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Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
DEC. 10, 2018 | The New York Times | By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DeVRIES, NATASHA SINGER, MICHAEL H. KELLER and AARON KROLIK.
location_based_services  mobile_applications  mobile_phones  privacy  surveillance  tracking 
december 2018
I’m not calling to revive WASP culture. Just to learn from it.
December 6, 2018 | The Washington Post | By Fareed Zakaria.

The death of George H.W. Bush has occasioned a fair amount of nostalgia for the old American establishment.....provoked a heated debate among commentators about that establishment, whose membership was determined largely by bloodlines and connections. You had to be a WASPto ascend to almost any position of power in the U.S. until the early 1960s. Surely, there is nothing good to say about a system that was so discriminatory toward everyone else? Actually, there is. For all its faults — and it was often horribly bigoted, in some places segregationist and almost always exclusionary — at its best, the old WASP aristocracy did have a sense of modesty, humility and public-spiritedness that seems largely absent in today’s elite. Many of Bush’s greatest moments — his handling of the fall of communism, his decision not to occupy Iraq after the first Gulf War, his acceptance of tax increases to close the deficit — were marked by restraint, an ability to do the right thing despite enormous pressure to pander to public opinion.

But, and here is the problem, it is likely these virtues flowed from the nature of that old elite. The aristocracy was secure in its power and position, so it could afford to think about the country’s fate in broad terms, looking out for the longer term, rising above self-interest — because its own interest was assured. It also knew that its position was somewhat accidental and arbitrary, so its members adhered to certain codes of conduct — modesty, restraint, chivalry, social responsibility.....Today’s elites are chosen in a much more open, democratic manner, largely through education. Those who do well on tests get into good colleges, then good graduate schools, then get the best jobs and so on. But their power flows from this treadmill of achievement, so they are constantly moving, looking out for their own survival and success. Their perspective is narrower, their horizon shorter-term, their actions more self-interested.

Most damagingly, they believe their status is legitimately earned. They lack some of the sense of the old WASP establishment that they were accidentally privileged from birth. So the old constraints have vanished. Today, chief executives and other elites pay themselves lavishly, jockey for personal advantage and focus on their own ascendancy.
Fareed_Zakaria  George_H.W._Bush  WASPs  elitism  meritocratic  self-restraint  The_Establishment  arbitrariness 
december 2018
CSIS director warns of state-sponsored espionage threat to 5G networks - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT FIFE OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF
STEVEN CHASE
COLIN FREEZE
OTTAWA AND TORONTO
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 4, 2018

Canada’s top spy used his first public speech to warn of increasing state-sponsored espionage through technology such as next-generation 5G mobile networks.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service director David Vigneault’s comments come as three of the country’s Five Eyes intelligence-sharing allies have barred wireless carriers from installing equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the 5G infrastructure they are building to provide an even-more-connected network for smartphone users.

The United States, Australia and New Zealand have taken steps to block the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks. Neither Canada nor Britain has done so.

On Monday, the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, publicly raised security concerns about Huawei telecommunications being involved in his country’s communications infrastructure.......hostile states are targeting large companies and universities to obtain new technologies.....“Many of these advanced technologies are dual-use in nature in that they could advance a country’s economic, security and military interests,”......there are five potential growth areas in Canada that are being specifically threatened, including 5G mobile technology where Huawei has been making inroads...“CSIS has seen a trend of state-sponsored espionage in fields that are crucial to Canada’s ability to build and sustain a prosperous, knowledge-based economy,”...“I’m talking about areas such as AI [artificial intelligence], quantum technology, 5G, biopharma and clean tech. In other words, the foundation of Canada’s future growth.”.....Canadian universities are largely unaware how they are vulnerable to economic espionage and the threat of infiltration by unnamed state actors who would use their expertise to gain an edge in military technologies. Huawei has developed research and development partnerships with many of Canada’s leading academic institutions.....MI6′s Alex Younger said Britain has to make a decision about Huawei after the United States, Australia and New Zealand acted against Huawei..... 5G technology – which offers faster download speeds – poses a greater national security threat than conventional mobile technology......A ban would come as a blow to Canada’s biggest telecom companies, including BCE Inc. and Telus, which have given Huawei an important role in their planned 5G networks.....Scott Jones, the new head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, which is part of the Communications Security Establishment, rejected the idea of blocking Huawei, telling MPs that the country’s safeguards are adequate to mitigate against any risk.
5G  artificial_intelligence  China  CSIS  CSE  cyber_security  dual-use  espionage  Five_Eyes  Huawei  MI6  mobile  quantum_computing  spymasters  wireless  Colleges_&_Universities  infiltration 
december 2018
Mulroney, Bush and the last lyrical act of a unique friendship
December 5, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | ANDREW COHEN.

When Brian Mulroney delivered a eulogy to George H.W. Bush at his funeral in Washington Wednesday, it was the last, lyrical act of a unique friendship between a prime minister of Canada and a president of the United States......It was natural, then, for Mr. Mulroney to lionize him as he did at the Washington National Cathedral, declaring no president of the great republic “more courageous, more principled, more honourable.” For Mr. Mulroney, paying this kind of tribute has become an avocation. He spoke at the funeral of Ronald Reagan in 2004 and that of Mr. Reagan’s wife, Nancy, in 2016.....In June, 1999, they met in Montreal to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the agreement. They needed no reason to see each other then; they forgathered every Labour Day weekend at Mr. Bush’s seaside retreat in Kennebunkport, Me.....William Thorsell, who was then editor of The Globe and Mail, asked me to come from Washington to join him and a colleague in conversation with the two former leaders....focus on free trade; William suggested exploring the personal, such as friendship, public service and life after politics.

Today, in Donald Trump’s America, the conversation that day is a hymn to civility, loyalty and humanity. There were differences in temperament. Mr. Bush was detached and modest. Mr. Mulroney was self-conscious, restless and in search of vindication.......In the years since, Mr. Mulroney has become an elder statesman in Canada, an éminence grise who robustly supported the Liberal government in renegotiating NAFTA. It was a display of patriotism that Mr. Bush surely applauded.

Both reflected their political cultures. Mr. Bush was welcomed into the circle of former presidents, which would allow him to call Mr. Clinton “a son.” In Canada, where prime ministers face each other as gladiators in Parliament, there is less of this kindness and gentility. It explains why former prime ministers dislike each other.

But presidents and prime ministers generally do play well, particularly Republicans and Conservatives, Democrats and Liberals. John F. Kennedy and Lester Pearson got along famously, as did Pierre Trudeau and Gerald Ford, as well as Mr. Clinton and Jean Chrétien. Some have no chemistry at all: Mr. Kennedy and John Diefenbaker; Richard Nixon and Mr. Trudeau; Barack Obama and Stephen Harper.

There were prime ministers and presidents who held office longer than Brian and George. But none maintained a friendship longer, out of power, with the depth of affection that Mr. Bush and Mr. Mulroney did.

And so that’s why Brian Mulroney stood in the well of the Washington National Cathedral Wednesday. He was saying farewell, amid laughter and tears, to a friend
Brian_Mulroney  éminence_grise  farewells  friendships  obituaries  tributes  George_H.W._Bush  eulogies  personal_chemistry 
december 2018
Every Company Is Now a Tech Company
Dec. 4, 2018 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.

There was a time when the primary role of leaders at most companies was management. The technology required to do the work of a company could be bought or siloed in an “IT department,” treated more as a cost center than a source of competitive advantage.

But now we’ve entered a period of upheaval, driven by connectivity, artificial intelligence and automation. The changes affect the world of business so profoundly that every company is now a tech company. But now companies born before the first internet bubble also must realize they can no longer function as non-tech businesses......The question is, how does a non-tech company become a tech company quickly? Increasingly, the answer is bringing tech talent into the highest executive ranks, adding deeply knowledgeable and indispensable “technical co-founders” long after the company was founded......To put it another way: When faced with a competitor like Amazon, do you do as Walmart did, and invest heavily in tech firms and technical knowledge? Or do you go the way of Sears…into bankruptcy court?

In August 2016, Walmart announced it would acquire e-commerce startup Jet.com for $3.3 billion, the largest ever deal of an old-line bricks-and-mortar company buying an e-commerce company. The acquisition was about a transfusion of new minds as much as Jet’s technology, which was far ahead of Walmart’s online operation at the time....Mr. Lore is now chief of e-commerce at Walmart......Walmart’s e-commerce business revenue grew 43% in the last quarter alone....Wal-Mart is successfully pursuing a “second-mover strategy” against Amazon....Things don’t always go this smoothly. In fact, when well-established companies acquire tech-savvy startups in order to bring aboard engineers and executives--acqui-hires-- it’s usually a disaster.....Within the first three years after an acquisition, 60% of employees at a startup leave......That rate of turnover is twice that of employees hired the old-fashioned way. What’s worse, the employees who leave tend to be the most aggressive and entrepreneurial—and more likely to launch a competing startup.....For large companies stuck between the rock of disruption and the hard place of acquiring startups that can’t hold on to key employees, what’s to be done?[sounds like a cultural clash] John Chambers, who was chief executive at Cisco for more than 20 years, where he oversaw 180 acquisitions, has some answers. In his new book, “Connecting the Dots,” Mr. Chambers outlines some rules. For one, corporate cultures should align. Also, it helps if the company you’re buying already has significant traction in the market..... it’s essential to promote the leaders of acquired companies into your own ranks. Mr. Chamber’s rule at Cisco was that a third of the company’s leaders should be promoted from within, a third should be recruited from outside, and a third should come from acquisitions. .......As the competitive landscape continues to change and technology becomes ever more essential to how business is done, investments that might have seemed too risky a few years ago now may sometimes turn out to be the best path to survival.
acquihires  artificial_intelligence  automation  Amazon  books  Christopher_Mims  connecting_the_dots  CTOs  Cisco  cultural_clash  digital_savvy  e-commerce  Jet  John_Chambers  large_companies  post-deal_integration  reinvention  silo_mentality  technology  Wal-Mart 
december 2018
‘Hyper-concentration’ of jobs occurring in Toronto’s downtown, report says
December 3, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | by JEFF GRAY TORONTO CITY HALL REPORTER.

A fundamental economic shift is “hyper-concentrating” new knowledge-economy jobs in Toronto’s downtown as traditional manufacturing employment evaporates across much of southern Ontario, a new report warns, and the trend has major ramifications for public transit and land-use planning......lopsided job growth is a permanent change, not a cyclical pattern. It warns Toronto’s transit system will be placed under further strain. The report also argues smaller communities outside the city should seek to attract the jobs of the future, rather than cling to dying industries.....Overall, the number of jobs in the region has grown. But from 2006 to 2016, Toronto’s downtown gained 67,000 of what the study calls “core” jobs, or jobs that bring income into the region and drive growth, as opposed to jobs such as those in retail that largely serve local residents. Many of those downtown jobs are “knowledge-based,” in industries such as finance or technology or “higher-order business services” such as accounting or law, which tend to cluster together......“It’s not this kind of gentle evolution towards the knowledge economy that’s we’ve seen previously. This is a definite shift.” The GM news appears tailor-made to illustrate that shift. While closing the Oshawa plant, the company has pointed to its new investment in Markham – one of a handful of suburban centres for knowledge jobs identified in the report – where GM plans to hire 700 engineers to work on its designs for driverless cars. GM has also announced plans for an “urban innovation lab” on the east side of central Toronto.....Dr. Blais’s report suggests the Toronto region should look to plan for a “second downtown,” which would need good transit to attract knowledge-intensive jobs.....Richard Florida .....said the numbers demonstrate the clustering of knowledge jobs means places outside Toronto’s downtown core, such as Oshawa, will inevitably become “more of a bedroom community than an economic generator.”
downtown_core  GM  Jeff_Gray  knowledge_economy  manufacturers  Oshawa  public_transit  Toronto  layoffs  Golden_Horseshoe  land_uses  hyper-concentrations 
december 2018
Life as We Know It Turns 50 - WSJ
Dec. 2, 2018 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.

1968's Joint Computer Conference, where an assembly of geniuses wearing white short-sleeved shirts and pocket protectors convened 50 years ago this week. The event shined a guiding light on the path to personal computing and set the modern world in motion.

On Dec. 9, 1968, Doug Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute presented what’s now known as “The Mother of All Demos.” Using a homemade modem, a video feed from Menlo Park, and a quirky hand-operated device, Engelbart gave a 90-minute demonstration of hypertext, videoconferencing, teleconferencing and a networked operating system. Oh, and graphical user interface, display editing, multiple windows, shared documents, context-sensitive help and a digital library. Mother of all demos is right. That quirky device later became known as the computer mouse. The audience felt as if it had stepped into Oz, watching the world transform from black-and-white to color. But it was no hallucination.
1968  Andy_Kessler  anniversaries  conferences  GUI  San_Francisco  Stanford 
december 2018
Book review: Truthful Living: The First Writings of Napoleon Hill by Jeffrey Gitomer
NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | | Financial Times | by Isabel Berwick.

