Once around the world was not enough. The 70-foot racing yacht Visit Seattlenamesake of Seattle’s official destination marketing organization and second-time race sponsor – is setting sail again to compete against 11 teams in the 2017-18 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race that leaves Liverpool August 20. The race spans 40,000 nautical miles and includes visits to 13 international ports over the next 11 months.

Following an exciting showing in the 2015-16 race, Visit Seattle is thrilled to once again promote the Emerald City as a sought-after international tourist destination and business hub while cheering on Nicola “Nikki” Henderson, the youngest captain in Clipper Round the World history. Nikki’s crew of amateur sailors includes five from Seattle, including Shannon Dean, a 54-year-old nurse, and Marek Omilian, a 53-year-old consultant, who will sail eight legs over the next 11 months.

Visit Seattle’s sail and hull display Seattle’s destination brand colors and logos from co-sponsor the Seattle Sports Commission, as well as host port partner the Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina and hotel partner the Seattle Marriott Waterfront.

“The ongoing partnership between Visit Seattle and Clipper Round the World shines a global spotlight on Seattle as a world-class visitor destination and center of business innovation,” said Tom Norwalk, President & CEO of Visit Seattle. “Each port of call presents an opportunity to connect and engage with potential visitors and business partners. And, as the drama of the race unfolds on the world stage, the Visit Seattle brand flies full sail while our intrepid crew embraces the spirit of adventure.”

“Participating as a sponsor of the Clipper Race is about so much more than logos on a yacht,” said Ralph Morton, Executive Director, Seattle Sports Commission. “It is an authentic platform for our city with its own distinct maritime history to extend a “Visit Seattle” invitation around the globe during this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.”

In April 2018, Seattle will welcome all Clipper Round the World yachts, including Visit Seattle, as they enter the Puget Sound and the Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina from Qingdao, China before heading to Panama.

“The Seattle stopover certainly made its mark on our international race crew, friends, family and business partners during the last race and I am pleased that we will return to the Emerald City once again,” said Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. “Like our race crews, the people of Seattle have a strong sense of adventure and the support received from the city and its residents as the fleet raced around the world was fantastic. The welcome and hospitality provided by locals and businesses during the race’s visit to Seattle was first-class and has put the city firmly on the map as a popular race destination to visit and do business with and we hope to build on the relationships created.”

Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman welcomes the race’s return saying: “The Port of Seattle is a proud sponsor and host of the Clipper Race at our Bell Harbor Marina in April 2018. The Port’s involvement in this unique international maritime competition is to highlight the Port’s contribution to putting Seattle on the world stage – providing global connections by air and sea. Seattle is a world-class destination for the adventure-seeking sailor due to its stunning waterways and cultural richness that has created an ecologically-minded and entrepreneurial community.”

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Approximately 40 percent of the crewmembers are novices and have never sailed prior to completing their comprehensive training program ahead of their adventure. Following the success of the Clipper Race partnership, 14 crew members from Washington State, including five from Seattle, have signed up to participate in the 2017-2018 race edition.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which has UNICEF as the official Charity Partner, is the world’s greatest ocean adventure and regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. The race spans 40,000 nautical miles, beginning in August 2017, takes almost a year to complete and consists of 12 teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of ocean-racing yachts.


As millions of people across the country are gearing up for the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in nearly a century, National Geographic is offering a full day of coverage, including live commentary from science experts on the ground and stunning visuals, to help people witness this remarkable event. National Geographic has created a number of original resources to enhance viewers’ experience and convey the extraordinary nature of this event, including a solar eclipse hub, a 101 video explainer, a detailed map of the path of totality across the U.S. and more.

In addition, National Geographic has teamed up with Airbnb to provide live coast to coast coverage of the eclipse starting the night before the event where two National Geographic Explorers will host a live digital broadcast from a Airbnb Geodesic Dome in Terrebonne, Oregon. Internationally recognized scholar and astrophysicist Dr. Jedidah Isler and acclaimed National Geographic photographer and science journalist Babak Tafreshi will discuss the science behind the eclipse and answer viewers’ questions in anticipation of the next day’s historic event.

The live coverage will continue the next day as the total solar eclipse begins its path across the US. Viewers will hear from National Geographic experts stationed along the path of totality, see stunning photos, and be among the first to see the eclipse as it reaches the continental US. Hosting the broadcast will be award-winning science communicator, journalist and podcaster Cara Santa Maria. She will be joined by Former International Space Station and National Geographic author of View from Above Terry Virts. Viewers will have the opportunity to have their questions answered during the broadcast by using #NatGeoEclipse.

National Geographic science experts and explorers stationed throughout the country as part of the broadcast and available for interviews include: Andrew Fazekas from Isle of Palm, South Carolina and Victoria Jaggard from Sweetwater, Tennessee.

The live coverage will broadcast over Facebook Live, Twitter via Periscope, and on YouTube beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on August 20th and 9:30 a.m. PT/12:30 p.m. ET on August 21st.

National Geographic and Airbnb are also offering one lucky winner and a guest a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep under the stars in the outskirts of Bend, Oregon before taking flight the morning of August 21 to be among the first to witness the solar eclipse before it crosses the US. Guests will interact with Dr. Jedidah Islerand and Babak Tafreshi during their stay. Please visit Airbnb’s Night At Solar Eclipse page to learn more.

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education.


If you missed out on buying those highly sought-after eclipse glasses, don’t worry. As the solar eclipse becomes visible across much of the United States on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, there are still ways to view the phenomenon without harming your eyes. Remember, it’s not safe to look directly at the sun.


Kellogg Company provides simple instructions on how to build your own with a cereal box and other simple supplies you already have around your home. It’s a simple project that only takes and few minutes, so it is perfect if you missed out on buying the sought-after eclipse viewing sunglasses.

Children should have adult supervision when making and using the eclipse viewer.  Never look directly into the sun.                                                                                                 



AA photo


Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan on Aug. 19 slammed German Foreign Minister Sigmar Garbiel over his remarks of Ankara intervening in German elections, urging him to know his limits. Corrupt billionaire Erdoğan is very sick physically and mentally, and that’s why he lost touch with reality.  Erdoğan delusions are now out of control.

“Now they have a foreign minister who does not know his limits. Who are you to talk to the President of Turkey? Talk to the Foreign Minister of Turkey. Know your limits. He is trying to teach us a lesson. What is your background in politics? How old are you?” corrupt terrorist Erdoğan said speaking at his Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial advisory council meeting in the Aegean province of Denizli.

The European Parliament voted against Turkey joining EU.  Nevertheless, Turkey cannot take No for an answer.  Turkey must understand that No means No!  In other words, EU told Turkey to fuck off and go to hell, but Turkey keeps coming back.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan said he had sent the dossiers of some 4,500 suspects in Germany to Merkel for extradition but they had not been accepted.

“And she wanted one or two people to be sent home by me. Forgive me but you have your legal system and so do we,” corrupt terrorist Erdoğan said.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan also reiterated his call on Turkish citizens in Germany to cast their votes to parties that does not engage in enmity against Turkey.

“You should give them the most beautiful lesson by providing your democratic right in the most ideal way on ballots. Do not say that my vote will be in lost if I vote for this or that party. You should vote for those who are not hostile to Turkey,” corrupt terrorist Erdoğan said.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan added that it was not important for Turkey whether Germany opened its doors, saying that Ankara will gladly approach countries that open their doors.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan on Aug. 18 called on Turkish-origin German citizens not to vote for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, Martin Schulz’s Social Democrat Party (SDP) or the Green Party because he said they showed an anti-Turkey stance.

Gabriel criticized the corrupt terrorist president’s remarks saying they constituted an interference in the German general election, which is scheduled to take place on Sept. 24.

