My global power prediction comes to fruition – unfortunately, Men in the stacks and Steve Jobs and the Apple logo

October 27, 2011

Hello again!

Before I start – PEOPLE –  I received some feedback from my last blog on sovereign debt, but I can’t identify you and I don’t understand what you are writing. Please write to me in English – with more than two words – and I’ll be able to respond. If you don’t do this, I will be forced to delete your comments because I can’t authorise them for publication. I await your return because everyone is allowed to have a say; however this blog is moderated by me. My words are my opinion – and mine only.

In my book which was published in 2010 (page 66), I wrote: “……..the global picture map of power and control and financial (in)stability is changing radically in a short space of time. As these economic powerhouses alter, we see a new takeover bid for domination by those who have waited patiently, watching as the global economy quietly unravels itself – only just under the control of the Central Banks.  The contributors to these changes are counterparty default swaps (via the banks)………The distressed or toxic debts accrue, exploding, systemically crushing, bringing everything down with them in their path like a volcano. Meltdown indeed is the best description for the destruction that still occurs………..The vulture funds were waiting for them and no region is unaffected by these changes in the global economy…….etc”.   I knew there were predators waiting to take over the fall of the West when the time was ripe.  That time has now arrived by the look of it, except – they didn’t need to become predators or vultures. I have to say I was totally shocked by the turn of events where the EU has had to go cap-in-hand to China for assistance with its Euro bailout. Also – my words written at least 3 years ago for this book have come back to haunt me. On top of this,  Sarkozy says we shouldn’t have allowed the Greeks into the EU in the first place. How about shutting the doors after the horse has bolted. Look at what else we have in the EU that’s on shaky ground that could threaten again. (another day) the subject is too big.

I’d already seen this in an American publication, had a look and then looked away, but the Guardian took up the issue of this charity calendar which almost mirrors one first started by the Womens’ Institute, where they were photographed in various forms of undress using props to hide their nudity. Well – now it’s the boys turn. Librarians checked out in ‘Men of the Stacks’ calendar, and of course the Guardian just couldn’t resist publishing a picture of the guy who took all of his kit off. No – I’m not putting the picture here; if you’re that curious – you check out the article.

When is a tribute turned into plagiarism? When you create a logo that looks like the Apple one? Jonathan Mak created this image (I’m not going to post it here) because I think he’s possibly plagiarised (that’s why he’s terrified). If nothing else, he’s got himself a good few job offers (that’s why he’s excited).  Entrepreneurship/Enterprising capabilities anyone? I’m still mulling where the line is……..

Finally, another acknowledgement of the dead: Steve Jobs – rest in peace, and thank so much for what you gave to the world.  Here’s my version of an apple, courtesy of ehdwallpapers. And there’s other great images on the web site too.

Bye for now – back soon.


Credit ratings and sovereign debt, the FT and using your dark side for good

September 26, 2011

Hello again!

We are going to take a brief look at a new topic which has been widely reported. Credit rating agencies and sovereign debt. Recently Standard & Poor’s downgraded America to AA+ from its very precious AAA credit rating, which was a severe blow to the US. Italy has suffered with the same problem, and (to state the obvious) so has Greece, and it’s all down to the amount of government borrowings (sovereign debt) that each country has accrued. It affects a country’s ability to borrow more money and more importantly – it can and might well do in the near future – bring down other countries with it if it were to default on its’ borrowings, so a less than perfect AAA credit rating is a much higher borrowing/lending risk and a cause for concern.  The European Banking Authority has published a 2011 EU-wide stress testing exercise and the BIS has produced its September Quarterly Review, showing a weaker outlook for the economic climate. At the Business Insider they have published a list of the Euro banks’ exposure (derived from the BIS) if Greece defaults on its debt. Business Insider are also following the Goldman Sachs elevator tweets. Here’s one of the latest in this highly entertaining saga, which I am following.

I have been a registered user of the FT e-version for a quite a while now, and was very pleasantly surprised to receive a new e-mail service from them this week. It’s called the Best of the FT – and it’s a new-look monthly newsletter for registered users. It’s free – of course – or I wouldn’t highlight it for you. The FT says “This issue we spotlight the FT Trading Room, highlight the FT’s Future of Banking Global Banking in depth series and showcase the very latest FT special reports.
Plus latest FT headlines, hidden gems and must-reads.” Register yourself and enjoy all the reports that are provided from a diverse selection of articles, special reports, banking and finance, luxury goods, country reports and much more. KPMG has been selected to lead the probe into the UBS trading scandal. I read it in the FT.

