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Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Amazon Charges Sales Tax On “Shipping and Handling”

November 4th, 2012 11:21 admin View Comments

Businesses

You may have noticed that retailers like Amazon are charging tax, in compliance with state laws, on not just the price of goods, but on the “shipping and handling” fees they charge. An anonymous reader writes “By coincidence I noticed this myself the other night, and ended up ordering something from a supplier in Arizona, rather than Amazon, to avoid the sales tax. Now here is an article about it in the Los Angeles Times.”

Source: Amazon Charges Sales Tax On “Shipping and Handling”

Black Hole’s “Point of No Return” Found

October 14th, 2012 10:18 admin View Comments

Space

dsinc writes “Using a continent-spanning telescope, an international team of astronomers has peered to the edge of a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. For the first time, they have measured the black hole’s ‘http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/10/point-of-no-return-found/point of no return’ — the closest distance that matter can approach before being irretrievably pulled into the black hole. According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, a black hole’s mass and spin determine how close material can orbit before becoming unstable and falling in toward the event horizon. The team was able to measure this innermost stable orbit and found that it’s only 5.5 times the size of the black hole’s event horizon. This size suggests that the accretion disk is spinning in the same direction as the black hole. The observations were made by linking together radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, and California to create a virtual telescope called the Event Horizon Telescope, or EHT. The EHT is capable of seeing details 2,000 times finer than the Hubble Space Telescope.”

Source: Black Hole’s “Point of No Return” Found

Look-Alike Web Sites Hoodwink Republican Donors

September 10th, 2012 09:02 admin View Comments

Politics

Hugh Pickens writes writes “Shane Goldmacher writes that a network of look-alike campaign websites have netted hundreds of thousands of dollars this year in what some are calling a sophisticated political phishing scheme. The doppelgänger websites have the trappings of official campaign pages: smiling candidate photos and videos, issue pages, and a large red “donate” button at the top and exist for nearly three-dozen prominent GOP figures, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and donation magnets such as Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Allen West of Florida. The only difference is that proceeds from the shadow sites go not to the candidates pictured, but to an obscure conservative group called CAPE PAC run by activist Jeff Loyd, a former chairman of the Gila County GOP in Arizona. ‘The only thing they are doing is lining their pockets and funding their own operation,’ says Republican political strategist Chris LaCivita. CAPE PAC has a strong Web presence, with over 100,000 followers on Twitter and 50,000 on Facebook and its business model is to buy Google ads — about $290,000 worth, as of the end of June — to promote its network of candidate sites whenever people search for prominent GOP officials. A search for ‘Mitt Romney,’ for instance, often leads to two sponsored results: Romney’s official site and CAPE PAC’s mittromneyin2012.com. Once on a CAPE PAC site, users would have to notice fine print at either the top or bottom of the page revealing that they were not on the official page of their favored politician. A dozen donors, including some experienced Washington hands such as Neusner, had no idea they had contributed to the group before National Journal Daily contacted them. ‘It confused me, and I do this for a living,’ says Washington lobbyist Patrick Raffaniello. ‘That’s pretty sophisticated phishing.’”

Source: Look-Alike Web Sites Hoodwink Republican Donors

Arizona Botnet Controller Draws 30-Month Federal Sentence

September 9th, 2012 09:35 admin View Comments

Botnet

dgharmon writes with word from the BBC that “A U.S. hacker who sold access to thousands of hijacked home computers has been jailed for 30 months. Joshua Schichtel of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced for renting out more than 72,000 PCs that he had taken over using computer viruses.” Time is cheap: Schichtel admitted to giving access to those 72,000 computers for $1500.

Source: Arizona Botnet Controller Draws 30-Month Federal Sentence

Arizona Botnet Controller Draws 30-Month Federal Sentence

September 9th, 2012 09:35 admin View Comments

Botnet

dgharmon writes with word from the BBC that “A U.S. hacker who sold access to thousands of hijacked home computers has been jailed for 30 months. Joshua Schichtel of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced for renting out more than 72,000 PCs that he had taken over using computer viruses.” Time is cheap: Schichtel admitted to giving access to those 72,000 computers for $1500.

Source: Arizona Botnet Controller Draws 30-Month Federal Sentence

Curiosity’s Latest High-Res Photo Looks Like Earth

August 16th, 2012 08:35 admin View Comments

Earth

First time accepted submitter bbianca127 writes “Curiosity sent a picture down to us, and it looks a lot like Earth. Actually, the picture’s color quality has been changed — to human eyes, the landscape would look a lot more reddish. Still, it looks remarkably like the southwestern United States (bringing to mind the Arrested Development quote about how Lucille Bluth would rather be dead in California than alive in Arizona).” Definitely a different sense of the place than the one given by the reddish-brown posters I remember from elementary school.

Source: Curiosity’s Latest High-Res Photo Looks Like Earth

Just $10M Keeping “Red Neck Rocket Scientist” From Reaching Space

July 22nd, 2012 07:10 admin View Comments

Intel

McGruber writes “The Arizona Republic has an update on Morris Jarvis, a Project Manager at Intel who also happens to Space Transport and Recovery (STAR) Systems, a commercial space-travel company, out of his east Mesa, Arizona home. Jarvis has built the Hermes , a prototype, proof-of-concept model of a space shuttle, that is 27 feet long with a 21-foot wingspan. He believes that if he were to receive $10 million today, he could have the first test launch in a year. Jarvis ‘envisions two tour options for his completed Hermes. In the first, a high-altitude balloon will raise the Hermes to 100,000-plus feet, where customers can see the curvature of the Earth. The second is a rocket-powered option that will put customers in a suborbital trajectory where they can experience weightlessness.’ According to the Silicon Valley Watcher, Morris likes to describe himself as the ‘Red Neck Rocket Scientist.’ (He was interviewed in this May 24, 2011 IntelFreePress Video posted at YouTube.)”

