Blogging The Boys (blog)
Could Datone Jones be an âunder the radarâ weapon for the Cowboys defense in 2018?
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The Cowboys are in the year-round business of improving this football team. Just ask Stephen Jones. Or, you can just take a look around and let their actions speak for themselves. Moves that we don't think much of at the time can turn out to be rather …
Everyone hates ads. Or at least a lot of people do. But they’re what pays for practically all the journalism and entertainment you enjoy online. So what if you could just set a budget—say, $5 a month—and divvy that up amongst all the sites you visit? It might not amount to much, but if enough people sent pennies—or even fractions of a penny—then maybe, just maybe, those micropayments could add up to a real business model for the media.
Earlier this year, Eich launched Brave, a new web browser that blocks third party trackers, like cookies. As a side effect, the browser also blocks most ads. But Eich and company have always wanted to find a way to help publishers make money. Starting today, the desktop version of Brave will tally up how often you visit different sites and then set aside a small amount of the bitcoin digital currency for your favorite publishers. Then, once a month, it will send off your donation to a central bitcoin wallet so that publishers can get their share. It should work with Coinbase or any other bitcoin wallet.
The catch is that, for now, all that bitcoin will simply go into an escrow until the publishers work out an arrangement with Brave to claim their donations. Eich says Brave hasn’t made deals with any publishers to actually deliver the donations yet. He explains that instead of trying to split the Brave team’s resources between recruiting publishers and building the product, they’ve decided to focus on making it easy for those who wish to donate to do so. “It’s much easier to work out a deal if you have money for them,” Eich says.
The first round of payments won’t happen for 30 days, but realistically, it will probably be much longer until your favorite publishers are actually reaping rewards—assuming publishers end up claiming them at all.
Publishers have never really responded well to third parties trying to collect donations on their behalf. The “read-it-later” service Readability abandoned such a plan back in 2012 because too few publishers actually claimed their payments. Meanwhile, the Newspaper Association of America has threatened to sue Brave over its planned ad-replacement features and publishers might be loath to accept donations from a company they’re in a legal battle with. When you add in the fact that Brave will take a five percent cut of the donations—to pay for the infrastructure and processing, a spokesperson says—publishers could well balk at the whole idea.
On the other hand, now could be the perfect time to try something like this. A study conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that about 26 percent of people surveyed use ad blockers on their desktop and laptop computers and about 15 percent use them on mobile devices. As ad-blocking becomes more common, publishers might be more open to business arrangements they rejected just a few years ago.
In addition to getting publishers on board, Brave will need to get more people using its browser. Its main focus has been on security and privacy, so adding a new tool that keeps track of your browsing habits is a tricky proposition. Brave is attempting to solve that contradiction by anonymizing all your data before it ever lands on the company’s servers.
Anonymized data is famously easy to de-anonymize. In 2007, researchers were able to identify individual Netflix users based on an anonymous data set the company released as part of a contest to improve its recommendation algorithms. Brave’s solution to this conundrum is to use encryption to send your donations to the central server without sharing potentially identifying information such as where you live or what time you visited a particular site. “Your personal data never leaves your computer,” Eich says. Brave will also mix your data up with other people’s—so that no one can identify you based on the combination of different websites you view—and run everything through a third party service called Private Internet Access.
Eich says his eventual goal is to make this whole system work in a completely decentralized way, so that and readers could donate to publishers without relying on Brave. But establishing those sorts of systems and standards take time, and Eich and company are more interested in building a micropayment system that available in the here and now.
Charneys line in hipster fashion made him a multi-million dollar sensation until serial accusations of sexual harassment led to his downfall. Has the man who now sleeps on a mattress in his new factory changed his ways?
Dov Charney, the man at least as famous for founding American Apparel as he is for being serially accused of sexual harassment, is showing me around his new factory in south central Los Angeles. As usual, he is talking at least as fast as he is walking.
“See this shirt? That was influenced by a 1990s shirt one of our designers found. And over there is our photostudio. That guy in there, he’s like a Gatsby bon vivant,” he says in his loud, raspy voice, pointing to a tall young man who, like all the young people who work here, has a somewhat bewildering job title and looks like a model. Another one follows us around with a mobile on a selfie stick. This, I’m told, is “for content”.
