Archive for January, 2009

Friday Freebies: Craigslist founder’s free advice

January 30, 2009

A few things learned from Craigslist:

Kevin Trudeau owes us $37 million

January 30, 2009

Million copies selling author of books with the titles like “(blank) they don’t want you to know about,”  has been ordered to pay $37 million by a federal judge.  I’d never heard of this guy but it seems as if this will hardly put a crimp in his style.  He has been engaging in all kinds of creative schemes and laughing all the way to the bank for years.

Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder loses $7 billion on Charter Cable

January 30, 2009

Its seems that Mr. Allen thought cable was the future but now the Charter Communications chairman who holds a 51% stake in the company has stock valued at 8 cents a share.  But then the company hasn’t been profitable since 1999 the year it went public.  Any day now, I expect to hear that its filing for chapter 11.

Article

HPI CEO pleads guilty to discharging toxic waste

January 30, 2009

In December I posted about the civil complaint against HPI Products that read like horror story; toxic ponds, oozing crates and contaminated soil.  I wondered then why there wasn’t a criminal charge against the company’s officers?  Well, I guess there was!

I was alerted to this article by an former employee who said that her persistent sick symptoms went away when she no longer worked at the toxic-ladened facility.  It seems that the CEO, William Garvey, and the company plea-bargained a guilty plea to illegally storing and discharging hazardous waste.  Mr. Garvey pleaded guilty to just one count; directing employees 20 years ago to discharging toxic waste down the floor drains that is connected to the sewers.  He knew that employees continued these practice even after they moved to a new facility.

All I can think of is that line, “have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Layoff update: Jan 29th

January 29, 2009

Fish & Richardson cutting 30 staffers

Wet Seal cuts 41 corporate and mangement jobs

Cessna: Layoff total to climb to 4,600 following 4Q report

Kodak: 4Q loss triggers higher job cuts

Black & Decker to lay off 1,200 after profits fall

Morrison & Foerster lays off 201 people

Union Stations cuts 40 jobs, $4.8M in costs

ESI reports loss, plans lay

Rexnord cuts 100 local jobs

GenVec lays off 22 people

Ropes & Gray cutting 106 staffers

SunPower lays off 60, Q4 profit grows to $29.5M

Ford Motor Credit Co. to cut 1,200 jobs

Triple Crown cutting 5% of jobs

IBM job cuts estimated at 2,800

Prostitutes, Craigslist & the Superbowl

January 29, 2009

Tampa police are expecting more than mere tourists in Tampa this weekend.  As a result the police will be quite active; they will frequent the usual gather places as well as massage parlors and “asian” (rascist?) spas.”  The article doesn’t mention that the police will answer Craigslist sex ads as part of the operation but there is no question that they are Internet savvy.

“These events draw large numbers of ladies into town. We know because we see gigantic a uptake in internet activity. The ladies post they’re coming into town,” says Bartlett.

Article

Trade Association Thursday: Got milk?

January 29, 2009

International Dairy Food Association

http://www.idfa.org
The association represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 530 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry.

Active national conference? Yes, has an annual conference that non-members can attend and the brochure is full of information about “who is who” in the industry and “what is what” as well. “B+”

Website suggests not. “F”

They have compiled basic industry statistics about the industry as well as about key sectors like milk, ice cream and cheese. They don’t provide free issues of their publications but they have extensive online bookstore. “B-”

What sense does it give you of the industry and people in it? They have a fair amount of industry information and extensive section on public policy.  A lot of really good information is firewalled but I think this is a useful industry website.  “B”

This is a decent site to get a basic sense of the industry; who belongs, their issues, size and sectors but there is nothing that stands out. “C+”

(PDF version of this report card)

Layoffs update: 01/28/09

January 28, 2009

AOL cutting hundreds of jobs

Michaels Stores to lay off 100

Boeing posts 4Q loss, will cut 10,000 jobs

PacSun cutting 57 jobs

SAP cutting 3,000 jobs worlwide, 4Q earnings up 13%

300 to lose job at Belleview Biltmore

Analogic announces 140 job cuts

Report: PPG could cut up to 4,500 jobs

Capital Gazette newspapers cuts 111 jobs

Starbucks announces 6,700 job cuts

Jabil pink slips 3,000 workers from manufacturing operations

Avis Budget to lay off 113 employees

Montana lists costs of medical procedures

January 28, 2009

I’m amazed at this website.  You can search on a particular Montana medical facility and then on a particular condition or procedure and find out costs and average length of stay and all kinds of other information about the facility.   Its sponsored by the Montana Health Care Providers.  I hope other state medical groups follow Montana’s example!

Montana PricePoint System

Suit: Bankers Life sold elderly useless annuities

January 28, 2009

Defendant’s sales agents visited the plaintiff,  Mr. Rowe, who was then 81 years old, and successfully sold him and his wife an annuity that matured on Mr. Rowe’s 99th birthday.  Under the terms of the policy, withdrawing funds before the maturity date would result in substantial penalties.  According to the plaintiffs, Bankers Life didn’t explain the terms of the annuity adequately to the plaintiff.  The complaint goes on to state that Bankers Life marketed to the elderly because it was a vulnerable population that was susceptible to deceptive marketing.   The complaint even suggests that the company’s sales and marketing tactics violate elder abuse laws.

On a side note, this class action complaint, filed in Illinois federal court, is very detailed and contains information about Bankers Life corporate structure, line of business and operations.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews