Is Building the Next Internet With Ethereum by Camila Russo
4chan, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, always be closing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asian financial crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hacker house, Internet of things, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, mobile money, new economy, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X
Wright, thought they should move faster, and when the magazine was almost ready, he started pushing for the first issue to be in print. “Let’s dream big,” he would type into the Bitcoin Magazine Skype chat from his home in South Korea as he was trying to rally the team behind publishing a physical magazine. He got some lukewarm support, but Mihai, who was getting ready to return to Romania after registering the business as Bittalk Media Ltd. in the United Kingdom, argued they didn’t have enough money or experience to do something like that. Thinking that was the end of it, he boarded his flight back to Bucharest and by the time he got to a computer, hundreds of messages on the Skype group had popped up. As he scrolled down, trying to understand what was going on, he clicked on a link, and there it was, a press release stating in bold letters, “The First Issue of Bitcoin Magazine Goes to Print.”
At twenty minutes left, it was time. “Let’s go rob a bank!” Alex said, adrenaline spiking as he pressed the button. But nothing happened. He waited a few seconds, then a minute, and still nothing. “There’s something wrong here, the transaction is not being picked up,” he said, but at the other end of the call, there was silence. He was disconnected. Skype was offline. He opened Google. His computer was offline. After trying to turn his modem on and off, with still nothing, he got back on Skype using his phone connection. “Guys my internet is offline! Can someone take over?” “Let me try!” Griff said. While Alex frantically called his internet service provider, Griff connected to the Ethereum blockchain, but he had to wait until he was in sync with the latest block. “I see we have an internet issue in your neighborhood!”
He contacted the owner of one of the sites he used for downloading poker books to get a better sense of this worldwide community, and that’s when he heard about Bitcoin for the first time. The website’s owner mentioned that many of his clients were paying for goods with a peer-to-peer digital currency that didn’t have to go through banks. It was pseudonymous so, in theory, people behind the transactions were hard to track down. The idea went over Mihai’s head in that Skype call but a few weeks later, lying in bed one afternoon, he remembered that part of the conversation. He started going through all the links Google provided when he searched for more information on this digital cash, and those pages led to more pages, and the search for Bitcoin led to more obscure cryptography terms, and soon he had spent hours reading everything he could. Like so many other Bitcoin enthusiasts, Mihai understood that the great innovation of blockchain technology is that it can cut out the middlemen and pass those savings directly on to the masses.
The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos
AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game
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.
iPad: The Missing Manual, Fifth Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer
Your name appears in Skype’s Contacts list, along with the names of other Skypers you can make calls with. To make a call from Skype, just tap the name of a person (who needs to be online) in your Contacts list. To call a regular phone line, tap the telephone-keypad icon in the toolbar (circled), punch in the numbers, and hit the green Call button. Skype calls are free if they go from computer or iPad to computer or iPad, but Skype charges a bit of coin to jump off the Internet and call a real phone number. The rates are low compared to standard phone services, and it’s a popular way to make cheap overseas calls. For instance, with a $9 monthly subscription, you can make unlimited calls to landlines in Europe (you can choose from more than 20 countries). Check out the prices for Skype’s various calling plans at www.skype.com.
In the FaceTime settings (shown at right), you can also log out and switch to a different Apple ID, add additional email addresses to receive FaceTime calls, and change the “Caller ID” address that appears on your pal’s screen when you ring in. Use Skype to Make Internet Calls THE IPAD ISN’T AN iPhone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make telephone calls with it. Well, certain kinds of calls, specifically VoIP calls. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It’s a technology that basically turns Internet wires into telephone wires—and your iPad into a giant, ad-hoc iPhone. With special software and a microphone, VoIP lets you place calls from computer to computer or even from computer to regular phone. And with programs like Skype, you can place calls from iPad to iPad, iPad to computer, or iPad to phone. Best of all, you can get Skype for free in the App Store. To use Skype, you need to set up an account with the service. It’s sort of like setting up an instant-messaging program.
Check out the prices for Skype’s various calling plans at www.skype.com. Skype can be a great way to keep up with the folks back in the Old Country on the cheap, but call quality can vary. The Internet can be a very busy network, which can affect the fidelity of the voice signals. Tip With an iPad 2 or 2012 iPad and the latest version of Skype, you can make video calls with pals running the app on a camera-equipped iPhone, computer, or tablet. And if all your pals have iOS devices or Macs, you can use Apple’s FaceTime app for video calls too, as Make Video Calls with FaceTime explains. Travel Internationally with the iPad NEED TO POP ACROSS the pond for a meeting in London or a vacation in Berlin? If you have a Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad, you can harness your tablet to a local cellular network for those times when there’s just no WiFi wave to be found.
What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers
Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, hedonic treadmill, 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, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer rental, 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.
Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, social intelligence, 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, Year of Magical Thinking
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.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce
The leader’s message provides an overarching vision to start the car, and the user’s story offers an emotional appeal that steps on the accelerator. At Skype, Josh Silverman knew the best way to activate the go system wasn’t through his words alone. After talking about how Skype enabled his own children to have a deep personal relationship with their grandparents despite living eight time zones apart, he breathed life into the vision by giving the floor to Skype users as a regular feature of his all-hands meetings. A married couple shared how they survived a yearlong separation during their engagement “only thanks to daily talks on Skype.” A serviceman spoke about how Skype had allowed him to maintain a close relationship with his children while serving in Iraq; they even opened Christmas presents together.
“Bringing the customer into the room connected them to the mission, and reached their hearts and minds,” Silverman says. “It helped employees see what a difference we could make in the world.” As they grasped that Skype was about connecting people, the team’s anxiety gave way to excitement. Inspired to build a video feature that would enable more meaningful conversations, they shipped Skype 4.0 on schedule with high-quality, full-screen video calls. Soon, Skype was adding about 380,000 users per day; by the end of the last quarter of the year, more than a third of the 36.1 billion computer-to-computer minutes spent on Skype were video calls. Less than three years after Silverman shared his vision and brought in users to inspire the team, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion, a 300 percent climb in value. In Serbia, Srdja Popovic and his friends launched the Otpor! revolution by outsourcing inspiration.
Not every group has succeeded, but we can learn a lot from Popovic’s approaches to conquering fear, overcoming apathy, and channeling anger. His first step mirrors how a technology leader dealt with fear among his employees. Outsourcing Inspiration When Josh Silverman took the reins of Skype in February 2008, the company was facing significant challenges. Employee morale was plummeting as the company was failing to maintain the explosive growth that Skype had experienced after pioneering free computer-to-computer calls and cheap long-distance calls between phones and computers. Silverman decided to make a big bet on an original feature: full-screen video calls. In April, he announced a moon-shot goal to release Skype 4.0 with the video feature by the end of the year. “The emotion among many employees was passionately negative. A lot of people thought it was too big a change, and we were going to kill the company,” Silverman recalls.
The Website Investor: The Guide to Buying an Online Website Business for Passive Income by Jeff Hunt
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.
The Globotics Upheaval: Globalisation, Robotics and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin
agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer vision, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, future of journalism, future of work, George Gilder, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, post-work, profit motive, remote working, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, universal basic income
You fire up the app on your smartphone and point your phone’s camera at a page of, say, French, and you see the English translation on your phone’s screen. Instant and free. YouTube has instant machine translation for many foreign-language YouTube videos. You just go to the settings “gear,” click on captions, and choose “auto-caption.” Instant, free spoken translation is also possible with the add-on option Skype Translator. This will allow you to understand foreign-language speakers you are Skyping with. It is not perfect, but being able to Skype freely with someone who doesn’t speak your language is nothing short of marvelous. Microsoft and Amazon have entered the race as well. Microsoft is using its digital assistant, Cortana, to allow users to speak in any of twenty languages and have the results appear as text in up to sixty different languages. Its email app, Outlook, added an instant translation add-in in 2018.
In particular, doctors find that their words carry more authority with patients when they are talking via a telepresence robot instead of normal video Skype, or over the phone. While telepresence robots are useful for many interactions, a static form of telepresence technology is transforming the ease of holding meetings over long distances. Fixed Telepresence Systems Telepresence systems—a static version of EmBot, if you will—are already widely used by big banks, consultancies, law firms, and governments. The high-end systems are still expensive. Telepresence rooms can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But as the digital laws advance and construction moves into mass production, telepresence will get much cheaper and more mobile. It will accelerate the trend toward telemigration. Think of standard telepresence as extremely good Skype—but so much better that it becomes a new experience.
We cannot know what new jobs will be, but by studying the competitive advantage of AI and RI, we can say quite a bit about what sheltered jobs will look like in the future. By taking a close look at what RI does well, it is clear that the jobs that survive competition from telemigrants will be those that require face-to-face interactions. Psychologists have studied why in-person meetings are so different than email, phone, or Skype. The “secret sauce” for why real face time is so much more valuable is complex, and based on evolutionary forces that shaped our brains over millions of years. While digitech is creating ever better substitutes for being there, it seems that for many years, “being there” will still matter for some types of work-place tasks. The jobs that survive and the new ones that arise will involve a lot of such tasks.
Don't Trust, Don't Fear, Don't Beg: The Extraordinary Story of the Arctic 30 by Ben Stewart
‘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.
The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson
"side hustle", Airbnb, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, 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, Marc Andreessen, 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, uber 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.
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg, Justin Mares
Airbnb, Firefox, if you build it, they will come, jimmy wales, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, side project, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, the payments system, Uber for X, web application, working poor, Y Combinator
If you have a subscription product, ask them to upgrade to annual billing, which guarantees they will not cancel within the next year. Similarly, if you run a scaled pricing business (e.g., you pay $9/month for five users, $20/month for ten users, and so on), you can set up special emails for customers nearing their plan limits and ask them to upgrade. When you’re about to run out of Skype credits, Skype will email you asking you to re-up or upgrade to a subscription service. EMAIL MARKETING FOR REFERRALS Due to the personal nature of email, it is also excellent for generating customer referrals. If a friend emails you to tell you about a new product she is enjoying, you’re far more likely to try it than if you saw her mention it briefly on Facebook. Groupon generates referrals by giving people an incentive to tell their friends about discounts.
Dropbox’s loop is different from Pinterest’s, which is different from Skype’s. We’re going to describe the main kinds of viral loops and show you how companies have used them to succeed. The oldest form of virality occurs when your product is so remarkable that people naturally tell others about it—pure word of mouth. Word of mouth drove Facebook’s early growth among college students, before they started building in more explicit viral hooks (email invites, adding your friends via address books, etc.). Word of mouth also causes many movies, books, diets, and TV shows to take off. Inherent virality occurs when you can get value from a product only by inviting other customers. For example, if your friends don’t have Skype, the application is worthless. Apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp also fall into this category.
We’ve built some pretty cool tech to make this happen smoothly, and it works with your existing layout (iPad layout only activated when the blog is accessed from an iPad). Okay, I’ll shut up now and you can check out the demo links/feature pages below, which are much more interesting than my pitch. PS—Would also be happy to do giveaways to TC readers. Thanks again and feel free to reach out if you have any more questions (Skype, phone, etc. listed below). Video Demo: http://vimeo.com/13487300 Live demo site (if you’re on an iPad): jasonlbaptiste.com Feature overviews: http://padpressed.com/features Jason Kincaid warned against having your pitch come across as a “wall of text,” something busy reporters who receive hundreds of emails get tired of seeing. Be succinct and clear. When pitching to any media outlet, it’s your job to also create an angle that makes your story compelling.
Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler
23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Kickstarter, 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, wealth creators, 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.
Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone by Satya Nadella, Greg Shaw, Jill Tracie Nichols
"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Amazon Web Services, anti-globalists, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bretton Woods, business process, cashless society, charter city, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fault tolerance, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Mars Rover, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, NP-complete, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, place-making, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telepresence, telerobotics, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade liberalization, two-sided market, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional, zero-sum game
See also specific products Seattle Children’s Hospital, 8, 41–42 Seattle Seahawks, 4 security, 169–80, 191–94, 202, 205, 224, 227–28, 238 senior leadership team (SLT), 2–6, 10–11, 81–82 sensors, 13, 79, 147–48, 150 September 11, 2001 attacks, 172 Serling, Rod, 159 server and tools business (STB), 53–59 servers, 2, 45, 139 edge of cloud and, 89 private vs. cloud-based, 57 privacy and security and, 173, 176 service sector, 240 Shaikh, Saqib, 200 Snapchat Spectacles, 145 Shaw, Frank, 98, 99 Shenzhen, 229 Shin, Jong-Kyon (J.K.), 133 Shum, Harry, 3, 51–52, 82 Sikhs, 19 silicon photonics, 228 Silicon Valley, 12, 21, 24, 26–27 silos, 57, 102 Sinclair ZX Spectrum kit, 21 Siri, 201 Sirosh, Joseph, 59 skills development, 226–27, 240 Skype, 64, 121, 155, 164, 171 Skype Translator, 59 small firms, 217 smartphones, 45, 66, 73, 132–34. See also mobile phones; and specific products Smith, Brad, 3, 131, 170–71, 173, 189 SMS, 216 Snapchat, 193 Snapdeal, 33 Snow Crash (Stephenson), 143 Snowden, Edward, 172–73, 179–80 Social Connector, 137 social contract, 239 socioeconomic change, 12–13 software design, 27, 49 software engineering, 74 solar, wind, and tidal power, 43, 228 Sony, 28 Sony Pictures Entertainment, 169–70, 177, 179, 189 Soul of a New Machine, The (Kidder), 68 South Zone, 37, 115 sovereignty, 170 space exploration, 145–46 Spain, 215 spam filters, 158 speech recognition, 76, 89, 142, 150–51, 164 Spencer, Phil, 106–7 sports franchises, 15 spreadsheets, 143 SQL (structured query language), 26 SQL Server, 53, 55 Stallone, Sylvester, 44 Stanford University, 64 One Hundred Year Study, 208 Start-up of You, The (Hoffman), 233 Station Q, 162–63, 166 Stephenson, Neal, 143 string theory, 164 Studio D, 65–66 success leadership, 120 Sun Microsystems, 26–29, 54 Super Bowl, 4 supercomputers, 161 superconducting, 162–65 supply-chain operations, 103 Surface, 2, 129 Surface Hub, 89, 137 Surface Pro 3, 85 Surface Studio, 137 Svore, Krysta, 164–65 Sway, 121 Sweden, 44 Swisher, Kara, 138 Sydney Opera House, 98 symbiotic intelligence, 204 Synopsys, 25 Syria, 218 tablets, 45, 85, 134, 141.
And in his role as business lead for STB, he set about building the new commercial model that was based on creating meters to measure consumption of cloud services and inventing new ways to package our products for customers. One of the early decisions I made was to differentiate Azure with our data and AI capabilities. Raghu and team designed and built the data platform that could help store and process exabyte-scale data. Microsoft was developing machine learning and AI capability as part of our products such as Bing, Xbox Kinect, and Skype Translator. I wanted us to make this capability available to third-party developers as part of Azure. A key hire for Azure was Joseph Sirosh, who I recruited from Amazon. Joseph had been passionately working in ML for all his professional career, and he brought that passion to his new role at Microsoft. Now our cloud not only could store and compute massive amounts of data, it could also analyze and learn from the data.
To scale our cloud business, we not only needed to build the right technology but we needed to run a service to meet the exacting needs of some of the world’s largest customers. We were already running at-scale services such as Bing, Office 365, and Xbox Live. But with Azure we were now powering thousands of other businesses every minute of every day. Our team had to learn to embrace what I called “live site first” culture. The operational culture was as important as any key technology breakthrough. We would have on a single Skype call dozens of engineers plus our customer-facing field teams, all of whom would swarm together to coordinate and fix any problem. And every such incident would lead to rigorous root-cause analysis so that we could continuously learn and improve. I would, from time to time, join these calls to see our engineers in action. The key is to not have the top leaders infuse fear or panic but to help foster the actions that fix the issue at hand and the learning from it.
Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier
23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, 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, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day
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.
turns mobile phones on remotely: Frank Langfitt (29 Jan 2013), “In China, beware: A camera may be watching you,” NPR Morning Edition, http://www.npr.org/2013/01/29/170469038/in-china-beware-a-camera-may-be-watching-you. 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.
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.
Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbus A320, 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, fixed income, 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, Kickstarter, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Pingit, platform as a service, QR code, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, US Airways Flight 1549, 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?
How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time by George Berkowski
Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, 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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, QR code, Ruby on Rails, 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, Travis Kalanick, ubercab, 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.
Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World by Lynne Martin
Unless you’re young and hardy, the extra lodging bill is worth it. • Say “Yes”: When someone offers you an opportunity to go somewhere, see something, do something new, say “Yes” whenever possible. Your best stories will come from things you never expected, but tried! Postpone nothing! • Keep in Touch: Use your Internet connection to speak with friends and family via Skype or FaceTime. A thirty-minute chat can feel like a visit home and be a great tonic to you and the ones you love and miss. Best of all, Skype to Skype calls are free! • Shop Green: Don’t be shy. Charity shop browsing is considered chic in most countries. When seasons change, you can supplement your wardrobe without going broke, then recycle your purchases and enjoy the bonus of feeling righteous! Chapter 10: Ireland • Housing: When you’re looking for a place to stay, do pay attention to all the things that are offered.
