Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Couple flee abroad to fight against the 'Big Brother state' that took their baby


By Cassandra Jardine
(Filed: 30/08/2005)

A couple whose son was taken away by social workers over what they say were false claims of mistreatment have moved abroad, fearing that any more children they might have could also be seized.

Emma and Martin - not their real names, as a court ruling prevents them being identified - strenuously deny harming Peter and are attempting to challenge the court ruling that placed him for adoption.

But the couple claim that they can no longer live under the shadow of the 'Big Brother state' that broke up their family and feel they will be safer if they continue the fight to clear their names from outside Britain.

Their plight was highlighted in The Daily Telegraph last year when they revealed that they had last seen Peter just after . . ."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Will Google’s Keyword Searching Eliminate the Need for LC Cataloging and Classification?


Thomas Mann

"Google Print does not 'change everything' regarding the need for professional cataloging and classification of books; its limitations make cataloging and classification even more important to researchers. Google's keyword search mechanism, backed by the display of results in "relevance ranked" order, is expressly designed and optimized for quick information seeking rather than scholarship. Internet keyword searching does not provide scholars with the structured menus of research options, such as those in OPAC browse displays, that they need for overview perspectives on the book literature of their topics. Keyword searching fails to map the taxonomies that alert researchers to unanticipated aspects of their subjects. It fails to retrieve literature that uses keywords other than those the researcher can specify; it misses not only synonyms and variant phrases but also all relevant works in foreign languages. Searching by keywords is not the same as searching by conceptual categories. Google software fails especially to retrieve desired keywords in contexts segregated from the appearance of the same words in irrelevant contexts. As a consequence of the design limitations of the Google search interface, researchers cannot use Google to systematically recognize relevant books whose exact terminology they cannot specify in advance. Cataloging and classification, in contrast, do provide the recognition mechanisms that scholarship requires for systematic literature retrieval in book collections."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Over educated--Under utilized


Personal view: Why go to university? We need plumbers, not more media graduates

By Ruth Lea (Filed: 29/08/2005)



It is A-level time again and many young people are making their final decisions about university entrance.

Doubtless their motives for going to university vary but surely one of the most important reasons is to enhance career prospects and lifetime earnings. There is, however, increasing evidence that a degree does not necessarily improve employability and earnings. Indeed it may even harm it. Degrees - and universities - should come with health warnings.

In the very early 1960s the percentage of young people going to university was just over 5pc. By 1970 it had reached 15pc and stayed around this level throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s. Participation rates then "took off" in the late 1980s and reached about a third in 1994, when the then Conservative government called a halt to further expansion.

Since then participation rates have soared again as the Labour Government has sought to achieve its 50pc target of all under-30s participating in higher education (HE) by 2010. Over the past three years the rate has, however, stuck at 43pc and there are currently few expectations that the 50pc target will be hit by 2010 or even 2015.

Putting aside whether the 50pc target made any sense in the first place (I believe not) and whether it will be reached, a third issue is of crucial importance to the young people who are embarking on a university course: does a degree make any economic sense?

Will the direct costs of studying at university, along with three to four years of forgone income, pay dividends or would it be better financially to leave school after A-levels and enter employment with professional and/or vocational training?

The DfES makes great play of its estimate that the graduate earnings premium, the average increase in total lifetime earnings enjoyed by a graduate compared with a non-graduate, is as high as £400,000. This handsome premium was, incidentally, used by the Government to justify the increase in tuition fees to £3,000 (which is due to start next year).

But the DfES calculation is fundamentally flawed. . . .

Friday, August 26, 2005

McMillan Market Commentary



Friday, August 26, 2005

Note: Please use the following link to view this week's charts:
To receive the complete commentary plus reccomendations visit here: http://www.optionstrategist.com/



Stock Market
The market continues its rather slow-motion decline, but the cumulative effect is beginning to take its toll. $SPX and other major averages broke significant support this week -- falling below 1220. The next stop should be the 1190-1205 support area. A downtrend -- even a downtrend channel -- has formed on the chart (page 11), and the 20-day moving average is now pointing downward as well.

The equity-only put-call ratios remain on sell signals. This category has been our most bearish, with sell signals initiated near the beginning of August. They have not wavered since. Not only that, but you can see that they have not crawled very far up their charts, so they are not oversold currently.

Market breadth has been less negative than prices or put-call ratios. This is mostly due to continued outperformance by the small-cap issues over the big-cap issues.

Finally, volatility ($VIX) continues its uptrend (see chart, page 11). It finally closed above 14, but that seems to be less important than the continuation of the uptrend that began a month ago. As long as that uptrend is in place, the market will have problems.

In summary, we don't see this decline abating until some true buy signals and oversold conditions arise. That has not happened yet -- a typical market condition after a long advance (such as we had from April to August). The bulls just can't let go, instead preferring to buy each "dip1," at ever-lower levels, until they finally disgorge everything at the eventual, true bottom -- where contrarians pick up the pieces.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Everyone's a superhero.
Everyone's a Captain Kirk.
With orders to identify.
To clarify and classify.
Scramble in the summer sky

Nena's lyrics

Friday, August 19, 2005

Harry Mount - Weblog - New York


Please tick box if you know how to make a bomb
(Filed: 18/08/2005)

Before Euan Blair took up his job this summer as an intern working for the House of Representatives in Washington, he had to fill out aDS-157 visa form from the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square.


Saddam Hussein: too old for the American anti-terrorist form

The DS-157 is a special extra anti-terrorist form that asks Euan to give honest answers to questions like "Do you have any specialised skills or training, including firearms, explosives, nuclear, biological or chemical experience?"

It's a pretty pointless form. If Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein were applying for a visa, they'd hardly tick the box marked "Yes - please explain."

But, in any case, they wouldn't have to.

The form is only for men aged 16-45 wanting an American visa. Saddam Hussein (b. 1937, Iraq) and Osama (b. 1957, Saudi Arabia) don't have to go through this extra level of American security. Euan Blair (b. 1984, England) and I (b. 1971, England) do.

This farcical situation - high levels of security for the law-abiding, with zero effect on the obvious suspects - is the norm in America now.

Critical as the American papers have been of Londonistan and the fact that our suicide bombers were home-grown, where America had to import theirs, the picture isn't too rosy over here either.

Since September 11, over $15 billion has been spent on homeland security. All that means is that $15 billion worth of bureaucracy has been piled onto day-to-day life, and America remains as open to terrorism as it ever was.

Every day, a banal new bit of heavy-handed security makes some everyday job unbearable.


Want to post a cuddly toy to your godson in Kent for his birthday? Two days later, back comes the cuddly toy with a picture of an aeroplane and a red cross across it, saying "Surface transportation only - Because of heightened security, the following types of mail may not be sent by air: all domestic mail weighing 16 ounces or more that bears stamps. Please take this mail, in person, to a retail clerk in a post office."

Suicide bombers in the Gaza Strip? Get all bus-drivers to ask anyone who looks at all bulky round the waist to get off the bus.

Want to see your accountant in his humdrum office off Times Square? Photo ID please.

And so it goes on and on.

The domestic war on terror is entirely unfocussed. It's a flabby, old, moth-eaten security blanket that clogs up the machinery of day-to-day life but does nothing to stop determined bad guys from sashaying through the holes.

