Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday’s links of interest

I have lots of little jots in my notebook – things that I want to write about but that don’t merit a whole essay.  So just scroll through and watch for something of interest.

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launchpadLearning:  Stanford University runs a very good set of online technical and management courses.  I took their Certificate of Management program, four courses that were all excellent: I don’t know how I would survive without their Accounting class in particular.  The school is now giving courses for free: lectures and classwork online, backed up with readings and faculty support.  The Lean Launchpad, for those starting a business, is here, and the links to other courses are at the bottom of the page.

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Thought 1:  Do we get suspicious of people in situations where we feel vulnerable, or just in situation where we’ve previously had bad experiences?

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OWSPolitics: Now the OWS has been evicted from parks (I love the images of city workers cleaning up in HazMat suits to reinforce the health risk that bearded protesters pose to the public), the discussions seem to be shifting to thoughtful debate rather than civic actions.  I liked Ursula Le Guin’s 99% parable and Sen Bernie Sanders plea for Democrats to stop caving:.

Here is something we all can agree on: Federal deficits are a serious problem.  Here is something no one seriously disputes: Today's big deficits were caused mainly by big tax cuts for the wealthy, two unpaid-for wars, and a horrible recession caused by Wall Street greed.

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cafeiconLight Reading:  Book View Café.  Wonderfully written daily essays by outstanding writers.  Along with BBC’s From our own correspondent and NPR’s This American Life, it’s both an enjoyable and informative collection of content and a strong example of how to tell compelling short-form narrative stories.

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Thought 2:  Does the truism “Past returns are no guarantee of future performance?” increasingly apply to the value of a colelge education?

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chrome-iconTech tools: Google Chrome.  IE has become unusable – it takes forever to load and fails too often.  Firefox is a trusty alternative, but speed is again an issue,  I gave Chrome a try and am pleasantly surprised: it’s lightweight, compliant, includes build-in spell checking and has a rich supply of plug-ins.  I recommend adding session Buddy – I’m always having to save sets of tabs after doing some research.

Resource Monitor.  This one is from TechRadar – my Windows Live Writer hung in the middle of a process.  I could see it dragging 50% on the CPU, accomplishing nothing, but didn’t want to kill the process and lose the work.  Resource monitor lets you see the process tree and kill the sub-process causing the problem, allowing me to recover the main window text.  Yes, we shouldn’t need it, but when we do, it’s a lifesaver.  The utility is built into Windows 7 but, like Snipping Tool for screen capture, you have to search to find it.

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Consumer tip:  I increasingly find that when I dead-end with a company’s support department, a quick tweet with the company hashtag produces results.  BT and Rosetta Stone certainly monitor their tag, and the public shout-out seems to get their attention.,  It may not resolve anything, but it’s another avenue to try.

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