Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Daily Dozen

  1. red_balloon 10 red balloons.  A DARPA challenge to find 10 red weather balloons in undisclosed locations around the US.  A group from MIT won using a pyramid incentive scheme“Incredibly, the MIT team located all ten balloons in just under 9 hours!  The challenge may seem frivolous but in fact is a great example of how prizes and network technologies can combine to collect and use highly dispersed information--a problem of very general interest and relevance.” 
  2. American Dream 2.0: Default, then rent.  I’ve been a big fan of renting for quite some time now, but didn’t have this in mind.  More thoughts on this here.
  3. OUCH!  Daivd Pogue reviews Barnes & Noble’s Nook and finds it sorely lacking:  “To use the technical term, it’s slower than an anesthetized slug in winter.”  Walt Mossberg is a bit gentler, but also comes out thumbs down.  If you’d like to test out how slow cool the Nook is yourself, here is a store locator.  (For me, it may have to wait until after exams.)
  4. Leo Babauta with 48 fun ways to exercise.  He forgot to mention kayaking.
  5. What everyone should know about digital cameras.
  6. In India, anxiety over the slow pace of innovation.  “Even as the rest of the world has come to admire, envy and fear India’s outsourcing business and its technological prowess, many Indians are disappointed that the country has not quickly moved up to more ambitious and lucrative work from answering phones or writing software. Why, they worry, hasn’t India produced a Google or an Apple?”  It’s not just about technological know-how, but also about institutions that create the incentives to innovate.
  7. Economic theory and Tiger Woods – as his income stream from endorsements dries up, can we expect him to play more tournaments?
  8. Speaking of Tiger Woods, it looks like ill-advised text messages are quickly turning into ’digital lipstick on the collar’ in an increasing number of cases in divorce court.
  9. eBooks facing the iTunes problem?  Two publishers plan to delay eBook versions of their new books by 4-months after releasing the hardcover edition.  Sounds like a losing strategy to me and similar to the music industry trying to dig in their heels when MP3 players started gaining in popularity.  Hopefully, they will be the exception rather than the rule.
  10. New York City’s smallest microstudio?  It’s 175 square feet and houses a husband, wife and two cats.  My apartment is approximately twice that size and I could easily make do with less space… but I don’t have to share.
  11. Do you need a PhD to be a law professor?  Maybe not, but I hope it helps.
  12. Irrational Exuberance: Then and Now:irrational_exuberance

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