Cooley Hurd's Journal
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,122
Number of posts: 24,122
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Angie's List has been criticized for the fundamental contradiction between its claimed philosophy ("Companies can't pay to be on Angie's List") and the conflict of interest caused by reliance on advertising revenue for 70% of cash flow. Answering a complaint from a user, David Segal found that when subscribers post a negative review of a company to Angie's List, a staff member discusses it with them in an attempt to rectify the situation. If the company is one that advertises with Angie's List, the negative review will be removed and then the customer must give an A or B grade. The company's effort to keep advertisers happy reveals their conflict of interest.
The October 2013 issue of Consumer Reports Money Adviser reported:
"We think that the ability of A- and B-rated companies to buy their way to the top of the default search results skews the results. Cheryl Reed, a spokeswoman for the company, disagrees. 'We don’t believe that,' she says. But Angie’s List marketing materials intended for businesses say that companies that advertise get 'an advantage of increased exposure' that 'can propel you ahead of your competition.' They get 12 times more profile views than companies that don’t buy ads. Angie’s List encourages businesses to solicit reviews by giving customers free, postage-paid forms, stickers on thank you notes, and Web links embedded in e-mail invoices. But experts who study survey techniques say that can create a bias for positive reviews. Angie’s List misleads consumers by prominently promising that 'businesses don’t pay' and that it’s a consumer-driven service supported by membership fees. But almost 70 percent of the company’s revenues come from advertising purchased by the service providers being rated. Angie’s List tells consumers that it provides 'reviews you can trust,' and takes steps to detect and remove fraudulent positive and negative reviews. But company investment disclosures say that 'we cannot guarantee the accuracy of our reviews.' ”
Competition is a major concern. Competitors such as Yelp offer similar reviews, with a much larger database, for free, causing concern for the future of ANGI's paid membership model. Angie's List reviews for home services are liable to be hundreds of miles away, and not local as advertised.
Investors worry that the company has been in business for more than 18 years, yet never has shown an annual profit, and that valuations of the company are unrealistic based on the actual revenue the company produces.
There have also been complaints that the stock has been excessively diluted by gifts of stock to business insiders, so that if the company ever did show a profit, little if any would accrue to outside investors/ stockholders.
Why am I picking on poor ol' Angie Hicks? Because...
Angie's List recently made news and not in a good way. The popular business referral service has apparently decided to risk the reputation of their own business by supporting Rush Limbaugh's hate radio. I can only presume that they are hoping to take advantage of Limbaugh's last distress-sale advertising rates in order to create buzz following their recent Initial Public Offering. In doing so, they have traded dollars and cents for any sense of common decency. Their ad dollars are supporting a man who has called women sluts, prostitutes and lard-asses. While Angie's decision to associate with Rush Limbaugh is revealing in and of itself, a closer inspection of the company reveals that their association with Rush should not be all that surprising. Angie's List, it seems, has a problem with women too.
Angie's List was co-founded by Angie (Angela Bowman Hicks) and William Oesterle in 1995. The two came together in order to create a reliable source of business referrals and Angie's List was born. Though Angie is the public face of the eponymous organization, Bill Oesterle is actually the CEO. Oesterle's career did not start in business however. It started in Republican politics.
Candidate Name Angela Hicks
(click on $ amounts for details)
$78,171 Total Money Receipts
$44,615 From Individuals
(Amounts over $200)
$500 From Political Action Committees
$0 From Indian Tribes
Office Running For United States House of Representatives (Congress)
State Georgia (GA)
Election Year '10
Campaign Address 509 S. FIELDSTONE DR.
MACON, GA 31210
Candidate Committee Angela Hicks For Congress
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Sat Sep 6, 2014, 11:26 AM (116 replies)
Video shot at Siracusa, Sicily.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Sat Sep 6, 2014, 12:43 AM (40 replies)
USS Shenandoah was the first of four United States Navy rigid airships. It was built in 1922–1923 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, and first flew in September 1923. It developed the Navy's experience with rigid airships, and made the first crossing of North America by airship. On the 57th flight, Shenandoah was torn apart in a squall line over Ohio in 1925.
