Time-saving tech tips …

April 17, 2015

Cool TED pitch by a dude named David Pogue … demonstrating 10 handy tech tips.

For example, how to skip by cell phone voicemail greetings (Hi.  This Ken.  I’m not able … blah, blah) and get straight to leaving a message.

For Verizon, just press the star sign (*) … for AT&T, press the # sign.

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What to do when a web page’s text is too small to read?

Read the rest of this entry »

Your tax dollars at work …

April 16, 2015

According to WashPost

Government records show that tens of thousands of federal workers are being kept on paid leave for at least a month — and often for longer stretches that can reach a year or more — while they wait to be punished for (or cleared of ) misbehavior or are disputing a demotion.

While disputing a demotion?

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Here are some details that’ll make you cringe …

Read the rest of this entry »

Nums: Who pays taxes? Who benefits?

April 15, 2015

Since it’s tax day, I thought I’d flashback to a drill down I did on the tax system —  who pays in, where does it go and who benefits …

In a prior post, we drilled down on taxes … or, as my Dem friends would say government “revenues”.

We posted that in 2012 Americans paid a tad over $5 trillion in taxes to the Feds, States and Local Governments.

Drilling down, the $5 trillion is split roughly 50%-30%-20% to the Feds, States and Locals, respectively. Note that the Federal portion is just under $2.5 trillion.

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* * * * *
If these are “revenues” there must be matching services provided, right?

I found a study by the non-partisan Tax Foundation that analyzes taxes paid and benefits received.

The study is old – using 2004 data – but, in my opinion is a good starting point to calibrate the answer.

Read the rest of this entry »

What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

April 14, 2015

Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .

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Here are the Pew results …

Read the rest of this entry »

Biases: The “halo effect” … rock on, sister!

April 12, 2015

We’ve covering the Halo Effect in class this week, so it’s time to dust off one of my favorite posts …

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I’ll explain the picture later, but first, the back story.

A couple of interesting dots got connected last week.

 

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First, I started watching The Voice.

I liked the talent and the bantering among the coaches, but wondered why they used the turning chairs gimmick.  You know, judges can’t see the the performers, they can just hear them.

Became apparent when Usher turned his chair and was surprised to see that the high-pitched soul singer was a big white guy.

Hmmm.

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Second, for the course I’m currently teaching, I’ve been reading a book called The Art of Thinking Clearly — a series of short essays on cognitive biases – those sneaky psychological effects that impair our decision-making.

Read the rest of this entry »

Great moments in Presidential sports …

April 10, 2015

This was a big week: Easter, NCAA Finals, and baseball’s opening day ….

Let’s play off those events and flashback for some yucks.

First, W and O throwing out opening day pitches.

One of them throws a strike, one of them doesn’t.

Guess …

click to view
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OK, I know what you’re thinking: “He’s just picking on Obama.  Everybody knows that hoops is his game”.

Hmmm.

Remember the Easter eggs festivities at the Whitehouse in 2013?

Read the rest of this entry »

Taxes: The only thing to love about the AMT …

April 9, 2015

Just finished this year’s taxes.

One interesting twist ….

In 2012, like a lot of folks, I sold a bunch of stocks to beat Obama’s hike in the capital gains tax …  from 15% to 23.8% (including the 3.8% ObamaCare surcharge)

As a result, my state tax bill paid in 2013 was higher than usual … Virginia’s share of the capital gains.

At first I was delighted this year.

Why?

Because, on my Federal return,  I could deduct the higher-than-normal taxes that I paid to Virginia.

Unfortunately, the thrill was short-lived.

I’d forgotten about the AMT … you know, the Alternative Minimum Tax.

I’d forgotten, but TurboTax hadn’t.

Bottom line: My VA tax deduction got wiped away by the AMT calculation.

Like many folks, I had internalized that state income taxes are annoying, but no big deal since they get written off at the Federal level.

Not so if you’re among the millions of Americans who get snared in the AMT trap.

Oh, well.

At least there is one small delight I get from the AMT …

Read the rest of this entry »

Nums: More folks saying: “Why work?”

April 8, 2015

It’s not new news that the Labor Force Participation Rate has been falling .

What struck me in March’s  employment stats was that the LFPR is still dropping

LFPR - March 2015

Many economists  say it’s simply demographics — it’s old folks retiring.

Partially true, but certainly not the whole story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nums: 2 charts say a lot about the March employment numbers …

April 7, 2015

Last Friday, the President was spinning the 126,000 jobs gain as a continuation of the longest consecutive period of (meager) monthly jobs gains.

