How Human Networking Works

Keith Ferrazzi has written what amounts to a synopsis of his book, Never Eat Alone, as a howstuffworks article:

The era of that Networking Jerk is over. I learned that the hard way. Once, a mentor of mine said to me, “Stop driving yourself — and everyone else — crazy thinking about how to make yourself successful. Start thinking about how you’re going to make everyone around you successful.”

How to Read a CS Paper

Over at Lambda the Ultimate, the regulars are giving some tips on reading academic CS papers:

For a long time I tended to skip the formal stuff too readily. It can even be clearer than the prose, if it’s using a formalism you’re familiar with, anyway. I think the contradiction of formal systems is that they have a higher barrier to entry, but once you know the language they’re easier to understand because there are fewer opportunities for ambiguity.

Canadians at DARPA Grand Challenge

Michael Hiemstra tipped me off to some Canadians that are going to the DARPA Grand Challenge:

Autonosys has also become the only non-American team to qualify for the semi-finals of the 180-kilometre race for driverless vehicles through the Mojave desert, sponsored by the U.S. military’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. The race, which takes place in October, is known as the Grand Challenge.

Good luck, Autonosys!

Alternatives to Evolution

In an open letter to the Kansas School board,
Bobby Henderson demands that if Intelligent Design is to be taught in schools, so should his theory:

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

Relinquishing Control == Success

Peter Merholz advocates relinquishing control to customers:

Again and again, the history of the Web shows us the value of relinquishing control. Amazon’s customer comments were originally thought foolish by those who believed negative reviews would hurt sales. Instead, they increased trust, which drove more transactions. eBay’s open marketplace eschews centralized control of buyers and sellers, instead favoring a distributed management system where individuals rate one another. Not coincidentally, Google, Amazon, and eBay have all made available their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) so that others can leverage their information in unforeseen and innovative ways.

Forget Google…

I want a job at Applied Minds:

Co-founder Danny Hillis escorts me down a hallway that dead-ends into an old-fashioned red phone booth. The phone rings. He places receiver to ear.

“The blue moon jumps over the purple sky,” he says, and hangs up.

Suddenly, the booth becomes a door, swinging out to reveal a vast, open room filled with engineers, gadgets and big ideas.

It’s as if Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory just yawned wide to welcome us. Only here, all the candy plugs in.

“This is where the secret laboratories are,” Hillis says.

Dark Future Ahead for Programmers?

In an SFGate article, Rachel Konrad writes:

The research firm Gartner Inc. predicts that up to 15 percent of tech workers will drop out of the profession by 2010, not including those who retire or die. Most will leave because they can’t get jobs or can get more money or job satisfaction elsewhere. Within the same period, worldwide demand for technology developers — a job category ranging from programmers people who maintain everything from mainframes to employee laptops — is forecast to shrink by 30 percent.