Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Guinness in the Twenty-First Century

Author: Bill Yenne

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, two billion pints
of Guinness were being poured annually in more than 150
countries around the world. According to the industry
newsletter, Impact: Global News and Research for the Drinks
Executive, Guinness Stout is the seventeenth largest selling
beer brand in the world, and by far the best-selling beer brand
that is not a pale yellow lager.

Ireland and the United Kingdom remain the largest markets in the
world for Guinness, with Nigeria in third place. In fourth
place, the United States is the fastest growing Guinness market.
According to Jonathan Waldron, the Dublin-based Guinness Draught
marketing manager, "Our top four markets explain 95 percent of
our volume."

Though no longer the largest in the world, the Guinness Brewery
at St. James's Gate remains the largest in Ireland -- and the
largest stout brewery in the world -- with a capacity of 6.5
million barrels. After 69 years, the huge Guinness brewery at
Park Royal was closed in 2005. It had once been Guinness's
largest brewery, but as production at the site declined, the
company decided to close it, and to concentrate stout production
for the United Kingdom and Ireland -- as well as for the United
States -- at the birthplace of Guinness in St. James's Gate.

In Ireland, the company also has an additional 1.5 million
barrel capacity in Dundalk, as well as 1.2 million barrels at
Kilkenny. At Warerford, the former Cherry's Brewery has been
upgraded to a state-of-the-art special ingredient plant to
produce Guinness Flavor Extract for export to the 50 countries
where Guinness is brewed, either under license or at brewing
companies in which Guinness is a partner.

Overseas, the company still owns a share in Malaysia's Guinness
Anchor Berhad and it operates 10 breweries in six African
countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda,
and the Seychelles. Africa is a key market for Guinness. Indeed,
Africans drink more than one third of all the Guinness in the

Today, as much as ever, St. James's Gate is the center of
gravity, not only for Guinness, but for its fans and devotees.
Guinness aficionados who have made the pilgrimage to St. James's
Gate since the turn of the century have been welcomed at the
Guinness Storehouse, the brewery's new visitor center. The
Storehouse is the successor to the Guinness Hop Store that
served as the visitor center from 1988 to 2000. When the
Storehouse opened, the Hop Store was sold to the Digital Hub, an
Irish Government initiative to "create an international center
of excellence for knowledge, innovation and creativity focused
on digital content and technology enterprises."

Just as the previous visitor center had served for hop storage,
the massive Storehouse was once part of the process of producing
stout. Built to house fermentation vessels and opened in 1904,
the 125-foot-high, red brick building once contained the largest
fermentation vessel in the world. Updated and expanded in the
1950s, the Storehouse was superseded in the 1980s by a newer
facility across James's Street to the north. It reopened in its
new incarnation in December 2000. As the Hop Store before it,
the Storehouse contains a myriad of exhibits relating to the
history and folklore of the beer, the brand and the brewery. It
also houses the Guinness Archives.

The Guinness Storehouse now has the distinction of being
Ireland's number one visitor attraction, with three million
visitors in its first five years. It is topped with the Guinness
Gravity Bar, which is the highest point in Dublin. Constituting
the seventh floor of the Storehouse, the Gravity Bar is a nice
place to enjoy a pint, while also enjoying a 360-degree view of
Dublin itself.

When those people who are enjoying their pints at the Gravity
Bar -- or at the 150 or so Dublin pubs visible from the Gravity
Bar -- or in the 150 countries across the horizon -- what pints
are they enjoying? Jonathan Waldron explained, as we sat in the
Brewery Bar one floor down from the Gravity Bar, that Guinness
thinks in terms of a lead variant in each of its markets.

"Our approach to date has been that there is a lead variant in
each market. In Ireland, the United Kingdom and North America,
the lead variant would be Guinness Draught by a margin of about
75 to 80 percent," he said. "In Ireland, Guinness Extra Stout is
drunk by an older population, including people who began
drinking Guinness when Guinness was only Extra Stout. That is
evolving a little bit as we see, for example, that younger
consumers might like to enjoy Guinness Extra Stout with certain
meals, such as with fish. They find the bite of the carbonation,
plus the deeper tone, as a good balance with fish."

Waldron observed that in Ireland, Guinness has been so ingrained
in the culture for so many years, that it presents an
interesting marketing challenge. This challenge is to market a
beer to younger people who may perceive it as being their
"father's beer."