And, precisely because the blanket brings such inconvenience to the innocent, the Homeland Security Department can comfort themselves that they've pulled off a real clampdown.

Each time another bomb goes off, the innocent cling to the blanket even more. Well, it seems churlish to complain about standing for an hour in queue in a post office to send a cuddly toy to your godson, when others have to go through much worse - like being torn to pieces on the Tube.

Issuing precise, catch-all prohibitions on the sort of post you're allowed to send, or precise age ranges for extra visas, just means that terrorists work out ways of getting round the restrictions. They develop 15-ounce letter bombs that you are allowed to send by plane. They train adolescents and geriatrics to become suicide bombers.


If security is tightened in one area, terrorists will target another

It's an extension of the Bolted Windows policy. That is, if you get extra bolts, alarms and shutters for your windows, you don't cut the amount of burglary nationwide; you cut the amount of burglary on your house. Burglars just start to look for the next-door neighbour who leaves his window open.

There'll always be an open window somewhere in a country as vast as America. If there's a security crackdown on the subway, someone will stick a bomb on a train. And when there's then a security crackdown on trains, they'll start bombing churches.

You don't stop burglars by bolting windows. You stop burglars by arresting them, or killing them.

If your burglars are terrorists, you catch them by going to war with them abroad, or by using intelligence to track them down in your own country. You do not catch them or kill them by restricting what they send through the post or what diplomatic forms they fill out.

When Osama bin Laden drew up the principles of al-Qa'eda in 1988, he envisaged it as "a pioneering vanguard, the spearhead of Islam".

And its targets have been spearpoints, aimed at targets with different and precise profiles - the World Trade Centre in 1993 and 2001, embassy buildings in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, the USS Cole in 2000, a nightclub in Bali in 2002, the Madrid overland trains in 2004, the London underground in 2005.

And spears go through blankets rather easily.

Do you agree/disagree with any of Harry's comments? Let us know at blogfeedback@telegraph.co.uk
8 August 2005: Washington weblog: Alec Russell
26 June 2005: Euan Blair takes intern role with US Republicans
12 March 2004: Massacre in the rush-hour
14 October 2002: 182 dead in club bombing

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Yale Studies Globalization


here


Mission of YaleGlobal

YaleGlobal Online is the flagship publication of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. The magazine explores the implications of the growing interconnectedness of the world by drawing on the rich intellectual resources of the Yale University community, scholars from other universities, and public- and private-sector experts from around the world.

Our aim is to analyze and promote debate on all aspects of globalization through publishing original articles and multi-media presentations. YaleGlobal also republishes, with a brief comment, important articles from other publications that illuminate the many sides of this complex phenomenon. To the extent permitted by copyright arrangements, YaleGlobal archives such articles and makes them available for search and retrieval.

We are also developing an archive of academic papers on globalization as well as book excerpts and reviews of books on the same subject. YaleGlobal also offers a selection of audio-visual presentations by speakers at Yale and elsewhere.

YaleGlobal is a free site open to the public at large. All articles and multimedia presentations on the site will remain archived and available for as long as technically and/or legally possible.

Your Bloglet Update from "excited utterances"


"excited utterances - http://excitedutterances.blogspot.com/

What are the guys at Thomson's Research & Development Department up to now? Thomson research scientists Jack G. Conrad and Dr. Khalid Al-Kofahi (along with University of Minnesota computer scientists, Ying Zhao and George Karypis) published their latest technical paper, Effective Document Clustering for Large Heterogeneous Law Firm Collections. Here is an excerpt from the paper's introduction: Many firms currently deploy systems that offer their practitioners both full-text search capabilities and the ability to browse through a general legal classification system such as KeySearch, which is based on common legal practice or research areas (e.g., bankruptcy, intellectual property, torts & personal injury). Useful as such a broad-ranging taxonomy is, however, there are numerous instances when it is rendered incomplete if not irrelevant. For example, some firms offer fewer legal practice areas, but among those provided, they offer them at substantial depth. A broad-based, but shallow taxonomy would thus be inadequate for such expertise. Other examples include those firms that are now practicing areas of law that may not be well covered by an existing taxonomy (e.g., elder law, law involving abortion, gay marriage law, or law involving anti-terrorism). Still other firms find such taxonomies only partially relevant to their portfolio of practice areas. At least in the context of automatic text categorization, the strength of these firms? KM applications will depend upon the relevance of their taxonomies and the availability of exemplar documents for each category. So clearly the incompatibilities outlined above are problematic. In the absence of a relevant taxonomy and corresponding training data, an effective and intelligent document clustering application could prove to be useful. For a list of other publications authored by the members of the R&D Department at Thomson Legal & Regulatory, click here. (8/8/2005 11:01:17 AM)
"

Google to WorldCat without username/password


Open WorldCat program [OCLC - WorldCat]

WorldCat update
WorldCat is the world’s most comprehensive bibliographic database. Updated at a rate of nearly one new record every 10 seconds, WorldCat contains more than 61 million bibliographic records and holdings information contributed by more than 8,600 libraries around the world. The Open WorldCat program makes the items in library collections—physical and digital, popular or special—discoverable by people searching the Internet.

[The Google toolbar can be configured to look up book information at Amazon, Alibris or WorldCat. Once you put your zip code in, it gives you the libraries in concentric order.]

KM Asia and the US - What Does the Future Hold?


Thread from the KM.gov listserv:


-----Original Message-----
From: KMWG [mailto:KM-List@listserv.gsa.gov]On Behalf Of Hillman, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 9:29 AM
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge Might I make a humble suggestion?


John:

Might I make a humble suggestion?

As you noted, this has, and continues to be an interesting discussion. However because its being done on a list serve, the knowledge that’s being shared is only available to those on the list server today; there is no real ‘capturing’ of it for future members.

I for one have unfortunately deleted most of the e-mails on the subject after reading them … now I wish I hadn’t.

However, had the exchange taken place in a discussion forum, it would have been:
1) captured for future use by members who don’t know we exist today; 2) not barraged members who are not interested in it with e-mails, and 3) and most importantly, might have served as a vehicle for the participant to work virtually on a common path forward on KM … and God only knows spurred a host of sideline discussions, all of which would have enriched the Federal KM community!!

That said, I suggest at next week’s planning meeting on the future of the KMWG we discuss adding a discussion forum, as well as collaborative tools to the KMWG web site … and in doing so, make it easer to capture the wealth of KM knowledge our members possess.

Your thoughts?

Mike Hillman


-----Original Message-----
From: KMWG [mailto:KM-List@listserv.gsa.gov]On Behalf Of Nerida Hart
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 8:40 PM
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge


This has been a very interesting discussion and I would like to tell a
personal story about KM issues and outsourcing to India which I experienced
earlier this year.

At the Information Online conference 2005 (held in Sydney in February this
year) there was a guest speaker from India (I think he was from KPMG - but
don't quote me) talking about the benefits of outsourcing call centres to
India. He highlighted the benefits of lower costs, 24/7 service, higher
level of education from the workers etc.

