Category Archives: ORLY?
With election season in full swing, attack ads are coming to a TV near you. Some actually focus on issues – some don’t and those make for some pretty funny viewing
I don’t know who Jeff Brandes is, but according to his opponent Jim Frische, he obviously supports a Cyberdyne future where Robots will rise up and enslave their human masters starting with senior citizens in Florida
And it all starts with driverless cars from Google
I’ve carried a blackberry for 12 years.
First off it was the phone my previous company told us we had to use when we entered the email age in the late 90s (yea we were a little slow rolling out technology).
But now I work for a different company and for the last 5 years I’ve still carried one because of all the other PDA/ Smart phones I’ve ever tried, it’s the only one that I can bang out a 3 sentence e-mail on in less than 5 minutes. That’s important to me and the 80 million other people still carrying blackberries around the world ( at least that’s what RIMM says the user base is in this article)
And the reason I can actually type a message on a berry is the ingenious little QWERTY pad that they invented and perfected. (If you ever wondered why it’s called a QWERTY just read the top row of letters on the berry or your keyboard). I’ve tried Apple and Android (Samsung and HTC) touch screens but never felt close to being able to work it like that stupid little keyboard. It’s why I have a love hate relationship with my Berry – I love it as an e-mail device (which is Job #1) but it sucks balls as a smartphone.
So it was with hope and trepidation and read that article – on the release of the new Blackberry 10 slated for early next year. Did they get it right? or will it be yet another piece of shit that does e-mail very, very well? – I don’t know but I’m willing to give it a try
Since this is IBC the Mother of all Stock sites, I should mention RIMM as an investment, or maybe more accurately a trade. There’s going to be buzz about BB10, and add in the rumors of IBM or amazon acquiring the enterprise services group .
It’s currently a dollar (14%) off it’s 52 week / 3 yr. low at $7.56. and the overhead supply of money losers is staggering. On the flip side, 18% of the float is short so if BB10 actually is something I could see a nice squeeze developing quickly.
First things first it would have to bust through that 17 week EMA and it’s acted as a ceiling throughout the entire 15 month avalanche that saw it shed 90% of it’s value
Well those crazy kids have really done it now. They’ve finally found something to make me to use the term “those crazy kids”.
I’m officially an old geezer now for using that term and they’re a bunch of Assholes.
It’s just beyond belief as you’ll see in this video:
My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court
I’ve been sending out some impertinent tweets about Progressive Insurance lately, but I haven’t explained how they pissed me off. So I will do that here as succinctly as possible. There’s a general understanding that says, “insurance companies— oh they’re awful,” but since Progressive turned their shit hose on my late sister and my parents, I’ve learned some things that really surprised me.
I’ll try to cleave to the facts. On June 19, 2010, my sister was driving in Baltimore when her car was struck by another car and she was killed. The other driver had run a red light and hit my sister as she crossed the intersection on the green light.
Now, I don’t discount the possibility that Katie was at fault in the accident, but it never really looked that way. The only witness who gave a statement on the day said that Katie had the light, etc. The totality of the evidence left some room for argument, but that will be the case any time there’s a catastrophic car accident that doesn’t happen underneath an array of video cameras.
One indication that the case was pretty open-and-shut was that the other guy’s insurance company looked at the situation and settled with my sister’s estate basically immediately. Now, because the other driver was underinsured, that payment didn’t amount to much, but my sister carried a policy with Progressive against the possibility of an accident with an underinsured driver. So Progressive was now on the hook for the difference between the other guy’s insurance and the value of Katie’s policy.
At which point we learned the first surprising thing about Progressive: Carrying Progressive insurance and getting into an accident does not entitle you to the value of your insurance policy. It just pisses off Progressive’s lawyers. Here I address you, Prospective Progressive Insurance Customer: someday when you have your accident, I promise that there will be enough wiggle room for Progressive’s bottomless stack of in-house attorneys to make a court case out of it and to hammer at that court case until you or your surviving loved ones run out of money.
Which is what Progressive decided to do to my family. In hopes that a jury would hang or decide that the accident was her fault, they refused to pay the policy to my sister’s estate.
Out of a sense of honor, and out of a sense of the cost of my sister’s outstanding student loans, my folks opted to try to go after the money through legal channels. At which point they learned another delightful thing. In Maryland, you may not sue an insurance company when they refuse to fork over your money. Instead, what they had to do was sue the guy who killed my sister, establish his negligence in court, and then leverage that decision to force Progressive to pay the policy.
Now my parents don’t harbor much venom for the guy who killed my sister. It was an accident, and kicking that guy around won’t bring Katie back. But kicking that guy around was the only way to get Progressive to pay. So they filed a civil suit against the other driver in hopes that, rather than going to court, Progressive would settle. Progressive did not. Progressive made a series of offers (never higher than 1/3 the amount they owe) and then let it go to a trial.
At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive’s legal team.
If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.
The trial was a real shitshow for my parents, and I did not love it either. As it happens, the jury did find that the other driver was negligent, which, if justice or decency were priorities for Progressive, will result in them finally honoring Katie’s policy. At this point, I hope you’ll forgive me if I wait for it to actually happen.
Don’t buy insurance from Progressive. Not only will you be paying the salaries of people who put my family through the wringer (really a smaller wringer that Progressive attached to the main wringer of my sister’s death), but also when the chips are down, your money will have bought you nothing but a kick in the face.
How do you beat a $100 million dollar airport security system? Jet Ski and Swim
This sounds like an episode of Eastbound and Down
A man whose jet ski failed him in New York’s Jamaica Bay swam to John F. Kennedy airport, where he was easily able to penetrate the airport $100 million, state-of-the art security system.
Daniel Casillo, 31, was able to swim up to and enter the airport grounds on Friday night, past an intricate system of motion sensors and closed-circuit cameras designed to to safeguard against terrorists, authorities said.
“I think he should be given dinner and a bottle of champagne for showing us our faults,” said Nicholas Casale, an NYPD veteran and former MTA deputy security director for counterterrorism.
Instead, Casillo was arrested after the incredible adventure that has stunned security officials.
Casillo’s night began innocently enough, as he and some friends were racing on jet skis in Jamaica Bay near JFK airport when his watercraft stalled. After calling for and receiving no help, he managed to swim towards the only thing he could see, the runway lights at JFK.
Once he made it to land, Casillo climbed an eight-foot barbed-wire perimeter fence and walked undetected through the airport’s Perimeter Intrusion Detection System and across two runways into Delta’s terminal 3.
Unnoticed until then, Casillo walked into the airport dripping wet and wearing his bright yellow life jacket.
When he was eventually spotted by a Delta employee, police charged Casillo with criminal trespassing.
“It’s outrageous,” Casale said. “Why in 2012 do we not have a security system throughout our airports?”
This is not the first time an airport’s security systems failed.
In March, a black jeep sped down a runway at Philadelphia’s international airport. That incident came on the heels of another in California, when a BMW slammed through the airport fence when the driver reportedly lost control.
Last year at JFK there was a huge uproar over that same perimeter fence, when it was knocked out by weather and remained down for days.
New York Port Authority officials tell ABC News this time around they “took immediate action to increase its police presence with round the clock patrols of the facility’s perimeter and increased patrols by boat of the surrounding waterway.”
“We have called for an expedited review of the incident and a complete investigation to determine how Raytheon’s perimeter intrusion detection system-which exceeds federal requirements-could be improved. Our goal is to keep the region’s airports safe and secure at all times,” the Port Authority said in a statement.
According to a report from barracuda labs, there is an exploding underground economy for twitter users going on right now
The Market place is ebay and other websites. Right now there are 196 listing to buy twitter followers with prices starting at $15 per 20,000
So who buys twitter followers? Commercial products, political campaigns or anyone wanting to look more popular
The irony, according to barracuda labs, is a large number of these “followers” are actually fake accounts:
For the past 75 days, we have been investigating the business of trading Twitter followers on eBay and other websites searched from Google. As it turns out, this underground economy on Twitter is blooming! The results show that this Twitter business is growing very fast to form a series of underground markets.
As part of this study, beginning in May 2012, our team set up three Twitter accounts and purchased between 20,000 and 70,000 Twitter followers for each of them from eBay and another website searched from Google. After collecting these followers’ profiles via Twitter API, as well as additional information from eBay sellers and Google search results, we found many interesting highlights of this business, summarized as follows into 3 categories
Dealers (those users who create fake accounts and sell followings):
- There are 20 eBay sellers and 58 websites (within top 100 returns of searching “buy twitter followers” in Google) where people can buy (fake) followers
- Twitter username is used to purchase, no authentication is required
- The average price of buying 1000 followers is $18
- A Dealer can control as many as ~150,000 or more Twitter followers (contact @kashifrox)
- A Dealer can earn as much as $800/day for 7 weeks of selling followings if they can control 20,000 fake accounts (estimated on several random fake accounts reaching 2000 followings in 7 weeks and assume each following involved a minimum $20 purchase)
- In addition to selling followings from these fake accounts, there are numerous opportunities for expansion into other services: selling tweets/re-tweets to earn additional profits
Abusers (those users who bought followers (most of which are fake) in order to look more popular or to use the accounts for selling ads):
- There were 11,283 Abusers identified (each has at least 470 fake followers; magic number 470 is explained later, hint: it is related to @GregoryDEvans)
- The average Abuser has 48,885 followers
- 53% of Abusers have 4,000-26,000 followers
- 75% of abusers have set a URL in their profiles (compared to 31% for random Twitter users)
Fake Accounts (created by dealers for selling followings or tweets business):
- There were 72,212 unique fake accounts identified
- 61% of these fake accounts are less than 3 months old (since April 16th, 2012)
- Average age of these fake accounts is 19 weeks or about 5 months
- 55% of fake accounts have ~2000 followings
- The average number of following for a fake account is 1,799
- The oldest fake account @krails is created on Jan 15th, 2007
Considering there were more than 11,000 Abusers identified from only 3 purchases we made, we are amazed by the size of market for selling and buying Twitter followers.
Several quick conclusions about these statistics:
- Dealers are controlling the following speed and total following number of these fake accounts to avoid being suspended by Twitter. Dealers built various business services from the controlled accounts, as every cent is still money, e.g., selling 2000 re-tweets for $5 at here.
- Half of the abusers have 4,000-26,000 followers, which makes them the most likely to be “cheating” group; and 3/4 of Abusers have set a URL in their profiles, meaning they might buy followers for website promotional purposes.
- Fake accounts normally follow a lot of people, but normally no bigger than 2001 followings, indicating Twitter may internally uses this number as a cutoff for abused account detection.
- Still, these statistics of fake followers can be easily used for detection purposes. However, Dealers can apply obscure techniques to make them hard to detect, e.g., randomly following some famous and some average people, or posting tweets grabbed from the Twitter stream, etc. This is one reason that the prices of followers vary dramatically on eBay and other online websites, ranging from $2 to $55 per 1,000 followers. The higher the price is, the more real these followers look.
- On the other side, Abusers can try to avoid being caught as well, by buying followers multiple times from different services. For example, since March 2nd 2012, the world’s “Top One” security expert Gregory D. Evans (@GregoryDEvans) seemed to be purchasing 4 times to gain at least 50,000 new followers from several resources, which we do not know. But, by running an overlapping check between his followers and our purchased followers, we found 470 fake accounts shown in both list. Bingo! That is also the **magic** number used in our study to detect all other Abusers.
It looks like even Mitt Romney’s Campaign gas fallen victim to the ruse
Most interestingly, during our investigation, Republican nominee for US President Mitt Romney has been scrutinized recently for his abnormal increase in new followers (@mittromney), indicating that these followers had been purchased in the same way as the Dealers/Abuser scenario from our study. We do note that these followers could have been purchased by either himself, his associates or by his opponents. Particularly, on July 21st, 2012, his follower number went from 673,002 to 789,924, representing a gain of 116,922 or 17%. As this story picked up momentum, we quickly pulled his newest followers since the big breakout, (resulting in 152,966 new Twitter accounts), and can disclose several interesting statistics of these followers.
Statistics of Romney’s newest 152,966 Twitter followers(between Jul 21st and Jul 26th 2012):
- The number of Romney’s followers increased 17% (or 116,922) on a single day Jul 21, 2012, going from 673,002 to 789,924
- 25% of these followers are less than 3 weeks old (created after July 17th 2012), 80% of them are less than 3 months old
- 23% or about 1/4 of these followers have no tweet
- 10% of these account has already been suspended by Twitter
Based on the above distinguishable features, we believe most of these recent followers of Romney are not from a general Twitter population but most likely from a paid Twitter follower service. Also notice that Romney’s newest followers did have few different statistical features than our purchased followers (e.g. much newer than ours), indicating his followers were purchased from a different data resource than ours.
It is important to note that authentication is not required when buying Twitter followers from eBay or other websites. It is possible for anyone to buy followers for other Twitter users. That being said, Romney’s newest followers could have been paid for by himself, his associates or by his opponents. So far, there is not a feasible way to confirm who is responsible.
Finally, creating fake Twitter accounts and buying/selling followers is against Twitter’s ToS, and gradually erodes the overall value of the social network. Twitter keeps on detecting fake accounts and followings, and suspending them in last few years. However, if they do not move faster and smarter, these fake accounts will continue to be created, blended into the massive Twitter population, bringing bigger and bigger impact.
This underground Twitter business is just blooming.
Obviously Mitt made this choice to energize a rather lackluster GOP constituency who seem to have “settled” on his candidacy as “Not Obama”
Ryan, known for slashing budgets, could be just the thing to ignite a rally Monday – if the markets think he can help push the GOP over the top in November.
According to Brandindex – since mid-July 2011, Apple’s biggest supporters are consumers 35 years and older. Meanwhile, the younger age group of 18 to 34 — once the demographic most smitten with Apple — has trended downward. This reverses the positions of the two age groups before last July.
From early 2008 through mid-July 2011, Apple scored higher with the 18- 34 demographic but this group no longer constitutes Apple’s biggest banner wavers. There is another group, which may just need a “Genius” to help with their Apple products, as the new commercials imply.
Apple ran the ads, which featured a “Genius” helping customers in high-pressure situations. The spots touted the Mac and appeared during the early days of NBC’s broadcast of the 2012 Olympics. They were discontinued within several days. The reaction among the Apple faithful was devastating:
“I honestly can’t remember a single Apple campaign that’s been received so poorly,” said Ken Segall, whose LinkedIn profile says he worked as the creative director for ad firm Chiat/Day and on that firm’s 1997-2002 “Think Different” campaign for Apple.
“These ads are causing a widespread gagging response, and deservedly so. This thing is so upsetting, it has me talking to myself,” said Segall in a post to his personal blog last week.
Judge for yourself – Here’s the Apple spots featuring 24-year-old comedian Josh Rabinowitz:
Taylor Grey Meyer, a 31-year-old resident of Coronado, Calif., who is a published writer, a licensed pilot, and has completed a master’s degree in sports commerce wanted to work for the San Diego Padres. So much in fact that she applied over 30 times by her own estimates.
In March she even tried for entry level into the organization – a minimum-wage job selling tickets at Petco Park. This was the response she got back the team:
We want to thank you for your interest in the above mentioned position. We had many fine applicants for the position, including you. However, we have filled the position with someone whose background and credentials we feel best meet our needs at this time. We welcome you to apply for any future positions we have available that match your skills and experience.
The Hiring Manager for the “Ticket Seller – San Diego Padres (San Diego, CA)” MLB Baseball Jobs
By that point she had given up on the dream and never expected to hear from them again. But last week an e-mail from team arrived:
On Sun, Aug 5, 2012 at 10:09 AM, <[Redacted]@padres.com> wrote
I wanted to reach out to you as you had previously applied for a position here with the Padres to join our Inside Sales Program. While it may not have been a fit at the time, we appreciate your interest in the position and encourage you to pursue your dream of working in professional sports.
With that being said, I wanted to make sure you are aware of an opportunity to get your start and to pursue a career in sports. Dr. Bill Sutton, author of Sports Marketing, has asked our organization to host the Sports Sales Combine here at Petco Park on September 14-15. It will be the first ever West Coast Combine! As a Combine attendee you would have the opportunity to spend quality time with the hiring managers for multiple teams from different leagues across the country.
Job seekers like you have found this to be the most authentic training and networking experience available. The sales managers who join us claim the Combine is the best recruiting tool for them. Having been to multiple combines myself, and hired numerous people from the events, I could think of NO better way to get a start in the sport industry. This event could change your whole career. I know it changed the lives of some of my staff.
