Archive for April, 2011

Debunking Gas-Price Myths

Gas Myth No. 1: Rising gas prices are forcing families into bankruptcy. To see the holes in this assertion, let’s look at a typical two-car household, its driving habits and its fuel costs.

Read 2 other myths at (interesting)

Amplify’d from

Smart grid could fuel telco-utility company mergers

“Everything we were seeing was that broadband power line was not working,” said Burrow, who came from the telco side of the business. “We realized the electric utilities would be deploying fiber, and they probably wouldn’t deploy it just for the smart grid. If they were going to go to that expense, it would be inevitable that at some level they would compete against us.”

What appealed to the telco was not only that it could neutralize a potential competitor and gain a customer, the company also would be extending service to areas not in the telco’s existing footprint, paving the way for future growth on the telco side.



Another cool perk at the Googleplex

Amplify’d from

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Amid all the free food and other goodies that come with a job at Google Inc., there’s one benefit a lot of employees don’t even know about: a cluster of high-tech workshops that have become a tinkerer’s paradise.

Workers escape from their computer screens and office chairs to weld, drill and saw on expensive machinery they won’t find at Home Depot.

Besides building contraptions with a clear business purpose, Google employees use the shops for fun: They create elaborate holiday decorations, build cabinets for their homes and sometimes dream big like the engineers working on a pedal-powered airplane with a 100-foot wingspan.

The “Google Workshops” are the handiwork of Larry Page, who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin in a rented garage. Page authorized the workshops’ opening in 2007 to try to reconnect the company with its roots.



Check-ins Are Dead?

Location App Life360 Adds 1 Million Users in 10 Weeks

Amplify’d from

Today, though, family app Life360 announced it just hit 2 million families using its service – 1 million of whom started using the service in the last 10 weeks. How did they do it? They re-imagined the check-in. While other services let users declare what venue they are at but leaving most people wondering why they would want to do so – Life360 offers a clear and simple value proposition. Check-ins on that service send simple GPS co-ordinates from a child to their parents. “I want you to check-in on that app throughout the night so I know where you are and that you’re ok!”



Body Language and Persuasion: A Scientific Approach
By Noah Goldstein, Ph.D.

Everywhere you look—cable news shows, men’s and women’s magazines, bookstores, and even bestseller lists—there are people from all walks of life, claiming to be experts in body language. Many of these individuals insist that they are one of the enlightened few to have a deep understanding of the secrets of how to influence others with nonverbal communication.

Amplify’d from
Social psychologists Bob Fennis and Marielle Stel (in press) recently conducted several experiments to test their hypothesis that certain nonverbal styles are better at facilitating certain types of influence strategies than others. The two types of nonverbal styles they examined were known as “eager” and “vigilant”. (Cesario & Higgins, 2008).  

Cesario & Higgins characterize an eager nonverbal style as “approach-oriented”:

  • very animated, broad opening movements
  • hand movements openly projected outward
  • forward-leaning body positions
  • fast body movements
  • a fast speech rate

In contrast, they characterize a vigilant nonverbal style as “avoidance-oriented”:

  • more precise gestures
  • backward-leaning positions
  • slower body movements
  • slower speech



Rachel Thompson is the author of A Walk In The Snark, a humorous collection of essays based on her popular blog, She cofounded and teaches social media to writers at the Indie Book Collective. She’s also the only redhead in a sea of blondes in the OC (Orange County, CA), home of Disneyland (mice, eek). When not chasing after her two kids or reminding her husband to change the toilet paper roll, she likes sarcasm, coffee, and dirty martinis. She hates walks in the rain and pina coladas, if you’re keeping track.

  • WRITE Yes, we are writers. Writing is what we do. So…write! Easy, right? Not so fast. Family, job, bills, social activities, marketing (more on that in a sec) – sometimes it’s hard to find the time. But if you are in it to win it, so to speak, you must set a goal to write every day. Even if it’s just a few hundred words – which by the way is very doable – you need to prioritize your activities so writing is at the top of the list.

    If you want to make that leap from writer (unpublished) to author (published), write your book.

    I worked on my current release, A Walk In The Snark, over the past six months and released it in eBook format this past January. I have two children, a husband, and I’m a WAHM (Write At Home Mom) who writes and teaches social media. I still write at least two pages of my upcoming book The Mancode: A Survivor’s Tale every day in the midst of all my craziness. We all have reasons not to write.

    Ask yourself this simple question: Do you want to be published or not?



When I go past the newstands at the super market, I can’t help but to look the covers touting “lose 5 lbs quick” or “37 tips your man won’t tell you?”

And now I can ad “it’s the end of social media” to the list of articles to avoid.


Truth be told.. I had to look to see what old media pundit was explaining how Pepsi or Old Spice got it wrong.

But no way would a man keep those other tips to himself. Smart one’s will NOT tell their partners how to loose 5 lbs though :)

Odd factoid of the day:

One desk on the floor of the US Senate is stock with candy paid for by lobbyist.. though the Senate has a no food policy.

Senator Kirk of Illonois will provide colleagues with candy made in Illinois, including Wrigley’s Gum, Garrett’s Popcorn, Tootsie Rolls and Jelly Belly treats, at his own expense.

“Holding the Senate candy desk provides me an opportunity to promote employment among Illinois candy-makers,” said Kirk. “Chicagoland is the center of this industry, with over 3,400 jobs represented by the participating Illinois companies.”

The desk is a four decade-long tradition in the Senate and sits in the last row on the GOP side of the upper chamber.

As the desk’s occupant for more than a decade, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) regularly stocked the desk and fed his colleagues with Hershey’s chocolates and treats from Just Born Inc., which makes Hot Tamales and Peanut Chews, until he lost his reelection bid in 2006. Since Santorum left office, there’s been a great deal of turnover in the desk’s ownership because several of its most recent occupants have died or retired, including the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), who died in 2007, Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and most recently, Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.).