Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Don't let the Goblins get you!!
(graphic source: Google+)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Skills Do Tech Companies Look for In New Hires?

One paragraph that says it all--and I wonder how many "educators" understand what Google is saying?--

What Skills Do Tech Companies Look for In New Hires?: "Google-- "On the technical side, we look for candidates who are not only excellent at coding, but also good at collaborating, comfortable with ambiguity and passionate about their work.  We are not looking for an isolated skill set, but need people with a variety of strengths and passions. To find these people, we look more closely at how you think than how your transcript reads. We want people who won’t get stuck trying to find the right answer, but instead, will puzzle out multiple possible answers and then synthesize one, elegant solution. "On the non-technical side, we are looking for bright, intelligent people who want to make a difference. We want to see that you've had impact in previous experiences. Whether you built a team at your previous job or started a club at school — we want to know about it. We’re looking for our future leaders and want to see how you’ve mobilized teams, mentored co-workers and taken the lead when needed.""

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Color Purple Private Property?

I think we need to completely re-imagine (and limit) concepts of property--

Kraft’s Cadbury Wins Ruling in Nestle Suit Over Color Purple - Bloomberg: "Today’s decision is a partial victory for Nestle as it “protects our brands by further limiting the range of goods for which Cadbury’s application may be registered,” Nestle spokesman James Maxton said in an e-mailed statement. Judge Birss said the trademark wouldn’t apply to boxes of chocolates, or other products such as white or dark chocolate. “In my judgment it would not be right to say that the color purple is distinctive of chocolate generally.” Cadbury said that the ruling “allows us to register as a trademark and protect our famous color purple across a range of milk chocolate products.” The “color purple has been linked with Cadbury for more than a century and the British public have grown up understanding its link with our chocolate,” the company said in an e-mailed statement."

I thought purple belonged to Yahoo! (LOL)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Myths Of Social Media Branding [Video link]

Social Media? Overhyped or effective branding?

The Challenges Of Social Media Branding [Video]: "Curtis Hougland, CEO of social media marketing firm Attention USA, recently spoke about the myths of social media and how businesses can better utilize it at the 2012 Best of Breed Conference. He also sat down with CRN TV to discuss the positive and negative effects of social media on business marketing and branding." Here's the link:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sallie Krawcheck Tells Us Where She Thinks Young People Should Work On Wall Street

Sallie Krawcheck's storied Wall Street career includes executive roles at Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Her first job, though, was at Salomon Brothers in the late 1980s. Krawcheck tells us about her strange first experience on Wall Street and whether it's worth it for young people go into the industry.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hague makes case for minimalist EU - Less Government is Better

Here's a novel (and futuristic) idea: minimalist government-- / Political Affairs / Hague makes case for minimalist EU: "BRUSSELS - British foreign minister William Hague on Monday (22 October) made the case for a politically minimalist European Union, saying that to be more effective it needs neither to be more expensive or more centralised. Speaking in Berlin, Hague spelled out that through London's eyes, the EU is primarily good for the single market and for a few foreign policy objectives, such as tackling piracy and "squeezing the Iranian nuclear programme." Further enlargement, particularly to include Turkey, is also to be supported. But notions of speaking with one voice on the global stage or furthering political union remain an anathema to the UK, where, Hague told the audience at the pro-democracy Koerber foundation, "public disillusionment with the EU in Britain is the deepest it has ever been." "People feel that in too many ways the EU is something that is done to them, not something over which they have a say." He said this why the government will over the next two years review "what the EU does and how it affects us."

What a wonderful exercise for any government to do - review what the government does (and should not do) and how it affects us!

For instance, we know from experience that governments (specifically the United Nations) and governmental bodies want to censor and damage the free internet. Often, LESS government is BETTER!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tom Wolfe on his new book, Back to Blood