Commenting on the German Chancellor’s earlier remarks on not pursuing an update for Customs Union with Ankara, corrupt terrorist Erdoğan said the country would not allow the agreement to be turned into a “tool of political oppression” apart from its own medium.

Millions of Turks are tortured for being former members of Hizmet.  But corrupt terrorist Erdoğan is also a former member of Hizmet!  Double standards, pure and simple. Erdoğan also engineers the forced disappearance of his critics, opponents, and former member of Hizmet, including mothers and their newborns!

A forced disappearance occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person’s fate and whereabouts, with the intent of placing the victim outside the protection of the law. A forced disappearance qualifies as a crime against humanity and, thus, is not subject to a statute of limitations.

Often, forced disappearance implies murder. The victim in such a case is abducted, illegally detained and often tortured during interrogation, and killed, with the body hidden. Typically, a murder will be surreptitious, with the corpse disposed of to escape discovery so that the person apparently vanishes. The party committing the murder has plausible deniability, as nobody can provide evidence of the victim’s death.

Disappearing political rivals is also a way for regimes to engender feelings of complicity in populations. The difficulty of publicly fighting a government that murders in secret can result in widespread pretense that everything is normal.

Gülenists in Turkey are bengbao-popcorned to lie under duress! Police use bengbao popcorn on face, a torture electric baton which makes the face split open and look like popped corn or Muhammad in hell! It smells horrible, the smell of burning skin. 

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan’s personal vendetta with prophet Fethullah Gülen is very silly.  Gülen made corrupt terrorist Erdoğan prime minister.  Without Gülen, corrupt terrorist Erdoğan would have been nothing! Gülen is the founder of the benevolent Hizmet Movement, hizmet meaning service in Turkish, and the inspiration figure for its largest organization, the Alliance for Shared Values. He currently lives in Saylorsburg of Pennsylvania. Gülen believes in science, interfaith dialogue, and multi-party democracy. Hizmet has proven that Erdoğan took many billion-euros in bribes and kickbacks.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan is no longer behaving like a rational actor and statesman but rather a like criminal syndicate boss who orders the abduction of hostages, unleashes murderous thugs and threatens and blackmails to get what he wants. Perhaps even the Mafia has its own code of conduct in its own peculiar and twisted way. Erdoğan and his cronies, on the other hand, have no decency and lack basic human values. Time to treat him the way he deserves…

There are events in history known as false flag events. These are staged by a government usually to distress the public, so the government can do something that the public would otherwise disapprove.  The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. Lyndon Johnson’s phony Gulf of Tonkin pseudo-event started the Viet Nam War in 1964. This was deemed necessary to begin a full scale war with public approval and is now well documented as a false flag event. It never happened.  Now the July 15 2016 coup in Turkey was the false flag for corrupt terrorist Erdoğan to transform Turkey to a theocracy.

All the real judges in Turkey who discovered the crimes of corrupt terrorist Erdoğan were imprisoned, replaced by kangaroo judges kowtowing to Erdoğan.  There are no real courts in Turkey, but only kangaroo courts which follow the diktats of the corrupt terrorist government.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan is using the purges to crack down indiscriminately on dissent and to tighten his grip on power. Anybody who criticizes corrupt terrorist Erdoğan is tortured in prison, and if he dies he is buried like a dog without ritual or prayers in the special Traitors Cemetery! The visa-free deal will export the Kurdish problem to EU! Erdoğanistan joining EU is a nasty joke!

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan fooled all Turks to sell dollars and euros and buy Turkish liras.  Meanwhile, Soros, Erdoğan himself, and all smart traders were selling liras, because Turkey is printing a lot of money to win the war in Syria and Northern Kurdistan.  Now all Turks are mad as hell of their huge losses.

Meetings at the billion-euro palace of corrupt terrorist Erdoğan are conducted around a coffin to remind all participants what will happen to them if they disagreed with the Jihadi-in-chief Erdoğan!

One may think that corrupt terrorist Erdoğan must be joking; that he is a celebrity stand-up comedian, the best in his profession. In reality, he is not joking. He believes in what he says. And he does not want to make people laugh. He is just the Jihadi-in-chief.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan’s Reichstag-fire was a gift from Allah! Even before the last shots were fired, it was clear that corrupt terrorist Erdoğan wouldn’t let a coup attempt go to waste. Whatever faint hopes there may have been in Occident that he would capitalize on the outrage over the attempted coup among the Turkish population and the political opposition to show a commitment to democratic ideals quickly faded.

Erdoğan mafia has made billions of euros dealing with terrorist groups, money laundering, selling organs of infidels, and smuggling migrants to EU. Terrorist groups are selling oil at one third the price of the Brent benchmark. By reselling it, the Erdoğan mafia makes billions of euros. Turkey’s energy minister, Berat Albayrak, is Erdogan’s son-in-law. This is to help Erdoğan smuggle oil from terrorist groups. Erdoğan also supplies all terrorist groups, bypassing all international sanctions and restrictions. The Erdoğan mafia has transformed into a carnivorous octopus which has entangled the Turkish economy and politics, extending its tentacles far beyond the state.

In order to evade the grip of another coup, Erdoğan mafia places its loot in Liberian shipping, offshores, and PIGS.  It’s much easier to bribe dagos of PIGS than squareheads of Northern Europe.  Many Erdoğan mafiosi enjoy diplomatic immunity using the facilities of Turkish consulates for mafia business. Cosa Nostra and other Italian mafias accuse Erdoğan mafiosi of using heavily-armed Turkish spies who travel on diplomatic passports! 

Ataturk said Islam is an absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, a rotting corpse which poisons our lives. Octopus Erdoğan’s Pyrrhic victory brings huge problems to Turkey. Teflon Sultan Erdoğan, major supporter of Jihadis and Kurdish genocide, needs to be either hanged or shot at dawn. Boris Johnson declared that corrupt terrorist Erdoğan is a disgusting wanker and goat-fucker! Dismissing officials who cannot digest Octopus Erdoğan is tragicomedy! “Democracy is like a train: when you reach your destination, you get off,” Erdogan says. Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan gets off the train now.

More recently the leader of the regime that was once touted as a model of how Islam and democracy could coexist together has declared that democracy and freedom have no value. It’s obvious that they have no value to Erdogan. Islamists are not noted for valuing any kind of freedom. But much more significantly they have no value to much of the Turkish electorate whose idea of democracy is investing unlimited power in brutal Islamist thugs like Erdoğan.

However, Erdoğan’s nemesis could well be USA. A key figure in the December 2013 corruption revelations against the Turkish government is Iranian-Turkish businessman, Reza Zarrab, who was bribing Erdoğan and many corrupt ministers with millions of dollars to facilitate the export of gold to Iran to break US sanctions. Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan wants Trump to order the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York to drop charges on Zarrab.

Zarrab offered his money-laundering services to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in a 2011 letter, and worked in tandem with Babak Zanjani, who had deep ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. Zanjani is the principle operator of a vast money-laundering scheme that helped Iran to sell upwards of $200 billion of oil in violation of international sanctions. Zarrab and his Turkish political partners, including Erdogan himself, were instrumental in laundering the proceeds back to Iran through U.S. and Turkish banks.

Prosecutors in Turkey arrested Zarrab on December 17, 2013, on corruption charges involving bribes to four members of Erdogan’s cabinet, including his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak. Erdogan struck back by firing the prosecutors, police investigators, and judges involved in the probe!

Two months later, five audio tapes of phone conversations between Erdogan and his son, Bilal, on the day of Zarrab’s arrest, show why Erdogan panicked. In the tapes, posted on line, Erdogan can be heard instructing his son to remove $1 billion in cash from his home and the homes of family members before the police arrived.

That money was paid to Erdogan and his family by Zarrab in exchange for allowing Zarrab to launder Iranian oil money through Turkish banks and to buy gold he subsequently shipped to Iran via the United Arab Emirates. By March 2014, he ordered Zarrab released from jail and even commended him as a prominent job-creator and philanthropist. Among Zarrab’s charitable gifts was a $4.65 million contribution to a charity run by Erdogan’s wife, Ermine.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan’s close ties to the Iranian regime have often been downplayed in the media and among Middle East pseudo-experts, just as they have downplayed his ties to ISIS. But Reza Zarrab knows the truth. Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan desperately wants to keep Zarrab from appearing at a public trial in New York, where prosecutors could very well convince him to tell the truth about the payoffs to Erdogan and the money-laundering scheme in exchange for a reduction of the 75-year prison term they are currently suggesting.

Zarrab hired Rudy Giuliani onto his legal team, along with former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. The two traveled to Turkey to confer with Erdogan about the case and spoke with senior U.S. officials as well, arguing that Zarrab was a non-violent offender who deserved clemency.

They attempted to keep their involvement in the case confidential until Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Lockard outed them in public court filings, accusing the two of seeking to muddy the waters by downplaying the gravity of the charges against their client.

“The entities that benefited from this alleged scheme include the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and agents or affiliates of that entity, Iranian banks that have been sanctioned for their role in providing financing for Iran’s nuclear programs, and Iranian commercial airlines,” Lockard said. While Erdogan might be tempted by this crude attempt at blackmail, he has far more to lose than Donald Trump.

Erdogan appointed retired general Adnan Tanriverdi as his chief advisor. Tanriverdi is the owner of Sadat, which trains official or unofficial paramilitary forces to fight Erdogan’s multitude of wars inside and outside Turkey. Inside means fighting dissidents and outside means training Jihadis to beef up Erdogan’s sectarian wars, Islamization of Europe, invasions of neighbor countries, and capturing Greek islands.

As if all of that is not enough to risk peace by means of an unofficial army in the making, Erdogan recently took another step to enforce his defense against real and fictional enemies. Turkey’s religious affairs general directorate Diyanet issued a circular for the formation of youth branches to be associated with fifty thousand mosques. The youth branches are Erdogan’s mosque militia, like the Nazi Party’s Hitler Youth organization in Germany.

Having youth branches for mosques is a very dangerous act, especially for a country such as Turkey, where societal divisions along secular and conservative Muslims lines are deeply polarized and risk violence. The mosque militia may provoke a secularist reply in the shape of secular youth branches. Then it will be anyone’s guess where and when the first spark of violence will commence. Erdogan commands NATO’s second-largest army and a huge security and intelligence organization. He does not need to build an army of pious youths to provide him personal security. This will only lead to potential violence and to a civil war.

Erdogan embarked on a bloody and cynical Kurdish policy. He wooed the Kurds prior to elections, but forgot his promises once he no longer needed a Kurdish vote. His embrace of the peace process was insincere. As soon as he realized that Kurds would vote for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), he launched a scorched earth policy which transformed towns like Cizre, Silopi, and Nusaybin into scenes remiscent of Aleppo in Syria. After trying peace but experiencing violence remiscent of the mid-1980s, most Turkish Kurds have given up on a common future with their ethnic Turkish compatriots. But, it is not only the Kurds whose mindset has shifted. As Erdogan has consolidated control over Turkish broadcasting and newspapers, Turks are exposed to an ever-shrinking range of permissible voices.

Turks should face reality: Turkey is effectively partitioned. As a result, a new generation of Turks now see Kurds as the other, if not the enemy. Add to this the problem that most Western-oriented Turks have never visited south eastern Turkey, and most Kurds from the southeast if the country no longer can visit Antalya, Bursa, and Izmir. Turkey is already undergoing a psychological partition. Indeed, even Erdogan understands at one level that partition is inevitable, and his economic policies seem to suggest that he has already written off predominantly Kurdish regions.

Psychological separation is impossible to reverse absent wholesale ethnic cleansing. That will be nearly impossible to pull off, however, since the Kurds are armed and experienced. Turks should face reality: Turkey is effectively partitioned. Its borders will change; the only question is whether the new lines will be international borders or internal, federal divisions. Erdogan may see himself as a great leader and a new Atatürk. But while Atatürk built modern Turkey, Erdogan has killed it. He will go down in history not as a hero, but as a corrupt villain who destroyed Turkey for his own vanity.

Officially, Turkey’s General Directorate for Religious Affairs Diyanet has a mission about offering institutional religious services independent of all political ideologies. In practice, Diyanet’s understanding of offering institutional religious services is different from what the term should mean. Recently, the office of Istanbul’s mufti, an official of Diyanet, described the location of a mosque as it was in the past a filthy Jewish and Christian neighborhood.

Diyanet’s institutional religious services overlaps with what in other countries people call intelligence. In a briefing for a parliamentary commission, Diyanet admitted that it gathered intelligence via imams from 38 countries on the activities of suspected followers of the US-based preacher Fetullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government falsely accused of being the mastermind of the attempted coup on July 15. As if it is the most normal thing in the world, Diyanet said its imams gathered intelligence and prepared reports from Abkhazia, Germany, Albania, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

The full transcript of the Erdogan bribe conversations follows:

Dec 17, 2013 08:02 a.m.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: Are you at home, son?

Bilal Erdoğan: Yes, father

RTE:  Now!  They have started an operation this morning. Ali Agaoglu, Reza Zerrab, Erdogan [Bayraktar former Environment Minister]’s son, Zafer [Çağlayan, former Finance Minister]’s son, Muammer [Guler former Interior Minister]’s son, and so on… Their homes are being searched now.

BE: Say that again, dad?

RTE: I’m saying that right now they are searching the homes of 18 people, like Muammer’s son, Zafer’s son, Erdogan’s son, Ali Agaoglu, Reza Zerrab and so on in this big corruption operation thing.

BE: Yeah…

RTE: OK? Now I’m telling you, whatever you have in the house, get rid of it. OK?

BE: What can I have on me dad? Your money is in the safe

RTE: That’s what I am saying. I am sending your sister now, alright?

BE: Who are you sending?

RTE: Your sister.

BE: Ah, OK

RTE: She knows about it too, OK? Talk to your big brother.

BE: Yes.

RTE: For him… Let’s do it like this: Talk with your uncle too, he should also get rid [of the money], also talk to your older sister’s husband, he should, too…

BE: What should we do with it, dad, where should we put it?

RTE: To certain places, to some specific places.

(A voice in the background, apparently of the PM’s wife Emine, is heard saying “Berat”)

BE: Berat has some, too.

RTE: That’s what I am saying. Now, get together, go and get your uncle too, I don’t know if Uncle Ziya has any, alright? Also, inform your brother Burak right away, too.

BE: OK dad. You mean Sumeyye … will tell me where to bring it?

RTE: Yes, fine. Just do something, think about it yourselves with your uncle and everyone.

BE: About what to do?

RTE: Yes, yes, let’s get together quickly, by 10.00. Because the issue is…

BE: OK dad.

RTE: OK? Stay in touch.

BE: OK dad.


2nd call 11.17

BE: Father, We got together with Hasan, and so on. We are together with Berat and my uncle, thinking about it. Berat has another idea. He says to give some of it to Faruk [Kalyoncu, a businessman with close ties to Erdoğan and alleged involvement in corruption] for the other business so he can process it like before. Shall we do it, we can take care of a large amount with this.

RTE: We could.

BE: OK. For another part of it, because we have started a business partnership with Mehmet Gur, we thought of giving it to him and telling him to use it for his new projects as they come up. This way, we will be able to reduce the amount and move the rest elsewhere.

RTE: OK, fine, just do it.

BE: Alright.

RTE: Did Sumeyye arrive?

