Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patrick and St Jozef Day to Media Dragons everywhere this week

W e live on the thin ice of unexplained phenomena.
-Patricia Highsmith, notebook entry, October 14, 1944

H umor is a far more complex process than primeval pleasures like sex or food, but just as much tied to the inner complexity of the brain. The Tax office does have a sense of humour. It cites Wikipedia as its source for a definition of private equity was about the only amusing aspect for most international investors and tax lawyers as they digested the ATO s draft rulings arising from the TPG Myer case. Media Dragon and Google are the two internet giants whose informal corporate motto is - don't be evil
After all, the dissemination of good ideas and their victory over bad ideas are forms of technological progress.

Media Dragons are huge working horse failures ;-) Failure is a teacher
Run a web search on some phrases built around failure, and you’ll come up with quite a few reflecting a very true statement, “Failure is a teacher.”

Our histories and leadership legends all benefit from the context of understanding the final outcome of the story, but the telling of the story doesn’t adequately capture the powerful emotional forces that occur at the moment of failure. Certainly, the stories are right and the lessons instructional. They inspire us to persevere, but the failure-leading to-success legends don’t guide us how to respond and cope in the moment

The Bohemian Art of Failure [Simon Sharwood flags the following technologies as ones to watch: cloud computing, new Microsoft upgrades, virtualisation, biometric authentication, next-generation firewalls, employee-owned IT, loyalty schemes, solid state disks, smart grids and hybrid servers Top 10 business technology trends for 2010 ; Contrary to popular myth, “being a visionary” is neither a prerequisite for leading, nor is it bestowed upon the chosen few as they ascend to their lofty perches above us ]
• · Tens of thousands of years of human mating norms are evaporating as Cro-Magnon males drag women into their caves, and the. women love every minute of it ; Tucker for Mafia and Triads
• · · Is media multitasking driven by a desire for new information or a wish to avoid hard thinking? The easy option dressed up like something hard ; The human brain, for all its power, is quite suspicious of difficulty. Effective marketers, politicians, and sales people all know to keep it simple KISS
• · · · “When you say banker, a lot of people think Jewish.” So what if they do? What if people are just a little prejudiced about Jewish bankers?... Bankers ; Casanova made prodigious use of English frock coats, the “little preventive bag invented by the English to save the fair sex from anxiety”... Librarians - it's easier to get forgiveness than permission
• · · · · Threatsaurus: the a-z of computer and data security threats: Whether you're an IT professional, use a computer at work, or just browse the internet, this book is for you. We tell you the facts about the threats to your computers and to your data in simple, easy-to-understand language. Sophos Group; Successful innovation requires as much attention to the soft side of business - people and their knowledge, skills and motivations - as it does to hard financial objectives or strategic reasons. The active management of innovation needs goals, structure, fair process, a diverse skill base and focused support. Gaming innovation

Friday, March 12, 2010

London is Calling
A snippet from Basement Alex is heading to UK in March 2010 AD for 6 months

Alex aka Sasha aka Roxie Ray has come a long way in a short time and now. heading for UK tour The sassy Sydney native has emerged as one of the soul revivals brightest stars. In a short space of time, she has appeared on several international record releases incl Lack of Afro, Milano Jazz Dance Combo and others and has performed continuously, drawing from her passion for the sounds and feeling of the jazz divas of the last 50 years Roxies voice and presence is unique, striking and emotive. Its a full-on, straight-up, knock-out soul-sister seduction.

Music to our ears

Being Digital and Young
Ideas and Sounds
Last week, along with Tom Eslinger, our Worldwide Creative Head of Digital, Kevin Roberts was at Lancaster University talking to HighWire students about our digital world. Digital technology means there are no barriers of scale or production to distributing great ideas and true creative people should welcome learning about this.

We talked about a lot but the key thing on my mind was that digitization, and the power of the Internet and the mobile, should be the most liberating forces ever for creativity. We believe at Saatchi & Saatchi in the unreasonable power of creativity and nothing can set this free more than being digital.

Being Digital [Binge drinking is a problem which can have devastating results, and it seems to take particular hold in cold dark climates ; This paper contends that the hype surrounding the steep rise of social media networking website use has tended to mask the reality of a corresponding growth in online fraud and crime. New Web 2.0 technologies may enable inventive interactivity online, but they also foster innovative ways for those intent on nefarious means to achieve their ends. Cyber Crime 2.0 versus the Twittering classes ]
• · After a review demonstrated concerns about leadership and communication skills among staff at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, action was deemed necessary. ASIC; TONY Abbott is a latter-day Muhammad Ali dancing around Kevin Rudd's Joe Frazier. He messes with Rudd's mind, taunting him on climate change, industrial relations and health.
Political orthodoxy would suggest that raising the salience of these policy areas -- in all of which Labor leads the Coalition in public perceptions -- should assist the government.
• · · Sadly, one fifth of the workforce keep their Blackberries on at all times, night, day, weekend and wedding anniversary. I’m all for sight, sound and motion, and the enhancement of the screen to become a force for good in the world, but not at the expense of the world itself... Who Needs Information? ; Urban sprawl has nothing on the Internet, in terms of breadth, depth, hidden gems – and frequently, confusion. Some smart people at the BBC have shown the Internet visually, giving an intuitive sense of the big picture… Where In The Web?
• · · · New York magazine had an interesting recent feature, 50 Steps to Simple Happiness. We each develop our own strategies for preventing and relieving stress and promoting joy and contentment in our lives. The key for me is the idea of work / life integration Happiness ; Debate on the upside and downside of the Internet continues to rage, and won’t be settled any time soon. I’m an upsider, and take the view that powering forward imperfectly beats staying still or rolling back perfectly. The liberating and involving nature of the Internet cuts creativity loose on such a fantastic scale, that I think we’ll have the capability to fix the flaws as we go. Good News Travels Faster
• · · · · When Geoffrey Canada's extraordinary and uplifting 'Harlem Miracle' one day makes it on to film, it might be tough to sell as a true story. But as an inspirational teacher movie, it will blow you away. Up where they belong; Google keeps a record of everything: Quincy Tang's (Financial Investigator at Australian Crime Commission) professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world's largest business Quincy Tang - Financial Investigator at Australian Crime Commission

Monday, March 08, 2010

Just when we thought it was safe to go back to the future we all have to follow our relative Hambrich (sik sic) who identified three kinds of people: those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; and those who wonder what happened.

Malchkeon makes things happen... Happy Birthday and many 18footer-moments wherever you go ;-0

Here we go again … our latest list of the 100 best websites sees short attention spans, the rise of Twitter, more browser wars and celebrity gossip sites setting the news agenda. Slovak born veteran media dragon, Andy Warhol, talked of a time when everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. With hindsight, however, he might have wanted to revise that down to about five minutes. On today's web, phrases such as "here today, gone tomorrow" seem to involve ridiculously long timescales. People who moaned that blogging represented a move to shorter attention spans – 250-to-350-word posts rather than 1,000-word stories – have now seen blog posts start to look big and, frankly, old-fashioned. Today's trendsetters are using "microblogging" sites such as Tumblr, Posterous and, which are taking the opportunity for creative "borrowing" to new heights Best of Best Media Dragons

Endless Love of a true visionaries Love and Science are In the Air
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Romance and science aren’t the most traditional bedfellows – perhaps with the exception of that ultimate first date make-or-break, ‘chemistry’.

However a recent LA Times article revealed that increasingly scientists are finding the chemistry concept isn’t just a metaphor for the sparks that fly (or fizzle) when two people meet. Love and attraction causes real changes in the brain, releasing high levels of the chemical dopamine which provides that first buzz, and then later bonding hormones like vasopressin and oxytocin. And researchers are using MRI machines to observe and measure these effects, with some surprising results.

