The Security Value of Inefficiency

For decades, we have prized efficiency in our economy. We strive for it. We reward it. In normal times, that’s a good thing. Running just at the margins is efficient. A single just-in-time global supply chain is efficient. Consolidation is efficient. And that’s all profitable. Inefficiency, on the other hand, is waste. Extra inventory is … Read more The Security Value of Inefficiency

We’re All Living in Youngstown Now

Today’s professional white collar workers are about to get the same treatment as steel and auto workers received in the 1970s and 80s. Back then the narrative was unequivocal. Manufacturing was dominated by overpaid highly unionized workers who were lazy and entitled. Wages and benefits were too high. Productivity and innovation were being stifled by … Read more We’re All Living in Youngstown Now

The Woke Tech Giants Teach Us How To Deal With Systemic Racism

Essentially every form of discrimination on the basis of race in economic matters has been banned by law in the United States since at least the 1960s. That’s sufficiently long ago that the number of people old enough to have living memory of the days when racial discrimination was legally tolerated is rapidly diminishing. Today, … Read more The Woke Tech Giants Teach Us How To Deal With Systemic Racism

A critique of contact-tracing apps

I also have worried about how testing and liability law would interact. If the positive cases test as positive, it may be harder for businesses and schools to reopen, because they did not “do enough” to keep the positive cases out, or perhaps the businesses and the schools are the ones doing the testing in … Read more A critique of contact-tracing apps

The best Zoom alternatives for videoconferencing

Zoom is one of the fastest-growing videoconferencing apps out there. It’s easy to set up and host video calls. But in light of recent security and privacy concerns about Zoom, you might want to try a good Zoom alternative. They’re all excellent for video calls friends and family, or conferencing with your colleagues while working … Read more The best Zoom alternatives for videoconferencing

PopSockets CEO calls out Amazon’s ‘bullying with a smile’ tactics

Amazon has a “bullying” problem. So insisted PopSockets CEO and inventor David Barnett today while describing his company’s relationship with the e-commerce and logistics giant. Barnett was addressing members of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law and, over the course of the hearing, laid out how the Jeff Bezos-helmed corporate behemoth had … Read more PopSockets CEO calls out Amazon’s ‘bullying with a smile’ tactics

Slashdot Asks: What’s the Worst Review You Ever Saw on Amazon?

Long-time Slashdot reader theodp shared his story about the worst tech book review he found on Amazon in 2019. Stephen Few is a respected author and speaker whose books on data visualization and analysis are well-received. But when it comes to Amazon reviews, you simply can’t make everyone happy, a particularly good example of which … Read more Slashdot Asks: What’s the Worst Review You Ever Saw on Amazon?

How to Deal with the Counterfeit Goods Problem

The effort to control counterfeit goods is a lot like the effort to control the use of firearms in violent crime: Government is willing to try almost anything short of doing its job. . . . It’s a funny old world: Federal agents will birth bovines if you try to bring a Diet Coke through … Read more How to Deal with the Counterfeit Goods Problem

Ohio gas well blowout leaked more than many countries do in a year

In February 2018, an accident at a gas well in Ohio, near the West Virginia border, didn’t make as much national news as it should have. An explosion at the well caused a blowout, with billowing black smoke and gushing natural gas spewing into the air. It didn’t generate as much interest as the three-and-a-half-month-long … Read more Ohio gas well blowout leaked more than many countries do in a year

Social Media is Not Promoting a Diversity of Ideas: Just Look at Our College Students

Despite statements by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg that he was changing the mission of his company to “bring the world closer together,” data from the recent AEI survey on Community and Society make it abundantly clear that social media is not having a transformative effect in promoting a real diversity of ideas as … Read more Social Media is Not Promoting a Diversity of Ideas: Just Look at Our College Students

You Might Be Buying Trash on Amazon — Literally

Amazon, Den of Thieves Dumpster divers say it’s easy to list discarded toys, electronics and books on Amazon. An investigation by the Wall Street Journal found that’s an accurate assertion. From a report: Just about anyone can open a store on Amazon.com and sell just about anything. Just ask the dumpster divers. These are among … Read more You Might Be Buying Trash on Amazon — Literally

How Hackers Are Breaking Into Ring Cameras

Hackers have created dedicated software for breaking into Ring security cameras, according to posts on hacking forums reviewed by Motherboard. The camera company is owned by Amazon, which has hundreds of partnerships with police departments around the country. On Wednesday, local Tennessee media reported that a hacker broke into a Ring camera installed in the … Read more How Hackers Are Breaking Into Ring Cameras

Amazon, Den of Thieves Cont’d

Merriam Webster’s definition of “chutzpah” describes the word as meaning “supreme self-confidence: nerve, gall.” The page does not include a picture to illustrate what the word looks like, but if they are in the market for one, I’d like to offer a friendly suggestion that they use the Amazon logo. Why? Well, Amazon is angry. … Read more Amazon, Den of Thieves Cont’d

Netflix Starts To Harden Its Stance On Password Sharing

For years now, streaming video providers like HBO and Netflix have taken a relatively lax approach to password sharing. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has gone so far as to say he “loves” password sharing, and sees it as little more than free advertising. Execs at HBO have similarly viewed password sharing in such a fashion, … Read more Netflix Starts To Harden Its Stance On Password Sharing

Shakespeare

Literary analysts have long noticed the hand of another author in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. Now a neural network has identified the specific scenes in question—and who actually wrote them. . . . For much of his life, William Shakespeare was the house playwright for an acting company called the King’s Men that performed his plays … Read more Shakespeare

Put Down Your Phone – You’ll live better

It was a bold experiment to recognize today’s compulsive relationships with ever present devices. Seven days later, “who’s excited they’re getting their phones back today?” Professor Donna Freitas asked. Gone were the nerves and the shakes. “Everything is perfect right now. I’m having a lot better relationships… it’s a stress free environment no pressure about … Read more Put Down Your Phone – You’ll live better

Amazon, Den of Thieves part eleventy billion

I heard the “pop!” from my living room as a brand-new pack of Amazon batteries spontaneously exploded on the kitchen counter, oozing a gritty black substance in fits and spurts. The small, unassuming item is one of Amazon’s most popular “in-house” products sold under the AmazonBasics label. With nearly 20,000 customer reviews, its popularity dwarfs … Read more Amazon, Den of Thieves part eleventy billion

Why Are Chromebooks Superior for Online Financial Safety?

Clark has long recommended that you have a dedicated Chromebook for all financial transactions in your life. The rationale here is simple. Because Chromebooks are designed to store everything in the cloud — not on a physical hard drive — they are almost impenetrable to viruses. Using a dedicated Chromebook for your finances is a … Read more Why Are Chromebooks Superior for Online Financial Safety?