Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Kid Sister Pro Nails Remix used in Michelle Wie - Kia Commercial

In case you're wondering, here's the woman behind the music that informs the Michelle Wie - Kia Commercial. She's Chicago's Melisa Young, AKA, rapper Kid Sister:

Kid Sister - Pro Nails from WBEZ on Vimeo.

For more, here's Kid Sister's website and MySpace page.

Kia Soul and Michelle Wie - Wie really is that strong

Golfer Michelle Wie currently stars in a Kia commercial that strongly implies she has amazing strength. Wie hits a ball and in the clip it just keeps going at supersonic speed. It's so fast, it captures the attention of people who aren't even watching her golf, and shocks the hell out of every man watching.

Here's the Kia commercial:

Folks. Wie really is that strong. Take a look:

And don't think for a moment that Wie doesn't think all the boys are checking her out. Especially since she went "Miley Cyrus" last year.

Oh, and the music's from Kid Sister - check her out!

A's Stadium has opposition in San Jose: Better Sense San Jose

Over all of the talk about an Oakland A's baseball stadium in San Jose instead of Oakland, the San Jose Murky News failed to mention the organized opponents in the form of Better Sense San Jose.  

Better Sense San Jose describes itself as:

a community based all volunteer organization founded to promote open and transparent government, and sensible, prioritized spending in the City of San Jose.

It has a simple position on the Lew Wolff proposal, stating that San Jose can't afford it, and that it's a "poor economic deal" for the city and a lousy investment. Here are the reasons Better Sense San Jose gives:

- land purchases and infrastructure improvements for a stadium will cost San Jose an estimated $100M in present value initially, plus a loss of roughly $1M a year from foregone property taxes.
- the net ROI (Return on Investment) for San Jose is 2% or less, while the Redevelopment Agency bonds supplying the capital cost 5% or more per year. A bad deal.
- a stadium will create just 138 new, seasonal, mostly low wage jobs at stadium; with $100M in public costs for the stadium, the cost for the 138 new stadium jobs is almost $725,000 per job. That's a terrible value.
- a stadium will not by itself create new businesses, and will not increase property values (according to San Jose Neighborhood Economic Impacts of the Proposed San Jose Stadium.

While this blogger would quibble with the stadium jobs estimates, the point is, there's an organized opposition to it.  The website is just part of their efforts to kill the proposal, but some members claim the San Jose City Council is trying to ram it down the collective throats of the people of the city.

There's also opposition to the stadium from the perspective of those who say San Jose's redevelopment tax increment revenue production ability is being harmed by "tax base erosion," which is caused when industrial land uses are converted to residential uses.

In fact, there's a meeting tonight on that issue at 7:30 PM, according to San Jose District 6 Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio, who calls it Tax Base Erosion Night in his blog, San Jose Inside. The SJ 6 Council Dude says that San Jose's suffering a "death of a thousand cuts" with so many requests to change land use to fit residential plans.

That includes A's Owner / Manager Lew Wolff's proposal to convert industrial land to housing in the case of land owned by something called iStar Financial, a commercial mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that's not doing well, with $3.5 billion in non-performing assets it reports.

Wolff tried, and failed, to get San Jose to pay him for a soccer stadium, but the City Council balked at the land use.  But from SJ 6 Council Dude Oliverio, it looks like the proposals coming back to them, but with a baseball stadium instead of soccer.

This is what Oliverio wrote:


was proposed as a conversion from industrial to housing so as to give a higher land value and therefore money to the developer to pay for soccer stadium however that did not go forward since it is not really appropriate. However I would not be surprised if it resurfaced

This is why Oakland must makes sure it has all hands on deck, and that its baseball effort has a clear leader in the form of the Mayor of Oakland.   San Jose has three major problems in the pursuit of an A's stadium: the Major League Agreement being against them and for Oakland, the opposition, and the San Francisco Giants.

(Oh. If I see one more article in either the San Jose Murky or the San Francisco Chron that fails to mention the Giants fan base in San Jose, I'll scream.)

Got an issue?  Don't get stadium and baseball business dynamics?  Ask this blogger and play his game.

Elizabeth Edwards With Tim Russert, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins

In thinking about Elizabeth Edwards after the announcement of her death today, it was hard to erase the memory of this photo of her with the late NBC Meet The Press legend Tim Russert, and Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.   I originally stumbled on it serendipitously in 2008, and just after Russert's passing.

Here's what I wrote:

I found this photo on Flickr, with this explaination:

Tim Russert died on June 13, at the age of 58. He was photographed while covering a house party for presidential primary candidate, John Edwards, in Bedford NH on the eve of the NH primary in January 2008. Elizabeth Edwards speaks to Tim Russert. Also pictured are Matt Lauer, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon.

He really enjoyed getting out there it seems. Russert will be missed.

