Life skills

[Our economy] demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns […] We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption.

Read the article: How to Make Trillions of Dollars

Do Believe the Hype

Having traveled to both China and India in the last few weeks, here’s a
scary thought I have: What if — for all the hype about China, India and
globalization — they’re actually underhyped? What if these sleeping
giants are just finishing a 20-year process of getting the basic
technological and educational infrastructure in place to become
innovation hubs and that we haven’t seen anything yet?

Read the article: Do Believe the Hype

The Sad Truth About the Facebook Movie

The Valley used to be a place run by scientists and engineers, people like Robert Noyce, the Ph.D. physicist who helped invent the integrated circuit and cofounded Intel. The Valley, in those days, was focused on hard science and making things. At first there were semiconductors, which is how Silicon Valley got its name; then came computers and software. But now the Valley has become a casino, a place where smart kids arrive hoping to make an easy fortune building companies that seem, if not pointless, at least not as serious as, say, old-guard companies like HP, Intel, Cisco, and Apple.

Read the article: The Sad Truth About the Facebook Movie – Newsweek

Paul Buchheit: “What do I do with my money?” & “What do I do with my life?”

Although today’s poster only asked, “What do I do with my money?”, there’s a second, related question that’s also very important, “What do I do with my life?” In both cases, I think the right answer is, “start slow, and avoid making any big decisions now”, though as always, there are exceptions.

Read the article: Paul Buchheit: What to do with your millions

Is the Bloom Box energy nirvana?

A Silicon Valley inventor claims that a new technology called the Bloom Box will revolutionize how households use the electrical grid. The Bloom Box is a fuel cell that converts oxygen and an energy source – natural gas, biofuels, or even solar – into electricity. K.R. Sridhar, former NASA scientist and founder of Bloom Energy, revealed the technology Sunday night on “60 Minutes,” and plans to hold a news conference Wednesday in San Jose. He envisions every house having a Bloom Box power plant installed in the back yard.

Google, eBay, and FedEx are currently testing the Bloom Box. The prototype devices are the size of refrigerators and cost around $700,000. eBay claims the Bloom Box saved the company $100,000 in annual energy costs. Details on operating and maintenance costs, however, are sketchy. Fuel cell technology has been around for a long time. It normally requires precious metals such as platinum, making it too expensive for widespread applications. Bloom Box fuel cells are constructed instead with ceramic wafers coated with a special ink.

If Sridhar has truly discovered a way to make fuel cells affordable, it will transform the electrical grid. If not, the Bloom Box could be a bust.

Read the article: Bloom Box: Segway or savior?

Symbian Operating System now open source

The source code for the ten-year old Symbian platform will be completely open source and available for free starting Thursday. The transition from proprietary code to open source is the largest in software history, claims the Symbian Foundation. Symbian, which powers most of Nokia’s phones, has been shipped in more than 330 million devices worldwide. But in the last few years, Symbian has seen more than its fair share of changes. In 2008, Nokia, one of Symbian’s largest customers, acquired a major share in the company. Nokia then created the Symbian Foundation to distribute the platform as an open source project, and began the process of opening up the source code that year.

Symbian OS being open source could very well adversely impact the Android platform.

Read the article: Symbian Operating System, Now Open Source and Free

A Deeper Look Into Google’s 800-Pound Panda Problem

Now, to the heart of the issue: China. You can think of China as a foxy young girl who knows she’s smokin’ hot. She’s happy to hang out at the club and lure people over to buy her drinks, and even though she’d chat and humor him a bit just to keep him talking and buying drinks, she’d never dream of putting out. Instead, once her suitor had fulfilled his usefulness or she became bored, she’d feign indignation, throw a fit, and then freeze him out. Yes, in spite of her charm and confidence in her looks, there’s something bothering her on the inside: even though others compliment her beauty and tell her she’s special, she looks over to the VIP table and her gut sinks. Why don’t those other people accept her? That’s all she wants!

Read the article: Censor? I barely know her!

The Gervais Principle

The Sociopaths enter and exit organizations at will, at any stage, and do whatever it takes to come out on top. They contribute creativity in early stages of a organization’s life, neurotic leadership in the middle stages, and cold-bloodedness in the later stages, where they drive decisions like mergers, acquisitions and layoffs that others are too scared or too compassionate to drive. The Losers like to feel good about their lives. They are the happiness seekers, rather than will-to-power players, and enter and exit reactively, in response to the meta-Darwinian trends in the economy. But they have no more loyalty to the firm than the sociopaths. They do have a loyalty to individual people, and a commitment to finding fulfillment through work when they can, and coasting when they cannot. The Clueless are the ones who lack the competence to circulate freely through the economy (unlike sociopaths and losers), and build up a perverse sense of loyalty to the firm, even when events make it abundantly clear that the firm is not loyal to them. To sustain themselves, they must be capable of fashioning elaborate delusions based on idealized notions of the firm — the perfectly pathological entities we mentioned. Unless squeezed out by forces they cannot resist, they hang on as long as possible, long after both sociopaths and losers have left.

The Gervais Principle is this: Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves.

Read the article: The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”