Weekend Digest: The ‘Crybaby’ Trump, ‘Scary’ Lucy, Gold Medal bonuses edition

by Larry Brannan ([email protected]) 280 views 

On this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7 in Central Arkansas and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.:

Senate Summary
Sen. Tom Cotton. His thoughts on Iran, health care and the week of Donald Trump.

Talk Politics
Our Talk Politics roundtable includes Dustin McDaniel and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. How do they see this week in Presidential politics?

Venture Capital Adventures
Plus, we’ll review our daily digital broadcast, including a look at the recently completed FinTech accelerator program at the Arkansas Venture Center.

Tune in to Talk Business & Politics in Central Arkansas on KATV Channel 7, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.

Business Insider posts, “Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook declared that the “future of television is apps,” a refrain that has been repeated by Apple execs over and over since then.

But navigating separate apps is a horrible way to watch TV, and it seems that Apple has finally seen the light.”

Last year, Apple was working on actually selling a TV package of its own, a take on the “skinny bundle” that everyone from Hulu to YouTube to AT&T is rumored to be launching.

But now it’s just focused on building the interface. So how will the interface work and what could be its content? Learn more by clicking here.

Marketplace reports, “There was a major heist today worth at one point $77 million. No guns, no getaway cars, though, it was all done digitally. In fact, there were no dollars either, it was a theft of digital currency: Bitcoin. Thieves hacked into a bitcoin exchange based in Hong Kong called Bitfinex — a bitcoin exchange is kind of like a bank and a trading floor all wrapped up into one – and stole the currency.

This has happened dozens of times, but this incident was pretty big. The value of bitcoin plummeted by 25 percent from $650 per bitcoin to $480 before recovering to around $560.

Bitcoin, the actual digital currency, has, in fact, never been hacked.  Nobody has been able to hack the actual code that a bitcoin is actually made of in order to forge or steal it.  What have been hacked, however, are the bitcoin exchanges that hold it.

“Bitcoin is like gold, someone can come and steal it,” said Rupert Goodwins, a technology journalist in the U.K.

“A bitcoin does have a record of its movement, from bitcoin wallet to bitcoin wallet, “but it doesn’t tell you anything at all about who controls that wallet,” he said. The same attribute that makes bitcoin so highly prized – its anonymity – is the same thing that makes it so easily stealable.”

For the complete read, follow this link.

Forbes says, “The 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil officially open on Friday, and they bring with them some of the world’s biggest superstars. Yet while some members of Team USA rake in tens of millions of dollars annually – Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony rank among the Games’ highest-paid athletes with over $80 million between them – the vast majority of American Olympians are low-paid amateurs. One silver lining? Rich payouts for those able to come home with a medal in tow.”

That’s because the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) rewards American Olympians with bonus payouts for podium finishes. USOC pays athletes $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. In the question of team sports, each participating athlete also receives a full medal bonus. So when the US women’s soccer team took home gold in London, all 18 team members got a $25,000 payout.

When did this practice start and is the U.S. the only country that pays big bucks for medals? Find out at this link.

“Self-directed study is transforming the way employees learn — and self-managed organizations are leading the charge. The main way members of these organizations drive their own learning is by experimenting with how they structure roles, relationships, responsibilities, and decision making processes. Nothing is sacred,” writes Harvard Business Review.

Of course, if experimentation is your organization’s primary path to learning, you have to brace yourself for unexpected things to happen. That’s because you’ve got people interacting with (and within) interdependent systems, and both are highly unpredictable.

“In light of that, how do self-managed organizations make learning productive? Most actually strike a balance between traditional and newer ways of structuring and learning, which mitigates the risks and costs of trial and error. For instance, teams that prioritize reliability over adaptability (think accounting departments) may require highly stable structures — and they’re often well served by traditional training (in regulated environments, the rules are the rules, and you have to know and apply them). But in areas where adaptability is critical — say, in new product development or marketing — responsive structuring and learning can help you meet the needs of your customers, your employees, and the business.”

So, even if you’re in a largely hierarchical organization, you may want to experiment with some principles of self-organizing to learn to be more adaptable in certain circumstances. We’ve outlined a few things here for you to try in DIY fashion.

“No, no, no, Donald Trump can’t be president, won’t be president, is more like a child whining in a sandbox than a prospective commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama thinks.

So stop asking him about it,” reports POLITICO.