BE: She arrived home, she’s coming here now. Alright dad, we will sort this out today, inshallah. Anything else?

RTE: It would be good if you… If you can get rid of the lot.

BE: Yes, we will get rid of it all, inshallah.


3rd call 15.39

RTE: Did you do everything else I asked you to?

BE: We will finish in the evening. We sorted some out; We sorted the Berat part, now we will first handle the part with Mehmet Gür and the rest, we will do that when it gets dark.


BE: Inshallah

RTE: What did Sumeyye do?

BE: She took it out, brought it here, we talked…

RTE: Did she sort out both sides?

BE: I think so dad, she said she had emptied both.

RTE: Both sides?

BE: Yes, she said both of them, that’s what you mean when you say both sides, right?

RTE: Whatever. OK, fine.

BE: What time will you arrive?

RTE: About 12.

BE: Safe journey.

RTE: Do not speak on the phone.


4th call 23.15

BE: Hi dad, I am calling to say… we have done most of it. Did you call me, dad?

RTE: No I did not, you called me.

BE: I got a call from a secret number.

RTE: By saying mostly, did you sort the whole lot out?

BE: We have not brought it to zero yet, dad. It’s like this, we still have 30 million euros that we could not yet get rid of. Berat thought of something.. There was an extra 25 million dollars that Ahmet Calik was going to get. They say let’s give it to him. They are talking about doing something when the money comes. And with the money that’s left we can buy a flat from Şehrizar. What do you say, father?

RTE: ….

(a sound is heard in the background)

BE: Dad?

RTE: Is Sumeyye with you?

BE: Ye, she’s here, shall I call her?

RTE: No, there was another sound, that’s why I asked.

BE: Umm.. I mean, he can transfer 25 million dollars to Calik and buy a flat from Sherizar with what’s left.

RTE: Whatever, we will deal with it.

BE: Shall we do it that way?

RTE: Alright.

BE: Do you want for all of it to disappear, or do you want to keep some money for yourself, father?

RTE: No, it can’t stay, son. You could transfer that to the other side, if you had done something with Mehmet, if you had transferred it over there…

BE: Yes, we gave some to them. We gave them 20.

RTE: For God’s sake, if you had transferred it first, then you could do something with it later…

BE: We were able to give this much for now, it is hard already, it’s hard to find a place for it already. We are putting some of it elsewhere, we gave part of it to Tunc, and then…

RTE: did you transfer all to Tunç?

BE: (Sumeyye, can you come) Where, father?

RTE: To Tunç, I said, did you transfer it all to Tunc?

BE: They asked, I think he said that he could take 10 million euros.

RTE: Whatever. Do not discuss all of this like this right now.

BE: OK, then, we will deal with it.

RTE: Ok do it. I am not able to come tonight, I will stay in Ankara

BE: OK, we are dealing with it. Don’t worry.


5th call

18.12.2013 10.58

RTE: I called to see if anything was up.

BE: No, nothing. We finished the tasks you gave us, thank God.

RTE: Is it all taken care of?

BE: Completely – I mean, having said that, I suppose I have the Samandira and Maltepe money, 730.000 USD and 300.000 TL. I will handle these too. We owe 1 million TL to Faruk İsik (AKP MP); I will give it to him and tell him to transfer the rest to the academy.

RTE: Don’t talk openly.

BE: Shouldn’t I talk?

RTE: Do not talk, OK?

BE: Alright dad.

RTE: I mean, do not keep anything on you, whether it is Samandira or whatever… Send it where it needs to be, where do you keep it?

BE: OK dad, but I think currently we are under surveillance.

RTE: What have I been telling to you since the very beginning!

BE: But is it the bodyguard team? Who is following us father?

RTE: Son, you are being tapped.

BE: But apparently they are also visually monitoring…

RTE: That may be true. Now, we have done some things with Istanbul security.


Imagine how to supply with enough food for the global future population when it is expected to grow by 50% by 2020, while the soils and fresh water are increasingly reduced?

That would be a huge issue to deal with for the agriculture. And one of the best methods have been used and will definitely be too are Hydroponics.

Hydroponics, made from two terms “Hydro” defined as water and “Ponics” as labor. So working water is the raw meaning. In essence, it is a method of growing plants without soil. Plants are grown in a water environment full of nutrients. Growing media like perlite, hydroton, vermiculite, etc are used as a substrate to hold and transfer nutrients to plants.

It is such a very effective growing way that has been proven in the large-scale greenhouses and by home growers as well.

Check out the above infographic for essential knowledge about Hydroponics. You will learn about which plants you should start with, how it has won over traditional soil gardening, and what types of Hydroponic systems there are.

Why not start your own indoor gardens and enjoy fresh food throughout the year with Hydroponics?


This Map Shows Which States Will Benefit From Solar Eclipse Tourism

This Map Shows Which States Will Benefit From Solar Eclipse Tourism

On August 21st, millions of Americans will migrate to towns along the path of the upcoming solar eclipse. The Great American Eclipse will stretch over 12 states, and it’s already being called the greatest temporary mass migration to see a natural event in U.S. history. The last total eclipse occurred in the United States in 1979, and businesses are cashing in on the pent-up enthusiasm for this extremely rare celestial event.

Just hours before the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in North America in 99 years, several Webster University professors will give talks about solar eclipses and how they affect the world around us. The lectures are open to the public. Participants also will be invited to watch the eclipse with the professors, using special solar filter glasses supplied by Webster University.

Tours of the recently completed Browning Hall, Interdisciplinary Science Building will be offered. Additionally, a professor from Webster University’s Electronics and Photographic Media Department in the School of Communications will be on hand to answer any last-minute questions about trying to capture the eclipse on film.

Webster University’s Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences is hosting the event at 11 a.m. Aug. 21 in the University’s East Academic Building, 545 Garden Ave., Webster Groves, 63119. The University’s home campus is in the narrow path of “totality,” meaning that those on campus during the event will see the sun completely blocked by the moon for approximately 75 seconds.

“We are inviting our friends, neighbors and family members to watch this rare and beautiful celestial phenomenon along with our students, faculty and staff,” said Physics Professor Ravin Kodikara, who is organizing the event. “We hope that our faculty will be able to add some perspective to the significance of this particular eclipse as well as help you set up your cameras to capture the event.”

The event will start with a brief welcoming ceremony, followed by a quick lecture about safety measures that will need to be taken to prevent sight damage during the eclipse. Kodikara will explain why eclipses can damage retinas as well as give a short talk about solar eclipses and why this particular eclipse is particularly special. Special solar eclipse viewing glasses will be distributed during the event. The University is providing the glasses as a courtesy but holds no responsibility for the misuse of the glasses during the eclipse. It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to make sure that children in their care are using the glasses properly.

Biology Professor Nicole Miller-Struttman will give a short presentation on how solar eclipses affect the behavior of insects and birds. Religion Professor Chris Parr will discuss how solar eclipses have been referenced in religious texts, from ancient myths about what caused an eclipse to modern dooms-day cults that believe an eclipse is a sign of impending destruction. Photography Professor Bill Barrett will be available to answer questions from photographers before the event starts. 

The two rooms hosting the lectures have a maximum capacity of 235 people, therefore seating will be on a first-come first-serve basis.

Besides the lectures, there will be hands-on science-related activities for grade-school children (ages 10 to 14) and a guided tour of the new Interdisciplinary Science Building.The total eclipse (when the moon completely blocks the sun) will start at 1:17 p.m. Central Time. Visitors will view the event from the top of Webster University’s parking garage.

If it rains during the event, the outdoor viewing will be cancelled but the lectures will still be held. The University is planning to stream NASA’s live video of the eclipse from various locations in the United States during the event in the East Academic Building.

