Take a peek at Pico

The internet is inevitable. I don’t mean just the hypnosis of your Instagram feed but how broadband and optical technologies allow everything to be connected. I’ve watched this grow since the mid-1990s, and today we are more connected more often in more places. The digitization of the physical world may have started slowly, but now we can find a digital heartbeat in even the most inanimate of objects. And it is changing how we live, work, create, consume, imagine, travel, and even cure ourselves.

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Success, Work & Magical Moments

I was sipping my favorite tea, and generally thinking and realized that successful companies are like a Venice Carnival mask — a lot of grunt work, minutiae, dull details and daily frustrations hidden behind the beautiful, magical moments. The world only sees the magical moments, the press celebrates their specialness, but no one really notices what happens behind the mask.

Photo by Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


5 things to read this weekend

I woke up way too early this morning and didn’t want to go for a walk as it was raining. So I spent a good ninety minutes reading these stories (while the podcast played in the background.) They are well worth your time and attention. I hope you get a chance to read these. Have a great weekend! 

  • Is internet addiction a real thing? Maria Konnikova asks in her New Yorker column. For a while it seemed like it was for me, but I managed to be less dependent on the web (but not the network) and feel much better for it. 
  • Gideon Lewis-Kraus has quickly become one of my favorite writers and he has written a wonderful profile of movie maestro, Chris Nolan. It is a good complement to the movie, Interstellar. It is worth a read. 
  • If you have logged into Facebook lately, they are making a big deal about some changes in the privacy they are making starting January 1, 2015. It is about making ads better. It is about making Facebook more embedded in our web. It is not good, as noted by this writer on Ello, who gives us practical tips on how to prevent Facebook from this further privacy incursion. 
  • Meet the unknown startup (not now obviously) that built Google’s first self-driving car. It is 510 systems, that was acquired by the tech giant in 2011. Great story in IEEE spectrum!
  • Here is a great podcast. A conversation between Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Danny Hillis, co-founder of the Long Now Foundation and  Scientific American Executive Editor Fred Guterl about the attempts to build the other, hardier Internet. Great way to spend your time. 

The essence of a good perfume

I was stuck by this comment by Ramdane Touhami, the Parisian behind the revival of Saint Germain-situated beauty brand Buly1803. These are good tips for anyone trying to buy a perfume. I prefer “smell” to a perfume. After much trial and error, I have settled on a couple  — a summer smell, an every day smell and a winter smell — mostly because the heat does impact on how we smell.

A good perfume adapts to the person and the personality. It must neither precede nor follow the wearer too intensely. With water you have the essence of the scent; it’s not about a love story between two people, it’s all about the love story between your skin and perfume. The most magic time to smell perfume is when you first wake up in the morning. Perfume should be personal. If you have an intimacy with someone you should smell it, but I really just want people to smell the perfume on their own skin.

In other words, the smell has to be subtle, personal and yes, very very discrete. By the way, I had stopped by at the establishment on my most recent visit to Paris, but left empty handed mostly due to being totally overwhelmed by choices and the experience. It is quite a wonderful place to visit — rather beautiful.



Technology and the Moral Dimension

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, two publications with different ideas of moral dimensions, are asking the same question, one that has been on my mind for a long time: How does Silicon Valley reconcile the reality of its success with the fear its success instills in real people whose lives it sets to redefine? 

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