Saturday, April 21, 2012

What manufacturing will be like in the future

Ask a factory today to make you a single hammer to your own design and you will be presented with a bill for thousands of dollars. The makers would have to produce a mould, cast the head, machine it to a suitable finish, turn a wooden handle and then assemble the parts. To do that for one hammer would be prohibitively expensive. If you are producing thousands of hammers, each one of them will be much cheaper, thanks to economies of scale. For a 3D printer, though, economies of scale matter much less. Its software can be endlessly tweaked and it can make just about anything. The cost of setting up the machine is the same whether it makes one thing or as many things as can fit inside the machine; like a two-dimensional office printer that pushes out one letter or many different ones until the ink cartridge and paper need replacing, it will keep going, at about the same cost for each item. Additive manufacturing is not yet good enough to make a car or an iPhone, but it is already being used to make specialist parts for cars and customised covers for iPhones. Although it is still a relatively young technology, most people probably already own something that was made with the help of a 3D printer. It might be a pair of shoes, printed in solid form as a design prototype before being produced in bulk. It could be a hearing aid,individually tailored to the shape of the user’s ear. Or it could be a piece of jewellery, cast from a mould made by a 3D printer or produced directly using a growing number of printable materials. But additive manufacturing is only one of a number of breakthroughs leading to the factory of the future, and conventional production equipment is becoming smarter and more flexible, too. Volkswagen has a new production strategy called Modularer Querbaukasten, or MQB. By standardising the parameters of certain components, such as the mounting points of engines, the German carmaker hopes to be able to produce all its models on the same production line. The process is being introduced this year, but will gather pace as new models are launched over the next decade. Eventually it should allow its factories in America, Europe and China to produce locally whatever vehicle each market requires. Dewayne Hendricks

Friday, April 20, 2012

Where the dictator and the revolutionary meet: the Internet

The internet users in the Middle East are just 3,3% of the world total users, but they represent 35% of the population, which is a higher percentage than in the average rest of the world.
If you think that in a country like Italy we have just 40% of Internet users, and that in Italy they discovered the Internet many years earlier, you understand how big the number is.
And one would believe that the interests are quite different from the rest of the Western world, but they are surprisingly similar.
Very popular are of course social websites like Facebook, tweets, Google, as well as LinkedIn, Digg and Reddit.
Some say that the Arab Spring wouldn’t have been possible without Facebook.
So, the portrait of the average internet user of the Middle East is not so far from his friend from the West.
Surprisingly, while in the beginning the Facebook users were mostly revolutionaries, lately the dictatorial governments still in power are promoting their own credo using the same social means.
Some call it a kind of "big brother", but whatever the reason can be, the winner is the internet and the new online markets.
To predict the future of internet marketing in the Middle East one has to consider how trends arise, spread, and fall out of favor, just like in the rest of the world.
That of course will allow the good marketing firm to foresee with some precision what will be the trend of the next years, what will still work and what won’t.
For example to plan the right and effective middle eastern ppc management, one must know what people are mostly looking for and where.
In the same way they must evaluate what elements of a website, ads, social media a Middle Eastern search engine will value in the near future.
Planning is everything, but planning needs knowing and knowing means also understanding.
Successful marketers must become better at foreseeing what the trends will be, may be revising what the actual trends are in the West.
A good middle eastern search engine optimization firm knows how local search engines rank any website.
Very important is also a dynamic approach to social media marketing, adding value to the growing favor of Middle East users for this kind of Internet part.

It is the number the only weapon we have: let´s use it!

This is one of the most moving video I saw.
Seeing that old man and woman, deprived of the only security they have: their home!
And to fill the pockets of some greedy criminal out there!

We have to stop, before it is too late.
Tomorrow will be our turn.
They will destroy us!

