Archive for the ‘Daring Fireball’ tag

#  “It’s Different for Girls” →

May 13th, 2014 at 10:28 // In Worth Considering 

Really good portrait inside the rarely-remarked-upon minor problems faced by women in the technology and business world. Without an agenda Heidi Roizen recalls both the awkwardness and hard issues that she has faced in her career:

The PC manufacturer’s senior vice president who had been instrumental in crafting the deal suggested he and I sign over dinner in San Francisco to celebrate. When I arrived at the restaurant, I found it a bit awkward to be seated at a table for four yet to be in two seats right next to each other, but it was a French restaurant and that seemed to be the style, so down I sat.

Wine was brought and toasts were made to our great future together. About halfway through the dinner he told me he had also brought me a present, but it was under the table, and would I please give him my hand so he could give it to me. I gave him my hand, and he placed it in his unzipped pants.

(via Daring Fireball)

#  The Surreal Future of Telemarketing →

December 21st, 2013 at 17:07 // In Worth Reading 

A really interesting piece by Alexis Madrigal about the weird enmeshing of people and machines that constitutes a likely future of telemarketing.

Such conversations happen millions of times a year, but they are not what they appear. Because while a human is picking up the phone, and a human is dialing the phone, this is not, strictly speaking, a conversation between two humans.

Instead, a call-center worker in Utah or the Philippines is pressing buttons on a computer, playing through a marketing pitch without actually speaking. Some people who market these services sometimes call this “voice conversion” technology. Another company says it’s “agent-assisted automation technology.”

(via Daring Fireball)

#  NCAA’s Transfer Rules →

July 12th, 2013 at 16:34 // In Worth Knowing 

I’ve long agreed with the basic premise that the NCAA is one of the more morally dubious organizations held commonly in high esteem. And this piece about the misplaced outrage about a “transfer epidemic” is more fodder for the cannon. Josh Levin is clear-sighted and empirical about student transfers and how the NCAA’s strange rules surrounding them can change the lives of “student athletes” is spot-on. A brilliant and much-needed attack:

Let’s examine what this epidemic looks like. Transfer rates for Division I men’s basketball players have hovered between 9 and 11 percent each offseason over the last decade. By comparison, a 2010 study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling indicated that 1 in 3 college students transfer during their scholastic careers. The only difference I’m seeing here is that English lit professors aren’t grousing about students running off with their copies of Moby Dick.

(via Daring Fireball)

#  The View from Nowhere →

December 20th, 2011 at 16:42 // In Worth Knowing 

Jay Rosen asked himself some questions (over a year ago) about an idea he’s trying to spread about the American journalistic style:

In pro journalism, American style, the View from Nowhere is a bid for trust that advertises the viewlessness of the news producer. Frequently it places the journalist between polarized extremes, and calls that neither-nor position “impartial.”

The initial idea is good, but the fleshing-out is worth sticking around for.

(via Chairman Gruber)

#  Cash Cow Disease →

January 24th, 2011 at 11:45 // In Worth Reading 

This brief article is ostensibly about Google and Microsoft, but it’s a cogent attack on the inefficiencies of any sufficiently complacent bureaucracy.

How did Microsoft manage to acquire a relatively hip and happening company like Danger and turn it into a complete flop of a product launch with the Kin? To oversimplify: by having all the money the world. When your development decisions affect your ability to meet payroll quite directly, you see them in a very different light than when they affect nothing more than perhaps your next annual review or your status in the latest internecine company struggle. The economic discipline of the marketplace is lost for those afflicted with cash cow disease. A CEO can embark on a cellphone project for little better reason than that some obnoxious guy in a black turtleneck is doing well with his own cellphone.

(via DF)

#  The Pale Blue Dot →

January 12th, 2011 at 15:10 // In Worth Watching 

Inspired by this post from John Gruber, I searched for the title of one of Carl Sagan’s books and came up with multiple amazing things.

My two favorites are from different parts of the text. One from palebluefilms — which uses the same audio as most videos this search yields — is about our significance, the one from thelostproductionsUS — that Gruber highlighted — is about our potential.

#  The Singular “They” →

July 27th, 2009 at 19:20 // In Worth Reading 

I now know who to blame whenever I feel bad about using “they” as a singular pronoun.

Anne Fisher (1719-78) was not only a woman of letters but also a prosperous entrepreneur. She ran a school for young ladies and operated a printing business and a newspaper in Newcastle with her husband, Thomas Slack. In short, she was the last person you would expect to suggest that he should apply to both sexes. But apparently she couldn’t get her mind around the idea of using they as a singular.

And along with promising that soon the dark days of the plural-only “they” will pass into memory, the piece mention a pronoun I’d heard in lore, and begun to consider apocryphal: thon.

Now if only we could settle on a second-person plural more accurate than “you”…

(via Daring Fireball)

#  There, I Fixed It →

June 29th, 2009 at 15:54 // In Worth Distraction 

You’ve probably seen some of these photos elsewhere. Others are doubtless Photoshopped or just staged for amusement. But it doesn’t stop this site from being worth a little of your time.

(via DF)

#  Forever’s Not So Long →

March 12th, 2009 at 20:06 // In Worth Distraction 

I enjoyed this trip to the end of a life.

(via DF)

#  Ripping into Thomas Freidman →

January 19th, 2009 at 19:08 // In Worth Distraction 

I’ve always had mixed feeling about Thomas Friedman. While I applaud many of his goals, I often find his style (and moustache) off-putting. But I do had to say that Matt Taibbi ripping into him certainly has it’s moments:

Or how about Friedman’s analysis of America’s foreign policy outlook last May:

The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging. When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels.”

First of all, how can any single person be in three holes at once? Secondly, what the fuck is he talking about? If you’re supposed to stop digging when you’re in one hole, why should you dig more in three? How does that even begin to make sense? It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if the editors over at the New York Times editorial page spend their afternoons dropping acid or drinking rubbing alcohol.

(seen many places, noticed on DF)