Tom Wolfe on his new book, Back to Blood - Telegraph:" . . . Pretty soon we’re back in Paris in the 1880s, when the rot set in. An intellectual movement was born that scorned realistic art and literature as plebeian, and championed more difficult and experimental work. Wolfe has been banging on about this since 1970 at least, and he’s still thoroughly energised on the subject. 'Rimbaud and Baudelaire were the darlings of a very intellectual group. It also included a man named Catulle Mendès, who told a newspaper interviewer, “We no longer care about the masses. We write for 'a charming aristocracy’.” That was the phrase: a charming aristocracy of taste. Now Rimbaud and Baudelaire are somewhat understandable, but as time goes on, to show that you’re a member of that charming aristocracy, you have to like things that completely baffle the masses and the middle class. It all started from there – concretism, minimalism, every -ism you can think of, right up to the present day.’Rather than keep coming up with new fads to make the in-crowd feel superior, Wolfe thinks art and literature should broaden their appeal and re-engage the masses. The only way to do this, he has argued for nearly 50 years, is to go back to realism, and portray society as it actually is. His literary heroes are Dickens and Zola – novelists who went out into the world like journalists, wrote for the masses and made their books as real as possible. 'If the novel dies, which it may do in this country, it’s because our novelists aren’t doing this any more.’ To put it another way, almost everyone writing fiction these days is doing it wrong except Tom Wolfe. This, he seems to believe, is why his novels have been so widely read. . . ."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An Electrifying Stunt

David Blaine performed a final rehearsal before he plans to subject himself to one million volts of electricity for 72 straight hours.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

UrtheCast - HiDef from ISS

Introduction to UrtheCast - YouTube:
UrtheCast is launching the world's first ever high definition, streaming video platform of planet Earth. The camera will be installed on the outside of the International Space Station through a joint effort with the Russian Space Agency. The camera will provide a 40 km wide, high resolution, color image down to as close as 1.1 metres.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

$50,000 and a coffee shop around the corner

Views under the Palm - $50,000 and a coffee shop around the corner'.: ""The cloud has levelled the playing field for business, says Amazon's chief technology officer Dr Werner Vogels. Ten years ago, a start-up needed $5 million. Now, Vogels says, it's 'just $50,000 and a coffee shop around the corner'."

1 | An Experimental New Starbucks Store: Tiny, Portable, And Hyper Local | Co.Design: business + innovation + design: "It’s hard to remember the Folgers era, before Seattle’s grunge scene and coffee culture invaded the U.S. In retrospect, the shift seems inevitable. Coffee, popularized during the industrial revolution, just got bigger as the Internet revolution began. Today we all know that a laptop is near-useless without an Internet connection and a warm cup of caffeine by its side. Yet Starbucks’s Arthur Rubinfeld, the now president of global development but architect by trade (and Co.Design 50), remembers a different story--one where Starbucks wasn’t a trenta-sized juggernaut, but a longshot beverage company hoping to sell America on frou-frou coffee. “When I joined in ‘92, we were under 100 stores."

Here's to Starbucks and all the other great coffee places that keep internet entrepreneurs fueled and connected.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Few Fortune 500 CEOs on LinkedIn


Few Fortune 500 CEOs on LinkedIn, report says - New York Business Journal: "Just 7 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs in the U.S. have created a LinkedIn profile, according to a study released Tuesday by CTPartners Executive Search Inc."

Social Media has its place but is not really necessary for success--better to stay focused than distracted!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Antidoping Agency Details Doping Case Against Lance Armstrong

How long did he plan to carry on this charade?

Antidoping Agency Details Doping Case Against Lance Armstrong - "A 202-page account of the agency’s case against Armstrong included sworn testimony from 26 people, including nearly a dozen former teammates on Armstrong’s United States Postal Service and Discovery Channel squads who said they saw Armstrong doping to help him win every one of his record seven Tour de France titles."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Crony Capitalism kills EADS-BAE merger

Government interference kills business opportunity--

EADS, BAE call off world's biggest arms merger | Reuters: "The merger hinged on France and Germany accepting a more limited role in the combined firm than they have wielded in the past at EADS, maker of Airbus aircraft. In the end, it was Berlin, rather than Paris, that proved the problem. "We had clear red lines that we were not willing to go beyond, relative to engagement and involvement of governments," BAE's CEO Ian King said. "If that was going to impinge on our ability to commercially run this new merged organization, and support and develop our existing business, then we wouldn't go to that point, and that is where we are today.""

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You Were Warned

Gross’s Burning Bond Market Fails to Frighten Investors - Bloomberg: "“The greatest irony here is the perception of safety in a fixed-income security,” said Mitchell Stapley, chief fixed income officer at Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Asset Management. “As the head fixed-income guy here, when I look at bonds today, they scare the hell out of me.”"


