Monthly Archives: June 2007

Dear Dad

I didn’t mean the blog to get all personal recently with a post to my mom, my boys and then myself.  Here I am following up with one about my father.  However, these are just my thoughts as of late and that’s why we have blogs, right?  …to express what we’re thinking in a log format?  Well, if it isn’t, please feel free to comment as to where else I should write it. 

Anyway, this post today is dedicated to Mr. Yang Joo Na, a.k.a. my father. 

Dear Dad,

I haven’t really had a good opportunity to get to know you.  You don’t talk much about yourself.  You sometimes talk to me when you have to tell me how I should be a better person or how I screwed up in life.  You sometimes have talked about your family very briefly in the past, but I really don’t know much beyond the fact that you have sacrificed a big part of your life for the future of myself and Jim.

I don’t think I’ve known a harder worker and probably someone who is as strong or shall I say “Super” than you.  You really are my Superman in my life.  I don’t know of a single person in this world who with his two hands can build a 3 story living quarters in a warehouse without a building permit and no experience ever doing it before.  On top of that, you lugged up a refrigerator and all sorts of other things.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you carried up the 3 flights of stairs the big slab of cement that you and mom used for a bed for several years.  I also, to be honest, was worried that maybe the whole structure would fall down or break down, but after I don’t know how many years, it still stood strong & it was because of you. 

I don’t know a single person in this world who had stood up to two different people with guns in their hands threatening you.  You have no fear in life or you really value a six pack of beer or a tank of gas more than your life.  Regardless, you have no fear and for that, I have incredible admiration.

I don’t know many men who would go into their wive’s underwear drawer and walk out in the middle of the living room one Christmas holiday in her lingerie with your penis sticking out to make the family laugh.  Maybe there are others in the world who do similar things, but your purpose was so angelic that I simply appreciate your thoughts.

I don’t know many men in the world who would leave their family in Washington state to go and live by himself in California doing all sorts of jobs for some stranger who needed your help as a handyman.  I know it was lonely at that time and that it was a hard time in your life.  I really appreciate you doing that for us.

I don’t know many men who would pick up and leave his home country and his family for the future of his children despite truly not wanting to do it himself.  There are many days when I see how lonely you have been over the years without your close friends or family nearby.  When your brother passed away this year, I felt bad you couldn’t see him go away.  I am thankful you were able to see him before he did though.  When your father and mother passed away, you didn’t have the ability to say “goodbye” the way you probably wanted.  You haven’t been able to see your nieces and nephews grow up properly.  You haven’t been able to share in the good times of your friends back in Korea.  I know it’s been tough.  I really appreciate you doing it though.  I am lucky for your thoughts.

I know it wasn’t easy punishing us over the years, trying to tell us how to live life more properly, going to work in a foreign country that you didn’t want to speak it’s country’s language or live it’s traditions or doing many of the things you didn’t want to do just for our sake.  I really appreciate it.  I know I don’t show it every day, but I really do.

Anyway, this year, I’m also one week late in say “Happy Father’s Day” because it’s not celebrated in Korea & I didn’t realize it was last week.  However, I hope you can forgive me like you have forgived me for many other things in my past.

I love you dad.  You may not realize how much, but I do love you very much.  I thank you for the many wonderful sacrifices you have made in your life on my brother’s and my behalf.  You are an angel.

 Thank you. 

 Love,

 Byung-hyu Na

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I’m valuable

So, this isn’t some “Stuart Smiley” or self motivating saying I need to say to myself, but I just realized something interesting.  The only times I seem to get into conflicts with friends and family is when I don’t spend time with them.  Recently, it’s been a struggle for me to spend time with both because I’ve been focusing on trying to “build a future” very seriously.  My parents finally understand, but I do get a decent amount of flack from friends, coworkers or even family other than my parents for not being around.  Well, it’s definitely not intentional, but they always seem to get offended anyway.  I can understand, but if they truly love me or appreciate me, they would understand.  It’s not like I’m out there cheating millions and millions of people with my time or spending it trying to make the world worse. 

What made me realize this is that my CEO and my boss elevated me to a higher position in the company and had a lot of admiration of my abilities, experience and potential to help the company.  However, he’s been very busy running the company lately and not able to meet regularly.  I keep on telling him we should meet & he keeps on agreeing, but failing to meet.  He is more combative than in the past about all issues that I raise.  At the same time, every time we have a sit down, he is appreciative of me again and supports me on almost everything I say and do.  Other members on the Executive staff also always seem to enjoy talking to me about how to improve the company and appreciate who I am when I spend time with them.  When I’m busy elsewhere or when they are doing something in another branch which takes our regular time spent together, they act a little funny.

My boys don’t get to see me that often.  For that, I’m very sorry.  However, they do always want me around.  They always wonder when I can spend time with them.   Well, sons, I will be there and you will be with me soon…please just wait.  You guys, I value more than anything I do.  However, I need to focus on building a financial base for all of our futures. 

Anyway, it was just something I realized today.

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Ideal Laptop

How many times do you start working on your laptop and think “Wouldn’t it be more comfortable or convenient if my laptop had XYZ?”  Laptops or notebook computers are great in that they are smaller and portable, but there are many things that allow us to be more productive and faster on a desktop — bigger monitor, bigger keyboard, better set up with the mouse…  If you want a bigger screen, you have to have a bigger monitor, if you want a better mouse, you can try one of about 10,000 solutions which haven’t got it perfect yet and if you want a better keyboard…well, you had better just suck it up. 

Laptops are also getting more feature driven or more handy like the tablet PC’s which are turning laptops into a modern day “true notebook” you can scribble on.  However, it’s still much heavier than a true paper notebook and so not many of us carry them around to scribble. 

Well, the thought here is to create a company that focuses ONLY on laptops and make them truly ideal.  Toshiba does make some great laptops and Dell is getting better it as well along with IBM consistently getting high marks (who knows how much this is influenced by the dollar, sign — side note), but no one really focuses on making it so convenient that we would rather do our work on our laptop vs. our desktop.  Honestly, it would ideally be better to work on the laptop for our shoulders or backs in the long run or our butts…so we can do it in bed or on the plane or whereever.  However, no one is truly focusing on this issue…perhaps I will? 

I would also like it to be customized to fit different people.  Some people have bigger hands, some people can’t type, some people hate the mouse and some absolutely can’t do anything without it, some need larger screens/monitors and others prefer many other things.  Well, there would be a division that focuses on the “customizeable” laptop which retains quality, but just makes it easier to use.  There would also be 3 to who knows how many sizes that would come with each version.  Remember, this company would focus on the long term and truly be the “Ideal latop company” and so it would have to sacrifice a little on margin by making so many versions of each laptop & would have to become a master of inventory management or being able to build them quicklly after having them customized — Dell did it to a significant extent, why can’t we? 

