September 2015

Meaghan Ellis


Parents have nurturing and protective instincts. That’s no secret. So, it’s not uncommon to hear stories about parents doing everything in their power to support and protect their children. However, a recent growing parental trend that’s turning heads is the support and acceptance of the transgender lifestyles in adolescent children.
Now, a video of one mom’s support of her transgender teen has sparked quite a debate. Not only does she support her daughter, but she’s gone to great lengths to ensure her daughter transitions properly. As expected, the video has sparked controversy.
According to Breitbart, the video captures the mom giving her daughter, who was born a boy, her very first dose of estrogen as the biologically male child begins the transition to become a girl. Apparently, the moment was relatively groundbreaking for the mother and child, because they reportedly had to wait almost three years for the medical treatment to be approved due to the child’s age. So, the mother filmed their moment and presented the medication as a surprise.
Footage of their pivotal moment was uploaded to YouTube on September 25. The mom also included a caption explaining the video. “Today after waiting 2 1/2 years she FINALLY got her estrogen. I picked it up while she was in school so she had no idea,” the mother wrote. “We have been waiting months for the readiness letter to be finalized and sent to Chicago, so had no idea on a timeline of when it would actually happen. Sorry I had to stop recording because we were both blubbering sobbing fools LOL. September 24th is a day I will remember for the rest of my life!”

The video, which was posted to the YouTube account named “Just An Ordinary Girl,” has attracted more than three million viewers in just a few days. With all the attention also came a heated debate. Although commenting is disabled on the YouTube page, many viewers have shared their opinion commenting on reports about the video via news outlets and blogs. While some viewers commended the mom for supporting her child, others criticized her actions. But as expected, the argument boils down to the difference between Conservative perspective and the liberal left.
At such a young age, children are exposed to all types of influences. Whether it’s peer pressure or something as innocuous as a TV commercial, children are easily influenced. So, while I understand the mother’s attempt to love, nurture, and support her child, I believe the use of enhancement drugs is a bit drastic, especially considering long-term consequences should the child change their mind as children often do.
The child could very well be transgender, but then there’s the other possibility that the child could be going through a phase. Either way, the use of enhancement drugs will offer long-term effects that could be problematic with time if the child develops a different opinion. While I wouldn’t condemn or ostracize any child, I wouldn’t resort to these measures as a form of support at such an early age.
[Image via YouTube Screen Capture]

Sean Brown

Are you an “expecting mother” or a “pregnant woman”? Well, not anymore you’re not, and the new term being used is causing people to fly off the handle, especially for the reason behind it.
As it is, everything used to identify a person’s sex is slowly being erased from our culture by the progressive left, who’s attempting to engineer our society into some warped dystopia. Now, the militant gaystapo has taken things a step further, and people are justifiably outraged over it.
LGBTQ advocates have launched a successful campaign against the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) to discredit a mother’s role in giving birth to a child, while at the same time legitimizing the mental illness known as transgenderism by changing the language they use to identify expecting women, InfoWars reported. This isn’t a hoax or a conspiracy either.
Breastfeeding trans dad (Fox News)
The website for MANA confirms that they’ll no longer be referring to “pregnant women” as exactly that, but instead will use the more politically correct — and undoubtedly enraging — label of “birthing individuals,” and they didn’t stop there. They’ve also scrubbed “mothers” from their list of acceptable terms when referring to pregnant women.
“Pregnant individuals are the only direct care providers for themselves and their unborn babies, thus the most important determinant of a healthy pregnancy is the pregnant person,” MANA states on its website. “The biological wisdom to give birth is innate, it has been held throughout time, and is experienced across cultures by all pregnant people.”
You mad yet? I am. In fact, my blood is boiling at both the stupidity and the sheer lunacy involved with this, and the fact that a maternal organization went along with it is even worse. Fortunately, other sane midwives weren’t too happy about the absolutely insane language change, so they fired off an open letter to the group’s leadership in which they called the decision an attack on women and blasting them for placing feelings over actual reality.
“By embracing the idea that any human other than those in a class called women carry offspring to term, give birth to them and nurse them, we are prioritizing gender identity over biological reality,” the open letter stated. “We are also contributing to the cultural erasure of women’s wisdom that the physiological power encoded in our female bodies is what creates, nourishes, and births live offspring and transmits culture. Maintaining this understanding of women’s unique power to give birth does not preclude practitioners from taking into account how individuals in their care prefer to be identified.”
Of course, no good rational argument comes without some sort of moonbat liberal response, and as you would expect, the far-left rag Huffington Post printed a long retort to the letter, calling it “transphobic” and “highly offensive” to the gender confused because it “denies” their feelings and “implies the care provider decides the identity of the client.”
I’ve been reporting on this madness quite frequently lately, and it’s with good reason. All around us, while we’re distracted by sports, the Pope, so-called “real” housewives, etc, absolute madness is rising up and taking over, yet people are completely oblivious because they either don’t care or don’t pay attention.
First it was men who the progressive liberals came after, and after collectively gelding the American male, they set their sights on the institution of marriage. Now that it’s destroyed, they’re going after the traditionally and biologically female role of having children, and they’ll continue down the line until our nation is turned inside out, yet nobody is trying to stop any of it. It blows my mind. Is this America or Sodom and Gomorrah?

