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Old 2011-03-20, 16:22   Link #12581
Vexx
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In the "why compete when you can swallow it up?" news:
AT&T to buy T-Mobile for $39billion Keep that in mind when you wonder why your AT&T bill keeps going up and your service functionality goes down...
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Old 2011-03-20, 16:56   Link #12582
Frenchie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Diametrical opposites? Maybe Obama has more global support, but that doesn't make this right. I sense some American-European colonialism 2.0 in the works here.
Blah, you're looking too much into it. American colonialism is Iraq. You get there all guns a'blazin', you remove the government and you ignore the international community without even thinking of your image in the minds of muslims, the religion where a build-up of hate and anti-american sentiments essentially gave Al-Qaeda all the necessities for long-term terrorism.

Libya is vastly different in that the U.S. did not want to act, dithered about the no-fly zone being labeled American interventionism and first sought the international community's support for any action. France and England sought to fill the gap and led the coalition while the US was in the background.

No foreign troops will go into Libya, the no-fly zone is to protect the rebellion spawned by the Jasmine Revolution for a change in the Libyan government.

As for the rhetoric that if they do it in Libya, they should do in Yemen and Bahrain, the circumstances are vastly different. Not to mention than any additional intervention in the muslim world will only spur more anti-west rhetoric and that the international community will surely be more divided over them than over madman Qaddafi.

Enough said.
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Old 2011-03-20, 17:18   Link #12583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
In the "why compete when you can swallow it up?" news:
AT&T to buy T-Mobile for $39billion Keep that in mind when you wonder why your AT&T bill keeps going up and your service functionality goes down...
Somebody in the management thought that a larger market share would increase profits and placate shareholders regarding their equity.

Interestingly, their annual operating income didn't exactly change much the past few years, less than around 5%, so what made them think buying T-Mobile up would make a difference?
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Old 2011-03-20, 17:20   Link #12584
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Originally Posted by Frenchie View Post

No foreign troops will go into Libya,
That very much depends on the ability of the rebels to win on the ground...
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Old 2011-03-20, 17:53   Link #12585
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Somebody in the management thought that a larger market share would increase profits and placate shareholders regarding their equity.

Interestingly, their annual operating income didn't exactly change much the past few years, less than around 5%, so what made them think buying T-Mobile up would make a difference?
They auto-getto the T-mobile customer base *and* they reduce the "other choices" their existing customer base has to go. Customers are generally getting dissatisfied with AT&T (worst performance in consumer report studies) but this is easier than actually *changing* anything... like infrastructure, billing structure, or customer service.

Seriously, modern corporations are not about competition, innovation, or free-market anything. They're about locking in customers, maintaining existing revenue frameworks, and predictable revenue streams -- none of those are *inherently* evil, but they consistently make the less healthy-for-the-consumer choice in pursuing those.
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Old 2011-03-20, 18:19   Link #12586
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
In the "why compete when you can swallow it up?" news:
AT&T to buy T-Mobile for $39billion Keep that in mind when you wonder why your AT&T bill keeps going up and your service functionality goes down...
Well, if I didn't have enough reason to switch from T-Mobile before...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
They auto-getto the T-mobile customer base *and* they reduce the "other choices" their existing customer base has to go.
To be specific, I'm pretty sure T-Mobile was the only other provider who used the same type of phone as AT&T. Everyone else uses the other kind of phone. So now, AT&T customers can't just switch to T-Mobile while keeping their phone. They'll have to switch to another provider and buy another phone.

Personally, Virgin Mobile is looking better and better.
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Old 2011-03-20, 21:31   Link #12587
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
They auto-getto the T-mobile customer base *and* they reduce the "other choices" their existing customer base has to go. Customers are generally getting dissatisfied with AT&T (worst performance in consumer report studies) but this is easier than actually *changing* anything... like infrastructure, billing structure, or customer service.

Seriously, modern corporations are not about competition, innovation, or free-market anything. They're about locking in customers, maintaining existing revenue frameworks, and predictable revenue streams -- none of those are *inherently* evil, but they consistently make the less healthy-for-the-consumer choice in pursuing those.
I don't know how much theoretical economics apply to RL like this, but I do know that in history, consolidation of a market by a single provider will result in a breakout, or a decline in the usage of the product. It won't make a difference to their income streams because people are simply going to not use what they can't afford.

At this rate they are killing themselves and their customers. If their stock prices fall, less people will want to invest in them, and they will have to look for another telecom provider to buy. Then their customers will use less and less of their services so as to avoid incurring high costs, and the telecom will incur less accounts receivable to fund their operations with.

The shareholders should really go on a witch-hunt now. Or dump their stocks.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-03-20, 21:47   Link #12588
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I don't know how much theoretical economics apply to RL like this, but I do know that in history, consolidation of a market by a single provider will result in a breakout, or a decline in the usage of the product. It won't make a difference to their income streams because people are simply going to not use what they can't afford.

