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Big Data is watching you
Jan. 06, 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Simon Houpt.

Companies have amassed trillions of digital bread crumbs: from credit card transactions, from people’s online wanderings on social media and search sites, from GPS devices embedded within smart phones...

Live Nation acquired Big Champagne, a consumer data analytics firm that had gained notice for developing the Ultimate Chart, a ranking of the most popular songs and artists according to chatter on social networks and other online sites.

Big Champagne will help Live Nation crunch the information it has on the 200 million ticket buyers in its database, and also help design the company’s dynamic pricing model...An ever more connected world offers richer opportunities for marketers to collect specific consumer data.

The Christmas season may still be a recent memory, but many marketers are already casting a hopeful eye upon 2012 as the year they finally turn into mercantile versions of Santa Claus: omniscient beings who know everything about their customers, and not just whether they’ve been bad or good. (And yes, the marketers believe they’re doing it for goodness’ sake.)

In the past few years, companies have amassed trillions of digital bread crumbs: from credit card transactions, from people’s online wanderings on social media and search sites, from GPS devices embedded within smart phones. Last June, the market intelligence firm IDC said the amount of data produced by our ever-digitizing mass of humanity is more than doubling every two years. Companies are drowning in data. But they’re also recognizing an extraordinary opportunity, and after a series of studies of so-called big data published by research firms over the past year, many are predicting it will become a major focus of marketing executives in 2012.

Already this year, Big Data has received a big endorsement. On Wednesday, after being appointed president of Yahoo, the ex-PayPal executive Scott Thompson was pledging that data would be the key to his new company’s future just as it powered his last company.

“I am certain that the battle of the next generation of Internet businesses will be made up of who has more data and who knows how to use it better than anyone else,” he told a reporter for the trade publication AdAge.com. “I’m not talking about your classic segmentation stuff,” he said, referring to the demographic categorization that companies use to group individuals into broad target markets. Companies such as Yahoo will increasingly focus on individuals. “It’s the segmentation of one and what the data of one tells you,” he said.

In the middle of December, the live entertainment colossus Live Nation acquired Big Champagne, a consumer data analytics firm that had gained notice for developing the Ultimate Chart, a ranking of the most popular songs and artists according to chatter on social networks and other online sites.

Big Champagne will help Live Nation crunch the information it has on the 200 million ticket buyers in its database, and also help design the company’s dynamic pricing model: the practice of altering ticket prices depending on real-time supply and demand. Old industries are also getting into that act. Over the past year, Broadway producers have capitalized on dynamic pricing to charge much higher ticket prices for especially hot shows, and nimbly offer discounts when demand fell away.

Even very young industries are being remodelled by the use of more specific data. Last year, after trying to slug it out with Groupon and Living Social, the two-year-old San Francisco-based local offers provider Bloomspot took a different tack. The company realized it could confront the main reason for merchants’ disenchantment with the sites – a belief that too many people merely take advantage of discounts and never patronize the merchants again – by sifting data in order to find the most valuable customers.

With the permission of both the participating merchants and the customers, “we are able to effectively get access to the stream of consumer credit card purchases belonging to a particular merchant by going through the credit card processors,” said Jasper Malcolmson, the Canadian-born president of Bloomspot, which received $40-million (U.S.) in funding last summer.

Mr. Malcolmson said that analysis of that data enables Bloomspot, which operates in 10 U.S. cities, to determine which customers who have bought, say, a 60-minute massage at New York’s Broadway Chiropractic for $39 (a “$270 value”) end up “acting like penny-pinchers and don’t spend well and don’t return,” and which ones instead treat the discount as an incentive and end up spending more money at the merchant: the goal of making the discount offer in the first place.

“The customers who are good receive follow-up offers, effectively in recognition of their spending behaviours,” he explained.