Crash of the Shenandoah
On 2 September 1925, Shenandoah departed Lakehurst on a promotional flight to the Midwest which would include flyovers of 40 cities and visits to state fairs. Testing of a new mooring mast at Dearborn, Michigan was included in the schedule. While passing through an area of thunderstorms and turbulence over Ohio early in the morning of 3 September, during its 57th flight, the airship was caught in a violent updraft that carried it beyond the pressure limits of its helium gas bags. It was torn apart in the turbulence and crashed in several pieces near Caldwell, Ohio. Fourteen of Shenandoah's crew—including her commanding officer, Commander Zachary Lansdowne—were killed. This included every member of the crew of the control cabin, with the exception of Lieutenant Anderson, who barely escaped before it detached from the ship; two men who went through holes in the hull; and several mechanics who fell with the engines. There were twenty-nine survivors, who succeeded in riding three sections of the airship to earth. The largest group was eighteen men who made it out of the stern after it rolled into a valley. Four others survived a crash landing of the central section. The remaining seven were in the bow section which Commander (later Vice Admiral) Charles E. Rosendahl navigated as a free balloon. In this group was Anderson who—until he was roped in by the others—straddled the catwalk over a hole. A number of those crew who survived would later be killed in the loss of the Akron.
The Shenandoah Crash Sites are located in the hillsides of Noble County. Site No. 1, in Buffalo Township, surrounded the Gamary farmhouse, which lay beneath the initial break-up. An early fieldstone and a second, recent granite marker identify where Zachary Lansdowne's body was found. Site No. 2 (where the stern came to rest) is a half-mile southwest of Site No. 1 across Interstate 77 in Noble Township. The rough outline of the stern is marked with a series of concrete blocks, and a sign marking the site is visible from the freeway. Site No. 3 is approximately six miles southwest in Sharon Township at the northern edge of State Route 78 on the part of the old Nichols farm where the nose of the Shenandoah's bow was secured to trees. Although the trees have been cut down, a semi-circular gravel drive surrounds their stumps and a small granite marker commemorates the crash. The Nichols house was later destroyed by fire.
Two schools of thought developed about the cause of the crash. One theory is that the gas cells over-expanded as the ship rose, due to Lansdowne’s decision to remove the 10 automatic release valves, and that the expanding cells damaged the framework of the airship and led to its structural failure.
Thousands of people flocked to the wreckage which was then heavily looted, with the logbooks and most of the ship's fabric stolen. Official inquiry brought to public attention the fact that the fatal flight had been made under protest by Commander Lansdowne (a native of Greenville, Ohio), who warned of the violent weather conditions which were prevalent in the area and common to Ohio in late summer. His pleas for a cancellation of the flight only led to a postponement. His superiors were keen to publicize airship technology, and justify the huge cost of the airship to the taxpayers. So, as Lansdowne's widow consistently maintained at the inquiry, publicity rather than prudence won the day. This event was the trigger for Army Colonel Billy Mitchell to heavily criticize the leadership of both the Army and the Navy, leading directly to his court-martial for insubordination and the end of his military career. Heinen, according to the Daily Telegraph put the blame on the removal of safety valves, saying he would not have flown on her "for a million dollars".
Ultimately a positive result of the disaster was that future airships were better built. Hulls were strengthened, control cabins were built into the keels rather than suspended from cables, and engine power was increased. More attention was also paid to weather forecasting. When the U.S. used blimps in World War II and the Cold War, these improvements may have prevented other crashes.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Wed Sep 3, 2014, 07:19 PM (0 replies)
(CNN) -- John Walker, a former U.S. Navy officer convicted of spying decades ago for the Soviet Union, has died in federal prison, according to the U.S. government.
Walker, 77, passed away Thursday at a federal correctional facility in Butner, North Carolina, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said. The agency's website indicated Walker was scheduled to be released on parole within the year.
Authorities said the elder Walker stole, then sold, codes to help unlock encrypted Navy messages, which allowed the Soviets to monitor American military assets. The spying went on from 1968 to 1985, when he was arrested by the FBI. He later pleaded guilty.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/29/justice/cold-war-spy-dies/index.html
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Fri Aug 29, 2014, 12:39 PM (58 replies)
(CNN) -- An American named Douglas McCain was killed last weekend in Syria, where he was fighting for ISIS, two U.S. officials told CNN.
The man's uncle, Ken McCain, said that his nephew had gone to fight as a jihadi and that the U.S. State Department told the family Monday about the death.
Douglas McCain died in a battle between rival extremist groups in the suburbs of Aleppo, Syria's once-bustling commercial capital and largest city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that monitors the conflict.
Like the U.S. officials, the group described McCain as an ISIS fighter and said he died battling al-Nusra Front, an al Qaeda-linked organization that the U.S. government has blacklisted as a foreign terror organization.