Amanda Shea

Subway stock photos
An HIV-positive “sandwich artist” at a Subway in Indiana let his boss in on a little secret that he had kept from other employees and customers for some time. Once the manager was told what had gone on behind the scenes, the restaurant had to do what needed to be done. The disgruntled employee didn’t see it that way, and the sickening situation went from bad to worse.
While the unnamed worker was slapping together subs for hungry customers, he was also handling their food and sharp kitchen tools while knowing he was HIV positive, a concerning tidbit diners weren’t aware of. At some point, he divulged his diagnosis with his manager, who took the news with the shock anyone would expect. After all, this employee is touching people’s food and most people wouldn’t feel too comfortable eating something prepared by another person with a communicable disease.
In response to the employee’s disclosure, the manager expressed her safety concerns, asking, “What if you cut yourself?” and “What if our customers find out?” Then, she informed the infected worker that she would have to pass the information on to the district manager, according to the employee’s account of the uncomfortable conversation.
It took about a month for the district manager to address the situation, all the while the HIV-positive employee was still making and handing other people’s food. That’s when the worker was told that he was being terminated out of concern for the liability of the company. The news didn’t sit well with the former fast-food worker, who knew exactly how he would retaliate on the Subway shop who fired him.
Subway in Sheridan, Indiana
The former employee gathered all the advocates he could get to fight a legal battle against the company for discriminating against him. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), he had a legitimate case, since the law states that HIV is considered a disability, and therefore, employers are prohibited from discriminating against him, Fox 59 reported.
After learning that he had a case and could get a fat paycheck for it, the employee went for the jugular, suing Subway for financial compensation to cover back pay and compensatory and punitive damages.
“One of the reasons we litigate a case like this is so people recognize that it is against the law,” said Nancy Dean Edmonds, who is the legal mouthpiece for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “You can’t terminate someone just because you find out that they’re HIV positive.”
Edmonds insists that the Subway intentionally targeted this employee out of ignorance and unnecessary fear, and essentially spit in the face of a person with federally protected rights.
Management at the Subway wasn’t dishonest about why they were letting the infected employee go, so to act as if this was some sort of devious plan on their part is only an attempt to add to the victim image they are wanting to paint this worker with. Although HIV is not transmitted through food, it’s still a liability for the company to have this guy handling cold cuts and sharp objects that could easily create a bloody and uncomfortable situation.
The employee probably intended to sue before he informed his boss that he was HIV positive, knowing that he would get fired. Lawsuits are the new welfare, and with his claim and our liberal system, chances are he’ll be rewarded for whining. He could have gotten a job in a different industry at any time, but suing is easier than punching a clock.
h/t: [Fox59]

The number of adults in the U.S. who are overweight or obese – more than two-thirds – has become worrisome enough. But the number of overweight and obese kids, though less than that of adults, is also growing, and especially troubling since the signs of heart disease and diabetes can follow from eerily early in childhood. A couple of weeks ago, the case study of the youngest person ever to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – at three years old – was presented at a diabetes conference in Europe (but, perhaps not surprisingly, the toddler was from the U.S.). A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine lays out what happens in the body when kids are not just overweight, but various levels of obese. And extreme obesity seems to pose considerably more risks than mild obesity.
This picture taken on May 25, 2015 shows a nurse taking the blood pressure of an overweight boy during his acupuncture and exercise treatment at the Aimin (Love the People) Fat Reduction Hospital in the northern port city of Tianjin. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
The research, carried out jointly by the University of North Carolina and Wake Forest Baptist, looked at data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and focused in on 8,500 kids, aged 3 to 19, whose BMIs were the 85th percentile or higher. They looked at variables like blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels fluctuated at various levels of overweight and obese. Among the sample of kids, 47% were overweight, 36% percent had Class I obesity, 12% had the more severe Class II obesity, and 5% had Class III obesity, the most severe kind. (For Class II, the children’s BMI is greater than 120% of the 95th percentile of BMI, and for Class III, it’s greater than 140% of the 95th percentile.)
Not surprisingly, the more severely obese a child was, the greater the markers for heart disease and diabetes: HDL (“good”) cholesterol fell, blood pressure and blood fats known as triglycerides rose, and a marker of diabetes, hemoglobin A1C levels, also rose. The differences were more severe in boys than in girls. Given that men are more prone to heart disease and diabetes, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that boys would be at greater risk than girls.
“We found the greater the severity of obesity, the higher the risks of markers for heart disease and diabetes, particularly in boys,” said study author Asheley Cockrell Skinner of the UNC School of Medicine. “Kids with very severe obesity are about twice as likely as those with lower levels of obesity to display risk factors.” This is important, since it suggests that obesity isn’t just one category, and that the risks for severe obesity are different from those of mild obesity.
Knowing how the risks change as weight goes up may help doctors decide what recommendations to make as early on as possible. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot to learn about what the best early treatments are, and public health campaigns sometimes miss the mark. Behavioral interventions – for the whole family – are certainly a lot less invasive and probably more effective than medication and surgery, since overweight and obesity have such a huge psychological component. Helping parents understand the risks of childhood obesity (and adult obesity for that matter) is also essential, as is teaching families how to make healthier choices and substitutions where possible and affordable. “We need to better understand how early we should treat these risk factors, and what are the best ways to do so,” adds Skinner. “Future research also needs to help us understand the differences between girls and boys and what that means for how we treat them.”
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Given the physical, emotional, and economic tolls obesity takes on people of any age, it’s time to start giving it a little more attention. Stigma is a big deal for adults, but even more for kids—so finding weight loss methods that are effective and empathic is important. So is teaching them not just to eat well, but what a healthy lifestyle looks like in general, which is the tough job of parents and of the healthcare community. “It’s important,” says Skinner, “that we find ways to address the health effects without stigmatizing children with obesity—addressing obesity by putting health first.”
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What makes a successful trader or investor?
One of the valuable contributions of Jack Schwager’s classic Market Wizards is its attempt to identify the factors that contribute to the success of elite money managers. Interestingly, Schwager found that the wizards were not those who were always right in their views. Rather, they were quick to recognize when they were wrong and liquidate their positions. The remedy for losing, he noted, is not to try harder, but to step back and regain perspective. To no small extent, what makes a market wizard is the ability to be wrong and flexibly deal with those situations.
Many of the wizards, Schwager found, experienced debilitating losses early in their careers. They succeeded by learning from those blowups and on many occasions were transformed by the harrowing drawdowns. In their excellent book Momo Traders, Brady Dahl and Nate Michaud describe ten highly successful day traders and examine what makes them tick. Two of those top traders are ones I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know personally: Bao Nguyen and Gregg Sciabica. Interestingly, both began their trading careers with an early passion for trading that led them to exhaustively research winning strategies. Both also blew up after initial success, losing a large portion of their capital. Despite the massive setback, they persisted in their interest and ultimately became better–and more prudent–traders as a result.
I find it significant that Schwager, studying money managers, and Dahl and Michaud, studying day traders both arrived at a two part formula for success in markets: passion and persistence.
An excellent article from Michelle McQuaid takes a look at mental toughness and evidence that the ability to withstand negative emotional experience is an essential component of success. She cites the work of Emilia Lahti, who has examined the Finnish characteristic known as “sisu”.  Lahti describes it as an action mindset in the face of adversity, a kind of second wind of consciousness that enables us to draw upon resources when we are put to the test. McQuaid quotes Lahti:  “Sisu isn’t so much about achievement, but more about immersing yourself in an experience with every fiber of your being and not giving up.”
The work on resilience and sisu helps us understand that it is precisely the drive of elite traders that allows for immersing themselves with every fiber of their being and thereby accessing that second wind of consciousness. In other words, passion fuels persistence: we are mentally tough when we are emotionally committed. Ordinary efforts expended on ordinary tasks exhaust us after a time. Extraordinary efforts in the service of extraordinary tasks actually energize us, allowing us to sustain seeming career-ending setbacks and come back stronger and wiser.
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One implication of this line of reasoning is that we can best identify what we are meant to be doing in life by reverse-engineering our experiences of sisu. Those occasions in which we immerse ourselves and refuse to give up in the face of adversity can only occur if we have found the passion worthy of persistence. All of us, at times, have experienced mental toughness: that is when we’re at our strongest, most aligned with our strengths and interests. In those moments of passion and persistence we find our path.
Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D.

