Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A cheat sheet on lower oil prices | McKinsey & Company

A cheat sheet on lower oil prices | McKinsey & Company



Oil prices have plunged, helping consumers but worrying energy-reliant
countries and companies. Here’s a cheat sheet on what’s happening and
its implications

How Google breaks through | McKinsey & Company

How Google breaks through | McKinsey & Company



Lorraine Twohill, Google’s senior vice president of global marketing,
describes what has and hasn’t changed for marketers trying to connect
with customers

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Wi-Fi Barbie Doll With the Soul of Siri - NYTimes.com

A Wi-Fi Barbie Doll With the Soul of Siri - NYTimes.com



Siri, where do you live? Siri, do you have a boyfriend? Siri, how old are you?



ToyTalk already produces popular animated conversational apps — among them the Winston Show and SpeakaZoo — that encourage young children to engage in complex dialogue with a menagerie of make-believe characters. 



Internet
of Things — those Web-connected thermostats and bathroom scales and
coffee makers and whatnot — would beget the Internet of Toys. And just
like Web-connected consumer gizmos that can amass details about their
owners and transmit that data for remote analysis, Internet-connected
toys hold out the tantalizing promise of personalized services and the
risk of privacy perils.



“Is
this going to be some creepy doll that records what is going on in your
home without you knowing it?” asks Nicole A. Ozer, the director of
technology and civil liberties at the American Civil Liberties Union of
Northern California. “What is being recorded? How long is it being
stored? Who is it being shared with?”

Parents also have access to their child’s recorded conversations and can, if they choose, delete them.

the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood,
an advocacy group in Boston, asked Mattel to shelve the talking doll.
The group said the voice recordings amounted to “eavesdropping” and
could be used to exploit the intimate feelings of children.

Mattel faced withering scorn when critics discovered that a children’s
book titled “Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer” showed the character
seeking help from male friends to code a game.

Nanjil Nadan Special Issue: Padhaakai: Writers and Authors

பதாகை – நாஞ்சில் நாடன் சிறப்பிதழ் | நாஞ்சில்நாடன்



வருகிற ஏப்ரல் 26ம் தேதி பதாகை இதழ் ‘நாஞ்சில் நாடன் - சிறப்பிதழாக’ வரவிருக்கிறது.



http://padhaakai.com/

Searching for Evan S. Connell’s Bohemian Sausalito - NYTimes.com

Searching for Evan S. Connell’s Bohemian Sausalito - NYTimes.com:



After all, who was Evan Connell? Some postwar novelists, like John Updike and Philip Roth, became famous young and stayed that way. Others, like Richard Yates, the author of “Revolutionary Road,” and Leonard Michaels, the author of “The Men’s Club,” have had posthumous revivals, as filmed versions of their books, or omnibus collections brought out by their publishers, have given them new visibility.



He wasn’t boisterous, wasn’t a big drinker. Just be in there, sit down, nursing whatever he was drinking.”
Mr. Connell’s drinking buddies included the novelist Calvin Kentfield, who like Mr. Connell was an early editor of Contact, an old Bay Area literary magazine that had been restarted in 1958

In Silicon Valley, Auto Racing Becomes a Favorite Hobby for Tech Elites - NYTimes.com

In Silicon Valley, Auto Racing Becomes a Favorite Hobby for Tech Elites - NYTimes.com



he has sought out connections with the tech industry in order to turn racing into the new great nexus for business networking, or what Mr. Buckler calls “relationship marketing.”





Mr. Huber is an engineer and executive at Google. He once led the company’s mapping division, and he now works on secret projects at Google X, the company’s far-out research lab. He is also among a novel posse in the Silicon Valley, a small but growing group of guys from across the industry who get together on weekends to drive really fast around a track.
Over the last year or so, racing seems to have become the Valley’s “it” hobby. There are informal groups of drivers at Apple, Facebook and Google who get together to rent out local tracks. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The key to happiness comes down to one word - Business Insider

The key to happiness comes down to one word - Business Insider:



  • $ 44.30 for calm tranquility,
  • $ 62.80 for excitement,
  • $ 79.06 for happiness,
  • $ 83.27 to avoid fear,
  • $ 92.80 to avoid sadness,
  • $ 99.81 to avoid embarrassment,
  • $ 106.26 to avoid regret,
  • $ 113.55 for love.


Test your startup idea: A list that took me 8 years to develop

Test your startup idea: A list that took me 8 years to develop:



recurring sales add stability to your business



You need to know exactly where to find your customers. You need to know where they hang out online. Ideally, you should have a specific demographic to sell to (ie. chiropractors, lawyers, golfers, etc.). This makes advertising simpler and helps make your marketing more effective.



I’ve seen products get to MVP (minimum viable product) in less than 30 days. Talk to a good developer and understand the timeframe.

