Thursday, November 12, 2009

UTT 5 Minutes of Fame 2009 presentation notes

I teach Educational Technology to pre-service teachers. They are full time students, and this TECH110E course is given in the second semester, first year. Given that we are supposed to teach the students how to use technology tools in the classroom themselves, a major part of the course is to use the tools ourselves! So we set up Blackboard shells.

We were not getting great enthusiasm for the Blackboard 6 installation. We knew that our students were techno-capable and even techo-philes from their activity on public sites. Students were very much into the social networking sites, such as Facebook, Tagged, Hi 5, Tubely, etc.

In an attempt to get our EdTech students to all use one site for management of course materials and student-created work such as videos and podcasts, etc, we determined that we should try using the social network features of a site to attract the students, and to see if they would interact with a work/study-related website in the same way that they interacted on a private site.

We had 2 classes participate.

One class was directed as to how they should interact with the site - a private group was created for them, and they were directed to upload files at specific times, etc.
The other class was turned loose on the site without any direction as to how it was to be used, but they did get an intro as to the features and the functions available on the site.

Instructor interaction on the site was quite intensive, but we found that other students were taking on a tutor role, answering questions, posting resources and taking the initiative before we managed to get to the questions! Students did additional work that was not requested - such as videos beyond what was required for the class. They posted all their practice materials and got really good feedback and comments from the other students.

There was a lot of online discussion and commenting that fed into and out of class discussions. We did notice that commenting seems to a be an activity that the students really seemed to like. Discussion forums were less popular, and chat features weren't popular AT ALL. Videos and photo uplaods were very popular.

Only problem was that some students posted inappropriate profile pictures - bikini shots, etc. But even that led to a teachable moment, as they did reasearch on and discussed internet safety and personal information on the internet, internet stalking etc.

To see the video of the presentation, click here

Monday, October 26, 2009

Swine flu vaccine raises troubling questions? Does it REALLY???

I saw this article in the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian on Sunday, and the total lack of balance and logic in it annoyed me so much, I had to write in.

Swine flu vaccine raises troubling questions

Really, what questions are so troubling? To me, the fact that people are asking questions is good, BUT the fact that their questions are so basic and that they do not look for or believe the answers from the CDC and other professionals is what is troubling.

Why are random people on Facebook quoted and their opinions given the same weight as medical professionals who have studied this stuff for years and have reams of scientific evidence on their side?

"the vaccine was rushed through development — many vaccines take years to make, while the swine flu shot was made in response to a virus that reared its head only months ago. They argue it hasn’t been properly or thoroughly tested"

"shooting myself up with an experimental drug that has not really been given enough time to find out the side effects"

Whoa - experimental drug? Maybe when vaccine technology was being developed in the last century, it might have been considered "experimental", but let's get real! We've eradicated smallpox by the use of vaccination. Polio - remember that?

Vaccines take years to DEVELOP, not to MAKE. The flu vaccine was developed ages ago. Different strains of flu come out every year.

H1N1-A is just A STRAIN of flu. Every year they determine what strains of flu are likely to hit, and make the flu vaccine for them. So, there's no "new" vaccine, no "new" process. It's what they've been doing every year, for OVER 40 YEARS, for the seasonal flu (other strains of infuenza, remember?)

Are we really seriously comparing the state of the art in medical science in 1976 - over 40 years ago - to that now? Flu vaccine might have been experimental then, but somehow, with BILLIONS of doses administered worldwide in the past FORTY years, think maybe that it's by now been properly tried and tested?

And of course, Wayne O'Brady on Facebook doesn't know of what this vaccine is composed. Guess he didn't look very far - a simple Yahoo! search turned up the following information provided by Dr. Richard Besser, former head of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

9. What are the ingredients in the H1N1 vaccine?

Again, there are two different vaccines. The nasal spray is what is called a "live attenuated vaccine." They take the virus and change it so that it can’t cause the flu, but it can infect the cells in your nose and cause an immune reaction. The injectable vaccine has a surface protein in it called hemagglutinin. All vaccines contain trace amounts of ingredients that are used in its manufacturing, as well as stabilizers so that the vaccine remains effective.

Also, if your vaccine comes from a multi-dose vial, it will have a very small amount of a preservative called thimerosol. It is important to remember that both vaccines can have trace amounts of egg protein in them, because the viruses that are used to make the vaccine are grown in eggs. People with egg allergies can’t receive either vaccine.

The level of basic scientific ignorance that is displayed when anything science-based is discussed is just appalling. This does not bode very well for the future of this country.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


"What do you know about Belmont? When did it become an official part of Port of Spain? Do you know that Belmont has contributed many of Trinidad's greatest sporting and cultural heroes?

Trinidad Theatre Workshop is hosting the Freetown Foundation's presentation of 'Golden Memories of Belmont's Glorious Past.' Photos and artifacts line the walls of Playwright's Theatre, showing off Belmont like you've never seen it before!

The Exhibition runs Monday to Friday, until the 30th of October from 10am - 4pm.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about one of Trinidad and Tobago's most amazing and influential communities!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Domain tasting report shows massive drop

Got this from Alan, whose hard work started and pushed this initiative through the complex processes of ICANN. Congrats to Alan, ALAC and ICANN, for actually following through on an ALAC advisory and proposal!

ICANN posted today about the impact of the AGP Budget Provision and the AGP Limits Policy on Domain Tasting.

In short, the changes are dramatic. There were 17,668750 AGP deletes in June 2008. Following the ICANN budget levy on excessive deletes, the number decreased to 2,785,605. With the implementation of the AGP limit policy in April 2009, the total number of AGP deletes was 58,218, an overall decrease of 99.7%.

Put another way, in June 2008, for .COM, there were 2,122,794 net new domains added, and an additional 15,738,292 domain names added and then AGP-deleted for an AGP delete rate of 741%

In April 2009, there were 2,084,868 net new domains added, and an additional 37,519 domain names added and then AGP-deleted for an AGP delete rate of under 2%.

Under the policy, an AGP-delete rate of 10% is allowed without financial penalty, per registrar, to allow for exceptional conditions. It was expected that few registrars would exceed this 10% and in fact in April only 22 registrars exceeded 10%, and there were only 432 excessive AGP-deletes.

As the organization that started this entire policy process, At-Large and ALAC can be proud of the results.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Michael Jackson Oxford Speech

A speech given by Michael Jackson at Oxford University in 2001.

