Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Ben is Uncomfortable; GDP Revised; New Blogs; Catalogs; Free B2B Guide; Stock Photo Trouble; MSFT Nervous About Tux the Penguin

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke spoke on Tuesday, and used the words "uncomfortably high" to describe inflation. The Fed has overtightened, so look for things to be slow and only mildly positive for the first half of 2007.
Inflation, which picked up earlier this year, has been somewhat better behaved of late. Overall inflation was pushed up this spring by a surge in energy prices, but the recent declines in energy prices have largely reversed those effects. Price inflation for consumer goods and services excluding energy and food, the so-called core inflation rate, has also moderated a bit in the past few months. But the level of the core inflation rate remains uncomfortably high. Over the next year or so, the economy appears likely to expand at a moderate rate, close to or modestly below the economy's long-run sustainable pace. Core inflation is expected to slow gradually from its recent level, reflecting the reduced impetus from high prices of energy and other commodities, contained inflation expectations, and perhaps further reductions in the rate of increase of shelter costs and some easing in the pressures on capital and labor resources.

3Q GDP was revised up from +1.6% to +2.2%. Don't be surprised if it gets revised down to +2.0% for the final figure. I knew +1.6% was too low based on things like the ISM reports. These revisions are not trivial. Being off the way they were means the government couldn't detect only $750 billion. That's all. Kind of like the 810,000 workers the BLS missed counting over the last year.

Two new print blogs: Randy Davidson has launched and tied it to the still growing I often comment to postings there. Randy tells me that traffic is steadily increasing faster than he expected. Industry consultant and trainer Peter Muir has started his Bizucate blog at , where he focuses on stimulating ideas and creating customer-directed change. After I meet or have a meal with Peter, my head always hurts from all of the ideas. I'm still surprised how many people read this blog. In a lot of ways it's not a blog at all, but my "cyber-refrigerator." I post things here like one might put them on the kitchen fridge with a magnet, because I'm always losing things and references otherwise.

Some recent catalog business articles
About LL Bean
Associated Press

Google's translation capability is something deserving to be made fun of for its entertaining problems with idioms and jargon... and also great awe as it is a true wonder of what technology can do. Here are some overseas printing site links using the Google translation to what we affectionately call "Googlish"
Graphiline (French) (German)

B2B Marketing magazine has issued their annual Marketers Resource Guide, and it's free as a PDF. It lists top agencies of all types. Contents list is below
Top 100 B-to-B Advertisers — Page 4
Top 50 B-to-B Internet Advertisers — Page 7
Top B-to-B Agencies — Page 10
Interactive Agencies — Page 15
Direct Marketing Agencies — Page 16
List Managers — Page 20
List Compilers — Page 24
Data Cleansers — Page 26
Data Segmentation Vendors — Page 28
Analytics Vendors/Web Analytics Vendors — Page 30
E-Mail Resources — Page 32
Search Engine Marketer Resources — Page 37
Event Services — Page 38
Event Designers/Producers — Page 41
Media Power 50 — Page 44
Online Publishers — Page 50
BtoB's Who's Who— Page 51

Anheuser Busch will be spending 10% of its ad budget in 2007 online, taking it mainly from broadcast TV. It's starting, with 8 Internet "channels" as part of its plan

A mostly negative Ubuntu review. I'm still thrilled to have something non-Windows and non-Apple that works so reliably; I've been really impressed. I'm sticking with it.

Stock photography has its downside: it can be used over and over and over again... in the strangest places
The ad from Key Bank portrayed a heart-warming family moment: a dad pointing out something on his laptop to his smiling young daughter as she leans over his shoulder. In fact, the scene may have been a little too charming. The same image appears in a recent marketing brochure -- from Bank of America.

Microsoft is getting feisty about Linux, so it must be hurting or worrying them. The have to see the non-developed markets slipping away from them. How can you complain about piracy when people use open source software. Easy: complain that the open source software infringes in MSFT intellectual property.

With all the penguin stuff that's out this year because of Happy Feet and last year's March of the Penguins, you'd think the Linux supporters would be making a bigger deal about things. After all, Tux the Penguin is the official symbol for Linux.

Microsoft's Vista (and Office2007) will have some pretty stringent end user agreements that will be enforced by the software itself. It will undoubtedly cause problems. This article cites them and the case law involved.
The terms of the Vista EULA, like the current EULA related to the Windows Genuine Advantage, allows Microsoft to unilaterally decide that you have breached the terms of the agreement, and they can essentially disable the software, and possibly deny you access to critical files on your computer without benefit of proof, hearing, testimony, or judicial intervention.
In fact, if Microsoft is wrong, and your software is, in fact, properly licensed, you probably will be forced to buy a license to another copy of the operating system from Microsoft just to be able to get access to your files, and then you can sue Microsoft for the original license fee. Even then, you wont be able to get any damages from Microsoft, and may not even be able to get the cost of the first license back.

The French government is starting a switch to Linux, worth watching throughout the continent.

StarOffice, the enhanced version of OpenOffice will now be part of some really plush inflight services on Singapore Airlines

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