Simon Willison’s Weblog


Tuesday, 29th October 2013

Http:// I’ve been contacted by this ABS to pursue some kind of degree leading to lots of money. It definitely looks like a scam, but is it? Has anyone actually done business with them? Are they legit?

When this exact same question was asked on Yahoo Answers a couple of months ago someone showed up the same day with a very positive testimonial. I wonder if the same thing will happen here on Quora.

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Will it ever be possible to know all the variables involving a specific chaotic event, like the lottery numbers?

IANAP (I Am Not A Physicist) but my understanding of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is that it is impossible to know both the exact position and the exact momentum of a particle at the same time. So no.

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What are good topics for panel discussions?

Anything that’s controversial in your industry, especially if it’s a recent debate. Just make sure that your panelists disagree—there’s nothing more boring than a panel where everyone has exactly the same opinion.

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What design techniques does Apple use in the introduction page of iPad Air?

Apple used the same technique on their Apple—Mac Pro page. I first saw this trick used on the BeerCamp at SXSW 2011 page.

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Are there more annual TED and TED-related conferences than there are days in the year?

According to there were 245 community-run TEDx events in 61 countries in just the last month, so yes it’s safe to say there are considerably more annually than there are days in the year.

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Do you need the feature in Dropbox mobile app that allows using the chosen files in offline mode? Why?

I use this all the time. It’s especially useful for travelling (when you’re abroad you often don’t have inexpensive cellular data or access to WiFi). I use it for:

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Why doesn’t Yelp require a login? Is there evidence that suggests that acquiring users at the engagement stage versus initial landing is effective in specific markets?

Unnecessarily requiring a login to browse is (in my opinion) dumb. It discourages people from sharing links to content on the surface and can prevent search engines from indexing content, both of which are terrible for SEO. It also puts a pointless barrier in front of people who are trying to figure out if your service is any use, and encourages fake signups which pointlessly pollute your user database.

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