Saturday, March 31, 2012

Technologgy CAN transform education

"Tablets, wireless internet access and digital texts won't do much good unless adults learn new ways to teach."

Technology can do a lot.
When they invented the printing machine they made books available to a much larger number of individuals, education much more affordable and culture stopped to be a "restricted number of individuals knowledge"

Of course you still need the WILL of the pupil to learn, and that can be stimulated only with a good teacher.
A good book is not only the book that teaches you what you should learn; it is a book that invites you to learn what you should learn...

Your doctor at a click of a mouse

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — What if you got sick at work? The fastest way to see the doctor may be on a computer screen.

A work clinic for UPMC employees in Uptown is one of 12 that has this kind of program up and running. The plan is to have all 12 UPMC workplace clinics equipped like this within two years.
I think in the ideal world, face to face is best,” says Dr. Donald Fischer of Highmark, “but there are certainly times where a call to a physician or care provider could handle what you need to have handled.”

For employees with urgent issues after hours, Highmark is experimenting with a program called Teladoc, where you could call for a consultation at midnight, for example, and the doctor would call you back within minutes.

“We’re going to trial it to see what the member satisfaction is from doing that, what the potential cost is, and how it ties in to quality and cost,” says Dr. Fischer.

These alternative types of doctor visits are not meant to replace primary care, but rather, they are to supplement primary care when the office is closed.

These programs aren’t available to everyone right now. You have to be an employee or member, but the idea is to find out what works and then they might open up in more locations to the greater population.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dynamic Spectrum Access

DSA means Dynamic Spectrum Accees, the possibility to use the same spectrum moving throught the variables of it "hopping".

Getting the most out of valuable radio spectrum was the topic of a gathering of European regulators, industry analysts and advisers at the Dynamic Spectrum Access forum, hosted by Forum Europe in Brussels on 7 March 2012.

Broadly speaking, dynamic spectrum access (DSA) refers to making better use of radio spectrum through re-use of 'idle' bandwidth – spectrum that is not fully utilised in either frequency or time.

The concept of DSA has become particularly relevant in the past few years as the use of wireless data services has expanded.
The dramatic increase in use of mobile data, driven mainly by mobile subscribers using smartphones and tablet devices, is well understood. However, wireless data usage is diversifying into a wide range of industry sectors, and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications are a particular growth area. M2M applications are not nearly as time sensitive as smartphone and tablet data traffic and can, potentially, tolerate higher levels of interference than other uses of wireless data because they can schedule data transfer to fit within available resources. Hence, accommodating M2M applications in underutilised spectrum in bands assigned for other primary uses appears to be an ideal way to meet their growing demand.

M2M is not the only application for DSA; others might include rural broadband services (which can often fit into the 'gaps' left by the less intensive use of spectrum by licensed services in rural areas).
Another possible application of DSA is a next generation of Wi-Fi technology. Wi-Fi currently operates in licence-exempt spectrum (at 2.4GHz or 5GHz), but with the 2.4GHz band becoming increasingly congested, there is commercial interest in extending into other bands. In particular, bands below 1GHz are attractive, because of their greater range and indoor penetration (into buildings).

Accordingly, although DSA could apply to any underutilised spectrum, in practice the industry is focusing on opening up TV white spaces to secondary users, which is seen as the first step in extending DSA more widely to other bands.


Monday, March 26, 2012

When functionality is as important as design

I think I am quite good in making websites, at least as good as possible for somebody who has a limited knowledge of IT.
I like to play with colors and images, to write my text and make a nice looking site.
But when it comes to really complicated things like building a good functioning ecommerce website I am finished.
For something like that you really need a good ecommerce software, something easy to use and customize, where you can play with colors and images, where you can write your own copy and let the software do the difficult and boring part, which is to make it WORKING.
And many software’s, the good ones even offer you the right ecommerce web design, something you can see done, and you can chose, may be adding something to make it unique.
An ecommerce website must be nice looking, but mostly must be functional and who better than an expert can make it so?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mind control and warfare games

Advances in neuroscience are closer than ever to becoming a reality, but scientists are warning the military - along with their peers - that with great power comes great responsibility, great moral responsability.
A future of brain-controlled tanks, automated attack drones and mind-reading interrogation techniques may arrive sooner than later, but advances in neuroscience that will usher in a new era of combat come with tough ethical implications for both the military and scientists responsible for the technology.
"Everybody agrees that conflict will be changed as new technologies are coming on," "But nobody knows where that technology is going."
There is a fine line between using neuroscience devices to allow an injured person to regain baseline functions and enhancing someone's body to perform better than their natural body ever could.
"Where one draws that line is not obvious, and how one decides to cross that line is not easy. People will say 'Why would we want to deny warfighters these advantages?'"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Copyright cops

Last July, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable and other bandwidth providers announced that they had agreed to adopt policies designed to discourage customers from pirating music, movies and software over the Web. Since then, the ISPs have been very quiet about their antipiracy measures.

