We’re just a few weeks away from the 2012 U.S. presidential elections, and social media has played an enormously important role in what is arguably the first time a digital election strategy has been employed by both candidates.
Did you know that, on average, President Barack Obama’s Twitter followers grow three times faster than his Facebook fans? Or that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s engagement rate is eighteen times higher on Facebook than on Twitter?
This, and other key matchup data, can be found in this infographic from Socialakers, which takes a closer look at how the presidential race is playing out on Twitter and Facebook.
Click Image To Enlarge
COMMENTARY: President Obama was the first U.S. Presidential candidate to make full utilization of social media as a way to communicate his "Yes we can" mission statement and political positions from women's rights to income taxes. As you can clearly see, President Obama leads in the number of total fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Mitt Romney is piling up faster rates of growth in fans and followers and engagement, but this is only because President Obama is starting from a larger fan or follower base.
So who has the most electoral votes so far?
According to a HuffPost Pollster's latest averages of state-wide and national opinion polls of registered voters, POTUS Barack Obama would win 332 electoral votes versus only 191 for Willard Mitt Romney if the election were held TODAY.
Everything may hinge on how well POTUS Obama and Willard perform during the upcoming debates. Willard could kick Obie's ass during the debate, but many pollsters now believe that voters favorable towards POTUS Obama are doing so because they believe that Willard does not represent 47% of the population, is generally dishonest, looks out mostly for the interests of the richest Americans, and would try to destroy everything POTUS Obama has accomplished during his first term.
Click To View An Interactive U.S. Presidential Electoral Map and see how each state is leaning towards
Courtesy of an article dated October 1, 2012 appearing in MediaBistro
Google insists it had users in mind when it consolidated the privacy policies for most of its more than 70 products and streamlined the text.
The main concern being raised by most critics is how Google will now start saving user information collected from all its services in one place. For example, users who log into several different services — such as Google.ca, Gmail and YouTube — will have data about all their searches and clicks stored together.
Alma Whitten, Google's director of privacy, product and engineering, in a blog post to users said.
Users can stop this data consolidation from happening by staying logged out when using the search engine or YouTube, or by having separate logins for each different site.
"We would strongly encourage you to make it clearer to users that if they are uncomfortable with these new uses of information, they can create separate accounts. This is not clearly stated in your new policy."
"As we understand it, the policy changes do not mean that Google is collecting more information about its users than it currently does. They do, however, mean that you are going to be using the information in new ways — ways that may make some users uncomfortable."
A letter to Google from the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertes (CNIL) reads.
"Our preliminary analysis shows that Google's new policy does not meet the requirements of the European Directive on Data Protection. The CNIL and the EU data protection authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of data across services and have strong doubts about the lawfulness and fairness of such processing."
"Don't Be Evil," Google's unofficial corporate motto was originally adopted as a company-wide belief as well as a jab to its competitors. However, Google has come a long way since it was incorporated in 1998, and that has some users wondering if the company's philosophy has changed. BackgroundCheck.org asks, "Mother Can I Trust Google?" in the following infographic:
Click Image To Enlarge
COMMENTARY: Google, Twitter and Facebook have been the subject of investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for numerous privacy violations.
In a blog post dated March 31, 2012, I reported that Google and Twitter had both been placed on 20-year probation, and must undergo annual privacy audits.
In the press release about the FTC settlements with both Google and Twitter, it states:
"A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the respondent that the law has been violated. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000".
If the FTC had imposed that $16,000 per violation penalty, it would've been sufficient to put both Google and Twitter out-of-business. However, the feds would never impose a penalty that serious because it is not in their best interests. The Feds depend on and carefully monitor the activities of users on social networks and other sites to compile and track down criminals and terrorists. Attorney's also use social sites to gather evidence they can use in lawsuits and divorce cases. What a racket.
In a blog post dated November 30, 2011, I reported that Facebook had settled with the FTC for numerous privacy violations going back into 2010. Like Google and Twitter, the FTC placed Facebook on 20-year probation, and must undergo annual privacy audits.
Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a lengthy post on the company's official blog on Tuesday.
"I'm the first to admit that we've made a bunch of mistakes."
To ensure that Facebook did a better job, Zuckerberg said the company had created two new corporate privacy officer positions to oversee Facebook products and policy.
In its complaint, the FTC said that Facebook had repeatedly violated laws against deceptive and unfair practices. For example, it said Facebook promised users that it would not share personal information with advertisers, but it did.
Also, the company had failed to warn users that it was changing its website in December 2009 so that certain information that users had designated as private, such as their "Friends List," would be made public, the FTC said.
Facebook's Timeline feature, which it rolled out for all users on February 29, 2012, has been a subject of much controversy because of the huge potential for even more privacy violations. Also, only about 10% of Facebook users actually like Timeline.
The new Timeline feature makes everything a person has ever done on Facebook appear on a single screen that scrolls down year by year right back to when the person was born.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described Timeline as letting you "tell the whole story of your life on a single page".
However, as Timeline makes all of a user's photographs and wall posts visible to friends, critics have warned the mandatory change could erode users' privacy.
There are also concerns that this will instantly make it easier for identity thieves and stalkers to profile individuals.
However, a spokeswoman for the site said the change would not alter existing privacy settings.
As you can readily see, user privacy is a huge concern, and the FTC has come down hard on both Google, Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn maybe the subject of sanctions as well over ads using pictures of users without their permission.
It should be obvious by now that Google broke from its motto of "Don't Be Evil," and that controversy over privacy continues to haunt it like flies over a picnic table. If we are to hold Google accountable, then we must do the same for all the major social networks, who have violated our privacy and continue to do so to this date.
As marketers know, word of mouth can make or break a brand. But which brands are consumers most likely to back, as well as bash?
In the category of online search and information Web sites, Google remains top dog, according to new research from customer experience consultancy Satmetrix. The search giant earned a Net Promoter Score (NPS) -- which is based on customers’ likelihood to recommend products or services -- of 56%.
Satmetrix Net Promoter Score by Industry (Click Image To Enlarge)
NPS is calculated as the percentage of customers who are promoters, rating the company 9 or 10 on a 0 to 10 point scale, minus the percentage who are detractors, rating 6 or lower.)
Facebook, meanwhile, lost 21 points compared to last year’s benchmark -- dropping to an NPS of 31%.
Among online shopping Web sites, Amazon.com delivered again this year with an NPS of 76% -- placing it second among all brands profiled in the study, just behind USAA’s direct banking operation.
