Of Interest for October 23, 2015

For those who read my mailing lists, each issue had a Quicklinks section along with a few topics I covered in more depth. This Of Interest series will be an occasional the items that I put in that part of the list — things I think are interesting enough to mention and deserve more than a twitter retweet, but aren’t in themselves somethign I want to make their own blog post. I’d guess we’ll see an Of Interest every 2-3 weeks, at least for now… I’ll be doing one series here and firing up a similar photography-centric series over on the photography blog as well.

Of Interest This Time

  • Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Says Executive Departures Were ‘Careful Planning’: I’ve come to realize nothing can fix Yahoo. It beat Carol Bartz and it’s beating Mayer. Having worked for Carol back at Sun when she was running pieces of the company and I was a lot younger and less aware of the bigger picture, all I can say is if these two can’t figure out Yahoo, it’s time to give up, part out the useful pieces to other companies, and then take what’s left out into the parking lot and burn it before it infects something useful. There’s a lot of toxic pieces tied up inside some good bits left around Yahoo, and it’s time to be realistic about that and stop trying to heal them, but instead start major surgery and move on. Yahoo seems fixed on that same path of irrelevance that SGI took, long, slow and painful, and I’m not sure why we should care for or root for what Yahoo’s become any longer.
  • The Marine Mammal Polluting the Ocean With Toxic Mercury: so a nature preserve is finding mercury poisoning on site, finds it’s coming from the shedded hair of elephant seals. Elephant seals are a peak predator and what they’re doing is eating other prey and the mercury pollution passes on to the predator, which collects and concentrates it. So we poison the water, which poisons the small animals, which are eaten by the big ones, which get poisoned, and we find that out when their shedding poisons the reserves set aside to protect them. Need a sadder and more significant pointer to how badly we’ve screwed up this planet we have to live on and with?
  • Huge Win for Activists Over Industry: Shell Abandons Offshore Oil Drilling in the Arctic: Shell wastes years and billions on this effort, abandons it after poor results from test drilling. Now think of an alternative where they instead looked at themselves as an energy generation company and not a petroleum company and invested seven to ten billion dollars into renewables and solar generation instead of drilling holes…. A failure of vision as well as execution.