Stanford's Most Popular Class Isn't Computer Science--It's Something Much More Important | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Stanford's Most Popular Class Isn't Computer Science--It's Something Much More Important | Fast Company | Business + Innovation:



Here's what they learn: gratitude; generosity; self-awareness; adaptability. All reinforced by design thinking-based tools, from a daily gratitude journal to a deck of cards featuring problem-solving techniques. In lieu of a final exam—the class is pass/fail—students present three radically different five-year plans to their peers. 

Happiness of Being - The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Dhyāna-p-Paṭṭu: The Song on Meditation

Happiness of Being - The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Dhyāna-p-Paṭṭu: The Song on Meditation

Freedom of Expression Meet by Tamil Journalists: Dinakaran Newspaper Reporter Killers are attending the Event

கலகக்குரல்: கருத்துரிமை சிங்கங்களும் கடந்த கால அசிங்கங்களும்...!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tragedies of the Remote Worker: "Looks like you're the only one on the call" - Scott Hanselman

Tragedies of the Remote Worker: "Looks like you're the only one on the call" - Scott Hanselman

March 2015 Security Incident and the Launch of Two... | Several People Are Typing

March 2015 Security Incident and the Launch of Two... | Several People Are Typing



  • We have no indication that the hackers were able to
    decrypt stored passwords, as Slack uses a one-way encryption technique
    called hashing.
  • Slack’s hashing function is bcrypt with a
    randomly generated salt per-password which makes it computationally
    infeasible that your password could be recreated from the hashed form.

Mind-blowing tattoo makes man look like machine - CNET

Mind-blowing tattoo makes man look like machine - CNET



A tattoo with amazing
3D-looking depth makes a man's arm look like it belongs to a
shape-shifting android with peeling skin. Even famous street artist
Banksy thinks it's cool.

Philip K. Dick was right: we are becoming androids - Boing Boing

Philip K. Dick was right: we are becoming androids - Boing Boing



The deep problem, for Dick, wasn't that mechanisms might become more
manlike. It's that men might be reduced to mechanisms. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

World Renowned Yogi Sadhguru Vasudev to Visit Boston on May 8 | Articles | INDIA New England

World Renowned Yogi Sadhguru Vasudev to Visit Boston on May 8 | Articles | INDIA New England



Back Bay Events Center on Friday, May 8, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Seats can be reserved at www.ishausa.org/Boston

LearnQuest Announces Free Educational Component to its Annual Music Conference 2015 | Articles | INDIA New England

LearnQuest Announces Free Educational Component to its Annual Music Conference 2015 | Articles | INDIA New England



Musical Instruments of India by George Ruckert



Thursday, April 2, 2015
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm








MIT, Room 4-163






India and Ghana — Rhythm Systems and Drum Languages by Jerry Leak



Wednesday, 1 April, 2015

7:30 pm- 9:30 pm








New England Conservatory of Music, Room G01





The coloring of Rasas by Rekha Menon



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm








MIT, Room 4-237

LearnQuest Announces Free Educational Component to its Annual Music Conference 2015 | Articles | INDIA New England

LearnQuest Announces Free Educational Component to its Annual Music Conference 2015 | Articles | INDIA New England



Musical Instruments of India by George Ruckert



Thursday, April 2, 2015
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm








MIT, Room 4-163




India and Ghana — Rhythm Systems and Drum Languages by Jerry Leak



Wednesday, 1 April, 2015

7:30 pm- 9:30 pm






New England Conservatory of Music, Room G01





The coloring of Rasas by Rekha Menon



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm








MIT, Room 4-237

Tarek Fatah: Breaking Down Jihadi Terror | Swarajya

Tarek Fatah: Breaking Down Jihadi Terror | Swarajya



India and Israel are probably better equipped about
these problems then the US will ever be. You have a 13% Muslim
population just as Israel has 20% Muslim population. Only Israel and
India can figure out what is happening. But Saudi money is so prevalent
in the West that everyone thinks that Iran is the problem and not
Pakistan.

SPIEGEL Cover Story: How Silicon Valley Shapes Our Future - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Uber isn't the only company with ambitions of taking over the world.
That's how they all think: Google and Facebook, Apple and Airbnb -- all
the digital giants along with the myriad smaller companies in their
wake.



Their goal is never a niche market; it's always the entire world. But
far from being driven by delusional fantasies, their objectives are
often realistic, made possible by a potent cocktail unique in economic
history: globalization combined with digitalization.





SPIEGEL Cover Story: How Silicon Valley Shapes Our Future - SPIEGEL ONLINE



In the Silicon Valley, a new elite is forming that wants to
determine not only what we consume, but also the way we live. They want
to change the world, but they don't want to accept any rules. Do they
need to be reined in?

