Monday, August 31, 2009

Silicon Valley’s worst nightmare

The decline U.S. grad school admissions for would-be international students was 3% on average.
Some people have blithely dismissed growth in markets like China and India saying Silicon Valley will always be the hub for tech; that everyone will come to us.
Wake up: Because the numbers are showing money and talent is increasingly going elsewhere.
Us is loosing in technology innovation because the bulk of American dream and American spirit of innovation was built by people who came to America from somewhere else, not people born American.
What created Silicon Valley was a culture of openness and there is no future to Silicon Valley without it.
This is a huge blow for the United States, and particularly Silicon Valley.
It’s killing diversity in graduate schools at a time future business leaders most need to understand other countries, especially Asian ones.
Xenophobic, anonymous cowards may leave as much bile in the comments as they want: The reality is one out of every four tech companies is started by an immigrant. In the tech industry, immigrants have created more high paying jobs than they’ve “stolen.”
Much of the world’s economic growth—hence, jobs—is in emerging markets, the schools are far cheaper and in many cases competitive academically.

Liberally taken from Vijay Gill

The black holes

Black holes were something that always fascinated me.
As everything that I cannot understand, this theory of something that sucks you and you just disappear thrilled and scared me in the same time.
But looking at today world I think I begin to understand what a black hole could be. When there is no justice, anything goes.
Nothing is valid anymore, no rules, no rights (of course no duties).
The peak of the pyramid cannot hold and there is a huge vacuum that absorbs everything and brings it nowhere.

Desolation and turmoil is everywhere (or will be soon).
Soon people will be fed up of pretending to be paid and will begin to pretend to work.
The problem is that products are unable to pretend, either they are produced or they are not.
If you cannot pretend to produce you cannot pretend to be paid.
Better, you will produce fake products in exchange of fake money.
But fake money smells and cannot buy what it used to.
And there is even a greater disaster in not accepting fake money: stopping to produce fake goods.
This will produce a huge number of real unemployed, who have a real stomach, who needs real food, which cannot be bought with fake money.
In Greece they already began to see the point. (Greece is a very old civilisation and they have the fame to usually arrive first).
Others will follow.
Knowledge is something spreads more easily than goods.

There is a widespread nostalgia for what we were.
There are the most extravagant and nice recipes for a new future.
Some like to linger in dreams about a new Rural America where people grow their food in organic ways and use the wind and the sun.
(but they do not talk about the Internet and mobile phones, are they included or just forgotten?)

The future is in this or in that...

The future is in OURSELVES.
When we understand this little word, we understand what lies back and what lies ahead of us.
It is in OURSELVES and not in the OTHERS.
We begin doing what we have to and the others will follow.

Suicide Chinese quality

In Shenzhen (Southern China)a guy trying suicide, after a 12 hours meditation on his balcony (35th floor), jumped off and finished on a 50 years old man driving a bicycle, delivering fast food.
The man on the bike died while he was unharmed.
He probably changed his mind after it.

Pessimism or realism?

You usually like to read what you would like to happen, that is the explanation.
For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.
His bleak forecast for the U.S. is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis.

"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.

Mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

Mr. Panarin's apocalyptic vision "reflects a very pronounced degree of anti-Americanism in Russia today," says Vladimir Pozner, a prominent TV journalist in Russia. "It's much stronger than it was in the Soviet Union."

California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

Without going that far, I really believe that he is not the only one to believe in it.
But , of course, the last thing you see is what you have in front of your eyes....

The big jump

"A lot of the commentary about Ted Kennedy’s death has focused on his involvement in health care legislation over the years, and has speculated about how his absence from the Senate might affect the current debate. But there’s another aspect of his death that is equally relevant to the debate….the manner of his dying itself."

John Mihalec

Since the dawn of humanity, man has faced the reality of death and the fear of it.
Religion means just that: the answer to our big questions, why we are here and what will happen after.
Religion and faith should help us to face the moment of the big jump, and also the thought of getting closer to it.
I guess that depression and indolence in old people are mostly due to it, to the realization that the feared moment is close.
I always thought that big suffering had at least one good side: you actually WANT to die, because life is unbearable.
But I am on the side of helping the dying to face a human death, and if possible not to face it at all.
I am 57, and after my parent’s death I think often about getting older and dying.
My father had Alzheimer and in one way I would like to follow his steps.
He had a much better death than my mother (she died for lung cancer) because he didn’t even realize he was dying.
He had a good and relatively long life; he faced death without seeing it.
Death should be like that: the same as birth, a fact of our life we do not actually live.

Your article is a good one, but there is a very unpleasant note in it: "If we don’t, there is no hope at all of controlling medical costs."
Dying in a human nice way should have nothing to do with controlling medical cost....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How to work less and get more

Google is a great search engine, and I use it all the time. I couldn't do my many jobs without Google, so I've spent some time learning how to maximize its value, how to find exactly what I want, how to plumb its depths to find just the right nugget of information that I need.
In the same way that Google can be used for searching it can also be used to be found by millions of surfers like me.
Google's not the only game in town - but it is certainly the biggest, the most widely-used, and in many ways the easiest to use.
So what did I find out to be most important to achieve great placement on Google?
Besides all the tricks that work and do not work, like links and so on, one of the most important feature is to have content and if possible good content.
But how to create good content without being a good writer, or without having enough time to be a good writer?

There is a the writing software that can create a lot of unique articles which can draw more and more traffic to your website.
But not just creating, even instantly sending them to dozens of Article directories.
That means working less to get more.
Isn’t that what everybody dreams?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good health is in your lifestyle

"Remember, the drug industry spends about $15 billion a year manipulating and distorting your perceptions about the proper solutions for your health challenges. And, the food industry spends TWICE that much to brainwash you and your children to choose highly processed convenience foods that will accelerate your path toward death and disease -- and your need to use drugs to control your symptoms.

For example, if you’ve fallen for any of these health myths, then you have bought into incorrect propaganda designed to benefit something other than your long-term health:

•Sun exposure causes skin cancer

•Milk does your body good

•Whole grains are good for you

•Fish is good for you

•Saturated fat causes heart disease

It’s a vicious cycle of deceit, misinformation, and manipulation. Fortunately you can take control of your health and step out of this crazy loop."

May be the answer is what my uncle used to say:
You should listen what your body silently tells you.
In any one of us there is a happy and healthy person who desperately tries to get rid of the vicious part of us.

Think of nature and live following it.
Plenty of water, plenty of simple raw, or close to, food.
Learn to live in the right way, which is enjoying life, doing not having.

A no speed limit highway

Imagine a world where the internet is so fast that personal data storage units are obsolete, and HD films can be downloaded in seconds. With the switching on of the CERN particle accelerator this year, technology has taken one step closer to that reality.