However, when I pressed him about the cultural differences and knowledge
issues he admitted there were a fair number of problems in this arena.
What it came down to was that India was more than capable of undertaking
pure processing (not taking on complex issues which may involve societal
and cultural issues). I was particularly interested from the point of view
of the social welfare system in Australia which has very large call
centres. However, the types of questions from the clients would require a
strong undertanding of Australian culture.

I can see the benefits of outsourcing processes to India or China, but I do
think each country has particular cutural differences (even those that
exist between the USA and Australia would be highlighted in this area)
which cannot be satisfied by using foreignsources of labour.

I think it is up to those of us in the knowledge arena to highlight to
those we can influence in government that this is not just about the
tangible (money) issues and that some things (the intangibles) can bring
greater benefits if only we were taking notice of the long term impact
rather than just the costs.

regards

Nerida Hart (Deputy Convenor, actKM)
Director
Knowledge & Information Services
Dept of Family & Community Services
Box 7788
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610
(02) 6244 6430



-----Original Message-----
From: KMWG [mailto:KM-List@listserv.gsa.gov]On Behalf Of Hsu, Francis X
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 5:20 PM
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge


John,

I am smiling because I wrote MM offline on just this issue.

To me, these discussions are at the heart of KM. They help us get ahead of the steep learning curve of KM. If this is so easy, why bother? Why think about it? What’s the purpose of having ‘virtual communities’ if not to exchange ideas?

What happened on 2001-09-11? We’ve since learned that many individuals, in the US Gov’t, tried warning us that something dire was going to happen. Did anyone listen and take action?

Now, we are suppose to invest billions and billions of taxpayers dollars in KM-IT without bothering to think through what this is? Or means? Vendors will sell you anything.

They don’t’ really care whether it’s effective or not. The Manhattan Project didn’t produce the A-bomb because they decided to stop thinking about what they were doing. They had plenty of discussions and arguments too. That’s what using one’s mind in a democratic society does.

KM is the Manhattan Project of the Information Age. Open discussions will help identify the good, the bad and ugly parts of KM. If anyone knows a better way to do this, PLEASE, let us all know.

Francis Hsu
Dept of State
IRM/OPS/SIO/API/Data Management
703-875-6089

This message is UN-CLASSIFIED per EO 12958.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***************************
-----Original Message-----
From: KMWG [mailto:KM-List@listserv.gsa.gov]On Behalf Of John Andre
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 4:34 PM
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge


Hey, folks.

While I've been interestedly watching this thread develop on the listserv, I have been receiving pointed messages questioning the direct relevance to KM. In fact, I've had about ten people drop off because of the impression of being overloaded with what appears to be an important but peripheral topic.

If you will forgive me, let me ask that those interested in continuing the discussion, or lurking as I have been, on the subject of U.S. IT competitiveness to communicate directly with Mr. Montgomery. I don't wish to be a traffic cop because this is more activity than I've seen in some months, and it's a topic of burgeoning interest to agency CIOs.

Nevertheless, I am forced into a position of doing so.

Very respectfully to all sides,
John

***************************
If you wish to unsubscribe from the KM listserv, please contact john.andre@gsa.gov.

***************************

-----Original Message-----
From: KMWG [mailto:KM-List@listserv.gsa.gov]On Behalf Of Hsu, Francis X
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 12:40 PM
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge


Mark,

Your responses are so detailed, it’s difficult to formulate a reply.

I am researching for a book on information uses. So naturally this would overlap, sometimes a lot with some of your points.

1) Your ‘years of screaming’ underscores what we all already know: actions speak louder than information. Osama bin Laden declared war on America in 1996 (Words, information). It took 2001-09-11 as action, to get the attention of American government and more to the point, American people.

2) Intelligence information is highly overrated. Especially as it relates to business, finance and investments. Even when the info is related to national security issues, such terrorism, it gets noticed ‘after the fact.’ Note how these former officials, George Tenet (CIA), Richard Clarke (WH-CT) and John O’Neill (FBI) for years warned of Al Qaeda activities. You’ve heard of the FBI’s Phoenix memo. An agent of the FBI in Phoenix wrote a memo (prior to 9-11) to draw attention of his suspicion why so many Middle Eastern men seem to be taking flying lessons. HQ and the Intel Community did not follow up.

3) Your point on VC financing is very cogent. Until now, America has had this to ourselves. Now that both brain-power and financing is sloshing around the world, there is real competition of what and how.

4) Maybe someone could focus more on the transformation process of getting the inputs into outcomes.

Francis

-----Original Message-----
From: KMWG [mailto:KM-List@listserv.gsa.gov]On Behalf Of Mark Montgomery
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 4:07 PM
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge


One person asked the expected question- "What relevancy does this have to
KM?" (U.S. competitiveness)

I answered privately, but the short answer is that what I have seen globally
in knowledge systems all around the world have been investments (reason for
being) due primarily to their country or entity becoming more competitive,
largely in response to the U.S. in the past. Of course one needs some kind
of knowledge system in place before one understands the need, but if any
country, including the U.S., is not competitive on the global stage- then
its ability to provide services will be greatly impaired. So competitiveness
is at the core of priorities for most countries and entities who are
investing in knowledge systems, and justifiably so. The fact that
globalization and competitiveness isn't a popular topic in the U.S. does not
change its importance- more of a symptom of a culture that has not
experienced competition, and a scary symptom at that.

Bob- your query highlights the reason why I continued with GWIN until I was
almost personally bankrupt. One of very few global networks, and from my
perch by far the most influential at the time given the membership- most
countries had senior membership as did almost all major companies and think
tanks- it would have been very easy at the time to choose one of the dozens
of communities, or via the social networking features, to hook you up with
the appropriate people- directly or indirectly. Today I would likely go
through my friends at T-Bird U who have a major campus in China or one of my
peers in Asia.

A global knowledge network that is well designed and free from conflicting
interests can be a powerful tool for all concerned, but one very difficult
to fund. We did it with our personal retirement funds.

Let me know off list if I can help. Best, Mark


-----Original Message-----
From: KMWG [mailto:KM-List@listserv.gsa.gov]On Behalf Of Bob Turner
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 3:07 PM
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge


Have enjoy your insights Mark, especially about China and India. I think
my next read will be Kenichi Ohmae's "The Next Global Stage". Last year I
went to Beijing and enjoyed it so much I'm returning in October. I'm
thinking it could be interested to make a connection there with Chinese
regarding knowledge management, either in the government or private sector.
Wonder how I would do that? By the way, a recent Ohmae article is: here








Mark Montgomery
To KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Sent by: KMWG
cc
Subject Re: [KMWG] Study Says US Could lose High-Tech

08/15/2005 03:34 PM


We could probably go on for weeks and justifiably so just on China alone.
No disagreement here- my personal ethics have too high a bar for China, but
it's not only quickly becoming the largest market in the world, but more
importantly for decision makers- the majority of economic expansion is
expected to come from China, India, and to a lessor extent other emerging
markets- Brazil, Eastern Europe, etc. In most of industry leader circles
today, the belief is that if you do not find a way to engage in China and
India you will very likely lose your global leadership position in the near
future. Now consider that we have U.S. taxpayer supported programs for
investment in emerging markets, but not for our own states, some of which
are at a disadvantage economically. That's probably not one of the mistakes
China is making right now, although guessing.... Why shouldn't investors be
given the same option for dying towns in the Midwest with low costs and
vast emptiness?