OK, I added the meager part …

And, he touted how he’d added 12 million jobs to the economy since he took office.

Not to nit-pick, but it’s 10 million since he took office … 12 million since the slide bottomed out.

 

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OK, so 2 million more people are working since the worst recession since the depression.

That’s pretty good, right?

Read the rest of this entry »

Nums: Do you see a pattern in the March employment report?

April 6, 2015

Last Friday, the BLS  reported that the U.S. economy added 126,000 jobs.

That’s about  half of the consensus forecast (which was about the prior 12 months average).

 

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Look at the chart and tell me if your see a pattern …

Read the rest of this entry »

Banned substance: Red ink is,well, threatening …

April 3, 2015

I once worked for a CEO who wouldn’t stand for lemon in his water or red ink.

That is, both the red ink on a financial statement and red ink on a document.

Apparently, he was onto something with the latter.

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In the UK, hundreds of schools have banned their teachers from marking in red ink.

Here’s why …

Read the rest of this entry »

Nums: What percentage of Americans prepare their own taxes? How many of them like it?

April 2, 2015

Since, I started preparing my taxes this weekend, I got curious …

Pew Research says that overall, 33% of Americans say they do their own taxes while 56% say someone else prepares their taxes.

  • Note 1: 11% don’t know who does their taxes or were befuddled by the question
  • Note 2: The folks in the 11% get to vote in Presidential elections (ouch!)

A majority of Americans (56%) have a negative reaction to doing their income taxes 1 in 4  say they hate doing them.

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Among those who dislike or hate doing their taxes, most cite the hassles of the process or the amount of time it takes:

About a third (34%) say they either like (29%) or love (5%) doing their taxes.

Here are some details re: the “likers” and lovers … 

Read the rest of this entry »

Hacked: File early to beat crooks to your tax refund …

March 31, 2015

A couple of years ago I jumped on the bandwagon and e-filed my first ever tax return.

 

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A couple of weeks later I was an identity theft victim.

Coincidence?

I can’t prove the connection … I also can’t shake the suspicion.

Now, crooks have a new online hack: filing online returns that claim other folks refunds.

I good friend just got burned on this specific new tax hack.

Here’s what’s going on …

Read the rest of this entry »

For POTUS: One of Fortune’s “World’s Greatest Leaders” is a U.S. woman …

March 30, 2015

No, it’s not Hillary Clinton.

Fortune just released it’s list of the World’s Greatest Leaders.

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The highest ranked woman snagged the #6 spot on the list …

Read the rest of this entry »

Does playing basketball make you taller?

March 27, 2015

Of course not … that’s silly.

OK let’s try a variant of the question: Does education make you smarter?

 

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I bet a lot of you would bet the over on that one.

Here’s what the researchers say …

Read the rest of this entry »

Gotcha: This is an unrecognized computer …

March 26, 2015

If you do any banking online, you’ve probably gotten that message at one time or another.

Maybe it was when you got a new computer … or, when you used a friend’s computer to pay a bill.

You probably didn’t think much of it.

You just answered the security questions and paid your bill.

Bet you didn’t stop to wonder: How did Bank of Boise know that this wasn’t my usual computer?

Better yet, ask: How does the bank know when I am on my regular computer?

Well, now that I’ve aroused you curiosity, the answer is ….

Your computer has its own distinctive “device fingerprints” that make it identifiable on the Net as your computer.

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I worry about stuff like this.  So, I’d thought about this one.

And, my thinking was wrong.

Here’s what’s going on …

Read the rest of this entry »

College basketball is hurting … oh,really?

March 25, 2015

Driving into school yesterday, I was listening to a sportstalk show that was chatting about the tough times these days in college basketball.

Have to admit, that I hadn’t noticed.

 

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But, apparently there is a lot of trash-talk going on.

According to RealClear Sports:

“The doomsayers cite a plodding pace, lower scoring (67.1 points per team per game this season, compared with 77.7 in 1972), and seven consecutive years of decreased Division I attendance.”

Here are the fixes that the pundits propose … and my ideas.

Read the rest of this entry »

About those late night emails …

March 24, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, there was a local bruhaha.

One lady sent a snitty email late at night to a club mailing list.

One of the recipients – who had been sipping wine all night – took offense, and shot back a nuclear-rated reply… to the whole list, of course.

A major cat-fight broke out … wasn’t pretty.

