Blu Kicks are Comfortable and they Support Threatened Habitats

I am always looking for something new, different, and when it comes to clothes – comfortable. I have a pair of extremely comfortable slip on shoes from blukicks. Much like Toms, blukicks has a donation program. They donate $1 for every pair of shoes they sell. The brand is inspired by their love of the environment and it shows in the shoe designs.

Donations to Help Threatened Habitats

There are currently three organizations they support. The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, WildAid, and For the Fishes. Not only do they donate for every pair of shoes sold, but they often have additional deals to donate even more through one of the organizations they work with. Blukicks is focused on shoes for seas, helping to do their part along with their customers to assist with preserving the seas and the fish within them.

help threatened habitats

The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust helps to conserve three types of fish: Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit. Each is unique in it’s own way. The BTT takes an approach of research and education, to work with fisherman and preserve these amazing species of fish. WildAid works to try to reduce the demand of the illegal wildlife trade, particularly with regard to sharks. For the Fishes works with Hawaii’s coral reef fish.

Not a Generic Cause But a Specific One

It is too easy these days for a company to say we donate to a large organization and therefore buy our products. Blukicks is different, they have focused on their passion – fish and the seas. They work with, visit, and support these organizations because they have a shared passion. The love for various species of fish in the seas can be shown even in their shoe design.

blue-slip-on-shoeAs I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I have a pair of their Belize Blue shoes. These are inspired by the Whale Shark and look at this image of the shark as it swims through the sole. The spotted markings are visible on the sole, but also on the back of the shoe which resembles the Whale Shark as well. It is the attention to detail that shows their true passion for the fish.

The Sole of Each Shoe is Unique

Each shoe has a unique sole. Take a look at all their choices. The attention to detail is impressive and not something you find in shoe brands these days. Shop mens and womens shoes here.

blukicks soles

Disclaimer: through POA we work with blu kicks, and also note that I wear a pair of Belize Blue shoes regularly.

Does Chris Christie Want His Own Tesla Dealership in New Jersey?

I have been a long time fan of Tesla and wrote about how they are redefining and industry in 2012 and their petition to sell direct to consumer in 2013. Not only have they been selling electric cars when many said they could not mass produce viable electric cars that consumers would want, they also changed the model and sell direct to consumers. Obviously whenever there is a major change in an industry it can upset a few, particularly car dealerships in the case of direct sales, not to mention the car companies that Tesla surpassed with their award winning Model S. Now in 2014 after Tesla has been selling direct to the consumer in their own stores, and has sold direct to consumer in New Jersey.

New Jersey Proposal
Now it appears that New Jersey governor Chris Christie has decided to back a proposal that keeps Tesla from selling direct to consumers and must sell through dealers. According to the CNN article (Tesla lashes out at Chris Christie) “..the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is considering a proposal at a meeting in Trenton on Tuesday that would block automakers from selling to consumers.” Read the entire article which speaks to the battle between Tesla and the New Jersey legislature.

Chris Christies New Jersey Tesla

WhatsApp with Facebook? Smart move Zuckerberg?

Facebook Pays $19 Billion for WhatsApp

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 Billion in 2012, and now they are buying WhatsApp for $16 Billion, sort of. The total as I understand is an initial $12 Billion in stock and $4 Billion in cash, then $3 Billion that vests over 4 years. So that is $19 Billion in total.

For those of you that do not use WhatsApp, here is how the now $16 Billion dollar acquired company describes their service:

whatsapp logo

How it works…WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends. In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

Is Mr. Zuckerberg Crazy?
Maybe, maybe not. Let’s look at some of the knowns. He has to maintain market leadership. His stock has done well lately and one could argue it is in large part due to their mobile revenue. If that is the case and mobile growth as well as market leadership are two of their many goals, then WhatsApp may have been a bargain. Here are some WhatsApp numbers, 450 million active monthly users of which 70% are active on any given day. Wow. Here are some Facebook numbers from September 2013, 1.19 billion active monthly users and 728 million daily active users. In comparison form:

1.19 : Billion Active Monthly Users
728 : Million Active Daily Users
$171 : Billion Market Cap as of today 2/20/14
$143 : Value of Each Active Monthly User
$234 : Value of Each Active Daily User

450 : Million Active Monthly Users
315 : Million Active Daily Users
$16 Billion : Sold ($19 Billion including the $3 Billion vesting for 4 years)
$35 : Value of Each Active Monthly User
$50 : Value of Each Active Daily User



Note on User Value Calculations: there are other factors to take into account, such as a big one – Revenue. However it gives a rough comparison of value based solely on active users.

