,hl=en,siteUrl='http://0ldfox.blogspot.com/',authuser=0,security_token="v_SeT2Tv8vVdKRCcG9CCW-ZdIfQ:1429878696275"/> Old Fox KM Journal : 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005

Mr McMillan Speaks

Paraphrasing Yale Hirsch, "Santa Claus has failed to call (so far), so Bears may come to Broad and Wall." Mr. Hirsch coined the term "Santa Claus rally," and did the research on its effects. It extends over seven trading days -- the last 5 trading days of one year and the first 2 of the next year. So far, four of the seven days have passed, and $SPX is down 14 points and the NASDAQ Composite Index is down 28 points. If the seven-day period finishes with a loss, Mr. Hirsch has noted that that has negative implications for the ensuing weeks and perhaps months -- not always, but often.
Looking at our technical indicators, they are in a tenuous state, but are not all on full-fledged sell signals yet. $SPX broke down below 1260 this week, which means it violated an initial support area, and it fell below its 20-day moving average as well. This is mildly negative, but more important is the support at 1250. As long as that holds, the downside would be limited. Conversely, if $SPX should plunge below 1250, it will probably generate heavy selling as many traders are placing "stops" just below there.
The equity-only put-call ratios are now both bearish -- a new development. The weighted ratio gave a sell signal last week and has moved higher, solidifying that sell signal (Figure 3). The standard ratio joined its "partner" on Thursday with a sell signal of its own -- at least according to our computer projections. This is very similar to last year (look at the left hand side of Figures 2 and 3), when the weighted ratio gave an early sell signal, while the standard sell signal came more or less simultaneously with the top near the beginning of 2005.
Breadth has been bouncing back and forth. As a result, the breadth has given several sell signals, the last of which occurred early this week.
Volatility indices ($VIX and $VXO) had recently dropped once again to near 10-year lows ($VXO was below 10!). This week, there has been a modest increase in these indices, which is modestly negative. However, unless $VIX closes above 12.50, we would consider its movements as merely noise within a bullish overall picture of $VIX remaining low.
In summary, these indicators are starting to get quite negative. We expect $SPX and $VIX to follow suit, but we are reluctant to get too bearish without their confirmation. We would not take negative positions in $SPX until it breaks below 1250.
One final point: the media and the bulls are saying that there is a lot of pessimism out there, and that markets don't necessarily repeat themselves, so they expect January to be bullish. Of course, markets don't repeat themselves, but that's hardly a reason to be bullish for January. As for the pessimism, we don't see it. $VIX is near historic lows; that's not pessimistic -- it's complacent, if anything. Furthermore, put-call ratios are not at highs -- which is where they'd be if there were pervasive pessimism.

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Bloomberg on Abramoff


`Six Degrees of Abramoff' Snares a Boy Scout: Margaret Carlson
Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- In Washington scandals, when the frenzy intensifies, there often comes a moment when a loyal retainer will say, ``Remember, no one died here.''

We now have the Washington scandal where someone did die. In one of the deals that went especially bad for notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a partner, Adam Kidan, the owner of a gambling cruise ship fleet, Gus Boulis, was shot and killed in his car at point-blank range in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Two of those arrested on first-degree murder charges had received payments from Kidan for catering and surveillance services.

This is the most grisly of the charges that have swamped Abramoff and his various associates over the last year. Now a pack of congressmen is playing ``Six Degrees of Jack Abramoff.'' Anyone separated by less than two degrees will retain counsel. Anyone with checks from Abramoff will never take another, and there's been a rush to send back previous ones.

Anyone who took a trip paid for by Abramoff wishes there were a way to return it. Those on two infamous excursions to St. Andrew's in Scotland may never swing a nine iron easily again.

Ney Leads Pack

Leading the pack is Representative Robert Ney, a Republican from Ohio, for whom ``Six Degrees'' is no mere parlor game but a struggle to clear his name with the Justice Department and keep the seat he has held since 1995. He had the terrible misfortune of attacking Boulis in the Congressional Record when Abramoff and Kidan were trying to buy Boulis's SunCruz fleet. For that, Ney has found himself memorialized in Justice Department documents as ``Representative #1.'' Prosecutors are investigating him as part of their indictment of Abramoff and Kidan for fraud in the SunCruz purchase.

What's important to know about Ney is that if he's bad, Capitol Hill is just hopeless. A nicer guy you'd never want to meet. Until he fell in with bad company, Ney was just going about his business of mutual back-scratching, log-rolling and favor-swapping.

One day, he realizes that one of those favors was for a bunch of fixers who used to work on the Hill, but now are mixed up with characters so unsavory they could star in their own made-for-TV movie. Abramoff is influence-peddling run amok and Ney's name is now inextricably tied to him and SunCruz.

Casinos, Cell Phones

Ney says he has done nothing wrong and that he was duped by Abramoff. The Justice Department says he was doing a favor for a lobbyist who had donated money and given him meals, trips, sports tickets and held fundraisers in his MCI Center skybox. Ney, in turn, had done favors for Abramoff, including helping reopen a casino for an Indian tribe and awarding a license to wire the House for cell phones to an Israeli company that paid Abramoff more than a quarter-million dollars.

Ney, who is such a Boy Scout he donated a chunk of his political action committee money to them, is a former schoolteacher who took the seat once held by Representative Wayne Hays. (Hays achieved unwanted fame by putting his mistress on the payroll.) Ney immediately was taken under the wing of then-House Whip Tom DeLay and joined in his fundraising effort, Retain Our Majority.

Dispensing Goodies

Ney was rewarded in 2001 when DeLay boosted him over a more senior member to chair the House Administration Committee. That's a backwater to those outside Capitol Hill but crucial to those inside. Like a shop steward, Ney doles out the goodies that allow DeLay to spoil and punish colleagues. Want a choice parking space or a nice place to throw a party? Ney's your man. When everyone got mad at the French, Ney decreed that french fries would be replaced by ``freedom fries'' on the Capitol menu. That's about as famous as he got until now.

Shortly after arriving in Washington, Ney intersected with Abramoff on a trip to Montenegro sponsored by one of Abramoff's shell foundations. In 2000, Ney moved within one degree of separation when Abramoff's associate, former DeLay spokesman Michael Scanlon, got him to put two statements in the Congressional Record.

Ney, hailing from Midwestern farm country, hardly had a dog in the SunCruz fight, but he called Boulis a ``bad apple'' hurting innocent casinos. Ney followed up with another statement when the ``bad apple'' got tough after Abramoff and Kidan came up $23 million short in paying him. Shortly thereafter, Boulis was murdered.

How did Ney end up in this mess? He's said little, preferring to deal with the Justice Department rather than the media. A close associate says Ney thought he was doing a favor for friends, former chief of staff Neil Volz and Scanlon, men he didn't know were mixed up with Abramoff. Ney has further embarrassed himself by saying his purpose in traveling to the Scottish links was to speak to the Parliament there, although it wasn't in session at the time.

Safe District

The associate also points out that Ney hardly needed Abramoff's contributions, since his district has been redrawn to be safely Republican. But if not needing the money was a reasonable excuse, there would be no Bernie Ebbers or Andrew Fastow, no Martha Stewart or John Rigas. Not one of them needed a payday bigger than those they had long enjoyed.

What differentiates the Republicans is that their grab for the goodies comes with a gloss of public piety and partisan purity. DeLay might wish now that he hadn't insisted that K Street lobbyists exclude Democrats from their bounty.

You couldn't ask for a better poster child of the new corruption than Abramoff, with his extravagant religiosity and simultaneous venality. You would hardly think Ney would be ``Representative #1'' in his wake. But the way Washington works now, even Boy Scouts get soiled.

Last Updated: December 29, 2005 00:06 EST

Mobile librarian -- "cellarian?"

NY Times

December 30, 2005
When Answers (With Ads) Are Just a Phone Call Away

THE new technology start-up company AskMeNow hopes to play concierge to business travelers who have a cellphone or BlackBerry but no access to the Internet for hotel recommendations, weather forecasts or stock quotes.

The service works like this: After registering at www.askmenow.com and downloading the free software onto a cellphone or BlackBerry, users can call a toll-free number any time, leave a question and receive an answer in a text message, usually within a few minutes.

A 49-cent charge appears on the user's cellphone bill for each question. (The questions are answered by English-speaking employees from a data center in the Philippines.)

It is too early to tell whether AskMeNow, which started in November and began full service this week, will lure large numbers of subscribers. (So far, it has signed up about 35,000 users.)

The company also gives marketers an opportunity to expand their reach in mobile advertising. The answers sent by AskMeNow carry a line from an advertiser at the bottom.

For instance, a call to AskMeNow for a recommendation of a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn was answered with three text messages, each with the name, address and phone number of a restaurant. At the end of one text message, a line read: "Still searching? Call U.S. Search, 800-877-3272."

AskMeNow, a division of the Ocean West Holding Corporation, has signed up about 50 advertisers so far, including Hotels.com, 1-800-Flowers and the Progressive car insurance company.

Part of the appeal for marketers is the opportunity to choose who receives their advertising messages. When users sign up for the service, they provide information like their name, age, ZIP code and occupation. AskMeNow gradually compiles a detailed profile of each user by recording each question asked, to determine preferences. When advertisers sign up for the service, they can select recipients based on those preferences.

Companies can also choose who receives their ads based on keywords - for instance, the Internet ticket company StubHub, which advertises on AskMeNow, can deliver its ad to anyone who uses the word "ticket" in a question.

Darryl Cohen, the chief executive of AskMeNow, said the company was introducing the advertising slowly so users are not overwhelmed by it. (Not every text message answer contains an advertisement.)

AskMeNow fields questions of many types, though it makes no promises of accuracy.

When asked what movies were playing at the Film Forum theater in Manhattan, AskMeNow responded with four text messages in rapid succession, listing accurate movie titles and times.

It also tackled thornier questions that go beyond the needs of business travelers.

When asked, "Does Franklin Delano Roosevelt deserve credit for ending the Depression?" an extensive but noncommittal response followed, beginning, "President Franklin Roosevelt's 'New Deal' fought the Great Depression on a number of fronts."

AskMeNow can be stumped. The question, "Who was a more influential leader, Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr.?" received a response of, "Your request returned no exact results. The closest results are as follows." (That message was followed by brief biographies of both men.)

Since AskMeNow was created with travelers in mind, it has joined with Avis to offer three months of free service to Avis customers at the 100 busiest rental locations in the United States.

Michael Caron, the vice president of product and program development for Avis, said the company's partnership with AskMeNow was intended to expand its competitive services for customers.

"If you're on the road and you're not able to access information, and you need access to a restaurant or whatever it might be, this service makes a lot of sense," he said.

This week, AskMeNow introduced free automated information like weather forecasts, stock prices and directions, available by calling a toll-free number, 1-888-EZ-ASK-ME. The company has also created an advertising campaign, which includes television commercials that will begin appearing on national cable channels at the end of January.

Eventually, AskMeNow may expand its advertising to include a sponsor at the top and the bottom of each text message.

"We'd like to do it right away, but we think it's a little over the top now," Mr. Cohen said.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Google Leaves 'Em Agape

By Jonathan Berr
TheStreet.com Senior Writer
12/29/2005 7:04 AM EST

URL: http://www.thestreet.com/tech/internet/10258592.html

Ask any investor in the Internet sector what's on his mind for 2006 and chances are he'll say Google (GOOG:Nasdaq) . Will the stock continue to soar or will it finally come back to earth?

Well, we have some encouraging news for this Internet investor, and a few other stocks in the Internet sector that he should consider as well.

But first, the Google dilemma. Google is, hands down, Larry Haverty's favorite search engine. The veteran money manager uses it to look up movie listings and all sorts of other data.

But when it comes to investing, Haverty much prefers the stock of rival Yahoo! (YHOO:Nasdaq) , which he says is cheaper than its Silicon Valley rival. For one eye-popping figure, consider the price tag the market is attaching to each worker at the Internet giants, Haverty says. Going by recent data, each of Google's 5,000 employees is worth more than $25 million, based on the company's $126 billion market cap.

"That's expensive," says Haverty, whose Gabelli Global Media Trust fund owns a stake in both stocks. By the same measure, using recent figures, Yahoo!'s 9,600 workers are valued at a mere $6 million or so apiece.

Haverty's unease about Google's shares is hardly uncommon. Skeptical investors have been questioning the value of the Mountain View, Calif., company ever since it exploded onto the scene in a closely watched August 2004 initial public offering. At the time, the stock fetched $85, a level that was already raising eyebrows among the so-called value investors who seek out stocks using various quantitative measures.

Now, Google trade above $400, having more than doubled this year and quadrupled off its IPO price. Gowth managers, including Thrivent Financial's Mike Binger, say the ride is far from over.

"It was too expensive at $200 and too expensive at $300," says Binger. "Until the numbers show that they won't have these spectacular growth rates anymore, we are going to continue to own it."

Google's unstinting rise has divided investors into two camps, those who agree with Haverty and those who side with Binger. Figuring out which group has the bulk of the evidence on its side is a monumental task, given the fast-changing nature of the Internet and the media business. And just for good measure there's a third group of investors who are betting that even if Google doesn't continue to soar, the trends that sent it skyward will lift smaller players.

Google's stock is tough to handicap in part because the company doesn't provide earnings guidance and is at the forefront of an industry that many observers say is in its infancy. But Binger argues that people can find the real strength in Google merely by looking at its sequential growth. In the third quarter, revenue rose 14% from the second quarter, while net income increased 11%. Those are strong numbers indeed, considering how rare it is to find companies growing at such a rate year over year.

Noting Google's continued strength, five analysts have raised their price targets on the stock since it hit $400 on Nov. 17. The most bullish price targets now reach $500.

"One factor that we believe gets overlooked by the market in focusing on (the company's) absolute stock price is that in a relative basis it's actually valued similarly to other net leaders," wrote Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney, in a Dec. 8 note to clients. He raised his price target to $490 from $430 and rates the shares as a buy.

Based on Wall Street's 2006 earnings estimates, Google's price-to-earnings ratio is 46 and its ratio of enterprise value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is 29. That is in line with Amazon (AMZN:Nasdaq) , eBay (EBAY:Nasdaq) and Yahoo!, Mahaney says.

Google, which gets most of its revenue from advertising, should also continue to benefit from the still-growing popularity of search among advertisers. Forrester Research estimates that U.S. search-engine marketing spending will hit $11.7 billion by 2010, a gain of 170% from 2004.

Even with all of those factors going Google's way, some analysts and investors say that there is still good reason to be cautious.

Google's position on top of the search engine market is under assault from well-funded rivals including Microsoft (MSFT:Nasdaq) . In addition, Google continues to develop nonsearch services and products, with mixed results. For example, some advertisers have criticized the company for rushing Google Base, the free listings service, into testing before it was ready.

"It's not terribly difficult to build a search engine," said Rick Summer, an analyst with Morningstar, which puts the fair value of Google's shares at $254. "The technology is not why Google is successful in search. Brand is very important, and it would take a real effort for anyone to take customers away from Google."

Finding bargains in the Internet sector isn't easy, since many stocks including Yahoo!, the most popular Web site, have shown big gains and are near their price targets. Still, many of the same trends that are helping Google are helping companies that do business with the Internet behemoth and compete against it.

Like Google, ValueClick (VLCK:Nasdaq) is benefiting from the shift of advertising online. The Internet advertising services company also is a favorite of Wall Street. Eleven out of the 14 analysts who follow the online advertising firm recommend purchasing its stock. The average target price for the shares, which currently trade around $19, is $21.60, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

"The fundamentals are solid," says Hoefer & Arnett analyst Martin Pyykkonen, who has a strong buy rating on the stock and doesn't own it, in an interview. "There is upside to '06 numbers."

Pyykkonen expects ValueClick to make 60 cents a share next year based on generally accepted accounting principles and 72 cents on a so-called pro forma basis, excluding certain costs. He has a price target of $23.

Yahoo!, which is second to Google in the search market, also shouldn't be ignored, according to Pyykkonen. Indeed, 24 out of 35 analysts rate the most popular Internet site as a buy, with an average price target of $43.22, Bloomberg says. It currently trades around $40.84.

"Yahoo's relationship with big advertisers is broader and deeper than Google," Pyykkonen says. "It's not to say Google can't catch up. Right now, Google has the upper hand in paid search and Yahoo! has the upper hand in branded image ads."

IAC/InterActive (IACI:Nasdaq) is another Internet stock gaining favor with Wall Street. Ten out of the 18 analysts who follow the New York-based company, which owns the Ask Jeeves search engine, rate it as a buy. Their average target price for the New York-based company, which recently traded at $27.69, is $32.50. Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy's target is a bit more ambitious at $32.

"The stock is not owned by the same growth investors who have Google and Yahoo!," says Rashtchy, who rates the shares outperform and doesn't own them.

Another interesting play is HouseValues (SOLD:Nasdaq) , says Rashtchy, though he adds it's been a target of short-sellers. He praises the company, which provides services for realtors, for its "not so sexy business model." His target price for the stock, which traded recently around $14, is $23.

Analysts have also taken a shine to E.W.Scripps (SSP:NYSE) , the media company. Scripps owns the Shopzilla.com comparison searching engine along with cable channels with popular Web sites such as the Food Network. Their average target price for the Cincinnati-based company, which trades around $48, is $57.60. Ten out of 17 analysts say the stock is a buy.

"This is overlooked," says Edward Atorino, an analyst with Benchmark who recommends the shares but doesn't own them. "Shopzilla is exceeding all expectations."


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

[Googl]Ying or [Jerry]Yang?


GCN home > web stories


OMB policy on posting information sparks debate

By Jason Miller
GCN Staff

The Office of Management and Budget’s new policy asking agencies to improve how they disseminate public information is at the heart of a larger battle over how much categorization is needed to make government information publicly accessible.

The new policy, required by the E-Government Act of 2002, is another piece in an ongoing disagreement over whether search technology is good enough to find specific instances of government information or whether metadata tagging and other categorization techniques are necessary at some level.

In a memo issued late last week, Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management, detailed three steps—for the most part involving publishing materials online—agencies must complete by Sept. 1 to meet the requirements outlined in Section 207 of the E-Government Act of 2002.

The memo also encourages agencies to use the newest version of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Data Reference Model to meet those requirements. OMB released Version 2.0 of the DRM earlier this week.

The memo follows recommendations from the Interagency Committee on Government Information that were sent to OMB in December 2004. The E-Government Act directed OMB to set up the committee to help implement Section 207.

But at least one federal official, who requested anonymity, said OMB ignored the committee’s suggestions and is asking agencies to do nothing more than they are doing now.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the bill’s author, said there are “serious concerns about whether OMB’s new guidelines comply with the act’s requirements.” He added that he intends to ask OMB officials “to explain how the policy meets statutory mandates.”

Lieberman’s office would not offer any more specifics on his concerns.

Patrice McDermott, deputy director for government relations for the American Library Association, called the policy “disturbing.”

“Essentially, what OMB appears to be saying is, for information you want to make publicly accessible, if you put it on your Web site or post it electronically, you have fulfilled all requirements of law,” McDermott said. “That is not true. That is not the spirit or intent of the law.”

She added that intent of law was to give the public the ability to know about and gain access to all information the government creates.

“There was a lot of discussions of how deep that goes and the distinctions between publications and records,” McDermott said. “That becomes less and less clear on the Web, but the intent was for agencies do an inventory of all of their information and to categorize or catalog it, and apply some metadata to it so that anyone going in anywhere in government could search across agencies and meaningfully find things.”

But OMB disputes the complaints.

“This policy certainly meets the spirit and intent of the E-Government Act and capitalizes the extraordinary advances in search technology including the way they crawl and index information preparing it for retrieval over the Internet,” said an OMB official, who requested anonymity. “To say that this policy ‘only’ requires agencies to post information ignores the great advances in search technologies over the past two or so years and the considerable ongoing research.”

In the guidance, Johnson said that agencies might be meeting some of these requirements already. Agencies must:

1. Organize and categorize information intended for public use and ensure it is searchable across agencies. This includes publishing information directly to the Web, and performing advance preparation, such as taxonomies and ontologies.

2. Review the performance and results of your information dissemination program to identify gaps in meeting new or existing user needs, and take corrective action.

3. Publish your information resources management strategic plan on your Web site. The IRM plan will detail how the agency will meet new and existing information dissemination requirements, the results of the agency’s program review and the plan to reduce gaps. It also would discuss how the agency would use the taxonomy or ontology.

These three steps do not include any of the ICGI’s recommendations, the federal official said. The ICGI defined what categorizable information is, suggested searchable identifiers such as handles or the Uniform Resource Name, and said agencies should use ISO standard 23950 for interoperable search.

“Libraries have been doing this for 100 years and agencies been doing this for many years,” McDermott said. “Agencies need to do some serious cross walking using common standards and build on those efforts that were quite successful in government. They don’t have to catalog to the level that libraries do, but have to do more than they are doing now and that the policy calls for.”

The OMB official said the administration did consider the ICGI’s recommendations, but found them “unnecessarily complex and too costly for agencies to implement and sustain over time.”

Agencies still are trying to understand the policy. A Government Printing Office spokeswoman said the agency is discussing the guidance with OMB.

Johnson also identified three ways for the new DRM to help agencies meet the three requirements. The DRM could help agencies:

-Determine how data is created, maintained, accessed and used

-Define data and describe relationships between mission and program performance and information resources to improve the efficiency of mission performance

-Define data and describe relationships among data elements used in the agency’s and others information systems. In addition to this guidance, OMB is developing guidance for sharing terrorism information as required under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

The policy comes at the same time as OMB released the results of responses from industry and government on a request for information on how to improve government search technology.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Story of Kwaanza

The Dartmouth Review

The shooting at UCLA caused Karenga to become deeply paranoid and spurred his bizarre behavior. At his trial, the question of Karenga’s sanity arose. The psychiatrist’s report stated, ‘This man now represents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and elusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment.’ The psychiatrist observed that Karenga talked to his blanket and imaginary persons and believed that he had been attacked by dive-bombers.

Eight years later California State University at Long Beach made Karenga the head of its Black Studies Department. Karenga had toned down his rhetoric and abandoned his cultural nationalism for straightforward Marxism. As an academic Karenga has authored various books on such topics as Egyptian art and has guest lectured at Stanford....

Happy Days!


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Not to be confused with the Kwanza River in Angola, or the Angolan currency, "Kwanza".

A woman lights kinara candles on a table decorated with the symbols of Kwanzaa.Kwanzaa (sometimes spelled Kwaanza) is a week-long secular holiday observed from December 26 to January 1 honoring African-American heritage. Kwanzaa is celebrated almost exclusively by a small minority of African-Americans in the United States of America. Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting and pouring of libations, and culminating in a feast and gift-giving. According to one survey, Kwanzaa is celebrated by 1.6% of all Americans[1].

Kwanzaa was founded by black nationalist Ron Karenga, and first celebrated from December 26, 1966 to January 1st 1967. Karenga calls Kwanzaa the African American branch of "first fruits" celebrations of classical African cultures. Karenga has since further developed his vision and hosts the "Official Kwanzaa Web Site"

Contents [hide]
1 Origins
2 Principles of Kwanzaa
3 Observance
4 Etymology
5 References
6 External links


United States Postal Service "Kwanzaa" stampKwanzaa was created by political activist Ron Karenga in California in 1966, during his leadership of the black nationalist United Slaves Organization (also known as the "Us Organization").

Kwanzaa was originally intended to be an African-American alternative to Christmas. Karenga stated

"...it was chosen to give a Black alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."
— Kwanzaa: origin, concepts, practice, p. 21 [2]
In 1997, Karenga moderated his stance, stating that Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday, but can be celebrated by people of any race.

"...other people can and do celebrate it, just like other people participate in Cinco de Mayo besides Mexicans; Chinese New Year besides Chinese; Native American pow wows besides Native Americans."
— Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, p. 110 [3]

Principles of Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrating "The Seven Principles of Blackness", or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba). These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Karenga chose Swahili, an East African language, to celebrate African American ties to Africa even though census data indicates that most African Americans are descended from West African people[4]. Kwanzaa is an adjunct of Kawaida. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles. In order, they are:

Umoja (Unity)
Kujichagulia (Self-determination)
Ujima (Collective work and responsibility)
Ujamaa (Cooperative economics)
Nia (Purpose)
Kuumba (Creativity)
Imani (Faith)

Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with objects of art, colorful African cloth, especially the wearing of the Uwole by women, and fresh fruits that represent African idealism. It is customary to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give respect and gratitude to ancestors. Often alcoholic beverages are poured to the ground as libations, an ancient custom that has survived in the African-American community to this day.

At first, observers of Kwanzaa eschewed the mixing of the holiday or its symbols, values and practice with other holidays. They felt that doing so would violate the principle of kujichagulia (self-determination) and thus violate the integrity of the holiday, which is partially intended as a reclamation of important African values. Today, many African-American families celebrate Kwanzaa along with Christmas and New Year's. Frequently, both Christmas trees and kinaras, the traditional candle holder symbolic of African-American roots, share space in kwanzaa celebrating households. To them, Kwanzaa is an opportunity to incorporate elements of their particular ethnic heritage into holiday observances and celebrations of Christmas.

The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza", meaning "first fruits". The additional "a" was added to "Kwanza" so that the word would have seven letters, for two reasons. At the time there were seven children in Karenga's United Slaves Organization, each wanted one of the letters in Kwanzaa[5]. The name was also meant to have a letter for each of the Seven Principles of Blackness. Kwanzaa is also sometimes spelled kwaanza, which also has seven letters.

^ "2004 Holiday Spending by Region", 'Survey by BIGresearch, conducted for National Retail Foundation', 14 October 2004.
^ "Where in Africa did African Americans Originate?", excerpted from Philip Curtin's "Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census", June 1969.

External links
The Official Kwanzaa Website
Everything About Kwanzaa (The International Kwanzaa Exchange [TIKE])
"The Story of Kwaanza (sic)" (The Dartmouth Review, January 15, 2001)
Special Kwanzaa section at CNN (1996)
The Gist: "Kwanzaa" (Slate.com column, December 14, 1996)
Happy Kwanzaa (Basic Info about Nguzo Saba and Kwanzaa Symbols)
An anti-Kwanzaa article by Paul Mulshine of Frontpagemag.com
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa"
Categories: Semi-protected | Pages needing attention | Wikipedia articles needing factual verification | Winter holidays | Holidays | African American culture

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Option Strategist Weekly Updater

December 23, 2005

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Note: Use the following link to view this week's charts:

We have now entered the time frame of the 'Santa Claus' rally -- the last five trading days of one year and the first two days of the next. This will likely keep the market buoyed for the rest of this year. However, underlying this seasonal rally is a deteriorating technical condition that will likely lead to sell signals in the new year. Such sell signals have not been confirmed yet (for $SPX), so one must be patient and wait for them.

$SPX has held above the 1250 support level (Figure 1). This is perhaps the most important single fact that can be stated about the current state of the market. As long as that support holds, there will be no serious decline (unless it comes from a much higher level at a later time). So, if this sideways movement continues long enough for the other technical indicators to regenerate themselves, then perhaps a further rally could occur. However, what is most pressing right now is that 1250 level. If it gives way, much lower prices could result.

The equity-only put-call ratios measure the option activity of all stock options, but its signals are most apropos to the state of the big-cap, broad market. The weighted ratio gave a confirmed sell signal this week (Figure 3). The companion, standard, put-call ratio (Figure 2) is very near to a sell signal as well, but our computer models have not yet confirmed it. Hence, one is bearish and the other is nearly so.

Finally, volatility indices ($VIX and $VXO) are remaining bullish in that they are at extremely low levels (Figure 4). Eventually, a low $VIX can lead to trouble, but that's only after it begins to trend higher (something that appeared to be happening a couple of weeks ago, but did not follow through). In general, $VIX below 12 can be considered bullish or, at worst, neutral.

In summary, we do not have a preponderance of sell signals for $SPX, nor do we have a breakdown below 1250. Without those, one cannot be bearish on the index. However, the deterioration of the indicators makes it look like we are very late in the bullish cycle

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Schaeffer Says

Investor's Business Daily
Online Broker TradeStation Has Plenty Of Survival Skills
Published: 12/19/2005

Brief summary:

This article takes a bullish look at online brokerage TradeStation Group (TRAD: sentiment, chart, options). Although they are smaller and less known that most brokerages, their small niche of active traders is growing much faster than the industry as a whole. "Many of our customers come from regular online brokerages," co-CEO Ralph Cruz said. "They gain more experience in trading and want to move beyond what's available at those other brokers." TRAD stands out because it has software that can scan thousands of stock charts for various patterns. Plus the firm's customers trade at a much higher frequency than most on-line traders - as the average TRAD customer makes 740 trades a year versus 15 for your average E-Trade Financial (ET: sentiment, chart, options) customer. Looking to the future they are trying to get smaller investment firms to use their products, not just home traders.

Contrarian Takeaway:

Few sectors have been hotter than on-line brokerages this year, and TRAD has been leading the charge with the shares up 78-percent year-to-date. Looking at the sentiment on TRAD, it does appear that not many have noticed the shares yet. This is bullish, as it shows there could still be lots of money left on the sidelines. First off, there's very little open interest in near-term options and only two analysts rate it - both suggesting the presence of money on the sidelines. Also there aren't many shorts betting against the shares, but that could just be another sign that no one has shorted the shares because no one has heard of it. In conclusion, TRAD sports a Schaeffer's Equity Scorecard reading of 7.0 out of 10.0, indicating the path of least resistance is probably higher.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Foreign and Transnational Legal Forms


Lawyers like to draft documents by using models, such as blank templates or examples of similar documents. While finding these forms can be difficult for US transactions and litigation, the search becomes even harder if the forms are foreign or transnational. This guide identifies various sources of foreign and transnational forms. Its emphasis is on transactional forms (instruments), rather than litigation forms, but some litigation forms (also called pleadings or court forms) are included.

To locate other sources for forms in library catalogs, try adding terms such as forms, annotated, sample, or model to your search. To locate useful Westlaw or LexisNexis databases, start with reference attorneys or customer service representatives. On Westlaw, most databases that include foreign or transnational forms are listed individually under the directory heading "Forms" (under "Treatises, CLEs, Practice Guides"). Lexis includes its foreign or transnational forms sources under International - Treatises & Analytical Materials. Finding international forms on the web can be extremely difficult; you will often find numerous references to the kind of form you need, but not the actual text. Try including language that appears in typical legal documents. For example, "hereby agree as follows," or "agree as follows" helps retrieve agreements. "In witness whereof" and "subscribed and sworn" help retrieve many types of legal forms. . . .

Monday, December 19, 2005

Googling AOL

Wash Post

David A. Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 19, 2005; 1:30 PM

Washington Post staff writer David A. Vise will be online at 1:30 p.m. ET today to discuss Google's $1 billion investment in AOL as part of a large advertising partnership.

The deal is proving good news for the mega search engine. As of 11:45 a.m. today, Google's stock was up to 443 points, an all-time high.

Vise, author of The Google Story, will answer quesitons about Google's win in their battle with Microsoft and tomorrow's Time Warner board meeting where the company is expected to vote on the deal.

National Archives searching


Archives Smooths Web Access to Records Wed Dec 14, 5:34 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Photos of natural and manmade disasters. Lists of combat air missions flown during the Vietnam War. Rolls of those who fled Irish famine for the United States in the 1800s.

And much more, all newly accessible.

The National Archives and Records Administration has made it easier to search online through tens of millions of the electronic records it holds.

The revamped Access to Archival Databases site — http://www.archives.gov/aad — allows the public to search for free through 85 million documents in 475 files amassed by more than 30 federal agencies.

The updated site went live on Monday but remains in test mode, said David Kepley, executive assistant to the assistant archivist for record services at the agency. . . .

Friday, December 16, 2005

Microsoft 0, Google 1

From Schaeffer's


According to The Wall Street Journal's online edition, Time Warner (TWX) has entered into exclusive talks to sell a five-percent stake in its AOL unit to (drum roll please) Google (GOOG). The reported deal carries a price tag of one billion (go ahead, say it like Dr. Evil, you know you want to) dollars. This deal would be a bit of a blow to Microsoft (MSFT), which was reportedly negotiating with TWX in hopes of landing AOL. MSFT was hoping to end AOL's use of GOOG's search technology. The report states that TWX has now ruled out a deal with MSFT in favor of expanding its relationship with GOOG.

Google Music


Google gets its groove on
December 16, 2005 6:31 AM PST
Google launched a new service this week that lets people search for links to song lyrics, albums and artists.

The search engine company hasn't launched its own music store, but does offer links to online stores including Apple Computer's iTunes service, RealNetworks Rhapsody, eMusic and Amazon.com.

Bloggers generally liked the service, although a few wondered if Google would run into trouble for reproducing lyrics, an act that has drawn the attention of some lawyers for music publishers.

This shouldn't be a problem. Google is just appending a search like "kylie minogue lyrics) to the screen so they are finding webpages, not "providing" copyrighted lyrics.

Trouble is, it must be glitchy, because, in the case of Kylie, the chronological sort is incorect and the popularity sort is not based on the number of records sold, so how is CD and release popularity determined?

GMail by Cellphone

c|net news

Calling Google
December 16, 2005 6:50 AM PST
Googlers can now pick up their smart phone and dial into their Google email account, regardless of which cellular carrier is connecting to their phone. So, whether sitting through a boring board meeting or stuck in traffic, Gmail can be accessed.

The Gmail service is designed to allow users to access their mail and keep it synced up, whether its checked via a cell phone or a PC. And although the Gmail service is free, users still have to foot the bill to get Internet access via their carrier, in order to click onto the Google site.

And Internet access is not cheap. Some carriers, meanwhile, are offering cheaper, hybrid pricing plans, where users can access some limited Net information, such as Yahoo or AOL mail, sports scores and weather. But those plans don't allow for free roaming on the Internet.

Posted by Dawn Kawamoto

Dorsey wins landmark M&S tax case

The Lawyer

Dorsey & Whitney has won a major European Court of Justice (ECJ) case for Marks & Spencer (M&S) finding that UK tax legislation does not comply with European law.
The ECJ handed down judgment this morning (13 December) in the landmark case, agreeing with the April 2005 opinion of Advocate General Poiares Maduro.

M&S brought legal action against the Inland Revenue after it was refused tax relief from losses incurred by subsidiaries based outside the UK. The Revenue argued that its group relief scheme does not apply for foreign subsidiaries.

But the ECJ ruled that while the scheme is essentially compatible with European law, it does not observe the principle of proportionality and so precludes a company from being able to claim relief it is due.

The verdict could cost the Revenue millions of pounds in tax repayments as M&S and other companies seek rebates.

Dorsey partner Simon Whitehead instructed Graham Aaronson QC of Pump Court Tax Chambers for M&S. Richard Plender QC of 20 Essex Street was instructed by the Inland Revenue.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Google to Launch Music Content Feature


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec 15, 2005 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Online search engine leader Google Inc. will begin giving some musical artists the star treatment by spotlighting links to their songs, lyrics and other related material at the top of the results page.
The music section, scheduled to debut Thursday, is designed to provide a more direct route to the content that most music fans want to see when they inquire about a singer or band, said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of Web products. "We are addressing a deficiency in our Web search," she said.

The music section is similar in concept and placement to other special sections Google has created to make it easier to find information about airline flights, express freight shipments, news stories, movies and weather.

Among other things, Google's music section will provide lists of all the songs recorded on a specific album and also will point to places where the music can be legally downloaded. Google is working with several online libraries to make sure its song list remains up to date.

Unlike Yahoo Inc., Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has no plans to create a music library of its own, Mayer said. Google also won't collect a referral fee if its visitors click on the new music section and go on to buy songs from one of the linked libraries.

But Google does stand to profit if the new section spurs more search requests about music because that gives its search engine more opportunities to display ads about the same subject. The advertising displayed alongside Google's main search results accounted for a substantial chunk of the company's $4.2 billion in revenue through the first nine months of 2005.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press, All rights reserved

Library, Librarian, and Librarianship Quotes


Dr. John Ellison
Associate Professor, DLIS

[A - C] [D - N] [O - Z]

Stephen Abram, vice-president of Micromedia Ltd., Canada's largest electronic publisher.
"But although technology is vastly changing their roles, librarians are still seen as "trusted agents" and their role as navigators of the Internet will be critical to everyday life and the future economy." Submitted by Lucy Stanton

Peter Ackroyd
"And the smell of the library was always the same - the musty odour of old clothes mixed with the keener scent of unwashed bodies, creating what the chief librarian had once described as 'the steam of the social soup.'" (Chatterton, chapter 5)
Submitted by Marie Bogner

Franklin P. Adams
"I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking something up and finding something else on the way."
Submitted by Seth Grossman, Samantha Cook, Anita Ciminelli

J Donald Adams
"There are times when I think that the ideal library is composed solely of reference books. They are like understanding friends; always ready to meet your mood, always ready to change the subject when you have had enough of this or that." NY Times 1 Apr 56.
Submitted by Kevin Reynolds & Carolyn Wells

John Adams
"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people."
Submitted by Linda Nowakowski

John Adams, 1765
"Let every sluice of knowledge be opened and set a-flowing."
Submitted by Teresa Keyes

John Quincy Adams
"To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence."
Submitted by Peg Tyler

Google Fulfills Net Promise

The Street

By James J. Cramer
RealMoney.com Columnist
12/13/2005 7:42 AM EST

Google (GOOG:Nasdaq - news - research - Cramer's Take) fascinates and repels people. It repels because skeptics can't figure out how a company that makes nothing has a $120 billion valuation; it fascinates because no matter how high the stock goes, it seems to stay cheap at least when compared to so many other stocks.

As I look at it, I keep thinking that in Google you have the fastest growing and most lucrative company on earth, one that is a cannibal to all media, that offers viewers and advertisers the single greatest experience in the world: the ability to have all information at your fingertips at a cost of having to look at an ad for something that you actually might need.

I am focused on the company in part because I am talking about it on the "Today" show this morning -- that's not something that typically happens to just any old stock in the world. That's because Google is a phenomenon, a company that literally fulfills the promise of the age 1995-2000, when we figured that the Internet would revolutionize everything and we tried to revalue every company for its dot-com prospects. It turns out, however, that this company, and in some ways this company alone, captured the essence of what we thought could happen.

It is difficult to say that a stock that has just run 320 points is cheap, but we know that if Google can earn $9 a share in 2005, it doesn't get expensive until it trades at twice its growth rate, roughly $600.

What a story, a story worth telling, and owning, still.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

HarperCollins Will Create a Searchable Digital Library


Published: December 13, 2005

In the latest move in the battle between publishers and search engines, HarperCollins Publishers said yesterday it would create its own digital library of all of its book and audio content and make it searchable by consumers on the Internet. Web users will be able to search the HarperCollins archive via search engines like Google and Yahoo or the specialized programs of retailers like Amazon.com.

The move is intended to allow HarperCollins, a unit of the News Corporation, to maintain control over digital content rather than cede that control to other companies, Jane Friedman, chief executive, said.

Rather than give copies of books to search services like Google for those companies to scan as it currently does, HarperCollins would keep the material on its own computers, and users would be pointed there by the search engine, Ms. Friedman said. The company expects to have at least part of the service operating by the middle of next year. . . .



Downloading Copyrighted Music
Using P2P Software Not Fair Use

The downloading of copyrighted music through a peer-to-peer file-sharing network is direct infringement that cannot be defended as a fair use under the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Dec. 9 (BMG Music v. Gonzalez, 7th Cir., No. 05-1314, 12/9/05).
Affirming a lower court's injunction and an award of $22,500 in statutory damages--$750 for 30 songs downloaded--the appellate court rejected the infringer's contention that she was merely sampling music on a try-before-you-buy basis or that the downloads were merely a form of time-shifting permitted under a 1984 Supreme Court ruling. Instead, the court said that the infringer's retention of copies of the downloads for future use directly undermined the income available to authors of the copied works and thus precluded a fair use defense.

Infringement Found Below

Defendant Cecilia Gonzalez used the KaZaA file-sharing software to download more than 1,370 copyrighted songs, some of which were contained on compact disks she owned or later purchased.
BMG Music and others filed a lawsuit against Gonzalez in 2003, alleging copyright infringement.

Judge Blanche M. Manning of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment for the copyright owners, enjoining Gonzalez from further infringement and awarding statutory damages of $22,500, or $750 for each of the 30 songs for which Gonzalez did not own legitimate copies.

Gonzalez appealed.

Sony Time-shifting Analogy Rejected

Judge Frank H. Easterbrook first rejected Gonzalez's contention that her downloading activities were a form of time-shifting permitted under Sony Corp. v. America v. Universal Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 220 USPQ 665 (1984), known as the "Betamax" decision.
"A copy downloaded, played, and retained on one's hard drive for future use is a direct substitute for a purchased copy--and without the benefit of the license fee paid to the broadcaster," the court said.

"The premise of Betamax is that the broadcast was licensed for one transmission and thus one viewing. Betamax held that shifting of the time of this single viewing is fair use," the court said. By contrast, the files that Gonzales obtained were posted in violation of copyright law, there was no license covering a single transmission, and Gonzalez kept copies, the court noted. "Time-shifting by an authorized recipient this is not. . . ."

Google Froogle


E-Commerce Report
Is That Item Sold Out? Know Before You Go

Published: December 12, 2005

FORGET about shopping in your underwear. The Web's brighter promise could be how it will change the way you shop in your overcoat.

Take the latest innovation from Google, which has become Silicon Valley's answer to Willy Wonka. The search engine's shopping service, Froogle, began testing a feature late last month that allows you to check whether certain local stores have particular items in stock, saving you a wasted trip if they do not. . . .

Friday, December 09, 2005

Panelists Explore Promise and Perils Of Massive Digitization Programs

From BNA

"Google is only a piece of a much larger movement, and in some ways is a very peculiar piece of that movement," Lynch said. "It is the part of the movement that has garnered the most publicity" but it is "only one piece of a kind of big inevitable wave."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Congressional Hearings

We thought you'd like to know that Gallagher Law Library's microfiche
> collection of the Congressional Hearings, from 1980 to the present (SuDoc
> Y4), is now searchable in our online catalog,
> http://marian.law.washington.edu/. We've just completed loading MARCIVE
> records for 41,673 individual titles within the Hearings.
> Happy searching!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Cell Phone Tracing Services

cell phone tracing services.

I have written an anecdotal analysis for the next issue of the SLA Legal Division Quarterly but I wanted to provide a quick summary for the benefit of those who asked for feedback on this request.

In short pay services costs range from approximately $45 to $65 for standard and rush services.
Turn around time is 48 hours or more unless you rush the service.
Customer feedback is minimal.

The service I used was CellularTrace www.cellulartrace.com.
Another service that was considered was LocatorPlus www.locatorplus.com (This was suggested to me by someone on the listserv.)
I also considered Abika www.abika.com and LocateCell www.locatecell.com.

Monday, December 05, 2005

BACK TO BASICS: Evaluating Company News for Explosive Opportunities

By Jeff Neal, Optionetics.com
12/5/2005 8:45:00 AM

When a specific company or firm is generating good or bad news in the financial press, it can often lead to very explosive opportunities. For instance, shareholders can experience gigantic losses when a particular stock plummets in value due to negative news. When this happens many times it presents a possible low-risk buying opportunity using call options. These opportunities can often double your investment in a day or week, and these wild swings happen virtually all the time in the market.

One way to spot these super trading opportunities is to pay close attention to companies reporting bad earnings, or news from a company that the earnings will not be as expected. Even though it is true that a company's share value is impacted by many factors, the fact is that the most significant factor is expected future earnings figure as forecasted by brokerage company analysts. For example, if a company starts to provide these analysts with any information that is viewed as adversely impacting a company's next earnings release, then they will quickly down their forecasts, which can lead to massive selling.

One thing about the trading business is that usually reactions are very similar in extreme situations. A savvy trader will be very motivated to react to this situation and develop a trade that will profit from this scenario. Some things that can be done, for instance, would be to buy out-of-the-money calls and out-of-the-money puts at a cheap enough price so that there is very little risk and enough time to generate profits.

In addition, traders viewing the news for explosive opportunities should watch for new product developments, especially in the hi-tech areas. Big moves are often started when pharmaceutical companies and biotech research and development companies announce successful trials of new drugs and approvals from the Food and Drug Administration. This a terrific area for traders to watch closely when choosing trades.

Also, traders should watch the financial news to locate price increases or decreases of more than 20 percent in the past 60 days or price increases or decreases of more than 30 percent since yesterday. The reason for this is that momentum creates opportunities for both buying and selling. When the momentum is strengthening or weakening these are often the best short-term opportunities and they often create longer-term opportunities.

Another important piece of information is when shares are reaching new highs or coming off new lows. When used in combination with lists of price percentage gainers and losers this can be a very powerful momentum indicator. For example, when a stock is on one of the gainers lists and it's making a new 52-week, then it could possibly be a very good buy. In addition, when the stock has made new lows and is coming off new lows, then this could very well indicate that a bottom is now in place. All of these news events concerning a company's stock are extremely important for momentum traders to monitor closely and then be prepared to capitalize on this news.

Happy Trading.

Jeff Neal
Senior Writer, Options Strategist & Profit Strategies Radio Show Market Correspondent
Visit Jeff's Forum
Listen to Jeff at www.ProfitStrategiesRadio.com

Friday, December 02, 2005

Greenberg Traurig


December 2, 2005
Lobbyist's Role in Hiring Aides Is Investigated
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 - With a federal corruption case intensifying, prosecutors investigating Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist, are examining whether he brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors, people involved in the case have said.

The attention paid to how the aides obtained jobs occurs as Mr. Abramoff is under mounting pressure to cooperate with prosecutors as they consider a case against lawmakers. Participants in the case, who insisted on anonymity because the investigation is secret, said he could try to reach a deal in the next six weeks.

Many forces are bearing down on Mr. Abramoff. Last week, his closest business partner, Michael Scanlon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in exchange for cooperating in the inquiry, being run by an interagency group, into whether money and gifts were used in an influence-peddling scandal that involved lawmakers.

Despite charging Indian tribes that were clients tens of millions of dollars in lobbying fees, Mr. Abramoff has told friends that he is running out of money. In a new approach that could contribute to the pressures, prosecutors are sifting through evidence related to the hiring of several former Congressional aides by a lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig, where Mr. Abramoff worked from 2000 to last year, according to people who know about the inquiry. That course could impel a new set of Mr. Abramoff's former associates to cooperate to avoid prosecution.

Investigators are said to be especially interested in how Tony C. Rudy, a former deputy chief of staff to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, and Neil G. Volz, a former chief of staff to Representative BobNey of Ohio, obtained lobbying positions with big firms on K Street.

The hiring pattern is "very much a part of" what prosecutors are focusing on, a person involved in the case said. Another participant confirmed that investigators were trying to determine whether aides conducted "job negotiations with Jack Abramoff" while they were in a position to help him on Capitol Hill. . . .

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Many Takedown Notices Invalid


Samuelson Clinic Non-Resident Fellow Co-Authors Report on Cease-and-Desist Letters Submitted to Chilling Effects

November 22, 2005 -- Samuelson Clinic Non-Resident Fellow Laura Quilter and Jennifer Urban, Director of the Intellectual Property Clinic at the University of Southern California, have released a summary report of findings from a study of takedown notices sent pursuant to Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and submitted by the recipients to the Chilling Effects clearinghouse. The report, titled "Efficient Process or 'Chilling Effects'? Takedown Notices Under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act," traces the use of the Section 512 takedown process and considers how the usage patterns found are likely to affect expression or other activities on the Internet, especially in light of the fact that the authors observed a surprisingly high incidence of legally flawed takedowns.

Read the summary report (pdf)
Read the summary report (html)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Not Made Up


Angolan wins biggest Brazil prison beauty pageant
Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:36 AM ET

By Terry Wade

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - An Angolan won Brazil's marquee prison beauty pageant, beating a troupe of contestants born in a country where people are deadly serious about looking good, even in its notorious jails.

Angelica Mazua, 23, was the choice of the judging panel that featured plastic surgeons, entertainers and athletes regarded as heartthrobs.

Inmates from 10 prisons competed in the Thursday night event in Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous and cosmopolitan state.

Prisoners in the audience swarmed stars like the soccer striker Grafite and danced with celebrities as bands played samba and pagode. Near the stage, guards armed with shotguns and dogs patrolled along a walkway between a chain-link fence and a concrete wall topped with razor wire.

Finalists in the categories of beauty, poetry, prose and congeniality had their nails, hair and makeup done by a nonprofit group that provides make-overs to underprivileged women. Female prison guards also helped out.

Many contestants wore donated evening gowns and talked about how the experience gave them a renewed sense of self-respect.

Locked up four months ago after police found cocaine in her bags as she boarded a plane to Africa, 5-foot-10-inch (1.79-metres) tall Mazua is awaiting trial and says an acquaintance tricked her into carrying the drug.

She counts top supermodel Gisele Bundchen, a blond Brazilian, among her idols.

"I like fashion. It's what I want to do," Mazua said, a faux jeweled crown with red flashing lights perched on her head.

Asked if she would call her parents to tell them she won, she said, "There's no telephone here."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gas Prices & etc.


A place to find energy news, prices and talk about gasoline, petrol, fuel oil and other distillates and oil products and those affecting or impacting the hunger we humans have for energy.

UK Sources


Monday, November 21, 2005

Nigerian e-mail scammers jailed

By Reuters

Published: November 21, 2005, 10:01 AM PST

LAGOS-A court has sentenced two men to a total of 37 years in prison for their part in defrauding a Brazilian bank of $242 million, the biggest scam in Nigerian history, newspapers reported on Saturday.

The sentencing of Emmanuel Nwude to 25 years and Nzeribe Okoli to 12 years follows negotiations in which they agreed to plead guilty to 16 of the 91 original charges, and to forfeit assets worth at least $121.5 million to the victims of the scam.

A third fraudster, Amaka Anajemba, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in July after agreeing to return $48.5 million to the Sao Paolo-based Banco Noroeste, which collapsed after the theft.

"The activities of the accused persons not only led to the collapse of a bank in a foreign country, but also brought miseries to many innocent people," Justice Joseph Oyewole was reported as saying.

The fraudsters obtained the money by promising a member of the bank staff a commission for funding a non-existent contract to build an airport in Nigeria's capital Abuja.

Scams have become so successful in Nigeria that anti-sleaze campaigners say swindling is one of the country's main foreign exchange earners after oil, natural gas and cocoa.

These are the first major convictions achieved by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which was established in 2003 to crack down on Nigeria's thriving networks of e-mail fraudsters.

Previous Next Typically fraudsters send out junk e-mails around the world promising recipients a share in a fortune in return for an advance fee. Those who pay never receive the promised windfall.

Ranked the world's sixth most corrupt country, according to an index by Transparency International, Nigeria has given new powers to the EFCC, which is prosecuting about 200 fraud and corruption cases.

The antifraud agency has arrested more than 200 junk mail scam suspects since 2003. It says it has also confiscated property worth $200 million and secured 10 other convictions.

Story Copyright © 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Googling Literature: The Debate Goes Public


November 19, 2005

If there was any point of agreement between publishers, authors and Google in a debate Thursday night over the giant Web company's program to digitize the collections of major libraries and allow users to search them online, it seemed to be this: Information does not necessarily want to be free.

Rather, the parties agreed, information wants to be found.

But when it comes to how information will be found and who will share in the profits, the various sides remain far apart - not surprising, perhaps, since the issue has already landed in federal court.

Publishers and authors are suing Google over its Book Search program (formerly called Google Print), which lets users search for terms within volumes. Though users will see only a few lines of text related to the search term, Google is planning to digitize entire copyrighted works from the collections of three university libraries. The publishers and authors contend that without their approval, that is a violation of copyright laws.

The debate on Thursday, part of the "Live From the New York Public Library" program, was the first time the various parties had faced off publicly.

Allan Adler, a vice president . . .



"Gripe Sites" – Free Speech, or Defamation?
A New York trial court recently held that a New Jersey man's "gripe site" – alleging that his car insurance company was "blatantly dishonest", "running scams", and "committing fraud on a grand scale" – was protected speech and does not constitute libel. The man's website, which makes negative comments about the car service industry, the auto insurance industry and New Jersey judges, was created in reaction to an earlier court decision, in which the man, Ronald DiGiovanni, brought a small actions claim against Penn Warranty. The two sides settled for $2,500 and DiGiovanni proceeded to post www.pennwarrantylitigation.com on the web, airing his grievances. In a case of first impression in New York, the court held that DiGiovanni's comments were the protected speech of a disgruntled consumer, and statements of his personal opinion.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

GOOG hits new high


But it still hasn't taken out the resistance at $400.

Day's Range: 394.11 - 398.85
52wk Range: 161.31 - 398.22

Kinsley Has the NYTimes Dead On


After Judy
The New York Times' next First Amendment embarrassment.
By Michael Kinsley
Posted Friday, Oct. 21, 2005, at 12:01 AM ET

Here in mediaworld, we're all quite cross at the New York Times and its former star reporter, Judith Miller. She is widely believed to have sought her martyrdom as a career move. And then she gave up after a mere couple of months in jail. What a wuss! And the Times: This great institution let a mere reporter lead it around by its nose, with predictable results. What a super-wuss!! But this latest blow to the reputation of the MSM (mainstream media) cannot be pinned on Miller or the Times. It is the result of a sentimental and self-indulgent view of journalism that is widely shared in mediaworld—including by many of the journalists and media institutions now distancing themselves from Miller and the Times. . . .

He's got it just about right--fair use


. . .But there is one great and true part to DeLong's email. As he writes,

Causby was entitled only to the decline in his property value, not to a share of the gains from the air age.

Truly, if there is a principle here, that should be it. The baseline is the value of the property BEFORE the new technology. Does the new technology reduce THAT value. Put differently, would authors and publishers be worse off with Google Print than they were before Google Print?

To ask that question is to answer it -- of course the authors and publishers are better off with Google Print.

Are they as well off as they could be, if the law gives them the power to extort from the innovator some payment for his innovation?

To ask that question is to understand why this case has been filed: Like Valenti with the Betamax, the publishers and Authors Guild simply want to tax the value created by Google Print. They are not complaining about any "decline in [their] property value" caused by Google Print. They are instead racing to claim the value that ancient law is said to give to them, despite the harm that claim produces for "progress."

Le Google


French party exploits Google Adwords
By ZDNet France Staff
Special to CNET News.com

Published: November 16, 2005, 8:36 AM PST

France's majority party has admitted to leading a marketing campaign using Google's Adwords system of sponsored links.

Keywords evoking the violent situation in the Parisian suburbs and elsewhere across the country point to a petition in support of Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

Over the weekend of Nov. 5 and 6, Web surfers who entered terms such as "violence," "riots," "suburbs," "burned cars" or even "scum" into the Google search site were presented with an advertisement linking directly to the official UMP ("Union for a Popular Movement") Web site.

More precisely, the link directed Internet users to a petition supporting party President and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's "zero tolerance policy" in response to the confrontations rocking the suburbs of Paris.

"Since the riots began, we've received many e-mails of support, with a number of activists and elected officials circulating as many as 17 petitions backing Nicolas Sarkozy," a party spokesperson told ZDNet France. "So we asked our technical contractor, L'Enchanteur des nouveaux m├ędias, to channel such requests so that Internet users conducting searches surrounding the violence and the UMP come across an (official) document.". . .

Dockets Product Comparisons

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-law-lib
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 10:22 PM
To: law-lib
Subject: Legal Dockets Product Comparisons

While this is a bit overdue, I post the following responses to my original question. Thanks to all - especially Susan Taylor, Jennifer Murray, Jill Allyn, Kelly Devlin, Paul Bush, Nanna Frye, Nora Levine and Christine Stouffer!


Links from:

Also on Lexis Nexis - Zimmerman's Research Guide - Docket Sheets

Articles by Paul Bush - generally at this place :

Free Court Case Docket Monitoring (April 5, 2005)

The Secrets of Online Document Retrieval (June 4, 2004)

Keeping up with Electronic Docket and Document Retrieval (Oct 22, 2001)

Much older:
Dueling Dockets - 2000 Westlaw 595 PLI/Pat 101
Keeping up with Electronic Docket and Document Retrieval - Westlaw - 1 No. 9 GLEFILR 6

Responder Comments:
=> this is a rapidly changing field
=>best resource may be the one that suits a specific need
=> major players are CourtLink, Legal Dockets Online, CourtExpress (West), West Dockets, CNS Reports
=> suggested evaluative criteria: coverage, timeliness, alert availability, costs

Most recently - Jill Allyn has written "From the Court to Your Desktop: Docket Research Services - Update 2005 in Legal Information Alert, Vol 24 No. 5 May 2005 (recieved in September). Refer to previous LIA articles also.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Google's Literary Quest in Peril

Boston College

2005 B.C. Intell. Prop. & Tech. F. 110301

Dr. Michael Goldstein [a1]
November 3, 2005


Recently, Google, Inc. (hereinafter “Google”), owner of the eponymous search engine, partnered with several libraries, in an effort to make their collections available for search on the Internet. This project has come under attack by The Author’s Guild (hereinafter “The Guild”). The Guild complains that scanning and uploading copyrighted works without the authors’ consent violates their rights under the Copyright Act.[1] Google counters that its use of sections from the copyrighted works falls under the “fair use” doctrine described in the Copyright Act.[2] However, the Guild notes that in order to use these sections, Google first reproduced the entire work, violating the rights to reproduction that are protected by the Act.[3]

The question is whether Google’s actions do indeed violate the copyrights of the plaintiffs or whether these actions are protected by the Fair Use Doctrine. Part II of this note will review the facts of this case and its prior history. Part III will discuss the law relevant to the dispute. Finally, Part IV will approach potential arguments for either side, addressing strengths, faults, and previous interpretations of the law....>

The Google Story: An Excerpt

Chapter 26: Googling Your Genes


Special to washingtonpost.com
Monday, November 14, 2005; 6:00 AM

Not since Gutenberg invented the modern printing press more than 500 years ago, making books and scientific tomes affordable and widely available to the masses, has any new invention empowered individuals or transformed access to information as profoundly as Google. I first became aware of this while covering Google as a beat reporter for The Washington Post. What galvanized my deep interest in the company was its unconventional initial public offering in August 2004 when the firm thumbed its nose at Wall Street by doing the first and only multi-billion dollar IPO using computers, rather than Wall Street bankers, to allocate its hot shares of stock.

A few months later, in the fall of 2004, I decided to write the first biography of Google, tracing its short history from the time founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page met at Stanford in 1995 until the present. In my view, this is the hottest business, media and technology success of our time, with a stock market value of $110 billion, more than the combined value of Disney, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com, Ford and General Motors.

The Google Story goes on sale in the United States on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and the extraordinary reach of the search engine has made the book of global interest. The book is also being published in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, China, Taiwan, Russia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Korea, Czechoslovakia, Holland, South Africa, Turkey, New Zealand and Indonesia.

-- David A. Vise

Chapter 26 -- Googling Your Genes

Sergey Brin and Larry Page have ambitious long-term plans for Google's expansion into the fields of biology and genetics through the fusion of science, medicine, and technology. Their goal -- through Google, its charitable foundation, and an evolving entity called Google.org -- is to empower millions of individuals and scientists with information that will lead to healthier and smarter living through the prevention and cure of a wide range of diseases. Some of this work, done in partnership with others, is already under way, making use of Google's array of small teams of gifted employees and its unwavering emphasis on innovation, unmatched search capacity, and . . .

Friday, November 11, 2005

TVC Alert Research News

Virtual Chase

The Real Deal on Google Books
(8 Nov) USA Today commentator, Kevin Maney, blasted the book publishing industry for distorting the facts about Google's book projects.

"Google has provoked an orgy of angst over its two book-related projects. One is Google Print, Google's program to scan books -- with the publishers' permission -- and make a limited number of those copyright-protected pages available online.

"The other is the Google Print Library project.... That's aimed at making all books in the world searchable online.... But for copyrighted works, Google's Library project gives you only card catalog-like information and a couple of sentences of text -- nothing more.

"The misinformation and misguided attempts to stop these projects are mind-blowing."

RELATED: Why the Sudden Interest in Books?
TVC Alert Research News, 10 November 2005

RELATED: Authors Could Emerge as the Winners in Digitization Wars
The Book Standard, 10 November 2005
("For all the maneuvering among publishers and tech companies last week -- as various groups scrambled to gain a stake in the digital future of books -- an unlikely early winner emerged: the perennially underpaid author.")

RELATED: Pulp friction
The Economist, 10 November 2005
("'INFORMATION wants to be free,' according to a celebrated aphorism from the early days of the internet. Yet this ethos has been creating new headaches recently. As search-engine firms and others unveil plans to place books online, publishers fear that the services may end up devouring their business, either by bypassing them or because the initiatives threaten to make their copyrights redundant.")


A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get it started."

He asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?"

The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger."

Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle.

She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.

He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger."

He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then..." he sighed... "Let's put all these Frosted Flakes back in the box."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Up or Down?


In an interview with Chris Wang from the Associated Press last week, I expressed my concerns with the market. With contrarians believing that the market rarely accommodates the majority, the main reason was simply that too many people were forecasting a year-end rally and with so many looking for it, it raises a red flag that it may not occur.

It could be that the market is just taking a breather before the rally continues, but there have been signs that the sentiment is shifting a little too abruptly. Mark Hulbert from Marketwatch.com noted in an article Tuesday that his Hulbert Stock Newsletter Sentiment Index jumped from -30.1 percent in mid-October to 39.2 percent on Monday. Such as drastic jump in a sentiment index gives me reason for concern.

One other item of note is the low volume this week. Granted the accompanying chart of NYSE volume shows the weekly volume up through this moment with part of today and all of tomorrow yet to be counted, but I would not look for volume to be very high tomorrow considering that the bond market is closed as are most banks for the Veteran's Day holiday. Given this piece of information, volume will more than likely be extremely low. The low volume could be good or it could be bad. Once the volume creeps back up, we should have a better idea whether this is a topping pattern or a consolidation before another leg up. An increase in volume with the market rallying would more than likely indicate that the rally has resumed. A drop below the lower line of the consolidation area with an increase in volume would be indicative of selling pressure and thus suggest that we are in for short-term pullback. ...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Don't Fear Google



Nick Schulz, 11.03.05, 11:00 AM ET

Google wants to scan all the books in the stacks of several of the world’s major research libraries to make these books searchable online. But lawsuits are threatening to shut the project down. Should they?

Called the Google Print Library Project, it has produced strong opposition, particularly from the publishing industry and writers’ guilds. Opponents fear this effort violates their property and copyrights and robs them of just desserts. They have some legitimate concerns, but ultimately the project is not just in Google’s (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) interest, but in the interest of writers and publishers as well--and of the rest of the world, too.

Under Google’s plan, searches of scanned books will yield relevant “snippets” from those books on Google’s Web pages. Google hasn’t clearly defined what those snippets might be--hence much of the alarm over their proposal. Theoretically, a “snippet” could be an entire book, which would no doubt be a violation of copyright. The company announced today that it has launched the first part of the project using books in the public domain.

Fortunately, we have a sense ...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Unofficial Google Weblog


Waiting for Google’s Real Estate Service
Posted Nov 7, 2005, 10:20 AM ET by Brad Hill

that’s me waiting for Google’s real estate service, and I was encouraged this morning by an article from the NY Times (archived here at the International Herald Tribune) about the “Google effect.” The Google effect is a force field of apprehension affecting many industries, caused by Google’s voracious organization of information. Even Wal-Mart is reportedly afraid of Google’s growing ability to point consumers to the lowest price, wherever it might be. The article cites an anonymous source from inside Google who refers to a nascent real estate service being developed. Such a service would fit perfectly in the already powerful Local/Maps/Earth suite. My wife and I follow real estate listings obsessively; we jump between Maps and Earth to locate properties and assess neighborhoods to whatever extent possible. From the day Google acquired Keyhole (later changed to Google Earth), I have longed for an integration of real estate listings. I’d like to see Google purchase the Multiple Listing Service and Realtor.com, if possible, and do online real estate correctly, at last.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Go Go Google

From Schaeffer's


It is no secret that after its rather rocky reception with Wall Street analysts, Google (GOOG: sentiment, chart, options) has become quite the favorite among traders and the investing community. The shares have tagged another new all-time high today, skipping more than 1.4 percent higher to hit an intraday high of 397.47. Driving today's advance is news that GOOG will offer features similar to computers on cell phones, according to a media report. Making this move possible for GOOG is a deal between Yahoo! (YHOO: sentiment, chart, options) and SBC Communications (SBC: sentiment, chart, options) , which are introducing a cell phone that will link services to YHOO users' accounts, address books and preferences, according to The Wall Street Journal. GOOG is said to be tailoring some of its services for use on wireless devices, and starting today users of more than 100 types of cell phones can access the firm's map database.

Technically, the shares have been phenomenal, rising along the support of their 10-week and 20-week moving averages since April. A look at the chart below is all you need to digest the impressive gains that GOOG has been able to compile since its IPO in August 2004.

But has all this hype gotten out of hand? GOOG has become the perennial bullish pick among the financial media, with The Wall Street Journal bullishly featuring the stock in a August 18 article titled "Google as -- Get This -- Value Play!" and Fortune featuring the company on the cover of its August 8 article titled "Google!, Yahoo!, and the Future of Advertising."

With sentiment like this flying around on the Street, it is no surprise that 18 of the 24 covering analysts rate the shares a "buy" or better, with nary a "sell" to be found. I don't need to tell regular readers of SchaeffersResearch.com that this leaves GOOG very vulnerable to potential downgrades should this much-hyped firm ever disappoint the Street. Fortunately for GOOG, everything seems to be turning up roses for the time being.

Elsewhere, short interest fell by 11 percent during October to its lowest level since September 2004. It would now take less than one day to buy back the 7.4 million GOOG shares sold short, providing little in the way of short-covering support and casting yet another shadow of doubt over the equity from a contrarian's perspective.

Meanwhile, the options crowd is providing the only bearish investor sentiment to be had on the GOOG. In fact, pessimism has been on the rise among these speculative investors, as the security's SOIR has risen from its October 7 reading of 0.73 in the 27th percentile to today's reading of 0.91 in the 69th percentile.

But as the stock has proven time and time again, the market can remain irrational for longer than you can remain solvent. GOOG continues to post impressive gains and has yet to tarnish the shine that is apparently blinding the Street and a slew of investors. It is this technical performance that has earned the stock a Schaeffer's Equity Scorecard rating of 6.0 out of 10.

Just Googling It


November 6, 2005
Just Googling It Is Striking Fear Into Companies

Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, often intimidates its competitors and suppliers. Makers of goods from diapers to DVD's must cater to its whims. But there is one company that even Wal-Mart eyes warily these days: Google, a seven-year-old business in a seemingly distant industry.

"We watch Google very closely at Wal-Mart," said Jim Breyer, a member of Wal-Mart's board.

In Google, Wal-Mart sees both a technology pioneer and the seed of a threat, said Mr. Breyer, who is also a partner in a venture capital firm. The worry is that by making information available everywhere, Google might soon be able to tell Wal-Mart shoppers if better bargains are available nearby.

Wal-Mart is scarcely alone in its concern. As Google increasingly becomes the starting point for finding information and buying products and services, companies that even a year ago did not see themselves as competing with Google are beginning to view the company with some angst - mixed with admiration.

Google's recent moves have stirred concern in industries from book publishing to telecommunications. Businesses already feeling the Google effect include advertising, software and the news media. Apart from retailing, Google's disruptive presence may soon be felt in real estate and auto sales. ...