ssam + business   193

How to Program Your Job - The Atlantic
"As it stands, self-automation can be empowering. But as automation techniques become better understood, they may simply become yet another skill set management can expect employees to possess, or learn—passing the gains to their organization, then making themselves useful in some other way. “Employees will increasingly need to automate their own jobs or get moved out,” writes the Harvard Business Review. “Worldwide, we’ll see many more top-down managerial mandates for bottom-up automation initiatives.” And the rich and their employee-built bots will again swallow the gains."
computing  work  business  economics  programming  life 
8 days ago by ssam
The Games Industry is Toxic · Austin Kelmore
"We tell ourselves that the industry has to be this way in order to create the amazing games we all love. We tell ourselves this because the alternative is absolutely terrifying. If games could be made without all of the pain, suffering, and abuse… then that means we chose that path ourselves. We chose to suffer not because we had to, but because we wanted to.

Let me be clear: when I say we, I mean the people who lead companies - executives, managers, and senior employees. We are the people most responsible for how our industry functions because we have the power. We make the decisions to hire and fire, we pay the salaries, we teach others the ways we make games, and we exhibit the cultural norms that others follow. We have that responsibility whether or not we want it."
work  life  programming  software  development  games  business  health  discrimination  management 
20 days ago by ssam
Jaron Lanier interview on how social media ruins your life - YouTube
Some interesting points here.

* Facebook cannot be a force for good with the current business model in which they profit from advertiser-driven manipulation of their users.
* Recommendation algorithms are trained on simple responses such as whether a user clicks to watch a specific video that was suggested to them. Negative responses rise quicker than positive ones and so they end up being reinforced.

"What we did in Silicon Valley is we wanted it both ways. We wanted everything open and free but we wanted hero entrepreneurs and hackers, and so the only way to get that was this advertising thing that slowly turned into manipulation as computers got faster."
facebook  social  media  business  addiction  quote  technology  communication  internet  society 
29 days ago by ssam
Lokafy: Book a Tour With a Local
Interesting gig site where you give tours
travel  world  internet  money  business 
4 weeks ago by ssam
The Economics of Writing a Technical Book – Justin Garrison – Medium
"I learned that you can’t just write a book and expect it to sell. There needs to be a lot of effort (a.k.a. budget and time) in marketing and it takes more than just individuals with twitter accounts to get the word out. It has been humbling to have friends and organizations help us promote the book and even pay to put the book in people’s hands."
writing  books  business  technology 
6 weeks ago by ssam
Road 2 Adventure - Home Port
Interesting idea ! Buy a bus, fit it out for sleeping, drive around Australia with a bunch of backpackers joining you to pay the way!
travel  world  australia  business 
8 weeks ago by ssam
Small firms face 'extermination' due to Network Rail asset sale | Business | The Guardian
"Dipak Patel, 39, runs a cafe and repair shop called Popup Bikes in Manchester with his brother Prakash, but is facing the threat of having to pack up and leave if his three-month rolling lease ends.

He said: “It’s how big business works. It’s what they do, in search of profits the little guy gets shoved to the side.

“The important thing here is the public know this is going on and how it will affect them in the future. What will it leave them with in their cities and towns? What will happen if the nice independent coffee shop that used to be there will get replaced by a multinational chain?

“We are a hub for the community. Before we came in six years ago there were just smackheads hanging around. People couldn’t even park their cars here but now they can as the whole area has improved. But all that will go out the window if we are forced to leave.

“What we will end up with is a monoculture where there are no Popup Bikes, no great MOT places, just the same big chains everywhere. There will be no choice and we just have to buy the same stuff that everyone else buys.”"
manchester  uk  rent  business  city 
june 2018 by ssam
2018/01/28 – Leonardo Chiariglione | Blog
"My concerns are at a different level and have to do with the way industry at large will be able to access innovation. AOM will certainly give much needed stability to the video codec market but this will come at the cost of reduced if not entirely halted technical progress. There will simply be no incentive for companies to develop new video compression technologies, at very significant cost because of the sophistication of the field, knowing that their assets will be thankfully – and nothing more – accepted and used by AOM in their video codecs.

Companies will slash their video compression technology investments, thousands of jobs will go and millions of USD of funding to universities will be cut. A successful “access technology at no cost” model will spread to other fields.

So don’t expect that in the future you will see the progress in video compression technology that we have seen in the past 30 years."
video  technology  patents  money  business  future  audio  compression 
january 2018 by ssam
Status supports Matrix: ICO gains used to back non-blockchain decentralisation technology
"Here's a heartwarming story involving the often murky world of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Status, a decentralised messaging app which last year tokenised to the tune of about $100m, has sunk $5m into non-blockchain decentralisation technology Matrix.

It's worth mentioning that Status went to some lengths to try and ensure smaller investors and blockchain developers got access to their token sale.

The support shown to Matrix demonstrates the mentality of Web 3.0 builders generally: they're not in competition with each other because the common goal is challenging massive institutions of centralisation."

Via: https://matrix.org/blog/2018/01/29/status-partners-up-with-new-vector-fueling-decentralised-comms-and-the-matrix-ecosystem/
decentralization  communcation  technology  free  software  open  source  bitcoin  money  business 
january 2018 by ssam
The Quietus | Opinion | Black Sky Thinking | Off The Record: How Studios Subliminally Silence Women
"Notably, for the first time last year, entries to the British Composer Awards were judged anonymously and the number of women making the shortlist more than doubled. Similarly, when the major US orchestras implemented blind auditions, female membership soared. It turns out that we do like music made by women; we just don’t know it.

Much of this unconscious bias plays out under the radar. Upon hiring me one rehearsal studios owner warned that when clients need assistance and they find a woman on shift, they will ask, "is there anyone who can help me with x?" When there's a man on shift the client will ask 'can you help me with x?' Subtle but it sends a message – one of trust and confidence, expectation and normalisation - one which, accumulatively, when repeated day in day out, matters."
music  work  business  studio  women  sexism 
january 2018 by ssam
Dude, you broke the future! - Charlie's Diary
"Elon Musk—who I believe you have all heard of—has an obsessive fear of one particular hazard of artificial intelligence—which he conceives of as being a piece of software that functions like a brain-in-a-box)—namely, the paperclip maximizer. A paperclip maximizer is a term of art for a goal-seeking AI that has a single priority, for example maximizing the number of paperclips in the universe. The paperclip maximizer is able to improve itself in pursuit of that goal but has no ability to vary its goal, so it will ultimately attempt to convert all the metallic elements in the solar system into paperclips, even if this is obviously detrimental to the wellbeing of the humans who designed it.

Unfortunately, Musk isn't paying enough attention. Consider his own companies. Tesla is a battery maximizer—an electric car is a battery with wheels and seats. SpaceX is an orbital payload maximizer, driving down the cost of space launches in order to encourage more sales for the service it provides. Solar City is a photovoltaic panel maximizer. And so on. All three of Musk's very own slow AIs are based on an architecture that is designed to maximize return on shareholder investment, even if by doing so they cook the planet the shareholders have to live on. (But if you're Elon Musk, that's okay: you plan to retire on Mars.)"

