Comment on Ruby Gettinger: Where is she now and what does she weigh? by Dawn        
My highest weight was 330 lbs. That was my "bottom" as they say. I decided that I wanted to loose weight and I did. I made some lifestyle changes that I will have to follow the rest of my life. Diets don't work because they imply that you deprive yourself, get down to your goal weight and it's over HA! that's just the beginning. If you don't change what got you to 330 in the first place you are just going to go there again. No soda, lots of water and small meals more frequently spaced out no more than four hours and you will see results. Everyone knows what they need to do. You don't need to spend money on books diet centers or anything like that. If you want to spend money invest in a gym membership, but you don't even really NEED to do that as well. Good luck peoples :)
          Executive Director of Strategic Plan Initiatives & Government & Community Relations        
MO-Saint Louis, St. Louis Community College is a multi-campus district comprised of four campuses and six satellites serving 718 square miles of St. Louis city and county and portions of Jefferson and Franklin counties. The college employs over 3,000 full and part time faculty, administrators, staff, and student employees. One of the most rewarding things about working at St. Louis Community College is the chance
          Administrative Assistant - Investments        
CA-Mountain View, JOB SUMMARY Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Investments, the Administrative Assistant supports a small and highly collaborative team that oversees and administers $8 billion of charitable capital. The Assistant is responsible for day-to-day administration of department workflow across numerous investment relationships, and serves as primary liaison between the foundation’s controller, co
          Hospice Registered Nurse        
MultiLocation, At Community Health Network, we attract experienced Home Care and Home Hospice RN's who love their work, but want more options in their work life. Community Health Network can fit your career into your life by providing you with the choices of when and where to work and the flexibiity to change that with life's demands. We are a nursing Staffing Agency specializing in Hospice and Home Care for ove
          Program Director        
CA-Woodland, Yolo Community Care Continuum is a nonprofit mental health agency serving Yolo and Placer counties. This is a full-time exemption position and salary will start at $42,281.34-$44,395.39/yr plus benefits pay and annual leave and sick time off. To apply you must have a master’s degree in psychology, social work, or counseling; intern status with the Board of Behavioral Sciences or license eligible p
          Associate - Legal        
MA-Boston, Overview: Are you passionate about criminal justice reform? Are you interested in working in a fast-paced environment with a tenacious group of big-thinking, results-focused, talented colleagues? Are you looking for a job where you can have real, system-level impact? The Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) at Community Resources for Justice (CRJ) is seeking a high-performing individual with strong p
          Comment on SELRS at the Lake – SELRS Update by Katrina Kellner        
Can't wait for the next SELRS workshop!!!
          Comment on Infusing Value in Supply – SELRS Update by Angie Dedrick        
Wow, fantastic work! Bravo to the SELRS Facilitators, Guiding Group and the GFSA Animators for bringing some clarity to our very confusing and frustrating food system. It gives me great hope to see this work!
          Comment on Chronicle of a Mountain Permaculture Community Garden by Margarita        
excellent, nice work, if the government is not going to take initiative then it is in our hands to secure our future!
          By: Anon        
@ Hap "Chances are better I will keep my job in big pharma" Unfortunately this statement isn't in keeping with my personal experience. I know personally four people who have either discovered drugs or clinical candidates. Three are no longer at their respective companies with 2/3 of those being involuntary. Let's be real, at the end of the day it's all about who can brown nose the best with the decision makers. Generally lab rats who make tons of compounds don't do that well in that regard. As for working at start ups the only reason I see is being a larger part of the process. That's part a monetary thing and part how much control you get over your ideas.
          Beaufort County computer recycle events set        
BEAUFORT, S.C (OS) — The next Beaufort County Public Works Department Solid Waste and Recycling Office free electronics recycling events for county residents will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations on Dec. 5: Beaufort County Public Works, 9 Benton Field Road, Bluffton Beaufort County Public Works, 140 Shanklin Road, […]
          ASAHI INDIA GLASS LTD ANNOUNCES UNAUDITED FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED 30TH JUNE, 2017        
by Shrutee K/DNS

New Delhi – AIS (Asahi India Glass Ltd.), India’s leading integrated glass Company announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended    30th June, 2017 at its Board Meeting.

The consolidated financial performance highlights for the quarter ended 30th June, 2017 are as follows -

Sales (inclusive of Excise Duty) at Rs. 670.98 crores, reflected an increase of 8.60% over the previous period (Rs. 617.84 crores).

Operating EBIDTA i.e. Operating Earnings before Interest, Depreciation, Taxes and Amortisation was recorded at Rs. 109.85 crores registering an increase of 7.89% over the corresponding figure of Rs. 101.82 crores for the previous period.

Cash profit increased by 19.94% from Rs. 66.65 crores in Q4 FY 2016 to Rs. 79.94 crores in Q4 FY 2017.

PBT increased by 25.67% from Rs. 46.08 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 57.91 crores in Q1 FY2018.

PAT increased by 38.33% from Rs. 28.33 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 39.19 crores in Q1 FY2018.

The table below gives the details of the financial performance both on standalone and consolidated basis –  

AIS – Financial Results for the first quarter ended 30th June, 2017
(Rs. Lakhs)
Particulars
Standalone
Consolidated
2017
2016
Change (%)
2017
2016
Change (%)
Sales
65,891
61,022
7.98
67,098
61,784
8.60
Operating EBIDTA
11,314
10,427
8.51
10,985
10,182
7.89
Cash Profit
8,329
6,923
20.31
7,994
6,665
19.94
Profit Before Tax
6,202
4,963
24.96
5,791
4,608
25.67
Profit after Tax
4,145
3,058
35.55
3,919
2,833
38.33


We have also implemented some operational upgrades in our float glass plant at Roorkee leading to productivity increases from the next quarter. We also welcome the new regulations & standards from the government for architectural glass which shall be beneficial to everyone in the long term. As required by law, we have migrated to the new IndAS method of accounting and therefore, our results have been restated this quarter with minor upside on PAT coming from positives in depreciation.  Overall, we continue to look forward to consistent growth in auto and architectural segments as well as a stable macro environment.”

About AIS:
Asahi India Glass Ltd. (AIS) is a joint venture between the Labroo family, Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. of Japan, and Maruti Suzuki India Limited. AIS began operations in 1987.
AIS, today, is a leading integrated glass company in India, manufacturing a wide range of international quality automotive safety glass, float glass and architectural processed and value added glass. AIS operates under three strategic business units (SBUs), namely, Auto Glass, Architectural Glass and Consumer Glass.
Auto Glass is India's largest manufacturer of world class automotive safety glass and is, in fact, one of the largest in the field in Asia. It is the sole supplier to almost all the OEMs and has a market share of approx. 77 per cent in the Indian passenger car industry.
Architectural Glass is formed as a result of management merger of Float & Glass Solutions (Processed Glass) SBUs. This SBU manufactures quality float glass and deploys an extensive network of 4 zonal offices and over 1000 distributors. It also markets a wide range of AGC products in India as its distribution partner.
Consumer Glass SBU is Company’s interface with end users for its range of automotive and architectural glass offerings. Impeccable, customized and consumer centric solutions is the key differentiator of Consumer Glass SBU. It includes GlasXperts – a retail initiative in the Architectural Glass segment and Windshield Experts which is India’s only automotive glass repair & replacement specialist.

          Union Bank of India Announces Excellent Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017         
Highlights  of  Union Bank of India's Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017  

CASA     25.1 per cent YoY
Non Interest Income      `  ` 1414 crore  (up 36 per cent YoY) 
Savings Deposit     27.6 per cent YoY
Operating Profit     ` ` 2057 crore (up 26.5 per cent YoY) 
CASA Share      35.5 per cent 
Net Profit        ` 117 crore (up 7.3 per cent QoQ) 
RAM* Sector      14.8 per cent YoY
CRAR       12.01 per cent 
RAM* Share       55.4 per cent
Tier I      9.24 per cent 

 The growth in Deposits was driven by Savings Deposits, which grew by 27.6 per cent on YoY basis.
 
 Cost to income ratio improved to 43.79 per cent against 48.28 per cent on YoY basis.

 Capital Adequacy Ratio (Basel III) improved to 12.01 per cent compared to 10.75 per cent a year ago. * (Retail, Agriculture & MSME share in domestic advances) 

Business
Global Business grew by 10.5 per cent to `670971 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `607280 crore as on June 30, 2016. Domestic business grew by 10.0 per cent to `635233 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `577473 crore as on June 30, 2016.  Total deposit of the bank grew from `338727 crore as on June 30, 2016 to `375796 crore as on June 30, 2017 showing growth of 10.9 per cent. 
Financial Results for the Quarter ended June 30, 2017 
                                            
CASA deposits grew by 25.1 per cent to `133412 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `106604 crore as on June 30, 2016.   CASA share in total deposits improved to 35.5 per cent as on June 30, 2017 compared to 31.5 per cent as on June 30, 2016. Average CASA ratio also increased by 430 basis points (bps) to 33.5 per cent on YoY basis.  Savings Deposit registered YoY growth of 27.6 per cent.  A total of 8.70 lakh CASA accounts were opened during April-June 2017, out of which 8.38 lakh were Savings Bank Accounts (excl. BSBDA/BSBDS accounts).   The Bank’s Global Advances grew by 9.9 per cent (YoY) to `295175 crore as on June 30, 2017 from `268553 crore as on June 30, 2016.  Due to encouraging growth of 14.8 per cent in RAM (Retail, Agriculture & MSME) sector, Domestic Advances increased by 9.4 per cent from `242935 crore as on June 30, 2016 to `265683 crore as on June 30, 2017. 


Financial Performance for the quarter ended June 2017

Domestic Net Interest Margin (NIM) stood at 2.20 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 2.36 per cent for April -June 2016. Global NIM for April -June 2017 stood at 2.06 per cent as against 2.27 per cent for January-March 2017 quarter. It was 2.28 per cent a year ago.    Yield on funds stood at 6.94 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 7.94 per cent for April-June 2016 and 7.35 per cent for January-March 2017.   Cost of funds stood at 5.03 per cent for April -June 2017 as against 5.82 per cent for April-June 2016 and 5.24 per cent for January-March 2017.  Net Interest Income for April-June 2017 increased by 6.7 per cent to `2243 crore from `2103 crore for April-June 2016. It was `2387 crore during January-March 2017.  Non Interest Income for April-June 2017 stood at `1414 crore, showing increase of 36.0 per cent over April-June 2016.   Operating profit increased by 26.5 per cent to `2057 crore during April-June 2017 over `1626 crore during April-June 2016 and was `2134 crore during January-March 2017.  Net Profit for April-June 2017 sequentially increased to `117 crore from `109 crore in January-March 2017.  Cost to income ratio improved to 43.79 per cent for April -June 2017 from 48.28 per cent for April-June 2016 and it was 44.32 per cent for January-March 2017.  Return on average assets (annualised) stood at 0.10 per cent for April-June 2017 as against 0.17 per cent for April-June 2016 and 0.10 per cent for January-March 2017.  Return on equity (annualised) stood at 2.46 per cent in April -June 2017 as against 3.36 per cent for April -June 2016 and 2.27 per cent for January-March 2017.  Earnings per share (annualised) stood at `6.78 in April -June 2017 as against `9.69 for April -June 2016 and `6.33 for January-March 2017.

Asset Quality
Gross NPA stood at 12.63 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 11.17 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 10.16 per cent as on June 30, 2016.   Net NPA ratio stood at 7.47 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 6.57 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 6.16 per cent as on June 30, 2016.  Provision Coverage Ratio stood at 51.13 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 51.41 per cent as on March 31, 2017. It was 49.99 per cent as on June 30, 2016.  

Capital Adequacy

Capital Adequacy ratio of the Bank under Basel III improved to 12.01 per cent as on June 30, 2017 as against 11.79 per cent as on March 31, 2017 and 10.75 per cent as on June 30, 2016 compared to minimum regulatory requirement of 10.25 per cent.  The Tier I ratio as of June 30, 2017 is 9.24 per cent, within which Common Equity Tier 1 ratio is 7.73 per cent compared to regulatory minimum of 6.75 per cent. 

Digital Initiatives

The Bank has been pioneer in taking various digital initiatives and continuously launched various digital products for enhancing the customer services. Following are some of the key achievements during the quarter:
 66 per cent growth in mobile banking users on YoY basis.  U-Mobile transaction volume doubled from June 2016.  90 per cent growth in number of PoS terminals on YoY basis.  7th largest presence in banking industry and 3rd largest presence amongst all PSU banks within short span of time in Social media.  Trendsetter on Social media channels by taking various initiatives like Live streaming, Digital Education Series – #KyaAapJanteHai etc.   67 per cent share of “transactions through digital channels” in “overall transactions”. 

Financial Inclusion:

Under the Pradhan Manrti Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the the Bank has more than 69 lakh accounts having a balance of `1270 crore.   48.91 lakh Rupay Card issued under PMJDY as on June 30, 2017.

Total enrollment under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APJ) increased to 30.1 lakh, 12.8 lakh and 2.21 lakh respectively.  The Bank financed `696 crore in 33433 accounts under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, including an amount of `211 crore to 7964 beneficiaries through a specific scheme for financing of light commercial vehicle during April–June 2017. 

Network

The Bank has 4286 branches as of June 30, 2017 including 4 overseas branches at Hong Kong, DIFC (Dubai), Antwerp (Belgium) and Sydney (Australia). In addition, the Bank has representative offices at Shanghai, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. The Bank also operates in United Kingdom through its wholly owned subsidiary, Union Bank of India (UK) Ltd.   Total number of ATMs stood at 7574 including 1685 talking ATMs as of June 30, 2017. ATM to branch ratio stood at 1.77. 

Awards & Accolades during FY 2017-18 (April-June)

Skoch Award 
Skoch Order of merit Award – Operational Customer Relationship Management (OCRM)
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Unified Payment Interface(UPI)
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Green PIN solution for Debit cards 
Skoch Financial Technology Award - Union Digi Gaon
Skoch Financial Inclusion Award for Financial Inclusion

          BPCL awards its prestigious microsites design & implementation contract to Octaware Technologies        
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10, 2017: Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), a leading software and business solutions development company, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded the prestigious contract from BPCL for the design and implementation of their loyalty and brand microsites. Octaware was one of the bidders and was awarded the contract, post evaluation and presentation of efficient solutions and capabilities to the evaluation committee.

The scope of work under the contract includes design and implementation of microsites for BPCL’s loyalty programs – SmartFleet & PetroBonus and other brands - Speed and In & Out. The engagement includes a period of 3 months for implementation of microsites and an additional three years of support and maintenance. Octaware Technology Limited’s expertise in the areas of online portals & enterprise systems helped them win the contract.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Aslam Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Octaware Technologies Limited, said, “We are extremely delighted to have won the prestigious contract from BPCL, our first major win in the Indian PSU sector, post our IPO in April 2017. The fact that it falls under one of Octaware’s key focus verticals of governance, demonstrates our consistent and steady inroads in the Indian market, surpassing some of the strong players in the region. We look forward to a long-term business association with BPCL”.

About Octaware Technologies Limited:
Incorporated in 2005, Octaware Technologies Ltd is a software development company providing a range of information technology solutions. The company designs, develops, and maintains software systems and solutions. Company's services include custom software development, ECM/portal solution, ERP and CRM implementation, mobile platform solution, RFID solution, cloud and IT infrastructure services, consulting services and geospatial services.
Octaware provides specialized software application and product development services and solutions in the areas of healthcare, finance, and e-government industry. The company has proprietary products for domestic, as well as international markets, such as PowerERM – Human Capital Relationship Management, Hospice – Healthcare and Citizen Services solution, and iOnAsset – Inventory management and tracking System etc. These products are available as packaged products as well as software-as-a-service model integrated with legacy system.
Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), got listed on the BSE –SME platform on April 3, 2017 and was oversubscribed by 148%, providing testimony to the faith, the investors have reposed in the company.

          Badshah Masala launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan        


by Shrutee K/DNS
National: Badshah Masala, this Independence Day, has launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan, aiming to decrease this divide and pushes notice to how similar these two sister countries are. Badshah Masala believes that despite all the differences we may have, food transcends all boundaries and brings people from different places together. 
In this video, Manno is a traditional Indian mom whose daughter, Dimple, has just returned from US after finishing her studies. Dimple, whilst showing Manno pictures from her time in US, also shows her a picture with her Pakistani friend, Saad. Manno immediately points to Saad being a Pakistani, but is shunned by her young and liberal daughter.  
Dimple then mentions that she wants to meet Saad, an idea which Manno isn't too fond of. After much deliberation, Manno asks Dimple to invite Saad over for dinner so that she can keep an eye on him. Once Saad comes over for dinner, he amazes Manno with what he does.
This video is a testimony to how much the younger generation can influence their parents in breaking stereotypes that have prevailed in modern India. The campaign also communicates a broader message that gets us thinking as to how Indians perceive foreign nationals. It stresses on the importance of respect for an individual regardless of his or her racial background and nationality, and the importance of not judging a person based on our own preconceived notions and existing stereotypes.
Kailash Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, said,”As we are inching closer to a 70th Independence Day, there is no better time to contemplate the ties between these two countries. We are trying our best to close this divide by starting a conversation over something that no one would decline - Swaad.” 
Hemant Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, adds, “Badshah Masala has always been involved in forming connections through food. From the very beginning of this company, we have looked at food as something that can bring people from everywhere together. We are glad that we are taking this opportunity to provide another outlook to the current scenario that our country is facing.” 
Anushree Pacheriwal, Creative Head of Gemius, said, “It has been an incredible experience working for this campaign. From the very start, we were certain that this message needed to be out there, and that shaped the direction that this campaign took.”
The campaign is by Badshah Masala conceptualised by agency Gemius and creative head Anushree Pacheriwal, Story, Saurabh Pacheriwal. The production house is 50mm Media Productions and Director & DOP is Saurabh Desai and Ankit Mavchi. Gemius is co founded by Saurabh Pacheriwal, a marketing professional and Anushree Pacheriwal, a creative professional. Its clientele includes Badshah Masala, World Economic Forum, Just In Time, Baggit, TEDx events amongst others.
·       Campaign Link:  https://youtu.be/2LFIuXf1Gqo
Credits:
Client: Badshah Masala
Managing Partners: Kailash Jhaveri, Hemant Jhaveri
Agency: Gemius
Managing Director: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Creative Head: Anushree Pacheriwal
Account Management Team: Tanvi Khandelwal, Abhishek Doshi, Varsha Tanna
Story: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Production House: 50mm Media Productions
Director & DOP: Saurabh Desai & Ankit Mavchi
Production Team: Fenil Patel, Siddhant Shah, Nehal Trivedi, Jigar M, Setu U


          Hospitals and local physicians are noticing a spike in the no of respiratory cases in the city        
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10th, 2017: The rains have arrived and so is the number of diseases along with it. People are aware of the most common ailments such as viral fever, the common cold, malaria, typhoid, diarrhoea, etc. But very few are aware of the respiratory ailments that stems from indoor air pollution in monsoon caused by the dampness in the walls, fungus from air conditioners, floor carpets, velvet upholsteries, sofa covers, wooden furniture harboring fungus, etc. The Hospitals and local physicians in the city have noticed a spike in the no. of cases with respiratory problems. Suspended Particulate Matter is the main trigger of damage in air Pollution. Other contents like SO2, ammonia, carbon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons add to the toxicity. Air pollutants which are less than 10 microns in size enter the smaller airways and causes damage. This may trigger cough, breathing difficulty, choking, chest tightness and Asthma.

Taking adequate precautions are one of the best ways to avoid monsoon-related ailments. All age groups are affected because of air pollution; however, there is a definite rise in asthma and lung infections among children. Also, elderly and diabetics are at a risk of lung infection because of air pollution. Avoiding floor carpets, velvet upholsteries, stuffed toys, burning incense sticks at home and regular cleaning of air conditioner filters are some of the precautions that can be taken to avoid indoor air pollution during the monsoon.

Mr. Girish Bapat, Blueair air purifier, Director West and South Asia Region further added, “Our mission at Blueair is to help Indian women, children and men confront the health challenges posed by rising air pollution. It is very essential to identify the Invisible dangers. Breathing in tiny, unseen pollutants put every individual at risk. These pollutants further pass through the lung tissue and puts you at risk of stroke, heart disease and developing Asthma, Allergy, Bronchitis, Infection and other respiratory problems. Getting acquainted of personal health records, heart rate and blood sugar level, is the best way to safeguard long-term health issues by classifying troublesome concerns at the earliest.”

Blueair’s air purifiers are innovated in Sweden to put people in control of their own air quality with superior filtration efficiency. Sold in over 60 countries around the world, Blueair delivers home and office users cleaner indoor air for enhanced user health and wellbeing faster than any competing air purifier thanks to its commitment to quality, energy efficiency and environmental care. A Blueair air purifier works efficiently and silently to remove airborne allergens, asthma triggers, viruses, bacteria and other pollutants.

          Ziox Mobiles announces Sushant Singh Rajput as its Brand Ambassador along with Rs. 300cr investment for FY17 - 18        
Launches its newest Mobile phone ‘Ziox Duopix’
        Forays into LED TV and Consumer Durables Segment
        Plans to open 2 new manufacturing units and R&D facilities with investment of Rs. 200cr.
        Plans a 360-degree marketing campaign with a budget of
Rs. 100 Cr.
by Shrutee K/DNS
In the light of its vigorous expansion, Ziox Mobiles under the aegis of Sun Air voice Pvt Ltd, one of the fastest growing Mobile handsets brand, ropes in the very versatile, Sushant Singh Rajput, as its Brand endorser who truly lives up to the brand name.  While Ziox mobiles is a preferred brand across the country through its outstanding innovation and quality, the other has won the hearts of a million Indians as he slips into any role with nonchalance. Both the brand and its ambassador ride on the precepts of resilience, hard work and steady growth. A rare blend of energy, perseverance, and popularity coupled with his ability to connect to people, Sushant Singh Rajput is a fine addition to the Ziox Mobiles family. This association will further boost the legacy of Ziox Mobiles as the actor resonates to the brand promise: Quality that Speaks.
Answering strong demand and an overwhelming response from the Indian market, Ziox Mobiles also chalked out a detailed expansion plan and the roadmap for FY 2017-2018.The Brand aims to establish a stronger foothold in the Indian Market, with the total investment of over Rs. 200crore which shall span for a year, the Brand announced its plan to set up 2 new manufacturing units (in Sikkim and Noida) and R&D facilities apart from the existing New Delhi unit, with a holding capacity of around 1 Million units per Month. With the induction of Sushant Singh Rajput as its brand endorser along with the total investment of Rs. 100 Cr. this FY 2017-2018, Ziox aims to achieve an estimated revenue of Rs. 1,000 Cr and a sale of 10 million product units.
Commenting on this association and a promising future, Mr. Deepak Kabu, CEO Ziox Mobiles said “The future looks bright, Ziox Mobiles has a range of phones in the pipeline with exciting new launches. We are enthralled to present Sushant Singh Rajput as the new face of Ziox Mobiles. With Sushant Singh Rajput on board, it will help augment sales and further its reach in the market. The partnership with him is timed with Ziox Mobiles’ next phase of expansion on a pan-India level” Mr. Kabu further adds, “Sushant embodies talent, youthfulness and style. More importantly, he blends well with the core values of hard work, reliability, and is the epitome of our brand philosophy. Today our target audience is the young, driven, forward-moving generation, who have ever changing needs. Sushant understands the pulse of this audience well and has a great rapport with them. That is why, with immense preparation, he goes on to entertain his fans with one performance after another just as Ziox Mobiles constantly strives to understand the changing needs of its customers.”
Speaking on the association, Sushant Singh Rajput said, "I have always known Ziox Mobiles to be an inspirational brand in terms of their persuasion to becomes India’s biggest mobile brand. I am happy to be associated with a brand which is very young, and has a journey that is very similar to mine. I love how this brand designs its products to suit every need of its customers and are constantly innovating themselves as I see myself doing that while working on a role. I look forward to being part of the Ziox Mobiles family and to contribute to its fascinating growth journey in India." The ever-evolving brand has slated a major strategic transformation that entails the signing of a new brand endorser, an aggressive expansion and launches of it new products. The Brand at the event also announced the launch of its newest smartphone Series ‘Duopix”, Phone Series with Dual Cameras. Designed to fulfil the brand promise of providing users with superior camera performance and quality, ‘Duopix’ comes equipped with wide angle Dual front camera (8.0MP + 2.0) front +8.0MP Rear. The latest Dual 4G model runs on Android 7.0, with 5inch HD IPS Display along with 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM all packed in 2500mAh battery. Some of the key features includes strong battery life & also the fast charging capability. The budget friendly Smartphone comes equipped with various other features like 21 language support with multilingual phonebook, MP3 player, FM Radio, Bluetooth connectivity to help you stay connected. The phone will be available across all retail stores in few week’s time. Along with the smartphones, the brand also announces its foray into LED TVS and Consumer Durables category.

About Ziox Mobile: Ziox Mobiles, part of Sun Airvoice Pvt. Ltd., incepted in the Year 2015, with a singular motto to break the boundaries while offering technologically superior products without compromising on quality. Headquartered in New Delhi, Ziox Mobiles has built up an impressive product portfolio of more than 40 distinguished products and constantly innovating to make superior products.
Empowering consumers with affordable technology through quality products- the brand has truly demonstrated quick and robust expansion since inception, showing profitability and growing sales since the first year of operations. Being considered as one of the most innovative and fastest growing brands in the Mobile category, the brand has established its presence across India through its wide network comprising of its various branch offices and system integrators across several states in India.

          The Bombay Canteen 3rd Independence Dawaat In Support of Miracle Foundation India         


by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai August 2017: This Independence Day, let’s celebrate the joy of being Indian. And what better way than The Bombay Canteen3rdAnnual Independence Day Dawaatto raise a toast to our amazing culinary heritage with an unforgettable meal for a cause. A feast of regional Indian specialties at our annual Independence Dawaat on August 15, 2017, only for lunch from 12 noon to 3:30 pm and this year’s fundraiser is in support of Miracle Foundation India.  The Miracle Foundation India is a non-profit organization that brings life-changing care to orphaned children and helps them thrive in real time with a measurable, repeatable and systematic method to ensure that orphans are educated, fed, loved and safe. So block your calendar and make a plan with friends to celebrate all things Indian with a feast from around the country for a very noble cause. And since this lunch is also about celebrating freedom, we encourage you to pay what you like at the end of your meal. Remember, everything you donate, goes to the Miracle Foundation India for the incredible work they do to take care of orphaned children.

On the menu this year – a sumptuous meal of regional delicacies all served on a banana leaf in a community style dining experience. Its India on a platter with Chef Thomas Zacharias and his team putting together this feast inspired by dishes from across twelve states, including Mangalorean Chicken Curry, Punjabi Smoked Red Pumpkin Bharta, Lucknavi style Soy Kheema Mutter, Kashmiri Simla Mirch & Petha Korma, Kerela Mandeli Fry, seasonal vegetable pulao and much more. All this with a selection of unusual chutneys and accompaniments, served up with chilled Aam Panna from UP and delicious Maharashtrian TilGud Cake and Tiranga Barfi to round off the meal.


Sameer Seth, Founder & CEO, The Bombay Canteen said, "We are really excited to be supporting the Miracle Foundation through our 3rd Independence Day Daawat. The work they do to support orphaned children is inspiring. It has been amazing to learn about how they go about shaping the lives of these kids in a systematic and sustainable manner, and hope that through the Daawat more people learn about their fantastic work."

Caroline Boudreaux, Founder of Miracle Foundation said, “We are thrilled to be a part of the Independence Day Dawaat at the Bombay Canteen. The support we receive at this event will give children without parents all they need to thrive: Delicious and nutritious food, education, clean water, healthcare, safety and love. In partnership with the Bombay Canteen, we are empowering children to reach their full potential and become independent adults—as the country celebrates its independence.”

Get your flags out, paint the city in tricolour, and swing by to celebrate all things Indian this Independence Day, with good food for a good cause! 

Date: On August 15th, Tuesday 2017.
Independence Dawaat at Lunch only from 11.30am to 3:30pm.
First come, First Serve
You can also donate on: https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/tbc


About Our Cause: Miracle Foundation India is a non-profit organization that brings life-changing care to the world of children without parental care in India. Our mission is simple. Miracle Foundation India stands for children without parental care and helps them thrive in real time. We've created a measurable, repeatable and systematic method to ensure that children without parental care are educated, fed, loved and safe. At the same time, we explore every avenue to reunite them with their parents or relatives, when possible. Our method: 

Ensures organizations meet the 12 Rights of the Child and rise to international standards

Guides leaders to resettle children with a caring, responsible relative or family—and help them stay together

Transitions orphanages into Centers for Excellence where children thrive instead of reside

Started in 2011, the organization is dedicated to empowering children without parental care to reach their full potential. Today, we support thousands of children without parents, from the hinterlands of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh to the far-flung areas of Tripura.

Our goal is for every child to live in a loving family; to become a healthy, happy, income-producing person—and experience a true sense of belonging.


          Lufthansa Cargo Emphasizes Long-Standing Connections with Indian Airfreight Market        
Freighter services to Mumbai increased
Lufthansa Cargo emphasizes long-standing connections with Indian airfreight market
by Shrutee K/DNS
The Frankfurt-based air freight carrier Lufthansa Cargo has increased its freighter services to Mumbai. Since July, the airline operates four instead of three freighter flights to the Indian megacity. “This change sees us strengthening our position in the regional airfreight market”, says Frank Naeve, Lufthansa Cargo Vice President Asia-Pacific.
Lufthansa’s cargo arm also serves the Indian metropoles Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, each with two freighter services a week. Additionally, the cargo capacity of 42 weekly passenger flights between various Indian cities and the hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna is offered by the German logistic company.

“We are proud to have had long-standing connections with customers in the Indian air cargo industry since 1959. Our aim is to build on this in the future”, says Peter Gerber, Lufthansa Cargo CEO and chairman of the board. Two years ago, the Lufthansa Cargo emphasized this by renaming its McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 freighter with registration D-ALCJ “Namaste India”.
About Lufthansa Cargo AG : Lufthansa Cargo ranks among the world’s leading air freight carriers. In the 2016 business year, the airline transported around 1.6 million tonnes of freight and mail and sold 8.4 billion revenue tonne-kilometres. The company currently employs about 4,500 people worldwide. Lufthansa Cargo focuses on the airport-to-airport business. The cargo carrier serves around 300 destinations in more than 100 countries with its own fleet of freighters, the belly capacities of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings, and an extensive road feeder service network. The bulk of the cargo business is routed through Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa Cargo is a wholly owned Lufthansa subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.


          Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) partners with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA)        

Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) partners with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA)

~A culturally enriching and riveting morning hosted by Malaysian Palm Oil Council with the Dabbawalas of Mumbai~

by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 8, 2017 : In April 2017 in conjunction with the visit to India of the Hon. Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri’ Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) signed a MoU with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA). Taking this MoU forward, on the morning of August 8th, MPOC and Mumbai Dabbawalas flagged off an event to create awareness for Malaysian Palm Oil and its benefits.

The event took place at the Lower Parel Bridge, where Dabbawalas wore the T-shirts and topis branded with MPOC message. They then delivered the dabbas carrying a booklet of recipes of dishes that can be cooked in palm oil and the benefits of using palm oil. The Dabbawalas are in a unique position to promote MPOC and raise awareness to the positive nutritional attributes of Malaysian Palm Oil. This becomes particularly useful in Indian cuisine as most dishes are cooked in oil. Substituting for a healthier oil can do no harm, besides besides providing the added bonus of eating delicious food cooked in a healthy oil that is nutritious for the body.

To kick off this event, Dr. Kalyana Sundaram, CEO of MPOC, was present, encouraging the use of palm oil and showing appreciation to our Dabbawalas for their exceptional work. The morning was most enjoyable, entertaining and culturally riveting as some of Maharashtra’s best dancers performed the traditional Lezim Dance, a true delight to have watched! For those unaware of the Lezim Dance, it is a Maharashtrian folk dance performed to the beat of the Dholki, a percussion instrument.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Kalyan Sundaram, CEO, MPOC, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to be here this morning. Dabbawalas have been an integral part of this city and they define what Indians stand for: hardworking, responsible and efficient. They work relentlessly with a smile on their face, be it rain or storm. Malaysian Palm Oil has been a very important part of the Indian diet and with this unique initiative we wish to create awareness for this wonderful oil and its several health benefits. Our association with the Mumbai Dabbawalas allows us to spread the message of healthy cooking to a large number of households and encourages a healthier cooking lifestyle”


Mr. Subhash Talekar, Association Spokesperson of Mumbai Dabbawala Association said “We Dabbawalas unfailingly deliver thousands of dabbas to hungry people daily, they are undoubtedly the best people to directly reach out to households and create awareness about palm oil and the health benefits of using it. This is a very exciting new chapter, and we are glad to be partnering with MPOC.”

India is the world’s largest importer of cooking oils. Palm oil constitutes about two-thirds of India’s steadily increasing vegetable oil import. The price, in comparison to competing oils and the proximity of origin, Malaysia, has made Malayisan Palm Oil a highly preferred oil. Now the Dabawallas have taken it upon themselves, with the help of MPOC, to inform families about the benefits of palm oil and how exquisite food can be cooked in palm oil in alternative to other vegetable oils.

Amongst some of the benefits we came to learn about during the event was that palm oil is rich in natural chemical compounds essential for health and nutrition. It has a rich source of carotenoids that are rich in Vitamin A, a potent natural antioxidant, Vitamins D, E, K, fatty acids, and other important fat-soluble micronutrients that boost the human immune system. The health benefits from using palm oil are tremendous - it reduces chances of Cancer, protects against heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and helps children with Vitamin A deficiency.

The oil is great for cooking; it is of vegetable origin, making it free of cholesterol and apt for vegetarians, vegans, and Jains. Furthermore, the oil has a neutral flavor - you needn’t worry about changing tastes, it does not oxidize easily – making it perfect for frying food, and produces less gummy materials and helps in the cooking area maintaining a non-greasy surface; so, most bakers prefer to use a palm-based margarine for baking goods.

With people now more conscious about their health and food habits, palm oil is definitely the healthier choice to make whilst cooking and a step towards healthier bodies and practices.  What better way to create awareness than directly reaching out to the households through our Dabbawalas.


Note to Editors:
MPOC is a Council under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia.  Its role is to promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability.

The Council has set up a network of ten offices all over the world, mainly in China (Shanghai), India (Mumbai), Pakistan (Lahore), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Middle East (Istanbul and Cairo), Europe (Brussels and Russia), Africa (Durban) and Americas (Washington DC)  to support, promote and venture into new areas for the industry.
                                                                                                             

The plantation industry, particularly palm oil, is one of the main pillars of the Malaysian economy.  The palm oil sector has contributed significantly towards providing a continuous inflow of export earnings through the export of raw commodity and valued-added products to the global market. In 2016, palm oil contributed USD 9 billion in export earnings for Malaysia and accounted for 33% of the world’s palm oil production and 39% of total palm oil exports.

          Skillsoft and MIT Sloan Management Review Partner To Train Next Generation Business Leaders        

Superior content and Percipio platform help organizations develop the next wave of leaders

 by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai August 08, 2017–Skillsoft, the global leader in corporate learning, has partnered with MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) to curate the journal’s best leadership assets and deliver them to its 40 million users. This key collaboration kicks off a series of new, innovative content partnerships that will empower Skillsoft’s Leadership and Business Skills learners with professional training from the industry’s top experts.

Organizations and their employees can now access this elite catalog of content to enhance professional development, upskill their workforce, and hone individual career paths. Presented through the highly engaging and intuitive Percipio platform, users will be able to access everything from MIT SMR’s general leadership articles, to Frontier articles that focus on the intersection of business management practice with technology, collaborative research reports, as well as webinars and videos. Content will be optimized for all devices and operating systems, and will be accessible via video, audio and written content for varied learner styles and needs.

“Our Leadership content sets us apart from other corporate learning content providers. We provide the most diverse content catalog with an array of learning modalities. More importantly and unique to Skillsoft, we craft thoughtful learning paths and courses for users to follow,” said Bill Donoghue, Executive Chairman of the Skillsoft group. “Our partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review will supplement our own assets and underscore our commitment to building the most respected and up-to-date portfolio of Leadership training available.”

Skillsoft will embed MIT SMR content within its core Business and video collections, and integrate content within its existing Leadership offerings, like Skillsoft Leadership Advantage, Continuous Leadership Journey and Women-in-Action. The partnership between Skillsoft and MIT SMR will provide organizations with engaging, on-demand corporate learning content that will groom, train and inspire management teams through a consumer-like interface (think Netflix or Amazon) that is designed to engage the learner.

“We see a growing need for effective leadership training to address critical skill gaps in today’s organizations and help increase an organization’s ability to develop talent from within,” said Paul Michelman at MIT SMR. “This partnership gives our content a new vehicle for delivery within those organizations that believe training their internal talent is paramount to creating a competitive edge.”

MIT Sloan Management Review is a pre-eminent platform and content leader that bridges the gap between academic research and daily practice. The Review keeps readers in tune with management trends and innovations. MIT SMR articles cover a wide range of topics relevant to management with a focus on areas such as Data & Analytics, Digital, Global, Innovation, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Social Business, Strategies and Sustainability. For decades, MIT SMR has been a forum for business-management innovators from around the world to present their ideas and research.