Keeping mum in the age of spoilers :: Books

I’ve Got a Secret



“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only
think what everyone else is thinking,” writes Murakami in Norwegian Wood

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Science of TED 2015 | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

The Science of TED 2015 | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network



No TED would be complete without a representative of MIT’s Media Lab. This year it was Neri Oxman,
who gave a mind-boggling presentation on the notion of combining
elements of machines and biology into new designs. In her lab, she’s
used 3D printing to build helmets that conform to the contours of an
individual’s head, and also use a combination of materials that match
the physiological characteristics of human tissue, making the helmet
soft where it needs to be soft, and hard where it needs to be hard. She
also talked about the possibility of making space suits for astronauts
that used micro-fluidics technology to build tiny climate control
vesicles into the suit’s fabric. The suits might also incorporate
cyanobacteria to capture sunlight and turn it into sugar, and E. coli,
to turn the sugar into energy. 

Why Don't Animals Get Schizophrenia (and How Come We Do)? - Scientific American

Why Don't Animals Get Schizophrenia (and How Come We Do)? - Scientific American



Many of us have known a dog on Prozac. We've also witnessed the eye
rolls that come with canine psychiatry. Doting pet owners—myself
included—ascribe all sorts of questionable psychological ills to our
pawed companions. But the science does suggest that numerous non-human
species suffer from psychiatric symptoms. Birds obsess;
horses on occasion get pathologically compulsive; dolphins and
whales—especially those in captivity—self-mutilate. And that thing when
your dog woefully watches you pull out of the driveway from the
window—that might be DSM-certified separation anxiety. 

In an unpredictable world, executives should stretch beyond managing the probable

Examples of such questions include the following:


  • What do I expect not to find? How could I attune to the unexpected?
  • What might I be discounting or explaining away a little too quickly?
  • What would happen if I shifted one of my core assumptions on an issue, just as an experiment?




Delighting in the possible | McKinsey & Company



an uncertain world, leaders often default to decisions that not only
mitigate risk but reduce potential and leave organizations vulnerable to
being blindsided. Here’s how to stretch beyond managing probable
outcomes to instead unlock more powerful solutions.

Material parenting: How the use of goods in parenting fosters materialism in the next generation

JSTOR: Press Release





Giving Kids Presents to Make Them Happy Fosters Materialism





Materialism,
which has been linked to reduced well-being, marital problems, and
financial difficulties, is often thought to be solely the result of
childhood insecurity, but there’s another pathway to this trait,
according to Marsha L. Richins of the University of Missouri and Lan
Nguyen Chaplin of the University of Illinois: If warm, loving parents
provide their offspring with toys and other material rewards, either to
shape behavior or simply to make them happy, the children are more
likely than others to use possessions to define and enhance the self.
This form of materialism first becomes evident in childhood, perhaps as
early as age 8, and extends into adulthood, the researchers say.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Future of Medicine 2015 | Scientific American Reports - Scientific American

Future of Medicine 2015 | Scientific American Reports - Scientific American



Nanomedicine Aims New Treatments at Cancer and Dangerous Wounds

Soft Electronics Monitor Heart Health
 

Tiny vehicles for chemotherapy boost tumor-busting skills and reduce side effects

Takeshi Onaga asks Japan's central government to suspend work on the contentious airbase, citing environmental concerns

Okinawa governor orders halt on US airbase construction - Al Jazeera English



In Japan, the
governor of Okinawa has ordered a halt to construction of a new U.S.
military base there. Takeshi Onaga was elected last year on a platform
of stopping the base. He has given the Japanese Defense Ministry a week
to stop construction following the discovery massive concrete blocks
dropped into the sea as part of the project had damaged coral reefs. The
Japanese government has vowed to press ahead with construction, setting
up a possible legal battle. Okinawa houses about 26,000 U.S. troops,
and their presence has been the subject of protests for decades.

Exclusive: Pinterest unpins employee tax bills - Fortune

Exclusive: Pinterest unpins employee tax bills - Fortune



Early startup employees often take stock options in lieu of higher
salaries. It’s a transaction covered in optimistic capitalism, with the
employee betting that today’s worthless paper eventually will be valued
higher than a few thousand greenbacks. And so the employee goes to work,
in an effort to realize that vision.

Understanding life transitions and the importance of rites of passage

The Portals to Conscious Elderhood - Community - Utne Reader



By Ron Pevny, excerpted from Conscious Living, Conscious Aging


Spring 2015 



Anthropologists tell us that throughout most of known human history,
many cultures marked significant life changes with rites of passage that
served as initiation into the next stage of life. Extensive preparation
at all levels—physical, psychological, and spiritual—was followed by an
intense, spiritually charged ceremonial ritual process. This ceremony
required the initiate to leave behind normal village life and enter a
place of mystery, perceived danger, and spiritual power. The intent of
this process was to acknowledge that a major life transition was
occurring, both inwardly and outwardly, and to empower the initiate to
fully and consciously move into his next life role.