Radical Attraction [Life entails more than sitting in a sealed-off room wrapped up in cotton-wool. Mark their words: the battle begins - Maurice Newman's address to ABC staff Avoiding risk or avoiding life? ; The demands of blogging have pushed many to abandon the form for faster, simpler word bursts on Twitter or Facebook. Today, there is increasing evidence that the art of blog writing is losing ground to even faster forms of communication, from 140-character Twitter blasts to one-sentence status updates on Facebook and MySpace. Nielsen Media Research estimates that of the 126 million blogs counted by its crawlers, the vast majority are rarely – if ever – updated. Has blogging peaked? ]
• · DEPRESSION, WAR, AND COLD WAR Challenging the Myths of Conflict and Prosperity ; Communist China now has more billionaires than any other country besides the United States, according to Forbes magazine. There are a total of 64 people in that bracket in mainland China, the magazine says in its annual list of the world's richest people Forbes ; BBC on Rich ; Namesake; Guardian
• · · A Gold Coast businessman found guilty after a major tax evasion investigation which is also looking into Crocodile Dondee star Paul Hogan's affairs blogged on Google’s networking site Buzz about beating the authorities in the middle of his Supreme Court fraud trial, it can be revealed. Adam Hargraves and business partner Daniel Stoten, both 38, were found guilty this week of conspiring to cause a loss to a commonwealth entity and remanded in custody for sentencing Blog boasts in fraud trial- Courier Mail, 11/03/2010, ; "We won't lie about our marriage on our tax forms, either, filing as the married people we are," Marla Stevens wrote on a blog in September 2005. "We've racked up about a million dollars in potential criminal fines and about a hundred years in potential prison time under the old sentencing guidelines between us - so far. Marla Stevens once bragged about how she and her spouse, Phyllis, violated federal tax laws
• · · · A new transparency and accountability seal is being developed by Washington News Council, a non-profit forum New transparency 'seal' initiative for online journalists; The attention economy has gotten plenty of, ahem, attention. Competition for limited attention spans has led many companies to get louder, either literally, or figuratively via social media, deep discounts or misguided attempts at technological differentiation. No doubt, the attention arms race has escalated - but this has been to little avail as customers have found ways to tune it out. The Rise of the Inattention Economy
• · · · · Now, this may come as a bit of a shock but over the next couple of months this blog is going to contain, in the words of a 1980s comedian, "a little bit of politics". "We'll still be knocking on doors," one senior party official told me, "it's just that we'll be organising the knocking-on-doors via Facebook". I'm taking up a temporary position as the BBC's digital election correspondent, with the job of examining how politicians and voters are using new technology in the run-up to the general election. I will still keep an eye on the rest of the technology landscape, but the blog will gradually become infused with the political scene. We'll still be knocking on doors ; Why all the fuss about Facebook?; The Hurt Locker upsets Avatar Did Blog Buzz for “Hurt Locker” Predict Its Oscar Win?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Best wishes to Bawa and everybody who shares this special day with him. After dining at Hungry Czech then singing "Happy Birthday" and cutting of the cake amazing stories from Kenya and Panjab came out

Monday, March 01, 2010

Some bad news is not new; it's made worse by the fact that it's caught in a long-term trend that shows no sign of reversal ... Dragon’s writing on the wall tend to attract trouble...

Our Bronte neighbour wrote in mid September a letter to Australian regulators which detailed his concerns about a fund manager in Australia known as the Astarra Strategic Fund – formerly known as Absolute Alpha.
This letter resulted in regulatory action against a cluster of related funds (almost twenty), however my letter was almost entirely about only one fund in the group. I did not make any major suggestions in the letter about other funds in the Astarra complex. My involvement was detailed today in the Sydney Morning Herald (see stories here, here and here, with the first story on the front page below the fold). There was no genius in my letter – everything could be found (fairly easily) on the internet – and the original tip-off came from a reader of my blog – who noticed links with a story I wrote up in March 2009

Fear 'We did it ourselves!
As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honour and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves!

An obsessive routine in carrying out the details begets conformity and complacency, which in turn dulls everyone's mind. That is why even as they pay attention to details, they continually encourage people to challenge the process. They implicitly understand the sentiment of CEO-leaders like Quad/Graphic's Harry Quadracchi, Oticon's Lars Kolind and the late Bill McGowan of MCI, who all independently asserted that the job of a leader is not to be the chief organizer, but the chief dis-organizer.