But Big Data isn’t just being used for newfangled loyalty marketing; many companies are using it to provide better service to customers in new ways. Kenna, a data analytics firm based in Mississauga, designed a mobile app to be used by customers of its client BASF Canada, the farming chemical company. BASF cross-references its customer purchase data with information on weather patterns to generate real-time information for farmers on when to apply the chemicals for greatest crop yield.
Simon_Houpt  massive_data_sets  data_mining  real-time  data  data_driven  personalization  agriculture  Kenna  Live_Nation  loyalty_management  dynamic_pricing  Broadway  Bloomspot  purchase_data 
january 2012
The Loneliness of the Guyanas - NYTimes.com
January 16, 2012, 9:22 pm
The Loneliness of the Guyanas
By FRANK JACOBS
mapping  Guyana 
january 2012
John McGinnis and Russell Mangas: First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Law Schools - WSJ.com
JANUARY 17, 2012

First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Law Schools
Allowing undergraduate law majors to take the bar exam would increase the number of attorneys and lower legal fees.

By JOHN O. MCGINNIS
AND RUSSELL D. MANGAS
Colleges_&_Universities  law_schools  oversupply 
january 2012
Design Sets Tone at Square, a Mobile Payments Start-Up - NYTimes.com
By NICK BILTON
| January 15, 2012,

“We believe strongly that the company is going to be reflected in the product and vice-versa,” Mr. Dorsey said. “The internal matches the external and the external matches the internal, and if we can’t provide a clean, simple, well-designed experience in here, it’s not going to be reflected in our identity. It’s in our DNA.” (Mr. Dorsey also is the chairman and co-founder of Twitter, where his obsession with openness is not as extreme.)

Square also borrows metaphors from traditional institutions, including the old United States Mint building, which sits across the street from the company’s office. “It looks like something that is built to last; it looks like it will stay up forever,” he said. “So how do you build that into pixels instead of stone?”

For centuries banks were built with thick stone walls, marble slab floors and heavy metal doors, all of which gave customers the feeling that bankers were dependable and trustworthy.

Square transactions primarily occur on a small plastic plug, inserted into a smartphone’s headphone jack, through which people swipe credit cards.

A hefty chunk of marble it is not. Square’s front door to customers is a smartphone application. Square has to provide the simplest experience possible, Mr. Dorsey believes, because, along with good design, it will evoke trust and confidence in a new financial institution that lives in a smartphone.
Square  Jack_Dorsey  start_ups  mobile_payments  metaphors  design  smartphones  mobile_applications  UX  customer_experience  trustworthiness  confidence 
january 2012
Infotrac Newsstand - Document
The Silicon Valley thinker searching for start-up spirit
Author(s): Richard Waters
Source: The Financial Times. (Aug. 20, 2011): Opinion and Editorial: p7.
Google  Larry_Page  Richard_Waters 
january 2012
Infotrac Newsstand - Document
Author(s): Richard McGregor
Source: The Financial Times. (Aug. 20, 2011): News: p3.
San_Antonio  mayoral  profile 
january 2012
I advise the families of kidnap victims
20 Aug. 2011 | Financial Times pg. 2. | Sarah Duguid.

The kidnap and ransom industry, or K&R, is traditionally made up of three components: a security team, an underwriter and a broker. It was a few years after my interview that I realised that I could add a fourth dimension: psychology.

Kidnap is a uniquely human crime that relies on the fact that we are social -animals. It's immensely traumatic for the victim to be isolated, and their family -suffers too. I could see a gap in the market: if companies were prepared to pay for physical security for their employees, they would be willing to pay for psychological support as well. So, I called some brokers at the company where I failed The Wait and told them my idea. They loved it, and they took me on as a sub-contractor.
career_paths  security_&_intelligence  think_threes  JCK  psychologists  underwriting  psychology  kidnappings 
january 2012
Because one day, Tories, you’ll be out of office too - The Globe and Mail
preston manning
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012

Build and maintain your “democratic political infrastructure” – the intellectual capital generators for politicians, the training programs for political activists, and the political communications vehicles – when in opposition but continue to build and maintain it, outside of the civil service and through private donations, even after becoming the governing party.

To fail to do so is to court eventual political collapse and impotence from which it may take years, even decades, to recover – witness the current state of the federal Liberals.
Preston_Manning  contingency_planning  discipline  political_infrastructure  loyal_opposition  institutions  institution-building  politicians  training_programs 
january 2012
Oakland Seeks a Lift From Pop-Up Stores - WSJ.com
JANUARY 12, 2012 | WSJ | By LAUREN RUDSER.

Pop-up stores aren't a new phenomenon—often they are seasonal, setting up for holidays like Halloween or Christmas. Restaurants also occasionally pop up for a night or two to test a new menu or location. Such stores have become more prevalent nationwide with the increasing number of storefronts left vacant amid a weak economy, says Jesse Tron, a spokesman with the International Council of Shopping Centers.

