Category Archives: Reference

Osama bin Laden: Unprotected, Unarmed, Delusional, Cowering

Google Cache (because the original site is down from traffic): The Killing of Osama bin Laden

‘They knew where the target was – third floor, second door on the right,’ the retired official said. ‘Go straight there. Osama was cowering and retreated into the bedroom. Two shooters followed him and opened up. Very simple, very straightforward, very professional hit.’ Some of the Seals were appalled later at the White House’s initial insistence that they had shot bin Laden in self-defence, the retired official said. ‘Six of the Seals’ finest, most experienced NCOs, faced with an unarmed elderly civilian, had to kill him in self-defence? The house was shabby and bin Laden was living in a cell with bars on the window and barbed wire on the roof. The rules of engagement were that if bin Laden put up any opposition they were authorised to take lethal action. But if they suspected he might have some means of opposition, like an explosive vest under his robe, they could also kill him. So here’s this guy in a mystery robe and they shot him. It’s not because he was reaching for a weapon. The rules gave them absolute authority to kill the guy.’ The later White House claim that only one or two bullets were fired into his head was ‘bullshit’, the retired official said. ‘The squad came through the door and obliterated him. As the Seals say, “We kicked his ass and took his gas.”’

So all of Zero Dark Thirty is a government cover story?

In North Korea, it’s called propaganda.

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Brother Theodore

Brother Theodore

He popped into my head today. But I couldn’t remember his name. People who should have known on Twitter drew a total blank.

I was going mad trying to find him via search. Finally, it occurred to me to search for 1990s Village Voice ads, because his weekly show was always advertised in that. After hundreds of irrelevant images, bingo!

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma Speaks Truth

Jack Ma: ‘We’re not smart or hard-working, but we’re millionaires’

Why are we successful? Is it because we’re more hard-working? I don’t see it; we do work hard but there are a lot of people more hard-working than us in the world. Is it because we’re smarter? Not necessarily. Five years ago it was hard for us to hire people, but now we can just hire anyone off the street. We’re not hard-working or smart, but we’ve become wealthy, why?

Because we had good luck. Actually, we’re kind of dumb. Seven or eight years ago, lots of people joined Alibaba. But the smart ones felt the company didn’t offer enough opportunity, so they were poached by other companies or left to do startups, and their incomes went up. Those of us left weren’t smart, so no one was poaching us. But in the end, looking back from five years later, we somehow became rich.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

I like the way Ma concedes luck was a factor.

How unlike the techies of Silicon Valley who believe their success was entirely of their own making.

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Making A Living Via The Internet

The Podcast Is the Product for Keith and the Girl

For Khalili and Malley, the podcast is the product. Through VIP membership, merchandise sales, and advertising, Keith and the Girl revenue pays its co-hosts’ salaries plus rent on a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria, Queens, that they had converted into a professional studio. Three full-time employees and a handful of freelancers also receive a slice of the pie.

That’s not insignificant.

I’ve never heard of Khalili and Malley or their podcast. I grabbed a free copy of the printed Village Voice that had them on the cover and was quickly immersed in the story.

VillageVoicePodComplexCover

I think the article is a must-read for basically everybody.

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Filed under Digital Overthrow, Reference

Whatever Happened To Apple’s “For The Rest Of Us…”?

“Nobody will pay $10,000 for an Apple Watch!” & other reasons you can’t sell shit

Unless you’ve done research, every opinion you have about what people will or won’t buy comes straight from your butt.

You say you won’t buy an Apple Watch. Fine, I believe you. (Although… perhaps you said the same thing about iPods, iPhones and iPads.)

It doesn’t matter, though, whether you buy or not. Lots and lots of other people will.

Let me repeat: You are not your customer. There’s only one of you. You won’t be paying yourself.

Emphasis in the original.

Harumph:

The Lisa was first introduced on January 19, 1983 and cost US$9,995 (approximately $23,700 in today’s dollars.) It was the very first personal computer system with a graphical user interface (GUI) to be sold commercially. It used a Motorola 68000 CPU clocked at 5 MHz and had 1 MB RAM.

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Filed under Apple: The Company, Marketing, Pricing, Reference, Stupid

Reference: Tablet As Primary Computer

iPad Air 2 Review: Why the iPad Became My Main Computer

In this instance, it’s an iPad. If anyone knows of a similar article with an Android tablet, let me know.

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Reference: iPhone 6 Plus Vs. Mi Note Photos

Xiaomi Mi Note: Not just one of the best value phablets, one of the best phablets, period

What matters a lot to me is the quality of a phone’s camera.

And I was surprised to see the Mi Note takes a better photo than the iPhone 6 Plus.

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Steve Sinofsky’s Buying Advice

Twitter:

SinofskyBuyingAdvice

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Math Math Baby

The Pursuit of Beauty: Yitang Zhang solves a pure-math mystery.

Once Zhang heard from Annals, he called his wife in San Jose. “I say, ‘Pay attention to the media and newspapers,’ ” he said. “ ‘You may see my name,’ and she said, ‘Are you drunk?’ ”

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Vincent

Van Gogh: The Courage & the Cunning

Countless freeloaders, lost teenagers, parents of lost teenagers, and disappointed artists have found consolation in Vincent’s misfortune. His story is the ultimate “I told you so”: a troubled, not obviously talented oddball, who through determination and sheer chutzpah is finally, albeit mostly posthumously, recognized as a genius. Van Gogh is today the most popular artist in the world for the stupendous works he made during the last troubled years of his life—a great secular saint of modernism, whose suffering and sacrifice produced pictures of such idiosyncrasy and luminosity that even Kirk Douglas and obscene sales records and Starry Night shower curtains have done nothing to trivialize the ravishment of seeing the art in the flesh. That his mental instability fueled leaps of creative imagination has only made him seem more noble, in the Romantic vein—albeit, as Bell cautions, “insofar as Van Gogh the painter communicates to us, with an oeuvre that viewers for over a century have found uniquely thrilling and sustaining, it is not our business to call him mad.”

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