Financial Mess Summary From the Smartest Person I Know

I’m pretty lucky to have some pretty smart friends, since I’m a complete idiot about this stuff. So I asked their takes on the economy, and “He-who-shall-not-be-named” aka “B”‘s answer was the most straight forward and clear. It definitely gave me new perspective. Hopefully it’ll do the same for you. :)

Btw, “B” is a Stanford Econ grad with an MBA from Wharton. How kind of him to dumb things down for me. ;)

“Guess the way to think about it is we took everything we saved the last few years and instead of putting it into things that grow and make other things (like technology, better food, etc), we put it into something we didn’t need more of: a bunch of tract homes in Antioch. And those don’t give anything back.

It was all well intended and set up for about 10 years — lets give homeownership to more people — make it easier, but like most good govt intentions it backfires. Now we’ve got a blackout and a lot of spoiled food to clean out and repurchase.

Let’s say the good news is regular people wll be able to afford to buy a house for real this time.

No mortgage = you are a queen.” via “He-who-asked-not-to-be-named”

Thanks again, “B”! :)

Web 2.0 and Democratization of Data – Say What?

By Mona Nomura of Pixel Bits (FriendFeed/Twitter)

If George W. Bush and John Kerry campaigned for the presidency on the Internet four years ago, I wouldn’t have seen the point and likely would have laughed in their faces. Who would have heard and listened to them? Fast forward to today, and the joke is on me.

In case you haven’t noticed, both of the presidential hopefuls have a presence on the web. John McCain and Barack Obama have accounts on the major social networks, including MySpace, Facebook, YouTube channels, and even Twitter accounts. Social networking is no longer just for geeks. Web 2.0 is going mainstream and everyone (that means you, reader!) has opportunity to be more than an audience. Data is democratizing and everyone’s voice can be heard.

Need more proof everyone has a voice that’s heard? Take the Steve Job’s false report of a heart attack debacle. A simple post on CNN’s affiliate citizen journalism site, iReport, generated a massive ripple effect. Within minutes, the unconfirmed “news” spread like wild fire. CNN and Apple quickly issued official statements that report was false, major blogs picked up the story of falsified reports, but Apple’s stock still dropped 10%. All from one silly rumor, started by a Joe Schmoe from who knows where. Everyone has opportunity to be heard. Hence, democratization of data.

So what does that mean?

Well, stay with me, as I take this a step further. Most of you probably know me through FriendFeed, where I spend almost 90% of my days posting random pictures and or links. Now FriendFeed was once dominated by veteran bloggers, Internet personalities, – basically folks who have been around for some time, and put years of efforts into their well deserved titles by their names – or the tech ‘elite’. It’s now been a little over three months since I signed up, and still can’t believe I interact with the information sources where tech-news (data) start and circulate around. But honestly? The ‘elite’ in my eyes, are regular people who are a part of the FriendFeed I love so much. And it’s not constrained to FriendFeed. Whether you or anyone else for that matter, likes it or not, there are so many people from all walks of life, from all over the world sharing and discussing information on all social networks across the board. How can every single voice not be heard? Again, democratization of data. And this is only the beginning.

Think about it.

New sites and services are popping up every month. Established, major Social Networks such as MySpace and or Facebook are adding features, functions, and tools encouraging users to share data. The way Social Networks will be used are changing. There are millions of active users like us, sharing our personal stories, the latest news, information pertaining to our professional life, or even stupid cat photos since we – the users, have the choice and control to share whatever we feel is important to share. The bottomline: Information is no longer consolidated, centralized, or coming from a few selected sources. Data is now and will only continue to be democratized.

The path is now paved, so the choice is yours. How will you exercise these options?

Handcrafted iPhone Worth More Than a Real One -WTF

I seriously thought I’ve seen it all, until this. A needle craft iPhone worth more than an actual iPhone! Now please, don’t get me wrong. I respect the hard work that goes into crafting but really? Two hundred fifty-five dollars? TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY FIVE! Wow.

I can’t be the only one that thinks this is absurd – or am I?
Would YOU pay that much for this?

At any rate, there is two more days left. This item is definitely going into my watch list. See more pictures after cut.

Continue reading

Top 5 Resources to Stay Informed – the Lazy Way

I completely suck at numbers. I could give a crap about the stock market. I tune out politics since I’m sick and tired of the same ‘ole rhetoric. And if you’re like me, you most likely skip over all the panicked headlines about how the $700 billion bail out got kicked from Congress.

I mean really – why would all this junk be relevant to regular people like us? The headlines are too damn depressing and most importantly – we don’t have power, money or stature for any of this to really matter ANYway – right? Wrong.

Listen to me, you guys:
Now is not the time to tune things out.

Continue reading