THE PIIN – BUSINESS OF BUSINESS

This is part of the Abstract and Introduction I wrote for a paper for the DHS on PIINs, a concept of my own. I am writing a much lengthier essay/paper (perhaps even a small book) on the same subject which will include information on how to form PIINs of various kinds and in different industries using the same basic techniques and procedures and networks.

I use these same principles in the development of all of my PIINs regardless or industry or purpose. Although each PIIN is modified to service the particular requirements of how it is constructed and what exact purpose it serves.

Although this is a little out of order for my publishing schedule I offer this post up as my Business of Business post this week.

 

First of all, let me summarize the nature of the PIIN. The Personal (or Private) Intelligence and Investigative Network, like all networks is almost entirely dependent upon a series of established contact points. This is both the strength of the PIIN and the inherent weakness thereof. Therefore it is imperative that high-quality and functionally useful, as well as accurate and practical contact points be created, assessed and reassessed, and maintained over time. This is true whether the contact point is physical, biological, communicative, informational, electronic, technological, or computational. Every asset is a tool and the quality and functionality of those tools are the essential elements in the creation, maintenance, and performance of your PIIN. The Value of any Network is circumscribed by the acute and chronic qualities of those components, which within themselves compose the actual circumference, and separate elements of that real network. If the components of the network are of inferior grade, if the contacts are defectively impositional or of little practical use, or if the contact points are weak or insecure then the entire network is suspect and prone to failure at any and every point of transmission. The PIIN therefore should avoid both obvious and subtle deficits at all times by being practically and pragmatically useful, flexible, adaptable, in a state of constant positive growth and change, accessible, composed of superior components and contact points, secure, and most of all accurate and reliable.

Each and every network is therefore dependent upon the depth and breadth of the human contacts established interior to and exterior to that particular network and subject to the limitations of accuracy and the quality and quantity of valuable information that network can generate. The first real action needed to establish any PIIN and to make it fully functional is the recruitment, development, and maintenance of quality contacts. Contacts are always of the most absolute importance in the establishment of any PIIN. In addition the nature and quality of those contacts should be viewed as central and formative to the capabilities of every other contact point in the configuration and to the network as a whole. After an initial establishment of contacts those contacts should be immediately vetted and/or tested for accuracy and quality. This process of discrimination should be both an immediate tactical and testable undertaking and a long-term strategic process of recurring verification and reverification. Do not expect any particular source to be always accurate, but do not allow any particular source to function in an important role unless it has proven itself capable of both consistent reliability and trustworthiness.

After establishing a few reliable and trustworthy contact points the network must grow in order to gain new sources of information and intelligence as well as to develop and generate new capabilities. Therefore always view already established contacts and contact points as generators of new contacts, informants, intelligence and perhaps even secondary and tertiary networks, or sub-networks. Consider as well every potentially useful new contact or acquaintance as a possible future contact point in your greater network. Contact points should also be capable of redundancy and potential verification of information and intelligence gathered from other points along the nexus and for information gathered from sources outside the network. This is to say that contact points are more than simple sources of information; they will also function as multi-capable nodes along the operational structure of the entire network. I will expound upon the importance of and briefly discuss some of the details regarding contact points later in this paper. For now it is important to remember that contacts and sources provide information and possibly intelligence, but contact points can potentially serve many varied functions, such as; information retrieval, intelligence gathering, analysis, communications, coding, encryption, decoding/decryption, collation, research, as reliable and secure relay points, as information nodes, computational capabilities, disinformation and misinformation dissemination, and even serve as a sort of network disguise, and misdirectional cover or front.

Constantly look for, search out and develop new contacts, contact points, information and intelligence sources, and informants in order to successfully grow your network. Your network’s ultimate effectiveness will depend upon both the quality and quantity of your contacts, contact points, and your contact’s network. In the initial stages of building and developing your network concentrate on the quality of your contacts and contact points, but in the larger and long term concentrate upon both the quality and quantity of those contacts and contact points which comprise the elements of your network. Always develop and maintain quality to the greatest degree possible within all elements of your network, but also always grow and encourage quantity in the most consistent manner possible throughout all aspects of your network. This will assure that your network has both great depth and breadth and that it is capable of the widest and most valuable range of flexible and functional capacities possible.

It does not matter what the major focus of your network is, what it is most well designed to do, what it in actuality best does, or what the functional intent(s) or objective(s) may be, this introductory advice applies equally well to any possible network you might desire to establish in any field of activity or enterprise. The PIIN is a potentially invaluable tool for both the amateur and professional alike, for both citizen and official agent, and no matter the function or objective, the real capabilities of any established PIIN will be determined by the inventiveness, innovation, flexibility, enterprise, imagination and quality of the component parts of the network. And those component parts are composed and arranged by the originator of the network, that individual who is responsible for first establishing the nature and parameters of the own individual PIIN. The originator therefore will establish the genesis of the network and how well it grows and develops in the initial stages, but as the network grows it will develop capabilities never earlier imagined by the originator and will eventually become functional in an almost independent sense, as long as quality contacts and sources are developed and as long as those contacts and sources continue to grow and establish new capabilities and contacts of their own. A PIIN begins therefore as an idea and individual construct but over time develops into an almost biological organization of vast complexity and capacity. Drawing upon the collective skills and capabilities of the PIIN for whatever is desired or needed makes the PIIN a worthwhile and profitable venture for all individuals associated with that network, and because of the potential for continued and even exponential growth the PIIN is an extremely advantageous system of achieving complex objectives rapidly and of multiplying capabilities well beyond the individual level.

