- The Third Industrial Revolution (The Economist) — A number of remarkable technologies are converging: clever software, novel materials, more dexterous robots, new processes (notably three-dimensional printing) and a whole range of web-based services. The factory of the past was based on cranking out zillions of identical products: Ford famously said that car-buyers could have any colour they liked, as long as it was black. But the cost of producing much smaller batches of a wider variety, with each product tailored precisely to each customer’s whims, is falling. The factory of the future will focus on mass customisation–and may look more like those weavers’ cottages than Ford’s assembly line.
- Hiring Executives (Ben Horowitz) — I am going to meditate for a while on Consensus decisions about executives almost always sway the process away from strength and towards lack of weakness.
- Valve’s Handbook for New Employees (PDF) — Since Valve is flat, people don’t join projects because they’re told to. Instead, you’ll decide what to work on after asking yourself the right questions (more on that later). Employees vote on projects with their feet (or desk wheels). Strong projects are ones in which people can see demonstrated value; they staff up easily. This means there are any number of internal recruiting efforts constantly under way. Reminds me of Google, and I wonder how Valve manages politics in an organic hierarchy organization. (via Andy Baio)
- Facebook Numbers — On average, Facebook earned $1.21 on each of its users this last quarter. I’d love to be able to pay them $10/yr and have them work for me instead of for [insert best-fit advertiser here].
ENTRIES TAGGED "Facebook"
Future Manufacturing, Decisions, Politics, and Paying for Your Service
The evolution of geofences, Google Wallet's departures, and mobile carriers vs Facebook.
Placecast's CEO describes layers of context that make for rich, geo-targeted messages. Also, talent flees Google Wallet, and Facebook's IPO may make life harder for mobile carriers. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)
Touch-Typing Instruction, HTTP Header Attacks, Sorting Ratings, and Risks of Inspecting Applicants' Facebook Pages
- Typing Club — lessons to improve your touch-typing, building you up letter by letter to speed and mastery. Like how I learned, only without the typewriters and the bibs and the roomful of girls. It wasn’t easy being the only boy in typing class, but somehow I managed. (via EdTech ideas)
- SQL Injection via HTTP Headers — excellent introduction to how some surprising HTTP headers can be attack vectors.
- How Not to Sort by Average Rating (Evan Miller) — so easy to get it wrong, so eye-wateringly complex a formula to do it right. (via Hacker News)
- I Hereby Resign (Reg Braithwaite) — not an actual resignation letter, but it highlights exactly why asking to see applicants’ Facebook pages is a bad idea. “If you are surfing my Facebook, you could reasonably be expected to discover that I am a Lesbian. Since discrimination against me on this basis is illegal in Ontario, I am just preparing myself for the possibility that you might refuse to hire me and instead hire someone who is a heterosexual but less qualified in any way. Likewise, if you do hire me, I might need to have your employment contracts disclosed to ensure you aren’t paying me less than any male and/or heterosexual colleagues with equivalent responsibilities and experience.” Ditto “spouse is pregnant so I’m about to take maternity leave just after you hire me”, etc. Those things you spend days thumping into HR that they aren’t supposed to ask about? All on the applicants’ Facebook pages.
Caching Pages, Node NLP, Digital Native are Clueless, and Wal-Mart Loves Your Calendar
- Cache Them If You Can (Steve Souders) — the percentage of resources that are cacheable has increased 4% during the past year. Over that same time the number of requests per page has increased 12% and total transfer size has increased 24%.
- How Millennials Search — Statistically significant findings suggest that millennial generation Web searchers proceed erratically through an information search process, make only a limited attempt to evaluate the quality or validity of information gathered, and may perform some level of ‘backfilling’ or adding sources to a research project before final submission of the work. Never let old people tell you that “digital natives” actually know what they’re doing.
- Walmart Buys A Facebook App for Calendar Access (Ars Technica) — The Social Calendar app and its file of 110 million birthdays and other events, acquired from Newput Corp., will give Walmart the ability to expand its efforts to dig deeper into the lives of customers. Interesting to think that by buying a well-loved app, a company could get access to your Facebook details whether you Like them or not.
Forced Facebook Violation, Motivating Learners, Freeing Books, and Browser Local Storage Sucks
- Government Agencies and Colleges Demand Applicants’ Facebook Passwords (MSN) — “Schools are in the business of educating, not spying,” he added. “We don’t hire private investigators to follow students wherever they go. If students say stupid things online, they should educate them … not engage in prior restraint.” Hear, hear. Reminded me of danah boyd on teen password sharing.
- Changing Teaching Techniques (Alison Campbell) — higher ed is a classic failure of gamification. The degree is an extrinsic reward, so students are disengaged and treat classes like gold farming in an MMORPG: the dull slog you have to get through so you can do something fun later. Alison, by showing them a “why” that isn’t “6 credits towards a degree”, is helping students identify intrinsic rewards. Genius!
- GlueJar — interesting pre-launch startup, basically Kickstarter to buy out authors and publishers and make books “free”. We in the software world know “free” is both loaded and imprecise. Are we talking CC-BY-NC-ND, which is largely useless because any sustainable distribution will generally be a commercial activity? I look forward to watching how this develops.
- There Is No Simple Solution for Local Storage (Mozilla) — excellent dissection of localStorage‘s inadequacies.
Bad Licensing, Learn to Code Again, Facebook Data, and iPad Security
- University Copyright Fail — This week, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto signed a deal with the licensing group Access Copyright that includes: provisions defining e-mailing hyperlinks as equivalent to photocopying a document; a flat fee of $27.50 for each full-time equivalent student; and, surveillance of academic staff email. (via Fabiana Kubke)
- Peanutty — I’m not sure it’s perfect yet, but it does the best job I’ve seen of motivating people by connecting code with curiosity. Most of the other “learn to code” systems are big on bite-sized increments of knowledge but short on motivation unless you, for some reason, want to “learn to code”.
- Why Facebook’s Data Will Change Our World (Pete Warden) — You just can’t resist Facebook data can you? Like a dog returning to its own vomit. Great list of reasons why Facebook’s data is scary interesting.
- Digital Exams on the iPad — how to lock down an iPad for use in an exam. Love the explanation of how the security-paranoid mind works in action: both evil and methodical at the same time.