jm + business   37

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies - Bloomberg
Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. [...] investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.
chips  security  technology  china  subcontracting  business  hardware  hacking  amazon  supermicro  manufacturing  supply-chains 
9 weeks ago by jm
Troy Hunt: The Effectiveness of Publicly Shaming Bad Security
Now I don't know how much of this change was due to my public shaming of their security posture, maybe they were going to get their act together afterward anyway. Who knows. However, what I do know for sure is that I got this DM from someone not long after that post got media attention (reproduced with their permission):

Hi Troy, I just want to say thanks for your blog post on the Natwest HTTPS issue you found that the BBC picked up on. I head up the SEO team at a Media agency for a different bank and was hitting my head against a wall trying to communicate this exact thing to them after they too had a non secure public site separate from their online banking. The quote the BBC must have asked from them prompted the change to happen overnight, something their WebDev team assured me would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and at least a year to implement! I was hitting my head against the desk for 6 months before that so a virtual handshake of thanks from my behalf! Thanks!
business  internet  security  social-media  shame  troy-hunt  bad-press  spin  shaming 
september 2018 by jm
Large breweries ‘pay publicans not to stock smaller companies’ beer, cider’
Good on Alan Kelly TD for raising the issue -- it is clearly happening and is clearly anti-competitive market manipulation by the big brewers.
He said a pub in Cork he was in recently had 21 taps of which 19 were from one brewing company and that smaller breweries tried to get some of that business. Mr Kelly claimed similar practices were occurring in pubs across all counties and that the statutory body that deals with anti-competitive practices, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), had received a number of complaints but did not have the resources to deal with the issue.

However, Minister of State Pat Breen said “after a robust examination” the CCPC found it did not have grounds to suspect a breach of the law.

Mr Kelly said that “the dogs in the street know what is happening here” and that the Minister’s response was insulting to the industry. He said the CCPC would need large resources to investigate the issue and “large amounts of cash and resources are being used, and these practices are happening in large pubs in all cities and towns in Ireland”.
ireland  brewing  beer  pubs  ccpc  anti-competitive  business  alan-kelly  dail 
july 2018 by jm
Online mattress-in-a-box brands: Why are there so many? - Curbed
“People ask me what it takes to get into this space,” said Bryan Murphy, founder and president of Tomorrow Sleep. “If you have a [Google] AdWords account [to buy digital ads] and you know a subcontractor, you can sell a mattress online.”
mattresses  business  economics  retail  adwords  online 
april 2018 by jm
The Stress of Remote Working – Martin De Wulf – Medium
There is a lot of good to say about remote working, and I see a lot of rabid defence of the practice. That said, I have been working remotely for a little more than 5 years now, and I now must acknowledge that it does not come without stress. This might come as a surprise for some, but in the end, I think that remote working has taken some toll on me over the last two years, especially when I went almost fully remote for a year.


