Online reading digest week ending 30th December 2012

Somewhat relieved that this week hasn't been a heavy online reading week. Perhaps I'm just trying to persuade myself that I do actually have a family.

Only three articles that I found noteworthy enough to file in Evernote for blogging:

Attack of the apps: Popular smartphone games go offline, ready for a Christmas tree near you
This felt mildly depressing.

Inspired by the thought that I should research better ways of prepping vegetables for Christmas dinner.

Let's talk Xbox 720: Xbox World shares everything it knows about the next console
Shiny new toy for next year? Apart from the fact that I hardly ever get time to play games now.


Online reading digest week ending 23rd December 2012

Various items from my random surfing ...

Microsoft claims a meaningless 88% win rate in its new ‘Meet Your Match’ Windows Phone challenge
Lies, damn lies and statistics.

The Most Popular Futurist On The Planet Will Help Google Develop The Next Big Thing
How do you get to be the most popular futurist on the planet?

Google Launches Another Killer App On iPhone
Still not really that excited about video sharing.

8 Ways Evernote Can Help You Get More from Your Research in 2013, and a New Ambassador!
I'm getting more and more into Evernote as a way of capturing lots of useful information. Also finding that I'm starting to build something of a productive workflow with it. Especially good for creating reading lists of stuff I want to read at some point, and this almost allows me to do so from anywhere (if my iPhone is sync'ed).

Google's cloud-based music-matching service has arrived... and it's free
iTunes match has lots of irritating features. I think I'm going to move to this.

Some War Z Images Were Ripped From The Walking Dead
Ah, annoyed gaming fans. Always good for amusement value.

The simple domain
Gave me a reason to think differently about some organisational issues. I'm not sure it necessarily pushed me in a particularly valuable direction. Different viewpoints are often helpful generally though.

Thank you, and we’re listening
That was quite a media (publicity?) storm you managed to create there Instagram.

Your Guide on How to Immunize Yourself Against Misinformation in 2013
In summary: don't read popular media.

And all the rest of the things I found interesting (not that I'm running out of energy here ...):
How do we enable young makers, without hiding the details of how things really work?
The End of the Beginning
The Biggest Disappointments Of 2012
BBC's Robert Peston appeals for return of late wife's engagement ring after burglary
Less Is More: Why a 50% Solution Hit the Sweet Spot
Google reportedly working with Motorola to design its own 'X Phone'
If You're Serious About Ideas, Get Serious About Blogging
Mobile’s Next Major Integrated Layer: OS-Level Home Automation
Infographic: What is your preferred method of wasting time at work?
Should startups bother having original ideas if big companies can just come along and clone them?
We’re all couch potatoes now
Dropbox: A nebulous future


Online reading digest week ending 16th December 2012

Things I've been reading about this week:

Microsoft balks at Apple’s 30% fee, leaving SkyDrive and apps that integrate with it in the lurch on iOS
Interesting. Apple takes a 30% cut of service subscription revenues when purchased through iOS apps. With some particularly intriguing long-term implications.

The Inconvenient Truth About SEO
I kind of don't find the opinions in here that surprising. Although intuitively I agree with the sentiment that people can easily lose sight of the purpose of creating valuable content, rather than trying to get the best position in search engine rankings. As Einstein said "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."

13 killer Chrome apps to replace your desktop software
Well maybe. But, arguably, why would you bother?

Turn your notes into writing using the Cornell method
I really want to get back into proper reading, researching and note taking. I think something like this approach might be useful in both personally and professionally.

I Love The Smell Of Sepia Tone In The Morning
Don't base the value proposition of your business on me-too features. Run a different race.

How an Internet-connected Samsung TV can spill your deepest secrets
What I can't decide is how real the threat is to a normal person.

Londoners, time to put your Oyster card in a different wallet

When Wall Street Investors Favor Performance Over Ethics
I can't decide if this is a good example of things being wrong in the way that capital markets work or a bit of a red herring.

