December, 2005

Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Nobel Winner Can Help You Keep Your Resolutions: "Another approach is to use bright-line rules, which make it harder to cheat through clever reinterpretation. That may explain why many people find it easier to eliminate whole categories of food, like carbohydrates, rather than simply to cut back on calories."

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Brad DeLong goes looking for the Christmas Spirit in the words of Thomas Sowell, and instead finds it in the words of Bill & Ted: "Be excellent to each other! Party on, dudes!"

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Why Spy?: "In 40 years the world went from 5,000 stand-alone computers, many of which we owned, to 420 million computers, many of which are better than ours."

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NSA and Bush's Illegal Eavesdropping: "I see it as evidence of something else: if people from both the Legislative and the Judiciary branches knowingly permitted unlawful surveillance by the Executive branch, then the current system of checks and balances isn't working."

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Bankruptcy law backfires on credit card issuers: "More than 500,000 bankruptcy cases were filed in the two weeks before the law took effect, compared with a normal weekly volume of 30,000 to 35,000. So far this year more than 2 million cases have been filed, 49% more than the same period last year and eclipsing all previous records."

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Friday, December 16, 2005

What Can We Learn From How a Manager Invests His Own Money?: "The authors also examine how other personal characteristics of the chief executive affect corporate investment decisions. Those with engineering or science backgrounds tend to be more sensitive to cash flow in making investments than those with a financial background. The chief executives who grew up in the Great Depression seem to be particularly influenced by cash on hand, perhaps because they developed a distrust of financial markets and a predilection for self-sufficiency as a result of their early experience."

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Children Learn by Monkey See, Monkey Do. Chimps Don't.: "Mr. Lyons sees his results as evidence that humans are hard-wired to learn by imitation, even when that is clearly not the best way to learn. If he is right, this represents a big evolutionary change from our ape ancestors. Other primates are bad at imitation."

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Soft-drink makers' revenue running dry: "The shift away from soft drinks is most pronounced among young people, who are just forming their brand preferences, according to a May survey of 1,730 consumers by Morgan Stanley. Of those aged 18 to 24, 52 percent say they are drinking less or rarely consume soft drinks, while 48 percent say they are drinking more water."

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Power could cost more than servers, Google warns: "If server power consumption grows 20 percent per year, the four-year cost of a server's electricity bill will be larger than the $3,000 initial price of a typical low-end server with x86 processors."

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Matt Blumberg explains the New Media Deal: you will give up all your personal information and privacy in exchange for shiny things.

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Larry Johnson: Did the FAM Fail?: "Some folks who have watched too much Hollywood pablum have whined, 'Why didn't they shoot him in the arm or the leg?' A shooting is a very quick event and precise shooting, even at close range, can be difficult. Accordingly, FAMs and other law enforcement officers are taught to shoot at center of mass, i.e. the chest. You never point a firearm at someone in order to 'wing' them. A gun is a lethal weapon. Even if you shoot someone in the arm or leg there is no guarantee they will be disabled. They could still move and possibly disarm the FAM. If you shoot, shoot to kill."

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Friday, December 02, 2005

Don't Call It Spyware: "While everyone hates pop-ups, nobody much minds behind-the-scenes spying. In fact, surreptitious tracking is all the rage."

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Limitations on Police Power Shouldn't Be a Partisan Issue: "It's not enough that this guy, and everyone else with this opinion, trusts the Bush government to judiciously balance his rights with the need to fight global terrorism. This guy has to believe that when the Democrats are in power that his rights are just as protected: that he is just as secure against police and government abuse."

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

My friend (and college roommate) Andrew's book, Applied Software Project Management has been released. It's a practical and accessible guide to requirements gathering, project estimation, and other such things which make software development run smoothly. Excerpts can be found on the companion web site.

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