Escaping Carbonite

UPDATE: Carbonite is taking a hit on the markets for its decision to pull advertising from Limbaugh’s radio show:

freefallin'

Carbonite is between a rock and a hard place. Reversing the decision will infuriate the left, and do little to persuade the right that it’s a firm to be trusted, yet sticking to the decision is likely to drive the value of the stock into the ground. Business schools will use this as a teachable moment not to Rush to hasty decisions. See what I did there?

Original Post:

This post isn’t about global warming. But it has a carbon theme, sorta.

There’s a fuss south of the border about whether or not radio host Rush Limbaugh insulted a woman who figured the government owes her free contraception. Limbaugh apologized for the name he called her, so it seems even he agrees he went too far. She refused the apology, as is her right. Fair enough. Their spat is not what this post is about, what happened next is.

The left went after Limbaugh’s advertisers, including data back-up company Carbonite, who quickly caved to the pressure:

This is where the fuss became of personal  interest.

I’m a Carbonite customer and just renewed my subscription for the third time at Christmas. But now I’ve disabled the auto-renew option and will find some other provider for my future data back-ups. Because data security is what I pay for, and I no longer trust Carbonite to provide it.

I’m not dropping Carbonite because it pulled advertising from Limbaugh, that’s its right, whether or not I agree with the decision. But its decision tells me something about the company, and it’s nothing good.

If Carbonite folds like a cheap suit to demands from a few noisy and noisome voices, how long do you think they’d put up a fight if the government wanted to look at what it has on its servers?  If management is afraid of a few horny hippies looking for free lube and rubbers from Uncle Sam, how will they respond if Uncle his own self shows up at the door and asks them to bend over?

It’s not as if Carbonite is in any financial position to put up much of a battle:

Based on information available as of February 9, 2012, Carbonite is issuing guidance for the first quarter and full year 2012 as follows:

  • First Quarter 2012: The company expects total revenue for the first quarter to be in the range of $18.2 million to $18.4 million and non-GAAP net loss per common share to be in the range of ($0.32) to ($0.33). Carbonite’s expectations of non-GAAP net loss per diluted common share for the first quarter exclude stock-based compensation expense, patent litigation expense, lease abandonment charges and amortization expense on intangible assets and assume a tax rate of 0% and weighted average shares outstanding of approximately 25.2 million.
  • Full Year 2012: The company expects 2012 total revenue to be in the range of $83.3 million to $84.8 million and non-GAAP net loss per diluted common share to be in the range of ($0.82) to ($0.86). Carbonite’s expectations of non-GAAP net loss per common share for the full year excludes stock-based compensation expense, patent litigation expense, lease abandonment charges and amortization expense on intangible assets and assumes a tax rate of 0% and weighted average shares outstanding of approximately 25.4 million.

The unforced error from Carbonite is hardly of Gleick-ian proportions, but it’s an own-goal, just the same.

Keystone XL: OK to TX gets OK

Transcanada Corporation is to go ahead and build a large stretch of the southern Keystone XL pipeline with the blessing of the White House.

The pipe will run from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas. Since it does not cross an international border, State Department approval is not required. Which lets President Obama off the hook for making a decision. No wonder he approves:

“The president welcomes today’s news that TransCanada plans to build a pipeline to bring crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf of Mexico,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

The plan will “help address the bottleneck of oil” in the U.S. Midwest that has resulted from increased domestic production in areas like the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota. “We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it is built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to take every step possible to expedite the necessary federal permits,” Carney said.

The announcement came on the same day anti-energy activist Weepy Bill McKibben wrote this:

the White House continued to stand strong against Congressional efforts to force a permit for Keystone — as the president’s press secretary pointed out (in a pointed tweet) the administration’s new fuel efficiency standards for cars would save more oil than the pipeline could deliver in 45 years.

Oh noes, Weepy Bill is under the bus, and he doesn’t even know it. At least he won’t be lonely, Daryl Hannah, Mark Ruffalo and Margot Kidder can keep him company under the diesel reaper.

Here’s the obligatory Weepy Bill Google juice, Round-up reader favorite Olivia Wilde:

*click*

Keystone XL: OK to TX gets OK

Transcanada Corporation is to go ahead and build a large stretch of the southern Keystone XL pipeline with the blessing of the White House.

The pipe will run from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas. Since it does not cross an international border, State Department approval is not required. Which lets President Obama off the hook for making a decision. No wonder he approves:

“The president welcomes today’s news that TransCanada plans to build a pipeline to bring crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf of Mexico,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

The plan will “help address the bottleneck of oil” in the U.S. Midwest that has resulted from increased domestic production in areas like the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota. “We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it is built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to take every step possible to expedite the necessary federal permits,” Carney said.

The announcement came on the same day anti-energy activist Weepy Bill McKibben wrote this:

the White House continued to stand strong against Congressional efforts to force a permit for Keystone — as the president’s press secretary pointed out (in a pointed tweet) the administration’s new fuel efficiency standards for cars would save more oil than the pipeline could deliver in 45 years.

