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Elevation Partners Director and Co-Founder Roger McNamee on What’s Next

Posted in Advertising, Android, Apple Computers, Apps, Computers, Futurist Predictions, Google, HTML5, Internet, iPhone, Mac OS X, Marketing, Media, Microsoft, Mobile Apps, Nature of Social Networks, Smart Phones, Technology, Venture Funding, Video Blog on July 25th, 2011

If you don’t have time to watch the video below, read this summary now.  It’s well worth the investment of your time. This is visionary.


Two Camera Views: A Crazy Italian Packers Fan In The Best Superbowl 2011 Fan Story

Posted in Humor, Media, Miscellaneous, Symbolism, Video Blog on February 12th, 2011

Crazy Italian Packers fan celebrates on the Super Bowl field – Shutdown Corner – NFL  – Yahoo! Sports.

The above story tells all of the fantastic details of this incredible “crazy  Green Bay Packers’ fan” story.  But here are the two Camera Angles you need to view to really get this story, and not with jaded view, discount it as some stunt.  It appears to have been a real coincidence and this gentleman leads a charmed life, apparently.

1.  Gio (the fan’s) camera (view at minutes 3:00-3:15):

2.  The Aaron Rodgers’ Disney commercial (Gio is in the last angle of Rodgers):

In the video by Gio, be sure to watch between 3:00 and 3:15 and you will clearly hear Aaron Rodgers giving the line for the Disney Commercial.  One view is chaotic fan insanity, the other is strangely, amusingly ordered.  Enjoy!


Jobs Takes Leave at Apple Again, Stirring Questions –

Posted in Apple Computers on January 18th, 2011

Jobs Takes Leave at Apple Again, Stirring Questions –  I have to admit that I read this article filled with concern for and well wishes to Mr. Jobs, his family and to Apple.  I hope this is a part of a therapeutic break that he is taking to get his health fully on track and that he will be back as soon as he is feeling up to it.


Magazines Pursue Tablets, but iPad Limits Subscriptions –

Posted in Apple Computers on January 17th, 2011

Magazines Pursue Tablets, but iPad Limits Subscriptions –  
I think this article really gets at a substantial criticism of Apple, especially with regard to the iPad, which is widely perceived as a product meant to deliver mostly only consumable items.  In this context, the impression that magazine publishers appear to be dissatisfied with Apple’s model, for this platform, is very telling.  I don’t think this is similar to the music industry’s dissatisfaction at all. These are very different issues, much more complex and nuanced, and I don’t think Apple can expect to control this entire transaction reasonably. Even in that instance, the big hurdle to having a legal market for digital purchases of music was the industry itself. I’m not sure this is the case in magazine publishing. What would really be impressive is if Apple created an infrastructure that allowed anyone to publish a newspaper or magazine. That might not jibe with the publishers, but that would be worthwhile. In the mean time though, I think Apple’s limitations and heavy hand may be undermining its own product and the credibility it brought to the negotiations at the beginning.

My impression on the iPad is consistent with most of what I know about owners of the iPad, who are all delighted with the general idea and Apple’s implementation, but not all are happy with the limitations imposed upon the device from a users’ perspective. I bought one as a gift, but I have not yet bought one for myself for these very reasons. Apple needs to allow more realistic usage of the device, and not be so controlled. It’s not making anyone happy in that context, and sooner or later, that strategy will backfire.

I expect that the Android tablets should shake things up and will be a welcome addition to the evolution of this market. Google’s advertising model should also bring instant revenues as well, for publishers.  In this instance, I think competition from Android will improve the entire space. This is a space that Apple almost, again, single-handedly created, but it is very possible, after some time, that they will flub this one. Not to mention that, News Corp is a questionable company to make the center of the new subscription strategy, for the obvious reason that many Apple users, I predict, will be hesitant to subscribe to a News Corp product, even for one dollar.


Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Leaders of the Nation’s Medical Schools Protest Stem Cell Ruling

Posted in Biotechnology, Dickey-Wicker Amendment, Health care, Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Law, Law Links, Policy, Public Policy Debate, Regulation, Science, Society, Technology on September 2nd, 2010

A diverse group of top scholars at the nation’s leading medical schools is appealing to Congress to pass legislation that ensures continued federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research under the NIH’s current rigoorous and ethical guidelines.  They are appealing to be allowed, with immediate effect, to resume the many research projects that have been put on hold, and possibly destroyed, by the results of the recent court ruling.

Click here to review the statement and signatories.


Should Other Parties of Interest Motion to Intervene In Embryonic Court Case?