It is a wild world out there

It is a wild world out there, something you shouldn’t confront alone, if you want to be the winner.
In the beginning, when the Internet was "young" it was enough to have a nice website, to know a few basic rules and you were sure you could catch 100% of the customers looking for your business.
Then it became 95, 90, 80...and some can consider themselves lucky if they still get 10% of the traffic...
But sometimes 10% is not enough, especially if you are small and your potential customers are limited.
So, what to do?
One way, the optimal one, would be becoming a guru, learning all marketing tricks, how to be on the top and so on...
But after being on the top, you also have to learn HOW TO STAY on the top and that means a life long learning SEO and Marketing.
But who has the time, and more, let’s be honest, who has the skills?
Then there is the second option which in my opinion is the best.
For example you could let the job to a specialized company like
charlotte nc marketing.
What can they do for you?
They can "build" your brand online with SEO (search engine optimization) SEM (search engine marketing), web analytics(understand your web traffic), social media marketing,and small business marketing.
Not only your customers will find you, but you will be able to connect to them thanks to the Social Media.
You will learn how to approach purchase decisions in various industries, Why, would you ask?
To learn how to develop the right strategy to reach them with your message.
To learn how your message should be.
In the real world you can be a great seller, you know how to reach your customer, how to address him, what to say, how to smile.
Those are things you cannot do online.
You have to learn to use other means.
It is your website that talks to them, not you.
And you have to learn to talk to them through it.
It is a whole new world, and a wild one too.
It is not difficult to win; you just need to learn the right ways.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mr. Mario Monti

Mr. Monti,

I write to you in English, even though I am as Italian as you are.
This is my language since long, since I married a German.
I always considered myself as European and was quite proud of being one.

Not anymore.

You talk about countries losing sovereignty, I wouldn’t dislike it.
I would also prefer to be European before being Italian.
But I do not want this Europe
I want the Europe I was promised, the Europe where we citizens count, where we can vote, where we can decide.
I do not want a Europe where I count only as a number in a list, when I have to PAY.
I do not want to work for you, for the other European bourocrats, I do not want to give you the money to do the things that YOU want.
I want to be able to decide.

I do not want to be European of this Europe.
I do not want you.
I didn´t vote for you.
You are just an impostor, much worse than Mussolini.
Please, if you have a little bit of pride, understand that we do not want you, that we think you are destroying our country and our future.

If you sell locally, you should be local

Once there were the Yellow pages.
When you needed to find a business in your area you looked in them and you had an alphabetical list, no pictures, no description, just the telephone number and the address.
You didn’t have so much to decide which to choose.
I guess that there were two kinds of customers:
1) The lazy ones that dialed the first number and so the business beginning with A had more chances.
2) The more scrupulous ones who read the whole list and decided in base of the location, the closer the better.
Both didn’t really guarantee you good results.
It was more a matter of luck than efficiency...
Then the Internet came and our lives changed completely.
You could really see what they offered, price, availability, other customer’s feedback and so on...
And the companies?
A good business is of course following the customers, be where they most probably will look for you.
So it was a must for everybody to have his own website, the more catching, the more successful...
But you can have the best site of the world, if you are not there, where and when they search for you and your business, it is like you didn’t exist.
Before, on the yellow pages you were one of many and now?
Now you have the best chances to be the "chosen one" if you know how.
And the how doesn’t mean ONLY to have a catching website, means also to be found.
And what about being a small company, who deals most locally?
You do not care if they can see your website in Paris, you care they see it where you live and work...
So, if you sell locally you must be local.
First looking for the best local SEO, which will care that your website is well prepared for the “authoritative” listing databases and primary local search engines.
They will achieve that with the right Local business marketingwhich includes also keeping the customers informed with search engines changes.
Since placement is everything, a poor local ranking will affect quite negatively your performance, remember, if they do not find you, you do not exist..
So a good and tailored local search engine marketing will certainly do the trick.

