Irony Alert: Google just bought a paper processing plant in Finland, so that they could repurpose the building into a data center.
Technology: Kevin Kelly has written a great (and long) post about the Amish and technology. To go back to my software days, the Amish are not in the Early Adopter portion of consumerdom, but surprisingly to many of us, they are a part of the technology buying spectrum.
Fun: Ever had a photo that you wanted to see reimaged as a charcoal sketch? You don’t have to break out the Photoshop. I have used the service at Dumpr in the past and been very happy with the results. Dumpr has some very interesting options, including celebrity pics. There is a new site, BeFunky that offers a number of other transformations, including cartoon, stencil, sunburst and inkify.
Behind the Scenes: I admit it. I love knowing what is going on behind the scenes. Have you ever wondered what goes on when your television news team goes to commercial? Check this out.
Entrepreneurship: John Patterson writes A Counter-Intuitive Lesson in Clarity (grammar alert). In it he talks about what makes entrepreneurs tick and why they need to surround themselves with people who have different worldviews. This is a key point in the growth of an entrepreneur… The ability to accept that you are a vision person and work with others who can help you refine your grand scheme into a viable moneymaking business opportunity.
Financial: Steven Pearlstein, writing in the Washington Post, today talks about Citizens South, a small bank in North Carolina. Citizens South is a well managed bank. They didn’t make risky loans and stayed conservative. Impressive among banks, they even turned a profit last year. Their president, Kim Price, applied for TARP bailout funds and received $20.5 million. Citizens South had no plans for the money until Price came up with a plan to offer, in conjunction with builders, low rate mortgages and no closing costs. Now mortgages are available to people who otherwise wouldn’t buy a house in this economic climate. A feel good story for sure.
However, I wonder about why a profitable bank that didn’t make bad loans is making the financial decision to take taxpayer money. Apparently, the bailout funds don’t come with a strong enough deterrent to focus their use for the most heavily impacted banks. While I am excited that this bank thought outside the box enough to expand home ownership to their customer base, why is the American taxpayer paying for this and what have the big guys (Citi, Bank of America, Chase) done with their bailout funds?