Modern Warrior: Damien Mander at TEDxSydney

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Liberty Over Death

The golden age of America is fleeting fast into the night.  The recent change of NASA’s official mission is a painfully clear picture of this.  Whereas America was once a pioneer of the final frontier, we are no longer even attempting space exploration.  The primary mission of NASA has been changed to humanitarian outreach, particularly to the Islamic community—under the Obama Administration.  I could go into detail about the many pillars of American greatness that are crumbling—like the national credit rating being downgraded twice during Obama’s stay in the White House—but I’m guessing most of my readers can already see the sad truth all around them.  In case you’re not part of that group, let me be frank with you.

Don’t call me a prophet, and I hope I never have to say I told you so.  But one thing in this uncertain world is definite:  AMERICA IS AT…

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The March of Time

China Daily. There was a time when the newsweeklies set the agenda for the nation’s conversation – when Time and Newsweek would digest the events of the week and US readers would wait by their mailboxes to see what was on the covers.

Those days have passed, and come the end of the year, the print edition of Newsweek will pass, too. Cause of death: The march of time.

“The tempo of the news and the Web have completely overtaken the news magazines,” said Stephen G. Smith, editor of the Washington Examiner and the holder of an unprecedented newsweekly triple crown – nation editor at Time, editor of US News and World Report, and executive editor of Newsweek from 1986 to 1991.

Where once readers were content to sit back and wait for tempered accounts of domestic and foreign events, they now can find much of what they need almost instantaneously on their smartphones and tablet computers. Where once advertisers had limited places to spend their dollars to reach national audiences, they now have seemingly unlimited alternatives.

So on Thursday, when Newsweek’s current owners announced they intended to halt print publication and expand the magazine’s Web presence, there was little surprise. But there was a good deal of nostalgia for what Smith called “the shared conversation that the nation used to have”, when the networks, the newsweeklies and a few national newspapers reigned.

Bowing Out… Yahoo has decided to pull the plug on its portal service in South Korea in December after years of struggling to compete in one of the world’s most wired markets.

“Yahoo has faced several challenges in the past couple of years and decided to pull out of the [Korean] business to put more resources on global business and become more powerful and successful,” the internet service provider said on Friday.

Yahoo is a marginal player in South Korea’s internet search sector, having only 2-3 per cent market share.


Geek is New Hip

Cartoon via

MarketWatch. With geeks and their lifestyles emerging as the new totems of coolness, marketers from a wide swath of companies are jumping on the trend for marketing opportunities, and there is perhaps no better target audience than the attendees at New York Comic Con.

The people drawn to New York Comic Con because of their fascination for Avengers, Spider-Man characters, and countless other creations “are people who are setting trends,” said Dan Buckley, president and publisher of print, digital and TV at Marvel, in an interview. “They are the early adopters of technology. These are the people who start things and make them hot.”

Getting the attention of trendsetters is crucial for these companies particularly in today’s digital world, where a tweet or a Facebook post can generate broad levels of interest. Companies are seeking to build loyalty with consumers who have myriad choices and have changed the way they purchase and spend their leisure time with smartphones and other mobile devices, analysts said.

Want to Quit Smoking, Use Social Media

Checking social networking sites is more tempting than sex and cigarettes, a study has revealed.

Researchers at Chicago University’s Booth Business School used BlackBerrys to log reports about participants’ willpower and desires over seven days.

The online poll of 250 participants in Germany revealed the yearning to interact through tweets, photos, and comments was stronger than sex and cigarettes.

Over seven consecutive days participants were signalled seven times a day over 14 hours, reported the Guardian.

This meant they were required to message back and inform if they were experiencing a desire at that moment or had experienced one within the last 30 minutes.

 They had to identify what the desire was and how strong they felt it was, as well as if it conflicted with other desires and what decision they had made – whether to accept or resit the pull.

The results showed Facebook, Twitter or other social networks yearnings were ranked as the hardest desires to resist.

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Updated: It seems a week can’t go by without a new incident of plagiarism by some prominent journalist, and this week it’s Margaret Wente, a star columnist with one of Canada’s national newspapers, who has been found guilty of using content from other journalists and academics without crediting them. As others have in similar cases, Wente says it was a simple mistake, although she has apparently been disciplined (in some unknown fashion) by the paper’s editor-in-chief. But there is a much larger point here than just the fact that journalists can get sloppy, and that the internet is a fact-checking machine unlike any other: Just like Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria before her, Wente’s behavior — and the newspaper’s lackluster response to it — speaks volumes about the flaws of print and the corresponding benefits of online media and journalism.

As I’ve argued before, part of…

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