Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Chat Log with AT&T Rep: Should I Laugh or Cry?

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I recently had a conversation with an AT&T rep about my desire to use my own equipment for DSL.  The chat didn’t go so well… Here is the transcript:

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Written by Jacob Walker

April 2nd, 2015 at 11:59 am

Posted in Economics

Virtual Onshoring has become a reality with Fiverr and other such sites. But a Virtual Onshored University will bring greater prosperity to the nation that builds it. .

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karnataka-university-statueRecently, I wrote a tad about my Open Letter to Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, Regarding Virtual Onshoring.  I coined the concept of Virtual Onshoring in 2008, and to little surprise only 2 years later, Fiverr started. Fiverr has brought virtual onshoring into fruition, as it has been the perfect mechanism for entrepreneurs in developing nations to tap into the lucrative market of the United States and other more developed nations.

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Written by Jacob Walker

March 31st, 2015 at 11:59 am

My Mixed Feelings on UNISA and South Africa

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Recently I received an email from a fellow scholar without a doctorate, who had read one of my blog entries about the University of South Africa (UNISA) and my work towards a doctorate.  I was going to just respond back to him directly, but I am one to want “more effect for the effort”, so I’m posting my current thoughts about UNISA, South Africa, and the interconnection between them.

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Written by Jacob Walker

March 30th, 2015 at 10:00 am

Thought of the Day: How can The Economist usually get it right in its writing, but not in its execution.

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I find it interesting that several of the magazines that I think have some of the best content, have some of the worst technical implementations.  I have written in the past about what I don’t like about the web site of Scientific American.  Today, I’m going to kvetch a little about The Economist‘s attempts at using technology.

First, I really like The Economist, and their articles about technology are usually “right on the money”.  They clearly see the trends of what is going on, yet their execution of using technology sucks.  And in fact it has gotten worse.

At one time, when you bought a subscription, you would get the print and online subscription together.  Now you can buy a print subscription, or an online subscription, or a bundle.  But, what is frustrating to me, is that if you buy the print subscription, they don’t have an upgrade option to adding a digital subscription.

Further, their Android App is pretty bad.  It takes forever to download issues, and they often fail.  Further, while it generally locks me out of the full content (which makes sense, since I don’t have a digital subscription), every so often, the app will give me everything.  So in other words, it must be able to be hacked fairly easily, since I inadvertently “hack” it every so often.

And, they don’t seem to get that much better.  They recently released an Anthology Series, which looks very interesting to me.  But it won’t work on my version of Android, and even if it is did, the reviews say that it is awful software.

But maybe this isn’t so different than the problems in education.  A college or school might have amazing computer science & ICT instructors, but still implement technology awfully, because the IT department is walled off from the educators.  But should we trust a college’s education if it can’t do technology right?  Should we trust The Economist or Scientific American to give prescient information, when they can’t get their acts together?

 

Written by Jacob Walker

April 26th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Posted in Economics

Thought of the Day: Why Diaper Companies Might Not Want Us to Potty Train our Kids

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Yesterday, I posted an idea about how a diaper company, such as P&G could really improve the way that potty training happens, and thus potentially increase their market share.  But then I immediately started thinking about if they really want to improve potty training, even though they say they do.

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Written by Jacob Walker

April 22nd, 2014 at 11:59 am

Posted in Economics