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NBC News' article "Amazon Is Hungry and It’s Coming for Your Cable Channels" highlighted that Amazon has been buying small TV stations in efforts to eventually dominate television. Amazon seems to be using the same strategy that it used with books. Using cheaper distribution (duh, the internet), they are going after the long tail content of television now. Amazon initially made it's mark as the biggest bookstore in the world, it is changed it's name to the "Everything Store" whether it's physical or digital. Going after the long tail content allows Amazon to slowly pick up niche audiences that have no choice but to get on the Amazon bandwagon. A friend of mine who sells products online found that he had no choice but to use Amazon for fulfillment because in the end, they were the cheapest. Amazon promoted themselves using Amazon boxes for this fulfillment by the way. Then he found out that he needed to take Amazon payments because his consumers demaned it. Both decisions were easy because he did not have a choice. So for long tail niche content like obscure foreign comedies or documentaries, you may find out that you will have to pay for Amazon prime then you will be buying everything else from Amazon. 

Another note, content seems to be the winner in the end because not only is Amazon in the content game but Youtube and Facebook is allocating billions into content along with the leader, Netflix. 

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I am planning on writing more on this blog. At first, I thought that I would start when the new years comes along but there's no point in waiting if there is nothing stopping us or there aren't any consequences. So I'll start today. Not that I write things that are perfect or close to it. I'm not going to let perfection stop something good from happening. Something most of the time is better than nothing. So while most of it will be rambling and thoughts, I'll make a more dedicated to essays that are more well researched and thought out. So I'll write soon. 

- Ed

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It seems like everyone and their grandmas have gotten into crytocurrency and blockchain recently. It seems like I can't escape the conversation mainly because most people know that I am a self professed tech nerd. I've talk about crytocurrency on dates, parties, weddings, and every other digital form of communication. It is not a big deal that I'm talking about these topics at these places but it's a big deal only because I'm talking about this with people who have no idea what blockchain or crytocurrency really is. Not just that, they are talking about other people who know even less trying to get into it. I get it; there's a lot of money to be made (look at the charts below). Look at the one year returns of Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin. Ether returned a staggering 2,400% return in one year! That means a $10,000 investment would have become $240,000 which would be a down payment even in an expensive city like San Francisco. Bringing up the rear is Litecoin with almost 1,100% return and the original Bitcoin with about 600% return. It doesn't say much about the future of blockchain as a currency because people aren't exchanging their hard earned but sometimes not so hard earned money to use it as a currency or a store of value but as a tool for speculation. Bubbles will be bubbles. In the long run, I think the price will hold up because it's a supply and demand issues. A fixed supply with an increasing demand into the foreseeable future bolds well for appreciation.

Let's get to the real bubble. The initial coin offering (ICO) bubble. Filecoin raised $250 Million. Teza raised almost as much with $230 Million. There's dozens if not hundreds of other ICOs that have happened or is planning to happen. It seems like such easy money to raise money with an idea not in the form of a business plan but in the form of a white paper. The infamous Satoshi Nakamoto's nine page whitepaper started it all. But now everyone seems to have one but this time, they look more like an investment prospective than actual research, let alone a plan of sorts. Filecoin has no product. They promise to make a product but at least $250 million will buy you a lot of time. There are a lot of valid investment objectives for investing into ICOs and a lot of smart people putting money into some of these offerings but the majority are probably just being peddled dreams of making millions by being the first to invest in the next Bitcoin. Millions of dollars are being given to people who have no product and no plan. It's going to go down in a big ball of teary digital fire.

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They say money makes you more of who you are. You give money to a giving person and the person will give even more. You give money to a selfish person and the person will become more selfish. But it can be said the same of a business. You give to a good business; consumers, workers and society will become better. You give to a bad business; consumers, workers and society will become worse. Your money speaks volumes about your values. So follow your values, and vote with your money.

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Been a while since a new post but here's a few awesome reads

1. Dutch Anger Is All About Robots (and Immigrants)

It's somewhat odd to see the growth of the populist anti-immigrant movement from the Dutch who seem to be the most liberal of people but the fear of job loss from automation and globalization is a very real threat to people who feel that the world is changing a bit too fast.