The Satmetrix Net Promoter benchmarks are based on a survey of more than 30,000 U.S. consumers, with ratings for more than 200 brands across 22 industry sectors.
Deborah Eastman, general manager of consulting at Satmetrix.
“The annual benchmark is an important guidepost for executives to understand which brands are truly winning the loyalty of American consumers.”
NPS Leaders By Industry
Retail Banking - Apart from USAA’s direct banking operation, which had an NPS of 83% -- few banking brands are held in high regard by consumers. Indeed, seven banks had more detractors than promoters, with the Wachovia brand -- acquired in 2009 by Wells Fargo -- trailing the list with an NPS of negative 15%.
Technology - In the area of technology, Apple’s loyalty performance matched its financial performance; it once again led in the computer hardware sector with an NPS of 71%. The company also performed well for its consumer software applications, scoring an NPS of 68%.
Drug & Pharmaceuticals - In the drug store and pharmacy sector, Walmart Pharmacy led with an NPS of 40%, while home improvement chain Lowe’s led among hardware and home supply retailers at 54%.
Specialty Groceries - Specialty grocers earned some of the highest Net Promoter Scores in the overall study, with Trader Joe’s and Wegmans tied at 73% in the grocery and supermarkets sector.
Major Retailers - Among major department, wholesale and specialty retailers, Costco took top honors again this year with an NPS of 71%. New additions Belk and Nordstrom also did well, both earning an NPS of 66%. Echoing its financial woes, Sears trailed among department stores with an NPS of 35%.
Passenger Airlines - For airlines, Virgin America captured the top spot with an NPS of 66%, followed closely by last year’s winner, JetBlue Airways, at 64%. American Airlines trailed the sector at negative 5%.
Hotels - In the hotel sector, Marriott’s 56% score and Hilton’s 55% were more than 60 points ahead of sector laggard Motel 6.
Travel Websites - Among the travel Web sites, only TripAdvisor showed a significant differential in its experience -- benefitting from its unique hub of consumer reviews combined with travel booking functions to garner an NPS of 33%, according to Satmetrix.
COMMENTARY: Amazon's built-in product review feature is one of the keys to ts WOM success. I am a long-time Amazon customer, and rely heavily on Amazon's product reviews before making a purchase decision. I have a feeling that a lot of people use those reviews as well, and if they have something positive or negative to say about a product, will more than likely use that feature, as I have numerous times.
Facebook on the other hand, should be the WOM king, but it is doing it all wrong. It cannot depend solely on the LIKE button to create WOM. If it had its druthers, Zuck and his hackers should build a bonafide product review feature into that LIKE button. WOM is the best form of FREE advertising. Nothing better than to have your customers speak positively about your product. This would be a great way for Facebook to create real value for its brands through WOM. If I were Facebook, I would give users the option to share their LIKE throughout the Facebook social graph, so that a LIKE with an associated product review could be shared with everyone on Facebook, not just those in my social graph.
So how does a brand go about determining its Net Promoter Score?
NPS is based on the fundamental perspective that every company's customers can be divided into three categories:
Promoters Passives, and Detractors. By asking one simple question — How likely is it that you would recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague? — you can track these groups and get a clear measure of your company's performance through its customers' eyes. Customers respond on a 0-to-10 point rating scale and are categorized as follows:
Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.
To calculate your company's Net Promoter Score (NPS), take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors. The NPS score is calculated thusly:
North Korea displayed the body of ruler Kim Jong Il in a glass coffin surrounded by red flowers Tuesday, and his young heir was one of the first to pay respects — a strong indication that a smooth leadership transition was under way.
As the country mourned for a second day with high-level visits to Kim's body at a memorial palace and public gatherings of weeping citizens, state media fed a budding personality cult around his youngest known son and anointed heir, Kim Jong Un, hailing him as a "lighthouse of hope."
Kim's body was wrapped in red cloth and surrounded by blossoms of his namesake flowers, red "kimjongilia." As solemn music played, Kim Jong Un — believed to be in his late 20s — entered the hall to view his father's bier, surrounded by military honor guards. He observed a moment of solemn silence, then circled the bier, followed by other officials.
Kim Jung Un (fourth from right) bows to his deceased father
Outside one of the capital's main performance centers, mourners carried wreaths and flowers toward a portrait of Kim Jong Il. Groups were allowed to grieve in front of the portrait for a few minutes at a time.
U Son Hui, a Pyongyang resident, told The Associated Press.
"We will change today's sorrow into strength and courage and work harder for a powerful and prosperous nation, as our general wanted, under the leadership of the new General Kim Jong Un."
The announcement Monday of Kim's death over the weekend raised acute concerns in the region over the possibility of a power struggle between the untested son and rivals, in a country pursuing nuclear weapons and known for its unpredictability and secrecy.
Mourners cry as they meet the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong il
But there have been no signs of unrest or discord in Pyongyang's somber streets.
With the country in an 11-day period of official mourning, flags were flown at half-staff at all military units, factories, businesses, farms and public buildings. The streets of Pyongyang were quiet, but throngs of people gathered at landmarks honoring Kim.
Kim's bier was decorated by a wreath from Kim Jong Un along with various medals and orders. The body was laid out in the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, a mausoleum where the embalmed body of Kim's father — national founder Kim Il Sung — has been on display in a glass sarcophagus since his death in 1994.
The Dictator: Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong Il, the dictator who used fear and isolation to maintain power in North Korea and his nuclear weapons to menace his neighbors and threaten the U.S., has died, North Korean state television reported early Monday.
His death opens a new and potentially dangerous period of transition and instability for North Korea and northeast Asia. Mr. Kim in September 2010 tapped the youngest of his three sons, Kim Jong Eun, to succeed him, and North Korean state television on Monday said the younger Mr. Kim will lead the country.
North Korea's transition of power will be closely watched by the world as the country prepares for leadership under Kim Jong Eun. The WSJ's Deborah Kan and Seoul reporter Evan Ramstad discuss what this could mean for stability in the secretive nation.
Mr. Kim, who was 69 or 70 years old, according to varying accounts, died during a train ride on Saturday, a weeping television announcer said. He was believed to have been in ill health since suffering a stroke in 2008, and North Korean media said he experienced an "advanced acute myorcardial infarction," or heart attack.
