Coincidentally, all three of the Champs featured into this film were born into poverty. For Mike Tyson and Bernard Hopkins that also included issues with the law from an early age. For these boxers they didn’t see a flyer about a boxing school and signed up out of interest. Fighting was a necessity in the poor towns that they were raised in.
Mike Tyson, was raised in the rough parts of Brownsville, Brooklyn. His father wasn’t around and his mother was promiscuous. Mike Tyson turned to the streets at a young age. He would rob people with a gang. As a juvenile, he went through the prison system. There he was discovered by a counselor and former boxer. After training for a few months in the system, he would be introduced to Cus D’amato. Mike Tyson would be taken in by Cus D’Amato. Mike referred to Cus as his real father. He was a great mentor to Iron Mike.
Evander Holyfield was born in a very poor suburb of Alabama. He was the youngest of nine children. He went in a different route than Mike Tyson. He started fighting at the Boys Club from an early age. By the age of 20 he was in the Olympics. He went on to have a great career. Holyfield was the undisputed champion of the world (1990-1992). Ironically, the other star of this documentary, Mike Tyson bit a part of Holyfield’s ear off in a fight.
Bernard Hopkins was a middleweight champion that defended his title 20 times. He was a thug that grew up in Philadelphia. A product of a drug addict father and an alcoholic mother. When Hopkins was locked up in prion for 5 years, his brother got murdered in the streets.
Champs a multi-purpose documentary. It entertains the audience to see the struggles that the boxers go through. The audience is entertained by watching great moments in these boxers careers. Another important purpose of this documentary is to show the audience that boxing is no joke. It shows how the fighters that rise to the top went through very serious struggles. I believe Champs helps many people that are looking into boxing look for another career. It’s a great documentary and it’s still on Netflix as of today (thanks instantwatcher).
Speaking of cars. Google is going green by finding ways to car pool in Israel. The article says Google is teaming up with Waze. They purchased Waze for over $1 billion in 2013. Don’t know if I would use the term “teaming up”.
Google had to apologize for putting Nazi Camps into mobile games. It seemed to create an uproar. Sergey Brin and Larry Page are both Jewish. I doubt they meant any harm by it.
A few days earlier there was another incident. The company has a nice unlimited offer on their google photos. This program automatically sorts pics based on criteria that an algorithm that analyzes the photos. Recently, a photo of a black developer and a friend were labeled by Google Photos as “Gorillas”. It makes for an awkward situation, but I think we can all agree that was not Google’s intention.
Google added an undo send option in GMail. It’s about time someone has given some thought to adding that feature to non-work personal emails.
Google is removing Revenge Porn from their search results. That’s some project to find every site that hosts pictures submitted by angry individuals. Hopefully they can venture with Facebook to fight sextortion which seems to be a big issue these days.
Google is also busy removing links for Europeans. Under the ‘Right to be Forgotten‘ project, links are being removed when requested.
It has been a busy month. Much of the month spent dealing with issues. Hopefully, the issues will resolve and they can focus on other great projects.
I must first admit that I did not know who Elon Musk was. I had seen him on the ‘Secret Lives of the Super Rich‘ TV show. This is why I searched for him on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Elon Musk is South African born with a Canadian background. He is a smart and stubborn individual. Doesn’t particularly like to follow orders. The book describes a situation where he was punished. He secretly left his house during the punishment and walked for 4 hours to attend a party. He taught himself computer programming at the young age of 12. Elon Musk created a game using BASIC and sold it to a computer magazine for $500.
Elon Musk attended UPenn and obtained his undergraduate degree in Physics and Economics. He started his Physics PhD program at Stanford University but left after 2 days to become an entrepreneur. In 1995, His brother Kimbal and Elon would start an internet city guide called Zip2. Compaq would acquire the company for $341 million. This would make Elon Musk $22 million. At that point most people would by a nice home and work out their retirement. Not Elon Musk. In 1999, he poured $10 million into X.com to be a co-founder. The company worked with financial services and e-payments. They would merge with a company that created Paypal. The company was renamed Paypal and sold to Ebay in 2002 for a mere $1.5 billion. This would make Elon Musk $165 million. At this point, I would believe at least 99% of people with this amount of wealth wold consider retirement.