2. YouTube viewers watch more than 1 billion hours a day

Google's Youtube has passed a major milestone which puts it in striking importance compared with traditional television which has seen declining viewership for the past decade. Now Youtube is creating Youtube TV which will become a streaming TV competitor to Sling.

3. Twitch will start selling games and giving its streamers a cut

Amazon's Twitch platform has grown from a gamer centric video platform into a general streaming platform and now will move into the video game selling space. Another strong move by Amazon to become a leader in gaming ecommerce space pitting it against the current leader of Steam. Amazon is spreading it's tentacles everywhere.

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The new year is about one week old and every year, we all get a chance to look back at the previous year’s highs and lows. 2016 was an amazing year in terms of perspective. I can probably say it’s the year that I probably really started getting wiser. Not that I’m much smarter, but things that seemed invisible before became visible. Not that it wasn’t there before, I was finally able to see and understand things much more clearly for some reason. I can attribute this to two books, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday 

First why did a book about tidying make such a different in my life. The book is more than about organizing and cleaning. It’s about simplifying but also about asking yourself about the role of material possessions in your own life. It forces you to question if certain things bring you joy in life. If it doesn’t, you should eliminate it. Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Workweek talks about the importance of elimination in the process of being efficient and maximizing. One big part of the elimination section is the “Pareto’s Law” or the “80/20 principle". The gist of the rule is that 80% of the output or result is produced by 20% of the input or effort. Or applied to material things 80% of your joy is from 20% of your possessions. Simply put, you can probably eliminate 80% of your possessions because they are only 20% of your joy. Alternatively, the 20% of possessions that you keep will maintain 80% of your joy. This idea can also be generalized to many other things such as worries, stress, thoughts, investments, people, and the list can go on and on. Do any of books, clothes, souvenirs, papers, and other knick knacks brings you enough joy to keep? Or do it actually cause stress through maintenance and time? While I’m not fully divested of all my worldly possessions, I was able to eliminate a third of my clothes, half of my books, a majority of my paperwork, and a lot of my digital junk. I may write a more detailed post about this later on when I feel like I’m a bit closer to my goal of completely tidying. It’s a book if applied makes a difference because removing physical and mental items leaves you more time and energy to focus on things that matter. 

Second how did a book about ego change my rate of growth and help me learn more? I will have to admit that I thought that I was a pretty humble man. Perhaps as an ignorant naive youth, I was a bit stubborn and arrogant. But now as a man who has failed and failed but somehow survived to be a bit better, I cannot possible have an ego. But as I read through the book, I realized that in fact I did not just have an ego but an ego determined many decisions in my life. An ego that pushed me to one, fail to completely surrender to good advice and instruction, and two, do things to please my ego’s desire to be viewed in a certain way. Most things aren’t terribly difficult of me but just because I was able to do something didn’t mean that I was doing things properly or efficiently. Nor did my shortcuts and rebelliousness lead me to any form of mastery. I am learning to listen to the advice of those before me. I didn’t have to follow it but I will listen to it. My ego would write it off as something simple and rudimentary but now I will start from step one because I have admitted to myself that in many fields, I am a complete dumbass. That’s ok. Every expert starts from nothing.  Second, another big realization was that as a people pleaser, I tended to do things to seemingly help people or to simply show them that I was capable. Your ego wants you to show people that you are smart and talented. I began to question why I do many things in life. Why do you do certain things? It is for function? Is it for your happiness? Or is it simply to show people that you’re a certain person that pleases your ego? Do you work a certain job to please your successful friends and family members or because you love what you do? Perhaps the people close to you don’t even care what you do but your ego does. This topic can probably be elaborated a bit but the gist of it is that after reviewing many things that I did in life, I realized that they were serving my ego and my desire to have people see me in a certain light. In some ways, removing ego out of the equations frees you from the shackles of social pressures and ignorance. 

I hope these two books help you as much as it helped me. I’ll leave you with a quote that seems appropriate for this post.

“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”

― Albert Einstein

Good luck in 2017. Keep reading and learning.  

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AI is the big acronym that is taking over tech lately. Artificial intelligence can usher in the next stage of productivity for society. It makes dumb software into smart software. It makes dumb machines into smart machines. It can make smart decisions into near perfect decisions. It will be smarter than most human beings. It will make life more automatic. It will save you from wasting your energy with the mundane. Lights will come out when you need them. Cars will be waiting as your house right when you're ready to leave while making all the necessary short cuts because you'll be slightly late but your phone already messaged everyone about how you'll be 5 minutes late and made a convenient excuse for you. You'll never forget an anniversary gift because Amazon will remember and has already ordered something from your wife's wish list. You'll be a hero. Life will be easier

1. Uber Bets on Artificial Intelligence With Acquisition and New Lab

Uber is focusing their efforts in AI like Amazon, Google, Apple and Google. A lot of people are saying that Uber will be one of the tech Goliaths. At $70B valuation, it's definitely getting there.

2. Google DeepMind Makes AI Training Platform Publicly Available

Google's DeepMind is sharing it's AI training platform on Github so that people can create their own AI agent that can beat the next great play of Go. Machine beat a man at a game that too complex for a machine but it happened and the nerds of the world were left temporary blinded by the new reality.

3. Introducing Amazon Go and the world’s most advanced shopping technology

AI takes over a retail store. It's a pretty innovative concept. It makes buying things simple and seamless. Like how we don't think twice how an automatic door opens, we may never think twice about a store automatically charing us for what we bought.

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Lately I've been watching "Black Mirror" on Netflix which is a show about how technology infiltrates our lives in a negative way. The show is a throwback to Twilight zone but the creepy thing about the show is that many of the scenarios can in fact become very real. The show also makes us question our society as well as how we depend and interact with technology. Technology brings out very negatives aspects of humanity such as superficialness, materialism, egotism and many flaws of mankind.

1. Hackers are holding San Francisco’s light-rail system for ransom

It looks like a Russian hacker took control of part of the transportation system in San Francisco which is ironic since it should be more secure than any other city in the US. I'm sure that hackers can take control of my of the outdate systems in US municipalities. It can be a very real possibility that someone can take over traffic lights and other transportation hubs causing massive havoc and danger.

2. Google’s DeepMind AI can lip-read TV shows better than a pro

The article basically says that computers running on Google's DeepMind neural network can read lips with almost 50% accuracy. It's not perfect but definitely good enough to figure out what you're talking about. Professional human lip readers can only do 12.4% of words. It's definitely better than human beings. It's a major breakthrough in artificial intelligence but with enough data, this can be more accurate. The real fear is that computers will be able to know what we are doing even if we are not talking on the phone or typing something. It would just require a lot of good cameras which will eventually happen. It can be easy to see our society eventually blanketed with cameras everywhere. The hardware is only getting cheaper and more ubiquitous.

3. Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds

Media already has a big influence on what we think and do. While a lot of marketing messages are not fake, they are extreme representations of reality which are only applicable in very instances. But with the rise of fake news, it's becoming much more difficult to figure how what is real or not. I've been fooled a couple times and I've learned to take everything with a grain of salt. But as fake news become more sophisticated with fake resources or even hacking professional media outlets to present things, how will we know what's true?

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By the end of it all, Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote to become the 45th President of the United States of the America. Like in 2000, the winner of the direct democratic election will not become President as the other candidate, Donald Trump would win through the electoral college. The electoral college is a layer of governance created by our forefathers who had very little confidence in the "majority" in deciding the future leaders of our country. Hundreds of years ago, the masses were normally working class uneducated peasants who were too busy trying to survive. In case, the electoral college feels differently they can overrule the popular vote in their state which never happens.

In fact, Clinton will beat Trump by over a million votes when all is said and done. It will not even be a close vote. It's also important to note that Clinton didn't lose the electoral college vote by much at all as well. Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were expected to vote blue according to most forecast but many polling forecast had a error margin of plus minus two percent. All three states results were well within statistical polling margins.

