Greece, Prosperity, and Taxes: The World will Come to See You.

image

I am on vacation in Athens, Greece.  Every food bill I received, and gifts from shops had around a 25% tax rate which, the people explained to me ‘nicely’, goes to the government.  It seems that people are very odds with the huge unemployment, high taxes, and forcing illegal immigrants out of the country.  I got all of this from the nice people, with which I spoke.  There were who seemed bitter and stand offish  there was also a bit, and I mean a bit, of visible hatred of anyone not from Greece, from the Turks, Pakistanis, all the way to the Jews. Man, that is xenophobic, and this is the birthplace and cradle of logic, and helped with the maturation of the Western civilization?!  From their perspective, I surmise, the local Greeks have to yield to the ‘foreigners’ because they do, in fact, gather a large sum from tourism, and the other aspect, or perspective, they must also loathe to have to yield jobs, even of their own profession, to foreigners.  I spoke to a Greek man, taxi driver, by trade, was a bar tender, and had a degree in hotel, restaurant and management.  In the states, he worked as a bartender, but his home was Greece, his parents Greek, but he said it was a tough market to get a job for hotels.  Now this man had been out of Greece for a while, worked in the U.S., and had a US foreigner accent.  He really liked to talk, and seemed nice.  Bar tending to a Cab Driver was a natural transition, and truth be told, he could probably go to the United States, and make more money verse the cost of living than he could in Greece, and as well, perform his occupation of choice.   I asked him why he stayed, and he said Greece was his home, and he loved it there.

So, while perusing through all of the ruins, looking at the sites, watching the tour groups, and the tour guides explaining these empty ruins, I pondered, wouldn’t it be amazing to see the people of ancient times dressed in their clothing of the times, interacting with each other through the ruins as though the tourists were not even there.  In effect, acting out scenes that perhaps took place thousands of years ago, echos of the past.  The picture above is from the Library of Hadian.  I thought why wouldn’t for starters, the government pay the people of the Arts and Sciences to go through scenes, such as basic interactions with a Librarian, studying in one corner, ignoring the world, and just reading and thinking, and in another corner of this library, there might be a quiet debate going on, in Greek of course, and through a translation application, any foreigner could hear their native language the interactions.  It could be ancient commoners, to known ancient people of the past acting out scenes like echos of the past, while tours just come up close and personal, pass by, even wave their hand in front of an actors hand, and he continues to act as if the tourists were not even there.

As this plan develops, I thought it would inspire not only the locals in their own rich culture, but, tourists to bathe in this once, pinnacle of civilization.  I got a great deal to come to Greece in the off season, but the streets were still not empty. The shops and restaurants had guests, but as one local restaurant family business owner who studied the field himself said, and I am paraphrasing, it’s a tough job in the off season trying to attract people into his restaurant, which had excellent food, by the way.

The plan develops further in my mind as I sit in the Library, it would be inspiring for the people of the nation to see guest appearances of their local representatives of government to see the government officials also take part in these acting events.  The founding fathers of the United States of America weren’t career politicians, they were agriculture, farmers, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, his father Spence Monroe was a moderately prosperous planter who also practiced carpentry.  People of their nation suspect their governments of terrible things, such as corruption, especially when they aren’t visible to the people constantly.  Appearing along side the people of their nation as commoners of a great society with a world of fascination and myths surrounding it, is like fodder for actors and play writes.  I also mentioned studies in the Arts and Sciences, well if   the people want, why not debate some elementary topics in the sciences in public forum, and if the professors and students of universities dressed in ancient traditional Greek garb, I think it would be amazing to add them into the ‘scene’ so to speak.

