Howie’s Hot Five for… 6 September, 2012

5. Can I rent your car bro?

Peer-to-Peer car sharing is getting hot.  By the hour, day, week …using smartphones…

The facts:
Average car is dormant 92% of the time
Getaround (US) has signed up 10,000 cars in the last year and,
Raised $14 million from bunch of leading Silicon Valley venture capitalists
In San Fran, Portland, Austin and San Diego (interesting for NZ as these are not massive cities)
People can browse cars for rent in their neighbourhood  -and renting 15 hours a week can earn extra US $350 per month. (Insurance is included)
Renters access the car via smartphone and password activation (Kit is pre-installed in each car to allow this)

Source: Getaround.com
Techcrunch

4. Evernote – app of ‘any’ week…

The ‘quiet success story of the usual tech shrill world – four years old, 40 million users and recently US$70 million funding.

It’s compatible with everything and available on every device and platform:

We at HH5 get excited by every new ‘to do list’ app and note-taker but we keep coming back to this one.  Very simple drag and drop or copy of PDF, photos, web pages, word documents straight into Evernote digital locker… ruddy easy!

And here’s a special ‘Why’

Because if you hit the sync button regularly once Evernote has loaded latest files to your device they are their for opening and browsing offline!  This works every time on your laptop – and ‘most of the time’ on Ipad…we’ve had great success.

And this week Evernote announced: Evernote goes Moleskine by launching a Moleskine notebook. Scribble your notes in the note book and use the phone camera to snap pages and load them to Evernote.

Free account is pretty handy…
Source: Gigaom
Entertainment Weekly
Evernote Blog

3. Stamp of Positivity and Bring Back Sarcasm Yah!

Visualise Your Goals. Think Positive, There is not such word as Impossible!

SELF-HELP – ahhhhhhh!  it’s a billion dollar industry with Anthony Robins taking home $80 million of that.

Let the backlash to ‘happiness of die’ begin…and about time.
Even ‘happiness and positive’ consultants are now rebranding and dropping these words.

Two Books: Smile of Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World  by Barbara Ehrenreich – written by a breast cancer survivor who got fed up with the demands to be relentlessly positive and the Pink industry.   Her take – Breast Cancer is a bad lottery and survival rates have nothing to do with positivity – it’s about improved detection, better surgical techniques and great understanding of the disease.  She also rails at positiveness and the financial sector – blind optimism got us into the mess!

On the contrary, I would like to see more smiles, more laughter, more hugs, more happiness… and the first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positive thinking”.

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkman:

The simple message: chasing happiness is the problem  – embrace failure and accept insecurity rather than resist it… it’s better for the mind.

Beware when positive thinking takes the place of actual thinking
And the cult of happiness and perfectionism has held sway for the last 20 years.  Aspiring to be happy permanently is unrealistic and leaves people ill-prepared for life’s hard knocks.

e.g. Emily Seebohm’s disappointment in winning a silver medal. She thought she let her parents down. ”Now, her parents, of course, disowned that but it was a strange and very telling comment about a generation of people who think they have to please their parents all the time,” he says. ”In fact, the darker emotions, failure and disappointment, have much more to teach us than the bright shiny ones.”

”Motivational books, tapes and seminars might leave you feeling briefly excited, but that feeling fades,” 

And this last idea we are very excited about –Bring Back Sarcasm  (We are trapped in an era of sincerity – let us out!)
This Slate journo argues it’s one of the building blocks of civilisation- to express an unwelcome observation in a wickedly passive-aggressive manner.

Sardonic irony is as critical to healthy child development as vitamins and tick-checks. Raising your brats on an exclusive diet of sincerity is a recipe for disaster.

The current mania for relentless positivity and self-esteem building leaves me convinced that we are in real danger of turning out an entire generation of inspirational speakers.

Love the writers schoolboy memory – after reading Joyce’s Ulysses so badly in front of the class his teacher said: He was so overcome by the “sensitivity” of my reading he’d have to to “nip out for a fag” in order to compose himself.

2. A Hot Five Conundrum

Fatal Crashes on New Zealand Roads 2011= 190 
(282) (NZTA website says 400 deaths)
NZ Transport Agency is traditionally one the top advertising spenders  – spending millions on TV ads. “Ghost Chip” etc.
So HH5 would argue that years of these expensive advertising campaigns has altered our habits and our cultural response to drinking and driving…

BUT

Imagine if we spent the same amount on our habits to binge drinking – rather than each politician scoring cheap political points by ‘outlawing young drinkers’ etc.

The number of youths committing suicide has surged by 40%+

Total Suicides in New Zealand in last five years 2717
Total for 2011-2012: 547
74% of all NZ suicides are male

Sources: NZ Herald
NZTA

1. Hal David 92…passes…

Ask Frank Siantra, Elvis Presley, Elton John…or even Lan Del Ray – those words are pretty important.

Make believe that you don’t see the tears
Just let me grieve in private ’cause each time I see you
I break down and cry

Hal David the guy who ground out perfect words for Burt Bacharach’s perfect tunes passed away this week aged 91… wonder if he approved this…

The New York Times put it so well: [His] lyrics could be anguished pleas, wistful yearnings, sexy mash notes or wry musings — sometimes all four in the same song.

Walk on By
Don’t Make Me Over
Message to Michael
Do you know the way to San Jose
Alfie
Raindrops keep falling on my head
I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
What the World Needs Now is Love

Believability, Simplicity and Emotional impact – in a couple of minute – masterful.

NB He didn’t have his first hit until he was into his late 30’s and his biggest hits happened in his 40’s.

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