South Korean shares tumbled along with other Asian markets in early trading Monday on concerns about potential instability in the region. South Korea's Kospi Composite down 3.1% in late-morning trading after initially dropping 4.4%. South Korea's currency, the won, fell sharply against the dollar.
Asia Today: North Korea's reclusive leader Kim Jong Il has died according to North Korean TV reports. The WSJ's Deborah Kan and reporter Alex Frangos talk about what this means for the secretive nation.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said late Sunday that the administration is "closely monitoring" reports of Mr. Kim's death, that President Barack Obama had been notified and that U.S. officials are in close touch with South Korea and Japan.
"We remain committed to stability on the Korean peninsula, and to the freedom and security of our allies," Mr. Carney said.
South Korea put its military on "high alert" and President Lee Myung-bak convened a meeting of the national security council after the news of Mr. Kim's death, the Associated Press reported.
The son of North Korea's founder, Kim Jong Il ruled the reclusive country for nearly two decades. See highlights from his life and career in this timeline. (Click Image To View Interactive Chart)
In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda called an emergency meeting of his National Security group to assess the situation. Japan has been among the countries most worried about North Korea's military ambitions and nuclear tests.
Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa said on the way into the session on Monday.
"I've issued instructions (to the defense ministry) to do everything to establish an alert, monitoring stance."
Meanwhile, roughly 20 minutes before its daily noon newscast, state broadcaster China Central Television broke in with a special report on Mr. Kim's death. It was a three-minute bare-bones account that echoed the facts from North Korea's official media, plus a chronology of the major events of his life, intercut with stock footage. Several minutes later, it aired the program again.
The state-run Xinhua news agency offered a similar just-the-facts report.
Click Image To View Interactive Chart
Kim Jong-il Rises To Power
Mr. Kim took power after the death in July 1994 of his father, Kim Il Sung, who founded North Korea in 1948. The country, a declining communist industrial power when he took control, fell into abject poverty under his rule. However, Mr. Kim continued to command attention and relevance in the world by building nuclear weapons and selling other arms.
He staked his legitimacy on his father's 46-year rule. Kim Jong Il never called himself president of North Korea. Instead, he bestowed on his father after death the title of "eternal president," while he took lesser titles such as chairman of national defense and general secretary of the main political party.
Mr. Kim suffered a stroke-like illness in August 2008 and was incapacitated for two months, forcing him to begin to groom a successor.
Click Image To View Interactive Slideshow
The Successor: Kim Jong Eun
In 2009, reports surfaced that Mr. Kim had chosen Kim Jong Eun to carry on the family's regime. Those reports were confirmed in September 2010, when Mr. Kim appointed his son, who is believed to be 27 or 28 years old, a four-star general in the North Korean military and to high-level posts in the ruling political party.
In October 2010, his first public image was released by North Korean state media, showing a striking resemblance to his father and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, the North Korean founder.
Since the public appointment, Kim Jong Eun has frequently been seen following his ailing father on "on-spot" inspections.
"We must fight with greater resolve to overcome today's crisis, behind comrade Kim Jung Eun's leadership, for another great victory for the Juche revolution," an announcer on North Korean state television said in announcing the elder Mr. Kim's death. Juche is North Korea's state ideology, which emphasizes independence and self-determination.
Kim Jong Il, far right, and Kim Jong Eun, third from right, salute while watching a military parade in September.
Although a succession plan has been laid out, conditions aren't as favorable as they were in 1994 for continuing the family's control. North Korea is much poorer and less stable now. A famine from 1995 to 1997 killed two million to three million North Koreans, aid agencies estimate, and sowed distrust in the government. North Koreans have learned more about the outside world in recent years, thanks to increasing use of cellphones and availability of DVDs.
What Kim Jong-il's Death Means To Rest of World
The potential for instability in North Korea poses difficulties for the rest of the world because the country in recent years made significant progress in the development of nuclear weapons. It conducted tests of nuclear explosives in 2006 and 2009 and is believed to possess a small number of nuclear bombs, though none that can be transported by missiles.
For its neighbors South Korea and China, Mr. Kim's death brings an additional risk: the prospect for a greater outflow of North Koreans into their countries if instability occurs.
When Mr. Kim came to power in 1994, North Korea was still trying to recover from the collapse of its economic sponsor, the Soviet Union. Famine overtook the country, but Mr. Kim relied on his father's formula for controlling North Korea's roughly 24 million people.
North Korean Embassy staff in Beijing lower their national flag on Monday to mourn Kim Jong Il's death.
He limited their access to information, ability to travel and earn wealth. And he maintained a system of gulag-like prison camps, massive in scale and horrific in condition, to instill fear.
China eventually took over as North Korea's main benefactor. Prodded by Beijing, Mr. Kim experimented with economic liberalization in 2002 by allowing some markets to form. But by 2008, Mr. Kim grew fearful that economic freedoms were eroding the power of his regime. He ordered crackdowns that included a confiscation of private savings in late 2009.
Mr. Kim also resisted efforts by China, the U.S. and other countries to persuade him to give up the nuclear-weapons research that his father started in the 1970s. The research climaxed in October 2006 when North Korea first tested a half-megaton nuclear device. It tested a more powerful nuclear explosive in May 2009, leading to stiff sanctions by the United Nations Security Council that further damaged the economy.
In 2010, North Korea revealed progress in turning enriched uranium into a source of fuel for nuclear weapons, further aggravating other countries.
This undated picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Nov. 2 via the Tokyo-based Korean News Service shows Kim Jong Il inspecting Korean People's Army unit 789.
Over the past year, Mr. Kim repeatedly reached out to China for more economic and security assistance and lashed out at the three countries long considered to be North Korea's main enemies: South Korea, Japan and the U.S.
COMMENTARY: Yesterday, when I heard the news that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il had died from a heart attack I knew I had to pay my respects with a stupendous blog post.
Like most Americans, we knew very little about Kim Jong Il, other than what we read about him in the newspapers or seen on television. So, I view this as a great opportunity to educate myself and you on the little midget dictator.
Official North Korean Announcement of Kim Jong-il's Death
Thanks to Google Translator, here's the original news release that was run by the state run North Korean newspaper @uriminzokkiri via Twitter announcing the death of Kim Jong Il, and translated into English using Google Translator:
"(December 19, Pyongyang KCNA) -
12:00 o'clock today, the great Leader of Korea Kim Jong-il by comrades want casually demise was a great press release was issued doe.