Here is a scenario:

34,119 people in Pennsylvania changed their vote from Trump to Clinton
5,919 people in Michigan changed their vote from Trump to Clinton
13,629 people in Wisconsin changed their vote from Trump to Clinton

Then Clinton would have ended up with 46 more electoral votes and would win with a total of 278 electoral votes. 53,667 people or about 54 thousand people decided who would become the leader of the free world. One hundredth of a percent of the population United States who were undecided caused almost every poll forecaster to be wrong and thus shocking the world.

It was a crushing defeat for Clinton who would become the first woman President of the United States. However this palls in comparison to Al Gore who also won the popular vote but barely lost the electoral vote 271 to 264. The 2000 election was decided by only 537 people in Florida.

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Tyson Chandler, the 34 year old NBA veteran is jawing at young Laker’s forward, Julius Randle after they tussled with each other at the other end of the court. Phoenix is down by seven with just under two minutes left in the game. Just minutes before the Suns were only down by one after mounting a come back from double digits but somehow, the game doesn’t seem out of reach. There is plenty of time especially with Phoenix’s young phenom, Devin Booker shooting the lights out in the second half. Finally the referees give both players technicals after the verbal insults become some healthy competitive elbowing on the next play.

With 16 seconds left on the shot clock, D’Angelo Russell in bounds the ball to Randle as everyone clears out while he proceeds to take Chandler one on one with a swagger of a college kid. As the clock ticks down, Randle dribbles closer and closer tempting Devin Booker to double team leaving his player out beyond the three point line. Everyone is the arena is cheering on this upcoming battle but with seconds left, Randle suddenly swings the ball to an open Jordan Clarkson who nails a dagger three pointer to seal the game with a double digit lead. Clarkson is the player that Booker was guarding. Randle could have easily let his emotions and ego get in the way and force a shot against the veteran to show him up but instead, he got the gaming sealing assist. After the game during interviews when ask about why he gave up the ball, Randle said “I’m past getting caught up in the emotions. I just want to win.” True maturity for the young Laker.

It’s early in the year but this epitomizes this year’s Lakers. While Kobe’s last year was an amazing farewell tour, the team only won 17 games while losing 65 games whereas the northern rivals, Warriors won 73 games. The Lakers only won six more games than the Warriors lost all year. This year is entirely different not just because Kobe Bryant is gone but the young core from last year is one year older with a new veteran supporting cast. Gone is the unreliable bench that consisted with all around good guys but basketball challenged of Anthony Brown, Ryan Kelly, and Robert Sacre. Gone is the rent a center named Roy Hibbert. Veterans including a mobile center, Timofey Mozgov, wise man, Jose Calderon and utility man, Luol Deng join dependable hold overs of Lou Williams, Marcelo Huertas and Tarik Black. Also it must be highlighted that Nick Young who seemingly was supposed to be traded or waived has become a resurgent force not only regaining his scoring prowess but magically becoming a defensive threat which only months before would have been unimaginable. Actually we didn’t even think that he thought defense was a word.

The early success of the Lakers who at the time of this writing have a winning record of 4-3 beating the Warriors and at the time undefeated Hawks, is largely attributed to the maturation of Julius Randle, D’angelo Russell, Larry Nance and Jordan Clarkson. Jordan Clarkson, last year’s starting shooting guard has humbly taken a seat on the bench along with Lou Williams to become the best scoring bench in the NBA. Russell who was supposed to take over as the primary scorer and ball handler has become a better shooter and scorer while being mature enough to give up ball handling duties to Williams, Clarkson, Randle and even the highly touted rookie, Brandon Ingram. Nance continues to improve while adding an outside job to his incredible motor. Putting in time at the gym like his teammates, Randle continues to improve from averaging a double double last year while ridding of his weaknesses of not being able to finishing with his right hand and not being able to shoot that didn’t break the rim.