Elon Musk, was hungry to pursue another dream that he had. He believed that we could bring crops with us in a certain form to another planet. He would want to start creating this crop on the other planet, to bring us closer to living outside of Earth. He believed that the current way Space Rockets were created was inefficient. He wanted to change the supply chain integration of creating the rockets to get a better price. He would throw $100 million of his own money into SpaceX.
In 2004, Elon Musk would make a large investment into Tesla Motors. He would be Chairman of the Board and would not be involved in Day-to-Day operations. During the financial Crisis of 2008, he took a CEO role and would become the chief architect. In addition to creating great electric cars, they also sell electric powertrain systems to other major automobile manufacturers.
What sets Elon Musk apart from other wealthy powerhouses is his desire to help society in his actual work. Bill Gates, does it through a separate Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. But Elon Musk is open to people using his Tesla patents in Good Faith to speed up the process of creating electrical vehicles. I don’t believe Bill Gates had ever opened up Microsoft patents in Good Faith. Another venture he is in is SolarCity. This company provides Solar Power. Elon Musk’s main goal is to combat global warming. He is actually working on providing California very cheap options to upgrade their homes to Solar Power to show his concern for global warming.
If you watch ‘Secret Lives of the Super Rich’, Elon Musk does have some expensive toys. But he also has enough money to do the right thing even if it impacts profit negatively. Read Elon Musk: Renaissance Man by Nathanial Oliver if you want a succinct Elon Musk biography.
Bill Gates came from an upper-middle class family. His family encouraged a competitive nature from their children. Bill and his 2 sisters would play cards competitively often. At 13, he enrolled in Lakeside School, where he would meet Paul Allen. After scoring 1590 out of 1600 on the SATs, he was on his way to Harvard College.
Bill Gates followed the computer industry and learned that the Altair computer was coming out with the Intel 8080 processor. He saw this as the perfect opportunity to start a company. Him and Allen worked on a BASIC interpreter for the Altair. Computer hobbyists took the code they created and distributed it. Bill Gates unsuccessfully requested payment for this. At this point Bill Gates and Paul Allen decided to name their partnership Microsoft and they had earned the respect of the programming community. Bill Gates, had also decided to completely withdraw from Harvard University and give his company 100% attention.
In 1980, IBM was looking to revolutionize the computer industry with the creation of the personal computer. They reached out to Microsoft for the BASIC interpreter. IBM also needed an operating system and Bill Gates jumped at the opportunity. Most people probably believe that at that point Microsoft created DOS and the rest is history. That is partially true. Bill Gates and Paul Allen were smart enough to create their own Disk Operating System (DOS). However, IBM had a time-frame and Microsoft knew between creation, testing, and bringing it to market, there was no time. They reached out to Seattle Computer Products and bought their version of DOS for $50,000. Then, Bill Gates and Paul Allen fixed that operating system to IBM’s request and sold it to them under a licensing agreement. The gamble payed off as the PC became popular and other companies started cloning the machine. All the clones ran MS-DOS.
In 1985, he launched Microsoft Windows. The operating system had many similarities to Apple‘s Graphical User Interface (GUI) operating system. Apple took Microsoft to court for these similarities. The case went on for years until it was ruled that the GUI was a necessary and common to PC users and that no company owned the patent for GUI.
In 1986, the company would go public. Bill Gates owned 45% of the shares. By 1987, at the age of 31, Bill Gates would become the youngest Billionaire. By the age of 39, he was the wealthiest man in the United States.
Geroge Ilian, talks about the failure of Microsoft to take the Internet seriously. They were slow to react to the popularity and because of it companies like Google would lead the market. Even harder to digest was Apple’s success with iTunes internet sales and the creation of iPhone to utilize the internet. Microsoft realized this mistake and tried to make up for it by entering the video game console market. The XBox series of consoles have done an incredible job. They have a loyal following and are the only respectable competitors to the Sony Playstation.
One of the most important things that Bill Gates has created is the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Influenced by Warren Buffett, this foundation has given away about $28 Billion to charitable causes.