I have to say, I agree with this 100% -- I spent a few years remote working full time, and by the end of it I was absolutely delighted to return to a mainly office-based job.
business  work  life  coding  teleworking  remote-work  stress  anxiety  mental-health 
january 2018 by jm
Management levels
I’ve had the privilege of experiencing a few different management levels (responsibilities? jobs?) at Etsy since I’ve joined. At each stage, I felt like the job of being a manager totally changed. What I did day-to-day changed, what was hard about it changed, how I measured my own success changed, and though I feel like the experiences built on one another, it continues to be an enormous shift in brainpower each time the gig changes a bit. Given how intangible (and often hidden) management work can be, I’ve outlined some highlights of what my work has been like as a manager over the last four years. (Obvious, major caveat: this is just my experience, and there’s lots in here that is unique to this particular work environment, hierarchy, requirements, and challenges!)
business  engineering  management  career  lara-hogan  managing 
october 2016 by jm
Is anyone concerned about the future of Nest?
wow, looks like Nest is fucked:
As a Nest engineer, I won't say any numbers that aren't public, but this company is already on deathwatch. Once that happens, most people will quickly have shiny paperweights because it's a constant firefight keeping these systems up. We have $340M in revenue, not profit, against a ~$500M budget. No new products since the purchase, and sales/growth numbers are dire. Our budget deal expires soon, and all the good engineers on my teams have discreetly indicated they are going to flee once their golden handcuffs unlock (many have already left despite sacrificing a lot of money to do so).
Tony and his goons demand crazy timelines so much that "crunch time" has basically lost meaning. Just when your labor bears fruit, they swoop in, 180 the specs you just delivered on, then have the gall to call your team "incompetent" for not reading their mind and delivering on these brand-new specs. I waste most of my time in pointless meetings, or defending my teams so they don't flip their desks and walk out. People fall asleep in corners and cry in the bathrooms, health and marriages are suffering. Already the churn is insane, close to half the company if not more. Skilled engineers can tell the environment is toxic, so we're filling vacancies with mostly sub-par talent.
nest  google  business  dotcoms  churn  iot 
april 2016 by jm
_What We Know About Spreadsheet Errors_ [paper]
As we will see below, there has long been ample evidence that errors in spreadsheets are pandemic. Spreadsheets, even after careful development, contain errors in one percent or more of all formula cells. In large spreadsheets with thousands of formulas, there will be dozens of undetected errors. Even significant errors may go undetected because formal testing in spreadsheet development is rare and because even serious errors may not be apparent.
business  coding  maths  excel  spreadsheets  errors  formulas  error-rate 
october 2015 by jm
Behold: The Ultimate Crowdsourced Map of Punny Businesses in America | Atlas Obscura
"Spex in the City", "Fidler on the Tooth", "Sight For Four Eyes", "Fried Egg I'm In Love", "Lice Knowing You" and many more
business  humor  map  geography  usa  puns 
october 2015 by jm
Inside the sad, expensive failure of Google+
"It was clear if you looked at the per user metrics, people weren’t posting, weren't returning and weren’t really engaging with the product," says one former employee. "Six months in, there started to be a feeling that this isn’t really working." Some lay the blame on the top-down structure of the Google+ department and a leadership team that viewed success as the only option for the social network. Failures and disappointing data were not widely discussed. "The belief was that we were always just one weird feature away from the thing taking off," says the same employee.
google  google+  failures  post-mortems  business  facebook  social-media  fail  bureaucracy  vic-gundotra 
august 2015 by jm
Why We Will Not Be Registering easyDNS.SUCKS - blog.easydns.org
If you're not immersed in the naming business you may find the jargon in it hard to understand. The basic upshot is this: the IPC believes that the mechanisms that were enacted to protect trademark holders during the deluge of new TLD rollouts are being gamed by the .SUCKS TLD operator to extort inflated fees from trademark holders.


(via Nelson)
shakedown  business  internet  domains  dns  easydns  dot-sucks  scams  tlds  trademarks  ip 
april 2015 by jm
Zoë Keating on getting a shitty deal from Google's new Music Key licensing
The Youtube music service was introduced to me as a win win and they don’t understand why I don’t see it that way. “We are trying to create a new revenue stream on top of the platform that exists today.” A lot of people in the music industry talk about Google as evil. I don’t think they are evil. I think they, like other tech companies, are just idealistic in a way that works best for them. I think this because I used to be one of them. The people who work at Google, Facebook, etc can’t imagine how everything they make is not, like, totally awesome. If it’s not awesome for you it’s because you just don’t understand it yet and you’ll come around. They can’t imagine scenarios outside their reality and that is how they inadvertently unleash things like the algorithmic cruelty of Facebook’s yearly review (which showed me a picture I had posted after a doctor told me my husband had 6-8 weeks to live).
google  business  music  youtube  zoe-keating  music-key  licensing  tech 
january 2015 by jm
Misogyny in the Valley
The young women interns [in one story in this post] worked in a very different way. As I explored their notes, I noticed that ideas were expanded upon, not abandoned. Challenges were identified, but the male language so often heard in Silicon Valley conference rooms - “Well, let me tell you what the problem with that idea is….” - was not in the room.  These young women, without men to define the “appropriate business behavior,” used different behaviors and came up with a startling and valuable solution. They showed many of the values that exist outside of dominance-based leadership: strategic thinking, intuition, nurturing and relationship building, values-based decision-making and acceptance of other’s input.