About Skillsoft : Skillsoft is the global leader in corporate learning, providing the most engaging learner experience and high-quality content. We are trusted by the world's leading organizations, including 65 percent of the Fortune 500. Our mission is to build beautiful technology and engaging content that drives business impact for today’s modern enterprise. Our 150,000+ multi-modal courses, videos, books and micro-learning modules are accessed more than 130 million times every month, in 160 countries and 29 languages. With 100% secure cloud access, from any device, whenever, wherever. www.skillsoft.com

          Director, Sandeep Mohan & Tiranga Productions to release “Shreelancer” on 18th August         

Based on the story of a freelancer, the feature film is an adaptation of the people who are self-employed

by Shrutee K/DNS 

Director Sandeep Mohan’s next release, “Shreelancer” is a feature film starring Arjun Radhakrishnan (an actor known for his film “A White Feather”) in the lead along with a veteran theater artist Salmin Sheriff and Monica Mahendru. The film is produced by Giju John – Tiranga Productions Pvt. Ltd. and Sandeep Mohan and slated to hit the screens on 18th August 2017.

Official Trailer Link - https://youtu.be/VkM2WWU5kyY

The film has background score by Vivek Philip and features songs by Ankur Tewari, Prateek Kuhad, Andrew Sloman and Natalie Matos. The film features one of the popular Indie song, "Dil Beparvah" by Ankur Tewari and Prateek Kuhad. The film is looking to be one of the best adaptation of the people who are self-employed.

Shreelancer, a 98-minute feature film is the contemporary take on the life of a freelancer in today’s India. Shreelancer follows Arjun Radhakrishnan (Shree), a Bangalore based mid 20's freelance copywriter who is battling with nagging self-doubts about his artistic abilities. Shree belongs to a Maharashtrian family from Belgaum. He does ads for small time ad agencies, but is quite frustrated that the world doesn't seem to understand or respect freelancers. Unable to concentrate at home, he visits various cafes to find his peace and works from there. Addicted to his cellphone and the social media, Shree's worldview is shaped by what he reads online, not having traveled much in the "real" world. As fate would have it, Shree gets an invitation to attend an all-expenses paid trip to a college friend's wedding. And life as he knows it will never be the same again for Shree. The film highlights the journey of a freelancer, despite having a flexible schedule, they work on deadlines, love to take up all jobs and seldom say “No” to any assignment.

Shreelancer had its World Film Festival Premiere at the prestigious New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) in May 2017 where it was nominated in the best screenplay category. The film will next screen at the Blue Whiskey International Film Festival on the 8th August 2017 where it has been selected in the competition category. Apart from this, Sandeep Mohan has conducted 30 screenings at spaces like Cafes, Pubs, Office Spaces, Coworker Spaces, Colleges, Homes, Art Galleries, etc. and convert them into

mini-theatres for the duration of the film. Sandeep conducts this screening under what he calls the "The Great Indian Travelling Cinema" experiment.


          ASIA’S LARGEST FILM MAKING CHALLENGE INDIA FILM PROJECT CALLS FOR ENTRIES        

 
by Shrutee K/DNS 
Mumbai: Asia’s largest content creation festival, India Film Project that encourages people to create video content will enter into its seventh edition this year. India Film Project invites entries from all the film enthusiasts who love making films from across the globe for all their competitive sections with 31st August’2017 as a closing date.

India Film Project which is one of the rare platforms focused at content creation rather than content consumption will be held in Mumbai. Currently a daylong event, India Film Project will be conducted for two days hosting conversations with 50+ celebs, workshops and masterclasses, curated video screenings amongst others. The festival, this year, will be held on 30th September’17 and 1stOctober’17 at NSCI, Worli, and tentatively attended by over 60,000 film enthusiasts from across India.

Participants can enter into the following categories:

The Best of Digital category where participants can enter their already created work under the sections like short films, music videos, ads and brand films, corporate videos, food and travel videos, wedding and celebration videos, animation and motion graphics, web sketches and web series. Best of Digital awards bestows a chance to the content creators to compete with the best ones on the web. This is the first time the best in digital category has been introduced at India Film Project. Currently, there are no other awards and recognitions for digital videos in India.

Poster Redesign Compete in association with The Souled Store that encourages participants to design a movie poster and compete with some of India’s leading designers. The top posters will be exhibited at the festival and even bought by the audience offline and online.

Scriptwriting competition in association with Terribly Tiny Tales

For the first time ever, the festival bring to you a competition between the scripts from across the globe where one can stand a chance to present their story to some of the best scriptwriters of country and get talent recognized. Narrate your story in your own words around the theme “over the edge”.

50 Hour Filmmaking: India Film Project’s flagship competition which will battle it out with more than 30,000 filmmakers from 300+ cities to show your filmmaking skills in a duration of just 50 hours – Sep 15 to Sep 17. Teams can choose any one category to participate – Professional, Amateur or Mobile. The theme will be revealed at the beginning of 50 hours. The Last date to register 14th September’17.


          The Invisible Belt Invisibelt        
No more unflattering bulge from bulky belt buckles! This flat, undetectable and adjustable belt instantly gives you a sleeker, slimmer look.

I saw this on the MSN homepage. It is a clear plastic belt, similar to lingerie straps, which has a flat hook instead of a buckle. It holds up your jeans or pants, but doesn't make that "buckle bump" which shows under tops worn untucked.

No more unflattering bulge from bulky belt buckles! This flat, undetectable and adjustable belt instantly gives you a sleeker, slimmer look!

You know when you buy a pair of jeans that are just a little too big on the waist? Running to the tailor is a major time and money drain, and wearing an ordinary belt (ugh, that bulky buckle!) won't work either.

Think about it, do you really want to put your favorite fitted top over the dreaded buckle bulge? We didn't -- so we invented the Invisibelt -- a smooth, undetectable belt with a flat clasp.

Nicknamed the No Buckle Belt by its fans, the Invisibelt will help you look slim, finished and fabulous all day. It's genius! An ideal functional, fashion accessory with adjustable plastic belt with a flat clasp belt instead of a belt buckle. Plastic band, width is 7/8 inches. Naked is clear; Noir is black (a sexy patent sheen)

One woman received the invisibelt in the mail a few days ago. She decided to give it a tough few days' wear before she reported it either way.

So far it seemed to be doing a good job. It comes with instructions on how to adjust its length that makes it sound like it could be easily be stretched if pulled the wrong way, but so far it seemed to be holding up well. The clasp is plastic but easy to use, and it isn't bumpy at all.
Oliver Allen
http://invisibelt.blogspot.com/
          Comment on White Bean and Red Lentil Burgers by fdecaro        
Hi Andrea! You can really do either. I'm super impatient and usually just cook them right from the freezer. It works, but they don't cook as evenly! If you have the time, or plan ahead and throw them in the fridge then I would defrost them before hand. If you're in a pinch though you can definitely cook them right from the freezer.
          Accelerate Live! talk: Health-generating buildings, Marcene Kinney, Angela Mazzi, GBBN Architects        
Architects Marcene Kinney and Angela Mazzi share design hacks pinpointing specific aspects of the built environment that affect behavior, well-being, and performance.

 

During the past 20 years, we’ve witnessed an evolution in building design, from high-performance and energy-efficient buildings, to sustainable and green buildings, and now to spaces that enhance performance and promote wellness and health. 

In this 15-minute talk at BD+C’s Accelerate Live! conference (May 11, 2017, Chicago), Marcene Kinney and Angela Mazzi from Cincinnati-based GBBN Architects talk about their work in behavior change and health-generating design.

Their predictive outcome modeling helps clients make strategic design investments that enhance user and building performance, while minimizing behaviors that can lead to more negative outcomes, such as injuries, poor health, or mistakes.

They also share design hacks pinpointing specific aspects of the built environment that affect behavior, well-being, and performance to help clients get more success out of their spaces.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

As Principal and Market Director at GBBN Architects, Marcene Kinney, AIA, LEED AP, leads her team's exploration and focus to do more than merely solve functional architectural problems for clients. Her applied research details fives types of space and their physical attributes that contribute to socialization and gathering patterns within spaces. She has dedicated 17 years exploring how space facilitates social interaction and builds community within the educational environment. Kinney has presented her research-based design work to American Institute of Architecture and Society of College and University Planning audiences and is the recent recipient of an AIA design award for work completed at Northern Kentucky University. Perhaps most important are the satisfaction survey reports by her clients who are reporting increased engagement and retention from their customers.

Angela Mazzi, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, is a Senior Associate and Medical Planner at GBBN Architects, where she focuses on enhancing quality of life through built environments—connecting great design with user needs. Her background in design, business management, and research on socio-cultural contexts provides a unique perspective on how culture is reflected in architecture and user experience. Mazzi serves on the Board of Regents for the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA), the Board of AIA Cincinnati, the Advisory Committee for the Institute for Patient-Centered Design, and was an Advisory Board member for Arizona State University's Healthcare Design Program in its initial years. Her research linking wellness to design has been published in many healthcare journals and been presented at both national and international conferences.

FOLLOW GBBN ARCHITECTS

@GBBNArchitects
www.facebook.com/GBBNArchitects


          February 2017        

          How healthcare systems can reduce financial risk with developer-owned hospitals        
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          Gli infiniti possibili di Giorgio Sollazzi, musicista        
All'epoca ero molto ingenuo e molto presuntuoso e pensavo di poter scrivere “recensioni” di grandi opere musicali del passato. Le pubblicavo su un sito commerciale (che esiste ancora oggi). Quando mi venivano bene, erano “schede" molto pedantesche, contenenti le stesse informazioni che si possono trovare su una qualsiasi garzantina. Infatti, qualche anno dopo, quando Wikipedia arrivò in Italia, smisi di farmi sfruttare dal sito commerciale e trovai quella che probabilmente è la mia vera vocazione internettiana.

Ad ogni modo fu sul sito commerciale che conobbi Giorgio Sollazzi. Anche lui scriveva recensioni. Con la prima, importante differenza che lui è musicista, e quindi sa di cosa scrive, e con una seconda differenza: le sue recensioni erano avvincenti, estrose, godibilissime, anche e soprattutto quando sembrava che non avessero nulla a che fare col brano musicale che - in teoria - ne costituiva l'oggetto. Le recensioni di Giorgio non parlavano precisamente né del brano musicale “in sé”, né della sua ricezione da parte dell'ascoltatore-recensore. Si situavano, piuttosto, in qualche punto lungo la relazione fra questi due elementi, come un acrobata in equilibrio su un filo, o come uno dei fuochi di due specchi parabolici contrapposti. Non per niente “mirrors” (con la m minuscola) era il nickname che Giorgio si era scelto.

A un certo punto Giorgio uscì dal sito e cancellò il suo account. Dev'essere per questo che, cercando ora qualcuna delle meravigliose recensioni di mirrors, non ne trovo nessuna. Qualche tempo dopo si iscrisse nuovamente con un altro nickname e cominciò a pubblicare recensioni di forma più tradizionale, ma sempre molto belle, come ad esempio questa, sulla settima di Beethoven.

L'interpretazione verbale di un brano musicale è sempre un grosso azzardo. "Scrivere di musica è come ballare di architettura", diceva Frank Zappa. Le descrizioni che amo di più sono quelle di musiche inesistenti, come la sonata di Vinteuil in Proust o le composizioni immaginate da Thomas Mann nel Doktor Faustus. Proust mescolava genialmente le carte, inventandosi una sonata per violino e pianoforte che prendeva un po' dalla Sonata in re minore di César Franck, un po' da un quintetto di Saint-Saëns, senza essere né l'una né l'altro; in piena coerenza, d'altronde, con la sua estetica, dove non esistono "descrizioni" "realistiche" del "mondo esterno". Quanto a Mann, Arnold Schönberg s'inalberò quando seppe che la sua musica aveva ispirato quella del romanzo, al punto da pretendere una smentita da parte dello scrittore. E dal suo punto di vista Schönberg aveva anche ragione, in quanto Mann interpretava la dodecafonia come un fenomeno di dissoluzione morale, che era quanto di più lontano dagli intenti del severo musicista.

Ma anche divagare è un'arte, che a me non riesce: ci provo inutilmente, per poi subito ricadere nel mio solito modo di scrivere pedestre e nozionistico. Dunque, meglio rimanere on topic e parlare di Giorgio Sollazzi. Ecco: quando lo conobbi, non attraversavo quello che si dice un buon periodo. Mi ero laureato, avevo fatto il servizio civile, abitavo a casa dei miei in provincia, lontanissimo dall'università e dai miei amici di laggiù. Gli altri miei amici, quelli del liceo, erano sparsi in giro per l'Italia. Facevo pratica in uno studio legale. Ero, in sostanza, disoccupato, e mi sentivo terribilmente solo e senza prospettive. L'amicizia epistolare con Giorgio mi aiutò a tenermi in piedi. Ci scambiavamo commenti e messaggi sul sito commerciale (che fungeva anche un po' da social network), email, ma anche lettere cartacee: ricordo un plico meraviglioso che egli mi spedì con un CD che aveva masterizzato per me. Dentro c'erano un brano di Stockhausen, Il canto sospeso di Nono, un coro dal Trovatore, e non ricordo cos'altro.

A quel tempo Internet non aveva ancora stravolto la distribuzione della musica. C'era Napster, ma con le connessioni lente di allora non è che si riuscisse a scaricare granché. Per ascoltare musica bisognava ancora affidarsi alla radio, oppure ordinare il disco al negozio e aspettare che arrivasse. C'era poi una circolazione semiclandestina di audiocassette duplicate artigianalmente, che passavano di mano in mano come samizdat. Tutta una dimensione romantica, di scoperta, che si è persa dal momento in cui è bastato digitare un nome su un motore di ricerca per avere subito a disposizione l'intera produzione di qualsiasi musicista antico o contemporaneo.

Poco tempo fa ho chiesto a Giorgio se, come musicista, non si sentisse stimolato da questa odierna vasta disponibilità di musiche, e come mai ciò non lo inducesse a scrivere in una tale, enorme varietà di stili e di linguaggi: oggi un brano dodecafonico, domani uno pop, dopodomani uno free jazz, e via dicendo. Non ricordo esattamente il tenore della mia domanda - che comunque era piuttosto stupida, si capisce. Ricordo invece perfettamente la replica di Giorgio: fare come gli suggerivo io - mi ha risposto - avrebbe forse aumentato il suo tasso di libertà ma avrebbe diminuito il tasso di scelta.

In uno dei suoi romanzi, Nicola Lagioia offre alcune riflessioni molto interessanti a proposito del ritrovare sui social network i propri amici di gioventù. Queste amicizie del mondo reale divenute poi virtuali - osserva Lagioia - hanno una strana consistenza umbratile. Simile a quella degli spiriti nell'undicesimo libro dell'Odissea (o nel sesto dell'Eneide), aggiungerei io. Colpa del mezzo, evidentemente, e non dell'amicizia in sé - ma questo è un altro discorso.

Conosco Giorgio da sedici anni e non ci siamo mai incontrati di persona: solo via Internet, e qualche volta per telefono. Però non ho mai avvertito come un limite la virtualità della nostra amicizia. Forse perché nel suo caso manca il confronto con l'immagine mnemonica della persona reale, o forse per il felice paradosso che Giorgio riesce a realizzare nelle sue comunicazioni virtuali, allo stesso tempo lievi e intense.

Sto pensando che “lieve” e “intenso” potrebbero essere i due primi aggettivi che mi vengono in mente ascoltando la musica di Giorgio. Mi rendo conto che come contributo critico è parecchio inadeguato, ma ho già detto che non sono del mestiere. Giorgio ha esposto la sua poetica (o almeno, una delle sue poetiche) in uno scritto che potete trovare qui.

In questo saggio, Giorgio prende le mosse dal personaggio di Amleto (con annesso spettro del re di Danimarca?) per proporre una sua complessa concezione della composizione, come “apparizione” o “evocazione” di “potenziali”. 

Shakespeare era un altro interesse che ci univa quando scrivevamo sul sito commerciale. Giorgio ha molto riflettuto, e qualcosa ha anche scritto, sia in prosa sia in musica, sulla figura di Amleto.


Quanto a me, partendo dalla constatazione che su Internet in italiano c'era ancora poco materiale sull'argomento, mi ero messo in testa di compilare e mettere on line una "recensione" per ciascuno dei drammi del Bardo. Tanto ero sprovveduto, a quell'epoca.

Più tardi abbandonai l'insano progetto, assieme alle mie velleità di anglista, e praticamente smisi di leggere Shakespeare. Oggi amo recarmi, di quando in quando, a visitare l'abbazia cistercense di Morimondo. Questo non c'entra nulla con quanto ho detto finora. Però nell'abbazia c'è un bel coro ligneo di epoca rinascimentale.

Ogni volta che lo vedo recito mentalmente la prima quartina del Sonetto LXXIII.

La migliore traduzione italiana è quella di Ungaretti:

"Quel tempo in me vedere puoi dell'anno
Quando già niuna foglia, o rara gialla in sospeso, rimane
Ai rami che affrontando il freddo tremano,
Cori spogliati rovinati dove gli uccelli cantarono, dolci".

Di solito i commentatori sottolineano il senso di desolazione che promana da quei bare ruin'd choirs, vuoti, semidistrutti e muti. Sta di fatto che Shakespeare, mentre ce li descrive, riesce in qualche modo a farcene riascoltare il suono. Forse questa è una delle cose che il poeta vuole dirci: la memoria, aiutata dall'arte, può riuscire ad evocare la musica di un coro assente.














          La cultura delle destre        
Il libro che sto recensendo è: Gabriele Turi, La cultura delle destre. Alla ricerca dell'egemonia culturale in Italia, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2013, pp. 175, Euro 14,00, ISBN 978-88-339-2429-8.

L'autore insegna storia contemporanea a Firenze e dirige la rivista "Passato e presente". Il libro, nonostante il titolo, non ha molto a che vedere col celebre saggio di Furio Jesi; ha un approccio decisamente meno teoretico, in compenso Ã¨ ricchissimo di dati.

Il presupposto da cui parte è molto semplice: la cosiddetta "egemonia culturale della sinistra" nell'Italia del dopoguerra è una leggenda metropolitana. In realtà l'ideologia dominante Ã¨ sempre stata di destra; Turi si spinge fino ad affermare una "centralità del fascismo nella storia culturale e civile del paese". Il berlusconismo Ã¨ l'erede e il continuatore di questa cultura.

La trattazione inizia con un ampio estratto del famigerato intervento di Luciano Violante alla Camera del 10 maggio 1996 (quello che invitava a "riflettere" sui "ragazzi" di Salò in nome dei "valori nazionali comunemente condivisi"). Turi dimostra come l'exploit di Violante sia stato preparato da decenni di "edulcoramento storiografico della dittatura di Mussolini"; tappe importanti di questa operazione di normalizzazione del fascismo, a livello massmediatico, furono due mostre sugli anni '30, una allestita a Milano nel 1982 e l'altra a Roma nel 1984 (quest'ultima con la consulenza di Renzo De Felice): "entrambe promosse da amministrazioni socialiste", ha cura di specificare Turi.

Turi menziona poi un altro "caso esemplare": la proposta, da parte dell'allora sindaco di Roma Francesco Rutelli, nel 1995, di dedicare una via a Giuseppe Bottai. L'iniziativa riscosse il plauso (fra gli altri) di Massimo Cacciari, e fu bloccata solo dalle proteste della comunità ebraica; ci si era dimenticati, fra l'altro, che Bottai era stato uno dei sostenitori più ferventi delle leggi razziali; l'immagine corrente di Bottai era infatti quella giustificazionista del "fascista critico" delineata da Giordano Bruno Guerri nella sua fortunata biografia del 1976.

Il patriottismo, la ricerca di valori nazionali, di una "memoria condivisa" e di una "pacificazione" sono il Leitmotiv che, nella ricostruzione di Turi, caratterizza la polemica anti-antifascista condotta negli anni '90 da intellettuali come Renzo De Felice, Roberto Vivarelli, Ernesto Galli Della Loggia, spesso con l'assenso e il plauso della sinistra istituzionale. Troviamo ancora il buon Francesco Rutelli in prima linea nell'operazione di riabilitazione di Giovanni Gentile, filosofo a cui il comune di Roma dedicò un convegno nel 1994 presentandolo come un patriota al di sopra delle parti e dimenticandone l'organicità al nazifascismo.

Interessante notare che, in questo frame revisionistico, chi ostacola la "pacificazione", chi alimenta la "divisività", è un potenziale terrorista. Turi cita Vivarelli, secondo il quale per colpa degli antifascisti nell'Italia del dopoguerra "si perpetuò un clima di strisciante guerra civile, che [...] produsse la tragica stagione del terrorismo".

Turi sottolinea il ruolo degli intellettuali craxiani nel diffondere in Italia durante gli anni '80 le idee del neoliberismo reaganiano e thatcheriano e nel promuovere l'anticomunismo. Questi intellettuali poi, assieme ad altri di estrazione neofascista o cattolico-reazionaria, divennero nel decennio '90 gli artefici principali dell'ideologia populista berlusconiana, la quale nell'ultimo quindicennio si è dotata di "una rete di think thank, laboratori di idee ispirati al modello statunitense, capaci di costruire e diffondere un comune sentire"; tutta una serie di riviste, fondazioni, case editrici, "poco conosciute presso l'opinione pubblica" ma efficaci come centri di "aggregazione di intellettuali e di elaborazione culturale" (e, di solito, ben finanziate dagli industriali).

Turi ricostruisce minuziosamente alcuni fra i principali momenti dell'offensiva culturale di destra: la battaglia a favore del mantenimento del crocifisso nelle aule scolastiche (una battaglia vinta dalla destra anche a causa dell'atteggiamento imbelle assunto al riguardo dal centrosinistra); la vicenda, davvero tragicomica, della censura proposta dal centrodestra sui manuali scolastici di storia, anche qui in nome della "memoria condivisa", della pacificazione, dell'imparzialità e contro la presunta "egemonia culturale" della sinistra.

Interessante il confronto, proposto da Turi, fra il modo in cui il novantesimo anniversario della fine della prima guerra mondiale è stato ricordato in Italia e in altri paesi europei. Turi mostra come nel 2008 in Gran Bretagna, in Francia, in Germania, le celebrazioni ufficiali siano state improntate alla pietà per le vittime, all'orrore per l'enormità del massacro e siano state accompagnate, a volte, da gesti ufficiali di riabilitazione dei soldati che furono condannati come disertori. Tutto il contrario in Italia, dove "la sostanza della commemorazione è rimasta affidata al tema dell'identità nazionale" e dove il ministero dell'Istruzione ha promosso una serie di conferenze nelle scuole affidate non agli storici ma agli ufficiali dell'esercito, in quella che è stata definita la "più imponente manifestazione di propaganda militare che l'Italia repubblicana abbia mai messo in piedi".

Nell'ultimo capitolo del suo libro Turi prova a tracciare una mappa del revisionismo storico su Internet, individuando "un network molto ampio di riviste e di istituzioni [...] una rete circolare in cui appaiono ripetutamente gli stessi nomi, specchio di una visione della storia che in breve tempo da antagonista è diventata governativa". Il capitolo Ã¨ un ricco dossier di nomi e di indicazioni bibliografiche, una minuziosa schedatura di cui in questa sede non posso dare un'idea.

La conclusione cui giunge Gabriele Turi è che la cultura di destra è saldamente egemone ed è destinata a sopravvivere alla fine politica di Silvio Berlusconi. Aggiungerei che l'attuale esperienza dei governi di “larghe intese” (Monti, Letta, Renzi) getta una luce retrospettiva su molte delle prese di posizione filorevisioniste, da parte di esponenti del centrosinistra, ricordate nel libro di Turi. Bisognerebbe scrivere un libro analogo a quell di Turi, dedicato alla "cultura di sinistra", nel quale si mostrerebbe come a partire da Togliatti il nazionalismo abbia infettato nei decenni la cultura politica del PCI - PDS - DS - PD fino a stravolgerla completamente. Ma questa è un'altra storia.
          Progression magazine gives OHO Okinawa reissue top marks!        
Progressive Magazine gives OHO Okinawa reissue a 16/16, their highest rating! Longtime readers certainly recall Baltimore’s OHO, subject of a feature way back in Issue No. 28.  This six-panel digipak, complete with 20-page booklet (featuring original artwork from the private 1974 release), is the first proper digital representation of this masterwork of pre-RIO/art-punk cabaret freakadelia. Sonically, […]
          Warcraft        

Warcraft was a great project to work on. A great team of artists and supervisors were on it, so it was a really fun project all around. Although the movie wasn’t greatly accepted in the US, it was a success overseas, so I hope we will have the chance to make another one of those. […]
          Transformers: Age of Extinction        

Another fun one to work on. Thanks to my supervisor Rene Garcia and all other artists, supervisors, managers, production people and tech guys for making this possible. Here’s what I did on this one: – Lockdown – the main “bad guy” in the movie. I was responsible for modeling his face/head. Additional helmet armor and […]
          Pacific Rim        

Working with Guillermo again was a total blast. He is truly one of a kind. I hope you enjoyed the movie as much as we enjoyed making it! his was the second project I worked at ILM where I was able to do both hard surface and organic/creature modeling.Here’s the work I did on this […]
          Transformers: Dark of The Moon        

My work on this one: Characters: – Sideswipe Autobot – model – Wheeljack Autobot (Albert Einstein alike robot) – model – Hooligan Decepticon – model Other: – Decepticon Mothership (with some parts built initially by Howie, Philip and Rene, the model was assembled/modeled/finished by me) – model – Optimus’ Jetpack (model started by Shawn and […]
          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

'This Fed has already engineered the next crisis, just as Greenspan kept rates too low for too long, ignored his regulatory responsibility, and engineered the housing bubble and subprime crisis. If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention. The Trump Fed is going to have to deal with that crisis, but we still have many questions as to what a Trump Fed will actually look like or do.'

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)


'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

'Powerful people everywhere routinely make decisions that hurt others. We see it in central bankers, politicians, corporate CEOs, religious groups, universities – any large organization. The old saying is right: Power really does corrupt. And corruption is a barrier to sustainable economic growth. This is more than a political problem; it has a serious economic impact.

Recent psychological research suggests that powerful people behave remarkably like traumatic brain injury victims. Controlled experiments show that, given power over others, people often become impulsive and less sensitive to risk. Most important, test subjects often lose empathy, that is, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

..

Powerful people also lose a capacity called “mirroring.” When we observe other people doing something, our brains react as if we were doing the same thing. It’s why, when you watch a sporting event, you may unconsciously mimic a golf swing or the referee’s hand signals. Some portion of your brain thinks you are really there. But when researchers prime test subjects with powerful feelings, their mirroring capacity decreases.

You can see why this is a problem. The Protected-class members of the Federal Open Market Committee must feel quite powerful when they gather in that fancy room to make policy decisions. It’s no wonder they forget how their decisions will affect regular working-class people: Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

- Patrick Watson, The Wedge Goes Deeper, June 30, 2017


'..I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest..'

'Re-entering the news flow was a jolt, and not in a good way. Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.

Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it? With the election of President Trump and a Republican Congress, your naïve analyst was hopeful that we would get significant tax reform, in addition to reform of a healthcare system that is simply devastating to so many people and small businesses. I thought maybe we’d see this administration cutting through some bureaucratic red tape quickly. With such reforms in mind I was hopeful we could avoid a recession even if a crisis developed in China or Europe.

..

One news item I didn’t miss on St. Thomas – and rather wish I had – was Janet Yellen’s reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis. Here is the full quote.

Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be. [emphasis added]

I disagree with almost every word in those two sentences, but my belief is less important than Chair Yellen’s. If she really believes this, then she is oblivious to major instabilities that still riddle the financial system. That’s not good.

..

Financial politicians (which is what central bankers really are) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. Former Eurogroup leader Jean-Claude Juncker admitted as much: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” he said in the throes of Europe’s 2011 debt crisis.'

- John Mauldin, Prepare for Turbulence, July 9, 2017


'..Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

'This week marks the five-year anniversary of Draghi’s “whatever it takes.” I remember the summer of 2012 as if it were yesterday. From the Bubble analysis perspective, it was a Critical Juncture – for financial markets and risk perceptions, for policy and for the global economy. Italian 10-year yields hit 6.60% on July 24, 2012. On that same day, Spain saw yields surge to 7.62%. Italian banks were in freefall, while European bank stocks (STOXX600) were rapidly approaching 2009 lows. Having risen above 55 in 2011, Deutsche Bank traded at 23.23 on July 25, 2012.

It was my view at the time that the “European” crisis posed a clear and immediate threat to the global financial system. A crisis of confidence in Italian debt (and Spanish and “periphery” debt) risked a crisis of confidence in European banks – and a loss of confidence in European finance risked dismantling the euro monetary regime.

Derivatives markets were in the crosshairs back in 2012. A crisis of confidence in European debt and the euro would surely have tested the derivatives marketplace to the limits. Moreover, with the big European banks having evolved into dominant players in derivatives trading (taking share from U.S. counterparts after the mortgage crisis), counter-party issues were at the brink of becoming a serious global market problem. It’s as well worth mentioning that European banks were major providers of finance for emerging markets.

From the global government finance Bubble perspective, Draghi’s “whatever it takes” was a seminal development. The Bernanke Fed employed QE measures during the 2008 financial crisis to accommodate deleveraging and stabilize dislocated markets. Mario Draghi leapfrogged (helicopter) Bernanke, turning to open-ended QE and other extreme measures to preserve euro monetary integration. No longer would QE be viewed as a temporary crisis management tool. And just completely disregard traditional monetary axiom that central banks should operate as lender of last resort in the event of temporary illiquidity – but must avoid propping up the insolvent. “Whatever it takes” advocates covert bailouts for whomever and whatever a small group of central bankers chooses – illiquid, insolvent, irredeemable or otherwise. Now five years after the first utterance of “whatever it takes,” the Draghi ECB is still pumping out enormous amounts of “money” on a monthly basis (buying sovereigns and corporates) with rates near zero.

..

Thinking back five years, U.S. markets at the time were incredibly complacent. The risk of crisis in Europe was downplayed: Policymakers had it all under control. Sometime later, the Financial Times - in a fascinating behind-the-scenes exposé - confirmed the gravity of the situation and how frazzled European leaders were at the brink of losing control. Yet central bankers, once again, saved the day – further solidifying their superhero status.

I’m convinced five years of “whatever it takes” took the global government finance Bubble deeper into perilous uncharted territory. Certainly, markets are more complacent than ever, believing central bankers are fully committed to prolonging indefinitely the securities bull market. Meanwhile, leverage, speculative excess and trend-following flows have had an additional five years to accumulate. Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

- Doug Noland, Five Years of Whatever It Takes, July 29, 2017


'..This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.'

'While I've written about numerous valuation measures over time, the most reliable ones share a common feature: they focus on identifying "sufficient statistics" for the very, very long-term stream of cash flows that stocks can be expected to deliver into the hands of investors over time. On that front, revenues are typically more robust "sufficient statistics" than current or year-ahead earnings. See Exhaustion Gaps and the Fear of Missing Out for a table showing the relative reliability of a variety of measures. In April 2007, I estimated that an appropriate valuation for the S&P 500 stood about 850, roughly -40% lower than prevailing levels. By the October peak, the prospective market loss to normal valuation had increased to about -46%. As it happened, the subsequent collapse of the housing bubble took the S&P 500 about -55% lower. In late-October 2008, as the market plunge crossed below historically reliable valuation norms, I observed that the S&P 500 had become undervalued on our measures.

Again attempting to “stimulate” the economy from the recession that followed, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to zero in recent years, provoking yet another episode of yield-seeking speculation, where yield-starved investors created demand for virtually every class of securities, in the hope of achieving returns in excess of zero. Meanwhile, Wall Street, suffering from what J.K. Galbraith once called the “extreme brevity of the financial memory,” convinced itself yet again that the whole episode was built on something more solid than quotes on a screen and blotches of ink on paper..

..

..greater real economic activity was never the likely outcome of all this quantitative easing (indeed, one can show that the path of the economy since the crisis has not been materially different than what one could have projected using wholly non-monetary variables). Rather, Ben Bernanke, in his self-appointed role as Mad Hatter, was convinced that offensively hypervalued financial markets - that encourage the speculative misallocation of capital, imply dismal expected future returns, and create temporary paper profits that ultimately collapse - somehow represent a greater and more desirable form of “wealth” compared with reasonably-valued financial markets that offer attractive expected returns and help to soundly allocate capital. Believing that wealth is embodied by the price of a security rather than its future stream of cash flows, QE has created a world of hypervaluation, zero prospective future returns, and massive downside risks across nearly every conventional asset class.

And so, the Fed created such an enormous pool of zero interest bank reserves that investors would feel pressure to chase stocks, junk debt, anything to get rid of these yield-free hot potatoes. That didn’t stimulate more real, productive investment; it just created more investors who were frustrated with zero returns, because someone had to hold that base money, and in aggregate, all of them had to hold over $4 trillion of the stuff at every moment in time.

When you look objectively at what the Fed actually did, should be obvious how its actions encouraged this bubble. Every time someone would get rid of zero-interest base money by buying a riskier security, the seller would get the base money, and the cycle would continue until every asset was priced to deliver future returns near zero. We’re now at the point where junk yields are among the lowest in history, stock market valuations are so extreme that we estimate zero or negative S&P 500 average annual nominal total returns over the coming 10-12 year horizon, and our estimate of 12-year prospective total returns on a conventional mix of 60% stocks, 30% Treasury bonds, and 10% Treasury bills has never been lower (about 1% annually here). This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.

Examine all risk exposures, consider your investment horizon and risk-tolerance carefully, commit to the flexibility toward greater market exposure at points where a material retreat in valuations is joined by early improvement in market action (even if the news happens to be very negative at that point), fasten your protective gear, and expect a little bit of whiplash. Remember that the “catalysts” often become evident after prices move, not before. The completion of this market cycle may or may not be immediate, but with the median stock at easily the most extreme price/revenue ratio in history, and a run-of-the-mill outcome now being market loss on the order of -60%, the contrast between recent stability and likely future volatility could hardly be more striking.'

- John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Hot Potatoes and Dutch Tulips, July 31, 2017


Context

(2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..'

'..the Next 30 Years: “Everything is Deflationary”..'

          (To Heal) - Genesis - Driving the last spike (no replies)        
We came from the North,
and we came from the South
with picks and with spades
and a new kind of order
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?


Genesis - Driving the last spike

Leaving my family behind me
not knowing what lay ahead
waving goodbye, as I left them in tears
remembering all we'd said

I looked to the sky, I offered my prayers
I asked Him for guidance and strength
but the simple beliefs of a simple man
lay in His hands, and on my head (my head)

I gave everything that they wanted
but still they wanted more
we sweat and we toiled
good men lost their lives
I don't think they knew what for

I sold them my heart
I sold them my soul
I gave everything I had
Ah, but they couldn't break my spirit
my dignity fought back
fightback

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?

We worked in gangs for all we were worth
the young boys pulling the wagons
We were digging the tunnel, shifting the earth
It was then that it happened.

No one knew how the cracks appeared,
but as it fell they all disappeared
stone fell like rain

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
(Can) Can you breathe?

The smoke cleared, the dust it settled
No one knew how many had died
All around there were broken men
They'd said it was safe, they'd lied
you could hear the cries, you could smell our fear
but good fortune that day was mine
and it occurred to me that the heart of a good man
it seems is hard to find.

Ah, can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?

We worked, how we worked like
the devil for our pay
through the wind, through the snow,
and through the rain

Blasting, and cutting through God's country like a knife
sweat stinging my eyes, there has to be a better life

Ah but I can hear my childrens' cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
memories of those I've left behind
still ringing in my ears
Will I ever go back again?
Will I ever see her face again?
O, I'll never forget that night
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We came from the North,
and we came from the South
with picks and with spades
and a new kind of order
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Driving the last spike,
lifting and laying the track
with blistering hands,
the sun burning your back

Oh, but I can hear my childrens' cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
memories of those I've left behind
still ringing in my ears
Well I'll always remember that night,
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We followed the rail, we slept under the stars
digging in darkness, and living with danger
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
they'll never see the likes of us again.

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
(Don't) Don't you hear me?
(Don't) Don't you see?


Context

(To Heal)(Management innovation) - '..Teal Organizations to start healing the world..'

(In The Electric Universe) - '..Reading “The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences” caused me to reconsider my views on death..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) Dream - Semco Style


Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross

You just feel what you want it to be

          (Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) Dream - Semco Style (no replies)        
Those who make dreams come true get noticed

- Aldowa (A Semco Style Company)

'Leading Wisely is a podcast series by Ricardo Semler about the search for wisdom in organizations. In discussions with business leaders such as Zappos' Tony Hsieh, Basecamp's Jason Friedman and David Heinemeier Hansson and with other experts on the topic such as Frederic Laloux, he challenges assumptions and explores how we can change the way we live and work.

- Killing the dinosaur business model, 2017

'In France, almost every couple of days a company or public sector organization is entering corporate liberation. How about US? Here is one more example on how a company’s leader decided to liberate his company.