As he explains, "We will always strive to maintain a
contemporary association with the brand in Ireland because
everybody's father did drink it. On the other hand, in the
United States, the average stout drinker tends to be younger and
more highly educated than the average beer drinker because
Guinness is perceived as a premium beer."

In the United States, the huge increase in attention to
microbreweries has been a great boon for Guinness because they
have revitalized interest in complexity and rich flavor in beer.
As Waldron puts it: "The craft brew segment of the American
market is great for Guinness in that those kinds of beers are
drunk by people who are looking for a taste experience. We can
certainly offer people a taste experience! There are some great
beers out there, and the more popular they become, it's only
going to help Guinness."

In most of the rest of the world, Waldron says that Foreign
Extra Stout is by far the lead variant: "In Japan, we've only
ever had Guinness Draught, but elsewhere in the Far East, where
our big markets are Malaysia and Indonesia, the lead variant has
always been Foreign Extra Stout, as it is across Africa. In
North America, we see an interesting thing, which is that people
in the Afro-Caribbean demographic favor Guinness Extra Stout. In
the Caribbean, the lead variant is Foreign Extra Stout, which is
unavailable in the United States, so they are getting close to
that with Guinness Extra Stout."

Noting that Guinness sees the Foreign Extra Stout world as a
potential growth area for Guinness Draught, he said that, "We're
experimenting with launching draught in Asian markets. Guinness
Draught has long been available in Hong Kong, and it is
gradually becoming more available in upscale bars in some major
Chinese cities. We have a draught presence in hotels and leading
bars, but if we want to expand our business, we have to go for
the man in the street. We've found that, whereas the older
generation may be happy with the bite and the bitterness of
Foreign Extra Stout, the younger generation has grown up with a
sweeter palate, so Guinness Draught is a much more appealing
product for them."

The fact that Nigeria is the third largest market for Guinness
after the United Kingdom and Ireland underscores the importance
of Foreign Extra Stout among the variants. On the other hand,
the fact that the United States is the fastest growing market is
important for the draught products.

"In time, I hope that the U.S. market will become the largest,"
Waldron said. "It's such a huge market. There is an established
'taste beer' segment, which has grown in recent years. Canada is
a reasonably good market, but it is a much smaller market than
the United Stares. In Europe, Germany is the largest but France,
Italy and Spain are close behind. In Russia, Heineken brews
Foreign Extra Stout under license from us.

Copyright © 2007 Bill Yenne. All rights reserved.

The above is an excerpt from the book Guinness by Bill Yenne
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; September
2007;$24.95US/$29.99CAN; 978-0-470-12052-1 Copyright © 2007 Bill
Yenne. All rights reserved.

About the author:
Bill Yenne has been writing extensively about beer and brewing
history for two decades and has discussed these subjects as a
featured guest on the History Channel. He is the author of more
than forty books on a variety of historical topics, and a member
of the American Society of Journalists & Authors.

How to Profit from American Real Estate Market Slump

Author: Rhiannon Williamson

America's slumping real estate market has been making headlines
for some time now. As regions that once saw incredible booms now
face sharp property price corrections, many British and
international investors working in currencies other than the US
dollar find themselves wondering if investing in real estate in
the land of the stars and the stripes is worth the risk.

If you've been interested in buying or living in America but
found the residential property prices too high, now could be the
ideal time to look around for a bargain home.

Although there is both good and bad news in relation to the
American real estate market, foreign buyers will find some
rather decent bargains in the US at present. And what's more,
the American market is not likely to stay down for very long
either. Striking while the iron is hot - especially in
high-traffic tourism areas - is probably not a bad idea if you
want long term profits from your real estate assets!

Florida for example, has long been a favourite for British and
European expatriates and holiday makers. This semi-tropical
paradise is home to theme parks, beaches and lots of sunshine
and it is also home to rather well-developed expat communities -
and here potential investors will find a buyers' market at the

As values drop, construction slows and inventories of available
homes are really starting to pile up, buyers will find some
incredible deals on property. Although it might be some time
before this particular market rebounds to its former high-price
glory, British investors for example who are also looking to
call America's Sunshine State home are likely to find some
incredible deals. New construction builders are even slashing
their prices in Florida! While the future is uncertain for the
American real estate market as a whole, several American cities
are predicted to make a rather decent rebound in the coming
years. CNNMoney is predicting a few regions in particular will
begin to warm by 2009. The areas CNN say are worth watching
closely include Dallas/Ft. Worth, New Orleans, Atlanta and
Mobile. A few other cities such as St. Louis and Indianapolis
are also on the list.

