How do you cay ‘Schadenfreude’ in English? ROFL
The young senator from Texas has been on the job for about 100 days, but he has already turned upside down the Senate’s ancient seniority system and is dominating his senior Republican colleagues. He’s speaking for them on immigration, guns and any other topic that tickles his fancy; Republican leaders are seething at being outshone yet are terrified of challenging him.
When we think of design, we usually imagine things that are chosen because they are designed. Vases or comic books or architecture…
It turns out, though, that most of what we make or design is actually aimed at a public that is there for something else. The design is important, but the design is not the point. Call it "public design"…
Marc Andresseen, the kingmaker of Silicon Valley, is fond of pointing out that “software is eating the world.” Google’s recent purchase of Channel Intelligence, a data management platform for retailer inventory, underscores its unstated, Borg-like goal of slowly gobbling up every industry it encounters.
The battle over the sequester has sparked a corollary argument over the proper role of pundits in assigning blame in political standoffs of this type. A number of us have argued that the facts plainly reveal that Republicans are far more to blame than Obama and Democrats for the current crisis. The GOP’s explicit position is that no compromise solution of any kind is acceptable — this must be resolved only with 100% of the concessions being made by Democrats — which means any compromise Dems put forth is by definition a nonstarter at the outset.
Analysts reluctant to embrace this conclusion — an affliction I’ve called the “centrist dodge” — have adopted several techniques. One is to pretend Dems haven’t offered any compromise solution, when in fact they have. A second is to argue that, okay, Dems have offered a compromise while Republicans haven’t, but Dems haven’t gone far enough towards the middle ground, so both sides are still to blame for the impasse. The problem with this dodge is that it fails to acknowledge that Republicans themselves have openly stated that there is no distance to which Dems could go to win GOP cooperation, short of giving them everything they want.
We’re now seeing a third technique appear: Acknowledge that Republicans are the uncompromising party, but assert that it’s ultimately on the President to figure out a way to either force Republicans to drop their intransigence or to otherwise “lead” them out if it.
Case in point: David Brooks. Last week Brooks was widely criticized for a “pox on both house” column in which he based his entire argument on the falsehood that Obama has no plan. Brooks repented for his error, and today he offers a good faith effort to describe what he’d like Obama to do to change things. It boils down to this:
My dream Obama wouldn’t be just one gladiator in the zero-sum budget wars. He’d transform the sequester fight by changing the categories that undergird it. He’d possess the primary ingredient of political greatness: imagination. The great presidents, like Teddy Roosevelt, see situations differently. They ask different questions. History pivots around their terms.
I’ll leave it to you to decide whether the prescriptions Brooks offers would really change the current dynamic, but at bottom, the suggestion that it’s all on the president to figure out a way to persuade Republicans to drop their intransigence is still a dodge.
If a consumer were to read your instructions first before purchasing, would they still buy your product? Very few product companies pay close attention to the User Manual and the effects it can have on the brand experience.So, where do you start when rethinking this part of your product?
One of the most profound pieces of political journalism I’ve read in years. It actually struck a hopeful chord inside me that I thought might have moved beyond reach.
One afternoon last month, I paid a visit to two young Republicans named Bret Jacobson and Ian Spencer, who work in a small office in Arlington, Va., situated above an antique store and adjacent to a Japanese auto shop. Their five-man company, Red Edge, is a digital-advocacy group for conservative causes, and their days are typically spent designing software applications for groups like the Heritage Foundation, the Republican Governors Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Lately, however, Jacobson and Spencer have taken up evangelizing — and the sermon, delivered day after day to fellow conservatives in the form of a 61-point presentation, is a pitiless we-told-you-so elucidation of the ways in which Democrats have overwhelmed Republicans with their technological superiority.
But the handful of conservatives who attended the conference this past November were in no mood to sneer. One was Patrick Ruffini, a 34-year-old leader of the G.O.P.’s young-and-restless digerati. At RootsCamp, his breathless tweets of the sessions held by top Obama organizers — “In eight years, calling people will be obsolete”; “Digital organizing director and field director will be one and the same” — set off a buzz among Republican techies. Ruffini was plainly impressed by the openness of the experience. “I’m like, Wow, they’re doing this in front of 2,000 people, and the system seems to actually work,” he told me a month later. “The thing I was struck by at RootsCamp was that in many ways, the Democratic technology ecosystem has embraced the free market — whereas the Republican one sort of runs on socialism, with the R.N.C. being the overlord.”
