One of the most amazing open frontiers today is the ability of anyone to publish a book and get it on the market. If you have ever wanted to write a book and see in print, you can do so easily and oh so inexpensively. The wide open doors to opportunity are right in front of you.
Lots and lots of people are publishing. No longer are huge New York publishers an insurmountable barrier for unknown writers.
9/15 – The Arts Mechanical – How To Win the Battle and Lose the War– Huge battle last year was between Amazon and Hachette. Amazon wanted to deliver books at prices customers were willing to pay. Hachette wanted to price e-books far higher, near the same level as print.
Yet one more illustration of why regulatory agencies need to be fully staffed – employers who rip off their employees…
A person who owns 15 hotels in North Dakota agreed to settle a federal lawsuit claiming he cheated at least 192 employees out of overtime pay and didn’t pay some of them a minimum wage. He apparently is not hurting for money since he paid up $122,871 in back wages and $61,436 in penalties a mere four days after the judgment was issued.
Bruce Schneier has a series of articles that ponder the risks and rewards of jumping into cloud computing. That is the concept of storing your data and computing power with an on-line service provider.
(This discussion is cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update, because understanding cloud issues is a major part of keeping up with the massive change around us.)
The public now knows of two rounds of massive breaches at the federal agency that handles all personnel records. First round looks like it was essentially the basic personnel file of all current and many former federal employees.
Second round is the long forms used to process security clearances. Looks like it was military and spy agency records. Great. Those files list all relatives, making them vulnerable to coercion. Provides lots of ideas on how to turn or compromise employees.
Hackers meandered around the systems for a year.
If you want to build a deep profile of military, diplomatic, and spy agency staff for use over the next several decades, this would be a fantastic starting point. Will take a while to process all the files and synthesize with social media and published news reports, but those countries who wish us harm will have a superb database to track and compromise federal employees.
If you are in any social media platform at all, you need to be really careful about what you say. You need to be cautious in saying things that are flippant or can be misunderstood.
There are severe dangers that go along with all the supercool technology available today. This article is cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.
The twitter shame mob
A PR manager from a company sent smart mouth tweets to her 170 followers. Sent a few before travelling to London. Checked her phone there, found no reaction, and sent a few more smarty-pants comments.
While on the 11 hour flight to Johannesburg, another person saw her tweet, and sent it to his 15,000 followers hinting the person was a bigoted racist.
You know where this is going. Oh, her extended family she was on her way to visit? They are all ANC supporters.
The attack tweet went viral. By the time this person landed in South Africa, there was someone waiting to take pictures of her as she turned on her phone and saw the deluge. Huge numbers of people around the world were trashing her and visiting Orwell’s two minute hate on her.
If it was possible to choose, would you prefer to live life in the middle class, struggling to get by in a lousy economy with an uncertain retirement, or would you rather live the life of Nathan Rothschild, who was the richest man on the planet when he departed this life in 1836?
(Photo by James Ulvog; five more reasons why gas prices are going down.)
This is second of several posts on the drop in oil prices. Not to worry – human ingenuity will kick in again as prices drop.
10/31 – Bakken.com – Fracking is saving Americans billions of dollars – The American Petroleum Institute estimates that without fracking, crude oil prices would be somewhere between $12 and $40 a barrel higher. That means Americans would otherwise be paying around $250 billion a year more in energy costs.
10/30 – Wall Street Journal – Energy Boom Can Withstand Steeper Oil-Price Drop – Some drillers in the U.S. will have trouble as prices drop and some locations may not be economical, but there are huge numbers of drillers who own huge numbers of sites that will be profitable at lower prices that we see today.
The Telegraph has a full length article on Boomtown, USA. In addition to a great feature in words, there are 9 videos, of about 2 minutes each.
The upside of the oil boom is incredible. Lots of guys are making $100K to $150K by working hard doing difficult work. The article guesses there are 10,000 men living in crew camps. Each of them is making, by my guess, between $70k and $125K a year.
My guess is most of those guys would be making $40K to $70K if they were working back home. Assuming they even had a job. Most of them wouldn’t.
Business is booming. Consumer stores are crowded. Construction is going as fast as the city can permit projects.