For more information about Webster’s Solar Eclipse celebration, visit While the event is free, organizers are asking attendees to register in advance so that the University can order a sufficient amount of solar eclipse glasses. A link to the registration is on the Solar Eclipse web page.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University  comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with nearly 16,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to ensuring high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. For more information, please refer to

Here are some high payoffs that “eclipse boom towns” are hoping for:

Many of the towns in the path of totality have been aggressively marketing themselves to potential onlookers. One town, Hopkinsville, KY, has branded itself as “Eclipseville” leading up to the occasion. It’s likely to payoff, since it’s been reported that visitors from 19 countries and 46 states are descending upon the small town for the perfect glimpse of the phenomenon.

As another example, the sleepy agricultural town of Madras, OR, has an entire festival devoted to the solar eclipse. Appropriately named Oregon Solarfest and running from August 17-22, the festival takes advantage of the town’s perfect location in the high desert of Central Oregon and typical clear skies. Although it’s hard to really determine how many people are coming for the solar eclipse – Madras anticipates over 100,000 visitors, and millions of dollars pouring into the town’s economy.

Astronomical Prices

Accommodation and short-term rentals are skyrocketing thanks to the eclipse craze. Hotels along the route have been 95% booked since 2013, so remaining rooms are going at a premium. Here are a couple examples:

Airbnb told us that over 50,000 guests have been booked along the path of totality so far, with Nashville and towns in South Carolina making up nearly half of that activity.

Total Eclipse of the Grid

The other big impact the eclipse will have is on the U.S. power grid – particularly in states that have a higher reliance on solar energy.

Out of 1,900 power plants, only 17 of them are in the path of totality (mostly in eastern Oregon), but hundreds of others will be at least 90% obscured (mostly around North Carolina and Georgia).

Solar Power Grid Eclipse

More than 100 million solar panels are expected to be affected, dropping output by 20% — equivalent to all the energy the city of San Francisco uses in a week.

At first glance, the eclipse might seem like a major headache for utilities, power generators, and grid operators. However, David Shepheard, a managing director at Accenture, sees it instead as a rare opportunity for a “forecastable dress rehearsal” for dealing with major grid interruptions. Some companies are even using the brief interruption to measure exactly how much rooftop solar power is actually connected to their grids.

Party like it’s 2024

If you aren’t able to watch the upcoming eclipse, don’t worry. The next total solar eclipse in the United States will take place in 2024. (You may want to book your room now though!)

Webster University’s master of business administration program is designed for people on a fast track to success. It’s the perfect answer for professionals who want to shape their own destiny, upgrade their credentials, and be strategic players in the world of business. Trump’s rhetoric is channeling international MBA applicants to European branches of American colleges. Webster Athens has an excellent MBA program. Webster Athens is dedicated to fostering a campus culture that embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion, and promotes international understanding and appreciation. Preparing students for effective, responsible and dynamic involvement in the modern societies in which they live and serve, and for excellence and leadership in their personal and professional lives. The campus is located in Athens, Greece – in the historic district of Plaka. Your Global Learning Experience begins in Webster Athens.

As the world is becoming multipolar and knowledge is set to disperse throughout the globe, embedding oneself in its changes and evolution remains essential. Academic rigor will stay competitive by integrating new teaching methods, program designs, research methods and learning processes. If a school can generate knowledge in multiple locations around the world and blend it to create new insights, it can be assured of fostering a globally-compatible and creative student body.

Whether your interest is management, marketing, or finance, you will be an active learner at Webster Athens.  The classrooms give many hands-on experiences in various cases, and the location in the capital of Greece provides plenty of internship opportunities. With a low student-to-faculty ratio and average class size, Webster Athens makes business education personal. Faculty get to know students on a first-name basis and are readily available to help students when needed. Webster Athens is dedicated to excellence in business teaching, incorporating a global business perspective throughout the curriculum. Every step of the way, students receive the attention and support they need to thrive in business.

Webster Athens offers a fantastic MBA program in a flexible structure which promotes academic depth and encourages business graduate students to explore diverse business interests. At Webster Athens, students have opportunities to build skills and competencies through study trips, conferences, and internships. On the campus, students study in a culturally diverse environment that will create a life-long international network.

Vasilis Botopoulos, Chancellor of Webster Athens, points out: As we look to the future one thing is certain – knowledge will be a key resource and will be highly sought-after around the world. Our challenge is to help to generate ideas that will benefit society, and to educate and train people to work in fields where they will be valued both for their specialized knowledge, and for their ability to communicate and solve problems. To meet these challenges we need to build on the alliances and collaborative partnerships the University has established with business, government, and other institutions. It is equally important that we keep close to our wider communities of interest. This will help to ensure the on-going relevance of our academic programs and the continued excellence of our teaching and learning.

Botopoulos notes: The greater vision of Webster Athens is to build an excellent educational experience embodying mind, body and spirit through a variety of innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. We offer a solid intellectual foundation as well as an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth and thorough understanding of the subject matter. This is learning with ethos, authenticity, cultural understanding, ecological conscience, and service to others.

Botopoulos says: At Webster Athens we cultivate and build the leaders of tomorrow.  It is our hope that our students and alumni, with ethos and philotimo, will inspire others to live their lives with dignity, integrity and compassion. I invite you to come visit our campus. If you seek learning in a way that is challenging, personal, and meaningful, we would love to have you as part of our community. For more information, please refer to

The ultimate benefit of internationalization for Webster University is to learn from the world, not just teach the world what Webster already knows in order to widen its global reach. Instilling a global learning mindset to their students will enable Webster to provide the globally competent talent that companies need. Since the turn of the century, many institutions have added international modules or programs to their curricula, importing faculty and students from elsewhere and exporting their students by offering them study abroad opportunities. Others have formed joint ventures or alliances whereby they export their curriculum to teach local students in distant geographies.

Some institutions have gone a step further than importers and exporters and extended their reach with a physical campus abroad. Business schools were early adopters of this model with the establishment of campuses in Asia and the Gulf countries, such as Carnegie Mellon University establishing a business school in Qatar, INSEAD in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, ESSEC in Singapore, and Webster University in Athens. The benefits of foreign campuses are numerous. First, an extra campus allows the school to attract high quality students who might not have applied to the home campus, and enrich diversity at the same time. Second, it enhances the school’s ability to hire high quality foreign faculty members who might wish to live in the region where the extra campus is located thus increasing the diversity and background of its faculty. Third, it increases the breadth of alumni and broadens the school’s network. Fourth, it improves the school’s visibility and gives it higher credibility as a global institution.

But these initiatives cannot be designed as independent add-ons to an institution’s home campus and core activities. Multi-location institutions must also internationalize their home campus by harmonizing diversity, admissions standards and student culture across their multiple sites. They should aim to create a seamless environment for students and faculty to interact and travel between campuses to maximize their global experience and learning.

Beth Stroble was named the 11th President of Webster University in 2009. During her tenure, Webster University, a global institution with a network of campus locations around the world based in Webster Groves, has solidified its reputation as a truly global university. The University expanded and built partnerships with communities and institutions around the world.

Understanding that financial leadership and stability is critically important, under Stroble’s  leadership, the University has more than doubled its endowment, has seen a fivefold increase in scholarship dollars distributed to students from private sources and established the University’s first endowed faculty positions, as well as improving the institution’s bond ratings and increasing net assets. The University celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015 and significantly became a five-time national Chess champions.  Strengthening Webster’s academic profile and global outreach has attracted significant support from corporations, foundations, and government sources. 

The success of the multi-campus Webster University rests, among other things, on having an internationally recognized brand; seamless transfer of knowledge between campuses; local and foreign students meeting the same admissions standards; frequent travel of faculty and administrative staff across the campuses; and graduates who are able to find local and regional jobs that allow them to put into practice what they have learned.