Ricardo Semler’s book served as an inspiration. Add to that a deep conviction and a lot of common sense.'

- Freedom Inc, '..corporate liberation.' June 6, 2017


Context (Leaders)

'..I believe in responsibility but not in pyramidal hierarchy .. the negative value of structure. Structure creates hierarchy, and hierarchy creates constraint..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'


'I, too, have a pet little evil, to which in more passionate moments I am apt to attribute all the others. This evil is the neglect of thinking. And when I say thinking I mean real thinking, independent thinking, hard thinking.'

- Learning How to Think (Economics - '..acts of choice.' (‘..imagination of alternatives..’))


(Open Source) - '..“open innovation.” Companies such as AstraZeneca, Lilly, GSK, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, TransCelerate, and others..'

(Haptopraxeology) - '..the senses were the windows of the soul and that reason had a divine right to feed upon fact..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'


'..to rethink and to rebuild a culture where there are open channels between feeling and understanding..'

(Praxeology) - '..his or her subjective values .. to explain all economic phenomena as the results of what people do..'

'Reinventing Organizations: ..radically more soulful, purposeful and powerful ways to structure and run .. organizations.'


(To Heal)(Management innovation) - '..Teal Organizations to start healing the world..'

(Haptopraxeology) - Students of Civilization

          Vision of Humanity - Global Peace (no replies)        
'Economists on Peace aims to stimulate global discussion and shared learning on economic aspects of peace and conflict leading to appropriate action for peace, security and the world economy.'

- An Economists for Peace and Security editorial collaboration


'The need to understand what works in peacebuilding, how to measure its impact and cost-effectiveness is essential to long-term efforts to prevent violence and build peace. Yet, there is much we collectively do not know about peacebuilding, what works and doesn’t work, let alone what activities broadly define it. At a time when the international community’s resources to international development and aid are under strain due to tightened national budgets and stress from humanitarian action, the need to understand and invest in the most cost-effective ways to build long term peace is more crucial than ever.'

- Report: Measuring Peace Building Cost-Effectiveness


Context (Haptopraxeology) - '..We have lost three centuries as a result of ignoring our scholars!'

Global Peace Index

The Book of Peace

Four Ways Peace Research Made an Impact in Nuevo León, Mexico


Gold, Peace, and Prosperity

In The Electric Universe a Future of Peace and Love

'..tell your boss you think the company has a love deficit.' - Hamel


(To Heal)(Reinventing Organizations) - '..news about what happening in the space of organizations going Teal.'

(In The Electric Universe) Open Source Infrastructure, beginning of the Enterprise Nervous System (ENS)

          '..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets..' (no replies)        
'..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.'

'The Fed is not blind. They monitor stock prices and corporate debt issuance; they see residential and commercial real estate market values. Years of ultra-low rates have inflated Bubbles throughout commercial real estate – anything providing a yield – in excess of those going into 2008. Upper-end residential prices are significantly stretched across the country, also surpassing 2007. They see Silicon Valley and a Tech Bubble 2.0, with myriad excesses that in many respects put 1999 to shame. I’ll assume that the Fed is concerned with the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.

..

The Fed collapsed fed funds from 6.50% in December 2000 to an extraordinarily low 1.75% by the end of 2001. In the face of an escalating corporate debt crisis, the Fed took the unusual step of cutting rates another 50 bps in November 2002. Alarmingly, corporate Credit was failing to respond to traditional monetary policy measures (despite being aggressively applied). Ford in particular faced severe funding issues, though the entire corporate debt market was confronting liquidity issues. Recall that the S&P500 dropped 23.4% in 2002. The small caps lost 21.6%. The Nasdaq 100 (NDX) sank 37.6%, falling to 795 (having collapsed from a March 2000 high of 4,816). No financial instability?

..

I revisit history in an attempt at distinguishing reality from misperceptions. Of course the Fed will generally dismiss the consequences of Bubbles. They’re not going to aggressively embark on reflationary policies while espousing the dangers of asset price and speculative Bubbles. Instead, they have painted the “housing Bubble” as some egregious debt mountain aberration. And paraphrasing Kashkari, since today’s stock market has nowhere as much debt as housing had in 2007, there’s little to worry about from a crisis and financial instability perspective.

Well, if only that were the case. Debt is a critical issue, and there’s a whole lot more of it than back in 2008. Yet when it comes to fragility and financial crises, market misperceptions and distortions play fundamental roles. And there’s a reason why each bursting Bubble and resulting policy-induced reflation ensures a more precarious Bubble: Not only does the amount of debt continue to inflate, each increasingly intrusive policy response elicits a greater distorting impact on market perceptions.

I doubt Fed governor Bernanke actually anticipated that the Fed would have to resort to “helicopter money” and the “government printing press” when he introduced such extreme measures in his 2002 speeches. Yet seeing that the Fed was willing to push its monetary experiment in such a radical direction played a momentous role in reversing the 2002 corporate debt crisis, in the process stoking the fledgling mortgage finance Bubble. And the Bernanke Fed surely thought at the time that doubling its balance sheet during the 2008/09 crisis was a one-time response to a once-in-a-lifetime financial dislocation. I’ll assume they were sincere with their 2011 “exit strategy,” yet only a few short years later they’d again double the size of their holdings.

..

Despite assertions to the contrary, the bursting of the “tech” Bubble unleashed significant financial instability. To orchestrate reflation, the Fed marshaled a major rate collapse, which worked to stoke already robust mortgage Credit growth. The collapse in telecom debt, an unwind of market-based speculative leverage and the rapid slowdown in corporate borrowings was over time more than offset by a rapid expansion in housing debt and the enormous growth in mortgage-related speculative leverage (MBS, ABS, derivatives).

..

I’ve never felt comfortable that Chinese authorities appreciate the types of risks that have been mounting beneath the surface of their massively expanding Credit system. Global markets seemed attentive a year ago, but have since been swept away by the notion of the all-powerful “China put” conjoining with the steadfast “Fed put.” These types of market perceptions create tremendous inherent fragility.'

- Doug Noland, Discussions on the Fed Put, March 25, 2017


'It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures..'

'The problem today is that years of ultra-loose monetary conditions have ensured everyone is crowded on the same bullish side of the boat. Tipping the vessel at this point will be chaotic, and the Fed clearly doesn’t want to be the instigator. Meanwhile, timid little baby-step increases only ensure more problematic market Bubbles and general financial excess.

It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures. And the longer the accommodative backdrop fuels only more precarious Bubble Dynamics, the more certain it becomes that central bankers will approach monetary tightening timidly. Yellen confirmed to the markets Wednesday that the Fed would remain timid – still focused on some theoretical “neutral rate” and seemingly oblivious to conspicuous financial market excess. The fixation remains on consumer prices that are running just a tad under its 2% target. Meanwhile, runaway securities market inflation is completely disregarded.'

- Doug Noland, Another Missed Opportunity, March 18, 2017


'..In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.'

'The unprecedented amount of system-wide debt is so enormous that the annual percentage gains no longer appear as alarming. Non-Financial Debt expanded 4.7% in 2016, up from 2015’s 4.4%. Total Household Debt expanded 3.6%, with Total Business borrowings up 5.6%. Financial Sector borrowings expanded 2.9% last year, the strongest expansion since 2008.

Securities markets remain the centerpiece of this long reflationary cycle. Total (debt and equities) Securities jumped $1.50 TN during Q4 to a record $80.344 TN, with a one-year rise of $4.80 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Total Securities increased to 426% from the year ago 415%. For comparison, Total Securities peaked at $55.3 TN during Q3 2007, or 379% of GDP. At the previous Q1 2000 cycle peak, Total Securities had reached $36.0 TN, or 359% of GDP.

The Household Balance Sheet also rather conspicuously illuminates Bubble Dynamics. Household Assets surged $6.0 TN during 2016 to a record $107.91 TN ($9.74 TN 2-yr gain). This compares to the peak Q3 2007 level of $81.9 TN and $70.0 TN to end 2008. Q4 alone saw Household Assets inflate $2.192 TN, with Financial Assets up $1.589 TN and real estate gaining $557bn.

With Household Liabilities increasing $473bn over the past year, Household Net Worth (assets minus liabilities) inflated a notable $5.518 TN in 2016 to a record $92.805 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Net Worth rose to a record 492%. For comparison, Household Net Worth-to-GDP ended 1999 at 435% ($43.1 TN) and 2007 at 453% ($66.5 TN). Net Worth fell to a cycle low 378% of GDP ($54.4TN) in Q1 2009. In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.

..

UBS analysts forecast (above) $3.3 TN of 2017 Chinese Total Social Financing (TSF). And with TSF excluding national government deficit spending, let’s add another $300bn and presume 2017 Chinese system Credit growth of around $3.6 TN. As such, it’s possible that China and the U.S. could combine for Credit growth approaching an Unparalleled $6.0 TN. There are, as well, indications of an uptick in lending in the euro zone, and Credit conditions for the most part remain loose throughout EM. Importantly, the inflationary biases that have gained momentum in asset and securities markets and, increasingly, in consumer prices and corporate profits provide a tailwind for Credit expansion.'

- Doug Noland, Unparalleled Credit and Global Yields, March 10, 2017


Context

'..the S&P 500 is now far more overvalued than in 2000, 2007, or indeed in any prior point in history..'

          Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..') (no replies)        
Update February 11, 2017: 'In an interview on Monday with E&E News, Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post, and from the way his criticisms were portrayed in the Mail on Sunday article.

“The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” he said, “but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.”

Climate Home, a nonprofit site based in London that offers news and analysis, also weighed in on one of the central contentions of Mr. Rose’s article, that the publication of the NOAA paper had "duped” policy makers into adopting the Paris accord. The site contacted representatives to the talks from 10 countries; none said that the paper had any influence.'

- Henry Fountain, No Data Manipulation in 2015 Climate Study, Researchers Say, February 7, 2016


Update February 09, 2017: 'Dr Bates’ main complaint is that Dr Karl and his co-authors did not follow strict procedures required for NOAA’s ‘operational’ data. It is not yet clear whether Dr Karl should have subjected his research data to the same procedures. Dr Karl, who retired from NOAA in August 2016, has not yet had the opportunity to respond fully to Dr Bates’ allegations.'

- LSE: More fake news in ‘The Mail on Sunday’, February 5, 2017 (Wikipedia Bans Daily Mail As 'Unreliable' Source, February 08, 2017))


'..a failure to observe proper ethical standards..'

'Dr John Bates’s disclosures about the manipulation of data behind the ‘Pausebuster’ paper is the biggest scientific scandal since ‘Climategate’ in 2009 when, as this paper reported, thousands of leaked emails revealed scientists were trying to block access to data, and using a ‘trick’ to conceal embarrassing flaws in their claims about global warming.

Both scandals suggest a lack of transparency and, according to Dr Bates, a failure to observe proper ethical standards.

Because of NOAA ’s failure to ‘archive’ data used in the paper, its results can never be verified.

Like Climategate, this scandal is likely to reverberate around the world, and reignite some of science’s most hotly contested debates.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017


'Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

..

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’ '


'Dr Bates retired from NOAA at the end of last year after a 40-year career in meteorology and climate science. As recently as 2014, the Obama administration awarded him a special gold medal for his work in setting new, supposedly binding standards ‘to produce and preserve climate data records’.

..

Less than two years earlier, a blockbuster report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which drew on the work of hundreds of scientists around the world, had found ‘a much smaller increasing trend over the past 15 years 1998-2012 than over the past 30 to 60 years’. Explaining the pause became a key issue for climate science. It was seized on by global warming sceptics, because the level of CO2 in the atmosphere had continued to rise.

..

In the weeks after the Pausebuster paper was published, Dr Bates conducted a one-man investigation into this. His findings were extraordinary. Not only had Mr Karl and his colleagues failed to follow any of the formal procedures required to approve and archive their data, they had used a ‘highly experimental early run’ of a programme that tried to combine two previously separate sets of records.

..

Dr Bates revealed that the failure to archive and make available fully documented data not only violated NOAA rules, but also those set down by Science. Before he retired last year, he continued to raise the issue internally. Then came the final bombshell. Dr Bates said: ‘I learned that the computer used to process the software had suffered a complete failure.’

The reason for the failure is unknown, but it means the Pausebuster paper can never be replicated or verified by other scientists.

..

Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017


Context '..conduct more meetings on ethics .. Respectful discussion of different points of view should be encouraged.' - John Bates

Climategate: Follow the Money - By Bret Stephens

Those Who Control the Past Control the Future, Climate Data Edition, February 5, 2017

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'


'Trees are the best known ‘technology’ to cool our planet'

Focus Fusion - '..So, production reactors by 2020 or so.'

(Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Faraday - Tesla - 'The Accelerating Winds of Venus.' (Electric Universe - Solar Climate Change)


(The Electric Universe - Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Electric Fossils and Thundercrabs

(The Electric Universe) - '..weather systems .. an electric “wind” surrounds and often precedes an electric arc.'

(Thymology - Haptopraxeology) - '..entrepreneurship .. actions he will carry out and estimates the future effect of those actions..'


'...The peer review process is broken...' - '...don't have the "situational awareness"...'

On the Mail on Sunday article on Karl et al., 2015, February 5, 2017

          'We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war.' - Sidney Drell (no replies)        
'..My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

'The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?

..

..the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a series of misperceptions, miscalculations, and command-and-control problems almost started an accidental nuclear war—despite the determination of both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to avoid one. In perhaps the most dangerous incident, the captain of a Soviet submarine mistakenly believed that his vessel was under attack by U.S. warships and ordered the firing of a torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. His order was blocked by a fellow officer. Had the torpedo been fired, the United States would have retaliated with nuclear weapons. At the height of the crisis, while leaving the White House on a beautiful fall evening, McNamara had a strong feeling of dread—and for good reason: “I feared I might never live to see another Saturday night.”

..

The personnel who command, operate, and maintain the Minuteman III have also become grounds for concern. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia, behaving inappropriately with young Russian women, asking repeatedly if he could sing with a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow, and insulting his military hosts. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015, three launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, were dismissed for using illegal drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines. That same year, a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang, distributing drugs, sexually assaulting a girl under the age of sixteen, and using psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

..

..A recent memoir, “Uncommon Cause,” written by General George Lee Butler, reveals that the Pentagon was not telling the truth. Butler was the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of America’s nuclear weapons, during the Administration of President George H. W. Bush.

According to Butler and Franklin Miller, a former director of strategic-forces policy at the Pentagon, launch-on-warning was an essential part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop), the nation’s nuclear-war plan. Land-based missiles like the Minuteman III were aimed at some of the most important targets in the Soviet Union, including its anti-aircraft sites. If the Minuteman missiles were destroyed before liftoff, the siop would go awry, and American bombers might be shot down before reaching their targets. In order to prevail in a nuclear war, the siop had become dependent on getting Minuteman missiles off the ground immediately. Butler’s immersion in the details of the nuclear command-and-control system left him dismayed. “With the possible exception of the Soviet nuclear war plan, [the siop] was the single most absurd and irresponsible document I had ever reviewed in my life,” Butler concluded. “We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” The siop called for the destruction of twelve thousand targets within the Soviet Union. Moscow would be struck by four hundred nuclear weapons; Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, by about forty.

After the end of the Cold War, a Russian surprise attack became extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, hundreds of Minuteman III missiles remained on alert. The Cold War strategy endured because, in theory, it deterred a Russian attack on the missiles. McNamara called the policy “insane,” arguing that “there’s no military requirement for it.” George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized launch-on-warning, citing the “unacceptable risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.” Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert, warning that policies like launch-on-warning “increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” Twenty scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed strong opposition to retaining a launch-on-warning capability. It has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to go.

William J. Perry, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration, not only opposes keeping Minuteman III missiles on alert but advocates getting rid of them entirely. “These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Perry wrote in the Times, this September. For many reasons, he thinks the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was during the Cold War. While serving as an Under-Secretary of Defense in 1980, Perry also received a late-night call about an impending Soviet attack, a false alarm that still haunts him. “A catastrophic nuclear war could have started by accident.”

Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman launch officer, heads the anti-nuclear group Global Zero, teaches at Princeton University, and campaigns against a launch-on-warning policy. Blair has described the stresses that the warning of a Russian attack would put on America’s command-and-control system. American early-warning satellites would detect Russian missiles within three minutes of their launch. Officers at norad would confer for an additional three minutes, checking sensors to decide if an attack was actually occurring. The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack System collects data from at least two independent information sources, relying on different physical principles, such as ground-based radar and satellite-based infrared sensors. If the norad officials thought that the warning was legitimate, the President of the United States would be contacted. He or she would remove the Black Book from a briefcase carried by a military aide. The Black Book describes nuclear retaliatory options, presented in cartoon-like illustrations that can be quickly understood.

..

Although the Air Force publicly dismissed the threat of a cyberattack on the nuclear command-and-control system, the incident raised alarm within the Pentagon about the system’s vulnerability. A malfunction that occurred by accident might also be caused deliberately. Those concerns were reinforced by a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.

In a recent paper for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Andrew Futter, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, suggested that a nuclear command-and-control system might be hacked to gather intelligence about the system, to shut down the system, to spoof it, mislead it, or cause it to take some sort of action—like launching a missile. And, he wrote, there are a variety of ways it might be done.

..

Strict precautions have been taken to thwart a cyberattack on the U.S. nuclear command-and-control system. Every line of nuclear code has been scrutinized for errors and bugs. The system is “air-gapped,” meaning that its networks are closed: someone can’t just go onto the Internet and tap into a computer at a Minuteman III control center. At least, that’s the theory. Russia, China, and North Korea have sophisticated cyber-warfare programs and techniques. General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.

If communications between Minuteman control centers and their missiles are interrupted, the missiles can still be launched by ultra-high-frequency radio signals transmitted by special military aircraft. The ability to launch missiles by radio serves as a backup to the control centers—and also creates an entry point into the network that could be exploited in a cyberattack. The messages sent within the nuclear command-and-control system are highly encrypted. Launch codes are split in two, and no single person is allowed to know both parts. But the complete code is stored in computers—where it could be obtained or corrupted by an insider.

Some of America’s most secret secrets were recently hacked and stolen by a couple of private contractors working inside the N.S.A., Edward Snowden and Harold T. Martin III, both employees of Booz Allen Hamilton. The N.S.A. is responsible for generating and encrypting the nuclear launch codes. And the security of the nuclear command-and-control system is being assured not only by government officials but also by the employees of private firms, including software engineers who work for Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Lord Des Browne, a former U.K. Minister of Defense, is concerned that even ballistic-missile submarines may be compromised by malware. Browne is now the vice-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to reduce the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, where he heads a task force examining the risk of cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control systems. Browne thinks that the cyber threat is being cavalierly dismissed by many in power. The Royal Navy’s decision to save money by using Windows for Submarines, a version of Windows XP, as the operating system for its ballistic-missile subs seems especially shortsighted. Windows XP was discontinued six years ago, and Microsoft warned that any computer running it after April, 2014, “should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates.” Each of the U.K. subs has eight missiles carrying a total of forty nuclear weapons. “It is shocking to think that my home computer is probably running a newer version of Windows than the U.K.’s military submarines,” Brown said.In 2013, General C. Robert Kehler, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the risk of cyberattacks on the nuclear command-and-control system. He expressed confidence that the U.S. system was secure. When Senator Bill Nelson asked if somebody could hack into the Russian or Chinese systems and launch a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, Kehler replied, “Senator, I don’t know . . . I do not know.”

After the debacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union became much more reluctant to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the United States. Its politburo was a committee of conservative old men. Russia’s leadership is quite different today. The current mix of nationalism, xenophobia, and vehement anti-Americanism in Moscow is a far cry from the more staid and secular ideology guiding the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. During the past few years, threats about the use of nuclear weapons have become commonplace in Moscow. Dmitry Kiselyov, a popular newscaster and the Kremlin’s leading propagandist, reminded viewers in 2014 that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.” The Kremlin has acknowledged the development of a nuclear torpedo that can travel more than six thousand miles underwater before devastating a coastal city. It has also boasted about a fearsome new missile design. Nicknamed “Satan 2” and deployed with up to sixteen nuclear warheads, the missile will be “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” an official news agency claimed.

..

Russia’s greatest strategic vulnerability is the lack of a sophisticated and effective early-warning system. The Soviet Union had almost a dozen satellites in orbit that could detect a large-scale American attack. The system began to deteriorate in 1996, when an early-warning satellite had to be retired. Others soon fell out of orbit, and Russia’s last functional early-warning satellite went out of service two years ago. Until a new network of satellites can be placed in orbit, the country must depend on ground-based radar units. Unlike the United States, Russia no longer has two separate means of validating an attack warning. At best, the radar units can spot warheads only minutes before they land. Pavel Podvig, a senior fellow at the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, believes that Russia does not have a launch-on-warning policy—because its early-warning system is so limited.

For the past nine years, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of nuclear command and control, trying to understand the actual level of risk. Of all the people whom I’ve met in the nuclear realm, Sidney Drell was one of the most brilliant and impressive. Drell died this week, at the age of ninety. A theoretical physicist with expertise in quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, he was for many years the deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and received the National Medal of Science from Obama, in 2013. Drell was one of the founding members of jason—a group of civilian scientists that advises the government on important technological matters—and for fifty-six years possessed a Q clearance, granting him access to the highest level of classified information. Drell participated in top-secret discussions about nuclear strategy for decades, headed a panel that investigated nuclear-weapon safety for the U.S. Congress in 1990, and worked on technical issues for jason until the end of his life. A few months ago, when I asked for his opinion about launch-on-warning, Drell said, “It’s insane, the worst thing I can think of. You can’t have a worse idea.”

Drell was an undergraduate at Princeton University when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Given all the close calls and mistakes in the seventy-one years since then, he considered it a miracle that no other cities have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon—“it is so far beyond my normal optimism.” The prospect of a new cold war—and the return of military strategies that advocate using nuclear weapons on the battlefield—deeply unnerved him. Once the first nuclear weapon detonates, nothing might prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control. “We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war,” he said.

..

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin confront a stark choice: begin another nuclear-arms race or reduce the threat of nuclear war. Trump now has a unique opportunity to pursue the latter, despite the bluster and posturing on both sides. His admiration for Putin, regardless of its merits, could provide the basis for meaningful discussions about how to minimize nuclear risks. Last year, General James Mattis, the former Marine chosen by Trump to serve as Secretary of Defense, called for a fundamental reappraisal of American nuclear strategy and questioned the need for land-based missiles. During Senate testimony, Mattis suggested that getting rid of such missiles would “reduce the false-alarm danger.” Contrary to expectations, Republican Presidents have proved much more successful than their Democratic counterparts at nuclear disarmament. President George H. W. Bush cut the size of the American arsenal in half, as did his son, President George W. Bush. And President Ronald Reagan came close to negotiating a treaty with the Soviet Union that would have completely abolished nuclear weapons.

Every technology embodies the values of the age in which it was created. When the atomic bomb was being developed in the mid-nineteen-forties, the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. It was championed as a means to victory. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes—and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use. They threaten and endanger noncombatants for the sake of deterrence. Conventional weapons can now be employed to destroy every kind of military target, and twenty-first-century warfare puts an emphasis on precision strikes, cyberweapons, and minimizing civilian casualties. As a technology, nuclear weapons have become obsolete. What worries me most isn’t the possibility of a cyberattack, a technical glitch, or a misunderstanding starting a nuclear war sometime next week. My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

- Eric Schlosser, World War Three, By Mistake, December 23, 2016


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          (Haptopraxeology) - Students of Civilization (no replies)        
'I remain optimistic, but even more cautiously than before. If 2016 taught me anything, it was that we economists should stick to our jobs as "students of civilization" as the founding members of the Austrian School saw their intellectual mission.

..

..We have the tools and mentality to be 'students of civilization" as our intellectual tradition demands.'

- Peter Boettke, 2016: A Year in a Life, December 29, 2016


'This book argues that the work of the Austrian economists, including Carl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, has been too narrowly interpreted. Through a study of Viennese politics and culture, it demonstrates that the project they were engaged in was much broader: the study and defense of a liberal civilization. Erwin Dekker shows the importance of the civilization in their work and how they conceptualized their own responsibilities toward that civilization, which was attacked left and right during the interwar period. Dekker argues that what differentiates their position is that they thought of themselves primarily as students of that civilization rather than as social scientists, or engineers. This unique focus and approach is related to the Viennese setting of the circles, which constitute the heart of Viennese intellectual life in the interwar period.

• Corrects the one-sided view on Austrian economists which dominates the literature • Investigates how economics was transformed into a modern engineering science and what was lost in the process • Helps the reader understand how the Austrian economists regarded their role and responsibilities as scholars and citizens'

- The Viennese Students of Civilization, 2014


Context 'A judgment of value .. a man's affective response to definite conditions of the universe..' - Ludwig von Mises

'..dismantle the Marxist myth..' - 'Karl Marx, False consciousness'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?'

(The Electric Universe) - SAFIRE as Astrophysical Laboratory | EU2016


The Christmas Truce of 1914 - '..what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier..'

(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

'..how socialism actually produces a superclass of elites and a form of socio-economic apartheid..'


Presentation: Phase I (2012 - 2022) - The Beginning

          '..another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism.' (no replies)        
'..until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

'Economists pondering about human action distinguish between four types of individual incomes; the Koran permits only two, which explains much poverty in the Muslim world. Economists speak of labor income which flows from services rendered either in self-employment or working for an employer; the Koran smiles upon this basic kind of income. Economists also discern interest income which, reflecting human frailty and mortality, flows from the differences between man’s valuation of present economic goods and future goods; the Koran condemns “riba”, that is, interest income, and threatens all creditors who may be tempted to demand “riba” with “the fire prepared for unbelievers.” Economists also like to wax eloquent about entrepreneurial income, commonly called profits, which may be earned through correct anticipation of economic changes; failure to anticipate changes correctly may inflict entrepreneurial losses. The Koran simply prohibits economic activity that involves uncertainty, risk, or speculation and may earn “ghara.” The prohibition obviously discourages and hampers economic changes, adjustments, modernizations, and improvements that are uncertain and risky.

..

Muslim clerics are the tutors and preceptors not only of Islamic theology but also of social and economic ideology. Surely, they may not descend to the level of envy but may fly into anger and passion about the sinful behavior of all non-believers, that is, Christians and Jews, who grow rich in market economies, engaging in uncertain, risky, and speculative economic activity and prospering on riba and ghara. For some clerics the United States is the “Great Satan” and Israel his little offspring. It cannot be surprising that faithful followers abhor, fear, and hate the Great Satan and wish him evil. When a few Muslim fanatics flew into the World Trade Center in New York, killing more than 2,900 men and women, and another hijacked plane hit the Pentagon, killing 189 employees, jubilant masses thronged streets across the Muslim world, celebrating and rejoicing about the destruction and massacre.

..

..Today, the United States is in the early stages of a long struggle with radical Islamism that has been waging war against this country for some thirty years. Radical Islamic states have been breeding, sheltering, and financing the terrorist armies and radical clerics are invoking divine favor upon them.

The Western world, and especially the United States, is facing the prospect of a long and bitter war with a fanatical enemy. It is a desperate enemy because powerful forces of change are eroding its very ideological foundation. Modern communication technology has opened the windows of the world and is allowing people everywhere to observe Western mores and living conditions. A network of communication satellites, for instance, is continuously receiving, amplifying, and rebroadcasting signals to earth. Western ideas are reaching the minds of people everywhere and changing social, economic, political, and educational institutions. It cannot be surprising that Muslim autocracies like to keep the windows closed by monopolizing and disallowing access to such technology.

It is doubtful that the U.S. military will crush and completely render inactive a desperate enemy consisting of an organized guerilla force of Allah-fearing men and women. A small army of suicidal fanatics, a diminutive percentage of one billion and three hundred million Muslims in 206 countries, may wear away the patience and resolve of the American public and its political and military commanders. Such a possibility does not in any way intimate a victory and sway of Muslim fanatics over the forces of the West. Its paramount strength does not rest on brute military might but on its free and open way of life, its private property order and individual enterprise system. Its windows are wide open and its busy subjects are at work all over the world, simple ambassadors or even missionaries of its order. Even if the United States should ever stumble and lose its way, the windows are wide open and the bright light of individual freedom and the private property order would remain visible in many other parts of the West. It is unlikely that it can ever be extinguished.

The U.S. military is not going to conquer many Muslim countries, but individual freedom and the private property order may in time..

..

We shall know the future only when it comes. But our thoughts like to live in the future, and what they see is another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism. They see the Muslim world in a crisis which causes a few revolutionaries to strike at Americans. Insurgents may continue to lash out until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

- Hans F. Sennholz, In Another Cold War, 2004


Context

'..the battle of ideas taking place in the Muslim world..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?'

          '..dismantle the Marxist myth..' - 'Karl Marx, False consciousness' (no replies)        
'Every once in a while, even The Economist gets it right. In a review of an intellectual biography of Marx (Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion), published this past fall, they argue that “the myth is more impressive than the reality”. Echoing, in fact, several arguments from the book—written, surprisingly enough, by a scholar with Marxist leanings—, they point out how out of step Marx was with the theoretical developments of 19th century economics, and how dense and often nonsensical his writings were.

As refreshing as it may be, this perspective on Marx is hardly a new one. We know that throughout his work, Ludwig von Mises has exploded many of the fallacies of the Marxist school of thought, particularly those concerning the workings of a socialist system and the idea of class struggle. But Mises had, in several of his publications, also criticized the myth of Marx, pointing out inconsistencies and errors in his research, as well as criticizing his writing style.

Even if it will take a long time to dismantle the Marxist myth, I’d like to think that it will be Mises’s view of the world that will prevail.'

- Carmen Elena Dorobat, Mises on the Myth of Marx, December 26, 2016


'..Karl Marx .. the myth is more impressive than the reality.'

'COMMUNISM collapsed nearly 30 years ago, but the influence of Karl Marx lives on. Marxist approaches are found in some of the most interesting history and sociology being published today. Marx’s works, including “The Communist Manifesto”, written with Friedrich Engels in 1848, may have had more impact on the modern world than many suppose. Of the manifesto’s ten principal demands, perhaps four have been met in many rich countries, including “free education for all children in public schools” and a “progressive or graduated income tax”.

..

The overriding impression from this book is that Marx’s reputation (at least in some quarters) as an unrivalled economist-philosopher is wide of the mark. Marx had planned to write “Capital” in multiple volumes. He finished the first. But when it came to writing the second, on realising that he would face insurmountable intellectual hurdles, he pleaded illness (though seemed quite able to do other sorts of research). “Karl” was in the thick of the intellectual developments of the 19th century. But the myth is more impressive than the reality.'

- The Economist, Karl Marx, False consciousness, August 25, 2016


Context (Praxeology) - '..Menger’s experience stressed subjective factors..'

(Praxeology) - '..his or her subjective values .. to explain all economic phenomena as the results of what people do..'

(Praxeology) - 'Economics .. is about human choice and action.' - '..books by Mises, Rothbard and Hayek are already translated .. online bookstore in China..'

(Praxeology) - Savings - Economic Growth - 'We Need More Wealth, Not Necessarily More Employment' - Entrepreneurship


'..You really have to be able to think about the post-bureaucratic world..'

'..economic growth cannot be conjured into being by top-down interventionism in the form of monetary pumping and deficit spending..'

' “Monetary policy… after all, is extremely important” – is an understatement.' - Doug Noland


'..have organizations that are more and more adaptable and far more humane..'

'When Jan Patocka wrote .. the phenomenon of human conscience..' - Václav Havel

'..the phenomenon of wave after wave of economic ups and downs is ideological in character..'


Praxeology '...the primordial fact of individual human action.'

          (Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?' (no replies)        
'This factory-like system seems increasingly out of date. More and more people are crying out for innovation in education and starting to experiment with curricula, technologies, and governance in schools. But is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school? And what would it look like? A superb example can be found in the center of Berlin in Germany. The “ESBZ” is a grade 7-12 school that opened its doors in 2007 with more than a bit of improvisation. Just three months before the start of the school year, the city council had suddenly given a decrepit prefabricated building from communist times to a group of pesky parents who simply wouldn’t let go of their dream. When the school year started, only 16 students were registered. A few months later, at the mid-year point, 30 more students had joined, mostly rejects and troublemakers other schools had expelled. Hardly a promising start for a new school. And yet today, only a few years later, the school has 500 students and attracts hundreds of principals, teachers, and education specialists from all over the country who want to study the ESBZ model.'

- Frederic Laloux, (Reinventing Organizations, Chapter 2.2 _ Self-management Structures), page 93


'..Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..'


'..At Oberländer’s school, there are no grades until students turn 15, no timetables and no lecture-style instructions. The pupils decide which subjects they want to study for each lesson and when they want to take an exam.

The school’s syllabus reads like any helicopter parent’s nightmare. Set subjects are limited to maths, German, English and social studies, supplemented by more abstract courses such as “responsibility” and “challenge”. For challenge, students aged 12 to 14 are given €150 (£115) and sent on an adventure that they have to plan entirely by themselves. Some go kayaking; others work on a farm. Anton went trekking along England’s south coast.

The philosophy behind these innovations is simple: as the requirements of the labour market are changing, and smartphones and the internet are transforming the ways in which young people process information, the school’s headteacher, Margret Rasfeld, argues, the most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves.

“Look at three or four year olds – they are all full of self-confidence,” Rasfeld says. “Often, children can’t wait to start school. But frustratingly, most schools then somehow manage to untrain that confidence.”

The Evangelical School Berlin Centre (ESBC) is trying to do nothing less than “reinvent what a school is”, she says. “The mission of a progressive school should be to prepare young people to cope with change, or better still, to make them look forward to change. In the 21st century, schools should see it as their job to develop strong personalities.”

Making students listen to a teacher for 45 minutes and punishing them for collaborating on an exercise, Rasfeld says, was not only out of sync with the requirements of the modern world of work, but counterproductive. “Nothing motivates students more than when they discover the meaning behind a subject of their own accord.”

Students at her school are encouraged to think up other ways to prove their acquired skills, such as coding a computer game instead of sitting a maths exam. Oberländer, who had never been away from home for three weeks until he embarked on his challenge in Cornwall, said he learned more English on his trip than he had in several years of learning the language at school.

Germany’s federalised education structure, in which each of the 16 states plans its own education system, has traditionally allowed “free learning” models to flourish. Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..

..

Aged 65 and due to retire in July, Rasfeld still has ambitious plans. A four-person “education innovation lab” based at the school has been developing teaching materials for schools that want to follow the ESBC’s lead. About 40 schools in Germany are in the process of adopting some or all of Rasfeld’s methods. One in Berlin’s Weissensee district recently let a student trek across the Alps for a challenge project. “Things are only getting started,” says Rasfeld.

“In education, you can only create change from the bottom – if the orders come from the top, schools will resist. Ministries are like giant oil tankers: it takes a long time to turn them around. What we need is lots of little speedboats to show you can do things differently.” '

- Philip Oltermann, No grades, no timetable: Berlin school turns teaching upside down, July 1, 2016


Context

(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'


(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

          '..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..' (no replies)        
' “We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends..

..

..The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon..

..

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '



'..the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.

..

..President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.

..

..A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.

..

The United States had two decades of warning that Russia’s intelligence agencies were trying to break into America’s most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.

Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first “everyone was unable to connect the dots,” said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King’s College in London who has studied the attack.

Investigators gave it a name — Moonlight Maze — and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.

Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.

..

The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia’s war with Georgia.

..

Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria.

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.

..

..CrowdStrike’s nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear — the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for “advanced persistent threat” — may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer.

..

Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up — first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta’s email.

..

It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.

..

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin’s government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends. The media’s appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.

..

In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North’s young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.

In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony’s own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North’s internet connections.

As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, “it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,” said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in “The Godfather” where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.

..

As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking — the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin’s motive.

..

Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?

In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

- Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., December 13, 2016


Context '[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'

'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'

'[Putin is doing] anything that can and will expand Russian influence to U.S.S.R.-era levels of power.'


'..Zero tolerance for Russian intrusions .. Estonia .. policy of publicly naming or prosecuting spies..'

'..the Soviet Union was cut off from Western financial markets and was effectively under permanent sanctions..'

