Barack accepted the Nobel Peace Prize today, defending– and in fact espousing– American exceptionalism.
This move by Goldman Sachs to award so-called “shares at risk” is cunning: it sounds great (and it is in fact a much more fair/logical/long-sighted way of distributing bonuses) but it also affects a whopping 30 employees. Goldman has 31,700. So this does not affect the attitudes/behaviors/risk tolerance of the thousands of traders who are evaluating their risk based on their annual bonus pay-outs just like before. Nor does it affect the complexity or the masked risked that goes into 99% of bankers’ work as they structure financial instruments. It’s a cunning move because it’s hard to criticize outright, but it also really does not get at any way to solve the problems of the financial services sector. (It’s a mentality thing, not something which changes when you reorganize pay incentives for the top 30 guys in your firm).
Chad Ochocinco is changing his name again. In 2010 he’ll become “Chad Hachi Go,” Japanese this time for 85.
Gawker deconstructs Ms. Palin’s latest appearance in the Washington Post, showing why her lack of knowledge is this time apparent in regards to global climate change.
I don’t see a thesis in this article, but it seems from the title that the author is trying to compare will.i.am to Irving Berlin. I’d comment on how (un)persuasively that argument is made but frankly I don’t see it anywhere in here.
Finally, also in the realm of ridiculous, via Ella Chou, apparently a girl at Columbia Law School has been accepting applications from her classmates (requesting resumes and undergrad transcripts)…so they can join her study group.
Tags: barack obama, china, cloud computing, columbia university, deforestation, exceptionalism, gawker, GE, goldman sachs, Google, irving berlin, law school, nobel prize, oregon, sarah palin, slate, study group, washington post, will.i.am, wind
I found myself reading a number of articles on Ars Technica today. The first was a good run-down of what Comcast already owns in the face of its controlling stake in NBC. The second was an exciting look at the future of WiFi and the 1 Gbps speeds we can soon look forward to. Finally, Ars examined the history of YouTube, not only from a cultural perspective but also from a tech/policy standpoint.
Without endorsing endorsing or distancing myself from Christopher Hitchens, this piece on Palin is notable. I agree that it is absurd to see she has jumped on the “birther” bandwagon and all that, but what I like is the word Hitchens created:
…I pointed out the crude way in which she tried to Teflon-ize herself when allegations of weird political extremism were made against her (emphasis CLT).
In other news, we (the Stanford Cardinal) will be playing in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas on New Year’s eve (yay!) but without star redshirt quarterback, and Texas native, Andrew Luck (not-so-yay). That could be bad news bears. It could also mean that Toby will step up like he always does and account for 900 all-purpose yards. We’ll see.
Politics: Barack says he wants to use TARP money to stimulate the economy and put on some public works projects; the GOP goes all crazy. We’ve already put aside the money…people are looking for employment…Wall Street is in better shape (or at least so it seems): I think the Dems are right to fight for this money to be used intelligently.
CNet compiles a nice list of free holiday MP3s across the Web: 29 of which come from Amazon, including some titles by Lady GaGa and others.
Lifehacker shares a nice iTunes alternative, something I’m always happy to read more about.
I find it hilarious and also smart for AT&T to offer its “Mark the Spot” app in the App Store (iTunes link). It’sfunny because it’s an admission by the carrier that their service is, well, somewhat lacking. And it’s smart because it makes it at the very least appear like they’ll do something about it. Plus it’s a nice little community crowd-sourcing project which I think is a smart play.
But here’s what I don’t get: how it’s supposed to work. Let’s say I’m walking through Manhattan and I get to the corner and — BOOM! — service drops out. The very important business call that I was on is now terminated. I am mad. But, at least AT&T hopes, I fire up the app to report the spot as problematic. EXCEPT WE JUST SAID I DON’T HAVE ANY SERVICE. So riddle me this: how does a location-based app for reporting service dead zones work? I could walk down the street until my little EDGE or 3G icon reappears, but by that point, the whole idea of a GPS-tagged submission is gone. It’s all somewhat funny to me, and unless I’m missing something, AT&T is either going to have lots of frustrated customers trying unsuccessfully to report spotty (get it?) service, or lots of dead zone tags from nearby-but-not-quite-right locations.
Finally, today was a big day at Google*. Two huge announcements of (1) real-time search and (2) Google Goggles.
For real-time search, it’s a fantastic feature and the implementation could not be better, IMHO. There is lots of (far better) coverage across the Web on this, but I think it’s great.
Goggles is also an interesting product, and its launch was kind of buried by in a number of other big mobile announcements. The fact that is basically has augmented reality is also really really cool. This video does the best job of quickly and clearly communicating what exactly it is:
**NB: Just to be clear, none of my comments on anything at Google relate in any way to my employer. I’m just a guy, writing about and commenting on tidbits I find across the Web. Nothing here is an endorsement or Company position. I know you probably know this, but I wanted to put it in writing.
Tags: amazon, andrew luck, at&t, augmented reality, barack obama, birther, CNet, comcast, el paso, google goggles, hitchens, itunes, lady gaga, lifehacker, mp3, nbc, palin, real-time search, sarah palin, stanford football, sun bowl, TARP, texas, toby for heisman, toby gerhart, wifi, YouTube