Truthful Living: The First Writings of Napoleon Hill, with foreword, actions and annotations by Jeffrey Gitomer, Amazon Publishing, RRP$19.95.

[See also The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, the grandfather of the prosperity gospel. ]

Napoleon Hill was one of the founders of the American self-improvement movement. Born poor in Virginia in 1883, by the time of the first world war he had developed a set of principles for success in advertising and sales......Hill — who died in 1970 — was a staggeringly effective cheerleader for himself and his philosophy and that is exactly what one would expect from a self-help guru.

The book that made him famous, Think and Grow Rich, distilled Hill’s thinking and analysed the strategies of hundreds of the US’s most famous and successful businessmen. Published in 1937, it has sold in the tens of millions, making it one of the best-selling books of the 20th century. It offered optimism and the idea of the American dream to those suffering in a post-crash economy. The appetite for Hill’s particular brand of self-belief remains strong......Hill's message endures: Hard work, imagination, honesty and service....Hill's insight is that getting oneself into the right frame of mind to become rich and successful — emphasizes having a positive attitude and self-confidence......Jeffrey Gitomer, a US sales trainer and motivational speaker, adds notes and annotations. Gitomer writes in the foreword (ambitiously titled “The First Thoughts of the Father of American Achievement and Wealth”) that he was first exposed to Hill’s writing in 1971, as a sales trainee: “I read Think and Grow Rich 10 times that year — studied and implemented both the principles and the directives. The result for me has been an unbreakable positive attitude and steadfast march toward success over the past 45 years.”

* Don't neglect to cultivate your ‘AMBITION’.
* “Take a plain sheet of paper, ordinary letter size, and write on it in large letters — the largest it will carry — I AM GOING TO BE A GREAT PERSON!”
* the magic key turns out to be “CONCENTRATION”.
* a timeless tip: “The great mass of people are demanding at least the necessities of life at a lower cost than they are now paying. If you can help solve this problem, even on one commodity, you can write your own salary price tag.”

While Christian Science and other outcrops of the New Thought movement have fallen from favour, Hill’s work endures, perhaps because he stresses the importance of happiness, self-confidence and other qualities now fashionable in the self-improvement sphere. Above all, the enduring popularity of Hill’s writing demonstrates that most in-vogue of all the modern mantras: resilience.
affirmations  book_reviews  books  perseverance  self-help  self-improvement  Jeffrey_Gitomer  resilience  the_American_dream  self-confidence  personal_enrichment  hard_work  honesty  imagination  positive_thinking 
december 2018
Why modern chess needs an injection of old-fashioned thrills
NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | Financial Times | A K Thomson.

The recent chess world championships Fabiano Caruana, the creative and dynamic Italian-American player, was the first US-born grandmaster to reach a world championship final since Fischer’s 1972 victory and Magnus Carlsen, the cool and clinical Norwegian who has sat at the top of the chess world for the best part of a decade, were a dud.

The multi-game match, played in London over nearly three weeks, lurched, sputtered and then fizzled out as the players, locked in concentration for hours at a time, produced draw after draw — 12 of them in total. This was not the content chess organizers wanted or needed in their efforts to promote the game to a wider audience.….Russian Alexander Grischuk, one of the top 10 players in the world, described the majority of the match as “three weeks of boredom”. If chess were still a backwater pursuit, as it has been for much of its 1,500-year history, none of this would matter. But, in the digital era, the sport has become more accessible and popular than ever before. Once the preserve of Europeans and Russians, who had a monopoly on the latest theory in books and pamphlets, chess in the 21st century has taken hold in India, China, Iran and dozens of other countries without a long-playing tradition. Millions of people join millions of games online every day. Chess.com, one of many popular sites, hosts about 3.5m games played daily by its 27m registered users in more than 140 countries. Nearly all of those games use a so-called blitz or bullet format, where players have just a few minutes — and sometimes less than 60 seconds — to make all of their moves. In chess, speed equals thrills. Like gamers, the world’s best bullet players use special mouses: click speed and accuracy have become part of the modern game. Sites offer as standard a “pre-move” feature that allows a player to gain time by committing to his or her next move before their opponent has even decided what to play. Against that backdrop, this week’s turgid world championship was an advertisement against long time controls.
19th_century  champions  chess  speed 
december 2018
Tire Storage: Best-in-Class | Autosphere
Increased sales

This cloud-based solution has another advantage. “The dealership has their own Dealer Management System,” explains Athron, “so when they make appointments for a tire service within their DMS, a mes­sage is sent to our system to let the warehousing facility know when and where those tires are needed. There’s no need to enter data twice.”
traceability  tacking  dealerships  Second_Closet 
december 2018
The opportunities left behind when innovation shakes up old industries
November 28, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | GUY NICHOLSON.

early meetings and phone calls were casual conversations with a couple of landscape photographers who specialize in golf.

The very nature of their business had changed fundamentally...After the Internet disrupted print magazines and media, they recast themselves as digital marketers, selling online rights to images created with high-tech arrays of digital cameras, drones and processing software. But even while embracing technology to take their work to new artistic heights, there were dramatically fewer places left for golfers to come across this art in print......Had their little corner of publishing been so thoroughly disrupted and abandoned that it now had more demand than supply? .....Technological innovation can be extremely disruptive and painful – and in the digital era, capable of changing entire industries seemingly overnight. But when creative destruction puts good things in peril, slivers of opportunity can emerge. After the masses and the smart money have flocked to newer technologies, formerly ultra-competitive spaces can be left wide open for innovation – abandoned fields for small businesses, start-ups and niche players to occupy.

It helps to offer a level of quality or service the bigger players consider uneconomical. Look at the travel industry, which has been thoroughly remade under waves of innovation: cellphones, digital cameras, GPS, Google Maps. Between internet comparison shopping and Airbnb, travel agents could have gone the way of the traveller’s cheque. But in the wake of all that disruption, tiny bespoke agencies specializing in advice, unique experiences, complicated itineraries and group travel have re-emerged to offer services too niche for the big digital players.....Similar things are happening in industries such as gaming, where video games have cleared the way for board-game cafes, and vinyl music, which survived the onslaught of MP3s and streaming music on the strength of nostalgia, millennial fascination and sound quality. As the rest of the industry moved into digital, neighbourhood record stores and small manufacturers picked up the pieces, catering to an enthusiastic subset of music buyers.

