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    (Newswire.net via Emailwire.com -- February 15, 2013) The Dalles, OR -- The total number of websites in December 2012 was calculated at 633,000,000. Even with only ¾ or 186 million of those considered to be active and updated regularly, rural and small businesses have a difficult time competing in the search engines against giants like Amazon, Staples, Apple, Sears, Netflix, etc.


    “Too many small business owners have invested time and money in a website that nobody sees,” Harmon began. “Online marketing is quickly becoming more complicated faster than most entrepreneurs can keep up with. It is estimated that 86% of online searches could be satisfied by a local business if they can show up in search results.


    “Internet Marketing is so much more than search results. Your strategy must include Reputation, Reach, Relationship and Referral marketing if you want to succeed online.” Harmon continued referring to his book How To Create Protect and Promote Your 5 Star Reputation, “In my book I explain the need for a proactive approach to developing and protecting your online reputation.”


    When asked how DiscoverTheDalles.com will help local businesses Harmon stated, “I have 2 core philosophies. First, “You Be All You Are, Son”. That is what my father would say to me when he would drop me off at school, implying that I had more potential than I was using. It took me two decades to learn that the only way to reach my full potential was to help others reach theirs. The second is, All Boats Rise When the Tide Comes In.


    “Instead of trying to help 600+ businesses rank 600+ websites, we could work together and rank one website that promotes our community and the 600+ businesses in it. What if we shared resources and worked together to attract a “Tide” money into the area and “Raise” our businesses together? Hence the creation of DiscoverTheDalles.com.”


    Any business can claim a listing on the site at no cost, creating backlinks and citations that will help a business’s sight rank better in searches. For a nominal investment, members can participate in a co-operative email marketing program and have their online reputation monitored and be part of a private online review site.


    “Most business directory sites purpose is to create revenue for the site. My goal is to grow a community, strengthen the local economy, and bless the lives of the families that live in the Columbia River Gorge.”


    If you would like to claim a listing, go to http://DiscoverTheDalles.com or email Brad@InternetMarketingTheDalles.com


     


    Contact Info


    R Bradley Harmon


    U B All U R Business Solution  - Internet Marketing and So Much More!


    The Dalles, Oregon 97058


    541-980-0160


    Brad@InternetMarketingTheDalles.com 


    ###








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (Newswire.net –February 17, 2013) Montreal, QC, Canada – Cost to create an app for companies can often be massively marked up by developers, who can take advantage of clients in a burgeoning market of companies looking to get into the iTunes and Android App stores with first corporate app, states Dan Shannon, founder of Montreal based ID Digital Media, and independent app development firm based in Montreal.


     “As we are quite active in this space we closely monitor the cost to create an app for native apps destined for iPhone, iPad and Android devices in the current developer marketplace.  Our findings are that a lot of app developers can pretty much charge what they like, due to a brisk demand for corporate app developers. Our clients, regularly ask how come the other bids they received before choosing us are sometimes as much as 5 to 10 times more than ours for what appears to be a comparable product.” says Mr Shannon.


     Native apps which are destined for iTunes and Android App stores, (as distinct from mobile websites), can clearly bring value to corporate communications offering, but ROI can be difficult to measure, especially when the typical company app is free on the app stores.


     “The true cost of app development is really a question of what you are measuring it against.  Sometimes an app has a branding value, sometimes it improves a certain business process within a complex network betweens clients and corporate staff. Sometimes it is a question of leads and sales generation. The truth is to have a successful app, and to know what to measure, you need to ask the right questions before you start. We begin each new relationship with a questionnaire, then we approach each project from the perspective that we have been mandated to create the ‘swiss army knife’ for that particular industry. It must ‘do’ something unique, something the company website does not. Once we get this process going with our clients, they tend to get pretty excited and bring in a lot of creative ideas they might have not imagined. Then we work to define the right positioning for the app which key to setting the right expectations.  This is done partly with client input, but also with search data to help us find the sweet spot in a given market for the client’s new app.” Says Mr. Shannon.


     ID Digital Media has produced over a dozen apps in the last year, mostly for US-based customers ranging from publicly-traded companies to mom-and-pop outfits, in the fields of science and technology, manufacturing, education, real-estate and entertainment markets, creating apps for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.


     


     About ID Digital


    ID Digital Media is an independent App developer and digital marketing company based in Montreal Canada.


     About Dan Shannon


    Founder of ID Digital Media, Mr Shannon is an author, film producer and digital media evangelist, specialising in mobile app development and media production with strong interactive design and story-telling values and analytics-based media strategy.


     


    Organisation:ID Digital Media Inc.

    Address:
    2607 Fleury Street, Suite 204
    Montreal
    Quebec
    H2B 1L8
    Tel:+1-855-384-4061

    http://iddigital.org

    email: contact@iddigital.org

    ###









    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (Newswire.net—February 16, 2013) Sarasota, FL—Gigantic waste cleanups that occur throughout the world, remind us of the amount of time and effort that is required to handle catastrophes like the most recent Carnival Cruise disaster this past week.  Food spoilage and toilet overflow can provide the most daunting of tasks for a janitorial service handling the mess.


    Professional cleaning companies that can handle the volume and detail in order to return the situation to the norm are unique indeed.  The ability to handle the ugly and the odors requires a skill that only the strongest stomachs can endure.   


    With the West coast of Florida and the Tampa Bay region playing host to so many cruise ships, these cleaning companies  find themselves in a position where they are called upon to perform these cleaning operations rather frequently. 


    Excel Building Services has been in the area for quite awhile now and their specialty has been in handling and managing special situations like Carnival’s recent encounter.  With the emphasis being placed upon cleanliness and bacterial control, Excel has seen it’s lion share of requests to handle serious matters that can be pandemic and harmful to large masses. 


    Bacterial growth and mold can become quite problematic in populated areas where sanitary conditions are required.  Aerosol infestations can be equally harmful as a command of air, water, and land must be dealt with in different ways.  Knowledge of proper handling of such important items requires scientific and chemical proficiency.     


    Excel has mastered large cleanups in housing projects and buildings where these dangers persist and can pose to be even greater as they are not put to rest.  The key components of tackling such projects are multifaceted and difficult to describe.  Without the training that is involved and the personnel to properly handle the tools and materials, these jobs can never be completed professionally nor successfully.   More and more commercial cleaning companies are being retained to regularly be on hand to address a thorough cleanup for quick turnaround voyages that cruise lines often times are required to do.  



    Contact Excel Building Services at: (813) 451-8229  http://www.excel444.com  for a quote on a professional cleanup and janitorial service agreements.  Sarasota, Tampa, Lutz, and Lakeland areas are some of the demographics that Excel services frequently.


    Other articles from this author.









    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (Newswire.net -- February 18, 2012) Running a business doesn’t leave much time for learning new marketing techniques.  Marketers who have postponed video marketing because they don't have the time, money or skills to create videos can use this new video press WordPress plugin to funnel traffic without ever creating a single video. 


    This WordPress plugin creates a YouTube-like themed website which leverages traffic off that mega-social networking portal onto your own website. Since Google owns YouTube, webpages with videos hosted on this video portal easily outrank pure text pages.

    IM Wealth Builders are the masterminds behind this innovative video press plugin and it couldn't have been better timed.  YouTube is the third most visited website in the world only beaten by Google and Facebook.  The video portal is the second largest search engine in the world. More web searches are completed using YouTube.  In comparison, Bing and Yahoo are minor search engines.


    There is a huge pool of people searching for products, information and even just looking for a few minutes of fun using YouTube. This video press plugin creates websites with the look, feel and operation of YouTube. However, there is one huge difference.  Web masters can control the monetization via WordPress widgets.

    The beauty of the video press theme is that there is an optional feature to drip feed content to a website.  This makes the plugin practically a set-it-and-forget it method for building a highly popular website which looks and feels like YouTube.   People watch videos and that means they linger on your pages giving more opportunity to click on your own offers. 