The crash of 29

The Crash of 1929
The history of the slump begins about 1927 when France stabilized the franc de facto at a level at which it was devalued and undervalued.
This led to a great demand for francs. The Bank of France sold francs in return for foreign exchange.
The francs were created as credit in France, thus giving an inflationary effect which can be seen in the behavior of French prices in 1926-1928.
By 1928 the Bank of France found that it held foreign exchange to the value of 32 billion francs(about $1.2 billion).
At this point the Bank of France began to transfer its exchange holdings into gold, buying the metal chiefly in London and New York.
To prevent the resulting outflow of gold from having a deflationary effect which might injure business, the New York Federal Reserve Bank dropped its discount rate from 4 percent to 3 ½ percent.
When the French gold purchases became noticeable in 1928, the Federal Reserve Bank adopted open market operations to counterbalance them, buying securities to a value equal to the French purchases of gold.
As a result there was no reduction in money in the United States. This money,however, was going increasingly into stock-market speculation rather than into production of real wealth.
Credit Was Diverted from Production to Speculation
Increasing amounts of funds were being drained from the economic system into the stock market, where they circulated around and around, building up the prices of securities.
In other countries, funds tended to flow to the United States where they could expect to roll up extraordinary earnings in capital gains in a relatively short time.
This was especially true of funds from Britain where the stock-market boom ceased after the end of 1928. By that time the fundamentally unsound economic conditions were beginning to break through the facade.
The decline in foreign loans by both London and New York began to be noticeable by the last half of 1928 and made it evident that the chief support of the facade was vanishing.
But the continued rise of security prices in New York continued to draw money from the rest of the world and from the productive and consumptive systems of the United States itself.
This resulted in A Financial Disaster of Unparalleled Magnitude.

In April 1929, the Federal Reserve authorities called upon the member banks to reduce their loans on stock-exchange collateral.
At the same time, it engaged in open-market operations which reduced its holdings of bankers' acceptances from about $300 million to about $150 million. The sterilization of gold was made more drastic.
It was hoped in this way to reduce the amount of credit available for speculation.
Instead, the available credit went more and more to speculation and decreasingly to productive business.
In August, the Federal Reserve discount rate was raised to 6 percent.
By this time it was becoming evident that the prices of stocks were far above any value based on earning power and that this earning power was beginning to decline because of the weakening of industrial activity.
At this critical moment, on September 26, 1929, a minor financial panic in London caused the Bank of England to raise its bank rate from 4 ½ percent to 6 ½ percent.
This was enough.
British funds began to leave Wall Street, and the overinflated market commenced to sag. By the middle of October, the fall had become a panic.
The stock-market crash reduced the volume of foreign lending from the United States to Europe, and these two events together tore away the facade which until then had concealed the fundamental maladjustments between production and consumption, between debts and ability to pay, between creditors and willingness to receive goods.
Not only were these maladjustments revealed but they began to be readjusted with a severity of degree and speed made all the worse by the fact that the adjustments had been so long delayed.
Production began to fall to the level of consumption, creating idle men, idle factories, idle money, and idle resources.
Debtors were called to account and found deficient.
Creditors who had refused repayment now sought it, but in vain. All values of real wealth shrank drastically.
Not only were these
maladjustments revealed but they began to be readjusted with a severity of degree and
speed made all the worse by the fact that the adjustments had been so long delayed.
Production began to fall to the level of consumption, creating idle men, idle factories, idle
money, and idle resources. Debtors were called to account and found deficient. Creditors
who had refused repayment now sought it, but in vain. All values of real wealth shrank
The financial and banking crisis began in central Europe early in 1931, reached London by the end of that year, spread to the United States and France in 1932, bringing the United States to the acute stage in 1933, and France in 1934.
The British Suspension of Gold (by necessity, not by choice.)
As a result of the British abandonment of the gold standard the central core of the world's financial system was disrupted.
Thus the world tended to divide into two financial groups—the sterling bloc organized bout Britain and the gold bloc organized about the United States, France, Belgium, the etherlands, and Switzerland.
Te countries still on gold began to adopt new trade barriers, such as
tariffs and quotas, to prevent Britain from using the advantage of epreciated currency to icrease her exports to them.
The depreciation of sterling did result in an improvement in the foreign trade alance, exports rising very slightly and imports falling 12 percent in 1932 in comparison ith 1931.
This led to a revival of confidence in sterling and a simultaneous decline in The depreciation of sterling did result in an improvement in the foreign trade
balance, exports rising very slightly and imports falling 12 percent in 1932 in comparison
with 1931. This led to a revival of confidence in sterling and a simultaneous decline in confidence in The depreciation of sterling did result in an improvement in the foreign trade
balance, exports rising very slightly and imports falling 12 percent in 1932 in comparison
with 1931. This led to a revival of confidence in sterling and a simultaneous decline in confidence in the gold-standard currencies. Foreign funds began to flow to London.