Unless, of course, there’s a way to ask him about it that will let him showcase just how ridiculous he finds the thought of having Trump in the Oval Office, and let him laugh at the Republican nominee, and try to lead the country in laughing along with him. And that’s exactly what the president did at a podium at the Pentagon Thursday afternoon.

Go to this link for more on how he blasted the Republican nominee.

“Clinton has significant leads over Trump among minority voters and women, and is handily defeating him with white college-educated women.

That puts pressure on Trump to win white men like no other candidate in recent history,” posts The Hill.

Trump would seem to face tough prospects.

A new Franklin & Marshall poll of Pennsylvania voters released Thursday found him facing an 11-point deficit to Clinton, 49 percent to 38 percent.

“The survey shows Trump beating the Democratic nominee in Pennsylvania 53 percent to 31 percent among whites without college degrees, but only 45 percent to 35 percent among white men.

Clinton leads Trump in the poll among college-educated whites, 58 percent to 28 percent. She also leads among white women, 57 percent to 29 percent. GOP strategists say Trump needs to close that gap by driving white men to the polls in numbers that haven’t been seen in recent election cycles.”

For more on this story, go to this link.

In a post for Real Clear Politics writer Sean Trende says, “I’ve been holding off writing the post-Democratic convention state-of-the-race update for two reasons. First, polls continue to pour in, as pollsters seek to measure the full effect of the two conventions. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the news cycle is moving very, very fast right now; it’s hard to find a good time to stop and write something that won’t be out of date 15 minutes after publication.”

I think the best way to approach this is to give the “normal” take on the state of affairs, then the “Trump-centric” take.  Which one you think is closer to reality probably depends a fair amount on your prior views of the race; my sense is that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Click on this link to learn what those “takes” are.

Bloomberg reports, “A lot has been happening in the health-care markets. California announced that premiums would rise by an average of 13.2 percent on the exchanges, after years of being one of the standouts for low premium growth. Meanwhile, Anthem, a large insurer, said it would expand its presence in the Obamacare exchanges–but only if its merger with Cigna is allowed to go through.”

Aetna is only the most recent insurer to struggle to make money on these policies; after expressing optimism in April, the company now expects to take large loses in these markets and is cutting back on its offerings for 2017.  The market, says one quoted analyst, is still “very volatile.”

“Where are the markets going? We can sketch out a few possible futures at this link.

USA Today reports, “Scary Lucy” is getting a makeover.”

A new statue of Lucille Ball, the comedian who starred in “I Love Lucy,” will be unveiled Saturday in her hometown of Celoron, N.Y. on Ball’s 105th birthday, replacing the current statue that has received national attention for its unpleasant portrayal of the actress.

Who is the new sculptor and what will the new sculpture “aim to portray”?

The original statue, unveiled in 2009, has been mocked as “Scary Lucy,” and locals started a Facebook page in 2012 calling on the town to get rid of the statue. The statue and the desire to have it removed went viral last year when local and national media picked up the story.

Take a look here if you dare.

Well it’s happened, posts Business Insider.

“It’s official: Less than a week after leaving on a global Pokémon Go adventure to complete his collection, Brooklyn-based Nick Johnson has caught all of the 145 Pokémon that are currently available — very likely making him the world’s first Pokémon Go master.”

According to the original video games that Pokémon Go is based on, there are 151 total monsters. We know that there are 142 you can catch in the US, six rare Pokémon that are currently unaccounted for, plus three more exclusive to certain international regions.

In late July, Johnson became the first in America to capture all 142 Pokémon available in the USA. And so, with accommodations covered by Marriott Rewards and travel paid for by Expedia, Johnson set off last week to find those three international Pokémon and complete the set.

Click here for the story on Johnson’s successful quest.

Fast Company says, “If you can’t explain your business model to kids, then you’re not ready for prime time in front of investors. That’s the idea behind Pitch-a-Kid, a new Austin, Texas-based organization that puts kids in the judge’s seat as they analyze adult entrepreneurs’ pitches and choose the strongest pitch of the bunch.”

Kids learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while local entrepreneurs get an unfiltered assessment of where their pitch falls short and what parts might be confusing. “Kids at the elementary school age are very honest and are comfortable asking questions about things they don’t understand,” says Mike Millard, who started Pitch-A-Kid earlier this year with his daughter Audrey, who’s currently in fourth grade. “For the entrepreneurs it really pushes them to use simple, straightforward, and understandable language.”

Get the scoop by “pitching” here.