I also had thoughts of integrating all the modern devices of the world to snap into this laptop so it truly is a super machine.  The cell phone, the PDA, a form of a tablet that snaps off, a pen or two, your glasses, your keys, and multiple other things that reside in your laptop bag.  Have the laptop either be indestructable or have a very convenient case around it — have it (& maybe the case) be the only things you carry around to be productive & able to open the door to your home or  your car.  🙂 

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Hey boys…

Who knows if the traces of these pages will be available when you guys are old enough to read this & even understand it, but what the heck…I’ll start writing some thoughts to you.  You both were born into an interesting time.  Your mom and I weren’t destined to be together for the long haul, but we were SO (I mean, so, so) lucky to have you two.  I feel bad.  I’m not with you guys each weekend.  I’m not with you guys during the week.  Your English is getting weaker, but I do realize your Korean is so much better than I ever wished I could speak or comprehend the language. 

Right now, Dad is doing his best to try and build up a financial base so that when you guys are old enough, I will have enough to help you with your college or with your weddings, if you choose to get married.  I’d like to also be comfortable enough that I can help you multiple times trying to do several different things in life.  I’m not planning on supporting you to create a crutch in your life, but rather I’d like to be that parachute in case things do go wrong.  I probably will try not to tell you about it & try to surprise you when you’re not expecting it.

I want to also help you despite not being with you guys constantly.  I’m hoping I can help you build the basics so you can go to a decent college at some point.  One piece of advice that I didn’t heed when growing up was getting a degree at a “well known” institution.  It’s not because it will help you succeed in life, but rather it will help you “open doors” and give you the proper connections it will take to be successful in any endeavor you choose to seek.

I’m curious what you guys will become, but even though it’s a commonly used saying, I simply want you guys to be “happy” in life and have as little stress as possible. 

The world is a crazy place.  It’s good, bad and many other things.  You’ll have a number of challenges to overcome like the environment, political battles, financial struggles and much, much more.  However, at least life won’t be boring & honestly, that’s what makes life so worth living. 

I love you guys so much.  I wish I could show that more to you in your earlier years.  I feel like I’m repeating what your grandma and grandpa did to your Uncle and I.  However, we grew up fine & I know you guys will. 

 Well, I’m going to finish up today’s first writing to you guys since there will be many more opportunities in the future, I’m sure.  I know one thing already and that is that I know I’ll always be proud of you guys no matter what you do.  I love you boys.

Love,

Dad

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Sorry Mom –

5-21-07

Dear Mom,

I feel bad that I haven’t been a better son. Jim has been a better son to you up through this point. He’s remembered your birthday, he’s bought you more birthday and Christmas presents and has probably called & talked to you more than I have over the years. I know that isn’t the simple measurement of being a “good son” — however, it’s something I regret over the years a lot.

However, I realized today why I haven’t been a better son. While it’s not a good excuse in forgiving me for all my lack of care towards you and dad…it’s just a fact of reality. Also, I’m hoping through the grace of all the powers that may be, I hope I can make up for all the lost time.

I think it’s because I was meant to help more people in this world. Ever since I was born, all I could think of “how can I make more people smile in this world?” After college, I’ve only been thinking of jobs that I thought might make a “big difference” in this world. I struggled with working in something like that and simply trying to make enough money to survive & so there were times where I wanted to give up on the ideal and just try to make money. I think now, I realize I can do both. I do have some work to do to get out of the mess I’ve created the past few years, but I know I can do it. I just have to work hard & stay focused. I plan on doing that. I also realized I am strong, powerful, amazing, persuasive, diligent, hard working and most of all caring and these are what qualities are going to help me creat at least one great company, if not many more beyond that. My goal is to honestly help as many people in this world become as happy as possible. Sometimes I focus on that too much and that’s why I don’t have enough time to focus on you or dad. For that, I am sorry.

All in our past hasn’t been bad, I realize, because there have been a lot of great memories and time spent together. I remember the winters in Shelton at our house on the lake where you, Jim, Dad and I would watch TV in the living room and laugh together because Dad would disappear for a moment and walk out stark naked minus wearing your bra and panties trying to make us fall out of our chairs — which we did. I remember sitting next to you while you were trying to teach Jim how to say “bye” in Korean and he kept on saying “hello” instead. It was almost comical to see how many times he say “hello” before he finally said “bye” by the 150th time or so. I remember the day you waited outside for me when I urinated in my pants on the busride home from pre-school. I was crying so hard, but you were waiting with open arms to comfort me on one of the saddest days of my life. I remember the day you witnessed me from a large crowd at Junior High getting the award for 3 years of perfect attendence and the Math Student of the year. I remember seeing how happy you were and the big smile on your face. I remember when I was like 7 or 8 years old and I used to cry before going to sleep because I worried soooooo much that I would never see you ever again after you died. I kept on thinking, “How can I see my mom again after she dies?” I worried so much day after day and kept on trying to figure out how I can do it.

Well, I want you to know now matter what I do and no matter what happens from this moment on in life mom, I truly love you. I always have and always will. I will try to be better, but at the same time, I hope you can understand. I guess that’s why you’re my mom and no other person will be.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me. You’ve heard this several times before, but I truly do. I thank you and dad for supporting Jim and me through all the times in our life. I hope I can repay you both at least a small percentage of what you have given me in life.

Love,

“Brandon” Byung-hyu Na

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Similar to my friend Crystal’s wishes, I’d like to write someday some fiction and maybe some autobiographical work

…or tell them in the future via a novel or other medium…perhaps a blog wouldn’t be bad to publish them.  One of the ideas I was thinking of this past year was creating a story about a person who walked through an apartment building on a daily basis & the story played out about his boring life, but the doors he passed daily has some very “interesting” events going on “behind the doors.”  However, these stories would be unique to cultures like Korea or Japan.  While they would potentially be fictional, they could be based on stories that occur quite frequently in Asian societies.  They could be based on the news.

One example is like a CEO of a large group in Korea was recently prosecuted for hiring some thugs to beat up some room salon employees.  The employees supposedly treated his son or kids poorly and the Executive decided to take the law in his own hands and literally attacked these people “teach them a lesson.”  While the victims accepted the apologies afterwards, the gov’t seems to want to make an example of this person & prosecute him to the fullest extent possible.  The stories that could be told is how he “really deals in life” and how he became CEO.  Perhaps this one example of how he “deals with people” represents how he does everything in life leaving a trail of blood, pain and perhaps injustice on his way to the top.

It could be called “Office Tells” kind of like what they call large business like buildings that contain resident studios for many workers in the city.  They call them “officetels” in Korea because they can be an office in the day and a home at night.  Thus, the title “Office Tells.”

Some other examples could be:

  • struggling small family trying to make a living
  • loud, drunk old man who is vindicative against the world (like maybe Jack Nicholson’s character in “As Good as it Gets” with a Korean or Asian twist)
  •  a married businessman who stays during the week & travels home during the weekends
  • some college kid who likes the “nicer things in life”
  • in Korean, they are called literally “Alcohol house women” or “soohlr chibp” women.  They work in bars, massage parlors or other relatively seedy businesses that accept larger payments in return for anything from just the company of a lovely lady to full blown sex

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Real Estate Investments from 3rd World Countries into Highly Sought after Property in the U.S.

This one is pretty obvious, but there are lots of Koreans, Indians and Eastern Bloc country residents and citizens in addition to I’m sure many other International citizens beyond America & Canada’s borders who would LOVE a piece of American or Canadian soil.  I’m sure all the Keller Williams Realty, Coldwell Banker and other Real Estate company agents would love to connect with them.   

