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Tuesday, September 30 2008

Tech & Innovation

Sandia tool puts Internet traffic on the map

System uses Google Maps to show where web traffic comes from.

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Sales & Marketing

Blogs establish expertise

Use your blog as a way to reach out to sales prospects.

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Don't be nervous about asking for that raise -- negotiate for it

Does the idea of asking your boss for a raise make some of you shudder?

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The entrepreneurial way to succeed in crisis

How can you succeed in the midst of calamity all around?

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Sarah Palin's Bouffant Sec | Preview of 'Hills' Star's New Line | Jay-Z's Rocawear Sued

Beauty Marks

The Christian Dior Hairpieces Took Three Days to Make

But the makeup was "easy-to-wear"! Also, the "science" behind anti-anging perfumes.

Hairy Situations

The Possible Trick Behind Sarah Palin's Bouffant

It's actually not that outlandish.

Sexy Swimwear

These Milanese Swimsuits Will Give You Some Crazy Tan Lines

The swimsuits on the Milan runways weren't quite one-pieces or two-pieces, but they sure were sexy.


A Peace Treaty Founders Hate How Dirty You Look

A Peace Treaty started as a project between two friends, Dana Arbib and Farah Malik, eight months ago and has grown into a hot accessories line carried at Odin and Oak.

Head for the Hills

Stephanie and Doug Are the Center of ‘The Hills’ Universe

And their (not so) secret lust for one another grosses us out.

Up for Auction

Yves Saint Laurent's Art Collection Could Fetch $440 Million

The collection, including a first-century Roman Minotaur sculpture, will be showcased in New York in November.

Reality TV Designers

A Preview of Whitney Port's New Clothing Line

Dresses for sale on Kitson's website cost $350 to $500!


Jay-Z's Rocawear Sued for Trademark Infringement

His "I will not lose" tagline was trademarked by a company that now fears its goods look like Rocawear knockoffs.

Fashion Gods

John Galliano Renews Contract With Christian Dior

The house will also integrate the John Galliano label.


Milan Runways Full O' Fringe

Italian runways showcased fringe in a whole new way.

Loose Threads

Balenciaga Menswear Flops; H&M's Stock Suffers

Also Roisin Murphy wore BRAND NEW Gareth Pugh to the Christian Dior show!

Making It Work

What the ‘Project Runway’ Lawsuit Means for ‘Project Runway’

Taping will continue as planned while the show remains homeless. Which means LiLo stays!

Fashion Calendar

Events and Sales: 70 Percent Off Comme des Garçons; Deals on Vintage Issey Miyake

Also get 90 percent off bridalwear and up to 75 percent off gold and silver jewelry.

More in The Cut»

The Never-Ending Parade

From the 40th Anniversary issue, a look at four decades of informal fashion shows in the country's best-dressed city.


More in Fashion»



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Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Sweeping Legislation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Land-Use

Office of the Governor


Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Sweeping Legislation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Land-Use

Continuing California's environmental leadership in fighting global warming, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he has signed SB 375 by Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), which builds on AB 32, California's first-in-the-nation law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by adding the nation's first law to control greenhouse gas emissions by curbing sprawl.

"This landmark bill takes California's fight against global warming to a whole new level, and it creates a model that the rest of the country and world will use," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "When it comes to reducing greenhouse gases, California is first in tackling car emissions, first to tackle low-carbon fuels, and now with this landmark legislation, we are the first in the nation to tackle land-use planning. What this will mean is more environmentally-friendly communities, more sustainable developments, less time people spend in their cars, more alternative transportation options and neighborhoods we can safely and proudly pass on to future generations."

In order to reach the greenhouse gas reduction goals set out in AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, Californians need to rethink how we design our communities. SB 375 does this by providing emissions-reduction goals around which regions can plan-integrating disjointed planning activities and providing incentives for local governments and developers to follow new conscientiously-planned growth patterns.

SB 375 enhances the Air Resources Board's (ARB) ability to reach our AB 32 goals by directing ARB to develop regional greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to be achieved from the automobile and light truck sectors for 2020 and 2035. ARB will also work with California's 18 metropolitan planning organizations to align their regional transportation, housing and land-use plans and prepare a "sustainable communities strategy" to reduce the amount of vehicle miles traveled in their respective regions and demonstrate the region's ability to attain its greenhouse gas reduction targets. Spending less time on the road is the single-most powerful way for California to reduce its carbon footprint.