Although the sub-prime crisis and record foreclosures are making
the overall American real estate market look bleak, chances are
it will not stay down for terribly long because the basic
fundamentals on which the market is built such as strong
employment and decent affordability remain in place. Investors
looking to get in on property in America will find the time for
looking around for an entry point is now.

There are some tricks to buying in markets that have been
traditionally hot - right now as the prices are plummeting and
sellers are getting antsy, the potential for good buys is high.
Some parts of the Tampa market for example have seen homes on
the market for months without any interest. This means some
sellers are so anxious to get out to prevent foreclosure that
they're willing to take the first reasonable offer they receive.
So, the key to a cheap buy is to find desirable regions and
desperate sellers - and unfortunately for the sellers, it's not
difficult to do right now.

As Americans face a foreclosure crisis and banks are willing to
take buyouts below value, the US is becoming more attractive to
buyers purchasing in a currency other than the dollar. Investors
who want to get in and do so for reasonable prices will find the
time to inspect property is nigh! Chances are certain regions
will not stay down in price for long and by buying in low you
stand the best chance of making the best profits over the medium
to long term.

About the author:
Rhiannon Williamson writes about href="http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/property/"
target="_new">buying property abroad for profit and for a
lifestyle retreat! So if you're thinking of buying overseas real
estate, her resource www.ShelterOffshore.com has all the
information that you could possibly need.

CRITICS OF SONIA GANDHI:surrogates of communalism

CRITICS OF SONIA GANDHI: Surrogates of communalism

Ranjit Singh New York, October 11,07.

In the beginning of this month, Sonia Gandhi came to New York on
the invitation of the United Nations. This global organization,
the bulwark of the global peace, had recognized, though late,
that the non-violence is the soul of peace and that Mahatma
Gandhi is the latest apostle in the line of those who rise above
communal, racial and national narrow-mindedness and embrace
humanity. October 2nd is the birthday of this Mahatma (great
soul) and the United Nations declares this day as the global
Non-Violence Day. An honor to India! And yet another honor; the
leader of the party that was nurtured and brought to maturity by
none other than Mahatma Gandhi himself, was invited to launch
the day. Sonia Gandhi is the leader chosen for it.

A few NRI organizations in USA could not digest this honor to
the leader of Mahatma Gandhi's Party, an indirect honor to
India. They used (rather misused) their financial clout and
spent $ 125,000.00 (the average page price for the New York
Times' ad) to tell the Americans 8 points about Sonia Gandhi.

Apparently, one page advertisement in the New York Times,
Saturday, October, October 6, 07 (Page A-11) is an attack on
Sonia Gandhi's personality. But an honest observer and analyst
will see behind the wording, phraseology and style an intention
and an attempt to demolish a government and a movement that is
holding on to the culture and spirit of secularism and
co-existence in India.

The only safe conclusion that we shall draw is that these NRI
critics of Sonia Gandhi are acting as the surrogates of the
communal politicians in India. They are attacking Sonia Gandhi
as they know well at heart that it is she who halted the
onslaughts of the communal forces on the soil of Mother India.
Whatever the future historians write about her, they all will
agree with me that it is Sonia Gandhi who saved the citadel of
India's pluralism. No wonder that the LEFT in India, despite
serious differences with the UPA government, don't want to
abandon the boat, of which Sonia Gandhi is the captain.

However, just accusing Sonia Gandhi's critics and adversaries
and just praising her does not and will not carry weight with my
readers, unless I refute their charges one by one and point by

But before I do that, I will not hesitate to fault them on one
point. Could they not think of some better and noble cause to
advertise for or spend money on, instead of spending $
125,000.00 to spread misinformation about a visiting national
leader, on a mission to take India to yet other heights of
popularity. I am not aware but I have a gut feeling that no
other nationality in America would resort to such tactics to
defame their leader among other communities. We do have
different stands, different opinions and different ideologies,
but shall we resort to character assassination to make our
stands and differences known. Sonia Gandhi's adversaries shall
sit and answer honestly: "Was it not unethical on their part?"
Well, they have their own hidden agenda and that ism as I have
explained above, to demolish pluralism and eliminate its
vanguards. So, let us come to the point and discuss eight
charges, they levied to defame Sonia Gandhi and spent $
125,000.00 to vainly reach their goal.

YOUR FIRST CHARGE: You say Sonia Maino Gandhi is not related to
Mahatma Gandhi and is just misappropriating it for political
mileage and international legitimacy.