So, there just needs to be a single consortium out of each country which helps refer the traffic over, along with educate the international citizens about the laws and the other things the consumers in the other countries need to know. 

 I was approached by a big time Kangnam agent earlier this year who asked me to do this for her.  However, I just didn’t have the time to do it … and I still don’t, but if someone does, I’m sure they would reap the rewards from it. 

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The 50 Who Matter Now

OK, I know that magazines need to maximize online ad revenue, but it’s a bit ridiculous when you can’t print something out that you would like to read on the subway & have to basically click 50 X’s in order to see the entire list of subjects an article is reporting on.  Anyway, I just spent 10 minutes copy and pasting 50 different slides on Business 2.0 so you don’t have to — to find out who the Top 50 people that “matter now” according to  CNNMoney.com To do the same thing & click through 50 slides, just click on the link I just created before this sentence.  Otherwise, just feel free to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  🙂 

Also, if you don’t want to read to the end, the top 3 were Google’s founders & CEO, Steve Jobs and Private Equity.  If you would like an actual person to be ranked #3, it would have to be instead Michael Moritz, Managing director, Sequoia Capital.  He was #4 on the list. 

CNNMoney.com

The 50 Who Matter Now
In our second annual ranking, Business 2.0 has compiled an unabashedly subjective list of people, products, trends, and ideas that are transforming the world of business.

Jay Adelson
Chairman and CEO, Digg and Revision3

Rank: 50

Why he matters: Kevin Rose may be the camera-ready face of news aggregator Digg and online video network Revision3, but Adelson is the quiet guy in the background who builds them into successful businesses.

Rose fronted the initial cash for Digg, but Adelson is widely credited with using his business savvy to transform Rose’s brainchild into an influential new way to compile the news. Adelson also runs the show at Revision3, which is racing to create TV-style online video programs. Without Adelson, the people-powered content revolution wouldn’t be quite so powerful.

Jason Calacanis
CEO, Mahalo

Rank: 49

Why He Matters: People love to hate Calacanis, but it’s hard to dispute that he’s an expert at generating buzz. The creator of Weblogs Inc. — an early blog network that he sold to AOL in 2005 — recently launched the human-driven search portal Mahalo after leading the media on a merry chase to guess what the site would actually do.

But when Calacanis talks, people listen. And now that he’s joined forces with Silicon Valley’s leading venture firm (see No. 4) to fund Mahalo, many are eager to see what he’ll do next and who he’ll antagonize in the process.

Gina Bianchini
CEO, Ning

Rank: 48

Why she matters: Facebook and MySpace get the attention, but Bianchini’s Ning might be the most exciting thing in social networking right now. Instead of simply encouraging people to join one ubernetwork, Ning lets users create their own mini communities, complete with customizable layouts, profiles, blogs, videos, and ads.

Just as blogs changed the Web by turning ordinary folks into pundits, Ning could do the same for community. Bianchini wisely kept Ning’s code mostly open, enabling it to add new features at will. Next up: helping Ning fans dress up their networks with group calendars and wikis.

Ed Iacobucci, Vern Raburn
Iacobucci: CEO, DayJet; Raburn: CEO, Eclipse Aviation

Rank: 47

Why they matter: This year marks the dawn of the air taxi era, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Iacobucci and Raburn. The two computer industry veterans — Iacobucci co-founded Citrix Systems, while Raburn used to work for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen — could revolutionize commercial aviation.

In April, Raburn’s Eclipse Aviation got final go-ahead from the FAA to begin full-scale production of its five-seat jets, 309 of which are slated to go to Iacobucci’s air taxi startup, DayJet, in the next two years. The combination will enable small groups of passengers to fly to and from small cities for slightly more than a typical business-class fare.

Paul Graham
Founding partner, Y Combinator

Rank: 46

Why he matters: It takes a true nerd to make a science of venture capital investing, but Graham specializes in turning complex theories into marketable businesses. In the 1990s he launched Viaweb, one of the first companies to help ordinary people build online stores. He also pioneered the use of esoteric Bayesian statistics to filter junk e-mail, effectively making him the father of today’s antispam tools.

Y Combinator, his new seed fund, takes a hands-on approach to nurturing startups by combining active mentor-ship with relatively modest dollops of cash. He may be onto something: Web 2.0 services Loopt, Reddit, and Justin.tv have prospered with funding from Y Combinator.

You
Web-enabled mass participation

Rank: 45

Why you matter: Can we be blunt? You had a disappointing year. It began with great promise, when this magazine placed You in the No.1 slot on the 2006 edition of this list. “You’ve become an integral part of the action as a member of the aggregated, interactive, self-organizing, auto-entertaining audience,” we said, and we really meant it! A few months later, our corporate cousins at Time concurred and named You the 2006 Person of the Year.

Then You got lazy. All those YouTube videos of cats dancing, playing the piano, and drunkenly running into walls? So derivative. Then there was all the fawning over Snakes on a Plane. What was up with that? And don’t even get us started on Sanjaya. Look, we still think You have lots of potential. But if You’re really going to change the media landscape, it’s time to step up Your game.

Evan Williams
Founder, Twitter

Rank: 44

Why he matters: When we say You have questionable judgment, Williams’s Twitter may be a case in point. Twitter gives each user a webpage, where short text updates (known as “tweets”) can be posted to the site via IM, SMS, or blogging tools. The result is a torrent of short notes and inane observations (from “Feeling sick today” to “I’m in the bathroom!”) pouring in from buddies throughout the day.

Fans say Twitter is an invaluable way to stay in the loop. We’re not so sure. Twitter is either a major new communications platform or the next overhyped Friendster. Which will it be? Ask us again next year.

Elon Musk
Bleeding-edge entrepreneur

Rank: 43

Why he matters: After selling the PayPal online payment system to eBay for $1.5 billion, Musk has parlayed his estimated $334 million in personal wealth into three revolutionary ventures: electric cars, solar panels, and low-cost space travel.

As chairman and chief checkwriter at Tesla Motors (see No. 19), he hopes to give the electric car market a big jolt. Musk’s SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon rocket, a bargain at $7 million per flight, with hopes of muscling its way into the multibillion-dollar satellite launch business. Then there’s Solar City, another Musk company, which encourages neighborhoods to share the cost of installing solar panels.

We assume Musk has his eye on a synergy play: humans driving solar-charged Teslas on the moon!

Doug Melton
Co-director, Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Rank: 42

Why he matters: For a while it looked as though the South Koreans were winning the race to find real-world uses for human stem cells. But when their research program melted down in a data-faking scandal, Melton emerged as the prime mover in a field that could someday offer treatments for everything from cancer to diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.

When the White House cut funding for experiments based on stem cells taken from human embryos, Melton used private donations to create 30 embryonic stem-cell lines and distribute them to labs around the world. His cells, and scientists he trained, are now driving the research agenda in this promising field.

Tim O’Reilly
Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media

Rank: 41

Why he matters: The man who coined the term “Web 2.0” has a talent for planting himself in the heart of the action. The Web 2.0 conferences produced by his publishing company, O’Reilly Media, have become the Internet industry’s biggest business and cultural happening of the year.