Dear Liz,
You always say that we humans are strange in that we don’t pay a lot of attention when people praise and compliment us, but any blow to our self-esteem really rocks us. That’s definitely true in my case!
I am job-hunting after eight years in the same job and I would say my job search is going pretty well. I’m in two interviewing pipelines right now. In one of them, I’m still trying to learn enough about the job to decide whether I want it or not.
There are some aspects to the job that don’t sound like a lot of fun, but I’ll bore you with that story another time.
The other potential opportunity looks interesting and promising.
I got a call from a recruiter the other day about a new (third) potential job opportunity. I’m a Product Development Manager and I guess we are in short supply right now, at least here in the Seattle area.
The recruiter asked me the usual questions and we had a 15- or 20-minute chat.
Then, he must have trusted me enough to tell me who the employer was (not one of the two tech giants most people associate with Seattle).


I was interested in potentially working for that company, so I said “That sounds great. I have a few friends who work there.”
The recruiter said “Well, don’t tell your friends you’re interviewing with the company, if we get that far, because this is a confidential search.”
That puzzled me. I thought maybe it was a super-confidential search, as in maybe they have somebody doing the job right now and they want to fire that person and hire someone new in.
I don’t want a job where I’m the instant replacement for someone who’s still working there while I’m interviewing for his or her job. That is beyond tacky and I don’t need a job that badly.
I asked the recruiter “When you say it’s a confidential search, do you mean someone is doing the job right now and isn’t aware that the company wants to make a change?”
I thought I worded that question reasonably well, but I guess the recruiter didn’t agree. He said in a frosty tone of voice “I TOLD you it’s a confidential search!”
That was the last I heard from him.
The recruiter got off the phone quickly and that was that. I wrote a follow-up email message but I never heard another word.

Yesterday it hit me that there can’t be an infinite number of Product Development Manager positions at the company that has the job opening, and like I told the recruiter, I have friends who work there. I called my good friend Sandra and explained the situation to her.
Of course, I told her it was a confidential situation, but I certainly trust Sandra more than I trust that recruiter (and more than he trusted me).
Sandy said “I’m not surprised. The guy who has that job now is floundering. It’s tacky that they’re recruiting for his job while he still has the job, but our VP of R & D, his boss, is a slimeball kind of guy.
“I’m going to nose around in HR and see if they heard about you from the recruiter who called you. I have a friend who works in HR.”
Sandy talked to her friend and the friend said ‘The recruiter said that your friend Abigail is abrasive — that’s why we didn’t interview her, because otherwise her resume looks amazing.’
I don’t want the job anyway because of this incident and because now I know the VP is a slimeball, but can you believe it? I got tagged as ‘abrasive’ merely for asking an obvious question?
What’s your take, Liz?
Thanks,


Abigail
listen to your gut for linkedin april 2015
Dear Abigail,
Wow! That recruiter had much bigger fish to fry than tagging you ‘abrasive’ that day, because he made a massive mistake. He could easily have been fired from his job if anyone higher up in the chain of command had hear about his misstep.
As you correctly surmised, the recruiter should never have given you the employer’s name.
What if you had a friend who worked there — as you turned out to do, the Seattle high tech community being as insular as any other tech community – and you spilled the beans such that the guy on the bubble heard about the search for his replacement?
The recruiter called you ‘abrasive’ because if you had gone into the organization for an interview, you might have innocently shared the news that you learned which employer was hiring a Product Development Manager at the earliest point in the recruiting process – during your very first phone call with the recruiter.
That was a major gaffe on the recruiter’s part.


I completely agree with you that active recruiting for an occupied position is a slimeball move and that you have no need of these people — the sleazy R & D VP or the fearful and incompetent recruiter.  You’re doing fine in your job search without them.
Remember that when you freak people out, their first move will often be to lash out against you personally. The best defense is a good offense!
Forget the clueless recruiter and Sandra’s employer and stay on your path, Abigail. Keep in mind that Sandra’s friend in HR says your resume is amazing. That’s great news!
You have good instincts. Follow them to your next great job!
All the best,
Liz


