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+ - High Frequency Trading and Finance's Race to Irrelevance

Submitted by hype7
hype7 (239530) writes "The Harvard Business Review is running a fascinating article on how finance is increasingly abstracting itself — and the gains it makes — away from the creation of value in the real world, and how High Frequency Trading is the most extreme version of this phenomenon yet. From the article: High frequency trading is a different phenomenon from the increasing focus on short term returns by human investors. But they’re borne from a similar mindset: one in which financial returns are the priority, independent of whether they’re associated with something innovative or useful in the real world. What Lewis’s book demonstrated to me isn’t just how “bad” HFTs are per se, but rather, what happens when finance keeps walking down the path it seems to be set on — a path that involves abstracting itself from the creation of real-world value. The final destination? It will enter a world entirely of its own — a world in which it is fighting to capture value that is completely independent of whether any is created in the first place."

+ - Good engineering managers aren't just hard to find — they don't exist->

Submitted by hype7
hype7 (239530) writes "Here's a provocative article; the VP of engineering of a Sequoia-backed startup in Silicon Valley makes the case that good engineering managers aren't just hard to find — that they basically don't exist. The crux of his argument? The best engineers get all the benefits of being leaders, but without needing to take on the rather painful duties of management. So they choose not to move up. Compare this to the engineers who aren't as strong, and use the opportunity to move up as a way to get their voice heard."
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Comment: "We believed we knew better what customers needed (Score 4, Insightful) 278

by hype7 (#44996211) Attached to: How BlackBerry Blew It

"We believed we knew better what customers needed long term than they did."

Yeah, except Steve Jobs thought this too, and look where Apple is.

This piece is interesting as a historical account but, like all these journalistic articles on why something happened, it's all hindsight 20/20 bullshit. If you want to understand why you can't trust the press to really explain the cause and effect of events, I encourage you to check out this book: The Halo Effect. Tears it all apart.

+ - Your Smartphone Is Working for the Surveillance State->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Harvard Business Review is is running an article on the recent revelations around PRISM, drawing the parallel between the East German surveillance state and what the US Government has managed to achieve. From the article: "In terms of the capability to listen to, watch and keep tabs on what its citizens are doing, the East German government could not possibly have dreamed of achieving what the United States government has managed to put in place today. The execution of these systems is, as you'd expect, very different. The Germans relied upon people, which, even if not entirely effective, must have been absolutely terrifying: if for no other reason than you weren't sure who you could and could not trust. There was always that chance someone was reporting back on you. But as any internet entrepreneur will tell you, relying entirely on people makes scaling difficult. Technology, on the other hand, makes it much easier. And that means that in many respects, what has emerged today is almost more pernicious; because that same technology has effectively turned not just some, but every single person you communicate with using technology — your acquaintances, your colleagues, your family and your friends — into those equivalent informants.""
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+ - Your iPhone Works for the Secret Police->

Submitted by hype7
hype7 (239530) writes "The Harvard Business Review (of all places) is running an article putting the revelations of PRISM and Verizon in the context of the surveillance state that US Government has managed to build — and compares the effort with that of the Stasi under East Germany. From the article: "But as any internet entrepreneur will tell you, relying entirely on people makes scaling difficult. Technology, on the other hand, makes it much easier. And that means that in many respects, what has emerged today is almost more pernicious; because that same technology has effectively turned not just some, but every single person you communicate with using technology — your acquaintances, your colleagues, your family and your friends — into those equivalent informants.""
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Businesses

+ - The 787's Problems Run Deeper Than Outsourcing->

Submitted by TAGmclaren
TAGmclaren (820485) writes "The Harvard Business Review is running a fascinating article exploring the issues facing Boeing's Dreamliner. Rather than simply blaming outsourcing, as much of the commentary has been focused on, the article delves into the benefits of integration and how being integrated when developing a new product gives engineers more degrees of freedom. From the article: "Historically, Boeing understood that, and had worked with its subcontractors on that basis. If it was going to rely on them, it would provide them with detailed blueprints of the parts that were required — after Boeing had already created them. That, in turn, meant that Boeing had to design all the relevant pieces of the puzzle itself, first. But with the 787, it appears that Boeing tried a very different approach: rather than having the puzzle solved and asking the suppliers to provide a defined puzzle piece, they asked suppliers to create their own blueprints for parts. The puzzle hadn't been properly solved when Boeing asked suppliers for the pieces. It should come as little surprise then, that as the components came back from far-flung suppliers, for the first plane ever made of composite materials... those parts didn't all fit together. Time and cost blew out accordingly.