Through his O’Reilly Radar blog, he is also one of the most influential voices in the world of open-source software. Not that he always gets it right: His proposal earlier this year to curtail bad behavior by creating a bloggers’ code of conduct was met with scorn. But O’Reilly’s ideas got the blogosphere chattering — and, as always, he was smack in the middle of the conversation.

Sam Zell
Real estate magnate and media kingpin

Rank: 40

Why he matters: The Chicago billionaire is betting big against the Internet. Zell, 65, discovered his entrepreneurial spirit as a child, buying Playboy magazines downtown and reselling them for a profit in the suburbs. He went on to make a fortune in real estate, buying cheap and selling dear.

Today he’s looking at undervalued property in the most unlikely of places: print media. First, Zell bought the Tribune Co., which owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Then he picked a fight with Google News, suggesting that the headline aggregator might have to start working for a living if newspapers like his decide to shut off the spigot of free news. Apostasy! But what if he’s right?

John Edmond
Co-founder, Cree

Rank: 39

Why he matters: The light-emitting diode is poised to become the new lightbulb, and for that, Edmond deserves much of the credit. At Cree, the LED manufacturer he helped start two decades ago in North Carolina, Edmond is pushing the technology into the mainstream.

At a time when 22 percent of the nation’s energy is spent keeping the lights on, an LED bulb can burn for almost six years before it needs to be replaced, and some consume even less energy than compact fluorescent bulbs. Edmond’s LEDs are beginning to replace outdoor lighting in parking garages and streetlamps, and the indoor lighting market is set to open up as well.

Arianna Huffington
Co-founder, Huffington Post

Rank: 38

Why she matters: In the year of the blogger, Huffington is the queen of the blogosphere. Her Huffington Post, launched just two years ago to snooty derision, has become one of the Web’s most influential political sites, attracting more than 800,000 unique visitors a month. A $5 million round of VC funding has given Huffington the heft to add more original reporting, investigative pieces, and videos to a site already brimming with A-list opinion makers.

HuffPo is the new model for Internet-bred news sites — a hybrid that combines the journalistic traditions of print with the immediacy and community of the Web. She also plans to launch a satirical site called 23/6 later this year. This time, nobody’s laughing.

Fake Steve Jobs
Author, Secret Diary of Steve Jobs

Rank: 37

Why he matters: How could an anonymous satirist possibly matter enough to make this list? Simple. Not only is Fake Steve’s site one of the most closely read blogs in Silicon Valley, but FSJ has great sources and (apparently) a pretty good line on how RSJ feels about the world around him.

FSJ is not so much Jobs’s alter ego as his id, free-associating about everything from “frigtards” like Eric “Squirrel Boy” Schmidt to the “MicroTards” in Redmond. Peace, FSJ. Namaste.

Kevin Walsh
Managing director of renewable energy, GE Energy Financial Services

Rank: 36

Why he matters: $4 billion. That’s how much Walsh’s division plans to spend on renewable-energy investments by 2010. In March he flew to Portugal to open one of the world’s largest photovoltaic solar power plants. In May he announced that GE will invest $180 million in two giant Texas wind-farm projects. The company will also invest $50 million a year in promising startups — making Walsh perhaps the leading sugar daddy of the green-tech boom.

Howard Draft
Chairman and CEO, DraftFCB

Rank: 35

Why he matters: Behavioral targeting, analytics, and data mining are all the rage in online advertising, but Draft, who made his name in direct-mail marketing, has been doing all three for decades.

Yes, he won and lost the $500 million Wal-Mart account in a matter of weeks earlier this year. But he quickly recovered by landing a $200 million account with Kmart and a bite-size $40 million deal with Kraft Lunchables. His direct-mail firm merged with 133-year-old ad agency Foote Cone & Belding in 2006, and Draft now runs the company, presiding over 9,000 employees worldwide at an agency that bills an estimated $350 million a year. Results-oriented, indeed.

Mark Zuckerberg
Founder and CEO, Facebook

Rank: 34

Why he matters: Zuckerberg was a 19-year-old Harvard student when he launched a social-networking site called Facebook for the in-the-know college crowd. Three years later Facebook is the sixth most visited site on the Internet, with some 24 million active users and enough clout to turn down a reported billion-dollar buyout offer from Yahoo (and to make us regret our decision to put him on our online-only list of the 10 Who Don’t Matter last year).

In September, Facebook opened its doors to anyone with an e-mail address, and in May it announced plans to add free classified ads. It also gave outside developers access to Facebook’s underlying code. In a matter of days, one application, iLike, had attracted nearly half a million users.

Richard Branson
Founder, Virgin Group

Rank: 33

Why he matters: Branson has made billions from Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Trains, Virgin Limousines, and some 200 other Virgin brands. Having done his part to deplete the ozone layer, he’s now trying to make amends.

In September he announced that he will donate all profits from Virgin’s transportation businesses during the next decade — a sum that could exceed $3 billion — to combating global warming. Then he and Al Gore set up a $25 million prize for the first inventor who develops a cost-effective way to extract greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Now he’s partnered with Boeing and General Electric to produce a biofuel to power the jets of the future. It’s the least he could do.

Indra Nooyi
CEO, PepsiCo

Rank: 32

Why she matters: She may be selling sugar water, but she’s one heck of a role model. When PepsiCo tapped Nooyi to become chief executive of the $35 billion company, the snack and beverage giant became the biggest U.S. company run by a woman — and a foreign-born one at that.

Nooyi, a 13-year Pepsi veteran and its former CFO, knows all about the bottom line. She helped forge the $14 billion acquisition of Quaker Oats and its Gatorade unit in 2001, led the $2.2 billion IPO of the Pepsi-Cola bottling group, and positioned Pepsi for rapid growth in the really big markets: China, the Middle East, and her native India. Do you think John Sculley could have done that?

Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani
Mukesh: Chairman, Reliance Industries

Ambani: Chairman, Reliance ADA Group

Rank: 31

Why they matter: These billionaire brothers from India are locked in a bitter intrafamily rivalry, and each seems intent on leading the group of companies he inherited from their late father in a different direction.

Elder brother Mukesh is building one of the world’s biggest oil refineries and has embarked on a bold plan to revolutionize Indian agriculture. Not to be outdone, flashy younger brother Anil is building one of the world’s biggest power plants using clean-burning natural gas. He has also created Reliance Communications, the world’s fastest-growing CDMA mobile-phone network, and has announced plans to invest billions in India’s enterprise broadband network. Imagine what these two could do if they just saw eye to eye.

Charles Phillips
President, Oracle

Rank: 30

Why he matters: Hyperion. Tangosol. AppForge. Lodestar. What do these software companies all have in common? Each was acquired by Oracle this year. CEO Larry Ellison gets the credit for setting Oracle’s course — before he set sail on his quest to capture the America’s Cup — but now it’s Phillips who’s actually steering the ship.

Managing Oracle’s increasingly unwieldy product portfolio, the result of 31 acquisitions since 2005, is not an easy job. But if the company can maintain its momentum (17 percent profit growth in 2006) without screwing up its massive installed base, Ellison will know who to thank.