In with the new: Stefan Larsson (left) and Ralph Lauren. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Can a Swedish-born fast fashion impresario revive the fortunes of a faltering American clothing and accessories empire known for its upscale dreams of country clubs and Western chic? Ralph Lauren, 75, the self-made billionaire who’s run his eponymous company for nearly 50 years, surprised the fashion world yesterday when he announced that he will relinquish the CEO’s job in favor of Stefan Larsson, 41, a veteran of Gap’s downscale Old Navy brand and discount clothing purveyor H&M.
When Lauren first heard Larsson’s name from a Lauren board member, the New York Times reports, he said, “Why would I be looking for that? We’re building a great luxury company.” The two met for a private dinner in New York, and Lauren was still thinking, “Why am I here?” According to the Times, the feeling was mutual. “I was hesitating,” Larsson said. “Why was he interested in speaking to me?” But the two had great chemistry and Lauren warmed immediately to the idea. Said Lauren, “He’s unique as a man, a man who’s capable of building businesses and growing companies, but at the same time he’s sensitive to people’s feelings,”
That combination of sensitivity and smarts has brought great success to Larsson through his career, first at Stockholm-based discount fashion retailer H&M where he worked for 15 years, and then for the last three years, at what was a foundering brand before he got there, Old Navy, owned by San Francisco-based Gap. At Old Navy, Larsson pushed to change the strategy from what he called “clothes-by-the-pound” to a more aspirational, fashion- conscious approach.
In a May interview with the Times, Larsson compared his search for new, appealing Old Navy merchandise to Apple’s constant releases of improved gadgets. “If you keep competing with generic products, and a higher and higher discount, you’re going to lose,” he said. That explains Old Navy’s dive into performance fabrics and other sportswear like yoga pants. Another example: pixie pants, which are casual but slim-fitting and cut to hang just below the ankle. The brand also introduced commercials starring popular comediennes Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, which went viral.
At Old Navy, Larsson directed the international expansion of the brand, beginning with Japan. According to GQ, at Old Navy his hires included an accessories and bag designer from Coach COH +3.57%, athletic wear designers from Nike NKE +2.46% and Reebok and the men’s apparel director from North Face.
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Old Navy posted strong growth figures for the three years Larsson was global president, with a total of $1 billion in sales, making it the strongest brand in the Gap stable, where Gap and Banana Republic are still faltering.
At H&M, Larsson helped expand the chain into an international giant, with more than 2,300 stores and $17 billion in revenue, according to Women’s Wear Daily. He also introduced mass-market partnerships with Comme Des Garçons, Versace and Karl Lagerfeld.
Both Lauren and Larsson come from humble beginnings, Larsson from a small town in Sweden and Lauren from a working class neighborhood in the Bronx, where he was born Ralph Lifshitz to Russian Jewish immigrant parents. Lauren didn’t go to college. He worked part-time in the garment industry as a teenager and then started a business making ties in the Empire State Building. He got his first break when Neiman Marcus ordered 1,200. Larsson, by contrast, has a master of science in business administration he earned jointly from the Hanken School of Economics in Finland and Jönköping International Business School in Sweden.
Leading up to the Larsson appointment, Ralph Lauren’s fortunes were in a slump. Revenues are down 5.3% year over year and its stock price has tumbled 37% in the same period. Today it’s up 14% on the Larsson news.
Lauren, who will be 76 next month, is not leaving his company. He will continue as executive chairman and chief creative officer and Larsson will report directly to him.



This week I caught up on Chasing Life, an ABC Family series about a young woman with leukemia. I’ve been following the story of April Carver since June of 2014. To put it gently, Season 2 wasn’t great. I had trouble getting through some of the episodes.
The show’s biggest failing is that it doesn’t sufficiently focus on cancer. In one early session, when April and her posse go shopping for a bridal gown and try on lots of dresses, I almost threw up.
Sure, there’s a shopkeeper who can’t deal with seeing April’s under-the-skin port for a catheter, and the girls storm out. But that’s about as close to “illness” as most of this season gets. There’s a wild trip to Bermuda, a bar fight, a secret manuscript and a childish treasure hunt.
It’s as is if the producers were afraid of showing a physically sick young woman on TV – which is the opposite of what the point of this program might have been.
It’s not clear if Chasing Life will be renewed for another season. I hope it will, and that the producers will get serious, again, about depicting the life of a 20-something cancer patient whose life is derailed, friends are dying and who is very, physically sick.
Toward the end of the season, before the final episode, April struggles with the question many patients face, when people ask how they’re doing, along the lines of: “Do I tell people the truth, or what they want to hear?” The answer might be “I have a metallic taste in my mouth, I have to give myself multiple injections every day, I have a fungal infection and I lack the energy to walk around the block.” Or, the cancer patient might say: “I’m doing fine, thanks for asking!”
The problem with Chasing Life, in season 2, is that April is depicted as doing fine, when the reality is she has a terrible form of leukemia that might kill her. She – from everything we know about her circumstances – would, in all probability, be pale, bald, and lying in bed most of the time. She’s on an experimental protocol, taking drugs that, perhaps, don’t have these effects. But if that’s the case, tell us more! Why, exactly, did she choose this regimen, and not the one her oncologist first recommended?
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Show me the cancer! I’d like to see the informed consent process. The best – and few valuable – scenes in this show are the ones in which April is speaking with her doctor. Think of Grey’s Anatomy, or St. Elsewhere, or ER, or House. There are so many revealing hospital-based shows.
image from “Chasing Life,” ABC Family
In the final episode of this season (SPOILER), when April has some bleeding and realizes that that means her platelets, clotting cells, are low (and her leukemia has progressed; the experimental protocol hasn’t worked; she’ll need a transplant, or might take no treatment at all). She’s a fighter, we’re reminded by her rarely-seen oncologist, and by April herself. But then she goes to Italy and has fun, grabbing her ex along the way to the airport with her pregnant friend along for the ride.
April might die in the piazza. There are worse endings, for sure.
But I do hope she’ll, instead, find a way home, that she might get the complex transplant, asks loads of questions of her doctors, write a living will, risk looking sickly on camera, and go deep. She could make viewers cry, or at least worry about her cancer, and help other people who face the same to know what that’s like, really.
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When John Egan became chief executive of Jaguar Cars chief executive in 1980, the company’s survival was in grave peril. With the benefit of hindsight accorded by “Saving Jaguar,” his newly-published memoir, the situation looked “utterly hopeless”.
Once-proud Jaguar had been lost within the chaos of British Leyland, a byword for British industrial malaise. Its factory was not even operating when Egan arrived for his first day; he was greeted at the gates by a workforce on strike
The odds against saving Jaguar were enormous, he recalls. “Quality was appalling, the workforce bitter, the management disillusioned and it was hemorrhaging money. The Labour government had introduced the ‘closed shop’, giving the unions and their militant shop stewards immense power.”
Egan achieved his turnaround, however. Nine years later, the revived business was bought by Ford for £1.6billion. Ford’s purchase was not a success but India’s Tata Group, which bought the combined Jaguar Land Rover from the American company in 2008, has taken it to the next level.
From Bust to Bond:  Actress Naomie Harris,  who stars in the new James Bond movie Spectre, shows off a Jaguar stunt car used in the film (Photo: an Gavan/Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rover)
So what is the secret of successfully reviving a car brand, particularly when it is part of a national industry heavily handicapped by poor productivity and labour unrest?
Egan regales how the battle was waged step by step, winning over first the workforce, then suppliers, overseas dealers and, most vitally, customers.Working initially with British Leyland chairman Michael Edwardes and supported by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Egan took Jaguar through privatisation in 1984 to a stable independence – something few could have predicted just four years earlier.

