It’s Saturday, and that means it is time to clean out the links. This has been a busy week: I finished my year-long analysis of the 800-53 controls at work; our daughter returned from her summer on the East Coast; and there was the usual MoTAS work. I collected a number of links, but forgot to send them all back to me on Friday, so I couldn’t theme them as I wanted to. Oh well. I still think there are some really taste nuggets in here:
- And Ode to Tom, and Tom, and Jess. Back when I was really young, I wrote a poem about the TV news scene at the time. It started as follows:
Well, one of those names just passed away: Jess Marlow, who was a fixture on the local news scene — on KNBC, KNXT (now KCBS), and KCET. Here are some moving tributes.
- Designing It Right. One of the podcasts I’ve gotten into of late (thanks to a recommended Kickstarter) is 99% Invisible, which looks at hidden design issues. This article is right down their alley: An article on the design of signage for bathrooms, and the question of how do you design a sign that accomodates gender non-conformists best. There was a second article I saw on Friday, but forgot to send the link home. But the question raised here is similar to the issues surrounding design of the handicapped symbol. Wait… (rummages around). I found the article. It was an article from Vox on how casinos specifically are designed to get you to play more, and this includes how slot machines are programmed. It reminded me of a 99% Invisible story earlier in the week about how the Atlanta airport was deliberately designed with wayfaring indicators to speed you in the right direction.
- Matadors in the News. Two articles this week highlighted some interesting Matadors. I don’t mean the type that deal with bulls (although they likely deal with bullshit); rather, I’m referring to students at Cal State Northridge. In the first, a CSUN grad student did her Master’s History Thesis on the 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster, uncovering the names of all the victims. Really interesting work. In the second, ACSA (the organization that sponsors ACSAC; I’m the secretary of ACSA), CRA-W, and HP announced the winners of this year’s Scholarship for Woman Studying Information Security, and both of the California winners were from the California State University system, not UC. One of was from CSUN; the other from CalPoly SLO. I took a little time Friday to talk to the CSUN winner (she’s an intern where I work), and we both agree: CSUN needs a stronger cybersecurity program.
- Food for … umm… Food. A few interesting food related articles. In the first, NPR highlighted a growing need in food banks: a gluten-free section where GF items can be segregated. In the second, it was pointed out how many of our dark leafy greens are actually the same plant: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, kohlrabi, mustard. Just as we breed dogs for various traits but they are all the same species, so has Brassica oleracea been bred for various traits. The last was more of a local item about a good Argentinian dive in Van Nuys.
- The Times They are a Changing. In this item, I’m not referring to the App from Footlights — which I currently find to be pointless*. Rather, changes in times are forcing companies to change. Technology is particularly forcing change. This week, P&G announced it is downsizing its portfolio of brands. Here’s an interesting analysis of why. In short, brands proliferated because more brands equaled more shelf space. But as we’ve moved to the technological marketplace, shelf space is meaningless. More brands make your product harder to differentiate in search, and to promote on social networks. And thus: brand consolidation. Another example is the upcoming death of Radio Shack. Technology stores are hard put to keep up with the Internet; increasingly, they are just showrooms for stuff ordered online — and that doesn’t pay the rent.
- And the Rest. Two additional items of interest. First, a history of the dark rides at Disneyland, which concentrates most on Haunted Mansion. The second comes from this week’s DEFCON — an article on the vulnerability of our traffic control systems.
*: OK, addressing the item from Footlights. I understand the desire for an app, but I’m not seeing what’s unique here. I learn about my theatre from Goldstar and LA Stage Tix (and I’d love a Goldstar Android app — they only have iOS). Bitter-Lemons will eventually come out with a rating app (I participated in the Kickstarter). So why do I need an app to see what LA Theatre is around. What I need is an app that combines Amazon and Foursquare — looking at my theatre history and what I have liked or dislikes, and recommending particular shows in an upcoming time frame that will be of interest to me. That’s the app I want.