Nicholas Negroponte
Chairman, One Laptop Per Child

Rank: 29

Why he matters: The MIT Media Lab co-founder’s nonprofit group, One Laptop Per Child, has created an inexpensive notebook computer for children in developing nations. The goal is to make a machine that sells for $100.

For now, however, the first laptops will cost $175, and even then, One Laptop Per Child needs orders for 3 million units to get started. Though cheap, the Linux machines come with free e-books, learning software, and a Web browser. A windup crank permits use off the electric grid, and rabbit-ear antennas create long-distance Wi-Fi mesh networks so entire villages can share a single Internet connection.

Reed Hundt
Vice chairman, Frontline Wireless

Rank: 28

Why he matters: As chairman of the FCC during the go-go 1990s, Hundt oversaw the process of auctioning off billions of dollars’ worth of wireless spectrum. Today, as vice chairman of startup Frontline Wireless, he’s hoping to lay claim to the last major tract — the 700-MHz band being given up by UHF TV broadcasters — when it’s sold off sometime in the next year.

Frontline wants to use the spectrum to create an open wireless broadband network that would be accessible to anyone with any device, much like the wired Internet today. Current FCC chairman Kevin Martin has already signaled his support.

Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom
Co-founders, Skype and Joost

Rank: 27

Why they matter: Call them the Disruptive Duo. First they undermined the music industry by unleashing the Kazaa file-sharing network. Then they rattled the telephone industry by creating Skype, a free Internet phone network.

Now Friis and Zennstrom are ready to reinvent the TV industry with Joost, a full-screen, peer-to-peer TV network that you can watch on your laptop. With 150 channels available and more on the way, Joost is the anti-YouTube: All the video, from anime to CSI, is created by entertainment pros. More than 500,000 beta users signed up before Joost even opened its doors to the general public, and big-name advertisers — Coca-Cola, Nike, Sony — are lining up to become sponsors. TV may never be the same.

Tom Cogan
Chief project engineer, Boeing

Rank: 26

Why he matters: It’s not just that Boeing’s all-new 787 Dreamliner helped the company regain the upper hand in its rivalry with Airbus; the 787 is the most successful new aircraft launch in the history of commercial aviation. With the first delivery on track for May 2008, more than 550 787s are already on order at roughly $160 million apiece.

Cogan and his team deserve much of the credit for this, because the 787 is ideally suited to the lean realities of the post-9/11 airline industry. The jet can fly as many as 330 passengers on long-range flights while delivering 20 percent better fuel efficiency and 10 percent lower operating costs than older models like Boeing’s 767 and the Airbus A330.

Philip Rosedale
Founder and CEO, Linden Labs

Rank: 25

Why he matters: Virtual worlds, like real nations, are starting to generate significant economic activity, and Rosedale’s Second Life is the most formidable virtual world of all. Not only is it home to nearly 2 million active “residents,” but it has spawned an online economy where more than $1.5 million worth of digital goods and services are traded every day.

Second Life is no longer just a game; it may also be the precursor of a more visual, three-dimensional Internet. Instead of looking at a flat e-commerce webpage, imagine dropping by a 3-D virtual store. Sound far-fetched? In Second Life, it’s already routine.

Tony Fadell
Senior vice president, Apple

Rank: 24

Why he matters: It’s an open secret that Fadell is the real engineering genius behind the iPod. In fact, he was already well on his way to building a hard-drive-based MP3 player that could store thousands of songs (sound familiar?) when Apple hardware chief Jon Rubinstein tapped him to lead the original iPod engineering team.

By 2006, when Fadell was given the reins of the entire iPod division, it was generating more revenue for Apple than the Mac. What’s he done for us lately? Glad you asked. Have you heard of this new thing called the iPhone?

Min Kao
Co-founder and CEO, Garmin

Rank: 23

Why he matters: Kao has built a $1.8 billion business heeding the old axiom of location, location, and location. The world’s largest manufacturer of GPS devices, his company is spearheading a revolution in location-based computing.

The company, which does its own design, manufacturing, inventory, distribution, and customer service, sold about 5.6 million units last year, grabbing more than 50 percent of the U.S. market. When the day comes that every phone, computer, and iPod has a built-in GPS device, chances are the technology will be Garmin’s.

Michael Arrington
Founder, TechCrunch

Rank: 22

Why he matters: In tech circles, it’s become a verb, as in “We got TechCrunched.” Everyone knows what it means: Your phone starts ringing, and traffic to your website explodes.

Since Arrington launched TechCrunch two years ago, the site has become a must-read in the fast-growing Web 2.0 world. When Arrington reviews a company’s product — typically before others get word of it — VCs often begin pitching the startup with funding offers. Arrington says he plans to stay independent, and why shouldn’t he, given that his 10-person outfit brings in $200,000 a month. Look for him to begin buying up other blogs as he seeks to expand his reach as Silicon Valley’s reigning kingmaker.

Randall Stephenson
Chairman and CEO, AT&T

Rank: 21

Why he matters: Stephenson hopes to transform a company rooted in yesterday’s technology — telephone landlines — into a multiplatform provider of telecom services. AT&T’s decision to rebrand the Cingular network with Ma Bell’s 122-year-old moniker got a big boost with the news that AT&T would become the exclusive carrier of Apple’s iPhone.

But Stephenson must also find success with the U-verse — a long-delayed IP-based television system that will put AT&T in direct competition with cable companies. In May, AT&T announced that it will spend $6.5 billion ($1.4 billion more than previously announced) to roll out the system in 20 cities. If the effort fails, Stephenson could go the way of the rotary dial.

Shigeru Miyamoto
Senior managing director, Nintendo

Rank: 20

Why he matters: If you recognize the name Donkey Kong, Mario, or Zelda, you’re familiar with Miyamoto’s work — and if you’ve come within shouting distance of a 14-year-old lately, you’ve probably heard about his latest creation: the Nintendo Wii.

The Wii’s motion-sensitive controller has injected a physical dimension into the videogame business, but the real genius of the Wii may be that it appeals to people outside Nintendo’s traditional middle-school demographic. By marketing the Wii aggressively to 25-to 49-year-olds, Miyamoto is breathing new life into a $30 billion industry that was starting to stagnate.

Co-founder and CEO, Tesla Motor

Rank: 19

Why he matters: Eberhard’s high-tech, battery-powered electric car is less about bland eco-consciousness than about sex and speed. The Tesla Roadster does zero-to-60 in a whiplash-inducing four seconds, reaches over 130 mph, and goes more than 200 miles on a single charge.

And oh, yes, it’s also helping to save the earth. No surprise that the likes of Larry Page and Arnold Schwarzenegger have lined up to buy the six-figure supercar. Next up, Eberhard will take aim at the mass market by introducing a four-door sedan, the WhiteStar, that’s slated to debut in 2009 at half the price.

Agile Software Development
A new approach to Web-based code

Rank: 18

Why it matters: It started as a rebellion against overwrought, Dilbert-style software development projects. Today the set of practices known as agile software development is reshaping the way coders and entrepreneurs create Web-based services.