    About IM Wealth Builders


    IM Wealth Builders Ltd. is owned and operated by Soren Jordansen, John Merrick & Cindy Battye. Soren Jordansen. Soren started his internet marketing career in 2004 – first as an affiliate, but he very soon started developing his own products and membership sites. Bristolian (UK) John Merrick, previously a senior programmer with Hewlett Packard in England. Cindy teamed up with John & Soren in early 2009 and IM Wealth Builders was founded later that year. The company specializes in WordPress solutions and information products for small to medium online businesses, independent internet marketers and affiliates.  Get access to complete details on the video press plugin here: http://best.pageoneclicks.com/covert-video-press/.


     








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (Newswire.net—February 16, 2013) Carrollwood, FL—A business like air conditioning or hvac is not always so interesting but with unique interests and a bloodline that traces a trigger that occurred to keep the business what it is today, is pretty interesting.  People always want to know, how it happened and what sparked the fire to create the passion in the belly of the heart to keep it going through good times and bad. 


    3HAC is headed by Brian Hebert, who tells the amazing tale of his father, who is an inventor and has always maintained an interest in making things better and more interesting, but most importantly, finding methods to improve lives.  Air conditioning can certainly be classified in that area of comfort where it improves the quality of life for so many. 


    Perhaps many take it for granted but without the simple switch, what would life be like for so many without that blast of Freon?  Brian Hebert tells some interesting stories of how he grew up and was always pretty handy, but the creativity was and still is a large part of his dad’s day to day dedication.  His never ending quest to find easier and cheaper ways to solve problems while also maintaining  an environmentally conscious mind is certainly at the fore of his passion.


    3HAC services homes and businesses in Greater Tampa including Carrollwood, Lutz, Temple Terrace, and Brandon.  They install and service air conditioning and heating units and maintain their clients through a customer satisfaction quotient that is unprecedented in the industry.  3HAC works at their service and prides itself on educating its clients to understand what they are receiving in service and parts and how they can take a long term approach to understanding how to most efficiently run their ac units.  This in and of itself is unique in maintaining full transparency for their clients that builds trust and loyalty as long term relationships are continually forged.  Contact 3HAC at:        (813) 979-4208    http://www.3hac.com   


    Other articles from the author:








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (NEWSWIRE.NET via Emailwire.com – February 16,2013) Sacramento, CA --The WeddingWire Bride's Choice Awards recognizes the top five percent of local wedding professionals from the WeddingWire Network that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism.


    Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Bride's Choice Awards™ are determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Crisp Catering is a Sacramento based catering company that was founded on the principles of providing clients cutting edge foods, top notch service, tasty traditions and dazzling displays, all in an unpretentious manner. The owner Joe Thompson and Jerrad McConnell, executive chef, have more than 25 years of combined catering experience between them. Joe has made numerous television appearances on all the major cooking segments in Sacramento: KCRA, KOVR, KXTV and KMAX. Additionally, Joe has appeared on the Paul and Phil Show onKGBY radio. He also has been sought out as a source for many publications such as The Sacramento Bee, Folsom Style Magazine, Sacramento Bride and Groom Magazine and CaterSourcemagazine.


    Some of Crisp Catering's testimonials on WeddingWire.com include such comments such as this by Alison. “Crisp Catering was a pleasure to work with. Everyone at our wedding love their food, they were easy to work with, worked with our budget, etc. And did I mention the food was excellent?!?”. Jessica H. said “WOWEEEE! The food was excellent, the experience was excellent, everything on time, and your staff person, Victor was very helpful. THANK YOU!!! “ and Gabe Ross wrote “Crisp Catering has catered the Raley Field press box for River Cats games for the past for two years and I have found them to be amongst the most professional, quality catering companies I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”.


    Crisp Catering also caters anniversaries, baby showers, birthdays, bridal showers, corporate events, graduations and almost every other even type in Sacramento. You can learn more about them by visiting their website http://www.crispcatering.com.


     


    Crisp Catering


    Joe Thompson


    Sacramento, CA


    http://www.crispcatering.com


    catering@crispcatering.com


    (916) 552-7477








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    HR Shaikh, Seyar, CPA LLP is a well-known name for financial statement auditors today and their expertise lies in catering to a number of industries and hence they are familiar with different sectors and their practices. The biggest advantage that comes with HR Shaikh, Seyar, LLP is the audit is proven to be cost effective and economical. The general practice is to identify internal control gaps and critically analyze them. Then they come out with a range of solutions to fix the issues. They provide number of services. The list can be found here http://www.hrshaikh.com/Services-Audit-a.html


    An audit of financial statements is more commonly known as the review of the financial statements of a company or firm or any other legal entity. It can also include a government entity or a non profit entity. Once the review is done the auditors such as HR Shaikh, Seyar, LLP publish an independent opinion on the sanity of the financial statements. They provide an opinion on whether the statements were relevant, accurate, complete and fairly presented. It is important that the financial statements are prepared under certain guidelines set by the highest Accounting association of the country. The financial statement auditors check if this has been done too.


    The authority over the audit of financial statements usually rests with firms with practicing accountants like HR Shaikh, Seyar, LLP. This is because financial statement audits require specialist financial reporting knowledge. The audit of financial statements is also referred to as one of the many attestations or assurance functions provided by auditing and accounting firms. Hereby the firms provide an independent opinion on published information. Organizations also employ or hire internal auditors for audit purposes. Their function will not be to attest to financial reports. Their focus is on the internal controls of the organization. External auditors may or may not choose to seek the assistance of internal auditors or place full reliance on the work that they have executed.


    The audits that they perform add credibility to the assertion by a firm’s management that its financial statements fairly represent the firm’s position and performance to the organization’s stakeholders. The primary stakeholders also known as the principal stakeholders are the shareholders of an organization. There are other parties who would be interested in the opinion too. Tax authorities, banks, suppliers, regulators, customers and employees may all have an interest in ensuring that the financial statements that are prepared are accurate. Audits are designed in such a way that it reduces the possibility that a material misstatement is not detected through audit procedures. A misstatement can be a missing statement or false information caused by either human error or fraud. Audits are done because they add value by easing the cost of information asymmetry, not because they are made compulsory by law. Audit is a global concept but the practice differs from country to country.








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    The State of Texas is now routinely conducting Sales Tax Audits of businesses. Hence it is important for Texas based businesses maintain their Texas Sales Tax related activities up to date. As the probability of your business coming under an audit from the State Comptrollers’ office has increased almost 60 % it is advisable to have an Exposure Review prior to a  potential Texa sales tax audit.


    HR Shaikh Seyar, CPA  (http://www.hrshaikh.com) one of Houston’s largest 25 accounting firms can help.  Texas Sales Tax Audit Exposure Review is very important to determine what could be your potential tax liability could be if an audit is conducted on your company. The review will be helpful in correcting issues, if any. The sales tax audit review is a great tool to ensure the safety of your company in event of an audit. HR Shaikh Seyar CPA’s team of professionals will help to determine any necessary changes that may be needed if an audit gets conducted. The team pays personalized attention to each and every client and offers customized solutions that will help to minimize the tax liability in an audit process.


    As a business owner it is important to note that once your company faces an audit that has resulted in a deficiency assessment, the possibility of your company getting targeted for audit increases many folds. Hence our audit help will be of enormous help to you for being prepared for the coming eventuality. Therefore make sure that you are able to get it right in the first time itself and not face an audit the second time from the State.


    Our expert and proficient team will undertake many tasks during preventive audit such as,


    Reviewing the record keeping and accounting of the company. They will make sure that all your records are proper and in order:


                    The team will review taxability issues;


                    They will review and evaluate the Sales Tax Return preparations done by the company.               


                    Keeping them up to date is mandatory in case of a looming audit;


                    Calculate approximate Sales Tax Liability exposure in case of an audit.


    Though the above list includes majority of points that our professionals will cover, there may be many other customized solutions that will be provided according to the company. According to the client’s requirement, each case will be reviewed by our professionals and experts and hence client specific solutions will be offered.


    As clients are busy in the other aspects of the company, we at HR Shaikh, Seyar CPA provides complete taxing and auditing solutions for Oil Royalties, Business Valuations, Fairness Opinions, and other complex accounting issues.   For more information on HR Shaikh CPA please call (713) 328-4000 or visit http://www.hrshaikh.com








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    HR Shaikh CPA, (http://www.hrshaikh.com/ is an expert on Texas Sales Tax, IRS Representation, Oil Royalities, and Business Valuation to companies that belong to diverse industries in diverse sectors. As an organization it is required to comply with the financial reporting requirements. HR Shaikh CPA assists companies in not only complying with these requirements but they also put their best foot forward to help the organization anticipate and resolve issues at very early stages in order to avoid them becoming blunders. Services provided by HR Shaikh include:


     



    • Texas Sales Tax Representation The IRS (Internal Revenue Services) is a bureau of the Department of Treasury, the body responsible for effective tax collections across the length and breadth of the United States of America. The tax laws applied in the U.S. are formulated by the Congress and are thus national in nature.The state of Texas too comes under the jurisdiction of the Texas IRS. To understand and comply with the aforementioned laws could prove to be a confusing affair for many people. In fact people not having a legal background might not even understand the foundation on which these laws are based or the reason behind its existence. To make the lives of such people getting caught in this web of laws and regulations is the purpose behind the founding of H R SHAIKH SEYAR ltd. One can gain easy access to their vast array of services by visiting their web site http://www.hrshaikh.com/HRS_ourservices_tax_b.html .


     



    • Payroll Management and Payroll filing – Most organizations today do not have an in house payroll management system. It is generally outsourced to someone like HR Shaikh who has the technical expertise. Payroll management is generally the information system that keeps the record of the information of salaries that are given out to employees periodically. They also file the pay outs and keep individual accounts of all the employees;


     



    • Accounting and Book Keeping services – Bookkeeping is nothing but recording of financial transactions. Transactions may include any of the following such as sales, purchases, income and payments that are made by an individual or an organization. Books are usually kept by the bookkeeper. Accountancy is a process performed by an accountant. It is an art of communicating financial information about an organization or a legal entity to its stakeholders such as shareholders and managers. The communication is usually in a statement format. The formats used are standard in nature. These statements in money form show the economic resources under the control of the business entity. Discretion has to be shown in order to present information that is relevant and reliable to a user.


     



    • Financial statement preparation in accordance to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) – For a business entity, all relevant information has to be presented in a structured manner. GAAP are called financial statements. They are standard ways of presenting economic resources of an organization. They basically include four kinds of financial statements. The Balance sheet which contains the assets and the liabilities of an organization, the Income statement which is also referred to as the Profit and Loss account of the business, a statement of retained earnings shows the company’s retained earnings over a period of time and finally A Cash flow statement that depicts the company’s operating investing and financial activities. It shows the company’s inflow and outflow of cash


     



    • Professional review and compilation services to medium and small firms


     



    • Compiled or Reviewed Financial statements, in accordance with Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review services issued by AICPA


     



    • Custom financial reports for Management and Internal Use – Custom financial reports are special reports that are used by the management to take important strategic decisions. They can be reports that show the health of a particular business or a part of the business or even a sub activity. It can determine the budgets and investment required and can be used for forecasting important business results.


     More information on HR Shaikh CPA please call (713) 328-4000 or visit http://www.hrshaikh.com








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    The pharmaceutical prescription filling and validation device recently developed and patented by Barrett International Technology, INC., promises a revolution in how prescriptions can be counted and filled for patients. This innovation offers not only increased accuracy in how prescriptions are filled, since there is less likelihood of human error, but offers a more hygienic solution to prescription counting, since the possibility of spreading germs by contact with people is virtually eliminated. 





    Oftentimes at pharmacies, patients in need of their medications are confronted by abnormally long wait times due to short-staffed agencies and overworked pharmacists. Given this stressful environment, the capacity for human error in filling prescriptions increases, and patients needlessly suffer lengthy waits as a result. Barrett International Technology has come up with a unique solution to this problem, easing the process of filling prescriptions both for the patient and the pharmacist. Carolyn Barret's new device, known as the CSB, is a portable prescription filling device which would allow the pharmacist to program a given amount of pills to be dispensed per prescription, and fill multiple prescriptions at the same time, based on parameters set by a computerized interface. The CSB itself uses a tray at the top where a given amount of pills are dispensed by the pharmacist, and based on the algorithms entered by the programmer, the pills are calculated by weight and volume, and properly dispensed into a rotating tray of bottles at the bottom of the device. The pharmacist can then confidently remove each bottle, knowing that the proper type and amount of medication has been dispensed into the receptacle.


     

    The portability and ease of use of this device are what set it apart from current pill counting machines available on the market, and its applications extend far beyond the pharmacy. For example, its portability could allow it to be easily used in situations where proper medical facilities or pharmacies are not readily available, such as in the cases of disaster relief areas, or military field hospitals. The convenience and accuracy of the CSB would thus allow rapid relief for people in need, while at the same time allowing medical professionals on duty to devote their time to other important matters.


     

    The aspect of hygiene is another important advantage to the CSB. In places such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics, where ill patients are often present, the CSB would eliminate direct human contact with the medication being dispensed, thus assuring a germ-free environment for both the pharmacist and patient, and reducing the transmission of disease vectors. In today's health situations, where diseases such as the H1N1 virus and others have high rates of infection, the need for a safe and reliable means to dispense medication becomes even more paramount than it has in the past.




    The rapidity, ease of use, and convenience of the CSB could also conceivably lower the costs of filling one's prescriptions. With more prescriptions being able to be filled quickly by a pharmacist, fewer hours would be needed to have prescription counts done by hand and double-checked, which accounts for much of the time spent filling prescriptions. This would allow pharmacies to lower their costs while allowing a greater amount of pharmacist-patient interaction, which is integral to ensuring patient compliance with proper self-administration of medication, as well as ensuring that a patient is fully aware of the ramifications of the medication they are to receive.


     

    Finally, the portability and simplicity of use of the CSB set it far beyond the pharmaceutical counting devices currently available on the market. Current pill counting machines tend to be bulky, which would prevent their ease of transport into situations such as field hospitals, as previously mentioned. Furthermore, their cost is often prohibitive to all but the most well-funded organizations. The CSB is not only easily transportable, but also carries a lower cost than conventional pill counting devices, which makes it not only useful for traditional pharmacies, but could very well make it an integral part of future medical emergency situations. The ability to fill multiple prescriptions at once is another advantage which makes the Barrett International Technology CSB device a step beyond other industry predecessors; instead of filling one prescription at a time, the CSB can perform a multitask role. The CSB promises to revolutionize the way in which prescriptions are filled, and patients, pharmacists, and medical professionals will all benefit from this new patented technology.


     








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    Newswire.net a subsidiary of Extensions, Inc. www.ext.com ( Symbol:EXTI ) makes use of a patent-pending technology to harness the power of independent bloggers, writers and journalists and the extent of the internet to create a forum for all news stories, not simply the few that interest the main media outlets. 


     


     


    Kelsey Grammar first gained his television fame on the TV series, Cheers, and then, again, on Frasier. However, it was not until he meet and teamed up with social networking mastermind, Bill Zucker, that he began his quest to online fame. Zucker, who is well-known for his YouTube fame with his video, The TARP Song," and "The Twitter Song," which won YouTube Comedy Video of Year in 2009, starting rubbing elbows with Grammar on Twitter. Little did he know that the introduction would lead to a project, not to mention, his own online television show! Zucker could not have asked for a better opportunity!



    After exchanging several "I'm getting to know you better" tweets with each other, Grammar invited Zucker to Hollywood. Once Zucker out to Hollywood, the process began and, lo and behold, the first branded social television network, was born. It was the beginning to a beautiful and growing professional relationship.

    Kelsey Grammar and Bill Zucker will debut their show, The Kelsey Grammar and Bill Zucker Comedy Hour, on February 17th on www.KelseyLive.com. The website and the show are both powered by TODHD. On the show, there will be interviews of both already famous and upcoming talent. Already scheduled is Corbin Blue, of Disney's "High School Musical" fame, and Scott Baio, who made his mark on both "Happy Days" and "Charles in Charge." Even Matt Williams of the Arizona Diamondbacks wants to make his appearance on Grammar and Zucker's new adventure. Stanley Clarke, a Jazz legend, and his band set the mood for the show with their smooth undeniable bass sound. The music will add a true sophistication to the show and air that Grammar's previous characters have always had.

    Grammar and Zucker have become pioneers in an undeniable progression and combination of television and the internet. Using social networking websites and combining it with television, allowing the consumer to both watch and interact with the network, as they see necessary. It is a great addition to traditional television that consumers will truly enjoy and in which from they will benefit.

    Those in the television industtry are really beginning to see the value behind such an adventure and giving both the new network and the Grammar/Zucker duo their undoubted support. Robert Tereck, who is the President of Digital Media for Oprah Winfrey's network, OWN, believes that social networking will indeed provide value to the consumer's view experience. Social TV, as they have come to call it, can provide the correct "vehicle for advertisers who want to combine the reach and audio-visual power of television with the engagement and two-way dialogue offered by social media." In other words, it is the perfect combination of media to move forward with and start a new platform for those who are looking for more than just their average television show.

    Before launching the program, both still have to complete their other obligations to the media world. Grammar will be moving to New York to make another debut - only in the bright lights of Broadway, instead. He is going to prepare to star in the Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles, which will open on April 18th of this year. However, Zucker continues to work and live in South Florida. His latest two CDs, "Stranded" and "Every Window" can be found on his website, www.BillZucker.com.

    The premiere of their adventure together starts promptly at 8 PM on February 17th. This is one online television endeavor that you do not want to miss! Be sure to catch it on www.KelseyLive.com, hosted by TODHD. This will truly change the way you look at television!



     


    Newswire, a New Source for News


    Newswire.net a wholly owned subsidiary of Extensions, Inc. (Symbol:EXTI) makes use of a patent-pending technology to harness the power of independent bloggers, writers and journalists and the extent of the internet to create a forum for all news stories, not simply the few that interest the main media outlets. Newswire seeks to be for the news world and for independent journalists what the Sundance film festival has become for cinematography and independent filmmakers. The technology used by Newswire will allow news stories with even the smallest niche audiences to find those readers, and give truly talented but underappreciated independent writers, bloggers and journalists an opportunity to make a real impact and to be part of a credible news organization.


    To learn more about Newswire  visit http://www.newswire.net/


     


     


     








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    We are currently in a ground breaking adventure. The adventure is, obviously, centered around political figures. And, we women can see a good cat fight and enjoy it because we have the leisure to do it when our work is done. The two kitties in the ring who are bearing their claws while being ostensibly on the same side, of course, are Hillary Rodham Clinton and Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi. 


    At this moment, Hillary Clinton is running a weak second in first women categories. Nancy Pelosi is not only the first woman speaker of the house, but she is also the first Italian American speaker of the house and the first Californian speaker of the house. That's a lot of firsts there for even Hillary Clinton to overcome. And, to add salt to the wound, Pelosi and her family own most of the real estate in San Francisco. That, together with her husband's interest in Apple computers and a California vineyard, makes Nancy Pelosi one of the wealthiest members of Congress. 


    Now, you might say that Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi have never actually sparred in public. But, then you might only be looking at the couple's suit feuds. If you are looking for the best dressed between the two, a daily rating can be given on whose suit is snappier and whose jewelry actually goes with the suit. Most women who are enjoying the cat fight would rate Nancy Pelosi as beating Hillary Clinton hands down in tastes in clothing, jewellery and accessories. Of course, Nancy Pelosi has a sophisticated, wealthy dress style probably due from her background of being the pampered pet of a doting political and real estate venture family. 
    Hillary Clinton comes off as needing to fire her seamstress. We are almost thinking that she has her clothes made from simplicity patterns and drawn on a graphic board. 


    What is really fun copy is to watch the facial expressions of both women who have crashed through the glass ceiling. Both Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi have frozen faces. When a smile breaks on one of their mirror trained masks, it is as if their was a crack in their make up. In that category of stony faced poker players, both women come out evenly matched. 



    But, in the cat arena of femininity and softness, Nancy Pelosi wins. She is naturally graceful and her reactions on screen ,at least, do not look contrived. When she talks to the cameras she does not look like she is running for office since she already has an office. Hillary Clinton looks like a female Nixon with arms straight up at the sides and basking in the adulation of the people because she's a genius and works harder than all of them. Nancy Pelosi is a born leader who approaches her public appearances as part of her role in communicating with her followers who know that she is somebody who works in the public sector because of choice and not because her husband did not bring in a big enough pay check. We all really heard Hillary Clinton use that reasoning in letting us know why she was condescending to work so hard for all of us. 


    Seems that the cat fight between Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi is only a secret because no reporter wants to be clawed by getting caught like the monkey in the middle. But, politically speaking, when Hillary Clinton was going to use her new position to try and impeach, get it impeach (as in getting even with the Republicans and Ken Starr for trying to impeach her husband, Bill Clinton) George W. Bush for what trumped up charge we don't know, Nancy Pelosi had the breeding to put a stop to it. Seems like Hillary Clinton has a get even attitude whereas Nancy Pelosi has a natural instinct to stop situations that are like the ridiculous becoming a farce.


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    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    Chris Ryan lost his dad to cancer and in his memory created a social network to support everyone affected by cancer.


     


    Chris Ryan is a man who lost his father to liver cancer in the fall of 2007. In his quest to help his father find a cure he began collecting information from other cancer patients and oncologists which he has used to form an outreach support group on the web to help other cancer victims find ways to help fight this dreadful disease.

    Karen Smith: Chris, what made you decide to do this, to start the online support group found at www.cancer.im?

    Chris:  It was a labor of love, in memory of my Dad, and everyone who has endured or been affected by cancer.


    Karen Smith: Chris, what is the goal of this social network?


    Chris:  The goal of this social network is to increase a cancer patient's Quality of Life, by lowering anxiety while giving them the ability of regaining control via a socially vetted research process.

    Karen Smith: How did you go about gathering information that helped you decide there was a need for something like this?

    Chris:  In the process, (of trying to help my dad), I became friends with hundreds of cancer patients, their friends and family. I started to interview people affected by cancer in my spare time and started to see patterns emerge which made me realize that cancer affects everyone the same.


    Karen Smith: What do you hope to accomplish from all of this?

    Chris:  My life is dedicated to cancer research and I am in the process of filing a patent based on my findings, not for some commercial purpose but to insure that my findings will be available in an open source format, for the benefit of cancer patients everywhere.

    Karen Smith: Tell us a little bit about the Mission Adaptive Plan also know as MAP.

    Chris:  The MAP Plan is a step-by-step guide that cancer patients can use to help them learn to manage all aspects of life from diagnosis to recovery.


     


    Karen Smith: What benefit are you getting from your efforts?

    Chris:  The satisfaction of knowing I have given people a viable option that they can use to enhance their chances of survival by addressing all aspects of their cancer journey.

    Karen Smith: Is there any cost to become a member of this web site?


     


    Chris:  No, there is no monetary cost to the individuals and their advocates, we rely on partnership opportunities, donations, and investors.


     


    Karen Smith: What are you in need of right now?


     


    Chris:  We can always use cancer survival stories and volunteers who can get involved immediately and start contributing their ideas, time, and effort towards building a social network that can change the way the world views and manages cancer. and also people who can help us get the word out about this site.


     


    As you can see, Chris Ryan is a man with a purpose who has put much thought in this undertaking. His will and unselfish determination to help make the lives of other cancer victims better is strong. His heart is most definitely in the right place and his efforts are an honor and a tribute to his father. Being able to help even one person beat cancer and continue on with this life is validation that his father's death was not in vain and even though a door closed for him, it opened thousands of doors for others.

    Through the web site www.cancer.im, visitors will find helpful information that will point them in a positive direction. The premise of this site is to bring all kinds of people together for the sole purpose of forming a large and ever growing network of support for those in their battle against cancer. The information that can be gleaned from others who have either gone through it themselves or been advocates of those that have is invaluable.

    From it's inception there has been a steady influx of support for this growing community. It's people helping people. People offering their time and working hard with one simple goal in mind, to help cancer victims become cancer survivors.

    The MAP plan is an invaluable tool that walks patients and their advocates through a process that will help both become better acquainted with what it is they can and should do to help gain control over both their life and this disease rather than having it the other way around. MAP, brings up topics and offers suggestions that people going through something like this don't even think about. It gives the cancer patient something they can show their advocates, to help their advocates learn better how to help out during such anxious times.

