The long weekend was nice (and needed), hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy themselves. On our fake Monday, today, I've got some more links from around the internet that I think are worth sharing. So, I've included those below. Also just wanted to make a quick mention that I have noticed an uptick in comment spam on the blog pages. It's fucking annoying. The biggest issue is that on this current system I can't just delete everything from one poster like I can in the forums -- I don't have access to a key part of the database to run a sql query either ... so, I'm kinda stuck banning and one-by-one deleting. I'm sorry about that. Thankfully the new version of the website uses a system where I can delete a user/posts as spam from anywhere -- and once that's implemented we can dramatically improve where spam occurs and help put a big stop to it even showing up. I have a phone meeting today to find out the status on the new website ... so cross your fingers with me that we're close.
Four New Banners For The Dark Knight Rises
As I understand it, the album is set to enter the charts at number one, which is just incredible on all your parts because there has been very little I’ve been able to do to promote it. In a world of schemes and strategies when it comes to selling something, you guys just bought music you trusted you’d like. You picked it up in the same way I made it… from the heart, no trickery. That is so cool and rare and all the marketeers in the world together can’t manufacture that. I am very grateful to you.
The criminals, some of them former drug dealers, outwit the Internal Revenue Service by filing a return before the legitimate taxpayer files. Then the criminals receive the refund, sometimes by check but more often though a convenient but hard-to-trace prepaid debit card.
It might also simply be the result of the shift in scale at which Apple is operating today. They sold 35 million iPhones and 12 million iPads last quarter. Is it not inevitable that global-supply management would grow in importance and influence with numbers like that? The question to ask is whether these changes are because of the differences between Tim Cook and Steve, or the differences in the size and scope of Apple’s business a decade ago versus today.
So the Sofa team got to Facebook a little under a year ago, and I’m guessing, soon started work on Facebook Camera. A year ago, building a Facebook version of Instagram sounded like a good plan. “We should have an app like Instagram for taking and sharing photos on our social network”, more or less. But after another year of growth, I think Mark Zuckerberg saw that an app was not enough. Instagram’s own fast-growing social network was a threat. That their own well-made, well-designed Instagram-like app was on the cusp of release made no difference.
Yahoo had a chance to buy Google in 2001 but then-CEO Terry Semel didn’t pull the trigger. I don’t think Instagram is the next Google, but Zuckerberg sure as shit doesn’t want Facebook to be the next Yahoo.
Analysts and media types insist that Apple needs to bring a smaller tablet to market to ward off the threat from Amazon.
There are a couple of things to consider with this argument. First, people that use that as the basis for the release of a 7-inch iPad are full of shit. Second, using that argument shows they don’t understand Apple and how the company works.
I was a bit surprised when I first saw the screen above on the (great) new Facebook Camera app. That’s the initial screen you get when you first open the app. But how on Earth did the app know my name? I assumed, of course, it was related to the fact that I also had the main Facebook iOS app installed on my iPhone — but still, how did those two apps talk to one another as neither is system-level?
Wouldn’t it have made more sense to simply focus on making the best search engine and other services, thereby making yourself a must-have on all mobile devices? Or is that just too hard? [..] Deciding that you have to build a phone seems like what an entrenched company that feels it can no longer innovate does in order to protect its position as platforms shift.
I am (slightly) less bleak on this topic — I think there is enough evidence of content creators selling their goods directly to their readers/listeners/viewers that we’ll start seeing a slow but steady shift away from traditional online advertising.
Microsoft has declared Windows 8 a tablet operating system “without compromises” because it runs on tablets and desktops and toaster-fridges and can run desktop applications on any Intel-based hardware. Surely any operating system that has a matrix to let you know what features are available in which version can’t be compromised, right?
But running Windows 8, it often seems that what’s been compromised is your sanity.
No more coupons or confusing multiple markdowns. No more 600 sales a year. No more deceptive circulars full of sneaky fine print. Heck, the store even did away with the 99 cents on the end of most price tags. Just honest, clear prices. …
Shoppers hated it.
The campaign, which launched on Feb. 1, appears to be a disaster. Revenue dropped 20 percent for the first quarter compared to last year. Customer traffic fell 10 percent. Last year, the company made $64 million in the first quarter; this year, it lost $163 million.
The focus of today’s launch is clearly on giving its users more curation features. The new “bitmarks” allow you to easily go back and look at the links you’ve shared on Facebook and Twitter. You can also, of course, still organize these links into bundles – a feature the company introduced in 2010. With this release, Bitly also made organizing these bundles more collaborative and now makes it more obvious “that you can invite people to collaborate and edit a bundle with you.”
Sandberg talked about how hard it was for her to find a job in Silicon Valley when she first moved there from Washington DC in 2001, not least because it was just after the first bubble crashed. “My timing wasn’t really that good,” she said. “One woman CEO looked at me and said, we wouldn’t even think about hiring someone like you.”
Kindly, they obliged. I have no experience playing the guitar whatsoever, and my greatest claim to musical fame would be completing Free Bird on expert in Guitar Hero. Now, I won’t say my rendition of Blackbird a la gTar is the best in the world, but for having absolutely no practice or experience, my few moments with the hardware should be a testament to the gTar’s potential.
Apple, however, argues that the government “sides with monopoly, rather than competition, in bringing this case. The Government starts from the false premise that an eBooks ‘market’ was characterized by ‘robust price competition’ prior to Apple’s entry.” Before the iBookstore, Apple says, “there was no real competition, there was only Amazon.”
