I told you so, Twitter is bigger than you think

See what I mean, Twitter is the new news network. But notice, everyone went to the web to confirm. We still don’t believe what one person (or 100,000 people) says. We want confirmation. Michael Jackson’s death crashing Google is an event few (if any) have ever done. Source: Michael Jackson Invented Pop, Beat the Rap, Crashed Google | Fast Company

It Might Become the Neda Revolution

I stand corrected. It is no longer the Masked Revolution. There is a face and she is Neda (Farsi for “the voice”). #neda is the newest hash tag on twitter to identify the #IranElection or #gr88. I guess as time passes hash tags need to be re-hased to remain fresh – so people don’t forget.

See TIME website: In Iran, One Woman’s Death May Have Many Consequences

A gruesomely captivating video of a young woman – laid out on a Tehran street after apparently being shot, blood pouring from her mouth and then across her face – swept Twitter, Facebook and other websites this weekend. The woman rapidly became a symbol of Iran’s escalating crisis, from a political confrontation to far more ominous physical clashes. Some sites refer to her as “Neda,” Farsi for the voice or the call. Tributes that incorporate startlingly upclose footage of her dying have started to spring up on YouTube.

Iran’s Masked Revolution

If a revolution in Iran occurs, it will probably be known as the Masked Revolution (you read it here first) or the Anonymous Revolution because during the days leading up to the revolt protesters – scared of retribution – wore masks to hide their identity.

One thing is for sure news of a revolution would travel around the globe in seconds. That is definitely different from the revolution 30 years ago. In fact, the election protests are already a global phenomenon on twitter #IranElection. Protesters are urged to mask their profile pictures with green screen, change their profile location to Tehran and change their profile timezone to GMT+3:30 in order to confuse those seeking out protestors in Tehran.

This has sparked live, grass-roots protests around the world with the tag line Green For Iran.

Sometimes Twitter is bigger than you think [UPDATE]

Twitter Fail WhaleSometimes we laugh at what people share on Twitter. Sometimes we get sad, sometimes angry. Sometimes Twitter can influence the world and world events can control Twitter. Sometimes Twitter shows us that media is fallible. Sometimes Twitter shows us how Twitter is fallible. Sometimes the world can bring Twitter to its knees.

Get While the Getting Is Good

Even if you quit a university president’s position, it’s all good because there’s always the golden parachute.
From theeagle.com: Severance details released

Murano’s severance package included being paid her salary of $425,000 while she is on leave through June 2010. She’ll also be paid $295,000 by the end of the week in exchange for agreeing to not file a lawsuit against the system or its officers.

And the other shoe drops…
From the same article:

The special regents meeting kicked off with a presentation that painted a dire economic forecast for Texas A&M University and higher education in general, including continued tuition increases, funding shortfalls in the next legislative session and possible reductions in other revenue sources such as investment earnings.
The presentation — made by B.J. Crain, associate vice chancellor for budgets and accounting — said that Texas A&M University’s total operating budget increased 66 percent from 2000 to 2008, from $553 million to $918 million. The spike was significantly higher than the cost of inflation, she said.

The administration (the BOR, Presidents Murano and Gates) over spent and now it’s time to tighten the belt. Of course combining functions with their flagship university allows the System to save money, but it’s a crutch. They may lower cost slightly and keep income steady, but next year, everyone will be worse off when the Texas Legislature cuts the budget. Long live the president and the office of the president.

Galveston’s Loftin named interim A&M president

From The Eagle: Galveston’s Loftin named interim A&M president

The scary part:

“Before going into closed session, Frank Ashley, vice chancellor for academic affairs for the system, discussed what’s been a mystery since the agenda was posted Friday – “shared services opportunities.” System officials declined at the time to explain what that meant, saying Ashley would explain later.

On Monday, he discussed combining the offices at the system and the flagship university in the following areas: research administration; business services; marketing and public relations; facilities, planning and construction; human resources; information technology; and training – all to improve efficiency.”

That about covers every non-academic area at the university.

Crisis in College Station

And now for the rest of the story…. Burkablog published an op-ed piece on texasmonthly.com about President Murano’s resignation. It’s a “I heard it from a friend who heard it from someone else” type of story, but it has some truth to it.

The original content was from Jon Hagler, class of 1958, Distinguished Alumnus in 1999, published in The Eagle newspaper, “A&M in danger of never achieving its vast potential“, Monday, June 15, 2009 6:05 AM.

Most important crisis at A&M since Earl Rudder.
…this crisis is about whether the faculty, staff, students, former students and the broad and diverse community that make up Texas A&M University will allow a handful of politically motivated persons who do not understand their fiduciary duty either to the institution or to the citizens of the state to take over this wonderful, heavy-duty public university – this sacred public trust.

If they are successful, Texas and its citizens can kiss a unique American institution goodbye. It will have no chance of ever achieving its vast potential.

Ironically an Earl Rudder reference was made during Dr. Murano’s 2008 Convocation speech:

In our more recent history, these changes included the admission of women students and making participation in the Corps of Cadets optional instead of mandatory, under the leadership of the great James Earl Rudder in the late 1960s. It is hard to imagine today, but President Rudder’s position was not accepted by everyone. In fact, he was actually “booed” during his speeches. And if you CAN imagine booing the president of Texas A&M during a speech … well, I ask that you keep that to yourself. Still, the fact remains that his leadership and commitment to doing the right thing helped him position our university to becoming one of only two flagships among the public universities in Texas.

So, looking back at what she has said and done, I think Dr. Murano was positioning herself to follow Rudder’s lead rather than the good ol’ boy network. And that don’t fly in Texas.

How Two Journalists Might Start WWIII

This could go sideways in a hurry if we don’t use diplomacy.

N. Korea Sentences US Journalists to 12 Years Labor
ap_us_journalists_north_korea_ling_lee_14may09_210These undated photo show American journalists Laura Ling, right, and Euna Lee.

North Korea says it has handed a harsh sentence to two U.S. women journalists, more than two months after it captured them for allegedly crossing its border illegally. Whether they actually serve that sentence may depend on closed door diplomacy.

Gates: We Can Take Down North Korean Missile
In a Senate hearing today, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates relayed a message to North Korea: We can take down your lame long-range missiles.

Big Week for Internet, Wave, Bing and E3

It has been a big week for Internet and gaming technology.

On a personal note, my Xbox 360 died and my 40” Samsung LCD is on the fritz. Is it a conspiracy? Mo’ money, mo’ money.