Category: Technology

  • SXSW 2018

    After seven years away from SXSW, I recently spent five days in Austin with the hopes that I would get something out of this massive event. I’ve already gone into detail why I decided to stop attending in 2011, and the reasons why I changed my mind this time around here. The night before I […]

  • The Best of The Economist – January 2014

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    Social networks: Unfriending mum and dad, Fears that teenagers are deserting Facebook are overblown. Not long after being snapped up by News Corporation in 2005, MySpace became a much emptier space when many teenagers who had used the social network to share music and photos of themselves in various states of undress decided it was no longer […]

  • The Best of The Economist – November 2013

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      Motivating workers: Ranked and yanked, Firms that keep grading their staff ruthlessly may not get the best from them. It is a brutal management technique in which bosses grade their employees’ performance along a “vitality curve” and sack those who fall into the lowest category. Known as “ranking and yanking”, it had its heyday in the […]

  • The Best of The Economist – October 2013

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    Fighting terrorists: Kill or capture? Two raids by special forces hint at a tactical shift by Barack Obama. On October 5th American special forces launched two nearly simultaneous raids in Libya and Somalia. Rather than sending in a Predator drone to vaporise jihadists with Hellfire missiles, the plan was to capture them and take them to America […]

  • The Best of The Economist – September 2013

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     The origins of the financial crisis: Crash course. The effects of the financial crisis are still being felt, five years on. This article, the first of a series of five on the lessons of the upheaval, looks at its causes. The collapse of Lehman Brothers, a sprawling global bank, in September 2008 almost brought down the world’s […]

  • The Best of The Economist – July 2013

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    Secret Government: America against democracy. Revelations in the wake of Edward Snowden’s civil disobedience continue to roll in. The New York Times reports that the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, also known as the FISA court, “has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely […]

  • The Best of the Economist – June 2013

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    The Economist explains: How does copyright work in space? Chris Hadfield has captured the world’s heart, judging by the 14m YouTube views of his free-fall rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, recorded on the International Space Station (ISS). The Canadian astronaut’s clear voice and capable guitar-playing were complemented by his facility in moving around in the microgravity […]

  • The Best of the Economist – April 2013

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    Drone warefare: America’s killing machine: In September 2011 a fleet of Predator and Reaper drones took off from a secret CIA base in the Saudi desert. They crossed into Yemen and began patiently tracking a convoy of vehicles that was travelling near the border with Saudi Arabia. America’s spy agency had earlier recruited a source within […]

  • The best of the Economist, October, 2012

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    Textbooks round the world: It ain’t necessarily so, The textbooks children learn from in school reveal and shape national attitudes—and should provoke debate. Parisians are in a tizz about capitalism. New Yorkers get stressed about sex. In Seoul and San Antonio, Texas, 11,000km apart, citizens fret about the relationship between humans and apes. What goes into […]

  • The best of the Economist, September 22, 2012

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    The future of driving: Seeing the back of the car, In the rich world, people seem to be driving less than they used to. “I’ll love and protect this car until death do us part,” says Toad, a 17-year-old loser whose life is briefly transformed by a “super fine” 1958 Chevy Impala in “American Graffiti”. The film […]

  • The best of the Economist, September 15th, 2012

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    3D printing: Difference Engine: The PC all over again? What could well be the next great technological disruption is fermenting away, out of sight, in small workshops, college labs, garages and basements. Tinkerers with machines that turn binary digits into molecules are pioneering a whole new way of making things—one that could well rewrite the rules of […]

  • The Best of the Economist, August 2012

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    America and the politics of recovery: The big promise. What did Barack Obama’s stimulus package really achieve? The word “boondoggle”, Michael Grunwald points out, was coined back in the days of the original New Deal, to describe “make-work” bits of arts and craft paid for by the government at a price that was out of all proportion […]

  • Best of The Economist, July 2012

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    Judaism and the Jews: Alive and well, Judaism is enjoying an unexpected revival, says David Landau. But there are deep religious and political divisions, mostly centred on Israel. Judaism is flourishing, both in Israel, where 43% of the world’s Jews now live, and throughout the Jewish diaspora. The Jews as a nation are flourishing too. Israelis, for […]

  • No more paper.

    Since I co-founded Plank (and probably for a few years before that) I have always had a trusty little black book by my side to take notes. I used it to take notes in meetings, make lists of things to do (both work related and personal), transcribed phone calls and general thoughts. As long as […]