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The Morning Grumpy – 7/24/12

24 Jul

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

1. Z80 Incubator Labs is a game changer for Buffalo. For real.

What is Z80 Labs?

Our goal is to re-ignite the internet-based technology sector in the Buffalo area, providing a catalyst in building a technology economy in Buffalo and western New York.  We are a technology incubator, which allows participants to build technology businesses within an accelerator environment that provides valuable support across a wide range of functions. 

Z80 Labs will invite entrepreneurs from WNY, Southern Ontario, Southern Tier and Rochester areas to be a part of our program in downtown Buffalo, and participate in the new opportunities offered by the internet based world in building a new economy for the Buffalo and WNY areas.

In addition, we’ll allow Life Sciences, GreenTech and SaaS companies to be part of the Incubator, should they have a local sponsor and meet the other criteria for acceptance in our facility.

Z80 Labs is funded by SCP Management and Softbank Capital. Additional funding for investment in startups will be provided by SCP Buffalo Incubator LP, who was awarded $4 million from the Innovate NY grant. Corporate support in services and personnel will be provided by The Buffalo News, HP Synacor, Campus Labs, PC Business Solutions, Creo451° and Hover Networks. 

The incubator formally launched yesterday and it was covered with some regard by the tech industry’s “paper of record”, All Things D of the Wall Street Journal.

What’s most heartening to see, of course, is the definitely more earnest and rawer kind of entrepreneurism on display, of a kind that is often lost in the slick, well-oiled machine of Silicon Valley.

“It’s easy for entrepreneurs in places like Palo Alto to get going,” the voluble Jordan Levy said to me on my visit. “We wanted to find a way to keep really great techies here to create an ecosystem that would be able to jump-start even more and help this city keep jobs.”

The author dubbed Buffalo as “The Silicon Snowbank”, which is excellent. These articles are the types of things that help change the mesofacts about Buffalo.

Providing mentorship to young entrepreneurs and then connecting them with capital is exactly what we need in order to rebuild the economic engine of this city and region. I’ll be providing frequent updates on what’s happening down at the Z80 Labs because, frankly, you need to know about it.

2. So, this exists. A Tumblr of context-free comments left on articles at The Buffalo News website.

It’s fascinating to me that people are willing to put their real name underneath some seriously vile, racist, and/or insipid bullshit on the Internet pages of a major metropolitan newspaper. The ugly id of Buffalo on display daily.

3. Rolling Stone takes a look at the terrifying new math on climate change.

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

This article is a sober reminder of the epic challenge before us and the political realities of effecting change.

4. According to a report from the Tax Justice Network, a British think tank, the world’s wealthiest citizens have hidden an absolutely staggering amount of money in offshore tax havens, likely around $21 trillion, but as much as $32 trillion. To put that in perspective, the combined gross domestic products of the United States and Japan are around $21 trillion annually. 

$9.8 trillion of it belongs to just 100,000 people and here is where it is stashed.

Who is helping these people hide their wealth from the tax man?  The three largest tax haven banks are UBS, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs. HSBC, Citigroup, and several other American banks and firms are also complicit. Keep in mind that on top of their hidden international horde of cash, American corporations are sitting on $5.1TN in liquid assets.

5. The ultimate collection of videos featuring Mitt Romney arguing against himself. He is the ultimate “do anything, say anything” politician, desperate to get into power at any cost.

I have no idea how someone can vote for this guy with a straight face.

Fact Of The Day: During a 2006 game against Ohio State, Joe Paterno pooped his pants.

Quote Of The Day: “An intellectual is a person who’s found one thing that’s more interesting than sex.” -Aldous Huxley

Video Of The Day: A long, but illuminating video from BBC Panorama on the poor children of America. With one and a half million American children now homeless, reporter Hilary Andersson meets the school pupils who go hungry in the richest country on Earth.

Song Of The Day: “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” – Wilco (Steely Dan Cover)

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