Agile teams work very quickly — sometimes in as little as a week — to create small chunks of code. Once a component is finished, additional features are added, with the process repeating indefinitely. Agile also has a reputation for enabling managers to deliver products on time and under budget, which helps explain why it has become a methodology of choice at companies like Google and Lockheed Martin.

Robin Li
Co-founder and CEO, Baidu.com

Rank: 17

Why he matters: Since founding Baidu.com, his Chinese-language search engine, in 2000, Li has left everyone — including Google — in the dust. Baidu leads China’s search market with a commanding 62 percent share and lots of long-term potential: With a current online population of 150 million users among its 1.3 billion people, China may eventually become the world’s most lucrative Internet market.

Reaching the top hasn’t been easy — Li has taken heat for tolerating censorship, piracy, and lax advertising standards — but he argues that search is a different game in China. He may be right. With profit booming, Li’s story is a timely reminder that even on the World Wide Web there’s such a thing as home-field advantage.

Barry Diller
CEO, IAC/InterActiveCorp

Rank: 16

Why he matters: Chances are you’ve passed through one of Diller’s portals without even knowing it. His IAC/InterActiveCorp owns dating site Match.com, event organizer Evite, mortgage company LendingTree, and search engine Ask.

But Diller isn’t putting all his chips on the Web: Most of IAC’s revenue is generated by HSN (formerly the Home Shopping Network) and Ticketmaster. What’s next? Diller has hired longtime television producer Michael Jackson to develop niche sites like CollegeHumor.com, while a joint venture with the Huffington Post (see No.38) will produce Daily Show-style satirical news for the Web.

Bruce Chizen
CEO, Adobe

Rank: 15

Why he matters: Chizen isn’t a flashy guy. Sure, his company made Photoshop a household word and helped bring Internet video into the mainstream, but the Brooklyn native, who never lost his tough-talking accent, is positioning Adobe’s PDF and Flash technologies at the center of the online content revolution.

And he’s been so successful that Adobe now finds itself in Microsoft’s crosshairs. Is Chizen worried? Fugghetaboutit. In fact, he’s launching Adobe’s most ambitious project yet: a platform called Apollo that helps Web developers build desktop software to engage customers even when they’re not online. Take that, Steve Ballmer.

Mark Hurd
CEO and president, Hewlett-Packard

Rank: 14

Why he matters: Wonder what happened to Michael Dell’s mojo? Look no further than Mark Hurd. This year the chief of Silicon Valley’s top-selling company stole not only Dell’s crown in the PC business but also his reputation for ruthless efficiency. What’s more, under his unflappable leadership, HP’s stock price has doubled, and the company has emerged largely unscathed from its embarrassing reporter-spying scandal.

There’s still plenty of tough sledding ahead; to achieve revenue growth of just 5 percent, HP would have to add a whopping $5 billion a year in sales. But then again, that’s exactly what it did last year.

Jimmy Wales
Founder, Wikipedia; Chairman, Wikia

Rank: 13

Why he matters: It may not be 100 percent accurate, but Wales’s user-generated Wikipedia has become the first place we go to learn the basics of just about anything. Yet as the scope and influence of Wikipedia continue to expand, Wales has been concentrating on Wikia, his for-profit company — backed by a reported $14 million in venture funding — that seeks to extend the wiki concept into ad-supported, user-generated community sites.

Wales is also working on a people-powered search site that would rely on human intelligence to do what Google’s proprietary algorithms can’t. Some think Wales is nuts to challenge Google, but the notion of building an online encyclopedia with an army of unpaid volunteers once seemed crazy too.

Jeff Bezos
CEO, Amazon.com

Rank: 12

Why he matters: Bezos has run a wildly successful Web company for more than a decade, but he’s not resting on his laurels: Having built the world’s largest online bookstore, he’s now trying to become the largest provider of back-end support and services for fledgling Internet companies.

Amazon’s Simple Storage Service seems far removed from its core retail business, but Web 2.0 companies have embraced the pay-as-you-go product as an alternative to building their own server farms. Nevertheless, analysts worry that despite the company’s pioneering roots and massive technology infrastructure, it lags behind competitors like Google and Yahoo. But don’t count the Web’s old man out just yet; Amazon’s first-quarter profit of $111 million was up 118 percent from last year.

Brian McAndrews
CEO, aQuantive

Rank: 11

Why he matters: Does Microsoft still matter? The Vista operating system was greeted with a yawn, and the Zune MP3 player hasn’t fared much better. But things may get interesting now that McAndrews has sold digital ad firm aQuantive to Redmond for $6 billion and will come aboard to help Gates & Co. take on Google in the online-ad game.

At Microsoft, McAndrews will be armed with a new weapon: Riax, a cutting-edge system for tracking the effectiveness of ads on rich-media sites. It’s a proprietary tool he developed at aQuantive — and something Google can’t yet match.

Katsuaki Watanabe
President, Toyota

Rank: 10

Why he matters: Toyota will become the world’s biggest automaker on a volume basis this year, but that’s not the statistic that counts. What counts is the fact that, while GM and Ford lost $2 billion and $12.6 billion last year, respectively, Toyota reaped a profit of $13.2 billion — its seventh record-smashing year in a row.

A Toyota lifer, Watanabe rose to the top job in 2005 thanks to his talent for eliminating inefficiency, but he’s also bolstered the company’s reputation for innovative thinking. While the Prius remains a high-profile success, rumor has it that Toyota plans to release a next-generation hybrid that you can recharge by plugging it into your home’s electrical system.

John Chambers
CEO, Cisco Systems

Rank: 9

Why he matters: Thanks to the white-hot market for video content, which drives up bandwidth demand, sales of Cisco’s switches and routers are booming. But Chambers is positioning the networking giant to be more than a Silicon Valley merchant of picks and shovels.

He also wants Cisco to increase its visibility with consumers, and to do that he’s launched a targeted acquisition spree, buying, among others, TV set-top-box maker Scientific-Atlanta, e-mail security company IronPort Systems, and Internet conferencing leader WebEx Communications. Will it pay off? The jury’s still out, but in truth, it might not matter. When you’re in a gold rush, owning the market for picks and shovels isn’t such a bad thing.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor, California

Rank: 8

Why he matters: Officially, the Governator presides only over the Golden State. Unofficially, Schwarzenegger is also setting the national agenda when it comes to big issues like climate change and universal health care.

The five-time Mr. Universe is transforming the state into a green giant, launching a series of wide-ranging initiatives to improve air and water quality and reduce carbon emissions. Along the way, Schwarzenegger is prompting many of his fellow Republicans to conclude that good environmental stewardship is also smart economic policy. Al Gore may still be the green movement’s favorite spokesman, but Schwarzenegger has emerged as the environment’s real-life action hero.

Susan Decker
President, Yahoo

Rank: 7

Why she matters: If Yahoo is ever to regain the upper hand in its rivalry with Google, Decker will be the one who makes it happen. After a long stint as Yahoo’s CFO, Decker was tapped in December to take a new job as head of the company’s advertising and publishing division, which generates most of its revenue, and in June as the company’s president.

