WoW

Subsidize Motherhood, not Apple Pie

Last night’s Democratic candidate debate was more elevated but less entertaining than the GOP debates. Everyone loves a clown and, although he gave it his best shot, Lincoln Chafee is just not in Donald Trump’s league as a buffoon.  The question of paid family leave got a moment in the sun, with Bernie Sanders citing […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
PoliticsWoW

Microsoft: Signs of Life. Google Chrome: Under Attack.

Two decades ago, Steve Ballmer proudly showed his mother a copy of Windows 98, the new operating system that featured a “start” button so prominent that Microsoft bought the Stones “Start Me Up” for the launch. When Ballmer’s mother asked him how to shut the program down however, Ballmer could have sung “you make […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
TechnologyWoW

Can Your City Be the Next Silicon Valley?

Cities around the world have declared their intent to become “the next Silicon Valley”. New York’s Silicon Alley, Austin’s Silicon Hills, Portland’s Silicon Forest, London’s Silicon Square, New Zealand’s Silicon Welly, Louisiana’s Silicon Bayou, Israel’s Silicon Wadi, Scotland’s Silicon Glen, and Kenya’s Silicon Savannah testify to the power of this idea. Promoters have even […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
WoW

Is Detroit Moving to Silicon Valley?

As the value of an automobile moves to its electronics and cars become networked, self-driving computers, will the car industry move to the west coast? Consider: Google now logs more than 10,000 miles weekly with self-driving cars — more than a million miles to date. Most of this is Mountain View (also Austin). Nobody […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsOther classics,TechnologyWoW

Top Ten Books of 2014

My reading for 2014 was more focused for the same reason my blogging has been reduced — I have a day job. Also, two of the books were real projects, entailing runs to the sources, blogosphere, and Wikipedia for background, context, and understanding. These books were demanding (long and in places technical) and singular — […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
MediaWoW

On a City Bike, all Traffic Lights are Yellow

In both the US and in Europe, the use of bicycles in cities has shot up. According to the League of American Bicyclists (which endorses none of what follows), bike use has gone up 39 percent nationally since 2001. In the seventy largest US cities, commuter bike use is up 63 percent. Leading the pack is […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
MediaOther classicsWoW

Manhatisco

In Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett delivers what may be her strongest performance yet. Her frenetic, scheming, recast Blanche Dubois tops even her jaw-dropping performance in I’m Not There — the 2007 movie where she plays a highly plausible Bob Dylan. Jasmine is married to Hal (Alec Baldwin), a sleaze-ball Wall Streeter who delivers the requisite […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
MediaWoW

Early Warning Signs

Business competition is always interesting, in part because smart companies figure out how to avoid competition by specializing and differentiating their product or service. When Sun Tzu admonished his generals against assaulting walled fortresses, he understood that head-to-head competition is a sure path to a headache. Many US universities have not read their Sun Tzu: they […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsMediaPolitics,WoW

Francis

Religion seems to help a lot of people. It reinforces admirable values and provides community, kinship, charity, music, a moral compass, and stories. But to me, religious faith is stone soup: like the soldiers whose boiling rocks induced villagers to donate carrots, potatoes, and meat until there was a plentiful stew after the stones were […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
MediaWoW

Statistical Storytellers

We now collect extraordinary amounts of data from weblogs, wifi sessions, phone calls, sensors, and transactions of all kinds. The quantities are hard to imagine: we created about five exabytes of data in all of human history until 2003. We now create that much data every two days. Deriving insights from this mountain of data […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsTechnology,WoW

Denial is Bigger than Amazon

Talk to a book author, publisher, or retailer about the future of their business and the denials begin. “Never before have there been so many good books to read”. “Books are the backbone of civilization”. “Life without books is unimaginable”. As a cultural argument, this may be true, but as an economic one, this is […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsMediaOther classicsTechnologyWoW

Are Men Overpaid?

More women than men now graduate from college and they earn better grades. But at every level of educational attainment, men still earn more money and the gap grows larger with time. Are we systematically underpaying women? If so, why would labor markets behave that way? To some, the question is laughably simple: greedy male capitalists exploit […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsPoliticsWoW

Manufacturing Myths in Palo Alto and Pittsburgh

The transition from fields to factories always mixes agony with hope. Families abandon land and traditions that often go back generations, move to cities and reset their lives from sunlight to time clocks. Mass production industries flourish for a few generations. Life is hardly a bed of roses, but it is nearly always better or […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsMediaPolitics,TechnologyWoW

The iPhone Gets Nuanced

I got the iPhone 5 because it was free. The loathsome ATT charged me $300 and I sold the old iPhone 4 on eBay for that amount. I hate ATT, but their 4G LTE is really fast in the Bay Area and factory unlocking a phone under contract to enable overseas SIMs and free tethering is […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
TechnologyWoW

George McGovern 1922-2012

When George McGovern ran for president, I was the age the JamKid is now. He was then, and remained, a remarkable and vastly underappreciated American. He was a decorated war hero who had seen gruesome combat and calmly led a massive crusade against the Vietnam war. He was a professor with a PhD in History […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
PoliticsWoW

Store Closing: the Death of Brick and Mortar Retail

In 1997, I had an idea: if I could aggregate millions of used, rare, and out of print books from around the world on a single website, I could enable people to find and buy books that were otherwise impossible to locate. Like hundreds of others with similar ideas for selling things online, I started […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsOther classics,TechnologyWoW

Memo to the New Chancellor: Saving UC Berkeley

Dear Newly Appointed Berkeley Chancellor: Congratulations! Even though as of this writing, you have not yet been named, you take over the leadership of UC Berkeley at a critical time. At the end of your tenure, the world’s premier public university will either have found a sustainable path forward or will have entered a period […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsMediaPolitics,WoW

Coaches

Coaches are often known as masters of technique, but really they teach life skills: teamwork and competition, ferocity and empathy, solidarity and resistance. Great coaches inspire performance that players cannot produce without them. They model leadership by keeping their player’s interests first and by knowing when to admonish, encourage, or reprimand. Many of us recall our […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
MediaWoW

Is Amazon Inside Apple’s OODA Loop?

John Boyd was a legendary US fighter pilot during the Korean War who later became a fighter pilot instructor. He had a standing bet with his students: he would meet you in the air at 30,000 feet and you would get on his tail. He would reverse the positions and get you in his guns in […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsMediaOther classicsTechnologyWoW

Lenin’s Rope: Universities Help Disrupt Universities

Lenin famously bragged that “Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” It would surely gall him to learn that the art of destroying capitalists with their own products has been mastered not by a militant, vanguard-led proletariat but by entrepreneurial capitalists. It appears that even universities, finally, are getting the hang of […]

LinkedInPrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket
EconomicsMediaPolitics,TechnologyWoW