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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

walmart, the good guys

i’m sure any faithful readers know i’m no fan of walmart, so it’s probably going to come as a bit of a surprise that i’m going to write something positive about the company.

In the next 12 months, starting with a major push this month, Wal-Mart wants to sell every one of its regular customers–100 million in all–one swirl bulb. In the process, Wal-Mart wants to change energy consumption in the United States, and energy consciousness, too. It also aims to change its own reputation, to use swirls to make clear how seriously Wal-Mart takes its new positioning as an environmental activist.

go smiley. changing 100 million lightbulbs (and the associated savings in energy and carbon emissions) is probably the best anti-terror news i’ve heard all year.

posted by roj at 4:42 am  

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

dickerson’s sold

the news item of note from the local space is that dickerson’s farm, which is the last working farm inside the dc beltway has been sold to a developer, with plans to build a strip mall.

posted by roj at 9:48 pm  

Friday, April 29, 2005

the bud vase signal

something that really relates to a lot of what i’ve been doing while i’ve been so quiet here on the blog, so it’s worth a pointer: bud vase features.

i imagine i could tangent from this for days, but that would be a very bad thing to do. instead, i’ll just say that whether it’s a bud vase or a winamp skin, it’s about creating an experience.

posted by roj at 2:18 am  

Friday, April 22, 2005

sam’s google?

wired has an interesting little piece on

It turns out that Wal-Mart, the world’s most profitable retailer, and Google, the virtual world’s most profitable search seller, have a lot more in common than you might think.

i’ve had a few things to say about the dark side of google… and i’ve had few things to say about walmart too. and that doesn’t even count the flood of walmart job applicants coming from google. i had a few clues, but i never put the pieces together…

now, i guess this means i should think about it. maybe.

nah, it’s easier to just buy a gallon of pickles.

posted by roj at 9:39 am  

Saturday, April 2, 2005

valenti’s master and commander

valenti autographs betamax. no irony here, gentlemen. move along. nothing to see here. no. not even a strangler.

[via boingboing, of course]

posted by roj at 4:04 am  

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

dolby going public

it seems that the lab is going public… this could be interesting.

posted by roj at 6:02 pm  

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

heads roll: high school schedules not ready

today was the first day of school in the district of columbia, and when the 900-or-so students of eastern high school showed up for class, they were turned away because the school schedule wasn’t ready. preparing a high school master schedule is a hellish adventure. this i know from first-hand experience.

washington dc has an “incoming superintendent of schools” (and the effort to track that guy down is really a whole story unto itself), so the acting superintendent got to do the duty – and, for what may be the first time in history, heads rolled in a public school system after a major screwup.

the principal of the school, the assistant superintendent of the high school division and someone from the it department were all canned within hours. not bad for the first day. by the end of the school year, maybe they can get rid of the rest of the dead weight in the system.

posted by roj at 7:38 pm  

Thursday, August 19, 2004

the end of the modern olympics

this is “yet another thing” i’ll need to come back and visit in some depth someday, but i think we’re watching the plateau of the modern olympic games.

this is a symptom.

i just don’t think it’s viable at this scale under these circumstances anymore. the revenue model is flawed, the production costs are extreme, and it seems to me that we’re real close to the break point.

posted by roj at 5:42 am  

Thursday, August 19, 2004

valuing google

back in april i wrote about google shooting for an e-billion dollar ipo. and i mentioned a number that i thought was nicer. reuters is now running the ipo story.

what magic number do reuters and the meta-roj blog have in common? $1.6 billion. (ok, technically, the ipo came in at $1.67 billion and i was shooting for $1.62 billion, but…. man. i’m just that good 🙂 ).

for more serious information on the google valuation, maybe here.

posted by roj at 12:16 am  

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

walmart gets a union, almost

a crack in the walmart empire?

Wal-Mart employees in Quebec win union approval [the globe and mail, august 3, 2004]

A Wal-Mart outlet in Quebec has moved closer to becoming the retailing giant’s only unionized store in North America after the provincial labour board granted employees a union certification yesterday.

there’s still at least one more layer of appeals, and you can bet walmart will take advantage of every hook they can find to keep a union out of their store. those crazy canadians tried this once before in 1997, but the union certification didn’t stick long enough to actually turn into a bargaining unit.

Wal-Mart employees in Quebec win union approval [the globe and mail, august 3, 2004]

Some Wal-Mart employees in Saguenay have previously suggested the retail giant would shut down the local store rather than allow it to operate with unionized employees. Mr. Pelletier dismissed the notion.

“We would not close the store because of a union,” he said. “The only reason we would close a store would be due to economic reasons.”

when there is a strange, localized economic downturn in the immediate vicinity, you heard it here…

posted by roj at 5:49 am  
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