What is the opposite of Garbage In, Garbage Out?

I was chatting this morning and found myself searching for a turn of phrase that that neatly sums up, "If you put something good into the process, you get something good out of it." We have the negative - GIGO - or garbage in, garbage out. But I can't find the opposite of GIGO.

GIGO is derived from FIFO - first in, first out - a stacking description like LIFO (last in, first out) used to describe the difference between, say, an ammo belt and an ammo clip. But that alone doesn't help.

Any suggestions? Gold in, gold out?

For that matter, do we have an opposite of garbage? Many things are garbage, but there is no one name for them before they become garbage.


LinkedIn earned $16M last year. It's valued at $8.9B. You crazy enough to ride that train?

Joe Nocera asked whether LinkedIn was scammed by Morgan Stanley during it's IPO. The bank priced the IPO at around $45-48, paying the company a percentage of that valuation. The stock opened north of $90, which is where the bank sold it, netting the bank 100% profit immediately, plus filing fees, etc.

Likely true. Thing is, is LinkedIn (LNKD) worth $93 (where it stands right now)? Let me put it in perspective for you: it's price to earnings ratio (PE or the stick price * total shares / what you earned) is 561. The company earned $16M last year. The valuation has it at over $8.9B. Yahoo has those earnings even lower, putting the P/E at 1412.

Other prominent companies' P/E ratios:
AAPL - Apple - 15.95
GSK - GlaxoSmithKline - 37.48

Other brand new IPOs' P/E ratios:
WIFI - Boingo Wireless - 19.68 (Nice ticker symbol btw)
GNC - GNC Stores - 21.55

(ZIP - ZipCar had an IPO, but has not yet reported any earnings so P/E is not available.)

Callista Gingrich was great in Mars Attacks!

Callista Gingrich.

I'm jus sayin'


At what point do we just call Frank Camping a liar? #NoRapture

Camping says to wait until October 21 for the rapture now. Right. 2011. Not 1994. I don't even believe that he believes this any more. That makes him a liar and his lies are hurting people and tearing apart families over this issue.

NPR Music is full of label shills. Seriously. It surprised me too.

Jacob Ganz and Frannie Kelley of NPR music were on Friday's Planet Money podcast. They were talking about Jonathan Coulton, a geek rocker who has no label deals at all and makes several hundred K a year selling his stuff online. The question was simple: Is Coulton's success a signal that the label system is going away?

Jacob Ganz and Frannie Kelley said Coulton was lucky, but his model was not repeatable. Their argument: Labels make artists. They take over all the backend stuff - marketing, booking, advertising, getting you on the radio, and on and on. The poster-child: Biebber. Coulton, working online, can't become Biebber.

Just listen to the podcast. It's 25 minutes of hipster music lovers defending labels that churn through, eat up, and spit out the indie-esque bands that NPR loves to feature in their tiny desk concerts. (Also recommended) Seriously?!

And to make you feel better, perhaps the best kinetic typography on the internet:


Point against end times: no rapture. Point for end times: Pogue in Sheen-esque chick fight. #NoRapture

Seriously, how weird is it to read about David Pogue in a physical altercation with his estranged wife?

Oh, and I got a copy of Vanity Fair on paper this weekend read the Sheen recount. Well done. More on why I had that kind of time on my hands later.


Slate's Hang Up and Listen. A multi-culti sports gabfest

Slate's Hang Up and Listen is part of the Slate Daily Podcast series and is not to be missed. This is not a blogger's podcast or even an ESPN sports podcast. This is Josh Levin of Slate, Mike Pesca of NPR and Stefan Fatsis (who brought you Word Freak about competitive Scrabble, which he still coaches at the national level) chatting about the business of observing sports.

Like the other gabfests, their's is a discussion about the discussion of sports. Their purview extends beyond the big 4 to NCAA, MLS, futbol, curling, and any other fancy you might have. This is smart sports even if you aren't into sports. (Think Sideshow Bob: Even non-sports fans? Especially non-sports fans, but especially sports fans.):

Bob: You again! Well, that's it. I'm going to do what I should have done a long time ago. (at the Simpson home, there is a knock at the door. Marge opens it and its Bob)Madam, your children are no more… (pause) … than a pair of ill-bred troublemakers.
Homer: Lisa too?
Bob: Especially Lisa. But, especially Bart.
- HT


Count me an SSD convert. These things are awesome!

I just bought a new rig for work. I actually went from a laptop that acted as a desktop to a desktop that has now identity crisis. In the new desktop is a 50GB solid state hard drive. (An SSD for short).

For the uninitiated, HDD (hard disk drives) classically have spinning platters inside. The drives ability to access data relies on the data coming by as the disk spins. SSDs have no platters. They look like RAM (Random Access Memory) or a USB Drive, but much larger and with faster read/write abilities.

What's the big deal? My computer is an older Pentium dual core and still boots up Windows 7 Pro in 20-30 seconds. It opens Word in 1 second. It opens Photoshop in 2-5 seconds. I've never seen a bigger performance boost.

SSDs are expensive, but you don't need a huge one. Mine is 50GB (< $100) and houses Win7 + all my applications. All storage will be done on an external HDD that will be 250GB +.

http://www.buump.com/ - a relationship bracelet that screams "I will always be single!"

Seriously, bracelets with Facebook-style relationship statuses on them? Might be the dumbest thing I see all week. (www.buump.com)


Iran to permit victim of acid burning to blind her assailant. What is the ethical thing to do?


[First off, the latest I have is that this has been postponed.] The facts are pretty simple: Woman spurns her lover. He stops her on her way home and throws acid in her face, disfiguring and blinding her. It is part of a rash of such attacks in Iran.

The court awards her monetary damages and considers a physical penalty. She rejects the money and asks that he be blinded with acid - a literal 'eye for an eye' under Sharia law. The court allows it if the assailant is rendered unconscious and the victim uses droppers to drop the acid into his eyes. Gross, I fully admit.

But...what is the ethical thing to do here?

Progressive ethics says, "This is barbaric. Don't." I can't count current American ethics as progressive. Killing a person permits one to be killed; that's the granddaddy of them all, so arguing that lesser punishments for lesser crimes are somehow worse than the death penalty is illogical. American's wouldn't abide by disfigurement as a punishment owing to some mix of the Scarlet Letter and the Eighth Amendment. Still, I think an honest look concludes the position is inconsistent.

And what of the rash of such attacks? The death penalty does not deter murder, but could disfigurement deter disfigurement? I guess that's where the Scarlet Letter does make a difference. A murderer doesn't have to live the death penalty. If the American position that disfigurement is potentially worse than death is credible, then perhaps it could have real deterrent power. So, again, is such a punishment ethical?

I'll put in my opinion: Don't do it and work on the rule of law. Punishment to prevent injury was effective when policing could not deter crime as effectively as it does today. If a man who throws acid knows that he has a better than even chance of rotting in prison, he doesn't do it. I understand that achieving strong rule of law takes time, but the only way to have it succeed is for everyone to act as if it exists until it does. Acts like this erode it.


Slate's Culture Gabfest - the least and shallowest of the them all, but still worth it.

I listen to every one of the Slate daily podcasts. You can get them all on one stream. They are: Politics, Hang Up and Listen (Sports), Culture, XX (Double X), Audio Book Club and a smattering of smaller features.

I just finished listening to the Culture Gabfest for this week and it is both exactly why I listen and exactly why it is my least favorite. The problem with the Culture Gabfest is that it is a culture gabfest - a navel gazing shallow picayune consideration of the mostly banal topic of the moment. The exercise frustrates because it often gives more thought to a thing than its creator did. In some cases, a lot more. It also frustrates because these people are so well educated and so knowledgeable about popular culture that you just wonder what they could accomplish if they did something productive with their lives. Imagine listening to the Cabinet sitting around talking about sports week after week after week; cool yes, but the futility would begin to wear on you. (If the hosts ever trip over this post, I apologize, but take it as an admission of your superior intellect).

So why listen at all? Two reasons:
1. iTunes on the iPod Touch as a 2x speed, bringing any conversation up to my preferred clip.
2. I do a lot of things to be exposed to matter I wouldn't see if left to my own devices. I won't read these books or think about the royal wedding or consider the post-tiger mother response by first generation asian american males, and that's just the past 2 week's worth. And of course, there is the occasional gem, like this:


Peter Orszag, how did you go from healthcare reform pwrhouse at CBO and OMB to CitiGroup?


I don't mean to pick on Peter Orszag. He's a very smart guy and he just lost his dad. Thing is, I know the thoughtful Peter Orszag who spearheaded research into health reform at CBO and pushed for it at OMB. He's a wonk. His lack of polish is in direct proportion to his integrity.

Then I read about Peter Orszag, Vice Chairman of Global Banking at Citigroup and husband to Bianna Golodryga Orszag, Weekend Good Morning America host. Top level exec at the big banks whose bailout he assessed at CBO, traipsing around with on-air eye-candy in New York City.

Who is the real Peter Orszag?


I am trying Inbox Zero for a change. I'll let you know if it works. Boomerang for Gmail too.

Inbox Zero: http://www.43folders.com/izero. The idea is simple. Instead of having 23,496 emails in my Gmail inbox accumulated over 10 years, I now have 3. I archived everything else, so that my inbox really consists of pending emails only. We'll see how that goes.

Also, I wrote several emails late last night that needed to be sent this morning. I didn't want to log in this morning to send them. Enter Boomerang for Gmail - http://www.boomeranggmail.com/. The service will let you schedule emails for a later time and do two more things I haven't thought through:

1. Boomerang an email back into your inbox at a later time. Think bills, follow up calls, etc.
2. Boomerang an email back to the recipient if they don't respond (or just as a reminder).

Where do you think I got the idea of Inbox Zero? duh. The second power might be too much. Heck, I am not sure I'll use the first, but the ability to delay send? That's gold.


Small Thoughts on Podcasts: @waitwait from NPR. It's a little like liking chocolate: everyone does but you still like it.

I listen to podcasts almost exclusively. I don't mean that I have neglected eating, raising my child, changing my pants, et. al. to listen to podcasts. I mean that I spend about 9 hours a week with audio on. Of those, around 1.5 are at NPR.org listening to Morning Edition and the other 7.5 are spent on podcasts. I got a request from the child seat yesterday for "mooosic," but until then, it is all NPR and podcasts in my world.

So I have some strong thoughts on podcasting - what works, what doesn't etc. I won't rant here, but I will give you my favorites. Here is a tentative list of reviews that are coming:

* Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (this one)
* Freakonomics Radio
* Radiolab
* This American Life
* The Moth
* TEDTalks
* Science Friday
* Intelligence Squared
* Planet Money

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me
This is NPR's most popular show outside of the mainstays from morning and afternoon drive (Morning Edition and All Things Considered). Peter Segal, who penned a heart-wrenching screenplay of love in the time of Cuban Revolution that eventually somehow became Dirty Dancing 2 - Havana Nights (Google - Peter Segal Havana Nights American Life to hear how), Carl Kassel, and the team are laid back. The wit flows like water.

There was a stat about a year ago that males 18-34 got most of their news from The Daily Show. Yeah. Thing is, if you watch the Daily Show, you might get all the same information you get on cable news and they still have 17-19 minutes for straight jokes. Same goes for this show.

One recent development of note is a shuffling of panelists. The show has a host, an announcer, and three guest panelists who discuss the news and answer questions. I loved the old guard: Paula Poundstone, PJ O'Rourke, Kyrie O'Connor, and Tom Bodette. I hope they find some stable fresh blood.

And lastly, I can't resist: There is an Wait Wait stats blog showing panelist point totals and so on at http://closedsrc.org/_apps/waitwaitstats/. And EVEN BETTER, analysis of those stats: http://soquoted.blogspot.com/2010/10/bet-on-adam-and-kyrie-and-bet-against.html


The scene at the White House Gates #DingDongTheWitchIsDead

I was downtown last night at the White House. I was working late at the office 2 blocks away and couldn' t resist just going to see the massing crowds at 1 a.m. So what was it like?
  • Boston World Series Win: 3x or more
  • Yom H'atzmaut on Rabin Square: 10x
  • Most any large soccer win...bigger, depending on the city.
Having said that, this was spontaneous so I give it a lot of credit. The sports analogies are perhaps the most apropos. The participants had 'won' but we weren't in any sort of immediate mortal danger, so it really felt like a big sports victory.

I heard a lot of "USA, we're number one" and then some stupider, baser comments uttered by, well, kids, so take that for what it is worth. Mostly, though, the atmosphere was relieved and chipper rather than hopped up or edgy. Remarkably low stakes if that makes sense.

I didn't jump into the fray. You look at this issue - any issue - long enough and 'winning' doesn't make sense any more. Neither does 'justice' here. There isn't really justice to the dead. We didn't take down Al Qaida, just an aging figurehead. We didn't really win - the State Department had to issue a worldwide travel warning to Americans starting immediately. We did what we set out to do, and we did it by sending an arm of the U.S. military under command of a non-military intelligence agency on foreign soil without an act of Congress. I think the Obama administration has actually earned the credibility to do that. We did what we set out to do; I am just saying it is complicated.