    The mission statement of this organization gives good insight in to what this whole program is about and what it plans to accomplish. Simple things like, giving every cancer patient the information and resources they need to customize their own strategy to beat this disease, to give cancer patients hope and teach advocates how to help, sharing the wisdom of those who have been through this journey, to teach cancer patients to organize and manage their support team to help them outlive this disease, and finally to give friends and family the tools they need to help improve the cancer patients quality of life by helping to reduce the daily burdens often associated with cancer.

    Through the time and effort of one man, this web site has been created for the benefit of so many. To have so much helpful information in one place is amazing. Information that can be used and implemented immediately to begin giving the cancer patient that feeling of empowerment that comes from knowing you are doing everything that you can to better your odds. Many people want to do something when a family member or friend finds themselves in this situation but they just don't know what to do. This web site can and already is changing lives for the better. Volunteers are working hard each and every day researching new cancer cures and treatments, always looking for information that will benefit in some way. This site is providing each individual who visits here with the tools and knowledge they need to plan their course of action, step, by step, by step, all the way down the road to recovery. It is also allowing those who have already made this journey to give eye-witness accounts on what worked for them and how they did it. So many times things happen to people medically and they have absolutely no place to turn to ask questions except for their doctors. The doctors are versed in medical treatments and modalities but when it comes to all the other problems their patients are facing, in light of their disease, they are clueless. What better place to have questions answered than by the people who have lived it. This web site www.cancer.im has such potential, it has been created, it is up and functioning and much information can be gathered there. More help is always needed to get the word out so that more people can benefit from the knowledge and wisdom to be found there. Chris Ryan planted a seed, a seed of hope that he wanted to share and from that seed a wellspring of support, information, knowledge, and wisdom has blossomed. There is no limit on how far reaching or what impact his vision will have on the people who utilize this web site. Chris Ryan's dream of changing the way cancer patients view and manage their disease is now becoming reality and with continued support the possibilites are limitless.








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    Haven't heard of Hunch? It is a fun, new "decision engine" that helps you decide things based on a series of questions and an algorythmic hunch. And while it will never get the traffic garnered by Microsoft's renamed... err... new search engine, it is definitely more of a "decision engine" considering that it actually gives you an answer.

    Now, whether or not that answer is correct or not, well, that's another story. Personally, I prefer the Cohen Brothers movies to Christopher Guest's mockumentaries -- even if I thought This is Spinal Tap was absolutely hilarious -- but Hunch's hunch was that I'd like Guest's films best.

    OK, so it is definitely not perfect. But it does have one thing over Bing. It's different.

    And that's Bing's problem. Most people are going to visit Bing and think "so what?" It doesn't give superior results to Google, and it doesn't do anything different, so people aren't going to feel any need to switch.

    At the very least, Hunch provides a different experience. And that's how Google will eventually be brought down. Either someone is going to come up with something very different under the hood that makes the results spectacularly and quite-obviously superior, or someone is going to come up with a whole different way to search the web.

    In fact, Bing's biggest challenge to Google is through Internet Explorer rather than the search engine itself. Were Microsoft were to make Bing the default home page for IE installations and duplicate Chrome's ability to do a web search through the address bar, only using Bing instead of Google, then Bing would no doubt get a boost in market share. (And I'm sure some Microsoft engineers are cooking something like this up right now.)

    But Bing itself? Microsoft will have to do a little bit better than provide the same basic user experience. Perhaps they should get into the hunch game too...?


    Source: http://webtrends.about.com/b/2009/06/16/is-hunch-a-bigger-threat-to-google-than-bing.htm








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    This past week, both Philadelphia-based Saul Ewing and Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis announced alternative fee arrangements (described here and here) for their respective clients. So does that mean that lawyers at those firms can toss their time sheets out the window, or clear those electronic billing programs off their hard drive? Maybe not. As discussed below, while proponents of alternative fees contend that they make time sheets irrelevant, others believe that firms still need to keep track of hours spent either to ascertain profitability or justify bills to clients.

    Back in February 2008, Tom Kane endorsed alternative billing at Legal Marketing Blog, (specifically, the Jay Shepherd approach), but remarked that it seems foolhardy not to keep time records, if only to evaluate profitability of fees and levels of costs. Ron Baker, alternative-fee guru and founder of Verasage Institute heartily disagreed, asserting that many firms that employ alternative fees operate without time sheets. Miller explains that these firms know their costs up front, so they don't need to review them after the fact by looking over a time sheet. Instead of time sheets, Baker endorses fixed-price agreements and change orders, chief value offers and price-lead costing.

    But what if clients don't go for that approach -- and insist on viewing a law firm's time sheets? That's the concern that Rees Morrison raises today at the Law Firm Department Management Blog. Morrison believes that corporate counsel has the right to request timekeeping records even where a firm works on a pre-agreed, set fee arrangement. Morrison addresses both sides of the records issue from the client's perspective.

    If the law department decides that a fee for a service is acceptable, why should the law department be entitled to know how the sausage was made? If a law firm manages to make a big profit on the representation, having taken a risk on a set fee, that’s no client's concern. Also, part of the trade-off by a law firm for agreeing to a fixed fee is to be able to eliminate the hassle of detailed bills.

    Still, if I were a general counsel, I would not want a firm to beseech me for additional money if a matter demands more work than they thought when they agreed to the fee if that firm has squirreled away some of my payments on very profitable matters. That situation assumes a portfolio of matters being handled by the firm. Additionally, I would want to know the economics of the services provided so that I can use that information if I need to find a replacement firm.

    I understand Baker's point that timesheets are necessary or particularly meaningful for analyzing profitability. But if clients want to see a time sheet, are we, as attorneys obligated to provide one if a fee has been agreed to in advance? What's your view?


    Source: http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com/legal_blog_watch/2009/06/does-alternative-billing-mean-lawyers-can-tear-up-the-time-sheet.html








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    The past two years have probably been the most tenuous this generation has known. For me, the recession of the early 1990s is a distant, hazy memory, but the time in which we live now is clear in its uncertainty. People are out of work or in fear of losing their income; they cling to jobs they don't love, corporations they don't respect, because they have real, pragmatic concerns -- mortgage and car payments, unpaid student loans, and children to support -- which makes the daily struggle to maintain shelter and keep their families fed hardly poetic. We live in a fast and furious culture, and we sometimes wonder if we can breathe underwater. So we wonder, in our darkest hours, if the American Dream as we know it still exists, or whether it's merely an idea, an apparition, a light once blazing now flickering out. But in spite of all of this, I assure you that there's hope. In recent months, I've been speaking with women who have made significant sacrifices in an effort to launch businesses they believe in. From launching public relations consulting companies to burgeoning non profits to new product innovations and technologies, people are looking at this time as one of opportunity rather than economic peril. Start-up costs are low, and the web makes research, marketing, publicity, and distribution, a viable reality.



    Over the next few months, I'll be interviewing women entrepreneurs and business owners of all ages. You'll meet the women behind small start-ups and you'll learn how CEOs of major brands (Dermalogica, Lorac, Candela Group, among others) are sustaining during these precarious times. To kick this off, I'm excited to bring you Lindsay Phillips'sstory. Phillips, the owner of SwitchFlops, a chic, affordable, feminine line of flip flops and sandals with interchangeable straps, launched her incredibly profitable company at the age of twenty-four. Learn how she did it!

    What's ingenious about SwitchFlops is the sheer ease and versatility of the line. This is the epitome of convertible, transitional fashion, where a variety of Velcro straps makes it easy to switch up the look of your sandal depending upon the occasion -- go for the nautical beach Brooke strap while cruising your local surf during the day, or opt for the sophisticated evening Chelsea strap for al fresco evening dining.


    How did you come up with such a simple, but brilliant concept on how to reinvent flip-flops and footwear?


    LP: SwitchFlops evolved from a pair of ceramic sandals I created for an art design class. There was an amazing response by family and friends to these flip-flops adorned by a variety of fun, Florida fare including sunglasses, palm trees and tropical fish. Everyone wanted to buy a pair and was disappointed to discover the shoes were not functional. I began designing flip-flops with colorful straps and fanciful buttons. After stumbling on the concept of using Velcro to create an interchangeable strap, and applying for a patent, SwitchFlops were born!

    As we're in the midst of a precarious economy, many are finding, ironically enough, that now is the best time to start a business. As someone who is a successful entrepreneur, can you speak to the process of how you launched your company? From the patent technology to manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution -- how long did it take you to get the company off the ground, and what resources (including outsourced staff and legal counsel)/start-up capital was required?


