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Barbara Hudson
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Investors underwriting Facebook IPO stuck buying back almost $12 billion of Facebook Stock. Losses so far today for them are ~1.3 billion, far exceeding the $171 million in underwriting fees from the IPO.

Quote:

Company filings after the market closed on Friday night however revealed the extent to which the banks who led Facebook’s initial public offering - in which $16bn of shares were sold to new investors - were forced to move in to the market and buy shares in order to keep the price above the $38 level. Morgan Stanley, Facebook’s lead financial adviser, ended the day with 162m shares, worth $6.16bn. Other banks including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs also bought shares, ending the day with $3.2bn and $2.4bn holdings respectively.

Quick, someone patent the "Hate" and "minus eleventeen" anti-social media buttons!
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SELECT * FROM financial.dbo.delusions WHERE id IN ('Facebook' , 'South Sea bubble','Tulip Frenzy','Madoff');
4 rows returned;
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Linux Consolidation Begins

One of the problems with linux is that there's just too much choice. With ~1,000 different distros, there's a lot of duplication of efforts, as well as fragmentation of the market.

So what does it mean when two of the older distros (Mandriva, used to be called Mandrake) and Slackware are dying?

Mandriva's problems have been quite public. The first bankruptcy, the almost-second bankruptcy, and now "handing over the distro to the community".

Slackware, on the other hand ... most people haven't noticed that slackware.com is down much of the time and that it goes for up to two months without a single bug fix or update. About the only time it becomes an issues is when someone does an "Is slackware dying" post.

(I gave up trying to load the home page after 5 minutes) going to connie.slackware.com (the server with more ram) is quicker, but produces this error page:


> 1337 Error
>
> Your lamp is getting dim, and our server is getting eaten by a grue
> Apache/1.3.37 Server at connie.slackware.com Port 80
Out come the "no it isn't dying you don't understand" posts. What I understand is that it takes a couple of minutes for slackware.com's main page to load - if it loads at all, and that this was supposed to have been addressed a month ago. That Mandriva, despite flirting with bankruptcy, continues to push out bug and security fixes almost daily. That people would notice if mandriva.com went down.

Slackware was my first distro, Mandrake my second, and I liked both of them - a lot. But Slackware is now a zombie distro, and has been for months, while Mandriva ... well, consolidation in the linux space is necessary at this point, and not every distro will survive intact.

Slackware used to be touted as emphasizing stability. I guess that still works - dead is also a "stable" state. Users might want to check out slackware derivatives listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions#Slackware-based

A quick check verifies that KateOS http://www.kateos.org, Vector Linux http://vectorlinux.com/ and Zenwalk all load, and that Zenwak is actively maintained, with regular updates http://www.zenwalk.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=127
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Concerning the desktop, Linux is returning to its hobbyist state, and quickly. KDE and Gnome had the chance to eat Microsoft's and Apple's lunch in the huge void between XP and 7 if they had cared to bring out a nice, modern desktop environment. Instead, KDE decided to start from scratch and establish a textbook example on how to completely destroy all trust in a brand, while Gnome continued to not improve in its glacious "pace". Meanwhile, Ubuntu managed to shoot themselves in the foot continuously by degrading release quality significantly and writing a new desktop environment that sucks even worse than what's left of the other environments.

If I say I don't care for Linux much any more, that's a sign, really. I've been using Linux on the desktop almost exclusively since 2003 (apart from my Mac, obviously, which used to be my work machine but gradually became my main machine as Linux failed to improve in any significant way over the years).

Back when XP was current, KDE and Gnome were nice replacements. Nowadays, they look out of place, hobbyist, and just aren't as well integrated without shell-fu as Windows and OSX. And it's a shame. I'll try out Mint in the next weeks as a replacement for Ubuntu (their fork of Gnome 3 looks great!), but I don't think it'll be able to make me switch back to Linux as a main machine.

I'll continue to run my infrastructure in FreeBSD VM's of course, but that's not Linux, and it's decidedly non-desktop.
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Latest cygwin (1.7) seems to work much better than the last time I tried it so many years ago. The full install (3.09 gig download, 10 gig installed, which you can do after the minimal install) is pretty decent. Bash works, as do favourites like mc, links/lynx and vi, perl and python interpreters, gcc and mingw compilers, utilities like convert, etc.

Even startx works ...

Running a full-sized bash shell on one screen, and windows on the other, cut-n-paste works just fine. Both systems can see each others files, which is handy.