Heal The Kids - Oxford Speech

Oxford University, March 2001 by Michael Jackson

Thank you, thank you dear friends, from the bottom of my heart, for such a loving and spirited welcome, and thank you, Mr President, for your kind invitation to me which I am so honoured to accept. I also want to express a special thanks to you Shmuley, who for 11 years served as Rabbi here at Oxford. You and I have been working so hard to form Heal the Kids, as well as writing our book about childlike qualities, and in all of our efforts you have been such a supportive and loving friend. And I would also like to thank Toba Friedman, our director of operations at Heal the Kids, who is returning tonight to the alma mater where she served as a Marshall scholar, as well as Marilyn Piels, another central member of our Heal the Kids team.

I am humbled to be lecturing in a place that has previously been filled by such notable figures as Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X. I've even heard that Kermit the Frog has made an appearance here, and I've always felt a kinship with Kermit's message that it's not easy being green. I'm sure he didn't find it any easier being up here than I do!

As I looked around Oxford today, I couldn't help but be aware of the majesty and grandeur of this great institution, not to mention the brilliance of the great and gifted minds that have roamed these streets for centuries. The walls of Oxford have not only housed the greatest philosophical and scientific geniuses - they have also ushered forth some of the most cherished creators of children's literature, from J.R.R. Tolkien to CS Lewis. Today I was allowed to hobble into the dining hall in Christ Church to see Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland immortalised in the stained glass windows. And even one of my own fellow Americans, the beloved Dr Seuss graced these halls and then went on to leave his mark on the imaginations of millions of children throughout the world.

I suppose I should start by listing my qualifications to speak before you this evening. Friends, I do not claim to have the academic expertise of other speakers who have addressed this hall, just as they could lay little claim at being adept at the moonwalk - and you know, Einstein in particular was really TERRIBLE at that.

But I do have a claim to having experienced more places and cultures than most people will ever see. Human knowledge consists not only of libraries of parchment and ink - it is also comprised of the volumes of knowledge that are written on the human heart, chiselled on the human soul, and engraved on the human psyche. And friends, I have encountered so much in this relatively short life of mine that I still cannot believe I am only 42. I often tell Shmuley that in soul years I'm sure that I'm at least 80 - and tonight I even walk like I'm 80! So please harken to my message, because what I have to tell you tonight can bring healing to humanity and healing to our planet.

Through the grace of God, I have been fortunate to have achieved many of my artistic and professional aspirations realised early in my lifetime. But these, friends are accomplishments, and accomplishments alone are not synonymous with who I am. Indeed, the cheery five-year-old who belted out Rockin' Robin and Ben to adoring crowds was not indicative of the boy behind the smile.

Tonight, I come before you less as an icon of pop (whatever that means anyway), and more as an icon of a generation, a generation that no longer knows what it means to be children.

All of us are products of our childhood. But I am the product of a lack of a childhood, an absence of that precious and wondrous age when we frolic playfully without a care in the world, basking in the adoration of parents and relatives, where our biggest concern is studying for that big spelling test come Monday morning.

Those of you who are familiar with the Jackson Five know that I began performing at the tender age of five and that ever since then, I haven't stopped dancing or singing. But while performing and making music undoubtedly remain as some of my greatest joys, when I was young I wanted more than anything else to be a typical little boy. I wanted to build tree houses, have water balloon fights, and play hide and seek with my friends. But fate had it otherwise and all I could do was envy the laughter and playtime that seemed to be going on all around me.

There was no respite from my professional life. But on Sundays I would go Pioneering, the term used for the missionary work that Jehovah's Witnesses do. And it was then that I was able to see the magic of other people's childhood.

Since I was already a celebrity, I would have to don a disguise of fat suit, wig, beard and glasses and we would spend the day in the suburbs of Southern California, going door-to-door or making the rounds of shopping malls, distributing our Watchtower magazine. I loved to set foot in all those regular suburban houses and catch sight of the shag rugs and La-Z-Boy armchairs with kids playing Monopoly and grandmas baby-sitting and all those wonderful, ordinary and starry scenes of everyday life. Many, I know, would argue that these things seem like no big deal. But to me they were mesmerising.

I used to think that I was unique in feeling that I was without a childhood. I believed that indeed there were only a handful with whom I could share those feelings. When I recently met with Shirley Temple Black, the great child star of the 1930s and 40s, we said nothing to each other at first, we simply cried together, for she could share a pain with me that only others like my close friends Elizabeth Taylor and McCauley Culkin know.

I do not tell you this to gain your sympathy but to impress upon you my first important point : It is not just Hollywood child stars that have suffered from a non-existent childhood. Today, it's a universal calamity, a global catastrophe. Childhood has become the great casualty of modern-day living. All around us we are producing scores of kids who have not had the joy, who have not been accorded the right, who have not been allowed the freedom, or knowing what it's like to be a kid.

Today children are constantly encouraged to grow up faster, as if this period known as childhood is a burdensome stage, to be endured and ushered through, as swiftly as possible. And on that subject, I am certainly one of the world's greatest experts.

Ours is a generation that has witnessed the abrogation of the parent-child covenant. Psychologists are publishing libraries of books detailing the destructive effects of denying one's children the unconditional love that is so necessary to the healthy development of their minds and character. And because of all the neglect, too many of our kids have, essentially, to raise themselves. They are growing more distant from their parents, grandparents and other family members, as all around us the indestructible bond that once glued together the generations, unravels.

This violation has bred a new generation, Generation O let us call it, that has now picked up the torch from Generation X. The O stands for a generation that has everything on the outside - wealth, success, fancy clothing and fancy cars, but an aching emptiness on the inside. That cavity in our chests, that barrenness at our core, that void in our centre is the place where the heart once beat and which love once occupied.

And it's not just the kids who are suffering. It's the parents as well. For the more we cultivate little-adults in kids'-bodies, the more removed we ourselves become from our own child-like qualities, and there is so much about being a child that is worth retaining in adult life.

Love, ladies and gentlemen, is the human family's most precious legacy, its richest bequest, its golden inheritance. And it is a treasure that is handed down from one generation to another. Previous ages may not have had the wealth we enjoy. Their houses may have lacked electricity, and they squeezed their many kids into small homes without central heating. But those homes had no darkness, nor were they cold. They were lit bright with the glow of love and they were warmed snugly by the very heat of the human heart. Parents, undistracted by the lust for luxury and status, accorded their children primacy in their lives.

As you all know, our two countries broke from each other over what Thomas Jefferson referred to as "certain inalienable rights". And while we Americans and British might dispute the justice of his claims, what has never been in dispute is that children have certain inalienable rights, and the gradual erosion of those rights has led to scores of children worldwide being denied the joys and security of childhood.

