Business hacks: E-mail and W5 analysis

Guy Kawasaki has summarized a bunch of things he thinks everyone should learn about the world of work. One of them leaped out at me: Whether [you are] young or old, the point is that the optimal length of an email message is five sentences. All you should do is explain who you are, what you want, why you should get it, and when you need it by. Clearly he is a man after my own heart.

Spy squirrels captured in Iran

Quote: According to IRNA, the official Islamic Republic news agency, the national Police chief has implicitly verified the news about the confiscation of a number of squirrels, equipped with eavesdropping devices, on the Iranian borders. He has declined to give any more details, but, reportedly, when asked about the confiscation of 14 spy squirrels, he stated, “I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information”. IRNA adds, “These squirrels were equipped by foreign intelligence services, but were captured two weeks ago by the Police”.

Unpopular truths?

Psychology Today has an article listing and explaining 10 scientific truths about human nature that people just don’t want to admit. Like the fact that most suicide bombers are Muslim, and that humans are naturally polygamous. Or that behavior many women interpret as “hostile” or “harrassing” is actually men treating women as equals.

Subaru dream

After hearing me mention that we considered a Subaru Outback as plan B if we couldn’t get a Prius, a Subaru dealer tries to sell me a new car. I don’t seem to be buying it, so he takes me to a special Subaru dealership hidden away in the countryside. The area is surrounded by trees and grass. The buildings are large and low, like aircraft hangars. We walk past lots filled with SUVs.

iPhone remorse?

As the reality distortion field begins to fade, people are starting to wake up to the iPhone’s shortcomings. I’ve been assembling a list of issues I’ve seen mentioned: No SDK. No Flash. No Java. No Bluetooth file transfer. No DIY MP3 or AAC ringtones. Although the camera takes 2 megapixel photos, the only way to get them out is to e-mail them, which resizes them to 640×480. No Bluetooth keyboard support.

iPhone foreshadowing

Unearthed via Google Groups: me ranting about phone design and pondering the development of a Mac phone with easy to understand graphical push-buttons. In 1991. But no, no iPhone for me until it’s opened up and the price is dropped. If I wanted to blow $600 on a piece of overhyped locked-down electronics, I’d get a PlayStation 3.

Chairs are flying

What’s slightly worse than working with whale feces? Working on security at Microsoft, according to Popular Science.

MySpace and Facebook and social class

The Guardian: In recent years networking sites like MySpace and Facebook have seen remarkable growth and become some of the most heavily trafficked destinations on the internet. But Danah Boyd, a researcher at the University of California and internet sociologist, says populations of different networks are now divided on a rough class basis. Her evidence, collected through a series of interviews with US teenagers using MySpace and Facebook over the past nine months, shows there is a clear gap between the populations of each site.

Getting a Second Life

Getting a Second Life Imagine a world where you could create literally anything you could imagine, and explore it in 3D. What would you make? If your answer was “strip malls and casinos”, I know a place you’ll love. ◊ ◊ ◊ A while back I had the unusual experience of having my employer suggest that I spend some time trying out Second Life. IBM is quite interested in the commercial possibilities of 3D shared environments, and has even set up some experimental conference spaces.

You’ll believe chickens can fly

Look into the eyes of a chicken and you will see real stupidity.—Werner Herzog Next door’s chicken didn’t get the memo. Not only does it run from me when I try to catch it and return it to their yard, it has now taken to hiding under their car so I can’t get at it. It has also developed its flying skills to the point where it can fly over the fence and into our back yard.