riverrun research | beta

from swerve of shore to bend of bay

links for 2010-05-23

  • If you’re anything like me, you’ve often wondered what Google Maps would look like without any cities, roads, or highway shields. With the new “Google Maps API Styled Map Wizard”, you now have your chance. Designed for people who create map mashups, the wizard allows you to experiment with and create different map styles for Google Maps.
  • Earlier this week, VC Mark Suster blogged the decree "Say No to Meetings." Suster argues that time is an entrepreneur's scarcest resource. And with all the pressures – from current and potential employees, vendors, and investors, Suster suggests that entrepreneurs learn to decline holding meetings.

    This may seem somewhat contradictory to the advice that entrepreneurs always stay in touch with advisors and investors. Suster clarifies, "I'm not saying "no more meetings" but rather "no, to more meetings."

    As much as saying "no" to meetings is a rallying cry we could all get behind, some meetings are simply unavoidable.

  • While grandma flips through photo albums on her sleek iPad, government agencies (and most corporations) process mission-critical transactions on cumbersome web-based front ends that function by tricking mainframes into thinking that they are connected to CRT terminals. These systems are written in computer languages like Assembler and COBOL, and cost a fortune to maintain. I’ve written about California’s legacy systems and the billions of dollars that are wasted on maintaining these. Given the short tenure of government officials, lobbying by entrenched government contractors, and slow pace of change in the enterprise-computing world, I’m not optimistic that much will change – even in the next decade. But there is hope on another front: the Open Government Initiative. This provides entrepreneurs with the data and with the APIs they need to solve problems themselves. They don’t need to wait for the government to modernize its legacy systems; they can simply build their own apps.
  • I can imagine all sorts of worlds and places, but I cannot imagine one without Ray Bradbury. Not Bradbury the man (I have met him. Each time I have spent any time with him I have been left the happier for it), but Bradbury the builder of dreams. The man who took an idea of the American Midwest and made it magical and tangible, who took his own childhood and all the people and things in it and used it to shape the world. The man who gave us a future to fear, one without stories, without books. The man who invented Hallowe’en in its modern incarnation.
  • (tags: privacy)
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