At a depth of some 50-175 metres underground, running across the borders of Switzerland and France, lies CERN's (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the biggest high-energy particle accelerator in the world.

Science institutes and governments around the world have pumped up to US$10 billion into the project, which is tasked with confirming the existence of the elusive Higgs boson, and which could go some way to validating scientific theories about the laws of the universe.

No Internet Taxation

Internet access taxation is a tax ISP charges which are then passed to consumers.

Bandwidth tax is progessive, applying on a scale according to the speed of your connection.

The UN proposed a 1-cent-per-100-emails tax. Proponents believe that its weath-redistribution effects make it an ideal tax for implementation globally.

The internet has been mostly safe from taxation since its inception. Now with pro-tax politicians in control of Congress, the political dynamic appears to have shifted in favor of internet taxation and their allies on Capitol Hill.

These taxes will endanger innovation on the web and will hobble the future for individual users and small businesses. Please join the fight to defend the internet.

The Mistery of the oil price

"You can't believe anyone who says he or she knows where energy prices are going to be tomorrow let alone next week or next year. They could even crash below historic lows in the case of a worldwide recession, an epidemic, or certain wars – or technical breakthroughs. They could move much higher than they are now.

I'm sure people are making money in oil speculation. I'm just as sure some speculators are losing their shirts – just as I'm sure there are winners and losers in Las Vegas. I'm sure the chaos creates cover for illegal and immoral acts. My guess is that the speculation sometimes dampens the price swings and sometimes exacerbates them and can lead to bubbles – certainly – but can't create long term trends." Tom Evslin

Everything must change so that everything is always the same...
There is nothing static or unchangeable on this world, as you say every change can bring profits or losses, it depends on which side you are.
The terrible thing is that on the right side there is always the same bunch...
And what puzzles me is the fact that the price of oil follows the dollar and for a higher cost of oil we have a lower cost of dollar...nevertheless in Europe, in spite of the strong euro and the weak dollar, in spite of the fact that if you pay in dollar the cost should be the same or almost, the price of energy is getting everyday higher.
Of course the Mistery is an open secret: Governments are sucking people with a new excuse every day, and the cost of oil is a good one...
But if you think that the cost of gasoline is 75% taxes, you would understand that the big profiters of this situation are the States.
And the States, the Governments should be the citizens, as the word Democracy says (Demos= people Crazia= power)so, what damn went wrong?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How Hackers work

The world's savviest hackers are on to the "real-time Web" and using it to devilish effect. The real-time Web is the fire hose of information coming from services like Twitter. The latest generation of Trojans - nasty little programs that hacking gangs use to burrow onto your computer - sends a Twitter-like stream of updates about everything you do back to their controllers, many of whom, researchers say, are in Eastern Europe. Trojans used to just accumulate secret diaries of your Web surfing and periodically sent the results on to the hacker.

The security world first spotted these new attacks last year. I ran into it again while reporting an article in Thursday's Times about a lawsuit meant to help track down the perpetrators of these attacks.

By going real time, hackers now can get around some of the roadblocks that companies have put in their way. Most significantly, they are now undeterred by systems that create temporary passwords, such as RSA's SecurID system, which involves a small gadget that displays a six-digit number that changes every minute based on a complex formula.

If you computer is infected, the Trojan zaps your temporary password back to the waiting hacker who immediately uses it to log onto your account. Sometimes, the hacker logs on from his own computer, probably using tricks to hide its location. Other times, the Trojan allows the hacker to control your computer, opening a browser session that you can't see.


Monday, August 24, 2009

A big belly very often means a little brain

"BRAIN regions key to cognition are smaller in older people who are obese compared with their leaner peers, making their brains look up to 16 years older than their true age. As brain shrinkage is linked to dementia, this adds weight to the suspicion that piling on the pounds may up a person's risk of the brain condition.

Previous studies suggested that obesity in middle age increases the risk of dementia decades later, which is accompanied by increased brain shrinkage compared with leaner people. Now brain scans of older people have revealed the areas that are hardest hit, as well as the full extent of brain size differences between obese people and those of average weight."

New Scientist

Heil Hitler 2

"Israel on Sunday withheld the press credentials of a Swedish newspaper in retaliation for a controversial piece that suggested the Israeli army kidnapped and killed young Palestinians to harvest their organs.

Even though the Swedish embassy distanced itself from the report, the country's foreign ministry refused to condemn it -- saying Sweden has a "free press."

"It's a shame that the Swedish Foreign Ministry fails to intervene in a case of blood libels against Jews," Lieberman told Sweden's ambassador to Israel on Thursday evening. "This is reminiscent of Sweden's stand during World War II, when [it] had failed to intervene as well."

This is something much more serious than that.
A free press has the DUTY to report something like this when it has some reliably looking hints.
This has nothing to do with Hitler and the Jews.
TWO bads do not make one good.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What is Truth?

"Can we engineer a new system for news? What can we do to give new concepts in journalism a chance to arise? Is today’s journalism really that good compared with what we need for making intelligent choices"

If asked what a good journalist should be the answer would 99% be: impartial, a person for whom integrity should be the conditio sine qua non.
But how would you be able to define impartiality?
Isn’t what we think influencing what we see?

"For what is Truth?
In matters of religion, it is simply the opinion that has survived.
In matters of science, it is the ultimate sensation. In matters of
art, it is one's last mood."
And in matters of journalism is absolutely subjective.

And reporting is more likely the same.
It is enough not to say one thing and to emphasize something else and a piece of news can be the opposite of what somebody else reports.
It is like a photoshopped picture of a model.
It is her, but it doesn’t look like her.
It looks much better, or it looks the way the photographer wants her to look.

The price of online content

"As The Times' Dawn C. Chmielewski reported Friday, emissaries of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. recently approached the owners of this newspaper, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Hearst Corp. about joining a consortium that would charge for online news content.

Murdoch's Wall Street Journal already does so, but the Australian-born media magnate understands that what's required for serious -- which is to say expensive-to-produce -- journalism to survive is that all the quality English-language papers and news sites agree to charge for Web access and then mercilessly sue anyone who makes more than fair use of their work without paying a fee. For such a scheme to work, the papers' owners need to agree on when to act and what to charge. (Murdoch and his digital strategist, Jonathan Miller, believe the Journal's existing website model offers a place for what the latter calls "premium" journalism.)...

