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Gladwell’s talk at SXSW2005

I’m working on my thesis (trying to start actually) and listening in background at Malcolm Gladwell’s talk at SXSW Interactive 2005 (hosted at itconversations.com). I undestand 30% (also because I’m not paying attention) but I guess this is useful anyway for my English (get new words, listen to correct accent). People often laugh and this probably means that Gladwell’s talk is also funny (and profound).
He is speaking about “how we make decisions and, more importatly, about how we don’t realize how many biases are behind our daily decisions”. I got news of this podcast (mp3 of a talk) via a post on Corante that is very interesting, since it is a short description of what Malcom is speaking about. [UPDATE: a complete (?) description by Nancy White] In particular there is an interesting point. At a point in time, only 5% of musicians in orchestras were women (and there were many theories explaining the reasons). Then, Orchestra unions decided to force all auditions to be behind a screen to reduce favoritism.Guess what happened? The percentage of women musicians in orchestras raised quickly from 5% to 50%. Read the following and the entire article on corante and listen Malcolm Gladwell’s talk at SXSW Interactive 2005 (hosted at itconversations.com).
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Microsoft isn’t exactly in fighting trim

From fortune.com: But Microsoft isn’t exactly in fighting trim. Its ambitious new operating system, code-named Longhorn, is more than a year late, even after having been scaled back. Linux, the free operating system that Gates once scoffed at, is fighting Microsoft for share in both the server and desktop markets, forcing the company to do the unthinkable: offer customer discounts. Last year it had to spend $1 billion to rewrite thousands of lines of code to make its programs less susceptible to viruses. Its Xbox gaming console is winning raves from players but has yet to make serious money. Meanwhile, Apple has stolen the show in online music with its hugely popular iPod and iTunes Music Store. Plus, the recently released Firefox browser, which can be downloaded free, has forced Gates to reconstitute an Internet Explorer development team. Indeed, four years have passed since Microsoft released a piece of software that generated the kind of buzz Google seems to generate every month.

When computers will beat humans … at football?

I spent the entire afternoon looking at the chess match between DeepJunior (a program) and Michele Godena (better Italian human at chess) organized in my institute. The computer played white, was in a better position throught the all game and eventually won. I had some hate feelings against the computer and I think I’d define these feelings as irrational but still I was hating the computer. Anyway, the scary thought that arised to my mind was: “how long before computers (robots) will beat humans in the world football championship?” (the real one, the one of Ronaldo and Zidane).