What makes popuphood different is the number of stores opening simultaneously, and the goal of going from pop-up to permanent.
pop-ups  economic_development  urban  cities  weak_economy  shopping_malls  store_openings  testing  holidays 
january 2012
Einstein’s Secret to Amazing Problem Solving (and 10 Specific Ways You Can Use It)
Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.

The point: before jumping right into solving a problem, we should step back and invest time and effort to improve our understanding of it. Here are 10 strategies to see problems from many different perspectives and to master the most important step in problem solving: clearly defining the problem in the first place!
The Problem Is To Know What the Problem Is

The definition of the problem will be the focal point of all your problem-solving efforts.
1. Rephrase the Problem
2. Expose and Challenge Assumptions
3. Chunk Up
4. Chunk Down. From Engineering school--break a problem into its component sub-systems, solve at that level, and then combine mini solutions.
5. Find Multiple Perspectives
6. Use Effective Language Constructs
7. Make It Engaging
8. Reverse the Problem
9. Gather Facts
10. Problem-Solve Your Problem Statement
Albert_Einstein  creativity  critical_thinking  engineering  lifehacks  Philip_Mudd  problems  problem_definition  problem_framing  problem_solving  thinking  thinking_backwards  tips  uncharted_problems 
january 2012
N.B. brothers look to bridge the rural-urban digital divide - The Globe and Mail
gordon pitts
MARKHAM, ONT.— From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jan. 08, 2012
Gordon_Pitts  Xplorenet  New_Brunswick  rural  broadband  spectrum  wireless 
january 2012
How to dump a friend - The Globe and Mail
courtney shea
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jan. 08, 2012
friendships  howto  relationships 
january 2012
5 tips for cold-weather workouts - The Globe and Mail
alex hutchinson
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jan. 08, 2012
temperature  running  fitness  exercise 
january 2012
What Can U.S. Universities Do About a Student Stampede in Johannesburg? - NYTimes.com
January 10, 2012, 12:36 pm
What Can U.S. Universities Do About a Student Stampede in Johannesburg?
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
South_Africa  Colleges_&_Universities  MIT  admissions 
january 2012
Researcher's Data Rewrote Hollywood Endings - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 9, 2011 | WSJ | By STEPHEN MILLER.

Researcher's Data Rewrote Hollywood Endings
obituaries  market_research  movies  films  data 
january 2012
At Apple's Grand Central Store, iPhones Aren't the Only Draw - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 9, 2011 | WSJ | By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO and IAN SHERR
Apple's Hottest New Product Can Be Thrown in the Wash
Fans Collect Company's T-Shirts, Kept in Limited Supply; 'Star Trek' Model
T-Shirts  Junior_Achievement  Apple  retailers  Jessica_E._Vascellaro  superfans 
january 2012
Call to apologise for slave trade links - a Niagara of Media/Spin /PR
Awfully sorry, but penitence for slavery is overdue

By Jonathan Guthrie

Published: September 21 2006 03:00 | Last updated: September 21 2006
slavery  abolition  reparations  apologies 
january 2012
Abolitionists' year - FT.com
September 28, 2006 3:00 am
Abolitionists' year

By Crispin Rope
abolition  slavery  letters_to_the_editor  reparations 
january 2012
'The Artificial White Man': Battling Gangstas and Hussies
January 16, 2005 | NYT | By EMILY EAKIN who reviews a book by Stanley Crouch. THE ARTIFICIAL WHITE MAN
Essays on Authenticity.
By Stanley Crouch.
244 pp. Basic Civitas Books. $24.

Couch bemoans the mindless elevation by whites and blacks alike of urban street mores -- what he calls ''the bottom'' -- to the epitome of cool and worries about the implications for a struggling black population: ''This redefinition of black authenticity all the way downward . . . is a new kind of American decadence excused by many Negroes because of the money it makes for a handful of black polluters, onstage and offstage,'' he complains. ''The crudest, most irresponsible vision of materialism is fused to a naive sense of how far one can go in the world even if illiterate and unskilled.''...In a similar vein, he laments the idolization of badly behaving N.B.A. superstars and the spread of anti-intellectualism (''the greatest crisis that has ever faced the black community is the present disengagement from the world of education'').
cultural_criticism  criticism  book_reviews  thug_code  African-Americans  authenticity  hip_hop  MTV  BET  anti-intellectualism  superstars 
january 2012
A Violent Episode, Shameful Too - WSJ.com
JANUARY 18, 2006 | WSJ | by FERGUS M. BORDEWICH.

"Behind the riots lay a combustible mix of racism, poverty and class resentment that was fanned into violence by pro-Southern Democratic politicians and journalistic demagogues. Not all the rioters were Irish, but enough were to give the mobs a Hibernian cast, nearly erasing the reputation for patriotic sacrifice that Irish volunteers had earned on the battlefields of the Civil War."
riots  African-Americans  New_York_City  race_relations  book_reviews  Civil_War  race-baiting  history  violence  racial_violence  racial_resentment  bigotry  lynchings  terror  white_supremacy 
january 2012
Cruel ironies - FT.com
December 16, 2005 | FT | By Christian Tyler.

ROUGH CROSSINGS: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution
by Simon Schama
BBC Books £20, 488 pages
slavery  emancipation  Simon_Schama  history  historians  book_reviews 
january 2012
Six months of FLOW 93.5
August 2-9, 2001 || NOW Magazine VOL 20 NO 48 | By Dalton Higgins
African_Canadians  radio 
january 2012
Was my MBA worth it? - The Globe and Mail
adam janikowski
Globe and Mail Update
Published Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012
MBAs  business_schools 
january 2012
How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body - NYTimes.com
By WILLIAM J. BROAD
Published: January 5, 2012
yoga  injuries  fitness  pain 
january 2012
Exotic vegetables coming soon from a farmer near you - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 05, 2012 | Globe & Mail | Rita Trichur.

One estimate pegs domestic sales of exotic vegetables at roughly $800-million a year. The bulk of that produce is imported from the Caribbean, South America and Asia. But with demand booming, Canadian farmers have a fresh incentive to carve out a meaningful slice of that market by diversifying their crops.

Although cooler Canadian climates can present a production challenge, scientists spearheading world crop research at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre near Niagara Falls, Ont., say a surprising number of exotic vegetables can be successfully grown across the country.
vegetables  ethnic_communities  demographic_changes  farming  agriculture  food  Wal-Mart  Sobeys  immigrants  Loblaws 
january 2012
The G.O.P.’s ‘Black People’ Platform - NYTimes.com
January 6, 2012 | NYT | Letters to the editor in reaction to an article by CHARLES M. BLOW
Progressive Power
Florida

Todays GOP is in large part the same constituency that made up the Dixiecrats during Jim Crow...and the old Democrat Plantation owners who formed the confederacy and committed treason against the United States -a crime for which they were never held fully accountable nor punished even by confiscation of their ill-earned Manses...the Southern Strategy is , sadly, alive and well...with a nation-wide appeal to frustrated whites seeking a scapegoat .
This vitriol is made all the more dynamic by having an African-American President who serves as a lightning rod for all their pent up hatred....(BTW: Isnt it interesting that they never point out that our president is also half white-Irish , no less!)

Jan. 7, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.
Recommended25

Claire
Chevy Chase MD

This reminds me of the slave owners who while watching their slaves in the fields, would complain about how slow and lazy the slaves were.

If white people had less wealth than any other group in the US, we might wonder how the hell could that be? As white people we have dominated every piece of legislation, directed wealth to our own communities, decided who can or cannot participate in government... had our schools and residences built by black people while denying them use and entrance (except to clean), even though we forced them to pay taxes for public buildings and services, we prohibited their use, we told them they were inferior, ran from communities when they 'integrated' our neighborhoods, encouraged European immigrants to discriminate against black people, only gave them the lowest paying, most dangerous jobs, while closing our country club doors to them.

How in hell could black people not be at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder? We've created a world where those of us with white skin have been given every advantage and privilege. The generational wealth alone of whites will keep black people at the bottom for centuries.

