Tag Archives: internet

“tough challenges that we can no longer ignore”: U.S. Hi-Tech/Communications breakdown, January 2018

More proof you brick-n-mortar store owners can’t directly blame the internet/high-tech competition for your demise. Incomplete list of U.S. internet/high-tech/communications job destruction announcements in January 2018:

Maybe the new Whore of Babylon is the Digital Bitch?:

California:  Who said sex sells? A little more than a year after being sold to a Florida based company, Chatsworth based adult magazine Penthouse now chapter 11 bankrupt busted, for the third time in its 52 year history.  World of Tanks maker Wargaming America issued a shutdown shutdown WARN for its Emeryville location, 117 jobs gone by the end of March!  San Francisco based women’s lifestyle online-zine Brit + Co suddenly eliminated 14 jobs, despite a 50% increase in revenues.  Wi-fi startup Eero suddenly laid off 30 people in order to “focus on our core business.”  San Jose based ebay reported a massive loss of $2.6-billion USD (not counting losses caused by the new U.S. tax laws), and that’s just for its 4th quarter of 2017!  Ebay also announced it will ditch paypal and offshore payments processing to a company based in Netherlands. Santa Clara based security-tech company Gigamon issued a layoff WARN, 74 people in Santa Clara jobless in March. Xerox eliminating 47 jobs in Cerritos, in March.  San Mateo based GoPro suddenly laid off 140 people due to major problems with its Karma drone, that’s according to the official WARN, but news media reports say it could end up being as many as 3-hundred!  Act-On Software issued a shutdown WARN for its Roseville location, 96 jobs gone in March.  E-commerce packaging service Smurfit Kappa North America suddenly eliminated 155 jobs in City of Industry!  It was revealed that British empire Canada based Creation Technologies suddenly shutdown ops in Milpitas, 177 jobs killed before Xmas 2017!   Mellanox Technologies Silicon Photonics issued a shutdown WARN for its Monterey Park ops, 98 jobs gone in March.  Iconic video game maker Activision suddenly laid off 194 people in Ventura!  David William Bell, the owner of UST Development-US Telecom, sentenced to nine years in federal prison after being convicted of $1-million USD in fraud schemes involving tricking third party payroll companies to issue paychecks to his employees using their money, plus sending out fake billing statements to ignorant ‘anies are not making customers’ who actually paid them!  VMware eliminating 169 jobs at its Palo Alto HQ!   Mountain View based non-profit Mozilla suddenly laid off more than 12 people in Republic of China (Taiwan) blaming “emerging markets across Asia”.   The Bay Area News Group warning of “significant” layoffs if employees don’t voluntarily quit (buyouts) in the next few months, and yes you can read their newspapers online.   Los Angeles based internet comedy site Funny or Die obviously isn’t funny because it’s dying. An undisclosed number of employees were suddenly laid off, reports say Funny or Die has been laying off employees since 2016.  CEO Mike Farah admitted most online companies are not making money, saying “Like a lot of other digital media companies, we’re facing tough challenges that we can no longer ignore, and so we must adapt.”

Connecticut: Norwalk based Xerox is in merger talks with Nippon’s (Japan) Fujifilm, which could result in 10-thousand jobs being killed globally!

Illinois:  Restaurant owners now joining customers in accusing Arlington Heights based restaurant.com of fraud.  The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gave the website an F grade.  In Chicago, predictive analytics startup Uptake suddenly laid off 51 people, despite raising approximately $260-million USD in funding.

Indiana: Nippon (Japan) based Sony DADC issued a shutdown WARN for its Terre Haute factory, 375 people jobless due to outsourcing to France based Technicolor Home Entertainment Services!

Iowa: Convergys shutting down its call center in Sergeant Bluff, 178 jobs gone in April!  Germany based Siemens issued a shutdown WARN for its 11 years old Gamesa Renewable Energy factory in Fort madison, 202 jobs gone by the end of March!

Kansas: Police body camera maker Digital Ally suddenly laid off 63 people due to a sudden 31% crash in revenue.

Kentucky:  In Louisville, online retailer of on-demand customized products CafePress laid off 12 people due to a sudden 32% crash in revenues.

