Friday, November 30, 2012

Growing Censorship by Governments Against the Internet

A chronic problem getting worse--

Google Reports Internet Censorship Government Efforts Surge 70 Percent | Top Secret Writers: "So why is there a growing desire from governments across the world to stifle netizens and remove online content? The incident that immediately springs to mind when exploring this question is the role social media played in the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. The role that Twitter and Facebook played in the political unrest and protests that occurred early last year were pivotal. In the second edition of the Arab Social Media Report conducted by the Dubai School of Government gave pragmatic weight to the general surmise that: “Facebook and Twitter abetted if not enabled the historic region-wide uprisings of early 2011.”  In organizing and promoting protests via social media networking sites, the Internet ultimately played a vital role in the eventual demise of long-standing and dictatorial governments in Egypt, Syria, Libra and Tunisia. . . . "






Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bionic Mannequins Spy on Shoppers, Catch Criminals (video)


Store mannequins are meant to catch your eye. Soon you may catch theirs. Benetton Group SpA is among fashion brands deploying mannequins equipped with technology used to identify criminals at airports to watch over shoppers in their stores.(source:Bloomberg)





Monday, November 26, 2012

Diamonds are not necessarily forever (video)


Diamonds are not necessarily forever (video) - Stephanie Ruhle reports on the fall of diamond prices and increased sales of other gemstones. She speaks on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers." (Source: Bloomberg)



Friday, November 23, 2012

Defend Internet Freedom - Take Action

The UN is going to try to take control of the internet and destroy internet freedom--go to the link that follows for more information:

Take Action – Google: "The Internet empowers everyone — anyone can speak, create, learn, and share. It is controlled by no one — no single organization, individual, or government. It connects the world. Today, more than two billion people are online — about a third of the planet."






Thursday, November 22, 2012

She got around: Jill Kelley visited the White House three times this year

That woman "got around"--

Jill Kelley visited the White House three times this year | The Daily Caller: "An Obama administration official says a Tampa Bay socialite whose emails triggered the eventual downfall of CIA director David Petraeus visited the White House three times this year with her sister, twice eating in the Executive Mansion mess. The official says that Jill Kelley, who initiated an investigation that ultimately unveiled Petraeus’ extramarital affair, and her sister had two “courtesy” meals at the White House mess as guests of a mid-level White House aide. Kelley and her family also received a White House tour. The visits occurred during the past three months."


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ron Paul farewell speech (video link)

Recommended:

Ron Paul’s farewell speech (video link): "The Texas Congressman — and three-time presidential candidate — said goodbye in farewell remarks on the House floor Wednesday. He spoke for a LONG time — 48 minutes — but those who follow the man they call “Dr. Paul” likely consumed (and re-consumed) every word. Given Paul’s surprising influence on the GOP in recent years — particularly on fiscal matters — and the likelihood that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (his son) will run for president, it’s worth checking out. (And yes, there are gold standard and raw milk references.)"






Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Governments disrupted by the internet

Recommended: Margaret Hodge and Jeff Jarvis debate the rights and wrongs of the revelation that Google, Starbucks and Amazon pay so little tax in the UK:

Should we boycott Google, Starbucks and Amazon? | Comment is free | The Observer: (excerpt) " . . . Jeff Jarvis: Please show me the rule book – ie the law – that defines "fair". For that matter, since you've suggested these companies are immoral, point me to the Bible verse that enumerates moral taxes. You are making an emotional – that is, political and ultimately cynical – appeal without grounding in the reality of business and law. If you want these companies to behave differently, make a law. That's your job. But, of course, if you make that law too demanding, you'll have to worry about driving these firms out of the UK, and with them the 8,500 jobs – and VAT and employment taxes – Starbucks generates in a recession, when jobs are desperately needed, and the 2,000 jobs – and entrepreneurial opportunities – Google brings. Truth is, Google could serve its 90% of the UK search market with nary a presence in the country. Welcome to the networked, global future, in which speech, ideas, collaboration and commerce can no longer be so easily hemmed in by governments. That is what I actually see being played out here. Just as newspapers, including this one, were disrupted by the net, so now are governments."