Tim had nabbed a hot baguette on the way home from the Metro, we had some gorgeous pâté, so we were all set. This gave us a good opportunity to call home. We manage to speak with our daughters and friends often and have learned to compensate for the nine-hour time difference between Europe and California. They’re having coffee while I’m toasting them on Facebook or Skype with my first lovely Côtes du Rhône of the day. That day we fired up Skype on our computer and indulged in a long chat with Amandah, Tim’s daughter in Florida. We got to see four-year-old Sean paddling around in the pool! We miss our family deeply, and longing for them is the only part of our experience that makes us sad. It’s dreadful to miss many family events, and we know that whole dramas come and go in our absence. Sometimes we do hunger for their hugs and kisses, parties, and the connection that living near loved ones and friends full time can provide.
And waited. No reply. We considered yelling down to the store to get help, but we knew we couldn’t explain ourselves to the Turkish-speaking fellow who was on duty. Besides, it would be embarrassing to shout our stupidity from the rooftops, so we waited some more. After sitting in silence for about fifteen minutes, inching our chairs ever closer to the wall to escape the hot sun, Tim said, “Hey, you have Skype on your phone. Try calling him.” The owner answered immediately. I explained our problem and he said he’d send Kubilay and a locksmith as soon as possible. We offered to pay for the mistake, but he said he wouldn’t hear of it. He told us it had happened before, which eased our humiliation. Somewhat. We shared the few sips of water as the sliver of shade disappeared completely. I tried to remember if I’d slapped on sunscreen after I finished swabbing down the bathroom floor.
The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov
"Robert Solow", 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 Markoff, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peer-to-peer, 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.”
Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig
Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Larry Wall, late fees, Mark Shuttleworth, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, peer-to-peer, 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, yellow journalism
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.
Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan
23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, basic income, 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, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lifelogging, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, QR code, 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, uber lyft, 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.
They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy by Lawrence Lessig
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Cass Sunstein, Columbine, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair
For a fantastic analysis of the antitrust problem raised by “free” data, see Dirk Bergemann and Alessandro Bonatti, “The Economics of Social Data” (working paper, January 15, 2019) (while identifying a competitive problem, the authors have no clear remedy beyond data portability). 94.Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 172–73. 95.Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion on May 10, 2011. “Microsoft Officially Welcomes Skype,” Microsoft, October 13, 2011, available at link #124. Microsoft revealed its speech recognition capabilities through an announcement that demonstrated Star Trek–like technology (the “universal translator”). “Skype Translator Preview—An Exciting Journey to a New Chapter in Communication,” Skype, December 15, 2014, available at link #125. Microsoft assures users that no personally identifiable data is gathered from Skype and that the data is not used for advertising. “Skype Translator Privacy FAQ,” Skype, available at link #126. 96.Andrew C. Oliver, “In Memory of Aaron Swartz: Stealing Is Not Stealing,” InfoWorld, January 17, 2013, available at link #127. 97.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 521. 98.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 92. 99.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 339–40. 100.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 451. 101.Chris Nodder, Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us into Temptation (Indianapolis, IN: John Wiley, 2013). 102.Steve Henn, “Online Marketers Take Note of Brains Wired for Rewards,” NPR, July 24, 2013, available at link #128. 103.Hayley Tsukayama, “Video Game Addiction Is a Real Condition, WHO Says.
But there are no humans at Google skimming billions of messages. It is machines. And while there is a potential for abuse—and that potential should be regulated—there is all the difference in the world between my neighbor (or the Stasi) reading my mail and Google “reading” my emails. The same is true about Microsoft and Skype: When the public wondered why Microsoft was willing to pay $8.5 billion to buy Skype, it was quickly revealed that the company would use the Skype calls to train voice recognition algorithms.95 “So wait, Microsoft is listening to my Skype-based telephone calls?” Yes, in a sense, but not in the sense that the FBI might be listening to your telephone calls. That again is not to say that we shouldn’t be concerned about abuse, or even about the potential for abuse, given the architecture as it has developed. It is only to say that we have to be real about the threat we are describing when we use old words to talk about a new reality.
In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy
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, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, 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, turn-by-turn navigation, undersea cable, 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.
The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay by Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, labor-force participation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, patent troll, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, very high income, We are the 99%
European firms do this too. In 2004, a few months after Google transferred its intellectual property to Bermuda, Skype—a company founded by a Swede and a Dane—moved most of its voice-over-IP technology to a subsidiary incorporated in Ireland. What’s interesting in the case of Skype is that thanks to “LuxLeaks”—a trove of confidential documents leaked in 2014 from PricewaterhouseCoopers—we know the details of this transaction. According to PwC, how much was the groundbreaking technology that was going to disrupt the telecommunications market worth? A grand total of 25,000 euros.8 In September 2005, a few months after this transaction, Skype was bought by eBay for $2.6 billion. It’s not a coincidence that Google and Skype sold their intellectual property at the same time to shell companies located somewhere between Ireland and Bermuda.
It’s not a coincidence that Google and Skype sold their intellectual property at the same time to shell companies located somewhere between Ireland and Bermuda. Around 2003–2004, this was the dodge of choice for the tax-avoidance industry. Skype, like Google, was given the same advice: move fast, before being listed as public companies or bought back by another firm. Why? Because it’s harder to pretend your core technology is nearly worthless when the market values you in the billions. With these examples, we can see that corporate tax dodging, whatever may be said about it, is quite simple. At its core, it involves manipulating the price of intragroup transactions in goods (like iMacs), services (as when a US firm buys “management advice” from an affiliated party in Switzerland), assets (such as Google selling its search and advertisement technology to its Bermuda subsidiary), or loans (as happened during the Netherlands Antilles frenzy of the early 1980s).
These states sell a key ingredient, a vital input without which the scams peddled by the Big Four would be of little use: their own sovereignty.16 Since the 1980s, the governments of tax havens have engaged in a new sort of commerce. They’ve sold multinationals the right to decide for themselves their rate of taxation, regulatory constraints, and legal obligations. Everything is negotiable. Apple asks for a low tax rate to locate some of its companies in Ireland? Dublin obliges. Skype is worried that the taxman might one day contest the price at which it sold its intellectual property to its Irish subsidiary? Not to worry, the Grand Duchy sells insurance, in the form of what are known as advanced pricing agreements—contracts that rubber-stamp the transfer prices used by multinationals ahead of time. No profit shifting would be possible without the complicity of tax havens’ governments, many of which boast high statutory tax rates, but in practice grant lower rates to the companies they court and provide them with an array of schemes to duck laws and regulations imposed elsewhere.
The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross
affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator
Graham continues to stare at his laptop, then greets them, without preamble. “OK. We liked you guys more than the idea.” The “idea”—the product or service that the startup will offer—often mutates between the time the applicants submit their application and the time of their interview. This is the case here. The idea that the Kalvins had submitted a few weeks earlier was encapsulated as “past memories sent to your in-box.” In a preinterview via Skype with a YC partner the week before, they had been encouraged to think of something else. “We pivoted the idea a little bit,” says one Kalvin—Jason Shen in this case, but in the eyes of the YC partners, the finalists are a blurry succession of faces without individual names. “We’re going to be the Mint.com for photo books. We organize and rank your Facebook content, allowing you to easily create a printed photo book, featuring the best photos of you, your friends.”
It was a turning point in his life, Kan said, supplying the means to pursue the startup dream.9 • Among the finalist applicants granted an interview in April 2011, some are considerably younger than Kan and Shear had been when they’d applied as seniors. A two-person team from Ireland—the older member is twenty-three but the younger one is eighteen and still in high school—has been invited for an interview. When the time arrives, Livingston brings in David Dolphin, the older one, but Patrick O’Doherty is not with him—he remains in Dublin. Dolphin sets his laptop on the table, allowing O’Doherty to be heard via a Skype voice call. Graham does not regard this to be a satisfactory substitute for physical presence. Y Combinator, through its investments, has made online communication services more robust and varied. But in its own operations, face-to-face communication, without electronic mediation, is deemed indispensable. In Graham’s view, there is no way of achieving high fidelity without being physically present.
Before, during, and after dinner, the founders will talk with one another about their most recent progress and current headaches, and they can consult with Graham and the other YC partners. Graham believes having the founders gather once a week, in person, prods them to work harder because of the power of shame avoidance: they would not want to embarrass themselves by having little progress to report to their peers at the weekly get-together. Graham and his YC partners insist that the founders be physically present for the consultations. When one founder asks if he could use Skype to have a video chat in place of coming over to YC for a conversation in the flesh, Graham says he’d permit it but then frowns. “It doesn’t work as well,” he says. “It turns out that startups are so hard, you kind of have to talk about them face-to-face.” To organize those face-to-face conversations, YC has adopted another academic practice: office hours. In the earliest batches, there was no need to set up designated times to talk with founders.
The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever
23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Thomas Davenport, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day
., just as the children of the richest and of the poorest use similar smartphones for communications and social media. When the professional humans’ role of broadcasting becomes one of guiding, the guides will be able to work with far more pupils, and to do it remotely, too. In fact, parts of this have been happening for years. British grandmothers have been teaching Indian kids using Skype. A number of Skype-based language and teaching businesses are operating right now. (Not surprisingly, this also works in reverse: Skype connects foreign teachers to American students to provide more affordable lessons and tutoring, giving the foreign teachers a good income by local standards.) There will always be benefits to physical presence, to being in the same room with fellow students and a teacher. But video-based learning and VR avatars can and will replace many in-class elements.
What is new is the degree of regulatory and systemic disruption that the savviest companies in this technology revolution are causing by taking advantage of the technology triad of data connectivity, cheap handheld computers, and powerful software to grab customers and build momentum before anyone can tell them to stop what they are doing. In 2010, Uber had no market share in providing rides to the U.S. Congress and their staffs. By 2014, despite the service’s continuing illegality in many of the constituencies of these political leaders, Uber’s market share among Congress was a stunning 60 percent.1 Talk about regulatory capture. Companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Skype play a bottom-up game to make it nearly impossible for legacy-entrenched interests and players to dislodge or outlaw newer ways of doing things. In fact, most of the smartphone-based healthcare applications and attachments that are on the market today are, in some manner, circumventing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s cumbersome approval process. As long as an application and sensor are sold as a patient’s reference tool rather than for a doctor’s use, they don’t need approval.
In parts of the United States, the drug company Merck has found, pregnant and postpartum women die at higher rates than in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa.4 In large parts of Asia, Latin America, and Africa, doctors are scarce. And testing equipment is far away: trips to better-equipped clinics can require a full day’s travel or even a plane ride. For U.S. women trapped in the maw of urban poverty, getting top-notch medical care requires navigating a horrific bureaucracy. Medical devices such as HealthCube Pro will enable doctors to diagnose otherwise inaccessible patients remotely via Skype and FaceTime. Telemedicine is a fast-growing field, but doctors practicing it usually lack the diagnostic information that their nurses collect during office visits. The ability of patients to take regular tests in the comfort of their homes and upload data to shared servers will make it possible to dramatically increase the quality, and lower the cost, of the health care they receive. Continuous monitoring of health data by artificial intelligence– based applications will enable the prevention of disease, especially lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular illness.
Cancel Cable: How Internet Pirates Get Free Stuff by Chris Fehily
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.
Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do by Jeremy Bailenson
Apple II, augmented reality, computer vision, deliberate practice, experimental subject, game design, Google Glasses, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, Jaron Lanier, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, nuclear winter, Oculus Rift, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, telepresence, too big to fail
Because locally saved avatars don’t have to travel over the network, the images themselves can be very detailed. They won’t look like cartoons—they will be super high-resolution models, with perfect lighting effects for shadows and reflections. They will dwarf the fidelity of the networked faces you see on Skype, Facetime, or other videoplatform conferences, which need to keep the realism level suppressed in order to prevent latency. The visual quality of the networked Faceshift avatar simply blew me away. It was the “realest” face I had ever seen networked. Another unanticipated benefit became clear within minutes of using the system. I often Skype with my mom, who lives across the country, and she is typically holding a tablet while we talk. It’s massively challenging for her to hold the tablet in a way that keeps her face in the center of the frame. Indeed, my kids have spent many an hour conferencing with their Nonna from the nose up, as the bottom of her face is cut off from the frame.
Perhaps an article one is reading online will have VR content attached, your brother will send a VR video of your nephew’s graduation ceremony, or you’ll decide you want to watch highlights from the NBA finals as if you were sitting in a courtside seat—you’ll just put on the VR headset for 15 minutes or so. It’s true that the idea of using the Internet with goggles on seems outlandish today, but then, a few years ago, so did a world in which everyone was staring at iPhone screens, or Skyping, or walking around city streets wearing massive, noise-canceling headphones. Once people get a taste of the experiences VR can bring them, the strangeness of the HMD will go away. And what all this means is that intense virtual experiences will, sooner than many expect, be available to a massive consumer audience. Having studied VR for a few decades, I can tell you that this is no small matter.
Half of them had high latency—about half a second. The other half had very low latency. The pairs had to perform a task together using maps. Two results emerged—first, participants in the delay condition made more mistakes in the task. The lag in conversation actually made productivity suffer. Second, the speakers interrupted one another more often during high latency. Most of us have had this experience during bad cell phone or Skype conversations. Delay harms the “flow” of the conversation, or in Kendon’s words, the synchrony.10 Since Kendon’s landmark work in the late ’60s, dozens of studies have examined the effect of interactional synchrony on outcomes. A study from the late 1970s looked at about a dozen college classrooms over time, and demonstrated that students and teachers with high nonverbal synchrony in posture had better relationships than those with low synchrony.
Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich
"side hustle", airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cryptocurrency, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, game design, Isaac Newton, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, offshore financial centre, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, zero-sum game
Ten thousand from his mom, and the rest in a single check from a colorful investor he had met after doing a live webcast at a conference in New York. Charlie had been telling the online audience about BitInstant, how none of the investors he’d approached understood Bitcoin and would fund him, how he just needed a little financing to make it work. Four hours after he was off the show, he’d received a Skype from a famous Bitcoin enthusiast named Roger Ver. Ver, known in the Bitcoin community as “Bitcoin Jesus” because of his proselytizing and the many investments he’d made in the industry, had begun the brief Skype conversation by asking Charlie how much money he needed; when Charlie had thrown out a number, almost off the cuff, Ver had instantly agreed. And just like that, without ever meeting in person, they’d struck a deal; Ver had wired Charlie $120,000 for a 15 percent ownership of BitInstant. From what Cameron had read about Ver, he held philosophical beliefs similar to those of Voorhees but seemed even more radical, even more of a fundamentalist.
But despite these mostly successful blinkered rabbinical strategies, which had kept the Syrian Jewish community intact—all of Charlie’s cousins, uncles and aunts, grandparents, and family going back generations lived within a quarter mile of his house—and are firmly lodged in the Brooklyn landscape—the SYs had simultaneously managed to extend themselves outward in financial empires, in areas including real estate, retail, electronics, and, more often now, technology. Charlie reached the desk and dropped into his chair, yanking out the earbuds and resting his phone next to the keyboard. Then he powered up his computer, heading right for his Skype account. It took less than a minute for his business partner to appear in the lower left corner, shrunk down so that Charlie could talk while simultaneously monitoring the computer code that was now free-flowing like a river down the center of his screen. “You’re late,” his business partner croaked through the internal microphone of Charlie’s computer. “Is this becoming a habit for you?” Charlie kept his attention on the streaming code.
From their many exchanges, Charlie knew that Gareth wasn’t the type to get excited easily; hell, before Satoshi and his white paper, Charlie hadn’t thought the guy was even physically capable of getting excited. But Gareth was certainly excited now: this was something big, important. Revolutionary. Over the ensuing years, Charlie had realized that the Welshman was right. He moved his face closer to the screen as the last few lines of code flowed upward. He was totally in the zone, barely listening as Gareth offered comments from his Skype corner, as the EDM music still leaked, in tinny twists, out of the earbuds on the desk by Charlie’s cell phone, as footsteps reverberated through the basement ceiling above him: his mom, working on that brisket. Almost three years after reading Satoshi’s white paper, Charlie was certain: it was going to change everything. And Charlie was going to ride that change right out of his mother’s basement and into history. 6 FINDING LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE “Money as a social network.
Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Ray Jayawardhana
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Magellanic Cloud, New Journalism, race to the bottom, random walk, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Skype, Solar eclipse in 1919, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, undersea cable, uranium enrichment
id=2554. 3 centenary of Amundsen: There are many excellent books on Antarctic exploration, and The New York Times published an article titled “Amazing Race to the Bottom of the World” by John Noble Wilford on December 12, 2011, to mark the centenary. 4 I went to Antarctica: See my article “The Meteorite Hunters” in the November/December 2011 issue of Muse magazine (Chicago: Carus Publishing Company; www.musemagkids.com). 6 small flags that: Francis Halzen kindly sent me photographs taken by his colleagues so that I could see what IceCube looked like on the Amundsen centennial. 6 IceCube: Description of IceCube is based, in part, on a telephone interview with Francis Halzen conducted by the author on December 12, 2011, and on material on the project website at http://icecube.wisc.edu/. 6 phototubes: Though I have used the term “phototube” for simplicity, in fact these are photomultiplier tubes (PMTs for short); incident light generates an electric current in the PMT, which is then amplified up to tens of millions of times to make the detection easier. 8 “If you’re trying”: This Janet Conrad quote is from a telephone interview conducted by the author on March 4, 2013. 8 Boris Kayser: Quotes are from a telephone interview conducted by the author on August 9, 2012. 9 Hitoshi Murayama: Quotes are from a Skype interview with the author on March 28, 2012. 10 Klaatu: Lyrics of their song “Little Neutrino” are available at www.klaatu.org/lyrics/347est_lyrics.html. 10 popular sitcom: Quotes are from the fourth episode, titled “The Griffin Equivalency,” of the second season of The Big Bang Theory. 11 OPERA: The initial CERN press release and the subsequent updates are available at http://press.web.cern.ch/press-releases/2011/09/opera-experiment-reports-anomaly-flight-time-neutrinos-cern-gran-sasso. 11 “If the Europeans”: Quoted from Michael D.
