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Archived Posts for December 2010

Please note: The posts on this page are at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the posts may no longer be held.
31
Dec 10
Fri

The Joy of Stats

This is a fantastic documentary – highly recommended to watch. I love stats!

  1:44pm  •  Science & Technology  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh 10 Best Infographics of 2010 (Now Sourcing) http://post.ly/1PbZZ

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The Mobile Device App Market

I’ve been hearing a lot over the last month about how the Big Growth Area for 2011 is the mobile market. Here are a random couple articles that are relevant:

  12:28am  •  Internet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
30
Dec 10
Thu
28
Dec 10
Tue

Reddit talks about what it was like growing up in the 70s & 80s

Some samples from an intriguing Ask Me thread:

• No cell phone, pagers, texting, voicemail, or answering machines. If you wanted to meet up with someone, you had to call them until they were home and picked up, and then make plans. If you ended up at a party, that was usually it. No “hey I’m over at this address, swing by” or anything like that.
• No Facebook or email. Long distance calling was expensive. When I left for college, I wouldn’t hear from friends for months, unless one of us bothered to write a letter and mail it. You would just lose track of people.
• Sundays were the days to call family and friends, because rates were cheaper.
• If you went to study abroad, or if you joined the Peace Corps, you were really isolated from friends and family, pre-Internet. You might send or receive letters on very thin airmail paper, but imagine 2 years not speaking to, or seeing your friends and family, except for an occasional snapshot.
• If you ran out of film, no more pictures. You would be very selective about what to take a picture of.
• There is no film or video of me (or most of my friends) throughout our childhoods. Super-8 had died off, and VHS wasn’t yet available. I have no idea what I acted or sounded like, or how poorly I played soccer.
• You had to book all travel through a travel agent (or call the airline, but go to the airport to get the ticket).
• You could buy a plane ticket with cash and just walk onto the plane.
• If you wanted to know something, there was no Google or Wikipedia. You might be able to find out a basic fact if you had a set of encyclopedias. But most information, from important stuff to basic trivia (“who was in that movie?”) was not available unless you had a reference book or went to the library and really searched.
• if you really liked someone, as a rite of courtship you would make them a mix tape. you needed a dual-tape deck, or possibly a boom box. it had a cassette “player” on the left and a cassette “recorder” on the right. you’d put a blank tape in the recorder, and then cue up sixteen to twenty audio cassettes in the player — using the fast-forward and rewind buttons over and over until you got to the start of the song you liked on each one. you pressed the “play” button on the cassette player on the left and the “record” button on the cassette player on the right at the same time, and the blank tape would gradually get a (hissy, degraded, second- or third- generation) copy of each song added to it. 90 minute blank tapes were standard, so you had 45 minutes on each side. you only ever had a vague idea of how much space was left on the tape.
• Playgrounds were covered in wood chips. These were meant to break your fall off of the giant rusted steel playground structures that had large bolts and lugnuts sticking out everywhere. There was no such thing as soft padding anywhere. Playgrounds were made of steel, wood, and blood stains.
• Kids born in the 90s and even the early 2000s have no fucking idea what it’s like to grow up [or just live] without constant access to media and information. Their heads would explode if they had to live the first 15-20 years of their life with [at most] 14.4 access to the outside world and no cell phone.

Oh man, I’m part of that generation… even though it was the tail end, that is still somewhat depressing. I think the difference between kids growing up in my parents’ generation and my generation is nothing compared to the difference between life for my generation and the next (i.e. the kids who were born just after the turn of the century).

One of my childhood memories: after school (year 1 or 2), I’d hang around my parents’ workplace, waiting for them to finish up for the day. I would spend the afternoon hanging out at the nearby coin-op laundry watching cigarette-smoking teenagers play a Galaga machine, climbing trees, getting ice blocks at the local milkbar, and getting into general mischief with a couple of friends. Hours of fun. And then at home I would play RPGs like Shadowkeep, Wizardry and Bard’s Tale and classics like Lode Runner, Choplifter, Dig Dug and Robotron.

  11:18pm  •  Science & Technology  •  Tweet This  •  Comments (1)  • 

Cities over the last 365 days (2010)

Reprising this 2009 post, here’s a list of cities and towns I’ve passed through over the last year. It’s a very sorry looking list compared to all the past lists… hoping to remedy that in 2011.

Los Angeles, CA
Laguna Beach (OC), CA
San Francisco, CA*
New York, NY*
Union City, NJ†
Salt Lake City, UT*
Ogden, UT
West Yellowstone, MT
Yellowstone National Park, WY*
Blackfoot, ID†
Napa region, CA*
Tokyo, Japan
Washington, DC

All places had overnight visits, unless marked with ††.
* Multiple entries, non-consecutive days.
†† Daytrip only.

  11:06pm  •  Travel  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh Groupon is entering Aus market as "Stardeals" and is suing Scoopon (but why in the US?) http://digs.by/dQH61A

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  stuloh Maybe this will make app creators think about privacy and disclose their privacy practices: http://on.wsj.com/eZqnf1 Apple is being sued too

  11:25am  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
27
Dec 10
Mon

  stuloh Australian real estate: Going, going, going … up! (Globe and Mail) http://post.ly/1Of5H

  6:02pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh US$, A$ and C$ are pretty much all at parity at the moment

  5:49pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours (NY Times) http://post.ly/1OekQ

  5:35pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
25
Dec 10
Sat

Merry Christmas!

