Monthly Archives: March 2011

Google a monopoly?

“Having prosecuted the Microsoft case, its seems to me that Google, as a monopoly, is engaging in the same tactics to keep its dominant position as Microsoft was engaging in,” Miller says. “Those are the same tactics that got Microsoft in trouble.”

via DOJs Microsoft prosecutor: Google is a monopoly – Mar. 31, 2011.

The thing is how would you brake Google up? Would Google Docs have to be its own company?

Republican Congressman Sean “174k a year” Duffy–High on the hog

This is the video the Polk County Republican Committee in Wisconsin doesn’t want you to see.

First the Republican Party in Polk County, Wisconsin, pulled the tape of Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) fretting about making ends meet on his $174,000 a year salary from its own website. Now they want it gone from the whole Internet.

Well guess what Wisconsin Republicans? You can’t take it down from everywhere! I hope someone will actually put the thing up as a torrent file and get it out to all the torrent sites. Maybe the Polk Repubs can get Scott Walker and the Fitzs to pass illegal legislation to help them.

Scott Walker the hypocrite wants federal money back!

What a joke. Seriously.

So, apparently Walker supports the concept of high-speed rail and doesn’t mind federal funds, as long as it doesn’t help get people—especially those pesky protesters—quicker to Madison.

This pathetic excuse for a governor told the federal government that he did not want their $810 million dollars in what was most likely stimulus money. So the government took it back and gave it to states who were going to use that money. Now he’s come back crying!

And you thought Four Loko was bad..

This is just terrible honestly. It’s like if Big Tobacco were to move into the liquor business.

The Metropoulous family, which owns Pabst, is placing young women of color in the center of their marketing bullseye hoping to get youth hooked on super fruity, high-potency, 12% alcoholic beverages in massive 23.5 oz. single serving cans.

Popular rap star Snoop Dogg is helping the company with their shameless exploitative marketing strategy. Snoop’s fans deserve better.

A business whose goal is to get young women hooked on its product is a business that deserves to fail. They call the concoction in question “Blast.” Indeed.

The fallacy of the Disney princess

Behold fairytales don’t really come true but nightmares oh, my child they are all too real. Your little girls are being exploited.

Disney princess narratives have long been a staple of modern girlhood. But Cinderella Ate My Daughter emphasizes that princess culture is a 21st-century phenomenon, the result of marketing executives seeking some consumer magic to boost the corporation’s limp product sales. In 2001, the revenue generated by such Disney-branded princess paraphernalia as dolls, costumes, and room decor was about $300 million. Eight years later, that number had risen to a whopping $4 billion. Little girls are no longer consumers of Disneyfied fairy tales; in the new millennium, they have become the consumed.

Did Cuomo do the right thing?

I just got an email from the Alliance for Quality Education of New York talking about the budget deal the Governor reached with legislators in Albany. In this budget there are cuts to education to the amount of 1.3 billion dollars. Now I know that Cuomo like other governors are saying that the state doesn’t have the money and etc. Yet, this sounds horrible when faced with the fact that the budget has tax cuts for millionaires.

This tentative budget agreement is disappointingly heartless in its treatment of our school children.  If this budget is enacted, the cuts will come directly out of our classrooms and students will be forced to sacrifice teachers, guidance counselors, art, small class sizes, music, sports and more. Governor Cuomo’s first budget would be a set back our students’ opportunities for college and careers.

There’s a site set up where you can email Governor Cuomo. I’m not in New York anymore as I am now a resident of Arlington, Virginia but when I see things like this happening you can’t help but say something.

Product Placement Beware

It is only going to get worse.

That situation has placed huge pressure on advertisers to get their products in front of viewers’ eyeballs in more subtle ways. American Idol judges now sit with Coke in front of them. Car chases have the hero driving certain makes of vehicle. Actors wear clothes from particular fashion labels. Key scenes take place in well-known coffee stores.

People aren’t watching television commercials so now marketers are aiming to get all of their products placed in front of you in other ways.


Woe is the Barnes Collection

A few months ago I happened to come across the documentary The Art of Steal. The film talks about the Barnes Collection and how later caretakers strayed terribly far from Barnes’ vision. There was always this pressure to turn the collection into a money generating cash cow when it was never meant to be.

The final travesty to occur was the moving of the entire collection to Philadelphia. Now come 2012 the Barnes collection will become the unwilling resident of the museum corporatized.

All three museums, each built by a wealthy eccentric, once represented intensely personal visions. All were conceived as alternatives to the offerings of the elite cultural establishment. And by the time the Barnes completes its move, all will have been remade into slick, corporate artistic institutions of a sort that their founders no doubt would have deplored.

When corporations attack each other

I must admit I do find this hilarious.

For example, if a manufacturer uses pirated software in the "manufacture, distribution, marketing, or sales" of products sold in Washington, Microsoft could sue the vendor of those products and get an injunction to stop the goods from being sold. So Washington widget retailers would be liable for the piracy of their foreign widget manufacturers, even if the illicit act was merely creating the sales invoice on a counterfeit copy of Word.

In a way if this ends up targeting corporations who source anything from overseas manufacturers which violate all sorts of international labor and environmental declarations it might be a good thing. It would force corporations to look at their supply chains more closely. If they are using pirated software chances are there is a lot that they might be doing wrong.