For some users this could be the best of both worlds.
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+Kelly Clowers missed having a real shell so I figured "why not? Maybe it's improved since whenever ..." and it has. It might be a good way to ease people into the whole "you can just chain a bunch of simple utilities together to do whatever you want" unix philosophy.

For example, need to batch download, transform, resize, crop, slice and dice, watermark a bunch of pics, then change them from jpg to png, add a decorative border and some text, and upload them to a server? Just a shell script calling curl or wget, convert, and ftp.
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Canada is supposed to have the best banking system in the world. So, I just sent an email to 400 Canadian politicians detailing how lax Canadian banking practices enable zombie corporations to commit fraud, etc.

This is a case of one hand not knowing what the other one is doing. The feds dissolve a company (3 times), but the business can still move their bank account to another branch a year after they no longer legally exist, cash cheques, do business with the government, etc - because the banks don't verify if the business is still legally constituted.

It's not hard - you just go on the government web site and enter a partial name. There's no reason why they couldn't just do a quick screen scrape every 6 months to detect any problems.

The example I give is Starmedia Communications. They "revived" their corporation last year after the feds put the heat on them (my "fault", of course :-), but it died again in March (and they apparently haven't filed any paperwork aside from the request for revival since 2009, for the 2008 year).

Let's see if any politicians are willing to follow up.

You can see for yourself here - just type in "starmedia" in the box where it asks for the corporate name.

There was a multi-million-dollar scandal involving a related business registration scam back when a million bucks was worth something ... amazed to see that nobody has bothered to plug the loopholes.
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200 emails to 200 politicians - let's see if any of them want to address some of the failings over the last few years. Like Equifax selling credit records in bulk without the consumers knowledge or permission and the privacy commish refusing to do anything because MY name wasn't on the list, so I had no standing to report it?!!!, or the agency in charge of regulating lotteries refusing to take action even when they're given a direct link to a week-long illegal prize draw (hey, why have a "snitch email addy" if you're just going to tell people to call the police? Get off your lazy behinds and do your d*** job!)

Or, in my own case, zero access to any help dealing with a partial loss of vision because 1 in 7 Canadians lack a family doctor (who could probably have helped detect the problem via routine screening long before permanent damage was done, since I was in a high-risk group and annual screening is the norm in such cases).
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No, just my eyes are all blurry. Time to take a break (and give them time to mull over what I've thrown at them).
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Who do you trust more, and why? I know, some these are like that definition of conflicted feelings - watching your brand new car go over the cliff with your mother-in-law at the wheel ... others are a Hobson's Choice .... but saying "neither" doesn't count.

Just cut and paste the questions, mark your choice and optionally say why.


1. [_] Paypal (we'll hold back however much $$$ we want when we want) or [_] Your Bank (thanks for the bail-out, suckers)? Why:
2. [_] Facebook (I sell your data and lock you in) or [_] Microsoft (I want your money and lock you i)? Why:
3. [_] Google (I sell your eyeballs and own your data) or [_] Apple (we'll tell you what you want)? Why:
4. [_] Apple or [_] Microsoft? Why:
5. [_] Microsoft or [_] Sony? Why:
6. [_] GM (thanks for the bail-out, suckers) or the [_] Governments that bailed them out (thanks for the campaign donations, suckers). Why:
7. [_] The ER Doctor you've never met before, or the [_] Salesman referred to you by a close friend? Why:
8. [_] The Cashier at the store (Hey, I just work here), or the [_] Owner of the same store (Hey, I own the place)? Why:
9. [_] Dog or [_] Cat? Why:
10. [_] Skunk or [_] Porcupine? Why:
11. [_] Politician or [_] Biker Gang Member? (warning: this is a trick question). Why:
12. [_] The police and the courts or [_] Biker Vigilante Justice? (see, I told you #11 is a trick question). Why:
13. [_] Someone who calls it Linux or [_] someone who calls it GNU/Linux? (no, Virginia, they are not the same). Why:
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1. My Bank. they never got involved with sub-prime lending and didn't need a bailout.
2. MS produces some things that are useful to me and my clients. Facebook produces nothing.
3. Google. they actually seem to care about users being able to integrate with things.
4. MS again. Not so much trust as I had to pick one.
5. MS again. See 4.
6. Ford.
7. Now we are dealing with people. Since the Salesman has been vetted by someone I know and trust I'll trust it more.
8. what's to trust? they just move stuff and collect money.
9. any animal will eat you if it's hungry enough.
10. see 9
11. Biker. It's been my experience that If I don't mess with bikers, they wont mess with me. even a few 1%er's i've worked with were just guys that had their own way. On the other hand a politician can pass a law that screws up my business or life otherwise and i'd never get a chance to call the cops on him.
12. I've been guilty of driving while black a few times. Cops are never around till after the damage is done. I have no reason to fear or invoke BVJ so i guess I'd trust them more.
13. Linux. I hate pretentious fucks.
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Barbara Hudson

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Texting while driving is bad enough!
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The real danger of the Facebook IPO flop.

