Well, I guess blogger doesnt much care for my new format...

They locked me out. Both blogs. Finally unlocked "Hearts of the Gods" today.

Since I'm so good at doom and gloom, I'm seperating out my fear mongering to another blog.

You can find it here. I've been playing around with the formating a bit. I figure that most people don't actually read through archives, so what I've built is a sequential blog with no links. You can read the next story at the bottom. Search engines will go through and index the whole shebang, so I'm sure people will still find the wild-eyed crisis theory that they are looking for. I better write a few good posts about the Walmart Bank, people seem to be really concerned about it based on the number of hits I've been getting with those keywords.

"Snakes on a plane" is a real movie.

Call me ignorant, but I thought it was just another intraweb joke. Then tonight, I heard this story on NPR (give it a listen). It's a real movie. Seriously. They've apparently went through and refilmed parts of it to increase the swearing, gore, and nudity (and gain a R rating.) For some reason, they seem to think that they have "internet fans." I think the simple truth is that they have a bunch of people on the internet who think Newline Cinemas has jumped the shark.

Google launches finance website.

To compete with Yahoo Finance and MSN Money, Google has launched a pretty nifty finance website of their own.

Content seems to be lacking a bit, but the slider bar on the graphs is badass. They also appear to have integrated google news. I give it a C+ so far, but like almost everything google, it is still in beta.

No big surprise: Outsourcing causes bad customer service.

An article today on CNN.com titled "A Penny Saved, A Customer Spurned" talks about the hidden cost of outsourcing - it causes customers to change to another vendor.

Having dealt with a number of outsourced call centers, I wholeheartedly agree. Over the telephone, good communication skills are absolutely vital. While I'm sure there are a number of very intelligent non-native english speakers across the globe, I've yet to run into one at a foreign call center. When you really think about it, what qualified intelligent person wants to work in a call center?

So what you get is the Indian/Asian version of a $10-$15 an hour worker in the US. The difference being that their English isn't at the same level at all, and there is a great cultural divide. Most of the time, it's like talking to a robot - they just keep reading from a script. In fact, I've had better customer service from some of the robotic systems with voice recognition.

Companies spend an enormous amount of time, money and effort searching for new customers. They compete fiercely to get the contract. But then they throw it all away to save a few dollars on the administration end? It just doesn't make sense. Customer retention should be a MAJOR priority. Especially as the world becomes more global and competitive.

Ford stock is undervalued thanks to fiscal mismanagement at GM.

As of the writing of this post, Ford stock is $7.88 per share. I think it's undervalued, and here's why:

1) Positive net income: Earnings per share was either $1.12 or $1.15 in 2005 (depending on whether you read Yahoo or MSN) This puts the trailing P/E ratio at ~7.

2) Projected future positive net income: Analyst concensus on EPS for FY06 is ~$0.59. FY07 is ~$0.71.

3) High dividend payout: 0.40 per share in 2005, or 35% of EPS.

The bottom line is that they are making money are likely to continue making money. While the extensive borrowing is troubling, they are making much more drastic moves to reduce expensives than GM.

I strongly believe that GM will file for bankruptcy in the next year to 18 months. If Ford continues to act as a healthy dividend paying company, I think this will be a huge opportunity for sales growth for them.