.Got me thinking more generally about about late night emails …

 

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And, by coincidence, the Harvard Business Review just published an article on the topic.

Read the rest of this entry »

The will to win …

March 23, 2015

Watching March Madness games this weekend, an old quote scrolled across the screen and caught my eye.

It was attributed to legendary – albeit controversial old-school basketball coach Bobby Knight …

 

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Kinda sums things up pretty well these days, doesn’t it?

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“Going to hell in a handbasket” … say, what?

March 20, 2015

Recently, a poll finally asked a question that really cuts to the chase:

Which better describes how you feel about the way things are going in the world these days?

  • a) Things are going to hell in a handbasket
  • b) Everything will be alright
  • c) Don’t know

 

 

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Started me wondering:

What’s up with a goofy idiom like “going to hell in a handbasket”?

Read the rest of this entry »

Uh-oh: Hold the mac & cheese …

March 19, 2015

You probably heard that Kraft is recalling it’s Mac & Cheese.

When I heard the headline, I assumed that it was because somebody finally figured out what the orange stuff was.

Not so, apparently some metal shavings got mixed with the goop …  not exactly the way to add iron to the foodstuff.

The recall gave me a flashback to a post from last year … very much on topic … so I dug it up for a replay.

At the time, consumer groups were a bit concerned about the Mac & Cheese ingredients.

Uh-oh: Consumer mavens dissing Kraft’s dayglow mac & cheese …

Talk about a timely news item.

In class Tuesday, we were talking about food taste & quality.

My teaching point: when the food buyer isn’t the food eater, the buyer may be less sensitive to taste & quality.

My example: millions of mothers serve their little kiddies  mac & cheese that glows in the dark.

A veiled reference to Kraft’s legendary mac & cheese … and, that odd color of orange that happens when those mysterious dry ingredients are stirred into the pasta.

Well, apparently the neon dish also caught the eye of a couple food crusaders who have embarked on a campaign against two of the dyes that Kraft uses to create its trademark color.

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Here’s their rip and Kraft’s response …

Read the rest of this entry »

Feds make $125 billion in “improper payments” … whoa, Nellie.

March 18, 2015

In these days of Moneyball and Team Obama’s campaign technology apparatus that could pin down the ice cream flavor that somebody eats, this shouldn’t happen.

But, it does.

The GAO just issued a report saying that the Feds made an estimated $125 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) in so-called “improper payments” in 2014

 

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 Here are some of the ugly details …

Read the rest of this entry »

What are your chances of dying from ___ ?

March 17, 2015

OK, here’s a test for you  …

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Rank the the following by the odds that somebody who is in the group or who is exposed to the risk is likely to die.

Make #1 the highest risk of dying in the next year; make #7 the lowest risk circumstance

  • For women giving birth
  • For anyone thirty-five to forty-four years old
  • From asbestos in schools
  • For anyone for any reason
  • From lightning
  • For police on the job
  • From airplane crashes

And the answer is …

Read the rest of this entry »

Millennials: Poets or Quants?

March 16, 2015

Not so fast.

According to the Washington Post, ETS (the College Board folks) analyzed the results of a test given by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The test was meant to assess adult skill levels in 3 areas: problem-solving, literacy and “numeracy”..

ETS broke out the numbers for U.S. millennials, defined as people 16 to 34 years old..

The vast majority of American test-takers lacked a high school degree

The bottom line: in problem solving, U.S. millennials second from the bottom … edging out Poland,

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* * * * * *

Of course, problem solving is a blend of quant skills (numeracy) and language skills (literacy).

How did our millennials stack up as poets and quants?

Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback: Now, isn’t shooting a cop a hate crime?

March 13, 2015

The shooting of 2 cops in Ferguson Wednesday night prompts the question again.

Below is a post from last December when the 2 NYC cops were shot dead.

At the time, some dismissed the assassinations as just the random act of a “crazy guy.”

Is this another “crazy guy” to  be shrugged off?

Looks to me like the Ferguson cops were shot because somebody hated them

Why hasn’t Holder airlifted the FBI to hunt down the perps?

Here’s the original post …

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Now, isn’t shooting a cop a hate crime?
December 22, 2014

Today, we’ll be serious, not sarcastic.

As everybody should know by now …

“Without provocation, an attacker ambushed and killed officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos while they sat in their marked patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Area of Brooklyn … ‘They were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform,’ Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference.”

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Earlier in the day, the killer  posted a photo of a silver handgun and a message on Instagram in which he talked about killing police officers “in retaliation for the deaths of  Garner and Brown.”

Let’s think about that for a moment …

Read the rest of this entry »

Why is gas cheaper in New Jersey?

March 12, 2015

I’ve always wondered that … especially since NJ is the only place on Planet Earth that won’t let you self-pump your own gas.

Nope.

Gotta wait for the attendant to notice you’re there and do it for you.

 

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Of course, the attendants don’t look like the guy in the picture.

Nope.

They all look like folks who should be reported to Homeland Security.

My point: having attendants should push gas prices up, right?

A common hypothesis is that there are a lot of gas storage facilities along I-95.

Cheaper supply?

That doesn’t square since there isn’t much gas drilled in the local area.

OK, so what is it?

I may have stumbled on the answer …

Read the rest of this entry »

How many Americans are older than 112 years old?

March 11, 2015

Before you answer, let me feed you  a couple of hints.

According to a government report:

In September 2013, a New York resident, believed to be the world’s oldest living man, died at age 112.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, as of October 2013, only 35 known living individuals worldwide had reached age 112.

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You’re thinking a pretty low number, right?

Well, let me rephrase the question: How many Americans does the Social Security Administration think are over 112?

The answer may surprise you …

Read the rest of this entry »

So, is it ok for the NSA to surveil @ClintonEmail?

March 10, 2015

OK, time to weigh in on Hillary going off the grid while Secretary of State …

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Interesting article in the DailySignal – a right-leaning organization …

Basic conclusion: Hillary’s not alone …lots of government employees use personal email accounts to transact government business.

To be more precise – the survey says – about 1/3 of government employees conduct some or all of their government business.

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So, why is it a problem Hillary did it, too?  Shouldn’t she get a pass since so many other government employees do the same?

Here’s why not …

Read the rest of this entry »

Based on Ken’s UEI (Ultimate Economic Indicator), maybe the economy is improving..

March 9, 2015

It has been 10 days since I placed a “free shipping” order with Amazon.

Why is that important”

There are a lot of indicators bandied about to ‘prove’ how well or poorly the economy is doing.

There’s GDP, unemployment, CPI, and many, many other metrics.

Sometimes they provide a consistent view of the economy … sometimes they contradict.

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Well, I’ve stumbled on the Ultimate Economic Indicator. An indisputable measure of economic activity …

Read the rest of this entry »

Unemployment claims moving up … anybody notice?

March 6, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, the Administration and its friends were touting that  unemployment claims had dropped to historically low levels … proof positive that the pork-laden, 2009 Stimulus Spending Program worked … albeit 4 or 5 years after the program ended.

 

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There has been a lot less chest-pounding the past couple of weeks.  Wonder why?

Read the rest of this entry »

The irony of King vs. Burwell

March 5, 2015

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the latest  — and perhaps, the most significant challenge to ObamaCare.

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In a nutshell, the essence of the case is whether the ObamaCare law provides for insurance subsidies to folks buying health insurance through the Federal Insurance Exchange.

The argument centers on very specific – and very literal wording in the law.

To “motivate” individual states to set up their own insurance exchanges, the law law says that subsidies would only be provided to people who buy their health insurance thru state exchanges.  No provision was made for subsidies thru the Federal exchange.

ObamaCare supporters are arguing that the wording was a “drafting error” and that the legislative intent was to provide subsidies regardless of whether the insurance was bought thru a state or Federal exchange.  That’s somewhere between revisionist history and boldface lie.

Failing that argument, the fallback line of reasoning is that bad things will happen ObamaCare if it’s implemented the way it’s written.

That may be true, but this is a legal issue not a social issue.

Conservatives argue that the intent was clear (to bully states into creating exchanges) and that the law needs to be interpreted as written, not based on what might have been intended.

Of course, Chief Justice Roberts violated the latter point when he let the law fly when the individual mandate was challenged — coining the penalty to be a tax.

I expect the Justices to find for the plaintiffs and against ObamaCare.

Here’s where the irony creeps in …

Read the rest of this entry »

Bizarre: Execution delayed (again) due to cloudiness … huh?

March 4, 2015

This is getting very weird …

Last week, I posted the story of a woman who was about to be executed in Georgia for successfully plotting with her boyfriend to off her husband.

At the last minute, her execution was postponed because of bad weather … though, it wasn’t obvious (to me)  what weather has to do with a lethal injection being done indoors.

