Monday, February 29, 2016

Leaping Year of Ringers: Crazy fintech predictions for 2016

Vanity is a motive of immense potency. Anyone who has much to do with children knows how they are constantly performing some antic, and saying “Look at me.” “Look at me” is one of the most fundamental desires of the human heart. It can take innumerable forms, from buffoonery to the pursuit of posthumous fame ... It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the influence of vanity throughout the range of human life, from the child of three to the potentate at whose frown the world trembles.

Russian police have arrested a nanny for beheading a young girl in her care, investigators said ... *Bill Simmons announces new web site The Ringer

Pascal Bouvier, newly installed as a venture partner with Santander Innoventures fintech venture fund, dusts off his crystal ball and peers into the not-too-distant fintech future Crazy fintech predictions for 2016

Human beings show their superiority to the brutes by their capacity for boredom, though I have sometimes thought, in examining the apes at the zoo, that they, perhaps, have the rudiments of this tiresome emotion. However that may be, experience shows that escape from boredom is one of the really powerful desires of almost all human beings.

The dining table is the stage for much of the theatre in our lives. It’s where we tell stories. It’s where things happen that become stories. The drama can be in the events before the main course or after dessert. Sometimes the story is not about what was said during the meal, it’s about what wasn’t said across the table Malchzkon Who do you dine with or drama with ...

Authorities were unable to determine how much dodgy money was ultimately produced by the operation, which was run from a modest family home in the Sydney suburb of Sylvania Waters. "The quality of the $50 notes tendered in evidence was such that I was unable to tell them apart from real currency," NSW District Court Judge Ross Letherbarrow commented at the 2013 trial Australia is flooded with fake 50 notes so good they fool banks
Nature's painting
Gerald M.United States
You probably wonder what you are looking at. Well it is a salt pond from the San Francisco area viewed from the sky, shot from a helicopter. I had noticed previously the beautiful shapes and colors of those ponds when I was riding as a passenger on airliners coming to land into SFO airport. I contacted a local helicopter company to charter a ride over those amazing ponds and enjoyed the nice colors and shapes it can bring ....

It is ... Is is ...  It is not always a given that good people make good characters. Over at The AtlanticTony 

Visual trickbait That last square on the promoted story grid, “Ever look yourself up? This new site is addicting. If you enter your name on this site,” is a special visual version of trickbait Clickbait Klikbait

A bizarre incident at a cemetery in Alicante  The bizarre love ceremony 

Tulathimutte explains how none other than one Philip Roth taught him the importance of showing every aspect of your characters–even the bad ones. Here’s an older piece from the same series in which Paul Lisicky writes about Flannery O’Connorand her “flawed characters.”

Unruly Characters: A Conversation with Kelly Link and Keith Lee Morris  BY KEITH LEE MORRIS I wrote the last sentence of the story first, and then the next to last sentence, and so on for as long as I could — maybe I could have done it all the way back, but at a certain point I got really interested in figuring out how it started.

Sarah Jeong’s Harvard lecture: “The Internet of Garbage” Boing Boing 

Apple, FBI, and the Burden of Forensic Methodology Zdziarski’s MEdia Dragon Blog of Things

More than 200 patients at NJ hospital possibly exposed to HIV, hepatitis Reuters 


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Don’t Hold Your Breath

We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. Each morning we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. At birth we were awakened and emerged to become visible in the world. At death we will surrender again to the dark to become invisible. Awakening and surrender: they frame each day and each life; between them the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty.
~ Bathroom quote

“In 1962 I was asked to talk about myself at an American college. I recalled my parents, who were so understanding, my wife, my son and his children, who have brought me nothing but joy. In short, I said that I was a happy man. At that moment I sensed general consternation—almost panic—in the hall. Some students came to talk to me after the conference: how had I been able to create in these conditions? An artist needs to suffer! I replied that I had managed to arrange things differently.”
~ Darius Milhaud, My Happy Life

In this article we explore the first two truths; one, the old as a source of experienced wisdom and two, how old people become more reliant on mental shortcuts, rules of thumb and ‘System 1 decision-making’ Why we think and behave differently as we age

Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries New York Times

Stop Paying Executives for Performance Harvard Business Review 
Labor volunteers have been caught on hidden cameras bragging about using Australian taxpayer funds to work on a US presidential campaign and interfering with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaign signs. ALP Operatives

San Diego Union-Tribune, Agency Funds Tent, Puppy, Playstation For WorkersAs they pay their rising water bills, customers in the Fallbrook Public Utility District have funded some interesting employee recognition gifts — a Playstation 4, an Elton John concert ticket, even a Dalmatian puppy.

Over at the Afgani restauranr at Dural RLC on his way back home noted that
Democracy is less stable than we had thought

Rose Heaphy, Internal Revenue Service scam haunts Des Moines woman  If the caller says he’s from the IRS, he isn’t

Stephens-Davidowitz has numerous good thoughts

It's pretty likely that robots and artificial technology are going to transform a bunch of industries, drone aircraft will continue their leap from the military to the civilian market, and self-driving cars will make your commute a lot more bearable. But DARPA scientists have even bigger ideas.