MY REBUTTAL: You use "MAINO", intentionally to remind us of her
parentage and origin. It is a mischievous way of harping on a
point when we all know that she has never obscured her
nationality or parentage and that the Supreme Court has
validated her Indian nationality. And why shall she
misappropriate? Did she ever say that she is related to Mahatma
Gandhi? And is she the first one in her family to use the word
"Gandhi" with her name? Are you really ignorant of the fact that
late Shrimati Indira Gandhi was already using it before Sonia
came to India as a daughter-in-law of the former Prime Minister?
Are you really ignorant of the reality that many of our own
sisters or daughters stop carrying the suffix like "Patel,
Mehta, Bajwa" when they marry an American boy? The example is
Sunita William, the renowned astronaut of today.

Why shall Sonia Gandhi search for political mileage? She has
already won political ascendency by saving her party from going
into oblivion and by saving India from falling to communal
disruptions.. And this is the thorn that pricks her adversaries.

YOUR SECOND CHARGE: You say Sonia Gandhi is vindictive and
undemocratic and that her party uses various mechanisms
including raids to subjugate opposition.

MY REBUTTAL: Well, accusation is no argument. Come clean with
facts. What the NRIs in America hear through news channels are
about the raids on a certain Malhotra, a petty canteen
contractor, who has grabbed landed property worth ten crore
rupees, has thirty luxury cars with VIP plate numbers parked
outside his house. We are hearing about raids on an army General
with disproportionate wealth at his disposal. Do you want to
stop these raids? Do you sympathize with these criminals who
loot our national wealth? Can you give just one example when an
opposition politician or activist was tax-raided and silenced?
Then what do you mean when you talk of raids to subjugate
opposition? I have not heard of a single such example? Where did
you get this news from?

YOUR THIRD CHARGE: You say that Sonia Gandhi's Party has
pro-terrorist policies and that is why India has the highest
number of terrorist victims after Iraq. Her Party is requesting
clemency for Afzal Guru, the master mind behind attack on
Parliament, for vote bank.

MY REBUTTAL: Perhaps, your charge emanates from the fact that
the UPA regime repealed POTA, which was imposed on India by the
NDA regime. It is an open secret that POTA resulted in fake
encounters and the profiling of minorities, particularly of the
Muslims. It spread a nation-wide fear of police, with
unfortunately no reprieve from terrorism. Attack on our
Parliament was during the non-Congress regime.

What label or tag you will fix on this event when a Union
Minister of NDA government escorted some terrorists to be
released in Kabul in exchange for 116 Indian passengers locked
in a hijacked Indian Airline plan? I will be the last man to
criticize this move. In my opinion, it was the only best option
left with the government to get back alive our passengers on
board and to spare their relatives back home of an agony, beyond
words.. Nor will I blame the NDA regime as "soft to terrorists",
simply becauseit was then that the terrorists made an attempt to
raze our Parliament to ground.

I only want to shake the critics of Sonia Gandhi to understand
and realize that the terrorists attack India because India is a
pluralistic state and the terrorists don't tolerate co-existence
of the Hindus and Muslims. They disrupt pluralism in order to
create Taliban type regimes. On the terrorist front, India can't
boast of successes and one reason, which is hard to digest, is
the domestic communal hatred, we ourselves encourage.

The terrorists are our unidentified and invisible enemies. But
you are our own people. At least, you shall not disrupt
pluralism by instigating Sikhs and Hindus as is clear from your
following two charges. In this way, your goals are true replica
of the goals of terrorists-to disrupt pluralism. Only strategies
differ. If you love India, you better abandon this disruption
strategy and work for pluralism..

You want to hear about Afzal Guru.. Trust me, I am ignorant of
the sequence of events. I read that Afzal Guru says that he was
framed. Is framing not a usual practice of India's police
system? It will continue till the system is completely
overhauled. Afzal Guru may be speaking truth or telling lies. I
don't know. But one thing I do know that as an Indian citizen,
he has the constitutional right to reach any level in search of
justice, request for clemency no exception. It is a human right
and those who talk of human rights shall respect this right for
every one, irrespective of caste, creed, gender. Nathu Ram Godse
killed Mahatma Gandhi. Was he denied the right to fight a legal

YOUR CHARGES # 4,5 & 6. In these charges relating to communal
instigation, you instigate Sikhs by reminding them that an
instigator of 1984 anti-Sikh riots was given a ministerial berth
in the Union Cabinet. You instigate Hindus on the Ram Setu issue
and you scare them that their religion is in danger because of
force conversions going on in India with the tacit support of
Sonia Gandhi.