But here’s the thing: If Wall Streeters are spoiled brats, they are spoiled brats with immense power and wealth at their disposal. And what they’re trying to do with that power and wealth right now is buy themselves not just policies that serve their interests, but immunity from criticism.
There’s a confused and confusing debate going on over whether President Obama has presided over a “spending binge,” as Republicans claim, or whether, under Obama, “federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.” [...] But Republicans don’t want to admit that they bear substantial responsibility for the economic policy of the last few years. If they did, then it would be hard to argue that the economy’s performance in 2010 and 2011 is all Obama’s fault. And the Obama administration doesn’t want to clearly say that we should have been spending more in recent years, even if that’s what they believe, and what they proposed, because it polls poorly. And so here we are.
If you get attacked by a shark, you’ll probably live. It’s a bit terrifying that fatalities from from shark attacks hit a 20-year high in 2011, with 12 people across the world dying from encounters with the animals. American tourists can rest slightly assured though, that all of those shark-related fatalities were outside the United States. And, in general, shark attacks actually aren’t fatal. A 2001 review of 86 cases found that 81 percent of those attacked suffered only minor injuries that required “a simple, primary suture,” the researchers said. Take that, Jaws.
The percentage growth in their pay is slightly higher than men’s pay growth throughout their twenties. By age 30, they still earn $14,300 less than men, but their pay raises up until that point had been higher than men’s, in percentage terms.
"'I can tell you that over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we’d put in place, we’d get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent, and perhaps a little lower,' Romney says in a Time magazine interview...The Congressional Budget Office projects that the unemployment rate will drop to 5.3 percent by the end of 2016."
The budget prepared by Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, and the Romney campaign’s general-election platform look quite similar. Both would cut taxes while flattening the tax code. Their Medicare-reform plans look similar...Because it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which Romney is elected and Republicans don’t hold the House and win control of the Senate, Republicans wouldn’t be stymied by Democratic opposition. They would have the votes to pass their agenda. True, they won’t get a filibuster-proof majority of 60 in the upper chamber, but Ryan’s budget is, well, a budget, which means it could be passed through the budget reconciliation process -- and couldn’t be filibustered. To enact a radical change of direction, Republicans need only a simple majority of votes...Why are we spending so much time discussing what Romney did at Bain ... instead of what he will do as president?
Five female Democratic senators pressed for legislation Wednesday aimed at closing the wage gap between men and women. The Paycheck Fairness Act would bring up to date the Equal Pay Act, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson nearly 50 years ago. Democrats cited statistics showing that women today are still paid 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, or $10,784 less a year on average. That’s the equivalent of 183 tanks of gas or 92 bags of groceries...Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has promised a cloture vote on the pay bill the week of June 4, after the Senate returns from its week-long Memorial Day recess. Republicans, however, have dismissed the effort as political pandering, and the bill is unlikely to pass without GOP support. In January 2009, when Democrats controlled both chambers, the bill cleared the House but fell two votes shy of the 60 needed to move forward in the Senate.
The checks are stopping for the people who have the most difficulty finding work: the long-term unemployed. More than five million people have been out of work for longer than half a year. Federal benefit extensions, which supplemented state funds for payments up to 99 weeks, were intended to tide over the unemployed until the job market improved. In February, when the program was set to expire, Congress renewed it, but also phased in a reduction of the number of weeks of extended aid and made it more difficult for states to qualify for the maximum aid. Since then, the jobless in 23 states have lost up to five months’ worth of benefits. Next month, an additional 70,000 people will lose benefits earlier than they presumed, bringing the number of people cut off prematurely this year to close to half a million, according to the National Employment Law Project. That estimate does not include people who simply exhausted the weeks of benefits they were entitled to."
As the nation amasses more than $1 trillion in student loans, education experts say a vexing new problem has emerged: A growing number of young people have a mountain of debt but no degree to show for it. Nearly 30 percent of college students who took out loans dropped out of school, up from fewer than a quarter of students a decade ago, according to a recent analysis of government data by think tank Education Sector. College dropouts are also among the most likely to default on their loans, falling behind at a rate four times that of graduates. That is raising new questions about the wisdom of decades of public policy that focused on increasing access to higher learning but paid less attention to what happens once students arrive on campus. And some education experts have begun to argue that starting college -- and going into debt to pay for it -- without a clear plan for a diploma is a recipe for disaster.
Beneath all the folderol about job creation and destruction at Bain Capital or President Obama’s alleged war against success and free enterprise, there’s actually a legitimate debate to be had about what kind of capitalism we want in the United States. It turns out that capitalism, like ice cream, comes in many flavors. These different capitalisms can be combined, in the same way chocolate and coffee produce mocha. There are also all sorts of mix-ins and swirls that add to the variety...We would all surely welcome an intelligent presidential debate on what kind of capitalism we want to have. Only please spare us the self-serving nonsense about who created or destroyed how many jobs. In almost any form of capitalism, running the government is not the same as running the economy, and neither is like running Bain Capital."
So, your kid is hungry. He’s been screaming about it for a while. There are four places that you can take a kid to eat. They are 1) your house 2) some kind of picnic or lunchroom area (if you’re out somewhere), 3) a restaurant or 4) your tit. Which of these four you choose is almost always a predetermined, set-in-stone, no-choice about-it-option. If you’re out somewhere, like, say the museum or the park, and home is far away and you don’t have money to be spending on shitty fast food, you’re eating the bagged lunch you have with you. If you are by the house, or sitting in your house, you’re eating at home. If you’ve planned on eating at a restaurant or you’ve just neglected to plan, you’re eating at a restaurant and finally, if your kid is breastfeeding, you’re feeding them with your tit.