In case you missed the live webcast Tuesday evening, here’s the video from Marco Rubio’s incredibly inspiring speech at the Reagan Library:
Lots of red meat for conservatives in that speech, but here are two of my favorite quotes:
Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about allowing people to catch up.
Our rights don’t come from our government. Our rights come from our God. Rights come from God.
After the speech, Rubio took several minutes to answer questions that had been submitted by audience members. As expected, several people asked about a potential role for Rubio in the upcoming 2012 elections. Rubio demurred, saying that he wanted to make a difference in the Senate.
Rubio also got a question about the tea party, and his response got enthusiastic applause:
Question: If you could give the tea party one idea or topic for them to focus on, what would it be?
Rubio: I think they are focused on it, and that’s the proper role of government in America.
Being a Floridian is AWESOME. We have sunshine, no state income tax, and MARCO RUBIO.
[Cross-posted at Sunshine State Sarah]
Today, RIM introduced the latest version of its entry-level Curve series. Available in Canada later this month and shipping to other carriers worldwide starting in September, the new BlackBerry Curve will come in three models: the CDMA-only BlackBerry Curve 9350, the GSM/UMTS BlackBerry Curve 9360, and the dual-mode GSM/CDMA BlackBerry Curve 9370.
Designed for those looking for a more affordable smartphone option or for people making the jump from a feature phone, the Curve offers a more entry-level set of features than its bigger brother, the Bold. This includes a 2.44-inch, 480×360 display, an 800MHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and NFC support. Both the Curve 9350 and 960 have 512MB internal storage, while the Curve 9370 has 1GB of internal storage. More
This is the first in a two-part series explaining the background around the EFF call to action over Cisco assisting the Chinese government in abusing human rights. This article outlines the background of the issue and the first of our two demands to Cisco: intervening on behalf of dissident writer Du Daobin. Our next post will outline specifically how Cisco and other similar networking companies can pledge to uphold human rights.
Understanding Du v. Cisco
What responsibility do corporations have to consider human rights when making business deals? Are companies that build and market equipment for the purpose of surveilling and censoring pro-democracy activists in authoritarian regimes culpable when those activists are imprisoned or tortured? Do companies bear a special responsibility if they customize products to improve the efficacy of tracking dissidents and choking free speech? What if the companies train government agents in using the technology to ferret out activists?
Two cases — one in the United States District Court of Maryland and another in the Northern District of California — are attempting to create legal precedent around these issues of corporate social responsibility. In Du v. Cisco, three named plaintiffs – Chinese citizens Du Daobin, Zhou Yuanzhi, and Liu Xianbin – are joining 10 unnamed “John Doe” plaintiffs in suing the American company Cisco Systems for their role in assisting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in violating human rights. The complaint against Cisco alleges that the plaintiffs in the case:
Have been and are being subjected to grave violations of some of the most universally recognized standards of international law, including prohibitions against torture, cruel, inhuman or other degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention, and forced labor, for exercising their rights of freedom of speech, association, and assembly, at the hands of the Defendants through Chinese officials.
The complaint makes several accusations against Cisco Systems, including:
-That Cisco Systems “aggressively sought contracts to provide substantial assistance in helping the Chinese government implement the Golden Shield Project”
-That Cisco knew its services and products would be used by Chinese law enforcement, prisons, forced labor camps and also to police Internet usage
-That Cisco employees themselves customized or trained others to customize the equipment they sold to China to meet the unique goals of the Golden Shield Project, including targeting disfavored groups in China
-That Cisco knew the Golden Shield Project would be used to commit human rights violations
To understand these issues, one must first understand China’s Golden Shield Project, often referred to in the West as the Great Firewall of China. According to the complaint as well as published articles on the topic,1 the system employs a series of techniques to monitor and track the Internet usage of people in China and prevent them from accessing a wide swath of online content. The surveillance aspects are extensive; the government is often able to not only track what sites an individual visits, but may also be pinpointing who that individual is, what messages that person posts, and even the content of her communications.
Whether you’re a small business owner or a cookbook author, you’ve probably heard it’s a good idea to have a blog to encourage customer interaction and easily disseminate information about your business.
These days, setting up a blog is easy; the hard part is figuring out what and how often to write and how to get people to actually care about what you have to say.
We checked in with experts who identified six ways you can make your blog pop.
Know what Google Adwords really provides
Unlike organic search engine optimization–better known as SEO–purchasing Google AdWords can boost a blog’s traffic immediately, according to Jason Hennessey, director and SEO specialists at Everspark Interactive, an SEO agency. However, if not managed correctly, buying AdWords can burn through your marketing budget very quickly, with little impact.
“For instance, a lawyer in Los Angeles looking to top rank for a keyword like ‘accident lawyer Los Angeles’ is going to have to spend as high as $52.00 per click in order to outbid their competition and benefit from the targeted traffic,” says Hennessey. “While this may be looked at as a nominal expense to a law firm that attracts multimillion-dollar lawsuits for their marketing initiatives, to most small businesses this can start to eat at your profit rather quickly.”
