Sunday, February 22, 2004
Re: Radio Shack
4.577 billion (Net sales)
-2.33890 billion (Cost of goods sold)
-1.82330 billion (Sell, gen & adm exp)
= 415 million (Operating income)
415 million (Operating income)
- 43.40 million (Interest expense)
+ 53.30 million (Net non-op gain)
- 161.5 million (Income tax expense)
= 263.40 million (Net Income)
(2002 figures used)
Calling a company "a profitable Goliath" based on sales figures is misleading. In 2002, Amazon.com had sales of 3.9 billion but an annual loss of 149.13 million.
But I always think to myself, what if, what if, the pilgrims and their predecessors had not chosen to commit the drawn out process of genocide against Natives Americans? What if they had chosen, instead, to find a common ground?
That's an interesting "what if".. And it wouldn't be so good.
Let's assume that not only did the colonists in America but everyone else in the world adopted the native american ideas of living. This is necessary to assume because otherwise the colonists and the indians would have been whiped out by the next wave of high-tech colonists.
How well would that work? The natives in East North America had no animal domestication (or minimal) and farming techniques were slowly making their way up from Central and South Americas.
The plains indians further west did not farm at all. They sustained themselves by driving buffalo off of cliffs, which turns out not to have been a very conservative way of hunting (many of the buffalo on the bottom of the pile were never processed).
How long would it take before the growing Native+Immigrant population was unable to feed itself with hunting and gathering (including fishing and shellfishing) and simple farming?
There's nothing to indicate that the Indians would not go for progress for the sake of sustainability. As the continent got more and more populated over the last 10k years before the European contact, their lives had changed. Weapons, chielfly projectile weapons, and improved hunting techniques allowed them to take more animals (and more enemies as well) than previously. Some large mammals may have gone extinct because the Indians hunted them out at the same time as the environment turned against those animals as the continent emerged from the ice age. They certainly did not have an endagered species list.
While the Incas have sucessfully learned to use soil productively, many other areas were farmed to death and became infertile elsewhere in America. If available, who's to say that the natives would not accept artificial fertilizer and pesticide?
Even tradition as it stands is not really conservationist in nature...
You may also have heard of a controversy (it may have even been a Plastic story) about a Western tribe that was denied the right to hunt rare whales by the federal government. There's nothing in that tribe's tradition that says "do not engage in the sacred whale hunt if the whales are dying out"
What you seem to be dreaming about is a world that rejected technology for the sake of preserving the environment.
I am not sure how reasonable that expectation is
The problem with google, as you perceive it, is that it ranks pages on relevance. If you're googling "john kerry" you're probably more interested in the results that google serves up, not in what the veterans and arabs think about him.
I am not a google programmer, but I have spent time optimizing web sites for google domination and I can tell you what makes a website rank highly for a particular term. This is not an exact science since google does not publicize their algorithms, but it's an approximation that works.
1. A domain overall is deemed worthy when it has a lot of incoming links. This search shows that there are about 45 thousand websites out there that link to johnkerry.com. This signifies to google that this site must be relevant and of quality. Similarly, there are about 10 thousand links to kerry.senate.gov, the second highest result. www.usvetdsp.com has about 6 thousand links to it, so it is considered to be of lesser relevance than the other two.
2. A site is deemed relevant to a search term when links to it have the search term. I would bet that most of the links to JohnKerry.com have text that says John Kerry. I would also guess that most links that link to the U.S. Veteran Dispatch do not have "John Kerry" as the title. By the way, this principle of linking to a page with particular search term was used to make this miserable failure trick (lol! a few weeks ago this brought up the whitehouse's Bush bio as the first hit, now it's Michael Moore's page!)
3. Having the search term as part of the URL, preferably of the domain name, helps a lot. If you look at google's top results, they all have Kerry or John Kerry as part of the URL. This makes google think that a site is relevant to the search. This seems to have gone down in relevance as far as google cares because my friend's band HQ'd at highspeedchase.net was google's top hit for "high speed chase", but not anymore.
4. Miscellaneous contents related things, such as keyword frequency, page title, the number of times the keyword occurs in header tags, in image alt. texts, etc.
