How America became a nation of freelancers

How America became a nation of freelancers:

According to the Labor Department, employers often misclassify independent contractors as employees, locking misclassified freelancers out of benefits like tax write-offs for health insurance that they’re already paying for, all by themselves. For freelancers, it’s much, much harder to qualify for a loan, refinance their mortgage or, if they’re underwater on their homes, to find relief from loan modification programs.

I know a woman who was told, off the record, that the company that was considering hiring her would only do so on a contract basis – they didn’t want to take on the expense of hiring her because of her considerable medical bills. (She didn’t get the job.) Another associate thought he’d hit pay dirt with a high-paying, full-time salaried position at a big-name software company. But then, suddenly – right as he was ready to sign the paperwork – they rescinded their offer. Instead, they told him that they could only offer him a contract position on a project-by-project basis.

If this is how our economy is now organized, then we need safety nets for independent workers. And we need to start by acknowledging, as a nation, that while it’s all very good to talk about job creation, for many of us, a regular 9-to-5 gig is no longer a reality. Work has changed; the American worker is changing. Old-school labor paradigms no longer fit.

[ Where’s the thinking about this, rather than trying to recreate old style manufacturing jobs? And while we’re on the topic, small is the new big. Individuals manufacturing custom stuff is alive and kicking, and should become much more commonplace. As it once was. Things were lost in the rush to the assembly line.]

Dr.Brendan | The iphone Doc

Dr.Brendan | The iphone Doc:

During the short visit at our apartment, I learned that Dr.Brendan since has moved his business out of his living-room and opened two stores. And not only that, he has a whole army employees and they now also fix Macs. I was thrilled to hear that as my 2.5 year old iMac at work was giving me a hard time. Tony, a Dr.Brendan employee, came to promptly pick it up the next day and conveniently brought it back a few days later, fixed. Pick-up and drop-off? Yes, please!

Dr.Brendan and his team not only fix iPhones but now also repair pretty much any Apple device, do data recovery, help you set up your network and much more.

I can’t praise Brendan and his team enough. Go check out his site. And if you live either in the East Village or Park Slope, drop by their shop. And no worries, if you don’t live in NYC, you can ship your patient to Dr.Brendan.

[Cool story.]

Source: swissmiss

Honeywell sues Nest for patent infringement

Honeywell sues Nest for patent infringement:

Honeywell makes crappy, ugly thermostats. They’re the market leader, but they’ve been sitting on their asses, not doing much. So thermostat innovation and design has been pretty stagnant for years.

Nest’s is by far the most innovative thermostat we’ve seen for a long time, but it looks like they’re going to have a lot of problems with these Honeywell patents, which will probably impair (or, at worst, prevent) them from pushing this stagnant industry forward.

Remind me again how the patent system promotes innovation.

∞ Permalink

[Yeah, what he said. And shame on Honeywell…]


Next Phase of Commercials

Next Phase of Commercials:

I predict that in a few years from now we’ll start to see 4.5-minute length commercial shorts that come after the extended-play version. Or maybe even “directors’ cut” versions. These outright unabashed commercials will run as long as a pop hit tune, and in format resemble a music video. We’ll see YouTube-ish channels that will charge you to watch them. I make this forecast based on the fact that this prime attention-niche is just one adjacent-possible step away.

[I rate this a very likely.]

Source: The Technium

Decoration is best, except when it isn’t

Decoration is best, except when it isn’t:

Decoration and module extension are both viable ways to compose objects in Ruby. Which to use is not a simple black-or-white choice; it depends on the purpose of the composition.

For applications where you want to adorn an object with some extra functionality, or modify how it presents itself, a decorator is probably the best bet. Decorators are great for creating Presenters, where we just want to change an object’s “face” in a specific context.

On the other hand, when building up a composite object at runtime object out of individual “aspects” or “facets”, module extension may make more sense. Judicious use of module extension can lead to a kind of “emergent behavior” which is hard to replicate with decoration or delegation.

Apple Adds High-DPI Versions of Pointers in OS X 10.7.3

Apple Adds High-DPI Versions of Pointers in OS X 10.7.3:

Screenshot from

DaringFireball notes several changes in some of the icons found in OS X 10.7.3. Several of our readers had also noticed the small changes in pointer icons in the latest version. It seems the changes run a bit deeper than on first glance. The new icons apparently come in high DPI versions that allow them to scale at high resolutions.

Have you noticed that Safari’s hovering-over-a-link pointing-finger cursor looks a little different in Mac OS X 10.7.3? It’s not just that the finger is at a slightly different angle — it’s a new UI resource that scales gracefully to larger sizes. That’s not the only new high-DPI image resource in 10.7.3: the grabby hand in Mail, the camera cursor for selecting an individual window to take a screenshot of, and a few other UI elements got the high-DPI treatment in 10.7.3.

Matt Gemmell shows an enlarged version of the icon when zoomed in Universal Access:

[Hey, wait, i just caught up to the last round…]

Source: MacRumors