jm + communication   12

Allen curve - Wikipedia
During the late 1970s, [Professor Thomas J.] Allen undertook a project to determine how the distance between engineers’ offices affects the frequency of technical communication between them. The result of that research, produced what is now known as the Allen Curve, revealed that there is a strong negative correlation between physical distance and the frequency of communication between work stations. The finding also revealed the critical distance of 50 meters for weekly technical communication.

With the fast advancement of internet and sharp drop of telecommunication cost, some wonder the observation of Allen Curve in today's corporate environment. In his recently co-authored book, Allen examined this question and the same still holds true. He says[2]

"For example, rather than finding that the probability of telephone communication increases with distance, as face-to-face probability decays, our data show a decay in the use of all communication media with distance (following a "near-field" rise)." [p. 58]


Apparently a few years back in Google, some staff mined the promotion data, and were able to show a Allen-like curve that proved a strong correlation between distance from Jeff Dean's desk, and time to getting promoted.
jeff-dean  google  history  allen-curve  work  communication  distance  offices  workplace  teleworking  remote-work 
5 weeks ago by jm
iPhones4Autism
great idea -- donate old, obsolete iPhone 4/4s phones to a charity which repurposes them for autistic/non-verbal kids
autism  communication  health  phones  recycling  charity  iphones 
september 2016 by jm
Open Whisper Systems >> Blog >> Reflections: The ecosystem is moving
Very interesting post on federation vs centralization for new services:
One of the controversial things we did with Signal early on was to build it as an unfederated service. Nothing about any of the protocols we've developed requires centralization; it's entirely possible to build a federated Signal Protocol based messenger, but I no longer believe that it is possible to build a competitive federated messenger at all.
development  encryption  communication  network-effects  federation  signal  ip  protocols  networking  smtp  platforms 
may 2016 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
Scaling email transparency
This is quite interesting/weird -- Stripe's protocol for mass-CCing email as they scale up the company, based around http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_inattention
communication  culture  email  management  stripe  cc  transparency  civil-inattention 
december 2014 by jm
Move Fast and Break Nothing
Great presentation about Github dev culture and building software without breakage, but still with real progress.
github  programming  communication  process  coding  teams  management  dev-culture  breakage 
october 2014 by jm
Introducing Groups.io
Mark "ONEList" Fletcher's back, and he's reinventing the email group! awesome.
email groups (the modern version of mailing lists) have stagnated over the past decade. Yahoo Groups and Google Groups both exude the dank air of benign neglect. Google Groups hasn’t been updated in years, and some of Yahoo’s recent changes have actually made Yahoo Groups worse! And yet, millions of people put up with this uncertainty and neglect, because email groups are still one of the best ways to communicate with groups of people. And I have a plan to make them even better.
So today I’m launching Groups.io in beta, to bring email groups into the 21st Century. At launch, we have many features that those other services don’t have, including:

Integration with other services, including: Github, Google Hangouts, Dropbox, Instagram, Facebook Pages, and the ability to import Feeds into your groups.
Businesses and organizations can have their own private groups on their own subdomain.
Better archive organization, using hashtags.
Many more email delivery options.
The ability to mute threads or hashtags.
Fully searchable archives, including searching within attachments.

One other feature that Groups.io has that Yahoo and Google don’t, is a business model that’s not based on showing ads to you. Public groups are completely free on Groups.io. Private groups and organizations are very reasonably priced.
email  groups  communication  discussion  mailing-lists  groups.io  yahoo  google  google-groups  yahoo-groups 
september 2014 by jm
Schneier on Security: The NSA Is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet
The new Snowden revelations are explosive. Basically, the NSA is able to decrypt most of the Internet. They're doing it primarily by cheating, not by mathematics.
It's joint reporting between the Guardian, the New York Times, and ProPublica.
I have been working with Glenn Greenwald on the Snowden documents, and I have seen a lot of them. These are my two essays on today's revelations.
Remember this: The math is good, but math has no agency. Code has agency, and the code has been subverted.
encryption  communication  government  nsa  security  bruce-schneier  crypto  politics  snooping  gchq  guardian  journalism 
september 2013 by jm
Indymedia: It’s time to move on
Our decision to curtail publishing on the Nottingham Indymedia site and call a meeting is an attempt to create a space for new ideas. We are not interested in continuing along the slow but certain path to total irrelevance but want to draw in new people and start off in new directions whilst remaining faithful to the underlying principles of Indymedia.
indymedia  community  communication  web  anonymity  publishing  left-wing 
february 2013 by jm
Project HGG: FAQ
Hackerspace Global Grid -- 'We want to understand, build and make available satellite based communication for the hackerspace community and all of mankind.' Space is the place!
space  ccc  satellite  communication  internet  hackerspace 
january 2012 by jm

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