Wednesday, 24 June 2009
What do the following have in common?
These are some of the big companies which have either been 'struggling' or have ceased to exist.
General Motors once sold half the cars in America, but it got too pally with the politicians and relied on their support rather than on keeping in with the customers. (The decline and fall of General Motors.)
Kodak had problems when the digital camera was invented.
EMI had problems when music downloads became common.
New products come along. New competitors arrive. The world speeds up.
When it comes to investing, it can pay to think about mutual funds, rather than individual companies.
Imagine if some clever folks in India, or Washington state, or Cambridge, eventually come up with something as good as Google's Google, AdSense, YouTube and Blogger.
One can imagine a gradual switch away from Google.
After all, Google has made enemies.
And like General Motors it seems to care more about keeping in with governments rather than customers.
Google refuses to have adverts on certain sites.
BtoB Magazine had an article on June 5th 2009 entitled "Declining revenue has publishers rethinking Google AdSense."
AdSense is The (Weak) Elephant in the Room
"Google will (quite rightly) sue publishers who scam the system. But now publishers are suing back, and winning. This is ugly stuff.
"In another murky corner of the Internet are 'made for AdSense' sites that scrape other publishers to generate ad clicks. This is also considered click fraud...
"Let's jump to Google's Q1 2009 results....
"Revenue from Google's partner sites, also known as network revenue or AdSense revenue, fell 3% to $1.64 billion.
"According to the numbers, not all is well with AdSense."
And how long before there is a big switch away from YouTube?
Anyone want to invest in Maxwell Communications Corporation ?
Friday, 19 June 2009
Reportedly, the USA is backing the Taliban within Pakistan, as a way of breaking up Pakistan.
The Sunday Times (UK), 14 June 2009, tells us that Imran Khan has warned of Pakistan’s ‘suicide’
Former cricketer Khan is the 56-year-old leader of Pakistan’s Movement for Justice party.
Among the points made by Khan:
1. In early April 2009, the Pakistan parliament passed a resolution endorsing a peace deal in Swat with the Taliban.
2. In late april 2009, Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari’s visited Washington.
The US agreed a five-year deal worth $1.5 billion (£910m) a year to Zardari's regime.
At the same time, the Pakistan military agreed to attack the Taliban in the Swat region in Pakistan.
Khan asks: "Was this operation to save the people of Swat or to get dollars from the Americans?"
3. Pakistan's military offensive against the Taliban will be suicide for Pakistan.
4. Pakistan's military operation against the Taliban has driven 2.5m people from their homes.
5. The Pakistan military has been using heavy artillery, helicopter gunships and F-16 fighter-jets in civilian areas.
6. Meanwhile all the top Taliban leadership have escaped.
7. Pakistan will never contain extremism as long as American troops remain across the border in Afghanistan.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Who was on board the Air France flight 447 which crashed on 1 June 2009?
Soon after the crash, agents of the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), the French secret service, were sent to Brazil. (terror groups)
Reportedly, two passengers on the doomed Air France jet had names linked to terror groups.
"Bizarrely the full official list of dead passengers has not been released by Air France, despite it being more than a week since the plane crashed.
"Such lists are normally released within 72 hours."
We later learn that the two terror suspects in the Air France jet crash have been cleared of charges
But, who was on the passenger list?
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva greets French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in Rio de Janeiro, in December 2008. Sarkozy was there to sign an arms deal. (Ricardo Moraes/Associated Press)
Pablo Dreyfus, a 39-year-old Argentinian, was on board the Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
(Sunday Herald Key figures in global battle against illegal arms trade lost in Air France crash)
Dreyfus had worked with the Brazilian authorities to stop the flow of arms and ammunition to the drug barons in Rio.
Also on flight 447 was Dreyfus's friend Ronald Dreyer.
Dreyer, a Swiss diplomat, was co-ordinator of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence.
He had worked with UN missions in El Salvador, Mozambique, Azerbaijan, Kosovo and Angola.
Both Dreyfus and Dreyer were consultants at the Small Arms Survey, a think tank based at Geneva's Graduate Institute of International Studies.
Dryer had helped gather the support of more than 100 countries to the cause of disarmament.
Dreyfus knew that the Brazilian arms firm CBC (Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos) had become one of the world's biggest ammunition producers.
CBC had bought Germany's Metallwerk Elisenhutte Nassau (MEN) in 2007, and Sellier & Bellot (S&B) of the Czech Republic in March.
Dreyfus and Dreyer were on their way to Geneva to present the latest edition of the Small Arms Survey handbook.
Photo from: WMD Insights
Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Brazil in December 2008.
He signed a Brazil-France agreement in the areas of defense and nuclear energy.
Brazil will build five submarines, including a nuclear one, with French technology.
France will help Brazil in the construction of six nuclear power plants in Brazil. -news.xinhuanet.com
"Sources said an anonymous male caller phoned a downtown office of Air France in Buenos Aires, not the company's office at the airport, in the morning of May 27, and asked about the time of departure of an Air France flight. Then said 'There is a bomb on that airplane' and hung up." - For now, spies downplay French jet bomb scenario