Jan. 7, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.
letters_to_the_editor  Charles_Blow  GOP  African-Americans  slaveholders  white_privilege  generational_wealth  Southern_strategy  constituencies  Dixiecrats  Jim_Crow 
january 2012
Jason Gay: The 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym - WSJ.com
JANUARY 5, 2012

The 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym

By JASON GAY
exercise  fitness  funnies  gyms 
january 2012
Where Business Thinkers Learn Their Lessons - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 28, 2011 | WSJ | By MELISSA KORN

Where Business Thinkers Learn Their Lessons
book_reviews  booklists  books  Warren_Bennis  Michael_Lewis  Roger_Martin  Melissa_Korn 
january 2012
Canada needs a foreign affairs culture - The Globe and Mail
IRVIN STUDIN

irvin studin
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 04, 2012

The core of the foreign policy and larger international affairs debate in Canada should not be about the ends we may wish to pursue as a collective, but rather about the means necessary to advance the ends legitimately chosen by any elected government. The desired ends will clearly change according to the times and government, but the means to success for Canada are stable and undifferentiated, and they need to be built up.

Without this reversal of strategic logic (means before ends, rather than ends dictating means), we Canadians are left talking to ourselves about problems in the world we're interested in but typically incapable of solving – for lack of the requisite means to do so.......So what's the nature of the "means" debate that Canada needs to have to be a major (and credible) global player this century? Two interrelated "means" levers need to be addressed: national culture and national capabilities. A country that's serious about advancing ambitious ends in the world – defending minority religions or, say, brokering peace and transforming impoverished countries, or even fighting a just war – requires a public culture that can properly assess happenings beyond North America, and can support sustained engagement by Canada beyond our borders. More concretely, it needs the practical capabilities to advance these ends: talent (in key positions), assets (intelligence, military, diplomatic), money and, to be sure, differentiated relationships with players in the world.

To be a leader not only in the Americas but also in the world, Canada needs more foreign affairs culture, and certainly more capabilities. We might start by creating that army of Spanish and Portuguese speakers that the federal government surely requires to advance its stated ends. Let's add some Mandarin and Arabic speakers for good measure.

None of this is possible without a brave political leadership that applies pressure over time to build the culture and capabilities today that will allow us to score major foreign policy achievements in the long term.
Canada  Canadian  capabilities  capacity-building  diplomacy  foreign_policy  leadership  resources  technology 
january 2012
Brazil’s latest export: farmers | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com
August 26, 2011 10:06 pm by Iona Teixeira Stevens

From Mozambique’s point of view, the reason for the exercise is pretty simple. The plan aims to “increase agriculture productivity” the country’s ambassador in Brazil, Murade Murargy, said recently on a Brazilian television program....
Brazil  agriculture  farming  farmland  Mozambique  value_creation  productivity 
january 2012
Republican Attacks Have Racist Undertones - NYTimes.com
January 3, 2012, 5:36 pm
Nobody Likes to Talk About It, but It’s There
By ANDREW ROSENTHAL
Obama  Birthers  Mitt_Romney  Newt_Gingrich  Campaign_2012  racism  dog_whistles  race-baiting  bigotry 
january 2012
Charlie Rose's Interview with Ray Dalio
October 20, 2011 | Charlie Rose Show | with Ray Dalio.

CHARLIE ROSE: And you always make a point that you know what you don`t know and that`s equally valuable.

RAY DALIO: More valuable. I want to say that -- so this is the whole philosophy. I -- I so, know that I can be wrong; and look, we all should recognize that we can be wrong. And if we recognize that we`re wrong and we worry about being wrong than what we should do is have a thoughtful dialogue....RAY DALIO: So the way I get to success. The way -- it`s not what I know. I`ve acquired some things that I know along the way and they`re helpful.

(CROSSTALK)

CHARLIE ROSE: It is -- it is -- it`s not what you know but it is --

(CROSSTALK)

RAY DALIO: It`s knowing what I don`t know or worrying that I won`t -- that I`ll be wrong that makes me find --

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes.

RAY DALIO: Well, I want people to criticize my point of view -- I want to hold down.

CHARLIE ROSE: Right.

RAY DALIO: Say I have a -- I think this but I may be wrong. And if you can attack what I`m saying -- in other words stress test what I`m saying -- I`ll learn....CHARLIE ROSE: And you have not been precise, and your assumptions are flawed.

RAY DALIO: Oh it`s so essential, right. There`s -- the -- the number one principle at our place is that if something doesn`t make sense to you, you have the right to explore it, to see if it makes sense.

