Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Real James Bond: Ian Fleming’s Commandos Reviewed

Michael Korda
Nov 19, 2011 6:52

A new book relates the remarkable story of Ian Fleming’s daring commando group during World War Two and how they inspired the story of the greatest spy ever: James Bond. Michael Korda finds his own family story in its midst.

Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming, Horst Tappe / Hulton Archive-Getty Images

I only met Ian Fleming once, at a party given by my father’s friend the director Carol Reed, at his house at 211 King’s Road, Chelsea, the garden of which he shared with Peter Ustinov. The party, given in honor of the American actor Sonny Tufts of all people, was star-studded and noisy, the noise level increased by the fact that one whole wall of the Reeds’ drawing room consisted of a floor to ceiling aviary full of angrily squawking, chattering and screeching exotic birds, cockatoos and parrots, outraged at this invasion of their privacy. This was well before Ian Fleming became a household name as the author of the James Bond books, probably in 1951, shortly after I had joined the Royal Air Force, and I was conspicuous only by my youth and my uniform. I was undergoing training at the time for radio (or, as we call it in the U. K., “wireless”) intelligence work involving a knowledge of Russian, about which I was forbidden to speak. The press of famous people shouting “Dahling!” at each other at the top of their voice forced us together briefly by accident, and I introduced myself shyly. He raised an eyebrow at the presumption of an Aircraftman Second Class introducing himself, and mumbled his name. The only part of it I heard was “Fleming,” and I was thrilled. Peter Fleming was a famous English traveler, explorer and adventurer, whose non-fiction books were hugely successful. My father owned signed copies of all of them—he and Peter Fleming had become acquainted over some detail of set design at the Korda film studio in Shepperton—and I had read each of them with breathless adolescent excitement. He was immensely glamorous, a tall, handsome old Etonian who won a First at Oxford and married the beautiful actress Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter), one of those Englishmen who had traveled everywhere, however dangerous and remote, and wrote about it all in neat, epigrammatic prose: “São Palo is like Reading, only much further away.” He and T. E. Lawrence were then my favorite writers and role models (it was because of Lawrence that I had joined the R. A. F. in the first place), and much as I aspired (in vain) to emulate Lawrence of Arabia, I also longed to travel in Peter Fleming’s footsteps over the Hindu Kush, or up the Amazon in pursuit of the legendary Colonel Fawcett. “I loved Brazilian Adventure,” I said. “I read it three times.” (more…)

U2′s Iconic Achtung Baby: 20 Years Later


To mark the anniversary of the album that changed U2 forever, MTV News spoke to the man who wrote the book on the band’s once heady times.

U2's Bono

Novenber 18, 2011
By James Montgomery

Twenty years ago, U2 — slightly removed from the double-barrel success of The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum — were a band in crisis. Sure, they were arguably the biggest rock act on the planet, but, for the first time in their career, they had felt the sting of critical backlash: Many felt Hum‘s accompanying documentary, which followed the band across America, was grandiose and self-righteous (even its director would later call it “pretentious”), and the group couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps the critics were right.

Had U2 become too big? Had their fascination with all things American (the songs of Johnny Cash, B.B. King and Bob Dylan, the spiritualism of gospel choirs, the sanctity of Sun Studios and Graceland) led them too far from their roots? Were Bono’s sociopolitical viewpoints detracting from the power of the band? And, really, after a decade spent trying to conquer the world — and succeeding — what did U2 really have left to accomplish? (more…)

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” Makes the iPad Feel Like Magic

Mashable Tech
November 18, 2011

A Charlie Brown Christmas is now available as a spectacular pop-up book for iOS and Android.

Loud Crow Interactive, the people behind last year’s phenomenal Peter Rabbit iPad app have really outdone themselves with this touch-device remake of Charles M. Schulz’s classic story.

The app captures the nostalgia of the 1965 television special, while still adding a modern and inventive twist on the children’s book app.

Given the amount of pre-existing Charlie Brown Christmas media, it would have been easy for Loud Crow to phone this one in. It didn’t. The app is beautiful and designed down to the last detail to mimic the interaction of a real pop-up book, while also adding true digital features. (more…)

Why Brands Need Friends – Not Fans – on Facebook

Technology News – TechNewscast

November 18, 2011

Clyde McKendrick is founder and executive strategy director of innovations and insights lab Cultural Capital, an integrated advertising agency based within WDCW-LA. Clyde has spent the last 15 years guiding brands like Pepsi, Red Bull and T-Mobile to develop their brand strategies and communications.

Facebook offers brands access to its vast audience with no apparent cost of entry. Therefore, one would presume that brands would develop strategic and forward-thinking campaigns to maximize their reach. Not so.

Instead, brands quickly entered a popularity contest for the most Likes. It seemed companies were simply content with growing audience numbers. Until lately, they’ve been comfortable measuring return on investment by the number of fans alone. Now they’re beginning to question the value of such a one-dimensional strategy. (more…)

The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa

Mfonobong Nsehe, Contributor
November 2011

As a response to one of Forbes’ more popular pieces, The 20 Youngest Power Women, I decided to compile my own list of The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa.

