Facebook announced the soon-to-debut of Libra, its new cryptocurrency, last week, saying that it hoped to bring billions of the unbanked into the digital economy, providing them with basic financial services through their cellphones, eerily echoing Facebook’s original mission to bring the world closer together with its social platform, in case you missed the irony.
Musicians and artists can be quirky, and some are famous for making absurd demands – because they can. Among the seemingly quirkiest: Van Halen (in the David Lee Roth days), who demanded that a bowl of M&Ms candies be available backstage, with all of the brown ones removed and there’s actually a brilliant reason for it, according to Insider.
The demand was buried in the rider to the performance contract – a rider that was roughly the size of the Manhattan phone book, and the M&Ms provision was placed inconspicuously within the document to ensure that the promoters actually read it. It primarily included technical specifications to do with lighting, staging, necessary infrastructure, security, etc.
There’s Always A Reason
Van Halen had a mammoth stage act, or as Diamond Dave explained, “At the time, it was the biggest production ever”…In many cases, the venues were too outdated or inadequately prepared to set up the band’s sophisticated stage,” and very specific technical needs had to be met to ensure that no one on either side of the stage got hurt due to a lack of attention to detail. If all of the provisions were not met, Van Halen had the right to keep all of the proceeds from the concert, which often totaled in the millions. Their litmus test? The brown M&Ms. If they spotted brown M&Ms, they knew that, chances were, the rider had not been fully read, much less adhered to, and the band would need to do a serious line check. Here’s the Diamond Dave interview that explains what proved to be a shrewd business move – and safety test.Read More...
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Here’s the thing about hipsters: they want to be different, re non-conformist, so they adopt a unique way of dressing. Of course, those accouterments then become the hipster uniform, and so much for non-conformity.Read More...
We’ve said many times that no one stays on top forever. The Justice Department is preparing a new antitrust investigation against Google parent Alphabet Inc. – again. To refresh your memory and as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “This comes six years after a similar probe from the Federal Trade Commission, which resulted in no significant damage to the company that powers more than 90% of the world’s internet search activity.”
Closer scrutiny is long overdue. What was not reported was the history of the past anti-trust investigation: it was 2013 – the days when Google executives were frequent guests at the White House during the past administration. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, Google visited the White House 230 times – more than all other tech companies combined. Both Google co-founder Larry Page and Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton met with FTC officials and top White House advisors. The investigation was then shut down when Google promised to voluntarily police itself. Interestingly, this is when Net Neutrality discussions also began and here’s an interesting statistic:
Alphabet/Google Market Caps prior to Net Neutrality: $399.05B for January, 2015. Market Caps as a result of Net Neutrality: $664.55B for Sept. 29, 2017Read More...