Minnesota: Energy-tech company SheerWind now chapter 7 bankrupt dead with zero assets and $3.7-million USD in debts.  In Wadena, after 18 years Cyber Cafe shutdown.  It was revealed that only subsidies (funding) from the local community, and government, kept it in operation, sales alone are not enough to cover operating cost. The owner also revealed competition from ever advancing social media technology played a major role in killing them off.

New York: Florida based JPay supposedly giving prisoners of Department of Corrections and Community Supervision electronic tablets at no cost to taxpayers.  JPay is so desperate for sales they think prisoners who don’t have much, if any, money will make online purchases through their JPay system (prisoners aren’t normally allowed access to the internet).  Hearst Magazines issued shutdown WARN for its Rodale Payroll, between 55 and 2-hundred jobs affected due to the sale/relocation of the business!  Info-Tech solutions company ASM Research issued a shutdown WARN for its Batavia location, 36 jobs gone due to the loss of a taxpayer funded VA contract.

North Carolina: Singapore based Flex (formerly known as Flextronics) eliminating 138 jobs at its Morrisville electronics factory, in May!

North Dakota: After 50 years FM News shutdown, ignorantly blaming low sales of magazines and newspapers on internet competition.

Ohio: California based Rambus issued a shutdown WARN for its Brecksville light factory, 52 jobs gone as Rambus gets the hell outta the lighting business.

Oregon: Convergys issued a shutdown WARN for its Wilsonville call center, 208 jobs gone by the end of March!

Pennsylvania: France based Technicolor Home Entertainment Services issued a shutdown WARN for its CD factory in Olyphant, 160 jobs gone starting in March!   California based Autodesk vacating its Bakery Square 2.0 office, 40 jobs lost as the space is being subleased.   Hearst Magazines issued shutdown WARNs for its Rodale Payroll/Photo Studio/Test Kitchen/Iron Run Distribution Center, 145 jobs gone in March!   Convergys issued a shutdown WARN for its Coraopolis location, 52 jobs gone in March.  It was revealed that Philadelphia based Comcast secretly eliminated more than 5-hundred sales jobs two weeks before Xmas 2017!   Best Buy shutting down its Pittsburgh Mills store, 23 jobs gone in March.  New York based, but British empire Canada owned, department store Lord & Taylor suddenly killed 202 e-commerce fulfillment jobs in Wilkes Barre, due to e-commerce ops being moved elsewhere!

Texas: DISH Network suddenly laid off 90 people at its refurbishing factory in El Paso.  Austin based advertising agency GSD&M suddenly laid off an undisclosed number of people, saying “we are changing our operating rhythm and aligning to a new method”.

Virginia: Telvista shutting down its call center in Danville, 3-hundred jobs gone in March!  Local news media reported that some employees had just been hired.

Washington DC:  The Current Newspapers now chapter 11 bankrupt busted as part of a master plan to expand online services.

West Virginia: Gazette-Mail now chapter 11 bankrupt busted and laying off at least 50 people.

Wisconsin: New York based e-commerce company F+W Media eliminating 41 jobs in Iola, via outsourcing.

U.S. Tech/Communications breakdown, December 2017:“IN THE INTERESTS OF SECURITY AND EFFICIENCY”

Skyrocketing pork sales in China means skyrocketing prices in United States?

25 OCT 2017 (01:52 UTC-07 Tango 06)  03 Aban 1396/04 Safar 1439/06 Geng-Xu (9th month) 4715

Virginia based, yet China owned, Smithfield Foods is about to get a huge boost in demand from its biggest buyer, China!

Smithfield Foods was taken over by Shuanghui Group (aka WH Group) in 2013.  Smithfield has many slaughterhouses across the U.S. and sells pig products under many brands;  Cook’s, Eckrich, Gwaltney, John Morrell, Krakus, and Smithfield.

WH Group is now boasting it is “The Largest Pork Company In The World.”  In August it made a $25-million USD investment in U.S. online food seller Chef’d to sell Smithfield products.  On 24 OCT 2017, WH Group announced a deal to provide China’s online food seller JD.com (aka JDFresh) with Smithfield pork.

