Hot Topics: Encore Fellowships, Eons.com and 'Dallas' Returns
Civic Ventures is expanding its "internship for boomers" program to a second city -- Portland, Oregon.
The Bay Area think tank provides Encore Fellowships for corporate retirees looking for management positions at nonprofit organizations.Civic Ventures has teamed up with Hewlett-Packard Co. and Social Venture Partners Portland, a nonprofit group that works with community organizations. Paul Speer, a retired HP vice president, will oversee the new Northwest program.
So far, about two dozen HP retirees have taken part in the inaugural Encore Fellowships program started in Silicon Valley in 2009. Civic Ventures representatives say their goal is to expand the program nationwid.
A Facebook for Boomers: Joseph Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab, interviews Jeff Taylor, the founder of Eons.com, about the online social network that wants to be a Facebook for boomers. The site lets people join interest groups, share photos and videos, play games and start blogs. Taylor previously helped start Monster Worldwide, the online job board. Read the entire interview here on Coughlin's blog, Disruptive Demographics.
Designing Products for the New Old Age: Speaking of AgeLab, The New York Times visits the lab to observe how its researchers help companies design and market products that are old-age-friendly without carrying the stigma of being for "old" people. To simulate the kinds of physical limitations older people may live with, MIT researchers created an "age-empathy" suit nicknamed Agnes that has harnesses and stretch bands to limit movement and yellow goggles that make it hard to see. It's all part of the new business of old age, according to "In the Graying Population, a Business Opportunity," which focuses on technologies and services that promote wellness, mobility, autonomy and social connectivity.
Man vs. Machine: Can a computer do what most humans couldn't, namely stop the (almost) unstoppable Ken Jennings at Jeopardy? Viewers who tune into the long-running game show Feb. 14-16 will find out, when Jennings and Brad Rutter, another top winner, compete against a computer named Watson that IBM created specifically for the challenge. According to USA Today, it's not just a stunt. IBM put 20 researchers on the three-year task of building a machine that could top Deep Blue, the chess-playing computer that won a six-game match against grand champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Watson presents an advancement in artificial intelligence, according to IBM researchers and outside observers. "This is huge; this isn't just about answering questions," computational linguistics expert George Luger of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque told the paper. "Everything before this was just a run-up to computers as true personal assistants." Jennings, 37, became famous in 2004 after winning 74 Jeopardy games to earn $2.52 million.
Older Men Worse Off in New Jobs: Boomer-aged men who lose a job and then go to work somewhere else are likely to make less money. According to a recent report (pdf) from the Urban Institute, the median hourly wage of men 50 to 61 who find employment after losing a job is 20.1 percent lower in their new positions. The news is even worse for men 62 or older; if they lose a job, they can expect a median hourly wage in a new position to be 35.6 percent lower than in their previous one, according to the institute's analysis of U.S. Census data.
The Ewings Return: Shoulder pads are in again, so why not bring back another 80s staple? TNT has a remake of Dallas (original cast pictured, top) in the works and TV Guide reports that Larry Hagman has signed on to the new TV series to reprise his role as J.R. Ewing. MSN says the redo will introduce new characters, but no air date has been announced.
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