“We were growing very rapidly, not because vinyl was growing, but because a lot of pressing plants were going out of business,” Ton Vermeulen, a Dutch DJ and artist manager who bought a former Sony record plant in 1998, told Toronto journalist David Sax in his 2016 book The Revenge of Analog. Vinyl is back in the mainstream, but its disruption cleared the field for smaller players.

Abandoned fields aren’t for everyone. Building a business around an off-trend service or product can be a tough slog (jck: hard work)for fledgling businesses and entrepreneurs, and risky. In the case of the golf photographers, two dozen artists signed up to create a high-end subscription magazine. It’s beautiful, but with two years of work riding on a four-week Kickstarter campaign, there’s no guarantee this particular field will prove to have been worth reclaiming.

Of course, risk has always been part of small business. But a market waiting to be served – that’s a precious thing. As long as there is disruption, it will create opportunities for small businesses to reoccupy abandoned fields
abandoned_fields  analog  bespoke  books  counterintuitive  creating_opportunities  creative_destruction  David_Sax  digital_artifacts  digital_cameras  disruption  hard_work  high-risk  high-touch  innovation  Kickstarter  new_businesses  niches  off-trends  opportunities  photography  print_journalism  small_business  start_ups  structural_decline  travel_agents 
december 2018
Black Male Writers for Our Time - The New York Times
...... A surge of mainstream attention to blackness and its literature isn’t unprecedented in periods of American crisis. The first strains of the Harlem Renaissance began at the tail end of World War I and gained momentum in the 1920s, as the racial makeup of American cities metamorphosed through the Great Migration. The Harlem of the 1930s became home to a concentration of black writers whose work piqued white interest. In the 1960s and ’70s, the Black Arts Movement erupted during the turbulent years of America’s freedom protests. Black voices received heightened attention then, too......
African-Americans  books  James_Baldwin  literature  men  male  writers 
december 2018
Scaling the Unscalable Business: 5 Things You Can Learn from a Successful CEO in the Professional Services Industry | ALGA
Posted December 15th, 2015 by ALGA Business Insurance & filed under Atlanta Business Owner, Business Insurance.
unscalability  scaling 
november 2018
How To Scale the Unscalable ·
OCTOBER 13, 2018 | The Sales Blog | by ANTHONY IANNARINO
[Do things the DON'T scale] Caring is difficult to scale. Every interaction—both internally and externally—requires greater intention, attention, and energy. Because so much of this depends on the individuals, many believe it doesn’t scale. Organizational caring isn’t a thing.

Initiative is equally difficult to scale. The idea that a person would decide for themselves what needs done and take action before being asked isn’t something that is easily accomplished. Because it is difficult, few try to be proactive as an organization.

Resourcefulness, harnessing the creative powers and imagination, if put to work in an organization would likely allow that group of people to outperform their competitors by the widest of margins. Most would never even consider this a goal.

If you want to scale your business, the first thing you should scale is the things that most people don’t believe lend themselves to being scaled. When you scale the attributes and virtues and values that build a culture that is positive, optimistic, future-oriented, and empowered, your business will scale on its own power.
caring  hard_work  howto  initiatives  organizational_culture  resourcefulness  scaling  unscalability 
november 2018
Microsoft Is Worth as Much as Apple. How Did That Happen?
Nov. 29, 2018 | The New York Times | By Steve Lohr.

Just a few years ago, Microsoft was seen as a lumbering has-been of the technology world.....the company had lost its luster, failing or trailing in the markets of the future like mobile, search, online advertising and cloud computing.....It’s a very different story today. Microsoft is running neck and neck with Apple for the title of the world’s most valuable company, both worth more than $850 billion, thanks to a stock price that has climbed 30 % over the past 12 mths.

So what happened?

* The company built on its strengths

There is a short-term explanation for Microsoft’s market rise, and there is a longer-term one.

The near-term, stock-trading answer is that Microsoft has held up better than others during the recent sell-off of tech company shares. The more enduring and important answer is that Microsoft has become a case study of how a once-dominant company can build on its strengths and avoid being a prisoner of its past. It has fully embraced cloud computing, abandoned an errant foray into smartphones and returned to its roots as mainly a supplier of technology to business customers.

* It bet big on the cloud and won …
Microsoft’s path to cloud computing — processing, storage and software delivered as a service over the internet from remote data centers — was lengthy and sometimes halting.... it did not have an offering comparable to Amazon’s until 2013. Even then, Microsoft’s cloud service was a side business. The corporate center of gravity remained its Windows operating system, the linchpin of the company’s wealth and power during the personal computer era. That changed after Mr. Nadella replaced Steven A. Ballmer, who had been chief executive for 14 years. Mr. Nadella made the cloud service a top priority, and the company is now a strong No. 2 to Amazon.....Microsoft has also retooled its popular Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint in a cloud version, Office 365......“The essence of what Satya Nadella did was the dramatic shift to the cloud,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the HBS. “He put Microsoft back into a high-growth business.”

* … while walking away from losing bets
When Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile phone business in 2013, Mr. Ballmer hailed the move as a “bold step into the future.” Two years later, Mr. Nadella walked away from that future, taking a $7.6 billion charge, nearly the entire value of the purchase, and shedding 7,800 workers.

Microsoft would not try to compete with the smartphone technology leaders, Apple, Google and Samsung. Instead, Microsoft focused on its developing apps and other software for business customers. Microsoft products, in the main, are about utility — productivity tools, whether people use them at work or at home. And its Azure cloud technology is a service for businesses and a platform for software developers to build applications, a kind of cloud operating system.

Mr. Nadella’s big acquisitions have been intended to add to its offerings for business users and developers. In 2016, Microsoft bought LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, for $26.2 billion.

“It’s really the coming together of the professional cloud and the professional network,” Mr. Nadella explained at the time.

This year, Microsoft paid $7.5 billion for GitHub, an open software platform used by 28 million programmers.

* It has opened up its technology and culture
Under Mr. Nadella, Microsoft has loosened up. Windows would no longer be its center of gravity — or its anchor. Microsoft apps would run not only on Apple’s Macintosh software but on other operating systems as well. Open source and free software, once anathema to Microsoft, was embraced as a vital tool of modern software development.