Stephen Curry, is the son of former NBA player, Dell Curry. His mother, Sonya had met Dell Curry at Virginia Tech. While watching Dell play basketball, Sonya was on the volleyball team herself. Stephen grew up in a strict, devout Christian household. Chores came first. He wasn’t allowed to play basketball unless his chores were done. Curry, went to Charlotte Christian high school. He led his team to three conference finals. Since, he was only 6’0″ tall and 160 lbs, he did not have too many college scouts taking him very seriously. His first choice would have been Virginia Tech, but they only offered him a walk-on role. He would take a scholarship offer from Davidson.
Freshman year, he was the 2nd leading scorer in college basketball behind Kevin Durant. Sophomore year, Stephen Curry led the Davidson Wildcats to the NCAA tournament. They were knocked out by top seeded Kansas. That year (2008) he was named most outstanding player in the midwest region. By Junior year he was the NCAA scoring leader.
Stephen Curry opted out of his Senior Year in college. In 2009, he was drafted 7th overall by the Golden State Warriors. Curry finished the season averaging 17.5 points and came in 2nd for the NBA Rookie of the year award. The following year he got the Golden State record for free throw percentage. He also earned the sportmanship award that season. The 2011-2012 season was a difficult on for Stephen Curry. He suffered a terrible ankle sprain and played only 26 of 66 games in a shortened lockout season. The following year he agreed to a $44 million 4-year contract extension. This would be less money than teammates David Lee and Andre Iguodola. But, he accepted the offer. He wasn’t one for trying to make the most money. That year they would make it to the playoffs, but were defeated by the San Antonio Spurs.
Around this time, Under Armour would give Stephen Curry a $5.5 million endorsement offer. He could have made significantly more by signing on with another company. But Stephen Curry, liked the way Under Armour was all about his needs. Stephen Curry, needed special sneakers to be made to work with his ankle injuries.
Stephen Curry, is a master of the three point shot. He was the youngest to make 1,000 three pointers in the NBA, the youngest to 100 three pointers in playoff games, and made 11 three pointers in one game (record is 12). He is still a devout Christian and writes biblical verses on his sneakers before playing basketball games. In 2011, he married his high school sweetheart Ayesha Curry. They have a young daughter, Riley Curry. At the time of this article they are leading Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-2 in the 2015 NBA Finals.
Clayton Geoffreys, is a great writer that loves to write about basketball stars. His books give lots of interesting information and are available for free with an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Clayton Geoffreys writes small books about current basketball superstars. Lebron James was raised solely by his mother, Gloria Marie. They struggled with poverty. At times they couldn’t even afford to heat the house. A local football coach had his eyes on on Lebron James. He was scouted to play youth football. This coach would open his home for Lebron James to live in. He would also introduce Lebron James to basetball. They put Lebron James on a youth team that would represent Northeast Ohio. Lebron and 3 close friends on the team would name themselves the ‘Fab Four‘. They collectively decided to go to St. Vincent – St. Mary high school to play basketball. In that neighborhood, black people didn’t typically attend St. Vincent – St. Mary. There was another school nearby that were more accepting of black people. So, the “Fab Four” did stir a little controversy.
The Fab Four would excel in high school basketball under the leadership of Lebron James. Lebron’s game play would fill the bleachers with fans. The games would have to be played at University of Akron to ensure that all fans were able to see Lebron James. Some of these tickets would be selling for $100 each. This team won the Ohio state championship 3 out of the 4 years that Lebron was on the team. Sophomore year was very successful. Lebron James gained a great deal of media attention. He attributes this superior confidence building to not winning the championship Junior Year. He said that junior year, the team wasn’t working as hard. They were just expected to win.
In 2003, Lebron James signed a $90 million contract with Nike. That was before he entered the NBA draft. Lebron James then entered the draft right out of high school. He was selected first overall by his home state’s Cleveland Cavaliers. In his first NBA game ever played he put up 25 points. By 2006, he was averaging over 30 points and have led the Cavaliers to their first playoff appearance in 8 years. In 2007, he had led the team to their first NBA finals. Unfortunately, San Antonio took the title in 4 games that year.