The flow of capital into Britain early in 1932 resulted in an appreciation of sterling in respect to the gold currencies. This was unwelcome to the British government since it would destroy her newly acquired trade advantage.
Control of the credit structure was left to the Bank of England, while control of the exchanges went to the Exchange Equalization Fund.
This made it possible for Britain to adopt a policy of easy and plentiful credit within the country without being deterred by a flight of capital from the country.
The easy credit policies of Britain (designed to encourage business activity) had thus to be combined with deflationary prices (designed to prevent any powerful flight of capital).
The bank rate was dropped to 2 percent by July 1932, and an embargo was placed on new foreign capital issues to keep this easy money at home.
Cheap credit permitted a shift of economic activity from the old lines (like coal, steel, textiles) to new lines (like chemicals, motors, electrical products).
The tariff permitted a rapid growth of cartels and monopolies whose process of creation provided at least a temporary revival of economic activity.
The improvement in Britain was not shared by the countries still on gold. As a result of the competition of depreciated sterling, they found their balances of trade pushed toward the unfavorable side and their deflation in prices increased.
Tariffs had to be raised, quotas and exchange controls set up.

Taken from Tragedy and Hope Carrol Quigley

1932 the collapse of the Banking system

As a result of the decline of confidence and the demand for liquidity, the American banking system began to collapse.
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was set up early in 1932 with $3 ½ billion in government money to advance to banks and other large corporations.
By the end of the year, it had lent over $1 ½ billion. When the details of
these loans were published (in January 1933), runs on the banks were intensified.
A bank holiday was declared in Nevada in October 1932, in Iowa in January 1933, in six states during February, and in sixteen states in the first three days of March.
From February 1st to March 4th the Federal Reserve Bank in New York lost $756 million in gold; it called in $709 million from the other Federal Reserve Banks, which were also subject to runs.
The banks of the whole United States were closed by executive order on March 4 to be reopened after March 12th if their condition was satisfactory.
Export of gold was subjected to license, convertibility of notes into gold was ended, and private holding of gold was made illegal.
These orders, completed on April 20, 1933, took the United States off the gold standard.
The Central Exchange Triangle Was Disrupted
The Countries of the World Divide into Three Groups:a sterling bloc, a gold bloc, and a dollar bloc.
The Whole Banking System in America Is Insolvent
Nations Begin to Pursue Policies of Economic Nationalism
World Trade System Breaks into Segregated Markets
The Banker-Engendered Deflationary Crisis Became a Chief Cause of World War II

Taken from Tragedy and Hope Carrol Quigley

The Banker-Engendered Deflationary Crisis Became a Chief Cause of World War II

The historical importance of the banker-engendered deflationary crisis of 1927-1940 can hardly be overestimated.
It gave a blow to democracy and to the parliamentary system which the later triumphs of these in World War II and the postwar world were unable to repair fully.
It gave an impetus to aggression by those nations where parliamentary government collapsed, and thus became a chief cause of World War II.
It so hampered the Powers which remained democratic by its orthodox economic theories that these were unable to rearm for defense, with the consequence that World War II was unduly prolonged by the early defeats of the democratic states.