We are having a very similar conversation about China today that Europe did
about the U.S. in the industrial revolution. The primary differences I see
is that China and much of Asia are already over populated rather than a
vast empty space that the U.S. was- so we won't see the mass migration that
we saw to the U.S. from Europe- the jobs won't go to the population in the
west, but some of the ROI will. That's a big difference.

And China's situation, culture, and systems are substantially different
than anything we've encountered before. It's a very complex situation, but
no question that currently China and India are perceived to be where the
future resides. I attended a global private equity conference a few months
ago - the emerging markets portion was amazing- the general partners in PE
firms were discussing and sharing experiences. Most that were invited to
speak are doing extremely well compared to the rest of the world due to
growth, but they are dealing with issues like oligarchs, corruption,
favoritism/nepotism, fraud, mobile and un-enforced laws, and enormous
language and cultural barriers.

However, they do have some ethical investors on the ground, the costs of
doing business well are ridiculously low in comparison to the west (anyone
who doesn't believe that costs matter are living in denial), their
technology is much better than most in the west are aware of- the majority
of large companies in the west now have R&D centers on the ground, and
their governments and local companies favor local companies when buying.
So in the world of competition, they are simply more competitive. Will they
have a down cycle? Of course, and the banking system will take a hit sooner
or later, but valuations are rising so fast across such a vast population
that it covers an enormous range of errors. It is in many ways like the
U.S. once was in terms of economics, but very different in other ways. It's
not a melting pot, nor a democracy- a hybrid of communism and capitalism.

One of my peers is a US national who moved over there a decade ago, who I
think is among the smartest in private equity over there, said that he
doesn't think that anyone can stop the beast now- not their own government,
not the U.S. - no one. Similar to the early wild west in the U.S. I
suppose- where everyone else's rules and requirements were ignored but
their own, and their customers. Another peer in DFJ I know well just made a
billion dollars on the search engine IPO in China.

As is always the case in capitalism- winners and losers alike are in good
company. But I don't agree with my friends in multinationals who suggest
that this trend is good for the U.S., unless of course the individual in
question owns equity in the winners. It simply is, so we all have to deal
with it whether we like it or not, and we all are feeling the affects,
whether we recognize the cause or not. I for one would just like an equal
playing field, but we don't have it in most of the states today. .02 - Mark

----- Original Message -----
From: Alex Pavlak
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 11:08 AM
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge

Mark,

I was prompted to jump in by a comment you made about Venture Capitalism
in China. My visceral reaction was that the VCs would loose their shirt
because China does not have the legal infrastructure to support something
as sophisticated as venture investing. VC is safer in India than in China.
But on reflection China VC could be very interesting.

VCs need a China brand, a method of investing that relies less on law than
on personal contacts and family. China practices a primitive form of
capitalism, not quite robber baron but close. A VC who is sensitive to the
culture might do well.

Alex

----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Montgomery
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge

Hi Francis,

I hear you- we can only share published reports- most valuable information
on this topic is protected by confidentiality agreements. The best public
work I see on the topic is from the Milken Institute
www.milkeninstitute.org , but good global information is still spotty.
Milken has much less invested in a particular outcome, have sharp staff,
and their results more often jive with reality.

The primary message is that after years of screaming by many of us who do
see the results, the media is finally taking notice, which will eventually
presumably have some impact on voters, which will then eventually
hopefully have some impact on policy makers.

It's not accidental that often has been the case that a venture capitalist
is chosen as chair or co-chair of the presidential advisory council on
technology http://www.ostp.gov/. One of the past chairs is one of my
closest advisors and I have communicated often on this topic with many
past members. Currently Floyd Kvamme of Kleiner Perkins is co chair. Colin
Powell recently joined them as an advisor. Professors have an excellent
view on emerging research- VCs are the source for emerging companies and
where that research is being commercialized. I have no idea how good the
top secret intel is on this or what the President and Congress see, just
what we see.

I would agree that it's foolhardy to count the number of degrees, R&D
dollars, or any number of other measures commonly found in economic
development circles, of whom I am constantly spending time with in an
attempt to convince them that their learning on the topic is flawed and
needs to be replaced. The important issues are overcoming very specific
barriers and creating a culture conducive to building tech companies.
Everything else is noise.

The quality of a market can indeed be quantified, but the economic
development community methodology is usually flawed relating to
entrepreneurship, and even the foundations specializing in the area are
often culturally biased. I am involved in preparing a conference in AZ
currently on "AZ Competitiveness", but the sponsors all have conflicts
that prevent them politically from seeking/telling the truth -universities
want more funding regardless, economic developers and community planners
usually want more control and higher budgets, and trade associations of
course want to protect the interests of their members, which are often
multinationals, not start-ups.

So consequently the conferences themselves (generally speaking) get off in
the wrong direction, invite the wrong people, and poor information is
often delivered regarding the topic of entrepreneurship and
competitiveness. The bulk of the information from the government is simply
not credible on this topic (sorry folks but it's true- the SBA Office of
Advocacy is the only credible source I've found consistently over 20+
years now).

Sadly, in the past decade in large part due to this medium, much of the
world has listened to the real thought leaders in the trenches, while much
of the U.S. has not. It's not that the U.S. has done anything differently
in the past few years- we haven't, but that's the problem- we need reform
while much of the rest of the world is quickly improving their
infrastructure relating to building competitive technology based companies
that can compete globally- India certainly being perhaps the best example
in IT, but far from the only one. And the U.S. has really not done
anything differently at all, except a bit more funding using the same
distribution channels- namely in the NIH and DoD, and that will have some
positive impact, but the percentage of tech transfer in our research is
simply terrible.

For example, our SBIR program and SBIC (SBA venture capital program) are
not at all competitive in many very specific ways- they are relics. The
only reason they worked so well in the past is because so few in the world
were making any serious attempt at all. That is no longer the case. It's
not politically correct to take this view, but IMO it shouldn't be
politically correct to not tell the truth as one sees it.

We see much the same in SIGs within science. The institutionalization of
entrepreneurship in recent years, particularly the economic development
and political influence in the U.S., as well as the cultures within
institutions, have really changed the entrepreneurial environment in the
U.S. to the negative- again relative to the rest of the world. The valley
of the death in the U.S. (viability gap in building tech businesses), as
was recently shared with Congress by Floyd Kvamme ( here ) is very real, and in
my view is expanding in the U.S. while shrinking in much of the world.
That is viewed as a good thing by some for world peace, but is also very
difficult for anyone to influence, much less control, other than each
country themselves in reducing barriers.

I don't see Bangalore as a SV, but more an eastern branch of SV- a lot of
VC is pouring into India just within the past few months. China is
attempting not just to replicate and replace SV, but rather has eyes on
surpassing the entire U.S. economically- and most believe they will
succeed eventually. The EU has serious barriers like the U.S. on the cost
side, but Ireland is the best example in the world on what can be done in
a short period of time for a mature country. Recent perspective includes a
private conversation between myself and a SV VC firm who said that when
they expand, they will do so in China, not in SV.