Similar: https://www.buzzfeed.com/tedchiang/the-real-danger-to-civilization-isnt-ai-its-runaway

"We need for the machines to wake up, not in the sense of computers becoming self-aware, but in the sense of corporations recognizing the consequences of their behavior. Just as a superintelligent AI ought to realize that covering the planet in strawberry fields isn’t actually in its or anyone else’s best interests, companies in Silicon Valley need to realize that increasing market share isn’t a good reason to ignore all other considerations. Individuals often reevaluate their priorities after experiencing a personal wake-up call. What we need is for companies to do the same — not to abandon capitalism completely, just to rethink the way they practice it. We need them to behave better than the AIs they fear and demonstrate a capacity for insight"
future  capitalism  corporate  ai  business  law  technology  scary  spying  politics  life 
january 2018 by ssam
Walking on Lava: Prospecting for Equanimity | The Dark Mountain Project
"I arrive home and my daughters and I wander into the garden where dull bituminous and shiny anthracite lie on the ground, dropped from previous mining operations. We pick tomatoes, flicking off confident stink bugs, while the Haliburton pickup drives by and the Shell helicopter flies overhead – every day at 5.45pm.

Entering through the basement door, I’m greeted by my radon detector beeping: the level is still above the EPA ‘safe’ level, even after the expensive mitigation system whose constant hum drives me mad. Some wondered if radon had contributed to my aunt’s early death since she lived in an underground house near gas wells and mining. We’ll never know."
usa  oil  gas  industry  business  health  big-businesses-are-screwing-you-over  environment  nature 
october 2017 by ssam
License Zero
"Feel overwhelmed by business-driven demand for open software, maintenance, and support? License Zero offers all the tools you need to go in business yourself, and start receiving compensation for your contributions.

Tired of seeing your open code end up in closed systems, with no contribution or support flowing back? License Zero puts the teeth back in copyleft, requiring community members to give back to Open Source or support those who do.

Want a simple, low-friction way to support maintainers of open code you use and rely on, when you can’t give back in kind? License Zero makes it easy, right from the command line. "

An interesting idea. Not sure how it differs from the GPL in practice; what counts is enforcement in terms of actually getting people to give you money, surely? Just because you have a license doesn't mean shit if you don't have a trade body enforcing that people pay ... not that I like such bodies for 1 second"
business  free  software  open  source  copyright  license  money  law 
october 2017 by ssam
The top 100 tech companies in Greater Manchester 2017 - Manchester Evening News
"Founded in January 2013 by Manchester entrepreneur, James Blake, pictured, it works cross-sector with large finance, insurance and gaming firms to help profile their consumers. Using their flagship platform PROFILE, Hello Soda utilises information from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google, blending it with third party data, to create reputational scores. The company has offices in the US, Bangkok and India."
manchester  technology  business  work  spying  facebook  watch-your-step  social  media  black-mirror 
october 2017 by ssam
The Realities of Being a FOSS Maintainer - Site Feedback - Caddy Community
Good example of how people are horrible and also open source is a thing.

"You can’t dangle a maintainer’s open source project in front of them like a carrot and say, “You want this (to succeed), don’t you?”

Other forms this takes are:

“In order to secure the future of Caddy…”
“I’m not sure why anyone would buy software from you ever again…”
“Final nail in the coffin for Caddy”
“I know Caddy’s your baby, …”
“Bye …” or “Have a nice day” (dismissively)

as well as any comment insinuating that the maintainer is reliant upon a project that is not profitable or sustainable. Here’s the brutal truth for 99.9% (* not an actual figure) of open source projects, folks: you (the user of an open source project) need and rely on the project more than the maintainers do. Do not make the mistake of thinking that maintainers are emotionally tied to their projects. Definitely don’t call it their ‘baby’.

So, you have it backwards. Remember, these changes are being made because Caddy is not sustainable as-is. I don’t make a living from it. Up till now, I’ve enjoyed working on it, so sure, I’d like to make a living from it when I finish grad school. I, along with most FOSS maintainers, have nothing to lose.

Remember that next time you think you can weaponize a project’s potential (or lack of) success against its owner or maintainers."
open  source  software  programming  development  maintenance  work  business  money  life  free 
september 2017 by ssam
We're racing towards another private debt crisis – so why did no one see it coming?
"The last time there was a financial crash, the Queen famously asked: why was no one able to foresee this? We now have the tools. Perhaps the most important task for a public inquiry will be to finally ask: what is the real purpose of the institutions that are supposed to foresee such matters, to what degree have they been politicised, and what would it take to turn them back into institutions that can at least inform us if we're staring into the lights of an oncoming train? "
future  uk  debt  crisis  business  big-businesses-are-screwing-you-over  money  politics  austerity 
august 2017 by ssam
architectsforsocialhousing – Architects for Social Housing (ASH) has been set up to respond architecturally to London’s housing crisis.
"Architects for Social Housing (ASH) was set up in March 2015 in order to respond architecturally to London’s housing ‘crisis’. We are a working collective of architects, urban designers, engineers, surveyors, planners, film-makers, photographers, web designers, artists, writers and housing campaigners operating with developing ideas under set principles.

First among these is the conviction that increasing the housing capacity on existing council estates, rather than redeveloping them as luxury apartments, is a more sustainable solution to London’s housing needs than the demolition of the city’s social housing during a housing shortage, enabling, as it does, the continued existence of the communities they house."
london  housing  fairness  labour  money  business  bubble  property  uk  house  class  war 
july 2017 by ssam
Exponential growth devours and corrupts – Signal v. Noise
"When I first discovered Uber, I was ecstatic. So much less human friction. No yucky money changing hands. Just in and out. Headphones on and let’s go. The less I had to deal with the humanity of drivers, the better. Or so I thought.

But not all that is easy is better. Friction is interaction. Human psyches rubbing against each other. And in this friction-less society we wonder how on earth someone could vote Brexit or Trump. It wouldn’t be such a mystery if we didn’t do all we could to isolate ourselves from the world."
common-sense-moon-in-an-idiot-sky  society  people  i-wish-i-could-show-this-to-everybody  growth  capitalism  business  technology-is-not-the-solution-for-everything  culture  usa 
april 2017 by ssam
The Man Who Broke Ticketmaster - Motherboard
So it seems one of the main problem with ticket scalping was that TicketMaster was run by morons .... which does not surprise me.

"The last piece of the puzzle was Ticketmaster's anti-bot CAPTCHA system, which requires a human to type in crossed out or fuzzy words to prove he or she isn't a robot. Wiseguy learned that Ticketmaster's CAPTCHA system had only loaded 30,000 unique images into its database, rather than millions. So Lowson's team downloaded every image they could find as a .jpeg file, stayed up all night typing them out, and taught their bot how to match the images.

"Ticketmaster left it that way for years," Lowson said. "Once we realized the CAPTCHA database was static, we went to look at the seats we could pull, and bam!—I saw the best seats available for Springsteen. That's when we really knew we had something.""

Perhaps my favourite is their involves that look like they were written with Comic Sans. People are crazy.

Luckily none of this really matters if the worst that happens is you don't get tickets to go see Shania Twain or U2.

This is an interesting point...

""There's an emotional aspect to what artists do, which is to say 'I'm not willing to charge $500 even though clearly the market value is $500. I'm going to charge $100, and at the end of the day someone else is going to make that money,'" Rich Holtzman, head of StubHub's music business development, told me. "The marketplace will always exist as long as artists won't increase their ticket prices.""
security  internet  web  design  music  events  people-are-crazy  people-are-dumb  business  incompetence 
february 2017 by ssam
Everything you need to know about Theresa May's Article 50 nightmare in five minutes
"What happens if there is no transition deal by March 2019? Or if she walks off in a huff from negotiations?