Description of the early days of the AMANDA experiment and the quotes “Learned immediately appreciated,” “To have your career,” and “a nearly meaningless blur” are from Halzen’s essay “Antarctic Dreams,” first published in The Sciences (March–April 1999): 19–24. For additional background on Halzen’s scientific interests and the development of AMANDA, see Halzen’s essay “Ice Fishing for Neutrinos” at http://icecube.berkeley.edu/amanda/ice-fishing.html. 17 John Learned: Biographical information and quotes are from a Skype interview conducted by the author on March 6, 2013. 22 “PeV events”: See Aya Ishihara, “Ultra-High Energy Neutrinos with IceCube,” Nuclear Physics B Proceedings Supplement (2012), available at www.ppl.phys.chiba-u.jp/research/IceCube/ThePeVNeutrinoDetection/IceCubeEHE2012_v6.pdf; and “High-energy (PeV) neutrinos observed!,” blog entry by Spencer Klein, Neutrino Hunting in Antarctica, August 8, 2012, http://antarcticaneutrinos.blogspot.ca/2012/08/high-energy-pev-neutrinos-observed.html.
COSMIC CHAMELEONS 97 Three physicists: Leon Lederman, Melvin Schwartz, and Jack Steinberger received the 1988 physics Nobel Prize for the discovery of the muon neutrino: www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1988/. 97 tau particle: Fermilab press release, July 20, 2000 announcing the discovery of the tau neutrino: www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/donut.html. 98 neutrinos oscillating: Gribov and Pontecorvo published their paper, “Neutrino Astronomy and Lepton Charge,” in Physics Letters B 28, no. 7 (1969): 493–96. 100 MSW effect: Also known as the “matter effect.” 100 “The MSW effect is a beautiful idea”: This Bahcall quote is from Johnson, “Elusive Particles Continue to Puzzle Theorists of the Sun,” The New York Times, June 9, 1998. 101 atmospheric neutrinos: See Edward Kearns, Takaaki Kajita, and Yoji Totsuka, “Detecting Massive Neutrinos,” Scientific American, August 1999, pp. 64–71. 101 “That was the smoking gun”: From an interview with Ed Kearns conducted by the author in person at Boston University on January 27, 2012. 102 Sudbury Neutrino Observatory: The official SNOLAB website is www.snolab.ca/. Other sources include an interview with Art McDonald conducted by the author via Skype on January 27, 2012; Nick Jelley, Arthur B. McDonald, and R.G. Hamish Robertson, “The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory,” Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science 59 (2009): 431–65; and Arthur B. McDonald, Joshua R. Klein, and David L. Wark, “Solving the Solar Neutrino Problem,” Scientific American, April 2003, pp. 40–49. 106 “We’ve solved”: This Art McDonald quote is from Kenneth Chang, “Sun’s Missing Neutrinos: Hidden in Plain Sight,” by The New York Times, June 19, 2001. 106 “We now have high confidence”: As quoted in a SNO press release issued on June 18, 2001 (www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/sno/first_results/). 106 “Super-K told us”: From the author’s interview with Kearns. 107 he felt like dancing: As quoted in Chang, “Sun’s Missing Neutrinos: Hidden in Plain Sight.” 107 “For three decades”: This John Bahcall quote is from the Nova television documentary “The Ghost Particle,” PBS, February 21, 2006.
The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Success Stories of Artists, Inventors, and Entrepreneurs by Steinberg, Don
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.
Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State by Barton Gellman
4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, active measures, Anton Chekhov, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, financial independence, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Hangouts, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, job automation, Julian Assange, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, planetary scale, private military company, ransomware, Robert Gordon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, standardized shipping container, Steven Levy, telepresence, undersea cable, web of trust, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP
mostly listened in on telephone calls: Sometimes, of course, the fictional NSA did other things like dispatching assassins to track down political enemies. See Tony Scott’s classic Enemy of the State (Touchstone Pictures, 1998). My friend Barry Eisler, a CIA officer turned thriller writer, takes some liberties along these lines in The God’s Eye View (Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2016). For the record, the NSA does not have death squads and does not control live video feeds from space. the project’s Skype interface: The “User’s Guide for Skype PRISM Collection,” dated August 2012, is on file with author. In 2014, Der Spiegel published the guide with light redactions at www.spiegel.de/media/media-35530.pdf [inactive]. Analysts could ask for instant notifications: The presentation alluded to these as RTN, which stands for “real-time notification.” Slide 34, “PRISM/US-984XN Overview.” could monitor keystrokes: This was not a capability built into PRISM.
The NSA paid them off, rerouted their traffic surreptitiously, hacked into their equipment, or relied on foreign allies with methods of their own. Conveniently for U.S. intelligence, an outsized share of global communications traversed the United States. A call or email from Barcelona to Bogotá might well pass through Miami. PRISM, or S35333, was another kind of access for the eagle folk. Here the special sources were the American-based internet giants: Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Also a service called Paltalk, which I had not heard of but that presumably hosted accounts of attractive targets. The great thing about those companies, from an intelligence collector’s point of view, was that they did much more than push data through pipes. Unlike AT&T and other common carriers, they stored the content their users sent and received. The NSA did not have to chase down all those emails, videos, photographs, and documents as they raced across fiber optic cables at the speed of light.
Google held a big chunk of that. Its peers in the PRISM collection system, along with Dropbox and other soon-to-be-added partners, dominated the global marketplace for search, messaging, video, email, and cloud storage. The NSA, in concert with the FBI, dipped into this treasure trove under a secret interpretation of the legal authority that Congress granted in 2007 and 2008. Until then, the government could not search a Skype or AOL account without a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Each warrant required probable cause to believe that a specific account belonged to an agent of a foreign power. The court nearly always granted those warrants, but it did perform an individual review. After Congress passed the Protect America Act and the FISA Amendments Act, Justice Department lawyers persuaded the court that it could authorize surveillance of an unlimited number of accounts with a single order.
The Best Interface Is No Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology (Voices That Matter) by Golden Krishna
Airbnb, computer vision, crossover SUV, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, impulse control, Inbox Zero, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, QR code, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator, Y2K
Products Generated in the Municipal Waste Stream, 1960 To 2012,” Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States Tables and Figures for 2012, February 2014. http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/2012_msw_dat_tbls.pdf 3 Anna Quindlen, “About New York,” New York Times, May 5, 1982. http://www.nytimes.com/1982/05/05/nyregion/about-new-york.html 4 “Paperback Best Sellers; Mass Market,” New York Times, January 25, 1981. http://www.nytimes.com/1981/01/25/books/paperback-best-sellers-mass-market.html 5 “The Office of the Future,” Businessweek, June 30, 1975. http://www.businessweek.com/stories/1975-06-30/the-office-of-the-futurebusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice 6 “Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Luxembourg, Skype is a division of Microsoft Corp.” “About Skype - What is Skype,” Microsoft, Last accessed August 2014. http://www.skype.com/en/about/ 7 “Business Brief,” The Economist, December 27, 1980: p.3. 8 “This is CRYPTOLOG—a new vehicle for the interchange of ideas on technical subjects in Operations.” Herbert E. Wolff, “A letter of introduction,” Cryptolog, August 1974. https://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/cryptologs/cryptolog_01.pdf 9 “. . . everyone knows that traffic analysts are clear-eyed, clean-limbed people who draw meticulously neat—if arcane—squares and circles on paper, and that cryppies are two-headed people who tend to twitch.
Spiegel said something that really stuck out to me: “The biggest constraint of the next 100 years of computing is the idea of metaphors,” he said. “For Snapchat, the closer we can get to ‘I want to talk to you’—that emotion of wanting to see you and then seeing you — the better and better our product and our view of the world will be.” Instead of allowing you to ring friends for a video chat, as with FaceTime or Skype, Snapchat forces both users to be present inside a chat window before video can begin. So, instead of texting someone to set up a FaceTime call, you can simply chat them on Snapchat, and if they log on, you can start a video chat when you’re both in the same conversation. The “Hey, want to chat?” text replaces the ring entirely. You might have thought that Snapchat’s mission was to bring “ephemeral,” disappearing messages to the masses, when it was only one facet of a bigger idea that Spiegel had been stewing over.
Pake, the former head of Xerox PARC: “I’ll be able to call up documents from my files on the screen, or by pressing a button,” he says. “I can get my mail or any messages. I don’t know how much hard copy [printed paper] I’ll want in this world.”5 In 1980, the Economist printed its own take with “Towards the Paperless Office,” and a business brief with a section about the “Death Sentence for Paper Shufflers.” From the imaginative latter, written twenty-three years before Skype:6 “He checks his mail by displaying it on the screen—President Clive Greaves in the New York office regrets he will not be able to attend the video teleconferencing session at 2pm (GMT) but will fax his revised forecasts beforehand.”7 They looked past the trends of the day and imagined something better. But there were plenty of realists. Naysayers. Oh, yeah? What about paper napkins, huh?? Or paper towels?
Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
Broken windows theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Google Hangouts, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, remote working, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Skype
It helps clue you in to all the unspoken realities of your company. This is especially important if your company is remote, since you see people less often and remote cultures are trickier to manage. Check out Know Your Company at http://knowyourcompany.com. Skype. The old standby is still kicking for a reason—it’s damn good! Excellent for international calling, conference calls, video conferences, and even basic screen sharing, it’s hard to go wrong with Skype when you need to talk to people who aren’t nearby. Extremely reliable, and widely adopted, and available for just about every platform under the sun. Check it out at http://skype.com. Instant Messaging. For quick text-based chats with one other person, it’s hard to beat Instant Messaging. If you’re a Mac shop, iChat/Messages is a good option. If you’re a Google shop, Gchat works real well.
Whereas before they’d been the perfect opportunity for a high-value exchange of information, they start to become routine, tired, played out, and, ultimately, an enormous waste of time. Questions that could have been answered in a few minutes via email or the phone turn into forty-five minute in-person conversations. Once in a while these gabfests are fine, but when they become the norm—when they’re abundant—you’ve got a problem. This is where remote working shines. When most conversations happen virtually—on the phone, via email, in Basecamp, over instant message, or in a Skype video chat—people actually look forward to these special opportunities for a face-to-face. The scarcity of such face time in remote working situations makes it seem that much more valuable. And as a result, something interesting happens: people don’t waste the time. An awareness of scarcity makes them use it wisely. We see this frequently at 37signals. Since most of us work remotely, we really value our occasional face time.
The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker
assortative mating, 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, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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.
Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism
What individual anonymity that remains is little consolation to Madrigal. “The results of this process are ineluctable. Left to their own devices, ad tracking firms will eventually be able to connect your various data selves. And then they will break down the name wall, if they are allowed to.”131 A month after Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011, Microsoft patented a “legal intercept” technology that could “silently copy” every communication done on VOiP services like Skype. Microsoft refuses to say whether the technology is integrated into Skype’s architecture.132 Viktor Mayer-Schönberger regards this as nothing less than a “redistribution of information power from the powerless to the powerful.”133 The greatest fear of Schneier’s—arguably the leading global expert on computer security—is not cyberterrorism, cybercrime, identity theft, WikiLeaks, or illegal downloads of music and Hollywood films.
Scott Thurm and Yukari Iwatani Kane, “Your Apps Are Watching You,” Wall Street Journal, Dec. 17, 2010. 129. Emily Steel and Julie Angwin, “The Web’s Cutting Edge: Anonymity in Name Only,” Wall Street Journal, Aug. 3, 2010. 130. Cited in Heather Brooke, The Revolution Will Be Digitised: Dispatches from the Information War (London: Heinemann, 2011), 133. 131. Madrigal, “I’m Being Followed.” 132. Ryan Gallagher, “Skype Won’t Say Whether It Can Eavesdrop on Your Conversations,” Slate, July 20, 2012, slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/07/20/skype_won_t_comment_on_whether_it_can_now_eavesdrop_on_conversations_.html. 133. Quoted in Pariser, Filter Bubble, 147. 134. Sengupta, “Trust.” For elaboration, see Bruce Schneier, Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive (Indianapolis: John Wiley & Sons, 2012). 135. David Rosen, “America’s Spy State: How the Telecoms Sell Out Your Privacy,” AlterNet, May 29, 2012. 136.
“Anybody who gets that powerful can push people around, and Amazon pushes people around.”57 This is nothing new; Joseph Stiglitz describes how Microsoft used its “monopoly power” to crush Netscape in the 1990s.58 Bill Keller writes about how Facebook disabled the game Critter Island in its system in 2010, and Critter Island went from 14 million users to zero in 48 hours.59 What’s the point of being a monopolist if you don’t let everyone know who’s boss? The empires each spend many billions to purchase digital upstarts and midsize firms. Many familiar brand names on the Internet—from PayPal and YouTube to Skype and Hotmail—are owned by a giant. In 2011 alone, Google, for example, spent $14 billion to make eighty acquisitions.60 Sometimes the firms are willing to overpay to lock in the potential of a new industry or to prevent another empire from getting the jump on them. As The Economist acknowledges, one of the benefits of being a cash-flush giant is that you are “rich enough to buy up potential rivals.”61 The fortunes being generated online go not only to the owners of the empires, but also to the owners of the upstarts that are sold to the empires.
Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
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, IKEA effect, 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.
Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner
card file, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, index card, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, 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.
The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin
"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, 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 Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, 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, zero-sum game, 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.
Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website by Matt Blumberg
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Ben Horowitz, 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, Rubik’s Cube, 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.
Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens
4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, 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, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, 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 Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, 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, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, 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.
Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator
All new hires start out on a 90-day trial, but if they make it through the first 90 days, keep up their requirements by logging in and staying connected to teams for at least 20 hours a week, and make it to their shifts on time, they get an automatic bump of 8 percent in their hourly pay. In exchange for a 20-hour commitment, workers must provide their own computer and internet connection, be able to work with office software like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google Docs, and be comfortable using instant-message and voice-chat software, like Skype. Zaffar works on a laptop he bought himself. He likes to move to different parts of his house, to break up his work shift, rather than sit anchored to the desktop computer that he set up in the foyer that serves as his home office. Like Zaffar, 85 percent of workers on LeadGenius are between the ages of 18 and 37.27 Slightly more than 70 percent of LeadGenius’s ghost workforce—called researchers—have at least a bachelor’s degree.
This is the flip side of workers being hypervigilant, as constantly being alert for good work also results in requesters getting flooded with applicants, which makes picking a worker hard. Another marketing manager said, “Especially when you’re getting responses from around the globe, sifting through all those people can be painful.” Vetting workers was a time-consuming, manual process that often involved a phone or Skype call. A VP of communications at a startup discussed the importance of getting the vetting done right: “A lot of the workers have good technical skills but poor communication skills, so you have to really vet for this. I’ve also had situations where the website they created might look good, but then you have another person come in later to do work on it and they find dirty code and unfinished code.
While our ethnographic and survey data suggested that workers communicated and collaborated, we couldn’t see how common or widespread these practices might be or how attributes like geographic location correlated with the amount of collaboration behind on-demand work. So, to understand the scale and structure of this effort to collaborate, we asked MTurk workers to help us map their entire communication network. Our HIT was a “Facebook-Lite” for MTurk workers in that it allowed them to anonymously report the online nickname of who they communicate with and the medium they use to communicate, such as email, SMS, Skype, or one of the many online forums workers use.6 Workers could see a variety of information about their connections, such as why the worker started working on MTurk and how they stay motivated, along with whatever demographic information that worker felt comfortable sharing. The network consists of 10,354 workers and 5,268 connections between them. There were 1,389 workers (13.4 percent) with at least one connection to another; among these, the average worker was linked to at least seven others (see figure 2).
The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, 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, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, 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, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game
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.
Talk to Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Think by James Vlahos
Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, computer age, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, lateral thinking, Loebner Prize, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
It was encouraging developers to use its Bot Framework to create chatty applications that would be deployed on platforms like Facebook Messenger. And the company hoped that at least some developers would make chatbots for Skype, the platform that Microsoft owned. Google, in turn, now had Allo, where people could message with each other, bots, and the Assistant. For companies beyond the world of tech, the expanding array of conversational options for reaching customers was both exciting and confusing. Forward-looking executives could see that they needed to embrace new ways to digitally represent themselves just as they had with websites and apps in the past; to not do so was to risk becoming digitally dead. But how? With chatbots, on Messenger or Skype? With voice applications, known as “actions” on the Assistant platform and “skills” on Alexa? Both? Since 2016 companies have been throwing a lot of approaches against the wall to see what sticks.
Apple then took its turn with an announcement on June 13: At long last, Siri would be allowed to interface with more third-party apps. Developers would have the option to let users speak via Siri to apps in six categories: messaging, audio and video calling, payments, photos, exercise, and ride booking. With access tightly controlled by Apple, this was hardly Cheyer’s doors-wide-open approach. But it was a start. Siri could now help users book an Uber, make a Skype call, PayPal a friend, track a run, and more. But you could argue that the biggest Siri-related news of the spring didn’t happen at Apple. Three of her original creators—Cheyer and Kittlaus, plus a computer scientist named Chris Brigham, who had been part of the team ever since the SRI days—revealed that they had launched a company and created a new virtual assistant. It was called Viv, a name derived from the Latin for “life.”