Murdoch is right, and newspaper proprietors should elect his proposal or one of the others also being discussed -- and soon."
Los Angeles Times

Of course a journalist couldn’t but agree.
Nevertheless when I read or hear the word "consortium" I get a strange feeling.
Because I know the next step will be "deciding the right price" which of course will be the right price for THEM, not for the reader.
We should fight monopolies, not build new ones...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Clampi, ZeuS and Silentbanker: not nice to meet you...

Those are the names of few of the many trojans you could unhappily have on your computer.
They mostly speak Russian and work this way: they send a real-time stream of your actions using a modified version of standard instant messaging software.
The hackers log into ( for example)your bank account, quickly copying the one-time password if one is used.
They start initiating wire transfers to accomplices (mules is the term of art) who send the funds on to the crooks.
Sometimes they have even set up “mules” or fake employees who earn fat salaries by direct deposit.
Passwords still protect against less sophisticated forms of password phishing, not to mention people just looking over your shoulder as you log onto your computer. Moreover, if you can keep your computer clean of malware by avoiding suspicious e-mail attachments and Internet downloads, you are safer.
"But there is nonetheless a race to find an even more secure way to keep the big bucks safe. One way is what is called two-channel authentication, using something other than the computer — most likely a cellphone — as part of the log-on procedure. That’s a good idea, but you know the hackers are already working out how they will attack those phones as well."

If you want to be successful, it pays to look good

What are the steps to reach a high page ranking and increasing the success of your company?
First of course you must begin from the beginning, and that is a good, alluring website.
So, if you are not a guru in "web mastering", or you just do not have the time to care for the "look" of your company, you have to choose a good web design
Creative web design creates your company image.
In the Virtual world your website is the way you show your business to your customers.
Of course you want to look at your best.
Because the more trustable, the more convincing, the best message you send, the more successful your business is going to be.
"L'abito non fa il monaco " we say in Italy.
It means the appearance IS NOT everything, but believe me, it helps.
It helps dramatically.
A shabby, poor look, will scare off your customers.
But it must not be only nice and alluring, it must also be useful, it must give all the information’s people want to find and in the easiest, fastest way.
For driving more website traffic to your website, a good website optimization firm will concentrate on the second step, which is the corporate blog marketing.
You will achieve in this way two goals, on one side you will be in touch with your customers and on the other you will upgrade your rankings and your presence on the Net.
So, do you need more traffic to your website? Now you know what to do.

If you have dollars, you’d better get rid of them...

The price of diamonds is artificially kept high by the company that has the monopoly of them, by producing scarcity on the market.
South African mines have a huge quantity of them.
If ALL was on the market the price would slum.
The opposite is the case of Gold.
Its price is soaring because the demand is superior to the supply and the quantity is always the same.

That is why the conversion of the dollar is highly superior to its real value.
The only way to protect the value of the dollars held by savers, theoretically, is to withdraw the stimulus money before inflation sends prices soaring.
Washington’s printing presses work overtime; instead of pulling the plug, they turned up the speed.
The politicians are responding to their voters’ demands. One campaign donor wants to keep his business alive. Another wants to keep his job. Still another promises the feds high paying jobs on Wall Street, after their term in Washington is over. Millions of others – more than enough to turn an election – want free pills and mortgage subsidies and so forth.
What very few want is to protect foreign dollar-holders.

It is energy saving, but far from "Stylish"

AKA Architetti just won an international competition for their development of a single-family home prototype that's low-energy and very stylish. Their design, pictured above and below, will be commercialized in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, with the first units in Darb, Germany in 2008. The residential prototype calls for eco-friendly materials, photovoltaics on the pitched roof, and energy-saving devices and appliances. The home will be sufficiently roomy at a decent 1,400 sf big, too.

The architects designed the home to be flexible to site demands to maximize potential environmental benefits from proper solar orientation. The first floor, which comprises most of the community/gathering areas, has lots of glass and blurs the boundary between indoors and out. The second floor, which will have more of the private rooms and spaces, is made entirely of wood. That little roof space looks just perfect for a living garden, too.


Jetson Green

The Lunar Challenge

It's like a James Bond film come to life. A company based on a tiny island in the British archipelago parachuted into San Jose on Thursday to become the first private team to enter a race to reach the moon by 2014 and thereby pocket most of a $30 million prize offered by Google.

"We are challenging small private teams to do what only two governments have done before - land on the surface of the moon," said Peter Diamandis, head of the XPrize Foundation, which is administering the purse that Google offered in September.

Entrants must fly a craft to the moon, operate a robotic rover and transmit data to Earth to win the $20 million first prize or the $5 million second prize plus $5 million in bonuses.

Out of 375 inquiries from more than 40 countries, so far only a company called Odyssey Moon has completed the registration process to become an official contender, Diamandis said at a conference about space investment on Thursday in San Jose.

Among the commercial possibilities of such a mission: robotically mining the surface of the moon to extract silicon that could be refined into chips to create solar arrays on the moon that would eventually - by means as yet unspecified - beam power back to Earth.

Gregg Maryniak, executive director of the XPrize Foundation, began the presentation by showing a futuristic video depicting the moon as "a natural storehouse of resources that we can use to enhance life on Earth and explore our universe."

Maryniak likened the Google Lunar XPrize to the Apollo challenge issued by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.

"Now there's a new moon race," Maryniak said, calling this "Moon 2.0" effort "a race to bring Earth's offshore island, the moon, into Earth's sphere of economic activity."

Odyssey Moon's leaders include Robert Richards, a co-founder of International Space University, and Ramin Khadem, former chief financial officer of Inmarsat, a nearly 30-year-old satellite firm publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. Officials said the company is based on the Isle of Man to take advantage of space-friendly tax policies and regulations.

According to Odyssey Moon's Web site, the company's goal is to "lower the price of getting to the moon by an order of magnitude and in doing so help catalyze a 'moon rush' to Earth's sister world, which (Richards) describes as an eighth continent rich in energy and resources."

Thursday's announcement was timed to coincide with NASA's pending launch of the space shuttle Atlantis, which was delayed because of an equipment problem.

Also at the event was Red Whittaker, the robotics expert from Carnegie Mellon University who recently won the third in a series of robotic car races sponsored by the Pentagon. Whittaker has formed a company, Astrobotic Technology, that has announced its intention to compete for the XPrize but has not yet paid the $10,000 registration fee as part of the requirements to be accepted as an official entry.

Whittaker, a larger-than-life character with a track record in robotics, has set an incredibly optimistic goal.

"I intend to land (a robotic craft) near the Apollo 11 site on the 40th anniversary of its landing," said Whittaker, which would mean putting a privately built craft on the lunar surface in July 2009.

Sensitive to the fact that exploration has, in the past, led to exploitation, speakers professed that the Odyssey Moon bid and the Google Lunar XPrize would be "responsible," without saying how.