Lt's General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea Democratic People's Republic of KPA lt's Defense Committee, who is the commander in chief, the Great Leader Kim Jong-il was a boy you like the death of his comrades facing the county ten million hyeongeon now is in the grip of grief that can not be.
Perform the transition from a socialist powerful nation-building feats ever open phase, and the revolution of Korea overlapping challenges and triumphantly through the ordeal, and at a time when Kim Jong -minded sport he died of the WPK and the revolution is the maximum loss of 70 million Koreans, liberal world Most of the people is a great sorrow.
Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, including height, enshrined in many places in the great President Kim Il Sung statue of a comment bibun Among the nation's parents have lost a great citizen come to the locked gakgyecheung Kim moknotah comrades are singing ohyeol breaks down.
They wash with tears pouring nyeom also without making the pain of loss and sorrow that is struggling with.
"Even if only some time ago with the development of the country Thriving happy life of the people than the fire in order to be energetic activity Burley pontoon Announcing the Great General, that he believed that lest we are not alone. "
"Our country does not she, sir you, sir, leaving the leadership of the revolution, sir, love leaves us only one who thought that life is nice, do not you."
Chest pain and sorrow slicing the sky just like to sit down this vision, people more firmly in the hearts of every one always trying to get somewhere and rakgwan confidence of victory, is the tragic vow.
KPA Military Jeongilguk (Male, 43 years old):
"We follow the leadership of Comrade eun sad turn today's crisis with strength and courage win the naemyeo subject of the revolution to win even more great new haegal eoksege will struggle."
Who work in Cabinet heoseongcheol (Male, 55 years old), the "eun-minded than his revelation of our revolution today raeil must prevail," he stressed."
NOTE: Neat translation, isn't it. What a crappy translator Google has, but I am sure you can figure it out.
North Korea Mourns Kim's Death
The news of the North Korea's leader death has put the 24-million population on the verge of insanity, hyped up by unceasing TV broadcast of mass mourning throughout the country. North Korea's national flag is flying at half-mast today on every flagpole in the country.
Now that's what I call a whole lot of crying. Kim Jong-il's son Uen has big shoes to fill.
North Korea's New Leader: Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-Il's successor is his youngest son, Kim Jong-un. It's time to meet the most powerful twenty-something in the world: an enigmatic basketball fanatic and four-star general with a bad case of fat cheeks and an itchy trigger finger.
In some ways, Kim Jong-un is just your normal millenial: After a stint away at school in 1998, he moved back home with his parents. Although in Kim's case the school was a Swiss boarding school, and his time back home was spent studying at North Korea's premier military academy and being groomed to succeed his father. Kim Jong-il apparently chose Kim Jong-un to succeed him over his two older brothers because they're seen as too soft and irresponsible to lead.
Unlike most people his age (including his nephew) Kim Jong-un is definitely not on Facebook. Kim has been kept so tightly under wraps—he was enrolled at his Swiss boarding school under a fake identity—that the world didn't really know what he looked like until he was "unveiled" at a military parade last year, a newly-minted four star general.
Kim Jong-Un likes to pass the time playing basketball and video games, and launching sudden military strikes against South Korea. It's thought that Kim Jong-un coordinated the bombardment of a South Korean island and the sinking of a South Korean warship last year to prove his military prowess and cement his role as the Great Successor. But he's not all business: F ormer classmates told the Washington PostKim was obsessed with basketball, had a stash of expensive Nikes and "spent hours doing meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan." His taste for consumer goods has survived: Last year, a train full of televisions and watches thought to be gifts for Kim was derailed on its way way from China.
According to a former cook of Kim Jong-Il's who goes by the name Kenji Fujimoto:
"Dressed in a military outfit, the young Jong-Un glared at me with a menacing look when we shook hands."
The first time they met, Fujimoto wrote in Kim Jong-Il's Chef:
"I can never forget the look in his eyes which seemed to be saying, 'This one is a despicable Japanese.'"
Kim Jong-un, like his father, is a serious chubster. Maybe he bulked up like Robert De Niro inRaging Bull to look more like his fat grandfather, North Korea's founder Kim Il-Sung, whom he's reportedly purposely styling himself after right down to the flat-top hairstyle. Or maybe it's some unspoken rule among North Korea's regimes that all its leaders have to be exceptionally rotund, to underscore the the millions of its citizens who have starved in famines.
Looks like Jim Jung-un is a real work of art thanks to dad. Any kid that can move from civilian to four-star general, that is just plain impressive.
President Obama better not count on peace talks with this vicious, cold-blooded, and mean-spirited chubby dictator any time soon.
The North Korean Military
North Korea has the fourth largest military in the world with 1.1 million military personnel, behind China (2.25 million), U.S. (1.55 million) and India (1.35 million). South Korea's military ranks #6 with 687,000 personnel in uniform. North Korea i a military state without equal. On a per-capita basis, North Korea has more people in the active military than any other country by a wide margin.
North Korea's annual military budget in 2009 was only $5 billion, compared to $24.5 billion spent by South Korea, and the $800 billion spent by the U.S. Most of North Korea's armaments are supplied by the Russia and People's Republic of China, but are outdated.
Click Image To Enlarge
North Korea is superior to South Korea in the following aspects of their military:
No of Active Military Personnel: 1.1 million versus 687,000
Reserve Military Personnel: 4.7 million versus 4.5 million
Main Battle Tanks: 3,500+ versus 2,750
Artillery Pieces: 17,900+ versus 10,774
Air Force Fighters and Attack Aircraft: 540 versus 467 (But So Korea has the more modern aircraft supplied by the U.S.)
South Korea has a big lead in surface naval warships (47 versus 8), but lags behind North Korea in patrol craft (329 versus 79), submarines (63 versus 13) and small landing craft (224 versus 36).
North Korea's nuclear bomb program is super-secret, but according to the U.S. and IAEA nuclear experts, the country has sufficient weapons grade uranium to producce between 2 to 3 nuclear bombs and is it is developing long-range ballistic missles to deliver nuclear warheads to Alaska and even Hawaii. A rogue nation like North Korea, with a nuclear arsenal, run by a much younger dictator like Kim Jong Uen means a big problem for decades to come.
Communist countries are known for their huge military parades. This video celebrates the 75th anniversary of the ruling North Korean party and shows its military forces on display. North Korean forces have a very odd way of marching, which has got to hurt after a while.
North Korea Is A Tourist Paradise
North Korea is apparently a very popular tourist destination, if you are not from the West. If you are from China or Russia, no problem. North Korea is a great place to visit, but get used to frequent blackouts in your hotel.
BEIJING—Chinese telecommunications-equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. said Friday it plans to scale back its business in Iran, where the company provides services to government-controlled telecom operators, in the wake of reports that Iranian police were using mobile network technology to trace and arrest dissidents.
Shenzhen-based Huawei will "voluntarily restrict its business development there by no longer seeking new customers and limiting its business activities with existing customers," according to a statement on the company's website. It said the company was making the move due to "increasingly complex situation in Iran," but did not elaborate.
The Wall Street Journal reported in October that as Western companies pulled back from the Iranian market in the wake of the crackdowns, Huawei won more contracts in the country. Iranian human-rights organizations outside Iran say there are dozens of documented cases in which dissidents were traced and arrested through the government's ability to track the location of their cellphones.
WSJ's Steve Stecklow has the story of Chinese telecom firm Huawei, which dominates Iran's government-controlled mobile industry. Photo: AP Photo/Kin Cheung
Huawei's move marks the first time a Chinese company has decided to scale back its business in Iran, increasing pressure on the country, according to Mark Wallace, president of United Against Nuclear Iran and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Iran is under global sanctions for allegations it is developing a nuclear weapons program. Iran has denied this.
Mr. Wallace said.
"This is a significant milestone. For the first time a major Chinese business is pulling back from Iran in the face of mounting international scorn for Iran's brutal regime."
Huawei said it plans to continue servicing its existing Iranian contracts. The company statement said.
"For communications networks that have been delivered or are under delivery to customers, Huawei will continue to provide necessary services to ensure communications for Iran's citizens."
The Journal reported on Oct. 27 that Huawei had recently signed a contract to install equipment for a system at Iran's largest mobile-phone operator that allows police to track people based on the locations of their cellphones, according to interviews with telecom employees both in Iran and abroad, and corporate bidding documents reviewed by the newspaper. The company also has provided support for similar services at Iran's second-largest mobile-phone provider. Huawei noted that nearly all countries require police access to cell networks, including the U.S.
The Iranian government had stepped up surveillance of its citizens with the help of foreign technology after a bloody crackdown by authorities on antigovernment protests following a controversial election in 2009.
Huawei's announcement could help the company boost its image in the U.S., where Huawei executives complain the company has been unfairly restricted in the market, despite having forged partnerships with major operators across Europe and the Middle East, and in Canada, and rising quickly over the last several years to become the world's second largest provider of telecommunications equipment, after Sweden's Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson.
U.S. regulators have blocked Huawei's bids on major telecommunications infrastructure projects as well as acquisitions of American companies over security concerns, and the White House and Congress have both recently launched investigations into national security threats posed by foreign telecommunications firms, particularly worries that equipment from Huawei and other Chinese companies into U.S. systems could potentially be used to track or intercept communications.
Founded in 1987, closely held Huawei said earlier this year that it expects revenue to grow 10% in 2011 to reach $31 billion, slower than the 24% growth it saw in 2010, in part because of blocks on its expansion into the U.S.
COMMENTARY: In a blog article dated October 27, 2011, I profiled China's wireless telecomm giant Huawei Technologies and their zeal to land a contract to upgrade Iran's wireless telecommunications infrastructure.
Huawei has operated in Iran's telecommunications industry since 1999, according to China's embassy in Tehran. Prior to Iran's political unrest in 2009, Huawei was already a major supplier to Iran's mobile-phone networks, along with Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG, according to MTN Irancell documents.
In 2008, the Iranian government began soliciting bids for location-based services for the largest mobile operator, TCI's Mobile Communication Co. of Iran, or MCCI. A copy of the bidding requirements, reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, says the contractor "shall support and deliver offline and real-time lawful interception." It also states that for "public security," the service must allow "tracking a specified phone/subscriber on map."
According to a Huawei Technologies manager in Tehran, the company signed a contract in 2011 to provide equipment for location-based services to MCCI in the south of Iran and is now ramping up hiring for the project.
Huawei's decision to scale back business in the Islamic Republic of Iran is a public relations ploy and nothing else. It is has already landed a huge contract with MCCI, Iran's largest wireless carrier, so "scaling back" business is strictly for public consumption. Huawei continues support existing Iranian customers and staffup in order to comply with its MCCI contract to provided managed services. That's not scaling back.
Huawei knew what it was bidding on, it met Iran's requirements, and is now having "contractor's remorse." It's something of a joke, wouldn't you say. It suddently realizes that doing business with a rogue nation like Iran is bad for business, and could affect its bidding in other countries.
The U.S. has already blocked Huawei from bidding on any contracts in the U.S. or making any acquisitions. But, what Huawei should do, if it had any corporate ethics or values at all, is pull its operations out of Iran completely to demonstrate its outrage for Iran's violent crackdown on political dissedents and solidarity with the demonstrators.
That is one big question shareholders have for the new chief executive as Apple on Tuesday presents earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter ended September. Actual results—analysts expect revenue to increase 45%, to $29.5 billion, and earnings per share to rise to $7.34 compared with $4.64 a year ago—are less important.
Apple had about $76 billion in cash at the end of the second quarter, while ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall expects this rose to about $82 billion in the latest period. Mr. Cook's famed predecessor, Steve Jobs, was content to let that hoard build.
It isn't clear whether Mr. Cook will take the same tack. The danger is that he blows some on ill-conceived deals. Yet there also is a possibility that Mr. Cook could assuage investor fears on this front by promising to return some of the cash, say through a dividend.
That could provide even more of a boost for Apple's shares. Although the stock, which closed at $419.99 Monday, is just below its all-time high, it only fetches about 12 times earnings; back out the company's cash and the multiple shrinks to less than 10 times. That is a relative bargain considering Apple's fast growth. A dividend, along with the not-so-high valuation, could provide a margin of safety for investors when Apple's growth rate inevitably slows.
The good news is that is some ways off. Apple on Monday said the latest iPhone model, the 4S, sold over four million units in three days. That was far faster than the previous version, the iPhone 4, which sold less than two million units its first three days. The most recent sales won't affect last quarter's results. But they do underscore that iPhones, which are expected to account for nearly half of revenue in the most recent quarter, remain Apple's most important product.
Meanwhile, growth may not be the only way the company surprises investors. According to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, the cost of iPhone components has fallen recently. That could help to bolster profit margins.
In other words, the conundrum posed by Apple making money hand over fist isn't likely to go away anytime soon. And if that remains Mr. Cook's biggest issue, shareholders will stay a happy bunch.
COMMENTARY: Apple's humongous $76 billion cash hoard at the end of the 3rd quarter ending June 30, 2011, was the subject of much debate.
Many stock analysts, including yours truly, been wondering about that cash balance when the balance hit $51 billion in late 2010. In a blog post dated October 20, 2010, I made a pretty bold prediction what I thought Apple should do with that cash hoard.
In a blog post dated July 22, 2011, I commented on Apple's huge cash hoard of $76 billion at the end of its third quarter ending June 30, 2011, and again stuck with my original prediction of October 20, 2010. Hint: My prediction is consistent with Steve Job's "Digital Hub Strategy," a subject I have been writing about as the key reason for Apple's humongous success.
However, in a blog post dated October 1, 2011, I commented on some rumors that Steve Jobs and Apple benefited substantially from alien technology it worked on with NASA back in 1978. It is my belief, that that alien technology eventually resulted in the development of the iPhone and iPad. I know, this will probably piss off a bunch of Apple evangelists, but think about this: How often does a company have a string of product successes like Apple? Name at least two other companies, and I will buy you a cup of coffee and dozen donuts at Dunking Donuts.
Having said this, I look forward to Apple's 4th quarter earnings call scheduled for later today. Let's see just how much cash new Apple CEO Tim Cook has to play with. I hope that the stock analysts ask him what his plans are for that huge cash hoard.
(Reuters) - The massive manufacturing complex in the South China city of Longhua resembles an industrial fortress. To enter the facility, workers swipe security cards at the gate. Guards check the occupants of each vehicle with fingerprint recognition scanners.
Container trucks and fork lifts rumble nonstop across the sprawling compound, serving a grid of factories that churn out electronics goods for top global brands around the clock.
Inside the walled city -- one of several compounds run by Foxconn International, a major supplier for Apple Inc -- employees are provided with most of their daily needs. There are dormitories, canteens, recreation facilities, even banks, post offices and bakeries.
Here's a link to another video of a CNN investigation of Foxconn International's plants in China. Embedding of this video was not permitted by the request of CNN
The rank-and-file within the compound have little reason to venture outside. That reduces the likelihood of leaks, which in turn lessens the risk of incurring the wrath of Apple and its chief executive, Steve Jobs, whose product launches have turned into long-running, tightly controlled media spectacles.
Many of Apple's finished gadgets, from iPods to iPads, are assembled at industrial compounds like the one in Longhua. And when it comes to guarding Apple's secrets, Foxconn, a unit of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, and other suppliers throughout the region leave little to chance.
A uniformed worker outside the Foxconn factory in Longhua, about an hour from Hong Kong said.
"Security is tight everywhere inside the factories. They use metal detectors and search us. If you have any metal objects on you when you leave, they just call the police."
Hon Hai spokesman Edmund Ding declined to comment for this article, as did Apple.
But industry sources in China and elsewhere in Southeast Asia say that Apple goes to what one person in the business termed "extreme lengths" to protect even the smallest details of its new products under development.
Many of the Cupertino, California-based company's tactics read like something from a spy novel: information is assiduously guarded and handed out only on a need-to-know basis; employees suspected of leaks may be investigated by the contractor; and the company makes it clear that it will not hesitate to sue if secrets are spilled.
On occasion, Apple will give contract manufacturers different products, just to try them out. That way, the source of any leaks becomes immediately obvious, people familiar with the supply chain said.
And unlike other electronics makers, some of whom prefer the convenience of one-stop shopping, Apple doesn't rely on a single firm to supply everything for a product. The industry sources say the company will often minutely divvy up projects.
A senior official at a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry said.
"This ensures that the only people who have all the secrets to any Apple product is Apple itself. Other tech companies will also look for their own sources of components to compare, but none of them do as many things in-house as Apple does."
The upshot is that even the people who man the assembly lines have no idea what the finished product will look like.
An official at one supplier said.
"The typical production line worker will not see the product until the very last minute when actual production takes place. It's all concentrated in the hands of a few product development teams."
The discretion that Apple demands from its suppliers is merely an extension of the way the company operates at its own corporate headquarters in Cupertino, former employees say.
Apple's obsession with secrecy is the stuff of legend in Silicon Valley. Over the years, it has fired executives over leaks and sued bloggers to stop trade secrets from being exposed.
A tight-lipped ethos permeates working life, particularly in the run-up to the launch of a new device. Projects are siloed in carefully controlled work groups, rooms are guarded by strict key card access, and many have no firm idea about what even their colleagues in the same office are working on.
One former employee, who worked in the marketing department at the time of the iPhone launch, said workers understand that secrecy is part of Apple's mystique, and the silence is self-enforced at the most basic level.
"I didn't even talk about it with my wife. It's a culture of silence and it's just accepted. You get used to not talking about your work, it becomes normal because everybody is doing the same thing."
THESE GUARDS MEAN BUSINESS
In China, a Reuters reporter found out the hard way how seriously some Apple suppliers take security.
Tipped by a worker outside the Longhua complex that a nearby Foxconn plant was manufacturing parts for Apple too, our correspondent hopped in a taxi for a visit to the facility in Guanlan, which makes products for a range of companies.
As he stood on the public road taking photos of the front gate and security checkpoint, a guard shouted. The reporter continued snapping photos before jumping into a waiting taxi. The guard blocked the vehicle and ordered the driver to stop, threatening to strip him of his taxi license.
The correspondent got out and insisted he was within his rights as he was on the main road. The guard grabbed his arm. A second guard ran over, and with a crowd of Foxconn workers watching, they tried dragging him into the factory.
The reporter asked to be let go. When that didn't happen, he jerked himself free and started walking off. The older guard kicked him in the leg, while the second threatened to hit him again if he moved. A few minutes later, a Foxconn security car came along but the reporter refused to board it. He called the police instead.
After the authorities arrived and mediated, the guards apologized and the matter was settled. The reporter left without filing a complaint, though the police gave him the option of doing so.
"You're free to do what you want," the policeman explained, "But this is Foxconn and they have a special status here. Please understand."
It is unlikely that Apple tells security guards across the Pacific how to go about their business.
The company, which spends billions of dollars on components and contract manufacturers, has a code of conduct that spells out how those working in its supply chain should be treated -- "Suppliers must be committed to a workplace free of harassment," states one. To ensure compliance, Apple periodically audits its suppliers.
But the scuffle in Guanlan does underscore the intense pressure many contractors feel to clamp down on the information flow.
Another way Apple keeps leaks to a minimum is to bring suppliers in at the absolute last minute.
An official at a component supplier, who, like nearly everyone else interviewed for this story, would speak only on condition of anonymity said.
"What usually happens is that we will receive a call from Apple, and by then they usually already have some idea of what exactly they want. They usually give us a couple of options, we present some stuff to them, and they look at quite a lot of samples before coming to a final decision, sometimes just weeks before the rumored launch."
Apple also helps keep its components out of the mainstream by insisting on custom designs rather than off-the-shelf parts -- a practice that leaves many suppliers frustrated.
An official at a South Korean supplier who said he has participated in Apple projects complained that the company sometimes makes unreasonable requests.
"Apple also wants unique size and specifications. That means we won't be able to use a common platform or rework those components to serve other clients. And if there's any inventory left, it cannot be used any other way."
Not surprisingly, landing a contract with Apple will always include a confidentiality clause. And they usually come with stiff penalties in the event that a breach is discovered, said sources at some suppliers. These insiders added that such agreements often come on top of unannounced checks by Apple officials to maintain standards.
Two sources familiar with the matter said they were not aware of any company that has been fined for breaching a confidentiality pact. But they say a number a suppliers have been verbally warned that they were in danger of losing their contract if suspected leaks persisted.
The difficulty lies in proving the source of a leak. In the absence of solid evidence, the most Apple can do is to switch suppliers once the contract runs out, the sources said.
One of the sources said.
"Unless there's a recording or an email that can be clearly identified to a certain Apple supplier, it's all going to be a blame game with everyone pointing fingers at everyone else."
Hon Hai, the huge Taiwanese manufacturer with units in China, has gone to great lengths in the past to maintain its own secrecy.
In a high-profile case in China in 2006, Hon Hai sued two Chinese reporters and asked for 30 million yuan ($4.4 million) in damages for exposing alleged subpar employment practices.
The amount was later reduced to a symbolic 1 yuan, after stinging public criticism was directed at Apple. Various groups including Reporters Without Borders wrote to Apple chief Jobs asking him to intercede in the case.
Apple's audit of Hon Hai's facilities after the case found that it was in compliance with a majority of its requirements under its supplier's code of conduct. But the company did find a number of violations that it was working to address, though it declined to disclose the specifics.
In another case that made global headlines last year, an employee in China for Foxconn was believed to have jumped to his death after being interrogated by his employer. According to local press reports, he was under suspicion of taking an iPhone prototype -- to which he had access -- out of the factory.
(Additional reporting by Rhee So-eui in Seoul, Gabriel Madway in San Francisco and James Pomfret and Don Durfee in Hong Kong; editing by Jim Impoco and Doug Young)
COMMENTARY: I have often reported on Apple CEO Steve Job's absolute control of every aspect of new product research and development and production. Steve is notorious for secrecy. You often hear of the "Culture of Fear" that Steve Jobs has created to insure absolute secrecy. Everyting is on a need to know basis, from concept to product launch. Design work is comparmentalized. Design teams work on separate parts of a new product. Only a few people at Apple know what the final product even looks like. Security is just as tight at all of Apple's production partner's--company's located in South Korea, Taiwan and China.
One of these companies is Taiwan's Foxconn International, a manufacturer of consumer electronics products, with several plants located in China. When I first read this article, I was incredulous and appalled at what I have read about Foxconn's plants in China, their high security and secrecy, and the oppressive treatment of their factory workers. In the twelve months prior to February 2010, 11 Foxconn International factory workers have committed suicide without any explanation.
Rumors abound of the oppressive working conditions, 15-20 hour work days, sometimes without breaks, just so that Apple's products can be delivered on time. Worker's have been sworn to secrecy. The shear number of suicides defy all statistical odds. How can so many workers from one Foxconn International plant commit suicide? Were these factory workers killed by Foxconn International for violating secrecy or not meeting their production quota's, then the evidence covered up, and their deaths blamed as a suicide? Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
To Apple Evangelists everywhere, Steve Jobs can do no wrong even after death. However the Culture of Fear and use of slave labor camps like Foxconn International continue under new CEO Tim Cook. Keep in mind that before he became Chief Operating Officer, Cook was handpicked by Steve Jobs to be personally responsible for manufacturing all Apple products. It was Cook submitted the names of the plants he selected to Steve Jobs for his final approval.
The Legend of Jobs is ever lasting. He is like Moses freeing the evangelists from the land of IBM "Big Brother" computer rule. Apple Evangelists everywhere will forever love Steve Jobs, and millions shed tears for him after his death, and they love and obsessed with every single Apple product-- the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple Stores. Everything. Once you become an Apple Evangelist you swear blind allegiance and are brand loyal for life.
It does not matter to these Apple evangelists that the simple, beautiful and elegant products produced for them were made under the most cruel and oppressive work conditions imaginable, and are nothing short of virtual slave labor camps.
Enjoy your iPhone 4, admire the sleek clean lines of your iPad 2, and the cool music blowing out of your iPod MultiTouch. It is you who look the other way, ignore the cries of help from tormented Chinese factory workers working at Foxconn International, and ignore the painful cries of the parents, husbands, wives and loved ones who lost someone special after he or she jumped off the roof of the Foxconn International plant.
Here's a link to a video of a CNN investigation of Foxconn International's plants in China
Courtesy of an article dated February 17, 2010 appearing in Reuters
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - The smell of steak along Highway 150 in Mooresville is coming from what could be a one-of-a-kind scented billboard for a grocery store.
The billboard for Bloom, a division of Food Lion, is fashioned into the shape of a gigantic piece of steak on a fork. However, the most appetizing part of the billboard might not be the picture.
"It smells like uh, Barbecue, like hickory or something like that being Barbecued and smells like steak," one motorist described.
The scent is emitted by a high-powered fan at the bottom of the billboard that blows air over cartridges loaded with the BBQ fragrance oil, said Murray Dameron, marketing director for Charlotte-based ScentAir, which provides custom scents and fragrance-delivery systems for businesses, including hotel lobbies, casino gambling and retail stores.