Hennessey advises a small business owner or a personal blogger to use Google AdWords first as a test to measure results, and then execute an organic SEO strategy to benefit from that traffic indefinitely without having to pay Google for every click.
Understand how much you can spend on traffic and who you want to attract
“It is important to separate your short and long-term needs for traffic right off the bat,” says Christian Olsen, vice president of Levick Strategic Communications, a marketing and branding agency. “Short-term spikes in traffic are very hard to come by without paying for them.”
Olsen says that successful search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns take time if you don’t have the funds for Google AdWords. To start a campaign, it’s best to think like your intended audience and how they might conduct online searches and buy a wide swath of terms that make sense and then track them to measure results. Once you can determine a pattern, move money to the terms that are bringing in traffic and ditch the ones that are underperforming, he says, adding that because it takes a while to get exact results, persistence and patience are key.
“Keep in mind that really successful blogs and websites get that way by building dedicated and engaged audiences, it’s important that you are marketing to people who will want to be there and come back. Buying keywords that draw huge numbers only really helps to draw general audiences – not ones that will keep returning to your site,” says Olsen.
Author your own content
Gold bugs just notched one more victory over the naysayers.
SPDR Gold Shares, the giant gold exchange-traded fund, is now the biggest such fund by assets, surpassing the SPDR S&P 500 ETF, which tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.
The gold fund, known by its ticker symbol GLD, added $1.2 billion in assets Monday, to reach a total of $77.5 billion, as gold prices climbed 2%. The S&P 500 crept up 0.03%. The gold fund first passed the S&P fund, known by its ticker SPY, on Friday, when it closed with $76.7 billion in assets to SPY’s $74.4 billion. Both funds are managed by State Street Corp.
Investors’ move away from stocks and into gold reflects the risk aversion that has gripped the markets in fits and starts in recent years. Fearful that the U.S. and other developed nations will spend years digging themselves out of debt, investors worry that stocks will therefore underperform. And they believe that gold will provide protection against declines in the value of other assets and currencies, including the U.S. dollar.
Gold’s long rally has bolstered that belief. Bullion futures rose 2% to $1,888.70 per troy ounce on Monday in New York trading, up for the sixth consecutive trading day and 16% this month. Prices have risen for each of the past 10 years, and are up 32.9% in 2011, which would make this year the biggest percentage gain of the long bull market in gold if the gains hold.
GLD, marketed under the banner of State Street Global Advisors, has a big win for the World Gold Council, which formed the fund in the hopes of expanding the pool of gold buyers. Since it launched in 2004, GLD has grown into a market power, attracting legions of small investors as well as big-name hedge-fund managers such as John Paulson and George Soros.
The fund has been one of the few ways for investors to easily move in and out of gold, since ETFs trade on stock exchanges like stocks. GLD is widely seen as helping drive the gains in the gold price, because each share represents one-10th of an ounce of physical gold. As the fund grows, so do its gold holdings. More
A dog can accurately detect the early presence of lung cancer by sniffing patients’ breath, doctors in Germany say. While researchers have known for some time that dogs can sniff out the telltale signs of other forms of cancer, this is the first study that proves dogs can reliably smell this particular kind.
This is a breakthrough for lung cancer researchers who have been trying to figure out if there are specific volatile organic compounds associated with the presence of the disease. The dog study suggests that there are.
Researchers at Schillerhoehe Hospital in Germany worked with specially trained dogs who were asked to smell the breath of 220 volunteers. The group included healthy patients, as well as people with lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The dogs correctly identified 71 positive lung cancer samples out of a possible 100, the researchers write in the European Respiratory Journal. They also correctly identified 372 non-cancerous samples out of a possible 400. More
The Vaio Z is Sony’s sculpted little reminder that companies besides Apple can make exciting laptops too.
This is the dream machine. It weighs 2.6 pounds. It’s 0.66 inches thick. But this 2.7GHz Core i7 notebook also has a gorgeous, super-pixel-dense 1920×1080 13-inch display. An auxiliary dock houses a discrete AMG Radeon 6650m video card for extra graphics juice, along with a BD-ROM drive, HDMI, Light Peak, ethernet and VGA ports. No compromises here.
The first thing you notice upon picking up the Z is how light this thing really is. A toddler could wave this thing around their crib, one handed. It almost feels like there’s nothing under the keyboard. And because the body is made of a polycarbonate material, it’s seemingly frail, but in truth the shell is rigid and durable.
You’ll also notice the speed. Apps fire up with little to no delay. Google’s Chrome browser rarely lags, even with a healthy number of tabs open. Thanks to the SSD, it starts up in just under 25 seconds and powers down in just over 7 seconds. The battery, like most other “all-day” batteries, gets you through most of a day of work (give or take depending on what you’re doing), but not the entire day. Nearly all of the average person’s more intensive tasks can be handled by the Z. Flash video, high-res photos, light editing work and 3D gaming, etc. And if you need some more horsepower, you’re not totally left hung out to dry. More