The execution was rescheduled for this Monday.

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Once again, things didn’t go as planned …

Read the rest of this entry »

Taxes: In total, how much do Americans pay in taxes? For what? To whom?.

March 3, 2015

Since it’s tax time, I thought you might like to see a recap of how much dough (some) Americans fork over to the government …

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Americans pay a tad over $5 trillion in taxes to the Feds, States and Local Governments.

Technical note: In government parlance, the taxes are called “revenue”.

By taxing authority

Drilling down, the $5 trillion is split roughly 50%-30%-20% to the Feds, States and Locals, respectively

Here’s more detail …

Read the rest of this entry »

Nums: What percentage of Americans prepare their own taxes? How many of them like it?

March 2, 2015

Since, I started preparing my taxes this weekend, I got curious …

Pew Research says that overall, 33% of Americans say they do their own taxes while 56% say someone else prepares their taxes.

  • Note 1: 11% don’t know who does their taxes or were befuddled by the question
  • Note 2: The folks in the 11% get to vote in Presidential elections (ouch!)

A majority of Americans (56%) have a negative reaction to doing their income taxes 1 in 4  say they hate doing them.

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Among those who dislike or hate doing their taxes, most cite the hassles of the process or the amount of time it takes:

About a third (34%) say they either like (29%) or love (5%) doing their taxes.

Here are some details re: the “likers” and lovers … 

Read the rest of this entry »

What do electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line have in common ?

March 1, 2015

I thought about this one last nite watching the Hoyas give Kansas a run for their money.

I often say that electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line make my list as the top 3 inventions ever …

You know all about the first two. 

3-point line

Here’s the story behind the third: basketball’s 3-pointer …

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate change: Execution delayed due to weather

February 27, 2015

I shouldn’t be poking fun at this since I’m not a fan of capital punishment and for the affected person this is deadly serious businees.

But, I just can’t resist.

On Wednesday, for the first time in 70 years, Georgia was supposed to execute a woman who ran out of appeals and pardon opportunities.

 

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But, things didn’t go as planned …

Read the rest of this entry »

Problem Solving: A matter of perspective …

February 26, 2015

According to ChinaSmack.com, most Hong Kong elementary school applicants are able to answer this admissions test question in the allotted 20 seconds.

Can you?

Psst: It’s ok to use scratch paper and a pen or pencil.

 

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Stumped?  Here’s the answer and the teaching point …

Read the rest of this entry »

Zapped by my anti-virus software … say,what?

February 25, 2015

Had a disappointing technical problem over the weekend.

 

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Here’s what happened and the lesson learned …

Read the rest of this entry »

Pssst: What’s your zip code?

February 24, 2015

Ever wonder why the gun-chewing cashier asks you for your zip code?

I naively assumed the store was just doing some kind of geo-survey … trying to figure out where their customers were coming from … how far they were driving to shop their store.

Silly boy.

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CNN reports that ”Every time you mindlessly give a sales clerk your zip code at checkout, you’re giving data companies and retailers the ability to track everything from your body type to your bad habits.”

Whoa, Nellie.

Here’s what’s happening   …

Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Biases: Which is more painful?

February 23, 2015

Interesting study on cognitive biases from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow

Patients undergoing a painful medical procedure – think, colonoscopy without anesthesia – recorded their pain levels during the procedure on a range from no pain (zero) to excruciating (10).

Some of the procedures were short in duration … others were longer.

Below is the pain chart for 2 representative patients.

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The patients were asked – after the fact—how painful the procedure was.

What’s your bet?  Which patient claimed to have undergone the more painful procedure?

Read the rest of this entry »

Problem Solving: A matter of perspective …

February 22, 2015

According to ChinaSmack.com, most Hong Kong elementary school applicants are able to answer this admissions test question in the allotted 20 seconds.

Can you?

Psst: It’s ok to use scratch paper and a pen or pencil.

 

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Stumped?  Here’s the answer and the teaching point …

Read the rest of this entry »

Mouse tracks: Mickey’s hot on your trail …

February 20, 2015

According to Business Week

“Disney has launched a $1 billion experiment in crowd control, data collection, and wearable technology that could change the way people play—and spend—at the Most Magical Place on Earth. “

 

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The innovation – called MyMagic – let’s Mickey track every move you make around the old Magic Kingdom.

Read the rest of this entry »

Smacked: TurboTax bungles a $25 price increase and retreats.