In 2010, Lebron James became a free agent. He would join the Miami Heat that year. He would be joining other fell free agents Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. In the 4 seasons that he spent with Miami he had led them to the Finals each year. The Miami Heat would win the NBA championship in 2012 and 2013. For the 2014-2015 season he comes back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Once again, he brings the team to the NBA finals. The prior season Cavs had 33 wins and 49 losses.
Lebron James may easily be the best basketball player ever. He came from poverty, but managed to accomplish so much through the help of good people from Akron, Ohio. He had been the youngest player to break many records. Moreover, he is a great team player as evidenced by the amount of assists he has. Clayton Geoffreys write many books about basketball stars. His book provides a thorough background, great insight of Lebron’s development, and details about specific games that were important.
Over the past week I found a new obsession. A website that offers so many free documentaries. Check out TopDocumentaryFilms.com. Let’s begin with the conclusion and move onto the story. On October 12, 2012, Amanda Todd committed suicide at the age of 15.
Amanda Todd’s parents separated when she was young. Her mother didn’t want Amanda Todd to own a webcam. Her father was ok with it. Amanda Todd loved to perform. Her father found the webcam necessary to perform. She started using the webcam to socialize with strangers over the internet.
One day she was requested to do inappropriate things over the webcam. She settled at simply flashing someone. Unfortunately, the individual she was communicating with was a ‘capper’. A capper is someone who captures screen images from video. He then used this screenshot to try to commit ‘sextortion‘. He would request that Amanda Todd puts on sex shows for him. When she declined it would have it’s consequences.
In late 2010, Amanda Todd found out that her topless photo was circulating around the internet. She was experiencing severe anxiety and depression. She even turned to drugs and alcohol. In 2012, her family had moved to a new city to start over. Once again, the sextortionist reached out to her and requested a private show. She stood up to the bully once again. This time the bully created a fake facebook profile connecting to her new school. Once the facebook profile had most of her classmates, the bully changed the profile picture to Amanda Todd’s topless photo. This time Amanda Todd moved on to self mutilation and was hospitalized for two days for an overdose. Shortly thereafter, she committed suicide.
Amanda Todd was from Canada. The authorities had investigated this crime and traced the criminal’s computer to Holland. Unfortunately, the Dutch authorities didn’t really pursue the matter. Leave it to the country that has legalized drugs and prostitutes to make such a decision. We need to learn a lesson from this documentary. When the internet was first becoming popular we were consistently warned that anything posted on the internet is permanent and available to anyone. It may be easier to lose inhibitions when no one is actually in the room. Please, learn from these mistakes.
This was a great documentary created by The Fifth Estate. It is Canada’s investigative documentary program. It is broadcast on Canadian television on Friday at 9 PM.
Dark Places is a novel by Gillian Flynn. She had wrote this novel prior to Gone Girl. It is available on Scribd as an audio book. Dark Places, like Gone Girl, will be adapted into a movie coming out in August 2015.
In 1985, in a rural town in Kansas, two sisters and a mother were brutally murdered. 25 years later, Ben Day (one of the brothers) is serving prison time for the murders, Runner (the father) is just running around town up to no good. The book begins with Libby meeting with her accountant. She is not well versed in her own finances. She wants to know how much money she has remaining from the insurance settlement and a published book. She assumes she has about $10,000 left to work with. She doesn’t like to hold a steady job and she just needs money for everyday expenses. Libby is informed that there is less than $1,000 remaining.
She is approached by a dorky looking young man. He is part of some kind of kill club and wants to interview her about the murder. The last thing Libby want to do is recount the dreadful night of the murders. But she needs money to survive. Lyle (the dorky looking young man) offers her $500 just for the interview, she accepts. Lyle and others in the kill club don’t believe that Ben killed the family. After reviewing the facts it just doesn’t make sense to them. Next they offer Libby money to go visit Ben in prison to get information from him.
Since the murders, Libby had not responded to any of Ben’s letters or visited him in prison. To make some money, Libby pays Ben a visit in prison. Shockingly, Ben is kind to Libby during the visit. About 25 years ago, it was Libby that testified against Ben. He told her that he did not commit the murders. But he was dealing well with being in prison. It’s not mentioned in the book, but since the family was so poor, maybe prison isn’t a bad thing.
