background preloader

How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)

How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)
The Santa Clara Valley was some of the most valuable agricultural land in the entire world, but it was paved over to create today’s Silicon Valley. This was simply the result of bad planning and layers of leadership failure — nobody thinks farms literally needed to be destroyed to create the technology industry’s success. Today, the tech industry is apparently on track to destroy one of the world’s most valuable cultural treasures, San Francisco, by pushing out the diverse people who have helped create it. At least that’s the story you’ve read in hundreds of articles lately. It doesn’t have to be this way. The alternative — inaction and self-absorption — very well could create the cynical elite paradise and middle-class dystopia that many fear. Here is a very long explainer. This is a complex problem, and I’m not going to distill it into young, rich tech douchebags-versus-helpless old ladies facing eviction. It does us all no justice. 1) First off, understand the math of the region. Why?

Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data Photo BIG data is suddenly everywhere. Everyone seems to be collecting it, analyzing it, making money from it and celebrating (or fearing) its powers. Whether we’re talking about analyzing zillions of Google search queries to predict flu outbreaks, or zillions of phone records to detect signs of terrorist activity, or zillions of airline stats to find the best time to buy plane tickets, big data is on the case. Or so its champions allege. Is big data really all it’s cracked up to be? The first thing to note is that although big data is very good at detecting correlations, especially subtle correlations that an analysis of smaller data sets might miss, it never tells us which correlations are meaningful. Second, big data can work well as an adjunct to scientific inquiry but rarely succeeds as a wholesale replacement. Third, many tools that are based on big data can be easily gamed. A sixth worry is the risk of too many correlations. Wait, we almost forgot one last problem: the hype.

A Few Words about Process Analytics | BUILDING DATUM This post is part of the BIMForum Flash Blog! I recently gave a talk at BIMForum’s spring event in Boston, and I figured that is as good a reason as any to restart my efforts over here at buildingdatum. If you’re into seeing what I look like as I meander through a presentation, you can watch it here. And if you want to see me kicking it onstage with BIM legend Patrick MacLeamy, that’s right here. Otherwise… For those of you that follow me in other spaces, you’ll already know that I’m fond of describing the building lifecycle as a series of informational transactions. In reality, things are a bit murkier. The social, technological, and legal constraints under which our industry operates all contribute to this fog of war. But while every project may be superficially unique, they are nevertheless comprised of a series of highly-granular highly-repeatable processes – processes that can be measured, analyzed, and optimized across a wide range of projects. Like this: Like Loading...

Backops Outsources Your Startup’s Back Office Using The Best Enterprise Apps, Raises $1.5M Early-stage startups die if they don’t nail their core products quickly. But like all companies, they also need to process loads of paperwork required for basic operations, from crunching numbers in Quickbooks to churning out piles of human-resource forms for new hires. So, as any startup executive knows, the balance between product development and rote paperwork is a constant frustration — which is where Backops comes in. The company, which has just closed a $1.5 million seed round, combines 15 or so modern business productivity tools with crowdsourced labor from stay-at-home workers. If the exec wants more detail than the dashboard’s accounting summaries and human resource statuses provides, they can request custom reports or data dumps from Backops. So, sure, there are a few established office outsourcing businesses out there already, like TriNet for human resources, but a closer look at Backops plans shows why it’s such a smart new idea. The biggest issue could be defensibility.

HN discussion: by iconix Apr 17

Related: