NEW FUND AT HAF ESTABLISHED TO AID WOMEN IN TECH

From the Humboldt Area Foundation:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2015
Contact: Courtney Haraldson
Humboldt Area Foundation
(707) 442-2993
courtneyh@hafoundation.org

New Fund Established at Humboldt Area Foundation to Support Women in Technology

BAYSIDE,CA- StreamGuys, a leading international streaming media company based in Bayside, CA has established a new fund with Humboldt Area Foundation. The Women in Technology Fund was created to encourage young women in high school to pursue online training in the field of computer technology.

The mission of the fund is to engage and encourage stronger diversification in the field of computer technologies, and to focus young minds on the current and future job demand of many companies in the Humboldt County area. Jonathan Speaker, Jason Osburn and Kiriki Delany have made it a priority to help establish and grow the technology field in the local area to bring higher paying jobs, family and home ownership to the community. Their hope is to expand this fund in the future in response to need.

This is an annual award for students in grades 9-12 and nominations can be made by high school teachers and staff through the Humboldt Area Foundation. Recipients of this award will be encouraged to use the funding to take additional online courses in technology.

For more information about the Humboldt Area Foundation or this particular fund please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation online at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.

Humboldt Area Foundation is the community foundation of and for the citizens of the Redwood, Trinity, and Wild Rivers Region. Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972 with $2.4 million. Since then, more than $67 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.

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Courtney Haraldson
Communications Manager
Humboldt Area Foundation
363 Indianola Rd. Bayside, CA 95524
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T | 707.267.9911
F | 707.442.9702
W | hafoundation.org

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Art Bell Is Back- and Riding StreamGuys

“Dark Matter Digital Network, a burgeoning online radio network focused on science, paranormal and related topical radio shows, has selected StreamGuys to provide all content delivery network (CDN) and streaming services for its programming, including dynamic ad insertion.” according to a press release from StreamGuys.

It continues, “The appointment of StreamGuys as the network’s exclusive CDN and streaming partner coincides with paranormal radio legend Art Bell’s return to broadcasting. Mr. Bell’s new Midnight in the Desert program premieres this week, airing weeknights on Dark Matter Digital Network at 12 midnight ET.”

(Calls to KINS and to BiCoastal Media,  formerly the local outlet for Bell’s late night show, established that they currently have no plans to carry his new show but a barrage of phone calls could perhaps change their minds.  Bell fans are vociferous in their devotion. KXL in Portland, 101.1 FM, is carrying the broadcasts as are KNYE in Pahrump NV,  95.1 FM and four SoCal stations. Does anyone besides Art Bell really live in Pahrump NV?)

Here is an interview from RadioLink.  

More from the release:

“Keith Rowland, owner of Dark Matter Digital Network and a longtime webmaster and engineer for Art Bell, has gradually built a live talent roster since launching the network in 2013. With the return of Art Bell and the addition of The Other Side of Midnight, a new show from Richard C. Hoagland airing immediately after Midnight in the Desert, Rowland sought to offload the growing responsibilities that come with a busier live streaming schedule—and a quickly growing audience.

A recommendation from TuneIn, the popular stream aggregator that will carry Midnight in the Desert via its mobile app, brought StreamGuys into the picture. StreamGuys quickly established a robust, cloud- based streaming architecture that can quickly scale up or down to accommodate audience sizes from show to show, along with redundant mp3 and AAC+ streams to accommodate most media players. Rowland also signed on for StreamGuys’ dynamic ad insertion service, ensuring a simple path to stream monetization without the burden of managing ad schedules and delivery.”

“StreamGuys developed a strong combination of hardware and streaming infrastructure that covered everything from dynamic user numbers to ad delivery,” said Rowland. “They built a redundant server backbone to handle thousands of connections seamlessly, with automatic failover to backup systems as needed. It’s an intelligent configuration that can determine which server and data center location is best equipped to handle each connection.  And the ad insertion service happens entirely server-side, which means we simply have to send a toe down the audio chain to trigger ads. They do all the heavy lifting, which removes the headaches of manual ad management from the client side.”

The monetization angle is especially important for Dark Matter Digital Network as a quickly growing streaming network. While 22 over-the-air radio stations in North America have signed on to pick up Midnight in the Desert from a relay stream, Rowland emphasizes that his operation is primarily an internet streaming network—a vision that he sees quickly gaining momentum.