JD.com is boasting that from 2016 to 2017 its online sales of pig meat exploded by more than 780%!  And that’s pork sales just in China!  That’s sounds good for Chinese consumers who love to shop online, but what does it imply for consumers in the U.S.?

The ‘law’ of supply and demand would say that if pork supplies in the U.S. declined due to increased demand from overseas buyers, then naturally the price for U.S. consumers will go up.  U.S. price increases could be halted if another cheap source of pork could be found, probably in another country since the biggest pork producer in the U.S. is owned by China.

History of military computers since WW2, birth of the internet!

Not many users of today’s hi-tech internet/social media know that it originated with the U.S. military during the Cold War.

The first ‘internet’ was called arpanet.  The U.S. Air Force explains in this video:

What Economic Recovery? Yahoo confirms, will lay off thousands of employees

“The changes we’re announcing today will put our customers first, allow us to move fast, and to get stuff done…smaller, nimbler, more profitable…We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities.”-Yahoo memo to employees

On March 31, 2012, rumors hit the internet that Yahoo was in trouble and would fire thousands of employees.

April 4, 2012, Chief Executive Scott Thompson revealed they will indeed lay off 2,000 employees.

Thompson said he would reveal more details on April 17.


Internet Incompetence: Sites on the internet are incorrectly reporting that 85% of U.S. citizens are against war with Iran

A few international news sites have reported that CBS News conducted a poll that showed 85% of people in the United States are against war with Iran.  Blog sites have been picking up that ball and running with it.  The problem is that it’s not true.

I looked at the CBS News Poll, and it’s not quite what’s being reported by other  internet sites. The results were 55% who thought diplomacy was enough, 17% who said Iran was no threat, and 15% who wanted to go to war NOW!  I didn’t see any “85% against war with Iran”.

The CBS News Poll has a lot of other interesting responses about U.S. policy in the Middle East, North Africa, China and North Korea, but, like many polls, the number of respondents are just to small to accurately represent the whole of the U.S. population.

German police NAZIs work with Skype, Yahoo, Firefox, MSN to spy on you, the United States is involved

“We got our hands on it and found it is doing much more than it is legally allowed to do.”– Frank Rieger, Chaos Computer Club

The German government allows cell phone conversations to be spied on, but hackers discovered that the software used actually violates the government’s own legal limits.

It’s called Bundestrojan. Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court said it was legal as long as it screened only internet telephone calls. But, Bavarian police, and several other German states, are logging keystrokes, activating cameras, monitoring internet users’ activities and sending data to government officials.  All illegal.

Hackers also found out the United States is involved: “To avoid revealing the location of the command and control server, all data are redirected through a rented dedicated server in a data center in the U.S.”Chaos Computer Club

A Finnish tech company, in Helsinki, also found that the Bundestrojan is intercepting data entered into web browser Firefox, as well as the instant messaging programs MSN and ICQ.

Antivirus vendor, Kaspersky Lab in Germany, investigated Bundestrojan’s capabilities:  “Amongst the new things we found in there are two rather interesting ones: Firstly, this version is not only capable of running on 32 bit systems; it also includes support for 64 bit versions of Windows.  Secondly, the list of target processes to monitor is longer than the one mentioned in the CCC report.  The number of applications infected by the various components is 15 in total.”– Tillmann Werner, Kaspersky Lab

Targeted applications includes Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera, programs with VoIP and data encryption functionality, including ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Skype, Low-Rate VoIP, CounterPath X-Lite and Paltalk.

German officials are calling for an investigation.  Hackers say this is a result of society putting security ahead of freedom: “Unfortunately, for too long the (government) has been guided by demands for technical surveillance, not by values like freedom or the question of how to protect our values in a digital world.”Chaos Computer Club


Corporate Incompetence: Netflix says internet speeds in the United States sucks!

Earlier this year Netflix tested internet connection speeds in several countries, the United States sucked!

Apparently Netflix ranked the U.S. at 32.  Countries like Canada did much better.

The thing is that much faster connection speeds are available in the United States, it’s just that most people can’t pay the outrageous fees.  Also, most internet service providers don’t guarantee a faster connection rate, their fine print misleadingly says “speeds up to”.  This means they aren’t able to consistently provide faster connection speeds.