"We are ill-prepared in many ways for a responsible return to the moon," Richards acknowledged.

The race, he said, will open a dialogue about how to divvy up the next frontier in a responsible way.

The XPrize is modeled after a challenge laid down in 1919, when a wealthy Frenchman offered $25,000 to the first pilot to fly nonstop from New York to Paris - a feat that made American Charles Lindbergh famous when he landed in France in 1927.

Diamandis, who is involved with two firms that offer high-priced space tourism packages, reminded skeptics that when he concocted the first XPrize in 1996, disbelievers said no private firm would be able to put a manned craft into space. A team including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and space pioneer Burt Rutan proved them wrong in October 2004 when SpaceShipOne made two space flights within a week to win a $10 million prize - versus about $26 million the team spent.

SpaceShipOne now hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum alongside Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis.

Richards, the Odyssey official, said it was clear the mission would cost more than the prize but that the eventual payoff would be getting a head start in space exploration.

Current government-sponsored robotic missions run from $500 million to $1 billion, officials said, but these private firms estimate they can do it for something approaching a tenth of the cost. If the ratio of prize to project cost in the 2004 win is any indication, they said, shooting the moon might carry a price tag of $100 million.

Diamandis said he expects the first moon-launch efforts to get off the ground within roughly four years.

"Get ready for some fun and amazing decades of private exploration ahead," he said.

Tom Abate

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Heil Hitler"

"Some idiot woman yells "Heil Hitler" at a Jewish man who was doing nothing more than being a passionate advocate for Israeli health care. The man, quite naturally, goes completely apoplectic, saying "Shame on you" over and over again. "

It could be a coincidence, but few minutes earlier I read that a huge traffic of human organs (kidneys) was discovered and the guilty one was some rabbi in New York.
The organs being from Palestinians prisoners.
The tragic of it is that, even though I do not know how reliable this news can be, I could eventually believe it could happen.
This has nothing to do with the tragedy the millions of Jewish suffered in Europe by Hitler, but it has a lot to do with the arrogance, power and recklessness of some Jewish of today.

"Dear God. This is the way America is now. "
Well, it is not America only
"Vox populi vox Dei"
There is always a little bit of truth in what "people" say...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What will the Future be?

TV or Internet?
It is quite easy to forecast.
Neither of the two, at least the way they are.
TV will be interactive and become something closer to the Internet and the Internet will look more and more like a TV.
Because people like both and money is made pleasing people.
So we will have videos, because if an image is worth 1k words, a video is worth 1 billion.
TV made us lazy and we are what we see, and we like what we can understand.
What is easier to understand than a video?

And content, what kind of content?
Content will be what people like, because money is made pleasing people, and what do people like?
Some kind of big brother.
A virtual life in which they can live.
So, video, realistic videos, interactive videos.
Something you not only can predict, like the actual TV, but something you can direct.
People will be consumers AND directors.
The TV of tomorrow is going to be something in which the soap has real people in it.
Real people who look like they would like to look and do things they would like to do.
Everybody will be able to live in a Castle, enjoy summer in Winter, eat and drink exotic food, or whatever they feel like they have to.
May be swimming in a virtual pool, playing virtual games and so on.
And when everybody will be able to live the life he wants (at least virtually) we will miss the old times in which we could just dream and imagine and want and desire and live a plain, normal, everyday life...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Death, or what came soon before it, was a bunch of yellow flowers

It looks like I succeeded in putting a milestone on my way to dumbness.
I began saying it was almost impossible to out-dumb what already was online.
Somebody said I successfully out-dumbed everybody with my "About death" post.

I wrote it, as usual, more for myself than for any reader.
It is like if you see something written it looks more real than just in your brain.

Death is a subject that often comes into my mind, especially in the night.
That is the moment in which everything looks so terribly enormous and scaring.
Talking about it, helps to make it more "natural" and more "acceptable" as if it could.
I know that there is no religion, no faith that definitely can help you to die, but there is the rational idea that everything has to finish sooner or later and as much late as that later will be it will certainly be too soon.
For me, the thought that something so unpleasant will, at least, not last too long, makes it a little bit less unacceptable.
I certainly wouldn’t considering dying something so dumb as to allow me to out dumb everybody.
As for my personal point of view.
I faced death when I was something like five or close to it.
I jumped ( I fell) in a small river while playing with paper boats with my brother and my cousin.
The only thing I remember, and I still remember it after so many years, was seeing a lot of yellow flowers.
The next thing was waking up in my own bed.
My cousin had saved me pulling me out of the water.
Death, or what came soon before it, was a bunch of yellow flowers.

The goal of education

"The whole world is engulfed in a revolution, which requires us to think deeply how we prepare our children for the future.

You have to be prepared to be wrong to create new things, education and companies stigmatise failure, leading to hubris and stagnation.

Every education system around the world has the same hierarchy of education. Is this right? Yet intelligence is diverse and dynamic. Intelligence engages us totally and collectively.

Creativity can be defined as orginal ideas that have value, and it will combinations of interdisciplinary capabilites that allows us to reframe the world in a new way.

Sir Ken argues that today creativity is as important in education as literacy. It will be the leaps of the human imagination that will build tomorrows companies and economies. Our only hope for the future is to redefine human ecology and rethink how we educate our children."

What should really do education?

The main and important goal of education is making a child "think".
I wrote on the heading of my blog "think and you'll have the problem of disposal of ideas".
Well education should be just this.
Creating the problem of disposal of ideas.
And teaching how to dispose of all the ideas the student has.

The second goald should be to teach not to be afraid to be critical.
"Critical thinking means being able to evaluate evidence, to tell fact from opinion, to see holes in an argument, to tell whether cause and effect has been established and to spot illogic."

And critical thinking helps to use good ideas and discharge the bad ones.
And that is all.
All the rest will come by itself.
Ideas generate new ideas and new ideas a new curiosity for what is around us, and new curiosity will generate new ideas and so on...
And this is what man was made for, living and progressing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Talking to your fridge

"Most of these ITU proposals appear high bit-rate, entertainment-centric.

Home networks should be about much more than that. Energy efficiency, control, etc (to which they give lip service). These don't take much bandwidth, but require predictability, scalability, and, yes, dirt- cheap prices. This doesn't appear to be that. When we want to talk to a fridge (not just for recipes and RFID shopping = futuristic), a water heater, etc., the solution has to be cheap and simple. This doesn't appear to fit the bill, or will take layering/modification."


I understand the point.
The only problem is not talking to your fridge; it is actually making it understand what you are talking about...
That will certainly be not so cheap.
And I would add a little bit anachronistic.
We talk about energy saving and we need devices to talk to our FRIDGE!