Many young conservatives also said that technological innovation runs at cross-purposes with the party’s corporate rigidity. “There’s a feeling that Republican politics are more hierarchical than in the Democratic Party,” Ben Domenech, a 31-year-old blogger and research fellow at the libertarian Heartland Institute, told me. “There are always elders at the top who say, ‘That’s not important.’ And that’s where the left has beaten us, by giving smart people the space and trusting them to have success. It’s a fundamentally anti-entrepreneurial model we’ve embraced.”
But, I asked Plouffe, wasn’t the G.O.P. just one postmodern presidential candidate — say, a Senator Marco Rubio — away from getting back into the game?
Pouncing, he replied: “Let me tell you something. The Hispanic voters in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico don’t give a damn about Marco Rubio, the Tea Party Cuban-American from Florida. You know what? We won the Cuban vote! And it’s because younger Cubans are behaving differently than their parents. It’s probably my favorite stat of the whole campaign. So this notion that Marco Rubio is going to heal their problems — it’s not even sophomoric; it’s juvenile! And by the way: the bigger problem they’ve got with Latinos isn’t immigration. It’s their economic policies and health care. The group that supported the president’s health care bill the most? Latinos.”
In a rational world, a new study that came out today on income equality would constitute a major blow to the GOP argument on the sequester.
The new study was performed by Thomas Hungerford of the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. Though the study is not a CRS product, Hungerford’s data is widely cited on both sides; he’s an impeccably objective analyst.
Here’s what Hungerford found: The single greatest driver of income inequality over a recent 15 year period was runaway income from capital gains and dividends.
There are several ways to conceive of a computer program to simulate conversational ability. You might think that you would just design such a program by coding the rules of syntax and coupling this with a good general vocabulary. But syntax is an extremely difficult thing to pin down, and there are so many nuances in any language – especially English – that the task can be overwhelming. Moreover, Christian says, “lossy data compression” inherently characterizes human language, because we can never entirely convey our thoughts with words, always losing some of the data. In a face to face conversation, in fact, we make some of this up with body language and tone of voice, and he cites the “7-38-55” rule, which captures scientists’ best estimates that 55% of the meaning in a face to face conversation is conveyed with body language, 38% with tone of voice, and just 7% with the actual words and grammar chosen.
The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month.
The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission has rattled the $178 billion wireless industry, which has launched a fierce lobbying effort to persuade policymakers to reconsider the idea, analysts say. That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from Google, Microsoft and other tech giants who say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark an explosion of innovations and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor.
Ecommerce businesses that sell at the top valuation in marketplace are not the ones where owner invested the last year or two of their time preparing the business and it’s systems for sale. In reality, they are the businesses where the owner has planned, created and perfected the auto-pilot systems over the entire life of his or her business. These businesses are the ones that are run by the systems and are not dependent on the owner.
One of the eCommerce businesses I have recently listed has many characteristics of a systems based business. This absentee owner owns and operates highly profitable B2B and B2C eCommerce businesses in the US that is run by only few employees and generates millions of dollars in revenue. Products are shipped to his warehouse from suppliers in US and Asia. Owner lives out of country and manages all operations with an integrated “cloud based” infrastructure providing ecommerce, ERP, Financials, and Customer Support applications under a single architecture.
In his hugely successful book The EMyth Revisited – Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, author Michael Gerber shares significance of Turn-Key Revolution. Turn-Key Revolution is a way of doing business that has the power to dramatically transform any small business from a condition of chaos and disease to a condition of order, excitement, and continuous growth. It is the Turn-Key Revolution that provides us with that illusive key to the development of an extraordinary business; the ultimately balanced model of a business that works.
Now that Republicans are trying to use the threat of the sequester to extract other spending cuts, they have backed off this rhetoric, since it would reveal their case to be untenable: If the sequestered spending cuts threaten dire harm to the economy, wouldn’t replacing them with other cuts do the same? At the same time, they are now claiming that the economic contraction validates their push for these new cuts.
