Wednesday, April 30, 2008



May 1, 2008 When most people think about Internet security problems, they focus on viruses and spyware -- technological attacks that can usually be mitigated by technological defenses.

Notes: Really useful information. Internet security threats are changing and user need to be informed and ready.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 : Tweeting for Companies 101

Why Twitter?

Twitter can be an amazingly powerful platform for connecting to your community as well as driving traffic to the various properties you want people to go. Having an event? Tweet it out! Launched a new bag? Tweet it out! ...

My thoughts

If you want to learn more about Twitter read the rest of this article by Tara Hunt. Highly recommended.

You will probably become a follower of hers on twitter too. Her book was referenced in an online presentation [see link below]. That's how I came across her Twitter screen name.

The book does not come out until late this year.

Here is the link for Amazon

You should find the presentation by Pistachio [Laura Fitton] that references Tara Hunt here. This should be the morning lecture.

WSJ: A Crushing Issue: How to Destroy Brand-New Cars

When your reputation is on the line.
Almost 5,000 new cars destroyed.
Read this story to see how Mazda is dealing with it.

Mazda Forced to Design
A 'Disassembly' Line
After Odd Sea Disaster
April 29, 2008

PORTLAND, Ore. -- "Fire in the hole!" shouts Ron Hoodenpyle, covering his ears and stepping away from a brand-new Mazda 3 he just wired with special detonators. Suddenly, all six of the car's airbags explode at once.

Monday, April 28, 2008

WSJ: Cable Ads Again Accentuate the Negative

It's nice to see the competitive spirit alive and well. Customers should be better off with increasing competition for their business.

Possible results for consumers
  • Lower prices
  • Better service
  • More services offered
  • Better value
  • Customized offers

Read the story in the Wall Street Journal.

Time, DirecTV, Verizon
Raise Rhetoric, Barbs;
Time to 'Blame-Storm'
April 28, 2008; Page B6

The battle for TV customers is getting personal.

A few funny blurbs from the article.

  • "blame-storming"
  • direct, hard-hitting facts
  • "Empty Cable Suit,"
  • rapidly deteriorating landline business

What are your thoughts?

WSJ: Mars, Buffett Team Up in Wrigley Bid

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal.

$22 Billion Deal
Would Reshape
Candy Industry
April 28, 2008; Page A1

Mars Inc. and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. were close to a pact to acquire Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for more than $22 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would remake the global confectionary landscape.

What is your take on this?

Will it happen?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NYT: Recession Diet Just One Way to Tighten Belt

Interesting article in the New York Times.

Published: April 27, 2008

Stung by rising gasoline and food prices, Americans are finding creative ways to cut costs on routine items like groceries and clothing, forcing retailers, restaurants and manufacturers to decode the tastes of a suddenly thrifty public.

How are your purchasing patterns changing?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008


Are Visa and MasterCard a good way to pay for home improvement and remodeling?

This sign was in front of a house in Grosse Pointe Shores, MI. It has a lake view. Probably a million dollar home. To see homes and prices in this neighborhood, go here and look for homes on Lake Shore.

Is this related to HELOC's [Home Equity Line of Credit] and how they are being frozen by lenders?

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Whirlpool Factory Suspends 39 Workers, Saying They Lied About Tobacco Use

When filling out documents you should always be truthful. Firms are trying to keep costs under control. Health care is an expense that is rapidly increasing ["Since 2000, employment-based health insurance premiums have increased 100 percent"]. Firms are assigning costs to people who are more expensive to insure. Apparently some people may have lied in paperwork they filled out stating they were not tobacco users. This may have been done to save the $500 extra the firm charges tobacco users for insurance [< $10 a week]. A small excerpt is below. Full story can be found here.

"A 2007 national survey showed that 16 percent of all large employers -- those with 20,000 or more employees -- adjust health care premium contributions according to the worker's smoking status, according to the human resources consulting firm Mercer."

Thoughts & Analysis

This is surely going to increase [above 16%] across employers of all sizes in the coming years. Especially if health care expenses are significant for the firm. Some firms have such high turnover that employees are not employed long enough to gain coverage. This is most certainly the exception to the general trend.

If it turns out the employees committed fraud in their paperwork they will be terminated. Now is bad time to be losing a job [not that there is ever a good time to lose a job]. Hopefully there are some lessons learned from this situation.

Always be honest. Even if it is going to cost you.

Start thinking about your health and fitness level. You should take good care of your body; it's the only place you have to live.

The choice is yours. What are you going to choose?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Tech tool site that you may have a use for.

  • Check it out
  • Try it
  • You might like it

It sure worked out for the guy in this story.  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Google Results

BUSINESS WEEK: "Google Defies the Naysayers"
Story found here.

NATIONAL POST: Wikipedia's Zealots

Bias and suppression of information at Wikipedia?

Will have to follow this situation to see how it develops.

[HT: Istapundit]

What are your thoughts?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Freakonomics: Who Hires During a Recession?

Interesting question. The original post can be found here [see #12] or read my comments below.

Almost all firms & industries hire and replace employees all the time [recession or not].

People are fired [need to be replaced], people quit [need to be replaced], business is growing [more people need to be recruited and hired].

In the instance of a business liquidating, everybody loses their jobs and no one is hired.

Every few months I get calls/emails from mortgage firms looking to hire me [it is not my industry and I see it as an unappealing option].

Almost every firm and industry is hiring all the time.

Airlines might be an exception to the rule.

If there is an HR person in the airline industry reading this post… How do you see it?

WSJ: Retail Sales Edged Higher in March

Interesting article posted on the Wall Street Journal website minutes ago.


Business Week

Peter Drucker's Winning Team
After the management thinker joined the Cleveland Indians as a consultant in 1986, wins went up and so did ticket sales

90 Days: Acing Your First Post-College Job

Wall Street Journal
How to succced in your first job after college.
The article can be found here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

1,400% Tax Increase?

California Beer Tax Increase

Read all about it here.

Change / Original
28 cents / 2 cents = 14 or 1,400%

Thursday, April 10, 2008

WSJ: "McCain Says Oil Prices Too High to Buy for SPR"

The Wall Street Journal
"McCain Says Oil Prices Too High to Buy for SPR"

Here is the article

My response is below.

The United States produces around 8 million barrels [2006 data] of oil per day. As such, that makes the United States the third largest producer of oil in the world.
The SPR capacity is 727 million barrels.
Current holdings are 698.7 million barrels.
The amount required to bring the SPR to full capacity is 28.3 million barrels. This is just under 4% of capacity. The SPR is 96% full!
This 4% is about 3 days of imports. So if all US imports of oil were stopped the SPR would have 3 extra days of capacity.
Is it really in the best interest of the United States to buy the last 4% [28,300,000 barrels] at $110.47 [ Nymex Crude Future 10:53am 4/10/08]?
Seems prudent to hold off on purchases until the price drops a bit.
Does this 4% gap/shortfall in holdings vs capacity represent a threat to the United States?
This does not appear to be an issue.
What do you think?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Incredible & Amazing story about Randy Pausch
You may or may not have heard about "The Last Lecture" at
Carnegie Mellon University.
It was featured in the Wall Street Journal last fall.

Check out these links.
Recent Video & Story by Jeff Zaslow
ABC Primetime
Youtube Video of The Last Lecture
The book
The Last Lecture (Hardcover)

You really owe it to yourself to look in to this truly incredible story.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


The little flower that could. Spring is here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Detroit Sets Bold Goal: Exporting U.S. Cars

Wall Street Journal

Detroit Sets Bold Goal: Exporting U.S. Cars

April 8, 2008

DETROIT -- Last year's landmark labor deals and the weak dollar are breathing new life into U.S. auto plants, leading Detroit's auto makers to plan sizable exports of U.S.-made vehicles to markets around the world.

"The ABC’s of Self-Motivation"

Some interesting things to ponder here.
HT: Ian’s Messy Desk


This sign was in the window of a business that had recently closed. They came to the realization that you have to focus...
  • Satisfy & delight customers [They will come back and tell their friends too]
  • Deliver value [Customer gives you money and gets something even more valuable, your product or service]
  • Create a profit [or at least break even]
  • Do not try to be everything to everyone

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Every Click You Make
Internet Providers Quietly Test Expanded Tracking of Web Use to Target Advertising
By Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 4, 2008; D01


"Take every opportunity to succeed"

Saturday, April 5, 2008


"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week."

George S. Patton

Thursday, April 3, 2008



That probably doesn't shock you.

The key for any individual property in a soft market is...
  • Get buyer attention
  • Get them intrigued
  • Get them excited
  • Get them to consider
  • Get them to schedule a viewing

It's hard to sell a house at a fair price if the buyer is unwilling to view the property. To buy sight unseen is to offer pennies on the dollar.

The Detroit Tigers have what many to believe to be a very competitive team this year.
This may achieve some level of differentiation versus the objectives listed above.
The seller wants potential buyers to consider something other than major price reductions.

Tiger Tickets are priced at $5 - $ 65. These are individual game ticket prices.
Lets assume the package offered is [2] $15 tickets for all 81 home games [3 games have already been played as of press time]
2 * $15 = $30 * 81 = $2,430.

This offer is probably about 1% of the asking price for this property. Potential buyers will probably say... Keep the tickets and drop the price 2,500 bucks.

  • Gets more potential buyers interested and in the door
  • Keeps price cuts smaller than they would be without the ticket offer
  • Resulting in a higher selling price

What are you thoughts on this offer?