Bad things. This is the 'cliff edge' people keep talking about. The trouble is that all the systems we have for trade with Europe would cease to function overnight without anything to replace them. The way things are now, British products can go to the continent without tariffs or paper work. They're not stopped at the border to check if they're up to European standards or if they satisfy very laborious country-of-origin checks. About half the goods we send overseas go to Europe, but the rules mean they can travel as easily as if they were going from London to Newcastle. If we leave the EU with no replacement system set up, none of that will apply. Lorries will be queuing from Dover to London trying to get into the EU. Companies will start moving to Europe to avoid tariffs. Others will be hurt – or in many cases killed off – by complex bureaucratic requirements. As for the goods coming in to the UK, we need to pass over new powers to our customs authorities. Then we need to hire thousands of new staff and train them to deal with all this extra work. The new customs rules need to be put into the system for lawyers and officers to refer to on the first day after Brexit. It's a lot of preparatory work."
uk  politics  money  future  the-future-is-dark  brexit  conservatives  business 
february 2017 by ssam
Government accused of trying to kill off UK solar industry before it can become cheapest form of electricity | The Independent
"Amid ongoing concern about rising energy prices, the industry expressed disbelief that the Treasury is about to impose a swingeing business tax on firms with rooftop solar schemes, which could increase the bill by up to eight times. Domestic installations could also be hit by a VAT increase from five to 20 per cent.

And large-scale solar has been excluded from Government auctions of contracts to supply electricity to the grid for the lowest guaranteed price, effectively a form of state subsidy."

Thankfully other countries are run by fewer delusional morons so this isn't a global problem, if solar is indeed going to become amazing then the Germans will save a lot of money
you-couldn't-make-it-up  solar  power  the-future-is-dark  uk  idiots-have-taken-over  business  industry 
february 2017 by ssam
Goodreads | Quote by Jason Fried: “Policies are organizational scar tissue. They a...”
"“Policies are organizational scar tissue. They are codified overreactions to situations that are unlikely to happen again. They are collective punishment for the misdeeds of an individual. This is how bureaucracies are born. No one sets out to create a bureaucracy. They sneak up on companies slowly. They are created one policy—one scar—at a time. So don’t scar on the first cut. Don’t create a policy because one person did something wrong once. Policies are only meant for situations that come up over and over again.”"
quote  work  business  organisation  policy 
february 2017 by ssam
defstartup/why-rethinkdb-failed.md at master · coffeemug/defstartup
"Our thinking went something like this. New companies aren't getting built on top of Oracle, so there is a window of opportunity to build a new infrastructure company. The database market is huge. If we build a product that captures some of that market, we'll end up building a very successful company.

Unfortunately you're not in the market you think you're in -- you're in the market your users think you're in. And our users clearly thought of us as an open-source developer tools company, because that's what we really were. Which turned out to be very unfortunate, because the open-source developer tools market is one of the worst markets one could possibly end up in. Thousands of people used RethinkDB, often in business contexts, but most were willing to pay less for the lifetime of usage than the price of a single Starbucks coffee (which is to say, they weren't willing to pay anything at all).

This wasn't because the product was so good people didn't need to pay for support, or because developers don't control budgets, or because of failure of capitalism. The answer is basic microeconomics. Developers love building developer tools, often for free. So while there is massive demand, the supply vastly outstrips it. This drives the number of alternatives up, and the prices down to zero."

I never thought of it that way but of course it makes sense.

The essay is pretty full of wisdom as a whole
business  story  open  source  development  tools  programming  free  software  money  work 
january 2017 by ssam
» Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable Clay Shirky
"The expense of printing created an environment where Wal-Mart was willing to subsidize the Baghdad bureau. This wasn’t because of any deep link between advertising and reporting, nor was it about any real desire on the part of Wal-Mart to have their marketing budget go to international correspondents. It was just an accident. Advertisers had little choice other than to have their money used that way, since they didn’t really have any other vehicle for display ads.

The old difficulties and costs of printing forced everyone doing it into a similar set of organizational models; it was this similarity that made us regard Daily Racing Form and L’Osservatore Romano as being in the same business. That the relationship between advertisers, publishers, and journalists has been ratified by a century of cultural practice doesn’t make it any less accidental."
media  journalism  technology  internet  future  copyright  news  writing  money  business 
january 2017 by ssam
Myths and Facts: Couchsurfing’s conversion to a B Corp | Couchsurfing News Blog
So ... it does seem legit about them turning into a private corp if they did first go for not-for-profit status & were rejected.
travel  internet  people  website  business  usa 
december 2016 by ssam
David Davis: UK may pay for access to EU single market - BBC News
"The UK would consider making payments to the EU after it leaves the bloc to secure the best possible access to the EU single market, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said.

Mr Davis told MPs the "major criterion" was getting the best access for goods and services to the European market."

Probably the only way they can square this circle.
brexit  money  eu  business  uk 
december 2016 by ssam
Russian Bill makes Free Software a Public Priority
"Legislators have drafted a bill that will boost Free Software on multiple levels within the Russian Federation's public sector.

The draft, approved by the Russian Federation's Duma (lower chamber) in mid-October, requires the public sector to prioritise Free Software over proprietary alternatives, gives precedence to local IT businesses that offer Free Software for public tenders, and recognises the need to encourage collaboration with the global network of Free Software organisations and communities.

The text enforces prioritising Free Software over proprietary alternatives by requiring public administrations to formally justify any purchase of proprietary software. The purchase will be considered unjustified if a Free Software solution exists that satisfies the list of technical specifications and standards. In addition, all IT purchase agreements in the public sphere must be registered in a dedicated registrar and detail the overall quantity and price of both purchased proprietary and Free Software."
russia  free  software  business  technology 
november 2016 by ssam
If we don't sell arms to Saudi Arabia, someone else will, says Boris Johnson | The Independent
""Can you explain to me though why you feel that actually withdrawing the UK's support to the coalition - which is precisely focused on training Saudis to better able to be in compliance with international humanitarian law, therefore our interventions, if they are effective, will create fewer civilian casualties - why you have insisted, despite a number of us asking, in keeping that in the motion making it very hard for many of us to vote for it?""
war  uk  business  politics  middle-east 
october 2016 by ssam
The real reason for the Calais Jungle clearance isn't what you may think | The Canary
"So far in 2016, more than 325,000 refugees have fled to Europe, including 91,000 children. The majority have come from Syria, whose conflict has killed more than 400,000 civilians since it began in 2011. And as the Syrian crisis continues, so does the displacement of refugees.

But far from looking at how to end the humanitarian catastrophes at both ends of the situation, companies and politicians are simply profiting from the chaos. Just more proof that there’s big money to be made from the misery of refugees."
refugees  war  business  uk  europe  france  money  politics 
october 2016 by ssam
Property Week Student Accommodation Awards: judges refuse to pick winner as rent too high
""Unfortunately, none of the entrants could demonstrate that they are meeting the urgent need of students to live in accommodation that will not force them into poverty," said the letter, posted to Twitter by Jenny Killin, one of the judges and a student at Aberdeen University."
obvious  uk  academia  university  protest  business 
october 2016 by ssam
The Death of British Business | by Simon Head | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
"What has saved Britain from relegation to the European lower echelons—to the level of Italy, Spain, or worse—has been the pursuit over several decades of an economic strategy that has encouraged global corporations in both manufacturing and financial services to come to the UK and fill the British business vacuum.

The UK’s favorable financial and legal environment helped draw foreign capital. But it was access to the EU that allowed this to happen on a large scale. Since the early 1980s, leading global corporations have located plants and offices in Britain, sometimes taking over British businesses in the process, using British soil as a terrestrial aircraft carrier to assault the single European market. Trade figures for the past three decades show with brutal clarity how dependent the UK is on this aircraft carrier status, and how much it stands to lose if a full Brexit is carried out. Even with the benefit of major inflows of foreign capital the UK’s trade performance has been the weakest of all the G-7 industrial economies. What will it look like without them?

...

The issue for Britain now is whether Prime Minister Theresa May has the fortitude to face down the Brexit radicals within her own party and save Britain from the economic havoc that ‘hard Brexit’ and the exclusion from the European single market will surely bring. But in her keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on October 5, she gave few indications that she will. Instead, she played unashamedly to the Brexit gallery, affirming that Britain would trigger Article 50—the provision of the EU treaty setting out the process for formally withdrawing from the union—by the end of March 2017. May also made the reduction of immigration from the EU her chief priority, and aligned herself so closely with the anti-immigrant wing of her party that she drew praise from Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front.

Unless May soon changes course, Britain and its economy could face a decade or more of debilitating uncertainty. This is the amount of time it could take to negotiate a new trading relationship with the EU, which absorbs approximately 44 percent of UK exports and is by far its largest market. The British government knows that in a little more than two years Britain will lose its access to the European single market, the price it must pay for its hostility to immigration from the EU. But it has no way of knowing what trading regime with the EU will take its place.

It must now embark on a series of marathon negotiations with its EU ex-partners, certain only in the knowledge that the trading regime that will emerge from them may be far less favorable to business located in Britain than the one that exists now. It is hard to imagine a set of circumstances more likely to convince foreign businesses in Britain that they should act on their warnings to leave the country or reduce their presence there, and instead take up residence within the secure confines of the Single European Market. The British economy and the British people will suffer the consequences."
uk  business  britain-is-going-down  industry  conservatives  economics  history  we-told-you-so  obvious  brexit 
october 2016 by ssam
British tea, jam and biscuits will be at the heart of Britain's Brexit trade plans
The plan is to export something which we import from somewhere else and cannot grow here. You cannot make this shit up.
politics  economics  conservatives  you-couldn't-make-it-up  brexit  business  crazy  stupid 
october 2016 by ssam
Uber’s Ad-Toting Drones Are Heckling Drivers Stuck in Traffic
"Drivers stuck in traffic in Mexico City lately have found themselves being buzzed by a fleet of sign-toting drones. “Driving by yourself?” some scolded in Spanish. “This is why you can never see the volcanoes”—a reference to the smog that often hovers over the mega-city and obscures two nearby peaks.

It wasn’t exactly a plea for environmentalism, though—it was an ad for UberPOOL, part of Uber’s big push into markets across Latin America. As Bloomberg points out, Uber already does more business in Mexico City than any other city it operates in, and Brazil is its third-largest market after the U.S. and India. Uber sees Latin American countries as generally easier targets for expansion than either of its top two markets."
you-couldn't-make-it-up  the-future-is-now  drones  advertising  mexico  business 
october 2016 by ssam
US Officially Enters War with Yemen Amid Charges of Saudi War Crimes | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
"In addition to making the U.S. an official combatant in the war, the strikes further complicate a tense situation on the ground in Yemen, where the Saudi Arabia-led coalition bombed a funeral ceremony on Saturday, killing by some estimates at least 155 people. It prompted human rights advocates on Capitol Hill and beyond to implore the U.S. to stop supporting the Saudi campaign, although the Obama administration recently authorized a $1.13 billion arms sale to the Gulf kingdom."
middle-east  unfair  usa  war  industry  business 
october 2016 by ssam
You don’t have to be stupid to work here, but it helps | Aeon Essays
"At the outset of our research, we suspected that organisational life would be full of stupidities. But we were genuinely surprised that otherwise smart people would go along with collective stupidity, and be rewarded for doing so. Mindlessly following rules and regulations – even if they were completely counterproductive – meant that professionals would be left alone. Using empty leadership talk would get ambitious people promoted into positions of responsibility. Copying other well-known organisations meant a firm could be seen as ‘world-class’. Launching branding initiatives meant that executives could focus on the easier work of manipulating surface images and avoid the much messier realities of organisational life. Following deep-seated corporate cultures often meant employees could be seen as committed organisational citizens while overlooking festering problems.

Although corporate mindlessness comes with some big pay-offs, we also noticed it could be very costly. When smart people stopped fully using their intelligence, they would often overlook mistakes. Usually, this wouldn’t matter: companies can be large organisations that offer plenty of places to hide mistakes. What’s more, people in corporations have short attention spans. Perpetrators of blunders will likely have moved onwards (often upwards) before their mistakes becomes obvious. ‘Always try to outrun your mistakes’ was one middle-manager’s key career advice."

...
"At the outset of our research, we suspected that organisational life would be full of stupidities. But we were genuinely surprised that otherwise smart people would go along with collective stupidity, and be rewarded for doing so. Mindlessly following rules and regulations – even if they were completely counterproductive – meant that professionals would be left alone. Using empty leadership talk would get ambitious people promoted into positions of responsibility. Copying other well-known organisations meant a firm could be seen as ‘world-class’. Launching branding initiatives meant that executives could focus on the easier work of manipulating surface images and avoid the much messier realities of organisational life. Following deep-seated corporate cultures often meant employees could be seen as committed organisational citizens while overlooking festering problems.

Although corporate mindlessness comes with some big pay-offs, we also noticed it could be very costly. When smart people stopped fully using their intelligence, they would often overlook mistakes. Usually, this wouldn’t matter: companies can be large organisations that offer plenty of places to hide mistakes. What’s more, people in corporations have short attention spans. Perpetrators of blunders will likely have moved onwards (often upwards) before their mistakes becomes obvious. ‘Always try to outrun your mistakes’ was one middle-manager’s key career advice."

...

"At the outset of our research, we suspected that organisational life would be full of stupidities. But we were genuinely surprised that otherwise smart people would go along with collective stupidity, and be rewarded for doing so. Mindlessly following rules and regulations – even if they were completely counterproductive – meant that professionals would be left alone. Using empty leadership talk would get ambitious people promoted into positions of responsibility. Copying other well-known organisations meant a firm could be seen as ‘world-class’. Launching branding initiatives meant that executives could focus on the easier work of manipulating surface images and avoid the much messier realities of organisational life. Following deep-seated corporate cultures often meant employees could be seen as committed organisational citizens while overlooking festering problems.

Although corporate mindlessness comes with some big pay-offs, we also noticed it could be very costly. When smart people stopped fully using their intelligence, they would often overlook mistakes. Usually, this wouldn’t matter: companies can be large organisations that offer plenty of places to hide mistakes. What’s more, people in corporations have short attention spans. Perpetrators of blunders will likely have moved onwards (often upwards) before their mistakes becomes obvious. ‘Always try to outrun your mistakes’ was one middle-manager’s key career advice."

It's kinda hard to not do what your boss says though in general

Basically everything (including this essay) is pointless
"
business  management  stupidity  work  civilisation 
october 2016 by ssam
Reflections on the Loop summit | ardour
"Joe Malloch tore into Roger Linn for his remarks about a lack of expressivity, making the excellent point that the piano is an instrument which lacks any of the pitch-related subtlety of any stringed instrument, and yet which caused us to explore a huge area of music that might never have been without the piano's almost "sequencer"-like qualities. I continue to feel that these "new" instruments focus too little on a rich sound generation model, and Malloch (along with Marije who has worked with him and now works at STEIM, itself a hotbed of "new instrument" design) explicitly said that he'd prefer a complex controller and a simple generator to the other way around. I don't agree with these guys, but I'm not building instruments. Talks like this make me wish that I did."

...

"The JACK community developed technology back in 2005 or earlier that could do what Link does (and a whole lot more besides). But the developers failed to package it, failed to make it usable for anyone other than a small group of tech-oriented tinkerers, failed to give it an inviting face. In addition, the developers failed to understand how significant platform is when trying to create products for people. Designing the most awesome thing in the world is no help if it doesn't run on the platforms that people want to use (for whatever reason). Ableton not only chose OS platforms with huge numbers of users, but has proceeded to develop its own product-centric platform that provides compelling reasons for users to want to remain within its walls. The open source community shouldn't be trying to follow or copy what a company like Ableton does, but there is a strong lesson here: our technology is not as important as we like to think. "
music  software  conference  open  source  instrument  design  business  technology  audio  linux  digital 
september 2016 by ssam
Britain is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world | The Independent
"£7.9bn worth of arms were sold to countries on the “human rights priority countries” list, which is maintained by the Foreign Office and includes countries judged by the FCO to have “the worst, or greatest number of, human rights violations”.

Customers on this list included Saudi Arabia, which was sold bombs, missiles, and fighter jets, Israel, which was sold drone components and targeting equipment, and Bahrain, which was sold machine guns. "
hypocrisy  uk  business  money  war 
september 2016 by ssam
This surprise EU vote might make people think twice about leaving | The Canary
"As political debate in Britain centres on the EU referendum in June, a significant decision took place in the European Parliament this week. MEPs voted to stop all sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia’s despotic regime. In the same week, Cameron hailed the UK’s sale of arms to Saudi Arabia as ‘brilliant.‘ The unflattering comparison is a timely reminder that a united Europe still has the power to take positive action."
war  britain  eu  uk  business 
june 2016 by ssam
Tech Startups Come Up With Some Creative Definitions for ‘Profitable’ - Bloomberg
"You can always say, 'We're profitable if we don't include X,' " Behr said. "But no matter how many ways you say you're kind of profitable, if your bank account ends up lighter than when you started—eventually, that doesn't work."

Like some kind of opposite world
business  software  technology  finance  you-couldn't-make-it-up 
may 2016 by ssam
The Sourceware Operating System Proposal
"Unix needs our help because Unix is dying. Unix is no longer even close to competitive."

"The Unix problems are not being addressed. The vendors think "standards" are the answers. The programmers think "free" software is the answer. The customers think NT is the answer."

"Sourceware is software that is either copylefted or is at least freely redistributable. Sourceware is not really zero cost software, it is accessible software. The revenue comes from support, from system integration, from having a large company standing behind the software and shipping it. Many companies ship sourceware today in the form of the TCP/IP networking code from Berkeley, the MIT X window system (including Sun's OpenLook extensions), the GNU C/C++ compiler, etc. All of these companies are making money on sourceware. Frequently, the sourceware is in better shape than the proprietary software."

"Many customers (including Sun's largest customer) insist on source access. NASA coined the phrase: "if it isn't source, it isn't software." It is possible that, in the future, a system will not be considered viable unless source is available."
linux  unix  free  software  open  source  history  business 
may 2016 by ssam
Show HN: BitKeeper – Enterprise-ready version control, now open-source | Hacker News
Really interesting history report on open source software vs. business. Seems BitKeeper was sort of a bellweather there, both in good ways...

... https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9330482

and bad ways...

... https://lwn.net/Articles/153990/

"The grand irony is that Larry was one of the earliest advocates of open sourcing the operating system at Sun[1] -- and believed that by the time Sun finally collectively figured it out and made it happen (in 2005), it was a decade or more too late.[2] So on the one hand, you can view the story of BitKeeper with respect to open source as almost Greek in its tragic scope: every reason that Larry outlined for "sourceware"[3] for Sun applied just as much to BK as it did to SunOS -- with even the same technologist (Torvalds) leading the open source alternative! And you can say to BK and Larry now that it's "too late", just as Larry told Sun in 2005, but I also think this represents a forced dichotomy of "winners" and "losers." To the contrary, I would like to believe that the ongoing innovation in the illumos communities (SmartOS, OmniOS, etc.) proves that it's never too late to open source software -- that open source communities (like cities) can be small yet vibrant, serving a critical role to their constituencies. In an alternate universe, might we be running BK on SunOS instead of git on Linux? Sure -- but being able to run an open source BK on an open source illumos is also pretty great; the future of two innovative systems has been assured, even if it took a little longer than everyone might like.

So congratulations to Larry and crew -- and damn, were you ever right in 1993! ;)"

And from Larry himself:

"This is buried but in case anyone reads it, the real reason to open source BK is to show the world that SCM doesn't have to be as error prone or as complicated as Git. You need to understand how Git works to use it properly; BK is more like a car, you just get in and drive."
software  version  control  git  history  business  open  source  technology  free 
may 2016 by ssam
The Ethics of Unpaid Labor and the OSS Community | ashe dryden
"I'd argue that the people who benefit the most from the unpaid labor of OSS as well as the underpaid labor of marginalized people in technology are business owners and stakeholders in these companies. Having to pay additional hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for this labor would mean smaller profit margins. Technology is one of the most profitable industries in the US and certainly could support at least pay equality, especially considering how low our current participation is from marginalized people.

People who are contributing their unpaid and underpaid labor are investing their time into companies that are profiting greatly and giving little back in terms of financial support.

We've somehow been culturally talked into accepting this arrangement, not realizing how businesses are using it to further extract value from us. Businesses are choosing candidates based on their open source contributions, knowing that they are getting more value for less money out of them. These are candidates that will continue to work on things in their free time because it's something they care about and are passionate about. This is akin to not paying someone for overtime.

Open source originally broke us free from the shackles of proprietary software which forced us to "pay to play" and gave us little in the way of choices for customization. Without realizing it, we've ended up in a similar scenario where we are now paying for the development of software that large companies financially benefit from with little cost to them.

We are being judged on how much we contribute to the bottom lines of companies we don't work for and what's worse, we are policing this amongst each other as well."


I think Codethink is quite good about this (i.e. willing to hire folk who have no demonstrable contributions to open source projects), but i'm sure it's a problem elsewhere.
ethics  free  software  business  work  money  open  source  work-for-us-for-free 
april 2016 by ssam
pybee/paying-the-piper: A project for discussing ways to fund open source development.
"At this point in time, we don't need to convince anyone that the Open Source development process yields exceptional quality software. It also yields better results for users - better security, less vendor lock in, and so on.