MY REBUTTAL: Despite being away from India, you are clearly
parroting the communal politicians of India, with whom scaring
in the name of religion is the only strategy to seize political

We know, induction in the cabinet is the Prime Minister's
prerogative. Yes, that is true that an instigator of 1984 riots
was given a high position in Union cabinet. But it goes to the
credit of the government that the sentiments of the Sikh
community were respected and exit of the minister was assured to
assuage the feelings. Respect for the human rights is best
explained by the initiatives of the Manmohan Singh government in
rehabilitating the victims of 1984 riots. Compare it with the
plight of the Muslims, who fell victims to the anti-Muslim riots
in Gujarat. Were not both these communities victims to the
similar religious fanaticism? Then why have the Muslims'
rehabilitation been ignored and who is responsible? If you raise
the issue of the Sikhs, you shall be just enough to raise the
issue of the Muslims. If you don't do it, you are just resorting
to instigation in the name of human rights.

Your allegations against the UPA government on the Ram Setu are
equally instigational. You know it well that the government has
respected and honored the sentiments of the Hindus, even facing
the wrath of DMK supremo, Karunanidhi.

You act like bogeymen spreading scare when you talk of force
conversions to Christianize India. Are you telling the nation
that whole of our government machinery has been tipped in favor
of conversion? Are their no Hindu Chief Ministers, State
Secretaries, Police Chiefs or magistrates who can protect the
Hindus from a handful of Christian missionaries? You were
talking of force conversions even at a time when Sonia Gandhi
had not joined politics or perhaps even before she came to
India. Now, you are transferring the same blame to her.

Awaken with one point. When a senate in an American State opens
its session with Vedic hymns, your joy knows no bounds. But if a
Christian is found distributing the Bible in India, your people
there just behead him. That is why Mahatma Gandhi is much above
you all, as he put Ishwar and Allah at one level.

YOUR CHARGES # 7 & 8. You say that Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi
and also Rahul Gandhi "looted the country on large scale." Money
came from Bofor, Food for Oil Scam and that $ 200 million have
been deposited in secret Swiss bank accounts.

MY REBUTTAL: Folks, I am using common sense while defending
Sonia Gandhi, while you have not used it while accusing her.

You are talking of secret bank accounts. Where is the secret if
you know it and you are even telling the figures? If you know
the figures, you might be knowing the name of the banks also,
where money is parked, and also the sources and trails of money.
Do you know that a minor sting operation by a few journalists,
catching a few Parliamentarians accepting bribe for asking
questions (Cash for Querry Scandal) resulted in the dismissal of
the MPs. You are sitting on such a big sting operation and doing
nothing. Why is it so? Are you being merciful to Sonia Gandhi or
just resorting to rumor-mongering ? Those who read your
advertisement in the New York Times would expect an explanation
from you.

You have mentioned Food for Oil Scam. For just a blot on his
personality, Sonia Gandhi's Party, the INC, ensured the exit of
K.Natwar Singh from the Union Cabinet. Compare it with your
politicians in the NDA government. The Petrol Pump allotment
Scam that came under the scanner resulted in the cancellation of
allotment by the Supreme Court. Was any minister or politician
involved removed from any position? This is the difference
between the leadership of one Party that does not tolerate
indiscipline and the other that allows its stalwarts to do what
they please.

You and your ilk talk too much of the Bofor, whenever you talk
of Sonia Gandhi.. History tells us that after Rajiv, there was
VP Singh government, then there were two coalition governments,
there were two-time regimes of Vajpayee, and also Supreme Court
verdict on Bofor. What were all these governments doing? If the
Supreme Court verdict does not convince you and if your
governments and politicians cannot provide you with dependable
evidence, then the people of India have no option but to be
convinced that when people like you talk against Sonia Gandhi,
they talk only fiction, not facts.

NOT A REBUTTAL BUT A DUTY: My duty as a devotee of secularism
and forces of secularism will not be complete if I fail to
analyze the environment in which such falsehood is propagated.
My observation is that the NRIs in America are more communal
than Indians in India. Pro-Sonia Gandhi secular organizations,
either don't exist or exist meekly. There are strong secular
Indians but no strong secular organizations and hence they fail
miserably in the face of such onslaughts by communal forces.