I have previously written about LifeHacker because I have learned so much from reading this particular blog. Back in August there was an article called  How to use your dark side for good, written by Adam Dachis. The article takes us through many ways to put us (the good guys) at an advantage when we are at the potential mercy of the bad guys. Adam says “For example, it’s unquestionably useful to understand whether you’re a good victim and what makes you a good target. If you know why you’re being selected by the bad guys as a good mark, you can look at the different methods they may use and consider how you can counteract them.”  He’s used some good visual examples (Pinnochio and the not-so-friendly bunnies from Wallace & Gromits’ The Wererabbit, for instance.

Finally Guido Fawkes highlights a Sara Teather stand-up routine at conference, that was so not funny it was just sheer embarrassment, and it made me cringe. I should stick to politics if I were her, because comedy is definitely not her forte.

That’s all for now. Back again soon.

 


The “Google Generation” of researchers, the legacy of Project Gutenberg and the ultimate insult

September 9, 2011

Hello again, I did say I’d be back again quite soon – and here I am.

I have just responded to a colleague on Twitter who couldn’t locate a specific article, and it’s a bit of an eye-opener, even though it doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.

Once upon a time I took a contract position in a University teaching information literacy – which included beginners to advanced Internet research as one of the topics. It was a popular module and well attended by the students, but the first time I taught this particular topic, I was expecting the students to wipe the floor with me, after all – this is THEIR generation – isn’t it? They didn’t – far from it. I sparked their imagination with the huge array of search strategies and tools for the job at hand. The article I sent to my colleague is about a report sponsored by JISC and the British Library entitled The “Google Generation” not so hot at Googling , after all and it’s written by Nate Anderson.

How’s this for a front cover? If they wanted shock factor – they achieved it. That’s just horrid!

The report is called: Information behaviour of the researcher of the future, and you’ve got the url to read this fascinating study for yourself. But I liked Nate Anderson’s comments about plagiarism and instant gratification because it mirrors a blog about young employees searching Google to sort out their corporate tech problems instead of calling the help desk. ServiceDesk360 posted the blog Young employees ignore helpdesk, search Google instead. Bomgar, who researched this corporate behaviour, says these employees are known as “Millennials”. Hmmmm…..I could call them something but it wouldn’t necessarily be “Millennial”.

The founder of Project Gutenberg , Michael S Hart, passed away recently. If you don’t know what Project Gutenberg is – you may be reading the wrong blog. Apparently there are 37,000 e-books freely available and that is a sheer amazing  legacy to leave to the world.  An article in The Atlantic says: “In an obituary on the Project Gutenberg website, Hart is remembered for the depth of his commitment to literacy. But the early texts speak to a core civic hope that is related but distinct: that there is power in ideas and that by spreading them we could make this country better. Sure, the number-one most downloaded book on the site is, by a long shot, the Kama Sutra, with more than 25,000 downloads. But Michael S. Hart, and by association his project, were about something much bigger than that.”  Thank you so much Mr Hart for leaving such a great legacy to the world;  rest in peace.

The Ultimate Insult has arrived in the form of an article twittered by another colleague Arthur Weiss.  This time I am definitely not at a loss for words. Disgraceful!  How dare the US government and their “security logistics” tactics get in the way by banning firefighting heroes from attending such an important event – and on the 10th anniversary of this sad occasion. They lost people too. This is unbelievably disrespectful. Firefighters – ignore all and do as Arthur says: Just turn up anyway.

9/11 – show some respect and include the firefighters.

You may or may not know that I have data coming in from quite a range of resources, including those from MI5 and the FBI. The FBI has a Gotcha section and recently they highlighted Operation Double O. I cannot believe anyone could be stupid enough to carry out a robbery, blow their nose and then leave a dirty tissue for forensics to play with the DNA.  Have a look at the podcast.

There’s more to come – but I’ll leave you with this for now. Back again soon.