Friday, July 11, 2014
Friday, December 14, 2012
[I have not begun this yet so I can't promise it works, but the author says:]
Title: I’ve been waiting for a product like this for some time.
We all know that there are various “make money loopholes” or “push button software’s” available to buy that have the ability to generate you money online, but there’s nothing better than a proven strategy that works. A detailed step by step guide which takes you from struggling to make a cent, to earning commission on autopilot for months on end.
Google Sniper by George Brown is exactly that, and it’s a system that will take you through finding a niche, discovering high volume targeted keywords, picking a product to promote to setting up your wordpress site and getting in indexed by Google. It really is the most foolproof system available.
Not only is it a well taught course anyone can learn, the strategy actually kicks ass! It takes you on average about 2-4 hours to create a Sniper site, and this includes everything from researching a niche to finding a product to promote (if you follow the steps correctly). After this, it really is all systems go...
As people we all value time over money right? Well a strategy that generates you a good deal of money but takes you 16 hours a day to operate isn’t a good one. Yes you’ll make money, but you won’t have any time to enjoy that money. But Google Sniper really makes you commission on autopilot. It takes on average 2-4 hours to set up, and then you simply can just relax. Why?
There’s no traffic generation involved!
● No PPC
● No Link Building
● No Social Media - No Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or anything or that sort
● No CPA
● No More Spending Time On Months Of Content Either...
It’s an awesome strategy, and it’s easy to learn.
Google Sniper 2.0 really is a must for anyone looking to make money online. The 104-page eBook guides you through the process, and is reinforced by the step-by-step walkthrough videos. The monthly option of Sniper X also keeps everything up to date, and gives you even more strategies and tactics to make more money from your sniper sites. But that choice is optional...
So with more success stories generated than any other make money online strategy? It’s a no brainer; check it out here - http://oldfox.gsniper.hop.clickbank.net
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Wow, this doesn't even show up on Google when you search for librarians without borders. This is not so good. In view of the fact that I found several other entities using the name or the phrase, I don't think it is clever any more.
So therefor, consequently, henceforth we are retiring this blog and will put all posts on the OldFox.Info blog. oldfox R Us
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
There is no traffic to this blog
66 hits are all me !
Anyway, I have signed up for Google's AdSense which posts advertisements on the site. Interesting to see the adds fed are all about blogs just now.
One ad is about "flying to lwb airport?" which is indicative of how the Google system selects the ads.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
40 million credit cards exposed
Payment processor blamed in mishap
By Bob Sullivan
Updated: 9:35 p.m. ET June 17, 2005Viewed by the numbers, it's the largest security breach made public in recent memory.
An "unauthorized individual" infiltrated the computer network of a third-party payment processor and may have stolen up to 40 million credit card numbers, MasterCard International revealed Friday. All brands of credit cards were exposed in the attack; about 14 million of the 40 million accounts exposed were MasterCard accounts, the firm said.
MasterCard spokeswoman Jessica Antle said other important personal information, such as Social Security Numbers and birthdays, was not stolen during the incident.
MasterCard pinned the blame on Tucson, Ariz.-based CardSystems Solutions Inc. In a statement issued late Friday, CardSystems confirmed it suffered a "security incident" on May 22.
"We understand and fully appreciate the seriousness of the situation," the statement, which was signed by marketing director Bill Reeves, said. "We are sparing no effort to get to the bottom of this matter. Our goal is to cooperate fully with the FBI to complete the investigation."
CardSystems did not answer other questions posed by e-mail and did not return telephone calls.
• Identity theft
What to do when
On its Web site, CardSystems says it performs transactions for more than 100,000 small companies with more than $15 billion in Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover transactions processed annually.
Visa USA acknowledged in a statement that some of its credit card accounts were also compromised in the incident; it did not reveal how many. Judy Tenzer, a spokeswoman for American Express, confirmed a small number of its customers were also caught up in the breach. Discover did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
MasterCard officials say they discovered the fraud and traced it to a problem at CardSystems. CardSystems, in its statement, indicated it discovered the incident and voluntarily reported it to the FBI and the credit card associations.
CardSystems also would not confirm the number of accounts placed at risk by the intrusion, pegged at up to 40 million by MasterCard.
"MasterCard International is notifying its member financial institutions of a breach of payment card data, which potentially exposed more than 40 million cards of all brands to fraud," MasterCard's statement said.
CardSystems was fingered by MasterCard after it spotted fraud on credit card accounts and found a common thread, tracing it back to CardSystems, MasterCard said.
"Through the use of MasterCard fraud-fighting tools that proactively monitor for fraud, MasterCard was able to identify the processor that was breached," the company said in its statement.
MasterCard spokeswoman Sharon Gamsin said a computer virus was not to blame for the data theft. She said she couldn't provide details of how the systems were hacked, but did say that "an unauthorized entity put a specific code into CardSystems' network," enabling the person or group to gain access to the data. She wouldn't say how long attackers had access to CardSystems computers.
But upon discovering the incident, MasterCard immediately notified customer banks of specific card accounts that may have been subject to compromise so they can watch for fraud, she said.
While intruders who raided the processor's system had access to 40 million accounts, it's not clear how many account numbers were actually stolen, she said.
Vulnerabilities in CardSystems' computers have now been fixed, she said.
"They did not have adequate protection, but they are being entirely cooperative," Gamsin said.
Congress urged to boost ID theft safeguards
Banks may or may not close accounts
Typically, credit card-issuing banks decide whether to cancel and reissue credit cards connected to security breaches. It was not immediately clear what steps issuing banks were taking in response to the news.
But Avivah Litan, a security analyst with Gartner Inc., said most banks won't reissue cards until there's evidence of active fraud. Usually, that means the criminal with the stolen data can complete at least one or two purchases before the card is canceled, and that puts merchants at risk.
"The sad truth is that the card companies could easily contain the potential damage by shutting down the affected accounts and issuing new cards," she said. "But of course they won’t do that because that would cost them around $10 a card. Instead, they will let retailers take most of the hit."
The news comes on the heels of several other high-profile data leaks. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says about 10 million people's personal data has been lost or stolen since February.
The CardSystems incident is similar to a data theft in 2003 involving another payment processor, Omaha, Neb.-based Data Processors International. In that case, a computer criminal stole 8 million credit card account numbers from the processor.
"Data breaches are now at pandemic proportions," said Rob Douglas, a security expert who operates PrivacyToday.com. He has testified several times before Congress about data thefts. "The level of data breaches is not just a national embarrassment, it is a national emergency and Congress needs to act accordingly."
