Monday, May 24, 2010

Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz F-bomb at TechCrunch not the first time (video)

Arrington and Carol Bartz
New York, NY - (Zennie62's trip to TechCrunch is sponsored by Christine Smith Associates, Inc., the Premier Female Contractor in NYC.) Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz' F-bomb slammed on Tech Crunch Editor Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt is not the first time the combative Internet boss has dropped that four-letter word for many to hear.

The reputation so well copied on the Twitter account Fake Carol Bartz was created by events like the one where Bartz dropped one in April at an earnings call, when she said "We had a lot of people telling engineers what to do but nobody fucking doing anything.."


Still, that's nothing compared to what Bartz did Monday because her F-bomb, telling Arrington to F-off, was not by accident. She meant it and delivered it right between the eyes of Arrington.

Personally, I don't think it was deserved as all. Even in his worst moments Michael has never treated anyone like that. And while it makes for classic video-blogging, it's also a tasteless act.

Yahoo! is a public company which means it's going to be the focus of hard questions regarding its strategy. Carol Bartz should work to handle those questions with style and grace, not anger and roughness. Was it funny, hell yeah. I think even Michael wanted to laugh, even though it was directed at him.

One has to wonder what Carol Bartz is like when she's had some drink in her system. Man, I hope I'm around to make a video for that one!

Plus, you've not seen the entire interview! Yet.

Rock the Casbah!

Paul Gray: Slipknot bassist found dead in Iowa hotel room

New York, NY - For reasons not known as of this writing, Paul Gray, the bassist for Slipknot, was found dead in an Iowa hotel room. Paul Grey was 38 years old. There's no evidence of foul play, leaving open the possibility that he killed himself. The Des Moines Register reports:

Gray was a founding member of Slipknot and one of only two members not born in Iowa. The band broke into the mainstream with a platinum-selling self-titled debut in 1999. Two follow-ups, 2002's "Iowa" and 2005's "Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses)" also went platinum. The band has been nominated for seven Grammy awards, winning in 2006 for best metal performance.

"It's just a devastating loss for the Des Moines music scene and the world's music scene," said Matt Nyberg, who was dubbed "First Maggot" by Slipknot’s Shawn Crahan. Nyberg's band Facecage is on Slipknot lead singer Corey Taylor's Great Big Mouth Records. "He was always one of the nicest guys. You never heard anything negative from him."

Paul Grey was arrested for drug charges in 2003, but is said not to have been a drug addict.

Stay tuned.

Chevron finds Ecuador geologist Richard Cabrera committed fraud in lawsuit

New York, NY - Richard Cabrera, the Ecuador economist / geologist who's name has appeared in this space as recently as February of 2010, is back in the news again. Chevron, who's battling a lawsuit filed by Ecuador (but with the claim that it was issued by the indigenous people of Ecuador) claims to have found evidence that Cabrera was working with the real plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit. A suit that charges Chevron failed to do environmental cleanup in that country during its oil operations that ended 18 years ago. Those oil facilities were turned over to the Ecuador-run company called Petroecuador.

According to Reuters, Chevron vice president and general counsel Hewitt Pate said "This direct evidence of fraud and ex parte contacts further demonstrates the illegitimacy of the fictitious $27 billion number the plaintiffs' lawyers have created for the purpose of extracting money from Chevron and its shareholders. Despite years of denial by Mr. Cabrera and the plaintiffs' lawyers, one of their own consulting firms has now admitted in a U.S. court proceeding that they dealt directly with Mr. Cabrera. We also now know that Cabrera himself was previously employed by one of the plaintiffs' lawyers in another case prior to being appointed in Lago Agrio and that he never disclosed that fact to Chevron or the Lago Agrio court."

Richard Cabrera is the same person mentioned in this blog as being a potential winner of a portion of any damage award that would come from Chevron if it lost the case against Ecuador. Karen Hinton, the communications representative for the Amazon Defense Coalition, which is a fiscal non-profit front company for the plaintiffs and is not actually defending the Amazon, said "Since evidence at trial has indisputably shown Chevron is responsible for extensive contamination, the company has done everything within its power to attack the judicial process at its last hope of evading liability."

The trouble with Hinton's claim is much of the so-called evidence is questionable at best. There have been 118 oil spills in Ecuador since Chevron left 18 years ago. All of the so-called evidence was actually produced by Petroecuador. The other problem is that The Amazon Defense Coalition has never sued Ecuador, leaving open the perception in this space that they're working with Ecuador and adding to the fact that Ecuador's party to the lawsuit.

TechCrunch Day 1: recap: Yahoo CEO blast, Apple iPad vs. Old Media

New York, NY - (Zennie62's trip to TechCrunch is sponsored by Christine Smith Associates, Inc., the Premier Female Contractor in NYC.) TechCrunch Day 1 is over and in the wake of Carol Bartz F-bombs and S-boms highlighted a fascinating day. Here are some highlights:

1) Charlie Rose interviewing Menlo Park Venture Capitalist John Doerr, who explained the iPad's incredible public reception and its role in technical change in this way: "When the Iphone was introduced, it took 74 days for it to reach 1 million in sales. It took the iPad just 28 days to reach that mark." Doerr thinks we haven't seen the zenith of the iPad's popularity because he contends one of its best fields of use is health care. (Part one of that video is uploading and will be available later this evening, below.)

