Friday, May 04, 2007

Google faces a brain drain as high-flyers it has made super rich fly the nest … When Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert, quit Google earlier this month, their parting shot caused a stir. The young dotcom entrepreneurs, who met at university in New York, had sold their Dodgeball social networking website to Google in 2005 - some estimates put the deal at $30m (£15m). But for them, two years with the Californian internet group was enough. "It's no real secret that Google wasn't supporting Dodgeball the way we expected," said Mr Crowley, in a terse statement on his website. "The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us." The decision to quit, he said, was "tough" and "disappointing". It highlights Google's growing problem of retaining financially independent staff Money can't buy you loyalty

Generating ink Rupert raids Wall Street Journal, not many casualties (yet)
I pretty much saw everything in the 20 years I spent clerking and libraring at NSW Parliament House: shady deals, dubious preselections, Kerry Packer’s voice coming from the speaker in Ministerial offices, AVOs. Some of the shenanigans were reminiscent of "Dynasty," the 1980s soap opera about a wealthy family.

And to your left or right - Mark Latham said it first in his diaries:
Thursday 11 March 2004: “... trekked out Cavan to meet with Lachlan Murdoch and John Hartigan. They wanted a get-to-know you opportunity, so the Evil Empire must think I’m a chance. No harm in turning up to see what they are up to. Paul Kelly was right about this duo: lacklustre and over-rated ... Two main political issues: AWAs and Foxtel. Murdoch’s company has the highest number of AWAs in the country; all their journalists are on individual contracts. Hartigan pressed hard for me to drop our policy dedicated to their abolition, but I told him there was no chance of that.”

• It is my understanding that I was born in Kezmarok Crikey’s Blogwatch …The end of 'he said-she said' journalism?; [Editor David Patterson has a parody offering letter in the New Republic from an agent shopping a memoir by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, I DON'T RECALL Fake Memoir On Offer ; Curiously enough, fruit has popped up into the Australian political debate quite frequently in recent years. Fruit in modern Australian politics ]
• · Since coming to office, Peter Costello and John Howard have flogged off almost everything that wasn't bolted down, including the Defence Department headquarters at Russell Hill, something you can't imagine the Americans doing with the Pentagon - Singapore's rich splash out with a vengeance
Singapore owns more of Australia than Australia; Not everyone is happy about the enclave's plan to lure the super-rich and their bankers Robber barons calling Singapore home
• · He will tell a story that I think will make people's hair curl. But he's been waiting a long time to tell this....And he'll also say---this is a very important part of this---that, on the question of what would happen in Iraq after the invasion, the CIA pretty consistently warned, 'You have trouble ahead. You will not be able to unite this country. Sunnis and Shiites are gonna be 'at daggers. Making Your 'Hair Curl: It's Heart to Heart crossed with Devil Wears Prada ; Most people in America want an easy read. I call it McFiction - books which pass right through you without you even digesting them. I don't mean a book that has two-syllable words. I mean chapters you can read in a toilet break. Happy endings. We are more of a TV culture, and that is a hard thing to go up against for any writer The great unknown
• · · "The prospect of a buyout by News Corp would not be good for the newspaper, its employees or for the people who rely on the Journal for information Failure looms for Murdoch's $5bn offer to take control of Dow Jones ; Last year Dan Wickett, a former quality-control manager for a car-parts maker, wrote 95 book reviews on his blog, Emerging Writers Network (, singlehandedly compiling almost half as many reviews as appeared in all of the book pages of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In recent years, dozens of sites, including, The Elegant Variation (, maudnewton .com, and the Syntax of Things (, have been offering a mix of book news, debates, interviews and reviews, often on subjects not generally covered by newspaper book sections. Are Book Reviewers Out of Print?
• · · · I’ve got more time than I have money, motivational speaker Mick Hager says. So when he decided to try to boost sales (and, in particular, the ranking) for his upcoming book, he took an inexpensive but labor-intensive route. He spent 300 to 400 hours, but just $180, in his bid to drum up sales. How One Author Tried to Boost His Ranking ; Amazon is offering an exclusive two-page excerpt from Khaled Hosseini's forthcoming book… Of more interest, the site has also posted 15 short pre-publication reviews after querying their top 100 reviewers in early March for their appraisals. A Thousand Splendid Suns PS - Amazon Fools Them Again - Wall Street was prepared for a lackluster Q1 earnings report from Amazon, and instead the e-tailer announced better than expected results, with sales of $3.02 billion, up 32 percent, and improved earnings of $145 million, up 38 percent from a year ago.
• · · · · The news comes as Israeli police fly to Australia to question billionaire businessman Frank Lowy about a racketeering scam started by former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.

For a number of years Levy was Lowy's top UK rent boy and was reported in the UK press as having earned over $600,000 in kickbacks from Lowy's mobster cartel business dealings. Cash for peerages cops focus on Lord Levy and the 9/11 massacre; Joshua Gliddon 06/01/2007 The Australian Financial Review, Page 6
There has been controversy about a Microsoft project. In early January 2007, Microsoft sent a free gift to some 90 bloggers around the globe. The company sent each blogger a free Acer laptop computer loaded with Microsoft's Vista Ultimate operating system. The idea is that each blogger will review the Vista Ultimate system and post a review on his or her blog. Bloggers are gaining in influence and have real power. Critics argue that Microsoft should have disclosed details of this project earlier, to ensure that it was not seen to be trying to "buy" the support of bloggers Blogger takes free laptop in his stride