The abilities of the young core, Clarkson, Russell, Nance, Clarkson, Randle along with Ivica Zubac and Ingram continue to improve through their work ethnic. Supposedly Clarkson, Russell, Nance, Ingram and Randle, are self professed gym rats. Their basketball IQ grows not only from experience but from the guidance of former player, Luke Walton. The future looks bright and for once in a long time, it’s exciting to watch the Lakers again.

Reads

1. Learn Voraciously

Great short read about how some people progress and some dont. Basically it tells you to continue reading after school is over. 

2. How to Read a Book

It's more like how to learn but great reference! Read people!!!

3. China has actually built an elevated bus that travels above car traffic

I watched a video about an elevated bus idea a few months back and thought that was one of those wacky ideas that would never be built...I was wrong. Good job innovating China. 

(1/9/2017) Follow up to this article, it turns out this was a hype and investment scam by some Chinese developers. It flops and I'm taking back my props.

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1. Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here

It's amazing what the Israelis have done to solve one of the biggest problems that they have faced in the last decade which is the lack of water. This gives us hope as they have installed a desalinization plant in California.

2. Caterpillar’s hybrid microgrid promises much for the powerless

Caterpillar along with Fluidic Engery's zinc air batteries can give power to the 1.2 billion people who don't have access to it. Up to 18% of the world does not have access to reliable power. That's an insane number. But with micro grids and more efficient batteries, people can harness the sun and wind for power 24 hours a day. It makes a dramatic difference as people can be productive at night and have a better standard of living. 

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1. $1 Billion for Dollar Shave Club: Why Every Company Should Worry

A great case analysis of what happens to small creative companies now. Bigger companies eat them up. In the age where everything is outsource, Dollar Shave Club had $240 million in revenue with only 190 employees. WhatsApp was bought for $19 billion with only 55 employees. Going from small and big is easy now because you can outsource manufacturing, distribution, and other capital as well as labor intensive departments. But also it creates a situation where smaller companies are more likely to be bought out because the return is so much large now. 

2. Breakthrough solar cell captures CO2 and sunlight, produces burnable fuel

Global warming is fast becoming one of the biggest threats to humanity so if we can do what plants can do, namely convert the power of the sun into energy, then we can solve a lot of problems in the world. While it may be years away to becoming something commercial, it's to know that we're making progress. 

3. The Internet of Things Will Turn Large-Scale Hacks into Real World Disasters

There's a reason to fear AI but it's probablly not because robots take over but more likely bad people take over the robots by hacking into insecurities. 

 

Reads

1. How I built an app with 500,000 users in 5 days on a $100 server

The barrier to entry are becoming increasingly low for apps and sites but you still need to know what you're doing. But this is a great article about putting in thought and planning as well as some work into making something scale. 

2. Google Sprints Ahead in AI Building Blocks, Leaving Rivals Wary

The battle for AI rages on but Google has been working on this forever so it's clearly they are the ones to beat. Their use of DeepMind to solve their practical energy problems are already proof of their advances that have yet to be shared. Imagine what AI can do other than drive us around and recognize things on camera if it can make everything more efficient. Less time in traffic because all lights and streets are efficient. Less time wasted in lines as AI can predict when we're hungry and what we're likely to want. But imagine also having AI help with our health, physical and mental. AI helping with making nearly everything more efficient. We spend less timing fixing things and more time enjoying things. But we'll see. 

3. America wants to believe China can’t innovate. Tech tells a different story.

It used to be that China was just a copy cat nation but now it's a nation full of bright well educated engineers and innovators in a test bed of opportunity. Wired's story of China's hardware dominance is pretty revealing of what may happen with software as well. China had the same day delivery before the US. China had more comprehensive chat before the US. They have more comprehensive us of digital payments and commerce. But they also have the cash as well. The US may still be in the lead but that gap is definitely closing. 

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On today's reads and impacts. 

1. Facebook to Pay Internet Stars for Live Video

Rise of the content creators. Facebook is fighting to promote their new live service which I think will probably surpass Periscope, Vine, and the other smaller streaming services. Youtube did a similar thing by paying content creators to keep their content on Youtube. The winners - content creators and consumers. Losers - broadcasters. 

