During last night's premiere of Monster, we noticed a bizarre trend in the ludicrously dramatic storytelling. Grown men seemed to spend an awful lot of time dramatically staring at children for no apparent reason.
In 2003, social networking was not yet faddish. Michael Birch sold his self-admitted Friendster clone, Ringo, to online dating site Tickle for a pittance. He came to see that as a mistake, and went on to found Bebo, which he sold to AOL for a giggle-inducing $850 million. A cautionary tale for AOL: Tickle, now a unit of online jobs site Monster, laid off most of its employees in April, and informed its users by email over the weekend that Ringo was shutting down for good. (Photo by Michael Birch)
Federal prosecutors allege former Monster.com president and COO James Treacy bolstered the value of his company stock options through illegal backdating, which is when executives retroactively fix the books so it looks like they were granted company shares at a lower value than where they actually traed, increasing their take when they sell. Treacy received a total of $23 million exercising his company stock options but about $13.5 million came from "the in-the-money portion of backdated option grants," prosecutors allege. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed seperate charges against Treacy. "Mr. Treacy is completely innocent of these charges and looks forward to being vindicated at trial," his lawyer told the WSJ. And really, how can you not trust a mug like his?
"It's impossible to imagine The Terminator, as a former aide calls her, giving up," Dowd writes. "Unless every circuit is out, she'll regenerate enough to claw her way out of the grave, crawl through the Rezko Memorial Lawn and up Obama's wall, hurl her torso into the house and brutally haunt his dreams." The "Hillerator" image was created by Gawker's Richard Blakeley, who notes, "Yes, I'm that bored today and no it didn't take me THAT long." [NYT]
In case you hadn't heard, recently resigned NY governor Eliot Spitzer likes call girls. A lot. And while we're still busy casting the inevitable movie of the week, our slideshow-obsessed friends over at Us dove into their archives to reminisce on the hooker-laced pasts of Hugh Grant, Eddie Murphy and escort king Charlie Sheen, who've all been caught with their pants (and dignities) down. But call girls don't always come in the form of silicone sketchballs straight out of the Bada Bing. Sometimes they have hearts of gold and charisma as thick as the air on the 101! If they're played by stars, that is. We dove into our own archives and selected our top five films that revolve around the World's Oldest Profession, flicks that will surely be making their way onto Eliot Spitzer's Netflix queue in no time.
On Friday, Citigroup's Mark Mahaney judged tech stocks on four criteria: International exposure, countercyclical hedges, least risk to 2008 Wall Street estimates and intrinsic valuation. Which means what? Dunno. Go to Seeking Alpha for that. But to find out if your company's on the OK or Not-So-OK list in light of this morning's Fed rate cut and stock-market dive, check out this list.
After stalling for five days before addressing the theft of 1.3 million user profiles, executives at the job site Monster now admits the theft may have occurred earlier and been more extensive, but they still do not know: "We're assuming it is a large number. It could easily be in the millions," CEO Sal Iannuzzi told Reuters. "To be safe, he said, each Monster.com user should assume that his or her contact information has been taken." Yes, it is safe to assume a Monster user profile is not safe.
"Monster.com waited five days to tell its users about a security breach that resulted in the theft of confidential information from some 1.3 million job seekers," reports Reuters. It wasn't until after computer security firm Symantec issued a warning that Monster took action. If no one knows about it, it's apparently not a problem. [Boing Boing]
Monster's initial, capricious response to a phishing attack targeted at users of the job site: "In fact, the information that is gathered from Monster is no different than that displayed in a phone book." Two days later, "Monster respects your privacy and understands the risk involved in making your personal information public" as it finally responds to halt the flow of user data and bad PR. [PC World]
CONFONZ — That damn Monster is still outside your house, peeking in the windows. Every once in a while, it knocks on the window and quietly suggests that you need a new job. Well, it seems as though that Monster's got its own window knockers, and they're carrying cash. Earlier this week, the dot com's stock price leapt up like frogs in a dynamite pond. All over rumors of an impending buyer. After the jump, we look at the most recent round of rumored ruffian buyers.
As if it weren't bad enough to work for a company's who's mascot has some strange trumpet-based nose, now the poor folks who run this fairly successful site have to worry that they're going to be snarfed up by the Tribune (Note the Favicon defaults to a Sun logo...) company, or worse yet McClatchy. Both of these newspaper companies are desperately poor, thanks to years of losing marketshare to Craigslist, of all places, and the mind boggles at just how, in fact, a company that's biggest paper is the Miami Herald could afford to buy such a successful startup.
Of course, the real sexy buyout rumor is, surprise! Google. Just imagine how excited all those vets working at Military.com will be when their shares get swapped for 10 times their current value! Of course, rumors of Google buying Monster are vastly overstated. In all actuality, it's far more likely that Gannett will end up the buyer. It's another newspaper company, but at least it already owns web properties, namely, Careerbuilder.com.