Daily Archives: July 31, 2015

The automation myth

By Matthew Yglesias – It’s almost anti-discussed due to the obsession in media and political circles with the alleged rise of the robots. We’re so busy worrying about how to counteract an imaginary, robot-driven productivity surge that we’re barely paying attention to the real story of the productivity slowdown.

What about the bounty of digital technology that is in evidence all around us?

An answer to the riddle might be that digital technology has transformed a handful of industries in the media/entertainment space that occupy a mindshare that’s out of proportion to their overall economic importance.

The robots aren’t taking our jobs; they’re taking our leisure. more> http://tinyurl.com/otxceoq

How entrepreneurs really succeed

BOOK REVIEW

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way, Author: Christian Williams.
From Predators to Icons, Authors: Michel Villette and Catherine Vuillermot.
The Illusions of Entrepreneurship, Author: Scott Shane.

By Malcolm Gladwell – People like Dassault [2, 3, 4, 5] and Eastman [2, 3, 4, 5] and Arnault [2, 3, 4, 5] and Turner [2, 3, 4, 5] are all successful entrepreneurs, businessmen whose insights and decisions have transformed the economy, but their entrepreneurial spirit could not have less in common with that of the daring risk-taker of popular imagination.

Would we so revere risk-taking if we realized that the people who are supposedly taking bold risks in the cause of entrepreneurship are actually doing no such thing?

The risk-taking model suggests that the entrepreneur’s chief advantage is one of temperament—he’s braver than the rest of us are.

In the predator model, the entrepreneur’s advantage is analytical—he’s better at figuring out a sure thing than the rest of us.

The entrepreneur has access to that deal by virtue of occupying a “structural hole,” a niche that gives him a unique perspective on a particular market. more> http://tinyurl.com/l2k6ca7

Stop Capitalizing the Word Internet

By Adam Nathaniel Peck – “I doubt many of us think of it as a proper noun anymore (if many users ever did), but it is one,” said Emily Brewster, an associate editor at Merriam-Webster.

“Someone could find another way to connect us all to cat videos and personality quizzes, and then we’d have an Internet alternative.”

Joseph Turow told the New York Times in 2002 that changing the capitalization would signal a shift in understanding about what the internet actually is: “part of the neural universe of life.”

The usage of “Internet” was twice as frequent as “internet” between 2000 and 2014. But since 2012, “Internet” outpaces “internet” by just 54 percent to 46 percent margin. more> ttp://tinyurl.com/pwpdj87

“Cyberweapons” crackdown could be used to criminalize basic software-bug testing

By Andrea Castillo – The Wassenaar Arrangement emerged in 1996 from a Cold War agreement to regulate the international arms trade. It is not a treaty, bound by force of law, but rather a voluntary pact between 41 major world nations, with the noticeable exceptions of China and Israel.

In 2013, the Wassenaar Arrangement created two new categories for official regulation: “IP network surveillance systems” (which includes the kind of technologies sold to state intelligence and law-enforcement agencies by cybersecurity mercenaries) and “intrusion software” (which includes both malware and “zero-day exploits” used to enter computer systems without detection).

If implemented, signatory nations would self-impose export controls limiting the selling or sharing of such information to licensed dealers and buyers within pre-approved countries.

Purely academic research, too, is under threat. The Electronic Frontier Foundation invokes the curious case of Grant Wilcox, a computer science student at the University of Northumbria whose dissertation on software exploits was censored due to Wassenaar rules. more> http://tinyurl.com/odxb23c

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