"financial crisis" entries

"Ready, Fire, Aim" Market Reform

Previous disasters, all notably less damaging than the Great Mess of '08, have led to deep serious analysis of their causes. The general notion being that understanding the causes might be useful in avoiding nasty repeat performances. This has been Standard Operating Procedure for a long time for good reason. The alternative Ready Fire Aim approach can be hazardous to your health, yet that seems to be the plan for the newly announced Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, tasked with reporting back on the crisis that nearly broke capitalism by the end of 2010, while the legislation to avoid a financial crisis is being crafted now.

Four short links: 31 July 2009

Four short links: 31 July 2009

NoSQL, Goldman Sachs, Yahoo! Developer Products and Bing, and Alternate Reality

On this day in history, Mt Fuji exploded (781), Daniel Defoe was put in the stocks for seditious libel but was pelted with flowers (1703), the first U.S. patent was issued (1790), and the radio show The Shadow aired for the first time (1930).

  1. Tokyo Cabinet: Beyond Key-Value Store — description of Tokyo Cabinet and code examples in Ruby. More on the nosql move to leave relational databases behind for certain modern problems (such as scaling).
  2. The Great American Bubble Machine (Rolling Stone) — I know it’s old hat, but read it for the poetry if for nothing else. The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.
  3. Yahoo!’s Developer Program and Bing — note from Yahoo! to developers, saying that YQL, YUI, and Pipes are safe. For SearchMonkey and BOSS they currently do not have anything concrete to tell you. I assume (and hope) that Delicious is a top-level product, not something under “search”. (via Simon Willison)
  4. Preparing Us for AR — (Schulze & Webb) round up of some apps and toys that show what AR might be, unfettered by current day technological constraints.
Four short links: 7 May 2009

Four short links: 7 May 2009

iPhone Rocketry, Copywrongs, Econopocalypse, and Empire

  1. How To Use An iPhone To Fly RC Airplanes and HelicoptersSo I had my basic idea down. iPhone joins the Linksys router network. It gets an IP address. Then, I open up my pilot program. The pilot program interfaces with the router via SSH (I couldn’t think of a better way that has redundancy, and speed, and was already buily by someone else). The pilot program interprets what the iphone is doing, and outputs data to one of the ethernet ports of which there are conveniently 4. Rudder, Ailerons, Throttle, Elevator.
  2. Economist Debates: Copyrights and Wrongs — The Economist live debate about copyright, with the moot “This house believes that existing copyright laws do more harm than good.” Public comments, voting, and new informed opinions each day.
  3. How I helped build the bomb that blew up Wall Street (NYMag) — story of the software developer behind a lot of the mortgage repackaging software. Many good lines, e.g., But even then, I was wondering why I was making more than anyone in my family, maybe as much as all my siblings combined. Hey, I had higher SAT scores. I could do all the arithmetic in my head. I was very good at programming a computer. And that computer, with my software, touched billions of dollars of the firm’s money. Every week. That justified it. When you’re close to the money, you get the first cut. Oyster farmers eat lots of oysters, don’t they?
  4. Yow — words of wisdom from John Battelle on Google as the new Microsoft: If any lesson is to be drawn, perhaps prematurely, from all this, it’s that no company – or two companies – can lead a culture for longer than half a generation. After that, the culture starts to distrust the companies’ motives, regardless of whether they are pure or well intentioned.

Importance of Innovation in Finance & BarCampBank

“Progress is not the mere correction of evils. Progress is the constant replacing of the best there is with something still better.” -Edward Filene Two years ago, when we were organizing the first BarCampBank in the US, many people found it hard to believe that banks & credit unions could a place for meaningful grassroots innovation. Even crazier was…

Four short links: 4 Mar 2009

Four short links: 4 Mar 2009

  1. Wall Street on the Tundra — Michael Lewis’s long but fascinating glimpse into Iceland’s rise and fall as hubris-filled banker to the world. One of the many lessons is not to believe the post-hoc explanations for success: “Icelanders—or at any rate Icelandic men—had their own explanations for why, when they leapt into global finance, they broke world records: the natural superiority of Icelanders. Because they were small and isolated it had taken 1,100 years for them—and the world—to understand and exploit their natural gifts, but now that the world was flat and money flowed freely, unfair disadvantages had vanished. Iceland’s president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, gave speeches abroad in which he explained why Icelanders were banking prodigies.”. For more on the financial meltdown, also read The Real Cause of the Financial Crisis–it’s spot on.
  2. The Cult of Done Manifesto (Bre Pettis) — magnificent call to arms for JFDI, Just Do It.
  3. Twilio — your web apps can trigger voice calls and respond to incoming calls through a simple REST and XML API. It’s wildly simple. Using it, This Line Is Secure was able to launch very quickly. I’m still not able to think in terms of phones, unable to see when a voice-drop or numeric-key interface works for an app, but I’ll bet that playing with Twilio will help me develop that sense without the cost of Asterisk hardware.
  4. Let Startups Bail Us Out — Reid Hoffman writes in favour of ensuring an adequate supply of startups. “Consider a few start-ups from the past century: Microsoft, MTV, CNN, FedEx, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Burger King. Each opened during a period of economic downturn. Today, these brands employ hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. We need to prepare for the next Burger King. By empowering individuals and small businesses, an innovation stimulus can help germinate stable industry players for the long term.” (via Caterina)

Why I Support Barack Obama

In my talks this year, I have been outlining some of the world's great problems, highlighting some of the things that are being done by technology innovators to solve them, and urging my listeners to "work on stuff that matters." We are in unprecedented times. And folks, I'm sorry to say that the current financial meltdown is not the worst…