Mr. Nadella preached an outward-looking mind-set. “We need to be insatiable in our desire to learn from the outside and bring that learning into Microsoft,” ......“The old, Windows-centric view of the world stifled innovation,” .....“The company has changed culturally.
cloud_computing  kill_rates  Microsoft  outward_looking  Satya_Nadella  Steve_Lohr  strengths  turnarounds  big_bets  walking_away 
november 2018
After a Hiatus, China Accelerates Cyberspying Efforts to Obtain U.S. Technology - The New York Times
By David E. Sanger and Steven Lee Myers
Nov. 29, 2018

Three years ago, President Barack Obama struck a deal with China that few thought was possible: President Xi Jinping agreed to end his nation’s yearslong practice of breaking into the computer systems of American companies, military contractors and government agencies to obtain designs, technology and corporate secrets, usually on behalf of China’s state-owned firms.

The pact was celebrated by the Obama administration as one of the first arms-control agreements for cyberspace — and for 18 months or so, the number of Chinese attacks plummeted. But the victory was fleeting.

Soon after President Trump took office, China’s cyberespionage picked up again and, according to intelligence officials and analysts, accelerated in the last year as trade conflicts and other tensions began to poison relations between the world’s two largest economies.

The nature of China’s espionage has also changed. The hackers of the People’s Liberation Army — whose famed Unit 61398 tore through American companies until its operations from a base in Shanghai were exposed in 2013 — were forced to stand down, some of them indicted by the United States. But now, the officials and analysts say, they have begun to be replaced by stealthier operatives in the country’s intelligence agencies. The new operatives have intensified their focus on America’s commercial and industrial prowess, and on technologies that the Chinese believe can give them a military advantage.
China  cyberattacks  cyber_security  espionage  intellectual_property  international_trade  U.S.  David_Sanger  industrial_espionage  security_&_intelligence  intelligence_analysts 
november 2018
Opinion | The Real China Challenge: Managing Its Decline - The New York Times
By Bret Stephens
Opinion Columnist

Nov. 29, 2018

.Bret Stephens read a deeply reported and thought-provoking series in The Times about another country of the future: China. The phrase “rise of China” has now become so commonplace that we treat it more as a fact of nature than as a prediction of a very familiar sort — one made erroneously about the Soviet Union in the 1950s and ’60s; about Japan in the ’70s and ’80s; and about the European Union in the ’90s and ’00s.....Beijing has ignored orthodox economic nostrums about the need for ever-greater market liberalization and fewer state controls while still managing to thrive. ....cruelty.... forced laborers....Tyrannies do not work in the long run....capital flight.... 46 % of wealthy Chinese wish to emigrate, most of them to the U.S.....individual rights, democratic choices, rule of law, competitive markets, high levels of transparency, low levels of government corruption, independent news sources, and freedoms of thought, conscience and speech are assets beyond price.....If you define power as the power to attract and not simply compel [jk: that is, soft power], then Beijing — with its dystopian vision to fully surveil and rate all citizens by 2020 — isn’t a rising power at all. It’s a collapsing one.......What about the skyscrapers of Guangzhou? What about the world-beating test scores of students in Shanghai?.....China’s rise is not some kind of mirage. But what matters is the future, not the past, and whether a nation built on constraining the freedoms granted to ordinary people can outpace, outsmart, and outlast another nation built on defending and broadening those freedoms....American policymakers and pundits often talk about the challenge of managing China’s rise. They had better start thinking instead of the challenge of managing its decline, beginning at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend. Japan and Europe went gently into eclipse, and the Soviet Union surrendered without a fight (at least until its current revanchist phase).

Will China’s current leadership accept the possibility of their own decline so philosophically, after having convinced themselves of their rapid rise to primacy? Nobody should bet on it. A wounded tiger is rarely a placid one.
Bret_Stephens  capital_flight  China  China_rising  clichés  counterintuitive  decline  institutional_integrity  op-ed  rule_of_law  soft_power  thought-provoking  U.S.-China_relations 
november 2018
How to Survive the Next Era of Tech (Slow Down and Be Mindful)
Nov. 28, 2018 | The New York Times | By Farhad Manjoo.
We live in unpredictable times. The unlikely happens. Be careful. Go slow. Three new maxims for surviving the next era of tech. I hope you heed them; the world rides on your choices.

(1) Don’t just look at the product. Look at the business model.
(2) Avoid feeding the giants. Manjoo's point that the lack of competition is curbing innovation.
(3) Adopt late. Slow down. Slow your roll--be a late adopter (slow to adopt shiny, new things).
Farhad_Manjoo  howto  mindfulness  Slow_Movement  technology  turbulence  late_adopters  rules_of_the_game  business_models  corporate_concentration  FAANG  platforms 
november 2018
Strange bedfellows
The Forecast 2017 - Magazine | Monocle

Despite the rise of Airbnb striking fear into the hearts of hoteliers, small independent hotels can co-exist with the homestay giant – but they have to be smart about it.We highlight a few intelligent examples and look to the future of the city stay.
Airbnb  boutique_hotels  hotels  hospitality 
november 2018
Leaving America: Why I gave up my citizenship - The Globe and Mail
DAVID A. WELCH
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 9 HOURS AGO
citizenship 
november 2018
Canada’s IP strategy is not in step with our innovation and commercialization goals - The Globe and Mail
JIM HINTON AND PETER COWAN
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 57 MINUTES AGO
UPDATED NOVEMBER 25, 2018
Jim Hinton is a principal at Own Innovation and Peter Cowan is a principal at Northworks IP

There is a global arms race for artificial intelligence-related intellectual property. The United States and China are amassing thousands of patent filings related to AI and machine learning.....The hype surrounding R&D funding has not translated to commercialization of AI outside of a small handful of domestic high-growth companies, such as Hatch and Sightline Innovation. This confirms what we already know: Innovation and IP funding announcements alone are not a strategy for growth. What Canada needs is a strategy to own its AI innovations and turn them into prosperity engines for the Canadian economy.

Lost in the hype around Canada becoming an AI hub is an absolute lack of follow-through to ensure intellectual property (IP) rights are preserved for current and future Canadian commercialization needs. There is currently no strategy in any of the taxpayer-funded programs ensuring IP ownership is maintained for the benefit of the Canadian economy. ......Companies such as Alphabet, Huawei and others will continue to partner with Canadian universities and use Canadian taxpayer-funded technology to their global advantage: Of the 100 or so machine learning-related patents that have been developed in Canada over the past 10 years, more than half have ended up in the hands of foreign companies such as Microsoft and IBM.......