Edwards will be missed too.

Really sad day.

Dave Wannstedt: No Longer Coaching Panthers

Dave Wannstedt will no longer be coaching for the University of Pittsburgh after a disappointing season where the Panthers went 7-5.  During his career Dave Wannstedt coached the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins and has been coaching for the University of Pittsburgh for 6 years now.  Dave Wannstedt made a statement saying that.  "The past six years have been among the most gratifying of my career.  To be the head coach at my university was the realization of a lifelong dream."

Dave Wannstedt will continue to work for the University of Pittsburgh as a special assistant to the athletic director Steve Pederson.

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

To check out my comic strip and other pieces of writing go to my website.  www.theforceofnature.net  

Google admits its algorithm is opinion; but its decision process is dangerous

That title is important and look at it again:

Google admits its algorithm is opinion; but its decision process is dangerous

Note the existence of the semicolon. It means that there are two independent ideas. It does not say that Google said anything about it's decision process - I'm saying its dangerous and prove why it's so.

Google News is operating in a fashion that is hostile to media competition, and it must be called out on it.

Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards wife, dies of Breast Cancer at 61

Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards, has died of Breast Cancer at the age of 61. This news is both shocking and sudden, as it was just Sunday that Mrs. Edwards was taken off her cancer treatments as doctors told her they were no longer effective.

Mrs. Edwards cancer had metastasized to her liver.

Elizabeth Edwards Was A Political Wife

Elizabeth Edwards (photo by www.sugarslam.com) was every bit the political wife of John Edwards. I've never met her, but did have the pleasure of being in the same room as she: the Pepsi Center for The Democratic National Convention. 

What I can't help remembering, because as a blogger, I was in the middle of it, was just how her husband was cheating on her as was diagnosed with had Breast Cancer. That was back in 2007 going into 2008, as Edwards was seen to be the rising star of the Democratic Party, and the front-runner for the Democratic Primary. They, the Democratic Party establishment, gave "that Obama guy" little chance of winning.

But for me, all of that changed when we got word from, of all places, the National Enquirer, that Edwards had established a relationship with a woman named Rielle Hunter. There were only a handful of blogs - The Huffington Post, and what I then called Zennie's Zeitgeist - that ran with the story. And being an open and very aggressive supporter of Obama for President, I pushed the blog post with gusto on January 8th 2008.


Because the news that Hunter was about to have a child by Edwards was being swept under the rug by too many people.  A number of big donors saw Edwards as their "Golden Boy" and didn't want the news of his affair known.   They were also standing in the way of Obama's assent at the time.

And yes, even with these problems, their was a powerful pull for an Obama / Edwards ticket, even as then-Senator Clinton was the front runner.

But all of that changed when Edwards finally admitted to his affair on August 8th 2008, and just days before the 2008 Democratic National Convention.   That was the game-changer that put Obama firmly in the driver's seat and Clinton at number two, with Edwards' delegates searching for a new home.

But what was sad to witness was John Edwards basically turn his back on Elizabeth Edwards.  And as a person who's Mom's a Breast Cancer survivor, and lost both a Stepfather and Father in 2005 to Prostate Cancer, the last thing a cancer patient needs is more stress.  John was bringing just that to his wife.


It's good to read that he was by her side, but what he did will live with him forever.  Edwards can't get a do-over now.

Obama Press Conference Adds Insult to Injury for Millions of 99ers

In an attempt to justify his compromise with Republicans on extending the Bush Tax cuts, President Obama held a Press Conference which added insult to injury for millions of 99ers.

President Barack Obama vigorously defended his agreement with Republicans to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts on Tuesday, arguing that it was a price that had to be paid to spare the middle class from crippling tax hikes.

My "number one priority is to do what's right for the American people, for Jobs and for economic growth." Obama said at a hastily scheduled White House news conference. "Because of this agreement, middle class Americans won't see their taxes go up on January 1...."

Exactly how is it good economic policy to leave millions of 99ers and their families out in the cold and exempt from any help this so called deal would provide the unemployed? A Tier 5 for 20 weeks would put back into the economy between 2.7 and 3.5 billion per week. That is sure a great deal of help for the economy Mr President and a much better return on the US investment than any stimulus to date - certainly more than tax breaks for the wealthy compared to what that is going to cost us.

The overall cost to the U.S. treasury of the controversial compromise will be between $600 billion and $800 billion over two years, according to estimates.

At the heart of the deal is an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for two more years, which would keep income tax rates at their current levels for everyone, including the wealthiest Americans who do not need them. What is conspicuously missing from the bad deal all around is any help that should have been negotiated for millions of Americans hurting the worst: the 99ers.

The deal Obama and Republicans struck also includes a one-year cut in payroll taxes, from 6.2% to 4.2%. The tax is applied to a worker's first $106,800 of wages.