Women need space to be themselves at work. Until people who have created their success by worshipping at the temple of male behavior, like Sheryl Sandberg, learn to value alternate behaviors, the working world will remain a foreign and hostile culture to women. And if we do not continuously work to build corporate cultures where there is room for other behaviors, women will be cast from or abandoned in a world not of our making, where we continuously “just do not fit in,” but where we still must go to earn our livings.
sexism  misogyny  silicon-valley  tech  work  sheryl-sandberg  business  collaboration 
january 2015 by jm
David Cameron in 'cloud cuckoo land' over encrypted messaging apps ban | Technology | The Guardian
One insider at a major US technology firm told the Guardian that “politicians are fond of asking why it is that tech companies don’t base themselves in the UK” ... “I think if you’re saying that encryption is the problem, at a time when consumers and businesses see encryption as a very necessary part of trust online, that’s a very indicative point of view.”
business  guardian  david-cameron  uk-politics  crypto  ripa  messaging  internet  privacy 
january 2015 by jm
Avleen Vig on distributed engineering teams
This is a really excellent post on the topic, rebutting Paul Graham's Bay-Area-centric thoughts on the topic very effectively. I've worked in both distributed and non-distributed, as well as effective and ineffective teams ;), and Avleen's thoughts are very much on target.
I've been involved in the New York start up scene since I joined Etsy in 2010. Since that time, I've seen more and more companies there embrace having distributed teams. Two companies I know which have risen to the top while doing this have been Etsy and DigitalOcean. Both have exceptional engineering teams working on high profile products used by many, many people around the world. There are certainly others outside New York, including Automattic, GitHub, Chef Inc, Puppet... the list goes on.

So how did this happen? And why do people continue to insist that distributed teams lower performance, and are a bad idea?

Partly because we've done a poor job of showing our industry how to be successful at it, and partly because it's hard. Having successful distributed teams requires special skills from management, which arent't easily learned until you have to manage a distributed team. Catch 22.
business  culture  management  communication  work  distributed-teams  avleen-vig  engineering 
january 2015 by jm
The open-office trend is destroying the workplace
Wow, where has this person been for the past 20 years that they haven't had to encounter this? I can only imagine having a private office, tbh.
my personal performance at work has hit an all-time low. Each day, my associates and I are seated at a table staring at each other, having an ongoing 12-person conversation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It’s like being in middle school with a bunch of adults. Those who have worked in private offices for decades have proven to be the most vociferous and rowdy. They haven’t had to consider how their loud habits affect others, so they shout ideas at each other across the table and rehash jokes of yore. As a result, I can only work effectively during times when no one else is around, or if I isolate myself in one of the small, constantly sought-after, glass-windowed meeting rooms around the perimeter.
business  office  productivity  work  desks  open-plan 
january 2015 by jm
How Paul Graham Is Wrong
If 95% of great programmers aren’t in the US, and an even higher percentage not in the Bay Area, set up your company to take advantage of that fact as a strength, not a weakness. Use WordPress and P2, use Slack, use G+ Hangouts, use Skype, use any of the amazing technology that allows us to collaborate as effectively online as previous generations of company did offline. Let people live someplace remarkable instead of paying $2,800 a month for a mediocre one bedroom rental in San Francisco. Or don’t, and let companies like Automattic and Github hire the best and brightest and let them live and work wherever they like.
business  remote-work  economics  silicon-valley  bay-area  vcs  matt-mullenweg  automattic  work 
december 2014 by jm
Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works)
Amazon has perhaps 1% of the US retail market by value. Should it stop entering new categories and markets and instead take profit, and by extension leave those segments and markets for other companies? Or should it keep investing to sweep them into the platform? Jeff Bezos’s view is pretty clear: keep investing, because to take profit out of the business would be to waste the opportunity. He seems very happy to keep seizing new opportunities, creating new businesses, and using every last penny to do it.
amazon  business  strategy  capex  spending  stocks  investing  retail 
october 2014 by jm
The Internet's Original Sin - The Atlantic
Ethan Zuckerberg: 'It's not too late to ditch the ad-based business model and build a better web.'
advertising  business  internet  ads  business-models  the-atlantic  ethan-zuckerberg  via:anildash  web  privacy  surveillance  google 
august 2014 by jm
This Internet Millionaire Has a New Deal For You - D Magazine
Good interview with Dave "Woot" Rutledge, who's now well out of Amazon and plans to get back into the crap-clearing business at Meh.com:

'Amazon’s fundamental misunderstanding of what made Woot great can be seen today on the site. It sells many items simultaneously. It’s a marketplace, not an event. The write-ups are cute, not subversively funny. Woot is no longer a bug-eyed beast with eight tentacles. It’s a pancake with two smaller pancakes for Mickey Mouse ears and a smile made of whipped cream. In 2012, two years into his three-year deal with Amazon, Rutledge walked. He won’t say how many millions his early departure cost him, but his contract with Amazon included a three-year non-compete clause from the date of sale, and he was watching the clock.'
amazon  ecommerce  business  b2c  woot.com  meh.com  dave-rutledge  selling  acquisitions 
june 2014 by jm
Netflix comes out strongly against Comcast
In sum, Comcast is not charging Netflix for transit service. It is charging Netflix for access to its subscribers. Comcast also charges its subscribers for access to Internet content providers like Netflix. In this way, Comcast is double dipping by getting both its subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other.


FIGHT!
netflix  comcast  network-neutrality  cartels  competition  us-politics  business  isps 
april 2014 by jm
The Emerging Global Web
*Really* intriguing slide deck on how Asia and Africa have invented new ways of operating a business via the internet, and are turning globalisation upside down (via Yoz)
via:yoz  africa  asia  globalisation  internet  web  mobile  payment  business  ecommerce  global 
april 2014 by jm
Here’s Why You’re Not Hiring the Best and the Brightest
Jeff Atwood's persuasive argument that remote working needs to be the norm in tech work:
There’s an elephant in the room in the form of an implied clause: Always hire the best people… who are willing to live in San Francisco. Substitute Mountain View, New York, Boston, Chicago, or any other city. The problem is the same. We pay lip service to the idea of hiring the best people in the world — but in reality, we’re only hiring the best people who happen to be close by.
recruiting  remote  hiring  business  coding  work  remote-work  telecommuting  jobs  silicon-valley  jeff-atwood 
april 2014 by jm
Docracy
'The web's only open collection of legal contracts and the best way to negotiate and sign documents online'. (via Kowalshki)
via:kowalshki  business  documents  legal  law  contracts 
january 2014 by jm
Alex Payne — Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology
Working in technology has an element of pioneering, and with new frontiers come those would prefer to leave civilization behind. But in a time of growing inequality, we need technology that preserves and renews the civilization we already have. The first step in this direction is for technologists to engage with the experiences and struggles of those outside their industry and community. There’s a big, wide, increasingly poor world out there, and it doesn’t need 99% of what Silicon Valley is selling.

I’ve enjoyed the thought experiment of Bitcoin as much as the next nerd, but it’s time to dispense with the opportunism and adolescent fantasies of a crypto-powered stateless future and return to the work of building technology and social services that meaningfully and accountably improve our collective quality of life.
bitcoin  business  economics  silicon-valley  tech  alex-payne  writing  libertarianism  futurism  crypto  civilization  frontier  community 
december 2013 by jm
The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic
A book published during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur has a greater chance of being in print today than one published during the time of Reagan.
This is not a gently sloping downward curve. Publishers seem unwilling to sell their books on Amazon for more than a few years after their initial publication. The data suggest that publishing business models make books disappear fairly shortly after their publication and long before they are scheduled to fall into the public domain. Copyright law then deters their reappearance as long as they are owned. On the left side of the graph before 1920, the decline presents a more gentle time-sensitive downward sloping curve.
business  books  legal  copyright  law  public-domain  reading  history  publishers  amazon  papers 
september 2013 by jm
Meet the nice-guy lawyers who want $1,000 per worker for using scanners | Ars Technica
Great investigative journalism, interviewing the legal team behind the current big patent-troll shakedown; that on scanning documents with a button press, using a scanner attached to a network. They express whole-hearted belief in the legality of their actions, unsurprisingly -- they're exactly what you think they'd be like (via Nelson)
via:nelson  ethics  business  legal  patents  swpats  patent-trolls  texas  shakedown 
april 2013 by jm
On Patents
Notch comes up with a perfect analogy for software patents.
I am mostly fine with the concept of “selling stuff you made”, so I’m also against copyright infringement. I don’t think it’s quite as bad as theft, and I’m not sure it’s good for society that some professions can get paid over and over long after they did the work (say, in the case of a game developer), whereas others need to perform the job over and over to get paid (say, in the case of a hairdresser or a lawyer). But yeah, “selling stuff you made” is good. But there is no way in hell you can convince me that it’s beneficial for society to not share ideas. Ideas are free. They improve on old things, make them better, and this results in all of society being better. Sharing ideas is how we improve. A common argument for patents is that inventors won’t invent unless they can protect their ideas. The problem with this argument is that patents apply even if the infringer came up with the idea independently. If the idea is that easy to think of, why do we need to reward the person who happened to be first?