But there’s no time to ask questions because Charney, who was sacked from his old company in 2014 after years of rumoured sexual misconduct, is on the move again, while simultaneously texting on one phone and talking on another. The reason we are here today is because he is launching a new label, Los Angeles Apparel, and if you think that sounds like his old label you should see the clothes: cute pleated skirts and 1980s-style sportswear are modelled by mannequins in the factory, making the place look an awful lot like an American Apparel shopfloor. Hey, why fix something that only broke because of a few allegations of sexual impropriety?
Charney himself is clad head-to-toe in white – white T-shirt, white tracksuit bottoms and white Reeboks. “I look like I’m in a loony bin!” he crows. But what he really looks like is someone’s Uncle Morty from Miami: hipster fashion, which Charney, 48, did so much to popularise, has a cruelly young cut-off age, after which all those tapered trousers and oversized sunglasses just make you look like someone’s aged relative. And then the man the New York Times described as “a barely restrained id” and feminist blog Jezebel called a sexist “troglodyte” turns to me with a grin: “Come!” he barks. I follow him through the door on to the factory floor.
American Apparel started off selling basics wholesale, and was a fashion sensation when it launched into retail in 2003. Its slouchy hoodies, funky sunglasses and high-waisted jeans will be seen to be as much a part of the look of the early 2000s as punk was in the 1970s and grunge in the 1990s. It sold a lifestyle to the masses cheaply and let suburban kids pretend they were, as Charney puts it, “the creative class in urban areas” (hipsters, in other words). But the company itself presented a paradox: on the one hand it was manufactured in the US by workers who were paid well; on the other, its advertising featured young women in absurdly provocative poses. Charney himself appeared in some, lying next to seemingly naked young women.
Closet designers: Declutter your content
To realize digital marketing success (for this article I will define that as cost effective lead generation) you need to not only know the trends in the market, you need to know the right tactics to take advantage of these trends. What are the right …
Blogging The Boys (blog)
What does the purge of Cowboys offensive coaches say about the state of the franchise?
Blogging The Boys (blog)
There's a tweet that I keep seeing these days when I close my eyes. It's a good one, of course, because it comes from our very own OCC. Quite the coaching shakeup in Dallas. pic.twitter.com/BmOhjd0cz1. â One Cool Customer (@OCC44) January 3, 2018 …
Not everything we do needs to have this super-special, universe-altering purpose behind it, especially since the universe could give negative shits about what us sentient specks of space dust do with our brief love affair with consciousness. So go ahead, indulge in a pointless hobby or 10 — play the shit out of your video games, color all the adult coloring books, get that doctorate that everybody spits on because you weren’t born with 35 years’ experience. Just don’t let the pursuit of pointlessness consume your life to the point where actual important stuff goes forever ignored.
If you ever find yourself doing anything like the following, burn it all to the ground, hug your family, and apologize profusely for so coldly ignoring them all these years. If you don’t have a family, hug Mario and Luigi. They miss you too.
Dillon Griffith isn’t the first person to build his own boat. But while most content themselves with stitching together a pile of wood and praying to the Sky God that the Tuna God doesn’t whisk them away for a forced marriage to Aquaman, Griffith went and built himself a 64-foot, 40-ton, steel-and-electric monstrosity that he dubbed the “Mystic Rose.” It took him 38 years and cost roughly $2 million to complete.
Naturally, he did it to earn money.
Now we know who taught Axl Rose everything he knows about managing start-up costs.
He was inspired to build his own giant boat in 1977, after chartering his first, less-giant boat for fishing trips failed to earn him any money. After concluding this was because his galley was too small to allow for truly hardcore fishing, he set out to build his own, ginormous fishing boat. That way he could charter more people for more trips and make more sweet, sweet mackerel money.
Reminder: He spent $2 million to get there.
Unless somebody catches the Kraken, good luck breaking even before the next supercontinent forms.