And, the final act, so to speak, of my plan ends with these productions going on year round  in cooperation with global exchange student university programs, of the finest caliber.  In addition, OK, so I am amending my final act, with attracting global play writes of note, not just of University, but of the major, well respected avenues of theater, such as Broadway, and the motion picture actors turning to the theater might want to give ‘this avenue’ a try first, as a sampling, and I bet this would flock people in droves year round.  Revenues from the University exchange programs, revenues from play writes actually paying royalties to use the archaeological sites, as well as more jobs, for cultural supervisors to oversee these programs, as well, as jobs for my taxi driver, because the once birth of logic will again become the maturation place of Education, the Arts, and Culture, as well as all the other good stuff that comes with it, such as revenue and jobs to help support this boom people going to Greece.  Oh, sorry, my taxi driver might want to go back to bar tending, and serve drinks to those university professors, students, and yeah, we still have to deal with those pesky tourists. 🙂  All the best Greece, and thank you for your generous, and most gracious hospitality. P.S. – To those students around the world, don’t be surprised if your wait listed here too!

 

A Successful On-line News Media Business Model

When I went to click on a Wall Street Journal tweet, the URL brought me to a registration page, just to read the article.  This is an inhibitor to reading any of their articles, especially on a mobile device.  I just looked for another tweet from another periodical without a registration process, and read a similar article, typically, with the same headline.  The New York Times, so far, in my opinion, has amazing business model backed by great, unique and insightful content. Simply, the New York Times Business Model for Subscriptions: The first 10 articles are free to view per month, and after that, a starter rate of . 99 cents.  After reading a few articles, and citing them, I was hitting my monthly limit in no time.  I took out the credit card and paid, after a few frustrating, “You’ve reached your limit”, page.  No brainer, and believe I am most likely to continue, at the normal rate, when the starter rate expires.  The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal want you to register BEFORE reading their articles, not even a preview.  The New York Times briefly experimented with showing the first paragraph of the article, then you must register.  Long story, short,  If the content is unique and insightful, you will be back for more, and more. I did a similar post on this subject when I contrasted the NYT verses the Financial Times. I am interested to review market news segmentations, e.g.  financial verses a general news periodical.  In this case, the Wall Street Journal tweet was a general news article, which I easily found another, similar article. Maybe the business model for financial periodicals have an alternate strategy?  I am not  buying it, in the literal or physical sense.  The New York Times Business Model just makes cents!

Mobile Memory Management Advantage: Multithreading in Android verse Apple iOS

I walked into an electronics store today in Athens where they proudly displayed the latest Mobile technology like the iPads (iOS), Android and Windows OS tablets, and as you enter the store, I believe roughly in that order. However they had iOS in front of the store, but MSFT translation terminals for inventory, transaction execution, etc., which is interesting politics, in itself.

Anyway, as I was leaving the store, collecting my US power converter, I noticed something I’ve seen dozens of times before especially in previous iOS versions, but the latest iOS still has its multithreading implementation with applications exiting to the main menu, but not quitting, therefore leaving a memory footprint, and the application at the very least, is in a low memory, idle CPU, and at the most, a potential for issues with consumption of the resources mentioned.  I’d suspect the application is still running in memory for notifications.

To the contrary, in the Android OS, you will typically have a quit application menu option; however, I don’t remember how they perform the notification process, think it runs as a separate thread, as a service, not Y application, which one may argue may take up more memory.  However not all applications are designed to provide notifications to the user, therefore not a one to one correlation of Android application to a service.  Apple iOS forces a memory footprint regardless. Inefficient resource management on a relatively resource constrained device.

