Kids with Phones

Greg Hoffman wanted an iPhone from his parents.  He received one together with a contract from his mother, Janell Hoffman.  Here are the contract terms: 1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest? 2. I will always know the password. 3.…

On Voting – Bond Measures

There were a variety of referendums and other ballot measures this election. In Fairfax County there were four separate bond measures and each passed with a wide margin.  Surely each of these are “good” and “needed,” but on seeing the results I questioned if most voters understand how municipal bond issues work. There are two primary…

Another Once-in-a-Century Event….

The East Coast is set to welcome tropical storm Sandy this week.  The potential damage is expected to be especially pronounced in the the Mid-Atlantic and New York tri-state areas.  Here are a few of the recent headlines:

This storm adds to the dozens (if not hundreds) of natural disaster events over the last 24 to 36 months which have been 1-in-50 or 1-in-100 year events.  Here are just a few of the events I’ve tracked over the last 2-3 years:…

File Under Digital Decade: The Evolving Role of Video

I caught the recent story of a man arrested for drug possession in Orlando.  Apparently police monitoring a live video feed sent officers to the scene who then made the arrest. In the accompanying video, one of women being interviewed about the role of video cameras says something interesting. When asked if it is acceptable…

Strategic Immigration

There is often much said on strategic immigration and the competitive battle for the world’s most gifted workers.  A recent interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in the Detroit Free Press drives home the negative externalities  from limiting the brightest from our shores. Ballmer discusses why in 2007 Microsoft built an R&D facility in Vancouver – just over the border from their Redmond, Washington headquarters  in Canada in 2007.  Ballmer stated Microsoft…

A Lack of Confidence Can be Very Contagious

Recently I’ve been asked repeatedly about the current state of Europe. I’ve said since January that 2012 was going to be marked by periods of volatility – stressing that European issues would be a key catalyst to those periods of volatility (energy prices have also contributed to uneasiness – something I’ll say more on at another time). I was recently quoted in a Bloomberg article and a point I made deserves repeating  – a lack of confidence can be very contagious.…