Of course, in reality it's even worse, since you don't actually have to be first to invent -- just first to file without sufficient people noticing, and people are actively dissuaded from noticing (since it makes their lives riskier if they know about the existence of patents)...
business  legal  ip  copyright  patents  notch  minecraft  patent-trolls 
july 2012 by jm
LRB · James Meek · In the Sorting Office
'The postwoman is paid a pittance to deliver corporate mail. She hasn’t done her job well, yet so few people have complained about missed deliveries that she hasn’t been found out. Across the world, postal services are being altered like this: optimised to deliver the maximum amount of unwanted mail at the minimum cost to businesses. In the internet age private citizens are sending less mail than they used to, but that’s only part of the story of postal decline. The price of driving down the cost of bulk mailing for a handful of big organisations is being paid for by the replacement of decently paid postmen with casual labour and the erosion of daily deliveries.' (via Tony Finch)
via:fanf  post  mail  postal-service  holland  dutch  postmen  work  jobs  business  politics  lrb 
april 2011 by jm
Dylan Collins asks: has Ireland peaked as an Internet hub?
based on Twitter's surprise move passing over Dublin for London, and how to fix it: "launch the Internet Visa, an aggressive program that allows all Irish Internet companies to recruit from anywhere in the world. Reduce the red tape (combine all permit and visa documentation), guarantee a turnaround time measured in days (a small number) and avoid all the mistakes the UK has made with its Startup Visa initiative. Bring the talent from everywhere outside the EU to Ireland. Ireland doesn’t scale organically. So it needs to in-source. We need to be honest about our shortcomings and tackle them with something which will make HR Directors smile. Imagine a country with all the existing advantages of Ireland plus the ability to hire anyone in the world you wanted. Who in their right mind wouldn’t establish their European base there?" He's dead right, this is a massive problem for the Irish tech industry right now
ireland  bureaucracy  red-tape  twitter  tech  business  visas  work  government  dylan-collins 
april 2011 by jm
Y Combinator Funding Application for Dropbox
having worked on a product which was tangentially a Dropbox competitor, this is fascinating. they have good tech and great smarts, and of course a great foundation in S3
dropbox  business  ideas  y-combinator  products  design  apps  from delicious
january 2011 by jm
Flattr - Social micropayments
click a "Flattr" button on content-creator websites, pay a monthly $5 fee, and the content creators get a share of your $5. Very interesting, and seems well thought out -- think I may sign up when I see some content I like
flattr  payment  content  business  social  pay  music  from delicious
december 2010 by jm
Your Country, Your Call, You’re Doomed
Bock on the predictably-crap biz-waffle results from the YCYC "get Ireland back on track" competition. 'If we don’t take this seriously, we’re doomed to repeat the current economic disaster over and over again, each generation with its own Bertie Ahern, its own Seanie Fitzpatrick, its own Fingers Fingleton, and all the other assorted, integrity-free panhandlers and parasites who have soiled the reputation of this country and sold us down the Swanee for their own, ignorant, self-serving enrichment. Forget about Eamon Ryan’s smart economy. Let’s put all our effort into creating the Honest Economy.'
ycyc  waffle  business  ireland  vision-lock  integrity  bock-the-robber  economy  from delicious
september 2010 by jm
Dropbox Startup Lessons Learned [PDF]
good set of slides from Dropbox. traditional marketing and AdWords failed utterly; word-of-mouth (and a great product) was how they've succeeded
business  dropbox  lessons  marketing  pr  presentation  startup  viral  from delicious
april 2010 by jm
Sexy Executives
'The finest corporate photography - from their extranets, to you' (via Adrian Weckler)
via:adrianweckler  funny  business  blogs  ceo  photography  executives  zzzz  from delicious
march 2010 by jm

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