This is insanity:

In western Washington, threats include view-obstructing towers emitting electromagnetic radiation in the midst of pristine nature; horrific noise pollution; and staggeringly complex potential problems for every aspect of delicate ecosystems on land, in the sea and in the air. The Navy also wants to fly “Growler” fighter jets, probably the loudest on earth, along migratory bird flyways.

A bit more detail on Exotic Hikes:

In 2015, the United States plans to test and refine our ability to use and maintain electromagnetic weapons in National Forest lands.

Why did anyone think that is a good idea? Is it necessary? Just convenient?

Meanwhile:

The lack of snow in the Olympic Mountains because of spring-like warmth has led to an early outbreak of hiking, biking, surfing and kayaking on the North Olympic Peninsula.


Where is Great Britain in this conversation and crisis management in Europe? Is that a smart move by England and their friends from the Island to have excused themselves from the leadership of the European Union or is it a sign of their continued irrelevance? No more British ’empire’?


The number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has increased dramatically over the past years. There are now more measurable quakes in OK than California or Alaska. Why? Fracking.

No, thank you. Oh, and doh!


Chris Sacca on his blog he barely ever blogs, but if he does it is important:

 We elected President Obama because he was bold and willing to speak up. We knew we needed change. We rejected the status quo. So when we all stop our work midday to watch him take to the podium, we are hopeful. We want him to be genuine and unfiltered. We don’t want sanitized, approved, safe language. Then as he speaks, we see Tweets of disappointment and resignation trickle out from our friends. We begin to doubt ourselves for believing in him and thinking he can help.

So, I say to our President, enough. It’s time. I have seen you behind closed doors. You are better than this. You are savvy, thoughtful, strategic, empathic, and you inspire confidence. You are also decisive, no-bullshit, very demanding, have strong instincts, know how to cut to the chase, and tend to be a good judge of people.

Please eschew the filters, the patience, and the compromise. Please tip the scales. Please go boldly on the record and tell us straight from the heart. Please step back up to the podium and lead. Please be brave.

Please just be yourself.


Excellent Gawker article:

I’d like to support you in your supreme confidence. I’d like to stand up for your right and trust that you take care in the responsibilities that come with it. But I can’t be certain of that, any more than I can be certain that my aim is true, or that in the heat of the moment, another Amanda Miller isn’t waiting for you or me.


Yes, you can find idiots on both sides of the aisle and especially at Whole Foods.

Horrible how science and historical facts are being thrown out the window in favor of personal expression and selfish ideology.


Der Spiegel:

The dream that many young Germans have of experiencing the great freedoms of America for a year.

Damn, this is a fucking tragic story. Kid steals beer out of neighbor’s fridge and gets killed by the home owner who’d gotten twice before robbed in recent history and has a little baby at home.

In the end it’s a classic and yet sadly horrific cultural misunderstanding. America, because if it’s endless love for guns and self-protection is a very dangerous place. A deep sense of mistrust of our neighbors and fear of strangers. Paired with an entitlement of being ones superhero.

We made this bed.


Austria’s Foreign Minister Is Just 27 Years Old, he’s trying to solve the Ukraine crisis and he’s on Twitter.

What have you done with your life?

Yes. This.


How does all this contribute to Germany’s economic growth? Locke, a prominent critic of America’s latter-day enthusiasm for doctrinaire free-market solutions and a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii, notes that a key outcome is that Germany’s managed housing market helps smooth the availability of labor. And by virtually eliminating  bubbles, the German system minimizes the sort of misallocation of resources that is more or less unavoidable in the Anglo-American boom-bust cycle. That cycle is exacerbated by tax incentives which encourage citizens to view home ownership as an investment, resulting in much hoarding and underutilization of space.

Taking the RedFin app off my iPad in a big sigh of despair.


TED2014 remote notes:

Are there dark sinister parasites who are influencing our behavior without us knowing about it?”

Yes, it was good to hear the NSA respond to the surprise appearance by Edward Snowden. It was helpful to hear both sides of the story.


TED2014 remote notes:

TED Prize winner 2014:

Charmian is calling for governments around the world to pass laws to create registries which list the true owners of companies, and that are open to the public – with no loopholes.

Interesting that at the 30th Anniversary of TED it’s moved away from Monterey California, USA and to Vancouver and two of the biggest topics of the first day of TED were the Snowden interview, which can be seen as a clear attack on the US and the TED Prize winner’s speech who essentially announced that most ‘anonymous companies’ are being held in the US.

