Archive for August, 2009

Letters to the editor: Saturday, August 29, 2009 | »

‘Essence of slavery’ Leo Tolstoy, the Russian writer who’s most famous novel was “War and Peace,” wrote about the injustices he observed in Russia in 1886. In a novel titled “What Then Must We Do?” Tolstoy said the “essence of slavery consists in taking the produce of another’s labor by force.” His sentiments about slavery have been compared to those expressed by Abraham Lincoln. While many people exult in the election of our first black president, is Barack Obama not returning us to the form of slavery described by Tolstoy? When Obama must increase taxes to cover the exorbitant expenses of his collectivist government mandates, he’s taking the produce of our labor by force to turn it to uses of which we don’t approve. Tom McNeill, Healdton

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In what has become another Government Bailout of private companies the Stadium Review Committee approved a payment of $6.7 million dollars to contractors for work completed on the downtown stadium. What should be a huge red flag however is the city still has no contracts or loans signed and closed which would put the ownership of the stadium into the cities hands from what I understand.

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August 29, 2009
12:00 pmto3:00 pm

The Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce will hold a small-business summit from noon to 3 p.m. Friday at the Bolton Street campus of Forsyth Technical Community College.

For more information, contact Sonya Clark at [email protected] or 728-9202.

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Excellent short video on the business reasons for being on Twitter from Laura “@Pistachio” Fitton. Although it’s obviously written by a marketing person this blurb is from her consulting firm’s website:

Called by some Twitter’s original Cinderella story and the Queen of Twitter, Laura “@Pistachio” Fitton is credited with explaining Twitter’s value to Guy Kawasaki and dozens of other tech leaders. She has been speaking professionally about the business use of Twitter since October 2007, and by popular demand launched Pistachio Consulting, the first Twitter for Business consultancy, in September 2008.

She’s lectured on the topic at Harvard Business School, for Cornell’s Entrepreneurs’ Network (she is an alum) and at numerous conferences and other universities. Consulting clients include Ford and Johnson & Johnson and she’s been quoted in more than 50 national publications including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, and BusinessWeek. She is also the founder of Twitter app store startup

Even closer to her heart, Laura believes that everyone can benefit – dramatically – from what Twitter has to offer, and shares her own ‘isolated mom to sought-after author’ story as an example of its power to overcome isolation. The people you meet on Twitter can remove obstacles that hold us back in our everyday lives. In December 2008 she showed how Twitter can bring thousands together to achieve big change with very small donations, building five wells in the developing world with her@WellWishes holiday wish campaign for Charity:Water. She wrote Twitter for Dummies and foundedoneforty in hopes of bringing this kind of opportunity to mass audiences.

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Reports on at least one forum as well as the state that PACE Airlines has had trouble with payroll for at least a month. Multiple post state that payroll was missed in July prior to July 4th along with several pay periods since then. This past week CEO William Rodgers apparently told employees they were working on financing and debt issues but couldn’t confirm anything specific as to expected cash flow.

William Rodgers took ownership of PACE Airlines back in June of this year after services such as Hooters Air closed up shop. Soon after PACE Airlines registered the trade name of Allstar Airlines as is clearly aiming to provide further services to sports teams much like it did back in the day for the Charlotte Hornets with special all First Class seating 737’s. Paperwork shows in July they notified D.O.T. of the name change and the de-registration of Hooters Air and prior information shows Rodgers has a history with wanting to provide services to professional sports.

From the postings found in various forums it appears services are still going on along with flights however one has to wonder how long that can last with employees not getting paid. As one poster said, “I have been in this industry for over 11 years and have never worked for free.” If this is the case and wages continue to be delayed it could spell more trouble as both State and Federal officials will get involved. I am told that as cash flow becomes a problem the FAA can require payment on demand for ramp fees along with fueling companies going COD both of which make day to day operations more difficult.

Searches for data on William Rodgers as well as PACE Airlines resulted in several disconcerting findings such as the website PaceAirline is parked or doesn’t exist and is now redirected to an under construction site at AllStar Airlines. As one poster pointed out court records show a troubled past for a William C. Rodgers in the Missouri Court System but some of those records are clearly not related to the same person. I also located a response from the New Orleans Lakefront Airport dated October 23, 2008 in response to a proposal from Mr. Rodgers for a “United Fan Complex”, a charter business with hotel and VIP services.