Additionally, SB 375 provides incentives for creating attractive, walkable and sustainable communities and revitalizing existing communities. The bill also allows home builders to get relief from certain environmental reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act if they build projects consistent with the new sustainable community strategies. It will also encourage the development of more alternative transportation options, which will promote healthy lifestyles and reduce traffic congestion.

The Governor also signed SB 732 by Steinberg which will provide a comprehensive statutory framework to implement new programs under Proposition 84, the $5.4 billion initiative voters passed in 2006 for safe drinking water, water quality and supply, flood control, natural resource protection and park improvements. The bill also establishes the Strategic Growth Council and will appropriate $500,000 from Prop 84 to the Resources Agency to support the Council and its activities.

The bill requires the Council to take certain actions with regard to coordinating programs of various state agencies to do the following:

  • improve air and water quality,
  • improve natural resource protection,
  • increase the availability of affordable housing,
  • improve transportation,
  • meet the goals of AB 32,
  • encourage sustainable land use planning and
  • revitalize urban community centers in a sustainable manner.

The Council will also manage and award grants and loans to support the planning and development of sustainable communities.

California is leading the fight against climate change with the following strong policies, laws and innovations:

  • Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32): AB 32 established a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The law will reduce carbon emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020. 
  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS): California's LCFS requires fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in the state, dramatically expanding the market for alternative fuels. To start, the LCFS will reduce carbon content in all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California by at least 10 percent by 2020 and more thereafter.
  • Million Solar Roofs Initiative: The Governor's $2.9 billion incentive plan for home and building owners who install solar electric systems will lead to one million solar roofs in California by the year 2018, provide 3,000 megawatts of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million tons.
  • Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): California's RPS calls for more energy to come from clean, renewable sources. In 2003, the Governor called for an acceleration of the RPS, pushing for 20 percent of California's energy to come from renewable energy sources by 2010 rather than 2017, seven years earlier than statute. This accelerated standard became law in 2006 when the Governor signed SB 107.
  • California's automobile emissions standards: The Governor has been pursuing every avenue possible to enforce California's 2002 law, AB 1493 by Assemblymember Fran Pavley, which allows California to enact and enforce emissions standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, including a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to overturn its decision denying California's waiver request to enforce our standards.
To edit your subscriptions or to unsubscribe please visit: http://gov.ca.gov/interact/#subscribe
© 2007 State of California

Google Friends Newsletter - September 2008

Google Friends Newsletter - September 2008

Autumnal greetings to all of our Google friends. We hope you enjoy
this month's update on our products and services.


Google Moderator

Google Moderator is a new way to facilitate question-and-answer
sessions during talks, presentations and events that involve large
groups of people. Anyone can submit a question and then people can
vote on the questions that they'd like answered.


Project 10^100

As part of our 10th birthday celebration, we launched Project 10100
(that's "ten to the hundredth"), a call for ideas that could help as
many people as possible, and a program to bring the best of those
ideas to life. We're committing $10 million to implement these
projects, and while money may offer a jump-start, it really comes down
to the great ideas that we know are out there. We're accepting
submissions until October 20, 2008, and then we'll open up voting in

Updates to Picasa, Picasa Web Albums

There's a new version available of our photo editing software. Picasa
3.0 makes it even easier to share photos with friends and family,
thanks to a new web sync feature that automatically keeps your web
albums up-to-date with the photos on your PC. Picasa 3 also includes
intuitive new editing tools, like a powerful retouching brush, text
tool, movie maker and revamped photo collages. We've also updated
Picasa Web Albums with "name tags" to help you automatically organize
and share your photos by who's in each picture.

Google Chrome

This month we released a new open-source web browser. Google Chrome is
fast, secure and lets you access your favorite Google services, such
as Gmail, Google Maps and Google Docs, more easily than ever. There
are some unique features too, like a single box for web addresses and
searches, a simplified download manager and an interface to maximize
your browsing experience. (Windows-only at present.)

Google Maps for mobile with Street View

If you use Google Maps for mobile on your BlackBerry or Java-enabled
phone, you can now access Street View while on the go. The new release
incorporates Street View into business listings and directions --
you'll be able to see a specific location before you get there. Other
new features include business reviews and walking directions.

