Category Archives: Future Risk

Your Risk Swamp

Bugaboo Wildfire Map Chandler commented on Wildfire Precedents about how some timber companies had mismanaged underbrush cleanup. That’s probably true in some places, but the details of the forestry and fire problems in the west and in the southeast are different. Fire is the usual method to clear underbrush in southeastern pine forests, But not the kind of fires we’re seeing this year.

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WIldfire Precedents

I’m having a little difficulty finding historical statistics on wildfires. Here’s someone’s understanding:

My understanding is that the size of this fire is almost unprecedented with the exception being a fire in 1955 that consumed 58,000 acres.

The wind changed today. I can smell the smoke of my neighbor’s land again. The ash is falling again, too. Bitter snows.

The Waycross Wildfire 2, jimmorrow, April 23, 2007

When he wrote that towards the end of April, 55,000 acres had been burnt near Waycross, Georgia.

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Let a Million Data Flowers Bloom

Speaking of disseminating information to interested groups via the Internet:
The publicly funded data is down here, and we’d like flowers to grow up on the net.

Myths about the Developing World Hans Rosling, TED Talks, 2007

Back in the 1960s there was the rich world with low birthrate and long life expectancy and the poor world with high birthrate and low life expectancy. Nowadays there’s much overlap and many countries that were formerly in the poor camp are almost indistinguishable from the rich camp. Seeing China climb up one way and then the other over time sinks this concept in more effectively than reading about it. Continue reading

Internet Radio DRM?

Apparently the U.S. Senate wants Internet radio providers to use Digital Rights Management (DRM), in S.256, also known as the “Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act” (PERFORM):
Then there are the issues related to the use of DRM. Since there’s no such thing as an open DRM standard broadcasters will likely pick and choose from the motley assortment of available options. Not only will this create confusion among consumers, but it will likely leave many users out in the cold. Very few DRM schemes are cross-platform, and the ones that are (FairPlay) would likely not be available to Internet broadcasters.

Chances are that many broadcasters would select Microsoft’s DRM system, effectively turning Internet radio into a Windows-only medium (and ironically leaving Zune users out of the loop).

Washington Tries Its Best To Kill Internet Radio Powered by BlogBurst, by Kirk Biglione, Medialoper – An entertainment publication for people who think, Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Biglione points out that Internet radio already pays the same music licensing fees as traditional radio, plus extra fees. To also require this extra technology could put many Internet radio stations out of business. Continue reading

Look Up!

Mike Neuenschwander proposes a Law of Relational Risk:

Contribution to the relationship that is not met proportionally by the other participants is a loss to the contributor.

Law of Relational Risk, Mike Neuenschwander, Burton Group Identity Blog, January 24, 2007

His point is that everybody hates to lose time, money, emotions, whatever that have been contributed to communication, but people often don’t think of the key feature is that such contributions being unreciprocated is what makes them lost. In other words, if the other parties put in just as much, then there is reciprocation and a relationship of some sort, including at least the possiblity of mutual benefit. Skin in the game, if you will. If they don’t, then you’ve only been suckered. This is a good point, although it has a number of exceptions and maybe even more ramifications.

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Beijing News v.

Jon Harmon demonstrates that it’s hard to write science fiction these days, when events often happen sooner than expected. In 2004 a flash film, Epic 2014 proposed that in 2011 the New York Times would sue the conglomerate aggregator Googlezon for copyright infringement. Well, it’s already happening: the Beijing News is suing Chinese aggregator in Shanghai. For copyright infringement. In China. The irony!

The suit is only for damages of $400,000, but it’s an interesting test case. Is suing your competitors good risk management? I guess we’ll see.


Aggregate, Collective, and Collaborative

For some time I’ve been saying that aggregate damage requires collective action. Recently I ran across a slightly different take on that:

Collective adversity mandates collaborative adaptation

Hal S. Knowles, III, Coordinator, Program for Resource Efficient Communities, University of Florida, 13 Feb 2006

I found this quote used by someone else as a one sentence summary of the social effects of the three laws of thermodynamics (often paraphrased as you can’t win, you can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the game). It may be true that you, singular, can’t win, etc. But we can win if we collaborate and adapt….

Now that’s risk management!


Evolving Risk

Gunnar has a good post about evolving risk. A small startup company has high business risk (easy to fail) and low security risk (not much to steal), while a big successful company has low business risk and high security risk. Pretending those different kinds of risk don’t change, or that they change in the same direction, leads to problems:

When the business reality is dynamic and the security model is static, then errors creep in.

Paul Madsen on Evolving Risk, Gunnar Peterson, 1 Raindrop, 20 Nov 2006

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TV via Internet

Everybody’s used to YouTube clips of popular TV shows these days. Beyond that, some TV shows appear only on the Internet, such as these in Jeff Pulver’s network2.

Which will be the first broadcast or cable TV show to move entirely to TV? Coiuld it be Stargate SG1?

What’s this got to do with risk? This is a new paradigm. Producers who stick with the old TV paradigm are going to have business problems.


Participation and the Long Tail

If you haven’t read Chris Anderson’s book, The Long Tail yet, I highly recommend it.

Before the Internet, the numbers of movies that could be sold were limited by the number of movie screens or shelf slots in video stores. With the Internet, via Netflix or Amazon or many online stores you can buy all sorts of movies that never would have made it. Continue reading