The billboard scent is "basically a blend of black pepper and kind of a charcoal grilling smell," Dameron said. "It smells like grilled meat with a nice pepper rub on it."
A Bloom spokesperson said the company is always looking for new ways to reach the consumer.
"With all the advertising around, you wanna be able to jump out and really grab the consumer's attention," said Angie Hunter, a spokesperson for Bloom stores.
Bloom also gained national recognition for their infamous Blueberry muffin advertisement. The ad, which was in place a few years ago, first featured a three-dimension muffin pan full of blueberry muffins.
Several days later, Bloom removed one of the muffins and added a crushed-car below the advertisement creating the illusion the muffin had crushed the vehicle. This advertisement was on the same billboard in Mooresville.
The billboard, which Bloom lit up on May 28, will emit scents from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day until June 18, Bloom spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown said.
The billboard is located on Highway 150, near Lake Norman in Mooresville.
COMMENTARY: The scents used by Bloom Outdoor Advertising are developed by AirScents, a Charlotte, North Carolina company specializing in in-store scents. On its website AirtScents describes itself:
ScentAir is the market leader of in-store scent solutions for brands and retailers. Our patented systems help enhance environments, communicate brands and create memorable experiences. We give our clients the tools to sculpt their own unique environment, completing their customers' experience by engaging memory and emotions through the sense of smell. Our scents and systems can be customized to reflect and complement any brand or environment.
ScentAir has installed thousands of systems for all kinds of clients...from retail to entertainment, from hotels to healthcare. You name it, we are probably there. And our client list continues to grow.
ScentAir carries over 1,600 distinctive and appealing scents with names like mandarin cranberry, breeze, sun & sand, clean cotton and sparkling cinnamon.
I thought that "scent marketing" was just another marketing gimmick, but there is real science behind its use. The effectiveness of scents as a way to market products and services is due to The Proustian Effect.
What is the Proustion Effect? It's what happens in your brain when a smell unleashes a flood of memories, taking you back to a particular time and place.
It's named after Marcel Proust, the brilliant author who wrote short stories, essays and novels back in the early 1900s. Proust is often considered the father of the modern novel, but the reason he's important to us is because he was the first to link smell to memory - and to write about it.
Proust describes this phenomenon in his novel, Remembrance of Things Past, while eating madeleine cake: "...and as soon as I had recognized the taste of madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me ... immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set ... and with the house the town, from morning to night and in all weathers, the Square where I used to be sent before lunch, the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine."
We experience the Proustian Effect almost everyday. Scientists and Nobel Prize winners are studying this phenomenon across the world.
And here's how we fit in. ScentAir is putting the power of emotion - guided by the strong and influential sense of smell - to work for businesses everywhere.
Courtesy of an article dated June 3, 2010 appearing in MyFox8.com
As part of its "Thank You" campaign, Porsche plastered the names of one million of its closest Facebook friends onto a hot rod.
We all love a good timelapse video around here, but this one's subtler than most. It shows a crew of Porsche folks painstakingly detailing a brand new 911 GT3 R Hybrid... but with what? The video isn't high-resolution enough to read them, but all those teeny gray squiggles adorning the hood, tail, and sides of the car? They're names -- one million names, to be exact, of Porsche's Facebook fans.
Want to see if your name is one of the lucky ones to make onto this beauty? Click here to launch Porsche's slick promo site, where you can type your name into the search box. Or you can peer at this closeup and try it the old fashioned way. (Where's that CSI-style "enhance!" command when you need it?)
Anyway, Facebook, social marketing, yada yada yada... the car is still the thing to marvel at here. Not only does this sucker sport Porsche's legendary 911 style, it's also a hybrid. Which means it hauls ass on the racetrack and gets (relatively) great gas mileage! Put that on your status update.
COMMENTARY: Talk about a mobile billboard to promote the Facebook and Porsche brand, as if they needed any help. I am surprised that Porsche has one million fans.
Porsche’s Facebook fan page has reached its one-millionth fan on the social networking site. Celebrating the huge milestone, Porsche museum presented a 911 GT3 R Hybrid with the signatures of more than 27,000 fans of the brand.
“The 911 GT3 R Hybrid was chosen for this extraordinary signature-gathering campaign because it impressively embodies the future of motorsport – with Porsche Intelligent Performance,” Porsche said in a statement. “The all-new hybrid system developed specially for use in a racing car has little in common with conventional hybrid systems as far as its design and componentry go.”
Refresher: Power for the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid comes from a flywheel system unlike a conventional battery-electric hybrid system. In this case, electrical front axle drive with two electric motors developing 161-hp, supplementing the 480-hp 4.0L inline-6 that powers the two rear-wheels. The flywheel system gathers kinetic energy under braking to fuel the two electric-motors and after each boost of charge, the two motors provide 6 to 8 second jolts of power.
Price Tag: 279,000 Euros, but you will have to wait in line to get one.
Austin-based nonprofit Mobile Loves & Fishes wanted to raise a more visceral type of awareness about homelessness, and teamed up with marketing agency T3 for a two-day stunt in which an actual homeless man, Danny, slept on a 50-foot billboard where passers-by could text donations to raise money to find a new home for him and his wife. Two days, 252,000 people on Twitter and $12,000 later, Danny was able to find shelter.
More than 3.5 million people in America are homeless, yet too often, they go unseen. Austin-based homeless mission Mobile Loaves and Fishes wanted to change that, to give homeless people a voice with which to say “I am here” and empower others to help.
That’s why, April 27-28, 2010, MLF founder Alan Graham, along with Danny Silver, a then-homeless man, went up on a billboard on I-35. The goal was inspire people to text enough $10 donations to get Danny and his wheelchair-bound wife Maggie off the streets and into a gently used RV (just $12,000).
Not only did we raise enough money to get Danny and Maggie a home, we raised awareness of homelessness to a dramatic new height.
During the time Danny and Alan were on the billboard people, tuned in around the country, with news coverage in 30 markets nationwide. One of those people tuning in was Danny’s daughter, whom he hadn’t seen in ten years. She contacted Alan, and they were reunited the same day Danny and Maggie moved into their home.
COMMENTARY: Thanks to the "I Am Here" outdoor campaign by MLFNow (Mobile Loaves and Fishes) Danny Silver was re-united with his daughter and found a home. What a great ending. Thanks MLFNow.org.
Courtesy of an article dated December 13, 2010 appearing in Advertising Age