Hoping all goes well for the employees at PACE as I myself know the problems that can result from slow payroll from an employer.

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Well it appears Verizon is finally getting a few new phones or rather several older models that have been redesigned and rereleased. The more anticipated of these is probably the Samsung Omni 2 but we will also see a new Samsun Rogue which is actually an updated Glyde.

Samsung Rogue

Samsung Omni 2

LG Chocolate VX8575

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Samsung Omni 2 is a Windows Mobile 6.1 with Samsung’s TouchWiz 2.0 interface. The phone should be upgradeable to Windows Mobile 6.5 whenever Microsoft releases that repeatedly delayed upgrade. Word is it will include both Wifi, Bluetooth, Geo Tagging and a 3.5mm headphone jack. As a WinMo phone it will obviously sync with those users on Microsoft Corporate email, Exchange Server. The Rogue will sport full touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth, MP3 Player, GPS, and a 3MP camera with Geo Tagging. The LG Chocolate will also have Bluetooth, MP3 players, GPS and likely Geo Tagging. All phones will likely be based on EVDO Rev. A and not the older Rev. 0 but that’s something you should confirm prior to purchase.

These phones should all be available by the end of the month, probably around the 23rd.

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Reprinted with permission from Jason Calacanis (, CEO of and co-founder of the conference taking place on September 14-15th in San Francisco.

About six years and $20,000 ago, I made the switch to Apple products after a 20-year love affair with Microsoft. That love affair started with the humble PCjr and ended with an IBM ThinkPad. From DOS to the first version of Windows (the run-time version that only loaded one program), and on to Windows 95 and XP, I dealt with the viruses, driver incompatibilities and other assorted quirks of Microsoft’s wildly open ecosystem.

It sucked to have to buy anti-virus software and reinstall Windows every 12 months, so moving to Apple’s rock-solid and virus-free OS was, in a word, delightful.

Sure, everything on the Mac platform costs twice as much, but considering the fact that my entire career centers around a desktop connected to the Internet, it really doesn’t matter if I spend $2 a day or $20 a day for my hardware. I replace everything at about a two-year pace (i.e. phone, MP3 player, desktop and laptop). So, at $10 a day, what some folks spend on Starbucks, I have a two year budget of $7,500 for my gear. In fact, the only things I don’t replace every two years are my 30″ and 24″ Dell Monitors, which I tend to keep for five years.

Over the last 12-18 months, my love affair with Apple has waned. Steve Jobs’ peculiar, rigidly closed, and severe worldview have started to cramp my style. It’s not entirely Steve’s fault, as Apple’s style and grace are a large part of what drew me to the platform initially. My collection of Mac products now includes seven iPods ($1,500), four Mac laptops ($8,000), two Airports ($500), a Time Capsule ($500), two Mac towers ($4,000), a Mac Mini ($600), two iMacs ($4,000) and all three iPhones ($1,500).

The cost of these items is just over $20,000, or about $3,300 a year. That’s almost exactly $10 a day–what I budget for technology in my life. Half of that is personal, half of that is probably business. While I know I am a high-end consumer, since I do this for a living, I think there are many folks putting $5-10 a day toward hardware. Blogger Robert Scoble of RackSpace must spend $20 a day and Leo Laporte of This Week in Tech must spend $40 a day!

Key Point 1: For the past six years, if Steve makes something, I buy it. Sometimes, I buy two (one for my wife).

Key Point 2: I over-pay for Apple products because I perceive them to be better (i.e. Windows-based hardware is 30-50% less–but at 38 years old I don’t care).

The Love Affair Ends
Steve’s a great guy, and the love affair has been wonderful, but I’m starting to look past him and back to Microsoft for a more healthy relationship that is less–wait for it–anti-competitive in nature. Read the rest of this entry

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As we finally see Antivirus 2009 infections dropping off we have a new variant doing the same old’, same old’. This one is called Secret Service and has the same look and feel as those before. If you see these screens please don’t click and think your installing a real antivirus program. This is all about stealing your Credit Card information.


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