There can be no debate about a couple of issues. Quality of human capital
is the key and the trend has been somewhat reversed in a short period of
time- expats are heading home in large numbers and/or assisting from the
U.S., and much fewer thought leaders are finding it necessary to come to
the U.S. And unlike just 5-10 years ago, it's no longer necessary to come
to the U.S. for venture capital, especially for the best in the world.

What we are seeing is the early stages of globalization of entrepreneurism
and venture capital in much the same way as we did with manufacturing in
the past. It is changing and will continue to change the world
dramatically IMO.

In AZ for example we have made tremendous progress in just four years,
particularly in life sciences- more so than in decades past combined.
However, it required a large long term (read not federal but regional)
sales tax revenue stream for applied R&D in our state universities, and
specific legislation removing many barriers, and significant investment
that created one of the world's leading genomic institutes (TGen), and we
still have no institutional venture capital worth discussing- and all of
our competitors do now around the world in comparable markets (except
sadly in some U.S. states).

All that said, critical mass is still very important as is face time, and
SV is still the center of the universe in venture capital in technology,
which is why we are planning to relocate. Virtually everyone I work with
functionally at our level are in SV and have been all along. For us all
things get easier - fund raising, recruiting of talent, competency level
of attorneys/consultants/accountants- collective human infrastructure,
scheduling meetings worldwide from inbound partners and entrepreneurs
(much the same as diplomacy in D.C. or public stocks on Wall Street). The
one exception is of course housing costs for everyone involved, which has
become a very serious issue for CA as it is now beyond the ability of
everyone they need to buy even a small entry house- scientists,
entrepreneurs, professors- it's even a major issue for VC firms and their
staff. But one we must deal with.

In that regard, a modest reduction of housing costs and costs in general
for the U.S., particularly in the key markets, will assist substantially
in the competitiveness of the U.S. relative to the world.

- MM


----- Original Message -----
From: Hsu, Francis X
To: Mark Montgomery ; KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 7:01 AM
Subject: RE: [KMWG] Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge

Mark,
These reports are essentially about ‘inputs’ to the process. As
important as they are, it is the ‘outputs’ or ‘results’ that matter. For
many years in the 1980s-90s, leaders trekked to Silicon Valley to learn
how to duplicate the valley in other parts of the world. After all this
time, it seems only Bangalore India has been able to do it. That’s not
to say others cannot, in time, make their mark.
Perhaps trying to understand how inputs can be ‘effectively transformed’
into outputs requires more scrutiny.


From: Mark Montgomery [mailto:markm@initiumcapital.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2005 11:54
To: KM-LIST@listserv.gsa.gov
Subject: [KMWG] Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge

From the www.NASVF.ORG newsletter. Some may not see it as relevant to KM,
but I certainly do. We see the same issue within the specific research
and practice of knowledge systems and related. If one's knowledge systems
are not state of the art, then neither will be the science or society. A
lot of countries "get it" and have funded it. The recent column by
Friedman in the NYT on Ireland was particularly valid and a must read for
anyone interested.

Study Says US Could Lose High-Tech Edge
China and India are educating so many scientists and engineers that it is
all but certain that the United States will lose some of its technological advantage and will suffer difficult economic adjustments, according to a recently published paper:
Boston Globe


When Guo-Liang Yu traveled to Shanghai to set up a research facility for
his Burlingame biotech company, he immediately realized that things would
be different in China. Mr. Yu says he was able to rent, design and
renovate a 20,000 square-foot facility two hours south of the city,
complete with clean rooms, in less than six weeks. "You could never do
that in United States," Mr. Yu says. Other benefits quickly surfaced as
well. He could hire top notch scientists for $7,000 a year and the
government gave him a business tax holiday for two years. Yu figures he
shaved 50 percent off his research costs by opening in China:
San Jose Business Journal





American-educated graduates from other countries, from Israel to Taiwan
to Ireland, also have launched companies in the United States. But the
Indian connection is unique because of the intense engineering focus
there. And returnees starting businesses in India, unlike those in
smaller and richer countries, can tap into a large and growing domestic
market, and into a pool of low-cost skilled workers:
Boston Globe





Mark Montgomery
Founder
Initium Venture Capital
http://www.initiumcapital.com

Florida


SBA to open satellite office in Fort Pierce
August 15, 2005, Miami Herald

SBA spokeswoman Althea Harris said plans to build Scripps Research Institute, a 100-acre bioscience park in Palm Beach County, will open the flood gates for new business opportunities in the area.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Telegraph | Money | Greece joins the flat rate tax bandwagon: "Greece joins the flat rate tax bandwagon
By George Trefgarne, Economics Editor (Filed: 15/08/2005)

Greece is set to become the next European nation to introduce a flat rate of income tax, according to speculation in Athens triggered by the finance minister, Giorgios Alogoskoufis.

The prime minister, Costas Karamanlis could announce the proposal at next month's Thessaloniki International Fair. A flat rate of income tax, which abolishes all bands and exemptions and replaces them with a single rate and a high personal allowance, is all the rage among free-market thinkers and the idea is sweeping across eastern Europe.

The Greek government's precarious finances were thrown into "
Google Sells Out Users to Publishers: Corante > Copyfight >: "August 12, 2005
Google Sells Out Users to Publishers


Posted by Aaron Swartz
As you undoubtedly recall, months ago Google launched their Google Print Library Project scanning thousands of books from the country's libraries for potential search, putting up whatever fair use or the publisher would allow.

Publishers, in typical copyright-holder paranoia fashion, worried that perhaps the two line snippets Google would be providing of their books would spell the end of the world for their entire industry. They wrote articles attacking Google for their cruelty and finally, today, Google announced it would back down.

That's right: Google won't even scan any book copyright holders ask them not to, even though doing so is perfectly legal. It's as if copyright holders got to dictate what books get placed in libraries. Their short-sighted selfishness will cost us all, depriving us of our heritage in our online Library of Alexandria.

Details at the Google Blog, under the Orwellian title Making books easier to find.

UPDATE: the EFF's Jason Schultz attacks publishers: 'This is a clear example of copyright failing the public in the digital age. Google isn't selling the books; they just need to scan them to help Internet users find what they're looking for. The fact that publishers are able to hold up this process works against consumers and the marketplace, not in their favor.' And copyfighter Siva Vaidhyanathan attacks me."

[Follow link for embedded live-linked version of this item.]
Google Print put on pause | The Register: "Google Print put on pause
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Published Friday 12th August 2005 23:22 GMT

The irresistible force of Google Inc. has bumped into the immovable object of copyright, with the result that Google is calling a brief truce.

Last night, the internet company said it would halt scanning in copyrighted book material as part of its Print project. Google has antagonized libraries and rights holders by opting them into its program. Concerns have also been expressed about libraries compromising their public interest mission by ceding control to Google, a private for-profit corporation.

Google intends to make full text searches of the books available to users for free, but won't share revenue with the rights holders. Meanwhile the Print project could become a lucrative venture for the Google corporation itself, allowing it to take a revenue cut from purchase links and contextual text advertisements.