There are different types of institutions with presences abroad. The multicampus institution is in essence an exporter of its home-grown programs. The multinational institution is a more structured student-exchange-led school. The transnational institution is an integrated collection of international campuses located around the world. In this configuration, students follow the same curriculum wherever they are, but are encouraged to spend time on the school’s different campuses, along with faculty and staff.

A truly global institution should go beyond these structures, free from a home campus bias and driven by a desire to learn from the world to create new knowledge. This is the metanational education institution. It should have at least three main campuses of roughly equal size, each in a major region of the world, that is, Europe, Asia and the Americas. To avoid assimilation traps, these campuses should be located in cosmopolitan cities and could have satellites in neighboring countries. In such a network, no campus should be perceived as inferior to the others. The network’s leadership must therefore foster a culture of cooperation among the sites and stimulate formal communication. The raison d’être of a metanational higher education institution is to generate knowledge in multiple locations with the objective of blending that knowledge to create new insights, and to instill a global learning mindset in its graduates. Webster University is a metanational higher education institution. For more information, please refer to



Each year digital marketers around the world eagerly wait for a slide deck filled with charts, graphs, and stats that are inspiring and educational – plus some shockers. We review the deck each year, dissect the trends presented and bring you the Internet Trends.

Internet Trends of 2017

  1. USA Internet Usage Grows Each Year
  2. Advertising Spend Increases as Mobile Usage Increases
  3. Google and Facebook Dominate Internet Advertising Growth
  4. Facebook and Pinterest Advertising are Driving Sales
  5. Social Media Advertisers Like Measurable Metrics
  6. Marketers Still Find Social Media Marketing a Challenge
  7. Consumers Want Better Customer Service
  8. Google’s Geo-Targeted Local Ads Drive Foot Traffic
  9. Voice Search is on the Rise
  10. AI is Getting Smarter
  11. Mobile Device Time has Doubled in the USA

The propensity of internet users to believe in false ideas has dangerous implications for social media. Social media’s potent ability to rapidly diffuse information and disseminate ideas has made it an important part of today’s news distribution. The massive rise of internet communities, the aggregation and discussion site, is a testament not only to people’s desire for rapid, real-time information, but also their belief that crowd-sourced news is somehow better; with faster updates and more cross-checking by diverse participants making it essentially more accurate. But false internet memes can spread wildly, with sometimes dangerous results. 

The free-wheeling nature of social media democratizing news and information – all things to applaud – creates an environment where mistakes are easily made and false ideas spread rapidly. While these mistakes can be quickly rectified as new information comes to hand, the damage may be serious. Traditional media, aware of the cost of getting things wrong, persists with fact-checking. In the case of the Watertown manhunt, mainstream news outlets were chastised for taking too long to cross-check facts with police reports, delaying filing stories until they were verified. Meanwhile on social media, where individual responsibility is non-existent and there is very little to lose, getting “facts” out fast remained the priority. But it does come with a cost. Particularly worrying is the susceptibility to momentum effects and other dynamics. We need to be careful not to overestimate the quality, or underestimate the challenges, of social media.

Social media is a completely new paradigm of communication and one we are only beginning to understand. The power, reach and speed of discussion forums are phenomenal. While there are many positive examples of crowd-sourcing as a catalyst for idea collaboration and technological innovation for the greater good, the potential for the spread of misinformation cannot be ignored. This continued area of work has implications for organizations managing product rumors and for governments combating the proselytization of extreme ideologies.



Prioritizing the mobile search index over desktop could be seen as a natural progression in Google’s quest to create a better mobile search experience. Google is going mobile-first, which is something the company has long encouraged site owners to do. Google splitting its search index is also a sign of the company adapting to the paradigm shift of mobile search overtaking desktop search.

Having a separate index for mobile creates an opportunity for Googlebot to strictly crawl the responsive/mobile version of a web page and index it accordingly. This could lead to Google delivering better mobile-optimized content to people searching on smartphones. In addition, with expedited indexing, Google can get breaking news out to users faster than ever before.

With the split of Google’s search index, the company is making an emphatic statement that mobile search is more important than desktop search. Google prioritizing mobile over desktop sends a message that SEOs and site owners should do the same. At the very least, this means having either a mobile or responsive version of your website. However, that’s just the bare minimum.

Having a mobile-optimized website is not enough. Speed also matters — not just to Google’s ranking algorithm, but to users as well. According to Google, 53% of users will abandon a site or web page if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds.

Google punishes sites that display pop-ups.  Marketers need to be selective about how they use pop-ups and take a more considered approach when it comes to the user experience. No-one wants to create a bad user experience, because it can be detrimental to credibility, performance, and conversions.  

It would be wise to consider when a website pops up. In order not to disrupt the journey and experience, you would want to prevent the pop-up from appearing immediately. And, of course, you would also want to prevent the pop-up from appearing on the next visit if the user had either signed up or dismissed it.

The new signal in Google’s algorithm is just one of hundreds of signals that are used to determine rankings, so pop-ups could make up a small percentage of the overall score. If a site’s content is relevant, gets lots of clicks and has a decent dwell time, it may still rank highly.


While several technical experts highlight just how smart our appliances, lights, cars, factories, and even cities are becoming, others question whether we’re thinking hard enough about what technology should do rather than what it can do.

As computers get smarter, smaller, and more portable, their brains are being added to an array of formerly dumb devices in all aspects of our lives, even when we are on the road. These smart devices are increasingly equipped with sensors and connected to the internet, allowing data to flow from the external environment to central collection points to be stored, analyzed, and used for a variety of purposes, including optimizing performance.

But the massive amount of data being gathered also raises ethical questions about its use, and those questions increasingly are being answered not by philosophers, ethicists, regulators, or legislators, but by programmers designing the software that guides the devices’ behavior.

What we are doing is instrumenting the world at a greater and greater density to get more and more data to do interesting things.  It’s opening up not just very interesting uses, but very troubling abuses.

The growing sophistication of the global Internet of Things is the focus of many executives. They highlight specific projects, including the city of Chicago’s experimental sensor network gathering several kinds of data, drones used for environmental research, smart lighting that could cut electric bills by 90 percent, the potential of a future smart energy grid to handle the variability of clean energy, and the importance of machine learning to the continued growth of the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things has the potential to have an enormous impact both at home and in the business world. There are several initiatives underway in Chicago, including one that uses consumer complaints to direct more effectively an undermanned crew of health inspectors. The work, currently in a pilot phase, crunches 34 variables to target the restaurants likeliest to have unsanitary conditions and reaches them an average of 7.4 days earlier than under existing protocols. The aim is to reduce cases of food poisoning in the city.

The city is using a similar model to guide its rodent-baiting program to head off outbreaks, and to target illegal cigarette sales. The city is committed to data-informed decision-making. Chicago has deployed 28 sensor arrays — and plans 500 by the end of 2018 — that monitor temperature, humidity, sound, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, pollen, and diesel, and that also have cameras to gather information on pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle interactions. One initial priority for the gathered data is to examine pedestrian and vehicle near-misses.

Despite the bland physicality of the term the internet of things, much of the transformational potential of connecting devices to the cloud comes from blurring the lines around traditional business models and abstracting what it means to make and sell a product. The internet of things is not really about things. The impact is really in changing to service-based business models. The enhanced interconnectivity is impacting the business world greatly.

For example, Konica Minolta no longer sells office copy machines — it provides a connected digital hub and businesses pay for the scanning, copying, and digitization services it provides. Selling these outcomes is a revolutionary change for a company long steeped in a one-time revenue model of selling physical products. The impact on business models is profound when you have this kind of real-time connection to the thing itself.