Posted in Biotechnology, Dickey-Wicker Amendment, Health care, Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Law, Law Links, Politics, Privacy, Public Policy Debate, Regulation, Science, Society, Tech Links, Technology, Uncategorized on August 31st, 2010

I’m curious if anyone has any opinions on this.  Please send me a direct twitter message if you know of anyone contemplating intervention.  I’m curious why various interested parties, including States Attorney Generals, on behalf of state universities that benefit from funded research, are not seeking to intervene on this issue? Surely various universities, companies and foundations are affected just as much as Dr. James Shereley, the plaintiff in the case.  Surely these groups could come together and file a common motion to intervene?  What about interest groups related to various diseases that may be cured by means of human embryonic stem cells?  I’m not a litigator, but it seems like a means to add some more color for the judge to consider.

This is my personal opinion, but I think the judge’s ruling in this case showed very little understanding of the real stakes, and suggest that he took plaintiff’s claims about the relative states of viability of Human embryonic stem cell (“hESC”) research versus adult stem cell research at their face value rather than allowing the case to be heard before making a preliminary ruling with disastrous results for many people, institutions and potential patients.

Motions to intervene in Federal Court fall under Federal Rules of Procedure Rule 24.

I suspect that the judge, in this case, would have been less free to make such an overreaching preliminary injunction accepting virtually all of the arguments of the plaintiff, had other interests aggressively intervened.  I’ve wondered at the passiveness of the many communities that are potentially impacted by the ruling.  Where are they?  I know they are out there.  But why are they so dependent upon this legislator or that President or this agency to represent their interests?  Perhaps they are less accustomed to being activists in the interests of their fields of research or themselves than other very politicized and active interests?  The best person to represent one’s interest is oneself.  That’s the nature of democracy.  Liberty doesn’t come free.  There will always be people on another side of an issue, with passion. When both sides are represented, courts can better reach equitable results.

I worry that, to some degree, my sense of the Judge’s failing, may ultimately be due to the failing of the many parties in interest failing to represent themselves well and failing to develop vocabulary that represents what they do morally and equitably.

The pro-hESC research community has accepted the vocabulary of the interests that are opposed to hESC research, and many pro-hESC researchers, while more than adequate at this kind of debate when you hear them in the media, often still find themselves repeating the points of opposition advocates, without challenging the phrasing or the vocabulary of a certain question or presentation of what the research entails.  The advocates need to work on articulating better, what it is they actually do, and not accepting an anti-stem cell vocabulary thrust upon them that creates a picture that is, from what my research tells me, a false picture.  The media is guilty of this as well, often using the vocabulary of those opposed, to describe a process in a manner that is fundamentally inaccurate.  Note that the New York Times has still not corrected the error in its article that embryonic stem cell research is now “illegal”, as referenced in my posting of a few days ago.  How is that possible?  It’s a major publication, posting a fundamentally wrong “fact” without correction. If the error were in the opposite direction, the anti-hESC crowd would have been on that in an instant, and the error would’ve already been corrected.


Embryonic Stem Cells: US DOJ Files Emergency Motion to Stay Preliminary Injunction Pending Appeal

Posted in Biotechnology, Dickey-Wicker Amendment, Health care, Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Law, Law Links, Legal Research, Legislation, Policy, Politics, Privacy, Public Policy Debate, Regulation, Science, Society, Tech Links, Technology on August 31st, 2010

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has filed an emergency motion to stay the preliminary injunction, pending appeal and an expedited briefing and consideration.  You can find the links to the filings here:

  1. US DOJ Defendants’ Emergency Motion to Stay Preliminary Injunction relating to human embryonic stem cells
  2. US DOJ Notice of Appeal, James L. Sherley, et al vs. Kathleen Sebelius, in her official capacity as Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services, et al.


Shocking Stem Cell Ruling Throws U.S. Scientific Community Into Disarray

Posted in Biotechnology, Dickey-Wicker Amendment, Health care, Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Law, Law Links, Legislation, Liberty, Litigation, Media, Policy, Politics, Public Policy Debate, Science, Society, Synthetic Biology, Tech Links, Technology on August 24th, 2010

Reading this opinion, and being very well versed in the science of stem cells, let me say that I’m shocked at the ignorance of the judge in this case.  His factual statements are so far off and so wildly inaccurate as to show, in my opinion, quite a bit of reckless disregard for the impact of his decision, if such a thing is possible in the exercise of judicial powers.

Hopefully, and I’m not a litigator, this can be addressed on appeal.  But the fates of many people are tied up in this, in profound ways that this judge appears to not really have fully understood.  Perhaps the NIH, in approaching the litigation, did not approach it with appropriate zeal.  I think anyone in stem cell research who didn’t try to intercede in this case, should be joining together now in the appeal process for the injunction and thereafter.  Major efforts to lobby Congress probably also have to get into high gear.

You can read the decision, here.