    LP: I could write a book responding to this question! From the very beginning to present day has been a seven-year journey. After I had created a working model and began wearing a pair of early SwitchFlops, one of my family friends told me that I should patent my design. I was in high school and had no idea of what a patent was at the time. So I Googled patents and initially searched the U.S. patent website for sandals with an interchangeable strap. I couldn't find anything similar to my idea, so after my preliminary research I contacted a patent attorney. There was a long waiting period before the application was accepted. By the time the patent was issued 4 years later I was far along into creating a working prototype and itching to get the manufacturing process started. As an Art history major with only 2 summers of business experience as an intern with Polo Ralph Lauren, getting my initial production of SwitchFlops was a huge challenge.


    Looking back I think this was hardest bridge to cross. After having no luck finding a U.S. shoe manufacturer that was interested in my project I recruited my mother to be my business partner. We explored many options and were ultimately introduced to someone with experience in having goods manufactured in China. With our mentor as our guide my mom and I traveled to Shanghai. We had no idea what to expect but we believed in our idea and took a chance. We found a factory that was willing to work with a small startup company and placed our first order of 5,000 shoes. At the time this seemed like a lot and we had visions of our garage being filled with SwitchFlops forever! Five months later our first shipment was on the way to Florida. Wait... where are we going to keep these shoes? We rented a storage shed, which served as our first office and warehouse.


    Once the shoes arrived the next step was selling them. Thanks to great exposure at Surf Expo, our first trade show, we were able to pick up some initial accounts. Oh wait... Now we have to ship! How do you do that? All of the steps along the way were a learning process. We just kept plugging away and did all of the things to make it happen. There was no job, however dirty or boring that my mother or I wouldn't take on. We were a two- woman show with some help from my mother's good friends, and my father, brother, and now-husband on the weekends. Initially I was able to take out a loan for the start up costs. The good news was that the shoes were selling so fast that we were able to take the money we were making and re-invest it back into the company.


    We are now in over 3000 stores all over the U.S., Canada and the U.K. and employee nineteen people in the company.

    Your story is extraordinary as well as inspiring in the sense that you are the founder of a successful venture at the age of twenty-three. Although your mother is a partner, did you encounter any stumbling blocks to launching SwitchFlops because of your age?


    LP: Absolutely! As a twenty-four-year old who looks like I'm eighteen, I shock people every day. No one believes that I actually started a company. Being a young entrepreneur is much like being fresh meat to people who seek to take advantage of others. When I first started this venture a lot of people didn't take me seriously. I was very fortunate to have my mother by my side, which gave me a lot more credibility. With her around people started to take me more seriously.



    Your tagline, "Change your look, not your sole," is smart, youthful and cheeky -- you've clearly defined your audience as a woman in her 20s seeking fun, affordable summer shoes. When launching your company, how much time was focused on marketing, specifically identifying your core consumer and then identifying opportunities with varying demographic, which, at first glance, might not necessarily be obvious.


    LP: I dedicated the entire summer after my sophomore year of college to creating SwitchFlops. When you are working on a start-up company on a budget with no prior work experience is challenging. I used my friends and family to help me brainstorm. The first thing I worked on was the strap design. I came up with 100 homemade strap prototypes. I carried those 100 straps with me in a book and stopped women everywhere I went and asked them to identify their favorite top ten straps. Immediately, I knew that my age demographic, 18-50, was broad based upon the reaction I got from showing the different straps. From there I stared designing for local Florida women, but also kept in mind what nationwide consumers might like. That's how it all started! Ideas continue to come with time. It was not like I was following an outline. I just started to work locally and it has grown.


    How did you get the word out about SwitchFlops? Was it a grass roots, word-of-mouth marketing? Trade shows? Traditional publicity outlets, or a strategy that's a hybrid of varying outreach campaigns?


    LP: During my senior year of college I won a free booth at Surf Expo trade show after having been entered into, and subsequently selected as an innovative product, by a competition known as LAUNCH. It was my first tradeshow and the first time we ever showed our line. From there, word-of-mouth and great PR has been key, not to mention having a unique and new product.


    What's next for SwitchFlops? Any line extensions?


    LP: Absolutely! My mind is constantly spinning and is full of ideas. Creativity and design are my passion. In the future you will see less of an emphasis on the SwitchFlops brand and more of an emphasis on Lindsay Phillips as a brand. However, this doesn't mean that SwitchFlops is coming to an end; we'll continue to grow the line more than ever. Come September we're releasing our new, all-season shoe known as the 'Liz.' Yes! It is named after my mom. I can't give you the full details yet, but I can tell you that it is fantastic and it has a twist to it. Finally the LuLu will be able to rest up for spring and summer, while the Liz takes on the fall and winter months! The perfect balance!


    Any advice you'd like to impart to burgeoning entrepreneurs? Lessons learned?


    LP: If you have an idea and you believe in it....go for it. Trust yourself and never give up, because there will be days you're going to want to quit. Sleep it off and get right back to work the next day. The hard work will pay off, and just remember: no risk, no reward! If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Once your product is out in the market, work as fast and as furiously as you can. I wake up everyday and I am in awe that my high school art project has launched a very successful company; this should give you the incentive and drive that you can do it as well. Another tip is to surround yourself with smart and experienced people in your industry. At the end of the day you're only one person, and let's face it you can't be great at everything. Thanks to my amazing team I am able to focus on what I am good at!


    Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/felicia-c-sullivan/interview-entrepreneur-an_b_215926.html










    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    Stunned. That is my reaction to the news that a Minnesota jury has ordered a 32-year-old woman to pay $1.92 million to the music industry for downloading music. That is $80,000 per song for each of the 24 songs she is said to have downloaded.


    The woman's reaction: "Good luck trying to get it from me. ... It's like squeezing blood from a turnip."


    This was the second trial for the woman, Jammie Thomas-Rasset, in the first downloading case to go to trial. Two years ago, a jury ordered Thomas-Rasset to pay $222,000 for downloading the songs -- $9,250 per song. The judge declared a mistrial and Thomas-Rasset opted for a second go-around.


    The woman's lawyer, Kiwi Camara, told reporters that when he first heard the verdict, he was "angry about it." He had felt confident that any liability finding would be for the statutory minimum amount of $750 per song.


    There remains the possibility that the parties will still reach a settlement. A spokesperson for the music industry said after the verdict, "Since day one we have been willing to settle this case ... and we remain willing to do so." The music industry has made its point with this verdict and has nothing further to gain by chasing after money it will never recover. As for Thomas-Rasset, she should be looking for a way to put this nightmare behind her. Let's hope both sides find a reasonable way to bring this case to an end.


    Source: http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com/legal_blog_watch/2009/06/192-million-reasons-not-to-download-music.html









    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    We welcome David Weild and Edward Kim, co-authors of the recent Grant Thornton study, "Why are IPOs in the ICU?"  David and Edward will offer their candid and provocative views on the IPO market in this first segment of a two-part series.


    David is a Senior Advisor to Grant Thornton, a Global Six Firm. He is the former vice-chairman and executive vice-president overseeing the more than 4,000 listed companies of The NASDAQ Stock Market.  David spent 14 years in a variety of senior investment banking and equity capital markets roles at Prudential Securities. He was recently invited to participate in NYSE's and National Venture Capital Association's Blue Ribbon Regional Task Force to explore ways to help restore a vibrant IPO market and keep innovation flourishing in the United States.  


    Edward Kim is a Senior Advisor to Grant Thornton in Capital Markets. He was head of product development at The NASDAQ Stock Market and has worked in equity research at Robertson Stephens, equity trading at Lehman Brothers and investment banking at Prudential Securities.




    David and Edward, your paper was published at the end of last year and was presented to theNYSE and National Venture Capital Association's Blue Ribbon Regional Task Force which was organized to make recommendations to the Obama Administration regarding changes that will help restore the IPO market to the success it had in previous years.  Will you share with us what the response has been to your paper and to its suggestions for reinvigorating the IPO market?


