Archive for August, 2011

Can you figure out which photo wasn’t digitally modified post-production?

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Twitter Hedge Fund Is Making More Money Than You

 

 

All you investors with your crazy research and economic “theories”: You should just be reading Twitter! Derwent Capital, a hedge fund that bases its investment strategy on Twitter data, outperformed the market in its first month.

According to eFinancialnews:

Derwent Capital, which finished its first month of trading at the end of July, beat the S&P 500 which fell 2.2% in July, while the average hedge fund made 0.76%, according to Hedge Fund Research.

How does Derwent work? It invests in whatever Justin Bieber tweets about that day.

Read the rest of the article here.

  

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OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine — most likely by a lot.

To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.

Read the balance of the article as it has been posted at nytimes.com

http://nyti.ms/p8bLnp

 
  

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I came face to face with this insane monster of a motorcycle recently while shopping for my new bike.  Even with it behind a wall of motorcycles it still was the only thing in the showroom I was looking at.

Topspeed.com has done a great review including the development history of this amazing bike.

After you look at the Valkyrie Rune up close and see the degree of detail and the quality of finish, it’s kind of shocking that this utterly unique 1800 flat six will sell for only $27,000 (with chromed wheels). It’s amazing that a huge company like Honda ever took the Rune past the concept-vehicle stage, that it took the time (6 years) and effort to build a limited-production piece of rolling art. The fact that it’s being built on an assembly line in Ohio also takes us aback. It’s remarkable that Honda let its designers stray this far out of their usual boxes, and that the designers could spread their wings and fly so perfectly when they were released from those boxes. We were surprised to learn that those designers — who dreamt of the Rune, who drew it, shaped it and championed every curve and angle through the processes leading to production — were mostly Americans.

And finally we are dazzled by the engineers who took this vision of the Genuine Honda Custom and managed to turn it into production reality, to make it function to Honda’s considerable standards without compromising away the designers’ sensational vision.

The Rune. High concept meets high performance in the ultimate expression of form and function. Cruiser styling is taken to all-new heights and blended seamlessly with Honda’s most advanced technology. A masterpiece? To be sure. And it can be all yours-in your choice of three head-turning colors.

After you look at the Valkyrie Rune up close and see the degree of detail and the quality of finish, it’s kind of shocking that this utterly unique 1800 flat six will sell for only $27,000 (with chromed wheels). It’s amazing that a huge company like Honda ever took the Rune past the concept-vehicle stage, that it took the time (6 years) and effort to build a limited-production piece of rolling art. The fact that it’s being built on an assembly line in Ohio also takes us aback. It’s remarkable that Honda let its designers stray this far out of their usual boxes, and that the designers could spread their wings and fly so perfectly when they were released from those boxes. We were surprised to learn that those designers — who dreamt of the Rune, who drew it, shaped it and championed every curve and angle through the processes leading to production — were mostly Americans.

And finally we are dazzled by the engineers who took this vision of the Genuine Honda Custom and managed to turn it into production reality, to make it function to Honda’s considerable standards without compromising away the designers’ sensational vision.

Read the original article here.

Bringing concept to reality like never before, the 2004 Rune is a limited-edition hot-rod designed to turn heads even faster than it turns the 1/4-mile.

Unique Features

  • Revolutionary Unit Pro-Link rear suspension.
  • Trailing-link front suspension.
  • Fuel-injection system with six 32mm throttle bodies.
  • Seamless 6.1-gallon fuel tank.
  • Chrome-plated clutch master cylinder, front brake master cylinder and lever.
  • Honda Ignition Security System (H.I.S.S.).
  • LED taillight flush-mounted in the rear fender.
  • Remote steering lock automatically unlocks when the key is turned to the On position.
  • A 68.9-inch wheelbase, the longest in Honda’s lineup.
  • Largest front and rear brake discs ever fitted on a production Honda motorcycle.

Engine/Drivetrain

  • Liquid-cooled horizontally opposed fuel-injected 1832cc six-cylinder engine provides the ultimate in hot-rod style and performance.
  • Six 32mm synchronized throttle bodies deliver air to six specially designed Denso 12-hole programmed fuel injectors, producing an atomized fuel mixture that is highly combustible for optimum efficiency and power.
  • Parallel two-valve cylinder head design utilizes direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation and requires no 600-mile service. First valve clearance inspection is at 32,000 miles.
  • 6.9-liter airbox supplies a large volume of cool, clean air to the engine for maximum performance.
  • Rigid-mount engine designed to accent the impressive looks and feel of the unrivaled, largest-displacement F6 engine.
  • Chrome cylinder head covers give a unique muscle- car image.
  • Two front-mounted radiators with chrome cover provide optimum cooling efficiency for increased engine performance and the ultimate in hot-rod style.
  • Rotary Air Control Valve (RACV) provides auto- choke function and maintains precise idle control under widely varying engine loads and operating temperatures.
  • Six-into-two exhaust system for the ultimate in hot- rod appearance and sound.
  • Maintenance-free hydraulic clutch, electronic ignition and chain-driven camshafts reduce servicing time and cost.
  • Powerful, 1100-watt alternator offers plenty of power for electrical accessories.
  • Quiet and virtually maintenance-free shaft drive.
  • Smooth shifting five-speed transmission.
  • California version meets CARB 2004 emission standards.

Chassis/Suspension

  • Unique aluminum diamond-shape frame has a style all its own. Chassis features the longest wheelbase in Honda’s lineup at 68.9 inches.
  • Trailing bottom-link front suspension transfers axle load through pushrods and linkage to two upper shocks—one housing the main spring and one a sub-spring and damping system. This unique suspension system offers 3.9 inches of compliant travel and excellent stability.
  • New Unit Pro-Link rear suspension is patterned after RC211V GP racer’s. The upper shock mount is contained within the swingarm rather than the frame. With no top frame-mount for the shock, this unique system eliminates negative suspension energy from being transmitted into the frame, allowing optimum frame rigidity and better handling in corners. The Unit Pro-Link design also permits a low seat height of 27.2 inches, and 3.9 inches of wheel travel.
  • Dual 330mm front and single rear 336mm disc brakes are the largest used on a production Honda.
  • The Rune’s braking system features two three-piston front calipers and a single two-piston rear caliper. Rider application of the front brake lever activates the two outer pistons of the front calipers. Application of the rear brake pedal activates the two pistons of the rear caliper and the center pistons of the front calipers. When only the rear brake pedal is used, an inline delay valve smooths application of the front calipers’ center pistons.
  • Large, comfortable gunfighter-style seat.
  • Two wheel options will be offered: chrome and Spec47 silver painted wheels.
  • Large-section radial tires—a 180/55R-17 rear and 150/60R-18 front—provide superb grip and an excellent ride.

Additional Features

  • Honda Ignition Security System (H.I.S.S.) features a fail-safe electronic interlock that prevents the engine from being started in any way other than with the two original keys. Totally disabling the engine at the very heart of its ignition system, it cannot be bypassed by either hot-wiring the ignition or exchanging the ignition switch module, greatly reducing the possibility of theft.
  • Remote steering lock system is activated by pulling a lever on left side of motorcycle. With key in Off position and the handlebar in full-lock-left position, a piston is inserted into the steering stem. System is automatically unlocked when key is turned to On position.
  • Chrome-plated clutch master cylinder, front brake master cylinder and lever.
  • Stainless steel mesh throttle cable adds to custom look.
  • Stainless steel mesh brake hose.
  • Seamless 6.1-gallon fuel tank for genuine custom look.
  • Distinctive chrome headlight features two 55-watt H7 bulbs. In low-beam operation, the upper bulb is on. Select high beam and both bulbs are on for maximum illumination.
  • Tank-mounted instruments are recessed, and feature a non-glare digital readout for speedometer, fuel gauge, tripmeter and odometer.
  • Two handlebar options to choose from: Rear-Set and Forward-Set. Rear-Set handlebar is 50mm closer to the rider and 20mm lower than Forward-Set. Forward-Set handlebar is 50mm farther from the rider and 20mm higher than Rear-Set.
  • Handlebar-mounted indicator lights for oil pressure, fuel injection, high beam, turn signal, neutral, coolant temperature and locking system.
  • LED taillights are mounted flush in the rear fender for a one-off custom look.
  • Low, 27.2-inch seat height adds to long and low custom look.
  • Convenient push-to-cancel turn-signal switch.
  • Handlebar switches and controls use internationally approved ISO graphic symbols.
  • Large-diameter custom handgrips feature a new design with comfortable rubber strips integrated in a stainless steel finish.
  • Machined stainless steel oil-level dip-stick.
  • Chrome-plated radiator cover gives hot-rod look.
  • Assembled in Marysville, Ohio.
  • Transferable three-year unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
  • Ownership includes one-year complimentary Membership in the Honda Rider’s Club of America. Benefits include discounts, travel benefits, roadside assistance and much more. For HRCA details, call 1-800-847-HRCA.

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14 Million Americans Scanned QR or Bar Codes on their Mobile Phones in June 2011 – comScore, Inc.

Newspapers/Magazines and Product Packaging Most Likely Source of QR Code

QR Code Users Most Likely to Scan Code while at Home or Store

// RESTON, VA, August 12, 2011 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released results of a study on mobile QR and bar code scanning based on data from its comScore MobiLens service. A QR (“Quick Response”) code is a specific matrix bar code (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by smartphones. The study found that in June 2011, 14 million mobile users in the U.S., representing 6.2 percent of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR or bar code on their mobile device. The study found that a mobile user that scanned a QR or bar code during the month was more likely to be male (60.5 percent of code scanning audience), skew toward ages 18-34 (53.4 percent) and have a household income of $100k or above (36.1 percent). The study also analyzed the source and location of QR or bar code scanning, finding that users are most likely to scan codes found in newspapers/magazines and on product packaging and do so while at home or in a store.

