Feb 10

Daily Links for February 6th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Gargoyles – Glorious Gruesome Grotesques | Quazen – Gargoyles – they are strange, bizarre, unpleasant or just plain ugly. They have been hovering around our towns and cities for centuries, for so long that it can be forgotten that they have meaning and purpose. Take a tour of the weird world of the gargoyle.
  • No We Can’t : Rolling Stone – The decision to shunt Organizing for America into the DNC had far-reaching consequences for the president's first year in office. For starters, it destroyed his hard-earned image as a new kind of politician, undercutting the post-partisan aura that Obama enjoyed after the election. "There were a lot of independents, and maybe even some Republicans, on his list of 13 million people," says Joe Trippi, who launched the digital age of politics as the campaign manager for Howard Dean in 2004. "They suddenly had to ask themselves, 'Do I really want to help build the Democratic Party?'"
  • Toyota’s Brake-Safety Crisis: Made in Japan – WSJ.com – It is not surprising that Toyota's response has been dilatory and inept, because crisis management in Japan is grossly undeveloped. Over the past two decades, I cannot think of one instance where a Japanese company has done a good job managing a crisis. The pattern is all too familiar, typically involving slow initial response, minimizing the problem, foot dragging on the product recall, poor communication with the public about the problem and too little compassion and concern for consumers adversely affected by the product. Whether it's exploding televisions, fire-prone appliances, tainted milk or false labeling, in case after case companies have shortchanged their customers by shirking responsibility until the accumulated evidence forces belated disclosure and recognition of culpability. The costs of such negligence are low in Japan where compensation for product liability claims is mostly derisory or non-existent.
  • Blame Toyota’s Disaster On Japanese Corporate Culture – Jeff Kingston of Temple University in Japan thinks the entire Toyota disaster has its roots in Japan's deferential corporate culture. Essentially, design problems weren't sufficiently challenged and critical information wasn't relayed properly to management due to Toyota's traditional Japanese corporate culture.
  • ‘I’m Not Saying Your Mother’s a Whore’: How Fox News Censored Jon Stewart vs. Bill O’Reilly – Jon Stewart – Gawker – If by "fair cut" O'Reilly means "cut in a manner that left some of Stewart's best lines, most effective arguments, and most convincing evidence out of the interview and hidden from the broadcast audience," then he's absolutely right.
  • The Future of Web Content – HTML5, Flash & Mobile Apps – Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO of Brightcove. Prior to Brightcove, Jeremy founded Allaire Corporation which was subsequently acquired by Macromedia due to the success of their web development tool ColdFusion. At Macromedia, Jeremy helped create the Macromedia MX (Flash) platform. You can see a recent interview of Jeremy here. As one of the guys who helped build the Flash Platform, we asked him to weigh in on the recent HTML5 v. Flash debate.

    The recent introduction of the new Apple iPad has stirred the discussion over the future of web content and application runtime formats, and shone light onto the political and business battles emerging between Apple, Adobe and Google. These discussion are often highly polarized and irrational. My hope in this post is to help provide some balance and clarity onto this discussion.

  • Innovators Use Bing – The findings indicate that the search engine consumers use to find a brand's website may influence not only the perception they have of that brand but, more important for marketers, the decisions they make while on those sites. The study found different degrees of consumer engagement, from visiting to purchasing, based on the search engine used and the brands and vertical categories studied — automotive, travel, retail and wireless.
  • No-Flash iPad vs Netbook – May be Apple is too lazy to make iPad capable.
  • Continue reading →

Sep 09

Daily Links for September 18th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • One Crisis Down, Next Up: The School District budget meltdown | Young Philly Politics – This is a situation the School District ignored as it padded executive offices and signed off on millions of dollars in contracts for the past five months – despite appeals that contracts should be prioritized or even held off until the state budget came through. It’s a situation the School District steadfastly refused to acknowledge even when the governor’s budget was clearly dead in the water. It’s a situation that the School District’s only apparent preparation for was a “doomsday budget” it passed out to Council last spring in the event of a worst-case scenario.

Aug 09

Daily Links for August 27th through August 28th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Money Supply – Where Does New Money Come From? | MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice – President Obama’s stimulus bill is a reminder of how creative our government can be when injecting cash into our economy. However, many are not aware of exactly how and where the money comes and goes. The government does not simply dump billions of dollars into the system and inflation and deflation are some magical by-products — in reality, money is distributed to specific groups at specific times for specific reasons. Today we will examine some of the basic ways that our government puts money into the economy, including some specifics of the recent stimulus package.
  • The Value of United States Currency in Circulation | Visual Economics
  • Ultimate Cover Song List – Best Cover Songs – Esquire – A few months back, Tom Junod wrote an appreciation of the artful cover song. A few weeks later, reader John James wrote in to say he felt the same way — and to offer Tom his personal list of more than 1,800 covers. This struck us as a Cool Thing. So we asked John, a former record-store owner and syndicated music columnist, to give us his thoughts on the matter. And to give us that amazing list

Aug 09

Daily Links for August 4th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

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  • Conspiracy Theories | Cracked.com – Conspiracy theorists divide the world into "Everyone even remotely involved/qualified vs. Me," and decide that they'll win single-handedly. They're like Rambo with bullshit instead of bullets.
  • Beer Calculus . homebrew recipe calculator – A calculator for home beer brewing.
  • Capitalism, Sarah Palin-style | Naomi Klein – So in a way, Palin was the last clear expression of capitalism-as-usual before everything went south. That's quite helpful because she showed us—in that plainspoken, down-homey way of hers—the trajectory the U.S. economy was on before its current meltdown. By offering us this glimpse of a future, one narrowly avoided, Palin provides us with an opportunity to ask a core question: Do we want to go there? Do we want to save that pre-crisis system, get it back to where it was last September? Or do we want to use this crisis, and the electoral mandate for serious change delivered by the last election, to radically transform that system? We need to get clear on our answer now because we haven’t had the potent combination of a serious crisis and a clear progressive democratic mandate for change since the 1930s. We use this opportunity, or we lose it.
  • The Existentialist Cowboy: How the CIA Created a Ruling, Corporate Overclass in America – Kangas' work is a classic. Kangas himself was found shot to death just outside the office of the infamous Richard Mellon Scaife –the man who bankrolled the dubious attempt to buy witnesses against Bill Clinton! It is more than a mere footnote to history, that not even Scaife's millions succeeded in "buying" a single witness against Clinton. But I digress. The story that Kangas might well have paid for with his life is nothing less than the role played by the CIA in the creation of a permanent ruling "overclass" in America.

    Stockman was right. Supply-side, otherwise called "trickle down" theory, was indeed a trojan-horse, about which it was known that it would create and support a class of oppressive oligarchs. Following is Kangas' essay in its entirety.

  • Google Maps Mania: Post Office Closings on Google Maps – Due to financial difficulties the US Postal Service is looking at closing post offices across the country. A list of nearly 700 potential closing candidates has been sent to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission for review.