John's Newsletter Blurbs
Approximately 80,000 new businesses start every year in Canada of which half never see their fifth anniversary. Of those business start-ups, the backbone to the Canadian economy is what would be called micro businesses that employ between 1 and 19 employees. There are over one million micro businesses in Canada compared to what would be called an enterprise business that employs over 500 people. In Canada there are only 25,000 businesses that employee more than 100 people, according to a recent study by Google.
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On two occasions this past weekend I sat down and listened to vinyl. I mean really listened. Friday night was U2's Joshua Tree from start to finish; all four sides, in order, and not while doing something else. I just sat down and listened. On Sunday the experience was duplicated while listening to the Grateful Dead's Reckoning on 200-gram vinyl and again all four sides with no distractions. On both occasions it was magnificent. Why did I allow myself to stop doing this?
Yesterday, WikiLeaks released more than 8,000 alleged official documents detailing how the products we love and sell have become incubators for government spying. The Wiki documents show that Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows and Samsung smart TVs were among CIA targets, where owners of such products falsely believe their devices are off when they are in fact recording conversations.
WiFi HiFi has opened a small shop in downtown Oakville. Last summer we ran a feature in the magazine titled "The Store of the Future," where we discussed trends in store layout and design, documented advances in point-of-sale systems, and mapped out strategies for aligning an online and physical presence.
Some of you picked up on a tone from last week's missive that I am getting a bit grumpy with products that are joining the connected bandwagon when they have no need to be "connected" in the first place. For 2017 I plan to ask myself "how does this improve my life?" each time I see a new product. A few of you put me to task last week not only for spelling ‘lose' incorrectly, but also for not including examples of gadgets from CES that I believe do indeed provide value, of which there were many.
When Dr. Gordon Moore was making transistors at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1965, a single transistor would sell for $150.00. According to Intel, the cost of each transistor for Intel's Core i5 processor in 2015 was around $0.000000.14, which translates to about 70,000 iCore transistors for around the cost of a penny.
Live long enough and you will read reports stating that eggs are bad for you, followed by another saying they're good for you, and then another reverting to eggs being bad. Then finally (for now) a definitive report proves there is no correlation between eggs and cholesterol, and they're a great source of protein. That's good!
I am having a hard time finding anyone who would categorize 2016 as a great year. In fact most people I know, say it may have been one of their worst years ever. I spent the first four months of 2016 in a cast after breaking my leg skiing, two days after turning 50. Then I gained 12 pounds from sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself! However, had I not broken my leg, chances are I would not have found the time to finish restoring my 1967 Airstream trailer since I would have been on the slopes every weekend, so that's a nice silver lining.
According to Harvard Medical School Publications, studies have shown that you can help prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia with some basic good health habits: staying physically active, getting enough sleep, not smoking, having good social connections, limiting alcohol, and so on.
A number of years ago, so the story goes, the band U2 was performing in Glasgow, Scotland. Part way through the concert, lead-man Bono slithered to the edge of the stage and placed his foot on top of a monitor; he kneeled down and with the wave of an arm, requested the audience to be quiet. The band stopped and for a moment the auditorium was silent. Bono then proceeded to slowly clap his hands, but requested the audience to stay silent. Bono continued to slowly clap with dramatic effect. Finally he picked up his mic and somberly stated; "every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies." A voice from the audience responded; "Then quit yer frickin' clappin".
Tonight is the last Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Half of my friends won't watch the debate tonight and have tuned-out citing they won't spend another minute engrossed in the spectacle happening south of the border. The other half are split between tuning in with a bag of popcorn for the sheer entertainment value, and will tweet the on-stage nastiness in real time.