.........To reverse the status quo, Canada’s IP strategy must include at least four key tactics: (1) IP generation, ensuring that Canadian firms own valuable IP and data stocks; (2) IP retention; (3) freedom to operate strategies for our innovative high-growth companies; and (4) alignment of the national IP strategy with the national data strategy.
arms_race  artificial_intelligence  Canada  commercialization  innovation  intellectual_property  IP_generation  IP_retention  Jim_Balsillie  machine_learning  property_rights 
november 2018
There’s no such thing as being too fit - The Globe and Mail
ALEX HUTCHINSON
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 10 HOURS AGO
exercise  fitness 
november 2018
Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood on the art of the set list
NOVEMBER 23, 2018 | Michael Hann | Michael Hann.

The nature of the set list — the selection of songs an artist chooses to perform in concert — is problematic. What is it for? To satisfy the performer’s artistic urges? To promote their latest release? Is it simply to provide people who might have paid a great deal of money for a ticket with the most satisfying entertainment possible?

In a new book, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has collected the set lists he handwrites for the band’s rehearsals, and then for shows. At first it was just for fun, Wood tells me; he had always loved calligraphy. But soon his artworks began to serve a practical purpose. “The next thing I know, I come into rehearsals and they’re going round the walls,” he says, “and the rest of the boys are going, ‘Have we played “Fool to Cry?” ’ ‘Yeah, we played it on Tuesday.’ The boys are starting to use it as a reference, which is great, because when I started doing it, Mick [Jagger] used to come up to me and go, ‘Ronnie, stop writing that bloody list, and get on with the songs.’ ”

The resulting book, The Rolling Stones Set Lists, captures the huge range of songs the Stones will bring to life during one of their tours — about 80 for a show of 19 or 20 songs. It also gives the rest of us some clues as to the rules of writing the dream set list.
books  concerts  lists  live_performances  music  songs  rollingstones 
november 2018
France urged to return museum artefacts to Africa
November 23, 2018 | Financial Times David Pilling, Africa Editor.

France should permanently return tens of thousands of cultural artefacts plundered from Africa during colonialism, according to a report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron that could send tremors around the museums of Europe.

In the report, submitted to the French leader on Friday, the authors accused museums with large African collections — much of which was ransacked or purchased under duress — of being part of “a system of appropriation and alienation” that deprived Africans of the “spiritual nourishment that is the foundation of their humanity”.

....more than 90 per cent of the “material cultural legacy” of sub-Saharan Africa — including palace doors, thrones, carved heads and bronzes — was outside the continent. Europeans, it said, were straining to justify their continued possession of such treasure, while “Africans find themselves struggling to recover the thread of an interrupted memory”.

France alone, the report said, had at least 90,000 African objects, including from modern-day Chad, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Republic of Congo, Senegal and Guinea. French collections also had artefacts from Ethiopia and the former British colonies of Ghana and Nigeria. Many items labelled as “gifts” were the spoils of war, it said.
colonialism  France  restitution  museums  Africa  sub-Saharan_Africa  Emmanuel_Macron  artifacts  repatriation  heritage  antiquities  art  art_history  collectibles  cultural_institutions 
november 2018
Opinion | Lean Out - The New York Times
By Kara Swisher
Ms. Swisher covers technology and is a contributing opinion writer.

Nov. 24, 2018
Facebook  Google  Kara_Swisher  Mark_Zuckerberg  Sheryl_Sandberg  Silicon_Valley  women 
november 2018
Food Distributors Make Changes as Costs Bite
Nov. 23, 2018 | WSJ | By Heather Haddon.

Food distributors, the intermediaries between packaged-food makers and farmers on one side and restaurants and grocers on the other, are especially sensitive to cost pressures. Their operations are less automated than those of some other businesses, increasing their exposure to the worker shortages and rising wages that come with a tight labor market. Surging demand is also pushing up the cost of for-hire transportation.

To adapt to rising logistics and shipping expenses, distributors say they are shifting some deliveries to smaller trucks that don’t need full rig loads. They are also trying to pack trucks more efficiently and break down delivery routes to make them shorter. Some distributors are also turning to online brokers, like the Freight unit of Uber Technologies Inc., that use technology to match cargo with available trucks, a process some say is faster and more efficient.
foodservice  Sysco  streamlining  intermediaries  cold_storage 
november 2018
Computer vision: how Israel’s secret soldiers drive its tech success
November 20, 2018 | Financial Times | Mehul Srivastava in Tel Aviv.
.... those experiences that have helped such a tiny country become a leader in one of the most promising frontiers in the technology world: computer vision. Despite the unwieldy name it is an area that has come of age in the past few years, covering applications across dozens of industries that have one thing in common: the need for computers to figure out what their cameras are seeing, and for those computers to tell them what to do next.........Computer vision has become the connecting thread between some of Israel’s most valuable and promising tech companies. And unlike Israel’s traditional strengths— cyber security and mapping — computer vision slides into a broad range of different civilian industries, spawning companies in agriculture, medicine, sports, self-driving cars, the diamond industry and even shopping. 

In Israel, this lucrative field has benefited from a large pool of engineers and entrepreneurs trained for that very task in an elite, little-known group in the military — Unit 9900 — where they fine-tuned computer algorithms to digest millions of surveillance photos and sift out actionable intelligence. .........The full name for Unit 9900 — the Terrain Analysis, Accurate Mapping, Visual Collection and Interpretation Agency — hints at how it has created a critical mass of engineers indispensable for the future of this industry. The secretive unit has only recently allowed limited discussion of its work. But with an estimated 25,000 graduates, it has created a deep pool of talent that the tech sector has snapped up. 

Soldiers in Unit 9900 are assigned to strip out nuggets of intelligence from the images provided by Israel’s drones and satellites — from surveilling the crowded, chaotic streets of the Gaza Strip to the unending swaths of desert in Syria and the Sinai. 

With so much data to pour over, Unit 9900 came up with solutions, including recruiting Israelis on the autistic spectrum for their analytical and visual skills. In recent years, says Shir Agassi, who served in Unit 9900 for more than seven years, it learned to automate much of the process, teaching algorithms to spot nuances, slight variations in landscapes and how their targets moved and behaved.....“We had to take all these photos, all this film, all this geospatial evidence and break it down: how do you know what you’re seeing, what’s behind it, how will it impact your intelligence decisions?” .....“You’re asking yourself — if you were the enemy, where would you hide? Where are the tall buildings, where’s the element of surprise? Can you drive there, what will be the impact of weather on all this analysis?”