“Increasingly, broadcasters who leave the corporate market recognize independent internet streaming as the next logical step,” said Rowland. “Even when Art Bell was on terrestrial and later satellite radio, more listeners were switching to a concurrent internet stream with each passing week. This was the next natural step for Art, and it’s exactly where we want to be as Dark Matter Digital Network. We can control everything we do, and streaming is a more exacting technology when it comes to financials. We understand our demographics, we know our audience numbers and we can monetize everything easily compared to the surveys and averages of terrestrial radio. StreamGuys is helping us achieve our monetization goals.”

About StreamGuys, Inc.

In business since 2000, StreamGuys is an industry-leading service provider of live and on-demand streaming, podcasting delivery, and SaaS toolsets for enterprise-level broadcast media organizations. The company brings together the industry’s best price-to-performance ratio, a robust and reliable network, and an infinitely scalable cloud-based platform for clients of any size to process, deliver, monetize and playout professional streaming content. StreamGuys supports many of the world’s largest Podcasts, global TV and radio broadcasters, video and audio production companies, houses of worship, retail and hospitality businesses, government organizations, medical and healthcare services, and live venues for sports and entertainment. The company excels in developing and deploying technologies for business growth and revenue generation, including dynamic ad insertion, mobile streaming and detailed business and data analytics.

Finally, here is an interview with The Man himself from Dark Matter, including a link for those who wish to sign up for Midnight in the Desert.  Enjoy!

END

 

HOLIDAZE – Some brief observations

Yesterday was December 4 and I could not find a parking spot in Old Town.  This year is one of those with only three weeks  between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hate when they do that. We have cause to rejoice- the waterfalls in Yosemite are falling  again. No, the drought’s not over but at least the mountains are looking more normal. Elsewhere..

Sacramento papers reported that the July  California bar exam had the lowest pass rate of any in recent memory- 61% for first-timers, down from 68% last year.  the pass rate for repeaters was only 14%, down from 21%. I don’t mean to be alarmist, but it seems to me that with all the confusion about Prop 47,  possibly changing weed laws and definite changes in immigration policy,  we shouldn’t be facing these challenges with dumb lawyers. Be forewarned!!

Are you a Twitter user? (I call them twits.) The Economist reports that Twitter has ore than quadrupled its revenues since 2012 but is not expected to be profitable until 2017 if then. One reason is that they devote more cash to compensating their employees than do Google and Facebook. 285M folks log onto Twitter monthly which includes 20% of American smartphone users. 75% of Twitter’s ad revenues  are from the mobile market. They observe that Twitter’s user-growth has slowed and that Facebook has four times the number of users. Me?  I did two tweets.  I’m done.  I’ll check in next time there’s civil disorder. 

Finally , you looking for a job?  The Rite Aid in Henderson Center has NOW HIRING on their marquee. Union jobs! Go for it!

 

September Humboldt Economic Index

Dr. Eschker and his dedicated group have published their Economic Index for September.    They found that in September Hospitality, Lumber, Employment , and manufacturing orders  were up, while Home Sales, Retail, unemployment claims, building permits and “help wanted” advertising were down.

Alibaba’s Mega IPO; The Analects of Jack

PART ONE: Imagine there were a company that offered on-line shopping, business-to-business sales, online payments, wholesale trade and cloud computing- in other words a combination of eBay and Amazon that is actually bigger than eBay and Amazon combined.  Welcome to Alibaba.

Started by a schoolteacher named Jack Ma on his kitchen table in Hangzhou in 1999,  the company, now based in Hong Kong,  is about to launch what may be the biggest initial public offering in history, one which could easily surpass Facebook’s fumbled IPO of $16B in 2012. Why will be the biggest  beneficiary? Yahoo, which owns 24% of Alibaba and will probably use the infusion of cash from the IPO to continue its buying spree of smaller tech companies. To give you an idea of the scale,  Alibaba processes  $248B in retail sales yearly.  Here’s a description from the Mercury News:

‘”Nearly 8% of all Chinese online shopping goes through Alibaba sites; on Singles Day last year, a popular holiday in China for online shopping, the site processed $5.8B in in purchases. By comparison, eBay’s total sales on its online marketplace for all of 2013 were $6.8B.”

Alibaba is also moving into mobile commerce in a big way, investing in American companies like  Mountain View -based Tango Me and in Lyft, the San Francisco -based ride sharing  app,  while attempting to consolidate its position amidst its nearest rivals, Baidu and TenCant, which is already rolling out its own IPO. (Google and eBay have departed the China market).  Alibaba’s  IPO was scheduled for August 8 (eighth day, eighth month- the Chinese like “8”s) but may be delayed due to last-minute glitches involving SEC approval of some of their subs which are based in the Cayman Islands.  Ma, who is worth over $8B, has stepped down as CEO but remains as Chair of the 21.000 employee firm and is devoting his time to a charitable trust. 

It’s a global economy for sure, and becoming more so every day.  Wonder how long it will be before we start seeing Singles’ Day promotions? That ‘s too good an idea to skip.

PART TWO: The Analects of Jack. The early history of Alibaba is set forth in a documentary and a book (Alibaba, by Liu and Avery, 2009) which describes how at one time in the early days, Ma was  literally kidnapped and held hostage in a Malibu mansion at gunpoint until he talked his captor into going into business with him).  Ma only got into college on his third entrance exam but his English major has definitely been put to good use in the following phrases which were compiled by American City Business Journals from various interviews and an appearance on Charley Rose that I’m sorry I missed. Here’s a sampling.

Why he likes small businesses and tries to help them through Alibaba: “I’ve seen people make a fortune by catching shrimps, but I’ve never seen anyone make a fortune by catching sharks and whales. It’s like Forrest Gump.”

On putting customers first:  “It’s customers No, 1, employees, two, and shareholders, three.  It’s the customer who pay us the money, it’s the employees who drive the vision,  and it’s the shareholders who when the financial crisis comes, these people ran away. My customers and my people stayed.”

On technology:  “I know nothing about technology.  I use the computer to browse the Internet and receive email. That’s it.”

On developing a business:  “If you want to be a great company, think about what social problem you could solve.”

 On money and Alibaba’s large cash reserves:  “When you try to solve problems with money, that is when your real problems start. A company’s assets are like a country’s armed forces.You cannot use it lightly, but if you ever need to mobilize it, you must win.”

END

 

 

 

Humboldt Economic Index for June 2014

The hardworking crew at HSU has published its Index , which shows a sharp drop in housing sales, down 12.4% since last month. Most indicators were down or flat although Retail held steady.  Unemployment rates: National 6.3 (May figures), California 7.6, Humboldt unchanged at 7.1. Many thanks to Dr. Eschker and his researchers.  

“The Urge” Is Here

Today’s the debut of “The Urge”.

Will it cause us all to splurge?

Will new ad revenues emerge?

Or will the editors sing a dirge?

All the papers want to merge.

RED ink is a paper’s scourge.

Let’s all hope that this new “Urge” 

Will bring the Times back from the verge. 

 Good luck, guys!

 

   

Newest Economic Index Shows Leap in Manufacturing

Dr. Eschker and his hardworking crew at HSU have added another dimension to their Humboldt Economic Index; a specific tracking of the manufacturing sector.  That sector, which will likely generate the sought-after high-paying jobs so badly needed to stabilize our Humboldt economy, increased its index by over 30% in the past year. This is huge and shows a very positive development even though not associated with an increase in employment. Enjoy the Index here and many thanks to those who worked  on it and the sponsors.

Some Interesting Numbers for Redwood Coast Businesspeople

Here’s some food for thought. You might see a few surprises.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY(January): 7.9%

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN SAN FRANCISCO: 4.8%

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN MEXICO: 4.76% (December 2013)  (Time Magazine) Yes, Mexico

SHASTA COUNTY MEDIAN HOME PRICE JAN 2014: $180K  (DataQuick)

HUMBOLDT COUNTY MEDIAN HOME PRICE JAN 2014: $247K (HAR)

CREEPYIEST CREDIT CARD: Capitol One, which according to the LA Times, recently sent its cardholders a contract renewal authorizing the com[any to contact its cardholders by any means including visits to home and workplace, and gives permission to “modify or suppress Caller ID and similar services  and identify ourselves on these services in any manner we choose.” 

MINIMUM WAGE PROPOSED by LA lawmakers for employees in large hotels: $15.37/hour.

APPLE Computer now has more stores in Shanghai than in San Francisco. (Economist)

CHINA’S $3.3 TRILLION consumer economy is about 8% of the total, and is likely soon to overtake Japan as the world’s second-biggest consumer. Half of the world’s new shopping malls are being built in China. (Economist).

MOST CONGESTED HIGHWAY IN CALIFORNIA: I-5 in LA County. “In 2012 alone, vehicles spent an extra 6.6 MILLION hours on the road, due to heavy traffic.” (LAT).

PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS WHO BELIEVE THE SUN GOES AROUND THE EARTH: 26% (National Science Foundation).