I can smell a clear trend here. Don’t squander the great responsibility, America.


TED2014 remote notes:
(This is the time again for me to follow along from afar, wishing I was there, yet being fascinated beyond belief the community of inspiration TED is able to create, year after year. One day. One day I’ll be there.)

Just watched Edward Snowden at TED. For the first time I spend some time hearing directly from the man what has happened, and what is going on.

It’s insanely offensive to let it sink in that America, who’s in many ways has given us many of the great things that make the internet today is now actively working so very hard on destroying just that.

It feels like being a citizen of a great country, with  privileges, pride, and with an understanding of the live around me and waking up one morning realizing the government has declared war on its citizens. It’s not guns we need to protect us as citizen militia, it’s people willing to build a better, more secure internet.

I’ve grown up in the internet age, I’m not willing to give up this great privilege.

 


My coworker Dennis Brooke:

If you Google “Government IT Project Failures” you’ll get nearly 39 billion results–many of which mention the Affordable Healthcare Act website fiasco. But I’d like to focus on what made a recent high profile government IT project a success.

No, cloudPWR didn’t build the healthcare website, good for us!

We build an cloud-based system for accepting and managing applications that could be implemented quickly with minimal risk.


Yes, I am linking again, un-ironically, to Fox News. Those articles are getting better and better:

The fact is if you are one of the estimated 2 million Americans whose health insurance plans may have been cancelled this month, you should not be blaming President Obama or the Affordable Care Act.

You should be blaming your insurance company because they have not been providing you with coverage that meets the minimum basic standards for health care.

Rather than being vindictive and canceling policies under the pretext of ObamaCare, the insurance companies should be thanking their lucky stars that they do not have to contend with a public option or a single payer system. That is what the law allows in every other modern industrialized democracy.

So you know.


Howard Schultz knows how to execute! At least he’s telling us what’s wrong with the Healthcare.gov website.

Which reminds me of the time when Starbucks rolled out their first exclusive CD release for a brand new band never had heard of… yeah, that didn’t go so well.

And today we hear Howard complaining on how hard it was to own a basketball team. Why didn’t you just execute and fix things?

One of the hardest things about the launch of Healthcare.gov was the combination of a strict timeline, huge expectations and a fixed amount of cash. Can you tell me of a single large tech project over the last few years that has worked with those 3 constraints? Twitter grew slowly and had ‘fail whale’ problems for years. Google launched Google Plus and everyone flocked to it, just to abandon it faster than they arrived. mySpace relaunched and no one cares. Over half of Facebook’s new ideas are met with ridicule, Facebook Home anyone?

Big tech projects are hard. They are hard because the expectations is that on day one millions of people can access, use, navigate, and figure out a brand new infrastructure with a very small possibility for actual real world testing actually works.

Add to that government requirements, public process expectations and no ability to just quickly raise another funding round in the money drunk valley and you got yourself a recipe for disaster.

But not to fret, it’s mainly a public relations disaster right now. Tech can be fixed, software improved, code optimized and sites refreshed. This wasn’t millions down a drain, there is no need for costly product recalls in fear of a life-threatening malfunction.

It’s just code – just fix it, iterate, improve and ship.


Paul Krugman:

German officials won’t, of course, accept any of this. They consider their country a shining role model, to be emulated by all, and the awkward fact that we can’t all run gigantic trade surpluses simply doesn’t register.


Clay Johnson and Harper Reed in the NYT:

A digital candidate will never be able to become a digital president if he can’t bring the innovation that helped him win election into the Oval Office to help him govern.


Did the United States tap German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone? According to SPIEGEL information, Berlin is taking seriously indications that this might have happened. Merkel spoke with President Barack Obama on Wednesday about her concerns.

Not a call I want to be on the receiving end.


Into why the Healthcare.gov website launched with so many bugs.

Laurence Hart:

Healthcare.gov is likely salvageable. Federal IT isn’t. Federal IT needs a do-over and the freedom from politics to let that happen.


Der Spiegel:

America’s 237-year-old democracy is approaching its limits. Its political architecture was not designed for long-lasting blockades and extortion, the likes of which have been enthusiastically practiced by Tea Party supporters for almost the last four years. The US’s founding fathers proposed a system of checks and balances, not checks and boycotts.

Time to rethink how we do politics in this country.