Ben divulges certain information that helps Libby continue the investigation. When he worked as a janitor around the school he was accused of molesting a young girl named Chrissy Kates. He also got his girlfriend Diondra pregnant. He used to hang around bad kids before prison. They would sit around the house and do drugs and alcohol.
With this information and being offered more money from Lyle she searches out Chrissy Kates. Chrissy admits to Libby, that she made up the molestation story. Her and a bunch of young girls at the time made up those rumors. Next she wanted to pay Runner a visit. Her father welcomed the visit because he needed money. After meeting with her scumbag father, she concluded that he was too dumb to have committed the murders.
I will tell you that Ben is right and he did not commit the murders. It’s a great dark, mystery novel. The conclusion to Dark Places is crazy and some sites will spoil the story for you. If you don’t want to read the book, see Dark Places the movie in August. It will star the great Charlize Theron.
This documentary on netflix streaming explores the United States addiction to Oil. The movie begins with showing how oil made some people very rich. Similar to the recent boom that we have in technology (i am referring to the stock of Google, Amazon, Netflix, etc.), there was a big boom in oil. In the later half of the 18th century John D. Rockefeller took advantage of this oil boom. He founded The Standard Oil Company. He did whatever it took to grow his company. He would create secret ventures with vendors to control the competition. For example, he would work with freight companies to make them charge higher prices on his oil competitors. As Standard Oil grew bigger, they would acquire smaller oil companies. This documentary shows Rockefeller’s large support for prohibition. Ethanol is created using alcohol and Rockefeller saw this as a threat to his oil empire.
Oil puts us at the mercy of other countries. Many of our oil reserves are coming from the mideast. We spend more money protecting our mideast oil interests than the oil itself. The US puts the military out in these oil fields to protect the oil reserves. Recently, to help save money the United States started drilling into oil reserves domestically. We get oil through a process called fracking. In the process we drill deep down into the earth. We use high pressure water to release gas from the rocks. We lose lots of water, increase the potential to release of carcinogens in the ground water, and increase potential for earthquakes.
In China it is very difficult to get a vehicle. There is a lottery and then you have to bid a large sum of money just to register a vehicle. China is trying to curb the amount of cars on the road due to recent air pollution. Oil causes more air pollution than many other types of alternative fuels. Brazil on the other hand, has experienced economic improvement by using biomass fuel. They use corn fields and all other types of unused biomass to fuel their vehicles.
The United States is taking a stand on the matter. President Obama is taking a stand by introducing the Open Fuel Standard Act. By 2017, 95% of the vehicles are expected to run on non-petroleum based fuels. The irony is that many of our cars do currently run on alternative fuels, but most people don’t even know it. For the cars that do not have the option, they can be fixed for under $500. Some vehicles can run on alternative fuels with a simple software update to the automobile’s computer system. You can find out which gas stations provide alternative fuels at the energy website. Overall, a great documentary with great information.
In this audio book memoir, Brent Schlender gives us an account of the person Steve Jobs was. Schlender was a long time journalist who focused on technology. He interviewed Steve Jobs many times. The first time Schlender interviewed Steve Jobs, he felt like he was being interviewed. Steve Jobs was a very confident individual that asked others many questions. Additionally, he liked to tell people what they should do in their personal matters.
Steve Jobs was born in 1955. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. When interviewed he said it never bothered him that he was adopted. Steve Jobs was a brilliant student. The school had recommended that he skips two grades based on exam scores. His parents agreed to let him skip one grade. In high school he met Steve Wozniak. Wozniak liked to build computer circuits. Jobs would attend Reed college after high school. He would drop out after a semester, but kept attending classes here and there. Steve told Schlender that he wasn’t certain what he wanted to do. Reed college was not cheap and he didn’t want his parents wasting money on college tuition.
Steve Jobs would get one of his first jobs at Atari. He showed them a board that Wozniak created and Atari hired Steve. Atari thought Steve created the board. Steve succeeded at Atari. He worked on special projects for Nolan Bushnell, to earn enough money to take a spiritual enlightenment trip to India. After the trip to India, Steve Jobs got into meditation and psychedelic drugs. During interviews he spoke about the use of LSD in opening up his creative side. I am not advising the illegal use of psychedlic drugs. I am repeating what Steve Jobs thought about them.