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., was critical of the timing of the announcement, coming late on a Friday afternoon, suggesting the news was intentionally released then to limit media attention.
"Today's announcement only underscores the need for new federal legislation to protect American consumers from the unending stream of revelations from corporate America about failure after failure to protect the public from data security breaches," Markey said.
Markey is himself the author of three bills to combat identity theft. One would limit the sale and use of Social Security numbers, another sets new controls on those who sell personal data and a third would limit exporting of personal data outside the United States.
Bob Sullivan is author of Your Evil Twin: Behind the Identity Theft Epidemic
© 2005 MSNBC Interactive
Thursday, June 09, 2005
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it
was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg
in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in
pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or
French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't
sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we
explore its paradoxes, we find that
quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a
guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of
tooth is teeth, why isn't the
pl ural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2
meese? One index, 2 indices?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one
amend. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of
all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a
vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be
committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what
language do people:
Recite at a play and play at a recital?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a
wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in
which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you
fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes
off by going on.
Eng lish was invented by people, not computers, and it
reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course,
is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out,
they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are
PS: Why doesn't "buick" rhyme with "quick"?
Friday, May 27, 2005
The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Gun Controllers...
British Medical Experts Campaign for Long, Pointy Knife Control - New York Times
May 27, 2005
British Medical Experts Campaign for Long, Pointy Knife Control
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Warning: Long, pointy knives may be hazardous to your health.
The authors of an editorial in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal have called for knife reform. The editorial, "Reducing knife crime: We need to ban the sale of long, pointed kitchen knives," notes that the knives are being used to stab people as well as roasts and the odd tin of Spam.
The authors of the essay - Drs. Emma Hern, Will Glazebrook and Mike Beckett of the West Middlesex University Hospital in London - called for laws requiring knife manufacturers to redesign their wares with rounded, blunt tips.
The researchers noted that the rate of violent crime in Britain rose nearly 18 percent from 2003 to 2004, and that in the first two weeks of 2005, 15 killings and 16 nonfatal attacks involved stabbings. In an unusual move for a scholarly work, the researchers cited a January headline from The Daily Express, a London tabloid: "Britain is in the grip of knives terror - third of murder victims are now stabbed to death." Dr. Hern said that "we came up with the idea and tossed it into the pot" to get people talking about crime reduction. "Whether it's a sensible solution to this problem or not, I'm not sure."
In the United States, where people are more likely to debate gun control than knife control, partisans on both sides sounded amused. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, asked, "Are they going to have everybody using plastic knives and forks and spoons in their own homes, like they do in airlines?"
Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which supports gun control, joked, "Can sharp stick control be far behind?" He said people in his movement were "envious" of England for having such problems. "In America, we can't even come to an agreement that guns are dangerous and we should make them safer," he said.
The authors of the editorial argued that the pointed tip is a vestigial feature from less mannered ages, when people used it to spear meat. They said that they interviewed 10 chefs in England, and that "none gave a reason why the long, pointed knife was essential," though short, pointed knives were useful.
An American chef, however, disagreed with the proposal. "This is yet another sign of the coming apocalypse," said Anthony Bourdain, the executive chef at Les Halles and the author of "Kitchen Confidential."
A knife, he said, is a beloved tool of the trade, and not a thing to be shaped by bureaucrats. A chef's relationship with his knives develops over decades of training and work, he said, adding, "Its weight, its shape - these are all extensions of our arms, and in many ways, our personalities."
He compared the editorial to efforts to ban unpasteurized cheese. "Where there is no risk," he said, "there is no pleasure."
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
What Women Want - New York Times: "Op-Ed Columnist
What Women Want
By JOHN TIERNEY
Published: May 24, 2005
What Women Want
By JOHN TIERNEY
Published: May 24, 2005
Suppose you could eliminate the factors often blamed for the shortage of women in high-paying jobs. Suppose that promotions and raises did not depend on pleasing sexist male bosses or putting in long nights and weekends away from home. Would women make as much as men?
Economists recently tried to find out in an experiment in Pittsburgh by paying men and women to add up five numbers in their heads. At first they worked individually, doing as many sums as they could in five minutes and receiving 50 cents for each correct answer. Then they competed in four-person tournaments, with the winner getting $2 per correct answer and the losers getting nothing.
On average, the women made as much as the men under either system. But when they were offered a choice for the next round - take the piece rate or compete in a tournament - most women declined to compete, even the ones who had done the best in the earlier rounds. Most men chose the tournament, even the ones who had done the worst.
The men's eagerness partly stemmed from overconfidence, because on average men rated their ability more highly than the women rated theirs. But interviews and further experiments convinced the researchers, Muriel Niederle of Stanford and Lise Vesterlund of the University of Pittsburgh, that the gender gap wasn't due mainly to women's insecurities about their abilities. It was due to different appetites for competition.
"Even in tasks where they do well, women seem to shy away from competition, whereas men seem to enjoy it too much," Professor Niederle said. "The men who weren't good at this task lost a little money by choosing to compete, and the really good women passed up a lot of money by not entering tournaments they would have won."
You can argue that this difference is due to social influences, although I suspect it's largely innate, a byproduct of evolution and testosterone. Whatever the cause, it helps explain why men set up the traditional corporate ladder as one continual winner-take-all competition - and why that structure no longer makes sense.
Now that so many employees (and more than half of young college graduates) are women, running a business like a tournament alienates some of the most talented workers and potential executives. It also induces competition in situations where cooperation makes more sense.
The result is not good for the bottom line, as demonstrated by a study from the Catalyst research organization showing that large companies yield better returns to stockholders if they have more women in senior management. A friend of mine, a businessman who buys companies, told me one of the first things he looks at is the gender of the boss.
"The companies run by women are much more likely to survive," he said. "The typical guy who starts a company is a competitive, charismatic leader - he's always the firm's top salesman - but if he leaves he takes his loyal followers with him and the company goes downhill. Women C.E.O.'s know how to hire good salespeople and create a healthy culture within the company. Plus they don't spend 20 percent of their time in strip clubs."
Still, for all the executive talents that women have, for all the changes that are happening in the corporate world, there will always be some jobs that women, on average, will not want as badly as men do. Some of the best-paying jobs require crazed competition and the willingness to risk big losses - going broke, never seeing your family and friends, dying young.
