Hey Kids

8 07 2014

Silicon Valley

Wanna make thousands of dollars a month being a summer intern at a major tech firm?

Go get it!

Before you go, realize that you’re probably going to be an every waking hour two- to three-month captive to your internship, and you won’t make as much as a full time full year minimum wage worker does.  Even though your work will be worth far more to fill-in-the-blank SV firm than the relative peanuts they’re paying you.

And also, don’t get a guilty conscience or anything over the fact that you’re being used as human cannon fodder in SV firms’ maniacal desire not to hire native born white Americans over the age of 35 with wives and children, you know, the ones that actually want to get paid serious money for their work because they have the audacity to think that they should make enough money and benefits to sustain a household, a house of their own in a quality public school district.





Energizer to Split Into Two

30 04 2014

Town and Country

Energizer_Bunny

Who gets custody of the bunny?





At the Corner of Everywhere and Everywhere Else

25 03 2014

Chicago

Walgreens to close 76 stores.  Though the way they’ve been growing in recent years, that’s like taking a cup of water out of the ocean.

Walgreens’s current advertising slogan is “at the corner of happy and healthy.”  Apropos, because in St. Louis, there seems to be a Walgreens at the corner of every street and every other street.  If I didn’t know better, I’d swear there’s a city ordinance that requires there to be a Walgreens at every perpendicular intersection of major streets.





Boner’s Courier

17 03 2014

Silicon Valley

Let me translate this for you:

Boner dispatched Bad-Latte to the SV to take their execs, bundlers and other money men behind closed doors and with all recording devices turned off to tell them to calm down, that some time in the middle of some night during the lame duck session between election day and Christmas, Boner is going to break the Hastert rule and call a vote on the Senate Gang Bangers of Eight bill as written and without amendments, and it will pass, and Obama’s ink will be on it before the sun rises.





Sell Sell Birdie

6 02 2014

San Francisco

TWTR plunging, even though gross revenue in 4Q13 and gross revenue growth 4Q13 over 4Q12 were both better than expected.

I wonder if The Street is worried that Madison Avenue isn’t keen on Twitter’s disproportionately black user base .





Bye Bye Motey

31 01 2014

Mountain View, California

GOOG sells Motorola Mobility, which it just recently bought for $12b, to Chinese hardware OEM Lenovo for $3b, though Motorola’s patent portfolio is not part of the deal and will stay with GOOG.

As a Moto X owner, I’m paying attention.

What’s going on?  Why did GOOG essentially pay $9b for patents?  Other than playing games of mutually assured destruction with AAPL in the realm of patent troll lawsuits.

My guess is that the other ‘phone/’tab OEMs that rely heavily on Android were bitching that Motorola was becoming the official hardware OEM for the Android platform, and this made GOOG nervous.





I’m Dizzy

25 01 2014

Seattle

Slashdot:

“Back in 2010, Bill Gates Sr. made the case for I-1098, an initiative for a WA state income tax that Gates argued was needed to address K-12 funding inequity, which he claimed was forcing businesses “to import technically-trained employees, while our own people are shut out of highly paid careers.” Opposed by the deep-pocketed, high-tech studded Defeat 1098, the initiative was defeated. Four years later, some of the same high-tech leaders who records show funded Defeat 1098 — including Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ($425K), Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith ($10K), Code.org founder Hadi Partovi ($10K), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ($100K), Microsoft Corporation ($75K) — have gotten behind groups like Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us and Code.org, which are singing a similar Chicken Little tune, telling lawmakers that U.S. students will continue to be shut out of highly paid computer science careers without additional K-12 funding, and the U.S. will lose its competitive edge unless tech is permitted to import even more technically-trained employees. In a departure from Gates’ income-tax based solution, Microsoft and Code.org argue that the-problem-is-the-solution, proposing that tech visa fees be used to fund K-12 CS programs. To ‘accept that computer science classes are only available to the privileged few,’ writes Code.org, ‘seems un-American’. So, as some of the nation’s biggest K-12 school systems turn to Code.org for CS education programs, should they expect the funding to come from taxes, H-1B tech visa fees, or the-kindness-of-wealthy-strangers philanthropy?”