But despite Barbie’s status as a plaything, she counts as among the most ambitious efforts ever to create a synthetic companion through conversational technology. And she highlights what makes the friendship application both fascinating and ethically complicated. Four years before Barbie’s incarnation as a perky cyborg, a seven-year-old girl named Toby sat on the floor of her family’s toy room with her father. She was chatting with her grandmother using the Skype app on an iPhone. After the call, Toby gazed across the room at her favorite stuffed animal, a fuzzy rabbit she called Tutu, which sat atop a bookshelf. Then Toby looked back at the phone in her hand. “Daddy, can I use this to talk to Tutu?” she asked. Her father, a technology entrepreneur named Oren Jacob, laughed at what struck him as a flippant question. Back then, in April 2011, he was preoccupied with career questions.
Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution by Beth Gardiner
barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, connected car, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Hyperloop, index card, Indoor air pollution, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, white picket fence
Eventually, she saw a doctor, who diagnosed allergies and sinus problems and said poor air quality was probably to blame. Today, Fields lives with her family in the suburbs east of Los Angeles, an area known for its terrible air, where the city’s smog sits against the Santa Ana Mountains. The baby she had as a teenager is now a young man, and his sinuses act up just like his mom’s. Her youngest son, an energetic grade schooler who climbs on the back of her chair as we speak on Skype, has asthma. The attacks don’t happen often, but they’re frightening when they do. It started suddenly, when he was a toddler. “He just kept vomiting and vomiting and got very lethargic, and panting like a puppy, and I could not understand what was going on,” she tells me. It’s never been quite that bad again, but “it’s like he can’t get a full breath of air in, so in trying to breathe in he’s coughing.”
And indeed, the Harvard researchers found in 2009 that death rates had fallen along with pollution levels in all their study cities, even the cleaner ones.28 * * * In chunky black glasses and a patterned scarf, her dark hair pulled back, Beate Ritz still looks more the sophisticated European than the casual Californian, even after decades in America. Sunshine streams through a window into her home in the Santa Monica Mountains, above Los Angeles, as we speak on Skype, and she pours herself a cup of tea. Ritz is an epidemiologist at UCLA, and she knows it can be nearly impossible to link one individual’s health problem to a specific environmental cause. But the work that would shape her career began with a nagging, personal worry. The smog blanketing L.A. came as a foul shock when she arrived from her native Germany. She was expecting her first child, and the pregnancy was smooth and easy; she swam regularly right until the end.
India is a country still riven by class, and while air pollution transcends socioeconomic divides, affecting everyone with a set of lungs, there is no doubt that the rich, the poor, and those in the middle all feel it differently. Traffic exhaust is just one of many sources of Delhi’s pollution, but the long hours many ordinary people spend on and beside the streets each day are a big reason for the disparate impact. A few miles from Paharpur, on busy Mathura Road in south Delhi, a woman’s smiling face beams down from a huge billboard advertising free Skype calls. “Green Delhi Clean Delhi,” boasts a dirty white banner that bends around the corner just beneath it. Although it’s Sunday, traffic is near a standstill. Sleek SUVs and packed buses inch along, drivers leaning into their horns. Beside the billboard, a vendor carries a pile of wooden recorders in a bundle tied to a pole, and the high-pitched whistle he blows adds to the ear-splitting noise.
War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line by David Nott
They had a week to scour through the remaining hospitals and rubble for the correct sterile plate and screws. In the meantime I sent over as much information as I could regarding the technique. The day before the operation we had one last Skype conversation and it was confirmed that they had two units of blood available for the procedure. As it happened, I had been asked about the situation in Aleppo by BBC Two’s Newsnight programme and told them I was about to oversee a challenging operation there via Skype. They agreed to record the procedure, and share with the world the remarkable courage of Aleppo’s besieged doctors. So there I was in London, looking at a large television screen. The patient was asleep on the operating table at M10 in Aleppo. We set up the Skype call and someone in the operating theatre put an iPhone on a selfie stick that was held over the table, so I could see everything that was going on during the operation.
I embarked upon a media offensive as well, appearing on the radio and television whenever I could to talk about what was happening, and the risk the doctors were facing – a risk which was brought home horribly in early October, just a few weeks after the successful Skype operation. I was sent a WhatsApp video of a bunker-busting bomb dropping directly onto the operating theatre in M10. The target was so precise that the co-ordinates of the theatre must have been known. I could only think, to my horror, that somebody must have hacked the Skype call and somehow deduced M10’s location. In the minutes after the bunker bomb fell, a further three barrel bombs and two cluster bombs were dropped on M10. At the time, the hospital’s intensive care unit was full, the wards were full and the recovery unit was full.
There were charts at the bottom of each bed which the single nurse was very carefully completing with all the relevant observations including pulse, blood pressure, temperature, urine output, all the outputs from all the drains, the quantities of drugs that were being infused as well as the oxygenation of the ventilators. There was also a small arterial blood-gas machine to measure the oxygenation of the blood. How was it possible that such a high-tech environment could be run by a solitary nurse? The nurse smiled and gestured to two cameras pointing at each patient – one to monitor the patient himself, the other to observe the charts. The nurse told us that these were fed by Skype directly into the intensive care unit in one of the hospitals in Washington DC, where there was a Syrian–American ICU specialist looking at the monitors twenty-four hours a day, and adjusting the patient’s medication and ventilation based on the clinical parameters. Not just at our hospital, either. All the intensive care units in Aleppo were linked into the same American hospital. It was an amazing system, beautifully managed by an ICU specialist called Ammar Zacharia, who had trained all the ICU nurses so they knew exactly how to respond to the comments of the online specialists.
Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter
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.
What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, G4S, 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, old-boy network, 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, WikiLeaks, 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.
Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
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.
Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power
air freight, Alexander Shulgin, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, John Bercow, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Network effects, nuclear paranoia, packet switching, pattern recognition, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, pre–internet, QR code, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, 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.
Thinking Machines: The Inside Story of Artificial Intelligence and Our Race to Build the Future by Luke Dormehl
Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, borderless world, call centre, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, drone strike, Elon Musk, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, global village, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet of things, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
By this time, the idea had expanded in his mind. ‘What I was thinking was that this could be a great way of letting you collect and curate your digital footprint throughout your life,’ he says. ‘The avatar would be an interface for accessing that information.’ He pitched the idea to the group as ‘Skyping with dead people’, and hurried to note that a lot of the AI technology needed to bring such a project to life already existed in various labs around the world. Despite the group receiving a total of 130 ideas – of which Ursache acknowledges his was the oddest – ‘Skyping with dead people’ was accepted as a project worth pursuing. Ursache had his reservations, however. ‘I knew that it would have to do something more than just simulating a conversation with a dead person,’ he says. ‘That would be too fucked up. It would mess with the grieving process and, frankly, would just be weird.’
Unlike the artisans of the Industrial Revolution, though, today’s workers in the artisan economy can use technology to augment, rather than replace, their employment opportunities. Scaling a business to reach millions, or even billions of people, is possible in a way that it never was before the digital age. In 2014, a story appeared on Business Insider about an SAT tutor who charges $1,500 for ninety minutes of one-on-one tutoring – carried out via Skype. Even in an age of educational apps and online learning tools, the tutor was able to command incredibly high prices due to his proven ability to raise test results. Another example of the artisan economy at work is Etsy, the online marketplace where people can sell handmade or vintage products. Having launched in 2005, Etsy currently offers more than 29 million different pieces of handmade jewellery, pottery, clothing and assorted other objets d’art.
And people in the future could actually interact with your memories, stories and ideas, almost as if they were talking to you? Eterni.me collects your thoughts, stories and memories, curates them and creates an intelligent avatar that looks like you. This avatar will live forever and allow other people in the future to access your memories.’ Currently the technology doesn’t exist to allow us to ‘Skype with dead people’ as Ursache would eventually like. While his team work on the machine-learning tools that will make the technology a reality, Eterni.me instead focuses on collecting the users’ data that will one day give its avatars their digital lifeblood. He doesn’t think Eterni.me’s 30,269 early adopters are going to be waiting forever, though. ‘This isn’t technology that is decades away,’ he says.
The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us by James Ball
Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, Chelsea Manning, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, packet switching, patent troll, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Crocker, Stuxnet, The Chicago School, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, yield management, zero day
It is a rare company that emerges as an online giant without going through the venture capital process, and so a rare company that doesn’t become hit by its many side effects – effects we all live with daily as we use social networks designed to maximise and monetise our attention spans. There is a twist worth noting at this stage, though, which is that VCs aren’t quite as much of a bubble as they can seem. It’s easy to think of VC as its own world with its own (arguably toxic) culture, and in many ways it is: most of the top VCs are the internet entrepreneurs of the last generation. Marc Andreessen was a co-founder of Netscape, then became a top VC funding Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and more. Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal, then became Facebook’s first outside investor, and now funds much more. There are many others we could name. But they are not only investing their own money – they might well be investing yours, as Brian O’Kelley, an advertising tech executive and investor (who speaks at length next chapter), notes. It’s ‘limited partners’ – investment funds, university endowments, pension funds and more – that are putting the money into VC firms, and they’re the ones demanding big returns to keep their funds in the black.
In the twenty-first century, it mostly meant something else: tracking the internet – and in that US-dominated network of networks, where people from across the world would use US companies, US servers and US cables to communicate. In the old days, it would have been entirely legal for the NSA to monitor a telephone call of interest between someone in Iran and someone in Syria – so why should it suddenly become different if they’re now both using Gmail and its US servers, or Skype, and so US networks? Developing the USA’s online capabilities while staying on the right side of the Constitution was maybe the thorniest problem in US intelligence. Alexander (whose PR representatives declined an interview for this book) was widely seen as being on one side of that debate: collect it all, expand it all, and worry about the legal niceties when the time came for analysts to look at the material that was collected.
If your cable company can identify which traffic coming to your device is HD video content, it could offer you a ‘premium package’, allowing you to have internet plus HD streaming for just £5.99 a month extra. If it detects your traffic is from Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, it could offer you a ‘social package’ with unlimited social networking for just an extra £2.99. This could go further. Let’s imagine your telecoms provider is also the company which provides your internet. Would it really want to let you use services like Skype or Facetime, rather than using your minutes, or paying as you go? Without a principle enforcing net neutrality – in essence forcing the pipework behind the network just to be ‘dumb pipes’ that send and receive whatever they get – this would be legally possible. Beyond that still, activist groups warn that if the infrastructure needed to analyse each packet as it travelled and looking into its contents became normal, tyrannical governments could easily make use of it to restrict access to content, control the internet and tighten their hold on power.
Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG – Online Growth Hacker Marketing Strategy by Robert Peters
Airbnb, bounce rate, business climate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, digital map, 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, turn-by-turn navigation, ubercab
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.
The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen
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, drone strike, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, 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.
Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman
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, do-ocracy, drone strike, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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, zero-sum game
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?
The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society by Charles Handy
"Robert Solow", Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, bonus culture, British Empire, call centre, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, falling living standards, future of work, G4S, greed is good, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, late capitalism, mass immigration, megacity, mittelstand, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Veblen good, Walter Mischel
How then will the institutions engage with such people, given that they will still need their talents? How should society prepare these young people for self-sufficiency in such a world? Can schools, as institutions themselves, prepare people to live outside institutions? Will families remain the bedrock of society or will they, too, increasingly fragment into looser associations? Can emails and Skype, Facebook and Twitter compensate for physical connection? Can you indeed ever trust someone that you have never met, may never meet? The questions rumble on. What will hold a society together? Will we dissolve into ghettos of religion and race or will we find something better than war or economic success to build a united country? Bigger than all these issues is that old philosophical conundrum – what are we striving for anyway, as individuals and as a society?
The patients like it because they are in control and the savings are startling, a 69 per cent reduction in A & E visits and a 45 per cent fall in hospital admissions for people using the scheme. Now that the technology exists to warn people when they are going into heart failure, to measure their heart rate and respiration, even how fast and far they walk or how obese they are, the responsibility falls back on the individuals to take the necessary remedial actions or to contact their doctor, probably through Skype or an app on their phone. The downside of all DIY is that being in control also means being responsible. When things go wrong it is most likely to be your fault. As I suggested in the Introduction, self-responsibility will be a feature of the emerging society. That will be uncomfortable for many who have grown up in a society that has assumed ever more responsibility for our personal safety and well-being, to the extent that we are tempted to assume that anything that goes wrong must be the fault of someone or something else.
The likes of Walmart and G4S have a huge headcount but are actually collections of small organisations, not the conglomerations of old, massed behind the factory gates. Other large organisations, my old oil company included, are gradually going federal although they don’t necessarily call it that, aiming to be big where it matters and small where they can in order to keep it human and flexible. They look for a requisite variety of shape and size and style, while keeping it all connected by company websites, emails, Skype, messaging and even the old-fashioned telephone turned smartphone. The new fashion for this virtual connectivity means that our laptops are effectively our offices and, of course, they need not reveal to anyone where we physically are. Convenient though that is, it also means that I can never leave my office. Unless I am disciplined enough to turn off all the technological gadgets I am more enslaved, not less.
Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen
Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, 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, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, 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.
Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein
23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator
And it was remarkable how quickly living in such close quarters eroded my sanity. I couldn’t sleep through the night for the snoring of my roommates. I couldn’t talk to my wife on Skype without someone eavesdropping. It was as though I was being subjected to a cruel psychological experiment in which I was released each day to forage and prowl on the streets and then returned to the cage each night, only to discover that someone had moved my things while I was out. A few days on this zero-privacy regimen put me on a permanent hair trigger. * * * I returned to Hacker Condo to find a new guy on the couch. He was tall and blond and engrossed in his laptop. I said hello and asked where he was from. “I’m Norwegian. I’m in the middle of a Skype conversation,” he said. “Uh, sorry,” I said. I forgot his name immediately. Raj said New Norwegian Guy was the first in an impending wave of arrivals.
* * * I found Corey Ferreira through his website, makefiverrmoney.com, which was a marketing vehicle for his e-book, Fiverr Success: $4000 a Month. 8 Hours of Work a Week. The e-book cost $17. For $50 more, Corey would throw in one hundred free gig ideas, thirty prerecorded video lessons, an audiobook, and an audio recording of a “webinar.” Betting on the empathic bond of our common forename, I emailed Corey to request a Skype chat. He agreed. Then I persuaded him to reveal his secrets for free. Corey, a Toronto native in his late twenties, had been making money online since the age of sixteen, when he built a website for a friend of his father’s and earned $100. Fiverr offered dramatically lower rates, but he saw the service as an opportunity to land more clients. He began by performing simple tasks, like moving a website from one server to another, and upselling his Fiverr customers on more expensive services.
The Zuckerberg-backed group also lobbied for an expansion of the existing H-1B specialty workers visa, the lucky winners of which live in perpetual uncertainty and are exploited mercilessly by tech industry labor brokers known as body shops. Schulte shared the stage with one such labor broker, whose company played “matchmaker” for San Francisco startups seeking “high-talent workers” from abroad. “Kick-ass policy changes … that’s what my man Todd is working on,” she said. Another panelist, a former Skype executive and Andreessen-Horowitz “entrepreneur in residence” from Estonia, now leading an immigration startup in Palo Alto, had grandiose designs that went far beyond ass kicking. “We want to make every single government in the world compete for every single citizen,” the entrepreneur, Sten Tamkivi, said. I looked around. Tamkivi had blown minds with this nonsense. But his startup was so modest in scope that it made a mockery of his fantastically ambitious rhetoric about supplanting the global reign of nation-states.
Cultureshock Paris by Cultureshock Staff
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).18.104.22.168.56 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.
The Happiness Effect: How Social Media Is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost by Donna Freitas
4chan, fear of failure, Joan Didion, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Skype, Snapchat, Year of Magical Thinking
“Traditionally you don’t communicate with the person you’re going out with,” Dinah says. “Not to say it never happens. Usually they date frequently enough that it’s not that weird.” Also, Dinah explains, there is the miracle of Skype. If the couple lives far enough away, they may have Skype dates—approved and chaperoned—but not the traditionalists, she says. They don’t even allow people from different towns to date. “So if you’re dating an out-of-town boy, chances are your family isn’t going to really object to Skype dating. But then Skype dates are like regular dates. You don’t just decide, ‘Oh, I want to talk to him, let’s Skype him.’ You make an appointment, and you talk about dating-type stuff, for say two or three hours, and then you hang up. So it’s like going on a real date but minus the food.” Remembering how Alima’s Muslim faith shapes her behavior on social media, I ask Dinah whether Facebook and other platforms are similarly complicated for young, unmarried Orthodox Jews.
Everybody’s too nervous about protecting our virgin women.” Ephraim says this last bit with a smirk on his face followed up by a roll of his eyes. Ephraim and his Orthodox Jewish guy friends are also allowed smartphones, and one of the consequences is that they can explore sex in ways that girls are barred from doing. He starts telling me about how, for a while, they were all obsessed with ChatRoulette—a Skype-type platform that connects people randomly via video—you never know who you are going to get. I wonder if going on ChatRoulette is an example of the “wild times” Ephraim told me about earlier on in our interview, when he mentioned living in that basement with lots of other guys. Ephraim refers to it as part of “the underbelly” of the online world. “My friends introduced me to this, and obviously it was about getting girls, you know?”
