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Terrific concert — no surprise there — and the worst sound system I’ve ever heard at a major concert. This muddled the sound on more than half the songs, made many solos inaudible, and Bruce’s one explicit political statement — aside from a generous dedication of one song to the San Francisco Food Bank — completely unintelligible.
From his web site, this is apparently what he said:
People come to my shows with many different kinds of political beliefs; I like that, we welcome all. There have been a lot of questions raised recently about the forthrightness of our government. This playing with the truth has been a part of both the Republican and Democratic administrations in the past and it is always wrong, never more so than when real lives are at stake. The question of whether we were mislead into the war in Iraq isn’t a liberal or conservative or Republican or Democratic question, it’s an American one. Protecting the democracy that we ask our sons and daughters to die for is our responsibility and our trust. Demanding accountability from our leaders is our job as citizens. It’s the American way. So may the truth will out.
Reviews: Two words: ‘PIT ENVY!’

[Krugman]: The U.S. military has always had superb logistics. What happened? The answer is a mix of penny-pinching and privatization Ö which makes our soldiers’ discomfort a symptom of something more general.
Apparently it’s not only Iraqis who are getting short-changed. It’s our soliders… and of course all the rest of us.

Why Customer Feedback Should Drive Your Marketing Communications. A new year calls for new beginnings. Ask yourself these three questions… [xBlog: A sales, marketing and business weblog | XPLANE]

The Internal Impact of External Branding. Companies in the throes of change need brand communication to affect their employees’ actions as much as it does their customers… [xBlog: A sales, marketing and business weblog | XPLANE]

[Fast Company] The world is full of boring stuff — brown cows — which is why so few people pay attention. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service.

Wired.  Here is a good example of how the research industry operates.  Keynote system develops a way to test SMS delivery times.  They release a report ranking the SMS participants.  They then announce a service to help carriers measure SMS delivery times.  There are two funny things about this article.

The first is that the reporter asks research analysts about the tactic (?).  The analysts told him that Keynote shouldn’t have ranked the participants like that.  What crap.  Analysts do that all the time in virtually every report they write (even though most tech research is aimed at the buyers of technology, vendors generate nearly 40% of the revenue at most tech research firms).  LOL! 

The second funny thing is that the carriers aren’t going to buy Keynote’s monitoring service.  Why?  There are too few competitors (oligopoly) and their customers aren’t going to be swayed by data published by a performance measurement company in a press release.  I ran into this when we were looking at a way to test cell phone reception on a per city basis.  The carriers totally didn’t care about quality of service.  Alan is exactly right on this:

Analysts said Keynote’s findings are nothing new. Just as the quality of voice calls over cellular networks is spotty, so is sending a text message, said Alan A. Reiter, president of Wireless Internet & Mobile Consulting. 

The only way to really go after the carriers with a service like this is to:

1) Get the data published in a research report by a company with lots of buyers of technology as customers.

2) Generate an award system that the carriers can use in their advertising.

3) Spend some money on advertisements to promote the findings.  Short dollars if done correctly.  Do it in the cities where the companies you are targeting have their headquarters.

4) Provide data to consumer sites to let them get the word out (like DSL reports).  Also, develop a splash page. 

The marketing guy/gal that follows this strategy would have a $10 m business within 2 years. [John Robb’s Radio Weblog]

The Art of Collecting Cash. Jeff Fischer explains what Pfizer and J&J’s cash conversion cycles mean to their businesses. [The Motley Fool]

Is All Corporate Debt Bad?. For many companies, debt isn’t a red flag. [The Motley Fool]

This is something I posted last November on K-Logs:  “Consultants and K-Logs” [John Robb’s Radio Weblog]

“Ideas are capital; everything else is just money”
[Deutsche Bank advert]