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8/29/2005

Obtaining Ideas For Blogs

Filed under: — 2:48 am

Doonesbury nailed it.

8/26/2005

Resume Contact Rule of One

Filed under: — 12:38 am

An interesting point was brought to my attention today. When it comes to resumes and contact information stick to the rule of one.

Only one email, one phone number, and one address. When and if the time comes I don’t want my potential employer to have to guess on which number I want them to call.

Students: it’s not necessary to put both your home and dorm mailing addresses! Pick the one you want people to find you at.

..make it easy for ‘em. Besides, it creates more space so you can talk about how awesome you are…

Everyone Needs Practice

Filed under: — 12:12 am

I have an interview with IBM tomorrow. I’ve really never had a problem getting along and talking with anyone across the table from me. In fact, with each interview I seem to get better and better.

Remember, if Tiger Woods needs to practice after finishing a round of golf,
so do you!

…with that said, I’ve begun to realize how important practice is. No matter what it may be, interviews, presentations; nobody can do their best without the necessary preparation.

Six Flags For Sale

Filed under: — 12:05 am

Apparently my current employer is looking to get bought:

Amusement park operator Six Flags Inc. announced Thursday it would seek proposals for a possible sale of the company, but would oppose efforts by Washington Redskins owner and dissident investor Daniel Snyder to take control outside this process.

…unfortunately, as an employee, I could have never invested in Six Flags. A pity too becuase their stock is up 11%.

8/24/2005

StudentUniverse Serves Cheap Flights

Filed under: — 9:19 pm

Gary, kudos to Sabre and Travelocity for offering one of the best sites I never knew. StudentUniverse offers cheap flights to students all through a very easy interface.

I first used Travelocity’s site to look up a round-trip flight from Denver to LA. I was looking at roughly $325 after all was said and done. I then noticed a little banner and visited the StudentUniverse site. The pricing started at $136! After I changed my times (very easy to use) it ended up coming to about $170.

Wow, I just saved over 50% on airfare! Why did I not know about this before?!?

Students: before you book your flight, check out StudentUniverse.com.

8/23/2005

Big Three Say ‘Don’t Poach KPMG’

Filed under: — 12:03 am

With the recent issues the audit firm is facing, the other big four see some issues with poaching (going after the clients and employees):

The three largest U.S. accounting firms ordered their partners not to poach clients or personnel from smaller rival KPMG LLP while it is under federal scrutiny for allegedly selling abusive tax shelters, people familiar with the matter said. (Bloomberg)

Doing so would contribute to the firm’s collapse which would in-turn shake the accounting industry. Anti-trust would actually become one of the issues at that point.

…think of the additional burden. It’d be like Andersen all over again.

8/22/2005

Freakonomics Author Talks Oil

Filed under: — 4:55 pm

I thought I was subscribed to the Freakonomics Blog (great book) but apparently was not. Thanks to Fred for the link pointing to Levitt’s discussion on oil.

CNPC to buy PetroKazakhstan

Filed under: — 3:02 pm

China is spending a ridiculous amount on foreign acquisitions this year. Thats why this should come as no surprise:

State-owned Chinese oil company CNPC has agreed to buy PetroKazakhstan Inc. for $4.18 billion in China’s largest foreign takeover, beating rival bidders including top Indian oil firm ONGC … The deal, if it goes through, would be China’s first successful takeover of a foreign listed energy firm and highlights Beijing’s scramble to secure supply security for the world’s second-largest oil consuming nation and the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

We all know China needs the oil (is this why pump prices jumped 20-cents in four days over here?). Having lost Unocal this should be one of probably many energy acquisitions that they’ll pursue.

Retuers has more.

Quick Links

Filed under: — 2:37 pm

Heres some reads I recommend today. Plus my (valuable) responses.

Nathan: This of course gives everyone an opportunity to ask the big question: Will Google place advertising in the Sidebar at some point in the future? - At this point I truly doubt it will happen. My main argument is the free POP3 access. They don’t necessairly need to hit people with ads everywhere. Thats the whole point of the contextual advertising. Sure, they’ll monitor what news you read and maybe some sites you visit… from there they can tailor their ads to best suit you. Personally, I say bring it on. When is Google going to take on the TV advertising industry?

Ed Bott: Why do a review if you’re not going to fact-check it? …you can move and resize any toolbar any way you like. This feature is in Internet Explorer 6, in fact. - Unfortunately I believe the loose term (I agree, Ed, quite odd) “toolbar” refers to the address bar and tabs which are locked in the first two positions. I had a slight gripe for the first few days but quickly saw past it. I’m just used to having ‘File, Edit, View…’ at the very very top. In any case, IE is working on security, “web feeds” and other features. Surely the cosmetics will come later.

Seth Godin: It’s so easy to rip into someone or something. So easy to write a negative review. Interesting point… but then I looked back at each of my book reviews on here. Positive, best reads ever (Michael loved his). Microsoft? Praise. Google? Love it…. perhaps I need to become more critical? Oh and Seth? Love that guy’s ideas, too.

Plus, Jeremy’s (signed) book is now available for pre-order. I had the opportunity to help by being a reviewer (as often as possible). I look forward to reading and writing about it. Heads up: I’ll probably love it, too. =\

Maytag Buys Whirlpool

Filed under: — 2:21 pm

After some time and issues (Chinese competition, Ripplewood Holdings) Maytag has finally signed the offer to buy Whirlpool for $2.7 billion.

Whirlpool and Maytag signed a definitive merger agreement, with Whirlpool paying Maytag shareholders $10.50 in cash and between 0.1144 and 0.1398 of a share of Whirlpool stock for each share held. The deal equals about $21 a share, with Whirlpool also assuming $977 million in Maytag debt.

This merger will give the company a 48% market share for major appliances. That’s almost double GE”s second place share of 26%.

Read more at MarketWatch.

Google Sidebar (Desktop 2)

Filed under: — 3:09 am

Here’s a useful looking product…

The free program, known as Sidebar, presents consumers with a pane of customized information — such as weather forecasts, stock quotes, news headlines, text feeds from favorite Web sites, photo slideshows and email alerts — that sits alongside whatever else the user is viewing.

It appears as if Google is creeping ever more slowly out of our browsers and into our operating system. This picture almost resembles the bar on the side (sidebar?) of some older releases of Longhorn.

..mmm, Microsoft competition. How exciting. Plus, its software, not just another home page (Yahoo competition). Read more at the WSJ. You can find it at: Google Desktop

I’m really excited for playing with this actually. I love the Outlook integration. I also think the weather/news/stocks/to-do are helpful. Then again, it may just take up a bunch of space. The customization is great… I just need to play a little more and get used to it. Who knows… I may scrap it soon.

PS: It monitors your web-surfing activity to bring you more “relevent content”. Heh.Just a small sidenote. (Who didn’t see this one coming?)

Nathan has much more.

8/19/2005

Disney Investigating Labor Issues in China

Filed under: — 2:34 pm

Also from the WSJ:

Walt Disney Co. said Friday that it hired an auditor to investigate claims its Chinese contractors pay workers below minimum wage, demand excessive overtime and cheat labor monitors by faking pay slips.

In addition, a worker was apparently compressed to death by a machine…

…but hey, in other news, Hong Kong Disneyland is opening in a month!

Movies Help Point Out Obvious: TV Ads Hardly Effective

Filed under: — 2:28 pm

The WSJ reports today that this summer’s movies fared pretty poorly becuase network TV ads aren’t working as well as they used to. Seth Godin has been telling us this for a few years now though:

Moviegoers “are no longer a captive audience in prime-time broadcast network television, and I think all of these tactics basically reflect a new awareness of that,” says Lee Doyle, director of client services for WPP Group PLC’s Mediaedge:cia, another ad-placement firm.

The article mentions the fact that companies are also realizing the ineffectiveness of Super Bowl ads:

“We’ve found that the retention rate is actually not that great,” says Russell Schwartz, head of marketing at New Line, referring to how many viewers remember the spots. Given that the big game is broadcast long before the summer season begins, he adds, “there might be a more effective way to spend your $2.4 million than on a 30-second spot seven months before your movie opens.”

Apparently everyone is out here on the internet or busy listening to word-of-mouth.

…duh.

8/18/2005

Google to Sell $4 billion in Shares

Filed under: — 10:26 am

Google has filed to sell over 14 million shares of it’s common stock “for general corporate purposes, including working capital, capital expenditures and acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies or other assets”. Analysts believe the additional cash may also be for future acquisitions… Google says there are no plans at this time.

InsideGoogle also has the story.

Update: An insightful article from the WSJ:

There is no mystery here, folks. When companies think their stock is undervalued, they buy it back. The Googlers are in the opposite fix. Their stock is overvalued, so what do they do? Sell more. Quickly. Before sanity returns to the marketplace.

The article points out more evidence suggesting Google thinks/knows their own bubble is going to burst.

8/17/2005

Keep Your Hotel Key

Filed under: — 1:46 pm

The Sabre Geek himself, Gary Potter, points to an blog article that may be slightly concerning.

Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues recently discovered what type of information is embedded in the credit-card-type hotel room keys used throughout the hotel industry.

Apparently part of your address and credit card information are stored on the cards. Hotels don’t erase these cards… they just write over them. Simple solution? It’s about time you started you hotel key-card collection…

Update: Recently brought to my attention:

Aaron says:
Quite a few references indicate that this is another email hoax:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/k/keycards.htm
http://www.breakthechain.org/exclusives/keycards.html
http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/hotelkey.asp

Thanks for the interesting discussions…

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