They are designed to disinfect us of our fragility. To cleanse us of our flaws. To disinfect us of weakness. Love, grace, mercy, longing, forgiveness, passion, truth, nobility, dreams. Their objective is to stamp all that out; to eradicate it; to erase it. To replace it with calculation, ruthlessness, self-concern; gluttony; cruelty; anxiety, despair. By using the most sophisticated technology ever made to subjugate, oppress, and goad us into being little torturers ourselves. Our economy doesn't make stuff anymore. So what does it make?
We Know How You Feel Computers are learning to read emotion, and the business world can’t wait.
Chili's Has Installed More Than 45,000 Tablets in Its Restaurants — When your server is a screen, you spend more money. Hungry? No human server in sight? With a flick of your wrist, you can instantly order more appetizers and drinks, indulge your whim for Baby Back Ribs, let the kids play games, read the news, pay your check (with a default tip), and get done faster. Be sure to save room for some Cinnamon Molten Cake: doesn't it look tasty?
What's in the database? Roughly 1,000 records of documents related to phone phreaking history. It includes newspaper and magazine articles, letters, memos, FBI memos, audio recordings, you name it.. Extra Goodies! [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
Armando Iannucci's Bafta lecture 2012 - In which the creator of The Thick Of It argues that the BBC should be more aggressive, fight back against critics in the press and goverment, be more like HBO than committee-driven American network TV, and that if as James Murdoch says the only reliable, durable guarantor of independence is profit then the only guarantor of profit is independance.
Skittles’ new level of fame has quickly become a kind of marketing crisis that is threatening to hurt the company even as sales improve.
The Disposable Worker - "In contrast with the past, what is good for America's global corporations is no longer necessarily good for the American people." (single-page print version) [more inside]
There are still some smart people left on Wall St. Hedge fund manager, John Paulson, made a cool $15B for his fund as the housing market imploded. His cut? $3-4B. Not too shabby for a year's worth of work. [more inside]
The wild risks, unexpected niches, and day-in-day-out grind behind making a dollar in New York...for everyone from a drug dealer to Goldman Sachs. The Profit Calculator, New York Magazine article.
Man turns $1 bill into over $11 via Ebay. No it's not old, it's just a used 2003-series bill that's not even in very good condition. It does has an interesting serial number, though. As does this other $1 bill also on Ebay with a current bid of $11. Of course if your dollar bills don't have particularly rare serial numbers it doesn't mean you can't Ebay your way to profit.
Executive Excess 2006: Defense and Oil Executives Cash in on Conflict (PDF). A new study from United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies looks at who is making a killing from the war on terror (or whatever they're calling it this week.) Looking ahead, I better review my portfolio. [Via C&L.]
How much time do you spend online? The internet is taking over our lives. Worldwide it is changing the way we live. Everything from complete wastes of time to complex profit schemes to finding love, an entire lifetime can be spent online. But is it really the same?
The business of rebuilding --A range of companies that are expected to play a role in repairing damage, clearing debris and restoring power to the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast ... Some are saying that Katrina could actually boost the Gulf Coast's economic growth for the next few years, while others are forecasting higher energy prices, commodity shortages--and even steeper coffee prices. Worse, the storm may blast inflation throughout the economy.
Yet where God sees life, Republicans see black profit by adding Alaskan drilling to upcoming legislation.
Spoils of War This op-ed piece in The New York Times (free reg req'd) follows the path of money into who is getting what now that the reconstruction phase is about to begin. Might have called this piece: More than Oil.
Colleges losing money to students using cell phones. I suppose this only makes sense considering the popularity of wireless phones but I just never associated long distance charges as a money making proposition for colleges.
"By removing both costs and the barriers, weblogs have drained publishing of its financial value, making a coin of the realm unnecessary. A lot of people in the weblog world are asking "How can we make money doing this?" The answer is that most of us can't." Though he finally admits: "Right now, the people who have profited most from weblogs are the people who've written books about weblogging."
J.K. Galbraith shocked at scale of corporate failures. "I can only say I hadn't expected to see this problem on anything like the magnitude of the last few months – the separation of ownership from management, the monopolisation of control by irresponsible personal money-makers." Myself and chrispy came to the same conclusion on the drive home from the resolutely un- (rather than anti-) corporate Glastonbury Festival today. Profit is valued and rewarded by the vast majority of corporations above all else. As a consquence, people with the same values dominate executive positions, to the exclusion of those with more 'humanitarian' or longer-term outlooks. Where is the balance? Should we make hippie non-exec directors compulsory? Or should I just go back to bed and let the drugs wear off???
Whatever Next? Amazon Makes A Profit! Having lost $3 billion so far, Amazon Books has just posted its first-ever profit of $5 million. Perhaps it was thanks to the new machines they bought to replace more workers.(this last link req. NYT reg.) How would you spend it if you were Jeff Bezos? And what does it mean: has the tide turned or not?
As stock prices plummet, Salon.com continues to think of imaginative new ways to make a profit. This article, is of course, a joke. But not too far from the future, I'm sure. Are there any other ways to make money on the web besides porn and ebay?
Amazon dead by Mar 19, 2001 Just thought you like to know the exact time of death of Amazon.com That's according to Downside's Deathwatch is a cash-flow analysis. The death date is simply the day the company will run out of cash, based on their reported liquid assets and loss rate. When the cash runs out, something bad for stockholders has to happen.