The estate tax -- currently scheduled to return in 2011 to a top rate of 55% along with a $1 million exemption -- would instead come back with a lower top rate of 35% along with a $5 million exemption.

Seems as though the Republicans got everything they wanted except permanency of the tax cuts - which most economists adamantly declare we cannot afford. In a concession to Democrats, Republicans agreed to 13 additional months to file for extended federal unemployment benefits already in place. That will not, however, affect how long someone can collect unemployment benefits the maximum will remain 99 weeks in states hardest hit by job loss.

The plan also would continue tax breaks for students and families contained in the 2009 stimulus bill and allow businesses to write off all investments they make next year.

It is not a done deal yet, however - Democrats seem to be fuming mad about this “Deal with the Devil” as Congress rumblings abound on Capitol Hill today. Many taking to the floor indicate that Democrats will not have the votes to pass the deal unless they agree to add a Tier 5 to sweeten the pot for true liberals.

I will keep you posted on the details of those rumblings as they develop. Video below of today's press conference.

WikiLeaks Creates Scientific Journalism

On Fox News show Studio B with Shepard Smith it was revealed that Julian Assange, WikiLeaks creator, wrote a piece for an Australian publication where he says that he has created a new form of journalism called "scientific journalism." He also compares himself to Daniel Ellsberg, but not before he makes mention that he wants to be like Rupert Murdoch.

In The Australian he writes:

"WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?"

More information will be provided as is released.

Patriots Run Up Score, Clobber Jets 45 to 3 on Monday Night

The New England Patriots came out and sent a message to the New York Jets: we can be as mean as you - no meaner!

The Pats rang up 31 points going into the 4th Quarter of the ESPN Monday Night Football game, when it was 31 to 3, but that wasn't enough. The Tuck-Rule team had to tack on 14 more points. That's right, two touchdowns.

New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady kept throwing passes well into the last quarter of the game, whereas a coach like the late Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry, or the San Francisco 49ers Legendary Head Coach, the late Bill Walsh, would have used the run to drain the clock and end the game.

It's called class. Something the New England Patriots have yet to show during their time under Head Coach Bill Belichick.

Not cool.   Bill has four Super Bowl wins, but that doesn't make his approach a desirable one.

Facebook Profile Changes

Once again Facebook users have signed on to see their profiles look completely different than they did before. Facebook layouts and profiles keep changing and "upgrading" to the point where users think there is no other possible way to update this any further, but Zuckerberg's crew always comes up with a way.

At least with "new Twitter" users have the option to go back to "old Twitter." No one is being forced to stay with the new layout.

The Time blog states:

Though redesigns to the site are usually publicly hated, provoking users to demand the change be undone, Facebook's pioneer initiative makes sweeping changes, like this latest redesign, inevitable. For more on the change, visit Facebook.com/about/profile and check back with Techland later for a full review of the new features.

Zuckerberg told 60 Minutes:

"It gives you this amazing connection with that person in a way that the current version of the profile that we have today just doesn't do."

The new Facebook profiles seems to have more information than needed all at once.
Comparing the two. Here's what the profiles looked like previously:

And now the new profiles:

There is just so much unnecessary information posted at the top. Before it just said the person's "status" - but now there's everything including who the person is dating or what languages the person speaks.

CNN reports that the reason for the change is so that people have an easier time reading a mini-biography of the person whose page it is.

People always initially hate the "new Facebook" and by the time they get used to it another one has rolled along - so stay tuned to see if people do in fact end up liking this version.

Oakland News Coalition Against the Gang Injunctions video interview

The interview with Maisha Quint of the East Side Arts Alliance and Michael Siegel of the Law Firm of Siegel and Yee (Where his father, Dan Siegel and Oakland Council President Jane Brunner are partners), was not conducted by this blogger, but by someone named Kali Akuno who has a series of videos he calls "The Black Agenda Morning Shot."

The videos, totaling about 19 minutes of run-time, were not brought to my attention by anyone; I found them on YouTube. I've never met Maisha, and Michael I met for the first time and just after interviewing now-Mayor-Elect Jean Quan at Siegel and Lee during The Oakland Mayor's Race.

While I'm personally opposed to the idea of a "black agenda" - because I think a separatist view doesn't help the cause for diversity, and because more often than not, it's not my agenda, and I just don't like being dictated to by the masses, regardless of color - their point of view on how the Oakland Gang Injunction contributes to the overall climate of law enforcement racial profiling is worth viewing.

In the video, Michael explains that if you have a certain color of shirt and happen to be next to someone profiled as a gang member, you could be placed into a database of gang members even though you've got nothing to do with the people you happened to be standing next to. Say, at a bus stop.

