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Current Topic: Business

The cult of busy
Topic: Business 7:57 am EDT, Mar 16, 2010

Scott Berkun:

When I was younger I thought busy people were more important than everyone else. Otherwise why would they be so busy?

The busy must matter more, and the lazy mattered less.

This is the cult of busy.

Caterina Fake:

So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.

Much more important than working hard is knowing how to find the right thing to work on.

Richard Hamming:

If you do not work on an important problem, it's unlikely you'll do important work.

Netflix Culture:

It's about effectiveness -- not effort.

John Tierney:

When people were asked to anticipate how much extra money and time they would have in the future, they realistically assumed that money would be tight, but they expected free time to magically materialize.

Gordon Crovitz:

Getting our heads around information abundance will mean becoming more discerning about what information is worth our time and what kinds of tasks require real focus.


It's the ability to pause, to reflect, and relax, to let the mind wander, that's perhaps the true sign of time mastery, for when the mind returns it's often sharper and more efficient, but most important perhaps, happier than it was before.

Louis CK:

Maybe we need some time ... because everything is amazing right now, and nobody's happy ...

Samantha Power:

The French film director Jean Renoir once said, "The foundation of all great civilizations is loitering." But we have all stopped loitering. I don't mean we aren't lazy at times. I mean that no moment goes unoccupied.

Carolyn Johnson:

We are most human when we feel dull. Lolling around in a state of restlessness is one of life's greatest luxuries.

The cult of busy

The demise of the dollar - Business News, Business - The Independent
Topic: Business 3:36 pm EDT, Oct  6, 2009

In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

I seem to remember saying something like this was going to happen a while back. If people thought the current recession hurt, wait until this gets stacked on.

The demise of the dollar - Business News, Business - The Independent

Apple Drops Anticopying Measures in iTunes
Topic: Business 9:03 am EST, Jan  7, 2009

Last month, the music industry pulled out its stun guns, aka PR flacks, to bring you the following breaking news:

In a stunning turn of events, the US music industry has ceased its long-time litigation strategy of suing individual P2P file-swappers.

Earlier today, Apple briefly summoned the world's attention to bring you the following incredible (!!!) news flash:

Apple said it would begin selling song downloads from all four major music companies without the anticopying measures that have been part of its iTunes store since it opened in 2003. It will also move away from its insistence on pricing songs at 99 cents.

In other words, Apple's software engineers are so distraught over Steve Jobs' failing health that they have resorted to spinning the deletion of annoying source code as a major product innovation.

Does this sound familiar? Let John Markoff take you back:

Long assailed within the computer industry for routinely adding too many features to its software programs, Microsoft will tacitly acknowledge that criticism today when it starts a Web marketing campaign for its new Office XP software suite that ridicules its notorious Office help system.

The Clippy campaign, which will cost about $500,000, also includes a Web-site-based computer game in which irate users, many of whom have long found the paper clip program annoying to the point of distraction, will finally be able to retaliate by shooting virtual staples, tacks and rubber bands at the animated Clippy figure.

The story behind the story, of course, is that the "music industry" -- by which I mean the cartel engaged in organized trafficking in an artificially scarce form of antique "performance capture" -- is an industry in decline, and the major players are desperate to stanch the flow of attention to other "new" (and more participatory) media. Regardless of these late-stage efforts, the decline, which is both inevitable and inexorable, may be viewed as a leading indicator of a broader, long-term phase shift in celebrity culture.

From the archive:

The trick is to make people think that a certain paradigm is inevitable, and they had better give in.


Someone from the future, I’m sure, will marvel at our blindness and at the hole we have driven ourselves into, for we are completely committed to an unsustainable technology.

In this case, what's unsustainable is not just the artificial scarcity of individual captured performances, but rather of the underlying capture technology, not to mention the performance itself.


But for everyone, surely, ... this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.

Very different is the mood today.

Apple Drops Anticopying Measures in iTunes

the next cover for the economist
Topic: Business 8:00 pm EDT, Oct  9, 2008
we're boned



the next cover for the economist

The Scale of the American Economy on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Topic: Business 12:33 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2008

GDP of the top four national economies in the world (after the US), expressed as US regions by GSP. null

The Scale of the American Economy on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Charging by the Byte to Curb Internet Traffic: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
Topic: Business 6:36 am EDT, Jun 16, 2008

Some people use the Internet simply to check e-mail and look up phone numbers. Others are online all day, downloading big video and music files.

