1. James Hirsen: Box-Office Winners and Losers of 2014
2. Joseph Klein: The Sony Cyberattack - A Preview of Things to Come
3. Michelle Seiler-Tucker: Is Air Travel Safe?
4. John LeBoutillier: How Corrupt is Our Political Class? Has This Corruption and Rot Spread into the American Leadership Class?
5. Bill Tatro: What's in Store for 2015?
6. Dr. Gerard Lameiro: The New Emerging Drone Industry
Box-Office Winners and Losers of 2014
By James Hirsen
For Hollywood executives in charge of running the world's biggest entertainment factories, 2014 turned out to be the most anxiety-inducing ever. The summer was an unsettling one in which the box office take for the season was down 25% from the previous year. To top it off, entertainment business execs wound up the year by having to endure the day-to-day news of a major studio, Sony, attempting to cope with a crushing cyber-attack that was launched over the content of a film. Regarding the 2014 box office as a whole, revenues ended up being down 5% from the prior year. In terms of movie choices, the public, via the free market, sent some clear but perhaps not-so-welcome messages to Hollywood. [more...]
The Sony Cyberattack - A Preview of Things to Come
By Joseph Klein
The FBI accused the North Korean government last week of perpetrating the devastating cyberattacks against Sony's computer network for which a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace took responsibility. The North Korean government denied the charge and warned of serious consequences if the United States launched any counter-attack. President Obama ignored the threat, declaring that the U.S. would respond "proportionally" to what he characterized as cyberspace "vandalism." [more...]
Is Air Travel Safe?
Even before the Indonesia Air Asia flight with 162 people on board went missing, the year 2014 has seemed ominous for air transportation disasters. Despite this insinuation, data shows that some 762 people had lost their lives in seven fatal accidents this year, more than 1,000 lost their lives in 2005 ultimately proving that aviation is still the safest route to travel by. Even better, experts say that the industry’s underlying safety record is actually improving. The statistics underscore a year of tragic contrasts dominated by two Malaysian catastrophes and a handful of weather-related incidents, yet a record-low number of crashes. [more...]
How Corrupt is Our Political Class? Has This Corruption and Rot Spread into the American Leadership Class?
How corrupt is our political class? Has this corruption seeped into the American leadership class – in all our institutions, i.e. education, business, religion, the media, etc.? How weak is American leadership today in the world? As mayhem spreads, does the United States even have a leadership position anymore? This – and much more – will be discussed by the POLITICAL INSIDERS. [more...]
What's in Store for 2015?
By Bill Tatro
As much as each country, from the U.S. to Greece, Russia to Malaysia, sees itself as a unique and independent entity, the reality is that the world has been united as one big Keynesian experiment. Social media has taken significant events that normally would be continually discussed, analyzed and even become world altering and reduced them to tweets, blogs and yesterday's news. Although the world’s attention via social media is always directed to the newest crisis, the reality is that nothing in the past has either been solved or eliminated. Another few days and the next crisis will be front and center; it will be time to put all these past problems behind us – after all it’s a new year. [more...]
The New Emerging Drone Industry
Some estimates place the commercial value of the use of the new drone technology at over $10B over the next decade. That might be a very conservative estimate too, since the technology can be used in so many different ways. Plus, just think about spin-off technologies and their values. For example, new drone-ready GPS technology will likely be used, resulting in additional revenues and profits. A whole new billion dollar industry? New jobs? New innovation? A boost for GDP? Better services for consumers? Cool technology, right? American ingenuity at work building 21st century America? But, why not do the R&D in America? [more...]