I would therefore like to propose tonight that we install in every home a Children's Universal Bill of Rights, the tenets of which are:

1. The right to be loved without having to earn it

2. The right to be protected, without having to deserve it

3. The right to feel valuable, even if you came into the world with nothing

4. The right to be listened to without having to be interesting

5. The right to be read a bedtime story, without having to compete with the evening news

6. The right to an education without having to dodge bullets at schools

7. The right to be thought of as adorable - (even if you have a face that only a mother could love).

Friends, the foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a part, you have to know that you are loved.

About twelve years ago, when I was just about to start my Bad tour, a little boy came with his parents to visit me at home in California. He was dying of cancer and he told me how much he loved my music and me. His parents told me that he wasn't going to live, that any day he could just go, and I said to him: "Look, I am going to be coming to your town in Kansas to open my tour in three months. I want you to come to the show. I am going to give you this jacket that I wore in one of my videos." His eyes lit up and he said: "You are gonna GIVE it to me?" I said "Yeah, but you have to promise that you will wear it to the show." I was trying to make him hold on. I said: "When you come to the show I want to see you in this jacket and in this glove" and I gave him one of my rhinestone gloves - and I never usually give the rhinestone gloves away. And he was just in heaven.

But maybe he was too close to heaven, because when I came to his town, he had already died, and they had buried him in the glove and jacket. He was just 10 years old. God knows, I know, that he tried his best to hold on. But at least when he died, he knew that he was loved, not only by his parents, but even by me, a near stranger, I also loved him. And with all of that love he knew that he didn't come into this world alone, and he certainly didn't leave it alone.

If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can he dealt with. A professor may degrade you, but you will not feel degraded, a boss may crush you, but you will not be crushed, a corporate gladiator might vanquish you, but you will still triumph. How could any of them truly prevail in pulling you down? For you know that you are an object worthy of love. The rest is just packaging.

But if you don't have that memory of being loved, you are condemned to search the world for something to fill you up. But no matter how much money you make or how famous you become, you will still fell empty. What you are really searching for is unconditional love, unqualified acceptance. And that was the one thing that was denied to you at birth.

Friends, let me paint a picture for you. Here is a typical day in America - six youths under the age of 20 will commit suicide, 12 children under the age of 20 will die from firearms - remember this is a DAY, not a year - 399 kids will be arrested for drug abuse, 1,352 babies will be born to teen mothers. This is happening in one of the richest, most developed countries in the history of the world.

Yes, in my country there is an epidemic of violence that parallels no other industrialised nation. These are the ways young people in America express their hurt and their anger. But don't think that there is not the same pain and anguish among their counterparts in the United Kingdom. Studies in this country show that every single hour, three teenagers in the UK inflict harm upon themselves, often by cutting or burning their bodies or taking an overdose. This is how they have chosen to cope with the pain of neglect and emotional agony.

In Britain, as many as 20% of families will only sit down and have dinner together once a year. Once a year! And what about the time-honoured tradition of reading your kid a bedtime story? Research from the 1980s showed that children who are read to, had far greater literacy and significantly outperformed their peers at school. And yet, less than 33% of British children ages two to eight have a regular bedtime story read to them. You may not think much of that until you take into account that 75% of their parents DID have that bedtime story when they were that age.

Clearly, we do not have to ask ourselves where all of this pain, anger and violent behaviour comes from. It is self-evident that children are thundering against the neglect, quaking against the indifference and crying out just to be noticed. The various child protection agencies in the US say that millions of children are victims of maltreatment in the form of neglect, in the average year. Yes, neglect. In rich homes, privileged homes, wired to the hilt with every electronic gadget. Homes where parents come home, but they're not really home, because their heads are still at the office. And their kids? Well, their kids just make do with whatever emotional crumbs they get. And you don't get much from endless TV, computer games and videos.

These hard, cold numbers which for me, wrench the soul and shake the spirit, should indicate to you why I have devoted so much of my time and resources into making our new Heal the Kids initiative a colossal success.

Our goal is simple - to recreate the parent/child bond, renew its promise and light the way forward for all the beautiful children who are destined one day to walk this earth.

But since this is my first public lecture, and you have so warmly welcomed me into your hearts, I feel that I want to tell you more. We each have our own story, and in that sense statistics can become personal.

They say that parenting is like dancing. You take one step, your child takes another. I have discovered that getting parents to re-dedicate themselves to their children is only half the story. The other half is preparing the children to re-accept their parents.

When I was very young I remember that we had this crazy mutt of a dog named "Black Girl," a mix of wolf and retriever. Not only wasn't she much of a guard dog, she was such a scared and nervous thing that it is a wonder she did not pass out every time a truck rumbled by, or a thunderstorm swept through Indiana. My sister Janet and I gave that dog so much love, but we never really won back the sense of trust that had been stolen from her by her previous owner. We knew he used to beat her. We didn't know with what. But whatever it was, it was enough to suck the spirit right out of that dog.

A lot of kids today are hurt puppies who have weaned themselves off the need for love. They couldn't care less about their parents. Left to their own devices, they cherish their independence. They have moved on and have left their parents behind.

Then there are the far worse cases of children who harbour animosity and resentment toward their parents, so that any overture that their parents might undertake would be thrown forcefully back in their face.

Tonight, I don't want any of us to make this mistake. That's why I'm calling upon all the world's children - beginning with all of us here tonight - to forgive our parents, if we felt neglected. Forgive them and teach them how to love again.

You probably weren't surprised to hear that I did not have an idyllic childhood. The strain and tension that exists in my relationship with my own father is well documented. My father is a tough man and he pushed my brothers and me hard, from the earliest age, to be the best performers we could be.

He had great difficulty showing affection. He never really told me he loved me. And he never really complimented me either. If I did a great show, he would tell me it was a good show. And if I did an OK show, he told me it was a lousy show.

He seemed intent, above all else, on making us a commercial success. And at that he was more than adept. My father was a managerial genius and my brothers and I owe our professional success, in no small measure, to the forceful way that he pushed us. He trained me as a showman and under his guidance I couldn't miss a step.

But what I really wanted was a Dad. I wanted a father who showed me love. And my father never did that. He never said I love you while looking me straight in the eye, he never played a game with me. He never gave me a piggyback ride, he never threw a pillow at me, or a water balloon.

But I remember once when I was about four years old, there was a little carnival and he picked me up and put me on a pony. It was a tiny gesture, probably something he forgot five minutes later. But because of that moment I have this special place in my heart for him. Because that's how kids are, the little things mean so much to them and for me, that one moment meant everything. I only experienced it that one time, but it made me feel really good, about him and the world.

But now I am a father myself, and one day I was thinking about my own children, Prince and Paris and how I wanted them to think of me when they grow up. To be sure, I would like them to remember how I always wanted them with me wherever I went, how I always tried to put them before everything else. But there are also challenges in their lives. Because my kids are stalked by paparazzi, they can't always go to a park or a movie with me.

So what if they grow older and resent me, and how my choices impacted their youth? Why weren't we given an average childhood like all the other kids, they might ask? And at that moment I pray that my children will give me the benefit of the doubt. That they will say to themselves: "Our daddy did the best he could, given the unique circumstances that he faced. He may not have been perfect, but he was a warm and decent man, who tried to give us all the love in the world."

I hope that they will always focus on the positive things, on the sacrifices I willingly made for them, and not criticise the things they had to give up, or the errors I've made, and will certainly continue to make, in raising them. For we have all been someone's child, and we know that despite the very best of plans and efforts, mistakes will always occur. That's just being human.

And when I think about this, of how I hope that my children will not judge me unkindly, and will forgive my shortcomings, I am forced to think of my own father and despite my earlier denials, I am forced to admit that me must have loved me. He did love me, and I know that.

There were little things that showed it. When I was a kid I had a real sweet tooth - we all did. My favourite food was glazed doughnuts and my father knew that. So every few weeks I would come downstairs in the morning and there on the kitchen counter was a bag of glazed doughnuts - no note, no explanation - just the doughnuts. It was like Santa Claus.

Sometimes I would think about staying up late at night, so I could see him leave them there, but just like with Santa Claus, I didn't want to ruin the magic for fear that he would never do it again. My father had to leave them secretly at night, so as no one might catch him with his guard down. He was scared of human emotion, he didn't understand it or know how to deal with it. But he did know doughnuts.

And when I allow the floodgates to open up, there are other memories that come rushing back, memories of other tiny gestures, however imperfect, that showed that he did what he could. So tonight, rather than focusing on what my father didn't do, I want to focus on all the things he did do and on his own personal challenges. I want to stop judging him.

I have started reflecting on the fact that my father grew up in the South, in a very poor family. He came of age during the Depression and his own father, who struggled to feed his children, showed little affection towards his family and raised my father and his siblings with an iron fist. Who could have imagined what it was like to grow up a poor black man in the South, robbed of dignity, bereft of hope, struggling to become a man in a world that saw my father as subordinate. I was the first black artist to be played on MTV and I remember how big a deal it was even then. And that was in the 80s!

My father moved to Indiana and had a large family of his own, working long hours in the steel mills, work that kills the lungs and humbles the spirit, all to support his family. Is it any wonder that he found it difficult to expose his feelings? Is it any mystery that he hardened his heart, that he raised the emotional ramparts? And most of all, is it any wonder why he pushed his sons so hard to succeed as performers, so that they could be saved from what he knew to be a life of indignity and poverty?

I have begun to see that even my father's harshness was a kind of love, an imperfect love, to be sure, but love nonetheless. He pushed me because he loved me. Because he wanted no man ever to look down at his offspring.

And now with time, rather than bitterness, I feel blessing. In the place of anger, I have found absolution. And in the place of revenge I have found reconciliation. And my initial fury has slowly given way to forgiveness.

Almost a decade ago, I founded a charity called Heal the World. The title was something I felt inside me. Little did I know, as Shmuley later pointed out, that those two words form the cornerstone of Old Testament prophecy. Do I really believe that we can heal this world, that is riddled with war and genocide, even today? And do I really think that we can heal our children, the same children who can enter their schools with guns and hatred and shoot down their classmates, like they did at Columbine? Or children who can beat a defenceless toddler to death, like the tragic story of Jamie Bulger? Of course I do, or I wouldn't be here tonight.

But it all begins with forgiveness, because to heal the world, we first have to heal ourselves. And to heal the kids, we first have to heal the child within, each and every one of us. As an adult, and as a parent, I realise that I cannot be a whole human being, nor a parent capable of unconditional love, until I put to rest the ghosts of my own childhood.

And that's what I'm asking all of us to do tonight. Live up to the fifth of the Ten Commandments. Honour your parents by not judging them. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

That is why I want to forgive my father and to stop judging him. I want to forgive my father, because I want a father, and this is the only one that I've got. I want the weight of my past lifted from my shoulders and I want to be free to step into a new relationship with my father, for the rest of my life, unhindered by the goblins of the past.

In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.

To all of you tonight who feel let down by your parents, I ask you to let down your disappointment. To all of you tonight who feel cheated by your fathers or mothers, I ask you not to cheat yourself further. And to all of you who wish to push your parents away, I ask you to extend you hand to them instead. I am asking you, I am asking myself, to give our parents the gift of unconditional love, so that they too may learn how to love from us, their children. So that love will finally be restored to a desolate and lonely world.

Shmuley once mentioned to me an ancient Biblical prophecy which says that a new world and a new time would come, when "the hearts of the parents would be restored through the hearts of their children". My friends, we are that world, we are those children.

Mahatma Gandhi said: "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Tonight, be strong. Beyond being strong, rise to the greatest challenge of all - to restore that broken covenant. We must all overcome whatever crippling effects our childhoods may have had on our lives and in the words of Jesse Jackson, forgive each other, redeem each other and move on.

This call for forgiveness may not result in Oprah moments the world over, with thousands of children making up with their parents, but it will at least be a start, and we'll all be so much happier as a result.

And so ladies and gentlemen, I conclude my remarks tonight with faith, joy and excitement.

From this day forward, may a new song be heard.

Let that new song be the sound of children laughing.

Let that new song be the sound of children playing.

Let that new song be the sound of children singing.

And let that new song be the sound of parents listening.

Together, let us create a symphony of hearts, marvelling at the miracle of our children and basking in the beauty of love.

Let us heal the world and blight its pain.

And may we all make beautiful music together.

God bless you, and I love you.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

We had him.

RIP Michael Jackson. You were the biggest star on earth. Now you shine in heaven. At peace, away from the torments this stardom gave you. Thank you for all you gave us.

"We Had Him"

By Dr. Maya Angelou.

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.

Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.

Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.

His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.

And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.

In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England

We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

BAHS needs your help!

Hello to all Old Hilarians. Here's a message from the Old Hilarians' Association. Please circulate... the School needs your help. BAHS is in dire need of paint – Sissons Weather Guard: Yellow Buff Emulsion to be exact. The annual luncheon is on July 04 2009 and we would like to get the word out to the Hilarian Community, asking attendees to bring 1 gallon of paint with them to the luncheon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Concordia's Video III Showcase Wrap-Up

My cousin's graduation showcase film, "The Art of Being" is reviewed here. Great praise - "felt like something that could be aired on PBS - lil cuz ready for the big times?
Congrats baby cuz!!