For years, both kinds of Web surfers have paid the same price for access. But now three of the country’s largest Internet service providers are threatening to clamp down on their most active subscribers by placing monthly limits on their online activity.

One of them, Time Warner Cable, began a trial of “Internet metering” in one Texas city early this month, asking customers to select a monthly plan and pay surcharges when they exceed their bandwidth limit. The idea is that people who use the network more heavily should pay more, the way they do for water, electricity, or, in many cases, cellphone minutes.

Charging by the Byte to Curb Internet Traffic: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Microsoft’s Failed Yahoo Bid Risks Online Growth - New York Times
Topic: Business 9:11 am EDT, May  5, 2008

Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, walked away from a Yahoo deal on Saturday still looking for an answer to his company’s fundamental problem: its time-tested recipe for success isn’t working against Google, the leader in the current wave of Internet computing.

interesting article but i'm rather dubious about the assertion

as the center of gravity in computing continues to move away from the personal computer, Microsoft’s stronghold, and to the Internet.

i think it's more valid to assert that computing has more than one center of gravity and i would certainly argue that it is of benefit not to have one company dominate all the spheres but rather to continue the metaphor a series of solar systems

Microsoft’s Failed Yahoo Bid Risks Online Growth - New York Times

SCO is Back, and This Time It's Personal | Linux Journal
Topic: Business 7:48 am EST, Feb 16, 2008

We all thought it was time to party, that the enemy was finally vanquished, that it was time for Champagne and cigars. We learned our lesson yesterday afternoon, though, when SCO smacked us all in the face with a hundred million dollars.

That's right, SCO suddenly has deep pockets, courtesy of their friend Stephen Norris, the uber-finance geek. Norris and his private equity firm — Stephen Norris Capital Partners, LLC — have decided to buy a stake in SCO, though the exact amount won't be clear until the Utah courts decide how much SCO has to pay IBM and Novell. What is clear is that they suddenly have a $95 million line-of-credit to pursue all the litigation their cold, black hearts desire. Others have pointed out that these guys are the biggest, baddest, beat-the-crap-out-of-anyone-in-their-way-ist, and won't have a moment's pause about coming after everyone in the Linux world, from IBM and Novell right down to us, the everyday users.

As the ever-vigilant White Knights over at Groklaw point out, there's still some hope — the all-powerful Bankruptcy court can quash them with the stroke of a pen, and the European Commission not to mention the SEC may well have a thing or two to say — but the outlook certainly isn't as rosy as it was on Wednesday.

Lord have mercy..

I think i am going to vomit...

SCO is Back, and This Time It's Personal | Linux Journal

RE: The Difficulty of Being Different
Topic: Business 8:26 pm EDT, Mar 27, 2007

Jello wrote:

SierraNightTide wrote:
As children, we live boldly, seldom afraid or embarrassed to seek out what we want or to speak our minds. As we grow older, we tend to fold our inquisitive and creative minds and place them into a secret drawer while we chase career opportunities. Most times, or at least for most people we leave the drawer untouched, afraid that it might obstruct us in our career success as we conform to society’s acceptance of living.

Are you kidding? As a child I was terrified to be different. As an adult I came into my weirdness.

my bouts of psychosis have taught me the value of being normal (something often much underrated [people scoff and laugh at "the straight world" without understanding that they're often the median and core of our civilisation and usually they're honest, decent and tolerant]). I have also learnt that if i want to be tolerated i must tolerate in return.
Although it has to be said that different cultures have different attitudes towards conformity. I am lucky enough to be English and in my culture the eccentric is often valued.

RE: The Difficulty of Being Different

Rondam Ramblings: Top ten geek business myths
Topic: Business 5:04 pm EDT, Oct  4, 2006

A brilliant idea is neither necessary nor sufficient for a successful business, although all else being equal it can't hurt. Microsoft is probably the canonical example of a successful business, and it has never had a single brilliant idea in its entire history.

Rondam Ramblings: Top ten geek business myths

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