He only sold to Ford, who he distrusted from the outset, with great reluctance and for the highest possible price after the UK government had removed its golden share takeover protection.
“Again and again, it looked impossible,” he says. “Yet using innovative techniques, intelligence, plain speaking, openness, motor racing and much more, we saved this most charismatic of companies which has created some of the finest and most cherished motor cars of all time.”
Egan’s success wasn’t random or opportunistic, however. It takes him until Chapter 16 – just one before the book’s end – to devote a section to “philosophy, leadership and management practice”. It is well worth reading.
Follow a philosophy
Egan’s self-help read is Meditations, a series of 12 books written in the mid-second century by the Roman philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius.
“He had 20 years to prepare for the biggest job in the world and put his time to good use,” states Egan. “But in a practical sense, a drilling rig is also a good place to learn how to control yourself: ill-tempered words could easily lead to a broken jaw.”
Aurelius taught Egan that a turnaround is mostly about changing people’s behavior. “The leader has to have himself under control,” Egan writes. ”His own behavior has to be exemplary. It has to be predictable and not the cause of any confusion.”
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He adds: “I think it is important to have a philosophy driving your actions; something that can help you gather the majority to your cause – those that have tried before and failed, the expert but cynical, the timid, the uncertain.


“The philosophy must also be robust enough to convince yourself, when things look virtually impossible, that what you are doing is right.”
Set goals that are Important to you but not impossible
“They should be straightforward enough to share with others,” Egan advises. “I wanted Jaguar to survive as a healthy company and certainly to be in better shape that when I joined it.”
He kept top-of-mind a memory of seeing about 100 children lining up in beautiful disciplined tows for a gym lesson in industrial Coventry and wondering whether they would ever have jobs. Devoting himself to a car industry rescue that would be good for the community helped him stay focused.
“This goal enabled me to be robust with those who threatened the company’s survival, be they shop stewards, poor suppliers, non-executive chairmen or lazy dealers,” he states. “I did not need to search my soul when hard things needed to be done.”
Know the way, show the way
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“From day one I created a management team that possessed all the information available and took all the decisions together,” recalls Egan. “As much as possible, I shared my authority.  We did very little that did not have consensus but I was tyrannical in expecting everybody to abide by the decisions we made. In the early years, we were constantly in so much peril that we had no other way.”
Egan quickly drew the top 100 managers at Jaguar into a cohesive group, making sure that all members understood what the company was doing and why.


He then entrusted them with winning the hearts and minds of Jaguar’s first-line supervisors and foremen. “We had to understand fully their difficulties and what they were capable of delivering.” Says Egan… “We had to train them, coach them and inspire them but also listen to them and befriend them. It was the duty of all the top 100 managers to behave towards the first-line supervisors in this way.”
Choose the most suitable processes
Egan was struck by the differences between a European new product launch and a process-controlled Japanese one and decided to bring the mantra of Total Quality Management to Jaguar.
“The purpose of management is to get large groups of people to work in harmony together,” he writes. “How much more productive that will be if everyone can bring their enthusiasm and brains to work, as well as their hands and feet. This requires controlled and effective delegation, which in turn requires processes which are designed to wok and are manned by a workforce trained to make them work and also to improve upon them.”
Egan adds: “We had in the main been trying to do the right things but without the precision required to be world-best in every key thing we did. World-best was what Jaguar had to be – anything less simply would not do… Jaguar chose to be the best luxury car company in the world by creating the highest possible customer satisfaction at the lowest possible cost. These seemingly conflicting objectives can be handled by good process design. In any event, this is really what has to be done to beat your competitors.”
Saving Jaguar by John Egan (Porter Press International)

Apart from natural resources, telecommunications and entertainment, Africans have started to look at fashion as a lucrative business in recent years. A lucky few of the continent’s local fashion designers, have managed to establish themselves as go-to luxury brands within their domestic market. Amongst those designers, most – if not all – specialize primarily in ready-to-wear and tailor-made clothing. Contemporary accessory brands, locally produced by the continent’s millennials, are currently on the rise however. Craftsmanship, sustainability, know-how, and a creative use of materials, are what make the following five brands worth putting on your radar.
Brother Vellies. (Photo: Brother Vellies)
Brother Vellies
Though the unisex brand’s Creative Director Aurora James – who’s of Canadian-Ghanaian descent – is based in New York, her footwear inspired by African tribes is manufactured across various parts of the Motherland (namely South Africa, Kenya and Marocco). The animal-friendly use of furs and exotic skins, are amongst Brother Vellies’ signature traits. The made in Africa brand is best known for its velskoen model (the African ancestor of the modern day desert boot). Nonetheless, its latest knee-high beaded Masai sandal is also a treat.
Zashadu. (Photo: Zashadu)
Zashadu. (Photo: Zashadu)
Zashadu
Smart design and geometrical shapes, paired with attention-grabbing metallic and colorful animal skins. Zashadu, the brand by Nigeria-based founder and Creative Director Zainab Ashadu, delivers Lagos glamor, executed in a way which appeals to a global audience.
Indalo Décor. (Photo: Indalo)
Indalo Décor. (Photo: Indalo)

Established in 2013, South Africa-based accessory brand Indalo Décor, specializes in wooden accessories ranging from backpacks to iPhone covers, and from tote bags to wooden clocks and lamps. Products are handcrafted by Indalo Décor founder Inga Gubeka, who makes the contemporary lifestyle products from his Cape Town studio.
Shem Paronelli. (Photo: Shem Paronelli)
Shem Paronelli. (Photo: Shem Paronelli)
Shem Paronelli
Handcrafted shoes, straight out of Lagos. Nigeria’s Shem Ezemma, is the young man behind footwear brand Shem Paronelli. In the manufacturing process of his shoes – often defined by suede, calf leather or exotic skins – Ezemma teams up with skilled artisans, infusing Nigerian traditions with a progressive approach.
SAWA. (Photo: SAWA)
SAWA. (Photo: SAWA)
SAWA
Many foresee a future in which Ethiopia will be amongst world’s leading hubs for footwear production. In the meantime, SAWA founder Mehdi Slimani is already betting on the East African nation. The manufacturing process of his popular sneaks, takes place in Ethiopia from start to finish.