May your days be merry and bright!

Oh, and this is awesome:

  1:35am  •  Life  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
22
Dec 10
Wed

London Review of Books on the topic of Bed Bugs

LROB writes about one of the hotter pop topics of 2010: bed bugs. I found this part to be somewhat amusing:

The landmark case this century has been Mathias v. Accor Economy Lodging Inc. The plaintiffs, Burl and Desiree Mathias, were bitten by bugs while staying at a Motel 6 in downtown Chicago. They claimed that in allowing guests to be attacked by bedbugs in rooms costing upwards of $100 a day, the defendant was guilty of wilful and wanton conduct. The jury awarded each plaintiff $5000 in compensatory damages and $186,000 in punitive damages. The defendant appealed, complaining primarily about the level of the punitive damages, but the appeal court judge, Richard Posner, dismissed the appeal. His decision was bold: a Supreme Court statement had been made not long before that “few awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages, to a significant degree, will satisfy due process.”

The “lower than 10x” rule of thumb was laid out in State Farm.

  6:43pm  •  Law  •  Tweet This  •  Comments (1)  • 
19
Dec 10
Sun

  stuloh Why old people make better entrepreneurs than young ones (Slate) http://post.ly/1MCTy

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  stuloh Doctoral degrees: The disposable academic (Economist) http://post.ly/1MCFQ

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16
Dec 10
Thu

  stuloh The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical (Serious Eats) http://post.ly/1LcC5

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15
Dec 10
Wed

  stuloh Happy that two former LLM classmates got made up as partners in their law firms for 2011!

  11:04pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
13
Dec 10
Mon
12
Dec 10
Sun

  stuloh Wall Street Firm Uses Algorithms to Make Sports Betting Like Stock Trading (Wired) http://post.ly/1KMyk

  5:17pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh The case against gold (Globe and Mail) http://post.ly/1KMs4

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8
Dec 10
Wed

  stuloh The United States of Autocomplete http://post.ly/1JJ70

  9:29pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
6
Dec 10
Mon

  stuloh Google TV device in the house... but it's a really disappointing piece of kit. Would so not be happy if we had to pay for it.

  11:57pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh How does Gilt's business model work? (Quora) http://post.ly/1IhnY

  9:34pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh How to Fold A Fitted Sheet (Youtube) http://post.ly/1IgTT

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5
Dec 10
Sun

  stuloh Cocaine Kitty http://post.ly/1II3B

  11:04am  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh WikiLeaks is a legal issue, not a tech one - The Economist: http://econ.st/e3pkpv

  12:39am  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
3
Dec 10
Fri

  stuloh Australia’s dangerous economic divide (The Globe and Mail) http://post.ly/1HrU3

  7:49pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
2
Dec 10
Thu

  stuloh RT @lcfranco: While the world hangs on to know who organizes soccer games, Nasa finds a new type of lifeform http://gizmo.do/fPDYVo

  7:53am  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh Russia and Qatar will host 2018 and 2022 World Cups

  7:47am  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
1
Dec 10
Wed

Survivor Nicaragua Ep 12

Bunch of freaking quitters. Weak. WEAK. Zero respect. And a lifelong regret for the two of them. There’s just something about this that really annoys me. Incredibly disappointing.

Now pulling for Jane or Holly to win. They are both impressive women and deserve it.

  11:09pm  •  TV  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

  stuloh Jamie Dimon - America’s Least-Hated Banker (NY Times Magazine) http://post.ly/1HHW1

  8:49pm  •  Tweet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

An incubator blacklists a law firm

TechCrunch reported that The Founder Institute blacklisted Gunderson Dettmer, a reputable VC-focused law firm for having:

caused problems for Founders around the country. In New York, Gunderson has told Founders that Class F stock hurts entrepreneurs and allegedly spread negative rumors about other law firms to secure clients from the program. In San Diego, associates at Gunderson billed Founders for cosmetic changes to template agreements that have been accepted “as is” by dozens of lawyers from other firms across the country. In the Bay Area, Gunderson billed multiple rounds of cosmetic changes to standard investment agreements that caused at least one Graduate financing to fall apart needlessly. The Institute has contacted various attorneys at Gunderson and had unsatisfactory responses.

I’ve never had any dealings with Gunderson (apart from hearing one of their partners present about the firm once), but I was still happy to see below the TC article a real flood of comments from clients and former clients expressing how much of a great experience they had with them. E.g:

In fact, GD single-handedly saved our Series B financing deal with a heroic, creative, out-of-the-box solution on a midnight “party line” call with 2 VC firms, 2 law firms, and 2 founders. Additionally, in a handful of other separate cases, GD has generously done me a number of favors (some gratis) that has helped minimize if not eliminate costs and friction.

I’m a bit surprised by the experiences depicted by FI as my take on GD is consistent with other founders’ experiences that I’ve heard and I’d be happy to share more with anyone who contacts me directly. My guess is that, much like any firm (i.e. VC, accounting, etc), what really matters are the people you work with and I can vouch for every attorney I’ve worked with at GD.

I guess the two things here are: when evaluating whether to pick a firm, solicit multiple opinions; and often it’s the particular partner you work with rather than the firm you work with (although the higher caliber the firm, the greater the chance that the partner you get, if picked at random, is going to be a gun).

  7:53pm  •  Law  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 


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