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Tuesday, August 3, 2004

the value of an internet portal

in may of 2000, terra bought lycos for $12.5 billion. yesterday, i saw that lycos was being sold to a south korean company for $105 million. tonight, it looks like it might be more like $95 million.

don’t expect the meta-roj blog to morph into a portal anytime soon 🙂

posted by roj at 5:33 am  

Thursday, July 29, 2004

halliburton is doing well in iraq

it seems nobody’s really covering this story – just a little blip in the houston chronicle, the atlanta constitution-journal and the international herald tribune. i can’t link the constitution article (registration), and the herald tribune interface is horrid, so we’ll go with the chronicle:

Millions in U.S. property lost in Iraq, report says [houston chronicle, july 27, 2004]

Halliburton Co. has lost $18.6 million of government property in Iraq, about a third of the items it was given to manage, including trucks, computers and office furniture, government auditors claim.

The auditors couldn’t account for 6,975 of 20,531 items on the ledgers of Halliburton’s KBR unit, according to a report by Stuart Bowen, auditor for the coalition provisional authority inspector general

of course, the company disagrees, and we all know that “government auditors” are the same guys that didn’t notice so many other business scandals recently, but the heat should be on haliburton enough by now that there’s something legit here.

the tribune article says that trucks given to haliburton were destroyed when they broke down (breaking down meaning anything from a flat tire on up). but i don’t know if that’s relevant. you see, i think “we blew up the truck” still counts as “accounting for the truck.” maybe i don’t understand, but that would be my impression. this is more like “well, we thought the truck was here, but maybe it’s being used to smuggle weapons of mass destruction across the border to syria.”

haliburton spins hard:

[halliburton spokesperson cathy] Gist said in an e-mailed statement. “The facts show that (KBR) has adequately managed the property for this mission by aggressively monitoring its property management functions above and beyond what is required for government approval of a property control system.”

oh. ok. since you put it that way, i feel better about my tax dollars now.

posted by roj at 12:17 pm  

Monday, July 26, 2004

google prices between $108 and $135


that means market cap could top $35 billion, with the ipo worth $3.3 billion (more than e-billion).

posted by roj at 11:48 am  

Sunday, July 25, 2004

biscotti with that?

johnson development corporation is bringing starbucks to compton.

‘Magic’ Johnson Opens Starbucks in Compton [ap via abc news, july 25, 2004]

Eleanor Stewart, a lifelong Compton resident, was pleased with the new addition to the neighborhood.

“I was even bragging about this to my relatives back East,” she said.

we like magic. magic does well by doing good.

posted by roj at 6:47 pm  

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

fox on intellectual property

you won’t often find me siding with fox, but stranger things have (and will) happen. i saw this on the ap wire.

Television is typically repetitive, she said.

“There are two boxing shows. There are three Amy Fisher movies. There are two Diana movies. This is the way television works,” she [Fox TV entertainment chief Gail Berman] said. “There’s nothing new about it.”

what’s new is the scope of copyright, not the behavior, and some lawyer thought they could carry this case under the current laws… or, at least, they convinced their bosses to pay them to try.

another lawyer has some thoughts as well: “Competition over derivatives only makes the derivatives better.”

i think many of the people that wander into my blog space probably share the opinion that, generally speaking, reality tv has plenty of room to “get better.”

posted by roj at 12:39 am  

Saturday, July 10, 2004

lunch with warren: $202,100

the auction is over, warren gets lunch.

man, that’s some serious snackage.

bid history is interesting:

Jul-05-04 18:42:05 PDT US $202,100.00 jchoo9
Jul-05-04 19:50:03 PDT US $202,000.00 mpabrai
Jul-05-04 19:49:53 PDT US $200,000.00 mpabrai
Jul-05-04 19:49:44 PDT US $175,000.00 mpabrai
Jul-05-04 18:09:54 PDT US $100,000.00 mpabrai
Jul-05-04 17:14:45 PDT US $55,000.00 jchoo9
Jun-29-04 19:42:49 PDT US $50,099.98 mpabrai
Jun-29-04 19:27:18 PDT US $49,999.98 adotutu
Jun-29-04 19:42:15 PDT US $49,900.00 mpabrai
Jun-29-04 11:44:37 PDT US $45,000.00 mpabrai
Jun-29-04 19:25:59 PDT US $39,999.99 adotutu

posted by roj at 12:59 am  

Friday, July 9, 2004

who do you trust?

[with apologies to bo diddley, fire up some deep blues riffs while you read this]

i’m picking this up a bit late, but trust is always an interesting subject.

A consumer-focused study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and the nonprofit TRUSTe reveals that eBay is the most trusted company for privacy in America. Other companies listed in the top ten include (in descending order) American Express, Procter & Gamble (all brands), Amazon, Hewlett Packard, U.S. Postal Service, IBM, Earthlink, Citibank and Dell.

so does this survey measure trustworthiness or the ability of a company to manage perception?

posted by roj at 5:46 am  

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

hong kong phooey not included

Man Indicted Over Bogus Security Device [ap via abc news, july 7, 2004]

A husband and wife have been indicted on charges they tried to pass off a filing cabinet as a security device that could protect people against chemical and biological attacks in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Federal authorities say the filing cabinet, which was painted yellow and had a siren and flashing red light attached, was promoted by Stewart Kaiser in a press release that helped him sell his company’s stock at inflated prices.

it seems that filing cabinets painted yellow with flashing lights attached don’t offer much protection against biological or chemical weapons, or, for that matter, fraudulent business people.

hong kong phooey would do something about this.

posted by roj at 7:54 pm  

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

portland archdiocese files chapter 11

it took a while to find a local source, but the story from the statesman journal as opposed to a wire service. i hope the link lives for a while.

i’m sure it’s a completely rational decision on the part of the church leadership, but they do answer to a higher authority.

if this catches on, it could put a bit of a damper on the republican deficit solution i mentioned a while ago.

posted by roj at 8:49 am  

Thursday, July 1, 2004

glickman replaces valenti

the associated press is reporting that a former agriculture secretary under president clinton and current director of the institute of politics at the john f. kennedy school of government (harvard), dan glickman, has been selected by the motion picture association of america to replace outgoing fearless leader jack valenti.

good luck, dan.

posted by roj at 12:43 pm  
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