Bushnell offered Steve Jobs $700 to help him make circuit boards for a new Atari game. Jobs had to reach out to Wozniak for help and offered to go 50/50 with him ($350). Bushnell was so pleased with the work that he gave Steve Jobs an additional $5K. Jobs still only gave Wozniak $350. This financial inequality was the way of Steve Jobs and would follow him for the rest of his career.
The Apple I was built in Jobs garage by Wozniak. It was Steve Jobs that was working on selling the product. They were able to produce more systems because they were funded by an Intel employee. They achieved greater success when they unveiled the Apple II, also created by Wozniak, except for the unique case the system was in. To grow the company further, Jobs recruited John Sculley from Pepsi to serve as CEO. Steve Jobs was a difficult person to work with. Two years after Scully became CEO, Scully and the board decided to remove Steve Jobs from the company that he started. Steve Jobs was devastated and looked for a way to come back.
In 1985, Steve Jobs founded NeXT computer. His expenses in the new venture were through the roof, as he was trying to depict perfection. Perfection from the building that they worked in to the computer itself. The original $7 million invested in the new venture was depleted quickly. Ross Perot stepped in to bail Steve Jobs out. NeXT achieved success when the company fully transitioned into Software development. They released WebObjects.
In 1986, Steve Jobs bought a company which he later renamed Pixar. In the mid-90s Pixar studios was utilizing a new graphics technology that would allow the use of cartoon rendering mixed with realistic depictions. In partnership with Disney, Pixar released some great movies that made the company a significant amount of money. The first two enormous hits were Toy Story (1995) and A Bug’s Life (1998).
In 1997, Apple purchased NeXT. In the deal, Steve Jobs once again was an employee of Apple. Shortly thereafter, he got his CEO position back.
In the late 90s, Shawn Fanning had achieved great popularity by introducing us to Napster. It was peer-to-peer software that allowed users to download music from other users. Steve Jobs did not like the idea that people were restricted to their computers to listen to MP3s. Technically, at the time it was possible to store MP3s on a CD and listen to a portable CD player. But Steve Jobs had a revolutionary idea in mind. He learned that a technology came out that could store 2GBs on a mere 2 inches. In 2001, this led him to the creation of the iPod. It was a device that used the small hard drive to create a small portable mp3 player. It had a single track wheel that could be used to browse through the stored songs. It was marketed so well, that everyone had to have it. Steve Jobs utilized WebObjects to create the iTunes store. He revolutionized the sale of MP3s. Previously, people bought a CD for about $15 which may have had give or take 15 tracks. He worked out deals with record labels that would allow people to buy only the track they wanted at 99 cents.
The later iPod models had the ability to look at photos and watch videos. Steve Jobs wanted 1) for people to have the ability to purchase items in the iTunes store directly on their device and 2) to have access to the internet at all times to connect to photos and videos. In 2004, the creation of the iPhone had begun. They stalled on the project a bit because Steve Jobs wanted the technology to be out there for the phone to work the way he wanted. In 2007, Apple had an exclusive agreement with AT&T to sell the iPhone. With that exclusive agreement Steve Jobs managed to get many financial benefits. A nice percentage of sales, part of all new contract agreements, only Apple can set the price on the phone, etc.
In 2004, Steve Jobs had successful treatment for his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, it would come back and he would succumb to it on October 5th, 2011. The book shows Steve Jobs as an interesting character that may be hard to deal with, but a creative genius. He found a great company. When ousted he founded the best animation studio Hollywood has. Then he found a computer company which was failing. Then he turned that around to a successful software company that built the software to create iTunes. He revolutionized the way we listen to and buy music. Then, he went ahead and revolutionized the way we use our cell phones. At one point Apple’s computers weren’t really selling. Steve Jobs changed the look , utilized a linux based operating system, and now Apple systems are used by most creative thinkers. He definitely didn’t do everything himself. But he was creative and knew how to spot it in others. He always expected and returned perfection in his products. This book was far more in-depth than any Steve Jobs based movie or special that I have seen.