See also Snapchat age-appropriateness of, 204–5 attachment style and, 325n3 ethics of, 193–5 by minors, 11, 303n5, 325n3 negative views on, 207–8 nude photos, 202, 204, 325n3 within relationships, 203, 206 religious lifestyle restrictions and, 116 riskiness of, 208 views on responsible manner of, 205–7, 208 sexual assaults, 9 sexual orientation, and social media, 146, 180–4, 200 sexual selfies, 96 shame, and comparison trap, 32, 41 shaming. See bullying/cyberbullying shares. See comparison trap, and likes/retweets Skype dates, 185 sleep, and smartphones, 327n2 smartphones, 209–30 addiction to, 208, 215–7, 219–21, 223 always “on call,” 213, 218–9 camera capabilities, 92, 204 classroom bans on, 61, 271 as distraction from responsibilities, 215, 327n1 effects on sleep, 327n2 examples of unplugging, 210–8 female sense of safety and, 225 gender differences and, 121 as necessity, 9 remembering life before, 221–5 summary conclusion, 228–30 unplugging forever, 226–8 use of relational language for, 223 Smith, Christian, 277 Snapchat, 8 authenticity/inauthenticity, 132–4, 258 as catharsis, 134 comparison to Facebook, 132–4 disappearing posts on, 131–5 My Story feature, 35, 133 as outlet for play, 263 ranking of friends, 280–1 selfies on, 85, 86 sense of control on, 150 sexting on, 203–4, 206 social issues.
Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz
Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, bounce rate, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, constrained optimization, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, frictionless market, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, inventory management, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, platform as a service, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, sentiment analysis, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social software, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, telemarketer, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, web application, Y Combinator
Put another way, virality is a force multiplier for your attention-generating efforts. Done right, it’s one of your unfair advantages. It’s also critical to distinguish between artificial virality and inherent virality. If your service is inherently viral—meaning that use of the product naturally involves inviting outsiders, as it does with products like Skype or Uberconf—the newly invited users have a legitimate reason to use the product. A Skype user you invite will join in order to get on a call with you. Users who join in this way will be more engaged than those invited in other, less intrinsic ways (for example, through a word-of-mouth mention). On the other hand, if your virality is forced—for example, if you let people into a beta once they invite five friends, or reward people with extra features for tweeting something—you won’t see as much stickiness from the invited users.
Sergio Zyman, Coca-Cola’s CMO, said marketing is about selling more stuff to more people more often for more money more efficiently. Business growth comes from improving one of these five “knobs”: More stuff means adding products or services, preferably those you know your customers want so you don’t waste time building things they won’t use or buy. For intrapreneurs, this means applying Lean methods to new product development, rather than starting an entirely new company. More people means adding users, ideally through virality or word of mouth, but also through paid advertising. The best way to add users is when it’s an integral part of product use—such as Dropbox, Skype, or a project management tool that invites outside users outsiders—since this happens automatically and implies an endorsement from the inviting user. More often means stickiness (so people come back), reduced churn (so they don’t leave), and repeated use (so they use it more frequently). Early on, stickiness tends to be a key knob on which to focus, because until your core early adopters find your product superb, it’s unlikely you can achieve good viral marketing.
This might be the number of projects in a project management tool, or the number of customers in a customer relationship management application. Finding the best mix of these tiers and prices is a constant challenge, and SaaS companies invest considerable effort in finding ways to upsell a user to higher, more lucrative tiers. Because the incremental cost of adding another customer to a SaaS service is negligible—think of how little it costs Skype to add a new user—many SaaS providers use a freemium model of customer acquisition. Customers can start using a free version of the service that’s constrained, in the hopes that they’ll consume all the free capacity and pay for more. Dropbox, for example, gives subscribers a few gigabytes of storage for free, then does everything it can—including encouraging sharing and photo uploads—to make sure users consume that capacity.
Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott
Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, 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, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, 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 intelligence, social software, standardized shipping container, 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, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, 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.
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk
Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, intangible asset, 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.
Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent by Douglas Coupland
British Empire, cable laying ship, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, Downton Abbey, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marshall McLuhan, oil shale / tar sands, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Wall-E
Steiner has degrees from the University of Mannheim and Télécom Paris Tech, but has also served as a paratrooper in the German Army’s Special Operations Division. He is an expert in peer-to-peer file sharing or, in more generic terms, “What happens to information when there’s no central command.” He describes his work over the years as being “proto-cloud,” useful in advancing mobile Internet use and services like Skype. I ask him the question all scientists dread: “We should be able to see what’s next, and yet we don’t. Why is it so hard to see what’s next?” Moritz reflects, “Instead of asking ‘What’s next?’ we instead need to ask, ‘What do people want?’ Maybe that’s as close as you can get to an answer for that question.” Steiner’s comment reminds me of an anecdote I heard a million years ago, when I was studying Japanese business science in Honolulu in 1985 (long story).
“When firms are developing a new product, and doing market surveys, they always ask people whether they think their new gadget is ‘cool’ or not. But they also have to ask whether people would actually pay to have this new thing in their life. There’s a huge difference.” In 1962 AT&T and Bell Labs forgot to ask people that question when they premiered the picture phone at the Seattle World’s Fair, and lost billions as a result. Skype arrived four decades later, and most people remain ambivalent about having their day-to-day face blasting out into the universe for other people to not only see, but also take screen snaps of, so that later, at their leisure, they can go in and count the blackheads from the day’s conversations. < br > Next I meet Shawn Brennan, a customer support engineer, whose cubicle is tumbleweed empty, except that on his screens are vibrant high-res images of tropical fish and lagoons—which is an apt reminder that what you see on the outside of a person is not necessarily a reflection of what’s on the inside.
“What’s weird here is that AT&T basically invented the iPad for the sake of a TV commercial, and then the only thing they used it for was to send a fax. It’s like making a Rolls Royce and then using it only as a shopping cart. “Another ad shows a female executive using a touch-tone phone booth in a crowded railway terminus. On the screen above the phone, a baby appears. ‘Have you ever tucked your baby in … from a phone booth?’ The commercial gets Skype and video chat right, but it’s happening at a payphone booth. So the rule of futurology really is: Always make it more extreme. This was Steve Jobs’ genius. He would never have allowed a payphone to appear in a commercial about the future.” (Later that night I go to view more of the commercials in my hotel room. The Internet being the Internet, of course, the comments following the YouTube clips maintain its sense of anarchical freedom: “Have you ever attended a funeral from a toilet?
The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar
“Obama O’s,” Drunkily’s Channel, YouTube video, January 12, 2012, https://youtu.be/OQTWimfGfV8. 16. Mott, “Watch Our PandoMonthly Interview.” Chapter 2: Jam Sessions 1. “Uber Happy Hour,” Vimeo, February 2, 2011, https://vimeo.com/19508742. 2. M. G. Siegler, “StumbleUpon Beats Skype in Escaping eBay’s Clutches,” TechCrunch, April 13, 2009, http://techcrunch.com/2009/04/13/ebay-unacquires-stumbleupon/. 3. “Travis Kalanick, Uber and Loic Le Meur, Co-Founder, LeWeb,” YouTube video, December 13, 2013, https://youtu.be/vnkvNQ2V6Og. 4. Siegler, “StumbleUpon Beats Skype.” 5. Erin Biba, “Inside the GPS Revolution: 10 Applications That Make the Most of Location,” Wired.com, January 19, 2009, http://www.wired.com/2009/01/lp-10coolapps/. 6. “Fireside Chat with Travis Kalanick and Marc Benioff,” September 17, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Andreessen liked to say that the goal of their firm, Andreessen Horowitz, was to identify the fifteen or so tech startups every year that actually mattered and back as many of them as possible.13 The firm took a long look at Airbnb and whiffed. “Marc struggled with the idea that this would be mainstream,” Chesky says. Andreessen Horowitz would rectify the oversight the following year and lead the Series B, a less lucrative but still hugely profitable investment. Another venture capitalist that passed was across Sand Hill Road at a firm called August Capital. Howard Hartenbaum, an investor in the online video-calling service Skype, met with Chesky repeatedly that fall and took the founders to dinner at Alexander’s Steakhouse near the new office in San Francisco. Chesky impressed Hartenbaum; he seemed to have poise, intelligence, and a fierce determination to succeed. But Hartenbaum couldn’t wrap his head around the numbers. Chesky, emboldened by Airbnb’s early momentum, was offering a 6 percent ownership stake in the company for an investment of $4.5 million.
Launching in Paris required accepting foreign credit cards, converting euros to dollars, and translating the app into French, among other tasks. Kalanick simply directed his team to work harder. “Never ask the question ‘Can it be done?’” he was fond of saying at the time, recalls one employee. “Only question how it can be done.” Kalanick left for LeWeb but stayed in touch from his hotel room over Skype video chat, his disembodied head still a loud, demanding presence in the office. Everyone was working around the clock, on little sleep and ebbing patience. “Someone turn Travis off!” yelled the new chief of product, a former Google manager named Mina Radhakrishnan, when Kalanick berated them for not having the service ready in Paris on time. Conrad Whelan, the company’s first engineer, recalls spending every day in the office, from 7:30 a.m. to midnight, including weekends, for three weeks straight before the Paris launch.
Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper
4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buy and hold, 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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, QR code, Ross Ulbricht, 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.
Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith
affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, 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, uber lyft, 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.”
Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, disruptive innovation, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, 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, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, uber lyft, 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.
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
They do whatever their men tell them to do, so that’s what you should do.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses do Bible study on Skype. When I got back to my hotel room at nine in the morning, they hit me up on Skype for our regular Bible study. JW: “What happened to you?” I hadn’t even looked at myself, and when I saw myself on the Skype . . . I saw there was a knot on my forehead, there were all these welt marks across my throat. Tiffany: “Oh man. My husband came out here, we got into it, he choked me.” Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in divorce. Not for any reason. They were all like: JW: “You need to get a divorce. You have to get out of this.” Then the lady leading the Bible study calls her husband. Her husband’s an elder, but she gets him on Skype right away. JW: “Look at Tiffany. Look at her. She needs to get a divorce. Don’t you think?”
So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford prison experiment, 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.
Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get From Start-Up to IPO on Your Terms by Jeffrey Bussgang
business cycle, business process, carried interest, digital map, discounted cash flows, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pets.com, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds
This has happened on only rare occasions, but the prudent entrepreneur nonetheless should be careful about the downside of divulging too much about their business to an EIR. On the other hand, EIRs can be great entry points into the VC firm if they become enthusiastic sponsors of your idea. Nitzan Shaer, who had been an executive with eBay and Skype, joined Flybridge as an EIR in 2007. “The idea of becoming an EIR was introduced to me after I started considering my next steps at Skype,” Nitzan wrote on my blog, Seeing Both Sides.7 “I had three options on the table: join an early-stage start-up, start a company of my own, or become an EIR. Honestly, there was no start-up I found that excited me, but there were a bunch of ideas that I wanted to pursue—not all of them in my direct area of expertise, so I knew I would need time and advice.”
His grandfather was General William Draper, Jr., who became the first professional West Coast venture capitalist after serving in the Truman administration as an implementer of the Marshall Plan. His father, Bill Draper, is one of Silicon Valley’s legendary venture capitalists and still invests out of his own firm. Tim has created a legacy of his own by investing in early-stage companies, including Skype, Hotmail, and Baidu, the Chinese-based search company that is profiled later in Chapter 7. DFJ is based in Menlo Park, California, but starting in 2005 began to aggressively expand outside of the United States, with affiliated funds in Israel, Europe, India, China, Vietnam, and others. The model DFJ has taken is analogous to the McDonald’s franchise model. Find a local management team, provide them with a brand and back-office support (accounting, fund management, and the like), and create a global network of venture capitalists that are tied together by economic and social bonds, share deals and analysis, yet make investment decisions and control the bulk of their own economics locally.
See Negotiating deal Primack, Dan Principals, role of Protective provisions Quan Zhou background information entrepreneurs, assessing Home Inn IDG-Accel China, development of MySpace China Ravikant, Naval Recruitersrole as Redpoint Ventures References, of VC firm, checking Ries, Eric Risk, presenting to VC Rock fetch Rohaly, Janos Rosenbloom, Micah pitch to VC selling Brontes 3D 3M, role at Roving Software Sabet, Bijan Sarbanes-Oxley Act Schmidt, Eric Scott, David Meerman Selling business Brontes 3D example decision-making considerations following IPO time to discuss timing, importance of Sequoia Capital development of Series A financing Shaer, Nitzan, as entrepreneur in residence (EIR) Shah, Dharmesh Sharp, Philip Shong, Hugo Sideways scenario Siemens Sim, Ed Sinclair, Dr. A. David Sirtris Pharmaceuticals development of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) purchase IPO/sale process See also Westphal, Dr. Christoph Six Apart Skok, David Skype Social media tools impact on VC LinkedIn Socialnet Sohl, Jeffrey Starbucks Start-up advice, seeking by CEO and board of directors CEO failure scenario complexity of conflict avoidance tips 80/20 rule, following as ensemble founder/outside CEO conflict initial public offering (IPO) phases of selling business VC abandonment Stock option pool participation feature Stone, Biz Strategistsrole as S2S Medical Publishing Sun Microsystems Surowiecki, James Suster, Mark Swensen, Dave Swisher, Kara Syndication Taylor, Bill Term sheet control elements detail, level of elements of exploding term sheet protective provisions rescinding offer See also Negotiating deal Thiel, Peter 3M, Brontes 3D, purchase of Trinity Ventures Truth Teller, board member as Twitter investors in as networking tool See also Dorsey, Jack TypePad Union Square Ventures.
Data Science for Business: What You Need to Know About Data Mining and Data-Analytic Thinking by Foster Provost, Tom Fawcett
Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Gini coefficient, information retrieval, intangible asset, iterative process, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, Netflix Prize, new economy, p-value, pattern recognition, placebo effect, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, text mining, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, WikiLeaks
a explain hard has is jazz music natural rhythm swing to d1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 d2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 d3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 1 0 Usually some basic processing is performed on the words before putting them into the table. Consider this more complex sample document: Microsoft Corp and Skype Global today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype. Table 10-3 shows a reduction of this document to a term frequency representation. Table 10-3. Terms after normalization and stemming, ordered by frequency Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count skype 3 microsoft 3 agreement 2 global 1 approv 1 announc 1 acquir 1 lead 1 definit 1 lake 1 communic 1 internet 1 board 1 led 1 director 1 corp 1 compani 1 investor 1 silver 1 billion 1 To create this table from the sample document, the following steps have been performed: First, the case has been normalized: every term is in lowercase.
Terms after normalization and stemming, ordered by frequency Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count skype 3 microsoft 3 agreement 2 global 1 approv 1 announc 1 acquir 1 lead 1 definit 1 lake 1 communic 1 internet 1 board 1 led 1 director 1 corp 1 compani 1 investor 1 silver 1 billion 1 To create this table from the sample document, the following steps have been performed: First, the case has been normalized: every term is in lowercase. This is so that words like Skype and SKYPE are counted as the same thing. Case variations are so common (consider iPhone, iphone, and IPHONE) that case normalization is usually necessary. Second, many words have been stemmed: their suffixes removed, so that verbs like announces, announced and announcing are all reduced to the term announc. Similarly, stemming transforms noun plurals to the singular forms, which is why directors in the text becomes director in the term list. Finally, stopwords have been removed. A stopword is a very common word in English (or whatever language is being parsed).
., The news story clusters separating classes, Example: Overfitting Linear Functions sequential backward elimination, A General Method for Avoiding Overfitting sequential forward selection (SFS), A General Method for Avoiding Overfitting service usage, From Business Problems to Data Mining Tasks sets, Bag of Words Shannon, Claude, Selecting Informative Attributes Sheldon Cooper (fictional character), Example: Evidence Lifts from Facebook “Likes” sign consistency, in cost-benefit matrix, Costs and benefits Signet Bank, Data and Data Science Capability as a Strategic Asset, From an Expected Value Decomposition to a Data Science Solution Silver Lake, Term Frequency Silver, Nate, Evaluation, Baseline Performance, and Implications for Investments in Data similarity, Similarity, Neighbors, and Clusters–* Using Supervised Learning to Generate Cluster Descriptions applying, Example: Whiskey Analytics calculating, The Fundamental Concepts of Data Science clustering, Clustering–The news story clusters cosine, * Other Distance Functions data exploration vs. business problems and, Stepping Back: Solving a Business Problem Versus Data Exploration–Stepping Back: Solving a Business Problem Versus Data Exploration distance and, Similarity and Distance–Similarity and Distance heterogeneous attributes and, Heterogeneous Attributes link recommendation and, Link Prediction and Social Recommendation measuring, Similarity and Distance nearest-neighbor reasoning, Nearest-Neighbor Reasoning–* Combining Functions: Calculating Scores from Neighbors similarity matching, From Business Problems to Data Mining Tasks similarity-moderated classification (equation), * Combining Functions: Calculating Scores from Neighbors similarity-moderated regression (equation), * Combining Functions: Calculating Scores from Neighbors similarity-moderated scoring (equation), * Combining Functions: Calculating Scores from Neighbors Simone, Nina, Example: Jazz Musicians skew, Problems with Unbalanced Classes Skype Global, Term Frequency smoothing, Probability Estimation social recommendations, Link Prediction and Social Recommendation–Link Prediction and Social Recommendation soft clustering, Profiling: Finding Typical Behavior software development, Implications for Managing the Data Science Team software engineering, data science vs., A Firm’s Data Science Maturity software skills, analytic skills vs., Implications for Managing the Data Science Team Solove, Daniel, Privacy, Ethics, and Mining Data About Individuals solution paths, changing, Data Understanding spam (target class), Example: Targeting Online Consumers With Advertisements spam detection systems, Example: Targeting Online Consumers With Advertisements specified class value, Supervised Versus Unsupervised Methods specified target value, Supervised Versus Unsupervised Methods speech recognition systems, Thinking Data-Analytically, Redux speeding up neighbor retrieval, Computational efficiency Spirited Away, Example: Evidence Lifts from Facebook “Likes” spreadsheet, implementation of Naive Bayes with, Evidence in Action: Targeting Consumers with Ads spurious correlations, * Example: Why Is Overfitting Bad?
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman
1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, do-ocracy, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, George Santayana, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, low cost airline, mandatory minimum, 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.
Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal
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, G4S, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nelson Mandela, 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.
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss
Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, 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, zero-sum game
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.
The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady
AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, DevOps, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Paul Graham, Ruby on Rails, 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.
Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey
corporate raider, 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, source of truth, 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.
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
Airbnb, big-box store, clean water, fixed income, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, Nelson Mandela, 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.
To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O'Connell
3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer age, cosmological principle, dark matter, disruptive innovation, double helix, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Extropian, friendly AI, global pandemic, impulse control, income inequality, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mars Rover, means of production, Norbert Wiener, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge
The scenario was deliberately cartoonish, but as an example of the kind of ruthless logic we might be up against with an artificial superintelligence, its intent was entirely serious. “I wouldn’t describe myself these days as a transhumanist,” Nick told me one evening over dinner at an Indian restaurant near the Future of Humanity Institute. Though he was married, his wife and young son were based in Canada, and he lived alone in Oxford. The arrangement involved frequent transatlantic flights, and regular Skype check-ins; regrettable though it was from a work-life balance point of view, it allowed him to focus on his research to a degree that would not otherwise have been possible. (He ate at this particular restaurant so frequently that the waiter had brought him a chicken curry without his having to make any explicit request for same.) “I mean,” he said, “I absolutely believe in the general principle of increasing human capacities.
It seemed to me odd, though not especially surprising, that a hypothetical danger arising from a still nonexistent technology would, for these billionaire entrepreneurs, be more worthy of investment than, say, clean water in the developing world or the problem of grotesque income inequality in their own country. It was, I learned, a question of return on investment—of time, and money, and effort. The person I learned this from was Viktoriya Krakovna, the Harvard mathematics PhD student who had cofounded—along with the MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark and Skype founder Jann Tallinn—the Future of Life Institute, which earlier that year had received an endowment of $10 million from Musk in order to establish a global research initiative aimed at averting AI catastrophe. “It is about how much bang you get for your buck,” she said, the American idiom rendered strange by her Ukrainian accent, with its percussive plosives, its throttled vowels. She and I and her husband, Janos, a Hungarian-Canadian mathematician and former research fellow at MIRI, were the only diners in an Indian restaurant on Berkeley’s Shattuck Avenue, the kind of cavernously un-fancy setup that presumably tended to cater to drunken undergraduates.
When I thought of DARPA, I thought, among other things, of its administration of the so-called Information Awareness Office, exposed by the former CIA employee Edward Snowden as a mass surveillance operation organized around a database for the collection and storage of the personal information (emails, telephone records, social networking messages, credit card and banking transactions) of every single resident of the United States, along with those of many other countries, all of which was accomplished by tapping into the user data of marquee-name tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype, Google—the corporate proprietors of the sum of things that might be factually and usefully said about you, your information. “Look at him go!” said Prabhakar now, as the robot rounded the second safety barrier, bringing the car over a line in the sand, and gently to a halt in front of the door through which the industrial disaster zone stage set was to be accessed by means of knob-turning. “That’s fun!”
The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding
affirmative action, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Firefox, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, job-hopping, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, kremlinology, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, undersea cable, 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.
Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin
Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, 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.
Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit From Global Chaos by Sarah Lacy
Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, BRICs, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, income per capita, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, megacity, Network effects, paypal mafia, QWERTY keyboard, risk tolerance, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game
According to Dow Jones Venture Source, from 2001 to 2008, venture capitalists invested a whopping $10 bil ion in Israel, but those investments returned a paltry $860 mil ion in IPOs and acquisitions over the same period. Meanwhile, Europe—a place long considered too stodgy and risk-adverse for venture capital investing—returned $6.3 bil ion to venture investors over the same period. Sure, two-thirds of that was eBay’s acquisition of Skype, but that’s exactly the point: Israel had no big, single multibil ion homerun of the last 10 years, just a bunch of singles and misses. To be fair, the numbers probably don’t count al of Israel’s exits over the last decade. For one thing, many companies move their headquarters from Israel to the United States after raising money, so they may get counted as Israeli when they take funding and American by the time they get bought or go public.
“For that matter, venture returns in Europe and the USA have not been stel ar either over the last decade. There is no way to sugarcoat that, and LPs are hurting from that.” Saul Klein, an investor from London-based Index Ventures, is another concerned believer in Israel. While Israel has declined, Index has had a hugely successful decade investing in stodgy old London, a place far less known for taking entrepreneurial risk. Among Index’s hits are Skype, MySQL, and last.fm, which netted nearly $3 bil ion in returns between them. Klein puts it best when he says, “Israel is in serious danger of being a one-decade wonder.” The keys to both the mystery of Israel’s great run in the 1990s and the mystery of why its returns crumbled a decade later are found by looking at a few factors: the unique nothing-to-lose chutzpah of Israeli entrepreneurs, several smart policy moves by the Israeli government that played to the country’s endemic strengths, and some stel ar market timing.
Craigslist Crivo Ctrip Dafoe, Wil em Dare, Virginia Debt, U.S. consumer Del Deng Xiaoping: agricultural reformer capitalism catalyst as communist leader in France free-trade zone homage to Department of Commerce, U.S. Developing countries. See Emerging markets Digg Digital Equipment Corporation Digu Discovery Channel Disney, Walt Disney video Djalal, Dino Patti Domino’s Pizza, Brazil Dot-com crash (2000) Dow Jones Venture Source Dubai, as investor Duke University eBay: censorship issues as competitor founder of as Internet power PayPal purchase Skype purchase as tech giant Economic issues: Brazil China India Indonesia Israel Rwanda U.S. Economic Policy Institute Edison, Leontinus Eisenberg, Michael Eko India Financial Services eLance El ison, Larry Emerging markets. See also specific countries advantages of entrepreneurship in new world order vis-à-vis U.S. Endeavor Entrepreneurship: in emerging markets globalization of political ramifications U.S. history of Ericsson Estrin, Judy Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Facebook: employee cachet funding for in Indonesia as media giant PayPal role in social network Factory Girls (Chang) Fal ows, James FARC.
The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind
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, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, 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, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, 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!, WikiLeaks, 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.
Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman
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, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, 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.
Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard
Asperger Syndrome, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, complexity theory, European colonialism, pattern recognition, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, 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.
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton
bitcoin, blockchain, crack epidemic, Edward Snowden, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Ross Ulbricht, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the market place, trade route, Travis Kalanick, white picket fence, WikiLeaks
He had told his employees the importance of being safe in a coffee shop, once offering Inigo this advice: “Take your laptop and find a spot in a cafe where your screen won’t be visible to anyone. Get a large coffee, sit down, and don’t get up except to stretch.” Given that there was nowhere for Ross to sit that adhered to that protocol, he turned around and walked back outside. He had a lot on his mind, as always. He had made plans with Julia to video chat that evening. “Can we skype tonight?” she had asked over e-mail. “Sure, what time?” “Is 8 my time good?” “Sure, see you then,” he wrote, following up with a “:)” as he knew exactly what kind of Skyping they’d be doing. The air was calm as Ross contemplated where to go next. He needed Wi-Fi but didn’t have many options at 3:00 p.m. in this sleepy corner of the city. He looked to his left, in the direction he had just come from, and knew Cup Coffee Bar had closed an hour earlier. Straight ahead of him cars streamed by, a woman walked with her daughter, and two men sat on a wooden park bench, one staring at his laptop, the other looking at his phone.
Though now when he passed out on the couch, his son, Tyrus, would curl up next to him. It had been difficult for Tyrus to be away from his dad so much, but Jared had explained that this was all temporary, and the travel was important because “I’m trying to catch a pirate who is doing bad things.” (Tyrus, hearing this, accepted his father’s quest. Pirates, after all, were bad characters in the storybooks he read, and needed to be caught.) But Tyrus had one request, that Jared Skype with him each night before bed. “Of course,” Jared replied as they both curled up on the couch and fell asleep. The next morning Jared woke up and left for work again. As he pulled his car into the parking lot of the HSI offices in Chicago and it chugged to a stop, his phone rang with a New York phone number. “Agent Der-Yeghiayan here.” “Hey, Jared,” a voice said, “this is Serrin Turner with the U.S.
So DPR had paid and was still waiting for a response. Then another employee, to whom he had loaned $500,000, had disappeared. To top it all off, his poison oak rash hadn’t gone away. But there were things to be grateful for. Ross was soon going to Austin, where he would see Julia. She had told him in an e-mail she would pick him up from the airport, and he could stay with her. Just like old times. They had been having romantic Skype sessions a lot too and sending long, dirty e-mails back and forth about what they would do to each other in person. Ross had also had an epiphany over the weekend. After the bonfire and the fireworks on Ocean Beach, he had written in his diary (alongside his travails on the Silk Road and an explanation for how he got the poison oak rash) that he needed to “eat well, get good sleep, and meditate so I can stay positive.” 12:15 p.m.
Trees on Mars: Our Obsession With the Future by Hal Niedzviecki
"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, business intelligence, Colonization of Mars, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Zinn, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, working poor
Half the students had words we tangentially associate with the elderly—words, for instance, like Florida (which became the name of the study). All the students were then asked to walk down the hall to another room. The students who had been given the Florida grouping of words walked down the hall at a noticeably slower pace. They were subconsciously influenced by the set of words they had read.34 Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google. These companies are not just the new middlemen, the monopolistic cultural arbitrators of their day, the new judges, the new Hollywood, the new record company A&R. They are also our touchstones, verbs, and identities. They are the twenty-first century. And they are not just offering us momentary fame and fortune decided on by the whims of boardroom executives. They are offering us something much deeper, something that now shapes us on the granular, on the cellular level.
What we see when we look at the XPrize is, again, the philosophy of future first embodied in real life, and altering our institutions on the most elemental level. If institutions ranging from colleges to governments can’t get us to the future fast enough, then we need to replace them with newer, better institutions. Or maybe, we don’t need institutions at all. ° ° ° ° ° ° To learn more about the XPrize philosophy, I reach Mark Winter via Skype. Winter is the senior director of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize Challenge. He has had a thirty-year-plus career in Silicon Valley working for companies including Adobe and Apple. Most recently he was a founder and executive vice president of a company providing wireless monitoring of blood glucose levels for people with diabetes. I ask Winter to tell me how the XPrize works. “We as a foundation have a pipeline of great challenges that are not addressed by market forces successfully yet.
Novak is a self-described amateur historian and futurist best known for his popular and often very funny blog Paleofuture, which lived on the website of the Smithsonian Institute and now resides on Gizmodo.com.28 Paleofuture chronicles what people in the recent past thought about the future. Novak blogs about advertisements, commercials, TV shows—The Jetsons!—newspaper articles, 1960s time capsules, letters to the year 2000, and so much more. I reach Matt Novak via Skype in his hometown of Los Angeles. He listens attentively to my theory about the move to a different conception of future in which individuals are empowered and even required to pursue the time to come. But he’s not convinced. He warns me about making blanket statements about a certain generation and their conception of the future. Though we view the 1950s and 1960s as a time of great collective optimism and enthusiasm for the future in general and space travel in particular, that wasn’t necessarily the case.
We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages by Annelise Orleck
airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Food sovereignty, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McJob, means of production, new economy, payday loans, precariat, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Skype, special economic zone, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor
I traveled across the United States and to parts of the world I had never before visited. I drove, flew, walked, rode in open-air tuk-tuks and on the backs of motorcycles. With photographer Elizabeth Cooke, I conducted interviews in windowless worker dormitories, union offices, and on the streets, at protest marches, in city council hearing rooms, in brightly lit restaurants and shaded back rooms, in elegantly shabby colonial hotels, at factory gates, by phone and via Skype. I interviewed in English, my native tongue, and with interpreters, in Spanish, Khmer, Tagalog, Visayan languages, Bangla, Mixtec, and Zapotec. Oxnard translator Yessica Ramirez navigated the distinct dialects spoken by indigenous Oaxacans. In Manila, Joanna Bernice Coronacion deftly switched back and forth between Tagalog and English, and Jamaia Montenegro translated from the Visayan languages spoken in the southern Philippines.
CHAPTER 4—“I CONSIDER THE UNION MY SECOND MOTHER” 1. Interview with Tep Saroeung, Phnom Penh, November 29, 2015. 2. Chhay Channyda and Vincent MacIsaac, “Beer Girl Allies Target Carslberg,” Phnom Penh Post, August 9, 2011. 3. “CFSWF Response to the Carlsberg Statement Issued on February 9, 2016,” March 4, 2016, https://sarmorablog.wordpress.com. CHAPTER 5—HOTEL HOUSEKEEPERS GO NORMA RAE 1. Skype interview with Massimo Frattini, October 20, 2015. 2. “The Law of Hotel Housekeeper Occupational Health & Safety,” Transnational Development Clinic at Yale Law School, February 25, 2014, http://www.iuf.org/w/sites/default/files/TheLawofHotelHousekeepers.pdf. 3. Interview with Chhim Sitthar and Pao Chhumony, Phnom Penh, November 26, 2015. 4. Conversation with Vathanak Serry Sim, Phnom Penh, November 28, 2015. 5.
National Employment Law Project, “The Growing Movement for $15,” November 4, 2015, http://nelp.org/publication/growing-movement-15. 4. Human Rights Watch, World Report 2016. 5. Interview with Chhim Sitthar, Phnom Penh, November 27, 2015; e-mail correspondence with Em Atienza, June 22, 2016; Rishi Iyengar, “The Killing Time: Inside Rodrigo Duterte’s War on Drugs,” Time, August 25, 2016. 6. Interview with Maria Elena Durazo, Los Angeles, September 11, 2015; interview with Josua Mata, Manila, November 22, 2015. 7. Skype interview with Moshrefa Mishu, October 10, 2015. 8. Kim Scipes, KMU: Building Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980–1994 (Quezon City: New Day Books, 1996). 9. Iain Boal, “Up from the Bottom,” in First World, Ha Ha Ha! The Zapatista Challenge, ed. Elaine Katzenberger (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995). 10. Diana Denham and C.A.S.A. Collective, eds., Teaching Rebellion: Stories from the Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2008); author’s observations and interviews, Oaxaca, Mexico, June 10–13, 2006. 11.
Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman
23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, 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, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, global pandemic, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, 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, Ross Ulbricht, 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 Future of Employment, 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, Westphalian system, 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.
Stuffocation by James Wallman
3D printing, Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Black Swan, BRICs, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Fall of the Berlin Wall, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, high net worth, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Hargreaves, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, McMansion, means of production, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, 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.
The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele
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, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, 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.
The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honore
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Broken windows theory, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, drone strike, Enrique Peñalosa, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Exxon Valdez, fundamental attribution error, game design, income inequality, index card, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, medical malpractice, microcredit, Netflix Prize, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty
Result: the birth of one of the fastest-growing companies of the 21st century. A decade later the Skype headquarters in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, remains a shrine to start-up chic, with bare brick walls, bean bags and funky art. Everywhere you look, multinational hipsters are sipping mineral water or fiddling with iPads. On a landing near the room where I meet Andres Kütt, Skype’s young, goateed business evangelist, stands a whiteboard covered in squiggles from the last brainstorming session. Even in this iconoclastic bear pit, the wrong fix can win stubborn defenders. At 36, Kütt is already a seasoned problem-solver. He helped pioneer Internet banking and spearheaded efforts to get Estonians to file their tax returns online. He worries that, by growing old enough and big enough to have vested interests, Skype has lost some of its problem-solving mojo.
Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality by Laurence Scott
4chan, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, clean water, colonial rule, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Internet of things, Joan Didion, job automation, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, Productivity paradox, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, Y2K
Today, our private and public realities, our inner and outer worlds, coexist in a way particular to these times. The horror movie2 Unfriended (2015) is about a girl who kills herself after some humiliating drunken footage of her is circulated online. The girl’s ghost wreaks revenge on a group of friends, one by one, while they chat on a group Skype call. The webcam view onto a scene of paranormal torture is suddenly obscured by the latest victim’s Skype-profile picture. One moment there are screams of anguish or spurting blood, the next we cut to a frozen picture of the same terrorised teen in happier times: wearing a woollen hat with animal ears, or full of youthful vanity, flexing biceps. This collision of the real and the mediated is a macabre version of a common experience. We’re often confronted with the poignancy of a troubled friend’s unflinching Facebook grin, or privy to the sorrow behind their online gaiety.
We can of course communicate aspects of bereavement online, but these platforms often make it difficult to capture the rawness of shock, or to bear relation to the unending, quiet No behind the ‘Nooooooo!!!’ And yet, the opposite is also true. One of our emerging problems, which will require careful legislation, is the horrific proximity of online death. Suicides and murders make news whenever they are live-streamed on Skype or Facebook. The vlogging millionaire Logan Paul was recently ‘punished’1 by YouTube for his video from Japan’s ‘haunted’ Aokigahara forest. The place is a notorious suicide spot, and in the video Paul is filmed beside the body of a dead man. In his Twitter apology he describes being ‘misguided by shock and awe’, but nonetheless YouTube demoted him from their lucrative ‘Google Preferred’ programme, which allow stars such as Paul to receive the largest cuts from the brands advertising on his channel.
