PRrag John Guilfoil's Blog Fri, 15 Jul 2016 14:50:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 59320433 How low can the Dow go? Thu, 09 Oct 2008 20:35:01 +0000 Two weeks ago I was asking the professor I work for if it was possible that the Dow might go below 10,000.

Now that it’s at about 8,500, I wonder how low it can possibly go before we hit bottom.

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Let me tell you about financal problems for my generation Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:14:14 +0000 This one is a long time coming.

A lot of people are discounting the current financial crisis, saying that the average American isn’t seeing the problem “in their own wallet.”

My generation, the 18-30-somethings out there now, have been suffering through the last eight years more than we know, and I realized that as soon as I graduated from college.

The highest percentage of Americans ever is currently attending college, but financial aid just hasn’t been there for many.

And I do not count federal loans as financial aid. Those are exactly what they claim to be: loans, from the government, that you have to pay back, with interest.

So we’re all going to school, absorbing the loan debt because accountants and financial professionals are saying “it’s good debt.”

My primary degree is in journalism. My job offers upon graduation ranged from $25,000 to $35,000, and now I freelance my ass off to try to make a living as I put myself through grad school (more loans and “good debt”) so that I can have a graduate degree and one day teach in my field.

I am making better than that $35,000 a year we just talked about between freelancing and a little bit from Blast, but let me give you the run down that the average recent college grad living in Massachusetts has to deal with:

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $1,000
Electric and gas (landlady won’t pay): $100 
Cell phone: $120 ($99/month unlimited? yeah, right, Verizon)
Cable and internet: $120 ($69/month?!? yeah, right, Comcast)
Federal student loans: $140
MEFA/ACS student loans: $140 and parents pay $500/month for now (thank you mom and dad) 
Credit cards (personal): $300
Credit cards (Blast/business): $150
Auto insurance: $60
Renter’s insurance: $20
Groceries: $200
Health insurance: $200 (part-timers pay more!)

Monthly: $2,550
Yearly: $30,600 

Now, let’s add gas to the equation. Thankfully, the Boston Globe does pay my mileage when I’m on assignments, so let’s call that half.

Gas: $300/month – $150 = $150 * 12 = $1,800/year

So before I go out, have a beer, see a movie, buy cat food for my little monsters or do really anything else, about $30,000 is already spent.

For a lot of people, forget working at a non-profit or pursuing your art or taking a year off to volunteer or do what you “want” to do. 

Now, I’m not starving or out on the street, but that’s $30k gone just to live! My my parents weren’t there to pay that $6,000/year, I don’t know what I’d do. My point is, I graduated from college with a mortgage! But I can’t see how someone can classify that as “good debt” because I can’t sell the “house!” And if everyone is going to go to college by default this generation, that piece of paper that says “Bachelor” on it is going to be as worthless as my high school diploma.

So, like Wall Street, my investments are over-inflated and decreasing in value.

But my debts aren’t. 

Bailout please?

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Time discusses “the new internet” Fri, 06 Jun 2008 15:43:34 +0000 Don’t miss this special report in Time Magazine on the changing shape and the new rulers of the Internet.

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Boston’s real-estate market Sun, 06 Apr 2008 21:24:57 +0000 I’m looking for a condo in Boston’s western suburbs or the South Shore. Just for the heck of it, I decided to check out the city, itself on’s real estate section.

The Real Estate Markeet in Boston

A condo in Dorchester costs LESS than a parking space in the Back Bay. Something to think about.

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Poor, stupid bastard hides engagement ring in helium balloon … and it blows away Sat, 15 Mar 2008 13:15:01 +0000 A lot of guys get it wrong, but London floor-fitter Lefkos Hajji really tanked his proposal to his girlfriend Leanne.

Reuters reports the 28 year-old Hackney, East London resident hid a $12,000 engagement ring inside a helium balloon hoping — for some reason — that she would pop the balloon as he proposed.

But leaving the store, the wind picked up, and the balloon, the ring, and Leanne’s affections (for now) were blown away.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Hajji told The Sun newspaper. “I felt like such a plonker. It cost a fortune and I knew my girlfriend would kill me.”

Hajji chased the balloon for two hours before giving up. After telling Leanne the story, she got pissed and demanded a new ring.

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Motorola to acquire Modulus Video Fri, 18 May 2007 16:54:02 +0000 MotorolaMotorola, in a bid to improve its video services for its home and small business users, made a move to acquire Modulus Video, Inc.

Modulus, according to a press release, is a leading MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) company that specializes in putting this video over the Internet and broadcast/television systems.

Both sides seem pleased.

“As consumers demand more high definition video and interactive services, the need for advanced compression technology is increasingly important,” said Dan Moloney, President, Home and Networks Mobility business, Motorola, Inc, Modulus Video has a powerful architecture and product development framework that is well suited for continued technological advancement.”

“Through this acquisition, Modulus Video will become part of a world-class organization in a highly strategic market segment. Our team will benefit from Motorola’s rich heritage and leadership of video delivery expertise,” said Bob Wilson, Chairman and CEO of Modulus Video. “Modulus Video will bring to Motorola a software-centric platform that ensures flexibility, reduced cost and fast development time.”

