That's Interesting

  • Tim Berners-Lee on the Future of the Internet

    Tim Berners-Lee, father of the world wide web, discusses the future of the internet, as Justin Rowlatt reports from the Science Museum’s newly-opened Information Age gallery. Justin gets a sneak pre-opening tour from curator Tilly Blythe. Among the exhibits – including the server on which Tim first coded the web – he speaks to internet pioneer Martha Lane Fox, and to the founder of Acorn Computers and chip-maker ARM, Hermann Hauser.

    External Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028v4kt
  • Peanuts and Cracker Jack

    NPR Planet Money #700: Beer. Water. Pretzels. It takes effort, strategy, and some serious lungs to sell expensive junk food at a baseball game. Meet the hot dog vending legend of Fenway P

    External Link: http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510289/planet-money
  • The CIA’s Style Manual & Writer’s Guide: 185 Pages of Tips for Writing Like a Spook

    Along with toppling democratically elected governments, funneling money illegally to dubious political groups and producing pornographic movies about heads of state, the Central Intelligence Agency has also been fiendishly good at manipulating language. After all, this is the organization that made “waterboarding” seem much more acceptable, at least to the Washington elite, by rebranding it as “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Another CIA turn of phrase, “extraordinary rendition,” sounds so much better to the ear than “illegal kidnapping and torture.” Not too long ago, the CIA’s style guide, called the Style Manual and Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications, was posted online. “Good intelligence depends in large measure on clear, concise writing,” writes Fran Moore, Director of Intelligence in the foreword. And considering the agency’s deftness with the written word, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s remarkably good.

    External Link: http://www.openculture.com/2014/07/the-cia-style-manual-writers-guide.html
  • Is the US a force for good in the world?

    Mehdi Hasan goes head to head with Thomas Friedman on the morality of America’s global role. The US appears to have taken a back seat role in international relations. Is the US in decline? Or is it just taking stock as it accommodates to the new emerging world order? In this episode of Head to Head at the Oxford Union, Mehdi Hasan challenges one of the world’s most influential columnists and authors, Thomas L Friedman. Advisor to presidents and kings, Tom Friedman of the New York Times has won the Pulitzer Prize not once or twice, but three times. He is the best-selling author, among many others, of “The World is Flat” and he argues in his latest book, “That Used to Be US”, that the US must rebuild itself to remain a global power.

    Critics say American self-interest has trumped democracy and human rights time and again, and that Obama’s America is no different. So is the US foreign policy counter-productive? Or is America a force for good in the world? The US “is not an NGO”, admits Friedman, explaining that America “is a country like any country with its interests, it pursues them, and sometimes pursues them very narrowly.” Friedman also talks about the powerful influence of the Israeli lobby and his recent experience in Yemen. “America is in a slow decline”, he tells Mehdi Hasan and goes on to describe his “unique formula of success” that will place America once again ahead of the Brazils, the Chinas and the Japans.

    Joining this discussion are: Seumas Milne, an associate editor and columnist at The Guardian, as well as author of the “The Enemy Within”, “Beyond the Casino Economy”, and “The Revenge of History”; Davis Lewin, the political director at the Henry Jackson Society, and the former Middle East director at the Next Century Foundation; and Dr Miriyam Aouragh, a lecturer of Cyber Politics in the Middle East, an associate member of the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford who is currently conducting research on the political implications of the Internet for the Arab revolutions. She is also the author of Palestine Online: Transnationalism, the Internet and the Construction of Identity.

    External Link: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2013/06/2013610928998923.html
  • Obama Spent 10 Times as Much on Social Media as Romney

    This PBS NewsHour program from 16 November 2012 Ray Suarez talks to Daily Download’s Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn about a 10-to-1 spending gap on social media between the Obama and Romney campaigns, as well as the shifting role Facebook and Twitter played in how voters expressed their political leanings in their communities.

    External Link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec12/download_11-16.html
  • Wilco – Morning Becomes Eclectic

    In the midst of three sold out shows in LA, Wilco set aside an afternoon to record a special live session for KCRW at The Theatre at Ace Hotel.

    External Link: http://www.kcrw.com/music/shows/morning-becomes-eclectic/wilco-2016-10-06
  • Explosions In The Sky, Live In Concert

    If Explosions In The Sky’s records are watershed moments for its fans, then the band’s live shows are a Biblical flood. The group recently released its sixth studio album, The Wilderness. On Thursday, Explosions In The Sky brought its epic, searching sound to a sold-out show at Washington, D.C.’s famed 9:30 Club.

    External Link: http://www.npr.org/event/music/478665908/explosions-in-the-sky-live-in-concert
  • Forecast Errors and Uncertainty Shocks

    Macroeconomic forecasts are persistently too optimistic. This paper finds that common factors related to general uncertainty about U.S. macrofinancial prospects and global demand drive this overoptimism. These common factors matter most for advanced economies and G- 20 countries. The results suggest that an increase in uncertainty-driven overoptimism has dampening effects on next-year real GDP growth rates. This implies that incorporating the common structure governing forecast errors across countries can help improve subsequent forecasts.

    External Link: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=44413.0
  • The Italian Banking Crisis

    Why are Italy’s banks in crisis and what’s the impact on business? The country’s banks have huge numbers of non-performing loans, the result of nearly a decade of recession. The economy has shrunk by nearly 10% in that time. Some small banks have already failed, others may follow. What has it been like to do business through these very lean times? Are banks continuing to lend? And what solutions might there be for one of Europe’s biggest players? Ruth Sunderland visits small businesses, the backbone of the Italian economy, and asks what is required to strengthen the banking system.

    External Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04hqm76
  • Administrator perspectives on Hastie Group

    This 6 February 2013 article from the Australian Institute of Company Directors: “The Boardroom Report” discusses some observations of Hastie Group administrators PPB Advisory. The article suggests that although Hastie Group undertook multiple acquisitons, financial reporting systems where never properly integrated and the Board of Directors did not demand sufficiently detailed information about the underlying performance of the business. If this had ocurred, the eventual demise of the company might have been averted.

    External Link: http://celestefunds.com.au/Portals/0/BR130206.pdf
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