I guess that the old, efficient switch where you decide the temperature and the one where you can switch on and off are perfect tools to regulate "Energy efficiency"...

We are not even at the point to have one only plug that goes in ANY socket, in ANY country of this globe and we are talking about "Global Standards"!!!!
I know you have to begin somewhere and I would begin with the plugs.

The Hypocrisy of Net Neutrality

Since they were talking of dumb pipes and intelligent ends and freedom and independence I had my doubts.
How can you build a free world on somebody else’s land?
I mean, the Internet is free, must be free, but it is dangerously attacked.
The content is what you own, all the rest is leased to this or that Telco and it really doesn't matter if it is a monopoly or duopoly or manypoly.
Well, if there are many it is easier that the winner could be the customer, because of the competition.
But that is not the certainty.
Whenever the owner of the bandwidth decides, that is the right moment, the content owner is still owner of it, but it is like if you own the furniture and the house belongs to somebdy else...
And the solution cannot be the State, for the same reasons, or for one reason more, it would be a monopoly, but a monopoly that won't work...

Why not letting the customers buying their own piece of infrastructure?
Like owning their own home.
I put the furniture in my own property, so I will put my content in my own pipes.
This could be the solution.

"Civilization" makes us silly and greedy.

I do not agree.
"Civilisation" leaves us as we are: silly and greedy

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sexy for one night

What about looking sexy at Halloween?
Show yourself sexy to the One you love.
For one night.
One magical night.
Any woman who is lucky enough to know will tell you: Nothing is more exciting than showing yourself sexy to the man you love and having him talk sexy to you.
The right words at the right time can start a fire burning inside of you that feels like it will never go out. It can make you breathless. Insatiable. Unstoppable. And it can do the same thing for your man...
What if you can do it, with the little help of discount sexy costumes?
The attraction of dating is that you don’t take yes for granted—you’re fully engaged, there’s seductiveness, tension.
In marriage, people don’t feel the need to seduce or to build anticipation—that’s an effort they think they no longer need to do now that they have conquered their partner. If they’re in the mood, their partner should be too.
There is nothing more wrong than that.
The proof of it is the number of divorces growing every year.
So, why not trying?
It doesn’t take much and it can even be fun.
Thinking, deciding, choosing.
May be seeing in the mirror a totally different woman.
You can choose among a good selection of sexy costumes to be what you like.
May be Heidi, or a Pirate, or Sexy Berry Cute.
Whatever...and believe me, this will be an unforgettable Halloween...

Algorithms, as programs are as intelligent and as impartial as the programmer who writes them

Google admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance.

Not so very long ago, Google disclaimed responsibility for its search results by explaining that these were chosen by a computer algorithm. The disclaimer lives on at Google News, where we are assured that:

The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program.

I've always wondered where people thought impartial computer algorithms came from. Every computer algorithm I've known was designed by some human to meet some specific goal.

Perhaps people are just discovering that computer algorithms are as objective as news editors are.

The dangerous temptations of a cute dress...

When I was pregnant (some time ago) one of the bad side of it was that I felt horrible in maternity clothes.
Now there is such a good and nice selection that it would be worth to have a baby just to wear one of them...
Of course I am joking, it takes more than just that, but this provocative statement proves how much I envy today’s mommies.
Not only they are young and beautiful and have so nice and healthy babies, but they can access the biggest selection of clothes just with a few clicks of the mouse.
Biggest selection means also big competition and big competition means very low prices.
In my times you usually had two clothes and wore them till the end, hoping the weather didn’t change so much, because they were kind of expensive and besides, they looked all the same, so why bother spending money?
Now the more you buy, the more you save, and of course that is a wonderful excuse to fill your wardrobe with nice things...
Who says that a young mother doesn’t need to look smart and attractive?
Many a stars love to show themselves with a big tummy, which adds to a woman a certain glamour.
I remember I never had such a wonderful skin and glamorous look as when I was pregnant...
I know, as a feminist I shouldn’t say it, but being a mother is feeling better than just being a woman...
maternity clothes

About death

Who of us never thought about dying?
What happens when...
This is a study published by New Scientist magazine, that explains what happens in the usual ways of reaching death.
The relieving thought is that in most cases we have to face 10 seconds (that could in my opinion look like eternity):

Victims first panic and try to hold their breath, typically for 30 to 90 seconds. Survivors have reported a "tearing and burning" sensation as water enters the lungs - but it is quickly followed by a feeling of calmness and tranquility. Oxygen deprivation results in loss of consciousness, the heart stopping and brain death.

Heart attack:
A "squeezing" chest pain, or feeling of pressure, is the most common symptom as the heart muscle struggles for oxygen. Disruption of the normal heart rhythm effectively stops the heart beating. Loss of consciousness can occur in about 10 seconds and death can follow minutes later.

Loss of blood:
Marked by several stages of "haemorrhagic shock". Anyone losing 1.5 litres of blood feels weak, thirsty and anxious. By the time two litres are lost, people experience dizziness, confusion and eventual unconsciousness.

A household electric shock might stop the heart, leading to unconsciousness after around 10 seconds. Higher currents through the heart or brain can produce almost immediate unconsciousness. However, it has been claimed that prisoners executed with the electric chair may actually have died from heating of the brain or suffocation.

Fall from a height:
Survivors of great falls often report the sensation of time slowing down. A study of 100 suicide jumps from San Francisco's 246-ft-high Golden Gate Bridge found numerous cases of instantaneous death involving collapsed lungs, exploded hearts or damage to organs from broken ribs.

Hanging suicides and old-fashioned executions cause death by strangulation. This can lead to unconsciousness in 10 seconds but a poorly placed noose may result in many minutes of suffering. "Long drop" hangings are designed to break the neck. But a study of the remains of 34 prisoners executed in this way found that four-fifths died partly from asphyxiation.

Burns inflict intense pain, and boost the skin's pain sensitivity. As superficial nerves are destroyed, some feeling is lost - but not much, according to experts. But most people who die in fires are actually killed by inhaling toxic gases and asphyxiation.

Beheading can be swift and painless but consciousness is believed to continue for a short time after the spinal cord is severed. Experts have calculated that the brain might remain functioning for seven seconds. Reports from guillotine executions in France cited cases where movements of the eyes and mouth were seen for up to 30 seconds.