Business Intelligence, Analogies, and Articulation of Data on Mediums

As I was reading the article from the New York Times, As Boom Lures App Creators, Tough Part Is Making a Living, the typical doom and gloom story about the get rich quick with creation of applications on Tablets is true of any start-up company, may it be a restaurant, clothing shop, or other.  You have idea, Sally has an idea, and so does Fred, and the likely hood everyone will be elated about every bar, restaurant, clothing store or application is ridiculous.   Simple economics, and opportunity cost, you cannot go to every restaurant in parallel every night.  One USD trades off an opportunity to spend it somewhere else.  One area I would suspect has massive opportunities in the coming weeks, months, and years is Business Intelligence, Analogies, and Articulation of Data on a Tablet medium.  Yes, it is true, there are established players in the marketplace, but being established also makes you less nimble for change.  Being able to look at a clients Data Warehouse, and create mediums for analogies expressing where there customers have been spending their money, why, and help predict trends in a KISS fashion to any level of a business organization is key.  That is why the innate talents of user interface, user interface engineering, or way back it was called industrial design.  In short, part of the appetite for corporate spending will always come from how do I make more money with the product I just bought, Return on Investment (ROI).  Business Intelligence is one area I have been studying for years, and as all people know, we all find it difficult to express, or analogize thoughts, and specifically, dive into ‘data’ and turn it into information a CEO, or business analyst can understand and turn that ‘information’ into a new marketing campaign, hence, business intelligence.  Until we can all read minds, and transfer like for like information, BI, and improving upon this space will be an area to derive income.

[dfads params=’groups=1177,1178&limit=1&orderby=random’]

Microsoft Surface, MacBook Pro, the MagSafe 2 Power Port, & Licensing

I checked out the Microsoft Surface in the Microsoft Store, and the new Microsoft Operating System is leaps and bounds beyond Windows 7, on par with the intuitiveness of Apple.  I recently purchased a MacBook Pro to replace my daughter’s old hand me down MacBook I had from January 2009.  It is awesome, I wanted another white one, but I am ok with the silver one as well.  Still the Apple OS is amazingly intuitive, and in many cases my 12 year old runs rings around me with knowing her Mac OS.  It’s the first time something like that happened.  I’ve been programming since I was 8 in original basic, and had a BBS when I was 12, program in 9+ computer languages, but my 9 year old put me in my place. It was a bit of a humbling experience, but I gave her a computer when she was 3, and she was using it like a champ then, so I should be proud, and am.  For my other daughter, she is a PC girl, nine years old, my little blond, my first is a brunette, and my son now is just over 1 1/2 another blond, my luck.  Tough guy too so far.  Anyway, We went into the Windows store and Eric, the sales representative, was very knowedgable about the OS.  I am a flurry with questions but tried to guide my nine year old, and shut my mouth, after all, it will be her PC/Tablet, with the cute little Keyboard.  I was initially worried about the physical design with respect to the keyboard, popping on and off, thought they were using some kind of classic interlink, cartridge like, locking mechanism, but the sales representative said they were using a magnetic locking mechanism.  So, slowly in my mind I thought about the power of the magnetics, interference with the display, electronics, and the half life of a weak magnetic, and came to the conclusion, if Apple could do it with their powering mechanism, although small, same physics should apply.  Further into the sales presentation, he showed me each of the ports, and wouldn’t you know it, powering the Surface Tablet also uses a similar technology of magnetics, same as the Apple, so after I was completely sold on getting my youngest daughter a Surface Tablet, despite small evolutionary, yet, I am sure, with progression, they would develop the obvious small features I would like to see, I was again, enamored with Microsoft, and that has not happened in a long time.  I’m already trying to pitch to my wife all the angles how to spend the money for the device.  Office is included in the Surface RT Tablet, so that’s a ~300 USD savings right there, I say to the guy, as I am trying out my own pitch to the wife.  Already lowers the price of the device, so I go home, and start thinking, I always knew there was some kind of Gentleman’s agreement between MSFT and Apple, and even saw the presence of that in an article.

Here was the bit, with all the lawsuits, why is Apple not suing Microsoft over the “MagSafe 2 Power Port” magnetic power outlet, from their specification? They must be either licensing the technology from Apple, right?  If not, there must be a major deviation in the specification of the port, although it clearly looks similar.  Anyway, it was just something to think about, because if Apple is not suing Microsoft, they are not officially licensing the port specification, and the magnetic powering specification is similar enough, then that seems to be a huge double standard between Apple and Samsung.  Thoughts?  Interestingly, the Windows Surface RT Specifications don’t even mention the power port as a feature where as Apple does highlight this feature, great feature by the way.

