Hello world!

I’ve installed the free, open-source WordPress blogging and Web publishing platform with which I’ll use to post on a variety of topics, which will be of a nature mentioned in the Categories to the side. Widespread roll-out and use of WP is contingent upon rigorous testing; however, it may replace my Blogger Blog*Spot blog, at dmehus.blogspot.com.

Thank you, readers!

Doug M.


Sullivan defeats Clark, for NPA mayoral nomination in Vancouver

‘A fighter, a survivor,’ Sullivan wins key battle: “Father really does know best. Sam Sullivan’s father, Lloyd, was calm in the nerve-wracking hours leading up to the announcement of Sullivan’s win over Christy Clark in the Non-Partisan Association mayoralty nomination yesterday.”

In a headline rivalling the New York Post’s famed “Dewey Defeats Truman” of the 1948 U.S. presidential election campaign climax, long-time and wheelchair-bound Vancouver city councillor Sam Sullivan pulled off the unfathomable and defeated former Minister of Education and Deputy Premier for the Province of B.C. Christy Clark to secure the mayoral nomination of the Non-Partisan Association. Only this time, the headline is true and Sullivan will go head-to-head in the November civic election against upstart electoral organization Vision Vancouver and its mayoral candidate, the left-leaning but popular Jim Green, who has been an advocate of affordable social housing and the renovation of the old Woodward’s commercial building into one such avenue of housing for the impoverished in the city of Vancouver. (Vision Vancouver’s slate includes current councillors Tim Stevenson and Raymond Louie, as well as several candidates to be named later and it does not intend to run school or parks board candidates. It is an offshoot electoral organization of the equally left-leaning Coalition of Progressive Electors (“COPE”), which is also running five council candidates, and formed from the Friends of Larry Campbell Society in recognition of popular one-term mayor and now The Honourable Senator Larry Campbell.)

It’s a shame Christy Clark did not secure the nomination, and although I would prefer to see Coun. Jim Green ultimately win the mayoral race November 19th, she would’ve put up one hell of a fight and made the race truly interesting. Sullivan’s views are too conservative and not so mainstream that he makes a very unappealing and unelectable candidate for mayor. I would certainly like to see Mrs. Clark run as an independent mayoral candidate to split the centre and right vote, allowing Mr. Green to coast to an easy victory. However, this is unlikely given she has pledged to work with Mr. Sullivan to get him elected. Nonetheless, Coun. Green will likely have to change his business cards to Mayor Jim Green come Nov. 20th – or whenever the City Clerk’s Office certifies and validates the election.

Footnote: Is it not very ironic that the civic electoral group, the Non-Partisan Association, uses the catchy “non-partisan” term as part of its very name yet the group’s very membership consists of federal Liberals and Conservatives, as well as old remaining B.C. Social Credit stalwarts, as a means of coming together under one banner to sling very pointed (and very partisan) attacks at both Vision Vancouver and COPE?

eBay to buy Skype?

“EBay Inc. is in talks to buy Web telephone phenomenon Skype Technologies SA, a source said on Thursday, prompting a 4 percent drop in shares of the online auctioneer amid concern Skype could crimp highly-profitable eBay’s growth.” (Justin Hyde and Eric Auchard, Reuters)

According to the named Reuters reporters, who cite Wall Street Journal and New York Post as sources, above, the purchase price eBay may be willing to pay is between $2 and $5 billion. That seems far too rich for a company with little, albeit growing, revenue and little or no profit. We definitely seem to be in another “dot-com mini-bubble” in the e-commerce and Internet services industries. And, although John Battelle thinks the deal makes sense for two reasons (the first being eBay would be acquiring 50 million new potential customers of its own in buying Skype’s user base and the second being having a powerful peer-to-peer VoIP technology with which its buyers and sellers could communicate), I’m quite negative on this deal. Many Skype users already have eBay accounts so they aren’t buying new customers, they are paying twice for their own customers. As for the smaller, secondary reason of buying a technology platform its members could use to communicate on with each other, this seems rather inconsequential. eBay sellers are already deluged with questions from buyers on instant messaging applications and e-mail that adding another communication platform (voice) may piss them off, rather than intrigue them.

Besides, if eBay was buying Skype for the technology, they could get the same thing for a lot cheaper, such as Yahoo!’s very minor purchase of Dialpad or Microsoft’s purchase of VoIP play Teleo, both of which were less than $50 million. No chump change for you and I, but definitely petty cash for Internet behemoths Microsoft and Yahoo!.

Now, if eBay were buying Skype as an entirely new vertical market and admitting its core online auction business was decelerating, then I could chew the deal and agree it might make sense. However, there are plenty of new online businesses to get into, why enter the low margin commodity, not to mention, crowded business that is VoIP-to-landline calling? Its purchase of Shopping.com, Ltd., earlier this year made sense for that reason. Comparison shopping online would be a new business for them, allow them to enter the sponsored search listings arena, and cross-promote it with eBay.com and Half.com. It was a stroke of pure brilliance. Skype, on the other hand, makes no sense.