    We've had extremely positive feedback from members of the venture, issuer, equity capital markets and regulatory communities.  One highly-regarded former head of the Division of Market Regulation at the SEC said that it was the best paper he'd read on the subject in over a decade.  A recently departed very senior member of the SEC told us that he believes that our recommendations are politically viable.  The Chairman (Dixon Doll) and President (Mark Heesen) of The National Venture Capital Association adapted some of our materials in their "4-Pillar Plan to Restore Liquidity in the U.S. Venture Capital Industry" (released on April 29/30 of 2009 and posted on the NVCA web site) and used one of the charts from this paper to demonstrate the catastrophic loss of the small IPO (and the preservation of the large IPO).  Still,  I think the paper has not yet received the exposure it should have because it came out at the height of the credit crisis, the Detroit bail-out and the transition to the Obama Administration.


    One important and gratifying consequence is that our content is being used to inform the strategic planning discussions of companies and exchanges that are trying to develop solutions to this crisis.  So, the Paper is making a mark, slowly but surely.


    We've received so much valuable input and encouragement that we've been asked to publish a second edition of the White Paper this summer with updated data through June 30, 2009. 


    Since your paper was published, there have been some signs of life in the public market with two venture capital-backed companies going public in the past two months.  Do you think this could be the beginning of a positive trend for the IPO market?


    This is a trickle when we need a flood.  We fear that people have become so resigned to terrible IPO markets that when they see a merely poor IPO market, they mistake it for "Happy Days."  Remember that we had just endured two consecutive quarters of no venture-backed offerings in the 4th quarter of 2008 and the 1st quarter of 2009.  That's the first time in the 30 years in which the NVCA has been recording data that we've had no such deals. So, 2 venture-backed IPOs is better than 0, but it's a long way from the 150 or more venture-backed IPOs per year that we should be enjoying (to say nothing of the 300 or more non-venture backed IPOs) that would convince us that we were getting back on track.  This is a market structure problem pure and simple.  Market structure kills the economics required to provide quality research coverage, capital commitment and sales & marketing support to small cap stocks (the market that most IPOs price into).


    Some believe that there are many high-quality companies in the pipeline, ready to go public as soon as they can.  Do you agree with this opinion?


    We not only agree with this view, we know it to be true.  We've met many of these companies, and we've seen their numbers.  We've advised some of them and their venture capitalists.  There are great companies with rapidly growing revenues (even through the current recession) and real earnings - many of which should already be public. 


    However, the problem is that the bar has been raised so high to go public. Many companies just don't make it because the aftermarket support that was afforded by the old higher trading spread and commission structure is gone.  Did you see the sale of E Ink to a Taiwanese company?  E Ink is the company that supplies technology to eBooks like the Kindle.  This is a classic example of a really interesting company that has a blow-out quarter and is swallowed.  In prior decades, it would have been a marquis public offering; today, it's just another sapling harvested before it can reach maturity.


    FYI - the median IPO done through May of this year was a $163 million deal.  The smallest was OpenTable at $69 million in gross proceeds.  There hasn't been one deal done in the sweet spot (where 80% of deals used to be done) of the old IPO market (sub $50 million) because market structure doesn't support small companies any longer.


    Give us a market that supports small IPOs ($10 -$50 million), and we'll show you a market with hundreds of quality companies going public.


    In your paper you state that "the lack of an IPO market has caused venture capitalists to avoid financing some of the more far-reaching and risky ideas that have no obvious Fortune 500 buyer."  Would you expound on this notion and its long-term ramifications to our economy?


    The first question most VCs ask an entrepreneur today is, "Who am I going to sell your company to?...What's my exit?"  This means, that if a venture capitalist sees an opportunity to create an entirely new industry, especially one that is capital intensive, it's less likely that they will take that risk because there are no natural buyers for the company.  In the "old days" venture capitalists could depend on the IPO market.  Think about it:  If we were at the dawn of the semiconductor, biotech or personal computer era and the IPO market was dysfunctional the way that it is today, do you think venture capitalists would have made those bets?  The world would be a very different place… and not for the better.


    What do these companies have in common?  Intel, Amgen, Oracle, Starbucks, Yahoo.  Besides being extraordinary corporations obviously, each of their IPOs raised less than $50 million and had a market cap under $350 million on day 1.  Would any of those deals been successful in today's market?  Which companies of tomorrow are we killing today before they ever have a chance to become great?


    One of us was invited to a brainstorming dinner recently that was hosted by some of the most successful venture capitalists in the country.  It was very clear that the loss of the IPO market is making it impossible to raise the large amounts of capital needed to fund drug development through Phase III clinical trials.  Clearly, the fall-out will be that we won't have the progress in medicine that we might otherwise have had.  One of these venture capital luminaries quipped, "It's been 579 days since the last biotech IPO… not that I'm counting!"


    David and Edward, we look forward to your joining us next week for Part Two of this interview series. 


    Source:  http://vcexperts.com/vce/news/buzz/archive_view.asp?id=683&referrer=rss










    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    Facing a historic national debt that President Obama correctly characterized as "unsustainable," yet still desiring to implement some sort of national health-care package, US policymakers, notably Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, have recently hinted at the possibility of a national sales tax. More specifically, they hint at possible implementation of a national value-added tax (VAT) which would tax at a certain rate the difference between the cost of inputs and the price of the output along each individual step of production.

    Beyond the factual objection that a national tax on consumption would fall disproportionately on low-income consumers who spend a greater percentage of their income on consumption goods and save at a lower rate than do higher-income consumers, the VAT is a particularly odious proposal for all consumers because of its effect on overall economic activity.

    Because it places an extra cost onto every step of the productive process, the VAT necessarily decreases the marginal productivity of both capital and labor in literally their every possible application. Without affecting the actual scarcity of the basic physical resources available for use in an economy, a value-added tax simply makes each step of each productive process less efficient, with a certain fraction of output being destroyed by government. The final result of this economywide loss in efficiency is a real increase in the scarcity of both capital goods and final consumer goods on the marketplace.

    The VAT is a rare and heinous type of government policy that attacks not the ratios of exchange between certain goods, but rather the availability of every single good produced within a national economy. Put another way, a VAT has the ability to increase in real terms the prices of every good legally produced and sold within a country's borders. By decreasing the real output derived from national resources in this manner, the VAT necessarily decreases the material standard of living for all of a nation's consumers.

    Furthermore, these effects are not mere theoretical points but real effects that are certain to be felt by the everyday consumer. Any VAT that would be able to raise a sufficient amount of money to fund new health-care initiatives would necessarily place a significant burden on each step of the productive process, resulting in a noticeable decrease in the standard of living of every consumer.

    The burden of a value-added tax would fall disproportionately onto those goods that require long productive cycles involving several processes and that result in a final good valued much more highly by society than the raw inputs they require — for example, automobiles and personal computers. Such goods are the end products of the types of long-term processes into which businesses tend to heavily invest capital and labor during the boom portion of a credit-expansion cycle, as Mises explained in his theory of the trade cycle.

    During the beginning of a recession, as the insufficiency of real demand for these products becomes apparent to entrepreneurs, they must, in an attempt to return to profitability, decrease or halt the production of these long-processed goods, or reduce their price to market-clearing levels. However, by more harshly increasing the costs of long productive processes, a value-added tax would make that second option, a price reduction, impossible — or at least highly unprofitable and ultimately loss-inducing for makers of goods such as cars and computers. Therefore, the only alternative left to such firms facing a VAT in the event of a recession is to even more intensely halt their production of those goods, exacerbating the rise in unemployment of laborers within those industries.

    Even if we were to ignore all other consequences of the value-added tax, this economic reality ought to dissuade President Obama from considering a VAT, as it will especially harm the already-ailing domestic automakers. The introduction of a VAT would require more direct subsidies to the American automakers, though perhaps that is no deterrent for President Obama.

    As if this weren't enough, not only do all consumers face higher prices for everything, but the introduction of a VAT would tend to distort market signals of consumers' preferences between certain categories of goods. In the form of higher prices for highly-processed goods, a VAT sends entrepreneurs a phony signal that consumers prefer goods of high processing over those of low processing more strongly than they actually do. This is similar to Mises's teaching that a central bank's credit expansion, when not supported by real savings, falsely distorts the picture of consumer preferences between current and future goods. And, as was central to Mises's teachings, no economy can efficiently allocate resources without an unhindered and market-determined price system.

