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The Net Neutrality Battle

Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and other technology companies appear to have stepped back from a net neutrality fight to ensure Internet providers treat all Web traffic equally, leaving startups to battle proposed legislation.

Federal Communications Commission records show Google and Facebook lobbyists have not visited the agency once to intervene following its May proposal to allow Internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to charge companies more to use a “fast lane” through their lines, Bloomberg reports.

Google was once outspoken on the issue, running ads calling for the government to treat all Web traffic equally, urging users to get in touch with lawmakers on the issue and sending co-founder Sergey Brin to lobby officials in Washington, D.C.

The tech companies' silence means less help for startups, which are more heavily affected by the proposal because they don't have the deep pockets to pay for fast-lane access.

Google, Facebook, eBay Inc. and Yahoo Inc. have not completely disappeared, though. Many have joined the D.C.-based Internet Association, which encourages the FCC to enact more open Internet rules. Google and some 140 tech companies said in a May 7 letter that the FCC’s proposal would be “a grave threat to the Internet,” and Google executives met with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in June to discuss the company’s high-speed Google Fiber network.

The commission will take comments on the proposal through July 15 and again in September, and it is slated for a final vote later this year.


Silicon Valley Business Journal

Sun Fan


Liam Neeson – while he won’t be getting an academy award for this performance, he might be acknowledged for total fabrication, spin and fantasy.

I finally got around to viewing the recent documentary about NYC’s carriage horses. It is narrated by smooth talking Liam Neeson with his charming Irish brogue. Yes the man is easy to listen to and believe.

For those who do not know, Neeson is a big supporter of the carriage trade and is quite willing to lie through this teeth to make his point.


Sun Fan

Horse Industry Honcho Drove Carriage During Heat Suspension

Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse

The face behind New York City’s controversial horse carriage industry was caught on camera Wednesday giving passengers a ride in the searing heat in apparent violation of the law.

Spokeswoman Christina Hansen began and ended a tour with passengers after the city officially suspended drivers from operating because of the heat.

A video posted on YouTube shows Hansen in Central Park collecting money from passengers after they stepped off her carriage yesterday afternoon nearly 90 minutes after the suspension went into effect.

“I don’t know why she thinks she’s above the law,” said Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS, a non-profit animal rights group, who took the video with her smartphone.

Feldman said there were no other drivers around at the time.

“It shows the lawlessness of this industry. They have no regard for doing the right thing for these animals. What kind of person would do that to an animal?”

Under city law, drivers are required to suspend operation and return horses to their stables when the temperature reaches 90 degrees, as it did Wednesday afternoon.

The suspension ruling was issued at 12:37 p.m. The video is time-stamped at 1:54.

Hansen said she had not seen the video, but did not deny being its subject.

The driver said she picked up several passengers shortly before 1 p.m. for an hour-long drive, but did not realize the suspension had gone into effect.

She said there were other drivers operating at the time.

She said a mounted police officer who would have been responsible for enforcing the ban said nothing to her about the suspension.

“I believed myself to be in compliance with the law,” Hansen said. “I never received notice of suspension from the police officer or anyone else.”

Hansen said she walked the horse, an 8-year-old steed named Sara, to her stable when the trip was over.

Sun Fan

India Becomes First Country To Ban Import Of Foie Gras

Thanks to the work of dedicated animal rights activists, India has decided to ban the import of foie gras effective immediately.

London-based Animal Equality petitioned the Indian government with video footage taken at a Spanish foie gras farm that was supplying to Indian restaurants.

S.P. Roy, joint director at the Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade, had this to say of the ban: "We took consideration of the fact and then we decided that this should be done."

Last year, Mercy For Animals conducted a harrowing undercover investigation inside Hudson Valley Foie Gras, a foie gras farm in upstate New York that supplies to Amazon.com, the world's largest online retailer. Video footage revealed birds being force-fed through metal pipes shoved down their sensitive throats up to three times a day.

Watch the undercover footage:

Though foie gras production is banned in the state of California and most of the European Union, and its sale has been prohibited by scores of retailers, Amazon refuses to take a stand against this egregious animal abuse.

Want to do something about it? Visit AmazonCruelty.com today!