However, what the FOSS community hasn't tackled well is the issue of paying for the development of FOSS. To date, most open source code is either:

Developed as an in-house project by a company, and open sourced for strategic advantage (commodifying a complement)
Developed entirely by volunteers.

In some cases, a combination of the two is used.

When volunteered in small quantities, there's nothing wrong with volunteers contributing to an open source project. However, leading an open source project - especially a large one - can become an all-consuming activity, absorbing all a volunteer's free time, and then some.

As a result, burnout is a regular feature in FOSS communities. This isn't a healthy from a personal perspective; and as an industry, it's frightening how much of the infrastructure on which we rely on on a daily basis is maintained by complete volunteers.

It's especially concerning given the amount of money that is available in the software development community. "

Via: http://nedbatchelder.com/blog/201511/funding_free_software.html
(in turn via: https://www.harihareswara.net/sumana/2016/01/26/0)
project  to:keep-an-eye-on  business  economics  money  community  development  software  ideas 
april 2016 by ssam
Funding OSS • Lukasa's Echochamber
"Right now there’s no other way to put it: most companies are exploiting open source developers. In this regard, at least, Stallman was right.

This is not true of all companies. For example, HP funds several developers to do OSS Python work upstream of OpenStack. This includes paying Donald Stufft to work full-time on Python packaging, and as of next month will also include paying me to work full-time on Python HTTP projects (like requests).

However, this is unusual, and most companies don’t give anything like enough back. I agree with Russell: this is the next major struggle for open source and free software. Right now a very small number of developers have their work funded: most do not. This needs to change, both for the sake of our open source developers and because it’s the right thing to do.

So, let’s get started. Big companies, especially those with lots of funding, consider whether your success is built upon the unpaid work of others. If it is, reach out to them and see if you can fund them. It’s in your best interest."

Stallman's argument has always been a bit unclear (and necessarily so, since he never tackled economic systems head-on, and his moral system is at odds with the realities of our present ones). But using the GPL goes at least some way to reconciling this problem. Whenever I see people using more permissive licenses I'm unhappy because it seems like they're pretend that this problem doesn't exist.
business  funding  money  free  software  licensing  gnu  open  source 
april 2016 by ssam
Land Registry publishes Overseas Companies data - News stories - GOV.UK
"We record the legal owner of land and property in England and Wales and whether it is owned by an individual or company. For company records, we also record if the company is registered in the UK or overseas.

Today’s data release contains more than 100,000 records of freehold and leasehold property in England and Wales, registered to overseas companies. The information contained in the data is for land and property registered up to 31 October 2015."
land  money  uk  foreign  business  data  to:use 
march 2016 by ssam
Britain is at war with Yemen. So why does nobody know about it? | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian
"Since David Cameron became prime minister, Britain has sold the Saudi dictatorship nearly £6bn worth of arms. Crucially, since the Saudis began their bombing campaign, Britain has signed off more than 100 arms licences. The supply of military advisers underlines that this is no passive acquiescence in what the Saudis are doing: our government is directly involved. “We support Saudi forces through long-standing, pre-existing arrangements,” is how the Ministry of Defence euphemistically describes its role."
scum  war  business  uk  shameful  crooks-have-taken-over  money  middle-east  conservatives 
january 2016 by ssam
Advogato: Financing Volunteer Free Software Projects
"In short, when it comes to voluntary work and paid labor, you can have one or the other but not both. Enjolra calls this process "crowding out." While it is unclear why paid labor crowds out the work of volunteers, Enjolra hypothesizes that volunteers are less motivated to work for free when they know that others are being paid to do the same work or will be paid to do the work if they do not. Faced with paid workers in their organization, volunteers wonder why they are not getting paid for their work and feel more motivated to volunteer somewhere else. In this way, a small amount of paid labor in an organization or project highly dependent on the work of volunteers can do more harm than good. "
free  software  management  money  funding  business  work  volunteering  debian  gnome 
january 2016 by ssam
I didn’t think TTIP could get any scarier, but then I spoke to the EU official in charge of it | Voices | The Independent
"When put to her, Malmström acknowledged that a trade deal has never inspired such passionate and widespread opposition. Yet when I asked the trade commissioner how she could continue her persistent promotion of the deal in the face of such massive public opposition, her response came back icy cold: “I do not take my mandate from the European people.”So who does Cecilia Malmström take her mandate from? Officially, EU commissioners are supposed to follow the elected governments of Europe. Yet the European Commission is carrying on the TTIP negotiations behind closed doors without the proper involvement European governments, let alone MPs or members of the public. British civil servants have admitted to us that they have been kept in the dark throughout the TTIP talks, and that this makes their job impossible."
eu  people  cunt  politics  business  quote-of-the-day 
october 2015 by ssam
Is the dotcom bubble about to burst (again)? | Technology | The Guardian
"You can’t move in Silicon Valley for delivery apps these days. Or, as one tech editor summarised the sector to me, “twentysomething men who have set up companies to provide things their mother used to do for them.”"

And then: "You can’t move in Silicon Valley for delivery apps these days. Or, as one tech editor summarised the sector to me, “twentysomething men who have set up companies to provide things their mother used to do for them.”". Don't confuse "invention" with "driving an idea to completion." A 3 year old could have invented Twitter, and probably did. The difference is that the people behind Twitter knew how to market it as something everyone needed.
technology  future  technology-is-not-the-solution-for-everything  money  business  obvious  usa 
october 2015 by ssam
Witches are furious at Etsy for banning the sale of spells
"Etsy, the online marketplace for handcrafted goods, has long hosted a thriving community of witches, tarot readers, and other spiritual and supernatural vendors. After eBay banned the sale of spells and the like in 2012, it became one of the most popular places for these types of vendors to make a living.

But many who sell supernatural goods on the site are claiming Etsy has been on something of a witch hunt (sorry), changing its rules about the sale of metaphysical services and shutting down stores without warning."
you-couldn't-make-it-up  internet  business  money 
july 2015 by ssam
Typical Programmer - Why don’t software development methodologies work?
"Try this thought experiment: Imagine two teams of programmers, working with identical requirements, schedules, and budgets, in the same environment, with the same language and development tools. One team uses waterfall/BDUF, the other uses agile techniques. It’s obvious this isn’t a good experiment: The individual skills and personalities of the team members, and how they communicate with each other, will have a much bigger effect than the methodology."

What it takes to succeed is a shared common goal and a team who like each other. Hence why (some) open source projects appear bewilderingly successful to money-driven management types (who simply can't understand why people would do something for reasons other than money).

This is something we should all be aware of, too: "Surprisingly, left to themselves programmers don’t revert to cowboy coding—they adopt or create methodologies stricter and more filled with ritual than anything I experienced in 1980. In fact programmers today can be much more rigid and religious about their methodologies than they imagine a 1970s-era COBOL shop was. I now routinely get involved with projects developed by one or two people burdened with so much process and “best practices” that almost nothing of real value is produced.

...

I know the feeling working on a team where everyone clicks and things just get done. What I don’t understand is why I had that feeling a lot more in the bad old days of BDUF and business analysts than I do now.