In the new role, her not-small task is to reposition Yahoo by tweaking its Panama ad system to deliver more customers to advertisers and more profit to publishers. Amid growing nervousness about Google’s dominance, Decker has a real opportunity to succeed. If she does, she’s a shoo-in to follow Terry Semel as Yahoo’s next CEO.

Rupert Murdoch
CEO, News Corp.

Rank: 6

Why he matters: Never bet on what Murdoch will do next. His 2005 purchase of MySpace for $580 million was widely mocked — until traffic kept increasing and Google shelled out nearly three times as much to buy YouTube.

Now Murdoch is trying to buy Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, for $5 billion. A foolish play when everything seems to be migrating to the Web? As we said, betting on Murdoch’s next move is risky business. But betting on his long-term success often pays off.

Paul Jacobs
CEO, Qualcomm

Rank: 5

Why he matters: Qualcomm is the Wintel of wireless — the company that controls the underlying technology for the device that everyone has to have. In Qualcomm’s case, that technology is code division multiple access, or CDMA, and it’s become the bedrock of high-speed mobile communications.

Now Jacobs hopes to expand Qualcomm’s reach by launching MediaFlo, a national TV network for mobile devices. Verizon and AT&T have signed on as carriers. If the media gambit works, Qualcomm won’t just be the Microsoft and Intel of wireless — it’ll be the Fox and NBC too.

Michael Moritz
Managing director, Sequoia Capital

Rank: 4

Why he matters: Sequoia has edged out Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Silicon Valley’s venture capital hierarchy, and Moritz is the chief reason. Every VC outfit has money, but under Moritz’s leadership, Sequoia has shown that it has the connections, the smarts, and the cojones to build large, lasting companies.

Google? Sequoia was an early investor. PayPal? Sequoia was there. YouTube? Yup, that one too. Thanks in no small part to Moritz’s track record, Sequoia often gets first dibs on hot new startups. “Always available for thoughtful, hungry, and imaginative people” is how Moritz describes himself on his LinkedIn profile. Believe it.

Private Equity
The new Masters of the Universe

Rank: 3

Why They Matter: Ask any MBA student what she wants to be when she grows up, and chances are she’ll gush about landing a job at a private-equity firm like Blackstone, Carlyle, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, or Texas Pacific Group.

And why not? Private-equity shops raised a record $217 billion in new capital in the United States alone during 2006 and are now busy buying up everything from massive REITs like Zell’s Equity Office Partners (purchased by Blackstone for $20 billion) to tiny startups like visual effects firm the Mill.

With so much private money flowing into every sector of the economy, some foresee a train wreck. Perhaps. But in the meantime, PE firms announced more than a quarter-trillion dollars’ worth of deals in the first five months of this year — which means that, for better or worse, private equity will make its presence felt for a long time to come.

Steve Jobs
Co-founder and CEO, Apple

Rank: 2

Why he matters: Apple’s co-founder has started to channel his inner Wayne Gretzky. “I skate to where the puck is going to be,” Jobs said as he introduced the iPhone in January, “not to where it’s been.”

Given the continuing strength of both the iPod (100 million sold) and the iTunes store (2.5 billion downloads), it’s a credible boast. But will millions of Americans really pay $500 to replace their Razrs and Treos with iPhones? And will they come around to the Apple TV, a device so far ahead of its time that nobody’s quite sure what it’s for?

Jobs’s genius as a designer, product manager, and pitchman is that he’s never comfortable unless he’s pushing the envelope. And like an athlete at the top of his game, it’s hard to take your eyes off him

Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Sergey Brin
Schmidt: CEO, Google; Page and Brin: Co-founders, Google

Rank: 1

Why they matter: For consumers, Google is one of the world’s most beloved companies. For competitors, it’s a force to be feared. The task of maintaining that balance of love and fear falls to the triumvirate of Schmidt, Page, and Brin. The trio has steered Google past $10 billion in revenue with nary a financial hiccup — and with profit still growing an average of 40 percent every quarter, they’ve more than earned their place at the top of this list.

But what makes Schmidt, Page, and Brin really matter is the fact that they seem determined to disrupt every digital business in existence, from software to video to telecommunications. When Google eyes a new market, it always tries to change the rules of the game.

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Filed under People

Soo-pyo or “checks” in Korean

So, I’m at the “Homeplus” in my building which is like a Walmart in Korea.  It’s actually what’s caused Walmart to go bankrupt in this country along with Emart who I believe ended up buying up some of the old Walmart locations…and potentially Homeplus buying up some of them as well.

Anyway, they are usually great with customer service.  At any time, I’ll get 3 or 4 people scouring the entire store to help me find something.  There were times I was wondering how they got their work done in contrast to the grocery clerk who finds ways to avoid the customer in the states.  I remember clearly when I felt like I was asked many things I didn’t know, but the effort that these Koreans take on in the grocery stores are simply amazing.

Nevertheless, the problem I did face was something in terms of the money system.  I heard or read something briefly that FINALLY, the country is going to create 100,000 won bills instead of the 10,000 bills which are the highest valued currency outside of “checks” which are in the form of 100,000 or 1,000,000 won, but require your signature, phone number and ID number.  Most of the times, after you provide the details I just mentioned, there are no problems.  The checks “look official”, but I’m sure I can understand how someone might also counterfeit it.  On the flip side, like I’ve seen in casinos, they have some ultraviolet light device that can detect if they are authentic or not.  So, at 12:03a one night, I’m buying some groceries and right after the total is accumulated, I give her my “Soo-pyo” or check.  She looks at it funny & then processes it in her cash register.  It says “no way to confirm.”  She basically looks at me, apologizes and says, “Sorry, I can’t accept this.”  I’m looking at her like “what can I do?”  I’ll go up to the bank, but she says we’re closing.  I tell her I have 5 others of these & that she can check any one of these.  Well, all of them fail on her machine, but we go back and forth on her accepting it or not.

After a long ordeal lasting about 10-15 minutes and other customers lining up behind me, she gets a coworker to find out it doesn’t work on the main offices’ machines as well.  Well, I only carry these stupid things because I’m not going to carry around 50 – 10,000 won bills.  It’s just way too bulky.  However, I can’t even use these stupid things at times.

I PRAY the 100,000 won bill comes out soon!

2 Comments

Filed under Random thoughts, Korea life, Stupid, Blogs - Korea Expats, Financial, Expat

Blogs are a powerful medium for communicating problems

So, the day after my last post about Norton Antivirus complaining how Symantec needs to screw their head on straight, I get an email from some Escalation officer who says they need to solve my problem all of a sudden.  Fascinating…

Well, the guy didn’t end up helping me out, but rather sending the job over to their Korea outsourced division.  The people in Korea were incredibly quick on delivery, but their response was to basically uninstall my Norton Software from 2006 and install their version for 2007 temporarily, resolve the problem, and then put the 2006 version back on.  Does this mean they can’t fix it with their old software?  Why doesn’t my subscription include access to their 2007 software?  I guess they need to put more money in the CEO’s pockets or something. 

Maybe the CEO will email me now since I made a crack at him/her? 