          Links der Woche, 30. Oktober 2011        
Firefox With Bing Search: Microsoft, Mozilla Announce New Partnership – The Huffington Post Breaking News: Microsoft to ditch IE, in bed with Mozilla (O RLY?) Für diejenigen unter uns, die nicht Chuck Norris sind The State of the Intranet The Ultimate Collection of Professional Free Fonts connect.BASF – the Online Business Network Traditionsunternehmen erfindet interne ... weiterlesen
          Links der Woche, 23. Oktober 2011        
Responsive Webdesign kann er auch, der Werkzeugkasten Foundation 2.0 » t3n News Technisch sehr interessantes Web-Framework Four ways Steve Jobs influenced intranets – Intranet & Digital Workplace Strategies – NetJMC Leicht irreführender Titel, guter Artikel Amazon Helps Cement HTML5’s Place in the Future of Publishing Auftrieb für HTML5 Pressemeldungen von Rechtsanwalt Dominik Boecker – Köln ... weiterlesen
          Links der Woche, 24. Juli 2011        
RAMP: Easy Content Deployment for WordPress | alexking.org Google+ is the social backbone – O’Reilly Radar Einen besseren Hintergrundartikel zu G+ habe ich noch nicht gelesen. Weblogs als Fels in der Brandung der Social Networks | WordPress & Webwork Warum es wichtig ist, selbst die Kontrolle zu behalten.
          TOT/TDW and other peace corps acronyms        
Quiche dinner in the transit house Those of us who are helping with training this summer/rainy season are in Yaounde this week and next for the TDW (Training Design Workshop) and TOT (Training of Trainers). Gabe and I are here designing the technical training sessions for the 5 incoming computer literacy trainees as well as working [...]
          Comment on Intuitive Painting Workshop, come join us! by Joanna        
Very exciting, Emily, no better woman, lucky participants .
          Comment on Folding by Nuala Ni Chonchuir        
Beautiful work, Ems, and a lovely pic for the article :) Love to you all x
          Chrome - Google Tone        


I continue to be impressed by the options for access that are being developed for the Chrome Web Browser.  Google just released an experiment called Google Tone.  The concept is that it will play a short tone that other computers can hear, and they will open the URL you shared.  The extension must be installed on all the computers nearby (wish it worked on mobile devices!) and have access to the microphone.  Just click the link in the toolbar and it sends out the "tone".  You can install the extension here - g.co/tone and it works in Chrome for Mac, Windows and all Chromebook devices.  Happy Sharing!



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          weekly Diigo Post (weekly)        

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


          Google Classroom for SPED        

Google Classroom is a new offering for districts who use Google Apps for Education (GAFE).  Classroom is a combination of Edmodo and Doctupus; part social network and part document manager.  Once Classroom is enabled you are able to create classes and invite your students to join.  Google creates a folder in your Drive, a place for you to upload and/or create documents to share with those students.  From the main Classroom page you have options for posting Announcements or create assignments.  Assignments can be linked to a Drive Document, Youtube video, weblink or you can attach a file.  Students can then complete the work and turn it in via Classroom.  When using Google Docs you have the option to allow students to view the document, edit one document or it will create a separate document for each student.

For self-contained teachers this immediately solves issues with distributing and collecting Google Doc files.  It's also a place for students to communicate questions with their classmates or you.  While the interface is limited and the themes are pretty basic, I think the potential for this product is astounding.

From my new perspective of a push-in support teacher, I see this as a way to push out modified assignments to students.  Part of our new reading curriculum involves discussion guides and we, as a special education team, are considering modifying them so they are Google Docs.  This would give me a way to push out specific docs, to specific students easily.  I also think giving students a place they can post questions might be useful, especially students who may not want to speak up in class.  I can see it as a way for those students to contact me when we are not together in class.

I'm going to continue to give it a try, and see if there are other ways it can be utilized.  I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on using Google Classroom.  This week Google opened it all users with GAFE account, but there is one caveat.  You and your students must be on the same domain.  This is actually a problem in my district, my email ends in "d57.org" and our students are "students.d57.org" so I cannot create a Classroom unless I have a different login.  This is frustrating, but Google is aware and hopefully they will fix it in the near future.



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Do you know somebody else who would find this post interesting or useful? Please forward it to them. Did somebody forward this post to you? Visit Teaching All Students and subscribe to receive posts for free. If you need a RSS Reader please visit this post Google Reader Replacements.

          weekly Diigo Post (weekly)        

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          weekly Diigo Post (weekly)        

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


          LATAR BELAKANG DAN SEJARAH JARINGAN KOMPUTER        
LATAR BELAKANG DAN SEJARAH
Sejarah jaringan komputer global ( dunia ), dimulaipada tahun 1969, ketika Departemen Pertahan Amerika, membentuk Defense Advance Research Projects Agency ( DARPA ) yang bertujuan mengadakan riset mengenai ‘cara menghubungkan sejumlah komputer sehingga membentuk jaringan organik’.

Program riset ini kemudian dikenal dengan nama ARPANET ( Advance Research projects Agency Network ). pada tahun 1970, lebih dari 10 komputer telah berhasil dihubungkan ( satu dengan yang lain ), saling berkomunikasi, dan membentuk sebuah jaringan. pada atahun 1972, Roy Tomlinson berhasil menyempurnakan program e-mail yang ia ciptakan setahun yang lalu untuk riset ARPANET.

Program e-mail tersebut begitu mudah dan lansung populer saat itu. pada tahun yang sama, icon [@] diperkenalkan sebagai lambang yang menunjukkan “at” atau “pada”. Tahun 1973, jaringan komputer yang diberi nama ARPANET mulai dikembangkan meluas sampai luar Amerika Serikat. komputer di University College di London merupakan komputer diluar Amerika yang menjadi anggota jaringan ARPANET. pada tahu yang sama pula, dua orang ahli komputer Vinton Cerf dan Bob Khan mempresentasikan sebuah gagasan yang lebih besar yang menjadi cikal bakal pemikiran International Network. ide ini dipresentasikan untuk pertama kalinya di Sussex University.
Hari bersejarah berikutnya terjadi pada tanggal 26 Maret 1976. ketika itu, ratu Inggris berhasil mengirimkan sebuah e-mail dari Royal Signals and Radar Establishment di Malvern. setahun kemudian, lebih dari 100 komputer telah bergabung dalam system ARPANET dan membentuk sebuah jaringan atau Network.
Pada tahun 1979, Tom Truscott, Jim Ellis, dan Steve Bellovin menciptakan Newsgroups pertama yang diberi nama USENET ( User Network ). pada tahun 1981, France Telecommenciptakan sebuah gebrakan baru dengan meluncurkan telepon televisi pertama dunia ( orang dapat saling menelepon sambil berinteraksi denagan Video link ).
seiring dengan bertambahnya komputer yang membentuk jaringan, dibutuhkan sebuah protokol resmi yang dapat diakui dan diterima oleh semua jaringan. untuk itu, pada tahun 1982 dibentuk sebuah komisi Transmission Control Protocol ( TCP ) atau lebih dikenal dengan sebutan Internet Protocol ( IP ) yang kita kenal hingga saat ini. sementara itu, didaratan Eropa muncul sebuah jaringan tandingan yang dikenal dengan Europe Network ( EUNET ) yang meliputi wilayah Belanda, Inggris, Denmark, dan Swedia. Jaringan eunet ini menyediakan jasa e-mail dan newsgroup USENET.

Untuk menyeragamkan alamat jaringan komputer yang sudah ada, pada tahun 1984 diperkenalkan system dengan nama DOMAIN yang lebih dikenal dengan Domain Name System ( DNS ). dengan system DNS, komputer yang tersambung dengan jaringan melebihi 1.000 komputer. pada tahun 1987 diperkirakan komputer yang tersambung ke jaringan tersebut melonjak 10 kali lipat menjadi 10.000 komputer lebih.
Tahun 1988, Jarkko Oikarinen berkebangsaan Finlandia menemukan sekaligus memperkenalkan Internet Relay Chat atau lebih dikenal dengan IRC yang memungkinkan dua orang atau lebih pengguna komputer dapat berinteraksi secara langsung dengan pengiriman pesan ( Chatting ). akibatnya, setahun kemudian jumlah komputer yang saling berhubungan melonjak 10 kali lipat. tak kurang dari 100.000 komputer membentuk sebuah jaringan.pertengahan tahun 1990 merupakan tahun yang paling bersejarah, ketika Tim Berners Lee merancang sebuah programe editor dan browser yang dapat menjelajai komputer yang satu dengan yang lainnya dengan membentuk jaringan. programe inilah yang disebut WWW atau World Wide Web.

Tahun 1992, komputer yang saling tersambung membentuk jaringan sudah melampaui lebih dari stau juta komputer. pada tahun yang sama muncul satu istilah yang beken, yaitu Surfing ( Menjelajah ). tahun 1994, situs-situs Dunia mulai tumbuh dengan subur ( setidaknya, saat itu terdapat 3.000 alamat halaman ) dan bentuk pertama kalinya Virtual Shopping atau e-retail muncul diberbagai situs. Dunia langsung berubah dengan diluncurkannya perusahaan Search Engine Pertama, yaitu Yahoo!. yang dibangun oleh David Filo dan Jerry yang pada bulan April 1994. Netscape Navigator 1.0. diluncurkan dipenghujung tahun 1994.


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          Three days in Berlin (or improving the pim user experience)        

KDE Project:

Last weekend I've met with some of our old timer KDEPIM developers and some of the newer ones who are interested in KDEPIM or related technologies in the KDAB offices in Berlin.
Being a KDAB employee for a few years already (wow, time is passing quickly), the place was familiar, the people looked familiar. The foosball table was slightly familiar, although some players changed their dresses in order to spread confusion inside the visitor's heads. That is the only reason we've lost against locals with 5-0, 5-0.
Suprisingly enough, the table wasn't used that much. Why? Because people were busy either working and talking. What they talked about I don't know too much, as I focused on some issues I planned to fix, but others can testify that Volker did not sit too much in front of his computers, but was dragged from one place to another for various discussions.
Most of us started on Friday around noon. I won't tell too much about what others did, that is mostly their problem. Especially if they were on the other side of the room and I didn't saw their screens, I can't tell if they worked at all or not. They looked like they did though. ;) I can share some things about what some sitting nearby did. See later.
As recently I became the de-facto maintainer and bugfixer for mail filters, I worked mostly on them. Unfortunately the first attempt to fix a bug failed: a bug that bothers me, although it is not the most reported one. It is about mails not being filtered for a while after a resume from hibernation. It is hard to reproduce, and although I run into it, I couldn't reproduce reliably enough and in a way I can debug it. After fighting with it and realising it won't work, I gave up. See you next time.
Meantime we had some excellent food in an Indian restaurant, then when finally everybody arrived (almost everybody to be honest, plus even some more from KDAB who didn't sign up, but show up there), we were ready to start with presenting the kdepim and Akonadi architecture. Old time pimsters Volker Krause, Kevin Krammer and Tobias Koenig helped me with it, and sometimes saved me, as my knowledge in some area proved to be superficial. We ended up with a pretty impressive drawing on the whiteboard:
Hopefully for those being on site it was understandable.

Time passed, so we went out for dinner to a Greek restaurant at the corner. Nice place, third time being there, good food (seems Berlin has only good eating places). We even saw how Germany won over Ireland. Too bad Steveire (Stephen Kelly) was not there... We continued with some more talks and hacking, then everybody went to their sleeping places.
Some left earlier, some later waiting for remote developers to show up and discuss the patches (he didn't show up).

Day 2
Next day started around 9 o'clock for some. Later for others. I continued with the filter debugging and fixing. I looked at the bugreports and tried to come up with some bugs that are both would help the users and myself. I'm selfish, I want to fix the bugs I run into. ;) One problem that bothered me for a long time is that email content from online IMAP is downloaded even if no filter for IMAP requires it (but a filter for e.g POP3 needs the full content). Now this is fixed and those who use online imap could notice a great speedup in mail syncing (depending on their filter setup). Another often reported issue was duplicating the mails, especially after spam filtering. You've ended up with a mail in the spam folder and a mail in the original place. This could be combined with a conflict dialog shown up as well for that mail. This problem actually revealed a not-well handled case down inside the Akonadi stack that was created by a reordering of filter commands in the filtering code. For those who want technical details: if there was a move action (like "move mail to spam folder") followed by a modify action (like "mark as read"), the filter reordered this to "mark as read" followed by a move. Unfortunately this exposed two problems, (mostly, but not only) IMAP specific: on IMAP you can't modify a mail, instead you create a new one and delete the old. What happened here is that a filter changed the mail (run through bogofilter/spamassasin), then the "mark as read" action was executed, which uploaded the changes, including the changed mail to the IMAP server. This caused a new ID for the item on the IMAP server. The mail with the old ID was deleted. Then the filter agent performed a move, but he had only the *old* ID, before the modifications. The move - if performed between two different resources, like IMAP and local maildir - is technically a copy followed by a delete. The copy worked fine, but the delete didn't. It tried to delete the old mail again (which was gone), not the modified version. That's how you ended up with a duplicate.
The current solution is to reorder the filtering pipeline, so the move is performed before the flag modifications. The extra benefit is that the filtered message is not uploaded again just to be deleted the next second. Speedup, less network traffic, better user experience. This doesn't fix the main problem with Akonadi, but it is an acceptable workaround. The reordering is so far only in the master branch (KDE 4.10), but the relevant code will be backported to the 4.9 branch, so it will be in 4.9.3.
And speaking of conflicts, that was the next hot topic, and one of the often reported bugs. It was mostly caused by conflicting flag changes (read/spam/important/etc), either caused by KMail itself plus the filtering or just KMail. After some discussion we agreed, that reporting conflicts on flag changes doesn't make sense, so we should not bother the user. It is not data loss, and in worst case some flag is reset. In normal case nothing wrong happens, as Akonadi is able to merge two changes in the flags (or so claims Volker).
I have to admit that this fix was not completed at the sprint, I finished it today, as I noticed more code in KDEPIM that didn't disable conflict check on flag changes.
While doing the changes, I did quite some refactoring, cleaning up the code as much as I could do for the parts I touched. The code was originally deep inside KMail (as most of other code), got extracted from it for 4.8.0, and now we are at the stage that we can make the extracted code more cleaner, we can remove some things that doesn't make sense anymore now that the filtering is not inside KMail.
While reading the bug reports, I also run into one indicating that mails arriving to an MBOX account (like /var/spool/mail/username) are not filtered automatically. Sounds like an easy bug to fix and so was it. Now they are filtered.
Finally another annoying issue was fixed: there was no indication that filtering is ongoing. Now when this happens, you can see in the KMail's progress bar.
The net result of the above: faster filtering, less annoying and useless error dialogs for the users. And according to bugzilla, 31 bugs less (some were duplicates though).

Nepomuk...one of the things that, well, so far I was always recommending for users to turn off. Slight detour here: what is Nepomuk and its relation to KMail? Nepomuk helps you to find data. It indexes all kind of data and with some queries you can find e.g every file where my name is mentioned, all email addresses from any file, etc. There is a process that goes through the akonadi data (emails, calendars, etc) and "feeds" to it for Nepomuk to be indexed. Then there are queries and code in KMail accessing Nepomuk: getting email addresses for composer's autocompletion, searching inside mail bodies, tagging your emails with custom tags, etc.
Unfortunately there are problems around it. One is that some queries ae processed quite slowly, that in turn slows down KMail, leading to poor user experience. E.g switching between mails, sending mails, etc. is slow. Or startup is slow or even blocked. I tried to fix the last part as I just run into it, but as this was my very first Nepomuk related patch, I'm not sure 100% succeeded. We found a problem with the Nepomuk API itself, and I informed Vishesh, the Nepomuk developer about it (even if I used non-blocking calls against Nepomuk, one call is blocking without question). He suggested something I might try later, although I'd be more happier if somebody with real Nepomuk knowledge could give a review of the pim Nepomuk usage.
Then there is the Akonadi feeder, that gives the data to Nepomuk. Something is not perfect there and the indexing causes a serious slowdown, where either itself or Nepomuk (actually its storage backend, virtuoso) starts to use the CPU *a lot*. This is the main reason I recommend to users to disable Nepomuk so far. We had Christian Mollekopf the author of the feeder in the sprint, and he worked on some optimizations. Hopefully this will improve the situation. Meantime we (and I) tried to convince Vishesh to use KMail, so he can see himself the problems our users face.

As a break we had another presentation, this time about KMail itself, what components make up KMail, how they are distributed. As far as I saw, this was less interesting to the audience, they rather looked at their computers and hacked on something. Luckily our KMail maintainer, Laurent Montel, is super active, but I wouldn't mind more contributors. Too bad he wasn't at the sprint.

We had a lunch at a nearby place, nothing extra, but the food was (again) good.

What did other do? Let's see what I can remember... Sune dreamed about crypto stuff and composite jobs. He worked on making some cryptographic code asynchronous and started to get faimiliar with kdepim code. I'd not say he picked up the easiest job.
Volker run around all the time, discussed various things like "spanish sync" with Alex Fiestas (see here), database backends with Martin, change recorder with David Faure (who remotely joined the meeting and got lost inside the change recorder code ... he has the solution now in his head, so be patient, we will end up with a better implementation for it that again speeds up Akonadi), job pipelines with me, and who knows what with others, as for a long time he just disappeared with a bunch of developers. They actually ended up in the lobby discussing "stuff". Milian Wolf, who is not (or not yet?) a KDEPIM developer, but mainly a KDevelop one, joined us and used massif to track down some ugly memory usage in KMail. And he did a good job in it. Previously KMail used more and more memory as you navigated between large folders (Alex mentioned some 2GB for him), while now it levels up at one point and doesn't increase. He might blog himself about, as he has also some nice graphs.
Then there were two guys from KDAB, who are old time pim developers (quiz: find their names in this blog), but they cooked something else, not related to KDEPIM, not related concretely to KDE, but to a lower level: to Qt. It is an amazingly cool stuff, but I don't want to give more details. Expect it to be presented a the Qt Developer Days, either in a talk or at the KDAB booth. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure it will be freely available what they did and KDE can enjoy it in the future.
I'm sorry that I don't remember what the rest did. In general I know that Martin Klapetek worked on the social network resources, Mark Gaiser, who recently started to work on KDEPIM stuff eagerly listened to our presentations and worked on a QML calendar application, Alex kept reporting bugs and discussed improvements with Volker, while John Layt, the "timezone KDE guy" worked on plasma calendar related issues.
As a KDE person Chani also joined us for a while, we quickly nominated her as the QML and Plasma person, so all questions related to them were immediately redirected to Chani. Jos Poortvilet was also supposed to join for some talks, but he could show up only on Sunday for personal reasons.
At the end of the day everybody was so busy, so instead of going out for eating, we just ordered some pizza. And most of us stood in the office well past midnight.

Day 3
Well, the above partially happened on Sunday. It was a shorter day for me, due to the late night standup before, and that I had to go to the airport after lunch. A lunch that wasn't exactly as planned. We went out for a Doner Kebab place that is supposed to be the best one in Berlin. It is just a small kiosk on the sidewalk in a street, but man, there was a big queue for it. On a Sunday! Locals says it is worse on weekdays. Even after almost an hour, we still had 10 persons in front of us, my departure time was approaching, so I gave up and instead bought some (quite good) chinese fast-food from a nearby place, then rushed to the airport.
A long journey awaited me with a 3 hour stopover in Munich, but luckily I had a power supply there and even some network (they offer 30 minutes/day/phone number), so I could continue on the work I started at the sprint. After flying and driving another 2.5 hours, I arrived late (or rather early) morning next day back home, and after sleept until around 10. Then I started to work again for KDAB, a work that is just as enjoyable as working for KDE. After all, the two communities has a serious overlap. ;)
That's from the sprint. If you'll be at the Qt Developer Days Europe, we might meet there. I'm looking forward for a good conference.


          The story of some bugfixes        

KDE Project:

This is the story of how bugfixes can happen. For each bug there is a bug reporter. It doesn't really matter if it is another developer or a non-developer user, as in the end it is just a user. Or does it? Let's see.

The first bug I fixed not so long ago was a line on the chat asking "what's ctrl+shift+l supposed to do in kmail?" from Albert (tsdgeos). Sounded like user support, but turned out that the reason he asked me was that pressing this combination crashed KMail. Of course, I tried and could reproduce it. It was related to Favorite Folders and as nor the reporter, nor I had such folders configured, it was rather straightforward where the problem is. Half an hour ago the bugfix was committed, everybody is happy.

The second was more complicated. There was a long standing report from our KDE expert David Faure that resulted in losing the mail content on move. It wasn't the first time I looked at the code to find the problem, without success. We couldn't even reproduce the bug. Then suddenly a message came on IRC: he could reproduce it again and found a pattern how it happens: it happens if the source mail account (resource) is in offline mode, meaning KMail *might* not have access to the whole mails, only to the cached parts (the mail header). Having this information finding the bug was relatively easy and next day David has the patch. But he wasn't happy: now he got an ugly message box with an error that doesn't mean too much, an error that doesn't tell what is the problem and what could be the solution. So I looked up how this could be fixed. The solution wasn't straightforward, involved changing several pim related components, including adding a new DBUS method that is used to communicated between different Akonadi part, but in the end I had it...only to realize that although I get a nice error now when copying mails, I can't read my mails. Because it gives a DBUS related error. I've added a method returning a string, but from the error it said that it was expecting a string, but got a boolean. Confusing.
Looked at the code, looked again, tried different things: no go. I told to David (knowing that he is an extermly good developer), that here is the code, here is the error, I have no idea what to do.
He looked at, and all seemed fine. It was late, we both called it a night and went to sleep. Of course the problem bothered me, so next day I wanted to give it a go. Guess what, David was also online (this was Saturday), he was also interested in the problem. :) To make the story short, he found the issue: the problem was a setDelayedReply( true ); call I overlooked. That caused basically QDBus to ignore our return value, that must be sent later (and the code sent a boolean there). David did a refactoring, I found a corner case, we both tested, all was fine. After a few final touches, like making the string translatable the patch was ready for review. As David said, it was a nice teamwork.

The last one was the same day at evening: a complaint that KMail cannot move/delete folders from an IMAP inbox. Weird bug, as most of us use IMAP, so this should have been noticed before. I asked for details, I asked for different logs, to try different scenarios. The reporter followed everything I told promptly, and the surroundings of the bug started to take shape. He had an IMAP server without support for ACL (access rights). In that case we should assume everything is fully accessible. And so was everything for him, but the top-level inbox. Having that information, by reading the code I found the faulty line - a line that was weird, and unneeded. The line was introduced because of a bugfix, so I looked up the bug only to find users complained it is still not fixed. No wonder, as the fix was not doing anything about the original problem, but unfortunately created other problems. I have to admit that the API involved is easy to be used in a wrong way, but hard to fix now. For those interested (and to avoid such API), here is the problem:

// Returns the rights the user has on the collection.
Collection::Rights Collection::rights() const
{
CollectionRightsAttribute *attr = attribute();
if ( attr ) {
return attr->rights();
} else {
return AllRights;
}
}


// Sets the @p rights the user has on the collection.
void Collection::setRights( Rights rights )
{
CollectionRightsAttribute *attr = attribute( AddIfMissing );
attr->setRights( rights );
}

And the problematic commit looked like this:

Collection root;
root.setRights( Akonadi::Collection::CanCreateCollection );

You see, by default, a Collection object doesn't have any rights set. If Collection::rights() is called it will return AllRights. What happens after the above setRights() call? The Collection will have now right attributes (CanCreateCollection), so a further Collection::rights() returns that attribute. But *only* that one. Certainly not the behavior one would expect. We can debate that the plural form (setRightS) suggests that, but I still find bad API.
Back to the reporter, luckily the problem could be fixed with the developer tool called "akonadiconsole", so he was happy. Other users will get the fix in the next release.

From the three reporters two were KDE developers. One not having too much knowledge about the PIM part, the other having some knowledge, as he is the one running in the most weird PIM Issues, and we just tell to him to fix his own bugs, while the third was somebody who I never met before, so I assume he is a regular user.

What helped in all cases was communication: giving valuable information (like how to reproduce, what is your configuration, etc) and carefully following the instructions the developer makes. Especially if the developer cannot reproduce it, the only real chance to fix it is that the user acts as the eyes and hands of the developer. If I tell to my hand to type "foo", but it types "bar", nothing good will result in it, as I'd expecet that "foo" was typed and act further accordingly.
So bug reporters, please try to gather as much information from your side as possible when creating a report and always follow the requests a developer makes.

You should not draw a wrong conclusion from the above: that reporting on *development channels* on IRC helps and you should always come there with your bugs. IRC is great for instant communication. It is very bad though as you might not find the right person there when you report.
Use the bugtracker. Wait patiently for feedback (e.g. I work on KDE only from time to time and many others do the same). It is ok to ask about certain bug on IRC, but don't forget to report it. It is also ok, once the developer responds and starts to work on the bug to contact him on IRC (if you know its nick), as communication is faster on it.
Just saying something doesn't work on IRC will also not do any good, unless you are prepared to help track down the issue. And then you will suddenly become part of the team. It is not that hard to be a KDE contributor, no? :)

To answer my first question: does it matter if the reporter is a developer or a user? In certain aspect it does, I couldn't fix the bug (at least not that easy) without David. It might be slightly easier or faster to get out information from a developer. But if the communication is good, it doesn't matter too much.


          Akonadi misconception #1: where is my data?        

KDE Project:

I regularly see the same misconception and fear popping up on the mailing lists, bug reports and IRC: if the Akonadi database gets corrupted, I will lose my data.

To make it clear from the beginning: the Akonadi database is NOT your MAIN data storage.
Even if it gets destroyed, removed, your data is still safe.

So what is the database?

1) It is an interface: the Akonadi server and the underlying database is a common interface to your (PIM-alike) data for different applications, so those applications do not have to deal with the data files directly.

2) But I see my email headers and even the body in the database and in $HOME/.local/share/akonadi/file_db_data. Why? Because the database is also a cache towards your data. Common, frequently accessed parts (like e-mail headers) are stored in the database. These are usually stored permanently and kept in sync with your original data source (IMAP folders, mails on the local disc).
Parts requested infrequently are either stored in the database or in the above folder. The actual place is decided upon the size of the data. These parts are from time to time cleaned up from the cache, if they were not used for a certain period of time. Technically it is possible to configure when the cache is cleaned or if it is cleaned at all, but the regular user should not have to deal with it.

3) Is there anything I might lose by deleting the database? Yes, there is, and that is the metadata added to your data. That can be anything extra information that cannot be stored in the format of your data, like Nepomuk tags or other custom information. In case of emails, you might think that read/forwarded/etc. can be lost. Luckily this is not the case (since KDE 4.7.2), as the email storage formats can store these informations natively.

The above explains why you will not lose any critical information by losing your akonadi database.

Good, but where is my data if not in the database? This depends on what kind of data we are talking about.

1) E-mail: in case of IMAP (online or disconnected) your data is on the IMAP server. With disconnected IMAP there are windows when your local cache contains data that is not yet syncronized to the server, deleting the local cache in this case indeed will make you lose the unsynchronized files. This is not Akonadi specific though, this is true for any disconnected IMAP client.
In case of POP3, the mails is stored immediately after download in a local maildir folder. The actual place of the folder depends on your configuration, it can be just as $HOME/Mail, as $HOME/kde./share/apps/kmail/ or $HOME/.local/share/.local-mail (for new installations).

2) Calendars and contact information: they can be either on a server (Kolab server, LDAP server) and only cached in Akonadi as explained, or they can be in local vcard or .ics file. The actual location of these files again depends on your setup. The new standard place for them is $HOME/.local/share/contacts.

Still there were reports of data losing, why? Unfortunately programmers are not perfect and introduce bugs in the codebase. One of the most severe bugs caused real data losing when copying mails from one folder to another. This is fixed with KDE 4.7.2+ and any recent Akonadi server. There are other bugs around, but none will cause losing your original data files.

Finally, what will happen if the database gets corrupted? Of course, it needs to be recreated. You can try by shutting down akonadi server (akonadictl stop), removing the $HOME/.local/share/akonadi and syncronize all your resources again (this will take some time). If the database is not recreated, you need to do a full cleanup by removing also the configuration files under $HOME/.config/akonadi.
Then you need to add back your resources (IMAP/POP3/contact files/etc) and syncrhonize them. In case of emails, you need to check your filters, they most probably try to move the mails into a wrong folder.
Yes, this is a lot of work and should be avoided as much as possible, but it should be done only in the rare case of real database corruption.

I hope this will clear some confusion about the data storage inside Akonadi.

And a few word about the database itself.
We use MySql. I don't know the original reason why it was picked up (ask Volker about that ;) ), but I know some people don't like it for whatever reason.
Most of them try to use SqLite. A friendly warning: don't. This is explained also in the akonadi wiki. All what is written there is true, and I experienced myself as well.
Unfortunately recently I learned that MySQL has some severe issues in certain cases: NFS mounted home directories and failed suspend/resume. In these cases the database gets corrupted (this is a MySQL bug!), and cannot be easily restored. I did not experience this corruption myself, but was reported from time to time.
What remains is trying another database server, namely PostgreSQL. Akonadi supports it, it is possible to change the database backend in the akonaditray or in the akonadiconsole application. Changing backends means importing all your data again to the database, like you'd start from scratch. PostgreSQL support is not that well tested, so expect some rough edges, but we would like to see people try it out and reporting their experience with it.
It is my personal opinion only, but if PostgreSQL proves to work fine, we might switch to that as the default backend, given the problems with MySQL.

What about other database backends? There were plans to use Virtuoso, to reduce the number of database severs needed for a KDE desktop, but the work was not completed. See the techbase aritcle.

UPDATE: Christophe Giboudeaux raised a point about PostgreSQL, that their database format changes between major releases in an incompatible way and there is no automated, easy way for upgrade (you need to dump it with the old version and import with the new one). Sad, that there is no perfect solution.


          KMail - making it more usable        

KDE Project:

KMail is one of the most important applications inside KDE, I think hardly can argue anybody about it. Everybody is using email, and even if some think that a webmail solution can be just as good, most of us still do what we did 10-15 years ago: download mail to our computer/phone/tablet and carry that around.
And for that we need a mail application.
It is not news that KMail got just too big and not flexible enough in the KDE 3.x days. Somehow it was ported to KDE 4, but this was a crude port, without much improvements in its design. A new generic PIM backend was growing up meantime, and with some corporate support from KDAB, a new generation of KMail, KOrganizer and other PIM application started to take shape.
From those I can tell about KMail, as I was more involved into it. As we wanted to have a mobile, touchscreen version as well, the work of porting KMail to Akonadi was done together with breaking KMail into smaller pieces, more or less standalone libraries to reuse as much code as possible. Time, manpower and other reasons limited what we could do, so this was a part success. We created and improves some generic usage libraries (KIMAP, KMime), some internal libraries that are nice, some that are not that nice, and in the end we had something that could have been a good foundation for KMail 2 series.
I started to use KMail2 at that time, and in the beginning it was a fustrating experience. I can't count how many times I deleted and created again the accounts, the Akonadi database. But after a while I realized that I don't have to do anymore. KMail2 was still not released to the public, but got better and better. Unfortunately only slowly, as even less people worked on it, and only in their free time. It had bugs, some more annoying, some less annoying, but was usable enough to not force me to go back to KMail1.
Then the PIM community took a deep breath - just like the KDE community did with KDE 4.0 - and finally released KMail2 officially.
Funny or not, around this time I started to have problems with it. A migration of my second computer failed horribly. A cleanup of the Akonadi database and changing from the mixed maildir to maildir format was also painful. I blamed the developers a lot (including myself :) ). Then things started to move on and KMail got a new maintainer, who is very active (hi Laurent!). And we organized a developer sprint to stabilize KMail.
The sprint took place last weekend in KDAB's Berlin office and was sponsored by the company. Everybody who knows the KDAB office, knows about the famous foosball table. Do I have to said that in the weekend we played only once? Yes, people were coding intensively, Volker had to raise the priority of the "FOOD" topic often.
Issues were listed on the whiteboard. And everybody picked up what he was interested to do. Work was done on the migrator, the mixed maildir agent, the maildir resource, on the akonadi server, performance bottlenecks were identified and a new filtering resource was created, fixing the most hated KDE bug (should be closed as soon as Tobias Koenig is happy with his work).
My choice in the sprint was mostly maildir related work, I tried to make it more reliable, more standard compliant and somewhat faster than before. And the biggest win is that I fixed most issues that bothered me with KMail's maildir handling. Yes, I was selfish.
The sprint did not end in Berlin, for me it continued on the flight back home (that thanks to the weather and Lufthansa was almost a day longer than expected). And somewhat still continues as of now, although daily work reduces the time I can allocate to KDE.
I can say that I'm happy again with KMail and Akonadi starts to gets less and less in the way of me and the users. The biggest success will be when users will not know that there is a nice server helping them, called Akonadi.
For those eager to try out the changes, unfortunately most of them are in the master branch only (the upcoming KDE 4.8). We will try to port as much as possible into the KDE 4.7 bugfix releases, but as some changes required library additions, this won't be always possible.


          KDE 4.2 - progress in a year        

KDE Project:

More than a year ago I wrote a post about KDE 4.0, I was quite unsatisfied with how in was and that we are going to release a product that has defects and in the eyes of the users will be a step back. I actually switched to KDE4 as my main desktop sometime during the 4.1 developing cycle. Since then I use KDE trunk on one machine and whatever my distro (openSUSE) provides on another one. There is always a shock when I have to use the distro packages. They did a very good job on integration and in many cases the distro package looks more polished than my self compiled one, still I was always liked the trunk version better. The improvement between 4.1.x and 4.0.x and 4.x.x and 4.1.x is just so big, using the older version is like going back several years. Not talking when I use KDE 3.5 on some other machines. I miss KDE 4.2 a lot in that case. Was it good that we released 4.0 a year ago? I think it was bad from PR point of view, but probably needed to actually have a 4.2 like the one will appear soon in the wild.
Yes, there are still issues, yes there are some applications that aren't ported or their port is not up to the expectations (yet). Luckily, unless your distribution did it wrong, it is possible to run the KDE3 applications under KDE4, without much hassle.
In the previous blog I complained about performance. My system is almost the same, except the video card is a newer one. And buying a new card at that time caused more trouble, and virtually no visible speedup at that time. Meantime the drivers improved (also due to KDE!), KDE improved (both kwin and plasma), and now I can use my system with effects enabled without thinking about performance. The current performance problems are actually caused by the flash plugin and its wrappers, in many case they start to use 100% CPU power. I'm not sure it can be fixed by us or the wrapper developers, what I know that both Konqueror and Firefox suffer from this problem. I just had to close down Firefox running in a KDE3 session because the X server for that session used completely one core.
I'm happy now with KDE4 and trunk already has some improvements compared to 4.2 that I enjoy. :) I'm amazed by the progress of KDE, aren't you amazed as well?

PS: If you miss Quanta being ported and you know C++/Qt, you should help. The only way to make it a KDE4 application is to finish the port, it won't happen magically if noone works on it. :(


          Chrome: good and bad news        

KDE Project:

Maybe you already know, maybe you don't: Google created its own browser, called Chrome. The good is that it is based on WebKit, thus contains KDE technology. That's is another recognition for the work of KDE developers. The bad is that they mention Apple's WebKit and nothing about KDE/khtml. Sad. :(
See http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/fresh-take-on-browser.html .


          Call for developers: Quanta Plus and KDEWebDev        

KDE Project:

Time is passing by. Sometimes I'm also amazed that it was more than 5 years ago when I wrote my first KDE application and soon after I joined the Quanta Plus project. And a few months later Quanta Plus become part of the KDE releases, I think with version 3.1.
Probably many of you know that I worked full time on Quanta in the past years, thanks to Eric Laffoon and many other supporters, who made this possible. But things have changed, and I cannot spend all my time anymore on this beloved project. I don't abandon it, just realized that alone it would take just too much time to get a release for KDE 4.x series out in time. Therefore I call for help, I'd like to ask the community, existing developers or users with some C++ knowledge, developers who would like to find a challenging project in the open source world to come, join us. Help to make Quanta4 a reality and make many users happy throughout the world. You don't have to be afraid of the size of the project, one of the goals of Quanta4 is to have a modular code, build up as KDevPlatform (KDevelop) plugins.

There are other projects inside the KDEWebDev module that need help, some even maintainers:

- Kommander: just take a look at www.kde-apps.org and you will be amazed by the number of Kommander scripts uploaded by the users. Help to have a good Kommander for KDE4 as well!
The executor is already ported, but we have lots of new ideas waiting to be implemented.

- KFileReplace: useful search and replace tool, unfortunately without a current maintainer. It works, but needs some love.

- KImageMapEditor: don't let web developers without a KDE image map editor!

Of course our priority would be Quanta Plus and Kommander, but if you are interested in either of the above, just contact us on our developer list.


          KDE4: is it usable for you?        