Monday, November 19, 2012

You can not experiment enough

Ugly Men Don’t Get Clicked On | TechCrunch: "If you treat each action as an experiment, each thought as an experiment, each business idea, each marketing pitch, every emotion, each day and moment as a secret still waiting to be discovered, then you will begin to see all life as a mystery. A treasure waiting to be discovered inside of each moment. How do we unlock those treasures? By experimenting, observing, and then observing who is observing. You can’t experiment enough. Every entrepreneur and every artist experiments. With colors, ideas, styles, business models, everything. Now all life is your canvas. Make it a beautiful work of art."

I like that--you can't experiment enough!








Sunday, November 18, 2012

House Republicans--Copyright Law Destroys Markets

rsc_policy_brief_--_three_myths_about_copyright_law_and_where_to_start_to_fix_it_--_november_16_2012

House Republicans: Copyright Law Destroys Markets; It's Time For Real Reform | Techdirt: "Right after the Presidential election last week, Chris Sprigman and Kal Raustiala penned an opinion piece suggesting that one way the Republicans could "reset", and actually attract the youth vote, would be to become the party of copyright reform. We had actually wondered if that was going to happen back during the SOPA fight, when it was the Republicans who bailed on the bill, while most of those who kept supporting it were Democrats. Since then, however, there hadn't been much movement. Until now. Late on Friday, the Republican Study Committee, which is the caucus for the House Republicans, released an amazing document debunking various myths about copyright law and suggesting key reforms."--Update: Wow. It took less than 24 hours for the RSC to fold to Hollywood pressure. They have now retracted the report and attempted to claim that it was not properly vetted."

Oh well, maybe the Republicans will get their act together someday.




Friday, November 16, 2012

Nobody Likes a Sore Loser

You can read the full story at the link below, but it's this kind of thing that tells me that the right guy was elected--

Romney: Obama’s ‘gifts’ to key demographics helped him win: "Mitt Romney, on a call with top donors on Wednesday, referred to some of the policies enacted under the Obama administration as “gifts” that helped him win young, minority and low-income voters."

Always blaming somebody else--how about "Romney, you had an incompetent, inept campaign!" Get over it!





Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giffed to omnishambles

Oxford dictionary chooses word of the year — one for U.K., one for U.S. - thestar.com: "Britain’s . . . Word of the Year: “omnishambles.” Oxford University Press on Tuesday crowned the word — defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations” — its top term of 2012. . . . This year’s American champion is “gif,” short for graphics interchange format, a common format for images on the Internet. . . . Cute kittens, Olympic champions, President Obama — they’ve all been giffed."

OK, we've all been giffed to omnishambles--where's the recovery?






Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Starbucks, Amazon and Google to face UK lawmakers over tax avoidance

This is going to be interesting--

Starbucks, Amazon and Google to face UK lawmakers over tax | Reuters: "The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is charged with monitoring government financial affairs, has invited the companies to give evidence amid mounting public and political concern about tax avoidance by big international companies. "It is hard for the ordinary person to believe it's fair," said Margaret Hodge, a member of parliament for the opposition Labour party and chairman of PAC. "It makes people incredibly angry in the current fiscal climate," she added, in reference to the austerity measures which large budget deficits have forced on the UK, and other countries. Britain and Germany last week announced plans to push the Group of 20 economic powers to make multinational companies pay their "fair share" of taxes following reports of large firms exploiting loopholes to avoid taxes. A Reuters report last month showed that Starbucks had paid no corporation, or income, tax in the UK in the past three years."



Monday, November 12, 2012

Had a setback? Be Like Bond--

For anyone and everyone, when you have a setback, get back up--Be Like Bond:

'Skyfall': Six lessons from the James Bond movie's box office - latimes.com: #6--"Rebounds are possible. Movie franchises tend to follow a jump-the-shark model -- namely, once a series loses steam, it's hard to get it back. Fans and critics were cool to 2008's "Quantum of Solace," which told a muddled plot and seemed to set the franchise off course. "We really screwed this up," Wilson said a few weeks ago of his mindset at the time. But what applies to superheroes and romcoms doesn't hold with Bond -- a bad outing can be followed by a spectacular one."





Sunday, November 11, 2012

Megabus - check it out!