What is the Prince Lawsuit Really About and Why is it Relevant

There seems to be a little confusion about who Prince Rogers Nelson (“Prince” the singer) is suing and why. I have seen multiple articles entitled “Prince sues Facebook users” which leads you to believe that he is suing people because they are Facebook users, which is not the case. Sorry if my take on it is boring, as a lawyer that has a comp sci degree who used to practice intellectual property law – I love this stuff.

prince complaintYou can read the entire complaint here on scribd in which he has filed a complaint against 22 individuals. A couple things to note, the plaintiff is indeed Prince and there are two individuals named as defendants and 20 others named using their online names. Prince is doing business as Controversy Music and has over 600 copyright registrations. In other words he has intellectual property which are assets like any other type of property. So he hates Facebook users and is suing Facebook users right? Wrong. He is going after 22 individuals that he believes engaged in infringing on his intellectual property rights. Here is where it gets interesting and why this could be a ground breaking case that may change the online behaviour of many individuals, depending on how this case is decided.

What Are the Individuals Being Sued For?
Here is why I find it so interesting. These individuals are not being sued for making copies of his works, in other words copying his songs, but instead are being sued for linking to the songs. The defendants posted the links on Facebook pages and Blogger pages. So the link to Facebook is simply that the users posted links on some Facebook pages. These links pointed to file sharing services that have the individual songs.

Claims against Each Individual
The complaint goes on to discuss what Prince believes each individual did.

All of these individuals are accused of posting links that directed others to where the file was to a Prince copyrighted work on a file sharing service.

In the claims against each individual it does not state they were direct copyright infringers, in other words made copies of the songs and distributed. However they do claim in general that all Defendants have reproduced and distributed copies of the songs, but they do not point to any one individual. That is what is confusing, since it seems as if they are looking for a charge of contributory infringement or direct infringement from a link to a songs source even if they have not had any control over the song or the source.

Damages of $1 Million Each?
Prince is asking for all the damages he can obtain under law. The $1 Million that is being reported on is a statutory amount since he registered his copyrights federally. He is also seeking other damages including but not limited to profits.

Why is this so Interesting? Why You May Want to Be Careful

It is possible that some of these defendants may be guilty of putting links on their blogs to songs on a file sharing service and found guilty of copyright infringement but have not actually made copies, or reproduced, the actual songs. Here is part of the claim that is most interesting:

prince sues

“When Defendants posted the infringing and bootlegged material to their blogs and Facebook accounts, they knew that the users of those blogs and accounts would download such material in violation of Prince’s rights.”

What does this mean for you? If these individuals are found guilty of copyright infringement by placing a link on their web page that points to copyrighted material, knowing it is copyrighted material, then you better:

Be careful what you link to.

Cyber Monday sets a New Record : 2010 to 2013 Compared

cyber-monday-2013-1735-billionWith regard to spending from a desktop computer, as reported by Comscore, Cyber Monday 2013 reached total sales of $1.735 Billion. That is an increase of 18% over last years Cyber Monday of $1.465 billion. There are many factors that could effect the total sales of any one day however it is still an impressive comparison. In the report they noted that some retailers are providing the Monday deals earlier and later and therefore Monday could of been larger.

The real issue here is that this particular day has been watched because it was the first day back from work after the Thanksgiving weekend. In the past computer connections were faster at work and therefore more people spent from their computer at work. Now days your home connection is just as fast as work, if not faster. However the days sales total is still tracked.

This year Cyber Monday 2013 was not only an improvement over last year but was actually the biggest spending day in history.

I took the chart with 2012 and 2013 numbers and compared it to the chart with 2010 and 2011 numbers, with respect to Cyber Monday. See below.


Cyber Monday Sales by Year

  • 2010 : $1.028 Billion
  • 2011 : $1.251 Billion
  • 2012 : $1.465 Billion
  • 2013 : $1.735 Billion

It was just a couple years ago that sales totaled just over $1 billion. Now we are almost topping $2 Billion, and these numbers are United States retailers only. It actually excludes travel purchases.

See the full Comscore report for Cyber Monday 2013 here.