The combination of the above 4 factors, (in that order, I believe) contribute to a site's relevancy for a keyword search on google. For engines like altavista, only elements from #4 are relevant. Sites that manage to hit some magic number for keyword frequency come up on top. Google's way finds things that are most relevant, most popular, and are more likely to be what one is looking for.
And yes, you're absolutely right in that people who are using google are most likely to all be looking at the same things. That would be true if they all were using altavista or anything else. In case of google, it's fortunate enough that the things they're reading are also things deemed most relevant in the democracy that is the internet. Since so many thousands of people and organizations chose to link to johnkerry.com and these other top sites, google can't help but think those are important.
Hope this explains things.
The point Bush was trying to make in his self-defence is a point that no one on Plastic will ever admit is valid. Here is it, summarized for you in non-political terms.
The idea that the outcome of an action defined the validity of the action is false. Bush is arguing that it's more important to make the right decision than to be proven right by time.
Imagine you are offered to pick a ball out of a bag. There are 1000 balls in the bag, 999 white, and 1 black. If you pick a white one, you win a thousand dollars. If you pick the black one, you lose a thousand dollars.
Should you try this? Of course, because odds are 999 to 1 that you will win a 1000 dollars. It is the righr decision to play this game.
Well, what if you're really unlucky and got the black ball. You lost a 1000 dollars. Does that mean that the original decision to play was wrong?
No. It does not. You made youe decision on the best available information. The fact that things worked out contrary to your intent does not mean the original thinking was flawed.
This is what Bush is trying to argue.
Findiesen's using the cockpit of a plane as a pulpit is definitely an issue.
The last pilots I heard express strong religious opinions voiced them by crashing into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. We could have added the White House to the list had it not been for the "unbelievers" who sacrificed their lives to stop them.
I am not sure if this needs to be stated. But just in case:
While I do not think it is very professional to talk about religion at work, given the choice, I'd rather my pilot expressed his beliefs verbally than by flying the airplane into a building.
Or, another way:
The guys from 9/11 aren't bad because they expressed their religion. They're bad because they killed 3000+ people.
How did Disney, America's most beloved media giant, get into such a weak position? Disney has seen stagnation in earnings and share price for the last five years under Michael Eisner, its long-time chairman and chief executive. Pixar just abruptly ended negotiations to extend its partnership with Disney, taking away an estimated 45% in operating revenue from Disney studios. Roy E. Disney quit the Disney board last November, harshly criticizing Eisner.
They had some decline in the parks and consumer product areas(about -4.50% avg 2 year growth in each area) but a good rise in Media Networks and Studio Entertainment divisions (7.06% and 9.82% avg 2-year growth, respectively)
Their stock price graph looks exactly like the SnP 500 graph — they rise and fall as the market does.
This is an unsolicited takeover attempt but analysts agree that Comcast is going to have to pay more than its current offer (I think 10% over stock value is their first bid, I don't remember exactly) if they're serious.
This is not a bad deal for Disney, anyway. Comcast is buying them because they need the content (synergy or whatever you want to call it) not because Disney is cheap and vulnerable at the moment.
Rosie Reid, an 18 year-old lesbian student at the UK's prestigious Bristol University, has just auctioned off her virginity for £8,400, thanks, according to her, to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Earlier this year, the Blair Administration successfully persuaded the UK Parliament to increase university fees, hence ballooning the crippling debt suffered by British university students. As Ms. Reid angrily points out,
1. Let's say her parents make £60k a year together, meaning each one of them makes approx £30k a year. She is complaining that she will graduate with £15k in debt. If she does at least as well as her parents do, her debt is about 1/2 of a year's pay. One's education is one's investment in one's self. If her education isn't worth 1/2 year of salary to her...
2. Her parents make £60k a year. That's $113k, which is not bad. The fact that she has to whore out for cash should be more of an embarasment to her dad than to Mr. Blair.
Having to work for your education makes you appreciate your education more. From 1. above, it doesn't seem as if her education is worth very much to her as she does not seem to believe that being £15k in debt is worth it and from 2. it does not appear that it's very important to her family either. Why should the government provide?
I realize that many people disagree. In my experience, working for my education was the best character building excercise there is.
Also, who the fuck would pay so much money to fuck a virgin. The whole point of going to a hooker is that she's a trained professional!
Time for the latest batch of ridiculous search terms that got people to my page:
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