Monday, October 15, 2012

Japanese "amping down"

Japanese "amping down" (video) - Extreme Energy Saving In Japan
Japanese families are voluntarily "amping down" their energy consumption by physically capping their circuit-breaker boxes. WSJ's Phred Dvorak visits with two families and finds out what household appliances they're giving up.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Paperboy - Sweaty Agitation in Steamy Florida

In a State of Sweaty Agitation in Steamy Florida » " . . . In the hands of Mr. Daniels — who directed “Precious Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” and“Shadowboxer” — Mr. Dexter’s complex tale pulsates with wayward desire and confused motivation. Not a few of the characters are driven to distraction by the swampy Florida heat and their own lust, and the movie itself seems to share their state of sweaty agitation. It is by turns lurid, humid, florid, languid and stupid, but it is pretty much all id all the time. . . "

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Focus on Content Creators (video)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ericsson’s Chief on Surviving Disruption (video)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Terrorists Don't Want Justice

They don't want their "day in court"--UK terrorist suspects charged in US - Europe - Al Jazeera English: "Babar Hamad and Syed Talha Ahsan, who were extradited from the UK, have pleaded not guilty to US federal charges of providing suspected terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Chechnya with financial aid, arms and personnel."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Comments, Anger, Rage, and the Internet

Do you read "comments?" Do you write "comments?"

Internet intensifies Jewish squabbles over Israel, identity – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs: "“Comments sections are, of course, the province of those with too much time on their hands, and our culture of Web anonymity invites terrible excesses,” Gordis wrote, adding “Have we learned nothing at all about the dangers of language run amok from the horrors of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination? Are we wholly unchastened by where we’ve been in the past as a people? Do we not believe that there should be limits on what we can and cannot say to one another?” Scientific American recently published an article titled “Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry?”  in which Art Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas characterized online comments as "extraordinarily aggressive, without resolving anything.”"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Do colleagues kill your productivity?

Productivity, interruptions, and distractions--

Do colleagues kill your productivity? - CBS News: ""People are constantly talking to you." Plus, there are tons of other distractions. Other people's phones ring. They holler about lunch plans. You start thinking that "If I could just be at home, I could crank out my work," O'Kelly said. If you'd like to make the case for working at home, these surveys offer an intriguing approach. Try tracking your time for a week or so at the office, noting how many times you are interrupted and how much time you are able to focus on bigger projects that require more thought. If the number of interruptions is unreasonably high, a reasonable boss might agree to let you try telecommuting a few days a week."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hewlett-Packard Looks for a Turnaround (video)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Google Stands for Free Speech

REUTERS: Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt defends his company's decision to keep an anti-Islam film on its YouTube website despite violent protests all over the Muslim world. Schmidt said in his defense that, "We ultimately believe that the best answer to speech is more speech, not the other way around."

Google deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Do Tech Entrepreneurs Need to Know How to Code?

A Question Asked All The Time--

Do Tech Entrepreneurs Need to Know How to Code? - Tech Europe - WSJ: "“The two most important skills for any entrepreneur are to prioritize scarce resources of labor and money,” said Katrin Buckenmaier, co-founder and CEO of Moscow’s travel-booking service Travelmenu, “and to build a founding team which has complimentary skills.” Hiring was also singled out by Alexandra Chong, CEO of social network Luluvise. “Entrepreneurs should spend their time on what they’re good at, and hire wisely to fill the gaps. Hiring is the most important thing. It’s a real skill, as much as coding is.”

"So what should entrepreneurs spend their time on? Kadri Ugand, co-founder of Tallinn, Estonia,-based GameFounders, was clear and succinct. “What should they spend their time on? Execution.”"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Marissa Mayer Killed Google-Yahoo Deal

Gotta love that Marissa Mayer--if for no other reason than she will give Yahoo a fighting chance--and the fact that one of the first things she did was "kill" the deal that would have given Yahoo's ad tech business to Google (ouch--that had to hurt in Mountain View)--

Marissa Mayer Only Gave Google 30 Minutes Notice - Business Insider: "Besides the details of her hasty departure, consider Yahoo's new plans for its ad tech business. Earlier this summer, Google was set to buy the whole thing from Yahoo for a few hundred million dollars. Yahoo corporate development executives even pitched the deal to the board. One Yahoo executive told us that Google revenue boss Nikesh Arora made a pitch suggesting that Yahoo would be able to cut 2,000 jobs and grow its EBITDA 50% making the deal. The deal, which would have been a huge win for Google, looked like it was going ot happen. But then the Yahoo board hired Mayer instead of interim CEO Ross Levinsohn. And then, last week, the whole ad tech deal was scotched. Mayer – who has brought Google-y perks to Yahoo like free food and smartphones for all – may be actively trying to make the place she works for more like her old employer, but, it's becoming pretty clear: she no stooge for Google. She's no mole for Larry Page."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney and Those Who Pay No Income Tax

Behind the 'People Who Pay No Income Tax' - "Mother Jones has published a video of Mitt Romney at a private fund-raiser making incendiary remarks about Obama voters – and, well, about half of the electorate."

