Monthly Archives: November 2009

Blogging Hiatus

It turns out that if you enroll in grad school in computer science, they expect you to do computer science work. And apparently writing a blog doesn’t qualify. So this blog is going on a holiday hiatus. I’ll be back … Continue reading

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The PR Firm as Anti-Signal

Last week, Mike Masnick posted this funny tweet: PR people keep sending me names of people who can “comment” on stories. If they want to comment, we have comments enabled on the site. It’s a funny statement, but Mike was … Continue reading

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Explaining Bottom-Up News is Difficult

It’s a few weeks old, but Matt Welch has a great example of the biases you find when mainstream journalists analyze the current trends in news gathering. He describes a conversation with Alex Jones, (who I critiqued here): After Jones … Continue reading

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The End of Reporters’ Attention Monopoly

Yesterday I promised to post about why we shouldn’t view the decline of the newspaper as a blow to democratic accountability. Conor Friedersdorf offered what seems to be the mainstream view of the subject in the nation’s journalism schools: that … Continue reading

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Friedersdorf Misreads Shirky on Catholic Pedophilia

Two of my friends, Julian Sanchez and Conor Friedersdorf, did a BloggingHeads last week about the future of media. It’s a great show in which they make a number of solid points. However, I found myself disagreeing with the argument … Continue reading

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Paul Graham on Apple’s App Store

I’ve done a few posts about the problems with Apple’s App Store, and its requirement that developers use it to get software onto the iPhone. Paul Graham has a more thorough and better-written critique: The way Apple runs the App … Continue reading

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The Leaky Abstraction of Digital Rights Management

For years, the Associated Press has been complaining about websites that quote what it regards as excessive quantities of AP stories (although most of these quotes are likely legal under copyright’s fair use doctrine). In July, the Associated Press made … Continue reading

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Death by PowerPoint and Leaky Abstractions

If you want to study the deficiencies of large, hierarchical organizations, a good case study is the most powerful hierarchical organization on Earth: the United States military. Our military has long exemplified the dysfunctions of large, hierarchical organization (see, for … Continue reading

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Leaky Abstractions and the Value of Fast Failure

Joel Spolsky is the author of Joel on Software, a popular blog about computer programming. He wrote a great post in 2002 about what he called “leaky abstractions.” Programmers think about abstraction a lot because it’s indispensable for managing the … Continue reading

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Bottom-up Thinker: Edward Tufte

In 2003, the world watched, shocked, as the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded as it was re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA investigated and concluded that Columbia exploded because during take-off, a bit of foam fell off the shuttle and hit the … Continue reading

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