links for 2009-11-15

  • Tiger Woods and other golf superstars who stand to win millions on inch-long putts apparently are subject to the same fear and aversion to risk that can afflict investors and managers. Taking the safe route, however, has its own costs, according to new Wharton research.
    In a working paper titled, “Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes,” Wharton operations and information management professors Devin Pope and Maurice Schweitzer examine putts during pro golf tournaments and determine that even the best golfers systematically miss the opportunity to score a “birdie” — when a player sinks a ball in one stroke less than the number of expected strokes for a given hole — out of fear of having a “bogey” — or taking one stroke more than what is expected. According to the researchers, for many, the agony of a bogey seems to outweigh the thrill of a birdie.
    (tags: leadership)
  • Vice president serves meal to surprised group of homeless men in D.C.
    In a foray to a side of the nation’s capital that tourists and television cameras rarely see, Vice President Biden helped serve lunch Friday to dozens of homeless men at a shelter on the outskirts of downtown Washington.
    Biden’s surprise visit to the Father McKenna Center of St. Aloysius Church on North Capitol and I streets NW startled some of the 80 men who stood stiffly as the vice president’s entourage rushed past the dining area.
    Biden, casually dressed in a black baseball cap, black V-neck sweater, khaki trousers, rubber gloves and a worn brown apron, took his place behind a folding table and a tray of fish sticks.
    The vice president said he served the men because “you’ve got to remind yourself that but for the grace of God there go I.”
    (tags: biden politics)

  • I’ve had a nagging frustration in my otherwise perfect relationship with Google Voice. The service systematically replaces my friend’s phone numbers with their Google Voice numbers when they call, even when they aren’t calling from Google Voice. Not only has this led to a lot of confusing and time wasting “how did you get my Google Voice phone number?” conversations, it is a clear violation of Google’s own privacy policy.
    Here’s how this works: Let’s say you signed up for Google Voice sometime in the past. The main benefit of Google Voice is that it forwards calls to your other phones ¿ the whole “one number for life” thing. So you probably told Google Voice a few of your other phone numbers ¿ home, work, mobile, etc. And then perhaps you stopped using the service after testing it.
    (tags: google voice)
  • In July of last year, I wrote about The New Apple Walled Garden. The post was about the irony of developers and advocates who were otherwise open standards and open source champions being absolutely pro-iPhone, a platform that is closed and proprietary in every sense. Since that post, the horror that was foreshadowed by some has been realized ¿ rejected apps, rejected apps, rejected apps. We documented the troubles here at Techcrunch and the overall response was nothing more than long comment threads, complaints, and a few wise people changing their minds. The complaints to date are from some bloggers and a small number of application developers, incidents that Apple are able to write-off as being minor, as they have a dedicated fan base and growing market share to fall back on. That was, until yesterday.

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