KDE Project:

I know it is not so nice to complain and bash a project when you don't contribute to it. And yes until now, I did not contributed to the KDE4 desktop as I wished. I compiled it regularly and used the libraries, but did not run the KDE4 desktop or KDE4 version of the applications except KDevelop and Quanta.
But as 4.0 is approaching, I decided that it is time to test, use, report bugs and even make fixes to it. I use KDE since a long time (~7 years), I think I always compiled from source, and for several years I compiled from CVS/Subversion regularly. I wasn't afraid to use the alpha/beta/whatever version as my daily desktop.
But with KDE4 somehow I feel lost. I tried a few days ago to start a KDE4 session. After getting through some issues that the libraries were not found unless LD_LIBRARY_PATH is modified (and knotify even with this setup has problem to find libkaudiodevicelist.so), I finally got it running. Well, it looks nice at first. So what to do there? I can start the KDE4 applications from the Run Command dialogbox. This dialog is a nice improvement over the old version, especially the autocompletion is handy.
In my version the menu was still missing, which isn't nice, but I don't care that much. What I care more is the speed, or to be exact, the lack of it. I blamed first the debug version of the libraries and the desktop, so I did a complete fresh build without debug information (a sidenote: my KDE3 is compiled WITH debug info and works fast enough). Sadly, it isn't faster. An example: right click on the desktop, and until the menu is shown, 3-4 seconds can pass. During this time Plasma and XOrg are heavily using the CPU. Moving around a window makes again ~58% CPU load (by kwin). Moving the mouse over the taskbar gives me 60% CPU usage by plasma AND 50% CPU usage by XOrg.
This slowness if everywhere on the desktop. I click somewhere and it takes some seconds until it reacts. The "natural" reaction is to click again, which makes things worse. What is the reason of this slowness, I don't know. But I am worried about it, because I have a fairy decent computer here, everything is fast except my video card: AMD Opteron 180 Dual Core (2.4Ghz), 2GB Dual Channel RAM, 7200RPM SATA HDD, Nvidia FX5500 card (with the binary drivers). The card isn't the state of the art one, but should be more than enough for desktop usage. I tried compiz with it, and it works OK. I can see the reaction lag with compiz as well (compared to the KDE3 version of kwin, which is lightning fast), but it is still quite usable.
I tried to remove kwin and use another window manager. This made at least the window operations faster, but the desktop was still slow.
That's about the speed.
Now about the usability side: I have no idea if what I tried is implemented at all or not, if there are plans to do them for the final release or not, but certainly I can say that as it is now, it is close to be unusable. There is the panel on the bottom with the taskbar and the clock. The taskbar let's say works, but I couldn't figure out what really a left/right click on an empty area of the taskbar does. It minimizes/restores the running applications, but I don't see the logic. I also don't know how to move around the taskbar on the panel. I don't know how to move the panel. It is possible to add new applets to the desktop, but I don't know how to move those applets to a panel. Moving them around on the screen is terribly slow.
There is also an Unknown Applet on my panel which "could not be created". I have no idea what it is or how it appeared there.
I also saw some bugs, like black boxes on top of windows appearing when you move a window over an applet, but this kind of issues are just simple bugs, acceptable at this stage of the development.
Unfortunately this experience can have only one outcome: I cannot use KDE4 as my daily desktop. Not even as a testing desktop.
So the solution is to test only the libraries and the applications. Luckily it is pretty easy to have a setup where you can run KDE4 applications under KDE3. Well, the first and one of the most important applications is Konqueror. I'm writing this blog from Konqueror4. Altough I feel a slowness here as well (when navigating through the menus, for example), this isn't a big issue, it is usable. I saw some rendering bugs, an ugly infinite loop when loading a certain page, but I saw similar issues with the old Konqui as well.
There is a problem with the editor area where I write the blog text (home bring to the beginning of the text, not the beginning of the line, mouse scrolling does not work) and the closing buttons on the tabs do not work, but again, in beta stage these are "normal" bugs.
For the applications the solution is to report the bugs or try to fix them. :) I will happily report them.

My conclusion: as it is now, the KDE4 desktop should not be released. Luckily we have some months left until the final release, so who knows, it might really be usable. I have more confidence in the base libraries and the applications. I think there only some polish is needed, in general they should be usable, but as I said, I didn't test many of them either. But what I started up for a quick test seemed to work.


          My Family Christmas - 1,19€         
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To complement our "Heart of the Family" artwork, we can create wonderful Christmas Card packs with your family’s names written throughout. Truly, uniquely original. Minimum of 10 cards.


          Ø¨Ø§ حساب جی میل خود کامپیوتر را کنترل کنید        
امروزه استفاده از برنامه های Remote برای دسترسی و کنترل کامپیوتر از راه دور در حال گسترش است. اما آیا می  دانستید که شما می توانید از طریق حساب جی... ادامه مطلب »
          Commentaires sur Le Secret Pour Ne Plus JAMAIS Pester Sur Vos Erreurs Et Échecs Et Comment Mieux Apprécier Votre Corps (Partie 1/2) par ATTORNEY FREE CONSULTATION        
I hope that someday I can learn how to put my thoughts into words like you. I am a novice writer just starting to learn how to format and write. I really admire your work.
          Styled Shoot        

Having been working through my new year’s resolutions for Digital Bohemia Wedding Videography, it was my aim to be part of a styled wedding shoot in 2014, and when Lauren of French Made approached me with the idea of an 80’s themed, super-kitsch, same sex wedding shoot I jumped at the chance! On 11th November […]

The post Styled Shoot appeared first on DigitalBohemiaWeddings.


          A Humanoid Robot by Matt Bauer        

Matt Bauer was not a machinist and had never worked with CNC when he purchased a Sherline CNC mill and a lathe. It didn’t take him long to get the hang of it, and the robot shown above was his first project. He describes the process best in his own words: “Shortly after our return […]

The post A Humanoid Robot by Matt Bauer appeared first on Millhill Supplies Ltd..


          Old School Machine Shop        

A look around Central Texas Tools in Abiline, Texas. This is what many will consider an old school machine shop, and is also a family run small business. Three generations of the Carpenter family currently work in the shop and the business spans four generations. Can your work place function efficiently and effectively without a […]

The post Old School Machine Shop appeared first on Millhill Supplies Ltd..


          Ellie Goulding – Hanging On (Svyable + PRFFTT Bootleg)        
So you know when you find that epic track with a silky smooth intro, totally diggable build, bomb chorus, and then just pure awesomeness through the rest of the piece? Look no further than this symphonic remix of Ellie Goulding’s recent smash “Hanging On” by Svyable and PRFFTT. Not only are the instrumental works on this track beautifully mastered, but they fuse in Ellie’s angelic voice to perfection. Couple amazing drops that just pick your head up for you so you can start bobbing. Also some womps for your Wednesday. Just download the damn thing already. Check out PRFFTT’s work […]
          Pesticide-Free Spaces: Lessons in Communication, Community and Change        

The Center for Energy and Environmental Eduation and students in the Department of Communication Studies are working together to reduce the amount of lawn pesticides used in Iowa. The meeting is open to the public.

Meetings
Location: 
Wesley Foundation (Treehouse)
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 7:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
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          UNI CARES (UNI Creating A Responsible Environment Showcase)        

UNI CARES (UNI Creating A Responsible Environment Showcase) is a campuswide event to showcase diverse projects research, curricula and initiatives that contribute to building a responsible environment. The goal is to promote activities that address the environment and sustainability, and provide opportunities for future collaboration and active participation. This event will follow the provost's common read of  "The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt's New World."  

Faculty, staff, centers, departments/programs and advisers of student groups are invited to share how they are creating a responsible environment. The participation form can be completed at: http://goo.gl/forms/WpP4DAijm0. The deadline for submission is Monday, Feb. 8.

Conferences, Workshops, & Camps
Special Events
Location: 
Old Central Ballroom, Maucker Union
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 -
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Name: 
Elizabeth Sutton
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          UNI Harvest Festival        

The 3rd Annual Panther Plot Harvest Festival will celebrate the hard work that UNI students have done, leading up to harvest season. It will also feature food from the garden, live music by Cassie O'Meara and games. This year’s event will feature the public unveiling of phase one of implementation of a new landscape architectural plan for the student garden. This plan was designed by recent UNI graduate Brittany Nelson and implemented by student members of Green Project UNI.  

Special Events
Location: 
The Panther Plot (South of BRC)
Thursday, August 27, 2015 -
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Name: 
Eric O'Brien
Phone: 
(319) 273-7207
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          UNI Harvest Festival        

The Panther Plot, the on-campus student garden, invites all students, staff, faculty and community members for a celebration of the harvest season! Join us for appetizer samples made with produce straight from the garden, cooking demonstrations by Food Network personality Amy Thielen, music spun by a local DJ, games, and tours of the garden. 

Special Events
Student Organizations
Location: 
The Panther Plot
Thursday, September 4, 2014 -
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Name: 
Kelsey Ewald
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          Cedar Falls Practical Backyard Tour        
Sponsored by UNI's Center for Energy & Environmental Education and Green Iowa AmeriCorps, the Practical Backyard Tour highlights several backyards around Cedar Falls where practical and effective methods have been utilized.  From composting to solar and rain barrels to gardening, the tour features backyards that work!
Beginning at 2 p.m., participants are welcome to arrive at any of the  backyards listed below where tickets will be available (one ticket gains  participant access to all five backyards). After 5 p.m., participants are encouraged to visit Beck's on The Hill afterwards for dinner, a prize drawing, and open discussion on practical uses for backyards.
Tickets ($5, does not include dinner) will be available the day of the event at each of the backyards. Proceeds from the event will support Green Iowa AmeriCorps work in the Cedar Valley. Please direct any questions to Green Iowa AmeriCorps. We hope to see you there!
The five backyards featured during the tour include:
1. Cedar Falls Community Garden, 600 Block Lincoln Street, Cedar Falls “Taking Back, Giving
Back” this garden is flood-reclaimed land and features a sitting area, water collection
system, and composting [from Cup of Joe]. With 50 of the 80 available plots rented and four
organizations actively growing food to be donated to the Cedar Valley Food Bank and other
charities, this location is full of vast and diversified garden delights  growing for a great cause.
2. Dave Gibson, 524 West Lone Tree Road, Cedar Falls “Twin Cedars, a Gated  Community” this
wonderful stop in North Cedar will feature fruit trees, vegetable garden, hens, passive solar
kitchen, solar electric system, and 140 recently planted trees.
3. Kamyar Enshayan, 1703 Washington Street, Cedar Falls “Lawn & Order” featuring backyard
hens, easy-going compost, native prairie pollinator heaven, local wood  shed, solar hot water,
linear evaporative drying system (clothes lines), 20 years of pesticide-free lawn, vegetable
garden.
4. Jack & Carole Yates, 519 Chateau Ct, Cedar Falls “Perfectly Practical” both the front and back
yard features beds with native Iowa prairie plants, two vegetable gardens and an orchard with
apple, pear, Asian pear, cherry, peach and plum trees. Visitors can also see their two active solar
systems, a wood burning stove, clothes line and additions like a fire ring, patio and other places
that make it a great backyard to spend time in.
5. Ann Duncan, W 13th Street at the alley between Franklin and Tremont, “Smoke Stack Twin
Gardens” Featuring gardening for large and small spaces, a wide variety of vegetables,
raspberries, tiered garden, strawberry pyramid, rain barrels, compost bin, clothes line.
Location: 
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Sunday, June 10, 2012 -
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Name: 
Ashley Wolter
Phone: 
3192737233
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          Around the Globe - Fundación Todo Mejora supports LGBT youth        

Todo Mejora means “it gets better”—and it’s this message that the Chile-based nonprofit has worked tirelessly to advocate for. In the wake of continual LGBT discrimination around the world, Fundación Todo Mejora strives to support the LGBT adolescents who face discrimination, including those considering committing suicide. Chile has one of the highest levels of suicide and school violence in Latin America. It’s projected that if nothing is done, in four years, one adolescent in Chile will end his or her life  nearly each day—an astounding metric that Fundación Todo Mejora hopes to change.1,2

Continuing  with our series about impactful organizations using Google for Nonprofits tools, this week we’re highlighting how Fundación Todo Mejora uses technology to spread its message and creates a safe space for these teenagers to find refuge in times of need.

Showing up when searching for help—Google Ad Grants

By implementing a strategic campaign using Google Ad Grants, the nonprofit targeted Google searches common to suicidal thoughts such as “I want to commit suicide”, “Who should I call if I want to kill myself?”, or “Help me, I want to die”. When a local person searches this on Google, Fundación Todo Mejora’s ads show up to intervene with supportive messages, and provide links to resources to find help. One 19-year-old girl who found support from these ads said, "Amidst my depression, I Googled how to commit suicide. Your foundation, ’Todo Mejora,’ popped up in my search results. It made me smile and reminded me the reason to go on.”

These ads have allowed Fundación Todo Mejora to save lives and navigate people to their website where they can find resources and support. As a result, website traffic increased by 20% in one year alone, which means the organization found a way to reach more people in need. This increase also prompted Fundación Todo Mejora to expand their suicide hotline support to 30 hours/week up from 7 hours/week.

Spreading the word—YouTube

To further increase visibility, Fundación Todo Mejora created a YouTube channel where adolescents share their personal stories, which have helped create a community of support, coupled with the call-to-action overlays inspiring others to follow suit, take initiative, and send donations. In their most popular video, with over 62,000 views, Demi Lovato speaks out against homophobic and transgender bullying and encourages victims to reach out for help.

TODO MEJORA - Demi Lovato, cantante

Storage & syncing—G Suite

Fundación Todo Mejora now uses G Suite exclusively for all its day-to-day operations, relying on Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar to work productively. The unlimited user accounts and 30GB of storage per user has saved them time and money that once went towards paying for other storage products. Now, they can save important data in a shared and collaborative space which has helped them streamline their processes, preserve historical documents, and improve communication.

With more time, funding, and organizational processes, Fundación Todo Mejora can focus on expanding their support for youth in need and the LGBT community. Read more about their story on our Community Stories page on our Google for Nonprofits site.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.

1 OECD (2016). Low Performing Students: Why They Fall Behind and How To Help Them Succeed. PISA. OECD Publishing. Paris

2.Ministerio de Salud de Chile (2013). Situación Actual del Suicidio Adolescente en Chile, con perspectiva de Género [Current Situation of Adolescent Suicide in Chile, with a gender perspective]. Programa Nacional de Salud Integral de Adolescentes y Jóvenes. Chile.


          G4NP Around the Globe - Zooming in on Action Against Hunger        

Every dollar and minute count to further your cause and focus on your mission. We’re pleased to highlight nonprofits who were able to make greater impact with fewer resources by using Google tools—from G Suite to Google Ad Grants–made available through Google for Nonprofits (G4NP) at no charge.

Varying in size, scope, and timezones, these nonprofits from around the world share one thing in common: utilizing the G4NP suite of tools to help their specific needs. G4NP offers nonprofit organizations across 50 countries access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Ad Grants and more at no cost. This week, we’ll take a look at how the nonprofit Action Against Hunger utilizes these tools to increase productivity, visibility, and donations,  in order to improve lives in  the communities they serve.

Action Against Hunger

In 2016 alone, Action Against Hunger provided nourishment to over 1.5 million starving children(1). In order to save lives with nutritional programs, Action Against Hunger looked to Google for aid—not for food, but for technology. Action Against Hunger now utilizes five Google technologies that have drastically improved their ability to save lives around the globe.

Raising Awareness with Google Ad Grants & Analytics

For major international emergencies, like the Ebola outbreak or the South Sudan famine, Action Against Hunger needs a way to inform people and recommend ways to get involved. With Ad Grants, the nonprofit activates targeted keywords relating to the crises to drive people to their page and empower them to take action. Google Analytics then allows them to track their effectiveness and adjust accordingly to increase engagement and improve their fundraising techniques. With this data-driven strategy and the tools’ ability to optimize campaigns, Action Against Hunger has nearly doubled funding year-over-year. In fact, Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Increasing Productivity with G Suite

When working with a global network and managing hundreds of programs abroad, collaboration and communication are key. After experiencing unnecessary latencies in their operations, Action Against Hunger has since adopted G Suite which streamlined their workflow. The nonprofit is especially fond of Gmail, Hangouts, and Drive where Action Against Hunger employees can message each other quickly, share files securely, and collaborate on Docs in real-time—avoiding duplication of efforts and saving time.

Fundraising with One Today & YouTube

To drive donations and expand awareness to broad audiences, Action Against Hunger uses One Today, a Google app that allows users to easily donate $1 or more towards causes they care about. Campaigning on One Today on World Food Day in 2016,  Action Against Hunger raised more than $1,200 in support of their cause with each dollar going directly helping those in need. Additionally, Action Against Hunger creates and shares content on YouTube to reach their global audience, and is  beginning to use the YouTube donation cards to further increase donations. The large exposure and website referrals from both YouTube and Google+ helped Action Against Hunger raise over $20,000.

Using Google products Action Against Hunger gained extra time and energy to focus on what really matters: feeding the hungry.

To read more about Action Against Hunger’s story and learn how they used Google tools so effectively, visit our Google for Nonprofits Community Stories page. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more inspirational stories about nonprofits using technology to help their cause.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.



          Introducing “G4NP in Three,” a new YouTube Series        

Google for Nonprofits (G4NP) offers nonprofit organizations across 50 countries free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Ad Grants and more. Whether you’ve been using our products for years or are thinking about signing up for Google for Nonprofits, we want you to feel confident when using our products.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our brand new YouTube series, “G4NP in Three.” Every few weeks, we’ll walk you through one of the many products we offer  from enrollment process to optimization—all in roughly three minutes.

What You’ll Learn

We’ll start with the basics. We’ll cover program eligibility requirements, walk through the different signup processes, and give you tips and tricks on how to best use our products. In the first few videos, we’ll focus on some of our most popular products: Google Ad Grants, G Suite, and YouTube.

Meet Your Hosts

Bri and Jay are volunteers on our video production and G4NP YouTube strategy team. Both work in different parts of the Google organization for their core roles, but have been aligned to G4NP for over a year. They write, edit and star in videos to help educate the nonprofit community and, in addition to hosting, are the co-creators of the “G4NP in Three” series.

Jay

​A​ San Francisco native, ​Jay ventured to Ann Arbor, MI to get his degree at the University of Michigan. ​After graduating, he started at Google where he currently works as a Communications Specialist in People Operations. Aside from his passion for marketing, communications​,​ and diversity in the workplace, Jay’s claim-to-fame is singing for President Obama at the White House.

Bri

Originally from Mountain View, California, Bri attended Chapman University. There she earned a degree in Public Relations and Advertising. After graduation, Bri started a position at Google as an Associate Account Strategist supporting our advertisers. Outside of work, Bri thoroughly enjoys knitting, hiking, and venturing off on the weekends to find the best cup of coffee in the Bay Area.

The first “G4NP in Three” video is now live! Videos will be released every few weeks. Subscribe to Google for Nonprofits on YouTube to stay updated.
G4NP in Three | Ep. 1: What is Google for Nonprofits?

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.



          Improve your nonprofit’s account security with 2-step verification        

While online accounts allow nonprofits to easily communicate with partners, volunteers and donors across the world, this shared network can also leave your account vulnerable to intruders. As your nonprofit continues to grow its online presence, it’s crucial to keep confidential information (e.g., finances or donor’s information) safe. While passwords have historically been the sole guardian for online account access, research from Google has shown that many passwords and security questions can easily be guessed. That's why we strongly recommend that all nonprofits using GSuite for Nonprofits, or Google products like Gmail, use 2-Step Verification (2SV) as an additional protection on their account(s). 

Account hijacking—a process through which an online account is stolen or hijacked by a hacker—constitutes a serious threat to your nonprofit’s operations. Typically, account hijackings are carried out by phishing attempts or hackers who guess weak passwords. Because of this, it’s especially important for your nonprofit to maintain strong and unique account passwords to keep sensitive data safe.

But 2SV goes beyond just a strong password. It's an effective security feature that combines "something you know" (e.g., a password) and "something you have" (e.g., a text, a prompt, or a Security Key) to protect your accounts. Think of this like withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine: You need both your PIN and your debit card.

Google Authentication app.png
Our free Google Authenticator app is available for Android and iOS devices, which generates a code for you each time you want to sign in to your account.

Now that you know what 2SV is, head over to our Help Page to start improving your nonprofit’s online security now. (Quick tip: Remember to keep your account settings up to date and configure backup options to use if your phone is ever lost or stolen). Stay safe, nonprofits!  

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.


          Unlocking G Suite for Nonprofits: Improve internal workflow and communication        

Whether you have a team of five or 500 a seamless, collaborative workflow is critical in the digital age. Our goal is to make sure that your nonprofit is able to focus on changing the world by using technology to save time -- not waste it. In the digital age though, information sharing can often be complex; your team might not work in the same office, or even the same timezone. Some team members might be in an office with computer access, while others are in the field on mobile devices. Who from your team should be able to access confidential documents?

This brings us to a key question: How do you empower team members to work together towards a common goal, and use technology to enable it?

Great question. We’d like to introduce you to G Suite - (formerly  Google Apps for Work ). G Suite aims to help teams work together in real-time -- no matter where they are in the world.

Today, we’re spotlighting a few nonprofits to share how their teams  are using Google tools and apps to improve workflow and internal communication.

Mercy Beyond Borders - Internal Communication with Sheets & Sites

Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB) is a U.S. nonprofit that aims to forge opportunities for women and girls in extreme poverty to learn, connect, and lead. Utilizing a small office in the U.S. as home base, MBB targets rural areas in Haiti and South Sudan. In both of these areas, cultural norms and poverty prohibit full participation of women. In fact, these areas offer minimal education and opportunities for employment, which often  impedes the development of leadership skills or positions. Mercy Beyond Borders focuses its programs on providing trainings, scholarships, leadership camps, and business loans for women.

To achieve their mission, Mercy Beyond Borders faces the challenge of balancing US-based operations with field work in remote areas like South Sudan and Haiti. Their nonprofit partners range from large organizations to local schools to individuals. So how does Mercy Beyond Borders ensure that all staff, vendors, and partners stay connected and working together in sync?
MBB-trained nurse in South-Sudan village
MBB-trained nurse in South Sudan village. Photo credit: Mercy Beyond Borders

Mercy Beyond Border began using G Suite to streamline its workflow, connecting their team across the globe. Using G Suite, MBB’s team is able to access, share, and collaborate together in real-time. Take a glimpse into how they do it:

  • Track Finances: MBB manages their overseas program budget expenditures in Google Sheets. Using this tool, the domestic office tracks monthly vendor payments in Haiti. This enables the staff to wire more money as needed in order to ensure program success. Additionally, using Sheets enables the team to provide transparency in the organization, clarifying spending and creating a simple overview of total annual expenses. This standardized and collaborative approach to data enables better efficiency and communication between domestic and international offices.

  • Store images: Mercy Beyond Borders regularly takes photos in the field to keep the domestic office up to date on progress and communicate stories to their donors. The team overseas is able to upload the pictures to Google Drive, which allows them to share or retrieve the images at any time.

  • Share Information: It’s imperative that MBB shares frequent updates with the Board of Directors, highlighting current developments, areas for growth, and new opportunities. To keep the Board of Directors apprised of progress, the team created a MBB Board website with Google Sites as a way to provide updates outside of meetings. The site functions as a central hub, where the Board can find all relevant information and resources at their discretion. The website is organized in subsections including internal updates from the Executive Director, background articles on country conditions and descriptions of new partnerships. To take it one step further, MBB also added a comment section for board members to engage in open communication.

“It [G Suite] helps to better connect, engage, and keep Board members up-to-date in between meetings, or  if they are unable to make a meeting (in which case they can view the Meeting Archives page),” said Adrienne Perez.


MyFace - Increasing productivity and improving internal workflow by remote access

Established in 1951, MyFace was founded to address the medical, surgical and psychological needs of those living with facial deformities. The organization offers access to care and treatments --- regardless of the severity of the anomaly, the length of treatment, or the family’s ability to afford care. In America alone, 1 in 650 children is born with an facial cleft. Every year, MyFace helps more than 1,000 patients seek treatment. Of this population, 85% are children, 70% live in poverty, and 95% require long-term care. The costs involved in this are high and verges on insurmountable for low income families. With this in mind, MyFace ensures that all children receive highest quality interdisciplinary and comprehensive reconstructive care by doctors who provide their services pro bono.

As a small nonprofit (their staff of eight including their therapy dog, Bentley), employees are required to perform a variety of different tasks. On any given day, team members might be responsible for website design, grant proposal writing, and marketing strategy. And oftentimes, what one employee starts today is  picked up by another employee tomorrow. Because it’s often all-hands-on-deck, collaboration is particularly key for MyFace.

Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP Carolyn Spector Executive Director MyFace

To address their challenge, MyFace began using Google Drive to centrally store, access, and share information from anywhere at anytime. Drive helped decrease the amount of time that MyFace spends on administrative tasks, like sending documents back and forth or working with out-of-date data or information. Drive’s tools like Docs and Sheets enable the team to collaborate both in and out of office.

MyFace also deals with an overwhelming amount of data and information. The team needs this data to not only be easy to store, retrieve, and share — it needs to be secure, since it contains confidential and personal patient information. G Suite offers that as well, ensuring that all information is kept private and secure. (Want to know more about G Suite security and how safe they really are? Read more about it here).

“Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP because it offers invaluable resources to nonprofits of any size at no cost,” stated Carolyn Spector, Executive Director of MyFace.

MyFace Staff photo
MyFace team. Photo credit: MyFace

Having global teams of different sizes with varying access to technology can make timely communication difficult, if not impossible. While nonprofits like Mercy Beyond Borders and myFace strive to accomplish unique missions, both organizations are passionate about changing the world. And about using the right technology to help. Utilizing tools like G Suite has been key for nonprofits like these in order to improve internal workflow and communications. For Mercy and my Face, making information shared, up-to-date, and secure has been crucial for navigating the Technology Age.

Interested in learning more about the tools available to your nonprofit? Check out our website to see how G4NP can help your nonprofit with real-time, up-to-date communication and data sharing.

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To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received free products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers free products to qualified nonprofits.


          2016 Year in Review        

2016 was a year of many things - changes, challenges and opportunities. But above all else, 2016 was a year where you continued your work to change the world; to bring the world a little closer to finding common ground amongst peace, progress, and innovation.

As 2016 comes to a close, Google for Nonprofits took one final opportunity to reflect on a year past and look forward to the year ahead.  So without further ado, here are the top posts from 2016 from your friends at Google for Nonprofits.

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From LA to Tokyo: YouTube Spaces opens production studios to nonprofits free of charge

From LA to London, Tokyo to Mumbai, Berlin to São Paulo, YouTube Spaces empower nonprofits by providing them exclusive access to the best production resources around — all at no cost. All enrolled nonprofits with 1,000 or more subscribers are now eligible to apply for production access at YouTube Spaces.

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Unlocking your nonprofit's data insights: Linking Ad Grants and Google Analytics

So you’re using Ad Grants - our in-kind advertising solution for nonprofits which allows you to run text ads on Google Search - and you’re looking for more insights? Google Analytics is your go-to tool for providing insights into user behavior, which can be used to inform Google Ad Grants, as well as website optimization. By syncing data and using Ad Grants & Analytics in tandem, you can boost the quality of traffic reaching your site and increase the chance of visitors completing a meaningful action on your NGO’s page.

Benefits of Linking your Google Analytics and Adwords Accounts

Four ways to keep your nonprofit safe & secure online

“How do we keep our nonprofit (and the community we serve) safe and secure online?” In 2016, we partnered with Google’s User Advocacy Group to share four smart tips to keep your nonprofit, your users, and you safe online.

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What do you and your nonprofit want to learn in the new year? Leave a comment below, and we’ll work on learning together in 2017.

Lastly, we so appreciate all nonprofits’ unwavering dedication to changing the world. We wish all nonprofits and their communities a peaceful holiday season and a joyful new year.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.


          A nonprofit's guide to online security: So you want to learn the lingo?        
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web becoming publicly available. For many of us, this is a reminder of just how much the Internet has transformed our daily lives. This rings true for nonprofits too: The Internet has revolutionized the way that nonprofits communicate, fundraise, and recruit volunteers. It has enabled nonprofits like yours to share their mission with a global audience. To raise awareness. And to change the world. 

But the power of the Internet also comes with great responsibility -- namely the need to keep information safe and secure. As a nonprofit, it can be difficult to keep up with online security, especially when terminology seems complicated. Yes, you might have heard of terms like “phishing” or “cookies,” but what do they mean?

Today, you can find the answers to your questions with our quick & easy to guide to online security terminology. In less than five minutes, you’ll be well on the way to helping keep your nonprofit safe on the Internet. 

Let’s get started! Here’s a quick guide to familiarize yourself with common lingo and learn how to distinguish terms that are friends vs foes in the online security realm. 


THE BAD GUYS: MALICIOUS ACTIONS/TERMS

  • Advanced Fee Fraud (419 scams): A technique which tricks users into sending or paying money to fraudsters on the promise of receiving greater rewards afterwards. It is most commonly associated with Nigeria, and 419 is the section of the Nigerian legal code that covers this fraud.
  • Botnet: A network of computers that are infected with malicious software without users’ knowledge, used to send viruses and spam to other computers.
  • Malware: Malicious software with the purpose of infecting devices and systems, gathering personal information, gaining access to systems or disrupting the operations of the device or systems. Essentially, any software that maliciously alters or compromises the system or device.
  • Phishing / Social Engineering Attack: An attempt by hackers who pose as trustworthy individuals or businesses in order to get your personal information such as usernames, passwords, and financial information.
  • Trojans: Malicious programs posing as or bundled with legitimate ones, which are designed to compromise your system. They are usually installed on computers from opening attachments in scam emails or by visiting infected websites. The term comes from the Trojan Horse in Greek mythology.

How to avoid social engineering attacks

THE GOOD GUYS: ONLINE SAFETY TERMS


  • [Internet] Cookie: A piece of data from a visited website and stored in the user's web browser in order to remember information that the user has entered or engaged with such as items in a shopping basket on an e-commerce site.
  • Encryption: The process of encoding data, messages, or information, such that only authorized parties can read it.
  • Firewall: A security system used to block hackers, viruses, and other malicious threats to your computer. It does this by acting as a barrier, acting on predetermined rules, which allows trusted traffic but blocks untrusted or non-secure traffic. 
  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol): is the protocol for secure communications over a computer network used on the Internet. It essentially provides authentication of the website and the web servers associated with it. 
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS): TLS is a protocol that encrypts and delivers mail securely, both for inbound and outbound mail traffic. It helps prevent eavesdropping between mail servers – keeping your messages private while they're moving between email providers. 
  • Two Factor Authentication / Two Step Verification: A method of using an additional process to verify your identity online. It combines both ‘something you know’ (like a password) and ‘something you have’ (like your phone or security key) — similar to withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine, where you need both your PIN and your bank card.

That’s a wrap for now! Pass on these tips to your nonprofit partners to stay safe and secure online, so you can focus on what matters most: changing the world. 

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To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.


          3 Reasons why Chromebooks might be a good fit for your nonprofit        
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When we speak with nonprofit organizations, we often hear about the challenges related to technological resources. So when it comes to investing in new technology, it’s important to consider three primary factors:

  • Security: Does it keep my information private and secure?
  • Compatibility: Does it work with the programs I use?
  • Price: Is it within budget?
To address these questions, Google created the Chromebook, a series of laptops built with ChromeOS. The vision behind Chromebooks is simple — to create a safe, accessible, and affordable laptop. To improve user privacy and security, Chromebooks  automatically update to provide virus protection, encryption and safe browsing. For easy access and collaboration, they’re outfitted with Gmail, Google Docs, Hangouts (and nonprofits receive the full Google Apps bundle with 30GB of space per user at no charge). What’s more, they start at $169 USD & that’s for a laptop that has up to 10+ hours of battery life!
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ASUS Chromebook C201 ($169)

Case Study

Charity:water, a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, has a “100 percent model,” where every dollar donated goes directly to fund clean water projects. As a result, resources are limited. In order to cover operational costs like salaries and supplies, the organization relies on a few passionate and dedicated supporters. With this in mind, Charity:water transitioned to Chromebooks to improve the efficiency of its staff’s workflow. Now, employees can spend more time focusing on their goals and working towards their mission to nourish the world.

Want to learn more?

Chromebooks gives nonprofits unified access to the Google Apps suite, including:

  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides: Allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time. They’re automatically backed up online, and you can also open and edit Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Excel files.
  • Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts can be used to make phone calls, screenshare, and video chat.
  • Google Drive: Store, sync, and share documents in the cloud for secure and easy access.

As a nonprofit, you also receive discounted access to Chrome licenses, which give you management controls via the Chrome Device Management. Chrome Device Management is a unified way to manage all of your nonprofits’ users, devices, and data. For nonprofits, the Chrome management license is discounted to only $30 dollars — in comparison to $150!

Chromebooks are our vision for providing cheaper, easier to use, and more secure laptops. Installed with Google Apps out of the box, nonprofits can maximize impact, while saving both time and resources.


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

To learn more about Chromebooks for nonprofits, take a look at Google for Work’s Chromebook’s website. To take advantage of the Google Nonprofit license discount, a Google partner will reach out to you once you fill out the Contact Us form.


          Four ways to keep your nonprofit safe & secure online        
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For nonprofits, the Internet serves as a powerful vehicle for change — creating a way to access information, connect with users, and drive innovation. But navigating the web can also be a tricky task. Online safety and security has become increasingly pertinent for all digital users, including nonprofits. While it’s relevant to all though, it’s unattended by many. This raises the question: “How do we keep our nonprofit (and the community we serve) safe and secure online?”

Today, we’re partnering with Google’s User Advocacy Group to share four smart tips to keep your nonprofit, your users, and you safe online.

1. Secure your passwords

Many of us “know” that it’s smart to pick a strong password, but out of convenience we also continue to use our favorite pet’s name (e.g. “Clifford”) or other not-so-creative passwords like “password.” Although pets like Clifford are great, they don’t make great passwords. Rather, this weak protection creates vulnerable access to some of your nonprofit’s most sensitive information.

Picking strong passwords that are different for each of your accounts is extremely important -- it’s also good practice to update your passwords regularly.  Check out the following tips: 

  • Use a unique password for each of your accounts. Would you give a burglar a key that accessed your home, car, garage, and more? Using the same password for multiple accounts creates the same type of risk. Ensure you’re protecting your data by using unique passwords for each account.

  • Include numbers, letters and symbols in your password. The longer your password is, the harder it is to guess. Adding numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters makes it harder for someone to gain access to your account.

  • Create password recovery options and keep them up-to-date. If you forget your password or get locked out, you need a way to get back into your account. Many services will send this information to a recovery email address to reset your password, so be sure your recovery email address is up-to-date and accessible. You may also be able to add a phone number to your profile to receive a code to reset your password via text message. Having a mobile phone number on your account is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to help keep your account safe.

2. Take the security checkup


Google’s Security Checkup is a quick, easy way to review the following information about your account (and more)!
  • Recent activity: This is a quick overview of your recent sign-ins to Google. If you see any activity from a location or device you don’t recognize, change your password immediately.

  • Account permissions: These are the apps, websites, and devices connected to your Google account. Take a look and make sure you trust—and actually use—all of them. You might want to remove an old phone, or that dusty app you never use.

  • Check your 2-step verification:  Most people have only one layer of protection with their password. 2-step verification adds an additional layer of security to your account by requiring a phone or security key to access your account information.

3. Understand your privacy settings


If you do your personal and business work on the same computer, you will want to also check your privacy settings through Google’s Privacy Checkup. Privacy Checkup allows you to control what information like photos, videos and reviews are shared to the public or to whomever you choose.
  • Manage your sharing: You can decide what information you want to share such as videos, photos and reviews. Perhaps your nonprofit videos are only shared with your friends, when you want them to be shared with anyone. This is a simple way to check to see who can see what.

  • Personalize your google experience: One additional function of privacy checkup is to see what information you’re sharing with Google. Google uses this information to provide better search results and more relevant information to get you answers quicker and more relevant information to share to your nonprofit community.


Review important information about how Google uses data to make services better for you and your nonprofit.

4. Ensure you're switching between your personal & business accounts


We understand that as a nonprofit, you wear many hats and manage multiple business accounts in addition to personal ones. Google makes it easy toggle between accounts — visit your account settings to quickly determine which data you’re accessing, and rest easy knowing your personal and business information are separate.

  • Guest Mode or Incognito mode: Share Chrome with other people in your organization and ensure everyone has their own settings and bookmarks. You can also utilize Guest mode or Incognito mode to open a private browsing session in Chrome without leaving browser history or cookies behind once you’ve logged out.

  • Using Chrome on an unfamiliar device or machine: If you’re using an unfamiliar device or machine, ensure you’ve properly logged out of your account before heading off to your next meeting.


Online security doesn’t have to be difficult. These simple steps will give you peace of mind and protect your nonprofit’s valuable work. If you have any other online security questions or want to recommend a topic for a future blog, please add a comment below. 

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more — all at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more + enroll here.  


          Unlocking your nonprofit's data insights: Linking Ad Grants and Google Analytics        

So you’re a savvy nonprofit that has mastered Ad Grants? Read on! 

You’re a group of community leaders who know the impact of data. And who know that technology can help you leverage that.     

Like many other businesses, it’s critical for nonprofits to translate clicks on ads into a meaningful action on their nonprofit’s website. These actions could be donations, event registrations, file downloads, volunteer sign-ups or form completions — whatever it is that you’re compelling users to do.

Nonprofits like yours, however, often come to us with an important question: “How do we know if our Ad Grants account is actually resulting in these increased actions?” Great question!Our answer is simple, yet we hope it’s powerful too: Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is your go-to tool for providing insights into user behavior, which can be used to inform Ad Grants, as well as website optimization. By syncing data and using AdGrants & Analytics in tandem, you can boost the quality of traffic reaching your site and increase the chance of visitors completing a meaningful action on your NGO’s page. Best of all, Analytics can be used by nonprofits at no charge.

To get started, we strongly recommend defining your team’s marketing objectives. (If you haven’t set up goals yet, check out Smart Goals, which were designed with groups like nonprofits in mind.)

Then, link your Google Analytics account to your Google Ad Grants account to see your data. (Find out how to do so here: Link Analytics and Ad Grants). In doing so, you’ll unlock insights into your Ad Grants campaign. For instance, what happens after someone clicks on your Ad Grants ad and lands on your site? How does it differ by geographical region? Or how does user behavior differ between services offered?