By the way, some of the media are reporting that the decision makes stem cell research illegal.  I came across this in my brief review of the comments for the New York Times story.  This appears to be part of an unfortunate tendency to misreport on the subject of Human Embryonic Stem Cell (“hESC”) research.  The ruling makes the NIH policy, stemming from President Bush’s first decision to provide some funding to stem cells, through Obama’s executive order, illegal.  That means that Federal Funding for research that destroys, discards, or knowingly subjects embryos to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for fetuses in utero under federal law is prohibited.  It doesn’t mean the research is illegal itself.

For an example of an incorrect article, see The New York Times:

For scientists, the problem with the judge’s reasoning is that it may render all scientific work regarding embryonic stem cells illegal — including work allowed under the more restrictive policy adopted by President George W. Bush in 2001.

I think this is a case where a journalist misheard the point of a lawyer perhaps.  The ruling affects Federal Funding for ALL scientific work regarding embryonic stem cells… it doesn’t make the research illegal.  The judge is certainly wrong about the impact of his own decision, which will possibly be embarrassing even to him, when he eventually realizes it.  However, the NYTimes, in recognizing that the judge got it terribly wrong, takes it too far as well.  It’s shocking how many sources get this stuff wrong.

One additional note, the pending NIH approval of a proposed change to the definition of stem cells may yet also have an impact in the context of hESCs.  Stay tuned.


Culture Networks: Understanding the Culture Code

Posted in Advertising, Business, Entertaining, Futurist Predictions, Futurist Predictions, Internet, Marketing, Media, Nature of Social Networks, Science, Society, Technology, Trademark, Video Blog on August 15th, 2010

In the context of my previous posting of the Culture Networks 2010 presentation, Clotaire Rapaille, is referenced quite frequently. (If you haven’t gone through that fascinating presentation, please do so now.) As a general primer on social network science and study, please see Wikipedia: Social Network.

Clotaire Rapaille is more about the organic nature of our ideas and thought processes. Apparently he developed his key ideas about marketing from, according to wikipedia, his work

as a psychologist for autistic children and studying Konrad Lorentz theory of Imprints and John Bowlby theory of attachment. This work led him to believe that while children learn a given word and the idea connected with it, they associate it with certain emotions. He called that primal emotional association an imprint. This imprint determines our attitude towards a particular thing. These pooled individual imprints make up a collective cultural unconscious, which unconsciously pre-organize and influence the behavior of a culture.

So I thought it might be worthwhile to drill down a bit into his concepts, and the easiest way to do that was to reference this fascinating 2004 episode of Frontline, called “The Persuaders”. I don’t claim Rapaille is necessary or relevant to the social network concepts, but I did find quotations from his book in the presentation both fascinating and compelling enough to want to know more. It may be that his ideas are potent via the evolution of modern social networks and the shrinkage of distance as a meaningful barrier to the transport of ideas, among people and cultures. The focus of Rapaille’s efforts is on why people do what they do, not on what they say are the reasons for their actions. In the context of understanding Social Networks, this distinction is very useful.

The review on Amazon is not encouraging, but the book has sold very well, so that review may not be an indicator of anything. The ideas are worthy of understanding. And since he was quoted quite a bit in the presentation, I’m thinking, why not spend a little time contemplating what his ideas are about? Honestly, I may buy his book to get a better sense, after I’ve done this bit of research.

Check out Clotaire Rapaille’s book The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do.

Below is a short video segment, on Rapaille, from the PBS Frontline report on modern marketing called “The Persuaders”. Only a small segment is about Rapaille:

After you’ve watched the above segment which comes midway into the program, you may want to click HERE to view the program from the beginning.

The complete program offers a fascinating insight into how advertising influences us, in many ways. The discussion on media embedded advertising, of which we very likely are often unaware, was both interesting and a bit troubling. I thought the segment on Sex and the City, and the Absolut Hunk episode, was amusing, for instance. But I also found myself disquieted by the discussion. I do often enjoy advertising as entertainment, but the suffusion of advertising throughout our culture and daily experiences appears to be driving culture and meaning in ways that undermine our sense of self and our well-being. In those moments of revelation, it might not be an exaggeration to feel like culture, where it may have once been life affirming, is dead (or dying) and commerce, the usurper king of our competitive social drives, may destroy us with all of the junk of our basest wants and puerile emotional needs.

On the other hand, given the presentation on Culture Networks, to some degree, perhaps less overt and obvious, all of our communications via commercial networks have been evolving toward this ultimate revelation: Commercial memes are taking over the evolution of our very notions of culture and society. If you don’t have some time to watch the above videos, honestly, the more interesting thing to do first, is to go through the Culture Networks presentation.


Powerpoint Presentation: Trends and the Evolution of Modern Culture Via Social Networks

Posted in Economic Development, Futurist Predictions, Internet, Language, Marketing, Media, Nature of Social Networks, Science, Society, Technology on August 15th, 2010

A very interesting, simple yet sophisticated, powerpoint presentation. Please take 20 minutes or so to view this, if you are so inclined: