Indeed, some who know the history assert that the Intel 8088 was the worst among several possible 16-bit microprocessors of the day.
It was not. There was a serious alternative that was worse. I know because I was in charge of the organization within Texas Instruments that developed it: the TMS9900. Although this dog of a chip went on to be used in the world’s first 16-bit home computer, you’ve probably never heard of it. As they say, history is written by the winners.
via The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ Biggest Blunder: The TMS9900 Microprocessor – IEEE Spectrum
As a U.S. manufacturing manager pointed out, “U.S. managers analyze, rationalize, and agonize until their office walls are covered with paper before committing to a piece of equipment requiring an investment of $500,000—and therefore an annual depreciation charge of $50,000. Yet the process of evaluating and making recommendations regarding the training, compensation, and career path of a $50,000 a year (including benefits) engineer typically requires one-half of a piece of paper, reluctantly prepared in one-half hour once a year!” This difference in priorities is puzzling, particularly when one recognizes that a machine is simply the embodiment of an engineer’s skill.
via Why Japanese Factories Work
Affiliates once had to guess what kind of person might fall for their unsophisticated cons, targeting ads by age, geography, or interests. Now Facebook does that work for them. The social network tracks who clicks on the ad and who buys the pills, then starts targeting others whom its algorithm thinks are likely to buy. Affiliates describe watching their ad campaigns lose money for a few days as Facebook gathers data through trial and error, then seeing the sales take off exponentially. “They go out and find the morons for me,” I was told by an affiliate who sells deceptively priced skin-care creams with fake endorsements…
via Ad Scammers Need Suckers, and Facebook Helps Find Them – Bloomberg
Alcoholics Anonymous: Much More Than You Wanted To Know | Slate Star Codex
I love this blog. 🙂 Extra points for introducing me to the Dodo Bird Verdict:
Everybody has won, and all must have prizes