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Category Archives: America

Got Budget Issues??…Follow Detroit’s Plan

Hmmm…Don’t know what to do when budgets need to get cut??
Close almost 50% of schools!..duh!!

Detroit Schools

Makes sense, right? Well, it does to Detroit, Michigan who has plans to close 50% of its schools within the next 2 years if they don’t receive federal funding for educational needs. This means that classes can hold as many as 62 students at one time. That’s A LOT of students. I didn’t go to the smallest of schools, nor was it one of the biggest, but I don’t ever recall seeing that many students in one of my largest lectures while attending college. On record, Detroit schools have accrued a $327 Million deficit over the years.
How and why, you might ask? Well, it’s no surprise the economy has been going through a downward spiral. And with teacher pensions and union contracts continuing to grow, cities are faced with making major cuts, or facing bankruptcy. Although schools have received federal funding, it has still proved to be a waste as American’s literacy have fallen lower amongst world statistics in education.
The good news is there are solutions to this problem which include changing the entire structure and paradigm of how we educate our children. With the internet, online schools, and home schooling – which statistically bring on higher learning and literacy- Schools may have to face alternatives to traditional teaching.

6 Reactions to Qaddaffi and Current Libyan events

As our office sat and listened to Gadaffi’s live speech on the CNN LIVE channel today, it was pointed out that stations such as Bloomberg and CNBC (who are usually very current with Breaking News) were not reporting on it. Why?

Muammar Gaddafi

It seems as if technology, entertainment and pop-culture take some precedence over non-US events relating directly or indirectly to the stock market, nowadays. And with no help from media and news stations, which are responsible for driving a lot of American thoughts, people - especially young adults- may not realize the importance of World Events such as this until it is too late.

Below are my 6 interpretations of the average American’s reaction to the recent Quadaffi/Libyan events:

  1. Uhhh…Ka-Daf-fi?…Didn’t he shut down access to Facebook and Twitter in Egypt? I thought he’s already agreed to step down from office in September?
  2. I want to follow the news, but wish I knew the proper spelling of Gaddaffi’s name to type into Goggle search on my iPad. Is it Khaddafy, Qadaffi, or Gadhafi….?? How important can he really be if reporters don’t spell his name right? By the way, do you think he knows when the iPad 2 is coming out?
  3. My favorite basketball player, Carmelo Anthony, just got signed by the Knicks, for God’s sake! Why should I care about some damn foreign Tyrant!
  4. Justin Beiber’s new haircut and pop-culture is far more important than world events. Did you hear about how he surprised his girlfriend by filling her entire apartment with fresh flowers? It wasn’t even done as an apology for something he’d done wrong or a gift for Valentine’s day! Isn’t he sweet! Where’s my remote? I think I DVR’ed the Grammy’s.
  5. You want MY thoughts on the Italian Stock Exchange closing today and Rising Oil Prices?!?!..Who cares?..I’m NOT Italian! I’m not going to Italy any time soon! AND I drive a HYBRID…that’ll show all you suckers!

    Justin Bieber Cuts His Famous Hair

  6. As though we don’t have enough going on in this country, now we have to focus on more negative news in outside countries?!?!…Where’s Justin Beiber when you need him?

NASDAQ Hacked!

It has being reported that some hackers have made it into the NASDAQ network which runs the stock market. But nothing to be alarmed they never got to the actual execution part of the system. For usual broker and trader this is quite upsetting news but after working with these types of systems for over 2 years I would say it isn’t too much to worry about.

Most exchanges run on piece of software that is quite unique to its own execution algorithms. Furthermore their gateway to the outside world is defined by a particular protocol such as FIX or ITCH or any other proprietary methods. So even if the hacker do reach in through the firewall and into the system, in order to create a real trading impact they have to talk in the particular protocol which is only limited to the trading activities. You may argue that they could shut down the system but most system run on Unix or Tandem machines so this is not too easy to deal with.  What about listening to the wire transmission and getting information? Well then you need to understand the execution logic and build up the order book by yourself. So this won’t be a simple smash and grab at all. Therefore I am not surprised that the hackers just went in to show that they could break in not because they could make some money.

Celebrating the Year of the Wabbit!

Future of Handheld Gaming Consoles

I’m a gamer. I’m being playing games since I was 5 years old. From the very simple Tetris and GameBoy to the Sony PSP  and Nintendo DS I’ve enjoyed every stage of their progress. But during the last couple of years I’ve wondered how they would survive in the electronic consumer market which seems to be converging day by day.

Within the next few years every consumer electronic would be able to make calls, browse the Internet, social networking, play music and video and play games. So what would happen to these big names in the gaming consoles in the future? We would have to take some time to analyse this situation.

Sony just came out with the announcement of its newest handheld code named “NGP” which looks quite the same as its predecessors. It specs are fantastic with quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 5-inch touchscreen OLED display with 960 x 544 resolution, dual analog sticks (not nubs as on the current generation), 3G, WiFi, GPS, a rear-mounted touch-pad, accelerometer / gyroscope motion sensing , an electronic compass, and cameras on both the front and back. Well is it impressive enough? If you look at some of the other types of consumer electronics you can see that you have quite the same specs as this except for the processor. How can they really make distinction between the other consumer electronics? I’m not sure if there is a clear cut line. If there was it is surely fading.

