It is time to stop rewarding failure

Aditya:

Scathing for sure

Originally posted on Om Malik (WP.com):

Silicon Valley (the notion) has become very much like rest of corporate America — it has embraced the philosophy of failing upwards. I have seen many executives get bumped up the ranks, get fancier titles and bigger paychecks, even though they were disastrous at their job. Many have left destruction and dismay in their wake. And yet, there they are getting bumped up — again and again. I was reminded of this disease this morning when I read about Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs of which 12,500 odd will be at the Nokia division. Microsoft’s board might have eased out Steve Ballmer, but man, why aren’t they thinking about Stephen Elop.

When I met him in his prior gig at Microsoft, Elop seemed to be a nice enough guy, not quite a visionary, but good enough for what was then essentially a monopoly.  The very fact that a middling executive could…

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With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility

Aditya:

Of course the smart governments can have a field day with all the data being collected, and would be more reluctant than ever that one of the essential services get blocked by other states…

Originally posted on Om Malik (WP.com):

“You should presume that someday, we will be able to make machines that can reason, think and do things better than we can,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in a conversation with Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla.  To someone as smart as Brin, that comment is as normal as sipping on his super-green juice, but to someone who is not from this landmass we call Silicon Valley or part of the tech-set, that comment is about the futility of their future.

And more often than not, the reality of Silicon Valley giants, who are really the gatekeepers of the future, is increasingly in conflict with the reality of the real world!  What heightens that conflict — the opaque and often tone-deaf responses from companies big and small!

Silicon Valley (both the idea and the landmass) means that we always try to live in the future. We imagine what the future…

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Healthcare links 07/10/2014

  • Lots of promise, but the hardware has some way to go before it can be used reliably

    tags: healthcare google-glass

    • Direct streaming worked about 30% of the time.  The majority of failures were due to inadequate wi-fi signal (60%), Glass overheating (20%), power failures (10%), or Glass’s OS freezing (10%).
    • Surgeons who wore Glass could either see the display OR capture the surgical field, but not both at the same time.
    • a >300Kbps stream generated a halfway-decent picture
    • 30 – 40-second delay in the stream

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Healthcare links 07/09/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thinking about the next iPhone

The rumour mill is really heating up, and there have been quite a few leaks showing a larger iPhone. Healthkit is also getting more features in the new betas, including built in support for step counting.

What will be more interesting this time will be what Apple does with the internals, particularly the SoC and camera. On the SoC front, we’ve been stuck on the 28nm node for almost a couple of years, and they’ve already played the 64-bit card to improve performance last year. Maybe they’ll astound everyone by announcing that the new SoC (A8?) is fabricated on Intel’s facilities on their next-gen 14nm process. In fact, even using Intel’s mature 22nm process would be pretty revolutionary. There have been regular rumours of such partnerships over the last few years, so maybe this is the year of the switch?

On the camera front, the decreasing thickness of the iPhones will surely limit the sensor size & optics. The 5s was probably the limit for the 8MP sensor size. This is going to be a really interesting area as Apple has thus far never traded off device aesthetics for camera specs.

Outraging over the outraged

  • anger is the emotion that spreads the most easily over social media. Joy came in a distant second.
  • although we tend to share the happiness only of people we are close to, we are willing to join in the rage of strangers
  • As the study suggests, outrage is lavishly rewarded on social media, whether through supportive comments, retweets or Facebook likes.
  • People who rant online in any way tend to get into more physical and verbal altercations.”
  • previous research on catharsis shows that people who vent end up being angrier down the road
  • outrage carries a different flavor from pure anger; it suggests an affront to one’s value system as opposed to seething, Hulk-like fury
  • The emotion plays well on social media because of its brevity and conviction, too. A 700-word Facebook post accounting for all sides of a contentious issue is unlikely to garner as many readers and endorsements as a one-sentence quip blaring heightened feelings.
  • One type of outrage is particularly appealing on social media: comedic anger. A bitingly clever takedown is sure to be circulated, though it is usually the same brand of hostility veiled in amusement. (hopefully my posts are along these lines rather than outright outrage)
  • we get upset only when our own privacy is compromised, not that of others
  • outraged comments are sometimes more offensive than the originating misconduct
  • Mobs breed a sense of anonymity
  • Though we are quick to condemn callousness and prejudice as a form of bullying, we less readily interrogate our own participation, even as bystanders, in the widespread attack of a single person, which is a classic example of bullying. We may justify our reaction as appropriate remediation for whatever crime has been perpetrated, but fighting fire with fire rarely elevates the discourse.
  • It is a noble endeavor to become incensed about a cause and risk arrest or toil without acclamation for one’s deeply held beliefs. Less honorable is joining a digital pile-on as a means of propping up one’s ego, even if it comes in the form of entertaining zings.
  • Perhaps the real problem, Professor Martin suggested, isn’t our rage but our rashness, and its relationship to our easily accessible devices.

    “The Internet exacerbates impulse-control problems,” he said. “You get mad, and you can tell the world about it in moments before you’ve had a chance to calm down and think things through.”

 

Switching to Celsius in Google Now on desktop Chrome

I had this vexing issue where the Google Now notification would show the temperature in Fahrenheit on my desktop Chrome browser notifications. It seems that this is a known bug, and is not fixed properly. The workaround that did the trick for me (as highlighted in this comment) was to switch to Fahrenheit in Google Now on the mobile app and then switch back to Celsius again. The desktop notification finally started displaying the temperature in Celsius. A very silly issue, and a reminder that practically all the OSes (both mobile & desktop) are now being developed in a country that does not follow the metric system.