February 19, 2015

A couple of years ago I switched off TurboTax when they tried to start charging separately for each computer – meaning that I had to buy 2 licenses to have TurboTax on both my desktop and laptop.

I got back on the program when they backed off that silly pricing hack.

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Having learned nothing from that pricing backfire, TurboTax recently got itself in another brouhaha with customers when it tried another pricing sleight of hand.

Here’s what went down …

Read the rest of this entry »

Problem Solving Tips: Patterning, framing and the astronaut’s pen …

February 18, 2015

Excerpted from Think Better

Among the many discoveries NASA made when it began sending people into space was that the astronauts’ pens did not work well in zero gravity.

The ink wouldn’t flow properly. You can simulate the effect at home by trying to write with the business end of your pen pointing up.

Pretty soon, the ink stops flowing and the pen won’t write.

 

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The solution – giving astronaut’s a way to write upside down —  depends on how you frame the problem …

Read the rest of this entry »

Dude, so like what’s a “dude” anyway?

February 17, 2015

A while ago, we posted The Dude Factor about two recent virals centered on the word “dude”.

  • ·On The Voice – Italy, rapper Jay-Ax told contestant Sister Kristina: “We’d be a perfect team. You’re the holy water, I’m the Dude”
  • ·On Fox’s Special Report, former Obama NSC point man Tommy Vietor said of the Benghazi murders: “Dude, that was like 2 years ago”

Curiosity got the best of me re: the origins and use of the expression “dude”.

First, directly from the Urban Dictionary:

 

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Here’s a brief history of the term …

Read the rest of this entry »

Hacked: LifeLock CEO spanked by identity thieves … 13 times.

February 16, 2015

Lots of hacking going on: Sony, Anthem Healthcare …

Here’s one from the “you can’t make this stuff” file.

LifeLock is one of the companies that monitors the credit applications and credit worthiness inquires.

Todd Davis became LifeLock’s CEO when the company’s founder was ousted for making repeated misleading statements about his shady past and the company’s origins.

For a couple of years, Mr. Davis was prominent in LifeLock’s ads … revealing his social security number and daring identity thieves to crack his code.

Bad idea.

 

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Reportedly, Mr. Davis has had his identity stolen at least 13 times since his taunt-the-thieves commercials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Sir or Madam: I’m the perfect candidate for the job … oh no, you’re not.

February 13, 2015

US News & World Report says to keep these 10 catch phrases off your cover letter:

1. “I meet the requirements for the position.”Explain why you’re an excellent candidate, not just an adequate one.

2. “I’m hard-working and a great communicator.” These are cliches that cause hiring managers’ eyes to glaze over …and don’t convey anything of substance.

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3. “I’m a visionary leader.”  Proclaiming this about yourself comes across as, well, weird. Show accomplishments.

4. “You won’t find a candidate better qualified than me.”  This comes off as needlessly cocky hyperbole — and it’s generally inaccurate..

5. “Dear sir or madam.” In most industries, this will come across as an antiquated, stuffy salutation. If you know the hiring manager’s name, use it … if not, simply writing “dear hiring manager” is fine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Double-whammy: Where will Liberals get their news now?

February 12, 2015

Big shake-up on TV.

First, NBC suspends news anchor Brian Williams for lying like a rug.

Boom!

12 million news watchers of lose their faux-trusted source at MSNBC’s planet ship.

 

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Then, the 2nd shoe fell …

Read the rest of this entry »

Hacked: File early to beat crooks to your tax refund …

February 11, 2015

A couple of years ago I jumped on the bandwagon and e-filed my first ever tax return.

 

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A couple of weeks later I was an identity theft victim.

Coincidence?

I can’t prove the connection … I also can’t shake the suspicion.

Now, crooks have a new online hack: filing online returns that claim other folks refunds.

Here’s what’s going on …

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Nums: Why are economists so bad at forecasting?

February 10, 2015

Wash Post had an interesting analysis titled “This graph shows how bad the Fed is at predicting the future

The crux of their argument: the Fed has a clear recent tendency to mis-forecast economic growth … not by a little, by a lot …  forecasting almost twice as rapid growth as is ultimately realized.

For example,  in 2009 the Fed was predicting 4.2 percent growth in 2011.  But then in 2010 it revised that down to 3.85 percent growth. And in 2011 they revised it further to 2.8 percent growth. And when all was said and done, the economy only grew about 2.4 percent that year. The Fed projected growth almost twice as fast as what actually happened.

 

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What’s going on?

 

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