Monday, July 27, 2015

Donald Trump leads 16 candidates for Republican nomination and his top 30 insults

Donald Trump stealing the GOP bandwidth

Topic | US Presidential Race
Location | USA

A fair amount of all Internet and Social Media bandwidth will be taken by the upcoming Republican nomination to battle it out most likely against Hilary Clinton. Currently there are a staggering 16 nominations for the top position of the GOP.

The Hill has published what it believes to be Donald Trump's top 30 insults...
Here they are in no particular order...

  1. Former President George W. Bush: — “You mean George Bush sends our soldiers into combat, they are severely wounded, and then he wants $120,000 to make a boring speech to them?” asked Trump on July 9, after reports the former president charged a vets group for a speech. “Bush didn’t have the IQ [to be president],” he added on June 16.
  2. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) — “I’m not a big fan. The last thing we need is another Bush,” Trump said on June 16. Trump's account also retweeted an insult to Bush’s wife on July 4th: “@RObHeilbron: @realDonaldTrump #JebBush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.” It was later deleted.
  3. Hillary Clinton — “Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of State in the history of the United States," Trump told Business Insider. His account on April 16 also retweeted an attack on Clinton: “@mplefty67: If  Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” Trump said a campaign staffer was responsible and deleted the tweet.
  4. Anderson Cooper — “What a waste of time being interviewed by@andersoncooper when he puts on really stupid talking heads like Tim O'Brien-dumb guy with no clue!” Trump tweeted on July 22 after his interview with the CNN anchor. During his interview, Trump told Cooper: "The people don’t trust you and the people don’t trust the media."
  5. Bill Cosby — Trump said he believed the sexual assault allegations against the comedian, calling him "guilty as hell." “I’ve known him, and I’ve never liked him,” Trump said in a July radio interview. “I think he is a highly overrated guy, both in talent and in many other ways,”
  6. Des Moines Register — After the paper called on Trump to drop out, he dismissed it as a "sophomoric editorial" and called their coverage "uneven and inconsistent, but far more importantly, very dishonest."
  7. Forbes Magazine “Why does a failed magazine like @Forbes constantly seek out trivial nonsense? Their circulation way down. @Clare_OC,” Trump tweeted on July 9.
  8. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) —"What a stiff, what a stiff, Lindsey Graham. By the way he has registered zero in the polls,” Trump said, at a campaign speech in Bluffton, S.C. on July 21. “A total lightweight. In the private sector, he couldn’t get a job. Believe me. Couldn't get a job. He couldn't do what you people did. You're retired as hell and rich. He wouldn't be rich; he'd be poor.” Trump also shared Graham's personal cellphone number and said he had begged him to help get on Fox News's "Fox and Friends." "What's this guy, a beggar? He's like begging me to help him with [the show] 'Fox and Friends.’” Trump said of Graham on "CBS This Morning," on July 21.
  9. Jonah Goldberg — “Jonah Goldberg @JonahNRO of the once great @NRO#National Review is truly dumb as a rock. Why does @BretBaier put this dummy on his show?” Trump tweeted, criticizing the conservative columnist on April 20.
  10. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman — Trump said the Mexican drug lord would be no match for him. “Can you envision Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton negotiating with 'El Chapo', the Mexican drug lord who escaped from prison? ...Trump, however, would kick his ass!” he tweeted on July 12. Trump later called in the FBI after a death threat from a Twitter account associated with Guzman.
  11. Arianna Huffington — “The liberal clown @ariannahuff told her minions at the money losing @HuffingtonPost to cover me as entertainment. I am #1 in Huff Post Poll,” Trump tweeted on July 18.
  12. Penn Jillette — After the magician and comedian criticized Trump, he responded on July 16, tweeting: “I hear @pennjillette show on Broadway is terrible. Not surprised, boring guy (Penn). Without The Apprentice, show would have died long ago.” He then followed up with, “I loved firing goofball atheist Penn @pennjillette on The Apprentice. He never had a chance. Wrote letter to me begging for forgiveness.”
  13. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) — “What people don’t know about Kasich- he was a managing partner of the horrendous Lehman Brothers when it totally destroyed the economy!” Trump tweeted on May 20.
  14. Charles Krauthammer — “One of the worst and most boring political pundits on television is @krauthammer. A totally overrated clown who speaks without knowing facts,” Trump tweeted about the conservative writer and Fox News contributor on June 4. A tweet a day later called him a "dumpy political pundit" and took issue with Krauthammer's support for the Iraq war. Krauthammer brought on Trump's ire by mocking his then-low standing in the polls.
  15. Bill Kristol — When the Weekly Standard editor belittled Trump’s chances against Hillary, Trump responded on July 23, tweeting, “Bill, your small and slightly failing magazine will be a giant success when you finally back Trump. Country will soar!”
