Monday, January 30, 2012
According to a cited Forbes report, in 1989, Bain Capital purchased controlling interest in Damon Clinical Laboratories Corporation, a medical testing company located in Needham, Massachusetts.
In 1996, Damon admitted that from 1988 to 1993 it had shored up its earnings by submitting false claims to Medicare and other federal programs, and had agreed to pay , after being found guilty, a $35.3 million criminal fine — one of the largest corporate fines in U.S. history — and an additional $83.7 million to settle the lawsuits..
The company, then owned by Corning, ended the scheme after it had acquired Damon from Bain Capital in 1993, according to company and prosecutors' statements.
Mitt Romney claimed Bain Capital never worked with any company that worked with the government—like Medicare or Medicaid. Even when asked directly by Newt Gingrich at one debate, Romney responded, "We didn't do any work with the government. I didn't have an office on K Street. I didn't—had never worked—I've never worked in Washington."
Let's look at the facts:
In 1993, Romney claimed he was unaware of any investigation — quoted in the Boston Globe on Oct. 10, 1993. When the Globe revisited the case during Romney's run for governor in 1992, his story was different. Romney's story changed about his knowledge of the investigation.
The Globe, disclosing that Romney had earned $473,000 from the sale, reported on Oct. 10, 2002:
"Romney said yesterday he was a proactive board member who helped to uncover the fraud. Romney said the board used its New York law firm to investigate, and as a result, the board took 'corrective action' months before Damon was sold to Corning."
But as the Globe reported, court records — including statements from prosecutors and Damon's own admissions — told a different story, and reveal that the fraudulent activity occurred right up until the time Bain and other owners sold the company to Corning. Prosecutors also gave sole credit to Corning for cleaning up the fraud after it purchased the company from Bain and other owners.
Romney later admitted that the board did not report to federal investigators any findings from the alleged internal inquiry.
The Great Facebook Bubble is set to expand to Rabelaisian proportions with the social media giant's IPO, which is expected to come early February. In the process, Facebook has been courted by investment banks Goldman Sachs (which invested $450 million in early 2011) and Morgan Stanley, with the latter apparently trumpeting that they now have the edge in the Facebook sweepstakes.
For those who are a little confused as to why Facebook would go public, it usually comes down to the fact that initial investors want to cash out (sell stock), the company wants to get a massive infusion of investment capital, and, once the 500 shareholders threshold has been reached, a company is forced to file papers with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). All of this is currently happening with Facebook.
The IPO will only be made available to top-flight investors, so don't think for a minute that you, in your modest ranch home in Arizona, will be able to buy stock in Facebook. A nice racket is just about to get launched, and all we can do is watch.
But there is something that we can expect to get from the Facebook IPO: a massive increase in user data mining. In other words, expect Facebook, with both new and old investors to please, to devise increasingly more innovative means of collecting user data to sell to advertisers and, a bit more ominously, to share with the government.
It's not for nothing that WikiLeaks' Julian Assange called Facebook "the most appalling spy machine that has ever been created."
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
@gop New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bills That Prevent Police From Protecting Domestic Abuse Victims #p2 #tcot
RapidShare Attorney: If We're Shut Down Like Megaupload, Then YouTube, Dropbox, Apple's iCloud Are Next
There's been near nuclear fallout from federal prosecutors shuttering of Megaupload, the file-sharing service accused of costing the entertainment industry $500 million in lost revenues. It's estimated that shutting down Megaupload's family of websites, which are accused of hosting massive amounts of copyrighted files, affected 1% of all Internet traffic. The feds are seeking the forfeiture of $175 million from Megaupload's flamboyant founder, Kim Dotcom; sympathetic hacker coalition Anonymous has since launched online attacks against the RIAA, MPAA, and Justice Department; and file-sharing and cloud services from FileSonic to Dropbox are wondering what this could mean for the industry.
On Tuesday, we caught up with RapidShare attorney and spokesman Daniel Raimer. RapidShare is one of the world's most popular file-hosting sites, and many have wondered whether the site could be next on the feds' list of targets. In part one of our two-part interview, Raimer explains why if RapidShare is shut down like Megaupload, then Apple's iCloud, Microsoft's SkyDrive, Google's YouTube, and Dropbox deserve the same fate too.
FAST COMPANY: Do you think Megaupload was fairly or unfairly targeted?
DANIEL RAIMER: I guess that's up to a jury to decide. I'm not a judge, and I don't want to make any verdict. I've seen doing Megaupload doing things that we wouldn't do, and that we strongly discourage, such as their heavy rewards program. But I don't want to say that they're guilty. It's not up to us to decide that.
Do you think federal prosecutors will target RapidShare next?
I don't think so.
Let me put it like this. The technology behind Megaupload and RapidShare may be similar, but this is also true for the technology of Microsoft's SkyDrive or Apple's iCloud, which is not too different from what RapidShare is. It's uploading a file, and accessing it over the Internet, or even sharing at certain times with friends. The business from an ethical standpoint is really similar. The main difference is, what exactly is your business model? Are you aiding piracy? Is your intent to make money by attracting pirates and getting attention from copyright pirates? Or do you want to have serious customers and long-time relationships with satisfied people from all over the world, who trust you? That's exactly what we do.