Friday, April 24, 2009


Evidence of Shrinking Intellectual Capacity

First, I'd like to think that these two women stole my idea - the power of small numbers - but their book, The Power of Small is likely to prove otherwise, as I'm 95% sure that they could not come up with any fresh ideas. As a matter of fact, the kernel of an idea is, in itself, a very small thing, but the people who actually will look down upon this attempt at "new age" junk philosophy are the practitioners of Taoism, for it was the founder, Lao-tzu (c 604-c 531 bc), who said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

If any more proof is needed that there's a sucker on every street corner waiting to be taken by snake oil salesmen - or, in this case, sales women - watch this segment from the Martha Stewart show below, all the time reminded that Martha, the mistress of pop culture, will give air time to any woman who has even the spark of a marketable idea.

OK, not to be snarky, but I'm not even going to read their book or mention the authors names, as I'm fairly certain they won't be making any "world literature" lists (I may not either, but that's another matter), but I will link to their blog, where they offers gems of wisdom, like, you can save money by using coupons. Oh, yeah, they also have some links to online coupons, as though nobody ever heard of those before.

Of course, they are twittering, jumping on all the fads, making the talk show rounds and raking in the cash. These women are quickly becoming my inspiration, because if they can take a concept as simple as small and turn it into a book and make money off it, hey, why not me?

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Maybe Associated Press Needs Mercy Killing

Watching this moron - CEO Tom Curley - from the Associated Press (AP) (shown at right) on the Charlie Rose show flail about over "who's going to pay?" for AP content, and then he brings up Iraq, and somebody needs to take this nutjob out back and beat him senseless, telling him that maybe, if your so fu**ing superior news gatherers were doing such a bang up job, we would never have gone into Iraq, and maybe we wouldn't have the financial mess we have today, you greedy, self-indulgent priggish little whiner.

The problem with the AP moaning about people stealing their content is that it's hardly worth it, since most of their "breaking" news is morphed over the internet in minutes by hundreds, if not thousands of news sites and blogs. What Tom Curley is complaining about - if I'm getting the message right - is unauthorized use, not FAIR USE, which allows for derivative works based on the original story, but I think he's angling for some of the AdSense pie, via Google, because he keeps channeling traffic, which is a whole different story.

Here's a snippet from CEO Tom Curley's April 6 statement (here's a link to the content and, I suppose, UNAUTHORIZED USE OF YOUR WORDS, SO SUE ME!):
In the past year, we shifted resources to business, real estate and economic coverage at the right moment to deliver comprehensive and continuing coverage of the biggest story in a generation.

Like I was saying, the AP wants to cover the news of the financial meltdown, but maybe if its reporters were doing real investigative journalism, they might have been reporting on the massive amount of mortgage-related fraud as far back as 2002 and 2003. So, now, they take credit for "following" the story, but it's the usual, dull, packaged boring read for which the AP is famous.

Oh, and I can't resist this:
At the same time, we delivered on another presidential campaign and vote count and found a way to increase coverage of celebrities to feed the growing demand for entertainment news.

OK, Tom, only every single media outlet in the world was covering the election, so what made your coverage so special? And what happened to that vote count in 2000 and 2004? Do Florida and Ohio ring any bells? Dimwit! (Sorry, I simply cannot comment on the sublime irony of taking credit for making celebrities more famous.)

Here's an idea, Mr. Curley: If you want to be paid well, try doing some good work!

The real problem lies in the fact that the lifeblood of the AP, their 1500 newspaper licensees are falling over like dominos and that directly affects AP's bottom line and their ability to function as a going concern. Beyond that, the AP is so overtly politically connected and establishment they cannot be trusted as an objective source. They have grown too elitist and this latest whining episode is just another reminder that they feel deserving of being treated differently. They are asking the readers of the world to respect and pamper them. Sorry, boys, ain't gonna happen!

Sure, they have bureaus in 240 countries, and that's all well and good, but there are newspapers, web sites, bloggers and ordinary people with cell phones, i-phones and laptops who are out in the real world suitably equipped to report on anything that even smells like news.

AP's biggest problem is that technology has outgrown their revenue model and now they're whining about it. Claiming to be the oldest news-gathering organization on the planet is probably as good a reason as any to euthanize the old dog now, before it starts making messes on the carpet and drooling on respected guests.

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