"The Art of Being (9:55), a documentary on the life of a saxophone player, actually felt like something that could be aired on PBS - especially the open moments in which the viewer discovers the finer details of the saxophone before finally revealing its subject through a blur behind the instrument."

Read the whole post here

Friday, June 12, 2009

More on the Barbados crackdown against Caribbean immigramts

Barbados has stated that there are in excess of 30,000 illegal Guyanese immigrants in Barbados, and Prime Minister David Thompson's has proposed a six-month amnesty (June to December) for Caricom migrants who may be illegally in Barbados. Regularisation of their status must occur within this timeframe, and deportations will commence soon thereafter.

This number seems extraordinarily large, given that the official population of Barbados is only 300,000. No specific data has been given as to the accuracy of these numbers.
One must wonder if it is being pushed purely for domestical political gain given the economic issues facing the Caribbean countries. When economic issues arise, protectionism is the "easy" way out. However, this is a problem for CARICOM and the fledgling CSME.

"In the absence of data in support of official claims of huge numbers of illegal Caricom migrants in the country, and the extent of pressure their presence is causing for the social services, the amnesty, which went into force on June 2, has unleashed a witch-hunting atmosphere and is nurturing tensions never before known in Barbados" Trinidad Express.

Spam drops 15 percent after FTC Pricewert takedown

"IDG News Service - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's recent takedown of an Internet service provider thought to be a safe haven for spammers has reduced spam volumes, but only by a little.

According to e-mail security vendor Marshal8e6, total spam volume dropped by about 15 percent last week, as the FTC got a court order to pull the plug on a notorious ISP named Pricewert. 'We noticed quite a drop-off mid to late last week,' said Phil Hay, a threat analyst with Marshal8e6. 'Things got pretty quiet compared to what we'd been seeing.'

Pricewert, which also did business under the name 3FN, was knocked off-line after the companies that provided it access to the Internet stopped doing business with it. This happened after the FTC was granted a temporary restraining order Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California."

Read more here:Spam drops 15 percent after FTC Pricewert takedown:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fallout from the Oxford Professor of Poetry Debacle

Underhanded, anonymous smears. This is what Oxford is about? Shameful!

Fallout from the Oxford Professor of Poetry Debacle � Repeating Islands

The nearly unanimous response to Derek Walcott’s withdrawal as a candidate for the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry from newspaper reporters, commentators, and bloggers has been one of regret and of condemnation of the tactics that pushed him to that decision.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Nominet given three months to live

Interesting article from Keiren McCarthy's blog. Nominet has generally been held up as one of the best and most successful ccTLD managers. Let's hope they get their act together.

April 30, 2009 ·

For the past year, the company that runs the UK’s Internet registry has been the unlikely location for a corporate soap opera, complete with scandals, villains, twists and turns, allegations of corruption, resignations, grand plans thwarted at the last minute and some nasty in-fighting that has left people alternatively amazed, entertained and worried.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swimming a Few Laps Around Barbados: Spending Life Living

Interesting excerpt, given the way that local residents cry down the local health services. Trinidad and Tobago has some excellent health-care initiatives, including all free medical services at public hospitals and clinics, as well as at private facilities when necessary. Medications for chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol are also free. Compared to US healthcare, it is highly unlikely that medical bills would bankrupt people or reduce them to homeless status.

Swimming a Few Laps Around Barbados: Spending Life Living:

"If her heart attack had occurred in Barbados and she wound up in a Barbados hospital with local docs unable to understand what happened to her, I likely would have criticized our local doctors for lack of training. But she’s in a prestigious U.S. hospital; her doctors there are puzzled.

In fact, earlier today I saw a Barbados physician for a chronic ailment that was misdiagnosed and mistreated by a U.S. doctor last week. Even without fancy tests, my local doc saw immediately what my problem was and prescribed medicine that began working immediately."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Castro Chides Summit Secrecy, But Likes Obama's Sleep Habits

Definitely a reason for the Summit to re-tool itself. It has gotten way too complex and expensive for smaller/poorer countries to host. Basically it is costing itself OUT of the region! Few countries in LAC have the resources to hot it anymore. T&T is an anomaly in that it is VERY small, but also has ridiculous amounts of resources in the people (accustomed to and trained in pulling off massive events like our Carnival) and our gas revenue.

Castro Chides Summit Secrecy, But Likes Obama's Sleep Habits: "'I did some thinking. I calculated how much all that would cost and I suddenly realized that no other country in the Caribbean could afford the luxury of putting on a similar show, that the seat of the summit is immensely rich, a sort of United States surrounded by small poor countries.'

'Could Haitians with their extremely rich culture, or Jamaica, Grenada, Dominica, Guyana, Belize or any other, host such a luxurious summit?' he wondered."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Obama Endures Ortega Diatribe

Fox news WOULD call a wonderful, impassioned, intelligent speech with wonderful rhetoric a diatribe. He is a "leftist" after all.

Obama Endures Ortega Diatribe

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago -- President Obama endured a 50-minute diatribe from socialist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that lashed out at a century of what he called terroristic U.S. aggression in Central America and included a rambling denunciation of the U.S.-imposed isolation of Cuba's Communist government.

Obama sat mostly unmoved during the speech but at times jotted notes. The speech was part of the opening ceremonies at the fifth Summit of the Americas here.

Later, at a photo opportunity with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Obama held his tongue when asked what he thought about Ortega's speech.

"It was 50 minutes long. That's what I thought."

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ignored two questions about Ortega's speech, instead offering lengthy praise of a cultural performance of dance and song opening the summit.

'I thought the cultural performance was fascinating,' Clinton said. Asked again about the Ortega speech, Clinton said: 'To have those first class Caribbean entertainers on all on one stage and to see how much was done in such a small amount of space, I was overwhelmed.'"

Transcript of Obama's Opening Remarks at Summit of the Americas

Somehow I can't yet find the transcript of Ortega's speech. :(

Obama's Opening Remarks at Summit of the Americas - First 100 Days of Presidency - Politics

"Good evening. I am honored to join you here today, and I want to thank Prime Minister Manning, the people of Trinidad and Tobago for their generosity in hosting the Fifth Summit of the Americas. And I want to extend my greetings to all the heads of state, many of who I am meeting for the first time. All of us are extraordinarily excited to have this opportunity to visit this wonderful country -- and as somebody who grew up on an island, I can tell you I feel right at home. (Applause.)