  16. Mitt Romney — “Why would anybody listen to @MittRomney? He lost an election that should have easily been won against Obama. By the way,so did John McCain!” Trump tweeted of the 2012 Republican nominee on July 18.
  17. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said at a rally on July 18. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” This followed a July 16 tweet saying, “@SenJohnMcCain should be defeated in the primaries. Graduated last in his class at Annapolis--dummy!” The insults came after McCain said Trump had "fired up the crazies" on immigration.
  18. Macy’s — Trump called for a boycott after the department store dropped his men’s clothing line. "I hope the boycott of @Macys continues forever. So many people are cutting up their cards. Macy's stores suck and they are bad for U.S.A.,” he tweeted on July 16. “Boycott @Macys, no guts, no glory. Besides, there are far better stores!” he tweeted later.
  19. Mexico  — Trump lambasted the southern neighbor. “The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems,” he said on May 30 at his campaign launch. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” The remarks led a number of businesses to cut their ties with him. He doubled down after the escape of a top drug kingpin. "It's a corrupt place," Trump said on July 17. "It's a terrible court system." "Let's put it this way," he added, "I'm not going to Mexico."
  20. President Obama — Trump has long said he is not sure Obama was born in the U.S. and slammed his policies, calling him the "worst ever president." Obama hit back at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, mocking Trump who was in attendance. But Trump hasn't let up. During the Baltimore riots in April this year he tweeted: “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!” He also Obama to leave office early and golf on one of his many courses. “If he’d like to play, that’s fine. In fact, I’d love for him to leave early and play. That’d be a very good thing,” he said at his campaign launch in June. After the Chattanooga shooting, Trump pressed Obama to lower the flag for the victims. "We have a president who just can't say a few words: 'Put the flags at half-mast for the five Marines that were just killed.' Why? Why? Why?” Trump said at a South Carolina rally on July 21. “It's almost like, does he read the papers? Does he watch television?"
  21. Lawrence O’Donnell — “Dopey @Lawrence O’Donnell, whose unwatchable show is dying in the ratings, said that my Apprentice $ numbers were wrong. He is a fool!” Trump tweeted on July 16 of the MSNBC host.
  22. Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) — Perry has been a tough critic of Trump's rhetoric on immigration. “Rick Perry failed at the border. Now he is critical of me. He needs a new pair of glasses to see the crimes committed by illegal immigrants,” Trump tweeted on July 5th. On July 16, he added, “@GovernorPerry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.” "He's doing very poorly in the polls. He put on glasses so people will think he's smart. And it just doesn't work! You know people can see through the glasses," Trump said at a rally on July 21.
  23. Former Gov. George Pataki (R-N.Y.) — Trump tweeted that Pataki "couldn’t be elected dog catcher if he ran again—so he didn’t!” Trump tweeted July 1. He followed up with: “.@GovernorPataki was a terrible governor of NY, one of the worst -- would’ve been swamped if he ran again!”
  24. Karl Rove — Trump went off on the Republican strategist's record in 2012 record. “@KarlRove wasted $400 million + and didn’t win one race—a total loser.@FoxNews,” he tweeted on July 16, followed by “Irrelevant clown @KarlRove sweats and shakes nervously on @FoxNews as he talks ‘bull’ about me. Has zero cred. Made fool of himself in '12.” Trump even called out the network: “@FoxNewsYou shouldn’t have @KarlRove on the air—he’s a clown with zero credibility—a Bushy!”
  25. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — “[Sanders] knows the country is ripped off. And I know the country is being ripped off,” Trump told The Hill on July 23. “The difference is that I can do something about it and he can’t. He’ll never be able to negotiate with China.”
  26. Republican National Committee — “The RNC has not been supportive. They were always supportive when I was a contributor. I was their fair-haired boy,” Trump toldThe Hill on July 23. “The RNC has been, I think, very foolish.”
  27. Chuck Todd —“I hear that sleepy eyes @chucktodd will be fired like a dog from ratings starved Meet The Press? I can't imagine what is taking so long!” Trump tweeted on July 12 about the "Meet the Press" host.
  28. Univision — “@Univision cares far more about Mexico than it does about the U.S. Are they controlled by the Mexican government?” Trump tweeted on June 26 after the network cut ties with him over his immigration remarks. “Has anyone seen the financials of @Univision. They are doing really badly. Too much debt and not enough viewers. Need money fast. Funny!” he followed up on July 11.
  29. The Wall Street Journal — Trump has had a long feud with owner Rupert Murdoch. After the paper questioned his candidacy, Trump tweeted on July 20: “The ever dwindling @WSJ which is worth about 1/10 of what it was purchased for, is always hitting me politically. Who cares!”
  30. Juan Williams — @TheJuanWilliams you never speak well of me & yet when I saw you at Fox you ran over like a child and wanted a picture,” tweeted Trump on July 3 of the Fox personality

