Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ideas: Learning from Feedback

Freakonomics » The Three Hardest Words in the English Language: Full Transcript:
"There’s only one way to learn, and that’s through feedback."

"One of the first steps in learning to think like a freak is learning to say “I don’t know.” Why? Because until you can admit what you don’t know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to. Because if you think you already have all the answers, you won’t go looking for them. But let’s be clear: simply saying “I don’t know” isn’t a solution. It’s just a first step. You have to figure out what you don’t know – and then work like a dog to learn.

The thing about always faking is that if you fake like you know the answer, you don’t have the freedom to explore other possibilities. But if you actually care about the outcome and the truth, saying ‘I don’t know’ is critical. One thing we’ve learned is that the only way to learn is through feedback. That whether you’re a human being, an animal or an organization, the way that you learn is by trying different things and seeing the outcome when you try different approaches, and comparing those outcomes."

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

What's right (and wrong) with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 | ZDNet:
The screen aspect ratio closer to 3:2
$799 to $1,949
An expensive tablet that compares with ultrabooks...

Surface Pro 3: Too little hardware, too late for too much money | ZDNet

ideas: Japanese Disposable Homes

Freakonomics » Why Are Japanese Homes Disposable? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast
In most countries, houses get more valuable over time.
In Japan, a new buyer will often bulldoze the home. Why?

(Photo: Jacob Ehnmark)

It is a combination of cultural preference for "new", and historical and geological.
  • Earthquakes are very common and strong in Japan, and building code requirements are updated after large earthquakes. 
  • During World War 2 large number of houses was destroyed, and replacements ware build quickly and not in good quality. 
  • In Japan there is a cultural belief in natural renewal of all things (see Wikipedia article below)
  • Houses are considered temporary, and as such not maintained very well, so after a while they are not in great shape.
  • Value of houses depreciates over time, and as such it is not maintained
  • Because they are considered temporary, houses are often build in unique taste, that may not match desires of next owner... 
  • House buildings fully depreciate in 20-30 years in Japan. The land has more stable value, but that is also subject to large fluctuations
Some observers say that this is no effective for building wealth in the society... 

The shrine buildings at NaikÅ« and GekÅ«, as well as the Uji Bridge, are rebuilt every 20 years as a part of the Shinto belief of the death and renewal of nature and the impermanence of all things — wabi-sabi — and as a way of passing building techniques from one generation to the next.

Visual Studio Online API

Subscribe to Visual Studio Online events from another service | Visual Studio Online REST APIs:

Use the REST APIs to programmatically create subscriptions that notify your service when a specific event occurs in a team project. For example, create a subscription to notify your service when a build fails. When a user signs up for your service, you can let them choose what notifications they want and then create the subscriptions for them so that they don't have to set them up manually.

This may be one example of "cloud first" development in Microsoft:

introducing features on Azure hosted services first...