Of course, this is by no means an official or an exhaustive list. But these are 20 women, all under age 45, who wield enormous influence in African business, technology, policy and media. They are change makers, trendsetters, visionaries and thinkers, builders, and young global leaders. They are at the vanguard of Africa’s imminent socio-economic revolution and its contemporary renaissance.

Ory Okolloh Kenyan. Founder, Ushahidi

A Harvard-trained lawyer, activist and blogger, Kenyan-born Ory Okolloh spearheaded the founding of Ushahidi, a revolutionary crowd sourcing utility that enables citizen journalists and eyewitnesses all over the world to report incidences of violence through the web, mobile E-mail, SMS, and Twitter. Earlier this year, Okolloh assumed a new position as Google’s policy manager for Africa, and she is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential women in global technology.

Chimamanda Adichie Nigerian. Writer

One of Africa’s leading contemporary literary voices, the Award-winning Nigerian writer has been heralded as a rebirth of the African literary greats – the likes of Chinua Achebe, Camara Laye and Cyprian Ekwensi. In 2006 her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the coveted Orange Prize, and Chinua Achebe (widely regarded as the father of African literature) said of Adichie: She’s “endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers…”

Africa’s 40 Richest

Edited by Kerry A. Dolan

Reported by Zina Moukheiber, Mfonobong Nsehe, Edwin Durgy and Susan Adams.

Forbes’ inaugural list of the 40 Richest People in Africa is a testament to the growing global importance of the continent. Fortunes are being created everywhere from South Africa clear north to Morocco and Egypt in a diverse array of industries, by companies that cater to local tastes or worldwide needs. The combined wealth of the 40 richest is $64.9 billion – more than Thailand’s 40 richest (at $45 billion) but less than Taiwan’s (at $92.7 billion).

See complete coverage and the full list of Africa’s 40 Richest here.

The richest among them is Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, with a $10.1 billion fortune based on his stake in publicly-traded Dangote Cement –which has operations across Africa — as well as his interests in flour milling, sugar refining and salt processing. Behind him at number two is South African diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer, with a $6.5 billion fortune. Oppenheimer decided in early November to sell the family’s remaining stake in diamond miner DeBeers to mining behemoth Anglo American, ending more than 80 years of family ownership. In a small world twist, Anglo American was founded by Nicky’s grandfather in 1917, making for very deep ties between the companies. (more…)

Argentina’s video gamers take on world

By Brian Byrnes, CNN
Tue November 15, 2011
Hernán Rozenwasser (right), CEO of QB9, says Latin America's video game industry now competes on quality, not just costs.

Hernán Rozenwasser (right), CEO of QB9, says Latin America’s video game industry now competes on quality, not just costs

Buenos Aires, Argentina (CNN) — At QB9′s bricked-walled workspace in Buenos Aires, about 50 employees stay busy day and night creating video games.

The company is one of 65 Argentine firms who have been making a name for themselves in recent years in the highly-popular, billion-dollar video game universe.

QB9 has found particular success with an online kids’ game called “Mundo Gaturro” which has nearly one million registered users. (more…)

A Silicon Valley Dream Grows in Guatemala, Despite the Risks

Victor Blue for The New York Times

The offices of Milkn’Cookies, a tech firm, located in Campus Tecnológico.

November 16, 2011

GUATEMALA CITY — Seventh floor: geeks, computer screens, embryonic businesses — including one offering digital monsters from artists who worked on “The Chronicles
of Narnia” film series.

Victor Blue for The New York Times

Developers hope that Campus Tec, a single brick building, will help fuel the rise of an entrepreneurial hub in the heart of Guatemala City.

The New York Times

The average cost to start a business in Guatemala is low. (more…)

NBA Players’ Risky Strategy Could Pay Off In Big Way

David Lariviere, Contributor
Patrick Rishe


In the high-stakes poker game that the labor negotiations between the NBA owners and players have become, the players have moved all their chips to the middle of the
table now.

This photo is from the Time 100 Gala - click h...

It’s something Commissioner David Stern couldn’t have expected and now the ball’s in his court, to use his own sport’s analogy. The players have decided to disband their union and are prepared to file an antitrust suit against the owners for an illegal lockout within the next few days. (more…)

The 10 Most Popular Mobile Purchases

Jumptap, comScore study looks at mobile commerce trends
By Ki Mae Heussner
November 10 2011

Tablet owners are increasingly using their devices for e-commerce. | Photo: Tooga/Getty Images

Tablets may be good for watching movies or reading books, but it looks like consumers are increasingly using it for something else, too: shopping.

According to a study from mobile ad network Jumptap and comScore, 63 percent of tablet owners have made a purchase with their device, as opposed to just 31 percent of mobile owners. That compares to 83 percent of PC owners who have completed a purchase on their laptop or desk computer.

Among consumers aged 18 to 34, the gap between PC and tablet shopping is even narrower with 79 percent saying that they’ve made tablet purchases and 89 percent indicating that they’ve used their PC for shopping. (more…)