The women in the experiment who didn't want to bother with a five-minute tournament are not likely to relish spending 16 hours a day on a Wall Street trading floor. It's not fair to deny women a chance at those jobs, but it's not realistic to expect that they'll seek them in the same numbers that men will.
For two decades, academics crusading for equality in the workplace have been puzzled by surveys showing that women are at least as satisfied with their jobs and their pay as men are. This is known as "the paradox of the contented female worker."
But maybe it's not such a paradox after all. Maybe women, like the ones who shunned the experimental tournament, know they could make more money in some jobs but also know they wouldn't enjoy competing for it as much as their male rivals. They realize, better than men, that in life there's a lot more at stake than money.
For Futher Reading:
Do Women Shy Away from Competition? by Niederle Muriel, and Lise Vesterlund (working paper)
Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences by Uri Gneezy, Muriel Niederle and Aldo Rustichini (Quarterly Journal of Economics, CXVIII, August 2003, 1049 – 1074)
Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever (Princeton University Press, 240 pp., September 2003)
Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior by James McBride Dabbs with Mary Godwin Dabbs (McGraw-Hill, 256 pp., July 2000)
The First Sex : The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World by Helen Fisher (Random House, 377 pp., May 1999)
Monday, May 16, 2005
"Profits?" "Bonus?" Post Office? Holy Proletariat!
Telegraph | Money | Post workers share in Royal Mail's GBP500m profits
Post workers share in Royal Mail's £500m profits
By Andrew Cave (Filed: 16/05/2005)
More than 190,000 postal workers will tomorrow be awarded windfalls of more than £1,000 each as Royal Mail claims victory in its mission to transform its service and profits.
The special bonuses will be awarded under the terms of a "renewal plan" announced by Allan Leighton when he became chairman three years ago and set a target of achieving operating profits of £400m. At the time, Royal Mail was losing £1.5m a day.
Weekly-paid staff will receive their windfalls at the end of this week, with other employees getting theirs at the end of this month.
Adam Crozier, Royal Mail's chief executive, will emerge as a massive beneficiary of the turnaound, paid more than £2.7m last year partly due to payments under a long-term incentive plan.
Elmar Toime, ousted as executive deputy chairman last October, is thought to have been paid more than £1m in compensation.
The earnings announcement is expected to confirm operating profits of over £500m in the year to the end of March, compared with £220m the previous year.
The Royal Mail will also say that delivery levels in the past three months were the best for a decade.It delivered 92.5pc of first-class mail the day after it was posted in its final quarter.
Allan Leighton said: "Three years ago, this company was worth zero. Now it is worth around £5billion and the quality of service is the best it has been for 10 years.
"This is why the results we are about to announce will trigger a share-in-success payment of more than £200m to our postmen and postwomen."
The results come as speculation intensifies over the Royal Mail's future. Mr Leighton is understood to have told ministers that he wants to borrow more than £2billion from the City to fund a partial privatisation of the Royal Mail.
He is said to want to see a large stake in the business bought on behalf of Royal Mail staff and a new ownership structure modelled on department store partnership John Lewis.
Labour said in its manifesto that it had no plans to privatise the Royal Mail but will launch a review of the effect on the business of next year's liberalisation of Britain's postal market.
Supporters of a partial privatisation believe that setting up an employee share ownership trust to hold Royal Mail stock for the benefit of all its staff would be an effective way of navigating the ownership issue.
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005. Terms & Conditions of reading.
Writing for a livelihood
Inkygirl - A weblog for writers who work from home
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Now, Audio Blogs for Those Who Aspire to Be D.J.'s
By JOHN R. QUAIN
Published: May 12, 2005
What do the pope and Paris Hilton have in common? They're both podcasters - and you can be one too.
Ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, podcasts are essentially do-it-yourself recorded radio programs posted online. Anyone can download them free, and, using special software, listeners can subscribe to favorite shows and even have them automatically downloaded to a portable digital music player.
Despite what the name suggests, podcasts can be played not just on iPods but on any device that has an MP3 player program, including PC's and laptops.
Podcasts are the natural technological offspring of Web logs or blogs, those endlessly meandering personal Web musings that now seem to be everywhere online. Similarly, many podcasters have a diaristic bent, ranging from Mr. X, in upstate New York (ifthensoftware.blogspot.com), who has recorded his ruminations while driving to work, to Dan Klass, an underemployed actor in California whose podcast, "The Bitterest Pill" (www.thebitterestpill.com), has been known to feature invectives against Elmo.
There are celebrity podcasts like Paris Hilton's (houseofwaxmovie .warnerbros.com), intended to promote movies. Another, more high-minded site, Catholic Insider (www.catholicinsider.com), links to podcasts of Pope Benedict XVI from Vatican Radio.
Many radio stations are embracing the technology. WGBH in Boston, Q107 in Toronto and BBC Radio are already offering regular podcasts. Tomorrow, Sirius Satellite Radio will begin broadcasting a best-of-podcasting program with the podfather of podcasting, Adam Curry, formerly of MTV, as host.
Taking the experiment a step further, Infinity Broadcasting plans to restart its San Francisco talk station KYCY-AM (1550) with an all-podcasting format beginning Monday. KYCY's broadcasts will feature amateur programs from around the Web, but because of Federal Communications Commission regulations, each will be screened in advance.
Record companies are also beginning to use podcasts to fish for fans. "We think podcasts are a great way to form a relationship with our fans," said Damian Kulash, the lead singer of the rock band OK Go, which has an album coming out this summer on Capitol Records. When the band is on tour, OK Go phones in its podcasts (www.okgo.net).
Finding and Listening
For those wanting to find a podcast, there are online directories that list thousands of them, including Podcast.net (www.podcast.net), Podcasting News (podcastingnews.com), Podcast Alley (www.podcastalley.com) and iPodder.org (www.ipodder.org).
Several free software programs - like Doppler (www.dopplerradio.net) and iPodder (www.ipodder.org) - help users subscribe to and download podcasts. IPodder comes in Windows and Mac versions. The program includes a directory of podcasts available for subscribing on a scheduled basis or for downloading at will. The Web address of a podcast that is not listed can be cut and pasted into iPodder to add it to a user's roster of subscriptions.
Podcasts are usually indicated by an orange logo with the initials RSS (for really simple syndication) or XML (for extensible markup language), standing for the technologies that make such subscriptions possible.
IPod enthusiasts and Mac owners might also consider iPodderX (www.ipodderx.com), a $19.95 program that not only downloads programs but also puts them directly into the iTunes manager so that they can be automatically copied to a connected iPod player.
Unencumbered by professional standards or government broadcast rules, podcasts can devolve into fits of uncontrollable giggling and include more than their share of expletives. (Family Friendly Podcasts, at www.familyfriendlypodcasts.com, has some suggestions for those who prefer tamer shows.) Still, it is the freedom that has inspired many homegrown podcast producers.
"The whole beauty of it is that I don't have to censor myself," says Jason Evangelho, host of "Insomnia Radio," which showcases independent radio (hardcoreinsomniaradio.blogspot.com). "And I can say 'um.' "
Programs dedicated to music still dominate the podcast universe. Many offer an eclectic mix of underground music, but there are also classical music shows like "Your Daily Opera." While most get only a handful of listeners, some programs have developed a devoted fan base.
"I'm averaging about 10,000 to 11,000 listeners per show," says Brian Ibbott, whose "Coverville" (www.coverville.com) originates from his basement outside Denver. Mr. Ibbott's podcasts feature rare and unusual cover songs. He has a sponsor to offset the $30 to $40 a month he says he pays his hosting service for the extra traffic that his listeners create downloading his shows.
Making and Distributing
In addition to the chance to be heard by millions of Internet users, the relative ease of producing a show has driven the popularity of podcasting. A group of college friends unable to get their film careers off the ground, for example, decided to tell their stories, which are a cross between Firesign Theater and Hunter S. Thompson, in a podcast at the Peanut Gallery (www.thepeanutgallery.info). Those looking for a similar creative outlet need only a computer with a connected microphone and Web access.
Stay-at-home disc jockeys can record tracks using the basic recording software included with the Mac and Windows operating systems. Free software like EasyPodcast (www.easypodcast.com) can help upload efforts to a Web site. Services like Liberated Syndication (www.libsyn.com) will provide Web hosting for as little as $5 a month.
Many podcasters end up creating digital studios, using more expensive microphones, mixers and audio editing software, like Adobe Audition ($299, www.adobe.com). Audition lets a podcaster carefully edit voiceovers, mix up to 128 stereo sound tracks and even correct the pitch of a recording. Unfortunately, Audition does not include the tools for uploading to the Web.
Consequently, a new class of software designed for podcasters is beginning to emerge. Two noteworthy examples are Propaganda ($49.95, www.makepropaganda.com) and iPodcast Producer ($149.95, www.industrialaudiosoftware.com). Both Windows applications enable producers to record, mix multiple tracks and automatically post shows to the Web.
Of course, unlike a live radio broadcast or streaming music online, podcasts are downloaded and stored in their entirety. So the programs have the potential to generate thousands of copies of songs, raising legal issues. "Podcasters, like the users of any other sound recordings, must obtain the appropriate licenses from the copyright owners, or their designees," the Recording Industry Association of America said.
At "Insomnia Radio," Mr. Evangelho plays only independent bands that own the rights to their own songs, and gets permission directly from the artists to play their music. At "Coverville," to satisfy the royalties owed to songwriters and composers, Mr. Ibbott pays annual licensing fees totaling about $500 to Ascap and B.M.I. The R.I.A.A. has not specified if or how podcasters should pay the labels.
The programs are stored in the MP3 file format, and companies that use MP3 compression must pay a licensing fee to Thomson, a co-creator of the technology. But according to Rocky Caldwell at Thomson's licensing unit, fees are not applicable unless users make at least $100,000 a year from their podcasts. Now that's the kind of problem many podcasters wish they had.
Monday, May 09, 2005
By Hugh Davies
Golden oldie listeners take Radio 2 figures to new record
By Hugh Davies
The post-war baby boom generation that drove the 1960s pop explosion delivered a 'grey power' boost to Radio 2 yesterday, helping four veteran DJs with a combined age of 231 draw record audiences.
Radio Joint Audience Research figures show that 66-year-old Terry Wogan, with his "senior moments", easily remains Britain's favourite radio personality, attracting 40,000 new listeners since January and bringing his total to 8.09 million.
Terry Wogan: UK's favorite DJ
Steve Wright, 50, has added 400,000 to push his listeners to 6.8 million. Ken Bruce, 54, is at his heels with 6.63 million for his mid-morning programme while Johnnie Walker, 60, has an audience of 5.21 million for his drive-time show.
Mark Story, head of radio at Emap, said that his "heritage" stations in Manchester, Hull and Liverpool, which appeared to be in decline four years ago, were picking up new listeners.
He added: "There is also a very clear end to the generation gap.
"There was a time when young people instinctively hated the music of their parents. This is now no longer the case."
The trend for older music is most obvious in the charts, where Tony Christie remains at No 1 for a seventh week with the charity record Amarillo. In March it sold more copies in a week than in the whole of its 1971 run in the "hit parade".
The single is the longest-running chart-topper since Cher's Believe in 1998. It has sold 932,982 copies, three times as many as its nearest rival this year, McFly's All About You.
A spokesman for HMV, Gennaro Castaldo, said that while Christie was helped by Comic Relief, his amazing success indicated that there was a huge nostalgic appetite for older stars if record companies were prepared to invest in them.
Saga magazine, aimed at the over-50s, has Rod Stewart on its cover and British tours are imminent by Neil Diamond, 64, Pat Boone, 70, Kris Kristofferson, 68, Andy Williams, 77, The Everly Brothers (Don, 68, and Phil, 66), Don McLean, 59, and Donovan Leitch, who turns 59 next week. Donovan, an icon of the 1960s "flower power" revolution, who long ago retreated to "the exquisite peace" of an old rectory in County Cork, said: "I haven't toured in donkey's years. I was getting bored and exhausted.
"But I'm still alive. I still have my hair. I'm not overweight. I'm actually quite well in the health department - and it's all rather daunting."
Sanctuary Records is issuing a two-disc anthology of Donovan's music, featuring Universal Soldier, Colours and Turquoise, as well as Catch the Wind, his first chart success 40 years ago. Donovan said: "There is now intense interest in my back catalogue. If I ever come to London, I get defensive when the cabbie recognises me and mutters about the 'bloody rubbish' in today's pop music, and talks about my melodies.
"I say nothing. In my time, we didn't know songs could last. All we ever thought of was next Tuesday. You never imagined a future. The Beatles had fun with When I'm 64, but, really, nobody thought it would last that long."
Dennis Locorriere, former lead singer with Dr Hook, who is due to perform in London tonight, said: "I'll be 56 in July. Back home in America, all I'm offered is the oldies package tours. You slog through your history and go to the bar.
"But in England, there's a different buzz, and I can feel a shift in the audiences that is very tangible. I can go on stage alone with a guitar and talk between songs, and whether or not it's this success of Tony Christie, the reaction is pretty incredible."
Publishers wishing to reproduce photographs on this page should phone 44 (0) 207 538 7505 or e-mail email@example.com
Radio Joint Audience Research
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005. Terms & Conditions of reading.
Managing Intellectual Property
Two Americans were sentenced to jail by a Shanghai court last week after they were convicted of selling fake DVDs worth more than $840,000 over the internet.
The guilty verdicts are the result of the first joint intellectual property rights investigation by agents from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Chinese authorities. Michael Garcia, the US Homeland Security official responsible for Customs investigation, said that the case was a 'landmark' that would serve as a roadmap for future IP rights investigations.
The Shanghai People's Court sentenced Randolph Hobson Guthrie to two-and-a-half years in jail, while Cody Abram Thrush, an accessory, was sent to jail for a year. Both men received fines and will be sent back to the US at the end of their prison terms. Two Chinese accomplices were ordered to pay fines, and one was sentenced to serve 15 months in jail.
The court also convicted two Chinese men for their role in the illegal counterfeiting operation.
Chinese prosecutors accused the two Americans of having sold 180,000 pirated DVDs through eBay.com and a Russian based-website, threedollardvd.com, since October 2002.
The case began when an undercover agent from the Customs authority bought a fake DVD at a flea market in Mississippi in September 2003. As the investigation grew, ICE officials began sharing information with the Chinese police's Economic Crime Investigation Department.
Ten months later, Chinese police arrested six people, including Guthrie and Thrush, and made a series of raids on warehouses. As part of their operation, the Chinese authorities seized more than 210,000 fake DVDs and cash in US dollars and Chinese renminbi worth more"
London granny blew my cover, says French spy
By Henry Samuel in Paris
A former French spy has revealed how he gave British intelligence the slip to shadow Islamists in London but eventually had his cover blown by a nosey grandmother.
In his new book, Pierre Martinet details how he prepared the way for follow-up teams to "neutralise" several Islamist suspects in foreign capitals, including London, should French politicians decide to put them out of action.
According to the publishers, the book, La DGSE, Action Service, An Agent Comes Out of the Shadow, out tomorrow, sets a precedent as the first time a former officer of DGSE, France's foreign intelligence service, has given a hands-on account of the profession.
Mr Martinet claims to have spent several months in London monitoring Abu Walid, a suspected member of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, the GIA, with links to al-Qa'eda.
He says his unit also spied on Abu Hamza, the radical cleric suspected of turning Finsbury Park mosque into a base for turning devout Muslims into terrorists.
Abu Hamza, infamous for praising Osama Bin Laden and warning the Government about the consequences of attacking Iraq, was arrested last year on an extradition warrant issued by the US government.
Mr Martinet's other operations included stints in Stockholm and Geneva, where his task was to track down the fugitive Serbian war criminal, Radovan Karadzic.
But he insisted that no country, including Britain - whose secret services enjoy an excellent reputation in France - was aware of his presence.
"Never," he said. "We work as in the Second World War films. Each of us has a false identity, false passports; we only communicate in bars and make sure we're never followed."
The shaven-headed, unassuming 41-year-old also dispelled the glamorous myths associated with secret agents. "James Bond is the anti-agent par excellence," he said. "He wears a tuxedo, drives an Aston Martin and gets the girls. We, on the other hand, rent cheap Renaults, avoid cocktails, use false names, and never stand out."
However, some of his attempts at "blending in" may have raised a few suspicions. On one mission to London he thought it best to grow sideburns and sport a tweed cap. He also admits that his pidgin English was a serious handicap.
But without doubt an agent's worst enemy, he claimed, is the nosey grandmother who peeps through her curtains and rings the police if she notices anything untoward. Such a nightmare neighbour forced him to abandon his surveillance of Abu Walid's home in Wembley, which he nicknames "Londonistan", and flee the capital.
He said: "A police car pulled up. I was able to fob them off by saying I was waiting for a football match, but once they radioed my identity, it would only take a call to Interpol to unmask me, so I had to leave London immediately."
Once an agent's cover is blown, even in a friendly country, they generally spend the rest of their career "in the cupboard", he said.
Another weak point shared by French secret agents in London was their inability to drive on the left. So his unit had a right-hand-drive vehicle shipped over the Channel to give them practice.
His first mission to London was also his first ever visit to the UK. "For me, London was James Bond, Shakespeare, the Beatles, and French footballers who had emigrated," he said. "It's clear that the English can't stand us and we return the compliment."
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005. Terms & Conditions of reading.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Competition for the dread CCC!
Valeo Tutorial: It is available on the Valeo toolbar under Account Info.
Large-Firm Life: An Ode to Librarians
New York Lawyer
April 8, 2005
By Alison McKinnell King and Daniel BoglioliNew York Law Journal
We now know what it feels like to be an Oscar winner who forgets to thank someone responsible for her success. In our last article, we mentioned by way of example the key roles the supporting departments at large law firms play in the success of young associates. In doing so, we did not mention every department. In particular, we forgot to mention the wonderful supporting role librarians play.
Of course, we couldn't have written this article without the help of our firm's librarians. Librarians are, by definition, the greatest research tools that any firm has. They are charged with understanding what resources are useful for what purposes and for staying on top of emerging research tools. These tools range from traditional sources — books and periodicals — to online and other Internet sources.
Additionally, librarians today are most likely to be the people responsible for maintaining a library's Web site and evaluating, purchasing and implementing the software and hardware necessary to access electronic information. A good library staff will make it easier for attorneys to access at their desks all sorts of information via the Internet and intranet.
Simply having access to the appropriate research tools is not enough. Librarians are also skilled at using these resources and are often responsible for training attorneys on what resources to use and how to use them. If you are not sure that you are aware of every resource available for your law specialty, call the library and arrange a training session with someone that does know. Not only does the library staff know the electronic data sources, they are also versed at finding the most cost-effective means of finding out the information needed. Instead of reinventing the wheel every time you have a research project, ask a librarian.
For recent law school graduates, your first step in researching is usually Lexis or Westlaw. Unfortunately, this is usually not the best route for several reasons. First, although Lexis and Westlaw are good when researching narrow concepts, they are usually not the best resources to get a broad understanding of an area or law. Indeed, using Lexis or Westlaw often leads to missing the nuances that are not readily apparent in a few cases.
Therefore, most research should start with a review of the relevant treatise. For example, we would not begin research on a civil procedure issue without first looking at "Wright & Miller's Federal Practice and Procedure." There are comparable treatises for almost all areas of law. For those who are a little rusty on subscription services or who were not formally trained in legal research, the library can point you in the right direction.
Second, in most law firm libraries the librarians are able to conduct legal due diligence, compile state and federal legislative histories and — according to our librarians — conduct multi-jurisdictional surveys of specific laws. They are also knowledgeable about sources of information from the government and can track down unpublished information from the federal government and various agencies. Librarians are also a great source when searching for company information and are able to search filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Third, librarians often have access to databases that although they are a valuable source of information, are not available to associates, usually for licensing reasons. For example, the library is a good place to go if you need to search for scientific publications. Depending on the urgency and the price you are willing to pay, you can have these articles within a few hours.
Finally, if you have identified a book or article from your research that would be helpful in preparing a brief, librarians will be able to obtain it, either by borrowing it from other law firms, law associations, or college law libraries or by buying it.
All of these resources are wonderful in concept but unfortunately attorneys seldom take advantage of them. So make yourself comfortable and start looking into what your firm's library has to offer.
Alison McKinnell King and Daniel Boglioli are associates at Kaye Scholer.
French book casts Britons as un-erotic, pet-obsessed drinkers
By Colin Randall in Paris
The French are being offered a new guide to the English that portrays les rosbifs as a binge-drinking, pet-obsessed race which still leads the world in pop music and humour but dresses with dubious taste and treats sex as a subject of national embarrassment.
Agnès Catherine Poirier, a writer and broadcaster, bases her conclusions on the "strange, insular people" of Britain on the 10 years she has spent observing its inhabitants while living in London.
In her book, Les Nouveaux Anglais, published in France this week, she says many stereotypes that spring most readily to French minds when reflecting on their cross-Channel neighbours are already things of the past.
No one wears bowler hats any more, Poirier notes, yet Burberry, the classic styling once favoured by the aspiring classes, is now the motif of the football hooligan.
Old-fashioned pubs are fast disappearing from villages and towns. Even the full English breakfast, eaten by one Briton in two only half a century ago, is today the preserve of "tourists hoping to rediscover a culture that no longer exists" and exiles dreaming from foreign parts of the country they left behind.
Poirier, 32, devotes whole sections of her book to British obsessions - class prejudice, pets, queuing, the weather, the tabloids and bingo - but is at her most abrasive when dealing with attitudes to sex.
A chapter headed ''No Sex Please We're British'' begins with the words: "Let us be charitable and put ourselves in the place of our poor British friends."
How, she wonders, could there not be a problem with sex in a country where silicone-enhanced breasts and bottoms are paraded in the popular press "without an ounce of eroticism"; film censors forbid images of erect penises; the Kama Sutra has been legally sold only since 1963; and the Ann Summers chain sells a million sex toys a year?
Poirier adds, for good measure, evidence of raised Gallic eyebrows at the David Blunkett affair, which she summarises as "a bachelor minister telling the press of his passionate relationship with a married woman he hopes will get a divorce and marry him instead".
"How, in such conditions, can you avoid becoming totally nuts and a touch schizophrenic?" she asks. "On matters of sex, the British learn only how to laugh... it frightens them, thus the obsession.
''Sex, this subject of national embarrassment, is present everywhere, for example in the often provocative dress and attitude of women. But to talk of it is out of the question."
Moreover, she says, sex in Britain seems to have nothing to do with love but has been turned instead into an exercise, like yoga or jogging.
However, Poirier makes it clear that her views should not be seen as revenge for tabloid attacks on her country, or British expatriates' invasions of Brittany and the Dordogne.
She admits to a personal love affair with la perfide Albion that began with her first schoolgirl visit and has been nurtured by admiration of Londoners' courage during the Blitz and her love of Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, English tea and chocolate, "and the inimitable accent of Laurence Olivier".
Despite self-confessed struggles to understand what makes the British tick, her book - a series of 34 essays with the declared aim of "revisiting national clichés" is a mostly affectionate look at the "shortcomings and charms of a great nation".
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005. Terms & Conditions of reading.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Nat Hentoff, a biographer of 20th century peace icon A. J. Muste, and columnist for the Village Voice, is writing a series of columns on jailed librarians in Cuba. Excerpts from these columns have been combined, with his permission, below.
In Cuba, 51-year-old Victor Rolando Arroyo - who directed an independent, private library before being sentenced to 26 years in prison during Castro's crackdown on dissenters in the spring of 2003 - is now in solitary confinement after protesting the treatment of another prisoner.
Arroyo belongs to the Independent Cuban Journalists and Writers Union. At his trial for "undermining national independence and territorial integrity," Arroyo refused a government-appointed defense lawyer because, he said, the verdict had been decided in advance.
According to the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Fronti�res), Arroyo "has high blood pressure, headaches, and diarrhea, and has lost between 15 and 20 kilograms since he was imprisoned." He is not receiving treatment. At his trial, closed to foreign journalists, the judge called Arroyo a "traitor to Cuba" and a "lackey of the US government."
. . .
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
“A Simple Dividend Strategy with Extraordinary Returns”
This week, I’m going to focus on a simple dividend strategy
that has produced some amazing results over the last few years.
Since it’s a dividend paying strategy, I’ve incorporated a
longer holding period (12-24 weeks).
This strategy is both easy to build and easy to use with the
The parameters to this screen are as follows:
Price >= $10
Market Cap >= $500 mil.
Zacks Rank <= 3 (1, 2 or 3 -- no sell ratings allowed)
Current Dividend Yield >= 8%
I ran a series of tests using a 24 week holding period over the
last 4 years. Each test was started on a different start date
to eliminate coincidental performance and to verify robustness.
What I found was that every test showed impressive results.
In 2001, the average annualized gross return was 29.8%.
In 2002, the average annualized gross return was 8.3%. (Quite
impressive when compared to the S&P 500’s -22.7%.)
In 2003, the average annualized gross return was a whopping
42.9%, with every 24-week period scoring a win.
And in 2004, the average annualized gross return was 19.1%.
Since inception, (1/5/2001 thru 2/25/05), the cumulative,
compounded gross return shows an impressive 226.7%.
I also tested this strategy using a 12 week holding period as
well. The results were equally as impressive, but of course,
rebalancing more frequently would have cost more in commissions
and the possibility of missed dividends.
Either way, this Dividend Strategy has been a consistent
performer through the ups and downs of the market over the last
4+ years (and hopefully in the years to come).
Currently (3/28/05), there are 13 stocks that qualify this
screen. Here are some names on that list:
ALD Allied Capital Corporation
CHT Chunghwa Telecom
VLCCF Knightsbridge Tankers
To find out what other stocks qualify on this winning strategy,
sign up for your free trial to the Research Wizard. Test this
screen and others or build your own strategies and test them.
Remember, the key to successful screening is in discovering
those strategies that have produced profitable results in the
past. And that’s exactly what you get with the powerful
Backtesting ability of Research Wizard. Start your free trial
All the Screen of the Week strategies are created and
back-tested using the Research Wizard software from Zacks
Investment Research. Learn more about the Research Wizard and
Free Trial offer at http://at.zacks.com/?id=1388
Discover all the Free Screening Tools on Zacks.com at
Voter Fraud in Ohio
ACVR REFERS OHIO VOTER FRAUD REPORT TO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. � Today the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) released a copy of a referral letter to the Department of Justice. The letter accompanied a copy of the Ohio Election Report submitted to the House Administration Committee on Monday. ACVR will be releasing similar reports on election activity in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and other states in coming weeks.
. . .
As the U.S. Supreme Court has noted, �It must be remembered that �the right of suffrage can be denied by debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen�s vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise.�� Bush v. Gore, 121 S.Ct. 525, 530 (2000), citing, Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964). No Ohio citizens should be disenfranchised by an illegally cast ballot and, we believe, an apparently coordinated effort to do so merits your investigation.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
In Love With Death
The bizarre passion of the pull-the-tube people.
God made the world or he didn't.
God made you or he didn't.
If he did, your little human life is, and has been, touched by the divine. If this is true, it would be true of all humans, not only some. And so--again, if it is true--each human life is precious, of infinite value, worthy of great respect.
Most--not all, but probably most--of those who support Terri Schiavo's right to live believe the above. This explains their passion and emotionalism. They believe they are fighting for an invaluable and irreplaceable human life. They are like the mother who is famously said to have lifted the back of a small car off the ground to save a child caught under a tire. You're desperate to save a life, you're shot through with adrenaline, your strength is for half a second superhuman, you do the impossible.
That is what they are trying to do.
They do not want an innocent human life ended for what appear to be primarily practical and worldly reasons--e.g., Mrs. Schiavo's quality of life is low, her life is pointless. They say: Who is to say it is pointless? And what does pointless even mean? Maybe life itself is the point.
I do not understand the emotionalism of the pull-the-tube people. What is driving their engagement? Is it because they are compassionate, and their hearts bleed at the thought that Mrs. Schiavo suffers? But throughout this case no one has testified that she is in persistent pain, as those with terminal cancer are.
If they care so much about her pain, why are they unconcerned at the suffering caused her by the denial of food and water? And why do those who argue for Mrs. Schiavo's death employ language and imagery that is so violent and aggressive? The chairman of the Democratic National Committee calls Republicans "brain dead." Michael Schiavo, the husband, calls House Majority Leader Tom DeLay "a slithering snake."
Everyone who has written in defense of Mrs. Schiavo's right to live has received e-mail blasts full of attacks that appear to have been dictated by the unstable and typed by the unhinged. On Democratic Underground they crowed about having "kicked the sh-- out of the fascists." On Tuesday James Carville's face was swept with a sneer so convulsive you could see his gums as he damned the Republicans trying to help Mrs. Schiavo. It would have seemed demonic if he weren't a buffoon.
Why are they so committed to this woman's death?
They seem to have fallen half in love with death.
What does Terri Schiavo's life symbolize to them? What does the idea that she might continue to live suggest to them?
Why does this prospect so unnerve them? Again, if you think Terri Schiavo is a precious human gift of God, your passion is explicable. The passion of the pull-the-tube people is not.
I do not understand their certainty. I don't "know" that any degree of progress or healing is possible for Terri Schiavo; I only hope they are. We can't know, but we can "err on the side of life." How do the pro-death forces "know" there is no possibility of progress, healing, miracles? They seem to think they know. They seem to love the phrases they bandy about: "vegetative state," "brain dead," "liquefied cortex."
I do not understand why people who want to save the whales (so do I) find campaigns to save humans so much less arresting. I do not understand their lack of passion. But the save-the-whales people are somehow rarely the stop-abortion-please people.
The PETA people, who say they are committed to ending cruelty to animals, seem disinterested in the fact of late-term abortion, which is a cruel procedure performed on a human.
I do not understand why the don't-drill-in-Alaska-and-destroy-its-prime-beauty people do not join forces with the don't-end-a-life-that-holds-within-it-beauty people.
I do not understand why those who want a freeze on all death penalty cases in order to review each of them in light of DNA testing--an act of justice and compassion toward those who have been found guilty of crimes in a court of law--are uninterested in giving every last chance and every last test to a woman whom no one has ever accused of anything.
There are passionate groups of women in America who decry spousal abuse, give beaten wives shelter, insist that a woman is not a husband's chattel. This is good work. Why are they not taking part in the fight for Terri Schiavo? Again, what explains their lack of passion on this? If Mrs. Schiavo dies, it will be because her husband, and only her husband, insists she wanted to, or would want to, or said she wanted to in a hypothetical conversation long ago. A thin reed on which to base the killing of a human being.
The pull-the-tube people say, "She must hate being brain-damaged." Well, yes, she must. (This line of argument presumes she is to some degree or in some way thinking or experiencing emotions.) Who wouldn't feel extreme sadness at being extremely disabled? I'd weep every day, wouldn't you? But consider your life. Are there not facets of it, or facts of it, that make you feel extremely sad, pained, frustrated, angry? But you're still glad you're alive, aren't you? Me too. No one enjoys a deathbed. Very few want to leave.
Terri Schiavo may well die. No good will come of it. Those who are half in love with death will only become more red-fanged and ravenous.
And those who are still learning--our children--oh, what terrible lessons they're learning. What terrible stories are shaping them. They're witnessing the Schiavo drama on television and hearing it on radio. They are seeing a society--their society, their people--on the verge of famously accepting, even embracing, the idea that a damaged life is a throwaway life.
Our children have been reared in the age of abortion, and are coming of age in a time when seemingly respectable people are enthusiastic for euthanasia. It cannot be good for our children, and the world they will make, that they are given this new lesson that human life is not precious, not touched by the divine, not of infinite value.
Once you "know" that--that human life is not so special after all--then everything is possible, and none of it is good. When a society comes to believe that human life is not inherently worth living, it is a slippery slope to the gas chamber. You wind up on a low road that twists past Columbine and leads toward Auschwitz. Today that road runs through Pinellas Park, Fla.
Ms. Noonan is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag" (Wall Street Journal Books/Simon & Schuster), a collection of post-Sept. 11 columns, which you can buy from the OpinionJournal bookstore. Her column appears Thursdays.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Here: "Inspector Gadget: address checkers
By Rob Murray (Filed: 21/03/2005)
You've got the order and know you can deliver on time. And then you take the customer's address down over the telephone. It's hard to hear what she's saying. Was that Minchinhampton or Munchkidampton? In a fluster, you fail to check.
Rather than send out your best guess, there are several websites that can help you make sure that you have got it right. They can even make sure that the address given is bona fide to cut down on fraud. If you only send out a few items a day then a look at Royal Mail's site can work wonders. Once registered you can check or find an address for a given postcode or find the postcode from the address.
The one limitation is that you are only allowed 12 searches in any 24-hour period. However, the service is free.
Another website worth a look is www.192.com. This is a directory inquiry website but with many more features, including the facility to search through 45m records on the electoral roll. Searching is not restricted to area as you are able to search by surname, forename, postcode road name and the like.
One of the main features is the facility for a relationship search, where you can find, for example, all the John Smiths who live in Luton with Mary Jones. The website also has a directors' and shareholders' database that contains detailed information on over 2.3m companies and 6m directors and other key contacts.
It includes directors' home addresses and even dates of birth, along with detailed financial information on companies, from their turnover to number of employees.
Some services on 192.com are free; to use others"
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Firm's New York and D.C. offices dwindle
The American Lawyer
Whether it goes under the heading of downsizing or (more charitably) strategic focus, this is a painful period of time for Minneapolis' Dorsey & Whitney. The firm's Washington, D.C., office is dwindling, and its New York office has suffered recent defections as well.
Some of the departing lawyers blame management blunders for the attrition, but managing partner Peter Hendrixson says the firm is shedding lawyers in order to focus on core competencies.
In 2000, the firm envisioned growing the D.C. office to more than 100 lawyers. The firm, in particular, targeted the vibrant growth in the Northern Virginia technology market. In 2002 Dorsey leased two floors in a grade-A Pennsylvania Avenue office building blocks from the White House. The space could accommodate more than 100 lawyers. Dorsey chief operating officer James Karlovich confirmed that an estimated annual lease cost of $3.5 million was in the ballpark. By early 2002, the office had grown to 55 lawyers, its high-water mark, and it was swimming in work, says Raymond Van Dyke, a former IP partner at the firm: "We would be there until 5 a.m. sometimes."
Then the bottom fell out. Current and former Dorsey lawyers say the D.C. office was slammed by tech crashes in Virginia and the general downturn. Van Dyke says Minneapolis partners became more apt to hoard work than farm it out to D.C. "When the human body is thrown into a cold lake, you protect the torso and sacrifice the appendages," says Van Dyke, who in 2003 moved to the D.C. office of Nixon Peabody.
Dorsey's D.C. office suffered more key defections, including those of two former heads of the branch. Currently, the office is down to 18 lawyers, and it may dip further. "Certainly some people are looking [for other jobs]. ... Morale is down in D.C.," says a Dorsey partner who spoke on background. And with only seven partners left, it will be hard to keep associates busy.
Some lawyers blame Dorsey's management, not just a sour economy. One former D.C. partner, speaking on background, says Dorsey did not recruit enough lawyers with political clout and regulatory expertise to help D.C. become more self-sustaining. "They had Walter Mondale in Minneapolis, but a lot of good that did us in D.C," says the lawyer.
Mark Hogge, another former D.C. partner, who left in 2004 for Greenberg Traurig, and Aldo Noto, a former IP practice leader who fled to Andrews Kurth, blame Hendrixson for taking on Sun Microsystems Inc. as a client. Hewlett-Packard Co., another client and a Sun competitor, had warned that it would fire the firm if it did work for Sun. Hendrixson forged ahead, Hogge says, and HP took its business elsewhere: "It was sheer idiocy."
Hendrixson says the firm simply seized an opportunity to represent Sun and other clients that he won't name. And the decision to pursue the opportunity, he adds, was approved by other firm leaders as well.
In talking generally about the D.C. office, Hendrixson puts on a brave front. He says the turnover is due to the firm's decision to concentrate on three practice areas in D.C.: litigation, energy and regulatory work. "We have decided to focus on those [practice] areas in which we make a difference for our clients," says Hendrixson. He will not say whether Dorsey fired any D.C. partners (most say they left voluntarily), but he concedes that the firm did lay off some D.C. associates.
Going forward, he says, Dorsey plans to hire D.C. lawyers who work in the firm's focus areas. And it is sending Andrew Brown, the firm's energy co-head, to D.C. to boost the practice in that office.
As its works to stabilize D.C., Dorsey must also deal with turbulence in its New York office. On Jan. 24, seven of its New York partners, led by former office head James Swire, moved to the Manhattan office of Arnold & Porter. The departing group also included Michael Griffin, head of Dorsey's financial services and hedge fund practice; Stewart Aaron, co-head of Dorsey's securities litigation practice; and Ramon Marks, co-head of Dorsey's international litigation team.
Former partners say that Dorsey, which posted modest average per-partner profits of $430,000 in 2003 (the 2004 figure is not yet known), has had difficulty paying competitive rates for New York talent.
Swire would not talk about his former firm, but he hinted that he may try to bring over associates from Dorsey.
Robert Dwyer Jr., Dorsey's current office head in New York, says the firm plans to grow the New York office from its present 70 lawyers to about 100. "That is regarded as a good level for strong national firms," he says. Like many law firms, Dorsey certainly thinks of itself as a strong national firm. But it takes vibrant D.C. and New York offices to achieve that status.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Excerpt from an idiot ordinance
What constitutes a violation?
The following constitutes an establishment's violation under the ordinance:
* Tolerance of smoking inside the premises;
* Failure to post the required "No Smoking" signs (signs posted at entrances are adequate);
* Presence of ashtrays, lighters or matchbooks where they are accessible for indoor use (smoking accessories may be stored inside as long as they are not readily accessible to patrons for use);
* Retaliation against employees, applicants or customers who complain.