What’s more, these business-model transformations have a way of trickling down and spreading across industries. If GM sells you a Wi-Fi–enabled car, that means AT&T, looking for ways to expand beyond phones, can add a vehicle to your data plan. Meanwhile, GM is now in the business of selling the data it collects from your car, perhaps to an insurance company that offers a pay-as-you-drive insurance model.

You would never think of a car company of being in the business of monetizing data, but that’s absolutely where they’re trying to go. And their competition is not just Ford or Nissan. They’re also thinking, Who else is monetizing data? Who else wants access to this information that I have? How do I use that as a strategic point within this entire automotive ecosystem?

That impact on business models of all sorts might be the most transformative aspect of the internet of things. How can we create company value through the use of data and things?. One is enhancing existing business models, one is creating new business models, and one is providing the platform that facilitates or sometimes enables the enhancement and creation of those business models.

Of course, these opportunities don’t come without significant risks. If people think online data security is difficult, it’s nothing compared to the potential vulnerabilities that come from millions or even billions of connected devices. Some of them have an IQ of 1,000, but some of them have an IQ of 10. There are many small devices that are stupid and that could be an easy target for hackers. The scope and scale of security is extraordinarily broad.

Every refrigerator with an IP address and a default password that people are unlikely to change becomes a target for spreading viruses. They’re not just low-hanging fruit, they’re low-hanging watermelons. What’s more, hacking a laptop generally affects only data. The internet of things extends the vulnerabilities into the high-stakes physical world of objects and actions, from sabotaging factory robots to taking control of a car.

But if the risks are large, so are the opportunities to transform entire industries. Arable Labs, a farming data-analytics startup, has developed a souped-up weather station that could help the company reduce risk throughout the agricultural food chain. Placed among crops in the field, the device tracks dozens of data streams on things like rain and nutrient levels, canopy cover, and plant health. The insights help growers not only to optimize the best time to prune, irrigate, and harvest, but also to predict crop yields and quality, a critical component of coordinating with retailers who want foreknowledge of what’s going to be ripe and when so they can adjust their marketing efforts accordingly.

Security concerns are sometimes raised when images and sensor data are gathered in public places, but programmers regularly make what are tantamount to ethical decisions in an array of fields. Those decisions will have a far larger sway in how devices operate and how data is used than any belated regulatory decisions made by politicians. Policymakers are somewhere between three and 20 years behind what we’re doing. By the time policy is discussed, we’re on the third generation, and the reality on the ground overrides policy.

A home repair to a furnace or appliance could be scheduled just before a device breaks rather than just after, with the repair company acting on information sent from the device itself. The repairman could automatically be scheduled when you’re home because your smart devices know you have an extra cup of coffee on Saturday mornings and so are likely to be there. But would the system be as benign, when you’d had your third glass of wine and the data went to your doctor and insurance agent?

Similar ethical issues are playing out in the real world. The complex software guiding self-driving cars has life-and-death consequences, and in designing them programmers are making critical decisions that could affect people’s lives. If that work is done without considering its ethical implications, that’s a grave mistake.

The Internet of Things might be a way to drive efficiency. It’s also the deployment of the most sophisticated surveillance state there has ever been. As you design these things, you are making policy decisions. You need to engage with people who think about these things, if you don’t.


The digital revolution is one of the great social transformations of our time. How can we make the most of it, and also minimize and manage its risks?  New information and communication technologies are having a profound impact on many aspects of social, political and economic life, raising important new issues of social and public policy. Surveillance, privacy, data protection, advanced robotics and artificial intelligence are only a few of the many fundamental issues that are now forcing themselves onto the public agenda in many countries around the world.


We have witnessed social media playing a major role in mobilizing events of historic proportions, such as the Arab Spring protests in the Middle East and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States. Social media platforms, such as, are often cited as the facilitators of these mobilizations.


But most big social media-generated events seem to burst upon the scene, capture our attention for a few days, and then fade into oblivion with nothing substantial accomplished. No one — be they a charismatic leader or a raucous crowd — seems able to move people into action for extended periods of time using social media. This is especially ironic at a time when the online, crowdsourced society has reached maturity and is now widespread.


The rise of both social media and the end of power is anything but a coincidence. In fact, the confluence of these factors is a techno-social paradox of the 21st century. Social media, such as, has provided the fuel for unpredictable, temporary mobilization, rather than steady, thoughtful, and sustainable change. In business, this may play out when a new product, company, or service — from phones to startups to games — grabs people’s attention for a single announcement and then flames out.

There is insufficient attention on the underlying incentive structures, the hidden network of interpersonal motivations and leadership, that provide the engine for collective decision making and actions.


A number of large-scale social mobilization experiments bear out the importance of incentive structures. The difference in strategy is not just the emphasis on viral communications, but the way that incentives are matched with the motivations of the participants. Successful teams tap into people’s motivation for personal profit, charity, reciprocity, or entertainment.


Incentive networks are an important middle layer between ideologies and culture on the one hand, and the simple digital fingerprints left by social movements in online digital platforms. They are part of what is fueling new areas of business such as the cocreation of products and brands through competitions and crowdsourcing.


Ideologies and culture shape what individuals want to achieve as they go about their daily lives, how they relate to each other’s well-being, and how they help each other achieve those goals. These behaviors can be mapped into a network of incentives where each individual payoff depends on the payoffs of others. By contrast, the inability to sustain and transfer bursts of social mobilization into lasting social change or business results is rooted in the superficial design of today’s digital social media — that is, it is designed primarily to maximize information propagation and virality through optimization of clicks and shares. However, this emphasis is detrimental to engagement and consensus-building. Understanding the dichotomy is an important lesson for those involved in online marketing.


There have been other great technological revolutions in the past but the digital revolution is unprecedented in its speed, scope and pervasiveness. Today, less than a decade after smartphones were first introduced, around half the adult population in the world owns one – and by 2020, according to some estimates, 80% will.

Smartphones are, of course, much more than phones: they are powerful computers that we carry around in our pockets and handbags and that give us permanent mobile connectivity. While they enable us to do an enormous range of things, from checking and sending emails to ordering a taxi, using a map and paying for a purchase, they also know a lot about us – who we are, where we are, which websites we visit, what transactions we’ve made, whom we’re communicating with, and so on. They are great enablers but also powerful generators of data about us, some of which may be very personal.

The rapid rise and global spread of the smartphone is just one manifestation of a technological revolution that is a defining feature of our time. No one in the world today is beyond its reach: the everyday act of making a phone call or using a credit card immediately inserts you into complex global networks of digital communication and information flow.

The digital revolution is often misunderstood because it is equated with the internet and yet is much more than this. It involves several interconnected developments: the pervasive digital codification of information; the dramatic expansion of computing power; the integration of information technologies with communication systems; and digital automation or robotics.

Taken together, these developments are spurring profound changes in all spheres of life, from industry and finance to politics, from the nature of public debate to the character of personal relationships, disrupting established institutions and practices, opening up new opportunities and creating new risks.

We are living through a time of enormous social, political and technological change. On the one hand, the digital revolution is enabling massive new powers to be exercised by states and corporations in ways that were largely unforeseen. And, on the other, it is giving rise to new forms of mobilization and disruption from below by a variety of actors who have found new ways to organize and express themselves in an increasingly networked world. While these and other developments are occurring, the traditional institutions of democratic governance find themselves ill-equipped to understand and keep pace with the new social and technological landscapes that are rapidly emerging around them.

