Monday, November 29, 2010

Promoting Your Company on LinkedIn Just Got Easy (Kind of) - Portent Interactive, Seattle, WA

Promoting Your Company on LinkedIn Just Got Easy (Kind of) - Portent Interactive, Seattle, WA

LinkedIn’s latest addition isn’t just important because it looks hi tech and it’s easy to use - it transcends the ability of this social media to service both people and businesses.
"We are glad to provide companies a place on LinkedIn to showcase their products, services and associated recommendations," says Director of Product Management Ryan Roslansky on the LinkedIn blog. "Company Pages will enable companies to build their brand through network-aware recommendations, giving members rich, credible insights into how any given product (or service) is perceived by their fellow professionals."

This site has the most complete description of LinkedIn's new features for promoting and marketing your business and services. If you're not on LinkerIn, this should convince youto give it a good look.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

College Costs, the Sequel -

College Costs, the Sequel -
"Between the late 1940s and today, the inflation-adjusted prices of dental services and of higher education have behaved in a strikingly similar way. A wide variety of other personal services (ranging from the services of lawyers and physicians to bank service charges and life insurance) also display this same basic pattern of price change. These similarities could be coincidences. Perhaps each industry requires its own separate explanation. We don’t think so. We think one explanation fits them all.

College cost, and cost in the other similar industries, is rising for three broad reasons. First, over time we have found ways to reduce the number of labor hours and kilowatts of power needed to produce most manufactured goods and agricultural products. By contrast, many services remain artisan-like. The time of the service provider is the service itself, and labor-saving productivity gains are very hard to achieve. As a result, the cost of a year of college or an hour of a lawyer’s time must rise compared to the price of a ton of steel or a bushel of wheat.

This is “cost disease,” which is sometimes called Baumol’s disease, and a comment by Al zeroed in on it quite accurately. Rising productivity elsewhere in the economy generates this “disease,” while creating the growth that pays the costs for these more artisan-like services. The college-centric view of the world does not accord this argument the central place the data say it deserves

Second, the upward trend of college cost has been accelerated by changes in income distribution over the last 30 years. People with high levels of education have seen big income gains. Universities rely on highly educated people, as do hospitals, law offices and dental practices, to name a few. Rising income inequality is a force for rising cost in any industry like higher education. And rising income inequality also drives affordability problems. We will have more to say on affordability later.
Third, technology is a double-edged sword in many industries. For the most part, technological changes in how we teach, how we do research and how we equip our facilities have come at a cost. Some new technologies do make us more efficient. We no longer employ typing pools. But other new techniques, like computer-aided design in architecture classes or pulsed lasers in physics labs, have increased cost."

read the rest at

Monday, November 22, 2010

Web Designers vs. Web Developers (Infographic)

Web Designers vs. Web Developers (Infographic)

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Axis of Weasels

Axis of Depression -
"So what’s really motivating the G.O.P. attack on the Fed? Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues were clearly caught by surprise, but the budget expert Stan Collender predicted it all. Back in August, he warned Mr. Bernanke that “with Republican policy makers seeing economic hardship as the path to election glory,” they would be “opposed to any actions taken by the Federal Reserve that would make the economy better.” In short, their real fear is not that Fed actions will be harmful, it is that they might succeed.

Hence the axis of depression. No doubt some of Mr. Bernanke’s critics are motivated by sincere intellectual conviction, but the core reason for the attack on the Fed is self-interest, pure and simple. China and Germany want America to stay uncompetitive; Republicans want the economy to stay weak as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House.

And if Mr. Bernanke gives in to their bullying, they may all get their wish."

I apologize to any mustelid I've unfairly compared to Republican'ts.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Hijacked Commission -

The Hijacked Commission -
So the Bowles-Simpson proposal is basically saying that janitors should be forced to work longer because these days corporate lawyers live to a ripe old age.

"Matters become clearer once you reach the section on tax reform. The goals of reform, as Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson see them, are presented in the form of seven bullet points. “Lower Rates” is the first point; “Reduce the Deficit” is the seventh.

“So how, exactly, did a deficit-cutting commission become a commission whose first priority is cutting tax rates, with deficit reduction literally at the bottom of the list?”

Actually, though, what the co-chairmen are proposing is a mixture of tax cuts and tax increases — tax cuts for the wealthy, tax increases for the middle class.

They suggest eliminating tax breaks that, whatever you think of them, matter a lot to middle-class Americans — the deductibility of health benefits and mortgage interest — and using much of the revenue gained thereby, not to reduce the deficit, but to allow sharp reductions in both the top marginal tax rate and in the corporate tax rate.

It will take time to crunch the numbers here, but this proposal clearly represents a major transfer of income upward, from the middle class to a small minority of wealthy Americans. And what does any of this have to do with deficit reduction?

Let’s turn next to Social Security. There were rumors beforehand that the commission would recommend a rise in the retirement age, and sure enough, that’s what Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson do. They want the age at which Social Security becomes available to rise along with average life expectancy. Is that reasonable?

The answer is no, for a number of reasons — including the point that working until you’re 69, which may sound doable for people with desk jobs, is a lot harder for the many Americans who still do physical labor.

But beyond that, the proposal seemingly ignores a crucial point: while average life expectancy is indeed rising, it’s doing so mainly for high earners, precisely the people who need Social Security least. Life expectancy in the bottom half of the income distribution has barely inched up over the past three decades. So the Bowles-Simpson proposal is basically saying that janitors should be forced to work longer because these days corporate lawyers live to a ripe old age."


Mr Krugman thinks the problem is the commission. I think the problem is the co-chairs. I suspect the final report won't look much like their PowerPoint presentation or they wouldn't have been in such a hurry to preempt it.

Still, there are people praising them. People who haven't paid attention to what the job actually is. The problem is that they sound like they're working on our problem. When in fact they're working us through our prejudices and fears. But hey, they're politicians who've been out of the limelight and are back with s vengeance. Al Ingram

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Proposed Internet Guidelines Unlikely to Fill Content

Poynter Online - Feedback:

"Success is not an option.

Posted by Alfred Ingram 11/11/2010 4:38:31 PM

The reason we seldom make sense of the News is simple. What's sensible seldom makes the News and almost never makes the headlines. .

The sensational lie gets repeated. The sensible truth often fails to get a footnote. Volume trumps verity. The public drowns in data while starving for meaning. The simply wrong gets covered while complex,nuanced reality is ignored like a family values politician's illegitimate child."
con·cept: November 2010