Many copyright owners say this could become the most effective potent antipiracy program ever. Since ISPs are the Internet's gatekeepers, the theory is that network providers are in the best position to fight illegal file sharing. CNET broke the news last June that the RIAA and counterparts at the trade group for the big film studios, had penned the deal--with the help of the White House.


When quality is sign of quality

Can a good marketing pass through a t shirt?
My answer is YES, but at certain conditions...
They must be nice, good quality and unique.
If you want your brand or your name to be remembered, you certainly agree that it must be connected to something that defines it as superior quality.
I have nothing against Chinese merchandize, but too often it is meaning of low quality, also because very often it is LOW quality.
Let’s be honest.
Unless you believe in miracles, it is very hard, almost impossible, to put together low price and high quality.
So, if you want to spend very little, you must also compromise with look and quality...which is exactly what you should avoid...
So, my suggestion is to buy local. Cotton made in USA is usually quite good and there are American companies that can deliver a high qualityt shirt screen printing.
You can suggest your own logo, or design, or a special message, or whatever, or you can chose among a huge selection provided by them, all very nice looking.
The secret is in the long experience in printing.
Printing IS NOT just telling the printer the color and the drawing.
It doesn’t work like that.
You must decide the size, the color, the hue, the saturation of the image, in a few words, ALL what is between a good result and something else.
You can also decide for embroidered shirts.
I personally prefer it to the printed ones.
First it lasts longer, you have absolutely no problem in washing and especially in ironing the shirt and the colors look better.
Thanks to the fact that they use the latest technology, you can also order a very small number and chose more drawings or embroideries.
The quality of your marketing promotionals IS the sign of the quality of your business.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Student Loans

The Author of this post is Solomon Dejesus

I’m trying to be more mindful of where I spend my money, because it just occurred to me the other day that I’m five years removed from college at this point and my student loans are not getting much smaller. I’m a little confused by the situation, to be honest. I pay my bills every month, and I think everything is fine, and then I look at my student loan statement at the end of the year and notice that the number hasn’t changed much. Here’s what I do understand—I need to start paying more money every month on my student loan. That is the tricky part, I guess. I don’t actually have a ton of extra money sitting around that I can spare. So, thus the new mindfulness about where I spend my money. I’m doing the obvious things like buying store brand and cutting coupons, but I also discovered a pretty easy way to save money that requires pretty much no effort. All I did was search for Shop Electricity Rates Texas and I found I could switch my energy provider to save money on my utility bills each month. Definitely the easiest way I’ve ever discovered to put a little more money in my pocket. Even if all that money has to go towards my student loans.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Losing the grip on reality

"America is losing its grip on reality."
It is time to wake up.
The great America was based not on freedom, but on:
1) Having 300 millions (even less) on a territory as big as China (or almost as big) which has to feed 1 billion 200 millions

2) Cheap oil

3) A strong weapon industry

4) wars and colonialism

Cheap energy meant that a few people could run a huge farm and produce ALL the necessary food.
It meant that a few could produce a lot of cheap goods and consume a lot.

Now the energy is getting expensive.
The number of Americans is NOT enough to produce food and good in the same quantity as before.
South America, India, China, DO NOT WANT to produce and work for the Amricans, they do not want a paper that without oil is worth zero.

It is time to realize that imperialism is finished, cheap energy is finished, it is time to save the little land and water America has, it is time to reduce expectations and the size of the dinner.
This is the only way to save America

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How and what companies know about you

When you shop usually you don't buy everything you need in one only store. You buy groceries at the grocery store, toys at the toy store, and you visit certain shops only when you need certain items you associate with them.
May be those companies sell everything from milk to lawn furniture, to electronics, so one of the company's primary goals is convincing customers that the only store they need is their.
This isn´t a message easy to get across, even with the most ingenious ad campaigns, because once consumers' shopping habits are ingrained, it's incredibly difficult to change them.

What are most likely the periods in a person's life when old routines fall apart and buying habits are suddenly in flux?
It seems that one of those moments is right around the birth of a child, when parents are exhausted and overwhelmed and their shopping patterns and brand loyalties are more likely to change.
That isn´t difficult to find out because birth records are usually public, infact the moment a couple has a new baby, they are almost instantaneously barraged with offers and incentives and advertisements from all sorts of companies.
That means that the secret is to reach them earlier, before any other retailers know a baby is on the way.
The marketers should send especially designed ads to women in their second trimester, which is the moment when most expectant mothers begin buying all sorts of new things,such as prenatal vitamins and maternity clothing.
If you can identify them in their second trimester, there's a good chance you can capture them for years.
As soon as you get them buying diapers from you, they're going to start buying everything else too.
If they are rushing through the store, looking for bottles, and pass orange juice, they will most likely grab a carton.
And may be there's that new DVD they would like.
Soon, they will be buying cereal and paper towels from you, and keep coming back.