Computer vision was essential to this task....Teaching computers to look for variations allowed the unit to quickly scan thousands of kilometres of background to find actionable intelligence. “You have to find ways not just to make yourself more efficient, but also to find things that the regular eye can’t,” she says. “You need computer vision to answer these questions.”.....The development of massive databases — from close-ups of farm insects to medical scans to traffic data — has given Israeli companies a valuable headstart over rivals. And in an industry where every new image teaches the algorithm something useful, that has made catching up difficult.......“Computer vision is absolutely the thread that ties us to other Israeli companies,” he says. “I need people with the same unique DNA — smart PhDs in mathematics, neural network analysis — to tell a player in the NBA how to improve his jump shot.”
Israel  cyber_security  hackers  cyber_warfare  dual-use  Israeli  security_&_intelligence  IDF  computer_vision  machine_learning  Unit_9900  start_ups  gene_pool  imagery  algorithms  actionable_information  geospatial  mapping  internal_systems  PhDs  drones  satellites  surveillance  autism 
november 2018
The Golden Age of Restaurants in America
JUN 20, 2017 | The Atlantic | DEREK THOMPSON.

.....But then there’s the middle-class of restaurants, also known as “casual dining”—full-service restaurants where the typical check is between $15 and $25, per person. This is where the pain lives. Same-restaurant sales are falling across most of the sector’s largest chains, including Applebees, Chili’s, and Maggiano’s. Traffic at all casual dining spots fell at the fastest rate since the middle of 2009, when unemployment was screaming past 9 percent.

What’s killing casual dining? Theories range from its core customers’ income stagnation to the restaurants’ staid decor. But there’s another, less-obvious threat: Diners are increasingly buying prepared food at places that aren’t restaurants. They’re going to convenience stores with made-to-order food, like Wawa, or grocers with prepared food, like Whole Foods, college stores, corporate cafes, community centers, and food trucks. In fact, one-third of prepared meals this year won’t come from a typical restaurant or fast-food joint. Americans already buy more food and beverages on college campus than at bars, according to the National Restaurant Association. Prepared food is everywhere, now. That’s a killer for restaurants serving the middle class.
restaurants  food  casual_dining  prepared_meals  golden_age 
november 2018
Checking Out New York’s Online Grocery Stores and All Their Trimmings - WSJ
U.S. NEW YORK METRO MONEY
Checking Out New York’s Online Grocery Stores and All Their Trimmings
Newer services offer smaller order minimums and shorter delivery windows

Faster grocery delivery services are battling for business. PHOTO: TIM BOWER

0 COMMENTS
By Anne Kadet
Nov. 20, 2018 10:00 a.m. ET
All seems relatively peaceful on the streets of New York these days. But in truth, there is a battle afoot—between online grocery services competing to offer same-day delivery. They’re fighting for space in your pantry. They want to deliver your Thanksgiving turkey.

New York’s busy families have long relied on traditional online grocery delivery services like FreshDirect and Amazon Fresh for big shipments, typically scheduled a day in advance.

But as this market matures, attention has turned to the more spontaneous shopper. The newer services feature smaller order minimums, faster online shopping and shorter delivery windows.

Last week, on a Monday morning, I placed orders with three of the more high-profile competitors in this space—FoodKick, Amazon Prime Now and Jet—to compare them on selection, ease of ordering, price and delivery. I now have enough baby carrots to last me through Christmas.

MORE
Inv
AmazonFresh  e-commerce  e-grocery  FreshDirect  grocery  home-delivery  impulse_purchasing  New_York_City  supermarkets 
november 2018
‘Farsighted’ Review: How to Make Up Your Mind - WSJ
14 COMMENTS
By David A. Shaywitz
Sept. 11, 2018

..mission planners first systematically widened their thinking to define their options as broadly as possible, seeking a “full-spectrum appraisal of the state of things and a comprehensive list of potential choices.” Then they coned down the alternatives by playing out multiple scenarios, exploring all the ways the mission could go wrong........When faced with complex choices we tend to frame problems in a narrow fashion. .......seek participation from as broad and diverse a group as possible.....a diversity of viewpoints isn’t enough. Citing the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, Mr. Johnson observes that, although “groups often possess a rich mix of information distributed among their members,” when they assemble “they tend to focus on shared information.” Thus it is important to design a process that exposes “unshared information”—by meeting individually with stakeholders, for instance, instead of merely convening a town hall. Similarly, he cites research revealing that two-thirds of organizational decisions never contemplate more than a single option. There is a “gravitational pull toward the initial framing of the decision.” To overcome it, he suggests considering what might be done if the presumptive path forward were suddenly blocked....“Uncertainty can’t simply be analyzed out of existence,” ...What scenarios and simulations can offer is a way to “prepare you for the many ways that the future might unexpectedly veer.”..... Linear value modeling, for example, weighs the relative importance of different goals, while a bad-outcomes approach examines worst-case possibilities........given the challenges of making high-stakes global decisions. How should we respond, as a planet, to the challenges of addressing climate change, communicating with alien life forms or managing computers with superintelligence? The answer seems to be: by convening diverse experts and hoping for the best. ....... Great novels matter [JCK; great novels = *fiction*] because “they let us experience parallel lives, and see the complexity of those experiences in vivid detail.”........ fundamentally, choices concern competing narratives, and we’re likely to make better choices if we have richer stories, with more fleshed-out characters, a more nuanced understanding of motives, and a deeper appreciation of how decisions are likely to reverberate and resound.
books  book_reviews  Cass_Sunstein  choices  decision_making  far-sightedness  fiction  howto  narrow-framing  novels  presumptions  scenario-planning  shared_experiences  Steven_Johnson  systematic_approaches  thinking_tragically  uncertainty  unshared_information  wide-framing  worst-case 
november 2018
Opinion | How Would You Draw History? - The New York Times
By Crispin Sartwell
Mr. Sartwell is a professor of philosophy.

Nov. 19, 2018
history 
november 2018
Food halls the latest appetizer for office workers - The Globe and Mail
ADAM STANLEY
OTTAWA
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 1 HOUR AGO
food_halls 
november 2018
Canada doomed to be branch plant for global tech giants unless Ottawa updates thinking, Balsillie warns | Financial Post
James McLeod
November 16, 2018
7:27 PM EST

Canadian governments need to radically rethink their approach to the knowledge economy if the country is to be anything more than a branch plant for global technology giants,.......“I think they confuse a cheap jobs strategy … (and) foreign branch plant pennies with innovation billions,” .........Balsillie has argued that the “intangible” economy of data, software and intellectual property is fundamentally different from the classical industrial economy built on the trade of goods and services, and that because Canadian policymakers fail to understand that difference, they keep being taken for rubes.......Balsillie was particularly critical of the federal government’s policy when it comes to “branch plant” investments in Canada in the technology sector.