Because of the limitations of space regarding this essay I cannot describe all of the potential advantages that would possibly be gained by the formation of individual PIINs, either those advantages that would be enjoyed by agents or officers in the service of some official organization, or those advantages that would be enjoyed by citizens who have formed and are employing their own personal PIIN. But the potential advantages would be numerous, and such networks could beneficially overlap, inform, and service each other in times of national emergency or crisis. More importantly, if such networks were allowed to “cluster” and interact/interface in an efficient, secure, and positive manner then they would serve as invaluable intelligence gathering and investigative tools for the anticipation of disaster and the effective prevention and thwarting of many forms of malicious harm intended by the enemies of the United States.

As just one small example of how PIINs would make highly effective and useful tools for the benefit of both the citizenry and the government let me outline this scenario. A hostile entity decides upon a coordinated and simultaneous cyber-attack against both the American civil government and the Pentagon. These attacks overwhelm official servers who are the obvious targets of offensive action. During such periods of particular and isolated cyber attack against governmental and/or military networks, or even during periods of general and on-going netcentric engagement or warfare the PIIN can act as an emergency secondary or redundancy system of information and communications exchange, intelligence gathering, an investigative force as to who is attacking, why, from where, and how, and for coordinating a necessary and effective counteraction or response. While main systems are under attack, disabled, or malfunctioning PIINs can serve as ancillary and even secretive means of continuing vital operations or responding to attack. It is relatively easy to attack and at least temporarily paralyze large-scale and centralized networks efficiently given the proper time, coordination, planning, resources, incentives, and information on system vulnerabilities, but it would be nearly impossible to simultaneously disable all small-scale private and personal networks. PIINs are the private enterprise of innovative intelligence and investigative networks.

Other examples of the potential usefulness of the PIIN are easy enough to construct, such as creating and fostering “bridging links” between individual citizens, law enforcement agencies, governmental entities, and the military. PIINs can also be used as investigative networks and resources, as research hubs, as communication nodes, as a pool of expertise (both amateur and professional), as an emergency system of collective and clustered capability, as a functional and ever growing database of information, as an ancillary or auxiliary analytical network, and as an exchange for valuable contacts, sources, and useful informants. Perhaps just as important to the overall value-added aspect of the usefulness of the PIIN is the fact that most PIINs can be constructed at little to no cost using already available personal, technological, and organizational resources. It is simply a matter of redirecting already available resources to the construction and maintenance of the PIIN, or of simply reformatting the way in which contemporary networks are thought of and how they currently operate, or fail to operate, effectively.

The next administration would do very well to consider encouraging the development of Private and Personal Intelligence and Investigative Networks throughout our society, and to encouraging the exploitation of such networks for the benefit of all the citizens of the United States of America.

 

 

How to Format Your Resume

The College of Westchester Online Division

The content of your resume—job experience, education, achievements—is important, but the appearance of the actual document also says a lot about you as a candidate. This infographic offers some tips on how to format your resume.

The College of Westchester offers resources to help students and graduates stand out to potential employers. Check us out to learn more.

From JobCluster

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Getting in On LinkedIn

5th and Grenelle

The greatest lesson taught in DC is the power of professionalism. From building a network to perfecting a handshake, learning the steps towards a professional career is essential and valuable. DC is the ideal city in which to master these skills based on its production of highly successful politicians, business people, and scholars.

The BUDC program in particular has focused on networking, acquiring the motivation to pursue a career path, getting involved in the DC community, and being conscious of a professional online presence. The latter is the point I’m going to address. On the topic of professionalism, there is no better online social media to talk about than LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool if you know how to make the most of it.

Here are my LinkedIn recommendations:

Guide to Linkedin

Having an online presence is extremely important for our generation. Especially because I plan on pursuing a career path…

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Stop selling your soul for a loan: Online lenders solve cash flow problems with faster money lifeline

Financial Post

Yaniv Liron has pulled cash and credit from every available source to keep his 11-year-old web design and development business, Lumina, running smoothly — a situation familiar to many small business owners.

Even though his company, in New York City, is established and profitable, obtaining a bank loan or credit line has always been painful. The paperwork takes days to prepare, approval decisions can drag on for weeks or months, and the process, he said, “involves selling your soul and begging on your knees.”

