April 2011 archive

Why Google’s +1 button and the narcissistic Internet is a bad idea

Recently, Google introduced a new feature called Google +1.  The announcement is clearly aimed at facebook’s ‘like’ button.  It will begin by adding a ‘+1’ button to each entry in a search result but soon it will be possible to have web sites add Google +1 buttons to go along with the facebook like buttons and …

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S&P says hot air not enough, Moody’s disagrees

Standard & Poor’s, a credit rating agency, has its doubts that all the budgetary hot air in Washington D.C. will lift Congress and the White House to common ground, sufficient to reduce ballooning deficits.  On Monday, S&P changed its outlook on U.S. debt to negative.  It also indicated a one in three chance that it …

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The hardest-fought license terms may be the least likely to be in compliance.

Licensors whose assets are in particularly high demand may be able to negotiate unusually favorable contract terms.  Hiring a skilled lawyer to negotiate the terms of your license agreement will help ensure you get the best deal possible.  But those efforts may be wasted if there is no one confirming that those terms are followed.  …

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President offers detailed tax increases, but few detailed spending cuts

On April 13, President Obama gave a speech that basically was in response to plans that the Republicans’ “path to prosperity” proposal that would cut $4.4 trillion from the deficit over the next ten years.  Obama’s speech indicated that he proposes a mix of $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases claims to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/04/president-offers-detailed-tax-increases-but-few-detailed-spending-cuts/

Get the benefit of the government’s experience when selecting vendors.

There are many often repeated tales of the federal government being taken advantage of by vendors, such as the Department of Defense’s $640 toilet seat and the National Park Service’s $797,400 outhouse.  Therefore, it’s a pretty good bet that if a vendor you are considering is on the federal government’s vendor blacklist, they might deserve …

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Taking Money Penalty Free from Your IRA?

One of the most common ways to save for retirement is through an Individual Retirement Account, commonly known as an IRA.  You must wait until age 59 ½  before you can withdraw money from your IRA.  But let’s say you have been saving diligently and you need money to cover immediate expenses.  Is there a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/04/taking-money-penalty-free-from-your-ira/

Huge Patent Damage Award Reversed

In an April 2011 ruling, a federal judge in Tyler, Texas, threw out a $625 million jury award against Apple.  In the October 2010 trial, a jury decided that Apple infringed three patents owned by Mirror Worlds.  The patents involve certain document display technologies used in Apple’s Time Machine, Spotlight and Cover Flow.  These features …

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How to Do a Neutral Google Search

What many people do not realize is that what they are seeing in Google search results may not be what others are seeing.  Some of that is self-evident.  Google results are different from one language to another and one country to another.  In searches for service and retail businesses they go further in geo-tagging your …

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A Ponzi scheme to make Bernie Madoff blush

Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme shocked the nation.  Initial estimates of missing client money were around $65 billion. A court later declared actual client losses of $18 billion. Many characterized the scandal as the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.  Of schemes that have already collapsed, the characterization might be true, but to call it the largest …

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Judging a Horse Race – Redux

In an earlier post I discussed a new metric that Gallup was using to judge the crowded field of Republican prospects for the 2012 campaign.  Since then a few of the names have announced exploratory committees but most are still playing it coy with their real intentions, appearing as often as possible to say that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/04/judging-a-horse-race-redux/