The bankers' formula for treating a depression was by clinging to the gold standard, by raising interest rates and seeking deflation, and by insisting on a reduction of public spending, a fiscal surplus, or at least a balanced budget.
These ideas were rejected totally, on a point-by-point basis, by the unorthodox economists (somewhat mistakenly called "Keynesian").
The bankers' formula sought to encourage economic recovery by "restoring confidence in the value of money," that is,their own confidence in what was the primary concern of bankers.
This formula had worked in the past only when it had, more or less incidentally, reduced costs (especially wages) faster than wholesale prices so that businessmen regained confidence, not in the value of money but in the possibility of profits.
The unorthodox theorists sought to achieve this latter more quickly and more directly by restoring purchasing power, and thus prices, by increasing, instead of reducing, the money supply and by placing it in the
hands of potential consumers rather in the banks or in the hands of investors....
For about fifty years the centralized control made possible by the financial system had been used to develop monopolistic tendencies in industry.
These had been furthered by the growth of large combinations, by the formation of cartels and trade associations between units of enterprise, and by the increase of those less tangible restrictions on competition known as imperfect and monopolistic competition.
As a result, competition had been declining, control of the market had been increasing, and self-financing by industrial units had been growing.
This last development made it possible for industry once more to free itself from financial control as it had been in the owner-management period which preceded financial capitalism.
As armaments production grew, the standard of living improved because of the fact that the chief obstacle in the way of an improving standard of living—that is, lack of consumers'purchasing power, was remedied by the fact that armament manufacture supplied such purchasing power in the market without turning into the market any equivalent in goods which would use up purchasing power.
The recovery from depression after 1933 did not result in any marked reduction in the restrictions and controls which the depression had brought to commercial and financial activity.
The chief example of such imprisoned capital was the property of the Jews in Germany, amounting to over lo billion marks.
For these and other reasons tariffs, quotas, subsidies, exchange controls, and government manipulations of the market continued.
In sharp contrast to the United States in its attitude toward the problem of international trade was Nazi Germany.
This and other countries were seeking "independence" (that is, political goals in the economic sphere), and they rejected "dependence" even if it did
include a higher standard of living.
They frequently rejected the argument that autarky was necessarily injurious to the standard of living or to international trade, because by
"autarky" they did not mean self-sufficiency in all things, but self-sufficiency in necessities.
The theory was that each Great Power, in order to enjoy full sovereignty, must adopt a policy of autarky.
Since no power, however great, could be self-sufficient within its own national boundaries, it must extend this sphere of autarky to include its weaker neighbors, and this sphere would have political as well as economic implications, since it was unthinkable that any Great Power should permit its lesser neighbors to endanger it by suddenly cutting off its supplies or markets.
The increase in economic nationalism was based on the fact that the nation was the only social unit capable of action in the emergency resulting from the depression. And men were demanding action.
For this the only available agency was the national state.
The economic nationalism which arose from the need to act in a crisis—and to act unilaterally because of the lack of any organ able to act multilaterally was intensified after the breakdown in finance and economics of 1931-1933 by several developments.
In the first place, it was increased by the discovery, by Germany in 1932, by Italy in 1934, by Japan in 1936, and by the United States in 1938,
that deflation could be prevented by rearming.
Economic nationalism was increased, and internationalism reduced, by the
great increase in political insecurity, since the preservation of an international economic organization involved entrusting one's economic fate, to some degree, to the hands of another.
Economic nationalism was increased in the name of autarky,security, economic mobilization, and so on.
Self-sufficiency, even if it involved a lower standard of living, was held preferable to international division of labor, on the grounds that political security was more important than a high— and insecure—standard of living.

Taken from Tragedy and Hope Carrol Quigley

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When technology helps cheating

Just over a year ago Rodney Van Meter reported from Japan on a failed attempt by a student to cheat on an exam with a cobbled-together array of off-the-shelf hardware. The assortment of hardware, human intermediaries, and communication mechanisms were "implausibly Mission Impossible-esque", according to Mr. Van Meter.