Four months ago, he found a simpler source of working capital: Fundbox, a company that gives business owners cash advances against their outstanding invoices. Within an hour of signing up on Fundbox’s website and allowing access to his company’s bank account and accounting software, QuickBooks Online, Liron had a $2,500 credit line. It takes just a few mouse clicks for Liron to select an unpaid invoice…

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Points to remember when raising funds for your startup

Online pitch deck and assessment report for startups

One of the toughest challenges that startups face is to raise capital at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey.

points-img

  • Raising your first round of funding is probably going to be the toughest part of starting upit certainly is for most startups
  • Break your fund requirements by risk stages as different classes of investors participate in different risk stages of a venture

Angel investors

  • Participate at starting up stage – they invest at a ‘concept risk’ stage i.e. when niether the concept is proven nor the capabilities of the team to execute that concept
  • Investment amount is small – enough to sustain operations till the venture becomes ready for institutional capital
  • Usually take a bet on the entrepreneur – hence the quality of the founding team is critical

Venture Capitalists – VCs

  • VCs typically invest when the concept and business model is proven
  • Funding is usually for growing the…

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Amazon Shuts Down TestDrive, The Appstore Feature That Let You Try Apps Before Downloading

TechCrunch

Amazon is shutting down TestDrive, one of the differentiating features of the Amazon Appstore which allowed consumers to test out new applications ahead of purchase. The feature was introduced back in March 2011 alongside the launch of the Appstore itself, where it then utilized a browser-based emulated instance of Android running in the cloud. This let consumers control an application and experience it like they would on their Android device. The feature later arrived on Android phones, too.

Amazon says that the decision to close the service was based on “a significant decline” in usage, and cited the popularity of “free to play” business models as a factor.

Many of the apps that offered TestDrive were mobile games, as those are generally the kinds of apps that consumers wanted to check out ahead of making a purchase. But game publishers these days tend to generate revenue through sales of virtual goods and other…

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Verizon’s pay TV plan, and finance bigwigs meet in Washington — 5 things to know today

Fortune

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

U.S. stock futures are trending down this morning, and European shares are flat. Asian indexes closed the week mixed.

Investors are digesting March’s consumer price index, which showed consumer prices increased for the second month in a row, while a few companies are reporting earnings, including Dow stock General Electric [fortune-stock symbol=”GE”], which reported an adjusted profit. Last week, GE said it would sell most of its GE Capital business.

In other news of note, Verizon [fortune-stock symbol=”VZ”] is rolling out a new pay TV plan that allows consumers to choose every month bundles of channels they want to see, a small step in the direction of ‘a la carte’ programming, which means allowing customers to build their own pay TV service, channel by channel.
[fortune-brightcove videoid=4177005287001]

Here’s what else you need to know to start your day.

1. Finance leaders gather in Washington.

Finance…

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The highest-paid American CEO might surprise you

Fortune

GoPro CEO Nick Woodman is now reportedly the highest-paid CEO in the U.S.

The billionaire, who founded the extreme sports camera-manufacturer, received 4.5 million restricted stock units with a valuation of $284.5 million to finish 2014, according to Bloomberg.

With that compensation, Woodman takes over the top spot from Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki who received $281 million to finish 2013. In 2014, the company reported docking the CEO’s pay, making Woodman the number-one CEO in terms of pay.

The ranking, the Bloomberg Pay Index, “values an executive’s awarded pay package at the company’s fiscal year-end closing price,” according to the article.

Via Bloomberg:

“Nick Woodman is a special entrepreneur and is instrumental to the company’s success both through his vision and leadership,” said Alex Gauna, an analyst at JMP Securities LLC who recommends investors buy GoPro shares. His compensation “is appropriate relative to what he means to this company,”…

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Living with a big YES: Overcoming Fear and Achieving Dreams by Ella Hooper

Bright Ideas Collective

We’re really excited to feature Ella Hooper as our guest blogger today for Fridays with Friends! I (Emily) met Ella a few weeks ago at a business conference and was so inspired by what she shared that I asked her to write a post for us, which she graciously agreed to do. She has profound words of wisdom and practical application in this post, I think you’ll enjoy it! Thanks so much Ella!

design(1)

Recently I moved from Melbourne, Australia to attend a school in Northern California. I applied to the school spontaneously, was accepted, and needed to leave the Australia in 3 months. I had no savings and no idea how I was going to be able to live in another country where I couldn’t work. I am now 7 months in to living in America and how did I do it? A strong mind, great community and a belief…

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CREATION AND DISCOVERY – INVENTION AND INVESTMENT

A very interesting perspective and one I agree with to a large extent. Actually I think one should set out to create a Brand – with a certain type of Vision, and adapt accordingly as one meets particular circumstances in and through the world. (Which is basically what he says later in the article.)

In other words one begins with a Vision and then discovers and develops as one goes along. It is not either/or, but both…

 

You Don’t Create Your Company’s Brand — You Discover It.
Matt Hanses

Contributor
Writer & Consultant

April 15, 2015

Over $500 billion is spent on advertising each year. The average American is exposed to an estimated 3,000 ads per day. Fifteen minutes out of every hour of television programming is devoted to commercials.

Branding: 2 Key Lessons in Brand Building

That’s a lot of marketing. And a lot of marketers. With six million companies in the United States alone, that’s a lot of people competing to get their message out. How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you get noticed?