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Filed under Business practices, Random thoughts

Norton Antivirus & Symantec need to reported to the public as thief mongering greedy *(&**%$&*

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I really can’t believe the people at Symantec. I have their Norton Internet Security and Virus protection. I’ve been trying to figure out why my computer’s been so slow lately & decided to peer into all the different applications running on my computer. I check out each running .exe(cutable) file in Task Manager & find this weird filed called “cds.exe”

So, I Google it and get this:

“Description:
cds.exe is a process which is registered as the Backdoor.Spymon Trojan. This Trojan allows attackers to access your computer from remote locations, stealing passwords, Internet banking and personal data. This process is a security risk and should be removed from your system.”

Well, all I have to say is that I need to get rid of it. I use my Norton Antivirus which I use constantly & it failed to protect me. So, I think I can use it to remove it, but noooooooooo, it only finds one other spyware app that it removes which reappears constantly. Like the good that piece of junk software does.

So, I hope they can redeem themselves via their support & I talk to their “online support” and the following conversation occurs.

Chat ID: a92cd46b-ec1d-4f2d-894e-23897cf8885a
Problem : can’t get rid of cds.exe
Tebby: Hello Mr._Brandon. My name is Tebby.
Tebby: Welcome to Symantec Virus & Spyware Solutions.

Is this the first time you are contacting us or do you have a Case Number?
Mr._Brandon: yes, it’s the first time
Tebby: May I verify your name as Brandon for our records?
Mr._Brandon: yes
Tebby: May I confirm your email address as bobsmith@gmail.com and direct phone number as 223-555-1263 , am I right?
Mr._Brandon: yes
Tebby: Also, please provide your alternate phone number for quality assurance?
Mr._Brandon: it’s in Korea
Mr._Brandon: do you want that?
Tebby: Yes Brandon.
Tebby: May I place you on hold for 2 minutes while I research on this issue?
Mr._Brandon: 123-123-4567
Mr._Brandon: sure
Tebby: Thank you for staying on hold.
Mr._Brandon: sure
Tebby: May I know which country you are connected from and please let me know which Symantec product you have and its version year.
Mr._Brandon: sure. It’s Korea. I bought it in the U.
Mr._Brandon: S.
Mr._Brandon: I need to check on the version year
Mr._Brandon: it’s norton internet security suite
Mr._Brandon: Norton Internet Security 2006
Mr._Brandon: I have 378 days left on my subscription
Tebby: Thank You for your patience.

Your Case Number is 420130513 . Please make a note of it for future reference.
Tebby: As I understand your issue, you are unable to get rid off cds.exe. Am I right?
Mr._Brandon: exactly
Mr._Brandon: everytime I check out the task manager, it’s there
Tebby: Do you suspect any virus in your system regarding this issue?
Mr._Brandon: well, I researched it & it is supposedly a trojan worm
Mr._Brandon: not exactly excited this pops up each time
Tebby: Do you receive advertising pop ups or nasty pop ups in your system?
Mr._Brandon: once in a while
Mr._Brandon: but nothing special
Mr._Brandon: the problem is that I’m worried about the research says my passwords can be stolen via the worm/virus
Tebby: Ususally this issue with you occurs when the system registry or system files of the system is infected by some kind of Spywares. I hope you are aware that a Spywares can spy on your personal data such as passwords, credit card details etc. and give it to hackers who created it. Responding to this pop ups could enhance your virus infection.
Tebby: What the Spywares do first is to infect the system files and system registry. Later on it can even corrupt the operating files and the security system too. These threats should be removed from system registry. We will also have to remove the files executed by the threats.
Mr._Brandon: so, what should I do?
Tebby: Please do not worry, considering your system status, I can connect you to our expert technicians. They have the option to take Remote Control of your computer, if needed and if permitted, later they will diagnose your computer using advanced tools and remove the threats manually using advanced trouble shooting steps. You can view them troubleshoot on your computer. So it will be like an educative session more than trouble shooting. Once the trouble shooting is done they will also provide you expert advice that can help you prevent your computer from future attacks.
Mr._Brandon: alright
Tebby: I would like to inform you that this is a paid consultation service.
Tebby: Premium Consultation ? Our expert consultants will do a complete diagnosis of your system, and troubleshoot the malware on your computer. If required and if your system permits they can connect to your computer remotely and do all this for you directly.
Tebby: Premium Consultation ? Our expert consultants will do a complete diagnosis of your system, and troubleshoot the malware on your computer. If required and if your system permits they can connect to your computer remotely and do all this for you directly.
Mr._Brandon: so, are you saying I have to pay for this?
Mr._Brandon: I would say this is odd…since I paid for the software & it can’t fix my viruses
Mr._Brandon: so, actually, I would think this is INCLUDED in my services
Tebby: When you purchase the product, the cost of the product is for the software, updates to the software and for the virus definitions. Apart from this, there is an additional charge for value added services.
Tebby: As I informed, these infections get infected in the system registry or system files in the first case. In case a very important windows files is infected and if norton deletes it the whole windows system could malfunction and that is why the operating system denies access and Norton does not delete the file.
Mr._Brandon: welllllllllllll, the problem is the software isn’t even doing the job it WAS SUPPOSE TO DO IN THE FIRST PLACE
Mr._Brandon: if this is how norton tries to make money by not fixing the problems they purport to fix with their software & upsell “premium services”, I will never buy the software ever again
Mr._Brandon: this is incredibly unethical
Mr._Brandon: the software is suppose to remove the virus
Mr._Brandon: it doesn’t EVEN DETECT THE VIRUS
Mr._Brandon: even though it’s really easy to find in the registery
Mr._Brandon: task manager, as well
Tebby: The system itself will deny access for the Norton to detect or delete the infection because the deletion of the infection from those areas could result in the malfunctioning of the whole system.
Mr._Brandon: the virus isn’t even something Norton knows exists
Mr._Brandon: so are you saying Norton can’t even do the original job it was suppose to do?
Mr._Brandon: are you saying that viruses are smarter than norton?
Mr._Brandon: again, what’s the use of having ANTI-VIRUS software, if it can’t do the “ANTI-” part
Tebby: A virus cannot enter a system without the acceptance of the administrator of that system. If you enter to any insecure websites or perform any download of insecure programs, then there are more chances of getting a virus in your system. The Norton software cannot overrule the administrator’s deeds in the system.
Tebby: Do you wish to use the support we provide?
Mr._Brandon: i told you no
Tebby: If you need to contact “Symantec Virus & Spyware Solutions” again please use the link below:
http://www.symantec.com/techsupp/home_homeoffice/index_virus.html

It has been pleasure assisting you. Thank you for using Symantec. Have a great day ahead!!
Tebby: Please click on End Session.

So, I realize it’s a “racket.” They are trying to upsell us consumers things they can’t fix with their software that they already made money off of us which was suppose to protect us from the stupid viruses that are out there. If they can’t fix, remove or detect the viruses already, what’s the use of buying their software? Ohhhhhhh, as the rep tells me and doesn’t even try to assist beyond upselling and pulling “canned replies” from his database, they can only help me “at a cost.” As you can read, it’s probably some Indian c.s. rep Symantec outsourced if you read his reply somewhere after the first few lines. You can tell s/he doesn’t know his plurals vs. his singular words which is typical when English is a 2nd language or foreign language learned in the foreign country.

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