QR Code

“QR codes demonstrate just one of the ways in which mobile marketing can effectively be integrated into existing media and marketing campaigns to help reach desired consumer segments,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “For marketers, understanding which consumer segments scan QR codes, the source and location of these scans, and the resulting information delivered, is crucial in developing and deploying campaigns that successfully utilize QR codes to further brand engagement.”

Read the rest here.

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The Hoe-Down for Hospice is coming up September 17th! This is going to be a great event support a great cause, Hospice.  Specifically the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society. The Society is a volunteer driven local organization in the Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows area (AKA Ridge Meadows) provide FREE Palliative and Bereavement support.

What that means is…  We all go through the end of life experience, either our own or being there while a loved one does.  The Ridge Hospice Society’s wonderful volunteers provide the emotional and human support so disparately needed at that time.

Some patients feel hospice is the equivalent to giving up on life. Family members may fell that placing a loved one in a hospice facility is tantamount to waiting callously for him or her to die.  However, hospice is not simply a passive resignation to the inevitable.  Rather, it can help the patient to enjoy a dignified, meaningful life in the company of loved ones for as long as possible, while controlling pain.  It can also give the patient’s family a chance to comfort and support their loved one for as long as needed.

This will be the 3rd Hoe-Down for Hospice the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society has put on.  It is a celebration of Life to raise support and awareness for programs which help those with so little life left to continue their celebration.

This year event! September 17th 6pm, that’s a Saturday night at the Maple Ridge Seniors Centre.  Lots of entertainment, prizes, auction stuff, and best of all BBQ dinner, Yum!

I have tickets, contact me or the Society directly.

  

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Great youtube.com video of a time lapse drive from Hell’s gate BC to Maple Ridge BC.  THIS WAS NOT ME! If is was me, the time lapse wouldn’t have been needed! The video would have been the same length, just the driving would have been faster! 🙂

 

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I found this article very helpful and informative. Tho I will admit, I have been guilty of some ‘broadcasting’, but I’m learning.

Twitter, Google+ And Facebook – 5 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Cross The Streams – AllTwitter.

https://i2.wp.com/www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/files/2011/07/twitter-facebook-google-thumb.pngSocial media comes with a ton of benefits, but to make it work you need to invest heavily, and the most important investment is your time.

For brands and marketers that are already overextended, syncing up your Twitter updates with Facebook, your Facebook updates with Twitter, and your Google+ updates with Twitter and Facebook – and vice versa – before mass-broadcasting your message seems like a smart idea on paper, but it’s actually the worst thing you can do.

Here are 5 reasons why you should never cross the streams.

1. Twitter Isn’t Facebook Isn’t Google+

Twitter, Facebook and new kid on the block Google+ are each very different social networks with different communities, expectations and norms.

To maximise the ROI on each platform you need to be sure to tailor your brand presence accordingly. While some things should stay the same – notably any logos and avatars you use, and the ‘voice’ of your brand – mass-repetition of your message is a sure-fire way to poison the well and diffuse the interest level of your community. If you have lots of the same people across each of your social channels, there are few quicker ways to irritate them than seeing the same robotic updates from you everywhere they go.

2. All Status Updates Are Equal (But Some Are More Equal Than Others)

Facebook status updates have a limit of 420 characters. On Twitter the limit is 140. Google+ has no limit whatsoever – you can publish messages of any size.

This means that unless you’re intentionally writing for Twitter on Google+ and Facebook and ensuring all your updates are 140 characters or less – and, really, who does that? – your longer synced messages will be cut short on Twitter, ending with ill-advised (and decidedly ugly) ellipses.

Syncing messages from Twitter to Facebook or Google+ is even worse, as functions such as @mentions and #hashtags that work brilliantly on Twitter don’t work (and look very out of place) everywhere else.

https://i2.wp.com/www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/files/2011/08/ghostbusters_streams_cross.jpgThe only time it’s okay to cross the streams. And even then you should probably think about it.

3. Put The Social Into ‘Social Media’

By adopting a ‘copy and paste’ approach to your message you quickly give the appearance of broadcasting (as opposed to engaging), which cheapens the experience for you and your audience.

It’s the equivalent of rotating 360 degrees on the very top of a skyscraper, using a megaphone to ‘connect’ with your customers.

Read the rest of this great article at AllTwitter, a great resource for all things Twitter. Twitter, Google+ And Facebook – 5 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Cross The Streams – AllTwitter.

  

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