About health care

There are two approaches to health care.
The first is curing everybody, being sure that everybody gets the best, latest in medical care.
The second is creating priorities, making mistakes today that can be corrected tomorrow.
Being sure that the ones who really need get what they need and the ones who need less have less or nothing if they can provide that less by themselves.
The first is the idealistic way of doing nothing, because the money will never be enough.
The second is the realistic way of trying to do something, with the resources we have in the way we can.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How to get rid of a big problem in five minutes

One of the biggest pain when you add a new hardware to your computer is to find the right drivers.
Who hasn’t experienced the brightest and inappropriate colors adding a new scanner?
Or a graphic card?
Simply changing the monitor can be a huge hassle.
I have perfectly functioning hardware I cannot use because there are no drivers anymore for them.
I understand producers have to sell new hardware, but I also understand my budget...
That is why I was so happy to find a website with all the latest drivers.
The devices manufacturers release updates every few weeks, and it may take a few hours each time to update your drivers to the latest version.
Their drivers softwarecontains over 9,000,000 drivers and allows you to update your drivers automatically.
All your problems will be solved with a few clicks.
First their Driver Detective will scan your computer quickly in this way being able to detect any outdated drivers.
The next step is downloading the latest official drivers from its database and allowing you to install them.
The whole procedure takes less then 5 minutes.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

When duty can become a pleasure

"Life's heaviest burden is to have nothing to carry"

And how to make something which you consider a burden into something you consider a pleasure?
Eating is not only necessary, but can be a source of great pleasure. The same is true for cooking.
Doing it in the normal, usual, everyday way can very often become a bore, but think for a moment what kind of pleasure could be in August doing it in brand new outdoor kitchens...
May be with built in grills.
Just thinking of the smell of steaks broiling on the grill, tomatoes slowly cooking close to them, and may be some lamb or pig chops...I feel the call of the hidden cook that is in me.
I have the same feeling just looking at those wonderful BBq grill islands, where you have everything you need and even more, where you do not need to know how to cook, not even how to light a fire.
You just have to know where the meat should be and may be how long you should leave it there...
With a well equipped outdoor kitchen not only cooking is a pleasure, it is even so easy and fast.
You have all the time to entertain your guests and enjoy the evening with them.
That is the main reason I like cooking and eating outside: you actually can talk and enjoy your company and in the meantime cook the best meal you can dream of.

Italian Highways

We, our parents and our grandparents paid for the highways. The building costs were written off years ago.
In England and in Germany, highway travel is free. In those Countries, the citizens use the highways, quite legally, without paying twice.
They originally financed them and now the highways belong to them.
In Italy, the highways were given away to concession holders such as Benetton, who now earns billions of Euros, with no risks and no invested capital. The millions of Euros in revenues are then invested in all sorts of businesses and are used to finance the political parties.

Minding your health is minding your business

The use of a mobile phone doubles your chances to get Brain Cancer.
Would you, if you were sure of it, go on using your mobile phone?
Your cell phone and brain tumors

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Your rights should be the "good" lawyer´s business

"May he rest in piece"
That is what we are used to say and hear when somebody dies, being his death a natural event or what in the law jargon goes under the name of "wrongful death " which means "when death is caused by the actionable conduct of another".
In this case the deceased rests in piece, but under Pennsylvania law there can be two kinds of actions: a wrongful death action and a survival action.
Following the pittsburgh wrongful death action during the first six months after the death, the decedent's personal representative is the sole person entitled to bring it, which is the only possible case for a "survival" action.

In order to compensation under the Wrongful Death Act the beneficiary must not only have the requisite family relationship to the deceased, but must show that by reason of the wrongful death he suffered the loss of a reasonable expectation of pecuniary advantage.

This can sound complicated and it really is.

That is why it is so important to choose the right lawyer.
Sometimes the compensation for the victims means the way to rebuild their lives.
Being it a personal injury or medical malpractice claim, what in the end matters is to have the right compensation.
That is why before talking to any insurance company it is important to have your case reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice lawyer or the right pittsburgh injury lawyer.
Most of the clients served by the right office enjoy the benefits of settlement without need of trial.
That is the best and fastest way to close a case.
Also in this case the right person can make the difference.
A good lawyer can restore Justice, but a "caring" lawyer can make the difference in your life.
That happens when your rights are the lawyer’s business.

The new "Lords"

They call it "American dream" but they should call it "Italian dream".
Because in Italy the Dream can eventually be more ambitious.
In America the poor guy that begins to work at the back of his mother’s shop knitting sweaters can become the head of a big corporation and make billions just selling ready made, fashionable knitwear.
In Italy somebody like that, who incidentally is called Benetton, not only can become a billionaire selling knitwear, but actually with the family’s holding company, Atlantia, can control "Autostrade per l’Italia".
And in order of doing so, doesn’t even need to invest his billionaire profits.
They can stay well secured in some fiscal Heaven, the money he needs will be offered at a very low interest by any Italian Bank.
In this time of global recession, the Benettons are a perfect example of someone that is going against the trend.
Great "people" in the business of government authorized highway extortion. Atlantia’s revenues have increased by 7,8% in just six months and now stand at 1.6 billion Euro.
1.3 Billion Euro of this comes from toll fees, in spite of the fact that motorway traffic levels are the same over the same period.
As a matter of fact, toll fees have increased by some 3,6% since the first of January 2008.
“The Benetton family’s holding company, Atlantia”.
How good these words sound, they grant a certain glamour to the concept of tolls. Atlantia, meanwhile, has reached profits up to 366 million Euro in a single six-month period (+7,4%).
When the highways still belonged to the Italians (who incidentally paid for them with the taxes), these profits still belonged to the Italians. Now, instead, they are being shared out amongst the industrialists at Benetton and the political parties, while the Country becomes increasingly poorer.

There are two main categories of companies in Italy: private companies and "State partners".
The first are having a hard time with huge loss of profits, the second bloom.
They got the license, from the State, or better, from the ones who should represent the State and the Italian citizens, to suck the citizens.
Something is wrong, why should somebody vote for the ones who give the license to suck them?
The kind of concessions handed out may involve the provision of water, garbage collection, electricity and roads, in other words, the kind of primary services that people can no longer live without.
The only option open to the Italians in the light of this intensive exploitation of tariffs is to consume less. However, to their great surprise, they find themselves nevertheless paying more. As a matter of fact, the concession holders are driven by a very strong profit motive. In order to make this profit, if the market goes down, prices instead go up.
That is a mathematical law: if the consumed amount is lower, in order to produce the same revenue you MUST upgrade the price.
So that the electoral contributions to the parties can be the same...