Oh noes, Weepy Bill is under the bus, and he doesn’t even know it. At least he won’t be lonely, Daryl Hannah, Mark Ruffalo and Margot Kidder can keep him company under the diesel reaper.

Here’s the obligatory Weepy Bill Google juice, Round-up reader favorite Olivia Wilde:

*click*

Keystone fallout

A split in the ranks of organized labor has followed in the wake of President Obama’s decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline:

The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) left the BlueGreen Alliance on Friday, citing a disagreement with the group’s members over the Keystone XL pipeline. “We’re repulsed by some of our supposed brothers and sisters lining up with job killers like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council to destroy the lives of working men and women.”

LIUNA has learned the tough lesson that greenwashing isn’t free. The NRDC, Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists, are more than just anti-energy, anti-development zealots, they’re members of the established, rich elite. The sort of people who sneer at people who work jobs that get their hands dirty:

In turning down Keystone, however, the President has uncovered an ugly little secret that has always lurked beneath the surface of environmentalism. Its basic appeal is to the affluent. Despite all the professions of being “liberal” and “against big business,” environmentalism’s main appeal is that it promises to slow the progress of industrial progress. People who are already comfortable with the present state of affairs — who are established in the environment, so to speak — are happy to go along with this.

It is not that they have any greater insight into the mysteries and workings of nature. They are happier with the way things are. In fact, environmentalism works to their advantage. The main danger to the affluent is not that they will be denied from improving their estate but that too many other people will achieve what they already have.

Obama has been talking like a class warrior in the run-up to his re-election campaign. Now he’s ignited a real class war, on the left. Together with Hollywood seething about the failure of SOPA/PIPA, the President has lost some hefty fund-raisers and handed a big jobs bat for GOP candidate Mitt Gingtorum to smack him with as the campaign heats up.

Popcorn futures are up.

Keystone fallout

A split in the ranks of organized labor has followed in the wake of President Obama’s decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline:

The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) left the BlueGreen Alliance on Friday, citing a disagreement with the group’s members over the Keystone XL pipeline. “We’re repulsed by some of our supposed brothers and sisters lining up with job killers like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council to destroy the lives of working men and women.”

LIUNA has learned the tough lesson that greenwashing isn’t free. The NRDC, Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists, are more than just anti-energy, anti-development zealots, they’re members of the established, rich elite. The sort of people who sneer at people who work jobs that get their hands dirty:

In turning down Keystone, however, the President has uncovered an ugly little secret that has always lurked beneath the surface of environmentalism. Its basic appeal is to the affluent. Despite all the professions of being “liberal” and “against big business,” environmentalism’s main appeal is that it promises to slow the progress of industrial progress. People who are already comfortable with the present state of affairs — who are established in the environment, so to speak — are happy to go along with this.

It is not that they have any greater insight into the mysteries and workings of nature. They are happier with the way things are. In fact, environmentalism works to their advantage. The main danger to the affluent is not that they will be denied from improving their estate but that too many other people will achieve what they already have.

Obama has been talking like a class warrior in the run-up to his re-election campaign. Now he’s ignited a real class war, on the left. Together with Hollywood seething about the failure of SOPA/PIPA, the President has lost some hefty fund-raisers and handed a big jobs bat for GOP candidate Mitt Gingtorum to smack him with as the campaign heats up.

Popcorn futures are up.

Soapy Pippa, or something

Much of the Internet is closed today to protest the US government’s twin bills that aim to cut down on Internet Piracy.

The House of Representative’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its evil twin sister, the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) both seek to protect American intellectual property from being ripped off and shared for free. But the law as proposed could mean any site could be taken down if a complaint alleging piracy was lodged.

That goes too far, which is why the protest is on. Internet surfers are unable to do their homework, research gadgets or find the nearest local midget hooker. It’s a tough day for student geeks looking to get their freak on, and no mistake.

There’s more information on SOPA/PIPA here, including ways to make a difference.

The Daily Bayonet values an open Internet and believes both SOPA and PIPA are unsuitable tools for the job at hand.  The US government may be persuaded by the public to rethink the legislation, and early signs are that the protest is having the desired effect.

There was going to be an image to go with the post title here, but we don’t know anyone called Pippa. At least not well enough to ask her to pose in a bathtub wearing only bubbles. And pinching something off the Internet seemed inappropriate today. So use your imagination.

Round-Up tomorrow.

 

 

 

Lights Out

On January 1st, 2012, 100-watt incandescent light bulbs will be banned* in America.

..

Democrats blocked the last efforts to save Edison’s marvel, sending jobs to China and ensuring millions of Americans will have to deal with toxic mercury spills in their kitchens and living rooms. From the EPA’s guidelines:

  • Have people and pets leave the room.
  • Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
  • Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
  • Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:
    • stiff paper or cardboard;
    • sticky tape;
    • damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and
    • a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

Remember when you just needed a dustpan and some salty language?