It's appropriate and important that we hold this summit in the Caribbean. The energy, the dynamism, the diversity of the Caribbean people inspires us all, and are such an important part of what we share in common as a hemisphere."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obama Publishes Op-Ed in Advance of Summit of the Americas

Obama Publishes Op-Ed in Advance of Summit of the Americas

"President Obama wrote an op-ed that ran today in 15 Carribean, Latin American and United States newspapers, promising the other nations of the hemisphere 'a new day' in their relationship to its most powerful member.

'Choosing a Better Future in the Americas' appeared this morning in the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald, both of which serve substantial Cuban American readerships, and the Trinidad Express of Trinidad and Tobago, where Obama is headed to tomorrow to attend the Summit of the Americas than runs through April 19. As well, the op-ed ran in El Nuevo Herald, an American Spanish-language paper.

The op-ed also ran in a number of Grupo de Diarios America affiliates across the hemisphere: La Naci�n in Argentina, O Globo in Brazil, El Mercurio in Chile, El Tiempo in Colombia, La Naci�n in Costa Rica, El Comercio in Ecuador, El Universal in M�xico, El Comercio in Per�El Nuevo D�a in Puerto Rico, El Pa�s in Uruguay and El Nacional in Venezuela."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

At Summit of Americas, U.S. May Face World of Blame for Economy

At Summit of Americas, U.S. May Face World of Blame for Economy -

"You have to be willing to accept that Latin Americans, who are experts in crisis after creating many of their own, will say 'We didn't create this one,' " José Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States, said at a recent forum sponsored by the Inter-American Dialogue and the Canadian Foundation for the Americas. "These are presidents, heads of state. . . . But we're going to have some hard things to say."

Summit of the Americas - Let's hope for a good lime | UN Dispatch

From Rob Skinner - cool liming pardner a while ago when he was here with the US State Dept. Now working for the UN.

Summit of the Americas - Let's hope for a good lime | UN Dispatch:

"as President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban and the rest of the hemisphere's leaders get ready for this year's Summit of the Americas, more than a few staffers, diplomats and journalists will be pulling out their atlases. One thing I'm sure they'll find in Trinidad is warm hospitality and, if they step away from the formal events, a good lime (more on that later). But, they will also find a small country facing many of the difficult issues that the Obama administration is currently trying to tackle."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Summit measures blotch true colours

Debbie Jacobs makes some good points here - are we really going to empty out the city for the Summit?

Summit measures blotch true colours | The Trinidad Guardian: "I’m wondering: aren’t the Obamas going to notice there aren’t any people around? Are we trying to give the impression that this is a deserted island?"

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

When the media steals your photos

When the media steals your photos :: Photocritic photography blog: "The story of a photographer whose photos went astray – and got re-published by one of the UK’s biggest newspapers without permission

There’s something really difficult about looking after your copyright on the internet. Every single word I’ve ever typed in this blog, for example, is duplicated at least a couple of times around the web. The problem is that words are easy to find. Pictures, on the other hand, are a different tumbler of guppies… As Maciej Dakowicz found out, when his photographs suddenly surfaced on the Telegraph’s online edition…"

Same thing happened to me with a local newspaper. They took a photo of mine off Flickr and used it on the FRONT PAGE of their Entertainment Section - almost full page! I called my lawyer, gave her the details (and a copy of the newspaper) and she is dealing with it. They haven’t offered anything yet, but we will follow through if only to let everyone know that you can’t just take pics off the Internet and use them!

Monday, April 06, 2009

A.P. Moving to Halt Use of Articles on Web Sites -

A.P. Moving to Halt Use of Articles on Web Sites -

"Taking aim at the way news is spread across the Internet, The Associated Press said on Monday that it will demand that Web sites obtain permission to use the work of The A.P. or its member newspapers, and share revenue with the news organizations, and that it will take legal action those that do not."

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Internet Users Ignored Earth Hour

Internet Users Ignored Earth Hour:

"While nearly 1,000 global landmarks went dark for Earth Hour and uncounted individuals turned off lights in a symbolic gesture endorsing climate change action, Internet usage continued to suck down power with no slowdown before, during and after Earth Hour. Power for servers and associated cooling equipment took up 1.2 percent of the entire U.S. power consumption in 2005 at a cost of $2.6 billion."

Friday, April 03, 2009

Antony Lerman: Is Oliphant's cartoon antisemitic, or just offensive?

Interesting, considering the flag and symbol of Israel is the same as the symbol of Judaism. Is it possible to separate the state from the religion given this?

"Pat Oliphant, the most widely syndicated political cartoonist in the world, has been fiercely attacked by major American Jewish groups for a cartoon published last week which they say is 'hideously antisemitic'.

The cartoon shows a headless Nazi-like, goose-stepping, jackbooted figure, with one arm raised and outstretched, holding a sword, and the other wheeling a head in the form of a Star of David – one side of which is a wide-open mouth, equipped with vicious teeth, about to devour a very small, fleeing refugee-like female figure holding a baby. The word 'Gaza' is emblazoned on her cloak."

Antony Lerman: Is Oliphant's cartoon antisemitic, or just offensive? | Comment is free |

Is Queen Liz a copyright infringer (and Obama, for that matter)?

Read more at The Open Rights Group :

"You may have read that President Obama has given Queen Elizabeth an iPod with 40 show tunes on it. Well, that’s better than the set of region one DVDs he gave Gordon Brown, but yet again as the EFF have pointed out Obama has stepped right into the territory of copyright infringement, and forced UK premiers to risk their reputations by potentially breaking the law."

You’re NOT a social media expert, you idiot

This is so cool and so accurate!

You’re NOT a social media expert, you idiot •

"Are you tired of hearing it yet? I sure am. It seems Twitter has fostered an extreme steroid fed bacterial growth of social media experts, social media gurus and super follower magnates. Unfortunately there isn’t much of an antibiotic floating around to separate the experts from the idiots. If you weren’t aware already, most of these experts are just idiots that have found a stool to stand on and shout their garbled rehashed crap they read from and rewrote it on their own “pretty” blog.

I believe there are five different types of what is perceived to be social media experts. Please note: I’m excluding the idiots above because they’re not experts and they don’t need to be discussed, just ignored."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bill would give Obama power to shut down Internet, networks during cyber attacks - Network World

"Federal legislation introduced in the Senate this week would give President Obama the power to declare a cybersecurity emergency and then shut down both public and private networks including Internet traffic coming to and from compromised systems."

Read more at Network World:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Caring for our heroes

From blogger Imran Khan:

"Three questions in particular caught my attention in Michelle McDonald’s typically marathon interview with West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo:

Another perception people have is that you are all greedy and that all of this dispute is coming from sheer greed. Don’t you think it would make a statement if all the players who are contracted to the IPL decide not to go?

