Sunday, April 01, 2012

As you may be aware, today is April Fool’s day — and while we won’t be playing any childish pranks here at Flavorpill, we do enjoy a good practical joke or two, especially when said joke is fictional and thus lacking in real-world consequences. Found today instead of yesterday, but still worth a look: the 10 Best Practical Jokes in Literature Kurt Vonnegut said, “All of fiction is a practical joke

On a business front, the Rinehart family feud continues to be played out in the public eye – more proof perhaps that ‘money does not buy happiness’.

We live in a digital life stream. A forever 'now-or-never' world built on instant expectation, instant availability and instant feedback. This week has seen the explosion of a global social media campaign around Ugandan LRA leader Joseph Kony – it has attracted world wide attention, the 30 min video receiving100 million hits in six days and garnered mass support (and some criticism). Social media also keeps tripping people up with the recently announced Miss Seattle coming under fire for a 3 month old comment where she tweeted “Ew….I am seriously hating Seattle right now” – agreed, not something you would want to be caught out saying as an ‘ambassador’ for your city! I’m more witty, worldly, on-the-go, in-the-know than you.
I'm Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Media Dragon on the Web. Who are these companies and what do they want from me? A voyage into the invisible business that funds the web. This morning, if you opened your browser and went to, an amazing thing happened in the milliseconds between your click and when the news about North Korea and James Murdoch appeared on your screen. Data from this single visit was sent to 10 different companies, including Microsoft and Google subsidiaries, a gaggle of traffic-logging sites, and other, smaller ad firms. Nearly instantaneously, these companies can log your visit, place ads tailored for your eyes specifically, and add to the ever-growing online file about you A voyage While Google is often criticized for having a Wikipedia bias, it isn’t the only search engine that has one. When you conduct searches on Bing, you’re actually more likely to see Wikipedia prominently in your search results than for the same search on Google, namely the No. 1 spot, one of the top three spots, and on the first page of search results, according to a new Search Engine Watch study. Read on for the full details and breakdown Study Supports Bing Favoring Wikipedia More Often Than Google A secret unit within Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation promoted a wave of high-tech piracy in Australia that damaged Austar, Optus and Foxtel at a time when News was moving to take control of the Australian pay TV industry Media Dragons, Hackers and Code-cracker claims hit Murdoch firm
Dark side of digital age … If your company employs an Indian call centre, today you should be thinking twice. Reports of a widespread black market in Britons' personal data could destroy all confidence in customer services operations outsourced to the subcontinent. A Sunday Times investigation last weekend revealed that IT consultants working across the call centre industry in India are offering up the most sensitive personal details on thousands of UK residents. Worse still, British companies know it is happening but are turning a blind eye for fear of negative publicity. That strategy has now backfired Call centres are a $A7 billion industry in India

Courtesy of Judi H - Four Fazes of Life (4 Phases of Banking Life)

Nothing succeeds like excess Toxic Kapital
A toxic relationship business media, Goldman Sachs reveal bottom line on business morality
The Conversation, 16 March 2012. The worst damage to the Goldman Sachs franchise from the extraordinary attack on its corporate culture by a mid-level former employee comes from its clinical execution. With exquisite timing, Greg Smith’s opinion piece for the New York Times coincided with the early release by the Federal Reserve of stress test reports into the American banking sector. They appeared to show a sustained if patchy recovery.

Reducing capital requirements at this stage remains hotly contested. It also reopened debate on whether ostensibly stricter regulatory oversight has effected lasting change on Wall Street. Smith certainly didn’t think so. “I can honestly say the environment is now as toxic and destructive as I’ve ever seen it,” he wrote. “To put the problem in its simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money.

