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Buisiness News

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 05 Jun 2014 03:37 am

From CJ Online:

The owner of a Kansas gun store and two employees of the Glock gun manufacturer have been charged with bribery and extortion for their gun deals and kickbacks.

A news release from U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom’s office said Wednesday that John Sullivan Ralph III, 40, of Olathe, owner of Global Guns and Hunting Inc., was indicted on federal charges of paying more than $1 million in bribes and kickbacks to executives of Glock as the result of an FBI investigation.

More at the link.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 08 Apr 2014 03:22 am

From ABC News:

Attorneys for a church in Manhattan are asking a federal judge in Delaware to prohibit Wal-Mart from sending its annual proxy statement to shareholders because it doesn’t include its proposal for a shareholder vote involving gun sales.

[ . . . ]

Wal-Mart says it is not required to include the proposal in its proxy statement because it deals with ordinary business operations, an argument accepted by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Needless to say, the church in question doesn’t want Wal-Mart to sell firearms and ammunition. I think that if it really came to a vote, most investors would no-more want the giant retailer to stop selling guns than they would want Exxon-Mobile to stop selling gasoline.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 04 Apr 2014 03:30 am

From the Wall Street Journal:

Google, which has successfully trademarked the term “Google Glass,” submitted an application last year for a trademark on just the single word “Glass,” displayed with the same futuristic font used in its marketing campaign. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is holding up the company’s bid.

In a letter to the company last fall, a trademark examiner raised two main objections. One concern was that the trademark was too similar to other existing or pending computer software trademarks that contain the word “glass,” creating a risk of consumer confusion.

The examiner also suggested that “Glass” — even with its distinctive formatting — is “merely descriptive.” That’s an issue because generic terms don’t have trademark protection under federal law. You couldn’t trademark the word “shoe” for a shoe you’re selling, for instance.

More at the link. I hope the application is rejected. Otherwise, you couldn’t order a glass of milk, go to the eye doctor for glasses, etc. Common words (by themselves, not in combination with other words or phrases) should not be trademark-able.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 04 Mar 2014 03:37 am

Greed is a wonderful thing, I guess, for the Vermont liberals running Green Mountain Coffee. How else to explain that their new machines will incorporate digital rights management?

“Green Mountain has announced a new anticompetitive plan to maintain its monopoly by redesigning its brewers to lock out competitors’ products. Such lock-out technology cannot be justified based on any purported consumer benefit, and Green Mountain itself has admitted that the lock-out technology is not essential for the new brewers’ function. Like its exclusionary agreements, this lock-out technology is intended to serve anticompetitive and unlawful ends.”

Personally, I think I consume about one cup of coffee every two years or so. It’s just not my thing. I’m a hot cocoa kind of guy. Swiss Miss forever!

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 03 Sep 2013 06:15 am

I’m glad I bought a Lenovo T430 a couple months ago. Besides being a great computer, apparently the company has a great boss, too:

Angela Lee, a spokeswoman in Hong Kong for Lenovo, best known in the U.S. for acquiring IBM Corp.’s ThinkPad laptop brand and the rest of its PC business in 2005, confirmed that Yang Yuanqing, who is also Lenovo’s chairman, will share $3.25 million from his bonus with some 10,000 staff in China and 19 other countries.

His total bonus was $4.2 million. All employees are receiving the same amount. For the factory workers in China, $300 dollars is a lot of money.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 20 Oct 2012 04:54 am

It wasn’t the government; it was entrepreneurs. A brief history of the electric guitar.

Big Government and Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 08 Oct 2012 12:08 pm

When it comes to space travel, exploration, even just bringing supplies to the International Space Station, Robert A. Heinlein was right. Correct thinking futurists (even Robert Zubrin is coming around) are right. Romney (in an oblique way) is right. Let private enterprise fund and push the envelopes of and (*gasp* - yes) profit from leading the way into moving mankind beyond the cushy confines of Earth.

Sadly, the United States can no longer duplicate its amazing manned missions to the moon, 43-years-after it could. And now, it can’t even bring a pint of ice cream to the I.S.S. But, private entrepreneurs can:

It was the second launch of a Dragon capsule to the orbiting lab by the California-based SpaceX company. The first was last spring.

This time was no test flight, however, and the spacecraft carried 1,000 pounds of key science experiments and other precious gear on this truly operational mission. There was also a personal touch: chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream tucked in a freezer for the three station residents.

Granted, SpaceX gets some money from the government but it is because — using private funds - the company “launched itself” if you’ll pardon the pun. Government didn’t build it. Entrepreneurs did, and they sold their services to NASA as a cheaper (and available) alternative to government spacecraft.

