Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bankers - America's New Thugs

It's true. The new wise guys in the neighborhood are the big banks. The thugs roughing us up, shaking us down, and stealing our hard-earned dollars (think fees, charges and soaring interest rates) are Wall Street Bankers. You know the names: Citi; JP Morgan Chase; Bank of America; Wells Fargo; and of course, Goldman Sachs. These are the guys who destroyed our gold-standard economy through wildly speculative investment instruments paired with aggressive marketing in an grossly under-regulated environment. The same ones. These arrogant, masters of the universe bet heavily against their own instruments and ultimately profited from our loss. That, after begging for and receiving the largest bailout in history. Our thanks for the material support we provided? Frozen credit, a refusal to loan, and, obscene bonuses. Uh-huh.

So it turns out this financial calamity was foreseen, predicted by presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Just watch this blistering video and see what you think. Thanks, Air America, for the vid.

Technorati Tags: Banks, Finance, Economics

Friday, January 8, 2010

Learn to Speak Tea Bag

It's easy. You can do it. Doesn't take long at all. Just about a minute-and-a-half to be precise - thanks to the video below. The animated cartoon, BTW, is courtesy of Mark Fiore, the master of the art form according to the Wall Street Journal.

I'm sharing this video with Pop Impulse readers because it has generated an inordinate amount of death threats. That's right, conservative right-wing Republican teabaggers are very upset. And they want Mark (and you) to know they'll kill anybody who scorns their pitiful positions or makes fun of their ignorance. You remember the famous pic of the guy with a mullet holding a sign calling Obama a "moran?"

You see, the thing about Democracy is that it effectively puts power and authority in the hands of the "common" citizen. If a culture is not committed to education, honesty and transparency, it is easy for wealthy interests to exploit, deceive and manipulate the masses.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hand Held Mobile Devices Rule

Personal computing has given way to digital communications and connectivity, on whatever platform is the most convenient and robust at the moment.

Most of us have a "base" desktop computer at home or work -- where we store our personal and business data that is not already in the cloud. Our "personal computer." This machine is also where a lot of our heavy-metal applications reside. It is no longer, however, where most of our actual work gets done. That would be on our mobile devices, hands down. As the editor of said in an April blog post: " computers grow smaller, they are 'disappearing' into the devices that they power, everything from automobiles to netbooks to mobile phones."

That trend will intensify, with the addition of new hardware (think: tablets) and a storm of new, low-cost applications. The battle to watch, therefore, will be between iPhone and Android-based devices - rather than the continuous and familiar struggle amongst chip-makers or OS providers. They are so "last century."

Part of this generational revolution in technology is the convenience and functionality delivered by the new model. Need to do...anything? "There's an app for that." This emphasis on meaningful, new functionality is driving the market. It impacts traditional notions of web communications and has implications for designers, marketers and managers.

I've been reading a lot of "mobile marketing" articles recently, and though I agree it is an important and exciting new market communications and design professionals need to serve, I've not been reading much about the evolution of the model that is driving the explosion in mobile communications and connectivity. I would argue that it is the "functionality," not necessarily convenience or portability that is the engine of this change. There's a reason that the revolution is being sold with the tag line: "There's an app for that." Ultimately, this trend will change the face of computing and impact even the biggest players - like the search engines. As Clint Boulton put it in e-week,
But first-things-first. Businesses and organizations need to immediately pair their traditional web sites with new sites optimized for mobile devices. That is a given, and an urgent mandate. We've all experienced the frustration of dealing with sites that are not optimized for our hand-held devices: the unintentional linking, new windows launching, and navigational nightmares. No one should be surprised.

User interface design is a science involving human factors engineering and ergonomics. Platform-based behaviors, size constraints, hardware challenges and opportunities are all part of the equation. The best and most effective corporate and organizational sites feature mobile device-optimized versions. It's that simple.

Savvy business strategists will also be looking at leveraging the enhanced functionality offered by mobile, hand-held devices. These devices can communicate; display information in stunning HD color with multiple scrolling options; store Gigabytes of digital audio, video, image and application files; and effectively serve as a mobile office and connectivity hub. Most have cameras, many now offer GPS. The most successful mobile sites and applications will leverage these capabilities and address all of these roles, by providing meaningful new functionality. I'm pleased to be a participant in the industry at this moment, and look forward to contributing to this technology and market evolution.