Drug use by drivers is a growing problem in this country and often forgotten in the legalization of marijuana debate. Those are the main findings of a new report that addresses the impact of driving under the influence of drugs and medication on traffic safety and what can be done about it.
The report was released today by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit organization representing state highway safety offices.
As a result of more permissive laws and an increase in prescription drug abuse, more drivers are behind the wheel impaired, the group noted.Marijuana is currently legal for medical use in 23 states and D.C., legal for recreational use in four states and D.C. and the amount of prescription painkillers dispensed in the U.S. has quadrupled since the 1990s.
“Every state must take steps to reduce drug-impaired driving, regardless of the legal status of marijuana,” Jonathan Adkins, executive director of GHSA, said in a statement. “This is the first report to provide states and other stakeholders with the information they need,” he added. “ We look to the federal government to take a leadership role in this issue similar to that of drunk driving and seat belt use.”

The most recent national data indicated that drugged driving is increasing while drunk driving is declining. The percentage of fatally-injured drivers testing positive for drugs – 40 percent – is almost the same as those testing positive for any alcohol, according to the group. A recent federal roadside survey, it said, found that 22 percent of drivers tested positive for some drug or medication.

The publication synthesizes available research on how different drugs impair driving abilities, provides results of a new state survey and includes a series of suggestions to develop prevention strategies on the state and national level. Recommendations include: updating laws; implementing education programs and data collection guidelines; improving law enforcement and training; standardizing roadside testing policies and devices; and continuing research.
Recommended by Forbes
DruggedDriving_Infographics_R5-7 (5)
“While this report summarizes the research and data available, it also highlights how much remains unknown,” Jim Hedlund, previously a senior federal transportation official and author of the new report, said in a statement.. “For example, we still don’t know with certainty how much of a specific drug will cause impairment or if such a relationship can even be defined. Many states do not have the data to measure their drug-impaired driving scope or characteristics. The recommendations in the report will help states refine and augment their efforts to detect and deter drug-impaired drivers.”
The report was released in cooperation with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a not-for-profit funded by distillers.
Click here for the full report.

History was made on Sunday night when Quantico, a brand new TV series on the ABC network, debuted with Bollywood superstar actress Priyanka Chopra in the lead role. It was the first time ever that a South Asian actor headlined an American network drama series. The premiere episode earned a solid 1.9 rating among adults 18-49, an impressive 36% increase over its lead-in Blood & Oil, and 46% better than ABC’s ratings in the same Sunday 10 pm time slot last year.
The strong audience numbers provide proof of Ms. Chopra’s drawing power in the U.S. ABC built its marketing campaign around her face and name, often featuring only her image in its promotional ads.
Image credit: ABC Productions
The series, from creator Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl) and executive producer Mark Gordon (Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy), follows a group of young recruits at the FBI Training Academy in Virginia  one of whom, Chopra’s character Alex Parrish, becomes a suspect in a major terrorist bombing. Of her decision to take the role, Chopra says she liked the character because “she was ethnically ambiguous, and I wanted to be taken seriously as an actor and not for the color of my skin.”
Actors of Indian descent have been steadily making their mark in U.S. television, though the most successful among them so far have been born outside of India. Mindy Kaling, for example, creator and star of the Fox/Hulu sitcom The Mindy Project, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dev Patel, who had a major role in HBO’s The Newsroom, hails from London. The 33 year old Chopra, born in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, is the first Indian-born performer to receive top billing in a major U.S. network show.
Although her career to date has been primarily forged in India, Ms. Chopra can credit part of her success in America to having lived in New Jersey and Iowa during her teenage years. At the age of 12 she came to America to live with her aunt for several years, “on a whim,” as she put it. “In india when you go to school you have to wear uniforms, and you don’t have to do it here in the U.S. That’s why I wanted to come to school here, though that’s not what I told my parents, I told them I wanted to broaden my horizons, get to know the world, and I guess they fell for it.”
Recommended by Forbes
The former beauty queen, who at one time aspired to study engineering or psychiatry, soaked up American culture as a teenager. In a TV interview last week she told Jimmy Kimmel, “When I was 13 I believed I was going to become Mrs. Tupac Shakur.” She also confessed to a youthful infatuation with Dennis Rodman.

Quantico marks the former Miss World’s first show under her talent deal with ABC, which she signed in December, 2014. As “The Hollywood Reporter” noted at that time:
“The deal marks the first U.S. development pact for Chopra, who has starred in more than 45 films and is quickly becoming one of the most recognized talents in the world. The ABC deal comes after she had a voice role in the animated feature Planes. Chopra’s first single, “In My City,” was also selected as the theme song to the 2013 season of the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football and her cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was featured in a nationwide campaign for Beats By Dre. She also became the first woman of Indian descent to be named a Guess Girl.”
Credit for signing Chopra goes to ABC executive vice president of casting Keli Lee, who heads up the network’s diversity casting program. Lee traveled to Mumbai to sign Chopra. Lee led ABC’s successful efforts in casting Scandal‘s Kerry Washington, Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara and Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sandra Oh as part of the network’s diversity initiative.
As one character in Quantico‘s pilot episode advises another, “The glass ceiling is only a ceiling until you break it.” If there was a glass ceiling for India’s actors to play starring roles in American productions, Priyanka Chopra has shattered it, leading the way for others to follow.
Special thanks to Mr. Kern Wasan of Krossovermedia for contributing to this article.


