Business Administration Education Guide

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

U.S. Department of Labor denies

Intel request to help employees they will lay off in August
Source: Computer World

June 27, 2007 (IDG News Service) -- Intel Corp. plans to lay off 800 workers from a chip-making plant in Colorado by August, after Marvell Semiconductor Inc. began ordering those parts from another supplier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC).
Intel learned of Marvell's decision to find a new supplier around January, and warned its workers that month that it planned to sell the Colorado Springs plant, said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy. He declined to say how much revenue Intel will lose when the contract ends.

Intel plans to offer severance packages to its workers beginning in early August. The company also applied for a federal grant to help those workers learn new skills and find jobs, but the U.S. Department of Labor denied the request, he said.

Now Intel is appealing the government's action, and asking the department to reconsider its decision to withhold a grant from its Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Under the TAA, the U.S. government gives aid to workers who lose their jobs through increased imports, providing them training, job search and relocation allowances.

Marvell is struggling with its own problems, including a delisting threat by the Nasdaq stock exchange for failing to file quarterly reports for the last two terms of 2006, or its 2006 annual report. The company is also restating past results, after finding in May that CEO Sehat Sutardja and other top executives had illegally backdated stock options to increase their value.

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MySpace Founders Eye $12 Million Salaries

Source: OnlineMediaDaily

MySpace founders Chris De Wolfe and Tom Anderson plan to hold Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation hostage once their current contracts expire in October. According to the blog, the pair seeks $25 million over two years each, plus a development fund of $15 million to invest in Internet companies.

Not that News Corp. is blinking. MySpace and its Fox Interactive Media siblings may be the key to the media giant's future, but it's also one of the cheapest companies on earth when it comes to executive compensation." However, the company is understood to have made a counter offer of $15 million each for the two years, which would make De Wolfe and Anderson the second-highest paid executives at News Corp. behind Roger Ailes, chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group.

They two already have equity stakes in MySpace China, which means the chances of them getting what they want are highly unlikely, despite MySpace's dominant position in social networking, where its market share is near 80 percent. A relatively new phenomenon over the last few years, social networking has already proved to be fickle in nature; Friendster, the former king of the pile, was later usurped by MySpace, which today faces stern competition from Facebook, which now has 12% of the market. - Read the whole story...

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Smart Companies to Start Now - By CNN Money

Howard Schultz, Steve Case, Vinod Khosla, and other major investors are sharing their best startup ideas. And they're willing to give a collective $100 million to the entrepreneurs who can make them happen. Business 2.0 Magazine

  1. The Ultimate iDrive
  2. A Flyweight Database
  3. The New Power Play
  4. A Better Energizer
  5. Spreadsheets That Truly Excel
  6. Patient Monitoring to Go
  7. New Tricks for Old Drugs
  8. Search for the Small Screen
  9. GPS-Guided Coupons
  10. Text Ads on the Fly
  11. The eBay of Product Placement
  12. Helping Vlogs to Flog

Monday, June 25, 2007

How Does The Blind Use The Internet?

I’m absolutely blown away by how advanced technology can be after reading so many irrelevant technology advances such as poppy quarters (that caused the US to put a spy alert on Canada), IT and taxidermy and Radio Toasters because that is what the world needs -- a way to combine breakfast making with "My Hips Don't Lie" in the morning.

So when I come across something truly unique and consumer needed, I feel like I've been cannonball shot to the future.

Every (or practically every) sighted person has a cell phone, a computer, a blog and access to upload and or view YouTube videos. While the sight granted users have a variety of technology gadgets that seem to only bore them after a few months the blind are rarely heard bragging about all the cool gadgets they have. Why?

I'm sighted, so I’m just as guilty not thinking much about how the blind access the internet and the tools that are available. We don't think much about the things we don't need until someone mentions the lack of it and suddenly a light turns on.

According to a U.S. Census Bureau more than 1.5 million blind or visually impaired people have access to the Internet. A blind person who buys a minimal feature included $300 personal computer has to then purchase an additional $1,000 (or more) worth of specialized software to make the computer work for them. They are online and they are professionals and consumers. Yet, the majority of online businesses and even educational institutes do not recognize their need for the ability to shop / or learn at their website. Their missing out on 1.5 million blind or visually impaired consumer dollars.

Accommodating blind people online is equivalent to targeting international users, in that unique issues of usability and technology must be considered. In most cases, a separate version of an online website is the best way to serve blind and visually impaired users. Think that's too much of an expense? Consider if only one percent of 1.5 million blind users visit your ecommerce website and only half of those make a purchase -- if each purchase is a minimum of $5 than 7,500 consumers spent $37,500 at your website.

How Does The Blind Use The Internet?

Using screen access software from vendors like GW Micro users translate text on a computer screen into either synthesized speech or into a braille display unit. To make a website screen reader friendly, sites must be largely or entirely text-based. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) offers invaluable recommendations for creating content accessible to the blind. Advanced technologies like Java, Flash and even web browser frames confuse most screen readers. Web developers should study the WAI recommendations and be open to different web styles that are routine for sight user websites.

Amazon introduced a blind accessible website back in 2001. However, they are not the only web-based company addressing the needs of blind consumers. Job site Monster has held disability awareness virtual career fairs, linking disabled people with potential employers. Conversely, making a website accessible to the blind may not only be a business advantage but may soon be a requirement.

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) sued Target, alleging their website violates California disabled-rights law because its website was not operable by blind computer users. In the suit, it stated that the site prevents a blind user’s equipment and software from reading the non-compliant alt-text and the invisible code that is embedded beneath graphics. In addition, the suit stated that because a mouse is needed to complete a transaction, blind customers were unable to make purchases on their own. In September of 2006 a federal district court judge ruled that a retailer can be sued if its website is inaccessible to the blind.

Every web company must decide for itself how to approach this sensitive issue. But companies should at least invest the time to understand the unique needs of blind consumers. As our society increasingly depends on digital communication and ecommerce for basic activities and as technology races ahead at an ever-increasing pace the online digital world requires accessible-for-all capability.

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