Pocketinfo Reference - Geo-location , Hyperlocal , Socio-economic Geography , Country Information , City Information , World Trends - updated Sept 2012

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Iran economic sanctions reduced as deal struck - JCPOA

Iranian breakthrough | Image Iranvisitor

Subject | Nuclear Deal for Sanction lift under JCPOA
Location | Iran

The papers in NZ today were looking at how the lifting of sanctions would benefit exporters. Iran received $163m of exports from NZ of which the vast majority is classified as dairy and animal products. (no real surprise there)

Of particular interest is the fact that the 6 (Persian) Gulf countries combined are now New Zealand's fifth biggest trading partner - which makes the region a bigger trade partner than the United Kingdom.

NZ is currently the president of the UN security council and foreign minister Murray McCully has stated....

 ' New Zealand will do what it can to expedite any necessary security council action , and we call for the agreement to be implemented as soon as possible'

Statement Relating to the July 14, 2015 Announcement of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

  • On July 14, 2015, the P5 + 1 and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. Building on the key parameters for a JCPOA announced on April 2, 2015, the JCPOA will provide Iran with phased sanctions relief upon verification that Iran has implemented key nuclear commitments.
  • U.S. sanctions relief will be provided through the suspension and eventual termination of nuclear-related secondary sanctions, beginning once the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies that Iran has implemented key nuclear-related measures described in the JCPOA ("Implementation Day"). The U.S. government will publish detailed guidance related to the JCPOA prior to Implementation Day.
  • The P5+1 and Iran also decided on July 14, 2015 to further extend through Implementation Day the sanctions relief provided for in the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) of November 24, 2013, as extended. This JPOA sanctions relief is the only Iran-related sanctions relief in effect until further notice. The U.S. government will issue revised guidance on the continued JPOA relief shortly.
  • Effective July 14, 2015, all specific licenses that: (1) were issued pursuant to OFAC’s Second Amended Statement of Licensing Policy on Activities Related to the Safety of Iran’s Civil Aviation Industry, and (2) have an expiration date on or before July 14, 2015, are hereby authorized to remain in effect according to their terms until Implementation Day.
Tourism - Is Iran set for boom?
With the upcoming lifting of Sanctions will Iran start to see an influx of tourists from Western nations?
Iranian people by nature are very warm, friendly, respectful and formal. Most people mainly speak Persian (Farsi) and it helps to learn a few basic words and phrases in Farsi to get by. In case you are lost, seeking directions or making purchases at stores this will help you get your message across.
Young people and shopkeepers in big cities and tourist centers do speak a smattering of English but those instances are few and far between. Do remember that Iran is an Islamic republic and life in the nation is governed by the Muslim religion and its rules. This applies to interacting with people as well.

Meanwhile in Greece...

The Greek parliament just voted, in a 229 for and 64 against landslide, to implement the austerity Europe demands to grant Greece the funds for Bailout #3 so that Greece can then repay European creditors (as opposed to facing up to the pain imminently and suffering through a Grexit) implicitly giving up their sovereignty and sending their 61% "Oxi" voting citizenry into what will inevitably be an even deeper economic depression. (full article here)

  • Tallinn is a beautiful Capital City in which European Country?  Answer Here
  • The Burj Khalifa is the worlds tallest building (situated in Dubai) but how many floors does it have? Answer Here
  • Valletta is the Capital of which Mediterranean Island Nation? Answer Here 
NZ Startup of the week | Preno - Hotel , Motel management booking system.

Iran , Nuclear Power , Socio-economic Geography , Country Information , Tehran  , World Trends - updated July 2015

Sources - US Dept of Treasury
Picture - IranVisitor

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hey Little Hollywood - Sedona Arabella

Sedona Arizona

Topic | Music that resonates
Location | Arizona

Radio Hauraki here in NZ have added a song to their playlist in recent weeks which has got me playing it relentlessly on my Spotify playlist on a daily basis. I didn't know what , where or who Sedona is or was so with this in mind I decided to do some research.