    Unfortunately, because the general Keynesian theories of capital and interest and of consumer choice do not accurately describe the phenomena of resource allocation and of consumer choice, President Obama will not be offered any valuable advice about the potential catastrophe that would result from the introduction of a VAT.

    The most striking irony of the fact that the president's economic team is considering the VAT is that it stands in stark contrast to their economic policy paradigm thus far. As neo-Keynesians, top figures from Bernanke to Obama himself have blamed the recession on insufficient aggregate consumer spending by the private sector. It is curious, then, that these top-ranking left-liberal politicians and economists would even consider the implementation of a tax policy that would, as its explicit goal, increase the real price of literally every consumer good and thereby depress the overall efficiency and activity of the American private sector.


    Source: http://mises.org/story/3502








    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    When doing interviews for my new book on the Great Depression, a natural question comes up: will the present crisis turn out as bad as the 1930s?


    My standard answer is typical for an economist: "yes and no." On the one hand, there were very specific reasons that unemployment broke 25 percent in 1933, and we don't have those factors in place today. So I don't think the official unemployment rate will get anywhere near that catastrophic level, though it could very well come in at the #2 spot in US economic history.


    However, even though unemployment rates will not be as severe, I still predict that we are in store for a miserable decade of economic stagnation. Given all of the huge assaults of the federal government into the private sector in just the past six months, I frankly don't understand how anyone except true believers in Karl Marx can be seeing "green shoots."


    What is perhaps worse, laid on top of the stalled output in goods and services, I predict Americans are in store for the worst price inflation in US history. Just as stagflation referred to the combination of high unemployment and price inflation rates in the 1970s — something Keynesians thought was impossible — we can use the term hyperdepression to refer to the mix of hyperinflation and a serious recession in real output. In the remainder of this article I'll explain my pessimistic outlook.


    Why Did Unemployment Hit 25% in the 1930s?


    The single biggest blunder Herbert Hoover made was insisting that businesses maintain wage rates after the stock-market crash in October 1929. Hoover adhered to an "underconsumptionist" theory of the business cycle, in which a small shock to business could end up cascading into a full-blown depression if market forces were left to their own devices. In Hoover's view, the worst thing businesses could do in 1930 would be to slash wage rates, because then workers would have even less money to buy products; there would be a downward spiral into oblivion.


    The problem was that the United States was still on a gold standard, and so the Fed couldn't inflate the economy with new paper money with reckless abandon (the way it has done in subsequent recessions). When Americans began panicking and pulling their money out of the banks, the overall quantity of money (measured by aggregates such as M1 or M2) fell sharply, declining by about a third from 1929 to 1933.


    Because of the shrinking money stock as well as people's desire to hold larger cash balances, prices in general fell substantially as well, falling at an annualized rate of more than 10 percent for portions of the Hoover years.


    This is why Hoover's high-wage policy proved so disastrous. With everything except labor getting cheaper by the month, unemployed workers found it difficult to re-enter the work force. With sales and revenues plummeting, no employer wanted to hire workers at the same wage rate prevailing at the height of the boom in 1929. Because Hoover insisted that wage rates stay the same, even though the market-clearing wage rate was falling with productivity and general prices, the result was larger and larger unemployment. This is Econ 101.


    In our present crisis, we don't need to worry about unemployment rates hitting 25 percent. Even though federal policies will reduce labor productivity, and even though Obama's pro-union policies will exacerbate "wage stickiness," over the next few years I predict large price inflationthat will tend to mitigate these factors. In short, most workers will still be able to find jobs, because Bernanke's running of the printing press will ensure that their paychecks don't buy very much at the stores. Consequently, it won't be as difficult for employers to justify taking on people laid off from other firms, compared to the situation in the Hoover years.


    Why Real GDP Will Stagnate


    I am not going to be foolish and give annual rates of projected real GDP growth; let me simply summarize my view by saying that the economy will be in the toilet for a decade. (Consult another economics PhD for a precise translation of those terms.)


    I really don't understand how even some free-market analysts on CNBC and the like can talk about the recession ending this year, or who speculate that we've finally "hit rock bottom." If they really believe that, then I wonder why they spend so much of their careers praising free markets and blasting socialism? If all of Bush's and now Obama's enormous interventions only yield a few quarters of a moderately bad recession, then what's all the fuss about?


    We have all been desensitized to the federal power grabs, because they have been so sudden and so sweeping. The human mind is able to adapt to any new environment fairly quickly.


    Let's think back just one year ago. Remember when plenty of people were worried about the "unjustified" intrusion of the Federal Reserve into the Bear Stearns takeover? Contrast that to today, when the federal government is literally acquiring outright, common-stock ownership in major banks, where the precise accounting mechanism is a conversion of (TARP) "loans" that it forced some of these banks to take, and which the government (as of this writing) refuses to allow to be paid back.


    Or how about this one: in the spring of 2008, the Bush administration pushed through a stimulus tax cut that cost a little more than $150 billion. Do you remember that at the time, this was considered a fantastic sum of money? Analysts on CNBC fretted about the impact on the deficit and interest rates.


    Well President Obama's stimulus package was $787 billion; the expected federal deficit this fiscal year is $1.8 trillion. The CBO projects that the federal debt as a share of the economy will doubleover the next decade, from about 41% last year to 82% by 2019.


    Beyond the massive shift of resources to the government, though, are the massive intrusions of federal power into various sectors. The feds have already partially nationalized the banking sector (a process started under that "laissez-faire conservative" George Bush); they have taken over one of the biggest insurers in the world (AIG) and two of the Big Three car companies; and they have taken over Fannie and Freddie and now control more than half of US mortgages.


    On top of that, they are pushing through a plan to cap carbon-dioxide emissions — which allows the government to control energy markets, and — oh why not? — they are trying to nationalize health care too. Just to make sure investors around the world stay clear of the American economy, the Obama administration has overturned secured-creditor rights in the Chrysler fiasco and has hired 800 new IRS employees to put the screws to wealthy filers with international business operations.


    It is no exaggeration to say that the last time the government expanded this much, this quickly, was under FDR's New Deal. And we got a decade of misery during that particular experiment. Why would things be different this time?


    A Dollar Collapse, Just for Good Measure


    As if all of the above weren't bleak enough, on top of that we have the very real possibility that the dollar will crash. Central bankers have openly discussed switching away from the dollar and into a "basket" of currencies; this talk would have been unheard of even 18 months ago.


    It's true there are deflationary forces at work, but I believe Bernanke has overcome them and will continue to do so. First of all, look again at what he has done to the "monetary base," which basically captures how much in reserves Bernanke has pumped into the banking system:




    Figure 1



    I know, I know, there are all sorts of clever arguments economists can give, to explain why there's "nothing to see here, folks." But if and when the dollar collapses and we see 20+ percent price inflation, I think people will look back at the above chart and wonder, "How in the heck did we manage to convince ourselves to worry about deflation?"


    For what it's worth, the monetary aggregate M1 (very liquid assets such as cash and checking deposits) rose by 17 percent during 2008. Remember, during the Hoover years the Fed was unable to prevent M1 from falling at a steep clip. We need to keep these differences in mind before drawing any conclusions about what happens to prices "during a depression."


    One last point about deflation/inflation: If you have been reading CNBC headlines and listening to Ben Bernanke, you would get the impression that we are still experiencing "deflationary pressures" in 2009. But guess what? If you look at the non-seasonally-adjusted consumer price Index figures maintained by the BLS, you will see that from December 2008 to April 2009, prices have risen at an annualized rate of 4.3 percent. Yes, you heard right: if you throw out the "seasonal adjustments" and just look at the raw CPI figures, over the last four months the rate of price inflation is well above Bernanke's professed "comfort level."


    Conclusion


    I realize there is a temptation to give very gloomy forecasts, since that's the way to attract attention. You may think I'm succumbing to that here. But looking back over my arguments above, I don't see where emotion or sensationalism is creeping in.


    Let me try one last thing to get my point across. Suppose in 2007 you were handed a piece of paper and a pencil, and were asked, "Come up with a list of bullet points for how to generate severe stagflation in the years 2010 through 2019."


    Wouldn't your list look pretty similar to what has already happened?


    Source: http://mises.org/story/3488









    Source: EmailWire.Com

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