Please note that this is NOT a job fair where participants spend a few minutes speaking with prospective employers. Over the two-day event, participants receive high-quality, one-on-one training from attending sales coaches and several unique opportunities to demonstrate their skills in addition to the hours spent with attending managers. You will have a chance to showcase your sales leadership skills as well.
We anticipate attending sales managers will be looking to fill 50+ jobs at the Combine. Teams from the MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, MLS and college athletics all use the combine as a key source to find talent for their organizations. This is your chance to make an impression on ALL of them in one weekend. Also, what better place to network and learn for a weekend than San Diego, CA?
Taylor, as we look for the best young talent from across the country we wanted to make sure you were aware of the opportunity. You can find the combine application at Teamwork Online through the link below. I’ve also included a link to the Sports Sales Combine website.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have any questions about this special event.
All the Best, [Redacted]
The offer is exactly what it sounds like – a $495 admission to a job fair where she would get a few miuntes in front of a low level HR person affiliated a major league team. The same exact opportunity as several hundred (thousand?) other starving applicants willing to shell out the cash.
Sometimes, things just push you over the edge. Here’s what Meyer wrote back:
On Sun, Aug 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM, Taylor Grey Meyer <[Redacted]@gmail.com> wrote
I wanted to thank you for reaching out to me when thinking of ways to meet your quota for the Sports Sales Combine.
After careful review I must decline. I realize I may be burning a bridge here, but in the spirit of reciprocity, I would like to extend you a counter-offer to suck my dick. Clearly, I don’t have one of these, so my offer makes about as much sense as yours. But for the price you’re charging to attend the event, I’m sure I would have no problem borrowing one.
Managers like you have found this to be the most authentic training available. Real, hands-on experience getting you on your way to perfecting the techniques you will need to climb the corporate ladder. In these tough economic times, it’s always good to widen your skill set.
Let’s talk about why I wasn’t a good fit with your organization. Was it my extensive education that made me less of a fit, that now paying $500 will allow me to overcome? My graduate work in sports commerce? Being a law student, working toward becoming an agent? Was it my past experience overseeing the execution of national and international events? Wait, I know, maybe it was my previous internship with Major League Soccer, and that I actually got my “start” in professional sports at the age of 15 when I volunteered at a minor league ballpark in my hometown. And given all that, I chose to apply with the Padres, at least 30 times since moving to San Diego. Persevering through countless anonymous email rejections, I continued to submit my resume despite never even being granted the courtesy of a face-to-face interview. All for the joy of making $30K a year. Maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m not the best fit for your company. But here’s a nice fit, my foot in your ass.
All the best,
Someone in the Padres office forwarded her response and four days later, Meyer’s letter has been shared in sales offices across pro sports. Her letter to the Padres has already gone viral (though she says she hasn’t gotten any job offers as a result). According to Deadspin, her letter has been forwarded to the sales divisions at the following professional sports teams: the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lake Erie Monsters, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros, the Houston Dynamo, the Miami Marlins, the Miami Dolphins, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets, FC Dallas, the Washington Nationals, the Baltimore Orioles, the Minnesota Vikings, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Gladiators, the Dayton Dragons and the Kansas City Chiefs .
Meyer says she has been out of work for 10 months, and dropped out of law school in July because the loans simply weren’t enough to live on. She’s been sleeping on a friend’s couch since then, and applied to fast food restaurants and chain stores, only to be told she’s overqualified.
Meyer’s rejection is being appreciated by some members of the Padres organization. One employee found Meyer’s response downright amusing.
“Taylor’s letter was too incredible for anyone to get offended,” said the Padres worker, who didn’t want to be named. “I’m more impressed than angry.”
This Gravity-defying swimming pool hangs over 24-story ledge with a transparent glass floor is located in a Shanghai Holiday Inn.
It’s design is what’s known as a cantilever pool, in which part of the pool extends beyond the ledges of the building. The cantilever engineering allows the pool to extend over the edge of the hotel’s wall while being anchored only at one end. Here are a pictures from street level and from inside the hotel of the pool which measures 98 feet long, 20 feet wide and 5 feet deep
The extension gives swimmers the sense that they are traveling through the air, all while pedestrians can view them from below. If you happen to be in the area, rooms at the hotel start at $125 per night.