Monday, February 22, 2016

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success

“There are people like Senhor José everywhere, who fill their time, or what they believe to be their spare time, by collecting stamps, coins, medals, vases, postcards, matchboxes, books, clocks, sport shirts, autographs, stones, clay figurines, empty beverage cans, little angels, cacti, opera programmes, lighters, pens, owls, music boxes, bottles, bonsai trees, paintings, mugs, pipes, glass obelisks, ceramic ducks, old toys, carnival masks, and they probably do so out of something that we might call metaphysical angst, perhaps because they cannot bear the idea of chaos being the one ruler of the universe, which is why, using their limited powers and with no divine help, they attempt to impose some order on the world, and for a short while they manage it, but only as long as they are there to defend their collection, because when the day comes when it must be dispersed, and that day always comes, either with their death or when the collector grows weary, everything goes back to its beginnings, everything returns to chaos.”
~ José Saramango, All the Names (trans. Margaret Jull Costa) Malchkeon loves long yet lean sentences

In his book Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About SuccessTIMES journalist Matthew Syed points out that even though we are always told to ‘embrace failure’, hardly anybody does. Except Jozef Imrich who is famous for his failures to bury and dyce his irony and mistakes ...

Sydney Drinking Water and safety fears

Sydney rape epidemic

The honeymoon appears to be over for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with the latest poll showing the Coalition and ALP are deadlocked. Labor and the Coalition are tied at 50 per cent each in two-party preferred terms, according to the Newspoll published in The Australian today.

Admitting failure is not easy – especially in business. It’s important to show people that they’re allowed to make mistakes but there is also the lesson of accountability. According to Syed, a “stigmatising attitude towards error” is the reality today despite the many articles telling us that mistakes generally are a good way to learn. The truth is we’re afraid of making mistakes and even more afraid of admitting we’ve made one, which is why sometimes we try to cover up our errors to avoid fault. Removing the fear of making mistakes won’t stop you from making one, but according to an article in The Guardian, having the right attitude and state of mind enables us to learn lessons from our failures.

IRS Fails To Follow Basic Web Security Procedures, Increases Risk Of Taxpayer Identity Theft
TaxGrrrl, IRS Issues ‘Dirty Dozen’ List Of Tax Schemes & Scams For 2016

Kay Bell, H&R Block CEO says some tax simplification necessary. But not enough to make people stay away from H&R Block!

*Thomas James Brennan was on foot patrol in Afghanistan when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded next to him. It left his mind jumbled. He couldn't quite put the details of what happened that day into place. He was diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder that's a common symptom of traumatic brain injuries. Then, his therapist handed him a spiral notebook Marine-turned-journalist wants to redefine war coverage

Using behavioural economics techniques, the company has identified the reasons why customers avoid reading their insurance documents, and used this information to redesign its own policy documentation Covéa uses behavioural techniques to make policies easier to understand

How to survive falling through the ice (NYT)

  • “British teenager creates robot lawyer to help people with their legal queries” [Mashable]

“There are three areas where libraries function as vibrant centers of America’s towns: technology, education, and community.”

The Atlantic 

The first-of-its-kind ruling was a significant victory for the Justice Department in a technology policy debate that pits digital privacy against national security interests. But Cook said “this moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake”, arguing that the order “has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.” First they came to get iPhone users then ...

“Like Imrich, Johnson invites love, as much as anyone who has ever picked up a pen. We love his honesty, his boldness, his courage, his golden ear for language. We love his ugliness and ungainliness, his irascibility, his self-doubts, his twinned perceptiveness and blindness toward himself. He is a great man riddled with flaws, above us and yet one of us, and as such claims our admiration and compassion.”
In short, Johnson is like media dragons, only more so. [Carol Zaleski returns to the subject this week in “Doctor Johnson’s failures.”]

Web Data Extractors 2016 – Extracting data from the internet has become an increasingly high priority for organizations with teams that focus on mining and leveraging huge amounts of data as part of an effective, collaborative and actionable work product. Tools and protocols to extract content rich information are in demand as researchers seek to discover new knowledge at an ever increasing rate. As robots (bots) and intelligent agents are at the heart of many extraction tools, Marcus Zillman has created a compilation of a wide range of free, fee and collaborative sources, services and sites that offer users a range of approaches to extract information from the web

Queenslanders will pay 20 per cent less to ride with Uber from today, as part of a month-long trial, reports The Courier Mail

20% Less Story: A gunmen that went on a random killing spree in Michigan killing at least six and seriously injuring two others over the weekend was an Uber driver who took fares between the shootings. In the space of four hours, the 45-year-old suspect Jason Dalton, is believed to have opened fire on victims outside an apartment complex, a Kia car dealership and a Cracker Barr ... An Uber representative confirmed that Dalton was a driver for the car-hailing service and said that he had passed background checks. In a emailed statement, the company’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, said Uber was assisting police with their investigation. Uber Killings ...  

Uber pays just over $400000 tax in Australia over three years

Trust Busting: The Effect of Fraud on Investor Behavior CorpGov

A bankruptcy judge ordered rapper 50 Cent to come to her courtroom and explain several pictures posted on social media websites that show him playing with stacks of cash. Judge Ann Nevins told the 40-year-old entertainer’s lawyer that his Instagram photos are raising questions about whether he is being truthful about his financial situation…Earlier court papers put a spotlight on three pictures of 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, with bundles of cash. One picture showed cash piles in his fridge…Another showed him arranging bundles to spell out the word “BROKE.” Judge Orders 50 Cent to Bankruptcy Court Over Instagram Photos [Bankruptcy Beat]
The Code of Hammurabi, Pliny’s Natural History, The Joy of Sex: The reference shelf contains multitudes, from ancient Babylon to Wikipedia... Kama S ...