About the author:
Freelance journalist; Managing Editor, the Better India; Social
justice issues

The Kingdom

Whether or not terrorism should be treated as a civil matter
opposed to a military one is a key question at the center of the
Iraq war debate. The issue is clearly raised throughout the
Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, the Rundown) directed thriller
"The Kingdom." Despite the controversial topic, Kingdom delivers
as Berg's best project yet.

To movie begins with a terrorist attack on a U.S. facility
populated by Americans in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After so many
are killed in this heartless attack, an elite FBI team, led by
FBI special agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx), is assembled.
Fleury Grant Sykes (Chris Cooper), Janet Mayes (Jennifer
Garner), and Adam Leavitt (Jason Bateman) negotiate a secret
five day excursion into Saudi Arabia to find out the culprits
behind the bombing.

The locales struggle to cooperate with the Americans, as they
felt it was a local matter and the Americans were impeding their
investigation. Despite the fact his people despise the
Americans, Saudi Colonel Faris Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhoum) is
determined to help Fleury & company find out who committed the
horrid act of terrorism.

The last 30 minutes keep you on the edge of your seats,
producing the most exciting action packed sequence you will ever
see. It's realism is what makes the "Kingdom" rise above all
other action movies in 2007.

Touching on a topic such as terrorism inevitably leads to the
question of whether or not this is an opinionated/statement
film. Exploring the horrors of terror is something most people
would be afraid to do. "Kingdom" touches on what life is like
for Saudi Arabians, and how America can attempt to cooperate in
order to make things right.

With sequels, remakes and comic/novel adaptations seemingly
taking over the movie industry, "The Kingdom" gives a much
needed boost to a mediocre batch of movies to end off the 2007

The riveting performance of Ashraf Barhoum should give him a
shot at an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. With Jamie Foxx
splendidly leading the star-studded cast, this movie is bound to
garner some attention for Best Picture.

Even if its politics is confusing, "Kingdom" makes us think
about the Middle East in a different way from the evening news.
It is a must-see and is worth every penny, as it is a non-stop
heart-wrenching adventure from the beginning to the end.

About the author:
Eastside Staff

Commence CRM Impressive Corporate Client Roster Advanced Growth

"Customer surveys have indicated that small to mid-size
businesses are troubled by the so called "pay by the drink"
pricing model of competitors. They are more interested in a
structure that allows them to purchase a block of licenses
up-front so that they can add users at a later date at no
additional cost. As a hosting provider we are more concerned
with bandwidth utilization then the actual number of users, so a
site license or a block license approach makes sense for both
parties," says Larry Caretsky, president of Commence Corporation.

The company has embraced the small business CRM market as well,
even though the Commence CRM client roster is impressive with
larger corporations including ABC television, Alcatel, American
Express, Bank One, Bank of America, BP, Brinks, Century 21, EDS,
Exactech, Ford, General Electric, Handyman Connection, IBM,
Merrill Lynch, PNCBank, Northrop Grumman, NYPD, New York Post,
Princess Cruises, Raytheon, Shell, Siemens, Sprint, Steelcase,
St. Luke's Hospital, TDK, Tele Atlas, and Unicef are just some
of the marquis clients.

Commence's entry into the hosted CRM On-Demand race spells more
bad news for market leader SalesForce.com. Commence is an
established software manufacturer that has been providing
departmental CRM solutions for nearly twenty years. The
company's products have been sold under private label by major
corporations such as IBM, Compaq Computer and Lucent
Technologies. Commence recently migrated their popular client
server solution to the web and has a wealth of experience in the
SMB sector along with a large established customer base and a
channel of value added resellers that can provide regional
support services.

Commence Corporation, (www.commence.com), a leading provider of
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has announced a
unique pricing program targeted at small to mid-size businesses.
The company's products are designed to provide small to mid-size
businesses with flexible solutions that leverage the Web to
offer an integrated platform for managing sales execution and
customer service. Commence supports several thousand customers
through a world-wide distribution network, with outlets in North
and South America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. Unlike traditional
hosted CRM solutions that charge a monthly fee for each user,
Commence is offering a small - midsize business site license
program that will enable customers to add users at no additional
cost. Site licenses start at a five user level and require an
annual contract.

Commence Corporation www.commence.com Larry Caretsky
Marketing@commence.com 1-877-Commence

About the author:
Professional Marketing Firm for the Manufacturing Community and
Manufacturing Journalist to most manufacturing magazines.
- Show quoted text -

Satellite Becomes As Common As A TV

A satellite used to be the stuff of spy novels, used only by the
government to peek into the business of other countries. Today
you take advantage of the data provided by numerous satellites,
even if you don't realize it. A satellite supplied most of the
information for your news, even if you still get it in paper
form. Satellites bring you Internet service, phone service,
television coverage, maps, and many more items and services.

