links: January 2010 Archives

links for 2010-01-30

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links for 2010-01-29

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  • Think of the millions of hours of human effort spent on preventing and recovering from the problems caused by completely open computer systems. Think of the lengths that people have gone to in order to acquire skills that are orthogonal to their core interests and their job, just so they can get their job done.

links for 2010-01-28

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  • As a driver entering the new streets, you are immediately aware that this is somewhere different, somewhere special. It feels quite unlike a normal urban road. You start to pay extra attention, and to become more alert to other people and to your surroundings. The narrower apparent width of the carriageways, the absence of road markings and signals, the lighting, low kerbs and distinctive paving all help to encourage low speeds, whether you are familiar with the space or a newcomer. Every aspect of the scheme contributes to establishing a naturally low-speed, free-flowing environment.
    (tags: transport tr)
  • So, labour costs (the largest input), payroll taxes, gas, water charges, transport and fuel (including labour-related transport costs), couriers and accountants – all cheaper here than in Maastricht. So what’s going on? Why is the cost of running retail operations more expensive here than in Maastricht? Rent: rents are the killer. For city centre locations Dublin rents are €2,600 more expensive per square metre; for high street locations (Grafton Street compared to Grote Straat) the differential is a staggering €8,000 per square metre. Even in Outer City Shopping Centres (such as Dundrum), rents are nearly €2,700 dearer here per square metre than the Maastrich equivalent. That’s a lot money flowing out of consumers’, workers’ and owners’ pockets into commercial landlords’.

links for 2010-01-27

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links for 2010-01-23

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links for 2010-01-22

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links for 2010-01-20

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links for 2010-01-19

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  • So, if you’re American, a large chunk of the reason you make a lot of money (relative to the rest of the world) is that you are American. The main cause of your relative wealth is not that you work hard, or that you’re innately smarter than members of other nations (though you may be since you weren’t starved as a child). It’s because you had opportunities given to you that most people will never had, and those opportunities existed due to the pure accident of your birth or because you or your family chose to come to the US. The same is true of most first world nations.

links for 2010-01-14

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  • By (obliquely) accusing the Chinese government of involvement in corporate espionage and challenging the government to shut the company down for providing uncensored search, “Google has taken the China corporate communications playbook, wrapped it in oily rags, doused it in gasoline and dropped a lit match on it.” (Those evocative words are from top Chinablogger Imagethief.) This isn’t a temporary strategic retreat – this is a retreat where you detonate the bridges behind you.
  • Because also at the root of this problem are the American businessmen who dismantled their manufacturing and production, discarded their quality control, let go of their supply chains and fired their American workers and steadily squeezed the wages of everyone left over -- all so they could have their consumables, drugs, toys, dry goods, tools -- you name it, made in China. And every damn one of them, and everyone in regulatory affairs in the US government, knew going in they were going to have a big problem in this area. And they all made conscious decisions to abandon their scruples, decency and moral high ground to the pure pursuit of profit at the expense of everything else.
  • Terrorism simply isn't a visible factor in your chances of dying while flying, or indeed while doing anything else: it is insignificant, a problem that has been almost totally eliminated for Western citizens since its not-very-serious heyday in the 1970s and 80s, and you shouldn't worry about it. It would make absolutely no noticeable difference to your or my chances of violent death/injury if terrorism was eradicated overnight.
  • The British economist David Blanchflower warned that Ireland could be plunged into a 1930s-style depression if the public purse is cut: "Balancing the budget is not what you do in a recession. My advice is to wait until you're out." His warning was widely reported in the Irish press but totally ignored by government.
  • Full episodes now available in HD on the dailyshow website!

links for 2010-01-13

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links for 2010-01-10

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  • There's also the popular notion that Apple has to do something entirely new or totally amazing in order for the tablet to succeed. After all, tablets have been tried before, with dismal results. It seems absurd to some people that Apple can succeed simply by using existing technologies and software techniques in the right combination. And yet that's exactly what Apple has done with all of its most recent hit products—and what I predict Apple will do with the tablet.
  • In particular, the newspaper cited "conversations with several former Apple engineers" who've reportedly had a key role in the ongoing development of Apple's much-anticipated tablet device who suggest the company may require that users adapt to a "somewhat complex new vocabulary of finger gestures to control it, making use of technology it acquired in the 2007 purchase of a company called FingerWorks." “The tablet should offer any number of unique multitouch experiences — for example, three fingers down and rotate could mean ‘open an application,’ ” one former Apple engineer reportedly told the paper. A second added that the Cupertino-based company has “spent the past couple of years working on a multitouch version of iWork."

links for 2010-01-09

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links for 2010-01-08

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links for 2010-01-06

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  • "FORMER taoiseach Bertie Ahern will not pay tax on the estimated €400,000 earned from his autobiography thanks to the artists’ exemption introduced by his former Fianna Fáil colleague and political mentor, the late Charles Haughey." *rolls-eyes*

links for 2010-01-04

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links for 2010-01-03

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