[dfads params=’groups=1177,1178&limit=1&orderby=random’]

Secure Digital Cards to Replace DVD and Blu-ray

Some of the SD card classes, and software copyright protection offer the ability to already replace DVDs, see SD Standard Overview » Speed Classand we are at the cusp of the most performance SD card being cost effective, and one may argue based on the highest specifications of the Blu-ray disk both in capacity and performance overcome, if not, equate the performance of the Blu-ray disk.  So why not the shift?  Well, one has to make new drives to manufacturer players, produce read only cards, and so on.   Also, why have the large player device all together? Many Televisions are equipped with inputs for SD, and even if they are not, there are very small readers today, which you could, add either infrared (IR), Bluetooth, or WiFi.  There’s the next generation.  I wouldn’t get to hung up on those Blu-ray disks for long.  I did have stock in SanDisk, but had to sell it to pay the bills.

Sovereignty of Government Laws Supersede Multinational Corporation Processes

Personally, I think it is tantamount to invasion of privacy without probable cause if the countries are allowed to sequestor information on a particular citizen.  Is there privacy any more, or is every word spoken and written word should be assumed to be of public note.  Should citizens then counteract with encryption algorithms which take even the most powerful computers days, if not months to decrypt?  It allows no freedom of speech, but after all we are not a singular society of laws, we are multiple societies of conflictional  laws that do not coalesce into a unilateral or singular personal privacy law.  Therefore, multinational corporate conglomerates, are subject to conflictional personal rights laws, which cannot be easily reconciled. Which laws of what land takes precedence, especially if a specific communication originates in one country with specific laws and the end of the communication ends in a country with opposite laws, which require ring fencing.  Unilateral personal rights laws across the globe are problematic to global conglomerates, and inhibit progress.  There is no precedence to these laws which span communications between countries.  Unfortunately, a global unity such as a legal body of personal privacy protection as well as the protection of sovereignties does not exist.   Maybe an ISO ruling under the U.N, should have teeth to agreed upon and enforce rights that protect both the individual, group, and sovereignty when precedents dictates,  These legal matters inhibit progress, for better or for worse,  Thanks to the New York Times title, which sparked my neurons, Governments Worldwide Asking Google to Hand Over More Data

Amendment (12/04/12):

After thinking this through, the ultimate conclusion is the Google / China effect, whereby to respect the locality rules of the sovereignty, e.g. ring fencing data, content ratings, export of data, a multinational corporation isn’t excused from those rules just because they are the biggest player and can muscle their way into the country forcing their own process upon the local society.  We’ve had too much of that in human history.  Therefore, if, for example Google has a centralized data center for all of Europe based out of the U.K., and the Island of Jersey off the coast has ring fencing rules whereby you must keep the data within the country of origin , so if both sender and receiver reside on the Island of Jersey, the data must remain on the island.  Google, or any other multinational has two choices, figure out how to abide by local laws, and implement them, or make the executive decision to exit the market, just as they did with China.  In China, another major player sprung up in Google’s place in this market, and perhaps even more may spawn in Google’s place.  It is simply the cost of doing business in that country.  In our Island of Jersey example, Google might be required to build a small data center just to house the Island of Jersey specific data, for ring fencing compliance, and man it as well.  The cost, Google might think, outweighs the reward for them.  Basic economics.  Other, perhaps smaller companies, may jump in to seize the opportunity, which the multinational Google, walked away from based on their assessment of doing business.  This creates opportunities for other companies and people.  In fact, the people promoting this advertising campaign of a free internet, such as the multinationals, probably have the most to loose by imposing their process against the government laws of a sovereign land.