Going forward, you can also track your nonprofit’s marketing goals in Google Analytics to understand how traffic from your Ad Grants campaigns is converted to meaningful action on your website. To do so, import your goals into Ad Grants as conversions.

Now, you’ll be able to see traffic quality data such as bounce rate, pages per session and average session duration for campaigns, ad groups, and keywords within Ad Grants. By adding goals as conversions, you’ll get the data you need to understand which text ads showing for keywords resonate best with your target audience.

Why, you might ask, is all this important for your nonprofit?

Take Science Buddies, a nonprofit that was one of the earliest adopters of the Google Ad Grants program, joining in 2003. Science Buddies then received 171,000 unique visits in 2004 via Ad Grants, with this number increasing by 4.5X to 773,000 unique visits in 2005. By 2006, Google Ad Grants had doubled the traffic to the website altogether. “Ad Grants really put us on the map!” said Kenneth Hess, President and Founder of Science Buddies.

The takeaway here is that the more you optimize, the better chance you have of improving your quality score — a key metric in an Ad Grants account! And more importantly, the better chance you have of authentically connecting with users who are trying to change the world along with with your nonprofit and you. 


Sign up for Google Ad Grants here.

For more information on how to get started and country availability, please visit our Ad Grants Help Center. To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more — all at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here. 


Science Buddies’ statements are made in connection with receiving in-kind donations as a participant in the Ad Grants program.


          HAPPY 13TH BIRTHDAY, Google Ad Grants        
Happy 13th birthday, Google Ad Grants! We launched Ad Grants 13 years ago to offer nonprofits a free online advertising solution to share their causes with the world. 

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot together about what it means to be a nonprofit in the digital age. And as the industry landscape has changed, we’ve aimed to ensure that AdWords consistently helps to deliver your mission online. 


We’ve celebrated the ability of groups to change the world — one day, one person, one place at a time. At the same time, we’ve also come to understand the challenges of the nonprofit sector by both listening to your stories, as well as working directly alongside you. In doing so, we recognized that nonprofits struggle to find the time or resources to manage an AdWords account. So in 2015, we launched AdWords Express for Ad Grants as a part of Google for Nonprofits.

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With nonprofits’ limited time and resources in mind, we created AdWords Express to be an automated advertising solution that serves the same effective ads on Google Search as standard AdWords. AdWords Express requires less ongoing maintenance than AdWords, while still delivering an exceptional experience for Ad Grantees. 


With AdWords Express, your nonprofit can create an online ad quickly and easily, attracting more users to your website. There’s minimal ongoing management necessary, and AdWords Express runs and automatically optimizes your ads for you. Much like AdWords though, you can still reach customers on desktop computers and mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets), as well as review the effectiveness of your ads in your dashboard. 


Sign up for Google Ad Grants here. For more information on AdWords Express, how to get started, and country availability, please visit our Ad Grants Help Center. 


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here. 


          From LA to Tokyo: YouTube Spaces opens production studios to nonprofits free of charge        
We know that having a physical space to do your work matters, but it’s not just about where you work — it’s about what you create there. So today, we’re announcing special access to YouTube Spaces, YouTube’s global network of production studios, for eligible nonprofits to learn, connect, and create great content for YouTube.

Given that Google was started in a garage, we’re more than familiar with the limits of physical space. As a nonprofit, it can be difficult to find access to great spaces for video production, especially when time, location, and money are constraining factors. As a result, space often becomes limiting, rather than limitless, to producing great content on YouTube.

From LA to London, Tokyo to Mumbai, Berlin to São Paulo, YouTube Spaces empower nonprofits by providing them exclusive access to the best production resources around — all at no cost. All enrolled nonprofits with 1,000 or more subscribers are now eligible to apply for production access at YouTube Spaces.

But we’re also offering more than just physical space. In addition to our state-of-the-art production facilities, YouTube Spaces brings together creatives of all stripes. YouTube Spaces offers nonprofits opportunities to learn new skills through live workshops, as well as collaborate with the YouTube community through events, panels, screenings, and more! 

YouTube Spaces
Don’t know where to begin? Once enrolled in and approved by YouTube for Nonprofits, start with theYouTube Creator Academy. From there, nonprofits can take advantage of the workshops offered by YouTube Spaces to establish a successful foundation on the platform. From lessons on building your channel to learning physical production, these workshops will help your nonprofit define its strategy and engage subscribers. Then, it’s time to get the cameras rolling! 

Get out of your garage, and get ready to create something amazing. After all, spaces are not just about where we we work -- it’s about what we create there.

Find out more about the YouTube Spaces here. 


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Nonprofit must have signed up for the Google for Nonprofits program and be enrolled specifically in the YouTube for Nonprofits product with a YouTube channel that has at least 1,000 subscribers. Qualifying YouTube channels must be free of copyright and terms of use strikes.


          Bella Communities: Utilizing technology & Google tools to drive "volunteer-ship"        

In 2009, Khoi Pham co-founded Bella Communities to address low-income housing issues and resident supportive services. Today, Bella Communities is harnessing the energy of thousands of community leaders, affordable housing owners, neighbors, nonprofits, resident volunteers, and professionals to offer a meaningful livelihood to their low-income housing tenants.  In addition to providing affordable housing, Bella’s signature program aims to mobilize low-income residents with an economic-opportunity modeled volunteering program. This programs enables residents to engage with other nonprofits, building civic engagement and social capital; improving career and personal skills; and earning rent credits to have financial capability and housing stability. Through this innovative “volunteer-ship” training program, they seek to help families “not just get by but also get ahead.” 

Bella Communities
What was the key to their success? We sat down with Khoi to hear exactly how they utilized technology and Google Apps for Nonprofits to achieve their goals.

Which role does technology play in Bella Communities?

Khoi: It’s critical! Technology allows us to communicate with our constituencies efficiently and cost-effectively which is vital for us. We want to empower our low-income residents with the tools needed to achieve economic development. With Google Apps for Nonprofits, we’ve built our own technology platform serving this objective. We have been able to switch from a desktop, web-based platform to a smart-phone mobile application, increasing engagement and participation from our residents using Google Forms. Most of them have skipped desktop to go mobile first!

Do you think technology has changed the way you work?

Khoi: Absolutely. It allowed us to operate in multiple states, virtually and real time! Communication, collection, and sharing data became seamless and effortless, which is fundamental to keeping pace.

Also Google Apps for Nonprofits has allowed us access to technology without heavy IT costs in order to preserve limited start-up resources and marshal them effectively. Google tools are all cloud-based and do not require us to build an internal IT infrastructure, which has enabled quick adaptability and flexibility to change. I have been amazed by the intuitiveness of the tools and how easily they integrate with one another!

Can you tell us more about your homemade program “Resident Volunteership United Program”?

Khoi: A study by the Corporation for National and Community Service showed that volunteers have a 27% greater chance  of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers? That is precisely why Bella Communities designed and tested an innovative supportive service program to simultaneously tackle both financial empowerment and civic engagement mobilization.  The Resident Volunteership United Program (ReV-UP) engages residents living in low-income communities to volunteer with other non-profit organizations in the immediate neighborhood to build community and economic development..

Google Apps was vital to the deployment of this program — we never would’ve been able to do it without that! It allowed us to manage workflow, and most importantly, it allowed us to gather, collect, and share data to build a case for supporting our program.

How are you measuring the success of this program?

Khoi: Using Google Forms and Google Drive, our low-income residents can easily manage their volunteer records online, as well as share and report their activities to the program managers. For the program pilot years, they contributed nearly 3,500 volunteer hours to their communities and generated earned approximately $21,000 in rent credits for their households.

Want to traverse the IT curve without the huge dollar investments? Find out how your nonprofit can better utilize technology with Google Apps for Nonprofits.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the nonprofit programs, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Bella Communities’ statements are made in connection with receiving free products as a participant in Google for Nonprofits, a program which provides free Google products to qualified nonprofits.


          Broadway Unlocked shares five lessons learned from hosting a livestream benefit        
Each year, one in six people in the U.S. will be victims of violent crimes. Two years ago, we became part of the effort to change that, when we began work with Broadway Unlocked. 

Two years ago, we met Jessica Ryan — a woman whose mission is rooted in two seemingly unique spheres: celebrating live theatre and helping survivors of interpersonal violence. Jessica founded the  Broadway Unlocked #giveback concert, a livestream, interactive benefit concert aimed at connecting the two communities and helping raise awareness and donations for the Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC). The CVTC, New York State’s largest and most comprehensive hospital-based victim assistance program, provides therapy and services to survivors of assault, abuse and violence. All treatments at CVTC are free.

In an effort to reach a larger audience and expand the nonprofit’s donor base, Broadway Unlocked collaborated with Google for Nonprofits to broadcast the show and spread the message globally in 2016. On February 22, Google for Nonprofits helped bring Broadway to YouTube for the second year in a row with one night of song and social responsibility through the concert. To bring the show beyond NYC, Google Fiber hosted a watch party at the Fiber space with local Kansas City theatre groups and community members. 

This was a Broadway show unlike any other. This was Broadway with a variety of star performers, including Kyle Dean Massey, Carolee Carmello, Ali Stroker, Natalie Weiss, and Collabro. This was Broadway hosted by Google Fiber. Streamed via Google Hangouts on Air. And fueled in part by fundraising through donation cards on YouTube. This was Broadway on the internet -- crowdfunded and broadcast for one night only.

How did Broadway Unlocked make their globally livestreamed and crowdfunded event a success? We’re turning the mic towards Broadway Unlocked to hear what they learned.

5 Lessons Learned from Hosting a Livestream Benefit

  1. Engaging the community is key: Using Hangouts on Air, we were able to pull off a cross-city sing-a-long! Check it out. The video wasn’t flawless, but we successfully transported Broadway beyond the Big Apple.

  2. Global events can help grow engagement and donor base: Putting on an event in different cities is no easy feat. But it's amazingly rewarding to bring like-minded people and groups together to support similar causes. Hangouts and livestream technology made reaching new communities easier to do in one event. And by engaging these communities, we’ve been able to grow a stronger community and ultimately, donor base.

  3. Interactive video adds another dimension of creativity: Using Hangouts allowed us to engage the audience on the other side of the screen, adding a new dimension unique from watching on a passive screen. Our creative team came up with Musical MadLibs, (our new favorite game!), which really shows how we were able to interact with the crowd through video chat.

  4. Google is a gamechanger for nonprofits: YouTube and Google Fiber enabled us to livestream the concert to theatre lovers and supporters in Kansas City and hundreds of people at home that night. This allowed us to increase the viewership of our benefit by 10X more than if we had only shown the concert to the folks at the Greene Space in NYC.

  5. Crowdfunding and donation cards can help you reach your goals: Through crowdfunding using donation cards on YouTube, One Today donations, live fundraising at the concert, and private donations, we raised more than ever before -- an astounding $50,000. This additional funding will hugely impact our ability to provide treatments for victims of domestic violence in tandem with the CVTC.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the nonprofit programs, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

If you are a U.S. nonprofit looking to add donation cards to your YouTube videos, learn more here.

Nonprofits aren't endorsed by YouTube or Google


          Introducing new donation tool on YouTube benefiting nonprofits        
YouTube has over a billion users. That’s almost one-third of all people on the Internet. And everyday those users watch hundreds of millions of hours of video, racking up billions of views – which are now billions of opportunities to do good.

We’re excited to announce a brand new tool that U.S. nonprofits can utilize — donation cards on YouTube! Donation cards make it even simpler to raise money for your cause by allowing your viewers to donate directly from your YouTube video. Even better — Google covers the processing fees, so your organization will receive 100% of the money donated. Donation cards on YouTube are currently available for U.S. nonprofits and creators, but we look forward to expanding into other countries, so nonprofits and creators can digitally fundraise across the globe. 

Using donation cards, YouTube creators can also now raise money through their content to both support your cause and make their videos more impactful! Donation cards for creators in the U.S. enable their subscribers and viewers to donate directly from their videos. Creators can choose any United States, IRS-validated 501(c)3 public nonprofit organization. Your nonprofit will receive 100% of the money donated.

Want to see donation cards in action? Check out this video from Madison Beer. 

Now it’s your turn. To help you get started, we’ve put together an outreach toolkit – including email templates, social media templates, and fundraising best practices – to help your nonprofit share the news about donation cards with your supporters and other YouTube creators. With these tools, we hope you’ll empower as many people as possible to learn about your nonprofit and fuel fundraising on your behalf. 

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the YouTube for Nonprofit Program, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

If you are a U.S. nonprofit looking to add donation cards to your YouTube videos, learn more here.
If you are a U.S. YouTube creator looking to fundraise for your favorite cause, learn more here. 

Nonprofits aren't endorsed by YouTube or Google


          Case study: Youth-oriented nonprofit overcomes limited budget with Google tools        

Just because you don’t have a big budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a big impact. Robin Bossert found that to be true when he started Navigators USA, a nonprofit that provides scouting experiences for children and their parents to help them spend more time outdoors. With over 100 independent chapters in the US and a shoestring budget, Navigators USA uses Google for Nonprofits tools to maintain and grow their organization.

Case Study
As an organization that works with youth, Navigators USA needed to have a way to maintain privacy and security while still being able to share information quickly and efficiently with parents. They use Google Groups and Sites to control access when sharing information. Juggling so many chapters across the country can be a challenge. To keep an open dialogue and get timely feedback from chapter leaders, they use Google Forms to send out questionnaires and use Google Drive to share trip ideas with other chapters. Handling logistics like shipping uniforms across the country is managed through Google Sheets and enables them to track their inventory and make sure their chapters have the supplies they need. By not having to worry about their technology budget or capabilities, Navigators USA can focus on building a movement and get more children outside. 

Watch Robin and other members discuss how they used Google tools to help manage and grow Navigators USA here. 


          Google for Education presents: Google RISE Awards!        

Google for Education just opened applications for the Google RISE Awards, a $10-25k USD grant given to nonprofit organizations globally that give girls and underrepresented students access to computer science through extracurricular outreach programs. In 2015, 37 organizations from 17 countries received RISE Awards for projects ranging from programming clubs in Johannesburg to workshops on CS and music production in San Francisco. 

chromebooks.JPG
Learning about CS promotes valuable problem solving skills that students can apply to any field of study. Unfortunately, many students have a negative perception of what CS is and who it’s for. By partnering with nonprofits that are providing students with access and exposure to CS, we hope to change this perception and encourage more students to pursue CS. We’ve been inspired by the creativity and passion we’ve seen from our past RISE awardees, and this year we’re excited to expand the reach of the RISE awards by opening two rounds of funding applications for nonprofit organizations. 

The RISE Awards are now accepting applications through February 19, and more information on the application process is listed on our website. Visit g.co/csedu to learn more about Google’s other CS resources, including our CS teacher professional development awards, Computer Science for High School (CS4HS), which is also currently accepting applications for the 2016 year.


          Proenhance patch - Get a longer lasting        



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          Proenhance patch - What's the result you can see from Proenahnce patch        



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          Proenhance patch - Be a better man        



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          Proenhance patch - Be a better man        



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          Proenhance patch - How can you Use Effectively The Proenhance Patch        



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          Proenhance patch - How can you Use Effectively The Proenhance Patch        



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          Windows System Administrator - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a sharp, fun team doing challenging work supporting world class science and technology. At the Center for Computational Science at the US Naval Research Laboratory you'll be part of a team responsible for providing Windows platform administration.
          Active Directory Administrator - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a sharp, fun team doing challenging work supporting world class science and technology. At the Center for Computational Science at the US Naval Research Laboratory you'll be part of a team responsible for providing Windows platform administration.
          PHP / Drupal Developer - Zurka Interactive        
Vienna, VA - We're looking for an outstanding PHP and/or Drupal Developer to join a group of sharp people doing interesting and sometimes challenging work.
You will be building web-based applications and web sites for commercial, non-profit, and government clients.
          Windows Admin / Help Desk - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a team supporting world class science and technology. At the US Naval Research Laboratory, you'll be part of a small team responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Windows platform user workstations.
          Senior PHP / Drupal Developer - Zurka Interactive        
Vienna, VA - We're looking for an experienced outstanding PHP and/or Drupal Developer to join a group of sharp people doing interesting and sometimes challenging work. You will be building applications and web sites for commercial, non-profit, and government clients.
          Analyst (Workforce Management) - Nexant        
Salt Lake City, UT -
Salt Lake City, UT


About the Job

Nexant is currently seeking an Analyst in the Salt Lake City, UT, office. This role is responsible for the coordination of all Business Process Workforce Management data analysis and compliance activities, at all times. Responsible for
          Senior Lead Designer - Rescale         
San Francisco, CA - San Francisco
Responsibilities:

Transform complex ideas into clean and intuitive user interfaces
Build, maintain, and work within Rescale?s design library
Handle various design and branding needs for the marketing team
Proactively address design issues across the company
          Helpdesk Analyst- Alameda (US) - Metaswitch Networks        
Los Altos, CA - Megan Hogan
May 16, 2017 at 2:12 PM
The role

We have a highly expert IT Services team based in both the US and UK, who are responsible for designing, building and maintaining the company?s IT infrastructure as part of the wider Company DevOps team, which provides tools and
          Inventory/Receiving Associate - 2nd Swing Inc.        
Eden Prairie, MN - Warehouse / DC
Eden Prairie, MN
The Inventory Team works hard to ensure there is a large quantity and variety of golf equipment to purchase in our retail stores and on our online channels. This team plays an integral role in helping us achieve our mission of "owning the best
          Senior Analyst FP&A (Sales) - Metaswitch Networks        
Los Altos, CA - Senior Analyst FP&A (Sales), Los Altos, CA

Merced Myking
June 16, 2017 at 2:12 PM


JOB DESCRIPTION ? Senior Analyst FP&A (Sales)



The FP&A Role supporting Sales Organization

This is a key management role within the Finance organization of Metaswitch
          Sales and Marketing Intern (CapDB) - Bullhorn        
Boston, MA - Sales
Boston, MassachusettsIntern

Job Description

Our international recruitment software delivers best-of-breed technology solutions for the world?s leading recruitment firms. With over 300,000 users, we work at a rapid pace to deliver an incredible customer experience. As a
          Senior Product Manager - Bullhorn        
Boston, MA - Product Management
Boston, MassachusettsFull time

Job Description

At Bullhorn, we put the world to work. Our international recruitment software delivers best-of-breed technology solutions for the world?s leading recruitment firms. Our engineers use modern technologies in agile
          Project Engineer - Nexant        
Atlanta, GA - Project Engineer -Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA


About the Job


The Nexant Atlanta team seeks a project engineer to join the Strategy and Planning team to work on energy efficiency program planning and evaluation with a focus on engineering, field work, and analysis
          Senior Product Manager - Skytap        
Seattle, WA - Product Management Seattle, Washington

Apply
Description
Do you have a passion for building easy-to-use, innovative products for engineering teams? Do you thrive in an environment where you wear many hats, do what it takes, work hard and smart, collaborate, innovate, and
          Entry Level Software Engineer - Bullhorn        
Boston, MA - Development
Boston, MassachusettsFull time

Job Description

Entry-Level Software Engineer

At Bullhorn, we put the world to work. Our international recruitment software delivers best-of-breed technology solutions for the world?s leading recruitment firms. With over 300,000
          Senior Engineer - Nexant        
Hinsdale, IL - Senior Engineer -Hinsdale, IL

Hinsdale, IL


About the Job


Do you enjoy working with a team, being innovative, doing the right thing and having fun? Are you personable, ambitious, sharp as a tack and have a passion for a sustainable energy future? Then Nexant is the place for
          Calibration Technician II (Temp-to-Hire)#270 - KBI Biopharma        
Boulder, CO - Company:KBI Biopharma
Job Location(s):Boulder, CO
Start Date:

Employment Term:Temp-to-Hire
Employment Type:Full Time
Hours per Week:40
Work Hours (i.e. shift):Day Shift
Starting Salary Range:Not Provided

Required Education:High School or Equivalent
Required Experience:3 to 5
          Accounts Receivable Specialist-B2B VIP Accounts - Travel Holdings        
Altamonte Springs, FL - Location: Altamonte Springs, FLDepartment: Accounting and FinanceType: Full TimeMin. Experience: Entry Level
Responsible for managing B2B accounts that require special attention due to their VIP status and the high volume of manual work they generate on reconciliation. This
          Customer Service Representative - ePromos.com        
Cincinnati, OH -
Location:Cincinnati, OH
Job Code:108
# of openings:1
Description

ePromos Promotional Products Inc., a seven time winner of ASI Best Places to Work, is one of the fastest growing promotional product companies in the US. We recommend and provide custom branded merchandise and
          20-Minute Shrimp & Spinach Curry        
Is it cliché to start a post with a cliché? Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Clichés really get a bad rap, but you know what? I’m not ashamed to admit that I love a good cliché. When they work, they work.  After an unplanned hiatus from the blog, I’m ready to delve back into...

Read More »


          I want adventure in the great wide, somewhere!        
I know it's been awhile. It is likely to be at least 16 days before I write again. The election is almost upon us. I am tired. Bone tired. Burnt out. Wearied. Shattered. My body aches, and worse than that, my heart aches. I feel restless and homesick. I want to be off doing something, enjoying life. Day trips and road trips and shows and family visits. I want an adventure! I know in my head that, as one of my favorite teachers always said, this too shall pass. I just wish it would pick up the pace, you know?
In doggy news, Silas has gotten much better about accidents in the house, but now he has added humping to the list of aggressive/dominating behavior. I read that when a fixed dog tries to get jiggy with it, it's because they want to display that they are dominant. We're working on proving him wrong. One thing that has helped a lot with that and with the nipping thing has been a spray bottle. A little squirt when he displays an undesirable behavior and he stops for a while. Problem is it's hard to keep the spray bottle with us everywhere and it never seems to be within reach when he gets out of hand. So there is no consistency with it, which makes it a moot point. Maybe I should look into getting a holster...

I leave you with this, a picture! Finally, right? My friend Annie came and visited us about a month ago and took one of the only pictures in exsistence of my dear dog. It was raining that day so he's all messy and scraggly...which to be truthful is a pretty accurate depiction of him.


          I know, I know, I'm a terrible blogger        
Silas has taken to pooping in the house in the same exact spot every time. Like it's his own personal carpeted potty. He'll do it right after he comes inside too. I'm really not sure what to do about it. I'm about to break down and pay for a flipping dog whisperer or something. I mean. Really.
Also he keeps nipping at us. And sometimes it hurts. And he still has puppy teeth. I can't even imagine what it will feel like once he has his big boy teeth.
On top of everything, work, my crazy dog, my messy house and did I mention work? On top of everything, people have been really difficult to deal with lately. I don't know if it's cause I'm tired or stressed or a combination of the above, but I take everything anyone says or does at a very personal level and I've been crying at the drop of a hat.
For instance. The boy's little sister wrote a blog post on her myspace about her faith and about religion in general and I commented in a way that I would to any of my friends. I talk to people as if they are intelligent human beings and I want to engage them in logical and thoughtful discussions. Is that such a crime? Well, in any case, one of her friends commented below mine saying, basically, not to pay attention to that "dumb girl your brother is datin" because she is all up on her high horse and who does she think she is? And I got upset. Like crying and almost hysterical upset. And I have no idea why. I cried because some 15 year old kid made fun of me on myspace??? Seriously? I don't know, I think it probably boils down to frustrations over my feelings that the boy's family thinks I'm just another "stupid girl" that he is "datin" even though we've been together for 2 and half years and are very committed. I don't think they'll ever take me seriously, or at least not anytime before our ten year wedding anniversary, which for all I know could be 40 years away.
And then someone else removed me from her facebook friends. And I shouldn't be upset about that. Because I really don't ever want to be friends with her again. We had a huge row about a month ago, and even before that she treated me (in my opinion) quite poorly and did not make me feel happy, which is what I think friends should do. But seriously? Removing me from your friends list? Are we 12????
The end.
PS: I promise to not be such a Debbie Downer with the next post.
          Who's a good boy?        
Silas hasn't had an accident in a whole week! It's like the most exciting thing ever...
Work is really crazy right now, I have less than 70 days left before the election which makes me nervous and excited and exhausted and relieved and terrified all at the same time. Mostly because part of thinks "holy crap there's so much to do before November!" and the other part of me thinks "thank goodness, maybe I'll be able to sleep a little bit soon" and yet another part of me thinks "ummmmm, I don't have a job starting November 10th and I haven't even thought about looking for one."
So those are the major stresses in my life right now. Not really sure what to do about them.
Last thing: Last night was the first night of the democratic national convention in Denver, and my Senator here in Missouri, Sen. Claire McCaskill spoke towards the end. Her kids, including her daughter Maddie (who I know!!! eeek!!) introduced her. This was the part of the convention I wanted to see. The ONE PART other than Obama's acceptance speech. And guess what? I MISSED IT. I was driving. because I work all the time. Boo. :(
          4 days down....        
Around 11-14 years to go.
Having Silas around has been wonderful and exhausting and stressful and calming all at once.
He's only had two accidents, one at my office and one at home this morning. That one was his daddy's fault, because when I left for work he was up and watching the Olympics so I left Silas out roaming around the house. I told the boy that he hadn't gone number two yet. Well, five minutes after I left the boy fell back asleep and woke up two hours later to a...well, "pleasant aroma" wafting from the dining room. Ah well, he'll learn. The boy. Not the dog.
Silas has gotten really messy really fast. I can tell I'm going to be giving lots and lots of doggy baths.
The only other thing that has been a problem/concern with him is his extreme separation anxiety. He of course freaks out when we leave him home alone while we go to work (for now, we're putting him in the guest room with his bed and some toys) but he also freaks out when we're both home but not in the same room. Last night the boy got up to get some water and left me and Silas in the room. Silas immediately began howling and scratching at the door. Nothing I tried would calm him down. It was like I wasn't even there. The same thing happened to the boy when I left for work yesterday. I'm hoping this is just an effect of him being shuffled around for so much of his life and that it is something he will get over as he realizes how quickly we come back.
In other news:
1) Yay! Olympics time! I love love love swimming and gymnastics but I also like some other random sports like water polo and rowing.
2) Guess what? We are STILL not done moving entirely. And our lease at the old place is up in close to 24 hours. It adds to my stress and exhaustion to no end. We are SO CLOSE!
          Someone's praying my Lord...        
Kumbaya. That person is me.
I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. We were moving until 4 am this morning. I just got to work and it's 10:15. That means that I got approximately 5 hours of sleep last night. We didn't stop for dinner till 2, which was especially awesome because I had skipped lunch yesterday in order to get stuff done at the office in time to leave by 5. And the best part? We're NOT DONE YET. Not even close. If I had just one day off it would make this a lot easier, but I don't. And that's a fact I'm just going to have to suck up and deal with. I have tomorrow morning off, I don't have to be at the office till around 1 in the afternoon. I'll skip church and finish moving what I can.
I hope Silas doesn't come home to a house that looks like a tornado hit it...
Oh! We named puppy "Silas." Not sure where it came from, I'll have the boy write a post on his reasoning behind it later.
          Swinging away in his Hammock        
Well puppy has been picked up from the pound and is doing really well at T's. He plays well with the other animals (they've got a bajillion) and he is sleeping soundly through the night on his hammock. Yes, you heard me right. His hammock. T decided that with all that hair (he has a lot of it, apparently) he would get too hot at night sleeping directly on the floor so she bought him a hammock. This has got me wondering. If she spoils our dog this much, what the heck is it going to be like when we have kids and she's a grandmother? The thought scares me a little.
In any case, at least he's happy. He's had his frontline and a big ol' flea bath, he gets neutered next Thursday and then he comes home to us the Sunday after that. Of course, in the meantime, we have to get a home for him to come to.
The big move is Friday. I work until 5. The boy works till 4. There are no UHauls left in the entire town. This should be fun.
          Can’t Keep A Good CTU Agent Down: The Return of 24 and Jack Bauer        
And so it has begun! The 2013-14 television season is being birthed in earnest as we recover from last week’s bloody cancellation of over twenty failed shows by the big four (and little one) broadcast networks. They are making way for shinier, newer and hopefully more successful offerings that are to restore our faith in … Continue reading
          Order in the Court!        
Yesterday, America watched the justice system hard at work as it passed down a guilty verdict for Jodi Arias. In case you have been living under a rock, Arias is the 32-year-old Arizona woman who, five years ago, admitted to killing her lover Travis Alexander by stabbing him and shooting him 27 times in his … Continue reading
          Î— Google ενεργοποιεί "Panic mode" για το back button στην έκδοση 7.1 του Android        

Το Android στην έκδοση 7.1, απέκτησε ένα νέο χαρακτηριστικό με το παρατσούκλι "panic button". Η νέα δυνατότητα εντοπίστηκε από χρήστες του XDA-Developers και έχει σαν στόχο να δώσει στον χρήστη μια επιπλέον δυνατότητα αντιμετώπισης εφαρμογών που έχουν κολλήσει ή είναι κακόβουλες.

Πολλές κακόβουλες εφαρμογές, απενεργοποιούν το back button στο κινητό, αποτρέποντας τον χρήστη από το να βγει από αυτήν και να επιστρέψει στην αρχική οθόνη της συσκευής του. Το Panic mode, "παρακολουθεί" το πόσες φορές και με ποιά συχνότητα πατάει το back button. "Εκτιμώντας" την δύσκολη κατάσταση που βρίσκεται ο χρήστης, το λειτουργικό αναλαμβάνει δράση και παίρνει τον έλεγχο από την "κρεμασμένη" ή κακόβουλη εφαρμογή, κλείνοντας την, επιστρέφοντας την αρχική οθόνη.
A few malicious applications may turn off the 'back' key as well as other buttons. This then wouldn't let the user return to his main screen else any other application. The time is then when the user starts panicking. Unable to guess what is happening with his smart phone as well as what makes it not to answer the user's commands, the phone owner will keep on anxiously hitting the back button in anticipation of it behaving its usual way.

It is here when Google's system would find out the unusual behavior of the phone owner's back button i.e. why so frequently the button is being pressed. Subsequently, the system will prevail over the application and once again enable back action on the phone as well as restore its main screen. The system works for applications which simply freeze, however, for rogue software too which attempts at tapping any or all moves, such as adware or malicious software. 
 
[via]
          Bo        




The lovely and talented Ms. Mouly asked me last Wednesday if I might have any cover concepts about pirates and portuguese water dogs. I didn't really, and though I tried my best to combine the two in a singular idea, I found that pretty impossible to pull off, so I gave her 8 sketches -- and this is the one The New Yorker went with. Anyone who does covers for the magazine knows how blisteringly fast the process can be -- with this one, 16 hours from sketches to approval to final art. While I wanted the piece to work on a decidedly decorative level, I'm also pleased that people have picked up on the subtle allusion; the black and white mixed-breed pet juxtaposed against the vastness, scale and magnitude of the office itself. BTW,  my preferred title for the cover was 'Oboma', the NYer opting instead for simply 'Bo'.



Detail of the dog


          The End Of A Book        
The last five weeks have been just hellacious. I've been working 16 hour days on a big new picture book for Random House (I did not write this one), and the art was far more complex and time consuming than I had anticipated. The thing is, you'd never know it by looking at these endpapers I designed for the book, but the fact that they're so different from the art in the spreads, we all agreed this was the way to go. Lollipop trees -- I've always called them that, so it was nice to be able to give them 16" x 10" of real estate to dance on. I love doing books. I just wish I didn't have to wait a year before showing anybody the art. ps: I actually tried posting something to the new, improved and lemon-scneted Drawg a couple weeks ago. Tried 6 times and it never saved my post. I got frustrated and starting cutting up photos of Kroninger with my pinking shears. IF this post works, I'll be a happy Bob!




          A Letter, By George        
It's always nice to receive emails, letters and calls from people who like your work, but every now and then you receive a note that you would have never expected in a million years. Today I received a kind one from George Booth who, needless to say, remains a cartooning God to so many of us -- certainly me included. I grew up as a kid salivating over Booth's cartoons in The New Yorker, so to receive this letter, well, let's just say it's being framed even as you read this. So touched and honored.






          Discover What the Obama Loan Modification Programs and the 31 Percent Rule Can Do For You        
Loan Modification Programs aren't something new, but many will argue the old system wasn't structured properly to work. A recent example of this is - over half of the loans modified in the US from January to March 2008 defaulted on their modified loan before the end of the year.

What Exactly is Loan Modification?

As you are well aware the economy has taken a huge downturn over the last couple of years. This has had an undesired effect for many homeowners. People find their loans are at risk and the possible threat of foreclosure. This is where lenders will offer lower monthly repayments and set terms and conditions on your home loan for a specified period of time. However, with no real structure in place, this was doomed to fail.

The Obama administration unveiled their new program on Wednesday 4th March 2009. This program planned to restructure home loans and save millions of Americans from foreclosure.

So What is the 31% Rule?

The program requires lenders to reduce your monthly mortgage repayments to no more than 38% of your gross monthly income. The government will then fund the remainder, to bring your payments down by a further 7%. This would mean that your monthly mortgage repayments would be no more than 31% of your total gross monthly income.

In order for your lender to achieve this, they would first need to lower the interest rate on your loan and possibly extend the term of your mortgage. They have the ability to lower the interest rate to 2% and extend your term up to 40 years. However, even after all these alterations, if you are still paying above 31% threshold, the lender can merely claim payments for your principle balance and will charge no interest.

For you to secure help to join one of these Programs, you will usually need to approach a Loan Modification Company. Although, many people have reported savings in excess of $500 per month on their mortgage payments, others have told horror stories of the fees that some of these companies charge.
          5 Top Tips To What Makes A Great Loan Modification Hardship Letter        
A well thought out and well written Loan Modification Hardship Letter can be the difference between success and failure when making a loan modification application. You must remember ever since the Obama Administration announced the new Loan Modification Plans And Programs back in March 2009, the majority of lenders have been inundated with applications.

So your letter needs to be clear, concise and if at all possible as unique as you can:-

1) Don't make excuses. Just describe in detail what the hardship is and why you are in this situation.

2) State what you have tried to do to overcome your current financial hardship.

3) You need to fully emphasize to your lender how important it is to you that you and your lender work together to resolve any problems.

4) Explain what your plans are to get yourself back on track with your mortgage repayments.

5) Don't beat around the bush. Be very clear and get to the point.

The Hardships that lenders will accept:-

- Death of a family member or the person who pays the mortgage

- Divorce

- Loss of your Job or Relocation

- Due to a reset variable rate your monthly mortgage repayments have increased
          Thanks For The Help Obama But Are You Willing To Pay $5000 For The Modification Of Your Mortgage?        
Since the Obama Administration introduced the new Loan Modification Plans on Wednesday 4th March 2009, many people have gone about planning the changes to their mortgages.

However, one stumbling block seems to get in everyone's way! The process of approaching your lender for the Modification of Your Mortgage usually requires a middleman. This is when the help of specialized attorneys, Loan Modification companies and professionals is required.

How much do these services cost you?

Well, you could be looking at anywhere from $1500 to $5000. Now, the way i see things, if you had that kind of money freely available you probably wouldn't need to approach your lender.
The actual plan of the Obama administration is to help out the 4 million plus Americans, who have either fallen behind with their monthly mortgage repayments or to those unfortunate enough to be facing foreclosure.

The help you will be offered is over a five year period. You mortgage principle can be reduced by up to $5000. Your interest rate can be dropped to as low as 2% and the term of your home loan can be extended up to a maximum of 40 years.

This certainly is a fantastic helping hand to those suffering financial hardship and looking to modify their mortgage repayments, but once again, you are faced with the fees and charges to get the ball rolling.

I knew it wouldn't be long before someone had to go through this whole process and then worked out a way of doing it for themselves! You are undoubtedly looking for no huge fees, no additional charges, just some guidance on how to approach the Loan Modification process. Hence the birth of the DIY Loan Modification Kit!

With the help of this kit, you can learn to:-

- Lower your interest rate and your payment

- Reduce the principal balance

- Convert to a fixed rate for peace of mind

- Have all late fees and charges removed from your record

- Stop the Foreclosure process

Click Here For More Info On The Do-It-Yourself Loan Modification Kit

What have some of the people who have used the DIY Loan Modification Kit got to say:-

"Thanks to the Do-It-Yourself Loan Modification Kit I was able to save my home! I had to stick to it for 3 months and really put my head down, but it was well worth it in the long run. I will be the first one to say it wasn't easy, but if you are struggling to make ends meet, it is definitely worth it. I ended up with a 40yr term at 4.5% reducing my mortgage over $1000 per month! I talked to a loan modification company before I chose the kit, but they wanted $3,500 upfront. I weighed my options and for only $29.95 I knew exactly what I was going to receive! And If I couldn't get the loan modification done myself at least I had peace of mind that I didn't waste $3,500."
Ted Basil, Syracuse, NY

"We have been in our home for 3 years and I think we were given the wrong mortgage. We got behind, but your kit showed us how to make our lender listen! We are now in a mortgage that we can afford. Our entire family appreciates you and the information that you provide."
Paul and Brenda Keen, Danbury, CT

"I was over $10,000 behind on my mortgage. My rate had just adjusted to 13.25%! Using your kit, I was able to negotiate the following: 13.25% adjustable rate was taken to an 8% fixed!And, get this... the lender allowed me to have the $10,000 I was behind, rolled onto the back of my loan!My new payment including taxes and insurance, is $300 less than what my previous payment was, and that's not including the taxes and insurance!!!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!"