Sedona is a place named after a person. Sedona the township was founded in 1902 and subsequently Incorporated in 1988 and is now classified as a City.
Sedona Arabella is the charismatic person which the City is now named after . (more on this lady later).
The backdrop of Sedona is famous for its cinematic legacy. It's unique landscape has featured in 60 plus films between 1920 and 1970 and has featured in 40 more movies since the 1970's. Sedona is famous geographically for its beautiful red rocks. (red sandstone).

Sedona is a song by Houndmouth. (An american band with an indie rock , vintage country rock vibe).

Here are the catchy lyrics to Sedona...

Red sandstone it fell,
Right smack on top of Sedona Arabella
When John Ford said won't you hop on in,
And the stagecoach baby gonna take you for a spin, oh oh...oh oh

Hey Little Hollywood
You're gone but you're not forgotten...
You got the cash but your credit's no good
You flipped the script, and shot the plot
I remember I remember when your neon used to burn so bright and pink
A Saturday night kind of pink

The black list and its hosts
Came down so swift, and you drove'em to the coast
We're going California but we're all out of work
I guess that's better than a grave and a hearse, oh oh...oh oh

Hey Little Hollywood
You're gone but you're not forgotten
You got the cash but your credit's no good
You flipped the script, and shot the plot
I remember, I remember when your neon used to burn so bright and pink
A Saturday night kind of pink

There'll be devils in a rush
His duct tape makes you hush
Hey there Sedona let me cut you a deal,
I'm a little hung over and I may have to steal your soul oh oh...oh oh

Hey Little Hollywood
You're gone but you're not forgotten
You got the cash but your credit's no good
You flipped the script, and shot the plot
I remember, I remember when your neon used to burn so bright and pink
A Saturday night kind of pink

Houndmouth - Sedona Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Houndmouth played the song amongst others at SXSW in Austin recently and at current time of writing has had about 3 million plays on Spotify. I am looking for the Vinyl pressing of the song and will add it to my limited collection of modern tunes to go with my collection.

What do the lyrics mean? What is the song about? According to two posters on You Tube..

The song is about how Sedona Arizona came very close to being a "new" Hollywood for the making of westerns in the early days of film. John Ford, creator of Stagecoach fell in love with the place and tried to make it like Hollywood, but the powers to be drove them out and forced them to go back to Hollywood. (Edward Brewster)

Hollywood 'abandoning' Sedona, Az. Sedona has a vibrant movie history. Over 60 movies were filmed, almost entirely, in Sedona from the 1920's to the 1970's. Most of the major studios built sound stages on site, then returned to Hollywood for post production. Since then about 40 movies have included the Sedona landscape (famous for it's red sandstones) but only to film a few scenes. Something else is going on in this song: "And this duct tape makes you hush." Sounds a little criminal. Maybe a reference to hush money paid out by Hollywood studios to Sedona council members? (Jesus Robles)

Sedona Arabella | Mactavers

More on Sedona the person..

Sedona Arabella Miller was born in February of 1877 in the area that would become Gorin, Missouri. Many people asked Sedona's mother, Amanda Miller, where the unusual name came from, and Amanda always said that she had made the name up. Sedona took the name of "Dona" which most people called her, all her life. (see Biography link here)

Notes : The 2016 SXSW Music Festival will take place next March 15-20 in Austin, Texas

 Sedona , Arizona , Houndmouth , Stagecoach , John Ford July 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pitch tips from Techcrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher

Mike Butcher

Topic | StartUp Pitches
Location| United Kingdom

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike (left) way back in 2007 when working for a NZ Hi-Tech startup that was based out of Cambridge in the UK. Mike didn't say a lot as I had worked him out quite quickly and left with the impression that he had seen a lot of ideas over time and therefore was quick to make a judgement call on any emerging product/technology/ trend/other.

Today I happened to see his blog post and it made me lol.

I have scraped his Pitch tips though as they make great sense for any budding technology or general startup entrepreneur.

Dear Startup
I’m no longer accepting pitches which don’t ‘get to the point’. Please come back in this format.
Please be aware that even if you fill it out there is no guarantee of coverage. OK, go!

Golden Age Index - Top 10 Countries which make best use of older workers

Topic | Employment after 55
Location | Global

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) have released a report which talks about countries which utilise their older workers better.

One of the key megatrends affecting New Zealand and most other developed countries is an ageing population. Harnessing the potential of older workers will therefore become an increasingly important source of competitive advantage for both nations and businesses.
To explore how New Zealand compares with other OECD economies in this regard, PwC has developed a new ‘Golden Age index’ comparing how well they are utilising workers aged 55 and over. The index includes relative employment, earnings and training rates for older workers for 34 OECD countries over the period since 2003.
1) Iceland
2) New Zealand
3) Sweden
4) Israel
5) Norway
6) Chile
7) US
8) Korea
9) Japan
10) Estonia
Click here to see the 27 page overview.
Golden Age Index - 34 Countries
The following is a table of the Methodology used.

Variable in the Golden Age Index and Weighting.

Golden Age Index - Demographics , Iceland , New Zealand , Megatrends , World Trends - updated July 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tsipras plea for calm ignored by many , Greeks stock up on cash and fuel

Topic | Greek Debt Crisis
Location | Greece

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has addressed the nation asking them to remain calm after talks between European creditors broke down and the European Central Bank (ECB) said it would not increase emergency funding to Greece.

Mr Tsipras has declared that Greek depositors money is safe but this hasn't stopped people queuing up at the multitude of ATM's scattered across the country.

The Bank of Greece has been making huge efforts to keep the ATM's stocked but due to capital controls now put in place a maximum of 60 Euros can be withdrawn in any one day from a single account. There has also been a block put on overseas transactions unless for vital pre-approved commercial transactions.

Greece is entering uncharted territory and it is likely banks will remain closed until July 7th , two days after the proposed Greek referendum.

The Greek pm said that wages , pensions and bank deposits were safe and guaranteed.

Stocking on on basic supplies like water , tinned food , fuel and cash is the natural response in times of uncertainty like this. Over the past 6 months many Greeks had been steadily withdrawing their deposits but obviously many never saw this eventuality being possible.

More to follow as the story unravels during the next few days.

Weekend of turmoil

  • Friday evening: Greek prime minister calls referendum on terms of new bailout deal, asks for extension of existing bailout
  • Saturday afternoon: Eurozone finance ministers refuse to extend existing bailout beyond Tuesday
  • Saturday night: Greek parliament backs plan for referendum on 5 July
  • Sunday afternoon: ECB says it is not increasing emergency assistance to Greece

Zerohedge Article - Ignoring Tsipras Plea

Australian Reaction
IG market strategist Evan Lucas warned the market faces a tough day.
“Unfortunately this could probably be our worst day in two or three years, you’d probably be going back to 2011 or 2012,” he said.
“It’s a very tough time and unfortunately nothing will be spared, except perhaps gold.”
Mr Lucas said while the Australian market had little direct exposure to Greece, traders were concerned about the fallout from a possible Greek debt default and exit from the euro zone.
He said Greece’s exit would raise fresh questions about fellow debt-laden EU countries including Italy and Spain.

Puerto Rico $72 Billion in Debt!

The governor of Puerto Rico has stated that the commonwealth cannot repay it debts and is looking for a restructure by deferring payments up to 5 years. The island nation only has 3.6 million people and many are already struggling to make ends meet. 

Pocketinfo , Greece , Puerto Rico June 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

P2P Lending in New Zealand - Digital Disruption in Banking

The Sharing Economy

Location : New Zealand

Topic : P2P Lending . Peer to Peer. Sharing Economy

Peer to Peer Lending (P2P) is taking off in New Zealand.

Peer-to-peer and peer-to-business are relatively new concepts in the field of lending and borrowing.  Classically individuals (or businesses) would save their money in a bank, and the bank would then lend that money to other individuals or businesses.  P2P removes the bank from this process.  There are a growing number of online companies that can facilitate this process.  This process can also be referred to as social lendingcrowdlending or marketplace lending.

Harmoney is NZ's first P2P licensed lending platform. They provide relatively low interest personal loans. The Harmoney platform has been developed to bring together borrowers and investors to get a 'better deal'. The target market for Harmoney is making money from borrowers who want a fair deal rather than some of the very high interest loans you can get from credit card providers. Harmoney's current reported starting rates are 9.9% which are much more attractive than those of the credit card providers.

Borrowers can get involved and $500 NZD appears to be the minimum investment on the platform. LendMe is another NZ based P2P lender.

Advantages for Borrowers.
Borrowers could obtain lower rates than from other loan providers, and they also have the knowledge that they are borrowing money from individuals like themselves.  From the borrowers' perspective the process is not too dissimilar from dealing with a bank or building society.

Advantages for Lenders
Lenders can obtain higher rates than they can with a bank or building society.  For comparison, the highest rates on comparable savings on Kiwibank is only 2.7% AER*.  In fact lenders are the ones able to set the interest rates.  From the lenders' perspective this process is quite different from simply opening a savings account.

P2P Lenders
Assetz Capital - UK
Bitbond - Germany (Bitcoin)
Bondora - Estonia
Funding Knight - UK
Harmoney - NZ  (Heartland Bank 10% equity stake)
LendMe - NZ (now licensed and going live soon)
Ratesetter - UK
Society One - Australia
Trust Buddy - Sweden
Zopa - USA

P2P Business Lenders
Funding Circle - UK

Editor's note - This post will be added to over coming weeks as more P2P lending research is done.

Placeholder - CrowdFunding for Startups

 Sharing Economy , Disruption , P2P,   - updated June 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

French taxi drivers protest violently against Uber - Digital Disruption

Paris Uber Go Home on Taxi's

Location : France
Topic : Digital Disruption.

The French love a good strike to get their point across and look to disrupt as much as possible in the process.

Taxi Drivers and other protesters have blocked all road access to Charles De Gaulle airport making the only efficient way to the city via train. Back in 2005 I was on a business trip on behalf of a NZ technology company I was representing at the time when the whole of the Paris Metro stopped due to an impromptu strike. On emerging from the Metro my colleague and I were faced with complete gridlock in the inner city and had to cancel both meetings that afternoon.

Paris and Marseilles today are faced with roadblocks, including overturned cars and stacks of burned tyres, whilst passengers needing to get to their flights took to walking down motorway verges so they can get to the passenger terminal in time.

Auckland Budget cleared for $60 billion spend over 10 years

Auckland Wards and Local Boards

Topic : Budget
Location : Auckland

Auckland Councillors got to debate and vote on the budget today and it has scraped through in a 10-9 vote. Mayor Len Brown was keen to get it passed before the end of the month which would have made it harder for the budget to get approved in its current state.

Late changes to the budget would have meant that the budget would not be audited in time for the June 30 cut-off so Mayor Brown saw his plan passed by a 1 vote majority.

There has been significant outcry from ratepayers over the average  increase of 9.9% across Auckland, with some of the traditional lower socioeconomic areas getting hit by a 16.9% increase (Mangere-Otahuhu).

It appears the Councillors opposed to the budget could see the outcry from homeowners who would now have to pay a lot more each year and found it hard to pass the budget without deeper consultation.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Google caught out promoting its own services and products by the EU

Google ad placement

Topic : Monopoly of Search
Location: Europe 

The Californian search giant is currently being investigated by the EU’s European Commission over alleged violations of anti-trust law. Google sometimes promotes its own services and products in search rankings ahead of its competitors — and European authorities aren’t happy about this.

PocketInfo was well aware of the potential for this in an article edited back in 2011 some four years ago , it is one of the most read posts on this site... Original article

Other Top Search Engines
Yahoo - my old favourite from 2000-2005.
Bing - Microsoft's search platform
Alta Vista
Duck Duck Go
Mozilla - now partnered with Yahoo.
Safari - Google

Google will soon be challenged by other ways of doing search, clearly this market dominance is unhealthy. IBM has already sniffed this out and acquired Blekko. Cognitive computing is IBM's response to Google Search but it appears it will be a B2B play not a B2C play.

Blekko technology - now IBM Watson group.
Blekko brings advanced Web-crawling, categorization and intelligent filtering technology.  Its technology crawls the Web continually and  gathers information from the most highly relevant and most credible Web pages. It uses classification techniques to create thousands of topical categories, making that data more useful and insightful.
Microsoft is handing over parts of its display advertising business to AOL, the company announced on 29th June 2015.
As part of the deal, AOL, which is now owned by Verizon, will make Bing its default search engine instead of Google for the next ten-years. The switch will take place January 2016.
This is pretty big news for Google, which lost its partnership with Mozilla to Yahoo earlier this year, causing its largest drop in search marketshare since 2009.
Right now Google is the default search for Apple’s Safari process, but there’s been talk that Apple could ditch for Bing or Yahoo too.
Not that this is necessarily all doom and gloom for Google. It’s unclear whether the company made a bid to renew the partnership, though we’ve reached out to Google to find out, and will update if we hear back.
Google must pay a percentage of the revenue it generates from offering search on AOL’s site, which may have made Google less eager to renew the deal. Source Business Insider

Our advise is spread the love.