Wanting more money. Wanting more, why you always want more? Why you can’t just play the game for the love of the game?

Why you all so concerned about money?"

"How can even unthinking people seriously begrudge the likes of Bravo or any other West Indian player (or any cricketer or sportsman for that matter) who is attempting to maximise his earnings during what will be a relatively short career?"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Facebook at 5 - Is It Growing Up Too Fast? -

From the horse's mouth. I have been telling people that FB is not a democracy, it isn't owned by us, but by Zuckerman. He and Cox provide the evidence in this NYT article.

"But while Facebook is willing to give users a voice, it doesn’t necessarily want to listen.

Users are widely opposed to terms that grant Facebook the right to license, copy and disseminate members’ content worldwide. But Facebook says it has to ignore those objections to protect itself against lawsuits from users who might blame the company if they later regret having shared some piece of information with their friends."

“It’s not a democracy,” Mr. Cox says of his company’s relationship with users. “We are here to build an Internet medium for communicating and we think we have enough perspective to do that and be caretakers of that vision.”

Read more here:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Derek Walcott joins race to become Oxford professor of poetry | Books |

Oxford Grads - vote for Walcott!!! Yes, that includes you Joanna, my beloved sis!

"The literary establishment is picking sides following the news that Nobel laureate Derek Walcott has entered the race to become Oxford University's professor of poetry. Ruth Padel had already announced her intention to run for the 300-year-old post, which is seen as the most prestigious in poetry behind that of the poet laureate."

Read more here...

Cricinfo - England face yet more humiliation

"England's batsmen imploded in dramatic style after being asked to bat first in the rain-delayed third ODI against West Indies in Barbados. In a game reduced to 45 overs a side, they looked set to be skittled in considerably fewer than that, as they slumped to 71 for 8 in the 27th, with Owais Shah's 17 from 25 balls the pick of an atrocious bunch.

West Indies, beset by off-field problems, showed an admirable ability to leave their troubles back in the dressing-room as they bowled superbly and caught everything that flew their way."

Cricinfo -

Follow my cricket tweets on Twitter

IETF to explore new routing technique - Network World

" The IETF is forming a new working group to address scalability issues in the Internet's routing system caused by companies splitting their network traffic over multiple carriers, a practice called multihoming.

The new working group will build upon a base proposal from a team of Cisco engineers to create a new tunneling mechanism that will be used by the Internet’s edge and core routers.
Ten top problems network techs encounter: Download now

The new mechanism — dubbed LISP for Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol — is designed to reduce the number of entries in the routing tables stored in the core routers operated by ISPs"

Read more here:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Twitter Tweaks Its Title Tags For Better Google Juice

Twitter Tweaks Its Title Tags For Better Google Juice:

"Minor tweak, you say? Mundane change? Perhaps, but with an undeniably big impact on how high Twitter pages will be ranked in search engines from now on.

Still skeptical? Do a Google search for your name, or try mine. For the longest time, my LinkedIn profile and now defunct blog about internet marketing used to show up as the first results, battling with other social networking profiles and websites. Today, it shows my public Twitter profile page as the number one result. The first thing anyone will click on when they do a search on my name. That’s huge."

This is definitely game changing stuff for Twitter. Didn't work for me, but will keep checking it out.

Twitter: How Small Interface Changes Are A Big Win For Everyone 03/24/2009

Facebook!!! Zuckerman!!

THIS is how to do an interface change!

MediaPost Publications Twitter: How Small Interface Changes Are A Big Win For Everyone 03/24/2009:

"At first glance, Twitter's recent interface changes seem to be relatively minor -- a 'Featured Users' option within 'Find People,' a 'Search Now' box, and a new 'Trends' section. Yet, after a more in-depth examination, it can be discerned that these are highly important feature-sets that create value for each of Twitter's constituents. These additions also provide an intriguing glimpse into Twitter's monetization strategy."

A Discussion on the Summit of the Americas

A Discussion on the Summit of the Americas:

"this is an important Summit. The Summit of Mar del Plata in many ways was evidence of some of the growing pains that are taking place in the region. I think what we’re facing in Trinidad and Tobago is a crucial moment in the history of summitry and in the broader relationships within the Americas to determine whether or not we can rebuild a forum for dialogue that would really allow us to address some of the most important issues that we face at this particular moment."

"the results of this Summit, if it’s done right, could really have a lasting impact in the Americas, especially with regard to how the different countries of the Americas relate to each other. And also the ability of our hemisphere to act in some coordinated fashion to face some of the biggest challenges that this hemisphere has faced in quite some time."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Un cordob�s habla por los usuarios de la Web

Un cordob�s habla por los usuarios de la Web: "

�Sab�as que hay gobierno en Internet? �ste recae en un organismo que se llama Icann. Sus decisiones importan mucho en la configuraci�n del escenario virtual donde muchos nos informamos y comunicamos todos los d�as. La buena noticia es que un cordob�s empez�a formar parte de ese gobierno, y tiene la tarea de representar el inter�s de los usuarios: dar voz y voto.

Se trata de Andr�s Piazza (26), un abogado con un perfil acad�mico y de investigaci�n, especializado en nuevas tecnolog�as, que fue nombrado Secretario de Lacralo (Regional At Large Organization), la asamblea que nuclea a las 32 organizaciones representantes de los usuarios de internet de la regi�n en Icann.

La elecci�n se hizo la semana pasada en M�xico, durante la primera Cumbre Mundial de Usuarios de Internet."

Why are children starving in a booming India? Why are children starving in a booming India?:

"India has a booming information-technology industry, an exploding middle class and cities with sleek subway lines, neighbourhood sushi restaurants and rickshaw drivers who use cellphones. Last year it sent a rocket to the moon. But there is one thing that has not changed – the rate of childhood malnutrition, which still affects one in five children here and causes 3,000 infant deaths each day."

Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google?

� Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google?:

"I will be the first to admit while it didn’t take me a long time to sign up and start networking with friends on Twitter, it has taken me a long time to understand the true power of the website. When I first started using it I saw it as a networking and communication tool. The more I come to use it and the more I watch people from all walks of life using it I am starting to see why Twitter may possibly be the most important website since Google. To help you understand my logic I want to start with some thoughts on Google."

Friday, March 20, 2009

.Tel Domains Opening to All Next Week - AppScout

.Tel Domains Opening to All Next Week - AppScout: "Telnic Limited announced this week that it will finally be making available top-level .tel domains available to the masses. The TLD, which has been tied up with ICANN for more than eight years, will finally be available to the public at 3.00 P.M. GMT on March 24th."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 01, 2009

What Bruce Sterling Actually Said About Web 2.0 at Webstock 09

Hilarity made more so by the truth and accuracy of the commentary!