It's easy to blame the outsourcing. But, in this instance, it wasn't so much the outsourcing, as it was the decision to modularize a complicated problem too soon.""

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Businesses

+ - Aaron Swartz, and the corruption of America's justice system-> 4

Submitted by
hype7
hype7 writes "Harvard Business Review is running an article on the criminal justice system, and how what happened to Aaron Swartz isn't just an example of a "rogue prosecutor", but rather, a function of something that Aaron was fighting against — the influence of money in politics. From TFA: I simply don't know how else to explain the huge disparity in how justice was sought in these very different cases — other than regulatory capture. It seems you can get away with laundering money for the drug cartels, so long as you've been generous with the those responsible for appointing district attorneys; or better yet, if your industry has paid to undo all the regulation that prevents you from getting too big to fail. Similarly, when your lobby has been helping Congress draft the laws that govern food, drugs, and cosmetics, you can make sure that the federal sentencing guidelines are only six months should you breach the responsible corporate officer doctrine. This in turn means you can inject unsafe cement into people's spines with relative impunity. But woe betide you if, in the name of openness and sharing human knowledge, you decide to download academic journals. Because that sounds a lot like piracy — and we all know how much has been spent to stamp that scourge out."
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Businesses

+ - How corruption is strangling US Innovation-> 1

Submitted by
hype7
hype7 writes "The Harvard Business Review is running a very interesting piece on how money in politics is having a deleterious effect on US innovation. From the article:

if you were in any doubt how deep inside the political system the system of contributions have allowed incumbents to insert their hands, take a look at what happened when the Republican Study Committee released a paper pointing out some of the problems with current copyright regime. The debate was stifled within 24 hours. And just for good measure, Rep Marsha Blackburn, whose district abuts Nashville and who received more money from the music industry than any other Republican congressional candidate, apparently had the author of the study, Derek Khanna, fired. Sure, debate around policy is important, but it's clearly not as important as raising campaign funds.

"

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Comment: Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (Score 2) 861

by hype7 (#42039677) Attached to: Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

no, he wasn't. because until one of these systems gets to 100% (and by 100%, I mean 100%) then any strategist would tell you the natural reaction would simply be to lob more nukes. it actually results in INCREASED proliferation of nuclear weapons, and makes the world a less safe place.

and if one of them does get to 100%, they'll do what the russians threatened to do over the most recent european missile defence shield — just build missiles that the systems can't get a fix on: http://rense.com/general69/tiddosdzdd27makes.htm

Patents

+ - Who cares if Samsung copied Apple->

Submitted by
hype7
hype7 writes "The Harvard Business Review is running an article that's questioning the very premise of the Apple v Samsung case. From the article: "It isn't the first time Apple has been involved in a high-stakes "copying" court case. If you go back to the mid-1990s, there was their famous "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft. Apple's case there was eerily similar to the one they're running today: "we innovated in creating the graphical user interface; Microsoft copied us; if our competitors simply copy us, it's impossible for us to keep innovating." Apple ended up losing the case. But it's what happened next that's really fascinating. Apple didn't stop innovating at all.""
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Comment: here we go again (Score 5, Insightful) 713

by hype7 (#40373481) Attached to: David Lowery On the Ethics of Music Piracy

the quintessential disrupted producer, complaining about how the world is not conforming to the way they want it to be, or worse yet, the way the world "should" be.

I'm sure the exact same essay was written somewhere upon the development of the phonograph. "but how will we get paid if they can play back our music a thousand times once it has been recorded?" probably the same argument, too, by playhouse actors when recording movies came along.

the artists/actors might not like it, but the development of technology drives down the price, massively opens the market up, and, if they're smart, allows them to make more money than their predecessors could ever have dreamed of.

writing letters complaining about how people are not paying enough to you is just so 1842.

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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