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Category: Business/Finance
The Money Blog Experiment
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 04, 2005
The Blog Experimenter, as he calls himself, is a "30-something guy living in the midwest United States." His experiment is to create a blog, put Google Ads on it, and see how much money he can make off the venture. Except he's really created two blogs. The first one is 'the money blog', which is the blog that is the subject of the experiment. The second is the 'blog money experiment', on which he chronicles his efforts to make money with the google-ad-driven 'money blog'. He doesn't tell you what the url of the money blog is, or what subject it covers. And from what he says, it doesn't appear to be attracting much of a following. His…
Categories: Business/Finance, Websites Comments (26)
An Interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 07, 2005
An interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president of Nintendo, has been doing the rounds. It's supposedly published in the February issue of Wired. The interview is quite colorful, to say the least. For instance, at one point Yamauchi claims that during a meeting with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer he said to him, 'hey, Ballmer, why don't you suck my tiny yellow balls.' This was his response to Microsoft's offer to buy Nintendo. The quotation is offered up in bold letters in the sidebar, so there's no chance you'll miss it. There's also some other equally outrageous stuff. Is any of it real? No. It's a fake interview and a fake Wired…
Salvation Army Gold Coin Mystery
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 22, 2004
A coin dropped into a Salvation Army kettle last week in Naperville has made headlines. It was a $400 gold coin wrapped in a $1 million bill (the $1 million bill was fake). This brings up the mystery of just who's behind this tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles. Apparently the tradition dates back to 1982, when a gold coin was dropped into a kettle in a Chicago suburb. Gold coins have shown up in kettles in many states ever since then. Some think the coins are donated by people who benefitted from the charity in the past. But others suspect it may all be a publicity stunt engineered by the Salvation Army…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (33)
Overpriced Amazon Items
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 14, 2004
How much would you pay for a one-page pdf file discussing the delayed launch of Sony's PlayStation Portable in North America? What about $750. That's the price it's going for on Amazon. But maybe it's worth it, because it has received quite a few five-star reviews. For instance, D.C. McKinney says that it's "Definately a good read and well worth the price of admission! This gem of a find is a must for anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in delays in the world of Sony Electronics." (for some reason I suspect that some of the reviews are tongue-in-cheek). But if you do download the pamphlet and enjoy it, then you might want to check out…
End of World Causes Bank Failure
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 08, 2004
Numerous bad loans to a polygamist sect that believes the end of the world is nigh has caused the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim in Utah to go under. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a small Mormon sect a small splinter sect of the Mormon church, unaffiliated with the main church) was spending money like the end of the world was around the corner... because they thought the end of the world actually was around the corner. And happily funding this spending spree was the Bank of Ephraim. They approved loans for one bizarre project after another: a watermelon farm that didn't grow watermelons, a construction company that made a loss on everything it sold…
ATM Dispenses Fake Cash
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 05, 2004
When customers of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce tried to withdraw cash from the bank's ATM, instead of money they received "colorful bills used as incentives at Canadian Tire Corp. hardware stores." So what do you do if an ATM gives you funny money instead of real bills? An article in the Charlotte Observer (requires obnoxious registration) gives this advice: "Don't walk or drive away from the teller window without checking the money first... Once you leave the teller, fake bills are your responsibility. If you're at an ATM, go into the bank and ask for a replacement... If the bank's closed, you're likely out of luck." Of course, if you do find yourself stuck…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (16)
BBC Falls for Bhopal Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 04, 2004
The hoaxing of the BBC has now been all over the news. In case you haven't heard, on Friday the BBC broadcast an interview with a man claiming to be a representative of Dow Chemical, Jude Finisterra (is the guy's last name supposed to mean 'the end of the world'?). During the interview the man said that Dow had decided to accept full responsibility for the chemical disaster that killed thousands of people in Bhopal twenty years ago, and in addition it would pay $12 billion in compensation to the victims. The BBC broadcast the interview twice, causing Dow's stock value to promptly drop. Later that same day it became clear that the man wasn't a representative of…
Top 15 Most Bizarre Reasons for Calling in Sick
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 20, 2004
According to this press release from Career Builder, over one-third of U.S. workers take fake sickies (sick days when they're not really sick). Personally I think that number is too low. The real number should be closer to 90 or 100 percent, because I don't know anyone who hasn't taken a fake sick day at some point. But then again, maybe all my friends and family members are slackers. The same press release also offers the 15 most bizarre reasons that people have offered for taking a sick day: "I was sprayed by a skunk." "I tripped over my dog and was knocked unconscious." "My bus broke down and was held…
Phony Sold Signs
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 04, 2004
A British Real Estate Agency has been fined for placing phony 'sold' signs up outside the houses of its own employees. It's not quite clear to me what they gained by doing this. I assume it made them look like they were doing more business than they actually were. Still, it's odd to think that as you drive around a neighborhood and see all those 'for sale' and 'sold' signs, that the signs might bear no relationship to reality at all.