He also took 38 years to finish, because Dillon Griffith is not a professional huge-boat maker. What’s more, he eventually moved away from the ocean and into a land-locked area, yet he continued to build his boat. That’s like moving to Death Valley and trying to build your own ice hockey rink. Oh, and the project damn near killed him, and not in the typical “oh, all this hard work is killing me” kind of way. No, more like a crane fell on him once and shattered his body. That kind of killing. Also, an 11-pound cylinder once broke his neck. After that, it was probably less a labor of love and more one of pure stubbornness. He saw a ship that steadfastly refused to be built, and he stared it right in the barnacle-encrusted porthole and said, “Fuck you, thou shalt be built.”
And build it he did — after nearly 40 years of lonesome, dawn-to-dawn work days, the ship is ready to sail. Finally, as Griffith says, he’ll “make money and [he] won’t have to worry anymore.”
Of course, there’s still the issue of getting the boat to sea, since he lives far away from it and all. He estimates it’ll cost an extra $55,000 to have it towed there, but then he’ll make money for sure! He’s set up a GoFundMe to cover these final costs, so feel free to help him if you like. He’s almost there; he just needs a little push over that finish line.
Well on his way!
Like so many children of the pre-1950s (and post-2020s, after President McCarthy executive-orders all vaccines into the same dirty pit where we stashed those Atari ET games) a Honduran man known simply as Agustin contracted polio. He’s been unable to walk since.
Young Agustin dreamed of being a pilot, so he’s spent the past 50 years constructing a helicopter out of garbage. This despite knowing precisely dick about helicopters aside from “they exist.” And he insists his will fly, despite it never coming even once close to doing so. Ever bet 99 percent of your poker chips on what winds up being a 6 high? That’s this, in weird mutated sorta-copter form.
And this is insisting your 2-2-4-5 is a royal flush and the dealer’s just blind.
Agustin started this project in 1958, thinking it would take only three months because what’s a helicopter compared to a soap-box racer or a homemade turkey sandwich. So already we have a grown man cock-sure that he could build a working helicopter, single-handedly, with everything that Oscar The Grouch had grown sick of masturbating to, in three months. He missed that deadline by a mere 573 months, because, according to him, “Things kept getting complicated.” Big flying machines that typically require an entire crew to assemble do tend to be that way, yes.
Nothing should take 20 years to finish except raising a child. And writing The Winds Of Winter.
But still he perseveres, tinkering with his helicopter daily, all by himself. He gathers junk, trash, and spare parts wherever he can find them and assembles them all on his own — even the propeller’s chains are DIY. It’s neat, but it’s also Fallout 4: Saddest-Ever Edition. And I do mean he finds those parts wherever — for years, Agustin used an old, rickety wheelchair, until his friends and family bought him a shiny, new, working one, direct from the United States … which he immediately disassembled for helicopter parts.
If this were simply performance art, it’d be one thing. But Agustin still believes, and will likely keep believing until his final day, that his literal pile of garbage will get visited by the Blue Fairy one night and become a real helicopter. He outright admits that it “looks like a caricature of a helicopter” but somehow doesn’t grasp that that’s exactly why his only hope to fly is the same as ours: Board a plane, get drunk on boxed wine, and let someone who knows what they’re doing help him roam about the country.
Hey, let’s watch 1/27th of a movie!
That’s the intro to Cannonball Run, and even non-carheads can see it’s awesome, as is the Lamborghini Countach Tara Buckman zooms around in. Ken Imhoff certainly agrees, but unlike us the film didn’t inspire him to drink shitloads of beer and fantasize about getting coldly laughed at by Buckman if he dared approach her. He was instead inspired to build his very own Countach. Out of wood. And not just some rinky-dink model for his mantel. He was going to build a life-size wooden Lamborghini, engine and all, and he was going to drive that motherfucker.
Maybe he drank shitloads of beer after all.
He can’t drive 55. Or 45. Or 35. Or 25. Or 5.
Like most people who don’t know what they’re doing but confidently stumble through it anyway, Imhoff figured his “Bull In The Basement” project wouldn’t take long — five years, tops. It took him 17, the literal length of childhood. That’s an appropriate analogy, by the by, since he missed much of his kids’ own childhoods while locked in his basement sanding, polishing, fucking up, redoing, sanding, and polishing again.