He said that in the traditional economy of goods and services, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, because there’s a multiplier effect — $100 million for a new manufacturing plant or an oil upgrader might create $300 million in spinoff economic activity.

But if you’re just hiring programmers to write software, the picture is different, he said. It’s a much smaller number of jobs with fewer economic benefits, and, more importantly, the value created through intellectual property flows out of the country.

“Our FDI approaches have been the same for the intangibles, where, when you bring these companies in, they put a half a dozen people in a lab, they poach the best talent and they poach the IP, and then you lose all the wealth effects,”....“Don’t get me wrong. I believe in open economies. They’re going to come here anyway; I just don’t know why we give them the best talent, give them our IP, give them tax credits for the research, give them the red carpet for government relations, don’t allow them to pay taxes, and then have all the wealth flow out of the country.”...if small countries such as Canada make a point of prioritizing the intangible economy, there are huge opportunities. He pointed to Israel, Finland and Singapore as examples of how smart policies and specialization can reap big rewards.

“I could literally see enormously powerful positions for Canada if we choose the right places. I mean, there are some obvious ones: value added in the food business, and precision data and IP in agriculture; certainly in energy extraction and mining, which are data and technology businesses,” he said.

“We actually have enormous opportunities to build the resilience and opportunity,” he said. ”And how can you threaten a country with a picture of a Chevy and 25 per cent tariffs when you’ve built these kinds of very powerful innovation infrastructures that you can’t stop with a tariff because they move with the click of a mouse?”
agriculture  branch_plants  Canada  data  digital_economy  energy  FDI  Finland  food  GoC  industrial_economy  IP_retention  intangibles  intellectual_property  Israel  Jim_Balsillie  mining  policymakers  property_rights  protocols  Singapore  talent  technology  wealth_effects 
november 2018
Technogym steps up pace to win world fitness race
November 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Rachel Sanderson in Milan

Technogym, the Italian maker of top end gym equipment, is launching a new platform to broadcast live and on-demand workouts from top gyms worldwide as the race for fitness tech heats up.

The Milan-listed company, founded by owner and chief executive Nerio Alessandri in 1983, will launch Technogym Live in January starting first in the UK and Italy. It will allow owners of Technogym equipment fitted with broadcast consoles to watch cycling, running, rowing, boxing and boot camp classes from its partner fitness studios around the world.

The move comes as fitness has become a new frontier for the tech industry. Fitness streaming apps, such as audio app Aaptiv, connected to home equipment such as start-up Peloton Interactive stationary bicycles have become a big growth area.
fitness  gyms  Peloton  platforms  Technogym  connected_devices  wellness  on-demand 
november 2018
How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross
Nov. 17, 2018 | The New York Times | By Jolie Kerr.

(1) “Tell me about yourself,” a.k.a the only icebreaker you’ll ever need.
(2) The secret to being a good conversationalist? Curiosity.
(3) Be funny (if you can). “A good conversationalist is somebody who is fun to talk to,” she said. Ms. Gross, it’s worth noting, is very funny. If you can’t be funny, being mentally organized, reasonably concise and energetic will go a long way in impressing people.
(4) Preparation is key. “It helps to organize your thoughts beforehand by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and then reflecting on how you might answer,” think through where your boundaries are, so that you’re not paralyzed agonizing over whether you’re willing to confide something or not.”

In a job interview, organizing your thoughts by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and reflecting on how you might answer can help you navigate if things start to go badly.
(5) Take control by pivoting to something you want to talk about.
(6) Ms. Gross doesn’t want you to dodge questions. But if you’re going to, here’s how: Say, “I don’t want to answer that,” or, if that’s too blunt, hedge with a statement like, “I’m having a difficult time thinking of a specific answer to that.” Going the martyr route with something like, “I’m afraid by answering that I’m going to hurt somebody’s feelings and I don’t want to do that,” is another option.
(7) Terry pays attention to body language. Be like Terry.
(8) When to push back, and when not to.
body_language  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  curiosity  howto  humour  interviews  interview_preparation  job_search  preparation  tips  nonverbal  posture  ice-breakers  concision  Managing_Your_Career  pay_attention 
november 2018
Disney Is Spending More on Theme Parks Than It Did on Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm Combined - The New York Times
By BROOKS BARNES NOV. 16, 2018

Increased investment means increased risk
The theme park business will always be sensitive to swings in the economy, said Jessica Reif, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Disney has greatly increased security in recent years, deploying undercover guards and installing metal detectors, but these teeming resorts could become relative ghost towns if a violent incident took place.

Even so, Ms. Reif said she was pleased that Disney was spending so heavily on its parks. “It’s the highest return on investment that Disney has,” she said.
theme_parks  Disney  redesign  entertainment  makeovers  serious_incidents  security_consciousness 
november 2018
Opinion | How Plato Foresaw Facebook’s Folly
Nov. 16, 2018 The New York Times | By Bret Stephens, Opinion Columnist

Technology promises to make easy things that, by their intrinsic nature, have to be hard......The story of the wildly exaggerated promises and damaging unintended consequences of technology isn’t exactly a new one. The real marvel is that it constantly seems to surprise us. Why?......Part of the reason is that we tend to forget that technology is only as good as the people who use it. .....It’s also true that Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants have sold themselves not so much as profit-seeking companies but as ideal-pursuing movements.....But the deeper reason that technology so often disappoints and betrays us is that it promises to make easy things that, by their intrinsic nature, have to be hard......Tweeting and trolling are easy. Mastering the arts of conversation and measured debate is hard. Texting is easy. Writing a proper letter is hard. Looking stuff up on Google is easy. Knowing what to search for in the first place is hard. Having a thousand friends on Facebook is easy. Maintaining six or seven close adult friendships over the space of many years is hard. Swiping right on Tinder is easy. Finding love — and staying in it — is hard.

That’s what Socrates (or Thamus) means when he deprecates the written word: It gives us an out. It creates the illusion that we can remain informed, and connected, even as we are spared the burdens of attentiveness, presence of mind and memory. That may seem quaint today. But how many of our personal, professional or national problems might be solved if we desisted from depending on shortcuts?... struck by how desperately Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg sought to massage and finesse — with consultants, lobbyists and technological patches — what amounted to a daunting if simple crisis of trust. As with love and grammar, acquiring and maintaining trust is hard. There are no workarounds.
arduous  Bret_Stephens  Facebook  Greek  op-ed  pretense_of_knowledge  Socrates  technology  unintended_consequences  shortcuts  fallacies_follies  philosophy 
november 2018
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