The desire to collect information on customers is not new for any large retailer, of course.
For decades, they have collected vast amounts of data on every person who regularly walks into one of their stores.
Whenever possible, they assign each shopper a unique code - known internally as the Guest ID number, which keeps tabs on everything they buy.
If they use a credit card or a coupon, or fill out a survey, or mail in a refund, or call the customer help line, or open an e-mail they sent them or visit their Website, they will record it and link it to their Guest ID.
They want to know everything they can.
Also linked to their Guest ID is demographic information like the customer´s age, whether they are married and have kids, which part of town they live in, how long it takes you to drive to the store, their estimated salary, whether they have moved recently, what credit cards they carry in their wallet and what Web sites they usually visit.
Shops can buy data about their ethnicity, job history, the magazines they read, if they have ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced, the year they bought (or lost)their house, where they went to college, what kinds of topics they talk about online, whether they prefer certain brands of coffee, paper towels, cereal or applesauce, their reading habits, charitable giving and the number of cars they own.
All that information is meaningless, however, without someone to analyze and make sense of it.
That's where the Marketing Analytics department comes in.

Almost every major retailer, from grocery chains to investment banks to the U.S. Postal Service, has a "predictive analytics" department devoted to understanding not just consumers' shopping habits but also their personal habits, so as to more efficiently market to them.
But in a golden age of behavioral research it is amazing how much they can figure out about how people think.
Over the past two decades, the science of habit formation has become a major field of research in neurology and psychology departments at hundreds of major medical centers and universities, as well as inside extremely well financed corporate labs.
The push to understand how daily habits influence your decisions has become one of the most exciting topics in clinical research, even though most of us are hardly aware those patterns exist.
One study from Duke University estimated that habits, rather than conscious decision-making, shape 45 percent of the choices we make every day.
This research is also transforming our understanding of how habits function across organizations and societies.
The Obama campaign has hired a habit specialist as its "chief scientist" to figure out how to trigger new voting patterns among different constituencies.

Researchers have figured out how to stop people from habitually overeating and biting their nails. They can explain why some of us automatically go for a jog every morning and are more productive at work, while others oversleep and procrastinate. There is a calculus, it turns out, for mastering our subconscious urges.
For companies the exhaustive rendering of our conscious and unconscious patterns into data sets and algorithms has revolutionized what they know about us and, therefore, how precisely they can sell.

Liberally taken from NYT

Friday, March 02, 2012

The mistery of the Greek debt

It is a mistery to me, how a country that began with a total debt of 300 bn euro in 2009 (112% of GDP), received as Bail out from Europe
110 bn May 2010
109 bn July 2011
130 bn March 2012
(total 349 bn. euro)and now in March 2012:

The debt is 160% of GDP
The creditors are asked to a "hair cut" of 75%

By a simple mathematics, if the "hair cut" had been done in 2009 it would have cost to Europe "JUST" 300 Bn...and would have saved so much suffering to the population AND a complete default as the Europeans are asking now...


Simply because the debt changed hands.
In 2009 the creditors were MOSTLY Germany and France.
I mean German and French banks.
Now with the bail out the above banks have got rid of the unwanted debt, the boiling potatoes has passed from one hand to the others and the actual creditors...can lose 70% of their money.

But who are the actual creditors?
And who is Europe?


Kicking the can down the road, or moving the boiling potatoes, these are colored ways to define the actual economical situation of many countries in Europe (including mine Italy).
Not being able to change much, they do the only thing they are able (and paid for) to do: postpone the problems.
What is urgent today, tomorrow will be even more urgent, so why bothering to care for urgent matters, when you will have more urgent matters tomorrow?
In the mean time, the only urgent thing to do is calming down the people, promising, telling lies, covering up...
But the real purpose of this exchange of debt from one hand to the other is unknown and unseen by the mass.
It is simply tranferring the debt from the few to the mass.
When it will be complete, who cares what will happen.

Franchise marketing

I like franchise marketing.
I think it is very often the best way to begin and run a business.
Because, even if it can cost a percentage of what you can earn, you can count on an immediate revenue and the marketing experience (and investments) of a big company even though you are small.
For example, if your future business is going to be in Internet marketing, offering SEO services, it pays off to use the experience of a team that comes from the search world.
Who better than them can know how it really works?
And what really means seo friendly cms?
Content Management system is what you need when you want to control the performance of many web sites and improve or optimize their search engine response.
It is the best way to manage all your projects and web sites at a glance, that means having their performances ALWAYS under your control.
That allows you to react immediately modifying all the factors critical to their ranking.
One of the internet marketing services they offer is an automatic marketing software which includes all the SEO techniques, good for SEOing one website, but perfect for managing and following the simultaneous performance of 1000 (or more, if you are so lucky and good).
When it comes to seo technology, it is not only useful, it is essential to be up to all the new techniques, because what is good today, can be obsolete tomorrow.
And franchising is important also for this: being one to work, but having the experience ( and the constant update of knowledge) of many.