I need to sit down, all this mental running around in circles is making me dizzy.

Let me try to pick this apart.

Bill Gates wanted higher income taxes to fund Washington State schools because they were so bad that he had no choice but to use H-1Bs.  (Are Americans outside of Washington State not allowed to work for MSFT?)  But the people funding the opposition to his effort were all in his own house at MSFT, save Bezos.  If the tax would have passed, it would have resulted in more people that MSFT won’t hire because they can nab H-1Bs on the cheap.  So now, everyone involved in that narrative is now beating the drums for more H-1B visas, skimming off some of the visa fees to fund domestic education to create more CSIT-trained Americans that will never be able to work in CSIT because of all the H-1Bs.

I swear to God, Deliverance didn’t have this much incest.





I Had Nothing to Do With It

29 12 2013

Cottleville

cottleville

Even though it reads like something I would do.

Except “I” thought by now there was supposed to be no such thing as “Starbucks,” just the apparently generic mom and pop corner coffee house whose logo contains the visage of a suggestively naked long haired white woman.

And also…they don’t realize that the generic mom and pop corner coffee house whose logo contains the visage of a suggestively naked long haired white woman recently raised the price of those things to $7.





Lost Wages

22 12 2013

Las Vegas et al.

The decline and fall of gambling meccas.

Actually, Las Vegas isn’t in Las Vegas proper.  The Las Vegas strip and all the Vegas casinos are actually not in the incorporated city of Las Vegas.  They are in an unincorporated area of Clark County, Nevada called Paradise, Nevada.  Certain people leaned on certain people, made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, to make sure that the city of Las Vegas would never be able to annex the Las Vegas strip so that it wouldn’t get a piece of the action.





Wang Dandy

25 10 2013

Atlanta

Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald:

Spying complaint against Aaron’s settled with FTC

ATLANTA — Atlanta-based Aaron’s settled on Tuesday charges by the Federal Trade Commission that the rent-to-own giant’s computers contained software that allowed it to collect unauthorized information from customers.

The FTC said Aaron’s — one of the nation’s biggest rental businesses with 1,880 locations in 48 states — “knowingly played a direct and vital role in its franchisees’ installation and use of software” to secretly collect data from customers. The company also stored the captured data on its servers and shared collected information with franchisees.

In the settlement agreement, Aaron’s did not admit or deny the allegations.

The settlement comes as Aaron’s fights at least four class-action lawsuits over the spying, with plaintiffs numbering in the thousands. One of the biggest suits, Byrd vs. Aaron’s Inc., involves at least 900 plaintiffs and claims that hundreds of thousands of images, screen shots, logins, and computer serial numbers were illegally obtained between 2008 and 2011.

The FTC focused on Aaron’s after investigating Designerware LLC, a Pennsylvania company that provided Aaron’s software, called PC Rental Agent. The software was included on laptops and desktops so Aaron’s and its franchisees could recover unreturned computer equipment.

Which I’m sure is a common problem, rent-to-own joints having to repo the shit for non-payment.  Better computers than beds and couches, because God knows what happens on rent-to-own-procured couches and beds.

As part of the settlement, Aaron’s is prohibited from using monitoring technology except to provide technical support requested by a customer and has been ordered to delete or destroy information it improperly collected.

“Technical support requested by a customer.”  Knowing rent-to-own joint clientele, they’ll call tech support and ask something like, “Uh uh uh this herr ‘puter done be telling me to press any key.  Where da any key be at?”

I don’t get the point of why Aaron’s did this.  What kind of data did they expect to mine?  Hell, anything you need or want to know about the typical person who rents-to-own a computer at Aaron’s, you can find out by reading the crime blotter, or reading Tweets and Facebook chats written in Ebonics.

Maybe Aaron’s was worried that their customers were cheating on them with Rent-a-Center.





Naming and Shaming

14 09 2013

North County

It’s time to name and shame some traitors.

Two of the signatories of the letter that seven pages full of traitor signatories sent to Boehner and Pelosi to beg them to throw the borders wide open are high level executives for St. Louis-based firms.

Here are the pictures of those companies’ CEOs, their mailing addresses and phone numbers.  Be polite but firm.  But ask them why they’re such goddamned traitors.  I intend to make phone calls on Monday and follow them up with written snail mail letters later in the week.

david-farr-emerson

David Farr, CEO, Emerson Electric
8000 West Florissant Ave
St. Louis MO 63136
314-553-2000

Jeff-Hall-Express

Jeffrey Hall, CEO, Express Scripts
1 Express Way
St. Louis MO 63121
314-996-0900

As an extra added bonus, I’ll head over to the other side of the state and give you:

donald-hall-hallmark

Donald Hall, CEO, Hallmark
2501 McGee Trfy
Kansas City, MO 64108
816-274-5111





Low Hanging Fruit

11 09 2013

Cupertino, California

A company whose products SWPLs love has an ook-free board of directors.

I was wondering how long it was going to take:

Sharpton is wrong — I doubt AAPL products are big sellers in Bell Curve City.  From my informal observation, Android is ultra-dominant in the black American smartphone market.

And yes, “low hanging fruit” is a double entendre.

H/T Gateway Pundit.

 





Steve Ballmer to Retire from MSFT

23 08 2013

Redmond, Washington

Hopefully he’ll do the Developers Dance one last time for auld lang syne.





Gibs and Take

10 07 2013

Sunset Hills

BreadCo to scale back its “pay what you want” for Turkey Chili program.

Why?

Normally, you would think that there were too many takers but not enough givers.  But actually, the problem in this instance was just the opposite:  Too many givers but hardly any takers.

The reason is that there’s no BreadCo on the corner of Martin Luther King and Rev. Rastus Rollo McGoober.  That and now that they mention it, I noticed that the BreadCos didn’t exactly advertise this program very widely.  Like I said, no BreadCos in Bell Curve City, and I guess the suits didn’t want Bell Curve City going to BreadCos in any big numbers.

And because I know I’ll get the question, I’ll answer it again.  The national chain is called Panera, its world headquarters is in St. Louis, and Panera restaurants everywhere but St. Louis are called Panera.  But in St. Louis itself, they’re called St. Louis Bread Company (“BreadCo,” colloquially and locally).





Because of H-1B

8 07 2013

Seattle

Employees at tech firms are young.

Why?

Don’t expect the NYT to tell you this, but the main reason there are hardly any old tech workers is because of H-1B.  Also don’t expect the NYT to boast about how this kind of thing is going to get worse unless the Gang Bangers of Eight bill is stuffed down the rabbit hole, because it vastly expands the yearly allotment of H-1B visas.





Global Economy

30 06 2013

Silicon Valley

The Next Gen of tech workers want to live in an urban environment.  So there’s talk that the Silicon Valley will move out of the Silicon Valley and up to San Francisco and Oakland.

But there’s a bombshell:

Katz’ new book, The Metropolitan Revolution, argues that there is no “national economy,” realistically speaking, but rather a network of leading city economies whose density of talent and productivity drive the entire country’s GDP. But in many of our richest and most productive metros — not just around San Jose and San Francisco, but also New York and Washington — housing costs and limited housing supply prevent some of the most smartest people from moving into the most productive cities.

If there’s no such thing as a national economy, then it stands to reason that there’s no such thing as a global economy.  And if there’s no such thing as a global economy, the diversitymongers have lost a major arrow in their quiver.





Earl Ray Is Stuck With Joe

29 06 2013

West Virginia

WBAL-AM Baltimore:

Gun Maker Rejects West Virginia

An executive of gun maker Beretta USA said Friday the company turned down offers from officials and groups in West Virginia to relocate to the state because of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s role in the gun control debate.

Jeffrey Reh, general counsel and vice-general manager, cited comments from the West Virginia Democrat targeting high-capacity ammunition magazines. He said the company also has concerns with a provision in the measure Manchin has co-sponsored with Sen. Patrick Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, to expand gun buyer background checks to gun shows and Internet sales.

Beretta, based in Accokeek, Md., believes Manchin has joined forces with Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat and vocal gun control advocate, leading the company to question whether “West Virginia was a pro-gun as we thought,” Reh said.

“That really caused us some consternation and concern,” Reh said. “We’ve decided not to consider West Virginia as a site for future expansion.”

Well, I guess Beretta won’t be relocating here.  Because we have Claire.  (BTW, don’t blame me, I…aw hell, you know the rest by now.)





Gannett and Belo Sittin’ in a Tree

13 06 2013

Northern Virginia, Dallas, St. Louis

Gannett owns 5, Belo owns 4.  Obviously, the Federal regulators won’t stand for two major network affiliated TV stations in a fairly major market to be under the same corporate roof.  It’s one thing for 2 and 11 to be under the same roof, figuratively and now for a few years in Maryland Heights literally.  But 11 is not a major OTA net affiliate, unless you consider The CW to be a major net, and nobody with a brain does.





Zuck Is Fibbing

30 05 2013

Menlo Park, California

Excuse, canard, bromide.  Whatever word you want to use.

Methinks the truth is that FB’s monetization efforts aren’t working out so well.  I think all this hoopla about “hate” is a deliberate mask for that.  We already know that Zuck is pushing for the Gang Bangers of Eight bill because he wants EL CHEAPO wage slaves working for him at FB.  The only thing in the world that matters to Zuck right now is FB’s stock value.





Growth Qua Growth

29 04 2013

New York

paul-singer

…is helping to fund the GOP’s amnesty and open borders wing.

This one’s fortune came from hedge funds.  Therefore, unlike Sheldon Adelson, another GOP amnesty and open border wing sugar daddy, who directly benefits and profits as the labor wage scale is driven down, (which of course is one of the real desired effects of “comprehensive immigration reform”), as Adelson hires a lot of cheap labor Hispanics in his Las Vegas casinos, Paul Singer’s interest in amnesty and open borders isn’t direct, because a mass onslaught of cheap labor peasant Mezo-Indo-Chicano jungle people doesn’t reduce his firm’s labor costs.  No, his interest is growth for the sake of growth.  That and I’m sure he thinks he can shave his labor costs a little with the allotment of legal immigrant visas being expanded in the Gang Bangers of Eight bill.





Schnucks: We Make Identity Theft Easy

28 03 2013

Maryland Heights

What’s with this Mum’s the Word business from The Big Toy Soldier?

This is happening so often and at so many Schnucks locations that I’m smelling an inside job relating to one of its employees, probably someone in middle management.





Cover Both Your Wallets And Your Asses

21 02 2013

Washington, D.C.

Chamber Pot of Commerce + AFL-CIO =

America, they’re playing your tune.





Nice and Red

23 01 2013

AAPL

I’m hardly an iCabal fan.

Yet, AAPL is still making money, its hardware and software platforms are still selling very well.  But because they aren’t selling as well as some whiz kids at CNBC and Bloomberg think they should, nor the company itself making quite the money they think they should, that’s the whole reason why its stock absolutely must be in “freefall,” even though it’s at 514 now compared to a relative nadir of 381 in mid-December 2011.  Yeah of course it peaked over 700 in September, but that’s only because of orgasmic money honeys were fawning all over their product base just as much as Al Roker craps his underwear just to see Obama pass by him.

I have gotten the feeling for as long as I’ve been paying what little attention to the financial/business media I do that all this bullshit about “expectations” (i.e. sales, revenues and/or profits are either above, at or below “expectations”) is promulgated simply because someone behind the scenes with links to the fin/biz media is either buying a stock like crazy or shorting it like crazy.  Why should the health of a business be subject to someone’s educated guesses, unless, like I said, someone’s educated guesses is at the behest of someone buying or shorting the business’s stock?





Brought To You By the Color Pink

14 01 2013

Ilion, New York

This leads to that, and that will end with a bunch of pink slips handed out.

Remington long ago moved its business HQ to Madison, North Carolina.  Trade some town between Albany and Syracuse for some town just north of Winston-Salem/Greensboro, this time of year?  I’m sure that part of upstate New York State is just flushed with working middle class blue collar jobs that it can just tell Remington to take 300 of them and scram.  And “scram” to the other side of that once and future international border.





You’re Gonna Miss Me

13 01 2013

Connecticut

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR)

Current headquarters:  Southport, Connecticut

Future headquarters:  Las Colinas, Texas

Yeah, you know it’s coming.

To the citizens of Southport, Connecticut:

This is one of the few B&D songs where Kix Brooks got the lead vocal, and among those, this happens to be my favorite.





Can’t Retire

10 01 2013

Sacramento, Minneapolis, St. Louis

Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press-Democrat:

Teachers’ retirement fund to divest from gun makers

The nation’s largest teacher pension fund took the first step Wednesday toward divesting from companies that make guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines that are illegal in California.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer made a motion to begin the divestment process after pension fund officials determined that the fund invests in the owner of a company that manufactured one of the weapons used in the Connecticut school shooting. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s investment committee unanimously approved the motion.

(snip)

The pension fund has investments in private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, which owns the manufacturer of an assault weapon used at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The pension fund also owns shares of Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., two publicly traded gun-makers.

Then what?  Where do they expect to park that money to find anything close to a return?  I really don’t anticipate that much outside of firearms stocks and American T-Bills will be shakin’ in 2013.  Maybe that’s the answer:  I can see Obama’s hand in the background here.  Maybe he wants CalSTRS to park all its money in T-Bills.

Strangely, Cerberus is in the news locally today, too.  SuperValu, the Minneapolis-based supermarket chain that owns the Shop n Save locations in and around St. Louis, as well as all Save-a-Lots, is going to sell most supermarket chains it owns to Cerberus, but not SnS or SAL.  With last year’s droughts expected to jack food sky high, food might be another good business to be in at least temporarily in spite of it being a low margin business otherwise.  This means that because it will be involved in both food and guns, Cerberus at least through much of 2013 will be rolling in money.  Yet, CalSTRS doesn’t want to be invited to that party.

A certain someone reading these words should probably put off those retirement plans for a few more years.





“Improve Access to Drug Treatment”

9 01 2013

Trenton, New Jersey

HuffPo:

Chris Christie: Gun Control Measures Must Be Part Of Wider Debate

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s willing to have a conversation about stricter gun laws, but says policymakers also must address the mental health system, improve access to drug treatment and look at the impact of violent video games.

Christie made the comments on NBC’s “Today” show, one of five national television appearances he was making Wednesday morning, one day after his annual State of the State address.

Christie was asked about specific gun control measures, and instead talked about violent video games. “We don’t allow those games into our house…we think it desensitizes children to all the effects of violence,” and added that all of the issues related to gun violence needed to be dealt with.

So, the Krispinator is on record now of blaming guns and video games, but not SSRIs.  In fact, he wants to “improve access to drug treatment,” but certainly not examining how too much legal dope might be a cause.

Gee, I wonder why that is.





Advertising Works

7 01 2013

Madison Avenue and Capitol Hill

Me, December 22:

If firearms mfg. corporations had interlocking relationships with media conglomerates, and/or if there were far many more gun ads on TV, the media would love the NRA. The media hate tobacco because there are no consequences in doing so — Cigarette advertising has been FCC banned since 1970 or so. All about the money.

WND wonders why there has been virtually no media scrutiny about SSRIs.  (No link, b/c WND names the Nutmeg Nutbar.)  Duh — Pharma shovels a lot of money into media advertisements, and in fact, there were until fairly recently prime time buys for SSRIs themselves, (e.g. Prozac, Zoloft).  Michael Savage has half jokingly half not called for drug testing Congress, and I’m sure we’d find out that a good chunk of it and most Democrats are on SSRIs.  People bitch about the NRA’s lobbying budget, but Pharma’s lobbying budget is probably 20 times as big.  Oops, did I say 20?  I meant to say 80.  Pharma helped to get REPUBLICANS to vote for what was at the time the biggest expansion of the social welfare state since the Great Society, that being Medicare Part D in 2003.  (Not making a moral judgment about whether we needed Medicare D or not, I’m just making an observation about politics and pressure.)





Rate Card Friday

23 11 2012

Black Friday

Last year at this time, I was starting a week-long temp job in Kansas City.

It required me to drive across the state the night before, on the night after Thanksgiving Day.  When I arrived at my hotel room, and I flipped on the TV.  One of the local eyeball newscasts promised “complete and comprehensive coverage” of Black Friday the next morning.  I thought to myself, and then later reacted in this space — “What of Black Friday is so complicated and convoluted that is necessitates ‘complete and comprehensive’ news coverage?  Film the drones waiting line, stampeding in at opening, hoarding their crap, checking out, and interview a few of them on their way out, cut, edit, in the can.”

RJP, my most frequent commenter on this blog, floated the theory that “complete and comprehensive” meant censoring the black and Hispanic violence.  I really can’t disagree, either last year or this year.  But…see below.

I now have come up with another theory on what “complete and comprehensive” means in this case.

Backdoor advertising.

During all this “complete and comprehensive” coverage, you’ll see news crews parked out in front of various big box parking lots, and they’ll tell you the name of the store.  At first, I thought to myself, “you’re just giving the stores free advertising.”  Then I pulled myself back and sulked on the word “advertising,” realizing that nothing is really free, and that the news business these days is really the ad business.

Maybe this “free advertising” really isn’t free.

Could local news stations’ Black Friday coverage be somehow related to the rate cards they give to the advertisers who they’re covering as “news” that day?  I could see the negotiations between the TV station and the local consortium of a national big box chain being done in a way where it is understood that the station’s local eyeball news will be parked on the parking lot of that big box mart all day the day after Thanksgiving, so this either means that the stations can get more out of the retailers, or the “complete and comprehensive” Black Friday coverage will be a make good for ratings that fall under expectations when the rate card is negotiated.

As an experiment, to test my theory, I watched some BF coverage from the local sources before and after work today, and tried to cross-reference them to my memory of whether certain stores’ ads run on certain stations throughout the year.  Of course, all the stations will show Wal-Martinez;  that’s too obvious.  But I wanted to see if there was a correlation between a local news truck being parked out in front of Oobie McDooberstein’s Garden Gnome Supercenter and Old Man Oobie running ads on that station throughout the year.  I can’t find anything solid, but curiously, I found that during BF coverage today, Channel 2 leaned heavily on Bass Pro’s Shop and Channel 5 on Cabela’s, and BPS advertises far more heavily on Channel 2 than Channel 5, and Cabela’s more on Channel 5 than Channel 2.

We might be getting somewhere.

If you have any similar confirmation or a rebuttal of my theory, use the comment section below.

As an aside, there was a low-level chimpout at the Wal-Martinez in Kirkwood this morning that Channels 4 and 5 covered.  Why?  Think of the demographics directly to the east of that W-M, and the demographics of the neighborhood that was paved over to create that collection of big boxes where that W-M now sits.





TBTF

21 11 2012

Dallas

It looks like Hostess is in the process of Chapter 7 dissolving as a company, which means no more Twinkies, Ding Dongs or Ho-Hos.  Though I think we really won’t be suffering for a lack of ding dongs and hoes.

I thought of an LGBTQMIALOLPLPLTH angle on why Hostess is too big to fail — Dan White, the San Francisco Supervisor (City Alderman) who assassinated fellow Supervisor Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, tried to use the Twinkie defense at trial.  Twinkies and its parent company are too important in the narrative of the first openly LGBTQMIALOLPLPLTH elected politician in the country.

Dianne Feinstein, who became Mayor upon Moscone’s assassination, should be allowed to introduce the bailout bill in the Senate.








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