So far, we've seen Google excercise the first, but not the second option. Google Print offers 'Buy This Book' links to books it has scanned; we've yet to see advertisements for say, insecticide around Kafka's Metamorphosis. The Association of American Publishers, the Association of American University Presses and the Libraries' Association have all voiced objections.

Earlier this year Google called a halt in Europe after vocifierous opposition from rights holders and the EU. Yesterday, Google said it would pause its scanners in the US, too.

'We won't scan any in-copyright books from now until this November,' wrote Google Print Product Manager Adam Smith. 'We're going to continue talking about Google Print with our partners and the publishing industry.'

It's not going to assuage the rights holders, however.

"Google's procedure shifts the responsibility for preventing infringement to the copyright owner rather than the user, turning every principle of copyright law on its ear," the AAP said in a statement.

"I think the libraries are getting played badly here and they are violating their own principles of openness and public service by letting Google take charge and set the terms of this service," wrote author and journalist Siva Vaidhyanathan of New York University.

"Google might be a very good corporation - one of the best ever, probably. But it's still not a library. Let's try to remember that," he added.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hillary's coming fight


Hillary's coming fight - PittsburghLIVE.com: "

By Dick Morris

Sunday, August 14, 2005
Westchester, N.Y., DA Jeanine Pirro has formally announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate from New York, which will pit her against Hillary Clinton in a battle royale. This is just the kind of fight that Sen. Clinton hoped to avoid.

While Hillary would have no problem dispatching an opponent like Nixon son-in-law Edward Cox or Yonkers Mayor John Spencer (the two other possible GOP contenders), Pirro presents a real problem.
Jeanine Pirro is pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-affirmative action, pro-gay-civil unions and pro-immigration. And, of course, she's a woman.

In a sense, Hillary will have to end up running against someone who is quite like herself in her public positions.

Except, of course, Pirro is a good old-fashioned anti-tax, anti-crime, tough-on-terror Republican from the suburbs.

Hillary would love to cloak her Senate re-election as a necessity in the face of a determined GOP effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and to roll back the clock on gun control. But against Pirro, she will be disarmed of all her best issues. She will have to run on her own record, which is limited at best.

Pirro, on the other hand, can point out that Hillary refuses to say that she will serve out her term if elected -- since we all know that the day the returns are in she will start her campaign for president. (Hillary has her own twist on the famous line of Gen. Sherman: 'If elected, I refuse to serve.')

The Quinnipiac Poll recently found that Hillary beat Pirro by more than 30 percentage points -- but in the same poll, 60 p"

Google Desktop Search can search Gmail as well


: "Larry's Gmail Indexer 1.00
by Larry Gadea (trivex@trivex.net)
'Search your Gmail directly from Google Desktop Search.'

Regularly index your entire Gmail account contents into Google
Desktop Search. This is done using Gmail?s POP access feature.
See the following URL for information on how to enable POP access
on your Gmail account:
http://gmail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=13273&topic=194

To install, follow these instructions:
1. Verify that POP access is enabled on your Gmail account. If
you have used POP access with Gmail before, it's recommended
that you disable and enable it again so that you can receive
all of your old email using this plugin.
2. Run the 'LarrysGmailIndexer.exe' file in the zip.
3. Agree to the registration with Google Desktop Search.
4. Log in using your Gmail email address and also your regular
Gmail password.
5. Indexing will happen immediately. You can watch the emails
being indexed by using the Index Status link in GDS and looking
at the 'Emails' counter.

To uninstall, follow these instructions:

1. Go to your Start menu and select 'Control Panel'.
2. Select 'Add/Remove Programs'
3. Find 'Larry's Gmail Indexer' and click 'Remove'.
4. Thats it!

If you have any comments/concerns/questions/suggestions, whatever,
feel free to contact me at trivex@trivex.net. "

Friday, August 12, 2005

McMillan on the Market



To receive the complete commentary plus reccomendations visit here: http://www.optionstrategist.com

Stock Market
Nearly all of our indicators gave sell signals last week, but the market's rally this week has negated some of them. Still, we feel that a much more negative tone is apparent and a bearish stance can be adopted -- at
least for the short term.

The major averages broke down below first support levels last week, but more major support levels have not been tested (yet). For $SPX, this means that it fell below the 1228-1230 support level, bouncing at 1222, but did not test the major support at 1210. The subsequent rally this week failed near the highs once again, so there is now a double or triple top in the 1243-1245 area. A close above there would be bullish and would cancel all the sell signals, but as long as that resistance holds, it has negative implications.

The equity-only put-call ratios rolled over to sell signals. In this case, that means they turned up and began to rise (see Figures 2 & 3). At first -- or perhaps even today -- this rollover wasn't obvious to the naked eye, but we use computer projections to verify these signals, and those projections "saw" the rollover in its initial stages. You can see that the weighted ratio had dropped to nearly the bottom of the chart (about the same level as last December's sell signal), which means it was in overbought territory when this sell signal was given. While we don't use absolute levels as buy or sell points, it is useful to note whether the signals are coming from the extremes of the chart -- as this one is -- for those are usually the best signals.

Market breadth has bounced back and forth as the market first declined last week and then rallied this week. We'd rate breadth as "neutral" at this time.

Finally, volatility ($VIX) has been interesting as well. The increase in $VIX last week was the harbinger of the selling that took place. $VIX shot up above 13 and closed there -- ostensibly a sell signal. However, just as sharply, $VIX retreated this week, dropping all the way to 11.50 before rebounding back above 12 again. The net of this action is that $VIX is in a trading range now; if it closes above 13.40, that would be bearish, and if it closes below 11.50, that would be bullish. Otherwise, if it remains in between, $VIX would be neutral.

In summary, the most negative indicator is the equity-only put-call ratio, while the others are mostly neutral. But that's an important indicator which has -- at other times in the past -- been the primary indicator of a market move. As a result, we are taking a negative stance unless $SPX can break out to new highs, or unless buy signals are generated by some of these indicators (unlikely).

Note: if you are viewing a text version of this report, click on the following link to see the charts: click here

Whatchout


Anonymous Lawyer:
"Monday, August 01, 2005

I'm in the office early because we're working with local counsel on a matter in a small East Coast city. Think Baltimore, but it's not Baltimore. Whenever we work with local counsel, I like to take an antihistamine right before the phone call. This way I'll talk slower and slur my words a little bit so they understand me. Their minds all work in a different gear than the rest of us. If they didn't, of course they'd be in a real city. No legitimate corporate lawyer chooses to be in Atlanta or Boston or Detroit or Dallas. Why would anyone choose to work with second-tier clients, second-tier colleagues, and in second-tier office buildings with second-tier artwork on the walls and second-tier views from the balcony? Who cares if you can see the Hartford skyline? Who wants to see the Hartford skyline? Who wants to work where the most expensive lunch you can charge the client is $20 and it's at Applebee's? Anonymous Wife made friends once with a couple who invited us to eat with them at Applebee's. We weren't friends after that.

One of my associates was in early also. I saw the light on in his office as I was coming down the hall and I stopped in to see what he was working on. He said he got engaged over the weekend. His first engagement. That's cute. He said he fears she's marrying him for his money. Only knowing what I know, I can't say I disagree. She's not marrying him for his legal skills, I know that for sure. Or if she is, she's in for a terrible disappointment the first time she gives him an assignment.


