Why you should read Academia Obscura instead of actually working

Instead of actually completing his Ph.D., Glen Wright has wasted his time writing a book called Academia Obscura: The hidden silly side of higher education. The result of this effort is to reveal in a funhouse mirror every possible idiotic and ironic aspect of academic life and publishing. I heartily recommend that you waste your money on … Continued

Papa John’s finds out the problem with blaming the NFL for its poor sales

On Papa John’s most recent earnings call, its CEO and founder John H. Schnatter blamed poor results in part on controversies surrounding the NFL, which the restaurant chain sponsors. Stepping into the middle of a political controversy was a mistake. So was clumsily trying to walk it back on Twitter. What Papa John’s said on … Continued

How to write a good book quickly: 12 simple rules

Can you write a good book in two or three months? Maybe. But it takes planning and discipline. I’ve done it, and so have other authors I know. Many of us feel that we created our best work quickly. I wrote most of Groundswell in 11 weeks and Writing Without Bullshit in three months, and both are buttoned-down, … Continued

EA’s mistake on Reddit: Defending how it manipulates gamers

Game company EA is about to release Star Wars Battlefront II, but you won’t get to play Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader right away. On Reddit, the company defended of its policy to require payment or many hours of gameplay to unlock those characters. Reddit users responded to the EA statement with a record number of … Continued

How can Louis C.K. be honest and awful at the same time?

Five women accused comedian Louis C.K. of sexual abuse. Unlike most people in this situation, he denied nothing and took responsibility. So how did he still get it wrong? According to the New York Times, since 2002, Louis C.K. has on several different occasions asked women he worked with permission to masturbate in front of … Continued

Protecting your backend from jargon-laced error messages

Code that goes wrong generates errors. It’s typical for developers to spend their time on the code, not on the error messages. This is a plea to put a little more effort into those messages, even if you think no one will see them. Unknown attackers ambushed the Boston Globe site with a DDOS (distributed denial … Continued

The Tax Policy Center demonstrates how to screw up and recover

The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan organization that analyzes tax proposals, posted and then retracted an erroneous analysis of the Republican tax plan. The problem took several days to fix. If you ever screw up (and who doesn’t), take notes; this is a great case study in how to recover. What does a tax proposal … Continued

Apple defends its tax dodges

The New York Times, reviewing leaked documents from the law firm Appleby, described how Apple reroutes profits to avoid taxes. Apple’s denial is full of facts but lacks clarity. In Monday’s New York Times article “After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits,” here’s what we learned: Five months after [Apple … Continued