Herzog, quoted in Nik Papageorgiou, ‘How the brain produces consciousness in “time slices”’, EPFL News, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, April 2016; ‘ball of clichés …’, Jenny Diski, ‘A Diagnosis’, The London Review of Books, 11th September 2014. Backstage Pass 1 ‘Obscenity is always …’, Ludwig Marcuse, Obscene: The History of an Indignation, trans. Karen Gershon (London: Macgibbon & Kee, 1965). 2 ‘The horror movie …’, the commentary on Unfriended first appeared in my essay ‘Death by Skype’ for the Financial Times, 1st May 2015. Thanks to John Sunyer for commissioning and editing this piece. 3 ‘either apologizing, or …’, Tom Rachman, ‘Leakzilla’, in Basket of Deplorables (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY: Riverrun, 2017). 4 ‘The archetypal choice …’, a version of this description of the ‘selfie’ expression first appeared in my essay ‘A Sentimental Portrait’, Emotional Supply Chains (London: Zabludowicz Collection, 2015).
Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven
Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, post-work, 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.
This Chair Rocks: A Manifiesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Downton Abbey, fixed income, follow your passion, ghettoisation, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, obamacare, old age dependency ratio, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, stem cell, the built environment, urban decay, urban planning, white picket fence, women in the workforce
Inexpensive video technology and storage sites like YouTube give people a new way to tell their story and get feedback, and not just from the grandchildren. My father worked with Buckminster Fuller and enjoyed tracking the work of his acolytes online. It deeply engaged him and ensured a steady trickle of geeky visitors dropping in to talk about the remarkable inventor. Ruth, my partner’s mom, and a bookseller, Skypes prospective customers on her iPad to show them her wares, making her unusually wired for a nonagenarian. I’ve resisted her entreaties to join Words With Friends, but she’s got six or eight games going at any time with no help from me. Asked on her seventieth wedding anniversary what was the most remarkable invention she’d witnessed during her lifetime, she answered, “My iPhone.” Learning the new language of technology is challenging, especially since few devices are designed with older users in mind, and no one can keep up with the pace of change.
We can be our own worst enemies. There’s plenty of internalized ageism in the assumption on the part of older people that they’re too old to learn how to maneuver in a wired world, or don’t want to bother. My mom, who typed hundreds of long and entertaining letters over the years, claimed she couldn’t get the hang of e-mail. Pia Louise hosts a radio show called Living Portraits, and requires her guests to participate via Skype or Google Hangout. “I feel people my age, fifty-plus, should keep up with technology. Instead I find they respond that ‘they have no need for it,’” she wrote. “Yikes! What do you think?” Here’s my response on my Q&A blog, Yo, Is This Ageist? Because it applies to all guests, your policy isn’t ageist. It’s your prerogative, and probably a technical necessity. Plenty of people over fifty are new-media savvy, though, and it’s ageist to stereotype them as technophobes or stuck in their ways.
Editor Nancy Peske increasingly relies on her teenager and his best friend for help with certain skills she doesn’t have time to acquire, “and they’re more visual than I am,” she notes. “But I teach them big-picture things with tech and information they otherwise wouldn’t learn for years, so it’s an even exchange.” Getting together online is no substitute for actual “face time,” of course, although Apple’s or Skype’s simulacrum is a great way to check in on faraway friends or family, especially when moving around is difficult or travel expensive. The important thing is to sustain existing connections, be open to new ones—especially across generations—and to actively solicit them. Mix it up with friends of all ages In the US, nonfamily relationships tend to be age-homogenous. According to Cornell gerontologist Karl Pillemer’s informal comparison of scholarly articles about cross-generational friendships, Americans are more likely to have a friend of a different race than one who is ten years older or younger than they are.
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
additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, 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, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, 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, intangible asset, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberation theology, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, 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, zero-sum game
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 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 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.
Designing Social Interfaces by Christian Crumlish, Erin Malone
A Pattern Language, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, c2.com, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative editing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, ghettoisation, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, if you build it, they will come, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, Network effects, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, RFC: Request For Comment, semantic web, SETI@home, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, source of truth, stealth mode startup, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application
Buddy list showing avatars to help disambiguate buddies. Download at WoweBook.Com Activity Streams 135 Why Real-time communications and the buddy list to support them add an immediate and real-life component to what are often asynchronous online experiences. Related patterns “Adding Friends” on page 361 “Many Publics” on page 228 “Private Conversation” on page 298 As seen on Adium (http://adium.im/) AIM (http://www.aim.com/) Skype (http://www.skype.com/) Yahoo! Messenger (http://messenger.yahoo.com/) Activity Streams When status updates first emerged in the context of instant messenger programs, they were inherently fleeting, temporally tied to the immediate moment and then discarded. It really doesn’t make that much sense to keep an infinite log of Available, Busy, Idle, Offline, and so on for the life of the user or the application.
. • Allow the space to be stored for later or repeat use. • Consider promoting or featuring interesting group discussions. Download at WoweBook.Com 304 Chapter 11: Watson, Come Quick! Related patterns “Groups” on page 376 “Private Conversation” on page 298 “Public Conversation” on page 296 As seen on Acrobat Connect (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatconnect/) AIM (http://www.aim.com) Skype (http://www.skype.com/) WebEx (http://www.webex.com/) Yahoo! Instant Messenger (http://messenger.yahoo.com) Yuuguu (http://www.yuuguu.com/) Arguments Flame Wars Flame wars break out when a person responds in a volatile manner to a negative, hostile, or otherwise personal attack against him by another person (usually a troll, a person trolling for a reaction). These usually happen in forums or message lists, but can also take place in online chats, in IM, and in comments on an object.
There is no expectation of conversation, but adding comments and tools such as Twitter replies creates an opportunity for indirect conversations to take place. Many-to-many communications—message boards and forums, listservs, chat—allow multiple people to discuss multiple topics, usually bound by a parent topic. Anyone can start a conversation, and everyone can read it and participate. These are often public, but listservs generally require membership to participate. One-to-one communication—instant messages, Twitter direct messages, Skype—provides communication between two people (or a small group), usually in real time and often in private. Download at WoweBook.Com 290 Chapter 11: Watson, Come Quick! Meaning-Making Machines Grandma Powazek once told me why she stopped making cucumber salad. She’d been chopping cucumbers when her hands started to hurt. She thought the cucumbers caused the pain. It’s logical, of course. Her hands hurt when she was chopping, and felt better when they weren’t.
Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett
Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism
In short: Zoltan was running for president, but in the same way any lone individual can. But he could not do it as a candidate of the Transhumanist Party. This distinction is extremely important. Under electoral law, it is forbidden to claim to have a political party if you do not or to receive donations as a representative of a political party that does not exist. Zoltan had been doing both. I Skyped Zoltan shortly after and asked him whether there was such a thing as the Transhumanist Party. Barely missing a beat, Zoltan fired back. ‘My critics may have a technical point. But they are forgetting that everything that succeeds is a revolutionary party. So is the Transhumanist Party!’38 Yes, he admitted, he’d been breaking the FEC laws all this time. ‘But I’m trying to set myself up as someone who has broken laws for the benefit of Americans.
‘Affinity groups’ of three or four like-minded people would often work on a particular project related to the camp, making decisions among themselves. Everyone was also part of a larger ‘neighbourhood’, which would come together in plenary meetings to make decisions. Each neighborhood sent a spokesperson to a General Assembly, where all major decisions were taken. ‘It was unbelievable,’ John Jordan, one of those involved in setting it all up, told me via Skype from France (where he was occupying a large site trying to prevent a new airport being built). ‘An enormous, functioning community, without hierarchies. And it worked.’ Activists came to see climate change as the inevitable by-product of a capitalist system that promotes endless consumption, the pursuit of profit and corporate interests. Capitalism would always lead to the world being exploited.* Climate change needed ‘system change,’ those involved said at the time.
‘Good morning ladies and gentlemen, ministers, ambassadors and friends of liberty, it’s my great honour to moderate this conference for you,’ said Martin Panek, a timid, slightly awkward man in his early thirties in a suit. ‘It was supposed to be moderated by the president, but, er, he called me Thursday to say he was denied entry by Croatia.’ Vit’s four-foot-high smiling face was projected on the wall in front of us, beamed in via Skype, from his ‘exile’ in the Anne Caffe Hotel in Bezdan, twenty kilometres away in Serbia. Vit is an unassuming man, who looks younger than his thirty-two years. He wears a short goatee beard, which matches his strawberry blond hair, and has a Greek wrestler’s build. He is also blessed with that rare condition of a face that rests on a smile. ‘Without further ado,’ said Jan, glancing at Vit’s massive smiling face, ‘er, I guess I will give the floor to the president—we’re still waiting for a few more people to come in—OK.
Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea Into a Global Business by Mikkel Svane, Carlye Adler
Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, credit crunch, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, remote working, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, web application
It takes a lot of self-discipline and focus. Some people are good at it. Some aren’t. If you want to be good at it, you need to: • Have a proper home office that both you and your family consider more “office” than “home.” • Let go of the fact that the garage needs to be cleaned up, even though you look at it all day. It’s harder than you think. 34 Page 34 Svane c02.tex V3 - 10/24/2014 8:23 P.M. The Salad Days • Make Skype your friend. You have to check in with your team members, peers, and boss all the time. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s remarkable that we live in a time when we can work from anywhere. But the bigger challenge is whether or not you have the personality to be productive at it. I could never do it again. When I’m working, you’ll find me in our new offices at 1019 Market Street. Money Isn’t Only in Your Bank Account; It’s Also in Your Head We were all on different schedules, and there were times we were together only on nights and weekends, but on the weekdays only if we happened to be off our other jobs at the same time.
Luckily, our move West attracted some of the people who previously worked with us and knew exactly what we needed—like Mick, a great engineer who had worked in Copenhagen as a contractor three days a week. He had wanted to come to the United States to pursue his American dream, but he had had no interest in moving to Boston, complaining that it was “boring and colder than Denmark.” Now Morten and Alex Skyped him from San Francisco: “Guess where we are,” they taunted. And then, “Want to come?” “Absolutely,” Mick replied. He sold his house—none of us had done that—packed up his family in time for the kids to start school at the beginning of the year, and was in our office ready to take on our scaling challenges. But we constantly needed more people. There was so much pressure on Morten, and he couldn’t onboard people fast enough.
Page 199 Index day of, 175–177 determining how much you’re worth, 173–175 postponing, 168–169 preparing for, 158–160 road show, 169–171 surviving an IPO road show, 171–173 Zendesk’s IPO experience, 167–178 iterating, 53–55, 187 J Janz, Christoph, 65–67, 106 K Kleha, Amanda, 134–135, 181 L Latkiewicz, Matthew, 100–102, 181 Laughing Squid, 48 Law of Jante, 125 LiveUniverse, 65 logo design, 41–42 Lund, Morten, 34 M Malik, Om, 68 Marooney, Caryn, 170 Materna, 17–20 McDermott, Adrian, 136–138 media companies, 14 Mentor, 42 Mick, 124, 181–182 Musk, Elon, 25 N naming the company, 39–42 No Meeting Wednesdays, 34 Nygaard, Toke, 41–42 O office space, 115–119, 154–158 OneLogin, 180 OpenDNS, 130 P Pageflakes, 65 Pedersen, Thomas, 73–74, 90, 103, 180 personalized emails, 104 Pisoni, Adam, 130 Playdom, 129 pricing, 143–150 Primdahl, Morten, 1–2, 17–18 as chief technology officer, 26 early days at Zendesk, 31, 33 epilogue, 179, 180 fear of complacency, 165 financial struggles, 36–37, 39 handling the growth of the business, 122–123 and the inception of Zendesk, 20 Project Eisenhut, 40 R reaching scale, 74 real estate lessons learned, 118–119 refunds, 139 relationships, 150, 185–188 relocating to America hiring employees, 124–129 hiring first employees, 100–102 legal and tax challenges of relocating to America, 92–93 moving the company to Boston, 87–88, 90–91 personal issues surrounding, 97–99 settling in in Boston’s Leather District, 99–100 relocating to San Francisco finding office space, 115–119 making the decision to move, 112–114 Rigoli, Rick, 99–100, 108, 109, 112–113, 158–160 epilogue, 181 Riviera Partners, 136 Ruby on Rails, 14, 26, 28 199 Svane samind.tex V1 - 10/28/2014 12:18 A.M. Page 200 INDEX S SaaS. See Software-as-a-Service Salesforce.com, 27 Scribd, 53 second chances, 16–19 self-service sales, 45–47 Series A rounds, 83–84 shifting strategy, 152–154 Skype, 35 Software-as-a-Service, 47 Square, 24 Startupland, 3 stereograms, 8–9 strategy shift, 152–154 T Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, 46 TechCrunch, 42–45, 53, 68, 129, 144 Capital Summer Party, 69–71 Tesla, 164 Thank You Machine, 40, 73 37signals, 14, 28 3D Magic Eye books, 8 Twitter, 53, 91, 122, 124 U Uber, 124 V value-added resellers, 14 VARs. See value-added resellers VCs. See investors venture capital.
Machine Translation by Thierry Poibeau
AltaVista, augmented reality, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, crowdsourcing, easy for humans, difficult for computers, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, information retrieval, Internet of things, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, natural language processing, Necker cube, Norbert Wiener, RAND corporation, Robert Mercer, Skype, speech recognition, statistical model, technological singularity, Turing test, wikimedia commons
Today, the techniques used for automatic subtitling coupled with machine translation allow for the production of subtitles in various languages, live and without additional cost. The quality of the result, however, remains a problem, and applicable solutions are not yet deployed on a large scale. Direct Translation in Multilingual Dialogue Automatic speech translation is seen as a major opportunity by most information technology companies. Skype, for example, owned by Microsoft, developed a prototype that was incorporated into its communication platform. The trend is now widespread: the mobile messaging application WeChat has also announced the integration of a machine translation system. WeChat is first and foremost an interactive service of written messages, but it also allows for exchanging voice messages: these will be automatically translated in the same ways once the quality of the system is considered sufficient.
Large companies producing connected tools (Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Samsung, to name a few) develop their own solutions and regularly buy start-ups in technological domains. They need to be first on the technological front and propose new features that may be an important source of revenue in the future. The future will likely see the integration of machine translation modules in new kinds of appliances, as seen in chapter 14. Microsoft has already presented live demonstrations of multilingual conversations, integrating speech translation into Skype. Google, Samsung, and Apple are creating similar applications for mobile phones, and even for “smart” eyeglasses. While it is not yet clear whether these gadgets will really be used in everyday life, they are interesting for specific professional contexts, such as the maintenance of complex systems in the aeronautic or nuclear industry, where technicians must be able to communicate while keeping their hands free.
See also Bilingual dictionary; Lexical resource Semantics, 36, 58, 67, 124, 156, 159–161, 174–179, 206 Sentence alignment, 101–108, 163 representation, 19, 24–32, 63, 115–116, 160, 176–179, 185–187, 189 structure, 12, 14, 23, 27, 30, 70, 115–116, 117, 122, 140, 152, 156–160, 164, 183, 187, 189, 191, 255 Sentence-by-sentence translation, 14 Shallow semantic analysis, 115. See also Semantics Shannon, Claude, 52, 55, 76 Siemens, 87 Silence, 157, 158 Skype, 240, 250 Slavic languages, 214 Smart glasses, 242–243, 250 Smart watch, 242–243 Smirnov-Trojanskij, Petr Petrovitch, 46–48, 51, 246, 269 Social network, 221, 229, 248 Sparck Jones, Karen, 66, 270 Speech-to-speech application, 241–242. See also Speech translation Speech transcription, 126, 226, 239–241 Speech translation, 22, 126, 227, 236, 239–241, 250 Statistical machine translation, 121–146 Stemming, 51 Stratificational grammar, 65 Style (of a text), 10–13, 15, 46, 55, 92, 208–209 Suffix, 18, 264.
CIOs at Work by Ed Yourdon
8-hour work day, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, distributed generation, Donald Knuth, 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 new new thing, 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.
May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes
“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.
Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman
3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business cycle, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, 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 pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, 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, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game
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.
Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom
And the photograph you gave me at the beginning was a hint to me about what direction I should take with you.” “You say I knew all this? You give me far, far too much credit.” “I don’t think so. I’m just siding with the part of you where wisdom dwells.” We both looked at the clock. We had run over several minutes. As Natasha rose and collected her things, she said, “May I get back to you by email or Skype if I have more questions?” “Of course. But remember: I’m aging. So don’t wait too long.” ~ 4 ~ Thank You, Molly A few months ago I attended an outdoor funeral service for Molly, my long-term bookkeeper and Jane-of-all-trades who had worked for me for decades and had been both a godsend and a major thorn in my side. I’d first employed her in 1980 to collect my mail and pay my bills while I was on a year’s sabbatical, living and writing in Asia and Europe.
“I spend a lot more time avoiding people than meeting people. A lot of single women there, but it’s awkward. If I get too friendly with one, then she’ll be looking for me at every meal and every activity. If you get involved with one, there’s no chance you can date another without hell to pay.” “How about people you knew before you went into the retirement community?” “I have a son. He’s a banker living in London, and he phones or, lately, Skypes every Sunday morning. Good kid. Two grandchildren—a boy and a girl. And that’s about it. Lost touch with everyone else from my former life. My wife and I had a lively social life, but she was the hub. She organized everything, and I just went along.” “It’s curious, isn’t it? You say you’re lonely, yet you have such good social skills, and you’re surrounded by people whom you try to avoid.” “Doesn’t make sense, I know.