Many think that taxpayer dollars should not be spent on space exploration, or even maintaining the low-level of research that NASA is currently able to be involved in. They think that trying to push the limits of knowledge of our universe, and the benefits of the technology that tags-along with that and makes their Obama Cellphones possible, isn’t worth it.

Sure, our great country (which they despise) was founded by folks ‘taking a chance’ that the world was round and needed to be explored (yeah, to find a new source for spices and tea) but . . . Really, shouldn’t we just spend every dime of your tax money supporting do-nothing, non-working deadbeats who need your EBT money, food stamps, and subsidized housing support to support their lifestyle of smoking cigarettes, drinking booze, popping-out babies, and watching cable TV?

I have no problem at all with retired folks getting back the money they paid into Social Security and Medicare. They had their earnings confiscated from their paychecks and they deserve the promise (with interest) of some support back in their Golden Years. But what about the 20-year-olds to 50-year-olds who just refuse to take responsibility for their own lives and existence?

If some speculative advanced race of beings stopped by our humble planet to examine us, I would not blame them at all for rushing away without trying to meet us. Who would want to?

The leftist, liberal folks that now dominate in our populace and media think thus:

How could evolving into a space-faring race pursuing its curiosity for knowledge and expanded horizons possibly be more important than having tax-payer dollars pay for condoms or other birth control measures for some horny bitch who thinks that hard working Americans should be paying for her ‘good times’ every night or give her a cellphone?

Scotty, beam me up!

The Courts and Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 07 Oct 2012 03:09 am

The SCOTUS will be deciding an appeal of a lower court ruling that could impact your ability to resell anything containing intellectual property created or manufactured outside of the United States. This could be anything from a book printed in China, to your Toyota Hybrid made in Japan, to your antique furniture or paintings made in Italy. It involves the “First Sale” doctrine. From MarketWatch:

Put simply, though Apple has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen does on the book “No Easy Day,” you can still sell your copies to whomever you please whenever you want without retribution.

That’s being challenged now for products that are made abroad and if the Supreme Court upholds an appellate court ruling it would mean that the copyright holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it.

I suggest reading the entire article at the link to realize how important (and unnoticed) this case is.

One more point from the story:

In its friend-of-the-court brief, eBay noted that the Second Circuit’s rule “affords copyright owners the ability to control the downstream sales of goods for which they have already been paid.” What’s more, it “allows for significant adverse consequences for trade, e-commerce, secondary markets, small businesses, consumers and jobs in the United States.”

For example, that Honda Civic of yours contains computer software written and (the chips) manufactured in Japan. Although unlikely to happen, Honda could - theoretically - demand a cut of any resale of a used Civic here in the U.S.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 02 Aug 2012 03:38 am

You might be surprised to read this but I was outraged by the attempts of some fascist city mayors to ban Chick-fil-A restaurants from opening up simply because of the personal views of the company’s CEO. You see, I reject intolerance on all sides and I support free speech completely. Call me a libertarian, that’s just the way I am and frankly, I see way more intolerance from the left/liberal sphere than I do from the right.

I won’t bother with links to photos of crowds at the chain’s stores yesterday — you’ve already seen them elsewhere. I just wish there was a Chick-fil-A near me that I could have gone to. Alas, the nearest is two hours away. I understand they set a record for sales yesterday. Good for them. Good for liberty and the First Amendment.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 06 Mar 2012 08:14 am

Over at Forbes, a humorous but serious article concerning strategies that business leaders could learn from Star Trek’s Captain Kirk:

In his many years of service to the Federation, James Kirk embodied several leadership lessons that we can use in our own lives. We need to keep exploring and learning. We need to ensure that we encourage creativity and innovation by listening to the advice of people with vastly different opinions. We need to occasionally get down in the trenches with the members of our teams so we understand their needs and earn their trust and loyalty. We need to understand the psychology of our competitors and also learn to radically change course when circumstances dictate. By following these lessons, we can lead our organizations into places where none have gone before.

That’s the synopsis. Read the whole thing.

Gun Stuff and Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 06 Mar 2012 06:20 am

They’re signing a lease on a 206,000 square foot building in Portsmouth, N.H. From Seacoast Online:

The company’s current operation in Exeter will remain, but the majority of the company’s 572 employees would eventually be relocated to Pease.

Shawver said the expansion to Pease has become necessary due to rapid growth within the last several years.

“We’ve tripled in size over the last five years, which is what has been driving our need for additional space,” he said. “Our (Exeter) facility is very crowded. We need additional manufacturing space to produce more products.”