This is where branding comes in.
What is branding?

Branding is the art of distinguishing a product or service from its competitors. It’s the term for creating a recognizable “personality” which people will remember and react to.

A company with poor branding is throwing away marketing dollars. Why? Because without a focused message, companies weak in branding are invisible. Nobody remembers them and they blend in. They become just another leaf swirling in the wind, amid all those marketing messages consumers see each day.

In marketing, the point is to actually reach someone, to connect. The way to do this is by focusing attention, not dispersing it.
Discovering your brand

Too often, people try to “dream up” a brand for their company. However, a brand isn’t something you dream up — it’s something you discover. Specifically, it’s something you have to discover about yourself.

True branding must be based solely on the mission and culture of the organization. When people try to create branding separate from the company itself, the result may be pretentious, clichéd or ambiguous marketing. It waters down the company’s message.

Instead, a brand should reflect the company’s business plan, its mission and values. It has to be authentic. Therefore, when you brand a company (or anything else for that matter), you’re trying to capture its core identity. You have to look past the clutter and opinion and distill its true essence. This is what you convey to consumers — your brand. And your fonts, your design, your writing — all aspects of your marketing — should all align with that central concept. Now, you have focus. Now, you have penetration, because you’ve conveyed your company’s identity by first discovering yourself.

Related: The Basics of Branding
The ingredients of a brand

While there is probably no foolproof formula for discovering a company’s brand, there are pathways to accomplish that. Consider the following points the “ingredients” that go into making an authentic brand:

Company mission. This is the most important element of branding. Your mission is the spirit of your company, it’s the beating heart of what you do. In fact, your brand can be thought of as the outward expression of your company’s internal mission. Think of it this way: Why does your organization exist? What is it there for? You have assets, employees, vendors, relationships and internal systems. . . but why?
Values. What’s important to your company? What do you stand for? Every company has certain ideals that define what it is and does. These ideals could be environmental, social or ethical or could be standards of quality Whatever your company’s values are, they’re the very center of why you’re unique and are a crucial part of your brand.
Culture. Each company in the world has its own ethos — a particular style or panache. Whatever you call yours, embrace it. There may be a million competitors in your market space, but there’s only one you. Your company’s group culture is part of the fabric of who you are.
History. Your history tells a lot about you. Look to the company’s founders to help define your identity today. What were their values? What were they trying to accomplish? Every company came from somewhere. Your roots are an integral part of your company’s brand.
Plans. When you look at your next 10 years, where do you see yourself going? Your business plan and marketing strategy both influence how you present yourself and should be included in your branding. If you’re going after an entry-level market segment, don’t position yourself as a luxury brand. Your brand must encompass your real-world objectives.
Consumers. This is really what it’s all about. Your customers are the reason you exist. What are their needs? What do they think? Understanding your customers is a vital part of branding. Because if you don’t know whom you’re talking to, why bother to say anything at all?

It might take a bit of soul-searching to get at the essence of what makes your company special. The trick is to take a clear-eyed look and see what’s actually there. Because every brand is beautiful, every brand is inspiring.

Each just has to be discovered.

 

#Wisdom from realshitcentral

#StellarCorpse | Wisdom From The Stars

Im constantly thinking about my future and getting new ideas every day, i refuse to be anything other than successful.#successquotes #success #motivation #motivated #rich #money #happiness #peace #love #empire #understand #building #realshit #central #goodlife #mylife #highlife #quotes #quotestoliveby

by realshitcentral

KonQuest

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#Wisdom from ggengarella

#StellarCorpse | Wisdom From The Stars

#TagsForLikes.COM #TFLers @TagsForLikes #BLESSED #entrepreneur #hustle #dream #builtforsuccess #MakeItHappen #freedom #Success #Winning #Mentor #Seize #SeizetheDay #Victorious #FinancialIndependance #Money #BigMoney #Trophy #DoItBig #MakeItCount #MakeItHappen #GetBusy #YouCanDoIt #ThinkingSuccessfully #Business #Love #EntrepreneurLife #SuccessQuotes #Millionaire

by ggengarella

KonQuest

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#Wisdom from ggengarella

#StellarCorpse | Wisdom From The Stars

#TagsForLikes.COM #TFLers @TagsForLikes #BLESSED #entrepreneur #hustle #dream #builtforsuccess #MakeItHappen #freedom #Success #Winning #Mentor #Seize #SeizetheDay #Victorious #FinancialIndependance #Money #BigMoney #Trophy #DoItBig #MakeItCount #MakeItHappen #GetBusy #YouCanDoIt #ThinkingSuccessfully #Business #Love #EntrepreneurLife #SuccessQuotes #Millionaire

by ggengarella

KonQuest

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Bite what you can Chew

Well-observed and Wise Advice, especially for the inexperienced or those wishing to manage their growth in a logical and profitable manner.

The Wire Perspective

The time I have been around the business arena has taught me many lessons and one of those is not to take on endeavours that are more than your business can realistically manage.