"Web platform," of course -- that one really ranks with 'wireless cable,' there's something sublime about it...

"Business revolution." Web 2.0 was often described as a "business revolution." Web 1.0 was also a business revolution -- and it went down in flames with the Internet Bubble. That was when all the dotcom investors retreated to the rock-solid guaranteed stability of real-estate"

Read the full post here - What Bruce Sterling Actually Said About Web 2.0 at Webstock 09 | Beyond the Beyond from

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Update on Terms | Facebook

Hey - they reverted (for now) - so they only own your data, but not forever and ever no matter what!

Update on Terms | Facebook: "Based on this feedback, we have decided to return to our previous terms of use while we resolve the issues that people have raised."

Facebook Privacy Change Sparks Federal Complaint

Right, so Facebook has perpetual rights to content that you have ever posted - after you delete it, after you delete your account, after years, and years... after you are dead, even?

Facebook Privacy Change Sparks Federal Complaint: "The section in question explains how Facebook has an 'irrevocable, perpetual' license to use your 'name, likeness, and image' in essentially any way, including within promotions or external advertising.

That clause wasn't new. What had changed was that a sentence at the end of the paragraph was now mysteriously missing. The deleted line stated that the license would 'automatically expire' if you removed your content. With that line omitted, Facebook's license to use your content is simply 'perpetual' and 'irrevocable,' even decades after you delete your stuff."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's Mega-brand as he moves into the White House

MediaPost Publications - Obama Community Post-Win, Now That He's Moved In - 01/19/2009:

"As he steps up, in a sense, a mega-brand activates. Your particular politics aside, we must all agree that Obama encompasses much and that the stakes are high. How he now makes it happen is the stuff of unprecedented living history.

Up until today, as media mavens and consumer marketers, we have applauded his steady message, his knack for context, and ability to resonate and galvanize community. And then there was the mighty conversion to change. How did he do that? Blink of an eye, and the brand literally embodied us."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Israeli envoy banished from Venezuela: Chavez' door closed

Israel's Ambassador to Venezuela Shlomo Cohen has begun preparing for a swift departure from the country Tuesday after President Hugo Chavez declared he was a persona non grata because of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Chavez declared in a speech later in the day that the presidents of Israel and the United States should be tried for war crimes in an international court
Israeli envoy banished from Venezuela: Chavez' door closed - Israel News, Ynetnews

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Stupid Acts at Virgin With Facebook Lead To Getting Canned

I see this daily. People rag on their company, complain about salaries, co-workers, customers... how many of the actual people you are ragging on may get to see the post? Facebook isn't private! Even  if you have your posts locked down to just your friends, there's always cut and paste eh!

Yeah, go ahead and keep using Facebook as your personal place to rag on people. Especially customers, prospects, bosses, etc. » Blog Archive » Stupid Acts at Virgin With Facebook Lead To Getting Canned

Guyana condemns Gaza violence

Guyana's President has become the first Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leader to publicly condemn Israel's military action against the Palestinian people.

President Bharrat Jagdeo, in a statement released by the Government Information Agency on the escalation of the crisis between Israel and Palestine last night, said he has been following with grave concern the events that have unfolded at the Gaza strip, and to him, it seems to be a form of sanctioned genocide.

"The Jewish people have suffered much over the years through persecution and the disproportionate use of force, and of all peoples, should understand the plight of the Palestinian people," he said. "Guyana condemns absolutely the atrocities being perpetrated against the people of Palestine especially the murder of innocent women and children."
Caribbean: News in the Caribbean -

T-Mobile and RIM make the BlackBerry 8900 Curve official, coming in February

Yes! So my Bold-less ness isn't as bad as it looks - I was just being sensible and waiting for the newest Curve!

T-Mobile USA, Inc., and Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM: TSX: RIM) today announced that T-Mobile® will offer its customers the new BlackBerry® Curve™ 8900 smartphone, the thinnest and lightest full-QWERTY BlackBerry smartphone.The BlackBerry Curve 8900 from T-Mobile, in a stunning titanium-colored finish with chrome highlights, combines an elegant, compact design with a wide range of popular features and an easy-to-use full-QWERTY keyboard. It features built-in GPS and support of location-based services. It also allows easy access to social networking sites and has built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g) supporting both voice and data, making it easier to stay connected to family, friends and colleagues.
T-Mobile and RIM make the BlackBerry 8900 Curve official, coming in February : Boy Genius Report

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Facebook Looks To Control User Data

"As Facebook traffic climbs to new heights, the site also is taking steps to keep control over its most valuable asset -- users' data. "

"it's hard to know whether Facebook users will react well to Facebook's flexing of muscle here. The site is still drawing new users; on Christmas Eve it garnered its highest share of traffic ever, according to Hitwise. With every new user, Facebook potentially gains access to a trove of information that can be used for marketing and advertising purposes.Facebook obviously wants to control the flow of that information, ranging from users' email addresses to their tastes in movies and music. But if the site takes enough heavy-handed actions that undermine features members find useful, people might not stick around on the site for long."
MediaPost Publications - Facebook Looks To Control User Data - 01/05/2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

Four medics killed by Israeli forces in Gaza

“In addition to the doctor and medic that the Israeli military murdered on the 31st of December, they have killed four more medics today. One was shot in Jabaliya, one in Al Sheikh Ejleen. Three have just been killed when a missile directly hit their ambulance in the Tal Hawye neighborhood in Gaza City. The medics are constantly in contact with the Red Cross for them to negotiate passage with the Israelis. The Israelis constantly refuse.”
International Solidarity Movement » Four medics killed by Israeli forces in Gaza

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Is the Real Target Hamas Rule?

Finally I see the facts printed. We hear all about Hamas and its "illegitimate" rule, but Hello! they were democratically elected! Even the New York Times agrees! So the question is - is Israel trying to remove a democratically elected party because they don't like its politics?

This is exactly the situation with Iran as well - the elected Iranian govt is more deomocratic than GW Bush  in 2000! Ahmadinejad WON an election as well, but is widely referred to (incorrectly) as an anti-democratic dictator. Same with Chavez... basically, democracy isn't important when tehy don't like your politics or what you say!

Hamas legislators won a democratic majority in elections four years ago
News Analysis - Is the Real Target Hamas Rule? -

The new Board of Directors of IGovTT

The new Board of Directors of  IGovTT  was presented with congratulatory letters by The Honourable Maxie Cuffie, Minister of Public Admini...