Vivian Stephens , Dallas, TX

Click Here For More Info On The Do-It-Yourself Loan Modification Kit
          Is Getting A Loan With Bad Credit Really That Hard?        
Have you ever wondered why lenders seem to treat people with a bad credit history so badly? If you have bad credit and apply for a loan, you know, generally you're going to be declined or charged some extortionate rate of interest.

You simply want any potential lender to recognise that you haven't always had a bad credit history. You probably had a decent credit rating once, then, unfortunately some unforseen circumstance or an inevitable event forced you into having your credit record damaged.

However, what guarantee does a lender have that someone who has a perfect credit rating now, may not default on that loan at some time in the future. Circumstances change, things happen and nothing can be 100% guaranteed. It seems as though you are still being punished for what happened in the past.

Lenders have now started to notice, with the rising number of people falling in debt and bad credit, it no longer makes sense not to conduct business with everyone, good credit, bad credit or otherwise. Many specialized loans, credit cards and products have spread through the financial marketplace. You can now get a bad credit loan for a wide variety of purposes. Car Loans, Holiday Loans, Debt Consolidation loans.

A lender may ask for you to put up some form of collateral or asset as security against your loan. This can work well for both parties. A lender has some form assurance by way of an asset, usually your home...and as the borrower who has a bad credit history, in can be a case of once bitten, twice shy. You have been through the hell of bad credit, and all it brings, once. So why would you wish to lose an asset such as your home by making the same mistakes again.

Getting a Loan with bad credit without having to provide any collateral is possible as well. Usually an unsecured loan is only ever offered to people with a great credit rating. Some lenders may accept a borrower with a bad credit history, but you can usually expect to pay a higher rate of interest and sometimes you may be asked to pay a high fee and have to adhere to some near impossible terms of repayment.

Despite that, don't worry, there are lenders out there who will charge a reasonable rate of interest to those wih bad credit. Prior to approaching a lender or even an intermediary company for help, there are a few things you need to consider - You must decide exactly how much you need to borrow. Then the exact dispersal of your loan. Maybe, some of your loan is to consolidate some other debts, while some is to pay some bills and some is merely for pleasure. Then you need to work out an affordable budget and timescale to repay the loan. You don't want to fall into the same trap again of missing payments and eventually defaulting on a loan.

Once you have calculated all this, then you can approach a lender to find out if they can offer a loan that fits within your criteria. Finally, if you have managed to secure that all important loan, this will do wonders for your credit rating. By making your payments in full and on time, this will help to repair that bad credit history.
          How to Finance Your Car With Bad Credit        
Have you been searching for somewhere to finance your car with bad credit? In this day and age everyone either needs, wants or has a car. Gone are the days when a car was considered a luxury item. A car is definitely a necessity for most. However, due to your poor credit history, no lender is willing to help. You have even approached your own bank and they have shut the door firmly in your face.

This is when your search to finance your car begins. Although there is a vast array of lenders available, you need to be very careful. I'm sure you have heard many horror stories of people borrowing money and then being held to ransom by the lender. Once they have gone through the reams of small print, they discover that they will need to pay back up to 10 times the amount they borrowed. This, unfortunately, leads to further debt., which in turn can worsen your credit rating and eventually lead to bankruptcy!

Fortunately, this is where certain companies and organizations have evolved to help you. They are intermediary organizations, who will do all the leg work for you. They understand having bad credit can be a difficult time and will provide you with everything you have been looking for. They can show you how to finance your car, even with bad credit. Usually these companies have a huge list of lenders on their books, who are willing to help people in your situation. They can also provide online support and even have access to many unknown government resources. You will usually have to pay a very small one-time fee to get access to this information and remember i said very small!

You can still Finance your Car With Bad Credit, but you will just need to be wary. This is why i believe these intermediary companies are actually a blessing in disguise. The majority of lenders on their books can give you that auto loan online, at a price you can afford. In most cases your auto loan can be agreed and set up within a matter of days.

If you urgently need to Finance Your Car With Bad Credit, then it is time you visited one of these intermediary companies. Click Here to find out exactly what others in your situation are doing and secure that car loan today.
          Improve Your Credit Score - Part 3        
My system actually won't work for everybody.

As a matter of fact, it won't work for people
who don't take action and people who think
that their credit problems will magically go
away.

Then this isn't for them. It simply won't
work for everybody, but for people who do
take action and follow directions and who are
willing to put in a little effort, I think
they get outstanding results.

'THANK YOU' for taking action and doing what it
takes to have great credit.

Here's the special website
-------------------------------------
Get SIX Free Bonuses!
-------------------------------------

*Bonus #1: My PROVEN Step-By-Step Credit
----
Repair Letters
These proven letters are the EXACT letters that
the big credit repair agencies use. Simply put,
they work like crazy! (Just copy, paste, and send)

*Bonus #2: The Budgeting Success Guide!
----
A complete budgeting guide with 3 PDF guides to
help you track your credit card debt, income, and
expenses.

*Bonus #3: The Interest Annihilator Phone Script!
----
Use this simple script to annihilate your interest
rates on your credit cards immediately!

*Bonus #4: Interest Elimination Video
----
Real Life Video Showing How To eliminate your high
interest payments

*Bonus #5: The Complete Transcripts of All
Audio Interviews!
----
Complete Transcripts of the 4 interviews with
credit experts Donna Fox, Scott Bilker, and
Brett Bruce.

*Bonus #6: My "Snowball" Reduction System
----
This special spreadsheet will help you pay
off your debt faster, quicker, and easier than
ever before. Just plug in your numbers and see
how to reduce your large bills by "following the plan."

Go here right now and claim your copy before it's
too late

          Do You Have A Poor Credit Rating But Desperately Need A Loan?        
Are you someone who feels completely helpless because you have a poor credit rating and can't seem to get a loan? Being able to secure a loan would actually solve your credit problems and see you on the road to recovery. However, because of a poor credit history or poor credit rating, no lender in their right mind would ever consider you for a loan!

I'm sure that is a very familiar story for many of you. I know myself it is one of the worst feelings that you can ever have. I recall the days of having a fairly decent job and being offered credit left, right and centre. I'm not sure why, but I pretty much accepted all the offers of credit cards or loans. I think it was something to do with the “kid let loose in a sweet shop” scenario. The repercussions never really occurred to me at the time, so I continued to take out credit card after credit card and loan after loan.

If you can't wait any longer to secure a loan then Click Here to register for the "My Miracle Loans" program right now. For those of you who wish to read my story and review, you can access the program at the end of this article.

I think the effects of what I was doing finally hit me a few years down the line. I started to use less and less credit every month and tried to act a lot more responsibly. However, I had got to the stage where my minimum repayments for all my credit was pretty much the same amount as what I earned in a month. I once read a magazine article that stated – in order to repay $10,000 on a credit card, by just making the minimum payment, this would take up to 12 years. Wow! Unfortunately it wasn't just the one credit card I had to repay!

That's when it dawned on me that I had to do something...and quickly. After some careful investigation, I decided a debt consolidation loan and a couple of 0% APR credit cards was the way to go. I had racked up a total of $26,000 in debt. I looked at my current credit card limits and assumed I wouldn't get offered more than a $5000 dollar limit on a new credit card. So my plan was to apply for two 0% APR credit cards and a $16,000 loan. This would allow me to cut up all my credit cards and have all my debts cleared within 5 years. Or so I thought, I didn't count on getting declined for every bit of credit I applied for. My credit score was shot and at an all time low!

That's when I started searching for different methods and other forms of help. Nothing illegal, of course. I just thought to myself, I can't be the first person to find themselves in this situation and I definitely won't be the last! I actually found a total of 8 different companies, courses or websites, that said they could help and even provided me with testimonials of previous satisfied customers. Today I want to talk to you about My Miracle Loans.

My Miracle Loans is a program that will teach you a number of different strategies to obtain a loan. They advise you to read through their techniques and apply what you have learned. My Miracle Loans guarantee a 100% success rate, as long as you carry out their systems and procedures to the letter! They have helped people, like you and me, those with poor credit ratings, bad credit and even bankruptcies to secure credit and finance. My Miracle Loans are responsible for helping their members acquire over $10,000,000 in loans during 2008. They also claim to be able to help anyone secure a loan of $1,000 - $1,000,000 within 7 days! (Although it's very tempting, I think I will always steer clear of the possibility of securing a loan for $1,000,000!)

So what type of people can My Miracle Loans help:-

No job or proof of income – Obviously if you have a lot of money, you wouldn't need their help! You will never be asked for proof of income or to provide evidence of your income.

Bad Credit, No Credit or Slow Credit – There are absolutely no credit checks for some of the methods you will learn. So a poor credit history will not effect the outcome.

A FICO score of 450 – That's Bad! As mentioned above, many of methods you will learn do not require a credit check. So you're covered.

Bankruptcies in the last 7 years – My Miracle Loans dispel the myth that if you have been made bankrupt, you will not be able to borrow any money for up to 7 years. They can show you the exact methods to secure a loan or credit.

No Collateral or Assets – Their system has nothing to do with what worldly possessions you own. You will not be required to provide proof of what you do or do not own.

Been turned down before - Not a problem. These methods will still work for you.

I think that comprehensive list just about covers everyone. My Miracle Loans had quite clearly stated that not all the methods and techniques will work for everyone. Not all individuals are the same. This is why they have provided you with numerous different methods to try. If you do not get accepted for one, you move on and try the next one. They have an iron-clad guarantee that EVERYONE will find success with their program.

So for what purpose can you use the loans that My Miracle Loans will help secure for you?

Business loans – Whether you are purchasing a business, looking to expand or you need supplies. They will help you get whatever you want.

Cash Advance – Do you need a pay-day advance for your job? No problem you can secure that cash advance within 10 minutes!

Car Loans – You can get that luxury car of your dreams and you don't need the salary to match.

Student Loans – This is where my problems originally started. There are many students out there, who are yet to even start college, that may be affected by poor credit.

Debt Consolidation – If you need that peace of mind. Turn all your debts into one loan and make the monthly repayments easier to handle and keep track of.

Home Loans – You have no fear of being turned down, no matter how much you want to borrow. My Miracle Loans guarantee to help you find that dream home.

Personal Loans – A personal loan is usually determined and granted by you having a great credit score. My Miracle Loans will help those of you, who are not in a position to boast about your credit score!

So let me run through the main benefits that My Miracle Loans offer:-

100% success rate – As long as you carry out their instructions correctly, you will never be turned down again for a loan.

Take up to 30 years to repay the money – In many cases, lenders may penalize you for not paying back money as soon as you can. This is not the case with My Miracle Loans.

Receive your cash in 7 days guaranteed – This doesn't have to be a long drawn out process. My Miracle Loans will guarantee that you will receive your money in 7 days or less in the majority of cases.

Use your money for any purpose – as described earlier.

No upfront fees – Paying a company to lend you money does not seem ethical...does it?

Ease of use – this is not a complicated guide on how to write loan proposals or where to find investors and this is definitely not an outdated list of lenders willing to help people with poor credit secure a loan. This is a program that allows you access to many little known and closely guarded techniques.

So what's the catch? There is no catch! My Miracle Loans program will work for you no matter who you are and what your situation may be.

There is little more I can add about this great program. If you find yourself in the situation of having a poor credit rating and you desperately need a loan, you need look no further.

You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by registering with this fantastic program.

Click here to get started and acquire that loan that will ease all your money problems today.
          National Account Manager / Remote        
CA-San Diego, Mitchell 1/ (A Snap-on Company), is a leading provider of vehicle repair information, and business management solutions for automotive and heavy duty shops. We are currently seeking a National Account Manager for the Heavy Duty Truck Group. The territory for this position includes the Central and Eastern United States. This is a work from home and considered a remote position. GENERAL FUNCTIONS: O
          Project Coordinator TS/SCI with CI Polygraph        
MD-Bethesda, TS/SCI with CI Polygraph required Duties: · Provide support in managing and overseeing the timely execution of internal and external tasks. · Production and management of staffing packets · Work with the project team to develop project artifacts including, but not limited to, plans, policies, instructions, briefings, reports, talking papers and memorandums of agreement · Provide oversight in the d
          NetApp Administrator (Cleared) 2017-019        
TX-San Antonio, Program Overview: US Army North is the Army Service Component Command (ASCC) to US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and must be capable to stand up and deploy multiple task forces in the event of natural or man-made disasters. The Army North Information Technology Directorate, known as the “G-6,” provides Help Desk/Service Desk, Network Operations Center (NOC), technical management services, and Infor
          Business Process Consultant        
FL-Tallahassee, Please note that this is a contract position scheduled to start in 08/2017 and end in 06/2018. Scope of Services The selected candidate will be assigned initially to analyzing and documenting the critical business functions, supporting business processes and testing and executing desk procedures in the Office of Work Program and Budget (OWPB). Primary duties will relate to analyzing financial syst
          Field Service Technician - ABE        
PA-Allentown, Job Description Field service technicians are vital members of the ABE team. Technicians provide fast and effective service for our customers for Toshiba and Lexmark. They are responsible for the repair and maintenance of digital multifunction machines at the customer's location. A good work ethic and troubleshooting skills are key to this position where you are held accountable to the highest sta
          Artificial Intelligence Is About To Make Us All Managers. But Are We Ready?        
Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence isn't going to take your job. But you will need to adapt to a new future of work, with robots in tow.
          Galvanize and Amazon Launch Series of Free Alexa Workshops Across the Country        
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          Merry Christmas        



Merry Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It really brings out the best in people. Spending time with family and friends, great food and, of course, great drinks! I hope everyone enjoyed it and is looking forward to New Year’s celebrations!

Once again, I haven’t posted in several weeks. Things have been extremely busy since getting back from Afghanistan. As of yesterday, I am no longer on active duty with the Air Force. I am now a reservist with the 914th at Niagara Falls! That also means that today is my first day working ‘full time’ with New Buffalo Brewing.

We have done a lot in the last month, but we haven’t talked about it much. We set up a small lab in Clarence, and are currently dialing in on what we think will be our first four beers.  We are also working on a Kickstarter Campaign, which is a huge project. The support we receive from donors will make the difference between opening this spring and pushing off for several more months.

I want to talk about the lab in today’s post. It’s small, with a Brew Magic as our system, six half-barrel fermenters, and room for only one and a half barrels of finished beer. We are producing all the beer we need to have ready between now and April on this nano- of nano systems! You can imagine space will become an issue.

The plan is as follows: We are going to brew six beers between January 25th and March 10th. We aren’t publicizing the names yet, but we will have a brown ale, bitters, APA, and IPA. Our last two are still wild cards. We have two dry stout variants, a sweet stout and a porter. As much as I like the sweet stout, I think it’s on the chopping block. Many people we have talked to have varying degrees of lactose intolerance, and we want to make sure we are making something everyone can enjoy.

So where is this beer going? We have a couple of big things in the pipe. First, we want to be able to enter all our beers into the Amber Waves of Grain on March 10th.  Second, we need to have samples for the distributors and the bank to try. But I’m sure most people are interested in our the tastings…

We are planning four events to go with our Kickstarter campaign, three in Buffalo and one in Rochester. We’ll be sure to give everyone a big heads up once we have the locations nailed down. So far we have one place approved and three in the works.

So watch for an active blog again, and I will be updating the main site often over the next month or so as we get ready to announce our ‘official’ beers. Thanks for reading!

Bill

          Greetings from Afghanistan        
I haven’t posted in a long time on this. It was my original intention to try and get a weekly post up. Clearly that did work out. Since the last post I was deployed to Afghanistan and have been here nearly two months already with another six to go. My job over her is a strange one; I work alone traveling around the country. It must be similar to being traveling salesmen from the 50s. Save the cool car and sweet suits. In any case things have been very busy.
A quick rundown is as follows; Hired Brewer Jimmy Base. Jimmy has since produced an English Mild with chocolate malt and an English Bitters. These have been dropped off to Mrs. Louise Galuski for distro to a bunch of people who have helped New Buffalo from the start. We have a survey attached with it so we can get an idea of what people think.  After I post this I need to write some sort of intro letter for that. Sadly I’m unable to sample any of the beer since I’m over here.
We’re still looking at buildings. The old brewery packaging building on Fillmore has peaked my interest and I hope to take a look at it. It’s not in the area I would have liked to set up at all, but its tasting room could be cleaned up and a fairly interesting day trip for people.
Our other project is we need to start looking at Kickstarter allot closer. I don’t personally know anyone who works in internet video’s so I’ve sort of hit a stopping point on that.  We’re looking to do some work with Custom Brewcrafters and I’d like to bank roll it via kickstarter and have a series of ‘release’ parties leading up to our equipment being put in.
I doubt I’m ever going to have much time over here for the extra stuff which is too bad but it is what it is. Thank you all for following our build up.

          What does a Buffalo Drink?        

More work is getting done n the last week. We have started collection data from Buffalo Bar’s on what it is people are drinking. Hopefully we can get an honest look at what kind of beers people are buying. Its one of those hard things in Craft Brewing. You get allot of false positives from things with a ton of awards and then find you sell hardly any of it. Dogfish Head World Wide Stout is a great example, a couple hundred barrels a year for that amazing brew! Over the next month we’ll get some on the ground information and see what people are really buying and use that to adjust our offerings. It’s not to say we’re not going to do what we want. Statistically most people are drinking Bud Light, we’re not making Bud Light. Period. Since you didn’t read the period as ‘period’ I thought I’d write it out for you. Point being please tell us what beers your buying and what beers you want to buy. It’s important for us to make what Buffalo demands.

          Business in Buffalo        

Allot was accomplished while back in Buffalo over break. Some of it was already mentioned on facebook but this is where I can do some less official ranting.

So what I want to talk about is doing business in Buffalo. I’m sure allot of people have heard horror stories about working with in the city limits. I know for years people don’t me, don’t even bother if you’re not in the old boys club you can’t get anywhere in the city.  My experience was completely the opposite.

We had narrowed our search into the Black Rock area. I think it’s really an area on the up and up. The people there are really passionate about the neighborhood and eager for business to come back. The success of the black rock bar and kitchen and delish are sort of the test beds. As Chippewa seems to be  kicking out the college crowd there is going to need to be somewhere for all those older college students to go. I’m not saying Black Rock should open clubs and go crazy, just that older crowd is going to be looking for somewhere new to go and that could be black rock without a problem. Elmwood can be a bit ‘high end’ and Buff State is right across the river. Honestly Amherst is going to be where it’s at.

I’ve had the pleasure to bounce around the country for the last couple of years. My position in the Air Force requires allot of traveling form base to base, and I’ve found the same formula in all the ‘up and coming’ urban places is the same.

Provide a service or good that’s 100% better at 50% more cost. It’s what Craft Beer is all about, but it’s also what the whole urban movement seems to be able.  When I visit other cities and find something I think  could be a knock-out in Buffalo I write it down or grab a menu. Sadly for all the great ideas there is only so much money, but the formal is the same.

Chef’s in Manhattan KS is one of the business restaurants I’ve ever been in. It costs about 50% more then Denny’s but when you get Salmon Eggs Benedict, the $5 extra over a grand slam seems like nothing. I’m not saying I’ve stumbled upon the Holy  Grail or anything. I’m just finding that it seems to be true across the whole of the United States. It might the ‘Europeanization’ of America.  That’s a different topic so I’ll get back to Buffalo.

Where I wanted to get was armed with this formal and some really impressive growth numbers from Craft Beer the Councilmen Joe Golombek was willing to sit down for almost 2 hours with us, from that we got an audience with the City Office of Strategic Planning, Department of Labor, Tonawanda BOA, NYSBDC, SBA, ECIDC, NYSIDC. I’m missing once person from that list so I apologize. Point being they we’re great to sit down with, tell them what we want to do, and offer some suggestions on how to go about it. I didn’t run into some brick wall or have to cow tow to anyone to get this. I grew up 25 miles outside of the city, I went to School in Rochester. While Buffalo is my city, its not like I have a network. No Doubt I’m developing one, and the other companies we work with have been paramount to that.

Allot of reasons and things like the $1,000,000,000 that state is talking about I honestly don’t think is going to have nearly the effect it could have if it was $1 thousand million dollar grants or 10,000 $100,000 grants. The things about doing business in NYS being hard then other states.  That’s absolutely true, the taxes are terrible, the bureaucracy is enormous, and the law suits plentiful. Despite all that Government workers are really trying to work around it and with it to get Buffalo back on top.

Point being is Buffalo wants to grow, and the real growth is going to be by small business making an investment in the city, living here working here making that lifelong commitment to the area. There isn’t going to be a hand out from the government to get you started. It’s going to be with the help of people in Buffalo and on your own labors. I encourage anyone who’s thinking about starting to do
          Merry Christmas!        
I’ve been busy on all fronts the last month and have no posted here as I would have liked to. I really need to take a page out of CBWs book and do a stern 1 week update. It’s never that there isn’t anything to talk about. More an issue of, should some of it be spoken about in a public form. 

We’re trying to get a deal together on a building in Black Rock and the support from the community has been tremendous. I really can’t say how great they have been to work with and we’re only pitching some ideas right now. The actually negotiations on the building have not been progressing as I’ve like. Hopefully I’ll have better news on that front by the 6th of Jan. If not I’ll like be forced to put everything on ice until I get back.

Speaking of getting back, I’m leaving for a bit. The USAF finally have dates ‘set in stone’ for deploying to Afghanistan. They’ve told me that these ones are for sure so I will be out of the country for 10 of 12 months in 2012. Longer then original expected but it will help buffer some of the startup costs, and I should get allot less smack talk from the Army. (a value in its self). This will delay the start up by 9 months, why so much more? Winter, its allot harder to move equipment in, doing concrete work in the middle of winter makes things harder than it should be; so we’ll wait for spring of 2013. Not what I want to do but what is necessary to do. 

This week I also brought Dana Saylor of oldtimeroots.com to do some research. She has a pretty cool site and its interesting work. I haven’t seen the finished product so I can’t vouch for her as of yet, but I feel pretty good about it so far. 

Lastly I promised more book reviews. I read a handful on my last few trips across the country. Just for a quick notes on them I’ll say if I liked them or not.

Great American Ale Trail: Its just a list of bars and a couple of lines about them. It’s sort of a good reference and The Blue Monk in Buffalo was in the notable mentions section for NY. If you’re thinking about opening a beer bar up I would say it’s pretty good. Other than that I don’t know anyone with the time or money to visit 1000+ beer bars in the country. Once we get New Buffalo Brewing, I’ll have my beer books on site so if someone wanted to stop in and check for a place feel free.

The Story of the Irish Pub: The begging with a history of the licensed trade was good, so about 70 pages of the book are good, the remaining 150, not worth it. Just little notes of where a bar is and who owns it. Over all very disappointing. If your going to Ireland it might be fun to stop  into one, but that’s about it.

In the Classic Beer Style Series, I picked up and read, Porter, Brown Ale and Stout. This series has been pretty fun to read, and for a serious home brewer I’d recommend them They all are set up with a little history, some water information, a few home brew recipes and a list of examples that are current for the time it was published (the early ones are over 12 years old). This book are really great for someone looking to starting a microbrewer, to see how far the brewing world has come in a decade. Also as an American, to see how we have consistently tossed out style guild lines and made so many great new beers. 

Porter was a really weak read, maybe if I hadn’t already read the mild book it wouldn’t have seemed poor.

Brown Ale was very good, tons of information on the different sub sets of Brown Ale and good information all around. So many beers in this style and information about most of them.

Stout has been the best read so far, The writer has a clear passion for stouts and has offered an immense amount of information on it, the different sub-styles and many references to Guinness. I’d recommend this the most of any of them so far. I will put out the disclaimer that I too love stouts. If there is just one style of beer I could have it’s a thick cream stout.

This should have been spread out to a couple of updates, but with the holidays I don’t know if I will get around to many in the next two weeks. Also one last pitch for buying our sweet gear for someone over Christmas! 

http://www.kegworks.com/search/search.php?keywords=new+buffalo+brewing&x=0&y=0

          Happy Thanksgiving!        

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Since Marie is so nice as to be cooking and we're in Colombia so I can't TV I can post!

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. Google tells me one person reads this every couple of days, so  mystery person, I apologize for the lack of updates.  I’ve finished another book in the Classic Beer Style Series, this time on Porter, and by the time I get home I’ll have finished Brown Ale as well. They we’re both pretty good and a bit more fluid then the Mild Ale book. All and all pretty good. Since I’ve been following all English Beer there is allot of overlay in each one, however each adds a bit more information to the history of brewing in England, old ingredients and of course inspiration for an American Interpretation.  I might write a mini-review on them when I get back home.

I’m going to give a reason for the lack of posts, one good and one not as impressive. The not so impressive one is I have been swamped at work. With the 1st Infantry Division getting ready to deploy (along with myself) I’ve been working allot more then the past. It’s almost a second job getting ready to deploy while still doing garrison work.

Now the good reason. I’ve found a building I would like to purchase for the brewery. It’s another historic property that is in need of great deal of work. I like preservation and would be very happy to incorporate those goals into a broader vision of New Buffalo.

The name isn’t just because I’m lazy and didn’t want to think hard. Buffalo is becoming a New Buffalo. When I was younger Buffalo was seen as a no-go zone, with lots of drug issues and violence. That is changing for allot of people, and I want to be part of the effort of rebuilding the city. Physical rebuilding would be an easy way to get that connection.

At the end of the day it is about what we can afford so we’ll see if it pans outs. Thanks for reading.

          Mild Ale        

Due to work, I spent allot of time flying around the country to different bases for training or to train people. The last couple of months there hasn’t been allot of  flying going on since the government didn’t pass a budget again this year. All those can’s have been kicked down to the road to the point we have to do them, so over the next two months I’ll get a solid 48 hours of time in the back of a plane. This means I get allot of reading done. So expect more book reviews like the one below.

Mild Ale History Brewing Techniques, Recipes by David Sutula.

This was the first book in the Classic Beer Style Series I’ve read, I plan on ordering the rest of them since I had such a good time reading this book. The book is mostly a history of the brew and it puts in some real information in how to make your own at home. I like history so it was great to ready about the English brewing system and the vast changes to the quality and type of beer consumed. It seems that beer smelled of “wet goat” and had a final gravity often around 1.60-1.70. Clearly there was allot of extra junk in that beer. Even the term beer is fairly modern which is pretty cool. The History section talks about the raise of victoria brewing towers as well as a float of Porter that killed. Also the use of Finings(fish bladder goo) to pull out suspended sediment in the beer was something I had thought gone away ages ago. The books claim it’s the only way to make a proper English Mild.  I’m not sure if I’m going to try that one anytime soon.

A bit more about the beerThe English Mild by style is normally a tea like brew in color and in taste with an underwhelming 3-4% ABV, its mildly hopped by Fuggle or Golding that help develop the tea like characters of the brew. Somehow an English brew tasting like tea is fitting.

The confusion of Brown Ale and Mild is explained as well. Also the history of the rise of brown Ale and many brewers renaming there Mild a Brown Ale did more to hurt the style than anything else. Even with in Mild there are some big variations. 

He closes with a collection of home brewing recipes to replicate some of the biggest Mild’s still in production as well as a formula to approximate the brew as it was in the early 1800s.

I highly encourage anyone who’s interested in the history of brewing as well as this style to enjoy the book. Its only 200 pages and the print is big, front to back it only took about 3 hours to read. Below you’ll find the link the amazon for the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Mild-Ale-History-Brewing-Techniques/dp/0937381683/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318261545&sr=1-1

          A Buffalo Church as a New Buffalo Brewery        


In Buffalo NY it’s hard to not be drawn to a church for a brewery right away. It’s like a brewing palace. Beautiful surroundings, ceiling heights that are unmatched, since it was for people to gather the utilities are surprisingly low (several feet of brick and mortar are even better than 6 inch of fiberglass, the temp stability is amazing) and Buffalo has a bunch of extra churches right now that could use a, well use. 

So what’s the problem? They came in a couple of flavors (Sadly the flavors are like skunked Bud Light, and not a Buffalo micro-brew). 

1) If the church is owned by the Papacy it cannot be used for a brewery, period dot. That takes out many of the primary candidates 

2) Most of the churches need some repairs, the first church we looked at required over 500k in stabilization and another 400-500k in conversation costs. The second needs 300k, but the conversion costs were down to about 100k. That is almost the entire budget for New Buffalo. In this same category, if there’s not a door I can get the tank thought I don’t want to bust down walls to get them installed, that’s not hard and fast just a bit of the preservationist that lingers. 

3) A brewery falls under a M1 Zoning, churches are a C1, the first city councilmen I tried to work with refused to talk to me about it for several  weeks before giving me a “I won’t actively try to stop you, but I’m not going to help you in anyway” kind of answer.  The Councilmen Franczyk, who’s district I wasn’t working in was excited about the idea. In any case not being zoned correctly is another huge risk for use to undertake, a 6 month wait would bankrupt us in our first year   

 4) There is no equity in churches so the bank will not lend us money to fix a church for the most part.  On top off that even as we pay down the merger costs of the church we can’t barrow against it later own to expand like a normal building. 

5) Preservation, on one hand it has some money we can tap into in, almost 50% of the stabilization or big repair costs could be deferred by public funds,  however you have to keep the building the way the rules call for which in the case of the first building, we would have had the largest tasting room in the world (not proven but I don’t know of any breweries with 12,000sqft of tasting space, and two levels with a stage in the middle) 

6) Transportation, I need to be able to bring in semi’s, right now were planning on a grain bin for the pale malt, and I have to be able to get that into the building, also just in the first year we’ll be moving a couple truckloads of beer a week. I have to be in a place they can get too. 

To sum it up, were still looking for a church that could hold us but it’s not our focus anymore. Unless we received a grant for $1million it looks like it’s going to be a goal to expand too.  I know the city has money like that, and that $5million went to the Staler. The city isn’t going to trust a young guy like me, my background is Intelligence and factory work, not history building refurbishing. 

This was a very long post, but I wanted to hit on it since several people have asked me about it. Chris Fetter has been a tremendous help, sending us updates when a non-Catholic church comes on the market.  We hope this will work out, but we can’t wait forever. 

This post is in response an exchange with http://www.communitybeerworks.com/, on our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-Buffalo-Brewing-Co/215182275168604


          Sweet Cream Stout        
A bit of home brewing this weekend is in order.

Tonight I moved our sweet stout from the primary into the secondary for some aging. I don't think this one its going to make it the full 14 days before I put it under pressure, and start tossing a few back. At just 15 days is already tasting great. I'm a bit keen on milk stouts, and I want to try adding lactose to our cream ale just to see how it works out. Possibly cut back the honey so its not too sweet.

I don't know how many beer drinkers are also lactose intoleranct. I'm sure there are some posting about it out there. With the weather finally cool off, its a great time to make beer.
          First Post        
Taking the edge of this blog with the first post. I'll use this for more beer related anything. With the amount of travel for work I've had time to read a bunch of great books about beer. Some of them will make up the first posting on this site. Thanks.

Bill
          September 2013 Horoscopes        
Virgo Happy Birthday Virgo!  All frothy over a new project, the workhorse in you can’t wait to gallop ahead.  Rein in your enthusiastic stallion Virgo, there are a few pesky details you can’t just swat away.  Without proper planning, organization, and forethought, your big idea could get majorly deflated by embarrassing messiness.  Confusion plagues relationships […]
          Review: Skin Food Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake        

Hello everyone. Today is Chinese New Year Eve in Singapore. Since I do not celebrate this holiday, I have some time off to do this third installment of my Althea purchase. I my first and second post can be found here and here. Before I start on my review, I would like to wish all my Chinese readers, Gong Xi Fa Cai!

I fixed my eyebrows recently at Benefit Brow Bar and the person who did my brow fill in the unevenness in my brows. I have a fairly thick and darks brows, however they are not even. So some parts of it are a little bare/bald. I have tried using eyebrow pencil and find it looking rather unnatural. Maybe because I rarely makeup and hence not really good at it. Then I tried using the colored eye brow gel from The Faceshop (review here). It is difficult to use and the color doesn't blend in with my brows.

So I was looking through Althea and wondering if they have those powder for brows (you know like the ones people use for eye shadows). Then I saw Skin Food Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake selling for only SGD$5. It was so cheap that I didn't think twice before putting it into my cart! So below is a photo on how the product actually look like. It didn't come in any dancing looking box. But it doesn't really matter to me as long as the product it not damage.

First look of Skin Food Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake

So you have choice of Grey Khaki Black or Grey Brown. I choose Grey Brown because I simply cannot imagine having khaki colored brows (I fit with warm colors better). The photos of the colors can be found below. I think you can tell which is the brown and which is the grey one. According to the website, the product contains real chocolate inside. I can't really verify it by taste (yucks) but the powder does really smell like chocolate, which is kinda of cute.

From left to right: Brown powder and grey powder
Below is a photo of the brush that came with the palette. I slightly swabbed the brush on the gray palette. As you can see the powder cake is not as pigmented as those eye shadow palettes. This lightness of the pigments can also be seen the following photo where I brushed some of the brow powder cake on hand. The top one is the brown powder cake and the bottom one is the grey powder cake.

The brush which comes with palette
From top to bottom: Brown powder cake and grey powder cake
I mixed both colors when I apply on my brown. I put the brown powder first and then layer it with grey powder. Don't underestimate the light pigment of the powder cake, a little powder goes a long way for your brows. Below you can see the before and after photo of my brows (I did not kid you when I said that my brows have some baldy areas)

Before applying Skin Food Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake
After applying Skin Food Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake
So what do I think about Skin Food Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake? Haha from the photo above, I think it works! The best of all it is extremely easy to use. The price is also a plus point. I think loose pigments of the powder also makes the eyebrows more natural looking after application.

I give this product 5/5.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any question!

          Review: Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel        
This is my second post on my purchase from Althea. Other than the Missha Red Ginseng Sheet Mask, I also bought Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel. Eye bags and dark eye circles runs in the family. So whenever I do not have enough sleep, my eye bags and dark circles become more apparent. I have always wanted to buy a good eye cream while I was schooling but couldn't really afford because you know how expensive eye cream can be. So once I got my first paid I decide to get one. My first ever eye cream is Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel which is from Laneige Water Bank series.


Contents in Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel Box
The box comes with an instruction sheet, a glass bottle of eye gel and a spatula for ease of application. The description on the box states the Water Bank Eye Gel is 'A moisturizing eye gel that gently soothes the dry and sensitive eye area and relieves eye zone stress'. The box also states that the gel expires after 12 months after opening.



Removing the seal from the bottle
The gel/cream is slightly translucent and light. It is also really light and not sticky. When applied, it gives a slightly cooling sensation on your eye area. I am really impressed by how detailed the instruction booklet is. I always try to follow the instruction unless I am really tired.

Instruction 1

Instruction 2

So what is my verdict? I think the gel really helps to make my eyes feel less tired after spending a whole in front of the computer  at work. I could really feel the effects when I first apply it. My eyes felt less heavy the next day. However, I feel it doesn't really help to lighten my dark eye circles and it only help to my eyes become less puffy by slightly. Perhaps because my eyes isn't very puffy initially.  I tried using the cream on my mother who had really puffy eyes and it showed some visible effects! I can give inputs on its moisturizing function because my eyes' area are never dry in the first place.

I'll give this product 4/5.

          Review: Missha Red Ginseng Sheet Mask        
Remember in the previous I mentioned that I will be reviewing the skincare products I received in my Althea package. Well, here is the first one.

I will be reviewing Missha Red Ginseng Sheet Masm today. This is my first time seeing red ginseng being used as one of the ingredients in a skin products. I do know that people consume red ginseng for stamina, but I have never heard of red ginsnsg being applied on skin. I guess the koreans like their ginseng so much that they put it in almost everthing. On a serious note, I actually googled on the benefits of red ginseng on the skin. And I found out that it has a anti-aging properties and helps to rejuvenate the skin. Just what I need after a long day of work!

The facial mask's packaging with dried red ginseng on it

Haha the packaging reminds me of those extract that koreans like to consume for health reasons.



English translations on the instructions and ingredients are available at the back side of the package

The back-side of the pack stated that mask is to firm and nourish the skin. And interestingly the mask only contains red ginseng extract!

So first look, I noticed that the facial mask is not a regular one but a 3D mask. Below is the photo of the mask after I dried it for a few days. I folded into half to show that unlike ordinary mask, the 3D mask threaded/joined at the center so it sits well on the face. It also covered the chin well.

There was a lot of essence in the pack too...in fact the mask was dripping wet.

So what was the mask effective? I am actually quite impress. The result was not quite far off from what it intends to do. My face was less dull the next day and more moisturized. I also did not experience any itchiness. I also like the 3D shaped of the mask because I can walk around the house easily because it fits my face like a glove.


I will rate this 4/5 :)


          Side-talk: The Ramen Stall at 787 North Bridge Road        
Recently I heard raves about this newly halal food establisment that sells Japanese. I see pictures of their food on various social networking platform like facebook and instagram (especially instagram). Although Singapore has sizable a muslim population, it is not easy to get halal japanese food here; especially good ones. This is because japanese usually uses mirin and pork broth in their cookings. The newly halal restaurant that I am referring to is call The Ramen Stall, located at 787 North Bridge Road. When I heard that still stall sells halal ramen, I was really excited because I am avid viewer of Japanese Hour on Channelnewsasia and often see people eating ramens. I have never tasted japanese ramen simply because it is difficult to get halal ones. I even considered going to Tokyo to get taste of halal ramen there.