Incomplete Temple Structure - India Incomplete Temple Structure – India

As small businesses the temptation to look out for that big break is always there. You want to get into the big time and because most of us have grown up in the ‘fast food’ era, we expect everything to work out instantly. Many are the stories of someone setting up a business targeting a ‘big deal’ with the expectation that it will see them take off comfortably.

More often than not, these businesses with alot of potential have chocked as a result of this approach and ended up in limbo. Not so long ago, an Internet Service provider that pioneered the use of internet services in remote areas using HF…

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#Startup #Financial Glossary

Beyond Boredom: 3 Steps for Refocusing Your Career

BlogPic414_Page_1I am seldom surprised at the types of challenges that advisers say they are experiencing because I have coached them for over 10 years, but in a recent Solutions Session, I heard a challenge that I must admit was unique.

Lori K, a veteran financial adviser with over 20 years in the business said, “My number one challenge is…well..that I’m bored,” she said emphatically.

I probed a bit.

“What exactly do you mean–bored with the work itself or the industry overall?”

She shared with me that she literally could retire because she was at “retirement age” but that she didn’t want to retire yet she was finding that she didn’t have the motivation she needed to grow her business any longer. Frankly she just wasn’t inspired to do any more than she absolutely had to.

I paused briefly before replying, “Lori, what you need is to get beyond your boredom.”

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How Virtual Assistants Can Help You Grow Your Business

virtually direct

Perfect Tasks for Your VA

Virtually most self-employed professionals or solo-business owner will reach the point where they can no longer run all the bases. More likely, they will start feeling overwhelmed with the day to day of running their business or feel like the “Jack of All Trades.” Did you know that it could represent as much as 80% in some cases? Yet many solo-business owners are often faced with a dilemma. Hiring full time staff to delegate specific tasks. In many cases this may not be an option.

Do you have enough actual work to justify full time staff? If not, is it possible to find somebody who has a range of skills so that you can allocate more than just a specific set of tasks to this person?

How many other costs are associated with taking on a new staff member? As business owners know only too well it’s simply not “just”…

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What kind of expenses can I write off if I am self-employed?

Fortune

This post is in partnership with Money. The article below was originally published at Money.com.

In addition to the same deductions taken by folks who are employed by others, you can also deduct most expenses related to doing your job. This includes office space, supplies, equipment, business use of your car and telephone, internet and so on.

Plus, if you work from home, you can deduct a percentage of your housing costs (including mortgage, taxes, utilities), based on the percentage of your home used as your workspace. This write off can be very valuable. The catch is that the space must be used exclusively and regularly for work. So the couch where you also sit to watch TV probably doesn’t count, but your home office will. Think about whether it would pass muster as being primarily a site of business activity if an auditor came to your home.

Travel…

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Getting Your Business Started – How To Advice

Micro Business Tips

How-to-Start-a-Small-Retail-Business
CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE PODCAST EPISODE FOR THIS BLOG POST (Part 1)
CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE PODCAST EPISODE FOR THIS BLOG POST (Part 2)

Basically here’s my thoughts on starting a small business: You don’t need a loan, you don’t need investors and you sure as hell don’t need a partner. What you do need is ambition, a little bit of start up capital (like save some of your own money you’re saving) and a plan!

Here’s a quick checklist of things you should consider when starting a business:

  • Start with something you like to do or are passionate about
  • Will it monetize?
  • Surveys & market feedback
  • Select a good name that defines your business
  • Get registered with your state (if you’re in Indiana like me click here)

Please leave any comments or questions that you’d have below or on Twitter @microbiztips

I believe in giving credit…

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Snapsolve For iPhone Lets Students Get Homework Help Just By Taking A Photo

TechCrunch

A new mobile application called Snapsolve, launching today, is offering a way for students to receive help with their homework, just by snapping a photo of the problem at hand. However, unlike automated tools like the clever PhotoMath app, for example, Snapsolve connects students with a tutor who then responds directly with customized answers and explanations.

The app is the latest development from a startup called StudyRoom, an online learning platform that first launched at TechCrunch Disrupt back in September. Originally designed for college students, the service aimed to take the concept of student-based study groups online, allowing students to help each other out, including sharing notes and other classroom materials. At the time of its Disrupt launch, StudyRoom became available to 100 schools across the U.S.

Today, says co-founder and CEO Emerson Malca, StudyRoom’s top universities have between 25 percent to 50 percent of their entire student populations using…

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SecondMarket Sets Up Transfer Facilities For Startups To Manage Secondary Sales

TechCrunch

SecondMarket, the secondary transaction manager whose involvement in Facebook’s pre-public offering fire sale of shares arguably hurt the social network’s eventual initial offering, is now launching a new product to put more control over secondary sales in the hands of startups.

With private companies staying off the public boards longer and valuations for later stage rounds climbing,  an increasing number of firms are launching to invest in secondary sales (sales of shares owned by company employees or investors that were distributed as part of earlier rounds or as compensation).

As these firms start preying on SecondMarket’s turf, the progenitor of the secondary sale for venture capital investments is offering a new product to later-stage venture backed companies that focuses on better managing the secondary process (oh, the irony).