How are things going for you so far in this session? We’re just starting out, I know, but you’ve laid out a lot of your personal life already, and I have a hunch that’s uncommon for you.” “Very uncommon. But you’re making it minimally painful. I do open myself up to two good friends, Connie and Jackie, friends from college days. We live in different parts of the country, but we stay in contact by Skype or phone at least once a week. Connie’s folks have a great vacation home on Lake Michigan, and we have a reunion every summer.” “And they’re close confidants?” Justine nodded, “Yep, they know almost everything. Even about my son. They’re my only confidants.” “Aside from me?” “Right. But I haven’t told them about the melanoma. That I’ve only shared with you.” “Because?” “I think you know.
The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel Iii, John Seely Brown
Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, game design, George Gilder, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, old-boy network, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, 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, the new new thing, 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.
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans
"side hustle", 4chan, Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, colonial rule, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Doomsday Book, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, East Village, Edward Charles Pickering, game design, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, old-boy network, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pets.com, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, rolodex, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y2K
She took the directory gig because it married her love of electronics with progressive action. Like Sherry, she spent her days on the phone: checking in on San Francisco’s social workers, suicide-prevention hotlines, homeless shelters, senior centers, community groups, and Switchboards. “It really felt to me like putting the tools to exactly what they were meant to be used for, to serve the needs of people,” she tells me, a cat perched on her shoulder, when I reach her over Skype. “They figured out a way to put technology to use in a way that really touched people’s lives, and that just seemed completely appropriate and cool.” To keep the directory accurate, the women made dozens of phone calls a day and collated pages by manually laying them on the floor in alphabetized piles. They all dreaded the monthly chore of going to the post office with hundreds of manila envelopes, each painstakingly hand labeled.
They were the architects of the hypertext systems that time forgot, systems with names like Intermedia, Microcosm, Aquanet, NoteCards, and VIKI, the earliest ontological frameworks of the information age. Hypertext is, in many ways, the practice of transforming pure data into knowledge. And like programming a generation before, it was where the women were. MICROCOSM To understand hypertext, I’ve turned to one of the brightest computer scientists in the world. Dame Wendy Hall is a garrulous, strawberry blonde Brit with a disarmingly warm manner and a busy calendar. We’re talking over Skype, nine hours apart. Wendy, who was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire—the female equivalent of being knighted—in 2009 for her contributions to computer science, is in a hotel room in London, dressed for dinner. I’m in my pajamas, drinking coffee, surrounded by index cards, in my office in Los Angeles. For reasons I don’t yet understand, she has chosen this moment to catch me up on medieval European history.
And while linkbases and constructive hypertext were easily maintained in relatively contained research and classroom environments, or on small networks of computers all running the same operating system, they would have quickly become unmanageable on a global scale. Today, we accept 404 Errors as the cost of doing business, and the Web runs the world. MULTICOSM The second time I talk to Wendy Hall, she’s finishing up a long day with the department she now chairs at Southampton, the Web Science Institute. As I reach her on Skype, she’s just saying good-bye to the last students trailing out of the conference room where they’ve been meeting. “Claire’s writing a book about me,” she says, laughing, to someone I can’t see, gesturing at my head on the screen. “Or people like me, anyway.” Wendy will be the first to tell you that she’s a very social person. She loves to make connections with people, and between them. When she talks, she does so in long, unselfconscious streams, jumping from one big, seemingly unrelated idea to another on her own invisible tracks—the mark of a true hypertext researcher.
Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky
"side hustle", Airbnb, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, gig economy, Golden Gate Park, Google X / Alphabet X, information retrieval, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, price mechanism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, young professional
It did that within six months.” Pishevar was one of several investors who wanted a piece of Uber. Among the most prominent was Andreessen Horowitz, then a two-year-old firm helmed by Marc Andreessen, a cofounder of Netscape. Andreessen Horowitz was media savvy and aggressively self-promotional. It also found early success with an unusual deal. It had been part of an investment group that bought the Internet calling service Skype from eBay—a private-equity transaction rather than a VC play—and quickly flipped the company to Microsoft for a gain of $5 billion for the group. Andreessen’s marquee name appealed to Kalanick. Having the backing of such investors conferred legitimacy on start-ups, particularly attractive to an entrepreneur who had toiled in obscurity for as long as Kalanick had. Uber reached a handshake agreement with Andreessen Horowitz, and Kalanick told a host of investors, including Pishevar, they were out.
He asked each candidate for a city general manager job to prepare a “city presentation,” a PowerPoint deck that showed how the potential executive would build out a market for Uber. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, a Frenchman who had been working for a hedge fund in London, prepared such a presentation in the fall of 2012, hoping to become general manager for Paris. A short while later he found himself on Skype with Kalanick and Graves. Kalanick’s goal in interviewing candidates is to try “to simulate real-life interaction in an office,” says Gore-Coty. “Travis spent ten to fifteen minutes discussing my previous experiences, asking me about my investments and my analysis of the media industry”—topics that might have little bearing on Uber. Kalanick told Gore-Coty they were engaging in a “jam,” an expression that was lost on the Frenchman at the time.
In 2014, Kalanick hired Jason Droege, one of the cofounders of Scour, to a top position at Uber. Whereas many of the original Scour employees had stuck with Kalanick at Red Swoosh or followed Michael Todd to Google, Droege went his own way after Scour’s collapse. He founded an online shop to sell used golf equipment called Back 9 Golf. Then he helped start a company called Gizmo5 Technologies, eventually bought by Google, that created an Internet calling service similar to Skype but aimed at small businesses. Next Droege joined Taser International, the stun-gun maker, which had begun selling body cameras to police officers. Droege oversaw a Web-based repository for all the video cops uploaded called Evidence.com. Droege had discussed working at Uber before, but he decided to see things out at Taser, a publicly traded company in Arizona. He kept in touch with Kalanick, though, and as Uber grew two things dawned on Droege.
The Next Factory of the World: How Chinese Investment Is Reshaping Africa by Irene Yuan Sun
barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, Computer Numeric Control, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, European colonialism, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, manufacturing employment, means of production, mobile money, post-industrial society, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population
Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective, (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1966), 9. 35. Wall Street Journal, July 3, 1991, A4. 36. Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness, 9. 37. Leslie T. Chang, Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China (New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2008), 74. 38. E. P. Thompson, “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism,” 80. 39. Kelly Pike, interview by the author on Skype, March 10, 2016. Chapter 6 1. Stephen Sigei, interview by author, Nairobi, Kenya, July 10, 2016. 2. Larry Hanauer and Lyle J. Morris, Chinese Engagement in Africa: Drivers, Reactions, and Implications for U.S. Policy, (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2014), 30–31. 3. Dinah Jerotich Mwinzi, remarks at the Africa Tech Challenge 2016 Opening Ceremony, Nairobi, Kenya, July 12, 2016. 4.
Dan Munro, “Ebola: While Big Pharma Slept,” Forbes, September 14, 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2014/09/14/ebola-while-big-pharma-slept/#a8293ee6627a; and Mirjam Gehrke, “Pharmaceutical Industry Neglects Developing Countries,” Deutsche Welle, October 26, 2012, http://p.dw.com/p/16WgN. 16. Doctors Without Borders, “No Time to Quit: HIV/AIDS Treatment Gap Widening in Africa,” May 2010, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/sites/usa/files/MSF-No-Time-to-Quit-HIV-AIDS.pdf. 17. Daniel Berman, interview by author on Skype, July 22, 2016. 18. Yanzhong Huang, “Chinese Pharma: A Global Health Game Changer?” Council on Foreign Relations, New York, March 31, 2015, http://www.cfr.org/china/chinese-pharma-global-health-game-changer/p36365. 19. Viral Shah, “Evolution of Pharmaceutical Industry: A Global Indian & Gujarat Perspective,” Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Bioscientific Research 2, no. 5, Sept–Oct 2012, 219–229, http://www.jpsbr.org/index_htm_files/5_JPSBR_12_RV109.pdf. 20.
South African Government News Agency, “Government Establishes Pharmaceutical Company,” February 11, 2016, http://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/government-establishes-pharmaceutical-company. Ina Skosana, “New State-Run Pharmaceutical Company to Produce ARVs by 2019,” Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, http://bhekisisa.org/article/2016-02-17-new-state-run-pharmaceutical-company-to-produce-arvs-by-2019. 27. United Nations Industrial Development Organization, “Kenya Pharmaceutical Sector Development Strategy,” 2012. Author Skype interview with Daniel Berman, July 22, 2016. 28. Haddis Tadesse, interview by author, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 19, 2016. 29. Government of Ethiopia and World Health Organization, “Launch of Ethiopian National Strategy and Plan of Action for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Development and Improving Access,” July 14, 2015. 30. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Health and Ministry of Industry, “National Strategy and Plan of Action for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Development in Ethiopia (2015–2025),” abridged version, July 2015. 31.
Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte
8-hour work day, affirmative action, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, Burning Man, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deliberate practice, desegregation, DevOps, East Village, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, game design, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, profit maximization, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar, éminence grise
Cheerleading camps. Basketball teams. Kindergarten flag football. Tae kwon do belts. Hip replacements. Heart surgeries. Back surgeries. Graduations. Anniversaries. Births. Deaths. Check. Check. Check. The handwriting often snakes up the sides of the letters into the margins of the decorative garland of stockings and tinsel stars. We put the letters aside for a moment and Burnett calls two colleagues on Skype to catch up on their ongoing research on busyness. They’ve studied how living fast and busy frays relationships. Couples they’ve interviewed lament that they have no time for each other. “I can’t honestly tell you when actually we had the last real conversation,” one told her. They likened their lives to living on a “speeding train,” a “roller coaster,” and a “carousel and there’s no way to get off.”
Their relationships, they said, fell to the “bottom of the family food chain.”6 Burnett and her colleagues’ current project examines women and busyness. They’re deep in the process of analyzing the language women have used in interviews to describe their lives. “One woman we interviewed said, ‘It’s not the kind of cars you drive anymore, it’s how busy you are, how many activities you’re in, the bumper stickers on your car—that shows status,’” Burnett’s colleague, Becky DeGreeff, says over Skype. Another woman admitted judging people for taking time off. “We assume that if people aren’t always busy, then they must be lazy,” she told them. “I don’t know how people would not be busy,” sniffed another. “I’m so tired. I need a sabbatical,” one woman said, before quickly vowing she’d never take one, as if that would be admitting a lack of stamina to keep up.7 DeGreeff says she overheard two mothers who’d dropped their daughters off at a dance class and were busy grocery shopping before the class let out.
“Men with children have a sharp choice,” Williams said. “They can choose not to be equal partners with their wives, in which case having children will help their careers with the fatherhood bonus. Or they can choose to be equal partners and hurt their careers even more than women. As long as that’s the case, we’ll have a few brave souls, but that’s it. Brave souls.” He’s stuck. With smartphones and Skype and e-mail and other fast-emerging technologies keeping us all tethered to work, the ideal worker is now expected to be on call and ready to roll all day, every day, all the time. And because the ideal worker is just that, a demanding, voracious ideal, no one can ever measure up. No matter how much you do, how hard you work, how much you sacrifice, how devoted you are, you can never attain that ideal.
Exercise Every Day: 32 Tactics for Building the Exercise Habit (Even If You Hate Working Out) by S.J. Scott
You have work distractions or the “just one more email” problem. You keep meaning to get started on your micro-commitment, but you have to answer that text, Skype message, email, etc. It never seems to end. You will always have interruptions. If you let these interruptions dictate your life, you will never, ever accomplish anything beyond the immediate priorities of your job and personal life. This is called survival mode—putting out fire after fire as they pop up. This is no way to live, and it certainly isn’t a way to thrive and get the most out of life. In order to break the cycle of interruptions messing up your plans, you have to take back control of your life. You need to schedule your day and set aside certain times for email, Skype, phone calls, and communication with others. You also need to schedule your exercise appointment. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth stating again: Place your workout appointment at the same priority level as you would a meeting with your boss.
PostgreSQL 9 Admin Cookbook: Over 80 Recipes to Help You Run an Efficient PostgreSQL 9. 0 Database by Simon Riggs, Hannu Krosing
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".
The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan
1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, 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, creative destruction, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global pandemic, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, 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, zero-sum game
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.
The End of Secrecy: The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks by The "Guardian", David Leigh, Luke Harding
4chan, banking crisis, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, Downton Abbey, drone strike, eurozone crisis, friendly fire, global village, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, post-work, 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?
Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business cycle, 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, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, online collectivism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, 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.
Deep Sea and Foreign Going by Rose George
Admiral Zheng, air freight, Airbus A320, 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, Jones Act, London Whale, Malacca Straits, Panamax, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Skype, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche
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.
Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, 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, 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, superconnector, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game
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.
A Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country by Helen Russell
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Downton Abbey, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, obamacare, offshore financial centre, remote working, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stephen Hawking
Instead he says: ‘You should also bear in mind that they might not like us. They might have enough friends already, like we did back home.’ Great. Now I feel much better… ‘It’ll be OK,’ Lego Man says eventually, shuffling closer towards me on the sofa and putting his arm around me. ‘We just need to get to know the place better. You should get out and about more, meet people.’ He’s probably right. Working from home and socialising via Skype and FaceTime isn’t good for a girl. But then neither is Sticksville-on-Sea’s public transport system. Having suffered frostbite and fury at the mercy of infrequent buses and trains since Lego Man started commuting to work with our sole mode of transport, a leased Lego-mobile, I decide that the time has come to buy my own car out here. Coming from the UK, I have it relatively easy in terms of hitting the Danish roads.
I’ve just about got my head around this new state of affairs and Lego Man’s early arrivals when I hear a car crunch onto the drive at 2.30pm. The sound of the door handle turning gives me such a shock that I knock over a glass of water while speaking to a time management expert in New York. I have to pretend to her that the resultant cursing is coughing and that the madly barking dog is interference on the transatlantic Skype line. ‘Well, thank you so much for your time,’ I say as I scribble some final notes in poor shorthand. ‘I won’t keep you any longer!’ I add slightly manically in order to be heard over the din of the dog, whimpering with excitement at the return of his master, and Lego Man, bringing his characteristic drafts and noise into the house. He is affectionately mauled by the dog, buying me a few moments to consider my decidedly dressed-down look.
Five friends from school come to stay and I bathe in the familiarity and concentrated dose of oestrogen they bring with them. We talk fast – not at the pace I realise I’ve been adopting out here, over-enunciating every word to try and make myself understood. We catch up on each other’s news. We eat snegles. We take group pictures at the porny pony fountain in The Big Town. It’s A Lot Of Fun. A couple of them have small children, so there are daily Skype sessions before toddler bedtimes, reminding me of how much I want that life too. I love being a godmother to two utterly edible small people back home, and delight in being a not-at-all-related ‘special auntie’ to several more, but it’s not the same. And I still have to swallow down the lump that appears in my throat sometimes when I think about this. But I’m really happy to have my old friends with me for a while and when they leave, I feel lifted, reinvigorated, and ready to take on another month – or six – of living Danishly.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
Albert Einstein, epigenetics, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Khan Academy, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell
He’d spent ten years collecting and conducting serious scientific research. He’d written dozens of posts and self-published a book explaining breathing from the subatomic level on up, all annotated with hundreds of studies. He’d also become one of Scandinavia’s most respected and popular breathing therapists, helping to heal thousands of patients through the subtle power of healthy breathing. When I mentioned during one of our Skype conversations that I would be mouthbreathing for ten days during an experiment, he cringed. When I asked if he wanted to join in, he refused. “I do not want to,” he declared. “But I am curious.” Now, months later, Olsson plops his jet-lagged body onto the examination chair, puts on the video glasses, and inhales one of his last nasal breaths for the next 240 hours. Beside him, Nayak twirls the steel endoscope the way a heavy metal drummer handles a drumstick.
We’re eating the same food at the same time as we did ten days earlier, sweating through the same stationary bike workouts in the same gym, and having many of the same conversations. This afternoon we’re discussing Olsson’s favorite subject, his obsession for the past decade. We are, once again, talking about carbon dioxide. It is hard to admit now, but when I first interviewed Olsson more than a year ago, he was not a source I entirely trusted. On our Skype calls, he liked to hammer the importance of slow breathing, and he’d sent me a half-dozen PowerPoint presentations and reams of scientific studies on how paced breathing relaxed the body and calmed the mind. This part made perfect sense. But when he started in on the restorative wonders of a toxic gas, I began to wonder. “I really think carbon dioxide is more important than oxygen,” he told me. Olsson claimed that we have 100 times more carbon dioxide in our bodies than oxygen (which is true), and that most of us need even more of it (also true).
I understood why only one person showed up for the first conference he held on breathing, in 2010, and why, after honing his message and building his research base, he was now something of a Swedish media star who filled auditoriums, his grinning, perpetually tanned, rom-com face popping up on newspapers, magazines, and nightly news shows. In these interviews, he championed the therapeutic effects of nasal breathing and beseeched audiences with the same message of slow breathing. I returned home to San Francisco, and Olsson and I kept in contact. Every few weeks I’d get a new email or a Skype call about some new long-lost scientific discovery he’d just unearthed in a medical library. He’d continued his self-experimentation too, always seeking to use his own body to prove the power of breathing and wonders of the “metabolic waste product,” carbon dioxide. This is how Olsson ended up, a year after our first meeting, in my living room in San Francisco with a face mask Velcroed to his head and an EKG electrode clipped to his ear
Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty by Vikram Chandra
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, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, 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, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, pink-collar, revision control, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supercomputer in your pocket, 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.
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