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Sure, communal work-social lobbies are all the rage. And every hotel and resort worth its salt is boasting about its plans to get guests outside of its walls and into the surrounding culture and community.
But let’s be honest. When we’re paying hundreds of dollars a night for a room, we want the room itself to be pretty special. We want a smart layout and a great bed and a high-pressure shower, but we also want something nice to look at: a compelling, changing landscape in late afternoon, a skyline that comes to life as the sun takes its daily bow, a sky that wakes up as a new day begins.
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It’s no wonder there’s been such an ascendancy of glass lately. Is there any material that’s sexier?
These ten hideaways (some of which have hosted me as a journalist) make a compelling case that no, there isn’t.
Aria Amazon, Peru
Properly seeing the Amazon by water (the only way, really) meant a lot of comfort compromises until the MV Aqua launched several years ago. Its sister ship, the Aria, raised the bar. Each of the 16 cabins is 250 square feet and has a full wall of glass to let the jungle views drift by.
Recommended by Forbes
Angama Mara, Kenya
The 15 “tented suites” are tents in name only at East Africa’s newest luxury safari lodge. Set 1,000 feet above the Great Rift Valley—the name is Swahili for “suspended in midair”—the suites have 30-foot-wide, floor-to-ceiling glass fronts that reveal wide panoramas of the ever-changing savannah below. Early mornings, hot air balloons float by.
The Wickaninnish Inn, Canada
Surrounded by water on three sides, this family-run Relais & Châteaux inn just outside Vancouver Island’s surfer town of Tofino has jaw-dropping views from each of its 75 rooms and suites. Splurge for a corner suite for views from two sides—plus a romantic bathtub nestled between.


This ark-like lodge opened just over a year ago on one of South America’s most mysterious, intriguing islands, said to be full of spirits and ghosts. But the supernatural becomes secondary in the 12 guest rooms, where the vistas encompass natural wonders at their most wondrous. The water outside, placid and lake-like, is the Pacific Ocean at its most pacific.
Shakti 360° Leti, India
The 360° is just what it sounds like: the angle of the views from this largely glass-walled Relais & Châteaux lodge in a blissfully remote corner of the Indian Himalayas. The scenes that unfold just outside the four guest suites are so spectacular that trekking almost becomes superfluous.
Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
The owner of Mashpi Lodge, an Ecuadorean entrepreneur and orchid conservationist, developed this 22-suite jungle lodge to give guests an up-close cloud forest experience without demanding that they camp, sweat or otherwise be the slightest bit uncomfortable. You could wake up at dawn for a nature hike—or you could slowly drift into consciousness from the comfort of your downy bed, a pretty great vantage point of its own.
Matakuari Lodge, New Zealand
Does it come as any surprise that the mountains on displapy from the 12 guest rooms, cottages and suites at this luxury lodge on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, just outside Queenstown, are called the Remarkables?
Ladera, St. Lucia
Not only does this super-romantic resort have a bird’s-eye view of the twin Piton Mountains and the sugar-sand beach between them; it has a full-on ocean-breeze-over-your-bed design. In each room, there’s a hammock and private plunge pool where the exterior wall would conventionally be.
Recommended by Forbes
The Ludlow Hotel, New York City
When you’re in New York, there’s something to be said for being the tallest building in your neighborhood. Savvy hotelier Sean MacPherson snapped up a building on the gentrified Lower East Side to prove that point. The upper-floor rooms have views of multiple bridges and downtown skyscrapers.
Fasano Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This super-chic (but laid-back—Havaianas are as welcome as Louboutins) hotel has pretty much the best location in town, right where Ipanema Beach meats Leblon. Even better, more than half of its 89 rooms have terrific views of the beaches and the Atlantic beyond.

The Percko undershirt attempts fix bad posture with sensor-embedded fabric.
The Percko undershirt attempts to fix bad posture with sensor-embedded fabric.
With more than $65k raised, French startup Percko more than doubled its $30k Kickstarter goal within its first day of fundraising.
Launching the crowdfunding on September 29th, the company showed its product as a thin, stimulating t-shirt made of tech-embedded fabric. Sensors cross on the fifth lumbar and the shirt applies pressure when the user slouches. The page claims that when it senses the posture falling out of place, it uses varying levels of haptic feedback to literally buzz you back into place.
Creators Alexis Ucko and Quentin Perraudeau did internal studies that supposedly found lumbar lordosis linked with the pelvic tilt which they took into account when creating the t-shirt. “Wearing Percko results in the straightening of the spine, bringing back the thoracic spine above the gravity line going through the pelvis. Overall balance is improved, and muscle fatigue risks are reduced,” their page reads.
Percko joins companies like Lumo and Prana in the posture-fixing wearable space. It also joins massage-giving hoodie Aira in sensor-embedded tops.

Cloud platforms help businesses handle massive amounts of data at reasonable costs. (PRNewsFoto/IBM)
Despite all of the hype surrounding constant advancements in Big Data, the current mindset guiding data architecture is outdated. The landscape has changed considerably in the recent past. The rapid pace of technological development has allowed businesses to capture and store vast amounts of data in far less time and at a much lower cost than ever before. Technology will soon reach the point at which Big Data analytics will become “as easy to use as Excel,” Alok Prasad, President, Cambridge Semantics. Along with the flood of other new technologies in innovative data science, the most exciting of which include advancements in direct consumer connections in real-time and the Internet of Things, it’s difficult not to get caught up in all the fuss. According Neil Jarvis, Chief Information Officer, Fujitsu Americas, “businesses are finding it increasingly easier to collect and store the vast quantity of 1s and 0s that their businesses and the world at large generate. Where companies often get stuck is figuring out how to use all that data – determining what’s relevant, what to discard and, most importantly, what can be used to drive and grow their business.”
A shift in thinking needs to occur in the way that data is viewed. Data is no longer a static disposable resource that loses usefulness once it has served its singular purpose. Its life may be extended through multi-use, multi-purpose data processing. As a renewable resource, its value should be assessed not by the bottom line, but as an asset that not only grows in value but one which further provides value creation opportunities. It is the raw material of business and as with other raw materials it’s ability to be used for a variety of applications makes it profoundly more valuable than the original product itself. Consider IBM IBM +1.39%’s recent application of data gathered from American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Pacific Gas and Electric Electric Company (PG&E). Originally, PG&E’s power grid data was collected to manage stability and the data from Honda’s electric cars was collected to address operational efficiencies. IBM was able to take both data sets and integrate them into a system where they are now able to guide Honda electric car owners on when and where to charge their vehicles and energy providers are able to adjust the power load accordingly.
IBM seems to lead Big Data analytics with many innovative ideas. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Raj Narayanaswamy, CEO and Co-Founder at Replicon states:
Every business and industry today faces the daunting task of tying data to clear outcomes. The exponential growth means it’s absolutely necessary for organizations to set up the right architecture to maximize the vast data landscape. Rather than continuing to deploy the traditional application-centric model that leads to silos and inefficiencies, a comprehensive data value chain that includes data discovery, integration and evaluation is critical to overall success.
Businesses that understand the importance of data integration have the potential to gain beneficial insight and create new value. The mindset in which data has a defined function and is utilized for a specific purpose limits its application. It causes inflexibility, inadequate levels of data exploitation and places organizations in a poor position to exploit any future opportunities. The most successful data-driven organizations such as Amazon and Salesforce strategically manage data and scale it for growth over time.