2. Nintendo Market Value Passes Sony on Pokemon Go Frenzy: Chart

The fact that Nintendo is worth more than Sony is crazy. I would bet that Nintendo's hype will go down as many video game producers jump into the space and as the Pokemon fad goes away as people realize it's almost a complete waste of time. Sorry I rather get some work done or just hang out with friends than walking aimlessly staring at my phone. 

3. Dollar Shave Club: How Michael Dubin Created A Massively Successful Company and Re-Defined CPG

Congrats to Dollar Shave club on the exit. I wasn't sure if all the subscription model businesses would survive especially with the struggles of Birchbox. HBR has a great article why the subcription model is good for some and terrible for others. I think it's a good exit because it's a low margin business that has a ceiling. 

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So I was wrong about Snapchat. I guess not selling to Facebook was not only a good idea but a great idea. My assumption that creating content that faded away into oblivion was completely useless and would be a fad but it turned out to be more than just a messaging system. After giving it a try for the past year or so, I’m coming to conclusion that Snapchat is a platform that perfectly compliments the social needs of today’s fast paced, attention-deficient, and time-starved society. Today things don’t stop. News cycles are indefinite. Work never stops. We don't have time to craft perfectly planned post and updates. We're simply all running a hundred miles an hour. It is a platform that caters nearly perfectly to our frantic lives.

Probably the real reason that SnapChat caught on is that it actually fills a void. Perhaps it was initially just for messaging like Facebook was for static messaging on a board but it has become the premier platform to tell stories. You will say that most social media sites/apps tell a story. Yes, they all do; except each in different ways. Facebook tells a story of our live in totality. But it’s becoming a more formal and public place because literally half the online population is the world is there. We’re afraid to share our lives now. We only share the big large moments, Weddings. Babies. Graduations. A Death. Mostly good things. When bad things happen, it goes dark. Our lives are less than what it really is. Instagram tells a story but it’s a glamorized story that we apply filters and get the perfect angles. We pose and wait for sunset to get that perfect images to say how we live the perfect life. Our lives seem much more perfect than it is. Twitter tells the story of our thoughts and opinions. Largely the world has ignored the platform for story tellings but more for news and shouting at each other. Our lives seems like a lost conversation.

This is where Snapchat comes in. It tells the story of our live in many ways how we remember it now. That life is now. That it’s just a fleeting moment. We’re all told to live for today. Be present. Life is short. YOLO as they say. It shows life in all it’s mundane, unglamorous and sometimes funny glory. It’s not perfect. It’s voice. It’s pictures. It’s videos. It’s selfies. Life is random and unorganized. Although we tend to keep negatives off as well but it's more real because it has positives and negatives but mostly even the mundane. That’s what Snapchat stories have become. The depiction of how our real daily lives are.

While Snapchat will have staying power, it will still have to find it’s place in the advertising world. While it can capture more of the highly coveted demographic for advertisers, how will it go beyond being a media venue for branding. Will it garner the highly touted advertising dollars for targeted ads? Will it bring in more advertisers that are in the grey area? The low hanging fruit of advertisers are gone. How will they find a way to bring in more? And will it work? I can see ways in which it can work where like Instagram, they integrate great images within the feed. But they can target based on who you follow and like. Snapchat can do that as well but will longer format media like Snapchat stories work well? Will this attention deficient crowd watch full commercials in between stories? That’s a problem that Snapchat will probably solve because the hard part of getting massive adoption is over. Snapchat is here to stay and I was completely wrong about that.

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This robot in the DARPA competition falls down but unlike others before it, this one rises to the occasion! It eventually won third place in the competition.

