LinkedIn and Lynda believe the growing skills gap is one of the biggest challenges to the future of the global economy

LinkedIn Lynda
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn and a believer of the “always be learning” approach, announced a major acquisition move this morning, saying is a great fit for the 346+ million user strong social network. According to TechCrunch, the deal is valued at $1.5 billion.

“The world moves too quickly now to rest on the knowledge we gained earlier in our lives,” Weiner said. He went on to say that in a knowledge-driven economy it’s all about the people. I agree with both his comments (click here), even though I only use LinkedIn and not – yet.

Apparently, in addition to what you’d assume you’d normally find on, the site also offers professional development such as courses by Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO of Pure Performance Communications. I didn’t know was founded in 1995, too. According to Wikipedia,’s online courses began in 2002. That’s quite a library of knowledge LinkedIn now has – And what a breathtaking social reach for!

Below is a screenshot of what the app looks like on a mini Android tablet.

PR training
A screenshot from one of Deirdre Breakenridge’s digital and traditional public relations courses on

How Isaac Dietrich of MassRoots got his app (and groove) back – And more

Mass Roots IPO

OMG, America will soon have a publicly traded marijuana business! Or, a canna biz. No, that’s not made up – Search for cannabusiness on Google and you’ll see it’s totally a legit phrase these days, lots of sites using it. It’s a wordplay on cannabis – Get it? Cannabis, cannabiz, cannabusiness…

My prediction: Seems it’s just a matter of time until the plant is removed from the Controlled Substances Act. That’s the vibe I’m getting, and not just because of MassRoots’s upcoming IPO. Power to the people! And this is me talking, a person who doesn’t smoke! So you might be wondering: “Well, why are you excited then?” Well, part of MassRoots’s story shows that technology and democracy can work beautifully together. And you don’t need to be a smoker to be fascinated by CBD and yes, THC too (Click here to see what I’m talking about – whole plant cannabis therapeutics, baby!). Plus, we need new and lively industries in this country and this one has huge potential. I seriously see it unfolding as win-win – unless idiots or big pharma or whomever manages to fuck it up and halt progress or worse. Let’s hope against that, and hope against infighting too. If you think marijuana has health benefits, unite, because opponents could try to divide and conquer.

Originally posted on Click here to read the story at

Excerpt from the original:
“So in January we united the cannabis industry against [Apple’s no weed apps] policy,” he said. “Over 10,000 of our users sent personal emails to Apple saying why they loved Mass Roots, ranging from ‘I just met my husband on here’ to ‘I suffer from anxiety, I need a social support network’ to ‘I’m a Colorado resident and you are violating my right to free speech.’ A private company doesn’t have a right to tell me what app I can and can’t download on my phone.”

What do Netflix, Microsoft, Tumblr, Linkedin, Dropbox, Cisco, and Hootsuite all have in common??

What do Netflix, Microsoft, Tumblr, Linkedin, Dropbox, Cisco, Intel, and Lyft all have in common? Well, you can say they’re not down with discrimination. Over 70 tech industry leaders have taken a civil rights stand, persuading Congress and others to add solid non-discrimination protections for LGBT people. The move was made this week in response to a host of anti-LGBT bills pending or signed into law in states around the country. Indiana has been the state getting the most press coverage because they cited religious freedom. I’m wondering 2 things – First up: About the employees of these companies. What if they don’t feel the same way as their employers? And then can’t anyone just “create” or “think up” their own religion and say well, I need to do xy and z because my religion says so?? Don’t cult leaders delude themselves into thinking their cult is a religion? See my point?

LOL – Not to distract from the story but might we be crossing over into absurd territory??

Anyway, the statement from the tech leaders is below:

Joint statement from tech industry leaders

The values of diversity, fairness and equality are central to our industry. These values fuel creativity and inspiration, and those in turn make the U.S. technology sector the most admired in the world today.

We believe it is critically important to speak out about proposed bills and existing laws that would put the rights of minorities at risk. The transparent and open economy of the future depends on it, and the values of this great nation are at stake.

Religious freedom, inclusion, and diversity can co-exist and everyone including LGBT people and people of faith should be protected under their states’ civil rights laws. No person should have to fear losing their job or be denied service or housing because of who they are or whom they love.

However, right now those values are being called into question in states across the country. In more than twenty states, legislatures are considering legislation that could empower individuals or businesses to discriminate against LGBT people by denying them service if it they felt it violated their religious beliefs.

To ensure no one faces discrimination and ensure everyone preserves their right to live out their faith, we call on all legislatures to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to their civil rights laws and to explicitly forbid discrimination or denial of services to anyone.

Anything less will only serve to place barriers between people, create hurdles to creativity and inclusion, and smother the kind of open and transparent society that is necessary to create the jobs of the future. Discrimination is bad for business and that’s why we’ve taken the time to join this joint statement.