During iPhone 4G announcement it was told that the number of games purchased in the iPhone actually is much greater than the games purchased for any other gaming console. I’m sure the android platform is also able to give a similar comment. Apart from them the tablets are making their way killing off the market held by netbooks. These devices can afford to have much powerful processors and would surely rival the handheld gaming consoles. I was under the impression that the gaming console market would be safe with the younger generation until I heard a 10 year old asking for a iPad for Christmas.

This is what I believe. Sony and Nintendo would have to make a decision soon whether to kill off the devices or to join the game that is very much inline with the smartphones and tablets in the market. Smartphones and Tablets will be the future of gaming. They would cease to be called as Smartphone or Tablets but would be just larger and powerful or smaller and less powerful version of the same type of devices. I just cannot wait to see how things will turnout.

Twitter, Facebook & Other Social Networking Sites Help the Government

As I listened to the radio on my way to work today, which I rarely do, I couldn’t help but feel surprised at the praises being made

Twitter Facebook Social Networking

 about social networking sites such as Facebook, and especially Twitter, from no one other than the Mayor of Newark, NJ.  

According to Cory Booker, Twitter helps him stay current with the people of his community. He says he’s had incidents where people complained to him directly on Twitter and Facebook about their issues with the city, allowing him to respond to them

 quickly and easily. There was one incident in particular where a lady sent him a message on one of the social sites complaining about the lack of proper snow removal on her street. The Mayor, in turn, contacted 4-1-1 to get the phone number of the complaining woman and called her. After getting her address, he then sent his team to go out and plow her street.

Mr. Booker continually talked about how he and his team incorporate Twitter and Facebook in his work affairs on a day-to-day basis, especially to handle crisis.  According to him, Newark would be in a worse condition without it. He is known for receiving a message via Twitter on his cellphone and turning around to grab his Blackberry and contact his staff to handle a bad situation if need be.

This is confirmation that sites like Twitter, originally created to connect ordinary, mainstream people with Celebrities and Athletes, and Facebook, are now being adopted by Government officials and their problem solving teams.

New Sizzle Reel with Jeremy Frommer in ‘Risky Money’

“Risky Money” Sizzle Reel



More Tejas

            The census data is in. Our population is 308.7 million, which is the slowest growth rate since the 1930s.  The distribution of that population also changed, leading to congressional reapportionment.  Some states are winners and some are big losers.  Winners gained seats in the House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College.  Even more importantly, the share of federal dollars flowing to the states will adjust based on the census data.

States losing seats include Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  New York and Ohio each lost 2 seats. 

States gaining seats were predominantly republican strongholds.  They include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.  Texas gained an astounding 5 more representatives.  To celebrate, Chevron is up .81% and Exxon is up .33%. 

Reapportionment 2010

Four Loko changes more than its formula as a result of critism

Four Loko is soon to be releasing an altered version of the highly controversial drink after receiving much critism.

Four Loko makes you go more than LOKO

Once known for it’s highly mixed Alcohol and Caffeined content, the beverage company is planning to remove the Caffeine from its drinks. The decision most likely comes from word that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will soon effectively ban beverages, like Four Loko, that mix both alcohol and caffeine.

According to the Urban Dictionary, Four Loko (better known as “Blackout in a can” ) is also referred to as Legalized CRACK in a can. It also states that users-ahem, I mean, consumers of the beverage can expect to encounter the same results associated typically with using small amounts of cocaine. Those same users are said to enter the ”Four Stages of Crazy” which include: Tipsy, Drunk, Wasted, and lastly, Blackout. Hence, where the company got its name from.

After performing more research I came upon the “Four Loko” website—at least that’s what I thought. As I entered www.DrinkFour.com , I was immediately confronted by a landing page which read: YOU MUST BE 21 YEARS OR OLDER TO ENTER THIS SITE. PLEASE ENTER YOUR BIRTH DATE BELOW AND PRESS ENTER.

Wait…you want to know my AGE? Didn’t your mother ever tell you never to ask a woman her age?

After selecting the link below which read: WHY DO WE NEED TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS?, another window popped up and read the following:

We are committed to responsible drinking and need to ask you these questions since this is an age-restricted site that promotes Four Loko caffeinated alcoholic beverages; we therefore need to ensure that you are over the legal drinking age and that you are legally allowed to view this website. We also need to ask you this every time you visit the site in case anyone else who could be under the legal drinking age may use this computer. We know how important it is to protect your personal information and that’s why your information is transmitted over a secure connection. Additionally,Phusion does not sell your personal information or permit any third parties to use the information collected by Phusion for third parties’ own marketing purposes. Please read our full privacy policy here http://www.drinkfour.com/privacy.php.

As I entered my date of birth for access to the site, I was confronted with yet another message informing me that I’d now be directed to www.TheCoolSpot.Org. Very cool website…but not exactly what I was looking for, or expecting.It looked as thought the Government took control of the FourLoko website.

hmmmm, could Four Loko be learning from it’s mistakes already? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, as it stands now, the makers of Four Loko seem to be changing more than its formula due to undergoing high critism.

Now the question still stands: Could FourLoko be changing to NoLoko? Only time will tell.

Distribution of Racial and Ethnic Groups (NY Times App)

The New York Times website has an app that lets you browse local distribution of racial and ethnic groups data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, based on samples from 2005 to 2009.