Technology continues to impact roles in the professional financial services environment. We have already seen ANZ deploy robotics and artificial intelligence in its workforce and this is replacing many administration type jobs.

Here’s what the world will be like in 2045, according to DARPA’s top scientists

Every year, the insights contained in Forrester’s customer service trends report, written by Kate Leggett, are eagerly anticipated. This year, the top trends span the customer lifecycle as enterprises strive to meet changing customer expectations for service that is personal, efficient, and builds emotional bonds that impact top line revenue Forrester's Top Trends For Customer Service In 2016

“Having a legacy business configured around a website is now almost as much of a headache as the rumbling printing press, fuelled by paper and money. It is likely we will start to see studio or agency models emerge where publishing models once were, trying to create value around relationships and services rather than packages and products.”  The Guardian (UK)

Illustration by Alice and Martin Provensen from ‘Homer for Young Readers,’ 1965. Click image for more.

Acquisitiveness — the wish to possess as much as possible of goods, or the title to goods — is a motive which, I suppose, has its origin in a combination of fear with the desire for necessaries. I once befriended two little girls from Estonia, who had narrowly escaped death from starvation in a famine. They lived in my family, and of course had plenty to eat. But they spent all their leisure visiting neighbouring farms and stealing potatoes, which they hoarded. Rockefeller, who in his infancy had experienced great poverty, spent his adult life in a similar manner
However much you may acquire, you will always wish to acquire more; satiety is a dream which will always elude you.

Institute for Justice, Victory Over the IRS: IRS Returns N.C. Man’s Entire Life Savings After Seizing It Through Civil Forfeiture. Good. But why did he have to fight so hard when the IRS never said that he had cheated on his taxes?

TaxGrrrl, Fraud Allegations At Liberty Tax Franchises Raise Questions

Russ Fox, Where I Became the “Messenger of Doom” (My Final Comments on Turf Rebates). Nice work if you can get it.

Robert WoodCrazy Sounding Tax Deductions That IRS Says Are Legit. “Cosmetic surgery costs are usually non-deductible, but an exotic dancer named Chesty Love tested this rule.”

Table manners will never go out of fashion — especially when the police are enforcing them. For one Vienna man, he found that out the hard way when failed to hold his breath as he he was fined a whopping 70 euros ($107) for burping loudly in public, reports The Guardian

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Amalgamations in NSW

“‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘I heard the speech. But they don’t give a damn about that. Hell, make ’em cry, make ’em laugh, make ’em think you’re their weak erring pal, or make ’em think you’re God-Almighty. Or make ’em mad. Even mad at you. Just stir ’em up, it doesn’t matter how or why, and they’ll love you and come back for more. Pinch ’em in the soft place. They aren’t alive, most of ’em, and haven’t been alive in twenty years. Hell, their wives have lost their teeth and their shape, and likker won’t set on their stomachs, and they don’t believe in God, so it’s up to you to give ’em something to stir ’em up and make ’em feel alive again. Just for half an hour. That’s what they come for. Tell ’em anything. But for Sweet Jesus’ sake don’t try to improve their minds.”
~ Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

2016 AD ~ Living in Randwick

A council meeting was held at Randwick on Saturday at 7am to discuss mergers... The property developers had the numbers as the residents lost ... Last minute meeting to fight amalgamation threat lost

In what seems part Utopia and part Fawlty Towers, it's taken a week, two freedom of information requests, four e-mails and at least six phone calls to try to establish whether a report has been released by the NSW Government. Even then, there are still two different answers. Mystery Deepens over KPMG council merger report ...
"It just beggars belief. Everything is grinding to a halt in local government because all we are doing is writing submissions which I think just end up going into bin .  just think this shows you that is everything is gets madder and madder and it's just extremely frustrating"

The leaders around the world, especially in U.S. has Gone F&*%ing Mad Medium. It is not clear what drugs are being taken as phamarcists are ruthless ...[do no evil or harm ? The rising price of insulin RxRights]

Premier Mike Baird's plan to merge Sydney's councils could be disrupted, after a northern beaches council used a legislative "loophole" to revive a scuppered amalgamation option. Warringah Council has used a clause in the Local Government Act to bring back its plan to form a single Northern Beaches Council by merging with its coastal neighbours Pittwater and Manly Northern beaches mega council back on the table after merger loophole discovered

Liberal democracy has triumphed over Soviet-style communism, authoritarian capitalism, and fascism. But another threat looms: Martin Heidegger... Randwick Revolution 

jay and berries 2 links
There Are Flint-Like Situations in Cities Across the Country Charles Pierce, Esquire

Why an Oscar-win for this documentary could raise questions for the U.S. government Washington Post

The Disappointments of War in a World of Unintended Consequences TomDispatch