• Poor witnesses for people are eyes and ears if they possess barbarian souls Kapital; THE narrative of Margin Call unfolds quickly and inevitably, even if what lies behind it has been building for a time. It is set in a Wall Street investment bank in 2008, at the beginning of what we have come to know as the global financial crisis. It is told crisply, made with a powerhouse cast and an intriguing combination of restraint and directness. It has the outlines of a race-against-time thriller and the impact of a cold shower. Almost like level 13, where the mad Scotsman great ideas of madness get darker, the ironic euphemisms become coated with free-floating obscenities, scapegoats find themselves staked out, the rich protect their backs and get richer, and the public gets screwed Money Never Sleeps & The awful thing is this. Everyone has his reason [Two days into leaving, / the river's outer frond flushes worms imagined in the fire / onto the embankment of rust, / mud deep when imagination became an asterisk in the mind "The Mind is a Metaphor, is an evolving work of reference, an ever more interactive, more solidly constructed collection of mental metaphorics. This collection of eighteenth-century metaphors of mind serves as the basis for a scholarly study of the metaphors and root-images appealed to by the novelists, poets, dramatists, essayists, philosophers, belle-lettrists, preachers, and pamphleteers of the long eighteenth century. While the database does include metaphors from classical sources, from Shakespeare and Milton, from the King James Bible, and from more recent texts, it does not pretend to any depth or density of coverage in literature other than that of the British eighteenth century. The database was assembled and taxonomized and is maintained by Brad Pasanek. The Mind is a Metaphor ; Sydney Life ]
• · Challenge sessions, brainstorms and debates can be great ways to get the creative juices flowing. Most of us enjoy working as part of a team, so it comes as no surprise that group thinking is a good way to foster creativity because it gets people to consider new ideas and gather inspiration from places they would not normally look. Many of us are more creative when we are teamed up including PWC ; Jonah Lehrer wrote a book called Imagine: How Creativity Works Imagine; What allows some people to create the iPod, produce Star Wars, or develop Twitter? Is it in their genes? In an excerpt from his upcoming book, “Imagine: How Creativity Works”, Jonah Lehrer argues that creativity is not inherited or innate, but learned and developed. Lehrer also explains how researchers are exploring the science of creativity and how anyone can use their findings to learn to be creative. How to spark creativity; Cross Continent with IMANUGinative Man
• · · - Fiction is harder than fact, but the Web helps Via - Fiction is harder than fact, but the Web helps - Nicholas Pengelley's wide ranging global career spans law librarian, lawyer, law professor and analyst for a major international NGO. Now as the author of a new political thriller he explains why writing fiction is much harder to write than fact, based on comparison to work accomplished to publish academic articles in his fields of expertise, and opinion pieces on political issues. He attributes the success of aspects of this project to effective and expansive Web research for sources and information to facilitate fact checking and information gathering, as well as to the use of a manuscript editing software, AutoCrit Fiction is harder than fact ; THERE must be a Sir Humphrey Appleby clone in Canberra, someone telling any meddlesome new minister or incoming administration, ''whatever you do, don't lay a finger on that golden goose!' It seems no one wants to upset the ASIC apple cart to enforce disclosure laws.
• · · · HBR blog If you're a digital native, you should be aware that the internet may have partially rewired your brain in such a way that when you meet people face to face, you're less capable of figuring out what they're thinking.Digital natives are slow to pick up non-verbal cues; Follow up to New 'HTTPS Everywhere' Version Warns Users About Web Security Holes see the following from privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian - Firefox switching to HTTPS Google search by default (and the end of referrer leakage). "A few days ago, Mozilla's developers quietly enabled Google's HTTPS encrypted search as the default search service for the "nightly" developer trunk of the Firefox browser (it will actually use the SPDY protocol). Referrer header ; The current standard method for validating a user’s identity for authentication on an information system requires humans to do something that is inherently unnatural: create, remember, and manage long, complex passwordsActive Authentication
• · · · · Ahead of, or behind, the game The govt's public service legislation, though not without its strengths, is more a redrafting than a reform Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote, counselled those with writing ambitions: ''Do but take care to express yourself in a plain, easy Manner, in well-chosen, significant and decent terms … study to explain your Thoughts … labouring as much as possible, not to leave them dark nor intricate, but clear and intelligible.'' Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote ; Diamonds are forever: Book launch by ATINK plain language etc
• · · · · · . Google is apparently poised to launch its own third-party Net commenting platform in direct response to Facebook, which is increasingly being used as a commenting gateway on many sites 3 Ways That Google Is Searching To Secure Its Future ; Last week three of the biggest companies in technology were busy positioning themselves for the future. Collectively, their actions tell you a lot about the kind of turmoil headed for the rest of the business world. Cloud ; Predicting the future shape of the technology industry is a risky business. The future of technology…who knows?