I don`t want people around who do things that they don`t -- they don`t think makes sense because I`m going to have not-thinking people.

(CROSSTALK)

CHARLIE ROSE: Right.

RAY DALIO: So that they have not only the right, they have obligation. Don`t walk away thinking something`s wrong.

CHARLIE ROSE: Failure teaches you more than success?

RAY DALIO: Of course. One of my favorite books is "Einstein`s Mistakes."

CHARLIE ROSE: Right. And because it showed you that even Einstein, the most brilliant person of the century in common judgment made mistakes?

RAY DALIO: The great fallacy of all -- I think of all of mankind practically -- I mean that`s a big statement -- but the great fallacy is that people know more than what they do and there`s a discovery process and so when you look at -- that`s the process for learning.

The process for learning is to say "I don`t know." Like, I`m -- I`m totally comfortable being incompetent. If I -- if I -- I like being incompetent. I don`t mind being an incompetent. If I don`t -- how -- how much can you be competent about?

And so that whole notion of do you like learning? Do you like finding out what`s true and building on it without an ego? And that becomes the problem. How many statements do you listen to people that begin "I think this, I think that," where they should be asking "I wonder."
Ray_Dalio  interviews  truth-clarity  philanthropy  stress-tests  Charlie_Rose  truth-telling  Bridgewater  hedge_funds  deleveraging  organizational_culture  economics  unknowns  pretense_of_knowledge  Albert_Einstein  mistakes 
january 2012
EINSTEIN'S MISTAKES | Hans C. Ohanian
Although Einstein was the greatest genius of the twentieth century, many of his groundbreaking discoveries were blighted by mistakes, ranging from serious errors in mathematics to bad misconceptions in physics and failures to grasp the subtleties of his own creations. This forensic biography dissects Einstein’s scientific mistakes and places them in the context of his turbulent life and times. In lively, accessible prose, Hans C. Ohanian paints a fresh, insightful portrait of the real Einstein at work, in contrast to the uncritical celebrity worship found in many biographies.

Of the approximately 180 original scientific papers that Einstein published in his lifetime, about 40 are infested with mistakes. For instance, Einstein’s first mathematical proof of the famous formula E = mc2 was incomplete and only approximately valid; he struggled with this problem for many years, but he never found a complete proof (better mathematicians did). Einstein was often lured by irrational and mystical inspirations, but his extraordinary intuition about physics permitted him to discover profound truths despite—and sometimes because of—the mistakes he made along the way. He was a sleepwalker: his intuition told him where he needed to go, and he somehow managed to get there without quite knowing how.

As this book persuasively argues, the defining hallmark of Einstein’s genius was not any special mathematical ability but an uncanny talent to use his mistakes as stepping stones to formulate his revolutionary theories.
Albert_Einstein  books  book_reviews  Bridgewater  groundbreaking  hedge_funds  mistakes  Ray_Dalio 
january 2012
For PCs, Hope in a Slim Profile - WSJ.com
JANUARY 3, 2012 | WSJ | By IAN SHERR And SHARA TIBKEN.

For PCs, Hope in Slim Profile
Thin 'Ultrabook' Laptops Pose Stylish Challenge to MacBook Air at Lower Prices
laptops 
january 2012
How pizza delivers innovation - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 03, 2012 |Globe and Mail | by Todd Hirsch

Argues that as unemployment benefits expire, there aren’t too many jobs available, so very low-skill, unappealing jobs – pizza delivery, gas station attendant, etc. – will be reconsidered. Skilled Americans accustomed to much higher wages will find themselves accepting these low-paying jobs. On the surface, that’s bad news. What a waste of education and skill!

But within the husk of this sad state of underemployment lie the seeds of a whole new wave of innovation and creativity. Smart workers who find themselves in these menial jobs will say, “I could do better” or “I can do this differently” or “I have an idea that will revolutionize pizza delivery.” New businesses will be created, many of them improving on the old business models that dominated the pre-Internet age.

This is how economic innovation works. Clever people come up with ideas, which turn into business ventures, which then turn into the economic drivers of tomorrow.
innovation  unemployment  creativity  reinvention  low_skilled  business_models  smart_people  menial  new_businesses  Todd_Hirsch  underemployment  dissatisfaction  ideas  bad_news 
january 2012
Leaders: Poking goes public
Nov 17th 2011 | The Economist | Martin Giles
Facebook  IPOs 
january 2012
Bright Ideas: Biggest Innovations of 2011 - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 30, 2011 | WSJ | Assorted.