Wouldn’t want to enter the void with anything but a perfect shine, after all.
By 2007, his Treeborghini was finally finished and ready for unveiling. Except, he couldn’t get it out of his basement, since basements don’t have garage doors. So, Imhoff did the only logical thing he could: He paid a guy to cut a big hole in his basement, dig up a gnarly dirt ramp, and tow the car out of the basement and into the light. He would’ve driven it out — it theoretically being a car and all — but it’s a chunk of wood.
Good thing he brought those protective blankets. Wouldn’t want anything to get damaged
and plummet in value or anything.
He eventually powered it up enough to joyride around the block, bring his kids to school, and gather a few termites. But, after five years, Imhoff decided to sell. He claimed the maintenance was too much to handle; all that wood polish sets you back, but presumably he’d also love to recoup some of the “unimaginable [financial] extremes” his Cannonball Pratfall put him and his entire family through. At least we know he won’t try anything this dumb again.
Oh wait, no. He immediately started work on a wooden Studebaker Hawk. Check back with Cracked in about 20 years for an update.
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Calvin Ridley is a very intriguing hypothetical for the Cowboys
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The Dallas Cowboys are looking to make their offense more friendly for their franchise quarterback Dak Prescott. This is a good thing. Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan said since the season ended, they've discussed how to make Dallas' offense …
5 Blogs You Should Be Reading
Business is about differentiating yourself from the pack, and blogging is a great way to do this. You are able to promote what is special about your business, and help to make your brand memorable. I have taken this approach with my blog, Public …
WASHINGTON — Puerto Rico’s economy has been in a depression for a decade. With the territory likely to default on a $2 billion debt payment on July 1, the island’s ugly humanitarian situation could become even more nightmarish.
More than half of Puerto Rican children already live in poverty, its unemployment rate is over 12 percent and the government has been closing schools and curbing public services to help make short-term debt payments. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Rico is barred from requiring vulture funds — those that invest in distressed debt — to take haircuts on government bonds. The ruling grants the federal government exclusive jurisdiction over any debt reduction scheme for the U.S. territory. Wall Street hedge funds were thrilled.
But the July 1 deadline and the Supreme Court ruling also strengthen the hands of Washington politicians — including those more enamored with traditional thinking at the International Monetary Fund than with the concerns of American citizens living in Puerto Rico.
Thus far, there have been two positions on resolving the Puerto Rican crisis circling through the nation’s capital. Vulture funds have pursued a “screw you, pay me” strategy that has gained traction with many congressional Republicans, while decimating Puerto Rico’s economy. The Obama administration, by contrast, has backed a bipartisan bill to impose further budgetary austerity on the island, coupled with meaningful debt reduction. The bill’s austerity intent is clear. It would allow for the minimum wage to be suspended, and would lift President Barack Obama’s new overtime pay expansion island-wide. American citizens in Puerto Rico might well ask whether being stripped of labor protections provided to mainlanders is a product of the island’s colonial history. It’s hard to see what private-sector investment in such plans would encourage other than, say, payday lending.
The choice, in other words, is between madness and masochism. So, late last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) quietly unveiled an alternative. Sanders would cut vulture fund investors out of any benefits from a debt-reduction deal, while establishing a long-term infrastructure plan to fix the root problem of Puerto Rico’s debt: a dysfunctional local economy.
The Sanders bill faces major political headwinds. While Obama’s strategy has cleared the House, the executive branch is all but begging the Senate to vote on it in time to avert a July 1 debacle. And Sanders is not exactly an ideological ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose support will be needed to pass any law to salvage the Puerto Rico situation. But the Sanders bill is a clever approach to a problem that could upend traditional thinking on financial crisis management around the world — one that prioritizes the well-being of Puerto Ricans over Wall Street profits.
Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have blessed The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA, which Sanders has savaged on the presidential campaign trail. PROMESA would set up a new Washington-appointed oversight board empowered to direct spending and taxation plans for Puerto Rico, and, if all goes well, reduce the the island’s overall debt levels.