Through these
powerful processes, people were assisted in letting go of attitudes,
behaviors, and self-concepts from previous life stages that would not
serve them or their communities in their new role. Concurrently, they
were guided in identifying and strengthening the skills, wisdom,
psychological resources, and spiritual connection necessary for claiming
their new status and fulfilling their new roles.

Do-Gooder Drones: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

Do-Gooder Drones



 Matternet

 Convervationdrones.org is a non-profit started by a conservation ecologist and a primate biologist.

The Nile Project: Brining the River Basin Together and to the World

The Nile Project: Brining the River Basin Together and to the World



According to The Nile Project, this is part of a greater disconnect
between these nations. “In east Africa, even though we’re neighbors,
even though the Nile River connects eleven countries, we actually don’t
know each other that well,” co-founder Meklit Hadero told Seattle’s KEXP
90.3. Hadero, an Ethiopian-American musician, joined forces with
Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis to create The Nile Project, which
provides educational programs, leadership prizes, fellowships and
cultural outreach to promote unity in the region as well as bring
international attention to the water conflicts in the basin.

Can we feed an ever-growing population?

Some places are perpetually in crisis. Other countries and regions
have launched effective transformations that improve food security and
resilience and enhance economic opportunity. In countries large and
small, rich and poor, wet and arid, a resilient food economy—defined as
one that can adapt to change and cope with negative shocks—stands on
four building blocks:


  • efficient agricultural production that takes advantage
    of innovative technologies and practices
  • tailored trade and investment approaches
  • well-functioning domestic markets
  • strategic reserves of food and water




From liability to opportunity: How to build food security and nourish growth | McKinsey & Company



How can public institutions, development agencies, investors,
researchers, and producers work together to build a food sector that
propels economic growth, meets demand, and helps to maintain social
stability?


Over 30,000 Titles Now Accessible Via SmartLinks+  Linking | Discovery Pulse Blog | EBSCO

Over 30,000 Titles Now Accessible Via SmartLinks+  Linking | Discovery Pulse Blog | EBSCO



SmartLinks+.

EBSCO Discovery Service

62nd National Film Awards: Complete list of winners - IBNLive

62nd National Film Awards: Complete list of winners - IBNLive

Monday, March 23, 2015

Who are the richest Alabamians now that billionaire Marguerite Harbert has passed? | AL.com

Who are the richest Alabamians now that billionaire Marguerite Harbert has passed? | AL.com



Named by Forbes as the 66th richest family
in America, the Stephenses of Birmingham reportedly had a net worth of
$4 billion as of last year. The Stephens fortune was amassed under the
leadership of Elton Bryson Stephens, Sr., who in 1944 famously spent
just $5,000 to embark on a business venture that would eventually become
the massively successful company EBSCO Industries, which reportedly now
does $2.4 billion in sales and employs nearly 6,000 people.

The family, which inherited Stephens's wealth after his death in
2005, has never before discussed its finances with the media. But
Stephens's son, current EBSCO board chairman James T. Stephens, told
AL.com in an email statement Friday that the Forbes figure was "grossly
overstated," though Forbes has not amended or withdrawn its report.

"Virtually all of our personal assets are in our ownership of EBSCO
of which we are proud and to which we are fully committed," the
statement said. "Neither EBSCO or our family is worth anywhere near
Forbes' estimate. We have no idea how Forbes could have so wrongly made
this estimate. The editor has been contacted for making a correction to
their data."

Elton Stephens, Sr.'s wife, Alys Robinson Stephens, passed away in
1996, leaving the couple's four children, Elton B. Stephens, Jr., James
T. Stephens, Jane S. Comer and Dell S. Brooke, as the only remaining
members of his nuclear family.

According to his will -- dated April 12, 1993, and filed with the
probate court shortly after his death on Feb. 5, 2005 -- the Stephens
patriarch named his four children as his heirs. He left nearly all of
his sizeable fortune and much of his property to a foundation bearing
his name, to be overseen by his children. He also left one of his
grandsons a few hundred thousand dollars' worth of stock.

Though the Stephens family's denying the $4 billion figure leaves
major questions unanswered, the Stephenses are clearly some of the
wealthiest people in the state, and they should be on any shortlist of
potential heirs to Harbert's title.

If the Stephens name rings a bell for many Birmingham residents, it's
probably due to the visible results of the philanthropic work the
family has done over the decades. The Red Mountain Expressway, Alys
Stephens Performing Arts Center, and the 99,500-square-foot Elton B.
Stephens Science Center at Birmingham-Southern College were all named in
honor of the family's charitable work and donations.