So yesterday I decided to give it a try after work. The place is located all the same street as Zam Zam. I was expecting a crowd since it is newly halal certified and I was right about 7.30pm and there was already a long queue. My friend and I then comtemplated whether we should go to Afterwit which was located nearby and serves Mexican food. Alas, we decided to queue up. Fortunately, we got a seat after 10 minutes becauses there was only two of us. Those who came in big groups in front of us has to wait longer.



I knew what to order straight away. I ordered their Volcano Ramen ($11). My friend to longer to decide because she is not familiar with Japanese food (unlike someone who watches Japanses Hour). She settled for Oyakodon ($9.90). We also ordered a sides, Torched Beef Sushi ($7.90).


The first dish to arrive was our Torched Beef Sushim It was soo good that I even considered on seconds. The beef was so soft and well marinated and smokey. It kinda melt in my mouth. It really went well with the wasabi and the preserved radish. Usually I dont even like to put wasabi on my sushi.


The came my volcano ramen. I selected level 1 because I not really a fan of spicy food. I like those which are savourly spicy. The broth before mixing with the chilli was quite mild. It tasted better after mixing with the chilli. The restaurant was quite generous with the toppings but I find the noodles quite little. Maybe because I like carbohydrate. I especially like the kale/seaweed, minced meat and the eggs in the soup. But I find this Volcano Ramen kinda overhyped.


My friend Oyakodon. It is like chicken mixed in batter of ingredients and then fried and placed on top of rice. It is then topped with raw egg and drizzled with soy based sauce. My friend found it nice and mind you she is a picky eater. The serving was also quite big.

There was also a 17% service charge when you dine in. I will definitely come back to try their sushis and unagi rice! 

          Review: Etude House Baking Powder B.B Deep Cleansing Foam        
Today I am writing a review on facewash/cleanser that I have been using since a year ago. I like it so far and already bought my third tube.

My current daily routine for my face before going out consist of moisturizer, concealer and lastly BB cream. As such, after school I need to ensure that I remove by BB cream and concealer well before going to sleep. If not I would have acne and clogging problem.

As someone who is lazy like me I like to keep things simple. Some people have a separate makeup remover before cleansing their face. Importantly, if your using a makeup remove you need to ensure that it is compatible with your skin. For this very reasons, I decided to purchase Etude House Baking Powder B.B Deep Cleansing Foam.

What I like about this cleansing foam is that its like a 2 in 1 cleansing scrub and makeup remover. Not only that it effectively removes my BB cream, i have also tried removing eyebrow liner and mascara using it. It works very well.

It is not extremely drying as I would need to apply moisturizer after washing up. But in overall I like it alot. I have no breakups or whiteheads problem after using this facewash.


Fresh from korea & my third tube
(FYI: I usually order my products online from korean since it is so much cheaper than buying their outlets in Singapore)

Looks out for any ingredients that you are sensitive to
According to the tube, it says that the cleanser is 100% natural fragrance and dye free. Just to inform you guys, the cleanser is actually slightly lemony and it is white in color (as seen in the picture below). It also have microbeads that is not quite visible from the picture but if you were to massage it on you face, you will be able to feel it.


This is my current favorite facewash/cleanser and I would purchase it again in the future.

My rating 5/5.

Lastly, everyone in Southeast Asian region remember to drink more water and put on more moisturizer! Its haze season again!

Toodles!~


          Review: Faceshop Color My Eye Brow        
I have thick eye brows and it gets messy at times which can be quite annoying. Thick eye brows that are messy look like caterpillar!

So, I went around to get a hand on brow gel. Conclusion from my hunt was rather disappointing as I realized that it is difficult to get brow gel in Singapore.  

But I manage to get something similar to brow gel and it is called Color My Eye Brow. Yes! I got it from Faceshop. Its pretty affordable but I can quite remember how much is it but i believe that it is below SGD 10. 

I did a mini research and found out that it comes in different color. Unfortunately when I went to faceshop there was only one type and I though that it comes with one color so I just bought it.




It works in helping my brows neat and tidy throughout the day. However, I feel that #1 light brown color makes my eyebrows look unnatural so I only apply a small amount to prevent the color from being too obvious. However, if you have a brown color hair and you would like to match your brow color to your hair, you may want to apply more. If you would like to remove it, it can be easily washed away through normal face wash.

The brush is quite stiff and its difficult to apply on my hand. Plus, the color is too light for my liking.
Just to show how it looks like after light application of Color My Eye Brow, I have taken before and after photos below. Pardon for my sleepy looking eye haha.

Before

After
 My rating for this product is 3.5/5.
Will I buy it again? Maybe. But not this color.

On the side note, I need to fix my eye brows soon :/ 

          Review: Laneige Water Drop Tinted Lip Balm        
Guess what arrived at my doorstep today


 It came safely and nicely packed with lots of bubble wraps in the evening.

That's right! I bought the newly released Laneige Water Drop Tinted Lip Balm. Compared the prices on Qoo10 and on retail. It is going for S$33. I think I paid about S$25 on Qoo10. But the downside of buying online is that you can't try it before buying.

Realised that the box is slightly dented but all is good because the tinted lip balm inside was not damaged.




Decided to buy because I saw an korean actress wore during a drama that I was following religiously. To be exact the drama is called "House of Bluebird"…it is a family drama so there are lots of episodes. But the good thing about family dramas is that the story are well developed. Back to the topic of Laneige Water Drop Tinted Lip Balm. The lip colour looked natural and sweet on her. I know I won't looked as good as her but I bought it anyway (haha gullible enough to fall for product placement). Below is an image of the actress with the lip balm on.

Credit: Laneige Facebook Page
 The lip balm comes in three colours. They are Pink Peach, Juicy Plum and Fresh Lime. I bought Pink Peach because the actress wore that colour and honestly I am not very confident or wearing bright lip colour so…yea to play it safe.




So above are the photos of Laneige Water Drop Tinted Lip Balm at first look. 


So above is how my lips looked liked after putting it for this first time. Unfortunately, I don't look as sweet as the actress HAHA.

So what is thought about the product after my first application?
For someone who does wear lipstick at all, I find the product easy to apply. I find that it looking like a lip gloss. However, it is more moisturising that the common lip gloss or lip balm. So I feel that the Moisture Upgrade claim is working? The colour is very light in opinion. My sister said it is not obvious at all. So for those who are going for the natural look, you can opt for this product. The tint does stain my lips slightly, I can see that my lip is brighter than usual after wiping the balm off. The balm lasted for about three hours because I ate during that period. I am not sure if this is the average or below average. Anyway my sister thinks that I will fit a brighter colour…I am not to sure about that.

To end off. For those who are intending to buy this product, I saw a video that showed that the Laneige Water Drop Tinted Lip Balm can be used on the cheeks and above the eyes. Do check it out below.


          Side-Talk: Papparich Singapore        
Hello! Another side-talk post today haha. Visited Papparich at Star Vista with my sister about a month ago. I remembered that my sister submitted her thesis on that day and I was in school…studying alone. Usually I would be quite productive in school…but during my final year, school did not feel as conducive as before :/. Anyway back to the topic of Papparich, decided to go there for very early dinner because the drinks in the menu look so good.

I met my sister at Star Vista itself and then we settled at Papparich. Papparich location at Star Vista is quite obscure.  Had to walk around for quite some time until we found it. Papparich has really nice interior, unfortunately the air-con was not working on that day. Its interior has this vintage coffee shop feel to it. Papparich also kinda remind me of Old Town White Coffee, which also originates from Malaysia, except that Papparich has better food that Old Town White Coffee in my opinion.

Pappa Chicken Chop


Pappa Chicken Chop with curry sauce

I initially wanted to order Pappa Fish and Chips but I wrote the code on the orders sheet -.-. Only realised when Pappa Chicken Chop with curry sauce came. My sister ordered Pappa Chicken Chop (it comes with BBQ, the only difference from my dish). Personally, I prefer the BBQ sauce over the curry sauce. The Chicken itself is freshly cook, however I think the rice is pre-cooked. I find the food quite average.

You've gotta admit that this look hella good
We also ordered drinks. I had Soya milk pudding + Cincau and my sister had Soya Milk Chendol. Both were really good. I love the gula melaka (palm sugar) in our drinks! The gull melaka taste nicer that those I always tasted. Would really come back for the drinks but not the food. Wanna taste the soya milk with sesame ice cream when I come back next time.

          The FWA Podcast: Friday 15 April        
Freelance sports journalist, Ralph Ellis, who works for the Daily Mail and Sunday Mirror, joins William Hill's Dave Kelner to preview the televised Premier League matches this weekend. The pair also run through the betting for the PFA Player of the Year on this edition of the podcast. #BPL #football #FWAPodcast
          Not bad for the price, were paying about 166 a wee...        
Not bad for the price, were paying about 166 a week for a double bed with a mini fridge and microwave it's a pretty decent size room too. Their is burn marks on the tub though but their … Not bad for the price, were paying about 166 a week for a double bed with a mini fridge and microwave it's a pretty decent size room too. Their is burn marks on the tub though but their cleaning the lot up. Parking is terrible if you come in late cause their always packed. The girls in the office are really sweet and the security guard is very nice and helpful. I wish they had Wi-Fi but they do have cable and a small laundromat with four washers. Their elevator is always breaking down but one always works. You can't beat it for the price. Most of the time it's pretty quiet you can't hear much from the other rooms unless their screaming (which I've experienced, but they kicked them out very fast) all in all not a bad place for the cheapest in town.
          AT&T Adds 2.1 Million Net New Customers In Second Quarter Of 2015        
AT&T Adds 2.1 Million Net New Customers In Second Quarter Of 2015

AT&T recently announced that it has added 2.1 million net new customers during the second quarter of this year. Interestingly, almost all of the carrier’s new additions is attributed to strong sales of tablets, and to connected cars. As a matter of fact, AT&T has added one million new additions driven by tablets and connected cars in the period spanning April to June.

It appears that there is a visible shift in the makeup of AT&T’s subscriber base, with a significant part of the new customer additions spurred by tablets and connected devices. Also, it seems that traditional subscribers -- i.e. those that use phones -- may be on the decline, at least in AT&T’s case. It is also possible that such diminished growth from traditional phone customers for AT&T is connected to the increased pressure from competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile, who are only eager to usurp AT&T’s place as the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States.

Earlier in July, T-Mobile had announced that it had added 2.1 million customers during the second quarter of this year. And just a few days ago, Verizon Wireless had revealed that it had gained over 1 million net new customers, and 1.1 million post-paid subscribers. 

As for AT&T, it had added 410,000 post-paid subscribers, however the growth entirely consisted of 600,000 tablets. In the second quarter of this year, the carrier had lost about 200,000 basic phone subscribers. Still, AT&T was able to add 331,000 prepaid customers as a result of boosting its prepaid arm Cricket Wireless. 

A new focus for AT&T is in connected cars. The carrier is signing up with the largest number of automobile manufacturers in order to bring cellular connectivity to vehicles. But perhaps the more pressing question is -- will people actually pay extra money to connect their cars to a cellular network? The potential is there, but for now, it remains to be seen. 

AT&T also managed to generate a profit in the amount of $3.04 billion, or $0.58 per share, during the second quarter of 2015. During the same period in the previous year, the carrier had a profit of $3.55 billion, or $0.68 per share. Not counting costs associated with its acquisition of two wireless carriers based in Mexico and its looming deal with DirecTV, AT&T managed $0.69 per share of adjusted earnings. Moreover, revenues increased 1.4 percent to $33 billion. As per data compiled by Yahoo, analysts predict, on average, revenue of $33.04 billion and earnings of $0.63 per share.

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          AT&T To Launch Rollover Data Plan        
AT&T To Launch Rollover Data Plan

A month ago in December, T-Mobile announced its Data Stash program, wherein subscribers can carry over unused data from one month to the next one. It has only been a few days since this program has taken effect, and now AT&T is launching Rollover Data, its answer to T-Mobile's program.

Like T-Mobile's offer, AT&T's Rollover Data lets subscribers save their leftover data after each billing cycle. The plan will be launched on January 25th, and will be open to all subscribers under AT&T's Mobile Share Value plans.

However, it should be noted that AT&T will not allow its subscribers to keep banking the same data month after month. This means that customers will have to use up the data they saved in the next billing cycle, or lose the data.

For instance, if a customer has four lines under a 15 gigabyte AT&T Mobile Share Value plan, and only uses up 10 gigabytes for the month of January, he will be able to roll over the 5 unused gigabytes for the next month. In other words, he will have a total data allotment of 20 gigabytes in February (15 gigabytes + 5 unused gigabytes). 

If the customer does not use up all the 20 gigabytes allotted in February, he will not be able to bank the accumulated two months worth of unused gigabytes onto March. Instead, the first rule applies: he can only roll over unused data from the previous month, which in this case is whatever amount of data he has not used from the current month's 15 gigabyte allotment. The bottom line is that the customer has to use up the data he saved for the next month, or the whole thing resets. 

AT&T is obviously designing its Rollover Data plan to give users extra data to be used for the next month only, and not to be accumulated and used at, say, the end of the year. Herein lies the difference with T-Mobile's plan -- it lets customers accrue unused data for a full year. 

That is not to say T-Mobile's plan has no caveats of its own. For one, it is only open to individual line subscribers of any postpaid data plan with 3 gigabytes of data allotment or more. As for AT&T's Rollover Data plan, it is available to subscribers of any level of shared plan, even one that only offers 300 megabytes of data allotment.

Indeed, both carriers have different ways of offering data rollover options. Consumers will have to decide for themselves which setup works best for them. Do they go for the plan that lets them save unused data for an extended period of time? Or do they opt for a plan that lets them roll over unused data on a per billing cycle basis only? 

Explore other deals from AT&T now. You can also start browsing plans and phones from T-Mobile.

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          LG Introduces The Curved Phone G Flex 2        
LG Introduces The Curved Phone G Flex 2

Back in 2014, LG released the G Flex handset, a 6-inch smartphone with a unique curved body design and a self-healing coating that clears up scratches or any damage done to the device's casing.  

Now, the South Korean company is introducing an enhanced and more streamlined version, the G Flex 2. This time around, the newest version comes with a smaller but more handy 5.5-inch display screen, and Qualcomm's most powerful chip set.

The G Flex 2 smartphone was introduced by LG during its very recent press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES 2015) held in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States. 

With its introduction, LG's G Flex 2 handset is the first of many phones this year expected to feature Qualcomm's newest offering -- the Snapdragon 810 processor. It is an eight-core 2.0 GigaHertz chip set that is 64-bit compatible for Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of the Android mobile operating system. The 810 processor functions with 2 gigabytes of memory, and can support 3 x 20 MegaHertz LTE carrier aggregation for all networks that support it.

For the device's display screen, LG employed its own plastic OLED display technology. Techies may recall that this is the same display technology utilized in LG's G Watch R wearable device. But in G Flex 2's case, the resolution is set higher to 1080 pixels. 

As for its camera, the G Flex 2 smartphone sports a 13-megapixel camera that has laser autofocus system and optical image stabilization -- features that users may also find in LG's current flagship device (the LG G3).

The G Flex 2 features a 3,000 mAh battery that takes full advantage of Qualcomm's fast charging technology available via the latest Snapdragon chip sets. This technology significantly reduces the recharging time by up to 75 percent. Thus, users can get the G Flex 2 half-charged in just 40 minutes.

But what really makes the G Flex 2 unique is its curved body. The front side (display screen) has a 700 millimeter curved radius, while the rear side is curved just a bit less (650 millimeter radius). This is by design, by the way. According to LG, this helps users hold the phone more easily and also, allows the device to fit more easily in users' pockets.

Naturally, the G Flex 2 will be launched first in South Korea before the end of the month. But American users will not have long to wait. Major carriers AT&T and Sprint have already confirmed that they will be including the device in their respective smartphone line-ups this year. Regional carrier US Cellular has also announced that they will be offering the device in spring. No specific release dates and pricing details have been provided yet, but LG fans in the US should be pretty excited nonetheless. 

Want to know more LG devices? You can start comparing LG phones and plans now.

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          Sprint Called Out For Cramming Customer Accounts        
Sprint Called Out For Cramming Customer Accounts

Oops. Sprint has been busted for charging tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party messaging charges to customer bills.

Moreover, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to issue a fine in the amount of $105 million for the carrier's dubious charges, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly, the amount of the fine is the same as the one AT&T paid to the FCC earlier this year in a case that is similar.

The fine is not official yet -- the FCC is still waiting for the commissioner to approve it. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not wasting any moment -- on behalf of the carrier's disgruntled subscribers, the CFPB is filing a lawsuit against Sprint.

According to the CFPB, Sprint should have made it a priority to protect its subscribers from third-party billing scams. But unfortunately for its customers, the carrier had let suspicious fees for unauthorized premium text messages show up on the customers' billing statements.

The CFPB further alleges that Sprint is choosing to ignore the tens of thousands of complaints and refund requests from disgusted subscribers due to the incorrect billing. The bureau also believes that with the carrier keeping about 40 percent of all the revenue generated from bills crammed with third-party fees, it is a lot easier for Sprint to turn a blind eye.

Even though the major wireless carriers in the United States have agreed to cease billing their subscribers for premium third-party services, the practice of cramming customer bills has always been frequently done by service providers for years. By doing so, they can generate some extra income out of unsuspecting wireless subscribers.

Last October this year, AT&T agreed to settle with the FCC over cramming complaints from its subscribers. Even T-Mobile had to deal with its own cramming lawsuit back in July of this year. Out of the $105 million fine paid by AT&T, the FCC took $80 million to be refunded to subscribers who were affected. For sure, the FCC will work to achieve the same result with its lawsuit against Sprint. 

For its part, Sprint is denying the allegations. The carrier claims that it took certain steps to protect its subscribers from unauthorized third-party billing practices. 

If the $105 million fine does go through, it will mark the first time that the FCC and the CFPB have joined forces together in taking action against a major wireless provider.

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          Sprint Prepaid Teams Up With Best Buy To Offer Free Month Of Service        
Sprint Prepaid Teams Up With Best Buy To Offer Free Month Of Service

Looks like Sprint is on a roll as we enter into the holiday season. The carrier offers another year-end special offer through its Sprint Prepaid brand, which is collaborating with retail giant Best Buy in giving customers one month of service that is completely free of charge. 

This special offer is a limited time offer only, and is open to all subscribers buying a new eligible handset from Best Buy and activating it under a Sprint Prepaid plan. Phones that eligible include the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the LG Tribute, the LG Volt, and the Sharp Crystal.

Customers get to choose from three Sprint Prepaid plans that already include unlimited calls and unlimited text messaging. These plans are: the $35 monthly plan that includes 1 gigabyte of data, the $45 monthly plan that includes 3 gigabyte of data, and the $55 monthly plan 

Apart from unlimited calls and texting, Sprint Prepaid's plans also offer 50 minutes of off-network voice roaming per month. This is not usually offered by other prepaid service providers, which should delight those who decide to go for a prepaid plan from Sprint.

Sprint's free first month special offer is certainly a treat, but other prepaid brands also offer competitive deals. For instance, Cricket Wireless (AT&T's prepaid brand) has its Basic Plan, which offers unlimited calls, unlimited text messaging, and 1 gigabyte of high-speed data for $35 each month, that is once an AutoPay credit is applied.

New prepaid player Red Pocket also has an interesting offer. Via its GSMT Unlimited Everything plan, you get unlimited calls, unlimited text messaging, 200 minutes of international calls, and 2 gigabytes of data at full speed for $39.99 every recharge. This offer is also eligible for a full month of service free of charge from Red Pocket, provided the customer gets two months worth of recharges.

The year is not over yet, and we may still see other holiday deals from prepaid brands in the coming days or weeks. But Sprint Prepaid's offer is truly worth checking out. Customers can avail of it until January 31st of next year at all Best Buy retail stores in the United States.

Sprint has been rather busy in the past few weeks. The carrier has made its iPhone for Life and Easy Pay options available from Apple retails stores for the holidays. Apart from that, it has also teamed up with Uber in offering a free first ride promo for Sprint customers who sign up for the transport service. Interested to know more about Sprint's deals? You can compare plans and phones from the carrier here.

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          AT&T Expands Voice Over LTE To 18 Additional Markets        
AT&T Expands Voice Over LTE To 18 Additional Markets

AT&T first launched its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service about seven months ago, but now the carrier is expanding its reach by adding 18 new markets for its VoLTE and HD Voice offerings.

The list of new markets include District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

The good news is that this is just the beginning. AT&T's target is to transition every consumer to VoLTE. That would be easier said than done for sure, considering the tons of networks that need to be set up and the hardware that needs to be deployed. But AT&T is positive about the outcome, and early signs of success are certainly visible.

As stated by John Donovan, AT&T's Senior Vice President of Technology and Operations, the carrier's VoLTE network is performing very well after some internal tests, scoring an average of more than 99 percent in terms of accessibility and retainability (how well the users stay connected).

For those not in the know, VoLTE technology lets users simultaneously make calls and browse the Internet using their smartphones with very fast 4G LTE data speeds. 

As for HD Voice, it is a type of wideband technology that allows for better call quality with minimal background noise, made possible through widening the frequency range of the audio signals.

Voice calls were previously transmitted on a rather limited frequency range (between 300 Hertz to 3.4 Hertz). But with HD Voice, that frequency range is extended from 50 Hertz to 7 KiloHertz, and sometimes even beyond, in order to achieve high definition quality in voice calls.

However, before users can enjoy HD Voice, they need to meet the requirements. Firstly, the service must be available in their geographical area (AT&T is working on it). Secondly, the person calling and the recipient of the call must both use handsets that are HD Voice capable. For AT&T customers, just about the only devices available from their carrier that meet this requirement are the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

AT&T is far from being the only major wireless carrier that offers HD Voice though. Sprint may have been the first off the blocks, offering its customers a 30-day trial run of its HD Voice service in June earlier this year. Even Verizon Wireless is working on its own HD Voice brand, and the talk is that the Big Red will utilizing the AMR-wideband standard (the industry norm) for its service.

Interestingly, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are working together in providing clear call quality in both their customers. If they can pull this off, AT&T customers will be able to call their friends and family who are on Verizon as clearly as possible, and vice versa.

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          AT&T Throttles Users On Unlimited Data Plans Regardless Of Network Congestion        
AT&T Throttles Users On Unlimited Data Plans Regardless Of Network Congestion

AT&T has confirmed that it is throttling subscribers under its unlimited data plans, no matter how congested the network is. 

As reported by Ars Technica, subscribers who are using non-LTE 3G/HSPA+ handsets and are under unlimited data plans only get throttled when network congestion becomes heavy, and when the users exceed 3 gigabytes of data within a single billing period. But apparently, these same conditions do not apply to customers on LTE.

If a subscriber is under, say, a legacy AT&T unlimited plan and uses up more than 5 gigabytes of data on an LTE-compatible handset in a span of a month, the subscriber's data speeds will automatically be reduced for the remainder of the billing period, even if the network remains free of congestion.

Ars Technica further reported that data speeds slowed down from 23.5 mbps on average to just 0.1 mbps. When the subscriber's billing period is reset, only then are the data speeds returned to their normal levels. However, once the subscriber reaches 5 gigabytes, data speeds are automatically reduced again.

For its part, AT&T issued a statement defending its network management practices as legitimate. The carrier claims that the throttling was put in place in order to provide optimum network service for its subscribers.

AT&T further added that it is planning to address the data throttling concerns between its LTE and non-LTE unlimited subscribers sometime next year. The carrier says that it will be reducing data speeds for LTE users in congested networks as soon as that option is made available.

AT&T may be claiming that it is throttling data speeds for the benefit of all customers using its networks. But others see the throttling as a ploy to lead on long-term customers to more lucrative limited data plans. This tactic has been employed before, namely by Sprint for its Unlimited My Way and My All-In plans. Even Verizon Wireless thought of doing the same thing, but then the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stepped in and pressured Big Red to reverse its decision. 

Right now, fewer than 20 percent of all AT&T customers are under unlimited data plans. Those that are signed up for the plans because they were thinking they could stream and download without having to worry about high overage fees if they exceed their data allotments. But it appears that they are getting throttled anyway, rendering their data privileges useless. 

As for the network congestion claims, some may find it hard to believe, especially when the subscribers who are under more expensive data plans (up to 100 gigabytes each month) never get to experience throttled data speeds.

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          Sprint Introduces Deal To Reduce Bills Of AT&T, Verizon Customers In Half        
Sprint Introduces Deal To Reduce Bills Of AT&T, Verizon Customers In Half

When it comes to grabbing customers from rival wireless carriers, Sprint does not seem to shy away from unusual tactics. Just recently for instance, the carrier introduced a new deal that promises to cut the bills in half of any customer from competitors AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Of course, for the customers to avail of the deal, they would have to produce a current AT&T or Verizon bill. It is a gutsy move for sure, but will it be effective? 

Sprint is calling the deal the Cut Your Bill in Half promo. In this deal, anybody who is currently on an AT&T or Verizon plan and wants to switch to Sprint, must first furnish a copy of their current bills, and either upload them to Sprint's website, or hand-deliver them to any official Sprint store. Sprint will then evaluate the bill submitted, and decide which Sprint plan matches it in terms of calls, text messaging, and data allotment. Sprint will then offer that matching plan for half the price of the defecting subscriber's current AT&T or Verizon plan.

For instance, a customer who hands in a bill for a Verizon family plan costing $260 each month will be offered a family plan with similar inclusions but only for $130 each month.

Sprint already launched a promotion wherein it covered early termination fees up to $350 in the form of a prepaid Visa gift card. This can be paired with the new Cut Your Bill in Half promo, as long as the customer qualifies.

There are a few caveats, of course. One, those who avail of this promo will not be able to buy a subsidized handset from Sprint. They must sign up for the carrier's leasing program, make installment payments, or buy the device outright at its full retail price. Two, participants will have to turn in their current AT&T or Verizon handsets to Sprint. Understandably, it would be weird using an AT&T or Verizon device on Sprint's network, but still, you would be parting ways with something that you've gotten used to. What if you don't have a smartphone to turn in? (Got lost, perhaps?) Sprint will then charge you $200 per line of service. It is not clear yet what Sprint plans to do with the devices that are turned in though. 

Sprint's Cut Your Bill in Half promo is offered on a limited time only. However, people who participate in the deal will be able to keep enjoying discounted bills in the future as long as they do not add more data or minutes. Once they do, their plans will be reverted the normal pricing structure.

One more thing -- this promo is off limits to T-Mobile subscribers. One possible reason is that T-Mobile is already competing with Sprint in offering slashed data prices in a manner that the other carriers, AT&T and Verizon, are not. 

And because the promo is designed to lure AT&T and Verizon subscribers, Sprint's own existing subscribers will not be able to take advantage of the deal. Find out what other deals Sprint is offering right now -- start comparing Sprint plans and phones now.

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          CBS' 'Zoo' Speaks Of God And Prayer In A Positive Way        

Last night’s 2-hour episode of CBS’ ‘Zoo’ titled ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves; Wild Things’ surprised me in a very pleasant way. Not only did the show’s producers kick things up a notch with exciting fight scenes and interrogations that reminded me of one of my favorite old shows ’24,’ but also they spoke of religion in a non-negative way, which is outright shocking given this is a network show and a show populated with militant animal activist characters.


          USA's 'Mr. Robot' Shouldn't Just Delay its Shooting Scene Out Of Respect for Roanoke, They Should Delete It        

USA’s 'Mr. Robot' did not air its season finale Wednesday night. Citing a need to be sensitive to the shooting that killed two journalists in Roanoke, the network aired a previous episode along with this statement to explain their decision:


          'The Carmichael Show' Smashes Stereotypes: Defends Bush, Bashes Obama        

For all conservatives sick and tired of being trashed and talked down to by network television, boy, do I have a show for you!


          Insensitive Priest Doesn't Understand the 'Pure Love' of Polygamy on ABC's 'Mistresses'        

File this under Words I Never Expected to Hear on Network Television: "Yes, Father, it's called a 'throuple.'"

And so began Karen's explanation to her priest of her threesome polyamorous relationship with a husband and wife that led to her getting pregnant, in Mistresses season 3's 10th episode "What Could Have Been."


          Comment on Episode 210: Characterization by Megan        
I practice for RPGs, but generally when I know that I'm going to be doing a character thing that doesn't specifically come naturally to me. For example, I practiced accents and vernacular prior to heading into the studio to record with One Shot Podcast a few weekends ago. That to me felt more like acting than playing a game to me, and I approached it like I would a performance gig. I've done prep work for Jank Cast APs before when I know that we're recording a specific thing for an audience to listen to, because again - it's a permanent thing that will exist for people to consume as entertainment. As far as games I'm not "performing" in, I do tend to research things that will be instrumental to my character so that when the time comes for me to add to the narrative, I can do it from an informed place. I did some prep like this for my latest Mountain Witch game, mostly so that when I was describing things my samurai used and wore that they were correct, and so that when I added detail into the narrative, that it was period correct. I find that I draw a lot of my RP in the moment via improv and Meisner technique skills I've learned over the years, so from a perspective of relationships and allowing myself to be affected by actions/dialogue/events, I prefer to be a blank slate in game. This does not, however, keep me from making speeches that I WOULD HAVE SAID in that perfect moment when I get home from a game session that I just didn't think of at the time. My cats love them. Even though it's a weird little unpacking mechanism I have, I do find it helps to set me up for the next session, because I can practice my character's voice and their intentions.
          Comment on Episode 210: Characterization by William Palmer        
Nice episode, I feel like y'all only scratched the surface on this one. I like the idea of characterization coming in the moment, from choices. So in a RPG context every time you have to make a choice or speak in character (which I guess is a choice) you decide in that moment who your character is, based on what has come before, and then from the directors stance, what you want to happen. in a video game context like Mass Effect every time you come to a decision point, the game is asking you to characterize your version of its protagonist to be either Paragon, neutral or correct. :) As much as we'd like perfect consistency, characterization changes (outside of intentional character arcs) whether we want it to or not. This comes from the gaps between play sessions, differences in our emotional play state (bleed), and the (almost necessarily) fluid nature of characters in the shared imagined landscape. This isn't a bad thing most of the time because it's minor and we modify our characters slightly based on the outcomes we as players would like to see. In a recent game of Eclipse Phase I just ran over Roll20 I had all the characters introduce themselves with a dream sequence. I made it very clear that this was to be an opportunity for solo storytelling and had everyone else follow the microscope rules of shutting up and not helping as to preserve a unique vision. It went over really well, even if we had a few more pauses for thought than normal, and even over Roll20 the characterization was very clear and shined through. That's another thing, characterization is much easier in person or through text than it is online which has always been one of my bigger pet peeves with online gaming. In person you get to use all of your senses, through text you get to expound as much as you'd like, online you're normally restricted to voice and actions. It makes you work harder and practice which brings a lot to in person games. Yet another thing, how quickly does a character come to you? Are most NPCs at the same level of characterization in their first min of screen time as say an ApoWo character? Obviously we know more about the ApoWo character but does that come through right away or do you build that character up with every interaction/decision? I would say the later. Another way to say that would be: Are most characters defined more by what's on their sheets or what's in our heads? Could y'all post a link to 183 days from the rants section? I seem to be having trouble finding it. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#newwindow=1&q=183+days+rpg Oh, have y'all ever Janked (that's now a thing, I'm making it a thing) about practicing for RPGs? If not, I have a potentially stupid topic for a cast, Do You Practice for RPGs? We practice writing, tennis, medicine, improv, calculus, sex, woodworking, and juggling; why not RPGs? This may be something that I'm alone in doing but I first took up acting in local theater partially because I thought it would bring something to my "craft" of role-playing. A lot of the time when I'm watching movies (especially bad but interesting ones like "In Time" or Divergent) I'm thinking about how I would translate that into a game (Fate conversion and Misspent Youth in those cases) and I'm logging away interesting choices or details that I can later bring back to the table. Staying in genre can be difficult when you have 5 different peoples conceptions of what noir is. But when you reference a movie or book everyone is familiar with then people are suddenly on the same page both conceptually and thematically. In general when I'm about to play in a game, or even worse run one, I often immerse myself in fiction of that genre to get it right. which seems like practicing a genre for an RPG to me. I've watched more than a few online videos on voice acting (see Roll20 stuff above). My bedside readers are fiction and things like Long-Form Improv by Hauck and Writing 21st Century Fiction by Maass. I've even run experimental one shots before to test out narrative concepts, like extreme flashbacks that only tie in tangentially to the main story, or practice something else unusual. I've never really retroactively declared anything longer than a one shot practice before but my first couple of fumbling forays into RPGs with D&D (because of coarse it was D&D) could certainly be called practice. I know RPGs aren't supposed to have a goal per se but what I'm striving for are improvisational stories that surprise me, thrill me, and touch my heart. What I'm after is a fluid game with little overt communication about it between players in the moment (all I'm asking for is mind reading here!). What I desire is a game that could be written down and sold as a good book and I feel like that takes practice. I practice to impress others, I practice to feel more relaxed and confident, but most importantly I practice to have a more distilled, better quality of fun. P.S. Your'e welcome for the text wall!
          Comment on Episode 198- What’s Up With Licensed Games? by avi        
Hi all, great discussion. I think setting is really important and so I'm a little surprised that licensed products aren't more successful. I'm also surprised that there isn't more commissioned fiction to support established settings and that so much of what is produced seems of pretty poor quality. Perhaps it's just not how the creative process works (ooh, topic suggestion - interview Stolze about this). Getting everyone at the table to have a shared a vision of the fiction seems important to me and surely licensed games and commissioned fiction is great way of supporting that. As you discussed, an important element is producing mechanics that encourage the feel of the fiction. I think Mouseguard is a great example of this. When I played it everyone had read at least the first trade before we played our second session and the feel of the mechanics mirrored the feel of the comics.
          Comment on Episode 196: New Year’s Gaming Resolutions! by mrm1138        
What was the name of the Apocalypse World-esque novel discussed during this episode? Since I listen to podcasts while I drive to and from work, I figured I'd just wait until I could check the show notes. Unfortunately, the show notes don't actually mention any of the games, movies, books, etc. mentioned in the episode. That would be incredibly helpful in the future.
          Mila Kunis Surprises Her Parents with Home Makeover        
Mila Kunis decided to surprise her parents by giving their home, that they have lived in for 20 years, a complete makeover! Mila worked with Houzz  – a home design company and designer Breeze Giannasio to get the job done. The actress was nine months pregnant with her son Dimitri when she started the project but […]
          Friday 5 August 1664        
Up very betimes and set my plaisterer to work about whiting and colouring my musique roome, which having with great pleasure seen done, about ten o'clock I dressed myself, and so mounted upon a very pretty mare, sent me by Sir W. Warren, according to...
          Shchita Workshop        
More pictures here



















          Birth Work as Care Work : Stories from Activist Birth Communities (Kairos)        
Birth Work as Care Work : Stories from Activist Birth Communities (Kairos)
author: Alana Apfel
name: Marisa
average rating: 4.60
book published:
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2016/09/06
shelves: to-read, for-purchase
review:


          Runaway        
Runaway
author: Alice Munro
name: Marisa
average rating: 4.00
book published: 2004
rating: 4
read at: 2015/03/24
date added: 2015/03/24
shelves:
review:
Alice Munro is my comfort food. I know that can sound strange -- many of her stories deal with loneliness, unfinished business, longing, and quiet moments of reflection. BUT -- I love how true to life they are. I think I find her comforting because she encapsulates a women's experience so beautifully. It is a rare gift to be able to describe the oddities and silence of life with such awe and respect. This is my fourth (at least?!) foray into her works and I am so happy to know there are more books out there for me to read!

          5 Best Joomla Security Extensions For You to Breathe Easy        





Apart from WordPress and Drupal content management systems, Joomla is the most popular CMS used all over the world to power websites of all sorts and sizes. Just like any other open-source CMS, Joomla powered sites also have to deal with hacking attacks. In fact, almost every day Joomla powered site encounter callous hackers who mutilate website pages, upload backdoors and steal or delete sensitive information. And sadly, most of the attacks cost website owners substantial amount of time and money in getting the damage fixed. And so, it becomes needful for website owners take all the possible measures into account that helps to strengthen security of their Joomla site.

In this post we have come up with a list of remarkably useful Joomla extensions that helps to secure your Joomla website. 



jHackGuard

 










jHackGuard is an extension designed by Siteground that helps to protect the websites of Joomla users from being hacked. The extension is made publicly available to Joomla site owners, irrespective of whether they're using Siteground hosting services or not. This extension is a blend of a security plugin (that does the system work) and component (that helps to handle configurations) – that helps to protect a Joomla site by filtering the user's input data and integrating more PHP security settings. But, the plugin is disabled so that filters don't prevent authenticated administrators from performing their administrative tasks.


jHackGuard is compatible with Joomla version 3 and higher. And so, if you want to protect your site security running on an older Joomla version, you can choose to download the appropriate versions of jHackGuard for the older Joomla versions such as jHackGuard for Joomla 1.5 or other.







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