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It seems that most homeowner are fears of asbestos are largely overblown. Yes asbestos has been linked to increse the risk of cancer. If your house is built before 1950s, then much of your insulation has asbestos. All the older building where you work have asbestos. In fact, many new homes today still may have asbestos. The US never banned asbestos in our products. It's actually fine to still use it. It's still ok to have asbestos in these products accord to the EPA

  • Cement corrugated sheet
  • Cement flat sheet
  • Clothing
  • Pipeline wrap
  • Roofing felt
  • Vinyl floor tile
  • Cement shingle
  • Millboard
  • Cement pipe
  • Automatic transmission components
  • Clutch facings
  • Friction materials
  • Disk brake pads
  • Drum brake linings
  • Brake blocks
  • Gaskets
  • Non-roofing coatings
  • Roof coatings

There is a lot of information saying how dangerous it is but most people fail to see that it applys mainly to the workplace and not to your home. World Health Organization says 125 million people are exposed in the workplace and 107,000 deaths are attributed to occupational exposure to asbesto. It's mostly those poor souls who mine for asbestos or work in factories who manufacture products with asbestos. 

But it causes cancer and I will die. Yes sites like www.asbestos.com says that I will. Well of course, you will so you better call for expensive testing, doctors and laywers which is conveniently advertised on the site. In fact, this site is sponsored and probably owned by a laywer firm. Wait, it is sponsored by a law firm and their names is The Peterson Firm, LLP. Thank you for the great information you biased conflicted resource. And here's another great resource - www.mesotheliomahelp.org and this turns out to be sponsored by guess who? Another great law firm. Belluck & Fox, LLP. What's great is that they have live chat so they can take your information so they can begin your court case as soon as legally possible. 

Occupational related cancer has been on the rise because after years of exposure, people are finally getting sick. This story is sad and scary but it's largely before we knew of the problem. In fact, most occupations where youre exposured to little particles will cause health problems. I have to wear a face mask when I woodwork because the little wood particles will eventually cause health issues to my lungs. It's a good idea in dangerous work conditions to probably protect yourself. Like you need safety glasses for your eyes, you need a face mask for your lungs. 

From the United State's Consumer Product Safety Commission, it says: 

Even if asbestos is in your home, this is usually NOT a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in a home or a building is not hazardous. The danger is that asbestos materials may become damaged over time. Damaged asbestos may release asbestos fibers and become a health hazard.

 

THE BEST THING TO DO WITH ASBESTOS MATERIAL IN GOOD CONDITION IS TO LEAVE IT ALONE!  Disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before. Read this before you have any asbestos material inspected, removed, or repaired.

The major problem is not asbesto itself because in an undistrubed state; it's fine. The best way to deal with asbesto is actually to do nothing accord to This Old House - a popular DIY source. 

The best thing to do with asbestos material in good condition is leave it alone. The danger comes from asbestos material that has been damaged over time.

What if I have asbestos and don't want to leave it alone. I want to my kids to play in my dirty old attic! What about getting rid of it according to the US Consumer Product Safety Comission: 

REMOVAL is usually the most expensive method and, unless required by state or local regulations, should be the last option considered in most situations. This is because removal poses the greatest risk of fiber release. 

It makes no sense since it poses no risk and have your kids play in the yard. Don't distrub the asbestos in your house because it doesn't really want to distrub you. 

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A month or so ago, Ashley Madison, a site for cheating spouses was hacked and all of their data was released including their source code. When you do that, you basically rip off all the clothes of a tech company and you can see everything. Initially it was extremely devastating to the users who in the end were mostly men. So there may be some uncomfortable explaining and possible divorces that resulted. Needless to say, divorce lawyers became a little bit more busy. The next major result of this hack was not on the users but on the company who will or may have already face lawsuits because of the privacy breach. Corporate attorneys were busy as well. The worst part is probably the revelation that Ashley Madison is a total con for scummy lonely men which in itself seems like a great pay back. Karma's a bitch you low life cheating person you. But from a consumer perspective, you were sold a service that was completely fake.