But wait--those who pay "no income tax"--maybe he is including the corporations that pay no income tax:

30 Major Corporations Paid No Income Taxes In The Last Three Years, While Making $160 Billion | ThinkProgress: "CTJ looked at 280 companies, all of them members of the Fortune 500, and found that “while the federal corporate tax code ostensibly requires big corporations to pay a 35 percent corporate income tax rate, on average, the 280 corporations in our study paid only about half that amount.” And those who paid even half the statutory corporate tax rate paid far more than many of their competitors. In fact, in the last three years, 78 corporations had at least one year where they paid no federal income tax at all, while 30 corporations paid not a dime over the entire three years. Those 30 corporations paid nothing, even though they made $160 billion in profits over that period"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hemingway's Boat - Pilar

Well worth watching (only a few minutes long)--

Hemingway's Boat - C-SPAN Video Library:
National Book Festival - Paul Hendrickson talked about his biography, Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost.  He was interviewed while at the 12th annual National Book Festival, held on the National Mall. "

Pilar (Ernest Hemingway's boat) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Ernest Hemingway owned a 38-foot (12 m) fishing boat named Pilar. It was acquired in April 1934 from Wheeler Shipbuilding in Brooklyn, New York, for $7,495.[1] "Pilar" was a nickname for Hemingway's wife Pauline and also the heroine in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Hemingway regularly fished off the boat in the waters of Key West, Florida, Marquesas Keys, and the gulf stream off the Cuban coast. He made three trips with the boat to the Bimini islands wherein his fishing, drinking, and fighting exploits drew much attention and remain part of the history of the islands. In addition to fishing trips on Pilar, Hemingway contributed to scientific research which included collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. Several of Hemingway's books were influenced by time spent on the boat, most notably, The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What happens to stolen art? (video)

A former FBI agent who is an expert in stolen art chats with business reporter Stuart Pfeifer and deputy business editor Joe Bel Bruno following the theft of $10 million in artworks from bond king Jeffrey Gundlach's Santa Monica home. Retired FBI agent Robert K. Wittman said wealthy individuals can afford to buy expensive paintings but often don't take the precautions necessary to protect them. That's why it's much more common for valuable art to be stolen from private individuals' homes than from museums and galleries, he said. Read more a

Monday, October 1, 2012

America in free-fall?

The annual Economic Freedom of the World report,* including an index of country rankings, has just been released, and it should be a wake-up call. The United States was known as the bastion of economic freedom for more than two centuries, and it was because of its economic freedom that the nation became the pre-eminent economic power. However, in just a few short years, the U.S. has fallen from No. 3 in 2000 (behind the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore) to No. 8 in 2005 and to No. 18 in 2010, the last year for which complete statistics are available. Worse yet, the U.S. decline continues, and in next year’s ranking, it is almost certain to be lower.

RAHN: America in free-fall - Washington Times: "During this election season, the U.S. should be having a national debate about what can be done to restore economic freedom. It is perhaps no surprise that the Obama administration has been silent on the issue, because many of its policies have caused the decline. But Mitt Romney also has had little to say about it. Economic freedom grew under President Reagan, and he made its decline under President Carter an issue in his campaign. Jack Kemp made his name in promoting economic freedom and growth, which resonated with the American people. It is hoped that this report, detailing the shockingly steep U.S. decline, will wake up the Romney campaign team and the mainstream media."

Wake up the Romney campaign? Too late for that--they're pretty much out of it.

*The main components of the index include the size of government (taxing and spending), legal systems, property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation (including credit markets, labor and business regulations). The report says it “uses 42 different variables derived from sources such as the World Bank to measure the degree to which the institutions and policies of 144 countries are consistent with economic freedom.” It is published by the Cato Institute in the United States, the Fraser Institute in Canada and a network of institutes in 78 other countries. 

Read more: RAHN: America in free-fall - Washington Times

Reuters: World News

Top Stories - Google (UK) News

Reuters: Technology News

The Register articles by Kieren McCarthy

Altucher Confidential

BuzzMachine - Jeff Jarvis


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