Pocketinfo Term of the day: EBITDA

  1. EBITDA is essentially net income with interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization added back to it, and can be used to analyze and compare profitability between companies and industries because it eliminates the effects of financing and accounting decisions.
  2. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization 

 - Monopoly , Google Search , Advertising updated July 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Systemic risk a concern due to global debt levels

Gold and Silver set to surge 2016 and beyond

Topic : Mortgage Debt
Location : United Kingdom

The manager of one of Britain’s biggest bond funds has urged investors to keep cash under the mattress.
Ian Spreadbury, who invests more than £4bn of investors’ money across a handful of bond funds for Fidelity, including the flagship Moneybuilder Income fund, is concerned that a “systemic event” could rock markets, possibly similar in magnitude to the financial crisis of 2008, which began in Britain with a run on Northern Rock.
“Systemic risk is in the system and as an investor you have to be aware of that,” he told Telegraph Money.
The best strategy to deal with this, he said, was for investors to spread their money widely into different assets, including gold and silver, as well as cash in savings accounts. But he went further, suggesting it was wise to hold some “physical cash”, an unusual suggestion from a mainstream fund manager.

Watching the Greek car crash thanks to the Troika

Greece 2014

Location - Greece
Topic - The Markets

So it looks as though the Greek government has had it's hand forced and is settling on an 11th hour deal. This is from a long way finished and will play out in what is left of  2015.

“The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology. And it is terrifically dangerous, and it is now approaching a point of crisis overall.”

In few arenas are our mental shortcomings thrown into more stark relief than in the investment markets. Our brains evolved ‘fight or flight’ mechanisms to enable us to recognise potential predators in the wild. However, they have not yet had the evolutionary time to help us respond to threats – real or perceived – in the economy, bond or stock markets.
In recent weeks we’ve highlighted the aberrant price and yield volatility of longer dated German government bonds.
Since these instruments represent something close to the ‘risk-free’ rate for the euro zone, the fact that their prices are convulsing like someone in an electric chair hardly bodes well for future price stability across other capital markets.
It’s not fair just to blame Greece – how about the central banks that drove interest rates down to zero, effectively forcing investors into higher risk markets?
The markets cocktail of 2015 is a strong one, and whatever decision you ultimately make involves having to take a sip or two.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Disruption - some NZ examples and global ones looking for market share

Global Digital Disruptors

Topic - Digital Disruption
Location - New Zealand

Mobile technology and digital communication is accelerating ideas and their execution into the market. Digitally savvy entrepreneurs who know how to create an App for use on iOS or Android phones are fast tracking ideas into the market for consumer adoption. New Zealand is relatively small and continues to be a good place to roll out new ideas some of which develop from here and other ideas which have been modified from overseas.

Urban Sherpa - went to their launch party last week after being in stealth mode for several months. Urban Sherpa has initially only launched in Auckland but will look to grow to other regions during the next few years. Has some heavy weights backing it but needs to get its platform into highly dense geographies before it will become a market leader.

Zomato - bought Menu-Mania the NZ equivalent of Zomato last year so it could be the market leader across the country. Zomato has launched cashless payments within its app in the UAE and sees NZ as it's next target. Zomato's executive team is from India and compete against platforms like Yelp , Foursquare , Facebook and The Entertainment Book .

Note : Zagat has been acquired by Google and doesn't have the geographical reach of Zomato.

Chariot - Wellington based start-up looking to address ride-sharing across the major cities and towns of the world. They hope to  take a 20% cut for users of the app and provide a way of calculating a fair ride share fare for those going from A to B. Currently offering a $10 credit toward your first ride when they launch in NZ.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Execution is the key - Ideas are just a multiplier of Execution

Ideas are just a multiplier ..... of execution

After a two year hibernation in a successful second phase start up I now have some breathing space and renewed energy to attack the world.

Thank you to Shabu from CarrotLeads for posting this link on LinkedIN today.

Derek Sivers - original post from 2005.

It's so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. (People who want me to sign an NDA to tell me the simplest idea.)
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cricket World Cup 2015 Fixtures

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

New Zealand and Australia are co-hosting  the 2015 Cricket World Cup and it will be fascinating to see the historical powerhouses compete against the smaller nations.

Here are the fixtures for those looking from the UK's point of view.

I will hopefully be attending a few of these games. Getting to the quarter final stage is key and I am hoping New Zealand get to the final after a quite brilliant warm up for the event. An India vs New Zealand final would be a true David vs Goliath test  ( 1billion+ vs 4.5m ) . Bring it on!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The software revolution

All industries are undergoing change.


We are players in a new world where innovation is being industrialized and daily life is being altered. And you have the opportunity to influence the future — not just be changed by it.

We predict that the years roughly between 1980 — 2050 will be recognized as the Software Revolution era. The era will be defined by the augmentation of intelligence and experience by computers. The historical definition of the period may be:

“A period of major industrialization that took place during the late 1900s and early 2000s. The Software Revolution began in the United States and quickly spread throughout the world. This time period saw the computerization of business and personal life and had a massive effect on economic, social, and cultural conditions.” 
If you work in technology you likely agree that this time period is unique and being driven by a number of powerful factors including the democratization of software development, widespread broadband access, and the emergence of mobile devices. Software has been commercialized at a dizzying pace, yet new processes and technologies are just starting to be developed to bring efficiency to idea development and execution.