Megabus has had smooth sailing in the discount bus business
Tribune-Review " . . . For Megabus, the still-growing discount intercity bus line, however, the ride has been faster and smoother than anyone would have guessed when it made its debut 61⁄2 years ago, linking eight Midwestern cities to a Chicago hub for as little as $1 a ticket. Within two years, Megabus was carrying 2 million passengers annually. That number is approaching 6 million riders in about 100 cities in the United States and Canada, including Pittsburgh. Its North American fleet of 194 double-decker buses last year has grown to 260, and its network of hubs has expanded to eight cities. . . . a new reality from the curbside operators, so named because they spare the expense of maintaining traditional bus stations. There is free onboard Wi-Fi, power outlets and tables on which riders can eat, play or set up a laptop and phone and get to work on, say, a newspaper column. Along the way, the carriers have breathed life into a mode of transportation that was practically in hospice care for close to a half-century. . . . “The bus sector was flat on its back,” Joseph Schwieterman, a DePaul University transportation professor and the director of DePaul’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, said. “Megabus started its Chicago hub in spring of ‘06, and that began the whole curbside boom. It’s spreading across the U.S. really rapidly, so we think this year the curbside bus (service overall) is up in scheduled departures by about 15 percent, and that’s after huge growth the last few years.”. . . A part of Coach USA, which itself is a subsidiary of United Kingdom-based Stagecoach Group PLC, Megabus is racking up about $125 million in revenue and turning an overall profit, according to a spokesman. FirstGroup PLC’s BoltBus, a 2008 venture between Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines, also has said it’s in the black, but it hasn’t broken out figures...."


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chrome Web Lab

This is cool!--

http://www.chromeweblab.com: "See the magic of the web brought to life through 5 Chrome Experiments. Open to the world online. Live from the Science Museum, London."








Friday, November 9, 2012

Be Agile and Willing to Try New Things - a "Now-ist"

Don't let a PLAN doom you to failure.

EmTech: Some Wisdom from Joi Ito on How to Be a "Now-ist" | MIT Technology Review:
. . . because the Internet and computing have made it much easier for small startups to create innovative products and services, the world has gotten more complex. With more innovation happening at “the edges,” out of the control of large institutions, life is less predictable. So the audience member's question gave Ito a chance to explain how this phenomenon affects his worldview. “I’m a now-ist,” he said.” Now-ists “don’t think about trends. We think about being resilient and being prepared for anything.” As an example, he cited last year’s massive earthquake and nuclear disaster in his native Japan, which struck while he was in Cambridge interviewing for the Media Lab job. In the aftermath of the quake, “everyone with a plan failed,” Ito observed. Meanwhile, using Twitter and other online connections, Ito was able to quickly organize a response to the nuclear crisis: a volunteer operation that coordinated Geiger counter readings from volunteers all over Japan. The lesson: be agile and be willing to try new things, even if it means discarding the way things have always been done before."




Thursday, November 8, 2012

Can Programmers Be Artists Too?

Why not?

A Recent Conference Asks: Can Programmers Be Artists, Too? | MIT Technology Review: "But software art—images, videos, and interactive content created by programming computers—is still experiencing resistance from the mainstream art community, according to Draves and others at the conference. While the field is decades old, they said, it still hasn't been accepted as a mainstream art form. Panel discussions included media art collectors, museum curators and new media artists asking how does one evaluate, collect and distribute this kind of art? How can social media and crowd sourcing play a role in art? And how does software change the language of art and the space in which it is exhibited? Much of the rest of the event was dedicated to celebrating work that could perhaps help convince some of those doubters. Keynote speaker Scott Snibbe called the computer “the ultimate looking glass” through which to create alternate universes. His work with musician Bjork on the first app album Biophilia (October, 2011) is exactly that: a cosmos of clickable constellations, each of which leads to an “interactive” song over which the user has some control. His forthcoming project is an interactive app for REWORK_Philip Glass Remixed (out this month)."






Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Apple - if first you don't succeed, try, try again

Apple told to rewrite 'Samsung did not copy' statement, post it on front page until Dec 14th -- Engadget: "The Guardian reports that the acknowledgement posted by Apple was deemed non-compliant with the court's order. Apple has today been told to correct its statement, and re-post it on the front page of its website, with at least an 11-point font (and not as a hidden footer link) within 48 hours. The Cupertino team rebuffed, claiming that it would take at least two weeks to get a fresh rework together, a statement that reportedly caused disbelief from some court officials. So, the clock is ticking, and somewhere a legal team is no doubt engaging in some serious thinking. The new statement must remain on Apple's site until December 14th, plenty of time to catch the attention of eager Christmas shoppers."