Modulus will become a wholly-owned subsidiary, and Motorola has said it will allow them to continue their Sunnyvale, Calif., operations, which will save jobs in the area.

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Casio recalls keyboards; no pets killed Wed, 21 Mar 2007 18:53:59 +0000 The defective keyboard.Casio announced today the recall of 12,000 electronic musical keyboards. This comes after five reports of overheating units and two fires sparking as a result. The 61-key CTK-710 model had been sold at WalMart, Best Buy and other music outlets in the $70-$150 price range.

Name of product: Electronic Musical Keyboards

Units: About 12,000

Manufacturer: Casio Computer Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan

Hazard: The recalled keyboards can overheat when in use, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Users are advised to stop playing the faulty keyboards immediately, remove the batteries and contact Casio (866) 800-4302 for a free repair.

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JetBlue apologizes for northeast delays Thu, 22 Feb 2007 19:04:19 +0000 JetBlue, in an e-mail to customers, apologized for severe delays following a snow and ice storm in the northeast, specifically in Boston’s Logan Airport.

“We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry,” said David Neeleman JetBlue’s founder and CEO.

The low-cost air carrier acknowledged many canceled flights, long delays and lost baggage its customers faced in what Neeleman called “the worst operational week in JetBlue’s seven year history.”

Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the anxiety, frustration and inconvenience that we caused. This is especially saddening because JetBlue was founded on the promise of bringing humanity back to air travel and making the experience of flying happier and easier for everyone who chooses to fly with us. We know we failed to deliver on this promise last week.

Promising that its customers deserved better, JetBlue published its Customer Bill of Rights. Neeleman issued a video message to customers earlier.

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CNBC launches new site Mon, 04 Dec 2006 17:52:46 +0000 CNBC has unleashed a new website.

The new is the perfect complement to CNBC’s live cable television coverage leveraging the resources of its global organization. offers dynamic, actionable data, video and reporting of business and financial news to ensure investors get the information they need 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In a press release, Mark Hoffman, CNBS’s president said, “ is the perfect online extension of our trusted global business news organization. We have created a truly integrated news gathering operation that leverages the assets and resources of CNBC and maximizes their potential for both TV and web platforms. delivers all the analysis and access viewers expect from CNBC while affording breadth, depth and personalization features that simply aren’t possible on television. also offers users the chance to stay up-to- date with CNBC even when they cannot watch CNBC on their television.”

The site does look pretty good as it takes aim at other Internet financial portals including Yahoo! and CNN.

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Mid-week market rag: Video games galore Wed, 15 Nov 2006 21:22:50 +0000 The Market Rag took a little election-week vacation, but it’s back now and ready to talk shop.

We have entered the age of Playstation 3 and Wii.

Sony will sell its 400,000 American units promptly and unleash 6 million units by March, according to a CNNMoney article. The same coverage also points out a glitch in backwards compatibility rendering dozens of previous Playstation and Playstation 2 games unplayable. Sony does plan to fix the problem though. Almost 90,000 units of Playstation 3 left store shelves bare in Japan after its launch there last week.

The Nintendo Wii launches on the 19th to high anticipation and one of the better backward compatibility options which enables users to obtain and play games from the NES days.

Interestingly enough, both companies have been quiet with advertising lately. CNN noticed this too:

While there’s been plenty of talk about the PS3 and Wii, television ads have been scarce. Sony (Charts) started running some unusual PS3 ads in the past week, but Nintendo has been silent. Fils-Aime said that’s very deliberate.

Both companies have poured their coffers into development and the hype is certainly there, but something is missing for the PR guy in a useless yet entertaining advertising sweep; a cola-wars commercial battle between Sony and Nintendo with Microsoft scarily coming in as RC Cola just hasn’t been there. Wouldn’t you have loved to see a commercial where a Playstation 3 eats a Wii, or a Wii moves it’s magic “nun chuck” wand and makes a Playstation 3 disappear?

Alas, nobody does it like Coke/Pepsi and Bud/Miller.

The advertising clearly wasn’t a necessity, however, as even Ebay has to put limits on how much the Playstation 3 can be sold for.

Shares of Sony and Nintendo had been mixed today with Sony finishing slightly down and Nintendo finishing slightly up today in trading.

Is it Zune season?

Microsoft’s iPod killer came off its leash today. The WiFi-enabled personal music player enables users who are in close proximity to share their media with one another. The line looks promising with equivalent Microsoft versions of Apple’s Nano and Shuffle expected with flash media storage and Internet compatibility anticipated. Zune may also become a VoIP phone eventually, and CNNMoney reported an iPod phone is in the world. Zune also has an FM tuner on board if you’re feeling saucy.

Both companies will fare well with their computer and portable media products this season, however. Neither looks like they’re throwing a death blow quite yet, and the explains why both companies stocks were flat today. Apple was down slightly on anticipation of Microsoft’s Zune taking some kind of a swing at iPod’s virtual lock on the portable media market.

That’s the Rag for now. Now get out there and spend. If you need early gift ideas, CNN has a few ideas.

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