# posted by Anonymous @ 7:38 AM "

Blogged Reports of Oddball eBay Auctions


bayraider: "August 11, 2005
Jay Versus Dave
When we first looked at this auction, we thought it was a checkers board with Jay Leno and David Letterman heads as the counters. So far, so yawnsome. But when we read the listing, we realised that you're not bidding for a physical board-game - instead, you're bidding to place a move in this virtual game. Which is at least slightly intriguing - albeit in a 'why the hell?' kinda way. Perhaps someone could do a UK equivalent - Graham Norton versus Jonathan Ross maybe, or a nostalgic Wogan versus Parky battle.
(Jay vs Dave Checkers)
Bid until Aug-17-05 18:06:27 PDT
August 11, 2005 in Gadgets | Permalink | Comments "

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Telegraph | Expat | Don't be a plank. Read this and get really clueful
Don't be a plank. Read this and get really clueful
By Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 10/08/2005)


People appalled by the uglification of English have fresh meat to chew on today with the publication of a new Oxford dictionary.

The language of Shakespeare, Milton and Keats has officially taken delivery of a host of new words following their inclusion in the latest single-volume Oxford Dictionary of English. Needless to say, each one is more hideous than the last.

Some of the worst offenders come from the home of dumbed-down English, the United States. They include spendy (expensive), twofer (two items sold for the price of one), cockapoo (a crossbreed derived from cocker spaniel and miniature poodle) and picturize (an alleged verb describing the adaptation of a story for film).

There are plenty of other monstrosities: clueful (knowledgeable), greige (a colour between grey and beige) and the truly dreadful multi-task. If you don't know what that means, you are overdue for an eighty-sixing *.

And then there is chav, an inelegant word that nevertheless describes perfectly its label-obsessed, bling-coated, ASBO-boasting target. The acronym derived from Anti Social Behaviour Order is, of course, also in there.

Some of the new words are formed by bolting together two perfectly good ones to form a horrible one. So a chugger is a collector for a charity who "mugs" his victims by approaching them in the street, while a dramedy is a programme or film in which the comic element derives from character and plot development.

Sixty years after the end of the Raj, the Indians continue to change the language of the one-time imperial master. Thus bindass is carefree, lehnga an ankle-length skirt and masala a varied mixture of elements (as well as the curry).

On the subject of curry, the dictionary includes a well-worn example of rhyming slang, Ruby Murray, together with Rosie Lee, which has taken decades to gain acceptance.

The internet has provided a wealth of ugly new words, such as podcast (digital recording of radio or other programme made available for downloading) and phishing (the fraudulent practice of sending e-mails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to steal passwords and credit card numbers).

There are 355,000 words and phrases in the dictionary. Judy Pearsall, the publishing manager for Oxford English Dictionaries, said the changes reflected the constant evolution of the world's most important language.

And just in case you need to insult someone at short notice, she offers 20 handy words: blockhead, dork, lamebrain, lummox, ning-nong, tosspot, wassock, mooncalf, gowk, toerag, berk, plank, numpty, gobdaw, nyaff, mompara, bosthoon, drongo, fribble and dandiprat.

*Eighty-six: verb N. Amer: reject, discard, or destroy.
arts.telegraph/books

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005. Terms & Conditions of reading. Commercial information. Privacy and Cookie Policy

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Growing with Knowledge Management


here

Growing with Knowledge Management
by Antony Satyadas
Tuesday, August 09, 2005

We're of the opinion that knowledgement management is a timeless discipline, one in which the latest technology developments don't always dictate what you should do, and how you should do it. That's why we believe this article from 2003, very popular in its day, remains relevant and valuable today. --Editor
While the concept of knowledge management (KM) has been around since the early nineties, its acceptance as a tool to solve specific business issues has only recently been recognized. However, to many organizations, implementing a knowledge management strategy can initially appear to be a daunting and overwhelming task. Many questions must be addressed before users feel comfortable investing in a KM solution, including: Where do I begin? What technology do I need? How do I ensure the process is managed correctly? How do I measure the effectiveness of my knowledge management solution?

This article aims to answer these questions and arm you with the necessary steps and processes for implementing knowledge management within your organization.
PC Pro: News: Apple fails to patent the iPod interface:

"News [Music/MP3 players]
Wednesday 10th August 2005

Apple fails to patent the iPod interface 12:20PM
Apple has failed in an attemp to patent the iPod interface after the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ruled that a similar patent had already been registered.

In 2002, a few months before Apple's application, inventor John Platt submitted his own application for a menu-based media player. And the description is remarkablty similar to the method for operating an iPod.

'Platt discloses an apparatus and a method of assisting user interaction with a multimedia asset player by way of a hierarchically ordered user interface, comprising: displaying a first order user interface having a first list of user selectable items; receiving a user selection of one of the user selectable items; and automatically transitioning to and displaying a second order user interface having a second list of user selectable items based upon the user selection,' the USPTO explained.

Apple now has three months to appeal against the decision. Should it fail, the implications are unclear though it could open the way for Platt to demand royalties from Apple and other portable player manufacturers who use a similar navigational method.

Simon Aughton"
Legalbrief - Legalbrief Today Home Page:

"European Bank sued over banknotes
A document security company is suing the European Central Bank, which is accused of infringing, in euro banknotes, its patent for anti-counterfeiting technology. "

Sunday, August 07, 2005

FuelGauge Moved


The long-standing but somewhat dormant website FuelGauge.com and his British Cousin FuelGauge.co.uk have been given new life on Blogger. The Webmaster was heard to say:
It's about time that we updated the site because some of the graphics have gone dead and apart from the breaking news headlines with hyperlinks, we have not made many changes in three years.

Now with the price of oil looking very settled at $60 a barrel or more, XOM settling in at $60 and HAL also reaching $60 a share in the past days, it is time we focused on this subject a bit more as we go into the winter heating oil cycle.

Mister Poll: Getting revenge on spy ware and ad ware

Friday, August 05, 2005

McMillan Market Commentary

Friday, August 5, 2005

Note: Please use the following link to view this week's charts.
To receive the complete commentary plus reccomendations visit here.

Stock Market
The first cracks in the bullish dam are beginning to show. As a result, the correction that we've spoken about for some time is upon us. Whether it proves to be a sharp, but short-lived correction (such as the
30-point $SPX correction in June) or something more permanent, remains to be seen. But, for now, caution is warranted for bullish investors, while aggressive investors can take bearish positions
understanding that they may have to exit quickly.

The major averages have not violated support, so that is one factor in favor of the bulls. $SPX has near-term support at 1228-1230, and aslong as that holds, we would still rate the $SPX chart as bullish. $SPX recently made a new 4-year high, but QQQQ appears to have failed in its quest to exceed last fall's highs. $OEX and $DJX (the Dow) are the under-performers, having failed to even exceed last week's highs. Of course, the best performers have been the small caps ($VLE, $RUT, and $SML). The current index chart is very similar to what we saw back in June: $SPX has been "walking the tightrope." That is, it has been crawling along the Upper Bollinger Band (see Figure 1). When it releases downward from there, the correction is at hand. Back in June, $SPX dropped 30 points in less than three days.

