Monday, October 20, 2008

Lady Astor once remarked to Winston Churchill at a dinner party,
Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee!
Winston replied, Madam if I were your husband I would drink it

Blogs are Pervasive and Part of Our Daily Lives: There have been a number of studies aimed at understanding the size of the Blogosphere, yielding widely disparate estimates of both the number of blogs and blog readership. All studies agree, however, that blogs are a global phenomenon that has hit the mainstream. Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report...

We're All Media Dragons and Journalists Now TRUST IS A RISING TIDE, IT LIFTS EVERYONE'S BOAT
The Official Google Blog: As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit "send" a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome. As we believe in access to information for everyone, we've now made the comic publicly available -- you can find it here. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome [September 2, 2008] in more than 100 countries." Google Chrome

LLRX Book Review by Heather A. Phillips - We're All Media Dragons and Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age

Reshaping of the Law ; [Blogging Best Practices Checklists Available; The Spy Who Came in from the Cold War River ]
• · The Company of Strangers The Economics Of Trust; A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: The Economics of Trust – Trust is a rising tide, it lifts everyone’s boat.
• · THE university is top-heavy with management. Countless hours are wasted with paperwork, with attending mind-numbing training sessions on this, that or the other, and on seminars which for the most part are a complete waste of time Unleashed VC is a blog's best friend; What makes a blog worthwhile?
• · · My first real attempt to write a long-form essay about the meaning of blogging as a medium and a message is now online. I'm curious as to what you think. Among other things, I try to put the form of blogging into some kind of historical perspective: Why I Blog; A trend once practiced primarily by adolescents and teenagers, internet blogging has become a crucial part of marketing strategies for many corporations. Google world
• · · · Ten Ways Blogs Boost A Law Firm's Image ; Gone are the days when journals were kept from prying eyes.
• · · · · Tips From Four Blogging Fashionistas; In Octover 2008 AD, Google is pleased to launch a new homepage for Google Blog Search so that you too can browse and discover the most interesting stories in the blogosphere. Adapting some of the technology pioneered by Google News, we're now showing categories on the left side of the website and organizing the blog posts within those categories into clusters, which are groupings of posts about the same story or event. Grouping them in clusters lets you see the best posts on a story or get a variety of perspectives. When you look within a cluster, you'll find a collection of the most interesting and recent posts on the topic, along with a timeline graph that shows you how the story is gaining momentum in the blogosphere A new homepage for Google Blog Search
• · · · · · This study employs an online survey to examine U.S. politically-interested Internet users' perceptions of the credibility of blogs. The article focuses on the influence of blog reliance compared to motivations for visiting blogs in determining blog credibility. The study found that blogs were judged as moderately credible, but as more credible than any mainstream media or online source. Both reliance and motivations predicted blog credibility after controlling for demographics and political variables. Reliance proved a consistently stronger predictor than blog motivations. Also, information-seeking motives predicted credibility better than entertainment ones. Every blog has its day: Politically-interested Internet users' perceptions of blog credibility ; Economics Blog Directory & Ranking

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the Slavic dictionary.
-- William Faulkner (about Jozef Imrich ;-) overheard at Sven's Viking Pizza

The cold river flows on bending like a snake moving through grass, its calm waters disturbed occasionally by the wild wind. Water as dangerous as fire, yet as welcoming as a fire on a winter's day. Holding secrets beneath its surface, like the secrets of the universe. A force as powerful as the heavens, but as friendly as the sun breaking through the clouds on a cold day. The water sapping the shore can be as calm as the flakes of snow that gently fall on the ground, and as rough as the driving force of a gale driven wind. She disappears into the distance like the sunset. She captures the rays of sunlight that gently bounce along the water. Water forbidding in the cold of winter, yet welcoming in the heat of summer Your Blog presents your spin and mine represents mine: You've read the blog, now buy the book ;-)