Dreaming of a "new bedroom"

I think I have reached an age in which if I decide to remodel something that something is my home.
I have given up remodeling myself, just looking around at the women of my age with new noses, new chins and terrible new lips.
But how refreshing and satisfying sitting in a brand new living room and working in a brand new kitchen, or "sleeping" in a brand new, comforting, inspiring bedroom!
One of the things I always envied to the Americans is how most of them can make a house looking like a real home, that means a place where you like to live.
I guess their main secret is that they can find for example the best Bedroom Furniture at affordable prices.
That means they can change the look as many times as they fancy.
Today in blue, with a classy metal bed, tomorrow designer style, with a sophisticated leather bed (may be black).
They get up in the morning, decide the look of the bedroom is no more what they like, switch on their computer and Voila´ the next few days they have a complete new Bedroom Set.
Besides having great prices, they also have discounts and free shipping.
No wonder their homes are so glamorous!
As for me...I like to look at those websites and dream what I would order if furniture was not so heavy and could be shipped over the Ocean.
Every day a new room...
It is true, dreaming costs nothing, but when you open your eyes (and switch off your computer) your house is still the same...

Who profits?

Who profits more from spamming, phishing, viruses producers?
Once, when a murder was committed a good investigator had to "cherche´la femme", because in every crime there was supposed to be a woman in the background, or an inheritance, or a life insurance.
There was for sure something more materialistic than passion to push the criminal to commit crimes.
"Lured by bad math and get-rich-quick pipe dreams into a life of cybercrime, those phishing for dollars confront a problem not unlike that faced by traditional anglers: too few fish in the sea. "
Phishing doesn't pay very well and tends to attract low-skill hackers who themselves become victims.
Part of the blame for this sorry state of affairs can be laid at the feet of exaggerated phishing loss estimates. "We estimate that recent public estimates over-estimate phishing losses by as much as a factor of fifty," the paper explains.

Who profits from it?
Because people who are supposed to make esteems are also supposed to know what they are doing.
I mean, if they asked me, I would wonder, because I seldom click on what I do not know, and before clicking on what I know, I always try to know better.
I very often ask myself if there is still a stupid out there who believes that there are millions available at a click of a mouse.
When I make a statistic I always think "Am I to be considered as an average consumer of this?".
And if the answer is yes, well, I simply assume that it is going to be almost 80%.
I am not an easy victim of phishing and I am not so available when it comes to risk my money.
In a few words, with me, they do not make much...
And if it is so, why do they still do?
Or may be they don’t but somebody says they do...
So that you and me need protection...
What is it, spending a few bucks for a good antivirus could let you sleep better...
Protect yourself and your property...

A good many people commit suicide with a knife and fork.

Summer is here and retailers have their shops full of warm-weather goods -- INCUDING SWIMSUITS.
Besides looking great on the beach, losing weight is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
A few pounds or if necessary, more than a few.
Being overweight significantly increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer ... the list seems almost endless.
Plus, if you do get sick or need surgery, being overweight can make any treatments riskier.

I guess you already know what means losing weight, simply mathematics: take in fewer calories, burn more calories.
But you also know that most diets and quick weight-loss plans are not even worth the paper on which they are written.
You're better off finding several simple things you can do on a daily basis -- along with following the cardinal rules of eating more vegetables and less fat and getting more physical activity. Together, they should send the scale numbers in the right direction: down.
But sometimes it is not enough.
Because saying no to those nice little snacks is not a matter of once a day, but 24 hours a day, not eating makes you feeling deprived and hungrier.
The solution? High-calorie-tasting, but low-calorie treat.
And may be something that gives you that feeling of having eaten a full meal without the meal.
But is it really there a low carb diet that actually suppresses your appetite, so that you can feel good and not hungry, while you’re burning fat?
The perfect Dietis the one that guarantees the fastest, safest weight-loss results possible, without making you feel weak or deprived or unhappy.
A good diet is a lifelong commitment, because it is not enough to lose those unwanted pounds, you also have to keep in shape.
In order to do so you have to stay enthusiastic, determined and inspired to keep losing weight week after week.

Language specialists claim that the five sweeter phrases in the English language are:

1) I love you
2) Dinner is served
3) All is forgiven
4) Sleep until noon
5) Keep the change

There are those (and many) who choose to add:
You've lost weight.

Players in search of a user manual

What is the right meaning of economy?
"An economy (or "the economy") is the realized economic system of a country or other area. It includes the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area."
We (normal people) do the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption, why we do not know anything about it?
Why we do not know rules, we cannot make it going better or worse?
Why we just passively "suffer" it?
They say something is wrong because we consume more than needed.
But how do we know what is enough, what is more?
They say we are in recession now.
That means yesterday we were in a better situation.
But why?
Who changed the rules?
Why do we play a game without even having a user manual?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My business is contacting people and proposing my products, all the rest is JUST technology...

Small is beautiful and small business means tomorrow’s world.
There is a fresh newly designed website at AT&T Small Business InSite, which is focused on small businesses.
Electronics will lead to a much smaller and less expensive establishment.
The value in today’s economy is principally knowledge and information, and it becomes more and more important the WAY knowledge and information are reached.
The human knowledge base will be measured in bytes stored in databases, offered on the Internet, exchanged and compared.
The new technologies are going to allow people to spread out, and people will be able to live anywhere they want, without sacrificing efficiency.
That is what AT&Tunderstood, and with it, the importance of being connected everywhere and in every moment.
At AT§TSmall Business insite they welcome you as a potential customer and as a probable "partner" if you decide to participate to the new contest: they are giving a Small Biz Tech Makeover to one lucky prize winner.
What will you actually win?
•Exciting new AT&T products & services
•Consulting from a leading technology expert
•Windows® Small Business Server 2008 Standard
What should you do?
Very easy.
You must explain what kind of technology upgrade would your business need to boost your bottom line.
AT&T Small Business InSite will give you a hand. Tell them why your small business needs a technology makeover and you could win!
That shouldn’t really be difficult.
How many times a day you face situations and problems that could be solved with a little bit of help from some new technology?
May be something that is already there and you do not know.
You can meet an expert like Mario Armstrong, that is able to translate technology for non-tech audiences.
How would you like to be able to say: my business is contacting people and proposing my products, all the rest is JUST technology...