Indeed, the reporting at that stage including various imaginative scenarios up to and including camera-equipped eyeglasses and message-by-drumming from outside the classroom. The reality turned out to be much more mundane. Of course, this was days before the big earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, and so got pushed off the front pages.

Turns out that he got away with doing the most obvious thing: holding his cell phone beneath the desk, and posting questions directly on a bulletin board where people often discuss the content of entrance exams. Others answered, unaware that he was literally sitting for the examination as he was posting.

I went on to wonder how much longer it would be possible to effectively proctor away such technological inventiveness, and indeed the extent to which it is desirable. Given how important it is to be able to find, filter, and synthesize information, and to work with others, in the real world, shouldn't we be testing for that instead of whether or not a student remembers the +/- sign in the quadratic formula?

Jon Adams

Times of drones

"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) have driven the rapid development over the past decade of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—robotic planes flown by some combination of remote "pilot" operators, software, and GPS navigation. Ranging in size from that of a flying model kit to full-sized aircraft, UAVs, also referred to as unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), have done everything from spotting roadside bombs to bombing alleged Al-Qaeda hideouts—and now they're ready for civilian jobs. As war efforts wind down, the military is preparing to bring home the over 7,500 UAVs deployed overseas—and the companies that build them are looking to create a domestic market for the technology.
“What the military has shown abroad is there’s a tremendous amount of stuff you can do with this, if the regulatory environment permits—not just surveillance,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior Brookings fellow, also at the April 4 event. Based on the advances in self-guidance and self-landing technology, he said, “there is no good reason anymore for there to be pilots in the domestic airspace. The main barrier is psychological, not technical.”
Privacy advocates and legal and technical experts have voiced concerns over the impact that cheap and pervasive flying sensor platforms will have on privacy, civil liberties, security, and demand for wireless spectrum.

I too would be concerned.
They can do whatever a REAL pilot wouldn´t...

My husband travels too much

Posted by Virgil Burks

My husband love’s his job and I hate it. He is never home. He’s out of town for about 3 weeks out of the month. The kids and I miss him very much when he is gone. They count down the days until he comes home and love spending time with him while he’s here but they always get sad when he has to leave again. I mean don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate all that he does for us, I just wish he could be here more often. We live in a pretty safe neighborhood but I still get a little scared when he’s not home, mainly because most all our neighbors know when he’s not home, so I just worry about other not so friendly people noticing it too. My husband suggested we get ADT Jersey City to help ease my worries. Having it does help me feel more protected now, but I’m still a little worried while he’s away. The kids are really looking forward to his 2 week vacation coming up.

What you need in marketing your website

There are many ways to marketing a website.
Some work and some don’t.
I see more as a matter of how to do it in the right way than the way in itself.
If you find the right adwords management company everything gets much easier.
It is not just a matter of starting and waiting, it is a matter of deciding what and how to do and then following the performance of your site.
It is a matter of guessing and trying and then seeing and may be trying again with other words.
The right company knows, but every time, every business can be something apart.
Things get even easier if you rely on a Google adwords partner, they certainly know about Google Adwords Management
They can help you with the right training would you decide to self-manage in future, or teaching the right account optimization, setup, even management services.
Now a days higher education marketing consultants and firms working with colleges and universities are turning to Google Adwords, infact it is very important to develop higher education search engine optimization, because their future customers do not search any more on the University websites, but through Google search, using the right keywords.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

My lake

Peetzig lake

Today is a beautiful day.
The sun is shining on my lake and, even though it is one year I live here, it never ends to surprise me, I look and see the beauty of this world and I do not care what is happening and what will happen, as long as I can enjoy it.
Life is enjoying what you can and being able to see what you can enjoy.
Life is looking for something and in the end realizing that it was there, since the beginning.
It is not WHAT you can find , it is finding what you have.