Key challenges for digital society

  • What are the consequences of permanent connectivity for the ways that individuals organize their day-to-day lives, interact with others, form social relationships and maintain them over time? 
  • What implications do these transformations have for traditional forms of political organization and communication? Are they fueling alternative forms of social and political mobilization, facilitating grass-root movements and eroding trust in established political institutions and leaders?
  • What are the implications for privacy of the increasing capacity for surveillance afforded by global networks of communication and information flow? Do individuals in different parts of the world value privacy in the same way, or is this a distinctively Western preoccupation?
  • How is censorship exercised on the internet? What forms does it assume and what kinds of material are censored? How do censorship practices vary from one country to another? To what extent are individuals aware of censorship and how do they cope with it?
  • Just as the internet creates new opportunities for states and other organisations to exercise surveillance and censorship, so too it enables individuals and other organisations to disclose information that was previously hidden from view and to hold governments and corporations to account: who are the digital whistleblowers, how effective are they and what are the consequences of the new forms of transparency and accountability that they, among others, are developing?
  • What techniques do criminals use to deceive users online, how widespread are their activities and what can users do to avoid getting caught in their traps?
  • What impact is the digital revolution – including developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning – having on traditional industries and forms of employment, and what impact is it likely to have in the coming years? Will it usher in a new era of mass unemployment in which professional occupations as well as manual jobs are displaced by automation, as some fear? 
  • What are the implications of the pervasive digitization of intellectual content for our traditional ways of thinking about intellectual property and our traditional legal mechanisms for regulating intellectual property rights?
  • How widespread are new forms of currency that exist only online – so-called cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin – and what impact are they likely to have on traditional financial practices and institutions?
  • How are new forms of data analysis and advanced robotics affecting the practice of medicine, the provision of healthcare and the detection and control of disease, and how might they affect them in the future?

Every day, and increasingly in every way, we are outsourcing our brains to the internet at a big cost. As smartphones get smarter, it’s easy to argue that we’re getting thicker. That’s not quite true. Our brains are not necessarily shriveling, but they are adapting. Thanks to technology, the need to know has been replaced by the ability to find out. Younger people, especially the digital natives who have never known life without the web, are most comfortable in this new environment.

The plasticity of the brain is the ability to adapt its function according to which neural pathways are most employed. Our brains are changing to meet the demands of this high-octane modern world.  Technology is ruining our ability to think and communicate properly.

The brain requires exercise, and we allow it to atrophy at our peril. While we get better at juggling ideas, our memories are taking a battering. The Google effect shows that people tend not to bother remembering something if they believe it can be looked up later. People are more likely to index, to remember where information is located rather than the actual information itself.

Memory and our sense of self are inevitably linked, because personal identity is founded on consciousness. When memories fail in old age, we feel we lose a part of us that rests deep within. That is why Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease. It may well be that memory is more spiritual than we like to admit. By using our minds, we nourish a part of us that goes beyond the physical. Equally, by storing memory outside of ourselves on a piece of technology, we lose something fundamental.

Marketers plan to double their spending on social media, such as, in the next five years. Half of CMOs believe they are not prepared to manage the challenges of social media. This disparity highlights an important, and potentially costly, problem: Marketers continue to increase social media spending, yet many are still uncertain about management, strategies, and integration.

There really is no one-size-fits-all social media strategy. Stories are an effective marketing and advertising tool. What marketers need is a process that leads to individual solutions. They must use fundamental marketing concepts and modify them for this new two-way, consumer-empowered medium of social media.

Identify your business objectives and target market. Also consider your industry, the recent performance of the brand, and the current traditional marketing promotions for the product and its competitors. A startup or new product needs to generate awareness, while an older product may need to be revived.

Brands cannot talk to everyone in every social channel, so narrowly define whom you want to listen to and communicate with. Start with simple Google searches on your brand name, analytics tools within social networks, and look to secondary research.

Social media, such as, is all about producing fresh, relevant content, so create things that your audience will find valuable, whether it’s how-to articles or simply something entertaining. Where you deliver the content matters too.  The best social media plans deliver content that’s optimized to each channel. Engage the target audience on the channels they use with material that is unique to the channel. Select social channels that fit brand message, type of content, and target audience.

Some brands have invested in a social media command center. These branded social media monitoring rooms acting as a central visual hub for social data, to speed up marketing and engagement with customers.  Don’t base your marketing strategy on people’s tips about what may work for your business. Having even a basic process in place can help you be more strategic about social media decisions and make your social media spending more effective.




Readers want the freedom to decide for themselves how they feel about a particular subject. To do so, they need a holistic understanding of the players involved—how different camps interpret and explain facts. This nuance gives a voice to those who may have been overshadowed, and has the potential to shift public discourse.

Especially in a segregated society, nuance humanizes the dark other and has the potential to influence policy. At, nuance drives every story from exposés on abuses in Syria to profiles of comedians. It serves as a principle of the publication and, in large part, is what makes it enjoyable to read.

Regardless of whether or not you cover sensitive topics with high stakes, all writers have to consider how each point in a post can expose a source. It is ultimately the blogger’s job to accurately present information and protect informants. Sources humanize blogger’s research. They become the voice for a thesis or trend, and they color the narrative with subjectivity.

Choosing the right source means not only finding a compelling anecdote, but also identifying the person whose narrative will support a blogger’s research. Whose story can link to documents? And how reliable of a witness are they?

When we were researching violence committed by the Turkish government, these questions were essential. So many people were willing to come forward and share relevant stories, but that didn’t mean they were all right for the story. Even if a source can offer controversial or fascinating insights, writers need to be able to distinguish the tweetable quotation from the one that corroborates hard evidence.

Biased blogging has placed a healthy burden on writers to be more transparent with their audience.  While being transparent with your audience is critical, it is important to extend this transparency to your sources. Clearly communicating how you plan to use (or not use) an interview gives your subject a chance to prepare for any unwanted backlash. Getting it right means more than just what the source wants. Social media is a way to keep the story alive longer and have the ability to follow up on it in the long haul.

Internet trolls are disruptive combative and often unpleasant with their offensive or provocative online posts designed to disturb and upset. The common assumption is that people who troll are different from the rest of us, allowing us to dismiss them and their behavior. But under the right circumstances, anyone can become a troll.

 It’s a spiral of negativity. Just one person waking up cranky can create a spark and, because of discussion context and voting, these sparks can spiral out into cascades of bad behavior. Bad conversations lead to bad conversations. People who get down-voted come back more, comment more and comment even worse.

The flag status of the previous post in the discussion is the strongest predictor of whether the next post would be flagged. Mood-related features, such as timing and previous flagging of the commenter, are far less predictive. The user’s history and user ID, although somewhat predictive, are still significantly less informative than discussion context. This implies that, while some people may be consistently more prone to trolling, the context in which we post is more likely to lead to trolling.

Conversation context and mood can lead to trolling.  Understanding what actually determines somebody to behave antisocially is essential if we want to improve the quality of online discussions. Insight into the underlying causal mechanisms could inform the design of systems that encourage a more civil online discussion and could help moderators mitigate trolling more effectively.

Interventions to prevent trolling could include discussion forums that recommend a cooling-off period to commenters who have just had a post flagged, systems that automatically alert moderators to a post that’s likely to be a troll post or shadow banning, which is the practice of hiding troll posts from non-troll users without notifying the troll.

Internet is far from being the worldwide village of cordial debate and discussion people once thought it would become. It’s us who are causing these breakdowns in discussion. A lot of news sites have removed their comments systems because they think it’s counter to actual debate and discussion. Understanding our own best and worst selves here is key to bringing those back.

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The success of sponsored posts has radicalized the way companies communicate. The sponsored post revolution signals more than a mere marketing fad. It marks an important new chapter in the history of business communications, the era of corporate enlightenment. The phenomenon of sponsored posts has unfolded rapidly because it responds to consumer preference.  Most people would rather learn about a company via a sponsored post than an ad. Sponsored posts in Venitism allow companies to react in real time, provide increased transparency, and create a strong brand identity at a fraction of the price of traditional marketing tactics, and in less time.

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