But Republicans are unambiguously on the record previously saying that the sequestered cuts do threaten to damage the economy — which is to say, they have admitted spending cuts will imperil the recovery. Which is to say that they have confirmed what yesterday’s news of the economic contraction reminds us. And so even if it’s true that the public won’t necessarily perceive the contraction in these terms, those of us who are writing about this should note clearly that the contraction does, in fact, validate Obama’s claim that we should not offset the sequester only with deep and damaging spending cuts. Republicans themselves have essentially confirmed it.
Gmail user Kevin Gunn creates web site specific addresses and sets up filters for them to catch companies who spam or sell email addresses of its customers:
Let’s say you need to sign up for a mailing list that interests you, but you’re afraid spammers might get your address. We’ll call the list "exoticflowers". Sign up with the list using the address "email@example.com". Email to that address will still come to your "firstname.lastname@example.org" address even though the "To:" will include that "+exoticflowers" in it.
Then set up Gmail filters to shuttle that +exoticflowers email past the inbox to a specific label. Neat.
In dismissing the administration’s offer to resolve the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Sen. Graham referred to the “imminent bankruptcy” of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
We have warned before that politicians in both parties are guilty of misusing such phrases as “bankruptcy” or “broke” when talking about Medicare. But Graham hits the trifecta here — Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. We take no position on whether the White House’s proposals are adequate, but what’s he talking about?
In his seven-decade career, Dave Brubeck was both an artistic and a commercial success, a pianist and composer who expanded the musical landscape and who crossed other borders as one of the world’s foremost ambassadors of jazz.
He had an inventive style that brought international music into the jazz mainstream, but he was more than a musical innovator: He was an American original.
Oscar Niemeyer, widely regarded as the foremost Latin American architect of the last century, brought a daring and dramatic approach to public-works design through his glass cathedrals, cantilevered roofs and ovular-shaped buildings.
Weeks of international intrigue about the whereabouts of tech millionaire John McAfee ended Tuesday after the Internet pioneer made an elementary digital mistake that highlighted the fraught relationship Americans have with what they once quaintly called “the telephone.”
That homely communication tool, wired into walls everywhere for the better part of a century, has become an untethered e-mailer, browser, banker, shopper, movie viewer, music player and — to an extent that few appreciate — digital spy of extraordinary power.
Zeke Emanuel: The war of words in Washington around entitlement reform frequently falls into diametrically opposed camps: those who are for leaving the social safety-net untouched, and those who aim to re-make the nature of these benefits. However, those of us who see this safety net as indispensable need a plan to preserve these programs to meet the purpose for which they were designed, for generations.
Real entitlement reform requires changing how every actor in the system—from providers of health care equipment to doctors to hospitals and Medicare beneficiaries—interact with Medicare. For businesses that sell hospital beds, wheelchairs or artificial limbs; companies that perform laboratory tests, and do other things; and other providers, we should stop having the government set prices and let the market work. Having these companies compete on quality and price would incentivize them to be more efficient. Market-based price settings used in the Affordable Care Act have seen savings of more than 40 percent and should be expanded as the standard practice.
For doctors and hospitals, Medicaid and Medicare should stop paying them fees for service which incentivizes them to do more — and often unnecessary — tests and treatments. Payment should be changed to episode (or so-called bundled) payment or global capitation, which motivates doctors and hospitals to focus on intervening before patients get sick and using tests and treatments that are endorsed by professional standards. Preliminary efforts in this area suggest savings of about 10 percent.
The program should also change how seniors pay for their care. Establishing out-of-pocket limits in Medicare would protect extremely sick seniors from paying high costs. First-dollar coverage should be prohibited for high-income seniors. Finally, wealthier seniors should pay more for their Medicare coverage for office visits.
These three changes are true entitlement reform – reform that actually modernizes Medicare and reduces the federal budget deficit. These reforms change the payment and incentives of everyone involved, and most importantly, they focus attention not on using more services but on keeping Medicare beneficiaries healthy and on using necessary services, thereby avoiding services that are wasteful but enrich providers.