One of Webster's definitions for satellite is "a hired agent or
obsequious follower". While satellites these days are mechanical
vehicles intended to follow the Earth's orbit, that definition
still applies. Today there are literally thousands of working
satellites orbiting earth, and over twenty thousand pieces of
"space junk", some of which are old, non-functioning satellites.

The very first man-made satellite to successfully orbit earth
was Sputnik, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. It orbited
for only about 90 days before burning up in the atmosphere.
Sputnik had advanced technology for the time, but today's
satellites do far more than the designers of Sputnik could ever
have dreamed.

Any satellite placed into orbit needs to achieve and maintain
orbital velocity, the window of speed that will keep the
satellite from falling out of orbit due to Earth's gravity, but
also keep it from flying out into space. The speed of a
satellite's orbital velocity changes the farther away from Earth
it orbits.

There are different orbits for satellites, depending on their
job. The most common one is a geostationary or geosynchronous
orbit, where the satellite remains stationed over the same spot
on Earth. As our planet rotates, so does the satellite.

Geosynchronous orbits are used by television, radio and weather
satellites to beam information back to users for entertainment
and information services. The space shuttle uses an asynchronous
orbit, which is much lower and doesn't track Earth's orbit. The
space shuttle may pass overhead several times per day due to
this orbit.

Finally, a polar orbit is configured so the satellite passes
over earth's poles on each revolution. Going between poles means
the satellite covers a whole lot of terrain, and this orbit is
typically used for mapping and photography satellites.
Satellites in polar orbits are giving us valuable information on
the effects of global warming on our planet.

On a clear night you may be able to see a satellite passing
overhead. There are charts and websites that will show when
various satellites will pass over your location. You do need to
know your latitude and longitude coordinates, but those are
available from the USGS Mapping Information website.

Once you have your exact location, go to a satellite tracking
web site and find a satellite you'd like to attempt to see.
Because of national security concerns, not all satellites may be
listed on these websites, but if you do see a north-south orbit
on a satellite, it may indicate it's a spy satellite. Satellites
are generally viewed as tiny "stars" that move faster than those
around them.

In fact, you may be able to use your GPS device to get your
latitude and longitude, so you can track the satellite that just
gave you those coordinates!

Satellites impact everything we do, from the news we receive to
our internet connection to getting directions to a new pizza
joint. A satellite is a critical part of everyday life in

About the author:
frank j vanderlugt owns and operates
http://www.satellite-tv-service-now.com href="http://www.satellite-tv-service-now.com">Satellite Tv

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Green With Envy In The Google Game

Beginning on April 14th, 2007, a firestorm blew through the Internet community with the search engine optimization (SEO) community burning the hottest. The embers were warm and waiting for a strong wind to blow and kick up the flames, but it took Matt Cutts, the Google engineer extraordinaire to fire the flames with an off-the-cuff comment about "paid links."

The flames raged and in most forums, the wind quickly shifted moving the firestorm back towards Cutts and Google. Thread Watch offered the most biting rebuttal to Cutts' comments: http://www.threadwatch.org/node/13925 and http://www.threadwatch.org/node/13941

Aaron Wall at Thread Watch is a respectable fellow, and he tore into Google with a ferociousness that I had not anticipated. Matt Cutts tried to answer some of Aaron's questions, but it seemed that Cutts' rebuttals only added more fuel to the fire.

I would not have wanted to be in Matt Cutts' shoes that week. Oh my, it was brutal!

Even on Cutts' own blog where the "paid link" comment originally surfaced (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/hidden-links/), Danny Sullivan posted a question that went unanswered, so Sullivan commented about it on his site: http://searchengineland.com/070420-111550.php

Search Engine Watch even mentioned this issue and linked to additional forums where the debate was raging: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/070416-020746

What Most Readers Took From Cutts' Comments

There were only a few readers who took Matt Cutts' comments to be brotherly-advice.

The vast majority of people were screaming that Google intended to exercise their "monopoly control" over the Internet to run all of their competitors out of business.

Generally, I am not a "reactionary" type person. But for about an hour, even I had a ball in the pit of my stomach.

The ball passed from the pit of my stomach when I read a post that mirrored an opinion I have openly written about numerous times before: How does Google determine the "intent" of a person making a link? They can't!

Understanding The Nuances Of Similar Items

Some people suggest that I should be ashamed of myself for speculating about the future of Google's algorithms. There is even one clown, who has suggested that I should fear mentioning Matt Cutts' name in an article, because I am bound to draw Cutts' ire against me and my businesses. But, I am not worried.

I am simply laying out my "speculative" opinion about what Cutts' comments might mean to my business and yours. You are free to use your own brain to judge the value of my words.

Am I playing a double standard when I say that Google cannot determine the intent of the person placing a link, and then I comment on how I interpret the future of the Google search algorithms? I don't think so, and let me tell you why.

Google uses algorithms (software programs) to make distinctions about what a web page is about, how they value that page, and to judge the nature of a link.

I use my intellect (or as some would suggest, my lack thereof) to make a judgment about what Google has told us we should expect from them in the future.

I trust software to a certain extent, but software cannot always read the nuance that separates two very similar items. So, how can the Google algorithm be expected to determine the intent of a person who placed a link?

It has always been my contention that humans are "required" in any process that must make an interpretation of nuance. In my businesses, we refuse to trust computers to make judgments of nuance, because they can't. That is the reason we employ human beings to process orders.

What Is Google's Intent Behind The Paid Links Issue?

The whole of Cutts' argument seems to hinge on nixing "paid links" that are designed to manipulate or "game Google's PageRank" and to a lesser extent, their organic search results. Google seems to be really agitated that webmasters are "selling links based on the PageRank value of a page."

The problem is that webmasters are selling an intangible asset that is wholly owned by Google and maintained for "Google's benefit." Webmasters are selling this Google asset, but Google will not receive any of the proceeds from that sale.

As a result, Cutts suggested that webmasters should use some method that Google's spider can use to recognize and distinguish "paid links" from "given links." Since Google's algorithm is based on the theory that links are given to websites that deserve those links, the paid links on high PageRank pages can really skew Google's PageRank values and its organic search results.

Here Is Where It Gets Ugly

Both honest and dishonest people inhabit this Internet.

Google wants webmasters who are selling links to distinguish paid links from given links, so that Google can ignore "links purchased to influence PageRank."

If honest people distinguish paid links in a way that Google can recognize, then the market demand for those links will dry up. Once the PageRank value of a link is taken away from the buyer, the buyer will be forced to purchase links based only on the traffic that the specific web page receives. If all paid link decisions were based only on a web page's traffic, then the market value of a link would be decimated.

Once a webmaster tells his link-buying customers that his or her links will no longer carry PageRank value to the buyer's website, then the value of that link will drop in most cases by 80% or more. Why would a webmaster want to reduce the market value of his links by 80%?

Although Google's links do not pass PageRank to the websites that are in their index or paid listings, we have to ask ourselves one thing. Would Google be willing to take a step that would reduce the market value of their own links by 80%? They certainly would not do anything that would cut their own bottom line that deeply, yet they are asking webmasters to do just that.

This is the reason people are teed off at Google. At least 80% of the market value of a link is driven by the PageRank value of the web page where the link will be placed.

Dishonest people don't care to play by the rules; they will continue to sell their PageRank value, as long as they continue to have buyers. Only the honest will suffer.

Link Buyers Are Green With Envy

Link Buyers are envious of the PageRank value given to other web pages, and they want a bit of that value passed over to their own websites.

Link buyers are green with envy, because they can see that little green bar in the top of their browser that tells them how much value Google gives a web page in its algorithms.

If Google were to keep PageRank as a private value, known only to them, then "paid links" would not be an issue for them to manage.

If the public cannot see what a page's PageRank value is, then link buyers would not be able to use PageRank to influence their link buying decisions, and webmasters would not be able to market their PageRank value to other websites.

How Simple Is That?

All Google has to do to solve this problem of theirs, is to take away the indicator people use to buy and sell PageRank.

Someone suggested to me that Google would never do away with the PageRank indicator in their toolbar, because Google feels that it is the only thing that ensures that people will keep the Google toolbar in their browser. Personally, I will continue to use the Google toolbar for my searches, even if the PageRank indicator was not there, because I like the search results Google gives to me. But that is just my opinion, and I am only one person out of millions of Google toolbar users.

What it boils down to is this. If Google is serious about nixing schemes to buy and sell PageRank, then they would simply take their PageRank indicator away from us. But will they take it away? Only time will tell.