So the article examines how Ashley Madison built less than sophisticated "fembots" to lure men into paying for their service. With only 5% of the users on Ashley Madison listed as female, the company was forced to generate women and interactions. The article elaborates on their tactics and strategies which in the very end were very poor. My thoughts are that if they were going to con people, they really should have been smarter about it. How about random times in log ins? Or building some artificial intelligence in the responses? Or better yet, maybe hire some people who actually response to messages all day? Yes the people at Ashley Madison is the equivalent of the guy who robs are bank full of idiots with a banana. The idiots will eventually figure out that banana is not a gun. Even the dumb aren't that dumb. In the end, Ashley Madison probably won't survive and the scamming of less than upstanding and morally inept men will end sadly. It's like a bad person stealing from a bad person. No innocence was broken. Just some lost dollars and pride.

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This is one of my favorite speeches ever. I listen to it all the time because it's reminds us that life is fragile and we should never waste a single moment. Sometimes we forget as we chase things that really don't matter in the end.

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I've never been too concerned with retirement because I always liked working. Well not exactly the act of working but it's pure joy when I'm working on something that I love. Personally as long as I'm building something wether it's tangible or digital, I'm a very happy man. I used to be able to work hours in front of the computer and play hours of basketball without thinking that one day, I wouldn't be able to do it at the same level. But as I get older, I realize that the possibility of not being able to work becomes more and more real. We are more likely to be disabled than to die. As my body ages, the morning back pains and my energy that was once endless reminds me of the mortality of life. My biggest fear is not dying or being alone but it's the fear that I won't be able to do everything that I want to do in life.

We all know that we will get old but none of us ever expect us to be disability or even not be able to work. I took a personal disability quotient quiz and the results said that I have a 13% chance of being disabled for 3 months or longer and 38% chance of being disabled for more than 5 years if I become disabled for 3 months with the average length of disability of 82 months. I think that I'm pretty healthy because I have 12% body fat, eat well, exercise 2-4 times a week and don't smoke. But those numbers means three months of no paychecks. So let's look at these numbers, it says that one in eight people in my age and health profile will be disabled for more than 3 months which is one quarter of the year. For most americans, that means possibly losing their house or car if they don't have savings. Also almost 40% chance of being disabled for 5 years means that for a significant part of your life, you will have a low quality of life. And not if but when I do become disabled, the average for someone like me is is almost 7 years.

Census disability data from 2010 says that your chances of being disabled between 25-44 is about 11% but from ages 45 to 54, one in five people are disabled then going to the next ten years, almost 30% is disabled in some degree but 20% are severely disabled. Your fifties will not be fun. It's like playing Russian roulette.

These are stats that make me realize that I'm not just mortal but I'm a walking accident waiting to happen unlike my assumption in my 20s when I thought that I was indestructible. That brings me to the point of this post; it is paramount that you take care of yourself. You can definitely live a long life especially with modern medicine. People with multitudes of health problems live decades on pills who would otherwise die a premature death. Look at Magic Johnson. He was diagnosed with HIV when I was in elementary school but now I'm only a few years away from forty. But that quality of life comes with repercussions. Dialysis. Pills. Crutches. Side effects.

Yes you may live forever but in what state? On pills and bed ridden? I would argue that quality of life is as important as length of life. To ensure that you live a high quality life where you can be active physically and mentally, you cannot neglect your health. We find ourselves working 50-60 hours a week trying to make a better life while trying to squeeze everything in the day to sleep just 4-5 hours but never making time to take care of ourselves. Never exercising despite it's proven that physical activity makes us happier. Eating out and anything available despite knowing that it's causing our slow premature death. Never spending time doing things that we love with people we love although we obviously want it.

So remember that your body is your temple. Treat yourself well by exercising, eating well, doing things you love, and spending time with those we love.

Codetastrophe
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Ok this isn't quite a programming or web issue but I found it a bit irritating when I couldn't find valid variables for the upload file to manage the Amazon seller account. So to find the valid variables for below:

Just download the list here - click on the "BTG" of the property category to download. Under the valid variables, you'll find the product feed type.

But to get the keyword product type, you can go into your sellers account and go to upload which is under the inventory tab. Then you can search for it here.

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We're not in the digital age and it set a stage for better governance. The little town of Jun in Spain shows us it's possible to bring better responsiveness and transparency to how to create a more open and warmer government.