The road you ride on

The road you ride on:

We cannot credit a single person for inventing roads but Pierre-Marie-Jérôme Trésaguet deserves a mention. A French engineer, he sat down to write guidelines for the construction of roads. In 1775 he became Inspecteur Générale for roads and bridges in France and the country began updating paths and tracks. Trésaguet insisted on excavating the ground, installing a layer of large rocks and then adding finer layers of gravel on top, all with drainage channels by the side. Like that, horse-drawn carriages could ride smoothly across mud-free roads as water would now drain away.

The next prominent name in early road construction is John Loudon McAdam, a Scot whose name lives on today thanks to macadam and tarmac. Macadam is the use of soil and stone that is then rollered into place to form a compacted layer that resists the passage of traffic, horseshoes included. This technique is still in use the world over and today cycling races use such roads in the strade bianche of Tuscany or the Colle delle Finestre, a regular in the Giro d’Italia  which was built for the Italian army.

[Imagine if the road could be patented (It no doubt could if it were “invented” today). Evolutionary development happens all the time. Real leaps in understanding, design, or application are rare. Chip seal roads suck because they are “tweeners”… neither gravel road nor pavement. They catch you unaware, lulling you to sleep with well packed sections when a sudden pile of loose stone or some fresh oil does you in. feh.]
Source: The Inner Ring

John Kenney: “We Are the One Per Cent” : The New Yorker

John Kenney: “We Are the One Per Cent” : The New Yorker: Do you know that feeling, upon waking at 4 A.M., heart racing, your mind looking twenty, thirty years down the road, wondering how you are going to make ends meet? Worrying about what would happen if you lost your job, asking yourself how you’re going to pay for your kids’ college or retire? Well, I don’t. But I read a story about it once and remember thinking, I’m so glad that’s not me.



Bitcoin: So it seems to me and my colleagues at USV that an alternative currency with roots in peer to peer networks and based on an algorithm that is transparent to everyone is an idea whose time has come. The question remains if the Bitcoin algorithm or some other algorithm (possibly a derivative of the Bitcoin algorithm that deals with some of Bitcoin’s weaknesses?) will ultimately win out. That’s an important issue that has a lot to do with when this space becomes investable.

[I’ve been following Bitcoin for a while, no some people who are more involved and still don’t understand how the shift will occur.]
Source: A VC

Adobe Systems holding users hostage?

An Open Letter To Adobe Systems « Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider Blog » Photoshop & Digital Photography Techniques, Tutorials, Books, Reviews & More: While I understand that Adobe needs to make business decisions based on how it sees market conditions, I feel the timing of this new pricing structure is patently unfair to your customers (and our members). Here’s why: You didn’t tell us up front. You didn’t tell us until nearly the end of the product’s life cycle, and now you’re making us buy CS5.5 for just a few months on the chance that we might want to buy CS6 at a discount when it’s released. Otherwise, we have to pay the full price as if we were never Adobe customers at all.

Those users who didn’t upgrade to CS5 or 5.5, either couldn’t afford the upgrade, or couldn’t justify the upgrade, or they would already be on CS5 or 5.5. But now you’re kind of holding us hostage—you’re making us buy something we don’t need now, just so we will still have the option to get something that we may want (CS6) when it is released without buying it all over again from scratch. You’re playing hardball with your customers—either upgrade twice or you’re out.

[Pricing is never easy but it seems clear, that anytime a company does this it annoys customers something fierce.]