Source: Just $10M Keeping “Red Neck Rocket Scientist” From Reaching Space

Arizona H-1B Workers Advised to Carry Papers At All Times

June 25th, 2012 06:22 admin View Comments

Government

dcblogs writes “In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday on Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, H-1B workers are being advised to keep their papers on them. About half of all H-1B visa holders are employed in tech occupations. The court struck down several parts of Arizona’s law but nonetheless left in place a core provision allowing police officers to check the immigration status of people in the state at specific times. How complicated this gets may depend on the training of the police officer, his or her knowledge of work visas, and whether an H-1B worker in the state has an Arizona’s driver’s license. An Arizona state driver’s license provides the presumption of legal residency. Nonetheless, H-1B workers could become entangled in this law and suffer delays and even detention while local police, especially those officers and departments unfamiliar with immigration documentation.”

Source: Arizona H-1B Workers Advised to Carry Papers At All Times

Study: B-Schools Need a Better Handle on Using, Tracking Social Media

June 20th, 2012 06:30 admin View Comments

A study on the usage of social media by the top MBA programs in the United States shows that while all are using Facebook for recruiting and marketing their programs, most of them don’t do any ROI assessment of the social media tools they employ to bring in prospective students. Nor do most tap the potentially best resource: Just a few schools are using downloadable mobile apps, even though these are rated among the most effective tools studied.

Last year, we wrote about how undergraduate colleges are using social media. The same group from University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research, led by Dr. Nora Barnes, has recently taken a look at graduate MBA programs.

In phone interviews, Barnes and her researchers spoke to 70 of the top B-school directors or deans in charge of their programs. Missing were some of the top 10 schools, but the sample was still statistically valid over the more than 400 MBA programs across the U.S. Here are some of the interesting results:

  • All 70 schools are using Facebook, and most are also using Twitter and LinkedIn to market their programs. Three-quarters also maintain a blog. More than half of the schools use five or more social media tools. The Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona is a real social media butterfly: They are using 14 different social media tools!
  • While only 16% of schools are using downloadable mobile apps, these are rated among the most effective tools studied. You can see the results in the chart above of the schools’ judgment on effectiveness of each social network. Interestingly, LinkedIn – which might be thought to have the closest ties to career aspirations of any of the social media tools – isn’t near the top.
  • The majority (65%) of schools don’t track the number of perspective applicants who have found out about their programs through social media connections.
  • And perhaps most surprisingly, 94% report recruitment is the No. 1 goal of their social media efforts, yet the top measures of effectiveness do not include tracking prospective applicants. Instead, they are looking at the numbers of fans or followers, or other metrics such as page views or the number of comments.

Clearly, social media is in a state of transition for business schools. Many said they would increase their involvement or expand to additional social networks in the coming year, with a third planning to buy additional software and nearly as many investing in new training or new hires. Still, as the study states: “Being able to measure whether these prospects actually apply to the program is something schools may be looking to do, but have not yet mastered. Without this piece of information it is difficult to really assess the effectiveness of the social media plan and to know where future investments should be made.”

Source: Study: B-Schools Need a Better Handle on Using, Tracking Social Media

Can the Go Daddy Girls Convince You They’re Serious?

May 17th, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

Go Daddy wants to be known for more than domain names and racy Superbowl ads. The company has built large businesses around Web hosting and other services for companies of all sizes. But can it really have it both ways?

At a recent meeting in ReadWriteWeb’s San Francisco headquarters, new Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman delighted in reeling off the company’s impressive numbers: almost $1.4 billion in sales, 53 million domains registered, 5 million websites hosted, and so on. Go Daddy is as big as the next eight competitors combined, Adleman said, and gets more than half of all new domain registrations.

But the company, which was bought by private equity firms for $2.25 billion last year has even bigger aspirations. “We don’t want to move away from that,” Adelman said, but “we think we can do more than serve that segment.”

Servers or Celebrities?

“People think we’re a bunch of guys down in Arizona” with domain names and Super Bowls ads, he said, but there are “sections of the site to address the needs of different communities… We have offerings for the tech community, for the developer community.”

Overcoming those perceptions among seasoned techies won’t be easy, though. Questions like “you’re still using Go Daddy?” are often posed to tech start ups. And really, it’s Go Daddy’s own fault.

No matter what its actual technology credentials, the company spent millions of dollars promoting Go Daddy Girls, not cloud infrastructure (4GH Cloud Hosting) or online storage. Even companies that use those services might think twice about explaining why to the CEO. And that’s especially true the larger, and more sophisticated the company. Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman visits RWW HQ.

Adelman acknowledges “some amount of polarization” around the Go Daddy brand, but believes that the company’s scale more than makes up for any negative perceptions. Go Daddy is big enough to enjoy massive economies of scale, and to create a full suite of add-on products for all kinds of customers. Domian names, website hosting and site-building tools, SSL certificates, marketing tools like search engine optimization, search engine marketing, email marketing and social media. “It’s like selling hot dogs at the ballpark,” Adelman said. Sixty six percent of Go Daddy customers have a product in addition to a domain name, he said.

An App Threat?

Why the tech push now? Although Adelman says it kept growing through the recession, the reason for the push could be the gradual move to mobile apps instead of websites, a transition that threatens Go Daddy’s core business. But Adleman says he’s not worried. “The Web will die a slower death than predicted,” he said, adding that given the hype cycle and the rise of HTML5, it might not be long before you start hearing that “the App World is dead.”

Source: Can the Go Daddy Girls Convince You They’re Serious?

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