10 Brands Likely To Disappear In 2015

Lululemon (LULU), Hillshire Brands (HSH), Time Warner Cable (TWC) - these are brands that are very familiar to Americans. Hard to believe, but they may not be around by the end of next year. According to 24/7 Wall St. these companies are at risk of disappearing either due to the manic pace of mergers or because quite simply, they are not performing.

So let’s delve in and check out the 10 brands that may disappear over the next 18 months. According to 24/7, retail is one sector with several struggling companies. It predicts both Aeropostale (ARO) and Lululemon Athletica will be shuttered. Aeropostale's teen line of branded clothes is fighting a losing battle with the likes of low cost brands such as H&M and Forever 21. Lululemon had its pantsgate scandal last year when a large portion of its yoga pants were found to be too sheer. Revenue has dropped off and the share price has fallen 50% from its peak a year ago. Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke says, “Lululemon has experienced some speed bumps. It would probably get acquired by someone that’s a little more opportunistic, wheareas Aeropostale might just close its doors and go bye-bye."

Over in the broadband space, there is a lot of M&A activity. AT&T (T) will likely buy DirecTV (DTV) and Time Warner Cable will likely be bought by Comcast (CMCSA) as they both scramble to be the premium provider of entertainment to American homes. AT&T would gain access to DirecTV’s 38 million subscribers and it’s paying $49 billion for the privilege. Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, accepted an offer from Comcast for $45.2 billion at the beginning of the year. The deal would create the biggest cable company in the U.S. The single biggest hurdle to both transactions is regulatory approval. But Macke says not to worry as, “There is a laissez faire approach to these mergers and acquisitions. Time Warner will disappear, which will become Comcast which will eventually become The Cable Company as brought to you by Washington, D.C.”

But being bought out doesn’t mean the name will disappear as branding is one of the assets that companies seek, especially in the food sector. For example, Tyson Foods (TSN) purchase of Hillshire Brands. A bidding war broke out for the maker of Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages. Tyson Foods was the eventual victor beating out Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) after agreeing to pay $8.5 billion including debt. Since Hillshire Brands is already well known in grocery aisles, it’s unlikely the name will go away. The case is the same with Russell Stover. America’s third largest candy maker is up for sale and may bring in as much as $1 billion. Rumors are that Hershey (HSY) is interested in buying the brand as well as Mars, Nestle or even private equity firms.

Blackberry (BBRY) is a stock that has come back from the dead. While 24/7 thinks the company may be on its way out, it has recently risen to its highest share price - around $11 a share - since before a deal to sell the struggling smartphone maker fell apart last year. The stock is up 35% over the past three weeks after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its last quarter. Investors are buying into CEO John Chen’s turnaround plan for Blackberry. He has cut costs, sold assets and held onto cash. Chen has set his next target now has his target set for revenue growth next year. We’ll have to see if 24/7 called it correctly for Blackberry or Chen proves them wrong. Other names likely to hit the skids by the of 2015 are social gaming company Zynga (ZNGA), Alaska Air (ALK) and Shutterfly (SFLY).


Beautiful Tresses: Commisso And Company Media Event

Recently I had the pleasure of getting a hair cut and conditioning treatment from Commisso and Company Hair Salon at their press event here at the Wella Studio in New York City. It was such a pleasure meeting the team from Commisso and Company and had the opportunity to learn about their great history and how they founded their impressive modern looking 5,000 square foot salon in Port Washington, Long Island. Having had grown up on Long Island myself, was so pleased to see a local family business develop into a luxurious and well cared for establishment.


Listed On IMDB! (The Internet Movie Database)

Ny latest film Epoc has been accepted and listed on imdb.com. This is a first for me! Very happy to see this small film making progress. Here is the link:



Miss America 2014 - How She Survived The Hate!

Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri sits down with Bloomberg's Trish Regan to discuss the backlash following her win. Sam Haskell, CEO of the Miss America Organization, also comments. (Source: Bloomberg)


Eric Schmidt's 2014 Predictions And What He Missed

In a rare interview, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt gives Bloomberg his outlook for 2014 trends. Surprisingly, being an internet entrepreneur, Schmidt missed the rise of the social phenomenon.


I LOVE Rain!

OMG I love Rain! So glad he's out of the Korean Army! Here's his comeback song, LA Song, LIVE!

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