rePost:Business and Snake’s Oil Men:Linus’ blog: SSD followup

I wrote this yesterday about my take on business and snake’s oil sales men and realize that sometimes they are not trying to fool you into a decision.  It is sad but sometimes people don’t try to think things through and investigate the stuff they are trying to say. Here Linus Torvalds shows us why a lot of reviews cannot be trusted, and judging from the way he says this I believe he is even referring to some people who are said to be professional reviewers. Things like this used to make me sad, then I realized that when something becomes useless they tend to become irrelevant to people and they tend to be cast off, like a year old fad. The thing is we need to try to live more aware of things and try to always go beyond what is obvious and easy to get. Do not subscribe to labels and pre conceptions, exercise that which we have that makes us more than animals!

Sadly, almost none of the reviews seemed to ever catch on to that, as they were all looking at the (totally irrelevant) throughput numbers that basically don’t matter in any real-life situation. Everybody just quoted the nice big marketing numbers, because finding the numbers that matter more to actual human perception (notably: average and maximum latency) was so much harder, and most disk benchmarks are crap and don’t even give those numbers.

Which is why I was so happy to see this review at AnandTech. Half the numbers quoted are still the worthless ones (I guess you can’t avoid quoting the industry standard benchmarks, even when they are horribly bad), but much of the actual discussion is about how unusable a drive is when it has maximum latencies in the hundreds of milliseconds.

via Linus’ blog: SSD followup.

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Learned Today:What I Want For A Business:Seth’s Blog: Where have all the agents gone?

A long conversation about two weeks ago with Chuck and Vince was about finding something to do to earn money in our free time.  Suffice to say one of my lamer ideas that night was to sell something in sites like multiply and ebay. Just realize that that is not what I want for a business, in fact I realize that even if we did something like that I would not really be satisfied with it.

See, I think I try to find my own way on most things. The paths I take may have been walked by other people but I try to be aware whenever I walk a certain path, its not about originality but about walking the path that is for you.

What irked me about my idea is that I was unwittingly selling out. I wanted to create, I wanted to walk a path for me and I’ve had this long irritation with middle men.

Why? It seems that most middle men/women I encounter can be said to bring little to no value the connection.  Let’s take the lot of  computer sellers in a mall floor. To protect myself from litigation lets call this mall SharonMall and the mall floor/part as CyberFloor. Using my totally unscientific and totally biased observations and my talent for overhearing a lot of things.

I observed that:

  • The sellers were basically just a little knowledgeable with their products than the people they are selling to.
  • The sellers who were really knowledgeable were somewhat aloof, they gave of this vibe that you were stupid trust them.
  • The best sellers were basically honest and didn’t talk down to their possible customers. (If you’ve watched 40 year old virgin, I believe).
  • A lot of people valued time and in a way this is logical, but it also meant that a lot of sellers survive on being available for the sale when the more efficient sellers are swamped.

Basically people who are not the best sellers tend to be snakes oil salespeople. I don’t want to be a snake’s oil sales men. I would like something that brings value to this world in a real sense not a rearranging the chairs. I want to create more chairs! I almost forgot that. I am glad even if I forgot about it , my friends have a higher standard than what I have. Cheers!

Middlemen add value when they bring taste or judgment or trust to bear on a transaction that isn’t transparent. Literary agents are crucial when publishers believe that their choice of content is essential but have too many choices and too little time. But publishers don’t trust every literary agent. They trust agents they believe in. Key point: anonymous agents are interchangeable and virtually worthless. Agents that don’t do anything but help one side find the other side in a human approximation of Google aren’t so helpful any more.

Think about how anonymous the typical real estate broker is. He will sell almost any house or represent almost any buyer. When selling a house, he has a fiduciary responsibility to represent that house to the best of his ability. Just like every other broker. The great real estate brokers do far more than this.

via Seth’s Blog: Where have all the agents gone?.

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rePost:Draconian Anti Internet Free Speech Laws in Thailand:Global Voices Online » Thailand: Web director arrested for “allowing offensive comments”

Hot And Sweaty Thai
Image by via Flickr

I find te thai a wonderful people full of warmth and hospitality(next to Filipinos). It is sad that the Thai people still live under such draconian oppressive laws, although I understand why there are laws such as these, a kind of command responsibility concept, It is unfortunate that the government does not realize that the price for responsibility is more than the pound of flesh they exact on the service providers . They are stiffling that which makes humans unique. Thought and creativity.

In Thailand, there is a “draconian” computer crime bill that states that any service provider who deliberately let a third party post anything that violates the law is also subject to the same liability as the person who committed the offense. Excerpts from the 2007 Computer Crime Act which the Prachatai editor allegedly violated:

Global Voices Online » Thailand: Web director arrested for “allowing offensive comments”.

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-rePost-Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street

FHM winner
Image by SUPERL0L0 via Flickr

Thanks to Paul Wilmott for the pointer here. I learned a lot from this article by Felix Salmon and its somewhat fun to read!

In the world of finance, too many quants see only the numbers before them and forget about the concrete reality the figures are supposed to represent. They think they can model just a few years’ worth of data and come up with probabilities for things that may happen only once every 10,000 years. Then people invest on the basis of those probabilities, without stopping to wonder whether the numbers make any sense at all.

As Li himself said of his own model: “The most dangerous part is when people believe everything coming out of it.”

Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street.

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rePost:Vesess » The Second Age of SMEs

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Explains why the authors think that the present financial crisis is the start of the Second Age of SME’s. Excellent read.

Think small. Think efficient. Share the returns.

The point we’re trying to make, however, is that in an economic climate like this, only a SME could afford to offer such discounts, and that it is precisely this ability that will enable such businesses to flourish despite the problems we face. For the first time in years, small businesses have the ability to truly shine, and we’d love to hear how some of our fellow players are using small and efficient business practices to attract customers and grow, despite everything going on around them.

Vesess » The Second Age of SMEs.

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