Oh my, until December 14th!







Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Simple life in Cheung Chau (video)



I've discovered a wonderful source--the online South China Morning Post. Here's an example--

 Videos | South China Morning Post: "Simple life in Cheung Chau -Oct 11, 2012
Many young people from Cheung Chau seek opportunities in the city. But Ching Pui-yiu, 28, decided to stay on the island for a simpler and more authentic life."





Monday, November 5, 2012

Something Obama and most in government don't grasp

Here's something Obama and most in government don't grasp--the reality of the business world--survival is not guaranteed (unless of course you are a crony capitalist):

Sharp warns that it may not survive | Business | guardian.co.uk: ""The fact that Sony managed to maintain profits shows management's strong will and commitment to continue cost cuts even while their product sales remain sluggish," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. "Compared [with] Panasonic and Sharp … Sony's earnings should get some credit. "But we still don't see what their major earnings driver will be in the future." Sharp said it expected to report a full-year operating loss of 155bn yen (£1.2bn), more than the 100bn yen loss it had earlier predicted. But it forecast a second half operating profit – a target that will allow its banks to justify a $4.6bn bailout of the firm. . . "







Sunday, November 4, 2012

Changing a culture from one of control and process to one of decentralization and trust

Is Army 'Design' methodology over-designed? There are trust issues, too | The Best Defense: " . . . one key critical element that is missing, just as it is missing in the Army Values. That is, trust. Steven Covey in his book Speed of Trust wrote that:
"There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world-one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love. On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. Yet, it is the least understood, most neglected, and most underestimated possibility of our time. That one thing is trust. . . . It under girds and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every effort in which we are engaged."

Likewise, Col. Tom Guthrie in his 2012 article said that, "If we intend to truly embrace mission command, then we should do it to the fullest, and that will require commitment to changing a culture from one of control and process to one of decentralization and trust."

Ah yes, that is the issue for all organizations, societies, communities, and nations: changing a culture from one of control and process to one of decentralization and trust.





Saturday, November 3, 2012

Apples - "one man's loss is another man's gain"

Climate has taken a real toll on the apple crop in the U.S.--except for Washington State:

Good apple crop expected despite labor shortage
Bellingham Herald
Labor has been one of the challenges Washington apple growers have faced this year as they try to take advantage of the opportunity created by hard-hit apple crops in the Midwest and East Coast....Some orchardists are finishing up, freeing their workers for other growers, Mayer said. Red Delicious, Pink Lady, Braeburn and Fuji apples are being harvested now. Estimates put the amount of fresh apples at about 108.7 million boxes, each weighing about 40 pounds, Mayer said. The actual harvest won't be known until November. This year, Mayer said he expects to see more apples head to the processed market because of lower apple harvests in the rest of the country. . .



Friday, November 2, 2012

What if technology could undermine drug violencel?

Technology cannot cure all ills, but it can do a lot of good--

What if technology could undermine drug violence in Brazil? - CSMonitor.com: "A debate in Rio de Janeiro focuses on how access to information and technology among low-income youth might weaken the drug trade and empower young people in favelas. . . . he explains that today, for the first time ever, many young favela residents have the luxury of dreaming and experimenting, as middle- and upper-class kids do. There are 108,000 Lan houses, or cyber cafés in low-income neighborhoods, in all of Brazil, according to Eliane Costa, until recently responsible for culture grants at the Petrobras state oil giant. By contrast, National Book Foundation statistics for 2007 indicate a total of 5,110 libraries across the country. It’s about the screen, mouse, and keyboard, stupid--Could it be that a growing number of favela youth are doing exactly what a growing number of middle- and upper-class young Brazilians are doing? In Rio, people with experience like that of Ludemir say favela youth are surprisingly tuned in."





Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to Manage Two Personal Brands

How many personal brands do you have?

How to Manage Two Personal Brands | Business 2 Community: "How to Manage Two Personal Brands
Personal branding requires you to craft a professional image by communicating your unique interests, skills, and expertise. Your personal brand should reflect not only your professional interests, but it should also provide specific insight into your industry to show others what you know. But what happens if you need to promote two very different personal brands? . . ."








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