On the matter of the growth of companies that make Facebook-based-and-distributed games, he noted that Zynga is the fastest growing company he's ever funded, and that includes Google.

2) Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz cage-fighting Michael Arrington, getting off S-bombs and F-bombs, and calling his online publishing and tech event company "tiny" and emphasizing her point by bringing her thumb and index finger close together. If you missed that video, it's here:

3. Charlie Rose leaving TechCrunch Disrupt to board a plane to Syria and to interview the President of Syria. An interesting life, Rose leads. I could not help but notice that he didn't have a wedding ring; that's telling. (Not to mention a message for this blogger.)

4. Something called "Startup Battlefield" where startup companies give pitches to a panel of judges that consist of luminaries like former-Google exec, now VC, Chris Sacca, who also sang for the TechCrunch audience in this Robert Scoble video:

5. Some really interesting startups. One called Betterment simplifies the online investment process and makes it accessible to those who may be intimidated by the complicated websites of other more traditional investment companies.

6. New York Times Writer David Carr leading a panel of what he called "ancient white men" and consisted of Angel Investor Ron Conway, Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau, and Bloomberg Chief Content Editor Norman Pearlstine about the iPad and asking an Asian woman who worked for the New York Times to join the panel to "balance the demographic."

The panel revealed that while traditional media's working on applications for the iPad, and New Media company Huffington Post has a new one coming out in two weeks, what they're offering is not much different from what one gets if they just visit Google News.

Day two will be equally interesting with more of a focus on media and advertisers.

Stay tuned. Off to a party!

Death of Simon Monjack- related to the bereavement process? by Dr. Christina Villarreal

Just five months after the tragically sudden death of his Hollywood actress wife Brittany Murphy, 39 year old British screenwriter Simon Monjack (also known as Con-jack) was found dead by firefighters at his Los Angeles home late Sunday. Monjack was candid about his grief following Murphy's passing in December of 2009. He described how he had lost his "best friend and soul mate" and that his "world was destroyed" after his wife's death. How do professionals in mental health delineate the process of grieving after a loved one dies? Could the sudden death of Simon Monjack be related to the recent death of his young wife? As more details emerge of the circumstances surrounding his death, we can begin to understand the psychological process Monjack may have been experiencing at the time of his passing.

Grief and Bereavement Issues and Recovery
Grief and bereavement can significantly threaten a person’s mental functioning. Although most of us are familiar with the emotional response to loss, bereavement also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. It is imperative that a bereaved person secure adequate support and/or professional treatment following their loss. Without it, life-threatening situations could emerge if a bereaved person remains isolated and without appropriate treatment such as grief counseling.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. (July 8, 1926 – August 24, 2004) was a Swiss-born psychiatrist and pioneer in describing bereavement. She is the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed what is now known as the Kübler-Ross model. This seminal 5 stage theory continues to be widely adopted by other authors and applied to many other situations where someone suffers a loss or change in social identity.

1. Denial. When a person comes to find out about the death of loved one, their mind and body often goes into a state of shock. "This can't be real. This isn't happening." are common thoughts that run through the mind of the newly bereaved. The person is flooded with sensations of disorientation, and even simple tasks seem overwhelming. Many people describe going into a dream-like state, and experience feelings of disconnection with the events and people around him.

2. Anger. As the body and mind begins to take in the loss, strong emotional feelings such as anger begin to emerge. "This is so unfair!" "How could this be happening to me?" "Who is responsible for this?" are thoughts that persist in the mind of the bereaved, as a person protests their tragic loss.

3. Bargaining. In instances when a person or loved one is facing death, they begin having thoughts of negotiation with a higher power in hopes of somehow postponing or delaying death. "Just let me see my family before I go" "If my loved one could live just a few more months, I promise to give up/change anything."

4. Depression. As the reality of a person's loss begins to feel more permanent, the bereaved experience commons symptoms of a major depressive episode such as weight loss, disrupted sleep, hopelessness, uncontrolled worry, frequent tearfulness and sadness or irritability. A person in this stage may refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. However, this is often when the bereaved need the most support, as remaining in this stage in isolation can lead to tragic and possibly permanent negative consequences for the life of the bereaved.

5. Acceptance. In this last stage, a bereaved person begins to come to terms with their mortality or that of their loved one. While they continue to feel sadness and loss, they are on the path to healing, and can begin to finding meaningful ways to commemorate their loved one's life.