(see the names here)

Guest/contributor blogger bios that aren’t social – Get with the times

Maybe I’m crazy or not comprehending something but it seems like Gravatar hasn’t kept up with the changing times?? I took screenshots from four contributor/author pages I’ve seen around the web.

(#3 below is mine and shown as an example which is somewhat better than #1 and #2, but not as good as the 4th example.)

Let me ask you: Of the below 4 author boxes, which one seems the most modern?! If you said #1 and #2, I think you need your head examined. Why? Well – They’ve got no social links! And this is the social age. Mine (#3) is tolerable because it’s got some social at the bottom, but LET’S BE REAL – the best of the bunch is #4. Look at how it has neat tabs for the person’s contact info, bio and latest work and it has social media icons. Very modern and attractive, don’t you agree?

I just don’t get how some pages don’t include social. Well, maybe the author didn’t want that. Who knows.
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#1 – Where are the social links!?!?!????

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#2 – Pulls from Gravatar, I believe. I again ask: Where are the social media links??

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#3 – Pulls from Gravatar but at least 2 social links are included, 3 if you count Skype (Look at the bottom part. Likely included manually)

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If you preferred any of the first 3 instead of the final example (shown below), I’d love to know why. The most compact and arguably the best-looking interface is the final one. Take a look!


#4 – Me – On a different site

(Yes #3 above is also me, but it’s from SocialWebCafe. #4 is from GrowMap. I write for different sites. Look carefully and notice that they’re different in structure)


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Look at it again:

  • It has neat tabs for my latest posts and bio
  • You can see the social media icons clearly, in a cluster


You might’ve noticed – When I host guests here, I don’t use an author box plugin on this site. That’s just my preference.

Life experiment: Can YOU take a break from tech 1 day out of the week EVERY WEEK, consistently?!

Tiffany Shlain Technology Shabbat
Shlain Future Starts Here series

Tiffany Shlain lectures worldwide on filmmaking, the internet’s influence on society, and what the future may bring in our ever-changing world. Invitations have come from Harvard, NASA, Twitter, The Economist Big Ideas conferences, Fortune 500 companies, The Ideas Festival, MIT, and TED events including TEDWomen, among others.

A sought-after keynote speaker known for inspiring presentations, Tiffany received a standing ovation from 11,000 people after she delivered the keynote address for UC Berkeley’s commencement ceremony in May 2010. She has had four films premiere at Sundance, including her acclaimed feature documentary, Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology, which The New York Times hailed as “Incredibly engaging… Examining Everything From the Big Bang to Twitter.” The US State Department selected Connected one of the films to represent America at embassies around the world for their 2012 American Film Showcase. Connected had an 11-city theatrical run, its TV broadcast premiere on PBS KQED, and is available on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and all digital platforms.

Other highlights:

  • Honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century”
  • Founder of The Webby Awards
  • Co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences
  • Singled out by The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and the Sundance Institute for her work using documentaries and internet distribution to engage audiences
  • Her films have won over 48 awards and distinctions including a 2012 Disruptive Innovation Award from The Tribeca Film Festival, and are known for their irreverent and profound unraveling of complex subjects like identity, technology, and science.

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Q: Hi Tiffany. It’s awesome getting to interview you on your latest body of work you let us preview. Of the films in this series, which one do you feel might resonate the strongest with the widest range of people, regardless of demographic? Technology Shabbat is the one I feel would do that.

Tiffany Shlain connected future starts hereA: Yes, I think what resonates is owning the fact that we can make these decisions, and reclaiming that. A lot of people say “Well, I already unplug on vacation.” The thing is, vacations happen once or twice a year, and there is a difference between doing it every week versus once a year. The most recent technology Shabbat was just so great to hang out with my family, doing art projects and things. Plus I felt so relieved, it was fun. I’ve been doing technology Shabbats every week for the last 3 and a half years, so now I run toward it, and they get sweeter and better. I have schedules for them, almost – I know if there are really fun things I want to focus on, I plan for those on Saturday.

In my talks, I like to mention how Einstein talked about motion and how time is relative, and the speeding up of time. I meant to include that in the film too, to let people know it’s possible to take one day and make it feel like it’s 4 days long, and then to feel so relaxed afterward. When my father died… that was profound. When someone close to you dies, you just think about time, all the time, how precious that is, and you can die at any moment. I didn’t need any neuroscience to tell me it wasn’t good to be that wired,

and to be increasingly distracted. And I was listening to myself. I think when someone dies, you really go deep into what life’s about, what you want in life, and how you want to be. I wanted to – and needed to – stop the distractions, the onslaught of data coming at me, just one day a week, because I also love the connectedness, I really do, but I knew it wasn’t good all the time.