Good news for US-Canada border residents, Canada delayed its own ban because of concerns over mercury and other health hazards caused by CFL’s. That’s right America, for the cost of a passport, some funny-looking money and rubbing shoulders with shoppers who say sorry when you step on their foot, beautiful bright light can be yours again.

*Note that technically 100-Watt bulbs are not banned, just made legally impossible. Any bulb that produces 100-watts of light may only use 72-watts of energy. Democrats hide behind this language, but these are the same folks who ruled pizza is a vegetable.

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Venture Socialism

The stock market is in the tank and interest rates are so low you can hear savers and retirees weep.

It’s time for motivated capitalists to embrace the latest money-making scheme out there: green tech.

Venture socialism is new to a lot of people, so here’s what you don’t need:

  1. Your own money
  2. A viable business plan
  3. A competitive product
  4. A clue about business

And here’s what you do need:

  • A connected Democrat

The Obama Administration has made plenty of Federal dollars available for the ‘right’ project. Or left project, to be pedantic but accurate.  All you need to qualify for your share in billions of stimulus bucks is a successful Democrat campaign fund-raiser, or even better, a relative of a well-placed Democrat elected official. Legal resident status is preferred, but probably not required.

Tip: for best results, use arty pictures and talk about 'green jobs'

If the idea of free money for weak tech appeals to you, model your application around the same framework as these recent winners for fun and profit:

  • Ronald Pelosi is an executive with a private equity group invested in SolarReserve, a green tech firm blessed with over $700 million from the Dept. of Energy. Ronald Pelosi is ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law. Of course, that’s just a weird coincidence.
  • George Kaiser of Solyndra famously blew over a half a billion Federal dollars on his solar panel boondoggle. Kaiser was a successful fund-raiser for the Obama 2008 campaign and the White House lobbied the OMB for swift approval of the Solyndra loan guarantees.

Act now, offer ends November 2012.

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Hide the Incline

When is a hockey stick graph not a hockey stick graph?

When it shows oil prices, not pretend climate change:

*created with the gasbuddy.com chart tool

High gas prices are bad for the economy, bad for business, bad for consumers and very, very bad for politicians.

US energy policy is behind much of the price increase, the Obama administration seems intent on doing everything possible to prevent domestic drilling for oil.  Last week the EPA blocked Shell from exploiting reserves off the Alaskan coast.  Last year the administration imposed a Gulf moratorium on offshore drilling in the wake of the rig disaster.

But it’s not a bug in energy policy, it’s a feature.  Don’t take my word for it, here’s the plan for “coal, natural gas, you name it…“:

..

Cap and trade failed to pass, but what couldn’t be legislated can be regulated.  Obama’s blunt instrument to regulate energy policy is the increasingly activist EPA.  Economics 101 says if supply is squeezed, prices increase.

It’s fair to suggest the EPA is on a supply squeeze mission:

Breaking even the lowest standards of credulity on the same day of the President’s Saudi plea, Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator said rising gasoline prices were not her agency’s fault. Upward pressure on gas prices was “not coming from any environmental or health regulation.” Really? This from an agency that even its more ardent supporters think as the most intrusive and recalcitrant, ever, an agency that has attempted to regulate by government edict rather than legislative fiat.

The drive behind the desire for high energy prices comes from the environmental lobby.  They want oil, natural gas and other useful, life enhancing abundant fuels to be restricted, banned or demonized until you feel guilty even thinking about filling up your SUV.

So you’d think that Obama would be front and center taking credit for keeping his promise to hike energy prices, right?

Wrong.  In fact, the President is doing everything he can to deflect blame:

On Thursday, the White House unveiled a task force called the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group, which would investigate “fraud or manipulation” in oil markets that could affect gas prices.

“We will be vigilant in monitoring the oil and gas markets for any wrongdoing so that consumers can be confident they are not paying higher prices as a result of illegal activity,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement after Obama announced the news at a town hall in Nevada. Holder vowed to take “swift action” against those who illegally contribute to gas-price gouging and manipulation.

In addition to the launch of the working group, Obama argued, another important short-term step is to immediately stop oil and gas companies receiving $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies. “They’re making record profits and you’re paying near record prices at the pump,” he said. “It has to stop.”

It’s speculators, it’s oil companies, it’s crooks or it’s subsidies.  Whatever is causing high gas prices, Obama wants America to know it ain’t his fault.  Except it is.

To modify a Clintonite refrain – it’s the supply, stupid.

America has ample supplies of fossil fuels, and if it did find itself short then Canada is sitting atop a veritable embarrassment of oily riches and would be more than happy to provide all the fuel Americans can use.

The only thing standing between North America and cheaper gas is the political will to drill, baby, drill.  Instead, we get excuses that sound shrill, baby, shrill.

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