Facebook's IPO was a flop - the only reason the shares didn't end the day on a negative was that the underwriters bought millions of them at the floor price, to support the stock (it's their job - when they got the account, they had to guarantee the sale of the stock at least at the IPO price).


Even Groupon, which is now trading at less than a 3rd of its' first-day high, closed over 30% higher than it opened.
So now the underwriters are sitting on millions of shares of FB at $38 apiece. In other words, instead of taking in $171 million in fees, they traded back those fees /(and then some)/ for FB paper that nobody else was willing to buy at $38 a share by days end.

How much is FB worth to someone playing the market (as opposed to the underlying value, which is much less than the IPO valuation, but that's another story)? Zynga has been used as a proxy for FB for a while - if you couldn't buy FB, at least you could buy their major partner, Zynga.

Trading in Zynga was halted - twice - because of 10% price declines in the stock in a 5-minute period. In other words, it would have probably have gone still lower if trading hadn't been halted, and ended the day down "only" 13.42%.

So, since the only thing that kept FB shares from going through the issue price floor was massive price support by the underwriters, Zynga continues to be a valid proxy for what Facebook would be doing if it weren't for the underwriters intervention.

What does this mean to the underwriters? Realistically, not only did they not make any net income from FB, but the shares they bought back at $38 will be a hard sell at $31 over the next few weeks.


Their only real option is to slowly sell off the shares, a little at a time, in competition with the other half-billion shares, many of which were bought in anticipation of a quick profit on a first-day market "pop" that was over almost as soon as it began.
There's also a limited window of opportunity. 6 months from now, all those Facebook employees who can't sell their shares because of the 6-month lock-in will also be wanting to cash out at least some of their $$$, so that leaves 6 months to unload, while many of the people who bought half a billion shares also look to unload.

(None of this takes into account the FB employees who took out loans against their stock grants. This secondary market just got risk-ugly.)

So, who benefits? Microsoft, Apple, and Google.

Microsoft, because Facebook is now just another stock, and one that doesn't even pay dividends, so competition with Facebook for employees just got easier. Bing will also pick up some advertisers who are re-examining their committment to FB in light of the triple whammy of GM pulling out, the $15 billion lawsuit, and the FB IPO flop showing that investors don't have that much confidence in future FB growth being anything like the past.

Apple, because people will continue to buy iPads, and iPad users tend to use Facebook less (eventually just responding to birthday reminders and such, at least from what I've seen). Anything that makes FB look more past its prime makes Apple's ecosystem look more attractive.

Google, because not only are they now, like Microsoft, going to have an easier time competiting for talent, but also because of the dark shadow (think "negative halo effect") the FB IPO dud will have on Facebooks credibility with advertisers, just a few days after GM pulled out of paid FB advertising because it's not worth it, and the rumours of other big-name advertisers who are also ready to pull the plug. That money will go to Google, and to some extent, to Bing.

The big loser, of course, is nowhere to be seen. It's anyone on whom Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs dump the overpriced FB paper they're now holding. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, they do with their new positions as significant shareholders of Facebook. They could make Zuckerbergs' life "interesting."

Plus there's the impact it will have on the economy just from reduced expectations all around, and the increased reluctance to invest seed money in other tech ventures.

Oh, and let's not forget the impact on the whole "social media" bubble. That hissing sound you hear? It's the air coming out. FB looks a lot more vulnerable than it did just 24 hours ago.
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Your last line got a chuckle out of me... than I had to re-read it several times to figure completely understand the statement and realize it was even funnier than I initially thought.

The bright side. I did not buy any FB stock :)

From your other post "Investors underwriting Facebook IPO stuck buying back almost $12 billion of Facebook Stock." - Utter shock.
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Oracle blinks, agrees to stipulation that judge alone will decide what, if any, damages for copyrights in Oracle v Google.