Corporate Incompetence: Idaho Internet providers blame the weather and animals for slow internet service, thank Allstate & Education reforms for a much needed upgrade

“We have a guy here who was dropped into remote, isolated areas of Iraq to set up their telecommunications systems. He told me, ‘We had better communications in Iraq than you have in Central Idaho.’ ”-Christine L. Frei, Clearwater Economic Development Association

A recent survey listed Idaho with the slowest internet service.  Now a new survey lists the Pocatello area (in southeastern Idaho) as the place with the slowest internet service in the whole state.

Some internet service providers use only line of sight broadcasts, which is extremely slow.  They blame snow, rain, clouds, fog and even bears rubbing on their transmission towers for internet disruptions.

The Federal government is spending $25 million to upgrade Idaho’s internet services. Part of the reason is that Allstate is building a big call center in Chubbuck, within the extremely slow Pocatello internet service area.

The other reason for the Federally funded upgrades is that Idaho has been pushing an at home internet school program for its High Schools: “Without broadband, especially in rural areas, kids might not reach their full potential. And we can’t expect to be competitive in a global economy.”-Jonathan Adelstein, Rural Utilities Service

One of the reasons Idaho has such slow internet service is also one of the reasons people like living in Idaho; only 19 people per square mile!

This makes it difficult for companies to make money providing internet service: “It’s not the lack of availability. It’s the lack of demand and what people are willing to pay.”-Bibiana Nertney, Idaho Department of Commerce

Most big businesses in Idaho actually get high speed internet service, but only because they can afford the outrageous fees.  Even Idaho’s public schools have high speed internet on campus.



It’s official: Idaho’s internet services suck!

After decades spending millions of dollars to get Idahoan’s connected to the World Wide Web, Idaho has the slowest connection speed in the U.S.

Pando Networks surveyed 4 million internet customers across the country, and found Idaho’s average connection speed to be 318 kilobytes per second, with 83% completion rate.

Idaho’s northern neighbor, Montana, and eastern neighbor Wyoming, also made the slow connection list.  Wyoming actually has a slightly faster connection rate, than Idaho.

Two of Idaho’s other neighbors, Washington and Oregon, made the top 15 fastest rates.

So who’s number one in the United States for internet connection speed?  Tiny old Rhode Island: 894 KPbs!

Japan not number one when it comes to computer skills, girls better at digital reading, computer use at school of little value, Idaho needs to get their act together

A survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows which countries are the top for computer/internet skills among teenagers.

Japan did not come in first.  South Korean teenagers are number one in computer/internet skills, followed by New Zealand, Australia, then Japan and Hong Kong/China.

The OECD study looked at the digital reading comprehension and computer operating skills of 15 year olds.  16 countries were involved with the study, the United States did not take part.   It turns out that girls are better at digital reading than boys (studies show that girls are better at print reading as well).

A surprising find was that use of computers in schools showed little benefit.  It could be because they aren’t used at school as much as at home.  The study showed that most teenagers learn their computer skills at home, not at school.

“But computer use at school had little impact on results, while using a computer at home had a more marked impact on results. To help students at school, computer use should be integrated into curricula and more invested in training teachers to use them for teaching and to help students learn, says the OECD.”

I can attest to that.  Almost every year here in Idaho, the Albertsons Foundation gives our schools new computers.  One year, right before the start of the school year, I was visiting Chubbuck Elementary school to meet one of my daughters teachers.  The teacher was busy trying to set up some of the new computers, she was also complaining about it.  She admitted that she didn’t “understand the things” and tried “not using them at all”.   Over their elementary school years, my daughters, and my son, confirmed that most of the teachers did not allow them to use the donated computers.  My kids learned their computer skills from me and their mother (passed away).   We did so well that I have to go to my now adult kids for help with any computer problems.

The state of Idaho is pushing a new computer system on our schools, they hope to give high school students their own laptops.  I’ve already read stories of how other states have done the same thing, then actually used those laptops to spy on the kids while they where at home.  This new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development blows holes in the argument by some education officials that pushing more computers in schools is the answer for our country’s educational disaster.  In fact the study proves that kids learn better at home.  It’s too bad most parents don’t have the luxury of home schooling.