Blogs Blogging since before there were blogs.
There is no doubt that the internet, or the World Wide Web, has opened up new horizons for the marketing and distribution of goods and services. There are few products and services not obtainable from internet providers. Products sold online can be delivered from anywhere in the world, potentially without the customer knowing the geographical source, or the source at all. Online auction site eBay shows how goods and services may be bought and sold anonymously through the internet. This ease of distribution of products creates challenges and opportunities for the internet business owner. The internet creates new complex legal issues for the Media Dragons …

Amazon saw an opportunity to sell books online. It also saw an opportunity to make purchasing easier by having a registration process for customers which involved recording credit card details and mailing addresses. This purchasing process avoided more cumbersome ‘shopping cart technology’ where purchasers have to re-enter all their details each time they make a purchase. This patent helped make the business successful. When a competitor, Barnes & Noble, implemented similar technology, Amazon enforced its patent. Barnes and Noble modified its website to prevent purchases by single click. In this way, Amazon maintained its competitive advantage in an easy technology for purchasing books online.The extension of patent protection to internet activities, and its subsequent significant uptake to protect internet-based innovations, has been controversial, particularly in the US where the question of whether business methods — a term that encompasses a wide class of internet activities, particularly in the financial services sector — is currently being reconsidered by the US courts

Online book retailing: The King is Dead Long Live Cold River ; [His new blog, called Real Dan, isn't nearly as entertaining but is just as well written. It's clear that the best blogs are often written by people who have The top 10 best-written blogs ; Forgive me for being perhaps somewhat extreme, but had the ghosts of the Czech KGB returned from Hell to X this week they might have felt right at home This young devil has all the best tunes]
• · A blog that encourages the literary activity of students, may that be any kind of literary genre - poetry, short story or even academic topics Young writers on blogosphere ;Networks and networking are a hot topic. Both academic research and mainstream business publications suggest that networks are important in business and that getting it right may relate to your performance. Like so many good ideas, actually doing networking is harder for many of us than reading about it. And, unfortunately, most networking discussions and articles stop far short of the "how" Your network balance sheet: what does it look like and where should you invest?
• · 'State of the Blogosphere' finds 900,000 new blog posts are added every 24 hours Blogs becoming entrenched in mainstream -- and more profitable; First presidential debate live blog and chat
• · · The mill of the gods grinds slowly, they say, but it grinds exceeding small. In Washington, something very like the mill of the gods is the GAO (Government Accountability Office), whose anonymous researchers crank out facts about nearly everything the government does.
Without opprobrious adjectives, the GAO just publishes facts and numbers with a droll combination of fearless frankness and resolute neutrality ("average cost of can opener for base kitchen in Kibangistan, $150," a report might say
Its language primly denuded of words like "exorbitant" or "outrageous"). ; Mapping the internet in Australia: Charting MD
• · · · THE media dragons on the internet are everywhere: at work, at home, and on the move. If Kevin Rudd’s plans come to anything, it will soon be in every school. The underlying technologies are scarcely three decades old; some of the most popular sites, such as YouTube and Facebook, only a few years. But this new world of information and communication is now, for many of us, an utterly everyday experience THE media dragons on the internet are ; Evidence-based’ policy is all the rage in Canberra, yet policymakers are not testing their ideas to see if they will work before rolling them out, unproven, at taxpayers’ expense. This author argues that randomised trials are the epitome of rational inquiry: they can establish whether a causal effect has occurred and thus prove whether government action is effective or not What would Ben Chifley and Robert Menzies make of this? Randwick Labour Club this weekend Policy on trial
• · · · · Good information is about more than just databases. It can make or break a business Information governance ; TUCKED away on page 101 of a very informative Parliamentary Library analysis of the 2007 federal election is a table which dissects the two-party preferred vote at the 2007 federal election by four socioeconomic groups. Income, votes and parties: a note
• · · · · · This report is a review of the use of sanctions and rewards based on academic research and an NAO survey of their use in central government. Performance Measurement Practice: The use of sanctions and rewards in the public sector. ; Information architecture in organisations has entered a period of regression rather than progression Knowledge management - when the workforce is more mobile than ever, organisations must effectively manage, pass on and exploit critical know-how Information architecture: from bad to worse - to better?

Monday, October 06, 2008

In 1907 American humorist Mark Twain, in his "Chapters from My Autobiography" wrote: "Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'"

That familiar saying refers to the persuasive power of numbers, the use of statistics to bolster arguments, and the habit of discounting statistics that don't support your positions. Here, James cumes is going to address hard statistics about depression, realistic picture these numbers paint …

Two years ago, early in 2006, James Cumes wrote, in America’s Suicidal Statecraft, that:
One of the more fascinating debates is whether, if and when we crash, we will have deflation or inflation - and either one in its most extreme form. Within this debate, we have such entertaining - or devastating - suggestions as the helicopter drop linked to the names of Friedman and Bernanke. Some forty years ago, one of the more beguiling habits of President Bokassa of the Central African Republic, was to fling handfuls of coins and paper money to his grateful people when he went on walkabouts among them. His little gesture drew the crowds, increased his popularity and nurtured his ambitions. Eventually, it helped to bring about his apotheosis as “Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire”. He was crowned in a magnificent, Napoleon-like ceremony, costing $20 million that the country could not, of course afford; but it added circuses to the presidential appeal. Sadly, however, the fantasy was short-lived. Even his exuberant generosity could not prevent the Emperor’s eventual overthrow and imprisonment…
Assuredly, there will be many extreme as well as some more rational proposals when what seems to be the inevitable crash does arrive. By that time, we may have reached what one commentator has called “The End of the Western World we have known since 1945”, the United States dollar may have become a “monkey currency” like the Emperor Bokassa’s and any dollar notes that Chairman Bernanke might drop from helicopters might have even less real value than the paper money with which the Emperor showered his people on his Coronation Day, back in 1977. The End of the Western World since 1977

Can we change the human tendency for recession? Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
Interesting article from 1999 AD. courtesy of Steve M

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.
The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

Fannie Mae _ mea Culpa; [The Howard government did nothing as house prices spiraled out of control powered by a debt binge that will haunt us for years Sick Soil of Sydney and so on …; 'Casino capitalism', 'robber barren capitalism', 'the greed machine' - call it what you will - the corporate financial orgy has come to a shuddering halt. bubbles deflating worldwide ]
• · PERPETUAL and Wesfarmers are the latest in a string of companies to be targeted by predatory share-buying schemes, running under the names of Hassle Free Share Sales and Share Buying Group Beware of share predators;
• · Robert Higgs Boohoo: The Mainstream Media Are Ignoring Me Depression, War, and Cold War; On September 29, the day the House of Representatives voted down the bailout bill, the S&P 500 opened at 1,209 and closed at 1,106, registering a loss of 8.5 percent. Other stock-market indexes recorded similar declines in share prices. The Stock Market Proved . . . Or Did It?
• · · Mistrust over lending grips the globe, but a wiser, more nimble US could emerge from the chaos Branko Milanovic: Global crisis: how far to go? Part I; Collapsing share markets have dramatically reshaped the fortunes of the nation's multi-billionaires in recent months, stripping Mr Forrest of the crown and elevating perennial rich list bridesmaid Frank Lowy to the top of the rankings for the first time. Collapsing share markets
• · · · Shopping centre magnate Frank Lowy has taken the mantle of Australia's richest man for the first time. First time; Frank Lowy, an Australian Jew, for the first time was identified as the nation’s richest man.Richest Man; AUSTRALIA'S ability to crack down on offshore tax evasion is limited by how much it can legislate for activities that occur outside its borders Tax Havens
• · · · · 4 Corners, 6 October 2008. Liz Jackson reports on the insider who stole a bank's secrets, then sold them, sparking panic among the world's super rich Tax me if you can.; We need a watch kept on the operation of Australia’s terrorism laws Unique legislative regime" needs on-going review
• · · · · · Some of the most innovative ideas are generated during tough times. Kevin Roberts Presentation at the Insider's Creative Forum in Manchester; Three easy watching movies I’ve enjoyed lately in the air. It is definitely going to be Hugh Jackman’s year. He’s set to star in Baz Luhrmann's epic Australia