Link tags: trade

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Reinventing W3C Governance

To be honest, I’m not all that convinced by Robin’s arguments here about overhauling the governance model at the World Wide Web Consortium (partly because the way he describes the current model sounds pretty okay to me). But I’m very interested in what he has to say in the broader philosophical sense about using values to solve problems:

A value is worth something if it’s there to help you when the rubber hits the road and starts hydroplaning. Sure, you’ll need a handful of high-level lofty values as reminders, if only because there’s always a vocal guy (it’s always a guy) who thinks it’s just outrageous to put people before profits. But mostly you want Values You Can Use.

That might be the best description I’ve come across yet for design principles: values you can use.

When we say that engineering is about trade-offs, we’re saying that engineers solve their hardest problems using values (which they call “heuristics” because everyone’s entitled to be fancy some). In implementing a system, you might need to decide between an option that provides people with the best experience, another that delivers the greatest value to the shareholders, and yet a third one that makes the control centre blinkenlights dance in the prettiest way.

Creating a physical internet to save money and energy on logistics

I remember a talk and discussion at SxSW a few years back about trying to improve the efficiency of trade networks by making them more web-like: there are ships full of empty cargo containers, simply because companies insist on using the container with their logo on it. I really, really like the idea of applying the principles of packet-switching to physical networks.

But here’s the hard part:

The technology is not a problem. We could do it all in 10 years. It’s the business models and the mental models in people’s minds.

Amazon.co.uk: Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store

Amazon will now pay you for your old video games. Good move.

Evolution and Creativity: Why Humans Triumphed - WSJ.com

Matt Ridley's new book sounds like a corker.

Did Starbucks Copy my character design? on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

It looks like Starbucks is ripping off Elsa's Oddzballz. Either it's a blatant rip-off or a quite a coincidence.

Mac News: iPod: Apple's 'Pod' Police Dropping Hammer on Trademark Offenders

Apple are chasing companies that use the word "podcast", even though they have no claim to that word. Asshats.

kickAAS

Kick All Agricultural Subsidies. Here's a blog I can really get behind.