"de-anonymizing the web..."

Regarding the “de-anonymizing” the web, two years ago in Paris, I met a mathematician working on pattern detection models. He focused on locating individuals simply through their cell phones habits. Even if the person buys a cell phone with a fake ID and uses it with great care, based on past behavior, his/her real ID will be recovered in a matter of weeks. (As for Facebook, it recently launched a snitching program aimed at getting rid of pseudonyms — cool.)

Click through to mondaynote.com and read the entire post. Very interesting thought piece and probably not far off the mark.

"Where was the outrage against the “evil”, if hapless, Finnish company?" - mondaynote.com

Apple and Nokia settled an IP “misunderstanding” that also resulted in a “Tax”…but it was Nokia that played the T-Man role: Apple paid Nokia more than $600M plus an estimated $11.50 per iPhone sold. Where were the handwringers who now accuse Apple of abusing the patent system when the Nokia settlement took place? Where was the outrage against the “evil”, if hapless, Finnish company? (Amusingly, observers speculate that Nokia has made more money from these IP arrangements than from selling its own Lumia smartphones.)

"...learning how to learn is more important that learning anything else..." ☛ Andrei Alexandrescu

learning how to learn is more important than learning anything else. If you know how to learn, you'll reduce inertia and emotional investment in any particular niche, so you're likely to make better decisions when choosing what to best work on. Another consequence is that it's best to be continuously introspective with regard to what you're doing versus what you should be doing. Often that gives you unexpected insights. If you're a good calligrapher and grok the emergence of the printing press, the smart move is to be the first font designer.

Delegate or die: the self-employed trap. | Derek Sivers

Ten minutes later, new question. Same process:

  1. Gather everybody around.
  2. Answer the question, and explain the philosophy.
  3. Make sure everyone understands the thought process.
  4. Ask one person to write it in the manual.
  5. Let them know they can decide this without me next time.

After two months of this, there were no more questions.

via sivers.org

Sounds simple, but sometimes getting people to think for themselves requires you to repeatedly explain the thought process...

Liberal vs Conservative Software Engineering… another epic rant from ☛ Steve Yegge

Steve has posted another epic rant on Google+ about the Software Engineerings own political axis. My favorite part it the characterization of the Conservative View as Fred from Scooby-Doo and the Liberal View as Shaggy. The views are highlighted below

Conservative View

  1. Software should aim to be bug free before it launches.
  2. Programmers should be protected from errors.
  3. Programmers have difficulty learning new syntax.
  4. Production code must be safety-checked by a compiler.
  5. Data stores must adhere to a well-defined, published schema.
  6. Public interfaces should be rigorously modeled.
  7. Production systems should never have dangerous or risky back-doors.
  8. If there is ANY doubt as to the safety of a component, it cannot be allowed in production
  9. Fast is better than slow.

    Liberal View:

    1.  Bugs are not a big deal. 
    2. Programmers are only newbies for a little while.
    3. Programmers figure stuff out amazingly fast when their jobs depend on it.
    4. Succinctness is power.
    5. Rigid schemas limit flexibility and slow down development.
    6. Public interfaces should above all else be simple, backward-compatible, and future-compatible.
    7. System flexibility can mean the difference between you getting the customer (or contract) vs. your competitor nabbing it instead.
    8. Companies should take risks, embrace progress, and fiercely resist ossification
    9. Premature optimization is the root of all evil.

      Excerpted from "Notes from the Mystery Machine Bus" by Steve Yegge