Economists have been all but screaming for a reduction in Puerto Rico’s debt for years, and PROMESA marks the first actual attempt to maybe, eventually do something about it. But there are obvious drawbacks to the bill’s approach. PROMESA is unpopular on the island, and has been sharply criticized by the territory’s governor and and major candidates vying to succeed him. Working out and implementing debt relief may simply prove politically unworkable. Even if the oversight board can impose a plan, the vulture funds that inflamed the island’s humanitarian crisis could end up profiting handsomely from it.
As Puerto Rico’s fiscal situation deteriorated, a lot of investors dumped their bonds at deep discounts, hoping to salvage some of their money instead of losing much more if the island defaulted. But hedge funds that bought up debt at a 20 or 30 cents on the dollar have been driving Puerto Rico’s politics ever since, refusing to negotiate with the local government and demanding full payment as the economy falls apart. Since these vulture funds bought the debt on the cheap, even a deal that substantially reduces the face value of their debt could reward them for holding the island financially hostage.
Sanders would set up a new government bank empowered to buy up Puerto Rican debt at whatever price bondholders actually paid for it. For early investors who held onto their bonds, including many pension funds, that’s clearly a bailout. But it also means zero profit from the “screw you, pay me” strategy the vulture funds have pursued. They only get whatever they paid for the debt. The Sanders bill also would allow Puerto Rico to write off debts in bankruptcy — a right afforded to U.S. states.
The Sanders plan obviously entails some level of moral hazard. Investing isn’t supposed to be a risk-free proposition. Financial firms earn returns on their investments by shouldering the risk that they might not be repaid. Ensuring that mutual funds, pension funds and other early buyers of Puerto Rico debt continue to be paid in full would send a signal to markets: When reckless governments ask for money at high interest rates, the feds will always be behind you. That could encourage bad investment decisions and bad local government fiscal management.
But the same principle applies to the vulture funds that swooped into the Puerto Rico debt markets in recent years, hoping to use political pressure to counter the economic insanity of their bet. Letting them turn a profit on a ploy to immiserate working people and strip them of democratic power sends a pretty strong signal, too. A super-tough debt reduction plan under PROMESA, of course, could wipe out vulture fund gains. But doing so would face serious political opposition from more sympathetic actors — the pension and mutual funds behind middle-class retirement accounts.
PROMESA is ultimately a plan to stave off an immediate calamity with the promise of potentially useful future solutions, followed by further reforms not even included in the law. Hopeful congressional staffers believe that a good PROMESA plan would give hedge funders incentives to support additional Medicaid spending in Puerto Rico and encourage Congress to make the territory eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit — federal payments to low-income families working in jobs that don’t pay well.
More cash in thin wallets would give citizens money to spend on goods and services, which can in turn pay workers to provide more goods and services, which could ultimately boost the economy enough to make future debt payments more plausible. Poverty support, in other words, would trickle up to vulture funds.
Sanders takes a different approach. Instead of hoping for Medicaid and Earned Income Tax Credit funds at some future date, he’d implement them now. And instead of slashing local budgets, he’d create a new federal grant program for highways, trains, ferries, broadband, renewable energy and housing. Improving the basic services of the local economy, the thinking goes, would encourage private-sector investment.
Republicans have resisted federal infrastructure spending for years, of course, and are unlikely to support Sanders’ plan. Still, similarly ambitious initiatives have been successfully implemented in Puerto Rico. In the 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt supported an agency that pumped federal dollars into infrastructure investment in Puerto Rico, directed by local officials who understood the island’s needs. Their plans helped eradicate malaria, tuberculosis and hookworm from the island, make electricity available to the island’s interior and establish hurricane-proof construction using local manufacturing. Life expectancy significantly increased, according to research by Geoff Burrows, a Seton Hall University history professor.
PROMESA promises not to spend any federal tax dollars on Puerto Rico. But sometimes, you have to spend money to make money.
From corporate life to travel blogger – the adventures of Sherry Ott
Finally for anyone considering a career in travel photography or writing what advice would you tell them? There's lots of advice I could give around technique or training, however I think the most important thing is the business side of this career …