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NetWire arrowsApril 12, 2012
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Deep-sea drilling and fracking are helping to unearth abundant supplies of oil and gas. The coming energy renaissance could be just the elixir the U.S. economy needs. (Fortune)
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Since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1960s and 70s, it's been conventional wisdom to talk about American dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf. But the global oil market has changed dramatically since then. Today, the U.S. actually gets most of its imported oil from Canada and Latin America. (NPR)
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If you're reading this on the Internet, chances are you're being followed. More than 200 data collection companies and ad networks use approximately 600 different tracking technologies to gather and sell information on people's web habits, according to Abine, an online privacy firm that tracks the trackers. (SmartMoney)
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Committing to make yourself indispensable is one of the most important steps you will take toward being successful and living a fulfilling life. Making yourself indispensable is not about position, power, or ego. It is about taking charge, overcoming obstacles, and achieving your dreams at work, at home, and in your life. (Fast Company)
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Career
We all have heard – or at least seen in the movies – great stories about people who are working in soul-destroying jobs, then quit in some spectacular fashion and move on to fabulous second careers. This isn’t a column about that. Rather, more realistically, it’s about what to do if you’re in a job you dislike – or actively hate – but can’t move on. (The New York Times)
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How often do you, or someone you know, show up to work and feel like you don't fit in or belong? In fact, with all of the gossip, blame-game tactics, micromanaging leaders and other dysfunctions in your workplace, you feel like wearing armor to protect yourself or hide your sensitive, tender self, your Soul. And, when you leave, you can't wait to go home and take a shower or have a good stiff drink. (Huffington Post)
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In the dot com/bomb heyday, kooky perks became the icon of much that was wrong with start-ups, as they blew through investment money and got little to nothing in return. And that is unfortunate. When competition for talent is tight and so is money, being smart about how you show appreciation for employees can be a great way to retain people. Here are some of the more innovative and interesting perks companies are using. (Inc.)
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Dell Computer Corp.
Education
Undergraduate business majors are a dime a dozen on many college campuses. But according to some, they may be worth even less. More than 20% of U.S. undergraduates are business majors, nearly double the next most common major, social sciences and history. (Wall Street Journal)
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When people talk about the value of a college degree, they mean different things. A report last year by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce pegs the median value of a four-year bachelor’s degree at $2.3 million, which is the average earnings for a degree holder employed full-time from ages 25 to 64. (Bloomberg/Businessweek)
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International
In the teeming city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, millions of people have no reliable water supply. Many of the underground pipes that did exist were ruptured by the 2010 earthquake. Many public water kiosks are dry. So life for most people is a constant struggle for water. And now that cholera has invaded Haiti, safe drinking water has become Haiti's most urgent public health problem. (NPR)
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The Irish left the sterling zone. The Balts escaped from the rouble. The Czechs and Slovaks left each other. History is littered with currency unions that broke up. Why not the euro? Had its fathers foreseen turmoil, they might never have embarked on currency union, at least not with today’s flawed design. (The Economist)
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NBMBAA
I am often asked by those who attend my workshops, "What's the most important thing I can do during an interview to increase my likelihood of getting the job?" In most cases, these are professionals with great résumés, awesome skills, and a track record of success. They have done their homework on the company, demonstrated their knowledge of the industry, and even presented a 90-Day plan on how they embrace the new role. However, even with all of that, they didn't land the job. (OppsBlog)
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Technology
Everyone knows how long a minute is. And your cellphone carrier keeps close tabs on how many you have used this month. Now, in the smartphone era, more people are being forced to think about how many megabytes of data they are using. But what, exactly, is a megabyte? (The New York Times)
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Instagram’s billion-dollar sale to Facebook raised eyebrows Monday, renewing cries of a new tech bubble. But relative to other major acquisitions, turns out it’s a pretty good deal and not the least bit inflationary. (Wired)
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Entrepreneurship
One of the most satisfying parts of being an Inc.com columnist is feedback from readers. And the column "How Entrepreneurs Hire" drew an especially strong reaction. The photo paired with my column showed a woman in a suit shaking hands with a man, who presumably is the interviewer. "Wearing a monkey suit is a big mistake!" wrote one reader. That made me stop and think. This is a complex issue – more complex than it might first appear. (Inc.)
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Entrepreneurs seem more quickly frustrated these days when their "million-dollar idea" doesn’t turn into a sustainable business overnight. They don’t realize that it takes many skills to build a business under the best of circumstances, and today’s world of instant gratification doesn’t leave room for the patience and practice to develop these skills. (Business Insider)
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The Economy
The recent surge in U.S. gasoline prices may be stalling thanks to a growing supply of crude oil and a retreat by speculators in the futures market. After weeks of consecutive increases, the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. fell more than a penny this week, from $3.94 on April 2, to $3.93 on April 9. In California, the state with the highest gas prices in the lower 48, prices fell to an average of $4.28 a gallon on April 9, down from $4.35 three weeks ago. (Bloomberg/Businessweek)
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One of the best-kept secrets in economics is that there is no case for the invisible hand. After more than a century trying to prove the opposite, economic theorists investigating the matter finally concluded in the 1970s that there is no reason to believe markets are led, as if by an invisible hand, to an optimal equilibrium – or any equilibrium at all. (Harvard Business Review)
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Naylor, LLC
Personal Finance
he April deadline comes around at about the same time every year. Still, with just a few days left before taxes are due, many people continue to put off filing. The boxes of receipts, stacks of W-2s and 1099s are daunting enough. Add in row after row of fill-in boxes on the 1040, and it's no wonder so many people procrastinate. (audio) (NPR)
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One day, while browsing my local Apple store, a young couple came into the store in tears. They just purchased an iPad about five hours ago and, in their zeal, managed to drop it on the floor. The screen was badly cracked. They were wondering if Apple could do anything for them but, unfortunately, Apple couldn't. Once they made the purchase and took delivery, it was out of the company's hands. What if I told you that, depending on your credit card, you might have recourse? (U.S. News & World Report)
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Corporate America
The government’s decision to pursue major publishers on antitrust charges has put the Internet retailer Amazon in a powerful position: the nation’s largest bookseller may now get to decide how much an e-book will cost, and the book world is quaking over the potential consequences. (The New York Times)
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When we think of disruptive innovation, what comes to mind are high-tech startups such as Napster, Netflix, Twitter, and Facebook. Few would think of a company selling mundane products such as razors and blades as disruptive. Yet this is what the recently launched Dollar Shave Club is trying to achieve. (Bloomberg/Businessweek)
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Government
This election, Democrats and Republicans are arguing fiercely over the proper size of the government. Money magazine looks at the facts – how much we're spending and what we're spending it on. (Money)
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The great moral debate of the 2012 campaign is turning out to be as inspiring as drunks arguing over a bar tab. The basic argument is this: "Who’s not paying their fair share?" (Washington Post)
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Leadership
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg came to the job through his role as an advertising creative director. Here, he discusses how his background informed his approach to the job and lays out some lessons for creative leaders. (Fast Company)
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Ever since Yale University launched its School of Organization and Management in 1976, the place has been something of an unconventional business school. Its founders envisioned a school that would be small, communal, unorthodox, and steeped in theory and research, able to groom leaders for both business as well as the public and non-profit sectors. (Poets & Quants)
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Lifestyle
When is the best time to book that flight? It’s one of the most fraught decisions travelers face, as ticket prices often fluctuate right up to departure time. Recent fare analysis by the Airlines Reporting Corporation seems to challenge the conventional wisdom that the earlier you book, the less expensive your fare will be. (The New York Times)
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