Saturday, December 24, 2011

Too many have dispensed with generosity...

Is it Christmas yet?

Who hasn't typed "let it snow" into Google search?

Bill Gross is the founder of over 100 companies including his most recent, the technology incubator idealab. So when he offers his list of entrepreneurial lessons learned, they are probably worth hearing.
  1. Enter a rapidly growing market and it's like running a race with the wind at your back. [I'd call this jumping on the bandwagon.]
  2. Master how to demo, teach, explain, pitch. 
  3. Work at something you love because without passion you won't be able to overcome all the obstacles you face. [It's hard to imagine founding 100 companies and each of them being something you love. Unless you love founding companies.]
  4. Focus, focus, focus. Doing fewer things extraordinarily well will excite the customer. [I agree with this which should be no surprise considering that our product is a niche within a niche.]
  5. Build around your strengths and hire where you are weak.
  6. Don't overbuild. [Slow and steady wins the race?]
  7. If you're ahead of the market cut back immediately and aggressively so you can survive until the market is ready.
  8. Test, test, test and adapt to what you learn.
  9. Stick with a good idea regardless of what the critics say. [In my case it was "I gotta tell you, I think you're crazy."]
  10. Find essential partners. [Especially those with deep pockets.]
  11. Harness your customers' passion. Help them bring you customers.
  12. Be willing to face ridicule and opposition.
Isn't the idea of Viagra in a condom kinda like a chicken and the egg thing?

Watch this video and they'll be hanging on your every word at next weekend's New Year's Eve parties: What's a Tensor? "Facts of the universe." (Actually, because I never took Linear Algebra in college this is remedial for me. Haters gonna hate but I thought it was a pretty good explanation.)

I bet Rick's Custom Squirrels have been flying off the shelves this holiday season.
Hey, I know this guy! Joel brews his own craft beer, Honey Badger IPA. (Although I suspect that Joel does give a shit.) And this next article tells me something I already know: beer deserves a sommelier. (I kinda consider Joel to be my personal beer sommelier.)

This is a nice lens through which to view friends and employees. When you call them at 2:00 a.m. and as for their help, if their first reply is "Do you know what time it is?" your answer should be "Yes, time to get a new friend/employee."

Callin' Oates. 719-26-OATES. Your choice of Hall and Oates tune on demand.

Astronomy geeks, check out this video zooming in on the center of the Milky Way.

I don't get the whole zombie thing but, what the hell: Zombie Font
Composer Jean Sibelius' 30-year self-imposed exile is examined in this article. Because I've already decided this his Swan of Tuonela will be played at my funeral, Sibelius' quote about swans caught my attention.
"The swans are always on my mind, and they lend magnificence to life. It is strange to note that nothing in the whole world, not in art, literature or music, has such an effect on me as these swans and cranes and bean geese. Their calls and their appearance."
I didn't like Freakonomics (or any of Gladwell's stuff either) and this review is cautionary: "Easy read" should not mean "easy write."

I am ambivalent about Merriam-Webster's citation of pragmatic as the 2011 Word of the Year. Also in the top 10 are vitriol, capitalism, socialism, and some French gibberish with too many diacriticals to bother typing it here.

Othello a comedy? Data mining Shakespeare seems to indicate so (or at least that Bill used comedic elements to heighten the tragedy.)

Book seller The Book Depository has a map-based page on their site that shows in real-time what books people bought and where those buyers are. (Someone in Spain just bought Oliver Twist.)

The last of 195 F-22 Raptors (tail number 10-4195) rolled off the assembly line this month. I remember when it was called the ATF (advanced tactical fighter).

An alternate viewpoint: the STEM (science technology engineering math) labor shortage is false. The problem is companies who don't want to train new hires or pay market rates.

The team All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S. won $50,000 in DARPA's shredder challenge for assembling shredded documents. (The easy game for me is here.)

How to fool the masses when describing your GPU results.

Top visualization resources of 2011.

This guy abuses the English language about as badly as I do. Evidence: "I don’t know why attempting to move your model by jabbing a dead mole into your screen doesn’t work, but you’ll be interested to know about Maide control while you work out the details." The Maide control is an iPad app that you can use to interact with your CAE applications like Rhino.
This checklist used by Jim Lovell on the Apollo 13 mission recently sold at auction for over $388,000.
First came Pajama Jeans. Now there's Suitjamas.

Civil War Tokens is one of the more narrow branches of numismatics that I've come across.

At the risk of doing something I mock when others do it, artist Jonas Lund does a lot of web-based stuff that seem like things I could do. Like an installation of a shredder, connected to a website, shredding a photo of a camera.

Comedian Louis CK (who is absolutely hilarious) earned $1,000,000 in 12 days buy putting his latest standup routine up for sale on his website for $5 and without any DRM other  restrictions.

Science can be pretty mind boggling. Neodymium magnet + copper tube = eddy currents.

If my butt is my password I guarantee that no one will want to steal my identity.

The trailer for Prometheus, Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, is available for viewing.

I can't imagine a more fitting end to a Christmas Eve post than Terry Gilliam's Christmas Card from 1968. Happy holidays everyone (and here's why that's OK). order to practice charity. ~Albert Camus

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