Bright Ideas: Innovation in 2011
ideas  innovation  best_of 
january 2012
Nicholas Carr on E-Books - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 31, 2011 |WSJ | By NICHOLAS CARR

Books That Are Never Done Being Written
Digital text is ushering in an era of perpetual revision and updating, for better and for worse.

As electronic books push paper ones aside, movable type seems fated to be replaced by movable text.

That's an attractive development in many ways. It makes it easy for writers to correct errors and update facts. Guidebooks will no longer send travelers to restaurants that have closed or to once charming inns that have turned into fleabags. The instructions in manuals will always be accurate. Reference books need never go out of date.

Even literary authors will be tempted to keep their works fresh. Historians and biographers will be able to revise their narratives to account for recent events or newly discovered documents. Polemicists will be able to bolster their arguments with new evidence. Novelists will be able to scrub away the little anachronisms that can make even a recently published story feel dated.

But as is often the case with digitization, the boon carries a bane. The ability to alter the contents of a book will be easy to abuse. School boards may come to exert even greater influence over what students read. They'll be able to edit textbooks that don't fit with local biases. Authoritarian governments will be able to tweak books to suit their political interests. And the edits can ripple backward. Because e-readers connect to the Internet, the works they contain can be revised remotely, just as software programs are updated today. Movable text makes a lousy preservative.

Such abuses can be prevented through laws and software protocols. What may be more insidious is the pressure to fiddle with books for commercial reasons. Because e-readers gather enormously detailed information on the way people read, publishers may soon be awash in market research. They'll know how quickly readers progress through different chapters, when they skip pages, and when they abandon a book.
Nicholas_Carr  e-books  digital_media  shortcomings  protocols  unintended_consequences  abuses  digitalization  market_research  publishing  dark_side 
january 2012
How to Build Your Financial Dream Team - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 31, 2011

How to Build Your Financial Dream Team

By KAREN BLUMENTHAL
financial_advisors  howto  teams  financial_planning 
january 2012
Changed by Iraq, Military Asks What Will Stick - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 31, 2011 | WSJ | By JULIAN E. BARNES.

Ten years ago, the U.S. military was firmly under the control of the generals. It was steeply hierarchical, slow to evolve and squarely focused on "big wars" between armies of opposing nations.

A decade of painstaking, often painful lessons resulted in a military that is in many way fleeter and more adaptable. It is also flatter: The generals are still in charge, but Iraq and Afghanistan showed that independent thinking by low-level captains and lieutenants is also critical to success. .......But the two wars have also helped push the military strategy from a playbook of offense and defense, to one that includes a third class of operations—strategies that include so-called counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, aimed at maintaining stability for populations in often-hostile zones and turning potential enemies into allies........some officers to fear some of the counterinsurgency skills honed in Iraq will be lost—including running detainee operations, conducting interrogations and collecting intelligence with aerial drones, areas of high expertise that support efforts to cripple insurgent networks and head off spectacular attacks.

Others worry that the skills learned through hard years of fighting—how to react quickly to ambushes and spot IEDs before they explode—will fade. The military remade its training centers to teach such skills, but instilling the knowledge into the next generation of soldiers will require retaining senior non-commissioned officers who spent the most time hunting insurgents in Iraq.
lessons_learned  U.S._military  Iraq  Afghanistan  counterterrorism  counterinsurgency  playbooks 
january 2012
The Weekend Interview with Jalen Rose: From the Fab Five to the Three Rs - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 31, 2011 | WSJ | By STEPHEN MOORE.
From the Fab Five to the Three Rs
After 20 years of basketball fame and fortune, Jalen Rose returns home to Detroit to promote school reform and parental choice.
Detroit  charter_schools  basketball  NBA 
december 2011
The Quick-and-Easy Gourmet Bloody Mary - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 31, 2011 | WSJ | by KEVIN SINTUMUANG.
There Will Be Bloodies
With pre-made mixes and booze upgrades, whipping up the fortifying morning cocktail takes just a pour and a stir
liquor  recipes  drinks 
december 2011
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