Transit on Google Maps for New York

New York City has about a third of the country's public transportation
volume, and now Google Maps includes public transit information for
the entire metro region, making this the biggest Transit launch for
Google Maps to date. You can find Transit coverage for more than 70
cities and countries; we'll keep you posted as we add more to the


September marked the first 10 years of Google, so we took a moment to
reflect on the enormous impact the Internet has had on people's lives
since our company's founding. The power of the Internet has changed
the way we find, manage and share information -- and we believe it
will only continue to change the way we live. While we don't have a
crystal ball to see exactly what the future holds, we asked a number
of our in-house experts to share their thoughts on how this phenomenal
technology will evolve in the next 10 years. You can read their
responses in a special blog series. We hope you're inspired by their

The Google Blog offers frequent updates and insights about our technology and products, and the company at large.

Share Google Friends with a friend through Google Groups (includes subscribe/unsubscribe information).

Google Friends archive:

Google Friends archive prior to May 2005:

To unsubscribe from the Google Friends Newsletter, send an empty message to:

Google, Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
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Our Interview With Thomas Keller | Details on Tom Colicchio's New Project

September 30, 2008
Grub Street Digest: Today's Headlines
Tables Available at the Mermaid Inn and the Red Cat; the Little Owl and Applewood Fully Booked
It's time to play Two for Eight! We just asked ten restaurants the best time they can squeeze a couple in for dinner; you need only make your chosen reservation. (As always, we make the calls but don't guarantee the results.) Today: Neighborhood Chic. Read More »
Back From the Dead: Donut Shop, Nam Wah Tea Parlor, Studio B
A trio of beloved spots are reopening. First, it looks like Carroll Gardens go-to, the Donut Shop, is reopening, under the same operators, and will now be called the Coffee Shop. Lost City wants the old name back, but for a doughnut-themed diner, there's always the 7th Avenue Donut Shop in Park Slope. That site also reports that Nam Wah Tea Parlor, shuttered by the Department of Health, may open next week. And according to Brooklyn Vegan, Studio B has reopened after its run-in with the buildings department.
Mercadito in the Clear
It was a rough road for Mercadito, but a rep from the restaurant tells us the State Liquor Authority has renewed its liquor license despite Community Board 3’s lack of enthusiasm. Sangrita shots all around!
Shake Shack’s Opening Date Not Set in Stone, but New Concretes!
The Sun (sniff) sits down with Danny Meyer, and though he isn’t giving up an opening date for Shake Shack’s UWS location (mid-October is the consensus), there are some details about a downstairs dining room and new concretes... Read More »
Getting There
We hear that Café Select, now open for lunch, is hosting friends-and-family dinners this weekend, meaning it's more than on track for that expected October 10 grand opening.
Thomas Keller Wants to Be ‘Taken Seriously By the World’
With the Bocuse d'Or semifinals completed and French Laundry chef Timothy Hollingsworth tapped to go to Lyon, Thomas Keller had time for a chat yesterday. The renowned bicoastal chef is also the president of the USA Committee for the Bocuse d'Or and has even donated his father's old house in Yountville, California, to be the training center. We talked to Keller about Hollingsworth, his training regimen, and the importance of a victory at the Bocuse d'Or for American chefs. Read More »
Pour One Out for the ‘Sun’
We’ve just received a farewell e-mail from the New York Sun — a photo, of course, of the setting sun. Today the paper folded — like, permanently, not just in our lap. Despite its financial woes, the Sun’s coverage was a vital part of the city’s food scene — we’ll especially miss Paul Adams’s reviews and Bret Thorn’s Kitchen Dish column with its exacting coverage of openings, closings, specials, and changes. Grub Street can only do its best to pick up the slack. [NYT]
A-Ron Bondaroff, the "downtown don" and former creative director at 205 (who most recently threw underground parties in a ravioli factory on Sullivan Street before that, of course, got shut down), turns up at a Paris Fashion Week party and introduces the concept of “off-off-Bowery.” Yes, folks, this is what it has come to. [Moment/NYT]
Crisis? What Crisis?
Not all Wall Streeters are crying into cheap beers at John Street Bar. Sarah DiGregorio hits Harry’s Steak and Delmonico’s (the latter, we have to add, just today published a gorgeous cookbook) and finds them thriving. Read More »
More Details on Colicchio’s New Project, Tom: Tables Now Available!
So here’s the nitty-gritty on Colicchio’s new project, officially titled Tom: Tuesday Dinner. As we told you before, he’ll be cooking in the open kitchen of Craft’s private dining room every other Tuesday, from 6:30 p.m. onward. Our reporter, Alexandra Vallis, now relays these details... Read More »
Sarah Palin Orders Cheesesteaks Better Than John Kerry
For foodies and Philadelphians, John Kerry's 2004 order of a swiss cheesesteak was an iconic political blunder akin to Michael Dukakis in the tank. Sarah Palin was better prepared for her trip to Philadelphia last weekend. She ordered two steaks with Cheese Whiz and onions (she didn't say "Whiz with," but that's forgivable). But the best part is when the Tony Luke's cashier looks right at Palin and says, "Name?" Watch the video and revel in the indifference. Read More »
CBS Honors God’s Special Sandwich
Last night's How I Met Your Mother (the sitcom mirror of a navel-gazing generation) revolved around the quest for New York's most perfect burger... Read More »
Our reporter on the scene, Alexandra Vallis, tells us that Tom Colicchio is announcing right this second that he'll open a restaurant called — get this — Tom. Well, not a traditional restaurant so much as a project: Every other Tuesday he'll be preparing dinners in Craft's private dining room, which will have (YES!) an open kitchen. You're the very first to get the reservation number so use it ASAP: 212-400-6495. Read More »
More Food Magazines Than Ever; Ladies’ Night Lawsuit Dismissed