Thursday, it appears that the same sort of thing has begun again, in August. Equity-only put-call ratios are still on buy signals. Recently, both ratios (Figures 2 and 3) had dropped to new 2005 lows, and were heading for the lower regions of their charts. While we don't use absolute levels on the chart as indications of buy or sell, such low levels can define an overbought condition. The standard ratio has stopped declining now, as the market has weakened, but the weighted ratio continues to plunge. Neither of these ratios has rolled over to a sell signal, so they remain bullish.

Market breadth has been running very strong for some time, which is good. However, as usual, that produces an overbought condition. Now, with Thursday's action developing very negative breadth, this
is a sell signal.

Volatility ($VIX) was the first indicator to warn that a correction was upon us. It started to rise a week ago, and has added nearly 3 points from its recent lows. The fact that it was rising while the overall, broad market was also rising was a warning sign. Figure 4 shows how a similar formation near the end of 2004 -- rising volatility in a rising market heralded the 50-point $SPX correction that ensued at that time. Hence, we take this increase in $VIX seriously.

In summary, bulls should lighten positions and tighten stops. Bears and other aggressive investors can buy puts on major indices.


Note: if you are viewing a text version of this report,
click on the following link to see the charts.

Punch and Judy pushback


Telegraph | Expat | Yes, it's the return of the Punch and Judy show: "Yes, it's the return of the Punch and Judy show
By Nick Britten
(Filed: 05/08/2005)

The traditional seaside Punch and Judy show is making a comeback.
Generations of children grew up with the puppet show thought to have been introduced from Italy in the 17th century.

That's the way to do it: Punch and Judy are making a comeback
But Punch's violent and misogynistic tendencies did not fit with the politically correct views of councils in the 1980s and the show - once a fixture at holiday resorts - gradually disappeared.
But led, it is claimed, by calls from parents, puppeteers are responding to increasing demand to bring the old-style shows back, complete with Punch hitting his wife and abusing a policeman.
Karl Evans, of Theatricks Entertainments & Imagineering in Whitland, Pembrokeshire, said: 'There are more and more people asking for Punch and Judy shows and people are glad to see it coming back.
'I think children are more aware of vio"

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Digitizing Print Resources


Digital Libraries: Resources and Projects

In case you need some good places to start:
AIIM International (http://www.aiim.org/index1asp)
Colorado Digitization Project (http://www.cdpheritage.org/)
IFLA Digital Libraries Resources & Projects (http://www.ifla.org/II/diglib.htm)

More Excitement Uttered


great blog source

Wednesday, August 03, 2005
KM Solution for Italian Law Firm

Toffoletto e Soci, an Italian law firm, recently introduced a knowledge management solution that enables its experts to work more efficiently. The Legal Knowledge Management System (LKMS) deployed by Quinary SpA is an integrated solution that enables lawyers to share and retrieve legal documents, to create new documents using an intelligent drafting system or even to search useful content on the Net. The system can be easily integrated with existing law firm infrastructure, such as time management, billing or case management software.

To read the case study, click here and then download the .pdf
- Joy London, 6:30 PM | Comment (0)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New Enterprise Search Engine


iSYS

Looks like DHS adopted it.

This Just In


Telegraph | Expat | Dull charm of the British: "Dull charm of the British
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
(Filed: 02/08/2005)

Britain is rated highly for its people, culture and the way it is governed, but is widely regarded as somewhat dull.

A poll of more than 10,000 people worldwide placed Britain as the fourth most popular out of 25 nations surveyed. Australia was ranked the world's favourite country, followed by Canada and Switzerland.

The latest quarterly Anholt-GMI Nations Brand Index asked how people viewed a nation's culture, people, and appeal as a place to migrate to, invest in or visit.

The first report, in May, gave Britain second place and, even though the survey has been expanded from 10 to 25 states, Britain remains in the top five, while the US is no longer in the top 10.

However, despite its high ranking, the global panellists used a single word to sum up the experience of visiting the UK - 'predictable'. By comparison, Australia is perceived as 'exciting' and ranked the most popular place to visit. Britain came seventh in this category.

Britain scored well on culture and good governance. As a nation brand, Britain's greatest asset continues to be that its people are perceived positively. They came third for friendliness and hospitality and second for the nationality a panellist would most prefer to employ."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Investment idea



(4.) INCOME WATCH
Build your portfolio and supplement your income stream by investing in stable dividend-paying stocks and other high-yielding instruments.
Capture 8.9% Yields with an Investment in MMA
By Carla Pasternak
Editor, High-Yield Investing
Visit this link to view a sample issue of Carla's premium newsletter

Municipal Mortgage & Equity (MMA), or MuniMae for short, is similar to a mortgage REIT. The firm finances developers who build multi-family and low-income housing by investing in tax-exempt municipal bonds. The company also charges fees in exchange for structuring tax-advantaged, low-income housing loan agreements.

Like a REIT, the company distributes at least 80% of its taxable income to shareholders, which helps explain its stunning yield of 8.9%. Furthermore, the tax-exempt portion of MuniMae's profits (coming from tax-exempt municipal bond interest income) is passed on to shareholders. Last year, about 80% of the dividend was tax-free, although that percentage is likely to shrink as the firm's fee-based business grows.

Earnings have slowed recently as the spread between MuniMae's funding costs and the interest income earned from its municipal bonds has narrowed. However, the company has been expanding its investment portfolio and loan services through a series of acquisitions. As a result, earnings are expected to grow at a steady +5% clip for the next five years.

Action to Take: This stock would actually benefit from rising interest rates, as higher mortgage rates would force more developers to seek lower, tax-exempt financing like MuniMae's. However, if interest rates remain relatively flat, then the company's business will likely grow at a slower clip. With its rich dividend yield and tax-free feature, the stock is compelling, particularly for investors in the top 35% tax bracket.

Important Note: The above article was merely a small excerpt from a recent issue of our premium, income-oriented investing newsletter -- High-Yield Investing. In each issue of that newsletter, editor Carla Pasternak delivers a host of other investing ideas and tips designed to help you earn steady gains and above-average income from your portfolio. To receive your copy of our most recent High-Yield Investing newsletter, as well as other guidance similar to this every month, you'll need to register for this separate publication. If you're not already a High-Yield Investing subscriber and you'd like to learn more about this publication, then please visit the following link:
https://www.streetauthority.com/subscribe-hy.asp

Lexis to offer TV search


Critical Mention

OVERVIEW

CriticalTV is a comprehensive web-based television search and monitoring service that allows users to search, track and view critical information from television news. The platform provides real-time monitoring and email alerts for organizations that require up-to-the-minute news about their company, customers and competitors. CriticalTV allows users to easily find a video clip online immediately after its broadcast, instantly share the clip within a workgroup via secure video-email or a private video gallery, and order a professional transcript or hard copy online.

Monday, August 01, 2005


If you look at this photograph long enough, it's like you can almost see a Hasselblad camera taking a picture of Kylie. Keep looking. You'll see it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day



A newly discovered object, designated 2003 UB313 and located more than twice the distance of Pluto, is expected to be at least as large as Pluto and probably larger, given current measurements. Welcome 2003 UB313.