Category Archives: Asides

Interesting links.

As the engineer and writer Alex Payne put it, these startups represent “the field offices of a large distributed workforce assembled by venture capitalists and their associate institutions,” doing low-overhead, low-risk R&D for five corporate giants. In such a system, the real disillusionment isn’t the discovery that you’re unlikely to become a billionaire; it’s the realization that your feeling of autonomy is a fantasy, and that the vast majority of you have been set up to fail by design.

From Wired’s One Startup’s Struggle to Survive the Silicon Valley Gold Rush.

Sometimes you have an idea, and the universe delivers. Hotel WiFi Speed Test let’s you speed test and search hotels by their internet speed, something I was wishing existed just last week. Since I work primarily on the road, I would pick fast internet over pretty much any other amenity a hotel could possibly offer. Speedspot also offers similar info. It’s funny how sometimes the less expensive hotels often have much better internet — I think this is because they try to do less with captive proxies and such.

I’ve been enjoying a new-to-me app called Blinkist, which is basically summaries of interesting non-fiction books. The summaries are really well-written, and I enjoy reading them as refreshers even when I’ve read an entire book already. Many business or non-fiction books I read would have been better as an article, and you can tell when a publisher has encouraged an author to pad the book a bit so they can sell it for more, and the Blinkist version often satisfies my curiosity there. And finally there’s some I read that just whet my appetite for more, and I end up ordering the full book. I ended up subscribing to the service for $50/yr.