• Despite a crowded market and falling ad revenues, there are now more food- and cooking-related magazines than ever before, which might have something to do with people cutting back and cooking at home more often. [WSJ]

• The Wendy's of the future will target older customers, have a new value menu with higher prices, and even offer breakfast. No word about the guacamole burger that's served in Latin America. [WSJ]

• A federal judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit alleging that ladies' nights at clubs are discriminatory toward men, stating that clubs are not representatives of the state and are therefore entitled to set prices however they please. [AP via NYP]

Metromix asks thirteen chefs what they’ll be cooking at the Grand Tasting at this year’s Wine & Food Festival, and Boqueria’s Seamus Mullen recalls being chased by cougars in Aspen: “The thin air and high altitude must make the middle-aged women very aggressive.” [Metromix]

Social Media Trader

Social Media Trader

Link to Social Media Trader

Why Frank Sinatra Would Fake His Feed Numbers

Posted: 30 Sep 2008 12:38 PM CDT

Frank Sinatra

What do Frank Sinatra, fake RSS feed subscribers and professional mourners all have in common? We explore how social imitation proof and why it could help explain why people flock to your site or leave in their droves.

It was the screaming girls that spurred J Edgar Hoover into action. Francis Albert Sinatra was a threat. If the letter was right then the "shrill whistling sound" of those girls screaming for him was planting the idea in the minds of Americans that their very own Hitler would be ok. It was the anonymous letter about those screaming girls that brought him to the attention of the FBI chief.

Sinatra's first solo appearance at New York's Paramount Theatre was deemed a sensation. The young women in the crowd loved him. How was J Edgar Hoover supposed to know that a year on from starting that FBI file on Sinatra that the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, would invite Sinatra to the White House for tea? Roosevelt praised Sinatra telling him, "Fainting, which once was so prevalent, has become a lost art among the ladies, I'm glad you have revived it." How was either, the director of the FBI or the President of the United States of America supposed to know that some of those girls were actually paid to scream for Ol' Blue Eyes? Here's some background on the story:

In December 1942, on one of the biggest nights in the musician's calendar, Bob Weitman, of the Paramount Theatre in New York, booked Benny Goodman's clarinet and big band, still thought of as the best in the country. For reasons he never could explain, Bob Weitman also booked Frank Sinatra to sing with the band, despite the fact that Goodman was bringing Peggy Lee. Then George Evans made his move. He arranged for fans, young women, who were paid $10 a pop, to attend and make as much of a scene as possible. They didn't disappoint.

When Sinatra took to the stage, a small army of girls became hysterical, yelling, 'swooning', in a display that shocked even the tough-arsed Goodman, who'd seen a few crazes. Sinatra became the latest 'teen sensation' virtually overnight. He stayed at the Paramount for a couple of months. Evans coined the term 'bobby-soxers' to describe his nurturing fan base, and set about building Sinatra into a national force. They set up fan clubs everywhere, and ensured a loyal following at every show. Pretty soon Sinatra could write his own contracts with Columbia Records and RKO Pictures. On a return visit to the Paramount in 1944, the street ground to a halt at the mercy of screaming crowds, estimated at 25000. Monkey see; monkey do.