Monday, August 03, 2009

What I learned from the Plant world

I have developed a peculiar feeling for dying plants and flowers.
It all began with my natural tendency to "saving".
Plants on Saturdays at my local grocery store are priced one third of their original price.
The game begins on Mondays.
Every Monday morning they have season’s flowers and plants on special offer.
The price is slightly lower than at the local Florist’s.
To be really honest, the price is following the value.
They are usually second choice plants, that means less flowers, quite small and the most common kind and color.
On Wednesday the price begins to lower as much as the look of them.
I wouldn’t say they do not care.
Sometimes they care too much, they even over water them.
On Fridays they begin to look suffering.
But it is on Saturdays that they really show a cadaveric look and the price follows the state.
What was 6 euro very often becomes 2.
That is the moment I begin to be interested in them.
I have something like a clinic for suffering and ill flowers in my living room (I have eight nice windows in the living room)or in Summer in my garden.
Their biggest problem is the fact that they lacked light and had too much water.
But in my personal view they lacked love and care.
Every Saturday my first concern is looking at the unlucky survivors.
It feels like a magnetic attraction, a call for survival.
It´s like they told me: Please bring me away, please help me, because I want to live.
They talk in their very peculiar and expressive way.
In the same way they tell me, a few days later, thank you, I am so happy I could escape death.
And the reward?
First you see a small tiny new leaf growing.
Then it becomes bigger and you see new leaves coming out.
The color from an undistinguishable grey gets greener and greener and the new born have such a healthy and nice color, they look like small babies with fat, rosy cheeks.
Who said plants cannot express themselves?
Certainly somebody who is not able to listen.

What did I learn from the Plant World?
That you can be a great gardener also knowing nothing about plants.
You just have to listen to them and they tell you what they need.
"to hear with eyes" is something everybody can do.
That love, also the humble love for a plant can bring great results and huge revenues.
The revenues that count in life, satisfaction, the feeling to be useful, the feeling to do something "right".
That the world is all full of beauty, that the green of a new born leaf is as nice as everything else, sometimes even more.
That we are a part of nature and very often we forget it.
That there are many ways to communicate, also with a plant.
That a nice garden is a joy for the eyes and music for your heart.

This is what I learned from the the Plant World

Saving NewsPapers

Why not taking in consideration the word saving?
That means producing the same at a lower cost.
This is perfectly feasible.
You do not need to have millions in the Middle East reporting about the same event.
You need millions to write about the same report.
This and that happened on this and that day.
Any Newspaper can describe the same event and talk about past, future, reasons, motives, involvements as he pleases.
You can have one reporting it and one million different ways to see it.
As many as the tastes of the readers.
The news can come in many flavors even starting from one, unique report.

One copy, one sale, many users

This is the new business model of the Music, Movies and soon e-books users.
File sharing is going to be the ONLY reality of tomorrow while it is the predominant reality of today.
It wasn't long ago that many predicted that CDs would never replace vinyl, and later that MP3s would never replace CDs.
You can still find great record stores that specialize in vinyl, but the trend towards digital music has been steady and unstoppable.
And the music industry has paid a huge price for their failure to embrace the new technology. After first ignoring new technologies, they then proceeded to try to sue innovators, restrict users with DRM copy protection and then punish fans with indiscriminate lawsuits, none of which did a thing to stop online sharing of music. Sales are down, illegal file sharing is up, and no one has found a way to unite the industry around monetizing the sharing of digital music.

Will the same thing happen to the publishing industry as books become digital? If the trend continues, with better devices promising longer battery life and better screen resolution, digital books will become a force to be reckoned with. Are we doomed to watch the publishing industry run through the same gamut of bad decisions that have plagued the recording industry for the last few years?

Book publishers should learn from their friends in the music industry and move aggressively to try out new models.
But which new models?
First of all one phrase has to be said before beginning to evaluate the available possibilities and this is:

Good bye to huge revenues.

"Let’s use MJ’s tragic death as a mini case-study. $300 million over, for example, 25 years? That’s $12 million a year.
I’m deliberately leaving out ads, endorsements, concerts, etc., to focus on the structural problems in one industry: music.
If the world’s biggest pop star only made $12 million a year from his recordings, why would anyone make serious music? Where did the rest of the money go? Why, straight into record labels’ pockets. Did they make better music with it? Nope — they made Britney and Lady GaGa. And that’s how they killed themselves: by under investing in quality, to rake in the take."

Copyrights should be the revenue of the artist, not the (enormous) income of the industry.
Revenue should be on the base of the audience.
If you have one thousand customers you earn 5 euro per copy, if you have one million you cannot expect to earn five millions, or you shouldn’t.
In principle the job is the same and the number is NOT always due to the fact you are a genius, very often is a value added by a wider audience.
"Innovation tends to occur not because of one brilliant idea from one brilliant individual — but as an ongoing process, with lots of folks tossing different ideas at the wall, and seeing what sticks."
The success of MJ was due also to the dedication of his fans, and they should be in one way rewarded.
Why not by paying less?

The Ramsteins will held a concert in Berlin on December 18,19, 20, 21.
The tickets were Euro 70.
I found that price outrageously high.
But that was nothing compared to the Euro 200 or 250 they reached on eBay a few days ago.
And we were in July!
They sold tickes for 120,000 fans A DAY!
That makes 480,000 people in four days!

I guess that if they do not sell CDs and their music is illegally downloaded, they still make ENOUGH money!
My question is: Would they be so popular and be able to have full house in ANY concert, if their music was not as well known as it is thanks to the "free" downloads?

This is a good example of "alternative" business model to guarantee the right revenue to the copyrights owners...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree...

You usually learn from bad experiences.
There is nothing that teaches you as much as a failure.
That is why, if you are in a difficult situation because you didn’t "think" and just "borrowed" in the easiest way (which is usually asking to your local bank), you should learn from Lincoln: "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax".
That means that you should think twice before going in the same place and doing the same mistake.
That doesn’t mean that your local bank wouldn’t be the best solution, it just means that you have to check all the available solutions.
Research and comparison is essential, especially when it comes to your finances.

Do you really need a long term loan?
Or you could eventually be able to give back the money in a shorter time?
That usually means it will cost less in interest rates.
Also some lenders apply the same rates as if it was a high risk loan, while may be in your case it isn’t.
And what about redemption penalties?
Also in this case you should be more careful.
Imagine you win at the lottery, or more realistically you get an extra bonus, or an inheritance, or whatever (sometimes also GOOD things happen).
May be you can decide you want to repay your loan early, and you find out that it is going to cost a lot in redemption penalties.
Another expense you could decide to cut is Payment protection insurance, which in your case could be unnecessary.
There are many others details when you decide to ask for a loan that may be six hours are not even enough.
But the important is to spend as much time as necessary to sharpen "your brain".

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The latest in stupidity

"A German company has invented a marvelous new bikini that disappears once a girl puts it on and takes a swim.
The sexy swimsuit disappears by dissolving in water, leaving a woman completely nude and embarrassed. The sexy black swimsuit looks like a real bikini, feels like a real bikini and fits like a real bikini. The only difference is it’s made from a material that completely melts away after a few seconds in water.
Named the "Get Naked Bikini," the item is being marketed as the ultimate form of revenge for recently-dumped dudes."

What doesn´t go with it is the instructions on "How to convince your ex to wear it".