I suspect they knew it was game over when the judge said that not only could he write the "infringing" code in rangecheck, but that he in fact did write similar code, and that it really is bizarre to try to hang out for "beelionz" for 9 lines of code that does something even a high-school kid could write.
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Some good news in the open source vs patent FRAND rent-seeker trolls arena - this from the Brits:

Smallish quote:

Phil Archer, eGovernment consultant for the World Wide Web Consortium, told the meeting confirmed its HTML5 standard had that problem.

"HTML5 has a video tag in it. And there have been arguments back and forward about which standard we should choose. We ended up deciding to choose none of them. Because we can't," he said.

"The problem was that standards defined in FRAND terms allowed patent holders to claim royalties on anyone who wanted to play.

Archer said companies contributed to the Web standards process without expecting to charge an internet toll. They understood "they get money back by the fact that the Web exists and we can all make money out of it."
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I've been silent because I've been doing a lot of thinking.

Since programming is now out as a career (over 35, problems with my retinas), I'm going to that second-to-last refuge of all useless humanity - politics.

Seriously, I've been thinking about it for some time, and level of corruption of the local government is depressing. Not only that, but they've done some pretty nasty things to me over the years, and I'm tired of it.

What ultimately tipped the scales, though, was that I stopped by the hospital to talk with two women who work there on my way to visit one of my sisters, and we got to talking about how the government is trying to fudge its books by artificially inflating apparent receivables.

The latest scam: Sending out notices of tax re-assessments for the last 25 years to the spouses of people who have died. Totally illegal (there's a 10-year limit here). They recently tried this on one of my relatives. Anywhere else, I wouldn't believe it. Quebec - hey, <a href=http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/09/24/the-most-corrupt-province/> this is just business as usual for Canadas' most corrupt province</a>.

Under this scam, you can be sure the workers of that department get their bonuses for meeting targets for "enhancing receivables", and if the money never gets collected, that's just another departments problem. Never mind that it's illegal. Forget the human suffering it causes, at a time when people are most vulnerable.

For those just joining in, I had to sue the government a few years ago when they illegally (and wrongly) tried to claim that I owed $70,000 in a separate matter. The judge agreed that I didn't owe a single penny and that the seizure of my salary was totally illegal, but having to spend money to sue the government when they're illegally lopping of 1/3 of my pay before taxes is not for the faint of heart.

Most people would have taken the lawyers advice and taken the deal to pay less than the full amount claimed, rather than firing the useless turdle and arguing the case themselves.

It turns out that one of the two women who works at the hospital is also being hounded by the government. Even though she only works a few days a week, they're seizing her salary, and her attitude was "it's the government - nobody wins against the government." Until I talked to her, she was just resigned to paying it - doesn't matter if she actually owes it or not.

I had just come from my lawyers' (yes, I sometimes let lawyers fight my battles for me) because I have to sue the government again (I must be on some list or other ...), and really, that's the last straw. It's not just me. It's not just a few people. This corrupt government has its' claws into everything and everyone. If I don't speak up, I'm part of the problem.

The feds turning a blind eye in the hope of not alienating French voters makes them just as bad.

We currently have a <a href=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Corruption+Quebec+Charbonneau+Commission+concerns+arise/6421924/story.html>corruption commission</a> getting underway (one the government resisted, then tried to severely hamstring). It won't be enough. We've been there before, and the political will, and the ANGER, just isn't there. Except for the student protesters, people are resigned to "business as usual."

I'm not. I've taken all the crap I'm prepared to take. I've got dirt, and I'm going to use it, starting tomorrow. Any ideas and any help are welcome.
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+Kristin A +Kelly Clowers Thanks to both of you. I'm going to give it a good try, but I know I can't do it alone. I also know that most of the population, while angry, is also, after decades of promises that haven't panned out, very jaded. They simply don't believe that anything more than exchanging one set of crooks for another is possible at the provincial level.

I disagree, but that's because I'm incredibly stupid.:-)
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For all you web monkeys wanting to get into java programming without all the java cruft, there's a new release of unjava today. No heavy IDE, just use your favourite plain-text editor and run unjavac to auto-generate java source code, java classes, and jar files. Remember - unjava does not impose any license restrictions on your programs.
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Basic Information
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Other names
Barbie Hudson, Barb Hudson, Barbara Elizabeth Hudson
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Introduction
You may know me from this slashdot account, but it's more likely from my more popular "white hat slashdot troll" account (+500 fans +100 freaks, if you know it you don't need the link ... ).

You can contact me at milsecure.com
Barbara Hudson's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.