Of the three major forces mentioned above, the democratization of software development is having the most profound impact — it’s both structure and finish. Democratization equates to a world where all that is needed to create great software is a computer and a bold idea (and some dev chops of course) and a marketplace of free and low cost apps that billions of people and millions of businesses have immediate access to.

No function is more important in technology companies than product management. Yet, it's the last to be properly tooled with applications that are modern, transparent, and collaborative.

Software Revolution , A Ha ,  World Trends - updated Nov 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Thinking Man - Sculpture

Yep - I have been putting off a few things in life and need to get things back in motion,

 “We live in a society that is totally bombarded with distractions all the time,” wrote Shaz Hasan. “And now thanks to the internet, ‘we create more content in 48 hours than we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003’, according to Eric Schmidt CEO of Google. That’s A LOT of YouTube videos, blog posts, Facebook statuses, and tweets that will distract you every day.”

In the last week I've started the ball rolling on getting an Uber license , rejoined a Gym after 20+ years , pushed through some overdue gardening and restarted Pocketinfo.

The world is still being taken for a ride by a select few who want to keep us hooked on sugar , fossil fuels , credit and anything else that makes corporate fat. People need to wake up from the distractions that are being pumped around them. I've switched off twitter a while ago , check on Facebook rarely and have now stripped my focus back to my family , me and doing some good before I depart this physical world.

This article on the BBC webite may help some kickstart them out of their malaise.

Procrastination , distractions Image via Pinterest - updated Nov 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

The top 100 songs - Radio Hauraki Decision 2014

Mikey Havoc - Hauraki

Here are the top 100 songs from Radio Hauraki's decision 2014.

The contenders were taken from thousands of texts, tweets, Facebook messages and phone requests Hauraki received throughout the year.

Los Angeles is the most dominant location for the bands that made the top 100 and not one Australian band made the top 100 which is a bit controversial along with no sighting of Pink Floyd , AC/DC or Led Zeppelin showing that Kiwi tastes have moved on from the past - particularly where Hauraki listeners are concerned. 

see the list

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ebola Hit Countries 2014

Hypsignathus monstrosus

The latest outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) is the most widespread in history and through the reach of global media has created more attention through hourly updates on the 24/7 news culture in the west.

It is thought the outbreak spread through a family catching the disease from a bat which the family had hunted for bush meat in Guinea.

The West African countries effected so far include...

  • Liberia Liberia: 4,693 / 2,704 (as of 19 October 2014)
  • Sierra Leone Sierra Leone: 3,706 / 1,259 (as of 19 October 2014)
  • Guinea Guinea: 1,553 / 926 (as of 19 October 2014)
  • Nigeria Nigeria: 20 / 8 (outbreak ended 20 October 2014)
  • United States United States: 4 / 1 (as of 23 October 2014)
  • Mali Mali: 1 / 1 (as of 24 October 2014)
  • Senegal Senegal: 1 / 0 (outbreak ended 17 October 2014)
  • Spain Spain: 1 / 0 (as of 19 October 2014)
As of 25 October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 10,141 suspected cases and 4,922 deaths (5,488 cases and 2,945 deaths having been laboratory confirmed)

Background on Outbreak.

Researchers believe that a 2-year-old boy who died on 6 December 2013 in the village of Meliandou, Guéckédou Prefecture, Guinea, was the index case of the current Ebola virus disease epidemic. Reports suggest that his family hunted bats of the Ebola-harboring species Hypsignathus monstrosus and Epomops franqueti for bushmeat, which may have been the original source of the infection. His mother, sister, and grandmother then became ill with similar symptoms and also died. People infected by those initial cases spread the disease to other villages. Although Ebola represents a major public health issue in sub-Saharan Africa, no cases had ever been reported in West Africa and the early cases were diagnosed as other diseases more common to the area. Thus, the disease had several months to spread before it was recognized as Ebola.

PocketInfo Quiz
  • Tallinn is a beautiful Capital City in which European CountryAnswer Here
  • The Burj Khalifa is the worlds tallest building (situated in Dubai) but how many floors does it have? Answer Here
  • Valletta is the Capital of which Mediterranean Island Nation? Answer Here

Ebola , Socio-economic Geography , Liberia , Sierra Leone , USA , World Trends - updated 26th Oct 2014