Viewers can tweet when watching recorded shows on DVR if Opt-In for stats: Improving the Nielsen,SocialGuide Solution

It occurred to me that so many people want to be a part of the hash tagging of their shows, but typically watch on DVR.  Production and distribution thought the tags would lure watchers to change their watching habits, and for some it it did, but as a side effect, the core fan base may have dwindled, because it’s in fact a turn off, if people see the hash tag and are unable to engage with the fan base watching on DVR.  I would say allow tweets to be correlated to episode and scene if some users, because of their schedules are forced to watch on DVR.  Utilize the limit capabilities on fast forwarding, like the cable, on demand prime time shows, which allows for advertising, you still are able to keep a larger fan base  acquire advertising revenue, and keep the fan base engaged.  A website called Twitscoop accesses trends over time, so absolutely you can correlate a time index in a video clip to a tweet, and see what happened from the fans perspective, and even reply, and although delayed, some tweet replies to other fans could occur.

If the distribution networks and production companies want to collect information about what and when people watch certain shows, include demographics, but leave name out,  they can also allow for payback to the customer, if the customer ‘opts in’ to the collection of their key data points, such as when they watch what shows, correlate age groups, and advertising targeting can be used on DVR playback, e.g. a dollar off their cable bill, which is actually taken out of a general funded group from entertainment distribution and production companies, a conglomerate organization, which shares data across the group to access demographics on viewer history, e.g. Nelson +,

A press release actually put out by Nielson sparked the idea, or was it an article regarding the acquisition, I forget, but it seemed like the company they bought was only tracking active, real-time, tweets, not historical tweets.  Here is the press releaseNielsen, NM Incite Acquire SocialGuide

I quote from the press release:

“SocialGuide is a comprehensive, real-time social TV capture service covering programming across 232 U.S. TV channels in English and Spanish, and over 30,000 programs.  Built for linear TV, SocialGuide’s intelligent analytics and engagement platform provides insight on the social impact of TV, enabling networks to engage with the social fan base in realtime.”

Twitter Client to Sort by Score and Time: Floating Your Best Tweets to the Top

I seem to have used a tool to add Twitter users with criteria tweets.  I now have to go back and read through all the tweets and deside which users to keep and which to ditch.

Once that is done, there are still some Twitter users I value more then others, as they provide ‘better’ tweets with information such that I consistently click on their links and want to know their information first.

It would be ideal to have a Twitter client that allows the sorting of tweets by score, then by time, adding a metadata score value to each Twitter user followed.  I click the user’s tweet link their score goes up by X amount.  If I favorite their tweet, the user’s score goes up by Y amount, and if I re-tweets another user, the followed user’s score goes up by Z amount.  X, Y, Z are configurable.  If this tool exists, please give me a shout.

Disseminate from the noise of social media.

Today, an AI Application Can Take Action on Your Behalf: Good or Bad?

A neat idea, is if you give permission to a user for a specific action, an AI voice/text recognition programs could:

  • If your tagged ‘best friend’ texts you, let’s go out tonight, and your work calendar setup for parameters 8 AM to 7 PM, and both you and your ‘best friend’ are tagged as liking a restaurant, or have a frequent geography tag to a specific location, given permission to a calendar, AI may automatically call ahead a restaurant, and book a reservation, or email the resturant with the reservation.  Given permission, the AI, would also provide a preferred credit card to hold the reservation.
  • If you give the voice/text AI recognition program a spending limit, and you have a profile of a person on file, it’s their birthday, the AI program can automatically purchase something for the person, e.g. an e-card from a ‘preferred store’, or ‘reading’ the person’s profile, may dynamically send a gift using their preferences, using your preferred credit card on file, and get it to the person on time.
  • Based on your current Geo-tagged location, AI can suggest you attend a bar/restaurant based on you’re bosses, or on your pursued romantic interlude checkins; to increases your odds of promotion or romantic interlude, or both.

The ideas are endless what AI can do, the technology is out there, the rules, APIs, and applications are to be built on top of the AI APIs.  We live in an incredible, yet scary time. It’s important to set parameters, but one rule, one order of precedence, one parameter can make or break careers, relationships, and so on.  Tread carefully.  We are only human.