At this rate they are killing themselves and their customers. If their stock prices fall, less people will want to invest in them, and they will have to look for another telecom provider to buy. Then their customers will use less and less of their services so as to avoid incurring high costs, and the telecom will incur less accounts receivable to fund their operations with.

The shareholders should really go on a witch-hunt now. Or dump their stocks.
You've basically described the "innovations" of the last 10-15 years of corporations: swallow, merge, destroy what made the acquisition attractive, wonder why customers and investors scurry away, repeat.
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Old 2011-03-20, 22:45   Link #12589
ganbaru
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Air strikes in Libya raise concern in U.S. on cost
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...72J3XA20110321
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Old 2011-03-20, 22:54   Link #12590
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I would point out that the missiles have already been paid for. The cost only comes up when you go to replace them.

Of course they are walking a fine line on what is defined as a war in the modern age. 70 years ago, such an act of airplanes bombing your stuff would be an act of war followed logically by a declaration of war if one had not been give. Thus Libya would have had every right to declare war on all the nations engaging them, but though of course that would be suicide.
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Old 2011-03-21, 00:37   Link #12591
Reckoner
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I would point out that the missiles have already been paid for. The cost only comes up when you go to replace them.

Of course they are walking a fine line on what is defined as a war in the modern age. 70 years ago, such an act of airplanes bombing your stuff would be an act of war followed logically by a declaration of war if one had not been give. Thus Libya would have had every right to declare war on all the nations engaging them, but though of course that would be suicide.
Which is the ridiculous types of loop holes people like Nixon used to execute ridiculous wars like Vietnam.

The president does not constitutionally have the power to take military action against another country without a vote by congress.

I'm surprised by the great amount of apathy expressed by people in the US. This is what our tax dollars are going to, instead of helping what really matters, our economic situation.
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Old 2011-03-21, 00:50   Link #12592
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i thought this is like something California would always come up with.....

Spoiler for :
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Old 2011-03-21, 01:22   Link #12593
Ithekro
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If I remember both Korean and Vietnam wars were never declared wars by the United States. Both are considered "police actions". Also both were "started" by Democratic Presidents and ended by Repiblican Presidents. (Korean being Truman, ended by Eisenhower. Vietnam techically started by Kennedy and later fully in swing by Johnson...ended by Nixon.)
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Old 2011-03-21, 01:27   Link #12594
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying ^ View Post
i thought this is like something California would always come up with.....

Spoiler for :
I *was* going to make fun of this but yeah, lets HAVE peer review of "intelligent design". It'll be fun. Death by a thousand skewers. Actually having to defend a thesis under peer review.

In the meantime, I'm going to submit my studies on leprechauns and tooth faeries underpinning originations to Texas and cry foul when the state doesn't give me a grant.

In other news, Ithekro's recollection is correct -- neither the Korean nor Vietnam conflicts were declared wars. "National security" and all that.... I don't recall that Britain and Argentina actually had a declaration on their dispute either but I'm sure our Argentine or Brit posters can correct me.
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Old 2011-03-21, 01:31   Link #12595
Ithekro
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What about a study to see if Tolkien's works are actual fact but take place before recorded history as we know it?

Just to be silly.

As to the Falklands War of 1982, neither side declared war officially. This suggests to me that the rules have changed a great deal from what they were back in the 1930s and 1940s.
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Last edited by Ithekro; 2011-03-21 at 01:48.
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Old 2011-03-21, 03:07   Link #12596
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
What about a study to see if Tolkien's works are actual fact but take place before recorded history as we know it?

Just to be silly.

As to the Falklands War of 1982, neither side declared war officially. This suggests to me that the rules have changed a great deal from what they were back in the 1930s and 1940s.
Hey, I like that study better, we should collaborate...
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Old 2011-03-21, 05:25   Link #12597
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
You've basically described the "innovations" of the last 10-15 years of corporations: swallow, merge, destroy what made the acquisition attractive, wonder why customers and investors scurry away, repeat.
I find it kind of stupid that they do what you mentioned, then when they corner the market and still do not have substantial gains to their revenue, they lobby and complain to the government about foreign competitors coming in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
If I remember both Korean and Vietnam wars were never declared wars by the United States. Both are considered "police actions". Also both were "started" by Democratic Presidents and ended by Repiblican Presidents. (Korean being Truman, ended by Eisenhower. Vietnam techically started by Kennedy and later fully in swing by Johnson...ended by Nixon.)
The Korean War was inevitable because Kim Jong Sung just whacked SK with no apparent reason, funded by the Soviets and China. US stepped in to prevent NK from getting a naval advantage (going seaborne towards Japan and SEA) after they conquered the entire Korea. Republican or Democratic, it doesn't matter, the war just had to happen.

It is a split second decision to just move in and drop bombs.