Siegel and Quint also charge that the Gang Injunction Program is a way for Oakland to get Federal dollars in a poor economy.  For every person identified in the program, the City of Oakland is compensated.  Quint charges that the program is a way for Oakland City Attorney John Russo and for Jerry Brown to advance their political careers.   (That's something I'll have to ask John about, as I don't think with him that's the case at all and for a list of complex reasons. )

But that aside, the video does raise a lot of questions about the Gang Injunction Program. My question is do we really need this sort of program, as opposed to neighborhood improvement programs the Obama Administration is touting. (More on that later.)

The video is in two video parts, below:

Part II:

Wikileaks Julian Assange For Crunchies 2010 Best Startup Award

Julian Assange

Wikileaks and Julian Assange, who just turned himself in in London for a crime that is, at best, questionable, should be your pick for The Crunchies 2010 "Best Startup" and "Founder" awards.

For those of you reading this and scratching your heads, The Crunchies are described in more detail here, but is best described as the blog TechCrunch' annual event it does with Venture Beat and Gigaom, to celebrate the best in the tech community.

Arguably Mr. Assange, who's shown all of us the true power of the Internet, is just that person. Regardless of your position on his actions in forming Wikileaks and releasing thousands of classified documents, his impact on society is without question.

Facebook gets "Best Startup" at every Crunchies, and it's well deserved. But the 2011 Crunchies can make a real statement to the World.

"Wikileaks Julian Assange For Crunchies 2010 Best Startup Award."

Think about it, then vote.

Wikileaks Julian Assange Arrested for #cablegate #condomgate

Julian Assange

Wikileaks Founder and Editor Julian Assange was arrested at 9:30 AM in London.

Acccording to the Guardian and the BBC, Scotland Yard said Assange was "was arrested by appointment" at a London police station. That's another way of saying Julian turned himself in.

Assange did so because of an arrest warrant issued against him in Sweden for alleged rape only because he was accused of not using a condom during consensual sex.

That led to the use of the term and hsshtag #condomgate to go with #cablegate, nd referring to the thousands of pages of classified cable text transmissions released for open view via Wikileaks.

You can read more about that at Zennie62.com here.

According to the BBC, Julian Assange has said that Wikileaks is being operated in London and at several locations.

Tech News: Crunchies 2010 awards open for nominations

Yep. It's that time again: the time to submit your nominations for "Crunchies!" And what, may you ask, is a Crunchie?   What's up with the chimp with the bone?

Good freaking questions!

The Crunchies is an award given by a group that consists of representatives from the tech blogs, Tech Crunch, Venture Beat, and Gigaom, and done at any annual event, featuring a kick-ass party.

This time, it's going to take place January 21st, 2011 at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, according to Tech Crunch.   The awards ceremony starts at 7:30 PM and the party will be next door, at The Exploratorium.

The event itself has great interviews, like this one where Tech Crunch Founder and Editor Michael Arrington sat down with current "Master of The Universe," Facebook Founder and President Mark Zuckerberg at the last Crunchies in January:

The Crunchies also features groups you've never heard of singing songs you want to sing. Here's "The Silicon Valley Song," also from the last shindig, and by The Richter Scales:

Folks, you can't make this stuff up.

Well, OK, you can make this stuff up. That's what The Crunchies is all about: celebrating people and their companies who make stuff up that you wind up using. Like Facebook - a Crunchies winner.

Oh, the chimp with the bone is the award, and comes from this:

(OK. I opted for the long-version so it would sink in.)

4,290 Nominations

As of this writing there are 4,290 awards nominations, in these categories: Best Internet Application, Best Social App, Best Social Commerce App, Best Mobile Application, Best Location Based Service, Best New Device, Best Technology Achievement, Best Design,Best Touch Interface,
Best Bootstrapped Startup,Best Enterprise, Best International, Best CleanTech,
Best Time Sink Application, Angel Of The Year, Venture Capitalist Of The Year (Individual), Founder Of The Year, CEO Of The Year,Best New Startup Or Product Of 2010,
Best Overall Startup Or Product Of 2010.

You can visit the nominations site with a click here: CRUNCHIES.

Who's won in the past? Facebook has won "Startup of The Year," every single year of The Crunchies. And that's the problem. Facebook can't be considered a startup anymore, yet its wins take recognition away from real startups.

Oh,  heck.  Maybe if it helps The Social Network win an Oscar?    Hmm....

But I digress.

So what other real startups? Well, how about the winners of the TechCrunch Disrupt 2010 Startup competitions, for one? How's Soluto doing? Want to nominate Tumblr for most classy recovery from a recent disaster?

Just saying.

Or how about Foursquare?

The point is, there are hundreds of companies just under the radar of Rupert Murdock and The Associated Press, and not corrupted by them, like Google News has become.

Just saying.

The Crunchies. Cast your vote. Come to the event.

Oh, and they're looking for sponsors, so read this TechCrunch blog post for more information.

Stay tuned.