A spokesperson said that the new facility could manufacture up to 2,000 guns a day. SIG Sauer was named N.H. Business of the Year in 2009.

The SIG Sauer training academy in Epping, N.H. will not be affected.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 04 Feb 2012 03:36 am

You know those frequent flier miles they offered you if you moved your account to their bank? They’re sending out 1099’s for them and over-valuing those miles at 2.5 cents each. From Forbes:

Someone who gets 50,000 miles for opening an account and then gets a 1099 for $1,250 is likely to be displeased. The tax (state and federal) on that interest could easily be $500, more than the miles are worth if they are hemmed in by blackout dates and other restrictions.

So far, other banks and financial institutions offering similar incentives are not following suit.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 11 Dec 2011 07:10 am

The liberal enclave of Provincetown, MA, may not be wild about guns but most of them are showing support for a local garage that wants to expand its business to include firearms repair. Story Here.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 01 Dec 2011 07:46 pm

Yelp and Buy With Me are ‘coupon companies’ (as it were) willing to offer deals from firearms instruction companies. And, they’ve been successful — as in they made money — with it. Groupon declines to do so:

Despite the evident demand, Groupon refuses to promote guns or ally with an NRA-endorsed company. 

Earlier this year, 

Groupon stated on their blog, “We don’t run deals on guns or abortion…this isn’t a political statement, it’s avoiding intentionally upsetting a segment of our customers.” Or, as company spokesperson Julie Mossler explained, “It’s not our business if you’re for or against gun control and choosing to run gun deals immediately means we’ve chosen a side.” 

Look, when a brick-based store decides to sell condoms, they’re not taking a position on or the merits of contraceptives (call it an allusion to the above spokesperson’s statement about not offering deals on abortion) but rather offering a product that SOME customers might want. I don’t buy every single product offered at the local grocery. Call me “fussy” but I like to make my own decisions about which vegetables and TV dinners I buy. The local grocery didn’t choose a side or make a statement in offering a variety, I DID, with my purchases.

When I go to Walmart, I’m not a hunter. So, should I be angry that they offer hunting gear and clothing in the sporting goods department? Maybe some liberal a-hole would think so but I am not.

I don’t consider the coupons as a statement that the coupon distributor has “chosen sides” about anything including their opinion about the product or service or the company offering it because they accepted the contract to distribute a coupon offering that product or service at a discount. No rational person would. No rational liberal or leftist would — with the key word being rational.

I think Groupon is wrong about this issue. A big box-store offers lots of products, whether you need them — or WANT THEM — or not. Their offerings are based upon demand. That’s the successful business model.

Some will welcome the discounted firearms instruction class coupons (as evidenced by Yelp and Buy With Me) and some other customer will not. By not offering them at all, Groupon actually HAS taken a side — against gun rights and their potential customers who support those rights. Have I flogged this dead horse enough?

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 27 Nov 2011 07:46 am

Over at the Herald Tribune, an in-depth article about the Freedom Group which, many of you are aware, has purchased such rifle makers as Bushmaster, Remington, DPMS, Marlin, and Dakota Arms in recent years.

Despite good sales last year, Freedom Group posted a loss. And, who is behind Freedom Group? Why, Cerberus Capital Management — who did so well with Chrysler Corp.

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 28 Oct 2011 04:44 am

It will be business and industry that “settles” the Moon. From Fox News:

“We are in the first three months of a two-year contract,” David Gump, president of Astrobotic, told FoxNews.com. “We’ll have a field-tested robot that will be able to go to the poles” on the moon to extract water, methane and more, he said.

Astrobotic isn’t the only company that hopes to dig up the moon. Last week, FoxNews.com revealed the story of Moon Express, which sees greenbacks in all that lunar “green cheese.” In all, 26 companies are in the race, many fueled by the Google Lunar X Prize, a $20 million contract to put men back on the moon.

Will we see an Occupy Moon? Brother, can you spare a cup of air?

Buisiness NewsJeff Soyer on 29 Sep 2011 06:42 pm

Gosh Darn, No! Don’t you dare use that Mastercard Debit Card from your bank (if it’s Bank of America) to actually buy something with your own money since besides making a percentage of the sale of it from the merchant — which is proper — BofA will now charge you for it as well. From Fox News:

Bank of America Corp plans to charge customers who use their debit cards to make purchases a $5 monthly fee beginning early next year, joining other banks scrambling for new sources of revenue.

Read the whole thing and you’ll discover that, yes, the cause of it all is caused by — who else? — the Democrats.


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