Categories: Business/Finance, Places Comments (3)
Weird Subscription Services
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 02, 2004
I recently joined Netflix, and I'm enjoying it so far. It makes sense to rent dvds via the web (though scratched dvds are a real headache). But when I came across Bag, Borrow, or Steal, which delivers a constant stream of designer handbags to your door, I thought it was a joke. It's obviously not, which just goes to show how out of touch I am with the world of fashion. I also was a bit skeptical about the Blacksocks service. Blacksocks describes itself as the "inventor of the revolutionary sockscription." At first I thought subscribers were meant to send back their used socks before they got another new pair (which is why I couldn't believe…
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (8)
Expensive Counterfeits
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 27, 2004
Why would anyone counterfeit money if the cost of making the counterfeits was more than the money itself? That's the question Japanese police are puzzling over. Since profit can't be a motive "police suspect a techno-maniac is involved." Well, either that or a really stupid criminal.
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (0)
Outsource Your Own Job
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 13, 2004
Either this is a bizarre new scam, or the Times of India has fallen for a tall tale. It claims that the hot new trend among programmers is to outsource their own jobs to India. As the article explains: "Says a programmer on Slashdot.org who outsourced his job: 'About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my job. I pay him $12,000 out of the $67,000 I get. He's happy to have the work. I'm happy that I have to work only 90 minutes a day just supervising the code. My employer thinks I'm telecommuting. Now I'm considering getting a second job and doing the same thing.'" Sounds like a great scheme... unless your…
Christian Debt Removers
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 26, 2004
I got spammed today by Christian Debt Removers, an organization which advertises itself as a debt elimination service "based on Christian principles." Whatever that means... your guess is as good as mine. The only thing I could figure out was that they've slapped a few proverbs up on their site and this somehow makes them 'Christian.' Of course, the one Christian phrase that's conspicuously absent from their site is the line from the Lord's Prayer: "forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors." But somehow I suspect that, whatever principles they might claim they hold, they draw the line at debt forgiveness. Anyway, I was about to write…
Categories: Business/Finance, Religion Comments (14)
Get That Degree You Want, Now
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 07, 2004
I had come to think I was never going to get my Ph.D., but I shouldn't have been so pessimistic. All I need to do is lower my standards a bit and sign up for one of those PhDs that Saint Regis University is practically giving away. A Georgia math teacher did, and she got a $16,000 pay raise. Or you could save even more money and get any degree you want, from any institution of higher learning, from BogusPhD.com.
Tax Refund for a Princess
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 27, 2004
If you're going to cheat on your tax forms, you might as well do it big, like this university cafeteria worker did. She claimed to be a Hawaiian princess and managed to get a $2.1 million refund from the IRS. The only thing is, she really believes she is a Hawaiian princess. Her defense lawyer argues that she suffers from an "irrational insistence upon an identity that is not her own." Maybe she's the second coming of Princess Caraboo.
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