I think programmers should pay much more attention to listening to and working with their peers than to rituals and tools, and that we should be skeptical of too much process or methodologies that promise to magically make everyone more productive. Maybe social skills come harder to programmers than to other people (I’m not convinced that’s true), but developing those skills will certainly pay off a lot more than trying yet another development methodology."

I also like this from the comments: "Hate how the word ‘methodology’ has been highjacked to make following a ‘method’ sound more scientific.

If you are following a procedure, or talking about a defined procedure it is a METHOD.

If you are talking about the study of methods then it is ‘methodology’. Basic High School English, if you add ‘-ology’ to the end of a word you are talking about the study of"
programming  process  productivity  software  management  common-sense-moon-in-an-idiot-sky  i-wish-i-could-show-this-to-everybody  business  work  open  source 
february 2015 by ssam
Knowing When To Quit – Louis Barabbas
"When I meet someone new and they ask me what I do for a living I hesitate. I used to chirpily say "I’m in a band" and the conversation would roll along in little bursts of interest about style and influences. But these days that answer tends to elicit a state of terror in a lot of people, no doubt they worry I’m about to launch into some sales pitch about a Kickstarter campaign or urge them to "like" me on Facebook or join my mailing list. It’s a bit like knocking on a stranger’s door and saying "Have you heard the good news?" – very few are welcomed over the threshold. No, I’m afraid we rock bands are no longer glamorous. Not by default anyway. We are old fashioned, our methods unsubtle, our ambitions second hand. We are not the embodiment of freedom or rebellion or progress, but vanity and wishful thinking. Rock musicians are all too often simply a nuisance. Always spamming, begging, moaning, trying to make investors out of enthusiasts. We were once the escape and now we set the traps. When did it all get so damn tacky?"
music  future  manchester  business 
january 2015 by ssam
I hope the licence changes [LWN.net]
"Something like 90% of all Linux deployments are actually Android (b as in billion), which develops the code in house and then does periodic abandonware drops they never accept changes back from. (By the time you see it outside of Google, it's ~6 months out of date.)

The GPL is almost orthogonal to both the success and the openness of projects. QT used the GPL to sell commercial licenses (try the GPL version, then get a proprietary license for _real_ use), which prevented them from accepting any external contributions to the project. Most flavors of BSD are _each_ more actively developed and widely deployed than The Hurd without even opening the "Darwin" can of worms."
gnu  free  software  licensing  ethics  freedom  business 
october 2014 by ssam
Paul Kingsnorth: The Quants and the Poets
"We live in a remarkably literal-minded and reductionistic culture. I’m struck listening to or reading the news, for example, by how nothing is seen to be ‘real’ unless it is sanctioned by the priesthoods of either Science or Business, and preferably both. A culture in which Richard Dawkins and Ian McEwan are seen as intellectual guiding lights is the kind of culture which produces an environmental movement made up of frustrated, passionate people who feel obliged to act like speak-your-weight machines just to be heard.
...
The quants and the poets are both needed, but I would argue that, right now, the poets ought to take the lead – if indeed that is ever something that poets are capable of. We have no shortage of arguments about numbers and machines, but we do have a great shortage of workable stories. That is to say: stories that don’t just have happy endings, but have convincing plots as well."
writing  environment  dark-mountain  future  scientists-being-wrong  business  crisis  climate  change 
december 2013 by ssam
Google+ YouTube Integration: Kind of Like Twilight, Except In This Version When +Cullen Drinks BellaTube’s Blood They Both Become Mortal, But +Cullen Is Still An Abusive Creep, Also It Is Still Bad | Vi Hart
"Google’s products used to augment humanity with beautiful tools that helped us get the information we wanted to see. That was the superiority of Google search, Google reader, gmail with its excellent spam filter, and YouTube, which allowed you to subscribe to any individual who might want to post videos. Empowering humanity to efficiently search for and find information, and then to choose what information they consume, is not just a noble goal, but turned out to be a wildly successful thing that people want.

Making things people want is good business. Tricking people into using things they don’t want with a bait-and-switch is not good business.

Now a Google search shows me a full page of promoted, local, and social results–I have to scroll down to see actual search results. Google decided to drop Reader altogether. YouTube inflates subscriber numbers during signups while choosing which videos will actually show up, with a malicious algorithm that includes both total time a user spends on the site (promoting videos that suck you into watching things you don’t really like but are easily distracted by) and revenue gained (this means that by not having ads on your videos you miss out on both the ad money and on having your stuff displayed to many of your own subscribers). You can still “subscribe,” but YouTube changed the definition of the word in the same way Facebook changed the definition of “friend.”

YouTube used to be designed to help you find what you were looking for. Now, it’s designed to keep you looking."
google  comments  video  web  marketing  business  sad 
november 2013 by ssam
My First BillG Review - Joel on Software
"Watching non-programmers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn't know how to surf trying to surf.

"It's ok! I have great advisors standing on the shore telling me what to do!" they say, and then fall off the board, again and again. The standard cry of the MBA who believes that management is a generic function. Is Ballmer going to be another John Sculley, who nearly drove Apple into extinction because the board of directors thought that selling Pepsi was good preparation for running a computer company? The cult of the MBA likes to believe that you can run organizations that do things that you don't understand."
business  management  technology  microsoft  history 
october 2013 by ssam
Open Contracting
"Open Contracting refers to norms and practices for increased disclosure and participation in public contracting. It covers the whole contracting chain from planning to finalization of contract obligations, including tendering and performance. It includes the variety of contract types, from more basic contracts for the procurement of goods to complex contracts, joint venture agreements, licenses and production sharing agreements. Open contracting encompasses all public contracting, including contracts funded by combinations of public, private and donor sources."
government  open  business  to:keep-an-eye-on 
october 2013 by ssam
Tipless restaurants: The Linkery’s owner explains why abolishing tipping made service better.
We made our non-tipping restaurant work in the U.S. for more than six years, and from what I saw, eliminating tipping is a superior model. And, as Slate’s Brian Palmer has shown, there’s plenty of research to back up my observations. Studies have shown that tipping is not an effective incentive for performance in servers. It also creates an environment in which people of color, young people, old people, women, and foreigners tend to get worse service than white males. In a tip-based system, nonwhite servers make less than their white peers for equal work. Consider also the power imbalance between tippers, who are typically male, and servers, 70 percent of whom are female, and consider that the restaurant industry generates five times the average number of sexual harassment claims per worker. And that in many instances employers have allegedly misused tip credits, which let owners pay servers less than minimum wage if tipping makes up the difference.
business  fair  pay  work 
october 2013 by ssam
OPEN LETTER TO MILEY CYRUS - Sinead O'Connor | Sinead O'Connor
Fair summary of the entertainment industry.

" I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with."
money  business  music  sex  big-businesses-are-screwing-you-over  greed  common-sense-moon-in-an-idiot-sky 
october 2013 by ssam
How the cult of shareholder value wrecked American business - The Washington Post
"The earliest American corporations were generally chartered for public purposes, such as building canals or transit systems, and well into the 1960s were widely viewed as owing something in return to a society that provided them with legal protections and an economic ecosystem in which to grow and thrive. In 1953, carmaker Charlie Wilson famously spoke for a generation of chief executives about the link between business and the larger society when he told a Senate committee that "what is good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa.""
business  money  common-sense-moon-in-an-idiot-sky  economics 
september 2013 by ssam
Why Talented Creatives Are Leaving Your Shitty Agency | Mobile Inc
"If you sell ‘innovation’ as one of your agencies capabilities (who doesn’t these days?) then you should be making experiments and prototypes with technology plain and simple.

