NewsFeeds 3.29.10

Vinton rethinks sending $60,000 bills to businesses late with license payments (Roanoke Times)
Businesses owners who were late to pay for their licenses said they were shocked to get the notices.

The future for Farm Fresh? Still hazy (Virginian-Pilot)
After the longtime president of Farm Fresh retired early this month, all eyes turned to parent company Supervalu Inc. to see what changes it might make to the supermarket chain.

The Tiger Bubble (New York Times Magazine)
This is a long one and best to print, but a great read. As far as professional golf is concerned, Woods cannot come back fast enough. The PGA Tour is at a critical juncture. Next year it will begin negotiating new TV contracts with CBS and NBC. In the meantime, the tour is trying to secure sponsors for 10 events in 2011 while economic conditions are not exactly favorable. Two of the hardest-hit industries, financial services and car manufacturing, are responsible for underwriting a third of the PGA Tour’s sponsored events. More to the point, the entire economic model of a golf tournament is looking a bit suspect.

High-tech copy machines a gold mine for data thieves (The Star)
Want to know what expenses your boss claimed last month? How much your colleague makes? What the co-worker down the hall is really working on? Forget about hacking their computers – you might want to hit the nearest photocopier instead. Turns out the newfangled, multi-purpose copy machines in your office keep a wealth of copied data on a hard drive that anyone can hack.

Verizon winds down expensive FiOS expansion (USA Today)
If Verizon Communications hasn’t already started wiring your city or town with its FiOS fiber-optic TV and broadband service, chances are you won’t get it.

Reputations at stake, companies try to alter word of mouth online (Washington Post)
What appears at first to be a spin-free, grass-roots marketplace of opinions and recommendations is rapidly turning into a hotly contested battleground where public relations firms and a new breed of imagemakers help businesses counter negative online comments and manage their online reputations — even giving people free products in hopes of generating positive comments.

The Case, and the Plan, for the Virtual Company (Inc.)
How smart entrepreneurs are finding money and happiness in an office-free life.

Pink Slip Taxes: Business Owners Pay for Layoffs (WSJ)
State unemployment insurance taxes are paid throughout the year, as owners pay their other payroll taxes. States typically have a base unemployment tax, which owners will pay according to the size of their payroll. But as a company lays off empoyees, it develops a negative history or so-called “experience rating” that can boost that tax.

Vinton rethinks sending $60,000 bills to businesses late with license payments (Roanoke Times)
Businesses owners who were late to pay for their licenses said they were shocked to get the notices.

The future for Farm Fresh? Still hazy (Virginian-Pilot)
After the longtime president of Farm Fresh retired early this month, all eyes turned to parent company Supervalu Inc. to see what changes it might make to the supermarket chain.

The Tiger Bubble (New York Times Magazine)
This is a long one and best to print, but a great read. As far as professional golf is concerned, Woods cannot come back fast enough. The PGA Tour is at a critical juncture. Next year it will begin negotiating new TV contracts with CBS and NBC. In the meantime, the tour is trying to secure sponsors for 10 events in 2011 while economic conditions are not exactly favorable. Two of the hardest-hit industries, financial services and car manufacturing, are responsible for underwriting a third of the PGA Tour’s sponsored events. More to the point, the entire economic model of a golf tournament is looking a bit suspect.

High-tech copy machines a gold mine for data thieves (The Star)
Want to know what expenses your boss claimed last month? How much your colleague makes? What the co-worker down the hall is really working on? Forget about hacking their computers – you might want to hit the nearest photocopier instead. Turns out the newfangled, multi-purpose copy machines in your office keep a wealth of copied data on a hard drive that anyone can hack.

Verizon winds down expensive FiOS expansion (USA Today)
If Verizon Communications hasn’t already started wiring your city or town with its FiOS fiber-optic TV and broadband service, chances are you won’t get it.

Reputations at stake, companies try to alter word of mouth online (Washington Post)
What appears at first to be a spin-free, grass-roots marketplace of opinions and recommendations is rapidly turning into a hotly contested battleground where public relations firms and a new breed of imagemakers help businesses counter negative online comments and manage their online reputations — even giving people free products in hopes of generating positive comments.

The Case, and the Plan, for the Virtual Company (Inc.)
How smart entrepreneurs are finding money and happiness in an office-free life.

Pink Slip Taxes: Business Owners Pay for Layoffs (WSJ)
State unemployment insurance taxes are paid throughout the year, as owners pay their other payroll taxes. States typically have a base unemployment tax, which owners will pay according to the size of their payroll. But as a company lays off empoyees, it develops a negative history or so-called “experience rating” that can boost that tax.

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