“We did about $1.5 billion in company-controlled secondaries last year. And the model there is a broad-based…

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Lane Bryant’s jab at Victoria’s Secret

Fortune

In the digital age, one way for a brand to make itself relevant is to get social media traction. By that measure, plus-size retailer Lane Bryant Inc. is succeeding.

Lane Bryant Inc., which sells women’s clothing size 14 to 28, became a hot topic in social media after the company released an ad campaign featuring vamping, slightly-large supermodels in slinky lingerie, a not-so-subtle jab at Victoria’s Secret 2014 ads where ultrathin “angels” wore wings.

Hashtagged #ImNoAngel, the salvo from Lane Bryant’s CEO and President Linda Heasley aims to revitalize the flagging brand by cashing in on the growing “body-positive” movement.

In one day, #ImNoAngel garnered 30,000 Facebook and Twitter mentions, 85% of them positive, according to Folke Lemaitre, CEO and founder of Engagor, an analytics firm monitoring social media. Twitter followers were growing 4 percent a day. Activity was 80% women 25 to 44. The terms used most often: “redefining…

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UNFINISHED PROJECTS

Had a superb idea for a new on-line business venture (start-up) called Unfinished Projects. I’m going to be approaching some potential partners with the idea later this week.

At this point I am merely creating the design sketches and outline for the business, but in a relatively short period of time I could easily develop both business and operating plans.

FremantleMedia Forms Joint Venture With BesTV, China Media Capital – MIPTV

Deadline

bestv logoFremantleMedia is already active in the China market, having licensed such formats as Got Talent, Idol, The X Factor, Take Me Out and Family Feud to local broadcasters. Under a new partnership with media giants Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital, the company will dig in further, creating and developing content specifically earmarked for the Middle Kingdom and destined for SMG’s Dragon TV and BesTV platforms. FremantleMedia International will handle worldwide distribution of the content that emerges from the joint venture.

china media capitalBased in Shanghai, the team will include what the partners say are “international experts,” along with local producers, to draw on Fremantle’s creative strengths. Stories will focus on Chinese values and tastes blended with Western structure and creativity.

The Chinese television market is growing rapidly and “the value of premium content is being created and manifested with unprecedented enthusiasmn,” says CMC founding chairman Ruigang Li…

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Tallwave has chosen the finalists in the High Tide startup competition

urs300

Source: Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tanis-jorge/tech-start-up-employment_b_4174051.html Source: Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tanis-jorge/tech-start-up-employment_b_4174051.html

Back in February, I wrote about a collaboration between Tallwave, a company dedicated to guiding fresh businesses on the path to permanence, and the owners of downtown Phoenix’s Luhrs City Center, which involved a competition called High Tide where entrepreneurs and startups present their ideas in hopes of winning $50,000 toward their enterprise along with resources valued at $45,000, as well as office space in Luhrs Tower.

Five finalists out of 75 from that competition were announced yesterday, and two will go on to receive the grand prize. The startups are based in digital technology, and have space in Luhrs Tower until June as they undergo a training program that involves “prototype building, marketplace testing, sales workshops, branding and customer validation” (Edelen). Tallwave CEO Jeffrey Pruitt said that while the program does provide a means for entrepreneurs to advance their startups with less risk, he emphasized its…

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Five Often Overlooked Steps to Getting Started as a Freelance Content Marketer

Live to Write - Write to Live

journey one stepSeven years ago this spring, I was a freshly minted single mom building a new life for myself and my daughter amidst the wreckage of a less-than-amicable divorce. I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep things afloat financially, but I knew I didn’t want to return to my old agency life of sixty-hour weeks and around-the-clock meetings. Having spent the first three years of her life at home with my little girl, I was determined to find a way to work as an independent freelancer.

Through the serendipitous inquiries of several acquaintances, I managed to land a couple of long-term, freelance project management gigs. I snapped up the chance to generate some semi-regular income working remotely; but – although I was (very) grateful for the opportunities – I knew that, ultimately, I didn’t want to build my business around project management. I wanted to write.

This is the…

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Why SpaceX is shooting an espresso machine into space

Fortune

The scientists aboard the International Space Station are about to get a serious jolt of caffeine, courtesy of Elon Musk.

SpaceX, the aerospace company Musk runs alongside electric car company Tesla, is set to launch a resupply mission to the ISS on Monday afternoon that will include espresso machines, The Oregonian reports. The espresso maker is meant specifically for an Italian astronaut on board, and it is designed to operate safely in zero-gravity.

The SpaceX launch can be watched on NASA TV starting at 3:30 EST on Monday. After liftoff, SpaceX will try to vertically land its rocket’s first stage on a floating barge waiting for it about 200 miles off the Florida coast, its latest attempt to make it easier and cheaper to reuse space rockets.

Unlike Tesla, SpaceX is a private company, though IPO rumors have swirled in the past.

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Good Ideas Are Not Enough

The Baseline Scenario

By James Kwak

Dan Davies put together a brilliant roundup of the clever business models that financial technology startups are pitching to their investors — and why most of them are deeply flawed. Some of them apply much more broadly than to just the financial services industry. Number three, for example — “Hoping that a load of people who actively mistrust each other will trust you instead” — is a decent description of the business-to-business marketplaces that Ariba was trying to build when I worked there back at the beginning of the millennium.