The Washington Post report confirmed the story that a "press agent later conceded that at least part of the Paramount hysteria was staged". The press agent admitted:

"We hired girls to scream when he sexily rolled a note," the agent said. "But the girls we hired to scream swooned, and hundreds more we didn't hire swooned with them."

Frank Sinatra mugshot

Social imitation

So why did the women who weren't paid scream for Frank? George Evans understood that people tend to imitate one another. By paying a few women to scream it eventually lead to more screaming and a huge contract with Colombia Records. Terms, like social proof, informational cascades and bandwagon effect essentially describe the same thing – that people tend to look to others to make their own decisions. The women in the crowd that night decided copy the others who were paid to “swoon”.

In their influential paper, A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change as Informational Cascades, Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer and Ivo Welch put forward the theory of "informational cascades". From the paper [PDF]:

"An informational cascade occurs when it is optimal for an individual, having observed the actions of those ahead of him, to follow the behavior of the proceeding individual without regard to his own information."

People will often imitate the actions of others without thinking for themselves if they think they are learning something from others. In James S book, Wisdom of the Crowds explains information cascades happen because people "…believe they're learning something important from others" (p.54)

Terms such as bandwagon effect, social proof and informational cascades may be relatively new, but there are examples of them occurring in the ancient world. Egyptians even hired professional mourners to cry at funerals:

A person's status was judged by how many mourners were present at the funeral. Sometimes, families would hire professional mourners to cry hysterically at the funeral. These women would wave their arms, throw dust in their hair, and weep. The better the performance, the more they were paid!!

Social proof and your site

If people have used social proof since ancient Egypt, then there's a reason behind it – it works. Information is costly, either in time or money spent, so it's often rational to follow what others are doing. Visitors to a site are likely to make decisions based on what others people think. This could come from

• Testimonials
• Feed subscriber numbers
• Number of comments
• Comment count
• Number of users currently online

Depending on the browser or add-ons they use or what third party sites they visit people could also make a judgement based on:

• Votes from social news and bookmarking sites
• Incoming links
• Alexa rank
• Page rank
• AideRSS

Most of those topics have already been discussed at length and there are already a number of excellent resources for helping to increase feed subscribers, comment counts, incoming links and other social proof elements that you might like to look at. Instead, we thought it might be interesting to explore the topic from a slightly different angle and ask – is it ever worth faking social proof elements on a website?

Faking social proof?


We've already seen that Frank Sinatra's manager paid for girls to scream and as far back as ancient Eygpt people were faking social proof, so is it really a surprise when the same thing happens online?

Recently, thenextweb.org found that Feedburner subscriber numbers can be artificially inflated (although this has since been fixed). Some articles I've read recently even suggest taking the Feedburner chicklet from successful blogs and using them on your own site.

It's easy to see why people would be tempted to fake their feed numbers. The perception that a site is popular will almost inevitably lead to that site becoming even more popular. Like diamonds, value is based on perception.

There are also articles recommending that you pretend to be someone else to increase your comment count and various tools for sites like Youtube to make it appear that multiple people are commenting on your video. There are other examples of people faking sales to increase their rankings on sales charts.

Author, David Vise, was caught buying 20,000 copies of his own book. Some publishers claimed that it was to manipulate book charts (although Vise denies those charges). John Kremer didn't buy his own books, but instead used email lists to get his books onto the Amazon best seller lists. He explains how manipulating these numbers can lead to more than just book sales:

People know that becoming an Amazon.com bestseller does not mean that the book is a bestseller elsewhere, but people do pay attention to such sales. Foreign rights buyers, book club buyers, larger publishers have all contacted people who have been successful at creating an Amazon.com bestseller. And for good reason. Such an achievement, while temporary, does say that the author/publisher is willing to do what is necessary to get attention and to sell a book. That is significant.

[Note: this isn't to suggest that John Kremer has done anything underhand to get his books to the top, it his just his explanation of how perceived success on Amazon can result in more success for an author]

Personally, I think the subsequent success of the author is less about showing that one is willing to do whatever is necessary to get attention and more to do with the value of social proof. Once a book is deemed a success then more success will follow. We look to our peers to determine if something is worth our time or not.

While social proof elements undoubtedly help to increase a site's popularity, if those aspects are faked then would you still trust the information or services that the site provides?

Frank Sinatra faked his fans initially and then turned into one of the most popular singers in the world – it also landed him on the FBI list. What do you think, would Sinatra have made it anyway?

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