Respectfully submitted by Dr. Christina Villarreal, Clinical Psychologist in Oakland, CA

Yahoo!'s CEO Carol Bartz tells Michael Arrington to F-off (video)

Arrington and Carol Bartz
New York, NY - (Zennie62's trip to TechCrunch is sponsored by Christine Smith Associates, Inc., the Premier Female Contractor in NYC.) Yahoo!'s CEO Carol Bartz is known via Fake Carol Bartz on Twitter for getting off the occasional "F-bomb."

But even with that, one doesn't actually expect a person to live up to a Twitter persona created by someone else. Not the case with Carol Bartz; she did.

Bartz, who's taken a beating from a very critical Michael Arrington in TechCrunch, walked into what TechCrunch Co-Editor Eric Shoenfeld called "the lion's den" and talked with Michael for 25 minutes.

While we have the entire 25 minute interview, this exchange on video was the talk of TechCrunch Disrupt and served to solidify Carol Bartz' combative reputation.

To set the stage, Arrington was pressing Bartz on the idea that the best companies are often "single-revenue-source" producers, and was implying that Yahoo, by getting away from search to his view, was moving away from what could work for the company. While asserting that Yahoo! is still a search company, Bartz disagreed, pointing to successful firms that were conglomerates.

Then Bartz seemed to think that Arrington was saying that because Yahoo! had not created a device they were not innovative and lacked direction. Bartz then focused on his "tiny company," saying that even with a firm as small as his, he didn't always know what direction he was going in. "So don't give me crap about what the fine people of Yahoo! are supposed to do, so F-off."

That brought the house down and it was Bartz open attempt at a knockout punch to Arrington. From all accounts she scored.

But I'm not sure what this is going to do to Yahoo! stock price.

Stay tuned.

Foresquare-type startups? Robert Scoble at TechCrunch Disrupt

John Doerr with Charlie Rose 
New York, NY - is up as the "For Show Launch" company as this blog post is written at TechCrunch Disrupt. Zennie62's trip to TechCrunch is sponsored by Christine Smith Associates, Inc., the Premier Female Contractor in NYC.

TechCrunch Disrupt is a wonderful, dizzying array of people, companies, tech, and ideas. We're in a huge office space that was once used as a Merill Lynch Trading facility. TechCrunch Editor Michael Arrington made the point that the space and what it's now used for is an example of the kind of "third wave" of tech change that the World is facing - even if it doesn't know it.

The idea of TechCrunch Disrupt is to bring together media, tech, and advertising industry representatives. So far, the idea is working very well. It even produces controversy: Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz, let loose with an F-bomb and an S-bomb, in the former case telling Michael Arrington to F-off.

But Carol Bartz and Yahoo! aside, for a moment, the interesting aspect of TechCrunch Disrupt are the sheer number of "Geo-based" social networks along the lines of Foursquare. That's what I talked with tech blogger Robert Scoble about in the video.

If you're not familiar with Foursquare, it's a mobile based software application that allows you to essentially tell the world (that's on Foursquare) where you are, be it a restaurant, an airport, or a football game. You can also locate other users at the same location or other places.

There are some really interesting startups that are variations on that theme. One of them, DeHood is designed for you to report, say, a crime being committed in your neighborhood in real time.

So as much as the buzz here is about Facebook, and something called "Zuckerberg's law of information" (after Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's determination that the rate of information flow between people has doubled in something like five years), the real interest is not in the next Facebook, but in the next Foursquare.

So far, Arringon's interviewed TV interview legend Charlie Rose, who in turn had a great talk with Venture Capitalist John Doerr. Doerr reported that Zynga, the startup famous for the Farmville game, is the fastest growing company his firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has ever funded, and that includes Google.

Stay tuned.

BP: Big Profits & Big Pollution

According to Reuters, BP has just announced they haven't been sure how much oil they were siphoning off from the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico.  You might think it was an easy thing for BP employees to do, just look into the collection container and measure, right?  Well, it might seem easy to you, but BP's folks on-site were apparently just guessing.

BP said on Monday the oil collected by the mile-long siphon tube was at times as low as 1,360 barrels of oil per day in the six days to May 23 with the tube capturing an average 2,010 barrels per day in the time period.

The average figure is less than half the 5,000 barrels per day the company estimates is leaking into the sea and comes after it said it was managing to siphon off around 5,000 barrels per day a few days ago.

Of course, some experts have made significantly higher estimates for the size of the leak than BP provided, too. That's not surprising, BP has a profit motive, not a truth motive.

You know what is surprising, though? It got hard to find this story on the Reuters website, almost immediately. It's amazing BP can't even get the measurement where they're collecting some of the oil. You don't think Reuters is under pressure from BP or investors, do you?

Meanwhile, comparisons to the impact of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster are growing almost as fast as the pressure on the Obama administration to act. BP may have created jobs, but few who have seen the massive and spreading disaster think their response has been adequate, and we all know it will fall to the government not only to hold BP accountable, but ultimately to clean up the mess, too.

Thomas Hayes
is an entrepreneur, journalist, political staffer, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.