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Oh Snap! Detailed take down of Steve Levitt of SuperFreakonimics

I can't vouch for the accuracy, but it is fun to see a major league cat-fight errupting between academics. Here's the conclusion:

"May I suggest that if you should happen to need some friendly help next time you take on the topic of climate change, or would like to have a chat about why aerosol geoengineering might not be a cure-all, or just need a critical but informed opponent to bounce ideas off of, you don’t have to go very far…." (from An Open Letter To Steve Levitt)


Oh, SNAP! You've got to read the whole thing!

Arnold is a cool governator

Check out Schwarzenegger Gives California Legislature A Hidden Finger (from TechCrunch:


There is absolutely no way I’ll be able to make this relevant to tech. But I’m posting it anyway. Our Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, vetoed a California legislative finance bill – AB 1176. The letter is terse and to the point. And the first letter of each line in paragraphs 2-3 are even terser and more to the point.

Schwarzeneggers battles with the state legislature are epic. But this just goes way beyond epic. It’s something for the history books.

I wish I had the time to do this kind of thing in my posts here on TechCrunch.

See the SF Chronicle for all the quotes and denials.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programing." (from:Schwarzenegger Gives California Legislature A Hidden Finger)


Did you see what Amazon Stock did yesterday?

I have believed that Amazon is a much bigger deal than people realize. Not only are they the ultimate retailer that seem to have everything, at better prices, more conveniently offered, than anyone else, but, the technology (in software and process) that they have invented and built is extremely unique and impossible to replicate. In other words, there's a lot more to Amazon than most people think. In my opinion.

Well something happened yesterday, and their stock shot up 25% in one day. Let's see what happens next week. Is there a rumor that I didn't see?

Those are not “your companies” dude

Check out It’s Not My Company(from Feld Thoughts🙂

"While I’ve got plenty of rights as an investor, I’m very aware that I’m “an investor.” If you are a CEO or an entrepreneur, I can’t imagine anything more annoying than hearing one of your investors refer to the business as “his company.” Now, if the investor owns more than 50% of the company, I guess this is a legitimate legal perspective, but it’s still an incredibly demotivating position to tak" (from:It’s Not My Company)

I couldn't agree more. I have many VC friends and acquaintences (there is a difference 🙂 and I always mentally smirk when I hear them talking about 'my companies' and words to that effect.

Lexington Public Library’s responsible for the computer revolution?

Did you know of the Lexington Public Library's role in the founding of DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) and so part of the creation of the computer revolution we've been living through the last 50 of so years?

"Other than our lunch hour visits to the Lexington Public Library to study their collection of business books, our experience had been limited to making budgets for engineering expenses at Lincoln. These did not, of course, include things like overhead, income, sales expense, accounts receivable, cash flow, balance sheets, etc." (from Harlan Anderson's blog)

Harlan Anderson was one of the founders of DEC.

Sequoia Voting System Witch Hunt, err… Study Project

Check this post Sequoia Voting System Witch Hunt, err… Study Project from Coder's Revolution:

Matt Woodward pointed out this Slash Dot article today about the accidental release of code from the Sequoia Voting Systems and a web site dedicated to studying that code. Apparently the Election Defense Alliance obtained a copy of the election data for Riverside County, California. It came in the form of a Microsoft SQL Server backup that was SUPPOSED to have all the code such as stored procs and triggers redacted. I wandered over to the "Sequoia Voting System Study Project" and scored me a copy of the data. [More] (from:Sequoia Voting System Witch Hunt, err… Study Project)

There's been (among election geeks, anyway) a flurry of comment on the discovery (by accident) that Sequoia uses SQL Stored Procedures. First of all the code snippet that was released was IMGHO innoccuous, second, I don't think it's really clear where that code snippet is from. So I agree with this post (and his vigorous defense in the comment stream) framing this as a Witch Hunt.

American Airlines kinda-fail

I am traveling on my usually favorite Airline; and of course everyone knows that they are suffering, right? And yes, the flight to L.A. is ridiculously inexpensive. But still, let's say these raised my eyebrows:

  • When I checked in, I looked at the seat assignment chart and there were no free seats (I wanted to switch to an aisle seat.) Over the P.A. they said, more than once, that the plane was totally totally full. Yet when the doors closed, there were at least 8 empty seats visible to me from where I was sitting, including two whole rows. Don't they have, like, computers, to keep track of who is on the plane and how many seats it has?
  • They don't serve food on the plane anymore. Ok, cost cutting measure. And they say, on the web site, on the signs and in the booklets that there is food for sale on board. Why is it that they ran out of any kind of food for sale before they were even half through the rows? I mean, don't they have any idea what percentage of people are going to order some food?
  • Oh, and do they assume that most people don't have a suitcase that they have to check? Even the first checked bag is $20 extra. Next they are going to charge extra if you actually want to use the bathroom or perhaps for oxygen.

What, I should be grateful that they fly Boston to L.A. at all?

Electricity Audit Survey Tool?

I want to do an electricity audit for my house. I am looking for a web site that lets me complete a survey of all my
electricity consuming devices and estimates my KWh. I suspect there may be many of these, is there one you recommend?

I know it's really easy to do 'by hand', but I think there must be someone who did the research of how much power a Staples paper shredder uses when it's on but not in use, and on, and on and on.

Larry Lessig: Beyond Transparency, and Net Triumphalism

As David W. says, there's a lot that's been written in response to the provocative article by Larry Lessig. I haven't yet read all of it, but what I've seen is very provocative (in a good sense.)All the pointers you might need can be found here: Larry Lessig: Beyond Transparency, and Net Triumphalism from Joho the Blog:

"Plenty is being written already trying to parse, understand, and come to terms with Larry Lessig’s article “Against Transparency” in the New Republic. Ethan Zuckerman does his usual outstanding job in clarifying ideas sympathetically. Transparency advocate Carl Malamud responds to Lessig. I presented my own “walkthrough” of the article. The New Republic has run Tim Wu’s response, which agrees with Lessig in important ways. The New Republic has also run four other responses, including an excellent response from Ellen Miller and Michael Klein, founders of the Sunlight Foundation, the leading advocate for transparency. (My response is included in that set of four.) Aaron Swartz prefigured Larry’s argument in a piece he posted in April: “Transparency is bunk.” Plenty to chew on." (from:Larry Lessig: Beyond Transparency, and Net Triumphalism)