It’s amazing that so many agencies get away with saying they’re innovative but have nothing to show. Oh so you love being innovative so much that you never create anything internally? You’re creativity stops at client work does it? Do us a favour, stop the bullshit.

There seems to be this misconception that to do anything interesting with technology takes too much time and money if a client isn’t paying for it. This is total and utter bollocks."
advertising  business  work  creativity  design  money  reality 
september 2013 by ssam
Why Wasn't the NSA Prepared? - Allan Friedman - The Atlantic
Interesting perspective -- the NSA's actions have damaged the interests of American tech companies worldwide. Certainly true -- although the "trust us with all your data" business model could only go so far in any case. I already didn't trust Facebook.

Is this a good enough deterrent against future government spying? As long as it's not worldwide, and there are good governments in the world, perhaps it is ... but trusted governments are rare.
government  internet  1984  spying  usa  business 
august 2013 by ssam
Don’t Blink! The Hazards of Confidence - NYTimes.com
From the book "Thinking Fast and Slow," an excellent proof that the stock market is complete nonsense, as is much psychology. (If only he'd gone onto economics. Maybe he does in the book. E.F.Schumacher did well at debunking economists already back in the 1970s, though)
psychology  money  economics  idiots-have-taken-over  prediction  business  estimation  intuition  planning  people-are-dumb  from delicious
april 2013 by ssam
Some Windows XP Users Can't Afford To Upgrade - Slashdot
Business opportunity for Wine continues to exist. Would need marketing, though and real consultancy ... I wonder if anyone is doing this?
wine  porting  windows  software  commercial  business  idea  money  marketing  to:keep-an-eye-on  from delicious
april 2013 by ssam
The Meme Hustler | Evgeny Morozov | The Baffler
"So what did matter about open source? Not “freedom”—at least not in Stallman’s sense of the word. O’Reilly cared for only one type of freedom: the freedom of developers to distribute software on whatever terms they fancied. This was the freedom of the producer, the Randian entrepreneur, who must be left to innovate, undisturbed by laws and ethics. The most important freedom, as O’Reilly put it in a 2001 exchange with Stallman, is that which protects “my choice as a creator to give, or not to give, the fruits of my work to you, as a ‘user’ of that work, and for you, as a user, to accept or reject the terms I place on that gift.”"
open  source  software  licensing  marketing  history  freedom  technology  business  people  from delicious
april 2013 by ssam
Google’s trust problem
"The core services of Google’s business are often not the Google services I rely on most. And even when their core products and my needs do meet, the business connection is indirect.

In this, Gmail is a good example. Google just needs me logged into their system so they can amass data on my browsing habits. That’s the business. They don’t make their money by giving me — or even letting me pay for — a superb e-mail program that offers unlimited storage. That’s just how the business was sold. But perhaps that’s the business I need."
google  gmail  business  future  from delicious
march 2013 by ssam
Prime Minister's speech to CBI - Number 10
"Britain is in a global race to succeed today and you don’t need me to tell you that. Every day the people in this room are fighting to win contracts in Indonesia, India, Nigeria. Every week you step off aeroplanes in the South and East and feel the pace of change there. You know what the global race means because you’re living it."

My favourite kind of race is the one that can't possibly end, except by the death of the entire species.
And I’m here today to tell you this Government gets it.
business  cunts  crooks-have-taken-over  uk  same-old-tories  stupid  money  greed  quote  from delicious
march 2013 by ssam
TRUCOST | ABOUT TRUCOST | WHAT WE DO
"Our world leading data and insight enables our clients to identify natural capital dependency across companies, products, supply chains and investments; manage risk from volatile commodity prices and increasing environmental costs; and ultimately build more sustainable business models and brands.

Key to our approach is that we not only quantify natural capital dependency, we also put a price on it, helping our clients understand environmental risk in business terms.

It isn't "all about carbon"; it's about water; land use; waste and pollutants. It's about which raw materials are used and where they are sourced, from energy and water to metals, minerals and agricultural products. And it's about how those materials are extracted, processed and distributed. "
environment  business  capitalism  economics  green  future  from delicious
february 2013 by ssam
The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food - NYTimes.com
The prevailing attitude among the company’s food managers — through the 1990s, at least, before obesity became a more pressing concern — was one of supply and demand. “People could point to these things and say, ‘They’ve got too much sugar, they’ve got too much salt,’ ” Bible said. “Well, that’s what the consumer wants, and we’re not putting a gun to their head to eat it. That’s what they want. If we give them less, they’ll buy less, and the competitor will get our market. So you’re sort of trapped.” ...
"Steven Witherly ... ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.”

The Coca Cola article is especially disgusting. I can't believe I ever give those people money. But of course I do!
control  food  business  world  manipulation  processing  addiction  people  science  marketing  from delicious
february 2013 by ssam
What Your Culture Really Says - Pretty Little State Machine
"We don’t have managers and the company is managed with no hierarchy

What your culture might actually be saying is… Management decisions are siloed at the very top layers of management, kept so close to the chest they appear not to exist at all. The lack of visibility into investor demands, financial affairs, HR issues, etc. provides an abstraction layer between employees and real management, which we pretend doesn’t exist. We don’t have an explicit power structure, which makes it easier for the unspoken power dynamics in the company to play out without investigation or criticism."
business  management  work  culture  programming  technology  from delicious
february 2013 by ssam
4 Ways One Big Database Would Help Music Fans, Industry | Wired Business | Wired.com
"Shared, unique song identifiers would enable subscription services to offer a new clause in their user agreements: that subscribers have the right to port their whole subscription — or cloud-based account — to another service, should they please. This would lower the barrier to subscription in the minds of potential customers, but the only way it is going to happen is if all these services use the same numbers to identify the same songs."

This idea may be inevitable, but I think it has a whole host of connotations for music. For starters -- what is a song?
music  to:consider  future  web  culture  business  database  from delicious
january 2013 by ssam
mufinplayer.com - Look! It's all in the browser!
This is a pretty killer idea. Elsewhere they have some silly stuff (such as an offering for the "professional music listener", which then only offers 25GB of online storage) but in a universe where Youtube didn't exist I could imagine this being pretty popular, since you don't even need to convince someone to install Spotify on their PC to play your music. Music from Youtube is a bit more anarchic though in any case.
calliope  online  music  player  service  business  good  idea  web  from delicious
december 2012 by ssam
Climate change is big business (for the insurance industry) | Ars Technica
"Although many industries have fought to prevent action on climate change, there's at least one major business that's taking it seriously, according to a recent perspective in Science. Climate change is estimated to cost the world economy $1.2 trillion annually, which is proving to be a stress test for the insurance industry. Lest you think that's a niche concern, insurance accounts for seven percent of the global economy and is the world’s largest industry."

I hadn't thought of that. Maybe this will be the way that economics can save the day. (Or the insurance industry will once again only cater to the rich and no problems will be solved at all).

Via: http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/12/25/1853259/insurance-industry-looking-hard-at-climate-change
environment  business  future  economics  money  climate  change  from delicious
december 2012 by ssam
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