It Took This Investor 40 Years To Plan His Retirement And Two Years To Lose It

You Have To Know How Millennials Think To Get The Best Out Of Them
Good management involves knowing your people, regardless of what generational label you apply. Build great relationships with your staff. Be clear about performance, both expected and achieved. Practise situational leadership. The end.

Why Google Just Made iPhone King

Facebook Changes Privacy Controls, Forces Users to be Searchable

Dear Yammer and the entire cloud wave: If you expect companies to use your software, it has to work
Maybe. But a lot of people are still riding the hype (and low costs).

Time to Revisit The Risk Discussion
I keep making the point about the difference between uncertainty arising from chance and uncertain outcomes from predictable events. I think the failure to fully appreciate the difference causes some of the biggest failings in many project risk management strategies. For example, in many IT projects the single biggest risk is simply uncertainty in estimates. The work has never been done before, therefore it isn't possible to accurately assess the likely time / effort required. In most cases this risk isn't listed on a risk log (not that surprising, since responses to it are actually limited). And yet it can easily dwarf the aggregated impact of all the other risks on the log. Which means that a lot of risk management activities on a project like that have a very poor cost-benefit case and are, essentially, just a waste of time.

The Web We Lost

Google+ Didn’t Stop With 18 New Features, Updates iOS App With Photo Album Swipes, Conversation Cards And More

Anyone Who Believes In 'Mobile First' Needs To Look At This Photo
Common sense. A good reminder.

Google Does Winter Cleaning, Shuts Down “Less Popular” Calendar Features, Punchd Loyalty App, Multiple Sync Services

You are not a scrounger: a letter to a disabled reader
Frightening and moving.

Every Apple-Made App On Your iPhone Can Be Replaced By A Better App
Fantastical might be worthy of experimentation.

Is meaningful action on guns possible?
Some opinions are just too hard for me to even begin to attempt to empathise with. I just can't get my head around the way of thinking that opposes gun control given all the evidence of the problems arising from guns. As a side note, I frequently find myself wishing that news reports would remember to contextualise gun crime in the United States by making meaningful comparisons with similar sized populations and demographics.

Meet the World’s Cheapest Venture Capitalist

The right to resell: a ticking time bomb over digital goods


Online Reading Digest week ending 9th December 2012

Things I've noticed on the web this week:

19 handy Google tricks that you weren’t aware of
I'm still not sure why I read news articles that have a title of "XX things you didn't know about something". There might be a few interesting things in here if you've only recently encountered Google. But probably best to let you eyes get used to the sunlight, because you've presumably been living under a rock for the last decade if that's the case.

KPMG survey finds a ‘stronger than expected’ demand for cloud services
Disappointingly empty of meaningful statistics (why, exactly, am I surprised by this?). And driven by interviewing cloud service providers. That these businesses expect a strong demand for their product is surprising for what reason?

Amazon’s Appstore Suggests the Fire Is Blowing Up
This week's reading digest appears to mostly involve pouring some level of scorn on the stuff I've read. Maybe I'm just grumpy right now. There's no evidence presented in the article itself that justifies the claim that the Fire is particularly blowing up. A 500% increase in a year is interesting, but how does that compare to the growth in the overall market? It's a meaningless number without that comparison. And, of course, Amazon was starting from a comparatively low base compared to other app stores. Given the general state of mobile devices and app purchases, isn't it reasonable to assume that there will be a high level of growth?

Seven Productivity Myths, Debunked by Science (and Common Sense)
Even though I'm not particularly convinced I've ever held any of these myths, this was still a worthwhile read. I especially liked that attempts to link to some current research. Although there are always limitations in doing so, because you can't provide the full citation trail nor easily ensure you adequately represent the overall state of the literature in a given field.

Autumn Statement: Young lives are being ruined because of Britain's timid Treasury
I don't know if I agree with the politics in here, but I do worry about the economic future for Seb. It still feels that we're increasingly borrowing from our children's future to fund our own lives now. And that feels morally wrong. So this was slightly depressing reading.