McCain is not the first American to fight alongside militants in Syria, nor is he the first killed -- even if he may be the first with ISIS. Attorney General Eric Holder estimated this summer that there are 7,000 foreign fighters in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern nation, many from places like Europe and the United States.
No comment on his last name, just struck by irony...
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Tue Aug 26, 2014, 06:23 PM (1 replies)
I used this video to determine the locations of the PO's and Kajieme Powell (TYT zoomed in, which was helpful to determine the locations of the police and Kajieme - WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO):
With that knowledge, I went to Google Earth, placed the parties in the locations shown in the video, and used the measurement tool:
It measured 16 feet. And, as is clearly shown in the video, Kajieme's arms were at his sides. Given the distance, and Kajieme's posture at the moment he was shot, it's my opinion that the police grossly overreacted.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Sun Aug 24, 2014, 10:32 AM (6 replies)
A group of monkey’s found themselves taking an unexpected trip to Europe after boarding a Maersk ship in Malaysia.
The five monkey’s were discovered climbing on top of containers aboard the 15,550 TEU Eugene Maersk a few days after departing the Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia bound for Rotterdam, but by that time it was too late to return the stowaways back home.
After noticing the monkeys onboard, the crew of the Eugene Maersk alerted the Copenhagen Zoo who helped identify the species and provided instructions on diet and how to catch the primates. The crew was eventually able to catch the monkeys and hold them in a makeshift cage.
Upon arrival in Rotterdam, the monkey’s were released to the Dutch monkey foundation, Stitching AAP.
Monkey stowaways! THAT is Friday News Dump to smile at!!!
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Fri Aug 22, 2014, 07:43 PM (10 replies)
Thanks to this post (which brought the matter to our attention, albeit with an unreliable link to The Daily Caller): http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025430294
...I was able to find a better link:
August 22, 2014
Glendale Police Chief Jeffrey Beaton this afternoon announced the immediate suspension of Police Officer Matthew Pappert for making several "very concerning and inappropriate posts on his personal Facebook page."
Beaton said the posts came to the attention of his department at about 10:40 a.m. Friday morning. Due to the nature of the posts, Beaton said an internal investigation was immediately initiated.
In several posts over the past few days, Pappert allegedly wrote, "I'm sick of these protesters. You are a burden on society and a blight on the community." In a later post, Beaton allegedly commented, "These protesters should have been put down like a rabid dog the first night."
Beaton, in a written statement released Friday afternoon, noted that the alleged posts and comments made by Officer Pappert "are absolutely not the views and/or opinions of the Glendale Police Department or the City of Glendale, Missouri."
Pappert is a firearms instructor and a member of the police department's Crisis Intervention Team, according to the City of Glendale 2013 Police Report.
Bad choice for "crisis intervention", IMO...
...and, for comic relief (from the same story):
After news of the Glendale officer's alleged comments, the Glendale Historical Society announced it was canceling this evening's (Aug. 22) annual Ice Cream Social at Glendale City Hall.
Sorry, but that made me LOL! No ice cream for YOU!
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Fri Aug 22, 2014, 05:57 PM (23 replies)
(CNN) -- A storied former U.S. Navy aircraft carrier is on its final voyage Friday, a slow voyage from Rhode Island to a scrapyard in Texas.
The former USS Saratoga (CV-60), a part of the Navy's carrier fleet from 1956 to 1994, is being towed down the Atlantic Seaboard by tugboat at about 7 mph, according to a report from the Maritime Executive. The voyage is expected to take about 16 days, the Navy says.
The Navy in May announced it was paying ESCO Marine of Brownsville, Texas, one cent to take the carrier off its hands for dismantling and recycling. The company makes money by selling the metal it salvages from the ship.
Saratoga veterans were among the crowds of people who gathered on Narragansett Bay on Thursday as the ship left Naval Station Newport on its final journey.
"A ship like this shouldn't be taken apart piece by piece," Mitchell Abood, who served aboard the Saratoga from 1985 to 1987, said in an article from the U.S. Naval War College.
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Fri Aug 22, 2014, 12:45 PM (19 replies)
A giant rubber duck made its way into the Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Ok, now for some context. The 60-foot tall inflatable duck is part of an art installation by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. Since 2007, the duck has called at ports and harbors across the globe including Beijing, Hong Kong, Sydney, Auckland, Soa Paulo and Pittsburg, just to name a few.
The arrival of the duck in Los Angeles coincides with the Tall Ships Festival being held San Pedro, California from August 20-24.
I needed a smile today...
Posted by Cooley Hurd | Wed Aug 20, 2014, 06:22 PM (38 replies)