P.S I do know that Aunt Marge did threaten the Argentines if they don't get out of Falklands, but I don't know if the Brits did declare an actual war.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-03-21, 06:40   Link #12598
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declarations of war require Casus belli.
you can't have Casus belli against a country who's offenses are directed at its OWN people, hence, the policing action excuse.

not that it makes it ok, or logical.
nothing about this makes any sense
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Old 2011-03-21, 08:33   Link #12599
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Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
declarations of war require Casus belli.
you can't have Casus belli against a country who's offenses are directed at its OWN people, hence, the policing action excuse.
Wouldn't England have had Cause belli with the Falklands? It was it's own citizens being captured in an occupation.
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Old 2011-03-21, 08:40   Link #12600
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How serious can you take this article?

Vodka: Quality without the cost?

Quote:
Let’s talk alcohol: After all, it’s 5 p.m. somewhere, right? Over the past decade, the popularity of super-premium spirits has exploded, catering to a new breed of high-end cocktails in many watering holes.

“There has been a significant increase in consumers buying better quality products, almost across the board in all the various categories of spirits,” says Frank Coleman senior vice president of Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

As the sting of the recession dulls, demand for top-of-the-line goods is increasing to pre-crisis levels. For spirits, super premium categories have experienced double-digit growth in 2010 — Irish whiskey sales rose 30 percent from the previous year, while scotch single malt was up 17.8 percent and vodka rose 13.8 percent, according to DISCUS data.

“There’s an overall trend in consumer consumption patterns for all types of products, whether you’re talking about coffee, spirits or women’s purses. In general, in the mature markets around the world, the consumer demand is for luxury goods,” says Coleman.

But is that $22 martini featuring your favorite luxe-grade vodka worth the price? Can consumers get quality vodka without the cost?

“There’s no question the more you spend on some of these products, you are getting a significantly better product,” says Coleman. “These companies produce, at the high end, phenomenally good products from an artisanal sense. They are hand-crafted products, aged 20 to 30 years. There is a cost factor and a status factor.”

The “status factor” is exactly what value rivals are rallying against, contending you can get a high-quality vodka without a high price tag. Wodka vodka, produced in the Polmos Bialystock distillery in Eastern Poland, retails for an average price of $9.99 for a 750 ml bottle, which is substantially less than the $30 to $40 you’ll pay for the average 750 ml bottle of Grey Goose.James Dale is pictured in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Handout

“We’ve taken an egalitarian approach to the brand. We could charge $25 a bottle for it, but we don’t and as a consequence, we make a lot less money. We hope people pick up on that — buy into the honestly and integrity of the product,” says James Dale, President of Panache, which owns and distributes Wodka.

The low-cost alternative was rated a Best Buy from the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, receiving a taste rating of 90 along with an International Review of Spirits Gold Award.

Wodka isn’t the only value brand making waves. A 2005 blind taste test conducted by the New York Times ranked Smirnoff vodka, which retails for around $14 for a 750 ml bottle, well above higher-priced brands like Ketel One and Grey Goose.

So why are consumers paying more for super-premium brands when value vodka can satisfy even the most sophisticated palette? Dale chalks it up to “the Grey Goose effect” — a movement in ultra-premium vodka started by booze baron Sidney Frank. In a New York magazine profile, the genius of Frank’s audacity is summed up as: “Grey Goose costs way more than other vodkas. Waaaaaaay more. So it must be the best.”

Frank could see that there was a product missing from the shelves. Here were all these vodkas, in the $15-to-$17 range, vying to be the premium brand (with Absolut mostly winning). Frank just sidestepped the fray altogether and charged an unheard-of $30 a bottle. The markup amount was pure profit. “He was the first person to see,” says an executive at rival Bacardi, “that there was a superpremium category above Absolut, if you had a good product story.”

The Grey Goose effect is paying off, as brand loyalty abounds — especially in the mid-to-late 20s, young-professional crowd. “There is a specific demographic who comes into the store and look for Grey Goose and Grey Goose only. It’s basically the name recognition and if I try to steer them towards another kind of vodka, they won’t go for it,” says Amy Sulawan of Red Carpet Wine and Spirits in Los Angeles.

Grey Goose contends consumers buy into the superior ingredients of a quality product for both cooking and cocktail crafting, rather than splashy marketing campaigns.

“I think everything we do is focused on creating the finest vodka and an exceptional spirit. Consumers cast their vote over the quality of our product every time they make a purchase of our bottles,” says Emil Jattne, senior brand manager of Grey Goose vodka.

What makes Grey Goose a superior brand? Jattne says it starts with using superior bread-making wheat, sourced from local farmers in France’s Cognac region. The recipe was created by Maitre de chai (cellar master) Francois Thibault, who also oversees the distillation process.

“The care that it takes in creating our vodka speaks for itself. We have over 550 quality control checks in place that the maitre de chai has put in place throughout the process. No batch is bottled before the maitre de chai or a member of his hand-selected tasting team has tasted and approved it. Five people on the tasting team have to taste every single batch before they approve it,” Jattne says.

Whether in a lazy-man’s screwdriver or a high-brow martini, your palette will ultimately decide if the price you’re paying is actually for prestige or a premium product.
Spoiler for Now Look At The Article's Cover Picture:
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