Links for 26th March 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. CrowdSourcing the Bank Recovery

    "While the market may, in the best of circumstances, have some of the self-regulatory features of nature, we can’t expect it to act like nature when so many of the underlying rules have been rigged. Auction-determined prices will not reflect underlying value when some large percent of risk has been removed. And the percentage of risk assumed by government remains the same, regardless of the riskiness of the toxic asset. So, playing the game properly, investors should go for the highest odds instead of the lowest. Unless they don’t."

    Tagged with: economicsbankingUSrecoverymarketsfinance

  2. Interview: Amazon’s cloud computing evangelist Adam Selipsky is determined to find the silver lining in ‘capital-constrained’ times

    "Selipsky must have felt a touch of terror when Amazon's S3 service failed for seven hours last July, paralysing some of AWS's 490,000 registered customers, including the industry darling, Twitter. If so, he's hiding it well. "Our customers have been very forgiving with us because they've seen that our overall performance has been superior to the performance they've been able to achieve elsewhere," says Selipsky. "The question is not whether it is literally 100% but how does it compare to the performance of services elsewhere?""

    Tagged with: businesseconomicscloud-computingAmazonMechanical-Turkfree-market


    "… these states are well on the road to becoming hollow states. A hollow state is different from a failed state in that it continues to exist on the international stage. It has all the standard edifices of governance although most are heavily corrupted and in thrall to global corporate/monied elites. It continues to deliver political goods (albeit to a vastly diminished group, usually around the capital) and maintains a military. Further, in sections of the country, there is an appearance of normal life."

    Tagged with: politicsgovernmenthollow-statefailed-statenation-staterealpolitikguerrillaterrorismsecessionnew-southsea

  4. No Nonsense Self Defense – Reliable information for dangerous situations

    Interesting, once you get past the hard-boiled lingo of some of the articles. They mention somewhere that a lot of writers use the site to research character interaction; browsing around, you can see why.

    Tagged with: psychologysafetyself-defenceaggressionleadershipviolenceresearchcharacterisation

  5. Building a Brain on a Silicon Chip

    "The advantage of this hardwired approach, as opposed to a simulation, Karlheinz continues, is that it allows researchers to recreate the brain-like structure in a way that is truly parallel. Getting simulations to run in real time requires huge amounts of computing power. Plus, physical models are able to run much faster and are more scalable. In fact, the current prototype can operate about 100,000 times faster than a real human brain. "We can simulate a day in a second," says Karlheinz."

    Tagged with: brainhardwareneurosciencecomputingaisimulationtranshumanismsingularity

  6. Space storm alert: 90 seconds from catastrophe

    "Over the last few decades, western civilisations have busily sown the seeds of their own destruction. Our modern way of life, with its reliance on technology, has unwittingly exposed us to an extraordinary danger: plasma balls spewed from the surface of the sun could wipe out our power grids, with catastrophic consequences."

    Tagged with: spacesunstormspace-weatherelectromagneticpowergridinfrastructureapocalypsedisaster

  7. How cities should deal with squatters

    "Governments are sometimes tempted to respond to a spike in this form of outlaw residency by simply forcing squatters out. The better strategy, however is to treat squatting as a symptom of a simultaneous failure of both the market and the government. Viewed in this light, an outbreak of squatting is a sign that governments should change their housing policies to make it easier for poor people to find the housing they need—as law-abiders instead of renegades."

    Tagged with: urbanhousingUSsquattingpropertyeconomics

  8. Common Mistakes in Web Design

    Some good general tips here.

    Tagged with: webdesigntypographyusabilitylayoutcommonmistakes

  9. Hey, Janet! Have You Got Syfy?

    "Of course, part of what really amuses me is that the brand image of the “Sci-Fi” label is pretty much a perfect match for the quality-level and direction the programming of the channel seems to be pitched at. Hmmmm. Maybe, they’re right after all to retain the sound but spell it differently just to look a little bit more retarded on top. Maybe it does capture their USP: obsolescent, gauche, puerile, schlocky, kitschy wank for inadequate fanatics with a complete lack of self-awareness! Now even more retarded!" Hal Duncan is a deity.

    Tagged with: sfsciencefictionfandomsci-fibrandingrantepic

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