Recently, we heard that Facebook was deep in negotiations to purchase Waze for around $1 billion. According to a report from Bloomberg, it looks like Google might be throwing its name in the hat as a possible buyer. This could lead to a bidding war between the two giants, which of… …
LONDON (AP) — A massive, partly fossilized egg laid by a now-extinct elephant bird has sold for more than double its estimate at a London auction.Christie’s auction house said Wednesday that the foot-long, nearly nine-inches in diameter egg fetched 66,675 pounds ($101,813). It had been valued at 20,000 to 30,000 pounds pre-sale, and was sold to an anonymous buyer over the telephone after about 10 minutes of competitive bidding.Elephant birds were wiped out several hundred years ago. The oversized ovum, laid on the island of Madagascar, is believed to date back before the 17th century.Flightless, fruit-gobbling elephant birds resembled giant ostriches and could grow to be 11 feet high (3.4 meters). Christie’s says their eggs are 100 times the size of an average chicken’s.Continue Reading… …
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Wanted: A green thumb with extensive knowledge of the black, or at least gray, market.
As Washington state tries to figure out how to regulate its newly legal marijuana, officials are hiring an adviser on all things weed: how it’s best grown, dried, tested, labeled, packaged and cooked into brownies.
Sporting a mix of flannel, ponytails and suits, dozens of those angling for the job turned out Wednesday for a forum in Tacoma, several of them from out of state. The Liquor Control Board, the agency charged with developing rules for the marijuana industry, reserved a convention center hall for a state bidding expert to take questions about the position and the hiring process.
“Since it’s not unlikely with this audience, would a felony conviction preclude you from this contract?” asked Rose Habib, an analytical chemist from a marijuana testing lab in Missoula, Mont.
The answer: It depends. A pot-related conviction is probably fine, but a “heinous felony,” not so much, responded John Farley, a procurement coordinator with the Liquor Control Board.
You may have heard that there is a
school bus strike in New York City, affecting 150,000+
children. What you might not have realized is how absolutely
nightmarish the existing city contract with its kiddie-haulers is.
New York Post columnist John Podhoretz sketches out a just
hellish vision of city services gone horrible:
These workers aren’t city employees. They work for private
companies. The city’s contracts with those companies are up in
June. The city plans to bid out the work.
It has to. You want it to. Trust me: Under the terms of the
current contracts, providing this bus service costs — I hope you’re
sitting down before you read this next clause — $7,000 a year per
All in all, the city spends — again, are you sitting down? —
$1.1 billion on school busing. [...]
[The 1979 contract] effectively ensured lifetime employment for
unionized drivers no matter what private company they worked for.
Contracts with the companies were renewed without competitive
The then-head of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181
pleaded guilty to charges of bribery in 2006; he was a member of
the Genovese crime family. Four city workers whose task it was to
ensure safety for handicapped riders were sent to jail in 2009 for
soliciting and receiving bribes in the tens of thousands of dollars
— from bus operators looking for lucrative routes.
In other words, everybody in the system was profiting from the
colossal streams of cash guaranteed by the 1979 deal.
That deal, as Podhoretz points out, was thrown together as the
result of…a long strike. Here’s hoping the city doesn’t cave. …
If you see the affair as a competition that you must try harder to “win,” the marriage becomes a bidding war between the betrayed spouse and the affair partner.Read More…
More on Divorce Advice
In Friday’s New York Times, Tanzina Vega reports on how the traditional formula of advertising is being increasingly tested by fast-paced, algorithmic bidding systems that seek individual consumers online rather than an aggregate audience. …
I like Lena Dunham. But her $3.7 million book deal with Random House, after a bidding war involving all of the major publishers, is emblematic of what is wrong with corporate publishing today.My first publishing job, in 1987, was at Random House. Bennett Cerf’s publishing company, the home of Faulkner, Capote and Dr. Seuss, is now only one of a handful of “major” publishers, by which I mean publishers who are corporate, bottom-line-driven, freighted with massive overhead and generally reactionary. The Dunham deal smacks of a search for the “Barton Fink” touch, as in get me the next “Bossypants” — stat. I realize that Dunham is an easy target — only 26, from an artsy New York family, the creator, star and director of her own HBO show. And there is an element of sexism in the backlash — a young, strong, independent female scores a big deal — but I have no problem with her agent, Kim Witherspoon, shaking down the dinosaurs on her client’s behalf. What the market will bear. I imagine Dunham’s book will kick ass, yet it will also get its critical ass handed to itself because of the advance. If Random House is already hucking it as the next Tina Fey meets Nora Ephron meets David Sedaris (no pressure, Lena), then the critics will be expecting Fey meets Ephron meets Sedaris.Continue Reading… …