The data lifecycle may be broken down into seven steps, discover, ingest, process, persist, integrate, analyze and expose. Each of these steps in vital in gathering quality data, exposing strategies, tools and architectures that an effective strategy may be built upon. Bob Renner, CEO of Liaison Technologies summarizes the current thinking adequately:
Most of the attention (and market value) is spent on the last stage of analytics and visualization where insights are delivered for business decisions. This is indeed where the value is finally experienced. However, the final results are not possible without the other steps. In fact, data scientists spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning or qualifying the data before applying analytics algorithms.
Good data science is simply impossible without good data and the initial steps to ensure quality control. In particular, integration, an often-undervalued step, is where much of the value in Big Data may be found. Organizations will be able to control costs and efficiency if they approach data management with a different mindset from the beginning. Big Data requires a unique foundation, as described by Cortney Thompson, CTO of Green House Data, “Big Data might mean you need serious changes to your IT infrastructure, which can negate some of the savings gained from additional efficiencies. Traditional IT is not configured for Big Data.” Some companies even make “the leap to appointing Chief Digital Business Officers whose primary focus is the synthesis of IT assets and business opportunities,” according to Tom Fountain, CTO of Pneuron. A good digital business manager will have the knowledge to implement platforms that ensure unstructured data can become actionable information.
So how do you overcome the hype? By fully understanding Big Data’s lifecycle without undervaluing the importance of each step, moving away from traditional application-centric thinking and framing data as a flexible, evolving raw material. “Data-driven discovery is fundamentally changing the way our lives work and those who master its manipulation will have an inherent competitive advantage over their peers,” (Peter Pham, The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. New York: Wiley, 2013). Those best positioned to capture the most value from the explosion of Big Data are the groups that not only focus on all the hype surrounding the functional components but put thought into what they want to accomplish in terms of revenue and profitability as well as other business outcomes.
Peter Pham is managing director of Phoenix Capital, author of "The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns" and host of "The Big Trade Series" podcast.

Out of left field, Apple AAPL +0.00% may have just unveiled the state-of-the-art solution for consumers’ media search problems. The new Apple TV demoed in early September has a slick remote control that allows you to browse through different media apps, and combines it with Siri for voice-activated search commands. You can make broad or narrow searches across different media apps, like Netflix NFLX +4.85%, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO; and Siri already works with Apple Music. See a review from a Forbes contributor in this video.
In line with what has happened in other industries that are at more advanced stages of digital transformation, I predict that the next big innovation in media and entertainment will be about solving the media search problem. In the digital age, consumers demand aggregation of all their options to make a purchase, and as industries mature and search options proliferate, the search problem becomes onerous. So for example, as online travel search sites multiplied, meta-search services like Kayak.com and Trivago have emerged to consolidate offerings across aggregators like Expedia EXPE +3.42% or Hotels.com, and airline or hotel portals.

The media search problem is particularly tough to solve. Whether it’s searching across media options like TV, film, music or a music video, or across delivery options like live or on-demand streams, or a media download, searching for entertainment can be less than entertaining. Then, with the proliferation of video-on-demand services and music streaming, the combined options have become absurdly large. And that’s just when consumers are trying to find the right content at the moment, let alone trying to find best prices.
The new Apple TV can search across all media service apps. The demo included searches across subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and HBO. And with its release of the tvOS development platform, it’s only a matter of time until we see numerous TV and film content apps. But the cool thing is that it seems that the user-friendliness in innovations that characterize Apple has come back at least for content search. With voice-activated search, it really doesn’t matter how unfriendly or disconnected your video services may be – Apple TV is bound to solve your meta-search video problem. And over time, it is even possible that Siri–or whatever the next generation search mechanism is, will search across media types, like video, music, games, books, etc.
A reporter from Variety says “Apple TV is based on pretty powerful hardware, and that shows when you navigate the device’s home screen. Scrolling through apps with the remote control’s touchpad is fast and fluid, app icons are 3D-animated, and the interface looks a lot lighter than that of the previous-generation Apple TV.”
Recommended by Forbes
I had a hunch that Apple would develop cross-media apps that would combine, for example, video with music. It didn’t happen earlier in the year when some of us suspected Apple would launch a video streaming service to enter this increasingly competitive space. But now, with Apple TV’s universal search solution, it’s almost like Apple doesn’t need to enter the battle for video content creation and distribution. It can just leverage its tvOS operating system to let others fight that battle and introduce services, and Apple can just provide the search capability across respective apps to solve the cross-media meta-search problem.
It’s also surprising to see this problem being solved by Apple and its closed, proprietary platform. Normally, meta-search is comprehensive and platform-agnostic, so it can really solve the problem of searching for all content across all platforms. But now that I think about it, that problem is so monumental that it may be enough for all of us to enjoy an Apple TV, with our four or five subscriptions, and let Siri find the content in the respective apps. The new Apple TV will be available in late October for $149 (32GB) and $199 (64GB). I think it’s a brilliant move, and Apple may have just jump-started the war for cross-media meta-search in media and entertainment.
As a faculty member of the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University, Nelson researches digital trends in travel, media, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter, Tumblr, Forbes.

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