chief dis-organizer Leaders of capital and social funds [THE corporate regulator has expressed no concerns about two men owning Australian financial services companies, despite questions about the men's role in a British broker involved in a penny stock scandal.
BusinessDay revealed last week that Jeffrey Revell-Reade, based in Austria, and James Sutherland, based in Hong Kong, owned Australian companies that received three financial services licences from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. ;
The Association of Independently Owned Financial Planners (AIOFP) has received unconfirmed reports that $85 million of the missing $118 million of assets within the Astarra Strategic Fund (ASF) are safe AIOFP finds $85m of Astarra Strategic assets ; Google i ; Google ii ]
• · The ever expanding volume of information we face on a daily basis - and the wide range of issues in relation to the concept of information overload, ranging from concerns about information fatigue, information interruption, information access and information transparency that require attention to the costs and benefits of faster and more voluminous flows of data, knowledge and decision management Overloaded ; The establishment of the Senior Executive Service (SES) in 1984 sought to create a Service-wide strategic leadership in ideas, management, and ethics in accordance with the Westminster principles and conventions of public administration as they operate in the Australian model of government. The 25th anniversary of the creation of the SES provides an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements made during this time, and to focus on the challenges ahead The Senior Executive Service 25th Anniversary,
• · · Data losses to incur fines of up to £500,000, BBC, 12 January 2010. The UK Information Commissioner's Office will be able to issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious data security breaches. The new rule is expected to come into force in the UK on 6 April 2010. The size of the fine will be determined after an investigation to assess the gravity of the breach. Other factors will include the size and finances of the organisation at fault. Individual cases will also be assessed on whether the breach was accidental or deliberate and how much distress the leak of information caused ; Reinventing management
• · · · The art of management ; The heroic leader, media dragon, the charismatic, goal-scoring superstar who doesn't mind carrying the team on his back, is out. Enter the post-heroic leader, the quieter, engaging team player who brings every player into the decision-making process. In fact, today's complex business environment requires a leader who combines the best of both styles Is heroic leadership all bad?,
• · · · · Australia's first taxes were levied to meet the challenges of those early days. They may also have been relatively efficient, equitable and simple, particularly since most of the revenue for the gaol came from import duties on alcohol – 'the more the citizens drank, the more money there was to control them' If we were able to ask Governor Hunter of the new colony of New South Wales why he introduced the very first taxes in Australia – taxes applying to imports – I suspect his answer would be, simply, that the colony had to finance the building of a new gaol because the old one had 'inexplicably' burnt down, private subscriptions had proved insufficient and Britain had refused further subsidies. Ken Henry the VIII ; Individual income tax returns [electronic resource] : necessary or not? : Toni Balik Australia : CPA Australia, 1998 TAX OFFICE IS NOW ON MEDIA DRAGON, FACEBOOK, TWITTER The Tax Office has advised that it is now on social networking site Twitter providing "tweets" (much in the style of an SMS message - 140 characters or less) on the latest updates on new measures, changes to legislation and reminders of upcoming due dates. The ATO says those keen to take a look without signing up to Twitter can go to [
• · · · · · Nicknamed the “Pirate of Prague” for his bargain-basement purchase of post-Soviet privatization vouchers in his native Czechoslovakia, Kozeny, 46, got in trouble with U.S. authorities when he tried to pull off a similar maneuver in the Caspian Sea nation of Azerbaijan in the late 1990s. Bohemian Pirate; As researcher Alan Block described the metastatic growth of the tax-haven phenomenon in his groundbreaking work, Masters of Paradise: Organized Crime and the Internal Revenue Service in the Bahamas, "professional criminals were those who took it upon themselves to organize crime. Their true work was the process of organizing crime itself."GAO reports that CSC has 21 subsidiaries "in jurisdictions listed as tax havens" by the federal government. Some of the firm's global operations are located in tech manufacturing powerhouses such as Bermuda (1); British Virgin Islands (4); Costa Rica (1); Hong Kong (5); Ireland (2); Luxembourg (2); Macao (1); Singapore (4); Switzerland (1). Masters of Paradise; Alexander Zvygintsev, Russia's Deputy Prosecutor-General, said Britain and Israel harboured more Russian criminals than any other countries. He told the newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta: "It is no coincidence the capital of [Britain] is often called 'Londongrad'. It seems that London, as a major financial centre, is turning into a giant laundrette for laundering criminally sourced funds. Britain called crooks' haven
Scots like Jock agree