Q: You opened your series saying you love technology. If someone asks you to demystify the long lines and the camping gear in front of Apple Stores before a major launch, what do you tell them? Your Episode 5, Participatory Revolution, resonated with me. After watching Episode 5, now I think I have my own answer to overnight lines, and to why I chose tech “mania” as a domain name. As the film said: We’re creative beings and we want to be part of the mix! It’s also wonderful to hear that the responses to A Declaration of Interdependence exceeded your expectations. I didn’t see that film, but tying it to the 4th of July was pretty brilliant.

A: Oh! You should see it. A Declaration of Interdependence is part of another film series we’re working on called Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change. Basically we do these collaborative films; we’ve made 3 and we’re just about to premiere our fourth one this December. They’re really fun. You can go to and see a lot. They’re a completely different way of making films that I’ve ever made. As for those overnight fans in front of stores, I don’t know – I think it’s cultural

I saw something on that slow-motion feature on the new iPhone the other day and I’m like, “I want it!” And then there’s also the excitement factor of new, novel, fresh… I think you can probably say that about anything new. We like new and shiny things, and yes, they’re also creative tools that allow us to try new things. So I think there’s a ‘cult factor’ (laughter) – I mean, I was into Apple products ever since I was a kid and I’ve always been excited when something new comes out. I don’t always get it right away like the ones who camp out, but I think they’re passionately obsessed – they want to have the newest thing the second it comes out.

Q: What were some of your standout memories of doing A Declaration of Interdependence?

A: I mean, just the response, to be sitting in our film studios everyday, it was like I was directing from there! People being at their own locations shooting, and the power in building too, there was something very raw about that that came through in the footage.

Q: Was it easy to decide the order of appearance for the films?

A: We thought Technology Shabbat really showed the way I feel about technology, which is this love-hate relationship. With that film as the opener, we felt it would best set the stage for this series, in that I love technology, but I also worry about what it’s doing to us, and we need to be more mindful. And then the other films go in unexpected directions.

Q: As we move closer to the midpoint of this decade, have you experienced or heard of anything your instinct tells you might become the truly next big thing?

A: Yes, my 10-year-old daughter is coding in a visual coding environment named Tynker. I think that’s going to open up a huge number of people coding. And it’s visual! That’s exciting to me.
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how to subscribe Techmania411 techblog
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Bonus video on global women leaders:

This looks crazy futuristic! OM Audio is coming out with a levitating audio speaker


OM Audio, developers of audio products enabling consumers to connect with music like never before, today announced OM/ONE, the world’s first levitating Bluetooth speaker. Talk about an eye-catching conversation-starter. The makers of the OM/ONE say it’s practical and connects wirelessly to all major smartphones, tablets and computers. When detached, the hovering orb acts as a portable speaker that can be taken on the go. The built-in microphone also can transform the OM/ONE into a very cool looking conference room phone.

“In a world full of speakers that look and sound the same, the OM/ONE stands out from all the rest,” said David DeVillez, Founder and CEO at OM Audio. “Prior to our crowdfunding campaign we traveled Silicon Valley getting feedback from some prominent entrepreneurs and musicians and we’ve been very humbled by the praise we’ve received. We’re looking forward to getting these in the hands of consumers this holiday season.” The MSRP is $179 and to get one delivered before the 2014 holiday season visit www

Okay, it looks cool – but how does it sound? Well, Mr. DeVillez is an audio engineer and the former Director of Operations, R&D and Engineering at Velodyne Acoustics. One of his design breakthroughs is the OM/ONE levitating driver for hearing every high and low with no external distortion. Listeners can use the OM/ONE by itself or pair it with another OM/ONE. The team says it can pair/dis-pair and answer call/hang-up with the push of a button.

Opera’s “Coast” is a made-for-touch iOS browser meant to provide a simple, laid-back UX

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Opera’s Coast mobile web browser is an iOS browser meant to provide a smooth, leisurely UX. For fun I’ve included one of their promo videos named “Cats by Opera”, which is a play on words (cats, Coast) and pays homage to the light, laid-back vibe the creators would like you to feel. Opera Coast been available as a free app via the Apple App Store since late April. It’s for the iPhone and iPad. If you have sites that work particularly well with the iPad, you can sync them to your iPhone by using the automatic iCloud sync of site tiles in Opera Coast. Related search words and quality website suggestions appear as you type in your query. As you enter a URL, website suggestions pop up.

Based purely on UI, in my humble opinion, Opera Coast reminded me of the Android third-party browser named UC Browser. Opera seemed a bit “cleaner” though.
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openquotesProduct manager Huib Kleinhout said

“Like everyone who owns an iPhone, I’ve often picked it up when waiting for something or someone. I was never quite happy with how apps and browsers kind of got in the way of the content. With Opera Coast, we made content the main star of the show, letting the browser app itself get out of the way when you just want to kill some time. It’s the way the web was meant to be enjoyed.”
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Disclaimer re: compensation received: None. Unrelated gift was received and it was not pre-arranged and not given quid pro quo.