I’d like to add two more general principles that apply to technology companies that are trying to serve the financial services industry — mainly learned during my years working at an insurance software company before going to law school.

Read more on Medium …

(I’m going to try switching to a Brad DeLong-style approach in which I put the beginnings of my Medium posts here…

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It Can Wait. Really.: The Real Solution to Notification Overload

The Baseline Scenario

By James Kwak

Beeping iPads! Buzzing phones! Zapping watches! Soon, apparently, we won’t be able to complete a thought without being interrupted by some “intelligent” piece of technology.

The solution, according to Steven Levy, is yet more technology:

a great artificial intelligence effort to comb through our information, assess the urgency and relevance, and use a deep knowledge of who we are and what we think is important to deliver the right notifications at the right time. . . .

the automated intake of our information will allow us to “know by wire,” as super-smart systems learn how to parcel things out in the least annoying and most useful fashion. They will curate better than any human can.

First of all, I’m skeptical. So is Levy, apparently; just a few paragraphs up, he writes, “the idea of One Feed to Rule Them All is ultimately a pipe dream.” The same factors…

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PRINTABLE BODY ARMOR

The Missal

If possible always invent in imitation of Nature. God knows his designs.

By the way I have long considered and have experimented with the idea of a reactive liquid armor that both redirects projectile trajectories and disperses force in spread waves rather than attempts to meet it with direct resistance.

So I found this step forward to be doubly interesting. In construction method, in design, and as a pointer towards improved future capabilities.

MIT Researchers 3D-Print Body Armor Inspired By Fish Scales

New scale mail unveiled

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Illustration of deformation mechanisms in laminates

Illustration of deformation mechanisms in laminates

Rudykh et al

Body armor suffers from a core tension: it must be light enough so the soldier wearing it can still fight effectively, but strong enough to actually stop bullets and shrapnel. Durable, shock-absorbing Kevlar is the current standard, but it can definitely be improved upon. What if…

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SUBSTANCE OF THE SOUL – FROM THE BUSINESS, CAREER, AND WORK OF MAN

The modern men of the West rarely lack for sustenance of the body. What they most lack is substance of the Soul.

What they are most in need of is True Courage and Virtue. What they most hunger for, without even being aware of it, is Real Manhood.

If the modern man of the West were regularly fed Real Manhood, or even far better, if he could habitually grow his own, then the benefit to himself, and the profit to the entire World would be incalculable.

The Dangerous Combination of Banking and Fintech

Wall Street and Beyond

Everyone, it seems, is starting to take note of the burgeoning “Fintech” scene. Jamie Dimon even specifically referenced the threat from Silicon Valley in yesterday’s letter to shareholders’

“There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking. The ones you read about most are in the lending business, whereby the firms can lend to individuals and small businesses very quickly and – these entities believe – effectively by using Big Data to enhance credit underwriting. They are very good at reducing the “pain points” in that they can make loans in minutes, which might take banks weeks. We are going to work hard to make our services as seamless and competitive as theirs. And we also are completely comfortable with partnering where it makes sense.”

The fact is that banking is a field in which there hasn’t been much innovation…

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The Value of Exploitation

There is an awful lot here that I totally disagree with and that to me obviously misses the point. But as a general observation on value, money, and especially the hidden and intangible nature of “modern money” I think the author made some brilliant observations.

And I do not think that can continue, at least not in the current sense, because it is being constantly exposed by technology. On the other hand both technology and culture is allowing for the very opposite of what I said in the previous sentence, the “invisibility of immediate and perceptive value.” In a general sense.

I also have nothing at all against exploitation, or manipulation. Both are merely methods, it depends entirely upon how you put them to use. Exploitation and manipulation by tyranny, and theft, and seizing of the property and money of others is equally bad whether this is done by a street thug, or a government in the guise of taxation.

On the other hand the positive exploitation of your own talents, and of the talents of others, for some good end is entirely honorable and to be pursued at every opportunity if profits are shared equitably and fairly.

And manipulation of yourself and of others in a Virtuous and self-disciplined manner, that is entirely noteworthy and good. That is to say you want to increase Virtue, just as you do profit, and every available opportunity. That’s exactly how you should be manipulating things.

I know modern people love to think in either/or terms: them/us, wealthy/poor, have/have not, genius/stupid, and that terms like exploitation can only possibly mean, “bad, wrong, immoral, etc.”

They’re propagandized to think that way. That’s why they have so much bad, wrong, immorality, poverty, etc. They can’t get past their models and their paradigms to what should be their real objectives – everyone prospering, everyone fully exploiting what is best about themselves and others (rather than just being consumed with exploiting for entirely malignant advantage), etc. etc.

That is what cannot continue indefinitely.

Then again look at human history. We’re pretty damned good at it… and we don’t much bother to explore any more profitable venues.

Heart | Soul | Machine

At the core of our societal structures, economic and political systems is exploitation.

Exploitation creates value in the most simplistic way by imposing a basic deficit model – I have, you do not.

Exploitation is systematic unfairness. It divides and separates people. It motivates the worst aspects of our human nature and utilises our innate ability to blinker, separate and abstract ourselves. It divorces us as individuals from what made us successful as a species the very idea of what is shared and common.

Value is created through exploitation which is then represented by “wealth”. Wealth is the abstracted concept of value and the process of having what others do not.

Money is the evolved representation of wealth. Before money wealth was tangible through physical manifestations such lands and treasure. Easily seen, easily coveted, easily taken. Money, in particular it’s digital form, abstracts wealth into something more pure and…

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The music industry has a math problem

I suspect that there is much to be said by the criticism of the mathematical model detailed in this article. I also suspect there are some simple algorithmic solutions, such as number of downloads in a given period of time – time popularity compression (equates to a greater payout), number of repeat downloads (equals greater payouts), number of on-going and continuous downloads (equals greater payouts), number of downloads that translate into live performance gigs, total number of downloads (all payouts in all categories being proportional profit rates as popularity increases), etc. etc. – that is you would use mathematical models that mimic or equate to the traditional industry musical models and apply them to the new standards in a graduated fashion. The profitability scale would increase over time as the measurement standards are reached and exceeded.

There would be a very logical and justifiable productivity to profitability scale.

Not very difficult to do at all, you just plug in the new equations at the particular rates that make profitability in comparison to the standard industry equivalents.

Just as math pointed out the discrepancies in the profitability models it can be used to formulate new models that either mimic the old models or improve upon the old models.

LinkedIn to pay $1.5 billion for online learning website

Fortune

LinkedIn is paying $1.5 billion in a cash-and-stock deal to scoop up Lynda.com, a subscription-based website that has taught professionally focused courses for 20 years.

Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close during the second quarter, professional social network website LinkedIn [fortune-stock symbol=”LNKD”] agreed to pay about $780 million in cash and about $720 million in Class A stock to buy Lynda.com. Both companies generate revenue from a subscription model, although LinkedIn also allows users to access the company’s website for free. Lynda.com, meanwhile, offers several tiered subscription services starting at a monthly price of $25.

Lynda.com was founded in 1995 and says it is often first-to-market on software training because of the close ties it has with major software companies. The company currently has over 2,900 courses on its website and says it adds an average of about 60 courses per month. The Carpinteria, Calif…

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Half of Americans don’t invest anything at all

Fortune

Half of Americans don’t invest in the stock market, according to a Bankrate.com survey released Thursday, despite U.S. markets recently reaching record highs.

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed who don’t invest cited a lack of money to spare as their primary reason for not doing so. Nine percent distrusted stock brokers and advisers, while another 7% said investing was too much of a risk.

“It was a little surprising, especially since we specified that also includes IRAs and 401(k)s,” Bankrate.com analyst Claes Bell told USA Todayof the study. “But we had two big market shocks in recent memory. The bubble burst in tech stocks around 2000, and of course the financial crisis. So part of that probably comes from mistrust of the markets and . . . people not having the funds to invest right now.”

But Bell told USA Today that it’s a mistake not to place money…

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Shell rolls the dice on BG takeover

Fortune

Joining the ranks of such previous oil industry megadeals as the Exxon-Mobil merger, in 1994, and Chevron’s Texaco acquisition, in 2000, Royal Dutch Shell’s plan to acquire natural gas giant BG Group marks the biggest oil merger in a decade and could herald a new round of industry consolidation in the face of sluggish prices. More than that, it signals a huge gamble by new Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, who took over the venerable Anglo-Dutch company last year pledging to right a prolonged period of costly stumbles. Shell’s efforts to drill for oil in the Arctic have been set back by the cost of production in such harsh conditions, and in February the company announced it was indefinitely postponing development of a new mine in the tar sands of northern Alberta.

“This transaction fits with our strategy and our read on the industry landscape around us,” van Beurden…

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Active Defense: Security Operations Evolved

I completely agree with the idea that current cyber-defense models are wholly inadequate. What we need are anticipatory models (systems and applications really) that can successfully discriminate between normal operations and impending attacks and thwart them before they occur, not after.

ACTIVE DEFENSE: SECURITY OPERATIONS EVOLVED

Mark G. Manglicmot, Adam C. Tyra

Abstract

Static cyber defenses based on fixed sensors and event correlation have proven insufficient. Defenders have adopted the cyber equivalent of placing a cop on a street corner with a pile of mug shots in the hopes that a criminal will walk close enough to be seen. However, as most bad guy hunters would attest, fighting evil consistently requires you to proactively investigate it, hunt it down, and kick in the door where you find it. The key here is hunting. Companies must evolve their security operations to proactively hunt intruders and either eradicate them from the network or confirm that they were not there in the first place.

In this paper, we present an “Active Defense” approach to security operations fusing enhanced infrastructure awareness with timely threat intelligence to surgically interrogate, monitor, and defend critical business enclaves. A holistic strategy is outlined along…

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